Crazy game: Should be titled when the dice reward stupid behavior, expect it.

  • Just got beaten by what has to be one of the stupidest and riskiest strategies I have yet to see. I was Axis and my opponent as US buys almost nothing but bombers, heavy bomber buys by the UK as well. Multiple rounds of him sending in naked aircraft without ground forces and only once paying for it. I lost count on the number of times he sent 3 Bombers and a fighter or two at a stack of 3 infantry and didnt lose a thing. He had absolutely no fear of sending in naked fleets of air at ground units and it paid off for him the entire game.

  • That’s the guy I just resigned a game to! I resigned in round 1 because I saw he had a platinum ranking. I was playing as Russia and lost the Ukraine battle and lost a lot in West Russia too. I had no chance to even get started. This guy may be cheating.

  • @EricB I am not saying cheating. What I am saying is that his risky strategy worked to perfection. I think he did a 3 bomber buy by the US every turn and he would just send them will nilly at any stack without ground forces, there was only one battle where he paid a price out of the countless battles that he did it. Meanwhile I would send 3 fighters and 2 infantry at one infantry and all my fighters would inevitably miss on round one, and the infantry would hit both rounds denying me the territory.

  • '22

    USA bombers in particular are a surprisingly effective strategy. It takes the right mentality of leveraging allies higher income to trade with Germany. Completely naked air attacks need a little luck as well, which he apparently got.

  • 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18

    Sounds like people just used an Allied variant of the “Dark Skies” strategy that Germany likes to use in G40 lol. Once Air Stacks hit critical mass they get pretty nasty but you should be able to use keep tight stacks of land units to deter it.

  • @DoManMacgee I had stacks, but his attacks with naked air wiped them from the earth. As I said previously there was only one attack where my ground units took out a number of his aircraft. often times my units didnt hit them at all.

  • @Brian-Cannon said in Crazy game: Should be titled when the dice reward stupid behavior, expect it.:

    These screenshots show the US7 combat move and US2 purchase phases, respectively.

    If you want to make a point of players having crazy luck, you should make a screenshot of the COMBAT PHASE showing what attacked, what was destroyed, and what survived, for that attack specifically.

    BTW Black Elk wrote about Allied air power to “the center” and mass Allied strat bombing years ago on the 1942 Second Edition forums.

    @DoManMacgee said in Crazy game: Should be titled when the dice reward stupid behavior, expect it.:

    Sounds like people just used an Allied variant of the “Dark Skies” strategy that Germany likes to use in G40 lol. Once Air Stacks hit critical mass they get pretty nasty but you should be able to use keep tight stacks of land units to deter it.

    I’ve read other of DoManMacgee’s posts and consider them good; I think he wrote another good one here. If you want more comments, searching for “Dark Skies” may be useful, and tight stacks of land are what you use.

    @Brian-Cannon said in Crazy game: Should be titled when the dice reward stupid behavior, expect it.:

    I lost count on the number of times he sent 3 Bombers and a fighter or two at a stack of 3 infantry and didnt lose a thing. He had absolutely no fear of sending in naked fleets of air at ground units and it paid off for him the entire game.

    Nah, tight stacks or whatever you call it isn’t 3 infantry against 3 bombers and a fighter. Against such a force, eight infantry would be about right.

    If you want to ask “how is that even possible” - some depends on dice results, sure, but there IS an Axis strategy that pushes these large stacks. Ask if you want more details.

    Returning to 3 bombers and a fighter attacking 3 infantry - look at the numbers.

    23.52% 3 bombers 1 fighter
    40.75% 3 bombers
    25.7% 2 bombers
    7.55% 1 bomber
    0.9% no survivors
    1.24% 1 infantry
    0.29% 2 infantry
    0.04% 3 infantry

    As you can see, it’s expected the mass air attack survives. The median is one fighter lost, but 23.52% of no losses is hardly outside the range of reasonable possibility.

    Having it happen multiple times in a game - suppose you’re digging for the 35.73% of 2 bombers or worse for the attacker resulting. You figure your opponent’s number has got to come up eventually, but you’re balancing that against 23.52% for best-case for the attacker, or 64.27% for best or second-best case for the attacker.

    Considering 64.27% as “success” for the attacker over five trials, the probability of all five trials succeeding is just under 11%. Unlikely, sure - but not necessarily stupid.

    Basic Axis and Allies is infantry chains. What the most effective transport routes are, how to maintain effective lines of reinforcement, and so forth. When you play Axis and Allies at that basic level, if you have one player that understands infantry chains and another that doesn’t, the player that understands infantry chains wins.

    If you’re doing basic attacks, an infantry costs 3 IPCs, defending has 1/3 chance of destroying an air unit, cheapest air (fighter) costs 10 IPC, so expected 3.33 IPC (more than the value of the infantry) on defense. It’s just expected that you go plus.

    But intermediate Axis and Allies involves thinking about multiple dice, threat multiplication, timings, and other things. As seen with that link to aacalc, often you can get surprisingly cost-effective results.

    Think about it like this. With infantry chains with UK/US, say you build destroyers in case of enemy sub builds and for defense fodder, carriers, fighters, and transports. Only with that infrastructure can you move in infantry. By the time you move in that infantry, your opponent’s already been doing whatever they’ve been up to, so you have to play catchup. And maybe you won’t win that way.

    With mass air, you don’t need anything but the air themselves. Escorts and transports are slow and hard to protect, but air is very fast. Your opponent may not have been able to harden targets early on, then any gains you make from added speed are often leveraged into additional income for you and less for your opponent. And you can reposition between different theaters at speed too. (Off topic, but bears mentioning German mass air against KGF can threaten both sea and land targets, it’s a big part of that strategy).

    So think again about 3 bombers 1 fighter against 3 infantry. The median result is fighter lost, 3 infantry lost. Air loses net on the IPC exchange, but just by a bit. The timing against a strong Axis anti-transport-based KGF is US3 to Finland/Norway. But US3 air hits at about the same time, at higher strength, and is not limited to those targets. They can hit closer to the action, against targets in the interior of Europe, emptying enemy territories may let Russia take control of those territories for income - and Russian income is best of all Allied income. If US wants to reposition its units to hit Axis targets in Africa, transports just can’t get the job done well at all, only being able to reach French West Africa then slowly trundle through Africa. Air can hit points in Africa while still threatening targets in Europe, then return and hit Europe the next turn while still threatening points in Africa.

    So - was your opponent really engaging in stupid behavior? Perhaps not. Lucky, sure, and willing to press his/her luck, sure. But mass air of itself isn’t necessarily an indicator of poor play.

  • I didnt screen shot everything, I was kind of aghast at the attacks. I thought their would be a heavier price paid using air power without ground units. I can understand when he would attack one unit and their was no loss, but he did much more than that he would attack 3 or 4 units. At one point he sent a number of bombers at I think 2 infantry and a fighter and suffered no loss. Meanwhile I am just concluding a turn where I sent 3 Japanese fighters and two infantry at a lone British infantry unit in Persia only to see fighters miss two straight rounds and the British infantry hit two straight rounds. So it is more than a bit frustrating.

  • @DoManMacgee So how does one counter this strategy. The game consists of trading territories until you build enough mass for an attack. This strategy kind of turns that to hell, one Axis unit holding a territory is vaporized, then the next succeeding allied turn that territory is taken by another ally. Rinse and repeat.

  • '22

    @Brian-Cannon Germany in kgf can reliably hold two territories. You usually want to hold berlin and the other is your choice. Trade efficiently with 5 fighters so there’s minimal units in traded territories.

    Play for averages. If the dice are too extreme, you take the loss. But good play increases the likelihood of winning.

  • He started out in KJF. Tough to remember everything right now. not to mention the fact that it was just a crazy game. Round 1 Russian attack didnt go well for him, I responded by strafing West Russia. I believe he bought a a couple tanks in opening buy and in his attack on Ukraine he retreated rather than take the territory, and left me a tank a fighter and an arty. His British fleet took New Guinea and Borneo, and also took out my destroyer and transport in sea zone 61, if I remember right he also took out my battleship and trans in Med. He bought tanks and a bomber for UK. My Japan turn was to take out his British fleet, I didnt go Pearl Harbor, and my buy was an anti KJF buy I believe 2 subs a destroyer, a trans and an inf. As US he bought bombers, moved his fleet to Alaska. Rest of game he was ultra aggressive with Russia in the east, he kept a stack on Caucusus, British were initially contained out of India in their expansion east but, he kept ferrying American bombers and fighters to Yakut, and kept my fleet bottled up in inner sea of Japan, and used his aircraft aggressively to attack an ground presence on any territory in Asia, he sent all his tanks east. He kept up a steady income with Russia and although I was able to stack Karelia and Caucusus he had a sizeable stack in Moscow, any territory trading in W. Russia was wiped out by naked air attacks. He had allied fighters and bombers in Moscow.

  • @Brian-Cannon Actually I dont think he took out my fleet in Med, I think I would take much of Africa because Germanys income remained in the middle 40s throughout

  • I just beat a guy who was going all out with the air units. He was Axis and built 1 or 2 air units for both Germany and Japan almost every turn. By round 7 he had around 25 air units. Even with all that, he never once sunk a transport. He finally resigned in round 11 but it would have probably gone to round 16-18. It can be a longer game when they play that way because you have to build so much navy that it really slows down the transport movements.

    Against such a strategy you really have to combine the UK and US navies. The best spot is unloading the transports to Finland and coming around the back. Another option is sending them all to France, but it’s hard to stack France when Germany has so many planes. What you really have to do is build up a big stack in Karelia, then when it’s big enough move to Belorussia. Eventually you can move it to Baltic States.

    You want to make sure to come from the east also because you need to make sure that Germany doesn’t get income from West Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Karelia. Also, if Japan is really threatening Russia, troops are close by to help out there.

  • 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18

    @Brian-Cannon I’m a bit late getting to this but as @aardvarkpepper suggested, the battle calculator (hosted by this very site at is your friend here. Basically, before committing to your moves, take a look at what your opponent’s possible moves are going to be and run battle calculations on what would happen if your opponent played a certain way (IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember to set the “rounds of combat” setting to “all” and “10,000X” (more simulated battles = more accurate prediction) and to also set the “luck” setting to “1942” and “Pure Luck” to be accurate to AAO.

    I’m not going to speak to your specific game example because that’s not what this thread was about, but I’ll give you the same advice other people gave when faced faced the “Dark Skies” strategy. Basically, a large intimidating air stack can only attack one large stack (be it a land stack of ~10 INF or greater or a naval stack of ~5 Destroyers or greater) in one round. Because of this, you need to be a bit greedy and push forward with all of your large stacks simultaneously, creating potentially-game-winning threats in multiple regions of the board. This puts the Allies in a bad spot because they’ll be forced to choose between solidly destroying one of your threats (and letting the other ones get off scott-free to accomplish its objective) and taking multiple risky fights trying to stop all of your threats (which will probably result in the air stack getting severely reduced/destroyed, making it your victory). I’ve been talking in abstracts here but I can give a rough-ish approximation based on your game. Don’t take this as a one-to-one guide on what you should’ve done in that game, I have no idea what the board looked like:

    • Scenario: USA is ferrying air stacks from W. USA -> Yakut -> Center Map (Moscow). USA is using said stack to wipe out anything that moves (i.e. Japanese navy, Germany trading attempts in Russia, etc.).

    • Threat #1 - Get Germany’s entire army (or at least a good chunk of it) in Caucasus, threatening Moscow and demanding that USA keep the air stack in or around Moscow.

    • Threat #2 - Move out with Japan’s fleet and either threaten taking Hawaii+India for the last VCs (you said you had Karelia earlier and I’m assuming with a strategy like this the Allies weren’t taking Philippines/Rome/Paris anytime soon) OR threaten challenging/destroying the US fleet off of Alaska. If taking the first option here you’d just need to spend a turn or two spamming land units on Japan proper to avoid a landing in Japan. Japan is really easy to defend because of it’s 8 production.

    With a large-enough Japanese Navy threatening game-over in one part of the board (by either sinking the USN (thus shutting off the stream of air units into Russia) and the German Army threatening game-over in another (Moscow), the USA in this hypothetical scenario is forced to use their air stack to either sink the IJN or wipe out the German Army. If they sink the IJN the Nazis grab Moscow and win the game, and if they wipe out the Caucasus stack the IJN accomplishes its objective and you win the game. If the USA tries for both they’ll probably fail unless the AAO RNG screws you, in which case you do what the rest of us good folks do and make a thread/post complaining about it.

    tl;dr Use the Battle Calculator. Make multiple threats so the Allies need to pick one to deal with and the other(s) can prevail without issue. Don’t fear the reaper, as the song goes.

    Hope this helps at least somewhat.

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