1939 Scenario for the 1942.2 Map and Pieces


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Young:

    Those are both great posts, thanks guys… I don’t have time tonight to respond in detail and I don’t want to hijack Argo’s thread, all I can say is the term 1943 “Deep War” would make an awesome game title.

    Good idea YG – I’ll go have a look at that new thread.

    Incidentally, the phrase “deep war” that I mentioned is a quote from Ilya Ehrenburg’s book The War, 1941-1945: “We speak of deep night, deep autumn; when I think back to the year 1943 I feel like saying: ‘deep war’.”  Richard Overy quoted it at the beginning of one of the chapters in his book Why The Allies Won – the chapter titled “Deep War: Stalingrad and Kursk.”


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Does anyone have comments on the 1939 scenario?

    I’m glad this thread helped gather some ideas for a 1943 scenario, which is being discussed at http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=36048.0. I have been contributing to the 1943 thread and I will continue to do so. However, I am also very interested in comments on the 1939 scenario if anyone has them!

    Thanks,
    Argo


  • 2019 2015 '14

    I like the handling of neutrals and the concept of USA entry is fairly brilliant. I actually wish G40 was conceived with such an idea for the Americans in mind, instead of a hard rules prohibition on US entry until DoW. The chip and roll method seems more entertaining to me from a gameplay perspective.

    1942.2 seems a good choice, its probably a more manageable board than Global for a whole number of reasons, and likely easier to adapt for an alternative start date, since the total number of units and territories and player nations you have to manage are all fewer than in the 1940 games. 1942.2 is still in print and more readily available ie cheaper than the 1940 maps.

    I also like how you used the factory damage mechanic to represent the surprise onset of war and as a way to manage the pace of the Allied build.

    I like 39 for a mod, the appeal is that you get to choose from the outset what sort of warpath to pursue, without getting pigeonholed into an overly historical play pattern. Its cool for the gameplay, since it allows you to explore more what ifs, during the critical opening phases of the war.


  • 2019 2015 '14

    Ps. The thing I like most about the mod is the detailed write up and rationale for the additional rules.

    I would encourage a tripleA scenario! Basically the only thing that you couldn’t handle right now would be the neutral/allied chip idea for USA. Though this could be tracked independently and player enforced (the game has a free dice roll feature which could be used to determine whether USA is at war or not.) The defection idea could also be handled as a free roll, if its 50/50 that’s easy enough on a 1d6, and then edit control of the territory it to the opponent on the fly if they hit at a 3 or less for example. Any value that we can handle with six sided dice, can be achieved with the free roll and then player enforced, whatever the rule calls for.

    I’m a bad boardgamer sometimes, in that set-up charts are harder for me to parse at a glance than a visual. And better still would be a visual that I can play haha.

    You could draft this up in the edit mode of tripleA, by assigning the desired control of territories to the 5 main nations. Edit mode also allows you to assign any territory to the “neutral” category. Which doesn’t quite capture the full mechanic you’re after but still gives the visual.

    Here is an example of what I mean…

    image of 1939 edit mod of 1942.2 attached below. I didn’t assign the units or anything, just changed some possessions around in Europe to make them neutral for a quick example. But you could build out the skeleton of the mod using this system and it might help to gather more general feedback, since potential players could check it quickly with the familiar map. 🙂

    Once the skeleton is up, you could probably do the other stuff via xml edits (turn order etc.) to create a functional game that we can beta test or tweak.

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  • 2019 2018 2017 2016


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    A couple more photos.

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  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Thanks for the photos.  Out of curiosity, what do the yellow meeples represent? The minor colonial powers?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    I used blue Risk pieces for the French neutrals, white Risk pieces for the true neutrals, and yellow meeples for the Dutch neutral infantry.



  • Good idea on the Risk pieces but where did you get aircraft for France or the neutrals?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    So I finally did a short playtest for this variant, on low luck, and most of the opening battles came out roughly the way I wanted. It was fun! As a result of the playtest, I’ve given Rome and Tokyo 1 extra infantry each, removed one Russian infantry and one Russian tank, and moved the Russian fighter from Buryatia to Yakutsk so it’s not such an easy target. I also switched the USA entry roll from 3d6 to 4d6. All these changes are now reflected in my (modified) original post.

    I also tweaked the USA setup – instead of starting the USA factories with (double) maximum damage and full income, I’m starting the USA with (single) full damage and -20 IPC/turn income. The -20 IPC/turn penalty goes away when the USA enters the war. This change was necessary to avoid giving the USA a huge artificial incentive to drop a factory in the Philippines on A1 (which in turn would give the Japanese a huge artificial incentive to attack the Philippines on J1, screwing up the USA entry clock by directly attacking a US territory). The USA can still choose to build a factory in the Philippines, and it’s not a bad idea, but at least now it’s not strategically required. The changes also give the Axis a little more reason to avoid flagrantly attacking the Allies on G1 and G2. Under the old rules, the US did not accumulate enough TUV to even want to counter-attack the Axis anywhere until at least turn 3.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    I’m going to do a series of posts on 1939 opening strategy until I either run through all five nations or people tell me they’re bored with the idea.

    Thoughts on the GERMAN opening:

    Germany’s biggest decision on G1 is whether to attack France right off the bat.

    Attacking France on G1:

    If you do decide to attack Paris on Germany’s first turn, you will need to commit about half of Berlin’s starting forces, and because north Africa will probably side for the Allies, you should also attack Algeria, which requires committing your Libyan infantry, half of the Italian forces, and your Mediterranean transport. Evacuating Libya means that your Italian fighter can’t land safely after attacking the British fleet in the eastern Med, so you are probably better off consolidating your Mediterranean and South Atlantic fleets off the west coast of Spain, and using air power to sink the Russian cruiser and transport in the Black Sea and to sink the British fleet in the English Channel.

    With your leftover resources, you can grab Norway OR Leningrad in the north and Southern Europe OR Ukraine in the south. If you win all your battles, that’ll leave you with a solid 28 IPC. Don’t get too greedy about gobbling up your neighbors on G1 – you want to be able to hold France against a counter-attack from the Canadian transport, and your Romanian IC is surprisingly fragile if you use all of its troops on the attack.

    The Northern Attack

    If you don’t want to attack Paris on G1, you need to find another way to make up the income. One option is to tilt hard to the north, taking Norway, the Baltic States, Poland, and Leningrad, for a G2 income of 25 IPC. Your Italian tank can hit Poland with help from the artillery in Romania, leaving your planes free to help your Finnish infantry hit Norway. Norway has neither an AA gun nor a fighter, so you don’t have to be as concerned about providing fodder – 2 infantry is probably enough. That leaves you with four ground units, planes, and shore bombardment to take Karelia. You also have 2 inf, 1 art in Italy that aren’t being used – you can use them to set up for a G2 attack on France, to reinforce Libya, or to trade for Egypt, but the best use is probably to invade Southern Europe, getting ready for a very early Barbarossa. You can actually use your Mediterranean transport to evacuate Libya, sending the troops to assist in conquering Southern Europe. Your Ethiopian ground troops can invade Rhodesia, forcing Britain to waste IPCs activating the South African factory, while your Ethiopian fighter flies north to help take out the British fleet in the eastern Med and then lands in Italy.

    For obvious reasons, the northern attack lends itself well to an early assault against Russia – if you build a second Baltic transport on G1, you should be able to hold Leningrad by G2, and if you evacuate Africa on G1, then you should be able to take Stalingrad on G3 and hold it on G4. If you use this strategy, the Japanese should seriously consider attacking the 4 inf Buryatia stack on J1 to further stress Russia’s thin starting forces. You might wind up never invading France or NW Europe – just leave the neutral troops as a buffer to help protect your western flank while you drive hard for Moscow.

    Attacking the Suez Canal on G1:

    Another option is to crush the eastern Med right off the bat. You can actually take Egypt without using the transport. If you’re willing to sacrifice a fighter, you can get 75% odds in Egypt by attacking with just the 2 Libyan inf plus 1 Italian fighter and 1 German bomber. You can then attack the British fleet with your Med BB and DD, plus your Ethiopian fighter, which, surprisingly, gives you 93% odds to get the transport through to Trans-Jordan. In Trans-Jordan itself, you have 81% odds if you bring 1 inf, 1 tnk from Italy and your second German bomber. Your Ethiopian ground forces can pick off the 1 inf in Rhodesia, further splitting and reducing the British forces in Africa. You can then finish up by attacking Southern Europe directly from Germany and downing the Russian Black Sea Fleet with your German fighters. Alternatively, you can leave the Black Sea fleet intact, build a carrier in the Med (which gets reinforced by your Moroccan sub), and use the German fighters in the Med campaign, landing them on the carrier after they attack the British fleet, which frees up your Ethiopian fighter to assist in Egypt. If you’re feeling gutsy, you can also pick off the Baltic States, although you’re not likely to be able to hold it against the Russian counter-attack. This opening limits your income on G2 to at most 25 IPC, but it puts the British in an extremely awkward position. With Morocco, Algeria, French West Africa, French Equatorial Africa, Madagascar, and Persia still neutral, and Libya, Egypt, Trans-Jordan, Rhodesia, Italian East Africa in German hands, Britain is left trying to hold onto Africa with nothing but Sudan and South Africa – a total of 3 inf, 1 art defending the whole continent. The Western Allies can’t ship in reinforcements from the Atlantic without attacking neutral France and risking the whole French Empire siding for the Axis. If you coordinate this attack with an early Japanese assault on India, Germany may be able to overwhelm even the (damaged) British factory in South Africa.



  • I have a quick question why is Russia at war when they weren’t in 1939?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    It’s a fair question. Thematically, Russia is at war in 1939 because if Stalin wanted to invade a territory, there was nobody to tell him not to. In 1939 Russia was fighting wars in both Finland and Mongolia, and occupied the Baltic States with over 20,000 troops. It’s not as if Russia was on a peacetime footing – even though they had relatively friendly relations with Germany, they could have chosen to attack Germany in 1939 if they wanted to.

    Mechanically, Russia is at war because it’s boring for the only Allied nation that can fight the Nazis to be the British. The game moves slowly enough without being told something like “Oh, by the way, all you can do on turns 1 and 2 is just reshuffle your troops.”

    That said, if you want to add a house rule that says Russia can’t attack Germany until turn 3 unless Russia attacks Germany first, go right ahead.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Thoughts on BRITISH strategy:

    Britain starts the game in an excellent position – you have a decent starting income, very few of your territories start out under any serious threat, and you have powerful naval groupings in most corners of the world that can be used or combined to help solidify your control over a region. Unlike Global 1940, the 1939 setup puts you in no immediate danger from a Sea Lion attack, because the German economy just isn’t strong enough yet to drop multiple transports into the Baltic (at most, they can manage two transports on G1). Britain’s weakness in the opening is that it has many small territories held together by many small industrial centers – if you don’t start producing in Capetown or Sydney or Calcutta a couple of turns before they come under seige, then you won’t be able to produce fast enough to save them from a serious attack, but you also can’t afford to produce infantry everywhere at once – you also need your cash to buy fighters for your carrier groups, to repair the starting damage on your colonial factories, and to replace early losses at sea.

    What to do in Europe

    What Britain wants to do in Europe depends a lot on what happened to France. If Germany invaded France successfully, then you need to look at the forces they left in Paris and see if Paris is vulnerable to a counter-attack. Even if you can’t hold Paris, it’s often worth sacrificing a transport or two to force Germany to divert troops and planes from Berlin to re-conquer Paris – with only 17 IPCs of income on G1, Germany is rarely in a position to both re-conquer France on G2 and press its attack in the east. You also get 6 IPCs for trading the territory, which helps defray your losses. You will likely have some bonus forces in the French colonies that defected to your side after the German invasion; depending on their location and on how many troops Germany brought to Africa, you can try funneling them toward Egypt or South Africa, or just use them as fodder to attack the remaining French colonies to maximize your income. Keep in mind that your Canadian infantry can reach French West Africa by transport if needed; that’s not a bad place to consolidate your Canadian and South Atlantic fleets if the Germans neglected to block your path. Follow up by building transports and ground troops in London, building at most one fighter to keep your Canadian carrier company – Germany is going to be weak on the ground in the opening if they have to keep trading France, and you want to capitalize on that by quickly sending more infantry into the western European region. That doesn’t necessarily mean you always unload transports in Paris – if the Germans took Norway, you might want to take it back, and once the Japanese start taking the money islands, you might be able to reinforce a suddenly friendly NW Europe.

    If you can’t or don’t want to liberate an occupied France, then you will need to withdraw any ships still in the English Channel, because German planes can fly three spaces to the Channel and then land in occupied France. As long as you’re pulling boats away from mainland Europe, now might be a good time to try to clear out German subs in the Atlantic, and to re-position your navies to be able to deal serious damage to German boats on B2. You want to try to trap one of the three major German task forces (South Atlantic, Baltic, Mediterranean) so that anywhere the task force moves on G2 it will be subject to annihilation on B2, while being careful not to put your own fleets in the same position.

    If Germany invaded France unsuccessfully, then it should be your top priority to reinforce France with all available troops and planes, even at the expense of losing the long-term battle for control of the Atlantic. A failed German attack on France is a huge blunder, and you need to capitalize on it effectively so you can turn it into a game-ending blunder. Plan to spend your cash on clearing out at least 10 pips of industrial damage out of France and then dropping something like 3 inf, 1 ftr right into Paris during your build phase on B1. Consider launching suicidal attacks from, e.g., Egypt to Libya, and ask the Russians to rush everything to Ukraine and Belorussia, just so that the Germans are short on reinforcements.

    If Germany skipped attacking France altogether, then your options in Europe are more limited, because Germany probably has a lot more surviving troops milling around eastern Europe, and Germany is either blowing you up in the Suez or threatening to do so next turn. It often makes sense to counter-attack in Norway and/or Finland, depending on how those battles went for Germany on G1, and on where the German navy finished its turn. Otherwise, conserve your troops, consolidate your fleets, and get ready to make a landing (probably in NW Europe) on B2.

    What to do in Africa

    The glaring difference in Africa for 1939 vs. 1942 is that the Axis still have control of Italian East Africa, starting with 3 inf, 1 art, 1 ftr there. Because Italian East Africa (Ethiopia) is right in the middle of the southern British empire, it kind of limits your flexibility and your security; you wind up having to leave garrisons around to deter a surprise attack. There’s also that Axis sub off the coast of Ethiopia, which can be used to pick off undefended transports. It’s not necessarily a good idea to attack Ethiopia on B1 unless Ethiopia splits up its forces – even if you bring in the Trans-Jordan fighter, the Indian Ocean fighter, and a transport full of ground troops from India, you’re still only looking at ~80% odds, with an average profit of 10 IPCs – not great for such an all-out attack on a marginal territory. On the other hand, if Ethiopia does attack, e.g., Rhodesia, then you know at a minimum the Ethiopian fighter is going to be separated from the Ethiopian ground troops, and then it makes sense to attack one or both of the Ethiopian territories.

    In north Africa, you may have a chance to take Libya if Germany either evacuated it or failed to reinforce it – you can’t hold both Libya and Egypt against a determined German assault on G2, but picking off 2 German infantry and denying German planes a safe place to land in north Africa can be a worthwhile use of the Trans-Jordan fighter (3 inf + 1 ftr vs. 2 inf is a good battle for the British).

    If the Germans captured both Egypt and Trans-Jordan, you will have to figure out if if it even makes sense to fight for Africa – trying to supply both South Africa and India at the same time will give you a headache and drain your budget. You may be better off leaving South Africa alone and activating the Sydney factory to help protect India – you do lose the victory city in Capetown, but it’s not as if capturing a damaged factory in South Africa will be a huge strategic coup for the Germans. Africa is much harder for the Germans to blitz through in 1939 than in 1942.2, partly because of the French neutrals, and partly because the British start with more in the way of garrison troops there. Even if you never build or attack in Africa, it can still take 4+ turns and a heavy investment before the Germans control the entire continent, which means that Germany has a much harder time making an African campaign pay for itself before the game ends on turn 10. Meanwhile, the Russians should be in excellent shape with so much German material heading south – if you can scrape together a few bucks to drop a loaded British transport in, e.g., NW Europe or Norway every turn, then Germany may be in trouble despite its superior income. If you do abandon Africa, be on the lookout for opportunities to re-take Trans-Jordan from either India or Stalingrad, so that you can close the Suez canal and stop Japan from linking up its fleets with the Germans.

    What to do in Asia

    Britain’s biggest decision in Asia is whether or not to try to fight Japan for control of the Indian Ocean. If you want to contest the seas, you can immediately unite your Indian Ocean and Australian fleets in SZ 37, for a total of 1 CV, 1 CA, 1 DD, 1 SS, 1 ftr. If your fighter from trans-Jordan survived, that fighter can also reach SZ 37, making it 2 ftrs in the combined Pacific fleet. Make sure to take control of French Indo-China when uniting your fleet on B1 (using the transport from India plus your infantry in Burma and Singapore), or else Japan will be able to hit you with its entire starting air force and land in Vietnam.

    Assuming you do take Indo-China, Japan can hit your fleet with 1 CV, 1 CA, 1 DD, and 4 fighters, which gives Japan very slight odds – something like 55%. Even if Japan does win, you’ve got about 70% odds of killing at least three Japanese fighters, which can seriously retard Japan’s economic growth. Because Japan starts with only 15 IPCs, they don’t necessarily want to make an even trade with their fleet and air force; it gets in the way of them trying to quickly conquer the money islands and southeast mainland Asia. Still, stacking the Pacific British Navy on B1 is a gambit – there’s a signficant chance Japan can just thump the fleet and live to laugh about it.

    Another, more conservative option for contesting the Indian Ocean is to stack in SZ 46, off the coast of Western Australia, leaving a lone destroyer off the coast of Burma to stop Japan from attacking India on J1. Japan can’t hit that sea zone on J1 with anything more than 4 fighters, which you can easily handle. You can use the Australian transport to ferry the New Guinea infantry over to Western Australia on your way to SZ 46, leaving you with 3 inf, 1 art on a land territory next to two well-protected transports. On B2, those transports can strike at the Philippines, New Guinea, Borneo, East Indies, Singapore, and/or Burma – a very reasonable strike range for ANZAC forces. This setup works best if you build additional ships and planes at your India factory so that you can try to dead-zone SZ 36, or at least force Japan to invest in expensive new ships if they want to advance their navy.

    You can, of course, choose to abandon the Indian Ocean entirely, retreating to the Persian Gulf with your Indian forces and sending the Australian navy to either the Philippines or Hawaii. It can still make sense to block SZ 36 with a destroyer to slow down the Japanese attack on India by a turn, but be careful of leaving an undefended carrier next to the Ethiopian submarine – if you lost Egypt or if the Germans sank your fleet in the eastern Med, then you might actually want to use the carrier as the blocking ship in Burma, and use your fighter and destroyer to hunt down the Ethiopian sub.

    If you do abandon the Indian Ocean, it becomes less critical to take Vietnam, which gives you other options for your Asian infantry. One neat idea is to stack up 2 inf, 2 ftr in Yunnan, which, together with the 3 American inf + 1 American fighter you can move there, will make Yunnan a highly undesirable target on J1. Japan can take out 5 inf, 3 ftr using only three transports and its air force, but the cost in planes is high enough that the Allies should be happy to make the trade. Be sure to rotate the remaining American infantry clockwise (Szechuan -> Anhwei, Anhwei -> Kwangtung) so that you don’t leave Yunnan open to attack by the Manchurian tank.



  • @Argothair:

    It’s a fair question. Thematically, Russia is at war in 1939 because if Stalin wanted to invade a territory, there was nobody to tell him not to. In 1939 Russia was fighting wars in both Finland and Mongolia, and occupied the Baltic States with over 20,000 troops. It’s not as if Russia was on a peacetime footing – even though they had relatively friendly relations with Germany, they could have chosen to attack Germany in 1939 if they wanted to.

    Mechanically, Russia is at war because it’s boring for the only Allied nation that can fight the Nazis to be the British. The game moves slowly enough without being told something like “Oh, by the way, all you can do on turns 1 and 2 is just reshuffle your troops.”

    That said, if you want to add a house rule that says Russia can’t attack Germany until turn 3 unless Russia attacks Germany first, go right ahead.

    My point is that Russia was more leaning towards axis than allies during 1939, but I would say they aren’t at war unless Germany attacks them until R2. What you could do is roll a dice in the beginning and if it’s a 6 Russia joins the axis, but america is immediately in the war. If it’s a 1 then Russia is immediately at war with the axis R1. If it’s 2, 3, 4, or 5, then they stay neutral until R2 unless there attack by Germany.



  • @Frederick:

    My point is that Russia was more leaning towards axis than allies during 1939, but I would say they aren’t at war unless Germany attacks them until R2.

    I would say that commie Russia, aka Soviet Union, was pretty much alone from the revolution in 1917 and to today. What this game designer is doing wrong is he take for granted that Russia sometime during the game will get allied to the western Allies. What he should have done was give Russia its own specific victory condition. Then the different players could aid each other, or backstab now and then. Just like in the real war


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Narvik, I agree! You could definitely make the 1939 scenario work as a game for 3 players on 3 separate teams: (UK & US) v. (USSR) v. (Germany & Japan). One challenge with that setup is that you might create an even bigger incentive than usual for Germany and Japan to race toward Moscow. Another (smaller) problem is that you would prevent Russia from reinforcing China. A lot would depend on the specific victory conditions.

    How would you design the victory conditions? Would you say that a team wins if it gains a certain number of victory cities (e.g., four?) relative to the number of victory cities that it started with? If the Anglos are up 4 VCs, the Germans are up 3 VCs, the Russians are down 4 VCs, and the neutrals are down 3 VCs, does that mean that the Anglos win?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    THOUGHTS ON AMERICAN OPENING STRATEGY

    The Philippine Gambit

    One unique feature about the US starting position in 1939 is that the less developed state of the Japanese economy and the new turn order gives the US a fighting chance to hold onto the Philippines, especially if the British are willing to reinforce the Philippines on B1 from Australia, starting the islands off with 2 inf, 1 art, 1 AAA. American can build an IC on the Philippines on A1, move the US Pacific Fleet to Wake Island (where it can strike the Philippines on A2), and move the US Panama Fleet to the coast of San Francisco (where it can help deter a J2 attack on the US Pacific Fleet). The Flying Tigers can reach the Philippines on A1, as can the British fighter on the Indian Ocean carrier, for a total of 2 inf, 1 art, 1 AAA, 2 ftr, with a naval escort of a British cruiser to stop the Japanese naval bombardment.

    Because Japanese fighters can land on the Caroline islands after attacking the Philippines, Japan can reach the Philippines with its entire starting airforce, plus up to three transports of ground troops, so there’s no question about whether Japan can take the Philippines on J1. The problem for Japan is that this immediately activates the USA, giving it +20 IPCs on A2 and bringing the USA into the war. There’s also the problem of what to do about the US fleet – if the Japanese split their forces to attack both the Philippines and the US Pacific fleet, then they’re not going to make any progress at all on the mainland – it’s not clear that a Japanese factory in the Philippines is enough progress for J1 to get the Japanese economy going. On the other hand, if the Japanese leave the US Pacific fleet alone, then the US can reinforce Wake Island with the Panamanian cruiser and EUS fighter on A2, at which point Japan has to either interrupt its empire-building to send its entire fleet east to Wake Island (a useless territory), build significant naval reinforcments that it can’t really afford, or risk losing its own fleet on A3.

    If Japan ignores the Philippines on J1, then America can reinforce it by building something like 2 inf, 1 ftr on A2 and flying in the EUS starting fighter, giving the Philippines a total of 4 inf, 1 art, 1 AAA, 4 ftr for defense, which is more than the Japanese can afford to destroy even if they use all three transports. The point of building a factory in the Philippines is to force Japan to choose between attacking the islands at an inconvenient time and bringing the US into the war early, or conceding a beachhead for the US that will be a huge thorn in Japan’s side when the US finally does enter the war.

    The South America Opening

    If the Germans were relatively conservative on G1, and there are less than 5 tokens in the US entry box, you might be looking at spending a few turns on the sidelines, so you probably have time to conquer neutral Latin America, securing the victory city in Rio de Janeiro. Swing the Panamanian cruiser and transport over to the Caribbean, and make good use of your cruisers for bombardment. You can leave the West Indies for A2 – the important thing is to drop two fully loaded transports into South America on A1 so that they can march south into Argentina and Brazil on A2 without the need to pull your transports out of position to the south Atlantic. The EUS fighter can attack Colombia and land in Panama; the Pacific fighter can attack Mexico and land in Panama. Don’t send a third transport’s worth of troops to south America unless you take 3+ hits on turn 1; if you need to you can attack only Brazil on A2, and then save A3 for a dicey assault on Argentina – if it doesn’t work, no big deal. Collectively, Latin America is worth 10 IPCs, which will pay for two transport’s worth of troops in about 3 turns, and then the rest is pure profit.

    Be aware of what kind of target your Caribbean fleet presents to the German subs in the South Atlantic – it’s unlikely that the Germans would bring you into the war just to knock out a couple of transports, but if the Axis are planning, e.g., a very aggressive anti-British turn 2, then they might be about to rack up so many US entry tokens that they don’t care about accelerating things a little more by attacking your fleet.

    Atlantic Openings

    Depending on the status of France, you may be able to have the US cross the Atlantic to Morocco and/or French West Africa – it is unlikely that Germany will want to bring you into the war just to sink one or two undefended transports, so you can ship troops on A1 with relative impunity. If the French colonies have defected to the British, then you can reinforce them during non-combat, and if the French colonies are still neutral, then you can attack them while still officially ‘at peace.’ This can be a good way to rapidly deliver US troops closer to the front lines. Just keep an eye out for the likely fallout effects. If France itself is still neutral, you probably don’t want to run the risk of tipping it toward the Axis just for the sake of picking off a couple of 1 IPC colonies.

    If France is neutral and Germany doesn’t appear to be in position to hit France hard on G2, sometimes you can set up for a A2 attack on Spain! Stack your Panama and Atlantic fleets off the coast of Brazil, taking the victory city there on A1. This often pairs well with a ‘can-opener’ attack on Spain on turn 2. Build an extra loaded transport in the Atlantic on A1 (7 trans + 3 inf + 4 art + 3 industrial repair = 17 IPCs), and you can hit Spain with 3 American transports, 1-2 fighters, and a cruiser on A2. The British should be able to soften Spain up for you to the point where the A2 attack succeeds, giving you a 3 IPC American-held territory that’s only 2 sea zones from EUS and that can be easily reinforced by the British.

    One more option is to send the American Atlantic fleet north, to the coast of Greenland. The starting fleet is weak, but from Greenland, you can link up with British escorts on A2 to hit NW Europe to steal the factory there, or link up with the Russian White Sea fleet to liberate or reinforce Karelia. The northern option works best if you bring the Panamian boats over to the EUS coast and build additional boats (e.g., 1 CV, or 1 DD + 1 SS) on the east coast so that you still have a credible force in the central Atlantic.

    No matter what else you’re doing in the Atlantic, consider positioning your destroyers so that they block German movement – in particular, so that they block German movement toward the smallest British fleet in the region. Using neutral American blockers can help the British gain a tactical advantage in the Atlantic – the British can move through the Americans freely, but the Germans can’t.

    The Chinese Question

    Whether to fight for China depends a lot on how much income you have left after your other priorities – if you’re trying the Philippine Gambit, then you’re spending 15 of your 19 starting IPCs on a factory, making it impossible to drop anything into China on A1, and you have to send the Flying Tiger away anyway to help guard the Philippines. In that case, it makes sense to leave the minimum 4 infantry in China (2 British, 2 American) required to stop Japanese tank blitzes, and evacuate the remaining 3 American infantry to protect Kazakh – Japan will eventually gain control of your damaged 1 IPC factory in Szechuan (along with picking up the Chongqing VC), but that can’t be helped; you just have to try to make the Philippines hurt Japan enough to make up for losing China.

    On the other hand, if you’re headed for South America, then you potentially have all 19 IPCs available, and it becomes more important to turn China into a credible speed bump that can really slow down Japan (since the US won’t be attacking any Axis powers aggressively on A1-A2). Try to force Japan to make maximum use of its transports, so that Japan has to choose between attacking China and attacking the money islands – dropping American troops into Anhwei or even Hong Kong on A1 is usually a waste, because Japan can attack over land from Shanghai. On the other hand, more American infantry in Yunnan means that Japan has to dedicate an extra transport to ferrying troops from Tokyo to Yunnan. Consider building a tank in Szechuan and leaving the Flying Tigers and at least one infantry in Szechuan so that you have at least a minimal counter-attack capability – your forces in Yunnan aren’t there to win, they’re just there to make sure that Japan can’t get enough ground troops into Yunnan on J1 to prevent you from re-taking Yunnan on A2. You may want to send your Pacific fighter to New Guinea – that way if Japan opts to ignore Yunnan on J1, you can reinforce it with a second fighter on A2.



  • @Argothair:

    Narvik, I agree! You could definitely make the 1939 scenario work as a game for 3 players on 3 separate teams: (UK & US) v. (USSR) v. (Germany & Japan). One challenge with that setup is that you might create an even bigger incentive than usual for Germany and Japan to race toward Moscow. Another (smaller) problem is that you would prevent Russia from reinforcing China. A lot would depend on the specific victory conditions.

    You make the map, just make China a neutral like Spain or Sweden. In the real war, Maos commie China got more support from Russia than Kuomingtan China got from USA. Of course Russia and US can not share territories, so it will be a race. Maybe one part of China should start with a US factory ?

    Germany and Japan always race towards Moscow because that is an easy strategy. It is not possible to race even more. On the other hand, it is not in the interest of US and UK to let Germany and Japan get all that Russian money. So they need to keep up the pressure.

    The difference between a 1939 start or a 1942 start, together with nation specific victory conditions, is that Russia want Germany to attack UK first, and UK want Germany to attack Russia first. In the real war we know that Stalin made a deal with Hitler, making him to take care of the Western Europe first. But it might as well have been the other way. Lets find out what if ?

    The German and japan victory conditions don’t need to change.

    If UK, US and Russia beat the Axis, then the individual winner is the guy with most VCs


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    That might work. I’m imagining how I would feel as the USA if Japan starts chowing down on Siberian territories. I’d be tempted to abandon Russia to its fate and start picking off victory cities in the Atlantic, e.g., Paris, Rome, and Rio de Janeiro. I can probably hold those cities through turn 10 even if Japan takes Moscow. If the US and USSR at war then I can’t fly planes over to defend Moscow anyway, and I’m certainly not going to build a whole fleet just so I can attack Axis infantry right before they crash into Russian infantry when instead I could send the fleet to attack Axis victory cities.

    Also, do you score the US and the UK separately? That could make it harder for them to coordinate can-opening attacks. What about scoring Germany and Japan – do they each have to worry about who individually has more victory cities? That opens the door to a kind of ‘kingmaker’ effect – the winner turns out to have more to do with whether the Anglos chose to go KGF or KJF than with who was the better player.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    THOUGHTS ON JAPANESE OPENING STRATEGY

    The Money Islands

    Japan’s biggest worry in the opening is how to get more cash – the 15 IPCs it starts with are not enough to both flesh out Japan’s fleet and keep the ground troops pouring into Asia. As in other versions of A&A, Japan can be a huge breakout power, but unlike other versions, the 1939 scenario doesn’t guarantee a mighty empire for Japan – Japan has to earn it. If, you know, violently conquering innocent countries counts as “earning” anything.

    The most obvious source for Japanese income is the two ‘money islands’ of East Indies and Borneo, which are worth 4 IPC each and are guarded by only 1 neutral infantry. Britain can try to ‘reinforce’ one or both islands on B1, but neither is a great strategy for Britain. The problem is that Britain only has two transports in the region, one of which should really go to French Indo-China to secure a victory there and deprive the Japanese air force of a place to land in the south seas. If Britain sends the transport to French Indo-China, then Britain can only attack one money island with two ground troops – the Dutch island that gets attacked isn’t that much safer than it was with its one neutral ground unit, and the other Dutch island is likely to defect to Japan without a fight, so overall the islands aren’t really any harder for Japan to take. If Britain doesn’t send the transport to French Indo-China, then the entire region of Indonesia becomes a kill zone for the British fleet – the Brits can sacrifice two undefended transports to take the money islands, but without crusiers and fighters to help with the islands, the Brits are likely to lose at least one ground unit, meaning the islands will be defended with three ground units instead of two – hardly a big enough bump to justify sacrificing two transports and ceding regional naval supremacy to Japan.

    Assuming the islands are still neutral, Japan wants to hit both islands for the same reason that the British did – if you don’t conquer both islands in one gulp, the other island is likely to defect to your opponents. With three starting transports, the most sensible strategy is to send one transport to Borneo, one to East Indies, and save the third transport to ferry troops to China or Vietnam.

    The third “money island,” the Philippines, is normally less attractive on all counts. It has only 3 IPC, and it’s guarded by two enemy units. Worse, attacking the Philippines immediately activates America, giving them an extra 20 IPC/turn. The only time you should attack the Philippines in the opening is if America built a factory there. Even then, you can decline the Philippine gambit if you and Germany see a path to win (or get rich) with minimal attacks on Allied territories. If the British diverted too much of their fleet to protect the Philippines, for example, you can try to stack in Burma on J1 or even attack India J1 if the corridor is open. Ignoring the Philippines also works well with a blitz on Moscow – if Germany can make it through the Turkish Straits into the Black Sea, then Germany can ignore France and try to take, e.g., the Baltics, Leningrad, Ukraine, and Stalingrad without bothering with any other Russian territories – enough to cripple the Russians but not enough to activate the USA.

    One gutsy but useful response to an American factory in the Philippines is to send all three transports to attack the Soviet Far East on J1, with the idea of moving to Alaska and/or Western Canada on J2. Just because America builds a factory in the Philippines doesn’t mean it goes to war – but if America spends A2 building anything significant at the Philippino factory (e.g., boats, planes) then it has no income left to activate the San Francisco factory or reinforce the mainland. On the other hand, if America ignores the Philippines, then all three Japanese transports can reach the Philippines in one move from the Soviet Far East, eliminating the threat while delaying the USA’s entry into the war by one more turn. In essence, you ‘fork’ the Phillipines and Alaska. The downside is that you don’t get a chance to take the money islands, although you do get a chance to attack in China with your full air force, which can help you eke out a couple more bucks there.

    Siberia: is it worth taking?

    The problem with Siberia is that even if you conquer all the way from Vladivostok up to Novosibirsk, it’s only worth 7 IPCs. The victory city in Buryatia (Vladivostok) helps, but then the question becomes whether it makes more sense to just take Buryatia, leave a modest garrison there, and move on. Usually the answer is yes – the two exceptions are when you’re trying to win by starving Moscow (usually in combination with a strategic bombing campaign), and when Russia evacuates the east, leaving the territories virtually unguarded. If you’re actually trying to capture Moscow with Japanese troops, you’re usually better off going through China and Kazakh instead of Siberia; it’s a shorter route.

    If you’re trying to starve Moscow, be aware of how your conquests affect the USA entry clock – there’s no point in taking away 1 IPC from Moscow if it results in a +20 IPC gain for the USA. Your goal should be to set up a turn (probably J3) when you can conquer as many Russian territories as possible all at once. One good setup is to take Anhwei hard on J1, stack in Sinkiang and Buryatia on J2, and then explode into Kazakh, Novosibirsk, Evenki, Yakutsk, and the Soviet Far East on J3. The USA will surely enter the war on A4, but by then it’s too late for them to build troops that can make it to Moscow in time to help save the capital.

    The Drive for India

    Although the British start with more troops in Asia in the 1939 version, and more factories in the southern hemisphere, it’s not necessarily any harder to take India. This is partly because the troops are so spread out – the infantry in Hong Kong and Singapore, e.g., will die before they can ever make it back to defend India. The other factor is that the USA’s -20 IPC/turn peacetime penalty means it can’t afford to build as many fighters to defend India and West Russia, and that the UK usually has better things to do than build fighters in London and fly them to India. Paradoxically, the factories in Capetown and Sydney mean that the loss of India isn’t as catastrophic for Britain, so Britain has less incentive to stage an expensive defense there.

    Many of the same principles as the 1942.2 game apply for attacking India from Japan: gain control of the seas, ferry troops to stack in Burma, and be ready to fly in a large air force to help sack India when you see a good opportunity. Because Persia starts the game neutral, it’s harder for the Allies to reinforce India from the west, but you still want to have a ‘surplus’ of force when you take India to reduce unnecessary casualties – Japan has less fodder in the 1939 setup than in the 1942.2 setup, and if you burn off all your planes on the Indian assault, it can take a few turns before you’re ready to threaten anywhere else.

    Because Japan starts the game relatively cash poor, you’ll have to assess how much you can afford to pour into an early assault on India vs. how much you need to use to snap up territories for income. Better to sweep up Yunnan, Malaysia, French Indo-China, Kwangtung, and New Guinea on J2 for a total of 7 IPC than to spend J2, J3, and J4 scraping together a force that can barely take India for 3 IPC. You need cash more than you need glory. If Britain over-invests in defending India (e.g., multiple turns of 2 inf, 1 ftr) and also still tries to contain Germany in Europe, it will probably leave Sydney and Capetown wide open to a Japanese assault. From Sydney and Capetown, you can expand into South America (after the USA has moved on). If you can occupy South Africa, Rhodesia, Madagascar, the Congo, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand, New Guinea, Western Australia, and Eastern Australia, that’s worth 14 IPC – which is as much as Burma, India, Persia, Trans-Jordan, the Caucasus, Egypt, and Kazakh all put together. If you’re not in immediate danger of losing the VC race, the southern hemisphere strategy can be a good way to go for a huge economic lead that you can later convert into a successful attack on a capital (possibly London).

    Knocking out China early

    China has a limited economic upside (only 4 IPCs of Allied territory to conquer), but because of the two VCs (Shanghai and Chongqing), you can’t afford to ignore it all together. The obvious target is Szechuan, which has both the Allied factory and the Allied VC in the region. To maximize your odds of taking it as soon as possible (i.e., on J2), try to split your stack between Anhwei and Yunnan, with a slight emphasis on Anhwei so you can leave a tank in Manchuria for defense and still bring it to the Szechuan fight if needed. The Allies don’t have the manpower to eliminate both of your stacks, and unless they bring in heavy reinforcements, they don’t have the manpower to eliminate even one stack and still defend Szechuan. You usually want to ignore any turn 1 attacks on French Indo-China, Hong Kong, and Buryatia so you can focus on driving hard for Szechuan – all of the other territories, while admittedly more valuable in terms of cash, can be snapped up at your leisure once Szechuan is yours.

    Obviously, there are some exceptions. If America fails to activate the Szechuan factory and/or shows signs of being distracted elsewhere (e.g., they build a factory in the Philippines, or they put together a carrier group in the Atlantic on A1), then it’s not a big deal to wait until J3 to take Szechuan – the one extra American infantry or whatever isn’t going to ruin your day. Similarly, if Britain gathers a large attack fleet (2+ transports) off the coast of Australia and is getting ready to hit southeast Asia hard, you might need to pick off any Allied infantry on the Asian coast sooner rather than later, so that the British don’t get a chance to unite their ground forces.

    Even if America is building in Szechuan, you can opt to maximize income rather than ‘space’ on J1 and J2 as a matter of personal preference – just be alert for reinforcements coming from Evenki and India. If you handle the situation right, you may be able to ‘bleed’ the Allies a bit in Western China, tempting them into repeatedly trading at a loss in the (vain) hope of keeping their factories and victory cities. If you’re too reckless, though, the Allies might actually hold Stalingrad and Chongqing long enough to register an early win on victory cities. Allowing the Allies to keep a foothold in western China tends to lead to a more complicated game – you may ultimately wind up better off than if you blitzed it right away, but make sure you know what you’re doing.

    Early Purchases

    Japan technically can still afford a Manchurian factory on J1, but it’s usually not a good idea – the smaller starting economy and the starting third transport means that Japan has less use for additional production slots. Similarly, it rarely makes sense to build extra planes unless you’re certain you will take heavy losses in the air on J1 (e.g., because you are assaulting a combined British fleet in SZ 37) – your starting 7 ftr, 1 bmbr is plenty of air support to assist your starting 11 inf, 5 art, 3 tnk.

    If America is being aggressive with its navy in the Pacific, you will need to buy some fodder on the water, as you start relatively heavy on your capital ships – 1 DD, 1 SS can work nicely, or you can build 2 SS and 1 inf. Otherwise, you probably want mostly infantry for the first couple of turns, with maybe the purchase of a fourth transport to give your fleet extra flexibility and reach. You will be doing a lot of light trading in the opening, if only because you have a big air force and your opponents can’t muster anything more than small forces on defense in the initial battlegrounds. Infantry are the engine of light trading, and if you don’t build and deliver enough infantry to the front, you’re just going to pay for it in the loss of more expensive units.

    Once the east Asian coast is secure and cash is coming in from the money islands, you can start investing in bombers to starve Moscow, or (if America is still at peacetime, especially if America has left the Pacific lightly defended, and double especially if the San Francisco factory is still damaged), you can build a third carrier group to try for an assault on Hawaii and San Francisco. Because of the peacetime income penalty, America isn’t as able to rapidly respond to an assault coming from Japan – even if America sees it coming, there’s a limit to how much America can build in a hurry until you actually attack.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    UPDATE: Screenshot & TripleA save game file!

    Note that both the map and the saved game are missing the neutral units (including French & Dutch), because the WW2v5 map in TripleA doesn’t allow for neutral units, but this should still save you a lot of setup time if you’re interested in playtesting the 1939 scenario.

    AAA screenshot 1939.png
    Argo 1939.tsvg


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