Bobby Fischer

  • Greetings;

    I’ve played around 20 or so games thus far, and it seems like I am one of the few that would prefer to play with the CP.  Winning is a grind, but I can pull it off most of the time.  The only alteration to the OOB rules that we play is that ground troops can move 2 through friendly territory and to reinforce, but can only attack from 1.  I won’t use other adjustments I’ve read about (limiting FR navy, limiting India, factory in Munich, etc…) as they would only further help the CP.  We also don’t play the RR or economic collapse rules.  I don’t mind a 6-8 hour game…it’s better than TV.

    My CP strategy is fairly well set in stone. Here are the basics:

    1. Equally split GR on east and west
    2. 70/30 split of AH…favor the east. Get everyone to Galicia in R1. 
    3. Pray for OTT…hope for a stalemate, but is expected to slowly be overtaken. (Guaranteed victory if OTT can overpower GB)

    This makes the fight against IT and FR a temporary stalemate, but RU is in trouble and usually goes under in round 5.  Once gone, all but 5 or 6 guys head west.  Those that remain stay in Karelia in case someone tries to come in over the top.

    4. Use GR navy wisely, but I don’t expect them to last more than 2 or 3 rounds.  I have no use for AH or OTT navies. I usually leave them in place and wait to be attacked.  AH may come out, depends on who is creeping through the Med. 
    5. By round 5, GR IPC will be anywhere between 48-55 (depends on who captured Moscow) and AH will be 35-40.  Either way, press west.

    By round 7 or 8, the Allies should have 4 or 5 battleships, 3 or 4 cruisers, and 8-10 transports roaming around the North ATL.  Meanwhile, GR and AH are pressing.

    6. Keep AH press on full force, but buy 4 or 5 battleships (usually 4) for GR for 2 consecutive rounds in rounds 7/8 or 8/9…depends on situation at the western front.    GR either kicks ass and scares off/captures transports or forces GB and/or US to buy more ships.  Either way, the flood of GB and US guys into FR stops.  IT is usually gone by now, so AH is probably in Burgundy and GR is hopefully holding their own in Picardy.  FR is doomed.

    Of course, variables arise…poor dice, OTT die quickly, etc…  I can recall losing with the CP once when GB steamrolled through CON.  GB was knocking on Vienna, and GR couldn’t hold the west.  Sh*t happens, but this is not common.

    So, why Bobby Fischer?  I usually play my daughter who is only 14, but is exceptionally bright, or I play a friend and his college aged son, both of whom are sharp.  All 3 are worthy competitors, but I had to see for myself.  So, I recently finished my first solo game, doing my best Fischer imitation, trying to play both sides equally fair.  Round 12, AH proudly rose their flag in Paris.  GR usually ends up doing most of the grunt work while AH takes all the glory.

    I do science for a living, and clearly understand that a sample size of 1 is worthless, however, if and when I go for solo #2, I’d predict similar results.

    Has anyone else had good luck with and/or prefer the CP?  Would anyone like to discuss my CP strategy, especially #6?

    Best to all.

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    So, a couple of thoughts here.

    One is that having ground rules move 2 spaces on non-combat tends to help the CP, who have by far the interior (land) lines of communication. They are, after all, the Central Powers. You won’t see France sending infantry to Moscow’s aid. You will see Germany sack Moscow and then need to rapidly turn its troops around to hit Paris through a long stretch of conquered (and therefore non-combat) territory. Likewise, cancelling the Russian Revolution may actually work in Germany’s favor: because it allows you a guaranteed opportunity to take all of Russia’s income, the absence of a revolution tends to favor Germany, especially in a longer game. So your rules are somewhat tilted toward the Central Powers.

    Two is that it sounds like your Allies are building way too large of a navy way too early. If there’s no house rule limiting my Indian production, then as the Allies I will drop 80-90% of Britain’s production into India for the first 6 rounds. If, as you appear to be suggesting, the CP build no new warships until turn 7, then over the course of the first couple of turns, the British will try to build and protect a total of two (!) transports in the Atlantic so that they can unload the starting Canadian and British infantry to either be a nuisance in Holland or to help protect Normandy or Paris – but they’re not going to try that hard. I’ll build two subs or one cruiser if that’s what I need to gain the edge in the Atlantic. I’m not going to build more than that; I’d rather just win bigger and faster against the Ottomans.

    By turn 6, the Ottomans should be toast – even if Istanbul hasn’t literally fallen, you should have enough British troops in Turkey to mop up the Turks without spending more than 10 IPCs or so in India for the rest of the game. That means Britain can now afford to build a huge Atlantic navy to help protect the flow of American troops to France or Italy. The Brits should eventually (b/w turn 8 to 10) power through Istanbul with enough force remaining to take a large bite out of Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia, which can weaken AH at a critical moment and allow the Americans to kick them out of Rome.

    Like you, I’ve only played a couple of full games on this map, but if you’re seeing strong CP victories, it’s probably due to weak Allied strategy. Everyone in my playgroup agrees that CP are hugely disadvantaged using the OOB rules.

  • I agree with basically everything Argothair said, but

    because it allows you a guaranteed opportunity to take all of Russia’s income,

    Since the errata, the Central Powers have the option to decline the armistice if it triggers. Having the rules in place now only favors the CP since they can take the armistice if it would save them from having to fight a ton of Russians, or decline it because Russia has ruined its army trying to prevent a CP-favorable armistice.

  • 2020 2019 2018

    Basically what Argothair said. Particularly:


    If there’s no house rule limiting my Indian production, then as the Allies I will drop 80-90% of Britain’s production into India for the first 6 rounds.

    It cannot be overstated how one-sided the UK Vs. Ottoman fight goes in the OOB rules. You’ll completely demolish Ottomans in no time at all, and have a strong position in the Middle East that gives UK the option of either finishing off the Turks and opening a Baltic front or funneling reinforcements into Russia if it looks like the situation there can be salvaged.

    If anything, you might want to look towards killing Italy first as the CP (you’ll need Germany’s help, often to the temporary deficit of the French front). Defeating Italy frees up Austria to move troops into Russia/keep the Ottomans alive, and removes one of USA’s possible landing sites in Europe, making the late game Allied assault slower.

  • Argothair….thanks for the response.  In response to you…

    1st paragraph:  Now that I think of it, rarely do the Allies get much of a chance to move 2.  In order to make the game more fair, what are your thoughts on eliminating the 2 space rule, but giving Munich a factory as a slight compensation?  Any other ideas?

    2nd paragraph:  My opponents usually spend naval money on transports only…possibly 1 more battleship for GB.  They definitely do NOT focus 80-90% of their IPCs on India.  It’s probably a 50-50 split.  I guess they fear that FR can’t hold off GR without GB dropping guys into Belgium to disrupt the supply line.

    When I play solo #2, I’ll try out your 80-90% India strategy.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Use the Larry Harris tournament rules for best experience.

    As for discussing balance about personal house rules… kind of against the point of balance of the game is not being played the same.

    Last - sounds like you should face some real competition, before you will really know if this CP strategy is so grand or not!

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    I think a Munich factory is fine. I like to play with a Munich factory, a maximum of 6 builds per turn in India, and tanks and planes can always move 2 spaces through friendly territory. Every group is going to have its own set of house rules, though.

    Regardless of what rules you’re using, the strategic problem with buying infantry in London to drop into Belgium is that (a) you’re not going to take and hold an appreciable number of territories with it, (b) you’re paying extra because you have to pay for both the transports and the infantry instead of just paying for infantry, and © you’re going to take more casualties than you give, because you’re suffering pre-emptive strikes from artillery on shore, and the large German army can crush the relatively small number of troops that you can unload on any given turn.

    You may well be right that France can’t hold against a full German assault without heavy British support – but that’s OK. The CP need to make serious economic gains in the first few turns in order to have a chance of going the distance. In the early rounds, if the Germans go hard after France, the Austrians split their forces between Italy and Russia, and the Ottomans stay home to defend against the British, then the most likely list of CP gains is:

    • Germany gains about 20 IPCs from crushing mainland France / Holland / Belgium

    • Austria gains about 6 IPCs in North Italy and 6 IPCs in West Russia

    Meanwhile, the Allies will most likely pickup:

    • Britain gains 4 IPCs in Africa

    • Britain gains 20 IPCs from utterly crushing the Ottomans

    • Britain gains 6 IPCs or so from Persia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, etc.

    So the CP don’t really make any net gains. Worse, the Allies have been able to focus their economy into one power (Britain) which can now dump huge stacks at a single location and crush smaller armies. As the USA joins the game and adds another 20+ IPCs to the Allied side, now the Allies become unstoppable. Germany can swing east and take Moscow before US/UK can get there, but only at the cost of losing Paris.

    If Germany goes hard against Russia first, then France should be able to hold out alone against whatever Germany has to spare – and by the time German troops return from Moscow, the UK/US will be dropping lots of troops directly into France and Belgium.

    So it’s not that it’s a bad idea to reinforce Belgium from London…it’s just a matter of timing. Take out your rich land neighbor (Turkey) first, then use the profits to invest in amphibious assaults to defend or reclaim France.

  • Customizer

    This all seems to assume that the western Allies leave Russia to it’s fate. But assuming they control the seas the Allies can send troops to wherever the CPs are attacking.

    Russian forces concentrated early in Belarus can crush any invading army and then reinforce the survivors more easily than the CPs can send fresh invaders. If Russia is in trouble the UK can send forces up through the Caucasus or by sea via Karelia.

    The plan is based on the program of Crush Russia then switch forces west, but if the Allies are awake the CPs simply don’t have time to do this before American troops reinforce France/Italy.

    I still feel the best rework of this game is the CPs given set victory targets at the end of specific turns; essentially they must “beat the clock” before victory becomes impossible.

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