- Ara BulbulianUnited States
Inver Grove Heights
Given I'm still learning WiF, I have some question about the Med and controlling sea areas in general. It's Nov/Dec 39, Italy is not at war with any nation.
- once at war when do I send my air and or navy to sea boxes to protect as Italy
- should I always try and send FTRs with my NAV, but it limits the BOX range?
- should I send ships and/or subs with my planes as well? Cost Italy oil?
- send planes out each impulse to protect convoys for North Africa units (playing with supply rule overseas needs convoy)?
- offense or def with Italian subs in 1940?
- when/where should Germans try and send out their subs?
- Should Germans split up subs or keep them in packs of 2-?
- The condor NAV look great with AS and range, seems like a good investment as they can go to so many sea zones?
Thanks for answers and anything else that can help me avoid shooting myself in the foot with my Axis sub warfare.
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- Henning Afzelius(Henninga)Denmark
All this is just my point of the case
How to sail and fly is also a matter of the rules played with. If you play with oil and/or present of the enemy, the use of surface ships a lot other than if you dont. If you play with limit oversea supply that makes an new situation Again.
You should always have nav and ftr that can react into all 3 sea zones in the med. If goes without say, that it is the conv of res back to Italy AND the flow of supply to Africa the axis want and to block CW supply in Africa aross the med (Japan can help later to cut supply to Africa if needed)
Dont send you nav into a box your ftr cannot get into, sure it is nice to be in the 4 box with your nav but first time you get a +2/-2 air combat with a CW carrier or worse you will cry... stay low and with your ftr, on the other hand do check that the CW/Fr has ftr/CV to cover the fleet if no DO go out in the 4 box and blow them out of the Water (Most Allied players will never give the axis that chance).
Axis sub use. DONT search with your subs against Allied conv if they got suport from air or protection in the 4 box. You will like to keep your few sub on the map and get more to strike fear into the Allied.
In the early war your sub has 2 goals and it it rare they can do both so take your pick: 1) patroll sea zones where the Allied trs need to sail through many times, intercept them to force CW to protect them and prevent the CW from return to base through sea zones. 2) sail out to non protected conv zones and search (you will find few zones with few conv but your subs will be safe and even the loss of a few conv will matter in the long run.
Once you can throw 5-7 subs into a given sea zone you can start to search in the main conv line zones.
German nav4, well the plane is great but most games I see the that plane build in, I always smile as the CW, my CV will blow that plan out of the sky if it fly away from other land base ftr protection.
One last point, remember your subs ONLY fight IF you want them to fight. Any given zone you sail into you can stay low untill you want to fight, subs can be great to intercept and call planes out to help them. To top it the Allied can never remove your subs before sailing the loaded trs into the sea zone if you dont want to search before.
Good luck and happy hunting
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- Bruce Jurin(Breunor)United States
Your question as to how to handle the fighters and the bombers in the Med is a very difficult one, even very experienced players will give you very different answers.
For Italy early in the war, you have a problem that your fighters are poor and have poor ranges, so often can only get to the 1 box; and your bombers have wonderful range but are really bad in ATA combat. So if you put them under fighter cover they are wasting one of their best traits, their range, but they are vulnerable.
So let's make a few assumptions. Assume that the Axis haven't take Gibraltar, that is a totally different game.
The use of the fighters and the bombers is the 'stuff' of the game, operational/tactical decisions, but they are dependent on the strategic situation in terms of cost benefit.
Aggressive Allied Play
One aggressive Allied strategy is to ship their resources through the Mediterranean and then give a lot of them to France, or even give BP's. If they are doing this you MUST try to stop it with everything you have, the good news is Germany will probably help. Here, it can be worth taking losses.
The CW will probably mass their 4 real carriers. They won't have great ATA either and early in the game, it will be hard for the CW to get LBA into the game here. So against the carriers it may be worth keeping bombers in high boxes.
As I said in an earlier post, if the Germans send their ME-110's, these are good against carriers even with the horrible reduction of one result, and can get to higher boxes, so here you can have some of the best of both worlds. However, against the carriers, I often will put the Gabbiano in the 4 box to really get good surprise - if it is lost, you will often get the pilot back. Here the chance of killing a carrier (often carrier, plane, pilot) can be very high relative to the risk.
In this case, the Allies will have lots of convoys in the 0 box and they will have vulnerable escorts. The good news is that the Allies here have to commit first so you can see where you have a good opportunity to punish them.
Normal Allied Play
Let's assume that both the CW and Italy try to keep supply and we use LOS. Here we don't have an attack at all costs attitude, and we both want to cut the enemy and keep ours. If you play with 'in the presence of the enemy' it is even more important to keep a ship out.
The fact here is that the CW has more production, more pieces, and better pieces than you have; they also have carriers that are very flexible. The good news is that you really don't have anything more important to do than control the Med, while the CW has all kinds of goals; they are really short on land units, want to shore up bases around the world, a strong garrison in Gibraltar, Egypt, maybe Malaya, Malta, etc. They need to keep England strong against a backdoor invasion, and of course send a BEF to France, and later they will need to shore up more in the East. They need to give support to the USSR when they get in the war, and once the German threat of an invasion or attack on Gibraltar is gone (41 Barbarossa), will likely build 4 engine bombers. And they always want to protect their convoys to try to get to full production.
I find a lot of disagreement on whether the CW should build its carriers. They obviously give tremendous flexibility especially to escort trs or amph to get air cover in high boxes or to move quickly to an area, but they are expensive and not that powerful (expensive including the pilot and plane often).
So we kind of have 3 phases with a 41 Barbarossa. In the first phase, before France has fallen, the Allies are pretty strong. Germany has to defeat Poland and France as priorities, and the CW has enough strength to do something – so Italy has to keep an eye on what they are doing.
After France falls, and Germany moves subs to Brest, the CW also will have trouble matching the German surface fleet, your surface fleet, and escort everything.
But the bad news is that once Germany turns east, and the sub war stabilizes to some degree, the CW will be coming for you.
The basic idea is that you have to see how many carrier planes, twin engined fighters, and single engined fighters he has in the Med. With the carriers, you may want to mix some bombers in high boxes with ones protected by fighters.
Twin engined fighters are basically terrible even against Italian fighters (I'm assuming you are playing option 53), but they can kill your bombers so once they are committed to the theater, if they are, you should clearly avoid sending bombers out without cover.
If he is plastering the area with Spitfires and Hurricanes, life will be difficult. At that point you will be on the defensive and eventually you can get overwhelmed.
So in total, you will have to assess the situation. The simple answer is once the CW is sending a lot of LBA your bombers usually shouldn't go out without fighter cover, although again maybe having a Gabbiano as a potential sacrifice in the 4 box should be considered. But you really have to assess the situation – if there is a TRS sitting there with a loaded ARM HQ the cost benefit analysis shifts. Of course if he is ready to invade with TRS and marines or with AMPH's, you also may take more risks.
If I have planes and especially fighters, yes I usually send them out to protect the convoys, but again you have to be aware of the situation.
Subs and the Surface Fleet
I don't usually use subs defensively, they are really intended to be offensive weapons. You can never think of your subs and surface ships in isolation. When you set up the game and see the CW surface fleet, you gulp and are scared as Italy; but as I said above, they have trouble covering the German fleet, your fleet, and all of the convoys. The fleet can be a threat while in port, you send it out once the enemy has committed and hit where you have superiority. The idea of both the subs and the surface fleet is to overwhelm the CW escorts – he usually isn't really strong enough to cover everything. So if he sends out a lot of ships and carriers to cover transports or amph's, he is weak somewhere.
The good news about subs is that they can attract the enemy and you don't have to commit them to combat; so it is often a good idea. Of course the CW player is going to keep some escorts in port and send them once the subs are committed, so there is a cat and mouse game of committing first. You usually want a few subs so that you can turn one over each impulse to start the combat.
Because the idea is to overwhelm the CW escorts, the sub war starts in earnest once France falls, particularly if it goes Vichy. Now no more French fleet -and with the ports in France for Germany's subs, the CW has a lot of sea zones to cover.
Perhaps the best way to learn to play Italy is to play the CW! Even though you have that huge fleet, you see it stretched!
Finally, the Condors! Looked at alone they are powerhouses and they can be a menace, but the issue is whether it is really worth the cost of an armored corps. I only build them when I do a Sealion. Although we have spent time talking about the air/sea war with the CW, never forget that the German – Soviet front is usually the decisive one in WiFFe so Germany usually has something better to do with its money. But I'm often tempted …...
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