Spring 1942 - Principles for Intermediate to Advanced Players (Part 1)



  • Axis and Allies, Spring 1942 Edition – Principles for Intermediate to Advanced Players
    (Part 1)

    This article was written for intermediate to advanced players of the Spring 1942 edition of Axis and Allies.  For ease of reading, detailed math is not included in this article.  Throughout this article, when describing a combat, I always list the attacking force first, e.g. “4 infantry vs. 2 tanks” means 4 infantry are attacking 2 tanks.

    1.  Cost Efficiency on the Attack
    2.  Why Attacks Fail In Spite Of The Odds
    3.  Concentration of Force
    4.  Dissipation of Force

    Section 1:  Cost Efficiency on the Attack.

    Infantry is the most cost effective defensive ground unit for two reasons.  It is cheap; each casualty costs only 3 IPCs.  It also gives the most defensive hitting power per IPC spent.

    In combat, the most cost effective fodder attack unit is the infantry.  Again, each casualty costs only 3 IPCs.

    The defensive value of infantry is readily understood.  That given, the question for the defender  is, can a player employ infantry so their opponent must deal with the infantry at the infantry’s strongest point, and if so, how?  More on this later.

    The offensive value of infantry is often overlooked even by players with a fair to moderate understanding of the game.  I will give three examples, each with 30 IPCs of attacking units going against 6 defending infantry.

    10 infantry vs 6 infantry; probable outcome is 4 attacking infantry (12 IPCs) surviving.

    5 infantry and 3 tanks vs 6 infantry, probable outcome is 1 attacking infantry and 3 tanks (18 IPCs) surviving.

    5 tanks vs 6 infantry, probable outcome 2-3 tanks (10-15 IPCs) surviving.

    The clear winner in cost efficiency in these scenarios is not the one relying only on cheap infantry, or the one relying on more expensive but hard hitting tanks.  The winner is the one mixing cheap infantry with tanks.  With the offensive value of infantry understood (i.e. its inclusion making an attacker’s attack more cost efficient), the question for the attacker is, can a player employ infantry so their opponent must deal with the infantry, and if so, how?  More on this later.

    Section 2:  Why Attacks Fail In Spite Of The Odds

    Let us say you roll a die, and want to see 1, 2, 3, or 4 come up, and do not want to see 5 or 6.  Most of the time, you’ll be fine.  But sometimes you will not be.

    Now let us say that you roll three dice.  Say again that you want to see 1, 2, 3, or 4 come up on each die.  It’s true that any particular die will probably come up 1,2,3, or 4.  But the odds are low that all of them will end up with a good result for you.  In fact, about seven out of ten times at LEAST one of those die is not going to come up the way you want it.

    When planning battles in Axis and Allies, remember that although you may engage in multiple combats, each of which is individually likely to end in your favor, the actual outcome will likely see you failing at one or more of those combats.

    Section 3:  Concentration of Force

    Suppose you have twenty tanks attacking twenty tanks.  There’s a good chance both sides get wiped out.

    But suppose that you have twenty tanks attacking just ten tanks, with the surviving attackers fighting another ten tanks in a following battle.  Now, the attacker will survive the first battle with about fifteen tanks, and the second battle with about nine tanks.

    Clearly, whenever convenient, the attacker should attack with superior power and numbers, and the defender should defend with superior power and numbers.

    Section 4:  Dissipation of Force

    Although attacker and defenders do best in combat when their forces are concentrated, success in Axis and Allies requires attackers and defenders to spread out a bit, to control or contest territory that’s needed for income.



  • @Bunnies:

    Section 1:  Cost Efficiency on the Attack.

    Infantry is the most cost effective defensive ground unit for two reasons.  It is cheap; each casualty costs only 3 IPCs.  It also gives the most defensive hitting power per IPC spent.

    In combat, the most cost effective fodder attack unit is the infantry.  Again, each casualty costs only 3 IPCs.

    The defensive value of infantry is readily understood.  That given, the question for the defender  is, can a player employ infantry so their opponent must deal with the infantry at the infantry’s strongest point, and if so, how?  More on this later.

    The offensive value of infantry is often overlooked even by players with a fair to moderate understanding of the game.  I will give three examples, each with 30 IPCs of attacking units going against 6 defending infantry.

    10 infantry vs 6 infantry; probable outcome is 4 attacking infantry (12 IPCs) surviving.

    5 infantry and 3 tanks vs 6 infantry, probable outcome is 1 attacking infantry and 3 tanks (18 IPCs) surviving.

    5 tanks vs 6 infantry, probable outcome 2-3 tanks (10-15 IPCs) surviving.

    The clear winner in cost efficiency in these scenarios is not the one relying only on cheap infantry, or the one relying on more expensive but hard hitting tanks.  The winner is the one mixing cheap infantry with tanks.  With the offensive value of infantry understood (i.e. its inclusion making an attacker’s attack more cost efficient), the question for the attacker is, can a player employ infantry so their opponent must deal with the infantry, and if so, how?  More on this later.

    Besides being cost effective it also increases the odds of winning. Odds for an 6 tank attack are 50%, 10 inf 72%, 5 inf 3 arm 91%. And the reason for that happening is for each attacking inf lost only reduces 1 attack point while the defender will be losing 2 defense points for each inf it loses. While the attacker has infantry it will be able to inflict more damage to the defender’s power than it receives.



  • I’m a newbie to A&A. I think it’s ABC for beginers. Besides, as for 10arm v.s. 10arm. I think it’s a must attack. The first round rolling is really important and the attacker could take advantage of the possible lucky rolls (say 6 hits vs 4 hits) and continue to clear all the defenders units with favorable odds. If the first round mess up (say 4 hits vs 6 hits), the attacker could retreat to prevent further loss and reinfore those units in non-combat move so that the defender could not take a counter attack. All in all, in a close combat, the attacker could enlarge luckiness or minimize losses due to the option to retreat after the crutial first round rolling.

    I hope someone could teach me how to push troops to the front line quickly and safely and the art of allocating troops in the front line in a way such that the opponent finds it costly to smash. I think this is the key tactic to all land combats especially the battle between Germany and USSR.


  • '12

    I’m not sure I agree with your numbers under section 1 but the other sections are spot on.  Section 2 is particularily good advice.  If you need to win 3 ‘deadzones’ to block blitz avenues to lighly defended air assests behind ‘the lines’ you better think carefully about HAVING to win ALL 3.

    Perhaps we are looking at things from a different angle for section 1 but I get these odds:

    10 infantry vs 6 infantry; probable outcome is 4 attacking infantry (12 IPCs) surviving.

    50/50 mark of casualties is 6 Inf, like you state, although a 26% chance the attacker loses.  The 50/50 mark means you are equally likely to get better or worse.

    5 infantry and 3 tanks vs 6 infantry, probable outcome is 1 attacking infantry and 3 tanks (18 IPCs) surviving.

    50/50 mark of casualties is 2 Inf not the 4 Inf you state, in fact, there is a 90% chance the the loses are lower than you state and there is not statistical likelihood of attacker losing or even losing more than a single tank.

    5 tanks vs 6 infantry, probable outcome 2-3 tanks (10-15 IPCs) surviving.

    The 50/50 mark is 1 tank surviving.  In fact, you are nearly going to lose that attack 50% of the time and about 60% you have 1 or less surviving tanks.


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