Continental major power separated from all majors by water. The United States of America is the heart of the capitalist and liberal democratic world. The USA played an instrumental role in establishing the peace settlements of World War I and US President Woodrow Wilson's leadership in establishing the League of Nations as a body designed to promote world peace by preventing conflicts. However the USA never joined the League of Nations due to isolationist opposition to international US interventionism. This spirit of isolationism and avoiding getting involved in foreign conflicts remains strong in spite of rising concerns of President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the dangers of German, Italian, and Japanese aggression to international stability. Furthermore, with the US only beginning to recover from the severe economic hardship of the Great Depression, the US people have too much to worry about in their own country to worry about conflict in Europe or Asia. It would require a major event to shift the US people out of this isolationist mindset.
In 1936, the USA is the most powerful nation in the world through a combination of a capable economy and a good military. the USA has more industry, effective leadership, energy, metal, rare materials, and crude oil than any other nation. The USA has an incredibly strong industry, especially if built up during pre-war years. Historically, the USA does not enter war until late 1941, which gives the player plenty of time to prepare for war.
Distribution of leadership
The Leadership strength of the USA is a key asset. The USA starts the 1936 scenario with 32.40 leadership points, allowing for a huge variety of strategies. Further research in Education results in even more Leadership, allowing the USA to quickly catch up and surpass other nations in research.
The most important initial investments are in Research and Intelligence.
The huge Leadership available to the US from day 1 allows it to pursue a large variety of research simultaneously. The US can develop carriers, battlecruisers, light cruisers, tanks, infantry, light aircraft, medium aircraft, and heavy aircraft all at the same time, with Leadership points left over for investment in industry, doctrines, or supporting arms. The chief weakness of the US is the generally low starting practical and theoretical levels, particularly in doctrinal research. The research strength of the US renders the latter little obstacle, while the former can slowly be overcome by focused construction in important areas. Concentrating in just a few research areas relevant to the country's particular strategy is still helpful, however, as even the US cannot research everything, and doing so will allow the US to maintain a qualitative edge over its more experienced opponents.
- Infantry research is a high priority as the bulk of the starting army is infantry, and the specialized combat units the US needs for fighting in the Pacific and to land in Europe are infantry-based
- Cavalry research is needed to access motorized and mechanized brigades
- Agriculture, Education, and Computing Machines are high priorities in Industrial techs to bolster US manpower and improve its sky-high leadership even further. Industrial Efficiency and Production allow the US to be even more productive with its IC. The resource techs, except possibly Rare Materials if doing a large pre-war buildup of industry, should be ignored as the US already produces extremely large amounts of all resources.
- Air research is generally important, either to increase the effectiveness of Navy CAGs or to improve Army support units.
- Naval research is important to stand up to the might of the Japanese Navy. It is not as important if you are playing with person who is being the United Kingdom, as the Royal Navy in combination with the US Navy can be a devastating combination against the Imperial Navy.
The role of the FBI
The player needs to quickly recruit 10 'domestic' spies and task them with reducing neutrality.
Once neutrality reaches a certain point a country can enact more 'war-like' laws, without damage to its democracy - gaining a lot more industrial capacity (IC) and more Leadership.
The USA begins with a peacetime penalty of -50% IC and -50% Officer recruitment, but reducing neutrality will eliminate these obstacles (eventually gaining +50% IC and +25% Officer recruitment).
Depending on the threat from overseas it may also be necessary to spend some time initially on counter-espionage work. However, at the start of 1936 most AI nations are wise enough not to target the USA with negative spy missions.
If there is an ongoing external threat both neutrality and foreign agents can be reduced by switching between 'Reduce neutrality' and 'Counter-espionage' every X days. The player will be able to judge what the best of number of days on each mission is by looking at the number of spies being sent and detected.
The role of the OSS"'
Given the strength of Leadership, the USA may take a more active intelligence role than most countries.
- Austria can be targeted prior to Anschluss with 'counter-espionage' missions - this will reduce the influence of German agents and delay the union with Germany (and hence Munich and the whole Second World War).(For multiplayer only, the German AI uses the “Political Crisis” event which can not be slowed down.)
- Germany and Italy can be targeted initially with 'Counter-espionage' missions to reduce the protection against external spies and then with 'Disrupt production' to reduce the buildup of enemy forces. The player may need to switch between 'Counter-espionage' and 'Disrupt production' depending on the resiliance/determination of the opposition's counter-espionage apparatus.
- Japan has a smaller production requirement and needs to build quality, so it can be targeted initially with 'Counter-espionage' missions to reduce the protection against external spies and then with 'Disrupt research' to reduce the quality of any force enhancement. The player may need to switch between 'Counter-espionage' and 'Disrupt production' depending on the resiliance/determination of Japan's counter-espionage apparatus.
- Japan, Italy and Republican Spain are also good targets for 'Increase threat' missions, allowing the US to join the Allies and get into the war far earlier than 1941. All three nations have their own wars (though the fall of Republican Spain usually makes it a temporary threat only), and so their threat level only needs topping up to become useful.
The US begins with decent relations with all neighbors, and decent or neutral relations with everyone else.
The United States starts out relatively close to the Allies. As the game progresses, the natural ideological similarities and huge threat of the Axis will push the US further into the corner. By devoting spies to raising the threat of the Allies and aligning to the Axis, it may be possible to join the Axis. This would be difficult, however, because the huge threat will eventually repulse the US. Joining the Comintern is very hard, but could net some interesting games. Fighting Germany and turning the cold war into A UK vs US affair and in the end destroying the allies is possible.
The United States starts with the New Deal decision enacted, increasing consumer goods demand 25% and decreasing manpower 40%. Once Germany and the United Kingdom go to war, or the United States goes to war with anyone, it can Gear Up for War, removing these penalties.
In addition, the US has a chain of several decisions that simulate the aid provided to the Allies prior to US entry into the war. The first of these, Destroyers for Bases, allows the US to give several destroyers to the UK in 1940, in exchange for an increase in relations with Britain and a slight decrease in neutrality. The second, The Lend-Lease Act, can be enacted in 1941, and gives a small amount of supplies and a relations increase with the other Allied powers, along with a decrease in neutrality and a decrease in relations with the Axis powers. Both of these require that the US not be at war, that Vichy have formed, that the UK still exist, and that Germany not already have been defeated. Lend-Lease also requires that the US is a democracy. The final event in the chain, The US Occupation of Greenland and Iceland, gives the US ownership and cores on the two islands, provided the US isn't in any faction, isn't allied with either Germany or the Soviet Union, and Iceland is occupied by the UK and Greenland by Denmark. This also improves British-American relations. While many of these decisions have attractive properties, to enact all of them requires that the US stay neutral deep into 1941, when it is easy to join the war by 1939 and get the benefits of greatly improved production and manpower through wartime laws.
It's not worth investing in Officer recruitment at the start of the game as USA because of the -50% recruitment penalty from the poor Laws. Better to wait until later in the game and recruit Officers quickly as war beckons - that way the player gets a +25% recruitment bonus and can fill out the officer ranks far more cheaply.
Democratic nation - extremely high neutrality will keep you with some of the worst laws until war breaks out.
The USA begins with Volunteer Army and Full Civilian Economy, so it urgently needs spies tasked with lowering neutrality to access more 'war-like' laws. By reducing neutrality the USA should be able to reach War Economy by 1939.
Starting in For the Motherland, Spies can no longer be used to lower Neutrality. This can make it difficult to get the United States to join any faction or go to war early on. This can be remedied through the use of Consumer Goods. By reducing the production of consumer goods to 0, the dissent of the United States will rise quickly. At 10% dissent, the popularity of the Democratic Party will decline to the point that the Republicans will win the election of 1936. At 48% dissent, the USA will be presented with a decision to "Prepare for War." The "Prepare for War" effect greatly reduces Neutrality over the course of a year (when the effect disappears, your neutrality will be at approximately 11%). This will allow the USA to join a Faction early on and can be used to put troops into France and can, when used in combination with French and British Allied players, defeat the Germans before the USSR joins the war.
The two major political parties are the Republicans (Social Conservatives) and Democrats (Social Liberals). The Democrats start out in power, though the Republicans can win the election of 1940.
If you want to say good bye to FDR, be sure to reduce your investment into consumer goods around 1937 to get your dissent up to around 10%. By late 1939, the Democratic party should reduced to nearly single digit popularity, with the Republican Party having well over 50% of popularity.
Resource-wise, the USA is entirely self-sufficient and by 1939 should have maxed out energy, metal, crude oil and be very high on rare materials.
The USA should trade its excess resources away to generate extra money. Automated trade will result in full stockpiles of all resources and tens of thousands of money. Automating trade is recommended due to the sheer number of trade possibilities the US possesses, especially if not following a blockade strategy against the Axis from the start of the game.
Because of its enormous resource production, the US need not devote Leadership to any of the resource production research. Even with far more IC than necessary to win the war, the natural escalation of resource production with better laws and the huge early year stockpiles should keep things running at full capacity.
The USA's high resource capacity provides an excellent base for additional IC - but extra IC at the start is penalised by the poor Economic laws. Extra IC comes into its own when the more war-like Economic laws are unlocked, so careful timing is needed. Initial production can be devoted to building up US reserve formations and a small serial run of new IC to reduce the Construction practical. About a year ahead of full economic mobilization a larger IC build can start allowing for a vastly upsized industrial capacity throughout the war years.
Lying isolated by thousands of kilometers of ocean from the rest of the world, and with a huge IC and limited manpower, the United States is naturally directed down certain paths in its development. Building a strong Navy and Air Force, combined with a powerful amphibious capability and relatively strong but small Army are top priorities for the US before entering the war.
America starts with an army of 101 brigades, scattered all throughout the US and its Pacific holdings. Because of its huge IC and resources, the US can invest heavily in IC-intensive units such as Arm. In fact, with the small amount of manpower the US has in comparison to its IC, it has to. Except for starting infantry, marines, and possibly airborne or mountaineers, the hardest units possible should be used to minimize manpower losses. Despite the high supply and fuel costs incurred by this strategy, the large US Merchant Marine and almost all potential battlegrounds being overseas will ensure that supply is generally much less of an issue than it is for, say, Germany or the Soviet Union.
The United States' glut of Leadership points for technology research (well over 30 after useful diplomatic and espionage routes are exhausted) allows for pursuing, producing and keeping current the most advanced ground units (MECH, ARM). Most US ground combat will be fought in high infrastructure Europe with supply lines backed by convoys.
The United States starts with a large, somewhat outdated navy, but can easily expand it to become ruler of the seas due to its high IC and leadership values. The Navy is arguably the most important branch, as naval superiority will keep enemies away from American shores and allow it to launch its own amphibious operations with impunity. The choice here is mainly between a carrier-based fleet, which goes well with a strategy involving heavy investment in the Air Force, or a battleship-based fleet, which works better with a strategy based on amphibious invasions. The large number of battleships the Navy starts with and the relatively small number of carriers makes the second more attractive, but considering the likelihood of operations against carrier-friendly Japan might tilt the balance towards the first option. Regardless, the US should be able to build a very strong, balanced fleet either way.
A carrier-based fleet should be supported by very fast ships to ensure hostile surface elements can't close and shatter the carriers with their big guns. As such, an escort composed of light cruisers, battlecruisers, and/or fast battleships is useful to multiply the damage that can be done by the carriers themselves. Light cruisers use the same doctrines as carriers, but certain elements of the battlecruiser and battleship doctrines need to be researched anyways, so adding their particular doctrines is not a big problem, especially with US leadership.
A battleship-based fleet will also need to be quite fast, but this time to catch fleeing fleets rather than escape closing ones. Destroyers synchronize with battleship doctrines and are very fast, so they should be included in your fleets. Battlecruisers may also be useful, as they share practical values with battleships, and even certain development technologies.
Submarines are highly effective in SF, with just a few outdated flotillas sufficient to annihilate AI convoys with little difficulty. As per the historical use against the Japanese, it may be worthwhile investing in techs and flotillas to strangle Japanese trade and supply convoys, destroying their industry, weakening their armies, and making them ever more likely to surrender to the US.
Finally, a very strong Merchant Marine and Coast Guard are necessary to properly supply your Army and Air Force overseas. Building several hundred convoys and escorts is useful to protect against German attacks and ensure sufficient supplies can reach distant shores.
The United States starts with a very small, scattered air force. It is based in the continental United States, consisting of a handful of tactical bomber and interceptor wings. The limited ability of the Navy to influence inland activities and the limited manpower of the Army, combined with the high IC and leadership of the United States gives it the ability and need to build a strong Air Force to act as a force multiplier and enhance its ability to defeat the enemy.
The choice of exactly what to build is difficult to make, and depends on exact strategy. A focus on supporting ground units might use interceptors, tactical bombers, and close air support in Europe, with Naval Bombers, multi-role fighters, and tactical bombers in the Pacific. In contrast, to wear down the enemy through strategic attacks on industry, the US might use strategic bombers, multi-roles (to suppress enemy interceptors), and tactical bombers in Europe, and strategic bombers, naval bombers, multi-roles, and tactical bombers in combination in the Pacific. The huge amount of IC and leadership the US has allows it to support either strategy through researching appropriate doctrines and technology.
The US' physical location, high IC and relative backwardness in rocket design advocates for strategic bombers instead of missiles. The US can certainly afford to pursue rocket tech if it wants to but the US need for cutting-edge aircraft is already so great that missiles are mostly flavor.
The United States can pursue its historical route of developing nuclear weapons and, all things being equal, will win that race handily. Progress can be pushed slightly ahead of time via spending one Leadership point on the nuclear theory. With Strategic Resources enabled, future ally Canada has uranium reserves which will greatly speed the latter nuclear industry techs.
Brief, abstract strategic considerations for players to consider. For example, in the style of Sun Tzu's five constant factors:
- National Unity: National unity as the US begins at 80%, the highest needed to enact all laws. Without negative events or spies, the US never needs to raise unity.
- Weather: Weather varies wildly across the US. The most likely to be invaded provinces, the islands, are typically very warm. The Aleutians, by Alaska, are very cold.
- Terrain: The Pacific islands are mostly hot jungles, easily defensible against invasion if adequately supplied.
- Leadership: The US begins with the highest leadership points in the game.
- Logistics: The US will have to supply units all across the globe. Investment in convoys is a must.
The Pacific Theater
Sooner or later, the Japanese will initiate a war against the United States, (unless you are in the Axis, but everyone knows that). They have a fairly large navy and an army that's been fighting in China for some time now. They may try to conquer your Pacific islands, but you can use the Philippines as a foothold, landing in Taiwan, Hainan, mainland China, and Japanese Pacific islands. Your ultimate goal is to defeat the Japanese at sea and occupy the Home Islands, forcing the Japanese to surrender. If the Japanese have done well in China, you may also have to face the forces of one or more Chinese puppet state. If the Japanese have done poorly, this theater should be a cakewalk.
Note that on some occasions players have reported a French/British amphibious assault on South-Japan. If this happens you can use the airbases they conquered to station your rockets, bombers and paratroopers. You can also use their naval base to mount an invasion straight into Tokyo, or you can simply push north. Keep in mind that if you conquer a region while advancing from a French/British region the captured region will belong to the owner of the province you staged the assault from. So if you want to keep most of Japan to yourself it's wise to launch an amphibious assault and cut off the French/British troops, forcing them to go through your territories and conquer Japan for you.
1941/1943 Pacific First
Some players might opt to start in either 1941 or 1943. This can be fun particularly since the Allied AI is lazy and the US will have to knock out both Japan, Italy and then parts of Germany. Many players opt to concentrate on Germany as if you don't the glorious defense forces of the Soviet Union will overrun much of Europe, making the war with the Bear that much harder. However, another option, and this is the way to play it if you want to set up a mega war with the Soviet Union, is to focus on Japan. Transfer most of your fleet to the Pacific, leave only a few transports and escorts to ferry troops to Europe. You wont be doing a D-Day for a while and will instead just knock off small Axis outposts like Greece or Norway.
Focus all of your material on the South Pacific. You will fight several early fleet battles verse the Japanese and these are key. Use tactical air units to help and sink as much of the Japanese fleet as you can. Roll up the Solomon Islands and capture Rabaul. Reconquer New Guinea and then attack Borneo/Celebs. Its important to built air bases along the way so your bombers can ward off the Japanese Navy. Focus on killing Japanese Infantry as opposed to cutting them off. The AI will usually evacuate them and this sets up some bad meat grinders for you and the lads. Recapture Indonesia and hold at Malaysia. Pivot north, take Taiwan and Luzon (take the rest if you can, but its not needed. Now invade Korea, you will now have totally outflanked both the Japanese Army in China and the one in the Central Pacific. Now target convoys to cut off Japanese supplies. After a few months land Patton and the tanks and let him mop up the weak units. Invade Japan and end the war. If you concentrate on Japan you will be able to end the War by mid-1944. China will be fully Democratic as will Korea and Manchuria (This sets you up nicely in the East for the War with the USSR).
The Atlantic Theater
Eventually, America will join a faction in the middle of the European war, almost always the Allies. If you manage to join the Axis, your goal will be to defeat the remaining Allies. By this time, France should have fallen, so your main goal is to invade the British Isles and then mop up everything else.
If you have joined the Allies, many possibilities open up depending on the date joined. Joining in 1939 before or shortly after the war in Europe begins allows you the possibility of stopping the Germans and Italians from overrunning France. If the Italians push into the south of France, they can be cut off with your forces landing behind their lines. It is then a simple job of totally dismantling their army and annexing Italy. If the Italians have not advanced, American forces should be concentrated in the north of France. By strategically placing your forces along rivers and forts, it is possible to ensure the survival of Belgium and prevent the Wehrmacht from blitzing through France. With the front stabilized, your superior IC will eventually lead your to outnumber the Axis forces. You can then do any number of offensive operations, from amphibious assaults along the coast of Germany to slogging through the German lines on land.
Entering the war at a more historical date requires a different strategy. France will most likely have fallen, and you will be faced with the task of launching an amphibious assault to begin the liberation of Europe. Possible targets are occupied France, northern Germany, or Italy. Which to go for depends entirely upon play-style. Some may choose to go straight for the heart of the German beast, landing in Wilhelmshaven and charging ahead. Other prefer the historical route of going through France. Yet more would rather eliminate the weaker Italians. The choice is yours.
In any case, Marines are very handy for these types of operations. Send some Marines with an invasion fleet to secure a large port, so that an army may be supplied. Once you have secured a port, keep pouring in units. Be sure that the port does not fall, for if it falls into enemy hands without another port available, your troops will be out of supply. They will fight poorly and be easy to shatter. Press onward to the enemy VP provinces. Be sure to liberate any of your conquer allies along the way.
"Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: "Do not march on Moscow". Various people have tried it, Napoleon and Hitler, and it is no good. That is the first rule." - Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein.
If you decide to ignore Montgomery and invade the Soviet Union, you will find this to be even more challenging than taking on Germany. First and foremost, you will need some sort of extreme advantage that the USSR does not have.
- The first, best advantage would be to have an ally. Having a human playing as the United Kingdom is the only way to defeat the USSR outright with land troops. This will be explained below.
- If you are playing alone or your fellow players are not Allies, the best thing to do is to have been researching Nuclear Weapons as far in advance as possible. This will have to have been planned since January 1, 1936 with the intent of using Nuclear Weapons on the USSR. It will be important to create a very high practical by not only researching into the future on Nuclear Bomb Making and Nuclear Research, but also producing several Nuclear Reactors in the United States. This will also require the use of Bombers (Strategic Bombers have better range, so they are preferred). Even if you have a human player (or two) as Allies in the UK or France, turning Nuclear Production up to 11 should be utilized.
The USSR will not have any substantial Navy. What trade that they have managed to build should be your first target. The USSR will only have a few port locations, depending how far into Germany the USSR managed to get (this article assumes a similar-to-history starting point. Japan will be a good base of operations to swarm any convoys the USSR has with South America. Make sure to send out plenty of patrols both with submarines and destroyers doing Convoy Raiding. The same can be said for Northern Norway and Iceland to stop any convoys coming out of Archangel, using Denmark and Southern Norway as bases to stop convoys out of Leningrad and Northern Germany, and using Greece to stop any convoys that come out of the Black Sea.
What naval Resources not being utilized in the hunt for convoys should be used to patrol in close to Soviet Ports to destroy what little Navy they have. These navies can also be used to escort amphibious assaults, a topic that will be referenced later.
The USSR will have a substantial Air Force that can cause problems when attempting to advance on their massive armies.
It is important to have plenty of interceptors on the front lines doing proper Air Intercepting Raids on Soviet Bombers. Soviet Bombers will make it extremely difficult to advance in Poland and the USSR. Sending up Interceptors to stop their bombers will greatly reduce the effect those bombers have on your ground troops.
Dive Bombers are also extremely effective as the heart of the Soviet War Machine is its armor, and Dive Bombers love to eat up armor. be sure to include interceptors in all ground attacks as Soviet Interceptors will take advantage of any unescorted Dive Bombers.
Tactical bombers are also very effective at weakening Soviet Ground Troops and at destroying Soviet Supplies. As with dive bombers, be sure to use Interceptors (or Multirole Fighters) as escorts.
Strategic bombers are extremely useful behind Soviet Lines. By Logistically Bombing territory 10 sectors behind their lines you can reduce infrastructure sufficiently enough to disrupt the advance to troops from other areas and to destroys supplies enough to turn the tide of any battles in the local area. Once your ground troops have caught up to the sectors that have been Strategically Bombed, allow for the Soviets to repair the Infrastructure before moving in or the effect of slowed troops and poor supply throughput will be felt by you as well.
Naval bombing is not worth your time. The Soviets have no significant Navy to speak of.
Nuclear bombing is an extremely effective technique to force the capitulation of the USSR. The larger the city that is bombed, the larger the loss of National Unity that is felt by the USSR. It is imperative that just prior to any Nuclear Strike, a massive Air Campaign is launched near your lines. The aircraft that you throw up will overwhelm the Soviet Air Force for a time which will allow your Strategic Bombers the freedom to Nuclear Bomb deep into Soviet Territory. The effect of Nuclear Bombs is to destroy all infrastructure in the territory that is bombed, kill National Unity, and destroy all organization of troops that were nuked. Dropping Nuclear weapons onto Moscow will have the greatest desired effect to your cause, dropping the National Unity of the USSR by at least 30 and disrupting supply throughput down-range shortly after for a few weeks. Do not repeat nuclear attacks on the same city as the National Unity drops diminish substantially. Other useful targets, depending on the routes you take, are Stalingrad, Kiev, and Leningrad.
If you are not big into massive air campaigns, it is important to still have interceptors in a defensive capacity. Never underestimate the effects of Air Power in a ground war.
The Soviet Ground Forces will be your undoing. One country alone cannot defeat the Soviet Army unless you have taken over everyone else first, but in that case you will have to border up around Mongolia and Tannu Tuva, members of the Comintern. You will need Allies or you will need to be clever with sneaky tactics (like landing Airborne Troops at the major Victory Points to force a surrender before any serious engagements are fought).
It is important that the USA and UK both invade from a single country's territory. Having 2 countries invade separately will cause supply lines to become crossed and can make supply throughput an absolute hell.
Armor is your best asset in a land war with the USSR. Delaying the assault as long as possible to research and upgrade your armor is imperative. The Soviets will have plenty of decent armor, so your only choice is to beat them with better armor. On that same token, Engineering brigades will make-or-break your entire campaign. Every single motorized division (armor, mechanized/motorized infantry) needs to have an Engineering brigade. River Crossing will become stalemates otherwise, as there are a lot, and I mean A LOT of rivers in the Soviet Union.
Having a constant resupply of freshly created ground forces is important as well. Proper division and corps composition is extremely important. Including Tank destroyers on all mechanized and motorized infantry divisions will greatly reduce the chances of a lost battle up against Soviet Armor.
Despite concerns of Soviet Armor, the USSR also has a massive infantry pool. It is important to have a well structured infantry division as well including artillery and AT guns in order to stop the Soviet onslaught. In fact, Infantry is especially important on the Southern front in Europe, as the terrain becomes very hilly and mountainous as you go east toward Stalingrad. Any mountain troops you have created would be extremely effective in these regions.
Amphibious assaults can be very effective against the USSR, especially in the Black Sea. Amphibious assaults are akin to opening up another front against the USSR. Once the troops land, the Soviets will redirect troops to counter, thereby reducing troops along the German and Japanese borders. By assaulting north of Italy, Stalingrad can be captured and the oil resources in the region can go into your stockpile. Granted, the USA doesn't really need the oil, however, the USSR is dependent on it to fuel its massive armored Army. Cutting off the oil will do what Hitler forgot to do...cripple the Soviet War Machine.
The Japanese front is too far from the east to be much of a threat to the USSR. That doesn't mean it isn't useful. After cutting off supply convoys in the Sea of Japan, the USSR will be forced to trade with its neighbors. This will primarily be Turkey and Nationalist China. The amphibious assault in the Black Sea will take care of Turkey, but Nationalist China will need to be cut off. By pushing hard through Mongolia and North along the Pacific Coast, you will have the affect of stretching already limited Soviet forces and cutting off borders to trade with Nationalist China.
There are only two real tactics to advance into the USSR. The first is to attempt encirclement of Soviet troops. By punching through their lines and reinforcing captured territory, Soviet divisions can be encircled and destroyed. The only good Soviet division is a destroyed Soviet division. The second is to utilize your massive line to attack troops from multiple territories giving yourself a multiple directions bonus in the battles. Don't attack across rivers with armor if it can be helped, and keep your armor out of the massive Polish swamps. They will kill the movement speed and create a void in the advance of your armies.
Gaming the System
It is possible, with the devotion of all available IC to industry production, to achieve a construction practical of 99. With such a huge construction practical, IC production drops below ~2 IC per factory, with roughly ~130 or less days to build. This allows a massive parallel building of huge numbers of IC, enabling the US to have unholy amounts of IC. As of patch 1.2, construction practical has been reduced drastically, and it will take longer to research. It is now more sensible, if following an IC rush strategy, to pour everything into industry production from day one.
Depending on game version, spies can be used to create ridiculous wars against the US's neighbors, such as Canada. With 10 spies lowering neutrality and 10 spies raising Canada's threat, war is possible by 1939-40.
In Their Finest Hour, spies cannot be used to lower neutrality. But similarly, you can increase the threat rate of the hostile country in the Espionage tab(For example, Germany or Soviet Union), you can decrease your neutrality.
The US is one of two primary sources for materials to resource-poor Axis nations, the Soviet Union being the other. US passive refusal to trade with the Axis from 1936 on carries no diplomatic or economic penalty and will severely impair the Axis' resource stockpiles.
The US can easily max out its supply stockpile via trade in the prewar years and continue fueling it with trade with relatively secure neighbors even during wartime. Combined with the low supply demands of the prewar US and the natural tendency of the US to lead with air and naval forces, little-to-none of the US' mammoth mobilized IC needs to be committed to supply production.
You can also attempt coup in Japan without any effort. You need only 20 covert points. After that Japan will drift to allies.
Another very gamey tactic is to zero-out your Consumer Goods at the very beginning of the game. This will cause your dissent to go up. As dissent goes up, your available IC goes down (your decreased available IC is 43% if your dissent is 43.0). Once your available IC is below 30 (happens around mid-July 1936 if you start 1 January 1936), you will have the "Prepare for War" National Decision normally only available to smaller countries (incidentally, countries will less than 30 Available IC). "Prepare for War" lowers your neutrality by 0.2 per day. Lower neutrality level is the trigger for several events as well as access to much better laws that normally have to wait until Germany is at war with the Allies. Just make sure that you max out your Consumer Good production once "Prepare for War" has been initiated. Another side-effect of this tactic is the loss of political party support for the ruling party. The election of 1936 was won by President Roosevelt and the Democrats, however, utilizing this tactic will cause FDR to lose (probably very badly) in 1936 and bring in a regime of Republicans through-to-the-end of the war. Most of them aren't bad, however, Wendall Wilkie (President, 1940-1944) has a reduced IC modifier, so you'll want to build some more Industrial Capacity to counter that (but you should already be doing that anyway).
|Major Powers||France · Germany · Italy · Japan · United Kingdom · United States of America · Soviet Union|
|Regional Powers||Argentina · Australia · Belgium · Brazil · Bulgaria · Czechoslovakia · Guangxi Clique · Hungary · Manchukuo · Nationalist China · Nationalist Spain · Netherlands · Poland · Republican Spain · Romania · Sweden · Turkey · Yugoslavia|
|Minor Powers||Austria · Canada · Chile · Colombia · Denmark · Finland · Greece · Ireland · Mexico · Norway · Peru · Portugal · Shanxi · South Africa · Switzerland|
|Micro Powers||Afghanistan · Albania · Bhutan · Bolivia · Communist China · Costa Rica · Cuba · Dominican Republic · Ecuador · El Salvador · Estonia · Ethiopia · Guatemala · Haiti · Honduras · Iraq · Latvia · Liberia · Lithuania · Luxembourg · Mongolia · Nepal · New Zealand · Nicaragua · Oman · Panama · Paraguay · Persia · Philippines · Saudi Arabia · Siam · Sinkiang · Tannu Tuva · Tibet · Uruguay · Venezuela · Xibei San Ma · Yemen · Yunnan|