1939 - A smart Allied move

leehunt27

Recruit
Joined
Jun 18, 2007
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Location
New York
Country
llUnited States
In my second EA game just started with Serge (i'm Axis, he's Allies) my opponent tried an interesting and smart move..

Two turns into the 1939 Blitzkrieg against Poland, Serge advanced his French troops from the Maginot line into southern Germany. My light defenses were pushed back (mainly one Infantry Korps) and i was forced to withdraw several Korps from Poland to counter this French advance. While Warsaw and Poland still fell, the French honored their treaty obligation and delayed the Polish defeat by a few turns.

Some would argue i should have had more troops on the French border, which is true-- but my point here is that the Allied player can almost certainly frighten or challenge the German player instead of waiting for Case Yellow in spring 1940. Why not go down fighting before the German player uses his shock bonuses on you? Anyway, i learned my lesson as the Axis!
 

B-snafu

Member
Joined
May 11, 2007
Messages
245
Reaction score
0
Location
north carolina
An opponent tried a similar tactic on me. After the fall of poland & before the sitz--my allied opponent made some small advances through the sarr land with the french & some airfield bombing runs. It was some minor pitched battles back & forth till the sitz & the french gained a few hexes before I took them back. The gurus here say this is a good tactic for the french as it causes losses for the germans before any shock bonus & the french losses will be negligable in the grand scheme (they will dissapear anyway).

The minor battles did take a few of my corps down to the red but I was able to evap a few French corps & more importantly evap a few of the maginot line forts there which don't come back before the sitz. By spring of 40' when I invaded the lowlands & France my units were fully restored & due to the reduction of the maginot line-I was able to also blitz through the sarrland along w/ through Belgium which enabled me to take the lowlands in 2 turns & France within 3 turns after that.

The early french attacks in this case seemed to help my later advance & reduce german casualties during the blitz but don't know whether the early german losses will factor in the long run.
 

Mark Stevens

Europe Aflame Forum Moderator
Joined
Aug 6, 2002
Messages
1,667
Reaction score
5
Location
London (United Kingd
Country
ll
You're absolutely right: there's a fine line between giving the Germans a bit of a fright and gaining more experience for your French units, and getting in too deep. If that happens you could find yourself losing a lot of units and maybe some of the forts, which will make the eventual German spring offensive that much easier and quicker.

I don't think that any military historian seriously believes that the British and French could have done any real damage in the West in 1939, they'd simply have exhausted themselves.

But trying alternatives is what the scenario's about.
 

Mantis

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
6,239
Reaction score
3
Location
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Country
llCanada
When I play the Germans, I *love* it when the Allies attempt to push out from the Maginot - as a matter of fact, I encourage it - it's a great trap! Convince them to come out from fortified deployment, to abandon the defences of their forts, and fight out in the open? Beautiful!

First off - at the most basic level, the only 'serious' casualties the Allies can inflict on the German during this period (all things being equal), are from forcing them to have to pound through line after line of perpared defence en route to Paris. Out in the open, they are dead meat.

I only very lightly defend the west, in the hopes of enticing my Allied opponent to try it. If he does, I respond lightly (if at all) to his push, hoping he goes even further. (To detail it, I'll usually use a korps split into thirds, with maybe a single small mech as reserve, if memory serves).

Poland is usually 2 turns, sometimes if can go 3 if things go awry. (See the TOAW strategy article on the TOAW Zone I posted for a 2-turn Poland). THEN the Allies really get it. The cost to the Germans to eliminate the Allied advance is quite light, especially compared to damage inflicted on the Allies. Keep in mind that any Frech units eliminated outright are not going to reconstitute, and most Brit units at this point in time will not reconstitute either (could be some version changes I am unaware of though).
 

desert

Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
65
Reaction score
0
Location
Coruscant
Country
llUnited States
I've never played EA before, but how much more powerful is, say, a German inf. unit compared to a French one of similar size? Difference in AP, DF = ?
 

Mantis

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
6,239
Reaction score
3
Location
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Country
llCanada
Considerably. You'd be best served to open up the scenario and just take a peek at the two different units, paying particular attention to the differing equipment each is assigned, and the amount. To put it at it's most basic, if the two units met up, the German unit could take the French in combat, while the French unit itself would consider entrenching and managing to hold a victory of sorts.

Don't take it out of proportion however, the Germans are not supermen, and against a well prepared defence-in-depth, you can bleed them quite well. Catch them glowing cherry red and in mobile deployment (early turn ending?) right where the majority of your forces are sitting, and 'counter-offensive' starts coming to mind.

Many's the German player that has been defeated by executing the invasion sloppily...

But all things being even, you know that France is virtually assured of going down. As the Allies, you can still 'win' the game here (which is why you don't want your French units evapped in silly offensives, like I describe in my very first reply up there). All you need to do is force the Germans to blast through pretty much the entire French army, hex by bloody hex, paying dearly for every advance.

Paris falls, the French still die, and the Germans quickly appear as rested and supplied as they did pre-invasion. It looks as if it made no difference whatsoever. They still stomp the British in Africa, they still wipe the Balkans out like it was nothing. They are getting ready for Russia, and are as strong as ever...

Barbarossa - always painful for the Russian. But what's this? Winter is approaching, and aside from simply being exhausted, the German infantry don't look the same... Even units that are perfectly rested with full supply - they're alot smaller than they used to be. This doesn't signal Red Berlin, no. But it takes the edge off, the Germans rest more areas of the front, attack less. Axis Offensives start to become much more localized. They prepare for winter a little sooner than you may have thought they would.

Spring hits, the Axis Offensive continues - you are about to start losing ground again, but at least you have prepared defences this time. Even rested and refit (and smashing through your lines) the Axis war machine is clearly not as resilient as it was inititally. It takes far less to push his units into paper tigers, unable to provide much effectiveness in combat.

After an eventful year, the the next spring approaches. If your game is still undecided, this spring will quickly tell the tale. If your early French bled the Germans hard, and your EF campaign was typical, then right here at this very point in time, the Germans won't have anything left. No gas in the tank. They'll reluctantly be pondering their 'new' defensive war. (Unless you are barely hanging on yourself! :laugh: )

But! If your early French campaign was lackluster, or worse, ineffective, then the Germans likely have anywhere from 30 - 55k Heavy Rifle Squads they otherwise would not have... More than enough for an offensive this spring.

The above example is somewhat typcial - many games are indeed decided almost solely on the amount of losses inflicted, but it can happen earlier or later, as well. The job of the German player is to be a sneaky SOB and try to find new avenues, exploit mistakes, misdirect, and otherwise gain an advantage of some sort so he can stay ahead on the numbers game. This will not 'win' the war for you as the German - you still have to go out and take capitals. But this is your enabler; without it, you *will* lose the war.

And it is very gratifying indeed to still be waging successful war at a time in the game when most German players have seen Berlin a smoking, overrun ruin.
 
Last edited:

sully1

Recruit
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Arizona
Country
llUnited States
Just curious, based on Mantis's post, if anyone has estimated what "standard" HRS losses pre-Barbarossa should be, what would be considered a "victory" for the Allies and what would be considered completely ineffective?

Thanks.
 

Mantis

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
6,239
Reaction score
3
Location
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Country
llCanada
I used to know that...

I'm going to be pulling numbers out of my hat here, so someone correct me if I get them wrong.

IIRC, this all stemmed from a conversation regarding HRS losses after the fall of France (the first serious yardstick). I believe historical losses were quoted at around 30k HRSs, but it was agreed that a canny French player can virtually always inflict higher numbers. He isn't forced to get caught in the trap. (I may have the numbers wrong - 30k might be the 'inflict higher damage', and not the historical damage, but anyways..)

I have seen France cost 55k HRSs (and still fall) - that would be a total Allied success.

My yardstick as the Germans is obviously quite the opposite. (Figures include total losses to date, which includes Poland, Low Countries, etc).

Axis domination <19k HRS losses
Axis victory 20 - 29k losses
Stalemate 30 - 35k
Allied victory 36k - 44k
Allied domination 45k+

Ymmv... France can go so many ways. It can survive. It can die basically for free, making the Jerries laugh their pants off. (I have taken France several times for under 10k squards, and once for under 6k squads lost (!)

Finland is very similar (but even more telling) for the Russians. I have seen games end before the Russians and Germans even met, simply because the Red player was inexpereinced with the scenario and bled himself white. Can you believe over 100k light rifles squads destroyed, and Finland still standing strong? Funny thing about this one is that an experienced Axis player will hand a determined (but inexperienced) Russian player his head every time. And this one truly is a game burner. Failure here = Axis Major Victory.

Try this on for size, if any of you are interested...

Load up a hotseat game, and have several indiviual Finn units dug in to fortified status, make them of various sizes. Stack a zillion Russians next to them all and attack. Look at the thousands of rifle squad losses you took from each battle, and 95% of the time, you will not take a single hex.

There is a 'trick' to unseating the Finns - the country can be taken in a very cost-effective manner. A player must know how, of course. It isn't really a trick either, rather a deeper understanding of how the game functions - it makes perfect sense in hindsight. It's is also a beautiful illustration of some of the frustrations a board gamer will face when learning the TOAW system.

On the cardboard counters, a 10-10 is simply that. But here, that 10-10 can be swept away with a strong breeze, or be virtually invulnerable, depending on the circumstances. (Ever try attacking a fortified panzer unit with nothing but infantry?) When this factor is applied to the Russians strategy in Finland, the answer is obvious (again, with hindsight being 20/20). :D

If someone bites, I'll explain it...
 

jjdenver

Recruit
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Denver
I used to know that...

I'm going to be pulling numbers out of my hat here, so someone correct me if I get them wrong.

IIRC, this all stemmed from a conversation regarding HRS losses after the fall of France (the first serious yardstick). I believe historical losses were quoted at around 30k HRSs, but it was agreed that a canny French player can virtually always inflict higher numbers. He isn't forced to get caught in the trap. (I may have the numbers wrong - 30k might be the 'inflict higher damage', and not the historical damage, but anyways..)

I have seen France cost 55k HRSs (and still fall) - that would be a total Allied success.

My yardstick as the Germans is obviously quite the opposite. (Figures include total losses to date, which includes Poland, Low Countries, etc).

Axis domination <19k HRS losses
Axis victory 20 - 29k losses
Stalemate 30 - 35k
Allied victory 36k - 44k
Allied domination 45k+

Ymmv... France can go so many ways. It can survive. It can die basically for free, making the Jerries laugh their pants off. (I have taken France several times for under 10k squards, and once for under 6k squads lost (!)

Finland is very similar (but even more telling) for the Russians. I have seen games end before the Russians and Germans even met, simply because the Red player was inexpereinced with the scenario and bled himself white. Can you believe over 100k light rifles squads destroyed, and Finland still standing strong? Funny thing about this one is that an experienced Axis player will hand a determined (but inexperienced) Russian player his head every time. And this one truly is a game burner. Failure here = Axis Major Victory.

Try this on for size, if any of you are interested...

Load up a hotseat game, and have several indiviual Finn units dug in to fortified status, make them of various sizes. Stack a zillion Russians next to them all and attack. Look at the thousands of rifle squad losses you took from each battle, and 95% of the time, you will not take a single hex.

There is a 'trick' to unseating the Finns - the country can be taken in a very cost-effective manner. A player must know how, of course. It isn't really a trick either, rather a deeper understanding of how the game functions - it makes perfect sense in hindsight. It's is also a beautiful illustration of some of the frustrations a board gamer will face when learning the TOAW system.

On the cardboard counters, a 10-10 is simply that. But here, that 10-10 can be swept away with a strong breeze, or be virtually invulnerable, depending on the circumstances. (Ever try attacking a fortified panzer unit with nothing but infantry?) When this factor is applied to the Russians strategy in Finland, the answer is obvious (again, with hindsight being 20/20). :D

If someone bites, I'll explain it...
For god's sake - by all means please explain. ty.
 

The Vince

Recruit
Joined
Nov 18, 2002
Messages
26
Reaction score
0
Country
llUnited States
If Axis loose too many HRS in France its gonne get harder later in the game. Takes time to recoup those for your infantry Corps.
You really want a ton of HRS in your replacement pool before you invade Russia, else you unit strength will not last in a long campaign.
 
Top