THE KNOWLEDGE YOU NEED FOR SUCCESS: PURCHASING THE RIGHT KINDS OF UNITS FOR THE LONG-TERM WAR
By: Don Rae
I have never looked at Axis and Allies as a "strategy for each country" kind of outlook, because it's impossible to not include the shared resources and their effects for both Allies or Axis players, if they are to be played successfully in any advanced strategical game. Many players tend to not know this, because they are not exposed to these kinds of playing conditions in the various communities across the world.
Some players and play groups are stronger than others, and it is these people who witness the true "later stages" of an Axis and Allies game which has not been decided after 15 turns, with the Allies frantically sharing resources between themselves on as many as 5 fronts, trying to gain leverage and not collapse in a tense, complex war with the Axis resources.
Be forewarned - there are many strategies published on the internet, most of which that can be considered to be bizarre and/or crazy by advanced players, mostly because of tactical and purchasing assumptions that are entirely false, and are based entirely upon anticipation of someone else's poor play and purchasing habits.
No one can wage a war, anticipating your real capability to deal with your opponent three turns ahead on a strategical basis, unless you have purchased correctly, played out all of your countries' strategical advantages, and successfully limited your opponent's available options and choices, all at the same time, while expecting your opponent to do the exact same to you.
Any kind of Axis & Alies play that does not accomplish this will be your, or your opponent's, ultimate defeat in the end. And these essays are designed to help you defeat that possibility.
BUT FIRST....HERE ARE SOME CONCEPTS TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF WITH:
I will first ask you to not to negatively challenge the statements mentioned forthcoming, which I naturally accept as verbatim for all of my upcoming described strategical play. I'm also going to be asking you to suspend any skepticism or any immediate disbelief for now, for the purposes of this essay and all subsequent essays, so that you, the reader, may learn a little more of the depth involved in planning tactical strategy in Axis and Allies.
All of these discussions will be focused on the "Russians Don't Attack First" Popular Variant of Play (as my play group has determined that even with advanced tactical knowledge, Allied victory is usually inevitable with proper purchasing and tactics - for reasons to be discussed later in subsequent essays). The Axis can never afford to make even one mistake, and even then in the advanced game, it's sometimes not enough to "not make mistakes".
Through reading these essays, and absorbing the information into you gameplay, you will eventually discover that many of the strategies that you play against, have played before, and have seen on the Internet somewhere, are absolutely impossible to play, when faced against correct purchasing and tactics by either the Axis or the Allies.
In reality, after you aquire sufficient knowledge of the advanced game, you will find that your purchasing and method of play will turn out to be static for the first few turns, with very few options or deviations from the basic strategical concepts. In the advanced game, this will always happen, because of the essential need to always deal with optimized purchasing that is combined with an optimal deployment approach.
In the advanced game or even in the beginner game, any purchasing deviations and tactical deviations from the optimized approach will typically result in early or eventual death for Axis or Allies alike, when playing against my forthcoming "infantry push mechanic" purchase guidelines, and the tactics as descibed in all of the essays.
In the advenced games I've seen and participated in....crucial mistakes in purchasing are announced as "you're dead in three turns, did you know that?" and "do you really want to play this out?", long before a player's front collapses and subsequent death occurs, inevitably, starting a few turns later. It is always important to understand the long term effects of your purchasing before you can understand the true nature of the advanced game.
So Please....Consider These Suggestions as "The Primary Set of Guiding Factors That One Should Be Aware of When Playing Axis and Allies":
The first turn purchases have a long-term impact on the ability for each nation to perform strategical options. Poor purchasing will thereby limit your strategical options, and subsequently enable more strategical options for your opponent.
This is the essence of both good and bad strategical play, but I should emphasize the BAD. Many of the so-called "strategies" you see on the Internet depend upon your opponent's inexperience, bad purchasing, poor tactics, and/or unoptimized deployment methods. The upcoming purchasing guidelines will assist you in dealing with your own ability to manage this area of your game, as well as your opponents. With more play experience, and in due time, this factor will cease to become important because it will simply become natural to your method of gameplay.
If you direct your purchasing, dealing with the long term goals (3 to 4 turns later, tactical purchasing) instead of the short term goals (1 to 2 turns, survival oriented purchasing), you will find that your games will last longer and you will win more often. Your purchasing must reflect your tactical goals and at the same time, absolutely limit your opponent's options in dealing with you. You will discover, through utilizing proper purchase methods, that infantry is your best force to enable this. The purchasing guidelines detailed here are meant to illustrate the idea that every nation should be "building solid defensive front structures, using infantry as the primary considered means to do it." Once this factor is successfully applied to your game, you will find that the tactical flexibility of the game is drastically diminished for your opponents, "forcing them into dealing in reaction against you". This is the essence of superior tactical play, and is always essential for you in consistently achieving victory!
Any player death that occurs by or before turn 7 in the Axis and Allies game is a result of stupid purchasing, nothing more, nothing less. Poor tactics often contribute, but this is an additional factor of inexperience - good purchasing will always enable better defensive tactics. Stupid purchasing can be identified right from the very first turn, due to the nature of the game setup (this is perceived to be dynamic, but really it isn't...I will address this later, throughout these essays).
For now, you will have to believe that your death will occur if you make a purchasing mistake on the first, second, and third turns against seasoned A&A players. The reasons why should be obvious, but they're not to most players, advanced and beginner alike. This is because the real object of any turn is to keep your attack and defense averages maximized at ALL TIMES, for as CHEAP as possible in replacement costs, while STRENGTHENING your overall presence and position on the gameboard. Considering this, properly utilizing your attack and defense averages mean everything when conducting any strategy, where luck shouldn't be, and is NOT, a factor at all...if you play all of your advantages to the fullest.
I am assuming that you, the reader, wishes to learn how to WIN consistently. It is impossible to lose to inferior and weak purchasing and play strategies because your forces will always win inevitably, through gradual scaled long-term economics and tactical play - NOT EVER ON LUCKY DICE ROLLS. Good or bad dice rolls need to be made unimportant and of no consequence if you want to always want achieve victory - you always play with your known averages, and never use LUCK as a factor in any given strategical approach.
In the games I play, I usually have a good chuckle about my inevitable, occasional bad luck with die rolls. This always mystifies some players I'm pitted against - but it really DOESN'T matter at all, when playing solid strategies...I have been known to shout, lustily "Got one! Yeah!" and laugh, after my attack only hit once when it should have removed 4 pieces instead.....not many players can do this consistently throughout a game, because they are usually counting on too much luck to win all their battles.
You must ALWAYS use the average hit/defense ratios in determining the safety of your defenses and attack structures. If you don't do this, you are relying on LUCK to win!
If you don't know how often your forces are going to hit on offense and defense, there is no point in trying to play at all. You will lose every game against opponents who have this knowledge, which is just about everyone who wins constantly against YOU.
To put this in perspective: what's the point of issuing any battle if you are not positionally, tactically, and/or economically superior to your opponent's defending position? Considering this, and the ratios you have to work with on attack and defense...how do you achieve superior force and leverage against your opponents?
If you want to know why, and if you can or are willing to understand these concepts and suppositions, then you will understand or begin to understand the following discussion:
IMPORTANT LAND UNITS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON THE A&A GAME
No matter what anyone says about any purchasing strategy, the Infantry unit is your first choice purchase piece consideration, as it is your most valuable long-term operations unit for mainland operations, before anything else. Simply put: you must always buy sufficient infantry first, then your attacking pieces like tanks and fighters, before advancing your fronts.
1) The infantry unit is the most effective land defense you can buy for your bucks, period.
Here's the breakdown on "land-based defense attack response" value, cost wise:
3 Infantry - Averages 100%
Defensive Hits for a Cost of 9 IPC's, 2x Hits cost 18 IPC's
3 Tanks - Averages 100% Defensive Hits for a Cost of 15 IPC's, 2x Hits cost 30 IPC's
1 Fighter - Averages a 66% Defensive Hits for a Cost of 12 IPC's, 2x Hits cost 36 IPC's
1 Bomber - Averages 16% Defensive Hits for a Cost of 15 IPCs, let's just forget about 2x hits on defense
In the long run. Infantry are your BEST and CHEAPEST defense against a land force of any kind. Infantry will hold off any invasion for as long as possible, on this basis alone, if bought in large quantities, and most importantly, it forces your opponent to deal with it, as this forces a counteraction in your opponent, by having to generate and buy more infantry themselves!! See the point below...
2) The infantry units are the cheapest form of sackable, disposable units to supplement offense.
When faced with a lot of infantry on defense, you should know that your forces will always be hit often and regularly on average die rolls, so this MUST be taken into account when planning attacks. Infantry on the defense will always overcome an equal invested IPC amount of attacking units on their own, on average! (see the "Armor" discussion later on this article for an example of this.)
Therefore, you will need expendable units on the offense to deal with this. Again, your lowly Infantry unit shows it's value in performing this task. Your offensive pieces, such as tanks, fighters, and bombers, should never be at risk on any attack when conducting an offense, and just as importantly, should never be left alone on the defense after an attack!
If an attack is conducted, leaving nothing but expensive units, you can guarantee that they will be attacked. THIS IS BECAUSE IT IS ALWAYS ADVANTAGEOUS TO ATTACK AND DESTROY UNITS THAT COST MORE TO REPLACE THAN THE UNITS THAT YOU WOULD LOSE IN THAT BATTLE, LAND OR OTHERWISE...THIS SHOULD ALWAYS BE DONE, REGARDLESS OF ANY TEMPORARY TACTICAL DISADVANTAGE THAT MAY RESULT FROM THIS.
Considering all of this, a further point develops: If you use your infantry on any offense to supplement an attack as losses, you will probably need more infantry to strengthen your front after these losses occur. This means that you should never have a tactical turn where you don't consider buying infantry, because you always need more infantry to replace losses on your front lines. If you can remember this in advance, always when you conduct your purchasing...your games will always be long, developed properly, and your front-line forces will always be as tough as nails.
Conclusions about Infantry:
To consistently achieve victory, your primary concern when purchasing is to maintain a large presence of infantry to strengthen your defenses, and to hold your fronts.
Additionally, your infantry are also required for offense to overcome other people's defensive infantry, so you must achieve infantry balance or superiority on both attack and defensive rolling averages as your most important tactical goal in conducting offense and defense against your enemies.
This means that your infantry, in the long run, are the key to achieving victory because they maximize your economic potential, best strengthen your defenses, and can give you capability to protect your more expensive attack-capable units, such as fighters, tanks, and bombers, so that it is unnecessary to waste resources and IPC's by rebuilding them on subsequent turns. Economics and tactics, not necessarily just "conquest", is the true deciding factor for consistent victory!
It is a mistake to not build up your infantry, if possible, at the start of the game. If any player does not do this, the opponent that does build infantry will usually succeed in keeping their attacking pieces alive, longer, allowing them to compile and add to other offensive units that are being purchased on subsequent turns (instead of having your offensive-oriented pieces wasted on your fronts, while watching these fronts gradually erode away).
An important strategical note, concerning infantry: IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF INFANTRY DEFENSE, IT IS THAT MUCH HARDER FOR ANY OPPONENT(S) TO CONDUCT AN EFFECTIVE OFFENSE, SO THEY ARE THEN FORCED INTO THEIR OWN DEFENSIVE BUILDUP TO COMPENSATE FOR THIS. THIS WASTES THEIR PRODUCTION TURNS, FORCING THEM INTO HOLDING ACTIONS, INSTEAD OF OFFENSIVE ACTIONS.
The last point, the most important one:
LACK OF ADEQUATE DEFENSIVE INFANTRY IS THE ONLY CAUSE OF ANY PLAYER DEATH, ON ANY FRONT OR TERRITORY, NO MATTER WHEN IT OCCURS IN THE GAME - END OF STORY.
If you buy more expensive attack units (like tanks) that subsequently die early...you will have lost your value for these pieces, plus, you generally will have less units on the board to conduct offense or defense with. This is the most crucial purchasing element of the game that many players sadly miss, and will always die early because of it. If they don't buy infantry first, and because the opposing player will always buy infantry to defend against expensive attacking pieces, they will subsequently and consequently have more sackable pieces on any counterattack which eventually occurs. The moral is: always buy infantry first, then other offense, and always replenish your lost infantry in advance, before your anticipated battles occur!
I don't think I can make it any plainer than this. I'm hoping that repetition will cure people of their poor purchasing problems.
Tanks always look like a really good deal to beginners to get their offense going hard in the first few turns of the game. They "only" cost 2 IPC's more, and many Axis and Allies players typically buy many of these units early in the game, in the hopes that they can wear down their opponents defenses. The trouble is, these players are not aware of what they are spending to do this, and how it affects them in the long-term.
Let's say that two players each have 33 bucks to spend on a turn. Look at the difference between these two purchases:
You: Buy 6 Tanks and 1 Infantry =
33 IPC's = 7 units (hits about 3 times on offense, 2 times on
Enemy: Buy 11 Infantry = 33 IPC's = 11 units (hits about 2 times on offense, 3-4 times on defense)
If you wanted to fight a war for real, would you want your forces to be thin? (7 units vs. 11 units) It doesn't look too bad at first, considering that the tanks have superior offense. But OVER THE COURSE OF SEVERAL TURNS against experienced players....you will have less units on the board than an opponent, costing you your ability to hold your fronts, and all of the money that you invested in your units.
Assuming that no attacks are played out immediately, if these two opponents keep up the same purchasing strategy (assuming that each player has 33 bucks to spend every turn), the enemy player will have 9 more pieces on the board than you will, henceforth, generating more DIE (don't excuse the pun) rolls than you will, every turn! After 3 turns of buying, check out what happens when you start using your tanks in a confrontation:
Round 1 of Battle:
You have 18 Tanks and 3 Infantry =
Should hit 9-10 times on the attack on average.
Enemy has 33 infantry = Should hit 11 times on the defense on average.
Round 2 of Battle:
You have 11 Tanks = Should hit 6
times on the attack on average
Enemy has 23 infantry = Should hit at least 7 times on the defense on average
Round 3 of Battle: (calling off the attack before fighting this battle)
You have 4 tanks = Should hit 2
times on the attack on average
Enemy has 17 infantry = Should hit 5-6 times on the defense on average
If you don't believe this, roll it out for yourself. Fight this battle 10 times, and compare the results. Most of the time, it will be about the same (at most, plus or minus 2 to 4 pieces on each step of the battle, which won't make much difference on the outcome)
After the battle, you have wasted 3 turns of investment on a battle that achieved no purpose, and did not properly wear down your enemy's forces. You, on any Enemy counterattack, are DEAD as soon as the Enemy player musters enough offense to kill your remaining tanks that you left (unprotected by infantry) on the front.
The average numbers game is a powerful force in Axis and Allies, and your purchasing strategy was faulty, because you were relying upon LUCK to win your battles for you; luck is NEVER a factor in this game, if you purchase correctly.
Conclusions about Armor (Tanks):
Tanks are good for cheap offense, and are your best buy on board for this purpose. But, buying tanks early in the game, without adequate infantry available to protect them will result in a downfall; you would be wasting your precious income on pieces that usually won't live beyond their first battle, most often wearing down your fronts before their time, which will inevitably then....collapse.
The best advice I can give, concerning Tanks: BUY TANKS ONLY AFTER YOU HAVE ESTABLISHED SOLID INFANTRY BORDERS ON YOUR LAND-BASED FRONTS, no matter WHICH player you are, Axis or Allies.
There is only one exception (that I know of) to this rule....The British player who has a factory in India (or an American player with a Factory in West China), knowing that they will be outnumbered eventually ANYWAY if they don't play aggressively, will typically have to buy tanks and sack them on the Japanese front as required to eliminate Japanese presence from the board, trying to keep the Japanese from cashing out high at the end of the turn (giving the British more income to fuel the fire). This front, of course, is ALWAYS eventually lost against experienced Japanese players (using an Infantry push method of attack), and is only meant to delay the Japanese - NOT stop them entirely, because any time allowed for the Russians to build units and survive both German and Japanese fronts is one of the most crucial elements for Allied side victory.
LAND UNIT PURCHASING SUMMARY
THE "INFANTRY PUSH MECHANIC" DEFINITION:
Always purchase infantry for your land-based fronts before you buy tanks (or fighters or bombers), take the time to develop your fronts, pushing your infantry out to them first, reenforcing them with attack capable units only after you have established a solid front (that is, one that is not in a Dead Zone - see Essay #4 for details). After you have established a sufficient infantry (defensive) presence, you can then buy additional (attack) units, such as tanks (or fighters, bombers) to suit your individual situation, without fear of wasting them needlessly or quickly on your front lines. This concept is referred to as: "THE INFANTRY PUSH MECHANIC" thoughout the essays.
This tactical purchasing plan of approach is the ONLY one that works ALL the time - there's just no other way to do it and win consistently at the same time. By using this style and method of purchasing, you will be saving yourself a lot of wasted time and effort in trying strategies and approaches that simply don't work, by never relying upon attacker's luck to win.
If you adopt the infantry purchase-first strategies, you will ALWAYS overcome any player who is trying to wear you down with consistent waves of attacking pieces - the economics and sheer numbers maintained will allow your own defenses and counterattacks to happen naturally, with overwhelming force and subsequent long-term positive influence on YOUR game.
I never lose to players who make purchasing mistakes, not taking my defensive infantry into account in the long-term strategy of maintaining consistent defenses and fronts - no matter which side I play in the game. One mistake on their part, and it's always obviously Game Over, just a few turns later! (Response purchases against poor purchasing is something that will be covered in a future tactics essay.)
If you now understand these concepts, you may now examine....
THE ONLY FIRST TURN PURCHASE PLAN AND FIRST-TURN MOVEMENT FOR ALL COUNTRIES THAT MAXIMIZES EACH SIDE'S BEST LONG TERM DEFENSIVE AND OFFENSIVE POTENTIAL.
THIS PURCHASING APPROACH ALWAYS DRASTICALLY MINIMIZES YOUR OPPONENT'S SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM OPTIONS IN TERMS OF "VARIETY OF CAPABLE RESPONSES", WHILE DE-BOTTLENECKING YOUR ATTACKING DEPLOYMENT AND GENERAL DEFENSIVE CAPABILITY.
No matter what happens on the first turn, there is only ONE correct purchasing plan set of options for every nation; and every nation must purchase this way to maximize their short-term and long-term purchasing and tactical potentials early in the game.
This may seem like a bold statement, but I can assure everyone of this: any player who deviates from the first turn purchase plan mentioned here will always LOSE to this purchase plan, when combined with experienced play and tactics as your opposition. I have never lost a game against anyone who didn't purchase their first turn units in this manner.
Notes concerning the First Turn Purchase Plan:
Failure to use this purchasing plan, by any Axis or Allied player, will result in cramped conditions, non-maximized potential, and subsequent early death for their side, after taking all long-term economic and tactical considerations into account, when utilizing all of the previously mentioned infantry purchasing strategies.
This plan, if examined carefully, will set up both the Allied and Axis strategical game plans, allowing each nation to setup and fulfill the important critical tasks for each nation....
1) Satisfy Russia's need to establish a solid, capable defensive/offensive front, keeping pressure on the Germans.
2) Satisfy Germany's need to put some pressure on the Russian troops (forcing the Russians to build more infantry), to de-bottleneck the attack on Africa, to provide support for sufficient attack/defense troops wherever they're needed on immediate shores (and, with the German "advanced build" only, which is reserved for REALLY tough Allied players, to possibly provide additional defense against the U.S. Shuck-Shuck Strategy - see essay #2 for details).
3) Allows Britain to properly establish offensive "delaying actions" on critical fronts early, to keep sufficient pressure on the Japanese.
4) Allows Japan to de-bottleneck their troop movement to the mainland, quickly funnel defensive/fodder capable infantry to the mainland, and establish a fleet-based means to conduct naval-based attacks elsewhere as required.
5) Tries to give the Americans the possible capability to rapidly move troops to European shores, for a quick offensive, to put pressure on Germany early on in the game, excepting Essay #3's approach (which may require a more subjective response than the indicated purchase, but it is the U.S. purchase that you would most like to have, if given the opportunity for it).
Anything "less than this" is simply not efficient, if you are going to capably utilize the "infantry-fodder/defensive strength" advantages discussed previously for your overall strategical approach, no matter if you are Axis or Allies.
More importantly, you will be faced against opponent(s) who will use this style of strategical approach against you. Since this must always be assumed against every opponent...these factors simply make the "proper first turn" relatively static, with only a few possible minor variations for the U.S. player only (as determined by Japan's behavior, and/or a German bomber in France on the first turn.)
Compare this plan with your own typical first-turn purchases, and compare the long term results you achieve from them, after always remembering to maximize the usage of all of your purchased units, using infantry as your main purchase focus for the first few turns at the very least, always using infantry to supplement your positional and defensive strength, etc. (In other words, using the "infantry push mechanic). Examine the resultant positions, after resolving all obvious attacks and defenses, and compare strength of position to your previous games. You will find the results....interesting.
Here It Is....
The following purchases always take into account that all first turn and subsequent purchases must help establish the most solid defensive (first) and offensive (second) capability possible against all land-based fronts, as discussed and defined in the "Infantry Unit" discussion mentioned beforehand. Remember this as the foremost reasoning behind these purchases, and all purchases that will follow later in the game.
Aside from the de-bottlenecking benefits and relative strength of structures formed by this purchase plan, there is a tactical standpoint for all the first-turns, which will only be lightly discussed in this essay. Further reading is recommended - please review the Allied Tactics and Axis Tactics essays for further detail.
So the first purchase is...
Russia: Buy 8 Infantry
Really, this should be the easiest one to figure out. Russia is not going to get too blatantly offensive, because the German counterattack capability early in the game is clearly superior, this is due to the amount of infantry, tanks, and air-power it has at the start of the game. Any other Russian purchase would eventually weaken and destroy it's own front in the Karelia region, leaving itself open to counterattack and direct annihilation from Germany, all by itself with no chance for help from ANY ally.
By the end of the turn, it's usually common to see most of Russia's infantry, tanks, and fighters stacked in Karelia. This usually represents about 20 dice rolls of infantry and tank 2's (hitting defensively 6 or 7 times), and two dice rolls of air-based 4's (hits defensively 1, maybe 2 times). This naturally discourages an immediate attack by Germany; If the German player attacks Karelia at this point, even to strafe down a few infantry pieces, the Germans will be wearing down their front lines as well, almost always to the point of self destruction because of the losses to infantry (this assumes that the Germans brought all their fighters in on the attack, ignoring any fleet). Any surviving tanks are likely to be hit on any available Allied counterattack, nullifying the German offensive capability.
All things considered, this is the best defense the Russian money can buy. This forces the German player to buy more infantry to compensate for future offensive battle losses, and FORCES this production every turn thereafter (this is a race to see who gains eventual superiority on that front). If the Russian player doesn't do this, this allows the German player to buy more land-based offense without repercussions on the German second turn and thereafter - once this happens, this is an economic and unit buildup that the Russian player will eventually lose, after the German player's first turn build of infantry.
The Russians just need to sit tight as best as they can, taking over available territory with cheap losses, until the other Allies can render infantry support - THEN they can buy their tanks and other offense, later in the game - by then they will have plenty of infantry available to support any attacks aimed at the German motherland. Because of this first turn purchase, the Russian second turn is that much stronger, potentially enabling the capture of three German territories.
The Soviet Far East Tank is best positioned in Novosibirsk to ready a possible counterattack against on the Russian Eastern Front and on a possible Japanese attack that managed to get lucky and occupy (barely) a British built Indian Factory.
More on Russian tactics will be discussed in my upcoming Allied Tactics essay.
Germans (basic): Buy 8 Infantry and a Southern European Transport
It's generally agreed upon, by every experienced player, that an African invasion is essential for German success; the Russians and the other Allies will be taking every opportunity to take away income early from the Germans on the European continent. This is verbatim and old advice, for sure.
The infantry are required to supplement the German invasion into Africa, as well as build up offensive and defensive capability on the European continent. Without it, the Allies can get deliberately more offensive in their purchasing and tactical territory takeovers. Buying infantry (to pound in the lesson about the importance of infantry) prevents this from happening too early, and provides the Germans with a means to crush the Russian front, eventually.
It is especially important to get more troops into Africa, as many as possible...and quickly. With two transports available by the second turn, it quickly funnels more troop capability and presence into Africa, rapidly expanding and solidly defending the African continent after a German takeover. In other words, it gives you more options when defending the African continent now and later on. This is better than trying to build a factory in Egypt on the second turn, because it's cheaper and quicker to move infantry and tanks via the transports.
Don't attack Egypt on the first turn, because this is a mistake. You will have overwhelming force available in your second turn to take what you need, and if the British player doesn't retreat his forces, they will die.
I will discuss the German European attack strategy an Axis Tactics Essay, forthcoming.
African attack moves are: move tank and infantry one territory south from Libya and move Algeria infantry south to claim 2 open territories. After combat, it's usually a good idea to have a fighter somewhere in attacking vicinity of Egypt, ready to attack on the 2nd turn (this can be done from Europe, if desired) Instead, non-combat move 2 infantry over to Libya. I will leave it to you to figure out what you need to do with it - half the fun is getting there.
Make sure, after non-combat moves and troop placement, that you've left enough forces in Southern Europe for two transports.
After you build your new transport, you can transport a tank and two infantry over on the next turn...more than enough force to contest and hold Africa solidly. This is as solid as it gets, and will eventually overwhelm any South African factory if the British are foolish enough to build it.
Germans (seriously advanced play only): Buy 5 Infantry and a Bomber
This is recommended for very experienced play only, but only after your play group has discovered the problems that the U.S. can cause for you in the middle-to-later stages of the game by using my infantry purchasing guidelines, when combined with heavily optimized U.S. deployment strategies in the Allied Tactics essay. This purchase is a necessary component that is combined with some advanced Axis play strategies, those of which will be discussed in the Axis Tactics essay.
If you do not fully and intimately understand the concepts of play behind the suggested German basic strategy, and the previously mentioned purchasing guidelines that will you will be faced against, and the component strategy that involves a joint effort by the Germans and the Japanese to deal with the advanced U.S. deployment strategies...you will die an early death if you use this as your first-turn purchase. Don't attempt it without reviewing my Axis tactics essay, and don't attempt it if you haven't reached this level of play yet in your local play group. I will discuss this extra bomber in greater detail in the Axis Tactics Essay, and any future essays that will involve a discussion on sacrificial tactics.
British: 95% of the Time, Buy an Industrial Complex (Factory) and Save 15 IPC's
Britain is the only known exception to the unit purchase guidelines, as briefly mentioned before. The British, if they do not play aggressively against Japanese and German fronts, will simply lose more territory more quickly, killing their capability to assist their Allies earlier in the game. They are destined to lose their income more rapidly if they don't put up any kind of offense or defense, and it doesn't matter if the offense or defense will turn out to be a hopeless one, 7 or 8 turns later. The British are simply cast in the role of providing "delaying actions" in the early game (the first 7 or 8 turns), if they can.
The British, who are about to lose most of their empire, will need to try and take one good stab at a one time purchase on the next turn to help solidify their own position and help defend against the Axis onslaught, before becoming wholly dependant upon American assistance. This initial financial investment by the British, early in the game, ALWAYS determines the ultimate means to victory for the Allies, because this serves the purpose of providing "delaying actions" while the Americans are trying to get more solidly into the war.
At best course, the British should build a factory in India, retreating available infantry from Egypt and Iraq (using a transport) to help defend it, driving a tank into Persia to set up a second turn assault on Burma (preferable) or Iraq, if the Japanese happen to pull out of Burma completely to attack East China (a very weak move by any Japanese player - they should always be keeping one infantry behind for defense). There is additional infantry available in Australia, ready and available to transport to the Indian factory if need be. the Americans can optionally retreat some of their forces to help defend it as well.
The Indian Factory can ALWAYS be defended, if necessary, with other types of defense structures. For example, if you are unable to transport 2 infantry to the India site on the first turn, you can alternatively place the British transport in Burma waters, just for the sole purpose of preventing any first turn Japanese transports from invading India on their first turn. You will probably lose the transport, but this cripples the Japanese attack on the Indian territory....thus, the maximum amount of force that Japan can hit India with is: 1 fighter, 1 bomber, and 2 infantry. This is not very good odds, indeed, especially when faced against 2 or 3 possible allied counterattacks that can be casually setup upon this territory before the Japanese player's second turn... (eg. any Russian tanks that are deployed in Novosibirsk, a retreated Egyptian British tank, 2 American infantry and a fighter, etc). On the 2nd turn of British play, reenforcements simply arrive naturally through building and Allied deployment (this is keeping in mind that the British fighters from U.K. should be deployed to India by the end of the second turn). The Indian factory is thus - self sustaining.
I've seen two major styles of "delaying action" approaches that are appropriate for this Indian factory:
1) Buy nothing but tanks, play aggressively, forcing the Japanese to always "beat back" the offensives in a reactionary manner (the Indian factory may fall faster this way, due to fast depletion of front lines). Once some British fighter support grows in India, this becomes a formidible force, requiring a decisive action by the Japanese, eventually (forces the Japanese play, somewhat - they may have to take out Australia and New Zealand to fight this structure).
2) Buy combinations of infantry and tanks in India, forcing the Japanese to contend with counterattack fodder, saving money for the occasional extra fighter or bomber with the depleting British income. This approach is not "as aggressive", and generally allows the Japanese to cash out higher, but it allows the British player to save more tanks on the front lines if played out carefully (potentially saving the British investments to fight another day, instead of simply dying on a counterattack).
Both approaches are effective, but the one that fits my purchasing strategies a little more is option #2 - it allows better potential for saving needed British resources, and it can make the final battle for the Indian factory much more difficult by the time that the Japanese muster enough force while making the attempt to deal with it. This often makes the difference of one, maybe two turns, buying a lot of needed time for the Allies. I won't say that one is superior over the other, but I think that approach #2 works a little better most often, because of the extra fighters you can obtain for holding the Indian factory, then eventually defending Russia later once the Factory falls to the Japanese onslaught.
Although I don't recommend this approach as your primary one: sometimes the placement of the Factory can depend upon the results of the German player's first attack - this is generally described as thus:
If Egypt is attacked and taken over on the first German turn, it can be sometimes better to counterattack Egypt using the British fighter from India and three infantry from India and Iraq (retreating entirely from India), move the South African infantry north on the non-combat phase, and build a South African factory instead.
This is a scary, but rewarding gambit move, which carefully examines the German offensive presence and takes the additional elements into account, before attempting it:
1) If Germany is offensively weak (they lost some fighters on the first turn attack) in Europe after the first turn, then the South African factory move can be assessed as a "possible approach" at this point.
2) The scarier element that needs addressing, for this to work: the British bomber should be sent on a probable (2 out of 3 games) suicide mission to try and bomb a lone German transport in the Mediterranean, which will also (usually) get shot down by the German battleship. This tactical element and tactical approach should probably not be attempted at all if faced against two German transports in the Mediterranean.
3) You will also need to be able to deploy fighters to the possible South African factory by turn 3, if trying this approach against the Essay #3 Axis tactics.
4) Germany has at least half of their forces in Africa deployed to the west shores of Africa, such as Algeria, after the first turn.
This defense structure can permanently stall the German advance into Africa if the Germans moved their transport into Egypt's north sea zone on the first turn. Any German sea units that were built in Southern Europe are left unprotected (!?), and should ALWAYS be taken out by the British Bomber (from U.K.) on this turn - it doesn't matter if you (probably) lost the bomber, it was worth the sacrifice to stall out the German advance this early in the game!
More U.S. forces can then be diverted to help Russia, and German players are subsequently forced to deal with this too early, with no sufficient resources to go back into Africa again. (This is often a very very very common tactical blunder that German players often make - attacking and potentially wasting their units before they have sufficient resources built up in Africa. In this case, Axis death will occur far too early, potentially as early as turn 5 or 6..)
This South African factory must be defended, if you want to keep it, which can get real interesting when faced with the Axis tactics as described in Essay #3. The dynamics of the situation as described in this essay make this factory vulnerable to a Japanese attack as early as turn 3 (with potentially only two turns of built "defensive presence" available). You may need an extra fighter or two available for landing there, which must be diverted from the Karelian front, weakening the overall structure there. Again, this must be managed with extreme care...
Generally though, I don't like to recommend this approach. It's a tricky game to manage if playing the Allies, because your British air units are potentially trapped on the South African shores (the cut off point being India and Persia, and they're always two turns away from Karelia if they're needed there). If Germany responds by going more aggressively on the Eastern Europe front, or more aggressive on the African front due to any availability of resources, you could lose it all, for nothing...the game will quickly be over if this happens.
Additionally, there are a few (the missing 5%) circumstances where the British player should not attempt to buy/build a factory at all.
This is a very rare circumstance that applies to opportunities that probably, on average, should not arise within the game format - such as extreme bad luck on the first German turn (such as them having to call off the attack on the main British fleet after losing too many units, for example). If this happens, the game is generally over anyway - the Allies should then win quickly, if they know how to purchase properly, understand dead zones (essay #4), and use their forces effectively.
This rare game circumstance may also apply if the Germans somehow occupied both sides of the Egyptian canal on their first turn, possibly allowing the Germans to attack the Indian Factory by turn 2 (if the British player forgets they have a transport available to block the initiative, or if Japan diverts their carrier aircraft to attack it on the first turn) or turn 3 (punching a hole through the British "transport block" initiative first). The Germans will likely have some or all of their aircraft near or in Africa to supplement this possibility. If this is the case, I wouldn't bother with building a factory at all, I'd just save cash, and help the Americans go right after the Germans with fleet and air support, among other things. See the below assessment, as to why:
A note to Axis Players, concerning this mentioned tactical approach ("Rush Over To Kill the Indian Factory Early, Or Prevent It From Being Built"):
Although this attack structure is theoretically possible, and seems appealing, it has a VERY low average chance of succeeding...this is due to the potential losses taken, and because you are diverting needed forces away from positions of strength elsewhere - the Allies can then just shift their focus to deal with all of this. I don't think I could recommend this attack structure to any Axis player, period - it was only tried in our play group to see if it could eliminate the Allies (and that damnable Indian Factory) more quickly. The conclusions were: It's not consistent, it diverts needed resources for other defending areas, and it has a high potential to backfire horribly against knowledgable Allied players (there are too many vulnerable targets left wide open for them to ignore, and the potential for a German early stall-out is higher as a result). If you're looking for a better Axis play method, you should use Essay #3 to leverage your advantages, instead.
Japan: Build 2 transports, 3 infantry (basic - the optimized mainland deployment method)
This is the most important build In the "average" A&A game (this is defined as "before your local play-group opponents start to use Essay #2's Allied tactics to their maximum efficiency, and before you're forced to use Essay #3's Axis tactics in order to stop Essay #2's Allied tactics"), you can use this build to better leverage a greater 2nd turn deployment efficiency on any Asian mainland attack.
Japan: Build 3 Transports, Save 1 IPC (advanced - using Essay #3's style of tactics only)
This is the most important build of the advanced Axis game. Only with this style of build can the Axis consistently achieve any kind of path toward victory in the advanced A&A game....but it requires an in-depth understanding of the "futility problem" that exists when faced against the optimized Allied defense structure as explained in Essays #2 and #3.
YOU SHOULD NEVER BUILD A FACTORY ON THE MAINLAND ON THE FIRST TURN. THIS BUILD IS A MISTAKE, BECAUSE IT NEVER WORKS AGAINST EXPERIENCED ALLIED PLAYERS WHO KNOW THEIR PURCHASING STRATEGIES AND DEAD ZONE (Essay #4) BASED TACTICS.
I routinely kill Axis players early when playing the Allies when the Japanese build a mainland factory on the first turn, because they aren't able to put enough pressure on the Russians quickly enough.
Huh? (You might ask) What the HELL is he talking about? That is the entire point of that first turn build!?!?
Please bear with me for a minute.
Most Axis players who use this strategy lose to experienced Allied players, and tend to ALWAYS complain that the Allies are too powerful a force to contend with...unless you get lucky on a battle or two. This is NOT true, if you REALLY know what to do with Japan's economic resources and attack capability.
Let's review Japan's situation.
Japan's first priority is to establish a front on the mainland, and try to cash out big, quickly, to minimize the Allies' building capability and subsequently increase their own capability for purchasing. ALL territory taken as EARLY AS POSSIBLE counts directly toward this goal, because EVERY TURN that the Allied player MISSES cashing out on any given territory will hurt them badly in later turns. Why and how does this work?
For example: If Japan owns Yakut and Soviet Far East by Turn 2 (usually Turn 3 though, against strong players), this takes it's toll early on the Russians...
Russian Turn 3 - down 4 bucks
Russian Turn 4 - down 4 bucks
Russian Turn 5 - down 4 bucks
12 bucks on 3 turns are lost early in the game, totaling 4 Infantry that Russia ultimately lost for defensive purposes while maintaining two separate fronts. (Attrition really begins to take it's toll on the third captured Russian territory, no matter where it is.) Another three turns later means a total of 8 infantry lost, this is conservatively assuming that the Japanese player hasn't taken over any more territory. Therefore, it is important for the Japanese player to take over territory as quickly as possible to neutralize the Allied advantage!
Infantry can be funnelled to the mainland quickly, instead of having to wait for units to built from a first turn factory. So just what good is a factory on the mainland on the first turn, due to this fact? None that I can see.
It's far too expensive and wasteful for the limited benefit (what benefit?) you get from it, this early in the game. If this purchasing strategy works for you, then your opponent's knowledge of their options must be extremely limited indeed...for you to succeed with it. This kind of strategy only works against players who have built-in limitations in their defensive flexibility as the Allies, brought upon by their poor purchasing habits as well as yours.
Let's back these statements with a few facts, shall we?
If a mainland factory is built on the first turn, the Japan player doesn't get to use the factory until the second turn, with no way to funnel large amounts of land invasion infantry attack and defensive capability support onto the mainland quickly enough to supplement a massive land assault. Why?
The answer should be obvious...you simply will not have enough transports to do the job. Extra Infantry will be stranded on the Japanese island and surrounding islands, with no way to efficiently move off and onto the mainland.
In addition to this...with only two transports carrying a total of 4 infantry - these are not enough to machine a consistent advance on the mainland, due to losses taken on mainland based infantry in subsequent battles by and after the 4th turn. This is because of a possible two sided front from the British and Americans on the South side of the Asian continent (if the British and/or the Americans are bright enough to build a factory there), and the Russians, holding patiently on the Northern Asia front - should be setting up counterattacks as necessary.
This ultimately stalls the potential gained economic base for the Japanese, because they will have to wait two full turns to gain more territory. This is called "early containment", and is far too late to deal with, because without Japan pressuring Russia appropriately, the Germans should be well on their way to being crushed by then.
Proof? Here it is:
The Right Japanese Typical Purchases and Deployment Strategy: (and Typical Outcome of it...)
There are some derivations, according to opportunity (any free Allied territory, poorly defended, or poorly counterattacked Allied territory should immediately be taken).
The early main idea to set up is: to make any Russian attack on the Japanese to be a suicidal one, because of any possible counterattack. Doing this, the Japanese player can effectively "push" the Russian forces back into retreat, without any substantial risk to your units, while dealing with any other Allied presence on their other front(s). ANY opportunity to crush the entire Russian front on average die rolls should be done automatically - and don't worry about the losses, unless they're fighters (you need every fighter available to make this attack structure work).
Turn 1 - A first turn Non-Combat move (using a basic Asian deployment example) is to transport 4 infantry pieces to mainland Manchuria (2 from the island, 2 from Japan, of course), after all attacks are resolved (you must take out Eastern China, verbatim, to weaken any American factory possibilities that suddenly spring up in Sinkiang). Available fighters land in Kwangtung or Manchuria, dependant upon taste and preference of counterattack responses or possibilities. (If the Russians attack Manchuria, they will lose their front, totally - look at the counterattack potential if you don't believe me - just examine the second turn possibilities).
Turn 2 - Building at least 6-8 infantry (maybe a tank), or a few less infantry and another transport....Combat or Non-Combat moves are to transport 6 infantry pieces (or one tank in there somewhere) to Manchuria or Soviet Far East, transporting all available surrounding island infantry units next to Japan. All fighters assist any attacks, then land in Manchuria (if the Soviets didn't stupidly sack all of their frontlines by attacking Manchuria on their 2nd turn)
Turn 3 - Building at least 8 infantry (or a transport somewhere in there - by turn 3, you should be trying to have at least 4 transports ready and available)....after combat, Non-Combat Moves are to transport 6-8 infantry into Manchuria, Fighters assist any attacks and land wherever appropriate.
Turn 4 - Building at least 8 infantry, maybe a factory, bomber, or some tanks....Non-Combat Moves are to transport 8 infantry into Manchuria, and the Fighters assist any attacks and land wherever appropriate.
After turn 4, after all battles, etc, on previous turns - you will typically have about 15-17 infantry units on the mainland, with at least 8 more coming to be dropped off anywhere on the coastline all the way down to Burma, in at least in groups of 3 or 4 defending and fighting somewhere on the mainland against the availing Russian and British/American forces, using Japanese fighters to assist on any attacks, consistently moving your infantry into adjacent territories on a constant wave of attacks, EVERY TURN, cashing out bigger and bigger at the end of EVERY turn, as opposed to:
Japanese Build a Factory on the First Turn: A Serious Tactical Error
Turn 1 - (After building a factory) Transport 4 infantry (maximum) to mainland Manchuria
Turn 2 - Build at least 3 tanks, 4 infantry (with a stalled offense, unless you want to waste your infantry on a front that will collapse if the Allied player has enough sense to play more aggressively by building an American Factory in West China), Move 4 infantry into Manchuria.
Turn 3 - Build at least 3 tanks, 4 infantry sacking all your remaining infantry in battles with your tanks and fighters. Move 4 infantry into Manchuria (stalled behind the advanced front line)
Turn 4 - Build at least 3 tanks, etc, your opponent(s) are now taking every opportunity to kill your tanks on counterattacks. Goodbye to all of your hard earned money, and they will take back territory when the opportunity is available. Stalled again, and now you're now thinking defensively, instead of offensively! Axis Death, this is!
In this situation, your forces are too thin on all boundaries, a total of maybe 8-9 pieces after all the attacks and counterattacks, to be truly effective as a consistent threat to boundaries, and will always be stalled out, until the Japanese player realizes that they need more infantry on the mainland to supplement it. By then, an effective Japanese attack is already too late. The American player and/or British player, if bright at all, will have at least one factory in place, sacking their produced units on the Japanese front just to kill anything and everything, with steadily growing fighter support from Britain....you will need to redouble efforts to deal with it all, building the infantry-transport fleet that you should have built in the first place, far too late to be effective now to secure consistent Axis pressure on Russia.
THIS IS INEFFICIENT AND WASTEFUL, BECAUSE YOUR JAPANESE FLEET IS SERVING LIMITED USEFUL PURPOSE AND YOUR EXPENSIVE ATTACKING PIECES ARE BEING FORCED TO REGROUP, OR ALTERNATIVELY, DIE ON THE FRONT LINES. Death to the Axis when this occurs, always, against experienced Allied players - they only need to stall the Japanese, not defeat them immediately, to eliminate Germany from play!!
Remember WHY you should NOT build a Japanese factory on the first turn:
By the time that the units produced by a first turn factory are ready (only 3 tanks, which is usually the Japanese purchase), they have virtually little capability to do much else but defend themselves from an onslaught of suicidal British tanks from an ever increasingly potent Indian factory (more on this later) which was built first, and whose pieces have the capability to attack first. (I play a very, very aggressive Indian factory...buying nothing but tanks that sack themselves on the Japanese front to keep the Japanese player from advancing quickly on the mainland, supplemented by a continuous growth of British fighters - this is very, very hard to overcome without sound tactics and strategy) With a factory on the board, the Japanese are left in a position to defend it, too early in the game.
A factory on the mainland, no matter where you put it, starts the major part of the Japanese offensive by Turn 3, which is far too late and too weak and too slow for any realistic purposes. Instead of this, Japan should be potentially threatening Evenki and Novosibirsk and West China with a "push" force by now, cashing out higher and higher every turn, forcing the Russians to respond to this front earlier in the game (taking pressure off the Germans).
By turn one, British India may have a factory in place, producing units in front of you, attacking you before you get your turn. Now, you have to deal with scarce availability of resources to defend against it. Then, you are subsequently forced into a defensive situation with scarce resources and little mainland offensive capability, when you should have been on the offensive, sweeping towards Russia and easily crushing any possible British-built Indian factory by the 6th or 7th turn.
You should build a factory on the mainland as early as the second or third (preferable, because your front is stronger) turn only if the British player and American player did not build an Indian factory by then, and appears to be concentrating on a German "crush" strategy. Why? It's because that these Allied players should have committed their forces to fighting in the Atlantic, and it will be too late for them to reinforce the Japanese front without crippling their advance on the Germans. You will easily be able to continue to use your transports to supplement the mainland forces with Infantry as required.
You have to assume that the Allied player will always set up multiple "dead zones" (see essay #4) to trap weak (or expensive) front structures, caused by not having enough "fodder" troops (infantry) available for your fronts.
AN EXPLANATION OF THE FLEET MOVEMENT AND ATTACKS FOR JAPAN:
(1) The Pearl Harbor attack (this should be obvious to all players) should be conducted, always, without exception.
If this U.S. fleet is not removed, it will be used against you in the Pacific (non-optimal), or it can be driven through the Panama Canal to assist the U.S. Atlantic invasion front (optimal). Any anticipation of anything less than the optimal response movement from the U.S. player is generally considered as weak play....
Because of this, you must always use enough forces to take out this sea zone area decisively.
In basic tactical play...
Use all available fleet, except for the transports (which stay behind to offload troops onto the Asian mainland) to conduct this attack, combined with 2 fighters (to be landed on the carrier), and the bomber (just to make sure).
The object of this attack movement is to remove all 3 U.S. fleet pieces in Hawaii on the first round of combat, if possible. Please keep in mind that the U.S. player has the option of "retreating a submarine" instead of "declaring it to be a loss" after the first round of battle, which can potentially create more havoc for any Japanese player on any counterattack response, or more problems for the Germans later on if that sub is used somehow in their Atlantic initiative (via the Panama Canal, of course).
The Japanese can always remove their submarine as their first declared loss as the best 1st option when declaring their first set of casualties in this battle. But since it is possible that there will be more than one loss in this battle, I've seen two styles of loss removal for any "second unit loss declaritive", and the effects of which are summarized as follows:
This potential "second unit loss", if it happens, can be defined to be the following Japanese units:
1) Bomber - this is a common 2nd loss declaritive, as it assumes that the massive battleship fleet presence should be enough to deter a U.S. fleet buildup or counterattack on the Japanese fleet. This has the effect optimizing the sea based defense to its maximum capabilty, after both the fighters have landed on the carrier.
2) Battleship - this is also a common 2nd loss declaritive, as it goads the U.S. into committing their resources to counterattacking the Japanese fleet, instead of using their "potential counterattack" resources against the Germans after travelling through the Panama canal. This has the effect of saving the bomber for future attacks on the Asian mainland, at some expense of your sea fleet's eventual defensive capability.
3) Fighter - this less popular 2nd loss declaritive assumes that the carrier will be travelling with the rest of the fleet until it gets back into flight range of other fighters. This has the effect of saving the bomber for future attacks on the Asian mainland, at very minor expense of your sea fleet's present defensive capability, and with increased expense to your eventual Asian mainland total offensive capability (that extra fighter could potentially be used in land based offense and defense).
My own personal taste and style of 2nd loss declaration is choice option 2, as I tend to like to dare the U.S. into counterattacking this Japanese fleet. If the U.S. decides to do this, it has the effect of slowing down their capable offense onto the Atlantic shores. This thus accomplishes a "capable distraction", which is always a good thing to be able to do if you're playing the Axis....this is mainly because this potential counterattack battle ultimately achieves little "immediate benefit" for the Allies. If playing in this way, my bomber is also saved for the purpose of creating an extra offensive based nuisance against the Allies in Asia.
I think that choice options 1 or 2 can be played out equally capably, however....and my own preference is only a personal one. This decision is purely based upon a matter of taste and the resultant "style of game" that you would like to play out. Option 3 is interesting, but this only makes the U.S. counterattack on this fleet to be less tempting, I think. This really isn't too bad, except that I don't happen to like losing fighters early which can potentially be used on land based fronts as well....and also because I think that it's generally better to leave forces that are a "more tempting target" for the U.S player, a target that has "more eventual capability in several attack/defense capacities" than one that has "less eventual attack/defense capabilty". Faced against option 3 as the U.S., I'd probably just ignore that fleet entirely, and go right after Germany instead.
In advanced play only, using Essay #3's tactics....
This Japanese attack force on Pearl Harbor should consist of the following:
1 battleship (Japan)
2 fighters (one from Japan, one from the carrier)
After combat has been completed, the fighters will be moved to the carrier which will be occupying the Solomon Islands sea zone. It is also crucial that the battleship is to be taken off as a loss in this battle, if necessary. This is done in the stead of the bomber or the fighters, because of these units are a necessary component of the Essay #3 strategical approach.
Non-combat movements at sea, following the Pearl Harbor strike:
Load both transports (4 infantry)
and send them to the Solomon Islands sea zone, unloading the
Move the carrier to the Solomon Islands sea zone.
Move the other battleship to the Solomon Islands sea zone
Land the bomber in the Solomon Islands.
All and all, after the Pearl Harbor attack, this is what you should have in the Solomon Islands and it's associative sea zone:
2 fighters (on the carrier)
1 bomber (on Solomon Island)
This naval movement setup will explain itself in greater detail during Essay #3 - the Axis Tactics essay....please review it for further details.
(2) Conduct the Asian-based land strike against East China, taking/occupying it using overwhelming force, drawing upon all available infantry and fighters near the Asian mainland, leaving behind only 1 infantry to defend Burma, and only 1 infantry to defend Manchuria.
This attack should obvious to the seasoned Axis player. This attack move must be conducted to prevent the Americans from building a factory in Sinkiang on the first turn. If the Americans are allowed to build this factory, it is doubtful that you will ever gain any headway on the Asian continent, which will essentially nullify Japan as an effective pressuring force for the Axis.
You should leave at least one infantry behind in both Manchuria and Burma. This is because you want to force the other player into using pieces up on attacks that fall within the Japanese "Dead Zones" on the board (see Essay #4 for an explanation of this concept)
Notes for Japan's Asian strike, in basic play only:
If utilizing Japan for quick mainland play only, for now, you should just keep in mind that it is a good idea to try and take the necessary subsequent turn steps to return all fighters to the mainland by turn 2, in order to help your infantry out on attacks on the mainland front.
If you wish to use Japan in the Advanced Tactical Game...
When the Allies are able to steamroll Germany, quickly in every game - see essay #2's commentary on optimal Allied deployment and related tactics, please forgo the previous "beginner notes" paragraph commentary...and read the Axis Tactics essay.
United States: Usually...2 transports and 6 infantry in Eastern USA (if possible) - but this always varies against the Essay #3's Axis Tactics, among other possible response venues. The capability of play at this point of the game is usually 'too variant", requiring you to evaluate and implement the necessities of the Allied gameplan as according to the next essay's notes ("Essay #2) as best as you can, given the circumstances.
This build may vary according to current situation in Europe or Africa. A German Bomber in France may or may not force a U.S. player to build an extra transport or save for a turn, depending upon circumstances developed with the Axis and/or your other Allies.
The U.S. player is generally preparing for a quick strike in Norway, France, or Algeria. Ignoring the Axis in the Pacific is generally a good move, if you can do it (again, this is excepting the situation that is faced when playing against the advanced Axis tactical play in essay #3, usually requiring some different purchasing approaches and tactics). This approach is amplified by steering your remaining battleship and transport through the Panama Canal to join up with your Eastern USA attack fleet.
Generally speaking, it takes longer to mount an offense against Japan, and it doesn't really stall them too much - so it is usually better to go straight after Germany, who are more easily contained to to proximity of the Allied production centers. Once pressure is taken off of these centers, Germany can be invaded, accordingly. The Pacific is generally worthless, except to defend your own borders. In most games, the Japanese can have it if they really want it.
The reasons for the United States purchase and commentary will be discussed later in the Allied Tactics Essay, because there are many tactical elements that a U.S. player must be able to master to be effective in maximizing the raw power of the U.S. economic potential.
This ends the First Essay on Achieving Victory in Axis and Allies: PURCHASING THE RIGHT KINDS OF UNITS FOR THE LONG-TERM WAR.
Regards - Don Rae (c) 1998
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