Luftwaffe Strategy

  • I’ve been having some interesting games lately using a German strategy that I never seriously considered until recently.
    When to use it has a lot of variables, depends a lot on the options and more importantly the results of the Russian first move.

    Its risky, and may position Germany at the expense of Japan.

    Initial buy
    2 fighters and the rest in infantry
    alternate strategy (better against America, but has defensive issues later)
    1 bomber and one fighter and a tank

    The principle goal of the strategy is to wreak havoc on allied landing plans.  It generally is good for a delay, and if it works well can severely slow down the US/British invasion plans.   The fighters are also useful to supplement ground defense and strafing attacks with lower overall casualties.  (This depends of course on the Soviet reaction).

    Opening Moves:

    Mediterranean .
    Transport and Battleship
    Keep these together and either combine with the Libyan forces and take Egypt (if the sub hits this can be a problem)
    but it also puts the fleet out of range of all except the UK bomber and the Russian fighters (forces some choices)

    Submarine (if survives)
    Attack the British battleship with air support, you can use the bomber or if want to be more aggressive and gamble support with a fighter and use the Bomber to go after the US transports.  If it died in the Soviet first move (unlikely if submerge rules are in play) you want to send either the bomber or two fighters after it.  If this is necessary, let the US keep their ships, you’ve still bought a lot of time and have a fair chance of getting them on R2.

    Variant: send the sub into the North Sea (it could save you a fighter)

    Don’t bother with the E. Canada transport, it spreads you too thin and is fairly easy to dispatch in round 2.

    North Sea
    Hit the North Sea with everything you’ve got that still floats and can reach.
    This is at least 4 aircraft (much better with 5, lessens chance of combat round 2 casualties) and possibly a transport and 1-2 subs.  The more power you can bring, the better the chance of an overwhelming victory here.
    If your northern fleet has been damaged you may want to alter your plan, delay Egypt and use your atlantic naval power to free up more aircraft.   This is potentially problematic in Africa later.  Unless  you are using 2 hit battleships, load the transport.  Gibralter is an option, (fleet stands better chance in R2) but usually will dump the infantry in Africa, where every man counts.

    Non-Combat Moves.

    Withdraw your land forces back to Germany, leaving a token defender to hold the line in the two provinces to the right of Germany.    Reinforce Eastern Europe for a total of 4-5 infantry.   All tanks retreat to Germany.  Evacuate southern europe.  (you can always send a tank to africa if it is an option next round)

    land 2 fighters and a bomber in W. Europe,  the rest of the fighters in Germany.

    Evacuate Finland if possible.

    This will cripple the Allied fleet and unless its a disaster you will be going into round 2 with between 5-8 aircraft intact for Round 2.   You won’t pose a direct threat to Russia, but its not uncommon in Russia Restricted to have your aircraft survive and a good attack roll will potentially leave a ship or two around Britain for the allies to contend with.

    Your Ground forces will be initially very thin.   However since the Allies aren’t landing soon and there is a buffer between you and Russia, you should have time to remedy this in the next round or two.   If Russia gets overly aggressive towards Japan, you may even be in a position to prepare a follow up attack using armor (gets very risky).

    You will have significant counter attack power based in Germany, which will make Russia unlikely to move with force into Eastern Europe.   If they initially very heavily fortified the Sino-German front then they might.  This is something to evaluate in the initial decision to use this strategy.   If they poised to fight Japan instead, they are likely out of position.

    Allies will be sweating bullets and taking chances if they try and rebuild their fleet.   At this point you can deliver a strike that is as strong or stronger than your first round attack.  If nothing else you are probably able to harrass allied fleet development.   Brittain may well have some tough airforce utilization and buy decisions to make.  Your western europe airforce is a deterrent to an african invasion.  If they want Africa, the English will probably have to opt out of India.

    If you went towards Egypt with your land troops you have a plausible chance of your transport surviving.

    The Risks:
    When it goes badly it goes really badly.  If your airforce gets crushed or takes too much damage you will be very weak on round 2.   You not only lost your naval deterrent,  you’ve also lost your counter-attack ability against Russia which means you could feel a lot of pressure on Southern Europe in Round 2.   This is relatively uncommon, in testing, but its brutal when it does happen.

    Regardless of the outcome, Russia can insulate itself by cutting off your European access to Karalia and throw quite a bit at Japan as it won’t be under intense pressure.   If this happens, it tends to benefit an offensively geared German force.   Japan can take a beating though, especially if they have a rough first round on the continent.

    Your Atlantic fleet has potential to survive.  This is mostly due to priortitization choices.   IF the allies give up airpower to take it down (especially with the Egypt move) then Russia may be easier to take down than usual, despite its probable higher IPC revenue.   The dice outcomes and the risk factor you accept, will of course, texture this strategy quite a bit.

    Your Round 2 situation
    You will likely have an offensive core in the form of a strong fighter force to back a march towards Russia or as a strong deterrent force.   You have a lot of flexibility to support either an offensive or defensive buy.  You will have strategic options.  The Japanese are probably going to be forced to fight tooth and nail.  An out of position Russia may take the bait and set itself up for a crushing counterattack on round 2.   Africa could be a rout or could be interesting, if its getting US support, it will delay the invasion.   If the allies try to build the naval pipeline in round 2, they are the ones taking big chances.   A massive air swarm will be able to trade IPCs efficiently in many cases.  Sometimes at devestating levels.


    You will eventually face an allied fleet buildup that your airforce will either have to sacrifice itself to eliminate or will have to fight it out.   If done well, it can buy a lot of time and also put Germany into a fairly aggressive stance early in the game.  Your air power will be very flexible which is extremely helpful as it can assist on any front including Africa, and is highly mobile.  Having a lot of fighters gives you counter attack (once the ground troops start appearing), direct attack possibilities (if the soviets leave themselves thin and the allies dont send many aircraft to support … maybe spending ipcs of a fleet or something), you can make a strong (expensive) early threat against Russia before it can dig in too much.

    If the allies have a hard time recovering you will find that you won’t need too many ground troops for western/southern Europe and so this may well offset the fact that you didn’t buy infantry initially.

    If nothing else it makes Germany interesting and fun to play.   So if you don’t feel like turtling, don’t want to go all in at low odds against Karalia and like the idea of an aggressive German army that can leverage its initial strength effectively, like the idea of a dominant air force and are willing to take some chances this might be worth expirimenting with for you.

    The one thing I like a lot about this is it takes advantage of the one window where Germany can avoid the infantry push requirements and behave aggressively.   In some games it even sets up a tank based buy (to leverage speed and a power strike) on round 2.   Most of the time you will want infantry.   It may buy you time to get a second transport (if lucky) one more fighter, or a balanced purchase.  While infantry buys are traditional and have good reasons for them, a balanced round 2 buy increases speed, which can relieve pressure on Japan.  Very situational but can at least be considered.

    I haven’t fully explored this.  It was a recent insight and there are a lot of situational adaptational variants.
    It  can be much harder to play in non RR games (that fighter counts a lot).  Its fairly easy to screw up a positional move which is important because your troops will intially be thin.  An aggressive Russian may change the dynamic quite a bit.   I pretty much wrote it off on consideration for a long time, the idea of being that thin on the ground is scary and some bad rolls can leave you very vulnerable.   Follow up moves vary a lot with the reaction of the enemy, it can be tricky to execute well.   A disaster in the North Sea will pretty much mean lights out for Germany early.  Haven’t run the numbers, but I suspect this is much less likely than a disaster in Karelia.    Low casualties in the Luftwaffe can be replaced due to your buy, high casualties are much more problematic.   This strategy works best if you have any naval resources that survived in round 1, as each boat is one less airplane that dies.  Be smart with your fighters, even if you have a lot of them, you never want to throw one away if you can avoid it, there is strength in numbers.

    Anyhow, haven’t seen this posted before.  Although it likely has given the size of the forums.  I searched and didn’t find it though, so I thought I’d throw this out there for evaluation.


  • My thoughts on this is that you have delayed any US/UK naval action by, at most, one turn.  By doing so, however, you have given Russia the equivalent of several turns headstart.  If I were Russia I would quickly go on the offensive because you won’t have the infantry necessary to do anything about it.  Expect to quickly lose massive territory in the East and be sweating against a massive Russian force.

    Worse still is going to be the economics.  Its way too soon for Japan to take much, if any, Russian territory and Russia is going to be taking quite a bit of E. Europe, possibly threatening to take S. Europe and Germany itself.

    Best case is Russia will soon be building nearly as much as Germany and will be able to hold Germany off much longer than it will take the US/UK to rebuild.

  • Possible I am not playing against the most skilled players.  Although thats hard to determine.

    As the Allies then you would continue with the Invasion and rebuild the fleet?  Sounds this way because you suggest that the invasion is delayed by only one turn.  Russia would make an IPC grab, going east or would they split their force pool?  Do they really have several turns head start when they may be in a position of having limited reinforcements arriving from the west?

    I’ve seen the situation unfold where this happens, but generally this is the exception.  Usually involving a serious rout of the Japanese on both fronts, which is unusual.  Russia does tend to get higher IPCs, but is hard pressed to both threaten Europe and do serious damage on the Eastern front simultaniously.  If they are aggressive in both theaters they tend to have problems and may not be able to withstand a counter attack, particularly in the face of an offense oriented German build.  The Ukraine will fall, Eastern Europe is deceptively hard for the Soviets to dig into.

    Allies have air power allocation issues.  They can’t really give the Soviets air support at a high level and build a fleet that is capable of protecting itself against 6-8 aircraft at the same time.  Capital ships seem like they are a necessity.  The fighters almost never split their attacks although a bomber or two may be expendable against an attempted American build.  The round 2 situation, particularly in Russia restricted (where Germans have the luxury of writing off the navy as casualties) is quite a bit different when facing 6-8 aircraft then it is when facing a more damaged air wing.
    In Russia Restricted scenarios, in particular, the allied Navy around England tends to get decimated with minimal casualties.  If the axis is willing to give up their Atlantic fleet to take out the Battleship at Gibralter, the firepower concentration is high and the fleet doesn’t stand too much of a chance of doing heavy casualties against the five fighters and three ships.

    Not saying this is an ideal strategy, although it is currently appealing.  I possibly haven’t played it enough to get a good handle on the optimal allied response.  I’m interested in understanding how you would counter, a bit better.

    Allies, what sort of build do they make to get back into invasion mode that quickly without taking extreme risks?

    Where is Russia applying pressure, in terms of “going on the offensive”? Europe/Asia/Both?  In Europe are they gearing up initially or do they drive hard at the Ukraine or Eastern Europe.  Until the Germans commit their air force they have flexibility in theaters, so a Soviet leader that moves in quickly tends to be facing a formidable amount of troops, as despite the low initial build, the Germans only have one of the three 6 point provinces to fortify instead of all three.

    Anyhow, what do you think the best allied builds are to counter, and where does the Soviet army commit forces?

  • To illustrate I took some screenshots (using the computer version)
    (Russia restricted, defends atlantic, mobilizes heavily towards russia.  Could have +1 fighter)

    This was a favorable (although not uncommon) result as it worked out.  The German navy survived with 2/3 ships.
    There is a decision in the atlantic as to whether to give up the bomber, the battleship or the transport.

    The England transport survived.

    • can’t post links yet but here are the urls if you want to modify them to view
      [EDIT] Appears I modified my post enough times that the links now work 🙂 [/EDIT]

    Initial attack

    Post Attack

    Forgot to take a post placement shot
    [Edit] Found the save file.  Here’s what it looks like after the german placement
    [EDIT] See final paragraph for better deployment [/EDIT]

    add 2 fighters one tank and one infantry to Germany
    as a result of the buy.

    W. Europe
    2 Inf
    2 Tank
    2 Ftr
    1 Bmb

    12 Inf
    7 Tank
    5 Ftr

    E Europe
    1 Inf

    2 Inf

    1 Battleship (or alternately a transport at the expense of 2 infantry in Germany, but a stronger Africa presence)

    Allied fleets in the Atlantic (Canada/US are intact).  The Battleship can be usually killed by BB+Trans and the Bomber can take a swing at one of those transports instead.

    ** if the bomber buy had been taken Germany would have 4 fighters and 1 bomber and one less tank.
    [Edit] Screenshot with bomber buy and choice to consolidate Libya.  The Battleship in the Atlantic should have died, assume it is preferred casualty to bomber in this situation. I would not expect this fleet to live long, but it does improve German presence in Africa which can be easily augmented with fighters depending on game development[/EDIT]
    This variant of the Luftwaffe strategy gives more potential to deal with an initial American ship buy (by providing a replacement or an auxilliary for a later game strike), it is however at the expense of already scarce ground troops.  Only tried this variant once because I like the defensive value of fighters, so it may or may not be a better strategy.  My gut instinct is that its probably not as effective overall and may make the Germans too vulnerable on the ground.
    Test at your own risk.
    The maximum soviet Karalia presence is
    19 Infantry, 3 tanks and 2 fighters.

    Looking at a combat simulator:

    If the Soviets move to E. Europe they are walking into a likely slaughter.  (99% w/avg IPC german loss of 38, basically the infantry.)  This is with maximum force that the red bear can bring, with all units in proper position.

    Although this may give the allies time to build their invasion fleet, the Axis will have time to reinforce themselves.
    If Russia doesn’t take the bait, and buy time by cutting off E. Europe with a dead zone attack, England is very vulnerable in any naval production and is put in a tough spot.  While Russia can hold back for a while, they are limited in the amount of troops they can send to fight Japan, as Germany’s attack forcetends to require a fairly high eastern front defense level.  Japan is the X factor, but they aren’t exactly without resources.

    Not sure whether is best to keep the battleship, bomber or transport.  Those two infantry in Africa are very likely to be significant.

    ** obviously a non RR plays out differently and can be much harder to implement effectively

    Ran the simulator on the Naval battle
    Avg win for axis 99.8%, avg IPC loss 19
    typically the fighters will all survive, the navy is dicey.  Given the small number of units, air losses are possible, and there is the potential for severe damage, although not highly likely.

    The Allied Mediterranean Battleship is destroyed 99.6% of the time (95% if you hold back the transport), although using the west atlantic move illustrated above, that will probably be the last of the German presence in the Med.

    My read on the situation
    In general the worst mistake the Germans can make from here is to split their air attacks too much, as a combined unit the luftwaffe can do a lot of first round damage wherever they are deployed, limiting the ability to create a secure pipeline early on.

    ** [Edit] Ok, I see one serious potential mistake here that affects the counter attack odds (If the navy gets destroyed), the Canadian transport can set up an attack on the E.Euro buffer zone.  This brings the counter attack success rate to around 90% with heavy casualties and opens up a tank lane into S.Europe (preventable with better placement) and fully preventable by making certain the blockade stays in place
    To contend with this either you have to accept the increased chance of losing a fighter (making it preferential to losing the transport in the N.Sea), or go after the UK canada transport.  At the moment I’m leaning towards the risk of the fighter loss if the choice must be made, as the risk is probably close to that of losing against the transport anyhow. Also reduces the chance of a serious disaster happening.
    Hmm. Ok, so the brits Airstrike here, opening up a corridor for a tank advance.   Not as serious, but it does require a more diversified placement, troops in S.Europe are a must at this juncture, enough to handle three tanks worth. Lol, told  you it was easy to make mistakes with this strat

    Now that I’ve illustrated the sitrep, what are the appropriate allied counters?  What are the best modifications to the German strategy?  I realize the non RR scenario is different, but it is also far more complicated and has a lot more variants, so I’d like to explore this avenue first, if interested.  95% Atlantic win rate is still high, is it better to keep the transport and shore up Libya instead?  (Both ships probably die in Rd2 either way, not sure if the added strength in Libya is a good trade for the probable damage to British Airpower when the BB survives)

    SITREP (give or take a few units, same link as post placement)
    The Axis appear thin, but I think its deceptive as fortress Europe is relatively secure for a bit.
    Grunts or an Inf/Armor mix can be added later.  I think there is enough weight there to forcibly secure E. Europe on Rd 2 and enough flexibility to take advantage of some openings the Allies might leave available.   If the Soviets over commit to Asia, then a heavy armor buy in Rd2 makes a blitz an additional threat, although this is highly situational and needs to be very carefully weighed.
    After reviewing, the end of turn placement needs modification.
    In order to prevent a Russian tank blitz into S. Europe, following an air attack on the E. Europe corridor
    The end of turn results should look something like this.   (Basically S. Europe reinforced), on this run, I modified the approach a bit by sacrificing the battleship and reinforcing Libya with a tank. (Haven’t run the counter attack numbers for the Eastern front yet, but it does provide more weight in the Africa campaign. Still undecided about the best way to handle the Med.

    Russia Restricted. Maximum Russian presence on E. Front, which is probably not what would happen.  It does, however  illustrate the maximum typical danger level in that theater, under those circumstances.  Since every run went similarly, I’m guessing the outcome of the airstrike is typically zero air casualties in most games. (note: 2 ftrs in s. europe, number is obscured)
    Libya (offscreen) has all starting Africa units +1 tank. Assumes a conservative approach in that theater.

    In the Event of a full strike on E.Europe, a full force to the death, counter attack has a 99.7% chance of success, with an average loss of all infantry and one tank.   This would leave both of the major powers severely damaged, but the allies would still have difficulty deploying forces to the theater.  A soviet play of this type would destroy any ability to hold off Japan and is probably catastrophic if attempted, although I definitely haven’t explored the full ramifications of this move.  I’d imagine the Germans would have to push hard after that or go all in after the Allied fleet on R3 in that case, maybe dig in instead.  A lot of randomness there, not sure how it would all play out over several games.

    Best Counters by the Allies to the situation at the end of Round 1?

  • First, I think you are a little optimistic in your NOR results, and if you used the transport as combat fodder, you can’t NC the troops off Norway.  I am not sure what you did in MED & Africa.  I think left egypt alone (so I assume you took all available Afr. IPCs (+3) and took out the Gib BB, losing your transport.

    My response would be:

    UK: buy AC + trans (save 4).

    Combat Take tank through empty Afr. country and attack either Germ inf or (preferably Arm) , inf, arm.  (get 2 ipcs back from GERM) 
    Bom to BB.
    2 figs clear NOR and NC to Karelia

    Move up SAfr inf, move over TJ inf.
    Normal delay in ASIA (probably strategic retreat).

    End with AC, 2 trans in NOR.  Down 1 ipc, Have 33 for R2 purchase

    Buys 4 trans, 4 inf.
    2 figs to carrier, (Bom to BB, to Gib, if UK doesnt get it) other Fig to EC, BB + trans moves to Panama

    Russia: Buys 8 inf.
    19 inf to EE (I’m not putting russian armor at risk this early), 3 arm, 2 figs, in inf to Ukraine.
    Eastern Arm, to Kareli, 8 inf to Karelia.

    Germany is left with AC, 2 fis, 3 trans in NOR and 19 inf in EE.  It has 35 IPCs.

    If Germ clears both (Planes to NOR, all land units available to EE, it probably is left with 4 figs, Bom from NOR and about 5 armor on EE (wihch Germany will take out with Inf and figs R3 setting up a deadzone)

    If germany takes BOM against US trans, it might get one or 2, but loose one or two more figs.

    If it ignores NOR, UK buys another AC and next rd, germany is looking at 2 AC, 4 figs, 8 trans and will never get to use all those planes for anything productive.

    The real FU comes when US brings those 8 loaded transports (6 inf and arm) plus i fig and bom against the 2 inf, 4 figs, BOM sitting in WE, and starts chipping into the rest of those planes.

    So what does Germany buy on R2?  By R4 it has to be able to take back both EE and We (maybe without planes) each turn on 22 ipcs.

  • Thanks for the answer.

    Couple of clarifications:
    Move up SAfr inf, move over TJ inf.
    TJ?  transporting from india? Not sure what this acronym is …Transport Jump?

    Panama Move is possible, depending on outcome of pearl harbor (didn’t show the japan side, but chances of both ships making it thru the canal aren’t really that high) unless the bomber is used to target the probable surviving Japanese battleship.  Of course Pearl harbor can swing wildly due to the small number of dice involved.

    Likewise, not really sure in Africa.  The S. European transport is assumed dead (it stays as sub fodder) and all german troops in africa are in Libya (4 inf +1 tank) so picking them off is not possible … slower IPC for the german (only +1 in the first round, but safer to leave as a unit until fighters can be diverted or the allies leave an opening, IMO.  The brit tank could grab 1 IPC and retreat back to the canal, or grab 2 and end up stranded in Algeria.  If its assisted by US troops, it changes the balance in Africa but also significantly increases the vulnerability of the US fleet to a bomber run.

    44 IPC cost?  Did you mean 3 trans/4 inf and leave the one at home on the coast? (36 IPC)

    UK fighters.  To Karalia. Doesn’t matter a lot at this stage, just curious.

    Note:  The bomber is likely available for other duties 2/3 chance as the German Battleship is taken as a casualty in the naval battle to keep the Bomber alive, should it come to that, which it usually does.

    The USA W.Europe invasion, presume thats scheduled for round 2, or is it an immediate attack, not really clear.

    IIRC USA only has two fighters, are you landing both on the carrier?  Or am I forgetting one?

    Thanks for the clarifications.

    Norway evac usually happens, 2 submarines as priority casualties and the overall odds favor this most of the time.  Not uncommon to see a sub live, both subs surviving is fairly rare.

    Once I understand the countermoves better (clarified) will give you my response.

    If I’m understanding your counter correctly, this does put a lot of pressure on Germany
    (very probably should have gone after the caucasus in rd. 1, with both infantry assuming a dead zone, but thats a fairly minor point)

    Germany basically has a number of options here and they all have pros and cons, does make it interesting though.

    1. An all fronts attack
    a) A strafe attack with the bulk of the line troops on the Russian infantry. supported by 2 fighters, probably only goes one round, potentially disasterous.  W. Europe will have to be reinforced by infantry to cover the contingency of the bomber failing in its transport busting mission. 
    b) five fighters into the Brit fleet.  50/50 proposition, (leaves Germans with only 3-4 fighters, but British invasion is crippled for round 2, their IPCs are probably sunk buying one round
    c) Bomber vs. Transports, Not so good on average, 67% to get one, and a fifty/fifty shot at taking a swipe at a second one.  Don’t feel like doing the math, but its not spectacular.  Battle calculator states 2 trans is average outcome, but not sure that its typical.  However, even knocking out one transport does put western europe out of reach for a round.  Anticipating this makes the 2 bomber variant look much better, at least vs USA.

    • Overall this is risky, and chances of all three working out aren’t too hot.  Variables come into play, and if the initial round fighter ops didn’t go perfectly is definitely not worth considering.

    2. Ignore the Americans, kill the brits
    Survival odds of the airforce go up considerably if the bomber is brought in with five fighters.  Probably two planes getting out of that and the bomber probably goes in the second round.  A strafe could trade 3 fighters for the transports and a fighter, but thats a poor choice as the brits only have a small delay there.  If you take the entire airforce, you are looking at a pretty even chance of 3 or 4 fighter losses, and a much lower chance against russia.
    The US is still looking at facing 4-5 aircraft on their unescorted transports if they decide to take a potshot at W.Europe and will have to rebuild.  Buying more time.

    A strafe will cost 3 air units typically, but slows the reinforcement window just a bit in Karalia.  A mixed response heavy on the soviet front could consider this although most of the airforce needs to be committed to keep the allies from taking fighters as casualties instead of the transports.

    Pressure from the Soviets may limit the amount of airpower that can be committed post invasion, but with this many aircraft a run across the Atlantic is pretty likely to be a disaster for the US, who can’t realistically attack until R3 and
    will have to consider a N.Sea landing instead of Atlantic.

    This strategy does have the advantage of limiting Russian reinforcements considerably, at least for a while. 
    The Germans still have a fairly sizeable Luftwaffe which is now pretty much designated for defense, but it does force the Allies to be careful in splitting ships off of the main convoys.

    3.  Fortify
    Ok, this didn’t buy much time against the Allied invasion, but it does provide a large pool of fighters to defend the three fronts.  The Russians will have to move quickly to exploit their short term advantage.  Particularly if the English jumped their troops in infantry out of Asia.

    The IPC advantage from the Eastern Bloc countries will diminish rapidly once the almost unopposed Japanese start chewing through lightly held Russian real estate.  British Forces in Africa will have to assist the gap in the Mid East fairly soon, or the Soviets will have to divert forces.  Round 3 may present opportunities for a more offensive build if the Soviets try to defend themselves as their supporting troops will have to either divert, put new builds in the Russian capital, (either of which shifts advantage on the eastern front which now has counter attack potentials) or hold very lightly against Japan and hope they don’t get crushed by a tank/airstrike into Moscow.

    The bomber probably goes on a one way trip to slow down the Americans as each transport killed now, slows the advance somewhat.  Alternately if the Germans are willing (and have the resources free) to face a continental invasion it can provide a deterrent to US mixed builds.

    4. Dig in and assist Africa
    This is a variant on the above, although a portion of the airforce can be diverted to Africa.  This makes Europe harder to hold, but does increase the probability of later round IPCs, which can mean a major difference in IPCs for the allies.
    It may help if you can lure the British main force into Libya, where it can get massive air support on an otherwise defensive turn.  This is obviously not guaranteed to work, but its worth keeping in mind should the opportunity present itself.

    5. Hard Strafe
    Attack the Russians full on, with the intent of falling back if things don’t go extremely well, as in extremely one sided.
    Ideally you batter the Soviet line and then dig in.  The ability to execute this effectively goes up considerably in Round 3 after an infantry buffer is obtained.  The Japanese factor is also more of an issue at this time.

    At this juncture there are a number of tactical options in round 2, which does tend to make an interesting game. 
    Germany will be fighting tooth and nail, although will be essentially digging in at this point.  Given the Highly aggressive Russian stance that the counter strategy indicates and a full on KGF which is developing, some hard choices have to be made.  More fighters gives more options and a wide choice of theaters.  Each option at this junction will spin the game in a different direction.

    6.  All in vs Soviets
    Germany will take E. Europe decisively, but the tanks will get slaughtered in the counter attack.  Karalia gets reinforced by the Allies quickly and you are likely not going to be around long enough for Japan to make its march.
    This is generally a bad idea at this juncture unless as a modification to a particularly successful strafing attack which is always a possibility due to the number of high powered units involved.  (8 tanks + 8 aircraft on a good roll can create a lopsided situation sometimes, of course this works both ways).

    This is very much a situational decision.  The big X factors are in Africa, the N. Sea, and Asia.
    The Japanese will be knocking on Russia’s door very quickly and in sizeable numbers without resistance in the Asian theater.

    If the Germans keep their airforce in reserve, the allies get a better grip on protecting Russia, but will take a while to chew through the strong defenses in each potential landing zone.  As soon as German infantry starts producing those fighters become stronger anchors on defense and can adjust to danger zones.  The fighters can also be activated at any given point to disrupt the convoys and create a supply gap.  If held back they can also be organized to launch a six unit swing in Russia to assist the Japanese attack.  Any weakness in the Soviet line that develops due to reacting to Japan can also be exploited in many cases.  Until committed they make defenses very formidable.

    If the Germans take out the British fleet, the Soviets will have to provide for thier own defense or Brittain has to make the tough choice of continuing naval agression or switching to fighter production to assist the Russians.  If the Japanese can move quickly, the US may also have to make a similar decision potentially creating vulnerabilities in the transport fleet or affecting replacement speeds in the pipeline.

    Bomber or fighter.  This is a tough choice and will have to be decided in the middle of a battle.  The Bomber has no defense capabilities but does provide at least a one shot counter on American production and serves as a deterrent to reinforcing Africa.  If the US ship gets cut off before crossing Panama the US will have to spend money on a capital ship or buy transports in bulk (slowing down infantry replacements).  The fighter of course can strengthen lines defensively and may be necessary if intervention in Africa becomes a requirement.

    Since the full KGF strategy was the response, the buy is probably 10 infantry in R2, a ninth airplane is probably going to leave Germany too weak against the russian counter.  Given that all three Allies are throwing 100% of their IPCs at the Germans means they will have to dig in.  However, a chance at a decisive blow increases more for Germany on R3 once the infantry buffer is in place.

    Had the Soviets chosen to put any kind of effort into the Asian theater a mixed buy of ground units would be feasible, but facing the full might of the Soviet army leaves no choice but to start piling up infantry as fast as possible.  Germany goes into survival mode here at least until the Japanese force the slowdown of Soviet IPCs or create mandatory troop withdrawls.

    The upside of this is that the Allied advance is slowed somewhat, and the Soviets are going to be facing reinforcement issues either by replacing troops for a while, or more likely because the British fleet is the likely primary target.

    Regardless of the German stance, the allies are slowed down.  They have drawn the bulk of the Soviet army in, and can disrupt Allied shipping at will for one round (unless they get an opening at Russia).    One turn can make a big difference, particularly when Japan is in a position to maraud at will.  Allied fleet mobility is constricted, as Germans can choose to trade off fighters for fleet whenever an advantage presents itself, an option which Germany really can’t afford using the classic infantry build.

    There are a lot of risky propositions involved, but strategically I think its more flexible and interesting, and often more effective than an initial infantry build.  Just having a legitimate and flexible counter-threat forces the Allies into a position where they can afford fewer mistakes.  If a full on KGF develops, it will still take longer to implement, which plays into the Axis position in ways that a static buy just doesnt’ allow them to do.  If forced into a complete defensive position, they can continue to buy infantry and shore up the most vulnerable areas easily.

    The allies will have to move slower in general and keep their guard up.  Strafes which once left the Allies with a fairly low risk proposition now work a bit differently as the Germans will be much more able to exploit a bad opening round, undoing significant amounts of allied preperation.  Without aircraft, the Germans had limited counter attack ability, now a strafe which goes bad can quickly turn into a situation where the Axis can deliver a crushing counter blow that forces the target to completely restructure.

    Overall, I’m not sure if its a better strategy, and certainly has potential for getting destroyed if poorly executed, but I feel it makes a livelier game that presents a lot more strategic options to the German player.  Every game is going to develop a bit differently as the dice color the events.  I think that this approach at least presents an interesting set of options and gives the Axis a reasonable opportunity to turn the tables and exploit opportunities which appear, which the classic mostly static infantry defense rarely does.

    If the Soviets decide to press into S. Europe the Allies need a way to stop the Japanese and the Soviet army is fractured.  Haven’t really tried this, but I suspect it gets pretty brutal in Europe pretty fast, with Russia and Germany both becoming very lean very quickly.

    The Germans really have to weigh their counter attack options, but they now have them.  If Eastern Europe can be secured in the later rounds and W. Europe is held, then its worth considering a shift in the anti-aircraft guns if a battle line shift is justified.

    Has anyone else experimented with this, and how did it work out?

  • I looked at this last night on Triple A.  You are correct that i messed up the purchase and the 3rd US fig.  In revised, it is on Hawaii, in 2nd Ed, it is on the carrier (so it is gone).  As for the 4 tran, 4 inf purchase, I just messed up the math.  But I would still buy 4 tran and and 1 inf (non com the Alaskan to EC) and can still hit WE with 6 inf, arm, Bom.

    If you keep the tran out of the NOR battle, you are highly likely to loose both subs and at least one fig.

    You start with 2 inf, arm in Africa.  Are you transporting 2 inf down there?  Regardless, w/o the trans, the UK goal is not to crush the German Africorp, just limit the ipcs it take from the african bank.

    I ran this 3 times last night.  I left the inf on Norway, as I still dont see how you move them/I think having better odds in NOR is more important to keep a fig alive.  I had germany on R2 take all land units to EE and all planes to NOR.  If you take everything to EE, you obviously take it with more land units left, but I think you loose all of your tanks on Russia 3.  And you let the UK/US fleet consolidate.  Without another fig to land on a 2nd carrier, this might be the better move, however, you will need to either abandon WE or risk your now 7 figs +BOM (with 2 inf) against US attack of 6 inf, arm, 2 figs, BOM.  You will hold but probably loose several planes, making an attack on NOR poor odds.  At that point (end of R2), Japan is just getting started, and the Allies can land lock Germany.

    In one simulation, Germany lost the EE attack, leaving Russia in possession of EE with 6 inf.  Took Germany on Russia 5.

  • Safr=South Africa
    TJ= Trans-Jordan

    I leave the 2 inf in India, move UK fig to Sinkaing, leave trans off of India.  Japan can’t take Pearl (which it should always do) and also take India and Sinkaing.  If Japan spreads itself too thin, it risks stalling itself out and/or loosing figs.  That is why after hitting Pearl, I assume that Japan lets the US BB move to the atlantic, otherwise, it takes the BBs (and maybe figs) out of position.  You could send the figs left from pearl to Asia and atack the US BB/trans with 2 Jap BBs+AC.  But again, you would be out of position, and US just builds more.  Once Germany starts loosing planes, I am happy to just buy extra trans and inf/arm with US because, Germany wont be able to spare the inf needed to fortify WE.  If UK & US can each hit WE with 6 inf/1 arm, and Germany can only hold with 3-4 inf, plus planes, Germany starts loosing planes on the US attack. by G4, Germany is only buy 7 inf per turn.  Russia will eventually push enough infantry into EE to hold it, Germany turtles or looses planes, and at that point, it really turtles.

    Cant buy 2 planes for Germany first turn.

  • Hi,

    Was editing my above post (probably should have been doing a new one, when you responded).
    Took a look into some various tactical options.

    Will need to run this out some, probably this weekend when will have time to really explore the implications of your approach.  In Particular the coordinated Western Europe assault plan.  Also have to work through some of the variants I listed above, see if a strong preference develops as to preferred targets.  Probably take me a while to work out what the best overall execution of the plan is, if any, or at least the paramaters at the start of Germany’s turn that make it viable, if any.

    Pearl harbor and mainland can be taken, IMO.
    Usually works.
    Carrier gets fleet protection duties on the mainland depending on where its needed.

    Pearl Harbor strike is with
    2 BB
    1 Ftr (lands on the nearest Japanese island if survives) (optional, swings from 95% victory and higher decisive rate to about 99%).  Better chance of leaving a viable intercept plan, but I’m torn as to whether its worth not having it on the mainland.  If it survives Pearl, then it reinforces the carrier on R2, freeing up a fighter if there is a threat present to the fleet, otherwise using that as a jumping point to join the fray in R3.

    Haven’t been in too many games where the battleships mattered after round one, except as bait or to chase the retreating fleet.  Not worried about them being out of position.  Sometimes its nice to have a second big ship for flexibility in Asia, but I don’t think its critical unless a lot of enemy air is in the Theater.

    The aircraft carrier sometimes has utility later. If the US does a bomber build to deny that flexibility by threatening the transports, that limits fighter ranges sometimes (usually one can be played in a way that makes it three moves to the carrier), but thats 15 less IPCs going to Europe immediately, so I don’t see that play be the allies a lot.

    The Allies have to use aircraft or divert the Atlantic reinforcement fleet if the Japanese win. (Yes the Japanese will be -1 fighter).

    This depends on the Russian position, if they are piled in Yakut it will be harder to deal with them, but they aren’t going to be assisting the German front any time soon.

    The Phillipines fighter will shore up defenses wherever the Japanese fighter base is safest (Manchuria or East India usually).   The Bomber, three fighters and mainland infantry plus the two in the Philippines go inland.  Chances are pretty decent of taking the mainland decisively if the transport isnt’ used to block passage to India. (East Indies worth considering if you don’t want to spread yourself too thin, but I personally prefer trying to eradicate all of them when the opportunity presents).  India is a tricky decision, and really depends on Russian placement.  Sometimes you just can’t afford to be without those two units on the soviet front, sometimes you can let it slide a round.

    The Japanese have to take some chances (aircraft can usually withdraw if push comes to shove), but if the soviets are doing an Evac the IPCs and troop removal need to be a bigger priority than Pearl, in terms of allocations.  It gets riskier (slightly) to do Pearl without the fighter, and it increases chances of a low cost US escape, but sometimes the positional situation demands it.  Really depends on how bad you think you will  need that extra fighter on the second round.  If Pearl gets blown, the Carrier obviously has to cover the sea of Japan.

    Depending on the developing situation, it can be useful on the German or African front, particularly if the situation allows an East Indies non combat move deployment.  The US bomber is in E.Europe so is not an immediate threat and generally the Allied airpower gets defeated in Asia in R1, although some choices have to be made if the soviet planes deploy there (which I’m assuming in this case, they don’t).

    Agree that the tanks die if you leave them out there, probably eliminates the full counter attack option, meaning that   Southern Europe doesnt’ get a free pass right away.  Soviets don’t have a lot of luxury for tanks and strafing has risks, but its an option.  (see earlier edits in last post).  Still a lot of variants in the German Theater, so will obviously have to refine and determine what is the best go to plan for most contingencies, particularly in the face of a determined KGF based on what you’ve suggested for the allies.

    North Sea and Norway Evac
    I’ve run that North sea battle a number of times.  The majority of the time the fighters live.  The battle calculator tends to bear that out as the average result.  Its not uncommon to have one sub live.  Usually the Brits only get one round of combat. with 4,4,3,1,1 (assuming 2 fighters).  My understanding was that the transport could go in and could do the transit if it lived during non-combat, but I might be wrong about that.  This leaves it available as an “emergency kill” if the brits score 3 hits.  If it has to be withheld until after combat, then that increases the risk factor, and would be a tough call.  Probably worth doing though as its really not a casualty very often.

    If Pearl Harbor goes as above and the Japanese get a marginal win (1 battleship lives) do you send air power to kill the remaining battleship, take it on directly with the Pac Coast fleet, or proceed with the Panama move and ignore it?  If multiple ships (usually both BB in this event, do you use one of the ships to screen, or just run for it?

    At any rate, thanks for looking it over.   I’m going to have to do a few runs against your response and see if allied conquest of Germany is a foregone conclusion or not, and get a feel for how long the Japanese advance can be held back.     Entirely possible, haven’t played this scenario enough against enough skilled players to be certain either way, but will run it out on the machine a few iterations and see what it looks like when I’m running both sides.   Probably have some time this weekend to do a study of it.

    One thing thats generally a factor, and possibly a deciding factor against this strategy is the maximum Karalia buildup posited.  Draw down to a 19/1, or 19/2 add Japanese aggression and that changes the numbers on the Eastern front a fair amount.   Guess thats what I love about this game though, so many variations that make subtle shifts in the game to game situation.

    I understand your Africa strategy better.

    Delaying action might or might not work, always hard to call when a small number of units.   The German force concentration (conservative libya consolidation +1IPC rd 1) does allow for the opportunity of an African strike in R2 Egypt, if a defensive or quasi defensive stance (not utilizing all fighters elsewhere) is taken with the Luftwaffe.  Makes Germany tougher to hold, but the Africa points add up fast if the major force can be taken out fairly early in Egypt.  Without a fighter its 65% for the Germans to make a decisive hit in R2 by striking egypt, up to 90% if the Germans are willing to put even a single fighter out of position, 80% if they want to split off an infantry to protect the fighter landing on the off chance of a bomber strike.  R3, the fighter is probably back into the safe zone unless the brits actually try to trade their bomber for it (presuming availability). Whether the fighter is available to be allocated is another question entirely and probably a very tough decision.  If the Germans can afford to keep it out for two rounds, the syria issue is in question  and the Russians may have to allocate some defense to the Caucusus and/or Khazakistan, providing a bit more opportunity for Japan.  Infantry are kind of slow in Africa, two or three unnoposed can cover ground pretty fast (depending heavily on Egypt outcome).

    From the scenario with a maximum soviet karalia buildup, do you have specifics on what you would do with the Russian ground forces that are in the Eastern theater?  Would help if I had a better idea when modeling your timeline.  Are they holding at Yakutsk, Novosobirsk, running full speed towards the german front (except placeholders) or what?

    Thanks again

  • Stayed up way too late…

    Pearl Harbor skipped the fighter, US Battleship got by as a result.  It helped a lot in Asia, but the BB did give the Allies more deployment flexibility and a bit more speed as there wasn’t as much need to protect new transports.

    Tried conserving the aircraft until R3, the atlantic battleship lived long enough to take out the British Bomber.
    Brits took another aircraft hit, slowed down the Invasion some, Americans starting to make some impacts fairly early and the Russians advanced heavily.  Germany definitely in trouble, fighters moved to Germany, so could afford to reinforce W. Europe with infantry.  Allies almost inevitably lose some of their airstrike ability in W. Europe.  Without a fleet strike on R2, reinforcing via Finland (easier to defend USSR) becomes viable earlier and possibly a better option than repeated w. europe raids to attrition Germans.

    Southern Europe now negotiable as Germans not strong enough to hold that and Berlin. Soviets not strong enough to hold both, or present a solid combined force to take out Berlin.  Strong enough to raid SE by Round 4.  Germany probably has until turn 6, might be able to get a legit strike force by round 5, but I don’t think thats highly likely.  Will need to run a few more times with adjustments.

    Asia fell very quickly, probably should play Soviets more aggressively than I did on that front.  Both China and Sinkiang Fell, India waited until Rd2 before it went under.  Probably should have moved some more Soviet Armor into Sinkiang to provide a better holding force.  Need to look at Soviet defense closer.  Soviets also have to watch over committing to East front, ten infantry wasn’t enough to hold back a R4 japanese/German combined air/land assault on Moscow, which clearly needs to be anticipated by the Allies (not sure at what force relocation cost).  Probably should have had some planes fall back or committed more infantry to defense there.  (8 aircraft in first wave followed by japanese ground and fighters)  Have to determine safe amount so I have a better idea how the Soviet line should look on the Eastern front to be prepared for this contingency.  See if its enough to shift balance.

    Norway successful evac, didn’t move it in, so I left it in the sea zone under norway and transported into Germany, same net effect but forced airpower to spread out more, increasing casualty chance of allied air.

    Understated odds in Africa in previous post, credited UK with one too many infantry, big difference.  Africa goes down pretty hard pretty fast without additional allied help, with a relatively low chance of a lucky break.

    Thinking I should have tried a R1 attack on Ukraine if token held, at least until first casualty.  3 IPC swing.

    Overall, I tend to agree.  Allies with that much initial force commitment in Karalia would generally win against a passive Germany, although a bit more needs to be committed to the holding force than I anticipated to ensure the air raid on Moscow is not viable.  Need to adapt a bit to verify that, but the numbers still probably favor the allies.  Will have to look at some counterstrike points.  Didnt’ go with strafing/fleet attack on R2 just so I had a better idea of the weight allies could bring to bear on Europe.  I am reasonably convinced that I overestimated Russias ability to allocate force that direction and hold out long enough against Japan to win the Capital race.

    Thanks for the Input.
    Interested in how you handled Russian defense, particularly in russias first move
    Other than that I will run a few more variants and see how they play out.  The two bomber approach costs an infantry and hurts the German lines, but shows potential in its ability to dismantle a US fleet, or delay its effective use for a round.  Plan on looking at that more.  Especially if the Pacific Battleship gets blown out, it forces US to build in gulf of Texas, hold back the first wave or build another capital ship which represents a fair amount of reduced invasion power.

  • You set this up as russia restricted.  So I would leave one inf in Far East, stack 6 in Yakut, Arm to Novo.  Did you have the british fig in sinkaing?  How did you take both Sink and China on J1?  You have only 7 inf, 3 figs, Bom that can reach.  Where did you leave them in non com.  What did you have left.  As you ignored the 2 UK inf on India, I would have probably hit the (presumably 1) inf on Sink on UK2 with those inf and fig/bom.

    I play Japan with cautious aggression.  I know how to hit India, Sink, China and SFE, but I have seen it go very badly.  It is hard to win this game on the first turn, but it easy to loose it.

    I assume you hit Sink with Fig, Bom, 2 inf vs 2 inf, Fig.  Your expected kills are 1.5, Defense at a 1.33.  Hard to take it with an infantry left unless you loose a plane.  China is 5 inf, 2 figs, vs 2 inf, fig.  You expect 1.83 kills, I expect 1.33.  You probably take with 3 inf.  You can either stack all of the planes and 4 inf (or 2 inf, arm) on one territory or split them.  This is a key decision because Russia should be able to counter in Manchuria (arm + 7 inf) or UK in FIC (2 inf, Bom).  (you might also be bringing island figs into these territories) But Russia and UK and US inf in Sinkaing if alive, need to be looking at ways of delaying Japan.

    I would play Japan with a big push into China, hoping to keep more inf alive for R3, R4, R5 so i can get more pressure on Moscow early.  Losing them on J1can weeken you later.

    Also, remember that this is in interactive game, and that each move you make will cause a reaction.  I would want Russia to take Norway, but if you make WE not inviting, I may use the US force to take Norway.

  • You should also look at how this works if Russia just deadzones EE (buys 8 inf, takes Norway and Ukraine with force), and UK and US just wait a turn to build.  Under your scenario, UK collects 29 end of R1, meaning it could place carrier (18) 2 trans (16) and BB (24) on R2, being rejoined by the EC trans that went to E US on turn one, US buys Carrier, 2 trans on turn one.  On UK 2, the 2 UK figs go to the US carrier.

    On G3 you are looking at NOR with BB, 2 AC, 4 figs, 6 trans.  You have 7 figs + Bom (4 hits first round), Allies hit (5.33).  If you stay for 2 rounds, you clear transports and loose all of your planes.  US (assuming you did not hit the BB/Trans) already has a BB and 2 trans coming on the next turn.  G3 would be your only opportunity to hit the fleet.  On G4 the allies have 2 BB, 2 AC, 4 figs, 9 trans (6+ hits expected)

  • Wow, I get busy in real life and now I have to read more posts than I have time for right now.

    One of my main concerns in this scenario, however, is that the deadzone  (spartan brought up) between Russia and Germany has at least been moved from the Ukraine (with Russias strength in Karelia and Gemanys in E.Europe) to E. Europe.  More than likely, Russia will be able to take E. Europe in force and hold it… I think after R3 😮  Where Germany needed only defend E. Europe and Russia Karelia (with the two trading Ukraine), Germany now must defend both Germany and S. Europe while Russia need only defend E. Europe.

    This is a very much weakened long-term position for the Axis.  First, Germany is down 3-6 ipcs per turn (and Russia is up 3 ipcs) which will add up over the course of several rounds of play.  More importantly, the defensive arrangement for Germany is split between two territories instead of one (Germany cannot afford to lose, or even trade as a deadzone s. Europe with its 6 ipcs).  And this must be defended with the expensive fighters purchased in round 1 rather than cheap infantry.

    I’ll try to read up on this thread when I get more time…but that might be a while unfortunately.

  • Thanks for the replies.  Agree that it is interactive. 
    The Round 2 Buy and deadzone approach probably insulates the navy, Allies can’t consider a landing until R3 in that case, however.  Pretty sure an attempt by the Soviets to deadzone, costs them a viable option on EE although may open the Germans up to a combined attack there, but will check this weekend.  If USA has to route thru finland, and EE can be secured, S.Europe is secured and out of reach.  A R2 buy probably makes the Atlantic a viable option, however.

    IIRC, Sinkiang gets hit by the bomber, 2 inf and 2 fighters  (increases infantry survive chance).  If the infantry gets killed its tougher, but I think its preferrable to the fighter, which is more likely to be the swing vote if a combined Russia attack becomes viable. China gets hit with the 5 infantry and 1 ftr/2ftr (?) will verify/update.

    Manchuria gets reinforced as does East Indies… since its hard south.  Airpower lands in East Indies if Russia is strong enough to endanger the planes.  But thats all off the top of my head, have to look closer.  This weekend will run some scenarios with the adjustments and see how that works out.

    @221B Baker Street
    No hurry, lol, mostly working the details out on this and it may prove to be non-viable for the reasons that you mentioned.  It will come down to force balance and how much the Soviets can safely commit and if the Germans can actually hold the front, and for how long.  Several other variants to examine.  Might take a while.

    Thanks for all input.  Time to scramble the jets and get to work.

  • Looked at this some more, just running numbers.  Considering comments by 221B Baker Street.

    May be possible for Germany to fortify at E. Europe,
    but its a pretty thin margin.

    W. Europe needs at least 5 ground troops and 1 fighter to hold.
    Transport in Atlantic carries tank, need to check Africa numbers,
    but probably still favors axis.

    Germany gets razor thin, but the transport avoiding the N.Sea battle
    allows a reinforcement to E.Europe as well as providing additional Insulation
    for Germany against a direct R1 invasion.

    Post Atlantic battle, 4 fighters join in E. Europe defense and most of interior
    11 inf
    5  tanks
    4 fighters
    In Eastern Europe

    this leaves 5 defense 2 units and a fighter in W. Europe,
    Possibly the bomber but W. Europe is a marginal hold and has a fair chance of being taken out by the allies.
    It does however provide some fairly good additional bait to entice an Allied incursion in W. Europe if that is desired.

    1 tank remains in Germany, but possibly committed to either front,
    still need to do some more math.

    Soviets will need all 4 possible tanks available (54%), and cant attack the Ukraine
    to have a favorable attack.  Even one less tank creates only a 34% chance of victory.
    Of course, this is carnage either way and haven’t analyzed the followups.

    There is a possible mitigation factor in a R1 independent attack from Finland in Germanys first turn as it stands a 58% chance of removing an infantry creating a wider swing (at the expense of vacating finland), with just a tank 50%, might be better.  This is probably a bad idea unless the odds are extremely close.

    If the Soviet tanks are out of range of EE, then securing that zone for the Germans is marginally viable, potentially.
    Need a one round calculator or some time working on a spreadsheet to analyze the various stafe breakdowns.
    I’m guessing this is probably a very bad situation for Germany in R2 and R3 though, as the Brits would only face three fighters and that would be the bulk of the remaining German defense.

    While potentially decisive, the risk factor for the Soviets may be high, with as much at stake as a R1 Karalia invasion by Germany.  Will need to do some strafe calculations to see if they are likely to be opening themselves up to a serious risk of a capital crushing drive by Germany.   All in all, that looks precarious, but is a consideration that I need to look at closer.  My expectation is that Germany works out on the losing side of this proposition, but I need to confirm.
    Tank positions may turn out to be a deciding factor in the outcome.

    Fascinating, keeping me entertained for the moment anyhow.

    [EDIT - Test run results]

    Ran this out with a strong EE presence and a holding force in Western Europe.  Russia tried to strafe, ended up unable to get  sufficient advantage and ended up vulnerable enough to risk a counter attack. *Run was with less tanks than required, due to an attempt to provide better counter ability against the Japanese.  Russia can’t afford to do that, it appears.

    (I did this 1 run only to glance at a potential EE clash, not statistically significant, didn’t track details).  Germany had enough to counter and take Karalia, (mixed buy R2 for versatility in mobility), survived with a small force.   UK took significant air damage on the WE invasion attempt, and had lost one clearing the seas. (Note: US planes stayed on carrier earlier, couldn’t reach Karalia. Brits could have reinforced Karalia and likely held, at the risk of the fleet and either in conjunction with a better WE attack (repelled in R1), or by declining a R1 strike on Western Europe. (Hmm, maybe confusing my timeline, tired).

    The second attempt at Western Europe succeded, British airforce now out of play, but committed one fighter along with a marginal counter and were able to resecure.  US takes it, rolls well, has it under foot for a round.  Had the counter attack failed, the Germans would be in some danger, of losing SE, but it would be too little too late for the Allies at that point (or at least up to the allies to finish it before the Axis capitalize on their early Moscow pummeling).

    At any rate, Karalia wasn’t retaken, although it favored the allies were favored, iirc, small number of units, wasn’t a lock for either side, in a large part due to earlier British airforce losses.  Had the recapture succeeded Moscow the survivors would have to fend off the Germans and then retake Moscow most likely.  
    Brits can’t really afford the AC in R2, it costs too much infantry at least if any form of Soviet aggression is considered.  The Japanese rapidly demolished Asia and Russia fell very early (despite loss of one Japanese fighter which got sent to pearl harbor which was a total wipeout for both sides, allowing US to escape the Pacific).  Axis still have enough in Germany to hold a while longer.

    The airstrike potential against the Soviet capital again a major factor if the Russians miscalculate by any margin.  The strafe risk appears high, will have to run a few more times to see how far they can safely push it.  Mutual destruction appears to favor the Germans, especially if the Japanese perform well.   This was with aggressive Soviet action against a very lightly held Manchuria, fall back and fight might work better.  Taking Manchuria is probably fatal in general as a lot of airpower can be deployed against the survivors along with Mainland infantry.

    Very easy for Asia to get crushed without additional air support, which the allies can’t really afford to provide while keeping their fleet protected.  Any assistance by Soviet ground troops shifts the R2 balance on the Eastern front enough to be at least problematic.

    Brits can reinforce Karalia but have to split their fleet to do it.  Airpower will generally have to be put at risk to clear the seas.  Germans have a fair probability of submerging their sub.  Even greater chance if the Allies have to put down a surviving battleship. (Wasn’t a consideration this game).  The Atlantic transport has a fair survival chance, allies can very likely have tough R1 airpower allocation issues.  Baltic Sea transport is another target.  Chances of something slipping through or a lost aircraft are enough to be tactical considerations.

    In this engagement
    Axis probably win as a result of R4

    Brittish fighters get very important, WE may not be a good choice, particularly after being forced to clear some sea zones to prevent casualty absorbers if the Germans elect to airstrike the fleet.

    Taking E. Europe sets up the potential for a serious problem for anything resembling Russian aggression.  The cost of failure is catastrophic (althoug a solid win could as easily be a game decider.  Any move here is pretty much an all in move in terms of who wins the game).  Requirements for fleet protection limit allied options.  The allies aren’t in a position to split the fleet at an early enough juncture, particularly if the English fighters are re-allocated, or take damage.

    Russian infantry may be better off, in the face of superior firepower to make a nearly full retreat to Moscow.   This may give them enough manpower to survive both fronts.  Tactical withdrawl appears to be the best answer unless the Japanese fold in round 1.   Another alternative may be for the allies to attempt to buy time using disruption via the Kwangtung surprise and a direct Soviet assault.  Both or neither.  [IMO the allies can’t buy any time in Sinkiang/China without bad Japanese dice and/or sufficient reinforcements to make them vulnerable on the German front.

    E. Europe in Germany round 1 might be a key asset, but balance is razor thin.  Won’t take much to shift a key battle either way.

    [i]Russia appears to be better off digging in on R2 rather than counter attacking in an attempt to strip German infantry, if the Germans balance their placements properly.  I suspect a fairly decent chance of adequately reinforcing and protecting the Soviet capital, while wearing down the Germans, if this is done.   The potential for a massive combined airstrike against Moscow is something that the allies cannot afford to overlook if the Japanese make headway.

    Lots of very tough calls and Marginal decisions.  Several which would be very difficult to crunch in a live game.  This strategy is very unforgiving to tactical errors by either side.  Unless this was a highly anomolous series of events, the Allies (as well as the Axis) need to be extremely careful in their moves to avoid a subtle shift.  E. Europe/Karalia have a period of very easy odds shifting.

    Due to the delicate balance in EE, the Axis might  consider moving an anti aircraft gun into the zone, particularly if the British bomber becomes a casualty.  This may prevent the soviets from risking their fighter in EE, and make an important difference in the potential battle situation there.  If the tenuous hold on EE fails, the axis are probably cooked anyhow.

    I strongly suspect a very conservative approach is favorable to the allies, minimizing the Japanese risk is probably vital.  The allies cannot afford to let anything get within striking distance of Moscow before they secure Europe.  A single axis infantry on any Moscow border has the potential to doom the Allies due to the greater versatility in Axis striking power, at least until such point as the Luftwaffe is otherwise leveraged.

  • @shaper:

    Post Atlantic battle, 4 fighters join in E. Europe defense and most of interior
    11 inf
    5  tanks
    4 fighters
    In Eastern Europe

    this leaves 5 defense 2 units and a fighter in W. Europe,
    Possibly the bomber but W. Europe is a marginal hold and has a fair chance of being taken out by the allies.
    It does however provide some fairly good additional bait to entice an Allied incursion in W. Europe if that is desired.

    1 tank remains in Germany, but possibly committed to either front,
    still need to do some more math.

    Soviets will need all 4 possible tanks available (54%), and cant attack the Ukraine
    to have a favorable attack.  Even one less tank creates only a 34% chance of victory.
    Of course, this is carnage either way and haven’t analyzed the followups.

    There is a possible mitigation factor in a R1 independent attack from Finland in Germanys first turn as it stands a 58% chance of removing an infantry creating a wider swing (at the expense of vacating finland), with just a tank 50%, might be better.  This is probably a bad idea unless the odds are extremely close.


    If you stack EE, Russia will take Ukraine, build 3 afm, 3 inf .  If you trade the Norweigan arm+inf for one inf in in Karelia, great.  Russia does a tank dash into Norway and back.  Stacks Karelia with 20 inf 7 arm, 2 figs, Has 29 ipcs, Builds 1 arm, 8 inf onR3.  Unless you have every available unit in EE (and don’t loose any planes, Russia can take EE on R4.  with 28 inf, 8 arm, 2 figs.  If figs are not necessary, they cana be used To trade terrirtoies wih Japan. after that, UK and US inf stack EE 14 per turn)  Germany builds 7-8 inf per turn.
    Russia back tanks to Karelia and starts placing 8 inf per turn in Moscow.
    Also, with EE stack, there is no pressure on UK/US to hit WE fast, so, I would wait a turn and have the super combined navy in NOR at the end of Round 2.  On and after R4, UK and US place twice as many units in Europe than germany.,

  • Ya, I think I’d probably do something similar to counter EE.  Have to research it a bit more, but the supernavy may be a good plan.  Hard call, exposing Germany to fairly serious fighter attrition options may have some benefits (as seen in my last game), need to look at that a bit closer.

    Ran it again,
    UK withdrew transport to the med instead of running a blockade in the East Indies or trying to pull reinforcements from Australia, since the sub was alive this was either an opportunity for the germans to lose a fighter or an eventual atlantic reinforcement (just felt like it).

    Japan stumbled in Sinkiang (moved one brit infantry there from India.  Reduces Japans chances to 79.7% from 94.7% of taking it out on Round 1, while still leaving token defense in India.  This was decisive.  The USA proceeded with the Atlantic invasion successfully, even though pearl harbor lost and escaping ships killed this time,  putting their four transports together with the british sub which had submerged earlier.   Germany probably should have tried to shut down the UK fleet at this juncture but I wanted to see if Japan could recover fast enough.

    Since Japan lost a step, and France was liberated.  Germany was forced to gamble in order to try to stave off the momentum of the Allied invasion.   An unfortunate issue with EE placement, is that any fighters sent after the transports hitting the beach were forced off the line as they didn’t have range to return.  In retrospect this is probably a cue to hit the fleet (if any) with everything the Germans have.  This is likely to become a very desperate situation for Germany at that point, especially with the bulk of the Soviets mobilizing on the Eastern front.

    In the above game:
    Instant German disaster as they split forces, 4 at the transports (lost 2) hoping to slow the Americans enough to secure the beaches for an extra round. Sent 1 to support counter on W.Europe (shot down), and two left on the line to keep the Soviets in check.  W. Europe stood, planes forced to land in Algeria which incited an opportunity attack by Brittain. German airforce destroyed for all practical purposes, down to just 2 fighters.

    The lost time on the Eastern front (that one turn makes a big difference) combined with the weakened German line quickly led to Axis disaster with Soviets able to protect their capital and E. Europe collapsing on round 4.

    If the extra infantry in Sinkiang is successful it pretty much locks it up for the Allies.   If they intend to concede asia early, or at least take a low cost stab at slowing down the Japanese attack, this seems pretty solid.  When its Brittains turn, Germany has shown their preliminary move and Russia is showing a strong east front bias at that point.

    RESULT:  Allied decisive victory.  Germany went down during the Russian turn in R6, after holding to the last man in R5 against a sequential UK/US assault.

    If Japan gets set back in Sinkiang (20.1%) or otherwise encounters severe difficulties in Asia the Axis are probably done from the get go, they are undoubtedly facing an uphill battle.   E.Europe presents plane mobility issues.  Attacking the fleet probably ends any chance of an early strike on the Soviet capitol and with it any chance of Germany regaining control of Europe.  Luftwaffe is probably best used in an all or nothing type role, Germany can’t afford to lose fighters.

    EE and delayed fleet buy, will explore this situation and see what it looks like, using tactics suggested.  Looks like a solid response and the allied fighters will probably swing asia, or at least Moscow.  The fleet is probably heavily buffered enough that the allied fighters can quickly be assigned to necessary defensive support positions without compromising the invasion plans.  Probably some other implications in this that I need to look at, will take a closer look and get a better idea of the super fleet situation.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    • Norway move only used in very specific margin situations, not likely to happen
      ** R3, Japan has another action possible which is to send a loaded transport (troops at that stage are probably not vital on the mainland) to the Hawaii sea zone creating a direct threat on W.USA primarily and Mexico as a secondary threat.  This is intended to divert a bomber, force a defensive build (slightly adjusting available forces) or a quick ten point inconvenience in the event that it isn’t responded to.  Not a huge impact but probably worth doing.

  • @shaper:

    ** R3, Japan has another action possible which is to send a loaded transport (troops at that stage are probably not vital on the mainland) to the Hawaii sea zone creating a direct threat on W.USA primarily and Mexico as a secondary threat.  This is intended to divert a bomber, force a defensive build (slightly adjusting available forces) or a quick ten point inconvenience in the event that it isn’t responded to.   Not a huge impact but probably worth doing.

    If Novo is not at any risk, it is a great place to store UK/US bombers.  Could land on Hawaii.

    I tried you Jap attack last night, and took Sink/China, but UK took back sink with Indian inf, fig bom.

    Another problem with your Pearl light is that UK/US should have bombers in positon to hit jap boats on R2.  I did you Pearl light and lost both BB.  My only capital ship was the AC.  I had to keep all of the trans together with the AC to avoid UK/US picking off solo or 2 unprotected trans.

    If you move to hawaii, that means 2 lease Jap inf in Asia.

  • ALSO
    Looked at that last setup, just to get a feel for it.
    –- You posted while I was commenting (response to that is below)
    — Remind me not to drink caffeine after work, I’ll never get any sleep ----

    Delayed Fleet Build:
    This fleet cant deliver until round 3, although it is fairly safe.   The surviving transports are probably fodder in the interim, possibly saveable if just the UK delays its build.
    Without ability for any early transits, Germany can harbor all fighters safely in EE.   Didn’t run the full game or any of the iterations, due to time constraints, but will look at it later.

    The Germans can trade slots easily in the Ukraine, which has to be a dead zone as it appears Russia can’t split forces safely.  W. Europe faces no threat early and a lack of a threat on Germany allows safe full deployment of the majority of available forces to the front lines.  The dead zone chips away at both sides slightly.   The numbers suggest a mutual standoff in Round 3.  Not certain that a R4 attack on EE is viable under these circumstances.  Didn’t run it far enough to see how much is required to deal with an attack on Germany, really depends on the composition of the superfleet and how many ground troops are available to the brits.  US is still limited to W.Europe or Finland for at least one more round, if I’m counting it right, based on the superfleet strategy.

    The British portion of the superfleet prior to the Americans joining is likely vulnerable (at a fairly high cost) due to their IPC damage in Africa and possibly India.   The American fleet is reasonably safe, facing just the bomber at most.   A round 1 American fleet build is probably necessary to keep the safety margin high enough for the British portion by joining at the end of round 2.  A round 2 US build leaves the Brits wide open as a sacrifice.  The timing of the build limits the number of fighters still and there is an option to trade airforce for the transports and then some (depends on fleet build).

    Doing a sea sweep probably forces a German withdraw and open the gates for the Soviets to potentially pose a significant threat.   The upside of an exchange of this nature is that the allies (besides russia) have limited ability to touch Europe before round 4.  Brittain either has to spend another round of fleet building or switch to defensive support role fighters in this contingency.

    Thoughts come to mind of a Japanese bomber program, or other lateral intervention, although its probably not fast enough even with that much warning and would likely allow the soviets to stake a preventative claim.  Putting a small amount of direct pressure on the US would probably help too.  Not sure if enough time is gained for Japan to seriously consider an industrial investment either, will have to play deeper to see.  If the Russians have limited support in Europe the time frames may change on taking out Berlin, but once again have to run the scenario.  Germany is still pulling a lot of IPCs and Japanese are very much on the move in that regard.  Not sure where the Axis are sitting at but America probably has to respond to any feint towards w.USA (at least if magic 84 is in play).   Anyhow, all speculation, don’t have time to examine the situation in depth or run tally’s at the moment.

    Anyhow, this definitely involves an in depth look, at least for me.  A couple of major variants I need to understand better.  I’m not convinced of the merits of a delayed fleet build yet, seeing a lot of drawbacks of indeterminate value for the Allies on that plan.   Also need to explore the Soviet aggressive build in conjunction with a conventional fleet deployment, which may be superior overall.   Both scenarios with impact studies of a fleet strike.

    response to last post:

    Novosibirsk could house bombers, depending on how asia played out, they will need support on the ground as its within fighter range of all potential japanese fighter bases.  If they are around at that stage they can’t reach the atlantic without a secure W.Europe landing point.   IF the UK commits its airpower to that side it affects their invasion dynamics somewhat, doesn’t mean its a bad plan though.   Sinkiang rarely works out to anything more than a tenuous hold.

    As far as Sinkiang goes, I’m leaning towards moving one out of India on the chance of an outright stop, puts the Japanese airpower in danger and might force a different Japanese attack plan as well as preserve the US fighter.  Whether that means Sinkiang is attempted in Round 2 and India is targeted instead, or Japan takes the high road depends on what the board looks like at that juncture.   Lots of Allied options to defend Asia, but each one involves a trade.  Going after it with a fighter weakens Karalia for at least one round.

    Regarding the infantry its round 3 with a round 4 threat.   They are too far back to be vital in a quick bid on Russia, depends on how decisively Asia resists the Japanese aggression as to whether they are ultimately needed as reinforcements.
    The window of opportunity on Russia is pretty narrow for a quick strike.  If factories are built or another longer window strategy is used then they will be needed on the mainland.   Trading 2 infantry and a transport for tying up a fair amount of US power is worth considering, particularly if Germany elects to engage the British fleet or if a serious D-Day type operation is looming.

    Pearl attack light, run that one many times now.

    Opening roll is big, not too many units on either side.  Japan loses rarely, mutual destruction sometimes – not too often, one BB common, 2 BB uncommon, full fleet survives rare.  Follow up attack at Panama with survivors if any is also not a foregone conclusion for either side.  Still marginal on whether its a good idea to send the fighter, puts it off the map for a long time.   The carrier is enough defense to handle a lone plane, particularly with a fighter on board.   To use the bomber, switches theaters away from the Atlantic, if a fighter survives asia and hunts down a transport its taking a 30% risk of being shot down and severely impacting defenses.  Also not available for ground support roles.  To go after the escorted shipping usually means a solo airplane gets one and only one shot at success.  That fighter is  considerably more vital to allied interests in the sphere than a transport is to the Japanese, in my opinion.

    A variant, which I usually don’t do, because of the slower deployment in asia, is to bring along a transport and attempt a single infantry landing (holding one in reserve).  The transport is usually not taken as a casualty as it serves two purposes when used that way.  The primary one is it forces some form of US reaction, either delaying the fleet, inviting a full counter attack (tying up resources that could be used in the Atlantic) or if ignored leaves a unit that has to be defended against.  A side benefit is that 1/4 chance of taking hawaii which is in a very strategic location.  Usually if I go that route I’m sending the carrier and a fighter instead of the BB.  If the fighter lives it elevates the threat level of the infantryman considerably.  Its a pretty substantial tradeoff though, so I usually pass on that option.

    A loaded non-combat move (wake island pickup) can be considered as well if pearl light becomes a complete victory, with the transport the Americans have a hard time ignoring it and that fleet can threaten america or take panama long enough and force a reaction on the Atlantic side if desired.  Its really a different approach though and I don’t think its the best answer in most cases.  Good way to wreak havoc with the Americans invasion plan though, if a total victory happens.

    As you mentioned, strategy is always fluid in this game as circumstances will emerge that make each game different.  Every reaction creates some form or counter-reaction.   Some have minor impacts on the overall flow, some are very significant.   Every unit thats away from the line swings the balance, in some cases by double digit percentages.

  • If all you have in range of W US is a trans with 2 inf, All I place in W US is 2 arm, maybe and inf.  I will let you gamble 2 at d1 vs. 2/3 at d2 all day.

    If the US and UK build a fleet to merge in NOR on US 2, the US builds a carrier and 2 trans on US 1.  Your bomber would be a suicide (v AC, 4 trans - 1 from UK)

    So on UK2 Britian has one transport coming into NOR on combat and US has 3.  If you leave WE with minimal defense, you are probably looking at US hitting it with Arm, 4 inf (probably wont use my planes unless I have a chance to kill yours).  As I said, at that point, there will be BB, 2 AC, 4 figs, 6 trannies (3 US, 3 UK).  US will have 3 trans sitting in E US (whether you hit the Western BB or not), so my first 3 losses are the US trannies.  Your average is 4 hits first turn on an all out attack, Allies hit 4+ planes.  You then average 2 more hits on 2nd round, but I likely wipe you out.  On R 4, UK can move into Baltic to start trading or reinforcing EE as Germ has no planes.  Or if you strafe, UK has 2 trans left, can build 2 more to start landing 8 inf into Europe.  America will be able to land 10 units from R4 and on.  If you come after the US/Uk fleet again, you will only inflict minimal damage.

    Don’t count on holding Africa.  Unless you bring more units down there, I plan to hit Libya with BOM, Arm, Inf (4,3,1) vs Arm, 2 inf (3x2).  At worst, I hold you to no gains in Africa.  If you take any units down there, you weaken Europe and cant use your trans as fodder.

  • Superfleet build for US
    1 AC, 2 Transports (rd 1)
    … ok, forgot the bomber starts in Germany, will be out of reach.  Might have to target the canadian with the bomber (only five planes required in North Sea) and take my chances with the battleship heads up in the Med.  US coast is secured.  Strat bombing Karalia might be worth the risk also, given the initial balance in that region, 1 inf in Russia on R2 vs quite a few uk infantry later.  Still probably use it on the battleship.  Beginning to doubt the wisdom of taking the battleship as a casualty over the bomber though, its starting to look more useful than the bomber is.  Tough call all the way around.

    Superfleet build for the UK
    Battleship, AC, 2 trans (58) have to check.  +2 US fighters.
    Trade to knock that for a loop is typically steep (probably 4 fighters and a bomber) at start of round 3.
    Puts axis down to 3 fighters and likely forces a withdrawl on the Eastern front keeps Brits at bay until round 4.
    Thats probably a sufficient deterrent.  Still want to run that out, but I think that will work.

    Libya gets one tank in the last several iterations.  Thats a 36% success rate and demolition of everything in the immediate area.  Average result I have a tank left and a few more IPCs and I get Egypt and another chunk of Africa in the next round.  I still don’t think the Germans are able to justify sending two infantry instead of the tank as thin as the axis line will be.

    If that bomber survives the combat its a noble sacrifice, mission accomplished.  Pretty good bet for you since it could swing the game, better than the annoying tendancy for it to get shot down by lucky AA fire trying to support W.Europe raids…  Theres about a 20% chance you will have a battleship to contend with and this might be important as it makes a huge swing in any air raid, so will have to be dealt with one way or another.  If its there the Libya plan is probably shelved unless  you want to send a transport as a blocker.  With that as an added contingency your chances of securing africa are down to 30% overall… unless you want to run the risk of just using the US bomber and no backup plan and no safe landing zones.

    Depending on the naval outcome, you’ve very possibly left some residual fleet with this bomber allocation.   A variable chance that UK is down two planes out the gate (target selection), probably still a good trade.  If the  German tank lives its 50/50 to mop up Africa unless either side gets reinforcements into the theater (which either takes a while or diverts ships).  Does slow the IPC collection rate though.

    Likely issues to deal with on R1 airpower allocations:
    1 transport in baltic
    1 submarine in North Sea (+/-1) most common result
    1 transport in the med (72% success chance with the sub)
    20% of 1 BB in Med
    Alternate targets: Libya, Norway

    Ok man, enough 🙂  Got to unwind my mind, need to sleep…


    This got very interesting and is extremely closely matched.
    Some game specific events.

    • Libya reduced to one tank, elected to utilize the US bomber to finish off the German threat in Africa,
      Successful.  Africa held, although the allies can’t quickly pick up the remnant territories due to only infantry.
      Costs the US their bomber. Probably a good Allied move.
    • Allied air is down to just jets, after fleet is consolidated they move to reinforce Karalia, which needs them.
    • Sinkiang defenders defeated, but Japan has to choose air or infantry.  Sacrifices infantry.  Held, leaves corridor.
    • Pearl harbor goes to Japanese, 1 BB, but it dies trying to sink escaping fleet and inflicts no casualties.
    • Superfleet built successfully.  Troop shortages slow down invasion a bit, not much.
    • Novosobirsk tank blitzes and takes East Indies for the 3 russian IPC gain and an attempt to get into the soft underbelly of the Japanese advance.   In retrospect, might not be the best play, although it does slow the Japanese reserves slightly due to position, is tempting though.
    • Troops in India reinforce the tank, also questionable. (r2)
    • Southern Europe AA gun moved to the line
    • Allies elect for W. Europe instead of Finland, as it becomes a target of opportunity.
    • Japanese switch to Plan B after failing to secure ground presence in Sinkiang.
    • EE chosen over W. Europe where only a small garrison holds.
    • Ukraine used as a dead zone by both sides
    • Allies secure a continental landing zone in Round 4 (3?)
    • Japan gains two borders of Moscow in Round 3 with light holdings. Moscow in Peril. Roughly 15% chance of having to take serious consideration of withdrawing from Karalia to defend Moscow (required if a border can’t be retaken as 14 aircraft are in striking range).  Alternative choice is to bet it all on the two English fighters.
    • Russians succeed, but are unable to secure a favorable strike at EE (at least in R4)
    • Japanese eventually divert a transport to create a minor threat on North/South America
    • Game not completed, several variants emerge for the end game.  Dice will heavily color the results.

    A more detailed replay below, with specific moves/comments.

    Not certain of timeline on the transport threat.  Think it was round 3, possibly 4.  Japan sends a transport to Hawaii with one Inf +1 island infantry, US places 2 tanks and 1 infantry for an 80% hold on W.USA.  These have to stay in place until the transport is dealt with or strikes.  A panama or venzuala move is also possible from here, putting the tanks out of position if they respond.  Regarding the actual attempt its an option.  Penetrating the Atlantic also forces reaction.  Only 20% success chance on the gamble, but if successful forces a counter attack as well as scooping 10 IPCs (good chunk of a factory build, or additional airforce.

    Russia and Germany remain at an impasse in EE.   W.Europe falls to first allied invasion (UK) opportunity in round 3 as holding force is reduced to allow fighter and tanks to stand in EE.
    One British tank, reinforced by available US units based in North Sea.

    Japanese Plan B
    Japanese switch tactics as Sinkiang not held.  All fighters, troops from Japan and Phillipines base in Manchuria.

    Russia Falls back  with 6 from Novosobirsk in order to preserve infantry.

    Japan buys (iirc) armor oriented, some infantry a transport
    (Memory hazy, but it went a lot like this)
    An island infantry plus 1 of the troops in China (?) bit hazy, don’t have the screen open, and a lot of airpower dispatch the remaining allies on the mainland.  Think they were able to get  there, might have pulled from Japan instead.  Appears that a tank from Japan went to assist.   Anyhow, Asia pretty much done for.

    Japan invades Mongolia and consolidates every troop that isn’t needed for a picket, lands on the Northern coast, and takes Novosibirsk with air support.  Lands a tank and two infantry.

    Round 3
    The next round the rest of the soviet defense is trashed.   Russians may or may not have been able to pull a fighter in on defense… not sure how long allied fighters take to reinforce safely.  If they want to delay the attack they may have a limited ability to reinforce Moscow.  Due to deadzone in Ukraine (trading 2+fighter attacks to maximize capture chance), Germany is still dangerous.  Need to check the timing on this, may have missed an option.
    This is when W. Europe falls.  The Germans have significant strike power and are still building at a decent clip.  Forces can respond.

    Round 4, the Soviets have too low a chance to take EE due to the transfer to the Eastern front.  Superfleet buy has severely limited UKs ability to buy groundtroops.  They might have bought one too many transports.  All they can do is hold as a result of parity management.   Japanese have troops on two borders of Moscow and must be responded to, might be avoidable if troops can afford to be placed in Moscow in R3 but was looking for a R4 assault on EE, so didn’t do that.    Tanks and air support have to be peeled off and the Ukraine is a marginal decision, elected to let it stand since airpower not available.   A placeholder is needed in Novosibirsk to block a tank blitz, so another tank rolls off the front line.  Ignoring the Japanese isn’t an option due to the airstrike option of the Axis and a serious defense of Russia means that Karalia is lost along with UK/US airpower.  Best balance appears to hold the border and hope the Asian/Soviet line holds.

    Since the tanks are gone, Russia needs at least 3 purchased infantry to reduce German raid to 33%, more is desireable.  Allied troops can’t reinforce until the Brits can land later in the turn.  Berlin combined attack might be possible, but it didn’t look optimal and would deny reinforcements.  Allies possibly can afford patience here.

    Haven’t wrapped it up yet, but its a very delicate balance for both sides.  The Soviets had an advantage but not a lock to take both access points from the Japanese.   Had they failed, there is no option but to fall back from Karalia which probably leads to a long game.

    German Buys (if I remember correctly. My notes are disorganized, was mostly looking at battle odds, forgot to record these)
    Round 1 2ftr/1t/1inf
    Round 2 Mostly infantry, maybe 1 tank (superfleet build allows these to reinforce)
    Round 3 Three tanks, five infantry (if the odds merit it, forces tough soviet decisions, leaves some defense.  Not sure if a fighter is needed, haven’t run the allied chance of directly attacking Berlin.  
    Round 4 Depends on a lot of things, probably infantry for defense.

    Japanese buys (hazy on these, but see if I can remember
    Round 1 2tr/3inf
    Round 2 tank(s) and infantry (speed to front plus some line reinforcements, dont remember the exact mix)
    Round 3 transport bomber 1-2 armor some infantry (asia decided by now, I need punch at the lines in rounds 4-5,
    and want to have an option for a move on USA  while still maintaining something of a supply chain.  Bomber can assist if Russia fails to hold the provinces around Moscow in round 3.
    Bit hazy on the specifics, but it was more armor oriented than I usually go. Cant remember exactly when I got the fifth transport, whatever worked with the supply chain.

    Its been a solid game and the battles have all been fairly close to average.  Eastern Soviet defense may have been handled better, but there are limited options in that regard for the allies.  Might have been better to keep the tank and draw the British troops north.

    I think the superfleet strategy makes the fleet safe, and gives the Allies a potential foothold. As presented however, it creates logistics issues for the British and slightly slows the US deployments as the aircraft carrier represents troops that aren’t hitting the beach.    The decision to reduce defenses on W. Europe by the Germans is risky.  If the brits want to soften it up, they put 2 of the aircraft in Karalia at risk.   If the brits don’t soften it up the Americans can probably still take it, but can’t present anything resembling a threat on Berlin.  Axis could crush the landing, but at the cost of the Eastern front.  Finland may be a better option in some iterations.

    As it stands it appears that the Axis have a fair chance of taking Russia before the Allies get Berlin.  A trade probably favors the Allies (long game), and Germany didnt’ hold Africa (outcome not carved in stone) which could ultimately be vital in this match.  Allies can most likely safely  reinforce before Japan is able if it comes to that.

    Germans and Soviets both have a fallback option until they clash, I don’t think the margins are there for anything less than an all or nothing move by whichever side elects to do so.  Germans probably need a decisive chance to do this, as it takes the Moscow air strike off the table and probably costs their Empire.  Very much a timing thing.  Soviets are in similar straits.   Either side moves at the wrong time or fails a strafe and they are probably done for.

    Round 4 and 5 probably decide the game.  Appears to be very close. Either side can win at this point.  Decisions made in round 3 are vital.  Need to look at soviet placements in this round, and if infantry can be assigned to Moscow or not.

    Small tactical decisions by either side, particularly on the Eastern front, can swing the balance in a big way.  Big game deciding decisions are approaching.  Neither side has a definitive advantage until this happens.  Both Moscow and Berlin face serious threats at this juncture.  Guess I’ll play out the endgame, but thats where the dice will determine the winner.

    If the Germans initiate its probably going to come down to the Anti-Aircraft rolls.  
    Japans ability to advance quickly is vital and Allied ability to respond is limited without destabilizing the front.

    Allies may be better off with a conventional fleet build.  UK in particular may need to evaluate its buy, possibly an AC instead of the BB or some other minor adjustment that gives them better access to ground troops later.

    Anyhow, that pretty much covers everything up to the point where the dice take over (at least as far as I’ve played so far).  No clear winner yet, appears to be a close match if I’m reading the board right.  Germany is potentially overextended, several end game variants presented at this juncture.

    In this rundown the Axis essentially have a 15% chance of forcing a Soviet retreat outright in R3 (improvable as a risk trade as the after action sitrep leaves Germany with only a 16% chance of taking Karalia in R4).  If they fail to hold the line I’m not certain that the Germans can press that fast enough without setting themselves up for a counter attack… big maybe.  A forced retreat means four dead fighters (us2/uk2) so I’m not ruling it out although I have doubts.  Guess I have to play it out all the way a few times.

    In numerous instances the odds calculator would swing massively in either sides favor with just a few units in/out of the mix in EE, so fall back and counter might work for Russia anyhow.   Anti Aircraft roll variances were particularly important in soviet defense situations.  A few casualties more or less in Asia for either side could impact the balance quite a bit.  Axis were able to bring enough troops to preclude a soviet invasion.

    Germany probably can’t press the Soviets and hold both Germany and Southern Europe or repell the landing force in W. Europe, although at the same time the Allies cant penetrate the post battle landed fighters in a single round. Germany probably can hold out for a small number of turns. They probably have a while against the allies if they withdraw, but that changes the dynamic quite a bit at that point, probably goes to long game mode as Japan and the Allies race while Germany digs in.

    BTW, how do you handle the India transport?   I took it to the med this time, as an eventual troop carrier and as support in case the British took N. Africa.   Other options appear to be Australia, or East Indies to block a R1 invasion of India.

  • I read about half.  Need to get some work done.

    You are correct.  The Allied responses to the Japs are poor decision.  You want to use those units to slow the Japs from getting close to Moscow.  Taking FIC (East Indies is an island) doesnt do that .  You placed a tank where Jap was going to land 4-8 units next turn.  Bye-bye (very valuable Russian tank).  The real move in that situation depends on the amount of troups in China.  If one inf, I might use the tank there, because then Japs could not reach Sink until R3 (delay is to Allies benefit).  China probably has 3 inf and about4-5 plans that can hit Sink.  I would have used on UK inf to take the empty FIC.  (If my Indian trans is alive, it goes to Aus to pick up 2 inf) I either stack the TJ inf (now in persia) in india, move to Kaz or consolidate it with the Indian inf.  If i know the Japs can only move 3 inf to Sink on J2, I would probably plan to hit them 2 inf (safe last round in India) and as many planes I have in reach (unfortunately in this game, UK is down a bom)  I expect Karelia to be safe, so I might use one or more Russian figs on the UK BB for a turn or two so I have at least 2 brit figs against those inf.  I don’t need to hold it, I just want to take out the inf.

    As far as a reinforce Western US.  Those troops move to W.Can, to be picked up by US Trans, and are just repurchased each round.  Instead of placing new units in E. US (safe from invasion), US places in Western with little loss in shuck-schuck timing.  However, Jap loses use of the trans.

  • Spartan,

    No Problem, no urgency to respond. Do appreciate the input.  I’m also spending too much time playing/testing/writing lately, as well, always work to be done … I should be better at prioritizing it 🙂

    By East Indies I meant French Indo China, always get them confused, keep thinking that its East India or somesuch.

    China was strong, 3-4 infantry, iirc, typically is.  Gets hit hard on round 1.
    Transport play, will look at that.  Misunderstood your trans Jordan Unit, thought it was going towards Africa for some reason.

    You might have enough between all that to slow down the Japanese, maybe cost them an infantry or fighter along the way.  Have to look at how that plays out.

    Allied schuck-schuck with the tanks, not sure it changes anything if they are replaced or stay put.  If two new ones are continously put in East USA they get loaded on the next round anyhow.  Replacing forces a two tank buy every round, which may or may not be optimal.  In the test game, I hit Venzuala.    With Venzuala, US has to either commit the tanks at that point or forfiet Brazil indefinitely.  Transport has to be killed if possible as it still threatens western US, otherwise thats more troops out of position.

    The seven stack of Soviet infantry, is it trying to hold out somewhere (novosibirsk) or retreating slowly using placeholders with the goal of reaching Moscow? Sinkiang? I didn’t see much in the line of effective counterattack possibilities with them, although some air support might make it possible at some point.  Haven’t been able to get much use out of them, just fodder.  Whenever I’ve kept them grouped they weren’t able to withstand what hit them, but maybe I missed an opportunity there.  Breaking them up doesn’t seem to help much either.

    In this scenario, because of the failed Sinkiang attack, Japanese consolidated in Mongolia and used that as the early game pipeline.  Details in the writeup.  Japan plan B.  Seems stronger overall, facing low resistance, possibly becomes the go to plan.  Big question is if the Allies can buy time safely.

    Obviously have to work on the Allied Asia defense.   If they can buy a round somewhere without endangering the EE situation, they may have an effective play.  If allied bombers can be kept out of the theater, the Aussie transport probably can be safely brought down without too much overall impact.   Just have to remember that its there, tends to  fall off the map on the computer version.

    Wrapped up the game, Axis won, but probably a large factor being inexperience with the Allies at that game stage.  Had a hard time focusing them, coordinating them well and was torn between the pipeline, trying to defend Russia, and the various other choices.   If I’d played the Allies I would have lost, without a doubt, but as a result of my own skill level rather than any predisposition from that setup at that point.  Every area of the board outside of the greater co-prosperity sphere, was up in the air, lots of ways it could go down in live play.

    Game gets pretty complex if it develops like that one did, far as I can tell its anyone’s game at that point.  Russia is under a lot of pressure and both sides have a lot of strategic options.  Probably will stick to a Finland pipeline next time around, even if Western Europe looks weak.  Not sure the tradeoff value is there as the superfleet build makes it hard to support at that stage of the game.  Avoids some force splitting issues as well, worth thinking about.

    Allies had several competing interests at that juncture
    1. Europe Continent
    2. Reinforce the Soviets
    3. Pipeline vs. air support
    4. Keeping ships safe or deliberately trying to draw an airstrike
    5. Offense to defense ratios

    Germans had a complex array of options as well, although easier for me to handle because they were two armies operating mostly independently and I’m not to good at handling multinational forces yet, although my Allied play is improving, thanks to your help.

    Anyhow was fascinating, even if quite precarious and tricky to play well for Germany.  May actually be less viable if allies don’t try and build a superfleet.  Lots of possible iterations to explore.  Does open up an interesting midgame if  it gets that far.  I think its worth a deeper look.  Will refine it some more.  Think I have the basic battle plan worked out, at least.

    Thanks for all the insight

  • You do know you have to pay 3ipcs to invade a neutral territory, correct?

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