I think Germany is screwed! OK, my first 6 games of 1942 we used the optional rule to close off the Black Sea as it really was during WWII apparently. No russian sub builds for the Mediterranean. I’m not sure how many of you folks use the optional rule and our group figured we best learn to play without the rule.
In a previous post I outlined how Germany with that optional rule in place builds a mediterranean carrier + another transport and on G1 used the battleship to knock out the brit destroyer, 2 fighters for the cruiser, sub for lone transport and fighter and bomber for the brit battleship. 2 lost german fighters on G1 is typical after losing 1 on R1 leaving only 3. The baltic subs move up and its a bit scarey for Britain to build navy just yet.
So now without using that optional rule, I as the allies build 2 russian subs on R1 and ensure both fighters can hit the German navy. Germany doesn’t want to split their navy so doesn’t attack Egypt. Now on G1 the 2 fighters not previously used against the brit navy are used against the destroyer in the mediterranean and then land on the carrier. With the 2 russian subs a german destroyer is required at some point and won’t be able to be built on G2 as the navy probably moves to SZ 15 leaving a newly built destroyer to face 2 russian subs and perhaps a plane or two. If you are brave perhaps even a sub, a heck of an investment in german navy but economically it seems to pay for itself in africa, but at what cost of momentum against the russians?
Even with my buddy getting a bit lucky as Germany, taking out the entire british navy in the mediterranean and atlantic losing only 1 plane the axis still seems doomed.
As the Allies I go KGF hard with the exception of the British Indian fleet which hangs around S. Africa to keep the Japs honest in that area.
R1 builds are 2 subs 4 INF, 2 attacks Ukraine and west russia, slowly pull back from Japanese forces but don’t run.
Britain can’t defend a newly built navy against 3 subs and 3 fighters and a bomber that can hit in all sea zones except 2 and 3. I like to take out the Baltic transport and destroyer in the first round as the brit air assests on england can’t attack anything else, there is always that 1/3 chance of losing a plane. If you build a sub and wait until the second turn Germany just attacks the sub with the destoryer as he loses it anyways, might as well take out the sub and maybe a plange to kill it next turn! Building in 2 and 3 means you cannot link the US and Brit navies in one move so I build NOTHING save maybe 1 sub. Britain moves the Indian ocean fleet to sea zone 33 taking the infantry from Persian and TransJorden to Rhodesia, The sub from SZ 40 goes to 30, the transport from 40 to 42 to entice the Jap to use the sub there rather than against Pearl Harbour. Evacuate Egypt as Germany has 10 land units that can hit it, Pull south to ensure 2 german tanks won’t blitz, make Germany move south 1 territory per turn to buy time.
USA builds 2 Carriers, 1 sub, 1 destroyer in the atlantic. Pearl harbour has left the Pacific with 1 BB and it can be threatened by the jap fighters from the carrier, a BB and transport against 2 fighters is an economic win by Japan by 5 IPC on average so I pair the BB with the destoyer in zone 20, hence the build of a destroyer. I’d leave the Pacific sub to harasses and keep the Japs honest with transports, make 'em buy at least 1 DD.
Builds are all Infantry, maybe 1 art. The russian subs have to move to SZ 34 to get out of danger from the german fleet. The rest are moves of opportunity.
Builds: All infantry save for maybe 1 Art. Germany moves more forces to africa taking Egypt and probably Transjorden by moving the fleet and does what it can in Europe and for now there is NO allied threat to west europe. All 4 subs to SZ 13
Instant navy time. Even with 2 US carriers and the entire US fleet including the BB, the allied navy is barely strong enough to move to SZ 12 on turn 3 which is the first goal….Africa. Germany will keep her fleet in SZ 14. That means germany can attack SZ 12 with 4 subs, 1 DD, 1 BB, 1 CV, 1 Bomber and 3 fighters assuming no more navy or airforce is built on G2 and typical losses against 2 CVs, 4 Ftr, 1 Cruiser, 1 BB, 2 DD and 1 sub. A slight allied advantage according the simulator. Add just 1 more german sub or an extra fighter now its an axis advantage. Add in the fact half a dozen transports sink and the allies are set back 2 turns and Germany HAS to attack. Britain needs a few combat ships and already has 2 fighters, a CV seems natural. The US could build just 1 CV as it only has 3 fighters at this point, but even with 1 fighter, 14 IPC gets you 2 units, the fighter you already own plus the CV, defense of 6, better than 2 destroyers…So, builds…1 CV, 1 DD, 1 Sub (always nice to pair with a DD when hunting other subs), 3 transports, 1 tank and 2 INF. Navy builds in SZ 8
Moves: Since Japan probably did pearl harbour the navy in 33 and sub 30 all move to 34 with the russian subs, two strong for the German navy to attack since only 2 planes should be able to hit and with 3 subs, a cruiser and fully loaded carrier, me thinks neither germany nor Japan can attack at this point. If Germany can attack, you better make sure you take one side of the suez canal or else don’t move up!
Japan even while left alone really can’t do too much too quickly yet, The British Indian ocean navy keeps them honest in that area for now.
The US of A
Builds, 1 transport the rest mostly infantry, a few tanks and artillary. Hold off building the 5th transport, each transport you build requires 2 loads of equipment that turn as well, one to go and one to move towards E. Canada for pick up from the fleet in SZ 12. Also, I like to flow some units from W. USA to W. Canada then to E. Canada just so the Japs don’t pull a prick shot and land in alaska. Always build tanks in W. USA unless you also build a transport to move it, that way it moves to E. Canada in 1 turn or counter attacks in Alaska, with a few infantry steadily marching up the west coast, Japan with think twice about playing games!
The US now moves its navy from SZ 10 to 8 SZ 20 to 8. Now you set up the shuck from E. Canada to Algeria.
Russia, nothing unique, targets of opportunity, slowly pull away from unfavourable combat with the Japs, pressure Germany. Builds, mostly infantry, always 1 art maybe 2-3, maybe a tank. Russia always needs a few tanks.
Builds have to be infantry. With the allied navy now a threat against europe it has to be defended. The only hope in Africa is to lump as much as you can into Libya to counter strike the allied landing in Algeria or try to defend Algeria from landings in the first place, tough to do if you want income around egypt… Even if you are too strong in Algeria for them to land, the allies just land a smaller force into French West Africa. Smaller as the US navy from SZ 8 won’t reach, but could go to 18 to be ready to assault into south Africa the next turn or Shuck to England.
Builds mostly infantry then more tanks to catch up to the waves of infantry moving across africa.
Shuck into Africa then into Norway as opportunities present (ie, german navy and airpower not able to threaten a split navy). England should concentrate on Norway as its a single move shuck where for the US its not.
Builds all land forces 6 INF and 4 tanks is the 38 or so IPCs the US will on average get. 5 Transports is all you need for shucking to Algeria. A few extras are nice to move a few units to Norway, having just a few US units up that ways helps for especially when combined with some airpower, what the US fails to get the USSR usually can finish up and collect the IPCs.
So at this point the allies are on auto-pilot. They retake africa, don’t need to attack the german navy as once the german army is destroyed or pushed out of Africa and allied forces flow across north africa there is nothing 2 transports and 4 land units can do to affect africa, at best, the german navy defends against prick shot landings in S. Europe at worst it ties up 2 german fighters on defense. The economic advantage is with the allies and they also seem to be dictating the terms of engagement. Japan while strong can’t grow much past 45 IPC/turn and is always just 1-2 turns away from putting away the USSR then once the allied forces move across Africa and into south asia its pretty much over, the writing on the wall for the Axis.
So, should Germany just forget about africa and not build a navy? The invesment in German navy does force the allies to build more navy then they would have to otherwise. The income from Africa does seem to repay the investment in navy and forces moved to Africa. But at what lost opportunities?