Special Rules: 1942 with Tech + $4/8 NOs + Dardanelles Closed + Escort/Interceptor rules
Victor: Allied Victory > Axis Concession
Game Length: 13 rounds
Bias: About equal
First off what $4/8 NOs means is that instead of being $5 National Objectives we played with all NOs for all countries being worth $4. The single Russian one was worth $8. The objectives themselves were unchanged. Why? Cause Popeye and Santa told us to do it that way.
The game got started in an unusual fashion when instead of buying a carrier or more fleet the UK instead bought 2 bombers on their first turn and moved all fighters within striking range of the Italian fleet. This meant dropping off 2 infantry in Gibraltar and landing 2 fighters Gibraltar in turn 1. On turn 2, the Italian fleet was attacked off the coast of Egypt by 4 fighters and 3 bombers, who all then landed in Egypt. Although the UK got higher than average losses, the Italian fleet was sunk after having used it only once - to invade Transjordan. Throughout the whole game Italy only got more than $9 income when Japan took Egypt and Transjordan for a round or two. This was in exchange for UK getting a somewhat late start building a fleet.
Prior to turn 7
Allies had adopted an “all in” European strategy to attack France or Italy. If you’ve played AA50 more than a couple times you know the drill, the UK builds a fleet and does some little landings in Norway or France maybe. The US builds a big fleet and ships it over around turn 3 or 4. The difference in our game is that the US was in SZ12 on Turn 2, since there was no Italian fleet to worry about anymore.
Ok so we pick up around turn 7 when things start to get interesting. UK and USA do a joint landing and combine fleets in SZ6 and land in NW Europe of all places with about 40 units total. This is enough to prevent being immediately counter attacked by the Germans and destroyed, but by the turn after it was impossible to hold this position without being wiped out. At this point Japan was starting to threaten Africa and had secured all of the pacific.
Despite having a low income, Italy had basically been buying infantry all game long, and so now if you do the math they had like 25+ infantry sitting around. Germany and Italy both had to play somewhat defensively because of big fleets off the coast but Germany was still putting the heat on Russia, and by now Japan had motored up into the Caucus and taken it along with some Germany forces. Russia decided to take a chance and try to take back Caucus from the combined Japanese and Germany force there. Russia rolled incredibly well, and although they statistically should have won this battle, they won it by a landslide, and even retained some infantry. This very will might have been the turning point for the game. UK and USA, being unable to hold their position, decide to split their fleet, the UK going north to Archangel and beginning to funnel troops from UK to Archangel, 8 at a time each turn. USA went to SZ12 and kept the threat on Italy and France but not before leaving some troops (about 16) in the Karelia for help to Russia.
About this time USA got the wacky idea to build a transport and a sub in the pacific and start to threaten Japanese holdings in the south pacific with some bombers too. Japan had just moved all its navy near Egypt, ready to take it and move into the Med. However, Japan turned some of its fleet around to deal with this new American threat. USA was maintaining fleet in SZ12 and also dropping troops off in Africa, both to hold it from the Japanese and threaten Italy. Russia was slugging it out with Germany and had the bright idea to advance into Persia, which held up the Japanese advance in this area, although still Japan was advancing through China and across Siberia.
One thing that was interesting about this game was she sheer amount of USA and particularly UK troops in Russia at this point. Numbering between them over 40 units, it really stalled what would have been a Russian defeat at the hands of the Germans and also Japanese. Japanese still building up and doing a good job mobilizing forces and getting ready to take on Russia, but it’s not possible yet. There are just too many UK troops around. On this turn Japan gets Paratroopers and USA gets Heavy Bombers.
By this time USA had 15 fully loaded transports sitting in SZ12. Still, Italy and Germany would have been able to at the very least counter attack and destroy any landing force in France or Italy. The German air force was like 9 fighters and 3 bombers by this time, stalemated against a USA fleet of 3car,6fighters, 1battleship, 1cruiser and a few destroyers. So if the USA lost any of those fighters attacking Italy, it was a dead fleet. The Italian/German player is very thorough and careful, and it is extremely difficult to find a weak spot in his defenses to make a meaningful attack. So the Allies make the decision to head east. The Japanese kind of over-committed a portion of their fleet to deal with a very small American presence in the Pacific. The Americans head to the Med (SZ14) but don’t actually attack Italy, just take the Balkans for an NO cash-in. The american pacific bombers withdraw and start the trek east to join in a battle two turns from now….(forshadowing!)
USA fleet heads to SZ34, within striking distance of Japan’s IC in India, Burma, and East Indies. The fleet is an even match for the Japanese fleet in the area, but the USA has 30+ ground forces and the Japanese have more like 20. Russia adds 15 tanks to the mix and it’s advantage allies. USA Heavy Bombers mean a strike on the Japanese fleet is a good idea. Germany and Italy figure out what is going on and start heading east with massive amounts of troops they were saving in the west to fight a USA landing in France, but it will take 4+ turns to get to Moscow.
Japan, knowing it cannot hold India this turn, withdraws from India. Russia advances into India. UK immediately builds 3 ground forces there. USA moves 20+ more troops to India — then also to East Indies and there is a big sea battle. 4 carriers on each side, a battleship and a cruiser. But the USA brings 4 heavy bombers to the party and it’s lights out for the Japanese. Japan lose their fleet and their IC in East Indies. A smaller 2nd battle in the carolines goes badly for the Japanese and at this end of this round Japan has 4 transports and one destroyer left. USA has 3 carriers full of planes and about 15 transports in the vicinity of very underdefended pacific holdings. Japan has now lost 2 ICs in two rounds and a 3rd in Burma is in jeopardy.
Economically speaking the stats aren’t much to look at. The Allies were down consistently about $10 a turn compared to the Axis. Germany hovered in the 40s most of the game, Japan in the 60s, peaking at 71. USA was consistent at 42-48. UK was generally in the 30s. Russia was in the 20s, higher earlier on, lower 20s later on.