How do you respond to this German opening?

  • Purchase:
    1 Carrier in Baltic, 8 Infantry in Germany

    Battleship, Transport, 2 Fighters vs British Battleship
    Infantry on transport takes Gibraltar to keep british fighters from attacking BB
    Submarine vs. Lone British Transport
    Fighter and Bomber vs British Destroyer
    Use remaining two fighters to assist taking back territories from Russia if possible

    Build up in Libya for potential G2 Egypt attack
    Start building stack in Eastern Europe

    What’s the best way to react to this? What do you use to eliminate the now-reasonable-powerful German navy? This opening lets Germany merge the two fleets on the second turn off the coast of Western Europe and even manages to threaten the US with a Brazil takeover.

    How do you take control of the seas back without going overkill on wasted naval spending?

  • Sail the UK pac fleet to the med, skip sz 59. Plan for attack on G med fleet asap. US+UK fleet unite in sz 8.
    Russian sub blocks sz 12 or sz 6.

  • @Lucifer:

    Sail the UK pac fleet to the med

    This is why Germany MUST attack Egypt on turn 1…you don’t want British navy in the Med, and you certainly don’t want to rob Japan of the chance to kill those ships off.

    I’ve honestly never played a game where Germany didn’t take Egypt on it’s first turn…even with no bid, Germany has always dedicated air-force or BB + Transported units to ensure victory.


    Russian sub blocks sz 12 or sz 6.

    I’d block SZ 6, the Baltic fleet is the larger threat.

    What about the German sub in SZ 1??

  • @Aretaku:

    What about the German sub in SZ 1??

    US/UK aircraft will take care of this.

  • Is the intention was to join German fleets, would Germany do something else instead with the SZ 8 submarine?

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    The unified German fleet used to scare me.  Then I realized that the allies had two battleships and can put out a lot of fighters and carriers to sink it.  Most assuredly faster then Germany can build up to defend it.

    Honestly, I’d send an American transport to Algeria and take it to block the Med from exiting to conduct combat.  Leave the American fleet in SZ 10 so you can sink the Germans if they go for Brazil.  The British can stay up in SZ 2 with the Russians, you don’t NEED to move them since you have Egypt anyway.  British fleet in SZ 15 and bring a couple infantry from India to Egypt too. (Idea I had was to put an English IC in Egpyt while you were at it.  So if Germany does kill off your fleet, you can still hold Africa and send forces to attack the Japanese.)

  • What’s the best way to react to this?

    Flip the board and punch the guy square in the nose.  Dance on the scattered plastic pieces like Pancho Villa doing a Mexican Hat Dance.

    It’s no more than he deserves.

    And he’ll know that’s true.

  • The German Fleet Unification is a non-issue unless Germany also builds an IC on G1 in Western Europe (crackpot idea of mine that actually has worked for one player on these boards)

    UK probably is not getting into the Med with their Indian Fleet

    Allies just have to be a bit more cautious on their approach to Europe… Turn 3 or 4 instead of Turn 2 or 3.  The good news in doing so is that Africa is usually either pretty secure or strongly contested, and Russia (unless R1 and G1 went totally south for them) have time to consolidate their front lines before the German’s can really bring force to bear.

  • so you feel that this is a particularly bad german strategy. I’ll admit then when I was considering it I didn’t think about how the turn 2 merger would be preventable by the damn russian sub. Kind of eliminates the whole point of trying it, really.

  • The Russian Sub cannot prevent it.

  • @ncscswitch:

    The Russian Sub cannot prevent it.

    how do you figure? You move it from SZ 2 to SZ 6 or 12 and it will make one of the two sets of German ships unable to reach SZ 7. I’d prefer SZ 12 to protect brazil/southern africa from the transport.

    At best they could try it on turn 3 after sinking the sub, but if they leave their fleets in range to meet up, your fleet can preemptively attack one of them before they get a chance on UK2.

  • You either kill or submerge the SUB with the Luftwaffe, then NCM through to do the link up.

  • british can place their fleet in the meetup spot then.

  • If Germany link their fleets G2, then UK+US will see this, and buy more ftrs (+ other stuff) than usually. Germany cannot outbuild both US and UK in Atlantic ocean, then Russia can walk to Berlin  😛

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Dunno about you boys, but “normally” I buy a butt load of fighters for England and America anyway.  Fleet unification just means I don’t have to waste time going to two different sea zones to sink the Kriegsmarine AND they come to me.  Very efficient, thank you. 🙂

  • @Lucifer:

    If Germany link their fleets G2, then UK+US will see this, and buy more ftrs (+ other stuff) than usually. Germany cannot outbuild both US and UK in Atlantic ocean, then Russia can walk to Berlin  😛

    The purpose of it isn’t to try to continue to go through a naval battle. You buy the carrier in order to make the navy dollars the game forces you to have wasted, so to speak, before the game has even started. With the two fleets separated, the allies can easily outnumber them and take them out for very little cost. With the two fleets together with a carrier, the allies need to spend a lot to take them out, and significantly delay their ground support for russia while they deal with naval BS. Germany would build the carrier, unite the fleets, and then just focus on ground troops. Germany starts with $84 worth of crap in the seas…but without uniting it and providing it with the extra support of a carrier, it turns into $84 of scrap metal pretty quickly without really doing anything much. The point is to try to salvage the investment you were stuck with.

    I’m not sure it’s a great plan, but it seemed decent on the surface.

    If you normally buy a boatload of fighters, Jennifer, I’d probably be thankful that you were spending your massive budget on weak units and not stuff that can actually take over my territories 😕

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator


    If you normally buy a boatload of fighters, Jennifer, I’d probably be thankful that you were spending your massive budget on weak units and not stuff that can actually take over my territories 😕

    Let’s see how you feel when you have to attack E. Europe and there’s 12 fighters defending along with 30 some odd infantry and a dozen or so tanks. 😛

    Seriously, fighters are pretty strong really.  3 Fighters and a Bomber take out the Med fleet pretty consistently. (So do 2 fighters and a bomber, but you lose more units that way.)  British and American fighters can defend Russian units before Germany can counter attack them much faster then transported units can.  It takes 1 turn for a new British fighter to get to a Russian stack in Europe, 2 for an American fighter.  But it can take 3-5 turns to get ground forces to the same place.

    And, don’t forget, I’m not ONLY buying fighters.  I buy a lot of ground forces as well, but for the first few rounds, I don’t have transports for a full compliment of ground forces, so why waste money on more when I can get fighters?

    The game, I think, is won or lost in the air.  If you can bring enough fighters to bear in all your battles, you will eventually win the war through attrition.

  • Fighters both attack and defend worse than infantry, so if you had 12 fighters in Eastern Europe I’d be happily consoling myself that at least it’s not 40 infantry instead!

    The only thing fighters have going for them is their mobility/flexibility. They are good as a threat, but pretty weak as actually units for fighting. It just doesn’t make much sense, if this forum is to be trusted you have a decent W/L record but your strategies always sound absolutely awful.

    Anyway I want to get back to the original question which is responding to this opening. I think I’'ve changed my mind, I’d block the Baltic fleet with the sub, because now I realize the british fleet needs to build up in SZ 7 to block instead of SZ 8, and if Germany just countered with all their fighters and the baltic fleet it would get wiped out. (that is what fighters are good for, they threaten the whole theater of war, not just one zone)

    So by my logic, you’d want to build up in SZ 7, probably build a sub/destroyer/fighter, which would be sufficient to wipe out the baltic fleet on UK2.

    I’m left feeling that it’s not a particularly useful opener. The whole point was to unite the fleets and it seems in the end with the correct moves from the allies that is not actually feasible.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    The only thing Fighters have going for them is their 67% defense rating (83% with Jet Power), their ability to defend at sea and at land, and their ability to strike the enemy and land in a safe zone, thus not jeapordizing the planes themselves.

    As long as you ensure you have the infantry to support them, fighters are the best investment in the game.  Any nation without enough fighters will eventually lose as they will make choices to attack land too weak, not attack land, or send high value pieces into zones where they will be destroyed thus allowing the enemy to win through attrition.

  • Also add to that, fighters are the most cost effective way to attack navy and they can fly quite a ways to provide mobile defense or offense.

  • The game starts out with 12 Axis fighters and 11 Allied fighters on the board.

    The side that loses parity in fighters with their opponent is often the one that loses the game.

  • I don’t find that to be a good indicator at all, Aretaku. There are reasons to lose or build extra fighters, but neither has a direct positive correlation with which side is actually winning. UK might overbuild fighters to compensate for a big German navy, but just because the Allies now have so many fighters more than the Axis doesn’t mean the Axis is losing. Equally is true if if the Germans sacrificed most of their airforce but reduced the Allied transport system to ashes. While the Axis would have lost parity in airforce, that doesn’t mean they are in a losing situation. It might take several rounds to get the transport system back into place, while Russia is alone against 2 nations both double its income.

    I also don’t think having too many fighters is very helpful. Usually you only need to trade in 1-3 territories, and you hit a very quick limit on extra fighters being useful. Fighters are also absolutely horrendous for advancing in territories, and are at AA gun’s mercy. They are a great way to supplement infantry like Jen said for trading territories, but you pretty much have enough to start with to do that already. More fighters is most feasible for Russia; UK has to build them to counter German navy and US might build extra ones to complement their 3x3, but Germany and Japan have plenty enough to trade territories as it is.

  • You use fighters to trade territories, and you start with enough to do that on the opening board. The only nation that might not have enough is Russia, and Russia is precisely the nation that can’t afford their price tag very well.

    I’ll continue to laugh at the claim that fighters are “the best investment in the game”. Infantry have that title. The only time I find myself buying fighters is to counter a naval threat, so that after I eliminate the threat at least I’m left with units that will be useful instead of floating there doing nothing for the rest of the game, or the turn before I plan to invade a capital because they’re the only unit that can make it from the production zone to the target in one turn.

  • We all know the numbers. Attack 3 defend 4 move 2 10 IPC.

    Beebs is right that fighters are not good on the numbers.
    Jen is just saying fighters are good for trading territories.

    Because the game is not head on (like, being asymmetric), its not easy to get to the situation where a tank army ruin a weak army with over spending on fighters. Allies simply has more IPC.

    Western Europe IC, yeah that came up to my mind too when I was looking down the path of German fleet union.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Realistically the game starts with:

    2 Fighters for Russia
    5 Fighters for Germany (1 Killed in Ukraine before Germany starts)
    3 Fighters for England (1 Killed in Egypt before England starts)
    6 Fighters for Japan
    3 Fighters for America (1 Killed in China, 1 Killed in SZ 52 before America starts.)

    8 Alliance Fighters
    11 Axis Fighters

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