The No USA In Europe/Pacific Gambits

How it works

The European Variant

  • USA starts with only 1 chit in the European pool.
  • After the initial German & Allied DOWs, you will usually end up with 1 chit in the pool.
  • Russia demands Bessarabia.
  • Germany looks at the US entry situation and decides that keeping the USA out of Europe is far too tempting a proposition so denies the claim. Russia and Rumania are now at war and Russia begins dismantling the Rumanians and cutting off the German oil.
  • The Allies now declare war on Belgium, Hungary, Bulgaria, and anyone else the Allies consider advantageous. The CW and French should be able to get the river line in Belgium (which really screws up Germany's offensive into France). The Germans will also be forced into an uncomfortable position of being forced to align all their German minors (and giving up the Russian resources) or allow them to be conquered (an equally unpalatable option).

The Japanese Variant

  • USA puts no chits against Japan.
  • Russia declares war on Japan and sinks convoys on the surprise impulse.
  • France declares war on Japan and sinks convoys on the surprise impulse.
  • CW declares war on Japan and sinks convoys on the surprise impulse.

Why it's an exploit

Both exploits take advantage of the fact that once US entry gets to 0, there is no additional penalty for taking aggressive actions. Sure, the USA can't declare war on the particular theater opponent but it's really not that bad. With Unrestricted Warfare and lend lease, the USA can still fight very effectively. What's more they can take advantage of their "neutrality" to protect the flanks of their allies or hold important hexes. Eventually, the Axis may be forced to declare war on the USA anyway to stop such tactics.

The "0-barrier" encourages you to do all your stupidity all at once while they consequences are still "free" (another sign that this is obviously an exploit).

How can it be fixed?

This was discussed a while back on the WIF-list and several solutions were proposed. Essentially they can be boiled down into two options:
- if you don't have enough chits to satisfy a US-entry effect, you take it out of the other pool. If you don't have enough chits in that pool also then the USA cannot declare war on anyone.
OR
- if you don't have enough chits to satisfy a US-entry effect, your start collecting "negative" chits. Negative chits are face-up and are just like positive US entry chits except they are, well, negative. You can't pick global or theater-specific options so long as you have negative chits in a pool. When you gain positive chits in a negative pool, you remove negative chits instead.

A note about the 2008 Annual: The 2008 annual reignited this controversy by including an article that essentially endorsed the No-USA gambit as a valid strategy. Many (myself included) saw this as a semi-official endorsement of an obvious rules exploit and was a travesty that undermined the credibility of the game. It should be noted that the 2008 Annual was edited by the infamous Grossadmiralrader who pioneered the European variant of this gambit at WIFCon. Mr. Rader is a great WIF player but on this issue, I believe him and those that accept these gambits as "part of the game" are wrong.

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