A Beginners Guide to Axis and Allies 50th Anniversary Edition, 1942 Scenario

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Axis and Allies 5oth Anniversary Edition
A beginner’s guide to the 1942 Scenario

Written by Darkman on 21-11-2010 at Axis and Allies.org, edited by Rorschach at I Will Never Grow Up Gaming

Since the 1942 is a map that gains more and more players, I will try to give you a short guide for beginners here.

This guide will include the basic strategies for Axis and Allies in ’42, along with separate advice for every nation, and some common openings.

General advice:

I don’t advise this map for a player who is completely new to Axis and Allies. Get used to the game by playing Classic or Revised, which have smaller and less complicated maps. Then play 41 or 42 a few times and try to use this strategy guide. Be familiar with the game mechanics and the rules! The game is usually played with national objectives (NOs), which are very important since they give additional income if you have them.

Basic setup: The bid

As in WW2 v3 1941, the Axis have an edge in this map. To compensate that, Allies should get a bid of mostly 9 or 10 IPCs.
The most common way of spending the bid are Russian ground units on the German border for the initial attack, possibly you might want a unit in Egypt to make sure you keep it (especially if playing with dice).

Strategy guides

1. General team strategy

1.1. Overall Allies strategy guide:

The momentum is clearly on the side of the Axis, the advantage in production is on your side though. Try to consolidate your positions and stabilize the Russian front. You have two basic strategy options: 1) Kill Germany or Italy first and neglect Japan. This will mean that you have a race: Kill Germany or Italy before the Japanese kill Russia. 2) Try to slow Japan while you try to kill Germany or Italy. This leads to a more balanced game, but you will need a very good teamwork on both fronts.

1.2 Axis strategy guide:

Your goal is use your momentum and conquer territories to get even in production. Your overall strategy depends on the Allies: If the Allies choose to neglect Japan, you will have to build up forces on the mainland and advance towards Russia as fast as you can. If the US builds troops in the Pacific, just get enough fleet to deter them while you try to advance on the mainland. The game is usually won or lost on the Russian front, keep that in mind!

2. Strategy guide, opening buys and opening moves by nation

Japan:

Since you start before the US does, you make sure you gain momentum on the mainland and then choose your strategy depending on the US.

Aims:

Early game: Make sure you get troops and production capacities on the mainland. Place a factory in French Indochina or Burma and establish a transport bridge to Manchuria. If the US neglects you, build more factories, the interesting territories are Burma and French Indochina in the early game, later India and East Indies along with a small transport bridge. If the US goes Pacific, make sure you max out your carrier capacities and get some subs to deter them.

Mid and late game: Depending on the US strategy, either build factories in India and East Indies to ship a load of troops towards Caucasus each turn, or deter the US while you build up a smaller force on the mainland. If the US neglects you, Germany and/or Italy might need your help, so you can either get your fleet in the med sea or send fighters over for defense.

Strategically important territories:

India is a National Objective for Japan. You could also take Australia or Hawaii, but India has a better production and you should build a factory there. Make sure you take it turn 3 by latest (unless Allies defend it hard, that’s possible). Apart from that, always watch your transports!

Common opening moves:

Kill the UK fleet and the US fleet. Take as much of China as possible while you try to avoid too many losses. The Chinese air unit should have a high priority. If you can, try to hold Burma.

Common opening buys:

3 transports, 2 tanks or 2 transports and 1 factory or 2 factories.

Russia:

As the starting power and at the same time the crucial point of the Axis and the Allies strategy, you need to find a good balance between aggressiveness and defense.

Aims:
Early game: Push Germany back to make them lose income and to establish dead zones on your front.
Mid game: Try to move the dead zones west and gain income of the territories while you build up a stack to deter the Japs that are getting closer.
Late game: Send more troops towards Berlin or Rome, gain your 10 IPC NO and defend your main territories against Japan.

Strategically important territories:
Karelia and Caucasus are German National Objectivess. Karelia is very hard to hold against Germany. You might choose to give it up turn 1 and establish a dead zone there. Make sure you don’t lose Caucasus, if you lose it for a whole turn and cannot take it back this can lead to a fast decay for Russia!

Common opening moves:
Take Belorussia, Eastern Ukraine and Ukraine (alternatively, Baltic can be an option if you try to hold Karelia turn 1). You can also try a bomber gambit in SZ13 to weaken the German ambitions in the med sea and against the British fleet.

Common opening buys:
8 infantry, 4 infantry and 1 bomber, and most common 5 infantry, 1 artillery, 1 tank. Later, make sure you have enough infantry.

Germany:

Germany has an easy objective: Throw down Russia. An attack on UK can only succeed if the UK player makes some major mistakes. Germany and Italy have to play as a team.

Aims:
Early game: Depending on the Russian opening, take Karelia if possible. Kill as much of the UK fleet as you can, you don’t want to play against 2 UK transports. Also, make sure that the UK fleet in SZ12 doesn’t survive and kill the Italian fleet turn 1. Reinforce Africa if possible and try to take it turn 2 with Italian help. Try to avoid too many losses on the Russian front early on, the Russian support lines are shorter than yours. Either hold France or threaten to kill any UK sea units that enter SZ7.
Mid and late game: Find a balance between advancing against Russia and holding France and Germany. If you bought a carrier turn 1 to keep the Baltic fleet, you will lose that fleet in the mid game unless you spend a lot of credits on fleet, which will help Russia to break your front. If all the Allies play against Germany, make sure you get enough defensive forces as well as the help of Japanese fighters and try to hold long enough to allow Japan to kill Russia.

Strategically important territories:
Karelia and Caucasus, which is your National Objective (see Russia). Keep in mind that the UK navy can attack you in Karelia. France is important too, do not give UK or US too much income by trading it back and forth. Egypt is the key to gaining income in Africa.

Common opening moves:
As said, kill as much of the UK fleet as you can. Hit either SZ12 and either SZ1 or SZ2. Take Karelia if you can and stabilize your eastern front. If you did not buy a carrier to keep the Baltic fleet, it might be interesting to spread your ships.

Common opening buys:
1 carrier and ground troops or 1 carrier and 1 air unit and ground troops or all ground troops. You will need infantry as cannon fodder on the Russian front!

United Kingdom:

The power that is spread all over the world needs to find a way to avoid getting crushed on all front. Try to hold Egypt and, as long as you can, India. Your allies will have to help you, but in exchange UK is the nation that needs to take pressure from Russia.

Aims:
Early game: Consolidate your forces from all over the world. After a ‘normal’ German opening your fleet will have had heavy losses. Bring your transport from Africa towards the med sea, your Australian fighter to India, Hawaii or Madagascar, and stabilize your fleet around UK. Your attack options can be France or Norway, but be aware that your fleet is vulnerable.
Mid game: Build up a fleet with transports. Once you have a fleet Germany cannot sink and 4 transports, you build 8 land units each turn in UK and land in France or Norway, or if you want to help Russia, in Poland, Baltic or Karelia. If you can afford it then, you could build an IC in the colonies.
Late game: Stick with your playgrounds and look for options to invade Germany or team with Russia.

Strategically important territories:
Egypt is important, you don’t want to lose Africa. India can hardly be held over a longer time, but should delay Japan as long as possible. Your main playground should be France, while you try to fulfill the other National Objective of holding Gibraltar, Egypt, South Africa, Australia and Canada.

Common opening moves:
Hard to say because it depends on the German turn. Common landing targets for turn 1 are Morocco, Norway, France and Karelia, but they depend a lot on the board. Sink the German Baltic fleet if you can; and make sure that Germany can neither sink your fleet nor land in UK if they bought a carrier turn 1. Don’t forget to move your units that are spread all over the board (Australian fighter, transport near South Africa) and to consolidate Africa and India.

Common opening buys:
Building ICs in India or South Africa is usually a bad option unless you got very lucky against the Japanese or kept a lot of your fleet. Most common are a carrier buy along with destroyers, a fighter replacement (you usually lose one when you attack the German Baltic fleet) or transports.

Italy:

Italy’s role as Germany’s little helper is limited to few options: Help to defend France, help to get Africa and help on the southern eastern front. Its resources though usually allow to support two of those three objectives at most. Because of it’s limited resources, Italy is the most fragile part of the axis, but it’s also hard to reach for the allies.

Aims:
Early game: Try to help Germany, see above. Always be aware that your fleet is not killed.
Mid and late game: Make sure you do not get pressured too much because you spread your forces too far. Focus on the most important objectives. If the US comes into the med sea, make sure that you get German or Japanese help.

Strategically important territories:
Egypt (see Germany) as well as everything that you need for your National Objectivess. You need all income you can get.

Common opening moves:
Depending on the German and British moves, attacks on Egypt, Trans-Jordan, Gibraltar or Ukraine are possible as well as just transporting units to Libya.

Common opening buys:
2 infantry and 1 artillery or 1 transport and 1 infantry or 2 tanks.

United States:

As the nation with the biggest resources, you need a good plan on how to use them. If you opt to go Pacific, you will most likely need air units, carriers and subs to fight the Japanese. If you go Atlantic, you get just as much fleet as you absolutely need to protect the transports.

Aims:
Early game: Do not lose too much time. Your possible targets are Solomons to get a National Objective, as well as landings in Morocco. Build up a fleet and make sure you max out your transports and their capacity.
Mid and late game: Establish a steady flow of landing units. You will need at least 8 transports if you want to fight Germany or Italy. If you capture Italy and you can make sure that Germany cannot take it back in its turn, that is usually game. If you attack Japan, make sure you have enough cannon fodder (subs) for sea battles.

Strategically important territories:
Solomon and France as National Objectivess. In the Atlantic, SZ1, 7 and 12 are important for a transport bridge; in the Pacific the Carolines are in range of everything that’s important.

Common opening moves:
Depending on what happened before, landings on the Solomons (beware of the Japanese counter) or Morocco are possible, but often you only prepare landings.

Common opening buys:
2 transports, 2 tanks and 1 carrier (Atlantic attack) or 2 carriers and 1 fighter (Pacific attack)

China:

I’ll keep this short… without massive support of the allies, who usually cannot afford that early on, China is dead by turn 3 or 4 against a good Japanese player. Use it as a brakeshoe as long as you can.

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Category: Axis & Allies 50th Anniversary, Board Games, Strategy

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