We need an allied playbook.



  • Hey So i was just thinking about axis and allies the other day, and came up with the this idea. Cow has started some amazing work on the axis powers and really present some strategies that change the way some of us played the game. In the same vein, I was wondering, what are some of the allies playbook? What to do with Britian if sealion is happening? What should america do? KJF? KGF? or should America go half and half? Some basic plans to help the allies out.


  • 2018 2017 2016

    I like your idea but i also know that it is going to be a Lot of work.

    The Axis playbook is simple, it only follows a strict determine march route.
    Get Moscow!! or Get India!!!

    As for the Allies we need to know what exactly happend on G1 and J1 to react correctly and accordingly.
    And this is what it makes it a lot of work.

    If we assume everything went 100% in G1 and J1 in Axis favor then we might outline it a little bit, but you still have all these combinations of:
    G1 no G1DoW on Russia/ no J1DoW
    G1 no G1Dow on Russia/ J1DoW
    G1 G1DoW on Russia/ no J1DoW
    G1 G1DoW on Russia/J1DoW…
    Subcategories would be sz110/sz111 hit
    No sz111 hit, sz 111 hit and run, …and so on.
    .


  • 2019 2018

    This is where strategic objectives determine strategy and tactics. For instance, if saving Moscow is my third strategic objective after saving London and the Atlantic that means my casualties must be Anything But Air, because my air are the only reinforcements I can offer the Russians.

    My SOs are saving 1. London 2. Atlantic (revversible?) 3. Moscow 4. Egypt 5. India
    (You could even establish offensive SOs that could alter the aforementioned.)
    chonologically this happens differently because of starting assets. 1. Atlantic 2. Egypt 3. London 4. Moscow 5. India.

    This is deeper thinking than “watch/read it, do it” axis stuff. America is the power that needs this the most ergo the least preferred. If the Allies lose, she’s getting the blame.


  • 2018 2017

    @DessertFox599

    This idea has been tossed around, but most of the Allied strategy discussions end with an admonition that they are being conducted in a vacuum after Turn 3 or so, and that most good allied plans are highly reactive and contingent upon what the Axis is doing. This means any set plan reads like a flow chart (if they do this, then do this) and generic plans (the US should buy subs/the US should buy bombers) are situational and personal in their application.

    We have tended to lay out more generic “game plans” for the Allies like the “Middle Earth” idea. However, at its core, that strategy is simply restating what most UK players already do–seize Africa and build UK West factories in the middle. There is a “Yunnan Stack”, but that’s just an opener, that doesn’t dictate what happens after that. I of course, have my own, like the “Northlock/Southlock”, but these require locktight coordination between all the teams and aren’t appropriate for multiplayer play (where that player will want to dictate their own buys, attacks and strategy, even if we agree on the outline). Detailing how to approach Tobruk/Taranto is already well covered, and again, highly dependent on what variant you are playing and any house rules/tweaks.

    So, while I like your proposal, it is difficult to draft a generic strategy guide for the allies that is comprehensive and applicable no matter when axis attack or what the axis game plan is. This is why the Allied strategy presentations tend to be more general and flexible, as we develop them (see MIddle Earth, YG sub blocking, KIF plans, etc.)


  • 2019 2018

    What is Northlock/Southlock?

    Also I I think some strategies could be lumped together. For instance, except in the case of a G1 DOW on Rus and a Sealion, Russia should trade land for space. There is a Scandinavian contingency to prevent Germany completely cutting off the Northern resupply route (convoy and English fighters). I prefer to do this thinking that planes defending at 4s are better killers than 8 or 9 Rus inf. Besides that Russia picks Bryansk and/or Belarus to post up for a counter-attack. I split the difference. This can have the effect of channeling the German forces north or south. I hope to pick off Ger tanks or planes in particular. Many times there are no weak links to exploit and retreat is the best option.

    In the East, one can retreat to Moscow or stay and invade Man or Kor. The retreat was a historical event made possible by the TS railroad. In War Room this is taken care of, but not global 40. Yet. I prefer a 12-6 split, sending six and an AA to the SF east to support American bombers and/or landings if I am so inclined in the late game.

    The retreat to turtle in Moscow takes place with an understanding that Moscow will need every English fighter that is on the board by turn 4 or 5 depending. If the situation looks gloomy and the enemy is at the gate, the Russian force might better retreat than die quickly, probably toward the proposed Persian and Indian factories.


  • 2019 2018

    Another option that occurs to me is doing what they do in war college and picking one of these triple a games where one of the best in the league standings won with little or no bid and dissecting it like Waterloo or Shiloh. Can we get someone to volunteer a game? Gargantua perhaps? No balanced mod or bid over ten.


  • 2019 2018

    If Sealion or a G1 Dow, the Soviets have to react accordingly. Sealion is an opportunity to expand. I would recommend declaring war on Japan and sending everything mobile India’s way via the China or the Middle East. The northeast force should be withdrawn from the coast until the fleet and air force are out of position. At that, point surge back and capture Man and Kor. This is also a psychological message that says to Ger, don’t do Sealion. Your ally will pay. Mass your infantry in Bes and Fin in order to surge into the Balkans and Scandinavia. Poland is a loser because it is too close to the factory. Russia will quickly gain enormous wealth from the spread of communism.

    G1 Dow is the worst and most intense. Options are limited. Outside help or a fighting retreat is your only option. Hope for a wide front. This is ambitious and was a military error on the Hman’s part. Usually this strategy will leave you an opportunity for a counter attack. Always attack the tanks or planes. Take the fifty-fifty attacks. Even the 45% ones. See how the battle is going. You don’t have to redo little big horn. Strike and fade (retreat).

    If ger is doing a bowling ball, you just have to fall back and cry for a second front or air support, like it happened btw. You may have to retreat out of Moscow. The determining factor is how many rounds of combat can you last. If you can make it go 4 rounds you will likely get into his planes and tanks. Any less and those tanks and planes will gobble up territory too fast for the Allies to counter.

    Russia done!


  • 2018 2017 2016

    @crockett36 said in We need an allied playbook.:

    Another option that occurs to me is doing what they do in war college and picking one of these triple a games where one of the best in the league standings won with little or no bid and dissecting it like Waterloo or Shiloh. Can we get someone to volunteer a game? Gargantua perhaps? No balanced mod or bid over ten.

    I think a video of an triple a game where you could more preciseley outline on how to react to certain circumstances or situations would be more helpful.
    Therefore visit some of YG’s, GHG, sireblood, variance and and and YouTube Channels.

    You could also dissect an open gameplay but in the end it will end up in a neverending story…


  • 2019 2018

    @aequitas-et-veritas winners constantly win for a reason. Therefore we study! Pick one that has a top league player in it, and I’ll post on it.


  • 2018 2017 2016

    @crockett36 said in We need an allied playbook.:

    @aequitas-et-veritas winners constantly win for a reason. Therefore we study! Pick one that has a top league player in it, and I’ll post on it.

    Be determine!! A Top Player once to me said.

    I for example tend to sway away from my original plan…


  • 2019 2018

    United States Playbook

    We do not play chess. The sides do not start off equal, and by the end of the first turn and even into the second, the ability of the Axis to destroy units within close proximity is enormous. The Allied situation is dire from the start and gets worse. Most games played online, even with bids, end with Axis victory.

    Therefore the principles that guide this Allied US strategy playbook are:

    1. to preserve the Allied starting units
    2. to give ground where it is hopeless or prudent
    3. to determine the place of the battle when possible

    The options we have are many and dependent. On the other hand they are not entirely reactionary. The strategic defensive objectives remain the same. We must save London, the Atlantic, Moscow, Egypt, India, and the Pacific. In that order in my view.

    The strategic offensive objectives are perhaps a little different than the Axis powers. Whereas they are going for either early London, Middle Moscow, middle or late London and an economy that is at parity with the United States at war, the Allies are generally not going to take Berlin or Tokyo or even Rome. Rather the Allies are going for a radical dashing of the economic ambitions of the Axis and a capitulation. Keeping the Germans contained on the Russian front to the gates of Moscow and no further, kicking the Italians out of Africa and keeping them out of the Middle East, containing the Japanese to a fight for China and southeast Asia should give the edge to the Allies.

    Accomplishing the suppression of Axis ambitions is achieved in two ways: and his ability to make war. The former is obvious, the latter may not be. Destroying an enemy’s ability to make war boils down to economics. Economics in this game is represented on the board by the cash values of the territories and the convoy zones on the map. In order to reduce your opponent’s income, you can do one of three things: take possession of his territory, disrupt his convoys, strategically bomb his factories. Conversely, it means not losing your own territories to the aggressors. These factors determine our strategic offensive objectives.

    Destroying an enemy’s ability to make war by disrupting his convoys can be a devastating strategy. In fact in several sea zones on the map, it is catastrophic if done in numbers. Parking your navies in the Sea of Japan and in sea zone 97 to the east of Rome are prime examples of this endgame tactic.

    Likewise, two strategic bombers will shut down minor factories and cost the enemy double to restore them to full capacity. Five bombers will almost guarantee shutting down a major factory. Losses will be high and costly to the ally who pursues this course of action but worth it. Be aware that Germany has two major factories so he can ignore the loss of one of them. Also be aware that German itself cannot be reached from London. A point in Scandinavia or Russia must be secured or maintained in order to thoroughly execute this strategy against the Huns.

    In the East, you must get very close to the Island of Japan in order to bomb her. Iwo Jima or the Soviet Far East seem the best candidates. Some have even suggested Korea. Allied planes and tactical fighters can reinforcement Korea from Hawaii if the Soviets were to capture it. A strategy that keeps Russian troops on the east coast of Russia must be used in coordination with these plans.

    Be careful of the kamikazes. You can non-combat move into a K-zone without triggering their wrath. An attack on a navy in Sz 6 with subs and air will not provoke Kamikazes.

    Having discussed how to destroy the enemies ability to make war, we move on to how to eliminate the units on the board. How to do this with the resources on the board and the limited time before a catastrophe like the fall of London or Moscow or Bombay occurs is the crux of the game. Historically it was agreed upon by the Allies that stopping Germany took primacy over stopping Japan. Victor Davis Hanson says that for all that kind of talk, a bifurcation developed that the West Coast produce goods for the Pacific war and the East Coast produce goods for the European theatre. Unfortunately, for playability’s sake, the US economy is not correctly represented. When you read VDH, there is a common refrain, “America produced more of … than all of the other combatants combined.” Obviously this is not our situation.

    Therefore kill Japan first strategy or kill Germany first strategies have been developed. I prefer the KGF strategy, and it was the agreed upon Allied strategy historically. The big question is can I pop Germany’s balloon before Japan’s expands beyond control. This question has validity. However, mathmatically it is nonsensical. If Japan’s economy grows to 70 or 80, it would still be dwarfed by the combined Allied income that would result from the shrivelling of the German Reich.

    In light of these encouraging thoughts, let’s look at KJF strategies. I have mentioned bombing Japan from either Iwo Jima or Soviet Far East. This can be done in two ways. Russian troops can move to SFE and be reinforced with American fighers and troops. That could be done very early in the game, even T1, assuming a J1 attack. Alternatively, the Russians could be gathered in Sahka on T1 and a subsequent move to SFE could be arranged by T3 with impressive results.

    Alternatively, an Iwo Jima assault would need to be a tour de force. It might take 2 or 3 rounds of navy and air builds before you could attempt it. If one takes the same meat grinder approach as seen on the Eastern front, US waves of ships cannot help but overcome the Japanese. You must be willing to bleed. A substantial number of subs in your fleet can directly impact the enemy’s capital ships. Bombers can be used against the fleet and turn around and impact the struggle for Eurasian.


  • 2018 2017 2016

    While most Allied strategies are reactionary, the US is a nation that you can actually build a strategy for from turn 1 and stick to if you think it is being effective. When I’m playing the Americans I will almost always start the game with the London Calling strategy. The strategy only lasts for the few 3-4 turns and it’s purpose is to prevent an early game Sealion. It’s also a trap for the Germans and will lead to the likely demise of the German player if they insist on doing Sealion.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0ZYQ-C4i28&t=19s

    Assuming that Germany doesn’t fall for that trap and they head east, that’s when you transition the American units into another strategy. It’s good if you don’t do the same thing every time especially if you are playing against the same players for the most part. If I choose the Europe side then I will set up a floating bridge to the Med and combine forces with the UK to take out Italy as quickly as possible. The trick is to meet in SZ 95 on the same turn to build a larger defensive shield for the transports. The US takes out either Northern or Southern Italy and the UK takes out the one the Americans didn’t take. That leaves no possibility for Italy or Germany to liberate Italy. From there it’s on to Berlin. After Italy is gone it might be advantageous to move both fleets out to the Atlantic to continue the assault from the UK.

    The other choice is move most or all of the American fleet from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Japanese might be thinking that they have an easy road and weren’t in a hurry to take advantage in the Pacific. Now all of the sudden every penny that that the US has spent is on it’s way across the Pacific. Neither strategy has to be reactionary but at the same time you have 3-4 turns to decide which direction to go. You can even decide to split up the forces but that hardly ever works out well against stiff competition.


  • 2019 2018

    This post is deleted!


  • @GeneralHandGrenade How would you deal with Germany purchasing mech as a defense? They can move as a reactionary force from western Germany. Mechs can reach anywhere they need to including southern italy. Perhaps Southern Italy is stack how would you eliminate them and still have time for japan?


  • 2018 2017 2016

    The mechs can’t get to Southern Italy if you also take Northern Italy on the same turn. That’s the whole point of doing the double landing on the same turn. If S. Italy is stacked that early in the game then they couldn’t have accomplished anything in the game. I also try to have at least 2 landings from the UK ready to go (the first from Egypt when the UK fleet enters the Med and the second waiting in Libya) and of course unlimited amount of landings from the US. Italy is easy to to take out, Berlin not so much. The hope is you can get there (Berlin’s doorstep) before Moscow falls so you draw German resources away from Russia. If you’re going for Europe then you only send enough to the Pacific to keep Japan off of Hawaii. You can’t do both.You have to choose.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    All right, here’s a stab at a short, basic overview of Allied opening strategy. No doubt others will have more detailed or more advanced ideas to share, but hopefully this will be a helpful overview for people who are just starting to get serious about Global 1940. I’ll start with Russia and then add other nations in later posts.

    USSR:

    Your position at the center of the board, sandwiched between Germany, Italy, and Japan, means that you are usually a prime target for Axis bullying and that you will usually need to build mostly infantry and play a mostly defensive game where you retreat steadily toward Moscow and attempt to hold out in Moscow as long as possible to give the rest of the Allies a chance to win the game on other fronts.

    However, usually is not the same thing as always, and being able to correctly identify the exceptions to the rule can be the key to victory. If Germany builds more than four transports or otherwise telegraphs its intention to launch a serious amphibious assault on London, Russia will need to rapidly go on the offense, building tanks in Leningrad and Kiev so as to seize as much German territory as possible as quickly as possible while Germany is busy with the British. Conversely, if Germany loses less than three planes against the British navy, or builds a ton of early land units, or declares war on Russia turn 1, then even retreating to Moscow may not be enough – Russia may be forced to retreat even further, to the Caucasus or Persia, so that German tanks can’t punch through Russia’s southern flank to Egypt or India. Although losing Moscow is very serious, it’s not the end of the game for the Allies; if the Allies hold the line in London, Egypt, Persia, India, Java, New Guinea, Hawaii, and Alaska, then the Allies have a large economic advantage even after losing Moscow and central Russia. Try to keep an eye on when reinforcing Moscow will drain Axis resources and delay further Axis expansion, vs. when you’re just throwing good money after bad.

    A key consideration in defending Moscow is whether you will be able to get your armies home in time. Try to anticipate what turn Germany will attack Moscow based on what Germany is building. If Germany is building 10 infantry in Berlin, then the attack is probably still five turns away, because the infantry take a long time to march across eastern Europe. If Germany is building 4 strategic bombers in Berlin, then the attack is probably happening next turn. If you have a stack of, e.g., 10 infantry and 4 artillery in Belarus and you see that you’re able to use it to kill a stack of 4 German tanks in eastern Poland, that’s fine…but only if you can make it back to Moscow from eastern Poland before Moscow gets attacked. Otherwise you’re throwing away 14 Russian defenders to take out 4 German attackers, which is a terrible trade.

    When you calculate what can make it back to Moscow in time, keep an eye on Germany’s mobile forces and on Italy’s can openers. A medium-sized Russian army that has enough turns to march back to Moscow still might not arrive safely in Moscow if it can be creamed by 20 German mechs and 10 German tanks and 10 German planes without throwing those forces seriously out of position. It’s easy to get trapped. Along similar lines, if the Italians have more than 2 or 3 units in eastern Europe, you will need to arrive in Moscow in time to guard it against Germany’s fast-moving tanks and mechs, because Germany might be able to capture Moscow even without its slower infantry, and when the Italians are present with a significant force, it can turn out to be so expensive to stop Italian can-openers that you don’t actually gain any ground. To reliably stop a force of, e.g., 2 Italian mechs, 2 Italian tanks, and 1 Italian bomber, you probably need 7 Russian infantry – but if you put 7 Russian infantry on each of the 3 territories in range of the Italians, now you’ve pulled 21 infantry out of your main army, and you can be defeated in detail with unacceptable losses.

    One positive opportunity to stay alert for is the chance to permanently take and hold Scandinavia with a medium-sized force. Anything you send into Finland is very unlikely to make it back to Moscow in time for the big battle…but if you take both Norway and Finland, that’s a 21-IPC swing each turn: 5 IPCs of territory denied to Germany, 5 IPCs of territory in your pocket, 6 IPCs for the spread of communism, and 5 IPCs for Germany’s iron ore shortage. It also means that whatever German units you kill in Finland won’t be able to join the attack on Moscow, and it provides a critical landing area for Allied planes that can help them first sink the Baltic German fleet (reducing the number of land units that can arrive in Leningrad to march to Moscow) and then take Denmark to threaten Berlin. The overall effect on German offensive chances can be devastating. You can’t afford to spend the entire Russian army and air force just on taking this one region, but if you can take it on the cheap (18 units or so) then it’s probably worthwhile.

    Another favorite trick is to send one Russian mech south to pick up some combination of Tobruk, Libya, Iraq, Italian Somaliland, and Ethiopia. The British wind up doing the heavy lifting to roll back the Italian armies, and then the lone Russian mech scoops up the rewards, getting that sweet, sweet 3-IPC Spread of Communism objective for each territory you take, each turn, until Moscow falls. If the game goes long, picking up any two of these territories can be a tiebreaker in your favor.

    Finally, you’ve got your Siberian armies, with 18 infantry and 3 AAA guns. If you stack them all on the border with Japan, they can be wiped out, and then you will lose Siberia pretty rapidly, but this does force Japan to spend a significant amount of resources going north, which is not especially lucrative for Japan, so it’s one way to slow Japan down if you like. This fits well with aggressive “Kill Japan first” openings where most of your resources are going into the Pacific early on. I usually prefer to wait until turn 2 to stack the Russian armies on the Japanese border, because until turn 2 I don’t really know what Japan is planning. A huge Russian army on Japan’s doorstep is a great response to a turn 1 Japanese declaration of war – but if you open with that move, it’s easy enough for Japan to just keep the peace and expand into China and Siberia for a couple of turns. The only time I would bother with a turn 1 deployment to Amur is if Germany totally broadcasts its intention to go for a Sea Lion, e.g., builds 2+ transports on turn 1. Normally, I prefer to retreat the westmost Russian stack toward the west on turn 1. If Germany goes for an aggressive/early attack on Moscow, that way at least one stack can usually still make it to the capital. If Germany is giving Russia more time, the western most stack can pivot south to Kansu to reinforce China (also usually in the nick of time), while the eastern stack can return to Amur and give Japan plenty of headaches.

    The ideal Russian opening build is situational – you want mostly tanks in response to a Sea Lion, and mostly infantry in response to a turn 1 declaration of war on Russia – but in general you need a balance of offensive punch, mobility, and sheer unit count. You’ll need either some tanks or some artillery so that you can counter-attack weak German stacks…you may not find any, but if you can’t even credibly threaten to attack lone German planes/tanks, it gives Germany too many options. You’ll need either some mechs or some tanks so that you can shift forces rapidly between theaters; you can’t afford to give away both Leningrad and Kiev too early (giving away one is probably fine), so you need to be able to rapidly reinforce whichever factory you’re planning to defend. Mostly, though, you need units – Germany can bring an alarmingly high number of units to Moscow alarmingly early, and you will lose your minor factories to conquest and/or bombing as the game goes on, so make sure to build a reasonable number of infantry in your extra factories while you still have the production capacity. It’s easier to correct for having built too many infantry than it is to correct for having built too many fighters. Over the course of two turns (roughly 80 IPCs) I might build 1 tac, 1 tank, 2 mechs, 4 artillery, and 13 infantry. Your mileage will and should vary!


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    USA:

    The USA starts off very slow, partly because it’s not at war and isn’t allowed to declare war for three turns without a specific provocation, and partly because it’s so far away from the initial front lines – a perfect US logistics chain is still usually two full moves, and more often it’ll take you three moves to get where you’re going. So a ship that you build on turn 1 isn’t likely to be part of any attacks until turn 4. This means you need to plan ahead and you need to make sure that when your forces finally do arrive, they do something that turns the tide of the game. It’s not enough to pick off a couple of medium-value territories; you need a high-value target that can win the game for the Allies.

    The four most plausible targets are, in no particular order:

    1. Queensland / Indonesia / Philippines
    2. Sea Zone 6 / Korea / Manchuria
    3. Southern Italy / Northern Italy
    4. Norway / Denmark / Western Germany / Berlin

    The idea behind the Queensland opening is that you build a large US Pacific fleet, and rapidly advance it from SZ 10 (San Francisco) to SZ 26 (Hawaii) to SZ 54 (Queensland, i.e., northeast Australia). Sitting in SZ 54 allows you to take advantage of Australia’s naval base and air base, so your fleet is protected by Australia’s starting 3 fighters, and it has some extra range. Conversely, Australia can take advantage of the US fleet’s umbrella to send otherwise unprotected transports up to Queensland. From SZ 54, both American and Australian transports can reach the Philippines, Java, Borneo, Celebes, Sumatra, New Guinea, Malaya, Siam, and Shan State – an astonishing 22 IPCs of territory, plus another 15 IPCs in national objectives. It’s also almost impossible to get transports from Japan to India (or from Japan to Sydney) without passing through the region controlled by the US fleet in SZ 54, so sitting in SZ 54 protects both of these two victory cities (and their respective economies), give them a chance to build up strike forces instead of turtling at home. You don’t actually need to force a major confrontation with the Japanese fleet in this opening – the fact that you’re sitting on their flank, stealing their most valuable territories, in a sea zone where it’s very, very difficult to defeat you means that you’re on track to win in the Pacific.

    The idea behind the SZ 6 opening is that by threatening the Japanese capital, you force Japan to recall its fleet and most of its air force very early in the game, limiting Japan’s ability to expand and giving India, China, and ANZAC a chance to retake some of their front-line territories. The American fleet moves from San Francisco to Hawaii, and from Hawaii the US is only one turn away from Japan via Midway and SZ 16. If Japan doesn’t put a blocking destroyer in SZ 16 or 25 each turn, then the US can rapidly move into SZ 6. Japan is uniquely vulnerable to convoys; almost every valuable territory that Japan does or could occupy is sitting adjacent to a convoyable sea zone, so if the US Pacific fleet parks in SZ 6, it will wreck Japan’s income. There’s also the possibility of taking Korea and building a minor factory there, allowing the US to rapidly reinforce its fleet and build up regional naval superiority. Without access to SZ 6, Japan has difficulty building enough boats to face off against the full US Navy – elsewhere, Japan has only minor factories, and usually at least some of the production slots in those minor factories are needed to build infantry to hold off the Chinese, Indian, and Siberian hordes.

    The idea behind the Italian opening is that Italy is the weakest Axis power, and can easily be neutralized and occupied to provide a permanent forward base for the Allies. A popular tactic that has gotten some discussion in earlier posts is to have the USA take Rome while the UK takes Northern Italy later in the same turn, preventing the Germans from immediately reclaiming Rome and giving the USA a chance to build infantry and land planes. Another benefit to attacking Italy is that Italy’s major factory is awkwardly located in Northern Italy, so if you can trade Northern Italy even once, that downgrades the factory and makes it very difficult for Italy to build enough units to keep up with American transports. The typical move order is Washington DC (SZ 101) to the west coast of Gibraltar (SZ 91) to the west coast of Italy (SZ 95). If you’re facing a strong Luftwaffe or stiff Italian naval opposition you may need to slow that down a bit by moving from west Gibraltar (SZ 91) to east Gibraltar (SZ 92) and then from there to the eastern coast of Italy (SZ 97). Once you’ve got an initial toehold, you can consider expanding to Southern France, Greece, and/or Yugoslavia, adding new minor factories as needed. The hope is that eventually the Germans won’t be able to place enough land units to contain your threat while also holding steady against the Russians.

    The idea behind the Norwegian opening is that once Germany loses control of the North Sea / Baltic Sea area, it has too many different land territories to try to simultaneously defend. Germany has to heavily defend Denmark, because otherwise the Allies can drop marines into Western Germany or Eastern Germany – the US can take Denmark, and then the UK can sail into the Baltic Sea later that same turn. On the other hand, Germany also has to heavily defend Western Germany, because that’s accessible to the Allies even without taking Denmark first. If Germany is serious about invading Russia, that will leave little or nothing left to defend Norway, Holland, and Normandy, and so the Allies can seize those territories and build or keep minor factories there. An HQ in Norway is particularly valuable because once the Baltic Fleet is gone, Germany has no practical way of retaking Norway, and the loss of Norway costs Germany one of its few early national objectives. Even if Moscow falls, the US may be able to continue to fight and successfully expand out of a Norwegian base. Also, London’s naval base and airbase can help a US fleet parked in the Channel project a lot of power while also remaining well-defended by British fighters.

    China:

    China’s options in the opening are usually pretty limited by a series of brutal Japanese attacks. China needs to fight for the Burma Road national objective while also maintaining at least a token ability to harass Japanese forces in northern China, but Chinese forces will rapidly be worn out through attrition, and once China loses control of Yunnan (or is pushed entirely out of northern China), it can no longer afford to build enough units to replace the infantry that it will lose every turn. Therefore, if China is fighting by itself, it will die in all but the strangest of games. To grow, China needs support from at least one of the British (in Yunnan), from the Russians (in Kansu or Manchuria), or from the Americans (in Manchuria or Kiangsu). Keep in mind that if the USA liberates a Chinese territory, even an ‘occupied’ territory like Manchuria, then China can immediately build more infantry there and immediately collect its income. In turn, if China can maintain control of a territory on or near the coast, that can provide a forward base that the USA can reinforce with planes, providing an ‘unsinkable carrier’ for the US Pacific fleet that will further restrict Japanese options for safe naval movement.

    When deciding what to do with China’s only fighter plane, keep in mind that the Japanese can ‘airblitz’ your territories, attacking them with a large stack of planes that are totally unsupported by infantry. If Japan can wipe out 10 of your infantry at the cost of 2 Japanese planes, that’s a pretty good trade for Japan. Similarly, Japan may be willing to trade one or two planes to knock out your irreplaceable Chinese fighter. This usually means that your fighter should be stacked up with your largest stack of infantry, and this sometimes means that your fighter needs to land on the far western border of China, or even in Burma – where-ever it will be out of reach of Japanese planes.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    UK:

    The key to the UK opening is making the best use of your limited number of transports. Any transports in the Atlantic that survive the German opening attack are still far enough northwest that they’re stuck in the northwest – at most, they can make it to Gibraltar or Morocco. You don’t normally need to take Normandy or Gibraltar on turn 1, so what you do with your Atlantic transports is usually not very important – the smart thing to do is to either stack them up with what’s left of the British Home Fleet (if that’s enough to keep them safe) or send them fleeing west to Canada to be part of a rebuilt British Home Fleet (if you’ve taken heavy losses and need a couple of turns to rebuild).

    Outside of the Atlantic, you should have exactly two transports: one near Egypt, and one near India. You have several plausible targets for these transports: Southern France, Greece, Tobruk, Ethiopia, Persia, and Sumatra.

    First, the niche cases. Southern France only makes sense if you’re playing Balanced Mod (to stop France from selling out ala Vichy) or if for some reason it’s clear that Germany has committed 100% to an Afrika Korps strategy and you need to shut down the German Med factory.

    Likewise, Greece only makes sense if Germany is severely over-extended – if both Germany and Japan declare war on turn 1, or if the Axis have declared war (or are clearly about to declare war) on the true neutrals. Greece makes a great monkey wrench if the Axis are relying on split-second timing to get their troops where they need to go, but you’ll lose your transport and you’re not actually going to kill many enemy troops or earn much income with your tiny Greek army of six units (four neutrals plus your one loaded transport), so don’t go to Greece without a good reason.

    The strongest play, in my opinion, if you can get away with it, is to send your transports to Persia and Sumatra. This activates the Persian infantry so that they’ll be ready to attack Iraq on UK2, activates the Persian territory so that you’ll be ready to build a factory there (and send the Russian mech on its merry way), and jacks up the UK Pacific income to a safer level. Yes, Japan can crush you in Sumatra – but they only have so many transports, so they can’t take Hong Kong and Malaya and Borneo and Sumatra and the Philippines all on one early wave of attacks. Holding Sumatra means you’ll still have some respectable income even after one round of Japanese attacks. I say “if you can get away with it” because sending a transport to Sumatra is much less justifiable when Japan has already declared war on you – you’ll lose the transport faster and you won’t collect the extra income for enough turns to pay for it.

    If you can’t or won’t go to Sumatra, another option is to send both transports to Ethiopia, along with the mech and tac bomber from Egypt. People often send one transport to Ethiopia, but I think that’s a mistake – Ethiopia is not a critical territory, and with only one transport, you’re not getting great odds – so why use a scarce resource (your transport) to set up an optional battle at only moderately good odds? The point of going to Ethiopia is to wipe the Italians off the face of East Africa, so that your existing units in the region can easily mop them up next turn, and your transports and aircraft can start moving elsewhere. If you’re going to have to transport units to Ethiopia again on UK2, there’s not much point in going there at all on UK1. In the long run, those Italian units have nowhere to go; they’re surrounded by British and French on all sides and they have no navy and no factories.

    Finally, there’s Tobruk. Only one transport can reach Tobruk, but you can get a fair amount of air power there, and you’ve got your land stack in Alexandria to fight with as well. A lot of people like Tobruk. I’m not one of them; I figure that Italian units are much better placed in the worthless deserts of Africa than as can-openers in the fertile Ukraine or as a pain in my rear soaking up the oil of the Middle East. If Italy wants to send reinforcements to Tobruk, that suits me just fine – if UK instead uses its air power to knock out most of the Italian navy at Taranto, then the Italians are never going to take Egypt anyway, let alone penetrate to Iraq. That’s also part of why I like to go to Persia early – if you build a factory there on turn 2, then it’s a flexible source of reinforcements that can go west to Egypt, east to India, or north to the Caucasus as needed.

    For those of you just tuning in, the Taranto raid is an attack on SZ 97 (the east coast of Italy) on the UK’s first turn. Different people recommend different configurations of units, but I like to bring in the entire British Mediterranean fleet minus one destroyer, plus every British plane that can reach. Note that planes in London can usually reach; some of them can land on the carrier, and the planes that started on the carrier can land on Malta, where they’ll be reasonably safe because they’re protected by an infantry and an AAA gun. I then also attack SZ 96 (Malta) with the Mediterranean destroyer and the cruiser from the west coast of Gibraltar. If that cruiser died to a German sub attack, I replace it with a single fighter. When the dust clears, Italy should be left with only one fleet and only one transport (in SZ 95, the west coast of Italy), and they just can’t do much damage with it, nor can they afford to build more – with only 10 starting IPCs, the best Italy can manage is either a transport or a destroyer, neither of which is likely to allow them to survive a follow up attack by all of the planes you landed in the Mediterranean. If the Germans invest very heavily in the Med by sending the entire Luftwaffe to crush the British navy there, the Italians might manage to eke out a marginal victory and keep a boat in the water…but then Russia will have a much easier time holding its southern flank, and your factory in Persia can send forces west to hold Egypt.

    No British opening guide is complete without a few words on whether to scramble your planes to defend the British Home Fleet against a German air attack on turn 1 – and my answer is, yes, scramble if Germany tries to attack both of the major UK fleets (SZ 111 and SZ 110). Statistically, you expect to lose money on that battle, and you might get wiped out quite badly, but you can afford to replace your planes, and Germany can’t. A big win for Germany over the skies outside London means that Italy gets off to a slightly more powerful start while still ultimately being contained; a big loss for Germany over the skies outside London means that Germany is toast. You can also scramble if Germany does something weird that makes the German planes vulnerable, like attacking four different smaller fleets, or sending only five planes to attack one large fleet while using the other planes on land. The only time I wouldn’t scramble is when Germany concentrates its planes against one large British fleet – if you’re going to be outnumbered 10 to 6, then it’s not worth throwing your planes away.

    In terms of what to build, I’m a fanatical advocate for 2 infantry, 1 fighter in London – it’s enough defense for London that if Germany tries to do a Sea Lion, he’ll wish he hadn’t. Germany might wind up taking London, but not at a price he can afford. Any more defense of London is overkill; any less is too risky. I think you also need to build at least 3 land units in India, so that you don’t wind up giving India away to Japan too cheaply. Other than that, pretty much any purchase can be made to work out – you can spend the remaining money on a destroyer to fight for the Atlantic, on a transport near South Africa to get more efficiency and flexibility in the western Indian Ocean, on mechs and tanks for India to help it stack Yunnan, on artillery for India to help it trade Burma deep into the middlegame, on an additional plane, or even on a first-turn minor factory in Egypt if you’re doing a full Taranto attack. You can even get away with saving the extra money – you’re not likely to run out of build slots, and you may have a better idea of where to spend the money one turn later.

    Finally, I’m not reprinting it here because this is meant as a ‘beginner’ guide to Global 1940 openings, but check out @crockett36’s radical new ideas about Operation Richochet in the UK Middle Earth thread – he suggests that the key to victory as the UK might be not to attack anywhere at all, but instead to conserve and position your forces for a glorious comeback on turn 3 or 4.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    ANZAC:

    Honestly, ANZAC doesn’t have a ton of options in the opening, especially if you lose your transport off the coast of Sydney to a J1 attack before you even get to move. Assuming your transport survives, the two most plausible places to attack are Java or Dutch New Guinea. Dutch New Guinea is worth 5 IPCs for your NO, vs. only 4 IPCs for Java’s territory – but you can collect the money for Java even when you’re not at war, so if there’s no J1 declaration of war, I like to get Java first, build an infantry and a transport, and then use that extra transport to take Dutch New Guinea on turn 2.

    In rare cases, you may be able to use the stack of fighters that start in New Zealand to reinforce one of the ‘money islands’ in Indonesia and force Japan to over-commit and/or guard all of its transports if it wants to head south. From, e.g., Java, the fighters can also reach Malaya (if Japan failed to bring enough forces south quickly enough) or India (if Japan is bringing an alarmingly large force south very quickly). That said, most of the time the best use of the ANZAC air force is simply parking it in Queensland so it can protect a US fleet in SZ 54. Because of the Queensland air base, your fighters still threaten to pick off Japanese transports in Indonesia from Queensland, and if you see a chance to trade an ANZAC fighter for a Japanese transport, you should generally take it – you can afford to replace your fighters better than Japan can afford to replace its transports, because every transport killed slows down Japan’s economic expansion and reduces the number of territories that it’s seriously threatening.

    Keep an eye on how many loaded transports Japan has available to crush Sydney with, and how many land units you’ve left on the Australian mainland – it’s easy to get carried away building a transport and a man each turn and shipping them off to the islands, or even a transport and a sub, and the subs can be really useful for convoying Japanese islands and sinking their transports…but if you aren’t also building at least some men, then Japan can get the jump on you. One turn to take Western Australia (or Queensland, if it’s underdefended), one turn to land the entire Japanese air force in Western Australia, and one turn to take Sydney means you only get two responsive builds. If you only have one factory, that means you are building something like 4 infantry and 2 fighters, even if you’re making bank – but if you only had 6 units left on the mainland to start with, then your total of 12 units won’t be able to put up much resistance against, e.g., 6 Japanese infantry and 18 Japanese planes. The USA may or may not be able to save you – the US fleet can usually get to SZ 54 in time to crush the Japanese navy, but that’s cold comfort if Japan can take Sydney heavily enough that the US can’t take it back.

    France:

    Yeah, I dunno what to say here. Blame your predecessor? You’re going to be crushed and there’s nothing at all you can do about it. When the dust clears, you should have a destroyer off Madagascar, an infantry in Syria, some infantry in North Africa, an infantry in French West Africa, and possibly a fighter in London. Usually everything but the destroyer and the FWA infantry is best left in place for defense – the London fighter helps defend against Sea Lion attacks, the Syrian infantry helps stop Italy from casually landing an artillery piece that can walk into and activate Iraq, and the North African infantry forces Italy to chew up its African forces and maybe even commit an airplane for three turns in a row if it wants to take your money. The destroyer in Madagascar usually should go east to harass the Japanese, but if Italy rolls well in Taranto then you may need to send it north to support the (second) British Med fleet. The infantry in French West Africa can and should march east to serve as a roadblock against any surviving Italian units near Ethiopia, and then from there can go north to Egypt and east to Persia to serve as a roadblock against Germans who are headed south from Moscow in the endgame.

    Once London is secure, the French fighter can fly south to Gibraltar and/or Morocco, either to guard Gibraltar against Italian counter-attacks, or to join up with any surviving French infantry in French North Africa and slowly start pushing the Italians back toward Tunis.

    If the French Med fleet survives Italy’s first turn, you can leave it in place to serve as a nuisance, link up with the British Med survivors for protection, or send the fleet west of Gibraltar to help support the British Atlantic fleet – any of these can be good options, depending on the exact tactical situation.





  • keep up the good work


  • 2018

    @crockett36 I like how you prioritize strategic objectives which gives newer players guidelines for decision making as opposed to a scripted line of moves/purchases. Very well articulated and I like the VDH reference. Thanks.


  • 2019 2018

    @Guam-Solo thanks man. that’s encouraging.


  • 2019 2018

    United States Playbook
    We do not play chess. The sides do not start off equal, and by the end of the first turn and even into the second, the ability of the Axis to destroy units within close proximity is enormous. The Allied situation is dire from the start and gets worse. Most games played online, even with bids, end with Axis victory.
    Therefore the principles that guide this Allied US strategy playbook are:

    1. to preserve the Allied starting units
    2. to give ground where it is hopeless or prudent
    3. to determine the place of the battle when possible

    The options we have are many and dependent. On the other hand they are not entirely reactionary. The strategic defensive objectives remain the same. We must save London, the Atlantic, Moscow, Egypt, India, and the Pacific. In that order in my view. The strategic offensive objectives are perhaps a little different than the Axis powers. Whereas they are going for either early London, Middle Moscow, middle or late London and an economy that is at parity with the United States at war, the Allies are generally not going to take Berlin or Tokyo or even Rome. Rather the Allies are going for a radical dashing of the economic ambitions of the Axis and a capitulation. Keeping the Germans contained on the Russian front to the gates of Moscow and no further, kicking the Italians out of Africa and keeping them out of the Middle East, containing the Japanese to a fight for China and southeast Asia should give the edge to the Allies.

    Accomplishing the suppression of Axis ambitions is achieved in two ways: eliminate units on the board and his ability to make war. The former is obvious, the latter may not be. Destroying an enemy’s ability to make war boils down to economics. Economics in this game is represented on the board by the cash values of the territories and the convoy zones on the map. In order to reduce your opponent’s income, you can do one of three things: take possession of his territory, disrupt his convoys, strategically bomb his factories. Conversely, it means not losing your own territories to the aggressors. These factors determine our strategic offensive objectives.
    Destroying an enemy’s ability to make war by disrupting his convoys can be a devastating strategy. In fact in several sea zones on the map, it is catastrophic if done in numbers. Parking your navies in the Sea of Japan and in sea zone 97 to the east of Rome are prime examples of this endgame tactic.

    Likewise, two strategic bombers will shut down minor factories and cost the enemy double to restore them to full capacity. Five bombers will almost guarantee shutting down a major factory. Losses will be high and costly to the ally who pursues this course of action but worth it. Be aware that Germany has two major factories so he can ignore the loss of one of them. Also be aware that German itself cannot be reached from London. A point in Scandinavia or Russia must be secured or maintained in order to thoroughly execute this strategy against the Huns.
    In the East, you must get very close to the Island of Japan in order to bomb her. Iwo Jima or the Soviet Far East seem the best candidates. Some have even suggested Korea. Allied planes and tactical fighters can reinforcement Korea from Hawaii if the Soviets were to capture it. A strategy that keeps Russian troops on the east coast of Russia must be used in coordination with these plans. Be careful of the kamikazes. You can non-combat move into a K-zone without triggering their wrath. An attack on a navy in Sz 6 with subs and air will not provoke Kamikazes.

    Having discussed how to destroy the enemies ability to make war, we move on to how to eliminate the units on the board. How to do this with the resources on the board and the limited time before a catastrophe like the fall of London or Moscow or Bombay occurs is the crux of the game. Historically it was agreed upon by the Allies that stopping Germany took primacy over stopping Japan. Victor Davis Hanson says that for all that kind of talk, a bifurcation developed that the West Coast produce goods for the Pacific war and the East Coast produce goods for the European theater. Unfortunately, for play ability’s sake, the US economy is not correctly represented. When you read VDH, there is a common refrain, “America produced more of … than all of the other combatants combined.” Obviously, this is not our situation.
    Therefore kill Japan first strategy or kill Germany first strategies have been developed. I prefer the KGF strategy, and it was the agreed upon Allied strategy historically. The big question is can I pop Germany’s balloon before Japan’s expands beyond control. This question has validity. However, mathematically it is nonsensical. If Japan’s economy grows to 70 or 80, it would still be dwarfed by the combined Allied income that would result from the shriveling of the German Reich.

    In light of these encouraging thoughts, let’s look at KJF strategies. I have mentioned bombing Japan from either Iwo Jima or Soviet Far East. This can be done in two ways. Russian troops can move to SFE and be reinforced with American fighters and troops. That could be done very early in the game, even T1, assuming a J1 attack. Alternatively, the Russians could be gathered in Sahka on T1 and a subsequent move to SFE could be arranged by T3 with impressive results.

    Alternatively, an Iwo Jima assault would need to be a tour de force. It might take 2 or 3 rounds of navy and air builds before you could attempt it. If one takes the same meat grinder approach as seen on the Eastern front, US waves of ships cannot help but overcome the Japanese. You must be willing to bleed. A substantial number of subs in your fleet can directly impact the enemy’s capital ships. Bombers can be used against the fleet and turn around and impact the struggle for Eurasian.

    Another strong option for the American player executing a KJF strategy is to begin a naval arms race with the Japanese. This can have an indirect effect on Eurasia. The fear of losing possession of Sz 6 will motivate the Japanese to keep up. Another option is to make a move on the “money islands”. This can be affected by either securing the Caroline Islands or traveling to Queensland and then springing into action. There is a great deal of fear surrounding this strategy. The loss of a fleet would be understandably discouraging. However, to draw the bulk of the enemy’s fleet so far out of position is itself (two turns from sz6) a feat worth considering, especially if there is a second, albeit smaller fleet threatening the Japanese homeland. You can afford this. He can too, but not without injuring his continental ambitions.

    It should also be noted that, should America be left out of the war until turn 4, a great deal of marshaling and posturing can be done far away from the US coast that will influence the enemy’s decision making, drawing his attention away from Bombay.

    A floating bridge strategy in the Pacific is difficult for several reasons, but not without merit. Naval superiority is the most obvious challenge. I have mentioned the value of capturing the Caroline Islands. The most tantalizing of options might be a 12 transport shuck between North America and Russia. Four would leave San Fran and go to Soviet Far East, four from Alaska to sz 1, four from sz 1 to San Fran. The drawback is that the land units have so much ground to cover before they effect serious change. It should be noted, however, that this must draw the enemy’s eye north, potentially saving Indian lives. A naval base in Alaska would even threaten the Japanese homeland. An airbase there would make any attempt to destroy the shuck costly, though the SFE transports are vulnerable.

    KGF
    As to KGF strategies, the saving of the Atlantic takes priority because of the logistical needs of the Allies, particularly the Americans and the British. We must transverse waters. The Russians, Chinese, Italians and Germans don’t. We do. In fact, we can’t win without doing so. Aircraft would not be sufficient. Therefore safe passage must be guaranteed.
    London must be saved. It may be lost, but it must be saved. Loss of any capital is a huge problem. The number of spaces on the board between Moscow and Washington is staggering. London is a necessary way station. Of course, without control of London, one ally is out of the game and is no longer producing combatants.

    If Moscow falls, Eurasia is in danger of being swallowed up. There is probably nothing between the panzers and the Pacific ocean. The economic situation is very dire. If the Russians were able to retreat some of their units, if there is a strong British presence in the Middle East and North Africa, if the Chinese are still on the board and if the Americans have already put boots on the ground in Eurasia, then there is hope. Better it does not come to this.

    However, Napoleon did take Moscow. And then his army starved to death. The German troops that make it that far are probably not coming back any time soon. They are an expeditionary force that will not return to Europe until around turn eight or nine at best. There is opportunity here. He will have to stack soldiers.


  • 2019 2018

    working on a play BOOK. KJF is done. Did I miss anything?


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