I’m in the same Kansas City gaming group. We may be making some mistake that may give the Axis a better chance that we have experienced, but when I read the comments on this board, I don’t see that mistake yet. The comments supporting Axis chances don’t take into account the timing in the game. Until they do, I remain in agreement with CraigBee: the Axis have no chance.
Here are a few timing facts that impact my views of your comments:
- the allies will be able to land in Europe or Africa on Turn 2 (they may not be able to stay, and I suppose if Germany/Italy goes all out to defend, this landing can be stopped, but in that case, Germany and Italy have already stopped expanding). Either the US will be able to land in Africa, or the US/Britain will be able to land in Western Europe. Again, they may not hold it: but they’ve already slowed German/Italian expansion.
- There are 6 spaces between the Japanese front lines and Moscow (I believe-I’m at work and am going from memory). That means, it is turn 6 before the Japanese can threaten Moscow (and realistically, this would be a minimal threat. A true threat to Moscow wouldn’t be until turn 8 or so).
Until your Axis plans really take these two timing facts into account, you will have failed to convince me. Specifically:
1) “I don’t think Japan should be going to Russia full blown. Just invest enough in Asia to gain a territory every turn, slowly creeping up to Russia.”
Again, that means you will be in Moscow on Turn 6/7/8. Which means the western allies have been invading western Europe for 4 straight turns. Which means Germany/Italy are done.
- “Japan needs to take out US NO money in the islands, Brit money in the Far East, and then turn attention to USSR.” Doing all of what you say in the Far East will take 3 turns (minimum). Turn 1, the Japanese take several Islands (including Phillippines). Turn 2, perhaps, they could take either Australia or India. Note that in either case, the entire fleet is then out of position to take the second (take India, and you are out of position to take Australia, and vice-versa). So you are really looking at turn 4. By turn 5, you can focus on Russia. Remember the first problem? America/Britain have now been invading western Europe for 2-3 turns, and you have just started focussing on Russia. In 3-4 turns, maybe you will get to Moscow (assume you start in India). But we’re now at turn 7. Germany/Italy fell two turns ago.
3) “As soon as the Japanese player suspects the US is not playing in the Pacific (generally by J2, but a good US player can disguise it for maybe one more turn) they should drop an IC in Asia (more when you have India).”
Try it. Say you figure out the US is headed for Germany on Turn 2. You build a factory on Turn 3. You can start building in the factory on turn 4. You now have 6 turns (6 spaces) to get to Moscow-that’s turn 10. Germany/Italy went down on turn 5 or 6.
- “Germany needs to pound Russia EXTREMELY hard in round 1. It’s your only chance. So far, I’ve seen Germany win almost every game of KG/KIF if they take Karelia, Baltic States, East Poland and Ukraine on Round 1…Because you in essence take out most of Russia’s infantry”
This is exactly why the Russians back out of those spaces on Turn 1. Their infantry survives, the Germans take a few spaces worth a few dollars, and the Russians counterattack on turn 2-just enough to force the Germans to continually refight for that front-line national bonus. The Germans don’t get closer to Moscow, the Russians save their infantry, and on turn 2/3 the allies start landing in western Europe. In other words, if this scheme works for ONE TURN, the Germans already have to start shifting reinforcements to the West (and away from Russia)
In essence, your plans for the Axis have to take two facts into account:
- Germany will be on the defensive (in Western Europe and western Africa) to a limited degree on turn 2, and more solidly on turn 3. It will be enough to limit expansion in Russia-thus Germany will also be on the defensive (or at stalemate) in Russia by turn 3.
- Japan, no matter what it does, cannot threaten Moscow until turn 6. Realistically, the threat on turn 6 is minimal (a few tanks, a few planes). A realistic threat to Moscow from Japan won’t happen until roughly turn 8.
- Between Turns 3 and 8, Germany and Italy are effectively fighting the British, Russians, and Americans alone. The Russian economy will roughly match the German, the British will slightly exceed the Italian (even with losses in the Pacific). The American economy is the margin of victory. Germany and italy either fall or are emasculated by turn 5/6. No matter what Japan does.
Until you can break the timing-geography facts*: Japan can’t get to moscow until turn 6/7/8, and Western allies can land in western europe on turn 2/3, the axis can’t win.
*and maybe its possible-we just haven’t seen it, and I haven’t read an argument supporting it yet.