- Marco semoriItaly
Hi, we are trying for the first time le LOC Vichy.
We all like the system but our Allies players find it too much in Axis favour.
They say that for the Allies the best way to use LOC Vichy is:
- Send all the French fleet to a CW port and destroy it when Vichy is installed
- Open Paris as soon as possible
- Defend only Lille, cities with factories and river to deny chits to the Axis
It is a good strategy? There are any other strategy that not involve the completely destruction of French fleet or a better use of the French army?
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- WendellUnited States
OhioHey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
The French get chits for keeping its battleships in French ports, so the 'destroy the navy' strategy will cost chits. In any case, the usefulness of the fleet in Vichy hands is very limited. Keep the BBs in France. But the Allies should send the most useful parts of the French navy - transport, sub, the Algerie - to ports likely to go Free.
The Allies SHOULD open Paris at the right time; when is a judgement call.
Abandoning places without factories or rivers will make the German victory quicker and easier. That's just silly.
No matter what version of Vichy you use, France should put up as spirited a fight as possible, because the defense of Russia begins in France.
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- Doug HarnedUnited States
I've only limited experience with LOC Vichy (2-3 games), and I do very much like it. In general to me the LOC Vichy rules are the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. By that I mean that the defense of France should be conducted in terms of overall strategy, not with too much consideration to the Vichy impact.
Overall the Allies are trying to thwart or at least slow down the Axis strategic goals. The defense of France should be keyed to this overall view (this includes chits, Paris being open/closed, etc and the LOC implications).
Agree with Wendell that in any event keep the BBs in Metro France. No big deal if they go Vichy and the produce a nice bonus in chits for LOC.
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- Andrew(AndrewFW)United States
After having played with LoC Vichy almost exclusively since it came out, and only recently switching back to using RAW, I'm actually of the opinion that LoC Vichy is generally way too pro-Allied!
Here's why, and what I would suggest doing as the Allies:
Your overall goal is to have a strong Free France. This means generating chits wherever you can, and preserving the better French units (especially the HQs). The secondary bonus of this is that in many cases you can also threaten to block the Germans from gaining a high Vichy level - however I've found this is rarely a good option, as I'll go into further detail on later.
I find that generally, anytime you can go up at close to even odds against the Axis with the French, you should do so - any ties give you a chit. Also, any battle against a mixed Ge/IT force means they can't gain chits, so even better.
Avoiding getting British units killed in France is a must. If this means a minimal BEF, that's fine. In fact, the British should be busy placing units in the capitals of key French minors, especially Morocco and Syria. This prevents the Axis from demanding those, unless they can get a ZoC on the capital (which the British should also be busy preventing).
Definitely declare Paris open as soon as you can. The latest revision of the rules made this a lot harder to do, especially if the Axis play correctly, but in the end if you can't declare it open, it won't be the end of the world - make them fight for it, and try and gain other chits in the meantime.
Production-wise, remember that you will be able to purchase units on the spiral for Free France. At some point, you will want to stop building unit's for France's defense, and start building the things you want to keep for later - things like the French Marine, the Engineer, DeGaulle, etc.
When the Vichy settlement is offered, it's take it or leave it for the Axis. With any luck, you have enough of an army left to have them lock arms across France. The Axis can move around you, but they can't move through you or attack for the rest of the turn, and even a single aircraft is enough to block them. If nothing else, this costs him a few resources for one turn, and slows him down if he was heading for Spain.
The Vichy Phase:
So, we have these chits - hopefully around 8-10 given average luck (assuming around 3-4 from your BBs, and around 4-5 from holding Paris, plus maybe 0-2 from other sources). If the Axis get greedy and demand French ships, that means more chits for you. As discussed above, it's probably not worth using your chits to lower the Vichy level. The only caveat to this is that if the Axis uses the last of their chits on gaining level 4, one or two French chits to knock him down to 3 is well worth it. (This is a newbie Axis mistake though, as I'll discuss in further detail soon)
Instead, you'll want to spend on two things. One, making sure you have a home country, and two, on units. How many you can spend on the Admin Group roll depends on Vichy level, but I'd say it's worth spending at least 2-3 chits just to be on the safe side. If you want something key, like Morocco/Indochina/Syria, you may want to spend more, though that means less units. French Guyana is also a reasonably good choice, as its proximity to the USA makes for easier lend-lease.
Now, on to units. Anything in France proper costs you BP+2, so roughly it will be 2 chits per unit for anything big like HQs, ARM, MECH, etc. Even if the Axis spend to block you, they can only catch every other unit, so if you have all the HQs on map or in production, you'll be able to get 2 of them. If you've done well, and wound up with 10-11 chits, that means 2 HQs, and 2 other units. Strong possibilities are the ARM, MECH, MAR, MTN, the French TRS or other good ships like the Richelieu (worth running this one to Africa, usually, though if it nets you an extra chit from BBs, it can be worth leaving behind). Ships that are in Free territory cost 2 points less, so you can usually manage one per chit there.
Overall, you can easily wind up with a very strong base force, which when augmented by cooperating Americans or Brits (and filled out with some lend-lease BPs) is a serious bonus for the Allies. Furthermore, this entire force shows up immediately in your new home country (provided you have the reinforcement spots). Having a large chunk of the French army teleported over to the country of your choice is a sizeable advantage, especially since it will be in supply. Putting this in Morocco, Syria, or Indochina can really ruin the Axis plans, to say the least.
...and it's some of this right here that makes me feel that LoC Vichy is too pro-Allied. It's way too easy to get an instant, powerful Free French army out of the deal. Conversely, the really cool Axis stuff is fairly easy to block or avoid, or is just way too expensive, in my opinion. The Axis players started simply incompletely conquering France, and ignoring the Vichy rules altogether, if they were planning to invade Spain. If they weren't, it was usually a Level 2 or 3 Vichy, with minimal concessions (and there might be some variance here, but not a lot). Risking getting blocked from a level 4 Vichy and wrecking your whole strategy wasn't ever worth it, especially given what the Free French could get out of it.
Of course, that's just my biased opinion.
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