Ps. Couple thoughts on the Polar Express concept as an endgame play rather than an opener…
A version of this strat can be made to work in the final rounds, provided that Japan is no longer needed at the center, and has sufficiently outpaced the Americans on income. It’s also helpful if the Allied player is a good sport, or just wants to play out a few more rounds before calling it a night. 😄
An example might be, if Germany is poised to take Moscow alone, such that Japan has a free hand to redirect early against North America, instead of Africa. Or if it seems like the Allies might be able to trade Moscow for Berlin in the same round, and Japan wants to keep going.
It requires that you have a large number ground units at the ready preferably in Yakut and Munchuria. The basic idea is to spam transports at the last minute before the planned invasion. So say you have 5 or 6 transports with 12 or more units ready to transport out of sz 60 to Alaska, and several more ground units in Yakut or Manchuria, that can move to Bury at the same time so that they can be shucked the following round. Then you spam 5 more transports to set up the double shuck, from Japan and Manchuria to Buryatia with one transport group, and from Buryatia to Alaska with the other transport group.
To pull this off, you have to be able to match US production a full round ahead of their ability to equal your forces from their production centers, and this with already existing Japanese units, which is why you need the Yakut stack at the ready. If you can rapidly amass a large stack of ground in Alaska by using existing Japanese units, it may be possible to walk them to Western Canada without fear of a crushing counter attack from the US, and then you can use your transports to threaten W. US on amphibious, while you attempt to can open Central or Eastern Canada with German bombers for a blitz on DC. Although not a particularly likely deep endgame, it can sometimes be a more direct route to the ultimate Axis smackdown, than taking London.
Again, I don’t think its something that you can really plan for from the outset, but more of a redirect at the last possible second, where you make as if to threaten Moscow from Yakut, but then rapidly double back for the Alaskan crossing. It’s also pretty simple for the US to cover against this play, if they see it coming, so you really have to catch them with their guard down.
I think there are only two times I’ve seen it work. Once was in a KGF game, where the Russian player made a strategic withdrawal from Moscow in an attempt to triple team G. And another game where Germany got lucky on their tank drive and smoked Moscow earlier than anyone expected. In both instances the Allies were playing a masochist’s game, fighting on rather than conceding haha