I have had a general strategy for Deutschland against Frankreich that has worked well, every time (6 times now).
Germany has so many land units in the beginning that they can simply go all-out navy-builds if they use their troops efficiently (something the Germans were usually known for). By using a land strategy of “Boom-and-Bust” sending overwhelming forces into one territory at a time, Germany loses very few soldiers. You will then move all armies in West and Central Germany to the west (only East Prussia and Silesia need to hold down Russia, especially when the Austro-Hungarian and Turkish players are attacking them).
Following this rule, the best thing to do on land would be to send all 14 infantry and 6 artillery into Belgium. On the second turn, use all 30-something units available (including Munich forces) to take Lorraine. Third, take Picardy. Fourth, storm into the capital with about 30-something units. And finally, the Berlin force of nearly 20 units will be “having lunch in Paris”.
As for its navy, the Germans can become a nightmare for the UK if they spend all on 2, and later 3-4 battleships, per turn. The Brits, and later the Americans, do not stand a chance on the high seas.
Once again, this strategy has worked very well for me, and I would be delighted to see how it comes out with someone else.
You must be playing against French and British players who have no idea what they’re doing. The French should generally be building nothing but infantry and the occasional plane until the Brits have landed enough troops in Picardy or Belgium to make a counteroffensive viable. With the French doing this and the Brits also landing troops, I don’t see any way the Germans can take Paris in time. I say in time because the U.S. is entering the war in Turn 4 and will also be able to dedicate amphibeous forces and navy to support the French and Brits against Germany. Not only that, but by that time and with no offensive towards the eastern front, not only will Russia have likely avoided the revolution, they will also be able to consider making an advance on German territory.
Simply put, the Ottomans and AH are not strong enough by themselves to take down Russia without Germany’s help. If AH dedicates everything to Russia, they will pay the price in Italy and the Balkans. And if the British player is doing his job in India and Persia, Ottoman won’t be able to contribute much to Russia besides the Bulgarian forces and possibly one turn of infantry out of Constantinople without having to worry very soon about the loss of their own territories.
This game is a pretty simple race against time. Can the CPs knock out Russia before the U.S. gets involved in the war and the Americans, British, and French have assembled enough troops in Belgium, Holland, or even Picardy to end Germany’s dreams of taking Paris? If so, then the CPs have a good chance of winning. If not, then they don’t. I’m not saying Russia has to be revolted or taken over by Turn 4 or even Turn 5, but it needs to be well on the way to happening. Germany and AH need to be able to start sending those troops to the Western fronts (France and Italy, respectively) as soon as possible in order to really compete. Ottoman just needs to stay alive. If Russia survives and can hold off the revolution, the game is over for the CPs. That is the game. On the other hand, if Russia is knocked out relatively quickly, it’s looking good for the CP particularly once Germany can start building tanks to accompany their forces returning from the east. The combined forces will prove to be devastating against the French.
Based on my experience Germany really needs to develop a tank stack before they can successfully take out the French, and that can’t start to happen until turn 5 at the earliest. If they go after the West like you suggest, by turn 5 the Brits and French should be holding a pretty good line and may have even been able to divide the German forces. (As the allied player, I smile whenever Germany is wasting money on navy. It’s a battle they won’t ever be able to win in the long run, especially once the U.S. joins the fight. All that is doing is preventing them from buying more ground troops to threaten the Russians or French.) Alternatively, they can send the bulk of their forces after Russia and have either forced the RR by then or be well on their way. That is a much better use of their first few turns based on my experience and a better overall strategy.
I’d be willing to bet that if you surveyed everyone on this board, the vast majority of the games that involved a CP victory included taking out Russia first. When the CP are not able to take Russia or force the RR early in the game, even if they somehow are able to get Paris as you propose, these games will inevitably result in a CP loss. (Unless of course, the French and British players totally don’t know what they’re doing, as I mentioned earlier.) Based on all the games I’ve played and all the strategies I’ve seen and used, the battle for Russia is 90% of the ballgame for the CP.