For me, especially in 42’ setup, it geniunly feels like the idea of the allies making a bland ‘landing’ in europe is incredibly overstretched. What I mean by this is that having heard tons upon tons of people’s strategies, it feels like this is always such an overlooked aspect in the game, that all the Soviets need to do is ‘hold out’ until the allies arrive. I, along with alot of other people would sure like to be entitled to believe that, only it’s not at simple as the allies just ‘landing’ in Europe. To start, let me take you to the beginning.
Having played an incredibly historically accurate game of Axis and Allies Anniversary 1942 setup, it really did make me realize that the Soviets really can’t ‘hold out’. Or rather they can hold out, but hold out to the point to which they’ve taken the city of Berlin. In other words, the Soviets really can’t rely on an allied landing because either A) It happens and it gets pushed out to see, or B) it takes a very VERY long time to be put into play, therefore not saving the Soviets but a lick of time, or C) It doesn’t happen. All of these feels like major contributing factors to which the Soviets can’t really rely on the Americans and/or British making an official landing in France or Northwestern Europe.
Now as for them making a D-Day sort of landing, how it’s implicated to me at the very least, it feels as if it takes a lot more steps than what is talked about. I mean for starters the British need to extinguish the German naval presence in the Atlantic to even relieve some pressure on themselves, let alone the Americans make a landing in Africa first. AFRICA FIRST. This to me, is a must for the Americans to do before even thinking about landing in mainland Europe, simply because it’s all about closing each front in the war.
Next what needs to happen is that assuming the British have taken out the German naval presence, (Which, needs to be done within 3-4 turns or else Leningrad will have been taken by then and the Germans will have too strong of a foothold in Northeastern Europe), with the British then needing to land in Norway, and Finland. Part of what the British and Americans need to really prioritize on is removing IPC’s from the Germans… for good. Part of what I mean by this is that in order to stagnate the Germany economy, you need to take IPC’s from them that they can’t get back. Norway and Finland are giving the German Player 1 tank every round of combat that’s played, which may not seem like a lot, but for any veterans reading this you know that’s HUGE. To briefly touch on why something such as that is incredibly significant is that aside from capital provinces, almost no other territory holds the IPC count of 3 or higher, especially in the Soviet Union which is primarily made up of 1’s and 2’s for IPC count. Now whether the Soviets are the ones to take Norway and Finland or the British, it is an incredibly important key factor to deteriorating the German War Machine since what the Eastern Front will all come down to is whether the Germans or Soviets can produce more tanks than that of which are being destroyed, and who can destroy more tanks all together.
The next part to all this is after having the Americans landed, the British/Soviets secure Norway and Finland, the Americans need to establish their naval presence in the Mediterranean Sea (Yes, you land your troops FIRST in Africa, then move your navy into to defeat the Italian/German fleet). This will establish a firm link into Europe between Africa and Europe.
Keep in mind, whilst all this is happening, the Soviets need to be constantly making progress against Germany, this can’t be a “Germany on the doorstep of Moscow” type of deal, or else the landings into Europe just won’t work out. Also remember that as the British and American player, you still need to be keeping consistent pressure on Japan, because unlike other games, this time around Japan can actually win it for the Axis and having them grow to strong and/or already defeat the Chinese presence sets the war effort heavily in Axis favor.
To top it all off, the set standard point is that the Soviets should be pushing the Germans back all the way to East Poland and/or having regained every bit of former territory they start with, pushing the German Player back to his or her starting territories. With the stage set, the Americans will have needed to build a floating bridge across the Atlantic and into the Med to which they will then invade Italy or the Balkans. (Keep in mind part of how the Soviets will be able to push the Germans back is with the assistance of the Americans threatening the southern border, trust me the Germans WILL put defenses down south to screen your amphibious assault wherever it may be.) After having done a simulation game, I found it best for the Americans to invade Italy, not the British. As for which southern area to invade, it really depends on where the German military presence stands, observe, use your better judgement to know whether to invade Italy, the Balkans, or Romania/Bulgaria depending on the circumstances (the Soviet Union should be very close to invading German Poland/Romania Bulgaria).
Whilst this is happening, it would seem to be logical for the Americans to invade France, but that’s not the case here. This time around, the British are going to have to do this. They too will have to build a floating bridge and take France from the Germans to really put pressure on the Western Front of the war.
So with the British having taken Norway, Finland, France and potentially Northwestern Europe, along with the Americans taking Italy and/or the Balkans, the Soviets should be making their final push on the German Reich, having gotten all the way to GERMAN Poland, Bulgaria/Romania, as well as Chzecheslovia/Hungary.
All in all, this is my interpretation of what it means for there to be an “Allied Landing” in Europe. Just like the in real life, it’s not really meant to come when the Soviets are in their last dyeing stages or too early on in the war, but more after the Soviets have shifted the balance beam to their favor on the offensive and after the Japanese having been cleaned up.
If you have any other ideas, feel free to share them with me