The Allies playbook: Standard openers and suggestions for sequential rounds

  • TripleA

    Some have been requesting this from me for some time. Some have complained about my Japan strategy guide shifting games in favor of the axis. The two powerhouse axis countries kick off the game and as a result forming a strategy guide for the allies requires the axis to first put theirs on display. Currently G1 and J2 has a wide variation in approach.

    Here I will break down for you different responses.
    One common thing you will notice is that the allies need to be able to rotate to defend or attack key objectives.

    For example you may fly fighters in from sz 126, Persia, mid China, or Siberia to Russia. The point of entry depends on where you are free to allow yourself to ship units over.
    You have to react aggressively as the allies. Somewhere in your line of logic you need, “how can I shut down one of the axis so I can deal with the others?” For example if you shut down Italy and have extra fleet in the atlantic… take that to convoy him out of the game, then uk can turtle itself and get fighters or mech or whatever to help russia.

    Taking islands is a wise move vs Japan. Sometimes you got to just throw away transports to take islands, you have to start the exchange, you can only benefit from taking dutch islands (if he fails he loses that NO).
    Save italian Somaliland and Ethiopia for Russia whenever possible (along with tobruk if possible).

  • TripleA

    First we begin with the bid. Rules vary.

    5 and lower should be given to UK (infantry and 2 ipc left over etc), this gives UK a bit of flexibility for his first turn. Some prefer to put bid money in other spots, but this amount of money is generally low and having a country producing income and actively engaged in the long run is more beneficial than any short term gains you can make. The most vulnerable capital early in the game is London.

    You will buy the infantry to defend it anyway so why not feel a bit more secure?

    At bids 6-8 this is when people diverge.

    A destroyer or sub. Add to your Canada transport. This has a tendancy to draw or defeat two german subs and in this event you can transport an armor and an infantry to london if need be, if in most of your games two units sit in canada and do nothing… this is a good bid to compliment your strategy. Critics dislike the gambling or prefer another placement. SZ 111 generally has the same effect, germany will pull one of his two subs from the canada fleet to sz 110 and adjust his round 1 attacks accordingly.

    Naval in the med sea is generally advocated by die hard Taranto fans (sz 97 or bust, all day everyday).

    9-11. You can attack Korea round 1 with russia (mech and arty or arty and armor, assuming 1 unit per territory placement otherwise you would get two artillery).
    Fighter on scotland.
    Ground forces for Africa attacks (generally if I do this, I just put an artillery on anglo sudan and put the rest of the money for inf on scotland/london). Or any combination of earlier bids

    12-15. A bomber in amur can cheese sz 20, I generally don’t like bids this high for this reason. G1 can be made dicey with subs in sz 110 and 111 instead of going in with 80%+ odds you go in with 60-70% against full scrambles. Lots can be done with a bid this high, I recommend at least an inf for london and something for an attack somewhere.

  • TripleA

    OK. we will look at various Russia 1 openers first.

    First is KJF Russia opener.

    If I see that Germany is not setup to start barb round 2 or does not even look like he is prepared to rush my capital. I like to have fun in the pacific. The key to this strategy is coordinating your attacks and defense against japan with the rest of the allies as well as knowing when to bail out and get back to Europe (ie that moment when the allies no longer need you, because china can’t leave china so if china can hold his own with Japan, you should just leave.

    What you do is, declare war on japan then buy 4 mech 3 artillery 3 infantry. The artillery goes to novgorod and the infantry to ukraine. the mech goes to volgograd x3 and russia x1. Then you move your mech/armor to sikang/kazakh. When round 3 comes you will have 5 mech and 2 armor for yunnan or szechwan.

    **What you are doing there is simple: allowing china to make burma road income for +6 ipc. Sometimes you can hold yunnan as well, but that is only if uk pacific units can merge with China. Otherwise you can sit near yunnan and make it brutal for japan to hit with air.  **

    It is also fun if you already decided in your mind to go with a Japan first strategy before Japan even took his first turn. It can throw Japan players off their game if they are not used to dealing with extra ground forces coming at him.

    Also if you are not a big naval pacific guy and end up always having problems with Japan… a ground approach like this might be better suited for you. This compliments a more island hopping anzac/usa naval approach (Japan will have more ground to deal with than usual and you can compound his problem by taking islands even if Japan can just take it back). It also works well with a balanced by USA player, since you know you are getting help in Europe you can do what usa can’t do, which is mobilize ground forces inland for the Pacific.
    The Standard R1 is similar to this except your armor and mech goes to bryansk or belarus. I generally almost always buy 4 artillery/mech. Even if Germany kicks off G1 with mech/armor buy, being able to attack baltic states/karelia/vyborg is huge. 1) you have 5 inf stuck in novgorod already, which will have to retreat the archangel route away from your forces, which makes them an easy target and an incentive for germany to blitz around your backside for more income 2) Germany holding novgorod on turn 3 and producing units there on his turn 4 is more units you have to deal with sooner than later.

    Generally speaking you want a mech in turkmenistan to take east persia in the event Germany goes to war with you.

    The Caucasus infantry you can keep there if you plan on taking Iraq with Russia and eventually the Italian east africa spaces. This is a good long term plan, but for it to work you need to keep Russia in the game (so plan to assist Russia with more fighters from uk or usa or anzac than usual).

    If Germany starts the game with mech/armor buy, do not get fancy, just stop germany from taking moscow and Europe will be fine.

    My usual buy is 4 artillery rest infantry. 3 art nov, 1 art +2 inf ukraine and the rest in Russia. Adjust the setup in the picture accordingly.
    Note: the bomber was from a bid. Just ignore it.


  • TripleA

    reserved usa

    Going to list major tactics.

    1. Carrier surge. So round 1 you get your dd, sub, and variety of units. Round 2 continue this trend usually. Round 3 you buy as many carriers as you can. Round 4 buy fighters.

    Here is what happens. Your empty carriers sail out to Hawaii or Gibraltar. Then the fighters you just place will catch up to them the turn after. (next to london or japan sea zone). This is carrier surging.

    1. skirmish fleet a good consistent mix of sub dd carrier and fighters… mix in a few transports here n there. As long as you get 3 dds a turn, you can always block Japan’s naval from attacking you and have an island hop trend going… generally speaking with skirmish fleets attacking Japan is easier than defending against Japan that is why. Skirmish fleet may be needed if Germany wants to convoy UK or if you need to sink Italy or something.

    The exact unit composition is not specific.

    The bare minimal atlantic fleet is just enough to sink germany or italy if they try to convoy UK…  Other people contest that you also need 1-4 transports to just get units to africa or to donate to UK to load infantry and drop off untis… that is bare minimal atlantic.
    ~You may be curious how do you save Russia or what to do after Russia dies… well you hope to solve the Japan problem without losing India… you also hope that india can produce enough units to act as a second Russian country… ideally you want to handle Japan soon enough to fly fighters into Russia.

    Bare minimal pacific is just matching Japan’s income for some. For others it is just matching Japan’s naval purchases. For others it is a constantly changing variable.

    Now that you establish what the minimal amount of stuff you want in each theater, you pick a direction. Generally people go hard in the pacific… after all there are cash islands you can permanently hold that are away from Japan’s capital, which makes it a bit easier in some aspects. In the atlantic, you can threaten italy and west germany… while threatening Norway hold…  Generally you end up taking Norway/Finland and convoying.

    There is another way to mess with germany or japan… this involves bombers/fighters… you can clear out small stacks of units with these and cause problems threatening a wide range of stuff. Once you establish your little hand full of air, you want to constantly get replacement units for them… 1-2 bomber or fighter a turn.

    How do you move them around the map? 1 way is west usa->japan->mid china-russia. 1 way is bombers siberia->Moscow. 1 way is the Africa route.

  • TripleA

    reserved uk l

    Round 1 sz 97 and sz 96 is recommended. Some players prefer sz 92, because they don’t want to risk losing London. Losing london is not so good, but at the same time losing egypt is equally as bad (makes Italy a real country making lots of money). So it is up to you how you want to do this.

    One thing to understand is that if the axis really want london, they can always setup to take it over on round 4 and have 90-99% odds no matter what you do… most prefer to take it on round 3 as dumping a bunch of guys to scotland and then grabbing a bunch more to dump on london… generally requires eastern europe to be empty and the Russians will make a decent foothold for rounds to come.

    Also if you do lose london… sometimes what happens is every thing USA has shifts from one side to another… USA can actually liberate london if not enough units survived the attack… that is the big risk on the axis part.
    So as a rule of thumb you should always buy strait infantry for london or infantry fighter combos for london.

    There are several mid-long game approaches. 1) egypt minor ic to make naval to convoy italy 2) flying fighters to russia 3) minor ics to produce units 4) loading uk infantry on usa naval to drop off 5) having your own fleet in the atlantic 6) help USA with Japan.

  • TripleA

    reserved ukp/china/anzac

    Generally speaking for dice games it is best for China to attack yunnan back by matching Japan infantry 1 for 1 then adding 2 additional infantry units and the chinese fighter.

    For example on Japan 1 he attacked yunnan and you completely missed. Send 6 infantry and your fighter against 4 dudes. For low luck games there will always be 2 or 3 units so you can reliably attack it with 3 or 4 inf and a fighter.

    Depending on how Japan positions his air units it is feasible for hold szechwan with russia’s assistance (10 fighter 8 tactical 2 bomber vs 7 inf fighter 2 mech 2 armor, you get about 6 air unit kills… but for Japan to do this he needs all his air at kwangsi). If not all his air is at kwangsi you can sometimes fly russia in and hold it down.

    You usually end up at suiyuyan or shensi skirmishing with japan from a different area.
    There are two different ways to play against Japan with your ukp and anzac  and usa naval.

    1. take sumatra with uk and java with anzac, during non combat fly 3 fighters into java with anzac.
      A. block Japan with dds from taking islands and position to counter attack possibly (it just splits Japans naval up usually, but it slows the island taking).
      B. don’t block japan with dds (he can only take phil + 3 islands on round 2). Don’t take any islands

    I always take islands, because if Japan does not declare war you are going to want to punish him with a strong india. Plus a Japan dow only cost you a few transports, but you got to make 4 for each island… no big deal.
    In the later stages of the game. If China can make burma road money, do it. If you can push toward the coasts without losing India do it. If you can take islands, do it. If you see an opportunity to attack Japan with one country and then attack Japan with another to sink Japan naval and transports… you do it if the odds are not too bad / payout is about right.

    mech is good to have in a small quantity (2-4) because if shan state or yunnan is held by Japan… all of a sudden he can get all his air to attack India, so if you can prevent that, that is good.
    ANZAC should compliment usa. If USA is short on transport and men, you should provide that. If usa wants you to fill his carriers up, you should provide that. Generally speaking you need to protect the country, infantry fighters are good for that.

    Southern Australia is a good position to hold, because from there you can attack everything and prevent Japan from holding a territory. (If Japan holds a spot he can then fly all his air in and attack your capital!).

    When unsure if you need to defend your capital or get naval or whatever… get infantry/fighters… sometimes mech is good if you are worried about not having enough units to take care of western australia for the round.

    Generally speaking I don’t like declaring war on Japan round 1… he has to do something really strange for me to do that. Round 2 if Japan still has not declared war… what decides this for me is 1) Is it better for USA to have round 3 combat? If answer is NO. Then I will declare war on Japan and make the NOs for UK pacific and ANZAC… sometimes Japan will put naval in spots… and setup in such a way that if I want to be annoying and take more islands on round 2… then I will have to not declare war.

    So it is not clear cut if you should declare war or not. It is a decision you can go either way with.

  • Cow I find stacking W. Ukraine to be somewhat counterproductive in that you never have enough to attack the East Poland German stack if Sea Lion doesn’t happen and you’ve divided your own forces in front of the Pripet Marshes.

    1. On round 2 with Russia are you dropping this stack back to Bryansk if no Sea Lion transport purchase is made?

    2. Do you ever need art in the South vs. mechs?

    3. How would your bid change based on the Global league rules of placing as many units as you want anywhere you control? Would you ever add to Egypt and attack Tobruk? Buy 2 subs in the Med? How about the Anzac New Guinea 1 inf purchase to save a tranny for Anzac on A1? Maybe buy some China inf for Yunnan?

    Appreciate the work you put into your guides.


  • TripleA

    Global league, 6-8 is my range. Stacking gets crazy in the 10-12 range. I really have to be in the mood to play the axis. For low luck games 10-11 is my range. The allies should be fine.

    To address point 1. Generally speaking you have enough to attack Germany’s force unless he bought mech/armor round 1. Sometimes Germany strafes yugoslavia so he can stack it.

    Also you kind of want to force Germany to go for one complex and not both. East poland is not adjacent to either minor IC so that it is fine. Even if you had your units all in belarus… a direct confrontation would be won by germany anyway… so yeah usually you fall back to bryansk.

    If you can come up with a better solution, I am all ears.

    2. I can think of a game where I would say yes.

  • TripleA

    I will finish this up soon. I just wanted to start the thread and get the first allied power in. Give me a week to fill it in. I have to setup the map and pieces. Put up the pictures.

    It took me awhile to complete my Japan guide, I think two weeks. Reminds me, I still have to edit in the changes I made, but I don’t think anyone cares. :)
    The biggest complaint I hear from people is about the frequency of sea lion. I have to post strategies for dealing with it. As well as what advantages and disadvantages an optimized sea lion set up brings. Come to think of it… was a germany strategy guide even posted?

  • I’d love to see your updated Japan guide.

  • TripleA

    I got to finish my tournament. I play a rush game with the allies and sometimes I transition to a long time.

  • '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Cow, thank you for tackling this tough assignment.

    I notice an issue with your KJF Russian opener that might cause some problems if you try to get Soviets into Yunnan early. Russian units entering Sikang R1 is likely to provoke a declaration of war by Japan against UK/ANZAC (page 37 of the new pacific rulebook says “Japan considers movement of units into China by any other Allied power as an act of war against it.”).

    This gives Japan the chance to have its cake and eat it too.  Japan may declare war on UK/ANZAC, seize Dutch colonies, and still get the $10 trade sanction NO as long as they don’t attack FIC or declare war on USA (the NO reads: “10 IPCs if Japan is not at war with the United States, has not attacked French Indo-China, and has not made an unprovoked declaration of war against United Kingdom/ANZAC”).  Indeed, Japan could decide to just let America sit on his thumbs in z101 until round 4 because “The United States may not declare war on any Axis power unless… Japan makes an unprovoked declaration of war against the UK or ANZAC” (p.37).  That could slow down the western allies opening a second front in Europe, which is something the Russians need them to do as soon as possible, while Japan runs rampant in the Pacific.

    Also notice that a provoked declaration of war only against UK/ANZAC will allow Japanese ships to ignore the US destroyer off Philippines and pass right on through z35 if they want to.  I’m not sure there would be any advantage to taking Celebes or Dutch New Guinea instead of Borneo (maybe put bases there J2 for some kind of move on Sydney?), but who knows?

  • Sponsor

    So if Russia stacks the 18 in Amur (not that it happens much), than Japan should abandon everything in Manchuria to Korea in order to intice Russia to move in on an original Chinese territory.

  • '12


    So if Russia stacks the 18 in Amur (not that it happens much), than Japan should abandon everything in Manchuria to Korea in order to intice Russia to move in on an original Chinese territory.

    These issues are moot I think since the Russian player can simply make a DoW on Japan R1 and then do whatever they like, in China or no.  I believe the unprovoked clause only applies to the UK/ANZAC DoW.

  • '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Eqqman, the rule used to say “UK/ANZAC” but my new rulebook says “Japan considers movement of units into China by any other allied power as an act of war against it.”.

    YG, I agree - If Russia stacks Amur Japan should just stack Korea on turn 1 and then move everything back to Manchuria on turn 2.  If that happens to be a Combat Move rather than NCM because the Russians actually went into Manchuria, then great!  Japan takes India and USA sits in z101 til round 4 (unless Japan attacks UK/ANZAC/USA J1 instead of J2).  A smart Japan player would not attack Amur, and also would not declare war on anybody for the first turn.  Then again a devious Russian player might do this as a bluff and leave Manchuria alone R2 but go into Korea instead on R3 while the Japanese airforce is off fighting in Calcutta.

    EDIT: but that’s just my reading of the rulebook and I could be wrong.  But if I am wrong I don’t see what else they would mean all those times they use the word “unprovoked”; one would assume there is also a “provoked” situation or they wouldn’t specify one kind of DOW as being unprovoked.  The political situations for UK, ANZAC and USA each have a clear statement that they must be at war with Japan before their units can enter China, but there is no restriction at all like that in the Russian political rules.  Nevertheless, they clearly state that Japan will consider the movement of any allied unit into China to be an act of war.  So unlike the other allies, Russian units can enter China even if Russia is at peace with Japan, but Japan will consider it an act of war anyway.  Why would they bother writing these rules in this way unless Russians going into China with or without a DOW is precisely the provocation they are taking about?  The writers seem to have paid a lot of attention to the situations between Japan, Russia, China and Mongolia so I do not think this grey zone is an oversight.  Thus, the rules are that if Russians enter China, Japan can make a declaration of war against UK/ANZAC that is not “unprovoked” in terms of the $10 NO and American neutrality rules.       :|

    If I am wrong, I apologize.

  • '12

    You might have missed my point.  If Russia hands Japan a DoW R1, then the unprovoked clause is moot for any Russian actions that follow since Japan is already at war before they occur.

  • '16 '15 '10

    Variance I think what that passage means is that if Russia moves units into China its an act of war.  That’s all.  Similarly, if UK moves into China its an act of war.  Officially, UK or Russia would need to declare on Japan to be able to do it.

    Japan and Russia being at war has no effect on UK and Japan’s political status, even if Russia and UK are already Allies against Germany.

  • '12


    So imagine this.  Russia sends a tank/mech to Sikang R1.  Seems innocent enough, but Japan feels provoked by this act of war and immediately declares war on Russia, UK and ANZAC but does not declare war on France or USA.

    Again, all moot if Russia declares war beforehand on R1.

  • '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Well I asked Krieghund and he says I was wrong.  Sorry guys but I was mistaken.  If Russian units enter China it does NOT mean anything with regards to the political situation of the other allies.

  • Sponsor


    Well I asked Krieghund and he says I was wrong.  Sorry guys but I was mistaken.  If Russian units enter China it does NOT mean anything with regards to the political situation of the other allies.

    Way to go dumb ass!

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