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The Infantry of Axis & Allies


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Waco Joe writes:

I am just waiting to see them get cheap enough to use for battle damage and casualty markers. I am curious to see what the judicious use of black cats and a butane lighter will do.

Revision Log
15 September 2005page first published

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pmglasser reports:

Infantry combat in Axis & Allies revolves around leaders.


German officers are incredibly powerful because they provide the highest initiative bonuses (+3), ignore disruption, and have the ability to remove disruption counters from nearby soldiers. American leaders provide less initiative (+2) but give an attack bonus to riflemen and penetrate cover. British leaders provide an initiative bonus of +2, and allow adjacent infantry to move with +1 speed.

Given the remarkable abilities of infantry commanders, most foot soldiers cluster near them and advance together.

Machinegun stat card

Machinegun sections may fire twice each round, and mortars are inaccurate but deadly. The Axis infantry have the most experienced units, and some heavy weapons squads receive a bonus when attacking units behind cover.

Anti-Tank Tactics

Anti-tank stat card

The only defense infantry has against armored vehicles are close-assault tactics and field guns. Anti-tank guns are classified as soldiers and have good attack ratings against heavy armor at close and medium range, but they are effective against light tanks and armored cars at any range.

German infantry units

Many riflemen can boost their anti-tank skills by moving to the same hex as a tank and attacking. However, most attacks have a power of 7 or less, and are only effective against medium tanks and light armor. But... close combat tactics also negate the benefits of cover. Combat engineers provide a last-ditch counter to heavy tanks by using an attack rating of 16. If the vehicle has infantry support, it is unlikely the engineers will reach their target unless they have covering fire or a movement bonus.

Even bazookas and panzerfaust squads have limited success against armored units unless they are at point-blank range. Infantry squads are really only useful when attacking other foot -soldiers and shielding tanks from close assaults.

Cover Controls the Game

The prominence of cover and the benefits it provides encourages vehicles and infantry alike to seek shelter. If behind cover, a unit can prevent damage or destruction by rolling a 5+ (vehicle) or 4+ (infantry). Action is naturally channeled into duels between squads that are each behind cover, and only the toughest units, KV-1 or Tiger tanks, dare to engage in open combat.

Infantry can only make a made dash towards a sheltered tank if they have a powerful bonus or have eliminated the supporting infantry.

Mortar stat card


Matches are decided by armor battles, because tanks are impervious to infantry attacks if they are behind cover or have close support. Close assaults against tanks will only succeed against isolated or damaged units.