• '19 '17 '16

    I’ve trialled a strategy of going for Norway by USA4, assuming a J2 DOW.

    The problem I’m finding is that it is ridiculously easy to block. If they see an Atlantic USN build up US1, make sure they at least have a DD by G3, and use it as a blocker G4 in SZ124. Mostly, the German Cruiser is still alive and that can also be used as a blocker.

    So, has anyone used a strategy buying a second sub with the USSR to take down this highly annoying blocker? USSR planes can’t reach SZ124 unless they start from London/Scotland/Iceland, which means they need to be at war after G3. Perhaps that is a useful alternative.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    @simon33:

    I’ve trialled a strategy of going for Norway by USA4, assuming a J2 DOW.

    The problem I’m finding is that it is ridiculously easy to block. If they see an Atlantic USN build up US1, make sure they at least have a DD by G3, and use it as a blocker G4 in SZ124. Mostly, the German Cruiser is still alive and that can also be used as a blocker.

    So, has anyone used a strategy buying a second sub with the USSR to take down this highly annoying blocker? USSR planes can’t reach SZ124 unless they start from London/Scotland/Iceland, which means they need to be at war after G3. Perhaps that is a useful alternative.

    I haven’t really tried this, but going after Norway is big trouble for Germany so it is definately worth while if you can. I can think of these situations with 1 german blocker end of G3

    1. Don’t go after Norway, because you need some kind of help, stage at Gibraltar instead
    2. Build a navy base with UK on Iceland on UK3, then a second blocker is required
    3. Build a bomber or a second sub with USSR in Novgorod on USSR3

    I think it is risky to go after Norway that early, because your fleet is not very strong and you need a bunch of transports with a bunch of men to hold on to it for a few rounds. If you only hold it for a round or two it is not worth it in most cases I think


  • If you can have a few strat bombers destroying the baltic navy then this is a nice threat scenario.

    you dont need much forces just 1 or 2 transports will be enough, germany cannot take it back without a transport.

    If you get a sub near gibraltar even if he does a destroyer block you can kill the destroyer.

    Let germany trade a 8 ipc unit with USA every turn for maby a 6 ipc unit. That is 2 less mech each turn going to russia in 5 turns that is 10 less units attacking moscow.

  • '19 '17 '16

    @oysteilo:

    2. Build a navy base with UK on Iceland on UK3, then a second blocker is required

    I love this idea. It also leaves open the alternative of landing on Normandy if they do indeed put down the two blockers unless one of those blockers is in SZ118. If they don’t have the blockers, you can get to SZ126 which is likely out of range of Luftwaffe fighters, if you have enough surface ships to fight off the strat bombers.

    @ShadowHAwk:

    If you can have a few strat bombers destroying the baltic navy then this is a nice threat scenario.

    But difficult to have enough bombers to fight off a scramble in SZ113.


  • @simon33:

    @oysteilo:

    2. Build a navy base with UK on Iceland on UK3, then a second blocker is required

    I love this idea. It also leaves open the alternative of landing on Normandy if they do indeed put down the two blockers unless one of those blockers is in SZ118. If they don’t have the blockers, you can get to SZ126 which is likely out of range of Luftwaffe fighters, if you have enough surface ships to fight off the strat bombers.

    @ShadowHAwk:

    If you can have a few strat bombers destroying the baltic navy then this is a nice threat scenario.

    But difficult to have enough bombers to fight off a scramble in SZ113.

    2 strat bombers + 1 fighter + 1 tactical can do the job. If they are all UK units the UK just needs to build a carrier to make this possible.
    Scramble is only 3 fighters so 3 fighters + 1 cruiser vs 2 strat + 1 tactica + 1 fighter is a 50/50 fight.
    And if you lose your airforce you dont have to build the carrier in SZ 110. if you do win the carrier is still pretty protected there.

    And again, having 4 air units and trading them VS the 3 air units from germany again weakens germany in the east.

  • 2021 '20 '18 '17

    This idea is nice, but it omits how powerful the Axis advantage is and what will occur by G4 in a real game.

    Without UK carriers in SZ 110, fighters cannot attack the German Baltic Fleet, and you cannot attack it with ships unless you control Denmark, that is to say, it cannot be defeated until you are already attacking Denmark.  There is no way you can defeat the DD/CA/BB or Carrier/CA/BB and 3 fighters with Strategic bombers alone.  Some players will build an AB on Germany also, making it 6 planes later in the game.

    If you cannot defeat the German fleet, you cannot hold Norway.  The US goes after the UK.  This means that you cannot bring in the backing planes.  Even with just 2 transports (more likely he will have 4), he can attack your 3-6 loads of guys with everything that is in Finland, 4 more land units, and all of his planes.  I have never held Norway for more than 1 turn at a time while the Germany fleet is alive.

    He can still reach you with Stratbombers in SZ 123, so you’ll have to have a good US escort as always.  When you arrive in SZ 125, now every German and Italian plane can attack you.  Early in the US game, they can either have adequate troops or adequate ships not both.

    Assuming no extra units for the USSR, there is no way they can get offensive with subs, bombers, or anything else.  I have seen Germany put Russia+UK on the ropes with ease by G4 (bid +12) even after failing to take France on G1 (in a KJF).  And if the Japan plan is to attack on J3 or J4, you cant move this stuff up early anyways so then your allied strategy becomes dependent on the Axis’.

    Norway is indeed a key to breaking Germany, but it requires a series of things to occur in sequence (Germany loses its planes, Germany loses Denmark, Germany loses its fleet, Germany loses Norway).  And if Germany has already lost its planes and fleet, it has bigger problems to worry about than Norway, like losing Western Germany.

    If you can have the UK take over and then have the USA land a big pile of stuff after you, that’s awesome and sometimes possible by US 6.  But the UK has so few transports and the US fighters take 2-3 turns to be ready to land in Norway…(fighters built on US 3 can’t land on Norway until US 6 without a UK carrier to land on).    The UK doesn’t have money for any bases or extra offense…in most of the games I’ve played they can be Sealioned late in the game because the income disparity is so great (30 vs 60).


  • @taamvan:

    This idea is nice, but it omits how powerful the Axis advantage is and what will occur by G4 in a real game.

    Without UK carriers in SZ 110, fighters cannot attack the German Baltic Fleet, and you cannot attack it with ships unless you control Denmark, that is to say, it cannot be defeated until you are already attacking Denmark.  There is no way you can defeat the DD/CA/BB or Carrier/CA/BB and 3 fighters with Strategic bombers alone.  Some players will build an AB on Germany also, making it 6 planes later in the game.

    If you cannot defeat the German fleet, you cannot hold Norway.   The US goes after the UK.   This means that you cannot bring in the backing planes.  Even with just 2 transports (more likely he will have 4), he can attack your 3-6 loads of guys with everything that is in Finland, 4 more land units, and all of his planes.   I have never held Norway for more than 1 turn at a time while the Germany fleet is alive.

    He can still reach you with Stratbombers in SZ 123, so you’ll have to have a good US escort as always.  When you arrive in SZ 125, now every German and Italian plane can attack you.   Early in the US game, they can either have adequate troops or adequate ships not both.

    Assuming no extra units for the USSR, there is no way they can get offensive with subs, bombers, or anything else.  I have seen Germany put Russia+UK on the ropes with ease by G4 (bid +12) even after failing to take France on G1 (in a KJF).  And if the Japan plan is to attack on J3 or J4, you cant move this stuff up early anyways so then your allied strategy becomes dependent on the Axis’.

    Norway is indeed a key to breaking Germany, but it requires a series of things to occur in sequence (Germany loses its planes, Germany loses Denmark, Germany loses its fleet, Germany loses Norway).   And if Germany has already lost its planes and fleet, it has bigger problems to worry about than Norway, like losing Western Germany.

    If you can have the UK take over and then have the USA land a big pile of stuff after you, that’s awesome and sometimes possible by US 6.   But the UK has so few transports and the US fighters take 2-3 turns to be ready to land in Norway…(fighters built on US 3 can’t land on Norway until US 6 without a UK carrier to land on).    The UK doesn’t have money for any bases or extra offense…in most of the games I’ve played they can be Sealioned late in the game because the income disparity is so great (30 vs 60).

    Where does the BB carrier destoyer come from? Germany has to invest to keep norway not all do that if they do good less units to russia.
    The BB normaly does not survive round 1 if it is not used in 110 a scramble might be a good idea.

    You dont need a UK carrier you just need to have norway, and since US is taking norway all your UK fighters can reach the baltic fleet.
    US can even take denmark and then you can use your fleet to attack the baltic navy again. You can plan this by buying subs in 110, They can go either baltic or Italy germany does not know and Italy looks like the standard target.

    Everything can be countered if you know well in advance that the strat is comming, but you just cannot counter every possible move.

  • 2021 '20 '18 '17

    I wasn’t suggesting a series of hypothetical counters, Mr. Shadowhawk.

    I don’t sacrifice that BB for anything.  I was stating that adding only 1 ship (either carrier or destroyer) makes the Germany fleet well defended. (Battleship + Cruiser + Destroyer + 3 planes) and you cannot defeat it without being able to bring ships (cant through skaggerak) or fighters (nowhere to land by the time it is your turn).

    UK goes after Germany so US will not hold the territory when the planes need to land there.

    UK subs cant get through the straights to attack, and it is the UK not the US that has to “open the door”.  If the UK takes Denmark, it cant move through until the next turn, only US can.  Germany AND Italy go before the UK goes again so the US in the case that you are describing has to hold out by itself for an entire turn.

    I’m not simply trying to shoot this idea down by proposing a series of hypotheticals;  the realities are on G4

    1. Germany will have a fleet that can attack or relieve Denmark
    2. a competent Germany will have 10+ planes at this juncture
    3. units built on Germany are cheap and can attack Norway the turn after they are built, also their transports are not being lost
    4. while US units take 2-3 turns to arrive and you only have 1 opening wave and can never lose a transport stack vs endless waves of reinforcements
    5. taking piecemeal Germany territories may sound like a good strategic moves but they aren’t
    6. once you have 6+ American bombers you now have choices this takes many turns and Japan runs free
    7. KGF is harder than KJF, and there is no “early KGF”
    8. this is because every square is within easy reach of their newly built units and Germany has abundant income and time to prepare because of the diplomatic rules/their overwhelmingly strong position
  • 2021 '20 '18 '17

    “attack Norway” not Denmark, though they can always take Denmark back also its extremely easy, pretty much no matter what the Allies put there.    I’ve played games where we took Denmark AND Norway (by US5 G42) and the Germans still pushed us back off/stalemated them move because we didn’t have enough offensive power attack from both land and sea.

  • '19 '17 '16

    Ok, a couple of points.

    Yes, SZ123 can be reached by strat bombers, which have to land back on Norway. Can also be reached by subs or surface ships starting in SZ112.

    My USA1 buy is 1inf 2art 1ftr 2tt 2DD. 1inf and 1ftr from W USA head east.

    That gives you 3 planes, 2DDs and a Cruiser (if it doesn’t head west) in SZ123. That’s enough to counter any reasonably probable attack. If any UK ships are still alive in the Atlantic, they can join the fleet.

    BTW, USA goes before UK. UK planes can support USA on Norway.

    Without buying more TTs, the absolute maximum that Germany can have on Norway USA4 is 15 land units. Sure, if that indeed happens you can’t really take it down but that is a victory in itself. Germany can’t afford to be so defensive on any front. Assuming the USSR take Finland the turn before, perhaps a big assumption in itself, 3inf 3art attacking Norway supported by 3ftrs plus a strat (as a guide). Good enough to do significant damage on any German force.

    Generally, I think without USSR softening up the northern force USA will have some trouble getting on Norway, unless the German army ignores defence of Norway and runs hard to Moscow.

    However, slowing the hard run to Moscow is really the purpose of this strat. If you can hold Norway, build an IC and threaten Leningrad, that is even better.

  • '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    From my experience, Germany usually has enough transports/men in Finland so that any landing in Norway is countered and ineffective.

    Plus any fleet action has to account for the entire German air force/navy from pouncing on you.  Not a small thing.

  • '17 '16 '13 '12

    For Germany it’s very important to be able to retake Norway. The Allies can tie down some troops in Finland because of this but it’s not unexpected. If Germany lets the allies take Norway, this is a huge drag on them and they wish they retain troops there instead to retake it…

    Usually the path to harass the Axis in Europe involves UK contesting Normandy and Holland (free income and forces the Axis to spend to take them back, this almost pays for itself) and keeping the threat on Germany on with the US in position to invade Denmark (while threatening Southern Italy at the same time). Bombers are used against France and West Germany where possible.

    There is nothing wrong to ferry US transports back and forth and have the fast US units speed through North Africa (leaving the slow units behind to be the opener in Denmark or threat on Southern Italy), it’s good to have these in the Middle east later in the game.

    Keeping a surface ship in the Med is a good thing, you may be able to do that cheaply if you can use the Gibraltar air base and place a ship there before Italy’s turn. You get big leverage out of this which helps maintain a large enough fleet in 110.

    Besides keeping that threat alive, the focus should be to hold Egypt, the Middle East, and clearing off / convoying the Med.

    Given the supply lines, UK is better off building ground troops, US is better to build up Navy and bombers.

    Once the UK can afford it, up the ante. That is, drop larger number of troops on the shore or accumulate a greater force that can reinforce Norway or Invade Germany through the Denmark straights. When that force accumulates enough it can also be used to hold Normandy after the US takes it. The US can crank cheap units to contest Southern France also and most importantly Normandy allows you to bomb Germany directly (usually the German air won’t be sufficient to defend all factories)

    In order for all this to work, it’s key to wear down the German air force (this saves on required naval builds and also helps take pressure off of Russia). Dropping AA guns to reinforce the beach head will usually force the defender to commit more land units, or planes. If you can down a plane that way it’s great. If opportunity presents itself to trade allied planes or ships against German planes, try to do so. That means there is nothing wrong sending 3 bombers against 4 fighters, the bombers that get through will cause significant damage and while the air battle is a little less than even, it’s a way to reduce the German air force. Reducing German air force has many benefits such as helping future raids, making it more expensive to retake beach heads, reducing threat on ships, reducing ultimate offensive punch on Eastern front, etc.)

    So basically the allies must be a pest, contest income, harass and wear down German air force and production. Assembling a decisive invasion force to take and hold a specific objective usually won’t work.

  • '17 '16 '13 '12

    And while all this is happening, keep Japan under control.

  • '19 '17 '16

    @Karl7:

    From my experience, Germany usually has enough transports/men in Finland so that any landing in Norway is countered and ineffective.

    A stack of troops in Finland is the major obstacle (assuming you get past the blocker) to this strategy. The USSR needs to position, normally on Vyborg to push the Germans back. The cruiser can block an amphibious assault there, for a turn.

    The normal German force is 8 inf and an art which can easily be taken down by 3inf 3art 3ftr 1sb. Mind you, if you see more forces landing on the peninsula on G2, you might consider buying a strat bomber or two.

    @Karl7:

    Plus any fleet action has to account for the entire German air force/navy from pouncing on you.  Not a small thing.

    What air/fleet action? Unless the Kreigsmarine adds a carrier they can only get strats plus surface ships to SZ123. I am assuming the transports involved will be killed, unless I (as USA) get very lucky.

    I guess an airbase on Norway makes it very much harder but again, that means 15IPC which isn’t going towards crushing Moscow, not to mention the planes on the airbase.


  • Most games I also see the Germans try to keep the BB alive, and add something to the navy (dd/cv/tpt). IMO you have to project some kind of early threat to both the UK and Russia, be able to use the fleet as a threat to strike the allied fleet (w/air power), and the most important is to have the ability to defend/counter attack Norway/Finland (income swing, and very strategic). If the Allies go north to Iceland at least I know Italy (and possibly North Africa) is safer, and I can set-up proper blocks/defenses (which includes attack and counter attack abilities). In this game it is generally easier and less painful for the Germans to allow an allied landing and  kill it right after, then it is to attempt to take out a strong Allied combo fleet. So if the allies go the northern route they will need a strong navy (can take a hit and survive), and figure out a way to first take out the German Baltic fleet to make any landings stick.

    If the Allies are perched at Gib sz91, it gives them several options if they have the numbers (doubtful in the early game). The Germans could attack the Gib fleet, but that would most likely be very costly to the German navy/air force. However it could be worth it if the Allies come over to soon and don’t have enough (could include some help from the Italians to clear landing spots, or double hit). The allies could also have blocked out sz110 so the German fleet can’t hit Gib sz91 (maybe Italy can help with that, maybe not). Not knowing the Allied plan the Axis will probably block out some of the Allied options. The Germans won’t give the Allies free access to Norway unless they know they can remove the landing force immediately after (which would probably include UK land/air units). Typically the Germans would place a blocker in sz110 (move or purchase a dd/ca) so the Allies can’t reach Norway. This forces a delay, and might give the Germans a round to set-up more defenses and/or counter strikes if the Allied do indeed go north, but that also means spending less income on the Russian front. It also allows the allies to move to England so the UK can drop a carrier etc…then the cat and mouse fun begins.

  • 2021 '20 '18 '17

    Good point simon33, they do.  :?

  • '19 '17 '16

    Ha! I think I have it!

    USA1 buys a CV for New York, USA2 moves it to SZ123 but leaves the fighters on Iceland. USSR3 two planes leave Leningrad, kill the blocker and land on the USN’s CV. If the USSR Barents Sea sub is still alive that can join also.

    Requires trimming my USA1 purchases to 1inf 1TT 2DD 1ftr 1CV.

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