Paris or Bust



  • I know many people have tried the ‘take Russia out first then swing west’ tactic, but has anyone tried ‘all-in’ on Paris?

    By ‘all-in’ I mean:
    Germany has a defensive army in ideally Poland and everything else continually moves towards Holland -> Belgium -> Picardy -> Paris
    Austria has a defensive army in ideally Ukraine (Could be Galicia) and sends all forces possible to Venice-> Piedmont -> Burgandy -> Paris
    Ottoman has a defensive army in ideally Sevastopol (Could be Romania) and the rest fights for India to keep the UK somewhat occupied down there.

    Basically, defensive front vs. Russia (They probably have bought mostly Infantry for defense, since they are used to the triple team) and Germany/Austria make for Paris.  Italy probably buys mostly Infantry as well and retreats- but as the CP player you don’t care because if France is out of the game Rome will be next.

    I’d like to try this but was wondering if it is possible for the CPs to win this way?


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    I wondered about trying that. I wondered  if Russia could be kept to 22 IPCs(no Romania, Serbia and Poland) if they could be kept at bay.
    Might still be too much income for the CPs to hold them off.
    Need Paris and Rome to win; Russia is not necessary, so might work.

    I cannot play a game for a few weeks, so will not be able to try it out.
    Please post any observations if you get to play a real game like this.


  • Customizer

    I tried Paris-Rome first game, it failed no so much for lack of units but speed of transit. Perhaps all on Paris might just get there, but the Allies should be able to exploit the lack of units elsewhere. Berlin might fall to the UK the turn after the Germans enter Paris.



  • Well, if the UK can land in Berlin through two minefields, then you’d have to defend Berlin of course.

    But if you can take the French out early enough the CPs may just have a chance.  The next game I play will be doing this.



  • Does Germany start with enough pieces to defeat France if Germany does nothing but build navy to keep the Brits from reinforcing the French?

    This strategy would assume that AH devotes everything to the Russians to guard the Germans flank in the east and that AH can play defense in Italy.



  • I just started my first strategically focused and serious game (the rest were getting a feel for the rules and situations) and the CP is Germany heavy on France (almost all in) Austria heavy on Russia, Ottomans splitting between Russia and UK. not super confident about it but that’s half the fun.



  • @cdatkins:

    Does Germany start with enough pieces to defeat France if Germany does nothing but build navy to keep the Brits from reinforcing the French?

    This strategy would assume that AH devotes everything to the Russians to guard the Germans flank in the east and that AH can play defense in Italy.

    I was assuming the Germans would build zero navy and all army to send to France- Also Austria sending a large force into southern France so the French would have to split their defenses. 
    The CP would have a defensive front against the Russians- Ideally the Russians retreated to Moscow thinking the CP were gunning for them, but once they realize they aren’t, they may slowly push out in which case the CPs would have to improve their defenses.

    I had not thought about Germany building all Navy- they do have more starting units than the French- not sure if it is enough though.  In any case it is a dangerous move for the Germans to only build Navy.



  • I think this might be the way to go. Might set it up and play a sample to see how it turns out.



  • Not to mention building ALL navy would be overkill

    G1 they sink UKs fleet and essentially take over the Atlantic for a turn or 2 (depending on what French does with its fleet)
    Maybe building one ship each turn would be enough, or a BB every other turn



  • We played several games where the Germans/Austrians attacked side by side w/30+ units each in one direction, and played def together on the other (still no CP wins). Defensively it’s not bad because they can all def together (in one strategic territory), or can split to sacrifice one army to gain advantage with the other in a counter attack and could possibly advance.

    Offensively you would have two decent size forces that can support each other, but generally one army ends up melting itself into a defensive wall and not able to make a big enough dent, leaving the other attacking army with more then it can handle. So we decided (as CP) to go all in w/Germany against France, and have Austria handle the defensive duties against the Russians just as someone posted above.

    The Germans only left 9 inf to help Austria def against Russia, and everything else went towards France. The Germans moved 3 inf and 6 art from the Russian front line back to Berlin, and bought a ftr and the rest ground units to come into France with a 2nd wave. We had the Austrians attack the Italians w/everything that could get to Venice just to put them in a defense posture right away (so they don’t end up helping to def Paris), and the Germans attacked Switzerland G1 to open up that avenue as an alternative to move units to Burgundy w/o having to be exposed to English attacks along the coast.

    The Allies knew what was coming (you can’t really hide it when the Germans pulls away from the Russian front), and Russia moved everything it could to the Ukraine R1 (over 40 units). Austria was ready for this because nearly every game we played so far the Russians fortify the Ukraine, so the stage was set. There was some minor scrimmages in Poland/Romania in the 2nd-3rd turn as a distraction for the main Russian army to drain some units, but they pretty much sat on the Ukraine and faced off against the Austrian army in Galicia (with a handful of German inf), neither one really gaining an advantage. The French activated the Albanians F1 to put Italian units in the Balkans when Italy starts its turn, and Italy bought a couple transports to force yet another front for the Austrians to contend with in the Balkans. The Austrians wanting to squash this Balkan rebellion pulled its army out of Venice back to Trieste. This left the Germans alone against France, which was not good. I wanted them to be there maybe to help deal with English intervention, or to take some out lying French territories so I could keep my force in tact.

    To my surprise the English didn’t spend a dime in London first few turns, and spent everything in India (yeah the Turks were in trouble). I thought ok, this just might work, its the Germans vs the French with no out side help. As it turned out the French bough only inf and moved back w/o ever making a stand. When I got to Burgundy/Picardy, the English finally landed on Brest next to Paris w/10 units (too late for the 1st Battle of Paris). I got to the French capital w/60+ units for my attack (small secondary force moved up to Burgundy), the French had about the same (60+ units). I won the dog fight, so my artillery were ecstatic. I only killed 29 French units though (my artillery must have partied to much after the dog fight), and the French killed 32 German inf. Now the UK moved their units into Paris, and the French still had more income then they start the damned game with to drop more units although I held Belgium and their 3 eastern territories or 1/2 their land mass before I attacked Paris. I don’t understand how the French can loose 1/2 their main territories, and still have over 20 IPCs because they make it up w/neutrals?. Why are the German border territories worth 3/6 IPCs, and the French border territories only worth 2 IPCs.  They don’t miss it because of the Portugal, and in this game they ended up w/Greece for a while plus their African holdings that are pretty much untouchable.

    Anyway the French didn’t have much help, but were able to defend against the entire might of the German army. WE didn’t continue the game after the assault on Paris, because now the UK could continue to reinforce, and Germany only had a secondary force, with nothing else on the way. I knew Paris would survive, and I would run out of units before they do.

    The Allies made what I though were several mistakes. Like spending nothing in London the first two turns, and moving most fleet to the Med (where it really didn’t need that much). I did make one drastic error though when I attacked the Russian battleship to kill it turn 3 (stupid), and tried to land some inf in Finland. I ended up loosing my transport to a damn mine, and my navy was out of position to stop the UK from building transports to get to the French coast. Honestly though the UK/French fleets could have easily out numbered me though with minimal effort, so in most games it wouldn’t have made much difference anyway. The simple fact that the Germans were unable to take out the French nearly 1 on 1 is very startling to me. I’m really starting to think that when the tested this game they always set up kill zones in contested territories to thin out the defending army. In our games we are seeing complete withdraws on the part of the allies, because they just simply don’t need the income, and someone can easily be there to help def the battle for their capital. The assaulting CP force will eventually lose steam because (I hate to say it) there’s no way to quickly bring in rienforcments, and will be backtracking where the income difference will overcome them because the CP border territories are worth about 2X-3X on average of what the allies are.

    The next game we may experiment with a capital giving +1 to ground units that start there, as long as they stay on original friendly territories throughout their movement. Can’t be used to enter enemy orig territories (even if captured), or contested territories.



  • What were your buys as Germany?  Did you buy mostly Infantry?  Why did you not have a 2nd wave of German troops?  Did you have to start defending against Russia?

    What if Austria helped more in Southern France?

    Thanks for the response!  Discouraging, to be sure.



  • I think my 2nd German wave was 3 inf, 6 art pulled from the Russian front (to Berlin), plus my buy of 5 inf, 5 art for a total of 8 inf, 11 art in Berlin to march the long journey to Paris (I planned on, and did have air support). My starting ftr went to Galicia w/6 inf (3 more coming) to help the Austrians def against the Russians. My 2nd buy was a couple ftrs to catch up to my German army (as I wanted to control the sky’s), a transport, and more support for Austria which was able to fight several turns for Poland as a distraction to suck up units from the main Russian stack. I didn’t move my second buy towards France (maybe should have?), because it just seem like to long of a journey, and not many ground anyway as I bought a couple ftrs/transport (thought it best to aid the Austrians, much closer). Germany was making mid 40’s the first three turns (and climbing).

    The original plan (aborted) was for the Austrians to take Venice by storm to put the Italians in a def posture (which happened, kinda), then to have that army continue on w/Germany to take some French territory, maybe help with the UK if they started coming over, or be a clean-up crew. I also cleared Switzerland G1 so the Austrians might be able to start bringing in a secondary force if all allied attention was turned to defending France.

    I will admit we made several mistakes, and dice didn’t help in some of the early minor Austrian battles. The Austrians failed to take out Serbia A1 (had plenty, bad roll), then the French activated the Italians in Albania (this happens every game), and the Italians bought a couple transports IT1. On A2 Austria cleaned up Serbia, but also decided to take Greece ? ($ sucking ….lol), but that didn’t go well either, and Italy inherited two more units. A major fight broke out in the Balkans with many more units coming (Italians 3 transports, and enough allied navy to destroy the Austrian navy at any time). The Austrian army abandoned me (understandable he was defending everywhere), and I ended up giving him suport, but got none.

    Being the UK spent its first two buys in India though, their home navy was killed off G1, and they didn’t rebuild it, this should have been a cake walk for Germany. Wrong, the French can put up one hell of a fight on their own with very little help through mass inf buys because you really can’t knock their income down, and its a long walk to Paris. I think we over reacted a bit to the landings in the Balkans (although you can’t just leave them down there to grow), and attacking Greece was entirely the wrong thing to do. My decision to attack the Russian fleet G3, and get completely out of position was stupid-stupid-stupid (but I blame my partner for not talking me out of it, or pointing out the consequences lol). In this game the allies took all fleet to over kill the Med (which wasn’t needed), leaving me control of the Atlantic, which I screwed up. In a normal game though the Allies would be putting up a fight in the Atlantic, but the German G3 but would probably be all navy to try to stop the UK from coming over in volume (at that point I think its probably pointless to by ground units for the French fight, better to try to stop the English).

    I think this may have been our game to win, but errors are much harder for the CP to over come. We didn’t really finish the game (time), and it would have been a week before we could have continued. When I got to Paris for the big battle, we played it out. Each of us had over 30 units left contesting Paris. I had that 8 inf/11 art that could now engage, but the 10 UK units would have been in Paris, and the French buy which was at least 7-8 inf inf to place in a contested Paris (so he would now out number me, and I had nothing coming). I may have been able to force his UK navy away temperately (I did buy all navy G3), but the Med fleets were on their way to the Atlantic. We rolled out the Austria attack on the Russians, and that actually went very well. It was A/5 ftrs, R/4 ftrs and Austria won the dog fight, and out rolled him in the land battle, so the Russians would have back peddled. The fact that actually taking Paris was a long shot, the UK would be in position to eventually liberate it even if I got it because there is no way for me to defend it. Plus the fact that France pretty much defended on its own just makes me shake my head in disbelief.



  • Thanks for the write-up, but I have two questions:

    1. Why didn’t Germany send land troops to France every turn so that you always have reinforcements? 
    2. If Italy is buying transports, how/why did Austria not beat them down?  two transports plus sending troops to the Balkans- Austria would have an easier time fighting down to Rome.  I agree- fighting for Greece usually isn’t a good idea and I usually just leave enough Austrian troops in the balkans to ensure I don’t lose territory.  If I sent a large army to take Albania then it is massively out of position in the fight for Rome/Paris.



  • By the 2nd-3rd turn it is just a long way from your German capital to Paris, and w/buying air and a bit of navy it’s just not enough ground to make a difference IMO (so I sent the ground to aid the Russian front). I though it best to buy some air that can get there faster, and get me Air support if the UK started sending a couple ftrs over. I also was supposed to get the 13 unit Austrian army by my side that would have made a major difference in France. Also a 3rd turn German naval build in the right situation might be able to keep the UK off the continent, or delay them. I think that Austria was in a pickle w/Russia breathing down their back, and the landing in the Balkans (maybe a bit of a panic). I also think he could have game up some ground, and kept the Austrian army heading to Paris, because I was giving him def support on the Russian front, but he bailed. When he bailed from the Italian front it allowed the Italian freedom to transport units as they wanted (didn’t have to worry about Rome). As it turned out I met my original obligations by sending some German units to help def the Russia front (and they didn’t break through). We played out the Austrian attack on Russia as the last battle of the game, and the Austrians actually broke the back of the Russians, and wiped out their air force in the dog fight. The Idea was for him to play defense though, and give me support in France. It was a good learning experience for both sides though, and could very well be a good strat if carried out.



  • I definitely agree with Bill that to attack you don’t want two powers’ armies, especially when those two separate armies would need to attack one TT. The defender gets to shoot at your guys twice, essentially.



  • Yeah, I think it’s the best way to go taking the bulk of the German army one way, and the Austrian army the other. You just have more attack capabilities (punch). I think it is important to have a small 12+ unit ally army with you though because it can be very helpful, and gives you more options. Territory grabs that cause a distraction to the enemy, watching your flank, merging to back down your enemy etc…. Its also cool for that smal force to have some air to sacrifice a couple ground units just to force a dog fight to kill off enemy ftrs so your larger force can gain air superiority.



  • @WILD:

    To my surprise the English didn’t spend a dime in London first few turns, and spent everything in India (yeah the Turks were in trouble). I thought ok, this just might work, its the Germans vs the French with no out side help… I don’t understand how the French can loose 1/2 their main territories, and still have over 20 IPCs because they make it up w/neutrals?..

    …Anyway the French didn’t have much help, but were able to defend against the entire might of the German army…

    The IPC imbalance in our games has been incredibly noticeable. Just starting off the game France will easily make +5 IPCs from Spanish Morroco, Portugal, and Belgium They will easily have Togoland and Kamerun soon enough, boosting them to well over 30 IPCs very early in the game. Britain will carve up Africa for a tidy bonus, will almost always hold Arabia due to the ability to spend any amount of IPCs they wish in India, which usually means Afghanistan, Persia, and Mesopotamia are theirs for the taking (and keeping).

    UK usually ends up making around 40 IPCs that the Central Powers have zero chance of taking away.

    Unless Germany and Austria start carving up Russia very quickly the Central Powers start the game off making significantly less IPCs than the Allies, and that doesn’t even include USA. If you count the USA the balance gets even more lopsided.

    I realize that the CPs start with more units than the Allies but that is easily made up for the fact that the Allies would have to be lobotomized to not be able to rule every sea zone in the game by Turn 3-4 max. The UK can throw every single IPC they want on offense because all of their territories are unassailable.

    Unlike 1940 where the Axis start with a huge head of steam and have to keep going to avoid running out of resources, the CPs in this game seem to start down and out and have to claw and drag themselves out of hole just to get on par with the Allies. It is very frustrating to play as them and just continually get stopped and beat up at every front.



  • I think you hit the nail on the head Zane.

    Paris or bust may look viable at first glance, but the economics of the game pretty much dictate that it won’t work. When the CP head west and try to hold the line against Russia they will barely be able to achieve economic parity with the Allies, let alone superiority.

    There’s just no enough to be gained by the CP’s on the western front. Even if you’ve advanced to the gates of Paris Germany will only have gained between 6 and 10 IPC and even that would barely dent France’s income. When you factor in the African IPC’s Germany will lose over the first few turns, the viability of this strategy becomes bleaker still.

    There’s much more to be had in Russia. Some 13 IPC’s for all the CP’s combined. And another 12 if you play without the revolution. On top of that, you will have taken out Russia and have reduced the Allied economy by 25 IPC. That just won’t happen when you attack France.



  • Point taken Vondelaer-

    What about a slight modification to the ‘Paris or Bust’ strat-

    Concentrate on Russia and France… Ignore Italy?  As in, send Austrian reinforcements across northern italy to southern france to aid the german thrust in belgium/northern france?



  • Sounds like a good idea BJ.

    From the write ups in this topic it looks as though Germany can’t quite capture Paris, but perhaps an Austrian assist will give the CP’s enough oomph to do it.

    The Austrian force would have to be pretty big to get cross Northern Italy and still be able to have an impact on the battle for Paris though. And that could spell disaster on the eastern front and in the Balkans.

    Actually, as I was writing a had an idea. What if we turned the original idea of Paris or bust around? and let Germany go after Russia the way it usually does, while Austria goes all out in the west to eliminate Italy?

    Even with minimal help from Austria and the Ottmans down south, Germany should still be able to force Russia into revolution. Meanwhile, Italy won’t hold out long against a determined Austria.

    Obviously, the CP’s would still have to take Paris in order to win, but with now that Italy and Russia have been removed fromt he equasion they ought to be in a good position to do so.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Not sure BJCard.
    Game I played and lost, I never held Tuscany and I think Italy remaining in the game cost me in the long run. I will go all out on Italy next time.
    It was my German Western Front weakness that allowed France to reinforce through Piemonte and eventually contest Munich for the remainder of the game.
    I do not want a repeat, but agree France may not miss 6 IPCs; they really can pick up 4-6 more in Africa as observed.
    CPs have  to be contesting Paris early on to have a chance of France first.
    Damn Russia!



  • Hmm, I thought only the Italians could activate Albania (unless attacked by the CP), only Russia could activate Romania etc.

    " …then the French activated the Italians in Albania (this happens every game)…",



  • If Italy continually retreats to Rome and the US lands troops in Rome on turn 5, even a concerted attack by Austria on Italy most likely cannot get Rome.  In both the games I’ve played I did just that- send the bulk of my Army at Italy to no avail.  It just takes too long to get to Rome. The best I’ve done is contest Rome- Italy can still build a couple Infantry and the US is landing 4+ units there per turn.

    However if instead of going for Rome, you send your initial Venice/Tyrolia/Trieste/Vienna armies straight across northern Italy to get some pressure on Burgundy/Marseilles by turn 3, France will have to split up its forces a bit.  This could help Germany enough to have a chance at Paris on turn 4 or 5.

    Of course, after the initial armies are sent to France Austria would have to concentrate on making sure Italy doesn’t grow too big.

    Germany essentially has to split up its starting forces to fight Russia and France- Austria sends most of its Galicia and Budapest armies against Russia (with small force fighting in Serbia).  Ottoman sends Constantinople and Bulgaria armies to Russia.

    It could work-



  • @Koningstiger:

    Hmm, I thought only the Italians could activate Albania (unless attacked by the CP), only Russia could activate Romania etc.

    " …then the French activated the Italians in Albania (this happens every game)…",

    Any ally can activate Albania- the units activated are Italian though; same for any other country that can be activated.



  • @BJCard:

    @Koningstiger:

    Hmm, I thought only the Italians could activate Albania (unless attacked by the CP), only Russia could activate Romania etc.

    " …then the French activated the Italians in Albania (this happens every game)…",

    Any ally can activate Albania- the units activated are Italian though; same for any other country that can be activated.

    OK, thanks. This is again slightly different then from how friendly allies can be activated in Europe 40. If Italy moves into say Bulgaria there (which is also allowed) then the Bulgarians become Italian pieces and not German ones. It’d be more logical, IMHO only to allow the italians to activate Albania, Russians Romania etc.

    BTW, I usually attack Albanai with some Austrian pices on round 1 for the extra IPCs (just two but you should be able to hold it for a number of trounds…) Does anyone else do this?


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