Axis & Allies Review
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Players: 2-5
Playing Time: Hours and hours and hours…

Almost every child, I imagine, began their game-playing career with Candy Land. The easiest of the board games, it's a staple of youth. And because of its simplicity, people might be inclined to think that board games are for children. Not so, as game makers Avalon Hill seem determined to prove, for they are the creators of what may possibly be the most complex of all board games: Axis & Allies.

Let us first begin with the instruction book. It is so thick you may initially think it was written by J.K. Rowling. This is a game, much like Dungeons & Dragons, that you don't sit down to learn on a lark. The concept of the game sounds simple enough: players take turns controlling the various military powers of World War II, and the winner is the player who defeats his opponent. But behind that veneer of simplicity is an immensely complicated board game, which will engage hours (and quite possibly multiple attempts) to learn and play before you can have a logical and coherent game.

The bottom line question is: Is it fun? Yes, absolutely. If you and your fellow players have the time to devote, playing Axis & Allies can be a blast. Controlling not only the land armies, but also the air forces and navies of the world powers, is not only great fun, but also educational for the amateur history buff. And if you decide you'd like to change the historical outcome of the war by playing as Germany or Japan and winning…well, here's your chance. Axis & Allies, from Avalon Hill, is possibly the best and most intricate of the historical combat genre of board games that has sprung up in past decades. So indulge your inner Churchill (or Stalin), and give Axis & Allies a shot.

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