First weekend, played 3 games, with 4 different people. (Sat, Sun, and Monday)
Game 1: (Europe only) I took UK [as Germany round 4 with 11 transports as he built all infantry first game. I was about to give up around turn 9 as Russia was a wall, and the U.S. was staging in Gibraltar. However, the allies didn’t wait until round 9 to land, they landed in round 5 or 6 at Norway. Germany’s 11 transports were able to retake it from the 18 troops landed. I later told him, he could have waited 2-3 turns and dropped off 40+ units….a number I could not have defeated with 11 transports. He even later (turn 7 or liberated UK as I only had 22 units on it (he landed 24 units plus 5 air). But that just let UK grab enough money as I easily retook it before they could produce, when the U.S. was sending back their transports for a refill. (The new ones could only bring 8 units to my 22 (had to spend a turn building them). He later conceded out of frustration from the two major landings. But I had no way to win, as Russia had twice my units on the board and Italy was below 11 IPCs with fleets in my convoy zones.
Time started 2:30 pm, time concluded 11:30ish…much talking, debating and rule checking.
Game 2: (Global) I won as the allies on turn 2 or 3 when the German’s declared war on Russia. I had Russia take Empty Denmark (instead of Empty Germany), then had UK transport 2 infantry to Germany through the now allied control Danish straight. I wanted UK to get the money. He figured that W. Germany was the capital since it had the Major factory. I did the Danish assault to drive home the importance of sinking the Russian fleet when you declare war. Just chalk that one up as getting use to the new map and the logic of sticking the axis capitals away from the major factories.
Time started 5:45pm, time concluded 11:45ish…much talking, distractions and debates.
Game 3: (Europe) I won as the allies. Germany wanted to do UK first, since I learned in game 1 that land units cannot hold UK and that a large number of the German land units will survive (13-15 out of the 40 landed) to be shipped back to Russia. I chose to hold off the invasion in the sea battles that followed. I realized after two games, that UK worrying about Africa or the Italian fleet is pointless as the allies just need to have the U.S. stage one giant invasion fleet off of Gibraltar for the first 10 turns, then take Rome or Norway for the factory sites. So I moved the carrier to engage the German fleet and built navy. He was down too many German air units as UK rolled well against the too many navy attacks that had too few pieces to end the battles in 1 round of combat during turn 1. I massed 32 Russians in Eastern Poland waiting for round four war and he conceded as UK first failed and there were maybe a dozen units he could put in Germany to protect from the 32 Russians who moved next door (Slovakia) on round 4. The fleet battles were glorious though.
Time started: 2pm, time concluded 5:30ish, then we reset up the board and spent 2 hours discussing future strategies and optimal first turn moves. Later concluded that declaring war on Russia turn 1 seems necessary as its a race to get 8 cities before Uncle Sam sits on the board. Besides you cannot gain 8 cities taking UK without getting Egypt and 2/3 of the Russian ones and UK is as easy for the US to reach from Gibraltar as Rome, N. Italy, Normandy, and W. Germany are…all factory sites.