Axis and Allies: Playing Germany
This Axis and Allies wisdom is based on hundreds of games, played as either the Axis or the Allies, over more than two decades. The notes here refer to the Classic game, 2nd Edition.
When playing Germany, avoid reproducing Hitler's historic mistake of fighting on more than one front at a time; this strategy drains resources faster than they can be regained. Your primary objective should be the fall of Russia. As such, concentrate on your land campaign, while maintaining a watch on the UK and USA navies; if at all possible, do not allow them to accumulate transports.
On your first turn, you can buy 4 tanks and 4 infantry. Use your naval and air assets to destroy as much of UK's navy as possible. You should be able to get most of it. Press toward Russia, seeking to conquer Karelia SSR. This is the quickest route to Russia, and will force Russia to withdraw to a purely defensive posture. Beware conquering with only tanks; a group of 4 or 5 tanks is a tempting target for a stack of infantry, and their loss would be difficult to replace. Use your bomber to drain Russia's IPC's, indirectly weakening their defense. Encourage Japan to press across northern Asia and hit Russia from that side.
On subsequent turns, focus on the ground troops, and the occasional fighter or bomber. Relentlessly attack Russia, giving no quarter. If Russia doesn't fall soon, the Axis will be hard-pressed to win. At the same time, watch for the surprise invasion of either Western Europe or Finland-Norway. Allowing the Allies a beachhead could be disastrous.
Do not spend your resources in Africa early in the game. Use your few troops there to take whatever free IPC's you can, and when the Allies corner your troops and destroy them, oh well. Only when Russia has fallen should you storm through soutwest Asia to overrun Africa.
Germany's game depends on rapid, aggressive action. Use your early material advantage before the Allies can use their monetary advantage and equalize the balance of power.
These ideas are not the only approach to playing Germany, but they have worked well for me for many years. Comments welcome and encouraged.