Some Axis Strategies



  • OK…first post here, and I’m a fairly new A&A player…some explanation is needed.

    I got the revised edition for Christmas, and me and two friends have spent the last week playing the game.

    Our first game was me (all three allies!  😮 ) against my two friends. We were playing only eight victory cities, and a horrible run of luck with both the USAF and UK AF essentially left Russia on it’s own, and Russia was completely elminiated by combined German armor and Japanese infantry.

    Our second game was me as America and one friend as Russia/Uk against our other friend. A KGF strategy was going well (Kill Germany First, right? I still don’t quite have all the acronyms down…), until our noobishness resulted in overproduction (more units per turn being built than is allowed) in mainland Asia. Rather than try to rework the massive fight in India that had just occured, we decided to start over.

    Now I am the Axis!  :evil:  I have some ideas, but I want to hear what people think.

    First things first…we’re playing with the original National Advantages…ALL of them…so I have “invincible” American bombers to worry about by round 4-5…I was making excellent use of Heavy Bombers against Germany in the previous game, so I know Germany has an uphill battle economically.

    If I’m repetetive in explaining National Advantages, that’s only because I don’t know how much people use them, and I know a lot of people tweak them…so I don’t know how familiar people are with NAs as they are printed in the rulebook.

    Germany

    • I see a lot of people are fans of naval build up with Germany in t1, either an AC or trannies. Two of Germanies national advantages, however, are very nice for subs (wolfpack and economic drain on US & UK). Might it not make more sense to focus on subs (if anything) for a navy? The economic impact is negligible for some time, but if I spread out my subs all over the Atlantic, he’ll have to use almost his entire AF and Navy in the Atlantic to hunt them down and clear a path for a landing, and he can still only kill them one by one.

    • Infantry is always a good buy, but the Fortress Europe advantage gives my artillery a defense of 3 in all initial German territories. I’m thinking I might want to spend the extra money on artillery, if only to ensure that a Russian breakthrough will be more trouble than it’s worth.

    • As far as I see it, taking Africa is essential to crippling the UK economy. Is there any concievable way to hold it without focusing on excessive naval development? Would cranking out an airforce be worthwhile if it could help me hold Africa?

    • For tech research, super-subs are obviously a nice buy, but would long-range aircraft be better suited to Germany long term? I know any navy I buy is likely to be sunk sooner or later, but those aircraft could ensure that Africa remains a battle zone long after any significant German ground presence there is eliminated, and would also help against allied shipping.

    Japan

    • The UK gets an extra factory as a national advantage, and so far it’s always been in India. Is it worth an early push to try and take it, even if it costs me strength in mainland Asia?

    • Since the UK gets and extra factory for free, Japan is the only nation that starts with only one factory. Obviously a second is needed, and most people here seem to favor mainland Asia. I, however, am seriously considering either Borneo, East Indies or Phillipines. Japanese infantry defends on a 3 on islands (national advantage), and the slightly higher production in Borneo and East Indies might come in handy. Is it worth it to ensure a solid hold in the Pacific at the expense of greater striking power on the mainland?

    • If Germany can do it’s job against the UK fleet in the Atlantic on turn one, and Japan can sink the US sub in the pacific, I’ve been seriously considering sending one transport around South America to take Brazil. If nothing else, it will force American attention elsewhere for at least a round or two at the cost of only 6 IPCs (14 if I lose the transport, but it will be escorted if possible, and can possibly flee to the Med). Anyone think this is a particularly bad idea??

    • Japanese infantry attack on a 2 as long as nothing else is attacking except shore bombardment (national advantage), and Japanese destroyers can transport 1 infantry (also N.A.). Because of this, I’ve been thinking of almost exclusively building infantry and destroyers. If I research combined bombardment, then destroyers can act in their tradional anti-sub role, as well as acting as transports AND shore bombardment, all in one ship for 12 IPCs! One infantry isn’t a lot…I know I’ll still have to buy some transports, but with all those islands around, I think it might be worthwhile. An airforce will be needed, but as far as I can see, as long as Japan doesn’t lose much by the end of round one, it’s starting navy, plus it’s infantry advantages on offense AND defense, pretty much make armor useless for Japan (except for defense in mainland Asia). Is an airforce/infantry/destroyer focus a bad route for Japan?

    • We’ve decided on 10 Victory Cities, which means that unless I can take all four of the UK/Russia VCs, and invasion of America will be necessary. People here don’t seem to be too high on invading Hawaii or Midway. Would an early excursion into Alaska be quickly crushed? Might it be worth it to give America something else to focus on? Would combining this with a move into Brazil be enough to take the pressure off of Germany?

    • Lastly (a lot, I know), in the last two games, America’s Pacific fleet (me in both instances) has either: gotten killed in the Pacific OR transferred to the Atlantic. If this is the case again, might it not be a good idea to take my entire Japanese fleet and park it along the American coast? Two ACs, two BBs and a dest (minimum) would help ensure free reign in the Pacific as long as I make sure the canal stays closed. Is this too risky a committment for my fleet?


    I’ll likely have started this game before I get a response (bright and early, 8am!), but I’d appreciate any and all comments, good or bad. I’m still new at this, so any advice is helpful!  🙂



  • Hey Aretaku-

    First of all, I don’t play with NAs so I can’t be specific, but I’ll give a couple of overall tips that might ( I emphasize MIGHT) be of help.

    #1 The most fun you’ll have is by trial and error. There is no perfect strategy. Personally, my philosophies have come from when I screwed up, and lost games because of bonehead decisions.

    #2 Never buy pieces because you think it would be nice to have them. I’ve seen alot of people do that. “Battleships… hmmm… 4 attack, 4 defense, 2 hits to kill… I’ll buy one per round!” Bad idea. Every piece you buy should have a purpose. A Battleship is the same as 8 infantry, and it’s hard to imagine a time in the game when you wouldn’t want 8 more Infantry on the board.

    #3 There is no such thing (most of the time) as a bad Infantry purchase. Even though their numbers on attack and defense aren’t very potent, and they’re not too exciting, they’re cheap and protect your costlier offensive pieces. Try not to get to a point where you’re using artillery and armor as fodder. That means you have to purchase wisely, with EVERY country. Example- 27 IPCs for Russia, typically for me would be 6 Infantry, 1 Artillery, and 1 Armor. If you’re purchasing like that, and your opponents aren’t, you’ll eventually see their Infantry dry up, and while you’re losing Infantry (at 3 IPCs), they’re losing Arty or Armor (4 and 5 IPCs). Since it’s an economic game, you’ll win over the long term.

    #4 Familiarize yourself with the strafe attack. You attack for one or two rounds, and retreat. The idea is to knock your opponent down so that they won’t be able to counterattack you on their next turn. If you do it well, you could eat into someone’s Artillery, Armor, or better stuff, without exposing your forces to destruction after the fight. It’s also a sneaky way to enhance movement. For example- you’ve got 4 American Infantry & 2 American Armor in Transjordan, and 2 Infantry & 2 Fighters in the Caucasus. There are 6 Japanese infantry in Persia. The Japanese have a large force in India. Instead of bringing all of the forces into Persia and killing the Japanese (therefore leaving your forces exposed to certain destruction), you can attack for one round- killing 3 Japanese Infantry, and losing 2 (by the odds). You then retreat everything back to the Caucasus. You’ve just reduced the Japanese garrison in Persia, and inflicted more damage than you took, while also strategically placing more of your forces in the Caucasus (assuming you needed them there).

    #5 Do everything in your power to make your opponent react to you. Gaining the initiative is a HUGE part of this game. Try to dictate the terms. I know that’s a sweeping statement but as you get better at logistics, and understand the ebb and flow of the game more you’ll see what I mean.

    #6 To figure out battles, and how they’ll potentially go, add up all the pips on offense and divide by six. You’ll get an approximate number of hits. Do the same on defense. If you don’t figure out the odds before you fight a battle it’s like going in blind. You can’t control the actual roll of the dice but you can control staying out of a battle that by the odds you should lose.

    I hope some of this stuff helps, and good luck to you.


  • Moderator

    What 88 said and be careful with Teching…

    Teching is an excellent way to push the balance of Power in your Favor, but only if you have the cash to do it on hand and not required for building troops…

    I have played Germany more so here is my spiin on how to consider your moves there:

    In your Axis playing remember that you have 2 Fronts, a major one (Russian) and a Minor one (Western Late Game) and a Money Making (Africa)… You need to always look at your western front and make sure if they attack that you have suffecient or near suffecient forces to repulse them… I don’t usually play with NA’s but you are right Fortress Europe is a big Help and you may want to consider committing Artillery their…

    On the Russian Front you need to make sure you can commit a punching force that will destroy a majority of the Russian force in on Turn (Attacking there largest Stack usually either West Russia or Caucasus) since he will no doubt try to counter attack your ground forces that now have no Air cover… Tanks and Infantry(Already Stationed) are the Key…

    Afrika Requires only what you can afford to throw there… by T3 US should probably have a majority of units pumped into Algeria, so if you want to keep it up(still looking realistically at what you can commit) you may want a 2nd Transport down there… Also Committing a Fighter may be your saving grace and don’t forget the power of Blitzing

    One bit of Advice for Japan that I picked up: Get 4 Transports before buying a Factory… You can Shuck 8 Units into the Northern Flank at Buryatia from Japan(Factories limited By IPC production) and have them for a front, plus you got some “cannon fodder” for his MAjesty’s Imperial Navy…

    (another edit!) And do Pearl Light if you do it… no need to waste your Heavies that can defend your fleet… commit a DD, Sub, 3 Fighters (AC Support in Wake or Solomons), and 1 Bomber… Usually does it and have the DD or Sub Survive to cover the AC…

    And remember Logistics is 90% of war…

    Good Luck and Happy Gaming,
    GG



  • I see a lot of people are fans of naval build up with Germany in t1, either an AC or trannies. Two of Germanies national advantages, however, are very nice for subs (wolfpack and economic drain on US & UK). Might it not make more sense to focus on subs (if anything) for a navy? The economic impact is negligible for some time, but if I spread out my subs all over the Atlantic, he’ll have to use almost his entire AF and Navy in the Atlantic to hunt them down and clear a path for a landing, and he can still only kill them one by one.

    No don’t focus on subs if the Allies are going KGF. The national advantages are nice, but subs are too easily destroyed by aircraft and building a lot of them detracts from your land war. You only want to take advantage of uboat interdiction if they are trying to kill Japan first since you have some free time to fool around with subs.

    • Infantry is always a good buy, but the Fortress Europe advantage gives my artillery a defense of 3 in all initial German territories. I’m thinking I might want to spend the extra money on artillery, if only to ensure that a Russian breakthrough will be more trouble than it’s worth.

    Yeah that sounds fine. But only extra money; still buy bulk infantry since at some point you’re not going to be in a gray territory and they no longer will have the advantage.

    • As far as I see it, taking Africa is essential to crippling the UK economy. Is there any concievable way to hold it without focusing on excessive naval development? Would cranking out an airforce be worthwhile if it could help me hold Africa?

    Taking Africa is extremely difficult with national advantages, since the UK will use Enigma decoded to save his tank/fighter in Egypt and then counter attack you en masse, destroying your ships with 2 fighters + 1 bomber.

    • For tech research, super-subs are obviously a nice buy, but would long-range aircraft be better suited to Germany long term? I know any navy I buy is likely to be sunk sooner or later, but those aircraft could ensure that Africa remains a battle zone long after any significant German ground presence there is eliminated, and would also help against allied shipping.

    I would never tech because it’s very inefficient. Even with a whopping 9 tech rolls (45 IPCs), you still only have approximately an 80% chance to achieve the tech! Isn’t that ridiculous? You could spend that much money and still quite feasibly not have the tech! If you’re feeling lucky then yes go for long range aircraft or whatever, but I wouldn’t incorporate it into a normal strategy because a lot of IPCs will be wasted a lot of the time.

    • The UK gets an extra factory as a national advantage, and so far it’s always been in India. Is it worth an early push to try and take it, even if it costs me strength in mainland Asia?

    It’s a great idea to push hard to try to get the factory. Once you get it then you’re pretty much unupposed.

    Since the UK gets and extra factory for free, Japan is the only nation that starts with only one factory. Obviously a second is needed, and most people here seem to favor mainland Asia. I, however, am seriously considering either Borneo, East Indies or Phillipines. Japanese infantry defends on a 3 on islands (national advantage), and the slightly higher production in Borneo and East Indies might come in handy. Is it worth it to ensure a solid hold in the Pacific at the expense of greater striking power on the mainland?

    There’s no need to mass infantry on the islands. They’re no good for anything but defense if the US comes knocking. You shouldn’t have much trouble dealing with the US if they do come knocking anyways.

    • If Germany can do it’s job against the UK fleet in the Atlantic on turn one, and Japan can sink the US sub in the pacific, I’ve been seriously considering sending one transport around South America to take Brazil. If nothing else, it will force American attention elsewhere for at least a round or two at the cost of only 6 IPCs (14 if I lose the transport, but it will be escorted if possible, and can possibly flee to the Med). Anyone think this is a particularly bad idea??

    If you can do it, why not?

    Japanese infantry attack on a 2 as long as nothing else is attacking except shore bombardment (national advantage), and Japanese destroyers can transport 1 infantry (also N.A.). Because of this, I’ve been thinking of almost exclusively building infantry and destroyers. If I research combined bombardment, then destroyers can act in their tradional anti-sub role, as well as acting as transports AND shore bombardment, all in one ship for 12 IPCs! One infantry isn’t a lot…I know I’ll still have to buy some transports, but with all those islands around, I think it might be worthwhile. An airforce will be needed, but as far as I can see, as long as Japan doesn’t lose much by the end of round one, it’s starting navy, plus it’s infantry advantages on offense AND defense, pretty much make armor useless for Japan (except for defense in mainland Asia). Is an airforce/infantry/destroyer focus a bad route for Japan?

    Teching is inefficient. Also, you can’t bombard that many territories…Japan already controlls most of the coastal territories and destroyers won’t help you do anything against Russia. Bombarding the US is not a good idea as it takes too long and detracts from your Russian effort.

    • We’ve decided on 10 Victory Cities, which means that unless I can take all four of the UK/Russia VCs, and invasion of America will be necessary. People here don’t seem to be too high on invading Hawaii or Midway. Would an early excursion into Alaska be quickly crushed? Might it be worth it to give America something else to focus on? Would combining this with a move into Brazil be enough to take the pressure off of Germany?

    Why would you have invade America? The Axis starts with 6 victory cities; if you manage to control them all, as well as capture the 4 UK/Russia VCs, then you win. Do an early excursion into Alaska only if the US has no troops in Western Canada. There’s no point if he counterattacks you. It is pretty annoying to the US player to do this move, but at the same time dont’ forget your main objective is to crush Russia.

    • Lastly (a lot, I know), in the last two games, America’s Pacific fleet (me in both instances) has either: gotten killed in the Pacific OR transferred to the Atlantic. If this is the case again, might it not be a good idea to take my entire Japanese fleet and park it along the American coast? Two ACs, two BBs and a dest (minimum) would help ensure free reign in the Pacific as long as I make sure the canal stays closed. Is this too risky a committment for my fleet?

    There’s no need to do this really. Keep your BBs and stuff with your transports and send them island hopping if you have nothing else to do. You should not be dying to an American navy unless the UK is heavily pressuring you with the Indian complex, in which case Germany should be kicking ass. You can always see his navy coming so build your own naval units (subs are the best thing Japan can buy to deter the US).



  • 88 knows that I agree with him;

    “#1 The most fun you’ll have is by trial and error. There is no perfect strategy.”

    The one tidbit that I will add in any thread or discussion in any of the posts,

    “What are the victory conditions you have set for the game?”

    If you are after a minor victory (8 cities) then Germany can focus on a land war, navy be damned.
    However, a major victory (10 cities) or total victory (12 cities) is going to require an Axis navy to reach the 10th/12th city.

    IMO, I have a German Navy at the start of the game that is easier to add to and maintain in order to play a role in the 10/12 city VC (Victory Condition).


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