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Defense of France vs AI Strategy

Edwin P.

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Here's a strategy that I just tried against the AI (don't try it against a human or you will lose rather quickly) that delayed the fall of France until Aug 25,1940 and left the Allies with with 5 French Armies and 1 Corps in the UK.

Expert - +0 Experience - FOW ON

1. Pull all French units aways from the Belgium border except for those stationed in the maginot line.

2. Move all armies towards ports and replace the armies in the maginot line with corps as soon as you can can afford it. Transport the Armies in ports to the UK as soon as possible.

3. Station the French fleet off the coast of Belgium to draw enemy air support. Build 1 French corps and let it entrench in Paris.

If you do this the AI seems to focus all of its efforts on attacking the Maginot line and does not attack Belgium for many, many turns. It is a simple matter to keep reinforcing the corps in the maginot line back to full strength each turn.

4. When the Germans finally attack Belgium operate/move the corps to the hexes west of Paris.

5. To defend Paris you will have 1 Corps entrenched in Paris and 3 other corps in supporting positions behind this one. UK air and naval units will pound German units that try to flank this position. As the French fleet keeps the AI air power occupied Paris should be able to hold out for 5+ turns and bombardments from the UK naval and air forces should be able to destroy 1 or 2 of the encircling German armies.

The AI made four critical opening games errors;

1. Air Fleets gave priority to attacking pre-Free French naval fleets (which disband after Paris falls)instead of UK Fleets or supporting ground attacks.

2. It delayed its declaration of war on Belgium for several turns (I will keep a record of how long next time) while it concentrated its attack on the Maginot line.

3. Also the Fall of Poland in this game was delayed by six turns as 2 corps and 1 polish air survived the fall of Warsaw and the AI did not hunt them down.

4. It did not move their air in range of Paris after the AI took the undefended maginor Line. The German air units remained distracted by focusing attacks on French Fleets which were in range. This deprived the German army of vital air support.

Second Game - Germans DOW Belgium April 28,1940 & Paris Falls on June 16,1940

[ May 11, 2003, 02:47 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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I look forward to seeing your strategy.

When I evacuate the French units to England (vs Humans) I find that it usually discourages a Sea Lion and that the forces can be used later for plunder rich campaigns against Iraq or Norway or; if you have cleared the Baltic of the German Navy, running through the Danish straits two French armies to the coast of Finland (where they can help the Russians take Finland).

Of course, you also want to send a UK Fleet or two to the coast of Finland to sink any German transports that are lurking off the Russian coast.

[ May 11, 2003, 02:55 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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Obviously this only works with Free French on.

I for one, played out a game where France survived until Januray 1941. All I did was build up enough MMPs for an HQ, scrapped the French Atlantic fleet and reinforced damaged Armies along Belgium's border. I think I ended up killing all Germany's panzers, damaging the airfleets and destroying at least 2 Armies. And I left a British Corps in Brest.

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Another AI quirk: Move the army on the Belgian border to immediately behind the Maginot line, disband the French air fleet and scrap enough ships to build an HQ. Operate British Malta air to France and fly in air from Britain. AI only attacks Maginot line (to prevent the attack it believes is coming) as in Edwin's original post.

I discovered this experimenting with Night's radical strategy. Several German armies, panzers, etc. die in front of the Maginot line before it attackes the low countries.

This has worked in over 10 consecutive games. I'll post a follow up as soon as AI figures out it's being conned.

My record so far is a German surrender in March, 1940 using a combination of this strategy and Night's radical strategy.

Warning: If you go to the offensive too soon the Germans will cut the French into "Freedom fries."

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