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Subject: Questions on strategy rss

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Joe Kuehler
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I'm still learning this game, and I have questions about some things I've read here with regard to strategy.

Why is guarding Alexandretta so important? I know the Armenian Uprising can affect this space, but it can also affect many others. Why is this space so important?

My conclusion with regard to Romanian entry is that the Russians now have another avenue of approach against the CP. Aside from that, I see nothing other than handing the CP a couple of victory points for cities.

Taking that last one one step further, I see no reason for the AP to try much of anything in the Balkans. Anything west of Gallipoli looks like it can be handled pretty easily by the CP after Bulgaria comes into the war.



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Steve Hope
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Alexandretta is critical because it's the only Armenian Uprising space that is also a port where the British can send troops. So if Alexandretta isn't kept garrisoned and the AP can bring in the Armenian unit there, you will suddenly have British corps dropping into the middle of the Ottoman Empire.

I tend to agree with you about the Balkans, but I imagine more experienced players will weigh in with the opposite. You have to play Romania, but working your way back up from Greece seems a bit too Ops-intensive to be worthwhile in the game.
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Philip Thomas
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What Steven said- Alexandretta can end up acting as a free beach-head...
Of course, if you don't play Pan-Turkism it isn't an issue.

Romanian entry is a good idea for several reasons. The Central Powers will get the 2 Romanian Vps anyway if Romania is neutral when the Revoltuion starts. You might as well force them to spend some Ops getting them. And it does open up another front for the Russias, which can be critical in delaying the Revolution (A spectacular example of this can be seen in my latest Session Report "Bolgrad, or Sometimes the Bear Gest You). It also provides extra troops and War Status, which is good for the Allies. If played before Bulgaria it can give the CPs a real tactical headache.

As for the Balkans more generally, the key here is Greece. Allied control of Athens negates the Ops penalty of German Subs in the Med: if the Allies want to mount a viable Gallipoli invasion they need control of Athens.

Hence the Allies normally place a couple of BR LCUs at Salonika. Because the Bulgarians can't enter swamps, they are relatively safe there, and while they are at it they do several things: they prevent losing a VP on Serbian collapse, they allow play of Greece later (a 1Vp swing), and they avoid losing a VP whenever a Balkans Mandatory Offensive is rolled.

More exciting is the possibility (from 1917 on) of using War Weary Balkans to fight your way to Sofia, and thus trigger Bulgarian Collapse. Its not an easy fight though.
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Paul Thomas
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The Balkans does tend to bog down, but it's critical for the Allies to control Athens if they want to do any invasions at all-- in fact, the way the game is structured, I'm toying with the notion of dispensing with Salonika completely and just invading Athens straight out.

However, Salonika does create the possibility of breaking through the Bulgarians at Doiran using War Weary Balkans or a trench-canceler card. I think Salonika and Gallipoli are mutually exclusive. You've got to pick one and stick to it. Gallipoli will require the invasion of Athens as a prerequisite, unless you feel like becoming U-Boat food.

Basically, U-Boats in the Med is such an insanely strong card that it's worth doing just about anything to avoid getting affected by it.
 
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Philip Thomas
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The problem with taking Athens instead of Salonika is that the Central Powers can more easily drive into you the sea at Athens. And if that happens you really are in deep water... I won the game I seized Athens, but I was lucky my opponent didn't attack harder from Lamia.
 
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Paul Thomas
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Very true. OPS permitting, of course, an Athenian invasion wants to entrench at Lamia and hold there.

Actually, this brings up two rules questions which I've been meaning to ask. What exactly are the conditions for playing King Constantine to enter Greece for the CP? Do they have to control all 4 Serbian and Romanian VP spaces, or do they "get a pass" on Romania if it's not into the game yet?

The board (which has Romania colored as AP-controlled) seems to contradict history (in which Romania was neutral until 1916). For the purpose of this rule, I don't know what to treat as "neutral."

Second question: Is King Constantine a "neutral entry"? If it can be played the same turn as Bulgaria, that's a powerhouse combo (enter Bulgaria, quickly take Belgrade and Skopje, then enter Greece and SR a bunch of units down to Athens). If not, then the Allies will have at least a shot at entering Romania before Greece defects.


 
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Philip Thomas
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Romanian VP spaces count as neutral until Romania enters the war or the Russian Revolution occurs. So King Constantine can be played once Serbia has fallen to bring Greece into the war.

King Constantine is not a neutral entry event. It can't be, because otherwise the Central Powers would be unable to play it in response to Greece...

 
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Joe Kuehler
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What is to stop an invasion of Athens? If the AP does so, Greece is a CP ally, but, if done soon enough, these measly forces could be dealt with easily.

If your overall strategy is to land at Gallipoli anyway, wouldn't this be a pretty easy solution to cancel Subs in the Med?
 
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Rick Byrens
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The problem at Athens is that the Bulgarians and Germans can drive you into the ocean pretty easily. This happened to me recently, and there wasn't a lot I could do about it since I was already in force at Gallipoli. Then it's 2 ops to activate anything in the Aegean, which sucks big time.

In hindsight, Salonika and patience for Greece to enter on the AP side was the better solution
 
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Paul Thomas
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Joek wrote:
What is to stop an invasion of Athens? If the AP does so, Greece is a CP ally, but, if done soon enough, these measly forces could be dealt with easily.


The problem is that if you make Greece a CP ally, Greek units can be rebuilt in any empty space in Greece. It's very difficult to keep your supply lines in good shape with Greek divisions popping up at will all over the place. In turn, that means you're basically limited to Lamia-Athens, and as noted, that leaves you a bit vulnerable to being driven into the sea.

The problem with a "Salonika and patience" strategy is that an early play of King Constantine can make your "patience" look very silly.

Perhaps the generic AP strategy of "whatever you were going to do, attack with the Russians instead" is the proper answer here...
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Philip Thomas
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PaulThomas wrote:
Perhaps the generic AP strategy of "whatever you were going to do, attack with the Russians instead" is the proper answer here...


Which is in fact an argument for "Salonika and wait." Salonika and wait is a much less action intensive option than taking out Athens. Best case scenario it just takes 2 cards, Allied Solidarity and an Invasion. Taking Athens is minimum 2 cards (Kitchener's Invasion, wallk ashore), but in order to actually hold Athens you need to take Lamia too...

In the 1916 scenario you already have Salonika, so the options are clear cut (and "Attack with the Russians" is most definitely the preferred option in that scenario's opening turns, right up until the Revolution starts...)

Anyway, a couple of minor arguments for playing Romania. Firstly, with the Romanian VP locations in Allied hands King Constantine can't bring Greece into the war (unless CP troops reach Lamia). Secondly, if Gorlice-Tarnow has not been played yet, playing Romania significantly reduces its impact, because you can send the Dobrujda Corps away instead of one of the Corps on the Caucasian front.
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wayne heeley
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regarding athens...

can the AP move a combined force of say FRcorp and the RU2/4special (paying 3ops to activate it because of subs) from lemnos to larissa and then on a later card play activate again at 3ops cost, have the FRcorp stay there and dig and have the RU2/4special 'invade' an empty athens?

if so, a few questions:
1. does this breach of GR neutrality immediately drives the GR into the CP camp, if so what happens to VPs? is it +1VP for GR allying with the CP, and -1VP for capture of athens? thus a net 0VP change. or is it simply -1VP for athens since it was neutral when you invaded athens?

2. since the RU now control athens does this count as an RU VP in terms of delaying the revolution?
 
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Philip Thomas
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wayneheeley wrote:
regarding athens...

can the AP move a combined force of say FRcorp and the RU2/4special (paying 3ops to activate it because of subs) from lemnos to larissa and then on a later card play activate again at 3ops cost, have the FRcorp stay there and dig and have the RU2/4special 'invade' an empty athens?

if so, a few questions:
1. does this breach of GR neutrality immediately drives the GR into the CP camp, if so what happens to VPs? is it +1VP for GR allying with the CP, and -1VP for capture of athens? thus a net 0VP change. or is it simply -1VP for athens since it was neutral when you invaded athens?

2. since the RU now control athens does this count as an RU VP in terms of delaying the revolution?


The move you describe has a bit of a problem, namely that there is a Greek Corps in Lamia from the beginning of the game, which would block any move from Larissa to Athens.

As for your questions 1) Athens is captured first, so -1 VP for its capture and then no Vp change for violating Greek neutrality (the Vp change only applies if Athens is still neutral when the Greeks join one side or the other. 2) At the moment, yes. The Living Rules will likely prohibit this sort of thing (possibly by requirng any RU Vp spaces taken to have a land connection back to an RU supply source).
 
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Paul Thomas
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Quote:
Taking Athens is minimum 2 cards (Kitchener's Invasion, wallk ashore), but in order to actually hold Athens you need to take Lamia too...


Well, OK, but the post-invasion activations of the Athens stack only cost 1 OPS, leaving you free to use 2 or 3 to attack on the Russian front. Allied Solidarity/Invasion is 2 full turns.

In any case, I'd much rather have an actual beachhead at Salonika so that I can walk units from Lemnos into Florina and The Struma... if you want a beachhead marker there, it's not much quicker OPS/turns-wise than a direct-to-Athens landing, assuming you want to deploy troops to cover Florina as well as Salonika itself.
 
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wayne heeley
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Philip Thomas wrote:
regarding athens...
The move you describe has a bit of a problem, namely that there is a Greek Corps in Lamia from the beginning of the game, which would block any move from Larissa to Athens.


doesn't 18.8.1c, 1st bullet point say that AP units may move through GR units?



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Philip Thomas
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wayneheeley wrote:
Philip Thomas wrote:
regarding athens...
The move you describe has a bit of a problem, namely that there is a Greek Corps in Lamia from the beginning of the game, which would block any move from Larissa to Athens.


doesn't 18.8.1c, 1st bullet point say that AP units may move through GR units?



Er, yes, yes it does... forget about that objection then.
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Joshua O'Connor
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Romanian VP spaces count as neutral until Romania enters the war or the Russian Revolution occurs. So King Constantine can be played once Serbia has fallen to bring Greece into the war.


wait did we play this wrong? we played the campaign game. no one touched the balkans at all. when i got the king constantine card i played it and greece joined cp. should i have conquered serbia before playing this card???
 
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Kristian Thy
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In a word, yes.
 
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Philip Thomas
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baradifi wrote:
Philip Thomas wrote:
Romanian VP spaces count as neutral until Romania enters the war or the Russian Revolution occurs. So King Constantine can be played once Serbia has fallen to bring Greece into the war.


wait did we play this wrong? we played the campaign game. no one touched the balkans at all. when i got the king constantine card i played it and greece joined cp. should i have conquered serbia before playing this card???


Yes. Serbian spaces are never neutral. They start Allied and go CP if conqurered.

Sounds like an intersting game. Theoretically the Turks should have very serious RP problems if Bulgaria hasn't entered the war, and Blockade would subtract a VP 4 times instead of once or twice. Of course, if the game ended earlier that would make those things less bad.
 
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Björn Engqvist
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For someone trying to learn the game, this thread is very helpful on how to handle the different aspects of the Balkans war, both ruleswise and strategywise.
 
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