USA Strategy/Purchasing



  • Hello everyone. Im going to get straight to the point here. I hate playing as the USA. Reason being is I struggle with this nation, and struggle horribly. Whether I’m brought into the war before turn 4 or have to wait until turn 4, I can’t ever seem to turn the tide for the allies while playing their most powerful nation. Many factors contribute to my failures but mostly I believe it’s because of my purchasing and placement of new units. On turn one I have a purchase I will make 90% of the time. 2 carriers and a battleship and that will go Pacific. If I end up buying Atlantic I’ll drop to one carrier and add some destroyers/subs/transports depending on if I’m at war or not. From turn 2 and beyond is where my help is needed. I’ve tried going all Pacific before and allies lost on the European side. I’ve never went 100% Atlantic yet, mainly because I’ve found its easier for Japan to win the game then it is for Germany/Italy. And if I’m not 100% pacific I find myself 9/10 times trapped in a Japanese blockade because my fleet cannot match theirs. Perhaps I am not aggressive enough? As far as Atlantic side goes, sure placing myself next to Gibraltor is good positioning but if the German player has a lot of airforce remaining with fodder units on the coast, I feel I have a one strike opportunity most times that will get smashed next German turn.

    Should an all out Atlantic or pacific strategy be my option? Or if not how can I counter act a strong Japanese airforce/fleet with a weaker fleet because some or half my money is being spent on the other side or the world? I’m beginning to feel that this game should be renamed “Axis Wins 1940 Global”. Please help, any suggestions or hints or tips will be greatly appreciated.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Are you using the OOB set up or varying via bids or adjusted National Objectives? If OOB then the allies are at a disadvantage, which may be your problem.

    I have only played one OOB game recently. In that I am the allies. In 6 turns, the US have gained naval dominance in the Pacific (sufficiently to be stationed off the Carolines with allied possession of the Philippines and all the money islands except Borneo) plus a fleet either side of Gibraltar. Also a fleet in the Channel. That will reflect the axis play against me, but the approach I generally take is:

    • First - just enough in the Atlantic to get a US fleet to the west of Gibraltar, balance in Pacific.

    • Second - just enough to gain parity in the Pacific (combining with the ANZAC fleet off Australia) balance in Atlantic.

    • Third - gain Med dominance and convoy disruption in sz97 (with UK help)

    • Fourth - aggressive stance in the Pacific, moving the US fleet to Carolines and threatening Japan, Philippines, the money islands and the Chinese coast (while ANZAC goes for the money islands from Australia)

    • Fifth - fleet in the Channel / North Sea (with UK help).

    That does vary from game to game depending on the enemy’s actions. But perhaps the principle of being focused on one objective at each stage, while deploying the balance of resources elsewhere at the same time, will be of help.

    I am not the most experienced player on these boards, but believe I do usually manage to achieve all of the above. For me the challenge is to do so quickly enough to save Russia.

    PS - Clearly an AB in Gibraltar is pretty key.



  • OK i think you mention several problems:

    1. the OOB victory conditions suck!
    2. the allies are not making enough money (or the axis too much).
    3. you can’t find a way to realy hurt your opponents

    this is what i think you can do:

    1. change the victory conditions. Try to use YG’s victory objectives in this video. This will make the victory conditions a lot more balanced. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X-47c75SyI

    2. use extra NO’s for the allies explained in this video by YG: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9C_3d1EMR8
    OR create your own addition NO’s to help the allies, especially the US.

    3. This is where experience is important. I think playing the US is fun but the most difficult nation. I think for the US a 50/50% purchase Europe/Pacific is not a good idea nor is 100% on one side. Try to find out wich side does better and adjust your strategy.

    Make sure you have a variaty of units (i personaly never buy cruisers nor battleships).

    Use the US for the warships (bombers, carriers, planes, destroyers and subs) and use ANZAC and the UK for transports and land units. When the US attacks and takes a territory, the UK/ANZAC can reinforce it by sending troops/landing fighters. Make sure you combine your allied fleets for optimal protection (scramble) and the option to let the UK/ANZAC follow the US each turn.

    For example: the US fleet (with a few transports) in SZ 91 moves to SZ 95 or SZ 112 and takes Norway or Southern Italy. UK land their troops into the same territory and land extra fighters for extra protection. If possible, UK can also attack Northern italy so Italy or Gemany can’t counter their next turn.

    The US is the only player that can deal with the Japanese navy so they should provide the warships. ANZAC/UK’s production is closer than the US production so they should provide the troops and fighters.

    Hope this is helpfull…

    (sorry for the poor english grammar)  😐


  • '15

    Welcome to the boards!

    I’ve mentioned this several times before, so sorry for anyone who has to read it for the millionth time.  I like to buy heavy in the Atlantic first couple of turns, then catch up in the Pacific.  Typical US1 buy is 4 transports, 1 CV and 1 DD.  US2 I will do something like another transport, a few inf and maybe another CV, rest in the Pacific.  From there on it’ll be generally 80-20 Pacific.

    Having that force early on really helps the Atlantic campaign; six loaded US transports in Gibraltar by turn three is a nice force.  Hell, if Japan attacks round 1 or 2, the US can have 5 loaded’s there by US2.


  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    Don’t EVER buy a battleship
    Or a cruiser


  • 2019 2017 '16

    US1, whether war or peace, I’m inclined for a near 100% Atlantic buy. 2DD, ftrs, inf&art, 1-2TT. Move one of the West Coast inf East with peace to compensate for your lack of production  (only 6units/turn).

    Don’t buy a CV - you don’t need it yet. You can use the Iceland airbase in the Atlantic or Hawaii in the Pacific.

    US2 - normally subs, SBs, CVs and/or TTs, with inf/art to put on them. Depends a lot on axis moves. CVs are normally the best buys here with peace - allows hitting Gibraltar and defending the fleet US3 or US4.



  • First choose your strategy: Germany or japan first. Most games i have played is Japan first. Never build an Battleship. For the 20 IPC you only roll on 4 and get two hits. 3 subs, for example, cost 18 IPC gives you a 6 and you have 3 hits. Also carriers and fighters are very effective.
    Later on the game build Bombers because they move faster and can attack with your Fleet.

    I usually try to attack the south of the japanese empire, because he usually has problems with defending his Islands there and they are worth a lot.
    Use Australia to annoy him and steal his islands.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @blacky:

    First choose your strategy: Germany or japan first. Most games i have played is Japan first.

    The asymmetrical victory conditions - the allies needing to win on both boards, whereas the axis can win on either - require a balance in allied play. For example if G takes Moscow, it’s probably within 1 VC of victory, regardless of Japan’s fate.

    Therefore I think Russia’s survival is objective 1. ANZAC and India also, albeit less important.

    But the reason for the switching focus in my earlier post in this thread is the need for the allies to not LOSE on either board, before they can begin to think of winning. When beyond the risk of losing and so contemplating winning then certainly - decide whether KGF or KJF.



  • @Gamerman01:

    Don’t EVER buy a battleship
    Or a cruiser

    US1 a BB purchase, or even two, is OK. You can only drop 3 ships in the Pacific unless Japan DOWs in round 1, so if you’re opening Pac side 2xBB 1xCV is the strongest initial purchase.


  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    Nope.  That’s terrible.  If you want strength in the Pacific early that badly, buy boats in 101 and send them through the Panama canal.  They can be at Hawaii in two moves


  • 2019 2017 '16

    Agree with GM. If you’re that desperate for naval strength in the Pacific, buy a CV and buy the fighters on the eastern side then fly them over.


  • '15

    I have to agree with the no BB crew here.  Every BB equals two subs and a DD you could have bought.

    I also agree with whoever said helping Russia is priority one, which is why I’m such a big believer in the heavy US1 Atlantic buy.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @Nippon-koku:

    I have to agree with the no BB crew here.  Every BB equals two subs and a DD you could have bought.Â

    I also agree with whoever said helping Russia is priority one, which is why I’m such a big believer in the heavy US1 Atlantic buy.

    That was me!

    And I agree re the BB vs 1DD & 2 subs point. The latter have a 75% chance in attack and 55% in defence against the BB. Cannot think of when I last bought a BB (or a CC for that matter).



  • I never bought a Battleship. not even in my first game. A carrier fleet is the best!



  • Dont start playing the game with houserules before you can properly play it without.

    The advice above to give the allies an advantage is only vallid once you are at higher level play and both players are of equal skill level.

    Change your buys a little, why go full Pac the first round and also with a BB, they are expensive, you are better of with 2 extra air units or a couple of destroyers, atlantic can seriously use 1 at the start.
    If japan leaves the Money islands alone and does not go for UK-pac untill round 4 you should really focus more on Germany, build a nice invasion fleet with a carrier some destroyers and some transports so when you can attack gibraltar is yours ( and your fleet is safe ).
    From there create a line of transports so every turn you can move X to gibraltar X from gibraltar home and X from gibraltar to a target zone that way you keep pressure on germany. They need to win on germany side at this point because Anzac and UK-Pac are pretty powerfull in thier own right now.


  • '15

    @Private:

    @Nippon-koku:

    I have to agree with the no BB crew here.�  Every BB equals two subs and a DD you could have bought.�

    I also agree with whoever said helping Russia is priority one, which is why I’m such a big believer in the heavy US1 Atlantic buy.

    That was me!

    And I agree re the BB vs 1DD & 2 subs point. The latter have a 75% chance in attack and 55% in defence against the BB. Cannot think of when I last bought a BB (or a CC for that matter).

    Exactly right.  I know this has been talked about plenty, but I would love to see the price of battleships and cruisers drop.  16 IPC for a BB is totally fair; a CV may only defend at 2 and not even attack, but it can hold two planes, and as we all know a loaded CV is as good as it gets in the water.  So that being the case, why not drop the BB cost to match a CV?

    Has a cruiser ever been purchased in an A&A game?  The cost either needs to drop to 9, or keep it at 12 but give it AA ability (not my idea, I just forget who originally suggested this).


  • 2019 2017 '16

    Has a cruiser ever been purchased in an A&A game?  The cost either needs to drop to 9, or keep it at 12 but give it AA ability (not my idea, I just forget who originally suggested this).

    Keep the cruiser at 12 but give it a keel.



  • I’ve purchased a cruiser once or twice.
    I needed to maximize the defense of a sea zone and 12 IPC for a cruiser for the final part of the purchase was the best way to do it.
    Pretty rare scenario though.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    @Nippon-koku:

    I also agree with whoever said helping Russia is priority one, which is why I’m such a big believer in the heavy US1 Atlantic buy.

    The other point is that the heavy US1 Atlantic buy deters the J2 DOW or responds to a J1 DOW. Without the latter, the Axis may consider that USA helping USSR will make it too difficult to pull off the win.



  • Boy, the BB hate is strong here.

    One should take into account the ability of the BB to take a hit and get repaired when considering the purchase. Your opponent will have to when considering whether to attack it.

    It’s not an insignificant ability - every time a BB eats a hit and gets repaired, it’s getting the value equivalent of a free sub (the cheapest unit one could lose in a naval battle). Plus of course that amphibious shot makes recapture of islands from Japan cheaper as well.

    If you use a BB right, you can use it to greater effect than you can a DD and two subs and end up income-positive relative to the latter purchase.

    Building in 101 as an alternative also has the drawback of being a turn behind in the Pac theater. This gives Japan more freedom of action as it will have to devote less to defending SZ6 against early raids.

    If people were arguing for a CV purchase as an alternative to the BB I could agree with that. Not so much on the DD/subs, which could be purchased by ANZAC to the same effect anyway while the same is not true of a BB purchase.


  • '15

    Simon: good point as well.  I’ve always been a believer that, even if Japan gets off to a good start because of early US attention to the Atlantic, you can catch up over there.  They still have to come take Sydney or Hawaii, not easy when the US is spending the majority of its money there from US3 onward.

    Elk: valid points, but I can’t get passed the thought “Hmm, would I rather have 4 BB’s or 8 subs and 4 DD’s on the board?”



  • @SubmersedElk:

    Boy, the BB hate is strong here.

    One should take into account the ability of the BB to take a hit and get repaired when considering the purchase. Your opponent will have to when considering whether to attack it.

    It’s not an insignificant ability - every time a BB eats a hit and gets repaired, it’s getting the value equivalent of a free sub (the cheapest unit one could lose in a naval battle). Plus of course that amphibious shot makes recapture of islands from Japan cheaper as well.

    If you use a BB right, you can use it to greater effect than you can a DD and two subs and end up income-positive relative to the latter purchase.

    Building in 101 as an alternative also has the drawback of being a turn behind in the Pac theater. This gives Japan more freedom of action as it will have to devote less to defending SZ6 against early raids.

    If people were arguing for a CV purchase as an alternative to the BB I could agree with that. Not so much on the DD/subs, which could be purchased by ANZAC to the same effect anyway while the same is not true of a BB purchase.

    The repair only works if you are at a naval base and only at the start of your turn. And if the opponent attacks he will most likely use overwheling force so yes it has 2 hits but that is about it it will sink, and if you attack with it chances are that it will not be at a naval base and that your opponent will attack your damaged BB and sink it anyway.

    It is a nice thing in theory the 2 hits but it rarely happens that you can really use it unless you got insane dice or an insane opponent, counting on the former you can get away with basicaly every move the later well nobody knows what happens.


  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    Well said.  I’m glad I didn’t bother to answer and just wait for someone else to say it

    However…. If you think about it, there are some interesting things you could do with like 4-5 battleships, and yes I know you could do better things buying something else - that’s not the point


  • 2019 2017 '16

    On the other hand, if you’re the attacker presumably the extra hit would be useful. Unless you’re doing an attack which can’t stand an oncoming counter attack.

    If you use the BB’s abilities, yes they can be value. But that is quite difficult to pull off.



  • Interesting math:
    4 BB + 10 DD = 160 TUV
    vs
    20 DD = 160 TUV

    The battle is 50/50, but the side with the battleships will have a +14 advantage.  He also can use those battleships for help in amphibious attacks, and send them as free hits on smaller battles.

    Mind you that 14 DD + 8 Subs would be even better on both attacks and defense.  Mixing unit types do have advantages in the game.


Log in to reply
 

20th Anniversary Give Away

In January 2000 this site came to life and now we're celebrating our 20th Anniversary with a prize giveaway of 30+ prizes. See this link for the list of prizes and winners.
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys
T-shirts, Hats, and More

Suggested Topics

  • 13
  • 13
  • 6
  • 28
  • 33
  • 39
  • 15
  • 2
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys

48
Online

14.8k
Users

35.5k
Topics

1.4m
Posts