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The Early Allied Air Strategy.


zappsweden
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The Early Allied Air Strategy means that UK buy HQ and try to slow down luftwaffe as early as possible.

I have been using a slightly modification of it when being Allied lately. Introducing the Zapp Air Strategy (ZAS) or it could be called the "Double HQ Defence" because it involves buying BOTH UK HQ and French HQ. It was judged by Terif as an outdated strategy.

Here are the outcomes of the games I have used this strategy in lately (though on some occasions I have deviated from the strategy described i.e I developed it abit during these games).

Opponent, wins, losses

Terif 0-3 : Who does not lose against him anyway?

Rambo 7-0 : Rambo had very bad rolls in some of the games.

Avatar 1-0 : He got the 3 neutrals in normal timeframe but still gave up before reaching Paris.

Dragonheart 0-2 : I was grazy in the last game and went all-in

IMPORTANT NOTE:

This Strategy is highly dependant on UK handicap bids. A UK bid over 200 is recommended to get success with this strategy.

[ December 12, 2004, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: zappsweden ]

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What is this? Total crap. Poland doesn't surrender for me two games in a row. (They had 2-units left, what's the odds?). Third game I continuely attack Poland, they surrender after I had destroy ever unit. Next game, LC-fails! Then, Zapp has +2 JetTech advantage on all fronts. GERMANY never got JetTech with 5-chits.

Zapp's claims are chit smile.gif

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Zapp Air Strategy (ZAS) i.e THE DOUBLE HQ STRATEGY (buying UK and French HQ):

There are variants depending on how much MPP UK start with

Description:

Sell bomber

Sell 3 out of 4 french ships

Buy french corps in Marseilles turn one

DOW Ireland turn one

Send french corps from Marseilles->Malta

Buy UK HQ turn one

Buy French HQ turn 2 (by selling off navy)

Operate air from Malta to southern England (turn one or turn two depending on UK starting MPP's)

Use air interceptions and attacks from Southern England frequently to slow down the luftwaffe

UK should only buy perhaps 1 corps extra to send to France (ofcourse the starting corps in London should be sent to France immediately) and rest of MPP's are to be used in air battles.

[ December 01, 2004, 04:44 AM: Message edited by: zappsweden ]

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when axis buy their 5th AF can't they just place them on LC shores/cities/mine and force intercept and attack directly the RAF?

I didn't do it in our pending game unfortunately ;)

it won't stop axis anyway but it is surely a mpp drain for gerries.

Another question: UK has also AF losses to repair - doesn't it mean less tech chits early on for UK ?

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Terif,

Then what is your ideal strategy for the allies? Just pile up the corps on the line? In your game with me, you used the French navy as fodder going into the Baltic Sea to destroy my fleet and used Ireland as target practice for your carriers.

Zapp,

Axis just have to invest into two other AFs from three and concentrate to disable your fighters first. With Manstien HQ backing them some from cities, I do not think your air strategy would work.

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Posted by aesopo: Zapp,

Axis just have to invest into two other AFs from three and concentrate to disable your fighters first. With Manstien HQ backing them some from cities, I do not think your air strategy would work.

And how well are your ground units advancing while all your air support is off attacking the RAF?

Also, good luck buying and supporting all of these airfleets while maintaining your ground units committed in France at the same time.

Like Zapp said, it doesn't automatically win every game, but it sure puts a lot of pressure on the Germans when they have to fight an aggresive RAF and fight their way into France at the same time.

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This strategy can hurt the Axis. Though here is the Counter to Allied Air Strikes. "Get more Breakthroughs"

Limited conservative Axis strategy into France is a weak one... Don't build a 5th LW, use the extra MPPs to reinforce your existing ones.. Possibly add a Tank instead of an LW and don't use the Sea Route if Ireland Falls too early.<Carrier fodder>

If my enemy doesn't pile on 10+ Corps in France along with the Armies he's in trouble. I'll Maul him and still take the Cake...

UK will be down 1-2 Chits and 1-2 Fighters... With a little luck in all this you can break out and take Suez/Vichy three time faster than normal repair those damaged LWs early..

Bad side if you get bad dice and halted up in France, Allies can with Irish Plunder-MPPs bang you up bad.. Use Carriers on your outskirt units and lock you up to the Southern Route into France...You need to kill France early ;) even if you lose 2 or 3 Armies or 2 Tanks.. Just kill Kill KILL KILL & Plant corps inbetween your remaining vital units smile.gif

Oh and remeber taking Ireland early is a bit of luck too and at that time the Allies are vulnerable<get Poland down in 2! Max 3>

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In my second game zapp went grazy :D Although i positioned my AF´s to kill one of his air he kept intervening from england!!! Wanna know what he did????.... he sacrified his fleet!!!!! :confused: :D ...and bought a new fighter.

IMO it´s a tough strategy it causes axis huge problems but if it doesnt work game is over. Zapp i can understand that you love this way, and i find it good but very very risky....but every game??? Even Rambo changed his style to play since this AA rule...yesterday we had our best game since we play each other.

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Originally posted by Comrade Trapp:

And how well are your ground units advancing while all your air support is off attacking the RAF?

I guess you have to choose ...

Yes the advance into france may be slower but if UK loses 1 or 2 AFs, it offsets a longer France campaign. At least i think so.

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@aesopo:

The ideal strategy in France depends like all strategies on the opponent and your own preferences smile.gif . I prefer e.g. the long, good games. A quick victory makes me not much fun, so it is pointless for me to use a risky strategy at the beginning to reach either a fast victory or defeat. So I prefer and use in most games a long term strategy smile.gif .

Therefore I usually use a pure corps defence. I.e. no UK air, no french HQ. French air gets disbanded. Allies do only counterattack on the hex SW of Brussel with the landing units from England/Canada or if Germany sends a unit in a hex where it can be destroyed (e.g. either an understrength one or in a hex that can be attacked from 4 sides). So their corps can entrench and Germany needs a certain minimum time until they can reach Paris. Most corps come from France and England only sends as much units as are needed to fill the gaps. Therefore they can invest early in tech (sometimes I have up to 4 UK chits this way before France falls smile.gif ).

With a corps defence Germany usually needs at least until July 1940 to get Paris – and when it falls so early (for a corps defence, July is early smile.gif ) that means Allies will have evacuated a lot of units (in average I evacuate ~10 units + 2 med units). If Germany makes mistakes in killing the corps it can also easily need a lot more time to conquer France, August/September is not unusual. In the end: Germany will only have slight losses and can train its units, but Allies can build up during France (so D-day will be very strong) and have also enough mpps to prepare and start operations during/after France in other areas of the european theater smile.gif .

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Counterstrategies to a UK air + Monti + french HQ strategy:

- for the ones that love the risk: they can try to force an early breakthrough and march through very fast to Paris. With 2 Hqs Allies have not much ground unit in France and only a thin defence line. So when they loose 1-2 units early, they can´t hold the defence lines any more and Germany can reach Paris very fast (here it is not unlikely that Paris falls in February/March 1940). This strategy can especially be used after failed allied counterattacks when their units are damaged and can so be killed.

With their HQ supported french armies and 2 UK fighters, Germany will have high losses in this strategy. Loosing both tanks and a couple of armies is not unlikely. So it can also happen that the german forces get destroyed in the attempt. By aggressively moving forward, they provide a good target and can often be attacked from several sides and therefore be destroyed.

This strategy is often used (especially by Rambo ;) ) and as mentioned very risky since Allies will try to kill all german units that break through – so win percentage is perhaps 50/50 or lower... But the game will be decided within the first turns: either Paris falls, then Allies have lost and usually surrender, or Germany gets killed and surrenders.

- my prefered counter and a save way to win against this allied strategy:

Be defensive with your german units at the beginning until you have conquered Poland and Denmark. Even if you could kill a french army and move a unit into the gap: don´t do it ! It will only give Allies the opportunity to kill a german unit. An exception is the french Ardennes forest, but even this you will most likely loose since it can be attacked by 4 french armies + 2 UK AFs, so it is not worth risking a unit there – and for your air it is expensive too to kill the defender there. Better you use your air for Denmark, so it will fall in turn 3 – usually together with Poland. If you attack LC with a tank in the south, then operate a full str corps SW of Brussel, this will protect the tank and it will nearly always survive an allied counterattack. Usually Germany will loose this cannon fodder corps, but this doesn´t matter, they have enough ground units smile.gif . If Germany already has a second HQ to support the tank, then it can stay south of Brussel, otherwise it can be a good idea to replace it with a cheap corps. Without HQ support Allies will most likely try to kill the tank.

When Poland and Denmark surrendered, Germany can buy first 2 AFs and then Manstein. With 5 AFs it is possible to kill the french defender in the Ardennes – if not in the first try then during the next 1-2 turns (expected losses for the defender are 10-13 depending on the collected experience). This is the first step – since the coast is mostly heavily defended and also threatened by battleships and carriers, it is usually better to attack towards the french mine and to stay away from the coast.

During the following process:

- never send valuable armies in dangerous places where the enemy can attack them with 3+ armies and their 2 AFs, you will most likely loose them. Use either cheap corps as cannon fodder (expect to loose some of them) or the best defenders in the game: tanks. But if you send a tank, then make sure you have units ready to take revenge if you loose this tank and to kill the french attackers – they will be heavily damaged, so you can sacrifice a tank to conquer some additional hexes. But you need units (2nd tank, fast corps) to occupy the hexes after your counterattack.

- place your HQs out of range of the UK air in England. HQs can support your units 5 hexes away, so place them 4-5 hexes away (east of the rhine, where they can´t be attacked by enemy air). Otherwise UK air will attack the HQs to force intercepts and this will be very expensive. Without HQs, Allies have to attack ground units and this is expensive for the UK air smile.gif .

- To be able to take a chance, place 2-3 AFs a bit further west, so they can reach the UK AFs around London. Often you will get a chance to destroy them:

You can kill an AF outside London: with luck you only need 3 airbattles, but with 4 it is usually dead. So if the enemy AF just attacked, then force another intercept with one of your AFs that are out of range (=2 airbattles) and then you have your 2-3 AFs in range to kill the UK AF. Since Allies know this too, they often remove their air if Germany moves AFs in range – if not, then you can remove the AF by force :D . Can be that you first have to reinforce your air before you can kill the AF (your air should be strong enough (i.e. str 5+) to survive the battle (don´t forget the 2nd UK AF, either force it to intercept too, or use a strong air for your first direct attack cause it has to survive 2 airbattles), otherwise it makes not much sense).

BTW: London provides AA and protection for the defender, so the London AF usually can´t be killed. Only if you noticed the air there did 2 airbattles in a row and had no opportunity to reinforce, then if you can force it intercepting and a third airbattle you can start dirct strikes and kill it – otherwise it will most likely survive and a failed attack is very expensive for the german air...

- last but not least: when moving forward in France, try to keep a straight line and always take care of potential enemy counterattacks. At the end of your turn your units should be placed like if they would be the defenders. Try to avoid making early spearheads that can be attacked from 4 sides. Sometimes you can´t avoid it, then use cannon fodder corps or leave it open. At such places try to kill 2 enemy units in one strike, so the enemy can kill maximum one of your units, so you have one of the 2 hexes conquered in the end and your position improved. Especially during the first turns of the attack on France this is a danger that the enemy kills your front units. But France has only 5 armies, so after some turns Germany will have killed most of them and then the danger decreases. When the enemy has mainly corps left, then you don´t need to be so careful any more, and the advance will be much faster.

So in the end:

The first turns in France are hard and Germany has to defensive and always ready for enemy counterattacks. Advance will be slow. But when the enemy armies are killed and the first key hexes conquered (Ardennes...), front is widening, more ground units can be send into battle and the speed of advance will increase a lot – expecially since Allies are usually running out of defenders: UK needs all mpps for the airbattles, France can only buy 1 corps/turn. Since Germany can usually kill 1-2 units/turn, so sooner or later the allied defence will break like a card-house.

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Originally posted by Dragonheart:

In my second game zapp went grazy :D Although i positioned my AF´s to kill one of his air he kept intervening from england!!! Wanna know what he did????.... he sacrified his fleet!!!!! :confused: :D ...and bought a new fighter.

IMO it´s a tough strategy it causes axis huge problems but if it doesnt work game is over. Zapp i can understand that you love this way, and i find it good but very very risky....but every game??? Even Rambo changed his style to play since this AA rule...yesterday we had our best game since we play each other.

It was not the air strategy, it was boredom :D

I made one counter too much and streched my lines thin, something you have to watch out with using this strategy. However, if you can buy the extra time, you have both a decent line and air support.

Also, in our latest game Dragonheart there was one important factor. You damaged my carrier 10->4 on turn 2 and I could not take Ireland until very late (attacked it with 3 carriers several turns but my damaged one was not very good at it). With normal luck in Ireland you would have been in for trouble since my third air fleet was too late when u already were far south in France.

[ November 29, 2004, 04:18 AM: Message edited by: zappsweden ]

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There is one thing where your tactic could be improved but i wont say it otherwise you would use it over and over again. :D I´m sure you can win alot of games with it ...but i rather prefer a victory after a long exiting battle. To play only french campagnes over an over again is boring although i have to admit you can play 10 a day of it.....rather effective. :D

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Originally posted by Dragonheart:

There is one thing where your tactic could be improved but i wont say it otherwise you would use it over and over again. :D I´m sure you can win alot of games with it ...but i rather prefer a victory after a long exiting battle. To play only french campagnes over an over again is boring although i have to admit you can play 10 a day of it.....rather effective. :D

This strategy does not exclude a long game. It is very seldom Axis get totally stopped in France with this strategy, rather some opponents give up if they get Paris late combined with heavy losses.

I think this strategy is a good counter to the Axis Cookie Cutter. Late Paris combined with heavy Axis losses and active Allied mid-game can make neutrals fall later but also turning the game into a sea-lion affair instead...

[ November 29, 2004, 04:26 AM: Message edited by: zappsweden ]

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in order to be truly effective you also need romania/hungary joining late ... with the france plunder axis can get enough units to rape the usual minors.

Where this strategy indeed excels is that it drains axis coffers' like there is no tommorrow.

The reverse is a very weak UK - but, even with this weak UK a sealion is out of the question if the allied player managed to save the Royal Navy - axis is also too weak (after france troop losses) to go for a sealion without paying attn to the RN.

UK won't be able to intervene in other theaters much because splitting the ships could prove fatal for its home isle.

There is a high chance (if all went well for allied player) that barbarossa proves weaker than usual - this leaves the allied player with the russian option. Russia become the main threat IF played properly - buying tons of tanks won't win the day early on for the reds - german's experienced HQ + infantry are way to tough to be cracked so early.

I said Russia is the main threat because due to massive airbattles over France, Uk ain't in a position to support properly a D-Day (too few airfleets and possibly low jet tech). So germans won't worry much about an early D-day. If the allies decide to attack Brest with average strength, axis can utterly destroy them - even weaker than usual, axis retain the air superiority over france at this stage.

If allies decide to wait, it will turn into a 'wait-for-the-cool-techs' game.

Meanwhile, the axis MPP base improves but will be on par with combined allied MPPs.

Conclusion (after the zapp strat was used against me):

Zapp's air strategy needs a few things to be truly effective:

1. Very good France and massive MPP drain for axis.

2. Carefully playing the RAF so as it doesn't get killed during France.

3. Ireland captured as early as possible (this is a matter of pure luck in 95% of the games)

4. Very carefully handle of the RN as it is the only allied asset that can really prevent a sealion.

5. Late RO/HU joining (I wonder if dowing Spain for the purpose of denying this minors wouldn't be a good ideea). Again this is a matter of luck.

6. Perfect (I mean PERFECT) synchronization of offensive actions both in the East and West (Russia badly needs air superiority), so the allied player can deny the switch of LWs from one front to another.

7. No AA rule. If axis use AA this will render allied AFs useless as they are way too few in this scenario to offset the losses.

It seems to me like a gambit of some sorts whith chances to be a game breaker or a game loser.

What I can really say is that indeed it has a devastating effect on morale of intermediate/not very experienced players - I was ready to give up the game after capturing France in 1978 :D

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Problem is also if you can't take UK after they devoted all their resources to stopping you till November you're in trouble!

The fact is the Germans at some point have to take out the Parisian retreaters and UK ones too! If the Allies devote to France and fail it will be an utter loss but if they succeed in stifling the Germans with Dice and successful counter attacks you're locked up.

I have found that Terif's suggestion of a slow and extremely cautious advance works. However it gets late fast and Axis need MPPs, they need Minors, they need to take Paris!

There is another alternative strategy.. Plan for a Sea Lion ;)

There are ways to ensure that you can perform one between Sept and before the USSR and USA Readiness spikes..

Would anyone suggest there best strategies for doing an inbetween Sea Lion before Russian and US Entry? As they have their French Delay Campaign.

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Sealion without first destroying or badly crippling the Royal Navy is way too risky.

Late Sea Lion might bring the big guys in the game too fast - to keep readiness down, i dunno, avoid London landings?

Terif's strategy of cautious advance works ok though one can expect to suffer serious losses even using his advices. If you are delayed in france, that's it, you have to move on.

You can postpone some minors (e.g. spain - i was forced to do so due to a very bad france) which will keep US out of the war for some turns. The thing is, until barbie kicks in you need to keep pressure on UK air (this means you will invest early in LR) until they develop too powerful fighters. It will drain your MPPS even more but Uk's ones as well and UK is poor - the result can be a very much delayed overlord which will give you a breather and time to complete fortress Europa as well as initiating an offensive (east or west, your choice).

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I was thinking about a revision of Zapp's strategy focused on getting monty + 3 or 4 RAFs but NO french HQ. France floods with corps its territory.

I play tested this with DH, but DH is a bitch and attacks France way too well ;)

Nevertheless I managed to introduce a 4th fighter when DH was near Paris.

The ideea is:

1. RN + 2 F cruisers hunt for subs.

2. The 2 F BBs + F AF get disbanded first turn - France buys corps in marseille to send it to malta. France build corps near Paris. The 2 F cruisers will get scraped once they are back from the sub hunt.

3. Either Build Monty now or better wait a few turns until the carriers are back from the sub hunt and Malta AF gets opped in UK. UK will build corps and send them to France (2-4). Canadian army sail to France, canadian corps sail to Ireland.

4. Begin attack on Ireland - 1 BB, 2 carriers, monty+2AFs - cannuck corps ready to disembark.

Meanwhile, France continue to spawn corps.

5. Ireland should fall before gerries reach Paris.

RAF gets its 3rd fighter or maybe fourth, depending on how many corps went to france.

The problem is RAF will intervene a little too late in France with the sole purpose of picking off damaged axis units in Paris vicinity.

RAF losses and subsequently LW losses will be highly dependant on who is commanding the LW.

If the axis player decided to push Manny and Runnie forward to support the thrust to Paris, the guy in charge with the LWs should be von Suck.

That's bad for the LW - it will sustain heinous losses. If the axis player use mr. M or mr. R for supporting the LW, this ain't good for RAF no more ;)

But you can hope the ground troops commanded by von Suck won't be hitting like a hammer the corps and Paris garrison.

It has to be playtested a bit more anyway.

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Lol was a funny test...in my next games i leave Von Bock = Von Suck in poland ...i hate this guy as he is that damned weak and when approaching in the west he took command of my AF´s ....without my permission!!!!!!!!!

Other players dont have this problem as they use Von Suck in LC...but they risk to fail there even when they use the full stuff (pz+ar+3AF).

I have to find a way that Von Suck get only a minor command of corps and maybe some armies...so also i have still to work on my france campagne.

Normally this does not matter but if the opponent is playing with RAF (zapp) then this is a huge difference as manstein will make huge losses on RAF.

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