Best National Advantages

  • Well still, banzai attacks doesn’t make Japanese infantry godly. You’re unlikely to see resistance in the Northern prong anyways because you have so much aircraft, banzai attacks isn’t going to change that. And you’d still be waiting for all of your mech to hit Russia hard, so the only time you’ll really see it work is on round 1 if you don’t want to use planes against China. It’s a half decent NA, but nowhere near Joint Strike…

  • Ooo, goody…I have time to kill…time to make a list!  😄

    Note…my experience in this game is somewhat limited, but we always use NA’s (2 per Ally, 3 per Axis), so I’m used to applying them to in-game situations. This list is just my own opinion…your’s may vary!

    #1: Lend-Lease - Russia

    It seems that some people aren’t giving this NA the fair shake that it’s due, as I personally feel it is head and shoulders above any other NA. It allows Britain to provide an airforce for Russia (fighters from Britain to Moscow in one turn)…which lets Russia spend it’s money on what it should, ground units. You think a Russian steamroller is nice, try it with a half a dozen fighters for support!

    Also, a double shuck-shuck of ground troops (US via Alaska, Britain via UK), while extremely difficult to sustain for long, will swell Russia into an unstoppable giant fairly quickly. Any hopes that the Axis have for taking out Russia early are gone if the Allies have this NA and can exploit it effectively.

    #2: Superfortresses - U.S.

    Do I really need to explain? Three or four bombers (especially if Heavy Bombers is researched) basically ensures an Allied victory.

    #3: Colonial Garrison - U.K.

    A free factory! But where to put it? I’ve been tending towards South Africa myself, as it allows Britain to put up a fight in Africa, keep a hold on some of it’s economy, and drain German resources away from the Russian front.

    #4: Wolfpacks - Germany

    Germany doesn’t have the resources to sink lots of money into a navy, but ignoring the seas is suicide, so subs are obviously the best route economically. I like to send subs out in packs of three and scatter the groups as best as possible, as it is highly discouraging to amphibious operations so long as the subs are out of range of large groups of enemy aircraft. Plus, Super Subs is your new best friend!

    #5: Joint Strike - U.K.

    An overrated NA in my opinion, but still highly effective, especially if it can be coupled with French Resistance. In my experience, it’s hard to coordinate an effective strike unless the Axis fails to throw a wrench in the Allied plans. Something tends to go wrong…an unanticipated Axis attack…a bad run of die rolls…and unless well coordinated, the strike will be delayed, and delayed, and delayed.

    #6: Banzai Infantry - Japan

    Some people seem to forget that shore bombardment does not affect this bonus, so if you can get a decent force of Battleships, or research combined bombardment, then this bonus can be huge. It allows for dirt cheap expansion into Australia, Far-East Russia, and later possibly into the mid-east or Africa if Germany is in need of assistance. As Japan, you’re often faced with an American fleet that can outpace your own in buildup, so anything that reduces costs for Japan to allow it to focus on necessary seaborne defense is important.

    #7: U-Boat Interdiction - Germany

    It kinda sucks that it’s only one dollar per boat, but if your lucky enough to have this AND wolfpacks, then there is no reason not to build one or two subs every turn. You’ll piss off the U.S., strangle the U.K., and have an effective screen against amphibious operations (At the very least a temporary one)

    #8: Island Bases - U.S.

    This advantage, especially in the Pacific, is a godsend. Moving aircraft long distances without carriers can be a pain, but if the U.S. begins an island hopping campaign, then this advantage can almost elminate the need for Carriers (especially if you have researched long-range aircraft)

    #9: Non-Agression Treaty - Russia

    While it does skew the game, it is an advantage every Russian player should love to have. It completely alters Japans strategy for at least a turn or two, and provides all-important time to allow Russia to focus on the more immedeate German threat.

    #10: Mechanized Infantry - U.S.

    Infantry that can move two spaces and blitz? Yes, please!

    #11: Panzerblitz - Germany

    A great NA, made less useful only by the fact that one does not always want to split a force. It probably should be rated higher, but I find that it is not always to Germany’s advantage to use this very often. It is often better to ignore it early, and then utilize it in a brutally efficient masterstroke that has your opponent wondering how the hell he could have overlooked it. This NA can be especially nice to utilize after an amphibious assault!

    #12: Lightning Assaults - Japan

    While somewhat limited, there are points when the use of this advantage can be quite effective for Japan, especially if it’s in the process of pushing back any American island campaigns, or perhaps a double strike against Australia/NZ. It is somewhat lowered in usefulness since it is only valid for combat moves, but it does multiply the number of factors the enemy must take into account.

    #13: Fortress Europe - Germany

    How can you not like this NA? I tend to build at least a pair of artillery every turn, and just leave them in Germany/Italy, so that I need not commit any tanks or fighters to defense. If this NA is coupled with Atlantic Wall, Germany need only worry about loading France with artillery and a well prepared counterattacking force in Italy or Germany, and it can then focus exclusively on Russia.

    #14: Russian Winter - Russia

    I tend to use this on the first turn. It’s nice to hold onto it until the later stages of the game, but I feel it’s a real gamebreaker to make Germany blink early on the Russian Front. If Lend-Lease is in play and Britain can supply additional forces, then early use can decisively swing the momentum to the side of the Allies by B2!

    #15: Tokyo Express - Japan

    If you can manage to research combined bombardment, and/or another NA you have is Banzai Infantry, then having destroyers act as hit-and-run amphibious assault forces is a real interesting idea. Normally, though, all this advantage allows is a few extra infantry to join a larger transport force. Never a bad thing, but rarely game-breaking.

    #16: Enigma Decoded - U.K.

    This is another one I tend to use in the first round, especially if Germany only makes a half-hearted attempt at taking Egypt. Saving it for later is nice, but I find that if Britain doesn’t use it early, it often never gets another chance to use it decisively.

    #17: Trans-Siberian Railroad - Russia

    It’s nice to be able to move units more quickly, but I find that it’s somewhat limited in use. If your moving stuff west, it’s usually only a couple of infantry, easily built at your IC’s. If your sending them east, odds are you have a hammer/anvil situation developing with Japan/Germany, and you’re going to be hardpressed to hold Moscow as it is without spreading yourself thin.

    #18. Radar - U.K.

    Theoretically, this should be a very nice NA. In practice, however, I find it almost completely useless. The Axis don’t have anywhere near as much incentive as the Allies to invest heavily in bombers for Strategic Bombing purposes, so unless Germany is highly reliant on fighters in it’s invasion of the British Isles, there is no real use for this NA. Britain can build extra guns to send to the other Allies though.

    #19. Chinese Divisions - U.S.

    This should be a really nice NA, but there are two main reasons why it’s so low on my list here. First of all, Japan usually makes too big of a push in China early on, making it nearly impossible to utilize this NA effectively. Secondly, most players forget to put their free infantry on the board anyways!

    #20. Dug-In Defenders - Japan

    Not the best of NAs, but not bad. It’s nice to force the U.S. to commit more resources to an island-hopping campaign, and if you happen to build an IC in Borneo or the East Indies (for whatever reason), then having a nice stack of infantry there ensures that nobody will be taking it from you anytime soon.

    #21. Salvage - Russia

    It is very rare that I actually get to use this NA, since I find that Germany (regardless of who is using them) almost never commits tanks to battle unless they expect to win, or plan to retreat. Still, a free tank is always nice!

    #22. Atlantic Wall - Germany

    Well, it’s only a one round bonus, not as nice as Japan’s NA, but it is effective at stalling Allied landings in Europe until a proper defense can be set up. Coupling this with Fortress Europe can make Germany nearly impossible to defeat in an amphibious attack!

    #23. Kaiten Torpedoes - Japan

    The only way I find that this NA can be used to any effectiveness is to just place one sub along any coastal area where you fear an amphibious attack to act as an advance screening force. It’s nice to get the bonus to defensive power, especially with Super-Subs, but there are far better ways to spend eight IPCs, especially considering that there’s no guarantee of actually killing anything.

    #24. French Resistance - U.K.

    Nice to have those four free infantry, especially if they replace losses from the invasion of France. It’s not the best of NA’s, but it’s not the worst. Especially satasfying to use in conjunction with Joint Strike…talk about D-Day!

    #25. Fast Carriers - U.S.

    While the extension of the fighters combat radius is a nice thing to have, I almost never use this advantage. The rest of the fleet can’t keep up, which can leave your aircraft carriers in a bad position, possibly get them killed, and most likely yield the intiative to your opponent. Just a bad NA.

    #26. Mideast Oil - U.K.

    The range boost on this can be extreme…but rarely is Britain in a position to actually exploit this advantage. Japan and Germany are bound to converge on the mideast unless the Allies win big and win early, so this advantage is often lost before Britain has the spare aircraft to actually make use of it.

    #27. Marines - U.S.

    It’s another one-round boost, but it’s a nice counter to the Japanese island defenders and the German Atlantic Wall. Still, compared to other NA’s, this one simply doesn’t stack up.

    #28. Mobile Industry - Russia

    Yeah…where do you plan to move it to? If your actually considering moving a factory (in other words, the Axis are GOING to take a factory AND keep it unless you move it), then you’ve lost already anyways.

    #29. Kamikaze - Japan

    If you can happen to catch a lone carrier or loaded transport, this might be worthwhile, otherwise, your just wasting your aircraft.

    #30. Luftwaffe Dive-Bombers - Germany

    Why risk a ten dollar plane on a three dollar bombing run???


    And now a nice pseudo-scientific ranking!

    (Lowest Average = Highest Ranking)

    Russia - #1, #9, #14, #17, #21, #28
    AVERAGE - 15.0

    Germany - #4, #7, #11, #13, #22, #30
    AVERAGE - 14.5

    U.K. - #3, #5, #16, #18, #24, #26
    AVERAGE - 15.333

    Japan - #6, #12, #15, #20, #23, #29
    AVERAGE - 17.5

    U.S. - #2, #8, #10, #19, #25, #27
    AVERAGE - 15.167

    Final National Advantage Rankings

    #1. Germany
    #2. Russia
    #3. U.S.
    #4. U.K.
    #5. Japan


    Yay…I’m a geek!  :lol:

  • If you want to use NAs, use the LHTR ones at least because they are more balanced than the ones in the rules manual.

    Lend Lease is hugely overpowered in the manual. With LHTR, you can only convert 1 us and 1 uk ground unit per turn at the end of your turn. Pretty big change from unlimited numbers of ground and air before your combat move, yes? Lend Lease in the manual is like a joint strike with all 3 powers every single turn.

    Superfortresses are not longer totally invincible. You roll 2 dice for each one and if the total is 3, then it dies.

    Lightning assaults was replaced with most powerful battleships (Japanese battleships attack/defend on a 5).

    Luftwaffe Dive Bombers hugely enhanced - Germany fighters attack on a 5 in the first round of combat if there are no defending fighters. No more strategic bombing capabilities.

    Joint Strike must now be declared before the start of the Russian turn, instead of during the UK’s turn, so now the Germans have advance warning to move their troops out of the way.

  • Well, I’ve never bothered with the LHTR rules. My group here at home finds the manual NA’s fairly close to our liking. We might tweak them ourselves, and I’ll post our own NA’s someday. 🙂

    But, I can see how those changes drastically affect the game. Especially Lend-Lease and German Aircraft.

    But why get rid of Lightning Assaults? That is a damn nice ability to have, on occasion.

  • Man, I think Lend Lease manual style would beat all of the Axis NAs combined hands down!

  • I haven’t looked at the map or units placement recently but what if you had the Atlantic wall NA and transported 2 inf to norway, this might discourage a 1st turn British landing in Norway.  Not sure though, haven’t looked at the board lately.

  • This is an old topic but I wanted to say that I think land lease is easily the most abused and unfair national advantage.  We have been playing where each country gets to role for one national advantage per game and last night I was america/russia and rolled for this one, my partner in gb rolled for joint strike so we were pretty much going to be clear victors.  we didn’t realize how amazing land lease is until he remarked that he was just giong to buy planes and move them into russia for me to convert.  well anyways he moved viritually all of his troops in russia while usa began building trannies and navy to take out germany.  it is pretty much a 40-50 ipc shift for russia first turn of the game.  russia became the offensive juggernaut of the board and japan didn’t even really have time to mobilize much major army.  land lease is def insane.  if you got colonel garrison for britain where would you guys put the IC, india or africa?

  • There’s a long paper on this at the Caspian Sub group.  It’s Policy Paper #06 in the files section.

    A couple of quotes:

    "The Allies had been given MIRV tipped ICBMs while the Axis got sharks with frickin’ lasers on their heads."


    For a quick assessment, here are the averages based on a rough pass through the advantages:

    Russia 10.8
    Britain 10.8
    US 6.2
    Germany 4.5
    Japan 2.2

    Allies: 9.3
    Axis: 3.3

    Note that the Allies advantages are roughly triple the value of Axis advantages.  Our calculations would have to be very far off the mark to move those numbers significantly.

  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    “Che is a fool’s hero.  Qutoing him with admiration demonstrates ignorance, moral confusion, or both.”

    I fully agree with that statement! excellent sig BTW.

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