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Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/30/2020 12:00:42 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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In my opinion the true measure of any game is how many strategies for both players are winnable. If either player can be guaranteed to win the game if they follow a single cookie cutter strategy no matter what the other player does than I will lose interest. But that doesn't mean that there are not certain moves (so long as they not "I Win" moves) that each player should make. Having read the posts in this Forum it seems me that there are certain moves that the Axis Player can perform that, while not guaranteeing victory, will always enhance his chances. In other words, certain no-brainer moves that he should make in every game. These moves are:

1. Invading Luxembourg on T1. Is there a downside to this? Does it increase US production levels or something?

2. Invading Denmark on T2. I have seen some people do this with just one corps in which they destroy the defending unit in Copenhagen but lack the OPs to move in. They then move the corps in on T3. Others do an amphibious assault with a division. I suppose the advantage of the former is that it saves the landing craft at the risk the Allies will transport a unit in on their turn.

3. Invading The Netherlands on T3 with an armour they moved and railed from Eastern Germany on T1 and T2. I don't see a downside to this. Even if Poland holds out for an extra turn because of the missing arnour, the opportunity to conquer The Netherlands early should not be passed up.

4. Performing an early (late 39 or early 40) invasion of Belgium. Not sure if this is as good a move as it used to be now that Belgium is tougher to conquer in 1 turn (or even 3 or 4 turns).

5. Not invading Norway (more of a non-move really).

6. Having Italy perform an amphibious invasion of Greece. Although I have heard that there are counters for this I am not sure how effective they can be. Is there an AAR of this? If Italy invades Greece as soon as it joins the Axis Alliance it can do so before DOWing the UK. Is the counter for this that the UK DOWs Italy the first chance it gets? Even if the UK gets involved in Greece I am unsure how much it can spare. Assuming the invasion comes on the turn Italy joins the Axis (usually June or July 40) the UK will have to guard against a possible Sealion. So how much air, naval and land forces can it spare for Greece? Even if the UK makes a major investment to defend Greece, is there any chance that it can hold out long enough to prevent Yugoslavia from joining the Axis? Especially if Germany gets involved. Of course, the goal for the Axis here is to get Yugoslavia as an Ally rather than an enemy.

Anyway, I am just wondering if people agree with me that these are no-brainers. Also, are there any more? I assume there are some no-brainers for the Allies too. Perhpas the subject of a further post.

< Message edited by Harrybanana -- 5/30/2020 12:06:29 AM >
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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/30/2020 1:31:46 AM   
Flaviusx


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1-5 are no brainers. 6 depends on circumstances, and I can think of several where it is better to leave it to the Germans. The British can make this difficult on the Italians to do solo.

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/30/2020 2:54:46 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

1-5 are no brainers. 6 depends on circumstances, and I can think of several where it is better to leave it to the Germans. The British can make this difficult on the Italians to do solo.


Well, I am not necessarily saying that the Italians do it solo. The Germans can attack from Albania while or shortly after the Italians do an amphibious invasion (or vice versa for that matter). Or even don't bother with the amphibious invasion at all (though I personally think it should be done). But regardless, would you agree that it is a no-brainer for the Axis (whether Italian or German or both) to conquer Greece before March 1941 so that Yugoslavia becomes an Axis Ally. Given a competent Axis player I don't see how the Allied player can prevent this.

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/30/2020 3:38:54 AM   
sveint


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1. No advantage nor disadvantage to doing this really.

2. The reason this is so important is that otherwise the Allies can easily raid the iron ore route from Sweden.

3. This depends on weather (which is historical).

4. I don't do this, unless the weather is good. Heavy losses in bad weather is, well... bad.

5. I think the smart move historically is also not to invade Norway so I don't see the problem.

6. This one really depends. Against a passive UK player it's a freebie. Against a strong UK player it's extremely risky.

I only have 2 problems with the early game:
1. It's too easy for the Allies to sink nearly the entire German merchant fleet.
2. There really should be some sort of minor penalty for attacking the Benelux separately.

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/30/2020 4:56:22 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: sveint

1. No advantage nor disadvantage to doing this really.

2. The reason this is so important is that otherwise the Allies can easily raid the iron ore route from Sweden.

3. This depends on weather (which is historical).

4. I don't do this, unless the weather is good. Heavy losses in bad weather is, well... bad.

5. I think the smart move historically is also not to invade Norway so I don't see the problem.

6. This one really depends. Against a passive UK player it's a freebie. Against a strong UK player it's extremely risky.

I only have 2 problems with the early game:
1. It's too easy for the Allies to sink nearly the entire German merchant fleet.
2. There really should be some sort of minor penalty for attacking the Benelux separately.


I didn't intend my comments to be critical of the game. So long as none of these no-brainers are game breaking I have no problem with them. The only one I think might be is #6, but I don't have enough experience with the game to know.

With respect to #3, so long as the invasion of the Netherlands is done on T3 (September 29/40) I believe there is a 100% chance of clear weather. On T4 there is only a 10% chance.

With respect to #6, what is the risk? What can even a strong UK player do?

< Message edited by Harrybanana -- 5/30/2020 4:40:37 PM >

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/30/2020 5:35:31 AM   
Flaviusx


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None of them are game breaking, although mileage may vary. I've long been unhappy about the way the Axis can knock out the low countries sequentially.

A strong UK player who is willing to ignore the subs for a while can, for example, keep several carrier battle groups in the Med. Sea Lion is not nearly the threat it used to be, and it is easier for them to deploy a major naval presence in the Eastern Med. That could easily trash the Regia Marina.

2-3 UK infantry corps inserted into Greece can really prolong things. I don't think the Italians can handle them on their own, and even the Germans would find them annoying. It is possible, just barely, for the UK cough up such a force. The Axis is on the clock here if they want to activate Yugoslavia.

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/30/2020 6:54:51 AM   
ncc1701e


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sveint

1. It's too easy for the Allies to sink nearly the entire German merchant fleet.


I have learned my lesson. But, I have also learned to block this route when needed. Germany can afford a loss of production.


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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/31/2020 2:09:19 PM   
scout1


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quote:

2. Invading Denmark on T2. I have seen some people do this with just one corps in which they destroy the defending unit in Copenhagen but lack the OPs to move in. They then move the corps in on T3. Others do an amphibious assault with a division. I suppose the advantage of the former is that it saves the landing craft at the risk the Allies will transport a unit in on their turn.


What assets are you drawing upon for a turn 2 attack ? Rail the Berlin corp up on Turn 1 ?

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/31/2020 3:06:52 PM   
ncc1701e


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quote:

ORIGINAL: scout1

What assets are you drawing upon for a turn 2 attack ? Rail the Berlin corp up on Turn 1 ?


Yes the corps in Berlin and anything you can rally from Poland by train. For this, you must finish moving yours units on a rail section at the end of T1. And, a division in a port on the Baltic to disembark them in Copenhagen.

< Message edited by ncc1701e -- 5/31/2020 3:08:45 PM >


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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/31/2020 4:57:25 PM   
kennonlightfoot

 

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All are good under right circumstance but can be negative in some situations.
Invading the lower countries is good as long as the weather is clear. I usually do this on any clear turn since there is little the Allies can do even if you don't take the capital right away. Belgium is an exception. Don't invade unless you have enough resources to take it in one turn.

Don't waste German transports on something as minor as taking Denmark. One Corps can take it in two turns.

Use the German transports to take Norway. There is no down side other than having to leave a small Corps to garrison it. The VP for it mounts up over time. It will cost the UK a lot of resources to take it back so it is usually a safe VP source.


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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/31/2020 5:24:02 PM   
ncc1701e


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quote:

ORIGINAL: kennonlightfoot

Don't waste German transports on something as minor as taking Denmark. One Corps can take it in two turns.


Two Panzer corps can also do the trick during a cold turn (not necessarily T2).

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/31/2020 6:42:52 PM   
Flaviusx


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The downside to taking Norway is the opportunity cost. 1 VP and 1 resource in exchange for two corps equivalents in garrisons and whatever you end up spending in transports is not any great bargain. Those assets might be better deployed elsewhere.

Norway doesn't really offer any significant protection to the iron ore convoy.

The biggest advantage to having Norway is sub bases for attacking lend lease arctic convoys. But honestly, I'm not sure it's enough to justify the investment. Axis players are not wrong in thinking they can take a pass on this. The returns on Norway are very meager in relation to what it takes to conquer and hold it.

As for the Allies, they have far more consequential places to go than Norway. This would be near the bottom of the list for them.

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/31/2020 7:07:06 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: kennonlightfoot

All are good under right circumstance but can be negative in some situations.
Invading the lower countries is good as long as the weather is clear. I usually do this on any clear turn since there is little the Allies can do even if you don't take the capital right away. Belgium is an exception. Don't invade unless you have enough resources to take it in one turn.


The problem with waiting to conquer Luxembourg is that it invites the French to move in first. The only guaranteed clear weather turns early in the game are the first 3 turns. After that there is a pretty good chance that you won't get another clear weather turn until April or May. (10% chance in October, 0% chance from November to February). I play tested attacking Belgium from Holland and Germany during the Winter of 39/40 about a dozen times using different strategies and only managed to conquer it in one turn once; and even then I had to get lucky. Admittedly there might be a trick to it that I don't know. For me at least the decision has come down to either invading early in the Winter or waiting until the first clear weather turn in 1940. Not sure which is the best.

quote:


Use the German transports to take Norway. There is no down side other than having to leave a small Corps to garrison it. The VP for it mounts up over time. It will cost the UK a lot of resources to take it back so it is usually a safe VP source.


A small corps is just 2 divisions. So are you saying you leave 3 of the ports un-garrisoned? I didn't consider the production gained from Norway. At 5 per turn + the Special Resource, the invasion would pay for itself in about a year.

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/31/2020 7:15:22 PM   
ncc1701e


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Harrybanana

The problem with waiting to conquer Luxembourg is that it invites the French to move in first. The only guaranteed clear weather turns early in the game are the first 3 turns. After that there is a pretty good chance that you won't get another clear weather turn until April or May. (10% chance in October, 0% chance from November to February). I play tested attacking Belgium from Holland and Germany during the Winter of 39/40 about a dozen times using different strategies and only managed to conquer it in one turn once; and even then I had to get lucky. Admittedly there might be a trick to it that I don't know. For me at least the decision has come down to either invading early in the Winter or waiting until the first clear weather turn in 1940. Not sure which is the best.


Best is to attack when you are sure to finish Belgium in one turn. The historical date is perfectly fine. I still did not understood the interest of an early conquest of Luxembourg by France or by Germany.

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/31/2020 7:17:17 PM   
ncc1701e


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Norway doesn't really offer any significant protection to the iron ore convoy.


Exactly, this is actually the thing to change to make me invade Norway...



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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/31/2020 10:16:55 PM   
baloo7777


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Why the need to finish Belgium in 1 turn? Is that during spring 40 or during the cold turns only?

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/31/2020 10:25:56 PM   
Flaviusx


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If you don't knock out Belgium in one turn, the French can get in there and park a corps in Brussels and make it very difficult. Especially in inclement weather.

But the good news is this: if you take the Netherlands out and set up correctly, Belgium falls in one turn so long as it is a cold weather turn. And you are almost certain to get at least one such turn before May of 1940.

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/31/2020 11:15:10 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

If you don't knock out Belgium in one turn, the French can get in there and park a corps in Brussels and make it very difficult. Especially in inclement weather.

But the good news is this: if you take the Netherlands out and set up correctly, Belgium falls in one turn so long as it is a cold weather turn. And you are almost certain to get at least one such turn before May of 1940.


Flavius, If I am correct that Belgium is in the North Moderate Weather Zone; there is a 10% chance in each of the October turns of getting cold weather. So overall there is only a 19% chance of getting a cold turn in October. But even if you get a cold turn in October, will the necessary German units be in position and have sufficient effectiveness by Turns 4 or 5 to conquer Belgium in one turn? There is than 0% chance from November to February.There is 20% chance of cold in each of the 3 March turns and a 30% chance in each of the 2 April turns. So you do have about a 70% chance of getting at least one cold turn in those months. Not sure if I would call that almost certain, but the odds are pretty good.

Once again, thanks for the advice. Now I just have to run a bunch of tests to figure out this "setting up correctly" of which you speak. Who knew how much work gaming was (and my wife thinks I am having fun).

< Message edited by Harrybanana -- 5/31/2020 11:17:44 PM >

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 5/31/2020 11:30:06 PM   
Flaviusx


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An October cold weather turn may catch you out of position, but anything after that should be fine. The key thing is taking out the Dutch. You set up on the Belgian border from the Netherlands and Brussels is right there. You have brush aside a division to set up a multihex attack on Brussels, but it's easy peasy. With that in hand, Belgium falls. You don't even bother engaging most of the Belgian forces. You bypass them.

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 6/1/2020 12:19:17 AM   
RoadWarrior

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: kennonlightfoot

All are good under right circumstance but can be negative in some situations.
Invading the lower countries is good as long as the weather is clear. I usually do this on any clear turn since there is little the Allies can do even if you don't take the capital right away. Belgium is an exception. Don't invade unless you have enough resources to take it in one turn.

Don't waste German transports on something as minor as taking Denmark. One Corps can take it in two turns.

Use the German transports to take Norway. There is no down side other than having to leave a small Corps to garrison it. The VP for it mounts up over time. It will cost the UK a lot of resources to take it back so it is usually a safe VP source.




The game is about VPs long run if your playing the long game, 1 Corp and 2 divisions you keep at 39 is more then worth it

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 6/1/2020 12:22:21 AM   
RoadWarrior

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Harrybanana

In my opinion the true measure of any game is how many strategies for both players are winnable. If either player can be guaranteed to win the game if they follow a single cookie cutter strategy no matter what the other player does than I will lose interest. But that doesn't mean that there are not certain moves (so long as they not "I Win" moves) that each player should make. Having read the posts in this Forum it seems me that there are certain moves that the Axis Player can perform that, while not guaranteeing victory, will always enhance his chances. In other words, certain no-brainer moves that he should make in every game. These moves are:

1. Invading Luxembourg on T1. Is there a downside to this? Does it increase US production levels or something?

2. Invading Denmark on T2. I have seen some people do this with just one corps in which they destroy the defending unit in Copenhagen but lack the OPs to move in. They then move the corps in on T3. Others do an amphibious assault with a division. I suppose the advantage of the former is that it saves the landing craft at the risk the Allies will transport a unit in on their turn.

3. Invading The Netherlands on T3 with an armour they moved and railed from Eastern Germany on T1 and T2. I don't see a downside to this. Even if Poland holds out for an extra turn because of the missing arnour, the opportunity to conquer The Netherlands early should not be passed up.

4. Performing an early (late 39 or early 40) invasion of Belgium. Not sure if this is as good a move as it used to be now that Belgium is tougher to conquer in 1 turn (or even 3 or 4 turns).

5. Not invading Norway (more of a non-move really).

6. Having Italy perform an amphibious invasion of Greece. Although I have heard that there are counters for this I am not sure how effective they can be. Is there an AAR of this? If Italy invades Greece as soon as it joins the Axis Alliance it can do so before DOWing the UK. Is the counter for this that the UK DOWs Italy the first chance it gets? Even if the UK gets involved in Greece I am unsure how much it can spare. Assuming the invasion comes on the turn Italy joins the Axis (usually June or July 40) the UK will have to guard against a possible Sealion. So how much air, naval and land forces can it spare for Greece? Even if the UK makes a major investment to defend Greece, is there any chance that it can hold out long enough to prevent Yugoslavia from joining the Axis? Especially if Germany gets involved. Of course, the goal for the Axis here is to get Yugoslavia as an Ally rather than an enemy.

Anyway, I am just wondering if people agree with me that these are no-brainers. Also, are there any more? I assume there are some no-brainers for the Allies too. Perhpas the subject of a further post.


No-brainer moves today can be WTH moves 12-24 months from now.



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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 6/1/2020 1:51:15 PM   
kennonlightfoot

 

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Biggest advantage of Norway is Oslo's 1 VP every turn for almost the rest of the game.
That is over a 100 VP for the final tally.
It only takes one Corps to hold it since there is no advantage to garrisoning the rest of the country that I can see.
Usually I split that Corps and send one division back to Germany and leave a 20 strength Corps to hold the VP.

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 6/1/2020 2:01:41 PM   
kennonlightfoot

 

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quote:


Use the German transports to take Norway. There is no down side other than having to leave a small Corps to garrison it. The VP for it mounts up over time. It will cost the UK a lot of resources to take it back so it is usually a safe VP source.


quote:


A small corps is just 2 divisions. So are you saying you leave 3 of the ports un-garrisoned? I didn't consider the production gained from Norway. At 5 per turn + the Special Resource, the invasion would pay for itself in about a year.


The ports have no value and are to far from Oslo to support a counter invasion. So why garrison them. Let the UK waste invasion ships taking them. I do sometimes take one of the divisions up to Narvik just to make the Allies think I care.

But two division Corps looks just like a three division Corps to the Allies, so if they decide to take Norway back they have to make a major commitment. Also, when they do it their fleets are vary vulnerable to counter attack and entrapment while they support the landings if they go for Oslo.

I have never had an Allied player both to try to take it back so far. Maybe someone will demonstrate me wrong but I have a feeling the amount of effort required isn't worth while to the Allied. The Axis on the other hand can take it with a single Corps plus the landing ships for the invasion. It is a really cheap potential 100 VP over the war. And, if threatened it is usually very easy to evacuate the Corps.

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 6/2/2020 4:21:08 AM   
Kamelpov

 

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The 6 depend if you do the sea lion or the direct US invasion path as they don't looks like they will awake to your damn invasion force just near their coast. Preposition your unit and invade if UK isn't here + Wiping the US let you be the powerhouse of the game with unlimited power.

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 6/2/2020 5:21:12 PM   
michaelCLARADY

 

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How does an Axis invasion force headed for the USA avoid being exterminated by the Royal Navy?

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 6/5/2020 3:05:23 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: michaelCLARADY

How does an Axis invasion force headed for the USA avoid being exterminated by the Royal Navy?



I have not done this or seen it done; but I think it would be simple enough. You just have to embark your troops in France (or Spain if Spain has been conquered) and move them full speed to the US. If the British fleets are in port anywhere in Europe they can chase you but they won't be able to catch you. Even if they could catch you they wouldn't be able to attack you unless they have 1 OP left. So the only way the British can stop you is if they have fleets either parked in the middle of the Atlantic or in Halifax.

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RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 6/16/2020 3:25:29 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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OK, so based on the expert opinions offered here (thank you everyone) and my now vast experience (in one game I have made it to May 1941) I have revised my no-brainer Axis moves as follows:

1. Invading Luxembourg on T1.

2. Invading Denmark on T2. I have seen some people do this with just one corps in which they destroy the defending unit in Copenhagen but lack the OPs to move in. They then move the corps in on T3. Others do an amphibious assault with a division. I suppose the advantage of the former is that it saves the landing craft at the risk the Allies will transport a unit in on their turn.

3. On T2 only use only those infantry corps in Poland that are essential to conquering it. All others should be placed in garrison mode. Also set your Replace/upgrade to 0.

4. Invading The Netherlands on T3 with an armour they moved and railed from Eastern Germany on T1 and T2. I don't see a downside to this. Even if Poland holds out for an extra turn because of the missing arnmur, the opportunity to conquer The Netherlands early should not be passed up.

5. Also on T3 set all infantry except the ones used to conquer the Netherlands to garrison mode.

6. On T4 set all remaining infantry to garrison mode.

7. From T2 until January 40 or so use all your production (including all that gained from switching infantry to garrison mode) to build at least 2 armour, 1 mechanized, 1 Para, 1 TAC and a Fighter. Also be sure to build lots of supply trucks.

8. Starting in January and prior to March 40 switch most, but not necessarily all, the infantry you intend to use to conquer Belgium and France back to normal.

9. Conquer Belgium in one turn on the first clear weather turn of 1940 (probably didn't need to include this one as it is obvious).

10. Do everything you can to conquer Greece before March 41. Perform an amphibious invasion if possible. If not, use your paratroopers (German and Italian) and as much of the Luftwaffe and German army as possible and attack from Albania. Of course, the goal for the Axis here is to get Yugoslavia as an Ally rather than an enemy.

If anyone agrees or disagrees with any of these I would be glad to hear from you.

< Message edited by Harrybanana -- 6/16/2020 3:27:22 AM >

(in reply to Harrybanana)
Post #: 27
RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 6/16/2020 4:18:56 AM   
sveint


Posts: 2781
Joined: 1/19/2001
From: Glorious Europe
Status: online
It's a good list, even if I do things slightly differently (and change things up from game to game).

It's entirely valid to skip Greece.

(in reply to Harrybanana)
Post #: 28
RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 6/16/2020 4:50:00 PM   
baloo7777


Posts: 932
Joined: 5/18/2009
From: eastern CT
Status: offline
I think it's a good list. I would like to see a production comparison of garrisoned units as they are switched back to full attack mode compared to the gain of switching them all to garrison to "gain" production. Is it like disbanding units to get half their value back then rebuilding a better unit (as long as time and production are available)? How many turns per number of units switched to garrison of production gain is the break-even point?
Also, if the French re-garrison the Maginot line with the 40% efficiency corps or even divisions, I pull out and set a screen of a couple German Divisions to be a ZOC stop (+2 to enter ZOC) and use the extra div/corps elsewhere to garrison the coast and the corps size in the Ardennes to attrit the French corps there, and make the victory city there more accessible to attack.

_____________________________

JRR

(in reply to sveint)
Post #: 29
RE: Axis "No-Brainer" Moves - 6/16/2020 4:59:42 PM   
Flaviusx


Posts: 7449
Joined: 9/9/2009
From: Southern California
Status: offline
I am very on the fence about Greece, for whatever that is worth.

_____________________________

WitE Alpha Tester

(in reply to baloo7777)
Post #: 30
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