Kill Britain First (KBF) - Japanese Bombers?

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Here’s another idea for an off-the-beaten-path grand strategy: kill Britain first (“KBF”) in Axis & Allies 1942: 2nd Edition. This version of KBF relies on the strong starting Japanese economy to produce bombers that can whittle away at Britain’s income while the strong starting Germany navy gathers for a relatively early Sea Lion-style attack on London.

    When to use the Strategy

    Look for a weakly defended Karelia on R1. If Russia stacks its entire army in West Russia, then KBF might not be viable. Ideal positioning for a KBF is when Russia attacks Ukraine in earnest and also suffers a couple of casualties while taking West Russia, leaving the Russian army thin on forward-deployed infantry without wiping out the German infantry stack in Belorussia.

    What to buy with Germany

    On G1, buy 3 inf, 1 art, 2 carriers – one for the Baltic fleet and one for the Mediterranean fleet. On G2, buy 2 transports in the Baltic sea, and put the rest into infantry. Starting in G3, buy 1 artillery a turn and as many infantry as you can afford. Depending on what the US is throwing at you, you may want to occasionally replace a fighter or drop a pair of destroyers in the Baltic to reinforce your main fleet, but try to average at least 8 inf per turn – you need inf both to hold off Russia and as fodder for invading Britain.

    German Sea Lion strategy

    If you sink the British navy on G1, then both of your fleets will be safe for a couple of turns, because the British air force (3 fighters + 1 bomber = 4 HP, 13 pips) isn’t in any shape to blow up, e.g., 1 BB, 1 CV, 2 fighters (5 HP, 14 pips). Make sure to leave the Mediterranean fleet standing in place on G1 (you can ferry troops from Italy to Libya) so that your carrier group and your battleship reinforce each other.

    Ignore the American navy on G1 – it often gets used to bring troops to Morocco, which is a trap for the USA in KBF, because those troops are much more urgently needed in London, and you need to reliably sink all of the British boats (except the Canadian DD and transport) without losing any of your own ships.

    Unless both the UK and the USA are alarmingly blase about countering your navy, you need to link your fleets up by G3 somewhere near the English channel. This will buy you several more turns of regional naval dominance – the British aren’t in a position to rebuild their Atlantic navy with your carrier groups parked in their backyard, and the Americans will need several turns to build a fleet that can launch a meaningful attack against 2 CV, 4 ftr, 1 BB, 1 CA (9 HP, 27 pips on defense).

    Note that you do not have to (and probably should not) launch a serious invasion of London on G3 – the purpose of linking up your fleet early is just to keep it healthy and intact. It is unlikely you will have much infantry to spare for a London invasion on G3, because the bulk of your G1/G2 income went into the navy. Depending on what is defending London, you probably want to make a token attack with 2 inf each on G3 and G4 (the supporting cruiser and battleship mean that you’re rolling 9 pips, meaning that your 6 ipc investment costs Britain about 4.5 ipc in defending infantry. You can bring in the airforce and artillery and so on for a full assault with 4 fully loaded transports starting in G5 (5 inf, 2 art, 1 tnk, 4 ftr, 1 bmbr, 1 BB, 1 CA = 13 HP; 37 pips). Obviously it’s OK to sacrifice the airforce if that gives you a high chance of sacking London – even if you can’t hold it against American reinforcements, the IPC swing is huge, and sacking the capital prevents Britain from building any additional defenders. On the other hand, if the attack’s not going well, don’t be afraid to withdraw the air and try again with fresh troops on G6 – trading 5 German inf, 2 art, 1 tnk (29 IPC) for, e.g., 4 London infantry (12 IPC) is a recoverable error, because you can rebuild the ground troops in one turn, and the whole point is to gradually wear down London’s defenses – whereas if you sacrifice your army and your air force and still don’t take London, it’s pretty much game over.

    German defense of the Eastern Front

    Where most KBF strategies go wrong is that the German player tries to duke it out with Russia on even terms, even though Russia is outproducing them in the region. You can’t afford to spend more than about 15 IPC per turn on the eastern front, whereas Russia can spend about 24 IPC per turn to fight you until Japan is knocking at the gates of Moscow. More to the point, there are no strategic targets for Germany in eastern Europe other than Karelia. Warsaw is not a victory city in this edition, and it really doesn’t matter how many 2 IPC territories you control on the eastern front – what matters is how many turns you can hold off Russia while still diverting the bulk of your income to Operation Sea Lion.

    Instead of pressing as far east as you possibly can, pre-emptively retreat to a more defensible line of territories that you can stack with infantry, forcing the Russians to both (a) buy more expensive offensive units to assault your core territories, and (b) wait more time for those units to travel over to your side of the fence. Minimize the expense of your casualties by attacking almost exclusively with infantry and fighters, lightly trading any territories that you can afford to grab. If a 2 IPC territory is heavily defended, you don’t need it.

    An aggressive German front line in KBF might be Karelia - Baltics - Poland - Romania. A more conservative line in KBF might be Karelia - Germany - Southern Europe, with Poland and the Baltics as lightly traded dead zones. It seems scary or weak to allow the Russians to enter Poland as early as R3, but if the Russians aren’t in position to hold Poland, let alone do anything exciting with their Polish stack, then it really doesn’t matter how far the Russians penetrate into your turf.

    To see why, suppose the Russians (a) control West Russia, Ukraine, Baltics, and Rumania, (b) are trading Poland and Southern Europe, and © have lost Karelia, Buryatia, and the Soviet Far East. That puts the Russian income at 32 – enough to buy 6 inf, 2 art, 1 tnk each turn. With 15 IPC for the eastern front, Germany can only buy 5 inf of defense each turn. But to attack, e.g., Poland with ground forces, the Russians have to march from Moscow to West Russia to Belorussia to Poland – three spaces away from their industrial centers. By contrast, Poland is only one space from Germany. This means that on, e.g., R6, Russia can reach Poland with starting troops plus three turns’ worth of purchases – whereas Germany can reach Poland with starting troops plus five turns’ worth of purchases. 5 * 5 inf = 25 inf defending (25 HP, 50 pips) vs. 3 * 6 inf, 2 art, 1 tnk = 18 inf, 6 art, 3 tnk (27 HP, 45 pips). Retreating toward your supply lines greatly magnifies the power of your purchases. True, eventually Russia will catch up with you – but before they do, your goal is to seize Britain, dumping its loot right into Berlin just in time to turn the tables on an over-extended Russian stack. Any surviving carrier-based fighters can also come straight home to Berlin after a London conquest, because the Kriegsmarine is much less important once you’ve successfully forded the Channel.

    To help support this long-supply-line strategy, you need to take and hold Karelia very early on. Taking Karelia gives you a convenient place to build infantry, and more importantly, it denies the Russians any flexibility for their infantry – all of their forces will have to march from Moscow or the Caucuses, which are equally far away from the German front lines. Karelia is also very important for the Japanese bombing campaign. As an added bonus, with Britain on the ropes and Karelia under German control, Norway, Finland, and to a lesser extent the Baltic States become ‘safe zones’ that produce German income without needing defenders.

    German Invasion of Africa

    To make KBF work, you obviously want to start sucking up as much British income as you can as early as possible. However, you also need to reinforce your Mediterranean fleet, which makes taking Egypt on G1 a non-starter. So, stack up in Libya, take Egypt on G2, take French Equatorial Africa and Italian East Africa on G3. Then, on G4, circle back into the Sudan via Rhodesia and the Congo. The Japanese will be able to help you pick up South Africa and Madagascar, so it’s not as important to get to those territories.

    The Americans may land in Morocco and then start marching east across north Africa – let them! You don’t need to hold Africa long-term; you just need to keep the British from collecting its income during the crucial early turns, so that they run short on funds to defend London. If the Americans go up 3 IPC from taking German North Africa, it will have zilch effect on your opening strategy. Leave a token guard in Egypt of one or two infantry so that the American tank can’t blitz into Egypt, and then the Americans won’t take Egypt until A4. Meanwhile, you can re-occupy Egypt with both tanks and the bulk of your African ground forces on G5, which comes before B5 – so the British never get any benefit at all from the American ‘liberation’.

    What to buy with Japan

    Buy a total of five bombers on J1 and J2 – your starting transports and island infantry garrisons are plenty to help you make modest gains in east Asia for a few turns, your starting navy is adequate to fend off the USA for a couple of turns even if it goes all-out KJF, and you don’t have any urgent strategic goals in the opening. Your role is to support Germany’s assault on London by diminishing Britain’s income with strategic bombing runs. Starting on J3, if the USA is coming for you, you can switch to infantry and fighters to defend the homeland. Otherwise, on J3 and J4  you can build transports and artillery to help you take eastern British colonies (Madagascar, ANZAC, etc.).

    Japanese Strategic Bombing Campaign

    There’s not a whole lot of nuance to the Japanese bombing campaign – build as many bombers as you can, send them to Karelia as soon as Germany can take and hold it, and then launch from Karelia, bomb London, and land in Germany. Landing in Germany rather than Karelia gives Germany a little more flexibility if it needs to pull out of Karelia in the mid-game.

    If you can’t land safely Karelia, sometimes you can tactically bomb a target of opportunity in the Indian Ocean and then land in Egypt, but keep in mind that Egyptian-based Japanese bombers can’t actually reach London in one turn. Losing Karelia slows your bombing offensive by an entire turn, so if Russia is in position to take and hold Karelia on R2, then you may need to abort the KBF altogether and use your bombers to launch a strategic bombing run against Moscow. If you switch to a KRF on turn 2, the German Mediterranean fleet heads for the Caucuses, and the German Baltic fleet stays in the Baltic to help trade Karelia. Good early bases for an Russian Japanese bombing campaign include Anhwei, Kwangtung, or even Egypt (for a run against the Caucuses).

    Japanese Mainland Strategy

    Again, there’s not too much nuance to the Japanese invasion of east Asia – you start with 11 inf, 2 art, 2 ftr on the mainland, and you will keep at least one transport to help you bring in the 5 inf, 2 art, 1 tnk stored in Tokyo and Manila as reinforcements, for a total of 16 inf, 4 art, 1 tnk, 2 ftr. On a typical J1 you can kill 4 American infantry with minimal losses – if you only go one round of combat, you should expect to lose about 1 Japanese infantry. That leaves you with 15 inf, 4 art, 1 tnk, 2 ftr against Anglo defenders of 6 inf and 2 ftr – and it’s basically impossible for the Anglos to coordinate their defense in the territory, since the remaining Americans are in Szechuan, 3 spaces away from British India. This is basically a rout in favor of the Japanese – you can finish off the Americans on J2, and then start heading after the British on J3. Just make sure to avoid reckless assaults – you’re not gunning for Moscow in KBF, so trading armies for space is a bad deal; there’s no hurry to mop up all the 1 IPC territories in central Asia.

    True, the British can spend IPCs to reinforce India – but that’s the whole point, is to make the British spend their money. Try to keep trading Burma so that the British don’t have a chance to expand beyond India and gain income, and Britain becomes very unlikely to turn a profit on its eastern colonies – at most, India is protecting Burma, India, Persia, and Trans-Jordan, for a total of 6 IPC per turn – but they’re going to have to buy at least 2 infantry a turn to maintain that sphere of influence.

    You can afford to ignore the Russians for the first few turns – even if they stack all 5 infantry in Buryatia, they have no tanks in range. (If they try to send a tank into Sinkiang, destroy it.) At worst, the Russians can take and hold Manchuria, for 3 IPC a turn – but that would take about 4 turns for the Russians to yield a profit vs. just sending the Buryatian stack west as reinforcements, and by J6 you will have had plenty of time to deal with the Russians.

    Japanese Naval Strategy

    Japanese naval strategy in KBF depends entirely on what the Americans are doing. On J1, you want to launch a Pearl Harbor attack, using your Caroline islands carrier and Tokyo fighter in lieu of the Tokyo bomber (which must head to Karelia immediately for strategic bombing duty). If the Americans rebuild the Pacific fleet, then you can just consolidate your entire navy in the inner Tokyo sea zone to protect your transports, and focus on building a survivable fleet that keeps the Americans busy. Assuming at least two of your capital ships survived the opening round, you probably want a mix of submarines and destroyers.

    Don’t actually attack the main American fleet unless the Americans make a major blunder – you want a standoff so that the Americans keep dropping boats into the Pacific and don’t save enough IPCs to reinforce Britain. If the Americans manage to sneak a well-guarded transport into the Philippines, that’s not the end of the world – you can start reclaiming victory cities after Britain falls. On the other hand, if the Americans show signs of developing a credible shuck-shuck from San Francisco to Tokyo, i.e., two well-positioned groups of at least three transports each, plus enough warships to guard them, then you need to start building infantry and fighters in Tokyo itself, even if that costs you your fleet. Consider kamikazing one of the US transport groups with your fighter stack if that seems like a good trade – you don’t need to make any particular progress in Asia, so once you’ve secured Buryatia, China, and Burma, your fighters (and carrier!) are expendable. Taking out 3 transports off the coast of Hawaii can delay the US invasion by a full 2 turns, giving you time to generate an enormous stack of infantry in Tokyo.

    On the other hand, if the Americans abandon the Pacific, then you need to prepare to invade Hawaii and then San Francisco, to force the Americans to divert at least some IPCs to the Pacific front. If America is left free to ferry even two transports worth of infantry per turn to Britain, then Germany is going to be stuck without good options. If the Anglos leave Western Canada empty with no tanks in Western/Central US, you can often seize Alaska and build an industrial complex there – you probably won’t hold it, but it’s a great way to force the US to divert serious manpower to a second front. If you take Alaska on J4, build an Alaskan IC and take Western Canada in J5, then even when you inevitably lose Western Canada on A5, you can still build, e.g., 1 inf, 1 AAA in Alaska on J6 and fly in your fighter stack as reinforcements.

    Try to strike a balance between striking America quickly enough to affect the outcome of Operation Sea Lion and striking America hard enough that the Americans can’t get away with ignoring you. The Americans don’t actually need Hawaii, Mexico, or Panama, for example, so sending forces there won’t distract a skilled American player from defending London. If the Russian Siberian army retreated westward in the opening, consider returning the bulk of your Asian ground forces to the coast on J3 and building 3-4 new transports on J3, so that by J5 you can land in San Francisco with 10+ units. You will lose a few IPCs in China and Buryatia, but the point is to take London out of the game, not to maximize Japanese IPCs.

    KBF Endgame

    Once you’ve got London, what do you do with it? Nothing too fancy.

    If the Americans are in the Atlantic, build infantry and fighters in both Berlin and London to help hold the capitals, and to support a strike of opportunity against the American fleet – if you can take out the only major Allied fleet on the board, it’s well worth sacrificing both the German fleet and the German air force. Watch for ‘can-opener’ attacks where the Americans use fighters and marines to knock out a German screening force to let a stack of Russian tanks through into, e.g., Italy. Meanwhile, you can send the Japanese to take Honolulu (first!) and then Calcutta second, winning the game (London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Leningrad, Calcutta, Shanghai, Tokyo, Honolulu). The Americans can land fighters in Honolulu to protect it if they see your invasion coming, but Russia can’t afford to build enough tanks to meaningfully protect India against an all-out Japanese invasion.

    If the Americans are in the Pacific, you can try landing in Eastern Canada with the Germans to distract the Americans, but that may not be fast enough to prevent the fall of Tokyo and may not be damaging enough to compensate for Tokyo’s loss. A better idea is to swing your navy counter-clockwise through the Mediterranean to the Caucuses (only two turns away!) and build 100% tanks to try to blitz into Moscow and India. If you followed the earlier advice about building mostly infantry, this should give you a balanced offensive army that can take both Moscow and India before American reinforcements arrive. Even if you lose Tokyo and the money islands, you will have London, Berlin, Moscow, and Calcutta, leaving the US with about 65 IPCs / turn vs. 80 IPC / turn for Germany. The US will have to either pause to build ICs on the east Asian coast or be capped at 8 units per turn in Japan, whereas Germany can build 8 units in Moscow, 4 in Stalingrad, and 3 in India.

  • I don’t see much transports for Germany to buy to take London. :? Because it seems Germany has got 3-4 transports and that’s not enough.Otherwise pretty good.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    It’s a fair point – more transports would be better. Germany starts with 2, and I’m calling for Germany to buy 2 more on turn 2. The main problem is that once you move the German navy into position to unload troops into London, any new transports you build will be undefended and vulnerable to Anglo-American air strikes. To build new transports, you probably have to skip a whole turn of dumping troops into London. My idea is to keep a steady stream of German infantry going into London from turn 3 onward so that they don’t have a chance to accumulate such a big stack – that way, starting around turn 5, you can start bringing in your air force, and maybe even get a  safe(ish) second round of dice rolls before you have to retreat.

    If the Axis attack on Africa goes as planned, UK will be down to about 19 IPC by turn 4, and taking about 15 IPC per turn in Japanese bombing damage – so if you’re dropping four fully loaded transports a turn into London, you should eventually be able to overwhelm their defenses.

    Still, I’m all ears if you have an idea for how to safely build more German transports – maybe if you see a decisive opportunity, you can skip your infantry buy altogether on round 5 or 6 and spend your economy on transports #5 and #6 and carrier #3.

  • I see the problem, because I was thinking the baltic fleet was staying longer in the baltic to produce more transports.
    But you could maybe build more destroyers to protect them.

  • I’m itching to try this just to be doing something different. Great post!

  • Very thorough posting. I like the idea of getting Japanese Bombers into action against London, how rare that is !

    I think it will be difficult to keep American Air out of London, even though it takes 1 extra turn to get there in this edition of A&A.

    I’ve seen Japan try and threaten the U.S.A. West Coast Zones  before to little effect. It seems that 1 turn of US buys is enough to prevent several turns of Japanese invasions. Just food for thought.

    I’ve successfully taken out London a few times but it’s tough. When the other Allies sniff out what’s going on, even Russia will send Fighters to aid in U.K. defense. It’s like a David Copperfield show, trying to make your enemy look to the East while you’re attacking to the West. Great post by the way, really enjoyed reading it.

    Starlight Sniper

  • @Argothair:

    It’s a fair point – more transports would be better. Germany starts with 2, and I’m calling for Germany to buy 2 more on turn 2. The main problem is that once you move the German navy into position to unload troops into London, any new transports you build will be undefended and vulnerable to Anglo-American air strikes. To build new transports, you probably have to skip a whole turn of dumping troops into London. My idea is to keep a steady stream of German infantry going into London from turn 3 onward so that they don’t have a chance to accumulate such a big stack – that way, starting around turn 5, you can start bringing in your air force, and maybe even get a  safe(ish) second round of dice rolls before you have to retreat.

    If the Axis attack on Africa goes as planned, UK will be down to about 19 IPC by turn 4, and taking about 15 IPC per turn in Japanese bombing damage – so if you’re dropping four fully loaded transports a turn into London, you should eventually be able to overwhelm their defenses.

    Still, I’m all ears if you have an idea for how to safely build more German transports – maybe if you see a decisive opportunity, you can skip your infantry buy altogether on round 5 or 6 and spend your economy on transports #5 and #6 and carrier #3.

    Idea :  Your (Germany) Med Fleet should be in position to Aid in defending those Transports by G3 when they’re all up in the English Chanel and off the Belgian Coast.

    1/2 the total fleet to denend the Sea Lion Transports, the other half to defend the “fresh of the warf” Transports.

    Also, By J3 you should be able to land Japanese Zeros in Karelia for the aided defense (Any number of ways to get there by J3). If you have a Zero left on you East Indies Japanese Carrier then he can make it to land on a German Carrier by J2 (if you are extremely super extra lucky to have your East Indies Fleet by J1)

    A Turn 1 Japanese Navy purchase out of Tokyo can assist in taking Egypt T3 and London on T6

    Cheers again,
    Starlight Sniper

  • '17

    What if the Americans go full ou on buying navy in the Atlantic. Would you have enough time to take london before the US is strong enough to take out your navy or at least is in a position to chuck infantry into london?

  • The axis in this strategy really don’t have much time. Because if they take to long the allies can really mess up their plan. Which either shortens the game or drags it out.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    It’s a good question, GiddyXRay. How long does Germany have before the US can successfully interfere with a KBF?

    Given my recommended openers for Germany and Japan, the USA should start the game on A1 with a destroyer and a battleship on the west coast, a cruiser in panama, and a destroyer on the east coast.  The USA will have an average of 40 IPCs per turn. What happens if they spend it all on dropping warships into the Atlantic?

    A1: consolidate Pacific fleet in Panama canal, buy 1 carrier, 1 battleship, 1 submarine for east coast (40 IPC)
    A2: bring Panama fleet to Atlantic, land fighters on carrier, buy 5 destroyers for east coast (40 IPC)
    A3: buy 4 submarines, 1 carrier for east coast (38 IPC)

    US now has an Atlantic fleet with 2 BB, 2 carriers, 2 fighters, 1 cruiser, 5 submarines, and 7 destroyers. After adding two more fighters to the fleet en route, the fleet will have 23 HP and 49 offensive pips – more than enough to crush even a reinforced German fleet of 2 carriers, 4 fighters, 1 BB, 1 CA, 2 DD (11 HP, 31 defensive pips). Of course, first the US has to get there.

    On A4, the American fleet can move to the coast of Morocco. On G5, the Germans use 2 destroyers to create a ‘screen’, blocking off the American fleet from meeting up with the main German fleet.

    On A5, the American fleet moves into the destroyer screen in, e.g., the English Channel, and can’t reach the main German fleet in, e.g., the North Sea.

    Finally, on A6, the American fleet will crush the Kriegsmarine – but that’s after Germany has been able to land token attacks on Britain on G3 and G4, and major attacks on Britain on G5 and G6.

    The USA could try building in the Atlantic for only two turns – but if the US fleet sails with only a two-turn buildup, then Germany may be able to match that buildup by, e.g., saving up for a third carrier group. Germany could probably even build a fourth carrier if Japan wants to send a pair of Japanese fighters over to the Baltic.

    Meanwhile, Japan should be pounding on America’s back door, taking Hawaii and threatening San Francisco – if the USA literally abandons the Pacific and then drops 100% of its IPC on an Atlantic navy, then there’s no reason why Japan can’t shuck four transports a turn into Alaska and Western Canada.

    So, yes, the USA can certainly cut off the German attack on London – but not fast enough or reliably enough to make this a dead strategy.

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    Nice thread! I’ve been reading it with interest!

    To that last idea in the post above, I think I would be probably be more nervous about American bombers than warships.

    The trick is where to converge your German med fleet with your Balitc fleet vs an all bomber buy with USA?

    For example, lets say in round 1 USA sees the carrier purchases and responds with bombers…

    USA 1 = Purchase 3 bombers and 1 submarine.
    Send the flying tiger to Archangel, and 3 fighters to E. Canada (if J hit sz 53 it might only be 2 in E. Canada)
    Place all bombers in E. USA, and the sub in sz 11.

    USA 2 = Purchase 3 bombers.
    All fighters (optimally 4) and bombers (4) converge on London, for an addition 8 hit points and 20 defense power.
    The sub can go to sz 2 or sz 9.
    Place 3 bombers in E. USA.

    Now USA has 7 bombers and 3 or 4 fighters in range of sz 8/6 going into the 3rd round.

    If they buy another 3 bombers on USA3, that’s 10 bombers and potentially 4/5 fighters. Very hard for G to match this on the water. And also very hard for J to set up anything against North America earlier than round 3. Once USA has the bomber force in place they can just start dumping ground into W. USA to keep Japan off of them.

    A stack of 10 bombers is also +10 hitpoints and +10 defense power, pretty much anywhere you might need them.

    I think its probably USA’s strongest counter buy, to face down a German naval expansion. Just going all bomber crazy. UK stacks 8 ground per round in London, as soon as new German ships hit the water.

    At least it would make convergence of the German med and Baltic fleets more dangerous with the threat of an all out USA airstike.  😄

    Another approach, if the Germans fail to buy a destroyer on G1 for their fleet, might be 7 subs Atlantic with USA, and then Bombers in subsequent rounds. On USA2 send the subs roaming solo (no surface ships vulnerable to German air) and then position them to cover the zones around UK.  Basically whatever you can get away to nuke the German fleet right up until the point when Japan starts throwing units into Alaska haha.

    I think it would be a fun game to play, at least a bit different than the usual.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Thanks, Black_Elk. That’s a pretty strong counter! I agree with you that American bombers are the way to go against KBF. I would not bother with the submarine purchase, though – I think those 6 IPC would be better spent on 2 inf for Western US. Japan doesn’t necessarily have to wait until J4 to start attacking Alaska – they  can drop off two loaded transports in Alaska on J1 if they want. If I saw the US put 3 bombers and 1 sub in the Atlantic on A1, then I’d be invading Alaska on J2. And, yeah, Japan definitely has to hit SZ 53 on J1.

    That said, even 4 bombers and 3 fighters in London on A2 is a real problem for Germany – as you say, if you stick the combined German fleet in the Channel or the North Sea on G3, then the US Air Force can probably trade with the Kriegsmarine, which is not good for the Axis. I’m not sure what to recommend on G3 if there’s a big US air force in London. One option is to turn east for Moscow after the A1 air build, maybe try to take Belorussia, Archangel, and West Russia before the US can return the fighters, so that the US air force will be out of position. Another (admittedly wacky) idea is to sacrifice the German naval groups to take Brazil and Eastern Canada, and transition into a Kill America First strategy – those bombers will be awkward for defending the US homeland.

  • I think the best thing the axis can do in this strategy is have Japan get really strong and take Calcutta, or Honolulu, or try to take Moscow, or San Francisco. Since the US is busy dealing with Germans try to take England it’s the perfect time for Japan to expand so Germany is a distraction for Japan.

  • I don’t think I have ever seen Japanese planes over Britain in an A&A game. Pretty interesting strategy.

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