Deep dive & newbie questions as an Axis player



  • Hey folks!

    I’ve only gotten a couple of games under my belt - first as Australia in a 7 man game, then as Italy in a 5 man, then as the entire Axis in a 1v1.  I’m working on learning Axis moves; I’ve read through and tried out the Japan Playbook, the German Playbook, I’ve done extensive research, and am trying to settle on one to try, which is a J2/I2 Axis strategy located on these forums (I got an error message that I can’t post links, so if you search J2/I2 Strategy by Submersed Elk, that is what I’m working.  I’ve tried reaching out to the author, but he hasn’t been active in the forums here for a year, so …I turn to the community.

    I have some questions that I haven’t been able to find answers to, and while I’ve been using the TripleA program, I’ve only been playing against AI(hard) because I don’t think I’m ready for people yet.

    1.  Can fighters scramble to defend against SBR?  In my vs. AI games, I’ve tried a couple SBR against London on G2, and London never scrambles fighters, nor does the French plane join in.  I thought they could? Is it factory AA defensive fire only?

    2.  Assuming the J2/I2 strategy linked above, with SZ110 and SZ111 cleared in G1, is there a better play than a strategic bombing?  I have plenty of units in France to secure Normandy and Southern France.  I’ve seen several comments in different threads in here that Axis should only SBR Moscow, but that’s a turn 3+ option for me I think.

    3.  I’ve tried the 2 bomber+ 1 sub build for Germany, and was following the linked guide for a G1 Carrier build - during G2, I have a cruiser, transport, carrier with Fighter + Bomber, and sometimes 1 sub, along with an empty transport (that shuttled Denmark into Norway on G1.  I get shadowed by a russian sub, and there are two more russian ships in SZ115.  What do I do with this fleet?  Do I blockade London?  Do I go back through the Danish straights to kill that sub and cruiser?  Do I cruise south to the med to eventually link up with the Italians to keep the med clear?  I don’t know what to do here.

    4.  I’m trying to understand the purpose of the Japanese attack in Yunnan on J1.  A couple infantry with an artillery, and a bunch of planes.  Japan always wins it, then the planes retreat a zone, but the Chinese take it back during their turn, and national objectives are determined at the end of the turn - so even the one turn steal doesn’t deny China any IPCs.  I’d like some thoughts on the Yunnan attack.

    5.  Amur - I need some clarification here.  I understand that if Japan attacks any Russian forces in Amur (or perhaps any forces bordering the Mongols?) it triggers them to become Russian forces.  What happens if Russia attacks Manchuria or Korea?  Do those mongols become chinese troops?  I’m trying to figure out how much force I need to leave in Manchuria to prevent a southern invasion into asia.

    6. In none of the guides I see does anyone talk about buying research tokens.  G1 is 2 Bombers and a Sub or a Carrier, G2 is tanks…J1 is 3 transports and an artillery…now that research tokens are a persistent roll across all rounds until achieved, wouldn’t it be a good investment, especially turn 1?  It could redefine the nature of the war.

    7.  Italy - I don’t know what to do with Italy.  In my game as only Italy, the German player had me take Southern France, Greece, and Bulgaria.  Doing so denies Germany access to the med through Southern Frances’ factory.  In the guide I’m following (linked at the top) the plan for Italy is to just escape from Africa if possible, clear anything possible in the Med for the NO, then start marching east in preparation for a turn 2 assault on Russia, using turn order to take with Italy, then hold with Germans.  I don’t seem to be able to get enough Italian forces to bear on Bessarabia to start that punch combo - even with two transports alive to shuttle units over to Albania.  I have to be missing something here.
      -If Italy takes Greece, can Axis ships pass through the Turkish Straits?

    8.  J2 builds have me confused.  On the one hand, I want to build an IPC in Malaya, but can’t until T3 after taking it on T2.  The other IPC I want to build is in Kwangtung, where again - I don’t have access to build until the following turn.  Assuming my entire Japanese fleet went south, took the Phillipines and Malay on T2 without purchase support - what do I buy on T2?  T3 purchases can just be factories, but the turn 2 has me muddled.

    All respect for you guys and your brilliant minds, and I hope to glean some wisdom.



  • 1. Yes, you can launch fighters to protect your factories however sometimes the AI makes questionable choices, I am guessing to protect its fighters against a Sea Lion

    2. Not too sure about this, I never done a before G4 with the Axis but I am guessing bombing the hell out of USSR is ideal.

    3. The Red Navy is basically useless here, I mean most USSR players don’t even deploy it. Unless you’re going to build a large navy for the Kreigsmarine, you can basically ignore it however I have seen Germany bomb it out just because.

    4. It depends on your long term goal with Japan, I am getting to a point where I am no longer seeing China has a threat to the game however I do like to shut down Burma Road because it helps deter UK ironically.

    5. Mongolia works like this, if Japan conquers a USSR boarder territory, they join USSR at the end of whoever is attacking boarder territories turn. So if you attack Mongolia the same time you attack USSR, your legally attacking a neutral. However, if USSR attacks Japanese territories, Mongolia “breaks” their alliance with USSR and becomes a strict neutral. China plays no role in this rule.

    6. No, in G40, it is worthless to buy research tokens because the cost is wasted when you should be building a military, only two nations have the income to spare for it and even then, I don’t do it. USA due to being a rich nations and ANZAC if you’re making enough money to out produce your small factory.

    7. Turkish straights is controlled by Turkey, NOT Greece. Second, no one really knows what to do with Italy due to them always taking it from UK right from the get go. So depending on UK fleet movements, you can either can open for Germany or focus on Africa.

    8. J2 builds I can’t answer simply because I do one of two attacks, I either build up ride US trade and strike at J4 or I open hell’s gates and declare war on everyone with the exception of USSR and conquer everything; bomb Pearl Harbor, take over the Phillis, conquer France Indo-China, conquer Hong Kong, drive deep into China and then build a third fleet so the other two can focus on taking over Dutch and UK territories.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15

    That was a lot of questions!

    for point 4. Why Yunnan, because it is the most important chinese territory. If China holds Yunnan at the start of their turn they can build artillary. If China does not need to fight Yunnan they will fight you everywhere else, such as up north and press towards the coastline. Yunnan is in fact one of the key allied “strongholds” comparable to sz 110, bryansk and later in the game, the middle east. It means the Axis should meet significant resistance here



  • @oysteilo:

    That was a lot of questions!

    for point 4. Why Yunnan, because it is the most important chinese territory. If China holds Yunnan at the start of their turn they can build artillary. If China does not need to fight Yunnan they will fight you everywhere else, such as up north and press towards the coastline. Yunnan is in fact one of the key allied “strongholds” comparable to sz 110, bryansk and later in the game, the middle east. It means the Axis should meet significant resistance here

    I disagree with this. While it is important to keep it Chinese for the Burma Road, Japan can easily by pass it if it’s end goal is India. It is tactical but it doesn’t break the Axis.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15

    @Caesar:

    @oysteilo:

    That was a lot of questions!

    for point 4. Why Yunnan, because it is the most important chinese territory. If China holds Yunnan at the start of their turn they can build artillary. If China does not need to fight Yunnan they will fight you everywhere else, such as up north and press towards the coastline. Yunnan is in fact one of the key allied “strongholds” comparable to sz 110, bryansk and later in the game, the middle east. It means the Axis should meet significant resistance here

    I disagree with this. While it is important to keep it Chinese for the Burma Road, Japan can easily by pass it if it’s end goal is India. It is tactical but it doesn’t break the Axis.

    My referance was to point 4 in the OP. Japan needs to fight yunnan to prevent chinese artillery and allies need to fight yunnan for a key objective while it also protects India.



  • @oysteilo:

    @Caesar:

    @oysteilo:

    That was a lot of questions!

    for point 4. Why Yunnan, because it is the most important chinese territory. If China holds Yunnan at the start of their turn they can build artillary. If China does not need to fight Yunnan they will fight you everywhere else, such as up north and press towards the coastline. Yunnan is in fact one of the key allied “strongholds” comparable to sz 110, bryansk and later in the game, the middle east. It means the Axis should meet significant resistance here

    I disagree with this. While it is important to keep it Chinese for the Burma Road, Japan can easily by pass it if it’s end goal is India. It is tactical but it doesn’t break the Axis.

    My referance was to point 4 in the OP. Japan needs to fight yunnan to prevent chinese artillery and allies need to fight yunnan for a key objective while it also protects India.

    No, Japan does not need to sake Yunnan in any situation. I agree life can be easier if Burma is closed however encase you haven’t notice, China cannot invade Japan. China cannot produce a navy. Japan can abandon China and by pass it outright. It can do it by moving through FIC or do it with a navy. The only reason to keep the road close is to starve China and to help prevent a possible counter attack by UK through China which if Japan is allowing that clearly means Japan played poorly.



  • @Caesar:

    @oysteilo:

    @Caesar:

    @oysteilo:

    That was a lot of questions!

    for point 4. Why Yunnan, because it is the most important chinese territory. If China holds Yunnan at the start of their turn they can build artillary. If China does not need to fight Yunnan they will fight you everywhere else, such as up north and press towards the coastline. Yunnan is in fact one of the key allied “strongholds” comparable to sz 110, bryansk and later in the game, the middle east. It means the Axis should meet significant resistance here

    I disagree with this. While it is important to keep it Chinese for the Burma Road, Japan can easily by pass it if it’s end goal is India. It is tactical but it doesn’t break the Axis.

    My referance was to point 4 in the OP. Japan needs to fight yunnan to prevent chinese artillery and allies need to fight yunnan for a key objective while it also protects India.

    No, Japan does not need to sake Yunnan in any situation. I agree life can be easier if Burma is closed however encase you haven’t notice, China cannot invade Japan. China cannot produce a navy. Japan can abandon China and by pass it outright. It can do it by moving through FIC or do it with a navy. The only reason to keep the road close is to starve China and to help prevent a possible counter attack by UK through China which if Japan is allowing that clearly means Japan played poorly.

    Japan can ignore china only if japan intends to not win at all.

    There are 2 CV’s on the mainland and about 20ipcs worth of production that china can hold. Letting china grow to big will ensure japan does not get the income and the CVs and unless you intend on invading western US you needs those to win.


  • TripleA

    1. The purpose of the 2 bomber 1 sub buy is for flexibility. You have 1 fighter 1 tactical in southern italy g1 so G2 you have 6 units that can immediately attack small stacks in the middle east or uk’s air or naval etc. You can knock this out or use bombers for any round 2 attacks or setup for a G3 to attack with your air against  uk’s ground to clear a path for italy to take egypt / middle east.

    2. I typically do a J1 dow, the round 1 yunnan attack is done because japan is good at attacking, not so good at defending. Any situation where you get to attack with overwhelming force is a good situation for Japan.



  • @ShadowHAwk:

    @Caesar:

    @oysteilo:

    @Caesar:

    @oysteilo:

    That was a lot of questions!

    for point 4. Why Yunnan, because it is the most important chinese territory. If China holds Yunnan at the start of their turn they can build artillary. If China does not need to fight Yunnan they will fight you everywhere else, such as up north and press towards the coastline. Yunnan is in fact one of the key allied “strongholds” comparable to sz 110, bryansk and later in the game, the middle east. It means the Axis should meet significant resistance here

    I disagree with this. While it is important to keep it Chinese for the Burma Road, Japan can easily by pass it if it’s end goal is India. It is tactical but it doesn’t break the Axis.

    My referance was to point 4 in the OP. Japan needs to fight yunnan to prevent chinese artillery and allies need to fight yunnan for a key objective while it also protects India.

    No, Japan does not need to sake Yunnan in any situation. I agree life can be easier if Burma is closed however encase you haven’t notice, China cannot invade Japan. China cannot produce a navy. Japan can abandon China and by pass it outright. It can do it by moving through FIC or do it with a navy. The only reason to keep the road close is to starve China and to help prevent a possible counter attack by UK through China which if Japan is allowing that clearly means Japan played poorly.

    Japan can ignore china only if japan intends to not win at all.

    There are 2 CV’s on the mainland and about 20ipcs worth of production that china can hold. Letting china grow to big will ensure japan does not get the income and the CVs and unless you intend on invading western US you needs those to win.

    No, after what I have seen, with a fast capture of India even more so if you grab money islands as you go, Japan may not necessarily need to smash China for victory. I can easily see Japanese victory over taking USSR in the east and UK/Dutch in the south. Maybe if they are ballsy and go into ANZAC. Japan is leaving good lands if s/he pulls out of China sure however China isn’t exactly a “death of an empire” situation.



  • @Caesar:

    No, after what I have seen, with a fast capture of India even more so if you grab money islands as you go, Japan may not necessarily need to smash China for victory. I can easily see Japanese victory over taking USSR in the east and UK/Dutch in the south. Maybe if they are ballsy and go into ANZAC. Japan is leaving good lands if s/he pulls out of China sure however China isn’t exactly a “death of an empire” situation.

    While I think you can give up China and be successful as Japan, I think the Axis’ war effort as a whole will suffer for it. The primary issue isn’t the economic impact - it’s the loss of the Shanghai VC. With it Japan only needs two of the three of Calcutta, Hawaii and Sydney; without it they need all three. This delays their ability to threaten a VC win in the Pacific, and so delays their ability to force America to respond to a potential VC win. The ability to threaten a win on either side of the map is the Axis’ biggest strength; I wouldn’t compromise it without an extremely compelling reason.


  • 2020 2018 2017

    1. Yes, scramble.  Bombers get a “1” retal when normally they cannot fight back so they get a chance to shoot down precious fighters.  Fighters can be taken as interception casualties, so if they can’t bring any, they may rethink coming at you with just a few bombers vs your 3-5 fighters.

    2. Some players do bomb London, attacking roving stacks of stuff (Syria) is a smart move though the bombers are down south if you do that.

    3. You need a fleet in being or you cant threaten the sea lion, reinforce Norway, or Novogrod.  This is just a fleet that can stay safe inside the Baltic while at the same time being an annoyance/threat to the entire area.    You can’t have it get destroyed or leave and still reliably protect your transports, so losing this fleet is the first step in having Germany get torn apart.

    4. its a dance, it denys china 7$ every turn, and artillery.  If you don’t weaken china consistently, it can grow into an uncontrollable problem.  You could avoid this attack, but you will regret it in the long game.

    5. if Russia crosses, the 6 Mongolian men are lost to Russia, and no new men are generated.  Japan needs whatever would dissuade a cross by the men stacked there, 18 men needs about 6-8 men 4 fighters or bit more to deter.

    6. research tokens are a house rule.  research is an optional rule.  Even when it is active, its too random and varied to make it a consistent choice–we rarely buy the rolls even when they are available.

    7. Italy is your can opener.  It has 2 armor and can get 2 more (1 from Africa, more from buys).  Also mechs.  These mobile stacks stand with the germans near the front line, then rush past it, killing the 1 man Russian blockers.  Then, the Germany 2-move mobile units move through the newly captured square.  Its devastating.  Italys air force can also threaten the blockers, or really any stacks around the ETO.  Normally Italy loses most of its navy on turn 1, so it has just 1 TT to start and rebuilding cannot be done in time before USA arrives.
      b) yes, but that’s a dead end so its pretty limiting.

    J1–up to 3 transports.  this gives you 6.  the first 3 can attack india or money islands, the backup 3 take philipines and other targets.  J2 you can buy even more, or just your first factory.  If you buy more transports, you’ll need more ground trooops to fill them with at this point as well.  if you buy the factory, you can place it on Kiangsu or Manchuria, and you’ll be dropping 18 each subsequent turn to buy 3 armor.    You may even buy a second one–Fic is a popular choice, or Kwangtung, Malaya is a lesser choice.  But once you’ve done 2 MiC, you’ll probably have your hands full with just the spending the money to load the transports and factories every turn.    5 transports (35) 2 factories (24) and 6 armor (36) are pretty big commits J1-J4, so this is an all-in reinforce the mainland strategy as most of your $$ will be going to this you shouldn’t have a problem spending it all.



  • Going back to #4 Yunnan. When I’m doing a J1 attack I’ve been toying with leaving Yunnan on J1 and stacking Hunan/Kwangsi (taking FIC, China can’t enter FIC). Then attack Yunnan with more units on J2. Yea they will build some art C1 that could give me trouble if they use them to attack, but they defend the same as inf. The UK can start moving in ground units slowly, but would they risk putting the air there when I have more then enough ground and air to sweep them all away. The only thing I haven’t encountered is if the Russians fly in their air to Yunnnan (as discussed in another post).

    Anyway when doing a J1 attack the Japanese will be a little thin in ground units in Asia. Attacking Yunnan J1 will basically be trading it back n forth grinding up Japanese ground forces, so I’m just looking for a different way to go at it. Taking FIC J1 and building a minor J2 is helping in the long run.

    I get the whole debate about leaving the Chinese alone because they have the ACME WALL and can’t leave China, but I just can’t give up the income and beating down a lesser opponent lol


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Welcome to the forum Dashofpepper.
    You will be able to post a Link after a few more posts.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    @Amalec:

    @Caesar:

    No, after what I have seen, with a fast capture of India even more so if you grab money islands as you go, Japan may not necessarily need to smash China for victory. I can easily see Japanese victory over taking USSR in the east and UK/Dutch in the south. Maybe if they are ballsy and go into ANZAC. Japan is leaving good lands if s/he pulls out of China sure however China isn’t exactly a “death of an empire” situation.

    While I think you can give up China and be successful as Japan, I think the Axis’ war effort as a whole will suffer for it. The primary issue isn’t the economic impact - it’s the loss of the Shanghai VC. With it Japan only needs two of the three of Calcutta, Hawaii and Sydney; without it they need all three. This delays their ability to threaten a VC win in the Pacific, and so delays their ability to force America to respond to a potential VC win. The ability to threaten a win on either side of the map is the Axis’ biggest strength; I wouldn’t compromise it without an extremely compelling reason.

    It’s even worse than that. You also lose Kwangtung ultimately which is also a VC. Unless you plan to take down India, Sydney, Hawaii and San Francisco, you aren’t winning in the Pacific.

    As ShadowHawk already said I guess.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    2. Taking Normandy is something of a liability later in the game for the Axis.

    4. If I’m doing a J2, I’ll keep the artillery out of this attack on Yunnan and send it to Hunan instead. This protects against the Hunan attack going bad, leaving only 2 ground units and inviting an attack from China. While it’s important to close the Burma Rd if possible, the extra ground unit is easily taken out by a Chinese attack and it’s more than a little useful later. Also, killing 4 inf is a goal in itself.

    6. (almost) Everyone hates tech and it’s optional.

    8. If you’re doing a J1 DOW, J2 build will be an IC on FIC. I’m guessing you’re referring to a J2 DOW. Some people will sacrifice the NO to allow the FIC IC anyway - this may be optimal, I’m not sure. The other option I would think about is another bomber or two to hit Calcutta with or a naval base on Hainan.



  • @simon33:

    @Amalec:

    @Caesar:

    No, after what I have seen, with a fast capture of India even more so if you grab money islands as you go, Japan may not necessarily need to smash China for victory. I can easily see Japanese victory over taking USSR in the east and UK/Dutch in the south. Maybe if they are ballsy and go into ANZAC. Japan is leaving good lands if s/he pulls out of China sure however China isn’t exactly a “death of an empire” situation.

    While I think you can give up China and be successful as Japan, I think the Axis’ war effort as a whole will suffer for it. The primary issue isn’t the economic impact - it’s the loss of the Shanghai VC. With it Japan only needs two of the three of Calcutta, Hawaii and Sydney; without it they need all three. This delays their ability to threaten a VC win in the Pacific, and so delays their ability to force America to respond to a potential VC win. The ability to threaten a win on either side of the map is the Axis’ biggest strength; I wouldn’t compromise it without an extremely compelling reason.

    It’s even worse than that. You also lose Kwangtung ultimately which is also a VC. Unless you plan to take down India, Sydney, Hawaii and San Francisco, you aren’t winning in the Pacific.

    As ShadowHawk already said I guess.

    Yeps thats the idea, you dont take india J2 anyway so your looking at J3, that is 3 rounds of burma road + a lot of cash. 7 inf a turn on those 2 VC,s will be a pain
    Its isnt just the money, although it is in the 20s ( 24 if i counted correctly by heart )and about 1/3 of the money japan can get. Its also to Cv’s that you are not getting if you leave china to grow unchecked.


  • '16

    @Caesar:

    @oysteilo:

    That was a lot of questions!

    for point 4. Why Yunnan, because it is the most important chinese territory. If China holds Yunnan at the start of their turn they can build artillary. If China does not need to fight Yunnan they will fight you everywhere else, such as up north and press towards the coastline. Yunnan is in fact one of the key allied “strongholds” comparable to sz 110, bryansk and later in the game, the middle east. It means the Axis should meet significant resistance here

    I disagree with this. While it is important to keep it Chinese for the Burma Road, Japan can easily by pass it if it’s end goal is India. It is tactical but it doesn’t break the Axis.

    Ignoring China can definitely break Japan!  Even if you take India early you will still have to invest in ground forces to get back the VC’s you lost to China and now you have no infrastructure to do it effectivley.  Its better to tame China early set up a supply line and get factories going on the mainland.  Its hard enough to maintain island dominace and you can’t afford to lose your income core as well ,China is that core especially the coast line.  Japan is a ripe fruit but if you let it rot from the inside out you are doomed.  I have seen it happen too many times and its what I try to do as the allies against Japan.  Having a big navy for Japan and controlling the DEI as well as getting calcutta are all good things for Japan but ignoring China can negate those advances.  Just my two cents from extensive game play face to face and league play.


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