Tag Archives: axis and allies

Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition Set to Return This September!

June 30, 2017

The most celebrated Axis & Allies edition is coming back from Wizards of the Coast/Avalon Hill!

Upon its release nearly a decade ago, the Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition became an instant classic! Now this deluxe board game designed by Larry Harris (the original creator of Axis & Allies), returns with rule book updates and streamlined game play.

With over 650 playing pieces, including the largest board ever created for an A&A game, this beloved board game is a must have for the strategy gamer enthusiast.

  • Updated A&A rulebook, with errata and rules clarifications
  • 6 country-specific storage boxes (USA, UK, Russia, Germany, Japan, and Italy)
  • 2 common storage boxes
  • Game board (24 x 46 inches), the largest Axis & Allies board
  • Over 650 plastic miniatures, with 4 new sculpts
  • Additional components including game dice, tokens, paper bills, and plastic chips

MSRP $100, release date September 22, 2017

Axis and Allies Global 1940 For First Time Players

Axis and Allies Global 1940 for First Time Players

Written by Young Grasshopper at Axisandallies.org on December 26th, 2012.  Compiled and Edited by Rorschach of I Will Never Grow Up Gaming.

The invitation.

OK, so you’ve been invited to play a game of Axis and Allies 1940 Global with a few of your friends, however, there’s just one problem; you don’t know a thing about it!

Well don’t worry, we’re going get you up to speed so you can feel comfortable around the gaming table. This should also help your friends by relieving some of the stress involved when teaching such a complicated game. Keep in mind that this article is just a short primer; more like a briefing than a full fledged tutorial.

What is Axis and Allies?

Axis and Allies a World War 2 strategy board game which has a lot of small poker chips, plastic miniature figures, cardboard counters, 6 sided dice, and one massive map of the world.

It helps if you have had experience playing strategy board games like Chess, or Risk, but it’s not necessary. A little knowledge of World War 2 would also come in handy. Basically you rewrite the history books by playing the roles of some of the most powerful leaders of the century while changing the events of the Second World War…. Awesome right?

A brief history of Axis and Allies.

Axis and Allies is a huge franchise of war strategy games created by Larry Harris. The phenomenon began with the first edition released in the early 1980’s by Milton Bradley. Since then, there have been many, many subsequent variants published by Avalon Hill, and Wizards of the Coast including the game you are learning today : Axis & Allies 1940 Global 2nd Edition, which from here on in will be referred to simply as A&A.

The participants.

In A&A there are major powers like Germany and The United Kingdom, and minor powers like France and China. Before the game the experienced players will divide the nations among everyone in a way that is fair. It’s quite normal for 1 player to control up to 3 nations, while a new player is given 1 to handle. There are a total of 9 Nations in A&A, and one of the most important things to remember is, none of them are on even terms. Some begin the game with more units than others, some begin the game with more money than others, and some don’t even get to fight right away. Learn only the nation you have been chosen to play,  who your teammates are, where your capital is, how much money you start with, and what your national objectives are.

The order of play.

In A&A, there are a lot of things that have already been predetermined, such as the setup of starting units, the amount of starting income, the relationships between players/nations, and the order of play. At the beginning of every game, Germany will begin their turn sequence.  Chances are this will not be you! Germany is arguably the most difficult nation to play, and quite possibly the most fun.

Regardless, the order of each round of play is as follows; Germany, U.S.S.R, Japan, U.S.A, China, United Kingdom, Italy, ANZAC, France.

The turn sequence.

In every game, during every round, for every nation, a specific turn sequence must be followed. Using Germany as an example, we are going to go through the turn sequence together…. ready?

#1- Research & Development – It is recommended that you don’t attempt this in your first game, for simplicities sake
#2- Repair Damaged Units – spend money to repair capital ships & facilities.
#3- Purchase New Units – look at everything available to buy, decide what you think you will need at the end of your turn, and place it to the side (they don’t go on to the game board until the end of your turn).
#4- Combat movement – this is the most difficult phase in the whole sequence.
#5- Resolve combat – take over (or at least attempt to take over) territories, and sea zones occupied in step #4 by rolling dice.
#6- Non-Combat Movement – move any unit that was not already moved, or is required to move after combat.
#7- Collect Income – get money for all territories, national objectives, and conquered capitals.
#8- Place New Units – spawn the units that you bought in step 3 on any eligible territory or sea zone.

There are different strategies by different types of players, that said, here is an example of Germany’s first turn…

Research & Development

Repair Units & Facilities

Purchase New Units:
1 Strategic Bomber
1 Fighter
1 Destroyer

Combat Movement:
SZ#106 – 1 Submarine
SZ#110 – 2 Submarines, 1 Battleship, 2 Fighters, 2 T.Bombers, 1 S.Bomber
SZ#111 – 2 Submarines, 2 Fighters, 1 T.Bomber, 1 S.Bomber
France – 7 Infantry, 4 M.Infantry, 3 Artillery, 3 Tanks
Baltic States – 3 Infantry, 2 Tanks, 1 T.Bomber
Eastern Poland – 2 Infantry. 3 Tanks
Bessarabia – 2 Infantry, 1 Tank, 1 Fighter, 1 T.Bomber

Non-Combat Movement:
1 Cruiser, 1 Transport into SZ#113 / 2 Infantry from Germany into Norway
3 Infantry from Norway into Finland
3 Infantry from Germany into W.Germany
6 Infantry, 3 Artillery, 1 AA Gun from Germany into Poland
6 Infantry, 2 Artillery, from S.Germany into Slovakia
1 AA Gun from Germany into Slovakia
1 AA Gun from Germany into W.Germany
3 AA Guns from W.Germany into N.Italy
1 T.Bomber from Poland into Poland
1 T.Bomber from Germany into Poland
1 Fighter from Slovakia into Slovakia
All surviving air units from the Atlantic into W.Germany

Place new units:
1 Strategic Bomber into W.Germany
1 Fighter into W. Germany
1 Destroyer into SZ#113

Collect income:
$38 income
$5 National objective
$19 Capital gain
= $62

Now before you start freaking out, and thinking about how you’re gonna get out of this game, just remember that you won’t have to deal with these kinds of decisions your first time. If the circumstances are right, you will be given a small role with lots of advice from more experienced teammates. There will be plenty of time between turns to evaluate the board, read the materials, and ask for help.

The unit profiles and details.

There are many different units that can be purchased, and placed on the board to ultimately support your war effort. Some units fight on land to take over valuable territories, some fight on sea to strategically strengthen your position, and some have no combat value at all, but can allow extended movement, or better spawning locations. What ever unit you buy, remember that it has many attributes and rules that are specific to them only. However, the only thing you need to know in your first game is… how much does it cost, how far can it move, what is it’s attack value, and what is it’s defense value. Luckily for you, all this information is displayed on charts in both lower corners of the game board.

Your teammates will help you with many of the complicated rules associated with each unit, however, you will be doing them a great service if you can learn the basic statistics of each unit by using the charts provided.

A&A game plans and strategies

To put it in its most basic terms your role in the game is to take new territories while keeping the ones you already own. After that, you should just try and have fun. That said, remember this: experienced A&A players are a weird species.  We have played, and talked about this game to death. Don’t let us play your nation for you by telling you what to buy, where to move, what to attack, and with what. Ask us to explain all your options, and then choose one with conviction. Understand that there is no “one way” to play this game! My Germany turn 1 blueprint above for example is widely unpopular with other experienced players, but I play it every chance I get.

There is one truth to this game, and that is “there are no perfect plans”, and if there were, they would get humbled by simple mistakes, or angry dice gods (I told you we are weird).

A&A game etiquette

When invited to play A&A at someone’s house try to be mindful of some bad habits that most new players fail to correct.

In A&A, you will be required to roll lots of dice.  Try to do this quickly and efficiently.  You know.. without throwing them hard and wiping out pieces on the board, or constantly dropping them on the floor. Try and find a small box to roll in if one is not provided, and confirm how many dice to roll before you toss them.

Keep a clean play area. If you have a minute between turns (and chances are you will), put your casualties back in your parts tray, and keep your drink on a separate table beside you.

Don’t get mad over poor dice rolls! Everyone knows that you can’t control the outcome of the dice, so don’t behave like you can.

And finally, don’t be a dick! If you are trash talking too much, over celebrating your rolls, or blaming team mates for loses, they won’t invite you back to play the best board game ever, and you will end up alone in the online game forums (where the really weird ones play).


This could be the beginning of a life long obsession that could turn you into an elite strategist. Embrace it and understand that you are playing a highly popular game franchise that has sold millions of copies world wide. Watch some youtube videos that explain the basics of the game (BGRWJ 002 is a good one). Also maybe watch some World War 2 documentaries to get you in the mood.  Nothing makes me want to play quite like watching footage of Rommel cutting across Africa, the great Marianas turkey shoot, or the Battleship Hood and Bismarck stand off.

Perhaps after reading this, you will become compelled to download the rule book from wizards.com, or maybe I have made you run away to never speak of this game again! What ever you do, good luck and most of all, HAVE FUN!

How to convince people to use your House Rules for Axis and Allies

How to get people to use your House Rules (For Axis and Allies)


Written by Der Kuenstler on 02-12-2013 at Axis and Allies.org, assembled and edited by Rorschach of I Will Never Grow Up Gaming

So you’ve got some great new House Rules (in your own view, anyway) for Axis and Allies and you’d like others to cooperate and play along. This is not always easy, but here are a few tips that will improve your chances of selling your ideas:

1. Introduce your rules to brand new players.
One of the hardest things for people to do in life is change. Just think how hard it is for people to stop smoking, stay on a diet, etc. – and remember it is just as hard for someone who has been playing this game for years to change a rule. On the other hand, a new player comes into the room ready for anything – they’ve never played before, so all is readily accepted.

2. Play at your house.
People will be more likely to try your ideas on your turf. Especially if they are eating your snacks and drinking your drinks.

3. Learn the history of the rules of the game.
This requires some homework. You should know the history of each of the rules that you are trying to adjust. There may already be a rule like you want in place from a past edition of the game. Or you may find you will have a hard time selling your idea of navy frogmen since that has never been in the game at all. This is a sheet I made in order to learn the history of strategic bombing rules in Axis and Allies:

4. Create an official edition of your house rules and hand out copies to the players ahead of time.
This is not that hard to do with all the publishing programs available out there. Players will not be impressed with your crumpled, handwritten, misspelled house rules. And don’t try to get away with saying “the rules are in my head.” Here is an example of one of my Axis and Allies rulebooks that has house rules in it:

5. Make your game changes look professional.
Here is one of my player cards. After some practice I’ve been able to make these cards identical in quality to the stock cards that come with the game. If there are any price changes to the units, you cannot tell that there was a change. Don’t get sloppy and white-out prices or scotch tape your ideas on there – you are asking for trouble!

Here is a photo of a change I made to my map recently. Can you see it? I added Burma and the Burma Road to my 1942 map with a sticker. I printed 3+ stickers before I finally got the exact size and shade to match. Don’t get lazy – if it looks professional people will accept it.

6. If possible, have a president for your house rule.
If you can say “this rule is based on a rule from the 1984 Edition of Axis and Allies” it will be accepted better than saying “this is something I came up with myself.”

7. Play test your rules ahead of time before introducing them – make sure they actually work.
Bounce it off the veteran players on the forum. Don’t change something before testing and then have to change it back – it makes you look like you don’t know what you are doing.

8. If you get a heckler questioning the change, point out that there have been about 18 OFFICIAL sets of rule changes published for Axis and Allies since 1984.
Tell him this is not an ancient game with established rules like chess that has been around thousands of years – the rules aren’t hardened into stone yet.

9. If you still get resistance, you can always hang this quote from Larry Harris in your game room like I did and point to it – after all, Mr. Harris invented the game – his opinion should always count!

10. If everybody really hates your idea, don’t try to push it.
You may think it’s the greatest idea in the world but it may actually be a bad idea. File it away and rethink it later. Better to have a room full of friends playing a game that’s not quite perfect than playing your perfect game all by yourself.

Appended advice by CWO Mark :

11. Keep the number of house rules manageable.
House rules can be viewed as seasoning which should be applied sparingly to the game; their purpose is to tweak the official rules, not replace them.   The greater the number of house rules, the harder they are to memorize and the more they have the potential to fundamentally alter or unbalance the game.  One way of splitting the difference is to have a large list of potential house rules, but to use only a small number of them in each game; choosing with your fellow players which house rules will be used in a particular game can be fun, and it adds variety to your get-togethers because you’re playing a slightly different game each time.

12. Have your supplementary rulebook state the overall objective of your house rules (assuming that they’re guided by a defining principle). 
For example, the purpose of your house rules could be: a) to make the game go faster; b) to alter the balance of victory probability for one side or the other; c) to explore a particular alternate-history scenario; d) to correct perceived flaws in the official rules; e) to reflect more accurately the performance and/or cost of particular combat units; f) to create a game variant that uses a fundamentally different game mechanic (such as concealed play, using two game boards and a referee).  Players may be more willing — or may even be enthusiastic — about using your house rules if they understand what you’re trying to accomplish with them.

House rules for many games can be a fantastic addition or welcomed change from the usual.  If you’ve got some great ideas for changes to ANY game never hesitate to write them down and see how they play out.  You might be pleasantly surprised at the results!

The Axis and Allies Tournament Survival Guide

August 16th, 2013

Axis and Allies Tournament Survival Guide

Working on the Next Move: Axis &  Allies 1942 SE Tournament

By David Jensen of AxisandAllies.org

Tournaments are a great way to test your skills against other Axis & Allies players but it’s definitely a different experience than playing at home with friends for hours upon hours. I worked with Greg Smorey (Smorey Swamp), who has been organizing Axis & Allies tournaments for 20 years, to come up with this tournament survival guide.

Have Fun

Your primary motivation for entering a tournament should be to have fun playing Axis & Allies. Stressing about bad dice or proving that you’re the best player in the world will just distract you from meeting new an interesting players. If the dice are treating you badly, you can’t do anything about it so relax, think and who knows what the dice will do next.

Be Courteous

Be courteous and respectful of all players. A tournament is fun, challenging, and can be stressful. If you’re courteous, it will increase the fun and decrease the stress for everybody involved. It’s okay to give stern reminders about the time but do it politely.

Tournament Play is Not the Same

When you play Axis & Allies at home,  theoretically you have infinite time to complete a game. Sometimes your home games will end with surrender (or projection of a winner) or you fight to the end. In a tournament, the games must come to an end after a fixed period of time. No matter how close the game is, a winner must be decided. The rules for victory in a tournament are different. Sure you can win outright but it will usually not happen so change your strategy and your bid for the tournament victory rules. A winning strategy for a game with unlimited time may not win a tournament. In fact, you can be outgunned and on the brink of collapse but still win a tournament game.

If your opponent is playing the unlimited time game and you’re playing the tournament game, you already have an advantage.

Different People Play Differently

Not everybody plays the way you do so be open minded and flexible. Some people, like me, like to use poker chips for money while others like to write it down. Some like to use small dice to indicate how much movement each aircraft has remaining. Others like to keep track of income on the chart and some like to quickly count it up at the end of the turn. A few people have a color coded dice scheme so that they only have to throw dice once per battle round. If you don’t understand the color scheme, then use a few dice to create a key. If you don’t want to use their methodology when you roll your dice, then inform your opponent of that.

Play Quickly

Remember this is a tournament, don’t take forever trying to figure out what to do when it is your turn. The tournament materials should indicate about how many rounds you should be able to finish. Try to stay on track. When playing as a team, don’t spend your turn arguing about moves – save that for before or after your turn. Arguing the finer points of Axis & Allies, like order of loss, is for the forums not for tournament play. If it helps, assign one teammate as the captain to make final, quick decisions.

Be aware that the first two rounds take the longest but your first round moves should almost be done by rote. After the first two rounds, there should be less pieces on the board and fewer decisions.

Plan your turn ahead of time. Yes, things change but you should have at least your best guess purchases made and combat moves planned several turns ahead. When I finish playing a country, I find it helpful to do my purchases for the next round almost immediately. If something changes, it’s faster to adjust an already made decision than to start from scratch.

Another technique to keep things moving is not to wait to start your turn if your opponent is counting up their IPCs at the end of the turn. Just plop down your purchase and start your combat move.

Prepare Before the Tournament

Practice makes perfect. Read the tournament rules and re-read the out of box rules (even if it is the 10th time you’ve read them). Try to play a game or two using a timer and the tournament rules. Be familiar with how you win the version of Axis & Allies you are playing in a tournament. If you can memorize opening moves for both the Axis and the Allies, do it. You can find tournament rules here: Smorey Swamp Rules.

Finding a teammate in advance of the tournament is also a good idea. Not only is it a good idea from the standpoint of collaboration on decisions, which still need to be made quickly, but you also have help with logistics like being able to leave the table to get food, drink or going to the restroom.


Forgetting something. If at any point of the game you forget a move, as long as the other player has not started moving pieces or on their turn, tournament etiquette is to go ahead and move the piece. If it is after, tell the judges.

If you have a complaint or concern, come ask the judges and judges are the final arbiter on the rules. You may think you know the rules backwards and forwards but the organizers collectively know them better.

No drinks or food on the tables around games that are NOT yours. Especially, AA50, 1942 2nd Edition and any Global game. These games are way to expensive to ruin based on a accident.

The Dice

Tournament rules state that if you bring dice to the table, they are fair game for anyone playing in that game to use. If you don’t want your opponent to use your lucky dice, then don’t bring them.

It is preferred to roll in a box top or some other dice rolling device.

Don’t blame the dice if you lose. Everybody complains a little about bad dice rolls, it’s part of Axis & Allies, but in the end don’t go around saying I lost because of the dice. It’s just bad form and you look like a sore loser even if the dice truly treated you badly. Furthermore, if  the dice really did cause you to lose, then your opponent might realize it too and you can have a post game discussion about it. You won’t seem like a sore loser if your opponent complains about how bad your dice are.

Big Fish in a Big Pond

So you’re the best player in your group. The first time you go to a regional game con and enter a tournament, you may not be the best player anymore. There are a lot of great Axis & Allies players out there and they may have different strategies that you’ve never experienced.

So let’s say it turns out you are the best player in the region, when you go to a national game convention like GenCon, you may not be the best anymore. There are a lot of great Axis & Allies players that show up at these conventions. Just be prepared and don’t be upset if you lose, it can happen.

Little Fish in a Big Pond

If you’re a beginner, don’t be afraid to enter a tournament. You might lose on the first round or you might get lucky but you will definitely learn something new about how to play Axis & Allies. The only thing that you will need to know to enter a tournament is a strong knowledge of the rules of the game. At the end of the match, consider asking your opponent for advice on how to play better next time.

One More Thing…

Finally, Greg says that if you end up playing vs. Charles Michalek, you have our permission to annoy the heck out of him.

– See more at: http://www.axisandallies.org/p/axis-allies-tournament-survival-guide/#sthash.rr3Js7B5.dpuf

A Painting Tutorial and Resource for Axis and Allies

Painting Tutorial and Resource for Axis And Allies

Written by Spitfire38 from Axis and Allies.org on April 1, 2012.   Edited by Rorschach of I Will Never Grow Up Gaming

Hello everyone!

There are a lot of great painted pieces out there, but I have not stumbled upon a single thread that includes a tutorial or explanation of HOW to paint your Axis and Allies game pieces. Hopefully this can be a resource for anyone interested in painting their own sets or for anyone who has any questions regarding painting.

I have been painting since I got my first Axis and Allies 1942 set two years ago; I finished that and have moved onto my Axis and Allies 1940 Global set.

My work has progressed from my first crude brown and maroon T-34s to my newly finished AVG Flying Tiger with shark camo and Chinese roundels.  I would call myself experienced, but not an expert or professional. I find time between school and my job to paint, so it gets done based on how much time I have.

I’d like to start with the tools and paints used;


I use acrylic paints (oils would be a nightmare, and I don’t think they would work well). You can get them at your local Hobby Lobby or Michaels (or any arts and crafts store, or even the Dollar Store) for about $.90 to $1.30, depending on which brand you use and where you purchase it.

You will need a good variety of paints…probably anywhere from 15-30. Here is a sampling of some of the paints I use.

As you can see, I don’t stick to one brand- if you’re willing to shell out the money, I’ve heard Vallejo paints are good too (editors note: Vallejo paints are excellent, but rather expensive for this task – best to stick with them for miniature wargames like Warhammer and the likes). I find that the paints I have suit me just fine.

Here is a list of colors I think you will need to start.

  • White
  • Black
  • Royal Blue
  • Bright Red (but not orangey…be careful)
  • Silver
  • Yellow
  • A dark forest green
  • A lighter army green
  • A burgundy maroon color (optional)
  • A nice raw sienna (brown but slightly orange)
  • A burnt sienna…basically a standard brown
  • A light grey
  • A dark grey
  • Maybe a gunmetal color…like a silvery black
  • one or two shades of sandy camel color.

Any other color you might need you can generally mix from these colors. All in all you should be up to about $15-20 right now. I already had many of these at my house for some reason, but if you are just starting, this should get you going.

You also need some good tools. I, once again, went to Michaels and bought the smallest size brushes they had, and then to Publix for some thin wood skewers. With that and a sewing needle, you’ll be good. Here is a pic of my tools.

Basically I use the brushes for basecoating and doing any thick camo stripes or drybrushing, but almost all my fine detail work is done with a skewer and/or needle.

Just take one of the skewers and whittle it to a slightly finer point… experiment till you get a few. This is better than a brush because

  1. the point is smaller
  2. it is rigid and won’t bend when it hits the surface of the piece, giving you better stability and detail.

Then a needle for really fine stuff…like roundels and squadron letters.

Grab a pallette, a cup with some water, and a section of an Styrofoam egg carton (the section WITHOUT tiny little holes in the bottom… I figured that out the hard way) for any inkwashing.

Then just set up your workstation with a newspaper and some paper towels, and you’re set!


I will be painting a few different kinds of pieces to cover the various techniques I use.

First, I’m painting the Chinese infantry. Then I will do part of the US Navy, then I will finish the RAF with some naval fighters and tac bombers, and finish up with the FMG Italian ground units (arty, mech infantry [armored car], and a tank).

A side note : Painting your pieces requires some practice, depending on how good you want them to look. For me, I “practiced” on a Spring 1942 set.  In all honesty I thought they were good, but then I got progressively better and realized my original pieces were awful. Just have fun experimenting and painting and you’ll improve.


To start out, infantry is probably the most time consuming type of piece to paint, but it is also one of my favorites. There are a few basic components to each infantry piece.

The base – Everyone does their bases differently. I have seen infantry with a base that is all one color, infantry with a base that is one color on top but a different color on the side (which is how I do it), bases with roundels painted on them, or even bases that are textured to look like the ground with moss, sand, etc. I like to paint the base 2 different colors because it gives more options for nations as well as giving it contrast, which can be pleasing to the eye.

The uniform – The uniform usually consists of pants or shorts, a shirt or coat, boots/shoes with socks, and a helmet or cap. Often you can paint boots over the socks if you like that better, or extend the shorts into pants…like I said, experiment with it to see what you like. I find that it helps to make the shirt and pants a different color for contrast.

The equipment – The equipment is usually a gun, (well, I would hope they would always have a gun cheesy) a canteen or pouch of some sort, and possibly a belt, strap, or sash looking thing. Its up to you to decide what you paint and what colors you use. Sometimes painting everything can make the piece look a little cluttered, but it can also be a nice touch. Obviously you paint the gun though.

The person/flesh – This is one of my favorite parts because I feel like it makes the piece look 10x better when it has a skin color; once again, it not only provides contrast, but gives a human look instead of plastic. Different soldiers have different skin colors, but its all pretty much a flesh tone base.

To start, I always paint the base…at least the top of it. It’s a lot easier to paint the base before the boots because you can be sloppy with your brush. Some people like to do an approach similar to how you put on your clothes. First you paint the skin, then the pants, then the shirt, socks, shoes, hat, and equipment. personally I find that it’s the best for me to paint the base, then the shirt, pants, hat, gun, accessories, skin, and then boots, and lastly the side of the base. The side of the base comes last because I usually hold the piece by the base or the head to provide easy rotation and a firm grip. But choose your method.

In Axis and Allies Pacific/Global there are 30 infantry pieces. I usually do 2 schemes for a nation, but for the UK and USA I will probably do 3 or 4 since you get double the standard 20-25 pieces. That being said, I am only showing you the first scheme right now (15 pieces).

Now, to start out, you have to clean the pieces with dish soap, warm water, and a toothbrush. The advantage to doing this is that often it helps the paint apply more easily because the oils from the factory will be off. It takes about 30 mins or so. You just get a pot or cup of warm to hot water (not hot enough to mold the plastic though…just tap water hot), add dish soap, and scrub! Make sure to get in all the nooks and crannies.

Update/Addendum: The pieces in this guide where not primed.  I sprayed my French infantry pieces with primer to get the hang of it and to see how well it works. It’s GREAT! The pieces only require about 1 coat of paint with a few touch ups, and the paint applies very easily. I’m sold.

To spray your pieces with a primer (editors note : Krylon Fusion works best for plastics, imo), just set them on a piece of cardboard, and give them 2 light (keyword, light) coats of primer, the second coat after the other has dried. You should basically follow the instructions on the can – hold it about 10 inches away from the pieces.

Now I painted the bases on my 15 infantry. It’s China, so I’m working with a light blue, bright green, white…those sort of colors. I decided to paint the top a light blue (not the royal blue) and the sides a bright green; not white because blue and white are what my American pieces have) Pick colors that will help you and anyone playing identify what nation they are. (Germany:black, red, gray; Italy:brown, green, white; UK: yellow, blue, red, white)

Next I mixed my color for the base. I wanted a lighter blue, so I mixed on drop or glob of white paint with 2 drops of royal blue, and then proceeded to stir with a skewer. Shake the paints very well so it’s not too thick or too thin. Make sure you mix it enough so it is evenly distributed: often when mixing you will have pockets or streaks of a certain color that will look funny when you put it on the piece. See the top right of the photo

Then apply the paint to the base…don’t worry about being sloppy because you’re coming back over it later. Just make it a uniform texture (no globs, etc). It will probably take 2 or 3 coats to completely cover all parts sticking through (fewer coats, as little as one, when primed properly before painting).

In the bottom left of the photo you can see the base, as well as the color I am going to paint the coats of the soldiers. I am doing a two layer coat…basically a base coat (no pun intended  cheesy) and then a darker color drybrushed/smeared on top to give it depth and variety. easy concept, and makes your piece look a lot better! That color is an “avacado” green (3 drops) with one drop of white.

When applying your paint, especially on infantry and ships, don’t put too much on or make it too thick because it can cover up or fill the details in the figure. So 2 coats is better than one really thick one. Just apply the paint uniformly and make sure you check all over the figure by rotating it and turning it upside down. There is nothing more frustrating then finishing a piece and finding a spot you missed- trust me!  Places to check: the part where the left arm merges with the gun…it’s a part of plastic that connects them that doesn’t really exist in real life. Sorry if that’s confusing. Also check under the shirt or coat where it meets the pants, under the arm, and the cuffs on the shirt.

Next I applied a second coat  to the infantry of a darker color (1 drop of dark green, 1 drop of light green). Its sort of a drybrushing technique…but not really. You basically get your brush with some paint on it, wipe of the paint a little but on a paper towel or newspaper, then dab or pull it across the piece so it leaves streaks or patches of that color on the piece. It sounds like it would ruin your piece, but it makes it look good and shadowed. On something like a ship or tank treads-basically something with clearly defined raised surfaces- it helps to pull the brush perpendicular to the surface. So on a tank tread, pull it left to right or right to left as opposed to up and down. That way you only paint the raised surfaces and it highlights those parts…more realistic and cool   That technique worked very well for my Russian T34s. You can see the treads were painted that way, but there are also subtle light brown dry-brush highlights on clearly visible on the barrel and engine of the tank.

When drybrushing, periodically rinse your brush in the water so it doesn’t dry out and get ruined from paint…it will lose its tip and become a poofy bunch of fibers that isn’t useful any more. I don’t know if you can tell from the lighting, but the left piece (top left pic) is not drybrushed, while the right piece is. This is very clearly visible on ships…if you do a silver or gunmetal gray drybrush on the conning towers and such, it looks really cool!

 Then I painted the pants. I originally painted them a sandy tan color, but it looked dumb, so i painted a raw sienna over it. In the picture the pieces look a little spotty, but I paint over any spots I see while I’m painting. By the end they are all tidy.

Next I gave them dark green caps and painted the pieces’ belts brown. The belt was done with a skewer…everything else so far has been a fine brush.

Finally, I gave them a gun and a red dot on their caps (i’m making half of them Communist, half of them Nationalist…just for the heck of it. HISTORY!) The gun is a brown with a gunmetal grey as the guns metal parts. basically i painted the rings on the guns barrel, the gunsight on the end, and then I ran a line down the top to look like a metal barrel.

I finished the boots with a straight black. I used a thin point brush to get in between the legs on the inside of the boots. Afterwards I had to go back over the base a little bit to cover up any stray lines from painting the boots. That’s why it’s important to make sure you can replicate a pretty similar shade again when you first mix the base.

Then I just fixed up the uniforms with a straight dark green (that’s another bonus of using 2 coats of different colors… you can touch up with one straight color without mixing it and it doesn’t look bad)

For the base, I needed a green, but more of a bright, pastel colored green, not a dark forest or army green. So I mixed some blue and yellow (come on, back to the basic color wheel- 1st grade) until I found a shade I liked. Then you just apply it to the base and wick off any extra that sticks over the top of the side of the base with your finger.

Then you wait for it to dry, sit back, survey your pieces, make any changes you want, and be proud of yourself!

Here are the pics of the final infantry pieces;

One of those guys has a face defect-poor guy. must be hard missing half your jaw.

Every once in a while you have to have some fun as well. So here is an infantry piece with some “accesories”… Taliban infantry, Chinese Rambo…take your pick.  He looks a little messy, but I fixed him up later, don’t worry




Here are pictures of other pieces.  As you can see in the first frame, the pieces are lined up about 1-2 inches apart. In the 2nd frame the pieces have been painted with one coat of primer. The piece’s plastic still shines through a bit, but that’s good, because it means it is a light coat that doesn’t fill in the detail. Frame 3 is after 2 coats of primer. Priming really helps the painting process!!  Frame 4 is after I painted a tan undercoat with acrylic paints.

Here is a pic of one of the Field Marshal Games mechanized infantry pieces I finished up just to see how it would look. I actually like it as a desert scheme a lot!!


After the pieces were given a sand/camel color base coat, I did 2 or 3 coats of a brown inkwash, just because it kept coming out a little too light for my tastes.

The first thing I did after that was the tires of the artillery and mechanized infantry and the tracks of the tanks. The tires were pretty difficult to perfect with even circles, but after a but of tweaking I got it to the desired look. I used the sharpened skewer, as a brush isn’t stiff enough to get the tight cracks and smooth lines.

As you can see, especially on the artillery, there were stray black paint marks, but I went over those later with either a sand color or a gunmetal gray for the mechanics of the artillery.

I didn’t really like how plain the tanks were, so I painted the things on the back (they appear to be barrels, but they may be bundles of supplies) brown to add some interest and variety. For the mech inf I painted the jug of gasoline, the entrenching shovels, and the headlights/mirrors on the front to add the same variety. (they were part of the piece, but its optional to paint them)

A quick note on the treads (Frame 3): I don’t know how well you can see the grey, but it shows up more in person. If you did this by hand, painting each individual line it would take forever. So basically what you do on anything with clearly defined or raised parts is…yep, you guessed it, dry brushing.

I painted the tread brown, then selected a relatively stiff brush, and got started. Get the brush tip wet with some pain, then dry it almost completely off on a paper towel until you can barely see any paint coming off. Then do a rapid back and forth motion over the length of the treads…if you don’t see it at first, give it a sec and keep doing it- it will show up surely enough. By having little paint and doing it quickly you are ensuring the paint only comes off on the raised surfaces… ideally the tip won’t touch the depressions in the treads at all, only the raised parts.

Next it was time for the division and platoon markers. I did this because it

  1. Fills up the empty space on the side of the piece
  2. Gives the pieces more character in my opinion.

It is cool to see the different pieces with its own unique something. You may find yourself cheering on your HQ “black and white stripe” mech inf in the battle for Alexandria because it has withstood the enemy fire – it is now an veteran piece to be counted on!

Here is the site I used for inspiration.  It is a great site for painting ideas – its a miniatures WWII battle site, but its great for this too. http://www.flamesofwar.com/Default.aspx?tabid=110&art_id=856&kb_cat_id=27

Add the platoon markings, do some touch up, add the Italian flag on the back (merely for identification) and voila!! You’re done.

They turned out fairly well if I do say so myself. Keep in mind when you’re painting your own pieces (I need to remember this often!!) that perfection isnt the goal. If there is a slight problem that you can’t quite fix, leave it. The piece should look good from table view (2 ft or so), so it doesn’t have to be an unblemished product.

Do your best work, and appreciate it. I can see some flaws in my pieces right now, but it’s not a big deal in the end. They look good from far away, and we’ll have fun with them.


You will notice in this picture of my German armor, artillery and support pieces that there are 3 schemes.

  • Desert
  • Woodland
  • standard black/grey (German Feldgrau) 

The woodland camo is a 3 step process :

  1. dark khaki color, based off of a photograph or drawing.
  2. burnt sienna brown in stripes and an occasional “splotch”, to simulate the camo.
  3. dark forest green overlapping the brown, making sure to cover most of the piece.

There are many different kinds of camo, but as a general rule, it looks better when it overlaps, when it’s not a predictable pattern (you don’t want parallel stripes running along the length of the piece), and when you cover the entire piece, then paint details over it. This makes it look more authentic in my opinion

To elaborate the process more;

I started with a coat of spray can primer, just a standard light gray primer from the hardware store. Then, I painted a base coat of dark gray on it. However, the base coat needs to be lighter than you intend the final product to be because of the wash. If I had gone with a near black gray from the start, the tanks would just be black and you wouldn’t see any detail and it would be nasty looking. The base coat was something like “Value 2” from this color swatch.

That’s the best estimate I can give you, since I didn’t take a picture of my paint when I was painting. I can tell you it was one of my dark gray paints with a bit of black mixed in to make it a bit darker.

After that, I did a wash with black. (I have black and brown; I just used the straight black wash. There’s a picture of further up in this tutorial). This was liberally applied, then I sucked up any thick pools of it with my brush until it was a decent amount left, mostly from the tracks and the hatch/MG at the top of the StuGs.

If you want the wash to really do it’s job, you should apply the wash one side at a time, setting the piece on it’s side to dry. That way it seeps into the tracks and the lines in between the side skirt panels or under the turret, depending on what you’re painting.

After the wash was completely done drying (20 minutes or so), I went back over and did a drybrush with a light gray. Something like “Value 4” or “5” from the image. This was applied pretty liberally, because I felt that I had gone overboard with the darkness and that the piece was too dark for what I wanted. But it’s all personal preference, so if you like the color you have, don’t worry about making the streaks and highlights show up everywhere. So it was applied liberally, and I really made sure to get the ridges on the Hummel and the skirts and turrets of the StuGs and Panzers, since these are the really defining parts of the piece, and the parts that have really defined edges and make for a great drybrush. This all gives it the “scratched paint” look, and since I did it enough, it sort of looks like there is a light gray base coat that I somehow covered up with gray, while it was actually the other way around. Here’s an example with the Hummel.

You can see it on the desert scheme Hummel as well. After the drybrush, I did a light drybrush with brown on the turret and MG, and the back a bit, just to simulate dirt and stuff like that. Very light drybrush though.

Then it was time to paint divisional markings and identifications, and then I was done.

Oh, the tracks. The tracks are done by dragging a brush with just a bit of paint across the tracks, and since they are raised (both the tracks themselves and the mechanisms), it makes your job really easy.

 The Italian Battleship 
The Italian Aircraft Carrier.

The Italian Cruiser and Destroyer

And last but not least, the Glorious Regia Marina

Note: The Italian subs will probably have an addition of a few colors to differentiate them from the US sub scheme.


So yesterday I whipped up some infantry and then practiced terrain basing … WOW, was I pleased with the results!!

Here are the materials I used.

  • Cut out egg container – This is what I used to make the glue mixture… you can use something else if you want. If you DO use the egg carton, make sure there are not small holes in the bottom, as many sections have 2 small holes. I figured it out the hard way a while ago- paint wash all over my desk
  •  One fairly stiff brush – This brush should be one you do not cherish, and it should be a little bit stiff, so you can paint glue where you want it.
  • Some terrain flocking – Pick what you want. I went to Hobby Lobby for mine… $8 total. You want it to be pretty fine.
  • Tacky Glue– I would actually recommend PVA glue, but I couldn’t find any. So I used this. Its dirt cheap too.

To start out, paint your basic infantry pieces. The only difference is, the base of the piece needs to be the color of the terrain you’re applying instead of using national colors like before.

  • Desert/Sand- Light brown or tan
  • Grass/Forest- Olive Green
  • Dirt/Rocks- Brown
  • Cobblestone/Gravel/Urban- Grey
  • Seasons- White (Snow), Burgundy (Autumn), etc.

Here are pics of my infantry. I painted them in 4 hours, which was actually remarkably fast, and they turned out to be my best work yet.
Next, mix some of the tacky glue with a little bit of water… use your discretion. You need to stir it with a wodden skewer or your finger or something like that. You basically want spreadable glue. But not too much water!

Next, apply the glue to the base liberally.

Now, quickly spread the glue around the base, then sprinkle the terrain all over the base; put a lot on, because some will fall off. If it’s too clumpy, crumble it between your fingers while you do it OR you can dip the piece into the terrain materials.


Tap the pieces, brush off any excess around the base you don’t want, do some touch ups, and voila!!

Here are the final product. (The grey pieces I tried to paint, but they weren’t secure enough, so I couldn’t really get it to work… I’ll figure out a solution.) The usual disclamier…things always look better in person, but here they are!





Gen Con – Axis and Allies Events

GenCon Indy is fast approaching on August 15-18th, 2013 and Greg Smorey  is in his 20th year hosting Axis and Allies events there!  Here’s a run-down of the events being held for Axis and Allies fans this year;


 GEN CON AXIS & ALLIES 2013 Main Event Listing:

Board Games:

Global 1942 Tournament QR (G42):
BGM1343145 & BGM1343343
Thurs. & Friday 9am.

AA50 SE Tournament:
Thurs. 4pm (only time)

1942 2nd Ed. Tournament QR:
BGM1343153, 3341, 3343.
Thurs. 10am & 5pm, Sat. 8am. (Top 8 winners advance.)

1914 SE Tournament:
Fri. 1pm

1941 Beginners Tournament (SE):
Sat. 10am

Classic 2nd Ed. Tournament (SE):
Thurs. 3pm.

1941 Beginners Games:
See schedule for times.
Several of these events have already SOLD OUT!

Commanders & Tactics WWII Game:
BGM1342216 & 2502,
Thrus. & Fri. 5pm (this is a boardgame designed by Greg Smorey)
There is an error in the registration book that cannot be changed. The cost to play in either game should only be $2. Greg wanted it to be free but GEN CON would NOT permit it.  Greg will reimburse the extra $4 to anyone at the event wanting to play)

Axis & Allies Open Gaming:
BGM1341854 & 1848,
Thurs. & Friday 3pm.
New this year to the event schedule. Come and play any AA game you like in a casual setting.
Strongly suggested that you bring the game you would like to play.


War At Sea Sealed Tournament (aka League)
Come play as much as you want over the course of the weekend!
HMN134152, 3340, 3345, 3362, & 3373.
Thurs. & Fri. 9am & 5pm, Sat. 9am.

AA Land Miniatures Tournament QR:
HMN1342501 & 3375,
Fri & Sat. 10am

War At Sea Battlefest:
HMN1343349, 3377,
Fri & Sat. 12noon (Top players vie for WAS Battlefest Crown)

AA Miniatures Battlefest:
HMN1343359, 3388,
Fri. & Sat. 4pm. (Top players vie for AAM Battlefest Crown)

Angels 20 Sealed Tournament (aka League):
HMN1343187, 3354, 3381.
Thur. Fri. Sat. 2pm.

Angels 20 Bombing Scenarios:
HMN1342208, 2212 & 3398
Thurs. Fri. & Sat. 6pm. (Winners play off in Final.)

There are many more casual events offered (i.e. Guadalcanal, D-Day, Bulge, 1941, etc.) so check listings for any particular game you want to play…

In Addition, Historical Boardgaming.com will be at GenCon this year;

Here’s a breakdown of how to find them :

  • Amerika will be in Hall E, Blue 28-29 Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • Midway will be in Hall E, Blue 3 on Friday and Blue 1 on Sunday.
  • Barbarossa will be Hall E, Blue 4 on Friday and Blue 11 on Saturday.
  • To get a complete listing of all of HBG’s dates, times, and locations, go to the “Find Events” search on the GenCon page and search by group/company. They are #215 on the list.

Axis and Allies Spring 1942 : Soviet Strategic Defense

Axis and Allies Spring 1942 : Soviet Strategic Defense


Written by Hobbes on 24-04-2011 at Axis and Allies.org, assembled and edited by Rorschach of I Will Never Grow Up Gaming

Welcome Comrade! Here you will find a guide to understand the Soviet Union (USSR)’s position and role in the game.

Part 1 – Soviet Strategy

There are 3 factors that make the Soviet Union the weakest country in A&A: •Its position in the middle of the two Axis powers, forcing it to play a defensive two front war.
•It has the lowest starting income of all powers, limiting its purchases to ground units and the occasional plane/sub.
•It is the best target for the Axis to achieve victory due to the conditions above.

However the USSR also possesses 2 key advantages to balance its initial disadvantages:•Russia is at the center of the board and is the only country with easy land access to all of its starting territories, plus several key map areas. This allows it the benefits of quick reinforcement of its defenses and the ability to easily switch armies between fronts.
•Russia plays first – it can take advantage of any opening created by the UK against Germany or any opportunity created by an US attack on Japan. And any Soviet moves against Japan can also create openings for the UK to explore against Japan. The UK-US-R combination against Germany and the US-R-UK combination against Japan can be one of the Allies’ greatest assets, if you know how to use them.

Within these conditions, the Soviet Union’s objectives are here defined as:•Defend the Russian Motherland against the combined aggression of G/J.
•Increase its income by conquering Axis territories and liberating Soviet ones (with UK/US assistance).

These 2 objectives are the center of the Soviet strategy presented on this article. It is a defensive strategy but that requires an aggressive attitude towards the Axis. Or, in other words, mess with the bull, you’ll get the horn. By itself, it does not assure an Allied victory but it can make an Axis one long and costly.

Objective 1 – The Motherland

The Motherland consists of the territory of Russia and the six territories adjacent to it (its main line of defense). Control of that line will protect Russia from any attacks on Moscow and give it a combined income of 21 IPC. If the Axis move an invincible stack into any territories of the defense line it is usually bad news for the Soviets.

The six territories of the main line of defense are:•Caucasus – Usually the main target of the Axis thrusts against Russia. It can be attacked by either Germany or Japan from several land territories (Ukraine, Kazakh, Persia) and SZ16 (with the Dardanelles open). If captured it allow either G/J to build units right next to Russia, if the Allies don’t recapture it.
•West Russia – The pivot territory of the Eastern front, giving access to six land territories, including Russia. German control of this territory will allow it to directly threaten Russia/Caucasus and to force the USSR to abandon Caucasus.
•Kazakh S.S.R. – Kazakh is very similar to West Russia, although a less important because of the different Asian geography. Due to the ICs on Russia and Caucasus, Kazakh can be transformed easily into a ‘dead zone’ for the Axis – any stack of units moved there will be destroyed by the Allies.
•Novosibirsk – While it can be harder to turn it into a ‘dead zone’ than Kazakh, Novo is the key territory to block Japanese advances through Yakut/Sinkiang.
•Archangel – Besides its value this territory is strategic to any Allied reinforcement of the USSR.
•Evenki National Okrug – Sometimes may not be worth the effort of being retaken by Russia, however it can be used as a gateway for Japanese tanks to strike into Russia.

Objective 2 – Increasing Income

The 2nd aim for the Soviet Union is to raise its income to 30 or more, at the expense of all other powers. The higher the number, the lower the Axis income and the more units G/J will have to spend to retake territories away from the Soviet Union. Besides keeping the Axis units away from the main line of defense, the higher production will also allow the Soviets to replace destroyed units and build up its forces, specially armor.

The main territories for the USSR to increase its income are:

•Karelia – 2 IPC. This can be the easiest since either the UK/US can liberate it through an amphibious assault after Germany has taken it.
•Ukraine S.S.R. – Its 3 IPC value makes it important, however its position makes it easier to be fortified by Germany/Japan against a Soviet counterattack.
•Yakut/Buryatia/SFE – 1 IPC each, for a total of 3. Bur and SFE are very unlikely since J usually takes those territories on the first turns and it is not worth it to send units just to retake them. Yak is more possible to maintain/retake, depending on the number of Japanese units on the area.
•Norway – 3 IPC. Norway is usually taken by the UK/US but you might want to reconsider it, especially since Germany tends to leave it empty of units after the first rounds. If the German transport on the Baltic has been sunk then a single Soviet tank in Arc/WR can take Norway after the US/UK liberate Kar.
•Belorussia – 2 IPC. The Soviets will need to have available forces on WR, although attacks from Kar/Ukr are also possible.
•Eastern Europe/Balkans – 3 IPC each. Not that uncommon, depending on dice results, the overall situation and the position of Soviet/German units.
•Manchuria – 3 IPC. A long shot, depending if the USSR has massed its 6 infantry on Buryatia on R1, if J does not attack that stack on J1 and how much units are left there at the end of J1. Usually the best chance to take Manchuria happens on R2, after which any Soviet units on Buryatia face destruction by Japanese amphibious assaults.

Imagining on R3 that the Soviets have lost the 3 Far East territories (-3 IPC) but has control of Kar/Nor/BR/Ukr (+10), it will receive 31 IPC. Of course if G/J are pushing hard against the Soviet Union this number might be impossible to obtain but the ’30’ should be kept as a reference.

Finally, one very important thing to remember is that any Soviet infantry moved into those territories is effectively removed from the defense of Soviet territory for one full game turn.

Secondary Objectives

Finally, the following are the territories that the USSR can conquer/liberate, in case the opportunity presents itself. They can greatly help the overall Allied strategy but most are special/rare occasions where it is necessary to weight the benefits/cost for Russia.

•India – While it may not look worthwhile for the USSR to spend units, specially armor, to liberate it, there are very good reasons to do so: the UK will receive critical income from it and Japan will not be able to place an IC there on the next turn.
•Persia – Like Evenki it may not be worth the effort of being liberated by the Soviets, however it can be used as a gateway by Axis armor on India against Caucasus.
•Trans-Jordan- Rare for the Soviets to liberate it, usually happens to prevent the Axis from using the Suez channel.
•Sinkiang/China – Unless Japan can’t retake them, it is useless and a waste of units for the USSR to liberate any of them, since the US will never receive any income from it because Japan plays before the Americans. But if Japan has left the corridor empty them it can be used to threaten the Japanese coastal territories.
•Southern Europe – 6 IPC. Somewhat rare for the Soviets to take it, usually happens when the UK/US take Balkans and Soviet armor blitz to S. Eur.
•Kwantung/French Indochina – 3 IPC each. Rare, unless the Allies are pushing Japan hard.
•Germany – 10 IPC. Very rare situation, unless the combined UK/US assaults will fail but there’s a Soviet armor stack within range to conquer Berlin.

Like the previous territories, Soviet units moved into those territories will be most likely unable to assist in defense of the Motherland during the next game turn(s).

With the objectives defined, I’ll now go over the geography to explain the dynamics of Eurasia and how the USSR can achieve its goals.

Part 2 – The Gameboard

Looking at the illustration provided on the bottom of this post, the first map shows the attack routes used by the Axis towards Russia (full arrows primary routes, dotted arrows secondary paths). Achieving the 1st Soviet objective depends on the Allies’ ability to stop/delay Axis advances through those lines and disrupt the coordination between both Axis powers.

There are five main Axis attack fronts, two in Europe (through Karelia and/or Ukraine) and three on Asia (Sinkiang, Yakut and Persia), each with a lenght of four spaces from the starting grey/yellow territories and Moscow. Caucasus is the only Motherland territory that is on the path of both German and Japanese routes. As long as Russia can turn any of main line of defense territories into dead zones (spaces where the enemy can’t move a force large enough to defend itself against counterattacks) it will be able to stop the Axis before they reach Moscow.

The second map shows the key areas for Russia to hold back the Axis advance and perform counterattacks into German held territories. The full arrows show the custom Soviet attacks on Europe, to slow the German advance and to achieve the 2nd objective, raising income. The dotted arrows should secondary options to raise income or to strike at other important territories.

Finally, the third map shows the usual positions for Axis stacks (defined as a pile of units that can’t be crippled/destroyed by an Allied attack) as they advance towards Moscow and reach the outskirts of the main line of defense. Soviet survival depends on how the Allies manage/react to the presence of Axis stacks on those locations and the level of initiative and coordination show between the German/Japanese forces. Each position offers special challenges and the presence of 2 or more stacks in those locations can and most likely will limit the Soviet response(s).

Even though the defense of the USSR should be considered as a whole, there are major differences between Europe and Asia.

European Theater

•Germany is the strongest threat to the USSR at the beginning, due to its starting power and units.
•Allows Soviet income to significantly increase by the capture of several original German territories.
•Axis units can easily switch units between both the Karelia/Ukraine routes.
•Expected UK/US assistance with amphibious landings.
•Karelia – Allows German attacks on Norway, WRus and Archangel. Can shut off Allied reinforcements to Russia landing on Karelia/Archangel (the blue arrows). Secures victory city for Axis.
•Ukraine- Allows German attacks on Caucasus and WRus. If combined with a Japanese stack on Persia/Sinkiang it can effectively lock the Red Army in defending the Caucasus, at the expense of abandoning the other territories of the Motherland.

Notes on Europe:

•The ideal situation at the beginning is that Germans keep their stack on Eastern Europe, either by German ‘combat shyness’ or the Soviets turning Karelia/Ukraine into dead zones. Later this can be achieved through the threat of an UK/US invasion in Europe.
•However, against an experienced or aggressive German player this won’t happen. His main goal will be exactly to create a stack in either position and be looking into advancing further.
•The Allies completely stop the German advance if they are able to move a stack to Eastern Europe, freeing the Soviets to deal exclusively with Japan.
•The first step to this usually involves creating an Allied stack on Karelia. The Soviets should help, if possible by contributing with its armor and fighters. However, it will divert the armor from the line defense line for 1 turn.
•Karelia can and should be liberated by the UK/US, to allow the USSR to conserve and redeploy forces.
•On the beginning of the game the USSR should keep a stack of its own on West Russia to contest Karelia, Belorussia and Ukraine from the Germans and try to turn those territories into dead zones, slowing the German advance.
•There are two ways to deal with German stacks on Ukraine or Karelia. The first is to create a stack of your own in front on it, either West Russia or Caucasus. The second is to turn the territory into a dead zone for the Germans.
•If West Russia has to be evacuated, it may be possible to redeploy some units from those territories, in order to deal with Japanese stacks that were able to move into the Motherland – or to trade away territory while dealing with more close threats or to crush unsuspecting Japanese units.
•However, the Germans may be able to move a stack strong enough to West Russia, defended by Japanese planes, preventing the creation of a dead zone. If this happens, the Axis are very close to controlling the entire Eastern front.
•Regarding Caucasus, it’s the same lesson the Germans learned at Stalingrad during WW2 – you shouldn’t hang the entire fate of the war on a single city. If the Germans move a stack to West Russia, retreat. If a combined G/J attack can take it or Moscow is about to fall, retreat. As long as the Soviets can turn Caucasus into a dead zone and the Allies keep contesting it, it won’t be as bad as seeing the Axis producing units there.
•Archangel can be usually overlooked but it can be a crucial territory on occasion. If the Germans have a stack on Karelia they may be able to move it to Archangel, forcing the Soviets to call units to its capitol. It will also completely block any land reinforcement of Russia by the UK/US.
•G1 naval/air purchases are good news for the USSR – those units will be used also against the UK/US. Naval purchases are the best, since those are IPCs not spent on ground units that will have limited or zero effect on land and most likely will be destroyed by the other Allies.

Asian Theater

•Japanese aggression against the USSR is limited during the initial rounds due to geography.
•The Soviets can trade space on Asia for time against Japan, with a smaller loss of income than in Europe.
•Japan’s armies are limited on their strategic moves by the impassible territories present, creating 3 axis of attack that cannot support one another on the middle.
•UK/US assistance restricted to the starting units, reinforcements brought in from Europe or ICs built on India/Sinkiang.
•Yakut – The easiest route for Japan to use (and usually the 1st one), by landing units into Buryatia. Allows attacks on Evenki/Novo.
•Sinkiang – Usually used by Japanese units on Manchuria/Kwantung/FIC. It is usually the least effective to use since Japanese units built/landed on FIC will have to be split between it and Indian. It allows attacks on both Novo/Kazakh.
•Persia – The longest route, until Japan builds an IC on India. A Japanese stack in Persia can turn into a big threat to Caucasus, especially if the Germans move a stack to Ukraine. On the other hand, Japan can also use the route to hit Africa, diverting units that would go otherwise to Caucasus/Kazakh.

Notes on Asia:

•Asia is almost useless to the Soviets regarding income, as long as they keep control of Kazakh/Novosibirsk. The other territories are all worth 1 IPC but the distance and proximity to Japan make their liberation unlikely, except for Evenki. And conquering any of the Japanese territories on the coast is usually very hard and dependent on being prepared if the occasion presents itself.
•The liberation of UK/US territories on Asia is usually not worth if the liberating Soviet units will be destroyed in counterattacks, since the money goes instead to the UK/US.
•Not depending on territories for income actually give the Soviets more options on Asia. They can afford not to attack isolated Japanese units on Yakut/Sinkiang/Persia or further away from Russia. However, if they do attack them it needs to serve a higher goal than retaking the territory.
•The more efficient way to deal with the Japanese is to let them advance piecemeal through the 3 routes and destroy them when they advance to Kazakh/Novo with a force that can’t be destroyed in a counterattack.
•The UK/US shouldn’t never build ICs on India/Sinkiang unless the Japanese are being defeated on land and the sea. Building ICs during the first round can be specially bad because: 1) The Allies can’t lose them – they are on the middle of the Japanese advance on Asia and will give Japan the ability to cut by half its travel time. 2) They extend too much the Soviet defense line and place a burden on its defensive flexibility. 3) They can’t support one another and Japan can choose to direct its strength against a single one – once it is conquered, the other usually falls afterwards.
•The presence of a Soviet stack on either Kazakh/Novo will also can stall the Japanese advance in two of those routes and if units in Russia are also able to create dead zones on Yakut/Sinkiang/Persia they will force Japanese units to retreat, delaying them even further.
•If Japan is able to create a 1 stack on any of the territories above that projects a dead zone on Kazakh or Novo, the Soviets can prevent it from creating a 2nd one by moving a stack to the other Motherland territory. Example: a J stack on Yakut creates a dead zone on Novo. USSR creates a stack on Kazakh that prevent Japanese units from advancing on the Sinkiang/Persia ones and also contributes to Novo becoming a dead zone for the Japanese stack on Yakut. Japan has to reinforce those routes and Yakut.
•Japan’s actions against the USSR will be dependent on two factors: its need for income and the presence/absence of the US on the Pacific.
•Soviet ability to be on the offensive against Japan is limited by the geography and the distances involved. As long as there are Japanese transports operating on SZ60 and/or ICs on Manchuria/Kwantung/Indochina it can be impossible to reach the coastline.

Finally, the Soviet player needs to take into consideration events on both theaters when planning his/her moves.


Part 3 – The Two-Front War

One way to picture the USSR is to imagine a boxer standing on the middle of the ring, surrounded by two opponents on each side. By himself he can hold out against one of them but if both advance at the same time he’ll have problems.

Next, I’ll describe a series of possible situations of Russia against one or both Axis powers, illustrating them on map sequences and explaining the rationale behind them.

Example 1 – Forcing a Japanese Retreat

•Germany has 1 stack on Karelia, while Japan has moved 2 smaller stacks to Yakut/Sinkiang. Russia has 1 stack on West Russia facing the German one – both can’t attack one another.•The Soviet player looks at the board and realizes that the Germans won’t be able to advance the Karelia stack into West Russia because it will lacks both enough attack power against its stack and it is possible to create a dead zone on West Russia.
•On Asia the situation is more worrisome because if both Japanese stacks merge in Novosibirsk it will force the Soviets to destroy them, taking away its initiative by forcing it to react to Japan.
•The Soviets decide to deal with the Japanese first – they attack both Belorussia and Ukraine for the income and to destroy German units but move their armor to Novosibirsk to join the infantry from Russia to create a stack there. It also pulls back its infantry from West Russia/Caucasus to prevent their destruction since the movement of the armor to Novo turns the area into a dead zone for the Soviets.
•Germany wants to advance its stack into West Russia but it is unable to do so, because there’s not enough defense against the Soviet inf/art on Russia/Caucasus and the armor on Novosibirsk. The Japanese could land some fighters to help but the territory would still be a dead zone for the Axis. Germany decides instead to retake Ukr, Belo, WRus and Archangel while waiting for further reinforcements to arrive its stack on Karelia.
•Japan now has a problem – even though it can reinforce Yakut/Sinkiang both territories are now dead zones. The Soviets cannot attack both but they can destroy all units or make a strafe attack on one of them. Japan decides that it can’t lose the units so it attacks only Kazakh and retreats to Buryatia/China.
•Due to its movements the USSR has now temporarily delayed the Japanese advance by 1 turn, at the expense of Europe, but on the next turn it can refocus against the Germans and retake the territories it lost, with the exception of Belorussia.

Example 2 – USSR Gets Cornered

•The UK/US have managed to land a stack on Karelia and turning the territories around Russia into dead zones, stopping the Axis advance. Control of Novo/Kaz/Evenki has been contested between the Soviets and Japan for a couple of turns and the Japanese have been able to steadly move reinforcements to Sinkiang/Yakut.
•Soviet options are limited since the presence of the German stack on Ukraine pins most of the Red Army to the defense of Caucasus. It prevents them from performing a similar move to the one on the previous example, to move a stack to Kazakh and turn Sinkiang into a dead zone, forcing the Japanese units there to retreat or preventing them from conquering Kazakh.
•Instead, the Soviet Union can only retake West Russia, Kazakh and Novosibirsk. It doesn’t retake Evenki or Persia because it would cost too much precious attacking units for the gains.
•Next round, Axis keeps the pressure on the defense line, taking back the territories lost to the Soviets on the previous turn. But due to the reinforcements and most of the Soviet army being on Caucasus, Novosibirsk is no longer a dead zone for Japan.
• Japanese units pour into Novosibirsk, creating a stack, while armor produced/landed moves in to Yakut/Sinkiang and position itself to strike into Moscow.
•The Soviet player discovers that Japan has turned his/her capitol into a dead zone. It will have to move part or all of its army back to Russia. And that can also create a dead zone for any Allied units on the Caucasus because of the German stack on Ukraine. It can possibly retake West Russia and Kazakh
•The USSR can possibly retake West Russia and Kazakh but it is facing now a combined Axis death grip. Its income will drop below 20s and the Japanese will keep the pressure until they are able to conquer Moscow. Unless a major change happens, the Soviet Union is now limited to contesting the former defense line territories and waiting that the rest of the Allies can achieve victory.


Part 4 – Game Progression (WORK IN PROGRESS)

Finally, this part will describe the possible actions for the Soviet Union during its first turns.

1st Turn Purchase Options

•3 inf, 3 arm – Replaces armor used to attack Ukraine on the first round and gives the Soviets some attacking power to prevent the Germans from creating a stack in Karelia on G1. 2 armors can also be placed on Caucasus to liberate India in case of a successful J1 attack.
•5 inf, 1 art, 1 arm – Less offense, more defense and 1 more unit than the previous buy.
•4 arm, 1 art – All offensive buy. In case you really want to prevent a German stack to be formed on Karelia on G1.
•1 ftr, ground units – To augment the airforce and threaten the German Med fleet or to replace a fighter used to attack Norway on R1.
•1 sub, ground units – To be placed on SZ16 (if the Dardanelles are open) and attack the German Med fleet on R2.
•8 inf – All defensive buy. If you are attacking Ukraine on R1 you shouldn’t do this purchase since you’ll be left with few attacking units for the 2nd round.

Subsequent Purchases

•It is useful for Russia to always have at least 1 artillery when trading WR/Belo/Ukr to preserve armor.
•Armor is crucial – the objective is to create a growing strategic fast reserve that can be used afterwards to switch quickly between the European and Asian theaters and/or to be used in specialized strikes (against India, Norway, etc.).
•The submarine purchase on the 1st round can be very helpful in sinking the Med fleet and/or preventing the Germans to amphibiously attack Egypt on G2. However, this means that the Russian fighters will not be available to clear out Karelia/BR/WR, requiring instead art/armor. The Germans can also react to a sub/plane purchase in several ways, such as a strong push on the Eastern front to try to overwhelm the Russian response (see the Case Blue Axis strat article for more details).
•Finally, when deciding between buying infantry or armor you need to decide the number of attacks you’ll make, how many units you’ll use and whether they can be counterattacked. One good benchmark is to be able to begin your next round with the same number of units or attack/defense power that had on the previous round. There are also a few ways to do this already described above: use the UK/US to liberate Karelia to lower the number of attacks Russia has to make, apply overwhelming force on Asia, etc.

1st Turn Combat Options

West Russia-Ukraine

•Russia attacks WR with at least 11 units to kill the German units and position a stack to contest Belorussia/Karelia (reinforced with an AA during non-combat). It also uses all of the units on Caucasus plus 3/4 armor/fighters to clear Ukraine of German units and conquer it.

West Russia-Norway

•This attack aims to kill the German fighter to prevent the sinking of the UK BB on SZ2. The fighter from Russia is sacrificed, either taking it as a loss or by landing it on Karelia. Regarding WR, the Soviets usually needs to keep some forces back to evaluate the situation after combat is resolved and reinforce either WR/Caucasus against a German counter attack.
West Russia-Belorussia

•This is safest of all combinations, destroying part of the German army and saving the starting Russian armor. However, it also allows the 2nd largest pile of German units at start to be spared from destruction by not attacking Ukraine.

West Russia-Ukraine-Belorussia

•This attack has very high odds if playing with low luck but if playing regular dice there’s about a 2/3 odds that at least 1 attack will fail. Which can leave the Russians units at West Russia vulnerable to a German counterattack.

West Russia-Ukraine-Norway

•If successful, this combination of attacks destroys 2 German fighters and prevents the sinking of the UK Battleship on SZ2. However, it only has 1/3 odds of all 3 attacks being successful. And it may also be possible that Germany retakes all the 3 territories again on its counterattack.

Note: there are quite a few more choices for the Russians. I’ve seen twice Russia opening the game by making strafing attacks on Norway and West Russia and then retreating everything to Karelia and landing the fighters there. Either you are very lucky or the entire German army and airforce will wipe out the Russian forces at Karelia on G1.

1st Turn Non-Combat Moves

•Submarine from SZ4 to SZ2
•Infantry to Soviet Far East and Yakut to Buryatia – puts pressure on Japan to defend Manchuria, let it fall to Russia or try to destroy the Russian units. Or you can also retreat those units back to Russia.
•Infantry on Novo/Evenki to Russia, on Kazakh to Caucasus – to form a strategic reserve of infantry to use against the bigger threat of Germany. Or you can send them to try to stall Japan as much as possible.

Axis and Allies Pacific 1940 : UK and Anzac Strategies

“UK and ANZAC: Slowing Down the Japanese Assault”


Written by Trallis on 01-07-2010 at Axis and Allies.org

Pacific 1940 is in many ways an expansion released before its base game. Of the six major powers in global only one has its capital on the Pacific board: Japan. However, it is still a very interesting game to play in its own right. These articles will serve to give a feeling for the depth of strategy and breadth of options available to each power. I intend to show the options at each point. I have my own conclusions, though, and to these I will dedicate the most time and space. You are welcome to disagree with them, even encouraged. Please. Write me to tell me how wrong I am.

My play group always divides the Allies into US/China and UK/ANZAC, and the articles will be grouped accordingly. I’ve heard of groups that split it as US and UK/ANZAC/China. I can see the logic behind this. I am also writing assuming a house rule which forbids an attack on the first Japanese turn. I am considering writing a fourth article (after one for each power) on how to deal with a turn 1 declaration of war as the Allies.

Axis and Allies: Pacific 1940 : United Kingdom and Australia & New Zealand


Pacific 1940 will eventually become a clash between two titans – Japan and the United States. In the middle of this, the UK and ANZAC can get a bit lost. A successful ANZAC player will make around 20 IPCs. A US player will have a difficult time making less than 55, and if successful can be producing 70. The UK may be able to crank out around 30, but it will plummet by the time ANZAC reaches 15. It is all too easy to fall in to the trap of feeling irrelevant when playing as the British Empire in Pacific 1940. However, this is a mistake.

Your centers of industrial production – India and Australia – are much more strategically located than the Western United States. If you purchase a minor complex on Queensland you can move ships from Australia to any space in the East Indies the turn after they are purchased. As the US, it takes a minimum of three turns from Western US to Celebes or Java, and that assumes ownership of the Caroline Islands and no hostile presence. Your forces will get there first. You are also right in the middle of the fight in a way the Americans just aren’t. Japan is going to be going after your territory, not the Americans, most of the time. America has the Philippines, Hawaii which is too hard to defend to be valuable to Japan, and a few islands like Guam and Midway that aren’t worth any IPCs to either side. Between the UK and ANZAC you’ll have Kwangtung, Malaysia, Borneo, Celebes, Java, Sumatra, Burma, New Guinea, not to mention India and Australia themselves. You are really in the thick of things. You may have to rely on America coming to rescue you, but you’ll be the one fighting the war long before they get there. Using these tactics, you can maximize your resistance and the amount of time it will take Japan to take India and Indonesia.


Your goal isn’t really to win in the sense that you aren’t really going to be pursuing the Allied victory conditions. You aren’t going to be the one invading the Japanese home islands. Your goal, instead, is to keep the Japanese from winning. You want to make every space captured be as expensive as possible to the Japanese, and force them to spread their force thin. When they take a space, you take it back. In this manner, you slow their advance to a crawl and give the United States time to arrive and obliterate their navy. When you do your job right, Japanese industrial production will be insufficient to repel the Americans and they will loose. When you do your job wrong, Japanese industrial production will climb until it rivals and eventually exceeds that of the United States. For the US to even matter, you have to be on your game.

As the UK the name of the game is force maximization. Attrition is your enemy. You’ll only have the opportunity to buy a few units before Japanese bombing and the loss of most of your valuable territories leave your industry in tatters. That said, you start with a reasonable amount of force. You have a reasonable navy, and quite an air force with 5 planes. You need to make those units count as much as they can. Japan would love to force you into a casualty-heavy pitched battle where both sides take heavy losses. Japan is far more able to replace those losses than you. The best strategy you can take is to mass your forces but leave them in positions that are inconvenient for the Japanese to attack. If you put all 5 planes on Malaysia, it will be very hard for the Japanese to attack. But beyond that, it will mean that every Japanese naval task force in the Indies will have to deal with the possibility of being attacked by 5 planes. Even if you don’t strike with those planes, it will mean the Japanese constantly will be forced to deal with the possibility of you attacking. Keeping ships near India is also good. They’ll be too distant to be worth Japans time, but with your naval base you’ll be able to strike at any time. Also as India you will want to focus on holding the Indies as long as possible, and that means a focus on naval power rather than land power. It may seem strange as the Japanese push through Burma and toward your capital, but Java is worth twice as much as Shan and Burma put together, much less all four Indies which are worth 20 IPCs to you all together. Eventually, though, Japan will eliminate your forces in the Indies, and at that point, you want to turtle with as many infantry as possible. But you want to delay that point as long as possible.

As ANZAC you’re usually, but not always, in less immediate danger than the UK. Your first goal is obviously to take New Guinea, but after that you want to focus on the Indies as much as possible. They are valuable, close to you, and can seriously help out your embattled British brothers. Your goal should be to take and retake the Indies, forcing the Japanese navy to keep fighting for them long past the point where the UK has given up resisting. If you take Celebes, say, from the Japanese it denies them 8 income because of the objective and give you 3. 8 income is more than a thorn in the side, they will need to dedicate force to taking it back quickly. As the game continues, you can be a very big help the US, providing cleanup and valuable air-support. If the US takes a valuable space that may be taken back by Japan, fly in planes. You can give the Japanese player all sorts of headaches in this manner.



* Keep Malaysia and Hong Kong: Barring a J1 attack you’ll keep these only your first turn. Hong Kong always falls the turn Japan declares war. Malaysia may fall quickly, or you may hold it quite awhile, depending. Even with Malaysia, taking back Hong Kong is next to impossible.
* Take all four Indies (Celebes, Java, Sumatra, Borneo). This only happens in a game where the Allies are winning, and usually only with help from ANZAC. Still, if you hold those four islands its a very powerful boost to your industry.


* Take New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Britain. This is easy to accomplish and maintain. Japan may make attempts to slow you down by taking one of the four needed spaces, but its rarely worth Japans time to make a dedicate push against this objective.
* Take a Japanese space. This one is nice, and easy to accomplish, but it only works once.

Turn by turn synopsis

 Because of varying strategies, differing roles, and other factors no game will exactly match this scenario, but it is given as example of the tactics to use when playing as these powers.

 Turn 1:

Japan will have maneuvered itself in a position to attack the Indies next turn, penetrated deeper into China, and have built an industrial complex on the mainland somewhere, probably in Kiansiu. US maneuvers its fleet to Hawaii, and China retakes the Burma road.

UK Turn One:

You have time on the mainland. Japan can menace India, but right now, that will be a few turns off. You need to secure the money available in the Indies, and secure it quickly. Naval power is what matters now.

Purchases: 1 Transport. 1 Destroyer.
Movement: Try to establish a boundary by moving your infantry forward from India to Burma and Shan. Leave one infantry and one artillery behind so you can load them on the newly-built transport turn 2. Move all four fighters and 1 tac bomber to Malaysia since you can threaten the Indies from there. Move your transports from Malaysia to Sumatra and Java, bringing 2 infantry to Java and 1 to Sumatra. Move your battleship from Malaysia to India. Those transports will die. You can’t stop this. The best thing to do is to keep your valuable units out of harms way.
Alternate to putting your planes on Malaysia, using the air base on India you can get them to Borneo. The advantage is that you defend Borneo, but you also don’t have any infantry to absorb hits if the Japanese go after your air force. Borneo is a more vulnerable position, and without infantry the enemy can do quite a bit of damage.
Placement: Put them both on India. Now off the coast of India you have 1 BB, 1 CA, 2 DD, and 1 AP. With the Naval Base you can move those three spaces. The Japanese can’t ignore that, especially since your Malaysian air force can swoop in to support.

ANZAC Turn One:

Right now you need New Guinea. Other than that, watch Japan. Most of the time they aren’t going to menace you too much this early, but if they do, be ready for it.

Purchases: A minor complex on Queensland would be great, but you don’t have the IPCs for it. Instead, buy a transport. If the Japanese are looming too close, instead buy a destroyer.
Movement: Move your transport on New South Wales to New Zealand, bringing one infantry with you. Now next turn you move those two infantry to Dutch New Guinea, making use of New Zealand’s naval base. Move all four of your fighters somewhere, either New Guinea, or if the Japanese have more than one transport on the Caroline Islands, Queensland. By going through Sea Zones 33->48->49->54 its disturbingly possible for Japan to attack Queensland, so see if they have enough transports to do this. You can’t plug the hole, having only one surface ship to stop them, so your best hope if it looks like they might attempt this is to leave the four fighters on Queensland. Leave your 2 INF and 1 ART on Queensland in any case.
Placement: Put your transport off New South Wales, as this is the only place you can put it.

Turn 2:

Japan declares war! Hong Kong/ Kwangtung, The Philippines, Borneo, Java, and Shan State fall. Japan moves further into China yet again. Most of the IJN is around Borneo, Java, and the Philippines. Japan also does a strategic bombing raid on India and deals an exactly average 12 damage (see average SBR damage at bottom). The US moves and takes the Carolines. China retakes Yunnan a second time to restore the Burma Road.

UK Turn two:

Japan has pushed into Shan, but they don’t have anywhere near what they would need to take India yet. The Indies are in much graver danger, and you must push back now and push back hard.

Purchases: Assuming 12 IPCs on damage have been laid on India then you should purchase 5 IPCs of repair on India, 1 cruiser, 1 transport, 1 artillery. Adjust for higher or lower damage. Your goal is put yourself in a position to strike back and retake the Indies, which requires transports, ground troops to load them onto, and a navy to protect them.
Movement: Consider whether now is the time to strike. If the Japanese have concentrated their navy, it isn’t. Concentration is actually good, it means that it will take too long to actually capture the Indies. If they have split themselves up, pick a tempting target. Choose one of the four Indies, one that has a nice Japanese fleet around it, hopefully a fleet small enough that we can sink it without losing anything too expensive. Bring the navy from India and bring your air force from Malaysia, leaving one fighter behind. You should have enough power to take them out. Your Navy probably won’t survive the next turn, though. The transport you built should carry 1 infantry and 1 artillery to retake the island (Borneo or Java, probably). You want to send the remaining fighter north to attack Shan supporting the infantry from Burma. That way you maintain a buffer between India and the Japanese land forces. Land the air force that attacked the Japanese navy back on Malaysia. It will survive the next turn, unlike the navy that it accompanied.
Placement: Put the cruiser and transport off of India. Next turn you can try to take another island back.

 ANZAC Turn Two:

Let’s assume the Japanese did not strike at Australia, they usually won’t. If they did, get them off your continent as fast as possible. Otherwise, its time to increase our income by 50% and industrialize Queensland. We won’t be striking the Japanese where it hurts, yet, but we will real soon.

Purchases: Buy a minor industrial complex. Putting a complex on Queensland, which has a naval base, will mean we can send ships built in Australia right into Indonesia, the heart of the fray.
Movement: Move your transport from New Zealand to Dutch New Guinea. Objective accomplished, lots more money to work with! Move the transport you built on New South Wales last turn up to pick up troops from Queensland, and the north again to drop them in (east) New Guinea. Send your submarine west to where the action is. You may be able to pick off a lone wounded Japanese capital ship or transport. If Java belongs to the UK, put at least two of your fighters there. If not, leave all four fighters on New Guinea.
Placement: Put the complex on Queensland. Next turn you can build ships on a space with a naval base.

Turn 3:

Japan will generally be able to complete the conquest of the Indies this turn. You, of course, need to make this temporary. Japan will wipe out the main part of the UK navy, leaving behind only the newly-built cruiser. It will push back into Shan, although it will be another turn before the units built on the Kiangsu IC will make it south. Japan builds a second minor IC on Kwangtung. It takes Yunnan and looks to be able to hold it. It will probably leave a large navy and air force to defend the Philippines. It will SBR you again for an average of 10 damage.

Since the Philippines are heavily defended the United States captures Iwo Jima this turn and begins to crank out ships at its usual enormous rate, preparing to eliminate the IJN and save you. If you are lucky China will take Yunnan one final time, keeping the flow of money from India. If not, it hunkers down and prepares for the Japanese to slowly finish it off.

UK Turn three:

Japan has reduced you to 9 IPCs of income. Fortunately you can strike back, and Australia can as well. You are in grave danger and must succeed quickly to survive.

Purchases: Nothing. You will be near the cap for IPC damage. Its to your advantage to wait, since you will have more leverage to buy things next turn.
Movement: Your final proactive movement should be to take the cruiser and transport and try to take whichever island in the Indies is least defended. Use your air force to help clear the way. However, if everything is well defended then its more important to leave your air force alive.

After this point attacking is rarely worth it, except for orphaned transports. Your forces are much more useful on the defensive. That air force in Malaysia forces the Japanese to group together and to protect their transports, since you can strike at any time. If you attack but lose a lot of the air force, you may have done some damage, but the Japanese now do not need to protect their forces from a potential attack.
Placement: Nothing to place.

ANZAC Turn Three:

Australia is now ready to hop into the war like a kangaroo. Or some other marsupial. Celebes will be your first target, probably. But Java is also a nice target if its available.

Purchases: Buy an aircraft carrier if you built a transport turn 1. If you built a DD turn 1, you will not be able to afford this. In such a case, buy a cruiser instead. You need a navy to defend transports as you try to liberate Indonesia.
Movement: Move your transport to Celebes, using the fighters to clear the IJN from the area. You now will have increased your income and denied the Japanese an objective.
Placement: Put whichever ship you built on Queensland. It can get to Celebes next turn without issue.

Turn 4:

Japan re-completes its conquest of the Indies and has a major naval battle with the United States. The US offensive is blunted, for now, but they will be back. Japan will probably not be able to afford such a naval presence ever again. They SBR India for another 8 damage, reaching the damage cap. Things get especially dire for China as the Japanese factories on the mainland gear up, and the units they built start to penetrate into China. Japan upgrades its factory on Kwangtung to a major complex.

The United States continues to crank out ships. China whimpers.

UK Turn Four:

Its time to prepare to defend India. That’s your only thought at this point.

Purchases: Buy off the damage and buy as many infantry as you can afford, which may not be very many. The good news is you probably have shot down at least one bomber by this point, if not two.
Movement: If India looks secure for the time being, keep those planes on Malaysia and threatening the Japanese. If not, bring them to India to help defend.
Placement: Place the infantry on India.

ANZAC Turn Four:

Keep up the pressure on Japan in the Indies.

Purchases: Build 1 transport, 1 infantry, and 1 artillery.
Movement: Take Celebes or Java, whichever is easier. If the Indies are too defended, snatch Palau for an easy one-time 5 IPCs. Use the planes to support any attack by sea. Bring in the carrier to this attack, and land two of the planes on the carrier.
Placement: Place all three units on Queensland.

Turn 5:

Japanese units are starting to move into South-East Asia. Japan is preparing to take India, but you have another time before they strike, perhaps even two. Japan may take Malaysia, but it is likely that it will be too busy defending against the United States. Japan will not have yet finished off China, but there will be little left.

The US amasses enough force west of Hawaii to start to be a very real threat to Japan. China sits backs and waits for the pain.

UK Turn Five:

Keep up the defense.

Purchases: Don’t buy units this turn. Save your money and plunk down a bunch next turn.
Movement: If you haven’t brought those planes back to India, now is the time. Other than that, there’s not much for you to do.
Placement: Place nothing.

ANZAC Turn Five:

Keep up the pressure on Japan in the Indies. As long as you keep attacking there the Japanese will have to split their forces, making it easier for the US to destroy them.

Purchases: Build 1 transport, 1 infantry, and 1 artillery again. The US should have you increasingly covered, and its your mission to provide the troops to land in the Indies.
Movement: Keep taking the Indies as possible.
Placement: Place all three units on Queensland.

Long run:

India will not hold out very long. However, the US fleet is going to obliterate the Japanese navy and retake the Philippines. Australia will waltz Matilda into the Indies and supercharge is economy. The US and Australia will be able to land on the Asian mainland in Malaysia, Kwangtung, Korea, and other valuable locations to establish an industrial base on the mainland and push the Japanese back. Eventually Japan will become very income starved and the US will invade and win.Your efforts as the UK and ANZAC have slowed Japan down enough to allow the US to gain naval superiority, and the Rising Sun will set.

Alternative Strategies:

Mainland UK strategy:

As the UK you can focus on mainland Asia. Ships are expensive, and it take awhile for the Japanese to gain momentum in Southeast Asia. You can really help China out this way, and a strong China gives the Japanese all sorts of headaches. The problem with this tactic is that without building a navy in the Indian ocean the Japanese can get the Indies very quickly and keep them. That means a lot of money for them and very little for you, so this tends to fizzle pretty quickly.

Invasion of Australia:

If Japan forgoes an early attack on the Indies they can often instigate a devastating invasion of Australia. This is easy to discourage by defending Queensland. You can make it so expensive to do that it simply would not be worth their time. However, should Japan really dedicate itself to this goal it can wipe out Australia fairly quickly. This tends to be self-limiting. They will have used so much in this effort that the UK will take the Indies and have an enormous amount of money to resist them. Japan may not have to worry about the Aussies, but they will be crushed like a can by India from the west and the United States from the east. It tends to be a pretty interesting game, though. If you?ve never played a game where Japan attempt this, do.
Japan should move nearly everything it has to the Carolines on its first turn. Turn 2 it declares war and invades Queensland. Even if New Guinea is protected by a destroyer, the Japanese can use their naval base to sail around. Turn 3 they move south from Queensland and into New South Wales, using carrier born aircraft to support the attack. They can usually win this. Mopping up the rest of Australia is a breeze. While they do this, the UK should secure the Indies and will be able to build a very large fleet. American can then come to rescue Australia.

Early 1940 Declaration of War:

This will covered in a separate article. My playgroup considers this unsporting. Never the less, its a reality and can be resisted with a bit of luck.

Average SBR damage:

Calculating the average damage from an SBR has only one variable now that all facilities have AA, which is number of planes. Now, you may claim that since each plane does 1D6 damage they will deal an average of 3.5 damage per plane. This is wrong. There is a chance each plane will be shot down before it gets a chance to deal damage, and this must be factored in. We have three factors.

IP = Initial Planes, a variable
SR = [Survival Rate] = (Surviving Planes / Initial Planes) or 5/6
ADPP = [Average Damage Per Plane] = ( 1D6 Damage / Surviving Plane) or 3.5
The units cancel out to damage.
Let’s assume 4 planes. So 4 * (5/6) * (7/3) = 11 and 2/3. An average of slightly less than 12 damage with 4 planes.

For successive turns of SBR I assume 5 of 6 planes will survive to bomb again, allowing for fractions. Nobody in the history of the game has been bombed by 3.33 planes, but for averages, it works.

INF (Infantry)
ART (Artillery)
ARM (Tank/Armor)
MCH (Mechanized Infantry)
AA (Anti-air gun)
FGT (Fighter)
TBM (Tactical Bomber)
SBM (Strategic Bomber)
BB (Batleship)
CV (Aircraft Carrier)
CA (Cruiser)
DD (Destroyer)
SS (Submarine)
AP (Transport)

Note, all naval units are abbreviated by their standard US hull classification. CA (Cruiser, Armored) is used because CL or CH is not quite appropriate. CV (Carrier, heaVier than air) is the historically appropriate classification even if counter-intuitive. Same story for AP, that’s the US Navy classification for a transport vessel.