• Typical german opening moves involve buying ground troops in various mixes, and occasionally additional air power.  But in spite of the expense, there’s some limited ship builds that can also be worthwhile if played right.  Since most stategies either use no naval purchases or way too much, I thought it would make sense to flesh out a few of the more viable options for Germany.

    First, a couple of big picture considerations that encourage spending on boats:

    1. you already have a baltic fleet of 4 ships which is potentially valuable for guarding the atlantic, but unable to defend well against air attack
    2. investments in the mediterranean can strengthen control of africa, attacks on russia, and even india, while helping to guard southern europe.

    Second, a variety of separate approaches I’ve seen, some that I like more than others:

    1. $12 destroyer build in the baltic while the fleet stays there and several planes land in W. Europe or similar.

    This is enough of a build to deter or punish a UK air attack on round 1 (which can be good or bad since you won’t get to shoot at them).  For a modest cost, you’ve preserved the ability to support your luftwaffe against nearby UK ships, and made any attack on your initial 4 ships significantly more costly for the allies.  The subs might still be fodder, but now you can hit airplanes reliably for several rounds, so the investment might cost the allies more than it costs you.  You also get to transport infantry directly to karelia for any additional rounds that you choose to keep the fleet in the baltic.

    1. $16 carrier in the baltic, with fighters landed and in w. europe.

    For slightly more money, you get the same defensive bonus as well as the huge ability to move fighters far across the atlantic with the expectation of landing on the carrier later.  The baltic fleet is extremely tough to take out for a long time with 2 fighters on the carrier.

    Personally, this is not my favorite build, as $16 starts to be a pretty significant amount to not be putting against russia.  More importantly, fighters diverted to landing at sea are not available to land in w.europe or other potentially vulnerable points.  The offensive power can be devestating, but the diversion of fighters that aren’t helping to defend german territories can be a drain.

    1. $8 transport build in the mediterranean, while battleship and transport remain in place outside southern europe and simply ferry two troops to africa on turn 1 (in order to protect the new transport from UK/russian air attack).

    A goofy strategy, but has its good points.  The down side of course is that the UK retains egypt, its destroyer, its fighter, and the ability to send the india fleet into the mediterranean on turn 1 if it wants to.  Pretty nasty.

    The upsides are interesting, though.  If you UK moves into the med, you can still drop off another 4 troops to africa (or russia) the following turn before they put you down.  You could also be purposefully trying to entice them to give japan’s war effort a boost.  If UK doesn’t, you can help ferry 4 troops a turn from southern europe to africa/caucusus for much of the rest of the game.  That’s a big boost to mobility, and includes a firm take-over of egypt and trans jordan on turn 2, setting up a very strong attack on india on turn 3, which can both help japan and provide $ for germany.

    1. My personal favorite:  $20 destoyer & transport build in the baltic on turn 1, while baltic stays put, and all other ships support planes in taking out UK battleship at gibralter and taking gibralter.  All planes land in W. Europe.

    This is very expensive and sacrifices killing egypt for one round.  That said, it allows the baltic fleet to survive and gives the UK air nothing useful to do on turn 1.  It also poses a credible sealion threat to London for turn 2 which requires the allies to block you or defend london, neither of which they would normally want to do.  It also helps the spare atlantic sub surive the attack in gibralter, saving you an $8 ship for later use.  Ultimately, the two fleets can stay separate as you return focus to egypt and ferrying troops to karelia, or they can merge in the mid-atlantic to form a deadly superfleet to effecitvely waste the allies’ time and money and free up more ground troops to send against russia rather than defend the coasts.

    1. $8 sub purchase in the baltic.

    I’ve never done it and it probably wouldn’t work, but I could imagine the value in a very submersable fleet (3 subs) that tries to play the odds and survive long enough to clog up UK and US combat moves and support luftwaffe air attacks.

    1. $8 transport purchase in the baltic.

    While the UK can still take out that fleet, this can cost them additional air losses for their effort.  More importantly, if they don’t take out the baltic fleet, the ability to transport 4 ground units per turn plus the increased potential threat to london can be pretty annoying for the allies.

    … and I’m sure there are more permuations worth considering.  Personally, after turn 1 I’m not a fan of any German fleet builds, as the return on your money is less since they’ll survive for less time, and the goal isn’t to win an extended arms race against the allies in the atlantic.  But I think some of these are realistic options for making the most of what you start with.  And since KGF strategies can be quite effective or require lots of german ground defense, it’s worth considering how ships builds might be cost effective.

  • '19 '15 '14

    I think its very difficult to play a winning game with German naval builds, but if nothing else they can be fun for a change of pace.

    I think if you’re going to go to through the effort though, you need to go heavy on the transports so that you can actually threaten London effectively and force the British into making ground purchases rather than ships. I don’t know that I would ever buy another destroyer, when carriers offer so much more on defense, but I could maybe see the rationale in the first round, if you were going to build a carrier in the second.

  • Hey eum.

    Solid ideas there.  For a long discussion of this topic, read the article on Caspian Sub.  It’s in the Policies Papers folder in the group’s files.

    In fact, there are about 40+ pages of analysis on the Baltic that branch out into sucker punches and suicide fleets.  The first article is called “CSubP11 Baltic Part I - German Purchase”.



  • Moderator

    I think if you are buying ships simply to defend the baltic it is a mistake, but if you are buying something to attempt a fleet unification/sea lion scare then that might be okay.

    I generally have very little luck with the Ger naval buy and usually have Russia all over me in those cases, likewise I get waaaay more aggresssive as Russia if I see Germany spend anything on ships and can usually make a significant move into Ukr very early.

    IMO, bypassing Egy on G1 is not an option.

  • With a weal russia 1 build and semi bad dice has anyone tried almost all nay build for Germany?

    I would like to know how it worked out.

  • For my part, I’d only consider anything more than a sub or a TRN if the Ruskies got bad dice on R1.  I also consider Egypt a must do on G1, or the Brits can put that into their India campaign.  Taking out $18 UK IPC value in G1 is pretty important.  It does pain me to have my Baltic fleet attacked on UK1.  I would love to find a good way to keep that available for later, but the costs of doing that are too high.

  • :roll:
      I will occasionally buy the DD on G1. It does deter the UK from attacking, if they are paying attention, sometimes they miss it and pay dearly for the mistake 😉
      When I have deferred Egypt for the Gibralter attack on G1 the UK usually goes to India, which allows for an easy attack on Egypt in G2. Which makes things a bit harder for Japan for 3 or 4 turns in FIC.
    The fleet unification for Germany is a loser, every time, but it can buy Germany a few turns of not having to defend W.E or Norway and Karilia with much land troops, which means more can go east 😉

  • What about bidding a trn to sz 5 (or even a DD, though 12 bids are extremely rare) in combination with buying a bomber+fig on G1 and running the fleet to sz 7? The extra trn will make an air only attack on sz 7 a very risky proposition, and attacking sz 7 with ships or unifying in sz 12 or 8 have other problems.

  • Caspian Sub recommends as its variant to build 2-3 transports on G1. I’ve used those successfully against beginners ! They threaten a landing to Britain either in Turn 2, or 3 (with 5 tra more built).
    1 trn is still not enough to defend surely enough against the RAF.

    Against veterans, I don’t build German ships. It’s cheaper for the British to invest (planes, subs) to sink them than their cost to Germany. And Germany doesn’t want 1:1 IPC exchanges with any Western allies.

  • Now, extra German planes in the mid-game can be a good investment against a balanced, slow KGF if Allies don’t have excess escorts. They already defend where they are almost like 2 more inf (6 IPC), also threaten 1-2 fleets that will need extra escorts, and swap easier on land. Combined with the Japanese fleet coming throught the Med, they can paralyze the Allied moves sandwiched between each of them.
    But, that’s not ships, but anti-ship build…

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