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Axis and Allies : Japan Naval Defense

Japan Naval Defense

Written by uffishbongo on 06-03-2009 at Axis and Allies.org forums

***INTRODUCTION***
This is a collection of thoughts about how Japan can defend against the US navy. It’s long enough that it’s more like an article than a regular post; I hope that’s not too pretentious.

The topic of this article is how to respond to a particular Allied strategy that I think is fundamentally flawed, but that I nevertheless come up against regularly in league play. I suppose that by trying to convince people to stop using a flawed strategy against me, I’m not really doing myself any favors. What can I say, I’m just that magnanimous. tongue Ideas from this article could of course be applied to other situations, but a lot of the specifics will be different.

The strategy I have in mind is one in which the UK and Russia go against Germany, and the USA goes after Japan. Theoretically it might be possible for the US to do this with a Sinkiang complex plus navy, but without Russian help the complex is doomed, so play generally proceeds by getting into a naval arms race with Japan. The primary objective is to out-build Japan’s navy enough to go island-hopping and secure a decisive income advantage. Once that’s been done you can kill Japan’s navy, push them off the mainland, etc. A secondary objective would be for Japan to spend all its money on boats in order to stay ahead, relieving any Japanese pressure against Russia and enabling them to put all their troops on the German front.

It’s about time for some disclaimers:
(1)This strategy can be OK _in response to specific game events_ , by which I mean, if Japan eats crow in Pearl and allows you to wipe out two of their capital ships on USA1. But if Japan comes out of J1 with its whole navy and air force intact and a strong Pearl and you take this approach anyway?which I’ve seen happen plenty of times!?you are trying to climb a very steep mountain.

(2) I’m not trying to say that KJF is bad in general. What I am trying to say is that if you want to go KJF, go all the way. Use all three Allies and hold nothing back. If you go half against Germany and half against Japan, it’s not enough, unless the dice are very kind to you.

***TWO KINDS OF DEFENSE, AND NAVAL BUILD STRATEGIES***
There are two kinds of defense in A&A. The first, which I’ll call ?survival?, is making sure your stack is powerful enough on defense to survive if attacked. The second, which I’ll call ?buffering?, is making sure your stack has enough offense that the enemies don’t dare move within range. It’s usually preferable to play the second kind of defense when possible, and fall back to the first only when you must. This keeps your income higher, and reduces the danger to your critical territories.

Which kind of defense you’re playing affects your purchasing strategy. If you want to play the more aggressive form of defense, the key statistic is the *attack* power of your units, not their defense power. Conversely, your aggressor’s ability to advance on you is based on the *defense* power of his units, even though he’s the one going on the offensive. So everything is kind of backwards.

One specific way that this affects purchasing strategy in the water is how many fighters you buy per carrier. If you’re going for survival-defense then you want two fighters per carrier. However, if you’re going for buffering-defense then you want four fighters per carrier. This is because an attacking carrier can usually support four fighters, provided there is land reasonably close by: Two fighters start on the carrier, attack the sea zone, and then land on a nearby island or continent, while two fighters do the reverse (start on land, attack the sea, and land on the carrier).

***BATTLE STATISTICS AND PURCHASING STRATEGIES***
Suppose you and your opponent are both given $10,000 to buy the most powerful navy you can. What should you invest in? Subs? Carriers and fighters? Battleships? Some kind of mix? What gives you the most bang for your buck? Well, this is where it gets mathematical…if your eyes glaze over, just skip to the parts in all caps. wink

There are three statistics that measure how powerful a given army is: punch, count, and skew. The punch is the sum of all the attack values of the attacking units, or defense values of the defending units. (Your expected number of hits will then just be your punch divided by 6. For example, 3 inf 3 tanks attacking have a punch of 12 and will get 2 hits in an average round.) The count is simply how many units are in the army. Skew is harder to quantify, but it has to do with how ?spread out? your combat values are; if you have some high-power and some low-power units it’s generally better than a bunch of mid-range units. (For example, 100 inf 100 tanks attacking 200 inf will almost always win, even though their punch and count are identical. This is because the attackers can take some hits without losing power as fast as the defenders).

So how does all that math affect purchasing strategy? Well, one simple way to proceed is to calculate which purchases give you the most punch per IPC. Unfortunately this won’t account for count and skew, but some hand-waving descriptive arguments can help figure out how those factor in.

At first glance, here are the stats:

Attacking Unit………..Punch/IPC
Fighter…………………..0.3
Sub………………………0.25
Destroyer……………….0.25
Bomber………………….0.25
Battleship……………….0.167
Carrier…………………..0.063
Transport……………….0

Defending Unit………..Punch/IPC
Fighter…………………….0.4
Sub………………………..0.25
Destroyer…………………0.25
Carrier…………………….0.188
Battleship…………………0.167
Transport…………………0.125

The moral of the story seems to be that both sides should just buy fighters. Unfortunately, one quickly realizes that without carriers this doesn’t actually help your navy much! A more relevant statistic would be to compute punch/IPC for a *carrier group*, meaning a carrier plus all the fighters it can support. Recall that a defensive carrier group consists of a carrier with two fighters, whereas an offensive carrier group consists of a carrier with four fighters. We then have the following revised table:

Attacking Unit(s)……Punch/IPC
Solo Fighter……………0.3
Sub……………………..0.25
Destroyer………………0.25
Bomber…………………0.25
Carrier Group………….0.232
Battleship……………..0.167
Carrier…………………0.063
Transport……………..0

Defending Unit(s)…….Punch/IPC
Solo Fighter…………….0.4
Carrier Group…………..0.306
Sub……………………..0.25
Destroyer………………0.25
Carrier………………….0.188
Battleship………………0.167
Transport………………0.125

So, what to make of this? If you’re looking to go on the offensive?or, if you’re looking to go on the defensive using the buffer method?then carriers and fighters are slightly less efficient ways of getting punch than subs, destroyers or bombers. When you factor count into the equation?an offensive carrier groups costs $56 for 5 units, whereas you could get 7 subs for the same price?it becomes clear that subs are your best bet for adding to your offensive punch. However, on defense the picture is not so clear. Carrier groups give you significantly more defensive punch per IPC than subs do, but subs give you significantly more count (50% more, in fact). Tough call. Personally I would still go with subs as my mainstay, since their count advantage seems to be wider than the carrier group’s punch advantage.

The other moral of the story is that, just as in the land war, defensive punch is cheaper than offensive punch. This implies that if you and the Americans spend the same amount of money, given long enough they will eventually reach the point where they can safely advance within range of your navy. Of course, with your initial head start that may take a while, by which point your income could be higher than theirs due to gains in Asia. But it is good to know that the long-term situation favors their ability to push forward if all other things are equal.

But wait, there’s more! Why did I leave the solo fighters on the list? Didn’t we decide they were just a fiction? No, there are circumstances where their statistics are relevant. Considering the following two applications:

(1) MAX OUT YOUR EXISTING CARRIERS FIRST! If you already have a carrier and you don’t have all the fighters for it, then buying more fighters to fill it up is effectively adding to your army at the solo fighter rate rather than the carrier-group rate. The application to Japan is, BUY YOUR 8TH FIGHTER BEFORE GOING HEAVY ON THE SUBS. With your two initial carriers you can bring 8 fighters to the battle. Until you have those 8, more fighters are the fastest way to add to your offensive punch.

(2)If you station air on an adjacent island, the fighters don’t need a carrier. For instance, if you’re anticipating a big battle in SZ 45, then you can park your air on the Caroline Islands and it’ll be two spaces from SZ 45?so, no carrier needed! You can buy as many fighters as you like. So you really can add to your force at the solo-fighter rate. This option is competitive with subs as the best overall offensive purchase; you get 20% more punch than with subs, but 20% less count.

***GEOGRAPHICAL CONSIDERATIONS***
So far I’ve just been considering the effectiveness of different units and purchases in the abstract. Time to look at the geography of how a US invasion might proceed, and how to fend it off.

US INVASION STRATEGY
It’s well known that the favorite US invasion point is the Solomon Islands and its corresponding sea zone, SZ 45. This because (a) it’s only two moves from SZ 55, so US builds can get there in one turn, and (b) it’s within two moves, hence one turn, from all the key islands: East Indies, Borne, Philippines, and even Australia. Thus, a massed American fleet off LA can move to the Solomons in one turn, and then go crazy all over the islands.

As soon as it’s safe the Americans would like to build a factory in either Borneo or the East Indies. This allows them to build ships right in the thick of the conflict. Borneo is a more aggressive option, since its sea zone is only two moves from Japan; the Americans have to be doing pretty well to be able to put that factory up. East Indies is three moves away and hence may be feasible at an earlier point, but of course the flip side is that it puts less pressure on the Japanese navy because of the extra space.

In summary, the basic USA invasion proceeds as follows: move to SZ 45, start taking islands, put up a factory on one of the big islands, and start producing ships in Japan’s backyard.

SIMPLISTIC JAPANESE COUNTERMEASURES AND HOW THEY FAIL
Since the Solomons are the linchpin of US invasions, perhaps the way to counter is just to make sure enough firepower is within reach of SZ 45 to kill anything that moves there. So with Japan you can just mass your fleet in SZ 60, and make sure SZ 45 is a deadzone, right?

The reason this fails is because the US can buffer with a sacrificial lamb. They move most of the fleet to SZ 45, but leave one cheap straggler in SZ 51. All the glorious Japanese battleships are now prevented from attacking, as are the transports you might use for fodder. If the Americans are smart enough to buffer with a destroyer then your subs can’t get there either. Attacking with pure air against a fleet with lots of transports to absorb your hits gets real ugly real fast.

Buffering like this allows the US to invade with an inferior fleet. You can send your fleet down to chase them, but they can grab a few islands, continue to protect their main fleet with a buffer, and put up a factory before you manage to pin them down. Few things are more frustrating than chasing an inferior fleet around the South Pacific while they take your valuable islands from you and continue to send reinforcements in from the east!

BETTER JAPANESE COUNTERMEASURES
In order to avoid this kind of scenario, it’s best to stay far enough ahead with your naval builds that the buffering strategy becomes impossible. The key is to have your main fleet sitting next to SZ 45, not two spaces away, so that the US can’t protect itself with a buffer.

If your fleet is a lot bigger than the Americans’, you could take the offensive and push your fleet up to Hawaii or Wake. However, staying on the offensive in the Pacific will take a lot of your resources, and you’d rather be putting some ground troops in Asia to grow your economy and pressure Russia. Hence, a more economically efficient option is to create a stalemate: you hang back and make them make the first move, but keep enough power to make that move costly. Hence, you want your main fleet buildup to be in a spot that (a) is out of reach of SZ 55 (so you don’t have to worry about your survivability against an American attack?you can guarantee that you’re the one threatening to attack), and (b) is adjacent to SZ 45. This means the Caroline Islands is the place to go.

If you have ships farther west that are within reach of SZ 45?say, SZ 37, or either 38 or 46, or 48, etc?these are still OK because the US can’t reach far enough to buffer against them. It’s really just the SZ 60 fleet that can be made ineffective by a Wake Island buffer. So you can still send your boats to grab Australia, deal with an annoying British fleet in Borneo, or whatever, while still keeping an eye on the Solomons.

However, your default buildup spot is the Carolines. You should park your battleships there, and at least one carrier. Once you’ve built up to your 8th fighter (see above) you will want to start getting some subs in the mix. Build them in SZ 60 and then move them to SZ 50 on the subsequent turn. Note that this requires you to stay a turn ahead of demand, because there’s a turn delay between when you build the subs and when they are (unblockably) threatening SZ 45.

As mentioned above, you can buy beyond your 8th fighter if you plan to station some air on the Caroline Islands. This gives you more punch but less count than subs, so it’s a judgment call. However, this has the additional advantage that your purchases go into effect immediately: If you move an already existing fighter from the mainland to the Carolines (or from the mainland to your carrier and one from the carrier to the Carolines), then your new fighter purchased in Japan is threatening SZ 45 and will have the potential carrier spot opened up to it that was vacated by the fighter you moved to the Carolines. So if you need to up your threat to SZ 45 and can’t wait a turn for your sub purchases to move into position, a fighter purchase can do it more quickly.

You will need to think about defending SZ 60 against air. You’ll probably have a couple transports operating there, and your new sub builds. This makes a juicy target for air in SZ 55; they can go on a raid and move a carrier up to SZ 57 to pick them up. Since this would likely be suicidal for the carrier, it may not be worth their while, but you need to keep an eye out for that move and think about whether to leave some air defense in SZ 60. If the air threat is small, a destroyer should do the trick; if you need more, you can leave one of your carriers there.

Let’s talk about where to station the fighters. Four of them will be on your carriers, able to hit SZ 45 and then land on an island or mainland. The other four, then, can start anywhere within four spaces of SZ 45. This means you can put them as far up as India and Yakut and still be able to make it in four spaces. If you haven’t held India or Yakut yet, or just want to provide more complete coverage of the Pacific, try FIC and Buryatia. Either way, you can keep using four fighters against Russia while still maintaining the threat to SZ 45. A bomber stationed in Buryatia is great too; it can hit the key Pacific spots, can reach all the Russian territories east of Caucasus, and can SBR Moscow, all from the same place.

***FALLBACK OPTIONS****
Sometimes things go wrong. You make a blunder, or the dice get screwy, or whatever. Ideally you’d like to prevent a move to SZ 45, but suppose it happens. Then what?

Well, my favorite fallback spot is FIC. There are two reasons for this. One, I always build a factory there J1 if the Russians and Brits didn’t go bananas with a crazy KJF starter. (My favorite J1 purchase for a KGF game is 2 tran 1 IC after bidding $1.) Second, it’s right next to your three big islands (East Indies, Borneo, and Philippines). You can let the US get Okinawa and New Guinea, those are small potatoes, but you want to protect your big islands.

If you’re forced to fall back, then, the basic maneuver looks like this:
(a) Move fleet to SZ 36, and build up to 3 more ships there (subs most likely, maybe a destroyer)
(b) Build more air in Japan if you have the money for it.

The result is that you can deadzone the three valuable islands. What’s more, because FIC is adjacent, there’s no way for them to use a buffer to sneak in either. So even after they push to SZ 45, you may be able to keep them away from your big targets for a few more turns.

If you do this, MAKE SURE THEY DON’T GRAB TOKYO! Moving your fleet down from SZ 60 to join the others in SZ 36 leaves you open to invasion. Station some air there, and buy a couple inf if you need to.

***SUMMARY: HOW TO REPEL AN ILL-ADVISED AMERICAN FLEET BUILDUP***
–First, make sure it really would be ill-advised. That means not losing your initial fleet. If you go heavy into Pearl on J1, which I still usually do (even though it’s becoming less fashionable these days), make sure you come out with your BB and CV and 2 ftr and one other ship if at all possible. This means attacking with your DD and sub (if it survived) is a good idea, it may mean losing your bomber before a cheaper ship, and if things go wrong you may want to non-combat your transport from SZ 60 to help out. Better to start a little slower on Asia than to lose your fleet.
–Buy up to your 8th fighter soon. Station 4 on your carriers, 4 on the mainland but still within reach of SZ 45. This way you can use them against Russia throughout the naval standoff. Bomber goes on Bry or possibly FIC.
—For the first few turns, you shouldn’t need to buy more boats except some transports. Focus on grabbing land in Asia, while always calculating to make sure you’re deadzoning SZ 45 adequately.
—If the Americans continue to get serious about their naval builds, start getting some subs while continuing to make ground units. Station your main fleet in SZ 50, move your sub builds there the turn after you make them, and keep your 8 ftr within range.
—Consider adding more fighters, to be stationed on the Carolines (or New Guinea), in addition to your sub builds. Also make sure you have one destroyer in SZ 50 to cancel out their sub’s special abilities.
—If you have to fall back from a superior fleet, pull back to SZ 36, build more boats there, build more air on Japan, and make sure to adequately protect Tokyo. This should buy you some more time before your key islands fall.

Axis and Allies Revised : The German Lurch

The German Lurch: Revised Edition

Written by DarthMaximus on 29-05-2009 at Axis and Allies.org forums

The Lurch is a mid-game stack based German strategy that is used to coincide with a strong push on Moscow by Japan. The goal of the Lurch is to gradually move your German stacks East eliminating trading territories for Russia as you continue to get stronger while Russia gets weaker. You are playing for control of Wrus and Cauc, which aren’t easy to get, but using a Lurch strategy you can attempt to claim them without a fight by manipulating your stacks such that any Russian advance can be easily countered, while your advances can’t be stopped because you are able to merge multiple stacks into a single targetted territory.

Unlike Classic where the Germans Lurched from EE to Ukr (to Cauc) and then to Kar, in Revised the Germans have 3 initial avenues to consider:
1 – EE to Kar
2 – EE to Belo
3 – EE to Ukr

Each one has its pros and cons, but all should result in the same conclusion, a German stack in Wrus or Cauc.

Before we get to Germany lets first talk about Japan briefly. If you are planning on using a successful Lurch you will need Japan, so they should be focused on Asia and getting to Moscow. You’ll likely need a few of Japan’s fighters in Europe so take Aus early (round 2 if possible) and make sure you always have ftrs in range of Ukr after J3. Your goal should be to have Chi, Sin, Bury, Sfe, Yak by the end of J3, one factory on the mainland, and 4 trns running your shuck from Japan. A 5th trn is a great bonus which you can use to pick up Aus/NZ/Hi. I think these are modest goals and definitely achievable in the vaste majority of games. The only issues that may arise would be an ultra aggressive UK 1 open and/or a possible KJF strategy, but then again if the Allies are going KJF you do not want to use a mid-game Lurch with Germany, you’d want to be much more aggressive.

As for German bids, you can use the Lurch with most land based bids, whether it is placed in Africa or Europe, but the Power Africa bid (2-3 units in Lib) tends to be a little better since it is vital that you are able to blitz Africa and gain its IPCs. You have to make sure you can take Egy and hold against any UK 1 counter.

Now to the Lurch. The theory of the Lurch is to leverage your initial IPC gains in the early rds (1-4) into a sizable attacking force that can be put into motion from round 4 on. You are ulitmately playing a position game rather than an IPC (or economic game). While there are periods where the Axis can out earn the Allies, it is very difficult to maintain this advantage against quality opponents. Time is typically on the Allies side, so the Lurch is designed to maximize this effect before the Allies can block the threat to Moscow and begin to close in on and cripple Germany. Your targetted time frame to take Wrus/Cauc should be between rds 6-9. Anything much later than this and it may be too late.

So, how do we go about employing the Lurch and leveraging these early gains to a positional advantage?

Lets start with the Purchases. Buy Infantry. Buy infantry early and often, an upgrade for an armor or 2 is also recommended, but with excessive Rt purchases you may be limiting your effectiveness. If you like to buy Rt, buy it early (rds 1-2) b/c you’ll need the mobility of armor later. 8 inf, 4 rt in rd 1 is a good foundation as is 12 inf, 1 rt, however you can’t go wrong with the Inf + Arm buys. Remember you aren’t really interested in attack you just want to project force to prevent an Allied stack and then you want to move your stack into the vacant territory, so you are more concerned with the cheap defense of Infantry and added defensive muscle of the Armor than the added attacking power of Rt. Armor is also vital to your initial defense of WE, so again don’t go Rt crazy with your buys.

Okay we know our buying strategy, what about the layout of Africa and Europe?
Africa is easy, use your bid in Lib and take Egy heavy. Surviving Armor should immediately blitz everything insight, while 2 more units can land in Trj in round 2. In round 3 you have a few options, positioning your fleet to help in Europe, getting out of dodge to take Mad and then perhaps a combination of Ind/Aus/NZ/HI, going around Afr to take Bra, reinforcing Perisa, or just safely remaining in the Indian Ocean and re-invading empty territories in Afr. While blitzing Africa you want to keep as many of these units alive as possible so you can ultimately get them to the Middle East as well. You’ll probably need to get them back Trj by round 4 otherwise they risk being trapped, which isn’t terrible since you can still cause some trouble in Afr, but it is always nice to have the extra threat to Cauc from Per.

Europe is a bit different and requires some patience. You aren’t planning on blitzing to Moscow so you need to set up your initial defenses and get into position to trade Kar/Belo/Ukr with your infantry and airforce. You also want the bare minimum of defense in WE b/c you want to maximize what you are sending East. This is where tanks come in handy, you usually don’t need all of them to deter a Russian move so you can spare a few for WE and their 3 on defense is enough to make any UK landings highly unlikely. How many units should you have in WE? You want just enough inf to survive the first wave of a UK attack and enough arm/ftrs to wipe out the entire land based attacking force. So if UK can attack with 3 inf, 3 arm, 2 ftrs, 1 bom, you’d want 4-5 inf with 8-9 arm/ftrs.

Now that we’ve got a basic plan for our early WE defense, lets get busy Lurching. First your EE stack, move everything that isn’t needed elsewhere to EE. SE can go to Blk if they aren’t needed in WE. This is the foundation of your offense, you will be using your infantry and ftrs to trade Kar/Belo/Ukr. Standard trading logic applys (2 inf + planes vs. 1 inf), however in trading Belo and Kar you can feel free to match inf for inf, so if you have to attack 2 inf, only bring in 2 and overload planes. You do not want to bleed off too many inf and you do not want infantry out of place depending on where you plan to lurch first. For example, a few too many infantry in Kar may hurt the potential to Lurch to Ukr and vice versa. You aren’t likely to be able to Lurch anywhere for the first 3 rds, infact I’ll work under the assumption that G4 is your first potential chance to move out. Side note: If at any time in the first 3 rounds you can safely move to Kar/Belo/Ukr please do so, it may require an extra “build-up” turn later but you’ve denied Russia a trading zone.

Okay, so we’ve got our stack of Infanty in EE, a few Inf/Arm/Ftrs in WE, and our arm are done blitzing Afr and heading back to Egy/Trj while Russia has a stack in Wrus trying to prevent further German aggression. How do we proceed? First, find the path of least resistance. I’ll go through each possible Lurch but you ultimately want to pick the easiest one or one that fits in with your Japanese strategy as well, and I’ll touch on that within each Lurch. These are listed in no particular order and I’ll give pros and cons for each so you can decide.

EE to Kar

Here you are lurching from EE to Kar. You are confident the Wrus stack cannot kill your stack, while you will still be able to tade Ukr with either Blk inf or EE reinforcements, while Belo can be handled from EE or your new Kar stack.

Pros:
You can cut off the other Allies from reinfocing Moscow.
You are now able to trade Arch and possibly Nor assuming that wouldn’t drain too many inf.
You maintain a threat on Wrus.

Cons:
You are vulnerable to both UK and US attacks as well as a Russian follow-up.
You only threaten a move to Wrus, so Cauc can potentially be lightly defended.
Russia could counter with a Ukr stack, so depending on your total forces in Kar (what you estimate could make it to Mos if you went to Arch) you may be forced to back track a bit.

Japan:
Works well with a northern Japanese push via Bury to Eve or Novo or with Japan placing a major threat on Cauc via Per in an effort to split the Russian defense

EE to Belo

Here you are going to Belo first, and from there you can then expand to Kar, Ukr, or Wrus. You also maintain the ability to trade both Kar and Ukr.

Pros:
It is typically the easiest lurch to make since it is only threatened from Wrus. (UK/US can’t attack via amphibious)
You are still in position to Lurch to either Kar or Ukr.
You can maintain Kar as a deadzone, which can cut off Allied reinforcements to Mos or at the very least force them to land directly in Arch

Cons:
Time. It is usually the easiest Lurch to make, particularly early on, but will usually require a turn or two of build up once you hold Belo.
you won’t be able to trade Arch and Nor is a lost cause.

Japan:
Works with any Japanese approach considering you haven’t committed yet as Germany.

EE to Ukr

Here you are going straight for the throat. No time to waste up north and you aren’t worried about the UK/US quite yet. You want Cauc or Wrus and you want them now!

Pros:
If done right, you’ll get Cauc or Wrus.
You can use your Afr forces to help squeeze Cauc.
You can use your Med Navy to help boost your move bring your SE units into play.
SE armor can immediately reach Ukr.
Japanese ftrs can boost defense from Fic (or the India Sz).

Cons:
Subject to a massive counter from Inf in both Wrus and Cauc.
Armor from Kaz/Per are also in range.
Nor and Arch are lost causes for trading and Kar may become a problem area since it would be extremely difficult to deadzone with only your EE reinforcements.

Japan:
Any approach will work but South and Central are extremely effective. Some ftrs should always be stationed in the Fic/Ind region for added European defense. You also have the ability for a nice 1-2 attack on Cauc with Germany doing the heavy lifting while Japan can swoop in and claim the IC.

Now that we’ve decided on the path of least resistance, you have to execute the Lurch. You should have been buying mostly inf your first few turns along with a few armor, while blitzing Africa and waiting for Japan to get going and now its come time to make your move and start your expansion. There’s a good chance you may have to trade WE at some point since the UK and US have the potential to each shuck 8 units to Europe. You want to keep those units out of Russia so you can get Moscow to fall. You will eventually need your armor in WE to move to EE as you lurch beyond Kar/Belo/Ukr and this makes WE expendable. It is just too hard to try and defend all of Europe and threaten Moscow so you use your armor’s mobility and superior airforce to shift East and now Deadzone WE. A typical Lurch movement may look like this:

Setup:
EE: 15 inf, 2 rt, 2 arm
Ger: 10 inf, 2 arm, 1 bom
WE: 8 inf, 8 arm, 4 ftrs, aa
SE: 2 inf

Ger buys 10 inf, 2 arm
After Lurch:

Belo: 15 inf, 2 rt, 4 arm
EE: 10 inf, 8 arm, aa
Ger: 15 inf, 2 arm, 4 ftrs, 1 bom
SE: 2 inf
WE: 1 inf
Blk: 2 inf

Now if you can hold WE with just the 8-10 inf + ftrs you can do so, but you have to get as much Inf and Armor East as possible. But you also want to make sure the Allies aren’t going to be landing in Kar, so a little bait (like 1 inf) in WE can help the over all cause. Assuming you do deadzone WE, the Allies shouldn’t be able to land a massive force considering the threat you can provide: 17 inf, 10 arm, 4 ftrs and at this point (round 5 or 6) the UK and US should not be able to throw a total of 16 units at you so you can trade WE with your SE inf and planes while still sending the rest of your infantry East. The Allies may have the overall IPC lead or even army lead, but Russia’s army will not be more than Germany’s and once you add in Japan’s army it becomes problematic for the Allies.

Your next move should be coordinated with Japan. As Germany sends its massive stack to Ukr (combine the EE and Belo stacks) and Africa corps to Per, Japan should move its stack to Kaz (Per + Chi) or Novo (Chi + Yak) while landing supporting aircraft in Europe if needed. As much German armor as possible should remain in EE to maintain the threat on WE. You shouldn’t move your armor out of range of WE until you can take and hold Wrus or Cauc. Russia now has a huge decision to make which will likely cause them to vacate Wrus or Cauc since they should now be facing a German stack in Ukr as well as the prospects of a possible merger of a massive Japanese stack off the boarders of Mos/Cauc. If Russia leaves Wrus, then Germany can stack that (with J ftr support) and once again deadzone Kar, meaning no Allied reinforcements and if the leave Cauc you gain an IC which gives you more freedom to defend WE or Kar with your Ger and EE units since you can place new units directly into Cauc.

At this point, with Germany holding Wrus or Cauc, your only concern is holding Berlin and making sure no Allied land units get to Mos, while you wait to make sure Japan has enough to finish off Moscow if Ger starts the attack. If you’re looking for a Magic number to take out Russia’s stack you need Germany to have a 4:3 advatage in TUV and if you are planning a 1-2 attack you need Ger + ??? to have a 5:3 advantage.

Axis and Allies : Strafing (Basics)

Strafing (Basics)

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.

General tips.
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).

Take this job and place it (A guide to worker placement)

Take This Job and Place It (A Guide to Worker Placement)

from iSlayTheDragon.com (June 28th, 2013)

A lot of people dream about being their own boss.  No taking orders from anyone.  Work at your own pace.  Keep all the money.  Problem is most of us are the grunts, performing the day-to-day routines that keep the world running.  Meanwhile, the one who gives the orders garners all the attention.  If you’re one of the multitude who thinks they can manage people smarter, faster, and more productively, then our next game mechanic analysis gives you the chance to prove it.

 Worker Placement: How Does it Work?
Broadly defined, the worker placement mechanic involves choosing actions by physically claiming space (placement) with a game piece or token (“worker”).  Players receive one-time direct benefits specifically associated with the space or action they claim, either immediately or upon retrieving their piece.  In some respects, it operates similar to action point allowance and/or role selection, but there are a few technical distinctions.
Perhaps the biggest feature of this genre is the presence of physical pieces representing “workers.”  They are not just intangible actions or make-believe roles, but actual, tactile game bits placed on the board.  The three-dimensional objects can be simple, like tokens or cubes.  More often, newer designs have anthropomorphic pawns, usually called “meeples.”  A sub-category even utilizes dice as workers.  Whatever they are and however they look, these components serve both practical and aesthetic purposes that are central to identifying worker placement games…
To read the rest of this article, check it out at iSlayTheDragon.com!