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Tips & Strategies (9)

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9
Intermediate Reviewer
Chief Inspector
Strategist
El Dorado
43 of 45 gamers found this helpful
““Submarine Submerge - House Rule””

Normally, the presence of an enemy Destroyer unit will stop your Submarines from Submerging duing combat (due to their anti-submarine capabilities). However, we have been allowing Submarines to submerge AFTER the first round of combat. So in effect, the Subs would have to endure one round of combat before being allowed to dive and escape. I think this adds a little realism to the game – submarines were crafty little things after all.

If you wanted to take it further, merely set the rule to function at a 1:1 ratio. In other words, each enemy Destroyer may only stop ONE of your Submarines from submerging during the first combat round. I.E. if you had 6 Submarines and your enemy had 2 Destroyers, the result would be that 4 of your Subs could submerge BEFORE the first combat round, and the remaining 2 could submerge after the first combat round (providing they survived the enemy fire). This adds quite a bit more realism and tactical choices to the game and gives a slight advantage to the player who has lots of Submarines!

My gaming group have been using these house rules recently and we like the way they play out.

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9
Intermediate Reviewer
Chief Inspector
Strategist
El Dorado
43 of 46 gamers found this helpful
““New Technology: 'Improved ASDIC'” ”

This house rule allows players to add an extra scientific breakthrough choice during their ‘Phase 1: Develop Weapons’ stage of the game.

Improved ASDIC – Your Destroyers now attack at 3 against enemy Submarines only. Defence remains at 2.

If players find this too powerful, amend it so that each attacking Destroyer must be matched 1:1 with an enemy Submarine, in order to gain this advantage during combat. For example, if there are 2 Submarines being attacked by 4 Destroyers, only 2 of the Destroyers would gain the advantage; the other two Destroyers would still attack at 2 (as normal).

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9
Intermediate Reviewer
Chief Inspector
Strategist
El Dorado
43 of 46 gamers found this helpful
“Not-so-defenceless Transports!”

This is a small house rule I recently came up with and it can work with any Axis & Allies game from the 2004 ‘Revised’ edition onward.

Do you remember back in the old Milton Bradley days when Battleships could only take one hit, and Transports used to have a defence value of 1? Exciting times, and very risky. Ah, how the game has evolved since then!

Well, now I would like to propose a rule whereby your Transports are again something to be reckoned with. They now have attack 1, defend 1… BUT! Only against enemy Transports! They still have no combat value whatsoever against any other kinds of enemy warships (Submarines, Destroyers, Cruisers, Aircraft Carriers & Battleships) and WILL be destroyed by these vessels if left unprotected, as per the normal rules. Otherwise, combat works in exactly the same way: hits scored by Transports are assigned to enemy Transports in the same fashion, casualties still being able to return fire.

My reasoning behind this rule is because I would like to give the lowly Transport ships the opportunity to engage each other and fight it out, with quite often – hilarious results! It may be seen by some players as something of a last resort, but with a 50/50 chance of survival, it all comes down to who can roll a 1!

Try it. My gaming group found that it added another layer of tension to the already fraught proceedings, but that it was also a very funny alternative to regular sea battles!

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9
Intermediate Reviewer
Chief Inspector
Strategist
El Dorado
43 of 46 gamers found this helpful
“Transports can now defend against air units!”

In the real war, transport ships did not have any real surface-to-surface attack or defence capability but they were sometimes armed with an antiaircraft gun. Allow me to introduce a new house rule which my gaming group have been using recently that allows each of your Tranports a one-shot-only defence roll against attacking air units:

Transports now have Defence 1 and can only fire once per combat round (like normal units), but any hits scored can only be assigned to attacking air units. So if your Transports are attacked by a mixture of enemy air and sea units, any 1’s rolled by your Transports cannot be assigned to the sea units. Just remember that any hits scored by the attacking force may only be assigned to the defending Transport(s) once there are no other defending units left. So in effect, your defending Transports may continue to fire at attacking air units for every round of battle that they survive!

However, unlike the regular Antiaircraft Gun units in the game, each Transport may only fire ONCE (roll one die) and any casualties are removed after the all the defending units have fired, as per normal.

Essentially then, defending Transports are no longer considered to be ‘defenceless’ as they can shoot back at Fighters and Bombers, and therefore are not simply taken straight off the bame board when attacked on their own by enemy airforces (normally, if you sent an air unit out to attack an enemy transport you would destroy it automatically). But with this house rule, that Transport will get a chance to take down 1 of your air units with it!

(Remember that attacking Transports are not normally considered ‘defenceless’ because they always have the option of retreating.)

Some examples then:

A – 1 Transport is attacked by 1 Destroyer and 1 Fighter. The Destroyer does not need to roll as it automatically kills the Transport, but the Transport does get to return fire because of the presence of Fighter. It rolls and gets a 5 (a miss, luckilly for the attacker!) and the battle is over.

B – 1 Transport is attacked by 3 Fighters. The Fighters roll a 1, a 3 and a 5 resulting in 2 hits, more than enough to sink the Transport. The Transport then returns fire with one die and luckily rolls a 1! One Fighter is removed and the battle is over.

C – 2 Transports are attacked by 2 Fighters and 1 Bomber. The Fighters roll a 3 and a 6, and the Bomber rolls a 1. The attacker scored two hits and therefore both of the Transports are chosen as casualties. However, returning fire the Tranports roll and get a 1 and a 4, resulting in one hit. The attacker chooses a Fighter as a casualty, and the battle is over.

D – 1 Transport and 1 Cruiser are attacked by 1 Destroyer and 2 Fighters. The Destroyer fires and misses, and the Fighters fire and get a 1 and a 3 (two hits). Both hits must be assigned to the defending units. The Cruiser returns fire and gets a 2 (hit) and the Transport gets a 1 (hit). The hit from the Transport MUST be assigned to one of the Fighters as it cannot sea units. The attacker assigns the hit from the Cruiser to his Destroyer. The battle is over with one attacking Fighter surviving.

I find that this new rules adds a lot of variation to sea battles and always makes the attacker think twice about sending out his airforces to sink your transports! Just remember that defending Transports are still helpless against attacking sea units.

Give it a try!

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9
Miniature Painter
Rosetta Stone
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
43 of 47 gamers found this helpful
“Changing it up, War preparation turns”

Some buddies and I played this game into the ground, and found a way to make things seem different by introducing war preparation turns. Essentially, this involves you taking D6 turns without any attacking allowed. Sometimes players will dump an entire turn (or two) into technology rolls, and some will likely purchase more troops. This can throw off the balance a bit at times, but ultimately creates a different world for players to war in. For instance, it gives the U.S.S.R a bit more financial breathing room, allowing them to actually purchase some tech rolls, and Japan may feel safe throwing an Industrial Complex onto mainland Asia. If your group feels that they have squeezed everything they can from this game, I find that the war prep turns can give it new life.

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9
Intermediate Reviewer
Chief Inspector
Strategist
El Dorado
43 of 47 gamers found this helpful
“National Objectives - more money for players”

National Objectives are in fact an optional rule but I would strongly advise using them as they help generate extra income for each player. Some NOs are easy to get whilst others are harder; however, once achieved they will significantly boost your financial resources (new players to the game will really benefit more from the extra funds. More experienced players sometimes leave this optional rule out).

Of course, your enemies have NOs of their own and it’s your job to try and deny the enemy from achieving theirs (whilst still getting your own) and this can be quite hard to do!

Most powers in the game (Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kindom, Soviet Union, United States) have between 3-4 seperate National Objectives to attain, and each is worth an extra 5 or 10 cash.

Be ruthless in achieving these objectives and you will reap the rewards in the end, possibly giving you the edge over your opponents in terms of industrial production.

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9
Intermediate Reviewer
Chief Inspector
Strategist
El Dorado
43 of 48 gamers found this helpful
“1941 Scenario - Japan's opening moves”

This strategy is a more generalised look at Japan’s options on her first turn of the 1941 Scenario. I have deliberately not made it overly-detailed in order to allow players more scope for their own decisions. So let us begin!

Japan has much to do at the beginning of this scenario. She is already embroiled in a land struggle against the Chinese to the west, she faces the Soviet Union in a possible stand-off situation to the north, she has to face the fact that she will (at some point) have to wake the ‘sleeping giant’ United States to the east, and finally she has the United Kingdom limited forces to contend with in the south. So, the question is – which direction does she go? Well, to be honest – all four at once! Japan starts off pretty strong in terms of armies, air and naval forces, so she can afford to split them in these different directions.

Japan begins her first turn with VERY limited financial resources; a measley 17 IPCs. (I will not advise the player as to what to purchase with these funds – this is the individual’s choice.) However, Japan has to boost her income somehow. There are resources to be grabbed in all directions, but by far the most tempting choice will be…

… to sail south and take the islands of New Guinnea and the East Indies as these are worth 4 IPCs each, and they’re completely unprotected! They also help Japan achieve one of her National Objectives, so I would strongly advise the Japanese player to do this. Also to the south is the United States island of the Philippines, not only worth 2 IPCs but a key target as it is a Victory City, needed to win the game. A skillful player will take all three islands on their first turn.

Let us now look to the west: Japan begins her first turn poised to strike the United States player where it hurts; by taking out her only Battleship in the Pacific theatre. This can be achieved through an airstrike of local Japanese Fighters and perhaps her Destroyer which is standing by. If the player is feeling expecially plucky, they may also elect to attack the US Destroyer/Transport fleet just off the Western US coastline. Eliminate all these vessels, and you will be in good stead.

To the north lies the Soviet Union. While she may not show open agression towards Japan in the early stages, that is not to say that the same should not be employed toward her! It all depends on what the SU player does first but I strongly advise the Japanese to take some Soviet territory, as Germany will already be struggling against the great Russian bear – and it is important for the Axis players to work together in subduing this beast as quickly as possible! I personally, would throw nearly everything I have in the vicinity of the Japanese mainland at these first Soviet territories. They may not be worth much (1 IPC each for the most part) but it’s still money. If you do not wish to pursue this direction immediately, at least establish a solid defencive line here to prevent the Soviets from attack YOU.

And finally, the Chinese to the east. Whilst not especially dangerous (the Chinese army consists only of Infantry units plus 1 Fighter) they should still not be underestimated, for the player who leaves the Chinese alone will live to regret it later – as they have a way of building up piles of Infantry over time, if left unchecked. However, the Chinese armies are pretty thinly spead out to begin with, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble to take one or two Chinese territories out on Japan’s first turn. Although, by the time that Japan has sent her forces north, south & west there won’t be a great amount of troops left to deal with the Chinese. But again, this is why they should be subdued as quickly as possible. Be persistent here, relentless even.

The summarise then: the Soviet Union has only very limited army reserves to the north, and once these are destroyed or driven back, Japan’s road to Moscow will be clear. Keep up the pressure on the Russians with your Infantry, Artillery & Tanks. They WILL fall eventually.

Destroy as much of the United States’ naval forces as possible and then retreat back to a safer distance, in case of retaliation. Once your IPCs start rolling in (and they will), be sure to build sea units in an attempt to try and keep the US as bay, while you secure more of the southern islands and Asian mainland. This won’t be an easy task as the US can out-produce you…

Grab as much of that IPC-rich territory from the United Kingdom as possible. Secure those National Objectives and Victory Cities wherever you can. The main UK threat is India to the east, so ensure your forces are poised to take out this vital territory no later than the third turn. Luckily, the UK cannot harass you too much early on in the Pacific theatre.

Your easiest foe is indeed the Chinese but they should be systematically destroyed to prevent them from growing too strong. Try and get the all important Victory City of Hong Kong straight away; this shouldn’t be too hard to do.

If you can achieve most of these goals on your first turn you are doing well. I expect some players could even achieve more. Just remember that the wider you spread your forces in Axis & Allies, the more you will have to rely on luck of the dice!

Happy hunting!

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9
Intermediate Reviewer
Chief Inspector
Strategist
El Dorado
43 of 48 gamers found this helpful
“Not-So-Neutral Turkey!”

Here’s a quick and very simple house rule for ya that can have bad consequences for either the Axis or the Allies!

Normally, sea zone 16 (the Black Sea) is open to both Axis and Allied warships & transports. Players have previously used a house rule whereby a die was rolled to determine whether access to this sea zone (the Turkish Straits, or Dardanelles) would be open or closed to both sides, for the entire course of the game.

My new house rule proposes that the Turkish Straits will now be open to one faction and closed to the other! Roll a die: on a 1-3 the Dardanelles will be open to the Axis and closed to the Allies. On a 4-6 they will be open to the Allies and closed to the Axis. And this is for the duration of the game!

This can lead to some disappointment for the Axis who need access to sea zone 16 in order to lauch amphibious assaults into the Caucasus and take the much-needed Stalingrad victory city and the Industrial Complex sited there.

In effect, having it closed to the Axis may put them at a disadvantage early in the game, buying the Soviets some time to regroup their forces.

In the real war, Turkey was neutral and therefore closed its straits to both factions, allowing no naval passage to either side. But try this new house rule and see if it works for you.

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9
USA
I play blue
El Dorado
Guardian Angel
52 of 59 gamers found this helpful
“Be Aggressive!”

Be aggressive when playing any of the Axis powers. The Axis powers have an early advantage in units and should put them to good use! Each Axis power should try to involve as many units on the board as possible in multiple battles each turn. The Axis should also attack on as many fronts as possible. It might be possible to knock the Allies back on their heels and keep them there!

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