• Dear fellow A&A players,

    I have now played a few (50+) matches online and I have noticed that I struggle the most with the role and objectives of the UK. I find it hard to strike a balance between holding India and still support the USA by pressuring Germany (KGF). My question to more experienced playeres are:

    • What is your opening buy and what does it depend on? My current opening consists of a Fighter in UK and a mix of 3 Infantry/Artillery/Tanks to India. Going cheap in India gives the option to spend more on UK2 for vessels in Europe, but I find it also releases pressure of Japan.
    • The following are three options that I played around with:
      A) Kill transport and destroyer with Carrier and Cruiser, kill submarine near Pearl Harbor with Cruiser and submarine in order to soften the blow against the USA. Take transport and fighter to support northern african forces.
      B) Go all in and try to kill as much of the fleet on seazone 37 (don’t like that one myself, but it’s quite annoying to play against)
      C) Merge your split naval fleets in seazone 30
      Are these viable tactics or complete bollocks?
      Another general point I want to touch on is: what to do if Japan signals that it’s coming for India? Obviously UK cannot hold India if Japan wants to seize it, but the question remains how much effort should be put into defending India and if so how? Throw in 3x Infantry every round and hope for the best or actually pay some decent IPCs (mixing in tanks and fighters) to make the struggle harder?

    Let me know what you think
    cheers!


  • The ideal buy for UK1 is 3 inf, 1 carrier, 1 destroyer. This creates a UK navy round 1 that can start trading with Germany round 2. If this is not possible, 3 units and fighters. Always buy 3 land units in India if at all possible. This priority is above even creating a UK navy.

    A key point about defending India is that UK fighters should be sent within reach of landing in India round 3. Ideally landing West Russia round 2. With 3 purchases in india Round 1-3 and all available fighters arriving in india, Allies can usually hold.

    Hit sz61 with a fighter and cruiser. All other exchanges in the Pacific are unfavorable round 1. Better to wait until round 3 when US fleet is in Pacific (assuming it’s a KJF). Uk can either merge with USA fleet or trade east Indies round 3.


  • Great advise! Shifting fighters from UK to India wasn’t in my playbook yet. I will definetely adopt this move!

    Three more questions just came to my head:

    • What do you do with the rest of your navy at the coast of India if the cruiser and fighter are sent to sz 61? The carrier is doomed unless placed in seazone 33 and even there it can be reached by the fighters from the Japanes navy.
      Since Germany usually puts pressure on north Africa (most of the time attacking Trans-Jordan G1) I like to ferry 1 inf from India and 1 inf from Persia to Egypt. The transport is a lost after that maneuver most of the time obviously. Is that a reasonable move or should I try to hold on to India as much as possible and leave Africa to the Germans?
    • This is a detailed one: what do you do with your one infantry unit in Burma? Send it to support the 2 US infantry in Yunnan and hope to slow down the Japanese’s way to India or send it straight to India and just let the two US units take the beating?
    • What is your plan with the transport near Australia? I like to pick up one inf form Australia, the next one from New Zealand and ferry them to either Westafrica or perhaps even European shores.
  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    @meterpaffay Not the person who initially replied but to answer your questions:

    • I used to like attacking the Japanese fleet off of DEI but recently I’ve started preferring to send that fleet through the Suez Canal to wipe out the German Mediterranean navy instead. It’s better odds and you have a good chance of keeping the fleet alive long enough to have it link up with the main Atlantic UK Fleet (or support the Americans).

    • India. You need to be sending as much as you can to India against a good Japan player or they’ll take it. Once India goes down, unless you’ve made significant progress in beating Germany, the Axis are probably going to win the game via Japan building 3 Tanks a turn in India and pummeling Caucasus.

    • I like sending it to Solomon Islands to deny Japan a place to land its air force, but your ideas are good too (unless Japan kills the transport before it can go anyway). You can also have the Transport hang out in the South Pacific and force Japan to always keep some navy around so you don’t snipe DEI or Borneo unexpectedly. You may also want to outright send it to India to help stack.

    P.S. My buy is more-or-less the same as what @Boston_NWO posted, buy I may be a second destroyer instead of the 2 INF if Germany bought navy.


  • Building a bunch of tanks in India with Japan is a bad idea. It’s really easy for Russia to hold this off and trade infantry for tanks indefinitely. I see it a lot though. Tank spam in Asia from Japan. It doesn’t work in my games, but maybe it’s working against weaker Allied play.


  • @meterpaffay said in How to play UK:

    • The following are three options that I played around with:
      A) Kill transport and destroyer with Carrier and Cruiser, kill submarine near Pearl Harbor with Cruiser and submarine in order to soften the blow against the USA. Take transport and fighter to support northern african forces.

    Just a note on that move: it’ll only work at the lower levels of play, where people don’t always set their Japanese sub to submerge as the round 1 defence profile. I’ve found that as you go up the rankings, the UK can almost never kill that sub.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    @ericb I don’t see how it’s “easy” for USSR to hold off tank pressure from India while managing to not die to Germany, unless you’re not taking India in your games until like round 5 and you’re also playing against a 100% KGF from the Allies.


  • @domanmacgee Yeah it’s a 100% KGF, and usually India can hold on until at least round 4 or so. If Japan goes for India it pretty much hands central Asia to Russia. Once the UK and US contain Germany, then Russia can focus totally on Japan. Eventually Japan will wear down Russia, but if Japan is building all tanks then Russia can hold them off indefinitely trading tanks for infantry.

    The UK can also assist with Japan using the units that retreated from India and possibly bringing in more via Karelia.

    Sometimes I get games where Germany just keeps coming at Russia despite the Allies being able to take Berlin. When this happens the UK or US takes Berlin and Moscow may fall as well. After that, the Allies build a Pacific fleet and go take Hawaii and Philippines, then either get Russia or India for the win.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    @ericb I can agree with you that, in the situation you outlined where India holds until J4 (and thus, Japan isn’t building out of the India factory until J5), Japan building Tanks is a waste of time. That being said, Japan not taking India until tun 4 in the face of a 100% KGF from the Allies seems like either bad Japan play or really bad dice luck.

    Either way, this side-conversation has little to do with the main point I was trying to make in my initial post. Losing India means losing center map control, which means that Japan becomes an IPC monster and (assuming your Germany Play is competent), the Axis gain economic superiority and can just do a good-old-fashion INF push to slowly strangle the Allies and win the long game.


  • @domanmacgee i want to point out that in about 60 percent of my games as axis I dont take india as japan until round 8 or later. Often Moscow falls before India does in my games. Build a factory and infantry push to moscow, and Allies are stuck with 10-20 units in india doing absolutely nothing.

    India is this shiny object for many intermediate Japan players. It is a very risky play. The round 3 timing is the strongest point and even then favors Allies by 3-4 units. As Japan, I wait for an allies mistake like overextending africa, misposition russia, misposition uk fighterd before I even consider

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    @boston_nwo This is true at a high level but the specific scenario that was being discussed in this thread is how to respond to a 100% KGF. What initially spawned this conversation is that I was arguing that, to play UK correctly, you should put effort into fortifying India lest it fall. Of course the correct response to this as Japan is to simply go around India, but are you suggesting that, in a scenario where India is sparsely defended, that you should ignore the free 6 IPC swing + factory two tiles away from Caucasus and opt for the slow, methodical route anyway?


  • @domanmacgee I usually go directly for Russia as Japan in KGF. In my earlier post, I described exactly the kinds of Allies misplays that would motivate me to consider taking India round 3. In the first 5 rounds, I don’t seriously consider attempting India any round other than round 3 unless something really crazy happens. Round 3 is Japan’s power spike where japan’s starting units in Japan are fully deployed.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    @marineiguana Sounds like me more-or-less agree then. If you’re not getting into India J3 then that probably means UK fortified it correctly (and didn’t go on any adventures in SEA/the money islands), and thus India is not worth the cost of taking it.


  • I have a somewhat different approach to Great Britain. My first round buy is 3 fighters which get dropped into India. Ideally, by the end of round 2, you’ve consolidated the other two fighters with those 3 in India, creating a hornet’s nest to warn off the Japanese fleet. After R1, it’s 3 infantry every round to India until Japan has fully committed in Central Asia, then maybe build some armor, but India is a terrible place to launch an offensive from. The Indian Ocean fleet has only one chance to survive and that’s if the Germans leave you with the Suez Canal still open in R1, giving you the escape hatch into the Med, where the fleet will probably also get destroyed. If the canal is closed, use the cruiser and carrier to attack the transport off the coast of China and your transport goes to Borneo with 2 infantry. It’s a suicide mission for all concerned, but it succeeds about 75% of the time and Japan can’t afford to ignore the 4 IPC loss for very long, thus diverting resources from the campaign on India. Whatever you do, though, don’t camp your India/Egypt fighter on the Indian Carrier, they have more important things to do than get shot down trying to defend the walking dead.

    The Aussie fleet has a choice in round 1- grab an aussie and a kiwi infantry and head for Africa, or try and sink the Japanese sub with the hope that your opponent doesn’t know that they can create defense profiles to submerge their sub when attacked. The pro to sinking the sub is that you might survive Pearl Harbor, the con is that if the sub submerges, you’ll still lose the American Navy and the Aussies will be extremely vulnerable.

    Meanwhile, in England, other than the 3 infantry going to India, it’s Destroyers and a Carrier in round 2 if it’s safe enough, otherwise a bomber and a few infantry/arty for the eventual attack on Europe. Once you have enough ships to defend, it’s transport and infantry time, building up to attack wherever Germany is the most exposed in concert with the American offensive.

    By round 5, the Germans should be knocking on Moscow’s door and the Japanese will probably be poised for an all out assault on India (which England won’t win in all likelihood), so the 5 fighters bail on the poor people of India and go to Moscow, where the American fighter from China has also fled to earlier and those six, plus the 2 Russian fighters that you haven’t allowed to die yet, make up a devastating defense when supported by the 20 or so infantry that you’ve built up/pulled back from everywhere else. Just sit back and watch the confidence of the German army vanish in the snow outside Moscow once they realize that they’ve over committed into Russia and have no way to make it back to Berlin as the US/English forces start to land along the coast.


  • William, I think that’s a reasonable play and a coherent strategy. I wanted to point out a couple variations.

    1. You are right that the UK India navy position is untenable. Other than sacrificing it round 1, UK can sail it around Africa to reach France by Round 4 - perfectly timed for when Allies have a peak power advantage on Germany.
    2. Japan can completely ignore India and move directly on China. Playing as Axis, I do this the vast majority of my games unless UK plays in a way that loses India Round 3. Japan can cluster the fleet at sz61, avoiding the UK fighter pressure.
    3. Most of the strongest UK players prioritize creating a UK fleet round 1. this is because the UK navy applies threat to 6 Germany territories (7 if you count Karelia). A fleet with transports also activates the existing UK units at the capital. 1 carrier, 1 destroyer, 3 infantry allows UK to create a navy round 1 while also placing maximum units in India.

  • Thought I’d responded to some points in this thread but maybe not.

    Anyways seeing how the thread is necro and there’s a lot of stuff floating around - going to write some for some of the more “advanced” players I suppose, though I don’t like that term.

    1. UK is for the most skilled player.
    2. In a decent game without aberrant dice, UK abandons India to help hold Russia. If the Allies position stabilizes, UK can reclaim India in time.

    So I read some stuff through the thread like players saying this happens or that happens. But this is just the same oversimplified hash that I’m always saying new players shouldn’t fall for.

    Examples?

    Suppose Germany blew up UK’s East Canada destroyer and had two submarines and all its air surviving against the UK battleship battle northeast of London, losing the cruiser. The combination is not super likely, but as each action individually has decent expectations of success, there is good reason for Germany to undertake both, and Germany can get lucky.

    (As to WHY Germany does those actions, I won’t get into that here as this is a UK thread but anyone can start a Germany thread or whatever.)

    Then let’s also say Germany lands its air in range of the UK sea zones, which is also not necessarily the case but can reasonably happen (if Germany doesn’t try to hold Ukraine using German fighters, if Germany doesn’t land fighters on a new Mediterranean carrier).

    So then Germany has two submarines five fighters against UK destroyer, cruiser, carrier, and two fighters. It’s not a fantastic battle for Germany, but Germany does have the advantage that it doesn’t really care what happens to its submarines, but every UK fleet loss has to be replaced. (Well, not the cruiser so much, but still). And there’s some complications, like UK potentially losing a very expensive carrier early, or losing its cheaper fighters and thus losing defense power early.

    Then there’s also the question of what UK’s transport fleet looks like and its planned usage.

    Yes, this is all a bit involved, I know. But I did say UK is for the most skilled player. The stuff I’m talking about so far isn’t even the complicated stuff, it’s not even the basic level, it’s the stuff you know before you even get to basic level.

    So let’s say you drop destroyer and carrier and Germany can’t punish. Somehow. But there’s no guarantee of that either. Because Germany air purchases and moves may have left USSR-controlled West Russia in danger of being broken on G2, so UK may not want to keep its London fighters back to land on a carrier, they might want to land on West Russia instead.

    And inevitably some silly person speaks up saying “but if Germany breaks West Russia then Germany loses all its tanks”. But first, we don’t know that happens, second we don’t know what happens even if that does happen, third that doesn’t consider the possibility of Germany attacking then retreating, fourth that doesn’t consider the two-peak model plus the aforementioned uncertainties which mean Germany may attack with intent to retreat but keep its options open to simply crack West Russia like an egg, withstand any USSR counter, then crush Russia and Axis go on to win handily.

    And when I say that Japan lands two fighters on a carrier south of Persia so they have range to reinforce any G2 push to West Russia or Karelia, and/or Japan pushes a bomber to Europe as early as J1, maybe you start getting an idea of what I mean by UK basic level. UK basic means you’re watching the USSR stacks, the German stacks, USSR ability to defend against Germany, Japan’s reinforcements, you know all of that, you know all their little tricks for both sides, and you know how to use UK to thread that needle. And even then you’re not advanced, you’re just basic.

    So how do you know when you’re a little advanced? Well, when you start to understand the applications, and by that point you’re no longer following dogmatic simple advice like “always buy two fighters two infantry one artillery”, but instead you’re looking at the board and in your head it’s like the Matrix. Except of course by the time you’re actually there you don’t think of it as being complicated.

    So let’s say Germany lost all its subs on G1, then you’re considering a UK1 buy of carrier and transport because you’re trying to threaten against 1) any German fortification of Norway and/or Finland, 2) threatening capture of BOTH Norway AND Finland if Germany does NOT defend both (which it can’t comfortably do), 3) thinking about what you do if Germany and Japan land mass air at Karelia threatening any UK2 landing, 4) how German fighters at Karelia have limited range opening up a possible UK/US landing at France and NW Europe, 5) US’s builds and fleet timings and how Germany and Japan actions and UK actions may or may not make landings possible as part of an overall strategic plan. Then there’s some other stuff I won’t get into, but even all this stuff doesn’t mean “master” level thinking. That’s just barely the basics level.

    All I’m doing there is making the point that playing UK involves more complicated decisions and a better understanding of each other power in the game, and a better understanding of the game itself, than any other single power.

    If someone wants to oversimplify for newer players, okay. But even newer players should understand when it is being oversimplified.

    To answer the OP, what do I do?

    Roughly, it goes like this:

    1. I think about the opposing team, any play experience I have of them in the past, any guesses I have as to how they’ll play based on what they’ve said or what they’ve done. I try to figure out their risk preferences, their play preferences, and their familiarity with different lines.

    Then it’s important that one remember one’s own risk preferences, familiarities with lines, and weaknesses.

    For example? I’m risk averse; when I carry out an action I want to have a good backup plan in case the dice don’t work out. So I try to use superior calculation and long-term planning, wait for an opponent to drop the ball and/or screw up, then I just grind them to death.

    But when I play against Craig, I can’t afford to do that, because Craig uses what I call threat multiplication (an unfortunate personal term that bears only passing resemblance to the term as it’s used properly in current military parlance). In fact Craig’s the one that TAUGHT me that. So when I play against Craig, I have to remember I just can’t afford to play it “safe” because that play style doesn’t work, and he’s strong enough that he probably won’t just fall into a grind-to-death trap. He WILL have his chances at reversals, and I have to let him take them, because trying to beat him easy raw power and raw calculations just doesn’t work against his play style.

    1. UK1 you have to look at West Russia, Szechuan, the UK East Canada sea zone, the UK/German position in the Atlantic, including whether the UK cruiser survived, Germany’s actions in the Mediterranean. You also have to look at USSR’s actions, USSR1 dice outcomes, Germany’s actions, Germany1’s dice outcomes, Germany’s buys, Germany’s air placement, and you should also have asked US what its plans were.

    Why? Roughly it’s something like this. If Germany has a good attack on West Russia there’s a good chance it takes it. And why? Not because Germany intends to capture West Russia, but simply because Germany is trying to kill a load of USSR units to weaken USSR’s threats. Why does trading make any sense to Germany? Because USSR can use a SINGLE W Rus stack to threaten BOTH Karelia AND Ukraine, both of which are points Germany wants to push to. But Germany does not have to worry so much about its ability to press and hold against USSR, because a German push can be followed by Japanese fighter reinforcements, and Germany’s advancing has less to do with raw power single stack offense against raw power multiple power stack defense, and more about Germany simultaneously threatening multiple territories which the Allies can’t both defend so Allies give way at one so Germany presses. OK?

    What I’m getting at is it’s not enough that USSR defend West Russia against a German capture action. USSR’s defense at West Russia should be strong enough that Germany can’t even get good results off a planned attack then retreat action. Often that means UK wants to land its London fighters on West Russia, NOT on a newly built carrier in Atlantic. (But it’s a little complicated so read on).

    So then you start thinking about G2 attacks into West Russia. Besides UK fighter reinforcement what else can reach? The US fighter on Szechwan. Even without any USSR reinforcements on Szechwan, Japan attacking Szechwan is still risky. USSR can move in an infantry, UK can maybe land a fighter from its Indian Ocean fleet (more on that later). But if UK doesn’t do that, if USSR doesn’t do that, then the Allies have to think about the possibility that Japan makes even a bad attack against Szechwan, just to kill the US fighter, just so it can’t reinforce West Russia, just so Germany has better odds against West Russia on G2. OK? When I say UK needs to look at West Russia, I don’t mean UK can just take for granted that US has can fly in a fighter from Szechwan, UK needs to be aware that Japan has options that may prevent that.

    I mentioned that UK may not land a fighter on Szechwan and there’s complications regarding UK fighters on a new UK carrier in Atlantic.

    First, suppose Germany gets territory in Africa. In some ways that’s nice because it pulls German units out of Europe, but quick German tanks running through Africa cuts UK income quick and increases German income quick. Germany leverages that income into superior unit count in its Europe factories, then that becomes a problem for the Allies down the line, whether they’re trying to break down Berlin/Europe, or whether Germany’s trying to beat down USSR’s door. More money gives Germany more options, and though there IS that tradeoff of Germany committing resources to Africa, a skilled Axis player leverages that advantage in the midgame to the Axis advantage. So to prevent exactly that, UK may (it also may not) have the opportunity to destroy Germany’s Mediterranean fleet, then use its Union of South Africa infantry along with UK air to destroy any quick German incursion into Africa.

    UK will almost certainly lose Africa after Japan captures India for various reasons, but the point is to keep the income out of German hands. But if UK uses its air in the area (and the London bomber) to hit Germany’s Med fleet then there isn’t a UK fighter available to land on Szechwan.

    See? It’s all connected.

    As to early Allied landing in Finland/Norway, it’s not so simple. Yes, in some scenarios the Axis can beat up any premature UK fleet. But in other scenarios the Axis can’t beat up any UK fleet, for example suppose Germany landed all its fighters in Ukraine and/or Africa (to choke off early USSR income and push UK out of Africa, so there’s reason for Germany to do this, I’m not just saying it just randomly happens). But if that happens then maybe UK can try for some early greedy grabs of territory because it can’t be punished - and UK will WANT to be a bit greedy, because UK is going to take losses elsewhere that it can’t reasonably prevent because of Axis actions. OK?

    Then there’s all the other things I mentioned earlier too.

    So you have to think about all those things. Sometimes you’ll go three infantry for India and two fighters for London, sometimes you’ll go two infantry one artillery for India and two fighters for London, sometimes you’ll go two infantry one tank for India and save the rest, sometimes you’ll pop in a UK1 bomber to help out in Africa and/or pressure Mediterranean early.

    Even off the same board position, what you choose can and probably should be different based on what you think your opponent will do.


  • @william-macphereson said in How to play UK:

    I have a somewhat different approach to Great Britain.

    I’m going to make a distinction. Some posters say that I just don’t like anything different to what I write, which is the same I say of certain other posters. But you’ll notice I don’t hesitate to break down the numbers and the details (which others don’t do, not really), and even when I do disagree with something “different” to how I would play, I make a distinction between “different wrong” and “just different”.

    Recent example, I think it was “1baddude” on Steam, said he split a German Atlantic sub off to hit the UK cruiser. And this is NOT something I would do, it IS different. But I do not say it is WRONG; I can build out a mathematical line that shows that there are solid reasons to do that exact play. It isn’t something I would normally do, it’s “different”, but I don’t say it’s “wrong”.

    But for the unquoted parts, building UK1 3 fighters and the planned usage, mmm . . . well, I hesitate to say “wrong”, but I’m certainly going to say it all is described completely different to what I’d think reasonable to expect.

    “3 fighters which get dropped into India. Ideally, by the end of round 2, you’ve consolidated the other two fighters with those 3 in India, creating a hornet’s nest to warn off the Japanese fleet.”

    . . . except that doesn’t happen, I think.

    First, Allied defense of West Russia is by no means a certain situation. Can you really afford to have a “hornet’s nest” at India? Considering even German attack and withdraw actions could be profitable, considering Japan could kill the US fighter on Szechwan even if USSR reinforced with an infantry. Second, why do you need five fighters on India? Even if Japan’s Kwangtung transport survives, even if you transported units out of India (which you said you did to attack Borneo), you still won’t need five fighters on India, Japan simply shouldn’t leave anything in range for UK to get a good battle - why would Japan do otherwise?

    If you are playing out-of-the-box setup instead of the LHTR setup then you could maybe make a case, but I assume the LHTR setup is used as that’s what’s standard for ladder. Which, by the way, if you DO assume out-of-the-box setup, that’s perfectly valid, but I think it would be good to make that clear, yes? Makes a lot of difference.

    But either way, let’s think about what really happens.

    1. My assertion is India is NOT immediately threatened by Japan. I say UK1 build of 2 fighters on London 3 infantry on India means, if West Russia isn’t broken, that UK2 can land those UK1 London fighters on West Russia then by UK3 they make it to India. More specifically I’m saying UK overcomes its local production limits of 3 units on India by building on London and shifting those to India.

    If you claim UK1 3 fighter build on India has a use, I could go with that. But you’ll need something better than a vague “hornet’s nest”, got to have some very specific usage that makes the unit count loss at India worth it (compared to UK1 2 fighter 2 infantry 1 artillery or some other combination of 3 UK ground on India).

    1. My assertion is UK does NOT have a hornet’s nest to warn off the Japan fleet. J1-J2 consolidate control of the Asian coast, then J3 Japan starts dropping to Yunnan. This is what happens even if the Allies push KJF (Kill Japan First). UK fighters on India simply don’t have the range to hit any important Japanese fleet elements at any sort of favorable odds for those first few turns, and probably UK will never be able to use its air effectively against Japan, barring possibly threat on Burma, but there again, compare UK1 3 fighters on India to UK1 3 ground on India and 2 fighters on London. The application for UK fighters at India is very specific. It’s not all bad, but I don’t know that I’d say it’s worth the opportunity cost.

    Remember, 1942 Online (unlike in 1942 Second Edition) you can’t land UK fighters on US carriers. If you COULD then mass UK air is a whole other story (and how), but you CAN’T. Supposedly it’s been about a year and a half and no official announcements as to their intending to put it in, so I figure it’s probably not in. Anyways.

    “After R1, it’s 3 infantry every round to India until Japan has fully committed in Central Asia, then maybe build some armor”.

    Disagree. If you said infantry or artillery and maybe a tank somewhere, then I’d be like yeah. But pure infantry cuts your options.

    Theoretically you build infantry because you don’t want to spend on artillery which you’ll lose to a counter. Theoretically you have a glut of UK air. But in practical terms that isn’t the case. If you must use your air to get favorable odds to hit a target, then you must use that air for that attack, which means you can’t use your air for other actions. Your opponent knows your options are limited, so then they can hit you with multiple threat options and force you to choose. Whatever you don’t hit they then have the advantage at, and why? Because you went pure infantry and limited your options. And remember, you specified UK is fighter-heavy, not bombers. UK fighters aren’t bad at all, but what do UK fighters on India really have range to do? Sitting on India all they can do is defend. Yes, UK1 mass India air does threaten off J1 battleship/carrier/2 fighters south of Persia, but on the flip side those UK fighters aren’t on West Russia defending there either so Germany has better options. From India, UK fighters can fly to West Russia but there’s not really room for any other action; UK fighters can also help stave off German incursion into Africa etc. etc. but again and again the issue is UK fighters don’t really have a load of flexibility for a long time. And when you do have openings, I assert that often you’ll want cheap UK artillery so you have better options.

    Maybe in the back of your mind you’re thinking those UK fighters threaten the Borneo sea zone. But if Japan recaptures Borneo, which it has excellent chances at (unless UK lucksacks on the capture and again on the defense) - but at the outset of the UK action, UK can’t know it will lucksack. So the expected outcome is Japan recaptures Borneo then UK fighters on India don’t have range to hit the sea zone.

    But moving on, suppose Japan tries to capture and hold Burma. There’s going to be a turn where it’s awkward for Japan; all UK units on India can hit Burma then retreat, potentially killing a load of Japanese units for a few UK units, and Japan won’t be able to land fighters if it just captured Burma. But in that scenario, if you want to inflict a chunk of casualties, cheap artillery is going to boost UK’s options. But you can just use a UK fighter to make up for the lack of UK artillery? Not really; that’s why I made the point that UK fighters aren’t terribly flexible. If you want to use a UK fighter to help defend West Russia, you can’t have that UK fighter hit Burma, it won’t make it. So if you want to make up the difference, you will want something else. Make sense? And 1 IPC for changing an infantry for an artillery buys two attack pips; 10 IPCs for three attack pips on a fighter you can see isn’t as efficient. (The mathematics works out a bit differently to what I’m implying but in effect 1 IPC for 2 pips or 10 IPCs for 3 pips, it’s just a lot.)

    As to late tanks, I sort of disagree. UK can get some very interesting and nice things off early tanks between Africa and even later in Europe, just opens up a lot of options. But is that really worth trading off sheer early unit count? Maybe not. So maybe you don’t build early tanks. But late tanks? Assuming the Axis are competent, probably late UK tanks are way too late to do anything useful. So if you do want gains off tanks, early can make a big difference. Late tanks, it’s sort of too late and UK’s economy gets tied up with units at London anyways.

    The rationale on UK tanks early/late? Okay, obviously if you have a UK tank at India then you can blitz towards Africa, and maybe depending you can capture Morocco, Algeria, Libya, or at least deny German income in the south and at Egypt. Or if you have a UK tank at Europe, maybe you can use it (there’s a lot of complicated shenanigans UK can pull) against probably Germany, sure. But it must be early. If UK delays too much at northwest Africa, then Germany is sitting on uncontested income, probably US wants to step in, then US gets the income and UK never does. So it’s early or never there. Or if Germany somehow managed to sneak a tank into undefended south Africa and for whatever reason UK’s South Africa infantry and air can’t do anything and US didn’t do anything, then again, IF all that happens, then if UK builds a tank late it’s going to be too late; Japan can drop to Africa to secure German income even if that means bypassing India, then Germany is just impossible to dislodge. If you have a lone tank racing west, maybe it doesn’t get cut off by Germany from Caucasus because Germany didn’t capture Caucasus yet, maybe Japan doesn’t blow it up because Japan’s still developing at Yunnan and the Asian coast - but late? Late, Japan will be in the area or even if Japan’s dealing with KJF, Germany will have secured the early income. Late is too late.

    " transport goes to Borneo with 2 infantry. It’s a suicide mission for all concerned, but it succeeds about 75% of the time"

    1. Less than 68%.

    http://calc.axisandallies.org/?mustland=0&abortratio=0&saveunits=0&strafeunits=0&aInf=2&aArt=&aArm=&aFig=&aBom=&aTra=&aSub=&aDes=&aCru=0&aCar=&aBat=&adBat=&dInf=1&dArt=&dArm=&dFig=&dBom=&dTra=&dSub=&dDes=&dCru=&dCar=&dBat=&ddBat=&ool_att=Bat-Inf-Art-AArt-Arm-Sub-SSub-Des-Fig-JFig-Cru-Bom-HBom-Car-dBat-Tra&ool_def=Bat-Inf-Art-AArt-Arm-Bom-HBom-Sub-SSub-Des-Car-Cru-Fig-JFig-dBat-Tra&battle=Run&rounds=&reps=10000&luck=pure&ruleset=AA1942&territory=&round=1&pbem=

    Also there’s other considerations. You drain two infantry out of India which seems to be compensated for because Japan has to use its Japan transport to recapture Borneo. If you get super lucksack with UK1’s attack maybe you have two defenders on Borneo and it can get awkward for Japan, but there’s no guarantee at all that you can use those planned 5 UK fighters on India to hit Japan at Borneo, and regardless J2 recaptures.

    Maybe you’re thinking that the load of UK power has got to mean something, but it doesn’t work out that way against decent Axis. Think about the pie-in-the-sky projection, you capture Borneo, mass UK fighters on India, Japan doesn’t hit the US fleet at Hawaiian Islands, US captures Solomons. Even off a stock J1 opening that ends its turn with 4 transports, Japan has a counter of 8 ground 4 air and bombards easily against Borneo against perhaps 8 defenders, UK and US trade their whole air for cheap Japanese ground. But that doesn’t happen, and UK doesn’t buy an IC on Borneo as it can’t defend it? All right, Japan recaptures Borneo with little trouble, defending with two battleships, two carriers, four fighters, destroyer, and cruiser; US can ramp up pretty fast but hitting Borneo sea zone on US2 is still too fast, so that doesn’t happen, right? And if US doesn’t press a hard response to Borneo, then Japan can commit less fleet, J2 can still start building 2 subs a turn against KJF, etc.

    What I’m getting at is, Allies can have a load of power in the area but it’s very hard to leverage against competent Axis. Especially with 1942 Online’s rules changes. Remember also, if US1 builds Pacific fleet, Germany probably has a load of freedom at Europe and Africa, and that’s going to be trouble.

    Anyways you start looking at the pros and the cons and it comes down to UK has less at India, UK’s India stack makes less impact when it pushes into Europe as it retreats from Japan, the loss of UK flexibility contrasted to ease of Japan’s response - my opinion is Borneo shouldn’t be the “stock” UK move. Even if UK1 capturing Borneo without using a cruiser bombard was 75%, even 80%, I would question it.

    Don’t get me wrong. I like playing greedy, even when it’s mathematically wrong. So would I hit Borneo? Sure, yeah, I’ve been known to do it. Yay UK income. But that’s not the same as recommending it.

    But if someone says to park the UK transport east of Africa I’m not going to say that’s wrong either. There’s reasons for that too.

    “Whatever you do, though, don’t camp your India/Egypt fighter on the Indian Carrier,”

    Considering you said to send UK’s Indian Ocean carrier and cruiser against Japan’s destroyer and transport off Kwangtung, sure.

    But players - especially UK players - need to THINK, not just accept, but to think, run the numbers, etc.

    Such as? Say Germany parked its battleship and transport south of Italy and built a Mediterranean carrier. Depending on other Germany moves, maybe UK doesn’t have any good options to hit the German Mediterranean fleet. So then what does UK do? Probably UK still wants to destroy Japan’s Kwantgung destroyer / transport, but now UK can use air to do it, as UK doesn’t have any other good targets for its air near India anyways.

    So then what happens with UK’s India carrier and transport? If Germany didn’t hit Egypt or Trans-Jordan then you can potentially have east of Africa UK destroyer, carrier, and fighter. Japan can only hit that with two fighters. But does Japan do that? Probably not. So there’s a decent chance that UK can preserve some fleet to head around South Africa to join up in Atlantic.

    Which doesn’t seem like such a big deal maybe but as I’ve written elsewhere, I think Japan should push big air to Europe against KGF, then believe me the Allies are scrambling through the couch for pocket change. A destroyer and a carrier even late is pretty nice.

    “The Aussie fleet has a choice in round 1- grab an aussie and a kiwi infantry and head for Africa, or try and sink the Japanese sub”

    Or hit New Guinea. Usually I would say UK Aus fleet heading towards Atlantic and eventually Europe (not Africa) is the way to go. Specifically, if UK can capture Morocco UK3 and push east, that’s ideal; UK wants all the income it can get. But normally I expect UK to make a play for Morocco on UK2 anyways. As to dropping to southwest Africa, I think US is better for that. Yes, UK air in the India region means UK ground in India has better options, but UK fleet in Atlantic is so much better I don’t know that I would want to delay. But anyways though UK Aus to Africa is something to keep in mind, I think UK Aus often ends up northeast Atlantic.

    “Meanwhile, in England, other than the 3 infantry going to India, it’s Destroyers and a Carrier in round 2 if it’s safe enough, otherwise a bomber and a few infantry/arty for the eventual attack on Europe”

    That sounds pretty optimistic to me.

    A lot of players say “yeah you can just buy whatever!” but if you’re really looking to squeeze the last bit of efficiency out of every IPC, think on this.

    UK is starving for income, always. London can place 8 units, India 3, combined 11 units, pure infantry buy requires 33 IPCs. Yes, UK transports in Atlantic can drop to any number of territories but still, infantry aren’t terribly flexible. You want some artillery in there to free up your air to hit other targets of opportunity, you want air, you want transports, you want naval escorts. 33 IPC will not be enough, and if you’re looking at UK income after India falls, you’re still looking at 24 IPC just for infantry. If UK wants any sort of tactical flexibility at all, it needs more than just infantry, so UK is absolutely starving for income, always.

    You do UK1 3 fighter buy, then follow up with excess navy and bomber buys, and UK’s going to be low on unit count. You really have to think about the tradeoffs. If you go a bomber (just one) I’d say probably you could make something of that between Asia, Africa, and Europe, but you throw in a bunch of fighters and destroyers too? UK fighters and destroyers don’t have much tactical flexibility, throw in low unit count and I expect it to be an issue. Well, against decent players.

    “By round 5, the Germans should be knocking on Moscow’s door and the Japanese will probably be poised for an all out assault on India (which England won’t win in all likelihood)”

    That doesn’t happen with competent Axis players.

    See what you think.

    G1 infantry/artillery buy, G2 infantry on Berlin, then depending either G3 infantry to start building stack defense against Allies (Germany doesn’t want to endlessly trade) or G3 tanks to push the timing on USSR. The G2 Berlin infantry/artillery build push into Ukraine on G4, if Japan is running late it grabs India right around then (it isn’t “poised” to start threatening India on J5, that’s just way late), and Japanese fighters reinforce German stack pressing in towards USSR and/or Karelia.

    From G4 capture and hold of Ukraine, both West Russia and Caucasus are threatened; probably the Allies can’t defend both so fall back from West Russia, Germany moves into West Russia in force on G5, then USSR has to defend Russia or Caucasus so defends Russia, then Germany presses into Caucasus on G6, and only on G7 does Germany seriously threaten Russia. And in that there’s some threats and timings I didn’t detail, like Germany moving its Western Europe stack into Berlin to defend it while moving its Berlin stack into Baltic States, freeing Germany to build bombers to hit Russia with, German tanks on Karelia threatening to hit Russia immediately provided certain things, any UK/US pressure into Karelia possibly being crushed by Germany’s stack on West Russia.

    OK? Everything makes sense so far?

    So the question is if the Axis player is competent, then why is Japan screwing around with India? First, why is Japan so late with its pressure against India? Second, if Germany is developing pressure against Russia, that should be obvious to Japan, so Japan should be trying to bleed off USSR units and income in the east. If UK has a stack at India that gets cut off after Germany grabs Caucasus, too bad for UK, it can’t unite with Russia. Then after Russia falls, Russia has 8 local production and Caucasus 4, plus Japan’s 8, 20 units against about 3 units a turn on India, India falls for sure.

    What I’m saying is the Axis know all this, so if Germany is SERIOUSLY threatening Russia, then Japan is NOT seriously threatening India, because that’s like Japan being off picking flowers and watching the pretty birds while the war is lost or won in Europe. And Japan should not do that.

    If it’s a G5 threat against Moscow, probably that came off a G1 West Russia break, which was all calculated before Germany’s first turn purchase phase. So Germany is racing to choke Russia out, and if Japan is on its back foot screwing around with India - you see?

    So I’m saying with competent Axis, either you probably see G7 pressure against Russia at earliest and Japan capturing India J5 (if not earlier), but J5 is kinda late. But if you have G5 pressure against Russia, Japan is trying to choke out Russia ASAP instead of sitting uselessly near India. And real talk, if G5 pressure against Russia was all calculated and projected, then probably UK lost India anyways early because UK had to abandon it early to send reinforcemetns ASAP to Russia. That’s why I’m saying that scenario where G5 is going to hit Russia but ends up failing while Japan is screwing around against India, none of that remotely should be happening.

    ==

    Don’t get me wrong, if the Axis aren’t competent then it all plays out as was described; UK air is a hornet’s nest against Japanese navy because Japan plays completely incompetently, Germany overcommits to early tanks and air and runs out of steam against Russia, Japan makes a late and bad attack against India. Sure.

    Or even if the Axis are competent, considering different player decisions and dice outcomes, some of that could happen. Kind of.

    But if making the case for usage, you can see where I’m saying it’s appropriate additional details be provided. Instead of simple and dogmatic “always do this”, it ends up being more “under specific conditions XYZ and ABC, THEN you do this”

    But even if you attach conditions to the actions, UK1 3 fighters on India followed by UK pure infantry on India is, I think, going to be tough. Like yeah you can get away with it against the meta, maybe, but I don’t know that I would say it’s “solid”.

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