Another attempt at an Allied playbook.

  • '19

    I have really enjoyed the topic regarding the allied playbook that already has a lot of great discussion. Because of the number of comments I thought I might start a new topic but also add what I would consider to be a cheat sheet or small playbook so to speak for any new or less experienced allied player. I have borrowed from my experience as a player as well as many of the contributions in the the thread I mentioned earlier. I would especially like to give credit to @crockett36 for the using the idea of strategic objectives. Any strategy for the allies will always be reactive but their moves still need to be purposeful and deliberate. The allies face a serious disadvantage with the 1940 set up. I have tried to keep this guide relevant to both Balance Mod and bid games but did not mention anything about specific bids.

    Overview of unit value

    • Due to turn order and map position identical units for different powers vary greatly on their in-game effectiveness.
    • Personal experience shows that Russia’s ipc’s are best spent on Inf once they are able to field 10-15 art as well as match their number of fighters to the Germans bombers (depending on German strategy). Mech infantry are useful if it can keep the axis from blitzing past Moscow.
    • Anzac’s money is best spent on fighters.
    • UK’s London money is best spent on Mech inf and Tanks once a threshold of air power is met.
    • USA’s can never have too many bombers and needs to land at the minimum of 3 full transports of units into Europe every turn ASAP. For this reason, it is critical for the US to build a navy in the Atlantic to serve the purpose of protecting the transports.

    Maximizing unit value using force multipliers

    It is imperative that the Allies utilize every unit to its fullest value, especially in the early rounds. This is best done by taking advantage of the force multipliers that exist due to strategic positions on the map. An example of a force multiplier is a fighter stationed in London. Due to its ability to intercept and scramble, fighters in London need to be accounted for each potential attack. If Germany wants to strategically bomb London while attacking ships in sz 110, the fighter must be accounted for in both battles. Any time you can force your opponent to account for a unit in multiple locations, the force of that unit has been multiplied.

    • Air bases in Gibraltar and Egypt / Trans Jordan provide excellent force multipliers. I will assume the benefit of Gibraltar and Egypt are self-evident. An air base in Trans-Jordan allows for air cover in the crucial sea zone’s 98 and 81 while allowing for fighters and tactical bombers to move to Gibraltar, India, and Bryansk in 1 turn assuming both Iran and Iraq have been activated. A Trans-Jordan Air base also allows bombers to attack Burma.
    • Another way to take advantage of force multipliers is to land an allied power’s fighters onto another allied power’s Carrier. Landing Anzac fighters on USA carrier’s provides extra range that can be difficult to deal with.

    General Strategic goals

    It is crucial that the Allies coordinate and assign their objectives to the countries that are in the best position to complete them. The priority of the objectives will change due to the axis strategy as well as game flow. Early game objectives will include in no specific order protecting London, securing the Atlantic, protecting Egypt, protecting India, avoiding the full wrath of Japanese air power as China, consolidating Russian units, protecting Gibraltar, controlling the Middle East and conservation of units. If the allies can accomplish all of these goals prior to the entry of USA they are in a good position.

    When trying to meet these objectives consider how force multipliers can allow one unit to meet more than one objective at a time. As mentioned earlier, fighters in Gibraltar with an air base can be used to potentially accomplish three objectives within 1 turn. Within 1 turn a fighter can land in Egypt, London or used to secure Atlantic.

    Russian early objectives

    Once the Axis declare war on Russia, they should seriously consider attacking stray units. Some people would argue against this by pointing out that we are using the infantry to attack at a 1 instead of defending at a 2 during any major battle in the eastern front. Experience shows that Russia is best served by using air force on the offensive as often as possible. Trading units also potentially slows down the inevitable surrounding of Moscow.

    UK and AZAC early objectives

    By the time USA enters the war UK ideally still holds London, Egypt and India.

    • Securing India depends largely on when Japan declares war but requires a large number of ground units regardless.
    • It is my experience that UK London should purchase at least one factory for the Middle East, preferably in Iran. Purchasing an additional factory for Egypt or Iraq can be very useful, however the priority needs to be the production of units. The UK can not afford to spend money on factories that do not produce maximum output every turn.
    • Experience has EMPHATICALLY shown that the most efficient use of units for UK turn 1 involves purchasing an air base for Gibraltar and moving any navy that can reach to sea zone 92 while leaving at least 2 fighters in Gibraltar. This still leave UK with enough money to purchase 4 infantries for London. I find it best to also consolidate all land units in Africa save 1 infantry in Alexandria in Egypt.
    • Experience has shown that in the early game Egypt is more important than India. For that reason, it can be very useful to fly the tac bomber from India to Tanganyika. Including the fighter is helpful but leaves India especially vulnerable.
    • Activating Persia round 1 with the transport from India and infantry from West India has proven to be useful if conservation of units is a concern.
    • ANZAC is best used to fill US carriers with fighters and strategically retake money islands. When in doubt as ANZAC buy fighters.

    US early objectives

    Once the US enters the war their first objective should secure the Atlantic and retake Gibraltar if needed. This provides pressure on the Italians as well as relief for London.

    • It can be very helpful to land fast moving units in French West Africa as early as possible. These units can reach Egypt within 2 turns and will provide can opener opportunities should Egypt fall.
    • 4 transports are needed on the east coast waiting to embark as soon as the US enters the war. 5 is more useful but the marginal utility sharply drops off after that. It is crucial to keep sending units from US into Northern Africa and Gibraltar every turn until they are secured. For this reason, the first purchase after war has been declared needs to include transports for the East Coast.
    • US should reinforce both Hawaii and Australia in the Pacific until the objectives in the Atlantic are met.

    Mid to late game objectives

    Mid to late game objectives include (in no specific order) establishing a beach head as US/UK in Western Europe, pushing the Italians out of the Mediterranean and back into Europe, maintaining the Chinese front drawing money from India, forcing Japan to retake money islands, opening a Northern front in both Europe and Pacific, not losing Moscow decisively and protecting the Middle east. If the allies can accomplish these results, the game is not lost once Moscow or India has fallen. If enough units have been preserved both can fall and the Allies still have a chance.

    • The US and UK need to establish a beach head in Western Europe unless the Japanese navy and air force are no longer strategic threats. This is unlikely to happen which makes this objective critical.
    • Pushing the Italians out of The Mediterranean can be accomplished most efficiently by either the US or UK with the use of overwhelming air power.
    • If Japan has taken Soviet Far East, it can be good strategic value to retake these territories as US. This becomes even more important with Balance Mod games due to Amur’s increased value. This will draw Japanese forces out of position as well as increase Russia’s income.
    • Establishing a stronghold in Norway as the Allies is a deceptively strong move. The territories are valuable and needed for a German national objective. Priority should be placed on maintaining the western front, however do not hesitate to capture these territories if you are certain you can hold them for at least 1 turn and keep your navy alive.
    • Protecting the Middle east from German blitz of tanks and mechanized infantry is crucial. For this reason, if an allied player finds themselves in a position where they must choose between India or the Middle East, experience has shown it is critical to choose the Middle East. Depending on Russian income, protecting the Middle East can be more important than holding Moscow if it saves the bulk of your Russian forces.
    • As the Allies it is always important to remember that if both Spain and Turkey can be attacked during the same round with enough force left to hold the territory, declaring war on the true neutrals is a net win for the allies. It can be the easiest way to open up the critical beach head in the west and also provide an opportunity for a critical blitz to the underbelly of Europe with enough UK mechanized infantry and tanks.

    The allies have a long road ahead of them if they want to achieve victory. I have always felt it is easiest to achieve outright victory in Europe but easier to break the will of the Axis opponent in the Pacific. A land locked Japan can be very difficult to capture but does not pose any real threat to the game. I hope newer players can use this as guide. I am happy to add screenshots to this playbook / guide of how the first round could play out similar to the other playbooks if that is something people will find useful.

  • '19 '18

    @AldoRaine great stuff AR! Look forward to the screen shots. I m going to try and do some in the next month as well. Really good.

    Btw, for newbies, I play the 2nd edition rules for now, believing that group think and inflexibility might have driven up Allied bids that are intended to even out the game. It does seem tilted towards the Axis, especially if you respond to T1 with naked aggression, but I would commend to you a 90/10 ipc commitment to one side or the other by the US player. This will make the game more fun for you, even if you don’t win. And I think it is the way to win, btw. In either theatre go for the Homeland if the enemy. It is the only equivalent to the collapse of Moscow.

    If you are tired of oob and the Axis keep winning, try Taamvan’s tweek on the set up or Grasshopper s recasting of the victory conditions to keep things fresh. If one of your players is better than others, try my handicapping system found on YouTube.

  • 2020 '19 '18

    Nice presentation Aldo. A couple questions.

    You advocate for holding Egypt, but consolidate your forces in Africa. Do you rely on counterattack then ? Also, fortifying Gibralter sounds as if you don’t do Taranto raid then ?

    I haven’t followed any recent games so maybe that strategy (Taranto) has changed.

    I think people that have played hundreds of games against multiple opponents have proven the oob axis advantage.
    That being said, new or less experienced people probably don’t need a bid. You are correct in that most suggest USA should go big one way or the other. Early on Pacific was preferred but I don’t know if that has changed.

    Good work by you guys 👍

  • '19 '18

    @barnee I realize that I am being controversial. However, suspend disbelief (or rather belief, since you are repeating orthodoxy) if we changed the name of the game from Axis and Allies to Sack Berlin ASAP, could it be done fairly quickly. I think so. Imagine, every Allied dollar and unit going for one purpose: kill Nazis and invade the Fatherland. Every move is trying to make it happen and, if the piece can’t have said effect, use the piece to stretch out the game.

    Argumentum Ad Absurdum. If the Allies lose the whole world, but gain Berlin by turn 6, we have learned something. Then we dial back from absurd and see if we can keep x as well as capture Berlin. The next time perhaps turn 6 and keep x and y and so on. Has anyone done this? I haven’t found it.

    I think, perhaps, that people are playing the game they want to play, not the game we have. The game we have demands that you choose one theater and not both. That feels wrong. But it isn’t. I haven’t found an example of this kind of experimentation, excepting Sired Blood’s Green Shores strategy. I have asked for examples of tripleA games that definitively prove the imbalance. I used to call G40 the Axis wet dream. I’m rethinking it and having fun.

  • 2020 '19 '18

    heh heh i do recall Cow saying you will probably lose west germany for a turn when going all in on moscow. Perhaps one could build off of that. I’m really not a very good player, just repeating what I’ve seen others say : )

  • '19 '18

    Well if cow says the West Germany has to be taken oh, we should take it nuff said

  • A far more effective strategy for me as the allied player is a meat grinder. Sending enough units every turn to Normandy, Holland, Denmark, or western Germany, having them take it back, rinse and repeat every turn. Thats forcing them to buy and reserve units for the western front. Eventually they will have to give in because of the needed consolidation, especially if German tries and fails to take Moscow.

  • '19

    @barnee Yes i usually will try for a counter attack. A lot of different things can happen after round 1 and i will also admit that my strategies are not gospel but i try to wait to go on the offensive until the USA has entered into the war. I find that as the allies I worry more about Italian troops in Russia than I do in Africa. I also focus on the Atlantic side as the US in most games. As far as i see it, the US’s easiest target is Italy so that is where they should start. They do not need to conquer Rome but they should be keeping them stuck in Europe.

    If Italy has grand ambitions of conquering the Middle East and Africa by itself, it will leaver herself very vulnerable to any US/UK western front. This is why I like to keep the UK navy in sea zone 92 instead of trading ships with the Italians. If Germany moves too many planes down into Africa early round 2 I have been able to land UK units in Western Europe that round. This really can potentially throw a wrench in the German advance into Russia.

    I realize i am sending somewhat mixed messages when i say that i want to keep the Italians in Europe but also fear them the most there. This issue is central to the disadvantage the Allies face in this game. Italy cannot be allowed to control the Med unchecked. But this leaves them to can-open for the Germans. If anyone has good advice as to how to deal with this, i think we can rethink the advantage the axis have. Until then you will have a hard time convincing me the allies do not face a serious disadvantage with bid games.

    As the allies in the early game, I focus on holding the line at London, Egypt, India and Iraq. I will abandon Gibraltar after round 1 if necessary and let the US retake it once they join the fun.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    Great go at this @AldoRaine !

    I have some comments/questions

    1. Same units have different in game value is a great point I think. Take German AA guns in Russia defending an inf or two vs american AA guns in central usa…
    2. You say you match Russia with bombers vs Germany? Why? I have never in a single game both more than 1 russian bomber, in most games 0. I buy a tac from time to time. two bombers = 8 inf. Hmmmm
    3. If anzac can send fighters to India/middle east, then yes, buy as many as you can. If not 3 fighters are enough. The rest is transports, men and subs (+1 destroyer)
    4. In BM syria is a great position for an airbase. One move to Moscow, and India and protects egypt sz. However, it is not easy to pull off most of the time
    5. Good point about middle east factories should always produce at full. I am not sure that persia is the ideal spot. It is much harder to defend Persia than say Iraq. I agree Persia is tempting early game. I think it is a weaker spot middle to late game, when Germany breaks past Rostov
    6. Many good points. Personally I almost always sacrifies a transport UK1 to put two men on gibraltar. If you are not carefull gibraltar will become an axis stronghold. It is costly for the axis, but also very nice for Italy and it is a pain to deal with for the allies
  • '19

    @oysteilo I didn’t catch that part about Russian bombers. Thanks for catching that. It is meant to say that I like to match Russian fights to German bombers if possible. I will make the clarification.

    My thought with ANZAC and buying fighters is that, like you pointed out, you can fly them to the Middle East. There they are obviously great for defending but can also kill Italian can openers. Also, fighters are one of the few units for them that can also work on defense. Once India falls the allies need to secure both Hawaii and Sydney. If Anzac has 6-8 fighters that are parked on carriers there are multiple locations where they are 1 turn away from either location.

  • '18

    @AldoRaine said in Another attempt at an Allied playbook.:

    Experience has EMPHATICALLY shown that the most efficient use of units for UK turn 1 involves purchasing an air base for Gibraltar and moving any navy that can reach to sea zone 92 while leaving at least 2 fighters in Gibraltar

    the air base seems like a big spend on T1 w/ the UK… seems like you give the germans a real chance to take London???

  • @Aaron_the_Warmonger Even without the risk to London, as the Axis I’ve faced off against the UK stacking sz92 3 times now.

    If UK doesn’t max the planes there (including a U.S. fighter) then Italy usually has assets survive (bomber and battleship or fighter).

    So the BEST case scenario appears to be the UK has fighters, Italy still loses its navy but gets 2 transports instead of 1.

    I think the net result is that it shifts some losses that often end up Germany’s on G2 (finishing off UK’s navy after Taranto) and pushes them onto Italy OR results in a stand off.

    (might matter that as Germany I always take S. France on G1. Always)

  • '19 '17 '16

    @Aaron_the_Warmonger said in Another attempt at an Allied playbook.:

    @AldoRaine said in Another attempt at an Allied playbook.:

    Experience has EMPHATICALLY shown that the most efficient use of units for UK turn 1 involves purchasing an air base for Gibraltar and moving any navy that can reach to sea zone 92 while leaving at least 2 fighters in Gibraltar

    the air base seems like a big spend on T1 w/ the UK… seems like you give the germans a real chance to take London???

    It may seem so but the actuality of it is that unless there has been a sea lion buy G1,. bringing the fleet up to SZ110 as well as the planes, is enough to defend London G3.

  • '19 '18

    of all the axis strategies, I use to fear this one the most. With a robust American respoonse, I now fear it the least. If we think in terms of setting up dance partners, normal strategy sets up a Russia/Germany waltz. Japan does a foxtrot with everyone but Russia. America must try to cut in to the European festivities, but often arrives too late.

    In a Sealion, America and Germany must be paired–to Germany’s doom. It demands nearly 100 percent of resources to take it back or keep it. Thus. isn’t Russia unleashed to kick Japan out of the Asian ballroom

    I’ve only played one game against a sealion. I retook London and Russia was crushing the Eastern front and retook Calcutta.

  • @AldoRaine

    Just so I am clear you are suggesting a SZ 92 Stack with nothing but the SZ 98 Fleet, the SZ 91 CR and then of course scrambled fighters?

    I have seen a SZ 92 stack on occasions where Germans go to light on 110 and the U.K. BB survives but never without that.

    With this strategy I imagine Italy has a good chance to take Egypt And/Or Iraq. But perhaps I am wrong. I would love to hear more about this SZ92 stack and the Italian and British implications that go with it.

  • 2020 '18 '17

    Hey crew!

    I think we are still trading around some great ideas. To throw in my two cents about the original post, I’d suggest some of the following

    Going all Atlantic or all pacific isn’t historical, but its much more effective than splitting
    Going KJF is much more satisfying in some ways than KGF–with KJF you stand a better chance of toppling or surprising and seriously disrupting Japan than Germany.
    However, you can’t defeat Japan and while you’re suppressing Japan: Germany takes the game and so we need to prepare USA for a KGF regardless of what the Axis do or what their plan is
    This dynamic means that the everything the Allies do should flow towards moscow and be in place before the culminating battle

    ANZAC 3 planes to java (dont forget many players think you cannot land on dutch islands without capturing them that is incorrect) and then all 6 of those allied planes go to persia, then russia

    You cant lose on the pac board, so ANZAC should turtle after the intial 3–includes infantry because of limited production then protect sydney.
    Taranto must be done, but that costs you alot of fighters–so UK must be garrisoned starting from turn 1 and continuing all game, no exceptions (and no factories, airbases, or tank SA buys until its clearly safe and Germany is headed elsewhere). Not doing taranto makes Italy rage which is way worse over time for the UK than just dealing with them from game start
    UK East wants sumatra and ethiopia but you should take persia turn 1 and do what you need to do to keep egypt safe all game (tobruk? turtle? up to you)

    The best KGF I’ve seen has the USA transition directly from SZ 91 to norway, then finland, building bases as we go–so at some point you’ll want to destroy the German fleet to ensure they can’t do anything about it. If Germany wastes time or flinches you will be able to go over the top and take back leningrad thats 3 factories pouring out tanks

    A combination of US north and UK south rescue forces is the only thing that can prevent the income flop whether moscow dies or not
    for russia, more fighters is better than armor or mech or tacticals because they dissuade the crippling stratbombings
    for UK, more fighters is better than more men and ships because you go after the US and can support a US landing
    realistically, USA only gets 1 wave of ground troops before the russia game is decided–do not waste 1 man

    Finally, USSR is too weak and Germany too rich–your patch/set bid should address this, not alter the overall game dynamics vis UK/USA v Axis (insert pitch for Taamvan Mod v3.0 here)*

    I emphatically agree that large bids are not needed for anything short of league/master’s play–12-20 is plenty and the allies consistently win games of mixed skill

    good luck have fun boys

  • '19 '17 '16

    @taamvan said in Another attempt at an Allied playbook.:

    Finally, USSR is too weak and Germany too rich–your patch/set bid should address this, not alter the overall game dynamics vis UK/USA v Axis (insert pitch for Taamvan Mod v3.0 here)*

    Taamvan mode is all well and good but for experienced players it lacks the strategic depth of Balanced Mod.

  • 2020 '18 '17

    @simon33 I could not agree more. Balanced Mod is the way to go. That pesky China rule… The only quibble with BM is that it would feel unfamiliar the first few times to those used to playing 2nd ed. Otherwise its well vetted and themey.

  • '19 '18

    Disagree. A voice crying out in the wilderness says check out the allied playbook game.

    Also I’m questioning the construction of an industrial complex in Norway. An efficient shuck, naval and air supremacy will make it wasteful. 3 US CVs, 1 Brit CV plus PAC fleet.
    to the Atlantic. Make Germany cry.

  • @crockett36

    A transport round trip is, at best, 4 rounds to get 2 units. So 14 pics on 2 transports gets you 1 new unit a turn


    A 12ipcs minor complex is 3 of any unit a turn every turn, which would require 7 transports to accomplish the same.

    The cost to benefit isnt even close.

  • '19 '17 '16

    @crockett36 said in Another attempt at an Allied playbook.:

    Disagree. A voice crying out in the wilderness says check out the allied playbook game.

    Also I’m questioning the construction of an industrial complex in Norway. An efficient shuck, naval and air supremacy will make it wasteful. 3 US CVs, 1 Brit CV plus PAC fleet.
    to the Atlantic. Make Germany cry.

    Who’s building the IC in Norway? I wouldn’t really question that if USA can hold it, even for a few turns, they should be building an IC there. They can always retake it if it’s lost.

  • '19 '18

    US would build the IC. I just know my system works around extreme mobility. And after turn five a lot of planes have to go to garrison Hawaii. That and the cost of transports, men and replacement planes for the Atlantic make your margins thin.

  • '19 '18


  • '19 '18

    I like this as an opening for Rus if it’s not a G1. Threatens a lot. aggressive in a safe way.

  • '19 '18


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