What to do with France?



  • Admittedly, France is not exactly the most important power to play perfectly. If you never move a french unit the entire game, it is still entirely possible to win with the Allies.
    I’ve seen a number of players in our group hardly ever try to do anything with the french units. They just stick them into a stack of British units on London & Cairo and merge their surviving fleet units into the rest of the allied fleet and just leave them there as cannon fodder.

    However, used properly they can be quite helpful, so I created this thread to discuss the possible uses of the various french units scattered around the game board.

    France’s main problem of course is that by the time they get to go, almost all of their stuff is destroyed.

    First, Normandy. It is pretty common for that infantry and artillery to survive round 1.
    If you leave them there, then next turn they will almost certainly get killed, either by the Germans or the Italians. On defense, you are almost never going to get a chance to kill anything more valuable than a mech infantry, and usually it’s just a regular infantry.
    So, I like to go on the offensive with these guys. Especially when Germany doesn’t build a carrier on round 1, then it has to usually land at least 1 plane in Holland. I once played against someone who landed a bunch of German planes in Holland, and didn’t move in anything else to support them. I, of course, attacked and got lucky snake eyes, killing two planes. My opponent was not amused.
    More commonly, the German player will move some AAA into Holland to protect his planes from this scenario. In this case, I still attack every time because AAA are worth more than an infantry or mech.
    If the German player leaves Holland empty, and there is nothing worthwhile to attack, I still move in 1 unit to Holland as this inevitable pisses off whoever is playing Germany.

    Second, the North African units. Some people like to leave them all spread out and make Italy attack each one in order to take those territories.
    What I like to do sometimes is bunch them up in Morocco or Algeria and send the fighter down from London to support them. This usually stops Italy in its tracks.

    That fighter in London is probably the most important unit France has on the board. You can send it down to Gibraltar onto a British built airbase there. You can put it in North Africa. You can land it on a carrier. You can fly it all the way to Moscow.
    Probably the most useful thing I’ve seen it do is to stay in range of SZ92 to attack any Italian blocker that gets put there. It can really hurt the Italians when they think they have another round to protect Rome after putting a destroyer in 92, only to immediately have it destroyed by that pesky French fighter.
    Same with anything put out by Germany into 110 or 104.

    Lastly, the destroyer in SZ72. I’ve seen it go entire games just sitting next to Egypt. This seems wasteful to me. I often like to send it to India. Makes me feel better about sending the whole Pacific British fleet back towards the Med, and it can be very useful as a blocker over there. Or you can send it around Africa and have it join the rest of the Allied fleet in the Atlantic. Use it for cannon fodder there, or, again, to help bust open blockers put out by Italy & Germany.

    One last thing I’ve thought about doing, but never done, is to march the Infantry in Syria all the way up to Moscow. Send it with the fighter and he can help kill any annoying Italians trying to take out your blitz blockers. Or just help defend Moscow.

    Anyway, what do you guys do with France?



  • This is very similar to my strategy for the french. However, I have used a few more extensive can openers.

    Once, the allies were on the offensive in Europe but were still a ways from winning. I had 2 North African infantry in in Morocco which I loaded onto a brit transport. Then I loaded the two infantry from England onto another brit tranny. After these ships (with a CV and other escorts, mainly american) sailed into SZ 112, the next french turn the mediterranean ships sailed into this SZ, the infantry unloaded into denmark, and the fig flew a sorty overhead. So i had 4 infantry, a fighter, and a cruiser bombardment attacking denmark, where the Germans had only 2 or 3 units left over from their recapture of the territory. This successful invasion was easily the most important thing I have ever seen the French do.
    I was so proud of them! 🙂


  • Customizer

    Occasionally, I will have the French units that are left do a little offense.
    North Africa – The Morocco and Algeria infantry will team up with the London fighter and attack the Italians in Tunisia. One time those guys not only took Tunisia back, but also captured Libya and Tobruk.

    Sea Zone 72 – In another game, the Italian and Allied fleets pretty much wasted each other but the Italian sub managed to survive. Since Italy had no way to get over and take Egypt, they used their sub to convoy raid in SZ 98. Then that pesky French destroyer popped out of the Suez and sank that Italian sub. Italy was a little ticked at that.

    Normandy – The infantry and artillery there rarely survives round 1 because in most of our games, Germany always allocates a few units to take Normandy along with Paris. In one game, Germany sent an infantry and artillery to Normandy, a tank and a mech to S France. He also sent the other 2 tanks from Greater Southern Germany into E Poland as part of a G 1 Barbarossa. So, the Paris attack was a little light. He got diced really bad in all three battles against the French. He lost both small battles leaving 1 artillery in Normandy and 1 infantry 1 artillery in S France. He won the Paris battle but only with 2 tanks left.
    For some reason, Italy did not try attacking S France. So, France actually retook Paris with the 1 artillery from Normandy, inf/art from S France and the fighter from London. This actually turned out to be a mistake because Germany retook Paris and got a second chance to plunder their treasury, but even with the extra cash things started going bad for the Axis shortly afterward.

    The infantry in French West Africa and Syria usually just make their way to Egypt to help defend Cairo.



  • About north Africa- agree, stopping Italian advance helps a lot, especially because Itals must leave some Inf behind which could be used otherwise as a cannon fodder in Cairo attack. There is a small chance that Italy will outflank them with a tranny, however Gibraltar and Cairo seem to be more important for them, so they will just leave em alone.
    Another thing is what to do with the ships. This seem to rely on how G1, I1, UK1( taranto raid ) turned out- once I was lucky enough and killed the Italian bomber and both FTRs so I was able to bring in the Madagascar DD and uk CC in the med, preventing Italian navy builds.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Save your units and leave Normandy alone. Let Italy have those scraps after they take out south France. Give Italy those plus Greece. Use all the German pieces like this:

    Combat moves:
    To France 3 Art, 6 Tanks,4 Mech, 7 Inf
    To Yugoslavia: 9 Inf,3 Tanks,2 Art,1 Fighter, 1 Fighter Bomber
    To SZ #111 2Subs, 2 Fighters, 2 Fighter-Bombers
    To SZ # 110 1 Sub,2 Fighter-Bombers,2Fighters,2 Bombers,1 BB, 1 CA
    To SZ # 91 2 Subs

    Non- Combat Move:
    11 Infantry and 3 Art to Poland
    1 Infantry to Romania
    3 Infantry to Finland
    AP lands 2 Inf in Norway


  • '14 Customizer

    I agree Imperious Leader, I do very similar attacks although the CA from SZ114 cannot make it to SZ110 to attack.

    I usually send

    • SZ #111 2Subs, 1 Fighters, 1 Fighter-Bombers, 1 bomber, 1 battleship (96.2% with 1 fighter scramble - Retreat attack after 2-3 hits)

    • SZ # 110 2 Subs,3 Fighter-Bombers, 3 Fighters, 1 Bombers (88.4 with scramble 3 fighters)

    I do like your attack on SZ110 though because it helps absorb hits if they scramble.

    • SZ #111 2Subs, 2 Fighters, 2 Fighter-Bombers (80.5 with 1 fighter scramble)

    • SZ # 110 1 Sub,2 Fighter-Bombers, 2 Fighters, 2 Bombers,  1 battleship (93.6% with scramble 3 fighters)

    The only problem is they always seem to scramble in sz 111 and you could easily lose a plane or two there with that attack. With the BB in attacking sz 111 you have the chance to save the BB by having it absorb a hit and retreat to 112 otherwise your BB is going to be sitting in sz 110 waiting to get destroyed by planes and the DD in sz 109.

    back to the main topic…

    I think the French DD plays a huge role in blocking of the DEI.  Move the French DD to SZ 58 and then to SZ 43 (Borneo) to block.  Move the India DD to sz 37 (Malaya), USA DD in sz 35 (Philippines) and ANZAC DD to sz 45 (Dutch New Guinea) for a complete umbrella over the DEI.

    The French fighter as described above is a perfect block remover. I like to send UK fighters to Russia and keep the French fighter in London to remove Italy’s blocks.  It wont be as effective against Germany because they take their turn right after France but vs Italy it opens the door for USA or UK which go before Italy can respond to the destroyed blocker.


  • 2018

    I experienced some incredible lucky battles with French units sometimes.

    Once in a game with a friend, Italy did attack the French fleet in SZ 93, loosing a sub. My goal in Europe early in the game was to kill the Regina Marina so I sent the French fighter on a suicide run on the remaining Italian CA, DD and TT (which was there for air cover). I got very lucky and sank every ship and landed in Southern France after that. The remaining French units there also took a German unit with them on G2. I was all smile and my opponent was pissed off!

    But the best of all, one time, my opponent did a landing on Cairo with Italy at very good odds. He killed every British and Anzac units there but barely failed to take the territory (bad dice for him and good ones for me. He was angry. At the French turn, I attacked his Italian fleet (1 CA, 2 TT) with my French DD which went through the Suez. I sank all of them and the DD survived. My friend was mad. I then moved my Syrian infantry in Egypt for defense. In retaliation G3, he threw the two germen fighters in Alexandria at the DD and brought from Europe his bomber to kill the little French infantrymen. The DD shot one of the fighters and the bomber was downed by the infantryman which survived. My friend was so enraged that he hit one of the wall in his house with his fist and made a hole in it. He kept shouting for a minute after that but we managed to resume the game. It was a glorious day for these remnants of the French Army. Vive la France!



  • What would you do as Germany (R2) / Italy (R1) with 1 Arm, 2 Inf, 1 Art and 5 Ftr + 1 Tac on S.France - blockaded by the joint fleet of the UK/French?

    Italy would face this on its first turn:

    S.France would have:
    2 Inf (1 UK - Malta, 1 FR)
    1 Art (FR)
    1 Arm (Alexandria)
    3 Ftr (2 London, 1 Scotland)
    1 Tac (SZ 98 CV)

    SZ 93 would have
    3 CR (SZ98 / SZ91 and FR)
    1 DD (FR)
    1 CV (2 Ftr - Malta / Gib)
    1 TT

    If nothing is done about this, Germany would see S.France with 3 Inf, 2 Art, 1 Arm, 1 Tac and 4  Ftr on G2 and have to decide how many surviving units from Paris are going to be needed (with aircraft) to eliminate the threat to Paris from S.France.


  • '14 Customizer

    I would destroy it with Germany on round 2 with 99.8%

    • 4 Mech (France)

    • 6 Tanks (France)

    • 3 Art (France)

    • 2 Fighters (W.Germany)

    • 2 Tactical Bombers (W.Germany)

    Germany could also destroy the navy with 93.6% but IM not sure I would do that because they could lose a lot of planes.

    • 3 Strategic Bombers (W.Germany - I almost always buy a bomber round 1)

    • 3 Fighters (W.Germany)

    • 3 Tactical Bombers (W.Germany)

    Italy could destroy the navy with 70.2% and help save Luftwaffe casualties but its weak. I would probably let them attack me. or wait until they split forces.

    • 1 Strategic Bombers

    • 2 Fighters

    • 1 Destroyer

    • 1 Sub

    • 2 Cruisers

    • 1 Battleship



  • Thanks for the response.

    I’m fully aware this ragtag unit in S.France will not survive a G2 assault.  In fact, the allies may count on that to redirect German resources early in the game.  The question is, what does this do to impact:
    A: Italian expansion in R1
    B: German advance into Moscow

    Do the Italians simply take Greece with those Inf/Art from N.Italy and starting units in Albania?  
    Do you instead land 2 Inf and 2 Art in Syria so as to access Iraq early and put pressure on Cairo?
    How does this impact the Italian income on I1, does this create problems going forward for them?

    What is the impact of a G3 move to Eastern Poland devoid of 6 Armor and 4 Mech that generally arrive there?

    Is that enough for Russia to prepare a sufficient counter attack with a R1 purchase of 7 Art and a R2 purchase of 6 Armor?

    Assuming Germany buys 10 Armor on G2, at most that arrives on G3 is 13 Armor (3 starting from Poland, Slovac and Romania plus the 10 put in Berlin on G2).  Germany most likely has around 25 Infantry supporting those Armor and 5 Artillery.  Is Moscow in a strong position to counter attack a German advance and cut through a ton of German infantry before the full retreat / stacking of Moscow occurs?

    I’m just thinking about the trade off.

    Russia brings approximately:
    25 Inf, 2 Mech, 10 Art (7 Purchased R1), 2 Mech, 8 Armor (6 Purchased R2), 2 Ftr and 1 Tac
    Germany brings approximately
    26 Inf, 5 Art, 13 Armor (10 Purchased G2) that stands in Poland on G3

    The game changer is what G1 purchase was - if its naval, Germany stands to lose 65% of the time in Poland from a Russian counter.  If its 7 artillery, Russia has to play fallback with only a 20% success rate in Poland as the Artillery jumps from 5 to 12 for a defending Germany.

    Sometimes the delay game by redirecting resources can play well into your favor.



  • @cyanight:

    I think the French DD plays a huge role in blocking of the DEI.  Move the French DD to SZ 58 and then to SZ 43 (Borneo) to block.  Move the India DD to sz 37 (Malaya), USA DD in sz 35 (Philippines) and ANZAC DD to sz 45 (Dutch New Guinea) for a complete umbrella over the DEI.

    I love this plan! I hadn’t thought of moving the French DD to 58 then 43, and completing the block with the Anzac and USA.
    Of course, this won’t work if Japan goes to war round 2. If, as Japan, you saw this blocking maneuver coming, would you go to war round 2 just so you could get the islands earlier?


  • Customizer

    There is another move Japan could do. Before declaring war on any of the Allies, Japanese and Allied ships can pass through the same sea zones. So, Japan could take some loaded transports escorted by warships, go right pass the Allied blockers and simply sit in the sea zones of the DEI until they are ready to declare war, kill any Allied ships that are there and land on the DEI islands.
    Now, UK France and ANZAC could prevent this by declaring war on Japan round 1 or 2, but then Japan could just attack them without bringing the US into the conflict. This way may take Japan a couple of rounds to get all the DEI, but that income is obviously worth the wait.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Well not really. UK and Anzac can attack those transports early and let USA enter T4.



  • IMHO,
    knp has it right. Japan doesn’t need to spread several unprotected TRS into all DEI SZ’s. Japan can put any (or all) TRS with a major escort in (for example) SZ43. The only thing with this is that Japan, moving before all the allies, needs to anticipate this allied sceme. This means moving into #43 J2 before Japan even knows the allies will do it or not (allies can just decide not to if they see Japan’s actions). For this reason I move a large (if not all) Japanese escort to #20 or #36 J1. As much as I hate the pressure relief this brings for the USA right off the bat, I don’t see other options for Japan if it wants to have all or most of the DEI in 1 sweep… Except for attacking J2 ofc, which has its own pros and cons and so it depends on more of the global situation for Japan do do it.

    I like to use this French DD through the med or around Africa to join with the other allied ships so they (particularly the USA) have more room for building TRS+load instead of ships. Same goes for the french fleet in #93 if it is still alive. The French INF in north Africa can stay there and consolidate with or without British air depending on the situation but I like to eventually pick them up with a TRS from the USA and land them in Normandy for just the extra 2INF in the body. Same for the French INF starting in the UK.
    The Syrian and WF-INF march towards Egypt for extra protection/exchange units against Germany in the caucasus and/or Japan if they march through the Middle East with an ever growing army.
    I prefer to use that French most critical unit to fly alongside the RAF into where it is most needed; either in Russia, Gibraltar or Egypt.

    Using the INF & ART in Normandy to (hopefully) get rid of Axis air as described earlier but if the axis move in some cannon fodder I usually don’t care attacking. I like to draw more Axis units into Normandy instead of attacking and possibly killing 1AAA.


  • '14 Customizer

    @Spendo02:

    Thanks for the response.

    I’m fully aware this ragtag unit in S.France will not survive a G2 assault.  In fact, the allies may count on that to redirect German resources early in the game.  The question is, what does this do to impact:
    A: Italian expansion in R1
    B: German advance into Moscow

    Do the Italians simply take Greece with those Inf/Art from N.Italy and starting units in Albania?  
    Do you instead land 2 Inf and 2 Art in Syria so as to access Iraq early and put pressure on Cairo?
    How does this impact the Italian income on I1, does this create problems going forward for them?

    What is the impact of a G3 move to Eastern Poland devoid of 6 Armor and 4 Mech that generally arrive there?

    Is that enough for Russia to prepare a sufficient counter attack with a R1 purchase of 7 Art and a R2 purchase of 6 Armor?

    Assuming Germany buys 10 Armor on G2, at most that arrives on G3 is 13 Armor (3 starting from Poland, Slovac and Romania plus the 10 put in Berlin on G2).  Germany most likely has around 25 Infantry supporting those Armor and 5 Artillery.  Is Moscow in a strong position to counter attack a German advance and cut through a ton of German infantry before the full retreat / stacking of Moscow occurs?

    I’m just thinking about the trade off.

    Russia brings approximately:
    25 Inf, 2 Mech, 10 Art (7 Purchased R1), 2 Mech, 8 Armor (6 Purchased R2), 2 Ftr and 1 Tac
    Germany brings approximately
    26 Inf, 5 Art, 13 Armor (10 Purchased G2) that stands in Poland on G3

    The game changer is what G1 purchase was - if its naval, Germany stands to lose 65% of the time in Poland from a Russian counter.  If its 7 artillery, Russia has to play fallback with only a 20% success rate in Poland as the Artillery jumps from 5 to 12 for a defending Germany.

    Sometimes the delay game by redirecting resources can play well into your favor.

    You make a very good point.  Having to detour a force when a situation presents itself will always result in changing the battles on other fronts.  In this situation to detour 6 tanks and 2 mech(what is left after the attack) I think is worthwhile considering the comparison of IPCs lost.

    Germany
    3 art  = 12 IPCs
    2 mech = 8 IPCs
    –-----------------
    Total = 20 IPCs

    Allied Force
    2 Inf 6 IPCs
    1 Art 4 IPCs
    1 Arm 6 IPCs
    3 Ftr 30 IPCs
    1 Tac 11 IPCs

    Total = 57 IPCs


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    To France 3 Art, 6 Tanks,4 Mech, 7 Inf

    You don’t use anything more and you don’t use planes that can be shot down. The planes are needed to sunk UK naval assets.

    This force pool would not cut into loses of anything more than infantry.

    and leave Normandy alone till g2



  • @ItIsILeClerc:

    For this reason I move a large (if not all) Japanese escort to #20 or #36 J1. As much as I hate the pressure relief this brings for the USA right off the bat, I don’t see other options for Japan if it wants to have all or most of the DEI in 1 sweep

    Why is this move relieving pressure off the US?  Where would you normally place the IJN if you weren’t anticipating a destroyer screen on the islands?



  • Hmm, to answer that I need to go a little off-topic, but that’s allright with me ;-).

    If Japan is going DEI & India with its fleet, it cannot also threaten Hawai (an ‘important’ VC) at the same time. For the sake of this topic I better not go into that course of events any further but IMHO this does let the USA off the hook for quite some time.
    The USA can use that time to focus on Europe a couple of turns AND have an adequate defense of Hawai and Sydney in place once Japan is finished in the south and is ready to turn east again.

    If I am not anticipating a destroyer screen around the DEI (for whatever reason), I like to station the IJN (including 5 or 6 fully loaded TRS) at the Carolines. From there, Japan can strike Hawai, Sydney, Philippines, the DEI (except Sumatra), the ‘outer perimeter NO’, etc. Everywhere. Even if stationed at the Carolines and the allies screen the DEI completely, there’s plenty to do for the IJN. For example, Japan could hit Sydney J3, taking Australia instead of the DEI. Unless ofc the allies will also screen that route. But if the allies use too much screens, japan can just take all islands it can get to while destroying all screens in detail. I found out there is nothing wrong with a slower Japanese approach, especially if a lot of allied ships can be taken down.



  • I will add to that, if Japan stacks Caroline Is J1-J2 then even if the US is building in the Pac they will most likely back off too San Fran. This delays the US for a turn or so. Better for Japan if the US fleet is anchored off the coast of California then sitting in Hawaii or Queensland.



  • @WILD:

    I will add to that, if Japan stacks Caroline Is J1-J2 then even if the US is building in the Pac they will most likely back off too San Fran. This delays the US for a turn or so. Better for Japan if the US fleet is anchored off the coast of California then sitting in Hawaii or Queensland.

    How much would be in carol?  The US might stack Hawaii anyway if he can do some damage and sets up a decent counter from WCoast and ANZAC.



  • @ghr2:

    @WILD:

    I will add to that, if Japan stacks Caroline Is J1-J2 then even if the US is building in the Pac they will most likely back off too San Fran. This delays the US for a turn or so. Better for Japan if the US fleet is anchored off the coast of California then sitting in Hawaii or Queensland.

    How much would be in carol?  The US might stack Hawaii anyway if he can do some damage and sets up a decent counter from WCoast and ANZAC.

    I’d say IF Japan goes for this, the entire IJN must be there. For the exact same reason you just gave. Otherwise the USA will just laugh ;-). And even with the entire IJN in Carol, the USA can still kill all the IJN (which can get no help from the other 15 japanese aircraft this far) in a counterstrike.
    What Japan still may achieve is (for the moment) less US interference in Europe…



  • @ItIsILeClerc:

    @ghr2:

    @WILD:

    I will add to that, if Japan stacks Caroline Is J1-J2 then even if the US is building in the Pac they will most likely back off too San Fran. This delays the US for a turn or so. Better for Japan if the US fleet is anchored off the coast of California then sitting in Hawaii or Queensland.

    How much would be in carol?�  The US might stack Hawaii anyway if he can do some damage and sets up a decent counter from WCoast and ANZAC.

    I’d say IF Japan goes for this, the entire IJN must be there. For the exact same reason you just gave. Otherwise the USA will just laugh ;-). And even with the entire IJN in Carol, the USA can still kill all the IJN (which can get no help from the other 15 japanese aircraft this far) in a counterstrike.
    What Japan still may achieve is (for the moment) less US interference in Europe…

    It might depend on how many destoryers does the US want to use to block.


Log in to reply
 

Suggested Topics

  • 70
  • 49
  • 5
  • 2
  • 7
  • 84
  • 37
  • 13
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys

58
Online

13.9k
Users

34.2k
Topics

1.3m
Posts