This chapter was written to help inexperienced players to get into the game. The focus of this chapter lies in the description how to keep the game balanced. How to handle special cases like ?invincible? defenses or the impact of special bids on the game is described somewhere else.
Therefore we avoided as far as possible any statements concerning unit amounts, especially because they are not valid anymore beyond the first turn. Based on the given facts victory is only possible by either capturing the German or Russian capital or by a M84 victory, because the three remaining capitals are almost unconquerable due to their island location.
Germany has to fortify his position in Europe, which can be accomplished by several means: Destroying Britain naval forces, expansion in Africa and fortifying EEU and WEU to prevent amphibious landings. To prevent amphibious attacks during the first turns Germany should destroy as many sea units (especially transports) as possible. Applying this strategy it is important to keep the losses of Germany?s air units as low as possible. Later on it is strongly advised not to attack sea units guarded by carriers or battleships. Even if you are able to destroy the whole opponent?s fleet, the sacrifice is too high. The lost air units will miss on one hand by recapturing trade zone countries and on the other hand new manufactured enemy naval units will have more freedom of movement, because there is no need to guard them anymore.
There are different opinions about the strategy in Africa. Some players say, the only way to win for the axis is to capture Africa. But that is not true! However Africa provides a good way to increase Germany?s income significantly. Therefore Germany should try to expand and keep the African countries as long as possible. But Germany should be aware of that the used units are paid back by the occupied countries in a profitable ratio. In Europe it is difficult to expand for Germany. There Germany should take care of a sufficient fortification of EEU and WEU that an ally?s attack makes no sense at anytime. To ensure this there must be at least enough units in this countries to repel an attack of all ally?s units within one turn range. UKR is used as trade zone.
Furthermore Germany has to use his income very efficient. Therefore Germany should invest his whole money in infantry, except 0-2 armors every turn. The ideal case is the constellation that the whole money is spent (32 = 9 inf, 1 arm; 39 = 13 inf; 40 = 10 inf, 2 arm). Using this guideline it is assured that Europe is good fortified and furthermore a considerable potential of attacking units is accumulated. But there are also exceptions to this guideline:
- Production of a transporter to strengthen the Mediterranean fleet to keep it in use for a longer period of time
- A massive armor production for one round as preparation for an attack on LEN (and later MOS)
- In case of Germany is under pressure right from the start it may be useful to produce infantry exclusively.
- Destroy enemy fleets (in GER-1, from GER-2 on attack only unprotected ships)
- Hold Africa as long as possible or economically useful
- Hold EEU
- Hold WEU
- Use UKR as trade zone
- Keep your Mediterranean fleet alive as long as possible
- Invest your income optimal
Usually Japan can expand without any problems up to an income of about 45 to 50 IPC. But how to use this financial power expediently is the difficult question. Many players make the mistake and try to overrun Moscow too fast. For this project they place industrial complexes on the continent and produce countless tanks. Unfortunately this leads to a disaster for Japan, simple because the cannon fodder is missing to bear down the allies? defense in Moscow. Therefore the Japanese should proceed slow but intense.
In general Japan should attack EPO in round 1. If there is a potential risk from the ally?s air fleet, then it is maybe better not to send all Japanese units in range to EPO. In this case a reduced attack (only 4-5 units) may work out better. But if there is no threat from opponent units a full attack has its advantages and an attack on Hawaii can be considered. Furthermore with a little bit of luck Japan will get the chance to destroy the remaining American battle ship in Japan-2. But additional attacks on US troops and countries make no sense, because US can produce units on his continent faster, than the Japanese is able to transport and/or to produce in ALA. At most in some cases an amphibious attack on ALA with 1 or 2 Inf make probably sense (by example if US has the exact amount of units on the continent, which are planned to transport to Europe).
At the same time the expansion in Asia starts:
Usually CHI, SIN, IND and FAR are possible targets for an attack, sometimes YAK as well.
- CHI is mandatory due to the loss of a ftr for the US
- SIN is recommended, because the two US inf are very valuable for the allies in case to prevent an early M-84 victory
- IND, FAR and YAK should only be attacked if sufficient units are available and the losses are considerable
Afterwards Japan should produce only trn and inf up to the point 5-7 trn are available. During this time the trn should transport with full capacity inf to almost exclusively Asia. The invasion of Asia has top priority.
Within the first 6 rounds Japan should conquer the islands of HAW, NZE, AUS and MAD, because the income of the islands should not be underestimated.
Japan has also to take care about Africa. Recommended is to start with the invasion of Africa between round 4 and 8. The Axis can lead Africa in a kind of ?stacking contest?.
This includes that the allies are sending units to Africa (especially egy) which forces the allies to send units to Africa as well. By increasing the number of the axis? units the allies have to increase their amount, too, up to the point, when the allies gained more power in Africa than the axis. But before the allies could start an attack on egy, the axis? units start moving towards Moscow. Performing this MOS will get under extreme pressure and will fall eventually.
In general there are three basic strategies for Japan to strengthen its position. Often a mixture out of these three strategies is the best applicable:
- Bomber strategy: As soon as Japan has an income of 40 or higher it starts to buy one bomber each round. With the additional bombers Japan can act and react very flexible especially in considerations of the many frontiers it has to fight at. Furthermore the air units are a consistent danger for enemy naval units and last but not least if the Japanese has the luck to develop heavy bombers this can have a big impact on the whole game.
- Transporter-strategy: Japan buys continuously transports and infantry. Armors only if the money is not sufficient to buy 2 infantries. With these units Japan should be able should to force the allies to withdraw from NOV to MOS and it should be possible to put pressure on Africa as well.
- Industrial complex strategy: Applying this strategy Japan buys one industrial complex, but not before the third round. There is only one strong industrial complex: in India. Starting from India tanks are very fast in Africa and in case of a stacking contest they are even faster available in Asia. Furthermore there is only one strong industrial complex because Japan has from beginning only one AA-gun and so Japan is not forced to invest another 5 IPC to guard the industrial complex. In addition an industrial complex benefits only compared to two transports if in average two tanks per turn are produced. Unfortunately an industrial complex has also disadvantages: It can be conquered by an enemy (especially the strong industrial complex in IND), but what can be prevented by anticipatory planning. The second disadvantage is that bombers can fly bombardment attacks on the IC, what can be disastrous if the enemy runs a bomber strategy and develops heavy bombers. In games played without tech the IC strategy is more powerful, whereas the bomber strategy is less.
- Destroy the Hawaiian fleet
- Capture CHI, SIN, IND, FAR, YAK (if enough units are available)
- Produce trn and inf to build a strong army in Asia step by step
- Choose on of the three basic strategies (or take a mixture if appropriate)
- Invade Africa between turn 4 and 8
- Capture all island (finished by turn 6)