The first time I ever played Axis and Allies, the player teaching me said that, for the first turn, play skips the USSR and begins with Germany, as a way to simulate the end of blitzkrieg.

The more I've played, the more questionable this seems, so I'm curious: In any variant of Axis and Allies, is there a rule stating that the first turn skips the USSR?

2 Answers 2


Axis and Allies 1940 has Germany always going before The Soviet Union


Order of Play
1. Germany
2. Soviet Union
3. United States
4. United Kingdom
5. Italy
6. France (controlled by an Allied player)

  • The rules you cite are for Axis & Allies Europe 1940 Second Edition. I suppose there is still the question of if any version of Axis & Allies allows the USSR to go first. May 8, 2017 at 17:43

I think you are referring to Classic edition of A&A, with a "no Soviet first-turn attack" rule.

In that variation, the Soviet Union receives its income and gets to "build," but not to attack, before the Germans on the first turn. That simulates the (initial) Soviet neutrality that resulted from the Hitler-Stalin Pact (and assumes that the Soviets stayed neutral until the summer of 1942, which is to say after Pearl Harbor.)

So Germany gets the first "move" on the first round, and then plays after the Soviet Union thereafter. The reason this variation was proposed is that giving Germany the "first strike" (which it had in real life), cuts the allied advantage in half, making the game close to "even."

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