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Victory in Europe» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Opening possibilities leading to midgame strategys rss

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juerg haeberli
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Since Ron insist that there is no best opening in this game ( and he has a lot more experience whit it than I ) lets look at some possibilities.

Definitions

Opening: Begins 3-39 and ends with the fall of France.

Midgame: Beginns with the fall of France and ends with 1-43.

For the opening I see 3 possibilities.

1. Attack all out West.
2. Delayed attack West or Poland first.
3. Attack East.

Of these 3 the last one seems not really playable since Germany is to weak to go for Moscow during 39 and in the moment it declares war it looses a resource to the Soviets.

The all out attack west revolves around a first turn attack against Holland and Belgium and an attack against France ( Champagne ) during 4-39.
The disadvantage of this opening is that you need one of the 2 Blitzkrieg cards or the Graf Spee card for a strong enough attack against Belgium to stop the Allies from intervening there.
The 1 CP card makes this opening impossible to.
The Allied 3 CP card played during 4-39 ( if you dont have the Graf Spee card to counter it ) stops this opening in its tracks.
On the positive side you have a real possibility of taking France during 4-39 or 2-40 at the latest.

As an alternative lets have a look at the Poland first strategy.
Should the Allies set up a unit in Kracov the attack vs Poland is very attractive.
To make it fast and keep the losses down for the Axis you might want to attack Warsaw with panzer, stucka, Guderian and 4d2 and 3d2 infanterie.
Dont forget to regroup the panzers, stucka, 4d2 inf and Guderian to Berlin after the fight.
As a second battle I would propose the conquest of Denmark with a 4d2 inf, Paras and Me109.
At the same time put the sub in the Skagerrak.
You are now threatening an invasion of Norway during the next turn.
During the next turn you could actually invade Norway or attack Holland and maybe blitz into Belgium during 4-39.
This opening has the advantage that it less hindered by bad card draws ( the 1 CP card still spells trouble ), the East is safe from the beginning and lady luck ( good dice rolls ) seems to be less critical.
The disadvantage seems to be a stronger allied defense force in France ( but you will be stronger too ) and the earlyest conquest of France will probabely be 3-40.

Possible midgame strategies.
Since I know a lot less about this phase of the game and there are a lot more variables involved the discussion is only sketchy.
I see the following strategies.

1) Sea Lion:
I believe Sealion only possible against bad allied play or terrible allied luck.
A standard defense of England with 3 capital ships, 3 ground troops and 2 spitfires seems very difficult to break.

2) Barbarossa
If France falls fast and with light losses Barbarossa could be a promising possibility.

3) Delayed Barbarossa
If France falls late or losses are high a 42 limited Barbarossa might give the Axis some breathing space.

4) The turtle
Grab everything you can, build up your defenses and let them come. Might gain you a minor victory.

In my latest ongoing game ( session report available in this forum ) a modified turtle might be the way to go but we will see.

As a final point I would like to mention the "Norwegian problem".

It seems that Norway is the most valuable diplomatic real estate the Allies can go for during the opening.
If they get it it will hurt German production quite a lot.
Unfortunately it seems almost impossible for the Germans to get it back once it has become allied since the simplest response to an invasion is to SR an allied ground unit to Trondheim or Narvik.

As always I am open to improvements or additional strategies.

Best regards.

Jürg
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Mark Kwasny
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My initial response is that the 1CP card is perhaps the best card to get if you want to go for France first. But only if you have a 3CP card as well. That would then guarantee two turns in a row. Use the 1CP first, and strike Belgium. Turn 2, use the 3CP and go first and strike into France. I have seen, and I have accomplished, a conquest of France in 4-39 with this two-card punch! If you have a 1CP and 2CP, you can gamble with the same opening but if the Allies have a 3CP card for 4-39, it may not work. It is still not so bad, however, even then.
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juerg haeberli
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Agreed if you have the 1CP and 3 CP card.
If you only have the 1 CP and a 2 CP card you can run into the Italian problem.
This means the Allies Dow Italy and set up for an Invasion of Rome in 3-39.
In 4-39 if they have the initiative they invade Rome and its probabely game over.
The only defense against this would be to use the only CP you have to SR a ground unit to Rome.
Not a very appealing perspective.
 
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Mark Kwasny
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All true. Though the Italians can offer enough of a defense of Rome to make that 4-39 invasion risky. As the German, I would ignore the threat and go for France. Plus, if the Allies are keeping fleets in the Med, the Germans can threaten England or Scandinavia. Every time the Germans go second in a turn, the Allies have to prepare for a possible 2-turns-in-a-row disaster. I have never seen the Allies have the luxury of threatening Italy when they go first in 3-39. They have much too much to protect from a German double move. And if the Allies ignore that threat to go after Italy, then they are possibly throwing the game away. So I personally have found the Italian threat more smoke with little reality.
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juerg haeberli
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Hmm...
Lets assume the Allies use all their resources in the Med plus the French BB from the atlantic.
This would look like this.
The Brit. BB to Tyrrhenian Sea, the Brit cruiser to Gulf of Lyon.
French BB to West Med.
French Cruiser to Sicilian strait and French Cruiser attacks Sicily.
This threatens an unblockable invasion of Rome if the Allies have the 3CP card and the Axis doesent.
Only possible block would be an SR of a ground unit to Rome.
The start up cost is 1 CP for the DoW and the French BB in the Western Med.
Keep in mind this only is a threat if the Axis opens with the 1 CP card and the Allies have the 3 CP card.
A pretty rare situation.
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Mark Kwasny
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True, but also remember - if the Allies go first in 3-39, they do not know if the German has a 3 CP card. So do you really overload the Med hoping they don't? Because if they do, your Italian invasion fails, and France possibly falls. So I would say the Italian threat is too much of a gamble for the Allies if they go first. They cannot risk it. As a side note, I have seen Italy fall and Germany go on and do just fine. So from my experiences, not only do the Allies need to worry about defense, not Italy when the Allies go first in 3-39, but even if a best case scenario unfolds and they land in Rome, it may do them little good in the long run.
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juerg haeberli
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The described start up cost ( 1 CP and French BB in the Med ) seems moderate and since the Axis already showed the 1 CP card the probability for the 3 CP card in its hand is 20 % in the worst case.
This seems not to weaken France a lot ( especially against a 1 CP start ) and the pay off seems considerable.
Please note that the Allies can invade Rome and blunt the Axis Western attack with a pin in Belgium if this seems necessary.
 
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Mark Kwasny
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I have found that to adequately protect England, especially facing the possibility of two German turns in a row, that all ships in England and northern France, plus the cruisers in the Med, and often one of the two from Egypt are all needed. As for cards, as the Ally, I will not risk England or France on that 20% chance. Plus, the Allies also only have the same slim chance to have a 3 CP. if the Allies have only 2 CP they face a strong chance of two German turns in a row

I am not sure an allied move on turn 1 into Belgium is going to pin the Germans. And if the Germans go first turn 2, they cannot be pinned.

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juerg haeberli
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I never heard of a sea lion before 2-40 or before France has fallen.
Yts it is pinned because you need Belgium to attack Champagne or Piccardie.
If you dont want to bluff ( can the Axis really not honor the threat ) you only play this if you have the 3 CP card and now have a 4:1 chance to grab Italy.
 
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Mark Kwasny
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I've overrun England while fighting France. England easily weakens itself sending units to France and perhaps Africa. England is at its weakest in those first two turns. As the Germans I always watch for any naval weakness. Even a 1cv sub can set up such an invasion.

If the Germans go first on 4-39 the allies cannot pin the Germans. France will probably fall. I personally will not risk a swift conquest of France for a contested invasion of Rome.

If the allies have the 3 card and if they do not play it turn 1 and if the Germans do not have the 3 card, then the allies might risk Italy. But you have to set it up not knowing some of that.

And again, to me, conquering Italy gains you little. Africa will fall in a few turns anyway and England is not strong enough to do anything in the Med anyway. So why risk England and France for something that you'll get pretty much for free when the US comes in?
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juerg haeberli
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Please sketch a plan how you want to invade England during 39 under the condition that Axis opens with the 1 ops card.
Assume British navy occupies the 2 North Sea areas adjacent to England during 3-39.

What exactely do you do with the 1CP not used to DoW Italy to save France if Axis gains the initiative in 4-39.

Assume the BEF is in Picardie and Champagne is hold by French 4d2, 2x3d1 and 3 step spitfires.

Italy very rarely falls during 42 in our games.
This is mostly because either the Axis conceeds before 42 or ( lately ) because Vichy becomes an Axis ally.
So yes conquering Italy makes a big difference especially because it puts more strain on the already strongly taxed German forces.
 
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Mark Kwasny
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You're joking, right? I don't know how much gaming time you have but I have precious little, and I'm certainly not going to waste any of it drawing up a lesson plan for you! My friend and I played about a dozen times specifically trying to break the game through Italy and concluded it is a fool's errand. If some people want to continue playing the same way as the Allies, and want to keep letting them with the Germans, great. But don't blame the game.
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juerg haeberli
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Not very constructive.
Since I have no idea on which level you play I posed a simple question including proposed defense and your answer amounts to zero facts.
Not exactely the way to have a fruitfull discussion.

Please keep in mind that the only way that Italy could be broken would be under very specific and quite rare circumstances.

Good luck to you and enjoy the game.

Jürg
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