Total World War: Strategy Guide

  • Admin

    TWW Strategy Guide (Work In-Progress)
    The purpose of this guide is to provide basic strategy for each nation and cover some of the advanced features of TWW. This guide is primarily geared towards beginners to help them get up to speed and become solid TWW players. It isn't intended to cover advanced strategies but provide a solid foundation for you to develop your own strategies.

    -- Early game - rounds 1-3
    -- Mid game - rounds 4-6
    -- Late game - rounds 7+

    Standard Settings
    -- Politics off
    -- Technology on and National Tech Adv on
    -- Shared technology off
    -- LL, though map also plays well with dice

    The following provides a brief overview of each major nation and they are listed from easiest to hardest to learn for beginners. One thing to note is that some of the major nations (especially the UK) have minor nations where production can only be used by each minor nation but all of the units of the major and its minor nations move/battle together.

    China is the easiest nation to play as it's the smallest, has no naval forces, has minimal air force, and all of its territories/units are consolidated in 1 area. China primarily needs to focus on defending against Japan and hold as much of its core territories as possible while utilizing its mountainous terrain for defensive bonuses.

    -- Early game - Slowly retreat into the mountains and try to avoid trading units 1-for-1 with Japan as you need to get more value out of each unit by utilizing the terrain to improve their defensive rolls and Japan has vastly superior air forces for trading territories. If Japan moves forward too quickly and leaves some of its forces exposed then don't be afraid to attack but consider strafing to avoid leaving your defensive positions. Watch out for the Japanese air force positioning as it can often take China by surprise and if necessary its often better to slowly retreat then lose major portions of your army. The best territories to try to consolidate your forces to and defend are Hupeh and Northern China but be prepared to fall back a bit further.
    -- Mid game - China needs to keep as many of its starting production facilities as possible so it can continue to churn out defensive units. If you lose too many production facilities then you won't have enough production to place units that you can buy. Most likely you'll have to give up Northern China at this stage but try to hold both of your capitals.
    -- Late game - At this stage, it depends how things have panned out and how much Japan has focused its troops on China. Often times, you are just struggling to hold 1 of your capitals to survive. But sometimes if Japan has focused in other areas or made mistakes then you could be in a position where you are starting to out number them and can advance cautiously to take back much of the territory you've lost.

    -- Units - Alpine, infantry, and artillery as they are good bang for the buck both offensively and defensively and do well in mountainous terrain. If Japan focuses on strategic bombing then you may need a few AA guns.
    -- Materials - Usually not worth purchasing many materials but use any you have to build entrenchments and fortifications in mountainous positions that you can defend.

    -- Priorities: Production, Improved Def Structures (need Logistics), Advanced Def Structures, Improved Anti-Air (if Japan focuses on strategic bombing)
    -- You are poor, need to defend, and have limited tech options. Focus on technologies that provide free materials and enhance defenses. Adjust based on Japanese force composition.

    Italy is one of the smaller nations but has a well balanced military (land, naval, and air) as well as having forces spread through the Med, eastern Europe, and the Atlantic. Italy primarily needs to look to control the Med in order to expand in North Africa and look to capture Cairo. Cairo and the surrounding area is one of the most strategic locations on the map given its centralized position as a gateway to Africa and the Middle East where there is a lot of lightly defended Allied territories that can really boost Italy's income. Secondarily, it has some land forces along the Eastern Front that can be used to punch holes in the Russian defenses to allow Germany to stream through.

    -- Early game - Move as many units towards Western Egypt and the eastern Med as possible. The goal is to try to push the UK land forces out of Western Egypt and push the UK naval forces out of the Med through the Suez canal. It depends how many resources that the UK spends on the Med theater on how hard Italy can push and whether they need to focus primarily on land or naval/air forces. Crete can be a good place to station most of your air force so it can pressure both land and sea territories in the eastern Med just make sure the UK can't wipe out your forces there. Make sure to push land units in eastern Europe towards the Eastern Front (make sure to use your train) and coordinate with Germany on if/when to attack. Finally don't forget about the couple of subs that you have in the Atlantic and look to use these to harass Allied ships to slow them down.
    -- Mid game - The hope at this stage is that Italy is pushing the UK out of the Med and building up forces in Western Egypt to capture Cairo. Look for opportunities to land some troops in the Middle East if the UK navy is pushed out of the Med. If the UK is moving air forces into the Med through Gibraltar then consider trying to capture Malta to prevent them from reaching Egypt. Keep an eye on the Atlantic to see if the UK/US are building up to pressure the western Med. If you've lost most of your troops along the Eastern Front and Germany is struggling to break through then consider using your train to send some reinforcements.
    -- Late game - At this point, it really depends on whether the US/UK are pressuring the western Med and if you've either captured Cairo and are in a position to do so soon. If the Allies are pressuring the western Med then you'll need to most likely focus most of your resources on building up your naval/air forces to prevent them from controlling the Med then landing in Italy or Southern France. If they aren't then continue to pressure Cairo with everything you can and if it falls stream into Africa and the Middle East.

    -- Units - Initially cost effective naval and air forces (upgrade initial hull to battleship then subs, destroyers, naval fighters) to push the UK fleet out of the Med then focus on transports and infantry/marines to pressure Egypt.
    -- Materials - Build a research center turn 1 and consider eventually building another research center in the first few rounds. Try to build a barracks in Southern Italy so you can easily transport more infantry to North Africa. Eventually, you can consider building barracks/factories in Sicily and Tripolitania if things go well.

    -- Priorities: Production, Special Warfare, Improved Destroyers (if Allies have subs in the Med), Improved Production
    -- You don't have much income so the Production techs provide some needed materials/PUs. Besides that, Special Warfare let's you amphibious assault with all infantry and improves specialized infantry types. After those techs, it really depends what units you plan to focus on and how the war in the Med is going.

    USA is one of the most flexible nations to play as its much more isolated than all the other nations. USA can either focus all in the Atlantic, all in the Pacific, or have a more balanced approach. The following will focus primarily on a balanced approach as this is the easiest and most straightforward strategy. For a balanced approach, primarily the USA needs to pressure Japan in the Pacific to curb its expansion and look to invade North Africa while trying to gain dominance in the Med. USA looks to mostly focus on naval forces through carrier-centric fleets due to their flexibility with destroyers and subs as screens (fodder).

    -- Early game - In the Pacific, look to clean up any Japanese units that are left exposed after its attack on Pearl Harbor and consolidate the Pacific navy around Hawaii or one of the sea zones south of Hawaii. You want to push your navy as far forward as possible to pressure Japan but ensure they can't wipe it out especially with its large number of naval fighters. After consolidating, if you can safely, look to push further forward to land at Wake, Marshall, or Caroline Islands. In the Atlantic, consolidate your naval forces to avoid further loses to Axis subs and once strong enough look to move an invasion fleet safely towards North Africa. Once you have researched Improved Destroyers, then look to coordinate with the UK to eliminate Axis subs in the Atlantic. Try to always L&L a plane to the UK in Labrador each turn (preferably naval fighters).
    -- Mid game - In the Pacific, continue to pressure Japan with your fleet and use materials to build a factory in LA to allow production of capital ships. Use remaining materials to try to begin building production facilities on Hawaii as well as Wake or Caroline Islands if you can defend them. In the Atlantic, invade North Africa through Morocco or Algeria and try to build up enough naval forces to be able to safely move your fleet into the Med to pressure Italy.
    -- Late game - In the Pacific, continuing pressuring Japan and if you outnumber them then look to invade the Philippines or other islands in the East Indies. In the Atlantic, try to control the Med and eliminate Italy's fleet. Look for opportunities to invade southern France or even Italy with your North African forces.

    -- Units - First turn, upgrade the hull to a carrier, build a few naval fighters to fill up your carriers as well as L&L to UK, and spend the rest on destroyers/subs as fodder for your capital ships. As the game progresses, add in some transports ensuring you have infantry/marines to fill them and additional carriers to the mix of naval fighters, destroyers, and subs.
    -- Materials - First turn, build 2 research centers (preferably in NY and LA). You start with Production technology so don't need to build too many additional materials. Use the free materials mostly in the Pacific as most captured territories in the Atlantic to the UK. If transporting materials with trains/transports becomes difficult then consider purchasing some air transports to move materials to Pacific islands.

    -- Priorities: Improved Destroyers, Special Warfare, Improved Fighters, Increased Fighter Range, Logistics
    -- Usually you need Improved Destroyers to help clear the Atlantic of Axis subs and protect your fleets against enemy subs. Special Warfare is essentially to allow non-marine infantry types to amphibious assault as you begin invasions. After that looking to improve your carrier-centric fleets so upgrading naval fighters stats and allowing carriers to act as airbases is usually best.


    Germany (Vichy France, Danube Axis, Finland)

    Japan (Manchurisa, Thailand)

    UK (Canada, Egypt, South Africa, India, Australia, Exiled Allies)

  • Admin

    Italy overview is up. Feedback welcome. Game on!

  • Moderators

    This is directed towards newer players, right? If the goal is to make it easier for a new player to get started, I'd even consider just outright telling them what to do, even if its overly simplified advice.

    As a newer player I really wanted advice on what to build and research. So saying things like "for Italy you always research Special Warfare first is a good idea" in my opinion. I'd give more advice on what to build. For Italy most players seem to build a battleship round 1, but not much fleet after that. The United Kingdom is able to retreat through the Suez Canal so its mostly pointless trying to sink her fleet.

    An example of what seems really useful to me (just minor nations). With Danube Axis build 1 material and 2 infantry turn 1. Build 4 infantry every turn after that.
    With Vichy France build 1 material and 2 infantry turn one. After that build a fighter (or naval fighter) every turn and some infantry to defend France.
    With Finland build infantry and artillery. Don't build more fortifications with your starting material.

    Yes its oversimplified advice, but these are reasonable strategies. Players are smart enough to change these later in the game, or try other options once they get more experience.
    I think this would help newer players take their turns faster, which is an issue when trying to play a game with new guys (who have to battle calculate everywhere they move until the terrain is more familiar.)

  • Admin

    @crazyg Yeah, mostly for players that have played other TripleA games but new to TWW. It assumes they've read the manual and have at least looked at the map but are looking for some basic strategy guidance. I don't want it to be too prescriptive around telling players exactly what to build given that the map has continued to evolve and it could easily become outdated. Goal is to provide them general guidance on objectives, technology, and production for each nation.

    So for Italy technology, I provided priorities of: Production, Special Warfare, Improved Destroyers (if Allies have subs in the Med), Improved Production. I think that is a good starting list for a new player. For Italy unit production, I provided: initially cost effective naval and air forces (upgrade initial hull to battleship then subs, destroyers, naval fighters) to push the UK fleet out of the Med then focus on transports and infantry/marines to pressure Egypt. I think that gives pretty solid direction without going to the level of saying build exactly this type and number of units.

  • Moderators

    Honestly I don't think a new player is worried about having an up to date strategy. As a newer player I was just trying to move my units around without making horrible mistakes. I think too long to get special warfare with Italy is a really good example of a potentially horrible mistake.

    You should probably spell out RC as research center if its a new player guide.

  • Admin

    @crazyg Yeah, I'm trying to minimize abbreviations so good catch on RC. I get that it doesn't have to be perfect and if it gets a little out of date then for new players it isn't that big of a deal though I'd like it to also be useful to mid level players that have played a few games but are struggling. I think for more detailed examples of first turn attacks/moves/production a save game is more useful then typing it all out (which I'll probably look to include). This is meant to give general direction for early/mid/late game so players have a sense of priorities/objectives.

    I tend to recommend production over special warfare for newer players especially for the weaker powers as new players tend to struggle with remembering materials. For some of the minors, it could be worth just specifying what to build like your example given they are so limited but it would be fairly difficult to be that prescriptive for say germany/japan/uk beyond the first turn or 2.

  • All your considerations are very wellcome! Many thanks!

  • Admin

    @redrum Looks good so far. Your explanations for china are concise and give good direction.

  • Admin


    Looks good, I particularly like the way you broke the down "objectives" by early, mid and late game.

    This will be the most useful to a seasoned TripleA gamer who never tried TWW as well.

    Then they can make their own calls as they see fit once they have an idea how the typical game evolves.

    Once suggestion, maybe mention that when playing AI, that it will play radically differently from what your describing.

  • Good work redrum!
    I am currently studying the rules for TWW because I like the map and the idea very much.
    Your strategy guide helps me a lot, and I am happy to read more about how to start as an Axis player and how the answer of the allies looks like. Keep up the good work!

  • Admin

    USA section added. Feedback welcome. I tried to just focus on a balanced approach so it could be relatively perscriptive and not overwhelming with too many options.

  • Might be good to mention the lend-lease zone in queensland; letting the US give another fighter/turn to britain.

  • Admin

    @zlefin I considered it but most straightforward USA strategies only really use the Labrador L&L. Even most advanced strategies don't use the Queensland L&L zone much. Its just too far away to be worth it in most cases. So decided to ignore it for this guide to keep things simple.

    BTW, are you an experienced TWW player?

  • used to be pretty good awhile ago; haven't played it since I came back to triplea a couple months ago, so I don't know how the meta has changed since, and I haven't played with the 2.8 branch.

  • Admin

    @zlefin Ah, I don't think the meta has changed that much but 2.8 has a lot of cool features. Definitely recommend giving it a spin and if you're into PBEM/PBF then we could start up a game sometime.

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