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:
- 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
- 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:
- $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.
- $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.
- $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.
- 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.
- $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.
- $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.