Appreciate the info.
Posts made by Black
RE: Underpowered Axis?
As I wrote, we’ve owned (and played) other editions of A&A that utilize the entire globe on a single board. Europe 1940 is our first experience with a limited theater of operation.
As such, I suppose I’m just used to having Imperial Japan as a strong power for the Axis side…and its absence is sorely missed. The addition of France and Italy are wonderful…love ‘em…but while the UK, USA, and USSR are much the same as in the “smaller” game, the lack of Japan to coordinate with Germany really makes the Axis a challenge to play in Europe 1940.
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In my opinion. But we’ve only had the thing for a couple weeks. Just wanted to get the opinion of the folks who’ve been playing longer.
My son received Europe 1940 (2E) for Christmas…been playing it non-stop ever since (just finishing up our fourth game).
We’ve really enjoyed the hell out of it…previously we’d only played 1941 (the shorter game) and A&A Zombies. The additional units and complexity have really raised the bar/standard for us. Just can’t say enough good stuff about it.
It appears that the Axis is a bit underpowered compared to the Allies in this game. I’m (nominally) the better player between my son and I, but he’s no slouch…he has beat me before in earlier A&A games, and our learning curve has been about the same (I had never played A&A before we started together).
The two times I’ve played the Allies in Europe 1940, I have absolutely CRUSHED him…and quickly. The Americans’ ability to bring wave after wave of attackers (assuming UK and USSR can both hold on) is overwhelming.
On the other hand, while I won my first game with the Axis, it took THREE DAYS OF PLAY to secure victory, with Italy basically having to land ships in the Caribbean and march into Central US to force concession (Moscow never did fall).
As I wrote above, we are on our 4th game and, again, I am playing the Axis and (again) it’s taken three days (!!) of play to take eight victory cities. And that’s AFTER taking Paris on G1, Moscow on G6, and maintaining a stranglehold on Europe and Asia.
The problem is Italy and their complete inability to do more than send sailors to the bottom of the ocean. Both games I’ve won (well, I’m about to win the one we’re playing) it has taken Germany doing everything itself. Italy can’t take…or hold…Africa or the Mediterranean against a well-played UK/USA combo. South Africa and India become perpetual thorns in the side of the Germans, while Gibraltar and Morocco get taken and retaken by US forces. Italy ends up starved for IPCs without bonuses, ending up a punching bag to remnant French ships before the USA arrives to really slap 'em around.
This game…well, I figured it was in the bag after I took ALL of Asia and Europe by…mmm, turn 7 or 8? Rather than concede, my worthy opponent decided to fight on. That was two days ago.
[update: he just retook Egypt via a convoy from South Africa; with cruiser and air support…the war continues]
It feels like the game is balanced in the favor of the Allied forces in the Europe edition. Without Japan to draw and occupy the USA’s attention, the Germans end up fighting a war on three fronts, with the fall of the Soviet Union hardly guaranteeing victory…so long as the UK maintains its presence in West India and Africa.
[even later update: it took another two hours, but Cairo…and the Allies…finally fell. Had to take it three times before it held]
I understand folks may simply concede games after London or Moscow falls to the Axis. Played out, it’s not that easy (in my first game as the Axis, I took London TWICE and it was still liberated by the end of the game). World domination with only the Italians for support just seems…extremely difficult.
Or maybe I’m just doing this wrong? Is there a faster way to victory for the Axis?
It is a little unclear in the rulebook, but it appears that land units launched from transports (to make an amphibious assault) are committed to attacking unto death; i.e. there is no “back to the boats!” retreat possible. Are we reading this correctly?
In our current game, there was an aborted Sea Lion attempt when air support failed to knock out enough resistance during the landing of the invasion force. Germany, quite reasonably, preferred to not lose all their units in a disastrous assault, and was unhappy when we ix-nayed their retreat.
Just want to know for future reference (same question would apply to a D-Day scenario). Thank you!
RE: Their Darkest Hour
Private Panic wrote:
But even when no such time constraint exists I doubt we have ever played a game through to the bitter end!
I suppose we are just really, really stubborn.
The invasion went down and (as predicted) the UK was taken, despite some stout resistance. And while the Allies accept they’re probably dead in the water, they’re still not ready to concede the match.
Can a single transport unload troops into two territories simultaneously, thus making two amphibious assaults in the same turn? I can’t find an explicit rule regarding this situation, but it feels “iffy” to me. In our current game, the Allies deployed troops from a single transport in sea zone 14 into Gibraltar and North Africa, capturing both territories in the same turn.
[[i]it wasn’t a game changing move, so we didn’t worry much about it at the time]
Thank you for your help!
Their Darkest Hour
After what has been (for us) a fairly long, conservatively played game, Germany seems on the brink of finishing Britain, having just launched an amphibious assault of 8 infantry and 2 armor backed up by 3 bombers (the Axis has more armor but it is tied up in Egypt preventing an American landing in North Africa from breaching the Middle East).
This is Hitler’s second attempt at “Operation Sea Lion;” the first such assault failed miserably, being undermanned in both land and air. Britain still has a good number of pieces, but not enough that it should make a difference (the A&A calculator shows a 98% chance of success). Even if by some miracle the UK survives the invasion, it’s clear England’s days are numbered, as their island is their sole remaining territory at this point (Australia having recently fallen to Japan), and the Americans have lost almost the entirety of their navy in a series of disastrous engagements.
My question is this: in situations like this, is it usual for people to “play out the string?” Is it usual for one side to concede when all hope seems lost? Or are folks more inclined to fight till the bitter end?
Things look pretty darn hopeless for the Allies at this point: the Americans are down to holding North America (Quebec was lost to invasion, but no Axis forces remain in Canada and it would be easy to reclaim). Russia has been removed from the board. And Japan is pulling down 17 IPCs per turn now, and already has three battleships roaming the Pacific. It’s really just a matter of time.
Here’s the thing: just a few turns earlier, things didn’t look nearly so bleak: Japan was the country that was reeling (with almost all its Navy destroyed), and Russia had built up huge forces in all its starting territories (with the exception of the Caucasus), approaching double digits in tanks and infantry. Germany still had a navy, but it was a small one, and (as mentioned) had already launched one disastrous attempt at Sea Lion, costing them their final transport. At that point, it looked like the numbered days were those of the Axis!
[[i]the reversal of fortunes was due to a couple incredibly successful submarine strikes from the IJN, and the nickel-and-diming of Ally territories for IPCs. Japan brought a couple tanks across Asia to bolster the Caucasus, allowing Germany to finally bring crushing forces against the Soviets; it’s been all downhill for the Allies since then]
At what point do folks usually “throw in the towel,” if ever? I find it hard to believe the Allies can come back at this point, being so far behind, but I’m curious to know how people usually end their games. Do people mostly fight to the death?
RE: Allies Win…Again
@ Private Panic:
Thank you for the info…and for leaving some things for discovery. I appreciate that!
G’s opening deployment on the eastern front, however, affords R some short term opportunities and patience may be required to consolidate an unstoppable drive on Moscow.
Pretty cryptic (unless I’m extremely obtuse); this is one puzzle we’re trying to unravel. We’ll work on it!
You also wrote:
J can help significantly with the attack on R. J ground unit builds are only 2 moves from the Caucasus.
My only comment is that two turns feel like an eternity in a game where things can turn so quickly. Of course, at this point we’re only thinking one move ahead…thinking two or three moves ahead? Not quite there yet!
Thanks again. German air support in North Africa will certainly help slow down the Allied invasion! Looking forward to trying it.
No Operation Sea Lion this time…and Britain ended up cleaning house as a result.
Germany decided not to go after the UK, focusing instead on the “easy” targets on the Eastern Front, including an invasion of the Middle East via amphibious assault from North Africa (bypassing UK forces in Egypt) to close the Suez. This ended up illustrating how important Gibraltar is as the destruction of Britain’s aircraft carrier by German U-boat attack (as always happens) did not end in the destruction of its fighter, which was able to land safely.
With fighter support in the Mediterranean (and a safe airport for the UK bomber), it is remarkably easy to take Northern Africa with a Canadian landing party. The Kriegsmarine falls (again) to the British navy (hail, Britania!) and it’s all but over from there.
India denies Japanese expansion into the south Pacific, causing Japan to make the hasty decision to land forces in Alaska. Despite IJN support, Japan loses half of its warships in the US counterattack (as well as Alaska). The Battle of Midway will be fought in the following turn and cost Japan most of its remaining warships.
At the end of Turn 2 we have the IJN reduced to a single carrier and fighter, Norway has been successfully taken by USA (with a bomber landed in Iceland), and France has been liberated by British tanks out of North Africa, where two UK bombers are being fueled and ready for Turn 3. The Middle East has been reclaimed, and while Russia has lost both Archangel and Karelia, they’ve taken Manchura (with Soviet tank and air support) to make up the difference). Japan is in Szechwan (one infantry unit), but the USA maintains an infantry presence in Asia (two units, bolstering the Caucasus).
Axis powers offer unconditional surrender before the beginning of Turn 3.
I don’t grok why folks feel the Allies are underpowered in this particular edition. Even if Japan had retained its naval forces, it’s difficult for me to see how Germany could have recovered and pushed back with enemies on all sides and no help on the way from the Japanese (assuming the USA plays conservative in the Pacific theater and keeps the IJN occupied). Committing to Operation Sea Lion early (rather than worry about Russia) still seems like the best option for Germany, even at the cost of the Kriegsmarine which…it would appear…faces inevitable defeat. This occurs even in games the Axis won; however, in those games Germany was able to rebuild its navy in the later stages of the game.
Please tell me what we’re missing here.
RE: England Must Turtle?
Great stuff, folks…thank you!
Private Panic wrote:
GB should never succumb early to Sea Lion! If the GB player is awake that is…
…In this game the allies have to respond to whatever initiatives the axis are taking in the early turns, given the axis advantage in units on the board.
It may just be that we are new to the game, because there’s a certain amount of “psychological warfare” going on precisely because of the Allies responding to the Axis attacks. An amphibious assault on Gibraltar followed by a successful sneak attack on Britain’s aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean, coupled with attacks on the Russian territories (Karelia and/or Caucasus) can cause all sorts of consternation, distracting the UK from the potential Sealion assault. Especially considering the Allies’ focus on keeping Pacific territories safe from Japanese conquest!
Charles de Gaulle wrote:
Another thing to consider is the German lack of defense navally. Any German transport built is very vulnerable to British air assault. Assuming Germany holds its battleship back, the UK will most likely have some other advantage. If Germany goes for this option, the UK can react accordingly and ask US for help. Meanwhile, this risky move on Germany’s part is sure to give Russia massive advantages in the east.
If Germany buys the transport, either sink it or be sure to build or divert the necessary forces. It does not matter if you have to give up North Africa or a build in India. Just hold off the German attack and Russia will be able to do serious damage with so many Germans in the west.
You don’t have to tell me about Germany’s lack of naval power! Despite a successful landing in England, the Axis lost its entire Kriegsmarine, leaving Germany stranded in England (though with a hefty bonus to IPCs). Part of this was due to extremely poor rolling (battleship to an unsupported destroyer?!) but its not uncommon for us to see nothing but British and American warships in the Atlantic by the third or fourth turn.
What we have NOT found, though, is this giving Russia a significant advantage on the eastern front. Attempting to take German territory is a tough struggle for Soviets, inevitably leaving them thin and vulnerable to (potentially devastating) counterattack. The USSR seems to be much more effective at cutting the legs off of Japan (in mainland Asia) while building defense to stave off the Germans. Adding four or five of Japan’s IPCs can more than make up for the difference of territory losses on the eastern front…provided the Soviets can hold onto both Moscow and the Caucasus.
Is it a standard tactic to ignore (or de-prioritize) the Japanese threat in order to focus on Germany? We’ve found that, left unopposed, the Japanese can quickly achieve a dominating position in the Pacific, maintaining their mainland territories and bringing the war to the Americas through Alaska.
RE: Allies win?
Hey, I have played numerous games and the allies lose every time. I am asking what the allies can do without changing rules or implementing a bid. I haven’t been able to figure out how to win. (I guess i need to sharpen up my strategy skills.)
I’m new to the game, too, but I managed to win both my games when I played Allies, so I know it’s possible.
I know that the classic AA game plays much slower, and has different tactics; I’m not familiar with it, so I’ve developed different methods of coordinating the Allied forces.
The USA is a powerhouse with its ability to pump out a battleship per turn; while Japan has a pretty dominant navy to start the game, this can turn very quickly…however, battleships deployed in the Atlantic can really seal the deal for you early (in conjunction with the strong British naval presence). If you can wipe out the Kriegsmarine (or drive them off) in the first couple turns, and can maintain at least one or two British warships to guard the Strait of Gibraltar, you can use your eastern transport to take North Africa, just like Patton did, and set up a little caravan route into Italy. I like to park a U.S. bomber or two in Morocco and fly sorties into Europe to cover landing parties and wreak general havoc. Assuming you can hold the Caucasus, the UK can do the same using the transport off the coast of Quebec or one from the Indian ocean…hey, when you control the Suez Canal, make use of it!
The Pacific theater is a little different because, while the USA provides the intimidation factor (all those warships), it’s the UK and USSR you need to really cut the legs off of Japan. As soon as you can spare the armor, send a couple Soviet tanks east to start taking out Japan’s assets; losing Coastal China and Manchuria cost Japan half its initial resources. Then, in the south seas, you need to keep Japan from taking easy marks like Borneo and the East Indies, and that’s all about those factories in Australia and India making troops to ferry to potential IPC spots. The goal is to starve the Japanese navy so that they A) cannot replace ships lost in battle with US warships, and B) have no resources for mounting an invasion campaign into North America. It’s okay to let Japan take the occasional island…or even invade Alaska!..so long as you blow up their transport and then bomb them into scrap. Soon enough they’ll be huddled on their island while Russia uses newfound income to create troops and tanks on the eastern front, eventually rolling into Western Russia as a red tide.
Normandy is really just an afterthought.
England Must Turtle?
Okay, this is probably a silly question.
The last two games I’ve played, Great Britain has succumbed early to Operation Sea Lion. The first time, it happened in three turns, after Germany had a chance to build a second bomber. In our current game, it happened on the second turn of play!
[Germany built a transport in Turn 1 and moved a fighter from Southern Europe to Western Europe, while UK built a fighter; in Turn 2, Germany launched a successful amphibious assault into Scotland with two infantry from Berlin, using two fighters and bomber as air support]
In this game, the UK had the misfortune of losing its initial spitfire in support of an amphibious assault from Eastern Canada to North Africa.
After seeing England crushed so easily twice, I have to wonder if the only correct play is to build as much defense as possible on Turn 1 (two infantry and a tank, or three infantry)…in essence, taking the same tactic as the Soviet Union through the opening moves. I realize the tank in Canada could be moved into the UK (assuming it could avoid the German blockade), but a single tank isn’t much defense by itself (in the three turn game, the UK had built a tank in defense, but Germany brought a tank to England’s shores along with an infantry unit, and the thing was gobbled up).
Just wondering if I’m missing something or if an “all defense” tactic is the only effective means of saving the UK’s capital from German occupation.
RE: The low income rates make luck a much bigger factor in this version
Luck always plays a part in war. You can’t model everything in a game (weather for example). Luck accounts for this.
Luck evens out over time, but sometimes it has devastating consequences. There was a lot of luck involved in the (historic) Battle of Midway, that resulted in an overwhelming American victory. The IJN might well have lost the engagement anyway, due to their forces deficiencies of the time, but perhaps not in the same lopsided fashion they did. As it was, it was a crippling blow that impacted their capability for the remainder of the war.
A&A 1941 models this quite well. Luck is a factor, sometimes a devastating one, but that’s war. I’ve always got chess for when I’m tired of luck.
Picked up this game for my son at Christmas time (he’s a WWII buff), but we only just got around to unwrapping it a couple weeks ago. Since then, we’ve been playing pretty much non-stop (we finish a game and just set the board up again)…we’re on our seventh or eighth go around so far.
What a great game!
I’ve known of Axis & Allies but never had a chance to play it before, despite enjoying war games in general (I played Tactics II with my buddies back in middle school and I personally own hundreds of painted WH40K minis…). Not sure why I never got around to A&A, unless it was that the classic version is a little long for a pick-up game, which is about all I have time for these days. Anyway…
What a wonderful game! I love the asymmetry of it and the multiple strategies one can employ depending on the action/reaction of your opponent. I’ve read (on-line) that there are certain standard tactics that are seen as necessary to play A&A “successfully,” but we haven’t found that to be the situation with this particular edition. Hell, in our last game Russia outlasted the UK, piling up resources in east Asia and keeping Germany busy, while stranded British tanks waged guerrilla war from Norway and Africa, waiting for the U.S. to land a “liberation force” on the shores of England (this only being possible due to horrendous dice roles costing Germany most of the Kriegsmarine in the Atlantic). Fantastic stuff.
I get a kick out of seeing an “alternate history” unfold as we play through the struggles of waging a world war. I love the frustrating balancing act of controlling minimal resources and hoarding production “coin.” I dig on the need to control zones and canals and capture otherwise “worthless” islands to use as staging areas for assaults and air strikes. I immensely enjoy huge sea battles in the Pacific with battleships and subs and destroyers clashing while fighters buzz overhead…
I understand that I am a newbie here and that longtime A&A players may blanch at the simplicity and streamlining of the 1941 game, but our family is finding plenty to dig into. I know folks have complained about the game being unbalanced in favor of the Axis, but we simply haven’t found this to be the case. Germany enjoys a lot of initial land forces, but are at a disadvantage when it comes to its navy, due to the positioning of their port (even taking the Caucasus sticks you way back in the Mediterranean). And while Japan enjoys dominant naval forces, their abilities on land are highly curtailed by both their location and their initial forces, and driving them out of mainland Asia (and thus curtailing their production) is no large task…especially as the UK can reinforce the southern islands from India and Australia.
Each of the Allies begins the game controlling multiple industrial complexes in favorable locations. The Americans’ ability to quickly deploy battleships on either side of the board make it a real race against time for the Axis forces. This lack of balance (coupled with lack of resources) forces both sides to be aggressive, as stalling tactics buy you nothing but a slow death…the tanks will eventually come rolling across your border…
Anyway, just wanted to stop by and gush enthusiastically about 1941. My household is really enjoying this addition to our game collection. Cheers!