I generally don't like Axis strategies relying on diplomacy because the randomness can make it a matter of luck instead of skill. That said, Sweden is one of the surer plays, and aside from the other reasons mentioned, activation will guarantee Sweden's resources for the Axis. As the war continues on, the Allies are likely to invest in enough diplomacy to deprive Germany of Sweden's trade and may even eventually get Sweden to join the Allies. So it is a defensive measure for the Axis too.
The best Axis window of opportunity is after the fall of France with just the UK and China able to counter (India is not able to affect Sweden). A max Axis diplomatic effort (11) vs a max allied counter (7) gives a 20% advantage- should expect 3 hits over 15 turns, one of which is a major shift. This only gets the Axis to 60-70% until the USSR can counter- bringing the Axis advantage to 5%- The Axis need to be lucky and get at least two hits more- by no means a guarantee but then again, none of the big three minor neutrals (incl Spain and Turkey) should be. Once the U.S. enters the war, it can stop Sweden from joining the Axis altogether.
But the Axis have the advantage of surprise and the Allies may not realize their plan at first. The allies may have already been investing in other diplomacy- perhaps to keep Spain and/or Turkey neutral or get the US and/or Burma into the war sooner. If Japan is threatening China appropriately, China will be pressed for all the resources it has for survival. The UK may (should) also face pressure on various fronts- bottom line- the Allies may not be able to come up with a full counter for some time. A max Axis effort with no Allied counter would be expected to score six hits over a year- most likely enough to bring Sweden in outright. Most likely, the Allies will counter when the diplomacy activity is recognized but will not be able to counter at max until after the Axis score a few times. By Jan 1941, if the Axis can get the Sweden activation level past 50%, activation in 1941 is quite likely no matter what the Allies do.
As an allied player, after noting extensive Axis diplomatic activity I'd probably put a chit or two into Turkey at first. After some Axis diplomatic success with Sweden, I'd counter with the UK and (maybe) China but this may be more to delay activation and cause the Axis in invest more resources in Diplomacy while accepting eventual Swedish activation. I'd also consider other diplomatic actions such as the U.S. while the Axis DP's are tied in with Sweden. This is why major power diplomacy should be allowed- to give the Allied player options to pose risks to just such a maximum diplomatic Axis strategy.
< Message edited by Jackmck -- 11/23/2020 7:40:02 AM >