The Gibraltar Lockdown -and what can the allies do about it?!

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Then Axis players are going to sack all neutrals.
    Sweden,Turkey,Saudi Arabia, etc, etc…

  • Portugal and a strategically placed NB will allow the US TT rotation to continue without having to confront the combined Axis Gib lockdown.

    Granted you need to land in force if you give the Axis Spain and they have a slew of aircraft to fly over the 6 free Inf they’ll get from Spain.

    However, it does force the Axis to spend on placing units in Normandy and S.France going forward.

    You also give up access (in the short term) to Italy by sea, but I have a feeling if you just circumvent Gib the Axis are going to be less inclined to dumping or keeping their resources in Gib.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Interesting thought, Spendo02.

  • The more I look at it, I’d wonder what the Axis would do if the Allies mass up in SZ104 and land on Portugal.

    My first reaction as Germany would be to liberate Spain.  But the more I look at it, if all my Axis navy is caught in Gib, with 3 Allied CV with Ftr in SZ104 I’d be rather nervous about what is going to happen to WGr going forward.

    Do I attack the Allied fleet in SZ104?
    Would that mean sacrificing a significant portion of aircraft/Navy to accomplish it?  
    All those Ftr / Tac cannot reach WGr without an AB in Gib.
    I cannot build enough of a Navy to repel the Allies landing on WGr AND enough ground units to repel an Allied AA landing on WGr.
    Do I build a DD and place it in Normandy as a blocker?
    I may have to give up WGr with a move like this, make it expense to take, and hope I have enough units in France / Berlin / Northern Italy to snuff the Allies out before they can establish themselves.

    Its a risky proposition by the Allies, you could lose all your Naval hardware in SZ104, but it sure puts Germany in one hell of a predicament if they cannot sink your Navy there.


  • A quick calculation of numbers tells me the allies will loose all their naval hardware (including 4 units USAF). Italy, used as can opener, will loose all its naval and air assets as well and Germany will be left with 7 units in its Luftwaffe.

    But let’s say the allies can have a stronger fleet for some reasons (perhaps Japan doesn’t threaten Hawai at all and the USA can transfer some warships from the pacific into Europe…). Then, it rather depends on how much force I’d have left as Axis.

    Let’s say the UK didn’t do much to stop the Axis from taking The Rock (might even do that deliberately if the USA has good options to bypass Gibraltar).
    Also let’s assume the USA has put a real investment (all IPCs from turns 1&2) into Europe first few turns and has at its disposal 7 fully loaded TRS, 3CV(1 from UK), 5FTR+1TAC (2FTR from UK), 1STR. This includes some hocus pocus with elements of the Pacific fleet (TRS) as long as Hawai can be kept safe. The UK should be able to deliver 6FTR as well for defenses after the USA lands somewhere.

    Some German Options as far as I can brainstorm them:
    OPTION1 -Defend WGr with 10 newly produced units + the luftwaffe + AAA and INF/ART still around from game start. This means giving up Gibraltar but keeps a flow of reinforements into Russia for 1 more turn and opens up some interesting strategic options in Africa/Med/South America for the kriegsmarine. Also in Spain, liberating it just because you can, not necessarily to keep it.

    OPTION2 -Defend WGr with 10 Newly produced units + 10 already there (originally put there to race into Russia) + those AAA and INF/ART still there from game start.
    For this option Japan must pressure the USA into spending a lot in the Pac from turn 3 and onwards. This means holding on to Gibraltar (reinforcing it some more) and setting up strong counter attack options everywhere. Maybe not strong enough to counter a determined allied ‘liberation’ of Spain but that is a close call for both sides…
    While this keeps Gibraltar in the Axis basket for longer I’m not certain what other strategic options this may give to the axis -apart from being stro in the west, as this hurts its position against Russia.

    Option 2 seems to be the less attractive one (as far as offensive actions) but I’m not so sure in the long run.
    IF the Axis can hold on to Gibraltar for a long time (as said, Japan must pressure Hawai to enforce no further US focus on Europe), which maintains threats into Africa/South America and keeps Italy producing strong for long. Russia will be less threatened but I find it hard to see where this is going. Experience needed ;-). I’d say it’s a difficult position for both sides and thus worth a try.

    On a sidenote,
    I’ve given some more thought to what knp said: attack Gibraltar US4 with a load of TRS, eating away German Luftwaffe. This works well if the allies can get into Gibraltar with a fully loaded ~8TRS and this seems to be possible only after a ‘Taranto’ UK1. Just as knp said. Otherwise the combined German and Italian fleets in SZ91 are too strong to overcome. With an Italian CV built, even the Kriegsmarine alone is a close call to get rid of. So as far as I’m concerned the allies really need to do their math (enough TRS to kill enough Luftwaffe + enough warships to get through in case the Kriegsmarine blocks + keeping Hawai safe) on this one but it defenately works once they get the balance of their forces right :-).

  • '14 Customizer

    Give Spain to Germany?  I can’t believe I’m reading this.  If you give Germany those 6 inf in Spain your also giving them 6 inf in Sweden and 8 inf in Turkey.  That’s 14 more inf heading to Russia.  That’s really going to tip the favor of the axis in units over Russia.  Germany can probably build more ships and still be ahead of Russia in units.

    Even if you reverse this and have Germany attack Spain its not in the allies favor.  By doing this you allow Italy to take Gib without ships.  Combine that with no ships in the Med and Italy get +10 for NO which will place their economy around 25-30. This was the background to my “Angry Bird” strategy which basically had the axis eliminate the 3 big neutrals on turn 2-3 to prevent the allies from taking those units.  It places the axis in a great positional advantage.

  • Hmmm, I tend to agree with Cyanight on this.
    To make matters worse, add the possibility of the axis aligning all/most of South America from here (they’re still in control of the Gibraltar ports), except Brazil, which needs to be attacked… I know America is close by but The USA might be too busy staying in control of Hawai to do something about it.

    However, I do see the advantage of doing this if the situation is right. Remember it is turn 3/4 and apart from Spain (if the allies didn’t attack there but Portugal instead), the Axis may be in a very bad position to start aligning all the now Axis-friendly neutrals. With the entire Kriegsmarine in the med, the Luftwaffe at Gibraltar and the Wehrmacht in Russia already (including the Finns), this allied plot may come as a complete surprise. Germany/Italy may simply have no units around to activate Sweden & Turkey and may be kicked out of Spain immediately after aligning it.
    I think it is possible to pull it off with the allies but it is highly situational and should not be considered lightly. Much like liberating Paris too soon, when German reinforcements will force the allies to abandon Paris (retreating into Normandy again, which can be reinforced better), then take it, looting it again and repeat this if the allies make the mistake once more…

    I really start wondering if the allies have options in this scenario, other than preventing the fall of Gibraltar or retaking it. Maybe some of us need to make another ‘TripleA study’ of the latter, staging the fall of Gibraltar IT1 (after ‘Taranto’), massing the Axis at The Rock and then see if the USA is able to ratake whilst keeping japan out of Hawai as well!

  • If one side is better prepared to DOW the neutrals, it’s usually going to be the allies. Axis are usually isolated from the neutrals in S. America, Africa, and ME/Afghanistan and usually can’t activate them. Which leaves Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, and Swiss to consider for the allies.

    If you’re going to attack the neutrals as the allies, you need to do all you can to remove as many as possible that the axis could reach. Usually this means US landings in Spain while UK takes out Turkey. Leaving those units for the axis simply give them too many units to activate and swell their fodder stack. Turkey gives axis a path to the bonus money in the ME and Spain guards Gibraltar.

  • Um, you do realize both Turkey and Swedish units are 5+ turns from reaching Moscow?  I’d only be worried about those Inf in Turkey marching on Egypt if / when Moscow falls.

    Suppose you take Portugal on US4.
    That means assuming Germany is even in position, it is a G5 activation, so:

    G5 Activate Turkey, G6 Caucasus, G7 Rostov, G8 Bryansk, G9 Moscow.  And that assumes Germany has a single unit next to Turkey ending G4.  Chances of that happening are pretty slim from everything I’ve seen Germany use as a strategy.

    Sweden is a possibility on G4 of having the Fins sitting next to it, but isn’t Sweden part of the German NO that Sweden remains neutral?  I’m not sure I’d trade the NO for the Inf as assuming the same scenario above, a Allied R4 neutral move means:
    G5 Activate Sweden, G6 Finland, G7 Karelia, G8 Novgorod, G9 Belarus, G10 Smolensk, G11 Moscow

    In short, I could care less about giving Germany slow moving infantry so far from just about everything but maybe reinforcing Norway (once) and potentially bolstering a post fall of Moscow advance on Egypt.

    Switzerland is irrelevant with simply 2 Inf and no IPC value.

    I think you all make a bigger deal out of handing the Germans Sweden and Turkey than needs to be made.  My only concern would be Spain’s 6 Inf with a full contingent of aircraft strafing the Allied stacks in Portugal.  Which, is why I made sure to be clear your stack could absorb the hit and still pose a threat to land on WGr or march on Gib itself.

    Assuming you can muster a sea defense, I probably wouldn’t put anything less than 25-30 units there to deter the Germans from strafing it at all.  There’s a distinct possibility you could cut heavily into their aircraft with a good roll as statistically speaking the average roll should net you 10 units, 6 being Inf, 4 being aircraft.  A good defensive roll and you could cripple the air force making the Axis scuttle Gib and hide behind it in the Med and all in all ruining their plans as they run back to Rome and then Berlin.

  • Just to clarify, Germany does NOT lose the bonus if the allies attack the neutrals. Germany only loses the bonus if the axis attack the neutrals and Sweden isn’t attacked or holds.

    -5 IPCs if Germany controls both Denmark and Norway while Sweden is neither pro-Allies nor Allies-controlled. Theme: Access to iron ore and other strategic resources.

    PG 36 of the 2nd Ed rulebook.

    Turkey is more of a concern because it places axis forces right next to the middle east. Controlling the middle east goes a long way towards deciding who wins the war. If the allies have the ME, then they still have a very good shot at winning (depending on actual board situation) even if Moscow falls. Those infantry would immediately contest the ME once they’re activated. They don’t have to march to Moscow, they give the axis a huge boost right where they’re at. The ME is worth 10 IPCs total to the axis power who control them, and that’s not including the -4 IPC from the allies. And since the allies DOW’d the neuts, you have the Saudis right in that same area to provide more troops and more money. Potentially you’re looking at a 18-20 IPC swing if the axis manage to take the entire ME.

    And who says Germany’s the one who has to activate Turkey? Usually the Italians are better positioned to do it, either with troops in Greece, mech/arm positioned to counter any allied move to Greece, and/or transports that the Italians might have floating around, especially if the neuts were attacked fairly early. Give the axis a direct route to all that bonus and Italians to take advantage of it and bad things can happen. And I haven’t even touched on what an axis position in the ME means to the defense of India, Moscow, and Egypt. Without that central position, the allies will be hard pressed to quickly move forces (especially air) from one front to another quickly as needed.

    As the allies, better to cut off all that bad juju directly from the start or at least kill those troops before they join with a larger stack.

  • '14 Customizer

    ItIsILeClerc - You hit the nail on the head. Attacking the neutrals is situational no matter who is doing the attacking axis or allies.

    axisandalliesplayer - I could not explain it any better. Giving the axis the middle east is a huge boost in economy compared to many of the Russian territories. It’s also like you said really fouls up the liberation of Russia. It may not completely stop it but it will most certainly delay it.

    I usually with Germany leave 2 inf in Greece after I capture it on turn 2. I usually plan to send them to Eqypt via an Italian transport but I keep them there until the time is right. But its also very possible for Italy to take Turkey as well. Another benefit is the ability for Italy to place their navy in the Black Sea. This creates many advantages for Italy.

    But the bottom line is everything is situational.

  • LeClerc - what are Germany’s Atlantic attacks with this strategy?  Do they go after the DD & TT off the Canadian cost, the CR in sz91 or both?

  • Hi IKE.
    I’d say it is up to you when playing Germany. Both have pros and cons. Even both at the same time if you gamble 1 can be successfull.
    I didn’t invent this strategy; I was friendly hit on my nose with it by a fellow forum member. I don’t know his exact reasoning but he went for the DD+TT off the canadian coast with 2subs.

    As far as I can see, I’d say Germany should go for what you think will hinder your opponent most. Killing the CA will weaken the UK fleet around Gibraltar and/or makes it a bit harder, riskier for the UK to kill 2 Italian TRS in a ‘Taranto’ UK1, but will make it much easier to reinforce The Rock (British, Malta units AND Canadians can now reach it).

    So ‘know thy enemy’ is the final answer to your question I guess.

  • '16 '15 '10

    I don’t see this as a particuarly strong move for Axis, since it seems like Japan has to wait until J3 to Dow in order to avoid an America attack.  Too high a price imho.

    But regardless of what Japan does, UK has tons of incentive to hold Gibraltar.

    Against that particular build, my habit is to forego 97 (given that Sea Lion seems likely), and consolidate in 92, with the inf/aa from Malta, plus fighters.  Depending on how the battles play out and whether I build the airbase, I may block the Italian fleet with a dd.  Possible UK builds include 9 inf, 6 inf 1 fig, and 5 inf 1 airbase (probably the latter).  Consolidation in 92 plus airbase is probably the best alternative to attacking 97 and is likely the best option here.

    You can also block the German fleet in 104 with the unit leftover from 111 (assuming you strafed), or several other Brit units.  If it’s a single unit blocking, you can attack it with the Italian bomber, but that’s a high-risk move for Italy.

  • TripleA

    Bring Russia to fight Japan if Germany is not pushing aggressively. You can do amazing things to Japan with just your starting mech and armor with air units.

    Get the African NOs for Russia as well. African NOs are very important for Russia.

  • @Cow:

    Get the African NOs for Russia as well. African NOs are very important for Russia.

    Agreed wholeheartedly!
    I must admit though, I’m still a little in doubt about when to take them and when not to.

    For example, if Germany is doing SeaLion it seems better not to (correct me if I’m wrong)? If Russia goes there (early) in this situation, it has just too few units to start contesting Eastern Europe and/or Scandinavia RU3 (assuming GE did sortie into London). Contesting those area’s with Germany seems better than getting into Africa, since the Russian profit is the same or even higher but it also denies Germany valuable IPCs. Maybe in this case get the African NO’s at a later point?

    In all the other situations I’d go for African NO’s (except perhaps a G1 DOW?).

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