German Naval Strategy



  • This is  an answer to the questions posed in the Japan 1 thread which was getting way off topic.

    So far in AA50-42 I have found the best answer for the Axis is to keep and maintain a German Navy. If Russia does not attack SZ5 with its air assets round 1, consider purchasing 1 transport, 1 carrier, 4 infantry, and 1 artillery. If Russia does attack SZ5 Germany can purchase 1 transport, 2 destroyers, and 1 carrier.

    After round 1 Germany should have at a minimum 50 IPCs. I do not see Germany having much problem spending 20-30 IPCs a round on navy rounds 2 and 3 if need be with the income they should be making. This fleet should be built up to at least 3 transports as a credible treat to England and a solid means of reinforcing Karelia. By threatening England quickly in this manner it absolutely stops them cold. They can not afford to contest Africa and purchasing a UK Navy becomes problematic as they must maintain defensive forces in England. If the US tries to help that simply will free up Japan to take Africa, or threaten the US.

    Zhukov wanted a link to this in use.

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=15633.0

    This game is between me and Emperor Mollari, It is his first time as Allied in AA5042 and my first time playing Axis in almost 1 year. So it may appear rough but I think by pursuing a Baltic Fleet this version becomes so out of balance in the Axis’s favor it is not funny.



  • I’m assuming +NOs, or else Germany will have problems reaching 50 ipc….
    I’m also assuming regular dice, not LL, b/c in a 42 LL setup Russia can do a perfect strafe R1 and retreat all of it’s armor.

    In AA50 42 as with 41, axis have an advantage. A bid is needed, as in 41. How high is uncertain, b/c we have much less experience in the 42 setup compared to 41.
    When knowing that axis are favored before the game starts, I would not be surprised if Germany can manage to keep a fleet alive for a few rnds, w/o Russian forces overwhelming the eastern front.
    This does not alter the fact that for Germany it is most efficient to buy mostly ground troops, and maybe a few air units, if the axis player wants to win the game as fast as possible.
    I have not played many 42 games yet, but more than enough to know that an allied bid is needed.

    This discussion can be compared to a kjf discussion in Revised, in a no bid game…

    Edit: when do you reckon the German navy will be sunk?



  • Yes you are correct, NOs and standard dice Subotai but I will disagree with 41 needing a bid. So far stats have shown it to be balanced. As far as 42 I have not formed an opinion yet but I am leaning towards it needing a bid or Dardanelles closed perhaps.

    As far as the lifespan of the German Navy that depends. If the Allies go all out perhaps as early as turn 5, but I feel this will leave the Allies in horrible shape globally. Africa will be Italian or Japanese, Japan will be either coming hard after Russia or attacking the US. Keep in mind that this fleet is allowing Germany to put some heavy ground pressure on Russia in the form of troops being landed from Germany to Karelia every turn, in addition to what is built there. While the southern Eastern Front may get thin, Russia can not take advantage of this as it is having to defend against Germany in the north. Also even if the Allies eliminate this fleet in say turn 5, Japan has had the time it needs to start pressuring Russia and Germany can switch from offense to defense.

    Keep in mind as well that Germany is adding to this fleet every turn until it is obviously out gunned by the Allies. At 50 IPCs Germany can dump 30 or so IPCs a turn if they feel like it and still out produce Russia in land units. Naturally when it appears the fleet will no longer be able to be maintained it is time to retreat all aircraft from it so they are not sacrificed.

    The German fleet does many things that need to be considered.

    1. Allows immediate movement of infantry from Germany to Karelia for trading or capture and hold.

    2. Keeps Norway and Finland secure.

    3. Threatens England and forces them to defend England instead of contesting Africa.

    4. Forces the Allies (US and UK) to respond to its presence.

    5. By quickly placing troops on Moscow’s doorstep it allows Japan time to get mobilized at which time Germany can go defensive if need be.

    6. Protects the Italian fleet.

    I am not saying that this is the ultimate sure to win every game in 42 strategy. It is however a strategy that can put the Allies in what so far looks to me to be a very bad situation.


  • '16 '15 '10

    I’m skeptical on the Baltic fleet.  Do you have an example of a game where the Allies respond with mass air purchases?  Your opponent bought 1 bomber Uk1 and no air USA1.  If Allies respond like this, then sure the German naval strategy could work–it might even thrive the entire game.

    If you play TripleA I’d be happy to demonstrate what I’m getting at, but without a bid (from my very limited experience I’m thinking the Allies need at least 8, perhaps much more) just about any Axis strategy tends to be a good bet as long as its well executed.  A real virtue in this naval tactic is it would probably distract the Americans long enough for Japan to get beefy.

    Re. AA41 bid debates, I’m amazed that the stats here show parity in Axis/Allies wins.  My best guess at explaining this is 1) good players win w/o bids 2) tech games tend to help Allies since Allies can convert their early economic advan into a tech advan.  On the TripleA server, the bid is pretty static at 6-10, tech or no tech.



  • Sorry Zhukov44 I only play here with Abattlemap or face to face. I never have cared for TripleA. Any other examples I would have of this would be from almost a year ago and I don’t feel like digging for those. My recommendation would be to try it for yourself. So you might lose a game of Axis and Allies, it is not the end of the world.

    As far as an Allied air heavy response I would not be overly concerned as the Axis. I would still have the benefit of forcing the Allies to respond to MY moves, a few turns of holding Norway and Finland, a heavy presence in northern Europe, and some time for Japan to get established.

    I think in some ways this is similar to an Axis SBR campaign in Revised that it changes so much of the game that it really should be played to be experienced as all the changes from a normal game make visualization difficult. Again why not test it yourself.



  • Indeed naval Germany is a option, and a strong one. If is the best option, still undecided

    For contesting Africa, the only way I see against a naval Germany is SAF IC. However, only if Germany doesn’t spent too much in navy. More than a couple of boats or so each round and you could lose the Atlantic if go SAF IC, but if not, there is no way of holding Africa, and then axis will win by economic pressure. I’m still puzzled with the doubt

    Another question is that India IC is probably a must in this scenario if you don’t want see a quickest defeat than in 1941. I wonder if that IC should be there at starting setup

    Another thing that annoys me is Karelia IC: usually germans take and hold it very soon, it would be better for allies it that IC doesn’t exist or being at Novo instead (after all, soviets moved their industry east of Urals, I don’t know why the IC is still at Karelia)


  • '16 '15 '10

    Well I apologize if I came off as snarky AA44 lol.  But I think the Allies have no business tolerating this fleet’s existence, so at least 1 (if not preferably both) needs to go all air.  Allies need an Arch shuck (if not a Karelia shuck) and the ability to threaten France, and the Baltic fleet hampers these objectives.  The reason I would be reluctant to play the Baltic AC is I’d hate to be putting down 32-36$ a turn on Baltic boats while the Allies build up a plane stack that can SBR me and go after auxiliary targets.

    I guess the other possible reaction would be to follow Func’s reasoning and abandon the North Atlantic to the Krauts and focus on mainland factories in India/Africa, buying nothing but armor/air and inf to protect UK…this sounds like fun but it doesn’t solve the problem of the massive income disparity between Germany/Russia…for this to work British tanks will need to arrive in Russia to help out.

    Anyway more testing is necessary before conclusions can be made–I’ll take up your advice!  I would try to play here on the forums but since my laptop died I can’t install Battlemap on my desktop…for whatever reason the installer aborts the install each time I try…frustrating!



  • I wanted to point at the LL/dice issue when mentioning balance, b/c LL favors the attacker. In 42 it is Japan, then Russia and Germany, different from 41. In 42 axis will not profit on LL to the same extent as in 41. Playing allies in 42 with regular dice, a nightmare in R1, imo. Still I don’t think that the bid needed is higher than 9-10.

    If a German naval build is finally a good strat in an A&A game we cannot conclude yet, we haven’t played enough games. My instinct says no, b/c it has been this way in Classic, Revised, AA50-41, and AA42.



  • @Subotai:

    I wanted to point at the LL/dice issue when mentioning balance, b/c LL favors the attacker.

    LL is not relevant for balance issues because it alters the whole game dinamic AND it’s a house rule. Also, you cannot say we played more AA42 games than AA50-42 gamesc … after all Threevised was released after anniversary  :roll:

    I have played 3 games PBEM against a good opponent and get toasted the three agains german naval strat. I have played tons of games FTF against a patetic german player and still I struggle to win (about a 50% of victories) as allies 1942 scenario while as axis we never losed a single game unless that player was also axis. And you cannot figure how patetic is my FTF rival even after 4 years of playing

    EDIT: and lately in FTF we are playing with a boosted China and still is not enough  😛


  • '16 '15 '10

    With regard to Baltic fleets and previous versions, it’s my opinion that in Revised, a Baltic AC plus fleet combine is a better strategy than an all land strategy if one is playing a novice-intermediate player (and sometimes buying 3-5 transports is better than the AC).  That is, less experienced players don’t know how to deal with it, and either overreact or leave themselves exposed.  However, you don’t see the Baltic AC as much in advanced-expert games.  But it is still a strong enough strategy that some experts use it as their base Axis game, and as I understand it from reading some old threads here, for a while the Baltic AC was considered a necessity among Revised players.

    Naval strats like the Baltic AC work in Revised because transports are excellent multi-purpose units–they threaten landings and they are great naval fodder.  But it’s precisely the change in how transports work that make naval strategies tougher in AA50 and AA42.  The purpose of the Baltic fleet ought to be enabling Germany to use transports to dominate the Baltic and the North Sea…to easily get units to Karelia and Scandanavia etc…but the more Germany invests in transports, the more it is tied to defending this investment at all cost.

    I would think the new and improved sub is the most interesting naval unit for Germany.  Inventing new sub strategies is going to be fun.  The other day I was playing a AA42 and my oppo built a Black Sea sub R1…an excellent idea it turns out!  Subs tend to surprise me all the time…it’s hard to break out of the Revised habit of never buying destroyers but buy them I must.


  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @a44bigdog:

    Keep in mind as well that Germany is adding to this fleet every turn until it is obviously out gunned by the Allies. At 50 IPCs Germany can dump 30 or so IPCs a turn if they feel like it and still out produce Russia in land units. Naturally when it appears the fleet will no longer be able to be maintained it is time to retreat all aircraft from it so they are not sacrificed.

    The German fleet does many things that need to be considered.

    1. Allows immediate movement of infantry from Germany to Karelia for trading or capture and hold.

    2. Keeps Norway and Finland secure.

    3. Threatens England and forces them to defend England instead of contesting Africa.

    4. Forces the Allies (US and UK) to respond to its presence.

    5. By quickly placing troops on Moscow’s doorstep it allows Japan time to get mobilized at which time Germany can go defensive if need be.

    6. Protects the Italian fleet.

    I am not saying that this is the ultimate sure to win every game in 42 strategy. It is however a strategy that can put the Allies in what so far looks to me to be a very bad situation.

    I agree, bigdog.  I have reached precisely the same conclusions from my play experience.  If the fleet is abandoned, Germany will have a nightmare, being surrounded by allied fleets all around Europe.  Losing Norway and Finland means Russia is one TT from the feared 10 NO.  I have found a German fleet is usually a great idea in AA50.



  • if you do what germany is supposed to do to the british fleet on g1 i like to build 4subs and one cv.that leaves the allies looking at 5subs 2 cruisers 1dd and 1tt.in sz5.how you like me now  :evil:



  • In a game with NO`s, a German Baltic fleet+IC in France=Total German domination  8-)


  • 2019 2018

    How is the French IC anything more than a huge target for the Allies?  The only scenario I can see where that would be beneficial is an all out KGBF strat.  Is that what you are using it for?  What about Russia during this strat?



  • @cond1024:

    How is the French IC anything more than a huge target for the Allies?  The only scenario I can see where that would be beneficial is an all out KGBF strat.  Is that what you are using it for?  What about Russia during this strat?

    If you build the IC in France as opposed to Poland, you get to produce twice as many units for the same initial investment of 15 IPCs.  So since the main German strategy is mostly to 1) pressure Russia while 2) surviving long enough for Japan to take out Russia, this allows Germany to do a better job of #2 as opposed to a #1 favoring Poland IC, while a France IC may still let Germany pressure Russia with extra troops regardless.



  • My gaming circle has found no need for a bid system or any other revisions for '42, yet our games tend to favor neither side consistently. Using air in R1  to take out the Baltic fleet (too risky IMO) typically results in GER buying boats anyway, so RUS tends to focus on beating back GER on the front lines while it builds in preparation for pressure from JAP.

    GER can clearly outproduce UK early, and thus amass a pretty healthy fleet before UK can get enough boats in the water to challenge it. In our experiences, the success of the G1 attacks on UK boats is critical. If the UK battleship survives, it is a nice centerpiece to build a fleet around. If, as usually happens in our games, UK is left only with the transport and cruiser in sz1, the GER fleet has the chance to exert great pressure on any UK fleet builds, protect Fra, and keep troops moving to Kar. Bad news for the allies, especially if an IC goes into Fra and the GER fleet can sail out to sz7.

    A possible counter to this is to build 2 bombers in UK1 while waiting for the US bombers to arrive. That would mean in y2 the US and UK could have a combined 3 ftr and 6 bombers, plus any remaining boats, to harass the GER fleet. Additionally, UK and US can SBR GER relentlessly and annihilate the ITA fleet if the attack on the GER fleet doesn’t bode well.


  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    Good post, natures.

    Fairly consistent with my experience and observations.  People who say Germany doesn’t buy fleet and shouldn’t buy a complex in France are still stuck on their strategies from previous incarnations of A&A, I think.  As you said, with Germany outproducing UK early (53 to 35 or something) and wiping out most of UK’s boats on G1, it makes sense to build a transport or two or three early, and with 3-4 transports, move major ground units (I usually move infantry and artillery only - let the tanks drive their way) to Karelia.

    Well, bigdog’s post pretty much sets out the main bullet points for why a significant German fleet is very important.  I’m playing a game now where the Axis player did not buy any boats with Germany, and I destroyed them.  It was a huge boon to the Allies, that Germany did not buy any boats.  The old days of 24 IPC 1 hit battleships, 16 or 18 IPC carriers, and 12 IPC destroyers and total income of around 40 are over.  It’s a whole new world in AA50, and at long last, fleets with varied naval units are a normal part of the game - yay!  (Not to mention, improved shipyards)



  • Love the strat on german navy. Having a big game tomorrow nite. will follow it and see how it pans out.
    Watch this space for a full write up.



  • Turn 1 buy for Germany: 1 carrier, 1 transport, 2 tanks, and 2 infantry.  Gives Germany a mobile amphibious attack force that dominates the Baltic.


  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @Upside-down_Turtle:

    Turn 1 buy for Germany: 1 carrier, 1 transport, 2 tanks, and 2 infantry.  Gives Germany a mobile amphibious attack force that dominates the Baltic.

    I agree - that is a good buy.  I usually play with tech, so buy at least 1 less tank than that - a first round tech can be devastating!


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