Imbalance? Strategy? What's going wrong?

  • My girlfriend’s brother is kicking my a$$ all over the place! 😮

    The last 2 times we have played (1 two-player, 1 w/ the whole group) I have played Axis (Germany in the 2nd game) to try to regain my reputation as our best Germany player. We play with RR, Submerging Subs, no bid…

    As USSR he buys 1/2 INF, 1/2 ARM & stacks Karelia & Yakut. Caucases he leaves w/ only 1 INF, Russia he leaves either empty or with a few ARM, he puts 2 ARM on Yakut.

    T2 he attacks everywhere, not caring about losses, just crippling the Axis drive with attacks on Manchuria, Ukraine, Norway & Caucases (if Germany takes it T1). This sets the Axis back so far they never recover. Usually T3 USSR takes Eastern Europe, maybe a trade or 2 happens, but by this time Africa is a non-factor and all the Allies sweep into Europe. This seems to happen every time. What really galls me is USSR keeps building 1/2 INF 1/2 ARM every turn–they are never in any realistic danger from either Axis power.

    1st game I made a weak move in Africa & lost my fleet T1, so Germany was reduced VERY quickly (like in 5 moves). Japan was doing well but it didn’t matter after Germany fell.

    2nd game I made a strong & meticulously planned move on Africa and managed to keep the fleet (at Suez) for 3 turns. I took Caucases with 1 INF & 1 ARM as a spoiler & held Africa for most of the game. But it didn’t matter 'cuz USSR did their same move, took Eastern Europe T3 & when Germany lost the counterattack endgame began. I HAD lost 3 FTRs the first turn due to lucky hits by the UK & lousy ones by me (I had attacked w 2 SUBs 4 FTR & USSR had put their ships there).

    Each game I have left 1 INF in Ukraine, moved 2 from South Europe to West Europe & stacked everything else in Eastern Europe. Planes all land in Western Europe. In Germany/ South Europe I put all my purchased INF & keep 2 ARM in reserve. I buy all or almost all INF every turn w/ an ARM or 2 when I can afford it. Last game due to the losses T1 I bought a FTR, that might’ve been a mistake. Even tho I held North Africa throughout the 2nd game I didn’t have enough ARM there & couldn’t move very fast–also strategic bombing took most of the African ICs every turn. The Japanese weren’t as strong on the 2nd as they were on the 1st game, but Germany was defeated in both cases before Japan even became a big factor. Maybe I should just take the losses & sink all the Allied ships regardless? I have been letting the 2 North American TRs go…

    UK helps USSR. USA just takes shots at Japan & helps UK by invading Africa. The games end before USA can really do much.

    Is this just a further sign we need to start playing with a bid or is there a way to beat these tactics with the above rules that I just haven’t thought of? HALP! 😢


  • My first piece of advice to the Axis players out there having trouble is this - ignore the Pacific. If Japan consolidates its Navy to the sea zone around Japan, it can launch a devastating campaign against Russia on the Eastern Front. If the Americans start copping an attitude in the Pacific, you have a full turn before they reach you, and you can see their purchases a turn in advance. This gives you two turns of warning of a build up in the Pacific. Many players think that this strategy does not work, but try it before you judge it.

    Also, if you are fighting a land war, buy infantry! I know few German players that do anything but buy tanks, and I’ll tell you now it won’t work. It is easy to take territory with tanks, but if you want to hold it make sure that you have lots of infantry. Russia can beat Germany with relative ease if Germany does not build infantry. As a German player, I frequently attack with 5 tanks and 10 infantry instead of 11 tanks. It may take longer to take the territory, but at least you keep it.

    Hope this helps.

  • If , on J1, you are building 2 TRN & 3 INF … and, on J2, 1 TRN & the rest INF … you should be ready to retake MAN and USSR should have little beteen you and RUS. Could you land 1 FTR more on MAN on J1? And as WT states the IJN should help.

    WT is correct on the INF for Germany as well. I never buy any ARM for Germany the first 2-3 turns. Try landing 1 FTR on E EUR next time(2 FTR would be better. If you leave W EUR with 4 INF and 2-3 FTR on G1 Fortress Europe should remain intact.

  • In addition to WT and Xi, move the SEu AA to EEu and play AAAA.
    Move all ARMs to EEu.
    Don’t take Cau to G1.
    You’re right to leave 1 Inf in Ukr.
    On G2, if Rus occupies Ukr with a small force (less than 4 units), then take it back with Infs and all planes.
    My rule of thumb is to attack Ukr with twice the number of Infs as the number of units in Ukr plus all the planes (or only 1 or 2 planes if Ukr has AA). The idea is that a defending Inf or Arm is twice as likely to score a hit than an attacking one.
    Never take more than 2 planes to attack territories with AA unless you intend to go all out.
    Keep trading Ukr and/or strafing Kar (with max 2 planes) on subsequent turns.
    Buy Infs only until you’re ready to take and hold Kar.
    Move 2 Infs to WEu each turn.

  • Great! Thanks for the advice guys.

    After looking at the board a few more times with the guy’s (we’ll call him A) T1 setup I realized that:

    a.) Attacking Caucases was a waste of time.

    b.) Sinking all the Allied transports T1 is a good idea.

    c.) Eastern Europe must get all available units. FTRs there are a good idea.

    Question? When do I purchase ARM, if ever? Seemed to me T4 was the earliest I could really turn over to the attack (except in Africa). Seems like if I try SUD’s WE-trading strategy I could use more ARM, but maybe not. When do you unleash the ARM is what I’m basically asking, and will you ever need any more?

    I also noticed it was vital for Japan to commit heavily on Asia in this scenario & attack Pearl w/ minimal forces. What is your plan here SUD? Are you going straight through Ssinkiang to force the Yakut force to withdraw ahead of you? Or are you going to surround him by landing additional INF on Manchuria T2?

    Re: T2 in the above games–You’re right SUD! I see now that I lost BOTH games by what I did T2 as Germany (and as Japan game #1)! Looking back at my email synopses for both games I saw: Game#1 I stupidly purchased another TR as Germany to try to salvadge the situation in Africa. It of course was sunk immediately and was a total waste of money that could’ve gone to ARM/INF. Game #2 I bought a FTR to make up for the 3 I lost T1–pointless, & could’ve been avoided had I attacked like I’m planning.

    Here is what I’m thinking of right now. G1 Germany purchases 9 INF 1 ARM. Hits East USA SZ w/ 1 SUB. West Canada w/ 1 BMR. North SZ (1 BB, 2 TR, 1 SUB) w/ 1 SUB, 1 TR 5 FTRs. Egypt gets the (IMO risky) amphibious attack 3 INF 1 ARM if SUB hits then BB is the casualty. if SUB lives, TR retreats back to Libya & drops off there anyway. Most units go to East Europe.

    Now, SUD if I plan to trade West Europe, then what do I do in case the Allies decide to hit me from both sides in a turn? Like what if the Allies D-Day on like T4, then USSR attacks East Europe T5? Or more likely USSR-T4, West Allies immediately after? Is this unlikely for some reason I’m not seeing?

    Again thanks for all your help!


  • Moderator

    Your hope by T4 is that Japan is now moving strongly toward Russia, so some of their resources must be diverted East, thus making a Russian strike on EE highly unlikely. If you take Yakut on rd3 with a strong Jap force then Russia has to start to worry about J. As you should have Chi and Sin from rd 1 and 2.

    In RR, you shouldn’t need to buy any tanks (for Ger) for a while, if ever (unless you’re clearly winning and moving toward Mos). Excluding the tank in Fin and in Lib, you have 8 tanks to play with. With sufficienct Inf buys (10-12 a turn) plus your airforce, you can sufficiently trade territories without losing the armor. One turn you can retake WE, the next with your 10 inf buy and 8 tanks can take back EE, the next turn take back WE, and so on. Buying time for J. Unless you feel you can safely hold all 4.
    Remember (assume lose 1 ftr on G1), you’ll have 8 arm, 4 ftrs, 1 bom as your offensive power, that should be more than enough offense to hold the 4 key Europe territories.
    And of course move your AA guns as needed so you can use your ftrs on offense as well. If you know you’re going to lose WE, get your gun out of there!
    If on G1 you are successful in taking out all the trans, you can safely leave 2 inf on We and have a safe force of 9 inf, 8 arm, 2-5-ftrs in EE. A foolish attack for Rus.
    As G, you only need to buy time for J. And as SUD has suggested, J should concentrate on Asia and get to Moscow ASAP.

  • Do not use BMR on W CAN TRN, protect it with other FTRs in UK sz. Send W EUR FTR to E CAN sz. Figure your odds. You may not want to hit E US sz TRN on G1.
    In retaking W EUR the E EUR FTRs are used ARM(tanks) and return to E EUR.
    When Japan is raking in 40 IPCs a turn you should be close enough to ship 1 Japanese FTR from IND (leap to SYR/IRQ if need be,

  • Cool, this is all great advice! I am already trash-talking for the next time the teams are similar!

    SUD, on a reread & w/ what DarthMaximus said I understand what you mean in Europe. No new ARM will be necessary for a long time…


  • SUD is nothing if not thorough.

  • Ozone2, in regards as to when to buy armour, I say when you have enough infantry. For the first few rounds for me it’s all infantry unless you have 2 IPC left, then upgrade an infantry to a tank.

    If I could show you an example where I claimed that infantry were just as good on offense as tanks ‘pound for pound’ would you believe me? Nobody in there right mind would but I can and will……

    In this example when doing the odds I will round fractions as follows:

    2.4999 hits = 2 hits
    2.5 = 3 hits

    Lets spend 90 IPC under 2 different scenarios
    (30 Inf OR 18 Tanks) attacking 21 Infantry

    Infantry combat example #1: 30 Infantry attacking 21 Infantry

    30 Attack force versus a 42 Defense force (oh no, you can’t win with lower numbers…)

    Round 1:
    30 Inf versus 21 Inf
    Attacker does 5 hits, Defender does 7 hits

    Round 2:
    23 Inf versus 16 Inf
    Attacker does 4 hits, Defender does 5 hits

    Round 3:
    18 Inf versus 12 Inf
    Attacker does 3 hits, Defender does 4 hits

    Round 4:
    14 Inf versus 9 Inf
    Attacker does 2 hits, Defender does 3 hits

    Round 5:
    11 Inf versus 7 Inf
    Attacker does 2 hits, Defender does 2 hits

    Round 6:
    9 Inf versus 5 Inf
    Attacker does 2 hits, Defender does 2 hits

    Round 7:
    7 Inf versus 3 Inf
    Attacker does 1 hit, Defender does 1 hit

    Round 8:
    6 Inf versus 2 Inf
    Attacker does 1 hit, Defender does 1 hit

    Round 9:
    5 Inf versus 1 Inf
    Attacker does 1 hit, Defender does 1 hit (Yeah I broke my rule, I like the underdog!)

    Finee, attacker wins with 4 Infantry worth 12 IPC

    This highlights the fact you don’t need a higher offensive attack number versus the defensive number. One should establish this number then examine what each side loses in casualties. In this case the offense was losing 1’s, the defense 2’s. So the initial ratio is not 7:5 loss ratio in favour of the defender but in reality a 10:7 ratio in favour of the attacker. Next look at how long you can maintain this, if after round 3 you’re losing tanks and the ratio numbers favour the defender again. Food for thought I hope 🙂

    Now, lets look at the Tank combat example:

    Tank combat example #2: 18 Tanks attacking 21 Infantry

    54 Attack force versus a 42 Defense force (Oh my, such a big difference you have Mr. Tank)

    Round 1:
    18 Tanks versus 21 Inf
    Attacker does 9 hits, Defender does 7 hits

    Round 2:
    11 Tanks versus 12 Inf
    Attacker does 6 hits, Defender does 4 hits

    Round 3:
    7 Tanks versus 6 Inf
    Attacker does 4 hits, Defender does 2 hits

    Round 4:
    5 Tanks versus 2 Inf
    Attacker does 3 hits, Defender does 1 hit

    Finee, the attacker wins with 4 tanks worth 20 IPC, the same number of units! Attacking with tanks does net you 8 IPC more worth of equipment at the conclusion of this battle, however, when the defender becomes the attacker 4 infantry defend as well as 4 tanks. Can you see a difference, is there a difference?

    Of course, tank mobility is huge, I’m a fan of ‘liquid’ power so of course you need tanks. But I think this shows that if you have time to get the equipment there and it’s a faceoff across a single front (kinda like e. Europe V. Karelia) then there is more reason to go with infantry.

    By building all infantry then all tanks you get a 1-2 punch at karelia, keep counting the numbers, if you see a supply chain that might be the time for the ole 1-2 punch.

    One foe of mine who plays Germany has an opening move where he builds a fighter as germany T1, it’s risky but if it works the allies must wait until at least T2 to have navy off england. No russian first move (is that RR?), 1 hit bb, no sub submerge, jet power germany, super sub japan. He doesn’t go for the US transport, does sub and ftr against brit BB off gibralter. Doesn’t go for the canadian xport. Not sure exactly what he tosses at the english/russian navy, but its german xport, sub and 4 fighters at least, he might go for the canadian xport come to think of it…). Does the egypt battle as you mentioned and always wins, I hate it when he rolls for tech… In any event, the plan is the russian/english navy is sunk without going 3 rounds, the bastard usually ends up with a sub and I need to hit it with english air power! Germany has bomber, 2 fighters, 1 inf and 1 tank on west europe (maybe more air but not less)
    BB. All 6 ftrs and bomber hit any navy that comes close. Having 3-4 jet fighters on E. Europe helps offset the fewer infantry. Not having to defend against allied navies for awhile puts INTENSE pressure on russia.


  • Grudge match vs. “A” was a complete success!

    I hit all the allied TRs T1 but lost a SUB vs. the US TR, which was undamaged. I also had to retreat my TR from the Suez SZ, but still won in Egypt which netted me a couple of turns in Africa. I put everything in Eastern Europe, eveacuated Western Europe on T2 and started building all INF for several turns.

    As Japan I used Pearl Harbor Lite as per SUD and also per SUD I went all -out vs China and ignored Manchuria & India, focusing on shooting straight into USSR as fast as possible.

    “A” opened with the by-now standard move & attacked everywhere T2. But when his units in Manchuria were utterly destroyed T2 & Japan moved into Ssinkiang HE FREAKED OUT!!! Well, he maintained his poker-face, but he bacame obsessed w/ Japan & started pouring troops, ICs(!) & planes into Asia, while TOTALLY IGNORING the rising threat from Germany. Constant attacks pretty much bottled up Japan in & around her starting territory, but “A” kept whittling away at his Karelia force until the time was ripe for an attack! Killed Karelia & after that Russia was a walkover. Soon I was rushing in to Japan’s aid & would’ve taken UK EASILY had I not forgotten I had LRA! I still would’ve killed England with a HUGE TR fleet (courtesy of Industrial Tech!) but the game ended w/ an Economic Victory the turn I was about to hit.

    Thanks A &!


  • Congrats! The sweet taste of victory is sweet indeed!


  • I always buy 8 inf and 1 arms T1. After that I buy another round of inf and in T3 I buy full arm.

    German turn one.
    Hit the UK fleet with 3 fight
    Hit the US Transport with your sup (WE)
    Hit the UK transport (Can) with you Bomber
    Hit the UK ship near africa with a fighter

    Blitz true Africa and land 2 inf there. If you want to destroy the UK Gibraltar BS, hit it with your BB and maybe with your transport, if the BS hits. (sacrifice your BS, it will be lost anyway)(Your BS must have hit!!!)

    Get all your forces in EE. If you have lost one battle against a fighter, keep a fighter, bomber and 2 inf at WE.

    Turn two blitz true africa and stack your off. Maybe feint the enemy, but turn two is a regroupe phase.

  • 😄


  • Hey Ozone27,

    Soon your brother finds out how to proper play the allied forces. They can do enormous damage in mid-game following this strat. So I will make a new one for ya. I don’t know with what rules you play, I guess second edition.

    (Assume USSR killed the Baltic see fleet and marched into the caucasus)

    Turn one Germany.
    Buy 8 inf and 1 transport! (yes you have read it well!)

    Combat moves
    Kill the UK fleet with your fighters and maybe your sub (Make sure you won’t lose more than one fighter in this battle)
    Try to kill the sub in the Egypt sea zone with one fighter (It can do horrable damage to your med fleet)
    With your bomber kill of the UK transport in the Canada sea zone.
    Move your algeria forces one zone down (forgot the name 🙂
    Move your Libian forces also one step down)
    *If you have decided that your sub (in the west Europe sea zone) should not fight in the BritishSZ move it to the East-American SZ and try to kill this transport (gives you a full turn more to take over Africa without americans)

    Non combat moves
    Move 2 fighters to WE and 1 to EE. Land one in Libya and land there also two inf.
    Move your bomber to Germany
    Move the rest of your forces into EE. (let 2 inf in WE and 1 tank in SE)

    place 2 inf on SE and the rest in Germany

    (Assume that the allies played smart and placed a Indian fac and the USSR did not attack Manchuria, it is one of the greatest blunders you can make)
    Turn 1 Japan
    Buy 2 transports and 3 inf. (Idd no Industrial complex! It takes too mcuh time to deploy it well and you don’t have that time, I always buy an IC in turn 3 or 4)

    Combat moves
    Kill of the Pearl Harbor threat. Move in one Battleship not from Japan, 1 bomber one fighter from Japan (you will land it on the carrier) 1 fighter from the carrier and one sub. (NO TRANSPORTS! You need the transports to get all your inf from the islands to the mainland)

    Kill china with overwhelming forces, so you don’t have to worry about an American IC there. Let the USSR for what they are, in the next turn you can go after them.

    *Note the Pearl Harbor attack. You maybe lose 2 units there, it is better to sacrifise your battleship there. (Your fighters are more important)

    Non Combat moves
    Move the solomon transport to the Caroline Island and pick up those two inf (unload in caroline Islands, yu need them to fight in Australia and NZ)
    Move the carrier to the Caroline SZ and land your 2 fighters on it.
    Move 2 inf from Japan Mainland to Manchuria, Kwantung or Burma.

    Germany turn 2
    Buy 10 inf (Assuming that the USSR took the Caucasus in T1)

    Combat moves
    move your Med fleet to Egypt SZ and land 2 inf and 1 tank there (you also have your Naval Bombardement.) Maybe also your fighter and 2 inf if you really want to win with a huge overkill.
    With the other tank blitz true Africa (it is maybe better to kill the SA inf unit with your fighter) Assuming that the UK has moved it one up and attack this also with your tank. (It is a gamble, but you can wait a turn and move in 2 tanks, 1 inf and 1 fighter)
    SBR the UK (you want them to have as little money as possible to help Japan in their campagne in Asia)

    Japan T2
    Buy 2 transports and 5 inf.

    Combat moves
    Take NZ (quiet easy) with your fleet in the Caroline SZ
    Land men in far east
    (Maybe take Yakult also)
    (When enough men availlable take Sinkang)

    Non combat moves
    Move your inf in from Japan (If you didn’t land in Far East)
    regroupe your forces! So you can take out India in the next turn or the turn after the next turn)

    I don’t have time to finish it, but move in your men from the islands (they are useless when the USA attacks) Japan can reach Moskou with a greater force (than when you build a fac in T1) in less turns!

    The Germans can hold Africa for like 2-3 turns for certain (Almost all of it) so they can build more inf to march in Kar. Germans should build only arms in turn 4.

    If you can take out more IPC’s than you lost, DO IT! It maybe disturb your strat of that round, but in the long term war you get the benifits of it!

  • If there is no russia restricted then the germans have 4 ftrs and a bomber, the bomber and a ftr are commited already, leaves 3 ftrs for the UK fleet. You still have a BB and sub, the brits still have a BB. 3 ftrs alone against a BB and transport scares me. It’s a bit tight, you’d have to use your BB against the Brit BB off Gibralter. It’s a 50/50 chance your plane misses the sub, it retreats and your 2 transports are undefended. Yikes!

    Other than that it’s not bad at all, I’d prefer to group all my africa forces in Libya if not attacking, moving the algeria guy to FWA only gets you 1 IPC and he could get smoked easily, and isn’t where he needs to be to crush the brits remaining forces in Africa.


  • In the conflict between armor and infantry, me experience is that a more balanced force is the best.

    the example with 90 ICP you can have 6 armor and 20 inf.
    attack 38 in the first round

    Round 1:
    6 Tanks and 20 Inf versus 21 Inf
    Attacker does 6 hits, Defender does 7 hits

    Round 2:
    6 Tanks and 13 Inf versus 15 Inf
    Attacker does 5 hits, Defender does 5 hits

    Round 3:
    6 Tanks and 8 Inf versus 10 Inf
    Attacker does 4 hits, Defender does 3 hits

    Round 4:
    6 Tanks and 5 Inf versus 6 Inf
    Attacker does 4 hits, Defender does 2 hit

    Round 5:
    6 Tanks and 3 Inf versus 2 Inf
    Attacker does 4 hits, Defender does 1 hits

    result you end up with 6 tanks and 2 Inf. 8 units worth 36 ICP

  • I don’t want to defend Karelia (IE) with that force 🙂

  • Bashir, I’m not sure I’d build 2 transports on Japan’s second round, unless some of the existing transports are NOT getting 1 load/round into Asia (going for Australia or Africa right away).

    My strong point is logistics, I always think of “Transport loads”, some people see 5 Inf, 2 tanks and an AA, I see 5.5 loads and a need to build an infantry or waste 1/2 a transport for 1 round.

    The 2 transport, 3 Inf is a great build on R1. If I can, my transport moves are pick up ONE INF from the Phillippines, move the transport to Borneo and pick up that infantry, this is the only time in the game that move is a 'transport freebee" you’re not wasting a transport/turn going for a long voyage to fetch it. Both INF go to FIC. The INF left on Phil, Okinawa and wake islands are also freebies. A transport from Japan fetches 1 and pulls 1 from Japan to Manchuria.

    In this way, Japan starts out with 8 Inf, a Tank and an AA (6 loads) that can efficiently be brought to Asia. The idea is to maximize the number of units your transport fleet can get to asia. Your first 2 transports take 2 loads to Asia, you build 1.5 loads and 2 transports. Turn 2 Japan has 5.5 loads and 4 transports, you need 2.5 loads to fill up the transports. Build 1 transport and now you need to build 3.5 loads, 7 Infantry. That’s 29 IPC, so if you can get China and the Soviet FE then you have the said 29.

    Now with 5 transports you bring in 30 IPC of Infantry. Soon you’ll be earning more than 30 IPC, perhaps build an extra tank on Japan to give you options in your transport loading but generally try to save 15 IPC, build and IC and free up 2 transports right away to go roaming with the capital ships generating threat points.


  • The basic stratagy is to get your men of the island and counter an allied factory in India. So you need more transports to get everything done…

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