I’m aware that Axis needs significant bids to win against fully-optimized play, but luckily or unluckily, my play group isn’t there yet. Axis has a fighting chance with no bid, because my Allied opponents haven’t discovered the correct way to pressure Germany (shuck-shuck), and how important it is to prevent RUS from having two fronts. Sounds cocky, I know, but I think I have a fair chance.
Here’s what actually happened:
First turn: Russia doesn’t put enough in Karelia, and actually sends units towards Japan. Germany amphibs Egypt (2 hit BB), airforce takes out Gibraltar BB but UK fleet untouched. Germany strafes Karelia, evacuating Norway, leaving 1 INF in Ukr. Bad dice rolls make the battle about even. UK sends UK fleet plus W.Can trans to amphib assault Algeria, UK bomber to RUS, builds AC in UK, no India factory. Japan pearl harbors (I know ncscswitch hates that - but I just don’t have that confidence to leave a big US fleet, esp with Russia going the other way!), takes China. US sends surviving ships to Panama Canal, trans and inf, the usual. US sends E.US trans to reinforce Algeria.
Second turn: Russia still doesn’t put enough in Karelia, more units to Japan, takes Finland, Ukr, Manchuria. Will seriously limit Japanese expansion speed. Germany strafes Karelia (lose 3INF for 6INF), sends just built S.Eur trans as cannon fodder, with airforce to sink 1 UK BB, 3 trans. Lose transport. UK brings back AUS INF to India, India fighter & RUS bomber sink 3 unprotected Jap transports, lose fighter. (My BIG mistake, and cost of pearl harbor.) Japan takes China, Manchuria, Jap fleet based in Japan. US sends two trans with inf to French West Africa, takes Libya with Algerian troops and air support, BB moves to W.US, trans, inf, tank buy.
So, the current status (end of second turn):
Germany has only lost one fighter, all other off. units intact. (10 tanks, 4 ftr, 1 bomber)
Japan has lost no offensive units (5 ftr, 1 bomber, 1 tank)
Germany has temporary command of Med (1 2-hit BB, trans).
Germany has no pressure on Eastern front (9tanks, 8inf, 1 ftr in EE, vs. 5inf in Kur, 2inf in Caucusus, 2 tanks in RUS)
US and UK with moderately-sized commitments to Africa.
Japan severely restricted by Russia deployment to Asia, loss of transport capacity.
Germany has not taken much African UK income, now heavily outnumbered in Africa.
UK Indian transport still alive (2nd mistake - had chance to destroy it.)
Japan’s front is Manchuria, China, Fr Indo-Burma, each with enough infantry to hold out against immediate assault, but not enough to take territories. 3 trans from J2 build, plus entire fleet in Japan SZ, with one trans in Kwangtung SZ.
Russia holds opposite front with 2 INF in every territory, and tanks in RUS, Novo.
No pressure on German East Front, but Africa has UK forces (1 ftr, 2 INF, 1 tank) in Algeria, US forces in Fr. W Africa (4INF, 2 ftr), US forces in Libya (2 INF). German forces consoldated in Equatorial Africa (3 INF, 1 tank).
German airforce has chance to destroy 2 US trans off Equatorial Africa, with 3 W.Eur fighters, German Bomber, and/or attacking exposed UK units, using 3 INF as cannon fodder. Tank would blitz down toward undefended S. Africa.
(I’ll give a more detailed description if people are interested).