Putting it all together. Improving Allied Play


  • Anniversary 1941 is my favourite edition of the game but its always been an uphill battle for the allies. I have been trying various approaches and looking for how to improve upon the Allied position.

    Assumptions.
    The following is based upon using the rules out of the box. NOs are on. Tech and Strategic bombing on but is rarely used. I prefer a more direct approach.

    Russia.
    Russia’s job is to conduct a CAT and MOUSE game with the Germans. They are happy to trade territories but are always looking to either launch a surprise attack to take out German Tanks and Planes and also retake lost territories. They are also happy to trade space for time vs the Japanese. If the Allies do their jobs help should Arrive by about turn 4-5 allowing the Russians some breathing space and can build more aggressively and start looking east.

    UK.
    UK is the most important member of the allies.
    They have a lot of critical jobs to do each turn.

    1. Consolidate their navy and remove German navy in Atlantic and Baltic. This should be done by turn 2 at the latest meaning you have 2 transports and whatever fleet survived or you have built (AC+DD+CA+2 FTRS). You have to match the Germans in terms of combatting Luftwaffe until the Americans arrive.

    2. Finland Norway.
      With luck these 2 can be taken on turn 2. Depending on different situations Norway could be left to Americans as the Americans have very few factory locations.

    3. Commando Raids.
      Rather trying to hold ground the British should embark on commando raids. Air power and cruisers accompany small invasion forces. The goal (for turns 2-5) is
      A) to cause maximum damage and disruption to German reinforcements to Eastern front.
      B) cause them to build ground units not airforce
      c) Cause them to attack westwards not eastwards.

    4. Recall India and Australia fleets.
      These 4 ships (if they survive) can make it back to UK and join the rest of the fleet.
      This allows UK to go from dropping 4 units to 8 per turn. At this point the natural position for the fleet seems to be in the Baltic and thus dropping 8 guys per turn in Karelia/ Baltic States or Poland. This should coordinate with a Russian advance to reinforce allong with US landings in France or Italy.

    5. South Africa Factory.
      If Germany or Japan has a crappy start alternative but riskier locations are India or Egypt.
      Basically cranks out 2 tanks per turn which go wherever needed. Later in the game can switch to aircraft. These tanks should join up with survivors from Egypt or India and start to push axis back in the North Africa to India area.

    6. At some stage UK or US needs to knock out Italy’s fleet.

    USA.
    USA is a difficult country to play because they are so far from the fighting. US play therefore needs to be patient.

    Basically a small investment in the Atlantic side can reap big rewards. Build 1 transport per turn and a few escorts (prob 1 AC, 1 DD or CA). Their first job it to tale back Gibraltar then morocco/Algeria and possibly reinforce Egypt.

    Then by about turn 4 they should create a shuttle service from Canada to UK and from UK to France.

    In the Pacific there are 2 alternative paths.
    A mixed fleet of AC/DD/SUB seems to work best as it is versatile and good on the attack and defence. Bombers are also useful if forward bases can be secured.

    Strategy 1 involves retaking the South pacific including Australia/ Solomon Islands then on to the money islands.

    If the Japs are going heavy South or have even moved the bulk of their fleet to India a surprise landing in siberia and naval blockade of Japan with Subs can net surprising results.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    @the-spaceman Most of this is spot-on, actually. The only thing I’d note is that UK might want to consider a Norway Factory + funneling troops directly into Russia rather than doing scattershot landings if the German Player is actually making the effort to fortify France.

    If anything, you’re probably having issues winning your games because you’re playing with NOs turned on. NOs are a massive advantage for the Axis to the point where they basically hand them the game on a silver platter assuming the Axis Player isn’t a complete beginner.

    I could go on a long-winded tirade explaining exactly why this is, but fortunately, @The_Good_Captain has an entire video series on youtube going over the in’s and out’s of which rules to apply for AA50 (his username on youtube is the same as it is on this site).

  • 2021 2020

    @the-spaceman Good Points. I might add getting the British fleet into the Baltic. Once UK has a fleet there threatening Karelia, Baltic States, Poland, Germany and NW Europe life gets really tough for the Axis.

    @DoManMacgee First, I will say I have always played with NOs on. However, since the NO money usually comes out fairly even is it the greater amount of money in the game that you feel favors the Axis?


  • @domanmacgee

    Yes I would agree the game can get out of hand for Axis income especially if a good start sees the following

    1. Egypt/ Trans-Jordan fall quickly to GE/IT
    2. ITA picks up Gibraltar
    3. GERMANY can get established in Karelia
    4. Strong Italian forces moving into Ukraine
      and
      Things go well for the Japs in the battles with China and they also do something expected like a surprise attack on Australia or India.

    This is basically the nightmare scenario for the Allies. We have recently been using a bid of 12 for Allies. 2 INF in Karelia and 2 Inf in Egypt to slow down the rapid Axis advance on the first few turns. If axis want to go for Africa it needs significant investment. Similarly Karelia is less likely to fall with just a few lucky rolls.

    On the topic of UK factories.
    Originally I was going bonkers and building 1 factory per turn (Norway/ India/ Egypt and Australia/ South Africa) as well as 3-4 transports plus subs and destroyers for UK home fleet. I have greatly scaled back this approach to just the one factory in SA. Possibly building more later in the Game to finish of Japan if Allies are going well. The money being saved is being put into bombers and fighters which can quickly move around the map to where they are needed.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    The NOs are not evenly split at all when you examine the situation more closely. Yes, the actual monetary values end up fairly even in the end, but the way they’re distributed greatly favor the Axis over the Allies. Massive rant incoming:

    NOs are imbalanced to the point of breaking the game. They give the Axis an impossibly large IPC advantage on a by-turn basis, and just for the fun of it, I’ll break it down for you:

    This is regardless of which scenario you’re playing, by the way (although in the 42 Scenario the Axis have to do even less to meet their objectives than they do in the 41 scenario)

    First, the Allies:

    USSR:

    10 IPCs if the Allies control at least 3 of Norway/Finland/Poland/Bulgaria-Romania/Chezchoslovakia-Hungary/Balkans
    5 IPCs if no UK/US-controlled units are in originally-USSR territories and Archangel is USSR-controlled
    

    Objective #1 is almost-achievable, as Norway/Finland are easy pickups (by UK/US, of course), but of the remaining 4 targets for this, the only feasible one is Poland, but because of the turn order, any UK/US drop into Poland is going to be pushed back by Germany in the 41 Scenario. However, in the 42 Scenario, assuming UK/US can even make it to Poland, they can hold this one for the Soviets.

    Objective #2 is so mind-numbingly badly designed that it’s laughable. It outright tells you to not play the game the way you’re supposed to play it to not die (sending UK/US air power/landing forces into the Russian mainland through the north), that the 5 IPC compensation you get for basically killing yourself is laughable.

    So, overall, USSR is getting +5 off NOs for R1, then +0 for R2-R4, then +10 from R5 onwards but only in the 42 Scenario. Beyond that, they get nothing unless the Allies have basically already won the game (or at least defeated Germany/Italy).

    UK:

    5 IPCs if the Allies control East/West Canada/Gibraltar/Egypt/Australia/South Africa
    
    5 IPCs if the Allies control one originally-Japanese Territory (note that, even in the 42 Scenario, this still applies to the board setup for the 41 Scenario, because of the way the rules are written)
    
    5 IPCs if the Allies control one of France/Balkans
    

    Objective #1 seems easy, but it’s actually basically never going to be held past round 1 (at least for a while) if the Axis consciously play for Egypt (Which they’re going to, but more on that later). Adding to this problem is that, by time the UK regains Egypt when the UK/US get done wiping out Italy’s Fleet and securing Africa over the course of the first 4-5 game rounds, Japan will be in Australia and the objective will still be gone.

    Objective #2 is deceptively easy, as USA can just snag something easy like Caroline Islands or Iwo Jima with a suicide transport and it’s unlikely that Japan will want to waste the resources to recapture it unless they’re already in a dominant position.

    Objective #3 is doable, but isn’t happening until ~B3 because of the time it takes to set up a UK Navy that can resist getting blown out by the German Air Force.

    So, overall, UK is getting +5 off NOs B1, then +0 B2, then +10 from B3 on (assuming USA grabs a small Japanese Pacific island on USA2)

    USA:

    5 IPCs for controlling East/Central/West USA
    5 IPCs if the Allies control Philippines
    5 IPCs if the Allies control France
    5 IPCs if the Allies control 3 of Midway/Wake Island/Hawaiian Islands/Solomon Islands
    

    Objective #1 is free
    Objective #2 will never happen unless the Allies basically have the game won
    Objective #3 is identical to UK Objective #3. See above notes.
    Objective #4 is weird. In the 41 Scenario, it’s basically free, because I doubt the Japanese are ever really going to play for Solomon + Wake, but in the 42 Scenario, Japan starts with those two, and the onus is now on USA to make a push for them without compromising their fleet. It’s doable with a suicidal drop, though (see my note on UK Objective #2 above)

    So overall, USA is getting +5 off NOs from the word go (+10 off NOs in the 41 scenario), then +10 off NOs from A2 onward regardless of scenario, then possibly +15 from A3 onward.

    So for the Allies, that gives us:

    +15 off NOs for turn 1 (+20 if in 41 scenario)
    +10 for turn 2
    +25 for turns 3/4
    +35 from turn 5 onwards (42 Scenario only, otherwise stays 25)

    However, it’s extremely important to note where the money is going. Almost all of it is going to USA (and later UK), who have a much harder time actually projecting power into the critical regions of the board (Moscow, Caucasus, India) than USSR (and UK, as they have a shorter path for air units) does.

    That, and if they want to get boots on the ground anywhere, USA/UK need to either grab Norway/Egypt and get a factory up and running, or shell out money for transports, which reduces the actual punching power of the units being built.

    Anyway Axis next:

    Germany:

    5 IPCs if Axis control all of France/Northwestern Europe/Germany/Czechoslovakia-Hungary/Bulgaria-Romania/Poland
    5 IPCs if Axis control 3 of Baltic States/East Poland/Ukraine/Eastern Ukraine/Belorussia
    5 IPCs if Axis control 1 of Karelia S.S.R./Caucasus
    

    Right away the difference in power-level/feasibility of these objectives is obvious

    Objective #1 is free and isn’t going away unless Germany is basically about to die
    Objective #2 is live G1 and isn’t going away unless Germany is basically about to die
    Objective #3 is live G2 (Karelia) and will probably hold until about G4 (Assuming the US/UK make a big push for a northern route into Russia to reinforce the USSR), at which point they may or may not be trading Caucasus with the Soviets. However, for the sake of argument, let’s say that this one is only live G2-G3

    So, overall, Germany is getting +10 off NOs from the word go, then +15 for G2 and G3, then it’s back to +10 indefinitely

    Japan:

    5 IPCs if Axis control Manchuria/Kisangu/French Indochina-Thailand
    5 IPCs if Axis control 4 of Kwangtung/East Indies/Borneo/Philippines/New Guinea/Solomon Islands
    5 IPCs if Axis controls one of Hawaiian Islands/Australia/India
    

    Objective #1 is free and isn’t going away unless Japan is about to die
    Objective #2 is live turn 1 if the dice treat you well in the 41 scenario (it’s free in the 42 scenario), and once Japan has it, it’s not going away unless the USA is playing a KJF strategy (and even then, it’s not going away until A3 at the earliest). For reference, the 4 territories you take are just the first 4 listed (Kwang/DEI/BOR/PHI)

    Objective #3 is easy to obtain (Australia or India, based on whether you want to deny UK Objective #1) and once you have it (J3, J2 if you really rush it), it’s not going away unless USA goes for KJF (see note on Objective #2 above).

    Side-Note: If USA does go KJF then UK/USA/USSR are never getting their objectives for controlling European territories, as UK/USSR can’t make much headway against a NO-Powered Germany until extremely late in the game, assuming USSR even survives.

    So, assuming we’re living in a sane world where USA is playing KGF, Japan is getting +10 from the word go, and +15 from J2 onward.

    Italy:

    5 IPCs if Axis control all of Italy/Balkans/Morocco-Algeria/Libya + no enemy surface warships in SZ13, SZ14 and SZ15 (note: “enemy surface warship” means "any naval unit that isn’t a Sub or a Transport)
    
    5 IPCs if Axis controls 3 of Egypt/Trans-Jordan/France/Gibraltar
    

    Objective #1 is only going to hold for I1, after that the US/UK will probably have at least something in Morocco-Algeria, if nothing else.

    Objective #2, however, is live I1, assuming Germany commits at least something to attack/strafe Egypt G1. It’s only really going to hold until about I3 though, when the US/UK start trading France, wipe Italy’s fleet, and start making progress towards cleaning up Africa.

    So, overall, Italy is getting +10 off NOs I1, then down to +5 I2, then nothing after that.

    Which means for the Axis, we have:

    +30 Turn 1
    +35 Turn 2
    +30 Turn 3
    +25 Turn 4 onward

    Compared with the Allies, which was:

    +15 off NOs for turn 1 (+20 if in 41 scenario)
    +10 for turn 2
    +25 for turns 3/4
    +35 from turn 5 onwards (42 Scenario only, otherwise stays 25)

    Look at that swing, Axis get to enjoy an absolutely massive advantage for rounds 1-3, then the Allies take over with a much smaller NO advantage from turn 5, and that’s only in the 42 Scenario, where the Axis start out basically on economic parity with the Allies

    In the 41 Scenario, the Allies never pass out the Axis on NOs, they get to tie with them in a best case scenario.

    And again, look at where the NO bucks are going

    most of the Allies’ money goes to USA, who has a hard time using it

    Where 50% of the Axis’ money goes to Germany, who has the easiest time using it by-far

    and basically none of the NO money is going to USSR, who is the Allied Power most in need of it to counterbalance what Germany is getting.

    So, no matter what scenario it is, NOs turned on = Axis win easy. By time the NOs even out on turn 4/5 the damage will already be done and the Axis will have either already won the game (capturing Moscow/India/Caucasus for center map control + IPC lead) or will have a crippling TUV advantage that the Allies won’t be able to overcome before the Axis gain the economic lead on the board (thus crossing the “point of no return” and winning the game).

  • 2021 2020

    @domanmacgee Thank you for your very detailed post!

    I guess my gaming group plays this differently. We do not play a lot of AA50, we are more Global guys, but when we do it does not follow the pattern you state here. Also, we play with a $6 Bid for the Allies; pick sides. That bid normally puts one infantry in Egypt and one infantry somewhere in Russia. We also exclusively play the 1941 scenario. The Allies almost always go KGF so Germany is usually holding on for dear life hoping Japan takes Moscow.

    My perhaps more limited experience gaming goes more like this:

    Russia: Total 10 Turns = $60
    5 IPCs if no UK/US-controlled units are in original USSR territories and Archangel is USSR controlled. This is usually continually collected by Russia unless things are really going downhill for them. Now having said that WE DO NOT send Allied troops to Moscow. At most we use them to trade Karelia and since Germany usually clears Karelia to get it’s NO then when Russia goes there are no Allied troops on a Russian territory. Total 10 Turns = $50
    10 IPCs if the Allies control at least 3 of Norway/Finland/Poland/Bulgaria-Romania/Chezchoslovakia-Hungary/Balkans. This one is a lot harder to get. Usually just as Russia is collecting this one the Japanese force them to turn around and they lose it. I would say in a 10 Turn game just once to be conservative so $10.

    Britain: Total 10 Turns = $80
    5 IPCs if the Allies control East/West Canada/Gibraltar/Egypt/Australia/South Africa. We do not normally go for Australia because the diversion of forces seems like a drain on the main goal – Moscow. Egypt usually holds one Turn, perhaps because of the Bid, but then falls usually till about Turn 5-6 when the US/British take it back. Total 10 Turns = $25
    5 IPCs if the Allies control one original Japanese Territory. Since Japan usually vacates the Caroline’s on J1 most Allied Players are willing to sacrifice the transport and a single infantry to get the NO for the British. Most Axis Players sink the transport but never bother taking the island back. Total 10 Turns = $35 (Collect 9 Turns but lose $10 taking it.)
    5 IPCs if the Allies control one of France/Balkans. I would say Turn 5-6 before the Allies can force landings in Balkans or France. Total 10 Turns = $20

    USA: Total 10 Turns = $120
    5 IPCs for controlling East/Central/West USA. Keeps whole game. Total 10 Turns = $50
    5 IPCs if the Allies control Philippines. Never gets. Total 10 Turns = $0
    5 IPCs if the Allies control France. Same as UK. Total 10 Turns = $20
    5 IPCs if the Allies control 3 of Midway/Wake Island/Hawaiian Islands/Solomon Islands. Depends on the Allied Player. I have never seen the Japanese Player try to take this one away. Total 10 Turns = $50

    Allied Total = $260

    Germany: Total 10 Turns = $100
    5 IPCs if Axis control all of France/Northwestern Europe/Germany/Czechoslovakia-Hungary/Bulgaria-Romania/Poland. With a good Axis Player this one can be collected till at least Turn 8. Total 10 Turns = $40
    5 IPCs if Axis control 3 of Baltic States/East Poland/Ukraine/Eastern Ukraine/Belorussia. Germany usually stars having trouble as Russia pushes them back. I would say getting this one to Turn 5 is doing good. Total 10 Turns = $25
    5 IPCs if Axis control 1 of Karelia S.S.R./Caucasus. Again, with UK blasting away at any forces in Karelia, it is hard to hold this one past Turn 6-7. In fact, I think this is the linchpin of the game. If Germany can hang on to Karelia the Axis usually win. Total 10 Turns = $35

    Japan: Total 10 Turns = $135
    5 IPCs if Axis control Manchuria/Kisangu/French Indochina-Thailand. Keeps whole game. Total 10 Turns = 50
    5 IPCs if Axis control 4 of Kwangtung/East Indies/Borneo/Philippines/New Guinea/Solomon Islands. Gets Turn 1 and keep entire game. Total 10 Turns = 50
    5 IPCs if Axis controls one of Hawaiian Islands/Australia/India. Gets on Turn 3 or 4 depending on Strategy. Total 10 Turns = 35

    Italy: $15
    5 IPCs if Axis control all of Italy/Balkans/Morocco-Algeria/Libya + no enemy surface warships in SZ13, SZ14 and SZ15 (note: “enemy surface warship” means "any naval unit that isn’t a Sub or a Transport). Only gets on Turn 1. Total 10 Turns = 5
    5 IPCs if Axis controls 3 of Egypt/Trans-Jordan/France/Gibraltar. Depending on play may get this for a couple of Turns. Total 10 Turns = 10

    Axis Total = $250

    So, in our games the Axis usually collects almost identical or less than the Allies do. The two main differences I see from our play and what you describe is 1) the Russians collecting their NO for $50 which is a huge difference and UK not losing their NO due to Australia being ignored.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    @andrewaagamer I don’t mean to question the skill level of your group, but how is USSR single-handedly pushing Germany/Italy back if you aren’t landing any USA/UK Ground forces in USSR (so you can keep their objective alive)? Moreover, how is USSR surviving 10 rounds against a combined Germany/Italy push into Russia? That seems unreasonable to me as, without at least a USA/UK fighter stack on Moscow, Germany should be able to take it by round 5/6 in most games.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    @andrewaagamer After re-reading your post, I think I understand why we view the NOs differently. Your play group is not actively playing for them, just naturally acquiring them over the course of the game by playing normally (ex. you ignore Australia, which is basically a free pick-up for Japan, and don’t bother with the minor islands in the Pacific). The ease of which the Axis can explicitly deny the Allies access to their NOs is the entire reason that they have a massive economic advantage in the early game, so if you’re not doing that then you’re forfeiting that advantage, plain and simple.

  • 2021 2020

    @domanmacgee said in Putting it all together. Improving Allied Play:

    @andrewaagamer I don’t mean to question the skill level of your group, but how is USSR single-handedly pushing Germany/Italy back if you aren’t landing any USA/UK Ground forces in USSR (so you can keep their objective alive)? Moreover, how is USSR surviving 10 rounds against a combined Germany/Italy push into Russia? That seems unreasonable to me as, without at least a USA/UK fighter stack on Moscow, Germany should be able to take it by round 5/6 in most games.

    Just because there are no Allied troops on Russian territories does not mean the Allies are ignoring Germany. In fact, as I mentioned, most Players use a KGF strategy. Obviously, Norway and Finland are prime targets for UK with additional landings in NW Europe to force trades with Germany otherwise they lose their NO. US hits Morocco, pushes into Egypt and sinks the Italian fleet. The next big thing is getting the UK fleet into the Baltic. This allows trades of Poland too and makes German reinforcement towards the Eastern Front very difficult. It also exposes Karelia if the Germans still hold it. Then a combined UK/US assault on France either to trade or hold if possible.

    This forces the Germans to spend so much money fighting UK and US that the Russians push them back to their own borders.

  • 2021 2020

    @domanmacgee said in Putting it all together. Improving Allied Play:

    @andrewaagamer After re-reading your post, I think I understand why we view the NOs differently. Your play group is not actively playing for them, just naturally acquiring them over the course of the game by playing normally (ex. you ignore Australia, which is basically a free pick-up for Japan, and don’t bother with the minor islands in the Pacific). The ease of which the Axis can explicitly deny the Allies access to their NOs is the entire reason that they have a massive economic advantage in the early game, so if you’re not doing that then you’re forfeiting that advantage, plain and simple.

    Not sure we agree here. As I just stated in the previous reply post to you we certainly play for the NO for Russia. The difference being we do not send troops through Russian territory to fight the Germans via the Norway-Finland causeway. We use transports to make direct landings on German held territory.

    As for Australia that is more a logistics choice. Unless the UK Player evacuates an infantry and Artillery, and some people do, Australia is not a freebie. Four ground units and an AA gun is a tough nut to crack and requires at least 2 fully loaded transports, 2 fighters, 2 battleships and a cruiser to take out. With an expected loss of 2 infantry and possibly a plane this could end up not being cheap. Since Egypt is probably already under Axis control till Turn 5-6 there is no loss to UK except the $2 for the territory plus of course $2 more for Japan. Now eventually when Egypt is retaken by the Allies that UK NO will come back. That is probably another $20 in the Allied pocket by Turn 10.

    This has to be weighed against the loss of time for Japan. It is one full Turn to get to Australia and at least one full Turn to get back. More like two Turns to get back so those transports are usable again ferrying units from Japan to the Mainland. Even being conservative that is two transports for two Turns so 8 ground troops less hitting China and Russia plus the loss of 2 units so 10 fewer units hitting the mainland by Turn 4. Due to this most of the Players in our group ignore Australia.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    @andrewaagamer said in Putting it all together. Improving Allied Play:

    @domanmacgee said in Putting it all together. Improving Allied Play:

    @andrewaagamer I don’t mean to question the skill level of your group, but how is USSR single-handedly pushing Germany/Italy back if you aren’t landing any USA/UK Ground forces in USSR (so you can keep their objective alive)? Moreover, how is USSR surviving 10 rounds against a combined Germany/Italy push into Russia? That seems unreasonable to me as, without at least a USA/UK fighter stack on Moscow, Germany should be able to take it by round 5/6 in most games.

    Just because there are no Allied troops on Russian territories does not mean the Allies are ignoring Germany. In fact, as I mentioned, most Players use a KGF strategy. Obviously, Norway and Finland are prime targets for UK with additional landings in NW Europe to force trades with Germany otherwise they lose their NO. US hits Morocco, pushes into Egypt and sinks the Italian fleet. The next big thing is getting the UK fleet into the Baltic. This allows trades of Poland too and makes German reinforcement towards the Eastern Front very difficult. It also exposes Karelia if the Germans still hold it. Then a combined UK/US assault on France either to trade or hold if possible.

    This forces the Germans to spend so much money fighting UK and US that the Russians push them back to their own borders.

    The entire setup you’re talking about for UK/USA (building a fleet capable of not dying immediately to the German Air Force, seizing Scandinavia, taking Africa, making harassment landings in Europe) takes at least 3-4 rounds of play, by which point Germany and Italy should already have basically killed off Russia by sending 95% or so of everything they have towards Moscow, especially if you’re playing with NOs on and letting Germany/Italy’s income be in the 50s/high-teens respectively.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    @andrewaagamer said in Putting it all together. Improving Allied Play:

    @domanmacgee said in Putting it all together. Improving Allied Play:

    @andrewaagamer After re-reading your post, I think I understand why we view the NOs differently. Your play group is not actively playing for them, just naturally acquiring them over the course of the game by playing normally (ex. you ignore Australia, which is basically a free pick-up for Japan, and don’t bother with the minor islands in the Pacific). The ease of which the Axis can explicitly deny the Allies access to their NOs is the entire reason that they have a massive economic advantage in the early game, so if you’re not doing that then you’re forfeiting that advantage, plain and simple.

    Not sure we agree here. As I just stated in the previous reply post to you we certainly play for the NO for Russia. The difference being we do not send troops through Russian territory to fight the Germans via the Norway-Finland causeway. We use transports to make direct landings on German held territory.

    As for Australia that is more a logistics choice. Unless the UK Player evacuates an infantry and Artillery, and some people do, Australia is not a freebie. Four ground units and an AA gun is a tough nut to crack and requires at least 2 fully loaded transports, 2 fighters, 2 battleships and a cruiser to take out. With an expected loss of 2 infantry and possibly a plane this could end up not being cheap. Since Egypt is probably already under Axis control till Turn 5-6 there is no loss to UK except the $2 for the territory plus of course $2 more for Japan. Now eventually when Egypt is retaken by the Allies that UK NO will come back. That is probably another $20 in the Allied pocket by Turn 10.

    This has to be weighed against the loss of time for Japan. It is one full Turn to get to Australia and at least one full Turn to get back. More like two Turns to get back so those transports are usable again ferrying units from Japan to the Mainland. Even being conservative that is two transports for two Turns so 8 ground troops less hitting China and Russia plus the loss of 2 units so 10 fewer units hitting the mainland by Turn 4. Due to this most of the Players in our group ignore Australia.

    This is off to me. Not all of Japan’s starting Transports are meant to just sit home and ferry troops from Japan to the mainland. Some of them should be an active force patrolling the Pacific to gobble up income for Japan. If you’re not outright building ICs for FIC and Manchuria, you should just buy additional Transports after J1 to ferry units from Japan to the mainland as your income grows and you start producing more units.

    You only need three of the transports you start the game with + part of your starting fleet (specifically, the 2 TTs+DD in SZ51, The BB+CR+1 of the TTs from SZ61, optionally, you can also have the SZ57 Carriers work their way towards Australia, but even without them you should still be fine) should be taking the money islands J1 and can thus be in-position to hit Australia from SZ38 (Northwest Coast of Australia) J2. Once you break Australia, SZ38 is only two moves away from India/Burma, based on how the rest of your game is going/what UK is doing.

    If you take Australia this way, then UK will never get their NO back, Japan will get its NO for occupying one of India/Australia a full round sooner, and UK/US . Additionally, having the Japanese fleet roaming the board will actively deny the UK their objective to hold an originally-Japan-controlled territory for a while, which denies even more income to the UK until someone takes Wake Island. Yes, it hurts your timetable of pushing units into Russia ever so slightly, but you’re also slowing down the UK/US buildup in the west by denying them their NOs for longer, which gives Germany/Italy more time to cripple the Soviets if not outright kill them. Even if you rush as fast as you can with Japan, you’re not reaching Moscow with any meaningful force until J6 anyway,

    Additionally, after whatever you do on J3 with that small fleet in the south Pacific, it’s free to do whatever it wants until the USA tries to build a fleet to stop you. Specifically, it can ferry small numbers of troops to Africa to further slow down the Allies, or even make a break for Hawaii/West USA to force USA to start spending income on a fleet/land units for West USA. Japan’s entire role in the 41 scenario is to, for the first 4 rounds or so, to slow down the USA/UK and hurt their income as much as possible while mopping up China (as China is pathetically weak) and slowly pushing against USSR (although you won’t be able to break their Siberian Stack unless they march it to Moscow, in which case you just gobble up their territories as they retreat from them). Round 5 onward, after your logistics are already setup and the main German and Russian stacks have annihilated each other in Moscow, is where Japan is in-position with a 60+ IPC economy (after NOs) to finish off USSR and reinforce Europe before USA/UK can kill Germany (Italy will probably die by round 5/6 no matter what you do, if your group plays KGF as aggressively as it sounds like you do (100% of US/UK income in Europe, 0 in Pacific unless it’s forced by necessity)).

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    @andrewaagamer So after I made my arguments here, I thought things over, and realized I hadn’t touched AA50 41 Scenario in a while, so I straight up took the day off work and solitaire’d 6 games in TripleA (I used no bid because I was lazy). I did a 100% all-in KGF strategy for the Allies every time and tried a variety of strategies for the Axis. Basic rundown below:

    Game #1: All Axis Powers 100% Aggression against Moscow. Allies won on ~Turn 5 because I tried pushing Moscow with Germany on G5 and the dice didn’t go my way. Even if I had succeeded, Allies had a solid chance to still win because they were already in Italy and US/UK were both ferrying 3 transports full of units + bomber spam across Europe, so Germany was more-or-less on death’s door. Japan meanwhile, despite going 100% for Moscow, was only in Novosbirisk with like 3 tanks, and in Persia with 2 (they had bigger stacks behind this, but they after the main German/Italian push had failed, USSR would be able to stall out Japan long enough for UK/US to finish off Germany).

    Game #2: Same strategy as game #1 because I thought I got unfairly diced in the Moscow fight. I refined my Allied play a bit (Game #1 was pretty rough around the edges because I was rusty as all hell) and this time Italy ended up falling on USA4, meaning Germany never even really got a chance to push for Moscow because they were under too much pressure at home. Once again Japan was not close enough to Moscow with a large enough force to make a difference by time the game was decided. Allies win.

    Game #3: Germany 100% guns it for Moscow, Italy plays defensively, Japan 100% guns it for Moscow. Same result as game #2, except this time Germany didn’t get very far into Russia as the Soviets were able to exploit the lack of an Italian southern flank and constantly harass the Germans by pushing Ukraine with 3-4 INF stacks in Ukraine, threatening the NO in Bulgaria-Romania. Same old story with Japan. Italy playing more defensively didn’t change the result, as they died USA4 anyway (they had pretty mediocre dice on more than one occasion but I doubt that better dice would have bought me more than one more round anyway). Allies win.

    Game #4: Germany tries to replicate the “Dark Skies” strategy from G40 to stop the UK fleet buildup, Italy 100% guns it for Africa, Japan plays for NOs. I tried a bit of a “Kill Britain First” (minus the sealion, I just wanted to keep the Western Allies out of the game for as long as possible). This worked for all of 2 turns before UK2 Britain basically rebuilt their entire fleet and Germany couldn’t keep up with the attrition while also making progress against a USSR that was playing more aggressively to exploit the fact that Germany wasn’t building many land units. I called the game as early as G3 because I realized that Axis had no hope of actually winning. Allies win.

    Game #5: Germany plays defensively (building mostly INF/FTR + the occasional TANK. Whatever combination results in 10 units in Germany each turn). Italy also plays defensively, Japan focuses primarily on NOs (both collecting its own and denying US/UK theirs) + consolidating its navy. This game was much more even than the previous 4. Germany/Italy turtled for an extremely long time, which was made possible by Japan’s moves in the Pacific (which I outlined earlier in this thread) eliminating all of UK’s NOs and all of USA’s (except for the freebie they get for controlling mainland USA) by round 2. This, combined with Japan hurling its starting fleet (sans the Fighters, which went into Russia to try to help push down Moscow), slowed the Western Allies down enough that, by round 7, Germany was able to suicide its main stack onto Moscow to weaken the Russians to the point where, even after a build, Japan was able to take it. Unfortunately, UK/USA responded to this by going all in and doing a one-two punch to take Berlin. Germany did succeed at getting back into Berlin for one turn, but the damage was already done, and USA/UK just took it a second time with another one-two punch. Two rounds of pilfering Germany’s income made Japan’s seizure of Moscow insufficient to carry the game, so they conceded on USA 8. Allies win, but barely.

    Game #6: Same strategy as before, but Japan builds ICs on the mainland instead of going 100% transport shuck. This mostly played out the same as game #5, but I was able to get Japan’s Air Stack into Europe around Round 6, preventing Germany/Italy from falling for long enough to seize Moscow with Japan on J8. Germany never got a chance to suicide its stack against Moscow though, as they had much worse dice luck on that front and never managed to hold even Karelia for more than a round or two. Still, with Moscow gone and with USA/UK not able to break Italy or Germany (they were trading France/NW Europe though), the Allies had to concede after J8, Axis win relatively easily, but not as easily as I thought they’d win in this scenario.

    TL;DR in my next post.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    @AndrewAAGamer tl;dr to the above post. I was wrong to say that the Axis have a neigh-unbreakable advantage when playing with NOs turned on, but I still believe that they do have a palpable advantage, and that the game as a whole would be better off being played without them. The scenario as a whole, NOs or not, is much more balanced than I originally thought, though.

  • 2021 2020

    @domanmacgee said in Putting it all together. Improving Allied Play:

    @AndrewAAGamer tl;dr to the above post. I was wrong to say that the Axis have a neigh-unbreakable advantage when playing with NOs turned on, but I still believe that they do have a palpable advantage, and that the game as a whole would be better off being played without them. The scenario as a whole, NOs or not, is much more balanced than I originally thought, though.

    That matches our experience. Since the collection of money regarding the NO’s is very close I guess you could play the game without them and it would not make a big difference. We just like them and I have never played without them.

    IMHO I think AA50 1941 with a $6 Allied bid is a pick 'em game. I have seen the Axis and Allies both win and lose fairly evenly. It usually comes down to what you described in your test games; the Allies win if they take Italy and then Germany the same Turn as Moscow falls or before Moscow falls. They take Germany the Turn after Moscow falls and it is a pick 'em game again and if they take Moscow 2 Turns after Moscow falls or later, as in never too, and it is too late and the Axis win.

    Appreciate you testing your own theory and validating a different outcome than you had argued. That shows honesty. 🙂

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    @andrewaagamer Oh, three more questions as we wrap this up, just as a sanity check.

    1.) Do you play with Dardanelles Open or Closed?
    2.) Do you play with Fighter Escorts for Bombing Raids On or Off?
    3.) Do you play with Tech On or Off?

    For the tests I ran yesterday, I ran with Dardanelles Closed (to stop Italy from one-turn shucking guys into Ukraine/Caucasus and/or hiding their fleet from Allied Air Power); Escorts On (to give Axis some breathing room against USA Bombing Raids, which are crippling otherwise); Tech Off (because I’m never a fan of tech, even in the games where they’re not too out of hand).

    @andrewaagamer said in Putting it all together. Improving Allied Play:

    Appreciate you testing your own theory and validating a different outcome than you had argued. That shows honesty. 🙂

    Yeah, as I was reading your posts and my own to spot-check grammar, correct territory names, etc., I was starting to feel that something might have been off. I like being correct in the long-term more than I like arguing for the sake of arguing, even if it means changing my mind/admitting I was wrong lol.

  • 2021 2020

    @domanmacgee said in Putting it all together. Improving Allied Play:

    1.) Do you play with Dardanelles Open or Closed?
    2.) Do you play with Fighter Escorts for Bombing Raids On or Off?
    3.) Do you play with Tech On or Off?

    1.) Do you play with Dardanelles Open or Closed? CLOSED
    2.) Do you play with Fighter Escorts for Bombing Raids On or Off? ON
    3.) Do you play with Tech On or Off? USUALLY OFF - THOUGH SOME LIKE ON.

    Personally I do not like the Tech component only because it begins immediately upn success. Can’t tell you how many times I have lost a Jap transport on US 1 because the US Player rolls one die and gets long range aircraft.

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18

    @andrewaagamer said in [Putting it all together. Improving Allied

    Personally I do not like the Tech component only because it begins immediately upn success. Can’t tell you how many times I have lost a Jap transport on US 1 because the US Player rolls one die and gets long range aircraft.

    Ditto. I’ve lost entirely won games because the opponent went for tech as a desperation move, pulled super subs or long range aircraft, and used their new tech to instantly swing the odds on a big battle somewhere on the board.

  • 2021 2020

    @domanmacgee Yeah, I don’t like Tech because I consider it just luck.

    When I used to play at Axis and Allies Members Club (AAMC) there was one gentlemen, and I don’t remember his handle, who wanted to play me in a bunch of AA50 games; with Tech.

    During the first game, he was Axis, he caught me by surprise when he rolled for mechanized infantry as Germany. He succeeded and the attack on the Russian stack in East Poland from Germany suddenly was greatly in his favor due to a bunch of infantry getting into the battle that I had not accounted for. Since he was a good Player, not as good as me but good, I was unable to overcome this disaster and he won.

    In the second game I was Axis, and now that I understood his strategy; I accounted for it. I will say he was a Master at it! He would buy and set up subs to attack the IJN and if he could have rolled Super Subs he would win the battle easily. He had planes in position that if he got Long Range Aircraft my fleets would suddenly be exposed. He would buy artillery as Russia hoping to get Heavy Artillery and adjust those battles. On each Turn as the Axis I had to think - “Okay if he rolls for this Tech and it goes into effect how will that affect the board?” It was very difficult to account for all the Tech possibilities in each and every move I made. I won the second game and then the third game too by using this new tool of always accounting for possible Tech.

    In the fourth game I made an error in France. I forgot to move two Japanese fighters there to protect my Italian/German stack. Even though he only had a 12% chance of taking it he still went for it with UK as he was losing and desperate. Not only did he win, which he should of been wiped out, he took it with enough to actually hold it from the Italian counter attack!

    Thus, he was back in the game and slightly ahead but I was fighting back until he rolled Paratroopers as UK. Suddenly, nowhere was I safe on the Continent, and his ability to take virtually any area not heavily defended put him back ahead in the money game. The game was that close. He eventually went on to win.

    That was our last game because he got mad at me. In some after action e-mails discussing the game I pointed out that he got lucky in France and also his entire Tech strategy was based on luck. While he was extremely good at it his whole strategy was based on a) getting the Tech he needed at the right moment and b) catching his opponent by surprise. Since his Opponent could, as I had shown, account for his Tech rolling he only could win against better Players than him by rolling the Tech when he needed it, which is luck in my opinion, and catching his opponent unawares. He was definitely good enough to beat most Players without his luck strategy.

    He took offense to this comment even though I didn’t mean it to be an attack on his ability. I don’t mind people playing a luck game if they are lucky. If I always rolled good I know I would be very happy with that advantage. Perhaps he missed the part where I said he was a Master at it. Setting yourself up to take advantage of a Tech Roll is definitely a skill and he is the only Player I have ever seen that based his entire strategy on it.

    Anyway, so much for old war stories. 🙂


  • Good discussion. In my playgroup, NO’s off/Dardanelles closed/escort & interceptor allowed/tech allowed (but rarely used)/6-12 bid to allies (typically +2inf on eastern front, +1inf in Egypt, +1 inf in Yunan) seems to provide a fairly balanced game.

    When we played with NOs on, the ability of the axis to couple their starting hardware advantage with near economic parity by round 2 or 3 (before the US is even “in the game”) always resulted in axis win. We didn’t take the time to figure out what the bid for the allies needs to be to have a balanced game with NOs on but I suspect it might be between 25-30 IPCs. Of course, our predictable play might be the actual issue!

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