Need some help with US strategy



  • Hi guys, I read these forums occasionally and I’m a pretty enthusiastic A&A player, but my strategy needs work.  I recently bought the revised edition and I love it, and I think I need some feedback on my strategy.

    I normally prefer to play as the allies, and I like to play a fairly aggressive KGF first strategy.  In the old A&A I would buy mostly infantry as Russia and do a fairly good job of keeping Germany at bay and keeping Japan a few turns behind. While Russia holds the continental fort, the UK and the US work together to secure the atlantic (and Africa) and start throwing transports filled with infantry and tanks at France.  Seemed to work pretty well.  I don’t think I ever lost a game that way, but I don’t play with experts.

    In the revised version, I guess I struggle with the Atlantic.  It’s just too big, and the shuck shuck takes a turn longer.  Sometimes I dick around in the meditteranean after securing africa, but I feel like it all just takes a turn too long.  I recently played a game, feeling very confident with my strategy, but I lost because of Germany’s ability to hold off the allies while Japan just spread out.  After my eventual resignation, my opponent (appropriately smug) told me that the US has to grab islands in the pacific.  His econometrics was based on the fact that it’s cheaper for Germany to take Western Europe then for Japan to take back each pacific island.

    Is there a fine balance to be struck here?  I like throwing around battleships in the pacific like anybody else, but organizing those transports has always been a little bit too tedious for me.  What do you guys do?  Grab a few islands and then spend money in the atlantic?  Hassle the navy and hope the brits can consolidate their pacific forces?  Normally I like to move those to the meditteranean, but that could be overkill.

    Whose responsibility is Japan, anyhow?  I like surprising Japan with a few Russian tricks, but obviously Russia can’t afford those for very long.



  • start throwing transports filled with infantry and tanks at France

    I usually only threaten France unless it is an easy capture and then work into northern Europe from Norway. Maybe I’m wrong but that’s my playing style. Are you relentlessly pounding the beaches and dying within a cycle or two? Do your opponents typically have a true Atlantic wall keeping the Allies out of France or do they trade it? As someone who doesn’t usually suicide into France, how effective is this for those of you who use that maneuver?

    After my eventual resignation, my opponent (appropriately smug) told me that the US has to grab islands in the pacific.

    When I play the US, I typically disregard that player’s advice. Unless Japan had a disastrous first turn, losing stuff to the British ships, and either got hammered by or didn’t attack the Hawaiian ships, I don’t go after Japan’s islands. The USA has the advantage to see how the other nation’s first turns went and decide from there which theater to pursue. If all else fails, go be a pain in Germany’s side.

    I like throwing around battleships in the pacific like anybody else

    I prefer loaded CV’s in the Pacific early on but if you’re trying to kill the IJN, 12 subs will overcome 4 BB’s any day.

    Whose responsibility is Japan, anyhow?  I like surprising Japan with a few Russian tricks, but obviously Russia can’t afford those for very long.

    Keep surprising Japan with Russia. The Japanese are spread thin at the beginning. I have a friend that played Russia and saved cash when his income wasn’t a multiple of 3 for another infantry. I was allowed to park my Axis troops on the gates of Moscow without threat of counterattack. My Japanese soldiers didn’t even bother to consolidate at Kazakh or Novo, they were spread out and covered all of Russia’s eastern borders.

    If you pull the US troops out of Sinkiang and fly your bomber to Yakut first turn(EUS, WCAN, ECAN, 63, 62, Buryatia, Yakut), you can sometimes trade Sinkiang with Japan.

    Likely you already know this, but the UK can do a number of things with their Indian and Aussie forces on the very first turn.
    Example: Take Borneo and New Guinea, kill the lone transport and Solomon sub, consolidate in Persia with their bomber in range to trade India, and land their fighter either on Hawaii, on the carrier, or Buryatia.

    If you held off on Borneo and the counterattack on Egypt, you could attempt to take French Indochina. The odds are somewhat favorable but not guaranteed.

    If you held off on New Guinea and moved your transport to 30, you can either reinforce India, or liberate Egypt.

    The Allies have a lot of options of things to do against Japan in the early rounds. I usually just play it by ear.



  • @77stranger77:

    start throwing transports filled with infantry and tanks at France

    I usually only threaten France unless it is an easy capture and then work into northern Europe from Norway. Maybe I’m wrong but that’s my playing style. Are you relentlessly pounding the beaches and dying within a cycle or two? Do your opponents typically have a true Atlantic wall keeping the Allies out of France or do they trade it? As someone who doesn’t usually suicide into France, how effective is this for those of you who use that maneuver?

    I admit that I’m pounding the beaches.  Otherwise, I’m landing guys in Africa and then dropping into any territories I can from the mediterranean.  In the last game, we were trading Western Europe and I managed to actually hold it for a turn once.

    After my eventual resignation, my opponent (appropriately smug) told me that the US has to grab islands in the pacific.

    When I play the US, I typically disregard that player’s advice. Unless Japan had a disastrous first turn, losing stuff to the British ships, and either got hammered by or didn’t attack the Hawaiian ships, I don’t go after Japan’s islands. The USA has the advantage to see how the other nation’s first turns went and decide from there which theater to pursue. If all else fails, go be a pain in Germany’s side.

    Okay, so I probably should keep the same general idea, but work out the details.  Thanks.

    I like throwing around battleships in the pacific like anybody else

    I prefer loaded CV’s in the Pacific early on but if you’re trying to kill the IJN, 12 subs will overcome 4 BB’s any day.

    Yeah, I actually do prefer carriers myself.  The battleships that I like throwing around are the ones that I start with :).  My favourite pack deal, though, is destroyers and transports guarded by an CV.

    Whose responsibility is Japan, anyhow?  I like surprising Japan with a few Russian tricks, but obviously Russia can’t afford those for very long.

    Keep surprising Japan with Russia. The Japanese are spread thin at the beginning. I have a friend that played Russia and saved cash when his income wasn’t a multiple of 3 for another infantry. I was allowed to park my Axis troops on the gates of Moscow without threat of counterattack. My Japanese soldiers didn’t even bother to consolidate at Kazakh or Novo, they were spread out and covered all of Russia’s eastern borders.

    If you pull the US troops out of Sinkiang and fly your bomber to Yakut first turn(EUS, WCAN, ECAN, 63, 62, Buryatia, Yakut), you can sometimes trade Sinkiang with Japan.

    Likely you already know this, but the UK can do a number of things with their Indian and Aussie forces on the very first turn.
    Example: Take Borneo and New Guinea, kill the lone transport and Solomon sub, consolidate in Persia with their bomber in range to trade India, and land their fighter either on Hawaii, on the carrier, or Buryatia.

    If you held off on Borneo and the counterattack on Egypt, you could attempt to take French Indochina. The odds are somewhat favorable but not guaranteed.

    If you held off on New Guinea and moved your transport to 30, you can either reinforce India, or liberate Egypt.

    The Allies have a lot of options of things to do against Japan in the early rounds. I usually just play it by ear.

    Okay, this was great tactical advice!  Speaking of bombers, I must admit that I often don’t use them very aggressively.  The UK bomber usually sits at england, strategically bombing until it ultimately gets blasted on a 1.  The US bomber, I admit, often gets forgotten entirely, sitting on hawaii or wake island to bare its teeth at the japanese navy.  Sometimes I forget to use them both.  But a bomber in persia?  The thought had never occured to me and I have to seriously consider it.  A bomber in Yakut?  I had to bring up a map and do the counting for both of those moves.

    Thanks a lot for your response.  I look forward to my rematch…



  • But a bomber in persia?

    I guess you could put it there if it was safe. I meant to say the Caucuses because it reaches most of the important Atlantic seazones, it can reach the med, India, Western Europe, Southern Europe, and Berlin. Usually the route my UK bomber takes to the Caucuses on the first turn is through zone 5 so that it can participate in the attack on the Baltic fleet.

    The US bomber to Yakut is a move relatively new to me. The most common thing I see done with it is sending it to London which isn’t bad either.

    Glad I could help though.



  • Hey macphearsome,

    77stranger77 already covered much of what I’ll say, but I want to go into a little more detail on the transport logistics.  Before I do, though, I will re-echo the point that going after Japan is in general much harder than going after Germany–I would only send the US Navy after Japan if there were specific game circumstances that opened up that possibility (i.e. Japan gets really screwed by dice, or makes some really bad decisions).  Also, if you do KGF well then you don’t actually need to worry too hard about stopping Japan.  You can slow them initially with the UK (as in 77’s recommendations), but by the time they are a serious threat to the Russians you should already be pushing Germany back and also have Allied troops available to reinforce Russia where needed.  Also, remember that if Berlin and Moscow both fall then it is almost always an Allied victory, so as long as you kill Germany you can afford to lose Moscow–though you’d rather not, of course!

    The USA is the country whose strategy is most heavily about logistics, because of the need to cross the wide ocean.  Technically, there is one place on the map where you can still cross the Atlantic in one move–SZ 9 to SZ 12–so you can still do an old-school AA Classic shuck into Africa.  I actually lost a game once to a guy who did just that…shucked troops into Algeria, then had them trudge all the way across Africa to Trans-Jordan and then into Caucasus to join the action.  He got some help from the dice, though.  I wouldn’t recommend that approach as it’s far too inflexible and the supply lines are just ridiculously long.

    What that means is that you’ll need two transport fleets and two shucks.  The basic (and best, IMHO) method is to shuck troops into UK using a fleet that bounces between SZ 8 and 9 (or 8 and 1, or 2 and 1–some flexibility there), and then do a second shuck into Europe, either Norway via SZ 6, or Karelia/Eastern Europe via SZ 5, or Karelia and Archangel via SZ 4.  The second fleet will generally follow the UK around so that you don’t have to buy a second set of fleet defense to protect from the German air.  You can either set up a 4x4 shuck (meaning 4 transports in each fleet), which can move 8 ground units per turn, or a 5x5 to move 10 ground troops.  I usually go with a 4x4 so that I can get more air, but 5x5 is quite strong and I’m thinking about switching to it.

    For a 4x4 shuck the soonest you can get the whole system up and running–meaning you’ve reached the “steady state” situation where all the pipelines are in place and you’re just turning the crank each turn–is turn 5.  That’s assuming you don’t buy any ships other than transports and that you don’t divert more than a couple troops to the west coast to ward off potential Japanese invasions, so in actuality it may be turn 6.  You will be landing some partial loads before that, but it will take that long for the US to hit its stride.

    A lot of the US logistics is about how much of your money to spend on transports and how much to spend on ground troops.  If you buy all your transports up front then it will take a while to get any ground troops moving at all.  On the other hand, if you get too many ground troops too soon then you won’t have transports to carry them.  I did the math once and the solution I came up with is a 2/1/1/1 transport buy–meaning you buy 2 transports on turn 1, and 1 transport on each of the next 3 turns, and spend the rest on ground troops each time.  (This is assuming you send the transport from SZ 55 to the east so that it shows up on turn 2 as if it were a free build.)  This way your ground troops will keep pace with the transport chain as the latter is being established, so that you can land some partial loads while you’re getting the infrastructure in place.  You may have to deviate from this for specific game circumstances, but the basic rule to keep in mind is that if you’re buying a transport on turn X, you need to start buying ground troops for that transport on turn X-1.  If you only start buying the ground troops on turn X then after it shucks to SZ 8 on turn X+1 there won’t be anybody in Canada for it to pick up on turn X+2.

    There is an alternative US strategy that focuses on the Mediterranean instead of following the UK around the north.  This has some advantages: It allows you to directly funnel troops into Caucasus, which is in many ways the most critical territory on the map; it puts more territories into play (specifically Seu and Blk), which raises your paycheck and drains Germany’s troops as they have to trade more; it often forces Germany to abandon France in order to stack Italy, or to trade Italy heavy and thus drain their troops that way; etc.  On the other hand, it requires USA to purchase more fleet defense, at least one carrier and possibly more, since you have to defend at least 2 and sometimes 3 fleets without UK help, and it doesn’t allow you to triple-stack Eastern Europe.  (In the first strategy, the critical turning point is when the Allies can all team up to stack Eastern Europe with a stack that Germany is unable to kill.  After this point Germany loses the income for all the territories east of that, and things quickly spiral downhill from there.)  It becomes harder to actually advance on Berlin since the Allies aren’t working as closely in concert.  For these reasons I recommend the first strategy (following the UK around), especially if you’re relatively new to Revised.

    A word about France: Generally the way to crack France is with a two-wave assault, with the UK attack weakening it and the American attack capturing it.  This may require the UK to sacrifice a couple planes, but you generally kill some defending German planes so that it balances out.  Once the fleets are in place the UK and US will both be threatening France with 8 ground troops (more if you overbuild transports, which the UK should definitely do by one or two–but that’s another post) plus a battleship plus several planes.  In order to withstand that the Germans will need something like 15 inf plus several fighters on defense.  If they put that much in France, don’t attack it; just consider your mission accomplished.  A stack that heavy in France should enable the Allies to take control of the eastern front, after which you can reinforce Russia as needed and start to press against Berlin from the east.

    There is a Caspian Sub policy paper that covers a lot of these concepts about Allied shipping options.  Unfortunately Caspian Sub is no longer active, but I’d be happy to email the paper to you (or anyone else reading the forum); just send me a PM.  (For those who don’t know, Caspian Sub was a Yahoo group devoted to A&A Revised strategy; in addition to the email discussions, they published a number of “policy papers” with in-depth analysis of various topics.)



  • Thanks, I really appreciate your indepth response.

    I would really like to read that article.  I’ll send you a pm with my email address.

    I like your math.  I usually spend a few minutes before making any US purchases just doing the math - how many transports will be back on the coast next turn?  How many units?  Do I have more transports in action than i can fill each turn?  How much money will I be making next turn?

    Though your advice has given me something more than the math - when you mentioned SZ 55 I paused a little bit in embarrassment.  I’m guilty of using that transport - and the BB, as fodder in a counter-attack on the Hawaii sea zone.  I guess there’s something to be said about scrounging each unit and not wasting…

    Personally I’d be more inclined to have a presence in the mediterranean, but that entirely depends on how many German fighters survive the first couple of turns.  I’ve had games where the German player is not careful enough with his fighters, and loses most of them sinking the british fleet or by landing them in poorly defended territories which I send the russian forces after.  The advantage of the mediterannean that I like is that the US and the UK can work together to force the Germans to defend (or trade) almost all of the european territories.  Having a presence on either side of the continent gives the allies a fair amount of flexibility and forces the Germans to divide their attention.

    I’ve never actually done the double-shuck through Britain.  It always seemed like too much work.  Next game I will try it, mostly because I am not interested in spending lots of money on american destroyers or aircraft carriers.


  • Moderator

    I’ve used both the double and the Med shuck, but will echo what Uffish said with the Med shuck, in that you need extra cover (US Capital ships), but the trade off is you only need half the trns.  I like to combine air with the African shuck in that you can get a 8 unit shuck to Afr set up by rd 3 or so.  Essentially once you have your 4 trns you buy 6 inf, 2 arm, 1 ftr per turn, units get placed in Wus.  The armor and ftrs can speed their way through Afr cutting down on sume supply lines and prevent Japan from ever being a threat there but the earliest you are getting to Per with decent sized numbers is probably US 6ish.  UK can clear the starting path but then US takes on the responsibility by round 3.

    Usually 1 AC will do for the Afr shuck, assuming you brought over the BB (gets to sz 12 in rd 3).  You also start with 2 dds.  After that is tis just all trns, they can provide your fodder and as you feel the need to increase (US 3 or so) you can shift to the double shuck up north.  I think I usually go AC+Trn+6 inf US 1.  Then 1 trn + inf for the remainder of the buys, depending on threat and need.


  • 2016 2015 '10

    Both approaches can work and I lose to both approaches regularly.

    I used to base the USA in the Med Sea, but for a while I’ve been basing both shucks in the North Sea so I can effectuate back to back attacks.

    However, the Med strategy has its merits.  You threaten Rome, you secure Africa, and you can force the Japs to evacuate the Suez/Persian Gulf area if you mass enough ships off Italy or in the Black Sea.

    The problem is that Germany can counter this with defensive tactics.  From the Med, USA can’t attack Germany itself, which gives Germany some leeway in protecting its capital.

    The North Sea shuck strategy allows USA to support defensive positions along the Baltic/North Sea region, which is not something Germany can counter easily.  The drawback is less of a presence in Africa.



  • good discussion.

    In terms of “whose responsibility is japan” I would say that the only way to reliably work effectively against japan is for everyone to pitch in in some way.  Russia for instance can’t be aggressive unless UK is also threatening, or UK can’t try to invest in an IC unless us air power is going to be around, or US hawaii fleet won’t survive round 1 unless UK hits borneo.  There are lots of options, but in almost every case Japan can handle the actions of any 1, or usually any 2 allies with it’s massive fleet and air force.  It’s when you coordinate all 3 that japan can be made to whither.  Pay close attention always to japan’s targets in terms of its air and transport power each turn.  You never want them to have just one nice target to maximize their air advantage and battleship bombards.  Instead, you want them to have nothing to do with all that firepower, or too many targets (e.g. a u.s. fleet, a russian stack, and a uk and sinkiang IC, for instance).

    Alternately, the purely defensive run away strategy against japan works fine… if you’re really confident in your ability to take out germany like clockwork before things get out of hand 🙂



  • How well does it work for the USA to have 4 transports funneling troops from Canada into Algeria and 4 transports in the Med grabbing troops from Libya and threatening Western Europe, Southern Europe, Balkans, Ukraine, Caucuses, and Trans-Jordan? I think it sounds great when you consider how much it can threaten. If the UK is working the Baltic as you’re in the med, this covers every gray territory on the map except West Russia, and Belorussia and the USSR typically can collect from those for a while.

    How feasible is this when capital ships are taken into account? I tried to figure out the logistics of it on Triple A using the AI for the other nations to do super quick albeit stupid turns. I think I was able to sack Italy on US 5. In this trial, I only purchased 1 CV for fleet protection and managed to leave transports unguarded in zone 12, not possible against anyone who knows what they’re doing. Unless Germany squandered her Luftwaffe early, fighters staged in Western Europe are free to harass fleets off of Algeria and Italy.



  • 77–

    When I play the Med, that’s usually how I do it; shuck into Algeria, walk to Libya, and shuck to Weu/Seu/Blk/Ukr/Cau/Trj.  Generally, though, I find myself wanting to hit several of those targets, usually ones in distinct sea zones.  So you may need to defend fleet in 3 areas: SZ 12, and two of the others (say you go to Southern Europe and Ukraine, then you need to defend SZ 14 and SZ 16).  You have the battleship and two DD’s to start, and you can take the Russian sub for extra fodder.  One CV may or may not be enough to cover it the rest of the way, depending on how much air Germany has and where they put them.

    One other thing that’s nice about the Med strategy is it threatens a double-power strike against Weu.  If you take the aforementioned approach (shuck to Alg, walk to Lib, shuck from there) then you could on a given turn shuck everyone from Lib to Weu, and use your SZ 12 fleet to shuck from Alg to Weu.  This disrupts your supply chain severely, as you won’t be bringing any more units across the Atlantic for 2 whole turns.  However, as a one-time attack it can be quite effective, especially when following up a UK raid on Weu.  The threat of 4+ UK transports hitting Weu followed by 8 American transports, both supported by air and battleships, is pretty daunting.  If things get to the point where you even have that threat the Germans are likely to abandon Weu–which simplifies your fleet-defense situation since SZ 12 is no longer under threat.



  • Just for completeness, I thought I’d mention one more US shipping option, even though I personally don’t use it anymore.  You can have fleets in SZ 1 and SZ 3 swapping places every turn, bringing 8 units/turn into Norway.  From there they walk to Karelia and then all over Europe.  The advantage of this method is that, as with the Med, you have the threat of a double strike (8 transports) against Western Europe.  However, there are significant drawbacks: It reduces the pressure on the rest of the coastline (Berlin, Eastern Europe) as compared to shipping in the Baltic, and the fleet defense could become more of an issue again since your fleet is separated from the UK’s.  The fleet defense is not as much of an issue as with the Med strat, though.  I mostly abandoned this method because I like to directly pressure Berlin and Eeu, but if you like the threat of a Weu double strike enough then this is another option.



  • When it’s my first turn as the US, the first thing I do is look at who did what.  USSR/Germany: did we lose Caucasus? UK/Germany: who has naval dominance, and by how much (if either)? Does anyone have any tech upgrades (especially Gernamy)? What did GB due with her India fleet, and is there an IC in India?  Did Russia reinforce China? Did Japan do Pearl Harbor II, and how many transports does she have? Etc.

    How these things turned out determine my strategy as US.  The US is highly flexible in how it responds to events due to going last, being rich, and being far away.  However I find I most often abandon the Pacific entirely as both US and GB.  I almost never island hop.

    Since the Pacific seems to be your major concern, let’s look there first.  Did Japan do Pearl Harbor II? Probably.  Is the British India fleet dead or running away to Madagascar? Very likely. What about the British Australian sub? Is it still in the neighborhood? Probably not.  Let’s assume Pearl Harbor II happened and the British fleets are gone.  Japan has naval dominance in the Pacific.

    One method of dealing with this situation for me is to completely ignore it, send a few extra infantry (or have Britain send his Canada troops) to defend Alaska from Japanese amphibious attacks, maybe put a fighter or two, maybe a bomber on Hawaii to keep some influence out there (especially if you choose to emphasize air technology - a Heavy Bomber on Hawaii keeps the Japanese fleet quite far away), keep an infantry in my hometown Los Angeles, and send all of the rest of my Pacific naval assets through the Panama Canal and into the Atlantic.  Let Japan keep Pacific dominance.  So what? Concentrate your forces as Napoleon taught us.  Fight one front at a time.  Smash Germany! Maybe throw an Industrial Complex in China if Russia has sent some troops to help hold it to help keep some pressure on Japan.  Focus on technology maybe.

    Heavy Bombers and/or Long Range Aircraft and/or Jet Fighters followed by lots of aircraft is BRUTAL! Just be careful not to over tech and never actually produce enough of the aircraft you’re getting all powered up.

    Super Subs…this is a good tech to get if Pearl Harbor II does NOT happen. This allows you to go after Japan in a big way.  Make masses of subs, concentrate all your surface ships and some subs around Hawaii and/or Los Angeles and wipe out his fleet once yours is strong enough.  Until then use submarine wolfpacks for skirmishing.  Destroy all transports near Japan when you can.   Once you’ve done that (assuming you’ve also destroyed his fleet), you’ve beaten Japan.  If he counters the subs with lots of aircraft start building and using more surface warships.

    Combined Bombardment for a strategy involving lots of transports, destroyers and land forces east to land in Algeria or anywhere else.

    Don’t get Rockets as USA.  Rockets are best saved for German use.

    Now, if one of your allies screwed up and lost the Caucasus or Atlantic naval dominance it’s your job to step in and help fix that mistake.  For naval dominance simply send your battleship, destroyers, and anything else you have (Super Subs?) up from Panama and the East Coast in one unified battlegroup and clear out the hostile German ships.  Aircraft sent to Great Britain itself, especially hi tech ones, can also contribute to this.  Fighters in Gibraltar give some extra reach and protect the Rock as well.  If Russia’s getting hammered, Africa’s being overrun, etc, send lots of transports full of troops (possibly escorted by Combined Bombardment destroyers).

    Summary - Tech up, send initial Pacific naval forces through Panama, and choose one of:

    1. Take Pacific with Super Subs and other warships, ignoring islands
    2. Make sure GB controls the Atlantic, and once that’s established, send masses of transports east, ignoring the Pacific.  Combined Bombardment?


  • Ok if i was you i would get at least 5 transports and you can have at the least 2 men or 1 tank or 1 man and 1 tank or 1 man and 1 artillary in a single transport. Anyway you need Russia to pressure Germany in the following places: Belorussia, West Russia, Norway. Also make the UK pressure with only bombing raids the following place: Western Europe. Then while Germany is being attacked in the east and west, you will use your transports and send them to Algeria and Libya. After you take those 2 places and build up those 2 places, BE SURE TO DO THIS, as fast as you can push every single thing (from Algeria and Libya)  to Southern Europe. Then tell UK player to stop bombing raids and buy rockets and steal money from German factorys. Then in at the max of 3 turns there will be no more Germans. Ihave done this strategy 7 or 8 times and every time it was succsesful except once. So try that strategy um… hope if works for you. Thanks and also you can go to morrisongames.com and he will give you strategys that really WORK!! 😄


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