[Strategy] Best utilization of German AA guns? [Alpha+3]



  • So in Alpha+3 Germany starts with an awful lot of AA guns (6). How to best utilize them?
    I haven’t seen this debated much. Is that because it is a no-brainer or because it is an overlooked issue?

    Anyway, assuming this situation:

    • No Sea sealion

    • Standard Barbarossa(one main stack headed for Moscow, some smaller groups taking territories for IPC’s)

    • No KJF

    • No tech

    • Some USSR plane buys (presumably in order to trade territories)

    …how would you deploy the German AA guns?

    I guess there are a few basic options:
    West:

    • Integrate in Atlantic wall (Normandy etc.)

    • Keep in Germany (probably Western)as a second line of defense and to deter sniping of Wester Germany

    East:

    • Use to make über stack less vulnerable to counter attacks

    • Spread out to make it more difficult for the Russians to trade territories using planes

    Split
    Some combination of the above

    Some musings:
    East
    I’m pretty certain that at least some of the AA guns should be brought east, but there are many options. The Russians are probably not going to have enough planes to require the use of more than one or two AA guns to “cover” the stack. Of course they could all be added to the stack anyway just to give it more staying power in the face of a counter attack (as cannon fodder obv.), but I have a feeling that there must be more cost-efficient uses for them.

    An option would be to equip some small groups of say 1-3 infantry with 1 AA gun; they would be tricky for the Russians to attack because they would either have to expose their planes to AA fire, or to commit tanks/artillery which could then be smashed by a German attack using overwhelming Luftwaffe support, which in theory should be beneficial for Germany. On the other hand this seems like wasting the AA guns, as they are overly likely to hit anything and are nearly as expensive as a tank. (Mind you I’m not suggesting buying additional AA guns, so this comparison can’t really be made.)

    West:
    The AA guns just seem to be unimpressive on the Western front. Defending on the coastline (Atlantic wall style) just seems hopeless because there are so many territories to cover, and the AA-guns aren’t really useful in an in-land counterattack-based defense (ie. stationed in France).

    I guess one could justify stationing some AA-guns in Western Germany to deter sniper-landings there, but that just seems rather situational.

    Perhaps shipping an AA gun or two to Norway might be a good way to make early British landings there more difficult.

    What are your thoughts on the German AA guns, and how are you using them?


  • 2017

    I think spreading some out in the east to force the Soviets to use more men or risk planes might be their best use, but I would save some for the WGR/GER too.



  • As Germany we use AAA guns on the French coast line when we SBR London. Your escort ftrs have to land in Normandy or Hol/Belg so a couple AA guns will keep the RAF from attacking your planes. You should defiantly keep 2-3 AAA guns around Germany, and W Germany for later when the Western allies show up. We always send 3 AAA guns east to help w/Russian hit & runs. You have some good ideas about setting up smaller stacks w/AAA gun to expose Russian air (could be costly if it backfires). Once you take Leningrad an AAA gun can bolster def vs US/UK attacks by sea. Don’t for forget about Italy. If they are also moving in on Russia, German (or Italian) AAA can bolster their def too. Plus Italy also starts w/4 AAA, but they generally need them close to home.


  • 2016 2015 '10

    The best utility for the guns seems to be defending capitals and major factories.  But naturally you want to spread them around somewhat in defense of stacks.


  • TripleA

    Depends for me. I usually bring 3 east.



  • This is more for any AA gun…I currently have 6 in W. Germany (was a primary defense w/2inf until last turn, where I had to make it beefy), and the 4 in Italy.  Obviously I would sack a lot of the AA guns if attacked, but say in a W. Germany defense the attackers only get 6 to 7 hits…would you leave an AA gun or two for the next wave of attacks (assuming more planes on the way)?



  • I like to bring 3 to France, 3 toward the Russian front… the 3 in France will end up in Normandy or 2 in Normandy/1 in S France, to make things a little tougher for the Allies.

    Although I could see the charm in sending all 6 to the East.



  • @Stalingradski:

    I like to bring 3 to France, 3 toward the Russian front… the 3 in France will end up in Normandy or 2 in Normandy/1 in S France, to make things a little tougher for the Allies.

    Although I could see the charm in sending all 6 to the East.

    So I take you are stationing infantry along the coast as well? Otherwise the Allies can just land 1 inf, and take out your AA guns automatically. Does that strategy work for you?



  • just put about half of them in w germany and the other half in east germany, they are the perfect defensive unit there (better than inf), and back them up with inf. that way you can kill planes, and have a great lossprofile if the allies attack, I would guess you get about equvilant to 4-5 IPC value for them like that. (meaning, if you didn’t have them, you would prolly need to use 4-5 more IPC per AA on inf)


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    In my current game against cow, those 6 AA guns have basically SAVED europes backside,  It’s been the primary defense of my stack (just the hits) take a look.



  • I sometimes ship a AAgun to Norway instead of a inf r1 and use it to shield norway,finland and karelia against airattacks.
    So that leaves me 3AAgun vs Russia, 2 in Europe +4Italian ones that I keep in north Italy or Wger (so they can move north and south ) and one in Scandinavia (strange how it sometimes ends up beeing needed there)



  • I realize that the AA guns are more effective when definding in the west against Allied “liberation” attempts. The big question is whether the tempo gain of bringing them east is worth it, and ultimately more efficient.

    What I mean is: Yes, an AA-gun is better at defending a stationary stack than advancing with the aim of possibly taking some very random pot-shots at enemy planes. That is pretty obvious.  BUT they happen to start on the board in round one, and they typically won’t be needed in the west for the first several rounds. Bringing them east from the beginning will add some momentum to Barbarossa, but at the cost of a less attractive puchase mix during the mid-game if they are to be replaced by newly purchased AA-guns or their equivalent in infantry. Is the boost worth that downside?



  • if you don’t bring the AAs to the east, you can afford to buy 4-7  more mechs to send east in round 3, they will catch up with the stack in round 5-6.


  • 2016 2015 '10

    @ozimek1:

    I realize that the AA guns are more effective when definding in the west against Allied “liberation” attempts. The big question is whether the tempo gain of bringing them east is worth it, and ultimately more efficient.

    What I mean is: Yes, an AA-gun is better at defending a stationary stack than advancing with the aim of possibly taking some very random pot-shots at enemy planes. That is pretty obvious. � BUT they happen to start on the board in round one, and they typically won’t be needed in the west for the first several rounds. Bringing them east from the beginning will add some momentum to Barbarossa, but at the cost of a less attractive puchase mix during the mid-game if they are to be replaced by newly purchased AA-guns or their equivalent in infantry. Is the boost worth that downside?

    There’s no yes or no answer to that.  Even on G1, where I move the aa guns depends on what went down on G1.  I’ll still be making those choices on G2-G3, depending on how the game is playing out.  The aa guns in the East have limited utility because they have no attack value–their utility is to lessen Russia’s odds of a successful counter-attack.  Whether Germany needs them out there depends on what Germany and Russia are doing.

    I would avoid buying new aa guns mid-game as Germany.  With that in mind, I’d keep half the aa guns back, barring exceptional circumstances.  There’s the possibility of moving east until G3, and then turning back, in time to protect Berlin.


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