India Complex for UK - usually a bad idea?


  • I was thinking about ways to slow Japan so that Japan doesn’t sneak up the back door on Russia late game, and was thinking about a first turn UK purchase of a Complex to push east on Japan or just keep them distracted enough to halt their growth.

    On turn one I would fly over the Egypt fighter and move the tank into Persia, plus the 2 INF in Trans-Jordan. Than, use the transport in SZ35 to pick up 1 INF + 1 ART and reinforce India some more. Basically, giving up Africa for a short period to America can come in to take back Africa mid to late game. I’d supply as much as I could to India, while still putting pressure on Germany with either a Polar Express and/or France or NW Europe invasion.

    Any strong opinions on this strategy?

    Was thinking that America’s prime objective would be to totally slam Germany and Italy with Bombers and do max damage while slowly building for the take back of Africa and eventually western Europe. America and UK would have to supply a few fighters throughout the game to protect Moscow as well…

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18

    @Xlome_00 An India Factory is possible, but you need to commit to its defense pretty hard. Especially in the 41 Scenario, where Japan starts with a massive advantage in terms of available units.

    If you’re going to commit to an India Factory, you basically need to be going full KJF (or like an 80-20 Pacific-Atlantic split) with USA to keep Japan’s navy tied down/away from India. Additionally, you’d need to be keeping a handful of Soviet TANKs stacked in Caucasus until India is 100% secured, so you can charge in and retake the Factory if it falls to Japan.

    An India Factory in Japanese hands is basically game-over for USSR if they’re allowed to start mass-producing TANKs from it. However, if you can hold the Factory past the initial Japanese assault, you’ll clear out mainland Asia extremely quickly and have a Factory 2-tiles away from Caucasus (3 from Moscow), making the task of reinforcing Russia in the late game much easier than usual.

    So, to answer your question, building a Factory in India is a viable option, just not in the way you want. It requires 100% dedication to work, it can’t be a sideshow.

    A better way to “slow down” Japan is to:

    • Concentrate as much of UK’s starting forces in India as possible in a mini-stack. Don’t be afraid to abandon Egypt early, you’re not going to hold it against Germany/Italy anyway. Also don’t be afraid to temporarily retreat the India stack to Persia if you think Japan is going to attempt to strike India with all its planes. Trading India is perfectly acceptable because it slows Japan down (from their end-goal of building an India Factory + spamming Tanks) by a full turn every time you trade it.

    • Build 60:40 Atlantic:Pacific with USA instead of 100:0 or 90:10. An extra Carrier + an extra 2 subs or so every round pumped into the Pacific forces Japan to spend money on Navy to keep up their advantage. This is money they’re not spending on land units, which slows Japan’s march East down.


  • If the proper situation allows for the UK India complex, you can sustain it, but it is costly, and only if the following things happen:

    1). Germany does not attack Egypt G1. You’ll need the tank and ftr to help hold india.
    2). Russia can afford the infanctry to help support India through Persia. 6 inf can be pushed south R1, and moved into Egypt IF UK decides on their turn 1 to invest in the IC. A tank purchase in Caucasus is helpful as well, if possible
    3). Japan does not move all/most of their forces into burma/FIC.

    I would say the best Axis moves for a no-bid AA50-41 scenario is to squeeze the middle, this involves a G1 attack on Egypt (some will advocate to wait till G2), and a strong Japanese move to south east asia, especially seeing a huge Russian Persia build up. If this happens, you probably will not want to buy the Indian IC UK1. You can always move the Russian persia force home if needed or to be cheap fodder to try and hold India, making Japanese expend some more infantry (long supply lines) to take India J2, while UK units in Persia (having withdrawn on UK1) can be set to take back Indian UK2.


  • It sounds like the taking back and forth of India by the UK is actually a really great strategy to halt the Japanese spamming of tanks, and will hold off their ability to really open an effective new front against the USSR. Because they never get to establish a full turn with the IC.

    And if you take the 60-40 spending ratio for the US which @DoManMacgee was mentioning, and buy one bomber a turn to send to UK and SBR Germany every turn…I don’t see how the Axis can win.

    …and if Japan then gives up on India realizing how much money is has wasted, US can flip the ratio and spend more on the Atlantic to start landing forces in western europe or add even more bombers and just go after Italy.

    So I guess the real question is what can the Axis do against this? Roll for a Radar Tech and hope for the best with the Can Openers into the USSR?


  • @Xlome_00 said in India Complex for UK - usually a bad idea?:

    It sounds like the taking back and forth of India by the UK is actually a really great strategy to halt the Japanese spamming of tanks, and will hold off their ability to really open an effective new front against the USSR. Because they never get to establish a full turn with the IC.

    So I guess the real question is what can the Axis do against this? Roll for a Radar Tech and hope for the best with the Can Openers into the USSR?

    The Axis (G1) attacks Egypt round 1, Japan moves everything it can on J1 in range of India. G2 pressures the Caucasus as much as possible (maybe even with Italy on their first turn). It’s not something the Allies will be able to employ every game, the axis have a say in allowing the Indian IC to even be an option.


  • @axis_roll - yes, but having that complex in India would allow a trading back and forth for Caucus as well. It also puts the Axis in danger of losing Caucus from Russia and India then. With time being on the Allies’ side, I think an India complex is a good strategy while US and UK slowly build an invasion force and negate a Japanese front against Russia…


  • @Xlome_00 said in India Complex for UK - usually a bad idea?:

    @axis_roll - yes, but having that complex in India would allow a trading back and forth for Caucus as well. It also puts the Axis in danger of losing Caucus from Russia and India then. With time being on the Allies’ side, I think an India complex is a good strategy while US and UK slowly build an invasion force and negate a Japanese front against Russia…

    A competent axis player will take that IC from UK, and a defensive Germany can hold long enough for the Axis to survive. Japan has enough to hold out against any USA “less than 100%” KJF strategy.

    This IC is not the Allied panacea that you seem to believe it is.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18

    I think you’re putting words in my mouth by implying that this is a great strategy. Personally, I believe it’s sub-optimal, and prefer to just use the starting Indian troops to hold out for as long as possible before eventually dying or retreating up to Caucasus until the European Axis are contained/defeated.

    @Xlome_00 said in India Complex for UK - usually a bad idea?:

    It sounds like the taking back and forth of India by the UK is actually a really great strategy to halt the Japanese spamming of tanks, and will hold off their ability to really open an effective new front against the USSR. Because they never get to establish a full turn with the IC.

    In reality, trading India repeatedly is sub-optimal, as you have no other source of unit production from UK and using Russians to do it is unsustainable long-term because of how strong Germany’s starting position is. Having to tie down Soviet TANKs to ensure India holds is a desperation move more than anything, and if you have to send them to liberate India more than once you’re opening the very “effective new front” between Japan-USSR that you’re trying to avoid.

    And if you take the 60-40 spending ratio for the US which @DoManMacgee was mentioning, and buy one bomber a turn to send to UK and SBR Germany every turn…I don’t see how the Axis can win.

    I do not recommend SBRs, or buying Bombers with USA. It’s too slow of a strategy if you’re being faced with an effective Axis player and if NOs are enabled Germany will be making far too much money by G3 for your ~6-8 IPCs of damage/turn to be more than a speed bump on Germany/Italy’s way to can-opener’ing their way to Moscow. You need either a Fighter Conga line via Carriers or a dedicated naval force to threaten multiple points in Europe simultaneously.

    …and if Japan then gives up on India realizing how much money is has wasted, US can flip the ratio and spend more on the Atlantic to start landing forces in western europe or add even more bombers and just go after Italy.

    I don’t see Japan “giving up on India”. If Japan cannot secure India then they’ve failed their objective (i.e. they’ve failed to accomplish one of their NOs, failed to significantly reduce UK’s income, and failed to establish a base of operations from which they can strike at Russia and link up with the European Axis).

    So I guess the real question is what can the Axis do against this? Roll for a Radar Tech and hope for the best with the Can Openers into the USSR?

    Tech Rolling is a bad habit to get into in general. Assuming US is spending its income on Bombers and UK is spending a fair amount of its income on keeping the India Factory up, by round 3, Germany/Italy are going to either be stacked in East Ukraine (if the Allies are employing the “do nothing and turtle in Moscow” strategy that’s favored on this site), or will have destroyed/significantly reduced the main Soviet Army (if they tried to stack East Ukraine). Both are losing positions because either Germany/Italy will have compromised the Russian position (by being able to threaten Moscow/Caucasus simultaneously), or they will have crushed the main Soviet army, which cannot be rebuilt due to how frail USSR’s economy is compared with Germany+Italy’s in this version, doubly so when you’re playing with NOs turned on.

  • 2021 '20 '18 '17

    The allies have a very easy way to win both versions of this game–buy fighters and send them to moscow. The middle is lost to the Axis–but Russia has tons of room to maneuver, plenty of time and pieces, and its 1 step for fighters from USA to london and 1 unblockable way from London to Moscow.

    Last night, there were 11 fighters, 4 bombers on Moscow by Turn 3. That and the unfavorable geometry for Axis control of Russia (all the contestible zones are right next to a well-defended moscow = dance back and forth all game, no way to stack up next to moscow before KGF comes knocking) means Axis has little chance of taking Moscow out and therefore winning.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    @taamvan said in India Complex for UK - usually a bad idea?:

    The allies have a very easy way to win both versions of this game–buy fighters and send them to moscow. The middle is lost to the Axis–but Russia has tons of room to maneuver, plenty of time and pieces, and its 1 step for fighters from USA to london and 1 unblockable way from London to Moscow.

    Last night, there were 11 fighters, 4 bombers on Moscow by Turn 3. That and the unfavorable geometry for Axis control of Russia (all the contestible zones are right next to a well-defended moscow = dance back and forth all game, no way to stack up next to moscow before KGF comes knocking) means Axis has little chance of taking Moscow out and therefore winning.

    That is just to crazy and not right for me. LOL I’d make a Lend Lease chart for Russia and make them have to buy a few planes and not just wait for allies help in that way. Make it so allies can’t go into Russia period. As far as NO, you can always tweak those’s like I believe Argo was doing with Axis roll help and test play.

  • 2021 '20 '18 '17

    @SS-GEN Yes, I am preparing for next year’s tournament, which is a bit different than OOB or Open play.

    1942 Set
    No NO
    No Tech
    Interception Rule Escorts 1 Defenders 2 Bombers 0
    5h 45m play time 5-6 turn game
    VC win
    If tied 9/9, total IPCs
    Average Bid 4
    Top Bid 6
    Allies win 9-7 games

    I don’t see this version as ANYWHERE close to equal. Axis have major issues in both versions, but worse in 1942

    1. Russia is neither weak nor out of range of help
    2. India is lost
    3. KGF is devastating even when Germany prepares all game
    4. bids higher than 14 allow the Axis to Sea Lion before the UK turn
    5. Axis setup is anemic and weak (1 tt for japan), most of the starting stuff is dead by turn 3
    6. this version has more territories for Russia as a buffer zone, and much more infantry
    7. pat buys are obvious–all tanks for Russia and all fighters for UK
    8. Russia cannot be defeated or Caucasus held under these conditions
    9. axis do only need 1 more city than start to win, but how they keep Karelia and all the others in the face of a MASSIVE allied fleet by turn 5 is a mystery to me

  • I think the UK factory can work, but as others said it has to be part of a coordinated and balanced allied effort. If you expect the IC alone to stop Japan, all you’ve done is bought Japan an IC to use against you.

    If I go with a India IC (in 41 or 42) I like to keep some soviet armor and air in Caucasus as an insurance policy. If Japan takes India with just one or two land units surviving, Russia can recapture it, and UK can place three new units before Japan can takes another strike. This means that Japan either has to hit India with such overwhelming force that they can take AND hold, OR be able to take it AND have a strong follow-up attack ready, and both of those scenarios take time.


  • @taamvan said in India Complex for UK - usually a bad idea?:

    The allies have a very easy way to win both versions of this game–buy fighters and send them to moscow. The middle is lost to the Axis–but Russia has tons of room to maneuver, plenty of time and pieces, and its 1 step for fighters from USA to london and 1 unblockable way from London to Moscow.

    Last night, there were 11 fighters, 4 bombers on Moscow by Turn 3. That and the unfavorable geometry for Axis control of Russia (all the contestible zones are right next to a well-defended moscow = dance back and forth all game, no way to stack up next to moscow before KGF comes knocking) means Axis has little chance of taking Moscow out and therefore winning.

    My thoughts: Sure Allies can do this to survive longer. Axis can do a similar move to keep Germany alive with Japanese ftrs in Europe and hold Europe ground longer as well. Meanwhile Japan will be making $50+ (NO game), and slowly either taking all Russians territories (income) or units (if Russia trades).

    Maybe because we play low luck, the crazy dice that MIGHT bite Germany and Japan during the first round WILL do so… Just looked at a dice simulator. G1 on Egypt is 95% win (no UK units left) with low luck, 80% with pure luck. Wow. Now I remember WHY we play will low luck.

    I bring this up because an early fallen Africa in German/Italy hands weakens UK, especially with Japan’s focus being the south pacific to also take money from UK. These dollars help Germany beef up her France defenses while keeping the pressure on Russia.


  • @PizzaPete said in India Complex for UK - usually a bad idea?:

    I think the UK factory can work, but as others said it has to be part of a coordinated and balanced allied effort. If you expect the IC alone to stop Japan, all you’ve done is bought Japan an IC to use against you.

    If I go with a India IC (in 41 or 42) I like to keep some soviet armor and air in Caucasus as an insurance policy. If Japan takes India with just one or two land units surviving, Russia can recapture it, and UK can place three new units before Japan can takes another strike. This means that Japan either has to hit India with such overwhelming force that they can take AND hold, OR be able to take it AND have a strong follow-up attack ready, and both of those scenarios take time.

    well not necessarily. The Axis can work well together too! German fighters in range can land to protect 2 Japanese infantry before the Russian counter attack. ftrs in Egypt or Eastern Poland or Ukraine are close enough to do the job.


  • Right, which is why it has to be part of a coordinated strategy. If Germany has air in range Russia would need several units of armor and air to make it work. Even in that case though, if the German fighters go to India, you can trade Russian armor for German fighters, and if they don’t, its not like having armor and air in Caucus isn’t going to be useful to Russia in eastern Europe. And its only a factor in '41. In '42 Russia’s turn follows Japan’s.

  • 2021 '20 '18 '17

    @PizzaPete @axis_roll

    Since there is no axis factory there to start, and planes can fly from UK in one turn, it is an area that should be conceded to Japan in order to focus on the KGF.

    In 42.2, the india factory is your vector to put fighters and armor into the middle, and it is much more difficult for Japan to take over unless the US heads east. If the US is focused on KGF, then India is eventually lost.

    In 42.2, the move is 4 spaces from Moscow/Egypt/India and so you can re-allocate and defend wherever you like.

    In AA50, the UK has an entire rescue force for Russia set up before its even needed. Some games dave has 5-10 UK pieces concentrated just to the west of India with Air that can come down from Russia…Japan will need 2 factories to try and overcome this.


  • @PizzaPete said in India Complex for UK - usually a bad idea?:

    , if the German fighters go to India, you can trade Russian armor for German fighters,

    Germany wouldn’t be ftrs in India if they’d be lost…

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @taamvan I think this says more about the weakness of the tournament design than about the game as a whole. How can you be expected to generate interesting results after only five turns of play? Anything even slightly non-obvious will require longer than that to wear down your opponent’s starting forces in a region. It takes four turns just to travel to some parts of the map from your starting factories – so if you build units in New York on turn 1, they just barely reach Leningrad or Stalingrad on the last turn of the game, even with no opposition. Or if you buy units in Tokyo on turn 1, they just barely reach Rome on the last turn. It’s just not enough time.


  • @argothair said in India Complex for UK - usually a bad idea?:

    @taamvan I think this says more about the weakness of the tournament design than about the game as a whole. How can you be expected to generate interesting results after only five turns of play?

    One idea to make the Short time frame of that tournament more palatable to a better game is to utilize dice averaging. Less dice to roll and less wild dice outcomes to skew the results.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18

    @argothair As a counter, I’d argue that the logistics challenges that come from a forced 5-6 turn time limit make for an interesting an alternative way to play. Having to try to scrounge together forces to make a critical, last-second attack in a crucial territory results in games that are wildly different from the hyper-optimized INF stack showdowns that define how A&A is played normally.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @domanmacgee Fair enough. My own taste lies somewhere in between those extremes, at 8 to 10 turns: long enough to actually build up for and plan an attack that has multiple moving parts, but not so long that you win based on squeezing out 1 ipc per Battle of expected value over and over and over again.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18

    @argothair I would typically agree with you about ideal game length, but as someone who’s gone to a decent number of IRL tournaments, you have to consider a few mitigating circumstances:

    A: Most tournaments (excluding stuff like the invitational tournaments @Young-Grasshopper and @siredblood have run out of their own homes) happen at large-scale conventions, so A&A only has a certain amount of allocated time to even hold its tournament.

    B: The sheer number of participants in the tournament demands that at least 3-4 rounds of preliminary games (if doing a swiss system) and/or another 2-3 rounds of playoff games need to be played over the course of the tournament. If you run a 8-9 round game in every round, you would need to have your tournament running for a fairly long amount of time, which leads me to my last point.

    C : Player fatigue. While stamina is a skill that should be factored in for Face-to-Face play, there has to be some level of realistic expectations of how much time players can allocate to the game during the tournament. People need to take time off of work/school to even attend a tournament in the first place, so realistically this only gives you 2-5 days to actually hold your tournament when you factor in travel time. A 5-6 turn game takes about 4-5 hours to play out (including the time it takes to set up the board/cleanup), and a 8-9 round game would probably take about 7 and a half hours or so unless the game is a one-sided curbstomp. Having matches go on for that long simply becomes unfeasible in a face-to-face environment (unless we one day have the honor of living in a world where A&A becomes as revered as something like Chess, of course, and corporations are willing to throw hundreds of thousands of dollars at players to participate in large-scale tournaments).

    EDIT: Grammar.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @domanmacgee You raise an excellent point! I do think it’s important to keep tournament games playable in just a few hours each; otherwise you wind up with silliness where there are so few games that you can win every game you play in the tournament and still come in 3rd.

    That said, my preferred ways to shorten tournament games are:

    1. Clocks! Set a time limit on each team’s thinking time per turn or for the whole game or both, and penalize players who exceed those limits with escalating penalties. If you’re late the first time, maybe you lose 1 ipc per minute. If you’re late a second time, maybe your turn ends immediately without a chance to make further moves. Any pieces that you’ve bought and not yet placed are automatically placed in your capital. Many players seem to feel that using time controls for Axis & Allies is somehow ridiculous, but if you want to play a lot of games in a short amount of time, it’s profoundly unfair to let one or two players ruin that schedule for everyone else.

    2. Simplify! There are all kinds of little quality of life changes that can make the game inherently easier and faster to play. Get rid of cruisers and you cut out all the time players spend squinting at ship profiles trying to guess if a ship is a destroyer or a cruiser. Buy some of the young grasshopper dice, and you save the time sorting dice into piles based on which dice hit on 1’s, 2’s, 3’s, and so on. If you play with national objectives, use physical trackers so you know at all times which NOs you are entitled to collect and what territories you’d need to seize to add one. Either use an income tracker and make damn sure it stays accurate in real-time, or leave the tracker at home and count up your income fresh each turn…but don’t waste everyone’s time by stopping play to fiddle with a tracker and then second-guessing the tracker by doing a backup count before every other purchase.

    3. Etiquette. Get in the habit of counting up your income and make your purchase while the player before you is finishing their noncombat move – you can change your buy if you really need to, but most of the time it’ll be pretty similar. If you’re playing on a team, have your strategy discussions while the other team is thinking or moving, not while it’s your turn to move. If you break for lunch, have a scheduled break where both sides step away from the board; don’t pause play while the axis get lunch, only for the game to stop again 10 minutes later while the allies get lunch.

    4. Fast Forward. If you do all of the above and you still need to cut the total number of turns, at least start the game later on in history. A 1942 scenario that ends after 6 turns could at least plausibly have a real D-Day landing or a real return to the Philippines. A 1940 scenario that ends after 6 turns means that the US and USSR barely got to play.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Customizer

    They the key is having both sides of the map going at same time. This is no way any knock towards any guys games and such.
    I know some have time limits to play a country but if you have battle boards on each end of map plus cut back on strategy talking when both players are discussing 1 country which is fine to a certain point then say Germany plays while Japan plays and other side is defending same time.

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