Thanks for bringing up an interesting topic. I’ve downloaded the file and looked at the current situation. I enjoyed reading your comments, insofar as I could find them… I didn’t click everywhere. So here are my thoughts… those of an armchair general really, because I rarely actually play the game. My apologies if any of my comments seem too definitive when they are based on analysis rather than experience.
I guess what I want to know is:
1. How would you personally Judge the situation in the save to develop in the long run; as a (crushing?) axis win or a (crushing?) allied win and how should they proceed from there (turn 10) to secure it?
My assessment is, that the Axis will win this game. Not necessarily in a crushing way, but the tide is against the Allies, and I don’t see many constructive possibilities for them other than occasional attempts as harassment. The main Allied problem seems to be the lack of strategic initiative anywhere on the board: the Axis powers just have very little to worry about.
Looking at the various theatres of war in some detail:
a. Russia is doomed. The Russian turn is ongoing in the saved file, and right now, Germany is threatening to kill either Bryansk or Russia. So the main Bryansk force needs to retreat into Russia, but German power is such that this will only postpone the inevitable. There’s no particular rush for Germany here, so they can afford to build enough units to not just defeat Russia, but crush it in such a way that a large German force will survive, ready to march South. Germany should also start strategic bombing raids on Russia, which will virtually eliminate future Russian builds.
b. A decision the Allies need to make, is whether or not to reinforce Russia by landing (mainly British) planes there. British and Anzac planes can land in Persia this round, and in Russia next round. I think that at least six planes should be sent because that will require several extra turns for Germany to produce the units to soundly defeat Russia.
c. The Allies need a much better presence in the North Atlantic. There’s no invasion threat at all right now, and it would really help if Germany needed to worry about, say, Norway. If Russia can hold for a little longer (see point b), it may still be possible to achieve this.
d. I don’t see much that the Allied Med fleet can do. I would, on the US turn, sacrifice 1 transport + 1 inf to take out Northern Italy’s major IC (I wouldn’t have left that entirely unguarded as the Axis). Otherwise, I would try to get most of those transports back to the US, where they could become part of an invasion force aimed at Northern Europe. However….
e. There’s a major Japanese threat to take South Africa. As Japan, I would sail 3 arm+1 art+ 4 inf to Italian Somaliland (Russia -3), along with the entire SZ39 fleet. If the Allies now want to keep South Africa, they need to take a somewhat desperate measure: moving the SZ95 US fleet to SZ81, and then during the British turn, fly the fighters from that fleet to South Africa (along with all land units that can reach it. The problem is, that such a move would be very unattractive because that fleet could be attacked by the Japanese in SZ76. Japan may even move and build bombers in India to support that. And where will the US and British transports go? Also, the Allied planes would not get to Russia in time. So I’m afraid that South Africa is lost, which is a major pain of course. Allied forces will have to rush South to retake it before Japan builds too much there. Also, that Japanese fleet with its landing forces, will eagerly look at the South Atlantic.
f. As for building an IC in Persia (Egypt already has one), I wouldn’t do it. I trust Germany to be busy in Russia for a while, but it could also become a target for Japan. And as you pointed out, Britain doesn’t have the money to produce everywhere.
g. Japan will of course send a bomber after the US transports in SZ42. Personally, I don’t think the capture of Java on the last US turn, was a very good idea. Those transports posed a threat while they were with the SZ54 fleet, and without them, Japan just has fewer things to worry about. As the chess players say: “The threat is stronger than it’s execution”.
h. As Japan, I’d consider pulling the SZ35 fleet back to SZ6, and build transports and carriers there, and inf+art in Japan, and add the planes from the Carolines and Filippines. This poses a threat to Hawaii, requiring the US to do something against a Pacific victory.
i. What can the Allies do? I wouldn’t try to hold South Africa, but start to pull back the Med Fleet and build inf/art in the Eastern US. The British should just keep building in Egypt and the UK. In the Pacific, protect Hawaii with the US Navy, and let ANZAC just build land units to protect itself. And, almost forgot that one, as Russia’s combat move is ongoing, I think they should take the Western Ukraine and Rostov, and attack Smolensk with 1 inf + planes. Leave 1 inf in Bryansk too. The idea is to make life a bit harder for the Italian can openers, and hope that a few of them die taking the areas back, as Italy doesn’t have a factory there to easily replace them.
2. What would you do differently with the allies in answer to this axis strategy that you know will do much better (preferrably by experience)? I am most interested in the overall ‘GIF’ approach, since the ‘JF’ approach already is a mandatory strategy against almost all other axis strategies. But if you think ‘JF’ then go ahead anyway. I may be most interested in a ‘GIF’ approach but that doesn’t mean a ‘JF’ approach is uninteresting ;-).
Hard to say! I’ve explored similar Axis strategies myself, and ran into the same sort of problems. For example, Japan becoming stronger than the US, was something I also couldn’t avoid. One thing in your game that I would not have done, was to send the Royal Navy into the Med on turn 8. I don’t think that the Axis Med fleet was particularly useful at that point in time, so why give it something to do? If it needed to be cleared at all, I would have left that job to the US Navy. So I would have sailed the Royal Navy to South Africa there, buying a carrier there, and then either North through the Atlantic to support operations against mainland Europe, or keep them there and counter the IJN. Lots of British planes in the area, so I’d dare the Japanese to get any closer!
Well, I hope these ideas of mine make any sense. Thanks for sharing this interesting game.