UK Europe opening moves



  • All,

    Please find below a potential UK Europe opening for an upcoming game, would appreciate any comments you may have. I realise much is dependent on Germany’s opening move(s).

    Assuming the Germans have crushed my fleet (at least sz 111, 112, the TT near Canada and the CA in sz91) and purchased an AC and some other ships for their fleet in sz 112, I must defend myself against a potential Sea Lion. I would buy 6 inf and a ftr for the UK. I attack sz 97 (Taranto) with DD, CA, AC, ftr (UK), ftr (gib), ftr (malta), TB (AC). I assume the Normandy ftr is no more. I will have around 75% chance of winning, assuming the Germans scramble 2 ftrs as well. I will probably have 2 planes and maybe the CA left (ftrs UK and gib will die as the AC will most likely be lost and they cannot land). I also attack Italian Somaliland with 6 units (using both transports) so Italy will have no capacity left to harrass me in Africa except for the forces in Libya and Tobruk, which I should be able to hold out of Egypt. Alex forces pull back to Egypt and from turn 3 onwards, my 2 transports used to invade Somaliland can go back and forth to bring inf from SA to Egypt. The remaining part of my UK fleet pulls back to sz 91 (out of reach of German planes) or maybe even in the direction of Canada. In case the German fleet hides behind the Danish strait (sz 113), a DD will block in sz 112 of course. In turn 2 I should buy 2 inf in SA for the trip to Egypt, the rest can be spent in the UK. If still threatened by a Sea Lion, the fleet in sz91 can go back to the UK and I should probably buy 10 inf. Further on in the game I may comtemplate building either a fleet in UK (or Canada) or an IC in Egypt to keep pressure on the Italians.

    Overall, I think the UK defense against Sea Lion is near maximum (I need those planes and Med Sea fleet for Taranto, really) and I probably secured Africa by knocking out Italy both in the Med Sea and below the Sahara.

    As said, I would greatly appreciate any comments.



  • For what its worth, seems like a pretty sound strat. They only things I would say is be careful with thoes fighters in the Med. They are precious and you can ill afford to lose them. I see the point to attacking the Italian fleet, but I wonder if you wouldnt be better served waiting and husband your forces for a strike later on. Perhapse instead of risking British forces, you could still harass the Italian navy by sending the remaining French naval forces in a suicide attack against them, just a thought.

    Also, Perhapse on the first turn, or second, you would do well to spend your entire economy on tanks for London. An odd purchase , I know, but their higher defence value could be crucial in the Germans attempt a Sealion. Also, they are great to have on hand later as they can be used to give you some offensive punch around Europe.

    I would play with the mentality that England WILL be a battleground and plan accordingly, best of luck!  😄


  • 2017 '16 '13 '12

    To post reply: Tanks in London to defend against a sea lion? Since when 2 infantry defend by less than a tank (2 units at 2 vs 1 unit at 3?

    Otherwise, the strategy above seems pretty sound. I would doubt the Germans are able to wipe out the entire fleet and taking Normandy (and taking France) without losing some planes in the process. In which case, the Normandy Fighter can go attack the Italian fleet. Drawing the Lutfwaffe in the battle of Taranto reduces the chances of Sealion to be effective. There is a good chance some of the planes will survive, the UK planes are instrumental to the defense of Africa (forces Italy to cover their transports).

    Despite all this, it’s hard to say what the exact best strategy is. Germany has some flexibility in responding to your purchases.

    Say Germany bought 1 carrier, 1 sub, 1 destroyer.

    If you buy infantry only next turn, Germany can wipe out the rest of your navy quite easily and start building subs to crush 109 and 119 while 106 is still in trouble. That renders the UK inept for quite a while. The fighter purchase along with the infantry seems to be a good way to balance this out. If Germany does not go for sealion, the fighter helps contribute to a “fleet in being”. If the threat from Sealion is removed, the fleet can start assembling in Canada until it reaches a critical mass (or joins with US Navy to secure Gibraltar). I’m not convinced the South Africa purchases are absolutely necessary in turn 2. Africa is a side show, you have time before its loss causes a significant threat.

    @Clyde85:

    For what its worth, seems like a pretty sound strat. They only things I would say is be careful with thoes fighters in the Med. They are precious and you can ill afford to lose them. I see the point to attacking the Italian fleet, but I wonder if you wouldnt be better served waiting and husband your forces for a strike later on. Perhapse instead of risking British forces, you could still harass the Italian navy by sending the remaining French naval forces in a suicide attack against them, just a thought.

    Also, Perhapse on the first turn, or second, you would do well to spend your entire economy on tanks for London. An odd purchase , I know, but their higher defence value could be crucial in the Germans attempt a Sealion. Also, they are great to have on hand later as they can be used to give you some offensive punch around Europe.

    I would play with the mentality that England WILL be a battleground and plan accordingly, best of luck!  😄



  • Admiral - I would play conservatively with Britain, and purchase 8 Infantry and an Artillery UK1. Any less than that begins to invite an actual Sealion.

    Of course, inviting an actual Sealion can be a strategy for the Allies in and of itself.

    Killing the Italian fleet slows down Italy immensely, but like everything creates both advantages and disadvantages. If you kill the fleet, what else are you doing to bolster Africa? You laid out a good plan to slow down Italian activity in Africa and reinforce Egypt… my concern is that those units will eventually be out-produced by Italy.

    To counter this, I tend to take Iraq on the first turn and walk into Central Persia on the second turn, secure the oil corridor, build a Minor IC in Iraq on UK2, and begin to produce units to fight an Italy less prepared to go into the Middle East… but keep in mind this increases the chances Germany will invade England. If you have an opponent who tends to threaten but never attempt Sealion, try this - it allows for a very strong reinforcement of the Middle East, Egypt, Russia, and even India. If you have an opponent willing to throw down a fleet of German transports, this move is a clear signal to attack Britain.

    Overall, I think you laid out a solid and viable set of moves.



  • Admiral & Omega - by the time I read and re-read what you both wrote, you’re pulling me in the direction of the fighter on UK1. Consistent Fighter purchases with Britain tend to become very effective, and a first turn purchase creates more flexibility… I’ll think about it!



  • I like to attack Tobruk, Ethiopia, and Taranto on UK1.  All attacks should be successful and Italy is left with just one transport, hardly enough to hurt Egypt, and it’ll take several turns before Italy will be at their initial starting strength again, and they’ll have a hard time clearing out the French fleet in order to gain the NO bonus.



  • I agree with the UK1 attack on Toburk, its got a very strong chance for success and is a major setback for the Italians. I would hesitate to do all those attacks at once with the UK, might over stretch yourself.

    Omega, I dont see whats wrong with having 6 or more tanks sitting in London by the end of UK2. When I play as the UK, I usually go heavy turttle with them, and wait till the Germans are at war with the Soviet Union before making major offensive moves. On Uk1 I will buy 9 infantry, saving 1IPC, attack the Italian fleet in sz95, using the UK fleet in sz98, the fighter from malta, and the cruiser from sz91. Then for non-combat I move the fighter from Gibraltar to London, I bring the infantry and tank over from Quebec to London, if possible, if not, it goes to Africa and the destroyer in sz71 moves up to sz81. I will usually fall back from Alexandria, leaving a lone ANZAC trooper, and hold up in Cairo until I see how Italy reacts to my opening move, and I begin the march up from South Africa, and from India towards Persia. Also, depending on the situation, I’ll move my transport from sz98 to sz99 with 1 infantry in it and activate Greece, just to be a nudge. This gives me 12 infantry, 3 fighters, and 1 tank in London and allows me to collect 36IPC on the end of UK1. On UK2 I buy 6 tanks, the fleet in sz95 should have been reinforced by the French forces in sz93, provided anything was left for them to reinforce, and I will move the remnants of this fleet to finish off the Italians, reinforced by the destroyer from sz81. Again, for me its really hard to predict just what I do on UK2, manily because I really need to see the situation before I decide what to do, so anything beyond UK1 is a guess. However by G3, when sealion is usually attempted, the German player is looking at 12 infantry, 3 fighters, and 7 tanks in London, and a rapidly crumbling Italy, which I think would give him pause and make him redirect his economy and forces towards other fronts.

    But then again, thats just me  😄



  • A. Darlan, its actually quite important to know what Germany’s 1st turn builds are.  if they go 1CV 1DD 1 SUB, then the threat of sealion on G2 is greatly reduced.  If they instead purchase 1 CV 2 trn, then you should see that UK is under severe threat and do a max build of inf.

    I have purchased a UK ftr before, but I still think that if trns hit the water on G1 then the only purchase UK can make is all inf in London.  UK 1 is not the turn to be spending excess ipcs on upgrading inf to arty.  Save extra money for more inf UK2 in case Germ puts more boats in the water.

    The concern you have for Africa seems a bit misplaced.  Your primary concern should be the defense of you capital, no?  If this is the case, then I would counsel not to attack Taranto but instead bring those aircraft back to UK.  Of course you don’t have to have a passive UK turn, you can still smack Tobruk and destroy 3 trns worth of troops in Africa before Italy goes.

    Lastly, I’m not a big mathematician, but I also thought 2 inf are better defenders than 1 tank.  Anyone got any stats to back this up?



  • My math was off a bit, I forgot to include the French forces in my total for defending London, which would make it 13 infantry, 4 fighters, and 7 tanks, oops my bad.

    Also, and this is some-what irrelevent to Admiral Darlans posting, but in my games the British forces in Normandy are deployed in London at the start of the game, for a number of reasons. So in my games by UK2 there are 14 infantry, 5 fighters and 7 tanks, if this gives better prespective, on my stratgey



  • Two infantry are much better for defense than 1 tank.  2+2=4 > 3.



  • thats not the right math shadow, i think its 1/3 times 1/3.  Is that greater than 50%?  Because then you have to add the fact that the 2 inf can get 2 hits….again I’m not a mathematician.



  • @JimmyHat:

    thats not the right math shadow, i think its 1/3 times 1/3.   Is that greater than 50%?  Because then you have to add the fact that the 2 inf can get 2 hits….again I’m not a mathematician.

    The probability of a tank missing is .5 (4,5,6 on d6).  The probability of a single infantry missing is .666 (3,4,5,6 on d6), therefore the probability of both infantry missing is .666 * .666 = .443 therefore the two infantry is a better buy for defense since they will get at least one hit .556 of the time, not to mention they can get two hits .110 (.333 * .333) of the time, as well as the extra unit that can soak a hit from the enemy.

    Anyway, not to sideline the entire topic, but two infantry are much better.

    Additionally, you can generally get a perfect picture of the odds by just adding the values togetehr and seeing which is better.  2+2 = 4 > 3 is extremelly valid.



  • I realise much is dependant on G1. In case GER builds an AC and trannies, all inf is the way to go. If GER does not build trannies, I will build the ftr which is useful whether Sea Lion occurs or not. If GER builds only land units or a major IC for Rom, all options are open (fleet, more ftrs, SA units etc). Attacking Tobruk is a viable option, but I prefer Taranto (ftrs) and Italian Somaliland (Egypt transport), so my limited resources force me to choose. Maybe when GER builds trannies in G1, I will consider this so I will need less ftrs for attacks turn 1 (and they can be used to defend against a Sea Lion). In any event, either Taranto or the attack on Tobruk should take place. Otherwise, Italy will become too powerful and will be able to achieve NOs and/or take Egypt. In other words, when the UK does not attack fierce in the beginning, it is doomed to be on the defence in Egypt/ Africa. Also, I like to idea of a minor IC in Iraq. This is certainly an option when Sea Lion is not a threat.



  • I can see the math and I understand what you’re saying, I just never see the Germans come out with enough to chew through the stack of 14 infantry in their first round attacks, and my counter-attack is usually very devistating. Germany only has a very small window to pull of a sealion, if they can’t do it on the third turn, its not going to happen. Again, since this will take 3 turns to develop, there are too many variables to consider, what the Germans buy, what units they move to where, the effects of strategic warfare (bombings and subs), what the Russians are doing, but im confident that that stack of forces would be enough to hold London in the event of a G3 sealion, somewhat  😄


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