Froonp -> RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - INNER STRATEGIES WITHIN GRAND STRATEGY (11/1/2005 4:47:22 PM)
E. INNER STRATEGIES WITHIN GRAND STRATEGY
Those are the wheels within the Grand Strategies wheels.
Germany has to decide what to do with the Balkans, and precisely, with Yugoslavia & Bessarabia. There are two broad choices : Align or Conquer Yugoslavia, in the aim of keeping Bessarabia or leaving it to USSR.
E.I.1. Align Yugoslavia
E.I.1.a. Points of interest of this inner strategy (advantages & drawbacks)
- Aligning Yugoslavia on Italy to provide Italy with a fall back Home country when Italy will be incompletely conquered. Aligning Yugoslavia on Germany is less interesting.
- Yugoslavian units won't cooperate with the Germany units, so they won't be as useful to garrison France for instance. They will be better left in the Balkans.
- Germany won't have the Zagreb City-based volunteer MTN unit (because Zagreb won't be Germany controlled).
- Germany won't have the Rumanian HQ, if done in 1939. Anyway, this is USSR who is dealing the cards here, and if USSR demands the Bessarabia in 1939, Germany has to choose whether still to follow this ploy or not.
E.I.1.b. Chain of events to follow to achieve this
Germany & Italy must control, one way or another, all countries around Yugoslavia.
- USSR demands the Bessarabia --> Germany accepts.
- Hungary & Bulgaria demand their share of Rumania --> Germany refuses.
- Germany immediately Declare war on Hungary, Declare War on Bulgaria (to prevent USSR from aligning it), Aligns Rumania (mandatory when refusing the Hungarian & Bulgarian demands).
- Hungary is dealt with immediately with troops prepared for this.
- Bulgaria is dealt by the Rumanian units first, reinforced by the victors of Hungary next.
- Declare war to Greece, and conquer Greece with the army victorious in Hungary & Bulgaria, and Athens with an Italian unit (to allow the Italians to align Yugoslavia).
E.I.2. Conquer Yugoslavia
E.I.2.a. Points of interest of this inner strategy (advantages & drawbacks)
- This allows for a follow up of aligning Rumania, thus denying the Bessarabia to URSS.
- This prevents the alignment of Yugoslavia on Italy.
- Germany won't have the Rumanian HQ if done in 1939, and if Germany tries to postpone this into 1940, USSR will demand Bessarabia before Germany can Declare War on Yugoslavia, leaving the case resolved by who has the Initiative in J/F 40.
E.I.2.b. Chain of events to follow to achieve this
- USSR did not demand the Bessarabia.
- Germany Declare War to Yugoslavia and immediately align Rumania.
- Next Impulse, Germany aligns Hungary.
- As soon as Belgrade is in German hands, Germany aligns Bulgaria.
- Now Germany can choose to declare war on Greece or not, depending on which Grand Strategy it is. Greece is a good supply throughput for Axis troops in Libya / Egypt, needing only 1 CP in the Eastern Med to supply the North African Theater (no CP in the Italian Sea needed).
E.II. BLITZKRIEG IN THE WEST (FRANCE)
Whatever the Grand Master Plan, Germany will have to wage war to France and its surrounding countries, with the objective of subduing them.
A lone 4-mover INF is needed to conquer Copenhagen at the first opportunity (weather) from the war outbreak.
Some players like to have another 4-mover (a DIV can be good at this too) conquer Frederikshavn to avoid any CW early war nuisance invasion. I do not.
This is Defensive Garrison.
- Garrison A : Copenhagen. Germany must hold it until the end as it controls the access to the Baltic Sea. It should always be garrisoned. It should not be lost.
- Garrison C : Frederikshavn and hex 0640 should be garrisoned too, to hamper allied liberation of Denmark as much as possible.
- Note : Some form of Kriegsmarine should survive long enough in the war to help prevent the allies from tracing supply across the strait leading into the Copenhagen island. This can delay the fall of Copenhagen for a long while.
E.II.2. The Netherlands
Whatever the position of the Dutch Army, the key is to conquer Rotterdam and Amsterdam at the first Impulse, to avoid seeing CW troops coming to support the Netherlands.
- If playing with the “no ZOC on surprise” option, the Netherlands can be conquered at the first non rain weather impulse, if you have the necessary troops to insure an overwhelming combat ratio on the Dutch Army.
- If not playing with the “no ZOC on surprise” option, you should wait for the German PARA to be deployed to take the vacant city. The other city will be assaulted regulary.
This is mostly Defensive Garrison.
- Garrison A : Amsterdam (Objective hex).
- Garrison B : Rotterdam should be occupied by garrison as soon as possible. Amsterdam & Rotterdam they are too much important for the allied comeback in Europe.
- Garrison D : A third garrison should be deployed in the northern shores when the Allied invasion menace gets hot.
The key here is to cross the Dyle in the first impulse of the declaration of war (conquer at least 2 of the 3 hexes Antwerp / Brussels / RP hex).
- Germany should be prepared to use breakthrough aggressively here, even if disrupting in the Ardennes forests is needed. A HQ has to be near enough to reorg. Crossing the Dyle is critical.
- Then the rest of the story is ground striking and blitzing.
This is mostly Defensive Garrison.
- Garrison A : Brussels and Antwerp should be garrisoned as soon as possible.
- Garrison C : The wooden hex 1031 (NE of Metz) should be too, because its ZoC prevent Partisans from appearing in the French resources hex below.
It comes down to 2 notions : ground striking and blitzing, aiming at surrounding Paris to get a decent shot at it the soonest possible. The rest is pure war waging (Tactical AI).
Needs lots of planes, lots of Armor, lots of HQ.
This is mostly Defensive Garrison.
- Garrison A : Paris (never let a capital city be paradropable).
- Garrison C : All invadable ports & cities should be garrisoned, and if possible, all invadable hexes should be at least ZoCed. This makes 11-12 units.
- Garrison C : Hex 1725 is very important to be garrisoned because an allied invasion here cuts the way down to Bordeaux.
- Garrison C : Some units must be kept inland. In or adjacent to resources hexes / red factories to avoid seeing partisans appearing there. The required garrison value of 15 should be reached.
- Garrison D : Le Havre is less important to garrison. It is a dead end.
- Garrison D : Bayonne is the least important port to garrison. It is the most far away point in France from Germany.
- Note : Cooperating HQs should be maintained in Britany (2 hexes from Brest to supply the U-Boats in Rain & Storm) and in Aquitaine (2 hexes from Bordeaux to supply the U-Boats in Rain & Storm - 1725 is fine). Those HQ should possibly stay on railroad hexes to allow for a quick redeployment, and forest hexes to protect from bombers. They should approach to a range of 2 hexes from their troops / navies when the weather forecast are bad (late J/A for instance).
- Note : In the late war period (43/44) an Armored reserve should be maintained, possibly out of reach of the Allied tank busters, and in forests, either around Paris or in the Ardennes.
- Note : I am talking about a Vichified France Here. For a collapsed Vichy France, southern France's ports should be garrisoned too, but with less priority than the rest.
France should be Vichyfied the soonest possible, and kept vichyfied the longest possible (in a strategy where Spain wasn’t attacked) because Vichy protects the southern reaches, and because Vichy is bringing lots of BP to Germany the day it is collapsed, so the later the better. About the BP producted, Vichy should have CP left for it (or built if there aren’t), this CP placed in the Western Med and it will be transporting 1 RP from Algeria (If Vichy too) to Vichy factories to product more BP. But this may be covered by some sort of Economist AI.
It should be collapsed when the Allies are potentially near to conquering the cities where the stocked BP are. The German units must be able to over the cities where the BP are and hold them until the end of the turn, and keep open a path for these BP to Germany.
If playing with the unlimited BP stacking, all should be stacked between Vichy & Lyon, even if that makes a high target value for strat bombers. Anyway, the Allies have few chances of Declaring War to Vichy.
E.III. BLITZKRIEG IN THE EAST (POLAND)
It comes down to 2 notions : ground striking and blitzing, aiming at surrounding Lodz & Warsaw to get a decent shot at them the soonest possible. The rest is pure war waging (Tactical AI).
This is mostly Anti-Partisans Garrison.
Partisans appearing in Poland can be dangerous because it make valuable reinforcement for the East Front loose time to reach the front. Partisans in Poland should be avoided at all cost.
The best is to garrison Poland with 3 low combat value SS units (making for the 6 needed Garrison points) (City-based volunteer).
- Garrison A : One in or around Warsaw (avoid letting a conquered capital city empty).
- Garrison C : One in the wood hex in northeast Poland (it prevents Partisans to appear on important Russian railroad hexes, and is in supply mot of the time).
- Garrison C : One west of Minsk (it prevents Partisans to appear in Minsk & on important Russian railroad hexes, and is in supply mot of the time).
E.IV.1. Invasion of USSR
Well, that’s a big fish that may be broken into two nearly independent fronts, and should be dealt in sequential steps.
E.IV.2. Army Group North
This deals with the assault from East Prussia / Poland in the direction of Moscow / Leningrad.
E.IV.2.a. Step 1 – Brest-Livosk & Lithuania
E.IV.2.b. Step 2 – Minsk & Latvia
E.IV.2.c. Step 3 – Vitebsk, Estonia & Pskov
E.IV.2.d. Step 4 – Smolensk & Leningrad
E.IV.2.e. Step 5 – Moscow, Gomel, Tula, Briansk
E.IV.3. Army Group South
This deals with the assault from Bessarabia / Rumania / Poland in the direction of Kursk & Rostov.
E.IV.3.a. Step 1 – Chisinau & Lvov
E.IV.3.b. Step 2 – Kiev & Dnepropetrovsk
E.IV.3.c. Step 3 – The Factory line, Kursk, Kharkov, Stalino
E.IV.3.d. Step 4 – Voronezh & Rostov
E.IV.3.e. Step 5 – Saratov, Stalingrad, Stavropol
This is mostly Anti-Partisans Garrison.
- Garrison A : Leningrad, Helsinki, Moscow, Kiev.
- Garrison B : West of Dnepropetrovsk (for the RP and the railroad hub), around Odessa.
- Garrison C : Gomel (too good place for Partisans to appear, and too hard to destroy them if here), Between Stalino & Kharkov (fot the red factory), Kursk, any city within reach of the Russian PARA.
- Note : No effort should be made to supply the garrisons. Hence, those garrisons, once in position, should not move. If partisans appear somewhere, an HQ will rail move (the least useful HQ elsewhere) in the area to supply the maximum number of troops, and those troops will eliminate the partisan.
- Note : Germany should be wary of the long range Russian ATR and hence about the possible paradrops or air drops on partisans that URSS can make. Germany should avoid at all cost that USSR liberate a city behind the frontlines this way.
- Note : Germany should deal seriously with partisans, and not let them appear in masse. 2 Partisans in the same area begins to be critical.
I never did or saw this, so my advice may be of little value here.
E.VI. SOFT BELLY
E.VI.1. Italy Garrison
Italy should ask for its German brother to provide some garrison and counter attack troops for its defence. This will be covered in the Italian AIO (If I do it one day !!!).
E.VI.2. Balkans Garrison
Garrison for these places should follow the Garrisoning AIO rules.
- Garrison A : Athens (Greece), Belgrade (Yugoslavia), Bucharest (Rumania), Budapest, (Hungary).
- Garrison C : Salonica (Greece), 2415 (Greece), Tirana (Albania), Dubrovnik & Split (Yugoslavia – rail lines reaching these), Zara.
- Garrison D : Other threatened coastal hexes.
- Note : Overall, this area of operation is less important than France or Italy, because even if badly protected, an invasion force would progress slowly from the shores, and there would be plenty of time to bring reinforcements, and it would be easy to stop the invaders with even poor troops.
Lets say that Italy has the control there, and it will be covered in the Italian AIO (If I do it one day !!!).
E.VIII. SUB WAR
Waging war to the Allied convoys in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, or anywhere else is MANDATORY for the Axis. This is true for all Axis power, who should all wage some form of Anti allied shipping warfare.
Waging war to the Allied convoys is cheap, and has big come backs. Cheap because SUBs are cheap (3 BP at most) and quickly built (6 turns). Each CP sunk is 1 BP that the Allies will have to build back, and moreover, it could mean less RP reaching factories, so less PP, so less BP. Moreover, it is naval moves that the allied is forced to take to replace the lost units.
E.VIII.1. Built SUBs
- Germany (and the 3 others Axis major power too) must have a SUB building dedicated production.
- My rule of thumb for Germany is to invest 2-3 BP in SUBs each turn (1-2 only in the first 8 turns). The aim is to have 10+ SUBs in the French ports as soon as possible to plague the Allied CPs.
E.VIII.2. Move SUBs
- Germany (the 3 others Axis major powers do also not have this problem) must compel to an obligation of 1 Combined move from time to time, depending on the situation. At least 1 Naval move each year to move all, depending on the situation too.
- To be efficient, SUBs must be gathered in the same Major Port to be able to all sail at once in a Combined. The major ports sheltering a seizable naval force must always have some form of land unit defending the port.
- A good trick to make the SUBs more efficient, while expending less naval moves, is to let them at sea, even if they drop to the 1 box. This must be done in a timely manner so that the SUBs do not fall in the 1 box when bad weather comes. When bad weather comes, they must be in the higher box, because it is the moment they risk the less.
- SUBs left at sea at the end of the turn also often disrupt the planned Allied TRS / AMPH return to base. This may lead to them loosing time, and the game is a race against time for the Axis powers, to be alive when the end of the game rings. So each impulse / turn gained is good.
- Italian search, Germans fight : Germany must also use the stay at sea tactic when the good weather turns come, because even it Germany won’t have a Combined Impulse to activate searches, it can leave this to Italy who can chose a Combined Impulse more often.