Combined Air Offensive; Axis Style

  • Most of the posts I have read here indicate that the Allies have an advantage that has to be countered via bids (assume 2 high grade players), except in rare cases where the dice interfere.

    One of the most common versions of strategy involves Allied forces being landed in or adjacent to Karelia by naval forces that are built in Round 2 or 3.

    Germany can destroy all of UK’s initial navy, no problem.  So for Round 1, there will be no landings in Karelia.

    If UK builds fleet in round 1, backed up by US fighters, that fleet can also be sunk by remaining German air forces in G2.

    Or, if UK holds off and builds in UK2 instead, the new UK fleet plus US ships present in UK waters at the end of round 2 present a force that Germany can not totally obliterate in G3.  Thus Allied landings in Karelia begin in round 3.

    Germany may not be able to obliterate that fleet, but it can seriously damage it with up to 3 figs and a bomber; potentially costing enough tranny’s to elliminate or slow allied landings in UK and US 3.  Of course at this point, Germany has no air force, and the fleet is safe.

    Not quite…

    J1:  Japan air forces consolidate in Asia (probably in Vietnam)
    J2:  5 fighters and a bomber fly to German held Egypt (or another interim LZ).
    J3:  5 fighters and a bomber fly to Germany
    J4:  5 fighters and a bomber attack Allied navy

    That means that the Allies may get to land a few forces in Karelia in round 3 with whatever tranny’s Germany’s remaining air forces failed to kill in G3.  In UK4, UK gets one full landing in Karelia with surviving tranny’s from G3 plus builds from UK3.

    But in J4, that fleet is going to take another serious set of losses against what could be up to 5 fighters and a bomber (average 3 sunk the first wave).  Sure, the Japan AF is probably going to get toasted, but how many tranny’s will UK/US lose total?  How much will Allied landings be slowed?  Enough for Germany to counter with their heavy INF builds the past 4 rounds plus initial armor in support to crack and hold Karelia in G5?

    And depending on how Japan decided to play, that air force could be larger by another bomber for that J4 attack (now average 4 sunk the first round), and still have land forces pressing in Asia (albeit slower with lack of air power, probably only just now securing Yakut without risk of coutner-attack in J4).

    Caveat:  I have never tried this, since I have not had a lot of experience with the KGF strategies posted here.  I am simply looking for feedback on viability as a concept, or any real game experiences with attempts to utilize this or a similar strategy…

  • I guess it’s a possibility, but think of all you’d be giving up by keeping 5 fighters and a bomber in useless transit for the first three turns.

    No Pearl Harbour, for one. That means in addition to what the allies build in Europe and bring over, you’ll also be looking at an extra carrier, fighter and sub.

    Without those fighters and a bomber Japanese advances on the mainland will be slow. Mostly, I find, Japan does so well in Asia not because it’s particularly strong in land forces, but because of its large airforce, which can easily be shifted wherever it’s needed on that huge continent. Take it away like you are suggesting and Japan will be facing all those assorted infantry units on much more even footing. The result is that US, Britain, and worst of all USSR will get to keep a lot of production. This move may delay western reinforcements for Russia for a little bit, but Russia itself will have a lot more units to throw at you.

    That Germany lost all of its air force isn’t going to help them in taking Karelia either.

    So, I’ve never this strategy either, but something about it sounds wrong to me. It’s giving the Allies too much of a break with those Japanese air assets out of action.

  • Another interesting idea.

    I do not think it is going to work out though. Lets say the UK buys its carrier and 2 trans in round 2. The US places its fighters there and 3 trans in round 2 as well. In G3 germany hits it with 4 fighters and a bomber. The most likely result is that the allies retain 1 transport and their fleet. The next most likely is 2 transports, then 0 transports (23%, 19%, 18%). Going with the most likely as I always do for examples, that leaves the UK with 1 AC and 1 transport. At this point there are 6 troops on the ground in finland/norway, all US. That’s not really the bad part though.

    The bad part (and note that I don’t usually strongly advocate pearl, but in your strategy it would be very beneficial to do so) is that you cannot hit pearl. You lack the airforce to do so, and you lack the navy because you need to go hard into asia if you are not going to be using your airforce on offense. In UK3 the UK builds lets say two more transports, and the US rolls in with 3 to 4 transports that unload in finland. The US ALSO rolls in with a carrier, fighter, sub, transport, and battleship. You can barely even dent that force with Japan.

    So what is the net result of this strategy? You killed 2 transports the UK was going to use to load troops in UK3. So in round 4, the net is that all of your airforce is dead, and you stopped there from being 4 troops in europe. All of your airforce is dead. You do not interrupt U.S. supply lines because they drop off troops before you can kill them. Without your airforce you will have a harder time solidifying in africa, and it will take you until about round 3/round 4 to be raking it in. However, at that point you have no airforce, a nice tradeoff for the allies. If Japan isn’t moving to take out the remaining navy, then the allies can plan on hitting africa after your airforce goes away on round 3. If germany does not take out the allied navy, then the allies can move the navy to algeria anyhow on round 3. The UK could also just neglect to buy a carrier at all waiting for the US to show up, and do other interesting strategies which I will leave as an excercise for the user.

    Lets take your strategy against a very typical UK opening. It builds one carrier, 1 transport. The US flies its planes in as well as one transport. Germany attacks and brings their air force down to 1 fighter and 1 bomber, eliminating resistance. The next round they build 1 carrier and 1 transport, and the US lands 1 fighter from hawaii and moves in its 3 transports built on round 1. Indeed, the UK can just taunt you and build 3 transports, and likely survive with 4 transports (3 built + 3 from US). Assuming you continue your kamikaze mission of destroying the navy, the end of round 3 has the UK seas with 4 us transports (built last round + hawaii), 3 uk transports, 1 carrier, 1 fighter, 1 sub, 1 battleship. If you sacc japan against that you will kill off all but 2 transports probably, and that is assuming the UK is not landing 1 of its fighters on the AC. The UK would because it has little to fear from germany taking karelia, without its planes and all. So as above, lets take stock of the situation at the end of round 4 and what you have accomplished.

    You have kept 2 infantry out of europe the second round. In round 3, the UK drops its full load because you only killed US troops. In round 5 the UK dropoff is cut by two because you killed 1 of its transports. So the total for both of these is that you delay the arrival of 4 troops in europe and delay an african landing. Your attack on russia is severely weakened, your march across asia stalled, and your airforce is completely dead eliminating flexibility and defensibility of your forces.

    It is an intriguing idea, but I think in practice it will fail, miserably.

  • Well hey, it was a thought 🙂

    Although, you are missing a possibility for “fine tuning” that strategy that may make it more viable…

    Use Japan Capital ships at Pearl to take out the extra US navy that makes this strategy a “certain loss” in J4 in the UK sea zone.  Send 2 BB, sub, empty carrier against 1 carrier, 1 fighter, 1 sub.  Odds are pretty favorable that all 3 US ships go “glub” in first wave.  Japan loses sub and empty carrier on retaliation.  Worst case, the US fig survived and possibly kills one of the BB’s; but at least 1 will survive.

    US then has to choose between sending forces after remaining Japan capital ship(s) or supporting UK.  If they go after capital ships, then those Japan air-forces will only have the UK carrier, up to 2 US fighters, and a lot of tranny’s to face in J4.  May be a suicide run, but that transport fleet is TOAST.

    If US ignores the remaining Japan capital ship(s), then Japan pulls them back in J2 to support the Asia landings, and US is only sending 1 capital ship and no additional fighters to UK.

    Germany can kill the UK navy in G1 and again in G2 (I do it routinely).  So the only navy UK will have is what it builds in UK 2, 3, and 4.    Best case scenario, 90 IPC’s of navy (more likely about 75).

    Of course, UK can build TWO carriers, and US can build FOUR fighters, plus a few tranny’s; but having 84 IPC’s tied up in naval defense by the allies in the early stages is just as good as blowing up transports:  those are INF and Armor units not landing in Europe.

    And that is the only point of sending Japan’s fighters to Europe:  By whatever means possible, keep US and UK from focusing land forces against Germany and let them face Russia one-on-one, where Russia loses.

    I am going to ahve to load this up and try it…  I’ll get back to y’all

  • I never said you couldn’t routinely kill the navy in G2. That is why I sometimes wait until UK2 to build as the UK. What planes do you usually have after G1? What planes do you usually have after G2? My estimations put the end of G1 at 4 ftr 1bmb, and the end of G2 at 1 ftr 1 bmb against a 2trans 1ac 2ftr navy. So in UK2 the building can really happen.

    In G3 you will have nothing to attack it with, so anything the UK builds that round is safe until the japanese strike. So I’ll be nice and assume that at the end of G3 the german airforce is dead and all of the navy is gone, which seems unlikely and as I previously stated there are more likely to be 3-4 transports in the uk seas at the end of the G3 strike. In UK3 the UK builds 1 AC. US3 the US moves its battleship, and four transports in. UK4 has a build of two transports, moves its fighters to the AC. So that brings fleet down to the most likely result of 1, 2, or 0 transports (23%, 20%, 16%). If the US felt like it they could build an AC in US2 instead of two transports, move it in and have the russian fighters land on it, saving most of the transport fleet.

    I think regardless of whether you clean the transport fleet out or not, you are still not making much headway. The problem is that those US transports can drop in a strategically good location of finland/norway regardless of whether you clean them or not. Sure you make the US rebuild them, and they can’t shuck-shuck on the west coast, but Japan really has no offense on the west coast so it’s not an issue. The UK isn’t dropping troops until UK6, but is that really an issue? The US troops have been consistently dropped, and the US can drop a lot of troops in africa in round 5. You might think that’s great because it’s too late, but I don’t think so.

    Japan can’t even be landing tanks in asia until round 3, which it needs greatly because it has no offensive firepower. Unfortunately that is 1 transport a tank, which is quite slow. South africa isn’t really taken out until G4 assuming no intervention. The german airforce was worth 16 pips. To reproduce that you need lets say 5 tanks, which is 25 IPCs. In G1 you blitz through as you usually do. I don’t know if this is you blitzing to congo (which i would counter) or not. Lets assume the UK does not counters though and you blitz to congo, so you get 3 IPCs. The next round you take egypt, so that’s 3 + 2 ipcs, plus the 3 from last round and you are up to 8. In G3 you get italian east and kenya, so that’s 7 + 8 from earier, 15. In G4 you get about enough to replace that force. Obviously you have been building them in piecemeal, but you don’t fully replace your attacking force with units that can move until G6 (collect g4, build g5). Not to mention that Germany WITH those planes is not enough to take karelia with the US dumping in troops anyhow.

    Another important part to this is ukraine. Without your planes you cannot sucessfully trade ukraine as germany. Do you decide to trade it or not? If you do not, then russia gets a free infantry every round. This is probably the wisest move germany can make. Otherwise they have to trade it with 3 inf or 1 inf 1 arm to have a good chance of success. The economics dig into the african IPCs, as the extra infantry (or two if trading) parity between russia/germany each round is quite important.

    I realize I am missing all the fine tuning you can do, but that is sort of how a debate works. Point, counterpoint. I am not going to come up with point’s for you until I have thoroughly proved mine.

  • This plan doesn’t seem to be optimal play to me.

    I think instead of sacrificing the Axis fighters to sink the UK navy for a 2nd time, delaying the Allies for only a turn, you would gain more over the long term with the defensive hits the fighters provide during Allied strafing runs on E. Europe.  Potentially on W. Europe as well if the Allies go into Spain (though I might choose to give up W. Europe for a turn rather than lose my fighters defending it and take it back the next turn).  Again, in the later stages of the game, Japanese fighters will be helpful in defense here as well as being able to provide offense to Japan against Moscow.

    In addition to defense, keeping the fighters will also provide:

    More offense if trying to take out Russia in an Axis pincer.

    Offense in cheaply trading Ukraine as discussed already.

    Potential offense and defense for operations in Africa to extend the German IPCs gained on that continent.

    Also, having this airforce will force the Allies to never send a transport or two undefended within range of the airforce - they will have to protect it with a capital ship - which reduces their flexibiliity.  Otherwise, I can easily pick off these transports.

    And finally, in the event of rolling for technology, it is nice to have the airforce to be able to use HB, LR, or Jets.  Otherwise you cannot use this technology without additional purchases.

  • Results of testing…

    Interesting idea, but not viable against a good opponent.

    UK re-taking of reinforcing Egypt throws a major monkey wrench in getting those aircraft to Europe.  Best I could do in almost all cases was get them to Germany for use in J5 instead of J4.  By that time, the volume of transports alone was so great that even without capital ships also in the UK sea zone, Japan would have probably have lost most of their aircraft on the first attack.

    Also, the number of aircraft is wrong.  If Russia strikes Manchuria on R1, then Japan loses a fighter.  Although a Russia attack on Manchuria in R1 DOES make it easier for Japan to still move against Russia without air support.

    However, if Russia consolidates in Yakut in R1, then the lack of air-power makes Yakut way too difficult for Japan to crack for SEVERAL rounds.  Every test I ran showed that Russia holding Yakut and NOT going after Manchuria (or re-taking SFE) was a superior strategy for Russia.  It kept Japan’s navy out of action against Russian forces.  Any move by Russia to a coastal territory improved Japan’s ability to function without those fighters (actually, Russia does far better against Japan even if the fighters are kept for use against Russia’s eastern territories if Russia keeps their forces away from Japan’s navy.)

    India is the stumbling block to this Japan strategy.  If the Japan AF consolidates in Burma, UK abandones India and reinforces/re-takes Egypt.  This takes away Japan’s transit LZ, trapping those fighters in Asia for additional rounds, and out of position for flexible use in potential Asian combat theaters like Yakut (they can reach Yakut, but the European transit is set back to square 1).

    Lastly, on those occasions when those fighters were able to move into Africa to stage for the last flight to Europe, it left the US with a wide open Pacific to tear through.  A couple of subs and tranny’s and US started to gobble up islands quickly.  The remaining Japan capital ships (2 BB’s, a sub,  and a carrier with no fighters) were destroyed engaging a VERY cheap US fleet; a fleet that was followed by a couple more tranny’s and subs that proceeded to take the Pacific AND Burma virtually un-opposed.  Two subs in that fleet is all it took to break through the unguarded Japan tranny’s that were shifted to attempt to reinforce their soft positions in southern Asia.

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