The Strategy Ladder



  • I was gaming with someone recently who was polite and respectful enough for me to invite him to our monthly A&A G40 group games. He gratefully accepted as he was looking for a G40 group to play with for some time, so when I asked him if he was experienced, he replied “oh yes, very much so”. As we began talking more I explained that we play with some house rules, at which point I referred to the Halifax expansion. He was very surprised “Why would you let the Allies spend like that? That seems pretty over powering for them”. At this point I made a few realizations about his experience, and I simply asked "do you visit the online forums much? he said, “not at all”. I then asked “In your games, when do the Axis attack and bring the Americans into the war?” he replied… “we don’t bring them in, the American’s always declare war at the end of their turn 3, why give them the extra NO money?”, you can guess what we talked about after that. Now I’m not saying that you have to participate on the forums to be experienced, I call my self experienced and I don’t play half as much as the TripleA crowd, but even though he had played many many games, he was still low on the “Strategy Ladder”.

    The strategy ladder is something I think about when I see a player playing Germany and leaving #111 untouched while bringing 4 planes into France. On the other side of the coin, I remember playing with more experienced players who showed me the Toranto raid for the first time, and explained the importance of taking the Islands with Japan before taking Calcutta (I was such a newbie back then). Now with the latest dominating Axis strategies, unless you were online playing different experienced opponents all the time, you may not have a clue of the latest game changers. So instead of seeing players as experienced or not, I see where they might be on the strategy latter, meaning that knowledge and game play practice of the most recent gambits yet to be countered would place you high, and playing out strategies that are old and have been debunked and counted over and over, would put you lower on the ladder. Even though our new member to the group has played many games with the same players for years (he recently moved to Toronto away from his friends) he has no idea of the J1 attack on the Pacific Allies basically paralyzingly them.

    Just thought I would share that story.



  • nice story, YG.  Me, im on the bottom step of the strategy ladder…but sooner or later, ill climb up…one step at a time!



  • @RJL518:

    nice story, YG.  Me, im on the bottom step of the strategy ladder…but sooner or later, ill climb up…one step at a time!

    I’m sure you’re being too humble  :mrgreen:



  • not really…i play axis and allies solitaire…all games and all powers…and I LOSE!!!  Now when you lose to yourself…THATS REALLY REALLY SAD!! :lol: :lol: :lol:


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    @RJL518:

    not really…i play axis and allies solitaire…all games and all powers…and I LOSE!!!   Now when you lose to yourself…THATS REALLY REALLY SAD!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

    You’re a very modest man. If that would happen to me, I’d claim that I won.


  • Customizer

    One thing that is good about playing solitaire is if you roll a bad set of dice, then you can always re-roll. Who’s going to complain?


  • Customizer

    Solitaire games can actually teach you a lot. In the old days when there was just Classic I used to play multiple games every weekend. I would point out, although Classic is one of the least complicated games, players can become like WWI generals who have become “trained rats”. I would rather lose a game and mix things up rather than play the same strategies over and over.

    As for Halifax YG, I think the general idea of changing the pace is a healthy practice for the mind. Generally when I’ve seen really heavy opposition to an HR or homebrew scenarios it is many time motivated by “old generals” who are opposed to change in the common strategies of many of us.

    I once purposely lost an all night session of Classic by not making purchases, making outlandish moves and buying several rounds of just dice as the UK. England was left wide open for several rounds and could have been easily taken hours earlier by the Axis. But they were so confused, paranoid, and scared they did nothing for fear I had some ominous plan! After keeping a poker face all night England was finally taken and I laughed till I had tears. My buddies were like WTF? I simply stated that I had lost on purpose and couldn’t understand what the hell were they thinking.

    They then laughed knowing they had been totally bluffed for round after round as I stacked infantry in the US and bought bombers and subs for Russia. They were terrified by my shuffling empty transports to un-strategic places. The simple fact was while I knew I would lose the physical war I definitely won the psychological war in spades!


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    That is excellent. I would  not have the strength of character to keep that up.



  • played a solitaire game of Pacific 40…after ten rounds i ended the game…but it was still and interesting position i put myself in…

    china and the UK were knocked out…japan held all of southeast asia and most of the DEI…australia was harassing japan constantly…but an invasion of the outback was next on japan’s list, the allies held almost all of the pacific except formosa and okinawa…the japs had four victory cities but manila was going to be taken on the next round…

    economically,  japan had more income coming in than the USA… i ended the game giving japan a tactical victory…they captured asia and india and most of the DEI…a truce was signed at that point…(went to bed)…


  • Customizer

    @wittmann:

    That is excellent. I would  not have the strength of character to keep that up.

    In truth I was highly motivated to pull off what I did. In my group of friends there was one guy that was only friends with me because he was a buddy of my best friend. This guy was always correcting me. Always arguing with anything I said or did. I beat him at A&A all the time. That night I decide to “let” him win.

    As an aside note this guy has serious anger issues to this day. In adult life we happily parted ways. In some of my other posts he’s referred to as the “Tank Chucker” for throwing a Russian tank at a radiator and literally making a loud clank as if it were hit by a bullet.

    Another guy that was part of our group fo friends was one of the nicest guys you’d ever meet. However he was not a strategist and usually played fantasy games or ccgs. We played Classic over and over because he kept losing your insisting we keep playing till he beat me. When I did let him win he called BS saying I wasn’t really playing lol. So we continued playing. He still never won a two player match with me but he still enjoyed simply playing.

    So I suppose that was a long post…but God I loved those days. Damn neard every Friday night we would play Classic until Saturday morning.


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