When I used to be into this game, I originally thought of it as Risk for adults. Now, I think Twilight Struggle fills that gap far better. I have some fond memories of Axis and Allies and many not-so-fond ones. Could that set-up time be any longer?! I remember starting to play it on PC just to avoid the set-up and that's where I realized how average this game really is.
This game is UNPLAYABLE with anyone that suffers from Analysis Paralysis (*looks in mirror* **waves back**). There are so many decision tree points in this game that I really gotta think. In the end, I forced myself to only play as Russia cuz the decisions were easier.
I tend to be a bit of a gaming judge as well (I don't know why, it's just natural) so many times during games I become suspicious that a player removed or did not remove enough units during a battle. This stuff drives me nuts.
And once again (as in my review of Settlers of Catan), you can easily find better games that have the same mechanics and same themes as this one:
You like the whole area movement aspect of units? Play War of the Ring, it's INCREDIBLE.
You like WWII games? Play Combat Commander Europe if you like something heavy, or Memoir 44 if you like something lite.
You like wargames? Twilight Struggle it up, yo.
The one aspect I LOVE about Axis and Allies is the economics. I LOVE economic themed games. But of course, the Euros always handle this better. Both Agricola AND Puerto Rico have more fun economic-themed gameplay. Heck, Power Grid and Caylus as well.
Axis and Allies does many things good but is not excellent in ANYTHING. And for that, I'm happy I gave away my copy of the game (never been played) to my brother-in-law.
One of the games I played the most growing up. Yes it's long, but what are we? A bunch of euro-weenies? Man up and pass the IPCs! A great game for kids (grade school-college) or deployed military personnel with lots of time on their hands, the urge to kill little plastic army men, and a lust for the thrill of rolling fist fulls of dice. The only real drawback to me, is that I've become convinced the Allies are unbeatable if used properly, even with the included optional rules for helping out the Axis. Still, most people have no idea of the optimum Allied strategy, so if I'm in a game, I'll just play the Axis and try to beat the odds. A much different feel between 2 player and multiplayer games. 2 player you have much more control. 3-5 players you have the wheeling and dealing which is fun but the downtime is a lot greater.
One of my original board games that I played throughout high school. Pacing is kinda screwy, and we never really played with the economic victory conditions either, so games rarely ended, but rather we conceded when all seemed hopeless. I know many others complain about things being predetermined after the first few turns, and maybe we were just to retarded to see the writing on the wall, but it seemed like EVERY time someone would try SOMETHING new and it kept us entertained. And, along with Risk, this helped me learn my geography!
WE played this and the Xeno Game's Version so many times in middle school and High School that we could set it up from memory. I'll admit that there is no chance it will hit the table these days, but I have very fond memorys of playing with my dad and friends.