This was originally published as an article in Battleplan #3 written by Alan Emrich.
Evolution of the Rules
Since the majority of readers of this article are probably most familiar with the first edition Milton Bradley rules, they will be used as a reference point as to the evolution of the rules to Axis & Allies.
In the original Nova Game edition of Axis & Allies, submarine movement & combat were considerably different. Submarines didn't hinder nor were hindered by enemy navals units during movement. Thus they could run a blockade by movin 2 spaces right through an enemy fleet. Combat for them was different, in that defending submarines got a first shot (i.e., transit) attack when enemy ships moved into or through their sea zone. It was an optional attack because submarinwa themselves were not vulnerable to enemy attacks unless they 'exposed' themselves by opting to participate in combat.
Other rules in the Nova edition included invading land units attack with a strength of 1 on the first round of combat, losses to multiple defenders in 1 area were always chosen by the attacker as to which defender suffered how many hits and new air units could be placed on carriers in adjacent sea zones to a factory.
Other bits of fascination included the differences in the map. The Nova edition included many "Pro-Someone" neutrals. For instance, Spain, although a neutral country, contributed 3 to the Germany economy. Saudi Arabia contributed to the U.S. etc. Most neutrals also had an economic value making invading them a more attractive proposition. Italy also started with Italian East Africa.
For weapons development the current Heavy Bombers was the Atomic Bomb (eliminates everything in a land or sea area) but the real missing gem from the Nova edition was the Special Forces rule. In it, each major power got its own unique ability. Japan got Kamikaze Tactics, Russia got to move factories, America got the Marines, Germany got the SS Panzerkorps and Britain got gypped (with the Home Guard).
In the second edition Milton Bradley version of Axis & Allies there have been 2 major changes include the Commander-In-Chief and multiple force attack rules, both of which have been eliminated.
The second major change is that factoreis have been divided until 2 types, Orginal Complexes and New Complexes. New complexes can only product a limited number of new unit per turn equal to the income value of the teritory in which it is located.
The transport rules have been changed somewhat adding rules for "bridging" and cliaryfing the timing of embarkation and debarkationof troops during a transport's move. Subamrine warfare has been clarified considerably although not changed. Many mapboard and unit placement ambiguities have been specifically clarified, as have the rules for capturing an enemy capital.