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Rise and Decline of the Third Reich» Forums » Rules

Subject: FSJR attacking Malta Can it receive bombardment support rss

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Chris Smith
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hope I get this right

Situation - Winter 1940. German Airborne is within strike range of Malta. Italian fleet has 4 9FF and atop 2 of these are 2 Italian 1-3 infantry. The Axis also have 20 air factors for use.

The British have a 3-4 and a 1-3 on Malta along with a 5-4 Air fleet and a 9FF based there.

So far so good.

The Germans intend to launch an airborne attack of 12 v 16. Their remaining air (8) intend to engage the RAF and perhaps bomb the fleet.

Can the Italian fleet add their bombardment factors to this attack (so +12 assuming no intercepts).

29.413 Attacker may not use Shore Bombardment in support of an Exploitation attack or in any attack against a hex not under attack by seaborne invasion. EXCEPTION: Shore Bombardment may be used in support of non-exploiting, attacking ground units against any coastal fortress or one hex island.
DQB (& 29.58) If a naval unit is displaced from its base and then intercepted and defeated so that it has to return to its original base,
what happens?
A. It attempts to return to the next nearest available friendly port on that front – tracing its path from the point of interception. It is again subject to interception by any as yet uncommitted enemy fleets/air. If no such other friendly port is available on the front, the defeated fleet is
eliminated
DQB If the coastal fortress is also a port with a 9-factor fleet, may the
attack still be made using shore bombardment?
A. Yes defending fleets do not prevent shore bombardment.
DQB Are Leningrad and Sevastopol considered fortresses such that shore bombardment may be conducted against them in conjunction
with a ground attack?
A. Yes.
DQB Can shore bombardment be used with non-exploiting units
attacking across a crossing arrow?
A. Not normally. If attacking a one hex island (e.g. Scapa Flow) across a crossing arrow, then yes. Rule 29.431, second sentence applies to
Danish islands for shore bombardment purposes only.

So can the Airborne receive Shore Bombardment support when dropping on Malta whilst a 9FF is present along with ground units?

Thanks lads
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Scott Clinton
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Absolutely, unless the British drive off (i.e. intercept) the Italian fleet.
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Vicomte13 13
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Yes. The Airborne Unit is a ground unit attacking a coastal fortress. Naval gunfire support can always be given against coastal fortress under attack by a non-exploiting ground unit, whether or not there is a defensive 9-factor fleet present.

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Chris Smith
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Thanks Scott and vicomte for very quick reply much appreciated I'll let you know what happens.
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Scott Clinton
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Good luck (I think, I am not sure which side you are playing!). I do seem to remember I have never won the game as Allies losing Malta, nor lost as Axis when I took it. cool
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Chris Smith
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Hi Scott
I'm playing Allies. To greet the Italian Fleet I have the Malta Fleet, 10 Fleet factors in Port Said, 15 factors at Alexandria, 9 at Gibraltar and am currently in the SR process which may see 9 deployed to Algiers and another 9 to Oran (they went Free French in the Fall turn). So my opponent has set up for the Winter turn his Para, 4 Italian Fleets (2 have a 1-3 a top but can't invade) and 20 Air all deployable from northern Italy to within range.

My defence is a 1-3 and a 3-4 infantry and 5 Air.

With all of the Italian fleets coming from separate ports would you advocate i intercept individually? or have one large battle of the coast of Malta (at least the Malta fleet would be automatic)?

If all others fail its 4-1 thus the Italians add 5 but lose 1 nationality and as I add 1 the difference is +3 to them.

Im swaying to one showdown (HMS Prince of Wales has had its Y turret fixed and ready to rock)

Thanks again, Chris
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chris walsh
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So yep - the abn unit is taken to be a ground unit even though it comes from the air. Think that's right: fleet bombardment can be used at Leningrad (coastal fortress) when under attack by land units.
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Vicomte13 13
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I myself would intercept a bunch of different fleets, because that gives the British the opportunity to send a lot more Italian naval power to the bottom, and makes everything less susceptible to a disastrous die roll.
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Vicomte13 13
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He'll Counterair you, probably (you hope he doesn't, because if he just makes a massive attack and rolls a 5, he'll lose all 5 air).

So he'll be hitting you with 18 factors for sure (the AB and 15 air), versus 16. That's a 1:1. If he throws 5 more into the attack, and you defend with 5, it's 23:21, which is still 1:1.

If he gets all five fleets through and counterairs, he'll have 33:16, which is 2:1. But all you need to do is knock down 2 of his naval factors, and he'll be back to 1:1.

If you intercept all of the Italians with all of the British, individually you'll probably win all, or most, of the battles, and you'll certainly take out at least 2 of his factors.

So, his fleet is pretty much useless here. Really, he's just sailing it out to see it destroyed (which is a good thing for the Allies), in the forlorn hope of getting to a 2:1 on Malta.

It's great for you, as the Allies, that he's actually going to attack Malta. I'd never do that. Think what those same Italian forces could do down in North Africa!

Gibraltar is a fortress worth assaulting, but Malta? Eh.

He should be swarming through Spain and aiming at Gibraltar, because then those Italians get out to attack Britain.

But you've got a problem yourself if you send all those fleets to the Mediterranean. By my count, you'll have 6 and a half fleets in the Med.

Which means you will have two and a half fleets in the Atlantic.

Which means that the Germans, if they build their fleet to four 9's, will have +1 on you for larger forces and +2 national, versus your +1, for a net +2.

He will win at sea, invade England with two armor, and conquer England proper.

Don't overcommit your fleet to the Med. Remember, you only have to take out TWO of his factors to cause him to be hitting Malta at 1:1.
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Vicomte13 13
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Does he realize that if he fails in this airborne assault, he has lost the airborne for the whole game?

Has he considered that if he "wins", with an Exchange, he loses 15 air factors and 3 fleet factors if he wants to even take the island? And you lose a measly 4 BRPs of infantry.

Is he really going to take all these risks...for MALTA?

If he is smart, he will do this instead:

Swarm your fleet with 15 air and counterair your air.

He will destroy some of your fleet. Send more air down there. If you're obstinate and put another 9f in there and more air, Just keep pounding your fleet and air from the air. He'll have your fleet whittled down in no time, and can then slam into England with the German fleet, but you'll hold Malta!

Get your fleet and air force out of there. Voluntarily disband the 1-3 and SR another 3-4 in there. He cannot get better than 1:1 on that, and would take massive losses in an Exchange, in exchange for pennies from you.
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Chris Smith
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Thanks Vicomte great suggestions.
Im not quite sure if invasion is the plan but its threatened.
Just one thing though his Airborne would only ever receive 9 ground support factors right? Aren't attacking units only allowed a maximum of triple their basic value in air? (leaving 11 for Counter Air/Fleet bombing)
That would give 12 v 16 or 1-2 and this is where he is pinning his strategy on the Italian fleet (which is only 4 x 9FF at the moment). Re looking at the map my distribution was incorrect (apologies). I have 10FF at Port Said, 15 at Alexandria, 9 at Malta and 9 at Gibraltar. There are 3 more 9FF at Britain. The Kriegsmarine and Royal Navy had a scrap off Southhampton in Summer 40, 1x9FF v 1x9FF but the rolls were German 1 +2=3 and UK 6+1=7 so 4/2 loses.
I don't have enough BRP left to build the last 9FF as we have been counterattacking every go in France with German Panzer losses at 5, 3 Infantry, the Para (which was rebuilt near Malta) and some Air.
Chris
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Chris Smith
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Will he risk it all?
Could be a feint but one I feel I have to cover although I take your point that the UK is the thing to defend.
So individual intercepts over a major clash off Malta?? I have to factor in the intercept percentages as well (from Egypt the fleets are in the 11-18 range, Gib 19-24 range, Malta automatic).
Chris
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Vicomte13 13
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You're right about something I missed: he can only use 9 air.

He's not going to send the airborne to Malta. It's a feint. He's going to bomb the crap out of your fleet and air force. Get them out of there.

This means he won't be sailing all of those fleets to attack Malta (but you can go ahead and SR in a 3-4 to make it worse for him. If he really is willing to trade FLEETS for MALTA, well, God love him, but he's going nowhere.

I assume France is out? If France isn't out, get that air and 3-4 into France!

If France is out, defend Britain.

I hope you built one SAC factor. Germans seem to like to get that extra 3 points of damage with the extra sub, but taking a 5-4 air out of the game for him actually does him a lot worse damage than losing 3 more BRPs.

Don't build more than one SAC.

As long as his airborne stays down in the Med, England is easier to defend.

What does he have in North Africa? Where is the rest of his airpower? What do you have in England? Anything left in France?

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Chris Smith
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France went on the Fall turn.

Germans attacking Paris suffered a counterattack exchange (FSJR + 5 Panzer and 1 AF v 2 French Armour 24v12). The FSJR and a Panzer came off meaning it SR'd to Med. The French counterattack was successful too - 28v42 rolling a 2 for a full exchange.

In Africa he has DAK, a German 3-3, an Italian 3-3, 3 2-3's and a 1-3. There are 5 Air.

Immediate front is a 4-5 UK Armour stacked with a 1-3 and right behind the exact same. The DAF has 8 factors for use. There is no possibility of an exploitation as the British wiped out the Italian Armour just west of the quatarra depression.

UK currently has 3 9FF, 3 x 3-4, all reps, 1x 1-3 and 8 Air.

so currently on Malta I have 2 Air factors. The only Sr from UK is via GIB as the RN based in Port Said not Suez.

Your suggestion is sound. I could simply garrison it with a 3-4 from UK and either a 1-3 or 4-5 from Egypt and the operation is either off or very risky. The RN is going to stay well away so thanks Vicomte your logic is very logical.
Chris
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Vicomte13 13
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Thanks for the overview.

It's Fall. He's in a pretty terrible position, really. He can't get to England. He can't take Spain in Winter.

Do you know what the Axis variant is? Does Italy have 5 Objective hexes? If not, he can't bring in Spain in Spring 41 if he has variant 7.

If he does, then plan on Spain coming in and be sure to have forces in Gibraltar.

If you don't know, then make him tell you who owns what objectives in France. This raises a rules question - if Germany conquered France and Italy didn't take any objectives, can Germany just ASSIGN Italy an objective hex? I don't know. I would think not. I would think that objective hexes belong to the player who takes them, so if Germany conquers France, then Germany gets the objective hexes, except those taken by the Germans before France falls. But that may not be right.

If not, even if he has Variant 7, right now he's only got four objectives: the three in Italy plus Tripoli, unless he's taken Yugoslavia. He moves first in Spring 1941, so if you were going to do something dirty to him…such has hit an empty beach in Yugoslavia with armor and exploit to the capital, or hit the beaches in in Libya and exploit to Tripoli, or southern France and exploit to Milan or Genoa. Hold the Italian below 5 objectives at the end of the Winter 1940 turn, and come Spring 1941 Spain doesn't come in. The Variant must be played right then, or it's lost. If he sees that, he may very well decide to go after Malta, just to get the objective hex. Making him roll 'dem bones and maybe lose a heapin' helpin' o' forces is a good thing.

Or you can not stretch like that, be sure to garrison Gibraltar well, so that he can't just walk in.

At this point, holding North Africa makes sense. And holding sufficient forces so that you can take him OUT with offensives and exploitation makes sense, because the more he sends to Africa to engage in a hopeless struggle there, the less he has for Russia.

In this case, I think I'd probably do something like this:

Assume he's got Variant 7, and make him think you're worried about Variant 7, by asking him about the Italian objectives, counting out hexes from beaches, etc.

You want him to protect those beaches down there in the South, in Italy, in Yugoslavia, perhaps in Italy. You want him to take a defensive crouch, worried about what the Brit might do. Get armor onto ports, sitting there ready to pounce by sea. Get your fleet out of Egypt and to Gibraltar. and get armor to Gibraltar. Two armor in Egypt is good, to stop him exploiting if he pulls off a coup, but really, two front line 1-3's backed up by a 1-3 and the 2-5 armor are enough. You're just there to slow him down and make him take offensive options to gain two measly hexes at a time, or send his airborne to Africa. If he does THAT, then the USSR and England are much easier to defend.

Get the armor stacked on Gibraltar, and the British in England stacked on ports - and London if the Airborne is close. He must never take Suez and Alexandria now, and while it's not a crisis if he takes Tunis, use the two-hex width in Algeria to keep him from going any farther there.

Contain him with as little as possible. Induce him to send the airborne. Have four 9fs sitting on Gibraltar, a 9f on Scapa, and a 9f and three 5-4 air sitting on Portsmouth (if he's get air within range. If he wants to take turns, offensives, to sit there with 20 air factors trying to damage one fleet in England, that's fine, because it means he will have a maximum of 5 air factors of superiority on the Eastern Front…and that's only if he strips the Med of forces.

He is running out of turns. He's only going to have three turns to take out the USSR: Spring, Summer, Fall 1941, and if his airborne is off in Africa or in the West, or if his air is down in Italy or the West, the Soviets can hold him to a few hexes of advance, max.

With the British, in 1941, you're looking for the opportunity to put them ashore in France - be it at Calais, or Normandy. This will make it such that he's got to start reinforcing the West in 1941. Less for Russia.

Come 1942, don't dick around in the Med. Buy the American air and Fleet and Armor and Airborne. SR them to England, and go straight into France with the whole combined air and fleet power in Summer or Fall 1942. Breakthrough, exploit, clear out the bubble, and then with 9 air, two airborne and 10 Armor, plus supporting infantry, make a beeline straight for Berlin, moving at a rate of at least two hexes per turn: attack, and exploitation. Hug the coast, so you can supply through Calais, then Antwerp, then Brussels and Amsterdam, then the German ports. At two hexes per turn Berlin will be in peril in early 1943. Remember that after Berlin falls it takes at least two turns to take Italy, just to get in position. So keep an eye on the Decisive Victory date for the Allies and get Berlin at least two turns before that. Berlin first, Rome second.

The Med is merely a place to cause the Axis to divert units, by threat from armor at Gibraltar, and fleets. But if you're already ashore with the British in France in Spring 1942, you speed up the Western Advance by a Turn.

Don't take the Russian Free Transfer unless you absolutely have to, because it moves up the Victory condition terms and makes it extremely hard to get a Decisive Allies Victory.

The Western Allies fist is 9 Air and 10 Armor aimed right at Berlin, and grinding forward two hexes a turn, minimum (obviously if the German leaves a hole, rout him, encircle him, and massively widen the front.

He only has 8 Air, and only 7 if he got greedy and didn't build SAC. You've got three MORE air in the USSR, and he cannot conquer the USSR in time to pivot and stop the Allied first.

Don't get lost in all of the peripheral baubles, and don't focus on Italy first. Italy is easy to conquer after 1943, but time consuming, and taking Italy out does little.

Make D-Day in 1942 and have that Anglo-American Armored leviathan rolling straight for Berlin. Once that starts, Barbarossa is over and it's "Katie Bar the Door".

You're not going for the grand kill. You're going for a two hex front advance per turn. He can slow you to one if he puts a huge German army in front of you, in which case you roll him from the East.

As things stand, he'll have a max of three turns against Russia before the first winter, and that's not enough time.





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Scott Clinton
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VIcomte13 wrote:
...This raises a rules question - if Germany conquered France and Italy didn't take any objectives, can Germany just ASSIGN Italy an objective hex?

I know of nothing in the rules that would allow this.
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I don't either. The issue is cooperative conquest. Italy and Germany are both at war with France. The Germans actually get to Paris and knock France out, but the Italians have been gnawing at the French in the Alps and North Africa.

NEITHER country passed through either Marseilles or Lyons.

So, to whom do they belong? Nobody, until one or the other passes through?

Vichy France?

Whom?
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Scott Clinton
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Whomever conquered France owns the objectives. In your case that is Germany. And as there is no way to "transfer" ownership of objectives, they must remain German.
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chris walsh
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I think I agree, Scott. No one. (I think.)
Great comments above. Is it recommended to invade Spain as a strategy (variant or no) for the Axis player? Some would hold it as a buffer. It wrecks the entry of the other Axis Minor Allies.
 
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chris walsh
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Taking the 'Siberian Transfer', in pulling the last Victory Condition up from Summer to Spring, can really hurt the Allies in the long game, oftentimes seeing a potential 3 point victory shorn back to a 2 pointer in 1944 due to the fact that while (usually)the surviving German forces are so punch-drunk by the winter turn of the latter years they are ripe for a king-hit by the Allies in the Spring. But this hit, while destructive enough, is not often enough to actually TAKE Berlin.
Hence the possibility of 3 points dissolving into 2 (Su-Sp 1944), 2 into one (Wi-Fa 1944) and one into zero (Su-Sp 1945).
Of course that's only the long game.
 
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chris walsh
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Punch-drunk in Winter, King-hit in the Spring, Easy-pickings in the Summer is the usual sequence.
 
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Chris Smith
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Hi Chris
My opponent didn't drop on Malta in the end but even though vicomte said evacuate I just couldn't leave the Maltese defenceless. Unfortunately the Royal Navy took the punishment on their behalf and an entire fleet was sunk not all by bombers as it defeated an Italian fleet off Naples. However caught entering the harbour luftflotte 5 sunk the whole thing.

He has now set up for an invasion of Spain in spring 41. Forces arraigned against the Spanish are 6 panzer corps the FSJR and 10 Air.

The German navy currently has 10 factors after the gneisenau was caught leaving a Norwegian fiord by HMS Duke of York and 3 R Class battleships. 4 factors went to Davy Jones.

The coming sequence is neat - Spring conquer Spain, Summer invade Gibraltar although this can be made a 1-1, the Fall launch Sea Lion.

CIrcle the wagons? The Uk has lost 19 factors, Italy 11 and Germany 8. Italy can build 1 germany 2 and uk 1 fleets respectively (not including the year long build).

The game is funny you can see and feel things yet they still happen.
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Vicomte13 13
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Invading Spain slows down the entry of the other minor allies.

The rules say that invading Spain means that the allies only come in on an adjusted 6, so you can spend BRPs to bring the roll up.

Also, truth be told, Bulgaria is irrelevant. Rumania and Hungary are useful, insofar as they add some weak forces to go into Russia. But Rumania and Hungary are also buffers. If they don't enter outright, they force the Russians to either advance on a narrow front through Poland, or attack them themselves - thereby activating them as Axis Minors.

If the Russian wants to walk through these territories, then the Russian has to DoW them.

Also, the Russian can be encouraged to DoW Finland or Rumania, by removing the garrisons there.

Besides, there are four minor allies. If there's no adjustment you have to roll a 6. You roll every turn, so in Summer '41, there's a 2/3rds chance one will come in. In Fall '41, a 50/50 chance the second will come in, etc.

And can bring them all in by spending the BRPs to adjust the die-roll to a 6.

For the Axis to win World War II, Britain must be taken out. The Americans can be defeated at sea and severely limited in what they can bring to bear. But if England remains in the war, the Axis are doomed. If the Russian is competent, Russia cannot be taken out in a few turns, and by Fall 1942 the Allies are ready to hit the beaches in France with 16 fleets, 9 air wings, two airborne and 10 armor. The Germans cannot resist that, and they cannot resist that rolling juggernaut once it starts moving towards Berlin.
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Chris, he's really going to have to reach to make Sea Lion work. he's going to have to spend 81 BRPs to get to full strength, plus 45 to take Spain, plus another 30 to go after Gibraltar (assuming he wants to use the Italian fleet to shore bombard). That's 156 BRPs to get to strength to attempt the invasion of England.

If the Axis plan to invade Britain, they need to build the Italian fleet and at least one of the German fleets in 1939. That's the time to do it. Now, he's spread all over the map and has other things on which to spend BRPs.

It's too late for him. England will not fall.

See to it that North Africa doesn't fall either. You're in good shape.

With his fully built out fleet, assuming no further losses, he will exactly match you in seapower: 62 factors each. But only 28 of his factors will be at the German +2 DRM. The rest will be Italians at that catastrophic -2 DRM in the Channel.

So, if he combines the fleets to come after ONE hex, he will all be at -2, and you'll be at +1. He'll go to the bottom if he does that.

If he comes with two fleets, it'll be two 1:1's. The Italians will go down badly. His German fleet may beat you, but he's only 3 factors away from not being able to ferry across two 4-6 armor. The losses he'll take in that battle, even if he wins, will make it very hard for him to get forces sustainably ashore.

If he comes with one fleet (probably the Italian), and then saves the other for interception (probably the German), it works out to the same thing.

With those forces, he's really only got two ways into England:

(1) Land at East Anglia, and clear out Great Yarmouth to be able to SR the Germans in.

(2) Land at Dover, and then the next turn, attack across the Thames directly into London with airborne to untriple, while bringing in more forces to the invasion hex.

He took too long. He wasted a turn messing around by Malta. It worked out for him somewhat because of the damage he did to your fleet, but he's really behind.

And he could be delayed a turn in Spain. He's going to have to take a 1:1 down there, either to get through the mountains, or on Madrid. Otherwise, you get your turn. Step into Spain and you immediately get the 30 BRPs, and can buy the fleet with it.

And when you intervene in Spain, you should send English forces to the Spanish ports in the Northwest and Cadiz. Force the Germans to take a turn clearing the English army out of Spain. Yes, they will do that, but look at where it pulls the German Army and air force - down into Spain. And it means Spring: invade Spain. Summer: clear out the British. Fall: MAYBE take Gibraltar on a 1:1.

Fall-Winter: Allied double turn, as Russia enters the war. Russia overruns Finland or Romania.

Winter: he starts to invade England. He doesn't have the Naval Strength to get enough forces into England to take out England in one turn. It will take two turns.

But two turns means Spring 1942...and THAT means that the Americans will be rushing in ALSO to assist in the recapture of London.

The real moral of all of this is that the Germans were idiots to have started World War II. They had no way to win.




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