Is there any way the Allies can win, if Egypt falls G1 ?


  • Hello everyone !

    So the reason for this post is the following:

    By now, I have played the A&A: Anniversary Edition 1941 setup for something like 10-20 times with my friends. We ended up with the following rules:

    • World Domination
    • No NOs
    • No R&D
    • Interceptors and escorts
    • Dardanelles closed
    • 3 IPC bid for the Allies (1 british infantry in egypt)

    I guess that’s one of the most balanced ways to play it. No NOs since they heavily favor the Axis. No R&D since it makes the games pretty random. Interceptors to counter “Green Skies” type of strategies. Dardanelles closed to counter demolishing axis tactics against the soviet union. 3 IPC bidding for the Allies to reduce the G1 egypt fight to a coin toss.

    Now believe it or not, egypt was taken G1 in EVERY game we played and the Allies ultimately ALWAYS lost. The Axis always went for the same strategy:

    G1:

    • Buy 10 infantry
    • Sink british fleet in SZ2 and SZ6
    • Capture Ukraine, East Poland and Baltic States uniformly
    • Capture Egypt

    J1:

    • Buy 2 transports
    • Capture Borneo, East Indies, Burma, Kwangtung, Fukien, Hupeh and Suiyuan with 4 units on Burma to capture India J2
    • Sink US fleet in SZ56, SZ53 and SZ50
    • Sink UK fleet in SZ35

    I1:

    • Buy 2 infantry and 1 artillery
    • Capture Trans-Jordan
    • Tanks and Infantry up to the east front
    • Fighter to reinforce france

    The Allies reacted in a variety of ways. What worked best was a combination of the Belorussian Bump, setting up the Green Wave and heavily supporting the Soviet Union with the UK. So end of round 1 the map looks something like this (all fights as statistically most likely):

    9862ad48-e7da-4138-bd98-cb3462fbb26c-Round_1.png

    Now from this position on, the Axis strategy is very simple:

    Germany:

    • build up tons of infantry and aircraft
    • slowly and patiently push the Soviet Union back
    • force the UK out of Scandinavia
    • bombard everything you can
    • reinforce France as needed
    • harrass the UK in africa as long as possible
    • eventually kill the Sovjet Union with the help of the Japanese
    • then kill UK and USA with the help of the Japanese

    Japan:

    • Build ICs in East Indies and India (not Manchuria) as fast as possible
    • Build up a supply line with 2 transports from East Indies to India
    • Build up a supply line with 4 transports from Japan to China/Soviet Union
    • Take all of China, Soviet Union and Persia
    • Take the Pacific
    • Harras the UK in africa
    • Build tons of aircraft and infantry
    • Focus on Persia, Caucasus and Kazakh
    • eventually kill the Sovjet Union with the help of the Germans
    • then kill UK and USA with the help of the Germans

    Italy:

    • Escape the mediterranean sea with the fleet
    • Harras the UK in africa
    • Reinforce France and Italy as needed
    • Reinforce the Japanese fleet as needed

    So basically it is very close to the strategies of @The_Good_Captain . The only exception is that Japan is going heavy south and only uses the other units to push back the Soviet Union and China to gain the IPC. With this strategy the “Green Wave”, so pushing all US IPC over North Africa into Persia, is simply too slow and too weak. The heavily weakened UK player is as well too weak to permanently reinforce the Soviet Union. In all games there was this tipping point, where Germany first recaptured Scandinavia, then killed the Soviet Union together with Japan before the “Green Wave” could penetrate Persia and then killed the rest of the Allies with an overwhelming amount of IPC.

    So my final question would be, if someone already found themselves confronted with this Axis strategy and found a way to win with the Allies (that did not include an incredibly lucky dice roll) ? Are we playing something completely wrong with the Allies ? Maybe someone even has a saved TripleA game or something. Any help would do !

    Kind regards,

    Sherman


  • @Sherman Hey, I appreciate the plug and your assessment was a joy to read. I actually don’t advocate for the Manchuria IC anymore either (this is the only strategy change I’ve made from the original videos). I probably should announce that at some point…

    You probably already know this but, adding just one infantry to Egypt reduces the chance of Germany successfully occupying Egypt on G1 to something around 40%. That being said, it is extremely bizarre that in 10 games played, the UK player would not experience a win in Egypt even once. If that’s true then you and your play group fell inside an extremely unfortunate .06%, fairly incredible.

    With all that out of the way, I didn’t mention this in any of my videos but it is my belief and experience that this version and setup is solidly imbalanced in favor of the Axis (additional games played after the release showed me its a bit worse than I let on in the videos). My recommendation of adding two infantries (both in Egypt or one in Egypt/one in Yunnan) keeps the game from being a total Axis roll - but as you and your group have found, taking the Allies to the W in the mid game is …disappointingly uphill.

    For what it’s worth, my recommendation (other than pleading that you add in one additional infantry to either of those two spots) would be to have the more experienced players take the Allies, and the less experienced players take the Axis. Further from that, try opening up a bid (as distasteful as that is to me), Further playings of this have convinced me this is one of the most canalized versions of axis and allies - but anyone with a decent resume or otherwise novel concept should be heard …and played against.


  • @The_Good_Captain Hey ! Thanks for your fast reply and feedback.

    Yes, it’s incredibly unfortunate ! G1 Egypt with 1 british infantry more is I think still a little bit in favor of Germany (something like 48%/7%/45% (W/D/L)), but losing it more then 10 games in a row is ridiculous.

    My group and I started playing A&A together and learned together, always switching countries etc. Everybody has more or less the same skill level and understanding of the game. On top of that, the 3 IPC Allies bid is sadly the maximum I could bring my group to agree on. The reasoning behind this is on the one hand side that the Allies should have a good chance of winning if Egypt does not fall G1. On the other hand my group believes that the correct Allies strategy for Egypt falling G1 simply has to be found.

    After losing the last game as the Allies, I really wanted to know if this is even possible. I simulated a lot of Allies strategies using TripleA, but could not find any that would lead to victory. Since I was always playing against the same people, I thought I would be biased towards certain tactics/strategies. Kind of living in a bubble, not seeing the obvious response to those Axis strategies.

    Maybe I can get my group to agree on a higher bid by showing them your response ! :)

    Kind regards

    Sherman


  • @Sherman

    Just to nail this part down, I went ahead and pulled the exact stats for Egypt actually being captured by the Germans with an extra British infantry added in and its 35%:

    32863df2-4d2a-43e0-ac1b-77fa24e137f8-image.png

    You have to convert one tank to a fighter and select “Retreat when only air left”. This will ensure the calculator leaves one of the tanks alive along with the bomber resulting in an Egypt capture.

    And if it helps, I have lost as the Allies even after holding Egypt on G1 (I’ve also won games after losing it on G1 but in that case, I feel experience won the day). And after reading your second post, I will say that when I make balance recommendations in the videos, they are very conservative relative to what I feel is the true game state. In other words, I’d rather the game remain imbalanced than go too far with too much for the weaker side. I might also make that more clear in a future video. Anyway, I hope that helps try to convince your group to adopt that second infantry into either Yunnan or Egypt - or even both for a total of three… or an additional bid of some kind.

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