(Part 6, continued)
Avengers, Assemble: Repositioning, and Repelling the Invasion
The next thing that we need to think about is how to redistribute our offensive equipment, in order to help maintain the gains that we’ve made, as well as defend our existing borders. Since most of our equipment is pointed at India, let’s start there.
What we need to take into consideration, is a potential UK shuck-shuck from Africa into Pakistan. With Armor Group C being committed to the India attack, my initial thought would be to keep this force in Burma, so that they’re in a position to counter any landings into the valuable territories of Indochina or India, and reposition back to Burma. However, a viable convoy route into Pakistan throws a wrench into this whole idea; probably units that are more mobile will be needed to deal with this threat. As such, though it will be a slow process, it probably makes sense to reposition Armor Group C back to East Siberia, where it effectively only needs to counter-attack its adjacent territories. It also will be quicker than trying to send them to the frontline in Europe; probably once India falls on round 3, these units should start moving out, and mopping up Burma and Indochina should be left to other forces.
With that thinking in mind, Reserve Group A should probably be moved towards Europe, and should just skip India entirely. (This assumes you don’t attack Iran, which is likely a bad idea anyway, in the case that the UK is able to set up their shuck-shuck from Africa.) The limited mobility of regular armor probably makes them a bad choice for trying to take Sweden, but if you’re just looking to neutralize Norway, they can come in handy once moved to Karelia. In that case, you’ll want to move them on towards central Europe afterwards (or just send them there straight away, ignoring Norway.) We could potentially move Reserve Group A towards East Siberia (further bolstering our counter-attacking force) but I feel like tying down so much offense in a theatre where we can’t make any real gains, is a bit of a waste. It probably makes more sense to send over fighters (which also boost our defense) since they can be repositioned more quickly, if no longer needed.
If we go with the “Strong India” positioning for our fighters, we essentially end up with two air wings consisting of three fighters each, and a third consisting of one fighter; for the sake of brevity, let’s assume this lone fighter is lost in a naval battle, leaving us with just two equally-sized groups: A and C. On round 3, probably both groups should start in Sinkiang or Pakistan; this means they only need to move 1 space to attack India, and can then move 3 spaces on non-combat.
To counter the American presence, what I think we should do is to move Air Group A to Manchuria. This gives us the positioning to hit either South Korea or Kamchatka, and reposition back to Manchuria or East Siberia – while still being able to reach Burma or Indochina, if needed there instead. On round 4, our starting infantry from East Siberia and North Korea can attack Indochina, with our remaining infantry from the India attack moving into Burma, to close the pocket. To support this, I propose moving Air Group C to Sichuan, on non-combat in round 3. Ultimately, once securing our control, I think we’ll want to position these fighters in India, so that we can counter-attack any surrounding areas (Pakistan, Burma, Indochina, and the adjacent sea zones) while still having the range to return to India, for defense. If Air Group A does end up being used to support attacks into Burma or Indochina on round 4, then Air Group C can be non-combat moved up to Manchuria to take their place.
Having 3 fighters in each theatre means that we have 1 for each territory we’ll potentially need to counter-attack: Kamchatka, North Korea, and South Korea from East Siberia; Pakistan, Burma, and Indochina from India. This is mostly a cosmetic consideration, though; we can’t counter-attack South Korea without having forces in North Korea, and we can’t counter-attack Indochina without having forces in Burma. So we’ll never be able to split our air forces evenly, anyway. Really, what the focus should be, is in ensuring you have sufficient amounts of equipment in both theatres, to repel invasion; this might mean building heavy armor in East Siberia, and shifting your entire air force towards the India theatre. It’s just a matter of reacting to what your opponent is doing.
(Round-trip fighter ranges from India, East Siberia; shown in red)
If we’re worried about being hit by the EMP effect of a nuke, we can move these fighters (earmarked for India) to either Sichuan or Sinkiang, and still be able to cover the same land territories; Pakistan and India being 1 space from Sinkiang and 3 spaces from Sichuan, with Burma and Indochina being 1 space from Sichuan and 3 spaces from Sinkiang – meaning we can rock our aircraft back and forth over these areas, while always landing them in China. Likewise, we’ll want to keep Air Group A in East Siberia whenever possible (for defense) but move them to Manchuria to avoid the nuke.
So what’s left?
Reserve Group B: I think I prefer having the bomber stationed in Kazakhstan, since this allows it to cover our entire empire, and most of our coastlines. You can move it to Moscow, if you want to be a little closer to the Atlantic (and assuming you plan to add ships in the area.) Otherwise, look for places you can spring surprises, with paratroopers: from Yugoslavia, Turkey, or Pakistan you can potentially reach Africa; from Karelia you can reach Iceland or Greenland (potentially setting up a move into North America); from North Korea you can reach Okinawa, the Philippines, or even Japan – potentially island-hopping your way to Australia; from East Siberia, you can reach Alaska or Western Canada (potentially with fighter support, based in Kamchatka.) Try and use your bomber creatively, to throw off your opponent, and make them defend territories they otherwise wouldn’t.
As an aside, this is one of the tactics that NATO uses effectively (and easily) against the USSR, forcing them to leave “picket forces” in back-line territories (mostly in Europe) that are of no real value, beyond their IPCs. I think there’s a strong case to be made that since paratroopers so disproportionately favour NATO, they should be house-ruled out of the game – or at the very least, bombers should only be allowed to transport infantry on non-combat, keeping in spirit with the game’s setting, of the “Berlin Airlift.”
Reserve Group C: Since I think this heavy tank should be used against India during the round 2 strafe, it will end up in Sinkiang at the end of that turn. If it is kept out of the India attack on round 3, it can instead be repositioned to North Korea, thus supporting Air Group A (plus any heavy armor placed in East Siberia on the same round) for attacks on round 4. Otherwise, it can be kept in the India theatre for as long as desired, potentially turning towards Siberia once southeast Asia has been subjugated.
Alternately, Reserve Group C could be moved towards Scandinavia, but this would mean stopping in Komi or Orel (neither of which I like) on round 3, to attack Norway and move back to Karelia on round 4. The other way to do it would be to move to Moscow, Georgia, or Ukraine, and attack Norway without being able to move back (which I also don’t like.) Probably if we’re moving this group to Europe, it should just go straight to the main front; Ukraine on round 3, and Switzerland on round 4.
After some thinking, the better alternative to the suggestions above, would be to use Reserve Group C in the round 3 attack on India, and then reposition in one of the following ways:
a) Inner Mongolia: allows for a round 4 attack on Burma or Indochina, but can also be sent to South Korea (albeit stranding itself in the process) joining ranks with new heavy tanks placed in East Siberia on round 3
b) Kazakhstan: allows for moving to Karelia on round 4 (possibly coinciding with placing new heavy tanks there on the same round) for a round 5 attack on Sweden; alternatively, move to Poland or Romania on round 4, attacking Italy on round 5
(next post will touch a bit on mopping up in southeast Asia.)