Germany Basic Strategies, Concepts and Ideas

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Jennifer’s Basic German Strategy Guide for 1941:


    You need to do maximum impact on Russia as fast as possible with Germany, only diverting enough equipment as needed to protect Italy’s fleet that first round.

    For this, a 4 prong offensive might be best.

    1)  Amphibiously assault Karelia.  You should get it every time with various losses, once I even got it without loss, which was a fun game!

    Cost analysis:
    -3 Infantry, -1 Fighter: Cost 19 IPC
    Destroy 5 Infantry, 1 Artillery: Benefit: 19 IPC
    Capture AA Gun: +6 IPC
    Collect for Land: +2 IPC
    Collect for National Objective: +5 IPC

    Net: +13 IPC (+7 if you don’t consider taking the AA Gun into account.)

    1. Hit Baltic States, East Poland and Ukraine.

    Cost: 1 or 2 Infantry >> -6 IPC
    Destroy 7 Infantry >> +21 IPC
    Collect for Land >> 4 IPC
    Collect for NO >> 5 IPC

    Net: +24 IPC

    3)  Attack Egypt.  This isn’t meant to TAKE Egypt, but to weaken the British severely.  I’ve found that if you do not even attack Egypt with Germany, Italy can be wiped out in short order and has NO CHANCE at getting the second National Objective ever.  Not to mention, Egypt is a great place for a British Industrial complex later in the game.

    Cost: 2 Infantry, Artillery, 2 Armor >> -20 IPC
    Destroy: 3 Infantry, Artillery, Armor >> +18 IPC
    Net: -2 IPC

    4)  Naval assaults on England.  Primarily you have to clear the Cruiser/Destroyer from SZ 12 to protect the Italian fleet.  I usually attack the destroyer in SZ 6 too since it’s the only thing your submarine can do anyway and it’s a 50/50 shot at sinking another British ship.

    Cost: 1 or 2 submarines >> -6-12 IPC (none of which you need)
    Destroy: Cruiser and 1 or 2 Destroyers >> +20-28 IPC

    Net: +8-22 IPC

    As far as builds go, I’m thinking that in 1941 we need more and more armor than we did in Revised.  We cannot neglect infantry, but we can bring that Armor/Infantry ratio up closer to 50/50.  Remember, Russia starts with no fighters, so they’re trading tanks just about every round, so Germany can also afford to trade tanks.

    If you find your builds getting maxed out you can build a complex in Poland.  This is a 3 IPC territory, so you’ll be producing 3-5 units there easily (with Improved Factories) and it’s limited in damage it can take from allied bombing runs! (6 IPC max.)  This by itself would make it a more valuable building location than France, but wait, Jim, there’s more!  Poland is two zones CLOSER to Russia than France is!  That means you can put Infantry into Poland and have the Armor in Germany catch up with them the next round in East Poland.

    Technology:  Tech is the backbone of this game.  I have not seen a single game played where one side had technology and the other side did not and still won.

    Okay, tech is a bit random, so what?  You have a choice on what chart you roll on, so that’ll help a lot, and really, outside of Super Submarines, I don’t see a “bad” technology on the charts. (Thinking about it, if we fixed Super Submarines to negate Battleship 2 hit abilities, then they would be good!)

    I like chart 1 for Germany.  Improved Factories are great (especially for a poland complex or even Karelia.)  War bonds are okay, at least they can offset SBR damage.  Mechanized infantry and paratroopers are wicked. (Paratroopers are great for getting Italian National Objectives and liberating things like Finland and Norway.  I’ve even toyed with a Sea Lion attempt from the air once or twice.)

    Should Germany SBR?

    I guess that sort of depends.  Definitely not on round 1!  But later, it can be helpful if England’s being a nuissance or if you think Russia got lucky and you need to knock their income back down.  But generally speaking, those German bombers are really nice for hitting the enemy ground units and not so much the complexes.

    Caveat:  England has no Industrial Complexes outside of England itself, Japan and Italy have taken away all of England’s National Objectives, should you SBR?   In this case, I would hit England with 3 or 4 bombers and the reason being that England’s only earning in the low 30s, upper 20s.  if you can do 10-16 IPC damage (which 3 or 4 bombers should easily do) then you’ve eliminated them as a serious threat to France.  Note, in most games, America is hardly a threat to the woman hood of France let alone the German army there.  This would mean you could pull most, if not all, of those troops out and send them towards Russia.

    Key Territories:

    1)  East Poland is a HUGE territory for you!  From here you can hit Baltic States, Belarus, East Ukraine and Ukraine.  As long as you have a stack here, your National Objective in this region should be secured each round.

    2)  Karelia:  As Russia’s weakest link, you may as well go for this one first.  It’s worth +7 IPC a round (5 for the National Objective and 2 for the territory.)  It also allows you to trade Arkhangelsk (threatening his NO) and to threaten Scandinavia (Finland/Norway.)  The miracle happens if you get Improved Factories and Karelia, now you’re dumping +4 Infantry a round up there!

    3)  France:  You need to defend France from British incursions as soon as possible.  Normally this is Italy’s job, but Italy can find itself hard pressed if things go poorly.  For England, France is worth 11 IPC.  For Germany France is also worth 11 IPC.

    Most useful units:  Infantry, Armor, Bombers (Artillery if you have Advanced Artillery)

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Gunna write one for Japan too.

  • Nice guide.

    I’ll prolly have some input on Japan as that is the nation I’ve played the most. :)

    As far as IPC cost analysis, that only goes so far. Opportunity can count for a LOT.

    For example, I feel that on G1, Germany is better off sinking the BB and TR off of the UK NW coast. 2 Subs + Fighter and/or bomber usually does the trick. And that is likely the only opportunity you’ll get to kill a BB alone. The TR is just added payoff. That makes it a priority target IMO.

    Another ‘opportunity’ would be if you can kill a unit in an area that cant be replaced. For example, killing UK units in Asia/Africa is FAR more painful to them than killing the same units in France or Norway.

    Looking forward to the Japanese guide.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    I understand, and many players currently agree with you. (Many currently agree with me, I only mention currently because things will change!)

    However, I use a cost benefit analysis for my moves.  So far, the costs for getting the three eastern block states and Karelia so far out weight the loses, that I cannot justify using other moves. (Not to mention, they also put Germany on a strong footing against Russia.)  Egypt is the only attack I listed with a negative cost analysis, and there I used your argument that opportunity of hitting Egypt out weighed the cost analysis making it a good instead of bad move.

  • Oh I definately agree that taking those 3 territories is key for G1. But in general, the benefit of killing ‘x’ or ‘y’ unit isnt just the IPC value IMO. I’ll happily lose 7 IPCs of a TR (and 3-6 IPCs of troops) to take one of the Japanese islands to force them to take it back. It provokes a response. So even though I ‘lose’ money, I can gain it back if they respond and I can engage on favorable terms.

    Other examples would be when one nations money is ‘worth’ more than another’s. And IMO Japanese or US money is worth less than say, Russian or German money. So I’m willing to throw away a few more units of either of the former if it costs the latter more. The US and Japan tend to have an ‘overhead’ cost of delivering money to the right places to make a difference which makes their money more ‘expendable’.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Sometimes I agree.  For instance, liberating Manchuria with 1 Russian infantry.  You don’t really expect it to be liberated on China’s turn, but you do force Japan to use a transport and two ground units at least trying to take it back! (And they might fail!)

    But in some cases, like the Karelia attack, the cost / benefit review shows how incredibly beneficial that attack is to Germany! (One territory is worth a shift of 13 IPC and Russia pretty much has to try and liberate it.)

    The three country hit on the border is harder, but the risks are higher (+24 IPC) of course that averages to only +8 per nation.

    Then there is the Egypt attack, it costs you money even if you win, but you need to do something to give Italy a chance at that NO.

  • German Attack plan Z: Peace in the west

    Development: none
    Purchase new units: 2 subs, 1 Bomber, 1 Inf, 1 Art
    Combat moves:

    Attack on UK BB and Transport in Sz 2 Bomber from Germany, Fighter from Norway, Sub from Sz 7
    Attack on UK Destr in Sz 6 Cruiser from Sz5, Fighter form Poland
    Attack on UK Cruiser and Destr in Sz 12 Fighter from Ger, Fighter from Northw., Sub from Sz 7
    Attack on Egypt move Transport to Sz 15 1 Tank 1 Inf France, 1 Tank 1 Art 1 Inf Libya
    Attack on Baltic States
    Attack on East Poland
    Attack on Ukraine

    Noncombat moves:
    2 Fighters land in France, 1 Fighter lands in Moroco, 1 Fighter 1 Bomber land in Norway
    some minor force redeployment in Europe

    Disadvantages: Fighter in Moroco out of combat range to russia; little reinforcements for the russian front, Egypt not conquered.
    Advantages: UK out of european waters, german air force remains extremely strong, italian navy save

  • @Count_Zeppelin:

    Noncombat moves:
    1 Fighter 1 Bomber land in Norway

    Do you leave any inf with those planes?

    UK could attack with 2 ftr, bmr on those units.
    I know I would if I were UK

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    I’d work under the assumption that he has at least the 2 infantry that start in Norway.

  • With that start I would hit Algeria with my US trans to take down your fighter, then as UK build an IC on South Africa and bombers relying on SBRs to weaken Germany and wait for the opportune moment to sink your subs with my DD/planes and/or your Italian fleet (when you hit caucus).  With that build Russia will live at least to round 4-5 as you have no early reinforcements.  I’d also counter Ukraine and hit Finland if I could with Russia, stack Bury and seed atleast 4 inf to china, with an armor or two to follow on the next round. With a 6 armor buy and 7+ inf and an art stacked on belo I should threaten your German forces on my border. I’d probably build a fighter each round for UK as well for when I decide to drop a fleet if you kept building air.

    I hate to say it but any build that doesn’t send at least 5 units at Russia on turn one is gonna hurt Germany in turn 2-4 or let Russia punish Japan a bit on the mainland.

    Another thing Russia could do is send up to 6! inf (not that I would use 6) into Persia to take Trans-Jordan on turn 2 to let a UK bomber build crush the Italian fleet, or reinforce India.

  • I played a game last night on the '41 Scenario and some very interesting things happened. First off, the player who was Germany turned out to be a particularly bold player and on G1 launched a seaborne invasion of Karelia, aided by the units from Finland, and some planes, and at the same time attacked Eastern Poland and Ukraine with everything he could gather up. Needless to say, all these battles worked wonderfully, though the Russians did score some hits. So at a stroke, before the game even really began, Russia was in a perilous position. At the same time, he bombed me (U.K.) to score a 5 on my factory right away, and then sank my ships in the Canadian waters. After shipping the 2 infantry from France to Africa, and replacing them with 2 infantry from Germany, their turn was over. Then came some serious nail-biting for the Russian player, on R1 things looked like they were going up for them, as their counterattack from Archangel and Belorussia managed to retake Karelia without much loss, then the Russian player reinforced the Far East, and shifted troops from Eastern Ukraine to Belorussia, and then from Caucasus to Eastern Ukraine, and placed most of their forces in the Caucasus, while unfortunately leaving the Baltic States wide open, as they used the infantry there for the attack on Karelia. On Italy’s turn the Italian player, decided to leave Africa for the time being (which allowed me to gather troops from Trans-Jordan and South Africa, which by my third turn had successfully drove the Axis out of Africa) and land one infantry and one artillery in Ukraine. Then on G2, the German player moved units up and garrisoned the Baltic States strongly. Then on R2, the Russian player decided to launch a grand offensive across the whole front, to retake their lands. It turned out to be way to pre-mature, and the Russian player lost around ten units, to the German players loss of two. It was all over after that, by G4 Moscow was in German hands, and despite the fact that I took advantage of the Axis Pre-occupation in Russia, to drive them from Africa, scour the seas of German ships and sink most of Italy’s fleet, and the fact that the U.S. and Japanese players had a naval showdown (at where else but the water around Midway), which the Americans decisively won, most players wished to end the game right there, as Russia was down for the count, and Germany was now virtually unstoppable on land, so we (the Allies) reluctantly threw in the towel. So I say that a German strategy of attacking boldly and swiftly on turn one, and consolidating their gains on turn two works quite well, though perhaps just because the Russian player bungled everything to quickly, or was just unlucky.

  • The big problem for G1 is that you need the Bomber to be in 2 places at the same time, because both Egypt and the SZ#2 BB & TR are very important.

    What is the solution?  Why Long Range Aircraft, of course!  :-D

    If you are playing with techs, I would probably purchase 1-3 research tokens on the first turn on the off chance of getting Long Range, because, with Long Range, I can probably take out the entire Allied Atlantic fleet!  If I got a tech, but not Long Range, my moves would be changed accordingly.

    No, seriously.  I know that going for tech is very chancy, so I don’t assume that I will get Long Range.  It is nice when it happens though.  I have played Germany a couple of times and have gotten Long Range on the first turn before.

    So, assuming that I didn’t get Long Range, or another tech which would alter my first turn move, I have to say that I believe that the following moves are the best for G1.

    Purchase units phase:
    Assuming that I spent 10 for Research Tokens, my G1 buy would be 7 Inf, although I might buy 3 Inf and 1 Bomber instead if I feel like it.

    Attack phase:

    1. SZ#9  Attack UK Destroyer and Transport with 2 Subs from SZ#7.

    2. SZ#6  Attack UK Destroyer with Cruiser and Sub from SZ#5.

    3. SZ#12  Attack UK Cruiser and Destroyer with 3 Fighters. (Norway, Northwestern Europe, and Germany)

    4. Egypt Attack 2 Inf, 1 Art, 1 Arm, & 1 Fighter with 2 Inf, 1 Art, 2 Arm, and 1 Bomber.  Attack with the Libian army(1 Inf, 1 Art, & 1 Arm), 1 Infantry and 1 Tank from France on the SZ#13 Transport, and the Bomber.  (I changed using the Infantry from Morocco-Algeria to using one from France, because the Fighter(s) landing there need a little support defense-wise, but if anyone is worried about losing France on UK1, then just use the Morocco-Algeria INF rather than the French one.)

    The above moves, I feel very good about, but the following moves, I may tweak just a little more.

    1. Baltic States(3 Inf)  Attack with 2 Inf, 1 Art and 1 Fighter (the one from Poland).

    2. E Poland(2 Inf)  Attack with 2 Inf and 1 Art.

    3. Ukraine(2 Inf)  Attack with 2 Inf and 6 Arm.

    (You can switch the units attacking E Poland and Ukraine.  I still haven’t decided which I like best, the central location of E. Poland or the pressure on Caucaus of Ukraine.  Because of the non-combat move to Finland, to put pressure on Karelia, I am leaning toward my current move setup which will probably stress Russia out over worries of first Italy, and then Germany nailing Caucaus.  Depending on what Russia does, Germany may move those Tanks back to E. Poland or to Baltic States on G2.)


    Move 2 Inf from Norway to Finland and 1 Inf / 1 Arm from Poland to Finland on SZ#5 Transport.  (Yes, I realize that I’m leaving this Transport wide open, but, it may force UK to split his attack, and since the German Baltic fleet is a joke anyway, I figure, why not?)

    Move 1 Inf from Northwest Europe, 3 Inf from Germany, and 1 AA gun to France.

    Land 2 Fighters on France.  (At least 1 should have surrvived the SZ#12 Battle.)
              (This will leave a total of 5 Inf, 2 Fighters, and 1 AA gun to defend France against the maximum of
              1 Inf, 1 Arm, 2 Fighters, 1 Bomber, and 1 BB Shore Bombard.)

    Land any other remaining Fighters (if any) from the SZ#12 battle on Algeria.

    Let me know what y’all think.

  • I’m not really sure its ever a good idea to let the Brit BB live on turn 1. It probably the only time you’ll be able to catch it alone. Killing the TR with it is just icing on the cake. It will require at least one of your planes however (and the 2 subs). But I’d rather leave the DD/TR alone than the BB/TR. 27 IPCs is too tasty to leave floating around. :)

  • Joe,

    I agree that the BB is a very tempting target, but one must decide which is more important, taking Egypt, or taking out the BB, because you can’t do both very well.  I am assuming that destroying the UK SZ#12 navy is an absolute priority so as to keep the Italian navy afloat.  I mean, if the Italian navy is destroyed first turn, then Italy is just about sidelined for the rest of the game.  I feel that helping Italy collect 20+ IPCs on the first turn is more important than taking out the BB.  If I’m that worried about it, then I can just build a Bomber or 2-3 Subs on the first turn to force UK to either invest in a larger navy or to hold the BB out of range.

    Because of this thinking, it seems that taking Egypt is more important than taking out the BB.

  • If you are willing to accept a lower odds attack, you can still shoot for both. Assuming saving the Italian fleet is a primary goal, even if a few battles go against you, you should still do enough damage to prevent their destruction.

    Send 2 subs + plane from Norway to Sz2 to kill the BB/TR. Thats 2 First Strike 2’s and a 3. That should be enough to get the job done, although it does occasionally cost you the plane as well.

    Send 1 plane and the sub from Baltic to kill the DD east of England.

    Send 2 planes (France and Germany) to hit the DD/CA off Gibraltar. This is the risky one. A trade is acceptable since it saves the Italians. But even if you roll poorly, you should at least sink the DD which should be enough to save the Italians.

    Send bomber and the ‘usual suspects’ to hit Egypt. This is also an opportunity to save the Italians by killing the plane. This battle often results in all English forces destroyed and the German bomber landing in Libya (which is quite acceptable - Italy gets Egypt and saves her fleet).

    Obviously if you get zapped by the dice you are going to be in some hurt, but IMO the payoff of killing the BB and still hitting Egypt is worth the risk to the 2 fighters off Gibraltar. And honestly in a competitive game, there are going to be plenty of battles where you have to rely on making the odds and not getting zapped.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    I would not use any of Germany’s starting money on technologies.  It’s too risky and you need equipment moving into Moscow.

    However, I would say hit SZ 2 and Karelia hard.  (Inf, Art, 2 Arm in Karelia, SZ 2 cleared, 4 Inf, 4 fig, bmb, AA gun in Norway)

    Attack Egypt with 2 Inf, Art, 2 Arm, retreat an Inf/Arm to Libya if round 1 goes bad, or press and hope to take out the fighter.

    England’s going to have some MAJOR league headaches.  They CAN attack Italy with Destroyer, Cruiser, Bomber (possible Fighter from Egypt) but that’s not stellar odds either.  WITH the Fighter from Egypt, you’re looking at 50% odds to survive with just your bomber.  Without the Fighter, they drop to 16% and odds of Italy surviving goes up from 35% to 75%.

    Even if you do sink the SZ 14 fleet, life is not over for Italy.

  • Forgive me if I’m wrong but if you use 2 inf 1 rt and 2 arm into Egypt does this not count as an amphib assualt and you can’t retreat?

  • The 1 infantry 1 artillery and 1 armor that came from Libya can retreat. Only the infantry and armor from France must fight to the death.

  • Sounds to me that the tricky person can just choose the losses from the amphib assualt, although this would be counter intuitive losing a arm before an inf and art.

  • It is the proper choice to make if the first round goes badly and why Egypt without the bomber is not as big a deal as some here would proclaim.

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