I just wanted to post something here to show my appreciation of this game and also to try to assuage the fears or doubts of those who were like me just a few days ago.
As far as strategic WW2 games go I'm a long time player of the HoI series, it's a great game IMHO but, whilst brilliantly detailed and well-made, not always entirely fun, especially if you're trying to play with friends. I also bought and admire Commander Europe at War but it fails to capture the special feeling of global conflict and responsibility for one nation/closely-aligned group that my friends and I gained as teenagers with Axis and Allies and then World in Flames back in 1999-2001.
I first noticed AWD back in 2006 but breezily dismissed it because it looked all too like Axis and Allies and I arrogantly thought we had all moved beyond that. Yet, I have been visiting the product page for the last six years, always intrigued but never buying. Well, I recently lost my job and I've got rather a lot of time on my hands just now. So, rather naughtily given my financial situation, I bought it last week.
The fact is, I'm blown away. This game is an absolute hidden gem and it seems at no point did it ever ever truly gain the recognition it deserved. It's nothing like A&A, it has so much going on in the engine that it details pretty much everything I consider important in a WW2 grand-strategy sim.
I played SP as the Allies the evening I purchased and couldn't believe how much fun this game is. For validation, in case it was just me, I called two of my old high school friends and got them round for a game over the weekend. They were sceptical and fairly unenthusiastic but once it was all over we agreed it was one of the finest wargaming experiences we've had and we've had a few
I'm not going to get into detail about the game mechanics or review all the features, there's plenty of other material that deals with that. All I want to say is that, if there's anyone out there that looked at this and thought it was Axis and Allies or whatever on steroids and not worth their time then please think again. I, and my friends, missed out on six years of this because we were too quick to judge. It isn't WiF or Advanced Third Reich but it doesn't claim to be and I wish I had realised that. It's fun, it's magnificently designed and if you've got other people to play it with, it's a blast with a few beers or more and a pizza or five on a Friday/Saturday night.
I hope that it lives on and thank you so much to those that continued to work on it long after its release - particularly Jesse LeBreton