Why not Egypt first?



  • Greetings fellow generals,

    After having analyzed a lot of battles and forum discussions it seems most Axis and Allies games go like this: Germany tries Sea Lion (suboptimal) or Russia. However in most games Germany fails to take Russia because of UK fighter inflow and even when it takes Russia, it needs to capture Egypt that has been heavily reinforced by the UK. We also know that Japan can do the India crush.

    So why do we not go for Egypt first as Germany? It is a critical victory city netting 7IPC and a big blow for the UK. Why do we not focus on the UK first in the first turns? As the Axis we can control at least the first turns with diplomacy. Against concentrated Axis focus India can be captured in turn 4 while the middle east, egypt and africa can be captured by Germany and Italy. UK pacific gone gives Japan a much easier game, a UK europe with 16 IPC income is neutralized. All this while all Axis have expanded their economies considerably while that of the USA + USRR has remained the same.

    This leads to my conclusion of the Afrika Korps strategy, but I also wanted to pose this fundamental question here to discuss.



  • How would you do it? Italy will be severly crippled round 1 so you need german fleet in the med.

    Build all navy round 1, then round 2 move to gibraltar and round 3 your in the med.

    round 4 you can use that fleet to take egypt but that is a bit late. There is no real faster route to do this though that does not costs you a fortune.



  • One argument against it is that America can swoop in with 10 bombers on turn 4 and destroy your Mediterranean fleet unless you’ve invested a lot in it, which means you haven’t invested as much in boots on the ground.

    Personally I would try to do it on I2/G3 with mostly the Italians and then two German transports from S. France and the entire Luftwaffe. That way you haven’t diverted too many resources away from Russia and you can still have Leningrad on G4. Instead of building tanks and mechs on G2, you could build artillery because your push into Russia will be slower anyways and the savings on unit costs plus the 7 IPCs from Egypt will pay for the G3 conquest of Cairo.

    No matter what Germany does, optimal play seems to include a push into Russia and conquering Leningrad and Stalingrad as soon as possible. You can accomplish those goals cheaply and effectively with just ground units. Other goals should be considered secondary because they involve building air and naval which don’t provide as good a return on investment. Large naval purchases, in particular, are much easier for the Allies to push back against.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15

    In many games you get the option of attcking egypt with odds of 30% or better I2. Personally, I almost always go for this as it creates a lot of headaches for the british dude. You have also killed off a lot of british and this is many times a good thing when the Germans break through into the middles east.  At 30% odds you will more often loose of course, but loosing this battle is not bad for Italy, but it is a major pain in the …… for the british. That is why I think it is worth it



  • I love that this has come up in discussion because I have done this many times. I find that if G1 you take Southern France with the 3 tanks in Greater Southern Germany, G2 spawn ships in the med. Meanwhile the German Luftwaffe take out any resistance in the med, then on G3 build more ships. Italy the whole time is just purchasing naval units. this will help to bulk up the German fleet (which will in turn protect from the American bombers if that is what they choose to do). Make sure that you keep the fleet in a sea zone with an operative airbase for scrambles. From there any transports you have will be able to land in Egypt with the support of the Luftwaffe (and bombardment if possible). Once Egypt is in control of the Axis, the Med becomes a cespool of Italian growth. You will literally watch Italy grow before your eyes. If Italy can take Iraq or Persia, this is a huge plus, because then they can support the Middle East, while Germany shifts its focus on Russia, and or India. If the US decides to take on the Med instead of going for the Pacific, Germany and Italy will be able to defend, and Japan will thrive. This strategy is great for players who play a longer game. It takes a little while, but the payoff is huge. When Germany is getting NO’s for Egypt and the Middle East, and Italy is getting a solid amount of NO’s, it becomes harder to stop the Axis powers. If Italy is aloud to collect 40 or more IPCs per turn, they will effectively defend the med from the US if they have the proper defense already in place (such as a German fleet).


  • 2018 2017

    Taking Southern France G1 creates a greater risk that the Paris attack will fail, which is not a great idea.

    Spending on the Germany fleet is a big investment that cannot be fully brought to bear against UK and Russia once its positioned in the med.  It might be nice to have a navy there that is tough enough to dissuade the Sz91 cross, but that takes an even bigger commit of planes and ships.  Overall, whenever Germany uses time and money on creating a mobile, independent fleet, it opens up tons of new possibilities–but at the cost of not being able to take Moscow early in the game, so it becomes well-defended.

    Assuming a Taranto, Italy wont be the one taking it.  Its not really that easy for Germany to get the bonus there since it has to have a ground unit survive that and so it has to be prepared for in advance and again, committing the resources to get it there.

    My plan outlined for Game 166 partially addresses this, it makes Egypt harder to take because there is a real UK fleet hanging out near 80-81 and shuttling a garrision to Egypt, making it harder to take.

    With all the air, Germany could simply destroy it, but that’s a non-starter since it would make any Russian plans a second priority.



  • Alright let me touch on the things you brought up, firstly, using the 3 tanks from Greater Southern, will in a minimal way impact the ability for Germany to take France. France will fall, there is almost no way that it doesn’t. If you can’t take Paris without those three tanks, you are attacking the wrong way.
    On your second point, the IPC’s you gain from taking Paris can be used on G2 to start building a fleet in the med. To my point earlier, the German fleet is only in place to take Egypt, and to defend the med. In no way did I state that it needed to be used to attack UK or Russia afterwards.
    If Taranto takes place, this is a good thing for Italy. The remaining ships should move to sz93 where on G2 Germany will spawn ships. Italy will also move units to Southern France, where the transport there can on I2 or I3 it can carry those units anywhere they need to go such as Egypt where they can help prepare for the German attack. Like I said, the Luftwaffe will take care of any allies ships in the med. If you can take Africa and the Middle East, and bulk up the NO’s for both Italy and Germany, they become a monster. It becomes really difficult to stop this large influx of IPCs, because Italy can then defend the med effectively, while Germany pushes onto Russia, with a number of other strategies.


  • TripleA

    You take Egypt with a pave low (ALL your air vs UK ground) then italy waltz in right after.


  • 2018 2017

    It is a minimal impact, but the attack doesn’t go off sometimes, and that’s game changing.

    Yes, Germany has the money, but its not really well spent on fleet.  That’s fun, but not as practical.  The exceptions are when you get tough enough to change what the Allies are doing or can do.

    Cow and you are right, if the German Air goes there, then the UK gets annihilated, its just a question of how the slow air gets back to base.

    And totally agree, if you get the extra money in the Middle East, your income rages.  But taking novogrod, Stalingrad, the factories, the 2 spaces, it really rages, and Russia is devastated as a bonus.  If somehow you can do both, do both.



  • If you have a strong ground push with Germany south towards the Caucasus it makes for a nice meet up point with the Middle Eastern forces. This can be funded by the extra IPCs you will get for Egypt, Iraq, Peria, and NW Persia. Along with no UK presence there.



  • this conversation doesn’t really go anywhere when one argument is essentially “Germany can do ALL the things!” and the other argument is “good luck with that”.

    obviously having africa NOs is a good thing.  but if you’re advocating spending 30+ IPCs of German money in the med, and there are 2 turns of the german air force is a non-factor in Russia, and you’re not buying Italian can-openers you are undeniably going to have a weaker Russian push especially during G3 and G4.

    I’d be more convinced if you can show that what Germany gives up in Russia is outweighed by what it gains in the UK.  I’m not saying it can’t, but you can’t just look at the pros of a strategy and tout its effectiveness without comparing it to others out there.



  • During the course of a game, if Germany is focused on Russia, the med becomes an allied stronghold, disrupting Europe from the south. If you take this out of the equation, and effectively defend Europe from a Russian advance, Russia will have to focus on the Middle East because the Axis powers will begin to push from both there and the West, along with Japanese forces from the East if they were successful. This creates a huge problem for Russia in late game. I only use this strategy every once in a while. I’m not saying that it is a sure-proof way to win with the Axis, i’m only saying that when I use this strategy I tend to win.



  • going egypt first as axis can be fun, i usually do a variation of this if italy still has the majority of their fleet on their first turn.  With the current meta though usually most of the italian fleet plus most of the italian ground forces in africa are gone by the time italy goes.    A decent strat to have in mind as a reactive strategy based on how the first turn goes…  i’ve had italian money up to like 45/turn or more once when the allies left them alone on turn one, i gave italy egypt and the middle east and they were scary lol.  Granted this was against inexperienced allied players so not the best test of the strat 😛


  • 2017

    Egypt is a situation dictates only strategy just like Sea Lion IMHO. I prefer either or both at the same time, but I never rarely spend for them.

    Sea Lion:
    For example, a typical buy for me G1 is 6 artillery/2 infantry or 5 artillery/1 fighter (if the UK bids a fighter to Scotland). This G1 buy doesn’t scream Sea Lion, but, if the UK player doesn’t spend much on London, well guess what, Germany has some options especially if other battles went right for Germany like SZ106. I don’t like to buy an aircraft carrier G1 even though Sea Lion is always my Axis fantasy. In a Sea Lion game, I buy the Carrier and maybe a destroyer the same turn as Sea Lion and place it in the channel on G3. Also, if doing Sea Lion, Germany needs a tremendous amount of ground units in order to properly manage Russia.

    Cairo:
    Just as Germany needs to a lot of ground to manage Russia in a Sea Lion game, so to does it if Germany spends on boats to get Cairo. If Cairo is taken by Germany through the spending of income on boats, I think a smart Russian player might have the chance to get NOs and become very strong in their own right. Anytime that Germany spends on boats like a G1 carrier purchase, Russia can to make lots of aggressive purchases.

    I think it best to get Egypt with Italy not Germany and only under the right conditions…mostly achieved through poor dice on the part of the UK while good dice for Italy with minimal help from Germany. Otherwise the bite is not worth the squeeze IMHO. Also, if Italy is the one that gets Cairo and gets to place an IC there, then Italy actually has it’s own purpose besides the important can opener role.



  • I want to throw a challenge out there to anyone who does not normally take Egypt with Germany. Try it once. Look at the outcome for yourself, and evaluate the positives, as well as the negatives. Refine the strategy over the course of a few more trials, and you will be surprised at how effective this strategy can be.

    If you watch GHG you will see that he has outlined a strategy called “Middle Earth” in which the UK uses South Africa, Egypt, and Persia to transport large amounts of infantry around. When Germany can spawn units in Egypt and use them to hit Iraq and Persia, leaving at least one of them for Italy, it creates a great deal of frustration for the allies. Once Germany has Egypt, they can use transports to move onto South Africa, and soon the Axis powers will own all of Africa and the Middle East, taking full advantage of the “Middle Earth” strategy only from an Axis perspective. It is a deadly strategy.

    If you watch siredblood, he outlines a strategy called the “Cobra Kai” in which Germany targets southern Russia, which he calls the “Heart of the Game”. This is true, because most often the side that has a firm hold on the Middle East and Southern Russia will end up winning the game. There is alot of oil here which provides a great amount of NO’s for Germany.


  • 2018 '16

    This is an interesting thought
    I’ve been reading the threads. It seems if you would want to disrupt the med. In my opinion (which is can be crapped on and probably will be) the best place to attempt to do it would be to put a factory in Yugo. Now this is my opinion but it does offer the opportunity to utilize the airbase in italy to scramble as a pseudo carrier to defend the fleet while you build up a nice transport fleet. You would likely already have an army ready to rock on over if you attack Yugo on turn 1. as well you could station your airforce there too even after a blast on UK Med fleet(required anyway with this strategy) This would require the factory on turn 2 which wouldn’t telegraph your plan to the other players and if you change your mind you can always use this as a place to build other stuff to go to USSR (use imagination here) or just not do it based on the turn 1 results. I don’t know if this is the best but i’m just speculating at this point and would have to see how to make it work.
    Sean…


  • 2018 '16

    correction station your airforce on the airbase in rome should have been clearer on that. not in Yugo.



  • A better plan would be to take S France G1, build fleet and take Greece G2, build factory in Greece and take Egypt G3, build units and airbase (if needed) in Greece G4. The units can deploy to Africa more rapidly and the airbase can defend both the Adriatic and the Aegean. You also have the option of a Black Sea fleet should it ever prove advantageous.



  • @Requester45:

    If you watch GHG you will see that he has outlined a strategy called “Middle Earth” in which the UK uses South Africa, Egypt, and Persia to transport large amounts of infantry around. When Germany can spawn units in Egypt and use them to hit Iraq and Persia, leaving at least one of them for Italy, it creates a great deal of frustration for the allies. Once Germany has Egypt, they can use transports to move onto South Africa, and soon the Axis powers will own all of Africa and the Middle East, taking full advantage of the “Middle Earth” strategy only from an Axis perspective. It is a deadly strategy.

    Of course Germany going hard against Egypt would be good against Middle Earth.  GHG’s Middle Earth is designed to play effectively against the more “standard” play of Germany going hard against Russia, where the UK needs to find ways to make progress against Italy and help Russia.  If a player commits/copies a strategy while ignoring what their opponent is doing, they’re not going to do very well 🙂

    FWIW I’ve played building in S France and it generates some very fun games!  Point is not that it’s bad, but when discussing it to bring up those weaknesses as well 🙂


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Cow is correct.

    The best way to force your hand in Egypt as Germany is to land heavy air Tobruk first turn (atleast 2 fighters).  Build two bombers G1.

    Italy moves into Alexandria I1 no issue, or obliterates the allies stationed there.

    G2, Build all bombers again, and land ALL planes in Alexandria (or bombers in Rome).   You should have 12-14 planes in Alexandria and upwards of another 5 in West Germany.  Egypt cannot stop a G3 air blitz; and UK cannot counter the italians in Alexandria.  At best the british can run.  (which happens 3/4 times).  Bombers can be used against the Russians G2 during attack if necessary.

    • If the british run, Italy walks into Egypt I2; Germany builds mech and continues terrorizing Russia.  Land enough German fighters in EGY to hold against british counter attack.

    • If the British try to hold, Italy can strafe for a turn, or if it makes most sense - Germany alone pounds Egypt into dust G3.

    The cherry on top - if you load a german infantry G2 into an Italian transport, it can land on a subsequent turn for the +5.

    Yes - this manuever is expensive; and costs air power.   But it also costs the UK it’s traditional airpower arriving in Russia, and gives the Italians a huge boost.

    If America does not intervene, Italy becomes a monster.  If America does intervene, Japan becomes a monster.

    This is why I usually prefer to skip Taranto, and nuke Tobruk as allies now.


  • 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    @Gargantua:

    The best way to force your hand in Egypt as Germany is to land heavy air Tobruk first turn (atleast 2 fighters).

    Its efficient if these planes started in west Germany, hit France and then landed in Tobruk.  People have to stop being so scared of that silly AA gun.


  • 2017

    @variance:

    People have to stop being so scared of that silly AA gun.

    Can’t help it!  :lol:



  • @variance:

    @Gargantua:

    The best way to force your hand in Egypt as Germany is to land heavy air Tobruk first turn (atleast 2 fighters).

    Its efficient if these planes started in west Germany, hit France and then landed in Tobruk.  People have to stop being so scared of that silly AA gun.

    After a few times getting hit 2 times by a single AA gun you kinda get weary.

    Also if you attack the UK fleet you cannot get to tobruk with those air forces, so in order to land more then 2 planes in tobruk you have to weaken your attack in 110 and 111.

    Unless im missing something and some planes are in range.


  • 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Maybe you don’t sink z111 on turn 1.  Get them next turn.  How many times throughout a game do you face an AA gun?  Does it stop you?  Anyway, we are getting off track.  The point is that its possible to give UK much harder choices if you use German air to reinforce Taranto and Tobruk, especially if you sink the Gibraltar cruiser with subs.  You can then nuke Egypt like Gargantua and Cow explained.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    We do the same thing in our 39 game. Land figs in Tobruk and planes in Romania to protect the Italy fleet. Can Italy afford a airbase on T1 buy ? We put that in Tobruk so figs can scramble and Ger planes from Romania to clean up ( Gar’s Bomber buys ?) if UK fleet attacks. It ends up pushing the UK fleet in the channel and out of the Med while Italy just brings down there fleet with ground landing in Tobruk.

    Just some suggestions if any of it is possible for 40 game.


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