Unfortunately, 42 (1st Ed) is caught between a rock and a hard place.
The game has Revised’s Map/Setup but with Anniversary’s Rule Set (sans China and Italy).
This succeeds at alienating both the “old school” players, who prefer the rule set of Classic/Revised (Transports that can defend themselves, subs that defend on 2, old AA rules, etc.) and the “new school” players, who prefer the larger and more involved maps like 42SE and G40 (and its many variants).
It also doesn’t help that defenseless transports combined with the small scale of the board make the following tasks absurdly difficult:
Establishing a US/UK Navy in the Atlantic capable of landings any earlier than round 3/4
Establishing any sort of German Fleet capable of holding Norway/taking UK
Establishing any sort of meaningful (i.e. capable of threatening the Pacific Islands) Japanese/American Fleet
Not that this doesn’t leave a balanced game (it sort of does, in my opinion anyway), but it severely limits the diversity in strategies that can be employed by both sides. This leads to the conclusions that Wibe has made about the “optimal” strategies being relatively stale (compared to other versions of the game, anyway. Even in the fairly static Revised there’s a few variations in strategy available to both sides).
In my opinion, you might be better off going one of four ways:
1. Keep playing 42 1st Edition. Don’t let some pessimists on the internet get you down!
2. Try playing with the Revised setup/rules on the 42 1st Edition Board. The setups for the games are identical (just swap out
3. Try buying 42SE (or make the leap to G40). All the rules (for the most part) are the same as 42 1st Edition with bigger and more detailed maps/setups.
4. Any combo of 1, 2, 3. Don’t limit yourself to just one version of A&A!