Free For All Game Strategy Recommendations


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Here are the strategies I think need to be employed in Free For All Games, which recently have been sprouting up on the boards.

    Russia:  Russia has to worry about Germany primarily.  Japan is a secondary concern.  Russia would be wise to engage Japan in some arrangement that limits that liability.  I recommend offering them the far eastern states and unopposed invasions of Chinas in exchange for security from further invasion.  This should prevent you from losing resources trading with them (3 IPC in lost income is less then 9-12 IPC in lost units taking and defending land against him.)  It also allows him to focus his force on America.


    Germany:  Germany has to worry about Russia and England.  Russia is by far the bear you don’t want to tackle right off the bat.  As such, why not make an arrangement with Russia giving them W. Russia and Ukraine in exchange for a DMZ of Karelia, W. Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine and Balkans where neither side stacks more then one infantry as a picket?  Now you can work on building a fleet to A)  take England and B) Stop America from ever being a threat to you.


    England:  You have issues.  Sorry, but it’s true.  Your only hope is to ally yourself with the two axis powers.  1)  To stop Germany from attacking you and 2) so you and Japan can disassemble America before they can create hegemony.


    Japan:  Japan can be a real thorn in everyone’s side.  If you have a VC game, you can win almost every time.  If you have a more regular game, you may be wise to make alliances with England and Russia so you can focus on one major target.


    America:  You’re the target.  You and Germany are the two easiest to hit because your lands are in danger and your forces are going to be strained protecting it all.  Write off China/Sinkiang, maybe even Hawaii.  Focus on fleet in the Pacific giving Germany the impression you are not a threat.  This should prevent them from allying themselves with Russia.

    England is NOT a threat!  You may want to trade England Brazil for East and West Canada.  A) The canadas are hard for him to defend.  B)  Brazil is hard for you to defend anyway.  This way you don’t lose units taking and holding both.

    Focus on the Pacific.  You are the only one stopping Japan from a VC win.  You might be wise to form a non-aggression agreement with England (after you trade land of course.)  This should allow England and Russia to work over Germany while you hold Japan in check.



    Just my opinions.



  • Don’t “alliances” or agreements sort of negate the purpose of a free for all game?



  • That has been my argument since the first FFA game no the boards… that by BY DEFINITION an alliance precluded the FFA aspect of the match.

    Seriously… If you have an alliance it is NOT a Free For All (FFA).  So ANY discussion that involves alliances is, by definition, a BS discussion for a FFA game.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    i used to play what they called “platoon” with the milton bradley version. Each player started with only like 1 fighter, 1 transport, 2 infantry, 1 armor


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Well, I cannot speak for everyone in the “first” FFA game on these boards.  As America I had no alliances, I just knew who my biggest threat was and my second biggest threat.  I negated my second biggest threat (England) by making any assault on North America so bloody expensive that he’d never do it.  I took out my first biggest threat (Japan) without help.  I didn’t need any alliances because the other players on the board were doing exactly what I wanted them to do without my helping them.

    Though, in the end, Japan did attempt to form an alliance with me in an effort to stop Germany.  It ended up giving me Tokyo and the German player stormed off in a huff (mainly because he kept trying to get Japan to throw his air force away with suicide runs on my fleet (which only had a 50/50 shot of hitting per fighter and those fighters all had to be declared BEFORE the battle and many of my craft were battleships, thus requiring at least 3 fighters be designated for relative assurances of sinking them, 4 or 5 to be absolutely certain.)


    However, no.  Free For All games, in every game after day two, are generally speaking, games where you are free to attack anyone, anywhere for any reason; to form and break alliances as you see fit.  It’s a true test of your character.  Will you honor your agreements or will you betray your allies?

    As they say “But Natasha, if you cannot betray your friends, who can you betray?”  After all, the enemy EXPECTS you to betray them!

    And that is what makes them fun, and dangerous.  It takes more then numbers crunching, it takes charisma and tactical genius and that’s why some of the better players lose, and some of the lesser players win in FFA.



  • @ncscswitch:

    That has been my argument since the first FFA game no the boards… that by BY DEFINITION an alliance precluded the FFA aspect of the match.

    Seriously… If you have an alliance it is NOT a Free For All (FFA).  So ANY discussion that involves alliances is, by definition, a BS discussion for a FFA game.

    I thought Free For All meant that the player is Free to decide his course (which includes making agreements with other players).

    And the best agreements between players are those that don’t even need to be spoken: both sides reach a mutual understanding just by looking at the pieces on the board.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    @Hobbes:

    @ncscswitch:

    That has been my argument since the first FFA game no the boards… that by BY DEFINITION an alliance precluded the FFA aspect of the match.

    Seriously… If you have an alliance it is NOT a Free For All (FFA).  So ANY discussion that involves alliances is, by definition, a BS discussion for a FFA game.

    I thought Free For All meant that the player is Free to decide his course (which includes making agreements with other players).

    And the best agreements between players are those that don’t even need to be spoken: both sides reach a mutual understanding just by looking at the pieces on the board.

    I believe that’s how almost all the agreements in my games have been made.  Once I remember asking another player for a non-aggression treaty to achieve a greater objective for myself.  But in general, the “agreements” I have made with other players have been unspoken.

    Case in point is the issue NCSCSwitch referenced above.  England and I had a mutual understanding.  If he invaded he would be crushed like a bug with my defense.  However, as long as he did not move against me in the North Atlantic, I wouldn’t force the issue with him which allowed him to focus on Germany and me to focus on Japan.



  • my experience in FFA games (only tried it twice) is that they never end

    people always play “balance of power”. whenever somebody “starts winning” all the countries team up until the balance is restored

    its fun for beginners to learn how all the units work but not a viable strategy game


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I actually attempt to work with the most powerful person on the board to destroy the others.  Except in the most recent game, I cannot for the life of me convince Germany to work against someone else, so he’s basically destroyed himself and me (Russia) allowing Japan and England to build up unchecked while he and I pussyfoot around with infantry stacks.



  • Whens the next one ? 😄

    …and have people considered altering the IPC’s so that everybody has an equal amount of money and/or units at the start ? Kind of like one of the optional games in Mapview (Can’t remember the name of it… it’s where everyone starts out the same around the edge of a custom map with a large sea and island in the middle ?)



  • @Mr:

    Kind of like one of the optional games in Mapview (Can’t remember the name of it… it’s where everyone starts out the same around the edge of a custom map with a large sea and island in the middle ?)

    It’s called the Crucible, by Imp Games.


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