Early Game Moves in Europe Allies
Hey Koba, this is a strategy question to you because of your above post about UK activating Greece/Yugo UK1. I know it really doesn’t fit in this thread, but here goes.
In past games I have ran the UK Med fleet through the Suez to preserve it, which also means evacuating Egypt (which doesn’t feel right). The Germans destroy the entire Royal Atlantic Fleet G1 w/2nd impulse, and loosing the Med fleet to the Italians would add insult to injury. Evacuating the Med creates a very powerful Italy though, and again it doesn’t sit right w/me.
I agree with you here as far as abandoning the Med. I hate doing it as I feel the Allies should fight/delay the Axis everywhere they can to slow them/wear them down.
Now that the Greek fleet got a boost (coastal bb) I was thinking about activating them (and Yugo), and merging the UK Med fleet w/Greek fleet in sz 42. I believe because the Italians are neutral I can NCM (eventual sacrifice) my transport to sz40 (w/Italian ships) to activate both Greece and Yugo at the same time absorbing their ground and sea units (maybe even do it w/Free French if transport survives from sz 37?). I also just noticed that because the Italians are neutral the UK (or possibly the Free French from sz 37, if allowed to move through the Italian fleet) could place a dd in sz 41 to block the Italian sz39 fleet from participating in attacking sz 42 off Greece if they want to? (not sure if these powers can have surface ships in the same sz before a DOW by Italy, but I think so). I think this would create a problem for Italy deciding which to attack, land or sea (don’t think they could do both). The Italians could still hit the combined allied fleet, but w/o the sz39 ships it would weaken them or maybe even get mutual destruction (helps allies later?). If they don’t attack the ground forces those units could possibly combine next turn, which is also a thorn in the axis side (the RAF can fly into Yugo from London on UK2 for def if it looks good, then into N Africa?). Tying up the axis for a little while gives Russia some breathing room and maybe fewer units heading her way. Even if the Italians went for the ground units first, I think it leaves the UK in a better position, and they gain a couple dd’s to use for blockers if nothing else.
Anyway Koba, just wondered if you have activated Greece, and had an after action report for a more aggressive UK in the Balkan Peninsula.
Wild Bill, I have activated Yugoslavia and Greece on the first UK turn in two games. The way I’ve played it was to sacrifice the UK transport off of Cairo (SZ 47) and drop 1 inf. (Cairo) in Greece and 1 (TransJordan) in Yugoslavia (SZ 40) for the activation . The transport has been “sacrificed” to accomplish this. I have not yet used the French as you mentioned as they have not been available due to Vichy rolls.
This move has worked in the following fashion:
The Axis had to deal with UK forces in Europe or risk them combining and causing a lot of trouble (invading Axis Minors and/ or Northern Italy for instance). As you mentioned this can contribute to stalling the invasion of Russia, having much the same effect that Mussolini’s adventure in Greece and the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia had during the war. In response, Italy went after Yugoslavia and Greece. While they took Yugoslavia, Germany had to send Panzers to finish off Greece. This left those units out of position for a couple turns vis a vis Russia.
Last game, as a compliment to the above, I landed UK fighters and bombers in East Poland (I did this because nowhere does it say you cannot). I used the bombers to bring infantry there, bolstering the defence, and the fighters to harrass the Germans. This worked out not too bad as the fighters raided unprotected tactical bombers in Yugoslavia (which had been used against Greece) and destroyed them. Again, this is all done to buy the Soviets time.
It is certainly worth taking the fight to the Axis in Europe right away. While they eventually will overrun Allied gains, it causes them time and materiel which are both worth more to them than the territories fought over. My Axis opponents were certainly not impressed–or grudgingly impressed-- with the moves but did not hestitate to use them when roles were reversed (I usually play as the Axis).
I also like the not insignificant IPC boost it gives the Commonwealth.
One move I have not made and will correct the next time I play as the Allies, is to combine the Commonwealth Med. fleet with the Greek fleet–I usually ran away from the Med. as you mentioned with the attendant stomach cramps–. While still not as strong as the Italian fleet, I believe this combination will cause --as long as you don’t booga on the rolls-- significant damage to the Italian fleet, and perhaps make them devote ships to the naval battle as opposed to supporting the inevitable amphibious assault on Cairo–buying time to reinforce it.
As far as the defence of Cairo goes, I’ve been using FEC to send reinforcements to Africa combined with forces generated from SA. I have had mixed results with this as forces that may be better dedicated to the Asian front, end up in an attritional battle in Africa. The Allies did end up losing Calcutta to the Japanese (but won the game both times). Regardless, Cairo has not fallen before turn 6 using this strategy. I believe it would have lasted longer if I had fought the naval battle mentioned above.
All in all, I believe your assessment is really valid and hope you try it out and let me know how it worked. I’d also like to discuss Axis counter moves to this bit of “terrorism” as it’s been called among my group.
Clarification for Variable :
Germany took Paris G1. This means that Italy joins the axis the beginning of It1 and would automatically be at war.
Italy doesn’t have the option of not going to war with Euro allies (UK & France) It1 if Paris falls right? If Paris falls, or Russia is attacked G1 the Italians join the axis It1 which means a DOW w/UK (and France) is assumed at the beginning of Italy’s turn.
Being that on UK1 Italy is still neutral, UK (and French) ships can pass through Italian occupied sz’s, and even share them if they choose to right. In other words a sz occupied w/neutral Italian ships doesn’t make it hostel, and may be passed through, or shared w/ships from the the allies.
2a) So in my above example the UK could slide a transport into sz40 w/the Italian navy to activate Greece and Yugo at the same time.
2b) On UK1, the English (or Free French) could NCM a dd to sz 41 w/neutral Italian ships, and on the Italians first turn they must join the axis by rule (Paris fell) and because they are at war now (w/UK & France), the allied dd in sz 41 would block the Italian fleet in sz39 from attacking the allies ships in sz42 right.
Thanks for the feed back (and re-posting to a new thread). I’m in the 3 round of a game now as allies, and retreated the Med fleet to the Red Sea. The thought of activating Greece/Yugo and merging the Greek/UK fleet crossed my mind briefly, but I didn’t act on it. We are playing a pretty open book game, so I discussed that move with my adversary, and he was pretty happy I didn’t. Especially being that we discovered it is possible to block out much of the Italian fleet (sz39), and they can only get one plane into the sea battle. It would all come down to the dice.
I know in the next game (after holidays), we’ll test that out.
No problem. Have a good game Wild Bill. It would be interesting to see how your opponent would re-act to those moves. Mine went absolutely ape!
Yeah next time for sure, wish I had went with my gut this time and looked at it closer. With my luck, I’ll probably end up being axis next time, and see my strat first hand used against me LOL.
Yes, always go with your gut.
Some clarification for Variable and yourself. When I land UK fighters in East Poland it is still under Polish control. I leave it and reinforce it as much as possible. I believe it’s much more valuable to the Russians as a buffer or troublemaker than anything else. When Germany decides to attack, it’s not Russians doing the dying, it’s Poles and Commonwealth troops.
There’s not many ground units in E Poland to start with (3 inf, 1 art). I haven’t seen a game that W Poland and Warsaw doesn’t fall on G1 to preserve Polish ground forces or ftr, so there has been no way to add more ground troops to Poland that I can see (unless you bmr transport an inf over from London and leave bmr there too). Russia is only allowed to attack Poland, they can’t NCM in to reinforce allied positions (at this point). If the Germans really take a beating taking W Pol & Warsaw, and would be risking the Luftwaffe to attack E Pol G2 then maybe move over the the RAF, but it still seems like you could be sacrificing any air units sent in (would be situational IMO).
In our games (W Pol & Warsaw falls G1) Germany generally buys a bmr or two G1 to help finish off the Royal Navy, and to start moving around inf later (fly inf to Egypt for bonus, or perform para drops). So the bmrs we see them buy G1 every game so far, and left over Warsaw troops would finish off E Pol, along with much of the RAF if placed there IMO. Plus Germany would gain the 2 IPCs for E Pol, and deny it to the Russians (Russia doesn’t get much income early on). Russia has the strength to knock out E Pol rather easily R1, and their units can generally retreat R2 before the Germans attack normally on G3 or G4 in our games (depending on how Russia is rolling their war dice).
I know we have discussed early UK landings in the Balkans in conjunction with making a stance in Poland to overload the axis, but I’m not sure how many units (expensive air and sea units) the UK can place in harms way before they get their clocks cleaned, or are looking at a Sea Lion. The UK needs the RAF to survive, not lose it in Poland IMO. However if the Germans are lacking the ground units and/or the Luftwaffe is out of position to aid in the attack you might consider a temporary stand in E Poland (keep the axis tied up, and away from other goals). It could also allow your ftrs to get to the Balkans UK2 or even to a carrier in sz42, then on to N Africa/Med (would be risky)?
If Warsaw doesn’t fall for some reason on G1 then all bets are off. Russia should not hit E Poland so that on UK’s first turn those units can go to Warsaw to set-up a def stance (along w/RAF). I believe by rule (2nd option, UK takes full control) the UK could build units in Warsaw’s minor IC UK1. UK would gain ownership of the Warsaw IC right after Germany’s turn, allowing them to build there on UK1 as they would own it before their turn started IMO. If you use option 1 (Poland as its own econ/power), Poland wouldn’t be able to build units in the first turn because it has no starting IPCs, but if it was viewed as a Commonwealth Power at that point then I believe the UK could still build units in the Warsaw IC as it can in any of the Commonwealth ICs.
**Question for Variable if Germany fails to capture Warsaw in option 1 (Poland has separate econ) is Poland and the Warsaw IC viewed as being a Commonwealth Power allowing the UK to build there directly in the event Warsaw isn’t captured G1.
The UK East Poland moves are situational. I used the move because G1 cost the Axis quite a bit and I knew while they recovered their strength enough to attack Russia, the East Poland+Greek+Yugoslavian forces would eat at them a bit more. If the Germans attacked and took East Poland at this point, Russian would come into the war full on. This would have presented them with the situation of having to mop up the UK presence while dealing with aggressive Soviets before being better prepared.
As it was, I also used the UK forces to take Elbing while the Germans were weak there (yes, I used bombers to transport infantry and to sink the German transport in the Baltic later). It did cause the Axis a lot of grief and stalled the invasion of Russia. Due to the delay they did not even manage to get to Stalingrad and only managed to hold Leningrad for one turn. Finland, by the way, was a complete wash for them. When it was all said and done turn 13, the Soviets were marching through Romania, Hungary and Warsaw.
Regardless of the East Poland move, I’m still in favour of activiating the Greece and Yugoslavia UK1.
I have not tried building bombers on G1 to attack the Home Fleet. The UK fleet in sz 23 can call on fighter support and naval base AA and it seems to me the Germans would lose their Uboats and all supporting aircraft (not to mention giving the Commonwealth the No Uboats in the Atlantic bonus for at least one turn if none of them survived the Scotland naval battle on the first impulse). I generally leave this fleet until later, and make sure the destroyer and transport off of Canada are sunk. How has that move worked out for you? Are you committing the rest of the Luftwaffe to Paris and Warsaw?
We generally wolf pack (over kill) the Canadians w/just about every sub in the first impulse that can reach. Then take all subs from the Canada (which is a lot) and what ever else can be thrown in to attack sz 23 with a couple newly built bmrs. Also repositioned a couple German dd’s to sz 114 in the first impulse as well for the sz23 attack (I think). UK has been reluctant to scramble so far, because they would be hitting mostly cheap subs or dd’s, and some of their ships may go down w/o firing a shot because of sneak attack and wolf pack. The wolf pack has done its job in games, and many UK ships don’t get to fire because of sneak attack. The naval AA only fire once at 2 or less, and hasn’t hit in this battle. The Bulk of the Luftwaffe, some subs/dd’s not used in the sz 23 battle, along with a couple new subs (Germany stars with a lot of IPCs) will hit the sz15 fleet.
Honestly some of the naval engagement rules are unclear, or we don’t use. If there are no dd’s, do bb’s or cruisers def against undetected subs, or are they just removed from play? Not sure when an undetected sub can be taken as a causality, I know one of the rules are that only a sub can hit an undetected sub, but that doesn’t seem right.
Anyway, the 2nd impulse has left the UK w/no fleet around England, but I’m not 100% sure if we got it right.
I can see doing this but the dice are everything, especially if the fighters are scrambled.
My opponents always scramble. They’ve a BB, a CC, 2 DD, an SS and possibly 2 fghtr. So, potentially, 8 hits. I don’t like it because the DDs cancel two of my UBoats’ sneak attacks. Chances are, at the very least, I’m going to lose all my Uboats not to mention the IPCs spent on the bombers which I generally put toward armour, mech, and arty. I like to hit Paris HARD on the second impulse and still have a lot of mobile forces to deal with Yugoslavia and Greece in subsequent turns. Additonally, my opponents get lucky on the AA more often than I like which would spell disaster for me here.
The Vichy roll, if it doesn’t go Germany’s way, could compound this problem. I suppose it’s a matter of play style. I’ve become somewhat more conservative over the years as the Axis.
The next time you set-up a new game, look to see what you can get to sz23 in the 2nd impulse. I think you can get up to 3 dd’s and like 6-7 subs, plus the bmrs (if you buy them). The UK hasn’t scrambled in our games, but if they did you still have 5 cheap ships to dodge bullets for sure (2 det ss, and 3 dd’s). Not sure, but you may also be able to take attacking undetected subs in the battle as hits from UK Ships (they didn’t submerge, or retreat). Most of your ss will get sneak attack, so some UK ships won’t get off a shot, or the BB is firing at 5 in the first round. Scrambled planes aren’t as effective in this game def at 6 (50%), instead of the higher rolls they get in G40 (would be the equivalent to an 8 in this game). It gives Germany (maybe Italy) some breathing room as the UK won’t be able to do squat for a while in Atlantic (other then absorb S America). If they don’t scramble, they are even reluctant to drop ships off Canada for a turn or so, because you will have some subs for a wolf pack attack. I’m sorry but I just don’t like leaving them that sz23 fleet, they rebound to early IMO.
I’ll be setting up the game this weekend and I’ll check it out. What are you using to attack the fleet in sz 15 on the first impulse?
I don’t like leaving them either and generally go after them ASAP after turn 1.
Thanks for taking time for the conversation.
I believe in the last game he sank the Scottish fleet in the 2nd impulse too (will have to check w/German player). Subs built in the Baltic in the 1st impulse can make it w/Baltic fleet (if you want) and the Luftwaffe. I don’t think they can scramble that one, but I’m not at home now so can’t check. I think he used the first impulse to buy and reposition to attack both fleets in the 2nd impulse. It is possible that the UK can counter if they get some French ships (Vichy rolls), but that’s part of the game. You of course also take Paris, and Warsaw in the 2nd impulse too. We have been skipping Holland G1 & G2 because of implications in the Pac, and start the Norway invasion on G2.
I am beginning to follwo what you are saying now. It’s a lot different than what I am used to doing. Basically, the first impulse is being used to set up for one swing at the UK home fleet. I’m going to work it out and possibly try it next week.
Thanks again Bill.
Yep, you should be able to knock out both their big fleets (plus the Canadian ships) G1 setting them back for quite awhile. With a couple subs here and there and the Luftwaffe you can keep them from building ships around England for a couple turns and they are forced to build a starter fleet off Canada. Even building off Canada isn’t to easy early on if the wolf pack is in tact because of the 1:1 detection ratio, and there is no airbase to scramble in Canada when they see your subs. It forces them to spend $ on ships, and less on resources elsewhere.