Axis and Allies Global 1940 has received surprisingly little attention on this blog. Hoping to rectify this error, I plan to post a series of essays on the game to assist fellow G1940 fans.
Barbarossa (the German invasion of the Soviet Union) is essential for German victory. Therefore, one of the biggest questions that the German player must answer on their first turn is when to invade Russia.
For a start, Germany must consider several other factors. One: how many casualties did Germany suffer when conquering France? This may seem like a small point, but it’s not. Barbarossa will claim all of Germany’s IPCs for six rounds at least, depending on whether or not Japan attacks Russia. What this means for Germany is that France will be poorly defended, and therefore vulnerable to an Allied landing. Germany has a minimum of 4 infantry, 2 artillery, 3 tanks, and 1 fighter with which to attack France. This force should be supplemented by the 3 tactical bombers from Western Germany. If you like, you can add the 3 German infantry and 1 German artillery from Western Germany. That should be more than enough. The fighters and bombers can land in Slovakia/Hungary, where they can link up with some tanks (hopefully!) Which brings us to our next point: purchases.
Purchasing for Barbarossa
What should Germany buy for Barbarossa? Five tanks are a good purchase, but is there something better? One very useful combined arms rule is that when a tank and a tactical bomber attack together, the tactical bomber attacks at 4. Here’s some math: 2 Tanks+Tac.bomber+Artillery+Infantry=30 IPC’s worth of units. Two additional infantry may be substituted for the second tank. What this combo offers: Great cannon fodder for the masses of Russian infantry. In addition, this combination provides strength through combined arms tactics, and offers the same 5-6 units as the above. However, this combo is heavily reliant upon combined arms. If the tac. bomber and artillery are destroyed, the combination is effectively reduced to a handful of infantry and tanks vulnerable to Russian attack. If this combination is used on G1, the Germans should build it at least twice more, on G2 and G3 (assuming Germany’s income is not up to 60 IPCs). Another issue is that this combination is not particularly versatile: it has a fair amount of offensive punch, but is weak on defense. Germany has one big advantage when purchasing for G2: It should have a 19 IPC bonus from conquering France! Ultimately, here’s what Germany should buy on it’s first three turns, with regards to Barbarossa*:
G1: 2 Tanks, 1 Tactical bomber, 1 Artillery, 1 Infantry
G2: 1 Minor Industrial Complex to be placed in Finland (see below), 2 Tanks, 1 Tactical bomber, 2 Artillery, 2 Mechanized Infantry
G3: 1 Strategic Bomber (to be placed in Finland), 2 Mech. Infantry, 2 Artillery, 2 Tanks (to be placed in Finland), 1 Tank
There are some moves that Germany has to make for a successful Barbarossa:
1: ANNEX FINLAND! This is critical! If you follow the hints in this article, you will have 8 infantry, 1 artillery, 2 tanks, 1 fighter, and a strategic bomber in Finland. Use your transport in sea zone 114 to transport 1 infantry and 1 artillery to Finland. With this force, you will be equipped to threaten Leningrad.
2: Land your France air units in Slovakia, and then distribute them so that you have one tactical bomber (at least) in Finland, Slovakia, Romania, and Poland.
3: Move your Germany infantry into Poland, and then move your three Polish infantry south.
4: Annex Bulgaria. This isn’t necessary, but it’s an extra IPC and 4 extra infantry, so you might as well do it.
5: Do not attack Southern France or Yugoslavia with your Greater Southern Germany units. They are too badly needed to reinforce Romania and Slovakia to waste on minor battles! (And besides, the Italians need all the income they can get, so you might as well let them have it!)
Any extra income can be used to prop up the West, or to buy a bit of extra infantry.
What To Do In Russia:
So, for a start, divide the front into three immediate objectives:
Objective #1: The North. This consists of using the forces in Poland and Finland to attack Leningrad via the Baltic States and Karelia, respectively. Depending on how quickly you can capture Leningrad, you may want to divert a few infantry to take Archangel, as that will sap the Soviets of 5 IPCs of bonus income.
Objective #2: The Centre. This one is a little harder to accomplish. Use your forces in Slovakia/ Hungary to capture and hold Eastern Poland, Western Ukraine, and Belarus. Then, send your forces either north to Leningrad or south to the Ukraine, depending on the situation.
Objective #3: The South. Use your forces from Romania to capture the industrial complex in Ukraine. Strategic bombers can be helpful here!
Once these three objectives have been achieved, the forces in Leningrad/Archangel should take Volgoda, the forces in the centre should take Smolensk, and the forces in the Ukraine should take Volgograd and Caucasus. Taking Bryansk would be helpful, but only take the territory if you can hold it! The goal is to outnumber the Moscow defenders, so that if one force is destroyed, the other two can successfully attack.
Once Moscow has fallen, you should transfer units to the West as fast as possible! However, some of the ‘south’ forces may head down into the Middle East, to gain some extra IPCs and, if possible, activate Iraq. However, that’s for another essay…
Next time, AxisAndAllies1940 will cover a German naval strategy.