Germany and Italy should not take Normandy until after Moscow falls

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    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:

    1. The US goes heavy in the Pacific so there is never any real push against Normandy
    2. Moscow falls by G8 so the Axis can retake any Allied Normandy Landings
    3. 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.)

    Why?

    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!

    Marsh


  • @MarshmallowofWar interesting idea. Its been a while since I played oob, i usually grasshopper tournament rules. Tournament rules Normandy isn’t important for the allies. Big battles in Africa for a victory point. Plus the US and UK fleets can be more effective threatening rome or even Paris via southern France. I may give your idea a whirl one day.

  • 2024 2023 '22

    @MarshmallowofWar

    It doesn’t make much sense historically. If Germany historically left this area completely unoccupied it just guarantees a bunch of ports for the Allies to use without those frantic battles in those fortresses, gives a ton of land to them for free for little gain (allowing the Allies to begin their push closer to Berlin), and puts Allied aircraft closer in range to Western Germany. Plus Germany will have no Atlantic ports in France, basically making the Battle of the Atlantic even harder.

    Shame that the game simulates none of these rules to the point where it’s actually advantageous to not take the territory.

    Other than that, good strategy though. I’ll try it next time I play out of box. I’m glad that your strategy is catching on. It’s always nice when that happens.

    Too bad I started playing too late that all the strategies have been figured out. At least there’s a new game to come up with strategies for. 👍👍

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @SuperbattleshipYamato said in Germany and Italy should not take Normandy until after Moscow falls:

    @MarshmallowofWar

    It doesn’t make much sense historically.

    With respects, the winning strategies in this game for both sides are not based on actual historical events. If the Axis players were forced to make the same blunders, the Axis would need a bid to win!

    @SuperbattleshipYamato said in Germany and Italy should not take Normandy until after Moscow falls:

    If Germany historically left this area completely unoccupied it just guarantees a bunch of ports for the Allies to use without those frantic battles in those fortresses, gives a ton of land to them for free for little gain (allowing the Allies to begin their push closer to Berlin), and puts Allied aircraft closer in range to Western Germany. Plus Germany will have no Atlantic ports in France, basically making the Battle of the Atlantic even harder. Shame that the game simulates none of these rules to the point where it’s actually advantageous to not take the territory.

    You can accomplish the same thing by strategic bombing the naval base. With France proper in German hands, there is no way the facility can actually be used.

    And again, no matter what the Allies have stacked there, it’s a tougher nut to crack if the Allies can also build new forces there as opposed to transporting them.

    @SuperbattleshipYamato said in Germany and Italy should not take Normandy until after Moscow falls:

    Too bad I started playing too late that all the strategies have been figured out. At least there’s a new game to come up with strategies for. 👍👍

    I’m working on a new strategy right now that I have never seen before personally.

    Marsh


  • @MarshmallowofWar

    I agree that the winning strategies of the game are not based on historical fact. Still, I have a strong feeling that historically, it was not a mistake for Germany to take the French Atlantic coast, so that disincentive is inaccurate.

    Yes, in-game the naval base can be rendered non-operational by bombing. At least early in the real war though the Allies didn’t accomplish that and those ports were crucial for German submarines.

    And again, no matter what the Allies have stacked there, it’s a tougher nut to crack if the Allies can also build new forces there as opposed to transporting them.

    You’re correct for in-game, but like above, this incentive to not attack the French Atlantic coast is also inaccurate.

    I look forward to your new strategy.

    I generally like to test multiple strategies at once in the same game to reduce the time required, so if you have a broader, new Allied or Axis strategy (preferably both), I can combine those with this tactical manoeuvre for a completely new game (hopefully). :+1: :+1: :+1:


  • @MarshmallowofWar

    In my last Global40-game playing the Axis I did not capture Normandy-Bordeaux either. It helped a lot, because the Allies were unable to produce out of there. I even bombed the harbour.

    This said, I agree with what you have written this is a long term thingy…


  • @rocknroll

    👍


  • Not having it also means that the first player that lands there can also land a lot of planes. Having 2 french units and say 8 infantry and 6fighters is a lot worst then having just 8 inf on that zone to deal with. Sure the US cannot build 3 tanks but the ability to land a huge airforce there does mitigate that issue the first round.

    And if they keep the zone for long enough that they could produce there there is verry little that stops them from attack you.

    Bombing the harbour does nothing at all. You would normally land from SZ110 which has a UK harbour anyway so bombing it only exposes your airforce to AA fire without any benefit.


  • @shadowhawk

    This would be a bad idea by the Allies. Germany would have the chance to destroy an fodder-light, expensive unit-heavy force using cheap ground forces.

    Not to mention this take away a lot of striking power in crucial early stages of the game.


  • @SuperbattleshipYamato said in Germany and Italy should not take Normandy until after Moscow falls:

    @shadowhawk

    This would be a bad idea by the Allies. Germany would have the chance to destroy an fodder-light, expensive unit-heavy force using cheap ground forces.

    Not to mention this take away a lot of striking power in crucial early stages of the game.

    If you leave enough ground forces in France to counter any invasion of normandy those forces are not going to russia. And you cant defend everything at the same time.

    So US lands its forces round 4 ( around 3 full transports and 4 fighters ). Then the UK adds 3 transports + 4 fighters. Thats 14 land units and 8 fighters. You got enough land units in reach to recapture?
    Whats attacking russia at that point?

    And if you can recapture it with ease with the added air, why cant you take it back if there is no allied air landed. Since you immediately recapture the factory cannot be used so you might as well get the income.


  • @shadowhawk

    I was thinking of turn 1. 2-4 land units and 6 fighters can reach Normandy Bordeaux maximum. Germany has plenty of enough forces to crush them G2 the prepare for the clash with the Soviets (could be offensive or defensive) turn 4.


  • @SuperbattleshipYamato said in Germany and Italy should not take Normandy until after Moscow falls:

    @shadowhawk

    I was thinking of turn 1. 2-4 land units and 6 fighters can reach Normandy Bordeaux maximum. Germany has plenty of enough forces to crush them G2 the prepare for the clash with the Soviets (could be offensive or defensive) turn 4.

    Well people state they should never take normandy.
    Ofcourse its silly to park air next to your tanks after 2 turns the tanks are gone, most of your land units are gone and i can land a small group with a lot of air.
    And all you got to counter are some land units and air so lets trade US fighters vs german fighters.


  • @shadowhawk said in Germany and Italy should not take Normandy until after Moscow falls:

    Not having it also means that the first player that lands there can also land a lot of planes. Having 2 french units and say 8 infantry and 6fighters is a lot worst then having just 8 inf on that zone to deal with. Sure the US cannot build 3 tanks but the ability to land a huge airforce there does mitigate that issue the first round.

    This is a concern. However, considering that this actually places a further defensive burden on those aircraft, I think it’s acceptable. If those aircraft are defending ground units, then they’re unlikely to fly away. Also, the Allied player now has the opportunity to make a mistake and to leave the fleet less protected than it should be in an effort to secure the beachhead with fighters.

    @shadowhawk said in Germany and Italy should not take Normandy until after Moscow falls:

    Bombing the harbour does nothing at all. You would normally land from SZ110 which has a UK harbour anyway so bombing it only exposes your airforce to AA fire without any benefit.

    It is rather pointless while the UK naval base is operative. If both bases are damaged, it prevents an Allied pivot to the Med from sea zones 105 and 110 as well as the 1-2 Denmark-Berlin punch from sea zone 105 (admittedly sea zone 105 is a pretty weird sea zone). However, I have never been concerned about the Normandy naval base at all.

    Marsh


  • @MarshmallowofWar said in Germany and Italy should not take Normandy until after Moscow falls:

    @shadowhawk said in Germany and Italy should not take Normandy until after Moscow falls:

    Not having it also means that the first player that lands there can also land a lot of planes. Having 2 french units and say 8 infantry and 6fighters is a lot worst then having just 8 inf on that zone to deal with. Sure the US cannot build 3 tanks but the ability to land a huge airforce there does mitigate that issue the first round.

    This is a concern. However, considering that this actually places a further defensive burden on those aircraft, I think it’s acceptable. If those aircraft are defending ground units, then they’re unlikely to fly away. Also, the Allied player now has the opportunity to make a mistake and to leave the fleet less protected than it should be in an effort to secure the beachhead with fighters.

    I can still use those planes offensively, but now you have a land force next to a lot of areas. But the idea was that it hardly makes a difference, sure the US cannot build 3 tanks there well it can just take S-france and build them there. But it does give the allies a chance to land forces in normandy a bit earlier then normal as they got extra defence power. 2 french units and possible airforce.
    Does the 3 production really make that much a difference?
    Also you cannot attack normandy because that would mean you take it and that would kinda make not taking it pointless.

    @shadowhawk said in Germany and Italy should not take Normandy until after Moscow falls:

    Bombing the harbour does nothing at all. You would normally land from SZ110 which has a UK harbour anyway so bombing it only exposes your airforce to AA fire without any benefit.

    It is rather pointless while the UK naval base is operative. If both bases are damaged, it prevents an Allied pivot to the Med from sea zones 105 and 110 as well as the 1-2 Denmark-Berlin punch from sea zone 105 (admittedly sea zone 105 is a pretty weird sea zone). However, I have never been concerned about the Normandy naval base at all.

    Marsh

    True if both are damage then the US cannot pivot to the med, but then again if your in SZ110 with a big fleet do you really need to. Still doesnt prevent the UK from moving to the med and the US from just swapping fleets around. It depends on the board setup.



  • I feel like the options this opens up for the Allies is way more valuable than being able to use the factory. If you don’t have a strong counter-attack force present, it allows UK to start stacking units in normandy supported by aircraft without needing the Americans to take it first. It gives the allies a landing spot that opens a lot more of europe up to bombing attacks including both German Major ICs. The 2 IPCs isn’t much, but it adds up after 4 or 5 turns. As germany, you can’t build subs in SZ 105 and SZ 110 to harass the allies in the atlantic. A think a good Allied player could find uses for the fact that normandy remains Allied and force Germany to take it anyway. Stopping Allies from using the factory is nice, but there are drawbacks.

  • '19 '18

    This whole idea is based on the assumption that Germany MUST recapture Normandy to deny the factory building for the Allies.

    Why?

    So the Allies can produce 3 ground units there. Germany can produce 10 in Western Germany, always out-producing the Allies.

    I have landed lots of times in Normandy with the Allies, sometimes amassing huge forces there - with even bigger forces in Western Germany denying any advances. I could not move my stack of 40+ ground troops to France because they would be annhiliated there without the US planes defending. Same with Holland.

    Okay, I can move my stack to southern France, but then the German stack can either move to holland or to Northern Italy.

    I have lost Normandy in a couple of games, after holding it for 7-10 turns even, for said reasons.

    What I’m trying to say is: Giving the Normandy factory to USA is not an automatic loss, far from it (and even less for UK).


  • @ComradeRed1308

    Yes. When I playtested this strategy this is exactly what happened. Arguably it took more Axis units to defend three territories against an attack force of 11 Allied ground units each than it would’ve took to trade the territory.

    The Germans would’ve been finished were it not for Japan’s major success against the Soviets.


  • Its based off ideas from older versions of the game where you could not transport tanks + inf at the same time. There is was cheaper to transport inf and build tanks and then factories where more usefull.

    Since the bulk of your forces will come via transport anyway the 3 production doesnt make a huge difference at all.
    And its a lot easier to defend against all beachheads if the allies cannot land planes there the initial attack will lack some big defenders so its easier to push back into the sea.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @MrRoboto said in Germany and Italy should not take Normandy until after Moscow falls:

    This whole idea is based on the assumption that Germany MUST recapture Normandy to deny the factory building for the Allies.

    Why?

    So that instead of focusing more on Western Europe, more of those funds instead continue to be used to crush Russia.

    By the time the Allies land in Normandy, Germany should have Russia contained and be getting ready for the kill. If the Allies are able to produce units locally, they are absolved of the cost of transporting those units and the costs of providing protection for those transports. The resources that were used for the landing (fleet and transports) are thereafter free to perform other tasks after a brief delay while the Allies build at the IC.

    If instead the Allies cannot build in Normandy, then the Allies are forced to maintain fleet protection for transports that must continue to come in to keep pace with Germany’s ability to outproduce Allies.

    Giving the US the IC gives the US the option to dictate Germany’s actions, instead of the other way around. The US could build there AND continue landing forces, which forces Germany to spend even more wealth not conquering Russia.

    I have landed lots of times in Normandy with the Allies, sometimes amassing huge forces there - with even bigger forces in Western Germany denying any advances. I could not move my stack of 40+ ground troops to France because they would be annhiliated there without the US planes defending. Same with Holland.

    <removed>

    What I’m trying to say is: Giving the Normandy factory to USA is not an automatic loss, far from it (and even less for UK).

    True, but it it does relieve pressure to keep bringing reinforcements in via transport. Those transports are freed up for other tasks, and once the IC has been used for building sufficient ground forces the fleet that would protect those transports also gets freed up to perform other tasks.

    @shadowhawk said in Germany and Italy should not take Normandy until after Moscow falls:

    Its based off ideas from older versions of the game where you could not transport tanks + inf at the same time.

    Absolutely not true. It’s based off the idea that giving the Allies a free IC allows them to establish beachhead and then build reinforcements on site rather than continue to the pay increased costs of bringing in reinforcements. It frees the US player to use that naval force elsewhere more quickly.

    It’s based off my observations in many games as both the Allies when I was able to exploit the Normandy IC to put extreme pressure on Germany and as Germany when I was forced to react to the Allies using the Normandy IC.

    @shadowhawk said in Germany and Italy should not take Normandy until after Moscow falls:

    Since the bulk of your forces will come via transport anyway the 3 production doesnt make a huge difference at all.
    And its a lot easier to defend against all beachheads if the allies cannot land planes there the initial attack will lack some big defenders so its easier to push back into the sea.

    If the Allies land in unconquered Normandy and the US chooses to land planes there, then the US has to either build extra planes or take planes from fleet coverage.

    If the US player chooses to build extra planes, it takes longer for him to land in Europe. If he leaves his fleet uncovered, that provides an opportunity for Germany to destroy his fleet. If he lands a weak force with planes, he must then land more forces before he can take those planes away.

    Either way, that’s planes not bound for the Pacific. Those planes have to come from somewhere – if he builds them, he’s not building something else. If he pulls them from somewhere else, it creates opportunities for you there.

    As you say, he still needs more troops in via transport. That means he has to be able to protect those transports that are bringing in those troops.

    Finally, there’s this:

    • When you make the turn more complicated for your opponent, you increase the chance that your opponent will make errors that are to your advantage.
    • Everything you do that causes your opponent to spend extra time to achieve his objectives is to your advantage. A gain of even one turn is to your advantage as the Axis.

    Happy gaming all, and Merry Christmas!

    Marsh

Suggested Topics

  • 12
  • 32
  • 17
  • 20
  • 15
  • 31
  • 7
  • 17
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures

24

Online

17.0k

Users

39.2k

Topics

1.7m

Posts