Is the G1 Egypt Attack a Good Move?

  • '16 '15 '10

    I’d like some feedback on an old problem…is a G1 Egypt attack (in dice) ever a good idea?  I will do my best to lay out what I think are the relevant numbers, but I could use some help interpreting them.

    I’m talking about a scenario where there is no bid on Egypt, and no Atlantic naval bid—there may be a bid in the Pacific region or on Kar/Bel/Ekr.  Now, it used to be that everyone placed their bid on Egypt, but nowadays some players choose not to, and there is a rationale behind this (ie see below).

    Here are the benefits of G1 Egypt

    1. Approx 75% to win (ie 1 or more German unit survives)
    2. the average (mean) result is Egy falls with either 1 or 2 tanks remaining.  So the battle itself is (on average) b/w a +10 and +15 ipc swing for Axis.
    3. +2 for G and -7 for UK if they can’t retake it, and success in Egy often makes it easier for Italy to pick up its +5 NO.

    Now for the drawbacks

    1. By diverting the bomber from naval attacks, Axis decreases their odds (assuming typical deployments) in SZ2 from 95.4% (1 bmb, 1 fig, 1 ss) to 83.4% (1 fig, 2 ss).  Now, Axis will usually win this 83% battle.  But as Yoshi and I have discovered in recent tournament games, if Axis hits the 16.6% and utterly fails in SZ2, then that’s about the worst setback you can have on Turn 1.

    2. Similarly, it’s common to also attack 12 in conjunction with this deployment, though some players choose not to.  The reason it’s important is if Egy fails, it’s nice to have the security of taking out the destroyer to protect the Italian navy.  But with the bomber diverted to Egy and the 2nd sub helping out in 2, odds for G winning SZ12 drop from 85% (2 fig ss) to 48% (2 fig).


    So what do you think?  Is Egy worth the risk?  Why?


  • Hi,

    Here’s my thoughts.

    1. Germany/Italy has to attack there sooner or later. Its vital to get those resources for Italy asap.
    2. A german -Italian one two punch can be effective. Egypt probably won’t be getting any allied reinforcements for a while, so even if Germany loses, Italy should get it no problems.
    3. The primary objective must be to sink the UK fleet. I would not send the bomber as it is needed at sz2. This make the EGY attack less predictable but still neccesary.
    4. An attack by Ger that just does say 2 hits but loses everything is still worth it. German losses can be made up for if the tran survives. UK losses can’t
    5. I would take a tank and inf from France for the attack.
    6. Italy can throw their fleet at it with shore bombard as well. If Ger takes egy then italy can focus on Trans J. Otherwise Trans J on T2

    Basically EGY is vital for axis. The sooner it is taken the better. The only thing that would stop a T1 attack would be a strong bid there.

    I wonder what the odds of the attack without the bomber are?


  • whether to attack egypt or not defines G1 like no other decision. perhaps a (foolish) G1 karelia attack is also similar.

    i am with you, and i think most experts, in agreeing that egypt G1 is a poor move. that said, i have a couple of points.

    1. securing the italian navy and winning the battle in SZ 12 are not one in the same. all that is absolutely necessary is killing a destroyer.

    2. securing the italian navy might not be such high priority. its only about 55% to win outright for UK (the bomber surviving only) and it totally blows for UK when it goes wrong. It might be even more of a gamble to attack the ITL navy on UK 1 than it is to attack Egypt on G1. If UK simply retreats the SZ 12 ships, then UK can pressure Germany faster by not having to build as many boats to defend its transports, and can get on with building transports and guys.

    I suppose in both scenarios (G1 egpyt and UK1 italian navy) that if i was up against a true expert who was likely to outplay me in a long game, I would do both attacks. Otherwise, I would pick safer options, that are also good.


  • As with any battle (or series of battles) in A&A, you weigh the reward versus the risk.

    In Egypt, G1, this is a huge reward if germany can take (IMHO).  Sometimes this doesn’t work out and a weakening of the UK units are all that is achieved.  This too is a good thing for the axis.  Especially if they can keep the bomber alive in doing so.  Not so much a game winner when this happens, but favorable nonetheless.

    However, often times a distinct battle must not be only analyzed in a vacuum, but rather in the whole context of a turn or round of play.  SZ2 is the most relevant other battle.  I am fairly confident in a SZ2 battle outcome of 88% to win, and realistically 93% (add 5% for killing the BB but leaving the transport).  This is high enough in my book to risk both EGYPT and SZ2.  Odds are that you will do well enough in both battles most of the time.

    However, if I were the allies facing this same sort of decision, I probably would NOT do both battles?

    *** WHY * ?**

    The axis have to attack, they have the units, they can run the risk of losing some of those units to continue their military advantage.  If they lose some units, they have merely reduced some of their military advantage to a small degree (depends on the battle).  The Allies need to be selective in the risking of their military units, especially early in the game when the allies are consolidating their forces and defining the battle lines.

    Also, you have to consider the attacker advantage to be able to withdraw if needed.

    If Egypt goes well, and SZ2 were to back fire, I might w/d and save the ftr.  At least you have some options.

    Also, player styles differ.  Some players are more agressive/riskier.  Maybe I would be considered that with the axis, but not so much with the allies.

  • '16 '15 '10

    @rockrobinoff:

    1. securing the italian navy and winning the battle in SZ 12 are not one in the same. all that is absolutely necessary is killing a destroyer.

    2. securing the italian navy might not be such high priority. its only about 55% to win outright for UK (the bomber surviving only) and it totally blows for UK when it goes wrong. It might be even more of a gamble to attack the ITL navy on UK 1 than it is to attack Egypt on G1. If UK simply retreats the SZ 12 ships, then UK can pressure Germany faster by not having to build as many boats to defend its transports, and can get on with building transports and guys.

    Yeah I have a game (with an egy attk) where I actually got the order wrong and hit sz12 first…I whiffed, and then retreated my surviving fig, hoping Egy would go better.  But I got diced in Egy as well.  This made me wonder whether I’d be inclined to risk the 1 fig vrs. 1 cru 1 dd if I had rolled Egy first and knew the result.  I can’t say for sure–it’s hard to risk a valuable Kraut fig with only a 50/50 shot at achieving the objective.

    Besides, there’s always that chance that SZ14 will go in Axis’ way, evening the dicing.  You’re right, there’s a great case to be made that SZ14 is too risky for UK if they are already ahead (ie Egy and sz12 went bad for Germany, so why risk a battle where Allies could lose their advantage?).

    I suppose in both scenarios (G1 egpyt and UK1 italian navy) that if i was up against a true expert who was likely to outplay me in a long game, I would do both attacks. Otherwise, I would pick safer options, that are also good.

    This appears to be a key consideration.  I would pick safer options if I was confident that I had the edge over my opponent.  I guess what’s up in the air for me is if Egy is ever a good risk numbers wise even against skilled opponents.

  • '16 '15 '10

    @axis_roll:

    As with any battle (or series of battles) in A&A, you weigh the reward versus the risk.

    In Egypt, G1, this is a huge reward if germany can take (IMHO).  Sometimes this doesn’t work out and a weakening of the UK units are all that is achieved.  This too is a good thing for the axis.  Especially if they can keep the bomber alive in doing so.  Not so much a game winner when this happens, but favorable nonetheless.

    Gotta disagree somewhat, I think any result where the Uk fig lives is a bad result, because then the Kraut transport will be destroyed (and in the worst case scenarios, Axis might face a Libya counter or SZ14 attk).  Mutual destruction isn’t great but at least it isn’t a disaster.

    However, often times a distinct battle must not be only analyzed in a vacuum, but rather in the whole context of a turn or round of play.  SZ2 is the most relevant other battle.  I am fairly confident in a SZ2 battle outcome of 88% to win, and realistically 93% (add 5% for killing the BB but leaving the transport).  This is high enough in my book to risk both EGYPT and SZ2.  Odds are that you will do well enough in both battles most of the time.

    Agree that most of the time (60%), both will work.  SZ2 is actually 83-84%, and, if it goes bad enough to where the bb survives, it’s a big setback.  And there’s still the negative consequences of the likely fig casualties in sz12 (or the consequences of not hitting 12).  Finally, there’s that nasty 30% where Axis loses or its mutual destruction.

    I find the problem similar to Revised where experts learned to always include a fig in the SZ15 attack, even if this decreased overall odds in Egy.  Nobody wanted to risk that 10% chance of losing the game on G1.  To me, taking too many risks on G1 in AA50 is similar, because if Germany comes out of G1 weak then its all-too-easy for Allies to wreck them with a KGF.

    On the other hand….against some opponents, there are good reasons to think that Egy could make the difference, and it is 69% to win after all.

  • '16 '15 '10

    @the:

    I wonder what the odds of the attack without the bomber are?

    73% with the bomber, 36% without.  This might be a good move in some strategies but I’ve never tried it because I hate to lose all those units and the transport so early on.


  • @Zhukov44:

    SZ2 is actually 83-84%, and, if it goes bad enough to where the bb survives, it’s a big setback.

    I guess my batsim and your dice roller disagree.

    I ran it again and get 88% to win, add another 5% to get the BB dead (tpt survives)
    93% is pretty damn good odds.

    @Zhukov44:

    And there’s still the negative consequences of the likely fig casualties in sz12 (or the consequences of not hitting 12).  Finally, there’s that nasty 30% where Axis loses or its mutual destruction.

    I didn’t discuss this battle because, while it has obvious consequences, they are not related in any great degree with the Bomber to SZ2 vs Egypt decision.

    @Zhukov44:

    I find the problem similar to Revised where experts learned to always include a fig in the SZ15 attack, even if this decreased overall odds in Egy.  Nobody wanted to risk that 10% chance of losing the game on G1. To me, taking too many risks on G1 in AA50 is similar, because if Germany comes out of G1 weak then its all-too-easy for Allies to wreck them with a KGF.

    I guess all I can do is aspire to your level of expertise.    :roll:

    on the other hand, an expert axis player should be able to hold off a KGF.
    It’s not hard for Japan to send her air force over to europe to buy time for Japan to get after Russia.

    Can you scream “GODZILLA!” ?

  • '16 '15 '10

    I’ve got 83-84% with DSKelly, 84-85 with TripleA.

    When we’re talking about early Africa results and the 12 fleet, it’s not just KGF that one has to be concerned about.  There’s also the more general problem of how Axis can win the game if they are shut out of Africa.  If Germany gets routed in Egy or Italy loses the 14 fleet, then USA has a lot more lee-way to do whatever it wants.  SZ12 is big part of that discussion–taking a larger risk there is part of the risk of attacking Egy.


  • @Zhukov44:

    I’ve got 83-84% with DSKelly, 84-85 with TripleA.

    for what outcome?  a total win?
    you neglect to mention a BB kill (which is the key ship, IMHO)

    how do those odds calculators work?
    Batsim rolls the battle several thousand times using a random number generator.
    in fact, I went over 100,000 times to get my numbers.

    that’s plenty of outcomes to determine percentages.

    … but this thread is not about battle simulators

    @Zhukov44:

    When we’re talking about early Africa results and the 12 fleet, it’s not just KGF that one has to be concerned about.  There’s also the more general problem of how Axis can win the game if they are shut out of Africa.  If Germany gets routed in Egy or Italy loses the 14 fleet, then USA has a lot more lee-way to do whatever it wants.  SZ12 is big part of that discussion–taking a larger risk there is part of the risk of attacking Egy.

    It’s funny how you say G1 attack is perhaps not that key of an Axis attack, but then point out that if the axis get shut out of Africa, they have a general problem with winning the game.  seems contradictory to me, perhaps a bit?

    I think your statement is also another reason FOR the G1 attack:  The sooner that Africa falls into Axis hands, the better the axis chances of winning.


    None of this discussion is really worth anything IF YOU DO NOT WIN A MAJORITY OF THE BATTLES YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO WIN.  You can have the best strategy in the world, but the dice might not let you win.


  • @axis_roll:

    None of this discussion is really worth anything IF YOU DO NOT WIN A MAJORITY OF THE BATTLES YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO WIN.  You can have the best strategy in the world, but the dice might not let you win.

    I am afraid what is written above is sophistry. What matters most in dice (or in other words, A&A) is winning the important battles, and minimizing risk. The G1 attack is very important to a type of axis plan, but far from an absolute necessity, and what such a plan contributes to is “high variance” i.e. risk.

    You could quite easily win a game where most of the favourable battles went against you, if the very important ones went very well. In fact, if you set about taking on a plan where you must win say, five 90% battles for it to succeed, or else you lose the game, I would call you a big gambler.

    The chances of five 90% battles panning out is: 59%

    If you fought egypt G1 against an average player, i would call that a big blunder. Against an expert (that you would plan on losing a long game to) its probably worth it.


  • Here is an older thread about this same topic.  It has some good discussion and debate.

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=13173.0

    Here is part of one of my posts from that thread edited to reflect my current thinking…

    Should Germany attack Egypt on the first turn?

    Absolutely, positively, unequivocally, YES!!!

    Germany Turn 1: Attack Egypt all-out using the Bomber of course.  Also, either attack sz9 with 2 subs and sz12 with 3 fighters or attack sz2 with 2 subs/1 fighter and sz12 with 2 fighter.  You want to keep the Italian fleet alive, so you need to destroy the UK fighter on Egypt or at least the sz12 destroyer.  Roll Egypt first (according to the game rules), so that you know what you need to do for sz12.

    Japan turn 1:      Destroy the UK SZ#34 Fleet with the 2 sz61 Fighters so that the UK can’t reinforce Trans-Jordan so as to be able to purchase bombers and wipe out the Italian fleet on UK2.

    Italy Turn 1:      Capture Trans-Jordan.  If UK captures Morocco, then take it back with 2 Inf from Libya and the Fighter.  This also ensures that no matter what UK built on UK1, (Bombers for example), they won’t be in range of the Italian fleet in SZ#15 on UK2 (unless they get Long Range of course).  This also ensures that Italy will collect more IPCs on its first turn.

    This is good.  This is very good.  This is good enough to play.  :-P


  • @rockrobinoff:

    @axis_roll:

    None of this discussion is really worth anything IF YOU DO NOT WIN A MAJORITY OF THE BATTLES YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO WIN.  You can have the best strategy in the world, but the dice might not let you win.

    I am afraid what is written above is sophistry. What matters most in dice (or in other words, A&A) is winning the important battles, and minimizing risk. The G1 attack is very important to a type of axis plan, but far from an absolute necessity, and what such a plan contributes to is “high variance” i.e. risk.

    You could quite easily win a game where most of the favourable battles went against you, if the very important ones went very well. In fact, if you set about taking on a plan where you must win say, five 90% battles for it to succeed, or else you lose the game, I would call you a big gambler.

    Yes, I applied a broad brush when I said you have to win a majority of the battles you are supposed to win.  I sort of figured that ‘important/key’ battles was an assumption, but you know what happens when one assumes.

    @rockrobinoff:

    The chances of five 90% battles panning out is: 59%

    In this case, the battle odds that I see with my odds calc is egypt win (75%) and SZ2 win (93%-I consider sinking the BB to be a win, tpt can still be alive) = 69.75%.  Over 2/3 of the time.  Pretty good odds.

    @rockrobinoff:

    If you fought egypt G1 against an average player, i would call that a big blunder. Against an expert (that you would plan on losing a long game to) its probably worth it.

    I think this is more the key to the discussion when it comes to a go/no go for G1 attack:  How fast must the axis get africa?  Can they delay until round 2?  round 3?  Is it OK to give UK an extra ftr?  Is it OK to wait until round 2 for italy to get her second National Objective (if at all?)?

    What about the threat of sinking the Italian navy on UK2 now that there is no safe sea zone for the Italian Med fleet Italy 1?

    This is the broader context in which the G1 Egypt attack must be viewed in.


    And just how does one know that your opponent is an expert (or not)?  I always assume that my opponent is as good as I or better when thinking about what they might do against me.


  • OK I am going to offer another opinion that seems to be 100% against the current consensus. I used to be a proponent of a G1 attack on Egypt but I changed my mind months ago for several reasons.

    1. Attacking Egypt G1 weakens 2 other battles SZ2 and SZ12. I feel both of these battles are more important for the Axis as the eliminate UK ships before they can be consolidated and also a lack of success here not only allows the UK to buy less ships it will eliminate some German fighters, which will be needed for an attack against the UK navy. That right there equates to a double negative outcome for the Axis if things go less than optimally.

    2. Failure in Egypt on G1 is debilitating for Germany. It allows the UK Fighter to survive and guarantees the sinking of the Germany Mediterranean transport. It can also put SZ14 of Libya at risk for Italy. While a non-attack G1 does allow the UK fighter to survive it does not open up the other possible Allied moves.

    3. By reinforcing Libya the Axis put themselves in a better position in the long range view as far as Africa is concerned. The UK will most likely evacuate the fighter allowing either Italy or Germany on G2 to make a solid take of Egypt. Also by reinforcing Libya Germany will retain the Mediterranean transport and have more troops in Africa for latter when the real fight for Africa will take place.

    4. AA50 is not Classic or Revised. The Axis or under much less pressure to win before the Allies can get mobilized or they are doomed. As a matter of fact in AA50 the Axis can quite easily play a long game if they start from the beginning.

    Sometimes I will still make a G1 attack against Egypt but I much prefer a more certain approach with the Axis then trying to win (or LOSE) the game in round 1.


  • @a44bigdog:

    2. Failure in Egypt on G1 is debilitating for Germany. It allows the UK Fighter to survive and guarantees the sinking of the Germany Mediterranean transport. It can also put SZ14 of Libya at risk for Italy. While a non-attack G1 does allow the UK fighter to survive it does not open up the other possible Allied moves.

    what other allied moves are you referring to?  I know that UK consolidating in TRJ UK1 and buying 3 bombers could signal the death knell of the italian navy on UK2.  Little brother Italy now becomes a mere infantry producer.

    @a44bigdog:

    4. AA50 is not Classic or Revised. The Axis or under much less pressure to win before the Allies can get mobilized or they are doomed. As a matter of fact in AA50 the Axis can quite easily play a long game if they start from the beginning.

    Perhaps, but a slow start, especially for Germany, gives the allies the option of running a KJF, which I am seeing can be very effective in the right situation (like when Russia is not under pressure for several rounds).

    @a44bigdog:

    Sometimes I will still make a G1 attack against Egypt but I much prefer a more certain approach with the Axis then trying to win (or LOSE) the game in round 1.

    So you feel it’s a do or die type of situation.

    I have to disagree.  Losing SZ2 (BB is alive) can be pretty bad (< 8% of that happening), but winning Egypt could offset that SZ2 loss.  I don’t think when I am running SZ2 and Egypt that I am putting all my chips into the middle on a long range gamble.

    Seems like it’s down to a matter of playing style.


  • Nothing proves theory like practical results.

    What we could do is look at game play results from this years league.

    Assuming no bid in egypt, see how the axis fare if the G1 egypt battle is run (store outcome of battle too).

    After a full year of league play, we should get a decent number of outcomes.


  • axis_roll I was referring to the options that could be available due to Axis failures due to attacking Egypt. SZ12 surviving and opening up an attack on SZ14 (although that is a bad move for UK in my mind, too much risk not enough reward). An attack on Libya using the surviving Egypt forces and the UK bomber. Those are the biggest 2, but there are some others.

    I agree with your point on the slow start, but at the same time I do not think it is conducive for Germany to risk breaking its back on round 1. I do not consider not taking Egypt G1 and setting up a take G2 a slow start.

    I do not think it is necessarily a do or die situation. That was more true of Classic and Revised. In those the Axis had to get the job done quickly before the Allies could gang up on Germany in most cases. In those games the Axis had the pieces and positions but did not have the economy. In AA50 the Axis can meet or exceed the Allies economically very quickly, certainly by say round 3, so I do not see the pressing need for the Axis to pursue every possible attack they can make on round 1.

    Keep in my mind that I am not saying that a G1 attack on Egypt is a horrible move, I am more stating that it is not really necessary. The Axis can reinforce in Africa on round 1 and be more or less assured of the outcome on round 2. I base this on my experiences. Initially I attacked Egypt on G1, however if things go badly the Axis is suddenly in bad shape as far as Africa and possibly the Atlantic. Delaying the attack and putting some more troops in Africa while preserving the German transport puts the Axis in a better position as far as Africa down the road. They should loose less troops taking Africa since they will have a better odds attack and the UK fighter will most likely be gone. Also the Germans will have the Med transport that can send a few more troops to Africa if needed or send some troops to Ukraine, or if things go really good go off and take Madagascar or such. Again more options for Axis.


  • @a44bigdog:

    Also the Germans will have the Med transport that can send a few more troops to Africa if needed or send some troops to Ukraine, or if things go really good go off and take Madagascar or such. Again more options for Axis.

    Yes, sure G2, another boat load.  Then the Med Fleet can be sunk on UK2 if so desired.

    Is this not a desirable move by the allies anymore (sink Italian/Med navy UK2)?
    Should I start another thread  :-D ?

  • '16 '15 '10

    @a44bigdog:

    OK I am going to offer another opinion that seems to be 100% against the current consensus. I used to be a proponent of a G1 attack on Egypt but I changed my mind months ago for several reasons.

    1. Attacking Egypt G1 weakens 2 other battles SZ2 and SZ12. I feel both of these battles are more important for the Axis as the eliminate UK ships before they can be consolidated and also a lack of success here not only allows the UK to buy less ships it will eliminate some German fighters, which will be needed for an attack against the UK navy. That right there equates to a double negative outcome for the Axis if things go less than optimally.

    2. Failure in Egypt on G1 is debilitating for Germany. It allows the UK Fighter to survive and guarantees the sinking of the Germany Mediterranean transport. It can also put SZ14 of Libya at risk for Italy. While a non-attack G1 does allow the UK fighter to survive it does not open up the other possible Allied moves.

    3. By reinforcing Libya the Axis put themselves in a better position in the long range view as far as Africa is concerned. The UK will most likely evacuate the fighter allowing either Italy or Germany on G2 to make a solid take of Egypt. Also by reinforcing Libya Germany will retain the Mediterranean transport and have more troops in Africa for latter when the real fight for Africa will take place.

    4. AA50 is not Classic or Revised. The Axis or under much less pressure to win before the Allies can get mobilized or they are doomed. As a matter of fact in AA50 the Axis can quite easily play a long game if they start from the beginning.

    Sometimes I will still make a G1 attack against Egypt but I much prefer a more certain approach with the Axis then trying to win (or LOSE) the game in round 1.

    Good summary; I agree with all 4 points.

  • '16 '15 '10

    @axis_roll:

    Is this not a desirable move by the allies anymore (sink Italian/Med navy UK2)?

    I don’t face this often.  If a UK2 attack on the Italy navy works, that’s an excellent outcome for Allies.  However, Trj can be a risky spot for a UK1 stack (particularly if there is no Africa bid), especially if the Japs are bringing it in the Indian Ocean region.  If UK buys 3 bmbs Axis might risk the 1-2-3 attack to disrupt UK and take out those units.

    There’s also the possibility that even a 4 bmb 1 fig attk on the Italy navy could fail.  Or that it could succeed, but UK loses all 4 bombers, either during the battle or afterwards if they are left on Trj.  Even if it works there is a trade-off…by this time Axis has dumped enough forces into Africa to make it competitive, while UK will be a step behind building up Atlantic navy and securing early objectives.

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