Why are standard openers unpopular in league and tournament play?

  • TripleA

    So tell me forum. Why not do standard play in a competitive environment? G1 and J1 should be almost the same for every game.

    Bids people mix up for fun. sub in SZ 35 with 1 inf egypt. or a tank belorussia 1 inf egypt, or omg 2 inf egypt save money for russia (depending on bid size of course).

    I like to change up my bids depending on who I play. G1 is never different. maybe if you decide not to put an inf in egypt. I may attack egypt round 1 with my bomber skip SZ 12 and 2 sub 1 fighter the battleship.

    baltic states ukraine and EP can go 2 ways. stack baltic with tanks or stake EP and ukraine with tanks (3 tanks each maybe keep a couple tank back to reinforce the spots with more casualties). and use fighter 3 inf and an artillery on baltic states.

    Then transport inf tank from france to libya. hold france or give up france for a round depending on player and aggressiveness.

    R2 egypt can’t be held you can pick up from ukraine inf tank and power slam egypt.~egypt/transjordan  wins games typically.

    J1 you either stack burma or take philippines. There’s no real choice.  inf tank from japan to kwangtung. 3 inf 1 art to philippines. 2 inf on borneo and east indies. you should easily kill yunnan with 3 inf and a fighter

    or 5 inf 1 art burma. threaten africa really hard.

    idk why i don’t see competetive gameplay here/

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I believe it is because most of the tournament players are semi-pro and thus, most of their opponents (also semi-pro) know the counters to every standard move, thus they attempt to break out of the box and gain a foothold that, hopefully, their opponent cannot comprehend in time and thus win the game by strategy instead of dice.  /shrug. I dunno.  Just a thought.

    Many ways to use a bid, depending on what your opponent lets you have. “I bid 20 IPC for the allies.”  “uh, sure, take them.” “WOOT!  I put 2 Infantry in E. Canada, 1 submarine, 1 destroyer off the coast of the Soviet Far East!”

  • TripleA

    you can’t put  naval units off soviet far east, because allies don’t start with any naval there.

    standard play is the strongest as far as round 1 goes.

  • There is no standard round 1 since there usually is a bid ; and a bid may change your opening.

    In the same way, R1 may change my J1.

    And so on…

    There is no unique strategy, there are different options. Do you make the same german opening if you decide to invest for a baltic fleet or not ? Do you play the attacks in the same way when you build 10 inf or when you buy two planes G1 ? Do you go for Egypt or not ? Do you go for Karelia or not ?

    According to your strategy, you have different options for the first turn.

    I agree that there are some obvious choices, that should be done at least 99% of the games. But there are also a lot of different options, that you can change at every game, and more again with a bid.

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator


    you can’t put  naval units off soviet far east, because allies don’t start with any naval there.

    It was a demonstration…I suppose I shoulda said something like France puts submarine in SZ 72 or some other waste of a bid…


    standard play is the strongest as far as round 1 goes.

    Not true, as I proved to NCSCSwitch in the days of revised, a non-standard opening can be significantly stronger against a “by-the-book” opponent.  If you happen to know your opponent will play a standard game and you know he is mentally incapable of handling a change-up play, opening with the “Russian Triple” as I did could, and did, cost him the game.  A more competent player would have done Germany 1 in a much better response to the Russian Triple and punished me for using it, instead, NCSCSwitch sputtered, putted out and eventually conceded the game to me, something up to that point he had not done in any game he had played - to my knowledge - against anyone.

    So it is appropriate to use a non-standard open in some cases just as it is appropriate to use the standard open in some cases.  After all, if you KNOW you are a better player, why mix things up?  You could cost yourself the game.  If you practice a myriad of different tactics - some good, some bad - you probably have more experience in handling the nuances of different strategies and may want to use that to your advantage - if you feel your opponent cannot handle it, and you fear you might lose to an equally or stronger player than yourself.

    It is a tactic I come up with a lot, Kill America First, Kill Japan First, surprise strike here, surprise strike there.  I’d say 90% of my strategies lead to nothing and/or failure, but the 10% that work I store so I can use them in tournaments, when I play in them, I just returned after a few years of not playing in them after all. lol

  • TripleA

    you’re wrong jenn. there are only 2-4 ways to use your axis bid in revised. art tank for africa (because transport bid is full of fail)

    3 inf europe to hold karelia round 1.

    you can modify those bid setups to give japan +1  so he can start with IC and 2 trans buy.
    UK1 is the most fun in revised, because what you do with your starting units… so many options. borneo, FIC, anglo egy counter. new guinea (or pick up new zealand inf and drop off in australia and be in position to take borneo) always do sub vs sub. ALWAYS.

    you can put your bomber in novo and threaten japan’s new transports as well as hit everything on the europe half.

    even then the strat is always the same. india IC is fail, don’t do it. transports + men and maximize the payload on the europe. AC round 1 maybe depends what is in range still.

    If you’re playing serious russia kills ukraine and west russia round 1. buys 3 tank 3 inf or 4 tank 1 art (africa bid). or buys 5 inf 1 art 1 tank against europe bid (since you can’t kill karelia anyway you may as well buy infs if you don’t have an all in battle).

    It’s always the same. If you get extra lucky in ukraine and west russia and don’t have many casualties. you can stack bury just to screw with japan a little and maybe get 3 from manchuria. that’s it.

    Russia round 1 should always be the same, unless you plan on doing KJF. in which case Russia R1 will always be the same.

    you go first, there is no way you can change your mind, there is one best strat for what you want to do and that is it.

  • TripleA

    this is not chess where pieces have more mobility and everything is calculated.

    I mean sure some people like 5 inf 1 art 1 tank every game, but those people suck.  some people think ukraine r1 is too risky, but those people suck too. 90% odds plus for both attacks…. and the game is so much more action packed after you win…

    people who leave 1 infantry behind in karelia suck too. there’s no reason to do that. you can kill a tank in archangel e z. hell UK can do it for you if you need every ruskie you can muster in karelia.

    G1 we already know you get infs a couple art and a tank or two. kill anglo egy and that silly dd in front,  stack karelia if you can hold it,  counter ukraine. kill t he battleship.


    I mean sure germany can buy naval and do sea lion and get owned by a hyper aggressive russia. yeah you do that.

    J1 is always the same 3 trans, 2ic, or if you got 1 bid 2 tran 1 IC… J1 varies depending on how hellish UK’s dice were.

  • TripleA

    oh yeah pacific is a trap in revised and aa50… even if japan has a bad round 1… it’s still better to go europe, because he’ll just be a round slower on taking moscow. easy game to win. EASY.

    I don’t even sweat USA going pacific in aa50 even when i have bad luck on J1 even when I stack burma and skip phil and fucking kill africa for germany because I am in a multi and germany blows cock so i got to get shit done for him.

    I don’t sweat usa. EVER.you can always out produce usa. ALWAYS. J2 throw down a complex on thailand, be conservative is europe is going great. just get china done, get russian ipcs, nab some african stuff here there, win like charlie sheen.

    I have no respect for anyone who loses to usa in pacific. no respect. sure I went pacific a couple times just for fun… i didn’t expect to win, but everytime i do win… i know if i had japan that shit wouldn’t go down.

    It’s like this. Japan is closer to the cash islands, so you are away from your supply chain you step up. japan makes more money so you can suck it hard.

    japan has no excuse to losing pacific.

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I used to enjoy a transport bid for Japan. The alterations to what could be done expanded, seemingly, exponentially.

  • TripleA

    who hasn’t at some point tried inf + tank FIC. +1 ipc japan.

    or full transport and + 1 japan. It’s viable, but in the end… you eventually sit down and if you really want to win a game. you join the art+tank africa school or the 3 inf europe school.

    That’s what happens to most people in revised. they eventually make that realization. but sure when you want to try something different, japan bids are more interesting. yeah I can admit that.  It’s not too bad… still would rather a tank and infantry for africa.

    I’ve always played revised with 1 unit per territory limits. I usually play aa50 the same way, but people like unrestricted bids here.  I still don’t put more than 1 inf in egypt… 1 tank belo reaches everything, finland, EP, ukraine, baltic states, or defend caucasus.  you can have an attack.

    if I get 9… I get a UK sub SZ 35 because that is way more fun. kill a transport for free or if japan send a destroyer to guard EI and a cruiser for borneo… HO HO HO.  maybe the usa battleship gets an extra fighter kill than usual… maybe it survives… maybe a carrier dies instead. WHO KNOWS!!! Japan usually gets diced in a battle somewhere… but usually the sub just kill a transport and makes japan buy a dd round 2 or just group his naval together and make my sub sad.

    I seen people cruiser borneo and dd EI… my sub has a coin flip chance to matter… at least that was 1 cruiser 1 dd less that got to attack in a typical J1.
    oh what is real fun. art tank in bury and manchuria round 1.  oh hell yes… now that is a super risky super fun bid.

    yeah i do that in casual games… it is great when it works out and somehow egypt saw mutual destruction or survived.  super slow japan.

    more conservative players prefer 3 inf bid. 2 egypt 1 karelia… idk you can argue the belo tank to karelia instead of belo… depends on how worried you are about G1 kar

  • TripleA

    but yeah modifying a standard opener by one or two guys to deviate a little in one direction instead of another… is not too bad.

    J1 china attacks always the same… may vary 1 or two attacks / units… depends on confidence. 4 inf vs suiyuan 1 inf 1 fig fukien 1 inf 1 fig that other place. 3 inf 1 fighter that other place.

    if you do burma stack you can mod it different ways… I was really desperate in my J1 for my tournament because germany had a really bad G1  like my fighters and subs refused to hit anything… which was terrible. so I did all battles I was supposed to win, but it was still riskier than what I normally prefer.

    I also normally don’t do burma stack J1, it’s more of a hyper rush. I like to get isles done before I go wild.

    there is also yaggen tsunami strat. hawaii + wake J1 + philippines. skip yunnan for kwangtung. all that fun stuff. still take borneo and EI and kill SZ all the usual naval with transports. Make +15 J1. hell yeah.

    Problem with that. usa goes OKAY SCREW PACIFIC. and you real slow on the mainland, because you sent 4 guys to isles  and parked your fleet in hawaii to hold. if you didn’t lose a fighter J1… you have to land 1 or 2 in caroline island. 4 fighters on hawaii far away with 2 boat worth of guys afar. I believe usa gets a free transport kill if you take wake…

    ah usually I don’t take wake… I opt for 3 inf 1 fig yunnan 1 inf 1 tank kwangtung… defend burma vs 1 uk inf. yeah which can go bad sometimes.

    at least I don’t give up a free transport kill. if he wants it he has to land in fukien with his bomber.

  • TripleA

    you got to be really confident in germany/italy to do yaggen tsunami.

  • To try and give an answer to the OP, I would say that after G1, there is no ONE standard R1 opener.  Hell, you just rambled thru several different Japanese round one choices.

    One players standard is another players ‘less-optimal’ move.

    We’ve had this discussion around J1:
    Take Philipines or Burma stack?

    It comes down to player preference/goals.

    In other words, there are some countries in which variability is too great (as well as prior game play) to define the standard move for their country.  USA is one such country.  Throw tech into that mix and I can never tell you what USA is going to do.

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I guess I could compromise as such.  A player may have a standard Germany 1 opener and, depending on what happens until Japan, Japan may have any number of different tactics to follow.

  • TripleA

    the # of units and types vary here and there R1, but the attacks and big stacks are usually are all the same. take baltic states if cannot setup to reclaim karelia R2 after that UK should handle it. Prep a big ukraine stack push for the +10.

    germany’s tanks are in ukraine and EP and you can’t counter attack? you need to send all your guys there NCM. and place 4 units there. and place at least an artillery and tank in russia to retake caucasus if he tries. 2 inf in chinghai is almost always worse than 2 more inf in russia.

  • TripleA

    Phil is usually better than burma stack. Burma stack is for gamblers/rushing russia or africa.

    I did burma stack only because I am rushing. If I had normal dice G1. I would do phil and do a pretty typical game and win. Bad luck makes me desperate and I have to capitalize on russia’s mistake. He didn’t max out caucasus so I took it.  and japan will be in the mix real soon so UK’s EGY crap won’t interfere.

    Then again if I had normal dice… 8 german plus 1 fighter… may have lost to 6 guys on egy (2 die from italy bombard)… yep I’d have a different game :(. not take too many chances and just go about business and win. 😕

    my opponent takes forever it is irritating.

    I was mostly referring to other players G1s and J1s. R1s match the G1. UK2 depends. Take france if you can. If not. SZ 2 prepare 6 drop. Unless for some reason your BB +tran is still alive instead of trans and DD… by all means attempt norway if you can. If SZ 12 is still alive + egypt… kill italian fleet. or prepare a bigger drop. Don’t matter.

    UK 2 is take france or norway/finland/or handle karelia for russia (which sometimes happens). depends on what you are doing with russia.

  • I think you just answered your original question.

    Perhaps those other games to which you refer also had something happen that the player felt (like you) he needed to ‘change things up’ due to the situation.  The best players recognize a situation that is non-standard and react accordingly, that’s what makes them so much better than a ‘by the book’ player.

  • Can this thread be retitled to ?:

    “COW’s Tournament musings”


  • TripleA

    G1 and J1 doesn’t change. you may do burma or flip depending on your mood… really doesn’t matter sometimes.

    Also I can’t think of many situations I’d want to do pacific with usa… short of OMG I GOT LRA. even then I’d just nab some transports and be ahead of the game.

  • '16 '15 '10


    G1 and J1 doesn’t change. you may do burma or flip depending on your mood… really doesn’t matter sometimes.

    G1 and J1 ought to vary somewhat in relation to the Allied bid.  It could also vary if you have some knowledge of the enemy and you want to anticipate something.

    From my perspective the openings have standardized alot since I started playing aa50.  The games on here from a year or 2 ago had way more variation in G1 and J1 then now, because the level is more competitive and any suboptimal move can be exploited.

    There’s still a lot of variation in AA50 and disagreement about the best strats, which is why it remains interesting.  For example there is no standard G1 buy–there are a lot of possible G1 buys that have merit.

  • TripleA

    I guess so. I do prefer to attack egypt if allies don’t put a bid on it, I won’t do SZ 12 and opt for 2 sub + fighter vs BB so i can get my bomber on egy.

    i like my bid inf egypt tank belo… or tank egypt and art EU depending on my bid size.I’ll probably take allies at low as 7. not a big fan of 6 and under. i want some threat to go with my ruskies.

  • @Cow:

    you’re wrong jenn. there are only 2-4 ways to use your axis bid in revised. art tank for africa (because transport bid is full of fail)

    3 inf europe to hold karelia round 1.

    you can modify those bid setups to give japan +1  so he can start with IC and 2 trans buy.

    I must disagree. In Revised, 1 japanese trannie bid at Carolines sz can kill any ideas about ignoring Japan … you could say that is a whole new game. There are also some other interesting twists if you bid 1 sub to z8 or even the italian trannie

    I must agree with Jen in this subject: some players stick to the “standard” too much. Thinking out of the box is good, as I learned in AA50-42 with the Baltic fleet

    And the India IC works, and very well, unless that the bid goes to Japan or is too high

  • Cow, you seem to be saying that any attempts against Japan is futile and full of baloney. You base this on the premise that Japan starts out with more, and can always outproduce America.

    Japan only starts with 17 IPC, and is making about 40-45 IPC to spend on the 2nd turn. America starts with 40 IPC, with 48 IPC to spend 2nd turn. While it is true that thereafter Japan usually starts making more, the Allies can work in conjunction to prevent this.

    Believe it or not, an Indian IC is possible, but only with a KJF strategy. All it takes is a 6 IPC sub build in SZ35 to make it happen. 4 Russian infantry coupled with a 3 armour/1 bomber purchase in Caucasus ensures that the factory remains intact. A Bry stack can threaten Manchuria, the Russian bomber and the British sub can kill J1 attempts on the money isles and british homeland planes can land in India B2.

    The United States can compliment this with a US1 build of 1 CV, 2 TP, 2 SS. US2 can see another CV+DD+SS. B2 can include 2 CV+1 fig and will land the starting fighters, while the Australian DD can meet up with it. This places 2 substantial fleets at either end of the Pacific that can both go on the offensive against the money islands as early as turn 3. Japan never rises above 50 IPC, usually peaks at about 47 IPC on J3, before declining.

    This obviously isn’t flawless. The European frontier is left very vulnerable. Yet by US3 or US4, both Africa and the Pacific are secure. A very conservative Russia can, and will, be defended by the returning Commonwealth air force after the Indian crisis (J3). By US4, Japan is crippled, and focus can return back to the European front.

  • art/arm bry can cause a domino effect to KJF.  Sub 35 means without the 2 bmb buy from ger you can bmb cau R1 and attempt to transport pick.

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I believe Cow is attempting to say that it is too difficult to conquer Tokyo, Japan and that one could expect that the Germans will control Moscow before the Americans control Tokyo in most games.  To that, I agree.  The only problem with that assertion is: “Why do I need Tokyo?”

    In a “kill Japan first game” I find it is more about sequestering the Japanese on Japan (Tokyo) and less about taking Tokyo Japan.  You should be able to win with Victory Cities as well, without actually taking Tokyo.

    Meanwhile, you’re Japan.  You have to magically take out China, take India, handle the remnants of the far eastern contingent of the Russian Army as well as now you have American carriers, destroyers and transports scratching at your soft under belly.  Perhaps England puts a complex in India, in conjunction with the American attack?  Now you have attacks from over land, attacks at the sea (from a nation earning as much or more than you), the Chinese to deal with, you can pretty much give up the NO for India/Australia now, Russians you have to over-whelm to get into their meaty districts, etc, etc, etc…if you don’t know how to handle it, you’re going to get screwed without lube.  If you do, maybe you can buy time for the Germans and Italians to win?

    Meanwhile, keep in mind that England + Russia > Germany + Italy.  Especially if England stacked Egypt and prevented it from falling, and focused on sinking and keeping the Italian navy sunk.  Russia can turtle for a bit, then when England is ready to help (round 3, maybe 2 if you’re lucky) they can push forward with the old Infantry Push Mechanic with Britians landing and moving into newly taken territories to keep the Germans from effective counter attack.

    Yes, that’s a “perfect” game.  I understand.  But it is also a realistic game.

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