Help Needed For Allied Strategy - Updated thoughts on Bid?

  • First time here but long time lurker. Big fan of A&A since high school, had a small group of friends that played when we were in our teens which puts that about 1990 or so. Ugh.

    Anyway, myself and one of the friends from those days are still playing A&A, coming back to it recently and enjoying AA 1942 2nd Edition. He is a very capable Axis Player and has perfected his Axis playstyle - in particular Germany - to the point where I’m unable to develop any strategy that can defeat the Axis without a bid. And even with a bid, if it’s not a Naval Bid, I’m not sure it’s balanced enough for Allies to win.

    So before I explain what I’ve tried, in the multiple sessions we’ve played recently, I’d like to first ask some of the folks on here who seem to be the real pros, and who participated in the OLDER balance/bid threads - where are your thoughts now on the need for Allied bids? It seemed from some of those old threads there was resistance at first, and some interesting Allied theory, but as the threads matured and folks actually tried their strategies, the arguments AGAINST an Allied bid faded. My perception is that an Allied bid became de-facto.

    I can elaborate if needed but let me just say that I have tried both KJF and KGF strategies and find KGF to me moderately more viable.  KJF went nowhere, whereas KGF prolongs the game.

    When I did KJF, Japan picked up on it immediately and basically countered my Pacific naval buildup with the USA, purchasing cheap naval fodder and playing enough cat and mouse and while matching my naval purchases so as to stall any major battle until so deep into the game that Russia had fallen. They were still slowly overtaking Asia through shucking while the US scrambled to assemble a fleet that could win a decisive naval battle that never got around to happening. Germany of course was completely ignored with the exception of some British fighter support to Russia, because the UK was spending most income on India.

    In our current games, where I’ve gone back to KGF, here’s what he does:

    He consistently sinks the US Atlantic Fleet and the British Fleet Round 1, and typically has a German Cruiser/Transport in the the North left, subs in the Atlantic, and his entire Mediterranean fleet intact. He ignores the orphaned British Destroyer/Transport off Eastern Canada, which is immediately threatened Round 2 with subs still lurking about. He drops an infantry on Gibraltor straight away to negate any potential Allied Airbase. He will ignore Egypt (which I typically support with the Russian Fighter) in favor of consolidating for a stronger landing Round 2 since he still has his German transport. He will build a naval unit periodically (usually a Sub) in Mediterranean as a blocking maneuver to prevent British Destroyer near Egypt from hitting his Battleship near Gibraltor.

    He is very effective with his Air Force and uses them primarily for defensive naval air patrol in the West, positioned to discourage any naval activity within range. His focus on Russia is with his tanks and infantry and occasional Bomber/fighter support but not much. He takes Karelia and pumps troops into there and keeps a steady flow of mostly infantry and some tanks heading East.

    By destroying both Navies, I have modeled all scenarios calculated that it is now impossible for either the USA or UK to build (or position) a Navy capable of withstanding a heavy German air blitz backed with remnants of his naval fleet for 4 rounds. The UK even if it saves ALL (100%) income for 2 full rounds for a naval buy start of Round 3 cannot purchase a navy capable of surviving a heavy German attack. Statistically they will be sunk at massive economic loss of over 60 IPC. Therefore they must wait for US Navy to support. But US Navy takes multiple rounds to swing over from Pacific and position/congregate for the shuck. During those 4 rounds, Germany has poured over 165+ IPC of hardware into Europe and sustained NO financial pressure, nor major troop losses, save a few IPC’s swapped with Russia and some infantry. Russia meanwhile has begun losing most of it’s territory, has stopped swapping territories, and cannot possibly counter that wave of troops pounding or consolidating each round.

    On the Japan side, Round 1 UK engages in the (mandatory?) naval battle near India and wins but loses all remaining navalrforces to immediate Japan counterattack Round 2. US fleet evacuates so Japan is immediately buying transports and heading towards India. By Round 3 (sometimes 4, but he can usually statistically win by 3 if he wants considering his air power and bombardments), India falls, evacuates, and Germany ground forces are already heading up through Egypt to link up with Japan. Since Germany still has a transport, he’s continued each round to shuck more support into Africa. Japan’s Navy begins to creep up through the Mediterranean, linking with the remaining German fleet (Battleship + the sub he built + whatever other subs survived and fled Atlantic) and threatening the Allied Atlantic fleets JUST about the time the USA is beginning their shuck, forcing the USA to build up an even bigger Navy just when they need to be buying transports/troops. And that Japan Navy is no joke by that time. Japan has also begun sending fighter/bomber support to Europe as well.

    And let’s talk about the Atlantic Allied shuck. By Round 4, USA can maybe have up to 8 transports loading/heading to Western Europe. Once Germany sees this, he stacks 20+ infantry, 6-7 fighters, few tanks, and some AA guns on either Western Europe or Northwestern Europe (abandoning the other). He also keeps even a reserve force in Germany proper for counterattack. A 16-unit Allied landing gets crushed against this wall, inflicting very few Axis casualties, either when they attack the defended territory or land on the empty one and get crushed on counterattack with no air support. Germany can continue to invest 40+ IPC’s in defense, putting out another 14+ infantry each round to offset their limited casualties.

    Russia meanwhile is fighting for her life, trading territories when possible and trying to stack infantry. UK has been flooding fighters to Russia when possible and building troops in India first few rounds, but the fighter positioning situation can be tricky since timing when they should abandon India, where they should land in Russia that can be properly defended, etc, can sometimes go wrong. UK India ground force is typically picked apart on the retreat to Caucasus since Japan has already pushed up central Asia and Germany is marching from Africa to cut off the India retreat. Whatever isn’t picked apart is fragmented out to throw up rudimentary firewalls to slow Japan. So there isn’t a lot left to really help out up in Russia. Japan has overrun Asia and at precisely the moment Germany needs to BEGIN worrying about the Atlantic, so Germany can afford to pull back or stall the Russian offensive and let Japan deliver the finishing blow now that Japan has overrun Asia and has the Indian factory. Germany usually has the Caucasus by now and can apply immediate pressure to Russia inexpensively, just in case Japan for some odd reason with tanks swarming can’t get the job done.

    Cliff Notes Version: I see NO WAY to apply appropriate ANY meanigful economic pressure through either (a) winning major costly battles that hurt the Axis, or (b) depriving the Axis of IPC’s through territory conquest, until at best Round 4, and by Round 4, Germany/Japan running unchecked have effectively won the game and have such a defensive stack that the D-Day landing is smashed and costs the Allies way more than it cost the Axis.

    Is the Allied side hopeless without a large bid or a poor Axis player? Is there a strategy I don’t know about, maybe going HEAVY on Bombers or something, to at least create SOME IPC pressure on Axis before Round 4+?

  • '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    I am by no mean a pro player but do love 42 2E and played a few games with some friend here.  I find it a fun challenge to play as Allies, as you said, and I lost more than won in the last few matches here.  With this said I am not fully convinced yet Allies needs a bid to win the game.  I guess I need to play more with different opponents and test out the possibility : -)…

    Below is random thought of 42 2E:

    Air carrier becomes particularly important compared to previous version due to a larger map setting.  This helps to speed up the transfer of force from key landing (just like factory does).

    In my games India usually can stand longer than 4 rounds if I want to.  Some initial support from Russia as well as additional British troops from other territories might be needed.

    I haven’t figured out the best place to put a US factory… In 2E map lot of territories used to have 2 IPC now only has one, making a factory built unjustified.

    Might be we can launch a play by forum to test out ideas and possibilities :-D….

  • I am no pro player, but have played 4 games of 1942 SE the last months. Before that we have played maybe 6-7 games of the Europe only edition.

    All our 4 games have ended with axis victory. The first 2 games without a bid. The last 2 games with a 12 and 15 bid for allies.
    The 2 first games ended with a round 4 victory for axis, and the games with bid ended with a round 4 and 5 victory for axis.

    Its the same victory cities taken each time, Russia + India.

    We have been talking about giving the allies a bid like maybe 30 for the allies, so the game will feel a bit more balanced, then after we see the first allied victory and find a tactic that works we can start reducing the bid.

    A destroyer in the US east coast for defending the transports, a British sub outiside India for the attack on Japans navy + 1 infantry in Egypt. Then for the russians, maybe 4-5 infantry spread across Buryata, Karelia, Moscow and Caucasus.

    But with the overwhelming victories we see for the axis, Im not even sure if this will be enough:)

  • @innohub:

    Air carrier becomes particularly important compared to previous version due to a larger map setting.  This helps to speed up the transfer of force from key landing (just like factory does).

    In my games India usually can stand longer than 4 rounds if I want to.  Some initial support from Russia as well as additional British troops from other territories might be needed.

    I haven’t figured out the best place to put a US factory… In 2E map lot of territories used to have 2 IPC now only has one, making a factory built unjustified.

    Thanks for replying. Just wrapped up a long game last night that tested a few major variations to key strategies. In fact one of them was to preserve Allied Carriers at all costs….

    I will try to make a more thorough post explaining what I did differently and how the game went but suffice it to say I salvaged the UK India fleet (avoiding what is considered a somewhat mandatory first round attack against Japan Navy in Pacific), swung it around Africa (eventually, after harassing Africa and sinking German Med Fleet, lurking around down south), Kept India alive deep into the game by reinforcing with Russian Tanks and Fighter, lost it after an orderly evacuation, recaptured it next round, held another 2 rounds and lost it again…but I think you’re right. Somehow, it must be held as long as possible and I tend to be very stingy with Russian tanks due to counterattack loss. I’m liking the idea of parking them on India as needed and evacuating when too risky. I had never found a way to spare Russian forces before, but this time it worked out.

    US had 2 Aircraft Carriers operating in Atlantic with 4 fighters, and British Carrier survived in India and the fighters were quite helpful in strategically defending Africa and/or hit and run attacks on German Med Fleet. That carrier and fighters eventually made their way up to Britain to support multiple landings late in the game.

    So, I’m seeing the light here on both your points. I still lost, but it was the closest/longest game to date and I think he was scrambling a bit to counter new things at times, even making one uncharacteristically awful attack late-game that hurt Japan a lot.

  • @seawolf:

    I am no pro player, but have played 4 games of 1942 SE the last months. Before that we have played maybe 6-7 games of the Europe only edition.

    All our 4 games have ended with axis victory. The first 2 games without a bid. The last 2 games with a 12 and 15 bid for allies.
    The 2 first games ended with a round 4 victory for axis, and the games with bid ended with a round 4 and 5 victory for axis.

    Its the same victory cities taken each time, Russia + India.

    We have been talking about giving the allies a bid like maybe 30 for the allies, so the game will feel a bit more balanced, then after we see the first allied victory and find a tactic that works we can start reducing the bid.

    A destroyer in the US east coast for defending the transports, a British sub outiside India for the attack on Japans navy + 1 infantry in Egypt. Then for the russians, maybe 4-5 infantry spread across Buryata, Karelia, Moscow and Caucasus.

    But with the overwhelming victories we see for the axis, Im not even sure if this will be enough:)

    I hope it’s not true that so much is needed. I really, really hate having to do bids - I guess it’s a pride thing. In my most recent games I grudgingly had to ask for one at 9 IPC, in which I gave 6 to Russia (for a tank or 2 infantry) and 3 to UK to help out with infantry in India. But, I’m beginning to realize a NAVAL Bid is the only real solution. You simply cannot allow your entire Atlantic force to be sunk Round 1 and hope to apply meaningful pressure on Germany to avoid collapse in Russia.

    Hoping some of the heavy hitters like Krieghund might weigh in here, I’m not looking to browbeat the playtesters or cry about the game…just want to know if I’m crazy or not. I know all too often folks on forums will take some bit of info like this (where something may be unbalanced and folks involved say as much) and use it to attack developers or make demands (this game is broken, we need free expansion, we need this, we need that, I want a refund, etc). I’m not that guy. If there is some Allied approach that I haven’t thought or tried I’d love to explore it. If there isn’t, I’d feel better knowing what a fair bid is so I can get back to competitive playing.

  • '19 '15 '14

    G is just hard to stop on this board. So much hinges on the Russian opening. The only Allied victories I have been able to pull off involved either a solid Ukraine strafe (with the Tanks back to Caucasus) and getting into W. Russia with a solid 7+ inf, or else it was on a sweep of Ukraine and W. Russia where both spaces are taken with almost no casualties. Not a great situation to be in, where you either need a good strafe or a double sweep. I used to go 2 tanks to W. Russia (and hope for a solid fighter hit in Ukraine), for fear of heavy casualties and a German counter attack. But I now I go all 3 Tanks into Ukraine every time. It’s just too close otherwise, and 3 is the best shot you have to strafe solid.

    For the buy I go 4 inf 2 tanks. Inf in Caucasus and tanks in Moscow. It still feels light on inf, but the second tank is the only way I seem to be able to keep the Germans from pushing forward immediately.

    A safe strafe with 6 tanks into the second round gives you enough to cover a German advance, though it hurts to leave an extra German fighter alive. I don’t find that you can tank trap Caucasus round 1 in this game the way you could in Revised, e.g. stacking W. Russia with everything (and leaving Caucasus with 5 inf (4+ the dude from Kazakh), it just doesn’t really give you enough heat to counter attack effectively. It leaves G with too many attack options on the first round, and too many extra ground units in the east, and if you don’t at least strafe Ukraine, it makes it too easy for Germany to go all naval and threaten a UK sea lion (which completely screws India and any attempt to stall Japan.) So given all that, I find that I have to go summer offensive into the Ukraine, hoping for a good strafe, but prepared to fight a seriously uphill game if the dice go against me on the Russian opening.

    That doesn’t even get into the tough position the UK finds itself in. The only saving grace here is that Germany has a few hard fights as well in the opening round. There is a chance to peel off a German fighter against the cruiser in sz 14 (unless G threatens sea lion, in which case expect the battleship to turn that sea zone on its head.) It’s possible to cover against Sea Lion, because Germany really has to go full naval and buy 2 transports if they are serious about it. Then UK is in a bind, because they have to send the royal air force against the German battleship, or risk invasion in round 2. USA can’t support the UK defense with anything but a bomber (Russia can’t really do anything to help UK directly, only indirectly by pressure on the eastern front, so it puts a lot of pressure on the UK air force to do something and avert disaster.) More often Germany will not threaten invasion, but just try to nuke the Atlantic fleets in the opening round and then position themselves to nuke any ships UK builds in the first 3 round.

    I’m not sure you can do a whole lot to prevent the Germans from locking you off the home island in the first few rounds. It comes down to sea zone 10/11. If Germans go for both and win, the best you can do is build air and wait for the Americans to develop a fleet strong enough to cross the Atlantic. If the Germans go for one (all 10 or all 11), there is still a good chance they will lock you off the Island anyway.

    Egypt can be a game changer too. If it swings UK and you keep the fighter in Egypt, you have options. If the space is deadzoned, but the canal remains open you could maybe pull something off. But if it swings Germany and they get in with 2 tanks, you have some hard choices to make.

    sz 37 is a longshot without the second British fighter. I tend to favor a hit on sz 61, because letting that Japanese transport survive is just asking for trouble. Throwing the transport forward you have odds on Borneo. New Guinea as well, especially if the cruiser supports. 5 ipcs is hard to ignore, even if the Japanese carrier is still afloat as a result. You still end up with 3 inf on India (plus whatever you bought). If the fighter lands in Szechwan, there is a chance you can keep one (maybe two) fighters alive to help support Russia or India in later rounds. Whether to send the carrier forward as fodder, or to block, or pull it back towards Africa as a distraction for axis air, probably depends on the first battle in Egypt.

    I will play this game without a bid, just because I enjoy the variability of dice. But against an evenly matched Axis opponent, its hard to get ahead. Given the option, I would bid like this

    Allied Bids

    6 = 1 inf in Egypt and 1 inf in Caucasus
    7 = 1 inf in Egypt and 1 art in Caucasus
    8 = 1 aa gun in Egypt and 1 inf in Caucasus, or 1 inf in Egypt and 1 art in Caucasus (save 1 ipc)
    or possibly 1 inf Egypt, 1 art India for full KJF. The problem with KJF though is that you have to bid before you see what G does, so it could force a different Axis game on you then you would otherwise face.

    Anything 8 or higher gives you the option of maybe getting an extra destroyer, like if you want to secure sz 37. The attack on sz 37 only makes sense to me if you are going to support it with a US pacific play (and if you are going to hit the Japanese fleet, you might as well go for Borneo or Dutch East Indies while you’re at it.) Or you could bid a destroyer to give some extra protection to the Atlantic transports. Or maybe drop in sz 17 to give the Germans major headaches. But any destroyer bid leaves the eastern front really tight. I think its hard to justify not getting the extra fodder unit for Ukraine or W. Russia.

    9 = 1 inf Egypt and 1 inf Caucasus and 1 inf Karelia, or all 3 inf to the Soviets, or 1 inf in Egypt and 1 sub in sea zone 35 (KFJ and canal cover, but again, this takes a risk on the eastern front.)

    10 = I think with moderate luck, you should be able to hold your own as the Allies with a bid of 10. This is the cheapest bid that gives you a way to completely shut down any chance of Sea Lion. (Germany cannot pull it off without the starting transport.) A fighter bid with the plan to attack sz 5 is crazy expensive though. 3 fighters and you have to land one in Karelia, 2 and you have odds but one could be destroyed, and there is always the terror of a russian dud/german hit, which would basically negate the bid. Fighters can be fun though, just because they give some extra opening flexibility, and into the endgame (every round it survives is like a gift, and it usually survives longer than inf fodder.)

    Still at 10 I would most likely go 1 inf Egypt and 1 artillery Caucasus and 1 inf Karelia,
    or if you enjoy Tanks/Submarines, this is the bid amount where it becomes safer to drop one (since you have enough left over for an artillery unit somewhere else.)

    My general notion of the bid, is that you are better off taking an advantage on 2 or more territories/battles, then putting everything into a single battle. But sometimes, with a solid strategy, or steady magnified builds, a heavy hitting bid somewhere can swing the entire game. You may notice the repetition of an Egypt bid, as pretty consistent. This is because the Egypt battle is the tightest in the opening round. 1 extra fodder unit here for the UK can change the odds substantially, which in turn gives UK an extra fighter and control of the Suez canal. If I was given a bid of 3, that’s where I would put it.

    This is a lot of text, but let me close by echoing the final line of your original post.
    If you want to win as Allies on this board, you pretty much have to Strat Bomb Germany. Its tough to do, especially for anyone with an aversion to risk, but in all my games where the Allies have won it has been through decisive joint UK/US bombings of Germany in rounds 2 and 3.

    When in doubt, I buy a bomber with the US every round that I can afford one. I haven’t seen too many bomber bids, though I suppose it is an option at 12 or more (most just go 4 inf if they get a bid that high). But if I was to bid a bomber, I would probably give it to the UK, and put it in India.

    Bids at 12 ipcs or more allow you to try more inventive openings. There is something to be said for the old bid rule, where you were only allowed to place a single unit (any remainder saved for purchase.) In games like that a bid of 6, or 12 can end up being more fun then the ones where you just bid inf, for a slight advantage in some eastern front opening attack. 4 inf, bid out to the Allies in the right places, can alter the flow of the game quite a lot. Its one of the reasons why people get frustrated with pre-placement bidding, because it can lead to less variability in the opening round. But if you do play Allies, I think it’s reasonable to to take a bid at 10, the Axis can certainly still win if they play effectively.

  • Thank you for a thoughtful and detailed response. I’d like to share some interesting approaches I took with my Axis opponent since I started this thread, in two different games.

    But first let me say that your opening Russia moves are spot on and should NEVER vary regardless of whether a KGF or KJF strategy is used. The Ukraine strafe must eliminate all but a fighter, I actually don’t mind leaving the fighter since the alternative costs me equipment on counterattack, but in either case, it’s an art form to strafe/retreat or win with the absolute smallest possible force occupying. West Russia is an all-in and Karelia is abandonded. My buy is a bit different - I am very guarded with my Russian tanks and as such generally find that what is on the board is OK for me at the beginning…I may buy 1 randomly but that’s it. I gave up deploying them in attacks on Germany where they can suffer counterattack losses…after initial Round 1 deployment on the Germany front, they’re usually dispatched east or south to help India or spoil Japanese attacks. I’ve even had them make forays into Africa.

    Regarding UK, my opponent ignores UK Destroyer in SZ 12, takes his Battleship and transport to sink the British Cruiser in SZ 14, and actually lands infantry on Gibraltor to negate allied air bases. He never goes for Egypt Round 1. He will also build a Destroyer off Southern Europe Round 1 to block any ideas I may have of sending the UK Destroyer after his Battleship. He’ll sink British Navy in SZ 7 and US Atlantic Fleet. He does all this usually with Zero casualties, although he may occasionally lose a Sub or two. He deploys his airforce to support these attacks exclusively, not deploying them in any other combat Round 1. I’ve yet to peel off a fighter.

    I’ll be honest, my UK Round 1 has historically always involved a Max-Force attack in SZ 37, (or recently some newer approaches) and the transport survives to shuttle infantry west to help in Africa, typically lurking far south to avoid being hit by a Bomber). I have never really tried any other amphibious attacks and perhaps that’s a bad thing. I’ve never bothered sinking his fleet in SZ 61, because I worry about that Destroyer shooting down my fighter. I’m going to give that some thought.

    Your bid advice is exactly what I would do, and we have been playing with a 9 Bid and I have done precisely what you suggest.

  • Alright so since I’ve gotten some input here, let me continue with some more detail on my opponent, and two new twists I took in recent games that approached KGF and KJF differently than what I’d done in the past.

    First, let me describe his playstyle:

    He is an excellent Axis player. He is extremely conservative with his airforce, and views the German airforce role as primarily a deterrent to any Allied Navy. Therefore, he will not deploy them in any Russian front attacks, he will sparingly deploy them in Africa, and of course in Round 1 he deploys them heavily in Naval attacks where there is zero chance he’ll lose them. After Round 1, and with the exception of quick forays into Africa, his entire Airforce will typically be parked in Northwestern Europe. He therefore only deploys Infantry/Tanks against Russia, although late game when he is ready for a final assault he will pull the airforce in if it’s safe to do so.

    He is similarly conservative in all battles, only attacking with very strong / overwhelming odds. He won’t gamble, or be baited into crap- shoot attacks. Give him weak odds and you can generally count on not being attacked. I had to find ways to exploit this.

    Round 1, he always does the following:
    Germany: Sinks UK Battleship/Transport in UK SZ7, UK Cruiser SZ14, USA Destroyer/Transports in SZ 11. He does not attempt an Egypt landing, preferring to ignore the UK Destroyer in SZ17 and build his own Destroyer off Southern Europe to block. (SIDENOTE: I had been sending the Russian Fighter down to Egype for many games, before realizing he probably wouldn’t attack anyway, so I stopped doing that and begun deploying the Russian fighter in better ways Round 1). His Med Battleship joins the battle against UK Cruiser in SZ14, and the transport comes too, to drop an infantry on Gibraltor, eliminating it as an allied Airfield. He similarly ignores the orphaned British Destroyer/Transport off Eastern Canada, leaving it alive but immediately threatened by his surviving Subs on both sides. He will do all of this with virtually zero casualties - if he loses anything, it’s a Sub or two. He will not attempt to retake W. Russia, because he won’t have the right odds. He will retake Ukraine if I’ve taken it, but, usually bare minimum force - leaving it to be traded. He consolidates his force in Belorussia. He will walk into Karelia as it will be undefended. No counterattack against his German Battleship is feasible, because the UK Destroyer off Egypt is blocked by a German Destroyer. The UK Destroyer that survives off Eastern Canada has nowhere to run so all it can do is try to counterattack the German Subs off the US. I may send the Bomber to help if I’m going KGF, but if there’s only 1 sub left, I usually won’t and hope for good rolls. He’ll set up for a Round 2 Amphibious assault on Egypt, moving German ground forces in Africa east into Libya and prepping troops in Southern Europe for pickup/drop off next round.

    Japan: Has typically lost her Navy off East Indies SZ 37. Will counterattack to take out remnants of UK fleet that survived. Will immediately begin building transports - never builds an Asian factory. Ever. Begins shucking immediately and moving fleet south in position for a Round 3 / Round 4 India landing. His ground forces and fighters begin sweeping USA out of Asia. He generally won’t bother with a Pearl Harbor attack.

    Now, my general approach has been what is probably considered the norm:

    Russia: Attacks W. Russia with everything. Abandons Karelia. Strafes Ukraine, trying to wipe it down to only a German fighter or maybe take it (barely). Begins strategic withdrawals from Asia. Sends sub to help with doomed UK fleet. Buys heavily Infantry+Art or maybe Infantry+tank.

    UK - Buys ground forces for India (sometimes all tanks, sometimes infantry/artillery), spends rest on Fighters to begin convoying over to West Russia. Mandatory all-in attack on Japanese navy off East Indies. Protect India Transport, sending to Africa to either evcuate or support, and staying low to avoid getting Bomber-strafed.

    USA - Generally goes KGF, so begins retreating all Pacific Fleet towards Atlantic, and buying small Atlantic Navy and/or some bombers/fighters while waiting for the main fleet to arrive. Chase off German subs in Atlantic.

    NEW KGF Strategy - Part 1:

    None of this has been working, so I took a philosophical shift. Here was my thinking:

    • UK cannot build a navy that cannot be insta-sunk by German airforce, for at least 4 rounds. I crunched the numbers, including, ZERO spending on anything first several rounds, saving for a massive naval build. Believe it or not, it can’t be done, when he has 6 fighters, 1 bomber, and subs/battleships surviving. Once I accepted that there is NO Naval Pressure possible from the UK against Germany for several rounds, I begun to think the UK should wait for the US Navy to arrive and piggyback, basically only buying transports. This turned out to be a bad strategy, since all Europe landings are easily telegraphed…and the UK has to wait for the USA to arrive in it’s seazone…and the USA can’t leave the UK fleet unguarded…and the UK fleet can’t head into SZ5 alone…and to boot, one time he brought a Japanese Bomber over to Europe and I didn’t notice it. So I figured the UK transports could attack SZ 5 and USA fleet could arrive before Germany’s next turn…and of course he sunk all the transports with a single Japanese bomber.

    • So, then, I concluded, UK can’t afford her own strong navy anytime soon, UK can’t piggyback USA navy without restricting one or both of their attack options…so what then? I took a closer look at the board and it dawned on me that the UK HAS nearly a strong enough Navy to support landings on the board the very first round. It’s just that they’re down by India. And thus, KGF using INDIA Navy retreating around Africa began to develop.

    • I busied myself with building Fighters/Bombers in UK and doing my best to hold India…the Indian fleet actually hung around a bit longer than I wanted, near SZ 34, just out of reach of Japan’s staging fleet, because I had some opportunities with fighters etc. to eliminate German navy, support attacks various, and to transport-shuck a bit from India to reinforce Africa. I dawdled a bit, sunk his Med fleet, and headed around Africa via the South.

    • The starting UK Navy near Australia was evacuated East towards South America, destined to regroup with the UK India fleet somewhere off Brazil.

    • Meanwhile I was much more aggressive with Russia in the East than normal, and begin experimenting with more aggression. I typically never use my Russia tanks on the German front, since I can’t afford their loss to counterattack and everything after Round 1 is either fortifying W. Russia or minimum-attacks in Ukraine (the kind where you take it with 1-2 infantry left max). Russia can ill-afford battles that cost it more than Germany, and tanks are not replaceable. In past games I kind of didn’t know what to do with them - they were basically being used for defense. This time, I began making forays into Asia and keeping the front lines as far out and as bogged down as possible. This was nominally successful although I felt inexperienced in doing it. It did help preserve IPC income longer than normal.

    • I commenced standard USA fleet withdrawal from Pacific towards Atlantic, and begun building an 8-transport shuck. I realized quickly that this new approach gave me a lot more options. First, I could get some protection from UK fleet as it rounded Africa, thus making early Morocco landings more appealing than usual. Second, I could simultaneously shift the bulk of my offensive Navy that the USA was waiting on/building up on the Eastern Seaboard up to Canada. I therefore allocated 4 transports towards a Morocco shuck. I started simultaneously preparing 4 transports up north, going across from Eastern Canada to pressure Western Europe.

    • Finally, UK fleet came around and with some clever maneuvering basically was able to link up with some USA naval units inSZ8 and provide adequate protection for a 4-transport UK shuck fleet to be quickly deployed. I reinforced that fleet as best I could with extra destroyers shortly thereafter, so the USA fleet could return to duty covering US transports. UK transports begin breaking off and heading into SZ 5 to drop on Karelia, Finland, Baltic, etc. Just trying to stall and irritate and cut off pathways and create havoc.

    • Relatively quickly, I had 12 transports total between UK/USA, split into groups of 4, hitting north, west, and south. After hitting Morocco once, I picked up those same US troops and popped them into Southern Europe. It put me a bit out of position but gave me a third front to open up for him.

    • None of these European landings were particularly successful, I’d typically take/lose territory, but certainly diverted lots of his attention. Unfortunately I think I made some poor decisions choosing to attack new areas instead of reinforcing gains (when I once briefly held Western Europe with the USA, thwarting a German counterattack, and failing to reinforce it with UK), and meanwhile I ran out of time in India. Japan overran India, Caucasus fell to Germany, Asia collapsed entirely for Russia, tanks started pouring through all 3 sides, and Russia fell before I had made any European landings ‘stick’.

    • About that time he also brought the Japanese Navy through Suez and was beginning to threaten the Atlantic, although, his fleet wasn’t significant enough to pose any serious threat to the Allied navies. But it was a little annoying in that it had to be monitored and the possibility of a Japan naval attack to soften the fleet, followed up by a German air force swarm, could have gotten ugly.

    • I had been particularly successful Bombing Germany during this game, oddly enough mostly with the UK, which began to cement my thinking that in the future I need to do this more. He was taking mid-teens damage per Round to his complex. I feel I was close to victory, but ran out of time, and perhaps the bombing wasn’t as heavy as could have been. And probably USA is the one that I should spearhead this.

    • All of this cemented my thinking around 3 Key Points:

    (1) Any KGF strategy must involve Allied landings in multiple locations. In prior games when I consolidated USA and UK navies, he simply put 20+ infantry stacks on either Western Europe or Northwestern Europe, supported with 7 fighters or so, with tanks in reserve, and dared me to land on one of the two obvious choices, knowing he’d throw me back into the ocean immediately. So, to do it right, requires separate Navies, both able to fully defend themselves, and further, there is no hope of affording a reasonable UK Navy that can do so anytime within the first 4-5 rounds. To save up for such a Navy requires essentially a wholesale abandonment of India and virtually zero spending on anything for multiple rounds, which is not viable.

    (2) Bombing Germany with 5+ bombers total a round, provided the dice hold up, takes a big toll. The economic value becomes obvious - 6 bombers against a die roll of 1 mean you’ll statistically lose 1 bomber per round. But the remaining 5 should hit for an average of 3 IPC each, which is 15 IPC damage. At a loss of 12 IPC to the Allies (the cost of the bomber). That’s +3 IPC impact to Allies, -3 to the Axis. Hmmm…

    (3) Failure to apply any meaningful economic pressure to Germany prior to Round 4 or 5 will result almost certainly in Russia being overrun. There are only three ways to apply economic pressure - take German territory in big chunks (impossible for first 4+ rounds), win decisive battles that cost Germany more than the allies (impossible against a player like him that will never engage a battle that he does not have a large advantage in, and who cannot be attacked on your terms for quite some time), or deprive her of IPC’s through heavy bombing.

    I believe I made great progress in cracking the KGF nut. I’ll make a second go of it soon…

    Meanwhile, I then played the next game with a KJF - just to figure out if my past failures with KJF were reversible. More on that in the next post.

  • '19 '15 '14

    I think the way to win against that kind of German opening, is to be as forward with Russia as possible. Try buying a tank a round, every round, even if it seems like your inf are light, there’s just no way to keep Germany from stacking Karelia and pushing on Belo, if you don’t buy armor. If you came out of the W. Russia attack with a decent stack of inf, you should be able to push him back off Karelia in the opening round. And you can keep him tied down stacking Karelia (with odds on defense in W. Russia) for a couple more rounds, you can keep Russia alive with the W. Russia wall. I never use a tank in an attack, unless it is “The Attack”. They are way to valuable to expend in anything other than major game deciding strafes, or to hit heavy on defense.

    At some point, the German player will have to decide whether to pull his fighters off France, or keep them fixed on UK. If he pulls out, that is the round to buy UK ships. I haven’t had any luck with a wait and drop approach, like in Classic. I find you have to start creeping destroyers across the Atlantic early on. Also you might experiment with a couple Atlantic subs, since they can clear the German surface fleet without too much risk from the air. A single British sub can clear a remaining G surface fleet provided G isn’t buying destroyers every round. And if they are buying destroyers, then you should be able to force the issue on the eastern front in the second and third rounds.

    Africa is tough no matter how you play it, the Algeria space makes it much harder to push across, and if sz 16 is closed, then its hard to make much use of a US med fleet. Easier to cover/threaten from sz 13, so you don’t lose the position on the north. KGF Africa just doesn’t seem workable to me on this board. It has to go north through sz5 for the Russian wedge to hold up, and this takes way longer than it used to, with no good shuck-shucks on offer. I find myself going south early on, a lot more on this board than I used to. Like using sz 22 and 23, and launching transports back and forth to 13, way more than I ever did on earlier boards. Sometimes I will swing south around Brazil with the pacific carrier instead of going back through the Canal, just to keep an option on a Pacific game if I see a round 2 opening. I also find that I do many more magnified air builds in this game than before. The bomber at 12 is just too useful not to buy a couple, and the fact that UK doesn’t boarder sz 3 anymore makes US fighter shucking a 2 round ordeal. On the other hand, the ability to stall Japan, for a comparatively small cost, will sometimes have me just writing off all the pacific fleets. I will launch attacks in as many directions as possible, position airforces in W. US as if to support pacific, but then redirect Atlantic, unless Japan makes a mistake. I don’t know though, it’s very hard without a bid. Defenseless transports and more the way the the sea zones around Japan and UK are designed, it takes twice as many transports to get the same amount of ground into the game.

    I feel like India is just solid gold for that reason. It’s so hard to transport units anywhere with the Allies, that Indian tanks seem like the easiest way to get ground forces to the center early on. Even if they are just there to draw down Axis troops defense.

    I’m also not convinced that the attack on 37 is mandatory. It might be necessary for the full Pacific game, but you can also stall Japan for a round if you throw those units around in other directions. I find myself sacrificing transports with the Allies, just to get an early attack advantage, way more than I used to in Revised. They are hard to defend, so I start to think of it like, if I get 1 round of transport out of them, its sometimes worth the cost at 7, just to get units into the fight. It’s hard though.

  • Didn’t expect a reply before bed!

    Couple points:

    • Interestingly, he doesn’t stack Karelia. He uses it to crank out 2 infantry, and may at various times hold 4-5 infantry there, just enough to dissuade any attacks, knowing that I that won’t overly weaken W. Russia, but his primary stack location is Belorussia, and he doesn’t tend to veer north.

    • I also don’t like using Russian tanks on any attacks that have a remote threat of counterattack. Like you. But then, one has to to ask, for the cost of 1 tank to be used on defense, I could have 2 infantry performing the same task providing better odds and more fodder…so why buy tanks? The final assault, in terms of Russia pushing west hard, I’m not sure that’s necessary, I’d rather he smash himself against me or have to turn his tanks back towards Europe. But to be fair, I’m struggling to win so I don’t get that far 🙂 My thinking is that if the time comes for that then I can do a tank-heavy buy all at once the round before.

    • He never pulls his fighters off Western Europe/Northwestern Europe, he prefers to just wait until the tank stack he has up against Russia is sufficient to take it, or for Japan to begin encirclement such that he will get multiple attack waves hitting Russia simultaneously

    • His German surface fleet has retreated into the Med early on and so chasing them with Subs probably wouldn’t make sense. If he saw me limping a weak fleet over he’d probably poke his head out. The northern German fleet I will usually wipe out even if it risks British fighters, rather than have it join Med fleet. The eventual Med fleet that persists on his side is usually Battleship/Destroyer/Transport although he is prone to adding another transport if the mood strikes him.

    • I agree wholeheartedly on the temptation to buy USA bombers along the way, and the relative waste of time inherent in buying USA fighters and trying to send them East - takes too long

    • Funny you mention Bomber forces in West USA, I did this last game - bought a fleet of Bombers, put them on Western USA to cause panic, and was still able to get them the other way to UK in a single turn…this is a nifty and useful trick. Almost no reason NOT to always do this.

    • I had success just today with KJF and I’ll explain separately, BUT, I had no clear path to how I would actually conquer JAPAN…just a way to cripple her and encircle her and overrun Asia. Your point on defenseless transports and Pacific logistics problems is quite valid

    • At some point, the eventual fate of all transports near India is that they are sacrificed and sunk alone…it’s just a matter of when and how much cat and mouse you play with them before it happens. Your thoughts about using them for early takes on Borneo/New Guinea are growing on me - I always felt I needed them around a while longer to annoy/reinforce Africa

    • in the KJF game I went back to a tank-heavy India buy and will share details on that separately - I’d say it worked well

  • '19 '15 '14

    Its tough, I know this kind of German player. The problem is, you’ll never defeat a conservative German player just buying inf and artillery with Russia. When he’s sees you buy Inf and Art, he will push forward immediately (like a Belo stack), at some point he’ll drop a support column of Tanks in Germany, launch them east in one move, to turn the tide before you can respond. Armor is a nightmare for Russia at 6 ipcs, because in the back of your head you’re always thinking “Well, 2 inf is better (even on attack) than a single Tank!” But the problem is that, once G starts pushing those smaller inf stacks east, you won’t be able to trade territories anymore. So to my way of thinking you have to force the issue early. And the best way to do that is with a Tank stack, at least 6 deep. You figure, the western allies won’t be landing any ground till round 4 at the earliest, and what fighter/tank support you receive will probably be locked on W. Russia. The only forward advantage you can carve out is a moderate tank force to threaten counter attacks and strafes against the main German stack.

    You might be onto something with the full KJF though. A player who is used to running the board with Japan, and playing Germany conservatively, can sometimes be thrown by an all out Pacific game. By “all out” I mean, cripple Japan to the point where you can either take the home island, or redirect Atlantic without any real threat of Japanese resurgence. It’s playing a dangerous game, but you might consider other attacks besides 37. If he’s used to that second transport, and the money from Borneo and New Guinea, you can maybe shock him out of his groove by doing a less conventional attack. If the US drops full pacific they can outclass Japan eventually, and force a decision between the islands or the mainland, but not if they try to split the difference or move too slow. Destroyers are key, for blocking flexibility. Anything that holds the Japanese back by sz 61 for a few rounds, instead of down in 36/35/34, is going to help the Allied endgame.

    If you do stick with KGF, I think you have to set up on Germany as quickly as possible. D-Day rarely works for me, unless I hold the North and can push down through Baltic states at the same time. But to hold the North you have to keep an option on a Karelia out of W. Russia. I don’t think it can be done with just 3 tanks, you need to be at least 6 tanks deep in W. Russia with tanks rolling out of Moscow so you can hit the surrounding territories, without having to move out a round (as you do when you drop inf in Russia). Probably with another 6 tanks on loan from UK, just to get in that position.

    But yeah, I dig 1942 sec ed.
    If you ever rock tripleA, I’d be down to play openings with you

    ps. when your opponent pushes on Belo is he putting his secondary stack of Inf in Poland or Baltic? I find that the only way to punch a hole, or conjure up a shot on Karelia is to keep Ukraine fully deadzoned. If he gets that far with his stack, Russian collapse is imminent, so in a way, just holding him on Belo (the safe spot from G’s perspective) you’re not doing half bad. Getting forced out of W. Russia is the killer though. You may find in the end, that an Allied bid is needed, to give you more infantry in W. Russia at the end of the first round. I mean Germany has potentially 10 tanks on W. Russia in round 2. It’s a tight spot for the Soviets, no doubt. Even with 3-4 inf units distributed on a Russia pre-placement bid, you can still get smoked if the Germans defend well.

    I don’t know, yours might be that rare case where the dreaded triple attack into Belo might be worth an attempt? But man, 3 attacks spreads you damn thin, and any one of those attacks could go terribly wrong. But if a first round Belo stack is the key to his game, maybe you gotta just let the dice roll and hope for a bunch of crushing 1s 🙂 (Seriously though, Belo in round 1 can’t be done without a Russian bid, you’d get smoked 9 times out of 10 in the other spots going for it.)

    Archangel and Karelia are both working against the Russian position on this board. And G can sweep the Atlantic so easily. The India factory is wash, because Larry didn’t give the Brits enough money to make it truly effective. A Canadian factory would have been more useful, given the German naval potential. But ultimately, Russia is just weak. If Russia was stronger the Allies wouldn’t have such an uphill battle. Alas

    Are you playing with sz 16 open or closed? Is he buying more fighters with G, or just using the 6+ bomber? If he doesn’t buy fighters in the first round you’ll need to have at least US a few fodder ships built in round 1 so they can be in position for sz 8/7 in the third round (if he leaves an opening.) If not its round 4 before any troops are threatening Europe. I prefer Scandinavia to Africa, since it puts pressure on the Baltic but either way, you want to be set up for a British fleet in the fourth round. I might consider Africa if sz 16 is open, but I have been playing with it closed, since open heavily favors the Axis (at least in the first 5 rounds.) Could change a lot. I still think you have to match Germany on the ground with tanks. Whether they come from UK or Russia or both, is I guess up to the discretion of the Allies. I just can’t see much use for anything but air or tanks (India) with UK in the first couple rounds.

    It’s still fun though even in a losing game, you just need a good round or two with the dice in your favor, to recover from the indefensible starting position on the Eastern Front hehe. Let us know what happens and which bids you liked. I hope more people will start playing on this board.
    Best of luck! always

    ps. Lastly, if you or your group are interested in other methods of playbalancing (ones that don’t involve a bid) you might like this rule:
    It’s my favorite way to play on the 1942 sec board. Tried to keep the rule simple, but my group likes it. It makes the game more dynamic for UK and Russia, but gives some cool options for each nation. The main reason I like it though, is because of the balancing effect, since it seems to bring each side closer and bring action to typically uncontested areas of the board.

  • Well, the general strategy for how he would be defeated is to force such a stalemate in W. Russia that he never breaks it and begins breaking off his buildup due to pressure in the West. Or is forced to prematurely attack and is smashed, at which point he would surrender. I’ve never considered there being a mass of Russian forces pouring into Europe…maybe a few stragglers, couple tanks fanning out, in which case I can buy those late and mobilize if needed, supported by whatever infantry may have survived the big battle.

    More points:

    • The armor expenses also negatively impact my infantry needs in the East. I’m busy trading Ukraine, feeding up 4 infantry from Caucasus per round and probably bleeding small territories Far East. So, I’d be purchasing 1 tank + maybe 5-6 infantry a round, diminishing. The extra infantry or two that doesn’t go to Caucasus must go to W. Russia to fortify the stack. There’s nothing going East to delay or support…and I’m losing 1-3 infantry per round just in territory swapping. I’m game to try it, but, I’m extremely skeptical. Building W. Russia by 1-2 infantry per turn (and a tank) against his typical 8 infantry / 3 tank buys (give or take) doesn’t seem viable.
    • Agreed in that you don’t have forward advantage without tanks. But I don’t need it. My Russian objectives are to hold W. Russia, hold Caucasus, and trade Ukraine/Archangel as needed. If I see an opportunity to steal Karelia I will take it. If that holds, Germany will crumble, and even a slow infantry push offensive with couple of starting tanks would be sufficient to overrun.
    • I’ll definitely post the full KJF experience later - let’s just say I WON, but, IMO I diced him late game. Still, it carried me deep and I’m opening up to it again. He was indeed thrown off a bit.
    • Will continue to contemplate avoiding SZ37, can’t hurt to try
    • Used Destroyers for blocking / protecting my island-hopping to the South, whenever there was a chance my Naval stack would in theory be crushed by his full attack
    • Also built up massive Pacific Fleet with USA, which he attempted to match, and did indeed keep him up by SZ 61 for the entire game
    • Your D-Day experience mirrors mine WHEN you have 1 Navy (USA) forced to protect both Transport fleets. This telegraphs your attacks and generally keeps everyone out of SZ5. Try my approach - salvage the UK navy near India AND near Australia, link up down by S. America, and use that Navy to protect British Transports. Suddenly you’re dropping 8+ land forces in SZ5 each round, wherever you want, and aren’t relying on Russia to create that pressure. This also gives you the Norway/Finland IPCS which he can never really reclaim, and you can take/hold Karelia for Russia unless he pulls his Belorussia stack back. He certainly can’t send his German forces over to Karelia b/c he’s busy looking at US Transport landings on Western Europe. And that’s precisely the point at which his front begins to crumble and you might get some odds to move Russia forward.
    • It seems the fundamental difference we have is, I’d rather develop a Strat that makes UK harass Karelia and other Northern Europe territory, and let Russia hold the wall…I am not confident I can rely on Russia offensively.
    • We do play TripleA, and I’d be happy to tinker around with you. It might be fun to have you go up against my friend, and just spectate. Let me know and I’ll see what I can set up…I feel like if you played him it would be interesting. I usually use Aliases on there but I’ll start using Outlaw_Unforgiven. If you have a day/time in mind post or message me, his schedule is pretty free so if nothing else I can get you two going
    • His secondary stack is usually going through Poland. I do successfully keep Ukraine dead-zoned MOST games. sometimes he varies it up a little and splits his forces to decisively hold Ukraine. Agreed that loss of West Russia, unless it’s a strategic withdrawal, is disastrous for me. Because he won’t take it unless he crushes it and has superior remaining forces, and that immediately makes him a serious threat for Russia very next round.
    • Mentioned this elsewhere but been running a 9 bid, 6 infantry for Russia/3 for India. He has offered and acknowledged need for a higher bid and has suggested 12 but I’m stubborn and hate taking a bid so I have tried to hold at 9 due to ego.
    • I’ve thought briefly about the triple attack into Belo but feel that I’d have to surrender if that went horribly bad. And that to me seems cheap. You’re right, it’s razor thin, and if it fails, you’re screwed.
    • To be honest, on Belo, I’d rather he keep stacking there. If he swings his entire stack to Ukraine for his stack, he’ll take Caucasus at will since I can’t defend both Caucasus/W Russia, then he can march from there straight into Russia or West Russia depending on how I retreat. I don’t know why he doesn’t stack Ukraine more often, but I don’t want to inadvertently encourage him figuring that out 🙂
    • SZ 16 is open, which does present annoying problems when his Med fleet buildup gets to 2 Transports.
    • He’ll buy a single fighter mid-game so yeah, he’s usually at 7 fighters at some point. But not Round 1. You’re suggesting a US fodder fleet - can you elaborate on that? Are you saying buy 2-3 destroyers and send them without transports on a suicide run, hoping to perhaps draw out his Med fleet and/or take out 1-2 fighters if you get lucky? Remember he’ll have subs around - 2-3 usually - pulled back to Med. So, he has plenty of his own fodder…my fear is I lose destroyers, he loses subs that he doesn’t need, and I don’t take out any fighters at all. My calculations tell me I can START a buildup with USA Round 1 Atlantic, but it isn’t going anywhere until it can be properly defended by the Pacific fleet and another 1-2 rounds of buildup (I like a 2nd Carrier a lot). We’re back to the Round 4 problem.
    • Will read the link you provided, thanks
  • '19 '15 '14

    Aha so sz 16 is open eh? Well that is definitely going to change things. Most people I know are playing with sea zone 16 closed off to all but aircraft, and they are still bidding out Allies, sometimes as high 13 ipcs pre-placement. (AA50 settled around that range, 13, so I think people got used to it, even if it seems a bit high for my tastes.) But that is when the bosphorus is closed, when its open the Russians are under a lot more pressure in the opening rounds. A lot more. With sz 16 open you really can’t afford to buy tanks at all, since you need the inf to cover Caucasus by sea as well as land (with a bombardment to boot.) Its starting to make sense to me now, why you haven’t been able to take a more forward approach with the Russians.

    Honestly with 16 open, I’m not sure if the Russian position is viable, not without a bid and a good deal of luck. Sz 16 open gives Germany a super easy shuck-shuck to the East, totally negating the Southern Europe and Bulgaria speed bumps. It gives G a round 1 option on Caucasus (even when Ukraine is strafed hard by the Russians). And in general, open 16 just works to further the early Axis advantage. I’m surprised that your opponent hasn’t been driving harder on Ukraine to exploit 16, he must indeed be very conservative and risk averse.

    As for the Altantic destroyer creep, the way to set it up is out of sz 1. Really sz 1 is the only option, since it is the only zone in range of sz 7 that isn’t covered by German bombers in France.  Rather than massing destroyers here early, its better to train them out 1 at a time at first. You don’t want transports with the first dds. These aren’t fodder destroyers, but uboat hunters. The goal is to push the german subs back to sz 3 or 8, and then to sz 5 or 6 or into the med. Always keeping at least one dd, 3 moves out from any sub to keep them covered on counter attack if the subs try to go forward. If you draw a sub attack into sz 1, this is all to the good, because you will have the second or third dd waiting to counter it with overwhelming air support. I find sz 2 oddly useful for the dd creep, since it’s out of range of France based fighters, but can still reach into sz 6, 8 and 13 on coverage. Once you have the subs pushed back then you can start moving the main American surface fleet with transports, and bring any surviving dd to merge with it as fodder, or block in surrounding sea zones. Even then though, you’re probably still looking at round 4. But again with 16 open, sz 14 becomes a much more valuable sz for G, (since they can transit back to Russia, or Egypt) which makes it harder to separate the med from the Atlantic, and Morocco/Gibraltar from the the rest of Africa.

    I will be around tonight and tomorrow if you are in the lobby. My handle is triplelk, TripleElk

    Oh cool, let me know if you like the boost rule. I just updated that thread for you in the house rules section.

  • '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    The sea zone 16, I feel, gives some advantage to Germany at the beginning but if it could also benefit Allies in mid-game or towards end-game. There was 1 game I played before that closing sea zone really hurts me on hunting Germany back (at that time Germany conquered Caucasus).

    When it is open, I would consider taking out the Mediterranean transport as top priority to lesson the load of Caucasus.

    Are you guys planning to start some 42 2E game via PBEM?.. :)…

  • '19 '15 '14

    Yeah it’s debatable which side sz16 favors in the endgame. Even by round 3 the Allies will have enough air in range to cover the sz from Germany ships, but if Japan gets involved the Axis can lock down the Italy shuck pretty easily.

    To my mind the early Axis advantage is pretty clear with 16 open, but I can see ways the Allies could try to reverse that. Basically it just makes the Med and control of Suez that much more important to either side.

    These days I game live more than PBEM, though I used to PBEM quite a bit. Tonight is a bit busy, but I’ll shoot you a message when I get off work

  • '19 '15 '14

    OK you mentioned Allies at 9, so here are a couple bids I like at 9 ipcs

    All Russia:
    2 artillery, in Karelia and Caucasus, save 1 ipc.

    For 25 ipcs Buy
    5 inf and 1 artillery and 1 tank

    Buy 3 inf 1 art and 2 tanks

    Attack Ukraine heavy with 3 inf 3 tanks 2 art and 2 fighters
    to strafe or take depending on the opening roll

    Attack W. Russia with 9 inf 3 art 1 tank

    Non com: AA guns forward to W Russia, or W. Russia and Ukraine depending on the results of the attack (strafe/or take, how many inf remaining etc.) Option move 1 Kazakh inf to szech for fighter defense.  Option 5 stack to Bury. Or full western focus depending on the results of the attack.

    Place: drop 3 inf 1 art in Caucasus, with tank(s) in Moscow. Additional infantry (if bought) option either Moscow or Karelia, depending on whether you want to draw a counter attack possibility or just let the germans walk in to escape bombardment.

    I think that should set up a decent Russian opening. Another approach is 2 tanks to W. Russia, 2 to Ukraine, depending if you want to go lighter on Ukraine in case of the round 1 sweep.

    All UK:
    1 inf in Egypt, and 1 sub in sz 35

    buys 3 tanks in India 1 fighter in UK. Option 1 inf in UK or save 3 ipcs
    buys 3 tanks in India 1 bomber in UK saves 1 ipc

    The extra infantry unit should be enough fodder to keep your Egypt fighter alive into the second round. The sub can join an attack “all in” on sz 37, or if you forego 37 it can peel off with a fighter to kill the Japanese transport in sz 61 landing either in Bury or Szech.

    To set up full KJF, or Japan Stall, or tank support to Russia post India withdrawal

    Split bid at 9:
    6 to Russia, 3 to UK for

    1 tank Russia, 1 inf in Egypt
    The tank can be used to reinforce the attack on W. Russia, or brought in for the hit on Ukraine. I think it might be advantageous to have 1 tank over 2 infantry here, just to secure the counter attack options. But you could also try 2 inf for fodder in these attacks instead of 1 tank for the hammer.

    The infantry for Egypt is, again, to keep the fighter alive into the second round. I think this fighter has the best chance of swinging the game, for early attack options or long term defense.

    USA destroyer bid:
    8 to USA, save 1 ipc for Russia to convert an inf to artillery in the first round buy.
    The only bid that stands to make much difference for the Americans is the second destroyer in sz 11. Or possibly in sz 19 (by the cruiser off panama) if you prefer to kill subs on the counter attack, or push Germany to consider sz 10 instead of 11, for fear of this counter attack

    Just some thoughts, nothing is full proof. I think the first round is a bit dicier for everyone on this board. There is probably no full proof conservative winning strategy for the Allies even with a bid at 9. Something has to give somewhere, but these are some options on a bid. Hopefully it helps

    Perhaps some others here have opening bids they like?

  • As a very experienced revised player, playing 1942 second edition is a refreshing change. The India factory, change to make Pearl Harbor attack unfavorable, and favorable germany attack of US east coast on round 1 combine to make the Pacific more attractive. After playing 30+ games, some at a high level, I believe a bid of 8-12 to the allies is appropriate.

    Compared to revised, Germany is much stronger because UK and US can’t exert much less pressure early. The Karelia factory also raises the likely prospect that Germany will be able to stack Karelia and solidify the position with unit production from that factory.

    7-8 bid: inf in cauc, art in karelia. 4 inf attacking into ukraine means you have a very good chance of taking ukr with only 2 tanks. art into Wrussia allows you to take the battle in 2 rounds, reducing losses.

    9 bid: inf in cauc, sub in sz15. Inf for the reason described above. The sub gives a huge headache for germany’s naval fleet. Thinking about the possible scenarios with optimal play on both sides, I don’t believe there’s any way to keep Germany’s Med fleet alive past round 3 without a carrier AND destroyer buy. Losing the Med fleet is a huge blow to the Axis achieving income parity.

    10+ bid: you can start considering a ukr, belo, wrus triple attack.
    e.g. with 2 art and 1 inf bid.  4 inf, 1 art, 2 tanks, 2 fig Ukr ; 3 inf, 2 art, 6 inf, 2 art, 2 tank to Wrus. These are all favorable battles and will force germany to buy all infantry for many rounds.

    I don’t think an egypt inf bid is necessary. A germany R1 attack to egypt practically guarantees losing the battleship and transport to a 2 fighter, 1 bomber attack.

    The SZ37 bid, even with a sub isn’t worth it in my opinion unless US plans to commit everything to the Pacific. By attacking, UK loses all opportunity to swing around and form an atlantic fleet in rounds 5+. Japan loses ~1/3rd of the naval and air fleet but the remaining fleet remains unopposed without US building a fleet. My point is that attacking SZ37 weakens UK more than weakens Japan.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Do you usually play with sz 16 open?

    If open I think there is a lot more pressure on both sides to handle the med early. This would prompt me to consider a med sub bid as UK, either in sz 14 or 17, or as G to consider the carrier. Sz 16 gives me headaches hehe 🙂

    Open or closed seems to change the dynamic quite a lot

  • I don’t see how that’s the case. The way I see it, with all the air power at Germany’s disposal, the UK can’t get anywhere near the Med fleet with anything other than subs (which can be kept away with a single destroyer) or planes (which will require a big investment and many turns to set up). I can see the one sub on the bid making quite a difference early on, but I wouldn’t consider the Med fleet threatened, just paralyzed early on (which is already a big plus for the UK, mind you).

  • '19 '15 '14

    Well the bomber in UK can reach any space in the med during the first round. If G buys nothing, or fails to destroy both the cruiser in 14, or the destroyer in 17, then its fairly easy for Allies to set up on the med. If UK buys a second bomber they can pretty much clear the med battleship just with those alone, unless G drops more ships in the water. Another sub from the outset could be decisive. If nothing else, just to peel off lone destroyers, or prevent the building of an unescorted med carrier. If Britain fails to clear it, but forces G into a naval race, then USA can pick up the slack I would think.

  • I’m sorry, I thought the German reply to a sub bid would be to stay near Italy, but I looked again at the map and that would spell certain doom, even if the two UK boats get sunk by planes. So yeah, that sub is a real pain. Now I see only 3 ways to reply to it:
    1. Lose the med fleet, lose Africa and concentrate on Russia.
    2. Buy a destroyer and a carrier.
    3. Attack Gibraltar and buy a destroyer to block the sub and destroyer.

    None of them is very appealing, so yeah, the sub bid is pretty annoying.

  • Zombie, forcing Germany into those 3 options are essentially my assessment of the impact with a UK sub bid. The UK sub either destroys or diverts significantly more than its 6IPC cost.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Do you think 14 or 17 is better for the sub?

    In either location there is the potential to draw down 22 ipcs from Germany on purchase to try and save their med transport, which fees up russia for a cost of only 6. And this is before running any attacks with UK. Just forcing G to spend that much on a med navy might be counted a victory, depending on your goal. If they camp on 15 there is a decent chance of peeling off a fighter or bomber as well on defense, if G attacks the brit ships with air. It might even draw subs off sz10/11, depending on how cautious G wants to be.

    The alternative drawing down 8 ipcs for a German destroyer block. The destroyer could be sunk relatively simply. And forces G into 14, or else at risk in 16 or 17 from air.

    If abandoning Africa and the med altogether, the sub puts 27 ipcs worth of German  units at risk immediately, again for only a cost of 6.

    This seems like a pretty effective use of the bid. Unlike a sz37 attack, a med sub doesn’t even have to run an attack before it starts influencing the situation on G1, because of the turn order.

  • I looked at it again and Germany can actually defend everything with just a carrier. Here’s how. Attack SZ17 with 2 fighters (landed on the carrier), attack SZ 14 with 1 fighter and 1 bomber, use your subs as you normally would, use the other 2 fighters to attack SZ 7 as usual. Transport 2 ground units to Libya. This leaves you with 1 battleship, 1 carrier, 2 fighters and 1 transport defending against 1 sub, 2 fighters and 1 bomber. You’ll win that battle 86% of the time. You’ll probably lose one fighter in one of the two battles to clear out the Med but everything else stays intact, while spending only 14 IPCs. I’m still not sure that’s the best option for Germany and it’s still not great, but it’s out there at least.

    Consider that if there’s no sub bid, Germany still has tough choices for its Med fleet:
    1. Attack Egypt at low odds, if no bid placed on it and no Russian fighter landed there, but at low odds and if it fails, the fleet gets destroyed.
    2. Take Gibraltar, attack the destroyer with the bomber (with a 3 in 7 chance to lose the bomber).
    3. Take Gibraltar, leave the destroyer alone, risk losing your med fleet to a bomber and a destroyer.
    4. Take Gibraltar and buy a destroyer to block the opposing destroyer, lose your new destroyer to a destroyer, a bomber and a fighter (or two if Indian carrier coming to the Med).
    5. Buy a carrier and do as described above.

    None of these options is very appealing. Better for Germany than with the sub present, but not so much better that the sub bid seems warranted over say, 2 infantry units.

  • '19 '15 '14

    This is the way I was handling 17, fighter attack vs the destroyer and land on the newly purchased deck to camp on 15 and push Libya. The problem I’ve run into is losing a fighter on cruiser/destroyer defense. It always seems to happen to me 🙂 Sometimes 2 fighters die, which drops G to just 3 fighters, or 4 and no bomber (if Ukraine was taken). And then the Med fleet in later rounds becomes harder to defend against a sweep by British or American air, it always seems to get stuck with nowhere to go, esp. if sz 16 is closed. And its harder to threaten a counter against sz 7 builds when one of your fighters is dead, and the rest are tied down in the med. Pretty tough to back down after you invest in ships initially, but major headaches in the med no matter what you do.

    I feel like any time I buy a carrier without dd cover, I am just asking for trouble, but if you drop another 8 ipcs, for only 2 units to transport it starts to seem like a pointless enterprise. Probably just call it a wash, send the battleship on some kind of suicide mission, and stack German infantry, 11 and 2 art, just leave the canal up to Japan? hehe

    Also, if G builds like this, on the water, what is you favored response as Allies? I’m not sure after the carrier build from G, where I’d rather have had my sub, if a sub bid was the play.

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