Using Alaska to reinforce Russia



  • One of the issues I have in my metagame is Japan running away with the game on the main continent.  Has anyone ever tried (or seen discussed) the possibility of using some sort of “Spanish Beachhead” strategy in Soviet Far East?

    I’m thinking the advantage would be foiling the Japanese in the far east easier because more American IPCs can affect Japan on the mainland.  It would also let Russia concentrate 100% on Germany, and the National Objective loss would be mitigated by saved territory and not having to worry about the Japanese.

    Obviously the disadvantage would be that it’s a long trek from Soviet Far East to the action.  Perhaps this can be mitagated by smart purchases (i.e. mechanized infantry, tanks, etc.), or more Japanese spending concentrated away from Calcutta?

    Thoughts or links to previous discussions?


  • Customizer

    That might be an interesting idea if you could get a large enough force there.  They could march down and take Korea from Japan and establish an early US presence there in Asia.  If the 18 Russian infantry are still there, they could even back up the US forces to keep Japan from retaking Korea easily.
    The US could build a factory and maybe even an airbase there and really give the Japanese a hard time.  They could even send troops down and help out the Chinese.
    Another idea for this strategy is causing Japan to use a lot of resources trying to get Korea back which could leave it weak trying to take the DEI or Calcutta.
    I think to do this, the US would have to be in the war and Russia would have to declare war on Japan (if Japan hadn’t already declared war on Russia) so that the US and Russia could act like Allies in the Pacific theater.  If Japan and Russia have not declared war yet, Russia would still be neutral on the Pacific board and US troops could not land on Russian territory.



  • The costs of temporary losing the NO might be worth it for russia if US troops are there only for a few turns.
    Russia only gets its NO 1-2 turns max so they would only lose it 1 turn with this strategy.

    Would be good for focus on korea but after that go race through china, This boosts china economy and again forces japan to deal with some extra inf as well. Us can blitz tanks+mechs and china can reinforce those areas with cheap inf. If you can capture Japan factories on the mainland they get destroyed as well causing even a bigger logistical nightmare for japan. As they have to transport everything from mainland japan to azia, and a few fighters + bombers + subs on korea will ensure that they have to protect every transport.



  • I’m definitely going to try this strategy next time I play America.  The more I’m thinking about it, the more I like how the IPC spending of America matches that of Japan at their height.  So the extra spending by China, India, and ANZAC should push the pacific war in the Allies favor, especially if they can knock out those Japanese factories.



  • I’ve done this before.  It puts some pressure on Japan.  I think it’s a valid strategy that’s worth exploring.

    I recommend…
    On the same turn, build a minor IC in Alaska plus 3 vehicles (maybe 2 mechanized, 1 tank) in Western U.S.
    Next turn, build 3 infantry in Alaska and move the 3 vehicles up to meet them.
    Next turn, start the “conveyor belt” with 3 transports moving those 6 units out of Alaska to Soviet Far East.  Build 3 more infantry and 3 more vehicles.
    Repeat.  The transports can bounce back and forth delivering 6 units into Soviet Far East every turn.



  • Nice!  Thanks for the advice!


  • 2019 2017 '16

    I’ve played against it. It isn’t nearly as strong as the USA landing on Korea and being reinforced by the USSR. I honestly don’t feel that the IC adds much compared to just walking troops from W USA.


  • 2017

    Hi Chromium,

    I hope that we could play a table top game again sometime in the near future. Perhaps after Christmas?

    I don’t care if it’s up in Indianapolis or in Louisville. We can’t forget giving the allies a bid next time however. I don’t care what side I’m on…your choice next game.

    I would be interested to see this Alaska strategy idea as I’ve thought about it before as another way to get the US in the war on the Pac board side.

    I’m not a very experienced player, but I think the benefits that Russia gets will not be enough to make it worth it. I see a Germany being even more free to concentrate on Moscow or more free to build ships in the Med to get Cairo. For the Alaska strategy to work, I’d think the US would have to get Korea real quick…then be supported by the 18 Russian infantry + AAA guns in order to secure a minor IC. After which point…minus purchasing 3 units per turn in Korea, the US would then have to spend whole heartedly on Europe or whole heartedly towards fighting for the DEI (if Moscow isn’t going to fall). If Japan gets control of the DEI and can hold them indefinitely due to less US Naval IPC spending, then I think strategy might not be worth the squeeze.

    Who knows…it’s a good theory I’ve always wanted to try, just never had the guts to try something new like this. If Asia mainland (to include Korea) is taken by the Allies, the Japanese player might just ignore it…cut their losses and work on gobbling up islands.

    I’m in the middle of a game right now (TripleA), the Allies player caused me (Japanese player) to purchase lots of ships cause he got control of Asia mainland real quick. He did a great job securing China and India (too good) minus the two Chinese coastal victory cities that I secured like a strong fort. As Japan, I have complete dominance of the Pacific ocean (Hawaii is captured), and ANZAC or other locations not normally threatened, are now threatened. Hawaii will never be liberated; but neither will Calcutta get captured. The loss of Hawaii causes a loss of a NO for the US and is a NO bonus for Japan. So in a since there is no IPC loss for the allies because the UK Pac is making so many IPCs. But the US is only collecting about 65 IPCs and is not the powerful big brother like it’s supposed to be. The UK Pac has pretty much reached the extent of damage it can do.

    David “Ichabod”


  • 2019 2017 '16

    Louisville, eh?

    The girlfriend and I were in Kentucky three years ago to do the Bourbon Trail.  We just just came for the bourbon but ended up falling in love with Kentucky.  Louisville’s a great town.



  • Ichabod,

    We’ll definitely get together after Christmas for another game!  Who knows, I may get brave and try this strategy out.



  • I think the alaskan factory is not needed and can be replaced by 1 transport ferrying inf. The transport is already there.

    But you have to keep your transports safe somehow so that might be tricky but if you can taking korea and then getting mech + tanks through china and into Moscow can be a quick way to both help china + india survive and assist Russia in surviving. You can also add fighters and tacticals in the mix for some extra defence + offense power in the area.
    the 18 russian inf + 2 AA guns ( add another 1 or 2 from the US ) can really hurt japan if they try to take korea back.

    Having some transports in the area with the starting fleet forces japan to keep part of its fleet north this might allow some extra movements from anzac and india and potential kill part of the japan fleet.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    However, the naval base can be a real boon. It causes SZ6 to be threatened.



  • @simon33:

    However, the naval base can be a real boon. It causes SZ6 to be threatened.

    No it wont, your fleet and transports will always start their turn near Sovjet far east as it is there where they unloaded.
    they will move 1 back ( pick up ) and move back and unload every turn.

    So you always threathen SZ6 with that fleet.


  • 2017 '16 Customizer

    The problem with this is that any Japan player worth a salt would eliminate any US navy that close to Japan. Also, as Japan,  an Alaska IC is a jewel worth stealing. In the past I’ve very easily-in one move -captured Alaska AND W. Canada for the counter attack block. Of course all this would be a major distraction from other theatres of operation, but if the US is going to try this plan, Japan must eliminate it. At least that’s been my experience. I’ve never seen this particular plan work well at all for the US or Russia.


  • 2018 2017

    You also need to hit the Aleutians and block a couple of SZs as the Japanese, so that the US cant land planes there during the counterattack.

    You don’t need either the bases or the MiC and this concept doesn’t need to have anything to do with Alaska.

    Russia provides the landing area and the protective troops in Russia.  As soon as the USA is in the war, they can cross (with almost everything) from the Western US and land in Russia, but the timing of this is dependent upon when Japan brings the USA into the war, which the USA cannot determine.  If the USA buys strategic bombers and places them on the Western US, they can fly either to London or attack Japan and land in the USSR.


  • 2017

    Taamvan wrote, "You don’t need either the bases or the MiC and this concept doesn’t need to have anything to do with Alaska. "

    Perhaps, but I do see the point that this strategy does have to do with Alaska. Assuming the US player initially built enough war ships to easily control the sea zone in the northern region…then besides troops marching up from W. US to Alaska, 3 units per turn could be built on a MIC at Alaska and shucked every turn between Sea Zone 3 - Sea Zone 2 (pick up units from Alaska), and then drop them off in Soviet Far East (SZ3). Those troops would continue marching towards Manchuria and Korea…fast units could catch up.


  • 2018 2017

    The troops and fleet can be moved directly from the WUS to the Soviet Union, and putting anything near or on Alaska puts it in range of a difficult to screen 3 SZ move from SZ 6, so it is vulnerable to being pre-emptively attacked.

    The factory in Alaska is not needed to deploy them, since during war you have 30 capacity already.  When you’re not at war, you would otherwise be limited to 3 troops WUS not 6, but I don’t think its worth the 12 to go that direction.  Japan may attack Alaska just to grab the factory away.

    Buy another bomber.  When you have 6 or more bombers that can fly across the turn after war/they are built, japan has to be more careful about what it leaves in SZ 6 since unless its x2 Grand Fleets, the US will have more power overall and can wipe you out.  Where America uses primarily subs and bombers, kamikaze is useless.

    The best unit to build would be fighters because those are the only ones that cant reach Russia from the US but can from Alaska the turn after they are built.

    all of these strategies hinge on how and when Japan moves away from SZ 6.  If they have 3 transports in SZ 6 with some protection, they can attack your US/USSR stack on the coasts with a devastating combined sea/air attack.

    During a J1, you can attack/stack Iwo Jima instead because Japan moves out of position during his opener
    During a J2 or J3, you’ll have to build up with the US and wait to see what happens.  Your opening will come after Japan moves south to hit the money/india but before it is getting that money placed on the board.
    During a J4, you’ll get pretty bored building your KJF up while Germany rages your other board.

    As long as Japan has a good number of planes and 1 Grand Fleet w/ transports up there, you cant put the Russians on the coast and so the US fleet/fighters/infantry cant join.  On the other hand, if he leaves just 1 carrier and a destroyer with scramble fighters, you can kick his butt as long as you can find a safe place to land.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    Interesting points. Wouldn’t ijn remaining in sz6 be a victory for the allies because they aren’t going after the money islands.

    I don’t know why ussr can’t sit on the coast after round one. The only thing that makes it dangerous r1 is the 12 ground troops adjacent to amur at the start. 8 of these normally move south j1 removing the threat. If they don’t, China’s given a break.



  • @simon33:

    Interesting points. Wouldn’t ijn remaining in sz6 be a victory for the allies because they aren’t going after the money islands.

    I don’t know why ussr can’t sit on the coast after round one. The only thing that makes it dangerous r1 is the 12 ground troops adjacent to amur at the start. 8 of these normally move south j1 removing the threat. If they don’t, China’s given a break.

    Normaly Japan buys another 3 transports so the amount of land forces is nearly the same but of better quality even.
    It also depends a lot on the opener from japan, if they went J1 it is much safer on the coast then if they went for a buildup on SZ6


  • 2019 2017 '16

    If you buy 3TTs, you can only afford 1art. You only have 3inf left on Japan after J1, 1 each on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. You must do something very different with your starting TTs J1.


  • 2018 2017

    The Russians start spread out and they all need to be in the same coastal square to have much of a chance of dissuading a Japanese attack.  That’s the dance…the Americans can provide all of the planes but they have to coordinate a landing with the stack despite the fact that Japan may or may not still threaten that area.

    Japan always seems to have at least 3-5 air pairs plus the 2 strat bombers, any time I can eliminate these Russian Troops I do, and any time I can block the coastal, non-Mongolian adjacent, landing squares before America enters the war, I do.

    Then, the Russians build an Air Base, which permits the American Fleet to squat against the SZ 6 build.  Its not really necessary though.

    Since both of your forces are unbalanced (one is all infantry, the other all planes and ships) your offensive capability is limited.

    However, you then strat bomb Japan into submission after you fly past with as many bombers as you can build and destroy their fleet.  Since Japan doesn’t have gads of money, it cant even replace the fleet since it is too weak to withstand all the planes coming back over on subsequent turns.  Some bombers can kill ships while others smash the factory.  If they cant put a fleet in the water, subs show up and eat the rest of their money, at least that’s the plan.

    When this has been done TO me rather than BY me, I ended up building 10 fighters on japan to counteract the bomber swarms and of course, still lost all my $$.

    As Mr. Simon states, if you can keep Japan near SZ 6, you’ve already sort of won the game by paralyzing them.  It won’t be very likely you can invade anything; Korea, Manchuria etc…going after these targets is just a distraction which will spread you out and the transports loading in hostile SZ rule and the kamikaze rule, with some turtling and planes makes Japan pretty much impossible to invade and conquer.

    If you force Japan to turn around and return home from their southern targets, this is also a pretty big victory though again, the US may have a problem defeating them in detail.    The rub for Japan is that once your Allied landing stack/base forms up, they have at most one shot at defeating it.

    Allies;  Don’t lose those Russian Infantry early or lightly they are the entire eastern Allied game plan.  Up to 5 USA bombers can fly straight into pretty much any sea battle where Japan is light.  Because of the geometry of the northern pacific, a direct naval attack before US6 will only be successful if Japan doesn’t stack/screen.

    Axis;  If and when you turn your back on the allies, make sure their LZ is threatened and you still have plenty of planes to counterattack with.



  • @simon33:

    If you buy 3TTs, you can only afford 1art. You only have 3inf left on Japan after J1, 1 each on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. You must do something very different with your starting TTs J1.

    Afaik you start with 6 inf 2 art 1 arm on japan and only 3 transports 1 of which is next to japan.
    So at least 2 transports are either near japan or close 2 japan after J1. Even if you use all 3 transports to take units off japan itself there are even more then 6 units available to drop.

    The 1 near hongkon can only reach japan proper so whatever it drops it will be in korea ( and can attack over land ), the 1 just below japan can move to its own spot and so it can always move 2 spots up.

    R2 putting you units on the coast can only be safely done if japan moved all air out of range. If they got half their air in range you are looking at 10+ land units +air to attack your stack

    With the starting units if you buy 3 transports and 1 art there is no realistic way to have less then 3 full transports attacking the russia stack on the coast unless you really do some strange moves.l


  • 2019 2017 '16

    Yep, air is the real variable.

    Is it really a good use of your air to use it to threaten amur?

    I might be persuaded because only a portion is used in a j1 attack on China only.


  • '16

    My opinion: It doesn’t work with this map.

    I love this strategy, in theory, and have used it successfully in other versions of Axis & Allies many times. But the G40 map just doesn’t allow it. Maybe for the better, since it is so historically inaccurate and unlikely.

    The US Navy needs to sit in SZ 3 to protect its transports, which is not a threat to SZ 6, which gives Japan an extra round of builds to counter when they see the US move into attack position. We all know Russia can’t afford to buy a naval base. Most Allied strategies are designed to help Russia, not cost it 5 infantry in its fight against Germany. Even if you thought Russia will lose to Germany no matter what, and decide to give the US the SFE naval base, the allies have too many territories to defend: The Russian coast, Alaska, Aleutians, Western Canada(have you noticed this before?), and Hawaii. Hawaii is out of range of US recovery, and Western US, SZ 10, is only in range if the Soviets give you that naval base. It’s a logistical, geographical, economic nightmare.

    But it IS fun, if you don’t mind losing!  :lol:



  • @Mill:

    My opinion: It doesn’t work with this map.

    I love this strategy, in theory, and have used it successfully in other versions of Axis & Allies many times. But the G40 map just doesn’t allow it. Maybe for the better, since it is so historically inaccurate and unlikely.

    The US Navy needs to sit in SZ 3 to protect its transports, which is not a threat to SZ 6, which gives Japan an extra round of builds to counter when they see the US move into attack position. We all know Russia can’t afford to buy a naval base. Most Allied strategies are designed to help Russia, not cost it 5 infantry in its fight against Germany. Even if you thought Russia will lose to Germany no matter what, and decide to give the US the SFE naval base, the allies have too many territories to defend: The Russian coast, Alaska, Aleutians, Western Canada(have you noticed this before?), and Hawaii. Hawaii is out of range of US recovery, and Western US, SZ 10, is only in range if the Soviets give you that naval base. It’s a logistical, geographical, economic nightmare.

    But it IS fun, if you don’t mind losing!  :lol:

    You dont need a naval base nor do you need to threathen japan at all. You just need to shuttle fast units ( mech + arm ) into russia. Those mech + arm can link up with then 18 inf + 2 AA in amur and from there on can really start to mess up japan. Russia only uses its starting forces in the far east as body.

    You can also use those mech + arm to help china or even race towards moscow. At the same time you can use fighters to fly to moscow in 3/4 turns from being build while at the same time helping against japan. An extra 4 fighters a turn in moscow might delay germany a little bit and the only thing japan can do to prevent this is either sit in SZ6 with its whole fleet ( so no money islands and a powerfull UK-pac. Or not declare war untill J3.


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