Best time to declare war?



  • Which is the best time that Germany/Japan should declare war on USSR/USA/UK?

    Should USSR Attack Japan?

    Should the axis spend a few turns building up or does this let the Allies grow too strong?



  • Honestly, this is probably the biggest single choice in the game.  I personally prefer to hit Russia turn 2-3 as Germany.  With Japan I like to do either a J1 attack or wait it out until turn three.  J2 attack is interesting, but usually reliant on Allied moves (like a juicy target).  J4 attack I strongly discourage as US and UK and ANZAC all get their NOs regardless. With Germany, attacking Russia turn one is an option, by you can get diced and you need to be prepared for the resulting war of attrition.  Waiting until turn four is strongly discouraged unless you are doing amphibious assault on UK.

    Basically, both work: waiting and getting in there fast.

    Here are some pros and cons:

    Japan:
    The earlier you attack, the more targets you can take out and the sooner you can get your IPCs rolling.  But, the sooner you attack, the sooner the Allies can get NOs and start attacking you and helping China.  Keep in mind your brothers in Europe.  The US will not be able to attack them unless you start something.

    The later you attack, the better positioning you can get and the more you can crush China (and possibly Russia).  You also get an extra ten IPCs for leaving French Indo-China alone, and the Allies won’t be getting NO bonuses.  But you give up the juicy targets of J1, and prolong your ascension to the higher rung of income.  You also let UK and ANZAC farm the Dutch East Indies.

    For Germany, the longer you wait to attack Russia, the more forces you can assemble and the more you can get other things done like England, Balkans, and Africa.  But you lose time and find yourself facing more and more Russian hordes.

    Attacking turn one is the riskiest, but you get a golden opportunity to wipe out seven Russian infantry on the border.  Attacking turn two or three, you get some momentum into Russia and have enough forces to finish up France and the Royal Navy.  Keep in mind that attacking Russia gives them a possible NO for archangel and the ability to expand into Finland and Middle East.

    As for Russia, fighting Japan is largely based on Japan for the Mongolian front.  If he attacks, you make him get bogged down, and if he leaves too few forces in the North, you take Korea and give Manchuria to your fellow Chinese Communists.  I would not suggest retreating every Russia soldier to fight Germany.  Even just two is good so you can cap Korea and Manchuria.

    However, there is something else Russia can do.  Fight Japan via China.  Send in mechs, tanks, and planes and help make the Burma Road a stronghold and possibly threaten Japanese factories built on the mainland.  Of course, every Russia volunteer in China makes it that much easier for Germany to take Moscow.

    In short, situations will present different needs for action, but when to declare war is basically based on you.  What can you exploit by waiting or not waiting?

    Again, I personally say ideal is
    Japan: j1 attack or wait it out until turn 3
    Germany: hit Russia turn 2 or 3
    Russia: Make Japan fortify northern China, support China through the back when you can, but make sure you are sending adequate supplies to fight Germany.


  • Customizer

    When I play as Germany I like to attack Russia on turn 2, I found that given too much time the Russians can build up so much infantry in Moscow that it makes it difficult to take. Plus if your playgroup is used to Germany attacking later it can be a good surprise and effective. It was with my group the first time I tried it.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    @thespaceman:

    Which is the best time that Germany/Japan should declare war on USSR/USA/UK?

    Should USSR Attack Japan?

    Should the axis spend a few turns building up or does this let the Allies grow too strong?

    I would say that the standard move in the Balanced Mod set of house rules has become J2/G3.

    G1 DOW is not really optimal but it can work. The usual defence is a bunch of UK planes coming up through the Mid East and stopping the German spearhead. You’re pretty much relying on this not being done, although there may be a way it can work well.

    G2 DOW is said to be dependent on a G1 buy of fast movers. So you push into USSR quickly and I guess most likely swing down to the mid east before too many forces are present there.

    G3 DOW normally has some artillery bought G1, an I2 attack on Eastern Poland and forcing back the Red Army to Moscow. Sometimes going via Western Ukraine this spearhead can be slowed down for a turn which is not good for Germany.

    I totally agree that a J4 DOW is pretty daft. Only real reason I see for a J3 DOW is in a sea lion game, although there may be other reasons I haven’t discovered yet.

    J1 DOW isn’t used as much as it used to be. Downside is that your land forces are stretched incredibly thinly. Also, you can get a retaliation from the USN on turn 1 and you need to defend against that. I’m surprised by Charles de Gaulle’s comment that he doesn’t like a J2 DOW. A J1 buy of an IC and 2 transports allows you to take Malaya, Borneo, Philippines, Guam (optional), Kwangtung and one other spice island J2. J3, you get the rest. J1, if everything goes to plan you should take all the spice island J2. Also, you can do a J2 DOW and sacrifice the NO for FIC. This allows you to build the IC on FIC J2.

    I don’t see how a J1 helps you get on Calcutta sooner. You should be looking to take Calcutta J5. All troops starting south of Manchuria can reach by then, but with a J1, you will likely lose a fair few of them on the way and probably some planes too. Also, the 2inf that the SZ20 TT will pick up from Manchuria cannot be done in a J1.

    It is theoretically possible to take Calcutta sooner than J5 with a naval assault but that is just as theoretically a stoppable plan. If you can’t take it, at least it should be neutralised.

    HTH



  • J3 seems best to me.  Plenty of time to get the transports/factories/etc for the big push onto the money islands, Honk Kong, etc. all at once, and the U.S. has been stuck with minor factories and $50-$60 less so far, ANZAC is down $10 or more.

    For Germany, If I’m squeezing Britain, I prefer laying off Russia until R4 so they miss out on $40-$80 and, hopefully, I’ve taken U.K.'s entire $28 economy out of the game, and Italy can start to expand much more easily and be relevant in Africa and the ME.


  • 2020 2018 2017

    USSR should probably not attack Japan, but later in the game Japan can be bled out with just a few units left on the mainland, and having some Russian infantry left there to exploit it is nice.

    However, Russia can always Declare War, without any other consequences.  This is what permits Russia to enter Allied (eg China, UK) territory on the Pacific board.  Russia should declare war on Japan each game turn 1, unless you’re trying to psyche him out somehow.

    I used to prefer an early attack, J1 or J2, but probably will J3 the next time im Japan and build a factory turn 1.

    Japan’s all-game plan secretly and subtly determines what Germany should plan and can also do (sea lion), because Japan DoW affects the first turn that the US can cross the atlantic.



  • I’m 100% on board with that idea. J3 and G4 means no Russia NO’s until round 4, and if not Sea Lion, at least strangle U.K. as much as possible… convoy them for $10 a turn (England/Scotland), bomb the factory in London until they stop using it…I think it also means if the U.S. puts an emphasis on Europe, Japan can take great advantage.



  • J3 and G4 is way too late to DOW in most games.  The Allies are out-earning the Axis and equalizing the production is critical.  Delaying another turn also means that another full round of production will be stacked in Moscow and India by the time your forces get there.

    There is not much difference between J1 and J2: both are good options.  The same applies for G2 and G3 in many games since too early of a push often stalls for a round while waiting for additional reinforcements at the front.  Just don’t wait any longer than these options unless you have a specific reason in your gameplan.


  • 2017

    @weddingsinger:

    I’m 100% on board with that idea. J3 and G4 means no Russia NO’s until round 4, and if not Sea Lion, at least strangle U.K. as much as possible… convoy them for $10 a turn (England/Scotland), bomb the factory in London until they stop using it…I think it also means if the U.S. puts an emphasis on Europe, Japan can take great advantage.

    I have seen this approach lead to an economic victory in the game, not a VC win (at least not until like round 20). I’ve seen this done where the Axis were able to conquer practically ever single spot in Eurasia and the middle east but Moscow and Calcutta.
    Germany had a sizeable fleet…took a very long time and $ by the US just to make it to sz 91. The US/ANZAC controlled the Pacific Ocean and the islands but Japan was still making a solidly secured 52 IPCs even though all convoy zones were convoyed. They had enough territories locked down with so much ground that it really could have taken at least 10 fully loaded transports with 10 tanks just to stick a landing in Asia somewhere.

    When I see an opponent trying this approach, I just feel a great sigh, oh my, super long game.


  • 2017

    I’ve become a fan of a G2 / J1 DOW.

    G2 DOW: A G2 DOW supports a northern route march into Russia and an almost guaranteed Leningrad factory on G3. This route works for me practically no matter what my G1 purchase is. I used to do a G3 DOW through the Southern Route, but don’t mess with that from now on. A few times I got stuck at the choke point and wasn’t able to build at Leningrad. I don’t mess with the a G3 DOW anymore.

    J1 DOW: I the board setup demonstrates that Japan is ready to go to war. I like the 2nd / 3rd effects after a J1 which can be exploited depending on the dice and the Allies’ decisions.



  • @Ichabod:

    @weddingsinger:

    I’m 100% on board with that idea. J3 and G4 means no Russia NO’s until round 4, and if not Sea Lion, at least strangle U.K. as much as possible… convoy them for $10 a turn (England/Scotland), bomb the factory in London until they stop using it…I think it also means if the U.S. puts an emphasis on Europe, Japan can take great advantage.

    I have seen this approach lead to an economic victory in the game, not a VC win (at least not until like round 20). I’ve seen this done where the Axis were able to conquer practically ever single spot in Eurasia and the middle east but Moscow and Calcutta.
    Germany had a sizeable fleet…took a very long time and $ by the US just to make it to sz 91. The US/ANZAC controlled the Pacific Ocean and the islands but Japan was still making a solidly secured 52 IPCs even though all convoy zones were convoyed. They had enough territories locked down with so much ground that it really could have taken at least 10 fully loaded transports with 10 tanks just to stick a landing in Asia somewhere.

    When I see an opponent trying this approach, I just feel a great sigh, oh my, super long game.

    How was Japan making 52 just from mainland Asia territories? Did they control Moscow and Calcutta?


  • 2017

    I mistyped, they controlled Calcutta.
    Moscow wasn’t taken in our game.



  • I think the best time for the Axis to declare war is on Turn 1. Germany starts the game by declaring war on everyone, true neutrals, Mongolia, your mother and your keg of beer you have in the corner. It sets the tone for the game and gets every one very excited which is why we play games to begin with. Lets face it, the guys who are controlling Russia and USA are bored, drinking to much of that beer in the keg until T3 or T4. Lets just get it on.

    Now on a more serious note.

    This DOW of the Axis seems to hinge totally on Sea Lion VS J1 on the Allies. Also it goes to the very discussion the Axis players have before the game starts on how do they think they can win the war. It is so much easier for Japan to achieve a Axis Victory compared to Germany in Global. In my experience the vast majority of Axis victories are achieved on the Pacific map.

    So, if you agree that Japan has a easier path to Global victory, you need to J1 every time.

    ** Foot note **
    This is what is at the “heart” of what should the USA do at the start of the war. Go full in on KJF plan or a more balance approach early and get the units required on the Euro map to at least pester Germany/Italy in the early part and then go full blow against Japan. Once again in my experience if Japan goes j1 and the USA goes all blow against Japan that is when Germany wins on the Euro map in Global.


  • 2020 2018 2017

    Great points, PS, and others.

    I don’t J1 as much anymore.  J1 is good for the straight to Calcutta plan.  Calcutta used to fall every game; now it rarely falls because in order for Japan to hit Calcutta with the necessary “almost everything” you have to leave SZ 6 and Japan vulnerable for 2 or so turns.  This is where the KJF 100% USA plan is pretty much de rigeur because its the only chance the allies have to gain position before the Axis gain threshold income (65-70).

    The key to keeping Japan alive is keeping a warding force where it can attack the USA if it ‘steps up’ to you.  This is about 1 grand fleet on SZ 6 along with a good portion of your bombers and fighters.  Only if they are on Japan or Carolines will they be able to strike the bold American Navy stack.    If your opponent is a noob or trying to KGF (semi-noob) then Japan can do everything it likes without fear, but, most stronger players will build a huge USA fleet.  If it squats on SZ 6, you may not be able to rebuke it if too many ships and planes went elsewhere;  either way it prevents you from laying a decent fleet because 10 lays and 70$ is still not enough to push US off your main lanes.

    Japan has to intimidate the US, because if Japan is actually forced into confrontation, not all his ships may be able to make it.  Even if they can, Japan may “lose for winning” because they are forced to use their one-shot everything all in fleet in a 50/50 odds battle which is then destroyed on the counterattack by US planes, ANZAC, UK etc.

    If Japan and USA are both demolished on the water, that’s actually good for the Allies because the USA imm. follows Japan’s turn with a relief fleet (or two!), and ANZAC may still have one, whereas Japan can have “won” every battle but lost the war because its got like 1 BB left, 2 factories to feed, and hasn’t hit threshold yet, and doesn’t control the Pacific or India.    Then the USA has the advantage because without Japan being able to ward them off, they just head to SZ 4/Russia and step right up in Japans face turn after turn.      If the USA cleanses the North Pacific, at the least they can rescue Russia, then potentially China.

    The funny part is to get around this, Japan just waits until J3.    The USA player tends to get bored, placing stuff in the Atlantic while he waits to enter the full war.    If he sees the Sea Lion or London falls, then he’s pretty much obligated to act on that or lose the game.  Any splitting, KGFing, or goofing around will cost the USA the slight advantage in the Pacific fleet to fleet vs Japan, such that all it can do is sulk around the edges of Japan’s new empire.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    As Japan, I normally J2 DOW but take FIC J1. This generally is good enough to take down Calcutta and normally keep it down. I also mostly ignore China until I have India, except Anwhe, Kweichow, Hunan and Yunnan.

    I totally agree about the mutual annihilation attack being bad for Japan. Then the ANZAC can keep a fleet alive.


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