Favourite axis openings



  • Me and my friend have played lots of games now, but we never manage to win as Axis.

    How do your favourite openings look like G1, G2, G3 and J1, J2, J3? What is your grand strategy?



  • the “can opener” probably the best I know of. send in italy to weaken russias factory. then have germany either take(if Italy lost) it or reinforce it (if Italy won) As japan smash China for the easy money then spread out in all directions.



  • @hakan:

    Me and my friend have played lots of games now, but we never manage to win as Axis.

    How do your favourite openings look like G1, G2, G3 and J1, J2, J3? What is your grand strategy?

    something must be very wrong, as axis is at least the easier side to play if not objectively advantaged.

    sink the british navy, as much of it as you possibly can. SZ12 and SZ2 and SZ 6 are good targets. never mind about egypt or karelia on rd 1. you should be collecting 45 ipcs end G1 - baltic states, east poland and ukraine.

    dont trade france. hold france. put the screws to russia for as long as you can. play to be in russia with japan in RD 6. be in india with japan on J2.



  • @rockrobinoff:

    @hakan:

    Me and my friend have played lots of games now, but we never manage to win as Axis.

    How do your favourite openings look like G1, G2, G3 and J1, J2, J3? What is your grand strategy?

    something must be very wrong, as axis is at least the easier side to play if not objectively advantaged.

    sink the british navy, as much of it as you possibly can. SZ12 and SZ2 and SZ 6 are good targets. never mind about egypt or karelia on rd 1. you should be collecting 45 ipcs end G1 - baltic states, east poland and ukraine.

    dont trade france. hold france. put the screws to russia for as long as you can. play to be in russia with japan in RD 6. be in india with japan on J2.

    Good advice against many players but that wouldn’t work against my Allied strategy.



  • what strat would that be?


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    Look at games in the Play Boardgames section!!  You’ll need to download ABattlemap to see the situations, but if you own the boardgame, you could use it to play along without even downloading.  Even if your board is not by your computer, the print option puts the narration in very nice format and you can follow other people’s games.

    Surely you’re talking about 1942, because in 1941 Axis has a significant advantage.
    I always play with Dardanelles closed and no new Island complexes, both of which happen to hamper the Axis early in the game, but the game still seems balanced (both sides have roughly equal chance to win).
    Many players add infantry to China at the onset because Japan is so dominant.

    The others gave some good advice - definitely cripple UK fleet with high percentage attacks before they get a chance to move.  Concentrate on NO’s - the Axis are poised to get most of them early and out-earn the Allies.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    One more suggestion -
    Try playing for victory cities.  Just don’t use the suggestions in the manual - they’re too high.  Decide a number of cities that would give each side in your case a roughly equal chance of winning.


  • 2016 2015 '10

    @hakan:

    Me and my friend have played lots of games now, but we never manage to win as Axis.

    How do your favourite openings look like G1, G2, G3 and J1, J2, J3? What is your grand strategy?

    G1 always depends on whether there is a bid to Allies.  In a non-bid game with NOs, I like this aggressive opening….though many experts here would balk and say its too risky.

    It requires a land based strategy–ie a determined Japanese advance on the mainland and in Africa (ie no naval purchases beyond 2-3 transports, no messing around in North America).  Germany and Italy get rich on NOs in early turns, keep pressuring Moscow to keep them weak, and then retreat to their capitals, turtle up, and wait for Japan to sack Moscow.

    Buy 9 inf 1 art.

    Egypt–Send all Africa units, plus the bomber, plus 1 inf 1 tank in the transport.
    Karelia–Send all 3 inf, plus 1 inf 1 art in the transport, plus 3 fighters.  Risky, but worth it if you get that NA.
    SZ3–send 2 subs and 1 fig after the British BB
    Send 1 sub 1 destroyer after the destroyer in SZ6
    Attack East Poland with 3 inf, 1 art, 2 tanks
    Attack Baltic States with everything else.

    There are several variations on this.  It might be wise to take Ukraine too, but this requires spreading out a bit thin for my taste (still, you will be destroying the main Russian force at Karelia, so the threat of counterattack is much less).  At sea, you could decide to send the subs after the other destroyer/tranny pairing instead of the bb and use a 4th fig in Karelia…the problem with this is it allows UK to land in Finland on UK1, which I’d prefer to avoid.  On the other hand, if the Brits go to Finland, they aren’t going to France.

    Or you could skip the Karelia attack and just securely hit all 3 Eastern territories, while using your air to destroy British units in SZ12.  Either way, in a non-bid game I’m always going to attack Egypt full-force because UK cannot reinforce that region easily, and I want to dominate that region using all 3 Axis and keep getting the Italian NO.

    In any case, there is a reason that Allied bids usually go to Egypt and/or Karelia.  If Axis is denied these G1 attacks it is much harder for them to win.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    One guy asking for help with strategies had played about 8 games on the forums.  Then the community could look at his games and give helpful criticism and suggestions after reviewing them.  I recommend learning to play by forum.  You will face a variety of opponents and strategies, and gain experience and wisdom rapidly.

    Zhukov is a dang good A&A player, and he gave very sound suggestions for G1 in 1941.  Again, though, I am curious as to whether you are playing 1941 or 1942, especially since this isn’t in either of those threads, and I don’t believe you stated.



  • Ok, thanx a lot for all tips. I will analyse them before our next game. (We play 1941 with NO)

    Me and my friend have been playing A&A in about 20 years, but there is obviously some thing we are missing something, since most players say that Axis are easer…

    The problem is that the western wall is so weak, and we have never manage to put heavy pressure against Russia with Germany before Germany comes under heavy carpet bombing and/or invasion… But I have always used Italian infantry to defend France. Perhaps I should try to send them to Russia instead. Never thought of that… Hmmm… But how will you then stop allied invasions?

    The only time acually I manage to win with the Axis, was when USA went all out on Germany. That’s obviously a big mistake, if you’re not careful. I simply made an heavy sea born invasion on Alaska and then Western USA. Since then we always play quite balanced with USA. But even if you do that, not leaving the Pacific, USA may put heavy pressure on Germany. First with bombers, than with sea born invasions.

    But… We are obviously missing something. I will test your strategies on ABattleMap before next game, and calculate the odds. I will leave nothing to random… 🙂

    I will put out my G1, G2, G3, J1, G2, G3 and I1, I2 and I3 plan before next game, for you to comment. It will be interesting.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    Yes, Hakan, you’re obviously no rookie.  AA50 has quite a few different dynamics than previous incarnations of A&A.  You’re right, the western front is weak for Germany at game start.
    I would suggest in '41 with the way it sounds like you are playing, that you try to have Germany just hold her own.  That is, make sure you’re getting between 1 and 3 NO’s as often as possible and make sure you deny Russia the big 10 NO.
    It is difficult to really threaten Russia hard and defend against the western Allies at the same time.  Japan is so hi-powered in '41 that you should just wait a few turns for her.  Japan is very capable of putting a serious threat on the USA (see my current game vs. Anchovy - round 3 and America is in serious danger of going down) especially if US bombers go to Europe.  In AA50, I almost always go nearly all out against Japan with the USA in both scenarios with great success.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    Consider an IC in France.  Germany needs to put out a lot more than 10 units sometimes.  It’s also easier to defend France and deny the Allies access to it, and you have the opportunity to build German boat in the Med, which can sometimes confound an invasion of Italy, just by putting a destroyer down there.  You never know when it will be strategic to place ships just north of France too.  1 DD can stop all the bombardment, for example.  Depends on what the UK and US are doing, of course.  That’s why I said consider - it’s not a good buy in many cases.
    I always play with the Dardanelles closed, too, so Italy can’t help nearly as much on Russia’s underbelly. 
    And speaking of Italy, you need to protect her fleet for at least 3 rounds and get a lot of units on Africa in case the fleet gets sunk.  The 2 NO’s double Italy’s purchasing power, obviously, so they are extremely important to keeping Europe inpenetrable.



  • Buy 9 inf 1 art.

    Egypt–Send all Africa units, plus the bomber, plus 1 inf 1 tank in the transport.
    Karelia–Send all Finland units, plus 1 inf 1 art in the transport, plus 3 fighters.  Risky, but worth it if you get that NA.
    SZ3–send 2 subs and 1 fig after the British BB
    Send 1 sub 1 destroyer after the destroyer in SZ6
    Attack East Poland with a few inf, 1 fig, and some tanks.
    Attack Baltic States with everything else.

    There are several variations on this.  It might be wise to take Ukraine too, but this requires spreading out a bit thin for my taste (still, you will be destroying the main Russian force at Karelia, so the threat of counterattack is much less).  At sea, you could decide to send the subs after the other destroyer/tranny pairing instead of the bb and use a 4th fig in Karelia…the problem with this is it allows UK to land in Finland on UK1, which I’d prefer to avoid.  On the other hand, if the Brits go to Finland, they aren’t going to France.

    Or you could skip the Karelia attack and just securely hit all 3 Eastern territories, while using your air to destroy British units in SZ12.  Either way, in a non-bid game I’m always going to attack Egypt full-force because UK cannot reinforce that region easily, and I want to dominate that region using all 3 Axis and keep getting the Italian NO.

    In any case, there is a reason that Allied bids usually go to Egypt and/or Karelia.  If Axis is denied these G1 attacks it is much harder for them to win.

    I have tried variants on this theme several times, but I always became to “thin” in the end as German. Perhaps just bad luck. Or, perhaps my friend is just to strong when he plays Allies. Anyway, I think I will planne and go with this one more time. We are obviously not playing “wrong” then. Thanx Zjukof.



  • Save Karelia for turn 2, or what I’ve been doing some lately is to set up to hit Caucasus hard on Round 2.  This usually forces Russia to not purchase a bomber and place it in Caucasus and/or send infantry to slow down Japan.  Getting Germany’s third NO is not necessary to win.  It sure is nice, but don’t lose the game over 5 IPCs.  If Japan is expanding unchecked, then Germany will get the third NO along about turn 6-7 when Japan takes Caucasus strong.

    I do agree that one should hit Egypt with everything on G1.



  • @Bardoly:

    I do agree that one should hit Egypt with everything on G1.

    To my mind, Egypt G1 is the debate in this game. Upside: awesome when it works. Downside: Terrible when it fails.

    Egypt attack fails outright about 25% of the time. If you do go for it, I think it has to mean that you don’t think the Axis position is very bad when it fails. Otherwise, you forget Egypt, and use your bomber to sink boats in the Atlantic.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    Yes, I agree.  That German bomber can also accomplish great things elsewhere, so there is a big opportunity cost.  I forgo Egypt G1.



  • No need of letting Desert Rats escape to Sudan or Trj. Those units cannot be replaced, while UK boats at England’s coast can be replaced

    A 75% is a pretty big chance of success and usually a fail simply means you clear it but not taken or as much the fig survives. Chances of a cathastropical failure are too slim and you are not toasted anyway in that case. You could have a even worst result if not attack Egypt and fail to kill z12 boats because it means italian navy will be dead or reduced to one bb

    I always attacked Egypt in 41 scenario. Now I only play 42 scenario, at least for one to one



  • @Funcioneta:

    No need of letting Desert Rats escape to Sudan or Trj. Those units cannot be replaced, while UK boats at England’s coast can be replaced

    A 75% is a pretty big chance of success and usually a fail simply means you clear it but not taken or as much the fig survives. Chances of a cathastropical failure are too slim and you are not toasted anyway in that case. You could have a even worst result if not attack Egypt and fail to kill z12 boats because it means italian navy will be dead or reduced to one bb

    I always attacked Egypt in 41 scenario. Now I only play 42 scenario, at least for one to one

    The minimum result required in SZ 12 is one destroyer. Kill a destroyer, and the Italian navy is secured.

    If you get mutual destruction in Egypt (i.e. you lose your bomber) you take even more pressure off of the UK, cause while those boats can be replaced, they are expensive and the UK is getting poorer in this game, not richer, against anyway competant Axis play.

    If you retreat with your bomber (meaning you have failed to kill the fighter) and you havent attacked SZ 12, The Italian navy is in trouble. If you use your bomber in Egypt, it means you aren’t attacking one of the major sea targets, and if you are attacking SZ 12, you are leaving UK with two transports - unacceptable in my opinion.

    On G1, Germany can safely kill all of the UK boats save the transport+dest combo, and leave the UK with barely enough money to build a new fleet able to withstand a sinking. Meanwhile it hasnt bought anything capable of threatening France and is getting poor. All of this with the knowledge that Axis will get into Egypt anyway on RD 2 and secure the Italian NO.

    As for terrible results being rare… the average result in Egypt is for Axis to survive with 1 tank and their bomber. It only takes one extra allied hit to make Egypt a potential disaster.



  • @gamerman01:

    Yes, Hakan, you’re obviously no rookie.  AA50 has quite a few different dynamics than previous incarnations of A&A.  You’re right, the western front is weak for Germany at game start.
    I would suggest in '41 with the way it sounds like you are playing, that you try to have Germany just hold her own.  That is, make sure you’re getting between 1 and 3 NO’s as often as possible and make sure you deny Russia the big 10 NO.
    It is difficult to really threaten Russia hard and defend against the western Allies at the same time.  Japan is so hi-powered in '41 that you should just wait a few turns for her.  Japan is very capable of putting a serious threat on the USA (see my current game vs. Anchovy - round 3 and America is in serious danger of going down) especially if US bombers go to Europe.  In AA50, I almost always go nearly all out against Japan with the USA in both scenarios with great success.

    Yes I do agree. Japan is the key to win. I will try to play them better next time.

    My general Axis tactics has been to play conservative with Germany, and aggressively with Japan. But if you don’t put some pressure on Russia, Russia may support India with tanks from Caucasus. And when this happens, Japan have to make a quite hard commitment to take India with an IC. And when Japan must commit hard to take India, at the same time as Germany plays conservative, Japan cannot put so much pressure on China, at the same time as the US bombers gets time to take good offensive air bases in the Pacific. And when Japan hit hard south, Japan also faces the threat that the defensive infantry stack in Stanovoy may advance. It doesn’t bother so much since, but still… I actually prefer to put pressure on USA with Japan, rather then going all out on India, China and Russia.

    As Allied I often buy bombers T1 for all my IPC. I think they are so price worthy in A&A50. And depending on how Germany and Japan are playing, I ether send them to the Pacific or England. If the Japan naval units is in striking distance of Alaska, I have my bombers in East Canada, so I may strike both against a Japanese naval invasion, and support a sea born invasion on France.

    Anyway… I really FEEL like a rookie with the Axis playing A&A50. But… I guess I have not done my home work with the Japanese planning. However, it seems to be a quite strong strategy to put pressure on USA with Japan. Perhaps that will be my game plan next time (hope my friend isn’t reading:)



  • @rockrobinoff:

    The minimum result required in SZ 12 is one destroyer. Kill a destroyer, and the Italian navy is secured.

    If you use your bomber in Egypt, it means you aren’t attacking one of the major sea targets, and if you are attacking SZ 12, you are leaving UK with two transports - unacceptable in my opinion.

    On G1, Germany can safely kill all of the UK boats save the transport+dest combo, and leave the UK with barely enough money to build a new fleet able to withstand a sinking. Meanwhile it hasnt bought anything capable of threatening France and is getting poor. All of this with the knowledge that Axis will get into Egypt anyway on RD 2 and secure the Italian NO.

    As for terrible results being rare… the average result in Egypt is for Axis to survive with 1 tank and their bomber. It only takes one extra allied hit to make Egypt a potential disaster.

    OK, I agree with first sentence (unless UK gets LRA or HBs, but that’s another issue)

    For the 2nd, I’d skip z2 in case of Egypt attack: it’s way more riskier than z12, and if fails, it lets your fig or bomb exposed (for not saying a potential healing of the bb). You could try both z2 and z12, of course, but you must choose:

    z2 with sub, fig, bomb & z12 with sub, 2 fig
    or z2 with 2 sub, fig, bomb & z12 with 2 fig

    Both are too risky. If you success, great; but if you fail one of this, it can be critical (specially z12, a potential disaster if no Egypt attack if you cannot kill at least one boat). I see no reason to give allies a chance: with a so big starting axis advantage, your best best is making the safest attacks. You have 3 critical attacks G1: z2, z12 and Egypt, if you try all of them, you get greater risks, a thing not needed. You are forced to do at least 2, and I choose z12 and Egypt because both places have units in great position to attack or defend or that cannot be replaced. In case of Egypt, the target is the units themselves, not Egypt income. If Desert Rats escape, they are in great position to halt axis advance in Africa or Middle East until italian navy is killed (and probably will hold trj enough to not let the italians escape to Indian ocean)

    As for terrible results, I think we have different ideas. For me, a mutual destruction scenario is, obviously, sub-optimal for axis since medium is tank+bomb survive as you say; however mutual destruction does the important job: killing the Desert Rats. My idea of a cathastropical failure is, per example, 2 hits for Germans and 4 for UK, one that saves most of Desert Rats and still kills most of Afrika Korps. I have not the exact number, but I’d say it can’t be higher than 5%, and still it doesn’t dooms axis

    BUT I’m not saying z2 is a bad idea. I could try sometimes just for the sake of change. It has its advantages, but simply is not as good as Egypt and is a bit more risky. It’s just that killing Desert Rats is too good because they can’t be replaced due position, oppositte to Atlantic fleets, but you are not going to lose a game only because you skipped Egypt, the point is that allies chances of winning can change from, say, 1%, to 5% and probably to 20-30% if skip Egypt and z2 fails. In resume: z2 is a good move, but you must choose z2 or Egypt and Egypt is even better than z2.

    That’s the reason I think we are going to having problems with non-limited bids this version: a bid of 3-5 is not going to hurt axis too much (it does, but only a bit) because you can still do z2 attack (a good attack). A 6 IPCs bid could be too much (potential Egypt IC) or lead to KGF strats fanmania (a thing I’m sure we want avoid). One unit per territory could also be problematic (it doesn’t create havoc against west axis and doesn’t save chinese fighter). Chinese infs bid is the solution


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    @hakan:

    As Allied I often buy bombers T1 for all my IPC. I think they are so price worthy in A&A50. And depending on how Germany and Japan are playing, I ether send them to the Pacific or England. If the Japan naval units is in striking distance of Alaska, I have my bombers in East Canada, so I may strike both against a Japanese naval invasion, and support a sea born invasion on France.

    Yep, bombers are a good buy.  Optimal range, attack power, and at a discount price compared to before.  Not to mention, if you’re buying bombers, you’re in a great position to take advantage of tech if you get it.  There are THREE techs that improve bombers.

    One of the most important A&A strategies is give yourself lots of options.  You need appropriate pieces and positioning to accomplish this.  If your opponent doesn’t know what you’re going to do and he has to prepare for more possibilities, that’s great for you.  Bombers are the best for creating unpredictability, uncertainty, and good old FEAR!!  :evil:

    I now usually play with escorts/interceptors which helps keep bombers from being overpowered.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    Functioneta and Rockrobin, I suggest you play each other  :lol:
    Seriously, you’d probably be a good match for each other.  Prove your points on the gameboard.  Just a suggestion.



  • @Funcioneta:

    For the 2nd, I’d skip z2 in case of Egypt attack: it’s way more riskier than z12, and if fails, it lets your fig or bomb exposed (for not saying a potential healing of the bb). You could try both z2 and z12, of course, but you must choose:

    z2 with sub, fig, bomb & z12 with sub, 2 fig
    or z2 with 2 sub, fig, bomb & z12 with 2 fig

    Both are too risky.

    For the record, the chances of bomber+fighter+sub versus battleship is 95% and the chances of sub+ two fighters versus dest+cruiser is 85%. Given that you agree that the SZ12 attack only has to kill a destroyer at minimum, it is clear that the sea attacks have a much greater chance of both succeeding than one egypt assault.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    I agree that G1 focus on UK boats is a very sound strategy and much less risky.  Again, I almost always skip Egypt attack G1.
    One reason Funcioneta gave for attacking is actually a reason that I don’t attack.
    That is, that the units are irreplaceable.  My thinking is that they won’t be reinforced anytime soon, other than with bombers (UK and even USA potentially).  So they’re not going anywhere.  You can choose a more advantageous time to attack, later.  You can drill the UK NO by taking Gibraltar, and Italy needs 3 out of 4 for an NO so doesn’t need Egypt to get it.
    I have also reconsidered my J1’s for the same reason.  I don’t think it’s imperative that the Chinese fighter be killed before it gets a chance to ever take off.  It’s not going anywhere.  It can’t attack your transports or anything.  It’s one attacking 3, coordinating with attacking 1’s and you can easily see all possible Chinese attacks.  I’ve forgone this attack several times now, and have really never regretted it.  The Chinese are not that much harder to subdue if you forgo the Yunnan attack.  That’s 2 more fighters you can use to increase odds in fleet battles.


  • 2016 2015 '10

    If there is no bid to Egypt, I can’t pass up the opportunity to break Africa wide open.  I’m willing to sacrifice the bomber to kill the fighter…if killing the fighter is my measure of success, is there still a 25% chance of failure?

    If those units don’t die, then Italy should be hard pressed to get the Suez NO more than once, given that I’m pulling India units back to contest Jordan on UK2.

    Actually, if Germany doesn’t attack Egypt I’m tempted to buy 3 bombers on UK1, use Russians to secure Jordan on R2, and take out the Italian fleet on UK2, which means Italy only gets to use the fleet for one turn.  Then I can focus on Europe.  Haven’t had a chance to try this yet but it would free up the USA for a Pac offensive or allow a coordinated focus on Northern Europe.


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