I’ll have to get to catching up on other posts on this forum. Hm.
But in the meantime, short writeup on 2-Ocean.
“Works on platinum level” - my opinion is just about anything works to get to platinum as it’s mostly grinding.
“White whale” - detailed discussion in general is hard to find. I myself skimp on the details a lot.
What are the principles involved?
The two most important yet opposing principles in Axis and Allies, as I see it, are stack building and bleeding. Both work off local superiority of force.
Suppose Allies have a combined defensive stack. Say Axis want to have a huge stack of their own to smash that defensive stack. The more either power builds that stack, the less they send elsewhere. The less either power builds that stack, the more they send elsewhere.
So what’s the right decision? If a player sends too much elsewhere, the stack position collapses and the opponent gains tactical advantage. If a player sends too much to a stack, other positions collapse and the opponent gains economic advantage. (Roughly speaking.)
How does this apply to 2-Ocean?
Well, you see, Germany should have at least 5 fighters, and Japan 3-6 fighters and 1 bomber at start of turn. Before assuming “oh yeah that sounds normal”, really think about it. Assumptions are unsafe. Keeping this short, so won’t dig in there.
So what happens when US splits fleet? In the Atlantic, the Allies have to get past Germany’s starting forces. In the Pacific, the Allies have to get past Japan’s starting forces. Neither Axis power needs to build anything, they don’t need to pay, each Axis power has a lot of starting units that can be used to fight against oncoming KGF/KJF.
But that is really quite vague. It’s not really “details”, it’s just foundation to set up explanation of details.
So let’s take a couple applications.
Well, it really doesn’t work too well in the strict KGF, because UK and US combine defensive fleets and forego dumping ground units through Med. Allied destroyers threaten the Baltic and north-of-Karelia sea zones so Germany can’t build new subs without them being destroyed at expected loss to Germany.
But let’s say the Allies don’t have multiple defensive fleets in Atlantic to combine. Then Germany need only threaten the sea zones around London (which can be done with Baltic subs and German air). If UK builds destroyers then German subs and air attack; German subs are taken as fodder and German air is left unscathed. if Allies tech switch and build pure carriers, Germany attacks with subs only and UK fighters are useless. Again, I am not getting into details, and besides this is just one possibility.
Similarly Japan sees US drop a Pacific fleet, drops a couple subs in Pacific, then if US comes close, Japan trades cheap subs for expensive stuff. There’s a bunch of KJF variations; sub-heavy, air-heavy, island hopping with transport-heavy and air-heavy, Allies playing to keep Japan off from threatening the India sea zone, hitting the East Indies fleet, etc. etc. Again, no details. But you get the general idea. Allied gains not fast or cheap if Axis competent.
So Where Do You Attack
So where is the actionable advice here? The answer is, players need to understand the environment before they are ready. Real “Art of War” stuff; people read it and think “yeah whatever, this is just really obvious duh”. But then people don’t apply it so much in real life, see? Understanding the field of battle, see?
So if the Axis are advantaged because they have starting units, then what is the solution? Attack the starting units. If the Axis are advantaged because the Allies cannot effectively unite forces, what is the solution? Create conditions where the Axis cannot effectively unite forces, or the Allies can unite forces.
Well, let’s spell it out some more.
Pressuring Japan Navy
Japan starts with 2 carriers 2 battleships 6 fighters 1 bomber. Suppose the East Indies fleet is successfully hit so Japan loses battleship carrier 2 fighters. It’s NOT the IPC value that is destroyed that is important. It is the tactical leverage.
Now if Japan wants to defend against air attacks it needs to buy a second carrier. I won’t get into the details but the timing on the purchase can be awkward.
And if Japan wants to defend against air attacks beyond that? Then it needs to buy another carrier and fighters. So you start to see how Japan’s defenses can be broken down quickly against air attacks, say. (I won’t get into how to mount Allied air attacks in KJF, this is just general pointers).
Contrast if Japan has all its starting forces, US is trying to come in with whatever, and Japan just laughs and buys a few cheap subs. Like, come on US. Enjoy the hospitality of Japan!
Then there’s things like cbrownpt and I do, which don’t involve hitting East Indies but involve control of the India sea zone in different ways, then there’s I think it’s Roland Frisky Cow that uses a UK Persia IC. I’ll leave out the details. The general idea is there.
A lot of players say take the 85-90% win attacks/defenses. Be safe.
Well, in 2-Ocean you probably shouldn’t. You’ll do things like “Here you go Germany, you have a 60% chance to destroy my Atlantic fleet that only has one transport. You could take the 25% odds of favorable open dice into a favored midgame. But if you try it, what if you lose a chunk of your air, then you have less to threaten Europe with and less to threaten Atlantic with? And if you don’t try it then I’ll just start landing stuff in Europe, bleeding out your push, and my destroyer(s) will interdict your Baltic/Karelia sea zones. Go on, do whatever.”
Or stuff like “sure here’s a 50% win on the combined Europe stack but if you win then probably your air is messed up so UK can start to dump freely”.
The problem with Allied bombers is, do you really want to be trading 12 IPC units for 3 IPC infantry or 8 IPC destroyers? Of course not.
But if you can establish a trickle of units, then bombers have a lot more threat range. 4 bombers against 5 enemy infantry isn’t the greatest battle. But if you have 4 bombers 3 infantry then that’s another matter. Not great, but definitely not nearly as bad.
If you’re asking “how do I leverage Allied bombers”, well, if it were that easy and obvious everyone would do it. There are real problems with it, you know! But if you want to simultaneously pressure both Axis players somehow, you can see how Allied bomber range could be a factor.
(I’m not saying Allied bombers are the go-to for 2-Ocean. I’m just saying, think through the basic principles, tactics, applications. What are the different ways to attack? Plenty more than the few examples listed here. Depending on board state, you go for different options.