We need an allied playbook.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @taamvan i agree that more often Ally Players, go after Germany first.
    So the question will be:
    What is the approbiate approach??

    • should we consider a portion of the bid for US?
    • what is doable with the starting US pieces?
    • shuck-shuck to London first before Normandy?
    • what else are we missing??

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @taamvan @crockett36 I like the way you’re framing the problem; it’s interesting to think about whether the USA can actually prevent Germany from taking Moscow. I think Germany needs at least four turns of building to take Moscow – something like mechs and tanks on G1, G2, and G3, followed by bombers on G4. If you send all of that directly at Moscow, with no relevant Allied bid, then with normal dice you can take Moscow on G5 or G6.

    The earliest the USA can arrive in a way that forces Germany to pay attention is what, US4? Even with a J1 DoW, the USA doesn’t start the game with enough of an Atlantic fleet to be a serious threat, so they have to build one on USA1. On USA2, that fleet can usually move to Gibraltar. On USA3, that fleet can move to the English Channel if you’re serious about KGF, but is probably still not strong enough to move to the North Sea, so you need to wait until a second turn of US Atlantic fleet builds can arrive before you to move to the sea zone outside Western Germany and Denmark, which would be USA4. Germany has to pay attention to that because if you take Denmark then the UK can hit Berlin on UK4.

    If you have a J3 DoW, the USA can build up its Atlantic fleet on US1 and US2. You can’t move to Gibraltar until US3, but if you invest heavily enough in the Atlantic then your fleet is big enough that you can probably still move the fleet outside Western Germany on US4.

    So our intuitions are different somewhere, I think. It seems to me that if the USA and UK go hard-core in the Atlantic, they can pose an existential threat to Germany on turn 4, but Germany needs to buy bombers on turn 4, not defense for the western front. I guess if Germany is rich enough then they could potentially do both, but a competent Russian player normally shouldn’t be letting Germany collect more than about 50 IPCs on G3.

    Where do we disagree? Do you think Germany can knock out Moscow with only 3 turns of builds? Do you think the USA can’t build enough fleet to take the W. German sea zone on turn 4? Do you think Germany can sort of split the difference, buy some fighters on G4 and G5, and take Moscow on turn 6 or 7?

  • 2018 2017

    Dave’s most successful strategy involves securing Norway and Finland with the US, then building a factory on both. If moscow falls, usa can get or at least boggle the third Leningrad factory.

    Uk should get its first factory on turn 2 and its second on turn 3. That’s really all it can power…and barely…Add in tanks from SA and its too expensive (mechs?) Persia is the only production square that is 1 move with fighters to moscow without an AB.

    I also recommend the following mod

    Urals 1 Tank 1 Fighter
    The following bonuses are reduced from 5 to 3; Leningrad, Stalingrad, Moscow, Caucasus
    (Capital Rule the second time a capital is captured, the cash is destroyed)

    The pieces in Urals can’t alter the opener too much, and are themey (tankograd)
    The bonus reductions have no effect at first, but prevent germany from reaching overwhelming income (they do need to power 4 eastern factories in the late game but post-fall of moscow, they can!)

  • 2018 2017

    @Argothair Dave also has started G1. This saves a full turn, if russia doesnt push him back. The only way this can be achieved is by leaving UK with 1 fleet, which is bad in the long term but can’t make its effect felt until after Moscow is about to die. The US can’t really choose when to cross, but as Dave and I discussed last night, there is no further reason for G3/G4/J3/J4 plans…they are sometimes tempting alternatives that end up making the allies too powerful. Time is not on the axis side; in AAZ 42.2 and Global they have to win quickly or lose the long game. The imbalance of the OOB game makes this point all the more important–plans that do not exploit the diplomacy rules and go for a quick clench are far more “balanced” (favorable to the allies)…at this point we’ve tried them all…

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @taamvan I hear your frustration, and as you and I have discussed before, there are many advantages to your mod. In the meantime, since this is a playbook thread and not a house rules thread, can we get into a little more detail about the German attack you’re discussing?

    Like, you’re saying a G1 DoW saves a full turn. OK, fine, so what is Germany building, and when, and at what point do they have critical mass to capture Moscow? Like, with a G1 DoW can Germany take Moscow on G4? With what forces, specifically? 20 mechs? 30 mechs? 40 mechs? To evaluate your claim that the USA can’t reach Germany in time to punish it for taking Moscow, I need to know more about your German attack on Moscow. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I do want to try to conduct my own analysis and find out what I think, rather than just taking your word for it that all is lost and everything is doomed.

  • 2018 2017

    dave rarely buys mechs. he buys strats, then tanks, then more strats. With the can opener and G1, its an R5 attack the allies cant stop.

    attack 110 only
    rush the russian fleet and wreck it so it cant block
    move up 1 strip per turn
    hes on you G5 with a 80%+ whether you counterattack or not, and regardless of what you built

    I also suggest mark movels VC card…it makes the game fun and well contested until a clear turn (i think its 10 turns). i really dont like house rules, even my own, but after 199 games, its clear that all the versions are quite imbalanced (except dday)

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    If you want to link to the VC card, I’d be happy to check it out.

    I think my response to that kind of strategy, assuming a G1/J1 DoW, would be to not build any factories in Egypt, Iraq, or Persia, and instead just focus all Allied efforts on taking Berlin. Don’t scramble, spend the whole UK1 buy on buffing up the fleet that Berlin didn’t sink, then buy transports UK2 after you see the G2 tank buy. If the tanks go east on G3, Western Germany should fall on UK3; the G1 strat buy won’t help defend it. Or, if Germany collects all available resources to hold Western Germany, then you should be able to snap up Norway, Normandy, and Belgium for very cheap, and then you get ready for the Denmark-Berlin punch on UK/US4. It’s totally OK to trade Moscow for Berlin!

    Have you tried that already? How did it turn out?

  • 2018 2017

    @Argothair Id say thats not remotely possible…germany is very difficult to take. You can make them blink…but russia is so weak that germany can do both. The money they take from russia makes it an easy deal and dave often has $100 after moscow falls (he saves about 20-30 the previous turn) that can imm be used to build a defense.

    if russia could somehow survive until turn 8 then this pressure might equal out but the money germany gets when it falls seals the deal

    are you on the fb axa group curated by misha keeler? i joined this year and posting variants, sculpts, and most of the ppl here are also there (as are the house rulesets and custom cards)

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @taamvan So I think the response I’m imagining is meant to take Berlin before Germany can build with the Moscow money. If Germany is targeting a G5 Moscow attack then you can take Berlin through UK5, and Germany won’t ever be able to spend 100 IPCs.

    You and I and many others agree that the Global 40 OOB is unbalanced without a bid, so we’re not necessarily talking about trying to win with no bid. But if you have either a bid or the extra cash from Balanced Mod, I think you could stack enough infantry in Moscow that Germany can’t both take Moscow G5 and hold Berlin against an all-out US+UK frontal assault on northwest Europe.

    Maybe Berlin can pivot in a way that would defeat the Allies; e.g., when you see the Allies coming for Berlin, pause and build some infantry, and settle for a G6 attack on Moscow that will still have superior momentum. I’m not sure, though. I think maybe if you build almost nothing but tanks and bombers, then you set yourself up for a do-or-die on G5 where after G5 Russia has enough infantry in Moscow to hold. You have other problems, like Japan will be a monster by then, and US spending will have to shift to the Pacific to keep Sydney and Honolulu out of Japanese hands. So I’m not saying the G1 attack is a bad idea for Germany; just that there are probably some effective counters for people who are interested in thinking outside the usual confines of “rush Anglo-American reinforcements to Moscow.” I hear you that Germany is very difficult to take in a normal game, but the attack plan you’re describing doesn’t sound to me like a normal game. It sounds like Germany is diverting all of the assets that usually make Germany a tough nut to crack toward heading east with a massive, fast hammer-blow.

    By analogy, usually it’s crazy to talk about Japan taking San Francisco, but if you literally send the US Pacific fleet through the Panama Canal and build nothing in the Western US, well, now it’s a serious threat.

    Anyway, we can agree to disagree on all this stuff, or we could try it out in a friendly playtest on TripleA sometime.

    I’m not on Facebook; I don’t like their business model. If you want to send me any of your custom stuff, I’m happy to look at it; you’ve got my e-mail. If not, that’s fine too.


  • 2019 2018

    @taamvan I m finding the factory to be too expensive and too ineffective for the Americans. What I’m aiming for is the ability to make multiple landings on European coasts at will, creating a defacto meat grinder on the Western front. The formula I’m arriving at is a minimum of 8 air planes and three bombers in the theater supporting the landing of 4 to 6 infantry with bombardment from 2 or 3 ships starting turn 4.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @taamvan what you are describing is the need of an bid for Allies.
    That is the reason why we play with high bids here.
    So to sum it all up.
    Axis win very often with no bids.

    The Allied playbook should therefore adress an high bid or to BM3 to keep it balanced.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @taamvan when is Japan dow the Allies?

  • The purpose of the allied playbook is to come up with strategies without a bid. Putting a bid on the game brings up too many variables. How much extra money, where it going, etc. Those kinds of discussions are best reserved for another topic as this topic’s main focus is on strategy. I believe that the allies can win without a bid. It just very difficult hence the need for the allied playbook.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    I think the purpose of the playbook is to come up with a basic, solid overview of strategies that work in general G40 play. Discussion of how to exploit a specific bid (“Oh, man, put 3 fighters in Amur and then you can pick off Japanese transports!”) is out-of-scope because not everyone will play with a 30 IPC bid or allow the whole bid to be stacked in one territory. Discussion of how to win with the Allies given some kind of general compensation for what most (but not all) players acknowledge as the imbalance of the game – without specifying whether that compensation is a bid, or Balanced Mod, or Taamvan’s reduced Axis NOs and Tankograd, or whatever – is in-scope for this thread. It has to be! Otherwise the thread will degenerate into a debate about whether it’s “possible” to win without a bid, which isn’t nearly as interesting and which has plenty of other threads already.

    With all of that in mind, taamvan raises a really good point: sometimes Germany attacks Russia G1, building tanks and bombers with the idea of conquering Moscow on G5. I’ve outlined how I would respond. How would others respond? What other defenses do the Allies have available for that opening?

  • 2018 2017

    Ok finally in front of a PC not a tablet (impossible to edit ugh)

    I know i’m posting on this thread, but I personally think there cannot be a “Allied Strategy Guide”, not that its not worth discussion or effort. As others have said, its simply too reactive and situational for any advice to be universally true or effective. The closest thing we can get is (GHG?s) Middle Earth idea–building a factory with UK on Persia asap is absolutely required in my opinion. That’s the only factory square that can do a fighter pump to Moscow (thanks weddingsinger…its a unique square in that regard).

    I’m not frustrated with Global, I’m not really playing it at the moment (AA50, AAZ) because I’m getting ready for Gencon. While I’ve defended LH and Wizards for a long time, I have finally recognized that some of these games were not extensively playtested, and that some of them contain unacceptable setup errors (42.2) and poorly organized set up charts (AA50), not to mention glaring balance and geometry problems. That considering that 42.3 is technically in its 4th revision, and Global had two bites at the apple.

    Still they are great games and people are still playing them, live and at home. But no-one enjoys a game that is decided before play begins–regardless of buys, attacks or luck. One of the most important decisions you make during a tournament is team choice. I can gain a huge advantage just by picking the favored team in that edition.

    Back to your point, UK only has 28$. Thats completely different than AA50, where its 1 economy that can pump fighter support directly onto Russian armies. In Global, it can’t really power 2 factories AND the homeland. It cant replace losses against a Germany earning 70, and it can’t build income. Its still a cool power, but every unit it drops onto the mainland gets zapped (with ease) so it has to replace losses like crazy (at a TUV loss, usually). America might help–but since it goes first and it cant cross in force until US3-4, it would be better for the US to provide all the ships and the men and UK to provide, well…fighters. Tons.

    In the balance, this probably means no Taranto. That preserves UK fighters and choices for later in the game. Italy can rage all over the oil, but Dave’s strategy abandons Africa and uses the surviving ITAL transports to pull units OFF africa, not throwing good money after bad.

    Defeating moscow is the critical path, and as Karl7 showed its very easy to do. Counterattacks, varied plans to gain income, and buying luxury units all speed Russia’s demise in the end. There is a “throw everything” at moscow plan that can save it, which is why the Axis cannot delay their strategem start.

    The imbalance of the game is limiting the choices, not making them richer. In AA50, Russia is almost impossible to defeat without an “all in all 3” plan. Thats the opposite here. Without some tweak or bid, the Allied Strategy Guide would be “Russia buys meatshield, UK buys the fighters, USA buys bombers” because that’s all that can get there before the game is over. Even with bids between 12-30, that’s still my plan at the moment…

  • 2018 2017

    @aequitas-et-veritas my current thinking is the earlier the better, but Japan cannot affect a G5-G6 moscow kill too much. Dave loves to throw all his japanese planes at moscow (sometimes trading TUV 3/4:1) because killing even a few infantry in 1 round raises the chances for Germany to win the final battle (and then Italy also gets one final crack at killing whats left or defending the take, if anything).

    Losing moscow is not the end of every game, but killing it really early on and taking all those insane bonuses (its 60$ on top of the spice and other crap) is game-over.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @taamvan Maybe another way to get some value for this thread out of your perspectives and experience would be to ask you what you consider to be appropriate compensation for Moscow.

    Like, let’s say Germany takes Moscow on G5 with 5 tanks and 10 planes remaining; let’s just say that’s a given. What would the Allies have to own in the rest of Europe at the end of UK5 for you to feel that the Allies still had an even or better position? Would North Africa, Rome, Normandy, and Norway be enough? If not, what would theoretically have to be added to that list? I say “theoretically” because I’d love to get your take on what the territories are worth even if you think it’s not practically feasible to seize them by UK5. I’m much less interested in what you think is possible or impossible, and much more interested in what you think would be adequate or inadequate.

    As far as the UK only earning $28, when playing Balanced Mod I routinely get up to $40 with the UK. $26 base + $3 for original territories + $3 for Malta/Cyprus/Crete + $3 for no enemy subs in Atlantic + $4 for the basic territory value of Iraq and Persia + $1 for Ethiopia is already $40, and it can go up even further from there if you wind up in Greece and Sicily, as is often possible after Taranto. This makes it possible to build 6 units in the Middle East each turn and still have a meaningful budget to spend in the Atlantic.

    I see your point about the UK’s most efficient role based on turn order being the provision of fighters for defending recently-captured land territories…but if you adhere rigidly to that principle of efficiency, that might be part of why your German opponents are able to send everything to Moscow without needing to defend against the western Allies in the opening. If Germany doesn’t build any boats or airbases, then the UK should be able to sink the German Baltic fleet in the first three turns, after which a UK invasion of Norway or even Normandy becomes much harder for Germany to respond to in a way that allows Germany to obtain favorable TUV exchanges. Yes, Germany has more land units and more income, but they can’t be everywhere at once, and the British navy can.

  • 2018 2017

    @Argothair Balanced Mod is a mod. I don’t play it (though I like it) so we are running in circles on that consideration–it isn’t canon or “balanced” and would affect any strategy guide considerations…many players have never heard of BM so playing with such an extensive patch immediately puts them at a disadvantage.

    The allies usually don’t hold any of the Europe mainland territories, either in my club games, or against dave. They capture them back and forth, losing money and units each time, and Germany and Italy blast them off with ease. That’s why I was saying the Allies should go over the top (US takes Scandinavian and both allies contest karelia). There arent any money bonuses in OOB for taking those junk territories worth 2-3, they are a distraction IMO. With the paris factory and the italian slow movers, axis can retake them with ease, fighting on the coasts is not the game, its consistently retaking them.

    With enough effort, Italy can be destroyed, but losing Italy isn’t like losing Russia. And, the Germans can make it so difficult to take (with mech and fighter support as needed) that the Allies end up in a new, isolated boondoggle down there.

    I appreciate that your play or competition may be different, and have different ideas. All I know is that I created a monster–Dave used to be my student and now he’s consistently beating me at all versions and sides (we switch teams each game). He doesn’t play Tripple A, and I find it incredible tedious, so the only proof in that pudding is to come to Gencon (or KC) and whoop me at one of those physical locations.

    The last advantage I have over him is that I’m still reading these forums + FB to get new ideas, and he’s not… Jon

  • @taamvan
    You could print out the BM3 rules. That’s what I did. Other than reading over vichy rules a few times it isn’t that hard to commit to memory.

    Maybe you need to make UK one economy in your taamvan mod.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15

    I am just throwing in my two cents here. I think i am one of the few that actually have tried the tamvan mode.

    I think it adresses the problem with the oob version differently than bm3. It changes the stup by giving soviet a fighter and a tank. This doesnt affect anything but changing the setup is so so. What it does good is, it takes money away from Germany as opposed to bm3 where the solution always is to throw out more money. This is infact a HUGE weaknes with bm because the games last forever.

    Because of the nov/moscow/vol/cauc objective is changed to 3 it also becomes more evident to go after Norway as the allies i think. Maybe this becomes too predictable in the long term

    In the end. an easy and elegant fix, but it is probably not enough

  • I like that taamvan mod. I just feel it doesn’t do enough just yet. Maybe throw in my china mod would help balance out the japanese a bit.

  • 2018 2017

    @Mursilis It adds a complexity that is hard to convince my teammates to play with. Also, the china gureilla rule is easy to exploit because dave will buy a bunch of bombers and sacrifice those to make china rage.

  • I tend to think the balanced mod China guerrilla rule is a bit much (I originally thought it would be a limited number, like Japan’s Kamikaze tokens).

    I’ve been in a couple of games with the UK sz 92 stack instead of Taranto raid and it hasn’t gone great for UK. 2 out of 3 times Italy was left with planes and even a wounded battleship, and the benefit of 2 transports instead of 1. Small sample size so far.

  • 2019

    @taamvan I am not sure this is an exploit tho. I think this is by design. Japan can easily conquer all of China, Siberia and the money islands. This will bring in close to 80 ipcs a turn and this does not include India. This is to much for the allies to stop as long as Germany is in anyway competitive. The allies need a way for China to stay relevant.

  • 2018 2017

    @AldoRaine I should use that term more carefully as it has an extra connotation in internet gaming era–I only meant “take full advantage of” the rule. Its a good rule, because Japan could even want to put some AA guns with their infantry backers to dissuade a bomber spread. It does seem a bit too powerful, without having playtested it against a USA bomber strategy.

    The overwhelming income of the Axis is their key to victory in the long game.

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