My gaming group has found in our games that the USA being used to neutralize Italy first is very effective and almost guarentees a win. This strategy does not require 100% early spending by the USA. The USA can still buy a fighter or so a turn to fly to Hawaii and use the transports its starts with to shuttle infantry to Hawaii. This insures that if Japan trys to counter the Italy Stomp by taking Hawaii that Japan will have to spend too many resources on taking it to expand their economy at the same time.
As part of the Italy Stomp the UK will almost always buy 9 infantry on the UK’s first turn. They will also not scrammble their fighters to protect their fleet on Germany’s first turn unless the German makes a mistake by undercommitting forces. Then the UK usually sinks the half of the Italian fleet that starts with 2 transports, a Battleship, and a Cruiser. Sometimes the Axis player scrambles 3 fighters from Rome to defend their fleet but it is not enough to save it and usually just results in 3 dead Axis planes. This setback is huge for Italy and gives the UK a big footup in Africa.
During all this time Russia probably buys mostly infantry and artillery to insure that it is going to take a very long time for Germany to crack their victory cities as well as be used to defend their economy. The 18 Russian infantry that start in the Pacific are really useful to attack Japan and divert attention if Japan does not leave a strong force on the border and pulls their men south to try and take India. The 18 Russian infantry are also useful if they come back to Moscow as well to help against Germany.
Meanwhile the USA is buying transports, fleet, fighters, and men before it can enter the war and pulling most of the Pacific fleet into the Alantic. It may leave a few blockers in the Pacific to slow Japan around Hawaii. Again the USA invests just enough with fighters and the starting transports to insure that taking Hawaii means that Japan will not also be able to secure the money islands early as well get extra needed land forces to Asia to deal with China.
If Japan wants to then expand its economy on it’s second turn it insures the USA will zoom to Gibraltar on it’s second turn and pressure the Axis. Once this happens it causes major problems for the African War Theater as well causing Germany to divert resources from Operation Barbarossa. By heading to Gilraltar first the USA can almost always manage to also clear German Subs from the Alantic (+5 points UK) as well as insure that the Russia will get i’ts five point bonus to use against Germany. The USA will also very quickly insure the Italy will lose a host of it’s bonuses as well I have found. When the US is at Gilbraltar with a major fleet Italy really has to try and keep major forces in Northern and Southern Italy. If it only defends its’s captial then the USA can sack Italy’s major factory and reduce it to a minor for when the Axis recapture it. Meanwhile the UK can use the valuable time the USA has bought them to secure Africa and the victory city of Cairo. Once this objective is achieved the UK can use it’s points to build it’s own fleet so that it can take over the heavy lifting from the USA in the Alantic. This will most likely result in the German’s losing Norway and thus much of their gains from Russia are neuralized.
At this point Japan probably needs to be payed attention to if played effectively by the Axis. From here the USA can focus it’s points on making sure Japan has no chance to win the game. It’s involvement in the Alantic should have left UK victorious in Africa and well as Italy’s econmy reducted to next to nothing. Operation Barbarossa was stalled because Germany has to invest points to defend Western Germany from being sacked. The UK should now have a fleet up and it probably getting 1 five point bonus, if not 2. Norway may or may not be in Allied hands at this point. From here on the Axis are looking at heavy US spending in the Pacific and a Germany that has to basically win the game in Europe by itself. My gaming group is finding it very hard to get an Axis win against the Italy Stomp.
We are finding that a Germany that always Sea Lion’s may be the only possible counter to the Italy stomp but even that has heavy consequences against a US that will be in the Alantic early and a Russia that will get pumped.
Some Ideas to consider
Considering Germany has to do so much for the Axis give them a bigger starting army to deal with the Allied IPC advantage. Perhaps some Infantry and tanks located away from the Russia front to start. These units could help soften German loses turn 1 or be put into position to help the German war effort G2.
Bringing back the Sicily Airbase. By doing this is it could save Italy’s Navy and allow it to be a more relevant factor.
Boost the defense factor of German Infantry on the Alantic Coast by 1 when being attacked. This could represent the fortified postions the Germans had in Normandy during the War. This would also allow the German’s to spend less points on defending it’s coast.