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Subject: How can the Allies win? rss

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Alexander Heinz
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Hi everyone

My flatmate owns both A&A Pacific and A&A European, and as avid boardgamer, I wanted to try this game for quite some time. Yesterday, a friend and I saw an opportunity to play one session, so we took the pacific (he's an asia-fanatic ) and started one session as Japan(He) vs. Allies (Not He). At first, Japan was in the better position, but after the US entered the war, it went downhill for my friend. While he had to admit a few strategical mistakes (not pressuring China enough, not assalting the philipines), he took Hawaii and secured naval superiority around India/Malaysia. But the fact that the US collects 50+ IPCs after the beginning of the war was stunning to both of us. In the end, we were tired after setting up and reading the rules, so he declared me the winner and sweared revenge.
Today, our gaming group picked up A&A Europe. I controlled UK/US, my friend RU/FR and two additional friends chose Italy and Germany. The first 2 turns dragged along, France was taken Round 1 by the German and Italian forces, and I was able to hold the Mediterranean Sea against the Italian player for the first turns, and even after loosing egypt I was certain my surviving forces would be able to conquer it back immediately. But it never came to that. In the 3rd turn, Germany started Operation Barbarossa, and the Russian player, eagerly awaiting the attack, had placed a lot of troops directly at the German-Russian border. At that time he had produced basically nothing but Infantry and Tank units, I as UK had prepared to launch an invasion of norway with my battered but not beaten navy, and london was secured by Airforce and the (french) Infantry. Germany had produced massive Tank forces and Airforce. I had to use the restroom, so i left the table.
When I returned, the game was over.
After devastating losses, the russian "army" consisted of (don’t pin me down to exact numbers) 6-8 Infantry at the scandinavian front, 5-7 Infantry in the caucasus and maybe 3 AAA in moscow. Conversely, the German units immediatly at the frontline alone consisted of at least 12 Tanks, 6-8 Infantry/Mechanized infantry, supported by 5-6 Bombers alone and 5 Infantry in Finnland, directly opposing the Russian forces there. With the Russian forces hopelessly outgunned and outnumbered, the UK busy fighting the Italians, French forces useless from day 1, and the US invasion still in infancy (I had build transports, units and enough navy to destroy the unused German subs, but the german still had light forces in France and Germany, and because of the mandatory peace I needed at least 2 more turns to reach the european coast), we declared the game over, some laughing (Germany), some angry (Russia), but everyone seriously disappointed.
So please, someone, explain to me what happend? What big strategical mistake did the Allies make? Yes, luck was a factor, but considering that setting up the board took nearly the same time as playing one session of "Chaos in the Old World", that is not really an excuse. How can you beat the German economically juggernaut, who gets IPCs en masse, can take France without a serious fight and is not really threatened by anyone (the UK was busy fighting the Italians to a standstill, without the Germans even using his sub-fleet, and the US/RU are at peace half the game). And while we're at it, what game forces 2 of his players (US/RU) to basically sit on their hands for 3-4 turns (considering that most games I can find finish at turn 10 and are decided 1-2 turns before that, thats a lot...)
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Jan van der Laan
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To keep the Soviet Union in play is the main factor to keep in mind for the Allies in the first stages of the war. Deploying the majority of the Soviet troops along the border isn't a sound strategy imho. The Soviet player has to gain time by giving up territory (as they did in reality). The Soviet player should spread his troops and not employ them in the frontline areas. In time the Axis attack will loose strength and momentum. In the meantime the Wallies have to build up forces in order to threaten the Atlantic coast and binding as much German units as possible in the West. While not strong enough to make massive landings the Wallies can best try to harass the Axis by smaller landings (or the threat of landings) and bombing raids on German factories. Eventually the Germans have to handle the Soviets and the Wallies, both at full strength and that is devastating for the Axis and will lead to a Allied victory.
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Alexander Heinz
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Jan van der Laan wrote:
The Soviet player has to gain time by giving up territory (as they did in reality). The Soviet player should spread his troops and not employ them in the frontline areas. In time the Axis attack will loose strength and momentum.


Thank you for your answer. I thought about this strategy, and read about it in this forum, but I'm not convinced. The Russian player may win time, but he is also giving away IPC-countries to the German AND allow the German to build more units, while his forces get thinner and thinner and his income gets lower and lower. And additionally, his important countries like the caucasus aren't all that fare away from the front...
 
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David Brown
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Sandmann87 wrote:
Jan van der Laan wrote:
The Soviet player has to gain time by giving up territory (as they did in reality). The Soviet player should spread his troops and not employ them in the frontline areas. In time the Axis attack will loose strength and momentum.


Thank you for your answer. I thought about this strategy, and read about it in this forum, but I'm not convinced. The Russian player may win time, but he is also giving away IPC-countries to the German AND allow the German to build more units, while his forces get thinner and thinner and his income gets lower and lower. And additionally, his important countries like the caucasus aren't all that fare away from the front...


You may not be convinved, but the evidence, from your own game is that front deployment isn't working.

The Russian have to pull back to try and create some time and therefore mass. Deploying on the front allows the mass of the German Army to batter, what would still be a fairly weak Russan front line. And the front areas are not worth much in the way of IPCs

 
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When we play global the Russian player will try to minimize the number of units in the front countries. They get stronger quickly. Also I think that generally they don't produce tanks until later.
 
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Jan van der Laan
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Sandmann87 wrote:
Thank you for your answer. I thought about this strategy, and read about it in this forum, but I'm not convinced. The Russian player may win time, but he is also giving away IPC-countries to the German AND allow the German to build more units, while his forces get thinner and thinner and his income gets lower and lower. And additionally, his important countries like the caucasus aren't all that fare away from the front...
The Germans will deploy (as they did in your game) lots of armor and aircraft (especially tactical bombers) along the German-Soviet border. This force will easily crush the defending Soviet forces opposing them. The Soviets aren't able to build up a second defenseline in time to defend Moscow and other main important areas and the Germans will steam up in the direction of Moscow without much hindrance of the Soviets. Should the Soviets succeed in luring the Germans deeper in the Soviet Union it will take time for the Germans to bring up support and reinforcements while te Soviets can build new units right behind the frontline. Eventually the Soviets forces will overwhelm the opposing German forces and turn the tide. Keep in mind to put pressure on the Atlantic coast to draw German units to Western Europe so the Germans cannot direct the bulk of the reinforcements to the East.
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Dan Long
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Interesting how this Russian Campaign played out like Hitler thought- destroy all those armies at the front and Russia will collapse.....
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Ryan Hanson
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El Supremo wrote:
Interesting how this Russian Campaign played out like Hitler thought- destroy all those armies at the front and Russia will collapse.....


The Soviet Union very nearly did, and many historians consider that it was really German strategic errors (largely brought about by Hitler's inept direction of the campaign) that changed the German objectives several times and resulted in none of them being accomplished.
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Kenneth Stein
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We just played this edition of A&A for the first time the past 2 weeks. I, as Russia, employed the 1 inf/territory where the Ger. & Italians were adjacent, even after the initial assault on Turn 3. I had enough time to build a few tanks and a ftr to add to initial forces in order to form a counterattack force. You sacrifice some inf to kill his inf so he has to pause and bring up more soak-off units.

I actually lost Moscow on turn 5, but was able to strike back and wipe out the 2 Ger tanks and 2 Stukas remaining there just with the tanks and mech inf 2 spaces away , plus my 4 unit airforce. Inf + air from Ukraine crushed the 2 It. tanks that had cleared the way to Moscow.

He may yet recover and crush Leningrad with the next wave coming from Berlin, but Moscow gets a breather and rebuilds. Of course my Western Allies have been putting lots of pressure on thru 2 invasions and heavy bombing. The outcome is in doubt for both sides.
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Sandmann87 wrote:
Hi everyone

My flatmate owns both A&A Pacific and A&A European, and as avid boardgamer, I wanted to try this game for quite some time. Yesterday, a friend and I saw an opportunity to play one session, so we took the pacific (he's an asia-fanatic ) and started one session as Japan(He) vs. Allies (Not He). At first, Japan was in the better position, but after the US entered the war, it went downhill for my friend. While he had to admit a few strategical mistakes (not pressuring China enough, not assalting the philipines), he took Hawaii and secured naval superiority around India/Malaysia. But the fact that the US collects 50+ IPCs after the beginning of the war was stunning to both of us. In the end, we were tired after setting up and reading the rules, so he declared me the winner and sweared revenge.
Today, our gaming group picked up A&A Europe. I controlled UK/US, my friend RU/FR and two additional friends chose Italy and Germany. The first 2 turns dragged along, France was taken Round 1 by the German and Italian forces, and I was able to hold the Mediterranean Sea against the Italian player for the first turns, and even after loosing egypt I was certain my surviving forces would be able to conquer it back immediately. But it never came to that. In the 3rd turn, Germany started Operation Barbarossa, and the Russian player, eagerly awaiting the attack, had placed a lot of troops directly at the German-Russian border. At that time he had produced basically nothing but Infantry and Tank units, I as UK had prepared to launch an invasion of norway with my battered but not beaten navy, and london was secured by Airforce and the (french) Infantry. Germany had produced massive Tank forces and Airforce. I had to use the restroom, so i left the table.
When I returned, the game was over.
After devastating losses, the russian "army" consisted of (don’t pin me down to exact numbers) 6-8 Infantry at the scandinavian front, 5-7 Infantry in the caucasus and maybe 3 AAA in moscow. Conversely, the German units immediatly at the frontline alone consisted of at least 12 Tanks, 6-8 Infantry/Mechanized infantry, supported by 5-6 Bombers alone and 5 Infantry in Finnland, directly opposing the Russian forces there. With the Russian forces hopelessly outgunned and outnumbered, the UK busy fighting the Italians, French forces useless from day 1, and the US invasion still in infancy (I had build transports, units and enough navy to destroy the unused German subs, but the german still had light forces in France and Germany, and because of the mandatory peace I needed at least 2 more turns to reach the european coast), we declared the game over, some laughing (Germany), some angry (Russia), but everyone seriously disappointed.
So please, someone, explain to me what happend? What big strategical mistake did the Allies make? Yes, luck was a factor, but considering that setting up the board took nearly the same time as playing one session of "Chaos in the Old World", that is not really an excuse. How can you beat the German economically juggernaut, who gets IPCs en masse, can take France without a serious fight and is not really threatened by anyone (the UK was busy fighting the Italians to a standstill, without the Germans even using his sub-fleet, and the US/RU are at peace half the game). And while we're at it, what game forces 2 of his players (US/RU) to basically sit on their hands for 3-4 turns (considering that most games I can find finish at turn 10 and are decided 1-2 turns before that, thats a lot...)


It sounds like you guys called it too early. However, Russia stacking the front is a major error. I've seen Russian players who think they need to maintain control over all of the original Russian territory - that's unrealistic. If Germany is intent on it, it can take Moscow just about every time. The key to Russia is to slowly pull back, leaving the front lined with just one man in each territory. This prevents Germany from ever blitzing, and makes them play the slow crawl. This keeps Russia in the game longer, and forces Germany to keep its forces devoted to the eastern front, and they will probably have to reinforce it.

In the meantime, have the UK smash Italy's fleet. UK should focus on Italy. It gets the first move and can dictate the play, and Italy doesn't have the initial income to really rebuild. I'd say, round 1, have UK build a factory in Egypt, stack Egypt with all you can, buy some stuff in South africa (I think you start with a factory there), and use your Navy and planes (I think you start with one in Egypt, one in Gibraltar, one in Malta or w/e that Med island is) to smash the Italian Navy. Without a Navy, Italy is screwed. It's denied it's bonuses (5ipcs for 'Roman Empire', 5ipcs for controlling the Med), and its forces in Africa are doomed without support. If you've got Russia just drawing the war out, UK can take Rome before Moscow falls (also want to take Norway if you can, it denies Germany those 3ipcs plus it's 5ipc bonus, for a net swap of 11ipcs). The US will get to France eventually, haha. Just try to keep Russia in the game, that's it.

UK beating up Italy is key. It keeps UK's income up (if UK loses Egypt, Italy will basically eat up half of UK's income from Africa, plus deny UK it's 5ipc bonus for maintaining its empire). US just comes in and drops stuff off to liberate France then pressure Berlin.
 
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Jan van der Laan wrote:
To keep the Soviet Union in play is the main factor to keep in mind for the Allies in the first stages of the war. Deploying the majority of the Soviet troops along the border isn't a sound strategy imho. The Soviet player has to gain time by giving up territory (as they did in reality). The Soviet player should spread his troops and not employ them in the frontline areas. In time the Axis attack will loose strength and momentum. In the meantime the Wallies have to build up forces in order to threaten the Atlantic coast and binding as much German units as possible in the West. While not strong enough to make massive landings the Wallies can best try to harass the Axis by smaller landings (or the threat of landings) and bombing raids on German factories. Eventually the Germans have to handle the Soviets and the Wallies, both at full strength and that is devastating for the Axis and will lead to a Allied victory.


I disagree. In his game it sounds like Germany started war with Russia on round 3. If played right, I've gotten the UK to really mess with Italy consistently by that point. Smash its Navy round 1, and France can usually finish off Italy's navy in the first round. Build transports and such rnd 2 (if you bought a complex in Egypt), and round 3 start landing in Italy's territory. If the Axis powers left Yugoslavia open, which I've seen (I never do as Axis), then drop there first. You may well lose it, but it drains Axis forces. You could also try to beat them to Greece (if you do it round 1, you sacrifice the transport), and if you hold it build a factory there, and start cranking out troops there. UK should be able to reliably keep Italy in check, and if it does so the 3 troops it can place in Greece can easy match Italy's total production! shake In his game, assuming Russia didn't stack on the front (big error) UK, played smartly, should be able to reliably take Rome before Moscow falls.
 
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Jan van der Laan wrote:
Sandmann87 wrote:
Thank you for your answer. I thought about this strategy, and read about it in this forum, but I'm not convinced. The Russian player may win time, but he is also giving away IPC-countries to the German AND allow the German to build more units, while his forces get thinner and thinner and his income gets lower and lower. And additionally, his important countries like the caucasus aren't all that fare away from the front...
The Germans will deploy (as they did in your game) lots of armor and aircraft (especially tactical bombers) along the German-Soviet border. This force will easily crush the defending Soviet forces opposing them. The Soviets aren't able to build up a second defenseline in time to defend Moscow and other main important areas and the Germans will steam up in the direction of Moscow without much hindrance of the Soviets. Should the Soviets succeed in luring the Germans deeper in the Soviet Union it will take time for the Germans to bring up support and reinforcements while te Soviets can build new units right behind the frontline. Eventually the Soviets forces will overwhelm the opposing German forces and turn the tide. Keep in mind to put pressure on the Atlantic coast to draw German units to Western Europe so the Germans cannot direct the bulk of the reinforcements to the East.


Spot on. This is a large part of why I'm a big fan of Germany taking London.
 
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