From: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
I would like to see a game where the Axis can opt to use their resources a bit more sensibly.....maybe let the Germans allow Italy to use their PzIII & IV designs (ouch). Or more fully motorize the army instead of building capital ships. Lots of what-if's.
Check out the World in Flames forum. When this is released, you'll be able control production, politics, grand strategy and operations when playing the Axis (or the Allies). It's being based on the successful and critically acclaimed paper-based wargame of the same name and one of the viable strategies is a concentration on the Med and/or massive submarine construction.
The exerpt below is from the playguide for paper WiF. It contains some WiF jargon about bidding. This is a process by which the players (2-6 people) for the major powers can be fairly decided but doesn't have to be used. There are other considerations to do with players on the same side actually competing with each other to a certain extent for individual victory. That is, the player controlling say Italy, can win the game if Italy does particularly well, whilst still striving for Axis victory (which incidently rarely involves total global domination). This simulates natural, nationalist tensions quite well.
A single game turn may consist of 10 or more impulses, and each impulse may involve naval, land and air activities. Because of this unpredictability, you can never make a perfect plan. Instead your plans must be those that have a reasonable chance of being carried out in the time allocated (see turn length & initiative below). In other words, you must play percentages when you plan ahead.
The game is really all about focus. If you can focus your opponents’ attention from one front to another, you have already halfway beaten them. Players (particularly the Commonwealth) tend to concentrate on only one theatre, allowing players less competent than they are to defeat them elsewhere.
The fact that the objectives are evenly spread dictates that the non-European maps should not be ignored. Far too often, Allied players fixate on the European maps and throw away their chance of victory.
Because of the global spread of the Allied powers, they have the luxury of being able to choose whether to weight their efforts towards Europe or the Pacific. If they can concentrate on the Pacific, Japan will be rapidly conquered. Therefore, Germany and Italy must spend the early years of the war dragging the Allied player’s attention onto Europe.
Fortunately, the fact that the Axis have the first shot at victory makes this quite easy. If Germany can conquer Britain or Russia it is almost impossible for the Axis to lose. If both are conquered, they have won and will dominate the globe. Thus, the two obvious Axis strategies are to attack Britain or Russia (after France has fallen), to which the Allies must respond by committing the bulk of their efforts in shoring up the attacked Major Power.
A third Axis strategy is to establish a defensive perimeter from Gibraltar to Suez, planning a late attack on Russia in 1942 or 1943, not necessarily to conquer her, but to gain valuable resources and better defence lines. The disadvantage of this strategy is that it hands the initiative to the Allies after the conquest of France. Therefore, they may find the time to concentrate on Japan. Furthermore, in this latest version of WiF, Soviet production increases when she is at war with Germany, making her even more formidable. However, if the Allies have bid high, this can be a very successful strategy.
Do not exclude the Japanese from discussions on European strategy on the grounds that it does not affect them. Instead, the Axis should co-ordinate their attacks globally to stretch their opponents to the limit. For example, if Germany is fighting the Commonwealth when Japan comes to war, India and Australia become logical targets. If Germany is attacking Russia then Vladivostok could be easily plucked.
The Axis should be careful about switching from attack to defence. If it is left too late, their forces could be hopelessly over stretched. You should convert to a defensive strategy when it becomes apparent that further offensives cannot achieve rewards commensurate with the effort. That is not to say that the early years are all out attack. You must always leave garrisons in your home countries to deter any surprise invasions or paradrops.
An early dilemma for the Allies is that saving Russia can cripple the Commonwealth and vice versa. The Commonwealth must turn the United Kingdom into such a mighty fortress that the Axis won’t dare invade (a bit of macho bombast can help here), leaving Germany no choice but to attack Russia. Russia of course is doing exactly the same thing; not wanting the United Kingdom to be conquered of course, but hoping the Germans will become seriously entangled. Russia and the Commonwealth should be aware of the consequences that their actions have on their ally and find the right balance.
If the Allies can survive until US entry, the scales tip inexorably and ever more rapidly against the Axis. You will have the luxury of being able to strike where and when you like and with substantial forces, thus wresting the initiative from the Axis. Do not become over-confident though, or you could over stretch yourself and leave the Axis in a position to launch a devastating counter-attack. Your attack must be based on your defence, not replace it.
By about this point you are probably kicking yourself at the ridiculously high number of objectives you bid to be one of the Allies. Don’t despair. Even though the Axis seem to weaken at an imperceptible rate, when the collapse occurs, it is spectacular. I have seen the Russians sweep 20 hexes across Europe in one turn (I was the Germans and I counted every hex). A turn like that can salvage what seems to be the most hopeless of positions. If Japan can be conquered quickly, knock her out first. If however you are enmeshed in Europe, your largest forces must concentrate there to conquer Germany and Italy first. Italy is subject to the knock-out conquest and she should be targeted early.
When heading for victory, be sure your forces get to those vital objectives first. Sure, you are wholeheartedly committed to the Alliance (or Axis), just so long as your “allies” realise who’s putting in the most effort here. Your labours, quite properly, should be suitably rewarded. After all, you are being extremely generous letting your “allies” come second, what more could they want?