Just What Was Bunnies Thinking? Russian Roulette (Triple) Game Ccmmentary

  • A teacher told her class that lottery tickets were a bad investment.  To prove this, she went out and bought one.  The ticket won a hundred dollars.  (Or however much it was.)  True story.  (Or so I hear.)

    I wanted to play a quick game, so I met up with a nice player on TripleA and hashed it out live online.  When I started, I figured I wanted a quick game, so I decided to do a R1 Russian Triple with artillery/4 tank build.  Either I would succeed and plow him into the ground, or I would fail and maybe die to the mind-bogglingly exciting German Turbo Tank Dash, which is of course so exciting it may actually make young players vomit.  Anyways, I figured it would be an exciting game regardless, with my using what I privately refer to as Russian Roulette - that is, a Norway/West Russia/Ukraine attack.

    If you don’t know what Russian Roulette is, look it up, but don’t try it at home.

    I figured I’d make a commentary on the game too, because . . . well, it might be useful to some players to know how I think as a player, and besides, publishing game reports will make me famous.  You know, book deal, movie deal, money, power, small furry animal protection campaign spokesbunny, that sort of thing.

    So begins this exhaustive and exhausting game commentary.  I hope you find it useful.  If you REALLY find it useful, you can support the fine administrators of these here Axis and Allies forums.  Right side of the screen, look for Patron Support Level, all sorts of nice donation options for the fine people that maintain this forum, major credit cards accepted.

    I don’t have anything to do with all that, I’m just an independent player that posts on these here forums sometimes.  So if you have a good idea for the forum or what have you, please post to the proper forum group/thread, and don’t contact me.  Because I can’t help you.

    DISCLAIMER:  I make a lot of statements, but anything lacking solid statistical backup should be regarded as my opinion.

    R1 (Russia 1)

    Planned attacks:  3 infantry 1 tank 1 fighter to Norway
    3 infantry 1 artillery 3 tanks to Ukraine
    6 infantry 1 artillery 1 fighter to West Russia

    Why list planned attacks first?  Because that’s how it’s best thought out.  First figure out your attacks, then figure out what you should build to best support those attacks.

    3 inf 1 tank 1 fighter to Norway, because sending 2 fighters means you will definitely lose 1 fighter on Germany’s turn, and as much as I wanted to check out what was on sale at the grocery store, I wasn’t about to risk a precious fighter.  Besides, a Russian Triple attack spreads forces VERY thin – probably a second fighter really couldn’t be spared.  The Norway attack has a couple good points.  If you claim Norway, then Germany doesn’t have any real attack on the UK battleship.  If you weaken Norway a lot, Germany might get nervous about using Norway as a landing spot for its fighter and bomber after hitting the UK battleship.  Bad points are – you’re sending Russian units to the rear of the German lines.  Germany has a logistic problem getting units to the front lines; by attacking Germany’s rear lines, you’re doing the footslogging for them.  Also, the Norway attack only has a bit better than 60% to do “well”.  I forget what “well” was; I ran the numbers a long time ago.  I think it was at least killing the Norway fighter while keeping the Russian fighter alive.

    3 inf 1 artillery 3 tanks to Ukraine.  If you do NOT claim Ukraine, then Germany can blitz Eastern Europe and Balkans tanks into Caucasus.  So all the ground units that could hit there went.

    6 infantry 1 artillery 1 fighter to West Russia.  If you don’t send at least a Russian fighter to West Russia, the odds of doing even moderately well there plummet.  Whatever Russian units are there form the core of your R2 threat into Karelia and ability to trade Belorussia, plus if you’re pretty weak there, Germany will just run right over you.  What with losing West Russia and Ukraine, that means Russia can potentially be blocked from collecting income from Karelia and Belorussia next turn.  That might seem trivial, just 4 IPCs, but a single unit can easily mean the difference between a 30% chance of success and a 85% chance of success.

    Comments on Russian Norway/West Russia/Ukraine Triple – super risky, if you fail to do well, you leave yourself open to an incredibly brutal German counter.  Even if you do moderately well, attacking 2 territories rather than 3 means Russia’s dissipated its attack power, and will take more casualties from the defenders as the attackers don’t overwhelm them with numbers.  On the plus side, doing well at any of the three battles can make things very tough for the Germans, but that’s not really likely.

    Purchase:  1 artillery, 4 tank

    Supposing a brutal failure at all three; Germany could take West Russia from Belorussia, and smash into Caucasus with 7 ground units.  (Figuring on German units from a Mediterranean transport, Eastern Europe and Balkans tanks for five units, plus two surviving ground from Ukraine).  UK would not be able to retake Caucasus from Persia, then Japan would be able to fly in 2-4 fighters to support Caucasus.  (If UK attacks Japan’s fleet at East Indies, particularly if Germany left Anglo Egypt alone to go after Caucasus, sinking the Japanese carrier would force the Japanese fighters to land on East Indies, out of range to reinforce Caucasus.  But this is probably not good in most situations, so we’re looking at 11 units, mostly high dice, on Caucasus.  To counter, Russia would have 6 infantry (moved in during noncombat) plus 2 fighters, for 8 dice attacking 11 defenders on Caucasus, with 6 of those 8 dice being infantry which are awful on attack.  Horrible.  But this does not account for a Russian build.

    So what should Russia build?  Just infantry?  Infantry are lousy on attack, and with only Russia’s fighters providing attack power, the Axis would chew through Russian infantry like mad with all those high-dice tanks and fighters defending.  Mass artillery?  But artillery are poor defenders, and when the infantry they support are destroyed, artillery drop to 2 attack for 4 IPC (1 dice pip for 2 IPC spent, or 50% attack), while tanks stay at 3 attack for 5 IPC (60% attack) regardless of how many infantry there are.  Besides, tanks would be able to reach Karelia, Belorussia, and Ukraine, depending on how the German turn went.  I decided to go with 1 artillery 4 tanks for maximum mobility and decent counterattack in case Russia lost Caucasus.  The threat would be 13 dice attacking 11 defenders, with perhaps a bit more or less depending on exactly how awfully Russia did (again, assuming Russia DID do awful).

    The order you carry out combats is important.  Failing West Russia would mean Germany would have a shot on Moscow, with West Russia survivors, Ukraine tank, Ukraine, Balkans, and Eastern Europe fighters, and German bomber.  That’s 5 units PLUS West Russia survivors; considering West Russia starts with 5 units, potentially 10 dice that could hit Moscow.  Performing poorly at West Russia would also mean an increased threat to Caucasus from the West Russia survivors.  So it was very important to do the West Russia battle first, to see what would happen.  The decision to press attacks or retreat from Ukraine and Norway would depend on results at West Russia.

    So I did West Russia first.  There were no unusually high numbers of hits or misses.  The Allies did about as statistically expected, with 2 infantry 1 artillery 1 fighter surviving.  But “statistical expectations” mean little with dice.  It could easily have been that Russia would have to retreat from West Russia with only 1 artillery 1 fighter versus a German artillery and tank surviving (1/6 chance for Germany to kill both artillery and fighter if Russia continued the attack, and Russia losing fighters is awful).  Or, Russia could have ended up with possibly 4 infantry 1 artillery at West Russia.  I actually considered myself quite lucky that in order to counterattack West Russia, Germany would probably want to commit at least a tank (considering that German air have a lot of important naval targets on G1).

    The next battle I did was Ukraine.  On the opening round of fire, I got five hits.  This was extremely improbable and very horrible for Germany; Germany obliged Russia even further by getting only two hits in return (two or three is expected, so Russia got a bit lucky).  But a BIT of luck counts for a LOT in the first round of fire.  At this point, I had 1 infantry 1 artillery 3 tanks attacking 1 German fighter.  Retreating would mean preserving 22 IPCs worth of Russian units.  Attacking would only net a 3 IPC territory and a 10 IPC German fighter, plus whatever units Russia managed to kill on Germany’s counterattack, potentially just 2-3 German infantry.  So press the attack and gain 3 IPC in the bank for taking control of Ukraine, kill a 10 IPC German fighter, lose 22 IPC of Russian units, and kill 6-9 IPCs of German infantry?  Well . . . the balance was about the same, but the story goes a little deeper.

    First, I knew that Germany had lost its West Russia units, so it didn’t have any units from West Russia (particularly cheap infantry) to hit Ukraine with.  Second, I knew I had built attack units that would be able to take or strafe Ukraine.  Third, I knew West Russia was very weak.  The more units Germany sent to Ukraine, the less would be available for West Russia.  Fourth, I knew that Germany usually wants to take out other valuable targets on G1 (Germany’s first turn) with German air.  If Germany sent air to Ukraine, that would increase the probability of Germany suffering air losses elsewhere.  Fifth, from experience playing Germany, I knew that Germany dealing with 1 Russian unit on Ukraine (having lost West Russia) was slightly inconvenient.  2 units on Ukraine was not fun for Germany to deal with.  3 was a major inconvenience.  4 was like getting kicked in the nuts.  5 was, well, frankly, this is when you start having tantrums and cursing in German, not because you’re mad, but because you sense the hand of God or fate is against you.  Anyways, I decided to press on in light of all this.  So I hit, and the German fighter missed.  Five Russians on Ukraine.  It’s like a miracle, but I felt dirty.

    The last battle was Norway.  On the first round, I got two hits, which is frankly fairly lucky for Russia.  Again, the first round of combat means a lot.  Germany fired back, and got one hit.  At this point, I had to admire the Axis player for not cursing or even complaining in the slightest.  Next round, I got no hits, the Axis got one hit.  The third round, I had 1 infantry, 1 tank, and 1 fighter, and got 1 hit, and the Germans got 1 hit with their fighter and infantry.  Again, slightly lucky – if Germany had got two hits, that would mean the next round would be Russian fighter against German fighter, and Russian fighters are too precious to lose.  So I pressed the attack, and got no hits, but the German fighter got a hit.  At that point, the Russian fighter retreated.

    Noncombat moves:

    In dice games, always save noncombat moves for last.  Regardless of rules technicalities, it’s good practice.  New players will often make noncombat moves during combat because it helps them visualize the board as they want it to be, or because they think they’re going to do something regardless of how the battles go.  But it is always best to wait until after combat to do noncombat moves.  Maybe you will lose that 89% battle and be forced to rethink things.

    Russian sub moved to UK battleship.  This would help defend against the German fighter/bomber/sub attack on G1.  The idea is that the Russian sub does NOT submerge.   If the German sub gets a hit, the Russian sub is destroyed.  There’s also a slight possibility of the Russian sub hitting.  If the Russian sub hits, then any hits the UK battleship makes must be against expensive German air.  Even if the Russian sub does not hit, if it is taken as a casualty against a German sub hit, that leaves a decent chance that the UK battleship will survive the German fighter and bomber for another round of fire.  If the UK battleship survives for another round of fire, it may destroy more German air.

    The West Russia and Ukraine battles had gone very well (frankly Ukraine was unbelievably lucky), so I did not have place all units in Moscow preparatory to retaking Caucasus.  I moved Kazakh infantry to Caucasus, and Novosibirsk and Evenki infantry to Moscow, leaving Moscow with 4 infantry and Caucasus with 2.  I moved the Moscow AA gun to West Russia, so Germany would not be able to easily capture West Russia.  Either it would have to use valuable tanks that Russia could then destroy on its turn, or it would have to risk valuable air.  If using air, not only would those air be at risk to AA gun fire, those air would not be able to be used for other important targets on G1.

    I knew at that point I would place 1 artillery in Caucasus (to help retake Ukraine after Germany countered), and a tank in Caucasus (to help defend it against German invasion; Germany could send infantry/tank/2 fighters/1 bomber to Caucasus.  But more than that; a Russian tank on Caucasus can be useful to hit Trans-Jordan or India.  It seems pretty odd to send a single tank to try to cause trouble, but Japan has a severe logistics problem early on, and Russian tanks on Caucasus are something that can cause a lot of problems for Japan early on.

    The remainder of the Russian tanks would go on Moscow.  Russian tanks on Caucasus could be trapped to countering Archangel, West Russia, and Ukraine, if Germany took West Russia.  From Moscow, though, tanks could hit Karelia, or even Belorussia if Russia did not lose control of West Russia.

    For those keeping track, I had left Karelia and Archangel empty on the Russian combat move.  The Russian power is stretched so thin on a triple attack, every unit is needed.  Anyways, Germany blitzing a tank to Archangel can be met with Russian infantry and a Russian tank.  Unless Germany stacks Karelia a bit, it cannot kill that valuable Russian tank in return.  Considering the nasty Russian stack on Ukraine and the decently sized Russian stack of survivors on West Russia, I figured a German stack on Karelia could only come at the expense of giving up position on Ukraine and/or West Russia.  At the worst, I would be able to use Moscow infantry and a fighter to kill any German tank blitzing to Archangel; that would mean killing a 5 IPC tank in exchange for maybe a 50-60% chance of Germany’s killing a Russian infantry and getting a 2 IPC territory.  (That’s maybe 4.5 to 4.7 IPC gained by Germany in exchange for its 5 IPC tank, plus some slight logistic pressure against Russia – but very slight – and locking the US bomber out of landing on Archangel on US1.  Not a particularly good deal – not awful, but Germany may well not take Archangel.)

    I landed 1 fighter on Moscow and 1 on Kazakh, and moved Yakut and Soviet Far East infantry to Buryatia, so Buryatia had 6 infantry.  These were noncombat movements that were only really worth considering AFTER seeing how combats had turned out.  If things had gone badly, infantry would have been racing back to Moscow.

    Kazakh can only be considered a safe landing zone for a Russian fighter if Russia took Ukraine, otherwise Germany can and very possibly will send the Ukraine fighter and/or the German bomber to kill the Russian fighter.  From Kazakh, Russia threatens Trans-Jordan and India (along with the Russian tank on Caucasus), and Manchuria.  (The Manchuria threat is really only credible because of the 6 infantry on Buryatia).

    Stacking Buryatia with 6 infantry is a moderate to high risk move.  Even if UK kills the Kwangtung transport, Japan has excellent chances to kill 6 infantry on Buryatia, take China, and destroy the US carrier and fighter at Hawaii, regardless of what the Allies do.  If Japan does hit Buryatia and China, it will take a lot of casualties, but a bit of luck can mean very bad news for the Allies.  Particularly for Russia – after the 6 infantry stack is lost in Asia, Russia is completely helpless against any Japan attack.

    However, if Japan does NOT hit Buryatia, Allied air can land on Buryatia, which can be inconvenient to Japan.

    Collected 29 IPCs.  Altogether an EXTREMELY lucky turn, no doubt about it, particularly the extremely nasty pressure to Germany at Ukraine, as well as having a very decent number of survivors on West Russia.  Norway did not go particularly well, but I certainly wasn’t even considering that a problem in light of Russia’s massive luck and Germany’s massive unluck at Ukraine.  In fact, I considered it quite lucky that I was not forced into a “2 German defenders vs Russian ground and Russian fighter” situation.  In any such situation, Russia risks air, and only under the most unusual circumstances should Russia ever risk its precious precious fighters.

    Tricks that were lined up:  (things that may not be immediately noticeable to new players)

    Buryatia stack allowing US fighter from Hawaii to hit sea zone east of Japan if Buryatia not taken.  Buryatia also provides a landing spot for UK air, same idea.  Again – there is some risk involved with this.

    Russian reinforcement/counters to Trans-Jordan and India with Caucasus tank and Kazakh/Moscow fighters.

    If Germany hit Anglo-Egypt, UK could send India fighter and UK bomber to attack the German battleship, with a Russian fighter following up to hit an unguarded transport (if UK air and the German battleship destroyed each other).  Germany can potentially avoid this problem by hitting Anglo-Egypt AND Trans-Jordan, but that’s very high risk for valuable German air, and likely will mean having to leave the UK battleship alone.

    If Germany did NOT take West Russia, Russia would be able to trade Karelia and Belorussia next turn, which would mean increased income.  If Germany did NOT take Ukraine, that would mean extremely valuable Russian tanks would run away; the next time Germany saw those Russian tanks it would be behind a nasty screen of Russian infantry.

    Attached is the TripleA .tsvg (saved game file).  This uses TripleA version 1_2_5_5 and may not be compatible with the most recent release verison (1_3_1_0).

  • G1:  (Germany’s first turn)

    Wow, can I write a long post or what, eh kiddies?  Again - if you think this stuff is cool, donate to the site.  Check out the right side of the screen near the top, options for donating, major credit cards accepted.

    I don’t have anything to do with running or maintaining the site, so don’t ask me administrative sort of stuff, 'cos I can’t help you there.  Why pimp the site if I’m not making a buck on it?  I dunno, maybe I just like selling stuff to people.   :roll:

    OK, to sum up the last post - Russian Norway/West Russia/Ukraine triple attack, I was Alies, made out like a bandit, or even the King of Bandits if you’re into some of those Harlequin romance novels. Germany was looking up to a really nasty G1 open.  Here is where Bunnies actual thoughts must stop, for I was not playing against myself.  However, as is so often the case, mere lack of knowledge cannot stand in the way of wild supposition.

    Like, why do hot dogs come in packs of eight, and hot dog buns come in packs of six?  Why are they called hot dogs if no dogs are involved in the manufacturing, processing, or even ingredients of hot dogs?  Could there be an alien barbecue conspiracy?  A dog conspiracy?  Who . . . or WHAT . . . sinister force might be reading these words at this very moment, and taking note of them?   😮

    But I digress.

    Looking at the German opening position, Russia had 1 inf 1 art 3 tanks on Ukraine, 2 inf 1 art 1 AA gun on West Russia, 2 infantry 1 artillery 1 tank on Caucasus, 4 infantry 3 tanks 1 fighter on Moscow, and 1 fighter on Kazakh.  Norway had been attacked, and had only a single German fighter on it.

    If I had been playing Germany, I would have thought something like this:

    The best thing Germany can do is capturing and holding Caucasus early on, so Germany is able to produce units on Moscow’s doorstep.  Looking at the board, Germany can capture Caucasus with a high risk attack.  But this will cost German air, and UK can probably recapture from Persia.  If UK recaptures from Persia, Russia can build 4 units on Caucasus, and any German stack on Ukraine will probably be stalled, particularly with the expensive loss of German air earlier.

    So can I take and secure Ukraine, and use that to crack Caucasus next turn?  Russia will get 2 perhaps 3 hits if it’s moderately lucky; I can hit Ukraine with up to 12 units if I ignore everything else.  That’ll leave me with 10 units on Ukraine, possibly joined by up to 1 Japanese fighter, which will leave me fair defense against Russia’s 12 dice counter on R2.  I can move up to 6 infantry/artillery into Eastern Europe or Balkans (where they can move to Ukraine next turn), plus 2 Western Europe tanks, then there’s my build.  G2 can see a large block of infantry/artillery reinforcements from Eastern Europe to Ukraine; the Eastern Europe tanks can then threaten Caucasus or West Russia, and G1 build tanks can move into Ukraine too.

    I can use air to hit West Russia; this will lower the number of units I have to secure Ukraine, but it will also lessen the counter Russia can make, and restrict Russia’s income as it won’t be able to capture Belorussia next turn.

    Let’s say I decide to hit Russia as hard as possible, so hit Karelia with Baltic transport, West Russia with infantry and air, and Ukraine with almost everything else.  Assuming Russia cannot retake Ukraine because of Japanese fighter reinforcement, and assuming Germany takes West Russia, Russia will be looking at 10 German units on Ukraine and 2 German tanks on Eastern Europe, along with perhaps 4 fighters and a bomber and the German transport and battleship bombard for a 18-21 dice threat on Caucasus on G2.  (The German battleship and transport cannot be counted on because of various ways of killing the German battleship before G2.  The German battleship support shot is counted as a dice of attack).  Moscow and Caucasus currently have a combined 11 ground units, then there’s 2 fighters the UK Persia infantry, the India UK fighter, and the UK bomber that can reach Caucasus.  Then there’s the units on West Russia.  That leaves a defense of 19 units, one a very weak bomber.  Russia can also build up to 4 units on Caucasus, though, bringing the defense to 23 units.  However, Russia will also have an AA gun, so the attack is a bit questionable, considering the great numbers of German aircraft in the attack.  So what is the summary of the G2 attack on Caucasus?  20 units against 23 units and an AA gun is not good odds, but it is a real potential threat that Russia will keep Russia locked to Caucasus.  (Alternatively, 16-17 German units against 18 Russian units if Germany hits West Russia.  Why not the full 20 units available to Russia?  Because some of them, probably 2 infantry and a fighter, will have to be used to recapture West Russia, in case Germany blitzes tanks from Ukraine through West Russia into Moscow)

    The fastest Japan attack of weight will likely be 1 Japanese transport to French Indochina, and a double industrial complex build.  But even that cannot possibly help Caucasus in time for a G2 attack, because that means at the end of J2, at best Japan will use its transport that ended J1 at French Indochina to hit Persia for 2 Japanese units on Persia, and 6 tanks at French Indochina and/or Kwangtung and/or Manchuria.  (Even then, Japan’s making serious sacrifices for speed.).  Even on J3, Japanese tanks only hit China and/or Persia and/or India.  It’s only on J4 at the earliest that Japan can really help out.

    But this is only newly built and/or newly transported units.  Japan could use its existing forces in Asia to end with perhaps 5 infantry on China, and an infantry and tank in French Indochina.  On J2, that would be able to push into Sinkiang at probably no loss of force.  Still, that would leave Japan too late to help much in a G2 attack on Caucasus.
    However, Germany doesn’t have to take Caucasus on G2.  It could take it on G3.

    We’ve pretty much established the grounds for securing Ukraine so far.  What if Germany built 8 tanks on G1?  The six infantry/ground on Eastern Europe would enter Ukraine on G2, joined by the G1 tank build, allowing the Germans an additional 14 dice to hit Caucasus with on G3.  Furthermore, the Japanese would have an additional turn to develop.  (But this powerful German attack can only happen with a G1 8 tank build!)  Anyhow, more in the next post.

  • G1 (Germany’s first turn continued)

    The Story So Far:

    Our Hero Bunnies decided to try a Norway/West Russia/Ukraine attack because he was feeling uppity.  Instead of Lady Luck smacking down Our Hero for even attempting such an audacious attack, Lady Luck smiled on Our Hero and smote the Axis player.  Mightily.  In fact, certain suspicious whispers entertain the possibility of our Lady Luck having certain improper relations with Our Hero Bunnies.  Litigation pending.

    Although Bunnies doesn’t know the particulars of what the German player thought, Bunnies feels free to engage in speculation regarding What Might Have Been.  Currently under the magnifying glass is a G3 (Germany’s third turn) attack on Caucasus.  This, because it has been established that Germany’s holding or at least taking Caucasus early on is often a Good Thing, but under the current game, a G2 grab would probably not result in Automatic Game Win.  (although it looks like a West Russia/heavy Ukraine attack could result in a very nasty situation for R2, or Russia’s 2nd turn).

    Grabbing Caucasus early is important enough that you should think about it.  Usually if Russia attacks West Russia and Ukraine only, or hits Belorussia, West Russia, and Ukraine and doesn’t have horrible dice, any thoughts of a quick German attack are stifled.  But any Norway/West Russia/Ukraine attack leaves the door open to a quick German attack, with a bit of bad luck on the Russians part and good luck on the Germans part, you may even have the opportunity to pull of the Legendary German Turbo Tank Dash, in which German kills West Russia and Caucasus so hard (possibly fortifying Caucasus with Japanese fighters), that Germany starts G2 with Caucasus under its control.  Along with a 8 tank G1 build, the Allies will almost certainly lose.

    Having already looked at the R1 Norway/West Russia/Ukraine attack, I already knew the Russian Norway/West Russia/Ukraine attack was risky.  Considering that Russia was particularly lucky, it’s not hard to imagine that with BAD dice on a Russian triple Norway attack, Germany can quickly smash Russia.

    So what is the summary of the G2 attack on Caucasus?  20 units against 23 units and an AA gun is not good odds, but it is a real potential threat that Russia will keep Russia locked to Caucasus.  (Alternatively, 16-17 German units against 18 Russian units if Germany hits West Russia.  Why not the full 20 units available to Russia?  Because some of them, probably 2 infantry and a fighter, will have to be used to recapture West Russia, in case Germany blitzes tanks from Ukraine through West Russia into Moscow)

    Germany can move up to 6 infantry/artillery into Eastern Europe/Balkans on G1, but will probably get only 4 infantry in, using infantry and artillery from Southern Europe to hit Anglo-Egypt.  With 8 tanks, that’s 12 additional units to hit Caucasus on G3.

    Supposing Russia were to use its 29 IPCs on infantry/tank purchases for 8 infantry 1 tank for R2.  Considering R2 to have built 4 of those units at Caucasus, that would leave 5 units to move to Caucasus on R3 (before the G3 attack), plus 4 new Caucasus units, for a total of 9 units.  However, by that time UK would possibly be able to land up to 2 more fighters on Caucasus, for a total of 11 more defenders to match Germany’s 12 attackers.  Further, US1 could move infantry from Sinkiang to Kazakh, and US2 from Kazakh to Caucasus, for 13 more defenders.

    So how to break this deadlock?

    Neither the G2 nor G3 attacks so far have accounted for the possibility of a G1 bomber build, or a G2 bomber build.

    Bombers are expensive, especially to risk over an AA gun, and since a G2 attack on Caucasus could be crushed before Japan could get into range, a G1 bomber build to support a G2 attack on Caucasus probably would not be a good risk.  But G3 gives Japan a bit more time to get in, further, the G3 attack cannot be thought of in simple numbers any more.  By G3, most of Germany’s attackers would be high-dice-attack tanks and fighters and bombers, while the defenders would be mostly infantry, leaving Germany with an advantage.

    Furthermore, for UK to move all its fighters to Caucasus would be difficult, especially given German control of West Russia (another reason to take control of it on G1).  The UK fighters would have to start UK2 on a carrier northwest of Norway, leaving it in range of both German fighters and bombers from Western Europe and/or Norway.  UK could replace up to 1 UK fighter with a US fighter from Eastern US, so Caucasus would be reinforced by up to 2 fighters regardless.  But pinning the Allies to the sea zone northwest of Norway would leave the Allies in a potentially very vulnerable situation.

    What would be happening on the rest of the board right before and after a possible G3 attack on Caucasus?  Let’s say that the Germans succeeded.  UK and Russian air would be wiped out, but US air would be fine.  A UK1 defensive fleet and a UK2 transport build would be threatening 6 ground units plus some air support to Europe, and a US1 build would see a US2 landing at Algeria.  J1 could see a strong attack into China, followed by 4-5 infantry and a tank at Sinkiang on J2.  So far it is assumed that Germany went ahead and took Anglo-Egypt on G1, limiting UK options.

    So right after G3, say Germany had 2-3 tanks and some air left,  Russia would have perhaps 5 or so units left to retake Caucasus with, but Japan would easily be able to land fighters on Caucasus on J3 to prevent that from happening.  UK3 could see a powerful attack on Berlin, but Germany could use its G3 build for mostly infantry, easily able to fend off any UK attack, especially with Japanese fighters flown to Berlin.  J3 would also see Japan pressing in to Novosibirsk and Kazakh, both high value territories, as well as coming up through the rest of Asia.  Worst for the Allies, a J1 double IC build would see J2 placement for six tanks on Sinkiang at the end of J3, while Japan used its surviving transport to move infantry into Asia for backup, or took islands and/or Africa.

    Even were UK3 to forgo trying to hit Berlin, and land units on Archangel, that would probably be too late.  UK could feed Russia with 6-8 ground a turn, but that would ease pressure on Germany, while US was still getting its transport chains in gear, while Japan continued to pump tanks in.  If UK and US both concentrated on Berlin, they would seriously inconvenience Berlin, but Japan would be able to claim Russia, and would come racing to Germany’s rescue.

    It’s not QUITE all so cut and dried; there’s the hump of Germany having to win the Caucasus battle on G3 first, which is a dicey proposition (good odds but not great), then there’s a few different tricks the Allies can pull to seriously inconvenience Germany and/or Japan.  But the bones of a plan are there.  Particularly, if Germany decides not to take Karelia, and uses 2 infantry from Western Europe to move to Norway, securing a fighter base, and using 1 infantry 1 tank at Western Europe to secure it as a fighter base as well, against early US landings in Algeria and/or UK fleet northwest of Norway.

    But as it turned out . . . all this is exactly what the German player did NOT do.

  • G1 (Germany’s First Turn continued)

    Finally, on to what ACTUALLY happened.

    G2 purchase:  10 infantry 2 tanks.

    G2 attacks:  4 infantry 4 tanks 3 fighters vs Ukraine (held by 1iinfantry 1 artillery 3 tanks)
    3 infantry 1 tank vs West Russia (held by 2 infantry 1 artillery).  Tank came via blitzing Karelia.
    Submarine vs UK East Canada transport
    Fighter and bomber vs UK cruiser at Gibraltar
    Battleship vs UK destroyer at Anglo Egypt
    Amphibious assault after battleship vs UK destroyer at Anglo Egypt - infantry and artillery via transport from Southern Europe, Balkans fighter, infantry and tank from Libya to Anglo-Egypt

    This is very similar to what I described under earlier speculation, except I would have risked air over West Russia, and sent the German tank to Ukraine instead.  My thought was that it would be important to take Ukraine with lots of units, allowing Germany to retain control of it.  The risk to Axis air would be unfortunate but in my opinion necessary.  I would have hit the UK battleship, risking German air, because I consider the UK battleship to be a high priority target.  (But conserving German air would in retrospect probably be a much better idea; the whole idea would be to render the Allied fleet mostly useless, beating Russia down before it had a chance to build up defense.  Also, hitting Belorussia with 3 infantry and a tank not only didn’t risk German air, it gave a better chance to capture the territory, forcing Russia to use units to trade it next turn.)  Attacking the UK cruiser was almost certainly correct, though.  Doing less risks UK using its India fighter, London bomber, and Gibraltar cruiser to attack the German battleship/transport, killing the German fleet very early, risking little of UK’s precious air, and destroying the German battleship/transport would slow Germany’s progress against both Caucasus and Africa.

    So admittedly, the Axis player probably did BETTER overall than what I would have done to this point for a very aggressive strategy.  Except, the Axis player was NOT pursuing an aggressive strategy with a 10 infantry 2 tank buy.

    Again, order of combats is important.  Depending on how one combat goes, a player may or may not choose to continue attacking or may retreat at other combats.  The Axis player did West Russia first, which is what I would have done too.  If Germany’s attack on West Russia failed, Russia might have more units to hit Ukraine with.  If Russia could hit Ukraine with a lot of power on R2, Germany might do better to retreat after a round of fire at Ukraine instead of pressing the attack, to save its valuable tanks.

    West Russia:  First round of fire, Germans got no hits.  The Russians got three hits.  On top of the ridiculous Ukraine dice on R1, this was really awful for Germany.  Just like early rounds of dice are important in a combat, early combat results are important for a game.  The worse the early dice are, the more difficult a position is, the more difficult it is to recover from.  Anyways, Axis retreated tank to Karelia.  Since the Belorussia infantry had hit West Russia, and the Eastern Europe and Balkans infantry had been sent to Ukraine, that meant that the most Germany could reinforce Karelia with was 2 infantry via Baltic transport.  With 2 infantry 1 artillery 3 tanks 1 fighter in range of Karelia, that meant whatever Germany put at Karelia would get squashed, barring really great dice results elsewhere.

    Ukraine was the next combat.  Again, I agreed with the Axis player’s decision for order of combats.  It’s not that Ukraine had specific importance to another battle the way West Russia’s results affected Ukraine.  But Ukraine was generally important, and might affect other Axis decisions.

    Germany’s average would be about four hits on the first round of combat.  There were five defenders, and a fair number of dice involved.  So there was a decent chance of a bit of overkill on the Germans’ part.  Germany’s first round of fire got six hits, killing all the Russians.  Russia scored two hits in return, about average.  Germany destroyed 22 IPC of units, losing only 6 IPC of unit in return, and gained 3 IPC of territory, for a net gain of about 19 IPC all told.

    Would it have been better for Germany to attack and pull back after one round of fire?  (of course Germany didn’t have that option, but what if Germany had only gotten 4 hits?)

    Russia had a 12 dice counter to those 6 German units on R2.  Probably Russia would not try to only destroy Ukraine; it would have Belorussia and Karelia to consider as well.  But it was very likely that Germany would lose those 26 IPC of surviving units (2 infantry and 4 tanks).  Still, Germany could expect to destroy a fair number of Russians in the exchange - gained 19 on this turn, losing 26 next turn, but destroying in all likelihood a minimum of 5-6 units worth, and diverting attention from Karelia.  Of those 5-6 units destroyed, there was a good chance of netting at least 1 artillery and 1 tank, perhaps even 2 tanks, for an expected destruction of 15-20 IPCs in exchange   So gain 19 immediately, lose 26 and gain 15-20 next turn, net positive for Germany. at +8 to +13.  Possibly Germany would get lucky and destroy a lot more, or even survive.

    A successful strafe at best would destroy 17 IPC of Russian units, leaving 1 Russian tank alive, allowing the Germans to withdraw.  Were the Germans to take only 6 IPCs of losses (2 infantry) in return, that would result in +11 IPC on a strafe.  Considering the possibility of luck on Germany, so far the advantages could be seen as about being equal.

    But strafing would allow Germany to have up to 6 infantry to trade with next turn (3 infantry from Germany to Eastern Europe, 1 infantry from Southern Europe to Balkans, 2 infantry from retreating).  This would allow Germany to use cheap infantry with air to trade territories without committing valuable tanks - or only committing valuable tanks in case of a valuable target.

    I would say that although Germany got more hits than normal at Ukraine, it was actually unlucky in doing so.  True, if Germany did not capture Ukraine, a Russian tank would escape.  But by retreating from Ukraine, Germany could save five or six tanks, four from simply retreating, and one or two more by not having to commit them to territories where they could be destroyed when trying to capture territory.  A small advantage, but small advantages add up.

    Next was the German battleship vs UK destroyer at Anglo-Egypt.  The German battleship got a hit, then the UK destroyer got a hit.  Battleship won, healed up.  Germany had perhaps a 15-20% chance of failing that battle.  I forget the exact numbers.

    Next was the German fighter and bomber vs UK cruiser at Gibraltar.  The Axis got a hit on the first round, the cruiser missed.  A fairly decent turn of dice for the Axis.

    The German submarine sank the UK transport automatically.

    The Germans hit Anglo-Egypt with 2 infantry, 1 artillery, 1 tank, and 1 fighter.  UK defended with infantry, tank, and fighter.  This was best saved for the last battle, as the results of the German naval battle against the cruiser at Gibraltar would affect Germany’s decisions at Anglo-Egypt.  Particularly if the UK cruiser survived at Gibraltar, the German battleship would probably be destroyed by Gibraltar cruiser, Indian Ocean fighter, and London bomber.  But if the UK cruiser was destroyed at Gibraltar (which it was), the Germans would probably best assign high priority to claiming Anglo-Egypt (not merely clearing it of units).  If the Germans did NOT control Anglo-Egypt at the end of the German turn, UK would control the Suez Canal allowing passage from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean.  That would allow UK’s India cruiser to hit the German battleship, along with the fighter from the Indian Ocean and the UK bomber from London, for a high probability attack on the German battleship that would minimally risk UK air.  Russia could back it up, but I won’t get into that.

    On the first round of fire, Germany got 1 hit.  This was pretty bad; Germany’s expected to get about 2 hits.  UK got 1 hit in return (1 or 2 hits is average).  Again, the first round of combat in dice ends up being very important!  Germany’s second round scored one more hit (again, really not particularly good, Germany could have expected about 2 hits again even after losing its infantry on the first round).  UK got two hits (only expecting one this time).  This left the survivors as 1 German tank 1 German fighter vs 1 UK fighter.  Not very good, but a bit of luck by the Axis could still make things come out all right.  The next round of fire by the Germans got no hits, while UK got a hit with its fighter.  Again, lousy luck by the Germans, and good luck by the Allies in a small but very important battle.  At this point I suggested that Germany drop its fighter.  I don’t think my opponent needed that advice; I’d played my opponent enough to know that he probably knew darn well that I would kill his German battleship and transport if the Suez was left open.  So he dropped the fighter and continued attacking.  Sadly, the German tank missed, and the UK fighter survived.  The expected result is that the Germans should keep a tank and a fighter, perhaps an artillery as well.  This was a major upset.  On top of the Russia Ukraine dice, this was just really not cool.  However, my opponent entirely refrained from complaints.  I think the awful dice had drawn comments from both of us at this point, though.

    The early battles affect the development of the game by a lot, and the Allies had had really good luck and the Axis really bad to this point.

    Noncombat movement:  Ended with 3 infantry 2 tanks 1 bomber 1 AA gun on Western Europe, 1 infantry  2 tanks 2 fighters 1 AA gun on Eastern Europe, 2 infantry 1 tank on Karelia (infantry via the Baltic transport, which remained in the Baltic), destroyer to sea zone 3 northwest of Norway (blocking the UK battleship/transport from dropping units to attack Karelia; note the 2 Eastern Europe fighters and German bomber also discouraged UK from even dropping early reinforcements to Archangel as UK battleship/transport could be sunk), 2 infantry 4 tanks on Ukraine.  Belorussia controlled by Germany, but empty of units (but Russia had no tank on West Russia to blitz Belorussia with).  2 subs at sea zone 7 northwest of Western Europe.  German battleship/transport at sea zone 15 immediately north of Anglo-Egypt.  Southern Europe, Balkans, and Norway also controlled by Germany but completely empty.

    Moving the AA gun to Eastern Europe was a good idea.  You have to do it early if you want to do it, and it can help defense quite a bit.  I in particular hesitate before subjecting any air to AA gun fire.  The UK bomber probably has more to worry about on UK1 than bombing Southern Europe even with no AA gun on it.  (It’s usually better to even destroy a 3 IPC infantry that’s at a forward position than to do 1 to 6 points of damage to a factory that may or may not even be used.)

    Having only 1 infantry on Eastern Europe and/or Balkans, considering that Russia could attack ALL of Karelia, Belorussia, and Ukraine with decent odds, was something that I would not have done.  If I HAD gone defensive with Germany, I would probably have left tanks on Western Europe and sent infantry to Eastern Europe.  The tanks could catch up with the infantry later.

    Germany placed 8 infantry 2 tanks on Berlin, and 2 infantry on Southern Europe.

    Usually, I try to leave 2 infantry on Southern Europe just in case, for the German battleship and transport.  They can move to Balkans (not as good as Eastern Europe, but usable to trade Ukraine just the same the next round), or move to Western Europe freeing tanks to head east next round.  Depending on the situation, I might or might not also place a tank, to drop to Africa to blitz with.  However, in this case I can’t say leaving Southern Europe empty of a tank was a mistake.  If I did not destroy the German battleship and transport immediately (remembering that I could hit it with a cruiser, 2 fighters, and a bomber), it could escape to the safety of a G2 carrier build.  If I destroyed the German battleship immediately, why bother putting a tank at Southern Europe that could better be placed at Berlin to threaten Karelia?

    Next up:  Bunnies stops speculating for the moment on what the Axis player may or may not have thought and examines his thought processes (or lack thereof) on the UK1 turn!  BE THERE to catch the next THRILLING adventure in this serial of suspense!

  • UK1 (UK’s first turn)

    Looking at the board, I figured both Russia and Germany were going to be losing valuable units on the R2/G2 trades, but that given Germany’s 10 infantry 2 tank build, that Russia would have a bit of time before Germany could really exploit Russia’s lack of units.  (A three territory R1 attack depletes Russia’s units because it doesn’t have great superiority of numbers.  For example, imagine four tanks attacking four tanks.  In the end, it will be very close.  But eight tanks attacking four tanks will leave the attacker with about six tanks, because the attacker will often destroy everything in the first couple rounds of fire, while the defender can only inflict a very limited number of casualties.)

    In the same way, attacking one or two territories gives Russia reduced casualties while inflicting greater numbers of casualties due to greater numbers of Russians attacking at each territory.  This, opposed to Russia attacking three territories and spreading its numerical superiority very thin, suffering greater casualties.

    Since I didn’t have to race desperately with UK to save Russia, what attacks could I make that would be of best effect?  Western Europe had valuable German air on it, but had enough defense that attacking it was very high risk.  Karelia was impossible because of the German destroyer blocking the UK transport; besides, 2 German fighters and a bomber could hit the UK battleship if it headed that way (or blow up a lone UK transport).  Algeria was empty, but the most the Allies could put there would be 1 UK battleship, 1 Russian sub, and 1 UK cruiser; Germany could hit that with 3 subs, 2 fighters, and a bomber.  So I decided to take Norway with infantry and artillery.  With a build of 2 UK destroyers and a carrier, that would leave Germany able to hit the the Allied fleet of 2 destroyers, 1 carrier, 1 Russian sub, battleship, and two fighters with 3 German subs, 2 fighters and a bomber - not very good odds.  (I knew that any sort of fleet I built would need at least 1 carrier to carry fighters for defensive power, and at least 1 destroyer to chase German subs out of the Atlantic.  I usually preferred a second destroyer so if I sent the first destroyer on chase duty, the second destroyer could escort the fleet.

    It’s often better to get tanks in Europe as soon as possible, to blitz through Europe down towards Africa and other parts, but I figured Africa would be all right without the German battleship and transport mucking things up down there.  So I dropped inf/art to Norway.

    Although a long time has probably started between your reading the first post and this point, in game, maybe 10-15 minutes tops had passed.  I was still raring to go and very impatient to push some sort of outcome.  So instead of locking up control of Africa immediately with the India transport and India infantry, and/or moving a carrier into the Mediterranean, I decided to be extremely aggressive, and send the cruiser to support an amphibious assault on Borneo.  Taking Borneo puts Japan out a good bit of income (4 IPCs), and Japan will probably want to think about retaking it.  If Japan retook it, that would be far less pressure on Buryatia, and might even allow Russia’s threat of 6 infantry 1 fighter vs Manchuria to end up in something nice for Russia.

    I used the India fighter, the Anglo-Egypt fighter, and the UK bomber on the German battleship.

    I also sent 2 infantry from Australia via Australia transport to New Guinea.  New Guinea is very inconvenient for Japan to reach; if UK takes control of it, it usually maintains control for a long time.  Plus, Japan will be pressured to destroy the UK transport before it can make any more trouble, locking up J1 fleet and/or air moves.

    I sent the India carrier to attack the Japanese transport at Kwangtung.  If the Japanese transport at Kwangtung is not destroyed, Japan can send 6 ground including 1 artillery and 1 tank, plus air, plus a battleship support shot, against Buryatia.  Buryatia would almost certainly have been destroyed by Japan if I had not destroyed the Kwangtung transport; even destroying the Kwangtung transport was no guarantee Buryatia would survive.

    UK attacks:

    UK fighter from London vs German transport at Baltic
    Anglo-Egypt fighter, India Ocean fighter, London bomber vs German battleship and transport
    2 infantry vs 1 infantry at New Guinea
    2 infantry and 1 cruiser support shot vs 1 infantry at Borneo
    UK battleship vs German destroyer.  (I should have sent a UK fighter from London, but I forgot)
    UK infantry and artillery into unoccupied Norway (amphibious assault dependent on UK battleship vs destroyer above)
    UK carrier vs Japan Kwangtung transport

    All of these were do or die attacks, except the UK battleship/transport attacking the German destroyer, and the subsequent UK drop to Norway.  You can’t retreat from amphibious assaults, and only the most incredibly bad luck would force me to retreat from the German battleship battle (supposing there to be only 1 UK bomber remaining and the German battleship having taken no hits, that would be the only possible and very unlikely scenario for retreat).  Since that was extremely unlikely, though, and since all the battles did not depend on that battle’s outcome, I took the combats in no particular order.

    Combat results:

    UK fighter vs German Baltic transport auto success
    2 fighters 1 bomber vs German battleship and transport, UK got 2 hits first round, Germany got 1 hit.
    2 infantry vs 1 infantry at New Guinea, UK got 1 hit first round, Japan missed.

    2 infantry 1 cruiser support shot vs 1 infantry at Borneo, UK missed cruiser shot and 2 infantry attacks, Japan hit, then UK missed with its 1 remaining infantry, then Japan hit.

    1 battleship vs 1 destroyer northwest of Norway, UK missed, and I kicked myself for not sending the UK fighter in as well.  German destroyer missed.  Next round, UK battleship hit, German destroyer hit.

    Carrier vs Japan transport at Kwangtung auto success.

    Noncombat moves:

    Sent 1 fighter from London to Moscow, 1 fighter from Baltic sea zone to the UK battleship sea zone, where it would land on the new UK carrier.  I sent the UK bomber to TransJordan, and the Persia infantry to India, joined by the surviving fighter from the German battleship battle.  I moved the sub from Australia to the sea zone northwest of Australia to threaten the French Indochina sea zone.  This could discourage Japan from landing units at French Indochina, which is a crucial territory for early Japan development into India and towards Caucasus.

    After placement, there were 1 infantry 1 tank on London ready for transport, 1 battleship, 2 destroyers, 1 carrier, and 1 fighter northwest of Norway (could be attacked by 3 subs 2 fighters 1 bomber, but with a Russian sub, already fairly safe, with a US fighter from Eastern US would be even more so).  1 infantry 1 tank were on Eastern Canada (a mistake, considering the UK build and placement, there was no chance for the UK units to go anywhere useful, in which case they would have better been at Western Canada to counter any Japanese attack on Alaska or reinforce Western US in case of threatened invasion later.  1 infantry 1 artillery on Norway; these would likely be fairly safe especially if Russia recaptured Karelia.  1 infantry at Union of South Africa that I should have moved to Kenya; there was no reason not to except I was thinking of dinner at the time a bit.  1 infantry 1 bomber on TransJordan, which was vulnerable to 2 Japanese fighters, another probable mistake, but I was deliberately pushing for a fast end, so had reinforced India with an infantry and fighter that could have secured TransJordan (and incidentally have given UK an excellent counter to a German invasion of Anglo-Egypt on G2.)  2 infantry 1 fighter 1 AA gun on India (Japan could take it with some little effort, but divert from China and Buryatia to do so, and risk valuable Japanese air, very possibly still too aggressive on my part).  UK carrier at Kwangtung.  UK transport and cruiser at Borneo.  UK transport at New Guinea.  2 UK infantry on New Guinea.  1 infantry at Australia, 1 infantry at New Guinea, 1 sub northwest of Australia in attack range of French Indochina.

    Tricks that were lined up:  (things that may not be immediately noticeable to new players)

    If Japan does NOT sink the UK carrier, UK can hit the sea zone east of Japan with 1 carrier, 2 fighters, and 1 bomber.  It could even hit with an additional sub if UK had moved its Australia sub differently.  (However, I usually threaten French Indochina, because the US sub can’t threaten any J1 moves there before J2 moves it away, while UK can hit a J1 transport there before it can escape on J2.)  I’ll elaborate on why this is important in my comments on Japan’s turn.

    Leaving either the Borneo cruiser/transport or the New Guinea transport alive would allow UK to threaten Borneo on UK2.  Destroying the Borneo cruiser/transport would still allow UK to move the New Guinea infantry to somewhere more inconvenient for Japan, such as India, or even attacking French Indochina.  Along with the air power UK has in the area, it’s a very real threat.

  • Genius.

  • How long is this J1 taking!!!:-)

  • @Advosan:

    How long is this J1 taking!!!:-)

    Don’t question Master Windu’s wisdom… we’ll see J1 when he thinks we are prepared 😉

  • J1 (Japan’s first turn):

    The Story So Far:  Our Hero Bunnies playing the Allies decided on a reckless Norway/West Russia/Ukraine attack and lucked out big time in Ukraine.  The Axis player built 10 infantry 2 tanks with Germany so couldn’t immediately exploit Russia’s lack of units (lack relative to a Ukraine/West Russia attack), and had awful luck in two small but important battles, particularly Anglo-Egypt, restricting Germany’s income, and Belorussia, which allowed Bunnies to dodge a potentially nasty German take and hold of Ukraine.  (But note that if the German player HAD gone super aggressive with an 8 tank build, there were pitfalls along that path as well). Bunnies decided to play very aggressively with UK and made some noncombat move mistakes with UK, but successfully exploited Germany’s poor dice at Anglo-Egypt.  Once again, it is the Axis player’s turn, and since Bunnies was not Axis, we are engaging in speculation as to What Might Have Been, What Should Have Been, before going into What Actually Happened.

    Looking at the board, Germany was in pretty bad position thanks to spectacularly bad dice, and with UK having whacked the German battleship/transport, that position was probably only going to get worse with Germany locked out of Africa income. UK had been careless, but the openings might not be particularly easy to exploit with all the high priority targets.  Germany had produced 10 infantry 2 tanks and was pursuing a defensive trading strategy, rather than trying to slam tanks into Caucasus/Russia ASAP.

    The first question Japan had to ask itself was whether it could exploit any existing openings.  Specifically, were there any particularly vulnerable targets?  Were there any territories that Japanese fighters could fly to to inconvenience the Allies?  The answers were yes and no respectively.  India was potentially vulnerable, but taking it would risk a lot of Japanese air and there was a Russian counter.  Trans-Jordan was in range and could yield a valuable UK bomber.  As far as using Japanese fighters to reinforce German territories, up to 1 Japanese fighter could reach Ukraine, which would bring its defense to 2 infantry 4 tanks 1 fighter.  However, Russia could potentially ignore Karelia and Belorussia to hit Ukraine with up to 12 dice, many of them tanks and fighters.  12 attackers hitting 7 defenders is not a good trade; even if most of the defenders are mid (defending at 3s) and high (defending at 4s) dice.  Russia could even chance to hit Ukraine with slightly less, choosing to strafe Ukraine and retreat to West Russia.

    At any rate, committing the Japanese fighter to Ukraine would not yield a decisive advantage.  Russia had a lot to counter with, and Germany did not have a build that could immediately pressure Russia.

    The second question Japan had to ask itself were what threats could be incoming.  Russian control of Buryatia could be a problem as it left the US with a sub and fighter attack to the sea zone east of Japan (the importance of which I will get to in a moment).  UK had a carrier in the area and had moved its fighters so if the UK carrier were left alone, and Buryatia left alone, UK could hit the sea zone east of Japan with up to 1 carrier 2 fighter 1 bomber.  UK also threatened the French Indochina sea zone with 1 sub, 1 fighter, and 1 bomber.  There were UK transports at New Guinea and Borneo that could be a problem for Borneo later on (Borneo being inconvenient for the Japanese to get to), and a UK cruiser at Borneo that also threatened both the sea zones east of Japan and at French Indochina.    The US fleet at Hawaii could be a serious threat to a Japanese fleet east of Japan, and the US fighter on China could hit any transports west of Japan and/or be used to trade valuable territory later on.  (Without the US fighter, the 2 US infantry in Sinkiang aren’t much of an attack threat).  Finally, UK had 2 infantry 1 fighter and 1 bomber in range of French Indochina, and Russia had 6 infantry 1 fighter in range of Manchuria.

    All of these potential threats were immediate and could not be dealt with by buying a few cheap units with Japan.  But some threats could be neutralized by neutralizing other threats.  For example, taking Buryatia would not only eliminate the Russian threat to Manchuria, it would also eliminate most of the serious threats to the sea zone east of Japan, since Buryatia would be eliminated as an Allied landing zone.

    As an experienced player, I figured that none of these threats was particularly a problem for Japan.  In particular, UK had failed to take Borneo, and UK had not flown the India fighter to Buryatia.  UK control of Borneo is a big chunk of Japan’s income, and would normally be considered a high priority retake target.  A fighter on Buryatia would make taking it super expensive.  (Normally the India fighter cannot be used to hit the Kwangtung transport and to fly to Buryatia, because it is needed to retake Anglo-Egypt.  In this particular game, and reflecting on the situation, I think I would usually have used the UK India cruiser against the German battleship, used the India fighter to hit the Kwangtung transport, landing on Buryatia.  The Anglo-Egypt fighter could have landed on the India carrier east of Kenya, and India infantry could have been used to lock up UK control of Africa.  Of course, I didn’t do all that because I was playing very aggressively.

    Since there were no pressing issues that demanded unusual attention (there were some issues, but nothing particularly a problem that couldn’t be dealt with by existing forces), the third question was what strategy to pursue?

    Japan has two strategies.  Strategy one is building two industrial complexes immediately and pumping tanks like crazy, combined with a super attack into China.  This would pressure Russia quickly, but would limit Japan’s ability to trade Africa later on, and would be very expensive in terms of units traded.  (Russia could trade cheap infantry and artillery for Japanese tanks).  Strategy two is building transports to grab Japanese infantry off the islands, and to pressure Africa later on.

    The strategies can be mixed up a bit, by producing a few infantry early on at the industrial complexes and building a transport with the IPCs saved, or building a destroyer along with the transports to fend off Allied sub attacks.  But either greatly cuts the efficacy of the strategies.

    Looking at the board situation, if Germany HAD hit Russia and been lucky, and had built 8 tanks on G1, a Japanese double industrial complex build with subsequent tank builds would have put a lot of early pressure on Russia, allowing Japan to claim territory uncontested and possibly pushing Russia back into Moscow quickly, forcing abandonment of Caucasus.  But Germany did NOT build 8 tanks on G1; it went conservatively and built 10 infantry 2 tanks, and had poor luck on its eastern front, allowing Russia to counter and slow its development in Europe even more.

    If Germany had built 8 tanks and had been lucky, then a Japanese strategy of double industrial complex and tank build would have been the right thing to do.  But Germany didn’t build 8 tanks, and wasn’t lucky in its counters.  Still, early pressure on Moscow could be useful.

    Still, Germany had lost its Mediterranean fleet, and had only two units in Africa that would quickly be overrun.  The Allies would be getting fat off income from Africa, which could be a problem, as UK would be able to use those IPCs to build artillery and tanks instead of simply infantry for its transports to drop off.  Artillery and tanks add a lot of power to a UK ground attack.

    So in this situation – Germany without the ability to reinforce Africa and with only 2 German units there, and Germany not being able to sustain any sort of quick and powerful attack towards Caucasus and Russia – I think I would have used either a transport build or a transport/IC build on J1, but definitely not a double industrial complex build.

    To Be Continued!  Same Bunny Time!  Same Bunny Channel!

  • J1 (Japan’s first turn): (speculation continues)

    For a new player – what are the important sea zones around Japan?  If you put units west of Japan, they’re generally safer, but from there, can only pick up units from Japan itself.  Even there, you have to watch out for, say, Russia taking control of Manchuria, and UK hitting the sea zone west of Japan and landing in Manchuria, or the US fighter from China.  If you put units east of Japan, they’re usually in attack range of subs as well as some air, but from there you can take infantry from Phillipines, Wake, and Okinawa.  (Typical would be to take 1 transport from the sea zone east of Japan, move to Wake and pick up 1 infantry, then move back to Japan and pick up another infantry, or an artillery or tank, and offload into Buryatia).

    I think in this situation I would have done something like 2 fighters from East Indies carrier vs infantry/bomber at TransJordan, East Indies battleship versus Borneo, Japanese sub, cruiser, Caroline Islands fighter, and bomber vs US fleet at Hawaii, and Japan battleship vs UK carrier at Kwangtung.  I would have sent 1 infantry 1 fighter from Manchuria, 3 infantry from Kwangtung, and the Japan fighter to China.  You will typically want to hit China with at least two air units and 4-5 infantry in a dice game; any less risks taking extremely heavy losses.

    This would leave free the French Indochina fighter and 2 infantry, the transport from the sea zone east of Japan, and the carrier from Caroline Islands, as well as 1 infantry from Manchuria.  What threats have not been addressed?  Buryatia, meaning both that the Russians could threaten invasion of Manchuria and threaten the sea zone east of Japan with more power.

    How could Buryatia be addressed?  With Japan’s power spread so thin, at least one other attack would have to be given up.  Just how much would have to be given up?  The most that could be brought in on Buryatia would be 3 infantry 1 tank 4 fighters 1 bomber.  Even then, there would be a fair chance for Japan to win with only 1 tank and its air, or only its air, surviving.  Considering the Russian threat to Manchuria, would it be a worthwhile tradeoff?

    Let’s consider the other attacks.

    The US fleet at Hawaiian Islands is one of the major threats to Japanese shipping.  From the carrier, a US fighter could hit the sea zone west of Japan.  Also, an additional 2 units and a potential safe landing zone would bring the minimal threat to Japanese shipping east of Japan to 1 sub 1 carrier 3 fighters.  That’s a LOT to deal with.

    The China fighter gives the US infantry in Sinkiang some early bite, so can be very inconvenient to early Japanese plans in Asia.  (Specifically, say Japan moves 1 infantry into Sinkiang.  If US can counterattack with 1 infantry 1 fighter, it has a good chance to destroy the Japanese infantry and gain 2 IPC from the territory.  But if US has no fighter, it would have to send both infantry, and even then its odds aren’t great.  Even if US did send both infantry, they would both be destroyed by the Japanese counter, ending the US threat later on.  Could the task be delegated to Russia?  Russia has its hands full with fighting the Germans, but it could still hit a lone Japanese infantry at Sinkiang, to protect Kazakh and Novosibirsk if nothing else.  But if Russia hit Sinkiang and captured it, the Allies would never collect income from that territory.  It would be after the US collection phase, and Japan could reclaim Sinkiang before the next US collection phase came around.  Again, 2 IPCs seems trivial, but it can and does make a real difference.

    Considering that those attacks are considered fairly important, that leaves just a few units left unassigned.  The East Indies fighters could lend their power to the China attack, but destroying the UK units on TransJordan would both eliminate them as a counterattack force to Anglo-Egypt, and would destroy a valuable UK bomber that could pressure Germany.

    Why commit the Japanese battleships to fighting the Borneo UK cruiser and Kwangtung UK carrier, respectively?

    Find out in our next EXCITING INSTALLMENT!

  • J1 (Japan’s first turn): (speculation continues again)

    The UK Borneo carrier/transport and UK transport at New Guinea (with the 2 UK infantry on New Guinea) could either help UK in India, or attack Borneo.  So Japan would best destroy those units, or at the least park a battleship at Borneo to prevent UK from attacking it (and in doing so destroying the units on Borneo).

    But leaving the UK carrier alone would allow UK to hit the Japanese battleship at Borneo with sub/carrier/fighter.  Losing the Japanese battleship would mean a lot more difficulty in hitting targets like French Madagascar (island southeast of Africa), Hawaiian Islands, Australia, New Zealand, and Alaska, as Allied subs ran around.

    So to protect Borneo, a Japanese battleship is desired; to protect that battleship, the UK carrier is attacked by the other Japanese battleship.

    What of the attacks that were NOT considered?

    India is the one juicy bone left unconsidered.  But taking India would require a serious commitment of power, and would risk a lot of Japanese air, first because of the AA gun, then because Japan only would have 2 infantry to soak up the hits from 2 infantry and a fighter.  If UK had build an industrial complex on India, and Russia didn’t have a counter to India, then India would be a high priority target.  But all India’s doing at the moment is threatening French Indochina, a temporary inconvenience.

    Furthermore, using the East Indies fighters and the French Indochina infantry and fighter against China would mean leaving the UK bomber alive.  As already mentioned, the Buryatia attack is off for the moment.  But leaving Buryatia and the UK bomber alive would allow UK bomber to hit the sea zone at French Indochina, or at Kwangtung, or east of Japan.  Given the other considered Japan moves, this would not be a problem; with a Japanese battleship at Kwangtung, a lone UK bomber would have poor odds, and the sea zone at French Indochina was left unguarded anyways.  Nor would a lone bomber have a lot of hitting power to the sea zone east of Japan (although it would have to be remembered).

    The other juicy bone left unconsidered is the UK transport at New Guinea.  With that transport, UK could move units to India next turn, posing a serious invasion threat to French Indochina.  But using a fighter on the UK transport would mean giving up an attack on TransJordan.  Hitting TransJordan would allow Germany to gain IPCs from Africa, which would both increase Germany’s power to defend and cut into UK’s power to attack.

    With all that said, we’re starting to get a picture of the speculation I would have formed for the Japanese turn.  Along with a transport build, the picture would look something like this:

    Since the Buryatia stack will not be hit, US can hit the sea zone east of Japan with 1 sub 1 fighter.  UK will be able to follow up with a bomber but NOT a sub (very important).  This assumes the Japanese attack on the UK carrier will be successful.  However, if the Japanese attack on the UK carrier fails (say Japan gets a miss and UK gets a hit), the Japanese battleship could retreat to the sea zone east of Japan.  This would leave UK with an additional threat of carrier and 2 fighters, but would mean the US sub/fighter threat would be much less important.

    The Japanese attack on Borneo may or may not want to retreat depending on the results of the TransJordan battle and the Kwangtung carrier battle.  If TransJordan fails, UK will have a bomber and a sub to hit the Japanese battleship with.  If the Kwangtung carrier battle fails, though, UK will be able to obliterate the Japanese battleship with ease.

    Japan wants to build transports in the sea zone east of Japan, but will have to deal with threats, particularly the ones dependent on the UK carrier at Kwangtung and the US sub/fighter attack.  The US could potentially hit with a lot more depending on whether or not the Japanese attack on the Hawaiian Islands fleet was successful or not.  Supposing the Japanese attack on Pearl to go very badly, Japan might want to consider a contingency plan for building units west of Japan for safety, but there it could be hit by the China fighter were that battle to go badly, and the US fighter from Hawaii were both carrier and fighter to survive there.  The UK bomber would also be able to hit following a Russian capture of Manchuria, giving UK a safe landing zone.

    But the odds of the Hawaiian Islands fleet attack failing is very low, considering the forces committed.  The attack on China is also unlikely to fail, even if China cannot be captured, the US fighter on China will almost certainly be destroyed.

    So Japan’s build will not leave a safety factor in case one or more of its naval battles goes poorly.

    What of the land defense situation?

    A fortified Manchuria would come at the expense of an attack into China.  Russia could still hit a fairly well defended Manchuria, at the expense of a Russian fighter after the J2 counter into Buryatia and/or China.  But Russia does not have to hit Manchuria, it could just pull back.  In that case, if Japan did not hit China, both US and Russian fighters would have escaped.

    So we will allow Russia to invade Manchuria, but we will leave 1 infantry there.  If Russia sends its fighter to hit Manchuria, the J2 counter will wipe it.  If Russia sends 2 infantry to capture Manchuria, it does not have particularly good odds (decent), but not good.  Russia could send 3 or more infantry to capture Manchuria, but regardless, whatever units Russia leaves on Buryatia and Manchuria will easily be recaptured by Japan next turn (barring extreme dice allowing the Allies to destroy all the Japanese transports).  That would mean killing however many Russian infantry stuck around, and no reduced Japanese income (since they recapture Manchuria and capture Buryatia anyways).  True, Japan would probably hit a slight snag in a smoothly running transport operation into Asia, but the tradeoff to Russia would be however many infantry lost to 3 IPCs in the bank.

    Leaving Manchuria unguarded would allow Russia to just march 1 infantry in with no problem.  Then the gain would be 3 IPCs in the Russian bank in exchange for light positional pressure on Japan’s logistics into Asia, plus at least a 33% shot to kill a Japanese infantry, a clear win for the Russians.

    The situation in French Indochina against invasion from India is similar, but there UK has enough air movement to hit and run.  Furthermore, early UK income often means additional transports to pressure Germany faster with.  Defending French Indochina with just 1 infantry would allow UK to hit with air and 1 infantry for a high probability capture.  But if French Indochina was defending with 1 infantry 1 fighter, UK could send 2 infantry 1 fighter to try to kill the Japanese fighter; even 1 infantry 2 fighters defending could see UK making a play for two Jap fighters instead.  Probably the best thing to do, then, would be to defend with at least 2 infantry 1 fighter, which is why the infantry at French Indochina are left idle – they are being used for defense.  This DOES mean China is a higher risk battle, particularly with a Japanese infantry staying out of the fight at Manchuria.

    The fighter from Japan will only have 1 movement left, so will land on French Indochina.

    With Japan hitting TransJordan with 2 fighters, there is a question of the UK counter.  Suppose Japan loses a fighter, or even both fighters.  UK has 2 fighters in range of the Japanese carrier, and since the Japanese carrier is not adjacent to any friendly territories, any fighters on the carrier would have to be destroyed first.  So UK could hit a Japanese/1 fighter fleet with 2 fighters, and force Japan to lose the fighter first.  Or, UK could attack an undefended carrier and try to sink it.  This is why the French Indochina fighter was not used.  The French Indochina fighter is the closest fighter, but even it cannot participate in any combats and also reinforce the Japanese carrier if need be.

    Finally, we look at the sea zone east of Japan.  All the other Allied counters to Japan’s J1 moves can only be answered with existing Japanese forces.  But any threatened Allied attack to the sea zone east of Japan can be met with new Japanese builds.
    Of the fighters that Japan has, the fighter starting on Manchuria that will hit China has range to get to the sea zone east of Japan, as does the fighter from Caroline Islands that hits the Hawaiian Islands fleet.  The French Indochina fighter could also reach, but it may have to be used to land on the Japanese carrier at the TransJordan attack.  Both fighters are fairly safe; even if the China attack goes badly, the fighter from Tokyo could be taken as a casualty, leaving the Manchuria fighter free to fly back to the sea zone east of Japan, then French Indochina could be abandoned if necessary (or perhaps the French Indochina could be left on French Indochina).  If the Hawaiian Islands attack goes badly, there’s still a sub and cruiser and bomber that can be destroyed first.  This fleet can be joined by the Japanese carrier from Caroline Islands for a moderately powerful defensive fleet.

    Considering all this, the most likely outcome is that US will be able to hit the sea zone east of Japan with sub/fighter, and UK will have no follow-up.  If US attacks with a sub, and Japan has no destroyer, then the Japanese fighters will not be able to defend, so it will be a US sub against a Japanese carrier with a lot of Japanese transports on the line.

    So Japan will have to build at least one destroyer.

    A defensive fleet of 1 destroyer 1 carrier 2 fighters will probably be able to fend off an attack from 1 sub 1 fighter, particularly if the carrier is taken as a casualty first in case of a sub hit, and Japanese fighters are taken as casualties in case of a US fighter hit.  The worst case scenario would then require TransJordan to fail, then for the US sub to get an early hit, forcing Japan to sink the destroyer in the hopes that the Japanese would inflict at least two this to destroy both US sub and US fighter (but even then, the odds would be with Japan).  If the Japs only got one hit, the US could continue its sub attack to destroy the AC then and Japanese transports.  (If the Japs sank the carrier first, then the Jap fighters would have to land at the end of combat, leaving just 1 Japanese destroyer defending the Japanese transports at best.  That would leave UK with 60% odds to destroy the Japanese destroyer and the Japanese transports and land safely on Buryatia.

    But this chain of events is sufficiently unlikely that I would not worry about it too much.

    For the rest of the build, I would anticipate winning at Kwangtung, allowing me to use the Japanese transport to move units from Philllipine Islands to Kwangtung.  This would leave me with 6 units on Japan and 2 on Wake and Okinawa.  The Japanese transport ending the turn at Kwangtung would take 2 units from Japan to the Asian coast, leaving 4 on Japan and 2 on Wake and Okinawa.

    After a destroyer build, Japan would have 22 IPC left, enough for 3 transports.  Those three transports could be used to move 2 units from Japan to French Indochina next turn (to help defend against an anticipated 4 infantry plus assorted air UK attack on UK3), and to pick up Wake and Okinawa infantry to offload into Buryatia along with 2 more ground from Japan.  Early infantry to the Asian coast mean early pressure against Russia.

    So I would build 1 destroyer 3 transports, and perform combat moves as described.

    What actually happened, though, was rather different!

    In our next exciting installment!  What the Axis player ACTUALLY did!

  • J1 (Japan’s first turn): (actual move)

    Japan purchased 2 destroyers 2 transports.

    Sub/cruiser/fighter/bomber vs US Hawaiian fleet of sub, carrier, fighter.
    Battleship/carrier vs UK cruiser and transport at Borneo
    Fighter vs UK transport at New Guinea
    2 Manchuria infantry, 3 Kwangtung infantry, French Indochina fighter, Manchuria fighter, East Indies fighter, Tokyo fighter vs US 2 infantry and 1 fighter at China
    Battleship and carrier vs UK carrier at Kwangtung

    Instead of targeting the vulnerable UK bomber, Japan decided to whack out the Borneo/New Guinea threat, leaving 2 UK infantry stranded on New Guinea.  The additional fighters were used to increase the odds on the China battle, which would leave Japan with a powerful force to hit into Sinkiang (5 infantry 4 fighters is a LOT more deadly than 4 infantry 2 fighters that I proposed).  Otherwise, Japan had taken care of almost all the potential threats I mentioned earlier, although its defense for the sea zone east of Japan would be rather weak, depending only on 2 destroyers.  (As it turned out, Japan ended up placing its build WEST, not east of Japan.  After Russia took Manchuria leaving UK with a legal landing zone, it would have been 1 UK bomber vs 2 Japan destroyers with a prize of 2 Japanese transports as a bonus if the UK bomber survived.  This is a pretty poor odds battle, and is almost certainly what the Axis player planned when purchasing the 2 Japanese destroyers in the first place.

    Combat Results:

    Japan used 1 submarine 1 cruiser 1 fighter 1 bomber to hit the US fleet of sub/carrier/fighter at Hawaiian Islands.  At this point, I knew the Japan build, and was salivating over a chance at hitting the sea zone east of Japan with sub/fighter and following up with a UK bomber to annihilate 2 Japanese transports.  But I wouldn’t get to do that unless I submerged my US sub, so I submerged it.

    Unless Japan attacks with almost nothing, it’s usually best for US to submerge at Hawaii.  Sub/cruiser/fighter/bomber is probably enough to wipe out the US fleet if they stand and fight, while taking perhaps at most two to three casualties in return, given really great dice from US.  If Japan attacked with 1 sub and 1 fighter, I think I would perhaps stand and fight, though.

    Japan hit with the sub, killing the US carrier before it could fight back.  Japan got two more hits between the rest of its attack force.  The US fighter missed.  So this was lucky for Japan, but it was not particularly important.  If the Japanese sub and cruiser both die, that hardly inconveniences Japan’s progress in Asia, where the income is.  Even losing an air unit doesn’t slow Japan a lot.

    That is, Allies had fantastic luck at the important battles and Axis had lousy luck at the important battles so far.  Getting great luck at a relatively unimportant battle was not even close to decent compensation.  But it’s what we had to work with.

    Japan used 1 battleship 1 carrier to attack at Borneo, probably using the carrier as fodder in case of extreme UK luck.  Both carrier and battleship hit, and the UK cruiser gave up without doing anything in return.  (Even if it had hit, it wouldn’t have mattered in the slightest).

    Japan wiped out the UK transport at New Guinea automatically.

    Japan attacked China with 5 infantry 4 fighters against 2 infantry 1 fighter.  China got three hits on the first round, killing all defenders.  US missed everything.  China had a stack of 5 infantry on China, which usually ends up being a Serious Problem.  Going after the UK bomber as I proposed with 2 Jap fighters would probably have ended in Japan perhaps taking China with 1-2 infantry, not nearly as much of a problem for Russia to deal with.

    Japan sent a battleship and carrier to hit the UK carrier off Kwangtung too.  They got one hit on the first round, and the carrier sank without inflicting a hit.

    On noncombat, Japan moved a Tokyo tank and a Phillipines island infantry to Kwangtung.  The surviving fighter from the Hawaiian Islands battle landed on Wake (this is why you usually don’t pick up the Wake Islands infantry, so US doesn’t have an easy shot on a Japan fighter with its battleship/transport from Western US)

    At the end of the turn, after placement, Japan had 2 destroyers 2 transports west of Japan, 4 infantry 1 artillery 1 bomber 1 AA gun on Japan, China with 5 infantry, 2 infantry 4 fighters on French Indochina, infantry and tank at Kwangtung (threatening 2 infantry 1 tank and mass air to India next turn).  There were a sub and cruiser at Hawaii, a battleship, carrier, fighter, and transport off Kwangtung, a battleship and empty carrier off Borneo.  Manchuria was open, ready for Russia to walk into.

    With two destroyers built, Japan was ready to fend off Allied sub harassment, and with 5 ground on Tokyo and 1 on Phillipines, Japan was ready to use the Kwangtung transport to pick up a Phillipines Islands infantry and move to the sea zone east of Japan on J2 to take Buryatia, using the four ground on Tokyo and 2 transports east of Japan either to drop to Buryatia, Manchuria, Soviet Far East, Kwangtung, of French Indochina as appropriate.  That is, Japan was all set with a plan to fill up all its transports to capacity.

    Not what I would have done, but definitely not bad, and very possibly superior (except possibly the Russian walk in to Manchuria which I am unsure about).  Japan had a strong force in China ready to make a serious threat into Russia very quickly, and had shut down the New Guinea UK transport threat.  (If Japan had just parked at Borneo, UK could have still used the New Guinea transport to reinforce India or attack French Indochina; if Japan had killed the transport at New Guinea with a battleship, UK could have hit with sub/cruiser/bomber to try to kill some valuable Japanese ships).  Maybe if I were pursuing a similar strategy, I would have parked a battleship/carrier/1-2 fighters at New Guinea , but leaving the UK cruiser and transport alone would just have meant Japan would have to hunt them down later (or at least that Germany might have to deal with them, particularly with UK controlling the Suez canal.)

    Japan collected 31 IPCs, ending its turn.

    In our next exciting installment!  Bunnies thoughts as he plans the US/Russian turns!  More hare-brained exploits await!

  • US1:  A March Hare (a pun on the March Hare from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as well as of a bunny marching to war, and tied in to the closing “hare-brained” reference from the last post.  Ain’t I cute.)

    The Story So Far:  Russia went Norway/West Russia/Ukraine and lucked out like mad.  Germany could have had a fairly vicious counter, but got lousy dice, and also failed Anglo-Egypt miserably due to more awful dice.  UK blew up the German battleship and transport.  Japan could have moved to grant Germany continued access to Africa IPCs but didn’t, instead choosing to make a powerful early push towards Moscow.

    As US, I had to plan ahead both for both US and Russia; as they go right after one another, so there’s nothing the Axis can do to stop a planned US and Russian move.  (As opposed to, say, Germany depending on Japanese moves, which could be disrupted by UK, or UK depending on Russia moves, which could be disrupted by Germany.

    Also, I had to make a few plans as far as what the likely German, UK, and Japanese moves would be.  I’d have to look at the board to see what US and Russia could do, what positions they could set up, the risks involved in doing so, and what immediate positions I could take advantage of with either US or Russia.  Then, I’d have to plan a long range strategy based on existing board position, and build appropriately.

    First, I looked at Japan.  Did the US want to go KJF (Kill Japan First)?  The key here was to look at Japanese battleships, carriers, fighters, and bombers, as well as other Japanese fleet.  Japan’s navy and air is what can push US off.  If Japan’s navy was or could be horribly weakened somehow, US could consider an attack on the Pacific.

    Looking at the situation, though, none of US, Russia, or UK could really do anything of importance.  There was 1 Japanese fighter on Wake that could potentially be destroyed, but at poor odds considering it was protected by an infantry.  The Japanese cruiser at Hawaiian Islands could be destroyed, but at a decent chance of losing the US sub in return, and thus the ability to harass Japan.

    So really, at best, Japan would have a force of 2 battleships 2 carriers, 2 destroyers, 1 sub, 6 fighters, and 1 bomber, without building a thing.  US had at the moment 1 battleship and 1 sub in the area, plus up to three fighters and a bomber.  Counting battleships as 2 hits, that would be a Japanese force of 16 hits against a US force of 7 hits.  I mean, seriously now.  At an income of 40 IPC (US starts with 42, but with Sinkiang and China lost pretty quickly, it hovers around 40), that would perhaps be enough for a carrier, 2 destroyers and another fighter, bringing the US to 11 hits.  Sadly Japan still would overwhelm the US 17 to 11.

    Building 7 subs with US would bring its hits up faster, to `4 hits against 17 hits, but most of Japan’s hits would be of higher quality (3s and 4s), plus it had destroyers to fend off subs, plus subs are lousy defenders that additionally can’t hit air.  If US grouped its subs together, a single Japanese destroyer with mass air could kill lots of them, trading a single Japanese destroyer for four or five US subs at a time.  If US spread its subs out, Japan could still snipe them out with destroyers, and US would not be able to concentrate its forces to threaten multiple sea zones.  (If you spread US subs out, then you could focus on surrounding a single sea zone, but then Japan could just run away from the attacked sea zone to a sea zone that most of the subs couldn’t hit.)

    Finally, building subs wouldn’t help protect US transports, and it’s taking Japan’s island income away, killing its navy, pushing it out of Asia, and restricting Japan to the island of Japan itself that really define a KJF.

    Given that Japan could build cheap subs to keep the US fleet away, while maintaining a flow of units into Asia, I decided not to go KJF.  Instead, I would try to push on Europe, along with UK and Russia.

    The first thing I looked for was a safe US landing zone at Archangel.  Bringing the US bomber to Archangel is usually very handy.  With that, I will take a break from comments from THIS game and introduce a Bunny Reference Guide!  (On hunting the Germans out of Africa, specifically trying to target the German battleship/transport early)

    Why depart from the game commentary, but mention this German battleship/transport hunt plan?  Because you will have to worry about the German battleship/transport in most games.  Usually, UK does not luck out like mad at Anglo-Egypt.

    (next up – Bunnies lays aside comments on actually planning the US1 turn for speculation on what US1 might have had to plan to do!)  Think of it as one of those episodes in which the protagonist visits alternate realities of What Might Have Been.)

    US1 (speculation on what MIGHT have happened, but totally did NOT happen this game)

    If you’re going KGF (Kill Germany First), you want to keep UK’s income high so it can build transports and escorts.  After that, you will still want UK’s income high so it can produce artillery and tanks to hit Germany with.  But more importantly, you want to restrict Germany’s income.  Every IPC Germany has is a bit more it can build infantry with, and Germany taking in income from Africa is extremely difficult to stop, with it pumping mad amounts of infantry from Berlin and Rome.

    So one of the high priority targets for early game is the German battleship and transport.

    How can you whack it, and how fast?

    R1 build of sub/fighter threatens Germans landing at Anglo-Egypt.  Doing so saps Russia of ground units, leaving it potentially vulnerable to a heavy tank build.  Caucasus must be held with Russian fighters on it to threaten sea zones up to Southern Europe, in case the German battleship stays south of Southern Europe/north of Libya.  Even if Russia attacks and destroys the German battleship, its ability to trade territory in Europe will suffer as Russia is potentially forced to commit valuable tanks to trade territory.

    UK1 can destroy the Germans landing at Anglo-Egypt with UK fighter from Indian Ocean and UK bomber from London, followed up by a Russian fighter from Caucasus (or as from Moscow if willing to land in TransJordan, probably only best if Russia sent infantry to Persia on R1 and/or has tanks on Caucasus, to prevent Germany from hitting that pile with mass air.  But the UK fighter/bomber attack could easily fail, leaving UK two valuable air units down with the German battleship left intact.  With the German battleship left intact, the Russians would almost certainly find a one or even two fighter attack on the German battleship/transport to be bad news.  Again, Russian fighters are valuable, but building more can leave Russia vulnerable to a heavy German tank build.

    UK2 can destroy the German battleship by using a slightly elaborate plan of flying 1-2 UK fighters to West Russia (depending on how its attack on the German destroyer goes), and bomber to points within Russia.  The Indian Ocean fighter can be used to help retake Anglo-Egypt, and land on the Indian Ocean carrier southeast of Africa, to the east of Kenya.  If the Germans drop to Anglo-Egypt/TransJordan on G2, UK2 can destroy the German battleship with 2-3 fighters and a bomber, a fairly safe battle that will probably only lose 1 UK fighter, 2 UK fighters at the worst.  But this is only if Germany drops to Anglo-Egypt/TransJordan on G2.  (Hobbes used this cuteness on me, after which I was ever wary for it.)

    US2 can destroy the German battleship by sending a US bomber to Archangel, and flying 2 fighters to a UK carrier northwest or southwest of London.  (one US fighter from Eastern US, one US fighter from Western US).  On UK2, the UK carrier can move to Algeria, leaving US fighters able to hit much of the Mediterranean, as well as the US bomber from Archangel, which can land in Caucasus.

    Between the UK2 and US2 plans, the German battleship can be destroyed before G3 rolls around unless Germany does something clever.  If the Germans hit Anglo-Egypt / Trans-Jordan on G2, 2-3 UK fighters and a bomber can hit, with UK fighters landing on the car rier.  If the Germans do not hit Anglo-Egypt/Trans-Jordan on G2 and stay at Southern Europe, US fighters and the US bomber can threaten 2 fighters 1 US bomber, with additional US fighters flying in on noncombat to the UK carrier if need be to protect the Allied fleet.

    Wouldn’t leaving the UK carrier northwest or southwest of London mean giving up a UK1 attack into Europe?  (Assuming the UK player doesn’t want to sacrifice transports, and wants to keep its fleet together).  The answer is no.  UK will probably not be able to attack or reinforce Europe anyways.

    Typically you’ll see Germany hitting the UK battleship with sub/fighter/bomber and destroying the UK cruiser at Gibraltar with air, leaving UK with no defensive fleet to work with.  The Russian sub may still be alive.  But with German subs from the Baltic coming west of France, Germany will usually have something like 1 fighter 1 bomber on Norway, 2 fighters on France, and 1 fighter on Libya (in Africa), plus of course the subs.

    If UK decides to invade Norway, the defense will at best be 1 sub 2 destroyers 1 carrier 2 fighters, for 6 hits.  Germany, though, will have 2 subs, 3 fighters, and 1 bomber to attack with, possibly even 2 subs 4 fighters 1 bomber.

    If Germany does decide to attack, Germany has a fair number of fodder subs that it can lose.  Germany will have an advantage in attack, with both superior numbers and higher dice on the attack, as well as sub strikes in case the UK destroyers are lost soon.  True, Germany may lose some very valuable air on the attack, and Germany doesn’t have much to gain with only a single UK transport at stake.  But if Germany gets lucky, it may destroy a few Allied air units, and destroy the destroyers and carrier before retreating.  UK would then have to build another destroyer (for air fodder against the still powerful German air) and carrier (to hold fighters), meaning more delay in building transports, taking pressure off Germany.

    Moving the UK fleet northwest or southwest of London, though, will leave the UK fleet out of range of either the German fighters on Norway or the German fighters on Western Europe.  This reduces the danger of the German attack on the fleet.  Even though UK may not be able to drop to Europe early, it preserves its power to potentially land much harder on UK2, especially since the German subs will have to run from the Atlantic or be destroyed by UK destroyers and air (after which UK can build new destroyers to protect its fleet, supposing a UK2 drop to Norway).

    In case Germany builds a few bombers and has good luck in the Atlantic and with its German air, UK may be better off building no navy at all, saving IPCs for a gigantic fleet drop on UK2.  This can be joined by the US1 fleet build for a formidable navy that can then move together to threaten targets.  Although the Allies are slower to get to Europe in that case, Germany can’t threaten a take and hold as easily against Russia (although the bombers allow Germany to trade territories very efficiently)

    Once the German battleship and transport are destroyed, the Allies will want to destroy the German forces in Africa.  After the Allies have landed at Algeria, US (better US than UK, as US needs lots of transports anyways; UK moving to Africa is seriously inconvenient as it removes UK transports from the picture that could otherwise be moving units every turn to Europe.  Each single UK transport can move two ground to Europe each turn.  Two US transports are needed for the same job, one moving two ground from Eastern Canada to London each turn, another moving two ground from London to Europe each turn.)

    But even for US, moving units to the south of Africa is very inconvenient.  Transports sent there are not able to threaten Western or Southern Europe, and take a full two turns to get to a position from which they can be used to transport units from Eastern Canada to Africa (or from London to Western Europe).  Still, if Germany is in Africa, and the Axis aren’t pressuring Russia enough to force the Allies to run to Europe early, it is best to try to restrict Axis income from Africa, particularly in a KGF (Kill Germany First) plan.  Every IPC the Germans have is more infantry they can build, which makes it much more difficult for the Allies to make real progress.

    How can Germany counter all this?

    Germany could capture Gibraltar on G1.  Or, Germany could build a carrier and possibly a transport in the Mediterranean.  There are disadvantages and advantages to both.  The advantages, of course, being that Germany keeps its battleship alive.  The disadvantage being giving up African income as Germany runs to Gibraltar and allowing the UK Anglo-Egypt units to live (very inconvenient), or buying an expensive carrier and possibly transport.

    Even with a Mediterranean carrier build on G1, Germany can only dump a maximum of four units to Africa a turn.  US can easily dump eight to ten units.  Meanwhile, Germany will have a harder time pressuring Europe, with so many IPCs spent on fleet instead of ground units.  The lack of pressure may allow the US to transport units to the south of Africa.

    But even then, with two German transports, Germany can control the Suez very quickly and easily, allowing a Japanese battleship and carrier to move through the Suez to further protect the German fleet.  In the event that Japan moves a lot of fleet into the Mediterranean, US could make a lot of trouble with a few subs built at Western US.  (A Japanese destroyer close to Western US, plus two fighters on a Japanese carrier threaten newly built US subs, but Japan may not be easily able to keep fighters on a carrier east of Japan when the battles in Asia move into the interior near Moscow.

    At the same time, though, a lot of Japanese fleet could severely disrupt Allied landings at Algeria, particularly with Japanese air in the area.  But the Allies could just switch to Europe drops instead.

    What’s the verdict?  I’d say a Mediterranean AC build is a defensive build for Germany aimed at maintaining African income, although it could be useful for trading Balkans and Caucasus later.  I haven’t analyzed it to the point that I consider it a bad risk (like I do a Russian Norway/West Russia/Ukraine attack in dice).

    So ends the speculation for what MIGHT have been.  Back to what Bunnies ACTUALLY thought, in our next exciting installment!

  • US1 (Back to What Bunnies Actually Thought, rather than What Bunnies Might Have Thought Had The Game Gone Rather Differently)

    How Does Bunnies Find The Time To Write All This?

    Ninety plus words a minute typing speed, and very little editing.  Were I to make this a professional presentation, it would probably be shorter and funnier, with an accompanying technical manual with extensive index.  That sort of editing would require going back and thinking about things, and being more thorough, and editing for clarity and conciseness.  Although I like to think I’m decent at organization, and decent at writing, somehow combining the two into one time-efficient package evades me.  So welcome to my stream of consciousness writing.  Bunnies P Wrath . . . stream of consciousness . . . hm . . .

    What about the time?  Got a laptop, and I ride instead of driving myself around.  So . . . bwa ha!

    When Our Hero had last left off, he was looking at the board and thinking about what US and Russia would do together, as well as the general shape the game would take.  Allies were going to try to KGF (Kill Germany First), Germany had lousy dice in the opening and the Allies were in position to severely limit Germany’s income in Africa.  The question was how to make it all work.

    Looking at the board –

    Fortifying Sinkiang in Asia probably wouldn’t work what with all the Japanese fighters around to lend those 5 infantry in China hitting power.  Even with a stack of Russian tanks it still wouldn’t look good.

    I wanted to fly a bomber to Archangel, because it’s useful to trade territory along with the 2 US infantry that would be retreating from Sinkiang.  If the Japs sent a lot of infantry to Sinkiang, 2 infantry 1 bomber couldn’t do much to stop it, but maybe the Russians could destroy the whole stack.  If the Japs just sent 1 infantry in, I could use 1 infantry 1 bomber for a high probability recapture of Sinkiang, gaining income and denying the Japanese the opportunity to use the Japanese infantry on Sinkiang to attack into Kazakh or Novosibirsk next turn.

    If Russia had not fortified Buryatia on its turn, Japan would have far less to worry about.  But also, Russia would have had 2 infantry on Novosibirsk and 3-4 on Yakut at the end of R1.  That would mean on R2 we might see as many as 5 Russian infantry there, ready to trade a stack of infantry with Japan.  This is why Russia may often choose to run from the Asian coast; the infantry that run are ready to fight against Japan in Sinkiang later, and besides, a stack of infantry on the Asian coast can’t do much on R2.  (As it was, I didn’t run; I stacked Buryatia.)

    I knew Russia would have to think about that fat stack of Japanese infantry pretty quick, and that Buryatia stack wasn’t going to be in a position to do much.  Furthermore, if I wanted to counter quickly, I’d have to think about it immediately.  Moving cheap infantry to Novosibirsk would have to be done immediately on R2, so if on J2 Japan moved in force to Sinkiang, I could counter with the cheap infantry, perhaps some tanks, and fighters.

    As it was, I decided to ignore Japan’s progress in Asia for the moment to focus on Germany.  So even before I made the purchases on the US turn, I knew that Russia was going to build mostly tanks to pressure Germany.

    That decided, was it feasible to land a US fighter on Archangel?  Leaving Karelia in German hands would mean that Germany could hit Archangel with air and tanks and perhaps a couple Karelia infantry.  But I figured I had 4 infantry on Moscow.  If things went very poorly at Karelia, I could move up 4 infantry and an AA gun and hope for the best, as Germany sent its expensive air and tanks to Archangel.  Doing that would risk Germany instead going for West Russia, and preventing Russian access to Belorussia IPCs on the next turn.  (Again, it’s only 2 IPCs there, but every little bit really makes a big difference.)  Still, I would be able to get a bomber to Europe, making the 2 US infantry a threat, that much sooner.  I decided to go ahead and fly a US bomber to Archangel, to try to hit Karelia, Belorussia, and Ukraine, and hope for a lot of luck.

    Japan did not have two fighters on a carrier at Hawaiian Islands.  So US could run its battleship and transport towards Panama without needing to join the US destroyer there.  I moved the US infantry from Western US to Panama on the US transport. (If Japan did have two fighters on a carrier, US might want to either risk the 2 Japanese fighters, or leave the US destroyer at Panama there to help protect the US battleship.  Japan might risk the fighters were the US battleship and transport left unprotected; that would be a lot less pressure for Germany to deal with, would strand 2 US infantry on Panama, and would also kill a US transport that US would have to buy.  (It isn’t an “extra” transport; I usually want around 8 transports with US very quickly, so it’s a transport that I didn’t want to have to buy).

    Why move infantry to Panama?  Because that frees them to move to Brazil on US2, via the sea zone northeast of Brazil.  Why move them to Brazil on US2?  Unless Germany had a couple bombers on Western Europe or a Mediterranean carrier, a US2 battleship north of Brazil would be pretty safe.  From there, it could drop units to the south of Africa on US3 without having to worry about any light Japanese or German threats, or it could move to Western Europe on US3 to threaten a bigger drop there.  In contrast, moving the battleship/transport to Eastern US at the end of US2 would only allow the US3 battleship/transport to hit Algeria.  Much slower and less efficient.

    With the US destroyer freed, I could send it to Eastern US immediately for a threatened US2 landing on Algeria.  The planned US fleet was 1 destroyer 1 cruiser 1 carrier 2 fighters.  This was very light, but again, I was playing extremely aggressively and taking a lot of chances, just because I felt like doing so.  Considering this might have to stand up to 2 subs 4 fighters 1 bomber, for 7 attack dice, and considering that were the German sub northeast of Canada to move to the sea zone west of Algeria and get a hit, I might be down to 1 destroyer 1 carrier 2 fighters; 4 defense dice against 7 attack dice!  Even with the addition of a Russian sub, the odds would still be wretched, with a stack of US transports as the prize.  UK was NOT in a position to reinforce US at the sea zone west of Algeria.  If Germany stacked Western Europe, US would be on its own.

    Could I prevent Germany from stacking Western Europe?  Typically Germany can be discouraged by a threatened UK landing to Germany.  But UK had only one transport.  Just a few infantry and a stack of fighters could have kept the US away.

    Still, I went with a minimal fleet.  With the German units in Africa probably dead very soon, a quick US landing was not, I thought, essential, especially since there was a good chanced that were Germany to move into Anglo-Egypt, I could use the UK Trans-Jordan infantry along with assorted UK air to try to whack them before they caused any damage.  Besides, I could probably in the worst case move the US fleet to the sea zone northeast of East Canada on US2.  The German subs probably wouldn’t be in range after having been chased away or destroyed by the Allied destroyers, and a lone German bomber on Western Europe wouldn’t be a problem.  (since Germany hadn’t built any bombers on G1, it wouldn’t be able to have any but its starting bomber on Western Europe on G2).

    The rest of the US income went towards transports and units to put on the transports.

    US built 1 carrier, 2 transports, 2 tanks, and 1 infantry.  Usually I build a lot of infantry and/or artillery, setting up a situation in which US has more than its transports can move around.  The extra ground units move to Eastern Canada, then the US transports start offloading from Eastern Canada to Algeria every turn, or moving from Eastern Canada to London, as the case may be.  But in this game, I was pushing the envelope.  I wanted a lot of tanks in case Japan decided to get cute in Africa, and tanks were something that I could use to aggressively push around Europe, and I was all about the rabid attacks this game.

    At the end of the turn after placement, my units looked like this:

    Infantry on Midway and Hawaiian Islands.  Too much bother to retrieve.  US sub at Hawaiian islands.  I “attacked the Japanese sub and cruiser there, but submerged immediately.  I could have destroyed some Japanese hardware, especially using the Hawaiian Islands fighter, but taking a hit would mean losing the US ability to harass Japanese shipping, or losing a valuable US fighter, and I wasn’t going to do either.  Nor was I going to move closer to Japan, considering its destroyers west of Japan; sneaking closer would just get the US sub blown up by Japanese destroyer, sub, and cruiser.  I used the US sub to exert pressure from the east, and the UK sub to exert pressure from the south.  Neither were anything to worry about, but they were inconveniences that would force Japan to stay aware.

    Just losing the US and UK subs quickly means Japan can send its fleet through the Suez Canal, from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean.  Lone Japanese transports can go to Caroline Islands and Solomon Islands to pick up infantry.  They could also start screwing around with Australia, New Guinea (which UK had captured), New Zealand, French Madagascar – basically, the Allied subs couldn’t kill anything if Japan stayed defensive, but doing so locked up Japan’s fleet.  Using a 6 IPC sub to affect the movement of a 20 IPC battleship is good news.  Making Japan want to build 8 IPC destroyers is good too.

    Infantry from Alaska and fighter from Hawaiian Islands in Western Canada.  An infantry in Alaska doesn’t do much; if Japan tries to land on Alaska, it will bring at least 2 ground units and kill a lone infantry anyways.  From Western Canada, though, it could move to Eastern Canada, which is where most US transports would be trying to pick up and drop off from.  The Hawaii fighter couldn’t get to any more useful places; from Western Canada, it could at least reach London next turn if need be, or various sea zones, including the sea zone west of Algeria.  Western USA had 1 AA gun on it (for no reason, usually I move the AA gun up towards Western Canada).

    Battleship, transport, and 2 infantry at Panama.

    2 US infantry at Kazakh.  1 US bomber at Archangel (unprotected at the moment).  The infantry wouldn’t survive if left at Sinkiang, and would inflict almost no casualties in return to the Japanese.  Kazakh is closer to Persia and Caucasus, where the US infantry might be of some use.  Novosibirsk is pretty useless.  Usually if Japan lands in east Asia, they have power to spare; a couple US infantry probably couldn’t do much of anything.  Japan usually can’t take Persia with a lot very early, and at Caucasus, US could watch for an opportunity to hit Germany.

    At Eastern US, 4 infantry, 2 artillery, 3 tanks, 1 AA gun, 4 transports, 1 cruiser, 1 destroyer, 1 carrier, 1 fighter.

    On UK carrier northeast of London, 1 US fighter.  Before the US fighter landed, Germany could try for a lucky shot on the UK fleet.  After the US fighter landed, Germany would need a LOT of luck to whack the UK fleet.  They probably wouldn’t even try.

    America collected 40 IPCs and ended its turn.

    In our next thrilling episode!  Bunnies charges in with Russia again and gets suspiciously lucky dice results again!  As ROUND TWO starts, Russian tanks ROAR INTO ACTION!  (rahhrr!)

  • I reckon I will let this go a while though eh.  Lotta reading.

    Maybe I’ll write a nice short focused series for beginning players.

    Someday . . .  :roll:

  • '12

    Impressive, in particular as it was done sans editing.  With your US builds you mention “US built 1 carrier, 2 transports, 2 tanks, and 1 infantry”, of course you meant artillery, gotta hate it even with 90 wpm your fingers lag your mind as you were thinking about what you usually build.

    It almost a pity that this scenario started out in a generally atypical state after R1.  If you were to do a tutorial then perhaps laying out a typical, perhaps a poor choice of words, an idealized game with more statistically average dice rolls.  Of course when the first dice are rolled all planning often goes out the window and one should never lock into a plan.  There would be a combinatorical explosion if too much attention was given to statistically less likely scenarios so what to do?

    I’m having troubles getting TripleAA to work so as to review spring 42 games there and worse, the older games played here are gone.  Our local group is having a tough time against the ‘Fortress Europe’ strategy Hobbes outlined here.

    I feel bad for my Allied opponent, last night in game 1 of 2, the typical R1 2 attack into Wru and Urk 2 tanks each, the russians cleared Ukr with only 1 Ftr remaining the rest of the rolls were slight axis favoured up until the end of G1.  Game 2, Ukr was hit with 3 tanks in the usual R1 2-attack mode, great, he won with 3 tanks, inf and art.  Then next was Wru….in with 9 of 11 possible units, captured with 1 of 9 attacking pieces left.  I open with a 5 Inf 5 Tank build for G1 usually and generally follow Fortress Europe and while I am not in the top 25% I don’t make too many mistakes playing the Axis.  But I also don’t play the allies that well nor do my friends we don’t know what to do to beat how we play the Axis.

    I need to get over the learning curve of TripleA I guess and see what occurs there, but then so would all my friends in our local group, not going to happen too easily I am afraid. It was hard enough to get them to start visiting here, imagine that!

    Perhaps an emulation of how the games play out here including maps but keeping ‘dice rolls’ outside the statically unlikely range.

  • @MrMalachiCrunch:

    Our local group is having a tough time against the ‘Fortress Europe’ strategy Hobbes outlined here.

    I’ve seen ways of countering it…

  • '12

    Well I have yet to see people talking about requiring a bid for the allies so there is obviously something we are missing.

    I seem to be missing some map files or something for the tripleA software.  The files you guys have provided I can load, but then…… I try play and get a screen full of errors:

    I can load the file “HobbesMay0611.tsvg”

    The UI for TripleA says Game name World War II v4, game version 2.6, filename HobbesMay0611.tsvg

    The play command button is not active but quit is.  So…I can press Start Local Game and I see a list of 5 players and all Human so…I can now press Play and a text window pops up displaying:

    "ava.lang.IllegalStateException: Could not find file for map:World War II v4
    at games.strategy.triplea.ResourceLoader.getPaths(ResourceLoader.java:67)
    at games.strategy.triplea.ResourceLoader.getMapresourceLoader(ResourceLoader.java:33)
    at games.strategy.triplea.ui.UIContext.internalSetMapDir(UIContext.java:189)
    at games.strategy.triplea.ui.UIContext.setDefaltMapDir(UIContext.java:162)

    blah blah blah

    So, I am missing a map somebody said…tried googling for maps and ugh… tried a few and gave up without success.

    So what am I doing wrong?

  • @MrMalachiCrunch:

    Well I have yet to see people talking about requiring a bid for the allies so there is obviously something we are missing.

    Well if you guys want some pointers I can give them but it should be more fun to discover them for yourselves 🙂

    I seem to be missing some map files or something for the tripleA software.  The files you guys have provided I can load, but then…… I try play and get a screen full of errors:

    I can load the file “HobbesMay0611.tsvg”

    The UI for TripleA says Game name World War II v4, game version 2.6, filename HobbesMay0611.tsvg

    The play command button is not active but quit is.  So…I can press Start Local Game and I see a list of 5 players and all Human so…I can now press Play and a text window pops up displaying:

    "ava.lang.IllegalStateException: Could not find file for map:World War II v4
    at games.strategy.triplea.ResourceLoader.getPaths(ResourceLoader.java:67)
    at games.strategy.triplea.ResourceLoader.getMapresourceLoader(ResourceLoader.java:33)
    at games.strategy.triplea.ui.UIContext.internalSetMapDir(UIContext.java:189)
    at games.strategy.triplea.ui.UIContext.setDefaltMapDir(UIContext.java:162)

    blah blah blah

    So, I am missing a map somebody said…tried googling for maps and ugh… tried a few and gave up without success.

    So what am I doing wrong?

    When you start TripleA one of the options on the menu is: ‘Download Maps’. Click on it and then copy/paste the following url on the window and click List Games:

    When the map list appears, you’ll want World War II v4

    PS - You’ll need version to open the saved game. However that version has just been discontinued and replaced with but you may still download it.

  • '12

    Thanks for the help Hobbes.  This is not moving along easily.  So, I loaded the file, selected the map as per instructions.  Had to restart TripleA as per its instructions, now when it loads but before I touch the user interface I get another text box listing a few pages of errors:

    "Could not parse:jar:file:/C:/Users/Randy-Tv/triplea/maps/World%20War%20II%20v4.zip!/games/WW2v4%20Six%20Army%20Free%20For%20All%20v2.xml
    games.strategy.engine.data.GameParseException: No setter for attachment option. Setter:isAirTransportable Class:games.strategy.triplea.attatchments.UnitAttachment
    at games.strategy.engine.data.GameParser.setValues(GameParser.java:1181)
    at games.strategy.engine.data.GameParser.parseAttachments(GameParser.java:1101)
    at games.strategy.engine.data.GameParser.parse(GameParser.java:125)
    at games.strategy.engine.framework.ui.NewGameChooserEntry.<init>(NewGameChooserEntry.java:27)
    at games.strategy.engine.framework.ui.NewGameChooserModel.createEntry(NewGameChooserModel.java:163)

    I am running version 1.3.5, is that incompatible with:

    I see I need  to open saved games, but what about tripleA all by itself?

    We should probably fork this thread off……</init>

  • @MrMalachiCrunch:

    I am running version 1.3.5, is that incompatible with:

    I can’t find any version with that numbering. Can you confirm it?

    You actually should try to get first. Their lobby isn’t working at the moment but the lobby for has been closed today.

    You might be running a older game version that is conflicting with one of the new v4 scenarios for Looks that way from the error message. Are you sure you were running when you tried to load it?

  • '12

    I just recently installed the software, about 1 week ago. I start triplea via start menu and right away the error message list is displayed, the user interface shows Game Version 1.3.5.  I wonder if this is a newer version based on version numbers, perhaps a beta?

    Ah, the properties for triplea show it as 1_2_5_5, I wonder what the discrepancy is about?

    I see, the game version was for the version of the map the software was running,  by default the triplea software is using World War II Revised version 1.3.5 game to run, I can select one of 5 games under Choose Games

    World War II v4 is not an option, unless I goto download maps, select that site you mentioned and press list games and re-Install World War II v4, it says I have version 2.7 installed and to replace it with the same, so I press Yes.  It starts to download and…its stuck downloading for the last 5 minutes…OK, successfully installed, restart tripleA before playing so…OK,  Quit, Restart and list of errors along with the tripleA software running with the same 5 default games available to play…Ugh

    I used to write software that ran/runs on fortune 500 computers, I’m not the same since an accident but I should be able to get this to run.

  • Game Version 1.3.5. refers to the version of the scenario currently loaded

  • '12

    Thanks for pointing that out to me 🙂  So the newer version of the software works fine, didn’t have to download maps to get the V4 map but of course it won’t run those saved games.  The older version continues to have issues so I will uninstall it and reinstall it.

  • '12

    Well, I un-installed both versions of the software, deleted the folders, reinstalled and it works fine.  I then followed the listed instructions, downloaded maps, used:

    Selected World War II v4, it downloaded, installed fine, instructed me to restart the software and I did, and now I get the same errors again since I downloaded that map.  I guess i will have to ask in the forum at http://triplea.sourceforge.net/mywiki.

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