Hello everyone, new on this forum.
I stumbled upon this forum because I am looking for new strategies for the Axis because me and some friends have gotten the idea that the Axis can never win unless the dice saves their day or the allies make a mistake. So basically we feel the axis can flip a coin at start of the game to see if they can win ;-). We also feel the Allies cannot be tweaked down any further than they already have been because they are nerfed beyond believe already. IMHO, an Axis win has to come from creative thinking with what is on the board right now.
I must admit I have not tested this ‘dark skies’ strategy but at first glance I feel it should not affect the allied strategies of me and my friends a lot.
Because: we always defend the USSR with UK-fighters, as much as needed depending on the threat, to a maximum of 16 (!) by turn 4. And UK TAC and STR can also fly in for the defense of Moscow (and SBR Ukraine/Novgorod/Stalingrad) if needed. The huge RAF can easily destroy german reinforcement builds trying to reach Bryansk.
If Germany buys so much STR my first thought is: OK, so once their (as a result of having so many bombers) small land forces reach Bryansk, the Russians can simply counter-attack them (and win), after which some UK FTR can fly in to defend the surviving Russian forces as well. The Russians may even be strong enough to never leave Bryansk in the first place (whether or not helped by some RAF-defenders) but that remains a ‘tester’ especially vs. Italian can-openers.
It seems to me that SBRs are not very effective against such forces. Germany can fly in all their STR loosing equal amounts of STR as UK/USSR looses FTR. But then those STR are bound to the eastfront and the allied navies (US) can finally approach ‘fortress’ (I’d rather call it ‘airstrip’ by then ) Europe.
By this time the US and UK also have growing bomberstacks, SBR Berlin + West Germany every turn, severely limiting the German (much needed) defensive builds for this front (it will cost Germany 50 ipc’s to build just 10 INF)…
At the same time, UK always takes Persia, Iraq, and dominates Africa. They may have to give Egypt away for 1 turn but taking it back right after, never to loose it again. Its income should be 40+ by now, aided by Brazilian economy if needed.
India and ANZAC are getting strong if Japan chases the Russians, providing even further aid for Europe (FTR, STR).
So what if Germany tries to turn Sea-Lion. Dangerous, but my gut says: not possible anymore if not done at turn 3, because of SO many UK FTR, STR that can destroy any and all German TRS that show up on their way to the Russian mainland. Not much the German Ju-88 can do about that as well ;-).
All this is just at first glance, I’ll admit again that we have not yet tested this ‘dark skies’ strategy but it is placed on top of our priority list for our global AA 1940 games (2nd ed.) as a potential for an Axis breakthrough.
It certainly will require more creativity with the RAF but I think the trick is to simply build as much FTR with the UK as possible with the aim to defend Russia if needed. If not needed, well…
Russian strategy is as always: retreat everything into Moscow, loosing nothing in the process. Not even screening forces. USSR is allowed to make counter-attacks where their net losses are as much INF as German INF, or even better, loosing more INF where Germans loose their spearheading ARM. Building INF and ART only with the purpose of a decisive counter-attack once the Germans reach Bryansk.
The latter is almost possible (but prevented by a small fraction) if German Builds involved as much land forces as possible AND the entire Luftwaffe is also defending there (not much of a defense force left in Europe now huh ;-). So with 4 or more German turns of STR-building I suspect a russian win, attacking the combined German forces in Bryansk, is spectacular and decisive since the German STR do not have a particular valuable defense.