If R1 buys a plane, what do you do G1?



  • Assume the Red Empire purchases air on R1 (probably a fig, but I actually had a player buy a bomber R1 on me yesterday.)  How do you react?  (Assume a standard took Ukraine with a couple of armor left and everything else into West Russia move.)

    My main concern typically is the med fleet.  Three Russian fighters on the Caucasus can wipe out the German Med fleet on R2.  Two German drops usually won’t be able to do much in Africa, particularly if the Brits counter AE on UK1.  On the other hand, an R2 strike imposes a significant opportunity cost on the Russians, and there’s a good chance they’ll lose a fighter in the attack (and a decent chance they’ll lose 2.)

    As far as  I can tell, there’s only really two ways to prevent the R2 attack:
    1.  Send the Med fleet West and take Gibraltor (to prevent a UK1 strike).
    2.  Keep the Med fleet South of Italy, and do a G1 Naval build (at some level.)

    The problem I see is that both of these strategies leave the UK fighter alive, and generally stall the African campaign (especially taking Gibraltor, as it doesn’t put any additional boots on the ground in Africa on G1.

    On the other hand, maybe it doesn’t matter.  In my latest game, I just went ahead and attacked AE on G1 anyway, I took it, the Brits counter AE and the Russians took out the fleet on R2, effectively pushing me out of Africa by early 2nd Round.  Even so, and even with unusally slow progress in Asia by Japan, Germany had a fairly easy time walking into Moscow several turns later.  So perhaps the lesson is, a Russian air buy may effectively threaten German African ambitions, but at the cost of putting the Soviets far behind in the Eastern front arms race.

    Thoughts?



  • @Aristokles:

    Assume the Red Empire purchases air on R1 (probably a fig, but I actually had a player buy a bomber R1 on me yesterday.)  How do you react?  (Assume a standard took Ukraine with a couple of armor left and everything else into West Russia move.)

    My main concern typically is the med fleet.  Three Russian fighters on the Caucasus can wipe out the German Med fleet on R2.  Two German drops usually won’t be able to do much in Africa, particularly if the Brits counter AE on UK1.  On the other hand, an R2 strike imposes a significant opportunity cost on the Russians, and there’s a good chance they’ll lose a fighter in the attack (and a decent chance they’ll lose 2.)

    As far as  I can tell, there’s only really two ways to prevent the R2 attack:
    1.  Send the Med fleet West and take Gibraltor (to prevent a UK1 strike).
    2.  Keep the Med fleet South of Italy, and do a G1 Naval build (at some level.)

    The problem I see is that both of these strategies leave the UK fighter alive, and generally stall the African campaign (especially taking Gibraltor, as it doesn’t put any additional boots on the ground in Africa on G1.

    On the other hand, maybe it doesn’t matter.  In my latest game, I just went ahead and attacked AE on G1 anyway, I took it, the Brits counter AE and the Russians took out the fleet on R2, effectively pushing me out of Africa by early 2nd Round.  Even so, and even with unusally slow progress in Asia by Japan, Germany had a fairly easy time walking into Moscow several turns later.  So perhaps the lesson is, a Russian air buy may effectively threaten German African ambitions, but at the cost of putting the Soviets far behind in the Eastern front arms race.

    Thoughts?

    You may be interested on this article: Case Blue strategy - it’s a strategy for an early German rush on Russia and a R1 plane buy is a factor towards it.

    Another way for Germany to take advantage of that move is to stack Karelia with 9 inf and 5 armor since the plane buy reverses the odds against a R2 counter attack on Karelia and prevent Russia from receiving those 2 IPCs while forcing it to stack West Russia or abandon it.

    Taking Gibraltar doesn’t save the German Med fleet - if the Russian fighters are based on Caucasus, the US can invade Algeria, allowing for the fighters to attack and land there afterwards.

    Losing the Med fleet can be secondary if Germany chooses to focus on Russia from round 1. The Russians can sink it but they’ll have to use artillery/armor to retake any territory in Europe, which can afterwards be destroyed by the Germans.



  • Hobbes,

    The article you linked to is Fortress Europe.  Wouldn’t it make more sense, in the event of a R1 air buy, to go hard after Russia (ala Case Blue), instead of Fortress Europe?  Particularly if there’s a good chance that the Med fleet is dead before G2, doesn’t FE suffer without significant African income for Germany for several turns?



  • @Aristokles:

    Hobbes,

    The article you linked to is Fortress Europe.  Wouldn’t it make more sense, in the event of a R1 air buy, to go hard after Russia (ala Case Blue), instead of Fortress Europe?

    Sorry, I wanted to link the Case Blue like you mentioned. My mistake.

    Particularly if there’s a good chance that the Med fleet is dead before G2, doesn’t FE suffer without significant African income for Germany for several turns?

    Actually a Russian purchase of a plane on R1 also helps with Fortress Europe since the Russians won’t be pushing Germany hard on Europe during the initial rounds.

    To me as Axis, the Med fleet is a valuable asset but an expendable one, including on the initial rounds. With a KGF strat and a UK1 counter on Egypt, Germany’s investment/earnings on Africa need to be carefully considered. On round 1, Germany earns 4 IPC (Alg, Lib, Egy), on round 2, 3/4 IPC, on round 3 the same amount (assuming the Allies are contesting Africa). If you send 3 boatloads of units, thats 22-24 IPC sent to Africa, for a total earnings of 10-12 IPC. And unless you can break out and take South Africa (which you won’t usually during a KGF), the balance comes out negative on pure numbers.
    Plus, if the Japanese also have transports in the Indian it is more easy for them to be moving units from Asia to Africa so Germany shouldn’t be too eager to get a big stack into Africa - it takes time and while it can be a magnet to further Allied commitment to Africa it also diverts units needed on the Eastern front. 
    The Med fleet can also be useful for landings on Ukraine against the Russians but again it isn’t fulfilling a critical role. That’s why I’m usually not worried about losing the Med fleet, as long as I can predict it in advance to minimize its effects and take advantage of any opportunities.



  • 1.  You can transport units from S Eur to Libya and consolidate so you have 6 German ground in Libya at end of G1.  This allows Germany to make a serious play for Africa regardless of the fate of the Mediterranean battleship.

    2.  If Russia wants to spend precious precious air on a shot against my German battleship, they’re welcome to it.

    3.  If Russia screws around with anything but inf/art/tank, it opens the door for early German control of Karelia, particularly if Germany abandons Africa.  (They don’t HAVE to abandon Africa, but if they DO, it’s much harder to stop Germany).  One or two units can make a big difference in the balance of power.

    Re:  German control of Africa:  German control of Africa and preservation of the German Mediterranean fleet can be a big plus.   Germany has more income.  Japan doesn’t need to devote as much power to Africa, leaving it to put more pressure on Russia - and with a KGF in play, Japan’s will be the main attack.

    That isn’t to say the Germans HAVE to be in Africa.  But if the Germans can get into Africa without giving up too much position in Europe, it’s something to think about.

    To answer the OP - if Russia buys any non-ground units on R1, I’m immediately thinking about ways to make major major nasty attacks.  Like “Break West Russia with Germany or secure Ukraine, build 8 G1 tanks, build 2 ICs with Japan, and tank tank tank east and west” - that sort of thinking.  It might not be possible to smash Russia up real fast, but things can be REAL nasty real quick if Russia leaves 6 infantry on Buryatia, or bled strength off towards Africa/India, or did anything else not along the lines of a UKR/WR open.


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