composer99 -> RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth (11/2/2005 6:57:47 AM)
(1) Victory cities to be taken and/or defended.
Thinking about more than just victory cities, I think a good list, broken down by year, of these would be:
Objectives to Defend: London/Dover, Gibraltar, Malta, the BEF (France), Alexandria/Cairo/Suez/Jerusalem (packaged together as the Canal Zone or something like that).
- Militias should be sufficient for London/Dover
- Gib should, in the absence of Italian MAR or AMPH, be sufficiently defended by 1 corps & 1 div; if the Italians have either of these in 1939-1940 then an additional corps should be added.
- Malta is a super-key hex in this period, and will be critical later when you want to project air and sea power around Italy, so its defences should be maxed out with white-print corps and a strong division as quickly as is reasonable. The CW AI's knowledge of Italian forces & their dispositions will help in making a decision as to how quickly to throw in defences.
- The BEF sent to France doesn't need to be all that large in 1939, but by M/J 1940 it's an active theatre and should have as much as can be spared (on the other hand stripping down theatres with better prospects for long-term success, like Egypt, is not likely to be a wise move).
- The Canal Zone is, after Gib and Malta, one of the most important regions of the CW's empire in this part of the game, and, especially if Italy is aggressively postured against it, should have reinforcements brought in quickly. MECH, GARR, MIL & at guns good for defence, MECH, MOT, mot divs & fast guns good for offence; both should be provided in equal measure.
Objectives to Attack: Italian East Africa, Sardinia, & maybe Tripoli.
- Patrice hit upon a good point in taking out Italian Somaliland & Eritrea with second line units & TERR; Indian and South African units can be sent here during this period quite easily. They should be sent here IF the Axis aren't pressing hard at the Canal Zone.
- Given the small size of Italy's army at the start of the game, a quick go for Sardinia followed up with enough defensive units can put it in your hands for good. The CW AI would have to time this for when Germany was enmeshed in France.
- If Italy only lightly defends the border with Egypt or it neglects its Tunisian frontier, then CW forces can be sent through French N. Africa, or, striking out from Egypt, make a go for Tripoli. If an Axis attack on the Canal Zone is repelled and the CW has sufficient forces to launch a counter-offensive during this period, it should consider doing so.
Objectives to Defend: This would probably depend on what the Axis sets out to do in 1941, but I can see three major paths emerging: (a) if an attack on England is imminent or even underway, (b) an attack on Russia is imminent/underway, or (c) a Meditteranean strategy is underway (e.g. Axis forces focus on Spain/Gib, Canal Zone & Middle East, but only defend the Russian border and do not have forces in place to attack England).
Operation Sealion - The objectives to defend here are Gibraltar, to prevent the Italian fleet from assisting in an invasion, and then England.
- Gibraltar should have the strongest units possible in place. IF the Axis goes through Spain to get at the Rock THEN Tangiers should have an HQ, an engineer, and an artillery to provide more air unit cover & artillery/HQ support AND Gib should have two white-print corps & a strong division. IF they do not THEN Gib must have the HQ, the engineer, and another white-print corps.
- Pretty much every other air unit & first-line land unit should be in England & Northern Ireland. The RN & naval bombers are divided between keeping the vital sealanes to England & Gib open and whacking invasion fleets (preferably by port-strike if ever possible).
Barbarossa - The objective list here is much more thorough: Gib (but not as thoroughly), Malta/Sardinia (if you have it), the Canal Zone, and Asia/Pacific.
- Gibraltar & Malta/Sardinia should be defended according to the Axis' ability to threaten them, but each should always have 1 corps (even if just a MIL or TERR) on each port.
- The Canal Zone's defences will depend upon whether you're on the offensive in this theatre or not. If you are, they can be limited to preventing tactical invasions on your fleets in port; if you aren't, then you need to throw as much as you can in there.
- Asia/Pacific: having corps in all objective hexes on the Indian & Pacific Oceans by S/O 1941 is probably a must, especially Colombo, Calcutta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Australia & NZ. IF the US passes "CW reinforces Pacific" before Japan seizes Rabaul, THEN the CW should be able to throw 2 white-print corps in there ASAP, so it should have the corps & sealift ready from S/O 1941 on. Australia, India, & New Zealand can probably be stripped down in favour of Singapore & Kuala Lumpur until N/D.
Seal the Med - Your defensive objectives are pretty much the same as in Barbarosse, only Gib, Malta, & the Canal Zone have highest priority, Asia/Pacific may get lesser units tasked to its defences.
Objectives to Attack: Sardinia, Albania & Tripoli top the list in this year, but if the CW already has them by summer, and has forces to spare, it may want to consider landing in Sicily in conjunction with a strategic air war over Italy in 1941. Arranging the collapse of Italy is nice, but should only be attempted if the Axis are negligent in their defence; otherwise the point is to cripple the Italian economy, secure more airbases & ports in the Italian Coast sea area, and force the Germans to send lots of units to defend the rest of Italy. Chances are this can only be implemented if the CW is not being attacked in the Med or by a Sealion.
Objectives to Defend: We can probably now afford to lump the entire Meditteranean into one objective "package": the Med. Other objectives for defence include Asia, S. Africa, Singapore, NEI, Rabaul, and Australia-NZ.
- Unless the Axis are still ashore in England, the Allies should have enough presence in the Med to be firmly on the offensive, so defences should be designed only to protect fleets from sudden invasions and to prevent newly-gained territory from being taken back by the enemy. Otherwise the defences must be constructed to prevent the Axis from taking turf in the Med while the main Allied thrust is to kick 'em out of England.
- Asia (India, Ceylon, Burma) needs to have a solid defence in the event of Japanese attack into these theatres.
- South Africa should have enough defences to hold out for a turn or two against Japanese aggression. The logistical distance from Japan/Singapore to South Africa means that they're not likely to come ashore in great force unless they have nothing better to do.
- If any of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, NEI & Rabaul have not fallen yet to Japan, they should be defended as strongly as possible; MTN units which appear during this period should be sent to defend them.
- Australia & New Zealand need to be defended according to Japan's ability to threaten them with long-term invasions, but so long as Japan can project power into their adjacent sea zones their victory hexes ought to be covered.
Objectives to Attack: Italy or Spain. By this point, the goal is to put Italy out of the war. If Gib is Axis controlled then go through Spain & Portugal to get at it. Other places to attack depend on Japan's strength. IF Japan has weakly defended areas it has captured from the CW AND CW has forces in place to re-take them THEN it should go for it. This may not happen often, unfortunately for the CW. IF Japan has not thrown up forces into Burma AND Japan is not attacking India, THEN the Indian Army should launch its own campaign into Siam. Finally, the CW should launch tactical invasions to seize ports like Brest or Bordeaux or to kill German/Italian units in France, but without the intention of staying ashore. To be done only when land units, sealift, & air assets can be spared (or more often if you have a more aggressive AI).
1944 - 1945
Objectives to Defend: Almost everywhere in the world that the CW controls that is not directly bordering the Wehrmacht is not seriously threatened by any Axis forces by this point. The CW's defences in Asia/Pacific and the Med should be limited to preventing the Axis from disrupting continued Allied offensives.
Objectives to Attack: Italy (whatever's left of it), France, Germany, Rabaul (if Japan still controls it), NEI (ditto), Singapore (ditto), Hong Kong (ditto), Taiwan (ditto), Japan. While the USA will be large and in charge in the PTO, the CW should endeavour to get as many victory hexes as it can there; after all, it wants to win the game!
Whew! What a list. Hope it's even the slightest bit useful.