If I’m assuming it correctly, the point is that if the fleet is trapped then there’s no need to destroy it since Allied control of Suez implies Allied control of Africa and zero possibility of German landings.
However the best use of the Med fleet, imho, is to help contesting Ukraine and Caucasus, so it doesn’t really matter if Africa is blocked to German landings - plus the Allies will also have to keep sending units through Africa (waste of units), otherwise the Germans will eventually start contesting it again.
Yes. But also I (examined paw carefully) because often the Suez does NOT close with a German Med fleet - or at least, it closes after Germany’s already thoroughly milked the hell out of the Mediterranean fleet.
German Med Carrier Strategy (Bunnies’ abbreviated version)
First off, if you even try this, Germany has retarded progress in Europe. Buying early navy means less early infantry and tanks. A Mediterranean carrier has zero effect on UK’s progression in northern Europe. If anything, UK’s progression is only even easier. It’s my opinion that the absolute best thing that can happen to the Axis is the Allies trying to sink the Axis Med fleet. It’s like when your four year old cousin starts to try to beat you up with a foam noodle. It just ain’t happening, and meanwhile you’re taking all his candy.
When you build a Med carrier, you don’t f*ing just throw one down and say “look at me, i’m a master of med carriers!” (which is what some players I’ve seen do.) You look for favorable conditions first. Ideally Germany can claim Karelia without Russia being able to pose a real strafe (i.e. attack then retreat). This gives the Germans position to grab Archangel and maintain Norway income on G2, plus restricts Russia’s income so it has less to press Germany with. Ideally Russia doesn’t have a whole god-awful chunk of units ready to move into Ukraine either, because counterplay there can more than compensate Russia for the loss of Karelia.
If the Allies pre-emptively set up to screw with a Med carrier buy, you just do something else. Russia sent all its Caucasus and Kazakh units to Persia on R1? Fine, don’t buy a Med carrier, just punch Russia in the nuts with tanks.
Even given favorable conditions for a Med carrier, it isn’t enough to just buy the thing. You have to follow through with Germany and Japan, or it just becomes an expensive disaster for Germany.
So you’re looking at one of two situations, either Germany hit Anglo-Egypt or it didn’t, which really changes the game up, but we will ignore that for now and pretend UK doesn’t whack either Japan’s East Indies fleet or an isolated German battleship at Anglo-Egypt. So you’re looking at a G2 in which Germany is really grabbing the hell out of the Suez, which allows a J2 move of battleship/carrier into the Mediterranean. There’s a few counterplays by the Allies, but the Japs have their own book of counter-counters, which includes Jap fighters, which really basically says “f. u. counterplay”. Anyways, the Axis almost certainly control the Suez long enough that the Axis can reinforce the German fleet with Japs if they so choose. After that happens, the Allies have a hell of a time trying to beat down that Mediterranean fleet.
Early, the Germans must push into southern Africa, with multiple tanks backed with the German bomber (probably starts with G2 inf/tank drop to Anglo-Egypt). UK loses income fast, and Germany gains it fast.
If Germany has dominated Africa and there’s no Allied reinforcements en route to Africa, then I’d say sure head to Ukr/Cauc with the German Med fleet. But with a small to moderate number of US units dropped in, I would drop to Trans-Jordan and/or Anglo-Egypt instead.
Suppose US drops from East Canada to Algeria with a transport. Every turn, US can move the transport back and forth; every turn a transport load gets unloaded to Algeria. But from there, US can only proceed to Libya then Anglo-Egypt. It is very easy to predict and counter the US line of advance, and anywhere along the line, Germany can cut the US reinforcement line with its transports and air, plus any units already in Africa.
The alternative is for US to drop to southwest Africa, but that takes a transport out of action for two turns (one turn there, one turn back). Only on the NEXT turn can it pick up and drop to Africa again. Which is really very impractical if the Allies can at all avoid it.
Normally, US can race through Africa, but steady two transports worth of Axis reinforcement into Africa REALLY screws the normal progression. Suddenly, US has to go much slower, or it gets completely wiped out at almost no cost to Germany. Imagine like this - Germany has 2 tanks and 2 infantry on Anglo-Egypt. It moves one tank to French West Africa, one to Italian East Africa via Belgian Congo, and the infantry to Italian East Africa. Then Germany drops four ground to Trans-Jordan. Whatever comes to Anglo-Egypt on the Allies turn can be hit by eight Germans on the ground plus German air. That’s quite nasty. Even after the Germans lose casualties, there will probably still be enough German survivors to deter a sizable Allied attack on Anglo-Egypt.
Eventually, though, if the Allies are determined to drop loads and loads into Africa, they do push the Germans out. But then, the Germans just march into Persia where they meet up with Japanese reinforcements. Then the fat stack of Allies in Africa is cut off from the Russians, on the wrong side of a combined German-Japanese force. Further, the Ger/Japan combined force at Persia allows Germany to set up for a serious threat to Caucasus. If Germany pushes to Ukraine, Russia can strafe, but a combined Ger/Jap ground force at Persia lets Jap take all the cheap casualties - or Germany, whichever is worse for Russia.
So in this setup, if the Allies insist on dropping to Africa, it’s not easy for them. But then again, NOT dropping to Africa is still not easy.
I’m not saying “med carierz ownz j00”; there’s plenty of Allied counterplay. But I would say attempting to kill the Med fleet with air should not work until it’s far too late.