Last game I played as the Axis I played a little unorthodox myself in the 41 set-up. Germany’s first turn I bought an aircraft carrier and a destroyer + tank and man, Germany’s second turn I bought another aircraft carrier with 2 subs + tank and man. Third and forth turn I bought all tanks. Italy’s first turn bought a transport, second turn a carrier + 2 tanks, third turn all tanks and forth turn plane and tanks. I ended up lucky as UK tried on turn 3 to take out the German fleet and lost badly as Germany had their two loaded aircraft carriers left (only) and UK lost ALL their ships and planes. On turn four I moved the German fleet out in the Alantic towards Gibraltor, and on Italy’s turn 4 they moved their fleet out to the Atlantic as well. USA turn 4 they tried to attack Italy’s fleet before I could combine the fleets and they brought in two bombers, a destroyer, a carrier and a plane. Italy’s fleet was also lucky as I took a hit on the battleship, and lost one cruiser. Italy still had it’s carrier and its battleship along with one plane and two transports. US lost everything, bad rolling. Also on turn 4 Italy sacrificed all its men and tanks to take Byelorussia on its turn and managed to capture it with one tank only remaining, so as to allow Germany to Blitz through on its turn 5 right into Moscow. I rolled in with 17 tanks surprising the unprepared Russians and capturing the capital. Also moved German fleet to join Italy’s and all the of the sudden I have three aircraft carriers loaded in the Atlantic. The Allies player conceded at that point, also because Japan on turn 4 crushed the US pacific fleet as well.
So aircraft carriers definitely can work. That was one of the quickest games I ever played only 5 turns.
So in conclusion, unorthodox can be affective.