When to buy subs in the pacific and best strategy to use them

  • Hi
    I have been playing AA online for a few months and I am still struggling with using subs.
    Some times a stack of subs will destroy the enemy and sometimes my stack of subs will be wiped out. It seems like it’s hit or miss.
    Any help will be appreciated

  • You’re writing that sometimes you get good results, sometimes you get bad results, and you don’t seem to know why. I think the most likely causes are either 1) you don’t know all the details of how naval and air units work (even if you know a lot you could be missing important parts), or 2) you don’t have a grip on the mathematics.

    Board Game Nation has some videos on youtube you could check out. Or you can dig up links to the 1942 Second Edition rulebook, and try to find what changes 1942 Online made to the rules (note the changes aren’t all documented well at all.)

    For the math part, try using an axis and allies calculator as at


  • @major-moses Subs should be your main naval purchase as Japan. They are the cheapest and most effective unit to keep the USN at bay. It’s counter-intuitive the buy subs for defence, since they are actually terrible at defence during an actual combat, but them being so strong on offence can prevent your opponent from ever wanting to get within striking range. Remember that subs can’t be hit by air unless an enemy destroyer is present in the attack, and they can never hit air. A massive stack of subs could get wiped clean by a single destroyer accompanied by a lot of airpower, and even if they all roll a 1 on defence, all they’ll hit is the lone destroyer. On the other hand, a submarine stack can sink a great many fully loaded aircraft carriers if the enemy doesn’t have destroyers.

    As the USN, you’ll usually want to be on the offence, so subs seem like the way to go, intuitively. However, you’ll have a hard time reaching the Japanese navy with those subs without being hit first. So as the USN, as a general rule, build ACs, fighters and a few destroyers. A few subs make for good fodder and are often extremely useful in some specific scenarios, but usually you’ll want to focus on air and destroyers.


  • Subs are by far the most cost efficient naval attack purchase. Surprisingly, they do okay in defense as well since hit points are so important. Japan should only buy subs if usa purchases pacific naval units round one. Since subs have more attack than defense, the usual dynamic is that two fleets are 3 spaces apart. The stronger navy will try to move to two spaces, either through enough defensive strength or with destroyer blockers. The other side has the choice of building up defense, countering similarly with blockers, or retreating.

    3 transports, 3 infantry is an all around flexible and powerful round 1 purchase. If UK attacks japan sz37, this strongly suggests KJF and a buy of 1 trans, 3 sub 1 inf might be more appropriate.

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