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How to React to Allied Invasion of Iraq


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The last few games that I have played with my friend, he has invaded Iraq early in the game using two air units and surrounding it with ground. The CP's he gains has had a strategic impact plus he has been able to send some Brits to the Russian front later on to bolster the front line. I am curious as to what other gamers have done to counter this? I was thinking that an invasion of France right after the Lowlands falls (leaving Finland and Sweden for later) might be an option. Any comments would be appreciated.

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As the Axis I've never been able to keep the Allies from taking it. The best I've been able to do afterwards is send a few airfleets to Libya, along with an HQ and ground units to take Alexandria and Suez using the Italian Navy within air cover of the aircraft.

Most players seem to find this a fairly easy campaign, but to me it's always pushed things back too far in the USSR, it's hard to support that operation with units pushing north through the Iraq mountains. On the other hand, it's better than having the Brits holding North Africa and, as you say, being able to move units to bolster the Soviets (usually Americans, I've found.).

On the other hand, if the Anglo-Brits are sending armies to Russia, and it would have to be armies and airfleets to really be meaningful, it means they aren't opening a second front. It's probably easier for the Axis to defeat the USSR, leaving those units either stranded or destroyed in the east, isolated from help which arrives slowly and it should be almost impossible for them to get to the UK. Meanwhile massing air fleets in France and building a decent navey for the long awaited Sea Lion.

Oddly I've never played a game where either US or American units were in the USSR after it falls, so I don't know if they remain or dissapear, but they should remain; so if they were defending the Don region, it would mean the UK/USA controls the Caucasus. I'd be very surprised if they just vanish.

It would be strategically foolish, if the USSR is on the ropes, to have Soviet units defending the Don and UK/US anywhere else in Russia because, in that case, when the USSR falls they're likely to be cut off from their link with Iraq. In which case they'd be easy victims for the victorious Axis, who'd then have an open door to both the Middle East and North Africa.

My own experience is three or four games similar to this, as both Axis and Allies, and without a second front to worry about the Axis has won; in my own cases, as both sides, by capitulation before the USSR officially fell!

In conclusion, I've found a strong second front to be a better Allied strategy. Naturally, I may be wrong on this, there are much better players who know a lot more about the game than myself.

Regarding the original question, I think an all out Axis push against Egypt and Iraq is the best approach, depriving the UK of those bonus MPPs after the Soviets enter.

[ February 07, 2004, 03:21 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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From your description it seems you go first to Norway/Sweden and then towards France. Against a player with some experience this is a killer and Allies will defeat Germany in France.

Germany starts with more/better units, but Allies have the edge in mpps/turn. If Germany waits too long to invade France, Allies can dig in and grow too strong for Germany to defeat them.

The usual approach is: Poland, LowCountries, France. Allies have several options to invade some neutrals - including Iraq. But if they do so, the units they use are missing in France. Therefore if your opponent invades Iraq, its much easier to take France.

You cant prevent Allies from taking Iraq, but if they do so, just throw them out of the middle east after France has fallen and you will get the mpps instead of the Allies :D . Allies have no chance to hold Egypt and Iraq if you move a german Hq and some airfleets to North Africa.

Only if the french campaign took too much time, there is a small chance for Allies to hold it. In case you dont have enough time left to conquer it before Russia joins, it is better to prepare a strong Barbarossa. With Russia in the war, it is no longer possible to go successfully in the middle east if Iraq and Beirut are still allied.

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If Russia surrenders, any UK/US troops will retain hold of wherever they are, but the chances are that their link with Iraq and Suez will have been cut.

The main thing to do is to remember to reinforce the Iraqi Corps. I forgot in one game I'm playing at the moment, hastening it's fall by quite a few turns as the attack on it wasn't that strong. :(

Don't operate air fleets to Iraq unless the allies really are doing very badly everywhere and they attack Iraq with a really weak force.

In one game I did hold Beirut for ages with a German air fleet, as the allies didn't have Iraq and they were attacking Beirut with 2 Corps and a battleship, all of which were out of supply.

However, I would say that really it is better to keep your fighting power concentrated on the fronts where you can make a difference. This means that the allies can make small gains like taking Iraq and Beirut, but hopefully while they are doing that you are kicking Stalin out of the Kremlin! :D

[ February 07, 2004, 06:06 AM: Message edited by: Bill101 ]

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Iraq before Russia for the Allies is a Gambit. If you capture France in Winter 40-41 with an able player the game for the Axis is out although against an inexperienced player you've got a chance depending<!> Check for Holes my Friend. If he's in the MidEast it's likely England is not defended well... Sneak a pretend SeaLion to force him to recolate his Air once you know it's in Egypt. Go for it if he is stubborn and wishes to devote huge portions of the RAF and RN to Egypt.

The Thing about the MidEast is you've gotta hit it with #s if it's got MASSIVE English Defenses.. and get it and Minors too without a SeaLion. I'd send a Corps to cover every Hex you can from Syria to Alexandria forcing Brits to Move Defensive<you can afford to lose a couple to Allied Air, but keep Resupply of Corps and Keep the Italian Navy Handy against any RN in the region>. Move in Axis Air close through Egypt behind with a HQ, it can land in Libya in one turn with ac existing transport or ship in Italian Boot Southern Most habor. Put Manstien on the job<that rating will help HUGELY in a 5 supply enviroment>

Keep pushing large portions of Mass Transports and Killing air movements sweeping through Alexandria, Suez Beruit and then smash Iraq ALTHOUGH at this point it's close to Barbarossa so you'll need to make up your mind. If he Runs like a Chicken kill him! Make sure to move Armor to Egypt...It's gotta move fast there... Armies are fine for Port cities but you need quick Blitzkrieg for inland. If it's early enough the Brits have just given you a 2 Star Manstien tongue.gif Do not STAY in Iraq unless you know how to invade Turkey.

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