By Linkon 05-07-2007 at Axis and Allies.org forums
Strafing has a few basics.
Beginning A&A players have a tendency to want to win land because it can deliver IPC value.
The trade-off is that it can often put armor or other offensive units at risk of counter-attack without much defensive infantry or fighter support. The replacement costs can be considerable.
The answer that many veteran A&A players use is called strafing.
This means that you have a big stack and your opponent has a modest one.
You also expect reinforcements to that stack for non-combat moves or purchase placements after your battles resolve.
Reinforcements (Air) are never allowed into newly taken territory. Noncombat fighter landings are also not allowed there.
The strafe means your big stack attacks the smaller stack for a round or more, but then retreats back before the enemy defenders are wiped out. This should yield more hits on the smaller defending stack than your attacking stack. Wiping out the defender forces your ground units to stay in the newly conquered territory and be subject to counterattack by that opposing country and its allied forces. Against intellegent opponents, you won’t get to use those ground units again.
A successful strafe allows you to keep a stack on the front line.
Now you have also whittled away part of your opponents forces (favorably if the strafe went well).
You can then bulk up your stack some more with reinforcements. So the stack advantage should be substantially bigger than at the start of your turn.
Repeat as needed to build up your ground forces advantage.
Only take the land when you expect the surviving ground offensive forces to fully survive a round of countattacks by all of the opposing players.
Strafe when you have infantry to spare.
The idea is to get the defender to lose costly offensive units on defence before you lose yours on offence.
Be sure you have upcoming infantry in your reinforcement pool.
For every numeric allocation of die roll defence, you should ideally have 1.5 or more of die roll offence. Less is OK if you have lots of infantry.
It is very risky to put fighters and bombers over AA to strafe. Lose 1, and it gives the defender a huge gain.
No amphibious assaults, because that forces the attacker to fight to the death (no retreat).