Finally! It's out, and I own it. The newest Axis and Allies that is, Europe 1940. Axis and Allies Pacific 1940, and Europe 1940 can be combined into a single huge game, that devastates any previous version.
You may not know, but I'm a big fan of strategic boardgames, and I've been following axis and allies since 1992 or thereabouts. (I guess it's hardly a shock considering my preternatural interest in WWII.) I've played every single version since the "classic" - except from D-day and Guadalcanal, and I've mostly loved them. I don't have any idea how many hours I've spent rolling dice and picking off plastic enemies. The only one I didn't care too much for was Battle of the Bulge, and figured that these limited campaigns aren't really my thing. Which is also the problem I had with the previous incarnation of Europe and Pacific. While I did use the rules for combining the game that were floating around the internet I wasn't really pleased with it. I want true global warfare, not theatres.
So, after I bought Pacific 1940 a great deal of my time has been spent checking for updates on Europe 1940. Waiting impatiently and speculating about it. No more! I've played it now. That is, I skipped Europe, and went straight for the global rules.
And I am very pleased. The game feels like "classic" AnA, but bigger and better. The boards and rules fit together like they were designed to be used together, unlike the last version. And I love the italians and french, and the new way the chinese work. Even more so I love the rules for neutrality, and the way the axis can more or less bide their time with the Soviet Union and the United States.
There are a few things missing, or that would have been better in a different way.
The soviet troops are too similar to the italians, in color. I don't see why they stuck to the brownish soviets, when they could've easily made them the red color of the japanese in AnA Pacific. Red soviets I would've loved.
(I see that a lot of peope were annoyed that the french and the soviets share design on several units. Personally I don't care. As long as I can tell them apart they could've used whatever design they wanted to for the french. It's not like they're going to be a huge factor at any point anyway.)
I also miss money. I hear that most players don't use the money, and prefer to write the numbers down instead. I however prefer to use the little paper pieces. Not a big deal though. You can cannibalize an earlier game, or print your own.
I also think the new battle board is horrendous. We made our own, that you can flip over, so that each player has a board with defender on one side and attacker on the other. The gameboard is so massive it's more practical to have a battle board each.
I've only played the game once, with three players, and I can't wait to play it again. It's by far the best version yet.
(Yes, I should've had more pictures, but I was too busy playing to really bother with a camera.)