First few builds for USA



  • What do you guys think the US should build for the first few turns? In my gaming group, usually on US1 they build just 3 ships for the Pacific (because they can only build 3; sometimes it’s 2 battleships and a cruiser for the whole amount) and then on US2 all ships for the Atlantic and then on US3 all land units and transports to attack Europe.

    If US builds 2 battleships and 1 cruiser for the Pacific on US1, that is usually enough to take out the Japanese fleet with help from Anzac (if they build say a destroyer then a bomber) and Calcutta (just with their starting ships).

    Throwing everything else at Europe makes it difficult for Germany or especially Italy.


  • 2017 '16 '15

    two carriers and a BB used to be popular
    I think some people like to buy bombers as well


  • 2019 '15 '14

    I saw an interesting play the other day, where USA dropped a naval base in panama. Pricy but had the novelty of allowing USA to quickly bounce between theaters. Pacific to Atlantic from sz 10 to sz 89, and then on to Gibraltar/92/Africa Torch (set up on med), or Atlantic to Pacific from sz 101 to 64 then on to Hawaii or NZ. Not sure if it was optimal, but it gave USA some cool flexibility and some headaches for Axis in figuring out which theater would be the ultimate focus. I thought about maybe using it as a set up change for Allies on balance, to just give them a harbour in panama outright.

    Usually I see bombers or all ships sz 101 on US1, depending on what Axis did.  Sometimes sz 10 ships if Japan got hosed somewhere, or determined Pacific game. G40 is like most boards, in that USA still has to determine the theater of focus for Allies. Anything that gives them an edge on a rapid redirect midgame, can be cool.  I see mostly carriers and destroyers in early rounds, with the US saving the remainder if production is restricted because you’re not at war, but that could just be the people in my playgroup thinking Battleships and Cruisers are underpowered for the cost. I still like magnified bomber buys on this board, but if leading with warships, carriers win out over battleships for me on the water. I’d rather have a pair of fighters or a fighter and another destroyer (and save the cash for the next build) over a Battleship.


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

    T1. West: CV, DD and TT.
    East: DD and TT. Save 6, unless I feel I need a Sub.

    T2. West: CV,DD, DD.
    East: CV, Ft. Of course, means I  saved the 6 from T1.



  • I’m with Elk on his comment about BBs and CAs.
    Furthermore, if you are thinking Carriers, it is very easy to build aircraft on one map and fly them over to the other map next turn, if you are starved of set-up points.

    For example: in a JF mindset, US1 you could build 2CV + 2FTR. Place the 2CV in West and the 2FTR in East. The FTR can land on the newly built Carriers US2 if they go to Hawaii (for example).
    Since the USA starts with about 6air and 1CV in the Pac already, those 2CV mobilizes all air at once, with the two extra FTR being used as scramble protection @ Hawaii and later on @ Queensland.



  • T1:  2 CV, 1 DD, 2 SS

    T2: 1 CV, 1 Fig, and either 3 SS 1 DD, or 2 DD 1 TT save 3


  • 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    USA1: 2 carriers, destroyer, bomber as default;  sometimes 4 bombers if seriously worried about sealion
    USA2: it all depends

    Naval bases can be useful for emergency movement to Hawaii/Gibraltar (Southeast Mexico) or Sydney (Line island) but that’s not til later on in the game when/if needed.



  • Turn 1 East

    • 1 Aircraft Carrier (to match Germany’s)
    • 1 Destroyer (for U-boat warfare)
    • 1 Transport (to send 1 Inf. and 1 empty TT to Brazil)

    Turn 1 West
    -1 Aircraft Carrier (for Pacific fighters that need a CV)

    • 5 IPCs held back (for turn 2 flexability)

  • '15

    I’ve recently had a lot of success with the US by going very heavy in one theater for the first few turns. Â

    If I want to go heavy in the East (all pieces placed in the East unless otherwise noted):

    R1: 4 tranny’s, 1 CV, 1 DD   Place the EUS fighter and the Tac on the WUS carrier on the carrier purchased.  I also bring a loaded transport from WUS around the board and move an inf from WUS to CUS

    R2: (assuming Japan has not declared war) 2 tranny’s, 2 inf, CV, 2 DD (WUS)

    R3: Loaded tranny for EUS, spend the rest in WUS

    By turn 3 US has 7 loaded transports ready to go to Gibraltar along with a 2 CV (one loaded), a C and a DD.  The Brit’s can lend a couple of planes to the second carrier for extra defense if needed.  This move puts a ton of pressure on the Germans and I’ve seen it force Japan to wait until turn 4 to attack.  Japan can get a big head start but with such an aggressive start in the East the US is able to spend most of its money in the West the rest of the way.

    Heavy in the West:

    R1: 2 CV, 1 BB (a standard move)  You can bunch everyone in Hawaii, WUS or Johnston depending on what Japan is doing.  Bring over the C and loaded tranny from EUS

    R2: Loaded tranny in EUS to replace the one you took and a DD in case there are German subs floating around.  CV, sub, DD in the West

    From there on out I’ll buy a couple of loaded trannies a turn in the East and count on UK to protect the waters.  In the West I’ll buy loaded tranny’s, DD’s and sub’s the rest of the way. Â

    From here I head to Caroline and then either A) take back the Philippines or B) take Java, plant a flag and start picking off the other islands with Anzac.  If Japan leaves any part of its navy vulnerable I’ll hit it. Â

    Every plan has its flaws but I find my US play has increased significantly increased since I took a “Spend big on one side the first two turns” strategy


  • 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    @Nippon-koku:

    R1: 2 CV, 1 BB (a standard move) � You can bunch everyone in Hawaii, WUS or Johnston depending on what Japan is doing.  Bring over the C and loaded tranny from EUS

    This gives you another option too.  If Japan is doing an India crush you might send the bunch up to z7 and build new fighters in Western USA.  Turn 3 you send those fleet planes off to Russia, move the rest of fleet into z6, and fly in your replacement fighters while the Japanese fleet is busy down South.  That gets you 6 American planes in Moscow in time for a G6 attack on Moscow.


  • '15

    This is a great idea too.  Those planes from WUS can get right over to SZ 7.  Makes me think about buying 3 carriers turn 1 and then the planes to go with them later on.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15

    This is a very good topic! I “always” buy two carriers and a destroyer for east coast US 1. I “almost always” buy 4 bombers round 2 for the US. I figure the carriers you are always gonna need and nice to have for a sudden sea lion. The bombers round two are flexible. I think this is typically true if no J1DOW. I find 5 bombers early on nice to have to hassle Italy. The bombers can also fairly easily join the pacific later on


  • '14 Customizer

    I usually do what Nippon-koku said for the east. USA will eventually catch up with Japan but 1 CV in the east will get eaten alive by the Luftwaffe. Unless you have UK build one or an AB at Gib they wont be able to guard those transports.

    If your scared of Sealion build 9 inf in London with UK. Germany will be lucky to get even a Pyrrhic victory.


  • '15

    If I’m playing Allies myself and doing teh heavy EUS strategy I’ll play UK this way:

    R1: 2 fighters, save 8.  Move the guys from Scotland to London, possibly move the Gibraltar fighter there as well depending on what I’m doing with Italy (I’ve taken a liking to joining the UK Med fleet with the French ships and making Italy attack me).  UK should collect 42 (convoy raid in Canada is possible of course).

    R2: (If Sealion is in play) I’ll buy 6 inf, an art and two fighters (truth be told, I welcome a Sealion from Germany).

    If the Sealion is not on I’ll buy something like a carrier, one fighter, two DD or two carriers and a fighter if I still have a ship or two left on the board from round 1.  I’ll either set up the ships in Canada or in the SZ adjacent to both the London and Scotland AB in order to utilize as much scrambling as possible.

    R3: The sea should be safe to build in by now so I’ll get started on transports.

    By the end of turn 3 you’re looking at the US force mentioned in a post above and the UK having a couple loaded carriers, tranny’s and a huge air force.  On turn 4 you can take your pick of Norway, Normandy, Southern France, etc.


  • '16 '15 '10

    @ghr2:

    T1:  2 CV, 1 DD, 2 SS

    T2: 1 CV, 1 Fig, and either 3 SS 1 DD, or 2 DD 1 TT save 3

    Best suggestion so far.

    There is no perfect USA1 buy.  It always depends on what Axis is doing.



  • @Zhukov44:

    There is no perfect USA1 buy.  It always depends on what Axis is doing.

    This is such a cop out answer. Of course it depends on what the Axis are doing, but that’s the whole point of the question. Give some typical scenarios and how you would counter them with your USA builds.


  • '16 '15 '10

    That’s exactly it.  In order to give a useful opinion on what the USA should build, I have to know what Japan and Germany did and bought.  So if you want an opinion, give a scenario.

    There are some things USA wants to buy during the first few turns regardless.  These are subs, destroyers, acs, fighters, and transports.  How many and where depends.


  • '15

    I don’t alter my first round buy at all (obviously there are exceptions to every rule, but most of the time it’s what I listed above).

    The 2nd round is far more dependent on what the Axis have done thus far.


  • '15

    I like buying 3 carriers in the Pacific on round 1, and then adding planes for them the next round.  After all, planes can catch up later with little risk involved.



  • Very interesting in how other players approach this. When I am the USA or allies. I always split my buyings in half, and focus US attention in both theaters. Now there are times when the Pacific may require a battleship that the European theater does not, but usually if one gets a transport the other does as well. This works very well for me, and when I am the USA our group knows I usually win the war for the allies. Each their own I guess.


  • Customizer

    I agree with Zhukov44. A lot depends on what the Axis does.
    If the US decides to go JF, I will go with 2 carriers, 1 battleship all placed in SZ 10. What’s more, I have the US fighter in Philippines fly it’s way back to land on the carriers when they are moved to SZ 26. By round 3, the US should have 3 full carriers, 2 battleships and a number of smaller warships along with 3 loaded transports all staged either by Hawaii or Queensland.

    If the US decides to go GF, my US buys tend to alternate between bombers and ships.


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