Axis & Allies (2004 video game)
|Axis & Allies (2004 video game)|
|Release date(s)||November 2, 2004|
Axis & Allies (abbreviated to A&A), also called Axis & Allies RTS, is a real-time strategy World War II computer game developed by TimeGate Studios and published by Atari. The game was released on November 2, 2004. It is based on the popular board game Axis & Allies from Milton Bradley and also on TimeGate's Kohan series. It is set in the years just after Japan and the United States had entered into the war.
The game incorporates two gameplay modes: real-time and turn-based modes. However, turn-based gameplay is only present in WWII mode, and thus gameplay is mainly focused on the real-time strategy genre.
Axis & Allies allows the player to assume the role of a military general of one of the five superpowers of World War II: the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, and Japan. Each of the five nations is able to deploy military units unique to its nationality, such as snipers for Russia, flamethrower tanks for Great Britain, and king tiger tanks for Germany. In addition, each general of the five nations is granted unique special operation abilities, such as carpet bombing, deploying a secret agent, or using propaganda warfare.
The primary objective of gameplay is to destroy the opposing enemy military forces, although some campaigns and maps will require other objectives to be completed first, such as capturing certain cities or defending a specific area, in order to achieve victory. Axis & Allies also has a "City Control" percentage toggle option that can be enabled, in which the winner of the battle goes to the first side/team to capture a set percentage of cities on the map.
Gameplay supports up to eight players in a single battle in both singleplayer and multiplayer.
Axis & Allies focuses on the production of three major resources: money, ammo, and oil. Money is obtained from a constant flow of revenue received from a Corps HQ', Division HQ's, and cities. Unlike money, both the resources of ammo and oil can be obtained from just about any building. Money is used to purchase units and technologies, while ammo and oil are used for unit upkeep.
If the upkeep of either ammo or oil are not met, a player's monetary income will be reduced. If the upkeep of ammo and oil worsens, a drain of money can occur (a negative income). At this point, if there is no more money to be drained away, unsupplied regiments on the map will slowly receive damage until they are either destroyed or the upkeep is repaired.
There are various types of structures in the game. Each nation has the same types of structures as each other, but they have their own unique decorations and abilities corresponding to that nation.
In any battle, the player usually starts out with a Corps HQ building. The Corps HQ is the backbone to the player's military and economy, as it is the only building where all of the player's building trucks will be deployed from. Sometimes however, only battleships and/or carriers will be given to the player at the start of the game. In this situation, the player would first need to launch and unpack a Corps HQ truck from a battleship onto nearby land, and then continue deploying other trucks from the Corps HQ. These trucks can then be unpacked into makeshift buildings and structures to create a military base.
Division HQs are perhaps the most important buildings in the game. Almost all military regiments are deployed from Division HQs, and they are the only buildings that can generate income aside from the Corps HQ and cities. There are four types of Division HQs: Infantry, Airborne, Mechanized, and Armor.
Support buildings are the buildings that allow further technologies to be researched, aside from the Corps Hq and the Airfield, and one of the three is required to be unpacked before specific regiments are able to be deployed. There are only three support buildings: the Engineer Brigade, the Motor Pool, and the Artillery Brigade.
Airfields are structures that produce two types of aircraft: fighters and bombers. They consist of one hangar that can hold up to four fighters and two bombers for deploying bombing runs and air reconnaissance. In order to deploy an Airfield though, the player must first have unpacked an Engineer Brigade, Motor Pool, and Artillery Brigade on the map. The Airfield is also the most expensive structure that can be purchased in the game, costing up to $400 in in-game money.
Depots are buildings used to boost ammo and oil production as well as to extend supply lines. There are three types of depots: supply depots, ammo depots, and oil depots. Unlike ammo and oil depots, supply depots don't count towards the building limit.
Bunkers are a type of base defense against enemy opposition. They are immobile defensive structures that can only be constructed by Engineer Regiments. There are three types of bunkers: machine gun bunkers, anti-aircraft bunkers, and artillery bunker. Bunkers play a valuable role in defensive battles.
Some structures can only appear in the campaign battles of the game and in player-made maps. One of these structures include the unique D-Day bunkers that are present in the "Invasion of Normandy" campaign battle and its counterpart in the axis campaign. These D-Day bunkers have health points but cannot be destroyed; they are like cities and can be captured by a player, but only when its health points are reduced down to 'one'. Other "special structures" in the game include searchlights seen in the "Fall of Berlin" battle and special Japanese anti-aircraft, artillery, and machine gun bunkers seen in the "Battle of Iwo Jima".
All military units in the game are controlled by the player or an AI computer player. There are several categories of military units: regiments, naval units, and aircraft.
Regiments are the main fighting forces in Axis & Allies. These regiments are composed of separate individual fighting units, ranging from 5-9 units in one regiment, and are produced from Infantry HQs, Airborne HQs, Mechanized HQs, and Armor HQs. They require different amounts of ammo and/or oil to maintain. Regiments are categorized into four different categories: Infantry, Airborne, Mechanized, and Armor. The units that make up the regiments can be of various types (e.g. The Mechanized Infantry Regiment is made up of 1 officer/scout truck, 4 infantry units, 1 machine gunner, 1 light tank, and 2 half-tracks). Also, these units are always in formation, whether in assault mode, aggressive mode, or passive mode. The units in each regiment also have different values and characteristics in their attack, defense, and health.
Regiments gain experience points by participating in battles. Accumulation of experience points can earn a regiment field promotions, which is awarded in three stages: Recruit, Veteran, and Elite. Each promotion strengthens the regiment in offense, defense, health, and morale. In addition, experience points gained by regiments also adds up towards a player's Special Operations experience.
In Axis & Allies, there is a unique characteristic that all regiments have, called 'morale'. During a battle, a regiment's morale slowly drains away, and when the regiment runs low on morale, it would rout back to a nearby area that is clear of enemies all on its own. During a rout, the player cannot control the regiment or its movement until the rout has ended. However, if the regiment's morale is totally depleted, the regiment would have the "exhausted" effect on it and would rout to a complete stop. It would halt in that area to regain its morale back before the regiment can move again; however, if the regiment is "exhausted" but provoked to keep battling, it will keep fighting until the battle is over or the regiment is destroyed, the latter being more frequent.
After experiencing combat, a regiment might be wounded and be low on health. As long as the regiment is not under enemy fire, in a zone of supply, and is attached to a Division HQ, it will automatically replenish and regain back the units that the regiment had lost in the battle and heal any injured units back to 100% health.
The most powerful units are tanks, which have an increased defensive bonus that makes heavy tanks from all countries (except Japan, which has no heavy tank regiment) practically immune to rifle fire from infantry. The most powerful tank unit in the game comes from Germany, which is the King Tiger.
Each nation has at least two units that are unique to them. For example, Germany has the King Tiger tanks and the Goliath tracked mine while Russia has the Katyusha rocket launcher, conscript, and sniper infantry.
The naval units in Axis & Allies include: Battleships, Carriers, and Landing craft. Battleships and carriers are the two main naval units of Axis & Allies that are sometimes given to the player at the start of a campaign if the mission requires the movement of armies across a body of water. Battleships yield heavy gun turrets and anti-aircraft guns for shore bombardment and air defense. Aircraft carriers consist of a hangar of fighters and bombers for initiating air strikes and air reconnaissance on the enemy. Landing craft are boat units deployed from a battleship that can transport infantry regiments or a Corps Hq truck to nearby land. There are also special battleships called "Marine battleships" that deploy Marine regiments instead of regular infantry regiments, which cost more than the normal infantry but do slightly more damage. These special regiments are only available to players using the United States, and appear in the last two campaign battles, "The Battle of Iwo Jima" and "The Invasion of Okinawa", as well as custom maps.
The aircraft of Axis & Allies include: Fighter aircraft, Bombers, and Transport planes. Fighter aircraft and bombers are the two main aircraft of Axis & Allies and are deployed from airfields and carriers. Fighter aircraft are mainly used for reconnaissance flights, air defense, and bomber escorts. Bomber aircraft are mainly used for bombing enemy regiments and structures. Transport planes are used for deploying and carrying paratrooper regiments or supplies purchased from Special Operations. When enemy aircraft pass by an airfield or carrier, the airfield/carrier releases patrol planes to combat the threat even if the structure is not attacked directly.
The aircraft available to use in the game is unique to each nation. The United States uses P-51 Mustangs and F4U Corsairs as fighter planes, B-17 Flying Fortresses as bombers, and C-47 Skytrains as transports. Great Britain uses Supermarine Spitfires, Avro Lancasters, and Douglas DC-3s. Russia uses the Yakovlev Yak-7 and the Tupolev SB. Germany has Heinkel He 111s, Messerschmitt Bf109s, and Junkers Ju-52s. Lastly, Japan has Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters, Nakajima G8N bombers, and Mitsubishi G4M transports.
In Axis & Allies, technologies are upgrades that can only be purchased and researched in five buildings: the Corps HQ, the Engineer Brigade, the Motor Pool, the Artillery Brigade, and the Airfield. Technologies can improve and upgrade particular type(s) of units with a better value in attack, defense, health, speed, attack speed, morale, cost, and/or line of sight. Other technologies give a resource or income boost to the economy, while some are required to be researched to enable deployment of special regiments in the game, such as Flame Tank Regiments for Great Britain or Commando Infantry for Japan.
Each general in Axis & Allies has his own unique set of four Special Operations that the player can use to employ to the battlefield (each general has the Corps Reorganization ability, so they really only have just three unique Special Operations). Special Operations are the special abilities of each general, and they have a tremendous impact on a battle if used correctly. Some Special Operations provide bonuses to the attack, defense, health, and/or speed of specific types of units, i.e. "Assembly Line" increases the health of vehicles by 20%. Other Special Operations help reduce unit costs, while some provide additional resources to the player, i.e. "Economic Aid" provides additional Ammo and Oil resources. Special Operations are purchased with Special Operations experience points, which are accumulated at a constant rate, but the rate temporarily increases when a player's military forces are attacking the enemy. Each Special Operation has its own cooldown before it can be used again.
The Special Operations costing the most Special Operations experience points to use are called "bombs", which deal splash damage inside an area of effect. There are four unique "bombs" that appear in the game: "Kamikaze", "Carpet Bombing", "V-Weapons", and "Atomic Bomb". The most powerful of these four "bombs" is the "Atomic Bomb", wielded by Admiral Nimitz, as it not only has an immensely destructive blast, it also leaves a health-draining radiation in its wake.
There are three modes for singleplayer gameplay: Custom Battle, Campaign, and World War II.
Custom battles are basically normal real-time strategy battles played with the computer. In a custom battle, the player will always start out with a single Corps Hq building, some bunker defenses, and a supply depot truck. In the staging room before the battle, the player can choose what type of map to play on, what and how many land features will be present on the map, how much money and experience points each player will start out with, along with other options.
At the start, the player assumes the role of a nation and general. Once the game launches, there will be a brief video and speech given to the player telling about his/her nation's current status in the war. The player is then taken onto a flat, panoramic map of the world. Here, the player takes turns to purchase infantry units, mechanized units, armor units, and air support from their home country and move them across the map, engaging enemy armies and territories. In contrast to the Axis & Allies board game, the player can only attack one territory per turn and does not build naval and air support directly on the board, but rather, during an RTS battle resolution.
In attacking or defending from enemy forces, the player receives an option to either go into an RTS game to try to defeat the opposing enemy in real-time, or to let the computer compute a quick resolve based on the chances of victory for the player. The outcome of a real-time strategy resolution is entirely based on a player's skill, while computerized battle resolution is a random roll based on a probability assessment resulting from a comparison between the attacker's and defender's forces situated in the contested territory.
If an attacker defeats an opposing army in a territory, the weakest regiment of the defeated army is destroyed and the rest of the army retreats to a nearby allied country. If the opposing army is completely surrounded, unable to retreat to nearby allied territory, then the entire army is destroyed. However, if the defender is the victor, then the weakest regiment of the attacker's army is destroyed and the rest of the army retreats back to the territory from which they initiated the battle. If a unit moves into a neutral territory or an abandoned enemy territory, it will automatically capture that territory the next turn.
There are only two major aspects of WWII mode: money and researches. Money is obtained every turn and is determined by the sum of the income values of controlled territories. Each territory has a unique income value; thus wealthier territories are more important in value. Money is used to purchase military units and researches. In purchasing military units, each nation receives a reduction in cost for a specific military unit; for example, Germany has cheaper tanks while Japan has cheaper air units. In purchasing researches, the probability of victory in "quick resolves" increases and it also allows the player to have the technology already researched in an RTS battle if the player chooses to go into RTS mode to resolve a battle.
In Campaign mode, the player is thrust into a series of World War II campaign battles for either the Axis Powers (Germany and Japan) or the Allied Nations (United States, Great Britain, and Russia). There are a total of 24 challenging missions included in Campaign mode: 12 Allied campaigns and 12 Axis campaigns.
Playing as the Allies, the course of history goes the way it actually did with the Battle of Normandy sealing Germany's fate and the capture of Iwo Jima and Okinawa sealing Japan's. The campaigns interchange between the armies of Great Britain, Russia, and the United States of America as time progresses throughout the years of 1939-1945.
Playing as the Axis leads to an alternate history, basically with what-if scenarios, which begins with a tactical German victory at Crete. Having driven out British forces in the Mediterranean, Rommel and his Afrika Korps win the Battle of El Alamein, pushing the British all the way back through the Suez Canal. With the fuel-rich Middle East in German hands, Germany wins the decisive Battle of Stalingrad and the following year, the endlessly supplied Panzer units crush the Russians at Kursk, effectively sealing the fate of the Eastern Front. Meanwhile in the Pacific, Japan manages an invasion of Australia, leaving the Americans without a staging area in the Pacific (it is also suggested that the attack on Pearl Harbor was more successful, with the fleet being sunk in deep waters rather than in the shallow waters of the base). The Battle of Normandy still happens; however, the landing beaches have unfavorable terrain and the Germans' counterattack is successful. The failed invasion at Normandy not only prevented the Allies from opening a new front in the war, it also oversaw Germany's plans to invade Great Britain. With Rundstedt invading from the south and Rommel invading from the west, Operation Sea Lion proved to be a success, forcing the British to surrender.
While Germany deals with partisan resistance, Japan invades India to crush the last of the British forces under the command of Wingate. With Great Britain defeated, Germany is able to turn its attention back to Stalin and the Soviet Union. Japanese advance units under General Kuribayashi and German Panzer divisions under Field Marshal Manstein surround Moscow, but the battle for control of the city turns into a three way brawl with German and Japanese units each vying for control of the city. The battle ends in a German victory. By now, the United States of America is the only Allied nation left to challenge the Axis. With the defeat of British and Australian forces, Japan quickly eliminates the last remaining ships of the American fleet and captures Midway, and later Hawaii. With American naval forces crippled beyond repair, the Allies lose their chances of defeating the Axis Powers and America settles into a new Cold War with Japan in the Pacific and Nazi Germany in Europe.
Players online either play in custom team battles or on official/player-created maps. A maximum of 12 players is allowed to join a single game, but only a maximum of 8 players is allowed to actually play. A fast computer with a fast Internet connection is greatly recommended for a smooth gameplay experience online. Additionally, players online can observe games, save multiplayer films, host rooms and games, and make friends and add them to their buddy lists.
Many online players use more strategic and tactical levels of gameplay than those used only in singleplayer against the AI. Online gameplay can be played through a local area network (LAN) connection or through the Internet. Online gameplay requires an account to be made via GameSpy. Online play is supported by GameSpy.
Due to the age of the game, as of beginning of December 2012, GameSpy has discontinued online server service to users. However, user direct-connect LAN services remain operational and provide an alternative to playing on GameSpy servers.
The Axis & Allies map editor lets players create their own maps to play in both singleplayer and multiplayer mode. Players are able to create their own military maps, including choice of scenery, choice of gameplay, cutscenes, storylines, and military objectives.
References and notes
- "Axis & Allies for PC - Axis & Allies PC Game - Axis & Allies Computer Game". Axis & Allies description. Gamespot. June 2007. Archived from the original on 15 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-10.
- "TimeGate Studios - Axis & Allies". TimeGate Info on Axis & Allies. TimeGate Studios. May 2007. Archived from the original on 19 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
- "IGN: Axis & Allies Review". Axis & Allies(PC) review. Butts, Steve. May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
- "Gameplanet - Reviews - Axis & Allies". Axis & Allies game review. Gunn, Mike, staff writer. November 2004. Archived from the original on 3 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
- Special Operations experience points increase at a constant rate of 1 pt./sec, but the rate booms when military units gain experience participating in skirmishes against the enemy.
- "XGP Gaming: Review". Hadley, David. May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
- "TimeGate Forums: Axis and allies down again". December 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- "Axis & Allies for PC Reviews - PC Axis & Allies Reviews". 2004-11-02. Retrieved 2007-11-18.
- http://cdii.blogspot.com/2008/12/axis-allies-world-war-2-on-cd-i.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD-i