Saving the UK if Japan goes all out to capture Calcutta



  • 12-18 IPCs is quite a lot, that could be 4-6 more infantry on the board for Asia.  I still honestly think that most players aren’t going for broke against the main island of Japan with the USA.  Sure he could scramble lots of planes to kill your fleet, but those planes are NOT hitting India and other vital targets.  Don’t get sucked into the “cold war arms race” which I have seen happen in several versions of AAA.  Not saying that it happens all the time in this one.  I think most of you are aggressive at getting America into the war fast after a J1 attack, the question is, are you getting those units to defensive positions only or are you killing Japanese units asap?

    I know its redundant that people say just keep playing the game, but not all strategies are figured out in the first 3 months of a AAA game.  They take some time, some fresh thinking, because you can easily get sucked into buying the same things the first few rounds while trying a new tactic that still ultimately yields the same end result.

    I know that if India falls it really hurts the Allies but if you are trading blows in the Pacific and are wearing down the IJN to practically nothing then the game may not be over quite yet.



  • @Gharen:

    Don’t get sucked into the “cold war arms race” which I have seen happen in several versions of AAA.

    I know that if India falls it really hurts the Allies but if you are trading blows in the Pacific and are wearing down the IJN to practically nothing then the game may not be over quite yet.

    I completely share both opinions. Looking for the ‘mother of all battles’ is exactly what Japan wanted in WW2, in order to be able to crush the Allies into submission. The previous games preconditioned A&A players to seek those battles but to do so with the Allies on Pacific is to play into Japan’s hand.

    Someone (I keep forgetting whom grrr) mentioned on another thread a while ago that the key for the Allies to win is to deliberately sacrifice a part of its forces by presenting a target for Japan that it just can’t miss, but that will be then counterattacked by follow on Allied forces. I’ve seen this happening quite a bit in my games, where the Allies will lose a bunch of units due to an amphibious attack but the Japanese usually lose some major naval units and the transports right afterwards, tipping the naval balance to the Allies.



  • This game is designed and playtestet by people that are far clever than we are. It cant be broken. Actually this game looks like the Bulge game, where Germany startet with ten times as many units than the allies, and of course Germany always won the first year, until people figured out how to play the allies correctly.

    I was thinking what did the allies do in the real war ? Well, they did in fact build a lot of subs, and the subs strangled Japan by sinking all the japanese trannies. The war was in fact won by the subs long before Truman dropped “The Bomb”, wich I belive just was a show-off to Stalin.

    So back off to our game. How about UK, Anzac and US build nothing but subs the first turns, and place one in each seazone. Either Japan must build a lot of destroyers, and that tradeoff (6 IPC versus 8 IPC) will favour the allies, or Japan will not recive any income from places nearby a convoy center. And in addition, build Naval Bases that push your subs like arrows deep into Japanese home waters.



  • US subs were attacking Japanese transvestites? I must have missed that on Wikipedia. So basically the counter arguement is that the game is not broken is…we can’t (or won’t) demonstate that it’s not broken, just take our word for it, the play testers are smarter then we are. I’m all for reasoned debate, but, that line of thinking brings nothing to the discussion.



  • @Gwlachmai:

    So basically the counter arguement is that the game is not broken is…we can’t (or won’t) demonstate that it’s not broken, just take our word for it, the play testers are smarter then we are. I’m all for reasoned debate, but, that line of thinking brings nothing to the discussion.

    So basically some of WOTC’s sharpest brains started to playtest this game back in 2005, and you know what, some of the playtesters are actually lurking this forum, and they laugh at you at this very moment, when they see your level. So let me get you straight, you purchased this game two months ago, right, and how many games have you played, less than 10, right, and now you claim the game is broken ? Dude, come back to me next year, and if you still think the game is broken, I just might wrote you an strategy essay and explain how the allies are played correctly. Obviously you dont have a clue.



  • @Razor:

    Actually this game looks like the Bulge game, where Germany startet with ten times as many units than the allies, and of course Germany always won the first year, until people figured out how to play the allies correctly.

    @Gwlachmai:

    US subs were attacking Japanese transvestites? I must have missed that on Wikipedia. So basically the counter arguement is that the game is not broken is…we can’t (or won’t) demonstate that it’s not broken, just take our word for it, the play testers are smarter then we are. I’m all for reasoned debate, but, that line of thinking brings nothing to the discussion.

    Razor’s comments on Bulge might be right on the mark regarding Pacific. I’ve never managed to win with the Allies on Bulge no matter how much I read the forums. But I don’t believe that Bulge is broken, it is simply that I haven’t figured out something important to win that game.

    As for demonstrating that the game is/isn’t broken with a J1 attack aiming for India… like it was said before, still early to tell. If I play 30 games with a J1 attack with a lot of different players of all skills and Japan always wins, then yeah I’d say it is broken. Until then the J1 attack on India is a excellent tactic by Japan that requires thinking and reevaluation to try to defeat it. It is like science, you keep trying and trying and repeating the experiment until you figure it out. But changing the initial conditions (e.g. a bid) to get the final result you want doesn’t really get to the root of the problem.



  • @Razor:

    @Gwlachmai:

    So basically the counter arguement is that the game is not broken is…we can’t (or won’t) demonstate that it’s not broken, just take our word for it, the play testers are smarter then we are. I’m all for reasoned debate, but, that line of thinking brings nothing to the discussion.

    So basically some of WOTC’s sharpest brains started to playtest this game back in 2005, and you know what, some of the playtesters are actually lurking this forum, and they laugh at you at this very moment, when they see your level. So let me get you straight, you purchased this game two months ago, right, and how many games have you played, less than 10, right, and now you claim the game is broken ? Dude, come back to me next year, and if you still think the game is broken, I just might wrote you an strategy essay and explain how the allies are played correctly. Obviously you dont have a clue.

    I purchased the game the day it arrived in my local game store, so closer to four months ago, I’ve played six forum games and my gaming group was closing in on 20 before some of the guys got tired of it (by it I mean the J1 India rush) and stopped. How many exactly have you played, or are you posting as the manditory WOTC fanboi that seems to pop up in any thread? “Some of WOTC’s sharpest brains”
    What the f–k does that even mean? Give me a lesson in strategy right now, let’s see if you can beat me in a forum game, otherwise you’re just here trolling. Dibs on Japan btw…



  • It seems that coordinated play between the British and ANZAC can get ANZAC fighters to the asian mainland by the end of turn 2 - even without an airbase. Agree that ANZAC fighters could get to Java in turn 1. But let’s assume that Japan takes out the UK BB and Transports in J1 - thus threatening allied planes landing in Java turn 1. It would be inhospitable for ANZAC to land planes there without fodder in turn 1. Nevertheless, the UK should be able to trade the Shan State with Japan for at least 2 turns. In fact, Japan may have to keep its infantry in Siam in J1 as fodder. Otherwise, the UK could counterstrike unprotected Jap bombers/fighter landed there after taking out the british navy in Malaya. In the ANZAC Turn 2, fighters can stage from West Australia to Shan State to support UK inf/art. With three inf/art as fodder there, they can at worst extract valuable planes from Japan’s attack there in J3.



  • I’m going to keep beating this drum, as it seems that nobody has heard the news:

    Korea is the key to winning this game for the Allies. A US Major IC build there stops Japan dead in its tracks: Japan is blockaded into economic submission by newly-built US naval units, while mainland Asia is liberated by newly-built US land units.

    I’ve seen the Axis lose this way several times now. Overconfident Japan players rarely guard Korea (preferring to push their forces from Manchuria into China), and even when they do they are rarely able to keep it from a determined US player.

    Allow me to iterate:

    An all-out India push can and must be countered with an all-out Korea push.



  • @Make_It_Round:

    I’m going to keep beating this drum, as it seems that nobody has heard the news:

    Korea is the key to winning this game for the Allies. A US Major IC build there stops Japan dead in its tracks: Japan is blockaded into economic submission by newly-built US naval units, while mainland Asia is liberated by newly-built US land units.

    I’ve seen the Axis lose this way several times now. Overconfident Japan players rarely guard Korea (preferring to push their forces from Manchuria into China), and even when they do they are rarely able to keep it from a determined US player.

    Allow me to iterate:

    An all-out India push can and must be countered with an all-out Korea push.

    I’m assuming you know that the airbase on Japan can scramble planes to intercept any ships making amphibious landings on Korea, right?



  • @Hobbes:

    @Make_It_Round:

    I’m going to keep beating this drum, as it seems that nobody has heard the news:

    Korea is the key to winning this game for the Allies. A US Major IC build there stops Japan dead in its tracks: Japan is blockaded into economic submission by newly-built US naval units, while mainland Asia is liberated by newly-built US land units.

    I’ve seen the Axis lose this way several times now. Overconfident Japan players rarely guard Korea (preferring to push their forces from Manchuria into China), and even when they do they are rarely able to keep it from a determined US player.

    Allow me to iterate:

    An all-out India push can and must be countered with an all-out Korea push.

    I’m assuming you know that the airbase on Japan can scramble planes to intercept any ships making amphibious landings on Korea, right?

    You assume correctly.

    The US should be able to take out those few planes that are not employed in the “all-out” India push. Because they are not attempting to take Tokyo, they don’t need many transports, and can instead concentrate on producing warships and planes.



  • So far from the handful of games I have played, if Japan doesn’t go for India its gonna have a hard time not breaking down and losing.  Korea seems like a great tactic for the US.  I agree with you Make_It_Round that the US should be attacking in that direction if Japan is going all out for India.  Because lets face it, massive amounts of units would be devoted to taking southeast Asia and India while only minimal force would be in and around Japan herself.  If there are tons of units defending Japan, then India is taking less of a beating.  Basically, Japan can go all out for one faction and risk a massive counter attack and lose the game.  Or rather, which I think can work against most convential thinking, go for a steady expansion against all the Allies.  ANZAC, UK, and China should work together and support one another while I think the USA should drive right into the heart of Japan.  It just seems everyone is playing the USA as a support role to forces in Asia instead of playing it as a “diversion” faction that should be hitting high value Japanese units and should be making Japan divert considerable more forces just to counter US movements.



  • @Make_It_Round:

    I’m assuming you know that the airbase on Japan can scramble planes to intercept any ships making amphibious landings on Korea, right?

    You assume correctly.

    The US should be able to take out those few planes that are not employed in the “all-out” India push. Because they are not attempting to take Tokyo, they don’t need many transports, and can instead concentrate on producing warships and planes.

    I had to ask because we made that mistake on our first games. I agree that Korea might be a weak option if you can get past the scramble screen and the IJN and JAF are out of distance to reach Japan. However, the probability of both events to happen might be low. Either way it might force Japan to abandon the Carolines to pull back forces defend the home waters but on the other hand I’m not sure that Japan will require that much airforce to take over India.



  • Well, I have tried going all out on Japan several times but I wasn’t able to break thru…mind you this gave Japan a free hand in the DEI but did slow down the push to Inida since he was forced to bring fighters home.

    I will try this strat a few more times…maybe I’m doing a few things wrong, not making the right purchases,the Allies are a real challenge right now and I’m starting to think that maybe this is what they wanted in the game.

    My friend and I had a real blast playing this game…very balanced until we came up with the J1 attack, hit the Philipines in J2, build minor IC in Asia, and the real killer…send two JAP subs to raid the India convoy.  Man its tough to beat because now Japan can outnumber the Allies ship for ship…I’ll keep trying.

    Sure you can take the Japanese fleets out, as I have many times but Japan can just keep pumping them out while slowly marching closer and closer to India…no need to rush it because the goal is to keep the US contained and man does it work well.  Try it,maybe I’m wrong.



  • @Gravy:

    My friend and I had a real blast playing this game…very balanced until we came up with the J1 attack, hit the Philipines in J2, build minor IC in Asia, and the real killer…send two JAP subs to raid the India convoy.  Man its tough to beat because now Japan can outnumber the Allies ship for ship…I’ll keep trying.

    Sure you can take the Japanese fleets out, as I have many times but Japan can just keep pumping them out while slowly marching closer and closer to India…no need to rush it because the goal is to keep the US contained and man does it work well.  Try it,maybe I’m wrong.

    You are correct. An all-out attack on India is not optimal. ANZAC fighters can reach India by ANZAC turn 2.

    Japan can quickly starve UK to death with only a third of its fleet.
    DEI, Malaya, Hong Kong in Japanese hands. What does the UK have left? And once the remaining CA and DD are gone Jap subs can reduce UK income to zero. No need to rush. India will inevitably fall.

    Where are the other two-thirds of the IJN? Either Truk or Japan. That’s if you don’t avail yourself of the J1 Midway attack.

    Are players not aware of just how fast the IJN can move across the board with Naval Bases?

    I am aware that if the US takes Korea the allies have won. I simply don’t believe the US can build up fast enough to challenge the Japanese fleet after the J1 attack. On the first turn US has 1 transport left.
    Just what are these Korean conquerers buying on US1 with 17 IPC’s?

    On US2 and US3 you can build masses of DD’s and SS’s but you also have to find the money to buy additional transports.

    From there it takes you 2 turns to get to Japan/Korea, assuming of course that the Japanese player is passive and doesn’t send out any DD screens to delay you an additional turn or 2.

    So against a competent Japan player the absolute earliest you could land on Korea is US6.
    And only if Japan decides to protect Truk instead of Japan.
    And is spending all of their money on the mainland against 2 foes that have near zero income instead building DD’s to defend against a very, very obvious move by the US.

    These are major assumptions.

    The games I have played after a J1 attack lasted until turn 5; once to turn 6. In every case Japan had a clear path to victory and the allies resigned.



  • @Razor:

    @Gwlachmai:

    So basically the counter arguement is that the game is not broken is…we can’t (or won’t) demonstate that it’s not broken, just take our word for it, the play testers are smarter then we are. I’m all for reasoned debate, but, that line of thinking brings nothing to the discussion.

    So basically some of WOTC’s sharpest brains started to playtest this game back in 2005, and you know what, some of the playtesters are actually lurking this forum, and they laugh at you at this very moment, when they see your level. So let me get you straight, you purchased this game two months ago, right, and how many games have you played, less than 10, right, and now you claim the game is broken ? Dude, come back to me next year, and if you still think the game is broken, I just might wrote you an strategy essay and explain how the allies are played correctly. Obviously you dont have a clue.

    Wow heated debate… I’m not sure that agree with you, is your arguement that Larry Harris has never released an unbalanced game prior to this one and we (all the online forum(s) players over the years are just not near as clever as he and his play test group?

    Most,  NO, all of the Axis & Allies games prior to this one have had significant balance issues with them.  It would take an army of players a million years to create a game of this complexity with the balance of a chess game.  It is simply not possible.  Hell I’m impressed that Harris is able to create games that are this entertaining and have a feel and flavor of the real war.



  • As either you’re right and I’m (I being myself and what seems to be most of the players on the forum) just too stupid to figure out the obsure Allied strategy that balances this this thing up or I’m right and the game has some balance issues when the Japanese player pushes India t3/t4.  In either case unless you care on sharing the afore mentioned obsure Allied strategy, what do you think a far bid is for the Allies to stand a snowballs chance?  Gwlachmai I would love to hear your thoughts on a far bid system / number for future forum games.

    Also someone had mentioned rules changes, although I HATE with capitals HATE house rules and tinkering with games rules does anyone have thoughts on what could be changed.

    I think that a NO new navy / air base rule would quickly help balance the game, knee capping the speed and strength of the J1 -> india push.???

    I’m curious at what point during game development Harris et.al. added the buying of airbases (as they where fix in the last pacific game)

    And be nice to each other…



  • I don’t think that bidding is necessary for the allied player but … one idea already broached somewhere would simply relocate the UK Batteship and 1 or more transports to Calcutta from Malaya at the game’s outset. They could not be sunk on J1 and the UK player could transport units to Sumatra and especially Java to serve as fodder for ANZAC air that would stage there in ANZAC1. The UK collects an extra 8 IPC and probably can preserve 2-4 Anzac fighters for defence of the India/Burma by J3.



  • I don’t know, I’m not quite willing to say it’s broken yet. I think it’s quite possible that my group and I fell into a rut, but, it’s reinforced by the play I see on the forums. I did have some luck against Jim010 with feints towards Japan, but, that game had a bid that ended up hurting his airforce quite a bit. I’d like to try a few more non bid games as the allies and see if the India rush can be mitigated with a Korea counter push.


  • Customizer

    Gwlachmai,

    Just finished report cards - I’m good for another go if you want to try w/o bid.



  • Ohhh….how did I do?


  • Customizer

    As long as your not the kid in the back for whom I named a poped vein after, you’r ok.



  • Set up a game at your convienance sir…F+ is passing right?


  • 2020 2018 2017 '15

    My experience with the game so far is that Japan starts with enough units that there is nothing the Allies can do to stop either an Australian or India crush move.  Heck, there’s even a 40ish % chance they can take America.

    However, the balance comes into play in that even if they take any of the three capitals, they haven’t won the game, it’s about VSs now.  In one game where Japan crushed India, America was able to remove the Japanese fleet and they couldn’t recover, eventually losing all island territories, and America landing in Korea.

    Even in one crazy game where Japan won against America in an experimental game, the UK player had taken all of the DEI, liberated China, and taken all Japanese territories on the mainland.  The UK had more income than Japan, and a similar sized navy by the time Japan started to swing back West from America.  They couldn’t retake those VCs on the mainland and lost.



  • People may be just giving up after one of the factions fall to Japan, other than China of course.  Sometimes you have to continue the game on and see what develops.  Also, be aggressive when attacking the Japan fleet with the USA.  They are the one ally that can trade blows with Japan and try to really pull off pressure off of Calcutta and even Sydney.


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