Is killing Sea Zone 110 an absolute must?



  • Like many of you veterans, I almost always clear out Sea Zone 110’s British cruiser and battleship and French cruiser in any G1 layout, but recently I tried making an Atlantic assault that did not include such an attack.  I’ve begun to wonder whether or not these heavy ships are so important to get rid of immediately when there are other opportunities presenting themselves.  Can Germany successfully destroy the Atlantic, help Italy, and leave 110 alone?

    Observe this following attack formation:
    Two submarines attack the cruiser near Gibraltar in 91
    Two submarines attack the destroyer and transport off Canada in 106
    One submarine attacks the destroyer and tranpsort near Wales in 109
    One battleship attacks the destroyer, cruiser, and battleship off Scotland in 111
    Germnay must send 4 tactical bombers, 4 fighters, and both strategic bombers to cover the attacks in Sea Zones 109 and 111.  An aicraft carrier purchase is necessary.  I recommend a destroyer and submarine too.

    Let’s observe how the battles should go.  The cruiser should be toast, and most likely you’ll have one or two submarines by Gibraltar alive.  The Canadians should go down and you should have a submarine or two left there.  You should have five planes attacking Sea Zone 109 to make a scramble a poor decision for Britain.  You should have five planes attacking the navy in Sea Zone 111 to ensure success.  You might have a submarine and maybe even a damaged battleship left near Britain afterward.

    You build your fleet in 112 and provided that you land three planes in Western Germany, the UK can’t attack you back even with the cruiser and battleship you spared them.  So what have you done?  Well, both British destroyers have been sunk so you should have between 2-5 submarines alive next turn to create havoc.  Britain has no transports to ferry troops from Canada or make a silly landing.  The cruiser near Gibraltar has been destroyed and cannot harm the Italians.  You’re in a very good position to do Sea Lion, and you’ve helped the Italians a bit by sending your last two air units in Poland and Hungary to Southern Italy.

    The UK can still do Taranto, but it might require them to strip two fighters from London.  The really important thing is where are the British battleship and cruiser and French cruiser going?  Probably retreating far away where they can do no harm OR going to Sea Zone 91 or 92 near Gibraltar.  This can really hurt Italy.

    Once I saw this move, I thought that leaving 110 alive was indeed a bad idea.  But take a closer look.  If the 110 fleet moves against Italy, Germany can kill it.  You will have a sub or two near Gibraltar, both strategic bombers, and your planes on Southern Italy to attack (make sure Italy takes Southern France so you can land.)  The only way the UK can safely move the 110 fleet to the Mediterranean is if the carrier fleet in 98 joins up with the rest in 92.  In order to do this, Taranto will be spared.

    I therefore come to the conclusion that the 110 fleet is not as important as it looks.  Taking out the British destroyers, transports, and cruiser near Gibraltar can hurt a lot more.  This attack helps Italy and also leaves the door wide open for Sea Lion.

    What do you think?  Where is the flaw that I’m missing?  Is this indeed a good move?  If the UK scrambles, will you lose too many planes (even though the UK will lose more on average)?  Please share your thoughts.



  • I think the biggest problem with not attacking SZ 110 is that it puts Germany on the defensive as a result.

    I had developed a similar strategy using mech and aircraft to take all of France and SZ 93 while clearing SZ 111 and SZ 106. GB had 1 transport in the Atlantic and a bunch of boats that couldn’t threaten me, yet. I say yet because there were problems I did not expect that I encountered sooner than expected. The British player made a massive fleet in SZ 109 and 4 of my planes were out of position in Northern and Southern Italy. My purchases turn 1 and turn 2 were geared towards Russia, but I still had a massive threat to the West. I made a very costly attack on turn 2 against that SZ and as a result had to spend most of turn 3 rebuilding my air force rather than additional units for Russia. This threw off timings for Moscow and my attack originally scheduled for turn 6 was delayed until turn 8. I was not able to threaten Egypt in time before the Allies had wrapped up in the Pacific and closed the door on a European win.

    So, in my experience while the fleet in SZ 110 is not gamechanging on its own, its survival provides Britain the resources it needs to prepare an invasion fleet or expedite the demise of Italy. German planes don’t want to be sinking battleships all day. If you keep your airforce in W.Germany and sink SZ 110 and SZ 111, any ships the British player builds risk annihilation even with a 3 plane scramble. When you leave those big pieces on the board they provide the backbone needed that requires Germany to invest in nvay to attack the fleet because air alone is too costly. If their fleet is comprised of destroyers and transports you can decimate it. But if not it quickly becomes something that you cannot contest and maintain pressure on Russia with.

    The 110 fleet won’t be making any big moves, but it forces Germany to react to where it goes and either strike it in defense of Italy or ward it off. Instead on T1 you can sink it proactively and force the British player to react to what you do instead of the other way around. Germany goes first each turn and needs to be able to dictate the tempo of the game. It cannot do that when an invasion force arrives 4 turns ahead of schedule.



  • If you’re not going to build a fleet and are looking for an early Russian victory, yes, I definitely agree.  But if you’re open to the options of Sea Lion etc., and you take the necessary steps to ensure everything is in place, that fleet should not escape alive unless it retreats.  Notice these problems:

    1.  You did not build a carrier or other sea units with which to threaten an attack on Sea Zone 109 turn two.
    2.  You had planes in Northern Italy that aren’t really doing anything.
    3.  I don’t believe you took the opportunity to sink EVERY other UK ship in the Atlantic.

    Supposing you manage to kill the four other UK fleets without getting seriously diced and you have 10 planes in Holland, West Germany, and Sea Zone 112, there is no way the UK can safely stack 109.  If all the other UK ships are gone G1, the UK will have the following maximum to defend 109:
    From SZ110 2 CV 1 BB
    From Gibraltar: 1 FTR
    From United Kingdom and Scotland: 4 FTR
    From purchases: 29 IPCs (or fewer ir you convoy 106)

    Germany will have
    4 fighters, 4 tactical bombers, a cruiser, a destroyer purchased, 2 strategic bombers, an aircraft carrier to take hits, and between 2-4 submarines.

    That’s a sure win for Germany.



  • I agree with what you are saying. My play in the other game was not optimal, but even if you don’t kill it in SZ 110 it eventually becomes something that you need to address as Germany. You can skip it T1 if you make other appropriate movements, but you can’t ignore those pieces the entire game. Hitting them G1 just gives you more initiative.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    I’m inclined to agree with KGrimB. When I first started playing, we did a similar opening. I think the differences were that we hadn’t discovered Taranto yet and didn’t hit the SZ91 cruiser. I wish I could give you a definitive reason why I stopped attacking in such a way, perhaps just the lure of killing more high value units. I can definitely see the merit in it. UK can’t activate Brazil, will get convoyed for a bit, still needs to build defensively UK1.

    I’d be interested in a trial game if you wanted.



  • I like the strategy of foregoing the fleet in SZ110. I typically avoid this fleet for a couple of reasons:

    1. Emphasis on taking out all the transports, cruiser in SZ91, and BB in SZ111

    2. Not wanting to risk any planes on G1 to a UK scramble

    I understand the need to keep the option open for a Sealion and how the UK would increase risk of one if it scrambles fighters in SZ110. However, when playing as Germany I like to play a minimal risk strategy the first few turns as I like to keep my options open. If the fight on the Europe map devolves to a battle of attrition on the Eastern Front, Germany simply can’t afford to take out the USSR if it also has to replace the air force lost G1. I also like to take Southern France G1 so as to be able to build navy asap, and will send a plane down to ensure victory.


  • 2018 2016

    110 is absolutely a target on G1. There is no reason to let UK have any fleet other than that of 109, 91, and the med stuff in 98 (which you can’t hit anyway). you have to take the risk on 106 which is 50/50. 110 and 111 represent too much firepower to leave any of it on the table after G1.
    The optimum setup we have found consists of the following:
    Purchase 2 bomber, 1 sub place in W Germany and SZ
    106: sub from 117: 50% chance of winning

    111: bomber, ftr and 2 tacs from W Germany, ftr from norway, sub from 124, sub from 118
    even with scramble 98%

    110: fighter and tac from W Germany, bomber from Germany, tac from germany, ftr from Holland/Belgium, sub from 103, sub from 108, battleship from 113
    86% with full 3 ftr scramble

    you dont even have to land in W. Germany Stack planes and AAA guns in Holland. so if taranto comes up you can still nerf his remaining fleet.

    I’ve looked at this a thousand times and i’m no “expert” but this is they best option to keep UK out of your hair while you assemble the forces for Barbarossa.

    This does require a G2 or G3 however. G1 completely off the table.
    If he scrambles you can even consider a Sea Lion but will have to coordinate that with Japan to keep USA out.

    My 2 cents.
    Cheers to you!
    Sean


  • 2018 2016

    Sorry mind working faster than fingers.
    This takes a G1 assault of USSR off the table. It will be G2 or later to be safe.



  • The barter is this: give up 110 to ensure the destruction of 106, 109, and 91.  In the typical G1 attack, the UK loses 2 (1 if lucky) destroyers, 2(3 with French) cruisers, 2 battleships, and perhaps a transport.  Germany generally loses all its fleet with possibly a submarine or two or a damaged battleship surviving.

    In an attack on all of British Atlantic sea zones except 110, the UK will typically lose 3 destroyers, 2 cruisers, 1 battleship, and two transports.  Germany will typically have around 3 submarines available.

    Here’s the difference: 1 British battleship and 1 French cruiser for 2 destroyers and 2(or 1 if Germany gets lucky in the standard attack) transports.  Germany will typically have three around three submarines surviving for round two versus the typical one in a standard attack.

    I agree on the versatility of the standard atttack, but this calculation makes me question the norm.  Is the type of units what makes the difference?  Are heavy ships more threatening than a few light ships and some transports?

    The things I like about skipping 110 but killing all the rest are no British destroyers to kill my submarines, no transports to reinforce the UK or take a key area or land early, and one less cruiser to hit Italy.  I see the understand and even share the desire to destroy as many valuable Allied naval units quickly, but can someone explain WHY it makes a difference?

    I want to keep hitting 110, but if I can’t seem to find any real evidence that it makes a difference, I might be tempted to try this opening.  Of course, I’m assuming that Sea Lion is not off the table as in a G1 attack on Russia, or a quick push for Moscow.


  • 2016 2015 '10

    There’s some good things about this opening.  Especially in a no-bid game, taking out the cruiser in 91 pretty much rules out Taranto.  And combined with your G1 fleet buy, this definitely puts UK on the defensive.

    But it’s a bit too risky for me.  In a no-bid scenario, the best odds I can muster are going 1 bb 2 fig 2 tac to 111 (86%) and 2 fig 2 tac 2 bmb 1 ss to 109 (93%).  UK has good reason to scramble in at least 1 of these battles, since the tuv exchange from the scramble should be positive on average (and every once in a while they’ll hit the jackpot).   Moreover, you can’t bank on success every time with the 2 sub on 1 dd or 1 cru battles–about 10-15% of the time Germany will lose those battles.

    You may be underestimating the benefits of UK consolidation at 92.  As Allies, I personally prefer hitting 97 over 92 consolidation when I have a choice (less Italy tpts means less headaches), but there’s no doubt that 92 consolidation is almost as good as a move.  Leaving 110 alive means that sometimes UK can pull off 92 consolidation w/o buying the airbase (and if they do, it’s probably fatal to Sea Lion plans).  Note that some of the planes you send to 109 will have to land on Holland and won’t be able to hit 92 on G2.

    Another reason people prefer targeting the 110 fleet is it can move 3 spaces on UK1 while the 111 fleet can move only 2.  So even when 92 consolidation isn’t feasible, the 110 fleet will always escape.  The 111 fleet, by contrast, cannot escape the reach of a stronger fleet in 112.



  • Very good points but I don’t understand why you’re sending 6 planes to 109 and four to 111.  109 can manage four scrambling fighters.  You only need five planes to make it a battle in your favor.  If UK scrambles, it’s Sea Lion time.  111 needs the five planes though to be safe.  I also fail to see how the TUV is in UK’s favor:

    Sea Zone 109:
    1 submarine, 2 fighters, 2 tactical bombers, 1 strategic bomber vs. 1 destroyer and 4 fighters:
    CALC: three hits average both sides.
    1 fighter, 1 tactical bomber, 1 strategic bomber vs 2 fighters
    CALC: 2-1 hits average
    Surviving: 1 German strategic bomber plus another plane.  Even if the Germans lost all but one plane, a British destroyer and transport went down in exchange for a sub, making up for the slightly higher value of tactical bombers.
    –This is three planes for four=battle in Germany’s favor.  Of course the Allies could get lucky, but so could Germany.
    Sea Zone 111:
    1 battleship, 2 fighters, 2 tactical bombers, 1 strategic bomber vs. 1 destroyer, 1 cruiser, 1 battleship, 1 fighter
    CALC: 3-2 hits average
    1 battleship (damaged), 2 fighters, 1 tactical bomber, 1 strategic bomber vs. 1 battleship and 1 fighter
    CALC: 2 hits both sides (giving UK the luck)
    Survivng: 1 German strategic bomber, tactical bomber, and fighter.
    –This is 1 battleship, 1 fighter, 1 tactical bomber for 1 battleship, 1 fighter, 1 cruiser, 1 and destroyer.

    Therefore, the odds do not help the UK with TUV.  I don’t give two infantry for players who make moves hoping for luck.

    As for the risk with the Canadian and Gibraltar battles, there is an even bigger risk in the typical G1 attack in which we have only one submarine attacking the Canadians.  Of course, the outcome of these battles will determine if Sea Lion is an option or not.  The 92 consolidation is a problem for Germany, but it effectively leaves Italy free to do heavy damage.  Stopping Taranto is a big deal.

    I’m still unconvinced.  Someone save me before I lose the next game trying to pull this off.


  • 2018 2017 2016

    As an Allied Player in your Scenario CdG, I would also consolidate my Fleet in sz92.

    With all these Ships now for the Allied Player available plus whatever the US is sending as assets along with it (a couple DD’s ,SS’s, Ftr’s and TT’s), it is impossible for Germany to hold anything against it in the E-game (early).
    This will signal the US player that he can spend heavily in the Pacific against Japan from T1 on.

    The UK put pressure on Germany way earlier and is locking down the Med for good.

    It would be a different scenario if you would leave 111sz alone as Zhukov44 allready mentioned.
    You would still be able to kill off the 111sz fleet on G2.



  • The seazone 92 consolidation as mentioned is an issue, but to me it is the sheer fact that a battleship and a cruiser are irreplaceable to the British, literally.  Destroyers and Transports are what the British will funnel into their build for the first 4-5 rounds while also spending in the Middle East/Africa. A big buy for the British is an Airbase for Gibraltar or Egypt, maybe a Carrier.  Allowing them to keep a Battleship and a Cruiser gives them a Nucleus to their fleet that they could never have until round 4+.  Replacing those two units is the entire UK2 purchase.  However, replacing SZ109 and SZ106 while costing relatively the same, can be replaced in bites that SZ110 cannot be done in.

    Killing capital ships is massive, this is reflected not just in Germany’s opening turn but also the UK’s and Japan’s, the reason you do Taranto is because allowing the Italian BB to live gives their fleet a nucleus that is very hard to knock down once it is stacked up.  Killing the British BB off of Malaya is also a huge reason J1’s are done, that BB can become the Nucleus of an Anzac defense in 54 or can become the Nucleus off of Egypt around Round 3, both of these options are thorns in the side of the Axis.

    I think you also overestimate how much this helps Italy, even if this stops Taranto (which if you play with a bid is not guaranteed) it just means that the UK is free to crush Tobruk turn 1, even if your fighter from Hungary flies down to defend UK has 73% odds in Tobruk.  I would do like the other guys said and maybe find a way of leaving 111 instead so that you can positively chase it down.



  • Excellent points everyone.  I now feel like I have a geninue argument against letting 110 live.  This will greatly help me explain the necessity of destroying 110 in Axis strategy talks.

    Perhaps now would be a good time to begin the argument for letting 111 live or just strafing it.  I always used to strafe 111 if I wasn’t going all in on killing it, but perhaps leaving 111 alone will open up other options like good odds for 106 and 91 that were the basis for my playing the devil’s advocate for 110?

    110 is pretty much the next most-targeted area for Germany to attack after Paris.  That means a French cruiser has to die.  Well, so much for that plan.



  • No it is not. I always ignore 110 and with my strategy they never cause me a problem. Obviously I have counters for them if they decide to stay around


  • 2019 2017 2016

    I normally strafe sz111 with the bb. I see now that it is really a mistake for the defenders to opt out of the scramble to sz110 with that attack, but most do.

    My main theory is to keep the German bb alive to protect w Germany and Norway later in the game. Sometimes players can run the damaged sz111 bb back to Canada to be repaired but this takes it out of the game for a number of rounds. Still, if that bb combines with a us cv and a scramble in sz110, it is almost impossible to dislodge the fleet at least until Moscow is down and your air can run home.


  • 2016 2015 '10

    @Charles:

    I don’t understand why you’re sending 6 planes to 109 and four to 111.  109 can manage four scrambling fighters.  You only need five planes to make it a battle in your favor.  If UK scrambles, it’s Sea Lion time.  111 needs the five planes though to be safe.  I also fail to see how the TUV is in UK’s favor:

    Sea Zone 109:
    1 submarine, 2 fighters, 2 tactical bombers, 1 strategic bomber vs. 1 destroyer and 4 fighters:
    CALC: three hits average both sides.
    1 fighter, 1 tactical bomber, 1 strategic bomber vs 2 fighters
    CALC: 2-1 hits average
    Surviving: 1 German strategic bomber plus another plane.  Even if the Germans lost all but one plane, a British destroyer and transport went down in exchange for a sub, making up for the slightly higher value of tactical bombers.
    –This is three planes for four=battle in Germany’s favor.  Of course the Allies could get lucky, but so could Germany.

    One less bomber reduces your odds to 72% or thereabouts (average tuv swing of +10). If Allies don’t scramble, it’s an average swing of +13.  So 28% of scoring a win G1.  Maybe some players wouldn’t risk it, but I would scramble every time.  Losing all the figs in 109 won’t prevent UK from consolidating 92, so even if Germany gets some lucky dice, a Sea Lion followup is not necessarily going to be easy.

    Re. 111, with the extra bomber you have 96% with the scramble.  I’d prolly scramble 109 against that deployment but the 111 scramble also changes the average swing from +30 to +25 (plus the 4% chance of winning the battle).



  • I think I see what was confusing me, Zhukov.  You’re comparing the total units lost in a non-scramble battle versus a scramble battle.  Even though the UK is going to lose more units on average, what you’re saying is that the scramble tightens the gap and forces Germany to lose more stuff as well.  Good point.

    Simon, I’m interested in your reasoning of why the Allies should scramble 110 if you’re doing a 111 strafe.  Does this logic also apply to a standard wipe-out attack on both 110 and 111?  In a 11 strafe, are you leaving more submarines to hit other places like 106 and 91?



  • Just to throw in a thought …

    By leaving 111 alive you would grant UK a destroyer which would immediately be put to use huntig your surviving submarines.

    Whereas one of the big benefits of your original plan was a “destroyerless” Britain.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    @Charles:

    I think I see what was confusing me, Zhukov.  You’re comparing the total units lost in a non-scramble battle versus a scramble battle.  Even though the UK is going to lose more units on average, what you’re saying is that the scramble tightens the gap and forces Germany to lose more stuff as well.  Good point.

    Simon, I’m interested in your reasoning of why the Allies should scramble 110 if you’re doing a 111 strafe.  Does this logic also apply to a standard wipe-out attack on both 110 and 111?  In a 11 strafe, are you leaving more submarines to hit other places like 106 and 91?

    I’m referring to the point upthread that if the Germans don’t bring the BB into SZ110, every hit the RAF get downs a Luftwaffe. Given that the first round Luftwaffe hits can usually be taken on the Royal Navy, you’re talking about 3-4 Luftwaffe destroyed (unless they retreat after round 1 I guess) for the loss of 3 allied fighters which aren’t worth as much in the game. As Allies I would gladly trade 1 RAF for 1 Luftwaffe and probably even 3 for 2. The French fighter is worth even less than the RAF as well.



  • Not a must but it buys Germany and Italy some time.



  • The French fighter is worth even less?  With that mentality no wonder some of those French patriots left the RAF to fly Yaks for the Soviets.  Besides, we mustn’t forget that France has a unique ability no other Allied power possess: going after Italy.  Sometimes that French fighter can he a pain for this very reason.

    On a more serious note, are you not bringing in submarines to attack 110 in your 111 strafe scenario?



  • No dd, no sub hits by RAF


  • 2017 2016 2015

    @Charles:

    The French fighter is worth even less?  With that mentality no wonder some of those French patriots left the RAF to fly Yaks for the Soviets.  Besides, we mustn’t forget that France has a unique ability no other Allied power possess: going after Italy.  Sometimes that French fighter can he a pain for this very reason.

    On a more serious note, are you not bringing in submarines to attack 110 in your 111 strafe scenario?

    heh heh

    yea I try to save the French ftr just because it can’t reproduce. Or is unlikely too : ) 2 inf on an allied trprt with a ftr does project  some power that can’t be completely ignored



  • @barney:

    heh heh

    yea I try to save the French ftr just because it can’t reproduce. Or is unlikely too : ) 2 inf on an allied trprt with a ftr does project�  some power that can’t be completely ignored

    Nice idea, 2 French infantry on a UK Tranny and 1 French Fighter on a UK Carrier, starting from Gibraltar Naval Base, moving after US, UK and Italy, must keep this in mind and try next game….


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