Congratz Adam to the win and to the championship. Well deserved.
I thought the game was over after 15ish turns but then Stalin went manic and decided to abandon Moscow:D
I thought the Axis had decent winning changes after Moscow fell for good and the remaining troops were massacred at Novosibirsk.
But Adam outgrinded AD. He fought well, too.
I btw believe the game was not lost in Europe but in the Pacific. Japan could have grown faster and could have established a more dominant position in the Pacific.
I believe they had the potential to deny the NOs for Guam and islands around Caro permanently and could have conquered India faster.
If Japan is just 2-3 turns faster and permanently denies 10 IPC for US every turn, they could have reached that size that makes it hard for the Allies to ever match, even with 100% Pacific investment from the US. But even then, US may eventually match the Japanes fleet but the Germans will get out of control in that case.
That holiday excursion some rogue Japanese admirals made with significant parts of the Japanese fleet to the Indian Ocean to chase some subs but in the end just to enjoy the weather was a key element to me that turned the tide in the Pacific. The killed subs and denied Indian income did not compensate at all for the strategic shift this caused in the Pacific.
If Japan had either just kept the Allies off instead OR made a power move on India (which was imo always an option), Japan could have reached the critical size.
Also, Japan bought too much fleet early and too few planes. Japan had an overkill of fleet but should have produced more planes and more ground units in the first 6-8 turns to threaten a powermove on India way earlier.
Also I think Japan was obsessively worried about island warfare in the Pacific which I believe they could have afforded and could have invited to let the Allies shoot their bullets.
The main problem in the end was, that Japan hat 100+ IPC sitting in Japan doing nothing till the end of the game
If Japan kept a strategically more dominant position, these 100 IPC would have been placed on the waters on in the air and would thus not make it necessary at all to defend Tokyo that hard and thus, had an impact to maintain Pacific dominance.
Regarding the bid: Axis had very favorable G1 and J1 dice and thus almost nullified the bid.
If I knew the dice outcome till J1, I would have preferred the Axis without hesitation.