Deterrent to Egypt mIC on UK1 -"Ram-rod" play


  • Salutations.

    Was following the Tobruk/Taranto topic, and thought of putting up a play I used in Nov,2014.  
    It was named by Dan Long, the founder of Seattle Meetup group,  as the “Ram-rod” play, as they had not seen it before.
    So far , I have not seen it being mentioned either.

    I do not play TripleA, or Balanced ModE etc… just regular Board games , with bid …usually going only to USSR.

    Here are the details of Ram-Rod:

    Germany (builds optional) and attacks to Airstrafe Egypt on G2, so I2 takes it.
    Japan goes J3…unless India-Anzac attacks T2.
    Germany hopes Italy , from Egypt can cause enough stress in Middle East
    Japan hopes for same.
    Japan unloads only 1 Tank on J1 in Far East, DOWS on W.Allies on J3.

    Goal is economic victory, over time by Axis holding on to following areas
    Long enough to get economic victory…
    A) Yunnan
    B) DEI…from J3
    C) Soviet Far East
    D) Scandinavia
    E) Egypt
    F) Middle East…from Italy3-4.

    G1: Buy 2 SBRs+Sub -This is optional.
    Or buy 1 SBR + 2 Inf+3 Art
    Or my favorite- mIC in Romania+2Inf+3Art

    Combat:

    SZ 111 (Scotland ) - 2 Subs+BB+2 SBRs+FTR (Nor)

    SZ 106 (Canada) - 3 Subs

    SZ 93 (Marseilles) - 2 TB+1FTR (W.Germ).

    S. France - 2 Mechs+TB (W.G)+FTR (Holl)

    Yugo - GSG land+G. TB+Pol TB+ FTR Slov+ 2 Tanks+ Inf Slov/Rom

    Paris -all else

    Non-Com
    Take Bulgaria, Finland

    Land : Slov FTR  and W. Germ FTR (unused) in Tobruk

    Land planes (max) in Rome
    Should have ideally - 5 TB+ 2 FTRs
    Land SBRS in W. Germ
    Placing buy in. W.Germ- 4 SBRS

    J1: Buy 3 TRs, take Soviet Far East with 1 Tank. Usual play.

    UK1, -Tobruk is unatttactive…with 2 FTRS and 6 pieces…
    Taranto is…esp with CRU in SZ97 alive… do not scramble!
    Or… it does the non-Tobruk,non-Taranto, mIC in Egypt, block both SZ to Egypt play…

    Italy 1 : Buy FTR
    All Tobruk into Alexandria.
    All Ethiopia (if surviving) into Kenya, with Somali
    Kill Malta CRU with Sub+planes
    Non-Combat -TR drops Tank+Inf to Alexandria
    Land all Italian planes on Tobruk, bring Libya Inf+Art to Tobruk.
    Move 1 Tank to Romania as can opener.

    Germany 2 -
    [BuY 2 Subs in S. France (if No Allied DDs in Med). This is optional, depends on scenario]
    I usually buy 3 Art in Romania + all tanks in Germany.
    Take Greece
    Approximately 11-13 planes  air-strafe Egypt, land on Alexandria.
    I lost 3 planes… but , it is well worth it!!!
    Place 1 Sub on SZ125.

    J2 : Buy CV+2DD+2 TR. 1 TR return from SovietFarEast.
    Move into position, esp in Carolines.
    Consolidate Yunnan, drive Northern Army into N/ Central China.

    Italy 2 - BuY TR if possible…depends on how much you lose in Convoy
    Take Egypt.
    Go to Bessarabia/ W. Ukr…with  Tank (if empty), DOW on USSR.
    Otherwise no DOW…
    Move Tobruk guys into Alexandria
    Move Kenyans to Sudan.
    This is your second wave…in event UK abandons Egypt for TransJordan, to counterattack on UK3.

    Collect bonus.

    G3- Kill UK fleet in Med. Use Subs (optional).
    Load 1 Inf on Italian TR…for Egypt bonus… (again all this is situational)
    Follow into Bessarabia,  no DOW on USSR, to collect last bonus.
    If Italian tank is opposed, then DOW on USSR…move into Bessarabia.
    Buy 3 Tanks in Romania + Air if Spanish Gambit…or all Tanks

    J3: Buy 2CV+DD
    should have 2 TRS for PHP,1TR for HongKong
    Should have 3 +2 Trs divided into 2 battle groups to take Java and Sumatra
    BG1 should have 2 loaded CVs+2CRU+DD+Sub
    BG2 should have 2 BB+loaded CV+ 2 DD
    PHP should have CV+2DD+Sub

    This is assuming US goes CGF.

    If US1 buy is 3 Cv/2CV+BB in Pac, then it’s CJF… play will be different.

    There is a sub-variant, where on I2, there should be Art+4 Inf+Tank in S.France.
    I1 FTR buy remains in Italy on I2. SBR in Rome.

    G3 buys 3 Inf in Normandy, 3 Mechs in France, And 3 Subs in S. France
    Lands planes in Rome.

    J3 goes,
    US3 comes to Gibralter

    I3 takes Spain!

    G4 Air and Subs hit US-UK fleet…and land in Spain!!

    3+3 troops non combat to Spain…to defend planes.

    Germany , now at its leisure can take Moscow.

    Sub-Variant of Ram-Rod, is called Spanish Gambit. This will work on an amateur player. So it is to be used carefully.

    Hope this helps.

    Mein Herr

  • '19 '17 '16

    I don’t think I understand this play. Why wouldn’t the IJN unload its other 2 TTs J1?

    I don’t follow your comment on Taranto. You haven’t done any more than most people to stop it. Only 3 planes can scramble.


  • I did not post Japan moves in detail, as most people will figure out what to do.
    Just that J1 , tank , on Far East important.

    The point, is , you actually want Taranto.

    If it’s done , then Ram-Rod should succeed.

    Better, if Egypt TR goes to take Persia…or kill Ethiopians.

    You basically get Egypt, a victory city , and key gateway to Middle East… (maybe with a minor IC - 12 IPC value!)… in lieu of Taranto .

    Italy gets shafted by Taranto.

    But getting Egypt, makes it all worth it.


  • The J1 tank…is , so long as all Soviet troops retreat to Buryatia,  Yenisey…going West.  If safe.

    If a detachment is left behind…then no…tank in Far East…

    Somethings, should be obvious…

    If the Luftwaffe airstrafe is successful, India should be severely stressed on UK2, and will send forces West. Making it easier for Japan.

    Japan should thus take advantage of this and could try to get India J6 if played correctly.

  • '19 '17 '16

    Ok, now I think I’m with you.

    The basic idea is to hit Egypt with the Luftwaffe and have Italy clean up the remainders.


  • The key is to do it G2 - I2

    Italy will get $5 bonus for 4 turns.

    Forces US to branch off a force to liberate Cairo.

    Forces UK to try to take back Egypt with both SA, Persian complex and India… giving less support to USSR

    If mIC in Egypt, on UK-1, then Italy has it made!
    With 6 +2+4 units joining up… Makes it very hard,  with the Italians being able to produce units there.  Middle East bonus galore… Italy will make in mid 20s. Lethal for Allies…even 2-3 turn, as Rome gets stacked.

    Now J1 Tank, takes IPC from USSR at an alarming rate. 1,3,5,7…
    Hence it’s use there… crucial for early Japanese buys.

    Lastly, when US does come calling on US4, I3 buy makes Rome take impossible.

    To a seasoned UK player,  once you see Ram-Rod in the making, only way to hold Egypt is by  not doing Taranto! 
    Tobruk is too risky… and if it fails, with Italian Navy alive, and Luftwaffe in striking range, UK must abandon Med.

    The blockade of Greece and Malta SZ, stacking 2 planes+AAA+Inf from Malta fails , esp with the German 2 SBR buy.

    A “cleansed” Cairo, means Italy is in game.

    So, yes, in a major way it deters Taranto !

  • '21 '20 '18 '17

    You can’t really deter something that occurs before the deterrent is put into effect.  A UK Egypt MiC on their first turn only seems like a good idea if they can hold it, and Germany and Italy both have to stage their forces aggressively in order to have any chance of taking it.    I don’t really think that the UK player abs. needs a Persia or Egypt MiC anyways, they are a luxury and become a huge target.

    This is why the entire thread about not doing Taranto seems so odd;  the strategies surrounding building the UK up in that area could all be avoided by killing the Italian navy before it has a chance to threaten Egypt anyway.  It makes no sense to defend Egypt over the long game when you can secure it with 80% odds on UK1.

    In addition, the G40 strategy that uses all your Axis planes to smash the near-east UK forces is a born loser, since you wont have them in place to attack Russia, project threat or do anything else up north.

    The strategy works pretty good if you have Italy go through Syria, but with only 1 surviving transport, this isn’t going to last.    I’ve seen a few games where Italy keeps part of the fleet intact and then grabs the oil states and Gibraltar, and Greece.  these are all better targets than Egypt which takes a full commit in order to destroy it.


  • Line by line reply

    @taamvan:

    You can’t really deter something that occurs before the deterrent is put into effect.   A UK Egypt MiC on their first turn only seems like a good idea if they can hold it, and Germany and Italy both have to stage their forces aggressively in order to have any chance of taking it.

    You may wish to read the post again.  If UK does Taranto, Egypt will fall with RamRod. Since putting a mIC in Egypt on UK1 is the simplest, cheapest way to secure it, RamRod deters it from happening. UK can decide to try Tobruk AND put an mIC, but NOT do Taranto AND put an mIC.  The Tobruk fight , with the 2 German FTRs is an even battle. But again, due to the fear of Tobruk failing, mIC on Egypt is not advisable on turn 1.

    I don’t really think that the UK player abs. needs a Persia or Egypt MiC anyways, they are a luxury and become a huge target.

    Consider a different strategy . Instead of a J3, its now a J4, with the Japanese marching through China with a mIC in Shanghai on J1.  Then Moscow will not survive without a UK factory either in Persia or Egypt For an Allied win, esp with a J3 or J4 DOW on W.Allies, a mIC in Egypt or Persia is high priority.

    This is why the entire thread about not doing Taranto seems so odd;  the strategies surrounding building the UK up in that area could all be avoided by killing the Italian navy before it has a chance to threaten Egypt anyway.   It makes no sense to defend Egypt over the long game when you can secure it with 80% odds on UK1.

    With RamRod, you cannot secure it on UK1.  Taranto will play into Axis hands, so that you lose Egypt.

    In addition, the G40 strategy that uses all your Axis planes to smash the near-east UK forces is a born loser, since you wont have them in place to attack Russia, project threat or do anything else up north.

    **No, it is most certainly not correct.  On G3, the planes fly to Romania.  On G4 they can hit Leningrad and land in Baltic, or hit Ukraine. etc.  So they are available for battle in USSR. Or on G3, they can go to Rome and help defend come G4 . **

    RamRod forces a Persian complex. It also forces India and UK-E to spend money to retake Egypt, which if not done from UK1, will never happen.  Should the UK player not know about this play and put a mIC and do Taranto… on UK1 , the game is more or less lost for the Allies

    The strategy works pretty good if you have Italy go through Syria, but with only 1 surviving transport, this isn’t going to last.    I’ve seen a few games where Italy keeps part of the fleet intact and then grabs the oil states and Gibraltar, and Greece.   these are all better targets than Egypt which takes a full commit in order to destroy it.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Taamvan is right. You cannot deter Taranto, since it would happen before I1 and the only thing you can do with Germany is land three fighters in Southern Italy – as we have seen repeatedly, that is not a deterrent.

    My response to your strategy is based on a UK1 in which:

    1. An artillery from India is used to activate Persia, with the intent of clearing Iraq on UK2.
    2. The UK deploys blockers to hold Italy back for one round, does not do Taranto, retreats its carrier and cruiser to sea zone 81, and builds a minor IC in Egypt. In this scenario Italy has two transports to play with.
    3. The UK pulls a fighter, tactical bomber, destroyer, and cruiser from India for use in the Med, with the fighter and tactical bomber landing on the sea zone 81 carrier.

    In this scenario, the UK fleet cannot be kept from moving back to sea zone 98 on UK2.

    @MeinHerr:

    Approximately 11-13 planes  air-strafe Egypt, land on Alexandria.

    The only way you can hit Egypt with 13 planes is if Germany built a strat bomber on G1 and every other non-strat bomber plane you had landed in Southern Italy on G1, or you build two strat bombers and use one non-strat bomber plane to kill fleet. The fighter you have listed for your sea zone 111 battle cannot make it to Egypt on G2 unless it skips the sea zone 111 battle. I don’t think your initial build of two strategic bombers is optional if you want to take 13 air units into Egypt. Let’s assume you did build two strat bombers on G1 for calculation purposes. If you do not do this, you cost yourself at least one hit in your one round strafe, and that is bad for Italy.

    Leaving sea zone 110 untouched in my variant of UK play means that Italy cannot clear the Med on I1 – France will hold one sea zone, and the UK will hold three more (92 with naval units from sea zone 110, 96 with the sea zone 91 cruiser, and 99 with the sea zone 98 destroyer). If Italy is aggressive about claiming that NO on I1, it hurts its chances of an I2 attack on Egypt working.

    UK can have in Egypt at the end of UK1: 1 AA gun, 7 infantry, 2 artillery, one tank, one mech, one fighter, and one tactical bomber.

    Germany goes into Egypt on G2 with 4 fighters, 5 tactical bombers, and 4 strategic bombers. If the AA gun misses (let’s just ballpark this at 50%, it’s actually a smidge less) you lose the spare tactical bomber. On average you get eight hits in your strafe. In return, you lose on average five or six units.  If the AA gun hits one attacking plane, you get seven hits. My following calculations are assuming that the AA gun does not kill any German planes and you get eight hits on your strafe.

    German losses are irrelevant unless the strafe continues for a second round, and I’m assuming that Germany doesn’t want to waste its air force this way.

    If the UK takes your eight hits as seven infantry and an artillery, the odds for a successful Italian attack are about 100% (assuming Italians have 4 infantry, 1 mech infantry, 1 artillery, 2 tanks, 3 fighters, and one strat bomber, and assuming that the UK has retaken control of sea zone 98 on UK2 but fails to actually produce new land units at the Egypt MIC and also fails to fly in additional air units). But let’s assume the UK player sees the writing on the wall and lands every available air unit there and also produces three infantry at the MIC. If the UK has brought the fighter and tac from India to a carrier in sea zone 81 on UK1, they can land in Egypt on UK2 and if the Gibraltar fighter survived I1 after landing in Malta it can also make Egypt. Your chance of winning that battle is about 25%.

    That’s definitely not worth losing five German planes for in my opinion - three times out of four Italy’s attack fails. At best for the Axis, the game is now heavily tilted in favor of the Allies and it may be an outright Axis loss.

    Your odds go up to about 29% if UK loses seven infantry and the AA gun. In this case with all the Italian air force coming on I2, it’s clearly better for the UK to keep the AA gun. Seven times out of ten Italy fails – it’s still not worth running this strat IMO.

    _Your odds get really good if instead of moving the Ethiopia forces to Kenya on I1 you move them to Anglo-Egypt Sudan so they can join the attack on Egypt. Of course, then the UK can counterattack them on UK2, but it does weaken the defense. If UK does not attack them, your chance of winning goes to about 77%. If the UK does counterattack them, assume one mech, one artillery, and all available planes to smoke them in one round, your chance of winning the battle becomes about 61%. In this scenario, the UK would be right to attack those forces in Ethiopia.

    If the UK built three tanks in Egypt instead of three infantry, your chance is about 52% (it drops below 50% if the UK builds two tanks and a fighter).

    That’s hardly worth losing five German planes for in my opinion - almost half the time Italy’s attack fails. At best for the Axis, the game is now heavily tilted in favor of the Allies and it may be an outright Axis loss.

    If this plan works, Italy is in a great position in the Med except that it is far too weak to really expand in the Middle East and fully hold off the output of the South African factory as well as UK forces that took Persia on UK1 and cleared Iraq on UK2 (no free unit payday for you!). Italy is now totally defensive in Egypt. (Please note that I did not move Persian forces into Egypt – then the numbers get really bad for Italy.)

    I was generous with a lot of my rounding and estimation, so y’all please check those numbers. I could easily have missed something. Also please note that I have not used any bid units in the UK calculations.

    One problem with this is that if the Italian forces in Ethiopia went to Kenya and not Anglo-Egypt Sudan, the Luftwaffe is now pinned on G3 if Italy decides not to attack Egypt on I2 following the G2 strafe. As soon as the Luftwaffe leaves and the Italians remain, those Italians are dead on UK3. Italy of course should retreat first, but then you left the sea zone 110 fleet alive and sacrificed a lot of German air force to accomplish nothing. The same result happens if Germany uses the Luftwaffe on G2 to clear the Med and then lands the planes in Alexandria. But hey, trading maybe 30 German IPCs for 5 Italian ones is a good trade, right? Winner in this scenario = Allies.

    Here’s yet another problem: it’s hugely telegraphed by the G1 Luftwaffe landing in Southern Italy. It’s not something the UK should easily miss. The UK might might build transport in South Africa that can move those two infantry to Egypt on UK2. Italy’s chances of taking Egypt even with a one round strafe just hit the dregs. (Because the Luftwaffe could move back to West Germany for Sea Lion, the UK should still build at least three infantry in London. But, if Luftwaffe does not do the strafe, the Italian forces in Alexandria die on UK2. Italy has lost Africa, the Med, and the Middle East so that Germany can do Sea Lion. That seems like a lot to risk for an attack that means Germany can’t kill Russia…) Winner in this scenario = Allies.

    Yet another problem: Even if Italy wins Egypt on an average or slightly good battle result, it cannot counter a UK3 factory built in Iraq/Persia. Italy may block Suez canal access, but with UK producing in South Africa and Iraq/Persia, Italy will be rapidly outspent. Compounding this is that the UK is still firmly in control of the Med, since Italy cannot have killed all the UK naval units. Italy’s navy will be gone, it’s air force diminished, and unless the German air force clears the Med (more German air dies helping Italy! Moscow is safe) it will assume control of sea zone 97 and convoy Italy’s income away for several turns. Winner in this scenario = Allies.

    Biggest problem I see: You have to get lucky a few times for this to pay off. The Egypt AA gun has to miss on G2. Your destroyer has to kill the Malta fighter on UK1. You need the Egypt AA gun to not kill your Italian aircraft before they get to shoot on I2. You need a good roll on round one of the actual I2 attack into Egypt, or you need the UK to get a bad roll. Should we discuss the futility of betting that good rolls will happen? Average rolls in these circumstances are not going to be helpful to you.

    Now, there is a lot of variability here – dice and AA guns are notorious for that, and the Gibraltar fighter might A) be killed in sea zone 96 by the Italian destroyer or B) might be killed in Malta by the Italians (which leads to a branch in which that fighter takes an attacker with it and another where it doesn’t kill anything) or C) left alone by Italy and free to make it to Egypt on UK2.

    There is also the “have Germany go a second round in Egypt” variant, which pretty much guarantees an I2 capture of Egypt but destroys a large portion of the Luftwaffe in the process. Many of us think that is an outright loser for the Axis, since Moscow is essentially safe until turn 12 or 13 under that scenario. Winner in this scenario = Allies.

    There’s also a lot of branches with that second Italian transport. Bringing two additional ground units to Alexandria would be its best bet, which would probably force the UK to leave Iraq alone and bring two more ground units in from Persia on UK2. My rough calculations on that variant show little to no difference in my numbers. If Italy were to use that second transport to take Syria, that would probably force the UK to clear Iraq (something it was going to do anyway) rather than transport additional forces to Egypt.

    Given how much variability there is, I personally don’t think Germany is justified in leaving the sea zone 110 fleet alive in order to make a G2 Egypt strafe. Unless you are willing to sacrifice the entire Luftwaffe, you’re basically throwing initiative away to let the dice decide the game for you, and I’m not sure why the Axis would do that.

    In short: if I saw you were going to do a Luftwaffe strafe of Egypt to give Italy a 50% chance to take it, I would be happy. If the UK gets diced and you come out without a Pyrrhic victory, so be it – getting diced happens. No amount of good play can prevent your enemy from rolling above average or you from rolling below average. You would not deter me from a turn one MIC in Egypt with a G2 air strafe threat. At best for you, if I wound up losing the Gibraltar fighter on UK1 because your destoyer got a lucky hit, I would just hold the MIC in reserve (intentionally not placing it on UK1) and place it on Persia on UK2 (having already spent the money for the MIC on UK1).

    Marsh_


  • Writing from work, on cell phone. So keeping it brief.

    This strat will be appreciated by the Italian player , who otherwise has had to play a crud game so far.

    Since it’s first serious discussion with this strat… using advice to modify it.

    (Maybe Germany attack scenario should try to kill CRU off Gib with 2 Subs. It leaves lesser options for UK navy.
    Use 3rd Sub to hit Canada)  but let us go with original premise.

    Also

    In your defence scenario,  India does not get Sumatra.

    2 India planes go West.

    Easier for Japan to take India. Maybe Japanese attack plan can be changed to take India quicker.

    Germany does NOT have to follow through Egypt airstrafe.

    ItAly 1 - buy nothing
    Can kill French ship and take Gib if undefended (2 CRU+BB)+TR
    Can use 2nd TR (T+Inf)+Albanian T+Inf+F to take Greece.
    Can use Sub+SBR to kill Malta ship
    Can use 1 DD+ F to kill Greece SZ blocker.
    Take Tunisia…inf+Art+mech+tank
    Take Kenya…with all Ethiop+Somali
    Consolidate in Libya

    Yes, some battles maybe close, but Italy must take its chances now.

    Collects  ~ 10+1+1+2+5+(5 -Gib) +10, has 32/(27)IPC

    G2, since no planes were lost, can buy 1 CV in S. France…
    Planes can kill BB+CRU in W.Gib

    Italy has option of either buying TRs, or Land units.

    It also can get N. Africa bonus next turn , deny UK land bonus… go into Tanganiyika etc…

    German Subs convoy Canada for ~3 turns.

    The 2 CRU+BB in SZ110, is more than made up bY the BB+CRU+TR ,saved for Italy.

    Italy with an economy of 10 ! Cannot get a better deal than that.

    Japan has it easier.

    All with threatening RamRod, not  executing it.

    So now, with no Tobruk and no Taranto,  Italy can play… whereas before it could not!!! Always crippled in the beginning of the game.

    As Gargantua said once… The threat is half the battle.

    Lastly, if UK buys too much in Egypt, SA… there is for those of us with brave spirits… SeaLion!  Esp with 2 SBR buy on G1 !

    If not, onward to Moscow…, Italy buys troops to defend France n Rome.

    More later, esp with rebuttal comments


  • If I had a choice between killing the UK Cruiser or the UK Destroyer/transport combo next to Canada, I would much prefer the second option.  That DD/Transport can be a major thorn into threatening Sea Lion, allowing the UK to have additional spending in Africa on the first turn.

    German strafes in Africa can work if the Allies have spread out their forces.  If they do a max-protection on Egypt, you need lucky dice rolls to have any reasonable chance of taking it without major spending.  In such a situation, I would rather do Barbarossa or Sea Lion.  The factory in Egypt can’t do much if London has been occupied.  Note that UK can still usually make it too expensive to take Egypt even if they do a conservative London build on turn 1.


  • The “Ram” part of Ramrod does these:

    1. Weak India, no Sumatra money…. meaning Japan on J3 has to face $8 less. Heck, a J5 India take plan  may not be a bad idea… given that UK navy has gone to RedSea.
      J1-3 TR
      J2- 4 TR +CV
      J3 -launch , PHP, Borneo, Java, Sumatra, HK, IndChn, Malaya, Shan
      J4- aggregate in Sumatra/Malaya, Airbase in IndoChn. Take Burma
      J5 -India falls.
      Now Egypt and maybe Soviets have to help…but… Italy still threatens Egypt,  Moscow is staring at Germany on their doorstep.

    Meanwhile,  J1 tank is gobbling away at Soviet Territory in East…

    1. Saves  Italian African forces!
      The Ethiopians or Tobruk forces are vulnerable,  but now they are safer.

    Remember,  the 4 units in Ethiopia,  are 2 TR loads of Axis troops, deepest in Africa.

    The Tobruk forcE is another 6 units…3 TR loads.

    These are usually lost for cheap early in game. IPC value = 36

    1. BB+CRU+TR . Value 39. Scramble FTRS NOT being counted.

    For a 10 IPC Italian economy,  this is MASSIVE.

    You lose the UK BB + 2 CRU,  yes… but they do not see action for a while.

    The Italian Navy is right there , where it is most useful.

    As long as the Italian Navy exists with 2+ TRs, they can hit anyplace in Med.

    If they buy a Sub, and Germany buys, 1-2 Subs, UK will lose  ships in Med.

    By Turn 2, Italy should geT at least 1 bonus.

    They presenT a constant danger to Egypt, which UK will have to pay to defend…while with Taranto, it was never an expense to be acounted for.

    1. Should the UK not play accurately, SeaLion or the “Rod” part, Luftwaffe strafe and Egypt falling will be really bad for Allies.

    2. With more money than it normally has, Italy can help Germany more.

    So, all in all, this is onE play Axis must keep in its arsenal as a potent threat.

    Compared to the MAJOR NAVY expense on G1 to threaten Sealion, this is a lot more potent.

    I must lastly say, that the optimum German buy would be an SBR  + Minor IC on Romania + Tank… with goal of Barbarossa… balanced with threat to Egypt… but again it may change depending on the input from you.

    Thank you Marshmallow of War & Bomber Harris.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @MeinHerr:

    (Maybe Germany attack scenario should try to kill CRU off Gib with 2 Subs. It leaves lesser options for UK navy.
    Use 3rd Sub to hit Canada)  but let us go with original premise.

    Not a horrible idea, but I don’t see what it really gets you – then the UK takes no cruiser to sea zone 81.

    @MeinHerr:

    In your defence scenario,  India does not get Sumatra.

    2 India planes go West.

    Easier for Japan to take India. Maybe Japanese attack plan can be changed to take India quicker.

    In my scenario, I am good with India falling as long as I don’t lose in the Pacific as a result. You still have to take Hawaii, Sydney, and/or San Francisco. I can prevent Japan from doing that and entangle it in a fight for the money islands. I can’t do any of that if I lose the Middle East. Nor do I care if India takes Sumatra – there is zero chance of my saving India if Japan wants to kill it no matter what I do. The only way I can save it is if Japan screws up. If Japan goes after Russia and ignores India, then it is inconsequential. If Japan goes after ANZAC first, India will live because there will be plenty of time to replace those units that got pulled away.

    But if I let the Axis into the Middle East after losing Egypt, I’ve almost lost the game.

    @MeinHerr:

    Germany does NOT have to follow through Egypt airstrafe.

    I already covered this – if the German air force does not land in Alexandria, the Italian forces in Alexandria die on UK2. If the German air force does land there, it is pinned until the Italian forces in Alexandria retreat or attack. And if you do anything other than a full Alexandria stack with Italy on I1, the UK gets off light on the defense of Egypt and has more room to play elsewhere.

    @MeinHerr:

    ItAly 1 - buy nothing
    Can kill French ship and take Gib if undefended (2 CRU+BB)+TR

    it won’t be undefended. Because Germany left the sea zone 110 fleet alive, there is now a UK cruiser and battleship in sea zone 92! I actually don’t need both of them there – I could send the cruiser, saving the battleship and a destroyer to make sure you can’t Sea Lion. Then I could actually fly air to Gibraltar on G1, and now Italy is toasted in the med.

    @MeinHerr:

    Can use 2nd TR (T+Inf)+Albanian T+Inf+F to take Greece.
    Can use Sub+SBR to kill Malta ship
    Can use 1 DD+ F to kill Greece SZ blocker.
    Take Tunisia…inf+Art+mech+tank
    Take Kenya…with all Ethiop+Somali
    Consolidate in Libya

    Yes, some battles maybe close, but Italy must take its chances now.

    You forgot about the UK cruiser and BB in sea zone 92. No NO bonus for you!

    @MeinHerr:

    G2, since no planes were lost, can buy 1 CV in S. France…
    Planes can kill BB+CRU in W.Gib

    I didn’t see any modifications to your G1 build, so if you built two strat bombers and now a carrier you are 40 IPCs short on ground units for Russia. That’s six tanks and a mech. Or even better, a 10 artillery stack that could have gone to Russia to pair with your ten infantry stack.

    Sorry, I see it. One strat bomber and a minor IC. Same issue – you are missing 40 IPCs of ground units for Russia.

    @MeinHerr:

    Lastly, if UK buys too much in Egypt, SA… there is for those of us with brave spirits… SeaLion!  Esp with 2 SBR buy on G1 !

    Now you’re just grasping at straws. Sea Lion is a loser for the Axis in pretty much all scenarios (my opinion) unless the UK makes it super cheap (that would be no UK1 or UK2 forces built in London).

    @MeinHerr:

    If not, onward to Moscow…, Italy buys troops to defend France n Rome.

    Missing six tanks and a mech? Have fun retreating in the Russian winter!

    Marsh

  • '21 '20 '18 '17

    Mr. Herr,

    If japan doesn’t attack until J3, UK PAC should be able to take over 2 islands, and can pre-empt war on UK2 by predeclaring diplomatically and therefore getting their NO.  Whether the UK fleet leaves or not, all it needs to leave is a blocker–and not even a blocker under the J3.  It doesn’t change the outcome of killing india first.

    A lot of what you said relies on the idea that Italy has more than 1 transport.  It shouldn’t and doesn’t, bid or no bid.

    Germany loses the planes threat on G1, and they are out of position on G2 and G3.   To assume that you are “knocking on moscows door” on G4-5 when your planes have been in Africa helping out Italy doesn’t seem to match up.

    Germany doesn’t need to build a single transport on G1 to “threaten sea lion”.   It doesn’t need to build any units.   What it does need is to have its air in WG on G2-4 and its armor there or on the channel coast.   These two moves prevent Germany from being able to killing Russia on G1-G4.

    You only get to check one box

    Axis air in Africa
    Axis air in WG
    Axis air killing Russians.

    Like Taranto, killing the sea forces in 110 is de rigeur.   If you don’t kill those, the UK doesn’t need to turtle.  They are blocking the channel square, have sea dominance from UK1, and can focus on navy the whole game.

    Jon

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @taamvan:

    Like Taranto, killing the sea forces in 110 is de rigeur. �  If you don’t kill those, the UK doesn’t need to turtle. � They are blocking the channel square, have sea dominance from UK1, and can focus on navy the whole game.

    While we disagree about Taranto being de rigeur, we do agree about killing the sea zone 110 fleet!

    Marsh

  • '21 '20 '18 '17

    Mr. Marsh,

    I shouldn’t be so binary; cripple the Italians now, do it later, as long as you find something for your planes to bomb every turn. 🙂

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    LOL! We are in agreement there!

  • '19 '17 '16

    @Marshmallow:

    @MeinHerr:

    (Maybe Germany attack scenario should try to kill CRU off Gib with 2 Subs. It leaves lesser options for UK navy.
    Use 3rd Sub to hit Canada)  but let us go with original premise.

    Not a horrible idea, but I don’t see what it really gets you – then the UK takes no cruiser to sea zone 81.

    What it gets you is weakening Taranto. You give the Italians the choice in SZ96 of rolling well or stripping down the Taranto raid. Of course, if they’re doing Tobruk instead anyway, they can probably still hit SZ96 with just as much.

    @Arthur:

    If I had a choice between killing the UK Cruiser or the UK Destroyer/transport combo next to Canada, I would much prefer the second option.  That DD/Transport can be a major thorn into threatening Sea Lion, allowing the UK to have additional spending in Africa on the first turn.

    It’s still possible to do both if you hit SZ110 with planes/BB only. You do risk a scramble in SZ110 though.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @simon33:

    @Marshmallow:

    @MeinHerr:

    (Maybe Germany attack scenario should try to kill CRU off Gib with 2 Subs. It leaves lesser options for UK navy.
    Use 3rd Sub to hit Canada)  but let us go with original premise.

    Not a horrible idea, but I don’t see what it really gets you – then the UK takes no cruiser to sea zone 81.

    What it gets you is weakening Taranto. You give the Italians the choice in SZ96 of rolling well or stripping down the Taranto raid. Of course, if they’re doing Tobruk instead anyway, they can probably still hit SZ96 with just as much.

    That actually helps you if the UK is planning to do Taranto then. If not, it weakens your 110 attack (of course, Meinherr isn’t doing one).

    @simon33:

    @Arthur:

    If I had a choice between killing the UK Cruiser or the UK Destroyer/transport combo next to Canada, I would much prefer the second option.  That DD/Transport can be a major thorn into threatening Sea Lion, allowing the UK to have additional spending in Africa on the first turn.

    It’s still possible to do both if you hit SZ110 with planes/BB only. You do risk a scramble in SZ110 though.

    Meinherr is not hitting sea zone 110 at all. He was sending three subs to sea zone 106 I thought.

    Marsh

  • '19 '17 '16

    Right. I was making a more general comment.

    If you aren’t hitting SZ110, you can hit 111 with one sub and enough planes to be confident of a one round battle.


  • When playing RamRod, the conventional attack mindset involving Kill-SZ110 or Try SeaLion needs to be changed.

    SeaLion is obviously out, esp with No Taranto…the 2 extra FTRS in UK would make it too expensive.

    Accept that you are allowing the UK-BB, CRU and French CRU  to Live, in exchange for :

    1. Killing French DD,CRU in SZ93…allowing Italy’s Navy+Air to do other things
    2. Allowing the Italian BB, CRU and *most imptly * the  TR to live and do something.
    3. Giving a chance for Ethiopians and Somali Italians to survive a round and concentrate…now they have to be hunted down…diverting UK resources
    4. Help Tobruk forcE survive.

    With Tobruk and Ethiopians,  Italy has option of not sacrificing them, should the German Strafe, be called off.

    Since UK goes before Italy, there is time to decide, whether to go with strafe …or not!

    If not, then they can be:
    A) Kept in Libya and Kenya for a future threat. As long As Italian Navy exists in strength, the potential to take Egypt /Syria/Gib remains!
    This keeps UK Med play honest.

    B) Used to take Sudan and Tunisia
    C) Combo of these and Withdraw 8 units from N Africa for defense!
    D)  After Tunisia,Kenya is taken, can take Morocco and Algeria to get bonus and Tanganiyika to deny UK it’s NO.

    All these ties down UK resources.

    1. Make India easier to take for Japan.

    IPC-wise, this is superior to the conventional play of

    German Naval build for a bogus SeaLion threat costs 30 IPC, that cannot be used against Moscow…

    Or

    SZ110 kill… which results in Taranto, screwing over the Italians permanently.

    So , just like Dark Skies involves a completely different thought-process, RamRod requires thinking unconventionally.

    It can be tried with J2,J3 or J4… and dare I say J1… Iam sure folks will figure it out.

    But, as far as Italy play is concerned,  cannot give it a better option than this.

    Plz add to this after you try it.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @MeinHerr:

    1. Killing French DD,CRU in SZ93…allowing Italy’s Navy+Air to do other things
    2. Allowing the Italian BB, CRU and *most imptly * the  TR to live and do something.
    3. Giving a chance for Ethiopians and Somali Italians to survive a round and concentrate…now they have to be hunted down…diverting UK resources
    4. Help Tobruk forcE survive.

    Exactly what else do Italy’s navy and air force have to do that is worth sacrificing a German air unit to French ships in sea zone 93?

    You still have done NOTHING to deter Taranto. The UK can do it, or not, as it pleases – the choice is not up to you. Please explain how anything you have done deters the UK from making the Taranto attack?

    @MeinHerr:

    With Tobruk and Ethiopians,  Italy has option of not sacrificing them, should the German Strafe, be called off.

    Since UK goes before Italy, there is time to decide, whether to go with strafe ….or not!

    If not, then they can be:
    A) Kept in Libya and Kenya for a future threat. As long As Italian Navy exists in strength, the potential to take Egypt /Syria/Gib remains!

    If you move those forces into Alexandria on I1, enough of the German air force must land in Alexandria on G2 to deter the UK from killing those forces. If Germany does not reinforce via air, the Italian forces in Alexandria are dead. Your only choice is whether or not to move them to Alexandria.

    Also, if you move to Alexandria and to Kenya (not Anglo-Egypt Sudan) your threat to take Egypt is quite empty.

    @MeinHerr:

    C) Combo of these and Withdraw 8 units from N Africa for defense!
    D)  After Tunisia,Kenya is taken, can take Morocco and Algeria to get bonus and Tanganiyika to deny UK it’s NO.

    By the time you get to Morocco, you will have lost Alexandria – your entire North Africa stack cannot stand against a properly executed UK1 MIC in Egypt, so exactly how is part of it going to keep Alexandria if the UK moves into that territory in force? No North Africa NO for you! Plus, the Americans will land and kill your forces in Morocco, allowing them to more rapidly move on to Normandy, Denmark, Norway, Rome, etc. rather than walking across North Africa to get to you…

    Retreating the Italian forces from Africa is usually a good call if the US is doing KGF, as the US can put more pressure on Europe early than you can withstand without these forces. This would be especially true if a substantial amount of bid was placed in the Med.

    The UK NO was taken as soon as you took Kenya…

    @MeinHerr:

    All these ties down UK resources.

    Totally disagree. You are giving the UK an amazing amount of freedom by not putting pressure on it. Plus, by taking French territories that you cannot hold, you are giving the US extra income. The Allied players should actually come over to shake your hand and thank you for this!

    @MeinHerr:

    1. Make India easier to take for Japan.

    NOTHING the UK does can save India against a determined Japan. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something, and what they’re selling stinks.

    @MeinHerr:

    German Naval build for a bogus SeaLion threat costs 30 IPC, that cannot be used against Moscow…

    Or

    SZ110 kill… which results in Taranto, screwing over the Italians permanently.

    At least we’re in agreement that a bogus Sea Lion build is not worth the IPCs…

    I fail to see how a G1 sea zone 110 kill results in Taranto being performed. Nothing in the G1 sea zone 110 attack forces the Allies to do anything at all. Anyone, please tell me how sea zone 110 forces the UK to do Taranto?

    @MeinHerr:

    So , just like Dark Skies involves a completely different thought-process, RamRod requires thinking unconventionally.

    If by unconventionally you mean not thinking things through and making questionable strategic decisions, I would agree with your statement.

    I agree that with early German help Italy can actually be a meaningful contributor to the Axis war effort. The only issue with this is that you have to have some plan to hold off a well-executed KGF while still killing Russia quickly and effectively. I’m actually ok with your strafing plan, but as I think has been shown it is basically a die roll for the Axis. You need more to it than what you have. Maybe put your G1 fleet build off Southern France on G2 so you have a two-punch for Egypt. That would get Germany an NO and give Italy a break into the Middle East or Africa. That might be worth a one or two turn delay in killing Moscow.

    Also, at the end of the day, Italy’s focus has to be defending Europe. Holding Egypt and the Middle East should be considered strategic objectives (i.e., Italy needs the money to build in Europe) and not tactical (Italy actively combats Russia and builds forces for that purpose). If you combined this with a fast Japanese kill of India, you might have a winning Axis strategy here.

    Marsh

  • '19 '17 '16

    @Marshmallow:

    NOTHING the UK does can save India against a determined Japan. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something, and what they’re selling stinks.

    Probably true. Although you can make them make sacrifices to take it. Bidding an art in Kweichow helps a lot. Do you play in league or online?

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    The plan would look something like this (please remember this is just broad strokes):

    G1: build seven artillery, save two IPCs. Take Southern France with other usuals, including sea zone 110. Ignore sea zone 91 – it is inconsequential. Try not to lose any aircraft. Land one fighter in Southern Italy for a three plane scramble, or land that fighter in Tobruk.
    J1: China and Russia, keep the US out of it.
    I1: Italy kills French fleet in sea zone 93 and destroys any UK blockers in the Med. Build a transport and keep your fighters home. Take Alexandria and use your existing transports to reinforce it.

    G2: build AC and destroyer in Southern France; remaining money is tanks and mechs for Russia. Land two fighters on carrier. Move at least one infantry to Greater Southern Germany and make sure three German tanks are in range to move to the coast on G3 (you want them worrying about a G3 build of three transports in Southern France). Land all aircraft not already in Africa in Southern Italy. Strat bomb UK Egypt factory.
    J2: More China and Russia, keep the US out. If UKP and ANZAC were dumb enough to attack you, capitalize on it to deprive India of as much income as possible. Secure Yunnan as a landing field.
    I2: All remaining Italian warships go to sea zone 93 to cover German fleet. Reinforce Alexandria with more ground forces. Keep your fighters at home to cover your transports. Secure Greece if practicable, but do not sacrifice reinforcing Alexandria.

    G3: Build a transport in Southern France. Move one infantry and one tank to Northern Italy (two if you are going for a two transport option). All your other money is spent for tanks and mechs for Russia. If the UK turtled Egypt with all air, use the Luftwaffe to kill the UK fleet for cheap. If the UK did not turtle Egypt, use the Luftwaffe to strafe Egypt one round and allow an Italy walk-in. (Could go with two transports, because two tanks can gain ground in the Middle East faster than one…). Land back in Alexandria to cover Italian ground forces. Strat bomb UK Egypt factory. Go to war with Russia.
    J3: More China and Russia, keep the US out. If UKP and ANZAC were dumb enough to attack you, capitalize on it to deprive India of as much income as possible. Land all your planes in Yunnan. Get ready to kill India on J4.
    I3: Move Italian warships to destination sea zone for German fleet (by now that should be sea zone 98). Reinforce Alexandria with more ground forces unless you can take Egypt (and if you can take Trans Jordan if you don’t need the forces for Egypt). If Germany will strafe Egypt, reinforce Alexandria. Otherwise, land in Syria. Secure Greece.

    G4: If you previously killed the UK navy, determine if you can strafe Egypt. If not, keep covering Italians until more ground forces arrive. Keep strat bombing UK Egypt factory. Reinforce Syria, Egypt, or Alexandria as appropriate. Keep building tanks and mechs to kill Russia.
    J4: Kill India with everything you can while holding off any Alled forces that are threatening you.
    I4: Start heading south from Egypt unless there is a UK factory in Persia/Iraq. If so, you need to work with Germany to overwhelm it while holding onto Egypt – once it is dead, then you have to kill South Africa by yourself.

    With this plan, it does not matter if the UK turtles Egypt – you now have a one punch (Italy) and two-punch (Germany) that combined can either overwhelm Egypt or bypass Egypt with the two punch to go for the Middle East. If the Egypt forces pull out to contest the Germans in the Middle East, the Italians walk in – in essence, you are forcing the UK to choose between giving you Egypt and giving you the Middle East.

    The extra money from the Middle East allows you to build more defenses in Europe if the US is doing KGF and if the US is doing KJF forces it to reconsider, which allows Japan to make hay in the Pacific.

    What has been accomplished:
    1. The Middle East can now only be contested by Russia, which cannot afford to do it if you are pushing hard against Moscow. Remember that Japan has been taking income from Russia since J1 as well, and that is going to start having a magnified effect.
    2. The UK’s income has been severely depleted.
    3. German and/or Italian incomes have been supplemented.
    4. If the UK chose a hard turtle with all air forces for Egypt, you own the Med. Now the US has to contest it or cede it to attack Europe. Either way, you make a lot of money or gain a lot of time to kill Russia. If on the other hand there is a sizable UK fleet, you got Egypt. That fleet cannot take Egypt away from you! If the fleet is there, 1-2 punch it (Italy, then Germany, being sure to lose ships before planes!) and concentrate on collecting money and defending Europe.
    5. From France or West Germany, the Luftwaffe combined with your German fleet in the Med should be able to take on a weak US fleet. You might even get lucky enough to force the US to completely abandon a theatre of the war effort!
    6. This actually negates the possibility of a US landing in Spain, since the UK is not in a position to contain your activation of Turkey! Make sure you are also in a position to take Switzerland and Sweden (one infantry for each is all it takes).

    Cha-ching! You might be delayed in taking Moscow for a couple of turns, but it should not matter. All the extra money coming helps you make up for that delay.

    Let’s call this the Mediterranean Marshmallow, since Meinherr likes to name things. Don’t want him calling it his!

    Again, these are broad strokes – I’m sure there’s a lot of fine tuning involved. Oh, in this variant you do not take Normandy. You are only giving up a little money, and in turn you are depriving the Allies of income and a factory they would normally get if you had taken it. It’s not a factory the Axis typically uses anyway!

    Marsh

  • '19 '17 '16

    I think we can assume that UK_P weren’t dumb enough to DOW UK1. That would be suicide.

    @Marshmallow:

    J2: More China and Russia, keep the US out. If UKP and ANZAC were dumb enough to attack you, capitalize on it to deprive India of as much income as possible. Secure Yunnan as a landing field.

    Often not possible. I will generally attack Hunnan China1 with 1art 2inf 1ftr. Hopefully, one inf has already been killed J1 but if not I will still chance it for at least one round. Two rounds if we both lose one but not two in the first round. Yunnan is attacked with a few inf. Depending on what is around I might go all in or just a few. You want to take it though.

    Assuming that you don’t win the battle in Hunnan, what do you have in Kwangsi that can’t be beaten J2?

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