Black Sea Fleet Strategy



  • Essentially Germany builds a fleet of transports from a new IC in Romania in the Black Sea SZ100.  From there, Germany can shuck shuck units into Caucasus.  The strategy isn’t about defeating Russia though, just holding the defensive line at Caucasus and Eastern Europe.  Send the units from Caucasus down towards India to capture the Pacific VC with Germany.  Meanwhile, Japan needs to conquer Sydney quickly and hold it at all costs.  Japan can ignore India and China for the most part, concentrate on building fleet to fight off America.  An opponent who isn’t expecting this strategy and hasn’t seen it before is dumbfounded and will not know what is going on.  It’s an auto-win for the Axis against someone who hasn’t seen it.



  • I’ve thought about this idea in the past, but it ends up being too much of an investment for Germany for the gain.  Basically Russia can use their aircraft to sink your trns, so if Germany is serious about setting up a threat to Southern Russia they are going to need some kind of defense for the sz.  I think the best defense is 1 airbase in Romania and 1 dd 1 CA in black sea.  The dd is to prevent Russia from dropping subs into the black sea from Ukraine and the CA provides bombardment and another die on defense.

    Thats a lot of IPC’s to drop into the black sea that are not units.  Plus the 14 ipcs for the trns.  I just don’t see it as viable.



  • Build an airbase at Romania too



  • I have always built a MAJOR IC in Romania as Germany. Like you said, it allows for you to build transports to threaten the entire Black sea coast, but it also allows you to deploy units directly on the southern front, allowing you to take the more valuable Russian territories.


  • '10

    I actually tried this a few months ago and it worked!

    It was a large investment as I purchased a BB / DD / TR for the Black sea from the Romania IC I built.  It completely sent the Russian player for a loop!  It caused the USSR to lose its planes in an attack on the fleet (so they were no longer used in land operations), then later he wasted more IPCs to buy new planes (which USSR can ill afford).  For 3 turns I was dropping troops along the coast and tying down forces in the area that could have been deployed on the southern Front Army Group South.

    I don’t think it will ALWAYS work as he could get a lucky attack with his Air units… but in my case it was a major win-win.  He lost the units, and it distracted him from the main battle.  Then had to re-invest in Air units.

    The BB is the major investment here.


  • '10

    @KillOFzee:

    I have always built a MAJOR IC in Romania as Germany. Like you said, it allows for you to build transports to threaten the entire Black sea coast, but it also allows you to deploy units directly on the southern front, allowing you to take the more valuable Russian territories.

    Am I correct that you can not build a MAJOR IC in Romania under Alpha +2?  Only original ICs in your own territory can be upgraded to MAJOR.  And you can only build minors in conquered / Neutral territory.



  • @FieldMarshalGames:

    @KillOFzee:

    I have always built a MAJOR IC in Romania as Germany. Like you said, it allows for you to build transports to threaten the entire Black sea coast, but it also allows you to deploy units directly on the southern front, allowing you to take the more valuable Russian territories.

    Am I correct that you can not build a MAJOR IC in Romania under Alpha +2?  Only original ICs in your own territory can be upgraded to MAJOR.  And you can only build minors in conquered / Neutral territory.

    You’re right in the regard that you can only build Major ICs in your own territroy, but Romania is origanlly German controlled. 😉


  • Customizer

    Very interesting strategy.  I have always considered the Black Sea as more or less a “non-space” due to Turkey’s strict neutrality.  I take it you are talking about placing a Major IC in Romania, right?  I have placed Minor ICs there to aid the Southern Army Group but never wanted to invest in a Major.  This could be a much quicker path to conquering Russia.  The idea of going after India with Germany is interesting too.
    In one game, my Axis buddy Italy shocked the Allies by taking Calcutta.  Once they had the Med and the Suez Canal locked up (Britain was busy trying to defend against Sealion), they marched across the Middle-East with a good sized force and backed it up with warships and transports coming through the Suez.  Roughly half the force was on land in Persia and Iraq and half on transports.  Once the troops on the transports landed on West India, next turn they went back, picked up all the 1-space pieces and brought them over to West India while the tanks blitzed Eastern Persia.  Also, a fair amount of planes landed in Persia.  After that, India could not build enough defense to stop the Italians.
    The only time I ever went after India with Germany was back in Classic and Revised, and even then only after Russia had been defeated.



  • The eastern front is already difficult for the Germans unless they focus most of their effort on taking out the Russians. Will you be able to hold the Russians back while using so many resources on boat and facilities?

    A Carrier might be the best air cover for the fleet. I think a Carrier is roughly on par with an air base for protection-value for your money.

    How about just a minor IC in Romania, and then another one in the Caucasus?



  • I think the Black Sea Fleet Strategy will in the end have to rely on hoping that it causes the Russian player to make a costly mistake or the Axis getting great dice luck.  If the Russian Player plays his cards right and does not get diced he can make the German player have to invest way more points in this strategy than it will pay off.

    I will say the strategy is creative and under Alpha +2 this is the type of out of the box thinking the Axis really need to do to try and score a victory.



  • It isn’t a strategy that you’ll use often.  You rely on Russia being caught flat footed.  One possibility is to make a feint north towards Leningrad so Russia moves its planes north, then you make the fleet and transport the following round.



  • i tried it - buying transports plus covering fleet - and i say that it is not worth to try. so much money for nothing. russia can easily defend all its territories there.

    turn x: Germany builds IC
    turn x+1: germany builds fleet in sz 100
    turn x+2: german can at least use it.

    it is too obvious! so any player can prepare or even put down this threat before it gets in action. it is better to focus on taking this ukrainian IC. 😉

    yes, russia is forced to widen up the front, but so is germany as well. it is no real advantage, imho.

    rock`n roll



  • You guys should consider instead a German IC in Greece.

    From there you can drop ships into three different sea zones, including the Black Sea.

    It makes it easier for the Germans to help the Italians in the med, pressure the Middle East, and secure the NO in Egypt.

    It could even be used to build tanks and roll through Turkey if one were so inclined.

    Greece is defiantly THE place Germany should build an IC if it wants one.

    The Hellenic Viper Strategy!



  • In sealion games Russia has built an airbase in Ukrane and 2 transports in the black sea. Threatened romanai, greece, bessarabia and Bulgaria. Get a tank in there and the fun never ends!


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I’ve tried this on a few occassions…

    When it comes as a SURPRISE - it works.

    Here’s the bottom line though.

    It’s too easy to counter. And counter well, there are a number of GOOD ways an experienced Russian player can defeat it, with blocks, and stiff arm tactics. An Airbase build in Rostov + stacking there to start. Not to mention, a sub build into the black sea or 2, or 3, also forcing germany to build a destroyer. - thus, with the airbase in rostov, now you are committing gobs of planes, to match his planes, in the event he scrambles,  thereby again, reducing planes sent to any attack over sea… bla bla bla.

    Your build is always at high risk in Rostov… .and you are on the hook for every dollar you have.  Using wisdom, the Russians will push down from Karelia to Poland to put on some squeeze too…



  • @Gargantua:

    I’ve tried this on a few occassions…

    When it comes as a SURPRISE - it works.

    Here’s the bottom line though.

    It’s too easy to counter. And counter well, there are a number of GOOD ways an experienced Russian player can defeat it, with blocks, and stiff arm tactics. An Airbase build in Rostov + stacking there to start. Not to mention, a sub build into the black sea or 2, or 3, also forcing germany to build a destroyer. - thus, with the airbase in rostov, now you are committing gobs of planes, to match his planes, in the event he scrambles,  thereby again, reducing planes sent to any attack over sea… bla bla bla.

    Your build is always at high risk in Rostov… .and you are on the hook for every dollar you have.  Using wisdom, the Russians will push down from Karelia to Poland to put on some squeeze too…

    Bloody expensive indeed: IC’s, subs, air bases… Pretty excessive lifestyle!

    I’d say, as Russia: let them build their transports there. Threaten the fleet with air units (forcing Germany to spend money on defense for these ships, no need to actually attack them if they get well defended, grab 'm if they aren’t) and position ground units in for example Volvograd, where they can do a counter attack on any troops that come ashore. there won’t be that many, 2 per  transport. When there are more transports, Germany will need to buy some more protection again…  It’s a bottomless sea!



  • I’ve used a different strategy to achieve this and that is to build a factory in finlad, buy art, place a bunch of mobile in bulgaria. Attack greece with germany, and get a yugoslavia factory. Drop a Carrier on R3 in the mediterrean and 2 transports looks like you want to get egypt. Then you hit turkey and Sweden on G4. Italy swoops in on caucasus, with their carrier and transports. Germany follows and then you got a nice solid amount of hp and a really nice trade situation around the blacksea. You also combine this with a factory in greece and 10+ mobile going through turkey.


  • Customizer

    A while back, Germany put a Major IC in Romania Round 1, an airbase + 3 transports with equipment round 2, then attacked Russia round 3 all along the eastern front plus the 3 transports landed troops + equipment in the Caucasus.  In that game, the Russian player got really befuddled.  Russia’s strategy that game was to stack infantry all along the front which they lost in the German invasion.  Germany’s invasion forces were still too strong for a decent Russian counterattack so Russia was unsure what to do next.  Germany plowed on and Russia fell somewhat quicker than usual.
    In our latest game, Germany tried the Major IC in Romania again, attacked on ROund 3, but this time Russia exploited a weakness by plopping a single submarine in SZ 100 on R3.

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but on G4 you have 3 German transports VS 1 Russian submarine in SZ 100 making that SZ hostile.  That puts Germany basically attacking with 3 transports, right?  Since transports have no attack value, they must retreat but since the Dardanelles is closed due to Neutral Turkey, there is no place for them to go.  Germany could scramble it’s fighters to SZ 100, but with no destroyer, they can’t hit the Soviet Sub.  RESULT:  Germany’s transports are automatically destroyed by the Russian Sub even though the Sub is technically on defense because it’s Germany’s turn.  Isn’t that right?



  • @knp7765:

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but on G4 you have 3 German transports VS 1 Russian submarine in SZ 100 making that SZ hostile.  That puts Germany basically attacking with 3 transports, right?  Since transports have no attack value, they must retreat but since the Dardanelles is closed due to Neutral Turkey, there is no place for them to go.  Germany could scramble it’s fighters to SZ 100, but with no destroyer, they can’t hit the Soviet Sub.  RESULT:  Germany’s transports are automatically destroyed by the Russian Sub even though the Sub is technically on defense because it’s Germany’s turn.  Isn’t that right?

    No.  Subs alone never make a seazone hostile and the transports aren’t obligated to attack the sub.  The transports would never be automatically be destroyed until attacked.  That gives Germany a turn to place a warship, in the event they want to defend the transports from the sub.

    However, if they don’t, on Russia’s next turn those transports are probably toast.



  • In an earlier post on this thread, Gargantua suggested USSR build an airbase in Rostov to counter the Black Sea fleet thing.  I can see why it would make sense to put it far back from the front, but I am just wondering why it is better to build it in Rostov rather than Caucasus?


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Rostov and Rostov alone, because it is a MAJOR choke point against the fascist forces, if you want to keep them out of your capital, AND out of the oil fields.

    Rostov, is a VERY likely position for the bulk of your army to sit, if you are facing a significant german invasion from the south.  Any movements north, and you’ll counter attack - regrouping into your latest equipment build into your capital with a retreat.  Any Movement to the south, and they’ve got to go THROUGH you.  It also puts you in position to LIBERATE the caucusus,  and killing Germans piece meal on YOUR OWN terms, is always a better idea.

    Lastly, In short It’s ROSTOV because you want your planes to be with the rest of your army.



  • Oh OK I get it. I was thinking you would put it on Caucasus because if they are using the amphibious assaults as a way to get around you to the oil, putting the fighter base there would help defend against that.  But if its in Rostov, the airbase itself is defended by troops marching past from Stalingrad toward Ukraine.  Gotcha.  Thanks!


  • Customizer

    @kcdzim:

    No.  Subs alone never make a seazone hostile and the transports aren’t obligated to attack the sub.  The transports would never be automatically be destroyed until attacked.  That gives Germany a turn to place a warship, in the event they want to defend the transports from the sub.

    However, if they don’t, on Russia’s next turn those transports are probably toast.

    AW MAN!  I did it wrong and wasted 3 transports for nothing!  So when Russia puts a sub there, on Germany’s turn I could have kept my transports and simply put a destroyer there.  Then on Russia’s turn, it becomes an attack and with the destroyer, my scrambled fighters could then nail that sub and still save my transports.  Dang it!  That would have been a lot better than buying 3 NEW transports and a destroyer for the next round.  Germany ended up destroying Russia anyway, but maybe I could have saved a round.  Oh well, thanks for letting me know.  I will remember this for next game.


  • '10

    As you can see this is a gamble, but it CAN work.

    If Russia is spending money on Airbases, subs, and losing aircraft that it is working.

    As long as you are matching his Land army builds and pushing towards and objective also.


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