• Assuming that the Allies can use the bid to place anything anywhere, with the restrictions of one unit per territory which already has units, what’s a normal bid that makes the game balanced?

  • '17 '16 '15 '14

    I like the bomber bid for Russia…  Seems like a nice addition to the first attack.

  • '19 '15 '14

    I think the bomber bid is balanced, and it would be my usual. But that is a set bid, where you really have to agree up front that both players want to try that sort of game, because otherwise no one would use their 12 ipcs that way! haha. They’d use it for UK

    For just 6 ipcs to UK, you can screw Germany pretty hard. A sub in the Mediterranean makes it so that Germany has no good use for their battleship on G1. Anywhere they go it dies, and if they go nowhere it dies too, unless they build destroyers for blocking maneuvers, which is a pain. And this before you even run any attacks, just by its existence, the sub here starts messing with the Axis opener. Marine Iguana made some posts a few months back that show some of the merits of the UK sub bid for the med.


    I’ve changed my views a bit in the intervening months, on which specific bid units are best for overall balance, but I still come back to the same basic range in IPCs. I used to play this map with sz16 closed to surface ships, but now I don’t play that way anymore. I don’t use either of the optional rules these days. Sz 16 closed is just kind of boring, and I’m just not a huge fan of escorts/intercept the way 1942.2 has them formulated, since I find they just neutralize bombing all together with the people in my playgroup (people hate risking fighters on both SBR attack and defense, has been my experience) so I basically ditched both those, and stick to the vanilla ruleset now. I’m not a big fan of low luck either, unless someone really twists my arm off about it, so there’s that too haha. All with a grain of salt basically.

    Going up to 12 ipcs, eg 2 submarines for UK and things get a lot more distorted. I think the board starts to tip in the Allies favor. Not so much for the direct line on Moscow (since that’s kind of a foregone conclusion if Axis are committed), but the double sub bid does make it very hard for the Axis to overcome the Allies on the water, which is critical for the deep endgame, post center collapse.

    I’d say somewhere between 8 and 11 ipcs is optimal, if you’re not going to restrict the bid. High enough that you can purchase 2 hitpoints, but still low enough that you can’t spam 4. If you want to go higher or lower, that’s cool, but its more an indication of a disparity in player skill then I think. Between two people who know what they’re doing you shouldn’t have to go higher than 12 ipcs, or lower than 6.

    10 ipcs is probably the sweet spot for expert play, where both sides still have a challenge, but the Allied underdog doesn’t get so much of a boost that the Axis are all bitter about it haha. That’s like a sub and an artillery piece. Or perhaps 2 inf and an artillery piece, or even a fighter, which can make a big difference.

    My fav is the Russian bomber though. The big Red Bomber really gives the Soviets a leg up. Most players I’ve gamed seem to enjoy the Bomber once they start flying it around. Even if they wouldn’t spend their whole bid on a single unit if given the option, it seems to do the trick in terms of balance, and the sense of balance in the mind of the player, which is what the bid process is really all about anyway. I like it because it’s a high value unit, and so players are less likely to just throw it away in the first round, you know to gain some slight edge in an opening engagement. So it has a way of paying for itself over time. Each round its used in combat, that Allied player thinks to themselves, “Damn, good thing we got that Russian bomber in the back pocket!” hehe

    And then of course, if you feel that a bid is still necessary beyond that, there’s nothing to stop you. Russian bomber +3 ipcs, or 4 of 5 etc. I think it should have been part of original set up, but alas, the Russians are always nerfed  😄

    Some people add an American destroyer, and then bid from there in a similar fashion. But I like the Red bomber best.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Ps. I usually put the bomber at Moscow, but you could also leave other options open. This creates some dynamism to the R1 bid play, since you could put it in Karelia and bomb Berlin, or put it in Buryatia and hit sz 61, then land in more optimal positions.

    These are both gambler’s openings, but can be pretty decisive when they work. If your goal is to seize the initiative through the bid process, then the ability to mess with the G1 purchase is kind of hard to top. Or the chance to take the pressure off UK in the Pacific by handling that second Japanese transport right in the opening salvo. Sure either play might backfire, but if you’re playing the odds, at least the odds are in your favor to open in a brazen way, most of the time at any rate. I think its actually a pretty potent bid. Even if you don’t do anything with it except ice your normal R1 combats.

    That’s 4 extra pips on attack for the Soviets, every round that the bomber survives. 1 defensive pip and 1 hit point, plus all that mobility. The option to launch 3 air attacks in a single round is major as well. But basically I like it more for the entertainment value.

    A big red bomber so the Allies have more ways to shape the game at the outset, which is why I like it.

    Gives the Russians something other than a large stack of hitpoints to play around with. And its also a bit harder to use for the really large naval TUV trades in the first round (at least not without risk to the pride of the red airforce). It doesn’t totally hamstring the Axis openers in the first round, the way a solid bid to UK for the same amount might. So yeah, I still like the bomber for fun in the long run.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Pps. Also I’m not a huge LL player, but I find that the bomber bid works pretty well under low luck conditions. It gives the Soviets several new attack options.

    They can strafe Ukraine for 4 hits in the opening Salvo if going all in. Conserving more fodder with a single pass. And knocking G down to just the tank and fighter.

    Or you can guarantee the Baltic states trade, ensuring that the German tank dies trading TUV at advantage.

    Or hit sz5, without having to use the Moscow fighter. With this last you got a 50/50 chance that your Yak comes out clean. But even if it dies, you’re still in a stronger position than OOB. Germany is down a cruiser and transport, and you’re down a fighter. But you can still run 2 air attacks on R2, and the bomber gets you an extra pip on attack. You lose 3 defensive pips (for not having a second fighter) but gain +2 mobility. So on the whole, even if the Karelia fighter goes down attacking sz5, and you’re left with just 1 fighter and 1 bomber, at least you’re still in a strong position compared to the OOB 2 fighters, and can still play the trading game on the eastern front.

    Or you can bring the extra heat on Belo to clear it with less units comitted, so you can stack W. Russia that much deeper.

    And of course, then fly that extra defensive pip much farther afield than your fighters could go, to support the Western Allies in their openings. So it definitely has its uses.

    Again in LL, I don’t think most players, if left to their own devices would really consider a Russian bomber feesible. A fighter would be more likely, or extra ground for the extra hit points in the opening fight with G, and defense power for the aftermath. But once the bomber is in play, I find that players enjoy it. The extra attack pips at 4 really help in the trading game as time goes on, so it pays for itself in combat. But more over time, rather than all at once, from the begining. Which is part of the charm of it.

  • Yeah, the Russian bomber is great. I was mainly asking because of the upcoming tournament where we’ll be using the usual bid rules (auction to play the Allies, place your money wherever you want with restrictions). In that case, perhaps an inf in Egypt and an SS in the Med or Indian Ocean?

  • Moderator

    Yeah, I’m curious as to where the bids will come in as well.  I also want to see the progression for say a bunch of rd 1 games to what the semi-finals and finals may look like.

    I’m guessing bids will be between 6-12 for most games but that is only a guess.  Just start high and work your way down.  🙂

    For the tourney and for clarification there is no limit on number of units to a territory for the bid, just that you have to place Russian with Russia, UK with UK, US with US.  You can of course spread the bid around, 1 inf here - 1 inf there - etc. but it is not forbidden to place say 2-3 inf in Cauc or 2 inf in Egy, or 1 inf, 1 rt to Kar.

    Unless I put a restriction in the rules I posted.  I’ll have to double check now.  😄

  • Moderator

    We are doing Full Placement bids, which was my intention. 
    So you can put multiple units into a territory as long as the units put in belong to that nation.  NO Russian Units to Egy, BUT 2 Russian units to Kar is okay.

    _You will be bidding for the Allies.
    Full placement bids.  Standard bid rules apply (can only place bid in spots or sea zones where you already have units of that nation, example - you can’t place Russian units in US, or UK units in Russia, etc.)
    You will bid in IPC, but you can spend the bid on units once bidding is completed and you can split your bid however you see fit - example 3 ipc to Russia and 3 to UK or just all 6 to Russia, etc.
    Bidding will be done in an Auction Style via PM between the players.
    Once brackets are assigned I will do a random roll for each round to see which player will start the bidding (either top player on bracket or bottom).  The players will then bid down until one player concedes the sides.

    Player 1 - I’ll play the Allies with 12
    Player 2 - I’ll play the Allies with 10
    Player 1 - I’ll play the Allies with 7
    Player 2 - You win, you can take the Allies with 7_

  • '19 '15 '14

    Interesting, most people I’ve played with in the past restricted the bid to a single unit per territory or sz.

    Allowing the placement of multiple units in a territory makes bidding for extra mobility rather pointless. No need to consider tanks, when 2 infantry units will do you more good on attack, provided you can put them both in the same territory.

    In this case, I would suggest maximizing your fodder at the front lines, where the opening battles are narrow OOB. Ukraine would be a good example. If you can place 2 infantry in Caucasus instead of just 1, you can tilt that battle quite a bit, and reduce the armor commitment necessary to kill the German fighter.

    I haven’t crunched the numbers to see what you’d need, but under these bid conditions it may be possible to actually hold Karelia through G1?

    Basically you could look at any territory where the hitpoints are usually very low, and see what happens when you place  2, 3 or even 4 extra hit points in that territory on the bid, instead of the usual 1 hp.

    It’s possible for example to stack Egypt deep enough that a round 1 factory purchase there is viable. 3 to 4 infantry in a single space can be quite effective. Or who knows, maybe do something crazy with a bunch of infantry in Burma or Bury or some place like that?

    I’d think putting them at the Suez Canal or on the Eastern Front would be the most potent.

  • The territory structure around Karelia makes stacking it unrewarding for Russia. Germany can project force very easily from bordering infantry, all fighters and all tanks.

    I find that placing multiple units in the same territory distorts initial starting conditions.

    One example is ukraine, where I would bid.
    1. Just drop 3 infantry in cauc
    2. attack ukraine with 6 inf, 1 art, 3 tanks, 2 fig and everything else to Wrussia.
    3. move the AA to ukraine

    Now Germany has to initiate expensive trading of ukraine (expected that 2 inf, 1 art, 3 tanks, 1 aa remain in ukraine R1). Germany needs to commit at least 7 inf, 2 tanks to even get a positive TUV counter. The result is that Russia deadzones Karelia R1, and Germany is unable to stack Karelia for many rounds because the infantry east of Germany were largely used to counter attack ukraine. Russia can use Cauc placed units to trade back Ukraine R2, while maintaining a deadzone of Karelia from WRussia.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Yeah, poor Leningrad. Always such a bust  😄

    I like when the bid is more limited myself. Like 12 for a Russian bomber, or 10 for a third Russian fighter things of that sort. But full placement might be fun as well, perhaps a lower bid is in order? Playing the numbers game infantry hit points would do you more good conservatively (like they always do) when you can put them together. To make the most of the bid conditions you’d want to magnify them in one spot I’d think. So then its like, how many hitpoints do you want to give your opponent on any one front from the outset? 6 ipcs or more for 2 hp? Up to 9 ipcs for 3 hps, up to 12 ipcs for 4 hps.

    2-4 Russian hp in Caucasus?
    2-4 British hp on the Suez canal?
    2-4 British hp in Persia?
    2-4 British hp in Burma?
    2-4 US hp in Szech?

  • TripleA

    3 arty is ideal for russia, crush the germans and have fun.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Yeah. 3 artillery can be pretty deadly.

    Perhaps 1 to Ukraine to kill the 6th German fighter and the other 2 to West Russia, so the stack there can lock down the Karelia exchange no problem.

    I think its a bit more demoralizing to face down 3 artillery as G than it would be to face down a single Russian air unit. As Allies with 3 art you’d probably be feeling pretty good about things on R2.

    Max artillery nets you the most total attack power for the cheapest overall investment, +3 pips on attack for every 4 ipcs your spend on the bid, with the +1 infantry to boost already in place.

    11 ipcs, for 2 artillery and 1 inf is pretty solid as well.
    10 ipcs, for 1 artillery and 2 inf, not too shabby.

    Though for kicks I think I’d still just take a Red fighter at 10. There’s something sweet about having that 3rd air attack each round. I’m happy as Allies, and the Axis player usually doesn’t seem to be too terribly put off by it, the way they do when they just get murdered by bid ground. Still leaves open some options for an early Axis drive, but gives the Soviets more confidence to face it down.

    9 ipcs probably 3 infantry or 2 artillery (and save the remainder.) Though I’d start to worry about rolling duds in the first round and not really getting a whole lot out of the bid.

  • Just drop 4 infantry in ukraine. If the bid is 15, drop 5. If the bid is 30, drop 10. Ukraine is the clear rewarding land territory to place marginal units. It is because:
    1. The battle is fairly close
    2. The units in that territory are valuable to destroy.
    3. The Territory structure doesn’t favor the opponent significantly. As a contrast, Manchuria and Karelia are really unfavorable.

    Russia starts with plenty of offense. Without any bid, Russia can just about attack any 2 territories and destroy all opposing units in 2 rounds of rolls. The benefit of additional offense seems small, unless Russia really wants to attack 3 territories. If you run the calculations, attacking 3 territories is less profitable, unless you truly get a huge 15+ ipc bid dedicated to russia. Russia simple starts with enough offense to efficiently destroy 2 territories of units. Spreading units to a 3rd makes each individual territory less profitable, such that the net is less profitable.

    Just like every preceding axis and allies game, infantry are overpowered. If you want to maximize the likelihood to win, just buy and utilize the overpowered units, and avoid the underpowered ones.

  • TripleA

    11 bid i would just get 1 inf for egypt. 2 arty.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Marine Iguana with the no mercy Summer Offensive  😄

    Yeah I mean it’s hard to argue with dumping everything into Ukraine. Unless you really want to preserve the Russian armor and just strafe, in which case it’s kind of nice to kill that Baltic states tank on the cheap, and pick up your second territory there. Sometimes I’m a little wary of setting off a major trade on G1, in which case it’d be nice to have the extra art in W. Russia for the R2 counter.

    The third fighter/bomber, with the third air attack doesn’t really come into play until Japan starts creeping into the backfield. Until then you can usually just keep yourself to 1 or 2 attacks

    I admit to not being terribly used to the full placement bid thing. With 4 extra HP into Ukraine going all-in with the Armor seems pretty safe, since its an ugly cascading trade for G. But with just 2 HP I might be a little nervous still. I mean, we’ve all seen when the Germans clap back on defense with a lot of hits in the first round of combat. I think the advantage there of extra offense would just be to ice it in the first round of combat.

    Not sure at what point I’d start to regret giving up the bid as the Axis player. It kind of reminds me of Revised, where it’s like “ok sure, if you guarantee Egypt to G, then I guess the game is balanced.” But then you end up playing a rather different game than OOB was trying to lay out.

    Here the situation is reversed, if you guarantee Ukraine to Russia, then sure the game might be balanced for Allies in the opener, but what does it cost you in entertainment value for Axis, by making it such a foregone conclusion?

    Egypt is kinda rough in the same way, since if you give Allies too much, there’s just not much for the Africa Corps to do lol.

    Alas the constant issue with bids, like how far you want to push it before it swings the other direction haha

  • TripleA

    The actual value of a tank is 5, not 6 like they made it. It is overpriced so you could care less about your armor tbh.  3 egypt 2 arty is solid. 1 arty to make the ukraine thing easier. 1 arty so you can smack belorussia up too. you really just want to be trading territories all game from west russia.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Here’s a stupid bid, that would probably be fun. A Russian destroyer in sz 4 for 8 ipcs. With a Ruskie destroyer block in sz 6, the Luftwaffe would surely have more to do on G1, and the Uboats in sz 9 would be under a little bit more pressure. Do they charge ahead with sz 11, or peel one Uboat off to face down the Red October in sz 7 lol? Ridiculous but you know, if you just play the right music when you roll…


    Or even stupider… A Russian battleship in sz 16 for a whole pile of 20 ipcs! Just a balls out attack against the German battleship in sz 15 by a Battleship of your own! Battleship vs Battleship, no holds bared.  

    All these stupid Russian bids appeal to me. I think the OOB board is unbalanced enough in favor of G, that it could support any of those, as a set up change, and Axis would still probably be favored. But at least then Russia would be a bit more entertaining.

    There are plenty of bids that might be fun if players are willing to actually mess around, but I wouldn’t expect to see that kind of stuff in a competition where every pip counts. Infantry+Art push of some sort, as usual.

  • TripleA


  • TripleA

    Dangit with 12 ipc I was going to do 2 sub in sz 5 and go ham.

  • TripleA

    Usual bid is 15+ Axis stacked map.

  • I will usually go with a russian bomber, due to Black elk’s reasons. 12 ipc’s seems like a good deal, though some people dont like to spend it all on one unit. But russia will have some flexibility with it, as in the sz 5 attack, or just sbr germany.

    Sincerely, Hitler

  • TripleA

    You gotta hit belorussia, ukraine, and west russia, screw the germany fleet.

  • TripleA

    3 arty and an inf, party like a rockstar. You got to do it big, allies lose in this map, go big or go home.


    Other option. 1 arty india, 2 inf egypt, 1 sub india fleet. Sink Japan and take east indies, MAX DISRESPECT, make sure you grab your nuts while you roll to defend egypt if germany comes in hot, because you need the fighter to sink the japan fleet, take east indies, DROP THE KJF UK + AMERICA HIROSHIMA BOMB. NAGASAKI ALL UP IN HIS FACE.

    KJF is economically easier for USA to do than europe.  #truestory. Why? Because japan needs ships to take back cash money piece flow rest in the dead. MASTA BLASTA baby. Transports not a real unit, just a little crying baby you need to protect to get your daddy in to fight with. Too many keep a daddy babies in europe make society broke, #THUGLYFE.

  • '19 '15 '14

    I think its important to distinguish between what is needed to win consistently as Allies, and what is needed to simply have an enjoyable and reasonably balanced game.

    Often with the bid process there this a huge emphasis on the first round combats. This is because, at least among experts, battles can be rare occurrences, and the chance to fight a battle with a clear advantage over the opponent can be even rarer. This lends itself to a situation where people start to read the entire game (and their chances of victory) into just a few opening battles.

    In that respect, what Cow is suggesting, is that you want to take every opportunity you can to destroy German ground units while they are still separated, before they converge into one large force, which you’re unlikely to have a crack at afterwards (or at least, not until the final confrontation for control of Moscow.)

    But honestly I think the popularity of Low Luck gameplay has rather exaggerated the need for pre-placement bids. Sure in an LL match up, it’s possible to crush the center fairly quickly unless the Allies bang something out right away, and turn the set up on its head. But in a normal dice game, there are a lot more opportunities for recovery. More battles with a swing, so you might see an ugly first round, but a brilliant second, or an interstellar third, and then the significance of that initial bid might seem nearly irrelevant.

    My preference is for a bid to income, or for a bid to Russian aircraft, mainly because those units often survive to fight in subsequent rounds, whereas pre-placement ground or naval bids almost always result in some huge round one fight that has an out-sized impact on the whole rest of the game. Basically looking to totally secure an attack with the bid units, or to totally neutralize an enemy attack from ever occurring. For that hitpoints will always be more important than anything else.

    But I like the bomber for reasons beyond just pure opening power. In some important ways I think a bomber is slightly less potent than a third fighter would be, despite costing 2 ipcs more. Because defense power is so critical for Russia, right from the start and up to the bitter end. They often don’t need more reach than a 3rd fighter would give them, and 3 attacks is about as many as they can realistically run anyway, until they are willing to trade artillery (which always blows.) So I like the bomber, because it doesn’t distort the defense power thing as much. Instead it puts the emphasis on attack, which I think encourages a slightly more dynamic eastern front.

    Going ground, is a bit like blowing up the powderkeg all at once, do or die, whereas I see Air more like, using that same black powder little by little over time. With the idea that you end up destroying more total TUV in smaller exchanges for less of your own TUV put at risk.

    But that is also an expression of my preference in playstyle. I like to give the Soviets a third air attack option, because I think it adds to the thrill. They don’t have to attack 3 ways at once, and its often better to magnify in one space rather than split things up, but at least you got the option.

    With 12 I’d go bomber
    With 11 a fighter and save 1
    With 10 a fighter

    That’s not because I think those particular bids give the Allies the best chances of “winning” per se, but because I like the overall gameplay more under such a set up. You’re probably a lot better off, if you wanted to bid air, to bid it for UK, who can use it for deeper round 1 attacks. Or just spam hitpoints on the Eastern front to smash G, or a sub breaker as others have suggested. But I like the Red Airforce expansion. I’ve seen the Allies return wins when Russia has a third air unit. Not the crazy stompfest wins that a supreme Allied commander might wish for, but the kind of narrow wins and close call games that I most enjoy.

    Movement exploits are at the heart of the basic game. You can see it even in Global where the Air Base unit is so important to the openers, mainly because they allow you to move those key starting air hp/attack/def pips over longer distances. In a similar way, even a single extra Air unit for Allies on the bid in 1942.2 can give you that oppertunity to launch 1 pip one tile farther, maybe just turn things so the Allies can grab the edge they need.

    It’s also important I think whether you are willing to engage in SBR as the Allies generally. If not then you might want to consider a larger starting bid, because it’s very hard to nab Berlin or Tokyo when the Axis collect their full purse each round. Even if they can’t take the center, Germany can just spam infantry till the cows come home on this board haha. So I agree the game needs something among players of equal skill, and if it’s going to be a preplacement bid, I like the Bomber.

    Going back to Classic/Revised, a bid to starting income is usually about double whatever the bid would be for pre-placement units.

    Any number of combinations at like 15 ipcs, if you put the units down pre-placement, can return Allied wins.

    And you could probably give any one of the Allies a bid of like 30 ipcs, just to their starting income for the normal round 1 purchasing phase, and it’d achieve a similar effect.

    But I like the big red bomber, as a quick fix for 1942.2. It doesn’t guarantee the Allies a win by any stretch, but it introduces more novelty into the game for me, and is still a pretty decent bang for the bucks. You still need a few good rolls to make it pay for itself, but it’s not like the OOB situation, where Allies have a way of getting just totally steam rolled at the center, before USA can kick into a high enough gear to actually threaten an Axis capital.

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