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Unstoppable strategy: 1942 scenario



  • We tried this strategy this weekend and it worked as intended with Moscow in German hands at the end of German 3. This is a strat I would like to try again as a couple of things were very favorable to the Axis, that I don’t think you can replicate and count on always happening. We also played with out National Objectives, so there was that as well.

    First we were playing three players with myself as the Germans and the other player as Japan and the Allies were played by one player(it is what he wanted). The Allied player rolled well below average with some horrible dice consistently in almost every battle whether defending or attacking. Conversely I rolled about average maybe a little bit better and the Japanese player was rolling insanely well.

    AA fire was also abnormal with 3 bombers and 1 fighter were all lost to AA. Two American bombers were shot down by Germany when they went for sb raids on turn 1 and 2, and a Japanese bomber and fighter were lost to AA when Japan attacked India. Germany can’t count on avoiding sb raids, I just got extremely lucky both times.

    Here are some quick summaries of the rounds.

    Round 1:

    Japan - Built a bomber and 2 subs and a transport. Took out the American fleet around Hawaii, took out the British fleet around India, and landed all his fighters and bomber in Burma and prepared to take India the next turn.

    Russia - Built infantry. Took Eastern Ukraine, and fortified everywhere else.

    German - Built a bomber and tanks. Took Leningrad, took Egypt, failed to take Easter Ukraine, and destroyed most of the British fleet. The failure to take Eastern Ukraine meant we had to change it to Ukraine, this was the only battle that really went poorly for us and was the only battle we should have won but didn’t because of poor dice rolls.

    Great Britain - Rebuilt the British fleet with an AC buy and some other things. Took a shot at Northwestern Europe and could have taken it but would have lost a fighter in doing so, and elected to lose his tank and let me keep it. Used a Cruiser and a Destroyer to kill a German Sub but lost the Destroyer in the battle. Noncom an extra man to India, moved out of Libya to Persia.

    Italy - Since I was controlling Germany I just controlled Italy as well. Built 2 infantry and one Artillery. Sent a tank and the fighter to Ukraine, noncom everything else to Western Europe and left the fleet in Sea Zone 12.

    America - Built an Atlantic fleet and a bomber. Counter attacked with everything he could throw at the Japanese fleet around Hawaii and failed at a SB raid on Berlin. Destroyed the Japanese fleet but lost everything in the battle with the except of a single Battleship. This meant that at the beginning of Round two, America only had two naval ships in the Pacific, a Battleship and a transport. Noncom moved a bomber to Britain moved his destroyer to block two German subs from getting to the Brit Cruiser.

    China took something from Japan but at this point we didn’t really care and were not concerned for that area.

    Round 2:

    Japan - Built 2 fighters a transport and infantry if I remember correctly. Attacked the American battle ship with a his battleship and a bomber. Attacked India with everything he could throw at it. Lost only one fighter and bomber to AA, while taking it. Attacked and took Alaska. Then came the big move and landed all 5 fighters in Ukraine.

    Russia - Built more men. Realizing that there was noway of keeping Eastern Ukraine he abandoned it except for one man and scent the rest of his Army to Belorussia. He also carried out the only successful sb raid of the war on the Leningrad factory, giving it the max of 4 points of damage. He heavily fortified both Stalingrad and Moscow.

    Germany - Built another bomber and more tanks. Took both Belorussia and Easter Ukraine with a ton of troops left right outside of Moscow. Attack the American destroyer with the two subs and got it without a loss. Used a fighter and bomber to take out the lone Brit cruiser. Started Blitzing through Africa. Noncom everything I could to the Eastern front. At this point I could blitz every tank I had (except the ones purchase that turn) through two different spots to hit Moscow.

    Great Britain - Built transports and fighters. Attacked the German fleet with the British navy. Did a desperate Amphibious attack on Poland. It had a fighter and a artillery I believe. Took it with one Artillery left. Moved infantry and artillery from Persia to Stalingrad. The Poland attack was pure desperation, the idea being that if he took it, I couldn’t Noncom my tanks through it on German 3, delaying them from Moscow on German 4 to German 5. Sadly this wasn’t enough. Put his transports some place safe, can’t remember were since they didn’t get used. Another mistake he made here was not landing the fighters off the AC to Moscow, which he admitted he just didn’t think about doing until after his turn was done.

    Italy - Built 2 tanks. Now this is where stuff got crazy. The Italian navy was two sea zones away from Brazil. Could have held fast but instead we went for it. Took two men and the Italian fleet to Brazil. Basically forcing America to send it’s fleet there. Noncom more stuff to France and some stuff from France to Northwestern Europe.

    America - Built 2 destroyers a transport and and all men I believe. Took his fleet and men and transports to Brazil for and amphibious assault. Sunk the Italy navy but lost everything except his Battleship and two fighters. Can’t remember why he took the AC instead of a fighter as a causality. Tried and failed to sb raid Berlin for the second time, I honestly thought he might flip the board when I rolled a one. Landed his fighters in Washington D. C., and put the Destroyers and the transport off the coast of Washington. Put all the men in San Fran.

    Round 3(more like 2.5):

    Japan - Built a factory, infantry, artillery and transports. Pretty much pulled out of China and sunk the one American transport off the coast of San Fran with a sub. Loaded Alaska with everything he had and pretty much America 2’s buy meant he was there to stay. Even had his bomber in position to start sb raid D. C. or San Fran. Put the factory in India as backup plan in case Germany failed to get Moscow.

    Russia - Built Infantry. Left a token force in Stalingrad and fortified Moscow best he could.

    Germany - Built All tanks. Attacked the American Battleship and transports off the coast of Brazil with two subs. Attacked Moscow and Poland. We debated the pros and cons of this attack and decided that since he took Poland and it would take so long for the rest of my tanks to get there that we had to go for Moscow. I remember the details of this battle very well. He had 18 infantry, 2 tanks, and a fighter. I had 5 infantry, 10 tanks, a fighter and a bomber. The dice rolls couldn’t have been worse for him and better for me. He rolled 12 dice without getting a single hit with his infantry, on the first round. It was pretty crazy. I took Moscow with like 4 tanks left and still had my fighter and bomber. To make matters worse I sunk the American Battleship and transports without losing either of my subs. Before we even did the battle for Poland he conceded. Germany was about to get paid like 73 bucks, All the American’s had in the Atlantic navy-wise was a couple of destroyers and a transport and Japan was now threatening the west coast. Britain still had their navy and transports but Germany still had a lot of land units and I could have retaken anything Britain tired to take. Plus I was probably going to buy mostly fighters and maybe another bomber on G4 which meant if Britain stayed close to the coast it could kiss the fleet goodbye. And there was no way they could liberate Moscow since Japan could land there fighter force there Japan 4.

    It was a crazy game and as the game went on the allied player made more mistakes because he had nobody to help him notice things plus I think frustration had set in because of his poor dice rolls. I can think of several battles he should have done much better in than he did. Plus not being able to sb raid Berlin really freed up a lot of German resources that where able to screw Russia. I don’t know how well this strategy would hold up if American and depending on the situation Britain were successfully sb raiding Berlin.


  • 2018 2017 2016

    Threadcromancy! Bringing this thread back from the dead. Now that the A&A Anniversary reprint has been out for a few months, my buddies and I are ready to give the 1942 scenario another try. We actually stuck to the 1941 scenario exclusively for a long time because of the warnings provided in this thread, but after taking a close look at the setup, I am pretty confident that flying Japanese fighters to Eastern Ukraine on J2 is an inferior move for the Axis.

    It’s worth noting that my group plays with national objectives on and with the Dardanelles closed. Both of these rules tend to undercut the usefulness of the E. Ukraine rush. No matter what rules you use, though, I think the Axis have to give up way too much to make this strategy work. The Axis are essentially abandoning Africa, almost all of China, India, Siberia, the central Pacific, the Philippines, Borneo, and France in their opening moves. Moscow simply isn’t worth that price.

    Assuming the strategy works perfectly, the Germans wind up with about 62 IPCs. Italy is down to about 11 IPCs (they might have Ukraine, but they don’t have anything in Africa or the Mideast). Japan is down to about 20 IPCs (they might have Manchuria and Sumatra, but they’re mostly stripped dry by the US Pacific fleet). So the Axis are making 93 IPCs total.

    Meanwhile, the UK is collecting about 58 IPCs (France, Africa, Caroline Islands, India, Borneo, Australia), the USA is collecting about 60 IPCs (all 4 NOs are triggered), and China is dropping 4 infantry per turn, for an effective value of roughly 12 IPCs. So the Allies are bringing in 130 IPCs even after the fall of Moscow.

    If you shut off all the national objectives, the score is something like 81 IPCs for Axis vs. 95 IPCs for Allies – still not a great deal for the Axis.

    Over the next few turns after Moscow falls, the Germans can mop up Siberia, Persia, and northwestern China for an extra 8 IPCs or so, plus shift the Japanese bomber corps to do some damage to Allied factories for another 8 IPCs or so…but the Allies ought to be able to put real pressure on Norway, Finland, NW Europe, Rome, the Balkans, Thailand, Manchuria, and Sumatra, which are collectively worth 25 IPCs. Even if the Allies only take half of those territories, they’ll still be in a great position as far as total income.

    The Allies are also going to be doing just fine in terms of factory placement. If Japan buys nothing but bombers on J1 and J2, then India is safe as soon as the Japanese fighters fly to E. Ukraine, and Britain can build a factory their on UK2. Britain can follow up with a factory in Egypt, if needed, on UK3 or UK4. Meanwhile, the Americans can build a factory in Norway, France, and/or the Philippines, as needed.

    To address the specific game Desert Rat summarized back in 2014, I think the craziest part of that game is that Germany was somehow able to sink most of the British fleet and take Egypt on G1 while also winning against Russian stacks in Leningrad and Eastern Ukraine. We don’t know how many troops Russia had in those territories, but that’s a crazy series of wins that makes me suspect a setup error. To take Egypt G1, Germany has to sink the British destroyer in the Eastern Med, and then defeat 3 inf, 1 tnk, 1 ftr using at most 2 inf, 2 tnk on land. There’s only 1 ftr, 1 bmr that can reach by air, and presumably you need one of those planes for the naval battle – otherwise you’re sending 1 DD v. 1 DD and you have a 40% chance of losing the whole battle because your transport gets sunk. So you’re looking at 2 inf, 2 tnk, 1 bmr vs. 3 inf, 1 tnk, 1 ftr. The odds of Germany taking Egypt that way are only 43%. Assuming you win that battle, you then need to go try to kill “most of” the British fleet without your bomber.

    That leaves you with 2 subs, 1 ftr against the British BB+DD plus the Russian sub in Sea Zone 2 – a battle where you have only 25% odds to win. You then have 2 fighters against the British DD + CA in Sea Zone 12 – a 48% battle.

    Assuming you win all of those (43% * 25% * 48% = 5%), you then have to somehow win two large Russian battles with only one German fighter supporting you. I can’t calculate the odds against that, but they’re probably pretty long. Figure Germany only has about a 2% chance of actually pulling this opening off without losing any major battles. 98% of the time, one of Germany’s attacks goes wrong, and either Britain has enough fleet left to take and hold France on turn 1, or Russia has enough infantry left to take and hold parts of Eastern Europe and block the Japanese from flying their fighters in for support.

    Note that taking Ukraine instead of Eastern Ukraine is not nearly as powerful for Axis, because Ukraine does not border Moscow, so Russia can afford to hold the Stalingrad factory for an extra turn. This should be enough cushion to hold Moscow for the long term. Germany only had 13% odds to take Moscow during the G3 battle as described by Desert Rat. If Britain had remembered to fly even 2 fighters to Moscow from its carrier, those odds would have dropped to less than 1%.

    So this whole idea of an all-out blitz on Eastern Ukraine, then Stalingrad, then Moscow is exciting and creative, but ultimately flawed and dependent on the Axis getting insanely lucky. You’ve got maybe a 2% chance of your opening going well, a 15% chance of pulling off the Moscow attack if the opening goes poorly, and you’re facing a deficit of 20 to 30 IPCs per turn even after sacking Moscow successfully. It’s a fun variation to try sometime when you’re drunk, but it’s a lousy strategy to use for a standard opening. It’s not unstoppable.


  • 2019 2018

    Replying because I employ a variant of this strategy in my own games.

    Apologies in-advance for hideous post format.

    While I agree that Desert Rat’s perfect game report is a fantasy, I still advocate a less extreme variant of E. Ukraine stacking strategy. I think my take on things addresses some of your concerns:

    I’m only going to discuss round 1 in detail or give 100% exact declarations of moves (although we can discuss that if you’d like), because it becomes impossible to predict the exact gamestate after round 1 due to dice:

    • J1 - Use air power against Chinese territories and the British India Fleet. Ignore US Fleet entirely.
      Yes, this dooms Japan’s long-term prospects in the Pacific, and the money islands will certainly fall to the US, but it will take the Americans about 2-3 round to assemble a navy capable of killing the IJN and sail it all the way to the South Pacific.

      Opening this way, assuming your opponent did not place a heavy build in China (they shouldn’t have), gives Japan their usual initiative in Mainland Asia and almost certainly spells doom for India J2, barring a miracle.  The only real thing you’re sacrificing here is the IJN’s long-term prospects, which can potentially be remedied later in the game if you’re willing to sink IPCs into it.

      As far as builds go I usually just stick with a Factory in FIC and some extra navy.  This gives Japan it’s usual tank-rushing capabilities while also forestalling the inevitable destruction of the IJN at the USN’s hands.

    • G1 - This is where things get a bit tricky/technical. I do the following:
      -Use Subs (2) + FTR from France to take out SZ12 (Gibraltar) Fleet (DD + CRU) - 81% Attacker
      -Use DD from SZ13 + FTR from Bulgaria to hit SZ15 (Egypt) Fleet (DD) - 92% Attacker
      -Strafe Egypt with Afrika Korps. You’re not expected to win this one, just to damage Egypt enough that Italy can waltz in I1.
      -Slam some combination of Russian territories, depending on what USSR did R1.  You must hit E. Ukraine the hardest.  You have 2-3 tanks (depending on if Soviets hit Ukraine R1), 3 FTRs (Norway/Germany/East Poland), a Bomber, the Blatic Fleet, and a decent number of INF to work with, so you should be able to snipe at least East Ukraine + 1 territory.

      Doing all this totally ignores the UK Fleet, which will cause problems for you late-game when UK sinks your fleet, lands en-masse in Norway and drops an IC.  But as with the USN defeating the IJN, this will take the Allies about 2-3 turns to setup.  By this point you should already have basically neutralized the Soviets.

      Build can be more-or-less whatever you want, within reason (i.e. no absurd all-bomber buys, ICs, Battleships, etc.).

    • I1 - Not a lot to say here. Roll into Egypt for easy progress towards the NO (barring a disaster you should be able to take Trans-Jordan I2 to finish it out (France/Egypt/Trans-Jordan).

    Quickies for Round 2:

    • J2 - Continue in China, Capture India, NCM the surviving Air Force to E. Ukraine. Continue shoring up fleet and/or tank spam.

    • G2 - Take Caucasus if possible. Continue stacking otherwise.  Attempt to cleanup Allied landings and satisfy Italy’s NOs.

    • I2 - Prioritize NO Completion.

    I specifically mention Italy’s NOs because they’re more-or-less mandatory if Italy wants to contribute to the Axis in any meaningful way.

    There’s no way to calculate what the final IPC Incomes would look like in my extremely vague scenario, but a rough outline of the board-state at the end of Round 2 would be:

    US: USN Assembled in Solomons (or wherever they’re staging).  USN ready to strike Africa if they haven’t already.
    UK: Fleet assembled in North Sea, Norway locked down, successfully destroyed Baltic Fleet, lost Egypt/India, may or may not have destroyed Italian Fleet.
    USSR: Holed up in Moscow.  May or may not still have Stalingrad.
    China: Should be down to their last 2-3 territories.

    J: Occupied India, significant progress in China, still hold Money Islands, do not own Australia, fleet in sorry state compared to USN (if US is going KJF).
    G: Should own East Poland/Leningrad (but not for long with the UK starting their Norway stack)/East Ukraine/Ukraine. May or may-not hold Belorussia and Caucasus. Should still be holding France.
    I: Occupied Italy/Trans-Jordan. May or may-not hold Ukraine and additional African territories. May have lost Morocco-Algeria already.

    So overall a much more well-rounded position for the Axis.
    The gameplan to take Moscow (if the UK is playing badly and not sending any air support to Moscow) would be to suicide the German Army into Moscow as a can-opener for an Italian attempt to take Moscow followed by the Japanese Air Force to clear out any survivors. After the triple can-opener, the Soviets can build 6 land units, which shouldn’t be enough to survive a second German offensive. Of course, if the game devolves into a stack-off in Russia the Japanese are free to move their Air Force elsewhere (possibly back to the Pacific for support or to mop up in Asia).

    That’s all I’ve got, generally speaking. Granted, I don’t play AA50 a lot and definitely don’t consider myself to be a high-level player.

    Side-Note: Kudos to you for using common sense and closing the Dardanelles. IMO, that simple act does infinitely more to balance AA50/42SE than any bid can.


  • 2018 2017 2016

    Very interesting commentary, Doucheman – thank you for the thoughtful post!

    I agree that your strategy is much better thought-out and much more likely to succeed than Desert Rat’s fantasy scenario. I wouldn’t really mind playing it myself, as the Axis. To really boil down your advice, you’re saying to skip the attack on the British Home Fleet and the American Pacific fleet in favor of sending maximum Axis air toward the center of the board: first E. Ukraine and India, then Stalingrad and Moscow. That’s not crazy; at some level, that’s been the core of orthodox Axis strategy for 20 years. Your attack on Moscow will be slower relative to Desert Rat’s ideas, but ultimately you’re working with a more balanced, saner set of opening moves.

    I do have a couple of quibbles about the details. First, if you choose to attack neither the Canadian fleet nor the Scottish fleet, then I think you probably have to start trading France on turn 1. If the UK starts with 1 BB, 1 CA, 1 DD, 2 transports in the Atlantic, then Britain can pretty easily bring 4 land units + 3 air + 2 bombards to attack France. If you’re leaving enough units in France to protect against that, then your attack on Russia is going to have an awkward hole in it around turn 3. Note that 2 of the British land units can come from Canada, so the UK is not left weakened by the assault. The UK can build a carrier, a destroyer, and three infantry so as to be able to make a similar attack on UK2. If necessary, you can swap out the 3 infantry for a second destroyer, to box in the Baltic navy and stop it from attacking the main British fleet. My overall point here is that France becomes a desperate battle for Germany from the very first turn. You can’t count on ‘holding’ France all the way through G3.

    Second, it’s not clear to me that you can kill the British Indian fleet J1 AND shut down China hard AND and take India on J2. If you’re attacking Yunnan (2 Chinese inf, 1 Chinese ftr) on J1, you have to think really hard about how many land units to bring in. If you bring only 2 infantry, you pretty much need every spare fighter to get decent odds on that battle, so you can’t make any other major attacks against other Chinese territories. Maybe you can send 4 inf vs. 1 inf somewhere; that’s about it. Losing Yunnan is a blow to the Chinese, but if they still have 6 infantry in other territories and can recruit 2 more infantry, then it’s not a knock-out blow. The Russians can support the Chinese by massing in Buryatia and then walking into Manchuria, perhaps with support from the Russian bomber, which can be safely parked in Novosibirsk on R1. If you bring 3 infantry to attack Yunnan, then that only leaves you 1 infantry in Burma and 1 tank in Thailand – which is not necessarily enough to take India. India can be reinforced with the fighter from Egypt (unlikely to be killed on a G1 strafe) and Australia, plus the infantry from Persia, so India is stacked with 4 inf, 2 ftr, AA gun. If you bid 1 inf in India (not a bad idea) then that becomes 5 inf, 2 ftr, AA gun. Attacking that stack with 1 inf, 1 tnk, 4 ftr, 1 bmr is a pretty even battle. You might win, but you will take heavy casualties.


  • 2019 2018

    @Argothair:

    To really boil down your advice, you’re saying to skip the attack on the British Home Fleet and the American Pacific fleet in favor of sending maximum Axis air toward the center of the board

    Center board pressure, yup.
    Only exception to the whole “not hitting the UK Home Fleet” bit is that I make sure to dive on the SZ12 Fleet (The DD/CRU pair). Taking that out gives the UK one less bombardment, gives Italy a chance to get its “clear the Mediterranean” NO, and might make the US think twice before storming Morocco US1.

    Anyway, onto the nitpicks/discussion:

    @Argothair:

    Britain can pretty easily bring 4 land units + 3 air + 2 bombards to attack France.

    That’s true, but think of the typical Allied strategy in AA50. Most players try to land in Norway and drop an IC there. If UK is spending its time diving on France it delays this factory until they decide to divert the resources needed to occupy it.

    Additionally, devoting everything 100% to a France landing B1 implies letting the Baltic Fleet and surviving German Subs live. If UK does this and Germany landed its air force in-range you could be looking at a pretty bloody G2 attack on the UK Fleet (unless UK buys like a CV or some other big naval force B1).

    I’m not saying that leaving France in shoddy shape is necessarily a good idea either, and I definitely see the downsides of having to tether a 10+ INF/1-2 FTR stack to France for most of the game.  It really does take away from the Russian front if I can’t cripple the Soviets economically in the first 2-3 turns.

    Holding France isn’t 100% necessary either. It sucks if I don’t have enough punch to retake it on G4/G5, but if Moscow falls round 5 and the Allies are in France/Italy, that still should come up an Axis win once either:
    A: Germany takes Russia’s lunch money and builds a massive land force in Europe.
    B: Japan’s tank stacks flood into Europe to save Germany’s bacon.

    @Argothair:

    Second, it’s not clear to me that you can kill the British Indian fleet J1 AND shut down China hard AND and take India on J2.

    Fair warning before I describe my order of battle here, bids change this strategy completely. I probably wouldn’t recommend something that’s basically a cheese in a tournament setting with bids because an experienced player would definitely recognize that India is a key position that the British need to hold at all costs if they want to keep Japan’s income from exploding.

    Fair warning #2, the image I’m looking at for the setup is blurry, so forgive me if I get the SZ #s wrong (I try to describe the physical location).

    That being said:
    J1:

    • Most of the East Indies Fleet (CV/BB/1 FTR, the other FTR is going to Yuunan), FTR from SZ51 (Caroline Islands) Vs. India Fleet (DD/CV/FTR), idea is to do this battle last and take casualties based on how other battles go (i.e. if everything else went perfectly take the ships as casualties to maximize available planes, if things went poorly elsewhere keep the navy around to transition into a normal Japan game.  Calc says 92% chance of attacker win with 1-2 casualties expected for attacker.

    • Manchuria INF, 1 Kisangu INF (2 leftover), Japan FTR (it can’t reach Burma anyway) (Total: 3 INF, 1 FTR) Vs. Suiyuan (2 INF).  Calc says 94% chance attacker wins. At least one INF should survive. Yes, I know this means completely abandoning Manchuria to the USSR for a turn, but unlike older versions of A&A the Soviets gain 0 IPCs from attacking Manchuria, just one extra Chinese INF and the temporary deprivation of Japan’s NOs if they fail to counterattack the following round. In fact, I want the Russians to come at Asia as hard as they can because it means those 6-8 INF (possibly more if they funnel troops into Persia or Western China) won’t be in Moscow/Stalingrad when they’ll be direly needed rounds 3/4.

    • 2 Kisangu INF (the other went to Suiyuan, see above bullet point), Manchuria FTR (Total: 2 INF, 1 FTR) Vs. Hupeh (1 INF). 98% Attacker.

    • Transport from Japan picks up INF+Tank, BB from Japan, CRU from Philippines -> SZ61 (South China Sea), Kwangtung INF + Transport + bombard (Total: 2 INF, 1 Tank, 1 BB, 1 CRU) Vs. 1 Fukien (1 INF). 99% Attacker.

    • FIC (2 INF, 1 FTR), Japan Bomber, Formosa FTR (Formosa->SZ61->Fukien->Yuunan->NCM to Burma), SZ36 (East Indies, the rest of the fleet engaged the Indian Navy) FTR (SZ36->SZ37->Burma->Yuunan->NCM to Burma) (Total: 2 INF, 3 FTR, 1 Bomber) Vs. Yuunan (2 INF, 1 FTR).  Calc says 99% chance Attacker win with 4 units surviving. If I get lucky I won’t lose 2 units but I’m not afraid to sacrifice a FTR or two to keep China down.

    End result (key territories):

    • Burma: 1 INF, 5 FTR (one from Manchuria, one from Formosa, one from FIC, two from SZ36 (East Indies), 1 Bomber.

    • SZ35 (India): 1BB, 0-1CV, 0-1FTR (the FTR from SZ51 (Caroline Islands)).

    • Manchuria: Empty.

    • SZ61 (Off China): 1 TT, 1 BB, 1 CRU, potentially other ships.

    • Fukien: 0-2 INF, 1 Tank

    • FIC: IC from buy.

    J2 you’re looking at 1 INF, 5 FTR, 1 Bomber Vs. whatever UK brought to India. If UK swings absolutely everything in range like you suggest (3 INF/1 AA from India, +1 INF from Persia, +1 FTR from Egypt, +1 FTR from Australia), then India will hold until J3 (1 INF from before + 2 tanks from FIC (J2 buy) + the IJN transporting the land units from Fukien + bombard will overrun whatever UK can possibly bring).

    So it may have been a bit bold of me to suggest that India will “definitely fall by J2,” but it is possible if UK’s priorities lie elsewhere.

    As for the strategy being “unstoppable,” I’d hardly call my plan unstoppable, but it does have a certain appeal to it if the first 2 rounds go smoothly.



  • Great thread - I had to try this strategy!
    I just played the game as the Axis against a skilled opponent who frequently bests me. In a compromise, we played with open naval passage at Dardanelle but also with national objectives.

    I’ll give a fairly detailed overview of R1 and then summarize the rest of the game.

    Round one:

    Japan buys a factory and a transport. They ignore the US fleet at Pearl Harbour and China on the mainland. Japan does attack the British fleet in the Indian Ocean.
    The factory goes in Burma and 3 fighters + a bomber land there. Two more fighters are on a carrier next to Calcutta (all within range of Eastern Ukraine).

    The USSR buys an assortment of land units and a fighter. They attempt to take back Eastern Ukraine and Ukraine. They conquer the latter but get unlucky in Eastern Ukraine.

    Germany buys mostly tanks and a battleship. They conquer Karelia and the Ukraine. At sea they take out the British fleet off Ireland. They also take 2 guys from Morocco and ferry them over to the Ukraine. Finally they reinforce the tank that survived in Eastern Ukraine.

    In their opening round the UK buys a factory and some ships. They take out the German fleet in the Black Sea. Facing pressure from the Japanese in Burma they decide to consolidate in Trans Jordan and leave 3 men + the AA gun in India. Their factory goes to South Africa.

    Italy purchases infantry. The land units in North Africa get shipped to the Ukraine to meet up with the tank from the Balkans. Africa is pretty much abandoned now by the Axis powers. The Italian fighter from Rome goes to reinforce Karelia.

    The US opts for a Pacific purchase; a carrier, fighters and a transport and rallies at Wake Island. On the European front they regroup off the coast of Brazil.

    I have a picture of the situation at the end of each round but I’m curiously not allowed to post links.  :? :? :?

    Round two:

    This is the time to move the Japanese fighters to Europe. Japan tries to kill two birds with one stone by giving air support to secure India (en route to Eastern Ukraine). The AA gun rolls snake eyes; both planes crash and burn, leaving only four planes to secure the front near Moscow.

    The USSR reacts with a defensive purchase but goes on to attack the Japanese fighters and German land units in Eastern Ukraine. They take heavy casualties but manage to capture the territory. There are no more Japanese fighters in Europe.

    The Germans decide to leave Caucasus to the Italians but do take back Eastern Ukraine. In non-combat Germany advances into Belorussia. Moscow is now seriously threatened.

    The UK strengthens their fleet in the Channel, creating pressure on France, which swaps hands a few times this turn.

    Italy stretches itself very thin by capturing Caucasus, taking the factory with just the one tank to spare. Their income is up to 20 at this point.

    The US fleet in the Pacific doesn’t advance but receives reinforcements from San Francisco. The US purchase goes to reinforce their fleet in the Atlantic Ocean, committing them to a war on two fronts.

    Round three:

    Japan is still working on recovering its fighter stash but does break out to Africa with a small fleet and a transport that captures Egypt (securing the Mediterranean bonus a round longer for the Italians). For now they stay out of range from the larger US fleet. Tokyo is defended by 3 fighters and some 8 infantry. The Chinese mainland is still completely ignored.

    Russia has not been reinforced by the other Allies and doesn’t have a whole lot of options. They reinforce and pull everything back on Moscow.

    This is the moment of the truth for the Germans who can attack Moscow with superior numbers. Moscow falls and it cost the Germans only infantry. Eight or so tanks remain on Moscow, all planes survived the attack and fly back to Karelia.

    The Brits can theoretically take back the Caucasus from Italy but decide to pull back on Africa rather than going up against the Germans with the Japanese in their backs. the British fleet pulls out of the Channel and heads to the Mediterranean.

    The Italians respond by purchasing a carrier (they already had 2 fighters) and positioning themselves next to the British fleet.

    The US advances to the Philippines, threatening both the Japanese factory in Burma and the Japanese capital.

    Round four:

    The Japanese fleet regroups under India, regaining the strength to face off against the US fleet.

    The Germans use their Moscow bonus to splurge on a subs, destroyers and transports (they already had a sizable fleet), aimed directly at London. They use their bombers to take out some British and US ships that were kept behind in sea zone 8.

    The Brits have few other options than to attack the Italian fleet. A lone British battleship is the sole survivor of this naval battle.

    With all fronts looking bad, the US decides to make a final run at Tokyo, which was sloppily defended with 2 fighters and 8 infantry. The Japanese survive, but barely.

    The Allied player recognizes the defeat and throws the towel.

    =============

    So is it unstoppable? Probably not but is a very, very good strategy. It’s worth noting that the Axis had the element of surprise, the Allied player had no idea I was going to pit this idea against him. Next time this will be a lot harder.

    My preferred counter would be to focus all the Allied efforts in one place, just as the Axis is doing. Kill Japan First is tempting but I doubt that Tokyo can be seriously threatened before R4. And by then the Germans could already be staging Sea Lion.

    So Europe then. Italy is the weakest link there if you can neutralize its navy. From a Russian point of view, we agreed it’s better to ignore the Japanese fighters and focus all Russian pushback on the Germans.



  • Massive, unbelievable hatred for all versions of play exploiting the completely unrealistic and massive slap in the face to history of the Dardanelles (Turkish straights) being open during WW2… Turkey never allowed belligerent powers passage through the dardanelles,  especially amphibious invasion forces.

    I could never play the game this way, exploiting a  massive historical inaccuracy like that.

    To each their own, but our group never allows use of the Dardanelles.*

    *to clarify, I hate this exploit even being allowed in any form of the rules, not the people that play with the Dardanelles open… especially if they are unaware of the massive historical inaccuracy of allowing this movement.


  • 2019 2018

    At least in AA50 rules it mentions that the Dardanelles being open/closed is something you can toggle, if memory serves.

    I might as well take some time to reply to the guy who wrote a match report, too.

    @chr1stophe:

    I just played the game as the Axis against a skilled opponent who frequently bests me. In a compromise, we played with open naval passage at Dardanelle but also with national objectives.

    Not much of a compromise, NOs on and Dardanelles open are both majorly advantageous to the Axis.

    @chr1stophe:

    Round one:

    Japan buys a factory and a transport. They ignore the US fleet at Pearl Harbour and China on the mainland. Japan does attack the British fleet in the Indian Ocean.
    The factory goes in Burma and 3 fighters + a bomber land there. Two more fighters are on a carrier next to Calcutta (all within range of Eastern Ukraine).

    Minor imperfections but you have the gist of the strategy down. Good job.

    @chr1stophe:

    The USSR buys an assortment of land units and a fighter. They attempt to take back Eastern Ukraine and Ukraine. They conquer the latter but get unlucky in Eastern Ukraine.

    This already sounds like its boding badly for the Soviets. They needed to focus on East Ukraine to save themselves later…

    @chr1stophe:

    Germany buys mostly tanks and a battleship. They conquer Karelia and the Ukraine. At sea they take out the British fleet off Ireland. They also take 2 guys from Morocco and ferry them over to the Ukraine. Finally they reinforce the tank that survived in Eastern Ukraine.

    While I’m not fond of the Dardanelles being open, in this case I don’t think it made a terrible impact on the game one way or the other, at least not yet. A Battleship buy, though?

    @chr1stophe:

    In their opening round the UK buys a factory and some ships. They take out the German fleet in the Black Sea. Facing pressure from the Japanese in Burma they decide to consolidate in Trans Jordan and leave 3 men + the AA gun in India. Their factory goes to South Africa.

    I guess a “middle Earth” kind of strategy (the one that’s used in G40 to control the Middle East with UK Europe/Pacific coordinating heavily) could be valuable here to get the Japanese out of India, but it would take a dedicated effort from the UK/USA.

    @chr1stophe:

    The US opts for a Pacific purchase; a carrier, fighters and a transport and rallies at Wake Island. On the European front they regroup off the coast of Brazil.

    I don’t have an AA50 map in front of me (I’m at work), but wouldn’t the Solomon Islands be a better staging point for the USN, so it can threaten the money islands?

    @chr1stophe:

    Round two:

    This is the time to move the Japanese fighters to Europe. Japan tries to kill two birds with one stone by giving air support to secure India (en route to Eastern Ukraine). The AA gun rolls snake eyes; both planes crash and burn, leaving only four planes to secure the front near Moscow.

    The USSR reacts with a defensive purchase but goes on to attack the Japanese fighters and German land units in Eastern Ukraine. They take heavy casualties but manage to capture the territory. There are no more Japanese fighters in Europe.

    Soviets are dead with that mistake. They overextended too heavily.

    While I’m an advocate for a more aggressive Soviet game plan than most others (who prefer to just have the Russians sit in Moscow and wait to die), that attack on East Ukraine would probably have gone better if it were a strafe (clearing out the land units and maybe a few FTRs, specifically) than an outright attempt to take the clay. The result of that attack just left the USSR totally hollow in terms of available troops, which plays perfectly into the Axis game plan that this thread is all about.

    –--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The rest of the game is just mopping up by the Axis at this point.

    Thanks for the report! It was an interesting illustration of how the Japanese FTR presence in Russia can cause Allied players to panic and lead themselves to ruin.



  • If I’m not mistaken, in AA50, I think Dardanelles open is the “default” rules, while closing them is the “option”.

    I’d just be a fan of either Dardanelles always closed as the default,  or having the option to open them to help balance an inexperienced Axis player against an experienced Allied player… and it should be stated that way in the rules to show exactly what leaving them open does.

    The action report was a fun read, though many of the purchases seemed bizzare on both sides. I think Russia’s spending and combat strategy hastened their own fall and made the Axis strategy more effective than it would have been otherwise… at least Russia didn’t buy a battleship… lol.

    The US should have probably gone full KGF as a foil to Japan’s moves against Russia.



  • @Nowhere man The default option is indeed to have the Dardanelles open (according to the rules FAQ)
    I’m aware of the historical situation (I have Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History to thank for that) but I see A&A as a strategic area control game, not as a military simulation. Since Axis won the last game we’ll probably play the next one with Dardanelles closed, as a matter of balance.

    @Doucheman

    @DouchemanMacgee:

    Not much of a compromise, NOs on and Dardanelles open are both majorly advantageous to the Axis.

    I never did the math on the NO’s rule tbh. Since the OP’s strategy called for play without NO’s I figured it would help the Allies. Looking back at the game I think you may be right it benefits the Axis, at least in the first few rounds before US can start pulling its weight.

    @DouchemanMacgee:

    Minor imperfections but you have the gist of the strategy down. Good job.

    I forgot to mention in the post that Japan did take out the Flying Tiger squadron.
    What else would you change in Japan’s turn one?

    @DouchemanMacgee:

    While I’m not fond of the Dardanelles being open, in this case I don’t think it made a terrible impact on the game one way or the other, at least not yet. A Battleship buy, though?

    Italy and Germany ferried 2 land units each from North-Africa to the Ukraine (without amphibious assaults though). But that’s 4 units who wouldn’t have made it to that front with the Dardanelles closed.

    The battleship buy was a fluke. I debated it for a moment because a carrier in the Baltic Sea might reduce my fighter mobility in Southern Europe. I decided to opt for the carrier anyway but forgot to change the purchase, only noticing after battles had already taken place.

    @DouchemanMacgee:

    I guess a “middle Earth” kind of strategy (the one that’s used in G40 to control the Middle East with UK Europe/Pacific coordinating heavily) could be valuable here to get the Japanese out of India, but it would take a dedicated effort from the UK/USA.

    I agree but considering the time constraint as the Allies player I would take the risk of placing the factory in Egypt.

    @DouchemanMacgee:

    I don’t have an AA50 map in front of me (I’m at work), but wouldn’t the Solomon Islands be a better staging point for the USN, so it can threaten the money islands?

    My mistake, they did stage at the Solomon Islands.

    Anyway, I think your conclusion is spot on. The value of this strategy is the fact that 3 Axis powers focus everything on Russia which can force the hand of even experienced players.


  • 2019 2018

    @chr1stophe:

    @Doucheman

    @DouchemanMacgee:

    Minor imperfections but you have the gist of the strategy down. Good job.

    I forgot to mention in the post that Japan did take out the Flying Tiger squadron.
    What else would you change in Japan’s turn one?

    Let’s see.

    You did the following:

    @chr1stophe:

    Japan - Built a bomber and 2 subs and a transport. Took out the American fleet around Hawaii, took out the British fleet around India, and landed all his fighters and bomber in Burma and prepared to take India the next turn.

    I would have bought a factory (instead of the bomber + swap out 1 SUB for an INF to make up the 15 IPCs) and placed it in either FIC or Manchuria depending on what the rest of the powers were doing.

    Other main thing I would have done differently would have been to avoid Hawaii altogether, instead consolidating my IJN in and around the Philippines/FIC SZs (SZ 50, 36, or 37, take your pick) to further increase the odds of taking out India J2. This also allows you to bring the FTR from the CV near the Solomon Islands to Burma to join the rest of the air force (SZ51 -> SZ50 -> SZ36 -> FIC -> Burma). Letting the starting US Fleet go is annoying later but your goal is to get as much of your starting forces to Russia as quickly as you possibly can to overwhelm the Soviets before the Western Allies can do anything to stop you.



  • Balance issues… Dardanelles should always be closed… NOs favor the Axis, hands down.

    Something not in the rules, but a very simple House rule our group uses for both balance and just plain fun…

    90% of the time, Japan nukes the Flying Tigers in China on turn 1 before the Allies get to make a single move with them. They are basically placed in a “please kill me” position.

    Our group always allows the Allied player the choice to place the Flying Tigers anywhere they want within China on the initial setup… it’s a very minor concession both for play balance and strategic fun.


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