Caspian Sub Policy Paper #15: Do you know a sucker?

  • And do you like punching him?

    If you answered yes to both of those questions, have we got a paper for
    you! Policy Paper #15 is 100% loaded with the sucker punchingest
    action available!

    Here 'tis:

  • 2007 AAR League


  • Truth…

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Can you just do us all favor and just post this “policy paper” so we dont have to get stuck joining anything?

  • Yo.

    A while back djensen was working on posting the articles on the main page, but I don’t know where he’s at on that.

    They don’t work well in the forum.  A fair amount of work goes into the content and layout and we’d rather not edit every paper for each individual forum.

    At this point not a single Caspian Sub member has complained about the Yahoo groups feature or about junk mail.  If we do start to hear complaints we’ll look for another venue.


  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    A while back djensen was working on posting the articles on the main page, but I don’t know where he’s at on that.

    I think hes still playing axis and allies miniatures!

    anyway I see your point. I too had posted the rules to a game i created for this forum (e.g. Jutland) and it too didnt conform to the word prosessor they have here.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I came across this from another site:
    I think if just one of us joins this thing and posts everything at this site, it may help the rest of us because we dont want to have to join the thing JUST to view material. I hate Yahoo/AOL/ MSN  and anything that has to do with them so i choose not to join that group.

    Paper Summary

    Under Caspian Sub rules (and any bombing-limited rules), Strategic Bombing Raids make for a poor strategic direction. It may be worthwhile to conduct raids with the planes you already have, but it is certainly not worth building a fleet of bombers and making the raids your main strategy.

    In most cases, the value of using or losing the bomber in a raid is not as favorable as using the bomber against military targets.


    Blowing up stuff is cool. It’s what we do. It’s who we are. So Strategic Bombing Raids (SBRs) sound like a good thing to do. I mean, you have a bomber, your enemy has arrogantly provided you with an industrial complex for bombing, it almost seems wrong NOT to bomb it.

    So let’s start with the math.
    1. How Much is an Individual Bombing Raid Worth?
    On a given raid, a bomber can inflict between 1 and 6 IPCs of damage. Let’s assume your target has a value of at least six IPCs so you can do the maximum damage. That means that on average you will inflict 3.5 IPCs per successful raid ([1+2+3+4+5+6] / 6). That’s a little more than an infantry, so that’s a nice hit against your opponent.

    But wait, your opponent has a nearly indestructible anti-aircraft gun (see Policy Paper #07 appendix D), and he will use it to shoot at your bomber. 1 in 6 times, he will hit your bomber. So there is some average cost associated with sending the bomber in since it will get hit from time to time. On average, the bomber will conduct 5 successful SBRs and it will get hit on number 6 (it’s more complicated than that, but that is the average outcome). So the IPC value of the bomber has to be divided by the number of uses of that bomber, or 15IPCs / 6 SBRs = 2.5 IPCs per SBR.

    That means that if you inflict an average of 3.5 IPCs per attempt and it costs you 2.5 IPCs of the bomber’s value for every attempt, the SBR nets you 1 IPC per raid.
    2. Mitigating Factors
    The 1IPC net value per SBR assumes an AA gun is guarding the territory. What if the complex is in Frindo and no AA gun is guarding it? Then you have an average damage per SBR of 2.5 ([1+2+3+3+3+3] / 6). So bombing an unguarded complex in a typical built-complex territory is more profitable, but it is still does not kill a full infantry’s worth of value.
    3. Opportunity Cost
    So if we know we’re not getting a lot of value for that bomber on SBRs, how does it compare to the other things we could do with that bomber? Great question. I’m glad I asked.

    Let’s say you use the bomber along with ground troops against a territory with A) no AA gun B) the defender has all infantry and C) the combat lasts for 3 rounds. Every hit the bomber gets kills an infantry, or 3IPCs of damage. But the bomber misses 2/3 of the time, so 3IPCs * 2/3 = 2IPCs per combat round. In a 3 round combat, the bomber will inflict 6IPCs of damage against the enemy.

    Apples to Apples: If the territory used in the example above has an AA gun, how does that affect the overall cost? That is the info we need to compare an SBR versus a simple ground attack. As we showed with the SBR, the bomber dies 1 in 6 times for an average bomber cost of 2.5 IPCs per combat. Notice that is the per combat cost, not the per combat round cost. So take the 6IPCs of average damage from the battle and subtract 2.5IPCs. That means even with an AA gun present you are inflicting 3.5IPCs of damage per combat, or 3.5 times more economic value than an equivalent SBR.

    Now let’s switch to another combat example. Imagine that the bomber is used along with other naval units against an enemy navy where A) the units are all subs and transports B) the combat lasts for 3 rounds. Now the cheapest unit is 8IPCs. So you have 8IPCs * 2/3 hits per round = 5.3 IPCs of damage per round. In a 3 round battle, that equals 16 IPCs of damage against the enemy.

    In both of the examples above, we used the cheapest units available. If defending fighters or tanks were present in the land battle, then the average IPCs killed by the bomber would be higher. In the water, you will be using your bomber against the most expensive units in the game, so your average damage will be very high. Finally, if the combat is really large and lasts more than three rounds, the bomber will kill even more IPCs of gear.

    So on straight math, the bomber is more effectively used against military units than on SBRs.
    More Opportunity Cost
    Ok, so I have this bomber and there are no military targets I should even attempt attacking. Should I send the bomber on an SBR?

    Well, if the territory doesn’t have an AA gun, you might as well. It’s free bombing, and that’s pretty sweet bombing.

    But if the territory DOES have an AA gun, remember you are only garnering a net value of 1IPC compared against the cost of the bomber. If you want the bomber later in the game (and you almost certainly do) then it is probably not worth risking the 1 in 6 AA gun hit.

    In addition to the straight military use of the bomber, there is the deterrent value to consider. Bombers have a wicked range, so a UK bomber can pop an unprotected transport from the exact opposite end of the Earth (a bomber in Russia, whose territory borders the north edge of the board, can kill a transport in sea zone 28, whose territory borders the south edge of the board). The UK is not likely to replace a bomber in the course of a KGF game, so losing a bomber in an SBR precludes the threat of other uses.

    Then there is the force-multiplier effect of the bomber. Consider a case where you want to attack a territory with 2inf defending, but you can only bring 2inf for the attack. Adding the bomber to your 2inf makes that a good attack, meaning you have the benefit of killing 2inf and taking the territory in a fight you wouldn’t otherwise consider.
    The Exceptions
    We have established that the base economics of the SBR are not worthwhile as a primary strategy, but there some possible exceptions where an SBR is desirable. Those circumstances are when you have a sunk cost, an opportunity for dollar transfer, or the unStrategy.

    Sunk cost refers to the fact that everyone except Russia starts with a bomber already on the board. You’re not building your starting bomber, so the bomber you already have may not be worth 15 IPCs to you. If you are in a defensive position, it is a lousy defensive piece. In that case, raw economics and some opportunity costs don’t apply to you. Bomb away.

    Dollar transfer refers to the concept that although an SBR may be a bad economic move in and of itself, you may not care because other investments may be less effective. The US, for example, is far away from the Axis powers. That player may decide that the fastest way to get in the game is to build bombers just to get active quickly. That is likely sub-optimal (see Policy Paper #02 on US transports for a different option), but it is one reason why some people like the strategy.

    And lastly there is Sweet Mother Luck (the unStrategy). Some guys like to take their chances. If the AA guns are cold, you can rock a paycheck pretty badly. But this isn’t exactly a ‘strategy’; it is more of a prayer.

    1. What about in games where there is no limit on bombing?
    This would represent the best case of the dollar transfer exception. Although it may not be cost effective for the US to do the bombing from a US-only point of view, it might be good for the Allies. If you could spend 40 US IPCs to destroy 30 German IPCs, most Allied players would jump at that opportunity. It is a bad dollar-for-dollar trade, but it is trading US dollars for German dollars, letting the UK and the Soviets finish off Germany quickly. With limited total damages this strategy is less effective; the marginal decrease of German cash does not compare favorably to the US landing ground troops in Europe.
    2. What about the sweetest, most powerful national advantage of all, the Luftewaffe Dive-Bombers?
    If I was an Allied player, I would actually pay 1IPC of my own money to give the Germans this ‘Advantage’. When Caspian Sub wrote the analysis on National Advantages (Policy Paper #06), I actually rated it as a value of -1. The other guys disagreed, but…

    Here’s the thing: Your average damage is 2IPCs, your average cost is 1.67IPCs, for a net of 1/3 of an IPC. So it is an ‘advantage’. But what an opportunity cost! If the AA guns pop a fighter or two, W. Europe is not going to last long and Berlin will fall shortly thereafter. Not to mention that the fighters have to be far enough east to reach Moscow (or Caucasus) in the first place. I guess you could say you’re trading Berlin for giving Moscow to Japan, but c’mon…

    Wrap Up
    Although there are a few instances where SBRs are useful, you’re better off saving your bombers for military engagements. Leave the civilians alone.

  • Excellent post by IL. I really wish more posts in this forum used as much quantitative reasoning in their arguments. If the other info from this site is just as good then it would definitely be worth it for someone to post those articles here so everyone doesn’t have to join over there, like IL said.

  • Actually that post is mathematically flawed and was corrected on their yahoo site; the net gain from SBR is not 1 IPC, it’s 0.4 IPCs.

    And ironically, that is the same group that advocates 2-3 transports in an opening Germany build and where I got the idea from.

  • I didn’t bother reading through the post as carefully as checking all the math because I’ve heard the argument a million times before and have agreed totally with these conclusions since the game came out. I looked back at what tri said and it is flawed but it doesn’t change any of the arguments that significantly, it only reinforces the argument. If I’m not going to SBR when it’s only 1 IPC gain then I’m certainly not going to when it’s less than that. A math error that doesn’t change the overall conclusion.

    Since tri didn’t bother posting why it closer to 0.4 I guess I will… SBR damage - bomber damage = net gain --> (5/6)(3.5) - (1/6)(15) = 2.5/6 = .41667

    I didn’t bother checking any of the other math so there might be other errors, but I assure you that the argument that SBR’s generally aren’t worth it is perfectly sound.

    Tri- perhaps you should post their 2-3 transport argument at this site? Maybe they could argue the point a lot better than you did.

  • Baltic Part I: What You Might Build There

    Caspian Sub PP11, 1v0

    Paper Topic
    German management of the Baltic.

    Paper Summary

    If Germany spends too much in the Baltic, then the Russians will crush them.  If they spend nothing, then the US and the UK are free to roam the Atlantic.

    Buying nothing is bad; buying too much is worse.  In the first round you should spend between 16 and 24 IPCs.  After that, you should unite the German fleets in Z07 or build up for a Land Bridge operation (Policy Paper #12).

    The Germans cannot control the Atlantic against a KGF strategy.  German boats should be built as either an early impediment to the Allied player and then become a suicide fleet or the Germans should overwhelm the Allies with a rapid transport buildup.

    Playing against very experienced players we recommend that you buy 2 transports.  Playing against less experienced players we recommend 3 transports.  These purchases set up two of the sweetest sucker punches in the game: Canadian Shield and Land Bridge.

    Can Germany afford to be a naval power?
    Assume the worst case for Germany, and that is when the Allies are all concentrating on Berlin.  That is called KGF, or Kill Germany First.  Russia has about 5 rounds before they need to spend a nickel on Japan because it takes that long for Japan to threaten Moscow.  So assume that between 24 and 32 Russian IPCs are heading west every round.  If Germany is down money to Russia but up money in Africa, they could maintain a paycheck between 30 and 42.  On average, Germany will be ahead of Russia by somewhere between 6 and 10 IPCs.  That has a few implications:

    1. That difference is not consistently enough to buy one boat every round and keep up with Russia.
    2. The US and the UK need to divert only two or three German units away from Russia to make the Eastern Front even between Germany and Russia.

    If the Allies are really going KGF, then the UK has nothing better to do than to put boats in the water until the German boats are dead.  That means the UK will buy 30 IPCs of boats and planes every round.  Compare that with the 6-10 IPCs Germany can spare from Russia, and it is clear that the Germans can’t be naval builders for long even if the US does nothing.

    So the first thing we learn is that Germany shouldn’t consider becoming a long-term naval power.
    Should Germany buy any boats at all?
    We know we don’t want to spend a lot of money in the water but do we want to spend anything?  Start by looking at the Baltic fleet.  You have 2subs 1tra 1des.  That’s a nice little navy.  The weakness of that particular navy, however, is that it only has two units that can shoot at aircraft – and one of those “threats” is a freaking transport.  That makes it a ripe target for the UK air force even on round one.  If 2ftr 1bmr attack that navy, here are your top three outcomes (using Caspian Sub battle simulator for 1000 runs):
    Outcome Times AFtr ABmr DTra DSub DDes
    Attacker Wins 281 1 1
    Attacker Wins 242 1
    Defender Wins 150 1

    Overall, the attacker wins about 2/3s of the time.  But it is really a little worse than that for Germany.  This battle is ripe for a strafing run by the UK.  If no protection is added to the water, the UK player can hit for a round or two and then pull back before losing too many planes.  Then the UK can attack the next round with extra planes that they purchase or they can bring the battleship to soak up a hit.  That would end the ability of Germany to have units that float.

    It seems like a waste to leave 36IPCs of naval units in a position where they will die without inflicting much damage.  It would be better to make the UK pay a heavier price to eliminate the Baltic navy if Germany can do it on the cheap.  Let’s run through the options.

    8 IPCs Added to Baltic
    The cheapest unit is 8 IPCs.  Adding a sub does give the Germans an extra hit, so it does give a little protection to the fleet.  But if only aircraft are attacking, then a transport adds a 1 on defense as well as being an extra hit.  In addition, the extra transport threatens the UK, Norway, and Karelia.  So if we add a transport to the battle, when we use the battle sim we get these top 3 outcomes:
    Outcome Times AFtr ABmr DTra DSub DDes
    Attacker Wins 209 1
    Defender Wins 179 1 1
    Attacker Wins 160 1 1

    Overall, the defender now wins about 51%, and the attacker wins about 40%.  So with the addition of a single transport the battle now favors the defender.  The UK still has the option to strafe, however, so many advanced players would attack for one round and then continue the attack if the dice are favorable.  But for 8 IPCs the German fleet is less likely to be attacked.  Not bad, but much is left to the dice and the UK holds the choices.

    12 IPCs Added to Baltic
    If the Germans are willing to spend 4 more IPCs, they can add a destroyer to the battle.  At a quick glance we know that adding a 3 to the fight will be a big upgrade.  The attacker has a punch of 10 (2ftr + 1bmr) and the starting Baltic navy has a punch of 4 (1tra + 1des + 2subs that can’t hit planes).  The destroyer will almost double the punch of the defender, and the count advantage becomes 3 attackers vs. 5 defenders.  Here is how the top three outcomes look in the simulator:
    Outcome Times AFtr Abmr Dtra Dsub Ddes
    Defender Wins 250 2
    Defender Wins 210 1 2
    Defender Wins 167 1

    Now the defender wins about 70% of the time and even a strafing raid is too costly for the attacker.  If your goal is just to protect the fleet for the first round, a destroyer will accomplish that .  Unfortunately it won’t accomplish much else.  It can’t help take land, it doesn’t extend the range of fighters like a carrier would, etc.  Let’s see what 4 more IPCs will do for the Germans.

    16 IPCs Added to Baltic
    With 16 IPCs, a carrier looks to be a natural fit.  If you add no fighters to the carrier then you have the same numbers from the simulator as you do for the destroyer since you are just adding a 3 to the fight.  If you park one or two fighters on the carrier then the fight is overwhelmingly in favor of the defender.  The Baltic is certainly protected for round one.

    In addition, the carrier extends the range of your air force.  If you are willing to move the carrier out of the Baltic, then fighters can hit far away sea zones and still land safely.  This will force the Allied player to guard his navy more carefully than if Germany buys a destroyer or a transport.

    But how valuable is that?  The carrier does not threaten the land, and putting fighters on the carrier weakens Western Europe.  The carrier adds one more territory you need to defend with your fighters.  That is not a problem for rounds one and two, but in later rounds it is great to have those fighters defending the land with a stack of infantry.  And against an experienced player, you may not slow the UK down much with this purchase because it is not too difficult to protect Allied boats from two or three German planes (see Policy Paper 14: Baltic III – Allied Response).

    Offensively, the carrier only adds a 1 to a naval fight.  It is true that you could potentially buy two fighters in Berlin and use them in the water, but then you are diverting an additional 20 IPCs away from Russia.

    Two Transports
    What else can we get with those 16 IPCs?  Subs are still not a great buy since we’re worried about planes, so let’s look at 2tra.  Here are the top three outcomes in the sim when we add two transports to the navy:
    Outcome Times AFtr Abmr DTra DSub DDes
    Defender Wins 210 2 1
    Defender Wins 185 1 1
    Defender Wins 165 3 1

    The defender wins about 72% of the time.  That is comparable to the destroyer.  The UK could strafe this fleet, but that is a substantial gamble.  A strafe is likely to only trade UK fighters for German subs, and most German players would be very happy with that trade.

    Two transports provide sufficient defense in the Baltic for the same price as a carrier.  Does that purchase do anything else?  If you like the option of invading the UK, then the answer is yes.  Even if you have no intention of actually invading London, the UK player is going to have to be very careful.  You now have 3 transports in the Baltic.  If the UK attempts a counterattack against your boats then the most likely outcome is that only 1 transport and 2 subs are killed but 3 planes die.  Again, that is a great trade for the Germans in the water as well as for an assault on London.  So assume your Baltic fleet lives.  Before the UK purchase, the battle for London looks like this:
    3inf 3tnk 6ftr 1bmr oPunch = 34 oCount = 13
    2inf 1art 1tnk 2ftr 1bmr 1gun dPunch = 18 dCount = 7

    Obviously the UK needs some help to stay alive.  If your opponent is a KJF player, his maximum purchase is 5inf 1IC.  That yields:
    3inf 3tnk 6ftr 1bmr oPunch = 34 oCount = 13
    7inf 1art 1tnk 2ftr 1bmr 1gun dPunch = 28 dCount = 12

    Run through the dice simulator and you find the Germans will take London 55% of the time unless the UK gets help from another power.  If the UK player isn’t going to build the IC, then he will be in a stronger position.  But simply by putting two transports in the water you have put the Allies on the defensive in the Atlantic.  The carrier does not have that effect.  In addition, if you are having a naval battle with the German air force participating, then having two transports on offense is substantially better than having 1 carrier.  True, the carrier has a punch of one where the transports have a punch of zero, but the transports add two to the count of the attacker.

    We will return to the impact of this purchase after we explore a couple more options because there are additional ways to leverage the two transport purchase.

    More than 16 IPCs in the Baltic
    At this point we have met the initial goal of protecting the Baltic fleet from an easy UK attack.  Spending 8 IPCs puts the battle barely in favor of the Germans for the first round,   Spending 12 or more IPCs can lock up the Baltic on defense, and spending 16 on two transports is good for offense and defense.  Since we want to minimize German naval expenses, under what circumstances would spending more than 16 be a good idea?

    Operation Sea Lion
    Let’s look at the high end first.  Suppose you built 5 transports with the goal of invading London (generally called the Sea Lion).  At that point the UK must abandon building an Indian complex and focus on defense.  But the Allied player is likely happy.  Russia will be huge and the UK will quickly overtake the Germans in the water.  It is true that the Brits will have to buy ground troops to defend their capital, but that sets them back for fewer rounds than you might expect.  In many games, the UK will not land a large quantity of ground troops in Europe until round three due to the threat of the German navy and air force.  In a situation where they have to build ground troops round one, they will build naval/air units round two, chase down the Germans round three, and either land troops on that round or on round four.  The ground troops they build round one are not wasted; they just are built earlier than normal.

    In the meantime, the Germans will have spent a lot of money in the water and Russia will be taking down their paycheck.  The net effect is that Russia is up, Germany is down, and the UK may not have even been slowed down a full round.  That is likely a trade that treats the Germany very poorly.

  • A Menacing German Navy
    What about a naval force that is designed to harass the UK waters but not board the UK?  A German player could build something along the lines of a battleship and a couple of subs to try and control the ocean.  This option is even less effective than the transport buildup because the UK player can ignore the defense of London and begin to build dual use, counter-naval units immediately (such as fighters).  A combination of capital ships and transports would be more effective at slowing down the UK, but Germany would still have the problem of spending less than Russia on ground troops.  Forty IPCs is a lot to spend on a temporary threat to Britain that results in Germany essentially abandoning valuable land in east Europe.

    Carrier + Option
    You could spend 24 or more IPCs on a carrier and some other set of naval units.  But remember, your primary goal in building a fleet on round one is to prevent the UK from killing the boats you already have in the Baltic for as little cost as possible.  Any money you spend in excess of that is likely wasted.  There is no doubt that buying a carrier and another boat or two is a stronger navy, but stronger to what purpose?  You already have defense by spending the 16 IPCs.  After that, you should spend your money on Russia.

    Minimizing Lucky Play
    There is one other circumstance where putting more than16 IPCs in the water may be beneficial, and that is when you think your opponent will press his luck in the Baltic battle and open you up to a dice problem.  For instance, if Britain knows that Germany has a 73% chance of a favorable outcome in the Baltic with the two transport purchase, they probably will not attack.  But what if the player thinks a strafe is still worthwhile or he miscalculates and attacks anyway?  The two transport purchase is deceptively effective; at first glance most British players think they should be able to send in the planes and still like the outcome. In fact, the German player will likely enjoy the outcome, but the dice could turn that miscalculated attack into an Allied windfall.

    Surprisingly, after playing this gambit many times, almost every Allied player that is not in the Caspian Sub group has attacked the Baltic even when they have a high likelihood of a poor outcome.  The battle just looks better for the UK then it actually is.  At first all you see is a destroyer and a pile of matchsticks; it doesn’t look like a threat to planes.  So the attacking player goes in, receives the expected outcome, and then complains about getting bad dice because they haven’t done the math.  But on occasion the Allied player gets good dice and the Atlantic theater falls apart for Germany.

    So, due to the fact that the 2 transport purchase is deceptively strong and will often be underestimated, we recommend buying 3 transports to put the battle beyond doubt.  Even so, you will find that people will STILL attack this fleet when their odds of a favorable outcome are terrible.  Here are the top three outcomes from the simulator with three transports purchased in the Baltic and the British air force attacking:
    Outcome Times AFtr ABmr DTra DSub DDes
    Defender Wins 235 3 1
    Defender Wins 196 4 1
    Defender Wins 168 2 1

    Consider what this means.  The UK has lost two fighters and a bomber which were needed to defend the UK while the most common outcome is that 3 German transports are still alive and ready to attack London.  If the Allied player bought an IIC (India Industrial Complex) before seeing the result of the Baltic battle, the game may already be over.

    The third transport is somewhat wasteful in the sense that it is over-protecting against a dice outcome, but you have also just put the UK on notice that London has to be defended before they can build an IIC.  And a third transport lets you do a couple of tricks that make it worth the extra 8 IPCs.  We’ll get to that in a bit; just remember to park your fighter in range of London to keep the UK player on his toes.

    But the bottom line is that by supplementing the existing Baltic fleet with a little extra punch it is more costly for the UK to take down the boats.
    United Fleet
    Ok, with the transport purchase you have now built some extra naval punch in the Baltic.  The original Baltic units have been protected, the UK player is watching their capital more closely, and you haven’t spent so much German cash that Russia is marching through eastern Europe like crap through a goose.  What’s next?

    If the Allies are playing KGF, the simple fact is that they are still going to sink your boats.  It will cost them more money than if you had not built any boats, but they will still find a way to do it (see Policy Paper #14: Baltic Part IV - Allies Response).  You could try to build more navy and hold them off, but we have already seen that the Russians will be in great shape if you buy very much.  On the other hand, running away from the Baltic is tough.  Anywhere you run the Brits are still in range.  The only open water lies beyond the cliffs of Dover, so the Brits will get at least one crack at you before you’re free.

    Here’s how you spring the Baltic fleet free: join them up with the Mediterranean fleet in Z07 on round two.

    On round one the Germans should invade Gibraltar, killing the UK battleship in the process.  To do this you need to bring the transport and the battleship from Z14 and the sub from Z08.  You should have a fighter or two participate as well.  It is critical that you take Gibraltar to prevent UK from using fighters in a counterattack.  If you do take Gibraltar, then only the UK bomber and destroyer from Z16 can attack your fleet.  Because the battleship will soak up a hit, this is a terrible fight for the UK player and he shouldn’t even try it.

    Now that you are in Z13, on round two you can move both the Med fleet and the Baltic fleet to Z07. You will have something along the lines of:

    5tra 3sub 1des 1btl

    The UK has only had one turn to build so it will be difficult for them to hit that fleet hard (Policy Paper #14 shows a couple of ways to do it, but it is still difficult).  Remember, by building 3tra you now have 5tra that can hit London.  If the Russians sacrifice their sub then the transport from the Med can be blocked from invading London round two, but then the Allies lose a defensive naval unit to free shots from German planes.  And if you station your air force in Western Europe round one (you should almost always do this) then your planes and navy can combine to pound any Allied fleet in Z08.

    Keep in mind that if you do not get the Baltic fleet out on round two then you are unlikely to ever do so.  The Allied player will be moving up planes and US capital ships and the Allies will take out your boats when it is convenient for them.  By uniting the fleet early, the Allies will not have the units in place for a counterattack.
    Third Round Opportunities
    Ok, so you have this sweet fleet floating around in Z07.  What should you do with the boats?  You have some really good options:

    1. Attack any fleet in Z08.  If your planes landed in Western Europe round two then you should be able to hit Z08 with something in the neighborhood of 5tra 3sub 1des 1btl 6ftr 1bmr.  That will rock just about anything that can be in the water at that point (Allies need two loaded carriers to prevent this).  And you can afford to suicide your boats; just pull back before you lose a lot of planes.  It hurts to see all that navy die, but remember your goals.  You are trying to slow down the Allies while not investing money in a strategy that is doomed to fail in the long term.  In addition, the earlier the battle the more it favors the Germans.  Once the Allies build up, your fleet will be a suicide with less of an impact.

    If you kill all the Allied capital ships early you have now set the UK back about two rounds.  They will need one round to rebuild transports and another round to build capital ships to protect the transports.  So your most likely outcome is that you have spent 16-24 IPCs in the Baltic to set back the Allies for somewhere between one to two rounds.  That is more than a worthwhile investment.

    2. Canadian Shield.  You have now set yourself up to deliver one of the sweetest sucker punches in the game.  This is too large a topic to cover here, but you can read about it in Policy Paper #13: Cracking the Canadian Shield.

    3. Slip into the Mediterranean.  With 5 transports you can threaten Caucasus with a dire threat.  Moving the fleet to the Med will allow the UK to go back in the water, but it may be too late to save Moscow (combined German and Japanese pressure).  You can also drop gear in Anglo Egypt, if necessary, and reassert control of Africa.  As a side note, everyone knows the feeling of Germany funneling troops into Africa and not getting many IPCs out of Africa before the Allies liberate it.  With a fleet of this strength, you can get in, get the land, and get your boys back to Europe to do the fighting.  You’ll still have the freedom to move units back down to Africa to repel the Allies if they get frisky.

    And if you drop gear in Trans Jordan and Anglo on round four, you have set yourself up to land 10 ground troops in India on round 5.  Coordinated with Japan, you should be able to knock out the British Empire in a KJF game.

    4. Land grab.  From Z07 you can snag Brazil, Eastern Canada, French West Africa, or go back into the Baltic for any of the adjacent lands there.  If you move the fleet slightly south, the rest of Africa is in range.

    5. Make the US sweat.  If your fleet can’t be counterattacked, you could move in range of the Eastern US.  Having 5inf 5tnk that can hit DC tends to refocus the US player if they were working on Japan.  And you don’t actually have to make the assault for this to be effective.  The mere threat of it will pull the US away from Japan for a round and you can return the 5inf 5tnk back to Europe on the next round to fight Russia.

    Threatening DC in a KJF game is the Mother of All Monkey Wrenches!

    6. Head back to the Baltic.  This is generally a crummy option, but if the Russians get sloppy and stage in Karelia/E. Europe, use your transports to show them you mean business!

    7. Combo.  You have 5 transports.  If the Allies do not have aircraft positioned appropriately you may be able to do a combination of these items simultaneously.

    A few words of caution against too much adventurism:
    Once your fleet is gone, the UK may be able to build up a threatening fleet quickly.  Don’t disappear from the Atlantic unless you have a compelling reason to do so.

    Also, if you split up your fleet too much then the boats become easy pickings for bombers.  Count the aircraft that can hit you very carefully before you move.

    Finally, don’t drop a bunch of ground troops far away from Europe unless you can either pull them back to Europe easily or you are able to accomplish some major objective like capturing Washington DC.  If you pull too many troops away, Russia will rush in on you.
    Land Bridge
    There is one final advantage to buying 3 transports on round one that we haven’t discussed yet.  It is the strategy called the Land Bridge.  This topic is large enough that, like the Canadian Shield, it deserves its own paper.  It will be covered in Policy Paper #12: Baltic II - The Land Bridge.

    1. What if you build a carrier in the Baltic round one and you just stay put for defense?
    That’s not a terrible option since it may force the UK to spend money to sink it.  But the UK could go after Japan instead and just ignore your carrier.  More importantly, by purchasing the carrier instead of the transports you are losing your opportunity for the Canadian Shield, Land Bridge, and the various benefits of uniting the fleets.  It is true you will have a couple of extra options with your fighters, but an experienced Allied player won’t have much trouble working around your extra fighter range.  You’ll notice we recommend the carrier for beginners in the German Beginner Strategy Guide because it’s easy to manage.  But the transports are better.
    2. I love the idea of uniting the fleet, but won’t I need the Med fleet in Anglo Egypt on round one?
    It’s all about the bid, Baby!  Put at least one unit in Libya (and a tank in Algeria if the bid is at least 8).  At a minimum you should have 2inf 1tnk 1ftr 1bmr.  That’s a 93% win for taking the land at all costs (to close the Suez).  And heck, you may not even care if you close the Suez.  If the Indian fleet comes through the canal, you can still unite the fleets in Z07 and kill the fleet when it comes west.  Japan will then have an easier game.
    3. Can’t the UK get Africa if the fleet is united?
    If the Allies want Africa bad enough, they’ll have it no matter what.  Our experience has shown that uniting the fleet is better than holding Africa.  Africa is always a fight no matter what, but a German fleet plays well for the Axis.
    4. What about building the fleet in the Med so you could move into the Atlantic but threaten Caucasus too?
    Remember that if you don’t build anything in the Baltic then the UK sinks your Baltic fleet at very little cost.  You don’t have enough cash to build two fleets, so leveraging your existing Baltic boats is more important.

    Wrap Up
    There are many options available for leveraging the Baltic fleet.  After looking at a variety of alternatives, the most efficient purchase is two or three transports.  That protects the boats on round one, allows for a strong united fleet on round two, and puts the Allied game at the brink of failure due to Land Bridge.

  • Hopefully you can argue your own points much better, because I think it’s a losing strategy to spend nothing in the Baltic. I do not see the problem with my arguments, and they’re really no different then the ones asserted in their paper because I took the idea from them.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Thank you Wesley!! can you basically post everything from that site here so i can spend the night reading? BTW thank you Duke for coming back! You have been away too long!

  • What this idiot who wrote this paper misses when he advocates the 3 tranny build…

    UK builds 1 AC of it’s own in UK1, and a TRN, and a couple of INF, lands 2 figs on it and drops it in SZ6.  UK takes out the Atlantic sub, reducing the offensive puch of the German navy by 20%.  UK Sails 1 BB and 1 TRN from SZ2 to SZ6, perhaps dropping an INF and taking a support shot at Norway just for fun.

    Now UK has an AC, 2 FIGS, 1 BB, and 2 TRN in SZ6

    HOW IN THE HELL are the Germans going to even get TO London with 1 Destroyer, 2 subs, 3-4 trannies?

    They can;t get TO London, not without using their AF for the sea battle instead of to support the land invasion.  And the trannies  can’t attack UK’s navy.  Waste 24 IPC’s in G1. 

    And don;t forget, there is a SECOND UK BB that is heading up from Gibraltar that will hit that German navy again on UK3…

  • @ncscswitch:

    What this idiot who wrote this paper misses when he advocates the 3 tranny build…

    WHOA!  WHOA!





    Thanks ncscswitch, this changes everything.  I am going to go reexamine my life now.  If only I had thought of that sweet counter.Â

    U R, like, the BEST EVER!

    Thanks for taking the time to set me straight.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    LMFAO! lol  😄 😄 :mrgreen:

  • Sarcasm aside…

    How the hell are you getting through the UK Fleet in G2 without using your AF to do it it?  And if you use your AF to do it, how are you  going to have enough offensive power to beat 4 INF, 1 ART, 1 ARM, and 1 BOM?

    ASSUMING your whole tranny fleet gets through, your best attack is 3 ARM and 3 INF
    Attack Roll is 12 with 6 units.
    Defense roll is 14 with 7 units.

    Of course this also does not figure in that the Allied player will see these trannies, and perhaps send 2 USSR figs to UK to defend in either R1 OR R2.  Or the additional US FIG and US Bomber that are almost guaranteed to be in UK on US1.  Or even the 2 US land forces dropped in UK via Tranny in US1…

    Now you have a Defense of 31 with 13 units
    And that is enough to stop even your maximum AF and trannied forces usage of 3 INF, 3 ARM, 2 FIG and 1 BOM
    Attack Value of 19 and 9 pieces.

    You HAVE to have your AF available for the land battle to counter any of the “traditional” Allied openning moves.  And you can’t get through the UK fleet without your AF.

    The 3 tranny gambit fails, no matter how you slice it.

  • Or UK goes a bit more offensive and DOES attack that German Baltic fleet with their AF in UK (the surviving figs returning to the new AC being built in SZ6)

    2 FIGS, 1 BOM
    2 SUBS, 3 TRN, 1 DST.

    Round 1:
    Attack kills 1.67 (average 2) units (subs sink)
    Defense kills 1 (lose 1 fig)

    UK retreats 1 FIG to AC and 1 BOM to UK

    Germany now has lost 2 of their offensive units to punch through a UK fleet of 1 AC, 1 FIG, 1 BB, and 2 TRN.

    All you have left is the Destroyer for offense (first hit wasted on BB while UK sinks your trannies)

    Or with your figs for support, you wound my BB and kill 1-2 trannies on your attack while I take out 2 of your OFFENSIVE units (now figuring only 4 FIGS in support of navy, other 2 plus BOM used on UK mainland).  So Germany loses the Destroyer and 1 fig.
    Round 2:
    You hit 1.5 UK units with 3 FIGS.
    I defend for 1.83 units (avg 2 dead)

    So I lose the carriier, you lose 2 more figs.

    Round 3:
    Your last fig has a 50/50 chance of hitting
    I have a BB and a FIG between you and London.

    Guess what?
    My surviving unit, after killing your last offesnive piece, also sinks your invasion fleet.

    And if you take losses on your invasion fleet to take out my Navy, you cannot break the defense of London, which is 1 FIG, 2 BOM, 3 INF, 1 ART, 1 ARM at a MINIMUM.  That does not include any USSR forces, nor any US land forces.  That is just the “usual” transfer of 1 fig and 1 BOM to UK in US1, plus the balance of the UK build after building 1 TRN and 1 AC.

    You posted with sarcasm, I post in all seriousness…

    Your strategy has some serious freakin holes… holes that will cause the German fleet to sink before it even reaches London.

  • @ncscswitch:

    You posted with sarcasm, I post in all seriousness…

    You post with belligerence, not with the respect of reasoned debate.  You are clearly confident in your own opinion, so you don’t need mine.  You have made over 700 posts while I have made fewer than 20;  I’ll just assume that you’re an expert and leave it at that.

    If you do decide you would like more information on my point of view, there are two other Caspian Sub papers specifically about the Baltic fleet and one that is partially about the Baltic Fleet (Canadian Shield).  You know where to find them.


  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    WAIT!! i need to understand your reasoning CrazyStraw and I am positive your participation here will help hundreds of people OTHER than him.This site is here to help others understand how to play better and many here dont want to join Yahoo anything. PLease dont let that braggard kill the information for the rest of us. If you would be so kind as to either post everything you guys came up with or email be the stuff, so i can reformat it to work in this forum. The eyes of many are upon your next move…

  • I don’t think people are looking at the 3 transport buy the same way the author does:

    He’s not buying it because he plans on invading London. He does it for flexibility and to increase the suicide value of the fleet. The transports can invade London and can do a couple of other nasty land grabs if the Allies aren’t careful, but that is more of a bonus thing that you can catch a couple of newbies with or at least force a suboptimal build with the Allies.

    If the UK does plop down a carrier and combines a massive fleet in SZ6 on UK 1, I’m pretty sure it’s an awesome trade for Germany: the Baltic fleet, normally worthless, is now being traded in for a massive amount of UK naval gear that could have been used to protect future landings or enhance their attacks: no more BB for bombardments/soak up hits, 2 fighters/carrier down, 1-2 transports down. That’s an insane amount of gear that the UK has to replace, and the Germans probably still have their entire airforce intact. I would gladly trade in 16-24 of Germany’s first turn IPCs to slow down the UK probably at least 2 turns if he were to try such an obvious tactic as block on turn 1; the UK isn’t looking at the big picture if he thinks it’s worth it to trade his navy for the German navy.

    The UK has simply too little money and not enough starting forces to economically soundly block a link of the fleets if the Baltic has been reinforced with 2-3 transports.

    If you kill all the Allied capital ships early you have now set the UK back about two rounds.  They will need one round to rebuild transports and another round to build capital ships to protect the transports.  So your most likely outcome is that you have spent 16-24 IPCs in the Baltic to set back the Allies for somewhere between one to two rounds.  That is more than a worthwhile investment.

    I quote this directly from the paper, and it makes a lot of sense.

    You will be a little bit on the rough side with Russia for the first couple of turns, but this soon turns around since you can focus your full effort on him after spending a wad of money on turn 1 to slow the Allies down. Letting the Allies slide with safe and free shipping is not a good idea at all, and hastens Germany’s death. The purchase of 2-3 transports and linking the fleet gives the German navy a great edge in delaying the Allies. You can do the same with a carrier, but the carrier doesn’t carry the same amount of threat to the capital that the transports do.

    One part of the paper that it hinges on is also the bid; it’s assumed you have something extra in Africa so you can take Egypt on the first turn without too much sweat.

  • Well, I’ll be brief here because I’ve been lengthy elsewhere.

    1. Yahoo provides a lot of great content for no cost.  They have been an excellent company the whole time I have used their services (about 10 years), so don’t let the registration hold you back.  (Full disclosure: I own no Yahoo stock, but I really wish I did)

    2. We have Beginner Strategy Guides at Caspian Sub.  The guides for Germany and the UK both recommend buying carriers.  Carriers are fine basic moves; they are easy to manage and fairly strong.  But the transports are far more flexible, and 2tra are better than 1car on offense in a reasonably sized attack.

    3. I don’t like building capital ships with the UK.  I’d rather buy transports, ground troops, or planes.  It is a much more effective use of the US/UK strengths to let the US drop the German boats.  This is covered in Policy Paper 14: Baltic Part III.

    4. If I was a German player, I would be salivating if the UK built a carrier in Z06 (see N. Witch’s earlier post).  It’s about the worst move the Allies could do, short of abandoning London.  That means I pound down 2 Allied capital ships, 2ftrs, and 2 UK transports without losing a grey plane.  So if that is the ‘counter’ to a German invasion of London, then please counter me all day long.

    5. If I was playing as the UK and for some reason I DID want a carrier, in almost no circumstance would I build it on the first round.  It’s crummy on offense so you’re buying it to defend, not attack (and there is no real way for the US to leverage it as a landing spot on R1 in a way that is significant).  It is much better to build your UK transports in Z02 on round 1 so that the Germans have to worry about a landing force.  Then, if you need the carrier for extra defense, move the fleets to drop gear in Europe and build the carrier in the sea zone where your transports are.  That’s much more efficient.


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