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.