• Ok so we have played a few games and it seems that axis are just too strong. by the time America gets into the war its game over and we have tried taking the states both ways  through japan and germany.What can the allies do to stop japan going crazy? and germany doing its thing? UK and America not being on the main board seems the down fall. its too hard to get either onto the main playing field. can anyone help?

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    Keep playing it, packrat.

    It is a common experience to have the Axis steamroll every time in the first several games of AA50.  After, say, 10-20 games I believe there is a good chance that you will conclude that both sides have a roughly equal chance to win.

    The Allies must keep their transports alive.  It is hard to adjust to their lack of combat ability and lack of ability to absorb hits that we all got so used to.

    Make sure you have enough capital ships and destroyers to protect against air.

    The Allies must be patient, and not panic.  You shouldn’t necessarily land troops on the mainland every time you can.  Wait, and build up.  Germany and Italy do not know where you will land.  They can’t usually stop you from landing a large force, say 14-16 ground units all at once.  If you land 6-8 units every turn, you’re doing the Axis a favor, by “playing your cards”.

    Also, the Russian NO can cause problems for new Allies players.  Sometimes it’s not worth the 5 to keep the other Allies out.  Sometimes it is.  It takes some experience.


  • I find Japan to be a little too strong in '41. Japan starts off with way more units than any other country, all its NOs are too easy to obtain and keep throughout the game, and the allies arnt really situated to gang up on Japan to stop it from reaching 70+ IPCs. Thats not to say allies cant win, because they certainly can, but I think '41 is definitely biased towards Axis.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    You have a point, Khobai.

    That’s a big reason I don’t play '41.
    Some of us call it the “fantasy scenario”.
    Even in '42, Japan out-earns the USA most of the game, which is ridiculous.
    I guess if you want both sides to have an equal chance to win, you have to give the Axis stuff…


  • I have no problem with Axis getting stuff to balance the game out. The problem is that the other Allies (UK and Russia) have no effective means of aiding the USA to combat Japan in the Pacific.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    Often, the USA doesn’t need any help.
    I’ve seen an Indian IC many times, and sometimes I do an Aussie IC.

    But normally, I prefer UK and USSR focus on Germany (no new IC’s) and USA focus on Japan.  Works well for me.


  • Ok so we played another game tonight and america never could roll a damn 6 for research after turn 3 with 3 dice…. but anyways what happened was america was non stop building a fleet and so was japan plus japan was taking ground so when america did move towards japan japan sent everything towards america and wiped them out… how does america challange japan without hitting research?

  • '16 '15 '10

    Khobai has it right, Japan is way too big and strong in 41.  Fortunately, Germany and Italy are relatively weak, so it’s not hopeless for Allies.  So….I think the map dynamics favor teaming up on Western Axis and destroying them before Japan destroys the Allies.  If you’re spending all of USA’s income on fleet warz vrs Japan, that might be one of the reasons Allies’ have it so tough.  It’s an uphill battle for USA–they will always be outspent by Japan because Japan cannot be stopped on the mainland without sacrificing pressure on Germany and protection for Moscow.  On the other hand, if USA engages in the Battle for Europe, they tend to tip the scales in favor of the Allies in a big way.

    But I also think that in a game with national objectives an Allied bid is necessary, depending on the relative skill levels.  8-9 is probably fair, but it may end up being more down the road.

    If you want Pacific wars and a more historical feel, try the 42 scenario, although that too is slanted to Axis without a bid imho.


  • Often, the USA doesn’t need any help.
    I’ve seen an Indian IC many times, and sometimes I do an Aussie IC.

    India and Australia ICs are not feasible against a competant Japan player. India can be attacked by 6-8 units on round2 along with 3-4 fighters. Australia likewise can be captured on round2 without much effort from the Japan player. I think the imbalance comes from the fact Japan goes before UK in the turn order. If UK went before Japan the India IC might be an option since the factory could produce 3 units to help defend before Japan attacked.

    Fortunately, Germany and Italy are relatively weak, so it’s not hopeless for Allies.  So….I think the map dynamics favor teaming up on Western Axis and destroying them before Japan destroys the Allies.

    The problem with ganging up on Germany/Italy is that Japan is left completely unchecked and gets out of control very quickly. If the Allies dont kill Germany by Round6 the game basically defaults to an axis win because by then half the territories on the board are owned by Japan which is making 70+ IPCs a turn. I really dont like the idea of Japan being an unstoppable force on the mainland that steamrolls everything in its path. I think the whole intent of China was to somewhat impede Japan’s progress on the mainland. Unfortunately China was implemented very poorly and tends to get completely devastated on round1. This is another imbalance created by the turn order as China should also go before Japan.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @Khobai:

    Fortunately, Germany and Italy are relatively weak, so it’s not hopeless for Allies.  So….I think the map dynamics favor teaming up on Western Axis and destroying them before Japan destroys the Allies.

    The problem with ganging up on Germany/Italy is that Japan is left completely unchecked and gets out of control very quickly. If the Allies dont kill Germany by Round6 the game basically defaults to an axis win because by then half the territories on the board are owned by Japan which is making 70+ IPCs a turn. I really dont like the idea of Japan being an unstoppable force on the mainland that steamrolls everything in its path. I think the whole intent of China was to somewhat impede Japan’s progress on the mainland. Unfortunately China was implemented very poorly and tends to get completely devastated on round1. This is another imbalance created by the turn order as China should also go before Japan.

    Khobai, again, what you’re saying makes a lot of sense, and there is a large consensus on these boards that has been saying exactly the same thing you just did.
    My playing experience has sometimes been exactly what you described, but sometimes not.  Once I played Japan in a multiplayer game in '41.  The USA player built 100% in the Pacific for the entire game.  Maybe it was because I was surprised, or because I underestimated it, but I got absolutely dismantled after not too many turns. It was a no tech game, also.  I am a good player.  I am currently about 20-4 in 1v1 games on these forums, playing a wide variety of players.  I usually go after Japan 100% with USA (although I usually play the '42 scenario) with great success.  There is a lot of money in the Pacific for the Allies, and you don’t have to get to the big money islands to be rewarded, with NO’s.  UK and USSR have always been powerful enough for me to handle Germany and Italy.  But on more than one occassion, for various reasons, (one was LRA for USA in turn 1, which destroyed all my transports) I have been absolutely dismantled as Japan in the early going on at least 3 different occassions.  I know that makes me sound incompetent, but I really don’t think that’s the reason.
    So what I’m saying is, keep playing, and don’t think you’ve got it all figured out yet.  I have never played with changing up turn orders and I never throw China bones to start with, unless my opponent insists.  I have found this game to be balanced - that is - I don’t care if I have Axis or Allies and I don’t do any bids or rule changes that benefits one side more than the other.
    Just thought I’d share my experiences.

  • '16 '15 '10

    China going first is a very elegant solution…I wonder why it didn’t occur to the playtesters.

    It’s a pretty big bid when you think about it…perhaps enough that an Axis bid would be necessary for balance.

    I think the scenario described above where Germany must fall by Turn 6-8 is pretty much Allies’ best shot at the win in 41.  Occasionally it’s possible for Allies to win the long-game by holding Persia and Poland or occupying France etc…but against elite opponents this seems pretty rare…for the most part Axis gets stronger as the game goes on no matter what Allied strategy is being deployed.


  • The USA player built 100% in the Pacific for the entire game.  Maybe it was because I was surprised, or because I underestimated it, but I got absolutely dismantled after not too many turns.

    Its definitely possible for Japan to make forward progress on the mainland while keeping up with fleet escalation with the USA. If USA goes pacific the first two turns become very crucial for Japan because it has to make sure its ability to reinforce the mainland isnt disrupted. Usually that means building factories on round1 and round2. Against a good Japan player USA going 100% pacific doesnt seem to be anything more than a delay tactic at best.

    I think hurts allies tremendously when USA goes pacific. It doesnt seem to have a longterm win condition because USA is very unlikely to capture Japan. The only thing the US going pacific seems to accomplish is delaying the inevitable fall of Russia and making it less likely for Germany/Italy to fall first. In my experience its ground troops that win the game, and not ships, and no country should ever spend money on ships except when necessary to defend transports.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @Khobai:

    Its definitely possible for Japan to make forward progress on the mainland while keeping up with fleet escalation with the USA. If USA goes pacific the first two turns become very crucial for Japan because it has to make sure its ability to reinforce the mainland isnt disrupted. Usually that means building factories on round1 and round2.

    With all due respect, that doesn’t make sense.
    How could Japan build factories on round1 and round2 in response to USA going Pacific in the first two turns?  That’s impossible, because Japan goes before the USA.

    And besides, Japan building mainland factories is exactly what I want to see when I’m the USA going after Japan.  It means they’ll spend money on ground troops (which take forever to get anywhere) and I will be able to take most of the islands I want and probably destroy the Jap fleet, too.

    It doesn’t sound like you guys have seen a wide variety of AA50 games played out, because I have seen several that you apparently have never seen.  USA going Pacific is not a bad idea, it is a good idea.  It doesn’t just “slow the inevitable fall of Russia”.  I have seen multiple games where the USA 100% Pacific strat just plain kicks butt, and plays a large part in an Allied victory.  And don’t give me this “competent Japanese player” crap.  I have been on the giving and receiving end several times, and usually Japan gets their butt kicked, because they’re trying to do two or more things at once, and the USA is just focused on dismantling Japan.

    I don’t have anything more to say, but the best way I could prove my point would be to play you.  The last time I had a difference in perspective about a basic AA50 strat, I challenged the other person to a game, and proceeded to win 6 in a row, and lose none.  I deliberately did not use a strat that he said was crucial for the Axis.  We are good playing friends now, because we were friendly in our game to resolve our differences.  He still wouldn’t admit that I’d proved my point, but I did.  (It was that in '41, he said it was a big error to not attack Egypt in G1 and another big error to not attack Yunnan in J1)  I disagreed, and we settled our difference on the board.

    I understand why you are making the arguments you’re making.  It’s because you haven’t seen the USA go after Japan with great success.  Or because in your games the Axis usually win.  If you really want to see games that go differently than what you’ve seen, you should observe some of the many games played on these forums, or you should play me.  And like I said, I don’t believe bids are necessary, changing turn orders is not necessary, and I don’t care which side I have.


  • With all due respect, that doesn’t make sense.
    How could Japan build factories on round1 and round2 in response to USA going Pacific in the first two turns?  That’s impossible, because Japan goes before the USA.

    I always build a factory on round1 when I play Japan. What else are you going to build? Not like you need more transports since you already start with 5!

    And don’t give me this “competent Japanese player” crap.  I have been on the giving and receiving end several times, and usually Japan gets their butt kicked, because they’re trying to do two or more things at once, and the USA is just focused on dismantling Japan.

    A competent Japan player cant lose to USA in the pacific. Japan starts with a bigger fleet, 9 fighters, gets way more money each turn than USA, and has preferential turn order. So how could Japan ever possibly lose to the USA assuming no mistakes are made? Unlike the USA Japan DOES get enough money to fight on two fronts (Japan is often high 50s or low 60s by end of round3). Japan can quite capably keep the USA at bay by building ships while pumping troops out of its mainland factories. It may take longer to mass forces against Russia but Germany can easily hold out if USA goes 100% pacific.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    You only have 6 posts, so you’ve never played a game on these forums.  Since you seem to think you know all about AA50, why don’t you try your hand at some of the competition?  Your ideas sound fine “on paper”, but let’s see them in action.

    I am a very good player.  I have been dismantled by 100% USA in the 1941 scenario - no tech - when taking Japan.

    Japan in 1941 starts with what, 17?  Yes, I would build an IC on Sumatra in turn 1.  But if Island complexes are limited, or not allowed, I would probably buy a bomber and a researcher, or I have bought 3 researchers before.

    Since you have 5 transports, that’s precisely why you don’t need to waste 15 IPC’s on a complex.

    You seem very confident in your abilities, and talk like you know more about this game than I do.  I challenge you to a game, and I’m even willing to play the silly 1941 scenario as the Allies.  I play by forum using ABattlemap.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @Khobai:

    A competent Japan player cant lose to USA in the pacific.

    That is a very, very bold statement, and I disagree.
    It only takes a few turns for the USA to equal or exceed Japan’s fleet, because USA could build 100% for Japan, while Japan is preoccupied with taking over all kinds of territory.

    OK, no one disagrees that it’s crazy the Japan starts with 9 fighter planes, 3 carriers, and a battleship and a cruiser.  But you shouldn’t say “can’t” loosely, when every battle is decided by a dice roll.  I have lost 4 out of 5 planes as Japan to AA fire when trying to take India.  Australia also has an AA gun.  In the first round, when annihilating fleets and such, fighters are often lost.  I don’t take a person seriously who says something “can’t be done” in Axis and Allies, where every battle is decided by dice.  I have attacked 3 tanks with 13 tanks before, where I didn’t get a single hit in round 1, and the defender hit all 3 tanks in round 1.  With dice, my friend, all things are possible.  So be careful with that word “can’t”.

  • Customizer

    @gamerman01:

    @Khobai:

    Fortunately, Germany and Italy are relatively weak, so it’s not hopeless for Allies.  So….I think the map dynamics favor teaming up on Western Axis and destroying them before Japan destroys the Allies.

    The problem with ganging up on Germany/Italy is that Japan is left completely unchecked and gets out of control very quickly. If the Allies dont kill Germany by Round6 the game basically defaults to an axis win because by then half the territories on the board are owned by Japan which is making 70+ IPCs a turn. I really dont like the idea of Japan being an unstoppable force on the mainland that steamrolls everything in its path. I think the whole intent of China was to somewhat impede Japan’s progress on the mainland. Unfortunately China was implemented very poorly and tends to get completely devastated on round1. This is another imbalance created by the turn order as China should also go before Japan.

    Khobai, again, what you’re saying makes a lot of sense, and there is a large consensus on these boards that has been saying exactly the same thing you just did.
    My playing experience has sometimes been exactly what you described, but sometimes not.  Once I played Japan in a multiplayer game in '41.  The USA player built 100% in the Pacific for the entire game.  Maybe it was because I was surprised, or because I underestimated it, but I got absolutely dismantled after not too many turns. It was a no tech game, also.  I am a good player.  I am currently about 20-4 in 1v1 games on these forums, playing a wide variety of players.  I usually go after Japan 100% with USA (although I usually play the '42 scenario) with great success.  There is a lot of money in the Pacific for the Allies, and you don’t have to get to the big money islands to be rewarded, with NO’s.  UK and USSR have always been powerful enough for me to handle Germany and Italy.  But on more than one occassion, for various reasons, (one was LRA for USA in turn 1, which destroyed all my transports) I have been absolutely dismantled as Japan in the early going on at least 3 different occassions.  I know that makes me sound incompetent, but I really don’t think that’s the reason.
    So what I’m saying is, keep playing, and don’t think you’ve got it all figured out yet.  I have never played with changing up turn orders and I never throw China bones to start with, unless my opponent insists.  I have found this game to be balanced - that is - I don’t care if I have Axis or Allies and I don’t do any bids or rule changes that benefits one side more than the other.
    Just thought I’d share my experiences.

    My 2 cents:

    I don’t play on the forums, but I have been playing A&A since the Nova edition against a wide variety of opponents from all over the world. Totally agree with you gamerman01.  We don’t even use bids - and closing the straits is for wimps, eh eh eh.  The 41 scenario with NO’s is harder for the allies, true, but still very viable as per the setup straight from the rulebook.  Admittedly, we have played some games using modified NA’s which boost China (Conscription! China goes first), and it levels it out nicely from the start, it makes the game a little longer but it is not a necessity (though it does provide a little more ‘historical accuracy’ - if one can apply the word to A&A, and it makes it more interesting).  I like that you put your money where your mouth is gamerman, nothing better than an old-fashioned throw-down to prove a point.


  • OK, no one disagrees that it’s crazy the Japan starts with 9 fighter planes, 3 carriers, and a battleship and a cruiser.  But you shouldn’t say “can’t” loosely, when every battle is decided by a dice roll.  I have lost 4 out of 5 planes as Japan to AA fire when trying to take India.  Australia also has an AA gun.  In the first round, when annihilating fleets and such, fighters are often lost.  I don’t take a person seriously who says something “can’t be done” in Axis and Allies, where every battle is decided by dice.  I have attacked 3 tanks with 13 tanks before, where I didn’t get a single hit in round 1, and the defender hit all 3 tanks in round 1.  With dice, my friend, all things are possible.  So be careful with that word “can’t”.

    Luck isnt really a quantifiable advantage. Luck is unbiased though and Japan has just as much of a chance of getting good dice rolls as USA does. However when it comes to quantifiable advantages Japan has a MAJOR advantage over the USA in Pacific when it comes to starting forces, economy, and fleet reinforcements. This is not mere conjecture but rather plain fact. If allies have to rely on “getting lucky” to beat Japan in Pacific then something is very wrong with the way the game is balanced.

    In any event, my criticism of the game is more related to China and UK than the USA. I do not believe China succeeds at all in its intended goal of slowing Japan down (it fails quite miserably in fact). I also dont think UK is able to exert enough force in the pacific to adequately help USA contain Japan. It almost seems like the game was designed with UK building an India factory in mind yet the amount of force Japan was able to exert on India starting round2 was somehow completely overlooked during playtesting.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @Khobai:

    Luck isnt really a quantifiable advantage. Luck is unbiased though and Japan has just as much of a chance of getting good dice rolls as USA does. However when it comes to quantifiable advantages Japan has a MAJOR advantage over the USA in Pacific when it comes to starting forces, economy, and fleet reinforcements. This is not mere conjecture but rather plain fact. If USA has to rely on “getting lucky” to beat Japan in Pacific then something is very wrong with the way the game is balanced.

    Well said, Khobai.
    I knew that was coming.
    I totally agree.
    I was only making the annoying little point that you shouldn’t say “can’t” (or any other absolute) when a lot of dice are being rolled.

    Back to topic - when USA builds 100% in Pacific, it’s not to go toe to toe with the IJN.  It’s about finding cracks and crevices, and taking NO islands.  Possibly even trading them.  It’s far more effective than it sounds on paper.

    I was just trying to give my input from my experiences, that the Axis aren’t necessarily as dominant and overpowering as they first appear.

    Play a variety of opponents.  Then see if your opinions on Axis vs. Allies chances have changed any.  I’m not trying to tell you what to think.  I’m just giving you a different perspective to think about, and pointing out that maybe you haven’t exhausted all possibilities.

    I like your posts.  I thought the same things, especially in my first 10 plays or so. 
    Personally, I find it distasteful that Japan is usually the most powerful nation in '41 and '42.  It has everything to do with geography and starting pieces, and not to mention the money islands being worth 4 now.  (By the way, I think they were adjusted up to 4 in Revised, which was a good change, but in AA50 with NO’s and more territories and everything, they should have been bumped down again - at least to 3)  I also am tempted to nerf Jap tanks, because in Revised when they could get to Russia so fast and attack at 3 and defend at 3 and only cost 5….  I mean, have you ever seen a Jap tank that could stand up to a Tiger, Panther, T-34, Sherman, etc?  NO!  Interestingly, in AAP40, tanks cost 6!  But I digress.  The extra territories in China and Russia have helped immensely to reduce the nonsense of Japan knocking on Moscows door from 2-3 different directions by turn 3.

  • '10

    Have to agree w/ Gamer on this one. I’ve played about 20 game on this forum and have only lost once as allies due to a bonehead russia move on my part, not because of any Godzilla.  I’ve seen more axis defeats because while Japan expands they rarely can save Germany in time so I’m not sold on a KJF. While there is more skill needed to play 41 allies effectively I do not suscribe to a bid theory in either scenario.

  • Moderator

    The US can go after Japan in the Pac, I’m not sure if it is better than a KGF or a game where you split resources but it can work.

    @gamerman01:

    Back to topic - when USA builds 100% in Pacific, it’s not to go toe to toe with the IJN.  It’s about finding cracks and crevices, and taking NO islands.  Possibly even trading them.  It’s far more effective than it sounds on paper.

    This is correct.
    The US doesn’t have to engage the Japanese fleet, just sort of out manuever it.  It depends on how you build your US fleet and what did J buy to counter.  It isn’t that hard to get a US fleet to the Sol, which from here can threaten a lot of places.  There is potentially a lot of dancing around you must do to either get in attacking range or get away from attacking range, but if J is buying DDs and Subs that means less for troops to Afr or Mos.  And gamerman is right, somtimes even trading a low value island is worth it b/c Japan typically can’t ignore it, b/c the samll value islands are really close to the high value islands or stategic islands and to counter Japan needs enough to sink any little fleet you sent in, plus it must pull off the Amphib assualt.  It can get real annoying at times.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    People I find, also lack the understanding on how to make gains in Europe.

    They double attack France with UK/US, which is ok I guess, but rather, they could double defend NWE.  Forcing Germany to attack your 16+ Defedning units in NWE is far superior then spreading them out and trying to attack the Germans.

    Worse, if they don’t take it they LOSE the 7 NO, and are BADLY exposed to a FRA/GER Counter.

    Allied players these days are too busy building Aircraft and destroyers it seems, then men and transports that win the game.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @Gargantua:

    People I find, also lack the understanding on how to make gains in Europe.

    They double attack France with UK/US, which is ok I guess, but rather, they could double defend NWE.  Forcing Germany to attack your 16+ Defedning units in NWE is far superior then spreading them out and trying to attack the Germans.

    Worse, if they don’t take it they LOSE the 7 NO, and are BADLY exposed to a FRA/GER Counter.

    Allied players these days are too busy building Aircraft and destroyers it seems, then men and transports that win the game.

    The addition of NWE greatly changes the game, and for the better.  I admit that I still don’t think I know the best way to deal with NWE as the Allies.
    I really like the addition of NWE, because Axis can’t get fighters from France to Karelia and back in one movement, Allies can’t attack France from SZ5, and Germans have to have it for the NO.
    What can I say, I love AA50.  It could be even better, but what a huge improvement on Revised.

  • '10

    I prefer unopposed landings as well as they do provide a good springboard for a main assault if allowed to survive. Besides it is better to have the inf defend on 2 than attack on 1. Multinational occupation of Nwe is good for subsequent can openers. Besides, it is costly to build a fleet of cruisers or BBs for bombardment. That fleet serves little use  if Germany falls because it almost never gets to be used against Japan.


  • no NO’s and VC’s
    like it was ment 😉

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