I recently heard that my plan for not taking Normandy with Germany early is catching on!
@Arthur-Bomber-Harris said in Revisiting G2 Barbarossa:
One key evolution I saw recently was leaving Normandy in French control. That prevents the Allies from using that territory as a pivotal foothold. Very annoying.
If my recollection is correct, I first decided that taking Normandy was more trouble than gain back in 2015 or so at an in-person game with @AndrewAAGamer, but the exact circumstances escape my recollection. I’ve been a staunch advocate for this over the years. However, it appears that I was not actually the first to think of this:
@KaLeu said in Leaving Normandy-Bordeaux to the French:
A somewhat strange idea occurred to me recently, and I was just wondering what others might think of it. Would be feasible for the Axis not to conquer Normandy-Bordeaux at all and just leave it to the French? There are obvious short-term tactical disadvantages to it, but I also see long-term strategic benefits.
I don’t remember seeing this post before, but credit where credit is due! Regardless of origin, I’ve been an advocate of this plan for a long time.
@MarshmallowofWar said in Allies IC Question:
Denying the Normandy compound to the Allies by never taking Normandy is a solid German play. The paltry income gained from the territory does not make up for the cost of preventing the Allies from building there by needing to recapture it after it’s lost to the Allies, doesn’t make up for the cost of defense necessary to prevent it from falling into Allied hands, and doesn’t make up for the savings (approximately 10 IPCs per turn) the Allies gain from being able to build there.
@MarshmallowofWar said in Deterrent to Egypt mIC on UK1 -“Ram-rod” play:
Again, these are broad strokes – I’m sure there’s a lot of fine tuning involved. Oh, in this variant you do not take Normandy. You are only giving up a little money, and in turn you are depriving the Allies of income and a factory they would normally get if you had taken it. It’s not a factory the Axis typically uses anyway!
We had some more intense discussion about this in December 2020.
@AndrewAAGamer said in Allies IC Question:
So first off, let me say, that unless France went poorly, and I lost too many units, I always take Normandy on G2. So, this is kind of a new line of thought for me.
From my experience I would say it is not uncommon for the Allies to have enough strength to take and hold Normandy by Turn 4. This assumes a) Japan does a DoW on J1 or J2 and b) the US is willing to put a decent investment into Europe. The US can easily have 3-5 transports ready to go by the end of US2 and already has the ground troops to fill those transports. On US3 they go to Morocco and on US4 they land on Normandy. UK then follows with 2-4 more ground units and normally a whole bunch of fighters. Since typically the Luftwaffe is on the Eastern Front and the Germans have been spending a bunch of their money to take Moscow there is not usually a whole lot of defense to counterattack this move. Of course, @Marshmallow-of-War was assuming a US5 attack but either way the Axis are usually not in position to counterattack yet. Now the Allied forces may stay in Normandy or move on to Norway or worse case, for the Axis, hold both.
Now IF Moscow falls on G7 or G8 then the Allies are not going to hold the beaches of Normandy. Germany can put down 20 units a Turn and the Allies have no way to logistically match that. However, taking Moscow is not a given and I have seen plenty of games where Moscow either never falls or does not fall till like G11 or G12. In this case, the Allies have had a head start building up their landing area and it is a tough nut to crack and this is where Marshmallow-of-War’s point I think is being made. If Moscow does not fall early it is a lot better for the Axis to not take Normandy than it is for them to take Normandy.
Therefore, we have three scenarios that I can think of:
- The US goes heavy in the Pacific so there is never any real push against Normandy
- Moscow falls by G8 so the Axis can retake any Allied Normandy Landings
- The Allies are able to take and hold Normandy for the entire game
In scenarios 1 and 2 it makes sense for Germany to take Normandy. In scenario 3 it does not. But by G2 you probably do not know for sure if 1 or 2 are going to happen which means it may be safer to not take Normandy. None of this takes into consideration that normally after a few Turns there is usually an Allied sub convoy disrupting Normandy so even if the Axis hold it, they do not always collect for it. Which means even for scenarios 1 and 2 it may not pay off for the Axis as much as they hoped it would.
Hmmm, after considering this I think Marshmallow-of-War makes a good point that not taking Normandy is the right way to go. I say this because the short-term gains for the Axis with scenarios 1 and 2 are not equal to the long-term benefits to the Allies under scenario 3 and the benefits of scenario 1-2 are normally limited by Allied convoy disruption anyway.
I re-iterate now that taking Normandy is typically not worth the cost to Germany until all of the following conditions occur:
- Moscow has fallen.
- Western Germany is fully secured.
- The Denmark Strait is fully secured against a US-UK 1-2 punch.
(“Fully secured” means that the US has no chance to take the territory through amphibious assault. This means the territories are stacked with more infantry and other defenses than the Allies can land.)
Before these conditions are met, Germany is typically in a frantic race to destroy Moscow and push into the Middle East as quickly as possible, with the Allies trying to stave off these disastrous possibilities.
My position is that struggling over the Normandy IC is a distraction from these essential tasks to win the game. My second position is that the Allies must not be able to use the IC in Normandy to produce units and that if Germany captures this IC then Germany MUST recapture it to prevent the Allies from being able to build at it.
As @AndrewAAGamer pointed out in 2020, the US and/or UK can be in position to begin contesting Normandy as early as UK 4 in most games. This creates a situation in which Normandy must be re-captured if it was taken by Germany to prevent the Allies from building at the Normandy IC. To do this, Germany is forced to hold enough forces in reserve to retake Normandy (or to keep enough forces in Normandy to prevent its capture). As the Allied strength grows, the amount of force that is being kept to re-capture Normandy must increase as well. This requirement means that forces are not being dedicated to Germany’s needs in the East, which in turn increases the time the Allies have to thwart Germany’s plans. Normandy provides at best two IPCs per turn to Germany, which provides at best two more attack points to an attack on Russia but the need for a counterattack on Normandy consumes a minimum of approximately four attack points and would typically increase each turn by an additional two points as Allied naval power increases (my presumption here is that the Allies would add essentially one loaded transport per turn to the possible assault). These are forces that should instead be allocated to the assault on Russia.
Y’all have fun today!