History of the IAAPA
The International Axis and Allies Players Association started under the stewardship of AOL in the Wargamers Forum. In early 1994, a small group of players began playing Axis and Allies by e-mail (around 10), and received a discussion area (one message board) and a mention in the Wargamers Area on AOL. Shortly thereafter they began referring to themselves as the AOL Axis and Allies Club.
By June of 1995, enough players were playing regularly to develop the AACRS (or the Axis and Allies Club Ranking System). At the same time, a loose governing board was formed to help guide the growth of the Club. The first tournament was held in the Summer of 1995, and had a whopping 16 participants.
By the summer of 1996, a more formal government structure was adopted with a President, Vice-President, and upper and lower house (of Ministers and Chancellors) to cover the various administrative functions of the Club. A web site was created, and several other enhancements for the members including a player pool and regular rankings mailings were initiated. In addition, AOL recognized the Club as a formal one within AOL, and gave the Club its own area (server space) and keyword (a&a). Around this same time some of the members wrote the now standard aamap utility and original odds calculator. Click here to EXPLORE the web site at this time.
In the election in the summer of 1997, several members were elected to government who are still involved today. Micwil was elected Chancellor of the Internet, JohnPin569 was elected Chancellor of Law and ToddVomit appointed Minister of War. At that point the Club began a formal migration off of AOL. It was renamed the Axis and Allies Online Club, and a more elaborate web site with far more information and resources was implemented. The Club in the summer of 1997 had approximately 150 members --- by the start of 1998 our membership was just under 1000. Click here to see the web site at this time.
As the Club became more and more difficult to manage, with increasing administrative duties, it became clear that some automation was needed. The job of assigning game numbers which had been a minor one at the inception of the Club was now a task which took 2-3 hours every day for the Minister of War. In addition, the Charter was changed to make all administrative positions appointed, with only the President and Senate elected (to ensure the smooth operation of the Club). At the same time the organization changed its name to its current appellation - the International Axis and Allies Players Association.
Most recently our Association has developed a dedicated secure dice server for our members, an interactive live warzone which supports live play over the Internet, and automated game number assignment and reporting of game finishes. An automated ranking system was implemented in January of 1999.
In the summer of 1999, it became apparent that a purely appointed government had the potential to be considered elitist, so the governmental structure underwent a major overhaul. Under the new governmental structure (designed by Micwil with the advice of several others), there were 4 distinct areas of government.
The power of the President was reduced by creating a council of 3 called the Executive, which ensured that complete power did not rest with any one individual. This Executive council consists of the President, the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice. The critical aspects of government were grouped into several Ministries, and collectively these Ministers are known as the Senate, with the Senior Senator given the title of Prime Minister. All Ministers are appointed by the Executive and have voting rights in the Senate when contentious issues require a formal vote. In addition there are non-voting members in the Senate composed of Deputy Ministers and Chancellors, who are usually attached to a Ministry and handle some portion of the duties related to that Ministry.
The third area of government is the Legislature, an elected body of government officers who perform important but non-crucial functions in government. This body is elected twice a year, and provides a way for the membership to have a means to voice its concerns and effect change in government. The final area of government is the Judiciary, headed by the Chief Justice/Minister of Law. This is the court of final appeal where any disputes on ANY matter in IAAPA will receive a final hearing. It is composed of the Chief Justice, 2 elected judges and 2 appointed judges.
We have had great success with our new structure and many lively debates have occurred, resulting in several substantive changes in the manner in which IAAPA operates. One of the most signficant of these is the sanctioning of CD-ROM based play, which has some problems with playability but is attractive to many of our members. Additionally, this summer saw the start of sanctionned local chapters of IAAPA across the world sanctioning regular live face-to-face play. As of January of 2000, we had over 2000 members of which over 1000 were active. Click here to see the web site at this time.
In the fall of 2000, with the rising costs of the web server and the unwillingness of government to continue to rely on one or two individuals to pay for the costs of the server, the Association was forced to charge a membership dues of $1 (US) per month. The government is working to ensure that we will not have to charge annual dues on a permanent basis, by researching other funding options.
With the introduction of dues, we had a Charter Membership Drive (an opportunity for our current membership to become Charter Members of IAAPA) and at the conclusion of this drive in September of 2000, we had 108 Charter members. Since September of 2000, we have had over 93 new members join, and introduced several exciting new initiatives such as the improvements to the dice server, as well as the new ITSL (IAAPA Team Super League) which pits teams of 3 members each against one another in 2 divisions of 6 teams each (in the 2001 inaugural season).
The future of the Legislature was in question on several occasions but as of 2002 appears to be healthy. One major change as of the March 2002 election is the shift from 6 month terms to 1 year terms for all Legislators, which means that elections will be held once a year in March from now on (where the President, elected Justice, and Legislature is elected by the membership). At present the Association has maintained an active roster of over 200 + paid members since the start of 2002.
Axis and Allies Game HistoryA company called Nova Game Design, Inc. introduced Axis and Allies at the 1981 Origins convention. The pieces were made of cardboard and included shapes like triangle tanks, hexagonal fighters, and round anti-aircraft units. This original release was quite different than the current Milton Bradley version of Axis and Allies.
For example, submarines were not hindered by enemy naval units, and could run a blockade by moving two spaces right through an enemy fleet. Also, neutral countries were more significant --- Spain, although being a neutral territory, contributed 3 IPCs per turn to the German economy. Most neutral territories also had an economic value. For weapons development, the current Heavy Bombers did not exist; in its place was the Atomic Bomb technology. There also were unique units for each country, including kamikaze attacks for the Japanese, moveable Russian factories, US Marines, the British Home Guard, and German SS Panzerkorps.
Three years later, after slumping sales, Milton Bradley took over, and Axis and Allies became the flagship of the of the Gamemaster series of wargames, which has included Broadsides & Boarding Parties, Fortress America, Conquest of the Empire, and Shogun. Axis and Allies is a two to five player wargame that takes place in the spring of 1942. Players control Britain, USA, Russia, Japan and Germany. The best way to characterize this game is a more complex version of Risk which takes one more step towards realism, but still is a far shy from true military strategy games. Despite this, the large, attractive box and slick layout and pieces attract many first-time wargamers, and the ability to run an entire war in an evening attracts even more hard-core gamers.
In October of 1998, Hasbro Interactive released a version of Axis and Allies for computers, which works on Windows 95 and 98. Despite the input of many people (including the original designer and the IAAPA), the finished product resembled a beta version more than a finished product. Since the original release, there has been a patch which addressed some of the problems, but few people are pleased with the product in the IAAPA. The latest patch is 1.3 and many bugs have been addressed, however concerns about the random number generator and continuing flaws prevent the game from being a viable method of playing rated Axis and Allies games over the Internet. Hasbro has since released another variant of Axis and Allies entitled Iron Blitz which fixed some more of the bugs in the game, however it has created a new set of issues that has yet to be addressed. For whatever reason, easy, quick and trouble-free CD-ROM-based play over the internet is something that continues to elude Axis and Allies enthusiasts.
IAAPA continues to promote and advocate gaming companies to do all they can to deliver a quality product to allow direct TCP\IP and network play.
This page last updated January 7, 2003 by Micwil.
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