CSUB solution to the German Baltic Navy Problem; "the Un-Baltic"


  • This is a great article (sorry imho the only great one) posted by the guys at CSUB, so Im going to repost here.  Hopefully we can get a thread going about who has used it and to what effect. I for one am pretty curious as I think its a remarkably good idea.

    Paper Topic
    This analysis shows a method for utilizing the Baltic fleet by moving the fleet rather than buying more boats.
    _______________________________________________________

    Paper Summary
    Germany does not want to spend money in the water if it can be avoided (see Policy Paper 11 - Baltic I). This opening buys no boats but does buy one plane. Here is the rough sketch of the UnBaltic:

    Bid: Assume 1 unit in Libya, 1 in Belarus
    German Purchase: 1bmr 2tnk 5inf
    Combat:
    To Amphibious Gibraltar: 1inf 1tra 1btl 3ftr
    To Anglo: 1inf 1tnk 1bid 1ftr 1bmr
    In Europe: Attack whatever the Russians expose
    Non-Combat:
    To Z07: 1sub from Z08, 2sub 1tra 1des from Z05
    Keep 3inf 2TNK 4ftr in W. Europe.

    “But”, says you, “what about the UK fleet in the North Atlantic? What about the Mediterranean destroyer? What about Anglo? If I do this, I don’t FEEL strong. Am I strong?”
    Stop asking whiny questions and read the details.

    Details
    As we covered in the first Baltic Policy Paper, the Germans can’t spend a lot of money in the water and keep up with the Russians for very long. Previous analyses have looked at options to put a minimal investment in the water without diverting too much attention from the Russians. The UnBaltic is the logical extension of that concept. The option covered in this paper attempts to solve the problem of naval/Russian balance by buying a dual-use item that first serves in the water and then serves on land.

    The key concepts of this move are:
    Cascade dice failure risk (CDFR)
    A German United Fleet (GUF) – Covered in previous Policy Papers
    A Western Europe air base

    Let’s go through the details.

    Managing CDFR is the skill of identifying the small percentage outcomes which can have a large impact on the game and either avoiding those situations or forcing your opponent into those situations. When you are looking at the impact of luck, you have to keep in mind that the value of the battle is not just the value of the pieces involved. Sometimes a win or loss has a much greater strategic value than its tactical value. A simple example would be when you are trying to take territory to stop a tank blitz to your capital. Suppose the Russian player needs to simply kill one tank in West Russia and take the land to prevent an overwhelming column of tanks from attacking Moscow. If the Russian player sends 1inf and 1art to kill the lone tank, the Russian player is assuming a risk that goes well beyond the value of the units sent into combat.

    From a tactical point of view, the Russian player is risking $7 of gear and the German player is risking $5 of gear. But if the Russian player loses the battle, or simply fails to take the land, then the value of the battle is much greater than the cost of the gear because the Russian player now has to defend Moscow.

    In this instance of a battle in West Russia, the Russian player has a scenario that leads to disaster based on the outcome of just a couple of dice. The German player, on the other hand, really doesn’t have much at stake. So unlikely outcome can lead to a very costly Russian remedy while no outcome can lead to a German disaster. The idea that a small failure of dice can lead to a major strategic problem is called Cascade Dice Failure Risk. Managing CDFR means positioning yourself such that your opponent owns significant risk while you own minimal risk.

    If you consistently put your opponent in a position where he is vulnerable to CDFR, then in the long run it will win you games. Let’s go apply that to the water.
    As stated in the paper summary, the purchase for this move includes 1bmr. The naval moves are taking the Med Fleet to Gibraltar, and sending the Z08 sub as well as the Baltic Fleet to Z07. Z07 now has 1tra 3sub 1des, and the Brits have several options:

    1) Ignore the fleet
    2) Attack the fleet with air power only
    3) Attack the fleet with air power and their own fleet.

    If the Brits ignore the fleet then they are exposed to a fairly impressive naval attack. There are two boats off the coast of Gibraltar and there are five boats off the coast of France. Almost anything the Allies put in Z08 will be attacked by all the boats that can reach as well as all the planes. Since a second bomber was purchased, the maximum power would be seven boats and seven planes (assume a fighter used in Anglo could not attack Z08 the next round). Figure that the UK would buy 1car 1tra 2inf, that the US would move up 2tra 1des, and that the Russian sub would block the Med Fleet, and you’re left with this:

    Att: 1tra 3sub 1des 5ftr 2bmr = oPunch:32 oCount:12
    Def: 5tra 1des 1car 2ftr 1btl = dPunch:23 dCount:11

    The median outcome of that battle is four German planes flying away. The average economic benefit of that attack is $30 for the Germans, and most of the German losses were units of little to no value to the Germans. So ignoring the fleet with a defensive build is a bad move.
    Your other option for ignoring the fleet is to build your fleet in Z02. There is no risk in this move, but it does mean that the German fleet can slip into the Med. At that point the Med Fleet will become essentially unsinkable, and two transports will perpetually threaten Africa and the Caucasus. In addition, the Germans will have the option of pulling the fleet back out of the Med for a strike on Allied shipping.

    So ignoring the fleet is bad, how about attacking the boats with everything? The UK could send 2tra 1btl 2ftr 1bmr against 1tra 3sub 1des. Clearly that is a good fight for the UK, but it has some interesting risks. First off, if the UK gets two hits on the first round, the Germans will lose the transport and the destroyer and submerge the subs. Because you can’t retreat from submerged subs, the UK fleet will be pulled out of range of the American reinforcements. Assuming the Med Fleet is blocked, the UK fleet can now be hit by a max of 3subs 6ftr 2bmr. That means that if the UK wants to attack the Z07 fleet with its own fleet, the UK has to plan on buying a carrier the first round to reinforce the survivors of the naval attack. The Germans would have successfully forced a defensive naval purchase without buying any boats of their own.

    Now look at the CDFR implications. Suppose the UK attacks the Z07 fleet and takes three or more hits (this will happen a little more than 20% of the time). Now the German counterattack may be able to wipe out all of the British boats at very little cost to themselves, and the Germans will still have the Med Fleet. As far as risk to the Germans, they aren’t buying any navy, and they don’t particularly care about their starting boats. They are putting much more risk on the British than they are assuming for themselves. The Germans gain the advantage with this move in that they force a defensive naval purchase for the UK and they push the risk onto the British.

    What about the third option of an air-force-only attack on the boats? That is not a great fight for the UK. In the first place, in a fight to the death UK wins less than 51% of the battles. The attack is inherently risky. In second place, the normal attacker advantage of being able to call off the attack is largely negated by the presence of subs. If the battle is going well for the UK, the subs will submerge and could slip into the Med on the next round. Worse yet, if the UK bricks on the first round, suddenly the Germans could be in a dominant naval position (that happens 8.33% of the time). Notice the mounting CDFR opportunities in this battle. The UK would be unhappy both if they hit very heavy or if they hit very light.

    Is there any situation where the UK can push the CDFR back onto Germany? Not really. The UK could potentially set up a situation where the Germans are enticed into a naval attack with their air force that causes the Germans to lose many planes. But because the Germans don’t much care about the Baltic Navy in this gambit, it will be hard to push them into a position where they risk something they really care about.

    The UK player has a choice to make. He can:

    A) Expose himself to the dice (CDFR)
    B) Plan on making a defensive naval build to start the game or
    C) Allow the Baltic Fleet to slip away.

    The German player is probably fine with all three of these options, so the UK player should select the counter that best fits the rest of his opening.

    UnBaltic and The German bomber

    There are not many instances where Germany gets a second bomber on the board. The typical German player will make land-intensive purchases along with a small investment in the Baltic and perhaps in the Med. Since Germany is usually in a defensive position, an additional gray bomber is an unaffordable luxury. Because this scenario looks to punish sloppy or unlucky play in the water, however, buying a bomber makes sense. Once the water has been resolved one way or the other, the bomber still has a great deal of utility.

    Typically WEU becomes an air base for Germany. Swapping land with Russians often involves bouncing many fighters between WEU and KAR, and sending one bomber and ground troops to UKR/BAL/BEL. Having a second bomber means you can push infantry into swap zones with air support for each territory. Fighters still go to Karelia and one bomber can go to each of the other two typical swap zones. This will save logistical problems with fighters and prevents having to use artillery or tanks to take land.

    The second bomber also has an interesting impact on Allied shipping lanes. Having two bombers stationed in Western Europe can cause significant havoc for the Allies in setting up their early supply chain. The Germans may never actually attack in the water, but the Allied player will have to be careful with his capital ships to protect the western end of his supply chain. Unprotected transports in Z02 are quite exposed.

    Also, as the game reaches mid-to-late stages, the can-opener value of the bombers can be quite useful. The Germans may be able to open up a tank path to Moscow for the Japanese.

    Finally, having a second “4” throwing in a large land battle against the Russians is always nice. It’s not as nice as having three more tanks, mind you, but remember that the money you spent on the bomber was taken from the naval budget, not the ground budget. Instead of building transports or a carrier, you built a dual-use item.

    FAQ

    1. In the case of submerged subs in Z07, how about attacking them with an American bomber and an American fighter that lands on a carrier built in Z08?

    This is the type of move you would consider with a defensive-minded UK plan. It was left out of the main paper for the sake of simplicity because it is a bit more complicated than it looks at first. Consider the implication of three sub hits on the first round of the UK attack (1 in 27 chance). Two of the hits will remove boats, meaning you may not be able to just lose a UK fighter or bomber to absorb those hits. You also have to consider that the American Air Force may miss, and the subs will just re-submerge. And only in rare cases will the American kill more than one sub. CDFR is still significant problem.

    2. Why not do an UnBaltic opening that builds only ground troops?

    Without building the bomber, the Allies will be into Europe almost immediately. There certainly are variations of the UnBaltic opening that skip the bomber, but you will find that the Allies have a very rapid buildup in Europe. Buying the bomber manages to leverage your navy without spending money in the water. Even if it never attacks boats, the bomber will be useful in land battles, undoubtedly providing value every round.

    3. In the paper summary you specifically mention that you should have two tanks in Western Europe. Why?

    You have two transports available. If the UK loses their fighters and you keep your transports alive, you want to have the threat of invading London. The odds are very small that you would ever actually get to do the invasion, but you should at least threaten the invasion to force a response. Remember, you could have as much as 2inf 2tnk 5ftr 2bmr 1btl for the invasion. The chances of a viable invasion are small, but the prize is far too large to ignore the trivial setup necessary to maximize this opportunity. Make sure you are in a position to punish any mistakes or to capitalize on any bad dice. If it doesn’t cost you much, set up a CDFR possibility!

    4. Won’t the UK bomber and destroyer attack the German Med Fleet?

    Run that battle in the simulator and you’ll see that the battle is not very favorable for the UK. It is possible that the UK player would consider trying to battle for one round and then pulling off it goes badly, but under what circumstances is that the best use of the bomber? In almost every set up that bomber will be wanted for either Z07 or Anglo.

    5. The UnBaltic is essentially a defensive German opening, so why does the recommended buy include 2tnk?

    The full answer is too long to go into in this paper, but the short answer is that it has to do with a counter to the Russians. Buying 1bmr 8inf save $1 is fine, as is 1bmr 7inf 1art. It depends on your overall strategy for the Germans.

    Wrap Up
    The UnBaltic is not a crane-kick, but it does force some interesting choices on the British player. In some instances involving CDFR, the German player will gain a decisive early naval advantageat little cost to the ground game. And who doesn’t love having a second bomber?


    Version and Unresolved Issues
    1v0 Date: 1/8/2008
    Unresolved issues: NONE! //On a side note, rather than take the smug assuredness that their are ZERO zilch nada problems with this idea, how about we leave it to debate and good old rigorous experimentation??  I’m curious to see people’s takes on this one.


  • Personally I think its a very sound idea with definite implications for a solid German strategy.  It is by far WAY better than just leaving your fleet in the Baltic to eventually be destroyed in say, round three or so depending on allied builds, and it is a good way to attempt the fleet unification without actually building navy (a bad choice for Germany) and which cleverly forces the UK to choose one of several exploitable situations.

    How often have people here tried it?  Any problems or are there things you just prefer to do differently for whatever reason? I for one love the bomber build (I usually do it anyways) but this strategy really magnifies the possible usefullness of an extra bomber in the early game, where Germany really needs it most.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    There’s some flaws in it.

    1)  England can chose to retreat before your submarines can chose to submerge thus pulling out of the danger zone of SZ 7.

    2)  Germany has a steep cost in attacking the British fleet if they do stay, but even higher if they retreat and are joined by the Americans

    The ploy works splendidly against the unaware (both veteran and newb) but again, it doesn’t work often.  The best tactic so far has been to hit it with 2 fighters, bomber, battleship for one round and retreat.

    The other option that’s worked well is 2 fighters, bomber.  Attack, wait for defender to chose losses, if he sinks surface ships to keep the submarines (3) for an attack on SZ 8, just lose the bomber and keep your fleet in SZ 2.  Now it’s out of range of all those pesky fighters in W. Europe. (this assumes his destroyer hits.)


  • True they can pull out first, making it a bit more of a channel dash, but still isnt that better than just sitting around and waiting to die? ok you can get some use out of the tranny for a few turns in the baltic, but only moving two units at a time is limited.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    I came up with a slightly better solution, IMHO

    2 Submarines, Destroyer, Transport in SZ 7
    1 Submarine in SZ 8
    1 Battleship, 1 Transport in SZ 13

    This does a few things:

    1)  England cannot invade Algeria with the transport in SZ 2, nor use the Battleship there to assist. (Basically negates an attack on Algeria by England and American fighter reinforcement on their turn.)

    2)  The submarine in SZ 8 blocks the battleship from attacking, so no free hit for England

    3)  England now has to deal with the ramifications of leaving the SZ 5 fleet alone.  It would be bad if Germany had 2 submarines, battleship, 2 transports in the Med.  But attacking 2 Submarines, Transport, Destroyer with 2 Fighters, Bomber can be a very costly proposition for England as well (which is precisely why people stopped doing it, defender can just go Sub, Sub, Trn, DD and get, on average, two of your fighters for naval units they really didn’t need or expect to have long anyway.)


  • the posted strat is i think a very good one.  the only down side for germany is the small opportunity cost of the sub not partaking in gibralter or similar, and thus the risk of 1 german fighter loss (+ need to use fighters in gibralter fight, but that’s typical in any case).  You also lose the opportunity to ship ground forces to karelia, if that’s your plan one approach.

    In general, while this is a strategy i’d like against a very skilled opponent (for reasons argued in the article), the reasonable odds that the uk just hits the boats with planes and still manages to win makes it not my ideal strategy for most games.  That is, if I’m going for the atlantic contest I do tend tend to invest in a little extra hardware.

    I don’t play with bids and the bid is very helpful to this strategy, since you risk very little by not pitching in in egypt and thus can contest atlantic without needing to have a strong chance of winning.  Without bids, when I contest atlantic, it has to to be more cautious for germany becuase that’s central to the game.

    Anyway, if going for a KGF type game, I would probably have the uk attack, and build the carrier (assume the batleship survives the battle).  US air power can then hit sz 8 and hurt the subs and land both their plane and bomber successfully.  Retreating before submersion is another good option pointed out by Jen.  Alternatey since I usually do KJF I would probably ignore the fleet and take the chance to fly fighters and bomber towards asia, putting aside dealing with germany until later.

    amending it to have a sub in sz8 i think defeats the point – then the uk can attack the sz7 fleet with impunity (per typical sitting in baltic except the subs survive in a better spot) and the us air power can hit the remaining subs in sz 7 and the sub in sz8 with air power, at no risk.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    The loss of yet another fighter is a concern, but I think Germany can afford it.

    BTW, assuming no bid for Germany, Here’s my thoughts on it:

    1)  2 infantry, artillery, armor, fighter, bomber to Egypt
    2)  Battleship, transport to SZ 15
    3)  4 Fighters to SZ 13 (should be every last plane that is NOT going to Egypt you have left)
    4)  Possibly take Karelia and Liberate Ukraine (you;ll have to make that choice when you see the board.)

    NCM:

    Couple infantry from Norway to W. Europe
    Pull all the tanks and guys you can East ward
    Land the fighters in France (4 or 5 Infantry, 3 fighters, AA Gun should be enough to discourage an attack)
    Fleet from SZ 5 to SZ 7
    Submarine never left SZ 8, keep it there!

    Build: IMHO, 5 Infantry, 2 Armor, Bomber in Germany.  (Gives you 4 Fighters, 2 Bombers to attack SZ 7, 3 Fighters, 2 Bombers, 2 Submarines, Destroyer to attack SZ 8.)

    I am assuming you lose the fighter in Ukraine to Russia 1 and a Fighter to the Battleship in SZ 13. (67% chance he’ll hit one.)


  • the whole idea is progress in that at least it gives another look for the German navy.

    Often I think a number of players with UK are in the mode of attack attack attack or prep the convoy route.  You throw a bunch of German warships out into the Atlantic on Rd1 and some of those UK players are gonna double-take.  No carrier, no destroyer, what’s going on, and they built a plane–hahaha, they are so dead, and then they don’t adjust.

    Really I think there’s a lot of thought put into this plan and many players on the UK side are not going to take a good look at it until they have it go sidewise on them a time or two.  --They will not change their plans or way over-react, and yeah, either is probably fine with Germany.  They have opportunity to get some mileage out of the Baltic Fleet.

  • 2007 AAR League

    tbh thought this is a better move combined with a sub bid in sz8 abd killing the sz 2 navy.


  • @Cmdr:

    1)  2 infantry, artillery, armor, fighter, bomber to Egypt

    Why not attack Egypt without the fighter and add it to the SZ 15 attack? You should win Egypt with artillery and tank left in both cases, and the SZ battle seems much safer now…


  • @Nix:

    tbh thought this is a better move combined with a sub bid in sz8 abd killing the sz 2 navy.

    Ugh… that hurts …


  • If bid is Germany Submarine in Sea Zone 8, Anglo-Egypt battle lose.  United Kingdom gain advantage in Mediterranean that reverse Germany gain in Atlantic.  Germany then have 3 fleet to face:  United Kingdom Atlantic, United States Atlantic, United Kingdom Mediterranean.

    Bid better to Libya to make sure of Anglo-Egypt for this move.

  • 2007 AAR League

    @F6FHellcat:

    If bid is Germany Submarine in Sea Zone 8, Anglo-Egypt battle lose.  United Kingdom gain advantage in Mediterranean that reverse Germany gain in Atlantic.  Germany then have 3 fleet to face:  United Kingdom Atlantic, United States Atlantic, United Kingdom Mediterranean.

    Bid better to Libya to make sure of Anglo-Egypt for this move.

    Germany only needs to kill Egypt, and take it with 1 unit to prevent uk escape to miditeranian.

    Japan will take Africa from round 4 anyway.

    And UK will be sitting still on their island building expensive capital ships because they don´t dare move against the luftwaffe…

    And a attack on Baltic navy can go well or horriably wrong for uk, so the German possition is a strong one with such an act.


  • I think you not check odds in Anglo-Egypt with no Libya bid.  If Germany have both Balkan and Ukraine S.S.R. Fighter, Germany win Anglo-Egypt with Tank 97%.  Germany lose 1 Fighter or more 70% of time in fight.  If Germany lose Ukraine S.S.R. Fighter to Russia move, Germany take Anglo-Egypt only 81% with 1 Tank.  Germany lose Fighter 77% of time and Germany lose Fighter and Bomber 40% of time.

    Bid as Submarine in Sea Zone 8 not good change to Un-Baltic strategy.  Make cascade dice failure problem for Germany in Anglo-Egypt and lose aircraft that Germany need to make Sea Zone 7 threat strong.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    You wont have the Balkan and Ukrainian Fighter on Germany 1.  You’ll have the Balkan one, but not the Ukrainian one.

    Also, been thinking about it, and I’d rather have the fighter in Egypt than in SZ 15. Yes, the destroyer COULD kill the battleship and transport and even survive maybe and thus, kill Egypt, but those odds are really bad.  The odds that your armor are being driven by the boys sent to school with the football helmet (you know the ones that need to ride the short bus?) are incredibly higher than the destroyer winning in SZ 15 and thus, you’ll need the fighter for any hope of winning in Egypt.


  • yeah send the fighter as well to egypt.  You have more than enough firepower to take the gilbratar bb (its almost ímpossible to lose this fight, and incredibly bad odds you lose your bb), but you really need to take out the english in africa and do it convincingly, so that any attempt to retake egypt will be very costly and will completely drain english forces on the japanese front.  Ive had egypt go poorly enough times now to know better.

    Interesting idea on the sub in sz 8, jen.  Will have to look at my board some tomorrow, but I will say that I usually hope for a US invasion of algeria turn 1, especially with all my air sitting in strike range (this alone is usually enough deterent that US waits another round for more protection).  I will gladly lose a fighter in order to sink some of the US navy, especially those early trannies and a tasty destroyer.  Just delays them all that much longer, its a cost germany can afford, even if it means not using air to retake russian landgrabs on G2.

    As for the bid… hmm we never get to play with more than 7 as getting an extra boat can really change the game…  it might actually be worth it to weaken egypt attack if you can honestly sink all the UK navy on G1.  With two trannies surviving and ready for the med, africa should be retakable even if you lose egypt…  especially since germany could afford the units now that its going to be a few turns before the english even think of hitting norway. Hmm…  Oh well, not like I will ever get to play with an axis bid-boat anyhow. =P


  • With Sea Zone 14 Fleet to Sea Zone 13, no way to take Anglo-Egypt convincingly.  Even with 1 bid unit to Libya United Kingdom can retake Anglo-Egypt.

    Bid unit as Submarine to Sea Zone 8 make Un-Baltic not ideal.  Paper is better as written then with Submarine bid.

    Rule for strategy for all nation is check back door.  Un-Baltic with Submarine bid leave back door open to United Kingdom.

  • 2007 AAR League

    @F6FHellcat:

    With Sea Zone 14 Fleet to Sea Zone 13, no way to take Anglo-Egypt convincingly.  Even with 1 bid unit to Libya United Kingdom can retake Anglo-Egypt.

    Bid unit as Submarine to Sea Zone 8 make Un-Baltic not ideal.  Paper is better as written then with Submarine bid.

    Rule for strategy for all nation is check back door.  Un-Baltic with Submarine bid leave back door open to United Kingdom.

    not a problem.

    Germany can take Egypt with 1 arm most times when hitting it with 2 inf, 2 arm.

    Uk counterattack makes asia fall faster for Japan anyway.

    japan will be in africa by J4 (5 max)

    Germany will hit egypt G2 if needed.

    UK/us wont dare touch Algeria due to inferior fleet/air assets. making baltic fleet either getting hit by UK air with potentially disastrous result for uk as consequence.

  • Moderator

    The big issue with this is the Russians.  It was mentioned in the paper but I think it requires a bit more detail to understand the real threat Russia can bring.

    The first warning sign for Germany should be if Russia buys any arm on R1.  For example 3 inf, 3 arm (or 5/1/1) could provide a very aggressive R2.  You also could (and should) see UK coordination with Russia on UK 1, meaning the UK ftr to Cauc or Trj (dd to sz 14 to block amphib), or UK fleet stationed of Egy in Sz 34.  If Egy isn’t counquered on G1 (left open for UK) this is an absolute disaster for the Axis.

    Naval wise UK will go with the Defensive Navy (or strike Sz 7) option(s), possibly AC+DD buy with US reinforcements.  On Russia 2 they will stack Ukr heavy.  I prefer the R1 Wrus attack only (but will work with Wrus + Ukr - only bring 2 arm to ukr).  Now Germany is confronted with a major issue - they cannot strike both the UK fleet and Russian stack in Ukr.  At this point the Allied fleet is irrelevant to Germany b/c the Russian army is a direct threat on Berlin/SE on R3.  The UK dd can block an amphib on Egy so that leaves 1 inf, 1 rt (plus possible planes) to push out the UK in the Egy otherwise UK can hit Balk and open up a Russian blitz option.  This also weakens the potential air assualt on the Atlantic fleet or Ukr by Germany.  The UK also can just hit Balk with air only - ftr + bom (bom should be moved to Cauc on UK 1), letting Russia still have an option to blitz with up to 7 arm, 2 ftrs, if Berlin is open.  SE can also be open for the UK if Egy is not reclaimed and if the Ger BB/trn take out the DD in Sz 14 the UK can potentially sink those with air pending the rest of UKs round 1 moves.


  • not sure i follow you, darth… germany is opening itself up to the russians by spending all its money on non-ship purchases and landing fighters closer to the west coast?  or are you referring to laying out $15 for the bomber?  Russia can certainly be an aggressive factor in any game and i guess they can “force” germany to take the opportunity to crush their entire army by using heavy german air support against ukraine instead of taking out the uk fleet… but i think that’s a pretty good choice for germany to be making.

    Generally speaking, particularly if you don’t take out ukraine, I think germany is very well equipped in terms of manpower to face the russian front in this scenario.

  • Moderator

    My concern is the assumption that the aggressive German naval moves somehow put the Allies in a bunch of no-win situations.  It is certainly a viable strat but I think a good Russian player will stack Ukr with 15+ inf (give or take losses on R1), 2 rt, 7 arm, aa on R2 and have 4 more inf in Wrus and 4 inf in Cauc (from R2 purchase).

    Now Germany has 2 arm tied up in WE (can’t reach Ukr), so they have something like 9-11 inf, 1 rt, 7 arm (2 were bought) in range.  That requires Germany to bring in all 6 ftrs and 2 boms just to take.  They’ll end up clearing with about 3-5 units which are easily countered by Russia (if Ger sacked air to take with arm) and Germany is left with no offensive units and a short stack of inf.  The point is UK’s first turn isn’t altered that much.  They can even bait the German attack in Sz 8 saving the Russian stack for sure or UK does a more traditional naval buy (AC+trn) and swoops into WE once Ger sacks its airforce on Russia.  And this again can leave the UK with the canal open.  1 inf, 1 rt vs. 2 inf is a pretty even battle there assuming Ger planes are tied up in the Atlantic or Ukr.  And with the Canal open, UK can counter Ukr if Ger wins.

    @eumaies:

    not sure i follow you, darth… germany is opening itself up to the russians by spending all its money on non-ship purchases and landing fighters closer to the west coast?

    I think Germany always has to be concerned with this.  By going light in Egy and sending the trn/BB west you also lose the ability to help deter a Russian move to Ukr with 2 extra inf via trn and a BB shot, which would normally be available on G2 if you killed the UK dd on G1.

    I actually like the Unbaltic or a Channel dash if your intention is to leave WE empty and move everything East to put max pressure on Russia by either stacking Kar or Ukr heavy.  It takes away the threat to London, but to me that is an empty threat, so I tend to ignore that part of it and go straight for Russia.  This works particularly well if Russia goes Wrus + Ukr and gets hit hard with the dice.

  • 2007 AAR League

    2 arm tied up in WE

    if you kill Uk navy in sz2 there are no reason 2 arm should be in Wester europe thought.


  • Ok, I get your basic principle, but I’m not sure the numbers add up that way.

    the two tanks in western are less available, but no tank or artillery was taken from southern europe, so that’s one in its favor.

    Other than that, german needs to be equally cagey here but i think they’re ok.  If they take karelia with just norwegian troops, and russia musters the exact army you describe (all hit ukraine for maximum defense), germany ought to have anticipated this danger, left one guy in ukraine, and so have remaining and in range of ukraine:

    13 infantry, 2 artillery, 6 tanks, 6 fighters, 2 bombers, plus any tanks they built on turn 1 (this is an important aspect players often ignore when they build all infantry armies, the importance of viable threats).  So assume 2 (or 3) tanks added to that to make it 8 tanks.

    this has an overwhelming chance of victory, with a likelihood of clearing with most of the air force intact and 6-7 tanks alive (according to frood, and that’s without any unnecessary loss of airpower – which is always an option if you want to double down).  You’ve also captured an aa gun.  Russia can retake, but with appropriate difficulty.

    (Since the german is basically changing direction, the battleship and transport carrying an extra infantry, western europe tank, and bombard ability can also join in, making this a much bigger rout with 9 or 10 surviving german ground forces, a force that may not be worth attack-able for the russian)

    So i agree in this example UK wasn’t forced to make a really hard choice, but russia i think was.  Anytime germany can have a decisive battle reducing russia to (ultimately) just the few units they build new each turn I think it’s a good situation for the axis. Germany has the greater budget, and japan can have a bigger impact by rushing in even with limited numbers of troops supported by air, since russia has less flexibility to counter.  Russia is the power that the allies can least afford to have hanging by a thread, IMO.

    Anyway, all of this is to say I think russia can pretty much always force a big fight if they want to, and this strat doesn’t leave germany particularly weak since it doesn’t divert much cash.

  • Moderator

    @eumaies:

    Other than that, german needs to be equally cagey here but i think they’re ok.  If they take karelia with just norwegian troops, and russia musters the exact army you describe (all hit ukraine for maximum defense), germany ought to have anticipated this danger, left one guy in ukraine, and so have remaining and in range of ukraine:

    Very key phrase here.  As long as they do then you’re right they are fine and Russia won’t make the move to Ukr on R2.  But too often I’ve seen players over defend WE early, ie 3-4 inf, 2 arm or something similar.  And this can be costly against a well positioned and aggressive Russia.


  • yeah i agree.  i suppose players can be tempted to leave a stack infantry in ukraine thinking “infantry defend well, so why not use them” but german infantry in this case are too precious and the russian attacking stack too overwhelming.

    I think it’s pretty standard operating procedure on the german russian front, though, to just leave 1 guy in any square which you’re not defending in force (unless a big battle has already been fought and you’re trying to bleed the other player dry with too many targets).

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