Re: Large Stacks: You see this a lot in games in which both Axis and Allies are controlled by conservative players of moderate to high skill. If one or the other player is aggressive, large stacks won’t form, and the game will end quickly as the battles are quickly resolved. If one or the other player is not at least moderately skilled, that player will make a mistake that the other player can exploit, which makes the game shorter (so large stacks don’t have time to build up).
Re: UK/US (and USSR) roles: This following comment is not directly relevant to earlier posts in this thread. If Germany holds a territory originally controlled by Russia, UK can attack and fail and retreat, then US can attack and fail and retreat, then Russia can attack. That is, the Allies have three chances to commit minimal force to attack a German-controlled Russian territory and take control of it by the time Russia collects income. On the other hand, if Japan holds a territory originally controlled by Russia, there are only two chances. If Japan holds a territory originally controlled by US, there is usually just one chance that has to be taken by the US.
If this wasn’t already an indicator that KGF is better for Allies, there’s the additional logistic advantage in going KGF. UK/US fleets in the north Atlantic can hit any number of territories with cheap infantry (plus support) from amphibious assaults. Allied forces in east Asia have almost no relative mobility because they’re stuck walking around instead of being offloaded from ships; the Japanese are the ones with the mobility advantage as the Japanese can offload to any number of key points (Buryatia and French Indochina being key), plus have the air power to turn a couple of infantry and a tank or two into a significant attack threat.
Re: “conventional wisdom” - the “conventional wisdom” behind KGF is to attack 3 vs 1; the Allies are delayed by having to build the naval infrastructure, but then have a logistic advantage with amphibious assaults that potentially lets them trade off at 1:1 or better. The delay is usually long enough for Japan to get quite large and nasty, which means the inevitable loss of Moscow. If the Allies do NOT trade off with Germany early, Germany can potentially have defensive stacks that get reinforced by Japanese fighters. Japan then tries to either grab Caucasus or Moscow while Berlin holds fast; if Berlin can hold for a few turns while the Japs control Caucasus or Moscow, the Axis probably win.
Re: low luck favoring Allies: Try to quantify that with an Axis bid if you would, please. 3 IPCs worth of units preplaced on the board / added to the bank? More?