3) And finally, because there are no proportional losses, France can use its minors in sucide raids on ports, or in attacks on blockading forces (i.e. the Swedes sail to a French blockaded port, join the French fleet there, and sail out and overwhelm the blockading fleet).
Is this allowed by the game engine? I do not think a France controlled Swedish fleet can pass the GB fleet to enter a blockaded port.
In general, it is true that GB lies in a critical position and inexperienced player may face disaster: is played well is virtually impregnable
to nothing less then a France-Spain-Russia coalition, but a single mistake can end up in London being taken by France alone. Some hints:
1. Be political. Prussia and Austria are your natural allies. Form strong bonds with them and never let them down against France. Remember that your word and your money are your best assets.
2. Be political (II). Your nightmare is a France-Spain-Russian coalition. Work hard to prevent that by offering trade, alliances, anti-France support and key minors like Portugal Sweden and even Norway (Denmark you should try to keep it for yourself, since its capital is on an island). Remember them that you are the banker of the free (that means non-French) world and that without you France will surely dominate the game.
3. Block all the French navy and keep a small force (1 light is enough) in the channel if you are playing with the Lille crossing arrow on.
4. Unless you need to surprise-strike an enemy fleet in open sea, you have no need to have your naval move in any other position than the last. This way you will always have the control of the channel (preventing crossings) and be able to attack any naval force trying to invade you by sea.
5. Do not worry too much about minor fleets. Of the ones with fleets, Holland is already French and its fleet should be already blockaded by you. Naples has an extremely small fleet. We are left with Sweden, Denmark and Portugal. The worst a controlling France player can do is to attack your channel fleet, but this is a stupid move: you will loose one light factor, then you will move in force and obliterate the offending fleets. Next month, you will exceptionally move before France and recover the blockade. You will probably gain a couple of political points and France will loose one, plus the number of ships around will decrease, which are always good news for GB.
6. Your long term goal is to have more ships then all the other powers combined. Best way to get it, is to sink enemy fleets, starting from that blockaded France fleet. Plan a port raid. If you use winter movement, winter is the best moment, since reinforcing France corps will be slower in coming for help. If France is at war with Austria and Prussia, offer them a fortune to concentrate their military efforts towards a port hosting French ships.
7. When the continent is at peace, consider getting some African colonies. They have a lot of manpower (that you badly need) and are out of reach from France. Discuss them with Spain (you want to stay friends) but do not care too much about Turkey: they almost have no fleet and are the only natural allied of France.
< Message edited by Ashtar -- 2/24/2010 3:29:38 PM >