• I’m planning to play a 1942 2nd edition game with 3 other people, so I was wondering what the best way to divide the powers would be. I’m thinking that 2 Axis and 2 Allied players would be best, and that since Russia is the weakest of the Allied powers, its player should be the one with a 2nd power to play. Should I pair Russia with the UK or the US? On on hand, the UK might be better because it’s weaker than the US, and playing just the US already takes a lot of thinking and planning. But on the other hand, maybe Russia should go with the US since these powers have consecutive turns, which would perhaps make the game go faster?

    Also, I’m considering adding a Russian bomber to Moscow to balance the game/make Russia more fun to play. Is this necessary for a game among people who are new to this edition of the game?


  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    I’m thinking that 2 Axis and 2 Allied players would be best, and that since Russia is the weakest of the Allied powers, its player should be the one with a 2nd power to play.

    I agree with your conclusion, though for a different reason.  The US and the UK are both fighting global wars (with both land and naval components), whereas the USSR is essentially fighting just a one-front war (and essentially just a land war), so pairing the USSR with either the US or the UK creates less of a workload than pairing the US with the UK.  I’m not sure, though, whether pairing the USSR with the US or the UK would be better.  You could leave the decision up to the player who’ll be playing the two powers.  After all, if you use (let’s say) a random method to determine who gets stuck with the workload of operating two powers, you could compensate for the “unlucky draw” (if you see it in those terms) by letting the person choose who he’ll pair with the USSR.  Once that’s done, the remaining three players can fight or negotiate or randomly roll for the right to play each of the remaining three powers.

  • '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    Just my 2 cents - I think it’s more effective to pair UK with Russia because they can both help each other closely at the beginning rounds due to the location, while US is far from everywhere.  Also there is a break between US and Russia so the player does not need to think in a row.

    I feel adding a bomber to Russia is a good alternative considering it adds more variety to Russia’s options.  For new players likely this bomber alone is not enough…you might feel Axis is overly dominant at first until you play more and finds out the art of balancing : -)


  • 2 axis and 2 allies players for sure.  Additional thought on pairing Russia.  If you pair with the US, that player takes 2 turns in a row since America goes last and Russia goes first.  But also, America is removed from immediate action, while Russia and UK are immediately involved in conflict.  Just food for thought.


  • I would put Russia and the UK as one player, as either could lose its capital. The U.S. will always have a go. It will be lonely as the U.S. though, as it will not see much action for a while. For this reason, if you go with what I think, ensure the American player is aware of this.
    I believe many believe the Russian Bomber makes for a feister, more interesting, Russian.
    If the Axis players are agressive and lucky, it might not be enough. The UK needs help as much as Russia.
    You could always go with the Bomber and if it proves too much for the Allies, add an Infantry to Egypt and India  next time  you play.

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    I agree with most comments here, I would pair Russia with the UK (because of the possibility of losing a capital and both nations having a common enemy in Germany). The idea of the United States playing Russia because they have back to back turns does not make for a faster game IMO, the UK player can have a plan of action and Russian purchases ready while the US is going. I find that once the US are done their turn, the same player has to refocus and decide what to buy in a theater that they’re very little involved with, which will only slow the game down and make the others feel that they are waiting to long for one player. I would even suggest evaluating the Allied players experience and strategy sence to try and give the stronger player the 2 nations.

  • '17 '16

    @CWO:

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    I’m thinking that 2 Axis and 2 Allied players would be best, and that since Russia is the weakest of the Allied powers, its player should be the one with a 2nd power to play.

    I agree with your conclusion, though for a different reason.  The US and the UK are both fighting global wars (with both land and naval components), whereas the USSR is essentially fighting just a one-front war (and essentially just a land war), so pairing the USSR with either the US or the UK creates less of a workload than pairing the US with the UK.  I’m not sure, though, whether pairing the USSR with the US or the UK would be better.  You could leave the decision up to the player who’ll be playing the two powers.  After all, if you use (let’s say) a random method to determine who gets stuck with the workload of operating two powers, you could compensate for the “unlucky draw” (if you see it in those terms) by letting the person choose who he’ll pair with the USSR.  Once that’s done, the remaining three players can fight or negotiate or randomly roll for the right to play each of the remaining three powers.

    I agree with the options: Russia+UK or Russia+US.

    I wouldn’t let an unexperienced player with US.
    Also, if you have someone with less patience, US alone is not for him.

    A very experience player can take care of both US and Russia without creating too much delay.

    But with all average players, I think like Young Grasshopper.

    I find that once the US are done their turn, the same player has to refocus and decide what to buy in a theater that they’re very little involved with, which will only slow the game down and make the others feel that they are waiting to long for one player.

    Russia and UK is much better for gameflow but it is at the expanse that US player will see much less actions in the first rounds.
    That is one of the reason UK alone is already funny in itself, UK see actions on both theaters.
    Russia is already engage in the action (reaction) but cannot buy a lot of units besides Infantry and Artillery,
    while the US player involve a lot of planning and buy a lot of various units.
    This make for a complementary Allied experience playing both Russia and USA, if you don’t mind too much about game flow or much about beer flow.   :evil:


  • Hmm, I guess I’ll put Russia with UK, and maybe I’ll play the US myself, since I’m the most experienced player…assuming no one else has a burning desire to be the US.

    I was considering trying to play an Axis power, because in almost all my games, I’ve played the Allies, but I don’t want to just be beating the Allies up when they may not know how to respond effectively.

  • 2024 '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    I don’t think it matters all that much in a 4 man, it can work either way, with certain benefits and drawbacks to each pairing. Its kind of amusing on occasion to let the Allies choose whether they want to play the British or the Americans first, and then, if they can’t decide who will take the lead, flip a coin to see who gets to be “Supreme Allied commander!” (ie. take control of Russia.)
    :-D

    I agree that the UK/Russia combo is probably faster, and gives the Allies a stronger edge coordinating at the Center, Karelia/India/Caucasus etc etc. but then the USA can also be rather boring to play solo. A lot of waiting, with little action in early rounds.

    In Classic and Revised, it was sometimes fun to encourage an Allied split with Churchill on one side and FDR/Stalin on the other (kind of mirroring the historical situation/mistrust between the leaders of the British and the Russians). In a Face to Face game, this could sometimes compensate for the Axis starting disadvantage on those boards OOB, just due to the difficulty of coordinating as Allies. This also worked better in PBEM play, with just one turn in the email exchange for USA/Russia.

    But in AA50 and 1942.2 where the advantage is to Axis, I think it might be better to just pair Russia with UK, as others have suggested if your main concern is balance by sides among players of roughly equal skill. British fighters or tanks working with Russian stacks at the center, saves on the amount of time that the Allies will spend bantering and pleading with each other. USA starts way out, and usually their coordination with the Royal Navy Atlantic, or in a KJF, is pretty straightforward once the game gets to that point.

    I like the Russian bomber for a number of reasons. But if you feel that the game still tilts towards Axis too heavily, you might enjoy giving any additional bid to USA, rather than UK. A bid of 5 ipcs to USA can be fun. This prevents a naval build, and instead puts the focus in China. This can be good for Allied center control, and alleviate some of the pressure on Allies, in a way that they wouldn’t usually adopt otherwise. At 6 ipcs or more, the USA can really disrupt Germany’s best u-boat option and make an Atlantic crossing much faster for the Allies. That has merit too, if the Allies really need a leg up, but I like sticking them with a 5 spot. This allows for a single extra infantry or artillery unit in China, with a remainder of either 2 or 1 ipc left over for more variety at USA purchase. Having one extra unit in Szech actually does a lot to free up the Russians, and it gives USA more power at the center, if that 3rd ground unit in Szech can be kept alive until American fighters/bombers start arriving mid-game.

    The Russian bomber alone is pretty potent though. I think it probably makes the Russians more enjoyable to play in either pairing, but especially if your players decide they want to pair USA with Russia, rather than UK with Russia.

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