Here’s the way I usually approach the Axis in the first AA. I think it translates over into the 2nd AA as well.
1. You start off poor so keep your expensive units. Don’t throw them away for short term gains, because once they’re gone, they’re gone. You can’t afford to rebuild them.
2. Take out the British Navy, all that’s possible without losing airforce… or if you do lose airforce, make sure that England is losing something like a battleship. If they can keep the fleet they’ll be able to land all along the coast. This is bad, and is pretty much the end of the game for germany. It will mean you’ll need to defend along the coast, plus have either some airforce or tanks ready for a counter attack… because if they want something, they can take it with the RAF getting in the attack.
3. Expand fast, but try to only lose infanty in battles. If when you caluclate odds you’re calculating that you’ll lose tanks/fighters… it’s not worth it.
4. With the new game, study the bonus production criteria… aim to take it away from your opponent. It’s like a guide to what your opponent will do, plus it shows you how to stop them… for example…
Japan: Has to take an English territory in it’s first turn or England gets extra production.
Germany: It’s about either Karelia or Caucassus. Take one or the other, but try to take one at all costs.
Italy: Brazil is undefended and the USA gets extra production, if it’s available and undefended, might as well nab it.