The Bright Skies

  • 2017



    Oops, I meant 6 art + 2 inf for a total of 30 PUs.  That gives an effective attack benefit of 20 when you are trying to push back a determined Russian defender.  If I want to play a more balanced game with additional threats into the oceans and a possibility of Sea Lion, I will do a sub + 2 bomber build on G1.  That reduces the attack to a mere 8, but likely saves a plane or two during G2.  Furthermore the bombers reduce the number of UK fighters that will be stacked against you so it is almost as effective as 6 art + 2 inf.

    How do the bombers reduce the number of UK fighters?

    I’d guess through strat bombing of UKE.

  • If you do an all ground unit G1 purchase, UK can decide to just purchase a couple of planes on UK1.  They don’t have to do a big spend on infantry to guard against Sea Lion, saving them 18 or more PUs.  That allows an additional couple of UK fighters to be in Moscow on UK5, providing critical extra defense on the crucial G6/G7 turns where Moscow might fall.  Hence the 2 bomber build gives Germany almost as good net attack strength as the 6 art + 2 inf build, plus has the flexibility to provide critical support in multiple operation theaters.

    If the German player has below average luck or skill, the UK1-purchased fighters can also reach Bryansk on UK4.  There is a potential for the Allies to make a determined defense in that territory and the extra defense points makes a HUGE difference in estimated battle outcomes.  In many circumstances, it can make the difference between losing the entire German air force, versus losing only cheap ground units.

  • Do you grab Brazil as US before turn 4 with this strategy? The land units could help protect Gibraltar and take the territory instead of only killing units on it. No real cost either since starting transport can grab half the force.

  • @KGrimB:

    Do you grab Brazil as US before turn 4 with this strategy? The land units could help protect Gibraltar and take the territory instead of only killing units on it. No real cost either since starting transport can grab half the force.

    Yes I did this last game and it worked great. I only build an extra transport for the Atlantic as USA besides bombers and I ended up taking Rome.

  • Wouldn’t the Allies be struggling if Germany does a Dark Skies strat to counter the Bright Skies plan?  I would think that the Allied fleet would not be strong enough to approach Europe, and when they do drop off units the German counterattack would quickly crush the invasion forces.  The fall of Rome is no big deal if Germany can just blitz down some fast movers and immediately retake the capitol.  I still miss why Bright Skies would be effective against a competent Axis opponent.

  • I will be playing Russia, USA and China again in two weeks.

    So far my three plays with this combo, using Bright Skies with the mechanized Russia able to swiftly relocate and counter-attack has been quite succesful.

    This time I want to be a bit more extreme with Russia, sending it’s aircraft (3 fighters and 3 tactical in R2) and two mechanized teams to China, to defeat the Japan on the mainland as soon as possible. As USA main focus is building bombers, with a focus on Italy/Germany in the first 3 rounds, Japan can misuse this lack of USA threat and win at the Pacific by decentralizing it’s fleet on JDOW1.

    As Japan, I always find the lack of land troops on China the most difficult factor, especially when facing an offensive Allied push from all sides. This inflow of Russian aircraft will likely seal the deal. Aircraft can also reinforce India or be back in Russia when needed.

    Japan can either respond by India crush and ignoring China (great: mission accomplished) or investing a lot in factories and mainland troops, slowing down it’s expansion (great: mission accomplished).

    Of course, greatest downside is the lack of aircraft and a first turn artillery buy in Russia against Germany. Against a late push G3-4 this is not a problem, as the fighters can be back on time. Against early German push (G1-G2) or Sea Lion this plan should be aborted as you want Russia to be fully offensive against Germans.

    For those that are not familiar with the concept of Bright Skies + Mechanized Russia this is the underlying doctrine.

    Bright Skies
    It takes a lot of time, ships and IPC to make USA useful at a particular front. It would be wiser to not use USA for troops and ships (as troops can be build a lot cheaper by the mainland forces Russia, China and UK) but for bombers. With the first 2 turn buys of bombers, you send this stack to London to kill the German Baltic Fleet. This destroys Scandinavian logistics and make it possible for UK or Russia to capture Norway giving big headaches to the Germans. You also send your Pearl Harbour fleet to the Med as soon as possible, which combined with a Taranto strike will neutralize Italy very early.

    Therefore, as USA you do not play to KJF or KGF, as this is not the task of the USA. Rather, you empower the mainland forces (Russia, China and UK) to become strong independent nations by hunting Axis fleet, denying their safe landing spots for aircraft, and bomb their factories. The mission of USA is to:

    Stop Italy First (send it’s Hawaiian fleet to the med).
    Stop Germany Second (destroy the Baltic fleet and bomb factories)
    Stop Japan Third (hunt Japan fleet with bombers/subs)

    Mechanized Russia
    Instead of the defensive infantry mindset, Russia should always be able to counter-attack, or relocate fast to different positions. It has a lot of starting infantry, and with a defense perimeter around Novgorod and Bryansk, both reinforced by artillery stacks, you can start massing mechanized infantry with some tanks. Due to Russian geography, you can become a lot more effective and dangerous with the bulk of your forces mechanized. This also fits more with the historical Russian doctrine, which has developed around the concept of the counter-attack.

  • With the increased focus in pushing Japan out of China with Russia, I am considering to change my approach for next battle, and focus fully on Japan in the first 3 turns. Still, I will not build a single ship.

    My plan is to buy 3 rounds of bombers and place them in striking range of SZ6 of Western United States. This gives Japan a VERY BIG problem, as it will be defeated in mainlaind China, and it can not build any ships around Japan, completely destroying his logistics. The only way Japan can respond, is by building more ships so the USA bombers can not overpower the SZ6 fleet, this is a losing strategy, as Japan has to remain defensive all game, while the Southern Allies (UK/ANZAC) can launch their offensive together with Russia and China.

    As the starting post of this idea is quite old (2017), I will soon rewrite the idea behind Bright Skies and post it there. Looking forward to the discussion, such as that excellent new USA logistics post!

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @Afrikakorps it would be better to buy 3 CV’s the very first turn in sz 10 and then start with three, maybe four turns of Bmbrs and place them in WUS.
    This gives you a way better defence in sz 54 where Anzak planes can be loaded on US CV’s and Bmbrs are able to keep Gibraltar and the Pacufic in check at the same time.
    If Euro Axis decides to go for a Gibraltar grab, build a stack of Subs on one turn.
    Along with the Bmbr any Axis Naval stands no chance against your Power.
    You would be safe in that case for two turns in the Pacific.
    Japan can simply out maneuver you in the Pacific bc they need the MI (Money Is.) and can build ships at FIC if needed and Subs along with Ftrs in Japan.
    Therefore it is vital that you take Caro Is. asap.
    Now you have the options you want for your Strategy!

  • As USA I will still buy 4 bombers, and mobilize as much airforce as possible (keep carrier full) on Wake Island + Midway. If Japan did not attack USA in J1, this gives you a striking force of:

    4 bombers (you can only build 3 in western)
    5 fighters

    To attack SZ6 in USA2, all possible to land in Amur.

    Russia will buy 3 fighters + 1 tank, able to stack Yunnan or counter-attack Germans / protect factories against bombardments. After initial investment, only mech + artillery, with some tanks. I want to keep the option open to attack Northwest Persia R2 and Iraq R3 if GDOW2. I intend to have 4 Russian units (minimum of 1 fast mover) in Trans-Jordan R5 (Egypt R4) where they meet up with 2-3 USA transports to bring them to: Italian Somaliland, Sardinia, Sicily while fast mover moves to Ethiopia for a +13 IPC bonus R5-6 onwards.

    USA will buy bombers again in USA2, and move all bombers to Eastern United States, to kill German Baltic Fleet in USA4.

    In my play, Russia serves China, and USA serves Russia. I often play games without USA building anything different from bombers and some ships (mostly subs).

    I have the philosophy, that China, UK, Russia infantry need to fight the Axis, while the USA hunts fleet, bombs factories, and convoys sea zones. It works quite well so far.

  • 2018 2017

    @Afrikakorps yes check out the northlock idea (inspired by this old post) that I put in the Allied Strategy Guide 1.0. The problem with the original idea is that it spreads Russia to every corner of the map, when at most, you might pick one strategy to pursue. IMO Russia shouldnt bother with any exogenous areas and should just get ready to defend/counterattack. Germany’s most conservative buy i’ve come up with here is to start with buying 1DD 1TT 2 INF 2 art so that they start stacking Norway/hiding in Finland for the optimal defense/counterattack without depleting the eastward push of cheap ground units and contest the 125/SZ bonus all game, with an eye to turtle scandanavia all game even if the baltic fleet is lost. Which is hard to do if the Bismarck BB+CA+DD+3 FIG are there to stop it, and germany could deploy much more.

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