Tech: Luck vs. Strategy

1. The most named reason for rolling tech dices in 2nd edition is, that the player does not think he can win the game anymore.
This can be either in the later game if you are in a bad situation because of bad luck or inability or already in the early phase of the game if you are playing against an opponent where you think you would not have a chance normally.
Often both players agree prior to game start to play without tech because they don?t like the named luck dependent strategies. This means during that game it is not allowed to roll for techs.

2. But in a later stadium of the game tech rolls might become reasonable although you are in a disadvantageous position. In the following a discussion about that:

First let us have a look on the various techs:

SuperSubs: useless
JetPower: useless
Rockets: nice, but not a game-breaker
Industrial Technology (IT): can decide the game, if is developed in the early stage of a game. If developed in the later game it most often does not play a role anymore
Long Range Aircraft (LRA): very powerful! Suddenly various option are available and you can cover the whole map with you aircraft fleet.
Heavy Bomber (HB): Game-breaker! (if you have bombers *g*)

While IT and Rockets are long-term techs - strategic technologies, LRA and HB are techs, where you have to place your units strategically in order to optimize your game - tactical technologies. The longer a game goes the strategic technologies loose while the tactical technologies increase their importance. An increasing air fleet together with strong positioning makes the tactical technologies more and more dangerous.

Considering this, the following two variants are possible:

1. You do only a few tech rolls at the beginning of the game in order to decide the game luckily.
Target: To get IT or HB. If this works out it will be very difficult for your opponent.
Nice to have: Rockets, LRA

2. You build a lot of bombers with the target to get HB later.
Target: HB
Nice to have: LRA, IT

The first variant can be played with almost every nation because it is based exclusively on luck. The second variant is almost excluded for Germany and Russia, because they can be a victim of strategic bombardment and furthermore they need their money to buy land units. It is also disadvantageous for UK because it can be bombed easily, remaining US and Japan.

It is not easy to bomb and, in the middle game, an income of 45 IPC can be expected. At the time Japan starts to roll tech dices, then Japan should already be able to do something useful with its air fleet in the same turn, i.e. the bombers should be in attack range of sensitive targets. Ideally the bombers are not lost in the attack.

- Allies fleet
- NOV/MOS/EGY (examples). It may be possible that the defense breaks because of the heavy bombers
- Conducting SBRs. It is advantageous to bomb the nation which could counter tech. Most of the times this will be the USA, which is not a problem if LRA is also available. Without LRA the bombers need to be stationed on HAW by which they are most likely out of range on any other target.
Example: 5ftr and 5 bmb are in range of NOR. In NOR are cruising 10trn, 1bb, 1ac and 2 ftr. Without HB the attack would be a failure because you would loose your entire air fleet. But with HB you would most likely sink the entire fleet and in 50% of the cases you would not loose a bmb.

How can I prepare with Japan for tech from the beginning?
- Never build an IC on the continent, it would be a perfect target for bombing by the allies
- Inf is the most important unit in the beginning, Asia must be in your hands
- From a certain turn (ca. 5-6) you can start to build a bmb every turn
- Only fly SBR if you have nothing else to do

What can I do if my opponent counters?
Most of the time this will be the US, therefore it is important to bomb the US. At the same time it might make sense to send the full loaded Japanese transporters to the US. Because of Japan will focus on producing bombers, the transporters are not needed anymore. Therefore they can be used to put pressure on US and maybe it is possible to break through into the Atlantic Ocean. Caution: Depending on the position of the units some very strong moves may exist ? you only have to find them!

For the Allies:
To secure important defense positions that even if Japan gets HB it is still risky to attack. Also the allies have to consider if they absolutely need their fleets. If yes they should build a 2nd ac and land two fighters on it, although you have to consider that Japan can produce more bombers easily. Thus a change in strategy in a direction where the fleet is not as important anymore would be quite reasonable.
In case of positions like NOV the situation is more difficult. If your own air fleet is stationed in that land you should fortify the land that it is also safe if Japan gets HB. Finally it might be necessary to withdraw to prevent a disaster. However it is very important that a counter strategy has been already started. The sooner the better.

The situation is similar to Japan. US can not be bombed easily without LRA. At the time US starts to roll tech dices, then US should be able to do something useful with its air fleet in the same turn, i.e. the bombers should be in attack range of sensitive targets. Ideally the bombers are not lost in the attack.

- Attack on Germany if a great chance of success exists (Germany should be taken and ideally some bombers should survive)
- Japan is bombed until it has 0 IPC left (only if Japan has bombers and could counter)
- Germany is bombed until it has 0 IPC left
- Attacks on WEU/EEU with great German losses, while US does not loose anything of value
- Japanese fleet (not likely)

Example: 2ftr, 4bmb and 10 inf are in range of WEU, defended by 16 inf and aa-gun. This attack makes no sense without having HB, especially because withdrawing is not possible. However, with HB the 16 inf are destroyed and usually the land is taken with around 2-3 inf + ftr and 4 bmb. But the attack is not without risk and therefore flying SBRs on Germany would be maybe the better move in that example. However if WEU would be defended by 12inf, 3ftr and 1bmb the attack on WEU would be highly recommended. In this example, we assumed that Germany itself is defended strongly, that even with HB it would not be conquerable.

How can I prepare with US for tech from the beginning?
The optimal situation is, if FIN, ALG and LIB is controlled by US, because with these 4 additional IPCs the income of US is increased to 35 IPCs (HAW, CHI and SIN are controlled by Japan). At the time US prepares actively for tech, this means it plans to tech next round, then it makes sense to recapture UKR and SIN with US if possible. At the same time US can save as many IPCs as necessary to have a round number (40 or 45 IPC) in order to roll as many tech dices as possible.

What can I do if my opponent counters?
If Japan counters by purchasing bombers massively and/or rolling of tech dices then the situation may become critical for the US. Suddenly it may make sense to build a Russian IC in Asia. After Japan has conquered the IC Japan can be bombed there (Certainly this strategy is stupid if Japan can be bombed anyway). Also US should have stationed some units on the American continent in case of Japan directs his fleet to the US. Finally the US should maximize the pressure on Germany.

For the Axis: Defend Ger adequately that a combined attack from UK/USA would not lead to success. Build bmb with Japan as soon as possible, and then start to roll tech dices. If the situation gets tighter in Europe then retreat from WEU and/or EEU in order to hold Germany as long as possible. The allies will need some time to conquer Germany if all troops are concentrated in the capital. If the Allies have HB the German income will drop to 0 anyway and if US takes SEU then this would be a nice target for Japanese HBs. However this strategy should only be chosen if the allies attack power is too strong. Eventually the axis can win one turn if Japan moves some units to HAW, because then US is suddenly forced to build some units in order to secure their homeland.

Altogether tech is very luck depending, but there a few things you can do to increase your chances. If you consider the given suggestions you will get a feeling quickly for the many things that are possible in a tech war. Very important is to counter: If your opponent builds bombers then you must buy bombers, too. US does maybe not need as many bombers as Japan (Japan has much more things to do) but this rule does not count for low numbers. The first 2-3 bombers should be countered as soon as possible by simply purchasing 2-3 bombers, too. Without a counter your opponent will get the decisional tech sooner or later and then it will be too late.

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