@trig Thank you! Not as good as an errata, but at least it’s clear in the FAQ.
UK/France Abyssinia strategy
I haven’t played this game in many months, but lately I was rethinking my strategies for the next time I do. Here is one Allied turn 1 strategy… let me know your thoughts (and more importantly, if everything is legal per the rules).
With the v3 Abyssinia rules, I call for building infrastructure in Africa… specifically, building 3 railroads on turn 1 for the UK. The first two would connect Egypt to South Africa through Kenya. The third would go from Sudan into Abyssinia, which is “controlled” by France. The total cost is 8 IPP (2+2+4), leaving the UK with 3. That 3 IPP could be lend-leased to the Abyssinians as an infantry via the French minor port and Railroad.
On France’s turn, and every Allied turn after that, they can now give Abyssinia a mountain infantry (or any unit worth 4+ IPP) as opposed to just militia or infantry by sending to the Major Port in South Africa. Abyssinia needs these units with higher hit rates if it has any hope of defeating the Italians. Ideally, the Allied player should try to negotiate a fair deal with the USSR to have them send 1 infantry on turn 1 as well.
The Italians can build colonial infantry, but only in Somalia. Abyssinia needs to capture only Eritrea for victory… which only has 2 infantry and a fighter. A few French turns of investment will have the Abyssinians winning by 1938 or so, even if Italy tries to counter your purchases in Somalia.
Keeping Abyssinia Allied gives Free France a new base to work with near Egypt once war breaks out. They can finish off what’s left of Italy in East Africa the first turn or two of War. Most importantly, it is a guaranteed place to dump French units pre-war so that they don’t turn Vichy. It also denies Italy an easy VP early in the game.
The second benefit of the railroad is that the UK can now reinforce Cairo (or anywhere between South Africa and Syria) without building a factory in Egypt or having to commit naval units/transports to that cause. The UK needs every ship it can on convoy duty and countering Axis navies. A factory in Egypt costs as much as the infrastructure to connect from South Africa, but the factory is at risk of Italian conquest. It essentially gives more purpose to the South African factory, which I find is infrequently used. Building 1 infantry per turn or so and rail moving them each turn is a strong start for holding Egypt.
@KaiserSchmillhelm I like the idea of the railroad and of winning the war in Abyssinia for the same reasons that you stated. However there are some problems with your plans that run afoul with the rules.
- UK can’t lend lease until they are at war with a major power. (UK Reference sheet)
- UK and France don’t align until they are at war with the same major power. (4.4 Aligning)
- Because they aren’t aligned, UK and France can’t use each other’s railways, rivers, or ports. They can’t fly over and set foot in each other’s territories. (Table 4.2 Control and Alignment) (4.6 Neutrality)
- They can’t use the lend lease route you mapped out because France can’t use that path. (11.4 Lend Lease Delivery)
I think that perhaps the best way to win the war in Abyssinia is to convince the Comintern to lend lease an infantry on turn one and France lend lease an infantry on turn 1 through their port in adjacent land zone. If it looks like Abyssinia has a chance to survive after the first Italian turn then upgrade the port to a major for 4 IPP on turn 2 while lend leasing another infantry from France. After that France can send any type of unit beginning on turn 3. Remember that if the Italian player doesn’t fortify Eritrea you can end the war there by owning both Eritrea and Abyssinia. Also, don’t forget to do your recruitment roll for Abyssinia each turn as that may mean the difference between keeping it or losing it to the Italians.
As far as the British railway network, you could take more time to build it so that you have money to use elsewhere as well. You can’t use it to lend lease to Abyssinia anyway so there isn’t a big hurry to complete it.
This is the reason that I made that video yesterday. In order to become a better player people have to fully understand the diplomacy rules. The game mechanics will come naturally and players will get better as they learn to use all of the units effectively, but until they master the the politics they won’t fully understand what moves will are possible and which ones aren’t. The key is learning control and alignment to the fullest extent and not just the simple explanations. Whenever I think I fully understand them I learn something new because there is so much more to consider. In this case it is the relationship between major powers and how control, alignment, and neutrality affect lend lease.
@GeneralHandGrenade Thank you! That feedback is precisely why I posted that plan, particularly regarding the rules.
@kaiserschmillhelm Ok so I contacted the rules guy on a related matter. After talking it through with him we determined that France would be able to use British railroads and rivers as a Lend Lease path. He will be adding to the Errata to reflect this interpretation of the rules. It seems that with all of the changes from V2 to V3 that this was one sentence that was overlooked.
Basically what it will say is that you can give others permission to use your railroads and rivers for use with a lend lease path.
@generalhandgrenade That makes sense. We always thought that you can give players permission to use supply paths for lend-lease (like Germany using French rail roads, with permission, to deliver to Spain). So the French could give stronger units to Abyssinia via British rails, but the British, with their inability to lend-lease pre-War, could not give anything to Abyssinia.
The French upgrading their port may be more cost effective regardless, if the Abyssinians survive a turn.
I don’t really get the point for Italy to attack Abyssinia early. At best, you take it easily and the British will try to take it away once at war and at worse you lose a couple of units with bad rolls which will make it even easier,for them down the line.
I try to build Italian transports and get these much needed troops to North Africa before the Suez Canal closes.
If things are going really well for the Italians.and they take Egypt, they can always turn their attention south before the end of the War.
However, only two victory objectives can be scored for Italy with Expand the Empire. It could be with any two new territories, it does not have to be Abynssinia.
Yes, only two territories can be scored, but that is also a boon. You only need two territories. Italy has two options for expansion that won’t get them jumped on by the Allies. That is important, because it allows you to secure two victory points early, which is half of your total. Once the allies get in, it allows you to stay defrensive and not worry about overextending to capture territory. You can conquer Abissynia and Albania, and thne sit the rest of the game as a force in being, trying up UK forces and making the Free French practily irelavent, as they usally only fight in Africa. There was a thread a few years ago where player disscussed a valid Italy strategy of staying neutral the whole game and still getting all of their victory objectives. (Also, the earlier you take Abyssinia, the more militia you can pile on. :) )
Just to aadd to the mix.
I have been playing where you upgrade the port in French Somaliland to a major. Then Russia and France lend lease a fighter or as heavy a unit as their IPP allow every turn. Italy can bring planes and infantry via transports. Both sides have ended up very heavily defended.
Germany has now defeated France and the Abysinnian conflict has still not been resolved.
I am unsure if UK now now lend lease to Free French in Abysinnia. Abysinnia is now a very important location
@noneshallpass We house ruled that Italy starts with a sea transport. Kinda strange they do not with an “empire”.
@misck Another option is for UK to build a railway to Aby. Then you can use the British major port.