Is there a perfect strategy?



  • How does that bid help the allies though? If a fair bid is 25 that can be placed anywhere, then how is a 17 bid that can only be placed in Canada and Gib fair?



  • Because if that’s the case you might aswell have the axis player take off what ever pieces you feel like you think is fair …

    Personaly the game is fairly well balanced and that it’s the players them selfs that have the issues if you play a high caliber axis player your gonna loose if you play a high caliber allied player your gonna loose until you feel like your skill and strategy in the game is up to there level other wise play smarter and make 0 mistakes it don’t take as big of risk



  • I agree with Whitshadw and Wild Bill.
    The game is indeed very sharply balanced, except for 1 point (I feel): Gibraltar indeed.

    Only with Bill’s example of a standard setup change (INF ART FTR) I’d also like to see another AB in Canada as well. It’s Canada, not some underdeveloped minor country so why should it not have an AB anyway.

    Interesting thought perhaps, now that Wild Bill mentions it:
    Why NOT allow the UK to keep all it’s ships in the Atlantic? Very historic, not too painful for the Italian fleet (which is done for anyway). Since this is indeed too much of a threat to Germany (early invasions), the Germans can be beefed up by adding additional INF.
    I don’t think Russia is in too much danger because Germany would (should) need those INF back home to defend against such early invasions from the allies. If Germany sends them into Russia, UK invades UK1/2 should be the deal, so Germany keeps them home.

    Maybe a second balance-flaw as well: I don’t like it that the USA must do something about Japan first, as oposed to go ‘Germany First’, in order to be safe. Japan grabbing Hawaii J9/J10 is so much of a threat that it drains too much US resources into the Pacific. I completely understand that the USA had to be slowed down in Europe after the first edition, but the way it is now just feels too much slowing down.



  • Well it is not like you cannot reinforce gibraltar round 1 with the UK to make sure it has a garison.
    Before the war broke out, which is basicaly the setup of this game gibraltar was just a naval base, france was an ally and italy was neutral. So there was no risk and the base was protected by the fleet there. If you have naval superiority you dont need many land troops to prevent an invasion.

    That is also why hitler wanted franco in his team, so he could assault gibraltar from land he knew he could never do it from the sea, even after the fall of grece germany had a difficult time reinforcing their troops on krete and they had total air superiority which they would never have over gibraltar.



  • ItIsILeClerc I agree with you that the Canadians should get an AB, especially when you consider that the AB at Gib was removed.

    I have played w/AB on Quebec (maybe during the Alpha runs?). I think it would be ok as long as the ftr started on Ontario. Quebec w/ftr and AB would be able to scramble against the G1 sub attack on sz106, and like I said I don’t like to make changes that will effect the opening round of play.

    An AB on Quebec would allow Canadian ftrs to get to London, or Gib in one move, which I think is a good thing as the game progresses. If this was done originally (ftr in Ontario, AB on Quebec) they wouldn’t have had to beef up UK def so much IMO by adding so many AA guns. The English could have that Canadian ftr in UK on UK2 for added def if it starts in Ontario. Plus I believe there is a historic value to it too, because the UK established a pilot training base in Ontario. It wouldn’t aid the US in getting air to Europe (London) any faster, still would take two moves. It would give them another option though that would be safer then Gib or Iceland (but not really an advantage).

    As for making changes to allow the UK to keep some of the RN in the Atlantic, that would be a much larger undertaking effecting multiple powers. The US going Europe first, I’m undecided on. It would be more difficult, but I’m not sure if it isn’t viable. You would obviously need to def against Japan making sure they don’t get/keep that final VC (A VC on the 4th map quarter). One of the biggest concerns going into Alpha+3 was the US going Pac. They added the 5 IPC NO for liberating Paris to entice the US to the Europe map, maybe it still falls short (IDK).

    ShadowHAwk, I agree that the UK could indeed garrison Gib, but they have bigger fish to fry, or they might be more worried about getting troops to London. I know the UK  has the option of forgoing an attack on the Italian fleet, and move every thing to sz92 on UK1 (setting up blockers etc), but I still feel that Gib shouldn’t be left w/o any ground at all at set-up.

    To be honest, I was a bit disappointed on how they handled beefing up the UK against a Sea Lion threat in Alpha+3 (adding a couple inf and a bunch of AA guns). I would have liked more UK units on the board that would have a chance to get to London like the Canadian ftr in Ontario (AB on Quebec), and a couple units at Gib. Maybe even a transport w/cruiser in sz91 (even if it meant Germany gets something).


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Agreed. Ft. in Canada makes sense. Lose 2 AA from England.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Uhm, if you feel Gibraltar needs an airbase to balance things, why not just bid for it? 😛  After all, that is the point of the bid, to balance the game and to balance the players playing the game.

    Personally I don’t have an issue with the airbase being taken off.  I wouldn’t have an issue if Larry Harris decided to remove the naval base either.  It’s a game, if we were to try and make it perfectly historical, then we would have to write a rule that says that Germany must be destroyed before Japan can be, and that the Axis are prohibited from winning no matter what - because that’s what happened in history.

    As for the death of the Royal Navy, that has been a traditional part of this game since forever and before forever ago. hehe.  Seriously it’s always been the #1 objective of the Germans to sink that blasted navy just because if England keeps it, then Germany is lost.



  • Didn’t say that the AB should be reinstated for Gib (actually said I understand why it was removed). What I said was that Gib def was underrepresented (no ground units). I also thought that because the UK lost the AB for Gib at set-up that an AB for Quebec seemed reasonable IMO, and that the Canadians should probably start with a ftr (in Ontario).

    BTW I would also agree w/wittmann that if the Canadians get a ftr that you could reduce the def of London.



  • @wittmann:

    Agreed. Ft. in Canada makes sense. Lose 2 AA from England.

    I would say have all the aa guns and the fighter.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Honestly, I would agree that maybe England could use an INF in Gibraltar and remove one from N. Africa.  But now we are moving into House Rules and away from bids and strategy.

    I have considered and I wonder if an allied bid (say 25 due to mention above) could be useful for an Aircraft Carrier with the Cruiser west of Gibraltar and a Submarine north of Egypt.  The Carrier would deter a German attack of the cruiser by added 2 more hits to the defensive line and add 2 punch to the defensive setup thus making a Submarine fight there virtually useless (1 SS vs 1 AC + 1 CA) and even if it is damaged, there is a NB there to “heal” it.  Then you have another landing zone for more aircraft to come to Taranto so even if Germany puts a fighter in S. Italy you should still have really good odds of winning (and assuming one of the two ACs are undamaged, you have a nice Convoy set to hurt Italy even more.)  The submarine north of Egypt is there, of course, for another casualty at Taranto, and a little extra punch.  You’d still have 3 IPC which you could use for whatever - or turn the SS into a DD and have 1 IPC for later use.

    With the added threat to S. Europe, perhaps the US can afford to spend more in the Pacific.  I would imagine either the Luftwaffe is gone or Italy is a non-factor with virtually no income left, perhaps even both.  A slightly more aggressive England and Russia might even contain the Germans (never defeat them, but contain them perhaps) allowing for the US to stop a VC win in the Pacific.  Or maybe the Russians could send air and ground forces into China early on and play a defensive war while the US Builds to come help in the Atlantic - it would require ANZAC/UK/USSR to be at war with Japan early, but it is doable.

    Just rattling off the top of my head - feel free to punch holes.


  • 2015

    I’m with Whiteshadow and would add that I simply don’t see the immense advantage the Axis supposedly have.

    I play the game almost daily; another board member lives 90 seconds up the street and we probably get in a game a week at this point (usually playing a couple of rounds a day or thereabouts).  While the Axis definitely have an edge I would argue it’s 60/40 at most, not the 80/20 or 90/10 that most on the bored seem convinced of.  We’ve run JDOW1 to the letter several times and its been a 50/50 proposition thus far.

    Lately I’ve found that heavy Atlantic buying early on for the US really strains the Axis.  I’ve been doing a US1 all Atlantic buy of 4 trannies, a carrier and a DD.  Along with that I’ll bring over the tranny and some units from WUS and load up the carrier I bought.  From there I’ll try to get another carrier in the Atlantic as well as another couple of loaded transports.  By turn 3, assuming Japan has attacked (which they usually have by now), I’m bringing 8 loaded trannies to Gibraltar with two loaded carriers (you can always use UK planes if need be) a DD and a C.  Assuming a successful Taranto raid on UK1 the US is left with far too many options for the Axis to defend them all.  At this point the UK should have built up some naval presence (either out of Canada or by utilizing SZ 109 i.e. being able to scramble from London and Scotland) and now the Allies can start looking at Norway, Normandy, Southern France, Rome, etc.  With the Atlantic looking strong US can now play catch up in the Pacific (admittedly, easier said than done).

    Not saying this strategy is perfect but it has been a pain in the butt for the Axis in our recent games.



  • Hmmm, I 'd consider a 60/40 advantage for any side in any game as way too good (for that 60 side). Broken beyond repair, even.

    I think A&AG40.2 is balanced at roughly 60/40 for the axis indeed. By looking at the league standings that is. By my own experience I do not know where the balance lies, yet. In experienced groups I play in, the axis simply always win but 1v1 my results are more close to a 50/50. Personally I play OOB but most people in the league use allied bids, which leaves me wondering why it’s still a ~60% favor for the axis in league standings (last time I checked). Whatever it is, I cannot and will not think that “others might have gotten it wrong” so I tend to take the league results more serious than my own.

    And as far as my personal experience goes, this 60/40 balance does indeed not come from J1DOWs, which I (personally ;-)) consider a better starting point, for the allies. But maybe that’s just because we’ve all become so familiar with its ins and outs.

    I like to play Atlantic-heavy as well. It can be as heavy as 13 fully loaded US TRS (with adequate escorts), ready to invade from Gibraltar US5 (J4DOW) or 10 TRS US4 (J3DOW). Needless to say Hawaii and Sydney can hold out as well.
    This ‘Europe first’ has gotten me very good results untill German players started to forsake their efforts to take out Moscow in favor of building up adequate defenses against the Wallies. WGermany, Berlin and SItaly, and to a lesser extend Finland and France, can be stacked with so much forces for defense and counterattacks that even the heaviest spending in Europe will get the Wallies no place to invade.

    Ofc this leaves the axis unable to grab Moscow and in fact Russia should be able to start pushing back, but Moscow has its own problems. It has only very small income left by this time and Japan often also threatens to walk into Moscow through its back door if Russia gets too agressive. Long story short, I find that this course of events leaves both the axis and the allies in very strong positions for a long time coming (15+ turns, or even much much more).


  • 2016 2015 '14

    @ItIsILeClerc:

    Hmmm, I 'd consider a 60/40 advantage for any side in any game as way too good (for that 60 side). Broken beyond repair, even.

    There is this game I like to play, and with the two most popular first moves, the spread over the course of history is the following:

    1. e4: White wins 39.2%, Black wins 32.6%, Draw 28.2% = 53.3% / 46.7% spread.

    1. d4: White wins 39%, Black wins 29.5%, Draw 31.5% = 54.75% / 45.25% spread.

    And yet, people have been playing chess for a long time now, without constantly complaining that the game is broken.  😉

    I’m sorry, but bidding should be a 100% equalizing process for most Axis & Allies games.  If the results are still 60/40 after the bidding, that means that people aren’t bidding right.  That, or there is just more propensity to play one side more accurately than the other.  This does NOT denote a flaw in the game, but rather a flaw in the play.

    I’m still learning, and quite frankly it seems to me like it takes a lot more creativity to be successful with the Allies than with the Axis.  So, I will contend that it takes a better player to be consistently good with Allies.  But, if you are not good at both sides equally (and few are), comparative statistics are not going to give you the information you need.

    The only way to truly get those statistics from league play would be to play a match with one game from each side with the same bid amount for each game within the match.  Then if you still see a very skewed result, then it is due to an imbalance.

    But even then, it is a difficult proposition to tell how much of the imbalance is due to the game and how much is due to the players.



  • There is no perfect strategy.

    There is however some key areas and strategies that seperate the mediocre player from the master:
    (Note: I do not myself claim to be a master)

    Good play is and must be flexible and is dependent on both luck and opponent counter moves. Its smart to have a wide array of possible moves instead of projecting a single strategy, thus making it difficult for your enemy to decipher what you realy intend to do :

    Example 1: Germany buys nothing round 1, now allies must calculate both sealion and barbarossa.
    Example 2: US has a fleet with 8 trannies of gibraltar, now Germany and Italy must guard both WGR, France and southern Italy.

    There are some important key areas on AA 1940 map which can be realy critical to gameplay, these can be considderd the “center” of the chessboard. Offencive initiative here is good, loosing such areas is bad.

    Examples:
    Bryansk (If allies can stack and prevent Germany from taking it its a real headake for Axis)
    Caroline Islands (A US fleet here is flexible and its expencive and hard for Japan to block of all targets with destroyer)
    z97, z6 and z19 is vulnerable to massive sub convoying.
    Yunnan, Gibraltar, Norway, Egypt, Iraq/Persia, East Indies, Caucasus, Stalingrad
    And ofc all capitols.

    Good allied players should master the following.
    Playing after:
    London has fallen
    Egypt has fallen
    India has fallen
    Moscow has fallen

    Dont be a defeatist, you’d be suppriced to see that what looks bad sometimes is actually good.



  • Actually, on second thought, we can say that there is something called perfect play. Not to be confused with a perfect strategy, ofc, and it is incredibly hard to play perfectly (i.e. making no mistakes).

    From my own experience, the side who plays perfectly, wins.
    If BOTH sides play perfectly however, I don’t know what will happen. I know that the axis situation looks better after ~12 rounds of play because they’ll have more income (and often also more TUV), but position (location) of forces is also very important and I have never had the time and will to play on in such situations. Playing >13 rounds of intense calculating because both players do not wish to make a mistake (knowing your strong opponent will make you loose the game if you do) is very tiring.

    I agree on everything with anonymus but would like to emphasise that I don’t think there’s a lot of people in the league that do not also fully grasp these things.

    So once again, if the league results show a 60/40 win ratio for the axis (in spite of the allies in the league already playing with bids), I can only think that there has to be a balance issue pressing on the gameplay.
    The only other explanation would be that the league players do not know what they’re doing. That they have gotten it all wrong  (most of them anyway) so that the league results can be disregarded completely. But Who wishes to make such an assumption? Not me, I can assure you  😉.

    Or, perhaps, like me, most league players simply loose interest in the game if there’s no sign of victory for any side after a long time of playing. People maybe get discouraged by the thought to have to play on for another long time and simply give up. If this is the case I can understand where the ~60/40 comes from. After a long time of playing (~turn 15), things often still look pretty grim for the allies. Maybe ‘defaitism’ is indeed the allied worst enemy.
    But I don’t know, just guessing in the dark here. That ~60/40 has to come from somewhere…


  • 2015

    Agree with a lot of what Anonymous has to say.

    Let me reiterate: I’m saying the game is 60/40 at most. The only reason I give the Axis an edge is they have more room for error.  For example, a disastrous G1 roll on the British ships doesn’t necessarily spell game over for Germany.  On the other hand, an early game disastrous roll for the Allies (i.e. a Taranto raid that goes horribly wrong) probably spells doom for the Allies.  If the rolling is even early on I’d be inclined to call it an even split.



  • @Nippon-koku:

    Agree with a lot of what Anonymous has to say.

    Let me reiterate: I’m saying the game is 60/40 at most. The only reason I give the Axis an edge is they have more room for error.  For example, a disastrous G1 roll on the British ships doesn’t necessarily spell game over for Germany.  On the other hand, an early game disastrous roll for the Allies (i.e. a Taranto raid that goes horribly wrong) probably spells doom for the Allies.  If the rolling is even early on I’d be inclined to call it an even split.

    I disagree on this 1, the axis need to make speed in order to win, a bad round 1 for the axis means they are losing a round and the allies get extra cash basicaly.

    The allies have a lot more room for error as long as it does not speed up the axis drasticly. Taranto going bad would be verry painfull but if you still destroy the fleet and the destroyer + transport it isnt that bad.


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