• Here is a UK strategy I have been thinking about. It is inspired by what one of the UK players did in one of Hilltop Pillbox’s games.
    Full disclosure, I do not own GW36v3 and have not played it, but am looking to get it and have been reading up on strategy and mechanics. So proceed to pick this apart!
    The Med Lockdown
    (I am not married to the name, so If you see a better one, please suggest it. )
    The basic idea of this strategy is to make full use of the Commonwealth’s overwhelming naval power. The UK and associated actions have the largest navy on the board at the start of the game, but it is highly dispersed and facing many threats. There are the Germans in the North Sea and Atlantic, the Italians in the Med, the Japanese in the Far East, and each one needs a fleet to help hold them off. Or do they? In this strategy, the commonwealth (hereafter referred to as the UK) will combine their fleets into 2 entities. The key to this is threat projection. we are going to project so much threat on the Weakest member of the Axis, and the only one who can reasonably challenge the UK at sea in Europe. In many games I have seen the UK pile ships in the Med, then get jumped on and destroyed by Italy, who then takes Egypt and Gibraltar and locks the Med, giving them a few turns to build and save their navy. So we are going to place our navy outside the Med, immune from Italian Navy schemes (mostly). Thus the defense is moved to the land where we have the upperhand as the defender, and the Italians are weaker, due to their need to amphibious assault. But you say, “They will just roll to Cairo, and you will be cut off, and their supplies will be unmolested!” No. The Italians will be deterred from a ground campaign by your navy. I am realising I forgot to say what we are actually doing, but it is simple. All of the UK navy in the Home islands and Atlantic will go to Sea Zone 79 off Gibraltar. They will place a few militia and some infantry there, and then sit. Meanwhile, in the East, the Med squadron and FEC fleet will combine off ADEN. This leaves 2 fleets on either side of the Med, and each very powerful. Each will have around 2 Battleships or Battlecruisers, a light carrier or two once you finish the one on the production chart, tons of cruisers, and several destroyers and a sub. But most importantly, each has 2 transports with 4 units, a rapid reaction force. The Italians now have a conundrum. They can either attack Gibraltar, most likely losing to the fort and small army there, or attack Cairo, and try to close the suez. But whatever they chose, their fleet will be hit with a larger UK fleet, and 4 transports will descend to liberate one door of the med, or, attack Rome if it is lightly defended. Thus, the Italians must build up their navy to defend against a counter strike, invest in transports to carry the first strike force, and build units to defend their homeland. You may be wondering why the Italians don’t use their large Libyan army to take cairo. That would require 2 turns to fight to Eastern Egypt, by which time the Brits would be in the war, and the Italian fleet would be gone, and the UK would be knocking on the door of Rome. So the Italians now must out build the UK, which is unlikely, or risk destruction, or sit out the game. That is a hard choice for any Euroaxis player, and no decision is ideal.

    So the Italians are stuck and neutralized by our firepower, but what about everybody else? Germany now has free access to the UK and a Sea Lion attack, and you are giving the Japanese a free hand. But did you? This is the beauty of threat projection. From Aden, your Eastern fleet can reach Gibraltar, Italy, Greece, all of North Africa, Egypt, the Middle East, South Africa, India, Malay, etc… This enables power projection and a response force across the center of the map. However, you don’t even need to commit this force to the east or Med, just having it there allows you to avoid a strike by Italy or Japan, as they would be far out of position, and threaten any half hearted attack on India. The Anzac are to guard the western Pacific and Dutch along with the US, relying on the threat of a powerful enemy to restrain Japan. and after Italy casts their lot, then this fleet can go catch the Japanese between hammer and anvil. In Europe, the position is more defensive. You can reach Normandy or Aquitaine, but the main value lies in the ability to hit anywhere on the soft underbelly of Europe. Your only weakness is your inability to hit London with transports in one turn. However, note that all distances quoted were for Battleships and Transports. Your cruisers and carriers and other such ships, of which you have many, can move 4 spaces, far enough to hit a German invasion fleet. Thus you can power project far into the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Med. The Japanese and Germans can do what they want in the Pacific and Baltic, but If they move close to you, then you can make them pay for moving out of position.

    Two things remain: The Army and the Battle of the Atlantic. For your army, they are going to just sit. Fortify London, Gibraltar, and Egypt, mabe invade the Middle East or Vichy if you get bored. but do NOT lose either door to the Med or London. In the Far East, just build and build with FEC and put pressure on Japan in SE Asia as you will not attack the islands. The RAF can bomb Germany and keep pressure in the North via airborne in the Midlands if you get extra money. For the Atlantic, build Seaplanes. One per turn and a few destroyers should work wonders. Also, get the Americans up to 35 quick so they can escort you.

    Obviously if the Italians decide to sit it out, then your UK fleets are just sitting there. However, I believe that is preferable to the other option of Italy running rampant in Africa and the Middle East. The Med can be an explosive situation, and this aims to diffuse that as much as possible. This is a patient strategy, waiting for your opponent to blow before you.

    This strategy is made to complement the US Polar Express Strategy, but that is another post.


  • I can say as the UK that it can be difficult in the med to maneuver ur forces into an advantageous position while neutral, as a competent axis player will start the war with Italy the turn before germany makes its move in europe to avoid a taranto like attack of some kind from UK and to hopefully gain the upper hand in some way. Additionally Italy will most likely be close to having wartime economy at the outset of the war. What I’ve figured out is that in order to “lockdown” the med, you as UK will have to be prepared to lose something. But what that something is needs to not be BOATS. Egypt will likely be the target as gibraltar has the fort but never assume its impenetrable as all it takes is some bad dice on the 1st round to realize the vulnerability of a garrison. Aden and the west coast of gibraltar seem to be good staging points, however be careful with the fleet off gibraltar as Italy can always choose to force the strait, and all their subs can move freely through the strait anyway. Planes on corsica have a sweet range so watch out for that as well. The Italian fleet will be difficult to hit with air cover from corsica, northern Italy or both so ideally u will want to wait for them to shoot their shot and then engage after they leave the comfort of their air cover. It sounds easy enough but the trouble is usually the Italian player will only expose their fleet when they know they will be out of range of BBs or planes from one side of the med, or they know they will take either egypt to cut off ur boats from using the suez, or gibraltar forcing u to force the strait yourself. This leaves the UK player unable to bring all their proper force to bear on the Italian fleet. I like ur idea of having a 2 transport strike force on either side cuz that will allow u to take back Egypt or gibraltar quickly but be sure to have planes in range cuz they are both terrain tts meaning ur inf will be hitting on 1s. Priority should be to never allow Italy to take and hold either of these positions for more than a turn, or either of them at the same time, resulting in Spain aligning to germany. This happened in the game I am playing now and it makes life extremely difficult for the allies. I have since taken back gibraltar and egypt and sunk the Italian fleet but it was not without loss and a significant investment to boot. Had this coincided with Calcutta getting pressured or axis subs going to town on British shipping, I would have been looking at a commonwealth crumbling type scenario. Main thing is to keep the royal navy alive at all costs, and keep building planes and 1 or 2 marines a turn. Ur strategy does seem sound tho. Sorry if I rambled on there, just wanted to give my 2 cents.


  • @jbuckbuddy said in UK strategy- The Med Lockdown:

    I can say as the UK that it can be difficult in the med to maneuver ur forces into an advantageous position while neutral, as a competent axis player will start the war with Italy the turn before germany makes its move in europe to avoid a taranto like attack of some kind from UK and to hopefully gain the upper hand in some way. Additionally Italy will most likely be close to having wartime economy at the outset of the war. What I’ve figured out is that in order to “lockdown” the med, you as UK will have to be prepared to lose something. But what that something is needs to not be BOATS. Egypt will likely be the target as gibraltar has the fort but never assume its impenetrable as all it takes is some bad dice on the 1st round to realize the vulnerability of a garrison. Aden and the west coast of gibraltar seem to be good staging points, however be careful with the fleet off gibraltar as Italy can always choose to force the strait, and all their subs can move freely through the strait anyway. Planes on corsica have a sweet range so watch out for that as well. The Italian fleet will be difficult to hit with air cover from corsica, northern Italy or both so ideally u will want to wait for them to shoot their shot and then engage after they leave the comfort of their air cover. It sounds easy enough but the trouble is usually the Italian player will only expose their fleet when they know they will be out of range of BBs or planes from one side of the med, or they know they will take either egypt to cut off ur boats from using the suez, or gibraltar forcing u to force the strait yourself. This leaves the UK player unable to bring all their proper force to bear on the Italian fleet. I like ur idea of having a 2 transport strike force on either side cuz that will allow u to take back Egypt or gibraltar quickly but be sure to have planes in range cuz they are both terrain tts meaning ur inf will be hitting on 1s. Priority should be to never allow Italy to take and hold either of these positions for more than a turn, or either of them at the same time, resulting in Spain aligning to germany. This happened in the game I am playing now and it makes life extremely difficult for the allies. I have since taken back gibraltar and egypt and sunk the Italian fleet but it was not without loss and a significant investment to boot. Had this coincided with Calcutta getting pressured or axis subs going to town on British shipping, I would have been looking at a commonwealth crumbling type scenario. Main thing is to keep the royal navy alive at all costs, and keep building planes and 1 or 2 marines a turn. Ur strategy does seem sound tho. Sorry if I rambled on there, just wanted to give my 2 cents.

    Thanks for the reply! Sorry for the late feedback. Yes, I agree that Italy can become a pain, and the goal is most definitely to stop them at all cost. I believe in mental pressure being as good as on board posturing, so if I can freak out the Italians, so much the better. This strategy aims to make use of Britain’s 2 aces, its HUGE fleet and its advantages geographical position. The goal is forcing Italy to make a bad move, be that hitting one side or the other. I will never go in to attack Italy, unless they attack me. Yes, with air cover Italy can be a pain, but if one looks at the fleet dispositions, one can bring both fleets to bear on an Italian Turtle. Even with a 3 plane scramble (or more with Radar,) the overwhelming superiority of the UK fleet should win the day, plus some air power based nearby. Also, Italy’s need to defend Rome means that their fleet must be dispersed or Rome very heavily garrisoned. And if Italy attacks, then they will dash themselves aginst the rock of Gibraltar, or get stuck in the Suez. Militia will defend Egypt, wile your strike force + Militia and forts defend Gibraltar. If they take it, the goal is that the is so little left that they cannot recover.
    Here is a map I made laying out the main movement in the Strategy, plus a defense of singapore with the ANZAC.
    https://www.google.be/maps/@48.0960056,41.5197262,3z/data=!4m2!6m1!1s1J2xWv22gF3zoI25Y7zOWFDqAiF7d3jfa?hl=en&authuser=0


  • “The Polar Express”
    A complementary strategy from the USA.

    Many of those who see the above strategy may well wonder what it does against the famous atalinc wall in northern Europe. the Med is great for attacking Italy, but there is few ways to hurt Germany is the south. This strategy is an American solution to that problem.
    Disclaimer: This is a later game plan, so I don’t know what your game will be like, so I can only give some guidelines. This assumes a Germany who has not gone heavy on Navy, and has mostly focus on the continent and the USSR.

    The common US plan, from what I have seen, is a relic of GHGs “famous” Middle Earth strategy for G40. The Americans look south, heading to Spain or Portugal, then move on to the Med to punish Italy. Some have remarked that the Atlantic is longer in GW36 than G40, and thus you can no longer reach Gibraltar in one turn. This has completely invalidated the strategy on the Med. The prime goal of any American strategy is to spend the least money on Transports, and to maximise your drop potential. This usually means the shorter your route the better, as there as less empty transports laying about. The best route is the 2 part out and back, but this is impractical in most games as Germany will just allow you to just pound you way slowly through the mountains of Spain and stop you far short of anything important. The next best route is what is used in Middle Earth, the 3 transport shuck. In this, 2 sets of transports take units to a staging point, (Gibraltar) and then a 3rd set goes back and forth form the landing zone to the other side of the staging ground and back to the landing zone (it was southern France) This is the system we will apply.

    If one looks at the GW36 board, it is quick apparent there is few good spots for this. In the Med, Gibraltar is too far away. In the center, there is no convenient staging ground. But the north, an oft forgotten route is there. In G40, the map was bably inaccurate in its sea distances. It was faster in go south then north, as the northern sea zones were “smaller” than the ones in the south, due to the projection of the map. This mean an route north took 2 times a long. In GW36, we have an accurate map. (at least as far a sea zones in the Atlantic) Thus the shortest route along the great circle is also the shortest route to Europe. Starting in NYC, one can move your fleet to Halifax, then the Labrador coast, then to Scotland in the magnificent large sea zone of the GIUK gap. Scotland then is our staging ground. While 2 sets of transports go back and forth taking units to Scotland, out last set will be in the North sea. Form there, they will move for any adjacent sea zones to SZ 11, pick up the next load, and drop it off on Europe. They can hit anywhere from Normandy to Narvik in this way, a total of 9 territories. (That does not include the UK) In those territories is Western Germany, the gateway to Berlin. If you can take and hold this land, the Germany must worry about a factory on Berlin’s doorstep, and a shipyard as well. This forces Germany to put large forces to hold this. Another possibility is that of a final decapitation strike into the Baltic after a UK assault on Denmark of W Germany. This can hit anywhere from Archangel to Spain, or even East Prussia, so is a good option at the end of the game. However, it ruins the shuck, so make sure is works and Berlin will fall quickly.

    Another huge bonus in this is easy air cover. From London, Fighters can hit anywhere on the channel, and even run a carrier swap to hit farther afield in places like Germany or Norway. Add in Long Range Aircraft and that instantly extend you range farther. Bombers can also help out, as well as pound Germany to a pulp in SBRs. Also, this is only one turn away from NY, either to the Midlands or Scotland.
    you can also bring in Airbones to drop from strategic bombers or Air transports, giving more striking ability.

    A very important thing in this is to guard your transports. This is best done by destroying any German planes on the coast, but can also be done by a large fleet. And guess what the US has? Another large fleet with plenty of things that bombard! If parked of the German coastline, the Germans will be hard pressed to take out your transports, having to fight a large fleet as well as any scramble depending on the location.

    Overall, The Polar express is a powerful strategy to hit where the UK hasn’t - Western Europe. If combined with a lockdown of Italy, then the European axis might be in big trouble. Even alone, it gives the fastest route to Europe, as well as nearby support from your Allies .

    Again, feel free to critique anything you see here, as I have actually not tested this.
    -Trig

    Edit: Here is a map displaying the main moves of the Polar Express- https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1LAQrgB0GLbBh-bW-8QqAa948RKHqQGUE&usp=sharing

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