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Subject: War in noth Africa : Rommel's campain rss

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Carré Geoffrey
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Hi everybody !

I don't know how most of u play, but in most of my games, the 8th british army in Egypt is very powerful and efficient. Conclusion: by 1941, italian's moral collapses.

Even though i really like to play Great Britain, I found it frustrating to have such an easy and fast campain. This is why we got this idea and want to try it on our next game.

_ From now on : At the end of the Axis turn, during the last supply phase, Italy might spend it's only Special Action to provide an unlimited african supply to all it's units everywhere in north Africa, no matter how many italian units might be on this front, until the next last Axis supply phase. If Italy were unable to provide another unlimited african supply during the next last Axis supply phase, all exceding units would be eliminated right away.

_ Thus, Italy no longer needs boats to provide supply to italian troops on condition that it spends this Special Action. Although, german units in Africa might only be supplied through the italian fleet.



What do u think of it ? Does it seem to much ? Too harsh ? Italy has a very low budget, so buying a SA every turn prevent it to build an army too big. It can't do any special action except this one. And german units can't benefit from this special power, even with a german Special Action, this power only belongs to Italy. Therefore, germans can't send too many troops either.

What's ur opinion ?

thx !
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Paul Schulzetenberg
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Hmm, I don't recall North Africa being quite so decisive. Building another Italian fleet (or two) with German lend-lease usually mitigates supply issues, and if things go poorly, you can always spend 5 WERPs to build a field fortification, which often takes a big bite out of Britain's attack.

How is Britain getting the money to build all of this? Britain's usually not swimming in WERPs if the Germans are building subs like they should. Also, are you remembering that the Allies can't invade Vichy French North Africa until 1942?

Anyway, all that said, if you're still seeing an issue, then your fix seems reasonable. Sounds like a good amount to charge for the privilege, anyway. If you wanted to make it more restrictive and keep it from being too powerful, you could say that Germany wasn't allowed to lend lease any aid to Italy on the turn that they expended their special action to do that.
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Steve Sallot
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As far as an Afrika Strategy, I strongly recommend against it. Although, some players value the end-run to Baku. I find it extremely risky, solely because of the supply constraints of the Axis in the Med. I usually lose Africa very quick as the Axis player, because I lose too many ships at a critical time--always in mass. Must be a dice thing!

In short, I don't think modifying the rules is the answer. Historcially, the brits were very succesfull in interdicting the Axis supply convoys. Supply was a the limiting the factor in Africa for the Axis. The Designers did a great job in designing the game. The rules nest well with operational limitations and strategic realities producing 2nd and 3rd order effects. Some argue that makes the game too "historic"! I disagree, it makes the player deliberate on the pros and cons a strategy or course of action. Players are free to choose a different strategy & timeline (in most cases) than historic leaders did but may find that the historical strategy was chosen out of necessity. Enough on that.

In terms of an Afrika Strategy, I would suggest if you want to make it feasible you have to consider the following:

1) Barbarossa will be limited.
2) Crete & Malta is a Must -- could quickly end your dreams for the Mid East / Baku Prize hasten the collapse of Italian Morale.
3) Challenging and "fixing" the British Homeseas Fleet (Atlantic Fleet) with German Fleets is paramount. Even "demonstrating" a SEALION will be very helpful as it fixes british ground units & GSUs.
4) Consider invading Spain (no opinion in the matter) mostly to limit British naval activity & supply in the MED.
5) Be mindful of the quality of the units in Africa (every unit matters!)

Most of above is nothing new, but it shows how extensive something simple as pushing Africa as a decisive theater has a considerable effect on the committment and allocation of resources.

Personally, I think this is an excellent game for teaching and learning strategy-specifically, linking Ends, Ways and Means. That is why I love it. It is a true strategy game, but you have to operationally savy too!

Cheers,
H6


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Brett Johnson
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Galoniger wrote:
Hi everybody !

I don't know how most of u play, but in most of my games, the 8th british army in Egypt is very powerful and efficient. Conclusion: by 1941, italian's moral collapses.

What's ur opinion ?
thx !


My opinion is it's probably a combination of either bad play (Axis) or play-style choices on both sides and not a fundamental problem with the game...

The Axis player should:
1) build subs to max
2) commit a couple of German units to Africa
3) Build a field fort to slow down the British advance
4) Take Crete to complicate the British supply
5) Not risk Italian Fleets
6) Build Italian fleets ASAP

All that being said however, I often have the same experience you describe because my play style (as Allies) is not to commit the British in France, but build a very powerful Africa attack force (as you describe).

This is a play choice that leads the Axis to take very light casualties in France, which will lead to Barbarossa being stronger...

If I am playing Italy, I want to have 6 units (5xINF-3, ARM-3) sitting in a field fort on the Egyptian border, with an Italian SA in reserve. I will then shove 1 German unit across the Med every turn until I can't ship any more due to rules constraints.

I think you would find that a couple of German units (esp. the Elite Arm-4) in Africa and subs at 60, will find the British running out of steam very very quickly.

-Korval
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Andrew Harding
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As the Axis I'm always happy to see British conserving their forces for Africa instead of fighting for France - it conserves my forces too and I'll be doing more with mine in 1941 than the British will. If they do somehow get overwhelming force and the fleets to supply it despite the difficulties of transport to Africa without risking sealion it doesn't hurt the Axis all that much to withdraw their forces and just write Africa off. So I personally wouldn't choose to play with your house rule, but give it a go and see what happens if you think it'll help your game.

Looking at some actual numbers for 1941 since that's when you say your British are winning in Africa, the Axis should have four fleets in the Med giving them capacity to supply eight blocks and the ability to move in four per turn. They'll also have two or three fleets in the Atlantic, the right to build another and potential paratroops in Belgium so the British will want to keep perhaps three real blocks on each British beach and another in Wales in case of Sealion.

With seven fleets in total (three Altantic, four Med) the British can supply twelve blocks in the Med, giving eight available for combat after the necessary garrisons for Gibraltar, Malta, Alexandria and one kept behind the main force to prevent nasty paratroop surprises. That's not enough to brush aside eight Axis blocks in a fort, so we'll expand to nine fleets and eleven good British blocks above garrisons.

Even given infinite money and supply, there aren't 22 decent blocks in the British force pool. What have I missed?
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Brett Johnson
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Aharding wrote:
As the Axis I'm always happy to see British conserving their forces for Africa instead of fighting for France - it conserves my forces too and I'll be doing more with mine in 1941 than the British will. .

Even given infinite money and supply, there aren't 22 decent blocks in the British force pool. What have I missed?


If the British haven't spent WERPS defending France, Germany will have to commit significant forces to Africa to keep Italy in the war. I often find that Germany has to send ~4 blocks (2xArm, 2xInf) to Africa. Economically, between losses from strat moves and combat losses, Germany spends WERPS similar to what they would have in France due to a big British commitment.

In terms of block count, I allocate roughly as follows:
Malta - INF-3
Gibraltar - Empty (after Germany pulls it's forces out of France or if extra cautious after Barbarossa kicks off)
Alexandria - INF-3
Crete - INF-3 (or two)
Britain (7-8 units) - 4xMilitia + 2-3xINF-3 + ARM-3

N.Africa attack force - (8-9 units) ARM-4, 1-2xARM-3, 2xGSU, 4xINF-4

I don't worry too much about Sealion. If I was concerned, I would leave another ARM-3 in Britain.

I also try to have an extra fleet in the Atlantic - for 3 reasons. 1) Discourages Sealion, 4 fleets allows shipping around the horn (no Italian fleet interdiction rolls), I can engage the Italian navy and not worry about supply consequences of losing a fleet.

You often don't need an extra block to block the para-drop.

If on attack, my setup will have an ARM-3 behind the main force that joins in when I attack. If the Axis has one less block in the front line, I will be that much more likely to punch thru... I don't attack unless I have both SA built...

If on defense, you will often be defending adjacent to Alexandria, in which case your garrison serves both roles.

Counting GSU (which aren't terribly valuable against Sealion, due to the large air superiority of the Germans) and blocks - you have 22 total units. Of these 2 are Militia-1, so call it 20 combat effective units.

If Britain commits nothing to France and goes all out in Africa, by the time Italy has 4 fleets, Britain is likely to have reduced the Axis N. Africa presence to Tobruk and/or 1 space in Libya.





 
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Andrew Harding
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Not seeing it, but it obviously works for you. Mind demonstrating, perhaps in a series replay style game so I can read through it afterwards and see how you did it? (Mind you, if it does look as bad as you say for the Axis in Africa I'll just let you have it, I'm not that bothered about Italian morale and it's nice to start Barbarossa with a bang).

15 steps total in the UK seems low to me given the Axis have a reasonable prospect of bringing 21 steps in their first wave alone, the force pool is empty and Britain's income can't even guarantee enough for a SA. If you take me up on the series replay please consider this fair warning!

I'm also wary of leaving Gibraltar empty. If nothing else it's often a useful staging post for operational movement, one block per turn around the cape isn't always enough.

Even given the above, nine blocks/GSU doesn't look massively overpowering against my eight Axis blocks/GSU in a fort. If you're that strong in 1940 it's a different matter.
 
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Brett Johnson
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Andrew - I spent over an hour typing up a response only to lose it to a browser crash.

Britain can have a powerful attack force on the July-August 1940 turn in N. Africa, while still having a modest defense force in Britain.

We always play with build over time rules, so Britain gets a turn of warning prior to Germany getting an extra fleet.

We also rarely see Germany build fleets, since they have their best chance of winning the game in Russia. Two extra fleets (40 & 41) cost 20 base + 12/year (maintenance), for a total of about ~70 WERPS. A lot of economy taken away from the fight in Russia.

My experience has been, the Sealion invasion threat:
1939: none
1940: negligible (German fleets/para going after Norway/Yugo/Greece)
1941: minimal (1 turn invasion weather prior to Barbarossa)
1942: none (US in war)

Obviously, if you see Germany build extra fleets in 1940/1941, you have to devote extra resources to countering the threat... And Russia feels that much more secure...

Total UK production by JA-40, including subs, fleet maintenance, lend-lease = ~97
Assuming they lose nothing in France...

Units in Med - July-August 1940:
Approx. 19 WERPS of stuff in Britain proper, 7 fleets, 2 SA, ASW=2 (can build to 3 later in 1940)
3xINF-3 (Gibraltar, Malta, Alexandria)
attack force = ARM-4, 2xARM-3, 4xINF-4, 2xGSU

Typically facing 6 Axis units in Marmarica, usually in a field fort.

8 British units (mostly 4s) facing 6 Axis units (mostly 3s) is viable...
 
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Brett Johnson
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July-August 1940 combat simulation

Note assumes Germany ships a ARM-4 to Libya, which loses roughly half a step due to naval interdiction (4 British Fleets in Med).

Round 0
AX: 6.5 ARM, 12 INF, Field Fort
WALL: 10 ARM, 16 INF, 2 GSU

Round 1 (SA-0/Operational Movement): Standard Attack
WALL loss: -2 ARM, -4 INF (8 ARM, 12 INF, 2 GSU)
AX loss: -2 ARM, -2.5 INF (4.5 ARM, 9.5 INF)
Field Fort goes away

Note - I would typically stop here, because I want to keep SA in reserve just in case of Sealion, but more importantly I don't want the Italians to retreat to a space they can build another FF in next turn.

However, if you continue:

Round 2 (SA-1): Assault
WALL loss: -1.5 ARM, -3 INF (6.5 ARM, 9 INF, 2 GSU)
AX loss: -3 ARM, -4 INF (1.5 ARM, 5.5 INF)

Round 3 (SA-2): Assault
WALL loss: -0.5 ARM, -2 INF (6 ARM, 7 INF, 2 GSU)
AX loss: first armor (3 factors + GSU) = 2 (kills remaining armor), remaining armor (4 factors vs. inf) = 2 hits, infantry (3 factors + GSU and 4 factors) = 3 hits

Remaining Axis factors = 0 Armor, 0 to 1 Infantry
 
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Andrew Harding
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I hear you on browser crashes, lost a few posts myself that way.

Your total for JA 1940 looks about right but I think there's timing involved that makes such an impressive force so early difficult - but there is time before the Axis supply limit improves in MA41 to bring it up to strength if you can afford to send that much to Africa.

So it all comes down to how much the British need to keep at home to be safe. I like to keep them honest and will often build the first half of a fleet in MJ40 if expecting a cheap campaign in France, the threat is well worth the 5 WERPS. I want the British to be considering Sealion as a realistic threat right through 1941 (and yes, I'll invade after or instead of Barbarossa if I think it'll win me the game - the Russian 1941 force pool and single SA aren't going to conquer me within the turn or two it takes for Sealion to resolve either way.)

How much do you keep at home in your MJ 1940 turn, presuming two Axis fleets in the Altantic, a third already half built and two known paratroop cadre in Belgium? (I expect to transfer one fleet back to the Baltic before production in JA then build the third there in SO to invade Norway).
 
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Brett Johnson
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Very different assumptions...

I'm used to both Axis fleets in Baltic, no German half fleet built, and one or both Paras in Denmark to enable an easy invasion of Norway JA-40.

Given the potential for Germany to push 12 (INF) + 5 (para) across... I would probably make several changes...

That being said, there is a decent chance of losing a fleet during the invasion.

First off, probably would have an extra fleet in the Atlantic... And you would probably be looking at something like 8-10 blocks in Britain. 1 or 2 of those would be armor.

The attack force in N.Africa would then contain a couple of cadre's which would be built up later.

Odds are roughly:
50-83% to lose 4 INF (depends on 3 or 4 fleets) Assume you lose 4 (13 left)
Assuming you drop on a space with 4 blocks and I reinforce w/2 (1 SA) - assume: 2 ARM-3, 3xINF-3, MIL-2 (note this is worst case)
you lose ~7 factors (6 remaining).
You do 2 inf hits to me

Counter attack assault... I lose 4 inf (6 factors supported by GSU), my armor alone does 6 hits... (+1 due to arm vs. inf, +1 initial CA vs. invasion).

Now if you don't lose a fleet on the way in and I only have 1 armor, it looks worse...

Again though, I think Germany does a fair bit better by not building an extra fleet, albeit at the cost of losing flexibility to attack Britain. You have to trade the 100% of less money vs. Russia for the fractional utility (20%?) against Britain...

 
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Andrew Harding
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That's sufficient that I wouldn't invade. I would still consider the partial fleet money well spent though - for 5 werps, a fraction of what i save by not needing to fight the BEF, I've kept ~20 British werps at home until transport becomes difficult. Would you still expect to sweep Africa?
 
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