Devastating Germany Strategy: 2 Aircraft Carriers in Round One

  • I want to talk about this particular scenario used against me in a friendly game recently.  My friend is playing Axis, I am playing Allies.

    His first round purchase for Germany is TWO aircraft carriers, one in the sea zone north of Germany, one in the sea zone south of Southern Europe.  Using the new rules… you can land aircraft on carriers that are not yet build yet… just make sure the fighters end up in the appropriate sea zones.  Using this strategy he had two big naval fleets at the end of his turn, each anchored by an aircraft carrier with two fighters.  This sounds like an insane first round as he bought no troops to counter Russia… but it proved impossible for me as The Allies to counter this enormous navy and I lost the game decisively.  Here is the brilliant bit behind this strategy:  those fleets mean that unlike earlier editions of A&A Germany, the Germans don’t lose any of their starting navy ships!  They can use these fleets quite effectively to keep the UK and US from (a) getting troops to Africa and (b) reinforcing Russia effectively.  One round’s purchase and suddenly it is Germany vs unsupported Russia.

    I can’t find a good Allies counter to it because of the changes in the new rules.  In the old A&A I had the option to just buy bombers and go for a Strategic Bombing strategy to weaken Germany and give Russia a chance.  Not so anymore.  Even if the factories in Germany and Southern Europe are bombed completely (-10 production in Germany and -6 production in Southern Europe)… Germany doesn’t HAVE to repair these factories.  In fact, assuming that Germany has an income of about 40-45 IPC (and since Allies are cut off from Africa this is an under-estimate)… Germany can spend 12 ISK (1/4 of it’s wealth) to repair Southern Europe’s factories every turn and just buy 6 tanks there each turn.  THIS IS AS WEAK AS GERMANY CAN BE MADE WITH STRATEGIC BOMBING.  Alternatively, they can avoid some of the effects of the strategic bombing by saving their money for a turn (no purchases) and then the next round they have 90IPC, repair Germany and Southern Europe (-32 IPC) and they have 58IPC for troops, tanks, whatever.  Anyhow the point is that even if US and UK have a dozen bombers… they can NOT incapacitate Germany through Strategic Bombing alone.

    In my game, Germany didn’t combine these fleets… didn’t have to.  However if they did it would be very hard for US/UK to counter because the forces are split between two powers.  So offense is very hard to coordinate.

    Other problems… against a canny opponent the UK cannot build a factory in India.  Japan has a huge fleet and troops right next door and so this old time tactic is useless.  I’m struggling to find any effective strategy for the UK in this new version of the game.

    Anticipated response:  Just build a fleet with UK/US and take out Germany’s fleet.

    Germany will have: 2 aircraft carriers, 4 fighters, 1 battleship, 3 submarines, and 1 destroyer in the water from round one.  Plus an additional air force of 3 more fighters (I think) and a Bomber.  This is enough navy and air force that quite frankly the UK has to worry about amphibious assault in round 2-3!!  A thoughtful US/UK coordinated effort CAN counter this… but at what cost!?  Losing the Pacific to the Japanese giant?

    Try this build in your games and let me know what luck you have.  Having played against this strategy I think this is the best move Germany can make in round one and can think of no good Allied response.

    Can you?



  • '16 '15 '10

    Actually, German naval buys are much harder to pull off in this rule-set than Revised…dunno about Classic.  The reason is transports have no defensive value, and subs can’t fire at planes.

    All Allies have to do is buy fighters and bombers.  From the start, Germany is in trouble.  Let’s say the Baltic fleet has 1 ac, 1 des, 2 figs.  Uk buys 3 figs.  So now UK potentially has 5 figs 1 bomb (6 at 19) against 4 units at 12.  So Germany has to buy another AC right away to keep his fleet alive, and he has to put 2 more valuable figs on it.  Now you buy more figs and bombs with UK, and you bring over the USA air force as well on USA2 (should be 3 figs plus hopefully 4 more bombs…besides an AC USA1, i’d buy nothing but bombers for USA until all Kraut fleet is sunk).  At this point Germany will either realize he should have given up after G1 and pull his figs, or he will buy more navy. Depending on what G does, Allies either attack back to back, or just continue to buy more air and raise the stakes…forcing Germany to sink still more money into boats that do nothing in the real war against Russia.  Russia…meanwhile, should be buying all tanks starting round 3 if Germany is spending 25$ or more a turn on the naval build-up.

    The beauty here is Germany will lose the bulk of its air force when you inevitably destroy his fleets…or Germany will quit the hopeless fight and just recall its air…allowing you to rape the boats.  Either way the exchange will be extremely favorable to Allies.

    No need to worry about the Pacific…if you play it correctly Germany will be dead or near dead before Japan can seriously threaten Moscow.  If Germany buys naval, focus all 3 Allies on attacking them, because they won’t have enough infantry to repel a coordinated attack.

  • I think you’re plan would be a great one if my Axis opponent was going to keep building up his navy by sinking IPC into them, but instead this is just a one round IPC investment to buy him time and keep the US/UK off his back.  I think that if I went all air I would be giving him what he wants.  After I use the air to slaughter his navies, I’ll then have to build navies (my UK/US fleets will be gone) and it will be round 5? or round 6? before I am dropping boots on the ground in Europe and/or Africa and he’ll have a strong economic edge.

    • Patton5
  • '16 '15 '10

    UK/USA needs fighters and bombers anyway (bombers are useful, fighters are the basis for fleets) while Germany doesn’t need aircraft carriers.  So how is it good for Germany to waste 28 ipcs on the first turn?  If he won’t reinforce his fleets, then the Baltic fleet dies UK2 (along with a UK fleet buy UK2) and the Med fleet dies Uk3/USA3 (by then UK is dumping units into Europe/Africa, and Russia should be on the attack).  Meanwhile, the initial Allied air buys will wear him down by trading attacks and SBRs.

    If Germany wastes 28 ipcs on units G1 that will be dead within 2 rounds and still wins, then Axis is simply outplaying you, and it has nothing to do with 2 ACs G1 being a good buy (which it isn’t).

  • I agree with Zhukov44 here, if you play efficient with Russia, Germany will be weaker and Russia stronger with German naval builds. And it is easy to sink the German navies with UK+US aircraft.
    Remember, aircraft that are not needed to defend UK on UK1-2 should be flown to Russian TTs, for defense, and within reach of the German fleets.

  • Zhukov44… the putdown was necessary?  It’s not what I came to these boards to find… and I don’t see any reason to come back.


  • '16 '15 '10

    Sorry bro, it’s just my opinion that your oppo’s G! purchase is not strong on its merits (any combination of infantry, tanks, or figs/bombs would be a better buy), so if he wins with it, it’s probably due to superior playskillz.  Nothing personal.

    Here’s a prediction for ya.  If you play the counter outlined above to the 2 AC strat, your opponent won’t try German naval again.  So give it a try before judging it prematurely.

  • I think a naval strat is possible, they key is how doing it. I’d buy 1 AC, 7 inf, 1 tank and do this:

    • Take Gibraltar, killing the cruiser with you own bb and one fig just in case. This preventes airstrikes from England since AA42 lacks tech  😉
    • Also kill z15 dd with air
    • Send z8 sub against lone canadian trannie (no chance of losing here)
    • Send baltic sub to English channel (no dd to kill this one)
    • Counter soviets where needed
    • Deploy AC z5

    This way you menace a early round 2 unification and also a early taking of Brazil if needed. Also UK boats will be in a difficult position even if they spent all to boats (this means no IC at India)

    If allies buy all airfleet, so be it: they still have to kill your boats before aiding soviets and since Japan will be uncontested, Kriegsmarine only has to hold a bit until land aid comes from east. When that happens or aircraft are too powerful, escape to south Atlantic or Indian ocean (taking Brazil or some african territories)

    I agree with OP, a well done german naval strat is a doom for allies, mainly because allies suffer more from defenseless trannies than germans. I think AA42 is not well balanced because that, and since there is no way of fighting a two front war for USA with so few income, Pacific or Atlantic will be lost. My hint is some sort of bid for allies or giving a free IC at India. Maybe converting USA z10 cruiser to a dd is a good idea or just adding a free UK dd at z2 (and so you can kill thhose rogue subs)

  • '16 '15 '10

    I don’t think a fleet combine can even be considered without an air attack on SZ2 on G1.  If the bb is there, then that’s just too much overwhelming force that can be brought down on SZ7 UK2.

    Yet even if you take out the BB, if UK buys 3 figs, then that’s 5 figs 1 bomber against 1 bb, 1 ac, 2 figs, 1 destroyer.  As Allies….I like that battle…alot, though its mildly risky in dice.

    The entire German navy is dead after UK2, and Germany is down 2 fighters already. Germany didn’t take Egypt or add any reinforcement to Africa, and is 4 inf 1 art short on the Eastern front.

    Given average dice outcomes, this is very good for Allies.

  • This is a little hard to beat. I recomend buying figs and bbs. Then try to concentrate US/UK Atlantic naval power on the two respective fleets.

  • @Patton5:

    Other problems… against a canny opponent the UK cannot build a factory in India.  Japan has a huge fleet and troops right next door and so this old time tactic is useless.  I’m struggling to find any effective strategy for the UK in this new version of the game.

    Very true. The only way that the UK can put an IC in India against a Japanese player that doesn’t want him to have one there, is if Germany doesn’t take Egypt on G1 for whatever reason.

    However, if by some miracle Germany doesn’t attack Egypt on G1, an IC for India is an outstanding buy IMO. Sacrifice the Cruiser in your Pacific fleet to take out the Japanese transport in SZ59. Then on your non-combat move, move your infantry from Persia into India, take your transport and pick up the tank from Egypt and the infantry from Trans-Jordon, and drop them off in India as well. Lastly, take the fighter off of your Carrier and the fighter from Egypt, and land those in India as well.

    Then retreat your carrier to whatever SZ you deem safe for future use. You can even move it through the Suez in an attempt to link it up with your Atlantic fleet if the Med is clear of German ships.

    This gives you a total of 5 infantry, 1 tank, 2 fighters, and an AA gun to defend your India IC which you’ll place at the end of your turn. The maximum the Japanese will be able to attack India with on J1 is 2 infantry, 4 fighters, and 1 bomber. The chances of a Jap victory are almost non-existent (around a 10% likelihood I believe), and even if they do, you will have completely decimated their entire air force.

    Combine the well-defended India IC with an American IC in Sinkiang which is supported by a garrison of 4 Russian troops, and you have a good starting point to your JTDTM defense.

    I’ve yet to have a Japanese player even attempt an attack on India on their first turn when I use this strategy. Yes, you’ll be sacrificing a cruiser and a transport….But you’re eliminating a Japanese transport, and establishing a firm grasp in Asia with an IC in India and a large force to defend it.

    Now obviously you leave Africa open for an attack which the Germans will no doubt take advantage of on their second turn, but I usually remedy this by purchasing a South Africa IC a turn or two later. Pump out a few tanks in Africa in addition to the three you’re putting in India each turn, and you’re golden.

    If anyone ever wants to play a game of AA42, hit me up. I’d love to play via TripleA, or just play by forum (which I’ve never done, but I’m sure I could learn quickly).

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