I haven't yet gotten my copy but me and my gaming group are eager to try the game out. Since any of my friends aren't wargame veterans I'm gonna have to explain the game to them. I've been reading the living rules for some time now, but since I don't have the game I can't try the game out in advance. How do you describe to new players how the game usually flows with the different factions? I would like to know some basic strategies and strenghts/weaknesses for all the major factions in the big campaign.
Looking forward to try the game out.
I've been waiting for someone more experienced than me to reply, but let me offer my initial thoughts:
- Axis: they get to set the pace of the game by deciding how aggressively to go after conquests of countries and resources. Every conquest moves the US and USSR towards entry, so have a strategy as to whether to go slowly or fast. France must be defeated quickly since the AFA can build a substantial force to attack Germany. Poland, Norway, Balkans can wait, IMHO. Build Uboats to go after convoys and make a play for the Med with the Italians simultaneously, this puts the Brits in a naval bind. If you can get dominance of the Med, a move towards the Near East is feasible (and check an earlier post for how to sneakily align it without need for conquest). Then I think you go for either securing Festing Europa (perhaps including Spain) and go on the defensive against the Russians, or go all out for Barbarossa. Watch out for sneaky invasions by the Brits into underguarded Rome and knocking Italy out of the war.
- Japan: their problem is lack of resources to build and rebuild. Every combat damage hurts, so minimize the chances of it. Attack selectively and use maneuver to grab unoccupied islands or land areas where possible. Decide whether to go for China all out or don't bother at all; I think it is tough sledding. Again, decide whether the Axis is going for fast expansion or a slow war to delay US entry. The former involves grabbing Manila early and establishing the co-prosperity sphere to get some VPs before the US are strong enough to start reconquest. The latter allows the interesting possibility of declaring war on the AFA and Be-Ne only and grabbing Borneo and making a play for India before the US enters.
- AFA: France is a lost cause, the only question is how long it takes to fall and whether it delays Barbarossa. The Brits need to keep control of the seas, so try to keep the Uboats suppressed and the Med in control. The Brits can make invasions or reinforce minor allies at long distances, so look for opportunities to disrupt Axis plans in N Africa, the Near East, India, etc. But think twice about being too aggressive in declaring war on minors or recapturing resources before the US has entered or it will be slowed from doing so. And always watch for the sneaky Sea Lion invasion against an underguarded UK.
- USSR: it's not about survival...Russia does not fall when Moscow and Leningrad are taken, as in some games, and being surrounded does not matter, since you are always in supply in your home country. So the goals is to build, build, build and make the Germans work for every area they take while causing casualties. Look for opportunities to counterattack and cut off Axis spearheads from supply, made easier by the requirement that all successful attackers must advance (unless blocked by a letter result). Before entering the war, you can mess around in the Near East, though this will slow down entry of the US. But it might be preferable to allowing the Axis access to all that oil. And think about one of the Japanese Achilles heels...Vladivostok.
- US: little to do before entry into the war except shuttle garrisons to places like Manila and Midway, and build like crazy. Get the Lend Lease units in place early and ship resources to the AFA and China as soon as possible, and the USSR when they enter the war. You can shuffle fleets between coasts in anticipation of the greater threat for when you do enter (Atlantic Uboats or Japanese fleets). Then build up sledgehammer air, naval and land capability to start to march to Tokyo and Berlin.
These thoughts focus mainly on the opening moves of the war, since after that the options become much more variable and constrained by how things are going.
Hope this helps.
- Last edited Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:48 pm (Total Number of Edits: 4)
- Posted Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:28 am