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Defending France- Possible?

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Defending France- Possible? - 7/7/2021 10:02:59 AM   


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I know this game is really oriented around the Axis singer player and USSR-D-Day multiplayer experience, but I've just held Poland in SP until the first week of December when Warsaw finally fell. This made me wonder- is there any realistic defence of France against the Axis AI? Due to the aforementioned, I find plenty of guides in the forums here on an Axis conquest in as little time as possible, but no guide for any serious defence of France beyond making it as costly as possible. In my current position, I've done the basics, swapped out the armies on the Maginot for Corps and moved the BEF into Calais, but outside of that I have little hopes of holding due to the Armored Warfare and Infantry Weapons advantage the Germans have. I've yet to see one game where Belgium and the Netherlands scrape by even past the turn where war starts because of how weak they are, maybe an HQ remains on Amsterdam but that's really it.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

PS. I declined the engineer unit as France because I've never found it useful with the Germans pushing past Belgium before the first fort is even built. Was this a good move?
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RE: Defending France- Possible? - 7/7/2021 10:24:46 AM   
The Land


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I believe there are some people who successfully defend France in multi-player, at least against inexperienced players. So it must be possible against the AI. Even if it doesn't completely succeed, the Germans can end up massively off-balance.

I think the key elements are:
- Buy British Anti-Air units and deploy them in France to cause problems for German air.
- Use every Allied Air asset, in conjunction with some ground counterattacks, to destroy German tanks - including all your carriers and your strategic bombers
- Send British tanks to France
- Pay careful attention to making sure your HQs are commanding units that are going to be most heavily engaged.


(in reply to bepisoilsnake)
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RE: Defending France- Possible? - 7/7/2021 11:21:16 AM   


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I feel kind of stupid now because that all seems quite obvious, I suppose the real difficulty is in hunting down the Panzers before they make serious breakthroughs and managing the economy of France vis-a-vis reinforcing or recruiting- a dichotomy Germany doesn't really need to be too concerned about.

(in reply to The Land)
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RE: Defending France- Possible? - 7/7/2021 2:13:02 PM   


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Yes, what Matrix Hero said.

Use the British AA to give your fighters a break so you can watch for opportunities, with the help of the carriers, to eliminate German Air.

Watch and prepare for counterattack opportunities to eliminate German Armies and Armor.

ASAP get Infantry Warfare; first priority, first turn, for both.

Never build brand new French units. Rebuild, then purchase previously eliminated units.

On lower game settings at least, AI will not attack garrison units in all but the northernmost Maginot space.

The key is Eban Emal. If you can hold it on the first turn use it to anchor the line. If you can't, start the turn again. Later, with more experience you can try without holding it, but it is much more difficult.

Take Denmark by first capturing the Kiel Canal and building a line on the south side from Kiel to Cuxhaven with a HQ in Flensburg. Put your two SF units there. Raid the Baltic coast. The AI will respond by using precious MPP to Operate units to defend, weakening the front. Then load the SF up, wait for the AI to Operate the units back to the front and do it again.

Learn how to hold France by giving yourself all the advantages: lowest initial settings, allow Med units to move, turn off Italy, events that lower French morale, etc. Learn how to do it, then gradually turn them back on until you can't defend France any longer.

To learn how try an alt scenario without the Russians, Americans and Italians. Set everything you can on easy and see how long it takes for the French and British to take out Germany. Realistic? No, but fun. And you learn a lot.

(in reply to bepisoilsnake)
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RE: Defending France- Possible? - 7/7/2021 10:27:49 PM   
The Land


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So I've just been having a go at this and seem to have got it on my 2nd attempt. You need to throw the usual approach of playing the UK completely out of the window. March 1941 and the Allies are counterattacking in northern Belgium, France has retreated in the Vosges a bit. Haven't done any amphibs yet but am going to try to retake Amsterdam and take out the fighter in The Hague with the UK special forces.

The BEF ended up consisting of 2 HQs, 2 Tanks, 2 Armies, 5 Corps (including the Poles, it will be 6 with the Canadians on their way as well), a Special Forces, 4 Anti-Airs, and a garrison - as well as the air units.

Casualties on the French have been pretty grim with only 5 Corps and 2 Armies remaining (plus another 3 Corps and 1 Army holding the Italian front against a fairly determined attack by the AI).

Total German losses have been 1 HQ, 3 tanks, 5 armies, 2 paratroops, 9 Corps (one of which Italian, but lost on the German part of the front), and 3 tactical bombers. Anglo-French losses 1 Heavy Tank, 1 Tank, 9 Armies, 9 Corps, one Special Forces (though these figures include the Belgians and Dutch). German National Morale, at 92%, is lower than either France or Britain's.

Egypt held by its original Corps plus the event-units, none of them have been reinforced. The British destroyer fleet is a mess. I refused the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in a failed attempt to keep Poland in the war longer, so the potential Eastern Front is also... a mess. However, none of this is likely to matter very much for the long term future of the game!

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< Message edited by The Land -- 7/7/2021 10:30:31 PM >


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