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German mass tank build - how to counter?

  • Hi everyone. My friends and I play Axis and Allies 1942 second edition from time to time and the Axis always win.

    Whoever plays as Germany simply builds mass tanks. Nobody is interested in doing a bids or anything, we play the regular rules.

    Just wondering what the best counter to this strategy is? I have tried mass infantry counters and the infantry gets shredder every single time. 5 or 6 games we have played and so far no counter to this has worked. The Japanese always defend the pass into Russia near Alaska and the Germans simply build tanks and nothing else and win the game that way.

    Any advice would be appreciated.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 '13 Moderator

    The Allies nedd a Bid. I know you said you don’t do that, but it is probably the only solution. I suggest 15 at least.
    I would only play a newbie without a Bid, to give him the experience and fun of playing the Axis.

  • I appreciate the reply however nobody is interested in doing bids. I can’t convince them to do that.

    There must be a way to defeat a large Herman tank force without a bid system?

  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    I am sorry, Aegon, but I do not have a simple answer to you question. I have not faced that G strategy. But I am surprised that it works. I wonder whether all the G players I have faced who have not deployed this strategy feel the same?!

    If R cannot withstand such G attentions then the answer must lie with your allies doing more to punish G for its lack of defensive and naval units. Landings in Europe and SBRs.

    Witt is right about bids though. And my experience, as well as that of many others of some experience, will be with bids. Which makes my comments above less relevant. :roll:

  • 2018 2017 2016 2015

    Welcome to the forum Aegon!
    When Germany builds only tanks,  I suggest do the combination of the following to help Allies:

    1.  First 4 round of Russia is very critical, I personally like to keep about at least 6 armors for Russia for better mobility and pressure against Germany advance.  The remaining units will go to primarily infantries but also right mix of artilleries to maximize the punch.

    2. UK/US should build a combination of air/land supply pipeline to reinforce Russia (west Russia in particular).  To withstand the Germany offense, this is critical.

    3. Try to avoid early fall of:  US plane, India and Eygpt.

    4.  Try to preserve the early UK navies in India Ocean/Pacific Ocean.  They will help in the long run against Germany.

    I hope this helps.  If you are interested, we can play a game of 42 2E via play by forum and see if I can overcome your friend’s armor strategy.

  • Thank you all for your reply�s!

    Re: Wittman and Private Panic, I will try to convince them to do a bid in the future. I have tried pretty hard though and they are very resistant to it for some reason. They think it somehow is cheating. They think Germany is unbeatable but won�t change the game for better balance. It�s silly!

    To innohub, I will attempt to do as you suggested, next game.
    Usually I use the pacific navy to kill Japan�s carrier force in the south and then the English pacific fleet dies. Or I will sacrifice them to kill the transport into Asia. I will try running away with them to fight Germany next time.

    As for landing in Europe and doing strategic bombing raids, I have tried both. I tend to get repulsed and killed when I try to land anywhere in Europe.
    I also almost always lose Africa. The Americans sometimes help retake it.

    I presume I am doing something wrong!

    I tend to bank my first credits as England, adding only 2 infantry to India. Then I build a fleet on turn two outside England. Turn 3 usually I have to fight the German navy and kill it, it�s usually not until turn 4 that I can get a raid into Norway/Finland and by then it�s too late. If I try to build a navy sooner the German airforce and submarines always destroy it right away.

    The bombing raids usually go well enough I suppose but Germany always eventually has an overwhelming force. I have tried going bomber heavy from the USA but even still it just doesn�t seem to do the trick.

    We had a big invasion force last game build up in the USA and England, it hit France but it was destroyed. Moscow usually falls on turn 5 or sooner as Japan will always come in from behind on Russia with a fair sized force. They don�t fight much in China.

    The USA just takes so long to get into the game. I find they can�t really make their presence felt until turn 3 at the earliest and the allies are always so far behind at that point…

    For Russia I have attempted large stacks of infantry, combos of infantry and planes or infantry and takes. I try to trade west Russia with as little losses as possible and preserve my tank force. I got to turn 6 before Moscow fell by getting 2 tanks and the rest as infantry each time. I try to keep Leningrad if I can but don�t waste tanks on it. Maybe I should?

    I would love to play 42 2E via forum to see what a more experienced player would do to counter this. Really want to beat my friends at this game. My buddy who plays as Germany offers to let me play as Axis because �Axis are unbeatable� according to him. The other 4 players agree but I do not. That just doesn�t make sense.

    I am far more interested in finding a way to win with the allies than win with the same Axis strategy my friends always use and they seem to like being Axis anyway.

    Thanks for the guidance so far! How would I play the forum version of the game?

  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Hi Aegon

    You can download free software to play this and many other A&A variants. Follow this link:


    You then have the options of playing whichever variant/map you choose against your computer (a good place to start), or via email, or via this forum.


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015

    Once you have this set up you will step into a world of new players!  Please send me message after you download the tripleA and is ready to play.  It is not hard to set up.  Let me (or forum friends here) know if you run into any installation issue.


  • 2018 2017

    If you get a few bid pieces (arty+infantry was enough to defeat us in the tourney) in caucasus, you can blow up all the German units in Ukraine, with some reliability.

    Are you playing with the “42.3” update introduced by LH last year?  This does much to make the allies more survivable.

    In the OOB game, the Axis have a solid advantage, and a combination of tanks and bombers is pretty much going to take Moscow without an issue.  The russians need a solid attack on their first turn to put Germany on their heels, in the “patched” game the attack on Ukraine is pat and no other scheming is required (killing their strategic bomber).

    In the patched game, the balance is much closer.  OOB bid needed is 23+ allies.  42.3 bid needed is more like 7-12.

    The Allies need to take key risks on turn 1 (destroy ukraine, destroy the japanese fleet).  If these battles go badly for the Axis, the Allies have a strong chance of winning on VCs, taking Philippines with no problem.  If on the other hand, the Allies roll poorly or retreat from these two battles, the Axis advantage is magnified and retained in all versions.  That is a big criticism of this version, that the first turn luck is pretty telling on the outcome of the game.

    If your buddies don’t like the bid, tell them that’s fine–they can play the Allies OOB no bid until they win, you get Axis by default (and will only surrender control of Axis for one case of premium beer delivered at each game start)

  • 2019 2018

    If your opponent is seriously just building mass tanks as Germany and sending them East there’s a handful of tools available to you to put up a fight:

    1. As USSR, forget about trying to hold Leningrad and concentrate your forces in West Russia. Your objective should be to trade Ukraine lightly (as in, send 2-3 of your Infantry + air support to kill 1-2 German Infantry) each turn while waiting for either Germany to make a move or for help to arrive from the UK/US.

    2. If Germany just pushes their entire army into Ukraine blindly, you can pull off a “strafe attack”. Basically, you send in several ground troops you have available + air support, stay for 1-2 rounds, then retreat to either West Russia or Caucasus (where your surviving forces will be reinforced during NCM by fresh troops from Moscow + newly built troops.  The idea with a strafe is that you’re trying to do one of two things:

    A: Remove all or a large portion of the German Infantry from their stack. This will make Germany’s follow-up attack on your forces more cost ineffective to them, as they won’t be able to assign losses to expendable Infantry anymore.

    B: If Germany is seriously just building mass tanks, then you’ll be trading Infantry for Tanks in your strafe attack. Even if you take sizable losses there’s no way Germany can take 2:1 IPC value losses for an extended period of time. It’s suicide.

    I can go into more detail on strafing tactics if you want, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

    3. Fly Fighters from UK -> West Russia (or Moscow if the game gets desperate enough, but you’ll need to by a CV to do that).
    4. Have the USA focus on the Pacific. UK stands absolutely no chance against Japan alone and you need to clear out the money islands ASAP to stop Japan from becoming a monster and winning by itself.

    5. Don’t just spam amphibious landings in Europe. Small landings are too easy for Germany to repel. Instead, focus on building a large fleet as the UK and threatening to land troops in Europe. This will force Germany to divert an increasing number troops from the Eastern Front to guard Europe. If Germany ever leaves a territory empty, just land one Infantry there to collect the fre IPCs and force Germany to waste effort retaking it on their turn.

    6. Your main landing target should be Norway/Scandinavia, in case you weren’t aware. Germany can’t defend that part of the board reliably so it’s a good boost to the British economy (which they’ll need since more often than not Egypt+Africa will fall to the Germans for a large chunk of the early/mid game). Plus, a healthy force of British troops in Scandinavia forces Germany to commit forces to defend the factory in Leningrad, lest they allow the Soviets to reclaim it.

    7. Never commit a large invasion force to France unless you’re certain it can survive the German counterattack. If you’re going for a last minute desperation play to save the game, land in Karelia (Leningrad) instead. It’s worth less IPC, but is:

    A: Farther away from Germany’s centers of production
    B: A Factory for the Soviets, who can stick two extra units there on their turn to help hold the territory.
    😄 An immediate threat for the Germans in Russia, who will need to waste a turn or more attempting to dislodge the landing party before they can finish off Moscow.

    Your friends (and the other posters in this thread) aren’t wrong, though. 1942SE is a terribly balanced game to the point that Allies basically can never win in a no-bid game when both players are experienced, but I don’t think your opponent is playing particularly well as the Germans, so I believe that you can turn the tables on them.

    You also may want to look into the Larry Harris Tournament Setup, as taamvan suggested. It’s a lot more balanced than the regular setup and it might be easier to sell your friends on the idea of a “cool new scenario on the same map” than it to sell them on a bid system.

  • Ya, I’m surprised nobody mentioned the previous post till now…

    Massed German tanks ignore so many things (also if they’re sticklers for the rules, they better be paying 6ipc for those tanks).

    There’s no way they can safely secure all of Europe with just buying tanks if you park a large fleet off Spain and can threaten France, Italy and elsewhere.  Force him to go defensive.

    Also shuttle fighters to Russia… British and American if needed… make him pay to go all out Russia… trading infantry for tanks as previously mentioned will help.

    If he sends everything to Russia than you send everything to Europe,  Japan can wait, you’ll get a German kill since he neglects defense.

    If your friends 100% refuse bids, change games on them… go get Anniversary Edition and play it buy the book all you want… there’s two scenarios (1941/1942) and two modes for each (with or without National Objectives)… that’s FOUR different “by the book” ways you can play A&A instead of the one lopsided way in 1942.

  • @taamvan / Hello, I’ve played with some friends sevaral times Axis 1942 Revised and we also find the game inbalanced in favour of the Axis. Could you please tell me were I can find the patch “42.3” from Larry Harris ? I searched the internet but cannot find it. Regards,
    JC from Belgium

  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 '13 Official Answers TripleA Moderator

  • 2019 2018

    @COJOH said in German mass tank build - how to counter?:

    @taamvan / Hello, I’ve played with some friends sevaral times Axis 1942 Revised and we also find the game inbalanced in favour of the Axis. Could you please tell me were I can find the patch “42.3” from Larry Harris ? I searched the internet but cannot find it. Regards,
    JC from Belgium

    Not taamvan, but I notice you used the world “Revised” in describing the game you’re playing. This is the board for A&A 1942: Second Edition, released in 2012. You may be referring to A&A: Revised Edition, released in 2004. You can tell the difference between them easily, as 1942: Second Edition has a brown box, while Revised Edition has a blue box.

    Just making sure you’re asking about the correct game, as several of the Axis and Allies games have similar names, which can make it difficult to distinguish them from one another.

  • 2018 Customizer

    @taamvan said in German mass tank build - how to counter?:

    If your buddies don’t like the bid, tell them that’s fine–they can play the Allies OOB no bid until they win, you get Axis by default (and will only surrender control of Axis for one case of premium beer delivered at each game start)

    Alternatively, your buddies may play the axis against a zero Allied bid, but only if they drink the majority of said case of beer within an hour or two of the game start.


  • @DouchemanMacgee ok sorry, my mistake. It is the 1942 2nd edition. I also have the original anniversary edition but I never played with it because I want to find out if it has still some collection value.

  • @Panther Tks a lot !

  • 2018 Customizer

  • @vodot In Belgium, some beers can be very strong 🍺

  • 2018 Customizer

    @COJOH I agree with @Nowhere-Man and @DouchemanMacgee; I’m surprised they get away with the tank build. I think something’s wrong with US and UK’s KGF shipping efficiency, or perhaps Russia’s defense.

  • @vodot Well, I bought the game 10 months ago on a second hand market for only 10 euro. it was unplayed. Later I start reading about the different A&A games and I found out about the prices for the anniversary edition untill… they brought the game back on the market. But maybe there are still collectors interested ?

  • @Panther ok I’ve read everything on both links. I do not understand much about the discussions of “thread”, “censored text” and “chime in but if your off subject “ping” I delete you…”…
    Most important is the 42.3 patch. I suppose DD is a destroyer (why 2 “D’s” ?).
    And what is the OOB game ?
    Much appreciate

  • @vodot about the shipping efficiency (KGF = ?), I’ve asked some questions about transport ships to the helpdesk of Wizards of the Coast (see attachment). [0_1544263130042_Wizards of the Coast Re Question about AxisAllies 1942 2nd edition World at war.msg](Uploading 100%)
    Their answer is even in favor for the japs who can even faster get some troops on Asian grounds…

  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 '13 Official Answers TripleA Moderator

    @COJOH said in German mass tank build - how to counter?:

    Most important is the 42.3 patch. I suppose DD is a destroyer (why 2 “D’s” ?).
    And what is the OOB game ?

    DD indeed is destroyer
    OOB means “Out of box” - play according to the rulebook/official FAQ (no house rules)


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