I played my first game of Global today in a four man set up. We pick our teams out of a hat and I ended up with the USSR and France. The Allies won the game rather soundly with only France falling, China maintaining its Southern lands, and Italy stuck at Cairo. I will try to give an overview but it may be lacking in details.
Germany: An expected Round 1 attack left Paris flying the German flag. Germany then took its time to take Normandy the following round. On the eastern front there was silence until a round three attack aimed at pushing both north and south towards factories. These were both initially successful until a counter attacked drove both back to the original lines. The German player then focused entirely on heading North as Britain had landed in Denmark and Belgium causing two fronts to open. The German player didn’t get much support from the Italians and was eventually overwhelmed from all sides. The Atlantic navy was a non factor in the game.
USSR: A lack of pressure allowed for a large buildup of troops against the German front. I mainly purchased Inf and Mech the entire game and played game of counter attacks. When the attack finally came on my weaker frontline territories, I would counter attack and force Germany to split his troops. I also had a lucky naval battle that saw USSR take control of the Baltic. Japan attacked in the east, activating Mongolia, round 2. This was actually my main problem as Japan had cut my economy sustainably towards the end of the game coming through both Siberia and Northern China. It was too little too late at that point however.
Japan: The axis powers goal was to push back China and cause economic damage to the USSR. While this worked to a degree, it took too long to get going and was never effective enough. China held the Burma road for the entire game with a minor factory being built in Manchuria. The northern areas fell eventually but provided a large enough speed bump until the UK was attacked by Japan round three. Pearl Harbor never happened, with the Japanese navy destroying the American navy outside of the Caroline Islands. The Japanese attack force was then destroyed by counter attacks from the UK and ANZAC however. This opened up the Pacific as Japan could not rebuild at the rate of the Allies. Troops from India reinforced the Chinese and the Japanese were pushed back out of China.
USA: The US didn’t enter the war until Round 3. With a full navy, the US moved to the Caroline islands after consolidating and taking them. The Atlantic theater saw more early buys with a large invasion fleet being built without pressure from U-Boats. The fleet made its landing on Southern Italy without a large garrison to contend with. Italy had spent its money elsewhere and had no defenses in place, also due to Northern Italy falling before to the UK. The US helped establish allied control in the south of Europe then went full Pacific. With no Japanese fleet roaming, the US rebuilt at a larger pace and took the new fleet on outside of Japan. This was followed by waves of invasion fleets eventually leading to the fall of the island. The US maintained control of the Philippines the entire game.
China: The Chinese played a defensive game. They consolidated their forces in the south on the Burma Road to maintain their income bonus. They kept a few troops north early on the give the Japanese another target. With UK and ANZAC help, the Burma Road forces grew and eventually went on the offensive reclaiming coastal and central China.
UK: The UK faced little pressure on the Pacific side of the board. They claimed two Dutch islands early on the and maintained them through the game. When the war finally came, the British only had to counter attack two areas before fully stacking the Burma Road and working to maintain Hong Kong. The British fleet was a match for the Japanese naval forces in the area and provided a pure infantry approach.
The European theater was much more dynamic. The British lost control of Northern Africa for a large part of the game. However, they contained the Italians to nothing more than owning Cairo. The Royal Navy dealt with the German U-Boat threat very quickly and there was no Axis ships in the Atlantic past round three. The initial British invasion on Europe came at Denmark. The secondary one was in Western Europe, which was counterattacked successfully. A third came at Belgium. The Germans had sent everything east and the Italians could no longer provide western support. Coupled with Greece and Yugoslavia being activated and neglected, Northern Italy fell to the British. The Americans eliminated Italy from impacting the game and France fell the next round. The forces marshalled at Western Germany and took Berlin with a large invasion fleet landing in the north as well.
Italy: The Italian fleet was left vulnerable and paid for it more than once. When this happens, Italy simply didn’t have the money to maintain control of the Mediterranean. The round 1 attacks into Southern France and Tunisia helped Italy economically early on. The Italians then made moves in Africa taking Alexandrea and British colonies the following turn. The Italian fleet also took out the British Mediterranean fleet round 2, which left one cruiser and multiple transports open to a French destroyer and cruiser who won. This scenario also played out two or so rounds later with the remaining French ships hiding on the edges of the Sea striking more transports. The Italians took Cairo but could not recover economically with being tasked to hold onto France. Rome fell with Italian troops spread all throughout the board.
ANZAC: The remaining Dutch islands were taken by ANZAC early in the game. With a few turns to build up, ANZAC had the capability to finish off a once large Japanese fleet outside of the Caroline Islands. The fleet, with transports and fighters, then moved on to aid the fight in China. They bypassed the heavier southern areas and cut the supply lines head off by taking Manchuria late in the game. A few original troops were able to help push through the territories surrounding Hong Kong.
France: They weren’t lying when they said the pieces look nice in the box. France fell round 1 as was expected. However, the countries Naval units and African inf were able to play a key role in the war. The sea units were ignored and were able to strike and cripple the Italian fleet. The inf bolstered the British defensive lines and even went on the offensive in North Africa at the games conclusion.
This game was very fun, if not overwhelming however. I am more accustomed to the 1942 second edition but loved the scale of everything. This is one of the games that is reserved for special dates but is very worthwhile to play. Being on the winning side never hurts either.