Defending Egypt (plz Read is not stupid)

  • Assuming that German player in first turn did everything well:
    -Attack SZ111,110, 106(50%)
    -Take France, Normandy, Yugo, Bulgaria, Finland
    -Move troop from Germany to Poland
    -Buy 2 TT and 2 DD
    In the 2nd or 3nd turns he will have the possibility to:
    -Go for London in turn 3 (buying transport in turn 2)
    -Go for Barbarossa on turn 2 or 3 (buying Armour in turn 2)
    -move 3 trasport to move inf from norway and normandy  to Gib/Morocco  
    *the last two options could be considered togheter

    Assuming that Russia did everything well:
    Retreating and buying land units.

    Assuming that USA did everything well:
    Buying TT and Carrier

    Assuming that
    a: I didn�t scramble in 110 and 111 attacks (otherwise Selow)
    b: I must buy Inf for London (otherwise Selow)
    😄 I won�t do Taranto (otherwise Selow)

    1: I sink the german fleet in 110 with Gib Cruise and 109 DD and planes from Gib and Eng. (where I will land).
    2: I sink the the 96 Italian flet JUST WITH PLANES from malta and SZ 98
    3: I move every med troop including planes, the malta inf and AA to Egypt (via TT)
    4: I move the med fleet in red sea.


  • Hi Superceps,

    defending Egypt can definately be done but it is also difficult (as in, I’ve seen a lot of players screw this up).
    I usually don’t try to defend it at all costs. As opposed to Africa and the Middle East as a whole. Especially with the German opening you suggested, as this implies attacking London is considered a serious option.

    So in this particular situation I’d do 1 of two things (depending on my mood and who my opponent is):

    • Buy 6INF +1FTR and consolidate all mediterranean ships and air around Gibraltar.

    • Buy 6INF + 1FTR and keep the mediterranean naval- and air forces in the med.

    The first option simply prevents the fall of London, as all the mediterranean air and ships are positioned to possibly move there. Usually this sends the simple message to Germany: Back off, or else (he will loose the game).
    Assuming Germany indeed plays a wise game and continues Barbarossa, use Gibraltar/Algeria as a staging point to funnel aircraft into the Med/Africa.
      The downside is, of course, that Egypt is left more vulnerable and can be harder to hold. UK moves before Italy and usually can fly in at least 2 FTR per turn into Egypt. UK2 can even see 4FTR+1TAC (also using the air from India).
    Do NOT loose a single land unit in meaningless defenses; Leave no blockers but rather consolidate your troops where they can make a stand. Carefully calculate the odds in Egypt every turn. If all your land units + the increasing number of aircraft cannot hold it, retreat/attack into Anglo/Trans, but always attack any Italians that can be wiped out, keeping your forces together.
      For example, if IT has ‘surrounded’ you by positioning armies in Anglo and Alexandria and you are forced to move out because Egypt cannot withstand an attack, attack AES yourself, eliminating a portion of the threat. Maybe you can even attack/strafe Alexandria, eliminating Italy almost completely (but keep a watchful eye out for Italian TRS if you cannot destroy them as well)…
    As long as London lives you should never loose Egypt for more than 2 turns. As soon as the threat on London is moved towards Moscow, which you will know by seeing the GE2 builds, build aircraft + some fast MECH in SA and keep funneling enough aircraft from London into Africa.

    The second option (my personal favorite) gives you all the above but also some other, more interesting options UK1 against Italy. First you have to realise that you could loose London if Germany launches Sea Lion, but this is even better for the allies.
    Evil dicing aside (and I mean REALLY evil), if Germany takes London this cannot be anything better than a Pyrrhic victory, where Germany looses >75% of its Luftwaffe (in order to have at least 1 land unit left for conquest) and will be dominated by Russia. The USA doesn’t need to sweat while liberating London. In Africa, UK1 has some exciting new options: attack/strafe Tobruk. Attacking it means annihilating the Italians there and putting blockers in SZ96&99. Personally I prefer to strafe them, put blockers in SZ96&99 and stack Alexandria. The least thing that this does, is buy you an extra turn of channeling aircraft into Africa. Not even if London DOES go down (temporarily) should you loose Egypt now. An experienced Italian player, also knowing this and not wanting to waste units that can be put to more effective use elsewhere, may even give up Africa all together!

  • Thanks you!!! Yoy gave me the correct idea: Option 1 of course.
    -I sink the fleet in SZ 96 with planes and then i put all my med fleet and med planes (1f 1 tac) in Gib; maybe also some plane from england (selow is on turn 3).
    -On next turns could arrive also the DD in 71 and the fleet in 106 (assuming it has survived 50%)
    -If Germany doesn’ buy TT on 2nd turn (no Selow) i could put some England planes in Gib on my 2nd turn.
    -It’s possible to let egypt to italy for the 2nd turn, but on 3rd with planes and the persian inf (1 TT lot there) i could retake it
    It’s perfect!

    I dont’t like option 2 especially if:

    • German sank 106 SZ fleet (2 inf 1 art 1 mech plus on Selow defense)
    • The German Bombing of turn 2 is effective (2 bombers alive (3+2) (3+2) 10 average IPC damage!!!)
    • During the bombing i strikes few german planes.


  • Option 1 is the safer one thats for sure!

    But it is really a matter of preference once you realize that
    a). Taking London may very well mean Germany looses the game if it cannot do so with a massive victory (16+ survivors) otherwise USA too easily liberates + Russia is too strong.
    b). Bombing UK facilities GE2 is less effective than we expect. It won’t lift GER out of the ‘pyrrhic victory department’. GER still has max 11 survivors expected in London GE3 (even just 8 if the ‘SZ109-TRS’ can pick up 2 canadians) with UK option 2, and it is outright counterproductive if GER is planning an attack on Russia.
    Loosing 1 bomber (either TAC or STR) to AAA-fire GE2, nullifies the effect of the raid completely.

    I 'll not elaborate on that for now but I can say that experience and some private testing (yes I have an ‘area 51’ at home ;-)) has tought me this.

  • Customizer

    In our games, the UK player often will attack and smash the Tobruk force. This is VERY effective in combination with a UK Taranto raid to kill the Italian BB, CA and transport in SZ 97. Yes, the Taranto raid can be very costly to the UK Med fleet, but if successful will leave Italy with only 1 transport and 4 infantry, 2 artillery in all of Africa. So, basically there is almost no threat to Egypt and probably won’t be for a while as it is fairly hard for Italy to purchase and keep transports in the water, especially if UK can keep a few planes in the Med. Malta is usually best to stage UK planes for keeping Italy’s navy from much action.
    Of course, much of this does depend on if there is a Sealion threat or not. The more you have to try protecting London, the less you will be able to put in the Med and Italy may be able to make a resurgence. However, if it becomes clear that Germany won’t go after London, UK should be able to not only protect Egypt and the Middle East, but pretty much exterminate all Italian presence from Africa and the Med.
    Also, regarding Sealion, in most of our games lately, Germany doesn’t really consider it. Unless Britain just makes a really stupid blunder like leaving London woefully under-protected, it simply costs Germany too much for too little gain to take London. The main benefit tends to be for Italy because they can really overwhelm UK down south, but that will be little comfort when the Red Army is rolling over the Eastern border.

  • If UK goes for Taranto London will follow very simply (you can control the odds).

    The point is:

    -German reveals his plan at the beginning of turn 2 (buying or not 10 transport with France IPC).
    -England first turn must be done in order to defend a Selow.anyway.
    -England second turn is “free”.

    Excuse me but Taranto on first turn is not a good idea.

  • '14 Customizer

    Although option #1 does offer possible protection from a Sealion it is very risky as well.

      1. Italy can take Algeria so that the Luftwaffe can land after they destroy the navy.
      1. If Germany bought a CV and 2TR round 1 they can take Gibraltar thus closing the door and eliminating that threat.
      1. If Germany bought a DD round 1 the can put it in SZ 91 or 104 to block
      1. Both 1 and 2 combined

    I do believe Sealion is rough to pull off and it does make Germany weaker but by threatening Sealion you make London turtle.  This keeps units from being produced in Africa for fear of losing the island which in turn helps Italy rise in power.  With the help of Germany Italy can become powerful enough to manage the store while Germany is chasing Russia.  If your opponent is going to make it really easy to take London then I think you have to consider it.  The only time I will ever do a Sealion is if I’m play all the Axis territories or my partner is on the same page with me.  Its one of the most risky strategies in the game.  I believe if your going to do a Sealion then the player who is in control of Japan has to understand its his job to win the game.  When Germany  performs a Sealion it creates a stall in production in Western USA.  Since USA is already behind in units and trying to match the Japanese navy this tips the favor of Japan in the Pacific.  The standard moves in this game change when dice are rolled poorly or when a non standard strategy throws your opponent off balance.

    I believe if you want to keep the Med navy you need to move it into the Red Sea. I usually sacrifice it and take out Italy’s navy.

  • Although being some interesting points, I don’t think it’s that risky for the UK. Let me explain:

    If Italy takes Algeria: that’s fine with the UK because Egypt (the main prize) will have at least 1 more turn to prepare and is even saved indefinately if Germany doesn’t want to attack SZ92. German air that attacks ZS92, cannot attack London GE3 and the fleet in SZ92 is quite mean. In order to keep its own losses in check, almost the entire luftwaffe has to attack and even then, Germany will loose 2 aircraft, just as much aircraft as the UK will loose (important to realize when it comes to SL).
    Therefore, if Germany attacks SZ92, London will be safe indefinately. Germany MUST turn its full attention towards Russia No later than GE4 or else the east will get out of hand…

    Assuming Germany DOES attack SZ92, this will result in Italy being stronger. It even has a Navy! Cheers, as this is a rare event indeed!
    But the US-entry is not far away now… I think at the end of the day this results in London and Moscow being safe forever and Italy still having a Navy. From here, Germany’s only true options are a weakened Barbarossa (because of the fleetbuys GE, Luftwaffe received a blow + being out of position) OR, quite interesting to me, an attempt to maintain the pressure on the African part of the UK by Germany + Italy together. Defending against Russia and the Western allies, Euro-axis can try to take all of Africa (including Egypt). Middle East may be a problem because it is kinda close to Moscow. Although… I don’t think that grabbing all of Africa can win the Axis th game but it would be fun to try.

    Regarding the blockers in SZ91 and 104…
    Such blockers are easily removed during CM and moved through during the NCM (a mistake I also make sometimes, so I assume Luke or Leia distracted your thinking when you thought of it ;-)). By the way, the main purpose is to get more aircraft into London in case Germany continues with SL-buys so blockers, if any, do not need to be attacked. German DD’s cannot block the movement of Spitfires and Mosquito’s, unless yours have some special technology :P.

    A German invasion fleet in SZ112 (threatening Gibraltar itself) should cause UK1 to seriously consider the options of its 1 leftover DD in the area (SZ109):
    Either pick up 2 more canadians (using the DD for cleanup purposes first) or block off Gibraltar. The Canadians are not needed (but very welcome), let’s leave this one open about what it is going to do….

  • I agree with ItIsILeClerc:
    German attack on SZ 92 is not considerable. He would have JUST planes with no navy; this mean loosing 50% or more of the air fleet FOR EVER. crazy.

  • '14 Customizer

    Yes the dd as a blocker in sz 104 and 91 was a hindsight. I stand corrected. See its easy to remember my kids names, isn’t it? hehe.

    Without any bid you have 1 CV, 2 Fighters, 2 CA, 1 DD(109). Even without the DD and Germany attacking with 5 fighters and 5 T.bombers its 99.2% and can still send 2-3 S.Bombers to London. Unescorted though… Without the DD the attack is 97.0% with 3Fighters and 5 T.Bombers. That leaves me 2 fighters to send as escorts with my 2-3 S.Bombers. It is a risk and at sometime you will have to deal with that navy. When you attack Russia do you just ignore all the ships and race to Moscow?

    I played a G1 DOW on Russia this past weekend and my round 1 buy was S.Bomber, Fighter and a DD. I had lost 4 planes before I took Moscow. I lost them all to naval attacks and replaced them immediately. Although I used Italy’s navy and planes to destroy UK’s fleet. Did a suicide attack and once he took the CV as a casualty I retreated and let his Spitfire and Mosquito crash in to the sea. But his Navy was in 97 and I lost a lot of ships for Italy. In hindsight though I think I should have left the task for Germany rather than Italy but I was being very selective with the Luftwaffe. Still managed to keep Italy alive while USA came into the war. When they landed in Morocco I bombed the Naval base to limit USA’s move distance.  Since UK goes after USA this worked great. While I was rebuilding Italy’s air force I did not want any ships attacking Northern Italy. Also his Transports going back the east coast to reload can’t make it anymore 😉 USA then went to Normandy and left Italy alone. They could not reach Norway which is a substantial decrease in Germany’s economy. Another thing about Italy is its ability to sustain itself with NO’s. If you can keep the med clear and own Gib+S.France+Greece your economy is going to be close to 25-30.

  • '14 Customizer

    On a side note I did not buy anything to attack Russia past turn 4 except the mech and tanks I built in Novo and Ukraine which amounted to 18-36 IPC’s each turn.  I took the capital on turn 6 and then again on turn 7.  Lost 3 planes on the first conquer of Russia none on the final conquer.  In the west I was building inf and fighters to push back USA and UK.  During this game I had some the worst rolling so I can say easily that after turn 4 you can stop or slow down production on units attacking Russia.  I think if you build ships earlier then you have to extend turn 4 to a later turn.

  • If you DOW russia on turn 1 you “inform” the UK player that Selow is not a concrete possibility and so he SCRAMBLE in atlantic fleets attacks; i immagine this is the reason why you loose 4 planes.
    Ah. it’s also possible you loose some other planes in France for AA (i immagine you move to the east the 3 southern germany tanks)

    Moscow is not reachable. never. if russian player defend correctly: retreating without defend Leningrad or Ukraine on the second turn of attack.

    that’s all or you want to calculate odds?

    … unless Japan do something but i really don’t know what… maybe a DOW on turn 1? Bombing Moscow with some air base? i don’t know

  • I wouldn’t say never ( :-o, I just said it!),
    but I tend to think that if Mosow falls anytime in or before GE7, the allies have made a crucial mistake and the axis win the game. Except maybe if Germany looses >75% of its luftwaffe in the process and the allies are very strong (land units and TRS) in Western Europe.

    As for the ‘mediterranean situation’, Cyanight is right of course. At least I trust him on his blue eyes about the percentages he came up with ;-).
    But the chance of Germany winning the battle of SZ92, is never a point of interest to me. What Germany needs to do to get it, is what I am looking at.
    You see, attacking SZ92 in this situation forfeits any chance of sucessfully attacking London, and Moscow should really survive if Germany looses as much as 1 plane in those opening moves. Calculate it and shiver.

    Of course this is all calculation and ‘normal’ dice rolling… If the dice are going wild, there is no telling to the pain either side can be in. If Russia and/or the UK make a mistake in the defense of Moscow, that city will fall as surely as the sun sets. Against a German force that makes no mistakes, Moscow needs spitfires for survival.
    And of course, no spitfire is going to save Moscow if Russia is not playing what I have come to call the ‘calculating game’: Russia must always produce so that there are >7allied units more in Moscow than the number of units Germany can attack with, and/or the allies have more combat factors there. To achieve this (and to prevent a calculation every Russian turn…), I have found out that Russia must produce 11.4 units per turn during the opening 5 turns (it is an average, hence the .4). Furthermore, Russia should not loose a single unit except in ~1:1 ratio against Germany and retreat the Siberian Hunters into Moscow right from the start. The Hunters provide survival after GE6 when Russian production has come under pressure and if the Western allies are ready to flood Europe with units by then, German reinforcement to the eastern front should be under even more pressure and Moscow survives.

  • '14 Customizer


    If you DOW russia on turn 1 you “inform” the UK player that Selow is not a concrete possibility and so he SCRAMBLE in atlantic fleets attacks; i immagine this is the reason why you loose 4 planes.
    Ah. it’s also possible you loose some other planes in France for AA (i immagine you move to the east the 3 southern germany tanks)

    Moscow is not reachable. never. if russian player defend correctly: retreating without defend Leningrad or Ukraine on the second turn of attack.

    that’s all or you want to calculate odds?

    … unless Japan do something but i really don’t know what… maybe a DOW on turn 1? Bombing Moscow with some air base? i don’t know

    You assumed wrong sir…

    None of the planes scrambled and I lost NO PLANES the first round.  After round #1 I had 6 fighters, 5 t.bombers and 3 S.bomers.  14 planes total for Germany.

    No planes went to France. I sent 2 of the 3 tanks from S.Germany.  The 3 on the east front went to E. Poland.

    • Baltic States: 3inf + Fighter + T.Bomber

    • E.Poland: 2inf + 3 tanks

    • Bessarabia: 1inf + 1tank + T.Bomber

    As for the Naval battles I took the battleship in to soak hits and retreated.  Kept the Bismark the whole game 🙂

    Moscow is not reachable. never. if russian player defend correctly: retreating without defend Leningrad or Ukraine on the second turn of attack.

    • Tell that to the dice, lol.

  • '14 Customizer

    ItIsILeClerc, I always enjoy your posts. How did you know I had blue eyes? I used David Skelly’s AA calculator app. to produce the results. No axis player should leave home without it. Especially if your going to a bunker to game 😉

    As for my Russian opponent he did make the mistake of sending the first stack of 6 Siberians to China. Once I saw that I knew I had a good chance at the capital. That’s an interesting breakdown of what you need in Russia to defend. I might try that next time I play Russia. Thanks again for your comments 🙂

  • Haha Cyanight I like your new avatar. Squirrels in Lightsaber-fight :-).
    Damn I cannot check if I got that right (avatars disappear while typing). Let’s just add the famous IIRC!

    About the breakdown,
    Yeah I love ‘breakdowns’ (as long as they are not ‘nervous’). They speed up the game because otherwise you may be busy entering units in a Battle Calculator a lot of times and that will take time.

    The complete breakdown as I wrote it in my list of quick reminders:
    Moscow SURVIVES ASSAULT (with ~18 units) IF allies have >7 units more than GER, and DF(RU/UK) >= AF(GE).

    • If allies have no more than 8DF < AF(GER): all RAF(UK) should survive the assault (6 to 12 aircraft).

    • If allies have no more than 14DF < AF(GER): the borderline. (LL system) both sides end the assault with 0 units.

    In case you wonder what this all means:
    DF = Defense Factors, the total sum of defense values of all defending units.
    AF = You guessed right ;-).

    Note that all my reminders and breakdowns are based on the LL-calculator. I find that a good system to base a strategy on, because rolling dice will only produce as much hits as in LL if you are rolling above average. As this works for both sides, over time (on average) the LL-calculator gets it right.
    I, for one, will play on and not attack Moscow with my big German stack if the LL-calculator tells me Russia will win that battle with ~18 units. Would you attack? Or play on and try to squeeze russian production untill the odds are more in favor of your German attackers?
    And where would the turning point be. For me I will only attack a place such as Moscow if the calculator tells me I will win with the number of units I want to win with (which may vary).

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