Alpha 3 Game Report and Impressions


  • '12

    Alpha 3 Session Report

    My gaming group recently had its first Global game using the Alpha 3 rules, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the balance of the new rule set.  I wanted to share with everyone the opening moves/ buys for the first round, and then give a summary of the rest of the game.

    Our group does a random drawing of who gets each power and we had 6 people at this particular game… I ended up getting Germany/ Italy to play with.

    FIRST ROUND

    G1 Buys – Carrier, Destroyer, Transport
    G1 Summary – I did the standard buy for the Germans and built up the fleet in the Baltic to threaten Sea Lion.  Being that the Alpha 3 rules gives the AA guns “hits” in combat, I decided early on that unless the UK really messed up with their buys that my primary focus would be a Barbarossa campaign.
    • Used the subs, air force to clear as much of the English Channel as possible, had pretty good rolls in those attacks
    • Attacked France with ground units only (did not want to risk loosing a plane to the AA).  Left for Norway for turn 2
    • Took Yugo, Bulgaria, and Finland

    R1 Summary – The Russian player did a mostly INF buy

    J1 – Summary – My buddy playing Japan opted not to attack Russia given the new Mongolia rule set and instead opted for an India crush strategy

    US1 Summary – The United States builds units in both the Pacific and Atlantic, this leads me to believe that he is not going to go “All in” on the Pacific

    UK (Europe) 1 Summary – Here is where the Alpha 3 Rules became interesting… the UK player reacted to the Sea Lion threat by buying up Infantry in the UK, however he also bought 2 Mech units in South Africa…. Perhaps he felt that the new rule where the AA guns soak up the hits made Sea Lion less viable.  He then launched a major attack on the Italian Fleet:
    • Sea Zone 99 – The British threw the entire med fleet (sea zone 98) into this attack.  I landed German fighters in Italy on G1 and scrabbled 3 fighters to aid in the Sea Battle.  I won the battle with the Italians, but had terrible rolls… I lost all but one plane, but the British fleet was gone.
    • Sea Zone 96 – Being that the British sent all of their surface fleet against Sea Zone 99, the UK player attacked the Italian fleet (1 Destroyer, 1 Transport) with the Fighter from Malta.  Here, I rolled well… the fighter missed, and the destroyer hit, saving the Italian fleet in 99.

    UK (Pacific)  Summary – The UK player, sensing an India crush did an all Inf buy the first round and moved to take DEI with their pacific fleet.  They left behind a destroyer to block in the event that Japan tried to attack early.

    I1 Buys – 1 Fighter
    I1 – Summary – I merged the surviving fleets into Sea Zone 97 and picked up the land units in Libya and units in Southern Italy to invade Greece.  I committed the Northern Italian forces to an attack on Southern France and took it easily.  I then sent the surviving Italian fighter, and the Strat Bomber into sea zone 93 (and one Italian surface ship) to clear the remaining French ships.

    GAME SUMMARY
    Germany – After the initial round, I went “all in” on operation Barbarossa.  I did something like (G2:  All artillery buy, G3, Artillery/ Mech buy, G4 Mech Tank/ Buys, G5 Tank/ Inf Buys).  I pushed hard through the south and kept my forces together… the Russians had to fall back to Moscow.  I used my Baltic fleet to clear the Russian navy and launch an amphibious assault on Leningrad; however, I had poor results here… while I won the battle, I had poor rolls and lost most of my ground forces… the Russians eventually retook Leningrad and I never got it back

    Russia – Being that my Pacific counter part never attacked Russia on the Asian front, the Russians did a mostly infantry buy/ fall back strategy against my Barbarossa push.

    Japan – With the UK player buying nothing but Inf in India, the Japanese player did not feel confident in the India Crush in the mid game, and went on the offensive against the DEI/ Phillipines on J3.  After taking DEI, the Japanese marshaled in the Caroline Islands and went back and forth with the US for the rest of the game.  On the next to last turn of the game, there was a HUGE naval battle between the two sides with the Japanese coming out on top.

    US – The United States committed their forces to both fronts ( I am not sure if the Allied player was interested in the Paris bonus).  On the Europe side, the US eventually disrupted the Italians in the Med (Europe fleet fled the Med), but where never able to take them out entirely… the Italians built a factory in Egypt and completely overran the middle east.

    UK (Europe) – The fact that the Italian fleet survived and was very viable in the Med caused the UK to invest heavily in units in tanks/ mech units in S Africa.  While this helped prevent Italy from taking over all of Africa, it took a ton of resources away from the fight in Europe.  Norway went back and forth a couple of times, but the UK player eventually took it over.  The UK/ US launched a “D-day” late game into Normandy, but it was repelled on the subsequent German turn.

    UK (Pacific) – The UK Player did a total defensive build with the British and eventually went on the offensive in the late game in Asia.  The Chinese where totally destroyed after the Japanese abandoned the India crush, but the British player was able to get the Chinese back into the game.

    Italy – Italy had by far the biggest impact under the Alpha 3 rules.  With 2/3 of the Italian fleet surviving the opening round, along with the addition of more air power, the Italians where able to invade and hold Egypt on the second turn of the game.  I launched an amphibious assault into Syria on I2, and also reinforced my troops in Egypt using my 2 surviving transports.  I then built a factory in Egypt on I3, and matched the UK for production in Africa…. I never invaded south with the Italians as the UK kept building up in the south.  My main push with Italy was into the middle East, and I eventually launched an attack into the Caucasus…. This turned out to be a HUGE deal for the Axis.

    CONCLUSION

    The Axis ended up winning the game…. the German Barbarossa push was successful and Moscow fell on either the 7th or 8th turns of the game (I don’t remember which).  I think that the Axis victory can be attributed to a couple of things:
    • The fact that the Italians survived after the first round made them MUCH more viable, and a much greater threat in Africa and especially the Middle East.
    • The UK devoted too many resources into countering the Italians in Africa to really hurt Germany on the Europe front.
    • The US devoted resources into both theaters, which allowed Japan to be viable. 
    • The rule change with the Caucasus bonus going to the Germans is awesome.

    Here are some pics of the game:

    Pic of Europe, next to last turn

    Battle of Moscow

    Italy position, next to last turn



  • This is awesome.  The German “bowling ball” strategy wins again in Barbarossa.  Keep your German Army together and adds more and more units to the easternmost zone.  Perfectly executed.



  • From reading your summary I have a few observations.  Most likely they will be wrong due to the fact I was not present throughout the game.

    The UK player really put the allies in the Lurch with a badly executed UK1.  1 ftr vs dd trn?  There is way to much advantage to the allies and disadvantage to Italy in that battle to only send 1 unit.  Think of these 2 ships as the sweetest……item or person you know.  Do not let them survive, send 2 units.

    He also made a very bad purchase in Saf.  I have seen 2 mechs bought before in Saf, but I wonder why?  UK has enough units at the front to withdraw slowly from Egypt, and had he spent those 8ipcs on a trn he would have been shipping cheaper units in at the same speed.  2 arty would have also been a good purchase.  Sure its going to take a while for them to reach the front but when they do they’re going to add some punch.  2 mechs is nigh worthless for UK1.

    This debacle forced US to spend more in the Atlantic and let Italy become powerful, be glad he wasn’t on your side.  As for Russia, why did he leave those aa guns in Novgorod?  Perhaps those are German and my eyes are bad.  Sure am glad in my home game we switched the Italian and French units.  It is so much easier to see the Italians in Russia when they are blue and not dark brown…like the Russians.


  • '10

    Nice report. Tx for sharing with us.

    I like the photos. It always makes a game report more fun to read.

    Just a note : G1 buy was not legal. Unless you guys have a houserule for this, Germany has only 30 IPC to spend, not 31.  😉



  • Interesting report and indeed not too well played by UK.

    @jimmihat: SAF mechs can be useful if the east african seas are not safe and you need fast units to add to an attack on an italian occupied Egypt. But if the coast is clear or there is enough escort fleet, then a transport is indeed a better choice.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @shadowguidex:

    This is awesome.  The German “bowling ball” strategy wins again in Barbarossa.  Keep your German Army together and adds more and more units to the easternmost zone.  Perfectly executed.

    Easiest way to stop the “bowling ball” is to dump every bloomin fighter you can into Russia.  Indian fighters, British Fighters, French Fighter.  The only fighter I dont see in there are the American ones in my game because America’s busy cowering in fear from the Japanese armada…My mistake was not to just crush the Americans on J1, then they would be dead, not cowering right now. /sigh, oh well!  Carry on!

    @Axisplaya:

    I like the photos. It always makes a game report more fun to read.

    Agreed…



  • Excellent report Soldier,

    In hind sight, do you think the UK should have attacked the Italians fleet in the same manner, or would you attack the Destroyer and Transport with an all out amphibious assault on Libya or Tobruk?. That way, you could get odds and scramble planes from Malta in a defense effort during an Italy 1 attack.

    Also, I don’t understand why you’re playing both Germany and Italy in a 6 player game.

    Good Job, I also think the pics are a nice touch.

    Forum observation: I find that these types of game reports get more respectful discussion and analysis because it is an actual game played result, rather than an assuming theoretical result.



  • @Young:

    Forum observation: I find that these types of game reports get more respectful discussion and analysis because it is an actual game played result, rather than an assuming theoretical result.

    This is wise.  Theoretical strategies always suffer from the dreaded “units in more than one place” problem.  Sure, Britain can do this and this and this and……but you’re using the same fighter to defend against Sealion, attack the Med., and fight in Cairo depending on which post was last.



  • @Young:

    Also, I don’t understand why you’re playing both Germany and Italy in a 6 player game.

    Indeed, 2 on 4 instead of 3 on 3?  I sure hope the best players weren’t the axis.  The allies are already hit with the disadvantage of a 4 headed dragon pulling in 4 different ways.  I would have hated to be  ANZAC personally.


  • '12

    @JimmyHat:

    From reading your summary I have a few observations.  Most likely they will be wrong due to the fact I was not present throughout the game.

    The UK player really put the allies in the Lurch with a badly executed UK1.  1 ftr vs dd trn?  There is way to much advantage to the allies and disadvantage to Italy in that battle to only send 1 unit.  Think of these 2 ships as the sweetest……item or person you know.  Do not let them survive, send 2 units.

    He also made a very bad purchase in Saf.  I have seen 2 mechs bought before in Saf, but I wonder why?  UK has enough units at the front to withdraw slowly from Egypt, and had he spent those 8ipcs on a trn he would have been shipping cheaper units in at the same speed.  2 arty would have also been a good purchase.  Sure its going to take a while for them to reach the front but when they do they’re going to add some punch.  2 mechs is nigh worthless for UK1.

    This debacle forced US to spend more in the Atlantic and let Italy become powerful, be glad he wasn’t on your side.  As for Russia, why did he leave those aa guns in Novgorod?  Perhaps those are German and my eyes are bad.  Sure am glad in my home game we switched the Italian and French units.  It is so much easier to see the Italians in Russia when they are blue and not dark brown…like the Russians.

    I agree with you.  I think that the Alpha 3 rules certainly put Italy in a better position in the Med; however, the UK’s decision to go “all in” attacking Sea Zone 99, and only using the fighter on Malta to attack the transport and destroyer in 96, REALLY allowed Italy to get a foothold in our game.

    In retrospect, I think that the UK player would have done better to have moved the entire British fleet into SZ 99, and made sure that the Italian Transport and Destroyer where taken care of.  At that stage of the game, the Fighter in Normandy had not been destroyed… I would have had the fighter land on the carrier in 99, and use the other fighter to scramble from Malta if the Italians attacked.  In addition the UK cruiser in SZ 91 (if it is still alive) can also reach SZ 99 and help secure the fleet in the Med.

    As for the AA guns in Novgorod, I am not sure why those where not drawn back.


  • '12

    @Axisplaya:

    Nice report. Tx for sharing with us.

    I like the photos. It always makes a game report more fun to read.

    Just a note : G1 buy was not legal. Unless you guys have a houserule for this, Germany has only 30 IPC to spend, not 31.  😉

    Dang it, and I that adding was one of my stronger points  :lol:


  • '12

    @Young:

    In hind sight, do you think the UK should have attacked the Italians fleet in the same manner, or would you attack the Destroyer and Transport with an all out amphibious assault on Libya or Tobruk?. That way, you could get odds and scramble planes from Malta in a defense effort during an Italy 1 attack.

    Yes, I think that moving everything to Malta and then launching an amphibious assault on Torbruk would be the best bet.  I think that you either need to put the UK Alexandria/ Egypt forces on the offensive right away or have them fall back… otherwise, I see them getting destroyed on I2 unless you sacrifice the UK fleet and block SZ 98.

    If you attacked Tobruk, you could pick up the Inf and Art from Egypt, have the mech (in Egypt) move through Alexandria, and have all of the ground forces in Alexandria join the fight, you would have:

    UK:  3 INF, 2 ART, 1 Tank, 1 Tac Bomber, 1 Fighter (if you bring the one from Malta)

    Italy:  3 INF, 1 ART, 1 Mech, 1 Tank



  • @JeffM:

    @Young:

    In hind sight, do you think the UK should have attacked the Italians fleet in the same manner, or would you attack the Destroyer and Transport with an all out amphibious assault on Libya or Tobruk?. That way, you could get odds and scramble planes from Malta in a defense effort during an Italy 1 attack.

    Yes, I think that moving everything to Malta and then launching an amphibious assault on Torbruk would be the best bet.  I think that you either need to put the UK Alexandria/ Egypt forces on the offensive right away or have them fall back… otherwise, I see them getting destroyed on I2 unless you sacrifice the UK fleet and block SZ 98.

    If you attacked Tobruk, you could pick up the Inf and Art from Egypt, have the mech (in Egypt) move through Alexandria, and have all of the ground forces in Alexandria join the fight, you would have:

    UK:  3 INF, 2 ART, 1 Tank, 1 Tac Bomber, 1 Fighter (if you bring the one from Malta)

    Italy:  3 INF, 1 ART, 1 Mech, 1 Tank

    can’t italy ravish the british navy then, killing remaining brits in africa later through landings on tobruk, egypt and moving out of uncaptured ethiopia (to iraq?) ?


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @Frontovik:

    @JeffM:

    @Young:

    In hind sight, do you think the UK should have attacked the Italians fleet in the same manner, or would you attack the Destroyer and Transport with an all out amphibious assault on Libya or Tobruk?. That way, you could get odds and scramble planes from Malta in a defense effort during an Italy 1 attack.

    Yes, I think that moving everything to Malta and then launching an amphibious assault on Torbruk would be the best bet.  I think that you either need to put the UK Alexandria/ Egypt forces on the offensive right away or have them fall back… otherwise, I see them getting destroyed on I2 unless you sacrifice the UK fleet and block SZ 98.

    If you attacked Tobruk, you could pick up the Inf and Art from Egypt, have the mech (in Egypt) move through Alexandria, and have all of the ground forces in Alexandria join the fight, you would have:

    UK:  3 INF, 2 ART, 1 Tank, 1 Tac Bomber, 1 Fighter (if you bring the one from Malta)

    Italy:  3 INF, 1 ART, 1 Mech, 1 Tank

    can’t italy ravish the british navy then, killing remaining brits in africa later through landings on tobruk, egypt and moving out of uncaptured ethiopia (to iraq?) ?

    Yes, but the English can rebuild them very fast while the Italians cannot.


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