French North Africa

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15

    In general, should this be left untouched by the axis?

    I think it is easy for the allies to take this back in most situations. Of course it is nice for Italy (Germany may help) to have these IPC for a few rounds and maybe you are able to get the North Africa NO for a round or two.

    But is it really worth it given that games tend to last for 10+ rounds?

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    I always  hammer the Med as the Allies, so am happy if the Italians go West, instead of East to Cairo. It gives me time to build up my defences. The US will always land in Morocco, so it seems like you are  gifting them 3 IPCs eventually.
    But, if the Allied player forfeits hitting Tobruk and Taranto, it might be worth going that way as the Axis.

  • '15

    A few early game IPCs for Italy affect the game quite a bit, perhaps even just as much or more than a few extra IPCs for the US per turn might later on. I tend to not fear taking northern Africa as Italy, if the game is in a state to where that is the best thing to do.

    Preferably, I’m hitting Cairo on I2/I3 with my Italian North Africans if I can. If, due to UK efforts, that’s a bad idea, and it is clear it will likely always be a bad idea, I start heading west with them and picking them up to take back to Europe if I can.

  • Yea I don’t like to give the USA more income later on. I think it is good to take Tunisia though as a buffer because if you don’t the French will probably take Libya when you go towards Egypt. Then you’ll have to reclaim it….

  • Algeria/Morocco give Axis places for air to land in early battles if they can’t immediately take Gibraltar. Not great places, mind you, but they do help extend the range of bombers a little further west and south.

  • 2018 2017

    Africa is a waste of time for the Axis.  Its actually better to rescue Italian pieces from Libya than it is to add more.  No matter how much fleet and men you build up and around in North Africa, they won’t likely stand up to America, and its very difficult to capture Egypt with no legitimate fleet and/or against a sound player.

    Don’t waste your time on Italian fleet, or even planes.  Tanks and mechs are the only thing they should be buying for offense, and can take much of Germany’s defensive role off its plate if you just buy infantry.  The only exception would be if somehow you kept everything (x3 TT and cover) from the very beginning, but no competent ally is going to let that happen.

    Its even a better point economically;  you’re fighting over 1-3$ to take all of those small zones and Somalia, whereas you could be grabbing $20 in income from oil (thru Syria), as much as $10 in bonuses, helping to defeat Russia, defend…or taking North Africa and making $13 IPC a turn only to promptly lose most of it when the real allies show up.

    You simply do not have the economy to extend your reach across water efficiently.  If you do somehow get that kind of money ($20+ income and taking paris with Italy), it is amazing more effective to build mechs and tanks to cross-strike with the Germans (or cross-defend them, landing on their newest captures, etc.).

  • Afrika is only worth like 40 ipcs or something with the NOs that italy and germany can make there.
    Not counting the middle east and taking away that income from UK.

    Italy making near 50 ipcs a turn will not give up afrika easy to the US, and the easy way into the middle east and the caucasus will help germany as well. Germany and Italy making 140 together while UK - Russia - US will be around 100 together isnt a bad thing for the axis.

  • I don’t think Africa is a waste of time for Germany/Italy. But if the UK takes SZ 97, SZ 96 and Tobruk turn 1, it’s often verry hard to take terretories in Africa or the Middle East.

    However, if you can take Egypt on I2/I3 Africa becomes quite important for the Axis. There is lots of money you can take away from the UK and lots of bonus in NO’s for both Germany and Italy.

    Also: if you send Italian and/or German units into Africa or the Middle East, the Allies are forced to send troops into Africa/Middle East and builda factory to regain control. So the UK’s income won’t be spend on ground troops in London, fighters in Russia or Navy in Canada. This helpes Germany to go for Sealion or Barbarossa and delay an Allied invasion in Europe.

    Italy can help Germany by distracting the UK and it’s income. However, when playing Italy, you always have to wait and see what you options are when your first turn comes around. You can never really make a plan when playing Italy. If Africa and the Med. is lost, you can always help Germany in Russia or defend against an Allied invasion.

    Lots of options, so strategy is perfect i.m.o.

  • There’s simply no way the Axis make any headway into Africa unless the Allies screw up bigtime. It’s the easiest place on the whole map for Allies to dominate. If you’re finding you can make successful invasions of Africa as Italy, you need to find better opponents if you want a challenging game.

  • '15


    There’s simply no way the Axis make any headway into Africa unless the Allies screw up bigtime. It’s the easiest place on the whole map for Allies to dominate. If you’re finding you can make successful invasions of Africa as Italy, you need to find better opponents if you want a challenging game.

    I very well might be doing something wrong, so forgive me, but I don’t quite see it as you’ve described it, elk.

    UK has two choices on UK1. Go super strong defense on London, or not. That, for me, always determines how the Mediterranean is going to end up. To be clear, the Axis never decides how Sea Lion or how fights in the med are going to go, the Allies do. The Axis’s job on the first two rounds of the game is simple: pick the weak point(s). The Allies are the ones to decide what those points are. The fickle b����-goddess of dice takes it from there.

    There are a whole god damn slew of if/else if/else etc situations that follow, but I’ll try to simplify, leaving out entirely (non-standard) weird things Russia/US can do to make this wonky:

    G1: “Standard”: smash against UK navy, take france, yugo gets strafed or whatever, + some kind of buy that can legitimately threaten sea lion,

    UK1a: inf + fighter, or something similarly all-defensive.

    UK1b: factory on Egypt
    UK1c: taking Iraq (with help of UK Pac) (with the intention of a mIC on UK2 being placed there)
    UK1d: something else heavy med, such as 2+ planes form London headed to the Med.

    note: b, c, and d are not mutually exclusive

    I1: Okay, then it comes around to Italy. If I see UK1a, which is “safe”, then I prep for an I2 hit on Cairo, usually, but not always.

    G2: if UK1a: you could (and I often do) put lots of planes into Alexandria, prep for a Cairo hit, while usually sinking whatever allied boats are still around in the med.
    G2: if UK1!a: sea lion is a very real option

    UK2a: Oh ����, Egypt looks bad, do we try to save it or not? (UK’s option c resolves much of this)
    UK2!a: Oh ����, London looks kinda bad, how do we fix this. (UK’s option c resolves much of this)

    UK2?: Do we retreat from Cairo into trans jordan (perhaps toward our Iraq mIC) or to sundan (toward our south african mIC)? Or do we try to hold it?

    I2a: potentially slam into Cairo with your 1x transport, planes, and your Alexandria/sub-saharan africa forces

    G3a/I3a: Finish off what’s left of the UK in Egypt.
    G3!a/I3!a: Sea lion? Abandon Africa as you might normally? Just crush Russia like a “normal” game?

    The user Cow popularized this strategy. A slight bit more can be found at:

    Okay, with the above in mind, and I hope it’s at least somewhat clear, what are you left with? Italy is now sometimes in the fight in the Med, totally, even if it’s with remnant forces. They start the game with enough units to do this even if they are dumping their first two turns of income into mechs/tanks against Russia, mind you.

    Italy’s taking of Egypt might demand a bit of attention from America (yay for Japan!) to put some pressure on the med, and at the very least, entirely flubs up UK Atlantic. With only very modest luck, there’re less UK fighters in Moscow, or less mechanized infantry coming up through the Caucasus, or less whatever UK involvement there might otherwise be. There’s also a bit of a speed bump, however large or small, when it comes for UK/US threatening a kill-italy-first (KIF). Much of this depends on 1: execution, 2: sacrifices the Allies choose make from other options, and 3: a bit (but not a lot) of luck of course.

    So, elk, what I’m trying to posit here is that the Axis can still make useful headway into Africa, if not only just the very north tip of it (which is the most pivotal point), even if the Allies don’t “screw up”, depending on some conditions and playstyles.

    This game suffers from some lack of viable options at times, but the African/Med theater is not absolutely one of them.

    Final note: I never play with bids (I prefer a static per-turn bonus to the US). With bids, and where they almost always (arguably very rightfully) usually go, Africa is basically always a statistical dead end for the Axis.

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