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Dwight Eisenhower

OVERVIEW

Soviet Union

Joseph StalinMoscow is the key to Axis success: both Japan and Germany have to spare no effort in their drive to the russian capital. What this means is that soviet troops will be under great pressure right from the start, so they will have to provide for ground forces, as much as they can afford: always make sure that at least 90% of your revenues goes into infantry, with some armor now and then. Don't bother about a navy, you can't afford one and won't need it anyway; the transport and submarine you start with should be used as cannon fodder to cover the British and American fleets. Try to hang on to your initial fighters for the duration of the game, using them only in risk free attacks: if you lose one, you probably won't have the chance to replace it later, and you're gonna need them a lot when the Japanese start knocking on your capital's door. Sandwiched between the two enemy powers, the Soviet Union will have to put the priority on defense, waiting for the americans and british to clear the way in Europe before making any major attack. Try to harass Japan as much as you can in Asia, so as to delay their invasion.

United Kingdom

Winston ChurchillThe British empire is spread all over the globe and largely undefended. So expect your wealth to wither away which each turn, as the Axis will strive to take your territories to add to their revenues. Africa is especially vulnerable, and you shouldn't give it away without a fight. You will want to rebuild the fleet after the initial german attack, either with an aircraft carrier, or if one of your battleships survived, maybe 3 transports right away; but beware of the Luftwaffe who might come in for seconds, so make sure to correctly evaluate the odds. In doubt, stick with the carrier, and land the two american fighters on their first turn. Your own fighters should be send to either Russia or Karelia as soon as convenient, to help defend the soviet mainland. Depending on the situation, you may or may not be able to buy some fighters or bombers on later turns, so risk them sparingly.

United States of America

Franklin D. RooseveltThe United States holds the balance of the game for the Allies. Both the invulnerability of their mainland and their economic power make them a formidable offensive threat, but they start with almost no ground forces and their few air and naval units will still be reeling from the japanese onslaught. So they will take time to rebuild their forces and enter the fray: both England and Russia will need to buy time. Building a fleet of transports is your first priority, as well as starting to provide some infantry and armor in order to install a pipeline to Europe. Later, you will probably feel the need for some airforce, both bombers and fighters to wear Germany down and to provide air cover for an eventual landing.

STRATEGIES

With greater economic power but weak forces at start, the Allies will have to buy time, and try to limit the Axis' initial expansion rather than try to go for a quick ending. Total cooperation between the three members is capital: while the Axis can get away with being a little individualistic, the Allies will have get their act together, as multinational forces will be the norm, especially in Russia and Karelia, and on the seas around Europe. There are two basic approaches to the Allies overall strategy: the first is KGF, or Kill Germany First; meaning all the allied efforts will be concentrated on Europe in the hope of bringing Germany down before Japan have a chance to win the game by herself; the other is KJF (Kill Japan First).

The scandinavian pipeline (KGF)

Your first priority is to install a fleet in the North Sea; you will need capital ships, either the battleships or a newly built carrier (reinforced with US fighters); meanwhile you draw any surviving american ship across the Panama canal into the Atlantic. Thereafter, you start piling your transports in the North Sea (you should try to have 5 of them for each american and british), and make them shuttle your infantry from Western Canada and England to Finland. This way, you have 20 allied infantry every turn unloading on the european theater. They will then either pile up in Karelia, go reinforce Russia, or start attacking in Eastern Europe and Ukraine, depending on the situation. Move only infantry for the first turn, and possibly the second, but after that start sending tanks as well: 6 infantries, 2 armors for each the americans and the english should be ideal, but Great Britain could be hard-pressed to meet those demands depending on their revenues. Optionally, you may want to consider an US armor factory in Finland.
Pros: This is maybe the most popular approach for the Allies. Its strength lies in its simplicity and adaptability. It provides Russia with all the reinforcements they need, and gives the Allies the opportunity to use strafing tactics to wear down Fortress Europe. It also enables you to divert some troops to go harass the japanese in Asia. This is one of the best way to capitalize on the Allied economic advantage.
Cons: The main weakness of this approach is that it takes some time to put in place: you won't be able to start threatening the german forces until turn 3 or 4, or maybe even later depending on the state of the Royal Navy after the initial german attack. And since it enables Germany to pile up the majority of their forces in Eastern Europe, it will takes like what seems forever to build up a sufficient attack force, especially if the german armours start wearing you down with strafing attacks. Also, since your fleet will be stationed in the North Sea, sending reinforcements in Africa may be a problem if you can't split your fleet, making british revenues plummet and wrecking your whole scheme. And lastly, it is an attrition based approach, meaning that it is not very well suited for CD-Rom play because of the unit-lock bug.

Spanish Harlem (KGF)

The problem with landing in Europe is that you only can send as many troops as you can convoy, so piling them in England serves not much purpose. You need a foothold on the continent to build up an attack force: one option is Finland-Norway, the other is Spain. After you've invaded Spain (and paid the neutrality penalty violation), you start accumulating a sufficient force there via your transports in West Spain Sea; then when the time is ripe, you apply the UK-US one-two punch with both spanish-based and amphibious troops. Timing is crucial here: if you strike too soon, you'll waste your forces but if you wait too long, you will have lost the edge. The Germans will probably try to wear that pile down with their armors, so as above, send only infantry at first.
Pros: This one enables you to start putting the pressure much sooner than the scandinavian option, and properly applied can give you a quick victory in Europe: it is particularly deadly if your opponent has put all his bid in either Asia or Africa. It also enables you to send troops to Africa if need be.
Cons: You have to be sure to have enough troops in Spain before you risk any kind of amphibious assault, and they don't bring much defensive help to the Soviet Union besides drawing enemy troops on the Western front; you will need a strong russian presence in the east for it to work, so then allowing Japan to run without opposition in Asia. And there is the risk of having Japan try to go for an early Magic 84 in Asia, taking advantage of the lack of american forces there. You may have to consider dropping this strategy eventually if things drag out for too long.

The two-front attack (KGF)

This is a combination of the two previous strategies. You simply establish 2 separate convoys: a british pipeline to Finland-Norway, and an american pipeline to Spain. While the United States prepare for a landing in Western Europe, the United Kingdom prepare for their own landing in Eastern Europe, with some help maybe from the Soviet Union. You will also have the opportunity to switch sides to send american troops in Asia and british troops in Africa.
Pros: This strategy can give you the best of both worlds by both reinforcing the Soviet Union and also by threatening Fortress Europe on 2 fronts, possibly forcing them into making difficult choices. It enables you to relieve some pressure of the eastern front, allowing the russians to keep Japan from becoming a monster.
Cons: It can also give you the worst of both worlds... It is a very tricky proposition: you will have to be wary about how much of what you send where, and calculate the odds very carefully. Remember that both your naval and land forces will be split in two, making them weaker and thus more vulnerable, especially if Japan brings its air force in Europe. German strafing will be particularly harmful.

Bash Japan First (KGF)

This is a similar approach to the preceding strategies, but with a much more aggressive stance against Japan in the opening: USSR goes for the Manchuria Strike (send the Russia fighter) and UK lands in Kwangtung with indian forces; all planes land in Sinkiang. Japan, needing all the air and sea support they can get, will likely send a light force on Pearl Harbor or even ignore it altogether; so then the US fleet will merge (either in Hawaii or Alaska) and start annoying the japanese. Do not build up in the Pacific though; the idea is not to try to destroy the japanese fleet but merely to get in their way and delay their invasion plan. In the Atlantic, you carry on as usual. The overall plan is to hurt Japan early on in order to buy loads of time for the Allied pipeline to be put in place against Germany.
Pros: Japan will be crippled from the start and will have their revenues stuck in the mid-twenties for 3 turns at least, while the soviets will collect nearly 30. Furthermore, the japanese fleet will likely be pinned near their island for some time, so Australia and Africa will be out of their reach. All the supplementary revenues for both UK and USSR will help against Germany. It also has a tendency to lead to shorter games, making this approach more resistant against the unit-lock syndrome in CD-Rom play.
Cons: This scheme is a gambit, especially the Kwangtung Surprise; if Japan gets lucky dice on defense, the Allies will be in a deep hole from which they probably won't climb back off. Both UK and USSR will have to compromise all their forces in the east, and once the initial attacks are done, reinforcements will not come for quite some time. In short, either you cripple Japan's expansion, or either you only succeed in accelerating it. Also, you will have to work with a much weakened fleet in the Atlantic, and this could prove problematic if Germany still have all their air intact.

Indian IC (KJF)

On UK turn 1 you build an industrial complex in India, reinforcing it with african forces. On the United States turn, you reinforce the Pacific fleet with 2 submarines in Western U.S; you should try to withdraw the hawaiian submarine there after the Pearl Harbour attack (don't forget to send the special orders after UK1 if you play by e-mail). Afterwards, the british will build armor in India (or if they can't afford it, infantry), and London will start sending fighters to the India factory by way of Russia; meanwhile, the US fleet agressively harass japanese shipping, in order to sink the transports and keep them from reinforcing Asia. All the while the russians try to keep Germany at bay as long as they can. Eventually, the US will start building in the Atlantic in order to retake Africa from the Germans.
Pros: Japan will really have a hard time recovering from the initial assaults, especially if the Manchuria Strike on USSR 1 went well. Although capturing Tokyo is little more than a daydream, pinning the japanese forces in their capital should give enough time to turn the Allies effort against Germany. Also, you will be able to stave off economic victory (Magic 84) more easily.
Cons: Germany will have a field day in Europe and Africa, and more often than not by the time the Asia theater becomes under control, Moscow will be under heavy siege and on the verge of falling; at this point, the Allies will have to chose between switching their efforts from Japan to Germany (giving the former chance to recover and compromising the asian factories) or maintaining their offensive against Japan in the hope of putting it away for good, which will mean they will likely have to deal with Germany without the aid of USSR. But the major disadvantage is that it is not very cost-efficient for the Allies, and their initial economic edge will not overcome the high loss ratio.

IC crazy (KJF)

You buy 2 industrial complexes for the United Kingdom and place one in South Africa (don't forget to move that infantry to Kenya!) and the other in India. On US turn, you buy another factory, and place it in Sinkiang; then you build up the US navy as above. From then on, England will produce armor with the South Africa factory, infantry with the indian one and the capital will start sending fighters to India. The first and second turns will be critical: every available air and land units, soviet included, should be send to protect those factories. If all goes according to plan, Japan will be confined in its original possessions and unable to support a naval arms race with the United States, while the afrikaaners will ensure that Germany doesn't roll all over Africa (some american reinforcements could prove to be necessary). Eventually, sheer economics should topple the balance in your favor. Remember, the golden rules are as follows: a russian attack on Manchuria; the three ic's on the FIRST turn (vital): put them all on turn 1 or don't bother at all; 1 fighter each turn out of London, more if possible; and a strong american Pacific fleet to hamper Japan's mobility. All those elements depend on each other for success.
Pros: It is so unusual and seems so much to throw away all commonly accepted ideas about what you should and shouldn't do that you stand a good chance of taking your opponent totally by surprise, and he won't be able to count on his experience; furthermore, he could be tricked into thinking that you're a total amateur and trap himself into over-confidence. For those reasons, it may be best to keep it for live or face-to-face games, so he won't have that much opportunity to re-ajust. Another big advantage is that it makes Magic 84 virtually out of reach; only taking Moscow will save the Axis as a general rule. Finally, it allows the Soviet Union to concentrate all their forces in Europe.
Cons: I don't use it much myself anymore, and I'm not sure how it would stand against the bidding system. One thing's for sure, a strong asian bid makes it out of the question, especially if it's in Indochina-Burma. A strong african bid makes it a risky proposition; same thing for european depending on the results of russian and german initial rounds. Any kind of naval bid gives you a good opportunity though. The great danger is pretty much obvious: lose one of those factories early on and you're toast, and this will be a certainty if the soviets falter in Manchuria. Another big minus is that once you start it, you're committed, so the decision will have to be made right on UK 1 with no turning back. And it's a very rigid system, you have to go through it by the book, so it gives very few opportunity to adapt.

Bernard L. Montgomery

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