Thank you for the post. I can add, especially winning in the live tournament format:
Sun-Tzu know your opponent: Any information that can be gained about their playstyle, opinions and predilections can become an advantage. You may also have to share information, but it may not be a 1-for-1 trade, (example; You know I like to buy mechs as Germany, I know you think stratbombing is a bad ROI)
Your job is to ensure luck matters as little as possible. This is why you use overwhelming force–more than to prevent multiple rounds of retals, it ensures victory where board position matters more than TUV trade. Some battles are forced by circumstance as in your example where your partner loses a big battle–you may need to take a risk. Its better to take that risk before, rather than after, you’re in a desparate situation. But moreover–its best to force your opponents to take those risks by simply turtling well and making him impatient for a close to 50/50 attack.
Decisive Battle; Some battles you can win by losing (both of you take massive casualties, but your follow on attacks defeat him in detail). The game we won in the tourney forced me to take a massive risk of attacking the US fleet on the final turn—luck did prevail that day but the overwhelming result was that so much Axis income was recaptured that it turned from a very close game to an overwhelming victory in 1 battle since by freeing a sea-territory a whole host of other units could/could not charge through that newly freed-up zone.
Consistency; You hit on this–the player that refuses to give up may win just because of that. There are many times that my opponent believed he’d given it all and had no further chance of victory (and he was totally wrong). In that case, I don’t signal concession–I encourage him to concede. If the game creates irrational victory conditions, use that and hope they just time-out or give up before they are attained/obvious.
Small stuff doesnt matter; we spend tons of time setting up small battles and taking $1 territories, but these truly do not affect the game as much as the key strategies; focus on capitals, defend and attack in force, flop the big money (+$70) dont sweat the small stuff. The smaller battles are a big part of (live) gameplay, but many winning strategies involve completely ignoring small, temporary money gains, or the survival of 1 infantry–and rely on much more robust dynamics…
Which is why your odds example is a bit over-illustrative as to what modifys the actual battle odds. Most times Germany is attacking Moscow with a ton of 3-4 “to hit” units that will die last. The value of the capitol ($$, plus knocking an opponent out for a minimum 2 turns) means that you can sacrifice all your best units to kill their last guy, lose $200 IPC than he did, and pretty much clench the game while doing it. That is why AxA is and remains fun–you’re obsessed with small choices–to buy this unit over that, or to take 4 $1 territories or 2…but the real game is won or lost by much more chess like moves (you killed all my pawns, but I took your queen)