In G40, America is both protected and hindered by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Fortunately for the Allies, the US has the economic resources to bridge the gap. Figuring out how best to utilize those IPCs to swiftly get Uncle Sam into the fight can be challenging, so I decided to post my thoughts on the subject. I hope newer players will benefit from this, and who knows? Maybe some more experienced players will be inspired.
The Combined Arms Approach
The “Bright Skies” strategy calls for the US to contribute bombers to the war effort, arguing that it takes the Americans too long to get ground forces into battle.
Though two turns are required to cross the oceans from the US to Europe or Japan/Korea, I’d argue that the US is uniquely positioned among the Allies to contribute large numbers of both aircraft and land units to both the European and Pacific theatres. Also, combined arms attacks are much more economically efficient than air-only attacks. The question is, what is the most efficient way to get significant numbers of American ground troops into the fight?
Crossing Oceans: A Three-Step Process
Moving American land units to Europe and Japan is a three-step process. I call it “SSB,” or “Security, Soldiers and Boats.”
Since transports are the most vulnerable units in the game, naval and air security along your intended route is critical. Buy those planes and warships first, so you can get them into position while you’re building ground units and a transport fleet.
Buy soldiers (ground units) next. Transport capabilities dictate that, for maximum efficiency, half of your units will be infantry. What of the other half, though - should you buy all artillery, all armor, or a mix?
Interestingly, on a very basic level, it doesn’t matter: your attack strength will be the same, no matter what. Where you see a difference is in defense strength. What this means is that, if you’re planning an amphibious assault and a strong enemy counterattack is expected (as in Normandy), you should buy all armor. When attacking an island (like Japan), where a counterattack is highly unlikely, buy all artillery.
Transports - Boats - should be purchased last. Because they’re vulnerable to any attack, you don’t want to put them in the water until you’re ready to move troops overseas.
Security aside, once the US is at war, they have the economic capacity to get 10 infantry and 10 artillery units to Japan or Normandy in just 4 turns, as shown in the examples below.
EASTERN US TO NORMANDY:
Turn 1) Buy 10 infantry and place in Eastern US. Buy 10 artillery and place in Central US.
Turn 2) Buy 10 transports and place in SZ 101.
Turn 3) Load transports and move to SZ 91 (Gibraltar).
Turn 4) Move to SZ 110 for amphibious assault into Normandy.
WESTERN US TO JAPAN:
Turn 1) Buy 10 infantry and place in Western US, 10 artillery and place in Central US.
Turn 2) Move all artillery to Western US. Purchase 10 transports and place in SZ 10.
Turn 3) Load transports and move to Hawaii (SZ 26).
Turn 4) Move to SZ 6 for amphibious assault into Japan or Korea.
How Many Transports Do I Need?
In order to set up a conveyor belt-type system to funnel troops into Europe, you need to figure out how many transports are required. To ensure a steady flow of land units, you must have an identical number of transports for each leg of the voyage. Let’s say you decide to go with a 5-transport shuttle from the Eastern US to Normandy: 20 transports are required, so that at the beginning and end of each turn, you’ll have 5 transports each in SZ 101 and 110 and 10 transports in SZ 91. The shuttle works like this:
- Buy 10 infantry, 10 artillery and place in Eastern/Central US.
- Buy 10 transports and place in SZ 101.
- Repeat Turn 1 buy.
- Repeat Turn 2 buy. Load 10 transports and move to SZ 91.
- Move transports from SZ 91 to SZ 110 for amphibious assault into Normandy. Load transports in SZ 101 and move to SZ 91, unloading in Gibraltar/Morocco.
- Buy 5 infantry, 5 armor and place in Eastern US. Move 10 empty transports from SZ 110 back to SZ 91. Move 5 empty transports from SZ 91 to SZ 101. Load 5 transports in SZ 91, move to SZ 110 and unload in Normandy.
- Buy 5 infantry, 5 armor and place in Eastern US. Load and move 5 transports from SZ 101 to SZ 91, unloading in Gibraltar/Morocco. Load and move 5 transports from SZ 91 to SZ 110, unloading in Normandy. Move 5 empty transports from SZ 110 to SZ 91. Move 5 empty transports from SZ 91 to SZ 101.
- Repeat Turn 7.
In the immortal words of Forrest Gump, “…and that’s all I have to say about that.” Any thoughts, comments, criticism or suggestions?