Hi Hannibal (ante portas),
In fact, I agree with pretty much you said. Surely I couldn’t keep up with your tactical understanding when A&A was new to me. So congratulations at first.
Nevertheless there’s some more input. Just my humble opinion:
Except of the Baltic AC in your first round, ships usually don’t buy for Germany. If you really want to build 1-2 Subs/Trans in the Baltic each turn you’ll have to stay there with your own navy or they’ll be sunk immediately with british airforce. UK and US can together close you up in the Baltic and wait for your attack, of course it will be costly for them, but usually more expensive for you.
You are quite right about going through the north is a superior strategy. Karelia is a very strong position for both sides. As the axis you should take and hold it in the first round. UK has different options to support Russia. His support in NWY can be strafed to death by your forces in Karelia. Better to cut of your supply lines in EEU after your Baltic fleet is removed. Or, most likely, he can support Archangel, so you’ll meet the main UK/Rus forces in ARC.
If you wanna go south through UKR, Russia will concentrate it’s forces in CAU and the UK can take a lot of your income away from you. You won’t be able to trade more than one territory with Russia (WRU), but it’s harder for Russia to trade a lot of countries (due to the max. of 3 Ftrs)
In fact, I most likely wait in KAR until the japanese player puts preassure on Russia which forces the allies to retreat on my front, then I take a step into WRU.
Don’t underestimate a US counterattack on Pearl Harbour. Especially if the go KJF it’s very hard to replace your lost navy again. An aggressive british opening in the Pacific and a Pearl counter, 2 ICs in IND and SIN and Japan is in big trouble.
You are quite lucky that your Russian player is rather predictable. Maybe he should be more aggressive, attack UKR, build some tanks or even a Ftr, etc.
These are just my opinions and can, of course, vary in different games and against different ways to play. I hope this gives you some input.