Spring 1942 - Fortress Europe Axis Strategy



  • This is a strategy that I’ve come up for the Axis, as a KGF counter. While not unbeatable it can greatly hamper the Allies.

    It has 4 objectives to achieve victory for the Axis:
    A) Disrupt Allied shipping on the Atlantic and force the US/UK to heavily invest in naval/air purchases instead of land units.
    B) Prepare German defenses in Europe to make it impossible for the Allies to gain a foothold in Europe.
    C) Decrease the Allies’ IPC production as much as possible (specially the UK) and increase the overall Axis income to at least reach the Allied levels.
    D) Assemble German and Japanese forces to conquer Russia.

    Fortress Europe Basics
    Germany’s has several weaknesses while facing a Kill Germany First (KGF) strategy, as it faces 3 powers against it. The typical game round on Europe/Atlantic thus goes:

    1. The Luftwaffe is mainly used on land, or lost through attrition/single attack on the Allied fleets.
    2. German army attacks/moves/stacks territories.
    3. UK moves its fleet freely and attacks/moves territories in Europe.
    4. US follows on the UK attacks, giving a double punch on Germany (or a triple with Russia).

    One of the key points of the strat is to bring the Japanese AF to Europe, helping achieve objectives A and B. Then the whole situation on the Atlantic/Med will change into this dynamic:

    1. Luftwaffe can attack Allied fleets left unprotected after the US moves. (Objective A)
    2. German army attacks/moves/stacks territories (Germany, W. Eur, E. Eur, possibly S. Eur) while protecting the Japanese AF.
    3. UK attacks/moves but is restricted by the presence of the Japanese airforce.
    4. Japanese AF can attack Allied fleets left uncovered by the UK round.
    5. Or Japanese AF can reinforce threatened German territories by the US (if necessary)
    6. US attacks/moves/reinforces but is restricted by the presence of the Luftwaffe.
    7. The presence of both German and Japanese airforces allows for a combined attack (called Alpha Strike - more details below)

    Conditions/Requirements

    • Russia’s opening attacks target and conquer West Russia and Ukraine/Belorussia on R1. An R1 attack on Norway will make this strategy harder if it is successful and the German fighter is destroyed. Likewise, if the fighter on Ukraine survives it will be a bonus for Germany.
    • If Russia attacked Ukraine and there is more than 4 Russian units left alive it can be very risky to try this strat.
    • At R2 it is clear that the Allies will not invest on a Pacific strategy against Japan, with the US building up its fleet off Western US and/or ICs placed on Sinkiang/India. However, this will also mean that the UK will have minimal US assistance on the Atlantic, which Germany can also use to its advantage.
    • Russian builds of 1 sub or 1 fighter on the opening round will also benefit this strat because of less Russian ground units on the initial turns. The same applies if the Russia doesn’t pull back to Europe its infantry on Asia during non-combat.

    Turn 1 - Germany

    Purchases:

    • 1 bomber + ground units, specially infantry.
    • Or, if you want to try to sink any Allied fleet on SZ2/8 on G2: 2 bombers and land units. Be warned that this buy might leave you shorthanded against the Soviets later on though.
    • Only ground units (if the Soviets are too strong on land after their first round)

    Combat Moves:

    • Ukraine with ftr (from EEur) and infantry (variable depending on dice results).
    • Karelia with inf + armor (if Russia left 1 inf to block a blitz to Archangel)
    • SZ15 with BB
    • SZ13 with 2 ftrs (Germany/W. Eur.)
    • Egypt with 2 inf, 2 arm, 1 ftr (Balkans)
    • SZ2 with ftr (Norway), bmr (Germany), sub (SZ8) - if Norway was taken by the Soviets use the sub to sink the UK transport on SZ1 and assign the ftr/bomber to other targets, but as long as they can land back on W. Eur.
    • Karelia with inf from E. Eur

    Non-Combat Moves:

    • bmr from SZ2 and ftr from Karelia to Norway.
    • ftrs from SZ14 to W. Eur.
    • inf, art from Algeria to Libya (with ftr from Egypt)
    • 2 inf from Germany to Norway (if transport has been used on Karelia, move the armor from E.Eur there)
    • 1 tank from W.Eur to S.Eur, all other armor to E.Eur
    • Send east any remaining inf/art on Germany/S.Eur
    • Subs/destroyer to SZ7/SZ3/SZ6

    Place ground units for the transport in S. Eur, all the rest in Germany.

    You should be able to take all the territories and sink all the UK ships with the exception of the transport on SZ1. On average G will lose the sub and 1-2 ftrs from those battles. Now, this is the ideal opening round for Germany but being forced to choose a different one doesn’t exclude using Fortress Europe later on.

    Turn 2 - Germany

    Purchases:

    • As many infantry as possible, with a couple of tanks (this will be the standard buy for G for a few turns).

    Combat

    • Retake territories taken by Russia (Karelia, Bielorussia, Ukraine).
    • Keep pressure on Africa.
    • Depending on the number of Germany’s subs and fighters that survived G1 (and their location on W. Eur/Norway) and the fate of the Russian sub Germany may have good odds of sinking any allied fleet on SZ2, 3 or 8. Check odds below:

    1. SZ2 - Russian sub survives G1

    Germany: 1 ftr, 2 bmrs, 2 subs
    Allies: 2 ftrs, 2 DDs, 1 AC, 1 sub
    33.1% win, 66.9% loss

    Germany: 2 ftrs, 2 bmrs, 2 subs
    Allies: 2 ftrs, 2 DDs, 1 AC, 1 sub
    68.5% win, 31.5% loss

    Germany: 1 ftr, 2 bmrs, 3 subs
    Allies: 2 ftrs, 2 DDs, 1 AC, 1 sub
    63.2% win, 36.8% loss

    2. SZ8

    Germany: 2 ftrs, 2 bmrs, 2 subs
    Allies: 2 ftrs, 2 DDs, 1 AC, 1 CA, 1 sub
    36% win, 64% loss

    Germany: 2 ftrs, 2 bmrs, 3 subs
    Allies: 2 ftrs, 2 DDs, 1 AC, 1 CA, 1 sub
    60.3% win, 39.7% loss

    Germany: 3 ftrs, 2 bmrs, 2 subs
    Allies: 2 ftrs, 2 DDs, 1 AC, 1 CA, 1 sub
    69.2% win, 30.8% loss

    If the Russian sub is sunk the odds slightly increase for the Axis on all scenarios, same happens if G has a third bomber available to replace any fighter loss. If all of Germany’s 5 ftrs and 3 subs survive G1 then any allied fleet can be sunk (unless you are very unlucky).

    3. SZ3

    Germany: 3 ftrs, 2 bmrs, 3 subs
    Allies: 2 ftrs, 2 DDs, 1 AC, 1 BB, 1 sub
    73% win, around 30% that the Allied surface fleet survives

    The decision to attack or not the Allied fleet will be dependent on the actions of the UK player, which can be summarized as:
    1. Don’t build any naval units (odds can be of 2/3 or more for the Axis winning both battles on SZ2/8)
    2. Build 1 carrier and 2 destroyers and place them on either SZ2/8
    3. If the UK battleship is still alive, the UK may build but may not land on Norway on UK2.

    Non-Combat

    • If the UK hasn’t build any fleet on UK1 keep the submarines out of range from any US destroyers like SZ7, otherwise if they weren’t used on attacking the Allies pull them back to SZ5 (Baltic).
    • Land all planes on W. Eur. If necessary move additional infantry there on non-combat to prevent any Allied landings there.

    Turns 3 to 5

    Germany

    • Usually G should not buy any more planes and buy as many infantry as possible, plus 1 or 2 tanks. Having a stack of 12 infantry plus all the planes on W. Eur is usually enough to deter any attacks but watch out for large concentrations of US transports on the US coast within range of W. Europe and if necessary reinforce it more.
    • Besides holding W. Eur, Germany should focus on keeping a large stack on E. Eur that allows to trade Karelia, Bielorussia and Ukraine. E. Europe is usually left alone by the UK after the Japanese airforce since it will require for them to move and expose their fleet to Japanese attacks.
    • As Germany is massing infantry on E.Eur with a slow build up of tanks they should look up to see if they can take and hold either Karelia or Ukraine. It is usually more important to hold Karelia because it shuts down any Allied reinforcement of Russia through Archangel.
    • The IC on S. Europe is important because it allows for G to place more than 10 infantry during this stage. It usually can be defended since the Japanese fighters can be reassigned there before the US plays.
    • However, it is better to allow the US to take it occasionally than to commit units that might be needed to defend either Germany/WEur/EEur or to risk losing Japanese planes. Usually the US will not commit for a full invasion of S. Europe because it will open major holes on the Allied naval defense strategy.

    Japan

    • This strategy requires that Japan will move all of its airforce to W. Eur either through Egypt. One trick to speed it up is to place the 2 carriers on SZ60 and SZ34. Fighters build on Japan can then be placed on the carrier and reach W. Eur in 2 turns by moving to the carrier on SZ34.
    • Japan can build a couple of planes to replace losses on J1 or to augment its airforce but ground units are also very important.
    • The initial Japanese objectives should be to trade Yakut, Persia and Sinkiang while taking Australia/NZ/Madagascar  Take Novosibirsk/Kazakh if possible but don’t waste single tanks on positions where Russian infantry can kill them.
    • Japan should also help Germany keep Egypt and take any available Africa territories as possible but only to draw US units there instead of Europe.
    • Japan should be focusing on slowly advancing towards Russia, trading territories and slowly bleeding the Soviets, without wasting units to Russian surprise attacks. This might prove difficult due to the absence of the Japanese airforce.
    • After the Japanese planes are located on W. Eur their main target should be the UK fleet since the Brits will be hard pressed for income after the loss of most of its possessions in Africa/Asia. Since J plays between the UK and US by having the planes on W. Eur allows the Axis to take advantage of any opportunities provided after the UK moves.
    • The UK & US will then be forced to increase their naval defenses and will have severe limitations on where they can move. One mistake can leave fleets without enough protection against the armadas of Axis planes.

    Axis Airbases: Egypt and India

    • Besides holding W. Eur, there are 2 other key territories for the Japanese airforce, Egypt and India, for different reasons.
    • Axis control of Egypt allows for bombers built on Japan to reach it on the next turn and become available to hit all the coastal SZs in Europe/Africa plus the mid-Atlantic areas and Caucasus/Russia.
    • A Japanese IC on India allows for quick reinforcement of Japanese bombers that can be built there and used to attack an unsuspecting UK fleet on SZ5.

    The Alpha Strike

    • There may be occasions when both the German and Japanese AFs can make a combined attack on the Allied fleet. The first attack aims to weaken the fleet’s defenses enough for the 2nd strike to sink them.
    • This will result on the elimination of either AF so it should be carefully considered, and usually should be done with the aim of killing the UK transports, since they are the hardest to replace due to the UK’s income when compared to the US.
    • The best targets are usually Allied fleets on SZs that are not adjacent to the UK and/or that can be reinforced by other fleets.
    • The sequence usually is: Japan attacks, US retreats/stays to try to protect the UK ships, Germany attacks. Or it can be: Germany attacks, UK retreats/reinforces, Japan hits again. Again, it will depend on the location of the Allied fleets and fleets on SZ5 or the Med are can be vulnerable due to the difficulty on reinforcing them.
    • If performed successfully, the Alpha Strike will effectively remove either the UK/US from making any strong landings for a couple of turns, giving Germany more time to fortify Europe. Just remember that the main goal of the strat is NOT to perform an Alpha Strike at any cost, but to keep that threat hanging over the Allies’ navies.

    Turn 6 and after

    • Around turn 6 if the Allies haven’t managed to land a large body of troops anywhere and G has more than 50 ground units it is time to switch production to tanks and then move a large stack of infantry armor to either Karelia or Ukraine that can defend itself from any Allied counterattack.
    • This move should be coordinated with a Japanese advance to Persia or any other territory (Kazakh, Novosibirsk) but be aware of counterattacks.
    • Taking Caucasus is important but for Germany it is even better to keep the army on West Russia, again to prevent the Allies from landing large stacks that can be moved to defend Russia.

    Finally, on this strategy time is on the Axis side. As the time passes the 4 initial goals should be obtained:

    • The UK/US has spent a large portion of its income on fleets instead of ground units.
    • G will build its European defenses and assemble an unbeatable army.
    • Japan will continue to reduce Allied income, bringing economic parity and forcing the Allies to liberate Africa, giving even more time to Germany to build its forces.
    • The Soviets will have to use their units to retake lost territories as its income is reduced.


  • This seems familiar. Did you post this before somewhere else?



  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    This seems familiar. Did you post this before somewhere else?

    Yeah, I posted it first on the Spring 1942 forums. I playtested it a bit more and revised it a bit.


  • '16 '15 '10

    Nice write-up Hobbes.

    So do you normally play Axis without a bid?  I find a single inf to Lib can make an enormous difference and is perhaps not necessary.

    I suppose the key to beating this would be denying Axis economic supremacy…ie figuring out a way to bottle up Germany and push back Japan.  Axis doesn’t necessarily win the long war if Allies can keep control of Africa along with Moscow and the neighboring territories.

    Have you dealt with many USA Pacific attempts?  Exploiting Japan’s weak initial position may be the key to victory, but with the UK Atlantic navy so weak Allies don’t seem to have an answer to a German tank rush in response to early pressure on Japan.

    I prefer playing this map to Revised and would like to see more Revised players switching over to V4 so we see how elite Revised strategies do on this map.



  • @Zhukov44:

    Nice write-up Hobbes.

    So do you normally play Axis without a bid?  I find a single inf to Lib can make an enormous difference and is perhaps not necessary.

    I play without a bid as well. Just the single inf to Libya can make it impossible for the UK to retake Egypt, which then gives Germany a free reign in Africa for a few turns.

    I suppose the key to beating this would be denying Axis economic supremacy…ie figuring out a way to bottle up Germany and push back Japan.  Axis doesn’t necessarily win the long war if Allies can keep control of Africa along with Moscow and the neighboring territories.

    Very true. I’m playing a game on TripleA right now where the Allied player managed to keep control of Africa. He bought a sub for Russia on R1 and used it and the planes to sink the Italian fleet on R2.
    It also delayed me in moving the Japanese airforce to Europe (I lost a Japanese carrier on J1 due to bad luck) since I had to use the India - Balkans route.
    However G stuck to defending W. Eur. even if I had to pull back from the Eastern front but now G has W. Eur/Germany/E. Eur. heavily defended and ready to deal with any landings on Karelia, plus the US fleet doesn’t move past SZ12 and the UK are on the Baltic, while Japanese pressure is increasing. It is still a tie though for both sides due to Allied economic superiority but the Japanese have 6 fighters and 3 bombers just waiting for a shot at any Allied fleet…

    Have you dealt with many USA Pacific attempts?  Exploiting Japan’s weak initial position may be the key to victory, but with the UK Atlantic navy so weak Allies don’t seem to have an answer to a German tank rush in response to early pressure on Japan.

    I’ve faced a game where the US divided its attention and invested on the Pacific for 2 turns. I simply bought for Japan 2 bombers for J2 and on J3 sunk the US fleet off the Solomon Islands.

    Then I decided to try something different: I bought 3 more bombers and started sending 6 bombers each time against Russia on strat bombing. Since it was Low Luck the AA Gun would kill 1 bomber (12 IPC) but the 5 remaining bombers would deal some 12 damage or higher, on average. I kept buying a bomber each turn to replace losses and eventually the Russians were broken and the Germans rolled over them. This is a mean tactic to use with LL, either against Russia or Germany.

    Other than that, I haven’t seen any real Pacific attempts.

    I prefer playing this map to Revised and would like to see more Revised players switching over to V4 so we see how elite Revised strategies do on this map.

    Me too 🙂


  • '16 '15 '10

    @Hobbes:

    @Zhukov44:

    Nice write-up Hobbes.

    So do you normally play Axis without a bid?  I find a single inf to Lib can make an enormous difference and is perhaps not necessary.

    I play without a bid as well. Just the single inf to Libya can make it impossible for the UK to retake Egypt, which then gives Germany a free reign in Africa for a few turns.

    I suppose the key to beating this would be denying Axis economic supremacy…ie figuring out a way to bottle up Germany and push back Japan.  Axis doesn’t necessarily win the long war if Allies can keep control of Africa along with Moscow and the neighboring territories.

    Very true. I’m playing a game on TripleA right now where the Allied player managed to keep control of Africa. He bought a sub for Russia on R1 and used it and the planes to sink the Italian fleet on R2.

    It looks like the R1 sub deserves a 2nd look.  If Germany is allowed control of Egy and UK doesn’t immediately retake, then Jap figs can move in.  The R2 attack is less risky then the desperate UK1 attack, and UK2 may already be too late.

    It also delayed me in moving the Japanese airforce to Europe (I lost a Japanese carrier on J1 due to bad luck) since I had to use the India - Balkans route.
    However G stuck to defending W. Eur. even if I had to pull back from the Eastern front but now G has W. Eur/Germany/E. Eur. heavily defended and ready to deal with any landings on Karelia, plus the US fleet doesn’t move past SZ12 and the UK are on the Baltic, while Japanese pressure is increasing. It is still a tie though for both sides due to Allied economic superiority but the Japanese have 6 fighters and 3 bombers just waiting for a shot at any Allied fleet…

    The Allies could try combining the fleets.  However, I wouldn’t want the Allies to be sitting in SZ 12 all game, because the fighters on the ACs on 12 wouldn’t be able to help trade territories, and its iffy whether the long march across North Africa would make it in time to save Russia.  SZ4 or SZ5 are better spots for UK fleet, but then that weakens 12 and if nothing is going to 12 then Africa can become vulnerable.

    Then I decided to try something different: I bought 3 more bombers and started sending 6 bombers each time against Russia on strat bombing. Since it was Low Luck the AA Gun would kill 1 bomber (12 IPC) but the 5 remaining bombers would deal some 12 damage or higher, on average. I kept buying a bomber each turn to replace losses and eventually the Russians were broken and the Germans rolled over them. This is a mean tactic to use with LL, either against Russia or Germany.

    That’s pretty deadly.  I don’t think it would work against all-out KJF, but the bombers are perfect for deadzoning a limited USA Pac while wearing down Russia.



  • @Zhukov44:

    It looks like the R1 sub deserves a 2nd look.  If Germany is allowed control of Egy and UK doesn’t immediately retake, then Jap figs can move in.  The R2 attack is less risky then the desperate UK1 attack, and UK2 may already be too late.

    Another idea is to buy a fighter for Russia on R1. Then the Russians have the option of taking out Norway on R1 (3 inf, 1 arm, 2 ftrs) but sacrificing a fighter and not attacking Ukr. Or they can use their 3 planes to sink the Italian navy on R2 before the Germans can perform a 2nd landing.

    The Allies could try combining the fleets.  However, I wouldn’t want the Allies to be sitting in SZ 12 all game, because the fighters on the ACs on 12 wouldn’t be able to help trade territories, and its iffy whether the long march across North Africa would make it in time to save Russia.  SZ4 or SZ5 are better spots for UK fleet, but then that weakens 12 and if nothing is going to 12 then Africa can become vulnerable.

    Usually that’s what I do when playing Allies. Land a sufficient US force on Algeria through SZ12 to clear Africa and then move those ships to SZ6 to link with the UK navy. The Allies can also avoid needing a 2nd big fleet on SZ8 if the US performs the shuck through SZ1-2, although it will still need protection from bombers based on W. Eur.

    That’s pretty deadly.  I don’t think it would work against all-out KJF, but the bombers are perfect for deadzoning a limited USA Pac while wearing down Russia.

    I’m think this tactic might break LL games, either on AA42 or AA50. Without the fighter escort rule from the board version there is no way to defend against it.



  • @Hobbes:

    This is a strategy I have been following for my past games with Germany in AA1942 that has worked very well.

    It has 4 goals to achieve victory for the Axis:

    • 1. Disrupt Allied shipping on the Atlantic and force the US/UK to heavily invest in naval/air purchases instead of land units.

    Impossible, you cannot FORCE the US or UK to do anything.  What you’re really saying is that you’re going to control the game to the extent that the US and the UK’s BEST option will be to invest in naval/air purchases in the Atlantic - and even then, that that Allied strategy will be a losing one.  But they can always switch to KJF; the Allies have the option of building flexible air first, which will be needed in either the Pacific or the Atlantic anyways.  Of course, it’s often pretty painful for the Allies to switch, and the loss in tempo can mean an Axis victory.  Short version - disruption, yes.  FORCING, no.

    • 2. Prepare German defenses in Europe to make it impossible for the Allies to gain a foothold in Europe.

    • 3. Decrease the Allies’ IPC production as much as possible (specially the UK) and increase the overall Axis income to at least keep parity with the combined Allied income.

    • 4. Assemble German and Japanese forces to conquer Russia.

    Conditions/Requirements:

    • Russia’s opening round takes West Russia and Ukraine and/or Belorussia. An R1 attack on Norway will make this strategy harder if it is successful and the G fighter is destroyed. Likewise, if the German fighter on Ukraine survives it will be a bonus for Germany.

    • At R2 it is clear that the Allies will not invest on a Pacific strategy against Japan, with the US building up its fleet off Western US and/or ICs placed on Sinkiang/India.

    Turn 1 - Germany

    Purchases:

    • 1 bomber + ground units, specially infantry.

    I think Germany can wait on building bombers until G2.  What’s the G1 bomber build going to hit?  If the Allies decide to mass air, or NOT hit Africa, not much.  On the other hand, if you see that UK and US made a commitment to a fleet, you can build bombers to deter a landing in Africa.  Response to UK1/US1 Africa?  W. Europe fighters plus bombers on G2 combat wipes Allied fleet.

    • Or, if you want to try to sink any allied fleet on SZ2/8 on G2: 2 bombers and land units. While this buy might leave you shorthanded against the Russians it should prevent the UK from building any naval units during UK1. For more details read the section dealing with G2 Combat.

    I’m not afraid of a UK1 fleet.  Anyways, once the UK sees the German, build, they shouldn’t be dumb enough to build a navy that can get blown up.  The real question is how Germany will use its resources when it does NOT see an early Allied fleet build.

    Combat Moves:

    • Ukraine with ftr (from EEur) and inf (Balkans).

    • SZ15 with BB

    • SZ13 with 2 ftrs (Germany/W. Eur.)

    • Egypt with 2 inf, 2 arm, 1 ftr (Balkans)

    • SZ2 with ftr (Norway), bmr (Germany), sub (SZ8)

    Probably as Allies I would have sent a Russian sub there; I can’t think of much else to do with it.

    • Karelia with inf/arm/ftr from E. Eur

    This is where things start to break down, because I start to have questions about the solidity of play on both sides. I’m still just starting with 1942, but I would say most probable scenario in Ukraine if it WAS taken by Russia is that there’s one Russian tank there.  With a 3 IPC territory, I’d consider two infantry and a fighter a good investment for the attack; I’d really rather not lose a shot at a Russian tank if I can at all help it. I question the validity of the Allied play as well, it looks like it is assumed units are left in Karelia.  I’ve never left units in Karelia at the end of R1.  They’d all die anyways. If Germany tank blitzes, I’ll blitz it right back, or maybe leave an infantry there on R2, depending on the German position.

    You should be able to take all the territories and sink all the UK ships with the exception of the transport on SZ1. On average G will lose the sub and 1-2 ftrs from those battles.

    Non-Combat Moves:

    • Depending on the number of Germany’s subs and fighters that survived G1 (and their location on W. Eur/Norway) and the fate of the Russian sub Germany may have good odds of sinking any allied fleet on SZ2 and SZ8.

    buncha cute numbers and stuff.  (I take it they are accurate, and am actually happy to see some hard figures, any time, in any article!)  But I don’t think you SHOULD see an Allied invasion fleet at the beginning of G2 combat move.  Again, why would the Allies build a navy that’s just going to be blown up, while not taking a lot of Germans to hell with 'em?

    Turn 2 - Germany

    Purchases:
    As many infantry as possible, with a couple of tanks (this will be the standard buy for G for a few turns).As I mentioned a wee bit earlier, I think this is when Germany decides to build bombers or not.  Also, I would not make tanks this early, barring a very interesting Russian development.  Just infantry, perhaps a couple artillery.

    Combat

    • Retake territories taken by Russia (Karelia, Bielorussia, Ukraine).

    • Keep pressure on Africa.

    Non-Combat

    • If the UK hasn’t build any fleet on UK1 keep the submarines out of range from any US destroyers like SZ7, otherwise if they weren’t used on attacking the Allies pull them back to SZ5 (Baltic).

    • Land all planes on W. Eur. If necessary move additional infantry there on non-combat to prevent any Allied landings there.

    This is where I start to seriously diverge.  I think the proper place for bombers is Western Europe.  (More on this in a bit)  Fighters belong closer to the Russian front in my opinion  You can switch some in and some out by putting a couple fighters on W. Europe and others on, say, E Europe.  The W. Europe fighters fly to Kar/Bel/Ukr and land in E. Europe; the E. Europe fly to Kar/Bel/Ukr and land in W. Europe.

    Turns 3 to 5

    Japan

    • This strategy requires that Japan will move all of its airforce to W. Eur either through Egypt. One trick to speed it up is to keep the 2 starting carriers at SZs 60 and 34. Fighters built on Japan can then be placed on the carrier on SZ60 and reach W. Eur in 2 turns by moving to the carrier on SZ34.

    IMHO this is your whole plan!  Not that it’s a BAD plan by any means.

    • Japan can build a couple of planes to replace losses on J1 or to augment its airforce but ground units are also very important.

    • The initial Japanese objectives should be to trade Yakut, Persia and Sinkiang while taking Australia/NZ/Madagascar  Take Novosibirsk/Kazakh if possible but don’t waste single tanks on positions where Russian infantry can kill them.

    To emphasize, I agree trading is correct for this Jap air in W. Europe strat; nothing else is really possible for Japan without its air.

    • Japan should also help Germany keep Egypt and take any available Africa territories as possible but only to draw US units there instead of Europe.

    • Japan should be focusing on slowly advancing towards Russia, trading territories and slowly bleeding the Russians, without wasting units to Russian surprise attacks. This might prove difficult due to the absence of the Japanese airforce.

    • After the Japanese planes are located on W. Eur their main target should be the UK fleet since the Brits will be hard pressed for income after the loss of most of their possessions in Africa/Asia. Since J plays between the UK and US by having the planes on W. Eur allows the Axis to take advantage of any opportunities provided after the UK moves.

    . . . and this is where the WHOLE PLAN is explained.  Short version - Jap fighters to W. Europe or back in 2 turns.  2 turns means Jap fighters return in time to help counter any major U.S. Pacific buildup (when combined with Japanese defensive build).

    • The UK & US will then be forced to increase their naval defenses and will have severe limitations on where they can move. One mistake can leave fleets without enough protection against the 2 fleets of Axis planes.

    but of course, there should BE no mistakes in Allied play at this point.  Sea zone 2, northwest of UK, is where UK can build fleet without fear of fighter harassment (barring carrier builds).  Attacking sea zone 2 therefore means German subs and bombers (any other German navy will get blown up by Allied air).  There should not be any “mistakes” in Allied play at this point; the Axis plan is completely transparent.  I think at this point the Japanese contribution really breaks down to preventing landing at Africa.  Even then, the Allies can sneak down to Brazil, then to Africa in just one more turn.  As far as landing in Europe, the Allies move their main fleet from sea zone 2 to sea zone 4 when they’re ready to move, then start loading in sea zone 3 and offloading in sea zone 4, so Japanese fighters are no help there.

    What’s the Japanese fighter response to Brazil-Africa?  Long story short, they can’t defend north AND south of the Sahara without Japanese carriers in the area.  And committing Jap carriers west leaves the U.S. free in the Pacific.

    But more on this whole sad fighter story in a bit.

    Germany

    • Usually G should buy as many infantry as possible, plus 1 or 2 tanks. The aim is to build 3 stacks on W. Europe/Germany/E. Europe each holding enough ground/air units to defeat any combined UK/US invasion.

    My opinion is that Germany should just buy loads of infantry and a very few artillery early, adding bombers as needed.  No tanks; I just don’t think they’re needed early on.
    . . .
    Turn 6 and after

    • After turn 6 if the Allies haven’t managed to land a large body of troops anywhere and G has more than 50 ground units it is time to switch German production to tanks and then move a large stack of infantry armor to either Karelia or Ukraine that can defend itself from any Allied counterattack.

    But what if the Allies have lots of fighters, and can fly them into Russia at the drop of a hat?  This is why I say you always want to build massed infantry ASAP.  Infantry built early are on the front lines a couple turns later; the more you built earlier, the more you have later.

    • This move should be coordinated with a Japanese advance to Persia or any other territory (Kazakh, Novosibirsk) but be aware of counterattacks.

    My opinion is that Japan should just grab whatever the heck it can get.  While not losing any Japanese tanks or artillery, of course.

    • If the US is sending units directly to the Caucasus then G and/or J should investing in planes to stop it and cut off the US naval forces in the Med. If Russia’s ready to topple, of course, make with the tanks, not the fighters; I suppose this is just taken as assumed.  But I say there is no way the Allies should have any sort of real push through Africa via Algeria anyways, with all the proposed Axis air in Western Europe in this strategy.  Anyways, if the Allies have REAL control of the Med. and are feeding units into Caucasus, and Russia is not about to fall, probably the Allies won.  To spell it out - the Allies control Africa, and are feeding ground units into Russia.  Switching the Axis to plane production means better short-term hitting power, but in the end, piles of infantry will blunt the Axis assault - again, remembering that the Axis must have lost control of the game if the situation’s as bad as described.

    • Taking Caucasus is important but for Germany it is even better to keep the army on West Russia, again to prevent the Allies from landing large stacks on Karelia/Archangel that can be moved to Russia.

    • Or if the bombers and a few fighters survived this far, Japan is well placed to take Russia and there are enough troops to secure W. Europe - Germany - E. Europe then Germany can also switch to fighter/bomber production to restart the naval race.

    Finally, on this strategy time is on the Axis side. As the time passes the 4 initial goals should be obtained:

    • 1. The UK/US will keep spending money on fleets instead of ground units.

    • 2. G will build its European defenses and assemble an unbeatable army.

    • 3. Japan will continue to reduce Allied income, bringing economic parity and forcing the Allies to liberate Africa, giving even more time to Germany to build its forces.

    • 4. The Russians will have to use their units to retake lost territories as its income is reduced.

    Now, how do you defeat this strat?



  • First, thank you for your detailed reply. My responses to your comments are in Blue.

    @Bunnies:

    @Hobbes:

    This is a strategy I have been following for my past games with Germany in AA1942 that has worked very well.

    It has 4 goals to achieve victory for the Axis:

    • 1. Disrupt Allied shipping on the Atlantic and force the US/UK to heavily invest in naval/air purchases instead of land units.

    Impossible, you cannot FORCE the US or UK to do anything.  What you’re really saying is that you’re going to control the game to the extent that the US and the UK’s BEST option will be to invest in naval/air purchases in the Atlantic - and even then, that that Allied strategy will be a losing one.  But they can always switch to KJF; the Allies have the option of building flexible air first, which will be needed in either the Pacific or the Atlantic anyways.  Of course, it’s often pretty painful for the Allies to switch, and the loss in tempo can mean an Axis victory.  Short version - disruption, yes.  FORCING, no.
    Yes to all of your comments. The Allies always have the choice to go KJF instead of investing on the Atlantic and 1 of the conditions required by this strat is that they don’t do so. But if they do then the Luftwaffe will only have to deal with the UK Navy (who will still have to build naval units to defend itself) and the threat of Allied landings will be lessened, so Germany will also benefit from that Allied move. As for just building planes it will slow down any Allied response, which also benefits the Axis, like you mentioned. I will rephrase the wording though, since ‘forcing’ may be too strong of a word.

    Turn 1 - Germany

    Purchases:

    • 1 bomber + ground units, specially infantry.

    I think Germany can wait on building bombers until G2.  What’s the G1 bomber build going to hit?  If the Allies decide to mass air, or NOT hit Africa, not much.  On the other hand, if you see that UK and US made a commitment to a fleet, you can build bombers to deter a landing in Africa.  Response to UK1/US1 Africa?  W. Europe fighters plus bombers on G2 combat wipes Allied fleet.
    The 2nd bomber increases G’s options for G2 and works as a deterrent (depending on German sub/planes losses on G1) since you now have 2 units capable of reaching a lot of SZs/territories that the Allies need to take into account. The 2nd bomber is also useful against the Russians: the fighters on W.Eur can be used in Karelia and land back on W. Eur while each bomber can be assigned to help retaking Belorussia/Ukraine).

    • Or, if you want to try to sink any allied fleet on SZ2/8 on G2: 2 bombers and land units. While this buy might leave you shorthanded against the Russians it should prevent the UK from building any naval units during UK1. For more details read the section dealing with G2 Combat.

    I’m not afraid of a UK1 fleet.  Anyways, once the UK sees the German, build, they shouldn’t be dumb enough to build a navy that can get blown up.  The real question is how Germany will use its resources when it does NOT see an early Allied fleet build.
    Yes, usually the UK is not dumb to build a fleet that can be sunk. But if it can’t build it then it has very limited options regarding Europe - it can’t take Norway until UK3 or later, allowing G to benefit from it a little more, and the naval buildup will take longer.

    Combat Moves:

    • Ukraine with ftr (from EEur) and inf (Balkans).

    • SZ15 with BB

    • SZ13 with 2 ftrs (Germany/W. Eur.)

    • Egypt with 2 inf, 2 arm, 1 ftr (Balkans)

    • SZ2 with ftr (Norway), bmr (Germany), sub (SZ8)

    Probably as Allies I would have sent a Russian sub there; I can’t think of much else to do with it.
    That’s the standard Allied move

    • Karelia with inf/arm/ftr from E. Eur

    This is where things start to break down, because I start to have questions about the solidity of play on both sides. I’m still just starting with 1942, but I would say most probable scenario in Ukraine if it WAS taken by Russia is that there’s one Russian tank there.  With a 3 IPC territory, I’d consider two infantry and a fighter a good investment for the attack; I’d really rather not lose a shot at a Russian tank if I can at all help it. I question the validity of the Allied play as well, it looks like it is assumed units are left in Karelia.  I’ve never left units in Karelia at the end of R1.  They’d all die anyways. If Germany tank blitzes, I’ll blitz it right back, or maybe leave an infantry there on R2, depending on the German position.
    I should add: Karelia, if necessary. Many times R doesn’t bother with leaving units there, like you mentioned. I put the Karelia there just to try to cover all possible situations that G needs to deal with.

    You should be able to take all the territories and sink all the UK ships with the exception of the transport on SZ1. On average G will lose the sub and 1-2 ftrs from those battles.

    Non-Combat Moves:

    • Depending on the number of Germany’s subs and fighters that survived G1 (and their location on W. Eur/Norway) and the fate of the Russian sub Germany may have good odds of sinking any allied fleet on SZ2 and SZ8.

    buncha cute numbers and stuff.  (I take it they are accurate, and am actually happy to see some hard figures, any time, in any article!)  But I don’t think you SHOULD see an Allied invasion fleet at the beginning of G2 combat move.  Again, why would the Allies build a navy that’s just going to be blown up, while not taking a lot of Germans to hell with 'em?
    The figures are taken from battle calculators. The presence of an Allied fleet really depends on the player: many players so far still look at AA42 thinking in Revised terms and get quite a nasty surprise. Against an experienced AA42, the presence of an invasion fleet on SZ2/8 really depends on German losses/buys on G1.

    Turn 2 - Germany

    Purchases:
    As many infantry as possible, with a couple of tanks (this will be the standard buy for G for a few turns).As I mentioned a wee bit earlier, I think this is when Germany decides to build bombers or not.  Also, I would not make tanks this early, barring a very interesting Russian development.  Just infantry, perhaps a couple artillery.
    I agree with buying only infantry (the best buy definitely) but it depends on how aggressive the Russian player is and the survival of the German Med fleet (if you keep sending tanks to Africa your arm numbers will decline).

    Combat

    • Retake territories taken by Russia (Karelia, Bielorussia, Ukraine).

    • Keep pressure on Africa.

    Non-Combat

    • If the UK hasn’t build any fleet on UK1 keep the submarines out of range from any US destroyers like SZ7, otherwise if they weren’t used on attacking the Allies pull them back to SZ5 (Baltic).

    • Land all planes on W. Eur. If necessary move additional infantry there on non-combat to prevent any Allied landings there.

    This is where I start to seriously diverge.  I think the proper place for bombers is Western Europe.  (More on this in a bit)  Fighters belong closer to the Russian front in my opinion  You can switch some in and some out by putting a couple fighters on W. Europe and others on, say, E Europe.  The W. Europe fighters fly to Kar/Bel/Ukr and land in E. Europe; the E. Europe fly to Kar/Bel/Ukr and land in W. Europe. 
    With 2 bombers you can strike Karelia/Belo/Ukr and still keep all of them on W. Eur. I know the tactic you mention of having fighters both in W.Eur and E.Eur but then you have a limited striking airpower on SZs 3/8. By concentrating all fighters on W. Eur you greatly increase its attack/defense (and disrupting Allied naval movements), and a stack of armor on E. Eur will allow it to defend/attack.

    Turns 3 to 5

    Japan

    • This strategy requires that Japan will move all of its airforce to W. Eur either through Egypt. One trick to speed it up is to keep the 2 starting carriers at SZs 60 and 34. Fighters built on Japan can then be placed on the carrier on SZ60 and reach W. Eur in 2 turns by moving to the carrier on SZ34.

    IMHO this is your whole plan!  Not that it’s a BAD plan by any means.

    • Japan can build a couple of planes to replace losses on J1 or to augment its airforce but ground units are also very important.

    • The initial Japanese objectives should be to trade Yakut, Persia and Sinkiang while taking Australia/NZ/Madagascar  Take Novosibirsk/Kazakh if possible but don’t waste single tanks on positions where Russian infantry can kill them.

    To emphasize, I agree trading is correct for this Jap air in W. Europe strat; nothing else is really possible for Japan without its air.

    • Japan should also help Germany keep Egypt and take any available Africa territories as possible but only to draw US units there instead of Europe.

    • Japan should be focusing on slowly advancing towards Russia, trading territories and slowly bleeding the Russians, without wasting units to Russian surprise attacks. This might prove difficult due to the absence of the Japanese airforce.

    • After the Japanese planes are located on W. Eur their main target should be the UK fleet since the Brits will be hard pressed for income after the loss of most of their possessions in Africa/Asia. Since J plays between the UK and US by having the planes on W. Eur allows the Axis to take advantage of any opportunities provided after the UK moves.

    . . . and this is where the WHOLE PLAN is explained.  Short version - Jap fighters to W. Europe or back in 2 turns.  2 turns means Jap fighters return in time to help counter any major U.S. Pacific buildup (when combined with Japanese defensive build).

    • The UK & US will then be forced to increase their naval defenses and will have severe limitations on where they can move. One mistake can leave fleets without enough protection against the 2 fleets of Axis planes.

    but of course, there should BE no mistakes in Allied play at this point.  Sea zone 2, northwest of UK, is where UK can build fleet without fear of fighter harassment (barring carrier builds).  Attacking sea zone 2 therefore means German subs and bombers (any other German navy will get blown up by Allied air).  There should not be any “mistakes” in Allied play at this point; the Axis plan is completely transparent.  I think at this point the Japanese contribution really breaks down to preventing landing at Africa.  Even then, the Allies can sneak down to Brazil, then to Africa in just one more turn.  As far as landing in Europe, the Allies move their main fleet from sea zone 2 to sea zone 4 when they’re ready to move, then start loading in sea zone 3 and offloading in sea zone 4, so Japanese fighters are no help there.

    What’s the Japanese fighter response to Brazil-Africa?  Long story short, they can’t defend north AND south of the Sahara without Japanese carriers in the area.  And committing Jap carriers west leaves the U.S. free in the Pacific.

    But more on this whole sad fighter story in a bit.

    The Japanese can never really prevent Allied landings on Africa, since they can take the Brazil route. But while Africa is useful, spending a lot of movements/units to retake it can be a waste of resources since the Japanese can usually prevent any ground forces from advancing further than Jordan (barring 20 unit stacks). Africa is really a balance = use too many units there and it will be a waste of effort. And those Allied units aren’t being thrown at Germany, which can take the time to further reinforce its army and prepare to advance on Russia.

    Germany

    • Usually G should buy as many infantry as possible, plus 1 or 2 tanks. The aim is to build 3 stacks on W. Europe/Germany/E. Europe each holding enough ground/air units to defeat any combined UK/US invasion.

    My opinion is that Germany should just buy loads of infantry and a very few artillery early, adding bombers as needed.  No tanks; I just don’t think they’re needed early on.
    Agreed

    Turn 6 and after

    • After turn 6 if the Allies haven’t managed to land a large body of troops anywhere and G has more than 50 ground units it is time to switch German production to tanks and then move a large stack of infantry armor to either Karelia or Ukraine that can defend itself from any Allied counterattack.

    But what if the Allies have lots of fighters, and can fly them into Russia at the drop of a hat?  This is why I say you always want to build massed infantry ASAP.  Infantry built early are on the front lines a couple turns later; the more you built earlier, the more you have later.
    If the Allies build a lot of planes, let them. Planes don’t retake Russian territories = ground units do, and Russia will have to spend its units or see its production drop, or both! The Allies can always use their airforce to zap Axis units on Russian territories but any losses will be expensive for them.



  • @Bunnies:

    OK, here’s some thoughts:

    1.  I grab Africa by sending units via Brazil.  Your fighter counter requires carrier support or LOTS of fighters.  If you send LOTS of fighters, then UK’s free in the north, and I don’t just suicide with the U.S. Atlantic assets either!
    My Allied move, regardless of what the Germans do, is to send the 2 starting transports to land on Algeria. Later, if more units are necessary I usually have a large enough US fleet to land more units there without any losses on either US2/3

    2.  I’m not going to spend money that’s going to be lost.  I’ll just build out of range in the aforementioned sea zones.  If you commit your Japanese forces towards the Atlantic, a turn or two of U.S. Pacific builds forces a much larger Japanese force to respond (to gain numerical superiority), and time wasted flying fighters to Europe is wasted doubly when they fly back to Asia.

    It’s a good move by the US but the Japanese usually have their navy still present on the area. You don’t need to fly back the fighters since the US buildup on the Pacific will be slow and you can simply build more fighters for the Japanese. It thus cost Japan some time to deal with US units though

    3.  Buildup units northwest of UK, then drop to Karelia/Archangel.  Your fighters do not deter this.

    The best option that the Allies have but it also takes off pressure from Germany since the Allied fleet will be on SZ4 and unable to land on Germany/E. Eur. And you can always move back the fighters to E.Eur to disrupt Allied movement.

    4.  If you have infantry stacks on W. Eur/Ger/E. Eur, I think Germany will be losing the war of attrition against Russia, particualrly with a few UK/US fighter reinforcement flights to Moscow.

    During the first rounds it can be tricky to retake Kar/Belo/Ukr but Germany if G builds enough infantry then can have the advantage. As the Japanese fighters start arriving at W. Eur it can switch most of its production towards Russia while Russia will have to start dealing with the Japanese.
    The usual places for the UK/US fighters are West Russia/Caucasus/Russia. West Russia isn’t an immediate objective with this strategy, so any fighters there won’t anything on that front, other than blasting lone German infantry. And that might backfire since for every ftr lost it will have to kill 3 infantry, otherwise the Allies in general you’ll be losing in IPCs (and attrition replacements will have to come from the naval budget).
    Any Russian stacks on WR will also benefit the Japanese, since those units won’t be deployed against them. Russia and Caucasus are good places to use them, but if Germany/Japan can force Russia out of the Caucasus (for instance, by moving a large Japanese stack to Novosibirsk) then they will have to retreat to Russia as well.
    Overall, the WE/Ger/EE infantry stacks can work nicely: the armor can be kept on Germany to help protect it, while the threat of the Japanese airforce can prevent the UK from moving its fleet into SZ6 and landing on E.Eur. The problem for the Axis is when the Allies start to simply land units on Archangel, which can then be assigned to deal with either the Germans or the Japanese.

    My preferred strat:

    1.  Bombers on W. Europe, not fighters.  You can hit the sea zone northwest of UK, preventing a cheap E. Canada/London transport chain.  You can also stop transports headed to Africa via Brazil unless the transports take a REALLY roundabout route.

    2.  Tanks used as defense in Western Europe for early/midgame.  Late game, Germany produces pure tanks, with more tanks coming off their defense duty in W. Europe.

    3.  Abandon W. Europe if necessary.  Moscow must fall.

    Yeah on all. Depends on the situation and how much you really need WE. I’ve been forced to abandon this strat because of all kinds of unexpected situations, some good, some bad. Sometimes I have to use armor on WE, sometimes I will choose to abandon it to take Moscow, etc.

    Bombers in W. Europe solve so many problems.

    A.  You can trade territory with Russia and come right back.
    B.  Defend Africa
    C.  Force the Allies to build two large defensive anti-air fleets, OR to stick to transporting every other turn.

    Elaboration of C - if the Axis stick to fighters and do NOT mass a few bombers, you can send march U.S. ground units into Eastern Canada.  The next step is for a US transport northwest of UK to go to Eastern Canada and drop it in London.  The next step is for another US transport adjacent to London to drop troops wherever - usually Karelia/Archangel, but threatening the Baltic and Western Europe as well.  The Allies only need to build one real defensive fleet, to protect the offloading point in Asia/Europe; that defensive fleet carries a couple fodder destroyers to be used as described in a moment.

    Only a very light escort is needed for the fleet northwest of UK if the Axis only have fighters to defend with.  All you need defend against is the rogue bomber or two.

    The main defensive fleet responds to any German fleet buildup with massive air.  Sub builds meet up with destroyers plus air and are destroyed.  The Germans shouldn’t even bother trying to build a fleet because it will be instantly nuked.

    But if the Germans have mostly bombers defending in Western Europe, the Allies need to build the usual main defensive fleet, but need also build another bomber-proof fleet northwest of UK.  Suppose the Germans have 4 bombers and 2 fighters on Western Europe, and 2 more fighters on Eastern Europe.  The northwest fleet should probably have a loaded carrier and 2 destroyers, at LEAST, for really favorable odds - meaning there’s still some chance of bad dice, with the Germans deciding to take a chance and blowing the small defensive fleet, and any and all US transports in the area, straight to hell, which means the fleet should probably be even BIGGER than that.  At this point, you’re talking about the Allies spending significantly more on navy than the Axis have on air force - again, because the Allies need to maintain TWO defensive fleets.
    Yes to all.

    Well, that’s my take on the game so far.

    What would I do as Allies?  I’m leaning towards heavy air builds on the first turn right now with UK and US to leave the Allies some flexibility.  Not sure if that’s what I’ll end up doing in the end, but it’s a thought.

    Sometimes the US goes Pacific. The best play I’ve seen as Allies is the landing of units on Archangel but securing first Africa with the mininum. The usual problem with the Archangel move is that G can take the opportunity to build a huge army and keep the European front at a stalemate. The advantage with this is that the Allies can make things very hard on Japan on Asia if Germany doesn’t keep the pressure.


  • '16 '15 '10

    Couple thoughts

    -Personally I like 2 inf 2 arm 2 bmb G1 these days.  I’m not sure this is the best opening against someone like Hobbes but I like it alot cause it means UK won’t land anything securely until UK3, and if there’s no fleet in SZ2 after UK1, then there are lots of other good targets for my bombers G2.  Normally, I’m not buying any more bombers after this, since the Allies have already been delayed long enough to take care of Russia.

    -I don’t personally use the Jap figs in Western tactic much (typically, I prefer using them to wear out Russia), but its a super effective strat against a KGF.  Granted bombers in Western are much more effective since they can strike sz 2 and can hit way more targets from Western.  But the chief rationale here is the Allies cannot make combined fleet movements from 12 to 6 or 7 unless UK has sufficient protection to repel a Jap attack.  If the UK navy moves up to 2 in order to land in 4 afterwards, then the Jap figs can move to EEU.  Whatever happens the UK naval force has to be stronger than the Jap air force in order to land troops.  If the Japs keep buying planes, then UK will sink a hell of a lot of money into aircraft carriers.

    -The Brazil route and the Brazil factory sound tempting, but are ineffective imho.  Unless you want to lose your starting Atlantic units, you gotta wait till USA2 to make your move to Brazil…and then you won’t land in mid-Africa until USA3.  I’d rather just mass in Algeria.



  • Nice responses.  For those picking up this thread here, we are discussing German response to KGF.

    I did not make clear the “Allied fighters to Moscow” shuttle idea, or the “committed infantry/artillery on G1” ideas.

    1.  Allied fighters to Moscow is a bad move when taken in isolation.  As Hobbes stated, Allies cannot swap fighters for German or Japanese ground.

    To clarify, I predict the situation to be that if the Allies did end up going KGF, that the US should have a minmum of 4 fighters, and the UK a minimum of 2 fighters.  The Allies should have built these fighters for three reasons.

    A.  Destroy any German naval buildup in the Baltic area.  (There probably won’t be any real threatening German build in the Baltic anyways.)
    B.  Landed on carriers to help protect the Allied fleet
    C.  To trade territory with Germany and/or Japan together with Allied ground units.  (Early in the game, surviving UK ground forces from Trans-Jordan to India, and surviving US ground forces from China can be used to swap, using infantry/bomber or infantry/two fightes.  Later in the game, UK and US ground forces come from transports.)

    So this is to say that the Allies should have fighters without having significantly impaired their Atlantic transport chain.  This is also to say that the Allies SHOULD have broken into Africa and/or have landed in Karelia/Archangel before Moscow is seriously threatened; it’s a typical KGF.  Soon, the Allies crack Norway and start threatening W. Europe in force.  It’s about now that the Allies can choose to send fighters to Moscow or West Russia.  Moscow based UK and US fighters reinforce against Japan’s final press from the east, while trading Russian territory with UK/US ground forces in the west.

    That is, Allied fighters to Moscow is not a strategy of itself.  It’s a tactic the Allies should use as part of their overall plan to defend Moscow, and to buy more time for the Allies to crack Germany open.

    2.  On the idea of a committed infantry/artillery build on G1 (specifically 12 infantry 1 artillery) - Russia goes first.  Russia does not need to (or, I would even say, want to) signal the Allied intentions towards Germany or Japan.  Next up is Germany.  My idea is that the Germans will inevitably want to push infantry on Russia, regardless of whatever they want to do.  Since that is the only given at this point (that you want infantry to press towards Moscow), that is what I think the G1 build should commit to.  On UK1 and US1 (AFTER the G1 turn), the Allies usually signal their intent to go KGF or KJF depending on the Axis build.

    I’d say that if the Germans build a German bomber after the UK/US have already committed to KGF, that’s fine and appropriate.  But until then, I do not see a need for a German bomber.  So why build one, considering that every bomber means 4 less early infantry pressing on Moscow? UK1/US1 landing in Libya (in Africa) should already be easily covered by German fighters / bomber in Western Europe with German subs in the Atlantic.

    I think that if you see an Allied fleet build coming, then you can counter with the necessary number of bombers.

    There is no question that Germany CAN use early bombers.  It’s just that I think German has more need of early infantry, to open up Germany’s options by the time the first and second German-built infantry waves start hitting the Karelia/Belorussia/Ukraine region.



  • Red responses below.
    @Zhukov44:

    the chief rationale here is the Allies cannot make combined fleet movements from edit - probably Zhukov meant from sea zone 2 northwest of UK to sea zones 3 (Norway), 6 (Norway and Western Europe), and/or 7 (Western Europe) unless UK has sufficient protection to repel a Jap attack.  If the UK navy moves up to 2 in order to land in 4 afterwards, then the Jap figs can move to EEU.  Whatever happens the UK naval force has to be stronger than the Jap air force in order to land troops.  If the Japs keep buying planes, then UK will sink a hell of a lot of money into aircraft carriers.Response below.

    -The Brazil route and the Brazil factory sound tempting, but are ineffective imho.  Unless you want to lose your starting Atlantic units, you gotta wait till USA2 to make your move to Brazil…and then you won’t land in mid-Africa until USA3.  I’d rather just mass in Algeria.Woah, I do not in any way advocate a Brazil IC.  To be clear, I predict that if there are lots of fighters in Western Europe, and few bombers, that what you should see is 2 US transports plus a light escort (1-2 destroyers plus carrier plus possible cruiser) dropping units into Brazil on one turn (since Brazil is still in range of the W. Europe bombers, the transports should be emptied), followed by the same transports picking up the Brazil units and dropping them into French West Africa/French Equatorial Africa/Belgian Congo as appropriate on the next turn.  Meanwhile, the UK builds up sea units northwest of UK.

    To clarify, what I’m saying is heavy Axis investment in fighters keyed to Western Europe is, I think, possibly a mistake.  Those fighters have little flexibility against Russia (being limited to Karelia), and cannot defend Africa (being limited to countering against Libya).  The Allies can maneuver around the fighters’ limited range to achieve their objectives in both Africa (by routing through Brazil - again, NO Brazil IC!) and in Karelia/Archangel (by using its built up navy from sea zone 2 to drop into sea zone 4 on the first naval drop, then following with the cost-effective transport chain of Eastern Canada-London / London-Karelia or Archangel.  Once you have the Allies establishing that cost-effective infantry chain, it’s quite bad for the Axis.

    If the Germans keep fighters in W. Europe, Allies drop ground to sea zone 4, Karelia/Archangel.  If the Germans pull fighters to E. Europe, Allies drop ground to sea zone 5, Norway, where the E. Europe fighters can’t hit them.  The same applies for Japanese fighters.  Sure, you protect Norway and Western Europe early on, but as far as I can tell, Axis fighters do not prevent the Allies from landing ground units in Europe!!!  What’s the point of guarding the barn door after the cow’s run off?

    The limited range of the Axis fighters leaves the Allies free to establish the cost-effective Eastern Canada-London / London-Europe transport chain, while requiring only a single defensive Allied fleet for its London-Europe group (plus minor fleet escort for anti-bomber purposes for the transports in the Canada-London chain).  This is why I think the “correct” German response to KGF allied Atlantic transport fleet plan requires German bombers starting G2, or perhaps even on G3 - at any rate, after the Germans have seen the Allies commit to an Atlantic navy.

    True, Axis fighters are a fantastic ground defense once the Allies start really messing with Germany, but I have last-moment German infantry builds to counter that, as well as a mass of tanks plus air to wipe out any premature Allied advance into Europe.  I think I’m already fairly well off in regard to ground defense.

    It’s the naval defense that I’m concerned with, and as far as I see, Axis fighters in Western Europe do NOT fit the bill.

    I think Germany will still want some fighters as fodder, but that bombers are the key to its defense.



  • @Bunnies:

    Nice responses.  For those picking up this thread here, we are discussing German response to KGF.

    I did not make clear the “Allied fighters to Moscow” shuttle idea, or the “committed infantry/artillery on G1” ideas.

    1.  Allied fighters to Moscow is a bad move when taken in isolation.  As Hobbes stated, Allies cannot swap fighters for German or Japanese ground.

    To clarify, I predict the situation to be that if the Allies did end up going KGF, that the US should have a minmum of 4 fighters, and the UK a minimum of 2 fighters.  The Allies should have built these fighters for three reasons.

    A.  Destroy any German naval buildup in the Baltic area.  (There probably won’t be any real threatening German build in the Baltic anyways.)
    B.  Landed on carriers to help protect the Allied fleet
    C.  To trade territory with Germany and/or Japan together with Allied ground units.  (Early in the game, surviving UK ground forces from Trans-Jordan to India, and surviving US ground forces from China can be used to swap, using infantry/bomber or infantry/two fightes.  Later in the game, UK and US ground forces come from transports.)

    So this is to say that the Allies should have fighters without having significantly impaired their Atlantic transport chain.   This is also to say that the Allies SHOULD have broken into Africa and/or have landed in Karelia/Archangel before Moscow is seriously threatened; it’s a typical KGF.  Soon, the Allies crack Norway and start threatening W. Europe in force.  It’s about now that the Allies can choose to send fighters to Moscow or West Russia.  Moscow based UK and US fighters reinforce against Japan’s final press from the east, while trading Russian territory with UK/US ground forces in the west.

    That is, Allied fighters to Moscow is not a strategy of itself.  It’s a tactic the Allies should use as part of their overall plan to defend Moscow, and to buy more time for the Allies to crack Germany open.

    2.  On the idea of a committed infantry/artillery build on G1 (specifically 12 infantry 1 artillery) - Russia goes first.  Russia does not need to (or, I would even say, want to) signal the Allied intentions towards Germany or Japan.  Next up is Germany.  My idea is that the Germans will inevitably want to push infantry on Russia, regardless of whatever they want to do.  Since that is the only given at this point (that you want infantry to press towards Moscow), that is what I think the G1 build should commit to.  On UK1 and US1 (AFTER the G1 turn), the Allies usually signal their intent to go KGF or KJF depending on the Axis build.

    I’d say that if the Germans build a German bomber after the UK/US have already committed to KGF, that’s fine and appropriate.  But until then, I do not see a need for a German bomber.  So why build one, considering that every bomber means 4 less early infantry pressing on Moscow? UK1/US1 landing in Libya (in Africa) should already be easily covered by German fighters / bomber in Western Europe with German subs in the Atlantic.

    I think that if you see an Allied fleet build coming, then you can counter with the necessary number of bombers.

    There is no question that Germany CAN use early bombers.  It’s just that I think German has more need of early infantry, to open up Germany’s options by the time the first and second German-built infantry waves start hitting the Karelia/Belorussia/Ukraine region.

    I agree with everything. The question of the 2nd German bomber I guess is a personal choice that increases the possibility (but still low though) to prevent any UK1 naval build. Limiting the UK’s options at the beginning buys time for the Germans against the UK/US, which is how I really prefer to play Germany, regardless of KGF/KJF. Unless you are planning to move a German stack to Karelia/Ukraine around round 4, which is not my usual German play unless Russia has gone after Norway on round 1.

    But your points regarding the all inf buy for G1 are valid. I’ve tried that purchase before if R1 plays out differently than usual but I’ll try it more using the all inf buy for G1.


  • '16 '15 '10

    @Bunnies:

    I’d say that if the Germans build a German bomber after the UK/US have already committed to KGF, that’s fine and appropriate.  But until then, I do not see a need for a German bomber.  So why build one, considering that every bomber means 4 less early infantry pressing on Moscow? UK1/US1 landing in Libya (in Africa) should already be easily covered by German fighters / bomber in Western Europe with German subs in the Atlantic.

    I think that if you see an Allied fleet build coming, then you can counter with the necessary number of bombers.

    If you buy no bomber, then that means UK may be able to build SZ2 or SZ8 UK1.  Consider the odds Hobbes posted on SZ2

    Germany: 1 ftr, 2 bmrs, 2 subs
    Allies: 2 ftrs, 2 DDs, 1 AC, 1 sub
    33.1% win, 66.9% loss

    Germany: 2 ftrs, 2 bmrs, 2 subs
    Allies: 2 ftrs, 2 DDs, 1 AC, 1 sub
    68.5% win, 31.5% loss

    So if all you got is 2 figs 1 bmb 2 ss (an optimistic scenario) then your odds are only a tad better than 33%.  If I’m UK, I’m happy to take that bet……even if I lose I’ll take u-boats and planes down with me.  But with the extra bomber, G’s odds jump to 69%.  A large part of why I prefer 2 bombers is for security on those (common) occasions when Germany loses 1-2 more figs in SZ13 or SZ2…  With the 2 bmb buy, I can be confident I’ll have 70%+ for SZ2 G2 unless I got absolutely diced G1.

    Now, that’s only a 1 turn delay…is 1 turn worth missing out on the extra inf?  The delay translates into IPCs for Axis.  There are the costs to UK in putting its cash into ACs and dds early.  There’s the 6 swing of controlling Norway (ie you will control it through G3, if not longer).  You also prevent a secure landing in Africa for an additional turn, which could be a significant IPC swing.  Lastly, there’s the value of having extra bombers each turn for the duration of the game.

    If Allies see my bomber buy and decide to play a KJF strategy, then that’s great…the odds for Axis victory have gone up!  I would think a KGF response is equally as likely since Germany will be perceived as thin on the ground for the first few turns.  In reality, while the Soviets might score some temporary gains because Germany is inf light, they won’t be able to follow up unless the German player continues to invest in non land units like subs or bombers.  Germany’s mass of air power ensures Russia will get the worst of the trades over the duration.

    Like Hobbes I could see myself forgetting about the bombers and going all inf/art/arm against certain R1 moves, such as a successful Nor conquest.



  • Looking at the board again, I see that you’re right about the Norway deterrent.  Clever.

    I’ll have to think about the Norway/Africa situation again!



  • Great discussion. Insightful. Helpful.



  • Really great discussion and strategy here; it helps me understand overall objectives and how to reach them much better.

    Question though:

    G1 attack Ukraine with only 2 inf and 1 fighter…

    How is that possible? Usually Russia has 3 tanks, 1 art and maybe even 1 inf remaining in Ukraine (after R1 take W.R. and Ukr.)
    In order to take Ukr, G1 I usually have to send 5 inf, 2 tanks and 1 fig to get 90% odds.
    This changes things a little because then EE has only 4 tanks after G1 rather than 6 tanks, so it takes a little longer to build up.

    Another question I have is when you’re just trying to trade territories for example Russia and Germany trading Ukr, what battle odds should you look for? I mean should you only commit enough units to have 75% chance to win or something like that, or should it be more like 90%?

    Thanks



  • @ashoka:

    Really great discussion and strategy here; it helps me understand overall objectives and how to reach them much better.

    Question though:

    G1 attack Ukraine with only 2 inf and 1 fighter…

    How is that possible? Usually Russia has 3 tanks, 1 art and maybe even 1 inf remaining in Ukraine (after R1 take W.R. and Ukr.)
    In order to take Ukr, G1 I usually have to send 5 inf, 2 tanks and 1 fig to get 90% odds.
    This changes things a little because then EE has only 4 tanks after G1 rather than 6 tanks, so it takes a little longer to build up.

    Like you mentioned, the more Russia has on the Ukraine, the harder it gets to retake it. The 2 inf + 1 ftr are good for a single Russian tank.
    The number of Russian units on Ukraine that survive the attack is something to consider when choosing this strat. The best counter I’ve seen so far involves Russia pushing hard on Ukraine while the remaining Allies scramble to try to squeeze G before Japan arrives.

    Another question I have is when you’re just trying to trade territories for example Russia and Germany trading Ukr, what battle odds should you look for? I mean should you only commit enough units to have 75% chance to win or something like that, or should it be more like 90%?

    Thanks

    When trading territories I usually look more into the numbers of units involved and their power. Against 1 unit, 2 inf + fighter, against 2 units, 3 inf + ftr, against 3, 5 inf + ftr, etc. Overall I’d say that you need 75% and plus odds on those attacks.



  • Very helpfull discussion on strategy - I was following it for a game where I play Axis and it worked out well  😄

    For the G1 non-combat turn do you not usually move the Algeria inf+arm to Libya?
    It was not explicitly mentioned in the G1 non-combat.
    I always do it to be able to retake Egypt?

    Do you guys keep them in Algeria to absorb US landing???


  • '12

    They would move up to Libya.  In this case it would not be a good idea to make it easy for the allies to pin and destroy your africa forces.  Better to make them chase you down, perhaps tie up more allied navy to bring forces to south africa to chase you down.



  • @MrMalachiCrunch:

    They would move up to Libya.  In this case it would not be a good idea to make it easy for the allies to pin and destroy your africa forces.  Better to make them chase you down, perhaps tie up more allied navy to bring forces to south africa to chase you down.

    Yes. It’s just one of those automatic moves that I didn’t remember to add it here.



  • Re: Spring 1942 - Fortress Europe Axis StrategyI remember one game I played as axis I built nothing but submarines with Germany and japan and it helped to secure the coastal territories from attack I also used the German subs had like 7 of them at one and 3 bombers and targeted the British fleet and in the pacific with japan I built up to 9 subs and had a huge air force with them and scared the Americans out of the pacific and my armies were victorious in Russia about to collapse even protected my transports really good


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