• I noticed that alot of people seem hell bent on finding a way to stop the dreaded KGF.  I would like to open a discussion on why the KGF tactic seems to be so popular.

    1. German/Italian Strength
      Germany and Italy both become economic power houses in turns 2 and 3.  There is no true way to prevent this from happening.  When Germany can take Egypt with 2 armor left, or has the option of meeting all 3 NOs at the end of turn 1, there becomes a lot of money in axis hands.  Now I’m not saying that these specific attacks must happen or what not, but in turns 2 & 3 G/I should be making around 70 IPCs combined.  This allows Italy to stack France or beef up her navy and allows Germany to buy an insane quantity of tanks and/or planes.  This makes it very difficult for the UK/Russia to keep them in check without US help, most likely impossible.  With the US focusing on Africa/Italy, or SBRs, or whatever, it allows Russia a chance to push back the Germans, and frees the UK to start dropping serious firepower.  And there is also the dreaded Italian can opener that forces the Russians to play defensively due to capital rules.

    2. IPCs
      The pacific is worth alot of money with NOs on, nearly as much as all of Russia.  But it is not worth as much as Europe.  Would you rather have your 2nd Pacific NO on turn 3 as the US, or Italy or France?  Also, Russia can make nearly 50 IPCs if played properly in a KGF due to there wacky 2nd NO.  The UK can hold onto some of Africa, Finland/Norway are up for grabs, and of course, France.  Once the allies get France and/or the 2nd Russian NO while at the same time denying Italy its 2 NOs and Germany one or two of hers, allies have economic advantage even with Japan at 70 IPCs.  Also, for a 48 IPC US to go after a 60 IPC Japan, how does that work?

    3. Boat Costs
      Boats are expensive, very expensive.  So expensive that the G air power buildup can put a hurting on allied fleets when she is making 50+.  So expensive that the US must choose between 2 destroyers, or a tranny with 1 inf/1 arm headed at Europe.  So expensive it takes the US at least 2 turns to be able to survive a J fig/carrier attack with her fleet.

    4. Distance
      How long does it take a US tranny to take valuable IPCs in the pacific, and how long does it take to hit Africa?  When US goes to attack in the pacific her builds are 1 turn away, Japans are right there.  How long does it take Japan to pull off any attack in force, 3 turns, 4?  US can effect Europe on turn 2.  And how on earth does the UK get into the pacific?  How’d that carrier get there in the 42 setup and where was she in 41?

    5. Setup
      When china dies on turn 1 pretty much, Australia and India are threatened, and no one can save them against a turn 2 Japan other than Russia, what do you do?  It is borderline impossible to stop japan without sacrificing Russians, and they cannot be sacrificed as they need to fight Germany!

    I do not believe any kind of bid, or anything can stop the current KGF style of play.  Only a redrawn board and a Russia/China that can hold there own.


  • Think about it like this: location, location, location.  You want to be as lazy as plausable in order to increase your odds of winning.

    1. you can send cheaper units and more numerous units to the Western theatre.
    2. 3 Capitals are already in that direction
    3. You are more focused on a land battle
    4. Russia is more immediatly threated by Germany than Japan
    5. Japan requires a lot of money spent on a navy, PLUS is in an awkward location for anyone other than the US to build
    6. Japan is an island that is more that 1 turn away from an IC: a tactical freaking nightmare to capture (barring an idiotic oversight or awful luck)
    7. Land units are always more attractive to build than navies (navies are simply a means to an end; land units are the end).

    Even if the pacific cost more than Europe, it would still not be worth it. Russia is to much in peril and Europe is just far too convienent to pass up.


  • The most obvious reason why KGF happens, is b/c it’s the most effective way of winning the game  :evil:

    In AAR, it’s actually very difficult to win a KJF, but sometimes it happens.

    The OP explained the factors why KGF is easier and stronger than KJF, and the KGF/KJF/theater discussions will continue if the easy, or only way to win is an unhistorical strategy.

    Most players try to win, not to replay history. The whole game(s) including AAR, AA50 and AA42 must be completely redesigned if the unhistorical roads to victory shall be removed from A&A games.

    And KGF is not really unhistorical, but leaving the Pacific totally is unhistorical, including the JTDM strat.


  • Play with out national objectives and several of the points you bring up are not as much of a factor.

    In my gaming experience, KGF is popular because it often results in a swifter outcome.  The game is decided in fewer turns.  If the US decides to concentrate their efforts the Pacific, then the game usually takes longer to determine a victor.  However, I’ve found both strategies are generally balanced as Allies have not won an inordinate amount with any strategy.

    But these are just my experiences.


  • @bugoo:

    I noticed that alot of people seem hell bent on finding a way to stop the dreaded KGF.

    …particularly the ones who draw Germany when they play…

  • Customizer

    very good post

    (perhaps naval units should cost even less? Like another 10-15% less?)


  • /bugoo

    What do you think of bidding for China inf or bidding for Allied units bordering Japanese at-start units, topics in the balance thread? Or do you think this will only make KGF an even more potent strategy?


  • I agree with you Bugoo - but is there a reason we’d want to discourage KGF?  For all the reasons you and dondolee describe, it’s an attractive and effective strategy (as they found in the actual war too…).

    Perhaps I haven’t understood the direction you’re trying to move the discussion?


  • @Lynxes:

    /bugoo

    What do you think of bidding for China inf or bidding for Allied units bordering Japanese at-start units, topics in the balance thread? Or do you think this will only make KGF an even more potent strategy?

    That would just add more time to beat down Germany.


  • /bugoo

    Another idea I’ve been thinking about but not having the time to try it out in actual play, is to have a 12 VC victory condition. In a typical AA50 KGF-playout, Japan will grab IND, HAW and AUS in 3 turns, max 4, and Germany will be able to hold at-start VCs and also KAR in that period of time. Only turns 4-6 will the real crunch happen in Europe. So if you go with 12 VCs, Allies won’t be able to ignore Japan if they don’t want to lose the game. Together with a small to medium bid to the Allies that might work quite well to create a more balanced game Europe/Pacific-wise, which I see as the goal of many of the changes of AA50.


  • I strongly oppose a 12 VC rule variant, I want a struggle for global supremacy, less than 15 or 13 VCs in AA50 will make it more like AAE/AAP.

    I’m well aware of that we’re discussing what we want it should be, not what it is, but for those who really don’t think AA50 is fun b/c unhistorical issues, or you prefer a game where KJF is the most effective strat, then make a mod.
    I can’t see any problems with the KGF either, and I would not say AA50 is broken if it was the other way around, that KGF was the weakest strat, I would only say it is broken if it was not fun to play.

    And how many thinks revised is still better than AA50?


  • Revised is far more balanced than AA50, 1941 scenario. If that’s fun or not, I left that to your choice

    I doubt KGF can be even possible in AA50, 1941 scenario: Polar Express was really strong in Revised and it must be even more stronger in AA50 with Japan’s increased income, lesser asian opposition (virtually zero in China), more starting trannies, more buffer from soviet attacks for Japan and the chance of getting improved industry (yes, I add tech into strats because they alter the game greatly without need of getting HBs round 1). And there’s a new VC in Canada now

    Continue with KGF strat all you want. I simply don’t want face a boosted Polar Express, so I choose a balanced/KJF approach. Well, I choose 1942 scenario better …


  • @dondoolee:

    1. you can send cheaper units and more numerous units to the Western theatre.
    2. 3 Capitals are already in that direction
    3. Russia is more immediatly threated by Germany than Japan
    4. Japan requires a lot of money spent on a navy, PLUS is in an awkward location for anyone other than the US to build

    Even if the pacific cost more than Europe, it would still not be worth it. Russia is to much in peril and Europe is just far too convienent to pass up.

    Dondoolee has it pretty much locked up as to why KGF is popular.  All the Allies are effectively in range in Europe quickly, Russia is immediately threatened and everyone has to build things just to prep for war in the Pacific while Germ/Ital continue on their merry way regardless.  This is why the US largely fought in the Pacific on their own after V-E day.

    Stopping a KGF… I would suggest Funcioneta’s Polar Express.  Taking that Ottawa VC a couple times will help any Allied player rethink their KGF.


  • I have never seen or lost to a polar express in AA50. In revised, I may have seen it once, a complete failure.

    A $9 unit bid in AA50 +NOs can boost the allies really well. Much more than that and the allies will win almost every game.

    How hard is it to understand that many players don’t “like” or prefer KGF b/c it is KGF, it’s only b/c it’s the most effective way of winning. If it was the opposite, then players would prefer KJF, by the same reason, not b/c we would like KJF, but b/c we would like to win.

    I agree that axis are favored (+NOs), but AA50 is not more unblanced than revised.
    Func, you still think allies need $12 or more in 41 +NOs?


  • @Subotai:

    I have never seen or lost to a polar express in AA50. In revised, I may have seen it once, a complete failure.

    you probably need to play funcioneta then.

  • Moderator

    I certainly agree with the ideas in the opening post, but I feel the main reason is simply the Capital Locations.  London, Berlin, Rome, and Moscow are all close together and with the exception of the UK none of these powers ever have to buy a ship to be successful.  And just looking at the board if you never played any A&A games and had to guess which country falls first, I bet everyone would say either Russia, Germany, or Italy.  Island nations are just harder to capture.

    I think if we’re following Sun-Tzu, you attack what is weak and avoid what is strong.

    Now, I do agree with Func, that it is up to Japan to prevent the KGF.  If Polar Express proves to be too deadly mid game and Ger or Ita doesn’t fall that may change things, but it still leaves Europe as the easiest target.

    I don’t think VCs would help.  I usually find that most people like to take a Capital.  I certainly perfer too, assuming time isn’t an issue.  So people will still want to play until a capital falls or is likely to fall.

    I think if people want to see more Pac action a few things need to happen including re-valuing of Pac IPCs and possible playouts where both Tokyo or L.A. could fall within the same time frame as Berlin/Rome - Mos.
    This would likely require a new map.  Maybe add in a Central Canada and one more Central US ter and add another Atlantic Sz so you can’t shuck directly Ecan to Alg in one move.

    I think the most drastic solution would be to split the US into 2 players an East and a West US.  West US also gets China.  Both end up earning about 20-25 range and essentially forces a 50-50 split of US resources.


  • @DarthMaximus:

    This would likely require a new map.  Maybe add in a Central Canada and one more Central US ter and add another Atlantic Sz so you can’t shuck directly Ecan to Alg in one move.

    Agreed with the splitting of mainland America. As now, it’s easy shuffle tanks from EUSA to WUSA and viceversa

    I must add something about sea zones: at start I didn’t liked the fusion of both Japan’s szs but now I like, because you can grab units both from Manchuria and Japan at the same time. It probably counters the splitting of west canadian szs (that prevents the powerful unload Japan-WCan we had in Revised), so in general I like the change. But the point is that, to prevent ignoring Japan (a thing FDR would never do in real life), not only the splitting of America would aid, we need a easy shuck from Japan to America

    A interesting thing with Polar Express is that you can always cancel it before landing on mainland America: the trannies built aid troops go faster to Africa, and also the troops can redirect to West if needed

    About techs and Japan choice JTDTM/Polar Express: if USA builds Pacific fleet, Japan has no choice, she must go to a lesser JTDTM while competing with USA in the naval race. Since you never know what strat is going to follow USA, I’d never buy tech teams with Japan until USA has decided: if USA builds Pacific fleet, Japan should roll air/naval tech tree, but if not, you should roll land/production tech tree:

    • Superartillery and mech-infs will have greater use in JTDM or Polar Express
    • Rockets can create havoc in soviet ICs, but also one rocket in Alaska and another in Hawaii can annoy USA
    • War bounds is always good anyway
    • Paratroopers is pretty good also: it can work better than trannies in Africa, and there’s a chance of annoying Mexico! Also, uses making troops walk faster in China/Siberia are obvious
      -But the king of techs in this case is improved industry: Alaska can produce 4 units, Wcan 3, Japan 10 (you can see the pattern) but India and Manchuria will produce 5 each and even those 1 IPCs territories in China, Siberia and Africa can be pretty annoying. You can even make a shuck from Hawaii(production of 3). Against a USA that will colect 40 IPCs in a Polar Express (13 units maximun), Japan with Improved Industry can be a true pain

    There is so much strategical options playing with tech in Polar Express that I’d hate miss some. If the price is nerfing HBs or delaying tech, I’m pretty ready to pay it  🙂

    @DarthMaximus:

    If Polar Express proves to be too deadly mid game and Ger or Ita doesn’t fall that may change things, but it still leaves Europe as the easiest target.

    This is true in long race: the true goal of Polar Express is prevent USA coming in aid of Africa or Europe. That makes easier to axis hold or retake Africa, and that leads to axis economic advantage, the true goal of the strat. If axis success in this, it’s probable that USSR falls before than USA unless crappy dices or badgameplay of USA, but it will be matter of time one or another


  • Look in a KGF you ignore Japan for the first 2 or 3 turns, not the entire game.  I know I will have to face Japan either in Persia or Egypt or Alaska, but I am hoping to cripple G/I before then.  I am trying to get economic superiority by shutting down G/I’s income, and boosting Russia’s and the US’s.  The gamble is, do I succeed.  No matter what though, why would I devote resources, like stacking Persia R1, when there is no threat there yet.  Those troops can turn the tide against G and THEN on turn 2 or 3 or 4 I can move some inf and figs there.  Remember, J has to establish a much more difficult supply line than any of the allies do for a KGF no matter what she does, and that offsets her huge income.  Also, defending with combined nations is easier than attacking, etc.

    I’m not saying KGF wins every time, but its the allies best shot at victory.  And for all you Polar Express people, play some games and PROVE your right, get on tripleA or link me a forum game where two equal skilled players without dice going bonkers stopped a full bore KGF with a Polar Express, i’d love to see it.


  • And for all you Polar Express people, play some games and PROVE your right, get on tripleA or link me a forum game where two equal skilled players without dice going bonkers stopped a full bore KGF with a Polar Express, i’d love to see it.

    Okay, not exactly what you asked for, but here’s a picture: I am currently in a TripleA '42 scenario game.
    It’s my first 42 game ever, and I was stunned by the lack of Japan’s options.

    But look at it now. Turn 4, all the Allies went for Germany. And guess who’s knocking at America’s door? Japan.
    The entire attack plan of the Allies now falls to bit.
    Agreed, the Japanese got foot at the US mainlaind just in time, as Rome was about to fall, but USA now definitely needs to divert it’s attention, giving both Germany and Italy the chance to catch a breath again. The entire US supply line is halted (or needs to be halted, US isn’t up yet) to kick out the Japanese.

    Now, while US is going to divert it’s forces, Japan is already in Persia, China is gone, and it’s income is nearing 70. Russia will be soon toast if they don’t start diverting infantry to the Japanese front aswell.

    Germany is still in the +30’s (Italy is indeed down to 9), so the UK wont be able to cripple Berlin on it’s own.

    Now, this is nothing out of the extraordinary. Everytime I play as the Axis, I pretty much follow the same tactics. With Germany, I delay the invasions with some navy, meanwhile stacking up on ground units for the big waves to come.
    In the meantime, Japan is slowly creeping up to Russia, collecting IPC’s and NO’s, and by turn 3 the first Japanese reach American shores.

    The few times I lose as Axis, is when someone indeed pulls of a decent balance, or even a full bore KJF.


  • I think this post from a different topic says it better then what I just rambled:

    @atarihuana:

    well germany moving heavy in BST its quite tough to defend, even if you send all allied planes in range and buy 2 ftr for russia there… pretty much the same in india. if it turns out that KGF is more “effective” than a combined global allied strat …(keeping russia alive, uk focus africa first, us pacific first > see note) this will  become even more true for both since BST and  burma will then become top priority (imho).

    note:
    keep in mind thoose NOs. imho ppl underestimate brit vs jap/ita NOs… its hard to get the europe NOs for allies in the first 4-6 rounds, but you can get 2-3 UK, deny ITA its 2 (japan possibly one but that ones a biggy -9J +4B )

    ps:
    “effective” doesnt mean just because KGF is faster, its better.  strictly strategically thinking brings me to the conclusion that it aims for a decisive battle(since axis cash out bigger), and i personally dislike that. i’d  rather outproduce the axis and that means meet them where the IPC are.


  • @bugoo:

    And for all you Polar Express people, play some games and PROVE your right, get on tripleA or link me a forum game where two equal skilled players without dice going bonkers stopped a full bore KGF with a Polar Express, i’d love to see it.

    Well, I have one against JWW now and I’m about to take Whashington DC. It’s a Revised game, true, but the basis should apply for AA50, where Japan is way bigger and USA only gets 5 IPCs more (from one NO). Check my last axis games in 2008 league, I won all with Polar Express

    In Revised, I only lost two games with Polar Express: one was a multi where the german player built tons of bombers. The other was against Uffish this year, because I did some stupid things with germans and also got some crappy rolls

    Also I have won one in TripleA taking WUSA, but I cannot prove that one because I didn’t save that one


  • So am I correct in assuming that all you polar express fans are saying the game does just fine in promoting fighting in the pacific?  And at what turn does your polar express ‘go off’ so to speak, as in becomes a real threat to the US, J2, J3?  What is the general shuck setup, 6 trannies moving 8 units a round into Alaska?  Factory in Alaska?  Factory in Man?  Do you still put ICs in India, Burma?

    And stop bringing up revised, this is NOT revised, thank god.

  • '16 '15 '10

    When I first had a look at the Anniversary map, the biggest disappointment was that the Atlantic sea zones were essentially the same as Revised, while the Pacific became larger.  Even the silly Canada to Africa shuck was exactly the same.  This, and the fact that in 41 the 2 key islands are British and thus can’t have American factories–-this makes KJF very difficult.  As long as the Japanese player is vigilant it seems extremely tough to pull off, although perhaps not impossible.  But unlike Revised, the Brits hardly have any units in the area so the burden is all on the USA.

    If we wanted to redraw Anniversary to encourage varied tactics then the first thing to do is make the Atlantic Ocean larger so that it makes more sense to go with a naval strat in the Pacific rather than focusing on an immediate impact in Europe and Africa.  Larger Atlantic, stronger China and factories in India and Aussie so the Brits can have some kind of presence.

  • Customizer

    If we made the Atlantic larger…  well instead of needing 4x4x4 (12) transports to send just 8 land units into italy/france, you would need 4x4x4x4 (16) transports, which is ridiculous.  I think the current need of 12 is ridiculous already.

    I think the solution would be to make the pacific smaller in a way that benefits america but not japan.

  • Customizer

    A different thought:

    Perhaps the Factory on the West Coast could have “Improved Shipyards Tech”, but the factory on the East Coast would not have that tech.

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