Just finished our second game



  • Our first attempt was left unfinished after 15 hours and the onset of delirium. This time around we planned as a two-day game.

    It was a six-player game, all were experienced A&A players. Two on each team had played in the earlier game of global.

    I think this might be the best board game I’ve ever played. While I’m sure standard moves and builds will emerge, I don’t think we’ll see the set optimised attacks that characterised AA50 and Pacific 40. I also think that losses will nearly always be by ‘mistakes’, because the enormous fluidity prevents you planning with any precision. I also don’t think strategies as simple as “kill x first” really apply.

    The Game

    There were several mistakes made by different players, some quite silly but many perfectly understandable even from experienced A&A players. The game was no good for determining balance, but very educational nonetheless.

    I was Germany. This game was played over two days and nigh-on twenty hours, so my memory is fuzzy on the details - I may get the odd one wrong.

    The Axis plan was for Germany to invest in air to clear the Med, while Italy got as many boots on the ground as possible in Africa. Barbarossa and Pearl Harbour were planned for turn 3ish, depending on circumstance. The intention was to help Italy become self-sufficient so that Germany could focus on Barbarossa with Europe’s southern flank safe, threaten Caucasus / India, and perhaps most importantly pressure the key ‘swing’ income area: the sparsely-defended British Empire. Japan was to tackle China and India primarily, then turn on Russia, Anzac or America depending on circumstance.

    I’m not sure what the allied plan was, but broadly speaking America focused on the Pacific whilst still doing some useful work in the Atlantic, UK tried to hold on to its empire and Russia turtled against Germany.

    Turn 1

    G1 - Sank most of the fleet around Britain (damaged battleship + cruiser off Scotland survived), took Paris, left Normandy in French hands. Took Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Finland. Built 1 sub 2 bombers

    R1 - Took Korea, moved into Persia

    J1 - Took Korea and Amur, standard moves against China, built transports.

    UK1 - Taranto attack, leaving carrier in z96. Sunk the German fleet off Denmark, fell back in North Africa. Moved Canada fleet and army to Morocco. Took Ethiopia. Built in South Africa, built carrier off UK to consolidate with surviving fleet from Scotland. Placed a cruiser in a blocking position off Denmark. India took Java and Sumatra, built inf and art. ANZAC dropped troops in New Guinea.

    I1 - Took Alexandria, Trans-Jordan, and Southern France. Withdrew from Libya. Sunk the british cruiser off
    Denmark.

    A1 - Dropped (almost?) all pacific

    C1 - Retook Yunnan and fell back.

    Turns 2-5ish

    G2 most of the Luftwaffe sunk the channel fleet while the remainder supported a cheestastic one-transport Sealion. I think I built a couple more fighters and subs, most of the rest went on mech and tanks - I had decided to try a Barbarossa based on manoeuvrability. One mistake was not building another transport.

    G3 Rommel’s infantry stormed the rock of Gibraltar. 🙂

    As Italy was very sad about the Med not being cleared as I had initially promised, I dropped a factory in Yugoslavia to lend a hand. I was also forced to move my barbarossa army to defend italy against the threat of the UK med and canada fleets, this delayed the attack by one critical turn. Forgot to take Normandy G2, so Italy took it instead. Built subs, planes and more mech and tanks over two turns. Sent Rommel to collect the ark of the covenant bonus.

    J2 Japan declared war and took half the DEI, phillipines, hong kong and hawaii (the american fleet was, oddly I felt, in sz15). Dropped a factory in FIC.

    UK took back the UK and tried to scrape something together in Africa. The med fleet withdrew to Gibraltar. Formed up the various bits and bobs of Indian Ocean fleet.

    Italy took Egypt, Greece and Iraq, sunk the French fleet, started to collect a proper income.

    The US launched into a massive naval battle off Japan, and lost albeit with heavy Japanese air force losses. Intended landing in Korea was sunk - 3 transports carrying troops. Continued to mostly build pacific, but a small group of destroyers and transports moved to threaten Italy.

    J3 Japan cleaned up the DEI and Malaysia, and was driven back slightly in China as British forces got involved. Java was a real fight, thanks to the ANZAC air force.

    Russia deployed an ingenious web of infantry / artillery stacks with minimal forces on the border.

    Barbarossa!

    Barabarossa did not go to plan. For a start, I knew I had to keep spending about half my income on the Atlantic to keep the Allies from assembling an invincible naval stack. And as I expected an American shuck that never actually came, I had to build infantry at home - there would be no second wave. I resolved to deadzone from East Poland and try to spot a gap in the Russian counterattack web.

    I thought I had identified a weakness in the north, and attack Leningrad and Belarus. This was a huge mistake, for several reasons. I should have identified the overall weakness of my position and withdrawn- every attack needs a second wave behind it. Alternatively, a more limited offensive to strafe Belarus might have been possible. I took both - Leningrad was an overly tight fight that ate into my mech infantry. I put slightly too much into belarus and ended up with a about 5 tanks and several mech infantry exposed to a counterattack from bryansk and smolensk that could not be counter-counterattacked.

    G5, the turn of the Leningrad attack, I sunk my second british carrier task force with air and subs, at massive cost to the Luftwaffe. Expecting the losses, I built two bombers and a sub at the expense of boots on the ground.

    Russia pushed into Bessarabia and East Poland, and utterly crushed Belarus. My 7 precious remaining tanks couldn’t retreat out of range of the Russians! After considering a retreat into Finland or a desperate attack on East Poland, I retreated to Poland and met 3 inf and a mech inf. This was just barely enough to discourage Russia from an attack - the withdrawl was successful.

    I was forced to withdraw to Berlin itself, and Russia concentrated about two thirds of its entire army in Poland. I managed to scrape together enough to make Berlin safe while taking back Leningrad with finish forces and transported troops. I did not hold it. The Russian army did however withdraw from Poland, and a period of border area infantry trading ensued that would last for the rest of the game.

    Somewhere in all of that I was also repelling small allied raids in France, and trading subs and destroyers with the UK every turn. The battle of the atlantic, while a side-show, felt very worthwhile and was always exciting (more than one attacking destroyer was sunk by a defending german u-boat!). Russia rarely collected its lend-lease bonus.

    Africa and the Med

    While all this was going on, Italy built a factory in Egypt and pushed out as far as Persia. Tanks and mech inf from Egypt eventually overwhelmed Britain’s stretched income, temporarily clearing Africa of allied forces. Gibraltar was traded back and forth to keep Italy safe. An American fleet sat off Gibraltar, and some transports shifted about, but no determined shuck emerged with most of the US income going down in the Pacific.

    Germany dropped subs off Yugoslavia engaged in some trading with American destroyers. The main American fleet eventually left for the coast of the UK, where it met some new British destroyers.

    Italy began to exceed the UK in income.

    the East

    The US spent heavily to rebuild its fleet, but Japan was forced to try and match this. Japan pushed out across Siberia and generally lost ground in China. There was heavy fighting with the British in Burma and the surrounding area - the American infantry from the Phillipines even chipped in. The Indian RAF was destroyed in one of these battles.

    Japan dropped a naval base in FIC, allowing a two-turn move from Japan to India. Threatened, British forces withdrew, but with China getting back on its feet Japan was forced to divert FIC builds north.

    the End Game

    It felt anticlimactic, as Germany, to be coming into the end game still several turns from having a fresh push into Russia. With most available funds diverted to build an army capable of doing so, bombers were no longer an option. Two subs a turn - one to trade, one to build up the main stack - was the cheapest way to keep the issue alive in the atlantic. I never assembled quite enough to hit the main UK/US stack in the channel.

    Italy pressed on and took South Africa, built a factory in Iraq and invaded the Caucasus. In my play group, an Italian invasion of the Caucasus is known as “pinching the bottom of Russia”. They also took and held Gibraltar - vitally, as it would turn out.

    Japan traded back and forth until China and India had both fallen - the tipping point for China only coming when a force landed in Amur finally made it round the far side of Mongolia.

    The US took the Carolines, then lost them again. ANZAC took the Philippines and a large US navy assembled. They had missed the possibility that Japan could build carriers off FIC and 6 extra planes from Japan into the fight. The second large US fleet of the game hit the bottom, although they had a third off Hawaii and reinforcements coming from San Francisco.

    The game was ended by an Italian transport moving from the Mediterranean side of Gibraltar to the Irish Sea, and two Italian bombers. Operation “leone marino” 😉

    That was a pretty big mistake on the UK’s part, but at that point in the game the Axis had reached income parity with the Allies, Africa was half-captured and undefended, China and India were wiped out, and Russia had been forced to resume turtling - by the Italians as much as anything else! So the game was over regardless.

    Finally the remaining US Pacific fleet had a crack at Japan, but it was a desperate move that was never expected to work, and did not.

    All in all, absolutely epic. A couple of the other players read these forums so hopefully they’ll chip in with their take - I know mine is very Germany-heavy.



  • Thats why I love this new global game, there are so many different things that can happen since not everyone is at war with each other at the start of the game.  Seems like you could have faired better against Russia had you bought more ground units each turn, but then you would have given up more real estate in the Atlantic by not making more subs and planes.  It was interesting to hear that the USA went mostly Pacific and yet Japan was still able to take India and China.



  • Looks like ITaly was key to victory 🙂



  • @Corbeau:

    Looks like ITaly was key to victory 🙂

    I’m a firm beliver in this…for any game.



  • Gharen: Yeah, I think if you want a historical-strength barbarossa it will take most of Germany’s income.

    As far as US/Japan goes I feel that US made a few mistakes. He built and lost three very large fleets, all in set piece battles, which cost Japan a fair amount of money but didn’t slow down their offensive in Asia much. As the US I prefer to sit a strong fleet off NSW or New Zealand and use subs, planes and most importantly suicide transports to hurt the Japanese. One US and one ANZAC suicide trannie into DEI/Malaysia every turn causes big problems for Japan.

    qwertuiop: I agree, I can’t imagine an Axis victory that doesn’t include a 40IPC Italy. Maybe a very lucky push to Moscow.

    I look at it the other way up - the British Empire is the key area, and Italy is the main threat to the Western half of it.



  • I played the UK in this game.

    @AdmiralNagano:

    The game was ended by an Italian transport moving from the Mediterranean side of Gibraltar to the Irish Sea, and two Italian bombers. Operation “leone marino” 😉

    That was a pretty big mistake on the UK’s part, but at that point in the game the Axis had reached income parity with the Allies, Africa was half-captured and undefended, China and India were wiped out, and Russia had been forced to resume turtling - by the Italians as much as anything else! So the game was over regardless.

    From my perspective, I spent most of the game as the UK excusing my sloppy play. I usually use an Axis power, and so am more comfortable attacking than defending. And even if I were at the top of my game this weekend, I still found that there were so many possible offensive combos between the Germans and Italians that most aggressive actions are inadvisable. I think the Allies have a pretty tough time keeping it all together and holding ground against good Axis play.

    Strong UK naval build is not enough IMO to keep Sea Lion from happening. UK Europe was lost to G2 sea lion with only air power, subs, and one transport full of troops backing it up, thanks to Italian naval can-opening. I’m pretty sure now that UK1 has to be all-infantry builds pretty much across the board, until the situation stabilizes and either the US, USSR, or both get into the match.

    The so-called ‘Leone Marino’, or Italian Sea Lion, came on turn 11, long after I got used to seeing Gibraltar as controlled solely by the Allies (although I had come to accept that the Italian income was bigger than any other nation, besides Japan and the US, and that the combined Axis economic tilt was 30+ IPCs higher than the combined Allies at this moment). It hadn’t occurred to me during the entire weekend that a single Italian transport from just inside the Med could reach the Western seaboard of the UK in one move if the Axis control the naval base there; the map ‘changes’ for both sides when those bases are lost and gained, and it takes practice playing the maps to have a good intuitive grasp of what is actually possible. I had thought, for some odd reason, that the channel navy would suffice to protect me from an amphibious assault… but I was wrong.

    Playing Pacific 40 for the first time I realised the importance of blocking SZ 25 as the US to hold off naval-base-fuelled attacks on Hawaii. Similarly, playing Global 40 seriously for the first time was a discovery of equally significant tactical lessons in the European theatre. As the UK, you must keep the Italians out of the Atlantic! Of course it would be nice if the US handled this for you.  😉

    The other thing that killed the UK the second time around was that its shrunken economy meant it could not afford to upgrade its minor IC in London (downgraded from a major IC in G2 capture). The units it could produce had to be naval, to keep Germany from knocking the whole of the existing fleet out, and to hunt down pesky subs, meaning there was not much money left over for more than an infantry or two a turn. These had to be constantly pushed over to the European coast-lands, as well, due to Russian pleas for the opening of a second front.

    Canada was actually useful under these circumstances, as it gave me an extra IC on which I could build transports for which I didn’t need immediate defensive units, and another place for infantry to be generated for the meat-grinder.

    As the Germans had decided to give the Italians a major leg up early in the game, South Africa was a lost cause from the get-go. It simply served to eat up even more UK defensive resources. I got to do a couple of satisfying surprise drops with a transport and battleship borrowed from India, but other than that nothing good happened there… except on the last turn, when three Italian fighters attacked my lone battleship in SZ 77, and I had the satisfaction of shooting two of them out of the sky, surviving the encounter with a damage counter. This battle was, however, largely strategically irrelevant. It’s fairly sad that Britain’s ‘proudest moment’ in Africa was only a product of my ‘good’ rolling against the Italian player’s ‘bad’ rolling.

    The fatal mistake for UK Pacific was shifting its infantry stack to Burma two turns too early, while Japan was still geared up for a heavy land / air assault. China was launching an offensive toward the coast at the time, and I felt inclined to support it, partly due to the fact that there were no Axis transports in range of Calcutta… However, the Pacific economy was down to 5 IPCs at that time, so I really couldn’t replace any losses, and by sticking my head out even for a moment the Japanese were able to completely annihilate my stack. A heroic defence of Calcutta the next turn–two UK infantry destroyed four Japan tanks–held the capital, but only delayed the inevitable outcome by one additional turn.

    Finally, ANZAC was so irrelevant that during UK 3 everybody–including myself–completely forgot it existed and moved directly to Italy’s turn. With the Japanese navy never really broken in the South Pacific, despite attempts by UK air and US navy to do so, ANZAC had very little freedom of movement: it lost its yearly income worth of naval units on more than one turn. Playing can-opener for the US in the invasion of the Philippines was the best action the Aussies saw: ANZAC rolled in, capturing the island with men on transports, then the US followed up with strong naval cover. More importantly, they could have landed tonnes of air units on the air base there for scrambling, as the US would have controlled it from the beginning of their turn.

    I’d do the whole thing over again, but I’d do it in a wiser, more conservative fashion as the UK.



  • To be fair, America could have helped out more - they neither did anything to seriously limit the Italians, nor to defend the ANZAC transports off NSW (until about turn 10 or 11).

    I think the UK needs a weird mix of conservatism and aggression. I’ve just done a test couple of turns on battlemap with nick - I’m allies and didn’t Taranto, but by building in south africa where possible and pumping air via malta, Egypt is looking pretty safe (consistently tradeable) in the short term. On the other hand, german subs are running around the atlantic near-unopposed! There is an incredible amount for the UK to do by itself in the first few turns.



  • I was Japan - went in with a plan and then almost immediately shelved it.

    Aimed to set up a shuck to FIC and enter the war as late as possible to do maximum Russia and China damage and keep USA income down - not sure it would have worked as a strategy tbh - but then oddly aggressive USA leaving Philippines and Hawaii LITERALLY open led me to going J2.

    Played cat and mouse in the Pacific, always looking to be under the cover of fighters on airbases if in range of US fleet, or sacrificing smaller units to keep ANZAC down or take/retake the Carolines.

    My usual plan is to get an IC down J1 and flood China, decided this time for tanks from FIC, next time not sure - for me I spent the game bullying ANZAC, bottling up India, stood off Russia until they attacked then walked across Siberia. My plan was to keep the USA distracted in the Pacific and try to keep parity with their fleet while flooding troops into Yunnan - took the last of the DEI late as a result, but kept suicide transports to a minimum.

    The ANZAC landing on the Philippines was a mistake by me - I had blocked the routes to my new Malaya Major IC with the cruisers Japan starts with between New Guinea and Oz, and had meant to land my fighters on Japan on the Philippines. I wanted to keep the ANZAC TPs and the US killer fleet off the Oz naval base occupied. In the end it was fine - by building 3 CVs off FIC was able to pour so much air power into the US fleet that everything died leaving the ANZAC Expeditionary Force trapped on the Philippines.

    Great game, mistakes all round, can’t wait for my next game and really can’t wait for next time I play as Japan.


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