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Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe» Forums » Strategy

Subject: West First Strategy rss

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Josh Coar
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If you've been following my post in the General thread, then you know that I've been trying to work on my strategy of attacking France, which I've been doing on Sept. 1939.

But what I am wondering, is when do you normally attack France in a West First game? And when do you normally conquer them by?

I assume that most people attack Poland turn 1, then Scandinavian countries on following turns, and then France some time in 1940? And what if you don't get fair weather in spring?

I have a hard time reconciling not thrusting into France in that guaranteed first turn good weather, and so I'm curious to hear other strategies.
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Salvatore Vasta
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If I am not trying a Quick Fuse strategy, then I typically follow the general course you laid out and attack the West in May-40 to delay West Invaded and put the Policy Evaluation marker in Jun-41.

Sal
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Timo Kellomäki
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I also attack in May 1940, or maybe June if May has poor weather. I am usually finished in August or September. If really lucky, France can survive into the bad weather months, but they have always been almost broken at that point and Axis has no big hurry until the next spring.

I find this a comfortable strategy since you always seem to have more than enough time for it and have some extra units available to grab some minors in order to control the political situation. The only other thing I like to do is to get Norway whenever I have a window. Also depending on UKs actions and Italy's activation, a small push in Africa may be useful, but the main goal is to just protect Tobruk.

Then you get to start the 1941 Barbarossa with everything available to have a chance of a USSR collapse, or at least you get far enough to have some decent retreat space against the eventual red juggernaut.
 
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Josh Coar
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Do you normally declare war on Belgium and Netherlands, or just Belgium?

I'm also mulling over a couple other radical strategies.

1)Attack Italy turn 1. Collapse them by taking Northern cities, then open up a southern front into France, pincering through Italy and Belgium. You lose Italy as an ally, but that extra 8 National Will may be worth it, plus the extra Pro-Axis marker in the cup.

2)Go conquest happy turn 1 - Denmark, Hungary, Yugoslavia. This would drop 3 markers in the cup. You would need to conquer Yugoslavia turn 1 (Should be easy with a tank or two.). Pro-axis marker on Italy and Poland and/or Romania. If you fail to get a political success turn 1 (A little better than 1 in 3 odds.), then you continue to attack neutrals (Romania, Greece, Sweden, Bulgaria - WHATEVER IT TAKES! ). Once you get your political success, you activate Italy, and thus open up a second front on France. You also ship a German infantry or two to Africa....maybe even a tank instead of one of the infantry.

When you declare war in spring of 1940 (Or maybe even earlier), you have Africa already set up, and 2 fronts set up on France. Tunis would need to be taken immediately to prevent French supply interception. Only Malta could intercept supply runs from Tripoli to Catania, and the Italian fighters would keep them at -6 sorties. Tobruk could be held by a low-supplied field infantry, requiring a DD result for England to take it (So basically fat chance in hell.). Ideally, after taking Tunis, you would divert your tank to the East, and start making gains in Egypt as soon as possible. That pitiful UK infantry would be easy pickings against a panzer in fair weather. It also means one less unit defending France, and likely one less tanks event in France.

Quite obviously, diverting units to Africa would be quite costly in the France theater. But the idea would be that having the second front plus Italian units, would make up for it, or even be superior to a standard Northern France assault with all units. Also, because you'd have so many markers in the cup, you could very well get Spain on your side too, from conquering France. If you took Gibraltar, the allies would lose all naval presence in the Med (No supply).

The main objective in this strategy would be an early capture of Africa, crippling the UK economy, at the cost of a slower French conquest. UK would have at most 12 production (-4 from Africa loss, and -2 from the minimum strategic warfare loss.). Within a few months, they'd have no production at all. That makes UK collapse a real possibility, since they couldn't replenish sorties. If UK collapses, you can activate Spain if it wasn't already, otherwise Turkey (since it got a pro-axis after Iraq fell.).
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Andreas Lundin
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MobiusZero wrote:
Do you normally declare war on Belgium and Netherlands, or just Belgium?

I'm also mulling over a couple other radical strategies.

1)Attack Italy turn 1. Collapse them by taking Northern cities, then open up a southern front into France, pincering through Italy and Belgium. You lose Italy as an ally, but that extra 8 National Will may be worth it, plus the extra Pro-Axis marker in the cup.



Hm. Interesting!
 
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Salvatore Vasta
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I'm enjoying reading these explorations of alternate strategies. It would also be fun to read/see actual playthroughs of them. It's a long war so I'm curious how these hold up over time. That is, will some seeming advantage in one strategy be balanced out by counter strategies or disadvantages on other fronts in the same game.

Sal
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Josh Coar
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I played through the second scenario last night, and was able to get Italy as an ally at the end of turn 2.

Taking Yugoslavia turn 1 is not guaranteed, but I managed to do so. This was after spending at least an hour trying to come up with the best Hungary/Yugoslavia defense. But even if you don't take it until turn 2, odds are still in your favor of getting Italy as an ally, since you have until spring of 1940.

I skipped ahead to North Africa, assuming fair weather. Force H in Malta, French fleet in Tunis. A German tank and infantry at west Libya, 1 fleet + convoy in Tripoli, and 1 fleet + convoy in Tobruk (This is because UK can move to 5438 and cut off supply on Tobruk. I ran through 15 iterations and the Med Fleet was not able to prevent me from getting supply to the unit for 1 turn; you do not need to supply the tobruk unit until the third turn, though, since he will start at full supply before declaration of war. If UK was extremely lucky and stopped supply, the loss of Tobruk is still not the end of the world, because once uncle Panzer takes Tunis, he will come and beat up the big bad mobile infantry.).

The only way for this to work, was for me to bring a German fighter to Palermo for 1 turn, in order to assist the Italian fighter in taking out Force H. He also gave air support in one hex, which surprisingly got a DE result on the French field infantry. Using submarines, the Tripoli fleet was able to supply both German units - I went through 5 iterations and the French fleet failed every time.

I took Tunis in 2 turns, but it should be pretty easily doable in 3. I will run through the scenario a few more times to see for sure.

Now, one HUGE benefit to all of this, that I did not think of before, is that France loses 5 National Will (Or 6, if the infantry is eliminated.) from losing their North African cities. That's going to make conquering France MUCH easier!). In fact, I'd say that's well worth committing a German fighter for one turn (Which can make it to the east front in 2 sorties, to free up a fresh plane.).

Once the French 1st N. Africa infantry was gone, it was basically smooth sailing to take the rest of North Africa. They'd have to ship in a unit from France to slow you down.
 
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Salvatore Vasta
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Josh, What did the West do while Italy was active for 4-6 turns in that scenario?

Sal
 
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Josh Coar
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Hmm, are you referring to the allies bringing extra units to North Africa before declaration of war? I didn't consider that, because I figured they'd have little to spare, but I guess I will have to go over it.

All I did was bring the UK WDF infantry to 5440, set up the French North African units, and bring Force H to Malta. I considered not bringing Force H to Malta, which I'm still thinking about. It forces the Germans to commit a fighter, but it also can have severe impacts on UK once France falls, and Sealion is a real threat.

I guess I will have to play through the whole North Africa and France scenario, to see how it plays out, and if France and/or UK can spare any extra units in Africa, and if they can supply them (They have the convoys, but do they have the production?).
 
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Salvatore Vasta
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If Italy activates very early, then the West should go on the offensive in Africa. If Germans are also sent there early, it strains all the air and nacal forces in the area. While the West has the advantage in such units, it works in their benefit.

Eventually France is invaded and things swing back, but until they should push on Italy.

Sal
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Timo Kellomäki
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MobiusZero wrote:
Hmm, are you referring to the allies bringing extra units to North Africa before declaration of war?


The Allies have 4 fleet/CV between them and while France is still active, they can be based in Valletta, Gabes, Tunis, Alexandria to have three of them in reach whichever supply route you use. Also the French fighter can maybe be brought over for extra help since the weather is bad up north anyway. I'm not sure how you get anything in full supply through that for even a single turn (or any German in any supply).

Tobruk ties two units to have a land supply line if there is an UK unit in 5438, which uses up both of the free low supplies from Tripoli. The Italian in low supply in 5338 is also in danger of getting damaged or destroyed.
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Josh Coar
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svasta wrote:
If Italy activates very early, then the West should go on the offensive in Africa. If Germans are also sent there early, it strains all the air and nacal forces in the area. While the West has the advantage in such units, it works in their benefit.

Eventually France is invaded and things swing baxk, but until they should push on Italy.

Sal


I would not declare war on the allies to give them the ability to attack Africa until the main French invasion. In fact, I wouldn't even trigger West Invaded until then.

Daemou wrote:
MobiusZero wrote:
Hmm, are you referring to the allies bringing extra units to North Africa before declaration of war?


The Allies have 4 fleet/CV between them and while France is still active, they can be based in Valletta, Gabes, Tunis, Alexandria to have three of them in reach whichever supply route you use. Also the French fighter can maybe be brought over for extra help since the weather is bad up north anyway. I'm not sure how you get anything in full supply through that for even a single turn (or any German in any supply).

Tobruk ties two units to have a land supply line if there is an UK unit in 5438, which uses up both of the free low supplies from Tripoli. The Italian in low supply in 5338 is also in danger of getting damaged or destroyed.


If a fleet is placed in Gabes, it will likely be displaced before it even has a chance to do anything, and it would have nowhere to go that is in interception range. If I found that taking Gabes was too difficult, I'd even consider placing a fighter in 5224 (instead of Sicily) to airdrop it. I'd even do this if it meant low supplying the German infantry later that turn, in order to supply the fighter (But I could perhaps supply all 3, depending on how well the French fleet does intercepting.).

The axis would not declare war until all of their units were in place in Africa, and at full supply/sorties, so taking Gabes is not a tall order with a tank/infantry.

Also, I played through the entire scenario, opting to bring an extra French unit to Africa, and using tanks there. I opted to bring a French unit rather than the UK unit, because I figured the UK unit would be better off in France, since it could get air support.

This ended up being utterly catastrophic for France. See the screenshot of the end of May 1940 turn (some sortie markers are placed on adjacent hexes so you can see what is in the hex.). The allies can't really afford to bring an extra unit to Africa at all, UK or French!

After playing through this, believe me, you can not spare Allied units in Africa. I was able to eliminate 2 French units and completely break through in the south. The French managed to retake Lille in a counterattack, but that was it. They also could only activate 3 units if they buy back sorties for their fleet. The next turn is pretty bleak for them, regardless of how well they do in Africa (and being down a factory will make it even more difficult to buy back sorties.). And Germany still has its airdrop marker.


I also opted to not bring a fleet to malta, so that it's not stuck there at -6, but this allowed the German fighter to give air support in southern france and still have no sorties at the end of the turn. But I could have swapped out another fighter from the east front, so it may be of no consequence anyways.
 
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Salvatore Vasta
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MobiusZero wrote:

I would not declare war on the allies to give them the ability to attack Africa until the main French invasion. In fact, I wouldn't even trigger West Invaded until then.


This sounds like you are misunderstanding the Declare War and Appeasement rules. You wouldn't be the first. Since the 2nd printing, it has caused the most confusion.

From my understanding, you were playing your Option 2 strategy, which involved

Quote:
2)Go conquest happy turn 1 - Denmark, Hungary, Yugoslavia. This would drop 3 markers in the cup. You would need to conquer Yugoslavia turn 1 (Should be easy with a tank or two.). Pro-axis marker on Italy and Poland and/or Romania. If you fail to get a political success turn 1 (A little better than 1 in 3 odds.), then you continue to attack neutrals (Romania, Greece, Sweden, Bulgaria -


The issue is that you cannot attack any country until the Appeasement or the Nazi-Soviet Pact policy has ended. And then you can only attack the active countries of the affected faction. So in your option, you must have declared war on the Western faction (ending Appeasement) to do that attacking. Once Appeasement is over, the West can attack any active Axis country.

Quote:
This ended up being utterly catastrophic for France. See the screenshot of the end of May 1940 turn (some sortie markers are placed on adjacent hexes so you can see what is in the hex.). The allies can't really afford to bring an extra unit to Africa at all, UK or French!


When did you start attacking into France? The number of dead French units and penetrations the Axis made seem very good for the end of the May turn.

Sal
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Josh Coar
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Interesting. You are correct that I misunderstood.

Interestingly, one scenario I was wanting to go through anyways, was not waiting until May 1940 to attack Africa. It's possible Germany could take out Tunis before the main invasion happens, or Gabes at the very least.

I'd like to see them try and stop Italian supply in bad weather! I guess I will have to revise this strategy, even though it may turn out even better for Germany, not worse.

As far as the invasion into France in my screenshot - It went so successfully because of a DD result when attacking Sedan, which led to the loss of the unit, and then isolating a unit to the south, resulting in its loss. The Italians saved tanks for defense and thus held the northern hex, and the French took Lille and 2916 back. They didn't have the production to activate more units.

Germany could have had a less successful campaign due to poor rolling, but their position would still be too strong to have extra Allied units sent to Africa.

Also, if France tries to get cute and bring too many units to Africa, I may just invade France sooner. Then they'll have all kinds of production/supply issues. Also, if they try to be offensive, they will be easier targets due to lack of terrain/weather advantage. Pushing into Africa could just be free -National Will for Germany, and allow for a breakthrough (At least on the West.).
 
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Timo Kellomäki
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MobiusZero wrote:
Interestingly, one scenario I was wanting to go through anyways, was not waiting until May 1940 to attack Africa. It's possible Germany could take out Tunis before the main invasion happens, or Gabes at the very least.


I'm assuming we are discussing allying with Italy on turn 1-3 and attacking Africa immediately with a Panzer and Luftwaffe, which sounds like leaving France/UK quite safe for the winter. I don't see the French air moving into Africa for the initial months as such a huge risk since it won't do that much in the worse weather there anyway. Sending BEF there might start to be risky.

You are normally in danger of losing Tripoli on the very first turn of Italy being active if France is still in the game. They get 4 attacks in Fair weather and only need two DR. Tobruk is also in danger starting on turn two with the garrisons supporting WDF there.

To gain the upper hand, Axis needs to first get through Med at least three times: on the turn Italy activates to supply the defender near Tripoli; next turn to ship the Panzer into Tripoli; and then to supply the Panzer. After that they have a shot at Gabes, but fighting through a French army + garrison + advancing 5 hexes is not certain in one turn.

But you may be right that an extra Luftwaffe unit is enough to offset the usual allied naval advantage. I will definitely experiment with this approach.

By the way, what happened in the southern France in your image? It's been a long time since I last attacked France from Italy too, but I remember not getting very far due to the terrain. A French unit in 3519 is not that easy to destroy.

Quote:
I'd like to see them try and stop Italian supply in bad weather!


In Severe it is hard, but that is improbable in the Med. In Poor Force H is still +1 vs -2 and the other units are also quite capable of getting their 3+ results, being at 0 (UK) or -1 (French) DRM. So they should be getting a couple of +2s. After a couple of turns Italy normally cannot keep up with the repairs (it would cost 17 just to repair all of their naval/air, and they may need to spend 1-3 production for land too), so intercepting becomes easier.
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Josh Coar
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I continued playing through my scenario where I got Italy as an ally at the end of turn 2, but I backpedaled with the allies, to adjust for the rules clarification.

I played by the assumption that turn 1, the allies knew that I would go for allying Italy asap, based on my turn 1 conquests, and so they prepared by moving units to Africa in advance, including the French fighter. So by October, when I got Italy to join me, they already had UK and extra french units in French North Africa, and had all of their fleets in place, including the UK home fleet in Gabes. The only fleet not in place was Force H, due to it not being allowed to move yet.

So in a way, this is a BEST case scenario for the allies, because it's assuming they knew exactly what I was planning.

I placed 1 italian fleet + convoy in Tobruk, the others in Brindisi. Both field units were successfully supplied through Tobruk through Salonika in Greece, which I had captured that turn. I think taking Salonika is one of the only ways to make this strategy work this early.

Using Italian Garrisons and 1 field infantry, I put up a defense of Tripoli, but with 3 enemy field units and a fighter, they took Tripoli. But this is not guaranteed - It was +4 to +2 (Hex 5326), with retreat blocked by a garrison. It's probably very likely that it falls, though.

I strategic moved a tank to Brindisi.

I also went ahead and invaded France that turn. I had to make them pay for not having that fighter, and for bringing extra troops to Africa/Southern France.

I rolled terrible and only managed to push the Belgian army to Brussels.

I moved my armies that were in Romania closer to Northern Italy (except for the 2 that took Salonika.).

The allies took Tripoli, as I had mentioned, moved Force H to Malta, moved the home fleet to Cyprus (To help intercept the tobruk supply route), and moved the French fleet to Gabes. Their counterattack in France had no gains.

The next turn I strategic moved the tank in Greece to Northern Italy.

Weather was severe in mild and poor in warm. I raided force H with Italian air, and managed to get diamond results all the way to -6. and I successfully landed the Brindisi panzer in Benghazi regardless (I think subs helped.), without even being interdicted.

Basically, by the end of January, I had taken Lille, Sedan, hex 2916, 3016, and successfully held Tobruk, and pushed the allies back to 5531 in Libya. I had a shot at a reduced UK infantry (+4 to -1, clear hex), and the bugger survived! Southern France was unsuccessful due to weather, but I get 6 shots per turn at it, so chances are they will break through soon enough.

I was able to supply my units in Africa (Just the tank and the every other turn Tobruk infantry.) without issues, due to the weather, and the splitting of the fleets. It wouldn't be sustainable forever in that state, but it was long enough to buy time for the German fighter in February. I ran out of time to play the February turn, so we'll see how it continues.

Germany should definitely be in a better position in May than they were in my incorrect scenario! The only difference is they had to trigger West Invaded earlier. But they should also take France earlier because of it.

I also will try bringing the new fighter to the West Front and invade UK as soon as the weather isn't severe (I haven't rolled for February yet.). I will make them pay for bringing all those ships to the Med.







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Bruce Tillotson
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MobiusZero wrote:
I placed 1 italian fleet + convoy in Tobruk, the others in Brindisi. Both field units were successfully supplied through Tobruk through Salonika in Greece, which I had captured that turn. I think taking Salonika is one of the only ways to make this strategy work this early.


What was the Med Fleet doing when the Tobruk fleet/convoy were supplying the Italian armies?

MobiusZero wrote:
Using Italian Garrisons and 1 field infantry, I put up a defense of Tripoli, but with 3 enemy field units and a fighter, they took Tripoli. But this is not guaranteed - It was +4 to +2 (Hex 5326), with retreat blocked by a garrison. It's probably very likely that it falls, though.


Based on your post, the Italians setup two garrisons and two INF in Libya. If one INF and both garrisons are near Tripoli, that leaves just one INF in Tobruk. One UK garrison should be strat moved to hex 5340 (adjacent to Tobruk). If the Italian INF stays in the fort during the Axis Ops phase, the WDF should immediately move to hex 5438, which blocks the road west of Tobruk. The remaining UK garrison moves overland toward Tobruk.

At this point, the Italian INF in Tobruk has limited options. It can remain in the fort, in which case supply has to go through another port in Libya for the other units. Or it can come out of the fort and attempt to push the WDF back to free up the supply line. But that leaves it open to attack during the UK Ops phase when it will be isolated, and the WDF won't be cut off because one of the UK garrisons can simply move into hex 5439 to maintain the supply line.

Now the Italian could setup only one garrison near Tripoli and the other to protect Tobruk's supply line. Or setup 3 garrisons in Libya, knowing that one will likely starve over a couple turns. Either way, a garrison would be placed in hex 5338 to maintain the overland connection to Tobruk. Then it comes down to whether or not it can survive mobile attacks by the WDF. One bad roll (DD result) and it's eliminated.

MobiusZero wrote:
I strategic moved a tank to Brindisi.

I also went ahead and invaded France that turn. I had to make them pay for not having that fighter, and for bringing extra troops to Africa/Southern France.

I rolled terrible and only managed to push the Belgian army to Brussels.


I wouldn't have moved much, if anything out of France during this time. Yes, that limits the attack on Tripoli, but that's not Italy's vulnerability - supply is. If the Allies can cut supply to North Africa, the UK/French units already in the Med can handle the land battles.

MobiusZero wrote:
The allies took Tripoli, as I had mentioned, moved Force H to Malta, moved the home fleet to Cyprus (To help intercept the tobruk supply route), and moved the French fleet to Gabes. Their counterattack in France had no gains.


A much better position for an Allied fleet is Khania in Crete. Unless you took Khania with an airdrop or invasion, it remains WAL-controlled even if Greece surrenders. This gives the Allies three fleets able to reach each sea zones around Libya.

MobiusZero wrote:
Weather was severe in mild and poor in warm. I raided force H with Italian air, and managed to get diamond results all the way to -6. and I successfully landed the Brindisi panzer in Benghazi regardless (I think subs helped.), without even being interdicted.


Severe weather helps, a lot. The air strikes likely fail to get Force H to -6 if the weather is Poor. If the Italian air is near Malta, the UK should move Force H to Khania and Home Fleet to Malta. Home Fleet is cheaper to rebuild and actually defends better in Severe weather. It takes one sortie to rebase the Italian air from Catania to Athens (two if the air is in Palermo). Being down a sortie makes it unlikely to get Force H to -6.

MobiusZero wrote:
I was able to supply my units in Africa (Just the tank and the every other turn Tobruk infantry.) without issues, due to the weather, and the splitting of the fleets. It wouldn't be sustainable forever in that state, but it was long enough to buy time for the German fighter in February. I ran out of time to play the February turn, so we'll see how it continues.


Exactly why I wouldn't move units from France to North Africa. If the Germans have half their Panzers in North Africa, France has a much better chance to hold out.
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Josh Coar
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Damn, I didn't even think about Khania. Looks like I need to think some more. If there is a reliable way to get supply down there, I will bloody find it! Even if it means taking Istanbul!

 
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MobiusZero wrote:
Damn, I didn't even think about Khania. Looks like I need to think some more. If there is a reliable way to get supply down there, I will bloody find it! Even if it means taking Istanbul!


Istanbul won't make a difference. The transport line doesn't cross the Strait so you'll still need a convoy to trace through that Sea Zone.

Sal
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Josh Coar
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Doesn't it cross the straight if you have units in 4141 and 4241? I mean, it's extreme and probably too hard to pull off in bad weather, but it may be worth exploring...
 
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Salvatore Vasta
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MobiusZero wrote:
Doesn't it cross the straight if you have units in 4141 and 4241? I mean, it's extreme and probably too hard to pull off in bad weather, but it may be worth exploring...


No. The only transport line symbol that from Continental Europe into the Middle East runs through Russia and Turkey.

Having units on either/both sides of a strait impacts whether enemy naval units can trace a naval movement path through the strait, but they don't create a transport line.

Sal
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Mark Dey
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I will say that this thread and the continuing theory-crafting is extremely interesting to me, and is providing suitable motivation to update the Cyberboard gamebox to the latest version.
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Bruce Tillotson
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A correction to my earlier post about interception ranges.

Libya borders sea zones 22, 24, and 25. There is a single Libyan port adjacent to each sea zone.

If Allied fleets are in Gabes, Malta, Khania, and Alexandria, the following number of Allied fleets can reach each sea zone:

SZ 22: 3 (Gabes, Malta, Khania)
SZ 24: 4 (Gabes, Malta, Khania, Alexandria)
SZ 25: 2 (Khania, Alexandria)

So the weakest area is SZ 25, Tobruk to Athens. There are still two fleets available, so even with Italian air strikes from Athens, it's by no means guaranteed to succeed on two supply attempts (which also assumes WDF hasn't cut off the road west). And if the Italian air pummels Force H in Khania, the WAL should rebase a different fleet to Khania, which will give them two, three, and two fleets for interception respectively.

Weather will be a huge factor. A couple early Allied successes in interdiction would be a serious setback to the Axis.


Also, concerning Tobruk. If the garrison holding the supply line is killed in the first two mobile attacks, then the WDF could sweep into Benghazi. That would give the Allies a more useful port than Malta and definitely block the road out of Tobruk.

The odds of killing an Italian garrison in low supply depends on the markers played. Each mobile attack requires 2 MP, so the UK can attempt this five times in one turn. No AS results are possible unless the Axis play the Italian Tank marker and UK does not play theirs.

It vs. UK Tank...........64% DD/DE
It Tank vs. UK Tank....47% DD
It vs. UK...................30% DD
It Tank vs. UK...........20% DD, 8% AS

This assumes the It garrison will be at -4 DRM due to low supply and half strength unit. And to use the It Tank marker, it's not available against the French attacking Tripoli. Decisions, decisions...
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Josh Coar
United States
Eureka
Montana
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svasta wrote:
MobiusZero wrote:
Doesn't it cross the straight if you have units in 4141 and 4241? I mean, it's extreme and probably too hard to pull off in bad weather, but it may be worth exploring...


No. The only transport line symbol that from Continental Europe into the Middle East runs through Russia and Turkey.

Having units on either/both sides of a strait impacts whether enemy naval units can trace a naval movement path through the strait, but they don't create a transport line.

Sal


As long as the Italian navy can make it to Istanbul, they can trace supply through the rails you captured on your way there. That's what I was referring to.

Also, this made me think of a third strategy:

3)Basically the same strategy of trying to activate Italy asap, but Turkey instead. Conquer Bulgaria turn 2, and place a pro-axis marker on Turkey. Once Turkey is activated, they attack Iraq and/or Syria. You could even support up to 6 low supply German units there (Not that I'd send that many!).

The allies would be forced to defend Kuwait from Turkey, and they don't exactly have units to spare if you also attack Syria and Palestine.

Also, you continue your conquest campaign in Scandinavia, and perhaps Greece, hoping to add more pro-axis markers to the cup to activate Italy. If Italy is activated, not only can they supply through Istanbul, but they also would be a threat to Alexandria, against an already burdened UK. And as we have discovered, getting Italy TOO early can be problematic - if you can get Italy in winter, you have the chance to get the new German Fighter to defend your supply routes.

The added nicety about going for Turkey, is if the allies got a political success, you can conquer Greece for another pro-axis marker on Turkey (Gotta love those single hex borders!). But you'd want to avoid declaring war on Greece if possible, to not allow the allies to use Khania.
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Bruce Tillotson
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Kansas
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As soon as Turkey puts a unit on the board, USSR Southern Border and Med Crisis are triggered. So unless the Axis get both Turkey and Italy the same turn, UK and French units will be on the board before Italy activates. That said, I'm not sure it matters much. Turkey entering the war is a real threat to the UK position in the Mid East, whether or not Italy is in the war.

It's not easy, however. Even if the Axis can collapse Yugoslavia in September, their units may still not be near the Bulgarian border. The further away they are, the more likely Bulgaria is to survive in October. There's no German air available due to Home Defense, so it comes down to the inherent +2 German and weather rolls. I suspect the most likely result is that Bulgaria collapses in November. Then it comes down to diplomacy - can the Axis draw a success/pro-Axis marker before the Allies/Russian draw a political success (removing the pro-Axis marker from Turkey)?

Is that quick enough for what you're trying to do?
 
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