Axis & Allies Classic (1984 – Milton Bradley)

I found Don’s Essays that not only talks about the key elements of this game, but also discusses some general wargaming strategies, discussing “Dead Zones” (Killing Grounds) and their effect on army positioning.

There’s also a critique of the concepts in Don’s Essays.on youtube by The Good Captain, who also has his own series of Axis & Allies Classic Videos, starting with the rules, and moving onto other concepts.

Exerpt: What is a Dead Zone?

“It is any disputable … territorial area that is subject to an overwhelming force against it, regardless of whether or not a battle has yet been fought there.”

“It’s important to know that “overwhelming force” is defined here as: “any attack force that can severely deplete or extinguish a group of units in the disputed land or sea territory, if the attacker chooses to do it.””

In short: you want to lure your opponent into Dead Zones, without exposing yourself to Dead Zones. If you attack an opponent in a Dead Zone, you may yourself end up in a Dead Zone, and not be further ahead, since the opponent can crush you in turn, taking a favourable trade. It is only with other factors involved (such as getting points for holding the Dead Zone) that occupying it has any value.