No discussion for a while now…
Any new conclusions about this strategy?
What’s about an airbase at Gibraltar and moving Egypt fleet west? Yet, I guess there was this topic deep down at forum’s splanchnic times ago but couldn’t find it…
@Argothair Those are really good thoughts @Argothair especially regarding assigning countries to new players based on their personality type. The reality is that these new players are new friends of my son who is a freshman in college. I hosted the game for their spring break. My son played Germany so the two experienced players were split.
Here’s the funny part of the story…I did talk about strategy with my allied counterparts. When Germany made their first thrusts into Russia I coached Russia on hitting the Bessarabia stack because the German units were spread across the whole of the Eastern front evenly. With the air units the German player can’t predict where the Russian would strike. He wiped out the Bessarabia units.
Later, I had to leave the game for half an hour. The German player consolidated everything with a thrust into one territory. On Russia’s next move he tried to hit it with his air units and tanks and not enough infantry. When I walked back into the room everything was on the battle board and the other allied players were telling me, “We told him not to do it.” He lost nearly everything and what could be retreated was destroyed on the next German turn leaving them next to Moscow.
The Russians had a stack of infantry in Lenningrad up north but couldn’t get them to Moscow on time now that the Germans were close. But this is were you just have to roll with it and let new players learn and enjoy the fun of the game. And that’s not to say I can’t learn from games like this as well - because my son/Germany played really well and had UK on the ropes despite what other allies were doing.
I think the ship builds in Canada is a great counter move that you suggested. You can bring them over on the same turn you purchase and drop ships next to London. What we ended up doing was swinging the US fleet we had parked in 91 up to relieve London - while at the same time sneaking a group of transports to Rome and taking it while the Italians were busy in Egypt.
In the end we lost 2-1 using YG tournament rules.
@Guam-Solo No offense to Crocket but after watching that video I’m not a fan at all of that strategy. So much effort put into destroying four troops and taking 1 IPC in East Africa which is virtually irrelevant in the larger scheme of things. I’ll sacrifice my fleet any day to remove the Italians, and if they scramble and lose planes the French fleet has a good chance of surviving anyway. The only strong Italian force in Africa is in Tobruk, crush it on turn 1 or it will get stronger. The other forces are split and can be destroyed when it’s more convenient.
I don’t have a full playbook, but do have some thoughts on openings:
UK only scrambles on G1 if there is a decent chance the UK fighter will shoot down MORE than 1 German plane.
If UK wants to do Taranto (and they should), the U.S. needs to buy 2-4 bombers on US1. If they can, send U.S. fighter to Gibraltor US1 and a bomber to London. UK buys 1 fighter 6 inf. Send enough to win Taranto if he scrambles, but only the bare minimum.
And agreed about Crockett’s video. I looked and that French/UK fleet off S. France is still going to lose to Italy’s ships/planes, but Italy gets to keep an extra transport. (Italy favored in the attack 72%, but UK will lose 2 fighters guaranteed).
Not seeing how this helps keep London. Certainly makes India easier to take.
@weddingsinger I think it all boils down to if you want to play aggresive or defensive. IPCs are not the real currency in A+A, your units are, so don’t be afraid to “spend” those units if it puts your opponent back significantly. I would love to hear more from Crocket on how this strategy worked out in practice.
According to the numbers, the defender has the advantage in combat, but this is a misconception. The attacker chooses where and when to fight, and how many units to bring. A smart player will bypass strong points and only attack when he can bring enough firepower to destroy the enemy in one round of fire. If I’m playing Italy in that scenario then I could care less about the British fleet, cause I’m running wild in Africa and the Middle East, and Japan is probably going to exploit the weakened Indian front J2 to come meet me.
@M36 Just to be fair to Crockett36, I have seen a more recent video where he criticizes moving the English fleet to combine with the French ships for the reasons being stated in the last few posts. He does offer a different move - consolidating the English fleet next to Malta where fighter can be scrambled in defense, and where they can land in the event of an Italian retreat. I think Crockett’s goal is to let the Italians come at him in his combined fleet strength and fighters defending at a four. Here is the video link to this:
I think it is just important that the UK takes out the Italian ships - even if over a couple of turns. If they aren’t, then the Med is difficult to deal with and the US when it gets there must engage in a big battle whereby casualties will force the US to replace ships needed to protect transports thereby delaying shucking into Europe - giving Germany more time to get to Russia. So, back to Taranto UK1. That might be the easiest solution because the Italian fleet can be attacked piece meal.
@Guam-Solo Agreed. Maybe forcing the Italians into an attack works in some games, I’m just a big advocate of the best defense being a strong offense. The reasoning for destroying the Italian fleet right out the gate is the same reasoning for destroying the UK fleet G1. Even if it’s costly it takes your opponents options and initiative away, which is very difficult to recover from.
All I’ve got so far is a few basic opening notes:
I’ll need to playtest my ideas about a mechanized Russia, but obviously Russia moves 6 inf back to Moscow from the Pacific side. I usually retreat the 12 and then on R2 move them back to threaten the Japanese to try and freeze Japanese troops from being able to head south to attack China/UKPac. On German side… not much you can do if Italy is successfully can opening for Germany. If not, you just try to group you inf together and look for a counter attack opening that will delay the German advance an extra turn. If Germany is doing Sea Lion, Russia should try to hit southern Europe. Its much harder for Germany to get rid of them there compared to using their transports to hit you on the coast of the Baltic.
UK needs to assume Sea Lion. Their margin for being able to stop Germany is pathetically small if Germany can bring 10 transports and its air force to London (to stop that requires having 17+ hit soakers and 5 fighters) This means a UK1 activate Ireland using your mech (its a landing spot for U.S. bombers if London falls) and buy of 6inf and 1 fighter (and if Germany looks Sea Lion, UK2 buy of more inf and any U.S. forces you can bring). If no J1, you can NOT spare a fighter from London for Taranto. No scrambles on G1 unless your fighter can/will kill 2 or more German air but killing the German battleship might be worth the fighter in Scotland. UK also ignores Italy in Ethiopia other than walking 1inf/1art to Anglo-Egypt Sudan. It’ll cost you nothing right now. UK cares more about sinking Italian transports and getting Persia. If no J1, I also take Sumatra. Taranto raid and kill Italy’s Malta ships. UK’s goal is to 1) keep London, 2) keep Italy from getting N.O.s, and to build a factory in Persia on UK2 if no Sea Lion, and send 3 fighters to Moscow every turn you can (UK3-5)
US… if a J1 you need to send a bomber and fighter to London. If transport at Canada sank G1, they’ll need 2-4 more bombers purchased US1. If Japan never attacks US and Germany gets London, your 5 bombers can sink the German fleet and land in Ireland (hopefully) on US3 as consolation. I prefer to build for the Pacific theater after that, and leave Germany for Russia/UK (mostly… other than help from the 3-5 U.S. bombers that join in). The goal against Japan is to get enough U.S. ships/planes to threaten and take sz6 if Japan commits to hitting India. Iwo Jima is nice to have, too, to stage bombers from. Caroline Islands are great, but in range of a LOT of Japanese planes, so can be dicey, so be careful. I prefer a couple of US carriers and a few subs, but mostly destroyers to soak hits from Japanese planes. The goal is to either freeze the Japanese advance or occupy sz 6 around US 5/6 and start convoying and bombing.
UKPac, China, ANZAC’s job is to cost Japan planes whenever possible. Slow them down and cost them money if possible. This means sinking transports. Grinding away any Japanese troops being used to take islands. Retaking money Islands if you can keep it for 1 Japanese turn and leave 2 inf there to defend and hopefully cost Japan troops.
gentleman first let me say this is an exciting discussion to be having. I was wondering if i could have your permissions to read this for my channel. I will not disparage anyone or any idea.
@crockett36 Absoloutely. Discussion is the whole point of these forums after all.
@crockett36 Totally cool with that.
@crockett36 But we would also like to hear Crockett36’s opinion of the ongoing discussion - since you’ve been driving this thread!
@weddingsinger Good notes for this thread. I have tried to use the UK Middle East IC to mostly roll mech up to Russia and spread a few fighters in. 3 Fighters a turn would eat up most of UK’s money - do you not spend on anything else? For example, some type of transport threat to get at Germany (or nibble as Crockett puts it).
Also, has anyone tried using the ANZACS in the Middle East? @siredblood has a video on his webpage called the ANZAC Express where he uses a British transport to move an ANZAC infantry from Egypt to Persia in two turns. They build a minor IC and then shoot mechs, or even a fighter or two up to Moscow. I tried this in my last game. It was going to help, but the game ended too early as I’ve detailed in earlier posts on this thread. Japan wasn’t positioned to threaten Sydney which helped. I built ANZAC infantry only for defense in Australia while funneling cash to the minor IC.
I believe the best way to stop sea lion as a UK player is to buy an AB and either all inf or 1 inf and 1 fighter. Assuming no J1 (because if this happens it is a very good sign sea lion is off the table) the only combat I suggest is attacking sz96, cleaning up the Atlantic ocean of subs in sz 106 and attacking the German BB if it is in a vulnerable spot. Depending on the bid the attacks generally look like a sub, tac from 98 and fighter from malta for sz96. Destroyer from sz109 and maybe bomber to attack any subs in sz106. And depending on where the BB is use fighters unless it has retreated to sz112.
For non-com movement I move any ship that can reach to sz 92 while picking up the inf and AA in Malta and unloading in Gibraltar. I make sure I land at least 2 fighter in Gib and the rest in London. With the navy parked there it makes sea lion all but impossible while still preserving the majority of your fleet. I also move all land units in Africa back to Egypt (not sure this is the best idea but this is what I prefer) and use the transport in sz39 to activate Persia.
A smart axis player will realize sea lion is now off the table and move towards Russia. An even smarter Axis player will realize this move all but takes Egypt as well if the US buys any transports for the east coast early (this is just an opinion).
Saving the air force is critical for this move so I rarely scramble in sz110 and will think hard about scrambling sz111. Unless the German player buys all land units R1 and Japan attacks as well this tends to be my opening for UK since it does a great job of securing the strategic objectives that were mentioned earlier in this post. If the party gets started early I might get more aggressive and attack sz97.
I do not like to trade the UK navy plus planes for the Italian navy considering that if I can trap it in the Med, the Italian navy is strategically worthless outside of defending against an amphib assault. Plus any inf bought for London are strategically worthless until mid game at the earliest.
When you crunch the numbers the end result is a force in sz92 that should easily withstand everything the Italians can throw at it. Also every unit in sz92 and on Gib can now be used to defend London if need be.
@AldoRaine I like it, but I have questions. No attack on Tobruk? Italy still has two transports, so they can drop four units into Trans Jordan or Alexandria giving the Italians ten units to crack Egypt, (And sieze Iraq) plus the three coming up from Ethiopia. Can enough reinforcements reach Cairo UK 2 to prevent its capture?
@Guam-Solo I’ve tried the Anzac Middle East complex, but I’ve always found they just don’t make enough money to provide effective forces, especially if they have to worry about a Japanese threat.
@AldoRaine That’s a very interesting battle plan! I’m assuming your air base UK1 goes on Gibraltar. If you are not scrambling around London, not doing a Taranto raid, and not attacking Europe on UK1, then what stops Germany from sinking your fleet off Gibraltar with air power? Italy sinks the French fleet with a sub and planes, and then takes Morocco turn 1 with land units, cruisers, and battleship (i.e., enough power to fend off your 2 scrambling fighters), and then everything in Western Germany can reach SZ 92 on G2 and land in Morocco. If you’re leaving 2 fighters in London and buying AB, 1 inf, 1 ftr, then that leaves you with something like 1 CV, 1 DD, 1 CA, 3 ftr, 1 tac to defend SZ 92, right? Depending on what Germany bought G1, Germany should be able to bring something like 1 sub, 1 CA, 3 ftr, 3 tac, 3 bmr. At that point Britain has no boats in the water from Canada all the way to the Red Sea, the Italian fleet is intact, Italy starts collecting NOs, and the USA could get caught between a J1 (because the Axis really don’t need a Sea Lion threat to make this strategy work) and a booming Italy. Russia will not be in extreme danger because Germany loses a few planes on the G2 attack, but all the land units can head toward Russia as normal, and the G2 purchase can easily include 10+ mech/tanks to get Barbarossa rolling.
Am I missing something?
@Argothair sz 92 is inside the Med so any attack by Germany is all Air Force. Plus Italy can only take Algeria which does give Germany the ability to land fighters but only ones from western Germany. I am willing to trade UK ships for the rest of the German air force almost every game.
No scramble G1? Not sure I like that. You can still have 1 fighter on Gibraltar and a full CV in SZ92. If there’s no J1 I don’t like using the SZ39 TT to activate Persia. Probably if there is a J1 DOW I still don’t like it.
If the Axis J1 DOW you can put a US fighter on Gibraltar. I guess the second worst case for the SZ92 fleet is a single scrambler, losing a plane in SZ96 and no J1 DOW. So 2DD, 2CA, 1CV, 2ftr defending. Hmm, possibly not enough. Worst case is losing SZ96.
Varies a fair bit if Germany takes Southern France because then Italy can bring its two fighters into an attack on SZ92.
Winning SZ96 is so critical for this plan, what do you send? 1ftr 1tac wins 97%, loses 2%. Do you surrender 2%?
@M36 So that is interesting. Yes Egypt can fall early R2 if Italy goes for it as you said but I have found that this is not an overall good idea (at least from my perspective). If Uk sets up a factory in Persia and kills Iraq in R2, both of which are easily doable, I see Italy going after Egypt as using good money to chase bad. The US is going to have to make its presence felt in the Europe and if Italy is busy moving troops to Egypt it means just that much less for it to defend itself with.
Italy has an uphill battle to break through Egypt and and then another uphill battle to break out past that if Uk is building factories and still has their navy. As far as i see it Italy has 1 turn of landing troops in Africa. After that if its navy moves out it is dead without significant investment.
I know how devastating the Italian can opener is so I just feel that this should be their focus. The game is not won or lost in Africa unless the Axis somehow end up with all of it. The game is won or lost in Russia.
@simon33 sorry i replied to the wrong person earlier. But the attack depends on the bid. Assuming BM and no bid I like to bring the UK bomber, 1 tac and 1 fighter and take that as a hit if it there is one.
Oh, OK, my mistake about the sea zone number – but if you’re going inside the Mediterranean, then how does the British navy prevent a German Sea Lion attack? Seems like there’s all kinds of possibilities for Italy to attack it (even if Italy doesn’t win, the British navy might be crippled), or for Germany to seal it in with a non-combat move into SZ 93…I’d be really nervous to build only 1 inf, 1 ftr in London, fly fighters to Gibraltar, and then sail the navy south. What’s left protecting London, exactly? I’m not 100% sure how I would stop the British Med navy from returning to defend London, but there’s got to be some way to do that.
I’m also really skeptical about this claim that you’re trading the British Med navy for “the rest of” the German air force. If you’re not scrambling, German air casualties should be very light – 1 or 2 planes even on a bad day.