All the German openings: For Beginners

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    This thread is a follow up to the Russian openings thread,

    It builds on the ideas and basic principles discussed in my General Strategy Guide

    Here the focus is on the OOB 1942.2 game, especially round 1, but this time from the German point of view. It will likely be a meandering snake of an outline for a while, as I try to organize some of these thoughts. Right now I’m approaching it with the two optional rules “fighter intercept/escort” and “sz 16 closed” not in play. These will require a separate strategy brief, since these rules can have a major influence on the opening round combats and the optimal round 2 unit positioning.

    Caveat, On moving second: The title of this thread can be a bit misleading, because unlike Russia, Germany moves second in the turn order sequence! As such it is rather difficult to be comprehensive and discuss “all” the possible German openings. Frequently, what Germany does on their first turn, will depend on the results of the specific opening combats, and also whether the Allies were awarded a bid for extra preplacement units somewhere on the game map. The strategies outlined here for Germany will thus rely a lot more on contingencies, on average or expected outcomes from Russian openers. As always there is room for the unexpected to enter into the equation, so this is at best a rough guide, that you might sometimes want to diverge from, if the Allies did particularly well, or particularly poorly right at the outset.

    Broad strokes:
    Germany begins the game with the most units, and the most Total Unit Value (TUV)! Germany has high income, relatively secure production, and many potential build options. The German starting units are almost all in forward positions and are projecting attack power across a wide region, threatening multiple allied targets at once. Germany also has excellent mobility, with a huge starting airforce and a ton of armor (usually 9 to 11 tanks surviving into G1), which allows them to rapidly dash forward on the blitz, or to redirect and turn about to face the other direction.

    Not only does Germany start with the highest TUV going into round one, but they will also preserve most of this TUV coming out of the round, whereas the Allies stand to lose a large chunk of their starting TUV, with a great proportion of their units getting blown up or sunk to the bottom of the sea on G1/J1.

    There are 3 capitals, 6 starting factories, and 6 VCs in the region immediately surrounding Germany.

    Germany has a direct overland route towards the all important “center” of the gamemap, and the ability to increase their income quickly via conquests. And they have boots already on the ground! More than a dozen starting infantry units that will survive to attack or move forward on G1; with a number of strong convergence points, allowing these infantry to be pushed and stack defended by armor, to form pockets of strength that can deadzone border territories on the eastern front.

    Get excited! Germany is a lot of fun to play and it is the critical Player/Nation, the big dog on the Axis team. They have the responsibility of planning the most involved combat phase of the first round, with all those uboats and fighters and tanks! Plus the challenge of facing down the Allied “triple team” on Berlin. They accordingly have a lot of starting resources at their disposal, and learning how to use them to the greatest effect is what we’ll try to explore in this guide.

    Building towards the endgame: before you even start haha…
    This is worth stating up front… As the Axis player your number one priority is to hold Berlin, especially against an amphibious assault by the Anglo-Americans from sz 5!  Everything else is secondary to maintaining your capital. Grabbing Moscow, or all of Africa, or establishing a Reich that stretches from Paris to Vladivostok, will all be for naught if you lose Berlin at any point. It’s nearly impossible for Axis to recover from the loss of the German capital, more impossible at any rate, than it is to recover from say the loss of Tokyo under a KJF Allied strategy.

    This is in large part because of the high concentration of victory cities and the rich income/production in Europe, all the territories immediately surrounding Germany proper. In effect, the German player must always consider European defense first, before looking at their forward attack options. There is a real danger, especially among beginners, in overextending yourself and then falling prey to a rapid transport action by your Allied opponents. In other words, you don’t ever wan’t to get caught sending your tanks or aircraft so far afield, that they wind up in positions where they cannot be returned to Germany at a moment’s notice. You want to remain keenly aware of how many transports the Anglo-Americans have built up, and carefully observe where they are positioning their ground stacks and aircraft, so that you can meet them either on defense or on counter attack, with enough force to overcome any invasion attempt against Fortress Europe. This means staying flexible with your Aircraft and your Armor, and preserving enough ground near your capital to face down a double hit on Berlin (UK+US), or a double stack into France/Northwestern/Italy (UK+US) or a triple stack (UK+US+Russia) into Baltic states! This last is the most dangerous, as it will severely limit your counter attack options against territories like France in subsequent rounds. Basically if Allies stack Baltic States beyond your ability to counter, you need to begin preparing your final defense of Berlin, consider sending Japanese fighters to Europe, and pray that Japan can turn the tide before the curtain draws in Europe. It is possible, albeit very hard, for Axis to fight into the endgame with Japan, provided they take control of Moscow a full round before Allies can take Berlin. This is a very challenging Axis endgame, but it is workable. If however Berlin falls in the same round as Moscow, it is extremely difficult for Japan to win the game alone.

    Thinking about the opening combats before you purchase units: setting the stage for the whole game.
    Its usually a good idea to let your purchasing decisions be guided by the sorts of opening attacks you want to run, rather than just buying stuff on impulse. Like all nations, Germany benefits from a consistent build strategy over multiple rounds. In general terms, if the Russians opened well, you want to load up on hitpoints and mass infantry to ensure that you can manage a full press KGF. If the Russians opened poorly, then you have other options, and can consider more esoteric builds. Either way though, we want to have a sense of the starting units that are likely to survive the first round to see what sort of total force you can bring to bear on G2.

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    Looking at the starting units in a general sense, by unit type…

    Lets start at Sea, since most of Germany’s naval actions will occur on their first turn and their naval game is fairly straightforward and frequently short lived.

    Starting Ships:
    The main objective of the Kreigsmarine, the Regia Marina, and your brave U-boat comanders in the Atlantic, is to destroy as much of the Royal Navy as you can in the first round, while sustaining as few casualties as possible. Using your starting ships in conjunction with your airforce, trying to make the best use of your limited starting transport capacity, and working to prevent early actions by the Allies on the water.

    Atlantic U-boats:
    there are 4 optimal ways you can use the pair of German submarines in sz 9 on opening attacks.
    1. The strongest play is probably to send both against sz 11, to destroy the US transports. Not only does this kill off 22 TUV in American ships, but it also prevents 16 TUV in ground units from being able to move out on USA1.

    2. The second best option is to send both subs against sz 10, to sink the British Destroyer and transport off E. Canada. Here the surviving U boats will almost certainly be killed by the US, but it does prevent the Allies from making an early landing in Europe/Norway/Africa with that Canadian tank. It also diminishes the UK’s ability to build a fleet in sz 7 in the opening round.

    3. The third option is to split the difference and attack both sz 11 and sz 10 with a sub each. The potential pay off is huge if you hit and Allies dud. But both battles are roughly 50/50 for Allies to score a hit before you do, in which case the plan could easily backfire. In most cases I would counsel caution and send both subs into a single engagement. Note that an Allied bid could jack up either battle and push the odds out your favor.

    4. Finally, you could send one or both subs to sz 14 to sink the British cruiser. This is not strictly necessary since Germany can use fighters to kill that cruiser. But sending a sub can save a fighter in the event that the cruiser hits. Neglecting both the British and American transports can be major problems for Germany, so if you do send a sub to sz14, you may wish to send the other against one of the Allied transport groups. Also it’s important to note that an Allied destroyer in either sz 10 or sz 11, can be sent to sz 13 and block your combat movement on G2 with any naval units you might have in sz14. However, it may still be possible to converge your naval units in either sz 8 or sz14 on non com.

    Baltic U-Boats:
    The pair of subs in sz 5 are rather less dynamic than their Atlantic compatriots. The best use of these U-boats is against the British battleship in sz 7. Trying to do much else with them runs the risk of losing too many aircraft in the sz 7 engagement. I have occasionally seen 1 sub break off to lurk alone in sz 8, or sz 3, ready to wreak havoc with G2 attack positioning, but this is less common. The chance to hit big with a deuce if you send both subs is just a solid payoff, and the risk that if you don’t, you might sustain extra hits or roll duds with your air (and then have to fight multiple rounds in the combat phase), would seem to recommend that both subs be sent to sz7 on a mission to torpedo the hell out of that battleship.

    German surface ships:
    There is only one reliable way to save the German battleship in the Med and that is to buy naval units to support it. Similarly there is only one reliable way to save the Baltic Cruiser, and again that requires a naval purchase to pull off safely.

    The cheapest build that can accomplish this is to buy a destroyer, and place it in sz15 (med) or in sz 5 (baltic).

    If the German battleship goes to sz 14 and takes Gibraltar, then the newly purchased destroyer is used as a blocker, to prevent the British destroyer in sz 17 from attacking. Provided Gibraltar was taken, this gives the British only the lone UK bomber to hit the Battleship, with odds to the defender. Also it is possible to sink the British destroyer in sz17 with your German bomber, which eliminates the need for a destroyer blocker in sz 15. In such cases, if your German bomber attack was successful it might be advisable to locate your destroyer in sz5 Baltic instead, to try and save the cruiser.

    Sz 16 and sz 17 are usually death traps for your Med Fleet. If you move your German battleship to either location, expect that a strong UK player may sink it using an all air attack with a reasonable chance of success. The UK bomber and the Egypt fighter can both be used in such an attack. If Caucasus is taken on G1, then sz 16 is slightly less dangerous, when a destroyer is placed in sz 15, but if not the Egypt fighter can hit sz 16 along with the UK bomber. Many experienced Allied players regard the Egypt fighter as critical for this counter attack purpose, and they may even use the Moscow fighter to support Egypt, preventing Germany from running an attack there. Still other players will try to bait you into sz17 hoping you will try to take Egypt or Trans Jordan, only to hit you with the British Bomber and the carrier based fighter from sz 35.

    Basically there are only two safe plays for the Regia Marina: the “German” Battleship/Transport in the Med…
    Either sz 14 Gibraltar, or remain in sz 15 with a naval build to back it up.

    A high risk play into sz 16 can work, if you want to get one good bombardment out of the battleship and, if lucky, to keep the fleet alive into G2. But there is also a danger with the whole med, that UK may buy a second bomber initially and then hit any of those sea zones, provided Caucasus or the Canal territories hold through UK2. You really need to consider how to get the most out of your battleship in the first round, and hopefully the second round, since it might not see a third unless you are willing to invest a lot more than 8 ipcs into its defense.

    Now to the North: For the Baltic Cruiser there are 3 viable options…

    A. The attack on the British Battleship in sz 7. Note, if you send the German Cruiser into this fight it greatly increases the likelihood that you will sink the British battleship in the first round of combat and accordingly increase the number of German U boats that survive. Sending the cruiser into the sz 7 attack can free up the Northwestern and Norway fighters for other purposes, and still give Germany strong odds to sink the battleship with just the 2 subs and the cruiser alone. Be aware that the UK fighters can hit this cruiser if it survives the sz7 engagement and still land in Archangel. Most players will sacrifice the transport (leaving it undefended, in order to get more units into position on the eastern front.)

    B. Keep the cruiser in sz 5 for bombardments against Baltic States or Karelia. Note if this Cruiser is not supported by a naval build (at minimum 1 destroyer) it will be vulnerable to an all air attack from UK, with the optimal landing spot in W. Russia.

    C. Send the Cruiser to Sz 8 as a bait. This last option is meant to lure the UK fighters out of position, since they cannot attack here and still land in Russian territory afterwards. This move works best when Germany takes Gibraltar on G1 and moves their med fleet to sz14. This has the dual advantage of denying the British an attack option on sz14 (since their UK fighters will not have Gibraltar as a landing spot) and also allows the cruiser to converge with the Battleship on G2 if Allies fail to sink it. Here again, many players will sacrifice the Baltic transport in the hopes of splitting the British air and reducing the chance of an attack on sz 8, or distracting a yak on R2. This play works well if sz 10 was hit by the Atlantic subs (rather than sz11USA).

    Graf Zeppelin: German Carrier build.

    I suggested above that you need, at a minimum, 1 purchased destroyer for Germany to be viable on the water. But it is possible for Germany to go beyond the Destroyer and support a carrier build. There a few advantages to this, and also some definite draw backs.

    First lets consider the advantages. If you buy a German carrier for the Med in sz15, this will allow you to attack the British destroyer in sz17 with the German fighter from Bulgaria, which otherwise would have no place to land. This can be a wise play, as it allows you to kill the British DD without putting your bomber at risk. There is also a chance (if the Russians fail to take Ukraine) that you will be able to use the Ukraine fighter this way as well. Placing the Carrier in sz 5 Baltic, is considerably more dangerous, but it can get you another round with the Baltic transport, and might even set up a Sea Lion (UK Invasion game) though that possibility is always more remote than one might wish haha.

    The downside to a carrier purchase is first, that its very expensive! This is four ground units, two tanks or an air unit that you won’t be sending against Russia, which means that your position on the eastern front is less tenable, and your ability to stack Karelia effectively is diminished. Perhaps even more significant, once bought, the carrier needs to be fully loaded in order to have any prayer of surviving against Allied air attacks. Depending on how well you roll in your opening this could be anywhere from 1/3rd to 1/2 of the entire luftwaffe locked on a carrier for the duration. Or at least until it can converge with Japanese units. This last is another advantage of the carrier build worth mentioning, it gives you a landing pad for Japanese Zeros!

    There are a few other major considerations to be aware of when buying the Graf Zeppelin on G1. First, Germany does not begin play with any destroyers! This means you either have to buy one to protect your deck, or run the risk of losing it to an Allied submarine action. This can be particularly significant if you allow for a UK bid. Additional UK subs in either the Med, or in range of sz5 can be devastating. If UK bids this way, I would strongly suggest that you abandon your German naval ambitions. Also, if you see that the Russians have landed one or both of their fighters in Archangel, consider this a clear sign that you will never be able to mount an effective “Sea Lion” (invasion of UK) in the opening rounds.

    A related point, without German Transports to “activate” your carrier build, it is hard to make proper use of your fleet, whether it’s in the Med or the Baltic. Consider that in order to threaten the UK itself (Baltic build) or Egypt/Caucasus (Med build) you will need at least 1 additional transport (likely 2 additional transports) to have any impact on the UK’s opening build or defensive positioning. If you fail to threaten amphibious landings with transports, then the Allies can just build aircraft and wipe your naval investment in the second round. Also, without sufficient transport capacity, it is difficult to redirect your fleet for an advantage against Russia.

    The transport issue combined with the lack of destroyers makes the German naval game an extremely expensive proposition. I’ll just come right out and say it, against experienced Allied opponents, I almost never pursue a G1 carrier build. A blocking destroyer for 8 ipcs can be a strong play, and a worthwile investment, but a Carrier just doesn’t provide enough edge for the cost, and is relatively easy to counter with Allied air builds.

    So if you can’t count on the Kreigsmarine, how can you deal with the Anglo-Americans on the water? The simple answer here, “use the Luftwaffe!”

    Starting Air:
    There are a number of different ways you can approach an air expansion for Germany through purchasing, but first lets just look at your starting aircraft, and how to position them for maximum range and power projection on the following round G2. There are a few definite “stand out” locations for your aircraft to land at the end of G1, and which will put your fighters in solid position for G2 attacks. That’s 5 or 6 fighters, used in opening attacks, plus the Bomber! all of which can wage war in several possible directions, but after they’re done they’ll need to land in the right spot… Where?

    Northwestern Europe:
    from this territory German fighters can threaten all the sea zones around UK, while simultaneously threatening sz 13 to prevent Allied landings in Africa or sz 3 to prevent an early Scandinavia action with the Canadian tank. Fighters in this position can also hit Karelia or Baltic states and return, or reach out to W. Russia or Arch provided Germany controls an adjacent territory to land in. Fighters in Northwestern can also be supported by 2 aaguns, to deter a UK airstrike.

    Finland: from here German fighters can cover sz 7 and all the sea zones around UK (landing in France or Northwestern.) They can also hit, Arch, Baltic, Belo and W. Russia, with 2 moves remaining. Or hit Ukraine or Caucasus (3 moves), provided Germany controls an adjacent space for them to land.

    France: Fighters in France can cover all the sea zones around UK and the Mediterranean, but unlike Northwestern or Finland, fighters stationed here cannot attack as deeply into Russia on G2. Karelia, Belo and Ukraine are still in range (3 moves) but W. Russia and Arch are out of range. Note fighters from Ukraine, Poland and Bulgaria can all hit sz 14 and still have one move left to land in France.

    Libya: Fighters in this position can attack Caucasus on G2 provided the Germans control Ukraine as a landing spot. Landing fighters in Libya is usually for defensive purposes, either to guard a German bomber or to prop up a stack of ground transported into the territory. These fighters can also threaten Egypt on G2 with 3 moves remaining. Its worth noting that 2 Japanese fighters are also in range of Libya, in the event that Axis decide to rush fighter support to Europe. German aircraft in Libya can likewise even be used to support Japanese carrier actions, in the unlikely event that the Axis want to reverse roles and send fighters the opposite direction, though this is much less common.

    So far I’ve just been talking about where to land your starting fighters, but its definitely possible to buy new aircraft and make these even more powerful the following round, by adding to the total air attack power you can project. Most players will drop their newly purchased air in Berlin, but don’t overlook the possible gamey potential of Italy! A German fighter placed in Italy can reach all the way to sz 35 (if there is a Japanese carrier on which to land.) A German bomber placed in Italy can reach basically all the same territories and sea zones as one placed in Berlin. But a bomber in Italy can also reach all the way to Burma, East Indies, Yunnan or Kwangtung in 1 move! Such a bomber might be used to SBR India, or for can opening Allied blockers. It is debatable whether this is the best use for German aircraft, but it is another tool in the toolbox, in case you like to attempt a coordinated Axis strategy in the Pac.

    We’ll talk quite a bit more about German air and ships I’m sure, in days to come, after I get the purchasing stuff together, but first a quick detour back onto land and the ground game with German tanks!

    Starting Armor: The tank drive!

    As I said before, Germany should start G1 with at least 7 tanks at the ready on the continent, 8 if you decide to forego an Africa campaign (possibly 9 or even 10 if the Russians ignore Baltic/Ukraine), and the obvious use for these from the get-go is to hammer Russia!

    There are two schools of thought here, on the best way to use your tanks on the eastern front, light trading or heavy trading.

    The first method, Light Trading, says to keep all your tanks and most of your infantry together in a single massive stack, for max defense and ability to deadzone. Here you take adjacent territories around the main stack with the minimum number of infantry units possible, using your airpower to trade infantry back and forth in small engagements at advantage. The optimal location for a tank wall of this sort will likely be Baltic States on G1, though Belo, or even Karelia can work, depending on how badly the Russians rolled or how poorly they positioned their counter attack forces. Basically you pick where the big tank wall will go and send most of your forces into that single territory to “lock it down” and move your deadzones forward. Playing this way, all tanks are conserved and grouped together, and never risked in trading unless absolutely necessary. Rather you keep your wall in tact (tanks on defense) until the final decisive battles of the endgame.

    The second method, Heavy Trading, says to split your tanks and infantry into several smaller stacks, all along the border territories. Pressure the Russians by offering battle, but only if the Soviets are willing to commit larger starting forces of their own on R2. Here the goal is to draw the Russians forward early to deplete their total hitpoints on G2 counter attack, before they can pull back to stack/defend W. Russia, Caucasus etc. An example here would be to push forward 3-5 infantry into territories like Karelia, Belo and Ukraine with a defensive tank in each, and then preserve the rest of the armor/artillery to counter attack into those spaces the following round should the Russians decide to “go for it!” The lone tank is a bait, goading the Russians, daring them to “come try to kill it!” along with the smaller attendant infantry force. The logic being that Russia won’t have enough attack power or fighter mobility to take you on across the whole front, so they will have to choose just a single battle, or risk giving up their defensive advantage at the center. And who knows? you might just roll a bunch of 2s! This heavy trading method can also be very effective in later rounds, especially once Germany has over-run and stacked Karelia. Archangel can be a great location to try this. If you have a tank wall in Karelia, heavy trading in Arch can sometimes allow for a lucky blitz against the Russian capital, or as a way to force the Russians out of W. Russia for emergency capital defense! (perhaps even destroying some UK/US Aircraft in the process, if the Allies get caught off guard, and are forced to withdraw from W. Russia earlier than anticipated.) This usually happens when the Soviets underestimate the hitpoints needed to crack Archangel. If they dud in the first round of combat, or the Germans hit hard, they can wind up allowing a blitz path by accident, and that’s when you pounce with your tank column and air!

    On G1 I tend to favor the first school, and keep most of my tanks in a nice sturdy column - all in one place. But I have seen the second method work too. I think it comes down to how risk averse you are, whether you want to try for something decisive early on, or just slowly build towards something decisive at the end.

    OK well, that was just some ideas kicking around in my head this afternoon. I’ll come back by after the weekend to talk more about those 41 ipcs, and how to flesh out your G1 plan with purchasing considerations.

  • Nice work as always! Would be nice with some Aricaopeners as Germany pretty much acts first in that region; All-out Eqypt G1, TJ G1 or perhaps take Gibralatar G1? Perhaps even skip Africa all together and evac? 😃

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Nice work so far! I’m excited about this guide. I hope that as you finish it, you have room for a discussion on timing – what is the smallest number of turns in which a strong German player can realistically hope to take Moscow, what is the largest number of turns in which a strong German player can realistically hope to resist a combined US-UK-USSR attack, what are some strategies for changing those numbers, etc.

  • Good job so far. The one thing that really helped was the eastern front because I didn’t have a good idea for Germany.

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    Thanks Frederick! Glad to hear it.
    Agreed Oddbjoern, so many possibilities! 😄
    To Argothair, it’s an important point that we should definitely explore. If the Allies roll terribly or make an obscene strategic goof, then its certainly possible in rare cases to take Moscow before the 6th round, but usually this entails some kind of catastrophic dicing. More likely, if the Axis player plans well and executes according to plan, the earliest it will come is in the 7th. On the long side, it could go for a very very long time. It’s fairly normal for games to last a dozen or more rounds, and not uncommon for some games to stretch well beyond 20 rounds. What tends to happen in the long game is that two opponents (both willing to play to concession) will fight each other to a standstill, ie. the balance of forces will reset after some battle that ended up rather less decisive than one might have wished, and both sides rebuild. It’s possible, if you enter the deep endgame (e.g. Moscow has fallen, but Allies have recovered their position on income/production) for the game to continue almost indefinitely. I’ve seen infantry chips stack up like mini skyscrapers on Berlin.

    I’m still kicking around numbers over here and reviewing past games for more thoughts. Been most of the day on the road, but just had some quick thoughts on reading your opponent(s).

    In a face to face game the enemy may reveal things in body language or tone that might project a certain confidence of ability, or perhaps they’ll bluff a lack of it, but it’s hard to know who you’re dealing with until they open in the first round. This is especially true in a digital game, where the opponent is not sitting across the table from you. One indication of overall ability might be whether the opponent requests a bid for Allies. If they feel that the game is skewed towards Axis, and suggest that you bid to choose sides, this might demonstrate a higher aptitude for A&A or at least tell you that they know the ropes. On the other hand, the Allied player might be supremely confident, maybe they’re not too terribly worried about your Axis skills (they don’t know you’ve been cruising the A& boards reading up on strategies all weekend! hehe). Or maybe they’re just out for a casual game, and forego the bid. In that case great, you’re ready to crush! But if the enemy does look for a bid, then the shot call is on you, how low can you go and still have confidence that the Axis will prevail?

    I’d suggest that the game is fairly balanced for Germany, among opponents of equal skill anywhere from half a dozen to a dozen ipcs bid for pre-placement units. With a reasonable amount of luck and a strong attack plan, you can still overcome the Allies. Sure it’s not as straightforward as winning OOB, but you can still prevail, it just takes a bit more tact in the opening round.

    Another consideration might be whether the Allies are playing as a team. Facing down two players instead of just one, can be an advantage in and of itself, and often a round of haphazard coordination or mistakes between Allied teammates, can easily overcome any perceived imbalances of the starting unit set up or overall distribution of power by sides.

    Just remember, all this sizing up of the opponent beforehand will have to be confirmed, or maybe totally upended, when you see how they actually open as the Russians! The R1 purchase should play into your build decision on G1.

    If you notice that Russia has purchased less than 6 hitpoints in units, or if they made crazy attacks or unwise defenses, this could be a green light for Germany to push hard on G1 to exploit the Russian weak-points on attack, and just go for the jugular. Or you could take the opposite approach, pull back trusting in your defensive/TUV advantage and make crazy builds and moves of your own. Sometimes playing against a less experienced opponent or a terrible Russian opener, can be an enjoyable opportunity, to pursue builds and strategies you don’t usually get a chance to try, or you can just slam into them and try to kill them in as few rounds as possible haha.

    Lets say the Allied player hasn’t read the Russian opener thread yet, and they don’t fully appreciate the significance of Karelia to Germany, or yet see how having a large Soviet stack in W. Russia is key to holding the Germans off this factory. Perhaps they launched too many attacks on R1 and got rocked, or went too light into W. Russia and were turned back, or maybe they tried to stack Karelia for defense not realizing how hopeless the Allied situation in Leningrad is on G1. Or who know maybe they did some sort of wild KJF movement sending their air/armor against Japan? In all these cases, your German opener will likely look a lot different than the ones we’ll be outlining. This is because, when the dice gods throw you an oppertunity, you gotta take try and take advantage. It’s almost always worth it as Germany to destroy Russian armor or Aircraft, or deplete their total units if given the chance to do so early on. And its always worth it to move forward on the Eastern front, if you can trade units at favorable odds, or lock down a space without the threat of an immediate Soviet counter attack. But assuming normal results, on G1 you’ll be down W. Russia (with a large force of Russians and aagun cover) and perhaps 1 or maybe even 2 other territories, with all your units there destroyed. A lot of Russian players will take Ukraine, at least occasionally, so its hard to plan on the Ukraine fighter surviving. If it does though, that’s a nice bonus for your Axis starting position.

    Some quick thoughts on purchasing…

    One way to approach playing Germany is to say that you will always max place the production value of Berlin, just to be conservative. This means usually 8 inf or artillery units (ie. 8 fodder hitpoints per round), and then a couple other units left over to fill things out and bring your total production up to about 10 units total (e.g. the max for Berlin). If you start with 24 ipcs or 8 infantry as the baseline, that allows 17 ipcs for air/naval expansions or ground upgrades. It also gives you that 17 ipcs as cushion in case you start getting mercilessly bombed, which can sometimes happen sooner than you’d think. Planning your purchases like this keeps you in the “safe zone” of total hitpoints, where you’ll always be buying at least a couple more units per round than the Russians can, so you don’t run the risk of getting backed off the eastern front, while still giving you room to beef up your attack power and mobility with heavy hitters.

    If you want to go lower than 8 fodder hitpoints, then just recognize that this is a very concentrated build strategy you’re trying to adopt, one that usually only works if it has a lazer-like focus on the round immediately ahead. In such cases, players will often alternate between going “Big” on attack power/mobility buys in one round, and then “Big” on hitpoints buys in the next. Basically alternating between Infantry/Artillery spams and then magnified “heavy hitter” builds, to keep an overall balance in their force.

    Doing a full fodder spam means maxing your production with infantry up to the highest level possible for your income/production. With 41 ipcs that’s 13 infantry with 2 ipcs remaining, or 11 infantry and 2 artillery (10 units in Berlin, 3 in Rome.) Once Karelia is taken, the total spam can climb up to 15 ground, or 45 ipcs in dedicated infantry builds. This is an infantry spam on par with the Allied production out of Moscow and London combined! So it can be pretty tough to manage for the Allies if G builds this way consistently. A German player who wants to just kick back and errect infantry walls, will still have a lot of starting tanks and aircraft at their disposal. Building this way tries to exploit that starting attack power/mobility advantage by just loading it up with a lot more fodder hitpoints each round. It’s a sound principle. Perhaps even more effective than mass infantry is the mass artillery spam.

    The central idea is the same (to amass hitpoints) except here its maxing artillery pieces each round up to whatever you can afford, and then using the remainder on infantry or saved for next round. An example for 41 ipcs would be something like…

    8 artillery and 3 infantry, or
    10 artillery and save 1 ipc etc.

    The goal here is to ensure the maximum attack power for all your starting infantry units (of which there are more than a dozen) so you basically spend a round focus on mainly artillery. Once you’ve hit parity 1:1 artillery for infantry, then you start moving your stacks forward, and continue with a more middle-of-the-road mixed build for 41 ipcs like…

    5 artillery and 7 infantry.

    These are the sort of games, where Germany goes fodder crazy, that can last a very long time. Especially if the Allies haven’t quite figured out how to get their Air transits and transports working across the Atlantic.

    The opposite of this kind of mass hitpoints approach would be a G1 build that goes balls out on pure attack power projection and mobility on G2.

    I think if you purchase under 8 hitpoints of units with G, this will definitely invite a Russian advance in the second round. But, if you really want to go all gangbusters and dramatically increase your Air or Naval, there is a case to be made for doing it on G1. This is because Germany itself is not immediately threatened by the western allies, and it is possible to manage a Russian advance (albeit not for very long) if your aim is to gain some overwhelming edge on the water vs UK/USA. This can be achieved either directly with a large fleet expansion, or indirectly with a large air build. Just sticking with that last for now, a pure air expansion build for 41 ipcs (not bothering with ships for the moment) might look something like…

    Conservative air builds, with an eye on preserving a decent number of total hitpoints:

    1 fighter, 1 artillery, 9 infantry.
    1 bomber, 2 art, 7 inf.
    2 fighters, 7 inf.
    1 bomber, 1 fighter, 1 artillery, 5 inf.

    Extremely aggressive air builds, e.g very few hitpoints, but very high attack power projection:

    2 bombers, 2 art, 3 inf.
    1 bomber, 2 fighters, 3 inf.
    3 fighters, 2 art, 1 inf.
    3 Bombers, 1 art, save 1 ipc

    Just as a refresher, before this all starts to sound too technical… 😄
    “Hitpoints” are the total number of hits a force can absorb before being annihilated.
    Attack or Defense “Power”, is the “hits at” combat value of individual units in a force added together. So if we really wanted to parse out those builds listed above, to see what sort of advantages and trade offs we get them, it might read something like this…

    1 fighter, 1 artillery, 9 infantry. = 11 hitpoints, 15 attack power - mobility projects 3 attack/4 defense, across 4 spaces.
    1 bomber, 2 art, 7 inf. = 10 hp, 17 ap - mobility 4 attack/1 defense, across 6 spaces: x1 Strategic Bombing Raid.
    2 fighters, 7 inf. = 9 hp, 13 ap - mobility 6 attack/8 defense, across 4 spaces.
    1 bomber, 1 fighter, 1 artillery, 5 inf. = 8 hp, 15 ap - mobility 7 attack/5 defense, across 4 spaces, plus 4 att/1 def across 6 spaces: x1 SBR.

    2 bombers, 2 art, 3 inf. = 7 hitpoints, 17 attack points - mobility 8 attack/2 defense, across 6 spaces: x2 SBR.
    1 bomber, 2 fighters, 3 inf. = 6 hp, 13 ap - mobility 10 attack/9 defense, across 4 space, plus 4 att/1 def across 6: x1 SBR.
    3 fighters, 2 art, 1 inf. = 6 hp, 15 ap - mobility 9 attack/12 defense, across 4 spaces.
    3 Bombers, 1 art, save 1 ipc. = 4 hp, 14 ap - mobility 12 attack/3 defense, across 6 spaces: x3 SBR.

    In the examples above, the more conservative Air approach is like when the doctor just orders “1 fighter a day, to keep the British away!” or maybe a bomber every round, until you have a solid air wing developed. Here you’re never losing sight of the fodder exchange, and you’re buying infantry every round regardless. Basically a piecemeal build up, slow and steady. The aggressive air builds are more like a Dark Skies DS scenario (named for the popular strat in G40, but the same basic rules apply here in 42.2) where you really magnify the air advantage right out the gate, and then use the attack power and mobility to give you more flexibility in later rounds after the core of your Luftwaffe is established.

    Now just to the question raised by Argothair, if Germany is going this route with air builds, then a conservative build pattern would likely increase the overall game-length. An aggressive air build pattern would shorten the gamelength. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Axis will fair any better or worse than they would over a long game, just that the likelihood of a speedy resolution is increased when you focus on attack power/mobility over hitpoints, especially in the first round.

    Note, with a purchase that includes a decent number of infantry fodder units (which is a good idea) you can always increase the total attack power of the force by substituting out 1 infantry hitpoint, in exchange for 3 fodder upgrades from infantry to artillery. Keep in mind that you only really need artillery for the total number of infantry units you can boost. Again it’s helpful to keep the total attack power vs hitpoints in mind. For example consider the following 3 builds:

    A. 1 fighter 1 artillery, and 9 infantry = a total of 11 hitpoints, with a total attack power of 15.
    B. 1 fighter, 4 artillery and 5 infantry = a total of 10 hitpoints, with a total attack power of 20.
    C. 1 fighter, 7 artillery, and 1 infantry =a total of 9 hitpoints, with a total attack power of 19.

    Build A gets you another hitpoint overall, but build B will give your ground force 5 more attack points when it arrives at its destination, the Eastern front! Build C is overkill considered in isolation, netting you less total attack power and less hitpoints than build B. Build C only really makes sense if you are already fielding a bunch of infantry units, and the mass artillery purchase is designed to “activate them.” Otherwise, as an independent build 1 inf + 1 artillery unit purchased/used together, are as good as 2 artillery units and cost a buck less, plus they can be transported as a single group. So you always want to be aware of your total infantry to artillery ratio in the area. That way you don’t overspend in subsequent rounds. This goes for all players, but is especially significant for Germany.

  • Great job on the purchase, the infantry and artillery stacks were more important than I thought. I usually bought 3-4 inf then buy more tanks and aircraft or a ship.

    The 3 bombers and 1 artillery purchase look as if Germany is going to do a lot of SBR on London for a sealion plan. 😄

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    I’d never rule out a dicey Strategic Bombing Raid against London on G1. Few experiences in Axis and Allies are as satisfying on G1 as rolling a 6 on that UK factory, and then doing a fist pump “taste it Churchill!” type move.

    Sure there are probably more advantageous ways to use the bomber, but you still have to admire the audacity of a raid. Germany is in a unique position, it has a chance to screw the other guy first (Russia doesn’t have a bomber OOB). Sometimes it can set off a very amusing chain reaction, as UK has to sweat a whole new set of problems. On the other hand, they might roll an ace with the AA gun, and then you’re kicking yourself. This all assuming normal rules, if interceptors are on there’s really no point to such a raid, as the trade off becomes way uglier.

    Continuing with thoughts from the post above, I suggest that 8 ground/fodder hitpoints per round is a pretty safe place to start with Germany. This is like your basic reserve force, your “core” units, that will be needed for trading/stacking along the eastern front.

    Depending on the ground mix you go with for the core (infantry:artillery), this usually leaves Germany with a dozen or more ipcs left over to buy strategic units. That’s the cash you use to buy heavy hitters, mobile units, or units that can influence the naval game. Thinking about the situation over several rounds, this consistent investment (a dozen ipcs or more) every turn to dedicated tanks or air or naval units, can really push an advantage as the units power begins to magnify over time. Provided the units are not put at risk and survive to play on (rather than being traded in combats) they will start to stack up. And its the stacks that win the war

    So just for example, if you say to yourself “OK I got 8 ground units inf/artillery, and then I’m going to buy 1 tank a round each round for several rounds!” Or “1 fighter every round!” Or “1 bomber!” or “1 destroyer” or “1 sub!” etc. And stick to it…
    By the the time your 3rd turn placement phase concludes, that’s some serious attack power/mobility or strategic potential you will have developed, sneaky style, just by purchasing one heavy hitter at a time, but doing it consistently.

    3 tanks project 9 attack power over 2 spaces.
    3 fighters project 9 attack power over 4 spaces.
    3 bombers project 12 attack power over 6 spaces.
    3 subs project 6 attack power over 2 sea zones (surprise strike), and provide three more naval hitpoints in a naval/air exchange.
    3 destroyers project 6 attack power over 2 sea zones, three blocking sacrifices to disrupt naval movement. Destroyers are like magnets for enemy air, they can be used to distract enemy fighters out of position or from other potential attacks, by drawing their focus onto the water.

    None of those builds is necessarily showing your hand to the enemy. They’re little by little. On G1 any given purchase might seem casual, but by G3 it starts to coalesce into a more meaningful strategic build up. You’ll still have the infantry/artillery fodder you need to advance in the East. Those last two builds especially (subs or destroyers) can trip up an opponent, who balks at your purchase of ships and thinks you’re a fool, not anticipating that the expenditure is mainly for purposes of misdirection.

    I think destroyers can be a fun psych warfare investment, at a relatively cheap cost. Another destroyer to block, or providing another defensive shot against British aircraft, can really change the whole purchasing calculus for the Allies in the first round. But that said, for overall coverage against Allied navies, its hard to find a “naval” unit that’s going to do you any better than a bomber. Except maybe a bomber with fighter fodder covering it 😉

    Germany doesn’t need a defensive navy to be effective on the water, they just need overwhelming attack power projection in the air, with maybe a few subs or destroyers back up, to give the Western Allies all sorts of headaches. The reach of the Bomber at 6 allows you to shut down many points of convergence for the Allied transports, making it harder for their fleets to coordinate at advantage. Rather than just fanning out on amphibious to snatch more territory at a go, they have to stay together with all their warships/transports in a big stack. In that respect, building at least 8 total hitpoints, and 1 air unit a round minimum, (alternating your strength between new bombers or new fighters etc.), is a pretty reliable approach, regardless of what else is happening on the gameboard. Germany rises like an Eagle on the wings of strong Luftwaffe, and it will probably sink like a lead zeppelin once the Luftwaffe is destroyed, so just keep that in mind when you are considering Air trades vs ships. Often it is batter to be Fabian in your approach, and preserve the airforce to fight on, rather than trade it out piecemeal for temporary victories.

    Another way to approach these sort of multi-round builds,  it is to drop your reserve force from 8 fodder hipoints down to 7, 6, 5, or even 4 inf/artillery. For a baseline expenditure of 21 ipcs, 18 ipcs, 15 ipcs, or 12 ipcs, every round, dedicated for your core fodder force. The lower you are willing to go on total hitpoints, the more heavy hitters you can buy, and the more magnified your build strategy can be become. But just be aware that if you go on the low side, its going to take longer to put yourself in position on Russia.

    If you go lower than 8, it means your attitude towards Russia is more one of containment, just holding and light trading, while Japan sets up shop. In this case Germany is not necessarily gunning for the early “hammer/anvil” double hit on Moscow, but instead trying to one-up the UK. A heavier build, especially in the air or on the water, can really screw the British, since their position in the opening round is the most tenuous. They already have a million things to do, so one more thing piled on can be very disruptive, potentially allowing Japan to get the edge, especially on India or Africa.

    I think that is probably the best way to look at a German naval build of any sort, whether its just a lone wolf sub or a single destroyer blocker patrolling, or even up to the big-ticket carrier/transport builds, basically anything G does on the water should have the aim of giving Japan the edge vs India early on. Otherwise it’s not paying for itself. If UK has to keep their London fighters at home, or send them on less advantageous transit routes to deal with unexpected German naval builds then that’s less fighters on Moscow/India that Japan has to worry about. Similarly, transports at the ready, or the threat of a rapid transport buy, can scare the UK into an infantry spam on London, which frees up advantages for Axis elsewhere, since that’s money they’re not spending on mobility towards India.

    Given how critical Suez and India can be to the overall chances of success for Axis, it can sometimes be advisable to pursue an early focus on UK and just back off Russia to do so, if only for a round.

    Otherwise, the consensus view is that, for Axis to win, the Russians must die! So how to achieve this aim is where we’ll start.
    Next time

  • '17 '16 '15 '14

    I really haven’t played this game much however my only opinion for Germany is to buy infantry and artillery at least equal to what Russia buys.  Russia can have a very nasty first move however as stated before, the attack power on many locations is really devastating.

    I played Allies vs TripleA because I thought I would be able to beat it easily, like 1942 Spring 1st.  This game plays totally different.  When I play Axis, Russia STOMPS Germany with very limited losses.  When I play Russia against the German Computer, the dice work out as expected.  Maybe a little less than expected, because I, like all dice players, get much worse than average rolls.  Backgammon convinced me of this; I had players to the 1/36 rolls to beat me and yes, it does happen more than 1/36.  Or, maybe we just think that.

    I understand that the TripleA Japan is totally lost; I watched the save games and after that, I saw no reason to abuse the AI.  Straight up against Germany, Russia is in trouble vs the AI.

    Still trying to convince a friend that this game is even worth playing;  Of course, Russia hits the less than 10% roll each time I play him.  Very Frustrating for that to happen EVERY time.

  • I like a lot of fighters better than subs and destroyers but they are still very useful. Germany can’t really buy a lot of tanks unless they choose so. I think going down to 7-6 hit points is fine for a few rounds, any lower you’re a bit risking it.

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    I agree, its hard for Germany to spam tanks, or at least, it’s a lot harder for them to do so in 1942.2 than it was in Revised or AA50.

    The 1 ipc jump from 5 ipcs to 6 ipcs per tank, really adds up when compared to artillery purchases. But there are still a lot of cases where a tank purchase can turn the tide vs the Russians in the east. In 1942.2 the mass tank purchase is rather less common in the early game, but still fairly important during the endgame. In Revised you’d see people build infantry for the push for just a few rounds, and then start dropping tanks relentlessly. This worked for both Germany and Japan, and came to define the earlier game with Axis tank drives.

    Armor is less potent in 1942.2, but the movement advantage across the ground is still pretty huge from a strategic point of view. Tanks should always be purchased primarily with the movement advantage in mind (more so than the attack/defense advantage at 3 for example). Knowing when to buy them to exploit the movement advantage is the trick.

    I said I’d bring it back here, to start looking at G1 purchases for 41 ipcs… purchases to deal with the Russians. I’ve been swamped at work lately, but this might be a good random Tuesday to start delving into things. Lets think about some situations where G1 tank buys might be advisable.

    Again its a little hard here to account for every possible Russian opener, but you can look at things in terms of “best case vs. worst case scenarios” or “better cases vs worse cases.”

    Let’s just pick a place to start, and say Russia lands a near perfect strafe on Ukraine! ie. a worst case scenario for Germany.  😄

    Ok what does that look like? Well usually this is when Russia destroys all the German units in Ukraine down to just the lone fighter, and takes only a couple hits in the process. All 3 Russian tanks survive the Ukraine engagement to retreat safely to Caucasus, along with the artillery piece and maybe even some infantry. The West Russia battle goes as normal with around 3 hits taken, before the Soviets prevail and stack it with all units in range. The Russian Yaks can land safely in Caucasus, with 4 newly purchased hitpoints, making it impossible for Germany to take this territory on G1. Moreover, because the strafe went well and Caucasus is secure, the Soviets can afford to send their second AA gun to cover the stack in W. Russia. This makes a German attack on W. Russia rather risky, the AA guns providing at least some additional fodder and threat vs the full airstrike, to make the exchange a poor trade. Or so it would seem. You can imagine it looks something like this (image below) on G1 at purchase… What the hell is the German player to do now? 😄

    With your Ukraine ground forces smashed, you will be down on total hit points at the front.
    One approach is to take your “free fighter” and head for the hills. Turtle up and spam infantry to make up the hitpoint loss. Another approach is to rush hitpoints back into the region and threaten counter attacks on the way. This is when tanks might serve.

    A more average result for the Russian Ukraine strafe, (a slightly better case for Germany), can still be rather ugly. This is like when Russia still achieves the primary objective of strafing the Germans down to just the fighter, but perhaps takes more hits in the process. Maybe bringing 3 tanks but losing 1 during combat. Here Russia can still stack Caucasus with 4 new hitpoints (and the dude from Kazakh if need be) and still land the Yaks on the front line with confidence, but the Soviet forward hitpoints in the south are not as great.

    Well in an opener like this Belo is probably the going to be the most important swing territory on the Eastern Front for the first few rounds. If Germany gets a chance to stack Karelia or Ukraine on G1 that is of course optimal, but usually a strong Russian player will make these territories too dangerous to occupy. Here the Russians purchased artillery, but an armor buy can make it even riskier to for Germany to move forward.

    The Soviets will likely stack W. Russia to back down your options on Karelia and Ukraine/Caucasus G1, so this leaves you with just Belo, Baltic, or Poland as your front line German stack location. Of these Belo is optimal, since it can threaten “the whole line” from Karelia down to Ukraine from the same central location. Belo mirrors W. Russia, and from this position you can either push North or South, while still holding the opponents stack in your gravitation orbit. Whether you can afford to stack Belo on G1 will depend entirely on how many units survive the Soviet opening battle into W. Russia, how many Russian tanks survived, or whether the Russians purchased new armor. If Belo is threatened on Russian counter attack, it is still possible to defend it with enough fighters to make that a terrible trade for the Soviets.

    In general the Luftwaffe has the responsibility of either defending against western Navies/Naval builds out of UK, or advancing on the Eastern front. They will probably have to choose which of these is the top priority in any given game round. Its sometimes possible to split the difference in Europe (with a few air in the West and some in the East to cover both areas) but it is harder to gain an overwhelming advantage in either region when you land your air that way. Additional purchased fighters, and especially additional bombers, can really help to cover both areas and rapidly transition between West/East, but for the most part, at the beginning of play, German air tends to concentrate in one region or the other during any particular round.

    Fortunately in this case, the Soviets elected to let the 6th German BF109 escape! But even if it died, Germany still has several fighters and the bomber that can be used for stack defense on the Eastern front on G1. It all depends how many hits you are willing to risk in your battles with the Royal Navy, but often times holding Belo into G2/G3 is reason enough to send some fighters east.

    This means 1 round out of commission vs the Atlantic for any fighters you land in Belo, but if you are willing to buy a few tanks, what you can do is transfer out fighters for tanks from Germany, maintaining you defensive advantage, but allowing your fighters to “attack out” of Belo the following round, and land in France or Northwestern on G2 to cover the UK.

    How much risk you are willing to take in sz 7 and sz 14 on G1? Lets set the tanks aside for a moment and make a quick detour back into the air. If the Russian’s put their sub in sz 7 (as they should) Germany still has very strong odds on this fight, provided they bring the cruiser.

    Germany vs. the British battleship and Russian sub in sz 7.

    2 subs and 1 cruiser = over 50% odds to the attacker, with 1 unit remaining.
    2 subs and 1 cruiser + 1 fighter = over 90% to the attacker with 2 units remaining.
    2 subs and 1 cruiser + 1 bomber = over 95% to the attacker with 2 units remaining.
    2 subs and 1 cruiser + 2 fighters = 99% with 3 units remaining.
    2 subs and 1 cruiser + 1 fighter and 1 bomber = 100% again with about 3 units surviving on average.
    2 subs and 1 cruiser + 1 fighter and 1 bomber = 100% with 4 (just shy of 5) units surviving on average.

    If you choose not to bring the cruiser, then the amount of air you bring can be more significant, but there is still a diminishing return in sz 7 after a certain point.

    2 subs + 1 fighter = over 65% with 1 unit remaining
    2 subs + 1 bomber = over 80% with 1 unit remaining
    2 subs + 2 fighters = over 95% with 2 units remaining
    2 subs + 1 fighter and 1 bomber = 98% with 2 units remaining
    2 subs + 2 fighter and 1 bomber = 100% with 3 (just shy of 4) units remaining.

    This is just to point out that if you already plan on bringing the cruiser, then bringing a ton of air into this fight could easily be overkill. Even if you decide not to bring the cruiser, you really don’t need all that much air to get the job done, and the difference in surviving units is usually just one more surviving sub on average. The survival of Atlantic uboats might not be super critical to your Warplan, in which case you could pull air off this attack to go east instead.

    The situation in sz 14 is very similar. If you’re willing to bring the Battleship its virtually a shoe-in.

    1 Battleship vs 1 cruiser = over 85% odds to the attacker with 1 unit remaining on average.
    Any fighters you bring with the Battleship is just hedging your bets on the first round combat, or shoring up that 15% chance that the battleship goes down. For example, 1 battleship and 1 fighter vs 1 cruiser = above 90% odds. Even if you don’t bring the battleship, 2 fighters or 1 fighter and 1 bomber = above 90% odds. So again, Germany has more starting aircraft than you really need to clear the UK ships on G1, which means the rest could be used in support of a tank drive on the Eastern Front.

    Tanks from Germany can reach Ukraine, Karelia, or Belo in one move.
    Even a single extra hitpoint on attack or defense (when combined with the Luftwaffe) can be all the difference between the Soviets advancing or staying at home. With an infantry stack in Belo, you can hold the line and still put fodder on the critical territories of Karelia/Ukraine/W.Russia. If you have to pull back from Belo at some point (in order to hold Karelia or Ukraine say), you can still deadzone Belo with fodder from Poland or Baltic and just trade it with light forces, as long as you have tanks coming up from the rear. If you hold to the hard and fast rule of at least 8 or more total hitpoints, there is still a lot of build variety you can achieve, in the balance between total hitpoints (hp), total attack power (ap), and total mobility (i.e. attack power to the front).

    Some Tank builds that can be fun in these situations might be…

    5 tanks, 2 artillery, 1 infantry. (8 hitpoints, 21 attack power: +15 attack power vs front line)
    4 tanks, 2 artillery, 3 infantry. (9 hp, 21 ap: +12 attack vs front line)
    3 tanks, 2 artillery, 5 infantry. (10 hp, 20 ap: +9 attack vs front line)
    2 tanks, 2 artillery, 7 infantry. (11 hp, 19 ap: +6 attack vs front line)
    1 tank, 2 artillery, 9 infantry. (12 hp, 18 ap: +3 attack vs front line)

    For an Tank build with a Destroyer block purchase I dig…
    1 tank, 9 infantry, 1 destroyer (10 hp, 12 ap: 3 attack vs front line)
    2 tanks, 7 infantry, 1 destroyer (9 hp, 14 ap: 6 attack vs front line)
    3 tanks, 5 infantry, 1 destroyer (8 hp, 14 ap: 9 attack vs front line)

    Going lower than this on infantry doesn’t really give you enough total hitpoints to advance in the East, since the destroyer doesn’t count towards your ground hitpoints or projected attack power against the Soviets.

    Tank builds (which focus on a German mobility edge) can also work fairly well when supported by an overall air expansion. Again the trade off here will be total hitpoints and total attack power vs attack power mobility immediately to the front line during the following round.

    Some Tank + Air builds I like are…
    3 tanks, 1 fighter, 1 artillery, 3 infantry. (8 hp, 18 ap: + 12 attack vs front line)
    2 tanks, 1 bomber, 2 artillery, 3 infantry. (8 hp, 19 ap: + 10 attack vs front line)
    2 tanks, 1 fighter, 1 artillery, 5 infantry. (8 hp, 18 ap: + 6 attack vs front line)
    1 tank, 1 bomber, 2 artillery, 5 infantry. (9 hp, 18 ap: + 7 attack vs front line)
    1 tank, 1 fighter, 1 artillery, 7 infantry. (10 hp, 16 ap: + 6 attack vs front line.)

    The key to any of these tank builds is in the ability to “rush defense” to your main forward ground stack, then conserve the tanks for counter attack positioning in order to deadzone Karelia or Ukraine until you are able take and hold those territories.

    Usually a tank rush to the East involves cycling your tanks into your forward stack location, basically trading out G1 defensive fighters for G2 defensive tanks.  Later on, you can cycle these same tanks back out again (to defend the West), in exchange for Japanese defense power… But basically the idea is to move forward early, and then hold the line with armor, while you bounce your luftwaffe back towards the west to defend against amphibious build ups by the Western Allies. Depending on the size of your airforce and the size of your tank wall, you can do this cycling move for several rounds without really giving up too much flexibility in either theater East/West.

    The moment of truth with your tanks, comes in about round 6, 7 or 8, when Germany often has to decide whether it’s more advantageous to push forward and break Russia early, or just hold the line and defend the West until Japan arrives at the center.

    If you want to push forward early, this usually requires a multi-round set up, where you buy more total hitpoints than Russia can purchase/receive in a given stretch, and then rush the armor forward with the entire Luftwaffe and all ground in the region, to break the main Russian stack or force it to retreat to Moscow.

    Typically the German tank drive will focus on Baltic States or Belo on G1, then move to a focus on Karelia. Once Karelia is locked down, the Germans can push infantry stacks with a couple tanks a round until they can stack either Ukraine, or optimally W. Russia itself, in order to force a full Soviet withdrawal from Caucasus. This usually when that moment of truth arrives, and the German’s must choose whether they want to lead the assault on Moscow, or simply beat the Russians into submission and provide coverage for Japan they look instead to the long term defense of Europe. To get something like this up and running, its nice to have armor column stacked tall with a dozen or more tanks, to ensure you have enough flexibility to go “either way” when this fork in the road invariably arrives.

    In the Russian opener below, you can see how under Ukraine strafe conditions, a few German tanks puchased on G1 can really help prevent the Russians from moving forward in the second round.

    German air attack options on the Eastern Front:
    Before we conclude here for the day just take one more look at the Soviet numbers in W. Russia. I chose that number of Ruskie defenders in these sample games for a reason…
    6 infantry, 2 artillery, 1 tank, and either 1 or 2 aaguns.
    The first image attached below shows 2 aaguns and is still a pretty close call (at 11 total hitpoints).
    The second image is meant to show the clear danger of putting only 1 aagun in W. Russia (10 total hitpoints), even when the Ukraine strafe works more or less as intended!

    With this number of total hitpoints for the Soviet defender, there is the potential for a dicey G1 Airblitz!!!

    This is where you use the entire Luftwaffe and all available tanks, for an audacious attack opener - to put the whole game up for grabs in the opening round! In these examples, if Germany has 3 infantry, 3 tanks, just 5 fighters, and 1 bomber in range of W. Russia, they can basically wipe out the entire Soviet stack at above 80% odds and only lose a fighter or two, and perhaps not losing any fighters at all. If the Russians bring only 1 aa gun instead of 2, the odds for G jump to above 90%, and they still come out of it most of the Luftwaffe still intact!

    A 6th fighter surviving in Ukraine can ice this Airblitz play and really make things unpleasant for the enemy. Taking it to above 90% with an average of 5 (just shy of 6) attacking units remaining. If a tank survived in Ukraine, the ability to airblitz W. Russia is even more potent! This can be a huge set-back for the Allies, and very difficult to recover from, as its much harder for Russia to replace lost hitpoints than it is for Germany. This is one of the reasons why many Russian players will not take any unnecessary risks in the initial W. Russia battle, (and also why they often want an extra bid unit somewhere near W. Russia hehe). Without a bid unit somewhere on the eastern front, the Ukraine strafe can easily backfire on the Allies!

    Now imagine how much uglier the situation might be for Allies, if the Russians did even worse in their initial battles and took even more hits? Less than 10 hitpoints and they are pretty much smoked. Just something to keep in mind, since the airblitz on W. Russia can be used to train your opponent to really fear the G1 Luftwaffe (even if only used like this on occasion). It’s worth considering especially if the Russian player purchases no armor in the first round. If you do go for the W. Russia airblitz, you should stack Belo with the remaining tanks from Germany to cover it as a landing spot, and push hard on Karelia too, so Russia cannot recover it in the second round. In the same way that I would always suggest always smashing Karelia on G1, if the Soviet player is foolish enough to stack it in the opening round, I’d also suggest smashing W. Russia on G1 if the Soviet player can’t see the wisdom of stacking it with enough units to deter the Airblitz. You gotta teach 'em to fear your Messerschmitts! 😄

    More often though, and more conservatively, if Allies go for a Ukraine strafe, then G has the option just stack Belo on defense and go from there. In either case, if time and early pressure is a factor, armor could work to your advantage as G. Of course, an even safer approach might be to just buy a ton of artillery at the outset, and give yourself some more time (and more income), before you start making tank purchases. But if you don’t have the time or the patience to wait it out, early tank buys can still be a lot of fun as an alternative to the infantry slog. It usually just means that your critical combats will come sooner rather than later in the game, so better hope they go well! 😉

    Next time we can look at possible German responses to Allied openings that are more predictable (and, in my view, potentially stronger for that reason) than the Ukraine strafe opening. We’ll also consider how Allied bids will jack up all these opening calculations, and how to manage some of the more common Allied bids on G1. Take care all, catch you next round.


    brutal ukraine strafe.jpg
    average ukraine strafe.jpg

  • If Russia moves  into Ukr. with a bait force which is like some inf maybe an artillery or tank on R2. But on G1 you moved Romania/Bulgaria forces into Poland to go stack in Bello and on G2 do you hit and run the bait, or pull forces to Romania/Bulgaria so they don’t out flank you or something else? What do you use to take out the DD in the Med and the BB attacking the CV isn’t the RAF destroy the BB even though you should do that attack. But still your advise on Germany is great. 😄

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    Not entirely sure I follow the second Q, but I think I know what you mean with the first. Are you talking about the movement exploit that retreating allows, when attacking from 2 or more territories into a single territory? For example, hit Ukraine from Belo and Bulgaria in the same turn, and then retreat to jump the Bulgarian infantry a space farther than would otherwise be allowed?

    It’s a gamey play, but legal according to the rules. I’ve seen it used before. In general though I think G is better off taking the territory and holding it with blockers rather than jumping forward. Sucks to leave Russian units alive that could attack forward.

    As for the British DD in sz 17, it is debatable whether this is worth attacking or if it might be simpler to just let it escape. If you want to hit it, your only real option (that doesn’t put the battleship at risk, and doesn’t require a carrier buy) is to send the bomber against it. I have done this on occassion with success, and sometimes with distaste rousing consequences, so I’d have trouble recommending it as standard. I tend to prefer a dd block if you want to keep the med active, or else just run the risk and let UK try to hit you. After all they can still dud, and then they’re the one out of position rather than G 😉

  • Okay, let me sum it up. You said in your post that it is good to stack in Bello, so I was trying to say if Russia moves a puny bait force into Ukr. on R2 so they could try to destroy your force that was trying to take Ukr. back and forget about the silly Romania/Bulgaria out flanking move. I was wondering if you would take the bait or let them keep it?

    I also was not talking about attacking 1 territory from 2.

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    Ah well in that case, I think it’d be hard to say categorically. I’m honest enough with myself to know that I’m one of those players who tends to play it by ear. Usually I’d say that Russian cannot afford to bait, so its probably a good idea to just destroy them, but it depends how much counter attack power the soviets can bring into it. Would probably have to see snap or a savegame to know for sure.

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    North or South?

    This might help a bit to answer the question that Frederick posed on the previous page. The short answer is, I think its very hard to stack Belo on G1, against a seasoned Russian vet. This is because 1942.2 is rather different than the Revised map or Spring 1942, where the importance of Ukraine on R1 was undeniable very hard to ignore.

    In 1942.2 I wanted to start us off with that discussion of how to manage the Ukraine opener by Russia, first because its very familiar to players of the previous boards, so it’s one you are likely to see, especially when people first dive in to the new map, but that doesn’t mean I think its the strongest play the Russians can make.

    In previous games, Moscow stood between Germany and Japan at the top of the board, which meant the only area of convergence for Axis was in the South, but in 1942.2 there is an option to converge in the North. I believe this is the stronger direction for Germany to go at the outset and probably long term, due to the way Archangel and China have been redesigned, and also due to the new production spread across the center. The starting factory in Karelia makes the North an attractive convergence area, whereas the the starting Factory in India can make the south a rather less attractive one.

    German naval strength, and their Air and Armor advantage, makes stacking the North a bit simpler than stacking the South. The threat from an early UK landing up north is diminished, while the threat of UK involvement in the south is increased (on account of India.) This means that, once you’re clearly established in Karelia, its easier to lock down the middle and the south, than it is to lock the middle/south before you have control of Karelia. If you cede control of the North to win the South, (by allowing UK to build a fleet for example, and then letting them back you off Leningrad via Scandinavia or sz 5 drops, this can really start to undermine your strength at the center, and can jack up your pressure on Moscow. Karelia is easy to reinforce, but also flexible to pull out of and then deadzone from an adjacent space if needed, while still keeping your forces near the critical territory of Berlin. Caucasus on the other hand, is farther afield. It’s 2 moves from Berlin with your Armor, rather than just 1, and this can make your logistics tough in the long run.

    Ukraine is generally seen as the gateway to Caucasus, meaning if you’re stacking this space, it should usually be with an aim to break the center, but the cost of tanks, the distance, the design of the med, the India factory, and other things all conspire to make Ukraine somewhat less powerful at the outset, at least from the perspective of the overall German game.

    So this brings us back to the question of where the Russians attacked initially, and how to deal with that as Germany under normal circumstances? ie, how should you play it if Russia just goes all in on W. Russia, or if they attack Belo or Baltic states rather than Ukraine? Also, if the Russians are awarded a bid, and they use extra units to make their opening battles more potent, how do you deal with those extra Ruskies on the gamemap?

    Here again its worth remembering that Germany is not alone. While they remain the lead player on the Axis team, this doesn’t mean they need to do 100% of the heavy lifting right at the outset. They have a little time to set things up and more often, its better to bide your time and wait for G2 or G3, when Japan will be in a better position to support your stacks, before you really start your advance against the Russians.

    Even a couple Japanese aircraft, or a single successful SBR against Moscow, can be enough to secure your forward movement, whereas if you go it alone before Japan can assist, the Russians will often have a counter.

    Not to turn this German opening guide into a Japanese opening guide, but just to point out that Japanese bombers can reach from Tokyo to Karelia in one move. A Japanese bomber based in Kwangtung can SBR Moscow and then land in Karelia. Fighters in Kwangtung can reach Ukraine in one move, but fighters based in Szechwan can reach all the way to Karelia or Belo!

    This means that your options for a G2 push with Japanese air support are better than a G1 push solo, and your options for a G3 push with Japanese support are even better still.

    So it’s worth considering, how many units do you really want to put at risk on the eastern front at the beginning? And is it worth launching forward on G1 to trade units and play the income game, if you can’t actually hold the territories against an all out Soviet counter attack? Those are rhetorical questions, the ready answer should be, only if you can destroy enough Russian TUV to really put a dent in the Soviet’s power projection (ie. to pick off heavy hitting units) otherwise you’re better off waiting until your German stack is unassailable!

    It’s much easier to reinforce the North via Baltic States, and then move south from their on a slower but steadier push through Belo from there, once you have the extra production captured. It’s also a lot easier to cover Scandinavia and the sea zones around UK, without putting your aircraft out of position, if you choose a northern focus. If the German player recognizes this, it stands to reason the Allied player might recognize the same and adapt their opening to compensate.

    Often that means a stronger Allied focus on Archangel (as an air landing spot) and as a way to threaten Karelia. Sometimes the Russians can even bounce out of W. Russia for one round, provided they have enough units in Archangel, Caucasus, and Moscow, to deadzone it. Frequently this will happen around G3, where the Russians pull out for 1 round to cover Arch, and let UK reclaim the territory for them, with US air to cover. So what does all that have to do with the German opening?

    Well basically it means, that you can’t really count on controlling Belo at the outset as a fighter landing zone, and if you can’t land fighters there, this means it could be dangerous to stack. On the other hand, you might have some luck holding onto your 6th fighter, and Baltic States (even if it is captured on R1) can easily be reinforced. I’d suggest that this is your ideal route to push. Even if you lose Ukraine on R2, and even if for some reason you cannot manage to reclaim it on G2, this can still work to Germany’s advantage, provided your are pushing north consistently. The Luftwaffe is potent, especially when massed together, and even a single round’s purchase of a couple tanks in Berlin or Karelia, can give G the option to smash south rapidly, without giving up their position in the North.

    I don’t have a whole lot of time today, but just wanted to dive in here for a minute to talk up the Northern route, because its a much stronger proposition in 1942.2 than it was in other games. Not only does Germany have an easier time setting up in this region, but Japan also has some cool options in 1942.2 that it didn’t have in previous games. Evenki can be especially significant (at the connection point to Singkiang) not just as a way to bleed the Russian purse, but as a staging ground that forces the Allies to sweat Archangel can openers. Often it makes sense for the Axis to press this northern advantage early as a way of drawing Allied forces off the south, only to rapidly redirect south at the last minute for a final push on the center.

    This works for the British as well as the Russians. If for example, you are forcing the Allies to send British Air and ground forces northwards to protect the Russians, it becomes easier to swing south and take India or Suez on Amphibious.
    This North/South tension, is novel and a new thing compared to earlier boards, so just wanted to mention it here again, and to say I think its easier to start North and then shift South, rather than doing things the other way round. 😉

    So instead of thinking about a “worst case” Ukraine strafe. It might be more fruitful to examine a Russian opening more like this one. This sort of Triple Hit opening, is rather hard for Russia to pull off OOB, but it is possible, and even more likely, if they were awarded an extra infantry unit or two. Its possible to reconfigure this sort of opening to have even more power in W. Russia, or to make a purchase that projects even more power on R2. Even a small bid in this area can change a lot of things.

    You can see that under these conditions, stacking Belo or Karelia on G1 is not very feasible. The Russian fighters in Archangel, mean that any naval expansion for Sea Lion is totally out of the question (since those fighters shut it down, 4 moves from London.) Caucasus is open for the income, but essentially impossible to hold through G2.

    In this sort of situation, it would be advisable to hold your forces in reserve, trade light in the South, and keep your eye on the prize. Setting up to stack North in the following rounds. Note it may be possible, given a decent bid (with artillery say) for Russia to actually do a triple hit with Baltic States + Ukraine, instead of Belo, in which case the southern attack route becomes even more dangerous for G. And of course, there are ways to set up similar Russian openings that just stack huge in W. Russia, making it even harder to go forward on G1. Just something to keep in mind before you charge ahead with reckless abandon, whether you can actually gain enough in strategic position for the risk, to make the move worth it, or if the move might just result in a R2 reset of the whole front haha.

    triple hit.jpg
    triple hit.jpg_thumb

  • How about a G1 build such as:

    1 Destroyer (to help protect the BB as you outlined).
    1 Fighter (to compensate for any loss from R1 and to maintain/build a strong air force).
    1 Tank (to compensate (or help compensate) for any loss from R1.
    1 Artillery (for future infantry assists)
    4 Infantry
    1 IPC left over.

    This is a balance build that allows some flexibility in preserving your navy, building for a massive air force, adding tanks which are needed and still giving 5 fodder units for defense.

    If you feel that you need more infantry/artillery then forego the destroyer perhaps.

    Continue to build (at least) one fighter or bomber per turn.  Possibly alternate between them so G2 you build a bomber (or if funds permit, one of each).  Continually add your fodder units as much as possible of course and try to squeeze out at least one tank up until your in a position to start cranking them out.

    As an alternative, if we forego the destroyer option in the Med (take our chances), we could perhaps begin popping out one AA every turn and getting them into position for that ‘Fortress Europe’ intimidation factor.  Give the Allies pause when they see a LOT of planes and AA guns.

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    I like it  😄

    One of the nice things about playing Germany, is that you can always revert to the mass infantry spam, if you catch an unlucky break somewhere, and are forced to scale back your initial ambitions. Often times A&A can turn into a waiting game, where you just have to stick it out, and play through an ugly round or two. If you can claw your way through the dark times, often the dice will turn on the enemy before too long and you’ll have a chance to strike again. 😉

    Some people think that Germany has enough Air and Armor to play the Inf/Artillery spam from the outset, and I wouldn’t balk at it since the spam can be potent, but there’s also a lot to be said about buying a nice mixed force at the outset. The Mixed build suggested above meets the sort of basic minimum I like to hold to, of buying at least as many hitpoints as Russia can on G1, while still providing that extra power projection. Basically you can’t go wrong with another BF109 or another Tank on the blitz!

    The DD might seem like a toss up, since 8 ipcs is rather pricey when compared to 2 artillery on the land, but if you can stall the Allies for another round, or force them to make some riskier air trades to secure the med, you can make that money back without too much effort. Seems like a well rounded build, that would probably keep most Allied players on their toes. On G2 a bomber expansion can be a lot of fun, since it does double duty vs UK and Russia. A bomber only costs 12, which usually leaves you with a lot left over to make a sizable investment on the ground. Saving an IPC can be a fun way to give you some interesting G2 builds, with that little extra flexibility provided by saving something in the bank.

    I think it’d be a fun opener to play out.

  • If we’ve taken care of the bulk of the American and British navy in the Atlantic it becomes as lot easier to start with the balanced buy.  We don’t have to worry about G.B. getting too adventuresome and what we have on the western side of Europe should be sufficient for the first round or so.  Time to get the air force and navy to where we need it while still providing for the needed push while still allowing for a bit of fortification.  I think in the long run, particularly into the later rounds you’ll be glad you adopted a strong air build.  Nothing quite as satisfying (to me) than to have a massive air force.  It’s intimidating and offers the most flexibility.

    Of course if the dice go against you then it’s all a moot point  😉

    Might not be a bad idea to pop out the occasional sub as well if the funds permit.  If America/G.B. want to start a ferry service to Africa they’ll have to build more than just a transport network.  Which means less funds for other pursuits.  One sub on Germany’s part may force them to build at least a destroyer or two for escort duties.  So the price of the destroyer(s) plus transports compared to just your sub(s) can get pricey on their part.  Along with your BB and destroyer (if you still have them) it may serve to really help ward off a strong African defense/liberation attempt.  May force G.B. to go ahead and commit to a S. Africa IC and/or help from India (which helps Japan which in turn will help Germany down the line).

    Just some further thoughts.

  • SEP, good idea on the purchase for G1 even it’s a bit low on hit points. Buying a bomber can really help by trying to take out a BB built by the british or americans or a aircraft carrier with a fighter on it with the help of fighters.

    Black_Elk, if you go North and stack in Karelia wouldn’t the russians attack with their own stack in WRussia?

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    I picked up from wittman a G1 carrier + 2 fighters build off Italy. Seems perfect to me for supporting an early Africa focus if your aim is to merely pressure R and keep the UK out of W. Europe until you have all those lovely African ipcs to deploy.

    I like the Africa focus because it’s so hard for the allies to resist if G does not allow its forces to be distracted elsewhere.

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    I think if you’re going to go carrier then the med is definitely best. I like the flexibility it gives you to hit sz17 with a fighter on G1. A single carrier for 14 ipcs isn’t too much of an investment. 34 ipcs for a fully loaded carrier can be a bit pricey, as this leaves only enough for a single infantry and single artillery unit, but it can work. Under such conditions UK would be hard pressed to deal with you in the Med, but this also allows Russia to play much more aggressively on the Eastern Front, which would be a trade off to consider. The challenge with a carrier build is always in reinforcing that naval purchase in subsequent rounds, once the transport leaves sz 15. Sometimes a sub or two can help to prevent getting squeezed out too soon by Allied Africa drops, but subs don’t do you much good against aircraft. Destroyers are hard to buy in later rounds, once you move off the coastal production center, since they are easier to pick off from the Air. Usually its really up to Japan to keep any German naval expansion going over the long haul, so I’d make canal control from the Indian Ocean side a top priority. Other alternatives on a G1 build might be 24 ipcs for the Carrier with 1 fighter (leaving a landing spot open for the sz17 fighter should it survive) or 32 ipcs for the Carrier with 1 fighter + 1 destroyer (leaving you with 9 left for 3 infantry units, to at least have some kind of push against the East for G2.) Just some ideas. Germany can afford to do a lot of different things on G1, provided your follow up build on G2 doesn’t neglect the ground game against Russia overmuch.

    To Frederick’s Q, stacking Karelia on G1 is rarely possible, unless the soviets just got rocked in the W. Russia battle. More likely the northward stacking occurs on G2 and G3, with Karelia just being traded back and forth until the Germans are ready to move in for good.  But it matters early on, especially in your decision about how many units to send from Germany into Batlic States vs Poland.

    On G1 if you don’t put enough resources into Poland this can leave the South vulnerable to Russian attacks in the second round, on the flip side if you don’t put enough resources into Baltic States, this limits how early/effectively you can stack the North. The transport in sz 5 can play into this decision as well, whether you choose to bring units over to Baltic States from Scandinavia or N.W. Europe or both. My personal preference is to pull 1 inf from NorthWestern and 1 from Norway, and leave the other Norway dude to consolidate in Finland for added G2 stackability into Karelia.

    Sometimes you can get away with stacking Karelia in the first round, in which case it may be advisable to bring the Tank over from NorthWestern to get you the extra defense power. But again I’d only do this if the Russians fought terribly in their opening attacks, and failed to buy any armor.

    The early Air expansion concept with Mixed Air buys can be a lot of fun, since it can also translate into a Naval expansion if those newly purchased fighters suddenly land on a pair of newly dropped carrier decks! And of course Bombers in combination with subs, to give you that extra perimeter coverage, around all those sea zones where you don’t really want to move your core fleet with the carrier decks “just yet.” This is the “Sub Screen” where you try to keep your subs 1 space out from the main fleet, guard against destroyer blocks or bait the enemy. The carrier based fighters and bombers can work with the subs to deadzone key sz to prevent the enemy from getting too close with a strike fleet of your own. This can be really helpful against US convergence zones, as they can be hit before UKs turn, provided you have subs at the ready.

    Another concept we haven’t discussed all that much yet, but which can occassionally be relevant on G1, is the concept of the saving IPCs over multiple rounds for a more expanded purchase on G2. The idea is basically not to commit yourself to an expansion on G1, but leave the option open on G2.

    This sort of play can sometimes be helpful during the endgame as well, or at any point in the game really, if Germany manages to secure a naval option for themselves. Here you save to purchase a larger single-group of transports at one time, as opposed to splitting them over several rounds. The principle is that, because transports are defenseless, you don’t really want them sitting around and presenting targets to the enemy, until the point when they are actually going to be used for some kind of large scale amphibious invasion.

    A principles can apply with carriers. It might sometimes be better to drop 2 or 3 carriers in a single round, for your core fleet, instead of building it up piecemeal, one carrier at a time. This kind of move can often catch the enemy off guard, as they might have enough air at the ready to face down 1 fully loaded carrier, but not 2 or 3 loaded carriers at a single time! This is when mass Air and early fighter expansions really come in handy, since you don’t need to pay for the fighters to fill the decks, you only need money (and production slots at the coastal factory) for the carrier decks themselves.

    In general, and especially for Germany, its better to field units as quickly as possible, and translate your ipcs into attack power rather than saving them, but sometimes it can be useful strategically to save for 1 round. If you want to psych out the opponent say, you can save a large portion of ipcs in a single round, to facilitate a deadlier potential drop. This tactic I call “the Transport Scare” where sometimes all you really want to is to threaten “the possibility” of a mass Naval expansion. If the transport or naval drop doesn’t pan out, the Western Allies call your bluff and move to counter, you can always just use the money you saved to buy a huge tank Wall instead! Or marauding gang of bombers!

  • Generally, I like to keep it dead simple with Germany on this board. Basically, buy a huge stack of infantry and artillery the first round, buy another huge stack the second round, then tanks, then fighters, then bombers. This build order means everything can catch up to slam together, and round 5-7 you have Russia crushed, provided Japan has been doing their job and rapidly bankrupting them in the East, and has lit a fire underneath by capturing India ASAP. Keep the air power in NW Europe and you’ll keep Allied shipping off Britain long enough to get your army out East.

    I also have been messing with building all the bombers the first round. Flatten Russia’s economy continuously, keep them in Baltic states and you won’t have to worry about the Western Allies even longer, otherwise it’s the same deal.

    Once you’ve built everything you need for the Eastern campaign, it’s just mass infantry and a few guns to hold Berlin and trade for Europe.

    You do your best to be obnoxious early on with your fleets, but Africa, the Middle East, even Norway… it doesn’t matter, all that seems to matter is crushing Russia fast enough that you can spend your booty on a defensive wall in Germany. You’re trying to get the British to waste resources defending themselves on the peripheral fronts, not dump more cash in yourself.

    As far as openings proper, I just figure out how to annihilate the Royal Navy with optimum efficiency, and I really like the 5-5-5 opening where you stack infantry all along the Eastern front so that Russia can’t trade without losing most of their army, shouldn’t matter to you, Herr Hitler, you’re building a whole new one yourself–faster than they can.

    If you keep the pressure on like this you basically dictate the whole flow of the game, and the allies have hardly any room for any funny stuff–they’re gonna need a flock of fighters and flawless logistics to have a prayer.

  • 2022 2021 '19 '15 '14

    Top tier advice coming at you there!
    Veal’s attack plan shows a good grasp of how to go for the jugular on Russia. 😄

    In hurry up mode, where your buys seek first to max HP defense power, then max attack power, then max mobility, in that order.

    The inf/art push at the outset allows for an earlier potential hit on Russia. With more fodder cushion for your stacks, you’ll have a chance to break through the Moscow wall and be the Hammer (rather the Anvil, to Japan’s Hammer). Or if you get backed down, at least you’ll have more total ground in Eurasia to manage whatever defense the Western Allies force you to take up.

    Good call V!

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    I only buy the Carrier. The German fleet stays put (drops Tk/Inf in Africa)The 2 Fts landed on in after combat. The other 27 is always 3 Art and 5 Inf (2 for Italy).

Suggested Topics

  • 23
  • 32
  • 11
  • 8
  • 150
  • 5
  • 13
  • 16
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys