• 2007 AAR League

    Sometimes it becomes a free for all where each attacker succeeds in retaking with increasing amounts of units until one side gives up and goes home or the defender manages to hit above average and then the attacker is left with 1-2 infantry and the scrum starts all over again.

    And Russia usually comes out on the losing end of the “fighters for trading” (kinda like dollies for froggies. Anybody?) battle because the Axis have more aircraft and the Russians have to also trade with japan as well as Germany. Although, the other Allies can offset the German side with trades of their own. Or Russia can completely abandon eastern Asia to avoid trading with Japan but that presents a problem all it’s own.

    Germany can get squeezed for infantry in the middle rounds but once you get a decent sized stack of inf in W Eur all of your infantry builds(which should be your entire income’s worth) will be going east. You can always use some of your armor to help defend W Eur(which I hate because armor is for attacking, not defending) in the short term to keep up the infantry supply moving toward Russia.

  • @froodster:

    This is way off topic by now but I don’t mind because I started this thread . . .

    I wonder if retaking with 2 Inf is smart. With 1 Inf, the other side can get away with retaking with just one Inf. But with 2 Inf, you force them to dedicate more than 2 Inf to guarantee a re-take, thus weakening the main force more than yours was weakened.

    I prefer a holistic approach to Axis and Allies, actually.  Africa, China . . . it’s all part of the greater whole.  In fact, my approach goes so far as to include scenarios in which my opponent had spinach for lunch, with contingency plans for ham and mustard.

    Really, you can’t neglect any aspect of the board, or of the opponent that you face.

    The THEORY goes something like this:

    I have 2 infantry and a fighter attacking your 1 infantry in a 2-3 IPC territory.

    I choose to attack because if I leave you alone, you gain 2-3 IPC.  If I attack and succeed, you must counterattack or leave me with 2-3 IPC gain.

    On the first round of attack:

    Your defender has 1/3 a chance of killing a 3 IPC unit (net loss 1 IPC for me)

    I have a 47/72 or so chance of killing a 3 IPC unit right away (gain of 3 IPC assuming the enemy infantry DOES die) and gaining a territory worth 2-3 IPC (net gain 5-6 IPC for this step)

    I commit 2 infantry worth 6 IPC to the attack.  Both of those infantry will die, to the enemy counterattack if nothing else.  (net loss 6 IPC for this step)

    However, there is a decent chance that the defending infantry will kill neither attacking infantry, and a chance that only one of my attacking infantry will be killed off on the initial attack.  Each surviving infantry that I have is worth 1 IPC, because that infantry has at least a 1/3 chance of killing a 3 IPC infantry when you counterattack.  (Note that this assumes no battleships; battleships do change the equation).  So net gain 1-2 IPC for this step.

    Of course, this risk calculation is far from exact, it makes a few assumptions along the way.  But roughly,

    Lose 1, gain 5-6, lose 6, gain 1-2 for ROUGH parity.  I think that if you calculate it all out, the attacker loses a bit.  But if the attacker doesn’t attack, of course, the defender simply gains 2-3 IPC from holding the territory, and you gain nothing, for a net of you lose an infantry and your opponent gains an infantry, which is actually a net pain of 4-6 IPC.

    Sure, there’s a logistic problem, but the defender doesn’t have to worry so much (the attacker’s coming right for him/her), and the attacker still needs defense at worst.

  • 2007 AAR League


    I commit 2 infantry worth 6 IPC to the attack.  Both of those infantry will die, to the enemy counterattack if nothing else.  (net loss 6 IPC for this step)

    I agree, if you retake with two they will both be killed. My point though is that when you retake with two, the other side will have to commit minimum 3 Inf to guarantee a retake. (9 IPCs, which YOU will have the option of wiping out next, with one likely already sacrificed in re-taking) - if they only send 2, you’re even and if they send one inf they risk losing a fighter.

    But IPCs aside, my main point is that the effect of this is to reduce the size of the opponents main stack by 3 Inf. Thus you have used 2 inf to effectively remove 3 of their inf from their main stack, which is a lot more good than 2 Inf will accomplish actually attacking those units.

    Of course this only works if the opponent has no other Inf nearby and is forced to split some off from their main stack (or from joining it). You might then have enough remaining strength to attack their main stack, or you may have the option of wiping out their 2 or 3 inf with force.

    My argument is tactical, not economic.

  • Moderator

    Think of Karelia when it is held by 1 UK inf.

    Should Germany attack and trade?

    I’d argue no.  Why?  B/c in this case you are bleeding 1-2 German inf for a British inf.  It is not worth it to trade, IMO.  Yes, if you don’t attack Russia will be earning the extra 2, but the loss of the 1-2 inf per turn can really cost you against Russia.
    Likewise, I think this can occur at Belo as well.

    If you have the infantry and you assess that you may have the overall lead then maybe you can spare an attack of 1 inf with 4 ftrs, but in a tightly contested match it is bad to trade German units for UK/US units on peripheral battles.  It could even be bad to take out a Russian inf that is sitting there.

    This can also be the case when dealing with WE.

  • 2007 AAR League

    Darth, I hope you won’t be offended if for the next few weeks I take your strategic advice with a grain of salt 😉 - this scenario sounds very familiar from a certain PBEM game I am playing right now…

  • Moderator

    No Prob.

    You can expect both UK and US to move to Kar this rd.  Although I’ll have more than 1 inf in there.

  • 2007 AAR League

    At least I wiped out a Russian tank, which are mighty precious… Except due to my blunder in G1 I had no Inf around so I had to throw in 1 Inf 2 Art. I guess I could have risked just using 1 Inf 1 Art - live and learn…

  • Moderator

    Which is why I didn’t have a problem moving the Russia arm up there.  I knew if you attacked it would probably cost you an rt at the very least.  Yes rt for arm is bad but I think Russia will be able to replenish and will now have UK/US help whereas Germany should remain fairly isolated.

    Well at least that was the thinking.

    If you had more inf, I probably would have went 3 inf, 2 ftrs with the retreat option if it went bad.

  • Moderator

    Oh yeah, on topic, I think Germany needs some sort of African income for the first 3 turns at least, and more likely 4.

    The games that I’ve done the poorest in as the Axis are the ones where I am kicked out of Afr by rd 3 (usually due to a poor G1 Egy attack or very successful UK counter).  I usually don’t have the income at that point to put a serious threat on Moscow come mid game.

    Which happened in the game I just finished with NoMercy.

  • 2007 AAR League

    It’s funny though, I see some posters here saying that the Allies should just leave Africa be. I’d definitely do some things differently in a new game - it’s my first game in a while and the first since I really started thinking about the strategy and reading on this site.

    I’d really like to do a team game I think, when this is done. And I’d like to play with TripleA, I think that would really simplify and speed up turns.

  • @froodster:

    It’s funny though, I see some posters here saying that the Allies should just leave Africa be.

    Who says that?

  • 2007 AAR League

    I may havemisunderstood. I thought it was maybe Jennifer who said she lost everytime she went heavy into Africa. Not sure though.

  • Off topic- IMO it’s a holistic approach as Newpaintbrush said. Germany and Japan have to work in concert, and there is an ebb and flow. What I’ve found is that if I don’t kill every possible unit in front of me as Germany, those forces pool and the game becomes a stacking match, which generally favors the Allies. In my old age I’ve become (seemingly) absurdly aggressive with Germany, with the object to filet the Russians first, followed by as many British and US forces as possible (with Russian units still a #1 priority). While Germany shrinks the Allies get burned up as they land – Japan grows – and finds in front of it tasty Russian units rather than Allied reinforcements. Japan vs. Russia alone = most likely a scrambling Allied player.

    So trading units on the Russian front/ in Norway/ in France may seem like Germany is heading down the tubes, but with solid Japanese play it’s actually serving a purpose. In short, as Germany I never let an Allied unit pass through my wheelhouse unscathed unless it’s strategically necessary to leave it alone (a rare necessity).

    On topic- It’s already been answered, but the 2 Inf/ Art/Arm/Ftr/Bmr approach to Egypt is pretty necessary w/o a bid. A solid British player will take back Egypt and land in Algeria on UK1, followed up by US muscle (again, assuming a non-bid situation, or a bid placed in Europe). You can win without much economy in Africa for Germany, but for an even shot at the game you really need to make the Allies play around in Africa for a few turns, with Germany devoting minimal forces to the theater. I often pick up units from Africa G2 and head for the Ukraine to muscle up vs. the Russkies anyhow, even if my G1 Egypt attack went splendidly. Unless faced with an Allied player who makes no effort to retake Africa, cut your losses quickly and hammer on Russia to take the Allied player out of their comfort zone.

  • 2007 AAR League

    Well if Germany is out of Africa by G2 or G3 then really you are talking about a few IPCs for a few rounds. I don’t think it’s reasonable to say that the game turns on that. It’s the same effect as losing one more Inf than expected for the first couple rounds - which may happen if your other continental battles in G1 and G2 are deprived of some additional units thus allowing the Russians to fight back longer and kill a few more Inf.

    I am inclined to agree with your analysis of killing Allied units whenever possible though. For instance in the game between Darth and my self he now has 4 Inf 2 Art in Karelia (UK/US). That’s a dPunch of 12, which means likely to kill 2 attacking units in the first round of combat (which is all I want to allow.) If I can strafe and kill perhaps 4 or 5 of those units while losing two myself, that’s a nice gain for Germany whether the units are UK/US or Russian.

    But also this turn I can re-take Ukraine with 10 Inf and a few Armor for good measure, and on J4 land up to six Jap. ftrs there, so I’d say Germany has done fairly well now without any African income AND while wasting the bid in Libya.

  • “Well if Germany is out of Africa by G2 or G3 then really you are talking about a few IPCs for a few rounds. I don’t think it’s reasonable to say that the game turns on that. It’s the same effect as losing one more Inf than expected for the first couple rounds - which may happen if your other continental battles in G1 and G2 are deprived of some additional units thus allowing the Russians to fight back longer and kill a few more Inf.”

    I don’t think it’s all that simple.

    My thinking about Anglo-Egypt goes like this:

    As Germany, I want to kill all the units at Anglo-Egypt to prevent the UK from using the Anglo-Egypt forces either to reinforce India very solidly, or to reinforce Africa.  If possible, I want to hold Anglo-Egypt past UK1.  If I have 2 German tanks surviving in Anglo-Egypt, the US can still send 2 inf art tank to Algeria, but if I send the Med fleet west, which is possible with an African bid freeing the Med fleet, then I can destroy the Allied navy at little cost combined with my fighters that landed at Western Europe (usually almost all of them, unless I built a German carrier in the Baltic, but lone transports are still not a problem for various reasons that I will not go into at this time).

    The thing is, if UK has not reclaimed Anglo-Egypt on UK1, I stand a good chance to take all of Africa.  AND IF THE ALLIES SEND UNITS TO AFRICA LATE, then I will get IPCs for all the time the Allies didn’t send units there. IF THE ALLIES SEND UNITS TO AFRICA EARLY, they are stuck in Africa, and Germany itself has much less pressure, assuming of course that Germany stops the Allies from entering the Mediterranean in force.

    So basically, if Germany holds Anglo-Egypt past UK1, it’s a HUGE pain for the Allies.  It can be overcome, but it is not at all easy.

    Luckily, there is a tradeoff.  But before going into text wall mode, I will say that I do NOT think the Germans should necessarily kill every Russian unit they can.  USUALLY, yes, almost always, yes, but Germany must not overextend.

    AND NOW!  NPB’s approach to . . . GERMANY IN AFRICA!!!1!

    If there is an African bid (assume 1 infantry and 1 tank), the Germans are still only attacking with, say, 2 inf, 2 tank, 1 fighter, 1 bomber, against 1 inf, 1 tank, 1 fighter; that is, the Libyan forces plus additional units placed in Africa plus German air.  Follow me so far?  This assumes that the Mediterranean forces have NOT been committed (where they go is mentioned next) and that there IS a German bid in Africa.

    Then, Germany has a CHOICE of what to do with the Mediterranean fleet.  If the German battleship and transport go west, the Germans threaten a united German fleet on G2, as well as possible invasion of London, and the Allies can’t easily consolidate their fleet in the sea zone west of Algeria, because the Germans can counterattack the united Allied fleet with fighters from Western Europe, the German bomber that landed at Libya, and probably another German fighter that landed at Libya, as well as the German Mediterranean fleet.  BUT if the Germans do that, then there is a good chance that the UK Anglo-Egypt forces will kill 2 German infantry as they die.  This, in turn, means that UK can COUNTERATTACK with the infantry from Trans-Jordan, two infantry transported from India, the UK fighter at India, and the UK bomber.  (Attack 10, count 5, of which 3 are highly dispensable infantry).  Then, Germany loses two PRECIOUS and irreplacable tanks, and instead of blitzing to West Africa and the southern regions of Africa next turn, it has to retake Anglo-Egypt (so instead of being up 6 IPC, it has to commit MORE IPCs just to get 2 IPC).  And even then, does Germany really want to take tanks out of Europe again?  Because once you move a tank out of Europe, it’s probably not going back; that German Mediterranean transport is probably going to be used G3 onwards to transport infantry from Southern Europe to Ukraine or Caucasus.  So Germany is stuck with a somewhat unpalatable situation; the Allies may not have been able to take Algeria, and Germany might control Africa, but the moment the German Med fleet moves east, the Allies can claim Algeria, and Germany can not make a fast run on those African IPCs.

    BUT if the German battleship and transport are used to help in the attack on Anglo-Egypt, the German sub in the Atlantic will VERY likely die (if you send the Med fleet west to unite with the Atlantic sub in an attack on the UK battleship, the German Atlantic sub can survive).  Which is not so important in the larger scheme of things, I think - but ALSO, now the only thing that deters the Allies from landing in force at Algeria with 1 Russian sub, 2 UK transports, 1 UK battleship, 2 US transports, and 1 US destroyer is whatever air Germany has left.  Germany CAN kill the combined Allied fleet if the German air was well placed, but there is a good chance that the entire German airforce will be destroyed, and the Allies can rebuild their navy quickly, while Germany cannot afford a mass of new air.  Anyways, a US build of 3 transport 1 inf 3 tank combined with a UK2 naval build means that even if the Allied fleet is destroyed, the Allies start pressing Germany again very quickly (especially since the Allied air hasn’t been slaughtered; it can be used to help attack any naval threats).  And of course, if Germany does NOT destroy that initial Allied landing force, the Allies can use their US1 build to cement their foothold in Africa, using US air and the three tanks produced on US1 to reclaim Africa quickly.  Or at least that’s what I do most of the time if the German Med fleet doesn’t move west.

  • 2007 AAR League

    So I don’t get it NPB  :? - what’s your approach - east or west with the Med. Fleet?

    Here’s what I did: I used the sub together with 3 or 4 air units to take out the UK battleship above Algeria. That worked well, I’d do it again because that sub is likely toast anyway, this gets some use out of it.

    The Ger Battleship I sent head to head against the UK Destroyer. I killed the destroyer, but on the next turn my battleship was scrap when the India fleet came through the Suez. Didn’t really like that, but it gave Japan free reign in the Atlantic.

    The TRN I used to shuttle two extra units from Southern Europe to help retake the Ukraine. That was a very bad idea. It left my attack on Anglo-Egypt underpowered, which did not go well. Also, I left all my shiny expensive tanks in Ukraine, where they were vulnerable to counterattack by Russia. They were only saved by some bad dice by Russia.

    However, as I’ve said above, this game I’m not really missing Africa - Germany is pressing hard on Russia and keeping the UK/US at bay. But this is not a typical game I think - the dice have been somewhat in my favour almost every round.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator


    I may havemisunderstood. I thought it was maybe Jennifer who said she lost everytime she went heavy into Africa. Not sure though.

    Everytime I go heavy Africa with America I loose.  Well, I one once, but that’s because my opponent was incompetant, not because the strategy was good.

    When I go heavy africa with ENGLAND, I do well.

  • “So I don’t get it NPB  huh - what’s your approach - east or west with the Med. Fleet?”

    Depends on how aggressive Russia tried to be and what degree of success Russia had on its attacks.  How many German fighters am I left with?  Are there any openings in the Russian defense that I think I can exploit?  Even if I have an African bid, what I do with the Med fleet depends on the Russian turn.

    “Everytime I go heavy Africa with America I loose.  Well, I one once, but that’s because my opponent was incompetant, not because the strategy was good.”

    I think of Africa as a responsive move.  The question is, what other openings are there in the German defense?  If German-held Africa is vulnerable, THEN Africa should be attacked.  But if Germany has devoted a lot of air and naval resources to keeping Africa, it will probably be better to attack Norway/Karelia/Eastern Europe instead, just leaving one or two transports to harass Africa.

    It’s rare for me to actually march infantry through Africa right up through Persia.  But I have done it.  There are times when it is very good, there are times when it is very bad.  If the Allies can combine retaking Africa with a threat to Southern and Western Europe, it is probably good.  If the Allies cannot get past German’s Mediterranean navy, trying to drop tons of units in Africa is probably bad.

    I think it REALLY depends on the situation.

  • 2007 AAR League

    Well here’s the status of my current game where I was out of Africa (as Axis) after G2. I added up all the land and air units that have tactical value - basically I just excluded any units sitting where they will not be able to get into combat within 2 or 3 rounds. Basically that means units in WUSA, WCan, pacific islands and Australia.

    At the end of J4, the Allies have 69 such land/air units worth a total of 296 IPCs. The Axis have 104 units worth $479.

    Note that this excludes navies, if that were factored in the totals might be closer. But as the Axis, the more IPCs that are floating in the water the better.

    The difference is 35 units worth 183 IPCs, despite the Allies having Africa and altogether higher production every round.

    This gap is explained by two things:

    1. The Allies have to spend more IPCs in the water, especially at the beginning of the game. This is the time when the Axis can establish military superiority on the ground.
    2. The Allies have suffered significantly more in battle losses than the Axis, more than off-setting superior production.

    #1 is basic to the game and cannot be avoided. #2 Has occurred partly because of bad dice, but also because I have been playing very precisely since my disastrous G1 turn. Basically, I avoid any attacks that have a significant chance of a bad result for me, and am trying to position my units so as to deny the Allies the ability to attack me in situations where battle losses will be heavier on my side. The dice have helped though.

    IMO battle losses are much more important than IPC production. Screw Africa. Play a tight game where it counts (Europe and Asia), and don’t lose units and keep building more.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    It’s not that, it’s that England cannot take out Germany.  America can, but is out of position if they’re concentrated in Africa.

    Concentrate America in England/North Asia.  England in Africa. (Since Germany’s probably limited to 2 ground units a round for reinforcements and England should be able to put 5-7 a round in, that’s a winning proposition for England.)

  • Moderator

    #1 is the biggest reason.  Much of UK1-2 and US1-3 has to spent on navy, and as you point out there is no way around that.

    It also takes the US at least 3 turns to just set up their shuck-shuck to get troops to Europe, which means you don’t have to worry about the US in significant numbers until about rd 4 (at the earliest) or rd 5.

    The problem is once the US is set up they, with the Brits, can land anywhere from 14-16 units in a number of Germany territories.  That number can increase up to about 20-24 if the Allies can afford to go to WE.

    Now, battle losses are important, but it terms of sacrificing economics, position is vital, and you are dead on with a “center of the board” focus.

    Although, one final thing I would consider is supply lines.
    In terms of our game I think much was sacrificed by the Axis in order to “blitz” to Moscow.  Now you really had no choice, due to the the G1 turn in Afr but assuming Russia holds out for another turn or two, I think the Axis are going to be in real trouble.  Not that Ger or Japan will fall soon, just that the opportunity to take Mos will close.

    Well, at least I’m hoping it will close.  😄

  • 2007 AAR League

    Yeah, I can hear a big sucking sound between Germany and Caucasus. I think I can hold Caucasus especially with the IC and Japan nearby, but my ability to send reinforcements is severely hampered by the need to protect against landings in WE and Ger.

    On the bright side, Japan is now poised to restore Germany’s Africa income and add some to her own.

    I feel pretty stupid - prior to R6 it seemed inevitable to me that Mos would fall in G7 or J7. My Japan builds were also oriented toward a quick rush to Moscow and thus not many Inf are on the way.

    Even if I take Moscow the Allies can probably re-take. We’ll see…

    I’ll have to shift strategy swiftly I think.

  • Moderator

    This is typically what I do with Russia.  Stategic retreat to Mos, build up some tanks, let the US and UK get going, then hit Japan hard as they get to Mos.  Ideally, I would start to turn everything Russia has (or most of it)against Japan, while the US and UK continue to just box Germany in and slowly squeeze them.

    Unfortunately for me, I made some questionable moves and a couple setbacks forced the fall back out of Wrus and Cauc and prevent Russia from going to crazy against Japan.  It really is inviting to see Asia pretty bare behind the initial thrust.

    But positives are Russia remains in okay shape and the US and UK are basically fully operational and can still aid Moscow, while Germany has more area to protect.

    We both have some goods and bads going for us.  😄

  • 2007 AAR League

    Well if I’ve learned one thing it is not to put all my eggs into one basket - eg. build as if I will take Mos. on G7 and if that fails have nothing else left behind it. That’s crazy. But for maximum punch it’s nice to have everything arrive at once. There must be a compromise.

    This game has been sucking way too much of my time. I have to slow down, maybe every other day a move. Oh so painful to see my delusion of swift and crushing victory evaporating into mist…

  • Moderator

    I’m going to try and sneak in the UK move before the Bears game tonight, but feel free to slow up the pace.  Chances are I won’t be able to make a move tomorrow night anyway, so my next move (after tonight) would be Wed at the earliest.

    Based on my classic experience, I find it very hard to really blitz to Mos if the Allies stay focus and don’t panic.

    Now you had certain issues (bad G1 in Afr), but typically, I’ll go all inf (with trns/IC) on J1-3, then start to sprinkle in a few tanks come rd 3-5 as I get Japan really rolling.

    I’m an infantry person, too many years of Classic.  😄

Suggested Topics

  • 10
  • 23
  • 49
  • 8
  • 16
  • 6
  • 5
  • 2
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys