You can build warships AND transports…
Let’s look at a couple of rounds of buys (as always, you’d need to see exactly what’s happening in that particular game to know exactly what to buy, but let’s try anyway)
US turn 1: CV, DD, 4 transports, place in EUS, move the two infantry in WUS to CUS and one extra plane to the carrier you just bought
US turn 2: 1 loaded transport, 1 inf, 1 CV in EUS, spend the rest in WUS (if you attack J1 then America will have even more money to spend and I’d probably add another 2 DD’s or a BB, but let’s leave it at 52 for now)
UK turn 1: 2 fighters, save 8 bucks (or buy a couple of units in London). Move all surviving ships to Canada (everyone seems to handle the UK ships differently, so let’s say you end up with a C, DD and a transport over there)
UK turn 2: 2 CV, 1 DD in Canada (the DD if you didn’t spend that extra money on units)
So on turn 3 the US and UK can go to Gibraltar with 4 loaded carriers (using the fighters in UK), 2 cruisers, 2-3 DD’s, 6 loaded American transports, 1-2 loaded transports from Canada (depending on which ships survived). If Germany has its air force in Western Germany then only their bombers will be able to make it (unless Italy took Gibraltar or Morocco, neither of which they’d keep once America heads over).
From there the Allies have plenty of options: hang in the channel and drop 14-16 troops and a fighter or two for good measure; take Norway or grab Southern France, go for Italy, etc. Sure, if they move to 110 Germany can wipe them out, but at what cost? If UK built another two fighters on its turn you’re looking at 18 units defending, 4 of which can take two hits. Let’s look at how that plays out in battle:
All the ships and planes I mentioned above, plus the two UK just bought for London, and we’re looking at 58 as an attack factor (should be ten hits, rounding up). Assuming Germany bought 2, 6, 2 bombers, has lost no planes so far and has every one of them in position to attack, then they have 12 str bombers, 5 tac and 5 fighters, right? 14 hits, rounding up. Four carriers gone, 2 DD’s gone, 2 C’s gone, 2 fighters gone. Allies still have 8 fighters left.
If Germany presses on they should wipe out all 8 of the remaining fighters, but they’ll lose 5 of their remaining bombers.
Giant allied fleet is wiped out, but Germany lost massive air power (the crux of their entire plan), the Allies are sitting in Normandy and Russia has nothing to worry about.
Again, all of this assumes Germany has lost zero planes so far, has all of their planes in positions to attack, the US did not collect its war income, etc. (Someone argued that Germany may choose not to attack that fleet. Fine, but now the allies are storming through Europe; next turn I’d drop every plane in Normandy and head back to EUS to reload).
Germany is not winning the game at this point; even though they’re still out-earning Russia they’ve lost too much while Russia has built 35-40 ground unit and on top of that they have to get the US out of Europe. That allows the US to…
Go heavy on the other side. I’ve argued this before but you can spend heavily in EUS for the first two turns and still be effective in the Pacific simply by returning the favor.
Turn 2: the remaining 19 (possibly more from a J1 attack, but again, let’s assume they had 52) I’d buy a carrier (loaded with the planes from Hawaii) and save 3.
Turn 3: I’m likely spending the entire 73 (assuming we’re down two from the Philippines) over here now. Loaded carrier, 3 DD’s, 2 subs.
Turn 4: Let’s assume 70 to spend (possibly more from Normandy, Norway, etc) Let’s go another loaded carrier and 3 subs, spend a few bucks on the other end.
At the end of turn 4 the US has a solid fleet in the Pacific (four loaded carriers, a BB, couple of C’s, 5 DD’s and 6-7 subs) and is very likely holding onto a complex in Normandy, which can be reinforced by UK. Add in the Siberian Russia troops hanging around to bug Japan (I like to put them all in Amur turn 2 and make Japan attack them, defend Korea and Manchuria or give up one of them) and this game is far from over.
Is this a sure-fire way to beat the Dark Skies Axis strategy? There are no sure-fire wins in this game, but it’s definitely a solid approach.
You can’t beat back every Allied answer in Europe with “Well my planes would just wipe you out.” Germany’s air force cannot be everywhere all at once.
You can’t beat back every Allied answer in the Pacific with “Well Japan would be too strong to take down by turn 4.” Even after India falls (whenever that may be), Japan still has to go get that 6th victory city. Not a gimme once the US is regularly spending heavy in the Pacific.