Best way to sneak up on UK

  • JSP, was that the counter you had in mind?

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Sea Zone 12:

    Russia: 1 Submarine
    England: 1 Battleship, 2 Transports
    America: 1 Destroyer, 2 Transports

    Germany:  1 Battleship, 1 Transport, 5 Fighters, 1 Bomber (tops)

    Would recommend an American AA Gun in Algeria as well, force at least 1 fighter to be subject to AA Fire.  That means Algeria would have:

    England: 2 Infantry, 1 Artillery, 1 Armor
    America: 2 Infantry, 1 Armor, 1 AA Gun (or 1 Artillery)

    Germany survives with 2 fighters, bomber and a battleship, fleet is NOT unified (SZ 5 cannot get to SZ 12 in one round.)  England hits German Battleship with 2 Fighters, 1 Bomber on England’s next turn.

    German unification lies below the waves.

  • @Jennifer:

    Germany:  1 Battleship, 1 Transport, 5 Fighters, 1 Bomber (tops)


    A) You left out the German sub from Z08.  That would survive at Gibraltar.
    B) You are likely to have 6ftr available.  It depends on the Russian opening, of course, but Russia attacking BEL/WRU is not an unusual combination.

    So that would demolish the Z12 fleet.  It is true that prevents the unification, but no “decent” player would trade all that Allied navy just to kill the German Med fleet (calculated outcome is that no planes die).

    This only becomes a reasonable move when there are 4 or fewer German fighters.  That won’t happen much.

    With the corrected unit count, this is not a good way to prevent the fleets from uniting.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Your unit count is inaccurate.

    It’s almost a guarentee that German fighter in Ukraine is destroyed before Germany’s turn.

    Assuming the Submarine lives at Gibraltar, which I did discount since I’m not used to seeing the BB and Trn enter the engagement as well, that does not change the outcome of the war significantly enough to justify an almost guarenteed loss of Africa.  (Since you are not landing troops in Africa and England is landing on BOTH coasts.)

    Meanwhile, England has 2 Transports, Battleship, 5 Fighters, 1 Bomber.

  • @Jennifer:

    Your unit count is inaccurate.

    No.  You were wrong twice.  You missed the sub and you assumed a successful attack on Ukraine for “Top” outcome.  Both of those are incorrect.

    Even assuming 5ftr for Germany, the most common outcome of Germany attacking the Z12 fleet is Germany loses 1ftr, the second most common outcome is Germany loses 0ftr.

    It’s a terrible Allied play.  There is an average 45 IPC benefit to Germany in that attack.  No “decent” player would do that.


  • @CrazyStraw:

    Both of those are incorrect.

    Arrrgh, never tell a woman she’s wrong.

    BTW, when I play Allies, it is almost guaranteed that the Germans WILL have 6 fighters and bomber at the end of the German turn (if the German player plays to conserve airforce), since I almost NEVER attack Ukraine.

    It is not really an “assumption” that the sub lives at Gibraltar.  with 1 battleship, 1 sub, 1 transport, and 2 fighters attacking the UK battleship, the odds are excellent that the Germans will not lose anything.  With an African bid of 2 units at Libya, the Germans can send 3 inf 1 tank 2 fighter 1 bomber to Anglo-Egypt, almost certainly taking it and cutting off the UK destroyer.

    Of course, if you are not used to Gibraltar, you may not be familiar with the need of the Germans to take Gibraltar with 1 inf.  Otherwise, UK can take a shot at the Med fleet.  If Gibraltar is taken, though, any UK attack gets expensive very quickly.

  • If the Med Fleet moves west and links with the SZ8 SUB, the SUB is almost certain to live (as much of a certainty as you can get in a game that has dice)

    Also, if you DO move west with the Med Fleet, you HAVE to take Gibraltar.  Otherwise, the Brits can counter your fleet on UK1 with 1 DST, 2 FIG, 1 BOM,  Taking Gibraltar reduces any attemtped UK1 counter to 1 DST, 1 BOM (pretty crappy odds for the Limeys)

  • is it bad if you send the french sub off to kill the transport from Canada? you still take giblatar.

  • @ncscswitch:

    Also, if you DO move west with the Med Fleet, you HAVE to take Gibraltar.

    You are dead-on, there.  It is such a standard move with the guys I play with that when we set up the board we no longer chip the 2inf in SEU - we just put two inf pieces there because they get de-chipped instantly.  One of those guys is destined for Gibraltar every game unless something really weird occurs.


  • @cyan:

    is it bad if you send the french sub off to kill the transport from Canada? you still take giblatar.

    Well, it is a suicide mission with a marginal success rate.  Just over 70% success rate to kill the TRN, almost 30% chance to lose the SUB for no gain.  And then the USAF units can kill the SUB on their way to UK in US1 (85% chance of success for 1 FIG, 1 BOM).  The BEST you can hope for is to trade 8 IPC navy Germany for 8 IPC UK, and 30% of the time you lose 8 IPC navy for ZERO Allied units.

    Using it to assist with the BB off Gibraltar gives you insurance in case the UK BB gets off a second shot due to poor dice, or if you use FIGs only (sending the Med Fleet east to Egypt) it gives you fodder to preserve the Luftwaffe.  And it is extra fodder to protect your fleet long-term, and extra attack punch AND fodder if you go after the US fleet, keeping your FIGs and BB alive longer…

  • @cyan:

    is it bad if you send the french sub off to kill the transport from Canada? you still take giblatar.

    I don’t think it’s such a bad move as Switch does.  He raises some good points about the percentages, but there are a lot of times when your only goal with German boats is to kill UK transports PERIOD.  For instance, if you know the UK won’t go for the block in Z12 (and they likely won’t) then it’s nice to force them to buy back a transport.  If your goal is just to buy time with Germany, there are instances where you’re better off popping Z01.

    Doing that changes a couple of things, however:

    1. The Allies have 1tra (ECn) less in Z12 if they go for the block.
    2. The German united fleet is a little weaker.
    3. The Allied player may decide to take 1des 1bmr after your Gibraltar fleet for 1 round to see how it goes.  If the German player misses the first time, suddenly that’s a good move.  Since the UK des is basically toast anyhow, it’s not a bad UK option to see if the dice are kind.

    Overall I certainly prefer bringing the sub to Gibraltar, but I don’t think it’s a 100% clear-cut better move.


  • Not going to argue a couple of points.  I ran the sim 1000X and it came out 71.something and 28.something, and I rounded off.  If teh sim varies by more than a few percent, then that just means that it is a high variable battle, and that it is even riskier…

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    First off, the goal was to prevent a link up of the fleet on G2.  Done with that fleet.  End of story.  You have to engage with the Med fleet to win which means they cannot get to SZ 7 to link with the northern fleet.

    Secondly, when I run the numbers, it shows almost a guarentee that Germany looses all naval vessels except the Battleship and 1 or 2 fighters.  And that’s assuming, of course, that you staged everything in range of SZ 12, which you may or may not have done. (Duration of the battle, 3 to 4 rounds)
    (Submarine, 4 Transports, 1 Destroyer, 1 Battleship vs 5 Fighters, 1 Bomber, 1 Transport, 1 Submarine, 1 Battleship)

    Thirdly, in regards to the fighter in the Ukraine, you only have a 1.96% chance of surviving with it.  So yes, I always presume it’s dead. 
    (3 Infantry, 1 Artillery, 3 Armor, 2 Fighters vs 3 Infantry, 1 Artillery, 1 Armor, 1 Fighter)

    Fourth, if you put your bid in Libya, the best you could have is 8 IPC since that’s usually what I bid, that means you have 2 Infantry, 2 Armor, 1 Fighter, 1 Bomber to attack Egypt because you have no reinforcements comming from Europe.  Odds are extremely good you end that with 2 armor, 1 fighter, 1 bomber.  To which England counter attacks with 3 infantry, 1 fighter, 1 bomber ending with Egypt with 2 Infantry, Algeria with 2 Infantry, 2 Armor and Germany reduced to 1 Infantry, 1 Artillery, 1 Fighter, 1 Bomber in Libya.

    So afterwards you have succeeded in taking out part of the British fleet, part of the American fleet and the dreaded Red Oktober, but you lost Africa for a few rounds, Russia’s comming to beat in your front door, and America loosing a destroyer and a pair of transports is hardly cowering in fear of the mighty Kriegsmarine.  However, Germany is cringing because they are out 11 IPC for Africa, they have no Med fleet in range, they have Russia barrelling down on them with England moving in fleet, America moving in fleet and Germany faced with the choice to buy fleet instead of soldiers or exchange fighters for transports.

    Any way you slice the cookie, it’s bad for Germany.

  • Jen: Ah, much better.  But you’re not there yet.  Let’s dig a little more.

    First off, the goal was to prevent a link up of the fleet on G2.  Done with that fleet.  End of story.

    Nope.  The comment from JSP was "I don’t think any decent allied player would allow germany to unite their fleet in sz7.  It’s easy to spot, and easily countered."  Your counter is a bad counter, and a decent player wouldn’t do it.  Of course you can pay a heavy privce to stop the fleet unification.  You can also do it in Z06.  The point is that all the counters are bad, not “decent”.  Your counter doesn’t do the job well at all.  It’s not easy to counter the unification, and a decent player won’t do it in most circumstances.

    More Jen:

    when I run the numbers, it shows almost a guarentee that Germany looses all naval vessels except the Battleship and 1 or 2 fighters

    Ok, that’s a B+ answer.  You’ll note my earlier response is that the Germans just throw away the Med Fleet (+Z08 Sub) to kill all those Allied boats.  The Germans would never leave the lone battleship alive; they’d take the second hit on the btl before you’d take your first ftr because it would die alone anyway.  So the real situation is all German boats die, and 0ftr or 1ftr die.  Like I wrote.

    To really see what the board is going to look like you have to think through the logical steps, not just run the sim.  I’m sure in the actual game you’d make that correct choice.

    Jen again:

    in regards to the fighter in the Ukraine, you only have a 1.96% chance of surviving with it.  So yes, I always presume it’s dead

    Sure, in the games where Ukraine is attacked with full power.  But not only is Ukraine often attacked with less than full power, it is often not attacked at all.  You’re trying to make a blanket statement about circumstances that may not occur.

    But it’s largely irrelevant.  The outcome of the Z12 attack with 5ftr instead of 6ftr is not radically different.  It is still a bad attack in the amount of a 45 IPC average net loss for the Allies.

    That’s a terrible, terrible price to pay to prevent the German fleet from uniting.

    Which is my whole point: the united fleet is a good move.  Even the threat of it is a good move.  It is NOT easy to counter.  That’s why you do it.

    But there are at least two other attempts you can make to make to stop the unifaction.  Someone else care to present the scenarios?


  • But there are at least two other attempts you can make to make to stop the unifaction.  Someone else care to present the scenarios?

    I may have been jumping the gun a bit.

    Does anyone still think the Z12 block is a good move if Germany has 5 or more ftrs available?

    If not, I think it would be interesting to walk through the two other counters mentioned so far: a Z06 UK blockade, and purchasing 3ftr (or some other offense) from the UK to attack the united fleet to prevent the unification.

    But I don’t want to bore folks (more than usual) if we’re past the point where the topic is interesting.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I still like the SZ 12 move, even if it reduces your fleet, because it gives you 4 ground units from England and 4 ground units from America in Algeria and most likely ground units for England in Egypt.  That means Germany’s not just sweeping up free income.

    But if you absolutly must maintain your British fleet (which is a waste of a good opportunity to cripple the German fleet which you admit would be sacrificed just getting out of the med and thus, probably wouldn’t be put through the sacrifice) you could build 3 submarines or 3 fighters and add them to your fleet for bigger punch on UK2.

  • Hey Jen.

    Ok, let’s go with the idea that you think the fleet trade is a good move.  You have one more problem.  You have put 4inf 2art 2tnk in Algeria.  The Germans have 4tra in the Baltic.  They can bring 4inf 4tnk 5ftr 1bmr to London.  That IS defensible if you build 5inf 3tnk R1 and land all Allied aircraft there.  That in and of itself is a pretty lame UK opening, but it’s not an instant loss.

    Then there’s another subsidiary problem: What if Germany finishes the Land Bridge and buys another 5tra?  That’s 9tra of gear that can hit London R3.  Your Z12 fleet is attacked anyhow because it won’t cost the Germans planes and they don’t want London reinforced.

    But really that is all secondary.  If you think it is worth losing 76 IPCs of Allied boats to kill 40 IPCs of German boats, we’re not talking the same language.  You could go to Africa R2 in safety without taking that horrific IPC loss, so I don’t think getting to Africa R1 is a big plus.

    Pro Z12 block: Africa R1, German fleet won’t be united.
    Con Z12 block: 76 IPCs of navy traded for 40 IPCs of navy, UK must build 8 ground troups R1, land in Africa R2, Allied planes locked into London.

    It is just a bad, bad move.


  • Well, one of the obvious is a UK1 attack on the Baltic Fleet.  2 FIG, 1 BOM vs, 2 SUB, 1 DST, 1 TRN.

    Better than a 4 in 5 chance to clear SZ5, meaning there are no Baltic ships alive to link with, at a cost of, on average 2 FIGs.

    A second would be if the Germans failed to take Gibraltar, then you kill the Med Fleet with DST, BOM, and 2 FIG.

    Now who is up for a third?

  • Could also leave the med fleet operating only in SZ 14, 15, 16. Assuming the Japanese can contain India’s fleet and the UK uses up their fighters in the Baltic, it can be a menacing diversion for a little while. Nice to get that battleship shot and a couple of Italian infantry in on Caucasus should Germany feel aggressive/suicidal too…

  • @ncscswitch:

    Well, one of the obvious is a UK1 attack on the Baltic Fleet.  2 FIG, 1 BOM vs, 2 SUB, 1 DST, 1 TRN.

    Yeah, for sure.  If the Baltic has no extra boats, you gotta pop 'em.  That’s pretty close to a given.

    In this case, however, I was specifically thinking of three ways to try and prevent the unification of the fleet after invading Gibraltar and buying 3tra in the Baltic.

    The first way, which we’ve already analyzed, was to blockade Z12.

    The second way mentioned in this thread was to buy 3ftr.

    The third way mentioned was to blockade Z06.

    There may be other ways, but those are probably the main ones.

    Who wants to take the first pass at the second way?  The goal of that move is to buy offense to sink the combined fleet in Z07 such that it is no longer worth it for Germany to combine the fleets.  How does that look on cost/benefit assessment?  Would boats do better than planes?

    Somebody put up your best plan and tell us if you think it will work to prevent the unification or not.  You don’t necessarily have to think the plan is good; just come up with the best case for us to analyze.

    I like the group solution process.  It’s cool to see how people think differently about the game.


  • Gotcha. I like the flexibility of Z12 block - plus it’s a good meeting point to get the US in there to keep the blocker going. The other two are a bit more expensive/less flexible for the UK.

  • 2007 AAR League

    I’ll take a shot at the 3 fgt counter…

    UK: Buy 3 fgt to counter fleet unification in SZ7

    G1 Assumptions:
    Ger Med Fleet in WMD w/1 trn, 1 bb, 1 sub
    Ger Baltic Fleet 1 des, 2 sub, 4 trn
    6 GER fgt survived
    UK GRN Fleet survived w/1 bb, 1 trn
    UK LAB trn survived

    Step 1: Assess Sea Lion Threat.
    UK will have 1 AA, 2 inf, 1 art, 1 arm, 5 fgt, 1 bmb
    GER can invade with 5 inf, 5 arm, 5 fgt, 1 bmb, 1 bb, on G2 (1 fgt 1 bmb in Lib)

    • With no additional help, GER takes UK 95% of the time.  UK needs help to defend against G2 Sea Lion
      UK transports 1 arm from WCan to UK on UK1
      US lands 1 bmb, 1 fgt in UK on US1
      US transports 2 inf, 1 art, 1 arm to UK on US1
    • with this additional help, GER only takes UK 8.2% of the time.
      Also, USSR could land fighters in UK if they are available.

    Step 2: Assess SZ7 attack in UK2.
    SZ7 will have: 5 trn, 3 sub, 1 des, 1 bb
    UK can hit it with 2 trn, 1 bb, 5 fgt, 1 bmb

    • attacker survives 67.5%.  Median result would be to survive with 1 fgt, 1 bmb.  This assumes the GER subs don’t submerge.
    • analysis: GER loses all boats (100 IPC) while UK loses 4 fgt, 2 trn, 1 bb (80 IPC).  This looks better than a SZ12 blockade option, but still a 29% chance that the GER bb lives.

  • Very good.

    I don’t see anything off hand I disagree with there, so let’s expand on a couple of points:

    1. The win percentage is about 67%.  Functionally, you’re a little better off than that because the UK can stop early and have the US finish the job.  It may mean the btl recharges, but you can decide if that’s a price worth paying.  The downside, of course, is the 1/3 chance you’ll get smoked overall.  That’s not a trivial likelihood, but it may not be a deterrent.

    2. Interesting note: the UK btl is very likely to die.  Normally you would just plan on taking that as a last casualty, but because of the casualty order for the Germans, the UK is likely to get a sub hit on the btl.  Nothing crazy there, I just think it is interesting.

    Now let’s get to the real assessment:

    3. The UK has lost a lot of navy; Germany has lost no planes.  The German naval threat is eliminated, but THE ALLIES STILL HAVE TO BUILD CAPITAL SHIPS to defend against the untouched Luftewaffe.

    4. Germany bought 24 IPCs of gear to leverage the existing 76 IPCs of gear.  That’s not a bad investment to protect units that would otherwise die with little gain (Baltic smoked immediately on the cheap, the Med fleet would die in the mid-game on the cheap).  So spending 24 IPCs got you a lot of benefit.  Germany spent 24; UK spent 30.  UK will have to then spend a lot more in the water.

    5. The UK is not putting gear in the water, or the mainland, or Africa early.  R1 purchase was 3ftr.  That all dies.  They lose their boats and most of their planes in the attack.  They need to buy new transports AND the Allies need capital ships.

    Pro Z07 attack w/ 3ftr purchase: German navy dies 67% of the time from the UK; US can finish off remainder.
    Con Z07 attack w/ 3ftr purchase: Starting UK navy dies R2.  R1 purchase dies R2.  Fleet unprotected.  Significant chance of a bad outcome in Z07 attack.  No troops in Africa for UK earlier than R3.

    One final note:
    6. If Germany buys a carrier instead of 3tra, there is no way the UK can touch the united fleet.  Personally, I prefer the flexibility of the transports because I’m happy with the above pros/cons, but my point here is that if your sole goal is the united fleet, the carrier does the job quite well.

    That’s my first pass on the assessment.  Anyone see something major I missed?

    Summary points: 3ftr + Z07 attack is not terrible, but as Allies I do not like the Pros vs. the Cons.  It is better than a Z12 block.  Against a purchase of a single German carrier in the Baltic you can’t attack Z07.

    Someone poke at this.

  • using the same exact assumptions as rjclayton’s 3 fig scerniro, i believe that 1sub,1destoyer and 1 fig is a better buy. (8+12+10=30)
    you will be able to bring 2 trns, 1sub, 3 figs, 1 destroyer, 1 bomber, and 1 battleship vs. 5 trn, 3 sub, 1 des, 1 bb. there is only a 63.3% chance of killing everything. but you will loss 66 ipcs for the median compared to the 3 figs option that had 80ipcs. you will be able to save your battleship untill teh end and either a bomber or destroyer(whichever you prefer to keep). this build allows the destroyer to prevent the subs from killing your navy before they fire back. if you build 3 trns for UK 2, then your battleship can protect the trns and will not make it viable for germany to attack. if your attack does fail the US can always finish the job.

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