G1 Purchase Question

  • I usually go with an aircraft carrier, 2 transports or carrier, destroyer, sub on my first buy, but after looking at the board today a little I started wondering if anyone has purchased an airbase with their first turn. Let me explain: turn 1 your goal is to take out the Royal Navy, and the best way to clear SZ 110 is to send 2 subs, the battleship and a mess of planes to prevent scrambling. Usually after combat, you’re left with a damaged battleship and a sub if you get really lucky. So on UK1, you know that battleship is bye bye and you move on with your day. What if you were to buy an airbase for Holland and land 3 fighters their to protect the battleship? It will at least make the UK think twice about whether or not to sink it. And if they do go in there, you scramble and they lose in theory, all their air force. Not saying this a smart purchase by any means, just wanted to know if anyone else has tried it. I didn’t feel like reading through hundreds of pages for that answer. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks guys.

  • 2019 2017

    You are essentially paying 15 IPCs to either save a German BB or to make UK skip killing 97. I’ve thought about doing it, but it’s not worth the use of German money in my opinion, and as UK I would ignore the protected BB in favor of 97.

  • 2020 2019 2018 '16 '15

    some other benefits to consider, though. makes positioning a strong german fleet in 110 more feasible. also for those times when germany needs to block for a turn with a dd, makes it much harder for the allies to sink it.

  • I tried this exact thing the last time I played Germany, (Air Base on Holland/Belgium + 3 fighters) and it did indeed save my Battleship as the UK did not try to finish it, and the airbase in Holland/Belgium was somewhat useful in preventing a British fleet from forming in the UK for the first 4 turns, but in the end I would say it was not worth it for two reasons:

    1. The biggest advantage of the airbase in Holland/Belgium is protection of a German fleet in SZ110. However, a German fleet in SZ110 has limited utility, unless it is a sizeable fleet that is attempting landings of the UK each turn, or maybe being used to free the Mediterranean the Italians prior to turn 4. There are no convoys on SZ110, so no money can be taken from the Brits there. Additionally, the +1 movement for German fighters and tac bombers is not really useful tactically from Holland/Belgium.

    2. Moving warships into, or attacking into, the more strategic SZ109 or SZ119 (both of which have convoys) leaves you unprotected by your airbase in Holland/Belgium, so the Brits have a choice of scrambling to defend if the odds are ok, or waiting until your planes have non-com’d back to the mainland and attacking the German fleet afterword (which can be reached by any British sea units in SZ106). So really, the airbase in Holland/Belgium does nothing to help get into the pockets of the UK.

    Overall then, I found that although it was nice having a Battleship and a sub survive in SZ110 (total IPC value of 26) for the cost of only 15, as well as the additional tactical value of the airbase in Holland/Belgium to protect the German fleet in a good potential launch point into the Med, it was not worth it. The airbase ends up being purely defensive in nature (doesn’t allow fighters and tac bombers any additional useful range, e.g. to attacking into SZ119), and it does nothing to directly support the Germans in getting into the British pockets.

    That being said, if you were planning on going the heavy naval route with Germany (which I did not, I only bought 1x transport and 1x destroyer for Germany the entire game), it might be worth it. If you were going to go this route, I would also suggest taking Normandy on G1 so that you have the naval base to repair your Battleship on G2 and give you more options with your fleet.

  • I’m glad to hear someone else has gone ahead and tried this. I like to keep the German fleet afloat as long as possible to prevent landings and the UK from buying ships so maybe it would work. I’ll have to look at the board to try and figure out what I can send into Normandy to take that turn 1 as well like you suggested instead of sending the battleship to western for repairs on turn 2. I appreciate the help.

  • 2019 2018 2017

    As an alternative approach to keeping the German fleet alive, I like to attack SZ110 with planes and subs only, and send the battleship to SZ111 with the intent of retreating it into SZ112 after one round of combat. A typical setup is:

    2 subs to SZ106
    2 subs, 3 fighter, 3 tac, 1 bomber to SZ110
    1 sub, 1 battleship, 1 fighter, 1 tac, 1 bomber to SZ111

    Kill SZ106, kill SZ110, cause some damage in SZ111. Germany buys one sub (plus land units, I like artillery) and intends to end up with damaged battleship, new sub and cruiser in SZ112. The point is that whatever Britain still has in SZ111 will have a hard time evading destruction G2, because Scotland has no naval base - the only way to do that, would be to send any survivors to SZ104 while simultaneously blocking SZ110 with a fleet that can’t be cleared by Italy. But that would be costly.

  • Customizer

    Hey Herr KaLeun,
    I usually use that same tactic with almost the exact same disposition of units as you do. The main difference is I usually send 2 subs down to SZ 91 to try and take out the UK cruiser and help Italy a bit.
    In the SZ 111 battle, how do you allot UK hits? Here is what I usually do:
    A: This assumes Germany does NOT destroy all UK units in SZ 111 and Germany will be able to retreat after first combat round
    1 UK hit – damage the battleship
    2 UK hits – damage the battleship, sink the sub
    3 UK hits – damage and sink the battleship, sink the sub (MUST save those planes)
    4 UK hits (if Scotland fighter scrambles) – damage and sink battleship, sink the sub, kill the fighter
    B: This assumes Germany DOES destroy all UK units in SZ 111 so any naval units will not be able to retreat and will be stuck in SZ 111 after combat
    1 UK hit – damage the battleship
    2 UK hits – Option 1 - This one is tricky. You could damage the battleship and sink the sub which would leave Germany with a damaged battleship in SZ 111. While you are sure to lose the battleship, this could be a good thing, especially for Italy. Being such a tempting target, it could divert enough UK air power away so the Taranto raid has much slimmer chance of success or maybe doesn’t even happen at all.
    2 UK hits – Option 2 - This may seem weird, but damage and sink the battleship, leaving Germany with a U-Boat in SZ 111. The idea is that the U-Boat may be a small enough target that the UK won’t want to bother with it and you can use it later for convoying, sinking other UK ships, etc. Of course, if UK does decide to go after it, that will still be diverting resources (DD and probably at least 1 fighter) from other areas.
    3 UK hits – damage and sink the battleship, sink the sub
    4 UK hits (if Scotland fighter scrambles) – damage and sink the battleship, sink the sub, kill the fighter

    So does that sound about right for you? In most of our games, UK does not scramble the Scotland fighter so only has a chance of getting 3 hits during the first round of combat. On the average I would say they usually get 2.
    Also, Germany has a chance at 5 hits but on the average they usually get 3, which is perfect if you are planning to retreat the battleship.

  • 2019 2018 2017

    Hi KNP,

    Thanks for your analysis.

    My idea is, to present the UK with an opportunity to kill the German battleship  by using forces that would otherwise have been deployed against Italy. And the threat is that if they don’t do that, they still have to take a G3 Sea Lion into account - not as necessary strategy for Germany, but as an option that the UK has to reckon with. The Sea Lion threat becomes stronger by killing the SZ106 transport which could otherwise have brought in two Canadian units.

    In scenario A, my main difference is that I’ll keep the damaged battleship over a plane, if I anticipate that the UK will need some of the forces meant for Italy to kill the battleship UK1. If luck was against me (Germany losing SZ110 and/or SZ106, or all the UK forces in SZ111 surviving), then I’ll keep the plane.
    But assuming an “average” outcome (Germany winning SZ110 and SZ106), I’d go for:
    1 UK hit – damage the battleship
    2 UK hits – damage the battleship, sink the sub
    3 UK hits – damage the battleship, sink the sub, kill the fighter
    4 UK hits – damage the battleship, sink the sub, kill the fighter, kill the tac

    Scenario B leads to a situation where the UK can use the SZ109 destroyer and the Scotland fighter to kill any German units that remain in SZ111. So in that case I’d indeed sink the battleship and keep the planes:
    1 UK hit – damage the battleship
    2 UK hits – damage the battleship, sink the sub
    3 UK hits – damage and sink the battleship, sink the sub
    4 UK hits – damage and sink the battleship, , sink the sub, kill the fighter
    So with 2 UK hits, I’d go for your Option 1. The reason is, quite simply, that it has a fair chance of killing another UK unit upon being attacked. Also, the UK will have to consider whether to send its SZ109 destroyer after that battleship or after any German subs that will likely have survived in SZ106.

    I agree, 3 German and 1-2 British hits would be average, and just about perfect for Germany. Now if the UK wants to kill the German fleet, they need to throw everything at it, including the SZ91 cruiser, and then Taranto won’t happen. But if they don’t kill it, then there may (or may not!) be a G2 naval buy, and the SZ106 sub(s) may also slip back east.

  • Excellent analyses Herr and knp!

    I too wouldn’t bother buying an AB for Holland GE1, as it is only serving to (possibly) save the BB that 1 turn and buying it will be completely useless if the UK gets bold and/or lucky, scrambled and destroyed the BB anyway. If Germany wants to keep the option of Barbarossa open, they cannot loose too much of their airforce in an effort to keep that BB alive.

    If you buy the AB you buy it in the hope the BB will survive but that is not a certainty. Hope is what you do for the best, but planning should be done for the worst, is my humble opinion ;-).

    If the opportunity presents itself, choosing to sink the BB or the sub is indeed a tricky one. If Germany has submarine(s) surviving in #106 and the UK only has one DD left in #109, it may be worth Germany’s while to choose to sink the BB, as that one UK DD cannot be in two places at the same time, as submarines can only be attacked with the help of destroyers. Therefore, especially if the UK decides not to go ‘Taranto’, sinking the submarine will subsequently see Germany loosing their BB and their sub(s), whereas sinking the BB will keep at least one of the wolfpacks alive…
    Note that this doesn’t work if Germany attacked and killed the Cruiser in #91, as this most likely means the UK will have 2 DD left (#109 and #106), enough to kill two separate wolfpacks.

    Anyway, if the goal is to maintain a German naval presence, I’d much rather buy 2DD or 1CV GE1 instead of that AB. Only 1 more IPC, but those units will remain usefull for much longer than that AB.

  • '15 '14

    My suggestion- sorry in advance if it sounds rude.
    Don’t waste time with analysis here.

    Germans need POWER. The most important goal is to kill Russia.
    Facilities cannot neither move nor attack. Germans need to ATTACK and not to defend after G1.

    Any buy of facilities G1 is a waste of valuable German money they need to achieve VC victory.


  • I haven’t purchased an AB for Holland on G1, but have bought one later in a game in an attempt to keep my German transport fleet alive after a successful Sea Lion (USA coming hard).

    I would agree with the others that if you use the German BB to attack the Royal navy G1, that the hit and run on sz111 is the better option in an attempt to keep the Bismark afloat (both economically and position wise). I would much rather use the 15 IPCs to add ship(s) to the German navy that hopefully made it back to sz112 (where you already have air cover), or ground units for the later push on Moscow.

  • Hmm, so if Germany does the move of attacking 111 with the battleship and retreating to 112, and then building a carrier, how should the Allies deal with that?

  • 2020 2019 2018 '16 '15

    hi tobias,

    while i won’t disagree with what you’re saying, as it’s very true that germany needs as much power going toward moscow as possible, posts and discussions like this aren’t necessarily about the most optimal strategy. what for me, and i’m sure many others, makes this latest and biggest version of axis & allies much more appealing than previous ones is the greater variety of strategies that one may try out. if the only assured way of winning was always a brute force barbarossa with tons of mechs, tanks, and artillery, then i think the game would become a bit boring after a while. if J1 DOW was always the best option and all other approaches significantly inferior, then again, the game would lose its replayability. i for one like to explore different and creative options, even if it means losing a game now and then (e.g., i LOVE to build a strong navy for germany, but i realize that it can lead to a much weaker submission of russia and potentially allowing them to break out of their siege and become unwieldy…i guess i have a weakness for that type of play). it’s good that one can attempt a sea lion, it’s good that one can fight to control gibraltar, or egypt, or mass out on bombers (aka “dark skies”), and heck, i even played against someone who went all out against america (with japan and germany threatening her from both sides)! that strategy ultimately failed, but let me tell you, as the allies i was sweating it so much trying to figure out how to thwart the attacks…it turned into a very interesting game like i had not experienced before or since!


    My suggestion- sorry in advance if it sounds rude.
    Don’t waste time with analysis here.

    Germans need POWER. The most important goal is to kill Russia.
    Facilities cannot neither move nor attack. Germans need to ATTACK and not to defend after G1.

    Any buy of facilities G1 is a waste of valuable German money they need to achieve VC victory.


  • Customizer

    Hey axis-dominion,
    When I first saw the idea for the Axis ganging up on the US first thing out of the gate and realized there was a chance it could win if done right, I decided to give it a try.
    It went HORRIBLY wrong. You should have seen it.
    First round Germany failed to take Paris although they did wipe out the Royal Navy. Italy did fairly well in the Med. They sank all Allied ships and kept a battleship and cruiser. However, Italy attacked Paris and failed. Japan didn’t do much but move it’s ships around to try and fake out the Allies as to their plans.
    Second Round Germany AGAIN failed to take Paris, although they did leave Paris with 0 defenders. Since they didn’t get the French treasury, they had a lot less to spend on transports and only got 6 more. Since UK used all it’s planes defending Paris round 1, they had no more to spare this round so Italy pretty much walked into Paris and got their treasury. Italy also took Gibraltar and had their warships ready at the gate. Japan moved all ships to SZ 6.
    Third Round Germany sent all navy they had to SZ 91 and landed 7 total transports worth of men and equipment in Morocco. After 2 failed attacks on France and this new adventure, Germany was very weak in Europe. The US got an idea of what Japan was up to so Japan had to kill a blocker in SZ 8 before hitting Alaska and Western Canada. Italy sent it’s warships out to SZ 89 to clear US blockers and land a couple of troops in Panama.
    Fourth Round Germany sails for America. German troops landed in Eastern US but only 7 transports worth. No air power could help because no planes could reach, even the ones on the carrier in SZ 91. There was US warships in SZ 101 so the German BB and CA could not bombard. The US had enough land forces and aircraft there that they beat back the German invasion. Japan landed in Alaska and Western Canada while their warships attacked the US fleet in SZ 10. It was a huge naval battle which Japan won with 2 damaged battleships. In SZ 1, Japan had 10 transports protected by 3 empty carriers (planes lost in SZ 10 battle). Italy didn’t do much.
    Meanwhile, the Soviet Union rolled across the border. Russians also took Manchuria and Korea because what Japanese forces there were deeper in China now. The UK, realizing there was no Sea lion, built several transports protected by fighter on the airbase, and now they made several landings in Norway, Denmark, Holland and Normandy.
    The US, now making wartime money with major factories, could easily pile the defense in Western US ready for the Japanese attack. They sent planes to SZ 1 to sink those empty carriers and all those transports. So, while the US lost it’s navy, so did Japan and the US still had it’s capital, a number of planes and good ground defense in the west.
    In the end, Germany fell fairly quickly. Italy was fairly strong but not compared to Russia and the UK so they held out a little longer. Japan held out for a while and tried to rebuild a navy but they weren’t making much money. They never got the DEI or even the Philippines and they were losing the war in China. The UK Pacific and ANZAC navies were actually keeping Japan down. Also, Japan tried attacking Western US, but that attack failed.

    I think this plan could work, but more things have to go right and it has to be a surprise and probably a one time victory. There are too many ways the US and other Allies can thwart this plan.

  • '15 '14

    Good post axis dominion!

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