We need an allied playbook.
@Argothair I don’t disagree with your assessment of the thread, but it certainly seems that Allied victory, especially OOB, is hard and difficult and is dependent on the Axis. It is difficult to assess good allied opening moves bc certain allies may or may not be able to even enter the war on a given turn. Certainly the income swing for the US is difficult to speculate on as your looking at spending 52 and sitting on your thumbs or (usually) 72 and posturing somewhere, or maybe japan didn’t get the philipines, and so its 77?? So, i guess all that to ask what do you think it should look like? A seperate main category entitled Global Allied Strategy, and then you can create sub categories with different speculations such as ‘G1 USSR DOW, J3 DOW’, or G1Sealion J2 Suprise Strike’? I am curious to see how a spanish beachhead works out, i’ve seen it used twice to little effect, but i want to see what others come up with, which i think requires a certain level meandering. What is a good setup that we all get to discuss and we all get the desired end product?
@Aaron_the_Warmonger I was assuming a simultaneous grab of many of those by the Allies.
United States Playbook
We do not play chess. The sides do not start off equal, and by the end of the first turn and even into the second, the ability of the Axis to destroy units within close proximity is enormous. The Allied situation is dire from the start and gets worse. Most games played online, even with bids, end with Axis victory.
Therefore the principles that guide this Allied US strategy playbook are:
1.to preserve the Allied starting units
2. to give ground where it is hopeless or prudent
3. to determine the place of the battle when possible
The options we have are many and dependent. On the other hand they are not entirely reactionary. The strategic defensive objectives remain the same. We must save London, the Atlantic, Moscow, Egypt, India, and the Pacific. In that order in my view. The strategic offensive objectives are perhaps a little different than the Axis powers. Whereas they are going for either early London, Middle Moscow, middle or late London and an economy that is at parity with the United States at war, the Allies are generally not going to take Berlin or Tokyo or even Rome. Rather the Allies are going for a radical dashing of the economic ambitions of the Axis and a capitulation. Keeping the Germans contained on the Russian front to the gates of Moscow and no further, kicking the Italians out of Africa and keeping them out of the Middle East, containing the Japanese to a fight for China and southeast Asia should give the edge to the Allies.
Accomplishing the suppression of Axis ambitions is achieved in two ways
- eliminate units on the board and
- his ability to make war.
The former is obvious, the latter may not be. Destroying an enemy’s ability to make war boils down to economics. Economics in this game is represented on the board by the cash values of the territories and the convoy zones on the map. In order to reduce your opponent’s income, you can do one of three things:
- take possession of his territory
- disrupt his convoys
- strategically bomb his factories.
Conversely, it means not losing your own territories to the aggressors. These factors determine our strategic offensive objectives.
Destroying an enemy’s ability to make war by disrupting his convoys can be a devastating strategy. In fact in several sea zones on the map, it is catastrophic if done in numbers. Parking your navies in the Sea of Japan and in sea zone 97 to the east of Rome are prime examples of this endgame tactic. Likewise, two strategic bombers will shut down minor factories and cost the enemy double to restore them to full capacity. Five bombers will almost guarantee shutting down a major factory. Losses will be high and costly to the ally who pursues this course of action but worth it. Be aware that Germany has two major factories so he can ignore the loss of one of them. Also be aware that German itself cannot be reached from London. A point in Scandinavia or Russia must be secured or maintained in order to thoroughly execute this strategy against the Huns.
In the East, you must get very close to the Island of Japan in order to bomb her. Iwo Jima or the Soviet Far East seem the best candidates. Some have even suggested Korea. Allied planes and tactical fighters can reinforcement Korea from Hawaii if the Soviets were to capture it. A strategy that keeps Russian troops on the east coast of Russia must be used in coordination with these plans. Be careful of the kamikazes. You can non-combat move into a K-zone without triggering their wrath. An attack on a navy in Sz 6 with subs and air will not provoke Kamikazes.
Having discussed how to destroy the enemies ability to make war, we move on to how to eliminate the units on the board. How to do this with the resources on the board and the limited time before a catastrophe like the fall of London or Moscow or Bombay occurs is the crux of the game. Historically it was agreed upon by the Allies that stopping Germany took primacy over stopping Japan. Victor Davis Hanson says that for all that kind of talk, a bifurcation developed that the West Coast produce goods for the Pacific war and the East Coast produce goods for the European theater. Unfortunately, for play ability’s sake, the US economy is not correctly represented. When you read VDH, there is a common refrain, “America produced more of … than all of the other combatants combined.” Obviously, this is not our situation.
Therefore kill Japan first strategy or kill Germany first strategies have been developed. I prefer the KGF strategy, and it was the agreed upon Allied strategy historically. The big question is can I pop Germany’s balloon before Japan’s expands beyond control. This question has validity. However, mathematically it is nonsensical. If Japan’s economy grows to 70 or 80, it would still be dwarfed by the combined Allied income that would result from the shriveling of the German Reich.
In light of these encouraging thoughts, let’s look at KJF strategies. I have mentioned bombing Japan from either Iwo Jima or Soviet Far East. This can be done in two ways. Russian troops can move to SFE and be reinforced with American fighters and troops. That could be done very early in the game, even T1, assuming a J1 attack. Alternatively, the Russians could be gathered in Sahka on T1 and a subsequent move to SFE could be arranged by T3 with impressive results. Alternatively, an Iwo Jima assault would need to be a tour de force. It might take 2 or 3 rounds of navy and air builds before you could attempt it. If one takes the same meat grinder approach as seen on the Eastern front, US waves of ships cannot help but overcome the Japanese. You must be willing to bleed. A substantial number of subs in your fleet can directly impact the enemy’s capital ships. Bombers can be used against the fleet and turn around and impact the struggle for Eurasian.
Another strong option for the American player executing a KJF strategy is to begin a naval arms race with the Japanese. This can have an indirect effect on Eurasia. The fear of losing possession of Sz 6 will motivate the Japanese to keep up. Too many times, though, the ships just threaten and engage too late to affect the “land war in Asia”.
Another option is to make a move on the “money islands”. This can be affected by either securing the Caroline Islands or traveling to Queensland and then springing into action. There is a great deal of fear surrounding this strategy. The loss of a fleet would be understandably discouraging. However, to draw the bulk of the enemy’s fleet so far out of position is itself (two turns from sz6) a feat worth considering, especially if there is a second, albeit smaller fleet threatening the Japanese homeland. You can afford this. He can too, but not without injuring his continental ambitions.
It should also be noted that, should America be left out of the war until turn 4, a great deal of marshaling and posturing can be done far away from the US coast that will influence the enemy’s decision making, drawing his attention away from Bombay.
A floating bridge strategy in the Pacific is difficult for several reasons, but not without merit. Naval superiority is the most obvious challenge. I have mentioned the value of capturing the Caroline Islands. The most tantalizing of options might be a 12 transport shuck between North America and Russia. Four would leave San Fran and go to Soviet Far East, four from Alaska to sz 1, four from sz 1 to San Fran. The drawback is that the land units have so much ground to cover before they affect serious change. It should be noted, however, that this must draw the enemy’s eye north, potentially saving Indian lives. A naval base in Alaska would even threaten the Japanese homeland. An airbase there would make any attempt to destroy the shuck costly, though the SFE transports are vulnerable.
As to KGF strategies, the saving of the Atlantic takes priority because of the logistical needs of the Allies, particularly the Americans and the British. We must transverse waters. The Russians, Chinese, Italians and Germans don’t. We do. In fact, we can’t win without doing so. Aircraft would not be sufficient. Therefore safe passage must be guaranteed. London must be saved. It may be lost, but it must be saved. Loss of any capital is a huge problem. The number of spaces on the board between Moscow and Washington is staggering. London is a necessary way station. Of course, without control of London, one ally is out of the game and is no longer producing combatants.
If Moscow falls, Eurasia is in danger of being swallowed up. There is probably nothing between the panzers and the Pacific ocean. The economic situation is very dire. If the Russians were able to retreat some of their units, if there is a strong British presence in the Middle East and North Africa, if the Chinese are still on the board and if the Americans have already put boots on the ground in Eurasia, then there is hope. Better it does not come to this.
However, Napoleon did take Moscow. And then his army starved to death. The German troops that make it that far are probably not coming back any time soon. They are an expeditionary force that will not return to Europe until around turn eight or nine at best. There is an opportunity here. He will have to stack soldiers for defense. This usually leaves his perimeter exposed. His perimeter includes an often naked Scandinavia and an exposed underbelly. Greece is particularly interesting because it is usually empty of enemies as well.
As before we need to begin with the end. What structure do we want to set up to deal a death blow to Germany? One obvious answer is to overwhelm him by putting more boots on the ground than he can. Therefore we need an efficient transport shuck enabled by naval supremacy. Traditionally this has meant leaving the East Coast and pausing in sz91 and then preceding from there to either Scandinavia or S. France or even Italy or Normandy. The other option is to take a longer voyage directly to England. This option is generally safer. The problem with 91 is that it can usually be reached by air units and any residual Atlantic fleet and Axis subs from the Med that can somehow slip through Gibraltar. Italians and Germans can tag team the zone if need be. Thus you need twice the fleet to protect the shuck. You need a formidable fleet at your destination and one at 91.Let me say that a fleet that draws the enemy’s air to attack it is self evidently going to draw units away from Moscow. Sometimes, presenting yourself as a tantalizing target is strategically shrewd. The question that should be asked is, how many of his units might he lose and can he replace them without ruining his ground game.
The Canadian Two Step
A shuck alternative that is extremely safe and effective, but slow is walking your troops into Canada (sz106) and shucking troops to sz109 and landing them in England. This is a 12 transport shuck, four transversing the Atlantic, four back to Canada and four landing troops wherever. Sz109 can still be hit by bombers but has the protection of scrambling fighters, six if you have them.
Now the most important thing about any shuck or even an assault on a large scale is the ****wave effect. They can see it coming or not coming. A large assault on Normandy will be handled differently by the enemy if he looks at way stations like sz 91 or Halifax and sees them empty. He can afford to throw everything at the invaders because they have no backup. He will have a breather, time to rebuild.
What will we do with the shucked troops? Normandy is right there for you to land them at your discretion. Normandy is also right there, two spaces away from W Germany. There are two ways to approach this landing. One would be a constant drip of 8 units landing every round. Another would be a significant build up, say double or triple that number. (more transports) Either way, they are threatening and must cause the German and Italian players to marshal soldiers toward the West.
What was true for Normandy is also true for S France, unless you captured Northern Italy previously or capture it simultaneously. General Hand Grenade is a proponent of this location because it requires so few transports to maintain the shuck. It will require two large navies to protect two vulnerable sea zones.
Greece is a sixteen transport shuck for the Americans and requires protecting three different sea zones. It is the most obvious blind spot in the Third Reich and could even be a one-off, sending four transports to their doom to accomplish the spectacular feat of placing eight units behind enemy lines. Fun, at least, though probably not sustainable for the Americans.
Scandinavia has many advantages. You can capture it and then build a minor factory. You can bomb Germany and W Germany back into the stone age. It will probably never be contested unless the Axis’ balloon is mammoth or he left a force behind in Karelia. The navies have to move together. New builds for England and our reinforcements might be vulnerable. Keep those planes at the ready for scrambling.
The big question that looms over Scandinavia is is this landing a “rescue of Moscow” or a second front? Aside from a lone tank, sent to liberate territories and aircraft meant to help defend, the answer is a second front. You are right there. Across the water is Berlin. Don’t take your eyes off the prize. And pressure on Berlin will force Germany to abandon its perimeter. You may have successfully peeled the onion one more layer. Normandy might be yours for cheap.
Nibbling and Sandbagging
From an optical standpoint, attacking Western Europe would seem to be the needed action. From an economic vantage point, however, keeping Germany contained to around 55 IPCs might be enough to prolong the war until the disparity widens in our favor. Therefore, we begin a section of the US playbook on nibbling the edges and laying down sandbags that will hold back the flood and economically support what has been called Operation Ricochet.
Moscow will be attempted. It is the crown jewel for the Axis. If America enters the war early, fighters can make their way to Russia by turn 5 or 6. If every allied surviving aircraft that begins on the board t1 were to do so it would provide a strong dike. Planes built by the English can launch from Scotland and make their way there. Planes in the middle of the board can fight the good fight, make a difference and still make it to Moscow by five or six. Anzac and Indian fighters can battle in Southeast Asia and still make it. A factory in Persia built on t2 can produce units that can assist in the sandbagging of the Russian capital.
Alternatively, seventeen American bombers can make it to Moscow by turn 6. They could act as fodder, but more likely they would deter the enemy from ever attempting the assault. They could also be used to attack any lagging mechanized column that was supposed to ensure the success of the venture. This, however, makes establishing your shuck by turn six impossible.
Other sandbagging areas include Yunnan and by extension Bombay, Egypt, London, New South Wales, and Hawaii. These are all Axis targets, assuming one is playing with the OOB victory city conditions. Of these, Hawaii rests almost entirely in our hands. In the early game, it is easy enough to get three transport’s worth of troops to the island and a token destroyer blocker or two. If we were to see Calcutta or Sidney about to fall, prudence demands an entire build or two be put toward securing the waters around the island, complete with destroyer blockers. This is more effective than turtling there. One could assume that the bulk of the IJN would be in the Indian ocean. To get from there to Hawaii would take several turns. An air force and navy comparable to the enemy must be produced. Defensively, loaded carriers, battleships and destroyers are amazing. Offensively, a fleet of subs and bombers can do incredible damage on the cheap with versatility for later asymmetrical warfare. Probably the most effective defense for the island proper would be a round of air power builds that could not be blocked from landing and be used for the offensive against the blockaders and the approaching fleet.
We can give New South Wales aid. We may be able to create a better sandbag there than in Hawaii, combining our naval might with the Australian ground forces. This should make Sidney nearly impregnable until turn seven at the earliest. This is a worst case scenario if and only if Bombay is in danger of falling or does fall. This could be made untenable if the enemy chooses Australia first. In such an event, however, Calcutta should become nearly impossible to capture, assuming an infusion of British units into the region via a factory in Persia, victory in North Africa or even aircraft from South Africa. Hawaii must become Japan’s final victory city. That should prove easy to defend, given our industrial output and the strategies listed above.
London may be sandbagged by some obvious and some oblique methods. The less obvious method is to draw the Pac fleet into the Atlantic, letting Germany know that any Operation Sealion victory will be pyrrhic. We can punctuate this by adding to the fleet immediately. Such a fleet needs additional aircraft carriers, aircraft, destroyers, and transports. If kept out of the war, one might stage the fleet in sz102. Given the green light, American aircraft could be launched from 102 and land in London during non-combat. As soon as America is brought into the war, ground units may do the Canadian Two-step. Move them to Canada and then shuttled your ground forces to London either in the combat phase for the recapture of the British capital or in the non-combat phase for reinforcement.
The other sandbagging will have to be done by the British, specifically Egypt and Yunnan or where ever you draw the line in China.
As to nibbling the edges, I am calling this Operation Ricochet. The Axis flood rises high. Many areas might be covered. Hopefully temporarily. For the enemy to reach the Middle East is no easy feat. With proper maintenance and investment, it should be an excellent area to begin taking back. For America’s part, parking a fleet next to Gibraltar can aid the English effort there by instilling a sense of fear in the Italians. A build or two will need be devoted to the potential defense of Rome. Those forces may never move for the rest of the game, nor be transported to North Africa nor can-open for Germany in the East. Meanwhile, you are free to choose from several edges where you might land: S. France, Greece, Yugoslavia, and Albania.
Scandinavia is another area that may be easily nibbled. Economically, it could be called the money peninsula, given the gain/loss of IPC and bonus income. It can even be the sight of an American minor complex.
Fade and Strike
If some of the sandbagged areas are lost, a reserve force in the rear might easily retake the territory after the fighters have headed for friendly bases and the ships quieted their guns.This I call a fade and strike maneuver. Bombay is the classic case for this (unless the Japanese are willing to lose an airforce to gain a victory city with a minor complex on it). Such trades will most likely lead to short-term losses for you, but long-term gains.
In the Pac, the Caroline make for an interesting get for naval operations. Iwo Jima or the Soviet Far East is more intriguing for air operations. Iwo Jima, however, is not an edge, nor a nibble. Many like to move to coastal Australia and subsequently take back the money islands. Coordination with the Anzac navy can tip the scale defensively in our favor, particularly when Japan is clawing for the quick capture of the Jewel of the Empire. This action might as well be called a naval showdown with the IJN. Planes could be launched like spears from carriers and land in the thick of the Asian campaign. If planned properly, planes leaving can be replaced the same turn with planes arriving.
I began with the end. The goals of the strategic objectives that I’ve laid out has been to destroy the enemies ability to make war and eliminate the units on the board. The work of laying down a “floating bridge” GHG by creating an efficient shuck sets the Americans up to devastate the enemy by asymmetrical warfare while matching boots on the ground or planes in the sky with the Axis powers.
The enemy’s floodwaters might overcome a sandbagged territory or two. Hopefully, instead of profiting by these conquests they are spent and easily mopped up by reserves that don’t have to contend with the air force or naval bombardments when they attack the weary defenders. Operation Ricochet depends on this. We have begun to nibble at the edges. The question then presents itself. Which edges should we nibble? The short answer is the valuable ones. Remember that we are mainly attempting to dash the economic ambition of the Axis. By my count, the Germans are making 47 pre-Barbarossa, with 10 IPCs of National Objectives. When they flood the Soviet Union they can grab around 16 easily and stand at the gates of Moscow, with 5 more IPC from another NO. This is around 78 IPCs. The Allies can not survive long if this endures. Robbing the Huns of Scandinavia reduces that income down by 10 and forces them to sandbag or risk losing 8 more PDQ. Greece might be a stretch, but there are nine IPCs in the vicinity. Most of them are near sz 97. A fleet there would ensure the Italians stay home to defend and places the responsibility for recapture squarely on the Germans’ shoulders.
Here we see the value of multiple fleets surrounding the enemy. He might be able to wipe out our troops in the Balkans, but he has to fear landings in so many areas that he must defend the capital and place the rest of his forces in a reactionary position.
In the Pac, from an economic standpoint, nothing jumps out at the American. However, if one assumes the responsibility for annihilating the IJN, the possibilities open like a flower in May. Easily the best get is the Philippines, with the NO. Malaya would be next in value for money made by the Allies via income and bonuses. As to theft and gain, stealing one of the money islands disrupts 8 plus dollars of the enemy’s revenue stream and puts some in your side’s as well.
Economic area values:
Soviet Union 37
Middle East 6
China and Korea 30
Southeast Asia 13
Pac islands 20
In addition, the starting values:
End of turn 1: Not counting National Objectives
Fr 8-13 no income
End of turn 1: with National Objectives…
The question is: how much do the Axis have to earn in order to be unstoppable? This wouldn’t account for the use of the pieces on the board at that moment, but the growing sense of inevitability for future rounds. Obviously greater than half or 51 percent makes sense. 134 is that number, without adding National Objectives. This also does not factor in the ebb and flow of income as territories are captured and lost every round. Young Grasshopper has a victory token that crystallizes this concept. I think his number is 144, though I think his includes NOs. If we assume Italy has been chased back to the continent and has 8, Germany and Japan must split the 126 between them or 63 a piece. With all of China, SE Asia, the money islands and the Philippines, Japan would earn 62. This must be the waterline for Japan. One can easily see how important it is to nibble early. The loss of Bombay has to be countered with a gain elsewhere ore immediately retaken. A doomed transport must retake an island or a territory at this crucial juncture in the game.
Germany before Operation B, hovers around 54. They can quickly shoot to 67 at the gates of Moscow.However, neither Germany’s nor Japan’s strategic objectives are easy, particularly all of China and Bombay by turn five or six. In addition, we have four turns of builds, around 240 IPCs to create the structure we will need to stop the Axis from ruling over the world. This is one of the reasons America’s actions must be somewhat independent of what is transpiring elsewhere. We are building a superpower from nearly scratch. Let me say it again, our logistical system of transferring units over water must be mostly complete by turn 4 or 5 at the latest so that we may match the industrial output of the Axis with our own. If the Axis and the Allies are receiving about the same income and we need to spend more on transports while they are buying tanks, we will lose.
In addition, the United States must be able to affect the enemy’s income by turn 6, 7 at the latest. By affecting his income, I mean that it must be a permanent decrease. He gains the Caucasus but loses Norway. And then the Caucasus is recaptured. He gains Bombay but loses Korea. And then Bombay is retaken. These pressures preclude many of the options that I have earlier mentioned as possibilities. Any nibbling at these malignant empires must move the Axis further away from earning 134.
One of the factors that I’ve skirted around in discussing nibbling the edges is the problem of dispersion. Unless you are on a flotilla crossing the channel with a ton of other guys, the Allies generally will suffer from being too few in number to face any serious segment of the enemy’s ground machine.
On the one hand, it is Russia’s job to do that. On the other hand, the call for the second front is real and urgent. Factories give you a hope of producing troops right there where they are needed. Scandinavia or Greece for instance. These factories are often disappointing. However, a minor factory can produce enough units to nibble the edges. Doing so can keep our adversaries from earning more than the red zone 64 ipcs mentioned previously. These, though, cannot be relied upon to produce a death blow.
Let me say it again for clarity, the US needs to be putting 8 units or more in Eurasia every turn, without interruption after turn 7. They need to be a cohesive fighting force that will achieve victory, defend with its British allies and cause the enemy to bleed. This cannot be accomplished by several minor US factories sprinkled around the periphery. That strategy is good for sandbagging, but is a bandage and cannot achieve the critical mass needed for victory. It merely staves off defeat.
The Death Blow: the Grand Strategy of the Allies and where America fits in
Victory in Europe probably requires a naval shuck. You could just build planes or bombers and put 7 or 5 onto Eurasia per turn, but you risk losing the Atlantic, London, the Med and every other strategic objective to minor investments in naval power by the Axis. As a reminder, you need to be adding to your navy regularly in order to stay ahead of any attempt at breaking the blockade, normally in the late game by an air strike.
Let’s turn to a thumbnail sketch of our individual nations and their strengths. Russia is supposed to have the strength of a horde. Three out of every four German casualties occurred on the Eastern front. If the allies have saved Russia by flying in a ton of planes, she can fight her way back toward Berlin. Not to Berlin, but toward it. Usually, by this time, Russia is needed to assist with a neglected Japan. Hopefully, she still has forces in Scandinavia; Russia can now scrape with the Jerrys over Nov.
Russia should attempt to retake the south as soon as possible. There is a swath of 2s that runs around the Black Sea to south past Persia. Tangle with the enemy over these with the help of the British. Russia should let the middle–the area around the Pippett Marshes be the battleground where Ger and Rus can trade territories and bleed out. Meanwhile the British should push back on the Japanese from SE Asia as well as launch from Russia into China to whittle away at that Japanese economy.
The Americans have a complex fighting force, with mobility. Stay mobile. Historically we pushed in and liberated Paris. This game rewards being in Fr, not Paris. Stay near your coast, your transports. Secure Normandy and buttress it. Make it impregnable. Meanwhile, new recruits are arriving. Keep them mobile. Move together with the English from one territory to the next. For instance, a drop of soldiers into Denmark sees the Ger drive them out with soldiers. This puts those soldiers out of place. They can assist with W Ger, but cannot help with Paris or Ger.
It is essential to create a growing sense of doom. The enemy is being nibbled from the edges by the British and the Russians. You are locked in an existential fight with the Hun. Grow, expand, having secured your base, don’t lose it without causing him to incur a great loss. Europe is yours to lose. Avoid going for it! Do not throw away your fighters or bombers to secure anything, but the capital. If the Axis are sub 124 at this point in time, life is good. Stay the course. Don’t make the big mistake. You might be winning.
I’ve attempted to lay out a comprehensive strategy guide for America. Obviously, the way the Allies are currently being played is not effective. The game may be slanted. This playbook has always assumed that that may not be the case. I have not yet given up hope that with an economically driven strategy the allies can emerge victorious. It will not be round 8 unless you are either superior in skill or lucky. Against a skilled opponent, you are looking at nosing them out in the 11th to 15th rounds. I know this is beyond most real-time players, but friends, we do not play chess. We play Axis and Allies!
PS a note about attacking neutrals
i have never thought about it seriously, but three things have caused me to rethink my opinion. America can reach Spain and have room to breathe. If Germany captures it, but doesn’t destroy the shuck, those troops are seriously out of position. Secondly, England can simultaneously grab Turkey and Saudi Arabia, gaining cash and access to Europe. Thirdly, Russia can grab Sweden if it took Scandinavia as I recommend.
Obviously, you need to kill the resistance with minimal casualties by using air, artillery and bombardment if possible.
I’ll work on marking important points in bold.
Also, I have and will continue to post Allied playbook material on my Youtube channel that is more step by step. Crockett36. I aim to lay out 4 different US step by step approaches: 2 KGF openers. One will be plan Patton and the other Eisenhower. The two KJF openers will be titled: Plan Lemay and the other Halsey.
I will attempt to write these plans out here as well. No promises. At the very least I will post the links here.
Also, no promises that I don’t modify the above material.
@Argothair Thank you for the kick in the pants to collect it, give it shape and wrap it up. I was almost there, but now I’m done with the theory. Onto specific plans on my vacation next week.
@simon33 The plunder rule has got to be changed in the next edition, Hear me, oh CREATOR of this little boardgame! Should be just the SV of the capital and only once. Please, Larry!
@Aaron_the_Warmonger If you captured Scandinavia with the Russians and you built a complex in Persia as the British, all may be seized in the same turn.
@crockett36 Thats a lot of moving parts, is there an estimated turn when this kicks off? i’ve thought about beachhead before, but i can’t seem, barring incredible good luck, being able to cobble the resources to knock out the big neutrals and keep up the regular war…
turn 4 or 5.
Wow. Thank you Crocket for the time it took to think this through, both in strategy and in writing it. Plus I heard somewhere that you moved in the last year? And have 7 kids? So…that’s a busy schedule and you finished a great piece of writing.
Thanks Guam Solo! I am going to read the thing on Youtube today and hope to get to the British strategy as soon as I get a new laptop. I find England to be the most challenging of the Allies because they have to do so much with so little. Really cool that the game imitates history so well. Egypt is the key. I have that from a very high source!
Eventually - when time permits of course - I think it would be great to see you sitting in front of the map and summarize it all while walking people through the board. But I don’t say that to take away from any of the work you’ve done. Blessings!
I have some fairly strong allied strategies, primarily for UK that I will have to summarize in a form of playbook. They’ve all been tried against me or used by me with good success rates and tend to keep the Allies competetive. When in doubt, Attack!
Well I’d love to see that.
@Guam-Solo I shall write one up in my notes and post it as soon as it’s complete.
I played a game this week as Britain and the axis won. It was a learning game though as all the players were new except for Germany (and myself as UK). The German player just throttled UK and land locked them. The game is hard to assess in terms of strategy because the newer players are either too cavalier with units or turtle for lack of experience. But the UK struggled so I’m interested in any UK ideas that other players employ.
@Guam-Solo That’s interesting. What do you mean by ‘landlocked’, exactly? Is the idea that Britain couldn’t keep a navy in the water, so British forces were confined to the UK and Africa, without being able to land on islands or in France?
By ‘landlocked’ I meant that there was no Royal Navy present and not enough UK aircraft to help. G1 took out 110 and 111, built an airbase in Holland and parked a small German fleet with an aircraft carrier in 110. I had a round of destroyer builds in 109 but the Luftwaffe just took it out. By UK 2 the Med fleet was gone primarily to one sided rolling. I saw Crocket36 combine the UK Med fleet with the French destroyers off of the coast of Southern France. This worked for me once before, but in this game it went terrible. The Italians rolled hits with nearly every roll in round 1 of the battle and the UK landed one hit… Order of casualties was tough because the Italians took Southern France first which meant I couldn’t take a hit on the UK aircraft carrier because the 2 planes would have nowhere to land and die if Italy withdrew. So Italy ruled the Med investing in ships each turn while the US was kept out of the war for as long as possible. The UK would have been fine in the long run, but the game was lost early when the (novice) Russian player threw a lot of his forces at a concentrated stack of German Armor/Infantry in Western Ukraine. Russia lost 85% of his attacking forces in the battle and ultimately opened the door for Germany to Russia. The trouble with new players is knowing how much to coach vs. letting them play their own strategies out while not controlling it too much so that they don’t have fun. UK would have recovered in a longer game, but the first two rounds really set them back.
I can also add that the UK went with a middle earth tactic and had help on the way to Moscow if the Russians had stayed in the game even just one more round…
All right, sounds like an interesting learning game. Sometimes you do get diced in an early battle (or three of them) and then that reverberates across the game. Especially if Japan is not declaring war on the Anglo-Americans, then there’s not much wiggle room for the UK & Russia to defend Moscow; a few bad battles or a few bad choices and Moscow can fall really early, and that’s all normal. I would have discussed the overall strategic situation with the Russian player, and explained why it made sense for them to sit tight and wait for British aid to arrive from Persia/India, but it’s hard playing just one country all day, and sometimes you just want to make a frigging attack, you know? It can be a lot more fun making one big attack and losing badly because of it than literally sitting around all day biding time and then having your friends argue about whether the resulting position was slightly favoring the Axis or slightly favoring the Allies.
I almost think you have to discuss strategies like that ahead of time, and figure out what countries to give people based on what their playstyle is. Especially in a game of Global with multiple newbies – if you’ve got a reckless attacker, give 'em the Germans or the Japanese. If you’ve got a timid turtle, give 'em the Russians or give 'em UK Pac + Anzac + China. That’s hard to suss out; a lot of people aren’t self-aware about what their playstyle is and may not admit to being a turtle even if they know it, but I think as the host you at least have to try to have that conversation.
As far as strategy, I think the British destroyers have to be built in Canada (SZ 106) when the Germans are doing an aggressive forward deployment with carrier and airbases. Building in Wales (SZ 109) is just a gift; it lets the Germans sink 'em for cheap. I’d also be very careful about moving into the Southern France sea zone when the Luftwaffe is still intact, because the risk-reward ratio is all wrong. If your fleet holds, then you deny Italy its Mare Nostrum NO for 1 turn (5 IPCs), and you get some additional boats into the Battle of the Atlantic at the cost of giving Italy a credible threat against Eastern Med targets like Egypt, Jordan, Crete, and Syria. It’s not clear that those results are better than just doing Taranto and sinking 2 Italian transports, which likely denies them the New Roman Empire NO (5 IPCs) for the rest of the game, and that’s what you get when everything goes well – as you saw, if it goes poorly against either the Italians or the Germans on a follow-up G2 attack, then you lose both your Atlantic and your Med fleets and you have very, very little to show for it. But you knew that.
Anyway, if Germany is buying an airbase and a carrier on G1, that’s the entire G1 economy, so they have no destroyers on the board. That means one interesting British purchase is submarines for the Atlantic! Hit the carrier, hit the battleship, hit the convoy zones in Norway and Normandy…just generally make life uncomfortable for the Kriegsmarine, and if you bait Germany into buying a couple of destroyers on top of the airbase and carrier, then at that point Russia should be rich enough to hold its own. Alternatively, if Germany retreats into the Baltic, the subs are useful against Italy in the Med.
@Guam-Solo nice report
but you could use some paragraph breaks for easier reading : )
@barnee Will do!
@Guam-Solo Wow, sounds like en epic battle. Germany took out both SZ111 AND 110? When I’ve done this I find myself spread a bit too thin and the Luftwaffe takes casualties due to scrambles. That’s actually a win for UK if you trade your fleet for German planes because it reduces their strategic flexibility. As mentioned Canada is the best spot to start building ships. If the Luftwaffe is in range they will just get sunk every round for minimal German casualties.
I’m curious about you’re statement that the fighters from UK couldn’t reach the action in the Mediterranean. Even if they’re guaranteed to be lost should the carrier have to take a hit I always send them. Trading UK planes for Italian ships is a positive for the Allies, because you can build more fighters, while the Italians can’t build ships.
@M36 On UK1 I took out the Italian ships in SZ96 next to Malta with one destroyer and a fighter. With that SZ cleared of enemy ships I moved the remaining UK fleet in the Med to SZ93 where they merged with the French cruiser and destroyer. I then landed 2 fighters on the carrier that combined with the French ships in SZ93. The tactical fighter that starts on the carrier was sent to Ethiopia to take out the Italians there.
London fighters were lost in scrambled defense of UK fleets and the Med fleet was lost when the Italians hit SZ93. The issue in that battle became order of casualties because a hit to the carrier meant the planes would have nowhere to land if the Italians only fought for one round. Which they could do and then leave the remaining ships for the Germans.
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