This strategy assumes you/re playing with the standard rules, and none of the optional rules. If you get to play the allies and someone agrees to only the standard rules, following is the way to pummel them in a few short turns
The basic premise of this strategy is to ignore Japan and focus entirely on Germany. This is done by maximizing the strengths of the Allies, while exploiting the weakness of the Axis.
The first problem for the Axis is the inability to coordinate efforts to any great degree at the start of the game. The Allies, however, are in a great position to do this, and are unbeatable if they do. (barring absolutely horrible dice rolls) The Allies have such an edge, they should win even if Germany is hitting 20% higher than normal, and the allies are hitting 20% less than normal. Anyway, on with the plan.
Russia needs to accomplish 3 goals on turn 1:
- Eliminate the German fleet in the Baltic.
- Make an “aggressive” defense in Asia.
- Attack Eastern Europe.
The elimination of the Baltic fleet with a fighter keeps Germany from transporting 2 extra Infantry for an attack on Karelia, or fortifying Finland/Norway. A fighter (or two if you//re feeling unlucky) should be used because only the transport can shoot back, and the sub can//t retreat. Russia should use it/s sub to attack the German sub off Western Europe.
The attack on Eastern Europe splits the German army in half and forces Germany to retake Eastern Europe on it/s first turn rather than attacking Karelia. This will also put Germany on the defensive from the start of the game, having to react to the Allies rather than dictating the conflict. (and that is a good thing if you/re the Allies)
In far east, Russia should attack Manchuria on turn 1. This will effectively counter a strategy Japan may use to build an IC on the mainland. (Japan can still build one in French Indo-China, but by attacking Manchuria, you start to dictate Japan/s options) Also, by doing this you force Japan to retake Manchura, rather than being able to attack Yakut or Soviet Far East. This puts Japan one more turn away from Russia.
At this point I should explain that I am assuming Japan is trying to attack Russia. If for some reason Japan is NOT doing this, then Germany will fall even sooner.
Russia should ONLY buy Inf until the tide has clearly turned in Europe, probably not before turn 3.
For Germany’s first turn, he’ll be faced with Russian troops in Eastern Europe, and the British fleet to deal with. He’ll retake Eastern Europe with ease, and destroy the fleet around Britain (including the Russian transport), but lose some fighters in the process. He’ll also destroy the British ships in the med, but will likely lose some more fighters. He’ll probably also dump a couple of inf into Africa, and attack Egypt.
Britain has 2 choices depending whether or not they want a fleet. If they want a fleet, they’ll need to save up for a few turns to be able to afford to put a carrier in the water along with a few transports as fodder. (with US fighters landing on it before Germany’s next turn)
I prefer the air attack method. On turn 1, I buy 2 bombers. Send the current bomber on a strategic bombing run, and send both fighters over to Karelia. Britain can ignore Africa, and should fortify India. (inf from Syria, and from Egypt if it didn/t die on turn 1) Other than that, all Britain needs to do is keep buying bombers. (3 bombers every 2 turns) The overall goal is to reduce Germany’s net income to zero by turn 4.
Japan has a lot to do, and won’t have enough time to accomplish it before Germany is taken. If they attack the American fleet, who cares. If they try to take Alaska or Hawaii, America won’t even break a sweat. (build a few tanks and take Alaska back with ease) The only way Japan can take any pressure of Germany is to try an divert some of Russia’s income to defending the east.
Unfortunately, if all went as planned on turn 1, Japan needs to retake Manchuria. They will be able to build in French Indo-China, but now fact 3-4 Inf and 1 fighter in India, so they won’t be able to attack it until turn 2. Instead, they have to attack China. (otherwise the US can be a pain by building an IC in Sinkiang and really slowing Japan down) Japan can’t afford to lose many troops on land, because it takes a long time to get replacement troops up to the front again.
The US has to take on the role of “helper” to have any real effect on the game. If they try to take on the Japanese fleet, they’ll have to sit idle for a couple of turns until they have a fleet than can win, then spend a turn moving into position. By this time, Russia could be in dire straits.
Instead, the US should forget about the Pacific and focus entirely on the European theatre. (building enough troops to repel an invasion by Japan, if necessary) The easiest way to help is to participate in the bombing of Germany, and to keep Germany from taking over Africa. They are in a much easier position to protect African than Britain is, and they also have the excess resources to do so. They can pump more money into Africa than Germany can, and Germany’s income will be dropping soon. On turn 1 they can take Algeria with 2 Inf.
In Asia, the US can fortify India with a couple of troops and start moving it’s fleet through the canal. For builds the US should plan on 1 bomber, 1 transport, and 2 Inf. Move the current bomber to Britain for next turn.
So at the end of turn 1, Germany should be up 2-4 IPC, and Japan is up 2-4 IPC. The Allies have a big edge in cash flow, and that isn’t much of a dent in it.
On turn 2, Russia can take Ukraine. At the end of this turn, Karelia should be a fortress of 25 Inf and 3-4 Fighters. (even if Russia rolls bad they should still be able to hold onto it) If Germany still has a transport in the med, make sure to put a couple of inf in Caucasus.
In the east, they should move troops into Yakut and Sinkiang. (slowing down the Japanese tanks to 1 territory per turn)
Russia should have had an income of 30 on turn 1, and 25-27 on turn 2.
Germany can try to retake Ukraine, but attacking Karelia at this point is not an option. Germany’s net income last turn was probably 32, so a long-term assault on Germany won’t meet with success. If the Germany player is smart, they’ll build all infantry. (if they were really smart, they would have done that on turn 1 as well)
If they have troops left in Africa, they have to face a choice: take on the US, or get the extra income in the south. If they don’t take out the US, they’ll likely be facing 4 inf and a fighter (or two) next turn. Another downside is that they probably won’t be able to spare any more troops for Africa after this turn.
Britain will hit Germany with 3 bombers this time, losing 1. (Assume that of the first 6, the 3rd one is hit, and of the 2nd 6, the 4th is hit, etc) This should take away 7 IPC. They also build another bomber. (saving the rest for 2 bombers the next turn)
Japan should be able to take Yakut, Soviet Far East (if it didn’t already), and either Sinkiang or India. (Sinkiang gets them closer to Russia, but leaves a strong India on their flank)
The US will bomb Germany, move it’s new bomber to Britain, and build another one. They’ll also move the current troops to Africa, and build more for that. (1 Bomber, 1 Transport, and either 2 inf or 1 tank) Any excess should be saved for an additional bomber, or boat & troops.
At the end of turn 2, Germany’s net income will be around 25-26.
Turn 3, Russia will be able to take Finland’Norway, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe. Germany will be able to retake Eastern Europe. Britain and the US will send 5 bombers (1 shot down) taking away 14 IPC. Japan will be at Russia’s doorstep, but not have nearly enough troops for an effective attack. (probably only 2-3 Inf and 2-3 tanks) Germany’s net income will be around 15.
Turn 4, Russia will take and hold Eastern Europe, Germany will lose it’s last territory in Africa, and the allies will continue to bomb with 7-8 bombers. This means Germany’s net income will likely be zero. Russia will have 15 inf and 3-4 fighters in it’s capital, and Japan will likely have 4-5 Inf and 6 tanks in a position to attack. (this is where the Axis will usually concede)
Turn 5, Russia take southern Europe, Russia now has 20 Inf on it’s capital, Japan has 4-5 Inf and 12 tanks in a position to attack. The US can probably take Western Europe, and Germany still has a net income of zero. The allies are probably starting to bomb Japan’s mainland factories from Russia, reducing it’s income as well.
Turn 6, Germany falls and Russia turns east. If played out, Russia can easily push Japan out of Asia just because Japan can’t build enough on the mainland to keep up. After Germany falls, the US starts building an attack fleet and moves in after 3-4 turns. Britain keeps up with it’s huge bomber fleet and keeps Japan from making any money.
So in the end, the Axis have no hope. 🙂
This is why we always use a bidding variant to determine who plays Axis’Allies at the start of the game. (but that’s for another article).