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UK1 Options in Alpha 2


  • 2017

    In my experience, the UK1 attack on SZ97 is popular and effective.

    If the UK does not open with an attack on SZ97, how do the Allies keep Cairo secure?

    Naval blocking will work for I1, but is hardly sustainable.  Early investment in a minor IC for Egypt invites Sea Lion.  Redirecting Calcutta’s resources creates problems for the Pacific.

    Is there any effective alternative to an UK1 SZ97 attack that does not accept the loss of Cairo or compromise the Pacific theatre?



  • Great question wheatbeer. I think you’ve walked right into the reason why Taranto makes so much sense. The loss of the transport for Italy, coupled with smart logistics with Britain = the ability to stay strong enough in Africa. In my experience.

    Personally I evolved toward Taranto plus UK1 assault on Iraq. It denies the Axis the opportunity for 2 IPCs + 3 free Infantry, and becomes a fantastic place for a Minor IC.

    However! If you have an opponent with proclivities toward sealion, you’ve just set up unsustainable infrastructure.

    So, it also depends on Germany’s first turn… did they buy one, two transports, or none? None = potentially a free hand in the Middle East and Africa/Med. Or it becomes an invitation to avoid the perimeter of the board and couple with the US to put heat on Germany’s Atlantic flank. To me, UK1 isn’t a standard scriptable move, because it is reactionary in nature. Germany sets the tempo.

    Wishing I had a better answer…


  • 2017

    I ask mostly with the standard G1 Sea Lion threat build (1 carrier, 2 transports) in mind.

    If Italy plays with Cairo as it’s primary objective, while both Germany and Japan direct their forces against Russia, it is very difficult to regain any VCs in Europe.  Japan can sap Soviet IPC in the far east from J1 onward and be in position to threaten Stalingrad by J5 with troops emerging from China.  It is only a matter of time before all Soviet VCs fall.

    Of course, the Allies don’t know on UK1 whether Germany will go for Sea Lion or not (despite transport buys or non-transport buys).  But the opportunity to limit Italy’s strength in Africa will be gone before Germany’s true intentions are known.


  • 2017

    Consequences of Taranto:

    • 1. Italy needs far more time to achieve economic and strategic goals in Africa and the Middle East (it may be shut out entirely if Germany does not Sea Lion)
      -  2. Successful Sea Lion easier to execute (G3 possibly unpreventable?)
    • 3. If Germany doesn’t go Sea Lion, the UK has preserved its IPC base in Africa and can rebuild its fighters
      -  4. The lose of defensive fighters leaves London vulnerable to early SBR
      -  5. Depending on G1 naval targets, Italy may be able to clear Allied surface ships from the Mediterranean on I1

    Consequences of non-Taranto:

    • 1. Sea Lion can be delayed longer and made bloodier for Germany
    • 2. The UK can hold Gibraltar and SZ92
      -  3. Italy can secure Cairo and hold it with a minor IC
      -  4. Italy can collect Middle Eastern NOs and create a southern front in Russia
      -  5. If Germany chooses not to Sea Lion, it may not be possible to save Russia or reclaim Cairo

    Do the strengths and weaknesses of between these options balance out?
    And am I missing any important considerations?


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    I still like evac to the Red Sea with intentions of going to the Indian Ocean myself…


  • 2017

    If you take the UK’s Mediterranean fleet to India, doesn’t that put all the pressure on the USSR?

    If both Germany and Japan go all-in against the USSR, and Cairo has been sacrificed, does the game in Europe boil down to: liberate Paris before the Russian VCs fall?


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    No, falls to take Rome before Moscow falls.

    Removing the British fleet does require America to send forces into the Atlantic, but it gives England a chance to save India and annoy the heck out of the Japanese.  Turn around and use them to reclaim africa later.



  • Wheatbeer - I think you did a nice job spelling out the +s and -s of Taranto.

    There is a separate effect - proactive vs reactive gameplay, and the effect this has on your opponent. As I’ve mentioned several other times around these parts, I believe that an unheralded and underappreciated component of A&A is answering the following question: who is setting the tempo… who is initiating and who is reacting?

    If you stepped into a room and watched other people play a game, the answer to that question will help you understand who is winning. It is the Art of War, really. Have you ever been involved in a game where you had the economic upper hand, and everything seems to be going your way, but your opponent is still forcing you to react to their moves? It means that regardless of economy, regardless of superior units and army size, you can still be losing, because your opponent is forcing you to stay on the balls of your feet.

    It is why I love Mech Infantry so much. It has very little to do with the math, or punch, and everything to do with options, and initiative.

    Back on-topic! Taranto is the UK’s early game opportunity to sieze initiative, plain and simple. It is a very clear way to express to your opponent that you won’t put up with being pushed around, and despite some consequences, you’re willing to bring the fight to them rather than sit back and have the terms dictated to you.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Tobruk + Ethiopia is England’s way of seizing initiative.  Taranto is a good place to lose a lot of equipment.



  • I both agree with you, and disagree.

    Tobruk and Ethiopia are one way for the UK to seize initiative.

    Taranto is another. I’ve never been stung by it as you have - on both sides it has always gone the way the math dictates, which is a British win with aircraft leftover. Those aircraft will die, but Italy will have to go out of their way to kill them.



  • @Cmdr:

    Tobruk + Ethiopia is England’s way of seizing initiative.  Taranto is a good place to lose a lot of equipment.

    don’t you almost certainly lose cairo then?
    but of course, we have completely different visions: i prefer to hold africa instead of india (taranto + ethiopia, +sending 2 indian figs)


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @Frontovik:

    @Cmdr:

    Tobruk + Ethiopia is England’s way of seizing initiative.  Taranto is a good place to lose a lot of equipment.

    don’t you almost certainly lose cairo then?
    but of course, we have completely different visions: i prefer to hold africa instead of india (taranto + ethiopia, +sending 2 indian figs)

    I lose Egypt but gain all those aircraft that would otherwise die at Taranto.



  • italy can go wild with its entire navy?
    and it’s not like you lose all your fighters
    with worst dice for UK and best for’ axis, UK still had tactical left. usually another fighter aswell.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    With normal dice, Tobruk and Ethiopia fall with heavy British units left and all your planes so you can really annoy the Italians.  It’s not better or worse, but it is valid.



  • @Cmdr:

    With normal dice, Tobruk and Ethiopia fall with heavy British units left and all your planes so you can really annoy the Italians.  It’s not better or worse, but it is valid.

    very true
    i’ll try it in my games.
    but problem is my precious egypt…
    and don’t forget, you lose british fighters, but you can kill german and italian figs aswell, along those transports which can immobilise italy long enough for US to save the day (either in europe or japan)


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @Frontovik:

    @Cmdr:

    With normal dice, Tobruk and Ethiopia fall with heavy British units left and all your planes so you can really annoy the Italians.  It’s not better or worse, but it is valid.

    very true
    i’ll try it in my games.
    but problem is my precious egypt…
    and don’t forget, you lose british fighters, but you can kill german and italian figs aswell, along those transports which can immobilise italy long enough for US to save the day (either in europe or japan)

    In my opinion a fighter is not worth a fighter.  Fig =/= Fig.  Some fighters are worth more than other fighters.  I rank fighters from most important to least important as such (most valuable on top, least on bottom, does not mean a fighter is not important because it is on the bottom, just less important that the one above it.)

    China
    Russia
    England
    Italy
    India
    Australia
    Japan
    Germany
    America

    It is a lot harder for Russia to replace a fighter than it is for Germany, so if I have a chance, I’ll suicide a German fighter to get a Russian one.  Likewise, England is going to find itself really hard pressed to replace fighters in the early to mid game, so they are more important to the English than the Japanese fighters are, for instance.

    As for Cairo, it won’t remain Italian.  Retreat what you cannot use to Sudan.  With a transport next to Ethiopia you have forces from there, forces from Sudan, aircraft, shore bombardments and vehicles from Tobruk to hit Egypt with and liberate.  Unless the Italians take Alexandria, in which case, they have 2 less units in Egypt and you might not need the vehicles from Tobruk, they could, instead, go to Libya.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    This assumes a Kill Italy first game, of course.  America goes hard enough in the Pacific to prevent the Japanese from winning and sends the rest to the Med.  England/India focus on Africa hard to prevent Italy from building up.



  • Jennifer - a great point about the value of fighters, and a valid listing of relative importance. For me, I’d flip-flop Germany and Japan, because I find the use of multiple airbases (W Germany, Greece, Leningrad to support an unprotected transport in the late game, S Italy) to be necessary for the entire defense of Europe. Japan’s are important, but they have a wealth of them.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Germany and Japan seem to have equal importance to their fighters really, and mainly due to the shear number of planes they start out with.  America, of course, could build 7 new planes a round if they wanted too, so for them, they’re virtually limitless and trading them one for one is almost always a good bet.



  • @Stalingradski:

    Jennifer - a great point about the value of fighters, and a valid listing of relative importance. For me, I’d flip-flop Germany and Japan, because I find the use of multiple airbases (W Germany, Greece, Leningrad to support an unprotected transport in the late game, S Italy) to be necessary for the entire defense of Europe. Japan’s are important, but they have a wealth of them.

    I’d drop China, sure their ftr is irreplaceable, but it also can’t leave China and has to operate with other Chinese forces.  It can be ignored by Japan and if destroyed doesn’t hamper Chinese attacks too greatly.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @JimmyHat:

    @Stalingradski:

    Jennifer - a great point about the value of fighters, and a valid listing of relative importance. For me, I’d flip-flop Germany and Japan, because I find the use of multiple airbases (W Germany, Greece, Leningrad to support an unprotected transport in the late game, S Italy) to be necessary for the entire defense of Europe. Japan’s are important, but they have a wealth of them.

    I’d drop China, sure their ftr is irreplaceable, but it also can’t leave China and has to operate with other Chinese forces.  It can be ignored by Japan and if destroyed doesn’t hamper Chinese attacks too greatly.

    Assuming it has to be in the list, because it exists, I put it where it was because it could not be replaced and was the only unit with a reliable hit rate for China. (Infantry 17%, Artillery 33%, Fighter 50%, reliability for me starts at 50% so…)



  • For me reliability is in mass numbers.  The more dice I roll the more likely I am to have an ‘average’ result over all the dice.  So 1 50% hit vs 10 33% hits for example….



  • @JimmyHat:

    For me reliability is in mass numbers.  The more dice I roll the more likely I am to have an ‘average’ result over all the dice.  So 1 50% hit vs 10 33% hits for example….

    1 50% adds a lot more to the average than 1 33%.



  • You’re so right Ruanek….wonder if China can get more than 1 unit hitting 33% of the time.  Oh yeah they can build an army that does it.  So, 15 units hitting at 33% or 1 unit hitting at 50%.  My point being that Chinese ftr is relatively powerless.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    The importance of the fighter for china isn’t it’s attack power, as much as it is it’s range.

    It can give you the punch where you need it most,  and it’s integral to any serious defence.  That’s why it’s important.


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