Are Allies doomed from the outset on G40 map?


  • I’m an old school A&A player and have recently been playing and studying the G40 map quite a bit.

    I’ve played Allies almost every game. In my own play, and as an observer of others’ games, I am not seeing any strong/winning strategies for the Allied side against strong Axis play.

    The key issues I’m facing:

    1. The Allies can’t seem to put a fleet anywhere effective against overwhelming Axis air power.
    2. Neither Russia nor UK-Pac nor China can defend itself effectively against straightforward Axis build-land-units-and-advance strategies so both will inevitably fall.
    3. Axis lines of supply at all the major conflict points are much shorter than Allied supply lines. Axis therefore can see what the Allies are going to do far enough ahead of time to build a counter.
    4. Games eventually get to a “midgame” point where Russia and UK Pac are ready to fall, Axis has equalized income and nearly equalized material, and the Allies still have no strong counterattack, after which it’s just a matter of playing out the Axis win.

    Things I’ve tried that haven’t worked for me:

    • UK Taranto raid (effective but even holding Africa with no additional investment doesn’t help all that much)
    • monomaniacal US focus on Pacific theater (no matter how much I build, Japan can always have enough fleet + air power to keep me away from Asia, even with healthy ANZAC and UK fleet units in theater helping)
    • Atlantic dominance (takes too long to build up enough of a fleet to land anywhere, and that Denmark strait block kills counter and counter-pressure opportunities)
    • UK-Europe using its builds to help UK-Pac
    • Russia aggressive, and Russia defensive (both fail, the former fails faster)

    I totally get that the Allies have to stall the Axis long enough to outbuild them, but common Axis play equalizes the economic advantage too fast for that to happen, while leaving Axis with better tactical position. All the while, all the strategic choices seem to belong to the Axis side (e.g. when to DOW).

    Long story short, it doesn’t seem to matter what the allies do, Axis seems to have a straightforward victory every time unless they mess up badly, as the Allies had in the original game. Bids don’t seem to help; the map layout, movement rules, unit costs and strategic bombing rules all seem to conspire to give Allies nothing to hang their hats on.

    What I would love to see is how a good Axis player can be beat. Every game I observe where Axis is losing, the Axis player made horrible newbie errors and appeared to lack a basic understanding of this map.

    I’ve read dozens of threads in this forum trying to figure out what those missing strategies are and I’m just not seeing it. So I guess my question is: is it worth my time to pursue this map further, or is this effectively a “solved” game for the Axis side with no hope of Allied victory? Or are there some strategies out there that give hope?

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Welcome to the LONG STANDING debate that has been raging for years about AA G40 global 2nd.

    Right now the consensus is that a 20+ allied bid approaches equalization. Regardless, I think that fact that “good” players try to play the Axis more skews the results to make it look Axis favorable.  Although some think that Germany buying tons of bombers breaks the game. Not sure about that; I think that strategy is actually very dicey and just as prone to sink the Axis as the Allies.

    IMO, the real problem is the 8/6 VC victory condition.  If it was, say 10 VCs total, I think that would largely balance the game.


  • Even without VC victory conditions I don’t see how the Allies can stop the Axis from outright overpowering them.

    The Allied material advantage to start the game is a complete illusion; between the easy G1 kills (200 IPC worth vs. 20 sacrificed), the effectively nonfunctional French units, the IPC bonus from the capture of France, the virtual requirement of the massive material sacrifice against the Italian fleet, the inability of the Allies to counterattack due to politics, pointless mech inf in the US, the extra division of powers with China and ANZAC, and units that start as many as 5 turns away from being anywhere useful, I’d argue that Axis STARTS the game economically and materially equal for all practical purposes, and gets massive strategic positional advantages as well.

    For example, France actually starts the game with 227 IPC of units. By the time they get to actually move, they almost always have left 1 FTR, 7 INF (scattered), and a destroyer, for a total of 39 IPC of playable material. The nominal Allied material advantage to start the game is 600 IPC, so the French first-round losses represent almost a third of that advantage, alone. With Russia, only 60ish of the 363 IPC it starts with can be utilized at all until Germany DOWs, so that leaves about a 120 IPC advantage. Factor in the extra useless AA guns that the Allies have more of than the Axis and we’re down to 100. And then 487 IPC in US units can’t be used until someone DOWs them or turn 3 rolls around, 150 IPC of ANZAC units that aren’t really in the fight until the US gets there, and the fact that there is not a single, solitary Axis unit on the entire map that can’t be utilized for some immediate tactical purpose in R1, and the game really opens at a 1500 IPC to 1100 IPC Axis advantage.


  • There are a few adjustments you can do, without really destroying the essence of the game:

    • Remove a fighter and TB from Japan;
    • Add destroyer to American Atlantic fleet;
    • Add sub to Indian fleet;
    • Add bomber to Moscow;
      (- Add 10 IPC to US income).
  • '15

    @SubmersedElk:

    The Allied material advantage to start the game is a complete illusion

    What advantage? I have never thought that. It seems, and has always seemed, pretty clear to me the material advantage is squarely in Axis hands.

    @SubmersedElk:

    the virtual requirement of the massive material sacrifice against the Italian fleet

    Disclaimer: I say this as a Taranto devotee: it is not required. I would argue it’s clearly advantageous for the Allies in most scenarios, but it is surely not required from an optimization standpoint, and I have seen several situations where this fleet has fled the med to return shortly after or do whatever else.

    @SubmersedElk:

    pointless mech inf in the US

    These pretty much squash any sensical attempt by Japan to land in Alaska (Outside of a 100% kill america gambit by the axis on both sides–one that is just a gimmick, and won’t statistically work if the US recognizes what’s up). Without them, landing in Alaska would be a bit easier for Japan. I would argue they are not “pointless”. Try removing them and adding 15 or even 18 IPCs of infantry and play around. Not having the mechs saves japan from needing to put one or all of its transports in SZ1 to block them driving up from western US.

    @SubmersedElk:

    the inability of the Allies to counterattack due to politics

    I see J1’s more often than not. This puts everyone in the game immediately. While they may not have any viable counterattacks, it is not “due to politics”.

    @SubmersedElk:

    I’d argue that Axis STARTS the game economically and materially equal for all practical purposes

    This doesn’t make sense, especially in context with what else you’d written up to this point and will write afterward.

    @SubmersedElk:

    Stuff you said about IPCs and France and stuff

    Reducing the game to raw IPCs is the largest and most common logical failure players make. Raw IPCs can be useful as a metric, but are focused upon far too often, leading to IPC tunnel vision of sorts. Positioning and composition can and, as you’ve wordsied-explained, do, make IPC differences disappear or reverse in actual power projection, especially on single game-round timescales. No surprises there.

  • '15

    1) The Allies can’t seem to put a fleet anywhere effective against overwhelming Axis air power.
    Let’s stick to the Atlantic for this one, since the Pacific situation is covered in another comment you’ve made. An air base on gibraltar, while very costly, helps much of this in the Atlantic. The issue I see after that, however, is that you’re either locked into violating Spain’s neutrality to get further into Europe, or your transports get blowed up when they try to move to the next point.

    However, even just moving your transports in range of Europe puts a pressure on the Axis that cause them to lose a bit of steam in the east. This problem the Atlantic allies have does not exist in a vacuum.

    2) Neither Russia nor UK-Pac nor China can defend itself effectively against straightforward Axis build-land-units-and-advance strategies so both will inevitably fall.
    China very often does not die anywhere near soon if there’s a J1 attack and it wishes to keep pressure on Calcutta (so it makes 6 or less IPCs a turn or doesn’t just build nothing but mechs/planes and sends them to Russia). By the time the US/ANZAC pair up and push in a bit, China is also able to start pushing back against Japan somewhat. But China falling should not surprise you. Japan has a kill-death-destruction beam it can point at anyone it wants, and nobody can stand up against it. If Japan decides to point that at China, it should fall, but then UK Pac/ANZAC/US are there to make it pay for such a thing.

    Russia can be helped significantly by large amounts of UK air in Moscow. I don’t see Moscow falling outside of the Axis getting lucky, them losing a lot of western europe to do it, Russia preemptively abandoning their capital to wall off the middle east with the UK, or late-game.

    3) Axis lines of supply at all the major conflict points are much shorter than Allied supply lines. Axis therefore can see what the Allies are going to do far enough ahead of time to build a counter.
    This is inherent to the game–so much so that it can’t be described as a problem, I think. The problem would be how the game fails to design the rest of itself around this intended feature. Moreover, this is a bit of an overbroad generalization. There are plenty of ways the allies can keep the axis guessing. A fleet on Gibraltar? Is it going to hit Rome? Land on one of (or both?) the French minor factories? Is it going to Norway? Western Germany to blow up the factory and suicide hit the Luftwaffe? In Sea Lion games, to liberate London? Be able to be in Sydney/Japan/Caroline 3 turns later (where it can meet up with produced units to become truly surprising in size)?

    4) Games eventually get to a “midgame” point where Russia and UK Pac are ready to fall, Axis has equalized income and nearly equalized material, and the Allies still have no strong counterattack, after which it’s just a matter of playing out the Axis win.
    I see this often as well in games with skilled Axis players and less skilled Allied players. In “good” games I’d argue that the Allies will know that this is a losing scenario, and play more aggressively. The game will already be statistically won or lost by “midgame” in that instance.

    - UK Taranto raid (effective but even holding Africa with no additional investment doesn’t help all that much)
    Taranto keeps Italy from an early Syria/Iraq, and keeps it from holding Gibraltar. It helps. How you’re not seeing it I don’t know. To take Egypt afterwards requires German assistance. For Germany to assist with the taking of Egypt, it must telegraph its intentions by placing its entire airforce in Rome or northern africa a turn early. This gives the allies information and time and sometimes opportunity.

    - monomaniacal US focus on Pacific theater (no matter how much I build, Japan can always have enough fleet + air power to keep me away from Asia, even with healthy ANZAC and UK fleet units in theater helping)
    This is my largest weakness when playing the game. I’ve started a thread about it as well asking for any input others might have, but didn’t get much good out of it. I will say I am getting better, and it takes incredibly careful planning between the ANZAC/US. However, the America fleet simply being there means less land units in Asia and on transports and more boats being built by Japan. Outside of great luck, assuming equal skill between the sides, there will come a point to where Japan will start to collapse. It cannot both push inland and against the money islands while it keeps up with ANZAC/US spending. Once that happens, turning around anything that can be turned around toward the Atlantic is required, and I struggle with being able to do this early enough to stop Germany in many (most) games. I have yet to hit a point to where I am out of seeing things that I can’t do better for the next game.

    - Atlantic dominance (takes too long to build up enough of a fleet to land anywhere, and that Denmark strait block kills counter and counter-pressure opportunities)
    The only time I see this working is very early where America drops the first 52 into some things that go over once, or if Japan heads west a bit too much America can sail a Hawaiian force to central america on a brand new naval base, then be in Gibraltar on the next turn.

    - UK-Europe using its builds to help UK-Pac
    I’ve never tried this. I can’t think of anything useful to come of it. UK Pac can be enough of an annoyance (and little more) on its own.

    - Russia aggressive, and Russia defensive (both fail, the former fails faster)
    The first only works during Sea Lion games, or if you’re quick about getting your planes out east to help trip up Japan a bit (and Japan’s activities are trippable) and then getting them back west before it’s too late. 100% infantry defensive is a guaranteed loss of the middle east. A good amount of artillery, if you’re not already doing that, helps Russia keep Germany honest, at least.

    As of now, and everyone seems to agree, the Axis, most of the time, assuming equal levels of skill, has the game in the bag. Whether this is something like 90% of the time or 55% of the time, I’m not sure. With absolutely no good way to back this up, I’d guess, grossly, that it’s somewhere around 75% of the time with OOB rules.

    This is made a bit worse-looking than it is because the Allies take a lot more long-term planning and thought to play at a top level, I think. The “good” players also tend to gravitate toward the Axis.

    The game is not irredeemably broken, however. The balance is not so bad (say, like the WW1 version of the game) as to not be “fixed” by some pretty subtle adjustments. I, for one, tend to give the US a static +IPC income, and that makes a pretty substantial difference.


  • I will just reply to the "1) The Allies can’t seem to put a fleet anywhere effective against overwhelming Axis air power. "

    It is actually possible, I have done it many times, it does however require some thought into how to design the fleet and where to put it. One possible “trick” is to use ANZAK fighters on american carriers. It has been some time since I played this game, so the plan might not be the best one.

    If you want to fight japan, with 30+ planes, then you need to match that. Lets say your plan is to stand outside queensland by round 5 (this may or may not be possible). If I read you correctly, Japan does not go to war before J3 in your games.

    you can they put 3 anzak figthers on truk after us goes to the zone.
    your starting fleet is then: 1BB, 1 AC, 2 Cr, 2 DD and 1 sub.
    Lets say you buy only for japan in US1, US2 and only Germany on US3
    You will then have 102 IPC to use.
    If you buy 4 carriers (4*14 = 56), 2DD = 72 and then 3 fts = 102.  If then anzak buys 1 ftr on anzak1, 1 on anzak 2 and 2 on anzak3 and 2ftrs on anzak4. you will then have a total fleet of

    6 us ftrs
    1 us Tac
    6 anzak ftrs
    1 sub
    5  Us carriers
    1 BB
    4 US DDs
    1 anzak DD
    2 CR

    your total strenght is then 33 HP and a fair amount of dice. you should usually be outside of the reach of the japanes airforce (at least if it is playing in india/china)

    You now have enough to be able to fend of an air only attack. you can then on us 4,5,6 buy 10 sub/dd per round. you should then be able to converge on truk within US7. Japan can stop you from doing that, but only if he uses his entire income on subs and no landunits. (while you do this, you also snipe the moneyislands if possible).

  • '15

    I’ve been one of the more vocal “The Allies aren’t under-powered” board members, so I don’t agree that they are doomed from the get go.

    I’m actually writing up an Allied strategy essay.  The debate has been had so often that I thought it would be a fun project.  I address some of the topics you brought up here.  I’ll let you know when it’s done, if you have any interest in reading it  😄


  • Let me start by saying I appreciate the feedback, I am trying to figure this problem out and it’s quite frustrating at the moment.

    To address some of the comments above:

    • The reason I made the notes about the material IPC situation is that that is the only Allies apparent advantage other than the not-difference-making ability to dominate Africa. Otherwise the Axis are much much better off due to unit concentration, force composition, map layout, initiative, and lack of by-rule movement/attack restrictions. Normally a playable game is either straight-up well-balanced (e.g. chess, exactly even material and positioning, with only imbalance that White moves first), or unbalanced in a way such that both sides have advantages and weaknesses. I’m not seeing ANY advantage on the Allies’ side on this map.

    • Regarding the Allied Pac fleet: I’ve tried the ANZAC fighters trick and that doesn’t work either. Full US Pac buys plus full ANZAC fighter buys can’t create a stack that can advance against the Japanese air/fleet combo. The Allies can stack 30+ by Round 4, but the Japs can do that as well without making any major sacrifices. By R4 the Japs are done with China for all intents and purposes and have the ability to assault Calcutta while maintaining effective deterrent against the Allied fleet and have equalized income.

    • The timing of Japan’s DOW doesn’t seem to matter. J1s, J3s, all fundamentally end up in the same position by R5: China dead, Japanese fleet and air concentrated in SE Asia, UK Pac on its heels with very little (or even no net) income, and not enough Allied fleet to do anything more than sacrifice transports contesting DEI and trading sub and destroyer blockers. I’ve been considering whether to have UK and ANZAC just DOW Japan immediately in the event there’s no J1 might help. Once China is dead, Japan is free to then concentrate the land units against UK Pac - which is not building at all by that point thanks to blockade and SBR, and at the same time run a few extra units up Russia’s backside. Meanwhile by that point Germany is already pushing Russia back and the Allies no longer have an income advantage.


  • The allies are not the lost cause some make them out to be.  They are the more difficult of the 2 powers because they take time, planning, and cooperation.  That can be very difficult or a headache for the player that isn’t familiar with the map or game mechanics.  The USA must plan ahead 3 turns in both the Atlantic and the Pacific when it comes to Navy.  That’s really tough to plan ahead if one doesn’t grasp how the Axis win.

    It’s a way of thinking in the Pacific that makes things difficult. As players of the game, we think in terms of conquering territory.  IMO the key to winning in the Pacific is to stop the final victory city from falling (usually Hawaii/Sydney).  It’s all chess.  The allies don’t have to take anything. The Japanese need to.  The allies just have to work together to pester Japan.  Take an island, kill stray blockers and unprotected/under protected transports.  Just like the USA can NOT take on both the Atlantic and Pacific evenly, Japan can NOT take on China, USA, UK, and ANZAC evenly.

    As for the Atlantic side, Russia needs to keep Germany to taking just 1 territory at a time.  Counter attack under defended territories.  Buy 1 fighter per round after round 4 to help counter attack.  Stop the blitz into Russia.  Delay 7 rounds and you get 18 free infantry from the East.  If they make it back, it’s almost impossible for the Germans to take Moscow.  While Russia delays, open up a 2nd front with UK and USA.  Germany and Italy can NOT fight a 2 front war.

    These ideas are basic, but take long term planning.  IMO that’s what makes the Allies harder to play.


  • No, I think the main problem is that the Axis don’t have to do anything, but wait, to win after R4. Because they have more income…

  • '15

    Careful with this “R4” stuff, kids. That seems on first glance, to me at least, like Russia’s 4th turn.

    I can’t espouse the virtues of 1 Russian fighter per turn after R4 (literally), but the idea that Russia should make sure Germany is only making one territory per turn’s worth of progress is the entire idea of the eastern front for the allies. If you can cause Germany to not advance at all for a turn, that’s fantastic. Trying to keep them from that pivotal point of Rostov/Bryansk as long as you practically and safely can is the game.

    The statement that seven rounds for 18 Russians = free hold of Moscow, however, is not correct. Germany can still take Moscow after the 18 dudes show up, though it usually slows them down by at least a couple of rounds (while they make any available grabs at the caucasus etc). With a good Italian can-opener, those 20 dudes (including AA) may only be one round of extra time for Moscow.

    That being said I nearly always take those 18 ruskies back home.

    And yeah, well said, the Pacific is much like chess. It’s kinda “boring” compared to the European theater maybe, but the Pacific game, especially for the first 1-5 rounds, is nothing but posturing and zero dice rolling. Eventually, however, Japan will begin to crumble at the edges under the combined spending of US/ANZAC. The trick I have a problem with is finding a way to do that quickly enough.

    Nippon, I’d read the hell out of whatever you want to write on the subject.

    For my games, I’ve tried doing a static +X to the American income, including the first turn. The minimum is +10, and I’m in a +14 game right now and it’s pretty clutch for the Axis. I may not be the best A&A player, but I’m by no means the worst, and that +14/turn is showing extreme dividends for the allies. It’s arguably also kind of historically accurate, though I’ll not mention much more as that’s squarely in the houserules type of discussion.

    What I can say is that the balance of the game as it stands now at the current high level of play is not too awfully far out of whack. It doesn’t take much to swing things back around to the dicey sweet spot.

    edit-
    spelling is hard

  • Sponsor

    I’ve been on these forums a while, and have participated in many conversations about the overall balance, or house rules to fix the game. There’s only one thing I’m interested in saying anymore and I’m prepared to start saying it a lot from now on…

    It’s now up to Larry and Krieghund to release a new modified setup, national objective, political situation, atom bomb, or whatever it takes to balance A&A 1940 Global… they are the only ones that can effectively do it for all of us.


  • @teslas:

    I can’t espouse the virtues of 1 Russian fighter per turn after R4 (literally), but the idea that Russia should make sure Germany is only making one territory per turn’s worth of progress is the entire idea of the eastern front for the allies. If you can cause Germany to not advance at all for a turn, that’s fantastic. Trying to keep them from that pivotal point of Rostov/Bryansk as long as you practically and safely can is the game.

    The statement that seven rounds for 18 Russians = free hold of Moscow, however, is not correct. Germany can still take Moscow after the 18 dudes show up, though it usually slows them down by at least a couple of rounds (while they make any available grabs at the caucasus etc). With a good Italian can-opener, those 20 dudes (including AA) may only be one round of extra time for Moscow.

    That being said I nearly always take those 18 ruskies back home.

    Thanks for the reply, Teslas.  You are correct about the axis taking Moscow.  I just meant that if played well, by the 8th or 9th turn (hypothetically when Moscow will fall against max pressure) the allies are in place to take back Paris, Cairo, or Leningrad/Stalingrad.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @SubmersedElk:

    1. The Allies can’t seem to put a fleet anywhere effective against overwhelming Axis air power.

    If the US goes Pacific, it has more than sufficient fleet after two turns of building to cause Japan to be very, very cautious. Japan winning depends on speed, and if it must be cautious it cannot be speedy. If the US goes Atlantic, making minimal purchases in the Pacific to ensure that Japan cannot win while the US concentrates in Europe, it takes two turns of building to create a US fleet that Germany cannot destroy except by Pyrrhic victory.

    @SubmersedElk:

    1. Neither Russia nor UK-Pac nor China can defend itself effectively against straightforward Axis build-land-units-and-advance strategies so both will inevitably fall.

    Those powers are not intended to be able to stand alone. If the other Allies do not provide help, they will fall. That being the case, they can be played well and cause Germany and Japan to lose a lot of momentum to kill (or, in the case of China, bypass), or they can be played poorly and fall quickly.

    As China: don’t lose the Chinese fighter, stack it with tons of infantry, keep it out of range of Japan’s air force, and use the map to your advantage to slow down the Japanese. A gain of a single turn is usually enough to cause the Axis to inevitably lose.

    As Russia: turtle and build infantry. Demand that the other Allies send you fighters to assist in the defense of Moscow. Do not try to hold both Leningrad and Moscow – you will just lose vital units you need for the defense of Moscow. Once Germany attacks, the forces in Leningrad must start retreating. Do not leave speedbumps unless it is crucial that Italy and Germany not be able to blitz. If Germany does Sea Lion, attack! The only way for the Axis to win in Europe after Sea Lion is for Russia to not attack.

    @SubmersedElk:

    1. Axis lines of supply at all the major conflict points are much shorter than Allied supply lines. Axis therefore can see what the Allies are going to do far enough ahead of time to build a counter.

    This is true at the start of the game, and for the first five or so turns. After that, this Axis advantage disappears because its supply lines are longer and more vulnerable, the Allies have shorter supply lines, and both powers frantically play the logistics game to keep their major conflict points from being lost.

    If the Axis has not won by turn ten or so, the Axis has generally lost barring some fatal mistake by the Allies.

    @SubmersedElk:

    1. Games eventually get to a “midgame” point where Russia and UK Pac are ready to fall, Axis has equalized income and nearly equalized material, and the Allies still have no strong counterattack, after which it’s just a matter of playing out the Axis win.

    Absolutely not true unless the Allied players have given up and are only making a halfhearted effort.

    @SubmersedElk:

    • UK Taranto raid (effective but even holding Africa with no additional investment doesn’t help all that much)

    I absolutely disagree. Holding Africa with no additional investment allows the UK to focus on Germany more effectively, preparing forces necessary to help kill Germany and take pressure off Russia when the US enters the conflict.

    @SubmersedElk:

    • monomaniacal US focus on Pacific theater (no matter how much I build, Japan can always have enough fleet + air power to keep me away from Asia, even with healthy ANZAC and UK fleet units in theater helping)

    You cannot win in the Pacific. However, you can not lose. If you are going Europe first, ANZAC should be building defenses and you should be continually reinforcing Hawaii. It does not matter if India falls as long as Japan cannot take Sydney and Honolulu.

    @SubmersedElk:

    • Atlantic dominance (takes too long to build up enough of a fleet to land anywhere, and that Denmark strait block kills counter and counter-pressure opportunities)

    If you pull a few fleet elements from the Pacific, it takes two turns to build a fleet capable of surviving in the Atlantic. If Germany attacks your fleet with its air force once you arrive off the European coast, you have won in Europe because Germany has lost much of its offensive power.

    @SubmersedElk:

    • UK-Europe using its builds to help UK-Pac

    That sounds like the Allies are putting too much emphasis on the Pacific. India is inconsequential if Japan is incapable of taking Sydney, Honolulu, and San Francisco. Yes, once India falls Japan makes it into the Middle East, but that turns out to be more of a side show for Japan because much of its fury was spent killing India.

    @SubmersedElk:

    I totally get that the Allies have to stall the Axis long enough to outbuild them, but common Axis play equalizes the economic advantage too fast for that to happen, while leaving Axis with better tactical position. All the while, all the strategic choices seem to belong to the Axis side (e.g. when to DOW).

    Long story short, it doesn’t seem to matter what the allies do, Axis seems to have a straightforward victory every time unless they mess up badly, as the Allies had in the original game. Bids don’t seem to help; the map layout, movement rules, unit costs and strategic bombing rules all seem to conspire to give Allies nothing to hang their hats on.

    What I would love to see is how a good Axis player can be beat. Every game I observe where Axis is losing, the Axis player made horrible newbie errors and appeared to lack a basic understanding of this map.

    I’ve read dozens of threads in this forum trying to figure out what those missing strategies are and I’m just not seeing it. So I guess my question is: is it worth my time to pursue this map further, or is this effectively a “solved” game for the Axis side with no hope of Allied victory? Or are there some strategies out there that give hope?

    The Allied players must make a simple choice: Defeat the Axis in Europe or defeat the Axis in the Pacific. The side they choose becomes their primary focus, and the focus in the other theatre is to not lose. Some folks on these forums insist that Kill Japan First is the best course of action, and others disagree. I have seen both Allied approaches work and I have seen both fail.

    Once you’ve made up your mind, do not be derailed by your plan by factors that are not going to cause you to suddenly lose where you decided not to lose. If you decide Europe first, do Europe first. Time the construction of the UK fleet and loaded transports with the arrival of the US fleet so that the US can one punch Germany and the UK can punch right behind it. By US4, the US/UK in a Europe-first strat should be forcing Germany to do defensive builds. It is very hard for Germany to take Moscow this fast, especially if the Allies provide even a modicum of support to Russia (fighters for the defense of Moscow).

    If you go Pacific first, build a fleet capable of taking on Japan’s fleet. Once you have outbuilt Japan, force a fleet conflict and use subs to keep Japan’s income down while you turn your focus to Europe to defeat Germany.

    Marsh

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @Karl7:

    Right now the consensus is that a 20+ allied bid approaches equalization. Regardless, I think that fact that “good” players try to play the Axis more skews the results to make it look Axis favorable.  Although some think that Germany buying tons of bombers breaks the game. Not sure about that; I think that strategy is actually very dicey and just as prone to sink the Axis as the Allies.

    You guys are smoking crack! A 20 bid for the Allies? How could the Allies possibly lose with a 20 bid? A couple of extra infantry for China (buh-bye J1 progress!), a sub for the Med (Hello 100% Taranto win!), and a couple of units for Russia (so much for any hope of a G6 attack on Moscow succeeding!).

    @Karl7:

    IMO, the real problem is the 8/6 VC victory condition.  If it was, say 10 VCs total, I think that would largely balance the game.

    I agree with you that the victory condition is the real problem. However, 10 VCs is not enough – that doesn’t even require Germany to take more than Leningrad for the Axis to easily win. My opinion is that it would take an Axis victory condition of 13 cities for the game to be balanced.

    Marsh


  • How about giving the Soviets a couple extra tanks, one in Belarus and another in Archangel, giving China their own tank, using WWI1914 UK pieces (or US pieces if you are cheap), this way the weakest of the two relevant (sorry France) allies are boosted somewhat without straining too much on poor Italy (no more extra allied units in Africa), and still allowing Japan and Germany the opportunity to win.

    The Soviets had plenty of tanks in the war, I feel like it’s Tank Army is under represented, and China did use Soviet and British tanks of the past to fight off Japan, not many, but still.


  • With regards to the discussion about supply lines - Axis supply lines don’t actually get longer. Axis captures of Russian ICs combined with SBR on Moscow moot the issue in that theater, and in the East Japan can build ICs in quite a number of effective places, later using the UK Pac home IC, while the only Allied nation that can afford to build one east of Persia is the US, and its choices are limited to Alaska and Mexico, (thanks to the “no ICs on islands” rule) - neither of which shorten supply lines. It also can’t build any in North Africa due to the 2IPC minimum rule.

    Onto the balance topic, If I had the aim of making changes to balance the game, there are some items that stand out to me as Allied liabilities that could be fixed:

    • Priapet Marshes impassibility is a killer for Russia’s ability to defend its territory.
    • US should be able to get ships from the coast of the US to the coast of the UK in one move instead of two.
    • Blockade zones shouldn’t take IPC from a nation that no longer owns the territory that’s being blockaded.
  • '15

    - Priapet Marshes impassibility is a killer for Russia’s ability to defend its territory.
    I can’t say I’ve tried to think what the board would be like without it, but it also doesn’t help Germany a whole lot. It forces them to pick north or south, cutting the other side off from the support of their infantry/artillery if they want to swing their fast units back around. Maybe there’s something I’m missing.

    - US should be able to get ships from the coast of the US to the coast of the UK in one move instead of two.
    This destroys a large chunk of the viability of the already shaky Sea Lion. I like the option to exist, as threatening it can be necessary to keep the UK from dropping very early mICs in Cairo/Iraq/Persia. With America able to swing on over immediately and liberate them, they’d possibly be a little more gung-ho about things in the med/middle east–bad news for Italy’s pipe dream of Cairo and bad news for Germany as it looks at British units coming up through the Caucasus to join the party.

    - Blockade zones shouldn’t take IPC from a nation that no longer owns the territory that’s being blockaded.
    … wat?

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    The allies are not doomed, rather they take on a big challenge.
    It is a Boardgame about WW II, so there is no way to make it start evenly/balanced for all sides like in chess. Where I have 16 pieces and you have 16 pieces.
    The challenge is to overcome all the obstacles as the Ally and beat the Axis!
    Work as a team and hope that the dices don’t screw your tactical plans.

    It is a game where you can wrap your head arround and try to find ways to win.
    You lost with the Allies a few times??
    Go ahead and play Axis this time and realize where the issue with your gameplay is.
    Also play others and learn by there style if there style is helpful.

    As for now you can minimize a “allways Axis win” by using bids and switching opponents.
    People fall most of their time against opponents they know because they try to adapt instead of going outside of the thinking box and come up with something new, better or refreshd.

    The game will not neccessarily be fixed by shorten supply lines, mIC’s everywhere to be built or let all nations equally start, but will be fun and interesting by your ideas to deal with all the issue.
    Use this Forum to learn and become a stronger player.
    Play online here with fantastic opponents to sharpen your skills.
    Yeah go for League and mess with best and you will find your self becoming and outdtanding player.

    My two cents to all this!
    Sincerely AeV

  • '15

    @Marshmallow:

    You guys are smoking crack! A 20 bid for the Allies? How could the Allies possibly lose with a 20 bid? A couple of extra infantry for China (buh-bye J1 progress!), a sub for the Med (Hello 100% Taranto win!), and a couple of units for Russia (so much for any hope of a G6 attack on Moscow succeeding!)

    My thoughts exactly.  I’m not sure what the exact restrictions are (I think I’ve read only one unit per space and it has to be somewhere that already has at least one unit) but I don’t see how this doesn’t stack the game in the Allies favor.

    Like you said: a sub in the Med is a back breaker for Italy.  Hell, sub in the Med, fighter on Egypt and you can Taranto without touching any planes from London, with 4 IPC left to add a unit in Yunan.

    How about another BB in the Channel?  Would Germany still be able to take out 110 and 111?  How about a DD in 111 and a fighter on Scotland?  Again, would Germany have the resources to take out both SZ’s?  If not, they’re in a lot of trouble right off the bat.

    An additional inf in every Chinese territory?  Two more fighters for Russia?  If you’re playing a Japan player who prefers JDOW1 you could easily shut that down with additional units in key spots.

    There are at least another dozen examples like this.  I just don’t see it gentlemen


  • I agree with Young Grasshopper.

    I think the developers overdid their balance effort (from ‘allies unbeatable’ in edition 1 to ‘axis nearly unbeatable’ edition 2) and we need an official correction. I have (personally) no fun in playing house rules that I know no1 else plays. Or, for that matter, only a handfull of people.

    I remember I had a much better time with the allies when the axis in our group felt a certain time-pressure and acted accordingly. Nowadays, with the axis treating time as their ally (isn’t THAT weird???), the allied job is just too difficult.
    I think it is the 8/6 VC indeed, but whatever the culprit is, the axis fear factor (time) needs to be introduced again. This is the least a WW2 game needs to offer. I mean, the very name of the game (WW2) implies a minimum of historical ‘correctness’ but even if only very very hard to find, if it’s a WW2 game there has to be at least 1 historical factor that is correct: time should not be the ally of the axis!

    If reinstating the 14VC again makes this happen, than so be it but if this means the axis cannot win anymore (most likely), tone this down to 13VC or 12VC or whatever number will work. 8/6 clearly does not do it for most.

    @Nippon-Koku:
    I am looking forward to your allied essay :-). I know you advocate a (limited) Atlantic focus and it is currently also (still) my only hope for the allies. Yet I reckon the allies still need an extremely well calculated and balanced force in the Atlantic with extremely well co-operated production from the UK and USA. 1 ship built by the wrong ally, or simply just 1 too many or 1 too few, can mean the difference between failure and victory for the allies. I know this approach very well and I don’t get this balance right every time only because of the wide variety of strategies and the flexibility the axis have at their disposal. Let alone the limited time the allies have to do it and the fact that the dice can still kill the allied well-balanced fleet. Now imagine the UK and the USA are 2 different players…

    Maybe a full KJF or P80E20 approach can also work but I have not enough experience with that. And since I don’t want to be forced into a Pacific-first line of thought, I don’t think I will anytime soon.
    I know for sure though that I have no faith at all in a full KGF and only a very small amount of faith in a limited Pacific focus (only a few turns of 100% USA spending here). Played it a few times, only to see how incredible easy things become for Germany, while Japan cannot be reduced below 50-60IPCs per turn, even if they make a few mistakes…


  • The Pripet Marshes thing is a huge benefit for Germany - Russia can only defend north or south of it, and because it has so little mobility it must choose and choose first. Germany can then easily advance to whichever side that Russia deprioritizes. The marshes then serve to protect the German advance from being flanked or cut off. It forces Russia’s defensive force to move behind the line instead of holding the line, since it can’t consolidate a counter/strafe stack in any of the the 2nd line of territories off the front without abandoning the other side.

    Try playing without it, you will see it has an immense impact on the Russian defensive position, and as a consequence, also on the speed of Axis advance against it.

    It just seemed weird to me that there are only three impassible areas on the board - the Sahara, the Himalayas, and… the Pripet Marshes? Why the Pripet Marshes vs. any other inhospitable place? Clearly it was placed there not for realism but to produce this very effect on the Russian defensive position.

  • '15

    The marshes played roles in history at the start of “modern” warfare. I mean, there’s this right here: wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinsk_Marshes

    Are there other potential places that would have affected mobility? Yes. Are they anywhere on the board that would consistently affect the game and are not already included? No. The marshes being there in a major theater of every single time the game is played makes sense.

    Were they included there to only weaken the Russian position? I don’t think so.

    Elk, You never responded to my “wat?” about the comment on convoying.


  • The marshes also help russia once they take a step back, now germany has to commit north or south and cannot do both at the same time.

    The axis do have some sort of time limit to equalize the money or win, once you go past a certain point either the axis have more income or they have won otherwise the allies will win.

    The spread of the area’s so either japan or germany can win is a nice touch it actualy prevents things like killing 1 side first before the other it now needs some sort of balancing act. And in this act afrika and the middle east are kinda the desiding factors. If italy can take the middle east, and by extention the caucasus then the axis have a lot of extra money. If they cannot then it will be either moscow or bust for germany.

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