I play this game somewhat regularly with a friend. We have been using a steadily increasing starting bid for the allies. In the last game, it was 18. I played as Allies and bought 3 subs for the UK, one placed in the Mediterranean off the coast of Egypt, one off India and one off south Australia. The sub off Egypt deterred a German R1 attack of Egypt or Trans-Jordan, and the German player responded to it by placing a carrier and destroyer in the Mediterranean to join the battleship and transport. I then used the two other subs together with the UK Indian and Australian fleets to sink the Japanese fleet in SZ37. The UK won that battle with a carrier and one fighter surviving.
I won the game, going full Pacific with the US. The US was able to take the money islands and build factories on them. The UK held India and Africa for the whole game. Russia was able to hang on. I believe Russia was able to hang on because Germany spent a lot on navy and yet never took Africa or accomplished anything else with it. The UK eventually sunk it with fighters. The Axis surrendered when UK built an Atlantic fleet that was unchallenged by either the kriegsmarine or luftwaffe. Meanwhile, the US had the edge on Japan.
That will continue to be my Allied strategy. However, I think the Axis may still have won had Germany built only land and air units. Also, Japan erred by failing to take out the surviving UK AC and fighter after the round 1 attack against sz 37. That UK fleet did wonders to maintain Africa and project force in Asia.