Well… I am not sure how valid it is, but…
I did a test game today with Germany buying 1 fig per round with remainder INF, pulling back in Europe, and working Africa as long as possible. I used “conservative” versions of Allied strategies posted here (UK build on UK1 of AC and Tranny with US figs flown in to support, US Pac Fleet moved to UK sea zone, etc.). Japan did Pearl heavy.
In G1, Germany trashed the Uk fleet. In G2, they trashed it a second time. In G3 they did a THIRD blast of the Allied fleet, taking out everyting except 1 empty AC. Germany had lost Ukraine. Russia took Norway also. Germany did horribly in Africa, losing their tranny trying to Amphib Egypt in G1, and then losing the BB to that same sub on a sneak in UK 1. Russia was stacking Karelia, and moving against Ukraine and Norway as opportunity presented itself.
The thing is, by being able to kill the Allied fleet THREE times, Germany was able to hang on against everything the Allies could throw against it until Japan took Russia, which happened on J4. Russia took it back on R5, but Japan had enough to re-take on J5, with surviving figs and bomber landing in Germany. On the same round, Japan did multiple amphibs in Africa with 4 trannies and 4 tanks. Africa was almost empty, and under total UK control.
The air transfer seemed to be the kicker. Germany was SCREWED. By the time Russia fell the second time, Germany was down to GERMANY. UK held Southern and Eastern; US held Western. Norway and Ukraine were Russian territories. Karelia was Russian but empty. The Japan airpower made Germany too tough for US to crack with their paltry forces. By the time UK went again, Germany had another build, and had taken back Southern, preventing a build. Then Japan started hammering the Allied fleet with airpower, and kicking the Allies out of Europe with Russian built tanks.
Now I don;t know if this was a one game fluke or not. But even knowing what I was going to try from round to round, the Allies, with losing their navy 3 times, could NOT counter with enough force to prevent Japan from taking Moscow; nor could they take Berlin before Japan came riding in on a white horse.
I did not play it out, for I had the game set for standard win conditions, and economic victory kicked in in turn 7.
I am not sure if this was a fluke, or if a 1 fig per round build plus INF as Germany with a focus of killing allied Navy AND pulling back to defend the 4 territory core might be the key to winning as the Axis on a no-bid game. I THINK a more aggressive Russia could prevent this strat from working, but that same shift might also leave Russia too weak to re-take Russia on R5.