The perfect country for the newbe

  • when i’m playing A&A, there’s almost a newbe player. The eternal question is, wich country we can give to the newbe.

    Russia is vital for the allies to stand, if she’s wiped out of the Map the allies are surelly doom to die

    If the german players does one little error that’s could cost the game to the axis, so if that player is a newbe…

    UK must stand on every front to block the ¨always ipc hungry¨ axis. But you have to know exactly were you have to put the most of your ressources, were the axis players are the most dangerous…

    Support of Japan to smash russia and join the Germans terytorries is absolutely necessary and don’t forget to keep the US at distance

    And then US’s role is vital to support the two others allies, and a couple of US error can place the allies in a precarious position…

    Maybe i’m totally wrong but the songs remains the same : wich country to give to a newbe ???

  • Give the newbie the russians, as long as he does everything you say it ususally works out well 🙂


  • i am one of the few Jap votes.
    Give the newbie the Japanese. This way they will more readily adopt facility with the various ship and plane movements, as well as transport and logistical requirements to do well with other countries. Plus its the funnest country (IMO) to play and it’s nice to get the newbies hooked early.
    If you just want to win, then BB is correct - give them the russians, tell them to stand and die.

  • i agree with that as long as he’s doing what you told him to do with USSR… everythig should be fine but that’s not the happiest way to learn :lol:

  • russia for sure, all you have to worry about is tanks and men, so it’s simpler
    as long as they know the basics about russia stratey, they wouldn’t screw their opponents nearly as much as with any other country

    a lot of people said the usa.
    i might even argue that the usa is the hardest country to play?! This is partly because of that german bomber in western europe, and mostly because you have to balance everything exactly to get the most men across the sea 1-2 infantry can make the difference here.

    in order of easiest to hardest (of course this is just what i think is easiest to screw up if you are new)

    germany - screw this one up, and it’s really over, germany is tough
    japan - japan isn’t all that hard to play really…

    of course this is all relative, and i’m not talking about someone who has never played before, just someone who has only played 20-30 games or something.
    what do you think?

  • The one thing that makes Russia unique is that Russia NEVER has to think perhaps it’s time to build bombers, or a navy or do weapons development.

    My thinking is as follows:

    The russians build infantry, the odd tank, attack when it’s to your advantage, retreat when it’s to your advantage. Anything bold they do must be supported and initiated by one of the other 2 allies. It’s all tactical.

    The other 4 nations have the ability to change things in a big way. The other 4 nations must be able to see trends and react before it’s too late. They must be able to see far enough in advance to know when to do weapons rolls while you still have time to take advantage of obtained weapons. Russia cannot be a game changer like the other 4 nations and for that reason alone, seasoned players should be the ones to have to decide such things as whether or not to use fleets or factories or weapons rolls to project ultimate power.


  • Give a newbie the USA and do a Germany First strategy.

    But if you want to teach someone how to play, from zero, i think the best way is to play a two country war as a first game … Germany (for the Newb) vs USSR (for the not-so-newb)

  • I disagree. The US is probably the hardest country to play as a newbie. How would a newbie know when it’s time to switch some focus to the Japanese side or when to do weapons rolls.

    Playing a 2 country game teaches about a 2 country game, which A&A ain’t. If you are playing a real game and have a newbie who you don’t want to tell to go home then Russia seems the safest bet for all.

    The best way for a newbie to learn is to play the game completely by himself, play each country himself. A few attacks where he sees, “Yeah, i won the battle but then lost all my tanks on the counterattack” and he will learn.


  • I can see your point, and for a 5 player game, and a newbie that already knows the basics, I am begining to think you are right … USA has a world to save and is pretty tricky come to think of it.

    However, what I meant with a Russia - Germany conflict (and this is how I have tought some fellow spaniards :lol: ) is that with Germany, the soon-to-be-absorbed-into-the-game victim, has to be able to see how Land Air and See move and fight, what the economy is all about, and some basic thinking of how to resolve easy problems (of course, the “teacher” has to play to win). There is only one front, and this helps the newb concentrate on a simple task.

    I belive that a newbie can become overwhelmed and discouraged if he sees too many things to think about, too many units and too many decissions to take.

    First time I saw the game I thought "I will never learn … "


  • Random thoughts …

    Japan is an excellent choice as it attacks and defends without dying 😉 on J1.

    First, ya gotta know how much instruction the newby will accept.
    If NONE … then let him/her play a game by her/himself.

    Never allow newbies to play Germany unless all are new - or all are new but you and you play UK(warning him/her to always protect Germany with inf.)

    Other than the above my group likes to give the newby her/his choice after one of us explains the main objectives of any country the newby’s interested in. After s/he choses, we offer them a 3x5 index card with three(3) points we HIGHLY recommend they follow, five(5) points of which we recommend they follow any three(3) they chose, and three(3) warnings. We also leave the instructions close to the newby.

    We came up with these cards to have an option to babysitting or flat out losing with the newby on your side.

    Some want to watch a game first, which we consider the worst alternative.
    We also give them the option of talking them through a first move and then reducing the advice as the game progresses.

  • Kantabricus, you make some good points. I still say let the newbie take the game home a few days ahead of time and set it up. Perhaps the newbie has to lose once first. I did, I got spanked. So I borrowed a game, and spent lots of time with nobody distracting me.

    The nice thing is that if you do a really dumb move as Russia, then as Germany you SEE _how dumb a move that was, you can go back as ‘russia’ and correct it, THEN do Germany’s move.

    If you start the game off wrong, then all you learn after the first turn is how to play a game that starts off really really bad. Let that come later, it always does!


  • We used to give the newbie the United States and tell him to “let 'er rip!” If the Japanese player did not attack Hawaii, the newbie would always blow huge wads on the Pacific fleet. If the Japanese did attack Hawaii, the newbie would buy fistfuls of bombers & put a factory in Alaska. Little effort was ever made, without a little coaxing, to assist the UK or Russia.

    It seems to be an epidemic amongst new players to see the Japanese fleet and use their economic weight to slam the Land of the Rising Sun. While this is effective, to an extent, the complications arise when all monies are spent in one area and all influence in Asia is lost.

    A good G1 that wipes out all UK sea units leaves the Allies in the lurch in the Atlantic, and Africa in serious peril. An effective US player knows when to throw all his weight into one area, and when to divide and conquer.

    After saying all that, I think that the US is still the easiest way to get a rookie some playing time. The economic freedom and relative separation leaves room for error. The downside is the same relative separation.

    I can agree that if you want to “throw them into the fun”, Japan is the way to go. Japan is for the “type A” personality with a good sense of humor. The UK is for the intellectual, patient type. Their personality usually resembles pocket lint. Russia is for the middle-lower class 9-5er. He just goes to work every round and hopes not to get %*(#ed by bad luck. The US can be the “everyman” of the game, and Germany is for the angry.

    I agree that no newbie should ever play Germany. I made that mistake 15 years ago, and I am still an angry, but wiser, man. I took one look at that compact, angry, fully-stocked, gray little country and just fell in love. I still think that I drive aggressively because of Germany. I have to reel myself in when I hear a British accent. I heard the words “heavy bombing” the other day and fell out of my chair. One of these days when I visit Moscow, I’m going to place one little gray tank in the middle of Red Square.

    See what I mean? This should not be cast upon anyone who just wants to play a game.

  • Are you from the US All Gravy?
    I was wondering, 'cause i live in Denmark and here a newbie US player can be counted on to make at least a decent effort to liberate Western Europe (an, incedently Denmark) from the nazi yoke.
    I Was thinking maybe patriotism played a role so any newbie wacks the guy closest to his own backyard.
    Still he would split his ressources, and i agree with you that any newbie would need some friendly coaching if he has to play US.
    You should point out to any newbie that this is not WWII but a game and if he starts trying to recreate wwII step by step he will get killed.

  • Yup Riker, I’m from the US and I think that there is either “fleet fear” or fleet envy" of Japan at the beginning of the game. Just seeing all the US income does something to their heads, I think. The Pacific is dominated by the Japanese, and the US players probably see a way to 1.) get into the combat quickly. 2.) support the Soviet Far East & re-establish Asian presence. or 3.) just pound the Japanese fleet.

    I’m not sure why that seems to be the trend, but it is.

  • Suprise, suprise I still don’t agree. I’d say of the 2 axis nations Japan is the harder. Yeah the german initial move is tough, so lay that out for the newbie, perhap suggest round 2 moves, but within a few rounds Germany is more straight forward then Russia, granted, the game can unfold many ways depending on play style.

    Usually, Germany starts off complicated but gets simple, once a newbie grasps what can hit western europe, germany and eastern europe all he has to do is build infantry and cover those 3 territories say by round 3-4.

    By the latter rounds the Japs are huge and might be a bit daunting for a newbie. For the Axis, the game often hinges on the Germans holding tight while the Japs do something to break the game open.

    In my games the Brits often do more attacking than anyone else, I use them to attrit the Japs. I try to preserve the US and russians so they have a potent 1-2 punch against the Germans. In this sense, both the US and Brits are equally tough to play for a newbie.

    I guess it boils down to how the game will develop with the newbie.


  • the reason germany is harder is because it’s a balancing game. This means you need just the right amount in eastern europe to make sure it will hold
    if you get it just right to the infantry, then you may have enough to hold we as well
    if you can’t figure this out, then you will either lose, or trade we
    that’s why germany is so hard, especially for the newbie, it takes time to figure it out

    japan basically has to get transports and men and use the infantry push mechanic with dead zones
    this is the basic idea, of course there is much more involved for a well played japan

    most allied wins that come from axis blunders are german blunders, not jap blunders. can we agree on this? If germany doesn’t put the exact amount of infantry on it’s territories, it becomes inefficiant, and good allies will punish for this. Japan just isn’t on the same type of pressure level

  • Yeah, I can buy that. But…… For the Jap player to really shine they have to go into Africa with fleet almost always. That is the tricky part. When you do this it interferes with the normal push of infantry via transports. Do you purchase more transports or an IC?

    The problem is a newbie might make an error early, with german this is generally more fatal. Mind you, I doubt anybody would let a newbie do something catastrophic.


  • from my experience germany is easier to screw up, and the hardest to understand how to manage. Sure there are different strategies with japan with industries, retaking africa etc, but germany has it tough

    it depends on how new the player is though, and how new their opponents are.

    if the player is really new, germany may be better than japan

    if the player has experience, and knows basic stuff, germany should be left for the better axis player.

    these are only my opinions of course, i just think japan is easier to pick up, as i still have a tough time with germany. Germany is usually under a lot of pressure even very early on, so it’s extremely tricky.

    if you are only going to play 4-5 turns (typical board played game) then give the better player germany

    it’s really an opinion though so we could argue forever… In any case beginners should really play one of the allies with help from other allies.
    perhaps we can agree on this!

  • Yeah, I agree that a newbie should play on the Allies. The Allies require teamwork and they have to help each other out anyway. With a newbie on the team as a weaker country you can come to the rescue or try to fix his mistakes.

    Every country has a role to play and can screw up the game for their side. I’d give a newbie the UK - It’s more fun than buying all INF with USSR and they can follow the US lead in the Atlantic. The US can guard Africa and UK can send planes and men to Karelia or Western Europe. UK isn’t threatened, either. Watching the colonies go up in flames kind of sucks, but your Allies should protect those.

  • My thoughts almost exactly. The UK is within stricking distance of Germany, which is exciting. Germany rarely has a chance to strike at the UK homeland unless it gets to be a very long game. The Allies can help the UK out with the colonies. The UK can even afford to take some early losses among its colonies if the US can manage to limit them and take some of them back for the UK (assuming you’re playing that allied recaptures count toward the original country’s income).

    I personally always put the newbie on the UK unless the newbie demands to play a particular country. It takes some convincing to let a newbie play Russia or Japan, I almost never give them Germany or the US, no matter their protests. They can learn those after playing a time or five.

  • The first time I ever played A&A, I got handed Russia and the admonition, “just buy infantry”. Of course, I think we were all pretty new then, only the people who owned the game had any experience, so it was basically them telling everyone else what to do. As far as what country to give to a new player, I would say U.S for the Allies and Japan for the Axis. The real thing to teach them is how to support your allies (some of my friends still don’t get this) :x but again, that’s only my opinion.

  • Every Newbie should start with playing Japan first IMO.

    Most of the reasons given here about why they should play an Allied country or not Germany are precisely why they should play Japan.

    My rationale may be significantly different than yours….because my starting point is to give the newbie a first game enjoyable experience…so that they will play again. Everything else is secondary.

    Now, the Allies require coordination and there are three of them. IMO, there is absolutely nothing worse than your so called teammates telling you what to do and effectively making all your moves for you. This is not at all a fun way to learn a game like A&A. The other players should help you with rules, maybe even discuss the relative merits of your plan…but not in detail and not so that it is their plan and not the newbies plan. The newbie needs to be in the driver seat…he makes the overall decisions…he explores what seems to make sense. You should restrict your advice to when it is requested and/or only when a clear game losing move is about to be made…prolong the basic fun and game for him…but make sure he is in the game…not just observing.

    So, Japan. They can be played independent of Germany, with little need for early cooperation. They start with a lot of pieces. They have both land and naval forces that should last at least a few turns. They have lots of airpower. Even a newbie will advance and gain in Asia. Their fleet can try numerous things in the Pacific. They are an island nation with a good starting position. It is almost impossible to screw things up so bad that you cannot have some victories and fun. They are not really subject to potentially devasting first turns and real early collapse. They will be engaged in combat almost certainly every turn, and likely on multiple fronts…but none are instant game losers. They have enough options that they can try all sorts of strange and wonderful things, that will also bring back a smile to your face as you realize their naivete. Because of all these factors, you can be guaranteed that Japan introduces them to all the pieces, all the rules, multiple fronts, many combats, and lots of fun. You can still have at least 5 turns of reasonable gaming experience, and you may even be inspired to respond with some wacko Allied moves…just to keep it fresh and prolong the inevitable.

    With a newbie it should always be about getting them to enjoy the game.

    Thus, I submit that Japan is by far the best choice.

  • yeah im a newbie and i was wondering is beating US(freind also newbie) wit germany(me) in 7 turns good for a first game? then he played as russia it was a constant battler between ukraine S.S.R and causcus(SP?) nuttin but tanks and infantry i used a little air and bombers. but i won both games? thanxs for ur time

  • If you are a total newbie and have never played before and has not recieved any kind of info on the game play, US is easiest to play cause you’ll be able to make alot of misstakes with them, without getting killed 🙂

    But russia is the easiest contry to play if you have some exp of the game.

  • I disagree with some of the results of the poll big time! I am really surprised that so many would give newbies RUSSIA. Russia may have a simple strategy, as most would agree with, but it is perhaps the easiest country to loose on the whole board not to mention one of the most frustrating to try and keep! You are being attacked on both sides while at the same time you have the weakest income and the smallest army! Why on earth would you give russia to a newbie …if russia falls soon (as would happen with a newbie) there is no way for UK to hold of Germany. I would reccomend, therfore, giving US to the newbie. In my opinion, the necessity of the US fro the european victory is over-rated. In most the games I played, if russia and UK are done well, the US is minimally needed. This lets the newbie "go at his own pace, " he can learn the navy side with japan, he can learn the strategy of cooperation with the UK and he can learn land assaults in China and in Africa(assuming he figures that out).

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