War with the True Neutrals.


  • '14 Customizer

    So far I have been having a blast playing this strategy. Its somewhat easy to counter but definitely throws the game in a different direction.  On Germany’s second turn declare war on the neutrals. Attack Spain with the leftover force from France, Sweden and Greece.  Round 3 you take Turkey and Portugal.  Now this is the great part.  On round 3 have Italy declare war on Russia and move that Navy into the Baltic sea and take Caucasus if it is not empty.  If it is empty then leave for Germany and attack one of the other territories bordering the Baltic.  On Germany’s turn take Stalingrad.



  • Uk should be able to take turkey round 2, or be in a position to counter the germans if they go there.  Russia will have plenty of room to manuver since you will have a lot of units commited to the neutrals.  Definitely looks like fun though.


  • Customizer

    UGH! As the Axis, sure would hate to give those extra 8 infantry to UK.



  • @cyanight:

      On round 3 have Italy declare war on Russia and move that Navy into the Baltic sea and take Caucasus if it is not empty.

    Perhaps you would rather move that fleet into the Black Sea, ehh…

    Apart from that, I love your idea. Historian John Keegan claimed that the Axis best bet to win was to grab Turkey and get access to the Middle East oil. Unfortunate this game is balanced in a way to avoid unhistorical cases like that. In real world Turkey had only 16 millions population in 1939, and half of them not even ethnical Turks. In 1920 Greece went to war against Turkey and almost won. Imagine a German panzer division smashing through the 400 000 Turkish troops, even less than Finland mobilized, and into pro German oil rich Iraq. I don’t think the designers loved that idea, since they gave Turkey an unhistorical huge 8 infantry army, even bigger than Spain with a 35 million population. And as you mentioned, easy for UK to counter. Too bad Hitler was so focused on Lebensraum in Russia, or else this game would seen a more active Turkey.



  • The true neutral strategy better serves the Allies, if the UK takes Turkey after Russia takes Iraq, it will set the table for the US to take Spain, which is a much better position to wage war on German controlled French territories. The Americans can build a factory there, divert tons of Axis forces away from the Eastern front, and Spain can easily be supplied with a 1 move landing instead of 2 if the landings come from the English channel.



  • The whole Turkey -> Middle East Oil has me intrigued for a long time now!

    I’ve read somewhere this was part of the Rommel ‘fantasy’. Given his brilliance one can only imagine that the fantasy-label comes from the Germans not being able to try it because of the whole lebensraum thing going on.

    Definately worth a study for a future A&A game 😉

    I have tried to do just this in some other games more into simulation than A&A and I Always stumbled into the following problems:

    • The turkish army is not so big, but the country is very, very mountainous. A dreamland for defensive campaigns, guerilla-tactics like cutting supplylines etc. And the mountains alone will slow any army down like Russian mud could be jealous of.

    • Once ploughed through Turkey, the army must wade through hundreds of miles of desert, a nightmare for supplylines.

    Basically all my tries failed because of -you might guess- failing supply lines or not enough resources available to even set up the supply lines necessary to get the army where it needs to go!
    Not to mention that the enormous amounts of resources needed to keep the supplies flowing, severely limit the supplies left for a Russian campaign.

    Likewise, as a comparison, the Commonwealth/UK of course were not hindered by this, because they could race through Persia along the coast, similar like Rommel did in North Africa (and as both armies acknowledged, this is/was the only option when waging a desertwar).

    I keep wondering how close such simulations are to a real life situation of those times, but in A&A, the ‘huge’ Turkish army might not even be huge enough to reflect the sheer stopping power of the supply-nightmare a German/Italian army would have faced had they tried to reach Middle East via Turkey!


  • '14 Customizer

    Razor - Ah yes the Black Sea. What was I thinking? Thank you so much. 🙂

    I was really surprised at the replies. I figured everyone would think I’m crazy.  The two big reasons I developed this strategy was because of the inability to keep Gibraltar closed and to get that NO for Germany and Italy.  As long as you can keep ships out of the Mediterranean you increase the longevity of Italy.   If you don’t have a navy which eventually happens to Italy then your forced to allow a siege without any hope of closing Gibraltar.  I usually have a stack of 10-20 units sitting in Southern for this exact purpose. Also a quick blitzing of German tanks and mechs as well.   That way if Spain falls I can capture with Italy and then have Germany blitz through to take Gibraltar.

    The last game I played I think you were watching ghr2.  UK managed to take Turkey from Germany on Turn 3 but at such a cost losing 2 fighters. The next turn Italy takes Turkey back and Then Germany stacks with ground units and planes.  This strategy also seems to spread out Russia as well as Germany.   You don’t have that one big bulge of units marching toward the capital.  Russia has to protect Caucasus and Stalingrad now which were mostly ignored before.

    Its no fun giving up 4inf in Africa, 6inf middle east(Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan), and 8inf in South America(Chile, Argentina, Venezuela) as well as the Mongolians but it greatly aids Germany and Italy’s economy.  It is risky and as I found out last night challenging to keep Turkey with an experienced player.  What might be better is to have Germany declare war on the neutrals on turn 3 instead of turn 2 and take Spain and Turkey.  Might just have to leave Sweden for later.  This will totally catch your opponent off guard since your just doing normal house cleaning with Germany and Italy up until the declaration.

    Thanks again for all your supporting comments.  Please feel free to critic and add to the “Neutral Strategy” Â



  • It is safe to say that the defenders got lucky in that battle where uk lost some air.  🙂  Japan however, was dead in the water.  US could easily build full atlantic without much worry.


  • '14 Customizer

    Ghr2 - Of course, I did get lucky.  Yea, Japan really had bad luck and was ignoring the US.  I hope we can continue it this evening.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Question:

    Why are you giving the United States even more money?  +8 IPC a round for S. America + 11 infantry, and trust me, those infantry are going into Africa pretty darn quick!

    Just a thought.  Now, of course, the United States cannot grab those territories round 2 or 3, but I hate to give the uber economy any more IPC for any reason!  Hell, I think they make too much money as it is!


  • '14 Customizer

    Yes it is a risk Cmdr Jennifer.  My bet is by the time it takes USA to ferry those troops off of South America the war will be over.  Also you have 8 icps in Turkey, Sweden, Spain and Portugal. I know these will change ownership often but it is in increase. Then there is the oil or “money lands” for Italy and Germany and Saudi Arabia for 2 more.  Definitely a challenging way to play the game but it almost always gives Italy a dramatic increase in economy.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Well, the US doesn’t really need to ferry troops too much.  Common enough (not to say happens often) to see an American IC in Brazil feeding troops into Africa.  Since you can build 3 things in Brazil then, and a transport can only carry 2 things, easy enough to have the 3rd go collect troops.

    Not overly worried about England getting Turkey.  Should be easy enough for the Germans to encourage them to leave (“RUN AWAY!”)



  • @ItIsILeClerc:

    • The turkish army is not so big, but the country is very, very mountainous. A dreamland for defensive campaigns, guerilla-tactics like cutting supplylines etc. And the mountains alone will slow any army down like Russian mud could be jealous of.

    • Once ploughed through Turkey, the army must wade through hundreds of miles of desert, a nightmare for supplylines.

    The germans build the Berlin Baghdad railroad before WWI, and as you see from the pic this railroad run in the lowlands and not in the high mountains that lie up north and east at the Caucasus area. The germans just had to guard the railroad, and would be supplied by it. And the mountain area in north east would give them natural flank protection against the Russians.

    The hills in southern and western Turkey, where the railroad run, would not make problems for the supply line. This is mediterian temperate zone and don’t have snow or mud, just sun and hard surface. As you probably know, a truck with supply use ten time more gas and use ten time more time to drive in snow and mud. And that is what bugged down the german supply line in Russia during winter, and the Russian supply line in finland during the winterwar. As for the guerrilla and sabotage threat, the germans dealed with that in Jugoslavia and Greece, and that mountains were high with snow. So in real world, the Turkey Middle East oil was a viable option.

    But back to this game. Bulgaria don’t have border to Turkey on the AA map, even if they have in real world, so I believe Larry don’t wanted me to attack Turkey in turn 2

    image008.jpg



  • Why are we talking about the “War with the True Neutrals” as an axis strategy? Invading Spain with the Americans could possibly be the only Allied strategy that will win them games on a consistent basis. Now if you want to talk about the war on how quickly each side can get those neutrals, or the losses each side would sustain for clashing over such territories, than I would like to hear those arguments.



  • @Young:

    Why are we talking about the “War with the True Neutrals” as an axis strategy? Invading Spain with the Americans could possibly be the only Allied strategy that will win them games on a consistent basis. Now if you want to talk about the war on how quickly each side can get those neutrals, or the losses each side would sustain for clashing over such territories, than I would like to hear those arguments.

    Can you possibly point me to a save game file where the USA does this successfully? I’ve been thinking for a while about doing this in my game group, and would like to see how others have pulled it off.



  • @ChocolatePancake:

    @Young:

    Why are we talking about the “War with the True Neutrals” as an axis strategy? Invading Spain with the Americans could possibly be the only Allied strategy that will win them games on a consistent basis. Now if you want to talk about the war on how quickly each side can get those neutrals, or the losses each side would sustain for clashing over such territories, than I would like to hear those arguments.

    Can you possibly point me to a save game file where the USA does this successfully? I’ve been thinking for a while about doing this in my game group, and would like to see how others have pulled it off.

    I only do table top games, but all you have to do as the Americans is to help ANZAC defend the money Islands in the Pacific, and pound France from Spain with multiple landings and eventually a minor factory.The UK needs to prevent Sealion, keep the Italian fleet weak, and hold the middle east. Russia should defend, but also build up enough offensive weapons to be aggressive when needed.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    I generally see the neutrals being attacked by the British/Americans myself.  I don’t really like it, but thems the rulz…imho the allied forces (except Russia) should not be allowed to attack true neutrals…

    Germany attacking early would be a nice gambit move.  The question is, can they actually exploit the middle east that way or will it divert too many troops from the Russian front.



  • @Young:

    Why are we talking about the “War with the True Neutrals” as an axis strategy?

    Just for fun I guess. To turn the rest of the neutral world against you is not a rational strategy if you are Germany, but it is fun. You don’t win tournaments but you do enjoy.

    I try to post two pics here. The one is the original AA map and the other is a self made improvement with terrain and Bulgaria border Turkey, so the German panzer don’t have to take a detour through Greece, but can go straight for the main object. Do mind I have cut Turkey in 3 zones, the flat hills in Anatolia, and the natural flank protection mountains in Armenia and Kurdistan. The Berlin Baghdad railroad is the red line that goes from Bulgaria to Iraq, and that railroad is what would make this a good strategy in the real world. But the lack of terrain and railroads in the game, make it a bad move in the game

    P1000909 (640x480).jpg
    P1000911 (640x480).jpg



  • But would a German attack on Turkey in 39 or 40 have been successful or a disaster , uh…

    The UK and French attack at the straits of Gallipoli in 1915 was a disaster, but that was because of too much arrogance, first they sailed battleships right into the minefield, and then they made a frontal attack with 5 light divisions wading ashore against 6 strong Turkish divisions that was dug in the mountains, fortified with big naval guns and had a german commander. Anybody would fail against that.

    But in the Greco Turkish war 1919 to 1922, little Greece attacked at the unprotected Smyrna coast with 200 000 men, and they hold half Turkey for 3 years.

    A German land attack from Bulgaria were most likely to be successful. In 1939 Turkey had a population of 17 million, but they were poor, and had only half the GDP as Sweden with 6 million population. Sweden could mobilize 300 000 men, equipped with heavy artillery, tanks and planes, giving them strong fighting power. Turkey only mobilized 400 000 infantry, poorly equipped and always out of supply. The high alpine mountains in Armenia would favor the defender, but not the flat hills in Anatolia. The German panzer division that blitzed through the mountains of Jugoslavia and Greece, would have not problems continuing into the low hills at Turkey, and then grab oil rich Iraq one week later. But how to model this in game


  • 2017 2016

    From a historical viewpoint I think it would have been more of a disaster that they already had encountered by having to delay the invasion of the Soviet Union. (i.e. Yugoslavia, Greece) Germany can not allow her self a added distraction of major resources in her drive on Moscow. In game terms which this topic is about 8 inf is not to be taken lightly. One is going to take losses. I would plan in my mind to expect at least 3. The soonest I see is 2 armor on game turn 2 for the German. Now all of this is starting to detract me from my main goal Moscow. I also have opened a whole bunch of flanks in my defence of Europe proper. Such as Spain. I think one might obtain the same effects for forcing the Soviets to have to expand their defensive line is to think along the lines of a Sealion type operation. Put a major IC in Romania and build either a throw away fleet of TT just to get some troops across or a little more planning of little naval defence so that one may continue reinforcing that drive. The invasion of the Soviet Union was historicaly delayed do to the Balkan affair and alot of thoughts have been put into what if. Game wise I am hesitant to open the can of worms that would be mine on top of all my other defensive issues of the Third Reich at this early stage of the game. Moscow first and then deal with the rest of world.



  • @General:

    Moscow first and then deal with the rest of world.

    Yes, a firm goal is good but timing is important too. Is Germany best off attacking turn 1, turn 2 or turn 4 etc…. Is it wise to attack early before the enemy is prepared, or should you wait and build up your forces to be overwhelming before you start the war… Germany is weak in turn 1 but gain more and more power when it grabs France and all the pro neutrals. Besides Germany lose the 5 IPC trade NO when he attack Russia, so its a lot of math involved in this calculation, its not enough with pure fighting spirit and go for it go go go

    Likewise in the real world, Germany was weak in 1938, but stole the Tzchecoslovakian tanks and got strong enough to take France, then stole the French tanks and artillery and build up strong enough to take Russia etc etc …but no… that failed, they had enough firing power yes, but lacked oil and gas to move the panzers. So what if Germany grabbed the Middle East oil fields before the attack on Russia…what then …uh …

    A successful attack on Russia should be launched in may, at the start of the campaign season, and not one week before it start to snow, like Hitler did. But that year it was so bad weather it had been raining all spring and summer, so Poland did not get hard surface until august, and then it was too late for a rational attack. And that is the reason that Hitler let one of his panzer divisions drive trough Jugoslavia and Greece, they could not be used in Russia before august anyway, so why not put them to good use in the Balkans meantime…
    But after taking Greece and Crete, the rational way would be to continue through Turkey and grab the oil fields in the Middle East, as Rommel suggested. Then North Africa and Middle East would be Axis held, and we know what that means gamewise.

    But then the attack on Russia had to be next year, and Hitler was not a very prudent man, so there we go. But if Germany had a rational leader in 1941, they would not have attacked Russia before 1942. Russia had been spending 60 % of the GDP on military burden since 1935 and had flattened the line, but Germany was building up successfully, and went from noting in 1933 to a peak of 40 % of GDP on military burden just before the attack on Russia in 1941. If Germany had patience to attack in 1942 or 43 then they had peaked with 60 % and total war mobilization, and get unlimited oil supply from the Middle East, and a start line close to the Russian oilfields in Caucasus, then they had a better chance to win.

    Now take this to the game. Germany take Turkey and the Middle East  turn 3 and 4 and get a nice IPC NO, and every turn keep the 5 IPC trade NO too, and 4 turns to build up the army and factories close to Russia. Is that enough to kill Russia or is it a losing strategy …uh…



  • I like the local effects it may or may not have to attack Turkey with the axis: dispersion of the Red Army? Caucasus and the oil-rich middle east in German Hands? And if so, for how long? Axis being able to sandwich Caïro?

    Personally I am pondering… Germany could march towards Calcutta via this shortcut with an army that could be large enough to defeat India, or just barely not do so (in which case Japan of course will finish the job). This might give Japan the opportunity to spend just that much more IPCs on taking Hawaï instead of India so that Both Calcutta and Hawaï could be in axis hands turn 8.
    Wishful thinking or a viable strategy, I have not put much thought in it yet, so it remains to be seen.

    Germany/Italy can attack through Turkey but they really have to be aware of the costs. It may well be a Pandora’s box opened by Germany, especially because of all the other Neutrals. Spain, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Mozambique, Angola are now easily turned by the allies and they deliver a no small number of extra troops in the allied lap. Not to mention South America. And Russia will have more IPCs for longer. Last but not least, the attack on Russia comes later, closer to the point where the USA and UK are starting to peak and that is a very dangerous time for the axis because they will have less time to wage a war unchallenged.

    I also think the game reflects the Turkish situation OK. Turkey slightly too weak but that is offset by the other neutrals that will join the allies.

    Warning: historical/geographical jibber jabber below. If you are only interested in the game I would skip it 😉
    I do not think one can estimate the Turkish supposed strength against Germany/Italy in WW2 by the fact they were driven back by the Greeks up until '22. The Greeks had aid from their allies Italy, France, Britain and the Turks were also not a little weakened by all the previous events that had led to this point; its defeat as the Ottoman Empire at the hands of General Sir Edmund Allenby in WW1 being not a mall factor. We could even admire the Turks for being able to survive all that  :-).
    Early '41 the Turkish army again consisted of roughly 50 divisions. Albeit poorly equipped but they still would’ve had favourable terrain. The Mountains of east-, southeast-, and the mediterranean part of Anatolia are reaching 1,5 to 3 kilometers into the sky so that is no easy obstacle to wrest from any defender. We might wonder if the Turks would have surrendered if Ankara + istanbul were conquered by the axis, but I am not that good reading coffee or tea-leaves  :evil:.
    Last but not least, I don’t think Britain would not have sent expeditionary forces to aid the Turks had Germany attacked. And they were not so ill-equipped. So I am not convinced that Germany would have been able to march through Turkey with ease. The more I dive into this, the more I am inclined to think that for Germany going thru Turkey may help to win the Middle East, but not so much the Soviet Union (which is where the war can be won).


  • Customizer

    ItIsILeClerc,
    That was some interesting facts regarding Turkey and the possibility of an Axis invasion. You mentioned UK sending an expeditionary force to aid the Turks. I am curious, do you think that could have possibly weakened the UK in North Africa, perhaps making it easier for the Afrika Korps to defeat them?

    I also have a question about the game. In the event that Germany/Italy does a “Neutral Crush” and maybe spends time taking over the Middle East and/or securing the Med and North Africa, and they do NOT declare war on Russia by turn 4, do you think it would be wise for Russia to declare war on Germany, even if they don’t actually attack, to cancel that German NO for peace with the Soviet Union?



  • @knp7765:

    ItIsILeClerc,
    That was some interesting facts regarding Turkey and the possibility of an Axis invasion. You mentioned UK sending an expeditionary force to aid the Turks. I am curious, do you think that could have possibly weakened the UK in North Africa, perhaps making it easier for the Afrika Korps to defeat them?

    Hi knp,

    I know that the Commonwealth forces in the middle east consisted of more than just the 8th army (yes, the one involved in defeating Rommel  😉).
    There were also the 9th and 10th army, tasked with defending Iraqi and Persian Oil. Roughly 50 divisions total.
    I don’t have any more information so I can only guess as to what those 2 armies were doing while the 8th army chased Rommel.
    My guess is, however, that they were sitting in Persia/Iraq in strategic reserve so I would have sent them into Turkey had Germany attacked it because what better place could there be to defend the Iraqi/Persian oil than in the Turkish mountains?! Britain, as Germany and Italy, was courting the Turks into joining them and I can only see that as proof that they all knew the strategical importance of Turkey.
    While in the business of reading tea-leaves, if the CW would not have been able to aid Turkey, there is also the Russian standing. Do we believe that Stalin would have accepted a German invasion of Turkey and would not have demanded ‘retreat or else’? After all, for Germany to attack Poland (and exert its influence into some other countries bordering Russia), The Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact had to be made up. Careful political maneuvering to avoid military conflict.

    Perhaps we need to create a new thread regarding Turkey alone  :-D.



  • @knp7765:

    I also have a question about the game. In the event that Germany/Italy does a “Neutral Crush” and maybe spends time taking over the Middle East and/or securing the Med and North Africa, and they do NOT declare war on Russia by turn 4, do you think it would be wise for Russia to declare war on Germany, even if they don’t actually attack, to cancel that German NO for peace with the Soviet Union?

    My personal opinion: that seems to be the wise decision.
    Not only will it cancel the 5IPCs to Germany, it also gives 5IPCs to Russia. The allies should not allow any axis partner to focus on a theatre unchallenged. Force them germans to spread their armies over thousands of miles.

    My 2 cents.


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