Infantry vs. Artillery vs. Tank Builds



  • Hi everyone,

    Just got this game and I’ve only played through a few rounds in a 4 player game (unfortunately without checking the FAQ/Errata first, which caused some interesting US2 and US3 moves).

    Anyway, what are your thoughts on the optimal ratio of infantry/arty/armor builds, primarily for the CPs? It seems that it’s essential to buy enough fighters to ensure that you get air superiority, and that tanks are exponentially more useful when you have a lot of them, but past that I’m not sure what the best force is for attacking.

    I know in past A&A versions it was pretty commonly accepted that a infantry/tank combination was superior to any force containing artillery with the exception of a few specific situations, but with the new unit costs and attack values in 1914 I’m not sure.

    I’m sure there’s statistical analysis you could do, but haven’t really gotten around to that yet.



  • Congrats on buying the game.  This is my group’s favorite version of A&A.

    I’m not an expert, but in my experience you need artillery, planes, and infantry.  A huge stack of tanks is awesome when you’re attacking, but if your opponent is smart he’ll make sure he can hit you back and destroy them when they’re rolling 1’s and not soaking up hits.  You can buy twice as much infantry for the same price, and they hit on 3’s with artillery.

    Buy infantry, enough artillery to bump at least half of them to 3’s, and enough planes to secure air superiority.  Leave the tanks for 1942.

    I’m sure the more experienced folks in here will have better ideas but this has been my approach so far.



  • Tanks are theoretically better for when you go on offense (which you will have to do eventually win the game), but you need them at about a 1:1 ratio with infantry and still need a significantly higher valued army before you can kill an enemy stack without dying to their counters. The problem is that this isn’t practical when you have to spend 3 rounds of income on non-tanks; for the big powers like Germany who can potentially have built about 40 infantry by the time they can build tanks, that means they’ll have to take another 6 rounds or so to acquire enough tanks to get the right mix of units, and by then they will probably be needing infantry again to survive Allied attacks.

    Fighter races are generally better for fighting powers with lower income like Germany vs. France, since with more income, the more flat IPCs are spent on fighters, the larger the ratio of actual ground spending becomes. Plus, you can do one turn of a massive fighter buy that the other power can’t counter to force them to surrender the skies.

    I did some analysis in this thread a while back on Infantry vs. Tank; it doesn’t capture the whole picture since artillery and air supremacy are a thing, but I think it’s useful.



  • tanks are awesome even a small tank corps can do wonders  😄

    I rember playing the ottomans and being constanly harrased by small allied landings in smyrna.

    I had saved up some money and a single tank saved my ass because there where only 2 units of the allies coming at time and they only scored a single hit most of the time so my coastal defense inf. was taking less damage and that means a larger army.

    but never sent your tanks to die, leave them behind the lines as a fear factor to discourage enemy attacks if need be  🙂



  • You don’t need a tank for every infantry. You just need a lot of tanks if you are attacking. Just make sure you have a lot of inf and arts and planes and you should be fine.



  • Every single time I have bought tanks, I regretted it.
    Bought them for offense, but got counterattacked and they were wiped out defending in place.
    I do not advise buying tanks.



  • Yeah but if you had a lot of infantry and artillery, you would not even get close to taking out your tanks.



  • @ColonelKurtz:

    Every single time I have bought tanks, I regretted it.
    Bought them for offense, but got counterattacked and they were wiped out defending in place.
    I do not advise buying tanks.

    If a counterattack so easily wiped out your stacks, then your initial attack was a bad idea. Attack to win, not for mutuallyou assured destruction. No harm in delaying or even retreating one zone until you have the advantage.

    If a tank saves one infantry it has paid for itself.  If it saves two then it ishould an advantage.  Infantry will still be your primary unit, but three tanks out of 30 units can be awesome.



  • @shadowguidex:

    @ColonelKurtz:

    Every single time I have bought tanks, I regretted it.
    Bought them for offense, but got counterattacked and they were wiped out defending in place.
    I do not advise buying tanks.

    If a counterattack so easily wiped out your stacks, then your initial attack was a bad idea. Attack to win, not for mutuallyou assured destruction. No harm in delaying or even retreating one zone until you have the advantage.

    If a tank saves one infantry it has paid for itself.  If it saves two then it ishould an advantage.  Infantry will still be your primary unit, but three tanks out of 30 units can be awesome.

    I would say that there are uses for mutually assured destruction attacks, especially for the Allies. With a large economic advantage, and with time on their side, it can be worth attacking the CPs with the sole purpose of destroying units as opposed to taking or holding territories. For France it could be useful as a delaying action if you’re waiting for the arrival of British/American reinforcements. Or it could be used by France or Britain to soften up Germany for Britain/US later in the round.

    In the second scenario, I think tanks would be useful for the first attacker. For example, if the Allies were attacking a German-occupied Belgium, France would attack first with the goal of simply destroying as many German units as possible, and Britain would follow up primarily infantry to mop up the Germans and occupy/hold the territory. Tanks would be helpful for France but a waste of money for Britain.


  • Customizer

    On the other hand Britain can usually afford a tank stack while France can rarely do more than replace basic units to hold the line.

    Think of tanks primarily as the best means of finishing off a crippled opponent who cannot afford to counter-attack, but still has a strong defensive position. Use them in strongly contested areas so you can absorb casualties if there is a counter-attack, then attack with tanks again when you’ve reinforced.

    If you attack enemy held areas with tanks and a few infantry you’re just throwing money away.



  • @Flashman:

    On the other hand Britain can usually afford a tank stack while France can rarely do more than replace basic units to hold the line.

    That’s true - I was just using that as an example of coordinated multi-national attacks. A better example may be an attack by Britain on German-occupied Belgium, followed by the US coming in with primarily infantry to mop up and defend Belgium against a counterattack. Both nations could afford tanks, but in this case Britain would have significantly more use for them.



  • I recommend mainly infantry arty buys. Make sure, if you are the aggressor, to have more planes than your opponent. It is good to have 1 tank in each area on the board with each power. This is in case you want to move forward into a territory with your mass stack and he puts 1 guy there as defense.

    So for Germany that would mean 2 tanks. One for the Russian side and 1 for the French side.
    Russia probably shouldn’t build any tanks.
    Austria should probably only build one for the Italy front.
    Ottomans shouldn’t build any.
    UK should only build them in India, and only 1 there as well.
    France shouldn’t build any.
    Italy shouldn’t build any.
    US is the one that can build more than 1 tank if he wants to hit Spain on T5.



  • What`s with this Spain-inavsion-obsession? This is one of the dumbest things to do with the US.

    The four IPCs you may gain will cost you troops worth 12 IPCs statistically. Even more if its an amphibious assault and the spainards were allowed to strike pre emptively with their Artillery.

    Land the doughboys in Spanish Marocco, you get one IPC for free with the oob-rules and them send them to Italy/Turkey/Albania in the next round but please leave Spain alone.



  • Tanks will certainly not win you this game. They are expensive and perform horrifically when on defence. Seriously. It’s sad. Weep as your precious 6IPC tin can gets decimated in the least glorious way possible…. Furthermore, they come into play so late that the war is all but over before they can make it to the front lines to prove their usefulness! Okay, okay, I think you guys get the picture I’m not a huge fan of these things.

    That being said, they do have their uses:

    British stacks of tanks that are adequately shielded by French and American troops are “OK,” and can help to wear down the Germans. I have seen this tactic used somewhat effectively to tip the number balance on the western front. Of course this will only work if they participate in multiple offensive combat rounds. However, a lot of things can go sideways very quickly in this game and it can be easy to see your tanks suddenly in a vulnerable position… You will be lamenting, “Why oh why did I waste six million of man hours on this useless piece of garbage that gets stuck in the mud, barely achieves walking speed and kills its operators with exhaust fumes, when I could have had two whole infantry battalions bravely fighting with machine guns?!” Sorry. Ranting again.

    I find tanks are the most useful for clearing up small scale and/or far flung nuisances. A couple of lone infantry causing you problems? Send in the tanks! Want to subjugate a few neutrals against their will to earn some extra cash but don’t want to suffer casualties? Send in the tanks!

    And of course… Are you ballin’ out of control with mad chedda? Tanks! Got your enemy on the ropes and want to display your hubris? TANKS! Go for it! You da man!/woman!



  • Tanks are most useful when combined with stacks of infantry, artillery and planes.  Six tanks, for example, can change considerably the math involved in a counterattack.  I think they are very much worth their cost.



  • Disclaimer… I don’t mean to bring down any of you tank fans out there. I’m just more inclined to spend my income on the usual infantry, artillery and biplane purchases.



  • @Admiral:

    And of course… Are you ballin’ out of control with mad chedda? Tanks! Got your enemy on the ropes and want to display your hubris? TANKS! Go for it! You da man!/woman!

    True that.

    I think it’s pretty clear that, in order to be effective, tanks
    A) need to be combined with a stack of other unit types
    B) have to be adequately protected from counter attacks

    I’m mainly wondering if there’s any statistical (or even anecdotal) reasoning for how many tanks you should have, especially for the big Western Front battles. I’ve played a couple games but I don’t think I’ve ever had more than 3 tanks at one time in a battle.



  • I’ve noticed that a stack of six tanks is formidable esp. when the Germans and Austrians are poised to sweep down on France.



  • When playing as the US, I usually have 2-3 transports waiting in New York Harbor for over-seas duty. I mix in 1 tank with the rest of the shipment because I find my US army gets involved in smaller battles of about 10 units (Africa, Mid-East, Eastern France etc). As I can only ship a limited number of units per turn, the tanks absorb hits every round and survives to be bolstered by the freshly arriving 2+ infantry.
    For everyone else I think tanks are money poorly spent.

    Anecdotal Evidence

    Starlight Sniper


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