We need an allied playbook.

  • 2019

    @weddingsinger Italians can only bring in their fighters I1 if Southern France is taken by the Germans. Whether or not this is done plays a major role into the decision making but would not necessarily eliminate the stack. Without the fighters and assuming only 1 UK destroyer and 2 fighters in Gib the allies have a 93% chance of winning with 5 units left. If the axis player is dead set on sea lion this is a good move by the Italians for the reasons you mentioned. However if Gibraltar has 3 fighters and 2 destroyers are present in sz92 it is nothing short of suicide for the Italians to attack. If the Germans purchased no transports G1 and 2 bombers, best case for G2 attack is around 60% if Uk only places 1 fighter and 1 inf and 38 % with 4 inf. I guess it is better than a coin flip but game is over if it fails. Also you should lose it that turn from the counter attack that the English can launch since at most you are defending with 2 land units.

    G3 is the window for sea lion and with out a German navy buy R1. Stacking sz92 as UK will allow the most units to converge on the defense of London by G3. This move still leaves other strategic objectives on the table should the Germans call it off.

  • @AldoRaine

    Ahhh, I get it now… so if Germany doesn’t take S. France, Italy is no threat to your navy. How does this end up playing out for you? Doesn’t Italy get a nice boost from having their 2 transports? If no Sea Lion threat, what do you usually do with the navy? I guess unless Germany really threatens it with their air force, you can hang around Gibraltor and deny Italy its N.O.s for a bit…

  • Drawing the Luftwaffe away from Russia for a round is certainly a helpful biproduct of this strategy as well.

  • 2018

    @AldoRaine @weddingsinger @M36 @Argothair Wow - a lot of catching up on this thread for me! I enjoyed the dialogue and see some new approaches for UK. It does seem like the conversation is focused on the opening moves for UK. How would you guys fold your dialogue into the bigger picture of this thread - an allied playbook? I actually think that this recent discussion of UK opening moves dovetails with the more general objectives that @crockett36 has spent a lot of time on. I would see it this way:

    1. Defense of London comes 1st. This also involves preserving units you start the game with and trying to destroy enemy units as well. With that the decision to attack the Italian Med fleet piece meal must be weighed against the possibility of a Sea Lion. Watch what the Germans do G1. Maybe a stack in SZ92 is a good option to help save London which is what you guys have been talking about.

    2. Defense of the Atlantic is 2nd. This sets up the UK to pose some threat to “nibble at Germany” and work toward a main objective of the allies–Destroying the Axis’ ability to wage war. If the Axis own the Med, or the waters around London this is really difficult. Maybe the stack in SZ92 also helps with this?

    3. Defense of Egypt is 3rd (most important). I think that the consolidation of the Italian Med fleet makes this difficult. Especially if UK have to swing their fleet from SZ92 up to help defend Sea Lion. The allies have left the Italians with a strong presence to take Egypt. In the game I used as an example earlier in this thread the UK lost their Med fleet and Germany owned the waters around London. Italy kept slowly building their navy up (with few troops in Italy to defend any invasion). But an aircraft carrier, destroyer, etc later it eventually led to the allies loss.

    So, Taranto is a fairly certain/safer way to neuter Italy’s Med Naval presence and North African ambitions. I would like to hear from Aldo or whoever has used the SZ92 stack what happens when there is no Sea Lion and the UK fleet is left in SZ92. Do they engage the combined Italian fleet for a mutually assured destructive battle?

    And, more importantly, how that fits into the meta strategy for this allied playbook? How do opening moves play into the allied decision regarding order of importance for defending positions on the map? How does this set the allies up in the early game to nibble at and debilitate the axis war machine.

  • @Guam-Solo From reading the forum I have deduced that I am a highly unconventional Allied player, therefore I disagree wholeheartedly with everything you have said. 😆 I take issue with the first word on two of three points: Defense.

    Defense of London: Obviously it’s a huge blow to lose ones capitol, but is it sometimes worth it to generate an overall Allied victory? Think about it, if you dump too many IPCs on defensive units you will find you have a nice shield but no sword. Now you don’t want to give up UK too cheaply to the Germans, but I still advocate for a “just barely enough” defense to make taking UK costly for Germany, but not an impregnable fortress. Also, if London falls then the Russians and Americans both get to declare war on Germany.

    Defense of the Atlantic: I can’t disagree with you here. The Atlantic is the Anglo American ocean. Don’t let those Krauts gain any “ground” there because “nibbling” at Germany becomes impossible, and the US retaking London is very difficult if they must first establish Sea superiority.

    Defense of Egypt’s: Attack attack attack. Until I am shown some super strategy that’s a 100% guaranteed success I will always say attack those Italians before they get to move. Build troops and a transport for S.Africa and even an Egyptian complex to crush Italy. UKs economy is three times the size of Italy’s. Show those pastafarian chaps that the sun never sets on the British empire.

    I will call my playbook once I have completed it the “Allied book of Banzai” 😂

  • 2019

    @Guam-Solo yes I think the strategic objectives that @crockett36 mentioned are great. I don’t necessarily agree with all of them 100% but no one ever will. But I do think that an allied playbook should be formatted in that way.

    Most of what I have contributed focuses on UK’s opening moves which is only a small part of the allied strategy. However, they are the only allied member who starts at war with the axis so early game strategy for them deserves a lot of focus.

    As far as what to do with the UK navy, I would say it depends on what your goals are as the allies. Lame answer I know but the navy could provide an extra layer of defense for any US armada that they send to Europe which mean more money can be spent in the Pacific or on land units. Once the Germans declare war on Russia (taking sea lion off the table) the navy could be used to shoot across the med and either defend Egypt if need be. If the allies are feeling really adventuresome they could send the navy to the pacific (could reach India UK5) and provide an excellent addition to any pacific fleet the allies have put together. I have had a lot of success with this at times due to the fact that it will force Japan to keep its navy together since blocking no longer would work with UK having a capable strike force.

    If the Italian navy is trapped in the Med, I do not believe trading UK ships for Italian ships is advantageous. Egypt can be secured even with the presence of multiple transports in the Italian Navy.

  • 2019

    @Guam-Solo I should also mention that I feel it is actually the US’s responsibility to make sure Italy doesn’t grow out of control and not the UK’s. Both are needed but the easist target for the US is Italy so they should be smart and start there. I am not saying they need to assault Rome directly but the need to make sure they stay in Europe.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    I think if we’re sticking closely to the theme of a “playbook” then it is not really worthwhile to debate the relative priority of the UK’s tasks – instead the thing to do is to just name the UK’s tasks, and briefly explain what the Allies need to get done, and then suggest some of the tactics that can work, either individually or as a package, to accomplish some of those tasks.

    For example, let’s say for the sake of argument that we all think that the UK wants to defend London, push Germany out of the Atlantic, and defend Egypt in the opening. Fine! We don’t need to rank the importance of those tasks. Instead we can discuss the Taranto Raid, and the Gibraltar Stack, and the Tobruk Attack, and the Ethiopia Attack, and the Middle Earth setup, and advise our readers on how well each of those openings will serve each of the UK’s goals. That way readers can decide for themselves what goals they want to prioritize and then pick an opening that will help achieve their goals.

  • Well said, and ultimately it’s all dependent on G1 and the players you are facing. I think I’ve made my position of Tobruk and Taranto being top priorities for UK clear.

  • OK, so if a basic goal structure “playbook” is more helpful… most of us use the U.K. to help Russia keep Moscow and to keep Italy in check.

    If Sea Lion is such a threat that UK HAS to buy for it, it slows UK down when we buy 6 inf and 1 fighter.

    Looking at the math, it appears that if the UK goes fighter heavy on its UK1 and 2 buys, with infantry filling in the rest (so adding 4 fighters and 4 inf to London) and you don’t scramble or only lose 1 fighter on turn 1 (either to a scramble or Taranto), Germany’s Sea Lion success falls to 50/50 assuming 10 transports, 3 fighters and 3 tacticals attacking.

    So this would allow a UK1 buy of 2 fighters, 2 infantry for London, and the extra fighters can head to Russia via either the riskier Karaelia route on UK2 or the long way and land on Moscow UK5. (though they can make Novgorod in 1 turn taking off from Scotland so if you’re not worried about German bombers, UK1 you could put them there, then land UK2 in Russia if Germany does Barbarossa G2)

  • Anyone up for some Triple A games to do some competitive testing?

  • 2018

    As this thread is up to 9 pages now, I thought to re-direct readers back to pages 1-2 where a lot has been written for an allied playbook including opening moves for each allied nation. @Argothair detailed some very good opening sequences for the allies, and @crockett36 has written a lot about objectives for the allies.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @weddingsinger Sure, here’s a couple of options.

    Option 1: Low luck or full luck, no tech, either Balanced Mod or ~18 IPC bid, play 4 rounds only just for fun. No glory at stake, not registered on the League…we’re just seeing where the openings go in the name of science. I’d take either side, and either use or play against mechanized Russia and/or the Gibraltar stack. We both know what’s coming and we can both use that knowledge to prepare accordingly. I’m available to start immediately

    Option 2: Full luck, no tech, Balanced Mod, no bid, I take Axis, and play a full game against you in the League. You can use Mechanized Russia and/or Gibraltar stack (or not) if you wish; I won’t take any special precautions against them until I see that you’ve committed to them. This will have to wait until my current League Axis game finishes, which is probably about 72 hours, or longer if dawgoneit is stubborn or rolls well. I just took London on G3 with 2 inf, 1 art, 8 tanks and 12 planes remaining, and Japan and Italy are doing average…so I can’t imagine there’s too much left to the game. But time will tell.

    I’d be willing to either (a) goof off on TripleA and play a couple of 3-4 round games with low luck, just to get a sense of where the openings might go – no glory at stake, just for fun, or (b) play a Balanced Mod full luck league game, no bid, no tech, with me as the Axis.

  • @Argothair I’d like to start with some fast low luck games for play testing, then move up to full games, I think.

    /I can usually do 2-5 turns a day, depending… weekdays are better.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @weddingsinger Happy to start with the low luck games for playtesting – but my speed is more like 1-2 turns a day, and I’m more available on weekends, so I might feel pretty slow to you. If you’d rather play with someone faster, no hard feelings! If not, what side do you want?

  • 2019 2018

    What if the playbook was a map with the starting set up icons in it and you drew arrors on it. Or just a blank map and we used p for plane, a for artillery, etc and used arrows and at the bottom gave each bunch a designation “64th” and an assignment for example: “surge into Finland as soon as there is or you can make a declaration of war.” That’s all I have time for. Keep up the great conversation. Synergy and momentum is with the Allied cause! Crack the code! Never give up.

  • 2019 2018

    Btw, if you’re going to playtest for fun I’m up for it, but I take two turns a week maybe. And i only do OOB, no bid.

  • 2019 2018

    Good morning, i will give you four reasons Taranto and Tobruk violate the principles in my playbook: these battles kill a lot of British units in an area where they are already sparse, they weaken the potential defense of London, they slow victory in the Atlantic by robbing the theatre of aircraft and they doubly hurt the defense of Moscow because the aircraft are going to die G2 and, if you succeed, Italy has no where to go but East.

    Those are facts. It hinders Operation Ricochet and steals options. Those are the negatives. It sounds like we are moving on. Good for us. We have left those who follow a good debate. I’m looking at 92!

    Btw, it might improve Taranto a smidgeon if the planes could land in Greece when attacked g2. What about burning a transport and activating Greece? They still won’t survive g2, but it might kill more luftwaffe. And it’s historically accurate! Yeah for me!

    Short answers please.

  • 2019 2018

    One more thing. I’m working with OOB. If you’re not, please let the community know that. Many tabletops and especially newbies will read your posts and try your strategies not knowing that you’re talking about a slightly or not so slightly altered setup or rules set.

  • @crockett36 Thanks for the input, I was confused on what the overall strategy was behind your moves. The Greece idea is intriguing. I’ve always thought of Greece as a trap, since following the historical moves of the Allied and Axis powers tends to lead to a historical result, and the British efforts in Greece were mauled.

  • @crockett36

    I’m also against taking Tobruk UK1. It costs UK a transport so I’d rather wait.

    However, If you stack sz92 with the UK, Italy should take Greece on I1, blocking UK’s ability to sink their fleet since you won’t be able to bring enough planes. What does Italy usually do turn 1 against you with your usual UK moves?

    Because my concern is that while a nice UK fleet is a wonderful thing to have, a strong Italy is worse. So what I’m picturing is stack sz92, Italy turtles its fleet and takes Greece, Alexandria, then on Italy’s 2nd turn, with 2 transports it has enough to take Cairo unless UK drops 2 fighters on it (even then there are variables that lose you Cairo… like a 3rd Italian transport and extra troops from Ethiopia).

  • 2007 AAR League

    I have seen and tried the following:

    UK1 destroy the Italian fleet off Libya then non combat move the UK Fleet to defend with the French fleet and move 2 fighters to the carrier.

    Along with that is an effort to eliminate the Italian east Africa force. It opens up Egypt for a turn but on U.K. 1 you should be able to use the Indian ocean transport to move additional infantry from Persia.
    It seems to keep the Italians concerned with saving their fleet but not strong enough to eliminate the U.K. med fleet.

  • 2019 2018

    I knew that I had to write that Greece was a disaster, but I didn’t. And that happened.

  • 2019 2018

    Glad you guys aren’t pedantic cuz that would suck. Lol

  • 2019 2018

    You know what’s even better than a dead Italian battleship? A useless Italian battleship. that’s my approach that’s what I want. an Italian player who doesn’t want to lose his big beautiful battleship. That was a historical reality

    Egypt is number 4 on my strategic objectives so two say these strategies give up Egypt from my perspective is just not true. I intend to make it look weak turn one to draw Italian attention. Well I gather her forces from the dominions. The best Italian strategy, the one I fear, is can opening for Germany.

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