Monday, February 28, 2011

Global Exhaustion -- Axis & Allies style

Wrapped up our 2-day Axis & Allies Global 1940 extravaganza at Arkham Asylum. Game Store Tony controlled the Allies (with occasional helpers) while yours truly handled the Axis.

It was a wild affair, as this game so often is. It ended on Turn 7 with an Allied concession.

The basic course of the game was as follows:

In Europe I made sure to take out France in the first move, as bitter experience has shown that this is mandatory f the Axis are to stand a chance. The French are a little tougher in the latest version of the Alpha variant and they stand a chance of having a few more forces available to fight a Free French than the past versions. There was some naval/air sparring around the British Isles and a quick invasion of Scotyland that distarcted the Brits for a bit. Once they cleaned that out they tried a few raids on the conitnent over a couple of turns that grabbed footholds that were quickly erased. By game end the British had recaptured Norway, but lost most of their fleet and it was going to be a few more turns before they could threaten German territoty again. In the East the Germans were locked in a knock-down rag out fight with the Soviets but had finally started to get the upper hand. Territorial gains were not impressive but the Soviets were getting thin on the ground and it seemed likely that gains were imminent.

Italy in the meantime had a grand old time. British attention being diverted elsewhere the Italians ran wild all over Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East and even aided the Germans in France. As a matter of fact the Italians ended up with Normandy and Southern France! Meanwhile they grabbed most of Afrca, although a late-war counter attack of US forces and troops from South Africa retook most of sub-Saharan Africa. On the other hand Italy ruled all of North Africa and the Middle East, from Morocco to West India! Outlying territories under Italian rule included the Gold Coast, Madagascar and Shan State!

Competing with the Italians for top Axis dog honors was Japan, which completely conquered China, although a late British counteroffensive from India liberated a sliver of Chinese territory, Siam and French Indochina. The Anzacs were hard-pressed as well, losing most of their presence in the Dutch territories and having to devoted effort to ejecting an Japanese expedition in Western Australia. The Americans made a bid to slow down the Japanese with a massive battle that destroyed the US Pacific fleet and a large, but no decisive part of the Japanese fleet. A followup battle finished off all but one US task force and most of the Anzac navy as well. The Japanese were also able to capture Alaska and were starting to gather forces for a descent on Hawaii. Japan and Rusia never went to war, although the Japanese were about to stab the Soviets in the back.

With no good prospects anywhere and multiple Axis threats to guard against the Allies sued for terms.

The final PIC counts were:

Axis: Japan 51; Germany 39; Italy 36 for a total Axis of 126
Allies: USA 48, USSR 32; London 25; Anzacs 10; India 7; France 4; China 2 for total Allies count of 128. While the two sides were roughly even, India's industrial center (and two USSR IC) was completely wrecked by strategic bombing, France and China could build no troops and the Axis had an edge in National Objective income.

We were playing with Tech rules. The US and Italy each got Super Subs which had no game effect at all, while the Germans got Improved Mech infantry which was actually quite helpful in the fighting in Russia.

My Axis & Allies education continued. I'm definitely more comfortable playing maritime powers than continental powers. About the best that could be said for my Germany was that its position was adequate for the situation and it was occupying enough Allied strength that the other two Axis powers had a pretty free hand. Italy was much richer than its 36 IPC might suggest because of all the OIl-related income from North Africa and the Middle East. If the British aren't careful the Italians can be quite dangerous. The Japanese benefited from too-cautious British play in the early going that left China unsupported. By the time the US came in China was doomed. The Japanese were able to fight the big Pacific battles at an advantage as the US was a little too quick to intervene. It would have been better to build up strength, I think, plus too much US effort was diverted to the Atlantic side -- it wasn't enough to be a "Germany First" strategy, but it was enough to rob the Pacific fleet of the resources it needed.

In my opinion the British need to be reactive, the Italians and Anzac opportunistic and the French and Chinese merely try to exist. The Soviets have just one real strategy -- deal with the inevitable German attack.

The other three powers each have a BIG strategic decision to make and which path they choose will determine the nature of the whole game. Failing to decisively pick one of the two strategies will lead to defeat. For Germany the decision is Sea Lion or Barbarossa. For Japan it's China or the USA and for the USA its' "Japan First" of "Germany First."

Sometime this summer we'll try for another Global. Stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment