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Subject: Convoy engage in friendly? rss

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Michael Tan
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11.22 states that convoys cannot engage unless it sea invades. 11.221 states that a convoy moving into an ENEMY (but not friendly) area is a sea invasion. What about if a convoy wants to enter into a friendly disputed area? The rules imply it cannot. It seems odd that a convoy can enter an enemy disputed area (by sea invasion) but it cannot enter a friendly disputed area under any circumstances. Am I interpreting correctly?
 
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Dave Boschen
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11.22 Convoys
A Ground unit using Sea Movement
immediately becomes a Convoy.
Convoys move two Sea Areas (four
Strategically) but can neither Engage
(11.5) nor Disengage (11.51) Enemy
forces at Sea. They can Sea Invade
(11.221) into Enemy [OCCUPIED] Land Areas.
Convoys Engaged by an Enemy at Sea
are basically helpless in Sea Battles,
see 12.72.

It does seem a bit unclear.
I added "occupied." I think perhaps this fixes the rules as written.

Of course, if there is no enemy in the territory which a convoy is moving, then this is simply normal movement.

I hope I am on the same train of thought as Michael here.
 
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By the way, here's a shameless plug for Michael's awesome game series War Stories: Liberty Road
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Michael Tan
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We finally got the rule sorted. It's fairly clear. Two of us rules lawyers just kept misreading it. Convoys cannot engage or disengage AT SEA but when they land in a disputed friendly area, they can engage normally.

My new concern is potentially how powerful sea invasions are. We're really starting to abuse them now that we fully grasp how they work. What is to prevent the Axis from sending 4 infantry convoys out to sea in the spring of 1936 to surround the UK, then DoW, and sea invade Glasgow and London with 6 units in one fell swoop? It seems indefensible unless we don't understand the rules...
 
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Dave Boschen
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Any blocks occupying seas with rival blocks would become engaged in battle if war is declared, therefore they would be unable to move and unload until the British ANS units are defeated.

So the solution is to place 1 step air and sea blocks all over the Atlantic like speed bumps. Better yet, shadow the Nazi blocks with your strong fleets. I think this effectively shuts down a one season assault of London. You would need to bolster your forces appropriately to counter 3 seasons straight of hard pushing.

If the Germans build enough fleets to counter your Atlantic Sea control, then they are probably giving the game to the Soviet player. Brits start with the advantage in sea blocks.

I think the safer and almost equally annoying move for the Axis, is to place submarines all over between the USA and UK, threatening supply lanes at the end of the game, thereby strongly impeding Allied economic victory conditions. To enhance this strat, take Denmark (obviously this is a highly desired move anyway for the Krauts) and then Iceland counts as home territory and you can build steps in the Allied backfield. This is one of those fun circumstances where the historical strategy (U-boats vs Allied shipping) is incentivized in the sandbox of options, to Craig's credit (whether a happy mistake or intentional, brilliant none the less).
 
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Michael Tan
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Fly Casual wrote:
Any blocks occupying seas with rival blocks would become engaged in battle if war is declared, therefore they would be unable to move and unload until the British ANS units are defeated.

So the solution is to place 1 step air and sea blocks all over the Atlantic like speed bumps. Better yet, shadow the Nazi blocks with your strong fleets. I think this effectively shuts down a one season assault of London. You would need to bolster your forces appropriately to counter 3 seasons straight of hard pushing.

If the Germans build enough fleets to counter your Atlantic Sea control, then they are probably giving the game to the Soviet player. Brits start with the advantage in sea blocks.

I think the safer and almost equally annoying move for the Axis, is to place submarines all over between the USA and UK, threatening supply lanes at the end of the game, thereby strongly impeding Allied economic victory conditions. To enhance this strat, take Denmark (obviously this is a highly desired move anyway for the Krauts) and then Iceland counts as home territory and you can build steps in the Allied backfield. This is one of those fun circumstances where the historical strategy (U-boats vs Allied shipping) is incentivized in the sandbox of options, to Craig's credit (whether a happy mistake or intentional, brilliant none the less).

OK so humor me. What about the following Axis setup after 11 CV builds:

Berlin – 5I2 T1
Ruhr – I1 3N2
Konigsberg – I2 I1
Munich – I2 A1
Milan – I2 N1
Rome – F1 I1 N1 S1

Even if the Allies use all 7 CV for builds, it's an uphill battle.

1) Open with any 5+ command. Convoy I2 and I1 from Konigsberg to English Channel and Norwegian Sea respectively. Convoy I2 from Milan to Bay of Biscay. Convoy I2 from Berlin to North Sea. Convoy I1 from Ruhr to Irish Sea. Optional, move N1 from Milan to Mid Atlantic for blockade.

2) Follow with a 7+ command. VoN Low Countries with 4I2 from Berlin and 3N2 from Ruhr. 97%+ chance of winning in first round.

3) Follow with DoW and your best command card (6-10). Based on Allied reaction, either conquer Paris or London. If he picket fenced the UK or reinforced London, that means Paris is weak. You can hit Paris with 3I2 3N2 and sea invade up to 3I2 as soak. If he reinforced Paris and stuck his fleet in the North Sea, you can sink it with 3N2 A1 and sea invade the weaker of London and Glasgow. If he reinforced Paris and didn't put his fleet in the North Sea, hit London with everything - 3I2, 3N2, A1.

4) Follow with any Summer or Fall command card. The Allied reaction (if any) doesn't really matter as he doesn't have enough units left to meaningfully respond. If you attacked Paris, move your T1 from Berlin, excess INF from Low Countries, and A1 from Munich to mop up. If you went for Sea Lion, sea invade with 3I2, the 3 INF that already landed, plus 3N2 and A1. I doubt he survives.

There are 18 command cards valued 8+. With 14 initial cards, the odds are very very high that the Axis have at least 2 of them.
 
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Dave Boschen
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I've argued before that early SeaLion is a problem because it forces the Allies to build all CVs on turn one, placing most of them on the UK. This is doubly true if they have to take their production phase before the Axis.

As you said, Paris is likely to fall early, but consider the Axis player's position: this immediately creates a mandatory 2v1. Are you saying that once one blue capital falls, the other is sure to follow, resulting in Axis victory? Perhaps it's true, considering how neutered Allied production would be. Then again, the Axis pays dearly for early DoW in the form of low RES affecting production badly.

The Allies MUST build most of their turn 1 CVs on and around London. If it falls, their situation is bad, and the Russians can't really help, at least not in time.

Also consider the risk of Axis blocks at sea encountering the 4CV Brit Navy block, as naval conflicts are to-the-death rather than just one round, and convoys may not disengage.

You should play test this strat. I see that it's strong in theory, but isn't it still a bit risky? Are your game group's Allied players not building all CVs turn 1, and bolstering London?
 
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The rules state . . .

Quote:
Each Faction deploys 1 CV units (Cadres) of any desired type in its National/Colonial Cities, one Cadre per POP value (the number of circles; e.g., three in London). The Axis deploys double this amount (e.g., six in Berlin)


Next, for the production phase for 1936, you can add only 1 CV to each existing unit, or you can build new 1 CV cadres.

Quote:
7.23 Buying unit Steps
Existing Units.
Add 1 CV to an existing unit by rotating the block to its next stronger edge (no more than one CV per unit each Production)


This prevents "surprise attack" builds.

Next, regarding sea invasions, the rules state

Quote:
11.221 Sea Invasions
Convoys moving into Enemy Territory are Invading. Only ONE Ground unit per Turn can Invade across a Coastal or Straits border even if it is undefended (LST Tech raises this to TWO units). ANS units are exempt from Invasion Limits.


This rule prevents massive invasions--German soldiers paddling across the English channel in bathtubs. ;-)

Historically, most industrialized countries were rebuilding their armed forces in 1936 from obsolete WWI technologies. Germany almost had to build from scratch.

Hope this helps.
 
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Michael Tan
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Fly Casual wrote:
I've argued before that early SeaLion is a problem because it forces the Allies to build all CVs on turn one, placing most of them on the UK. This is doubly true if they have to take their production phase before the Axis.

As you said, Paris is likely to fall early, but consider the Axis player's position: this immediately creates a mandatory 2v1. Are you saying that once one blue capital falls, the other is sure to follow, resulting in Axis victory? Perhaps it's true, considering how neutered Allied production would be. Then again, the Axis pays dearly for early DoW in the form of low RES affecting production badly.

The Allies MUST build most of their turn 1 CVs on and around London. If it falls, their situation is bad, and the Russians can't really help, at least not in time.

Also consider the risk of Axis blocks at sea encountering the 4CV Brit Navy block, as naval conflicts are to-the-death rather than just one round, and convoys may not disengage.

You should play test this strat. I see that it's strong in theory, but isn't it still a bit risky? Are your game group's Allied players not building all CVs turn 1, and bolstering London?

I think the West MUST ALWAYS build 7 CV otherwise London falls for sure in 1936. The best counter I've come up with is the following initial deployment:

London – F2 I2 N4 2N1
Glasgow – F2
Gibraltar – F1
Suez – N1
Delhi – 2I1
Bombay – I1
Paris – F2, I2
Metz – F3
Marseilles – I2
Algiers – N1

With a Spring card, move all 4 navies from London and Algiers into the North Sea, English Channel, Norwegian Sea, and Bay of Biscay. Also move both I2 from Marseilles and London to Paris. Then cross your fingers and pray as the Axis play 4 or 5 cards in succession...

This is with the second edition setup, Glasgow-London is mountain etc. otherwise it's truly hopeless...

I really don't think this defense works though. The best thing to do may be to just immediately concede Paris and build everything in London. One other strategy I haven't explored is a DoW on the Axis. The free shots on the convoys and loss of surprise may be just enough to hold Paris. Seems like the Soviet player would be loving that though...
 
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Michael Tan
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DieterS wrote:
The rules state . . .

Quote:
Each Faction deploys 1 CV units (Cadres) of any desired type in its National/Colonial Cities, one Cadre per POP value (the number of circles; e.g., three in London). The Axis deploys double this amount (e.g., six in Berlin)


Next, for the production phase for 1936, you can add only 1 CV to each existing unit, or you can build new 1 CV cadres.

Quote:
7.23 Buying unit Steps
Existing Units.
Add 1 CV to an existing unit by rotating the block to its next stronger edge (no more than one CV per unit each Production)


This prevents "surprise attack" builds.

Next, regarding sea invasions, the rules state

Quote:
11.221 Sea Invasions
Convoys moving into Enemy Territory are Invading. Only ONE Ground unit per Turn can Invade across a Coastal or Straits border even if it is undefended (LST Tech raises this to TWO units). ANS units are exempt from Invasion Limits.


This rule prevents massive invasions--German soldiers paddling across the English channel in bathtubs. ;-)

Historically, most industrialized countries were rebuilding their armed forces in 1936 from obsolete WWI technologies. Germany almost had to build from scratch.

Hope this helps.


I'm fairly certain my setup above abides by all those rules. Step back and look at the big picture: The Axis start with 28 CV (17 initial + 11 builds) while the West has 19 CV (12 initial + 7 builds). I'm counting 3 Italian CV that can easily threaten London and ignoring the 3 CV Maginot line because it's useless. Furthermore, the West needs to split those 19 CV to defend 2 capitals. The Axis can threaten both simultaneously by positioning their units in the Low Countries, Ruhr, and Atlantic Ocean. They have 14 action cards versus 8 so they also dictate pace. Paris, Glasgow, and London EACH border 3 sea areas so that means the Axis can paddle (3) 2CV German blocks in bathtubs to any location unless the British dump most of their blocks in the water to picket fence. I just don't see how you can defend 2 of those areas, let alone all 3...
 
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Michael Tan
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Fly Casual wrote:
Then again, the Axis pays dearly for early DoW in the form of low RES affecting production badly.

One final point - I don't think Axis RES is too bad. If you conquer France in 1936, it's +2 for Lorraine. With 14 action cards, it's not too difficult for the Axis player to secure 4 more RES. Just ignore Austria, Czechoslovakia, Spain, and USA (it will be blockaded). Put all your effort into neutrals with RES. You can also let Russia have Poland so long as he doesn't make it a satellite in 1936.
 
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After the 1936 build phase, the strongest Axis unit will be only 2CV. Only ONE Axis unit can invade by sea (not 3).

If the West moves first in 1936, the British can move their fleet into the North Sea, which protects London, Glasgow, and Norway. If the French build a fleet in Marseilles or Algiers, moving it into the Western Mediterranean will protect Marseilles, Barcelona, Gibraltar, Algiers, Tunisia, Sfax, and Malta from a sea invasion.

If the Axis moves before the West in 1936, they can invade a single area with a maximum of ONE 2 CV unit, which is disrupted and doesn't fire in the first season of the invasion. The invading unit must be able to trace supply at the end of each season or lose a CV step. Supply lines cannot pass through enemy-controlled land areas or seas (or seas containing subs).

 
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Michael, do you feel the situation in '36 is game breaking? I'm not convinced yet, but I'm following your train of thought closely, and I fully subscribe to the "West must build all CVs in '39" philosophy.

Furthermore, do you think that the loss of London necessitates a German victory (ie a subsequent unstoppable zerg on Paris)? Or even the other way around: perhaps the fall of Paris will lead to an unstoppable siege of London and victory? Clearly the Russians will be hard pressed to intervene in either scenario. So can the Allies hold it together after the turn one punch? I think the Axis will be at a statistical disadvantage to finish the drive on both capitals early.

Is an Allied turn one DoW on the Axis a good move?
Pros:
-Axis production drops sharply
-Axis can't share sea zones giving space for pickets
Cons:
-Soviet laughs all the way to economic victory
-Allies have to deal with blockade threats earlier in the game
-West relies on the Axis player to focus vs Russian (diplomatically if not militarily)

Also, you are following the rule prohibiting amphibious units from firing on the season they invade, ya? They only soak hits.
 
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Michael Tan
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DieterS wrote:
After the 1936 build phase, the strongest Axis unit will be only 2CV. Only ONE Axis unit can invade by sea (not 3).

It's one unit per BORDER not per AREA so provided the Axis can get one unit to the North Sea, Irish Sea, and English Channel, there is nothing to prevent 3 units from invading.

DieterS wrote:
If the West moves first in 1936, the British can move their fleet into the North Sea, which protects London, Glasgow, and Norway.

No it does not because they are rivals and not enemies yet so the Axis can sail right past that fleet and into the Irish Sea and English Channel. The West needs 3 fleets to protect London from ANY sea invasion.

DieterS wrote:
If the Axis moves before the West in 1936, they can invade a single area with a maximum of ONE 2 CV unit, which is disrupted and doesn't fire in the first season of the invasion. The invading unit must be able to trace supply at the end of each season or lose a CV step. Supply lines cannot pass through enemy-controlled land areas or seas (or seas containing subs).

They can invade either London (or Glasgow) with as many as (3) disrupted 2 CV units and (3) 2 CV fleets with my proposed setup. All it requires is a double move, which is not hard to achieve with 14+ action cards. They won't need to worry about supply because the British fleet is still in London and will likely get wiped by surprise attack. This threat forces all the builds in London and Glasgow, thus leaving Paris wide open for a 1936 conquest. You just pick whatever the Allies don't reinforce...
 
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Fly Casual wrote:
Michael, do you feel the situation in '36 is game breaking? I'm not convinced yet, but I'm following your train of thought closely, and I fully subscribe to the "West must build all CVs in '39" philosophy.

Furthermore, do you think that the loss of London necessitates a German victory (ie a subsequent unstoppable zerg on Paris)? Or even the other way around: perhaps the fall of Paris will lead to an unstoppable siege of London and victory? Clearly the Russians will be hard pressed to intervene in either scenario. So can the Allies hold it together after the turn one punch? I think the Axis will be at a statistical disadvantage to finish the drive on both capitals early.

Is an Allied turn one DoW on the Axis a good move?
Pros:
-Axis production drops sharply
-Axis can't share sea zones giving space for pickets
Cons:
-Soviet laughs all the way to economic victory
-Allies have to deal with blockade threats earlier in the game
-West relies on the Axis player to focus vs Russian (diplomatically if not militarily)

Also, you are following the rule prohibiting amphibious units from firing on the season they invade, ya? They only soak hits.

Far from being a game breaker. Craig has designed a wonderful system and at most a couple setup tweaks or one rule change would fix it - IF it's even a real problem. I won't speculate on that until I've played it through a few more times. This whole topic arose because we started abusing sea invasions in our last game - Russians in India and Italy, Germans in Finland and Sweden - to the point that it started feeling silly. Afterwards, a couple guys in my group are already calling for a house rule limiting them. I said not so quick and started exploring extreme strategies today. I must say at this point, I'm inclined to agree with them but AGAIN need to play more actual games...
 
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Michael,

I think you're misunderstanding a rule here that will significantly affect how you're playing the game.

Quote:
15.21 Declaring War
A Declaration of War (DoW) must be made before moving units that Turn.


"Moving units that turn" would include sea invasions.

Thus, the British Navy in the English Channel would likely not be fooled if boatloads of waving and smiling German soldiers were on the way to "holiday" at Brighton.

D-Day was the largest amphibious invasion in history. What would that approximately look like in game terms?

It would be a 2 CV infantry plus a 1 CV armor (with the LST tech). Yep. That's all.

Quote:
11.221 Sea Invasions
Convoys moving into Enemy Territory are Invading. Only one Ground unit per Turn can Invade across a Coastal or Straits border even if it is undefended (LST Tech raises this to two units).


We interpreted this as a somewhat garbled combination of two rules, due the impossibly large convoys that an essentially unlimited number of invasions would require.

Please don't say that this game is not intended to be realistic but just a game. I would respond by suggesting the introduction of mercenary Zombie units riding on dinosaurs simply for for better play balance!



 
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The game is realistic (quite right, no zombie dinosaurs)

The game is not a simulation. Nor does it always play out in terms of historical events (D-Day, Axis vs world, US entry in '41 - instead we see lots of interesting ahistorical events, like Soviets DoW on Allies).


I think m3tan's analysis appears to be well founded. What did you disagree with specifically regarding the strong potential for success of '39 Axis attack on the Allies using amphibious invasions? Britain is in a weak starting position, hence we postulate that the best move in '39 is 7 CV builds to protect London. Isn't security first priority over economic engine or technologies or diplomacy?


 
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Dave,

I disagreed on two rules interpretations:

1. That an invasion convoy could bypass a "rival" British fleet in the English Channel on the theory that war isn't declared until the Germans actually touch sand on the beaches. By 1939, the British should be able to move their fleet into the English Channel, which would stop any convoys.

2. The rule that appears to allow the Germans to execute up to 10 invasions the size of D-Day in 1939 as long as they spread their invasion sites enough. Here come the ninja zombies from Narvik on dinosaurs.
 
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DieterS wrote:

Dave,

I disagreed on two rules interpretations:

1. That an invasion convoy could bypass a "rival" British fleet in the English Channel on the theory that war isn't declared until the Germans actually touch sand on the beaches. By 1939, the British should be able to move their fleet into the English Channel, which would stop any convoys.

2. The rule that appears to allow the Germans to execute up to 10 invasions the size of D-Day in 1939 as long as they spread their invasion sites enough. Here come the ninja zombies from Narvik on dinosaurs.

1. You are correct there is no bypassing. However, if the Axis simply moves through the North Sea Brit Navy and then declares war in a subsequent season, it's straight to the mainland. Likewise if the Brit doesn't build his navies up on turn 1, the Axis could potentially win a naval war. This is why I subscribe to the picket defense of London, that is, lots of "speed bump" 1 step blocks spread out to occupy all adjacent seas slowing Axis progress.
2. One invading ground block fights per border, that adds up quick, dinosaurs or no.
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DieterS wrote:


D-Day was the largest amphibious invasion in history. What would that approximately look like in game terms?

It would be a 2 CV infantry plus a 1 CV armor (with the LST tech). Yep. That's all.



Well, for seasonal turns you really have to add up June, July, and August's landings. I think that looks more like a full Inf and 3 CV or so armor.
 
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DieterS wrote:

Dave,

I disagreed on two rules interpretations:

1. That an invasion convoy could bypass a "rival" British fleet in the English Channel on the theory that war isn't declared until the Germans actually touch sand on the beaches. By 1939, the British should be able to move their fleet into the English Channel, which would stop any convoys.

Please stop quoting rules and actually read my proposed opening German turn. Setup and solo 1936 if you need further convincing. At this point I have a firm grasp of the rules and am certain I am playing correctly.

Also this is a discussion of 1936 not 1939, by which time the UK has had plenty of time to build up.

DieterS wrote:
2. The rule that appears to allow the Germans to execute up to 10 invasions the size of D-Day in 1939 as long as they spread their invasion sites enough. Here come the ninja zombies from Narvik on dinosaurs.

Unfortunately it does. Paris has 3 coastal areas, with LST tech you can land 6 units or up to 24 CV with a 6 CP card...
 
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If I'm the West, I WILL build most or all of my starting build as units (exception - the Axis have built before me and not invested much in units). If I see a massive buildup like that, I probably will sortie the fleet in Spring of 1936 whether I'm stuck going first or not (if NOT, I might just declare war and take out those bathtubs on the theory that they COULD be 2 CV fleets and I want to fire first with surprise). If they're really all Inf, though, it doesn't matter; I just have to be present in the sea zone and they can't invade (Craig has ruled that they have to disengage if present in an enemy occupied sea zone when their side declares war). Since I want to ultimately have a lot of small fleet blocks at sea anyway for eventual use against subs, being unable to build those blocks up next year if the war doesn't start now isn't a problem; I'll just build more blocks.

As for defending two capitals, that's entirely the wrong approach, IMO. Write off Paris early. It's going to fall if the Axis attack any time before about 1942, just accept it.

Demonstrate a successful defense of Great Britain a couple of times and the Axis will think twice about possibly throwing the game to the Soviets.

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demoss1 wrote:
If I'm the West, I WILL build most or all of my starting build as units (exception - the Axis have built before me and not invested much in units). If I see a massive buildup like that, I probably will sortie the fleet in Spring of 1936 whether I'm stuck going first or not (if NOT, I might just declare war and take out those bathtubs on the theory that they COULD be 2 CV fleets and I want to fire first with surprise). If they're really all Inf, though, it doesn't matter; I just have to be present in the sea zone and they can't invade (Craig has ruled that they have to disengage if present in an enemy occupied sea zone when their side declares war). Since I want to ultimately have a lot of small fleet blocks at sea anyway for eventual use against subs, being unable to build those blocks up next year if the war doesn't start now isn't a problem; I'll just build more blocks.

As for defending two capitals, that's entirely the wrong approach, IMO. Write off Paris early. It's going to fall if the Axis attack any time before about 1942, just accept it.

Demonstrate a successful defense of Great Britain a couple of times and the Axis will think twice about possibly throwing the game to the Soviets.


I completely agree with this assessment EXCEPT I think Paris falls in 1936 unless the West makes a very risky play to defend both capitals. All the pressure is on the West to build and position his units perfectly. One slip up and the Axis can exploit because he has nearly twice as many action cards.

BTW Can you clarify on Craig's ruling? The rules explicitly state that convoys can never DISENGAGE. Thus I assumed that with a Axis DoW, those bath tubs are sitting ducks. That hurts this strategy a bit. IF it is a rules exception and bath tubs can disengage immediately after a DoW, then it helps that Axis strategy and I don't like that at all...
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Doug DeMoss
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http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@@.1dd751d6/610

I agree, it's not in the rules as written. I'm not sure that it actually helps the Axis, though; as the Axis, I'd prefer to be able to send in warships and/or planes rather than have to use precious moves to get the convoys OUT of a contested sea zone.

 
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Michael Tan
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Craig wrote "This situation is not covered in the rules. I agree that the best ruling is the Active player must Disengage his Convoy if he Declares War."

What if the command card has insufficient CPs to disengage all the convoys? Is the DoW illegal or must some convoys initiate a battle? I would assume the latter.

What if there are no legal areas to disengage to? A likely scenario if the West picket fences with fleets. I would assume they must initiate a battle.

What if carriers or fleets are accompanying the convoys. Do the convoys still need to disengage? Again, without further clarification I would assume they must disengage but the carriers and fleets may stay.

Uggh. It's amazing how we can make a simple game so complicated...
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