For game 192, I made Dave play the Axis. We agreed that they need a bid to gain the upper hand before the Allied economy comes to bear, so we decided to put 1 extra infantry on Japan, 1 on Manchuria, and 1 on France.
Its easy to forget that all the Axis have to do to win is take Moscow. The same dynamics prevail in this game as the others
Moscow is the only critical path, taking London harder and Washington impossible,
All the Russia money gets chipped away no matter how well defended moscow is,
Its more than 1 move by air for fighters to reach Moscow
So how hard is this to do? Well, the Allies should start with a stiff opener–one that takes Manchuria, West Russia (the one with 1 inf 1 art 1 armor I forget its name) and SE Asia. The last one is hard for them to get back. This keeps Japan off balance, and Germany also needs 1-2 turns to reorganize and recover in this opener.
Big mistake I made in this game was shifting my stack of Russian defenders and movers to the Caucasus. Not enough zombies survived the initial combat to dissuade an attack. All of my defenders died there, so the big zombie stack wasn’t between Moscow and the German reinforcements. Big Mistake.
With the bid, Japan could take the center. China, Russia money, mostly taken. Germany only needs to run the gauntlet of zombies 1 time–if there is a huge stack of zombies in Moscow, that may dissuade an attack (which risks losing 1/3 of your units to a first strike), but those same zombies eat the irreplaceable and broke Russian garrison. The key to winning with Germany is that you can enter the territories near Moscow without eliminating the zombies, if the walls of zombies are modest, the Germans simply position within those walls, and crush Russia the old fashioned way (tanks move 2 through German controlled zones into the Moscow attack). A stronger move by Russia would have been to move back to Moscow, I still sense with the anemic income that I would have lost this game.
Without the bid, Japan’s moves are more limited. They get 1 land wave, after that, peanuts. Russia can’t really deal with ANY Japan units and still have what they need to fend off the German tanks.
I keep putting USA 100% pacific, but this is the wrong move. I do it because its fun to blow up Japan’s navy, which i did (BB and 3 TT). But that isnt a game changer for Moscow, pressure on Germany might be.
Bias and Bid are smaller than predicted because all you have to do is kill Moscow, its 42.2 with some dancing involved.
Techs mean little, avoiding the zombies is better than attacking them.
US should concentrate on threatening Germany, this has some chance of diverting tanks away from moscow before the reckoning
Fighter support heading for moscow doesn’t have any safe spots to transition to, that I can find, except the middle east, where you have 1 fighter total.