Axis and Allies Europe: History, Rules and What to Expect

Refight WWII on the European front with Axis and Allies Europe

Axis and Allies Europe sets the stage and provides the firepower for the war gamer to get involved in World War II just as Germany is poised to invade Russia. All it takes is the right strategy!

Game's History

Axis and Allies Europe is the first game spin off written by Larry Harris, the author of the Axis and Allies board game which was introduced over twenty years ago. This new version of the game was published in 1999 by Avalon Hill Games, an affiliate of Hasbro. The first run of 5,000 boxes sold out quickly, requiring a fast reprint of the game.

Playing Axis and Allies Europe

The game can be played by two to four players, ages 12 and up. The rules are not easy to follow; but, a novice can be up and playing in 30 minutes. A typical game moves very quickly and can last over three hours.

Axis and Allies Europe uses the same basic format as the original Axis and Allies game. The difference is this Europe-based version is a more focused look at WWII, spotlighting the European war activities starting in 1941 when Germany was ready to invade Russia. The game centers on the many fronts and combat situations encountered by the allies in fighting against Nazi Germany. Players need to make decisions throughout the game on when and where they are going to deploy their resources. The rules are very specific about the cost and power of each soldier and piece of armament. Each player must develop and implement strategies that involve where they use infantry and artillery versus where they are going to use bombers and fighters, while following the detailed rules.

As with the original Axis and Allies game, hard core players often join informal groups and online forums to play, discuss strategies and exchange gaming tip ideas. One well-known online networking source is Harris Game Design, the message board of Larry Harris, the creator of Axis and Allies.

Game Set-up

The game centers on an extra large game board that depicts a map of Europe, North Africa, the Atlantic and part of North America. Game pieces are provided for the four countries involved in the European war activities - Russia, Germany, Great Britain and the United States.

The game includes:

  • Game board
  • Battle board
  • Industrial Production Certificates (money)
  • 4 national reference charts
  • National control markers
  • National production charts
  • 12 dice
  • Plastic chips (red and gray)
  • 373 historically-accurate plastic game pieces:
    • 100 infantry
    • 42 artillery pieces
    • 12 anti-aircraft guns
    • 40 armored tanks
    • Anti-aircraft guns
    • 44 fighter planes
    • 15 bombers
    • 12 battleships
    • 28 destroyers
    • 10 aircraft carriers
    • 24 transport ships
    • 28 submarines
    • 12 industrial complex

    A detailed, illustrated Gameplay Manual details rules such as the amount of money and the number of game pieces which should be allotted to each country at the beginning of the game. It also includes specific information on the use of various game pieces. For example, a player can purchase infantry for a lot less money than the cost of a fighter plane. But, the infantry require additional purchases such as guns and tanks to be fully effective. The player has to make strategic decisions about the cost of a ground war action versus the cost of an air or sea-based action.


The rules are virtually the same as the rules for Axis and Allies. If the player has played the original Axis and Allies game, they should be able to step in very quickly and start playing this European-focused version of the game. Most playing pieces are still given the same attack restrictions and powers. This European version of the game does add a few new types of playing pieces - artillery and destroyers - which add to the killing power and require special strategies for use.


For players who need, or want more game pieces, Table Tactics provides an accessory kit that can be used with all Axis and Allies game boards. The kit is called Accessories #242 and contains 275 pieces including:

  • B29 Superfortress heavy fighters
  • Jeeps
  • German HE-162 jet fighters
  • Land mines
  • Landing craft
  • P38 Lightning super bombers
  • V2 rockets
  • Operating rules for the new pieces

Where to Buy

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Axis and Allies Europe: History, Rules and What to Expect