Sunday, 22 April 2018

Axis and Allies: The Miniatures Game

Sometime ago Wizards of the Coast produced a collectible miniatures game themed around land combat during WW2. The game was supported by a range of figures and equipment over several expansions and covered most forces and theatres of the Second World War. Needless to say I ‘dabbled’ in this - the models were scaled at 15mm give or take - but eventually disposed of the bits and pieces over a period of a couple of years or so. I did however, hang on to the maps that came with the game and one of the expansions. There were two double sided and geomorphic terrain maps in each of the two sets I had - meaning 8 maps in total. The hexes are 3” across the flat sides and each map has a 7 by 10 hex grid.

As you will see from the pictures the two sets of maps are artistically different so using them together is probably not an option I would use. This means that I will have two double sided maps that can be used individually or combined in quite a few permutations for games. I have in fact used them before back in the very early days of the block armies and they look surprisingly good. I added some terrain pieces to bring the map to ‘life’ and this made quite a difference to the look of the thing. The only drawback is that whilst I had the maps laminated - they were paper so would not have lasted long - the laminate used is a high gloss finish which makes photography rather challenging under artificial light.

The maps cover a a variety of rural terrain types and are suitably generic so could cover anything from the 18th century onwards. This is really useful for me and so the plan is to fight games either on the 7 x 10 single map or larger actions on a double sized map - typically a 14 x 10 although you could also deploy the maps end to end.

The first four pictures are the two maps that came from (I think) an expansion. You can see the difference in the artwork.

I rather like this one for some WW2 'defend the village' style actions.

A nice spot for an ambush perhaps?

These are the maps that came (I think) with the original game. I prefer this set from the artistic perspective.

I must confess to preferring the artwork of this set - it seems a lot more natural.

The road to nowhere?

Again, another one for the ambush idea - if you go down to the woods today....

I rather fancy using this for a rearguard action

I am thinking that these have a lot of potential from the perspective of the Portable Wargame and certainly they would be useful for any number of periods. At this stage the ACW looks a likely candidate but looking forward there are a couple of other things that spring to mind. I will also use them for WW2 for both fronts - East and West - with the Axis and Allies 1/300th kit where I think they will work very well.

I am glad I hung on these and I am sure I will get a lot of use from them in their second iteration.


Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


I have never seen these maps before, and I am most impressed with their potential. The latter set are certainly very suitable for use in ACW battles, and would be suitable for parts of Europe as well.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

I am glad I hung on to these as they make very good instant battlefields. The laminate glare is not a problem under natural light (as the pictures were taken) and they really look almost 3D as they are.

Your thoughts about how they could be used echo my own with the fact that the latter set also has implications for the Napoleonic wars.

KInd regards,


Lee Hadley said...

Very nice maps. Lots of life left in them yet!

David Crook said...

Hi Lee,

Laminating them has certainly kept them fresh. I use a couple of pieces of double sided tape to hold them down on a table top (with a cloth underneath so they do not slip about) and also for fixing the two halves together if needed.

All the best,