Axis and Allies 1914: A second look at strategy


A multinational defense is essential.

We take a second look at Axis and Allies 1914 strategy.  After a grueling 17-round session ending in truce, we begin to see patterns and battle theories begin to surface.



Austria chooses between engaging the Italians and the Russian Empire

Both by geography and game mechanics, Austrians begin the war balancing their march into Russia while fending off if not invading Italy.  Of course, their investments depends heavily how successful Germany is.  Their march into Russia is important because …

The Russian Empire holds the keys to Constantinople

The Ottoman are the weakest of the three Central Powers.  Their survival depends on British intervention and a supply line from Austria.   Both the British and the Austria play off the Russian Empire being in the war.  It takes both Austrians and Germans to challenge Russia.  It takes only the British to conquer the Ottoman.  However, its becomes difficult if the British Empire is forced to split forces on Ottoman soil fighting off the combined armies of Ottoman and Austria-Hungary.  In summary, if Russia falls early the Austrians can defend Constantinople while eating up former Russian territories for additional IPC.  Austria’s other prize is, of course, Rome and …

Venice is the gateway to both Rome and Paris

The Italians pose little threat other than a rare amphibious incursion.  Their role is to keep Austrians pre-occupied defending the southern path to both Paris and Rome.  If Venice falls, it forces the Allied Powers to make hurried decisions.  Choices between the immediate survival of Italy or strategic defense of France must be made.  Often, these decisions are left to the United States.  The fall of Rome to the Central Powers also comes with a great penalty of naval mines, paralyzing the Allied fleet there.

The British Empire chooses between engaging Germany and the Ottoman

Britain is given two great challenges: defending northern France from a German invasion and vanquishing the Ottoman out of India.  The Ottoman holds the British like a dog’s tail from infiltrating eastern Europe.  The map forces the two powers to front line incursions that ultimately decides the fate of the Baltic States, and worse, Africa!  Britain’s Atlantic strategy depends on a strong navy protecting transports carrying troops into Picardy, Belgium, and in some cases, Germany.  This leads to …

Naval fleets between Britain and Germany serve as deterrents to invasion

There is a negative, yet symbiotic relationship between the British and German powers.  The further Germany reaches into France, the more determined the British becomes landing troops to defend.  More troops to defend France leaves little to defend London and build a navy.   A strong German navy threatens both the future of British amphibious strategy and a threat of invasion that may end the war.  The British is forced to counter by re-appropriating funds to the navy weakening their French position with German victories.

It also works both ways.  Germany will notice a stack of units in Great Britain within reach of Berlin by transport.  They’ll be smart protecting the shores with artillery and a stack of units in Berlin.  With each round, deterred from invasion, the German stack steps forward to Paris.  Defending stacks becomes attacking armies and the relationship with the British renews.  An unrealized fallout is both powers divert resources from a ground war that would have otherwise decided the game.

A France-Italy co-op is risk unrealized

What if France brushes off the German high-tech army, leaving them to the British?  What if France diverts a stack of infantry protecting Italy from Austrian incursion?  On the surface, its seems like sane strategy.  Keep Italy afloat and deluding yourself you’re just as capable resisting Germany.  The truth is it’s difficult for the British to make up a statistical deficit and Venice may fall just as easy.  Every German unit spared from French resistance are candidates for a joint Austria-Germany invasion of Italy.    And this leads us to our final subject …

Multinational defense is essential to victory and conclusion

As depicted in the image above, epic battles over lynchpin territories draw the interest of several powers at once.  The war, the game, with multinational participation is long enough, its near impossible to finish without it.   Your opponent’s weakness comes from taking away their strengths.  The currents of war will often draw many powers contesting a same patch of earth convinced its vital to end the war with.

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