Alternative Winning Strategy and Tactics for Central Powers

  • Being aware of the all-out Russia First strategy for CP, I think I have found an alternate solution for a CP win.
    This all revolves around the Balkans and the dreaded Sea Zone 17.
    Let’s look at the situation: If the Allies control SZ 17, then either FR and/or IT can mobilize Albania on Round 1. That’s only 4 units, but it is a toehold that can be reinforced. CP has to deal with it. The US can also use Albania as a gateway into either Vienna or Constantinople.
    Moreover, the Albania-Serbia-Romania belt represents 7 IPCs and 14 “free” allied units.
    Here’s the tactic to spoil all that.
    On AH Round 1, AH moves Battleship and Cruiser into SZ 17, either damaging or eliminating IT’s fleet. AH builds a Battleship for further occupation of SZ 17 on Rd 2. Ottoman Turks move both Cruisers into SZ 17 on Round 1 also. Naval strategy for CP is that SZ 17 must NOT belong to Allies for as long as possible.
    On the ground, AH sends a token force of approx. 3 Inf against Serbia on Rd 1. The mission is to contest Serbia while satisfying the requirement to attack. Now, AH sends everything in Tyrolia and Trieste to knock out Venice on Rd 1. AH mission is to defend in Galicia (where AH has concentrated), but to conquer Italy and threaten France. As the ground war continues, AH stays with this strategy.

  • As to Germany for Rd 1, it has the mission of destroying the British fleet and continuing the disruption and delay of allied reinforcement from GB and US. I suggest buying 2 Battleships for SZ 10 until either side dominates the shipping paths for reinforcement. If Germany can do that for about 4 Rounds, that means France won’t have help until at least Round 5, when the trickling in of British and American forces will be too little and too late. On the ground, Germany concentrates against Poland IF Russia does not reinforce Poland on Rd 1. Germany can take Poland and hold there. If Russia does reinforce Poland on Rd 1, then GE builds a defensive force on the Prussia-Silesia line and waits for Russia to slaughter itself in attacks. Germany’s main mission is revealed in Round 1: A concentrated attack against Lorraine while ignoring Belgium and protecting Ruhr. GE reinforcement route is always Hanover to Ruhr to Alsace to Lorraine, keeping strength pushed forward into Burgundy and finally Paris. Note: AH turns toward Tuscany after Venice. This is a bait for the IT units in Piedmont. If IT uses the Piedmont units to attack AH in Tuscany, the door to Burgundy is open to a double thrust from GE and AH.
    France can’t resist the temptation of mobilizing Belgium, and Russia can’t resist mobilizing Romania. This gives Germany and AH, respectively, an extra turn to deal with them. With A-H NOT attacking Romania Rd 1, and Germany NOT attacking Belgium Rd 1, space and time are gained and France and Russia bleed themselves at their own front lines.

  • The third part of the CP strategy is Turkey’s involvement in the Balkans. On Round 1, Ottoman Turks send both cruisers to SZ 17 and send everything from Constantinople to Bulgaria. The 8 units sent plus the 6 units mobilized give the Turks 14 units on Round 2 to destroy Serbia. At this point, Russia has the option of fighting for the Balkans with the Romania force, but Mother Russia is going to be calling for help (seeing the AH force in Galicia that have attacked Ukraine in Rd 2 and the GE force in the Poland or Prussia-Silesia Front). Thus, if Russia evacuates Romania, the CENTRAL POWERS HAVE JUST ELIMINATED ALL ALLIED UNITS IN THE BALKANS by the Third Round. They have isolated Albania so that it will never be mobilized. The Turks then turn from Serbia to take Romania. In Round 4, this Turkish force takes Sevastopol. CP back doors are secured and AH continues toward Rome and GE continues toward Paris. All 3 CP countries are engaging Russia, preferring to wait on Russia to attack and using their defensive advantages.
    Note: Turkey strategically retreats from Trans-Jordan and Syrian Desert as GB advances. They prepare forces for two counter-attacks against the British, depending on British advances: Mesopotamia is top priority (linking through the Sevastopol), and Smyrna-Transjordan-Egypt is second priority. If successful with both, British Navy units are cut off from Mediterranean reinforcement, and India is threatened.
    These tactics were play-tested only once, but I was so excited to see it work that I wanted to post it. It is a quick victory for the CP, with some variables with the dice making it no guarantee. It is a very cost-conscious strategy and there is no waste of CP units.

  • I like your post ColonelK,

    I just played my first 5 person game this weekend as the Germans and found it a wise strategy to bypass Belgium and just press hard on France with overwhelming force.  All the while holding the line in the East.  The key to this strategy though is daring raids with subs and the High Seas/AH Fleets to take out allied transports.  The CP won before America could reach Europe! 
    FYI: we played with the new tournament rules and the game flows much quicker and was over in a few hours.

  • Very interesting … I never buy subs. Battleships have so much more value.
    Haven’t played with the tournament rules yet.

  • TripleA

    hmm I never bought naval for Italy.  Always thought of it as kind of a wash.

  • No one is talking about buying naval units for Italy.
    Italy starts with a battleship, a cruiser, and a transport in SZ 17.

  • TripleA

    I meant AH buying naval  to be used against Italy.

    You were talking about AH buying naval for Italy. I prefer to buy ground units and fighters. Naval is kind of wonky because transports sucked since anniversary edition came out.
    The Italy first strategy is pretty simple you get it on round 5ish usually. I do not really think naval speeds up the process by much. You could just get fighters instead. Transport is too garbage of a unit sadly and you have to protect it.

    America sucks in this game because it has to waste money on transports.

  • TripleA

    AH is 4 turns away from Italy, in an  Italy first strategy usually your round 1 stuff is what goes to it then you just get fighters for the main battle and infantry to keep russia away.

    If you get naval it is stupid because it only puts 2 infantry 1 turn closer to Rome for each transport. Since you are taking it on round 5 usually like it is better to just send more of your round 1 units in that direction.

    You attack at round 5 if you lose you lose the game simple as that, that is how all ins work. So send enough to take it and buy fighters as necessary.

    So between 5 territories that make it for a round 5 attack on rome, you pick out whatever you feel is enough to take rome and you move the units in that direct. Add fighters to gain air superiority later. You can advance 1 infatry on round 2 in that direction to be with your fighters 2 space away.

    As long as you plan proper it is not hard. Transports do not improve things. Maybe if I can get rome a whole round quicker it would be worth the investment. Can you take Rome on round 4 with naval purchases?

  • Mr. Cow, you have completely missed the point.
    No one is talking about AH using transports.
    The whole issue here is protecting the southern flank of the Central Powers by minimizing casualties in the Balkan territories of Albania, Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria.
    Taking control of SZ 17 prevents the Allies from mobilizing Albania.

  • TripleA

    Why not just all in Italy and take him over? It is pretty easy to round 4 or 5 him. Best way of minimizing casualties is to prevent the enemy from making units.

  • This post is deleted!

  • Thanks for the comments and thoughts. When warships enter a SZ which contains enemy warships, battle is mandatory, is it not?
    This also affects the answer to your German Navy hypothetical question, as the Russian Battleship would battle the German fleet.
    I have found that the Russian players have rarely made the 2 naval moves that you described, but I will now make that a standard sacrificial move whenever I play Russia. (Thanks)
    As to the French actions via Canada and the Atlantic, the French usually are mobilizing Portugal with one transport protected by a Battleship. If the British fleet is destroyed on Round 1, they are in “protection mode.” The Germans should invest in purchasing 2 Battleships until they control the shipping lanes between the British/American ports and the French mainland.

  • We play-tested this again yesterday with the result that Central Powers won. Rome and Paris fell just as the last holdouts in Russia were barely surviving.

  • @ColonelKurtz:

    Mr. Cow, you have completely missed the point.
    No one is talking about AH using transports.
    The whole issue here is protecting the southern flank of the Central Powers by minimizing casualties in the Balkan territories of Albania, Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria.
    Taking control of SZ 17 prevents the Allies from mobilizing Albania.

    only one AH-BS and the two turkish cruisers will not be enough to hold off the british fleet (1 BS,2 Cruisers), the frenchies and the russians.

    You will need two turns of complete naval buys as Austria to get strong enough in SZ17

  • I have a hard time understanding how this would work? In AH1, AH would send the fleet into sz17 and buy 1 BS right?
    If the allies arent totally bad they would:
    R1 - Attack sz20 with 2 cruisers from sz21 (lets assume they atleast get 1 of the ottoman cruisers)
    F1 - Reinforce/Attack sz17 with 1BS and 1 Cruisers from sz16. F would surely destroy the remaining AH if there are any.
    B1 - Reinforce sz17 with 1 Cruiser

    So with this in mind the Ottomans cant do anything with their navy(1 or zero cruisers), since the allies would have 1 BS+2 cruisers in sz17.
    AH cant do crap in round 2 either with their 1 BS and buying 1 more would be a bigger waste, since in the british round 2, they would send in 1BS and 1Cruiser that started the game in sz29.

    In my opinion all AH have done is wasting 12IPC on a BS that was really needed for ground forces.

  • I am a bit humbled at these responses, honestly. The strategy works for me when playing against my peers, but you (Chacmool and Oddbjoern and alejsgo) are strategizing at an extremely high level of play. I salute you.
    When I play as a CP player, I build a few German Battleships and keep the Atlantic routes in jeopardy for as long as possible. The British and French fleets are busy establishing Atlantic Supremacy, so they are not helping out in the Med (SZ 17). The Allies spend lots of IPCs doing this, but to delay them is the strategy for CP.
    Your points to counter this are well made and valid.
    I will rename this strategy as “Sea Zone 17 Gambit” and continue to hope that those whom I play do not read the countermoves as posted in this forum.

  • I tend to play much more casual games. And whenever I’ve won as CP, it’s been with a decent amount of naval pumped into both Germany and Austria Hungary. AH is more for a Fleet in Being, whereas the Germans tend to run around the North Sea zone for as long as possible.

  • Hey, Kolonel K,

    Where did you get the original idea for Germany’s putting all its units in Alsace? It seems very much like the German’s plan (Mannstein Plan) in WW2!

  • Well, you know how trying to repeat history in a board game usually doesn’t work?
    All I am doing is trying to seek another solution for Central Powers to have at least a 50% chance of victory as the game rules allow.
    The key point on Alsace was that Germany gets a jump of one turn on France, because France always (almost always) mobilizes Belgium on Turn 1; That small diversion of effort gives a concentrated Germany a space and time advantage.

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