• @CrazyStraw:


    Take Caspian Sub with a grain of salt.

    They are good for moderate to advanced opponents, but against the most highly skilled opponents, those ideas and concepts often get blown to bits…

    Heh  :lol:

    Switch, I’d like to congratulatie you on having attained sufficient expertise to ascertain who is moderately skilled, advanced, and highly skilled without having played those folks.  That takes a real eye for talent, and it is impressive that you have mastered it.

    Keep up the good work.


    Actually Crazy Straw, you took that personally, and it was not aimed at people, but at STRATEGIES posted thorugh Caspian Sub.

    Personally, based on the reviews of several of the C-Sub strats that have been posted here over the past several months, I honestly think that you folks deliberately leave out or change certain aspects of the strats you post, perhaps to keep some of your ideas “trade secrets”, perhaps because they were earlier strat concepts that have been effectively countered by incresing skill of players over time.  Some of them have very gaping holes that are obvioius to an experienced player.

    Taking a canned strat, whether one of yours, one of mine, or somone elses, is never a good idea against a highly skilled opponent.  The best players can react to and counter too easilly against a canned strat.

    And like it or not, many of the strats that C-Sub puts out are exactly that… canned.  You have to do X,Y,Z over turns 1, 2, 3 in order to set up Strategy A Prime.  But, if your opponent can see where that strat is going and adjusts, then by turn 3 you cannot do step Z, and the strategy is destroyed.

    Again, against novices or intermediate players, it is less likely that the ultimate goal and the steps along teh way will be identified and so the strat will work.  Against a more advanced player, the goal may be identified, but may not be able to be effectively countered.  But against the best out there…  many of the C-Sub strats simply make far too many assumptions about probable enemy moves and counters in order to be worth anything in terms of strategic or tactical planning more than a turn into the game.

    And that goes for ANYONE’s strats… beyond general concepts.  And things like “Now use the 5 FIGs you staged to Western Europe in G2 to kill the UK fleet of 1 BB, 3 TRN, 1 DST in SZ3” are hell and gone from general concepts.

  • I agree that some of their papers are somewhat lacking in taking into account important info. For instance, before I knew Crazystraw, there was this gem of a thread…


    That said, Crazystraw’s tactics were good enough for #1 in the mega. Sure, dice are needed, but so is good strategy.

    Do the articles leave stuff out. Yes, they do. I  would not read any article as an XYZ, because like you said, there are missing links.

    But perhaps they were waiting for Gencon to be over.

    Although personally I would still like that Indian IC paper scuttled. India IC is perfectly defensible should you know what you are doing. Surprisingly, some of you folks buy into that same paper. Of course, maybe its just me…


  • @trihero:

    They are good for moderate to advanced opponents, but against the most highly skilled opponents, those ideas and concepts often get blown to bits…

    I wouldn’t go that far. CSub’s posted strategies are outdated, but it nearly won them the tournament last year. The actual players are quite good, among the very best. They were second place this year in Smorey’s tournament.

    I haven’t read any good comprehensive strategies lately, to be honest. Everything I’ve read like Peter Morrison’s strategies or the CSub papers are excellent starting points, but either contain some flawed information (morrison for instance uses box rules!) or just don’t cover a lot of the basics. In a way that’s a good thing since it forces me to come up with my own conclusions after battling people, instead of reading a prescribed formula of how to counter xxx with yyy.

    Telling people “do XYZ” is a mistake. They should tell people 1) learn to think and 2) learn to think “outside the box”

    Following someone’s gameplan is not always a good path to success. That said, some basic help is fine, and thats what C-sub does.


  • @squirecam:

    Telling people “do XYZ” is a mistake. They should tell people 1) learn to think and 2) learn to think “outside the box”

    Following someone’s gameplan is not always a good path to success. That said, some basic help is fine, and thats what C-sub does.


    I agree whole heartedly.

    C-Sub papers can trigger thought, provide folks with a starting point for ideas, and even some good statitical analysis of Turn 1 moves.

    But beyond that, they lose a lot.  By 2 turns out, most games look very different from each other, even when usign the same basic moves.  A good roll here, a bad roll there, a minor shift on 1 battle to do an advantage here, a disadvantage there… in 3 turns, 2 games, even played by the same players using teh same starting strategy, will look very different.

    So, as canned strats, take C-sub with a grain of salt (as i originally said).  For springboads to advance your own game theory and practice, they are worth looking at as a starting point, or an alternate perspective on a given idea.

  • Hey Switch.

    Actually I’m enjoying the banter; I’m not taking it personally in the sense that it’s bugging me, so keep the words coming.  'Tis fun.

    What concerns me is that you really put out a lot of misinformation, and I do feel the need to counter some of that.  Let me hit a couple here:

    I honestly think that you folks deliberately leave out or change certain aspects of the strats you post, perhaps to keep some of your ideas “trade secrets”

    No!  The papers represent our best thoughts at the time they are written.  Why the heck would we publish a bunch of our best sucker punches and THEN throw in misinformation?  That makes no sense.

    And I’ll stand by every paper in there.  The ONLY one that I think may need major revision is the paper on KJF because we originally wanted to make that a series of 3 papers and it got condensed into one.  (I see Squire just posted about that paper; he’s got some good points, but remember the paper is about domination games, not tournament games)

    Taking a canned strat is never a good idea against a highly skilled opponent.

    Absolute utter baloney.  Chess players use “canned strats” all the time.  I’ve used CSub textbook strats against some excellent players and they work just fine.  Really fine.

    Part of the bias you bring to the game is that you apparently play online and not face to face.  That is a radically different game.  One face to face game I played recently was going as badly as any game I have ever played.  Everything that could go wrong did.  So I did the equivalent of jumping up on a chair and yelling, "HEY, LOOK AT THE MONKEY!"  And when the guys turned to look I stole their french fries.  That is how real-time games work.  I would probably not do that in an online game where you have 30 minutes or more to study a board, but playing face-to-face, unorthodox moves have a great impact on the game.

    More importantly, the allegedly more skilled players you mention do not publish their “canned” strategies.  How good do you think they would look if you had time to pick them apart?  You think the more skilled players get wild and do something different every time they play?  Malarkey.

    Finally, how do you have any idea who I’ve played or who I have beaten?  You make broad statements about how the strats don’t work against top players, but I know for a fact they do work against top players.  I’ve done it.  You weren’t there, so how the heck would you know?Â

    Ok, your turn  Let the monkey dung fight continue :lol:

  • Much more importantly, Squire, how did you DO?

    (That’s at GenCon for the folks who didn’t know the tournament was going on.  Squire made it to the final game of the Masters)

    Did ya win?

    And do you know who won D-Day and AAE/AAP?  (I think you may have scored the D-Day trophy…)


  • Jake got AAP.

    Yes, I got back to back D-Day trophies.

    Masters came down to battle for WE. What happened was…(hey, my phone’s ringing)… 🙂


  • Then that is the difference between you and me.  You use canned strats, I use core concepts.

    And I have argued many of these points before with Agent Smith over Low Luck.  And in fact, in your above post you even reinforced my own perspective…
    When you said that, when in trouble, you did a “Hey look at the monkey!”, then you are not using canned strats.  You are working on the fly, and using core concepts as applied to specific tactical situations in working toward a strategic goal.

    If you are using low or no luck, then canned strats can work.  You spend a few weeks with a good sim, work out the permutations over the first several rounds of play, and you know the likely outcomes, counters, potential counters, etc.  You then form a canned strat based on those results.  That was basically where Agent Smith was by the time he left these boards… unbeatable playing the specific set of game rules that he had researched and analized to death.

    But with the additional permutations of Revised, and with ADS, then canned strats are a jumping off point.  For example, Canadian Shiled… how well does it work against a massive UK and US Atlantic Naval buildup on T1 with units blocking the Med and Baltic?  Or with a US shuck established to Europe via WCan and ECan?

    Also, the other problem with canned strats is you have to make assumptions about what your opponent will do from the start.  A standard Japan strat can be destroyed utterly in Turn 1 if the Allies go KJF.  Even worse if the Allies do a delayed opening KJF (they show KGF on Turn 1, then go KJF in Turn 2).  A standard Power Africa move by germany can get wiped out by a US North African Dominance strat concept.

    You get the idea.  To implelement most of the C-Sub strats, you have to staert with assumptions, and then hope like hell that your opponent does not do anything to mess you up.

    As for you posting that “they have worked agianst the best out there”, well I can say the same thing about Germany building 1 ARM and the rest INF, and Japan building 3 IC’s and nothign but 2 INF, 1 ART at those IC’s every turn.  I beat one of the best with it.  But will that scenario play out in every game, or even in a significant number of games?

    Probably not.

    And that is why the moves that I post here are outlines and concepts instead of a of canned strat.
    Because like any military plan, it never survives initial contact with the enemy.

  • Switch, the issue I have with what you write is that you talk about things when you are completely ignorant of them.  Like saying a move can’t or won’t work on an advanced player.  That’s a silly statement.

    Likewise, you’re reading too much precision into words like scripted, canned, and core.  You make it sound like deviating from a plan is the same as not having a plan.  Is a core concept a plan?  Is a “canned” strategy a script? Again, I think you’re making silly distinction for the sake of pounding your chest.

    You think your Dragon Kung Fu is better than my Caspian Sub Kung Fu.  Readers can decide for themselves.  Good luck to you!

    Generally my experience has been that the more people talk in forums the worse their game actually is (Squirecam being a notable exception; he can talk some quality trash AND he brings the heat  😄 ).  There is no way to “win” a debate like this, there are only degrees of being a bigger loser.  So I’ll vacate the floor and leave the final words to you.

    Hugs ‘n’ kisses.

  • A) Squire, you’re a weasel for that Masters un-update.

    B) I wrote something incorrectly before.  I said I used a tactic that was like jumping up and yelling, “HEY! LOOK AT THAT MONKEY!”

    In fact, what you would yell at GenCon is “SWEET MOSES!  LOOK AT LEIA’S METAL BIKINI!”

    Aaaaaand with that we can now be sure to see TriHero at the next GenCon.


  • Well CS,

    I am not going to get into this a lot further because…
    1.  This thread is now dreadfully off-topic
    2.  You are not likely to admit error.

    Now, I am going to correcft you on your final post, then allow my previous words to stand.

    As I said, there have been a number of posts regarding C-Sub strats here to allow folks who are not members of your yahell group to read them.  You claim that I am picking nits when I distinguish between advocating a core concept and state that you are using canned strats, what you called a “script.”

    I stand by that distinction, and will allow others to decide if my distinction is valid.

    Example of Caspian Subs canned strats/scripts…
    From:  “The Z42 Progression: One Island Hopping Plan for Japan During KGF”

    Round 1: Build 3tra 1tnk
    Round 2: Take 2tra of gear and a battleship to Hawaii (Z52).
    Round 3: Take 1tra of gear to Australia (Z46) and 1tra of gear to New Zealand (Z41).
    Round 4: Move gear toward Africa (1tra to Z42, 1tra to Z25).  (Now go figure out the sucker punch before you read further)
    Round 5: Hit the sucker or take Brazil/Africa

    From:  “Cracking the Canadian Shield”

    The basic move is this:

    Round one do a 3tra German opening (Policy Paper #11) and buy 3tra 1tnk with Japan.

    Round two unite your German fleet in Z07 and buy 1tra 3tnk 3inf with Japan and shuttle gear to Buryatia; between Buryatia and Japan you should have 5inf 5tnk.

    Round three take the Germans and land 5inf 5tnk in E. Canada through Z09.  Take Japan and land 5inf 5tnk in W. Canada.  Unless your opponent is prepared for it you ought to get DC or LA.  Capturing either US city should get you a win.

    Now compare these to “core concepts” posts…

    From:  Japan Strategy Concepts

    South Asia:  To my mind, this is perhaps one of THE best avenues of attack for Japan.  UK is likely to use their India forces to hold Africa (giving up 3 IPC’s to keep the 9 in Africa from Egypt south.  Again this allows Japan to advance quickly, with the risk of advancing too quickly and being decimated by a small strike of USSR forces coming south from Caucuses.  The south Asia avenue of attack can be supported with an IC in FIC, as well as by 1-2 transports that scavenge INF from the islands (Phillipines and East Indies in particular), and later with “tranny exchange” where a loaded tranny brings forces to FIC from Japan 1 round, then travels back the next round to “bridge” forces to Bury or Manch, being replaced by another loaded tranny heading to FIC from Japan.  Thus all trannies are able to ferry forces each round.  The south Asia strike has two additional advantages that make it such a strong threat to the Allies.  The first is that it adds a second threat to the Russian IC in Caucuses.  With Germany pushing via Ukraine, and Japan pushing through India and Persia, Caucuses becomes an issue for Russia.  And control of that IC by either side, with supporting defensive forces flowed in by the other plus subsequent builds, means that Russia is in serious trouble.  If Caucuses is too well defended, you can possibly slip some forces past and move on into Africa.  But again, be careful, if Caucuses is well held and you move past Persia, Russia can strike at your supply line and even back toward your FIC base while your advance forces are cut off in Trans Jordan or Egypt.  An IC in FIC should probably be the first built by Japan since it allows for use on 2 otherwise slow to supply avenues of attack.

    Now, let’s let the readers here decide which is more valuable…
    An XYZ script that is easilly blocked by even simple (and shall I say traditional?) Allied moves?
    Or a post that discusses the basic outline of a strategy and allows the player to flesh it out in details and timeline, with FIVE OTHER optional concepts listed in teh same paper in the event South Asia is blocked?

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    I’m with the core concepts crowd. Sound grasp of fundamentals will always serve you better than tricks.

    I even have an Axiom about it that I recently disobeyed to my detriment,

    Axiom 6 “Be more concerened with the sure paths to defeat than the uncertain paths to victory.”

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    I suppose the question now is when does a core concept become a canned strat? Or does its very nature as a core of strategy sheild it from ever falling into the realm of being canned or a “sucker punch.”

    For instance taking out the US fleet at Pearl on J1? Canned strat or core concept?

  • That is a single battle, and no more of a canned strat than attackign West Russia on R1.

    A Canned Strat goes beyond a single opening round battle, and starts to details specific equipment purchases, 3, 4 or 5 turns into the game.  No one can predict that far ahead, not in ADS anyway.

    Hell, the cumulative odds over 5 turns of even being able to ATTEMPT a specific move move that far down the line are nearly astronomical, since not only do you have the cumulative variable of about 70 battles by then, but also the cumulative effects of every single unit in NCM.

    For example “take Africa” on Turn 5 in that Z42 move on Turn 5… OK, sure, I’ll hit Africa on Turn 5.  But what if the US has been landing there in a North African Dominance strat for the past 5 turns?  Or just a T2 South Africa Interdiction?  And if they are, then hitting Brazil instead is a 1-turn gain of 3 IPC for Japan since the US can turn from SZ12 to SZ18 the next move and obliterate half of the forces you ahve been staging with the past 5 turns.

  • The CSub papers more complex that you give them credit for, Switch. The Canadian Shield paper talks about a few different variants, and the Baltic paper recommends 2 transports against good players, not 3. You can pick apart one little idea in the overall scheme, but the paper is always talking about the bigger picture and the pros and cons once you’ve seen the sucker punch.

    Would it help you to know that CrazyStraw won Gencon by himself just recently? That he used a partial Canadian Shield to beat one guy, and built 8 transports and 1 carrier as Germany as well? Not all the “advanced” players have seen every strategy, and it’s easy as hell to beat on a strategy that is laid out for you all nice and neat instead of an unexpected move in a tournament.

    I agree that CSub papers lack full discussions of basic details like the hemming and hawing of deadzones, the various builds and attack as Russia or whatever, etc, but none of their papers are so shallow as to be canned.

  • They are, by and large, presetned as fairly detailed blueprints.

    So he won a Tournament.  So have I.  So he has beat some good players, so have I.

    But when your strategy relies on moves and builds 5 turns into the game, THAT is canned, no other way to say it.

  • Aaaaaand with that we can now be sure to see TriHero at the next GenCon.

    :lol: metal bikinis where?  :? 😮 😄

    CSub papers are hardly canned. They discuss so many different variants of how things go. The paper would be canned if it said, you must build 3 transports as Germany, and then you will win. But it hardly says that at all. The paper would be canned if it said, you will take the USA for sure. But it doesn’t even say that.

  • Well heck, I was going to log in again to give you credit for starting a new thread, so I figure I may as well post a real post.

    A) Good idea for a new thread.  That’s good moderatin’.

    B) Ok, you quote the Canadian Shield paper which says, “The basic move is this”.  Doesn’t that imply immediately that there are other ways to do it as opposed to the move only being a script? Â

    More importantly, doesn’t the paper go on to detail many variations of the basic move?  So that’s not a script, that a discussion with a starting description of the basic concept.  It’s weird that you’re trying to split this semantic hair.  Must be the influence of that darn post-modernism

    C) You write “You are not likely to admit error.”  1) Like you are?  I admire your undaunted self-righteousness in the face of evidence to the contrary.  2) In fact, this may be one of the ways we are most different.  In the link Squirecam posted you can see that I give him credit for several points and say that I’m going to go back and work on a couple of concepts.  We were having a good debate (though later on in our history we did get a little raucus.  Heh  :-D).

    You, on the other hand, have a track record of starting debates off like a knob.  And I quote: “What this idiot who wrote this paper misses when he advocates the 3 tranny build…” Â

    See http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=5719.msg85316#msg85316

    I don’t usually push back hard on folks, but when you’re both wrong AND obnoxious it tends to get my dander up.  I tend to try and look for things to give people credit for (evidenced in a vatiety of threads), you tend to look for things to call people idiots.

    I guess you must feel like you’re succeeding.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Even if they ARE canned strategies and even if you CAN destroy them, they do serve purpose….to make you think.  Do you know how boring this game gets when you can basically predict the first 5 rounds of combat given average dice?  It’s the same thing over and over and over again.  A little variety, even if it doesn’t work, at least adds some flavor to the game!  And who knows, maybe it’s that first guy to build a carrier with Germany or the first guy who orchestrates a masterful conquering of Canada or the first guy to do almost nothing but build infantry with Germany in classic that changes the game forever.

    That’s, personally, what I aspire too.  That’s why I come up with some kooky ideas.  If the bounce back seems canned with no real response other hten “infantry stacks are better” I might even try it.

  • And Jen I do believe that i stated, twice so far in this thread, that those essays are valuable in terms of sparking thought.

    What they are nearly useless for though is taking them verbatim and trying them against an experienced player.

    That was my initial point (of taking C-Sub with a grain of salt), and remains my consistent point throughout this thread.

  • I would have to say that core concepts are more effective for me.  It is the way I approach the game a country doesn’t have scripted moves but rather responsibilities.  I think that scripted or canned strats don’t factor in bad rolls or your opponents counter measures.  IMHO the only moves that can really be scripted are the R1 moves.  after that the game becomes highly reactionary.  I can’t tell you how many times I have had perfect plans for my next few rounds only to have those plans crushed by an enemy counter measure forcing me back to the drawing board again.  So for me scripts don’t work.

  • 2007 AAR League

    I definitely think the CSub essays spark thought, and are fairly good for newer players like myself when I first picked up the game.  They give a player food for thought on how to approach the game, and maybe ways to go about coming up with strats of their own.  Sure, once you get better you don’t have to follow everything to a T, but it’s all about ideas and developing your own, with a good kickstart from others,whether it be CSub or from some other source.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator


    And Jen I do believe that i stated, twice so far in this thread, that those essays are valuable in terms of sparking thought.

    What they are nearly useless for though is taking them verbatim and trying them against an experienced player.

    That was my initial point (of taking C-Sub with a grain of salt), and remains my consistent point throughout this thread.

    Kay kay, musta forgotten you said it earlier in the thread.  When you’re tracking 400 threads a day, it’s hard to remember every point made in them. 🙂

  • Not a problem Jen 🙂

    Let me sum up a few of my earlier points, in case tehy did not cross over from the original thread, and just so folks understand me…

    The C-Sub essays have some good info.  They present ideas that folks may not have considered.  Many of them have some great statisitcal analysis of specific units, and others have some good analysis of specific combat situations you may encounter.  On that last item, it is not so much the specific analysis that is valuable (except of course for the Round 1 analysis, since beyond that too many variables creep in), but HOW to analize that makes them worthwhile.

    They are a good jumping off point.

    But they are not then end-all and be-all of how to win Axis and Allies.

    And, trying to use them as many of them are presented, as a blueprint for what builds and moves to make to achieve victory, is more likely to cause you a lot of grief than it is to be of any real benefit to you or your game play.  Thus, take them with a grain of salt.

  • If you are anywhere near Michigan or Ohio, you should play in Crazy’s border battle tournament. I think it is in November.

    See who has the better strategy?


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