• Hi everyone,

    I’m new to the forum but have played A&A off and on for over 20 years.  I recently got AA50 and have played one game found 5 people for a full 6 player game at a recent convention.  Just from that one game, wow, this is by far the best A&A ever in a lot of ways.  Anyway, that got me reading these forums and I thought I’d add my 2 cents on the strategy side of the discussion.  I’ve read a lot about “KGF” in the last few days, which is largely a US decision.  I’ve played the US a lot in A&A, including in my only game of AA50.  While I understand the concept of a true “KGF”, I really think it is a more risky approach for the allies than a more balanced US/Allied approach.

    I like to call it DJKGKJ (…or Delay Japan, Kill Germany, Kill Japan).

    My favored approach with the US is to begin the game with a trickle of forces to the East in support of England/Russia while containing Japan and setting up SBR on Tokyo.  Once the SBR is established (from Okinawa), the US is ready to switch over to finishing off Germany.  In AA50 I would say the US Pacific objectives before switching to Europe would be to deny Japan it’s US related Pacific NOs and establishing SBR of Tokyo.  Remember, the goal is not to kill Japan, simply to contain them and make them spend money against you instead of against England and Russia during the early turns.  This obviously requires naval superiority and most, but by no means all, of US money will be spent in the Pacific for the first 3 or 4 turns.

    While most money is spent in the Pacific for the first 3 or 4 turns, not all of it is.  Every single turn the highest priority in builds is actually in the Atlantic.  It is critical that you not totally neglect the British, they need your help… but they do not need a lot for the first 3 or 4 turns, which is all the time we need in the Pacific.  Every single turn while setting up Japan’s containment, the US must as it’s highest priority (when following the DJKGKJ plan) buy 1 bomber and either an Inf/Art or Inf/Arm.  On turn 1 you send the BB and Inf/Tank to Torch (take Morocco).  Leave the BB and Trans there, and you buy a second Atlantic trans on turn 1 (instead of the Bomber on turn 1 only) to leave at Washington.  From that point forward you fill that single transport bridge with Inf/Art or Inf/Arm and harass North Africa/Gibraltar from behind for the British.  It doesn’t matter if you lose these units every turn, as long as you land them.  If the Germans kill the BB/Trans (they usually don’t) you can sacrifice the Washington trans and extend the harassment for another turn without any additional naval purchases.  The 1 Atlantic Bomber per turn, of course, goes to London to SBR Berlin.  Again, while your primary goal is containing Japan for the first 3 or 4 turns, the 1 Bomber and 2 ground units for Europe are your highest priority builds.  Build what you can afford in the Pacific after that.  With a good British player… this is all the help they need from you for the first 3 or 4 turns.

    Back in the Pacific, you will solidify your NOs before establishing your bomber base on Okinawa.  Conversely, you will switch your builds to the Atlantic and killing Germany while your fleet it in the process of getting to and taking Okinawa (but you’ll know that you are going to succeed because you already have naval superiority).  When you switch after turn 3 or 4 (depending on the Japanese naval build response) you will essentially reverse yourself… sending a trickle of forces to the Pacific (bombers for SBR and subs/destroyers to lock down the Pacific).

    Back to the Atlantic.  After containing Japan and having the fleet on the way to Okinawa, you’ll be needing bombers.  You probably have 3 or 4 in England by now… the transition turn is the time to make the investment in taking away Japan’s money.  Buy two bombers for Okinawa and 1 per turn for the rest of the game after that (or until you have too many).  You may buy some subs/destroyers to enhance your navy if needed, but that probably is not needed.  You will probably only buy one bomber per turn for the Pacific from this point forward.  The SBR of Berlin that you were providing while in the Pacific during the early turns was critical to this plan.  It slowed Germany’s progress and (assuming competent players all the way around) England and Russia are still doing OK at this point (Turn 4 or 5).  You may have been able to send a carrier to Washington if you enaged the IJN on an early turn.  If not, you’ll need one to protect transports so the transition turn is the ideal time to build it (and as many full transports as you have money left for).  Next turn, if the Axis are in Africa land what you have so far there.  They can clear out North Africa while they “stage” for invading Europe.

    From this point forward you are essentially in a typical KGF game… except that you have denied Japan some of their NOs, mostly destroyed their navy, and you are bombing Tokyo!  You won’t ever get to the “KJ” part, if the Allies win in Europe Japan will be more than ready to surrender by the time that is over.

    As a final note only slightly related to this post, something I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere that I read, I thought I would point out that a DD/CA cost the same as 1 BB.  There is absolutely no reason to buy a BB in AA50. DD/CA is better than 1 BB in every way.  I actually think that this is both tactically and historically accurate, and kind of cool.  But just something to keep in mind, any time you are considering buying a BB… don’t.  Get a DD and CA instead.


  • There is absolutely no reason to buy a BB in AA50. DD/CA is better than 1 BB in every way.

    uh… false?

    You assert this as though it is self-evident, with no explanation. I’d love to hear your reasoning.


  • @Unknown:

    There is absolutely no reason to buy a BB in AA50. DD/CA is better than 1 BB in every way.

    uh… false?

    You assert this as though it is self-evident, with no explanation. I’d love to hear your reasoning.

    Sure.  I can actually think of only one way that a BB is better than a DD and CA, and that is the “free hit”.  The BB can take a hit each turn and no unit is lost, with the DD/CA combo one is lost to a hit.  That is the only advantage of a sinlge BB that I can think of (thought of that after I posted).

    A DD/CA are two units.  They are more flexible, they can be seperated if needed.  Together, compared to a BB, they are far better in attack.  A 2 and 3 is a lot better odds that a single 4, with the potential to even score two hits.  And, of course, you also get all the ASW capabilities of the DD.  This all adds up to making the “free hit” largely insignificant by comparison.

    I think this is very realistic from every perspective.  Building BBs after Pearl Harbor was a mistake for every nation that did it, except the US who may as well have just in case and had a really awesome design for one:-)


  • @Kavik:

    As a final note only slightly related to this post, something I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere that I read, I thought I would point out that a DD/CA cost the same as 1 BB.  There is absolutely no reason to buy a BB in AA50. DD/CA is better than 1 BB in every way.  I actually think that this is both tactically and historically accurate, and kind of cool.  But just something to keep in mind, any time you are considering buying a BB… don’t.  Get a DD and CA instead.

    Ok, lets say I have 6 Battleships and you have 10 Cruisers (same cost, right?).  Then I attack your Cruiser fleet.
    Round 1: You cause 5 Battleships to be damaged.  I sink 4 of your Cruisers
    I retreat.  Battle is over.  Net losses for me: 0 IPCs.  Net losses for you: 48 IPCs
    Wanna counterattack?  It’ll be fun!

    Of course, 6 Battleships would beat 10 Cruisers even if they didn’t retreat:
    Round 1: You cause 5 Battleships to be damaged.  I sink 4 of your Cruisers.
    Round 2: You damage the last Battleship, then sink 2 of them.  I sink 4 of your Cruisers.
    Round 3: You sink 1 more Battleship.  I sink your 2 remaining Cruisers
    Battle is over.  Net losses for me: 60 IPCs.  Net losses for you: 120 IPCs

    In a battle to the death of large, equally costed forces, Destroyers beat Battleships beat Cruisers.  This is reasonable, given that Destroyers lack anti-ground abilities, and their own ability gains little from having multiple present.

    Granted, Destroyers will also be owned by Battleships doing 1 Round attacks:

    6 Battleships vs. 15 Destroyers
    Round 1: You cause 5 Battleships to be damaged.  I sink 4 of your Destroyers
    I retreat.  If you counterattack:
    Round 1: You cause 4 Battleships to be damaged.  I sink 4 of your Destroyers
    Round 2: You damage the last 2 Battleships, then sink 1 of them.  I sink 4 of your Destroyers.
    Round 3: You sink 1 Battleship.  I sink your remaining Destroyers.

    In short, Battleships are most definitely the king of the sea.  They become even more effective when their hit soaking is used to shield other ships with better firepower per IPC.

    Of course, they are only the kings of the surface sea…


  • yeah, i would take a BB over a cruiser and destroyer any day of the week. sorry, but the ‘free hit’ and higher attack/defence are just too valuable


  • Sure.  I can actually think of only one way that a BB is better than a DD and CA, and that is the “free hit”.  The BB can take a hit each turn and no unit is lost, with the DD/CA combo one is lost to a hit.  That is the only advantage of a sinlge BB that I can think of (thought of that after I posted).

    lol, is that all?

    That is a huge advantage. Think about it.

    Anytime you’re in combat against a fleet with one or more BBs, you first have to score enough hits to overcome the free soaks before you even inflict a single casualty. Everytime the BB soaks up a hit, it saves its owner the cost of replacing the naval unit that would otherwise have been killed. And naval units are expensive.

    Sure, if the BB is sunk won’t have saved you anything, but… this shouldn’t happen in the first place. In engagments where you have overwhelming force (smart play, in other words), you’ll save a bundle not having to replace those DDs and CAs.

    To claim that a DD + CA is always better than a BB is ridiculous. You could almost claim the opposite, imo.


  • @Unknown:

    Sure.  I can actually think of only one way that a BB is better than a DD and CA, and that is the “free hit”.  The BB can take a hit each turn and no unit is lost, with the DD/CA combo one is lost to a hit.  That is the only advantage of a sinlge BB that I can think of (thought of that after I posted).

    lol, is that all?

    That is a huge advantage. Think about it.

    Anytime you’re in combat against a fleet with one or more BBs, you first have to score enough hits to overcome the free soaks before you even inflict a single casualty. Everytime the BB soaks up a hit, it saves its owner the cost of replacing the naval unit that would otherwise have been killed. And naval units are expensive.

    Sure, if the BB is sunk won’t have saved you anything, but… this shouldn’t happen in the first place. In engagments where you have overwhelming force (smart play, in other words), you’ll save a bundle not having to replace those DDs and CAs.

    To claim that a DD + CA is always better than a BB is ridiculous. You could almost claim the opposite, imo.

    I see some of the points made.  It would be interesting to actually see the math of, say, 4xCA 4XDD v 4xBB.  I would think the 8 ships would have the advantage even with the free hits.  But then… how often do you ever actually have 4 BBs in a single battle?  There are usually only 1 or 2 present at most.  I’ll stick with my CA/DD for now, the math from that battle calculator some of you seem to have would be interesting though and might change my mind.

    I may actually have been understimating the free hit a little, but you are understimating the flexibility of 2 ships v 1 ship.  Your 4 BB navies would mean my equavilant CA/DD navy would have so many ships that I could be strong in multiple locations on the map.  The big naval battles are staged into by both sides, you know when they are coming and they don’t come often.  At all other times, having twice as many ships is a pretty big advantage.

    I really didn’t mean to start such a debate with that final little comment, and you guys might very well be right about that although I still have my doubts… I had been hoping people might actually comment on my favorite US strategy, I thought people might find it interesting since it is so far removed from the very valid KGF strategy that is usually being discussed.


  • @Unknown:

    I see some of the points made.  It would be interesting to actually see the math of, say, 4xCA 4XDD v 4xBB.  I would think the 8 ships would have the advantage even with the free hits.  But then… how often do you ever actually have 4 BBs in a single battle?  There are usually only 1 or 2 present at most.  I’ll stick with my CA/DD for now, the math from that battle calculator some of you seem to have would be interesting though and might change my mind.

    I’ve seen stacks of BB in the Pacific, both American and Japanese. Since Japan and the US should have a really nice income after several turns, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. In the few games I played lately, Japan owned between 8 and 12 BB. Sometimes they were put in a single fleet to match an opposing US fleet. Sometimes they sailed off to the Mediteranean to harass the smaller UK-fleets. Sometimes they were used to smash the Indian IC. Battleships are extremely difficult to take out when you have naval superiority and are useful to perform other tasks besides just guarding your Japanese mainland. Therefore building them en masse seems a sound strategy to me (and my opponents).

    I may actually have been understimating the free hit a little, but you are understimating the flexibility of 2 ships v 1 ship.  Your 4 BB navies would mean my equavilant CA/DD navy would have so many ships that I could be strong in multiple locations on the map.  The big naval battles are staged into by both sides, you know when they are coming and they don’t come often.  At all other times, having twice as many ships is a pretty big advantage.

    What other times are you talking about? When I engage as Japan a US-fleet, I want to keep my entire fleet in a single sea-zone, and so does the US. Imho, there should only be one single large battle to decide the fate of the entire Pacific. In between two major naval battles, destroyers and cruisers aren’t of much use anyways, as opposed to the highly versatile BB.

    Having said all this, I agree with you cruisers and destroyers can easily make up the bulk of your navy at another theatre (e.g. the UK and Italian fleets), since these nations don’t have the gargantuesk resources US and Japan have, and since especially the UK might want to have alot of cruisers for offshorebombardment purposes. Therefore your statement probably is correct when it adresses the European fleets (given fleets aren’t destroyed by massive airforce). But in the Pacific, having to face gigantic fleet, I wouldn’t bet too much on destroyers or cruisers (although I do use subs and destroyers as cannon fodder in combination with BB).

    I really didn’t mean to start such a debate with that final little comment, and you guys might very well be right about that although I still have my doubts… I had been hoping people might actually comment on my favorite US strategy, I thought people might find it interesting since it is so far removed from the very valid KGF strategy that is usually being discussed.

    To me, your overal strategy seems pretty sound, for it is balanced and indeed far removed from the sometimes ‘experimental’ strategies that appeared lately. In the games I’ve played, I too deployed US-forces in Africa to a minimal extent, while going almost all-out against Japan. About the KGF-strategy: it is indeed surprisingly often discussed, but I wonder if it is used as often as it is discussed.
    It is here however, your text is quite confusing. You speak of using Okinawa as a US-bomberbase against Japan in the early game. How are you, in only a couple of turns, capable to outbuild the Japanese navy, manage to build a fleet that does not get wiped out by Japanese fighters and fleet and conquer Okinawa? (And then I didn’t even mention the bombers that still have to be built.) Are you using bombers to attack fleets in the Pacific? (And if so: doesn’t this weaken the defensive stats of the US-fleet to much?) In the games I’ve played so far, Japan has always gained naval superiority in the early game against the US. I agree with you regaining these NO’s is of the highest importance to the US, if she doesn’t want to have the same fate as the UK-Empire, but doing so is a slow and often painful process.
    For if Japan keeps her fleet in the East-Pacific in the first few turns (which she should once she destroyed several major US-ships imho), I see no other way for the US-player to try to slowly outbuild this Japanese fleet. Hence the build-up in BB. Using Okinawa as a bomberbase was - in the games I’ve played - only a way to finish off Japan in the late-game.


  • @Kavik:

    On turn 1 you send the BB and Inf/Tank to Torch (take Morocco).  Leave the BB and Trans there, and you buy a second Atlantic trans on turn 1 (instead of the Bomber on turn 1 only) to leave at Washington.  From that point forward you fill that single transport bridge with Inf/Art or Inf/Arm and harass North Africa/Gibraltar from behind for the British.  It doesn’t matter if you lose these units every turn, as long as you land them.  If the Germans kill the BB/Trans (they usually don’t) you can sacrifice the Washington trans and extend the harassment for another turn without any additional naval purchases.

    I assume you mean DD, not BB. Which means that G can send fighters/subs on G2/G3 to kill the US/Allied fleet.

    Back in the Pacific, you will solidify your NOs before establishing your bomber base on Okinawa.  Conversely, you will switch your builds to the Atlantic and killing Germany while your fleet it in the process of getting to and taking Okinawa (but you’ll know that you are going to succeed because you already have naval superiority).  When you switch after turn 3 or 4 (depending on the Japanese naval build response) you will essentially reverse yourself… sending a trickle of forces to the Pacific (bombers for SBR and subs/destroyers to lock down the Pacific).

    With 3-4 turns worth of US buys (minus the ground forces for the Atlantic and the bombers for the UK) you’re expecting to take and hold Okinawa against the Japanese fleet? After J1, Japan will most likely still have 3 ACs, 1 BB, 1 CA and fighters to fill the ACs. US will have 1 AC, 1 DD, 3 FTRs and 2 BMR.

    From this point forward you are essentially in a typical KGF game… except that you have denied Japan some of their NOs, mostly destroyed their navy, and you are bombing Tokyo!  You won’t ever get to the “KJ” part, if the Allies win in Europe Japan will be more than ready to surrender by the time that is over.

    You have not denied J any of their NOs with the US:

    • Indochina, Manchuria and Kiangsu will very likely still be Japanese +5
    • Kwangtung, East Indies, Borneo and Phillipine will very likely be Japanese +5
    • Australia or India will very likely be Japanese +5

    By taking Okinawa you’ve managed to give UK an NO, not removing from J. But if the axis control either Egypt or Australia then the UK has less 1 NO, so that evens it out.
    Meanwhile I can assume that Japan will not stay idle as the US fleet is building up on the Pacific and will concentrate its 3 ACs + the rest of the fleet, plus building subs/planes. Which means that Okinawa will fall (and with it any US bombers standing there), probably even on the first Japanese turn after it is conquered by the US. And when that happens, then J can take Hawaii, Wake or Midway, negating the US an NO.


  • @Kavik:

    On turn 1 you send the BB and Inf/Tank to Torch (take Morocco).  Leave the BB and Trans there, and you buy a second Atlantic trans on turn 1 (instead of the Bomber on turn 1 only) to leave at Washington.  From that point forward you fill that single transport bridge with Inf/Art or Inf/Arm and harass North Africa/Gibraltar from behind for the British.  It doesn’t matter if you lose these units every turn, as long as you land them.  If the Germans kill the BB/Trans (they usually don’t) you can sacrifice the Washington trans and extend the harassment for another turn without any additional naval purchases.

    @Hobbes:

    I assume you mean DD, not BB. Which means that G can send fighters/subs on G2/G3 to kill the US/Allied fleet.

    I had a BB and Trans there in the game of AA50 that I played.  Like I said, Germany usually doesn’t get around to killing it.  But if they do you can still sacrifice the transport at Washington to extend the landings for another turn without buy any more navy in the atlantic.  You are only doing this in the Atlantic for 3 or 4 turns, you are gaurenteed at least 2 turns of landings.  In my experience the “bridge” usually survives all 4 turns because the Germans usually wind up with a higher priority for their planes than sinking your lone BB protected transport.

    @Kavik:

    Back in the Pacific, you will solidify your NOs before establishing your bomber base on Okinawa.  Conversely, you will switch your builds to the Atlantic and killing Germany while your fleet it in the process of getting to and taking Okinawa (but you’ll know that you are going to succeed because you already have naval superiority).  When you switch after turn 3 or 4 (depending on the Japanese naval build response) you will essentially reverse yourself… sending a trickle of forces to the Pacific (bombers for SBR and subs/destroyers to lock down the Pacific).

    @Hobbes:

    With 3-4 turns worth of US buys (minus the ground forces for the Atlantic and the bombers for the UK) you’re expecting to take and hold Okinawa against the Japanese fleet? After J1, Japan will most likely still have 3 ACs, 1 BB, 1 CA and fighters to fill the ACs. US will have 1 AC, 1 DD, 3 FTRs and 2 BMR.

    I’ve done it many times in the past, mostly in previous versions of AA.  I’ve only played on game of AA50 so far, but I was the US and this is what I did.  We won.  You start with a CV and the planes for 2 CVs.  Buy a thrid and two planes, 3 CAs a couple DDs and subs and you can take down the IJN.  Like I said, you switch to European production as you send this fleet away from the coast towards Okinawa so you aren’t actually taking Okinawa until turn 5.  It’s a bomber base.  Once positioned their any fleet coming within range 2 faces both your fleet and your bombers.  You will strike them if they come within range, not wait to be attacked.  Typically the IJN needs to assemble before coming after you, many of their ships are normally far south or in the indian ocean when you make this move.  By the time they get too you, you are entrenched in Okinawa with the bombers to support your navy if needed.  You have the backbone of the navy, and can add subs/DDs/CAs if the situations calls for it, but I don’t normally do that other than maybe 2 more subs as time goes on.  The 1 bomber per turn you keep adding is uaually enough to be safe.

    Of course, the Japanese player could not go south with his navy to defend against this, and that would put a kink in this plan… but then the US would have pinned for the beginning of the game… which is almost as good for the Allies as the bomber base on Okinawa.  In this case, personally I would change strategies, give up on Okinawa and be happy with pinning the IJN for the early turns, and begin going after Germany early:-)

    @Kavik:

    From this point forward you are essentially in a typical KGF game… except that you have denied Japan some of their NOs, mostly destroyed their navy, and you are bombing Tokyo!  You won’t ever get to the “KJ” part, if the Allies win in Europe Japan will be more than ready to surrender by the time that is over.

    @Hobbes:

    You have not denied J any of their NOs with the US:

    • Indochina, Manchuria and Kiangsu will very likely still be Japanese +5
    • Kwangtung, East Indies, Borneo and Phillipine will very likely be Japanese +5
    • Australia or India will very likely be Japanese +5

    By taking Okinawa you’ve managed to give UK an NO, not removing from J. But if the axis control either Egypt or Australia then the UK has less 1 NO, so that evens it out.
    Meanwhile I can assume that Japan will not stay idle as the US fleet is building up on the Pacific and will concentrate its 3 ACs + the rest of the fleet, plus building subs/planes. Which means that Okinawa will fall (and with it any US bombers standing there), probably even on the first Japanese turn after it is conquered by the US. And when that happens, then J can take Hawaii, Wake or Midway, negating the US an NO.

    I didn’t say deny Japan their NOs, I said defend the US NOs from Japan and prevent Japan from taking US related NOs.
    Taking Okinawa is for the SBR, I didn’t even realize it was an NO for anyone, haha.

    I’m not saying this is an ultimate, unbeatable strategy.  Just that it is a very effective one that I have developed over years of playing AA with the US.  It also seems too me to throw a few wrenches into the typical “KGF” strategy that I read about so much.  I should point out that this “DJKG” strategy is even more effective if both the UK and Russia help put the squeeze on Japan early on as well (without spending too many ICs to do it).  Just a couple Russian infantry and a tank into China from Russia, and a minor UK effort to make India a harder target wont take much away from handling Germany early on but will really start to add up against poor Japan.  When the focus switches to German on turn 5, Japan has their hands full.  They aren’t in a position to do anything to help Germany and won’t be for at least several turns (probably never considering the SBR on Tokyo).

    It’s not an unbeatable strategy, none ever are in a game that works.  There are counters that can force the US out of it (but Japan still pays a price for those counters).  It’s just the way that I’ve evolved into playing the US over the years, and it seems too me that it counters the often discussed “KGF” strategy in some interesting ways.


  • @Kavik:

    I had a BB and Trans there in the game of AA50 that I played.  Like I said, Germany usually doesn’t get around to killing it.  But if they do you can still sacrifice the transport at Washington to extend the landings for another turn without buy any more navy in the atlantic.  You are only doing this in the Atlantic for 3 or 4 turns, you are gaurenteed at least 2 turns of landings.  In my experience the “bridge” usually survives all 4 turns because the Germans usually wind up with a higher priority for their planes than sinking your lone BB protected transport.

    The game was setup wrongly. For either the 1941 or 1942 scenarios US starts with a 1 DD on the East Coast, not 1 BB. But the issue here is what the UK is doing since they’re the only ones who can defend that transport and G can spare the planes to sink it (and the italians/germans can deal with 4 US land units on Africa)

    I’ve done it many times in the past, mostly in previous versions of AA.  I’ve only played on game of AA50 so far, but I was the US and this is what I did.  We won.  You start with a CV and the planes for 2 CVs.  Buy a thrid and two planes, 3 CAs a couple DDs and subs and you can take down the IJN.  Like I said, you switch to European production as you send this fleet away from the coast towards Okinawa so you aren’t actually taking Okinawa until turn 5.  It’s a bomber base.  Once positioned their any fleet coming within range 2 faces both your fleet and your bombers.  You will strike them if they come within range, not wait to be attacked.

    Do you mean Iwo Jima or Okinawa? You can attack Iwo Jima from the West Coast but it takes 2 turns to reach Okinawa. In both cases they border the SZ of Japan so the Japanese fleet will always be in range if they are building units to counter your builds.

    Typically the IJN needs to assemble before coming after you, many of their ships are normally far south or in the indian ocean when you make this move.  By the time they get too you, you are entrenched in Okinawa with the bombers to support your navy if needed.  You have the backbone of the navy, and can add subs/DDs/CAs if the situations calls for it, but I don’t normally do that other than maybe 2 more subs as time goes on.  The 1 bomber per turn you keep adding is uaually enough to be safe.

    Of course, the Japanese player could not go south with his navy to defend against this, and that would put a kink in this plan… but then the US would have pinned for the beginning of the game… which is almost as good for the Allies as the bomber base on Okinawa.  In this case, personally I would change strategies, give up on Okinawa and be happy with pinning the IJN for the early turns, and begin going after Germany early:-)

    It will force Japan to spend money on ships but it will also force the US to keep up with the naval buildup. And when the US does not keep up with the buildup then J will be left free to deal with any US forces on the Pacific.

    It’s not an unbeatable strategy, none ever are in a game that works.  There are counters that can force the US out of it (but Japan still pays a price for those counters).  It’s just the way that I’ve evolved into playing the US over the years, and it seems too me that it counters the often discussed “KGF” strategy in some interesting ways.

    True to all of that. Either on Revised or AA50 I like strategies to deal with J (but on Revised they are too dependent on J1’s moves and dice) and I also think that they are more a Delay Japan strategy rather than to Kill because it is hard to invade Japan. What I think is that with the amount of naval power that this strategy entails by the US it is much better to use it solely with the propose of sinking the IJN and liberating Borneo/E. Indies. If you reach those 2 objectives and take also the Phillipines then J will lose 10 production, plus the 5 from the NO, which lowers J’s income about as much as a bombing campaign. Plus, the NO advantages for the US (+5 for Philippines) and the UK (+5 for allied occupation of any territory originally japanese). Not to mention other potential hassles coming from India/China for J. From that moment on, you can switch to KGF with the US.


  • set up sbr japan? u need lots of ships to do that. in fact, ud probably be investing 6 full turns naval warships only just to capture those islands…

    moreover by turn 4, unless some crazy russians march persia… japan has 3 factories on eurasia so sbr all u want…


  • @Hobbes:

    The game was setup wrongly. For either the 1941 or 1942 scenarios US starts with a 1 DD on the East Coast, not 1 BB. But the issue here is what the UK is doing since they’re the only ones who can defend that transport and G can spare the planes to sink it (and the italians/germans can deal with 4 US land units on Africa)

    You get to land twice no matter what, and are only doing this for 3 or 4 turns.  In my experience the Germans usually have higher priorities and they don’t kill them right away, but even if they do you get two landings no matter what.  The Italians/Germans can easily deal with these 2 units per turn landing behind them in Africa, the whole point is to make them do it.  It is a minor annoyance that helps the British a lot down there, and sometimes you wind up liberating Gibraltar for them instead.  That and the SBR on Berlin giv England/Russia just enough help to get through the early game in good shape which is all you need from them.

    Do you mean Iwo Jima or Okinawa? You can attack Iwo Jima from the West Coast but it takes 2 turns to reach Okinawa. In both cases they border the SZ of Japan so the Japanese fleet will always be in range if they are building units to counter your builds.

    Oops, you are right I mean Iwo Jima.  Like I said, you switch to Europe as your fleet heads for Iwo Jima, you don’t wait to take it.  Most of the IJN will be out of range and unable to challenge your (for example) 3xCV, 2xCA, 2xDD, 4xSS navy at Iwo Jima.  Add 2 bombers into the attack on D+1, and one more bomber per turn after that.  If you need more navy it would be all cheap subs, the core of the fleet is finished and you can just pile subs into it like infantry into Moscow now.  You start with 1 CV and the planes for a second.  The US can send 3 CVs to Iwo Jima on turn 4, turn 3 if it hurt the IJN on an early turn.  Once the fleet and bombers are entrenched at Iwo Jima the IJN won’t be able to win that fight.  The US fleet strikes when the IJN carriers get within range, they don’t wait to be attacked at Iwo Jima, and the bombers from the SBR base (2 land on D+1 and one per turn after that) make it very hard for Japan to ever take Iwo Jima back.

    Remember, Japan can stop this early on by pinning the US fleet at US west coast… but this, in reality, is the US Navy pinning the IJN at Hawaii and great for the Allies.  US switch to KGF after turn 2 and let England keep India for it:-)  What this really amounts too, now that I discuss and think about it, is an opening gambit for the US to force Japan out of their anti-KGF strategy.  If Japan does the typical anti-KGF opening and I do my DJKG thing then I will wind up with an almost unbreakable bomber base to hit Tokyo from.  If Japan defends against this then their expansion will be greatly diminished.  That seems to be the value of this move by the US.

    It will force Japan to spend money on ships but it will also force the US to keep up with the naval buildup. And when the US does not keep up with the buildup then J will be left free to deal with any US forces on the Pacific.

    The US does keep up.  You have the bombers too and add one per turn, if you need more cannon fodder you can build some more cheap subs.  Like I said in the original post, I normally don’t need to build more subs but you can if you need to.  Remember, with Japan’s growth stunted you have a little more time in Europe so schedule over on the other side of the world is a little different now, too, so the US can afford to spend some money in the Pacific if they need to.

    True to all of that. Either on Revised or AA50 I like strategies to deal with J (but on Revised they are too dependent on J1’s moves and dice) and I also think that they are more a Delay Japan strategy rather than to Kill because it is hard to invade Japan. What I think is that with the amount of naval power that this strategy entails by the US it is much better to use it solely with the propose of sinking the IJN and liberating Borneo/E. Indies. If you reach those 2 objectives and take also the Phillipines then J will lose 10 production, plus the 5 from the NO, which lowers J’s income about as much as a bombing campaign. Plus, the NO advantages for the US (+5 for Philippines) and the UK (+5 for allied occupation of any territory originally japanese). Not to mention other potential hassles coming from India/China for J. From that moment on, you can switch to KGF with the US.

    But that would take too long to do, and you’d be sending your fleet down where most of the IJN is.  The Iwo Jima SBR base works because the IJN is 2-3 turns away from assembling and attacking there, because most of their ships are down south near Australia/Indian Ocean.  By the time they can get too you you will have 3-5 bombers and any additional subs you though you needed on the transition (from Pac to Euro builds) turn.  This really does work if Japan goes south with large elements of their navy, I’ve been doing it for many years in earlier versions and did it in the one game of AA50 that I played.  But it is up to Japan, they can defend against it but then India, Australia, and Russia are more turns away than in the typical anti-KGF Japan strategy.

    In my experience Japan’s usual response is to try and do both things, keep a fleet at Hawaii and go south.  When they do this I the US wins a big naval battle at Hawaii which cuts the IJN in half.  They never recover and are never able to make a serious attempt at Iwo Jima.  I can say from experience that trying to do both things is a mistake for Japan because they will lose the ships at Hawaii on turn 3 or 4 and never recover.  As I said, this is the most common response from Japan:-)


  • You sure are basing a lot of strategic assumptions on one game played.

    Japan’s fleet has usually moved back north from Australia which they normally take J2.

    India also falls quite readily to the Japanese, depending on what happened in the mid-east around turn 3 or 4. Possibly even on J2.

    Killing lightly defended transports and their light defenders is an excellent use of the Luftwaffe. If the Allies want to purchase a transport per turn for the privilege of landing 2 units in Algeria, which might not even be enough to retake after turn 2, more power to them.


  • @a44bigdog:

    You sure are basing a lot of strategic assumptions on one game played.

    Japan’s fleet has usually moved back north from Australia which they normally take J2.

    India also falls quite readily to the Japanese, depending on what happened in the mid-east around turn 3 or 4. Possibly even on J2.

    Killing lightly defended transports and their light defenders is an excellent use of the Luftwaffe. If the Allies want to purchase a transport per turn for the privilege of landing 2 units in Algeria, which might not even be enough to retake after turn 2, more power to them.

    Well… I got my original copy of A&A after standing outside the game store with my best freind waiting for it to open the day the original game came out when I was 14.  I’ve played it for quite some time, but have only played one game of the new one.  This seemed to work even better in the new version, actually, because the US has more money.  It was much harder to achieve and depended much more on what Japan did in the old game.

    The landings in Africa only meant to help the British there (and sometimes you wind up saving Gibraltar for them).  You don’t buy a transport per turn, just 1 on the first turn.  In my experience the transports usually survive, the Axis player doesn’t see it as much of a threat when really it is part of a greater plan.

    The greater plan is delaying Japan while getting England and Russia through the early game in good shape.  In Europe the first 5 turns are just about keeping a good position until the US cavalry arrives.  All three of the Allies are involved with a DJKG plan.  While the US focuses mostly on Japan and helps slightly with Germany in the early turns, England and Russia should be doing the opposite.  England should focus on holding Africa (the reason for the US help there), India, and harrassing and possibly taking scandinavia (or helping in Karelia) if they still have a navy work with.  England’s effort in India is their contribution to delaying Japan and they should make a real effort to hold India (get at least 1 fighter there, for example).  Russia should work with England to hold Karelia if possible as their highest priority (nothing different there) but otherwise hold out while maintaining an ability to counterattack (in other words Russia is pretty much Russia).  The Russian contribution to the effort should be a more aggressive attitude in the east being more willing to strike at Japan if there is an opportunity, and sending 2 tanks and 2 inf into China to help liberate and defend Chinese territory.  They can’t afford to replace them, just send them one time and keep them alive as long as possible (Russia may only be able to afford to send 1 inf and tank depending on how things went dice wise but should send at least that).  This “death of a thousand pin pricks” significantly delays Japan, even if they do eventually wind up overcoming the British and Russian efforts.  If they allow the US effort to succeed they will spend the rest of the game focused on Iwo Jima, or ignoring it and putting a lesser (less money and territory) effort towards Russia.

    “KGF” is largely a US decision.  The US can force the war to go certain ways.  Japan doesn’t necessarily need to be left to run wild and unopposed.  It is mostly up to the US wether or not they are allowed to do that.  The US has a hard time having an impact in Europe during the early turns, but the threat of an SBR base on Iwo Jima has an impact from the moment the US builds a second CV on the west coast at the end of turn 1.  It is the only means I know of making the US have a significant impact right from turn 1, which is where this strategy came from.  I’m not saying I have an unbeatable strategy… but I might be saying that “KGF” is not the only means of defeating the Axis.  In fact, in my opinion it is kind of a risky all-or-nothing strategy that I usually only take if forced into it.  Delaying Japan buys time in Europe, it changes the schedule that “KGF players” have in their minds.


  • there is still no way to set up SBR for  USA before turn 6 or so…


  • @atarihuana:

    there is still no way to set up SBR for  USA before turn 6 or so…

    Turn 6 is exactly when the bombing of Tokyo would begin.  Turn 7 would be the latest, if you couldn’t achieve it by then you would abandon that plan and use your Pacifc forces to harras Japan while you go KGF.  You generally make the decision to go for the SBR base or not during Turn 4.  I’ve taken the time to provide some detail of how I might go about this in a typical game.

    This is really more of a threat that you will carry out if they are going to let you.  It keeps them honest in the Pacific.  If you don’t wind up going for the SBR base (because it will happen too late to be relevant) then you can use the ships you did build to protect your NOs and harrass Japan while you fight Germany.  I guess another point that I am making is that the US can afford to do this while still essentially pursuing a “KGF” plan, the US “KGF” is just weaker for it in the early turns.  But it gains you so much with Japan, even just the threat of the SBR base on Iwo Jima.  They have to defend against it, which slows their expansion elsewhere.

    The builds for achieving this threat and really being able to do it if Japan will let you are:

    40 IPC
    Turn 1, Pacific: 1xCV
    Turn 1, Atlantic: 1x Transport, 1x Tank, 1x Bomber
    38 IPC, Save 2 IPC: With the CV you should have 2xCV, 4xFighter, 2xDD, 1x Trans sitting at West Coast at the end of Turn 1.  You send Inf/Art to Afirca on Turn 1, the transport you buy completes the bridge.  The tank we bought turn 1 will go to Africa Turn 2 with the Inf from Central US.  West Coast Inf heads east.  We also bought our first Bomber for UK (I actually put them in West US, they still reach UK but are closer to Pacific if needed).  I like to buy 1 tech roll on turn 1 and just take that 1 roll until I get something, then replace it for one roll per turn all game, but can’t afford that with the US.  I buy the tech roll on turn 2.

    52 IPC (Saved 2)
    Turn 2, Pacific: 1xCV, 2x Fighter
    Turn 2, Atlantic: 1x Bomber, 1x Tech Roll
    51 IPC, Save 1 IPC:  Assume 50 US IPC, we saved 2 from Turn 1.  Other than some cruisers, the core of the US Pacific fleet is complete on Turn 2.  We’ve also sent a second Bomber to the UK (4 total, counting starting 2), and we already have our Tank/Inf to send to Africa from that we bought/moved on turn 1.  If the Germans killed our bridge we don’t need to buy any more ground forces for Africa, but they probably didn’t kill it on their turn 2 so we’ll assume it’s still around next turn.  West Coast US fleet is now 3xCV, 6XFighter, 2xDD.  If attacked we’ll kill the DDs first and then take losses based on what Japan is losing (i.e. we’ll lose a carrier if they do).

    51 IPC (Saved 1)
    Turn 3, Pacific: 4xSub
    Turn 3, Atlantic: 1xTank, 1x Bomber
    41 IPC, Save 10 IPC: The inf from the West Coast arrives to go to Africa with the Arm next turn, so we don’t need to build the Inf this round.  A third US Bomber heads to the UK (5th total).  4xSubs provide cannon fodder for the fleet and first strike shots against any ships without DD escort (pretty nice cannon fodder).  Save 10 IPC because it isn’t enough to buy a CA.  This is the first moment when we are truly capable of striking.  The US might have hit the IJN last turn if the opportunity was there, depending on what Japan did, but now with this fleet you might seriously consider striking the IJN on Turn 4 if a large body of ships is nearby.  If you can destroy all the ships there without losing any carriers, or while maintaining parity in carriers, you should probably strike the IJN now.  Remember, you have the bomber you build for the UK in West US if you need it for a naval attack.  We’ll assume that either their is no fleet nearby, or the one that is nearby is too strong to attack this turn (if it is, then Japan is not taking southern islands and has little naval support in India… or anywhere for that matter).

    Turn 4, US Attack Phase:  If most of the IJN is, as it normally is at this point, down south and near the Indian ocean then this turn it is safe to take Iwo Jima.  If it will be 2 turns before the IJN can assemble any realistic attack on your fleet then you can safely take Iwo Jima.  This is often the case.  If you decide to build go for the SBR base this turn’s builds will be heavily Pacific, if you decide based on Japan’s response to give up on the SBR base you will switch to KGF this turn and just complete the Pacific fleet with 2xCA this turn.  We’ll assume that Japan has largely ignored us and pursued a typical anti-KGF strategy and most of their fleet is out of position to strike Iwo Jima in less than 2 turns.  So our builds will be heavily Pacific, and Turn 5 we’ll start building for Germany.  In our attack phase we move the entire fleet to Iwo Jima, the transport brings the Inf that walked down from Alaska while every thing else was walking to the east coast.  It’s two spaces away, we make it in one move.  We have 3xCV, 6xFighter, 2xDD, 4xSS, 1xTran in Iwo Jima sea zone and 1xInf on Iwo Jima.

    60 IPC (Saved 10)
    Turn 4, Pacific: 2x Bomber, 2x CA, 1x Trans
    Turn 4, Atlantic: 1x Tank (if we had got a tech and this tank could not land in Africa I would replace the tech token instead)
    60 IPC, Saved 0 IPC: Since we are going for the SBR base we have to abandon Germany for a turn.  But we’ll still send the Bomber (6th total) we bought for them last turn, and land the units built last turn in Africa on this turn.  In the Pacific the 2xCAs will go to Iwo Jima next turn and complete the core of the fleet, it’s all Subs from here (if they are even needed).  The two bombers will arrive with the CAs on Turn 5 and begin SBR on Turn 6 (assuming they aren’t needed by the fleet to attack an approaching IJN main body force).  The transport we are buying completes a bridge to Iwo Jima (or where ever we move the fleet’s transport too).

    With the SBR base built Turn 5 will be a transitional build turn.  If you feel you need a more powerful fleet you need to by the subs on turn 5 and send them to Iwo Jima on turn 6.  Other than that, you now go KGF.  Build one bomber per turn for the rest of the game and send it to Iwo Jima, attack any threatening approaching IJN fleets with both your fleet and bombers.  Ignore any small IJN fleets, they won’t attack your 3 CVs (i.e. your 6 fighters).  Other than 12 IPCs per turn for the bomber, you can spend the rest of your money against Germany from now on… and in this particular scenario they won’t be getting much help from Japan:-)


  • Turn 6 is exactly when the bombing of Tokyo would begin.

    What’s the point?

    As atarhuana pointed out earlier, Japan has 3 factories in asia building for them by this point. Anything being built in Tokyo is going to be a big-ticket item like a bomber or naval unit. They don’t need 8 units/turn from the Tokyo factory by turn 6, so they could care less about any damage your doing, especially when you’re risking 12 IPCs everytime to do it.


  • @Kavik:

    so we’ll assume it’s still around next turn.

    We’ll assume… I love when my opponents start assuming things. Like they say, ‘no battle plan survives contact with the enemy’…

    J1: Japan sinks the BB and the DD/TRN off the West coast (pretty standard move nowadays) and takes Phillipine Islands. ACs retreat to Iwo Jima SZ. J builds 1 DD and 1 TRN.

    US1: Goes as you described

    J2: J takes 2 of the 3: Midway, Wake or Hawaii. Hawaii is hit from 1 TRN on SZ50, Wake with 1 TRN from SZ50 and Midway with 1 TRN from SZ62. Jap fleet (2 AC + 4 FTRs, 1 BB, 1 CA, 1 DD) gathers at Wake SZ.

    US2: From this turn on US earns -5 IPC from losing 2 of those 3 islands. Plus they have less 1 DD and 1 TRN than in your plan.

    And I’m not going to bother examining the next rounds since they would depend on a ton of things, including assumptions.


  • Like I said, that was just one possible example of what you might build in doing this.  The actual point is threatening Japan in a serious way that they can’t ignore and will be very expensive for them to counter.  Japan can counter this in several different ways but all of them involve slowing their expansion.  As I have seen others say on these forums, “Japan can do anything, just not everything” (or something along those lines).  The US starting out by building a significant navy forces Japan to respond.  If not, they will wind up with an SBR base on Iwo Jima.  If Japan continues to ignore the US in the Pacific then the US can continue against Japan and invade Tokyo from Iwo Jima.  It is a threat that can’t be ignored (even if the US winds up giving up and starts building for Europe on turn 3, because that means Japan diverted a lot to discourage you and has already slowed their expansion), and countering it means Japan slowing their own expansion elsewhere.  This means they reach Russia 1-3 turns later, which changes the schedule of the typical KGF game and give the Allies more time to kill Germany.

    Time is on the Allies side, so the longer you can make the game the better off you are.  Threatening Japan in the Pacific buys extra time in Europe.  That is the whole point.  That’s why I called it “Delay Japan, Kill Germany”.  I really have played this way for many years and it works.  After reading the forums I just thought I would throw out my variant of “KGF”, which is really all this is.  It is still a “KGF” plan, it just diverts more attention toward Japan early on than is typically discussed.  Remember, although the US is the most important element of the plan England also plays a big role by focusing on holding India as long as possible and slowing Japan in any way they can.  Russia does the same, sending a small amount of help into China and being more aggressive against Japan with the forces they have to use against them.  It is an early squeeze from all three Allied powers that only the US puts a lot of resources into… but it all adds up to slowing Japan down by 1-3 turns.

    As I have said before, I am not saying this is some unbeatable strategy.  I am just pointing out a variation on the typical KGF strategy that I have used for many years.  It seems to work particularly well in AA50 because the Allies all have that extra money to be able to afford to throw even more at Japan than I used to in the old version (and Tanks are more useful on defense which helps Russia a lot).  Delaying Japan’s expansion by 2 or 3 turns has a dramatic effect in Europe where the schedule for killing Germany get’s lengthened, and Japan can be delayed without impacting the Allied schedule in Europe in a big way.  The US gets off to a slower start, but that doesn’t matter if Japan has been delayed.

    Maybe a group out there who says the Allies can’t win should try threatening Iwo Jima/Tokyo with the US, and squeeze Japan with everything England and Russia can spare for the first 2-4 turns (depending on Japan’s reaction) as I’ve described in this thread.  The complaint always seems to be “Japan ran wild”, so maybe my old tried and true “squeeze” of Japan might help those playing groups.  It works for me.


  • destroyers are the infantry of sea
    subs are the trench feet who annoy the infantry

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