How to hold off UK?

  • I’ve read from quite a few people that Axis wins a majority of the time in 41’.  This is quite the opposite in my group and my question is, how does Germany hold off the UK while still pushing into Moscow?

    Are the Germans supposed to let UK have NWE and FRA until they can take Moscow and then shift their eye back to western europe?  Italy can kick UK out of FRA once, but it can’t produce at nearly the rate of the UK (or have enough units to take Africa), especially if US throws a few units over as well.

    The mix of amphibs, bombards, and SBRs from UK just seems a little too much to ignore.  However, taking 1 turn off of pressure to Moscow seems to let mother russia build a few too many meat shields to overrun.

    Any suggestions?  Builds?  Thanks!

  • There is really no exact build for any situation but IMHO the best way to keep the UK at bay is to remember to send a couple of infantry to support your western beaches every turn or so, in order to prevent a full on amphibious assault. If the Allies take either, FRA or NWE you’d better send tanks that way to clear 'em out, but if they take Norway you can either ignore it or take it after you take Leningrad.

  • i would always leave nwe empty, and france fortiefied. with NOs france is the biggest territory on the map. AA gun helps. luftwaffe essential 🙂

  • Well, in my experiance ( as every game is like a change of the weather ) and I’m playing Germany in your example, I would keep Germany built up with land units with on the French coast’s solid, and keeping a Bombarbment happening a slim damage to your land forces. I would also make sure I save up enough to buy a good few bombers and fighters to attack UK boats ( or us if they come round ), it’s then impossible for UK to start building new boats cos they’ll get ( presumingly ) bombed by your planes.
    Italy with low income, can be a good back up for keeping France occupied with land units of a tank or infantry or to push in towards Germany, or German forces on the Russian line.

    That’s my options, but everyone has there own strategy, it’s the luck of the dice like always in this game and the minds of your friends playing the enemy

    :evil: 😄

  • At all costs keep the UK, and the USA for that matter, out of the Med!!

    One game we had involved Italy building another BB and building 2 cruisers in order to do so; and taking Gibraltar with German help!

    Italy has got to keep their income up and that means controlling the Med.

    Egypt can wait.

  • Ya, med is key… I’ve also since been building a bomber per turn.  If there are no boats in the water, I just bombard moscow and uk or help with an assault.

  • @atarihuana:

    …luftwaffe essential 🙂

    If UK get too bold with their fleetbuild (to many transports compared to their fleet defence) i would dedicate an entire german rounds build to fighters and/or bombers (what ever works best with cash and current techs) and bomb the shit out of the UK fleet and all their transports so that all their progress on naval would be lost, and because of their likely decrease in IPC to mid-20s they will have very difficult rebuilding the navy compared to how fast germany could smash it all againg. For germany to be in front with this idea, I would recomend to build at least 1 plane each round and at least two if germany has more than 50 ipc a round. mix up the types of planes so you can use some fighters for good defence in france and bombers for long range action. Besides heavy bombers, long range aircraft would be the best tech you could get in this situation (and very likely also in most ofther situations)

  • I played 2 games this weekend and had great luck with an all navy build for Germany round one and an all fighter build round two and from that point on I was able to keep steady pressure against Russia because I had total control of the Atlantic; thanks to a round 3 total/all out attack against the UK and US fleet that thought they could take France.  Yea, they landed in round 2 but I cut their fleet to nothing, lost 2 figs and kicked their units out of France with a small Italy attack followed by a German attack next round.  With no fleet it was a big time hard fight for them to come back since I still had a “huge” German fleet ruling the Atlantic!

    I don’t know if that would work real well every game, the guy playing Russia was pretty slow on the attack…”waiting for Germany to hit” instead of hitting Germany when they saw my round one all navy build. And the UK player had very little help from the US player due to that player’s lack of assembly like planning in getting their units over to Europe. And…UK did go with a few too many transports and not near enough surface war ships.

    One thing is for sure, with subs and transports not being able to be absorbed as hits by aircraft, fighters can be really effective against fleets in AA50.

    We also managed to decimate the US pacific fleets twice this night with nothing but carrier and island launched fighters; suffering very little loss to the Japanese air force. Some good luck with the dice was nice, but mostly the US and UK players felt they could hold off against attacking air units like they could in AAR (mistake).

    I really like the way the new rules take transports and subs out of air attacks against sea units.  Fighters are a lot more lethal and more cost effective in most cases since a lot of players still think that battleships are the way to go when it comes down to “strong fleets”.  The cruiser/destroyer combo is proving to be much more of an effective fleet “strengthener” than the battleships and fights are proving to be a “cheep” way to sink the (usually) more costly fleet units.  Besides, it’s sweet to see a “fleet” of battleships and carriers (and transports) go down to fighters!

  • Keep on the sea from turn 1.  I definitely find one of the most effective German strategies to keep the UK off of you would be, pound what’s in the Atlantic (clear SZ 12, sz 6, SZ 2 before UK goes), build a sub and a bomber turn 1, and your goal should be to clear the ATL of sea units, and patrol around the coast of the UK with submarines with a bomber or two in France.  Now, any ship that’s build in the UK should feel the heat of your subs and bombers (the cheapest and most effective way to sink ANY ships are sub/Bmb combos).  You keep the bmb that went into sz 2 (this means you didn’t go at Egypto but oh well) in Norway and the ftr went into that SZ as well… so they’re in range of the northern SZs.  hopefully your sub survived in SZ 6 so he can ship out next turn.

    The best part of this is, you didn’t spend two turns building no land units like builder_chris because if the Soviet player’s any good at all he should already have been on the doorstep of German territory with 0 land units heading toward him until right before turn 3.  The Soviets already have a large numerical advantage against the Germans in the inf dept… if he sees 0 land units the easy solution is 4 arm, 2 inf, 1 art or even 6 arm.  A second turn of no ground units would turn into the Sovs not only outnumbering the Germans, but give them a significant advantage in the offensive punch dept. too.  If you would like to build all sea and air v. me for two turns, by all means we can fire up a game of '41  :evil:.

    Now it doesn’t have to be a bomber AND a sub it can certainly be one or the other, but you’re still investing 13-25 first turn IPCs into the ground and you’re feeling pretty fine.

  • Ya, i agree… an all navy build would throw up the white flag if the russia player is any good.  I find it difficult to hold off the russian bear if you are diverting any funds to navy ('41).  At least with fighters and bombers you can use them to defend or sbr russia while simultaneously attacking sea units.  I guess the tipping point i’ve found is if Germany can either take and hold Kar or Italy can take Africa (which allows them to either defend seas or pound cauc).

    All in all, i’ve found a mix of fighters/bombers are best.  I tried to buy a carrier but the UK/US air blew it out of the water.

  • Has anyone tried a German all sub “fleet” to raid/control the Atlantic?

    Would it be worth it to build 6 subs and then race to the Atlantic and spread out the subs;  if UK and USA have few destroyers wouldn’t that be effective?

    All the subs within 1 or 2 szs of each other and mutually reinforcing each other and able to pick where they will attack esp against lone or non-destroyer escorted UK fleets?

  • @Constantinople:

    Would it be worth it to build 6 subs and then race to the Atlantic and spread out the subs;  if UK and USA have few destroyers wouldn’t that be effective?

    No  😄  :lol:  😛  :roll:

  • Yea, the subs are not as lethal as the rules make them sound like they are.  The lower cost is nice, but the minor rule changes and the lower cost is still not enough of an advantage to use an all sub fleet “defense”.

    MAYBE…and that’s a BIG MAYBE, if you had super subs and the cost was reduced with the tech…I forget which one it is…that reduces the cost of sea units…an all sub fleet might be worth it, but your talking lots of luck on the tech charts.

    My kid got that lucky and got super subs and that tech real early in one game when he was the Japanese and he bought a lot of subs.  It worked pretty well (so long as he got the attack on me).  It was like he had floating tanks.

  • as germany my builds generally go all infantry turn one, and all tanks turn two. that way i can send some more infantry to defend france and north-west europe on round two, and the rest can march towards moscow with the tanks

    also, i keep whatever fighters i have guarding the shoreline. build another one or two if you need them over the next few rounds.

    if you get a good attack in on the british navy on g1 then it cripples them for the next couple of turns, giving you time to send land forces to russia. try to use your airforce and subs on g1 against the british navy, instead of sending the planes to russia (as tempting as that is)

  • I am not convinced that building a german navy is that terrible an idea.  If germany can maintain a transport or two in the baltic that will seriously shorten the supply lines and makes russin defense of Leningrad difficult as well as keeping Britain concearned about a possible Sealion strategy.  I agree an al navy turn one spend maybe OTT but I can see a carrier with 2 existing fighters parked on it as a tempting possibility.

    The way I see it Britain cant effectively attack a reinforced baltic fleet turn 1.


  • if germany puts any transports in the Baltic, more  often than not they’ll be at the bottom of the ocean before you can even say SeaLion

  • IF Germany builds sea units in the Baltic’s…they must be surface war ships.

    With the new rules for subs and transports, those two units are completely useless to any kind of buildup in the Baltic’s and only a blind or really new player is going to let operation sea lion happen to them.

    A carrier and or a destroyer and or a cruiser make for good combos but it REALLY depends on the UK player’s experience.  Most “veteran” players can/will get rid of any German fleet builds pretty fast; its just a slowing action in most games…just a monkey wrench in the works from the standard “infantry build up” for Germany.

    SOME veteran players are surprised to see such a build up and it takes them a turn or two to decide how to get rid of it.

    If I’m not mistaken,  :? Rommel believed that the only way to stop an Allied invasion was at the “shore line” and other generals thought it was better to let them get on land and then kick them back into the sea with a counter attack.

    I personally like the idea of not letting them get past the shore line.  Sink their fleets and they cant get over the channel, out build them on the shore and they cant land enough units to take the shore line…but no matter what…don’t let the Allies get on to the shoreline and than plan to kick them back into the sea with a counter attack.  Just eh IPC gain alone is enough to encourage them to just keep hitting France…regardless of if they hold it or not.

    As usual the game is a kind of race to Moscow before the Allies put too much pressure on Germany from the Atlantic.  So again it’s a matter of the most “cost effective defense”.

    Infantry ARE the cheapest defensive units, but sometimes a strong offence can be ones best defense and with the reduced cost of sea units, the NOs and the new rules for subs and transports, all combine to make fleets much more vulnerable to air attacks and other fleet attacks and they are real vulnerable to air and fleet combo attacks.

    Just something to think about.

  • I agree with most of your points Chris.

    If germany has decided to build/maintain a baltic fleet they must build surface warships.  And I also agree Sea Lion is unlikely but it does become something the UK must protect themselves against - potentially diverting attention away from the UKs preferred strategy (whatever that may be).  Germanys income will grow dramatically while the UKs shrinks dramatically over the course of the game if Germany spends 10-15 income a turn to maintaining parity (focusing on defense) with British atlantic assets, they can still maintain an economic advantage over the USSR, while the UK must adjust to the possibility that a sea lion -might- occur.

    A determined British player might still be able to wipe out the fleet but it will be at significant cost - costs that by mid game the UK may have difficulty absorbing.  now if the US are determined to build an atlantic fleet then the equation changes somewhat…

    The virtue of an atlantic baltic fleet as I see it is the ability to transfer 2 units per transporter much closer to the -russian-front each turn, while adding a strategic threat that the UK has to concern themselves with.

    to be frank this is theorycraft I havent seen how it work in play, but I think its something I’d like to try one day.  (ideally not against people who I have told in advance I was gonna try it 😉

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    IMHO:  German navy is a waste except in the case of putting a destroyer in the water to negate a massive British Bombardment campaign.

    If you want to keep the Brits at bay, you’d be better off with fighters and bombers with a possible submarine or two (tops!) because the fighters and bombers can wage war against Russia in the final push, naval forces cannot. You are, after all, trying to take Moscow before Rome or Berlin fall, right?  You’re not going for London or Washington First, are you?

    Anyway, I have tried a submarine campaign with Germany, it took about 5 rounds before Russia was in Berlin.

  • i fought against a UK player who was so determined to SBR Germany (myself) and maintain its fleet (additional units every turn) that i managed to pull off a sealion with only one transport, and all of my luftwaffe (multiple bombers and many fighters)

    UK falling before Russia is always ammusing  😄

  • Two words - Luftwaffe.

    I’m totally cool with an invasion in France, Italy counters, Germany counters and blows the fleet to kingdom come with FIGs and BOMs.  I don’t worry about England too much, and in my games England is helping to keep that crazy wild Japan at bay.

  • Yes, I think it is very tricky. As USA and UK you may build 1+1 bomber per turn, bombing Germany to the stone age, while building up a strong fleet. Just the threat of a heavy invasion is enough to fortify France with Italian and German infantry and fighters.

    I tried to defend France hard with Italian and German inf. and fighters, and stand with nothing in NWE. Then I simply try to take NWE back with “enough troops” and the whole Luftwaffe. But it didn’t work the last time. When UK and USA goes Germany first, the key is to invade Russia quickly with Japan. (I was one turn to late, last time.)

    In my group, we think that Germany is really hard to play.

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