Italy Stomp Needs Attention in Alpha +3



  • Italy Stomp

    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.



  • I think Germany will most likely land some fighters for scrambling in the Med.  How would you combat this?



  • Even if the Axis put fighters in the Med to scramble it is not enough to save the side of the Italian fleet with 2 transports.  The UK can bring a carrier, cruiser, tac bomber, destroyer, 3 fighters to crush the Italian fleet.

    The real reason I put fighters in the Med as the Axis is to save the other side of the Italian fleet.  If you don’t at least put the fighters in the Med it might be possible to sink both sides of the fleet UK1.

    I put the fighters down there but I am not sure anymore that scrambling them is the best option.


  • Customizer

    Agreed that the German planes may not be enough, but it sure as hell is risky.  I believe the odds are 50%?

    PS - I still think Russia is the problem …



  • @jim010:

    Agreed that the German planes may not be enough, but it sure as hell is risky.  I believe the odds are 50%?

    PS - I still think Russia is the problem …

    Well you are probably right…  If Russia was weaker than stomping Italy might not be enough.  If Russia is made weaker than Germany might be able to get the victory cities in Russia quicker or could afford to send serious aid to save the Italian economy.  I think making Russia weaker would make the Allies have to think of more intelligent tactics and it just might balance the game.


  • Customizer

    That is my thought as well.



  • Frank,

    Couldn’t agree more! I’m a big believer in a KGF strategy w/the Allies while crushing Italy first and reinforcing Hawaii. I’ve found the same thing w/my play test group. Check out our standard US Turn 1 moves, which is pretty much our standard US Turn 1 moves now…

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=23530.15





  • @Commando:

    Frank,

    Couldn’t agree more! I’m a big believer in a KGF strategy w/the Allies while crushing Italy first and reinforcing Hawaii. I’ve found the same thing w/my play test group. Check out our standard US Turn 1 moves, which is pretty much our standard US Turn 1 moves now…

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=23530.15

    I agree that with going kill KGF as an excellent strategy while stomping Italy and reinforcing Hawaii.  The standard US Turn buys you made are similar to the ones my gaming group makes.  Honestly no one in our group really wins a game anymore when the Allies head for the Alantic first.  By reinforcing Hawaii the Allies make it so Japan can still take it but that they must chosse between that and expanding their economy.

    @Commando Brado,

    A lot of people are saying a weaker Russia would balance the game.  Do you think this would do the trick.  I think it would at least go a long way.



  • @Frank:

    A lot of people are saying a weaker Russia would balance the game.  Do you think this would do the trick.  I think it would at least go a long way.

    I still don’t see how people can claim a weaker Russia would balance the game.
    The problem is still not killing Russia, but killing Russia “fast enough”. By making the game faster (weaker would all things equal mean faster kill), you do not balance it - you just remove any other need than going after Russia fast for the win.

    The key to this strategy is actually very much in tune the strategy of going full Pacific (as per Jennifer’s posts) and therefore only substantiates the claims from that strategy.
    And that is that a (near) 100% involvement by the (combined) USA is enough to turn over the power balance for either side of the map fast enough that neither Axis board-side can win. Axis just need to be contained for Allies to win.

    A weaker Russia would kill off this game IMO. The issue with a combined USA is the key IMO.



  • I am not a big fan of forcing the USA player to spend a certain amount in each theater.  I think this would create a whole host of problems.

    If the Allies are made weaker in Europe or the Axis stronger I think it could do a lot for the game.



  • I don’t think making the US spend a certain amount of IPC’s in one theater solves the problem. The US can always move units from one theater to the other. They can do this faster by building an NB in Smx or Panama. By doing this US units can go from Hawaii to Gib in two turns. Or, go from SZ62 to Gib or Haw in one turn.

    Frank - I agree w/you. I think making the Axis stronger or Russia a little weaker helps balance the game. Most people would agree A&A Anniversary Edition is a very balanced game. However, most players still bid to see who played the Axis. The bid was usually 6 to 8 IPC’s. I’m not sure what the magic number is for A&A Global 1940 but I’m seeing the agreement that most players feel the Allies are a little too strong.

    I’d still like to see what happens when you the US comes into the war on Turn 4, instead of Turn 3. I also want to see what happens when Germany goes to war against Russia on Turn 2 and builds a major IC in Rom. I think this would go a long ways to helping the Axis win. I think Sea Lion is a losing proposition for Germany against a competent UK player. Therefore Russia is the way to go. And Russia a little too strong to take before the Allies stomp Italy and make things sticky for Germany.



  • Sorry. Meant SZ64.



  • @Xandax:

    @Frank:

    A lot of people are saying a weaker Russia would balance the game.  Do you think this would do the trick.  I think it would at least go a long way.

    I still don’t see how people can claim a weaker Russia would balance the game.
    The problem is still not killing Russia, but killing Russia “fast enough”. By making the game faster (weaker would all things equal mean faster kill), you do not balance it - you just remove any other need than going after Russia fast for the win.

    The key to this strategy is actually very much in tune the strategy of going full Pacific (as per Jennifer’s posts) and therefore only substantiates the claims from that strategy.
    And that is that a (near) 100% involvement by the (combined) USA is enough to turn over the power balance for either side of the map fast enough that neither Axis board-side can win. Axis just need to be contained for Allies to win.

    A weaker Russia would kill off this game IMO. The issue with a combined USA is the key IMO.

    This is precisely the way I see it too. It’s already a race to Moscow beore the Allied industrial might becomes too much. Currently, if the Germans attack Russia on turn two, and focus on Moscow, they are most likely advancing on the city with one area per turn no matter what.

    The US income is calibrated for a divided effort, and if they focus on one side, they have the power to tip the scales with near 100% certainty. THAT is the reason for the race situation.

    In Alpha+2 the attempted fix is to allow the Axis to win the game by gaining a certain position in one of the two theatres. In other words to create a counter-race situation. If calibrated right this could force the US to commit significant forces to both theatres, as the Axis should be able to win easily if one theatre is neglected. This last bit is what seems***** to be broken, if Japanese victory can be prevented simply by sending a few fighters and infantry to Hawaii. I think it would be healthier to address that issue than to unbalance the Eastern front area even heavier towards the Axis.

    *****Now, I’m not saying it IS broken, as I haven’t played that many Global games myself, but it’s what I’m guessing based on the experiences you are posting here.

    I’m not sure how this could be fixed. Perhaps the seazone around Hawaii should be the Victory Area instead?  :?

    I don’t think making the US spend a certain amount of IPC’s in one theater solves the problem. The US can always move units from one theater to the other. They can do this faster by building an NB in Smx or Panama. By doing this US units can go from Hawaii to Gib in two turns. Or, go from SZ62 to Gib or Haw in one turn.

    I actually think splitting the US income would go pretty far towards fixing the issue. A two-turn delay in the arrival of units is huge. Also it is certainly easier to calibrate this solution right, than to balance the victory conditions perfectly.



  • If the US is forced to split it’s income their could come a time where it could haved saved the day at Hawaii or get much needed support to a victory city in Europe but it’s hands will have been tied because of polictial rules and the Axis will win.

    To be honest I don’t really want to win that way.  I respect your position but I do disagree with it.  I would love to see the Axis made a little stronger but I am actually feel pretty comfortable with the USA staying as is for the most part.


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