UK / USA
We are safe on our island/continent but where do we go from here?
You inherited this initial placement and are not to blame. In addition, you are shackle to a very needy Ally: France.
Germany will be gunning for Paris right off the bat. That is a given, or should be in the overwhelming number of games. What can you do about it? The most obvious approach is to land an Army in Paris backed by 1-2 Sustain Defense icons. Do not expect Germany to give you sufficient time to land in Picardy. Being a Good Ally you decide for the Paris First approach.
Is there an Event card that could help? The First Lord of the Admiralty Prepares for War or Asquith Sends Ultimatum cards allow you to build a Navy and play a Status card.
You need Sustain Defense icons to back all of this up. But where are they to come from? Other than Build Army cards, there is but only one more usable icon available on Relied for any Enterprise card. That might be worth hunting for if you do not have many Build Army cards. Forget about Status cards for a while: you don't have time.
If you cannot achieve this, forget France and start casting your eyes in the distance, the Med or Western Germany.
2. What Could Go Wrong?
You have a Navy and Army adjacent to Paris but you do not have spare Sustain Defense icons. Build an Army in Paris? Why? You will not be able to help defend Paris. Now, if you got some of those double Sustain Attack icons from The Somme or Cambrai cards you could try something risky.
The strategy consists of landing in Paris, have France repel the first wave of attack, then launch an attack into the aggressor and sustain it until they are killed. Gutsy to say the least. But it could have huge dividend if successful: you might be on your way to Berlin!
A less risky move would be to build a Navy and perform amphibious assaults against Picardy/Belgium/Western Germany in support of the French. If this cannot be achieved before the fall of Paris, it can be attempted after the fall in order to get onto the Continent.
3. On to Berlin
The Best Case Scenario: UK cooperates with France on a 1-2 punch strategy to liberate Picardy and then Belgium, followed by an invasion of Western Germany then Berlin. I call this the Diddle - Diddle - Up the Middle Plan. Not pretty. Takes time: 8+ turns. Takes lots of cards. Ignores everything else, including Rome. You need France unwavering support to do the 1-2 'thing'.
But it places severe stress on Germany and should ensure Russia's survival.
Worse Case Scenario: You build a Navy in the North Sea and then proceed to assault back onto the Continent. You then have to decide: Liberate Paris or go for Berlin? The UK does not have the cards to do both. Since killing Out of Supply German Armies is easier than killing Armies defending Berlin I would opt for the Liberation of Paris and then get France to drive on Berlin, if possible.
3. Viva Roma!
Paris has fallen but Rome stands tall. Sail your Navy into the Med and cooperate with Italy on a 1-2 campaign aimed at re-capturing Paris. Take it from there.
4. Rome has fallen too? Have you considered a Restart? No?
Time to fight your way back into the continent, unassisted. Of the two options available to the UK I would favor coming ashore in Southern France aiming straight at Rome through the Alps. Why? Because here you are facing Austria, not Germany. Austria cards are not as good as Germany cards. You might even get Russia to divert Austria energy elsewhere.
Prepare well as you only have 4 Land Battle cards. When you go in go in for the kill. No re-do. If Austria has a Navy sink it first. Take the Alps. You need this to ensure that Austria simply does not rebuild into Rome. If that does not, there is always the Ottoman Empire ...
5. Europe Soft Underbelly
Other than going to Berlin the UK could consider the Med Option using the Gallipoli card. Even if that card does not get you Istanbul the first time, your Navy is still in the Eastern Med and a second assault might get you in considering that Austria has a limited supply of Ottoman cards. That would secure any Persia gains you get. Then there is the Greek Question. Overall the Med Approach can yield substantial rewards away from powerful Germany.
5. Economic Warfare
UK can significantly hurt Germany with its Economic Warfare cards, building a 3rd Navy in the North Sea which has the side benefit of threatening Western Germany directly.
In addition to the Economic Warfare cards, the UK has several cards with attrition icons. If the UK still as cards in its draw deck and Germany does not, those cards are worth 1 VP each.
Overall, a strong Economic Warfare campaign is recommended, even if only started in the Late War.
6. Cards worthy of mention
Commonwealth Support :: This is one of those cards that simply must be played when available. Period. The UK now has an unlimited number of Build Army. No need to explain.
The Girl with Yellow Hands :: This is one of those cards that simply must be played when available. Period. The UK now has an unlimited number of Land Battle. No need to explain.
The Pals Battalions :: This is a potential life saver but it will hurt. Bad. Minus one VP to use. Ouch! But if you need to do it, as when you run out of Build Army, you'll bite the bullet and do it.
Relied on for Any Enterprise :: In my opinion, stated on the Web, this card should have a cap. Left unrestricted this could win you the game singlehandedly if played early on.
Mark IV Tanks :: This is THE card you need for the Drive on Berlin offensive. If this card comes up, forget the Med Option. Go for Berlin.
7. The USA Question
Many are of the opinion that USA cards are made for the discard pile on the premise that it takes too long to get the USA in the fight. They are more or less right.
However, in the event that USA cards come up in the Early War, then they could be extremely useful. The Sinking of the Lusitania card allows the USA to become adjacent to France in one turn. land a USA Army backed up by the Blackjack and the Doughboy card and you now have a solid defense.
Eddie Rickenbacker card allows the removal of a pesky German Status card.
War Revenue Act can be used to recycle either one of the above cards cards and you have greatly increased the USA impact on the game.
Admittedly USA Intervention is predicated on early acquisition of good USA cards and/or poor UK card draw. But, if and when this happens, the UK/USA player must shift gears and take advantage of "cards in hand". Imagine a world where all UK Build Army cards have been used up and you can imagine where the USA could contribute to the Allied Victory.
I am convinced that there is a time and place for the USA, given the right conditions. A good player will recognize the opportunity and seize the moment. A foolish player would try and 'force the issue'.
The UK/USA is potentially the most challenging set of powers to play because its play is not necessarily scripted. Save/Ignore Paris? Go for Berlin? Exploit the Med Option? How to use the Yanks?How many Navies is too many? What Status cards to play? When to turn to attrition? How to get back on the Continent when Paris/Rome fall?
There is potential here but it can come with Analysis Paralysis as well. The UK has 2 Allies that can be relied upon to analyze - and criticize - your every play. Enjoy/