NO and their importance for strategy


  • Everyone loves the KGF strategy. There is little naval war, and people admire the 40-50 Russian monster, as well as the reduced logistics and planning involved. Reinforce Russia with Great Britain, take Africa with America, and destroy the German war machine by taking Scandinavia, bombing her to smithereens, and threatening her key ground.

    One problem. Money. We cannot destroy Germany/Italy before Japan becomes too powerful. The key here is National Objectives. Observe.

    United Kingdom has two NO’s in the Pacific. I say this because containing the Pacific is key to containing the Mediterranean, and with it, Africa. Africa alone is worth 13 IPC, and the Middle East is worth 4-7, if you include Burma. Throw in the NO, and its worth over 25 IPC for Gbr, and that much for Italy and Japan.

    To the Pacific, the United States has three of her four NO’s in this frontier. That’s 15 IPC, as well as all her assets that can reasonably be challenged are located there. Her Atlantic is (usually) secure, but her Pacific is home to another world power that isn’t her ally, Japan.

    Obviously, all of Japan’s money comes from the Pacific, and a simple campaign from the Allies to the south, just north of Australia, will cripple her, forcing a loss of two NO’s, and 9-13 IPC. That’s over 20 IPC loss from Japan, and a 20 IPC gain for the Allies.

    One thing is obvious from all this. Japan needs to be stopped, and Great Britain MUST defend her assets. Canada and Great Britain are only worth 12 IPC, and seeing a 25 IPC Britain isn’t a rare event. Compare this to a 35-45 IPC Britain, and the “extra 10-15 IPC blown” in India doesn’t seem too bad, because its money that otherwise wouldn’t be there. Forcing myself to spend money when I’d otherwise not have it doesn’t seem blown to me.

    I’m not suggesting anything, but simply saying that keeping Japan at bay makes Britain’s life easier, and Russia need only focus on Germany, not all three Axis.


  • Ever hear the expression of “throwing good money after bad”?

    The allies need to avoid that.  Especially early, their investments MUST be for long time gains and unit re-use as much as possible.
    Throwing up small road blocks that the Axis will roll over can be quite costly and that cost is the game in the long run.

    Why?

    Because the allies can not sustain those sort of losses in the long run.  I define the long run over 3 rounds in AA50… most games are decided by round 7, give or take 2 rounds.


  • On the Pro side of your post, you are right about just not GIVING away all your assets as the allies.  You must pick and choose your spots of counter attacks, and fall back as slowly and strongly as possible when retreat is the best course of action.

  • '16 '15 '10

    The problem with “contain Japan” in 41 is that Japan has an easy time getting its national objectives.  As Japan I’m happy to see the Allies sacrificing units and sending all its USA air into the Pacific just to deny Japan Aussie and/or India for a turn or two.  Down the line, the only way India holds (preventing the 3rd Jap NO) is building a factory plus Russian support, while Aussie can’t hold without tying down lots of American fighters in a relatively unimportant location.  All this just to keep Japan down 5 ipcs?  What is happening in Europe and Africa in this picture?  Ultimately, if the Allies want to weaken Japan and take away its 2nd NO, it will need a total commitment from USA, and in this case Allies’ odds against Germany and Italy are quite poor.

    Italy’s African NOs are the easiest for the Allies to deny early and for the entire game.  But what tends to be decisive in 41 is if Germany can get its 3 NOs, and whether Russia can get its big NO, and whether Allies will be able to take the double France NO.  There’s more accessible NO money in Europe/Africa…so the NOs tend to encourage KIF and KGF tactics.

    Bottom line is the long game seems to favor Axis regardless of the strategy deployed.  Axis will make gains in whatever region the Allies choose to ignore (and they can’t contain Axis everywhere).  As Allies, I don’t see the logic in trying to attack all 3 Axis at once…Germany will get so big and strong that no ally will be able to challenge Berlin, while Japan cannot be stopped on the mainland, and will still have a large income even if USA wins the naval war.


  • @Zhukov44:

    The problem with “contain Japan” in 41 is that Japan has an easy time getting its national objectives.  As Japan I’m happy to see the Allies sacrificing units and sending all its USA air into the Pacific just to deny Japan Aussie and/or India for a turn or two.  Down the line, the only way India holds (preventing the 3rd Jap NO) is building a factory plus Russian support, while Aussie can’t hold without tying down lots of American fighters in a relatively unimportant location.  All this just to keep Japan down 5 ipcs?  What is happening in Europe and Africa in this picture?  Ultimately, if the Allies want to weaken Japan and take away its 2nd NO, it will need a total commitment from USA, and in this case Allies’ odds against Germany and Italy are quite poor.

    Don’t be so fast to discount the delaying tactic of US support in Australia in round 1 and 2.  This can help hold india for a few rounds (especially when Japan takes the Philipines round 1) and be a stepping stone for getting US ftrs into africa / Russia (gads… lose $5! russian IPC NO-can be worth it though)

    And holding Australia is really $7 ($2 for Aussie) that’s a $4 swing (2 for UK, 7 less for Japan)

    Sure it Slows the initial early heavy pressure on Germany, but that can still happen (into Africa) with allied carriers in the atlantic and SZ12


  • The problem as far as an Indian IC is that all it will do is delay Japan, possibly denying Japan a NO while not doing anything to gain a NO for the UK. Also an Indian IC tends to tie down the UK. By that I mean it has to be defended, troops have to be purchased for it, but since Japan is also dumping troops into the same area these troops can not wander off to attack and preserve or increase UK funds.

    I see quite a few people like Zhukov disdaining a Pacific committed US. Here I will disagree. My normal Allied strategy  is centered on the US going 100% to the Pacific with the exception of starting East coast troops and bombers, I will sometimes also buy additional bombers with the US but my primary spending is on ships and I USE them. The idea is not only to force Japan to buy ships (which is less land units and very important) but to also have to use ships and land units to fight for its Pacific holdings. If Japan is having to devote resources to trade Islands and Australia it is not going full out after Russia nor is it free to reinforce Italy of contest Africa.

    I think Axis hit on a good point with regards to the Pacific and the Allies. Slowing Japan is a good thing but you must be careful, very careful about how you execute this. If a move only delays Japan for 1 turn but costs units that can be used for several turns elsewhere it will not work out well for the Allies.

    In my opinion a full out KGF is the worst approach to take with '41. Germany can hunker down and wait for help, or Japan can sometimes grow to the size where even Germany and or Italy falls it can continue the fight alone. While I am not advocating a full out KJF (at least in my mind it is not) I have found that if Japan gets in serious trouble regardless of how big Germany or even Italy in rare circumstances gets they can not fight against the Allies nor can they relive Japan.


  • India IC is fail. Period. Anyone who thinks the India IC works has obviously never seen Japan roll into India with 11 ground units and 6 fighters on Round 2.

    Bottom line is the long game seems to favor Axis regardless of the strategy deployed.  Axis will make gains in whatever region the Allies choose to ignore (and they can’t contain Axis everywhere).  As Allies, I don’t see the logic in trying to attack all 3 Axis at once….Germany will get so big and strong that no ally will be able to challenge Berlin, while Japan cannot be stopped on the mainland, and will still have a large income even if USA wins the naval war.

    Japan is the real problem. It starts out with way too many transports. The whole point of adding so many new territories to the board was to SLOW japan down. But when you give Japan that many transports that can move 2 spaces each it defeats the whole purpose of adding new territories to tarpit japan. Because they just use the transports to rapidly move troops to india/persia rather than getting bogged down in china or eastern russia. Japan should really only start with two or three transports at most in '41. I think that would sufficiently slow Japan down and make an India IC much more viable.


  • Totally agreed, Khobai. I’ll add that Japan playing before UK and China cripples the limeys and the ACMEs too much. Well, the ACMEs have to fight agains the rules in first place, but that’s another history

  • Moderator

    I’d like to test something, so I was was wondering if anyone wanted to play a test game?

    1 - I’d take the Allies with 3 ipc (1 extra UK inf on Egy) - I’d like to keep it as close to the original set-up as possible and what I want to test would probably be moot if Ger took Egy really heavy.

    2 - I’d need someone who is confident in their Axis play.

    3 - You’d have to do a “normal” G1.  By that I mean you can’t buy any ships on G1.  Use a standard opening.

    4 - Regular dice, No Tech, Yes NOs.  No other optionals.

    5 - It shouldn’t take very long to see what I want to test, so after 1-3 rds we can probably decide if the game is viable to play out longer.

    I have two league games that will take priority but should still be able to do a turn a day and would like a similar pace.

    It should be a fun test.

  • '10

    @Khobai:

    India IC is fail. Period. Anyone who thinks the India IC works has obviously never seen Japan roll into India with 11 ground units and 6 fighters on Round 2.

    Curious, what does Japan leave open/untouched on J1 to accomplish this?


  • Curious, what does Japan leave open/untouched on J1 to accomplish this?

    Phillipines and Yunnan are typically skipped on round1. However it gives Japan unstoppable impetus when it comes to taking India/Persia/Transjordan/Egypt/etc… so I feel the tradeoff is well worth it. A strong southern push means Japanese ships can come through the suez on turn3 and japanese fighters can quickly reinforce france and italy to free up Germany’s units.


  • @Khobai:

    Curious, what does Japan leave open/untouched on J1 to accomplish this?

    Phillipines and Yunnan are typically skipped on round1. However it gives Japan unstoppable impetus when it comes to taking India/Persia/Transjordan/Egypt/etc… so I feel the tradeoff is well worth it. A strong southern push means Japanese ships can come through the suez on turn3 and japanese fighters can quickly reinforce france and italy to free up Germany’s units.

    IMHO, all that can be done while still taking out Yunnan J1

    Just skip the Philiipines on J1.  Get it on J2.


  • Yeah you can still take Yunnan probably. But if you take Yunnan its less troops in India. It all depends how hard Japan wants to smack India.

    Perhaps the greatest thing about not taking Phillipines round1 is that it gives the USA a false sense of confidence to go Pacific. Tricking the USA into going Pacific is a great way for Japan to take pressure off of Italy.


  • Holding India actually isn’t that difficult. I find absolutely NO difficulty in sending 4 Russian infantry south, with a 6 armour build in Russia to deadzone Karelia.

    If Japan sends such a heavy force J1 stationed against India, I have 4 infantry in Caucasus that can move into Persia while the 4 there move into India, giving it a 9 land force advantage. A bid in Egypt usually allows the fighter landing there. While Japan will certainly take India J2, a R3 counterattack of 4 infantry and up to 10 armour leaves Japan in dire straits indeed, especially should they leave the Philippines behind, giving America a 55 IPC US2 buy.

    You’re looking at 2 fully loaded CV, a Destroyer, a Battleship and a sub US1, and another loaded carrier and battleship turn 2. That’s 3 carriers, 2 battleships, and a destroyer set for sailing US3. If you’re commiting that much to India, I could even build a TP (prefered, actually) and start taking your NO’s away.


  • @cts17:

    Holding India actually isn’t that difficult. I find absolutely NO difficulty in sending 4 Russian infantry south, with a 6 armour build in Russia to deadzone Karelia.

    If Japan sends such a heavy force J1 stationed against India, I have 4 infantry in Caucasus that can move into Persia while the 4 there move into India, giving it a 9 land force advantage. A bid in Egypt usually allows the fighter landing there. While Japan will certainly take India J2, a R3 counterattack of 4 infantry and up to 10 armour leaves Japan in dire straits indeed, especially should they leave the Philippines behind, giving America a 55 IPC US2 buy.

    You’re looking at 2 fully loaded CV, a Destroyer, a Battleship and a sub US1, and another loaded carrier and battleship turn 2. That’s 3 carriers, 2 battleships, and a destroyer set for sailing US3. If you’re commiting that much to India, I could even build a TP (prefered, actually) and start taking your NO’s away.

    Assuming Germany is playing timidly… you might be able to do that with Russia.  If Germany pushes hard early (as she SHOULD), Russia is forced to deal with that threat, with little else extra to help elsewhere.


  • And don’t forget China is toasted J1. Japan can focus in India with chinamen annoying them, that’s like a cardhouse. Seriously, India has no hope with so much starting trannies

  • Moderator

    @Khobai:

    Yeah you can still take Yunnan probably. But if you take Yunnan its less troops in India. It all depends how hard Japan wants to smack India.

    Perhaps the greatest thing about not taking Phillipines round1 is that it gives the USA a false sense of confidence to go Pacific. Tricking the USA into going Pacific is a great way for Japan to take pressure off of Italy.

    Actually the US can go toe to toe with Japan and do so quite effectively.  It obviously depends on what Germany does, but the US earning 48 a turn is enough to take J islands and make it worth it.

    For the German part, as the US, you have to be very careful if Germany buys ships or air on G1, that means they’d contest the Atlantic, which means you need more US resources there.  But if Ger goes all land then that can open up more freedom for a potential full US Pac strat.

    In some cases the US can move on Sol in Rd 2 but more likely it might be rd 3.  But once you hold Sol Sz you can start to create some real mischief.

    Assuming the J player can’t read minds and buys either trns or an IC on J1, after US 1 the US can field a fleet that consistes of:
    1 UK DD
    1 UK trn (with 1 inf, 1 rt)
    3 US DD (bought 2)
    2 US AC with 4 ftrs (bought 1 ac + 1 ftr)
    2 boms in Wcan (or Wus)

    So that is 4 dd, 2 ac, 4 ftrs + 2 boms lingering and threatening Sz 62.
    10 units (12 if count bombers)

    Most likely J will have:
    1 ca, 1 bb, 3 ac, 6 ftrs (+2 ftrs lingering) - J lost 1 ftr, 1 dd on J1.
    11 units (13 if counting all ftrs, but some will probably be in Asia)

    At this point it becomes a chess match on how/when/where to move as well as what to buy.  But it is definitely possible for the US to go after Japan.  Spotting them 55 more ipcs on Rd 2 (which should still be a good +12-15 adv over J2), the US can drop another loaded AC, 1 trn, 1 dd, 1 sub.

    Did Japan spend all of its Rd 2 money on a fleet?  I’m not so sure it did.  They likely bought some land units for Asia.

    Again this all depends on how confident you are in your ability to handle Ger/Ita with UK and Russia and only minimal US support.

    The best open would pobably be if Russia can take Fin in Rd 1 and Nor Rd 2, then UK can concentrate on Alg in Rd 2 and 3 with minimal US support, so by rd 4 you can look to head back to sz 6, but you might have to wait until Rd 5, it just depends on what Ger is doing.  You can still sink the Italian fleet on UK 3 if you buy bombers on UK2 and you held Egy on G1.  So a bid to Egy is a good play here.


  • @DarthMaximus:

    For the German part, as the US, you have to be very careful if Germany buys ships or air on G1, that means they’d contest the Atlantic, which means you need more US resources there.  But if Ger goes all land then that can open up more freedom for a potential full US Pac strat.

    Very interesting.  I think 100% the opposite.

    Tanks are the best, most efficient units to cover ground and pressure Russia.
    so a ground unit buy (tank heavy) would put maximum pressure on Russia, requiring the allies to help as fast as possible.

    Conversely a Naval or Air buy reduces/delays pressure on Russia.  UK will buy a navy regardless, and can hover outside of range until they want to land.  When they do, can reinforce the navy the turn they move in to sz7,sz6 or sz3 with their buy.


  • US needs to land with one transport and some destroy cover 1 inf and 1 tank as many times as possible in Africa every turn and then turn all attention to Pacific.  Russia could also save China by sending 4-5 tanks into china to put a lid on Japan.

  • '10

    @Khobai:

    Curious, what does Japan leave open/untouched on J1 to accomplish this?

    Phillipines and Yunnan are typically skipped on round1. However it gives Japan unstoppable impetus when it comes to taking India/Persia/Transjordan/Egypt/etc… so I feel the tradeoff is well worth it. A strong southern push means Japanese ships can come through the suez on turn3 and japanese fighters can quickly reinforce france and italy to free up Germany’s units.

    On  J1 do you leave the sz 50 fleet alone? what about the othe US naval units?

  • Moderator

    @axis_roll:

    @DarthMaximus:

    For the German part, as the US, you have to be very careful if Germany buys ships or air on G1, that means they’d contest the Atlantic, which means you need more US resources there.  But if Ger goes all land then that can open up more freedom for a potential full US Pac strat.

    Very interesting.  I think 100% the opposite.

    Tanks are the best, most efficient units to cover ground and pressure Russia.
    so a ground unit buy (tank heavy) would put maximum pressure on Russia, requiring the allies to help as fast as possible.

    I was thinking the US can’t get there before rd 4 or 5 (maybe) anyway.  Rd 1 would be ship cover for the Atlantic, Rd 2 to Alg, probably need a rd 3 to Alg as well, then maybe you can go to sz 6 in Rd 4 and set up a shuck to Kar by rd 5.  At this point Germany either did its damage or it didn’t.

    Regardless of strat, Russia is pretty much on her own for the first 5 turns.  Maybe you can start to dump in some air support in the early rounds but I’m hesitant to give up the Russian NO before you collect in rd 4 unless it is an absolute emergency.

    Russia can counter the tanks with Inf/Rt.  You’d obviously have to force Germany to trade BST and Ukr every turn, if they are too light on Inf then ultimately Germany is trading armor for inf/rt.  Good deal for the Russians.  Russia can also match unit placement, they have up to 12 spots while Germany has 10.  Essentiallly Russia can place 9-11 units per turn for the first 4 turns at least, that should be enough to prevent yourself from being rolled over, but you do have to watch for the can opener.

    @axis_roll:

    Conversely a Naval or Air buy reduces/delays pressure on Russia.  UK will buy a navy regardless, and can hover outside of range until they want to land.  When they do, can reinforce the navy the turn they move in to sz7,sz6 or sz3 with their buy.

    True, it will open up a space for Russia, and UK can reinforce the desired sz and plan out her buys, but I was just thinking it might get too costly for the UK to be buying too many ships that don’t do much.  Here it might be better to just bite the bullet an maybe buy 1 US AC for the Atlantic before going Pac (or 1-2 dd for fodder) so the UK can focus on trns and units.

    I suppose it is a fine line and really depends on Germany’s commitment.  Did they just buy 1 ftr, or are you seeing them buy 1 bom per turn?  How is the UK empire holding up?

    Normally, I’d agree, and if I see Germany buying air or Navy, I’m going strong with Russia but I’m also providing some added US support.  I’ve had some games where I’ve lost the Allied Atlantic fleets so I want to make sure it stays above water.  It is no longer a bad play for Germany to send a bunch of planes after the ships, esp if they already shifted the economic balance of the game.  In previous versions this type of an attack was usually a no-go for Ger since almost any allied player would trade ships for the G ftrs/bombers, but in AA50 it is easier to justify the attack as Germany which makes it riskier to leave an Allied fleet that has “just enough” ships to stave off an attack.  “Just Enough” can turn into “Disaster” with an extra hit/miss or two from the dice.


  • @DarthMaximus:

    @axis_roll:

    @DarthMaximus:

    For the German part, as the US, you have to be very careful if Germany buys ships or air on G1, that means they’d contest the Atlantic, which means you need more US resources there.  But if Ger goes all land then that can open up more freedom for a potential full US Pac strat.

    Very interesting.  I think 100% the opposite.

    Tanks are the best, most efficient units to cover ground and pressure Russia.
    so a ground unit buy (tank heavy) would put maximum pressure on Russia, requiring the allies to help as fast as possible.

    I was thinking the US can’t get there before rd 4 or 5 (maybe) anyway.  Rd 1 would be ship cover for the Atlantic, Rd 2 to Alg, probably need a rd 3 to Alg as well, then maybe you can go to sz 6 in Rd 4 and set up a shuck to Kar by rd 5.  At this point Germany either did its damage or it didn’t.

    Regardless of strat, Russia is pretty much on her own for the first 5 turns.  Maybe you can start to dump in some air support in the early rounds but I’m hesitant to give up the Russian NO before you collect in rd 4 unless it is an absolute emergency.

    well if UK really wanted to help, they could be in sz4 on UK2 dumping into karelia/arch.
    US can get planes in there as well.

    Which would the allies rather have?  The Russia extra $5 NO or their capital still under Communist control?
    Sometimes you have to forgo the $5 IPCs……

    @DarthMaximus:

    Russia can counter the tanks with Inf/Rt.  You’d obviously have to force Germany to trade BST and Ukr every turn, if they are too light on Inf then ultimately Germany is trading armor for inf/rt.  Good deal for the Russians.  Russia can also match unit placement, they have up to 12 spots while Germany has 10.  Essentiallly Russia can place 9-11 units per turn for the first 4 turns at least, that should be enough to prevent yourself from being rolled over, but you do have to watch for the can opener.

    A lot depends on the number of retailitory hits both sides inflict on each other in round 1 and 2.

    Just 5 or 6 unit swings can be huge so early in the game, ESPECIALLY if the allies are not in a position to throw in some allied ftrs in an emergency situation.


  • Here’s my quick take on the European NO’s:

    They are easy money for Germany to take especially the first several rounds, probably for 2 rounds they can get all 3… then with that money, Germany should be able to build a strong enough army to sustain the other two NOs (with a little Japanese help of 2 ftrs in France) for a long time.

    That’s $39 without Norway or Finland or any of Africa.
    With enough ftrs, Germany can trade efficiently and be very hard to invade.

    So my take is to go and get that early money and use it to build fortress Europe.
    You also can win the game if Russia falters under the early pressure, or Africa goes well for you and Germany can add some bombers for evne more pressure.

    If not, Germany can hanker down, and hope that Japan can do the dirty work… Japan needs to also have a good start, and sometimes even a full all out USA assault may only amount to a cat and mouse game.

    There’s a very fine balance in this game.  Once the momenteum swings, it goes quickly (for either side), so the game is a much faster one with the NO’s than without them.

  • '16 '15 '10

    As Japan, I’m happy to see Russians headed into India and China R1.  It’s already hard enough for Russia to advance in Europe…down 4-6 inf it gets tricky to advance and/or deny Germany any NOs.  In this scenario you may deadzone Kar for a while but not hold it.

    I like to hit Philippines J1, but occasionally it’s worthwhile to change it up and land in Burma.  If for example Russia buys a bomber, landing in Burma can disrupt the Allied game plan and Japan can hack at retreating armies.  Be sure to take Philippines J2…otherwise Japs hand the USA fistfuls of cash.


  • @DarthMaximus:

    I’d like to test something, so I was was wondering if anyone wanted to play a test game?

    1 - I’d take the Allies with 3 ipc (1 extra UK inf on Egy) - I’d like to keep it as close to the original set-up as possible and what I want to test would probably be moot if Ger took Egy really heavy.

    2 - I’d need someone who is confident in their Axis play.

    3 - You’d have to do a “normal” G1.  By that I mean you can’t buy any ships on G1.  Use a standard opening.

    4 - Regular dice, No Tech, Yes NOs.  No other optionals.

    5 - It shouldn’t take very long to see what I want to test, so after 1-3 rds we can probably decide if the game is viable to play out longer.

    I have two league games that will take priority but should still be able to do a turn a day and would like a similar pace.

    It should be a fun test.

    It wouldn’t be difficult to find someone in the TripleA lobby to play axis against (you) allies with just a $3 allied bid, not even with regular dice.

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