Is Germany strong enough in Alpha?



  • I want to ask the question whether others think that Germany is strong enough in Larry Harris’ new Alpha +.1 setup (posted 27 december 2010). I think Germany is strong enough now to have a go at London and also at Moscow. It isn’t easy, but its possible if you really go for it and Italy chips in with at least a mech and a tank per turn.

    The reason I ask is because I see Larry Harris being inundated with tons of requests for more units for Germany, and having played the Alpha now a few times, including once against myself, my own conclusion is that there really is no problem with the German setup and further strengtening of Germany leads to ruining the game the other way. If the Axis needs strengthening, its on the Pacific side.

    Otherwise, give me 1000 tanks in Poland, and I’ll post here boasting of taking Moscow and Calcutta 😄



  • Absolutely.  Played 5 games now with his most recent setup and and all but 1 Germany crushed Russia while the UK was held at bay through an early Sea Lion threat in concert with an Italian push into Africa draining their IPC’s.  The only time Russia didn’t fall was when the Allies were so successful tying up Japan in the Pacific early on that the US was able to spend in the Atlantic comfortably by around turn 6.  Even so, it was only through a multinational defensive stand at Bryansk (Russians plus UK Pacific inf/mech and Uk Atlantic fighters) that the line was held, and eventually Russia probably would have fallen if not for the game being called a draw due to Japan being horribly maimed.

    It bears worth mentioning that none of these games were played with the newest German N.O. rewarding IPC’s for the initial push into Russia as our group agreed Germany was already strong enough.  The only reason I could see to strengthen Germany any more would be if the US had a chance to break away from 80-100% Pacific spending early on (first 6 turns or so), which a competently played Japan should force them to do almost every time.



  • I played Chompers in this game and I agree that Germany is strong enough as is unless a doctrine of maiming Japan first can be created that is successful 80-100 percent by turn 6 or so.  It would have to leave Japan maimed enough that Anzac, china, and pacific Brittan can hold it in check while US goes for the throat of either Germany or Italy at that point.

    Even though I was outplayed by chompers in the game it was technically a draw because after two days of playing we reached a point where Germany would take forever to die as it was at 78 points.  Germany had about 70 troops sitting outside of Moscow but Russia had about 85 inf inside plus multinational help arriving.  I should have built much more art but I was trying a tactic of inf/mechs with planes at the attack power.  I had my cities in Europe as well as Leningrad and London but the amount of effort it would have taken to hold London from being taken back at that point would not have left Germany much to continue to send towards finishing Russia.

    Now even though I would tip my hat to chompers for a game well played I think if I had built inf and art at Russia as Germany I would have gotten the capital.  Also I did not use Italy very well.  Although funny enough I got really lucky with an Italian fleet that defeated the US off the coast of Florida and resulted in the death of London on around turn 9.

    That being said I was not ready for his tactics in the Pacific.  I think moving my transports in better position turn one might have saved Japan from becoming not very relevant.  If that would have happened he would not have been able to head towards Europe around turn 6.

    So as is I think the game favors the axis slightly but if the person playing axis does not go at Russia in an effective manner and builds too many expensive tanks than I can see why they think Germany needs to be strengthened.



  • What is Russia doing in these games where it is losing Moscow?



  • Russia’s tried a bunch of different strategies.  One game was primarily INF purchases with a plane purchase each of the first 4 turns to give them some province trading power before switching over to about 80% inf 20% art.  Another was closer to 50/50 inf/art purchases.  We’ve even toyed around with more mobile purchases but Russia IMHO doesn’t really have the luxury of sacrificing numbers for mobility if its facing Germany without US aid.  Some games it has tried to stack Bryansk to herd the Germans north and away from the 2 IPC provinces.  Other games it has stacked Belarus if it looked like the initial German push was vulnerable to counterattack. Most of the time the bulk of the Russian army guards the north while a smaller force of inf backed by air trades the southern provinces with the Axis.  It’s put pressure on Norway whenever the German transports were far enough away from the Baltic to give Russia some breathing room.  Believe me, when one way of playing doesn’t seem to be working we’re always looking for a new angle.  The simple fact of the matter is if Japan can tie up the US effectively enough the German IPC and unit advantage is already big enough that Russia is doomed to fall back to its interior in relatively short order.  Any more power to Germany just makes this battle even more skewed in the Axis favor.

    It bears worth mentioning that Moscow isn’t falling quickly in any of these games.  The usual objective for Germany is to force Russia back into its interior through superior numbers and then strip IPC’s from them to the point where they’re down into the 15-20 range.  At this point Germany can shift to spending most of its IPC’s to ward of the US and UK and is free to finish off Russia at its leisure.


  • '10

    Actually Germany is good but Japan is the one that needs the help. Or an adjustment needs to be made in the U.S. income. I tried an adjusted income schedule in our last two games of Alpha+1 but all it accomplished was to slow the U.S. a little.



  • You have any of these games posted, Chompers? I’ve seen Germany get to Moscow but never have good odds of taking. I’m wondering how Japan is “tying up” the US in these games. My Russia is usually able to hold their own, but I tend towards 2 inf/1 art buys first few turns.



  • @Fishmoto37:

    Actually Germany is good but Japan is the one that needs the help. Or an adjustment needs to be made in the U.S. income. I tried an adjusted income schedule in our last two games of Alpha+1 but all it accomplished was to slow the U.S. a little.

    Perhaps something to try would be to force the US to invest in most of its own infrastructure. I like the three US minors in the US representing isolationism and the wartime economy shift, but perhaps we could take it a step further. Remove all airbases, naval bases, and aaguns from the continental US and force them to invest in what they want. It doesn’t make sense for a country that plans to stay neutral to have facilities geared towards military operations, at least not on the scale that is represented currently. By “scale,” I mean that one naval base in Eastern US represents a lot more facilities than one naval base in New South Wales. While these two territories may have had close to an equal number of such facilites (and I have no idea if they did, this is just an example), the ANZAC bases would warrant recognition with a piece on the board because the territory is much smaller. To take it a step further still, don’t allow the US to buy bases until they’re at war, representing isolationism. Also, perhaps force them to pay to upgrade their factories. I’m pretty sure the industrial might of the US didn’t magically shift from peacetime to wartime manufacturing without any government investment/involvement.

    I realize that these are VERY drastic changes, just throwing some ideas around.



  • Kobu, sorry man but all my games have been played face to face so far.  Toyed around with the idea of playing by forum but as it stands the interface for doing so is kind of off-putting.

    Japan invests extremely heavily in navy and maintains constant pressure on Hawaii while whatever forces it has to spare head south to snag the DEI.  There are different ways of doing this just like there are different Allied methods to counter, but regardless of how it plays out its tough if not impossible for the Allies to hold Hawaii without constant US reinforcement matching Japanese spending.

    IMHO, if Germany has made it within a province of Moscow the capital is doomed to fall eventually.  The Russian stack should be primarily inf at this point and therefore incapable of pushing back the main German stack even if it has a ( usually slight) numerical edge.  Normally Russia has fallen back to Moscow by around turn 9 or 10, and by that point Germany has such an edge in IPC’s over Russia that it can afford to both watch its coasts and in the worst of cases maintain parity with Russia thru reinforcement via Leningrad and/or Stalingrad plus a few stragglers from Europe.

    Moscow isn’t really falling before turn 15 or so, normally.  But I just can’t see how people can really argue that Germany needs even more power to start with, it already has a huge edge over Russia and any additional units just serve to widen the disparity.

    It bears worth mentioning that in about 30 or so OOB setup games in our group, Moscow fell only once.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Chompers, your American player needs to improve his game.  As does your British and Russian.

    The Allies - without sea Lion, should be landing by turn 4 in Europe, thats with only a 50% build of American resources of the USA.

    Russia should be fighting to maintain a tank stank count of relative parity to the Germans.  The Infantry are easy enough for Russia to build.  Russia should also lightly be supporting China, AND the middle east or india,  even if it’s just 1 or 2 inf a turn.

    In a game I JUST played and am still finishing, the Axis got right up to the front door, knocked Russia down to On R6 having 4 IPC’s of territory at turn start, to 11 at R6 end.  But Russia’s fine now, and the eastern front has collapsed for the Germans - Who HAD Italian support.

    It was allied aggression in france, as a US R5 Sack of Rome, that allowed the allies to draw the Germans into the battle for France.  And eliminate slowly but surely, the German Luftwaffe.



  • Gargantua, I really respect your opinion, and I see you have a wealth of knowledge about the game.  I also understand that you can never really give turn by turn strategies about how to accomplish stuff like you posted because every game evolves differently.  However, few quick questions for you:

    What if Germany stacks inf/art at its primary means of attacking Russia?  How is Russia coming up with the numbers to stop them before they’re within sight of Moscow if they’re also dispatching units to other theaters?  Or finding the IPC’s to match even the starting German armor?  It would seem to me that every unit built is critical to the struggle against Germany as they possess both an economic advantage as well as one in unit count.  I know its a long road to the heart of Russia, but all too soon the Germans are gonna be knocking on the door and you might be left wishing those spare infantry were a little closer to home.

    How is the US holding Hawaii with just 50% of its resources if Japan just churns out navy continuously over its first few turns?

    The Germans can afford to drop a sub a turn while maintaining their starting air force (possibly even bulking it up a bit) plus the Baltic fleet as well as the G1 carrier build.  This is a powerful deterrent to allied landings unless there is significant fleet coverage. How are the Allies overcoming this by turn 4? Where do the IPC’s come from?  Are you playing the US aggressive in the Atlantic to the detriment of the Pacific with the hope of being able to get back in time to save India and/or Australia or retake Hawaii?  I’m just not seeing the opportunities arise to exit the Pacific as easily as you’re making it seem to be.

    With regards to our allied players improving their game, we really don’t have dedicated players for each country.  The results I spoke of are happening regardless of who plays what country.



  • @Gargantua:

    Russia should be fighting to maintain a tank stank count of relative parity to the Germans.  The Infantry are easy enough for Russia to build.  Russia should also lightly be supporting China, AND the middle east or india,  even if it’s just 1 or 2 inf a turn.

    In a game I JUST played and am still finishing, the Axis got right up to the front door, knocked Russia down to On R6 having 4 IPC’s of territory at turn start, to 11 at R6 end.  But Russia’s fine now, and the eastern front has collapsed for the Germans - Who HAD Italian support.
    And eliminate slowly but surely, the German Luftwaffe.

    Well, i somehow disagree on (too many) Russian tanks, as i prefer airforce + inf (with some art), after all: 3 tanks = (roughly) a fighter (or TB) + inf + art. (or a bomber + 2 inf)
    If counter attacking right, you will lose (cheap) INF and the essential damage will be done by aircrafts, which in theory, you don’t lose (which is the way they become worth their cost).
    Tanks are good, but when they attack, they have to stay where they went, and thus are exposed, and can be taken out. I like tanks but i hate to waste them…

    And yes, Axis air force is a threat that should be destroyed when you get the chance



  • If the allies are landing in Europe turn four then I feel the Japan starting Navy with mostly naval builds the first couple of turns should be able to hunt down the US Navy in the Pacific and destroy it.  After that Hawaii is lost and the clock is ticking on Anzac.  I feel it takes a lot of early US investment in the Pacific or Japan will be in postion to claim the needed 6 victory cities on that side of the map to achieve victory.

    Japan can easily explode to a 70+ IPC country if the US is not doing a lot of heavy lifting in the Pacific.  Yes the Anzac, Pacfic Brittan, China, Russia are all key in the fight but without the help of the big dog, big time they are in an uphill battle.


  • '10

    @McMan:

    @Fishmoto37:

    Actually Germany is good but Japan is the one that needs the help. Or an adjustment needs to be made in the U.S. income. I tried an adjusted income schedule in our last two games of Alpha+1 but all it accomplished was to slow the U.S. a little.

    Perhaps something to try would be to force the US to invest in most of its own infrastructure. I like the three US minors in the US representing isolationism and the wartime economy shift, but perhaps we could take it a step further. Remove all airbases, naval bases, and aaguns from the continental US and force them to invest in what they want. It doesn’t make sense for a country that plans to stay neutral to have facilities geared towards military operations, at least not on the scale that is represented currently. By “scale,” I mean that one naval base in Eastern US represents a lot more facilities than one naval base in New South Wales. While these two territories may have had close to an equal number of such facilites (and I have no idea if they did, this is just an example), the ANZAC bases would warrant recognition with a piece on the board because the territory is much smaller. To take it a step further still, don’t allow the US to buy bases until they’re at war, representing isolationism. Also, perhaps force them to pay to upgrade their factories. I’m pretty sure the industrial might of the US didn’t magically shift from peacetime to wartime manufacturing without any government investment/involvement.

    I realize that these are VERY drastic changes, just throwing some ideas around.

    I like some of your ideas. My friend suggested making the U.S. pay for IC upgrades anytime during our last game.  Maybe making them build the bases and ICs would slow them down. Here is what can happen when the U.S. spends most of their income in the Pacific. The Japanese fleet is cut off from the home islands and will eventually be destroyed.  The U.S. can afford to replace loses, the Japanese cannot. This photo is at the end of six rounds and we altered the U.S. income but it only slowed them a little. By the way, there are two U.S. battleships on the west coast (not shown) that were just built on round six. They will be the core of a new fleet in two more turns and if not needed in the Pacific they can go through the canal into the Atlantic. Also at this time in the game the U.S. has landed in Africa.

    IMAG0018.JPG


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Chompers, I am going to assume re you playing WITH the Alpha rules- as the thread stipulates that this is what it’s about.

    I’m glad you agree Chomp that all games are fluid. A heavier Japanese Focus on Hawaii early, would mean a different strategy for India and Anzac,  where as a typical German Sealion yield different counter strategies than a typical Barbarossa

    What if Germany stacks inf/art at its primary means of attacking Russia?  How is Russia coming up with the numbers to stop them before they’re within sight of Moscow if they’re also dispatching units to other theaters?  Or finding the IPC’s to match even the starting German armor?  It would seem to me that every unit built is critical to the struggle against Germany as they possess both an economic advantage as well as one in unit count.  I know its a long road to the heart of Russia, but all too soon the Germans are gonna be knocking on the door and you might be left wishing those spare infantry were a little closer to home.

    I read this question as two fold  with optional strategies that can be used congruently, or independantly.

    How to fight off a Barbarossa with Russia:  First things first, a good strategy can only be developed the moment the Germans Attack.  Likelky G2 or G3.  Their buys should FORECAST whether this is going to happen or not.  As the Russians, your starting income is quite solid - 37 IPC’, that’s MORE than Germany starts with.  A a fighter early can help you later,  But the main stay of your force should be in this order.  Men, Tanks, and Artillery.  Mechanized units have their uses at times, but not in FORCE for Russia.

    Option strategy A.  Control the route of the initial invasion  Use your stacks as impassable objects on the map, to control what territories the Germans can take, IE you know they are going to BLAST Eastern Poland, but only have a handful of ground units in Poland.  Park a stack of  maybe 15 units in the Baltic states,  it offers you a counter. or a strafe, and it prevents them from taking that territory G2, which means they have to bleed off a unit G3 to take it, or whatever…

    Karelia is another good example of this.  Use your Starting Battlship to block ANY possible invasion of Novogord.  abandon Vyborg, and park your aa and whatever units you can in Karelia,  sometimes a destroyer buy early can also stop the germans from boating around and coming in from Sz112 landing in Nenstia, but regardless, if you have a fat stack with aa in Karelia, it more or less prevents him from attacking, because he has to splt off to take vyborg, face your stack, or face your attack into Finland.

    Optioan Strategy B.  Use the Strafe.  Yes you have 4, 6, maybe 10 tanks, but if you attack and liberate your territory, they are exposed and destroyed.  You are also facing mostly medium stacks of defending infantry, which will mince meat your infantry if you just attack with those.  so STRAFE THE STACK go in there for 1 round, get 5 or 6 hits, take your 2 or 3 hits, and retreat.  This also works well with STRATEGIC RETREATS  This is where you attack from several territories, all at the same time, go in for one round, hit them hard, and retreat to another territory in which you intend to hold them off, hence, sometimes moving your units 2 or 3 territories by design.

    Optional Strategy C.  Focus on killing infantry.  If you make your focus killing the German infantry, eventually they won’t have any fodder left for your tanks.  DON’T just leave infantry out there that you didn’t even try to attack, especially if you know they will be clustered later and used against you.

    Optional Strategy D.  Leave some territories empty, if you know you CAN’T defend them.  If he blitzes, kill his tanks.  If you had left a unit behind, it was going to die anyways under the jack boot of his massive attacks.

    How to fight off a Barbarossa as the Western Allies

    • Aircraft will be used against your Russian Ally exstentively.  Coax the germans into using there aircraft to scramble, and trade them plane for plane if necessary.  You have planes to trade, Russia does not, and neither does germany.  Even if  the germans rebuild their planes, thats $10 that they didn’t just spend on men.

    • Build only the navy you need in which to survive an attack from the germans  make eveything else ground units or transports.  For the U.S.  that means your starting navy might just be enough, if the germans aren’t sending anything south towards Gibraltar.  Just build ground units and transports, to get in the fight quickly, shucking whatever you can into africa and europe to draw units off of russia, by threatening and taking territorie from the axis.  Remember, you can’t get to Russia to help, so you better draw the axis into France quickly.

    • Focus on pulling the teeth.  Take away the Germany Navy, it’s adding huge mobilitiy to the offensive in Russia.  It doesn’t matter what you have to sacrfice to do this,  if it means it’s going to stop the germans BUTT COLD in Moscow.  Make sure they aren’t shuck tons of units into Novogord from Berlin.  Invade Norway and fight them there if you have to, if there navy is out of range.

    • Widdle Widdle Widdle, every Axis unit you kill, is one the Russians don’t have to fight.  Do what it takes to get in the way, and get it done.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    How is the US holding Hawaii with just 50% of its resources if Japan just churns out navy continuously over its first few turns?

    This one is EASY.

    You don’t beat the Japanese navy for Hawaii, by building ship for ship.  You beat it by building man for man, plane for plane.

    J1 is almost never an attack, and they haven’t seen what you’re up to as the U.S.  J1 isn’t likely to see EVERY Japanese unit on the board move for Hawaii… So.

    If you want to hold hawaii, and you expect an attack, use your starting transport to bring over 1 inf 1 aa gun.  Fly ALL your fighter craft onto the island (5 or 6?)  Tacs, bombers too.  Move your navy out of the way (WUS) and build into it, possibly another transport,  or a fighter, or whatever.  Chances are he wasn’t prepared to invade it on J2.  Now that it’s defended, so he no attacks J2, and waits for J3.  So you reinforce it again.

    Then you end up at war.  Japan is pulled into China, pulled into India, Pulled into Australia.  Pulled against Hawaii.  For sake of argument  lets say they are making 50 - 60 IPC’s a turn.

    The allies make  U.S. 42, Anzac 10-15 China 10-15  India 10-15.  During the opening attack rounds that is, and this is all dependant on the japanese strategy.  The point is  that 60 Japanese IPC’s vs 70 ish allied IPC’s means you’ve got a straight up fight.  The more you force the Japanese to FOUCS on ONE target,  the less targets they are out there taking.  The more out of position they come.

    Hawaii is the WORST place for the japanese to focus there efforts on early.  You are basically throwing your fleet right at the U.S. income without hitting the tertiary targets and enemies of the empire.  The sooner the U.S. has the Japanese fighting them on there front door, the better for the allies.



  • I basically agree with Gargantua. It’s hard for me to imagine ANZAC, UK, Russia and China not all taking advantage of Japan’s focus on fleet builds and Hawaii. Japan’s starting income is awful considering all it wants to do. There’s no way in my mind it can go toe-to-toe with the US before taking out another Ally. Sparing money on more than transports early on and not on units that can take territory…it’s hard to see how that ties up any of the Allies.

    Getting back to the point, if you’re at 15 turns, that’s a lot. The longer you go, the more the defensive value of the Russian stacks increases vs. what Germany can bring to bear, especially considering all that they have to contend with in Europe. Things can certainly happen, but overall it sounds like the Allies are playing very timidly or are just asleep if this is a common occurrence.



  • Some great points raised by the both of you, and definitely some ideas for me to try out in the near future.  Next volley of questions, however…

    It has been my experience so far that without significant offensive US presence in the Pacific keeping the Japanese fleet honest, they’re free to slaughter the smaller allies piecemeal.  I look at the Japanese air force as a sort of “Get out of Jail Free” card that can be turned in any time the UK/ANZAC/Russians put any sort of significant pressure on Japan, particularly on the mainland where Jap inf/art can soak up hits for the planes.  Without a significant threat being posed to SZ 6 Japan is to move the majority of its Navy down to the Phillippines/DEI while positioning its land forces backed up by air to either corner the Chinese with a move to Shenshi J3 if China retreats and stacks, or to contest Yunan with the UK and China if they decide to make their stand there.  At any time the Russians can be dealt with if they get aggressive so long as at least a couple of transports are kept within striking range of Manchuria and Korea and the Japanese airforce is positioned in Kiangsu (or possibly even further away should you decide on an AB build) and therefore I usually empty out the Manchurian and Korean forces into China to create a pretty significant Jap stack in mainland China, one that is capable of either finishing off China or having a go at India.  This is with zero investment in land forces.  Bearing that in mind, how do you go about stopping Japan if the US is a good 120 IPC’s behind Japan in fleet spending by turn 4-5?  I understand that eventually the Japanese starting forces get whittled down by constant allied pressure, but without the US getting directly involved in the fight via a fleet capable of venturing past Hawaii Japan should be hitting its stride economically by this point and can easily replenish its losses.  Furthermore, they’re free to strip the Philippines bonus away from the US (granted that happens almost regardless of what the Allies decide to do) and if not tied down defending SZ 6 they can also grab their 5 pt bonus for controlling the majority of that 7 island group. A 70 IPC Japan is fully capable of tangoing with the US via its IPC spending each turn while its starting forces can demolish one of the other Pacific Allies at will.

    Whew, some serious rambling there, but I hope you get my point.  What are some of your (Gargantua and Kobu) suggestions as to how to effectively contest the Pacific as the Allies if you’re not dumping a good 50-60 American IPC’s in there turn after turn?


  • '10

    @chompers:

    Some great points raised by the both of you, and definitely some ideas for me to try out in the near future.  Next volley of questions, however…

    It has been my experience so far that without significant offensive US presence in the Pacific keeping the Japanese fleet honest, they’re free to slaughter the smaller allies piecemeal.  I look at the Japanese air force as a sort of “Get out of Jail Free” card that can be turned in any time the UK/ANZAC/Russians put any sort of significant pressure on Japan, particularly on the mainland where Jap inf/art can soak up hits for the planes.  Without a significant threat being posed to SZ 6 Japan is to move the majority of its Navy down to the Phillippines/DEI while positioning its land forces backed up by air to either corner the Chinese with a move to Shenshi J3 if China retreats and stacks, or to contest Yunan with the UK and China if they decide to make their stand there.  At any time the Russians can be dealt with if they get aggressive so long as at least a couple of transports are kept within striking range of Manchuria and Korea and the Japanese airforce is positioned in Kiangsu (or possibly even further away should you decide on an AB build) and therefore I usually empty out the Manchurian and Korean forces into China to create a pretty significant Jap stack in mainland China, one that is capable of either finishing off China or having a go at India.  This is with zero investment in land forces.  Bearing that in mind, how do you go about stopping Japan if the US is a good 120 IPC’s behind Japan in fleet spending by turn 4-5?  I understand that eventually the Japanese starting forces get whittled down by constant allied pressure, but without the US getting directly involved in the fight via a fleet capable of venturing past Hawaii Japan should be hitting its stride economically by this point and can easily replenish its losses.  Furthermore, they’re free to strip the Philippines bonus away from the US (granted that happens almost regardless of what the Allies decide to do) and if not tied down defending SZ 6 they can also grab their 5 pt bonus for controlling the majority of that 7 island group. A 70 IPC Japan is fully capable of tangoing with the US via its IPC spending each turn while its starting forces can demolish one of the other Pacific Allies at will.

    Whew, some serious rambling there, but I hope you get my point.  What are some of your (Gargantua and Kobu) suggestions as to how to effectively contest the Pacific as the Allies if you’re not dumping a good 50-60 American IPC’s in there turn after turn?

    The U.S. has enough income before going to war that they can build a huge fleet to rival the Japanese and cut them off from the home islands if the Japanese go for the Indies. If Germany goes for Sea Lion then that might cause the U.S. to divert some of that income to the Atlantic. But while that is going on the Soviets are building huge forces. See photo of our last game of 01/10/11 after six rounds.

    IMAG0017.JPG



  • Sure, I understand that.  In fact it’s what I do most games when playing as the Allies in order to keep Japan in check, normally beginning with a US4 assault on the Carolines followed by the retaking of the DEI the following turn.  I know the US makes enough IPC’s to be able to stick it to Japan if adequately prepared, my initial question was how it does this while being able to pressure Germany enough to keep them from steamrolling Russia, which IMHO they are fully capable of doing if left to their own devices.


  • '10

    @chompers:

    Sure, I understand that.  In fact it’s what I do most games when playing as the Allies in order to keep Japan in check, normally beginning with a US4 assault on the Carolines followed by the retaking of the DEI the following turn.  I know the US makes enough IPC’s to be able to stick it to Japan if adequately prepared, my initial question was how it does this while being able to pressure Germany enough to keep them from steamrolling Russia, which IMHO they are fully capable of doing if left to their own devices.

    The U.S.S.R. MUST hold! The Russian player cannot just buy all infantry. He must buy some offensive units every turn. When the opportunity is right to counterattack and kill expensive German units the Russian player must be in the position to take advantage. Fall back and leave single infantry as blockers. If the German player continues to attack without infantry support then he will not win! The Russian player must be willing to THINK ahead. He cannot just buy infantry and hope that he gets good dice rolls. The U.S. should be taking back Africa during turns 6,7,and 8. The U.K. should also be a threat to Normandy or Norway by this time. If Italy and Japan are held in check then Germany cannot win even with an income in the seventies. The Allies have the advantage in this game. So if the Russian player is smart then the Allies will win.



  • See, that’s the part I don’t get.  We’ve played about 15 to 20 games total of Alpha using its various setups and the Axis have won about 80% of them, the only time the Allies haven’t lost has been when they managed to contain Japan through ceding most of Africa by retreating to the south and holding there while the Mediterranean UK fleet went into the Pacific to link up with the US and ANZAC fleets.  This was the only game we’ve played where the US was actually able to spend enough IPC’s in the Atlantic to overcome the German naval and air force deterrent in a reasonable time frame (before, say, turn 8 or so), which is generally 8-10 planes plus the Baltic fleet (usually a carrier and battleship) as well as one to two subs purchased per turn.  The UK atlantic has a tough time ever putting out any sort of navy in time to be threatening as their turn 1 purchase is generally dictated by the Germans, and they’re forced to spend a portion of their IPC’s each turn to hold the Italians back from overrunning all of Africa.  This only leaves them with IPC’s in the the mid-teens to commit to fleet each turn, some of which has to be transports for it to have any effectiveness, which the Germans can happily blow to kingdom come every time they approach the shoreline.  If the UK slowly builds a fleet off of Canada and holds back until it has a (slim) chance at surviving the German deterrent, its generally not showing up before Germany has enough spare IPC’s to watch its coast as well as continue its push into Russia.

    With regards to Russia, I agree that they need some offensive power in their purchases in order to keep the front line as far away from Moscow as they can so that they retain a degree of purchasing power longer into the game.  However, its been my experience that whatever Russia does, Germany can do better. Even purchasing a sub a turn Germany still has more IPC’s to spend on attack than Russia has on defense and also has the numerical advantage out the gate in armor as well as parity (roughly) in inf/art/mech.  If the German is cautious in his drive into Russia, only moving forward in the north when he’s assured to survive whatever Russian counterattack might come, and sitting comfortably in the south trading the Ukraines with Russia, I don’t see where the Russians really have any option but to begin to fall back eventually.  As I’ve said before, this is generally a slow process in our games, but once you do begin to fall back Russia surrenders a lot of the IPC’s it needs to be competitive and loses its ability to divert significant German spending away from the Allied landings that are now occurring in Europe.

    I just don’t see how more than 1 Axis power can really be contained effectively by the Allies.  Whatever theater you choose to bring the pressure in, the other one goes to hell.  If you choose to fight hard in both, you cede the advantage (slightly) to the Axis in each.


  • '10

    @chompers:

    See, that’s the part I don’t get.  We’ve played about 15 to 20 games total of Alpha using its various setups and the Axis have won about 80% of them, the only time the Allies haven’t lost has been when they managed to contain Japan through ceding most of Africa by retreating to the south and holding there while the Mediterranean UK fleet went into the Pacific to link up with the US and ANZAC fleets.  This was the only game we’ve played where the US was actually able to spend enough IPC’s in the Atlantic to overcome the German naval and air force deterrent in a reasonable time frame (before, say, turn 8 or so), which is generally 8-10 planes plus the Baltic fleet (usually a carrier and battleship) as well as one to two subs purchased per turn.  The UK atlantic has a tough time ever putting out any sort of navy in time to be threatening as their turn 1 purchase is generally dictated by the Germans, and they’re forced to spend a portion of their IPC’s each turn to hold the Italians back from overrunning all of Africa.  This only leaves them with IPC’s in the the mid-teens to commit to fleet each turn, some of which has to be transports for it to have any effectiveness, which the Germans can happily blow to kingdom come every time they approach the shoreline.  If the UK slowly builds a fleet off of Canada and holds back until it has a (slim) chance at surviving the German deterrent, its generally not showing up before Germany has enough spare IPC’s to watch its coast as well as continue its push into Russia.

    With regards to Russia, I agree that they need some offensive power in their purchases in order to keep the front line as far away from Moscow as they can so that they retain a degree of purchasing power longer into the game.  However, its been my experience that whatever Russia does, Germany can do better. Even purchasing a sub a turn Germany still has more IPC’s to spend on attack than Russia has on defense and also has the numerical advantage out the gate in armor as well as parity (roughly) in inf/art/mech.  If the German is cautious in his drive into Russia, only moving forward in the north when he’s assured to survive whatever Russian counterattack might come, and sitting comfortably in the south trading the Ukraines with Russia, I don’t see where the Russians really have any option but to begin to fall back eventually.  As I’ve said before, this is generally a slow process in our games, but once you do begin to fall back Russia surrenders a lot of the IPC’s it needs to be competitive and loses its ability to divert significant German spending away from the Allied landings that are now occurring in Europe.

    I just don’t see how more than 1 Axis power can really be contained effectively by the Allies.  Whatever theater you choose to bring the pressure in, the other one goes to hell.  If you choose to fight hard in both, you cede the advantage (slightly) to the Axis in each.

    I hope someone will give a good answer to Chompers. His post makes a lot of sense to me, as a lot of our games look like what he’s describing here… But maybe we are just not playing the allies well enough…



  • @Axisplaya:

    I hope someone will give a good answer to Chompers. His post makes a lot of sense to me, as a lot of our games look like what he’s describing here… But maybe we are just not playing the allies well enough…

    I can only agree with chompers, the few games I’ve played saw similar things, though Allies won one more than the Axis did. But that is also down to two cases of atrocious German dice rolling before Moscow.

    I just do not understand the constant calls for more German units, why make it even easier?


  • '10

    @chompers:

    See, that’s the part I don’t get.  We’ve played about 15 to 20 games total of Alpha using its various setups and the Axis have won about 80% of them, the only time the Allies haven’t lost has been when they managed to contain Japan through ceding most of Africa by retreating to the south and holding there while the Mediterranean UK fleet went into the Pacific to link up with the US and ANZAC fleets.  This was the only game we’ve played where the US was actually able to spend enough IPC’s in the Atlantic to overcome the German naval and air force deterrent in a reasonable time frame (before, say, turn 8 or so), which is generally 8-10 planes plus the Baltic fleet (usually a carrier and battleship) as well as one to two subs purchased per turn.  The UK atlantic has a tough time ever putting out any sort of navy in time to be threatening as their turn 1 purchase is generally dictated by the Germans, and they’re forced to spend a portion of their IPC’s each turn to hold the Italians back from overrunning all of Africa.  This only leaves them with IPC’s in the the mid-teens to commit to fleet each turn, some of which has to be transports for it to have any effectiveness, which the Germans can happily blow to kingdom come every time they approach the shoreline.  If the UK slowly builds a fleet off of Canada and holds back until it has a (slim) chance at surviving the German deterrent, its generally not showing up before Germany has enough spare IPC’s to watch its coast as well as continue its push into Russia.

    With regards to Russia, I agree that they need some offensive power in their purchases in order to keep the front line as far away from Moscow as they can so that they retain a degree of purchasing power longer into the game.  However, its been my experience that whatever Russia does, Germany can do better. Even purchasing a sub a turn Germany still has more IPC’s to spend on attack than Russia has on defense and also has the numerical advantage out the gate in armor as well as parity (roughly) in inf/art/mech.  If the German is cautious in his drive into Russia, only moving forward in the north when he’s assured to survive whatever Russian counterattack might come, and sitting comfortably in the south trading the Ukraines with Russia, I don’t see where the Russians really have any option but to begin to fall back eventually.  As I’ve said before, this is generally a slow process in our games, but once you do begin to fall back Russia surrenders a lot of the IPC’s it needs to be competitive and loses its ability to divert significant German spending away from the Allied landings that are now occurring in Europe.

    I just don’t see how more than 1 Axis power can really be contained effectively by the Allies.  Whatever theater you choose to bring the pressure in, the other one goes to hell.  If you choose to fight hard in both, you cede the advantage (slightly) to the Axis in each.

    I hope that we are playing the same game. Lets go back to the very beginning of an Alpha+1 game. The U.S. has 52 IPC income for the first three turns. They should have a huge fleet in the Pacific to check Japan. Plus they should be starting their fleet in the Atlantic. While this is happening the germans have taken France on turn 1. Now if Germany has used air force to take out a large number of U.K. ships then they should have lost a good number of planes and ground units because they did not take France in one combat round. In round 2 they must resupply and attempt to move into position for Barbarossa. If they launch Barbarossa in round 3 then they are probably going to be really hurt by the Soviets in a counterattack unless they got really great dice rolls in round 1. The allies should have their best player playing the Russians because this is the main key to the game. The Russians MUST hold. From round 4 on the U.S should have 75 or more in income depending on the Philippines situation and the Japanese should be contained. Unless the U.S. player is incompetent They should have control of the Pacific and the Atlantic. It is only a matter of time until Norway falls and the Italians are being pushed out of Africa. Now since all players are different the game will not always go this way. The players are like generals, building the armed forces and making the strategic decisions. But in the actual combat the dice are like your captains and lieutenants obeying your orders but subject to the fog of war. All you can do as the general is give them the best chance possible. If you mess up they fail and they may fail anyway depending on the dice. The bottom line is the allies have the income advantage and should win most of the time in a perfect world. But the world is not perfect as the players are not perfect.


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