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Radical Idea about the "Defence of France"


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Reading Edwin P.'s Allied Polish Strats. Gave me this plan.

The first time I ever played as the Allies in a 1939 campaign I saw 4 French Armies bordering Germany and really nothing in the way but a corps in each city, and prehaps some in range airfleets. I thought to Myself "Why don't I just invade Germany while it's busy with Poland.." Of course as I got more familer with the game, I realized this is Not such a good idea since the Germany Armies will soon be done with Poland and on you in a heartbeat. However, With some tinker using the idea's about prolonging Poland's surrender, I came up with a crude but seemingly effective plan. I recently tested this Vs. the AI on expert level.

The goal is to be ready to attack INTO Germany on turn 2. Otherwise it is too late. Using the Polish prolonging action, I quickly began my buildup. First, the French Corps in Beruit is Sold for money, then the french fleets in Toulon in the south, as well as Arcachon, then the French Airfleet. The overall goal of these sales are to buy a French HQ, obviously a must for ANY invasion of anything. Next, the British and Remaining French Fleets must be sent toward the Baltic, in hopes of engaging the Weak German Fleet, and Distracting the German Airfleets, as well as taking advantage of any German unit's that brush the water. This of course will cost your Fleet dearly, but if all goes to plan, you will not need them. The French Corps in Algeirs must be transported to Southern France and the British Airfleet in Malta Sent to Mainland England. The British Corps in London, sent to northern france via Transport. The British Airfleet and Bomber in England, also sent to france. Now you are in position for the attack. You must remember, the goal of this strike is not to take over Germany so Early, but rather destroy it's industrial base while it is still very small and weak, and prehaps more importantly, to destroy the Germany Luwftwaffe, Also, you must take advantage of any isolated German unit's other then those in cities, and destroy/badly hurt them. REMEBER Germany this early in the game doesn't make enough MPPs to deal with massive losses in any respect.

What I found was that by driving into Germany, I drew back a German Army, and a turn later a German Tank group, both of which i was able to destroy by simply overwhelming them. Keeping my goals in mind, I did NOT attack Munich, Essen, and Cologne, but cut them off from the rest of germany so that thier Efficency goes to 50% as many of you know happens when a city/resource is totally cut off from it's capital. Also, I drove for and took the mines above Cologne, further reducing the dwindling Germany MPPs. My fleets pushing into the Baltic obviously Smashed the Germany Navy with basic Ease, but more importantly were able to draw a little fire from the Airfleets to keep them from attacking my ground forces. Next, came the real hard blow. Since the German's had no choice but to use thier Airfleets every turn, I was able to throw a single Army or corps ahead after drawing that airfleet out to intercept with the RAF and smash 5 points off of it. Then, another German Airfleet came under a similar fate. Many more Turn's into the fight, the plan had taken it's effect, unable to replace the losses in it's expensive Airfleets and even it's damaged ground forces so early in the game and with over half over it's MPPs gone, two German Airfleets were destroyed on the ground. Something I hadn't expected, although I should have, happened. Insted of finishing off Poland on the brink, the German's withdrew all but 1 unit from Poland to Defend Berlin which now had 2 French unit's on it's Border. On this same turn, Italy Declared war on the Allies, which had little effect at first since I had expected this and had my Algiers corps in Souther France for them to bounce off of. The Next turn I passed my British Corps by the hex that control's the port of Kiel in Northern Germany, capturing it. Sadly, in the next two turns I made a mistake which left a French Army surronded but of course I have learned from this mistake. I currently have my game saved so I can come here and write this, But I believe that If I were to start all over again, without the learning mistakes, I would be able to strike a near death blow to the German's early in the war. France and Britian, Added by the captured German Port and Mine, Gain MPPs much faster then the badly wounded German's and it is obvious that I will be able to wear them down over time. The only wild card right now is what to do with Italy, but I think I might bring the British Fleet's in the Med up to engage the Italian Fleet, not to destroy it, but damge as many ships as possible to eat up thier MPPs in repairs while I gain steam attacking Germany, this will buy me much time.

Obviously, this strat would need a lot of agjustments against a veteran human player, but it was Damn fun to figure out vs. the AI and surprisingly effective. On the defensive so early, the German's never could recover, and I believe if they ever do drive me out of Germany, it will have cost so much time and MPPs that later event's in the war. I.E. Russin and US entry, Will spell certain doom for the German's who will barley have enough time to regain the airfleets and unit's lost eariler, not to mention build up enough to handle the Soviets and Americans.

Let me know what you guys think, It might seem crazy at first but trust me, atleast against the A.I., It WORKS.

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Nuts ! :D

ps: Great strategy !

it is june, the 15th -1941 and the BEF is 3 hexes away from Warsaw :D

2 German City's have collapsed at the weight of my superior Army tongue.gif

He already op'd a Airfleet to Italy. His income is around 60 MPP , and falling. 2 airfleet are ready to be chopped, as is his last HQ tongue.gif

Before the winter Germany shall fall, i guess :cool:

Now, i did exactly what you said and even More!

a) transfered all canadians to France, all airfleets, and the med. fleet linked up with the french and North-Sea fleet to sink the germans;they did. I even managed to keep my carriers alive, all three of them + 4 battleship/cruisers. Enough i guess to finish off the Italian navy too...

Only 2 corpses have hold the Italians for atleast a year, when reserves arrived (army+corps_ to relieve the stress. There are laying 4 Italian Army's and 2 corpses lying at my border and they make no ground ;)

Meanwhile i am mustering a battleforce of some french on the other side to build the pressure up at Venice. It only takes time to crush that nut too .

Superb, indeed.

[ May 05, 2003, 08:39 AM: Message edited by: 88mm ]

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Wow, I have to try this.

- Tried it twice, attacked Germany on Turn 1, it works, its fun, destroyed 2 Air, 1 Armor, 1 corps, 1 Army and sunk German fleet before being pushed back to the Maginot line. Germany was reduced to 95MPP per turn less than that of France or the UK.

- Tried it again and on

---July 21,1940 USSR Declares War on Germany, Poland has not surrendered, although it lost its capital months ago.

---Aug 04,1940 Warsaw and Konigsbergy surrounded by Soviet and Polish troops (2 surviving corps units, Polish air operated to France early in the war where it provided key air support to French attacks into Germany)

---Aug 16,1940 Polish Corps Liberates Warsaw, Polish air continues to help defend France, France is still holding the Maginot Line and advancing once more into Germany. Belgium was never attacked by the Germans. Italian front is held by 2 French Corps and 2 British Corps entrenched in the mountains of south eastern France. Three repaired units of the British navy are sailing towards Gibraltar to take on the Italian Navy, Other units of the Navy are in port awaiting repairs, including two seriously damaged carriers (str 2 and 3).

---Oct 27,1940 German city of Cologone falls to French HQ unit.

---Nov 24,1940 Prague falls to Soviet Armies. US readiness remains at 0%.

---Mar 3,1941 Essen falls to victorius French troops.

If the AI occasionaly (2% - 1 in 50 games) used this strategy against an unsuspecting "human", it could really throw the "human" for a loop and make for a really interesting game. The key would be for Hubert to make it one of those rare AI strategies that a player never expects to see. Of course such a Allied strategy only reaches maximum effectiveness with FOW ON.

Of course the key in programming it is to have the two Polish corps (I used the one in the capital and another one)hide until Russia enters the war and operating the air to France.

[ May 05, 2003, 11:49 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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88mm, Sounds like you did one over me smile.gif again though, I made some mistakes which I contribute to the fact that I was working many things out and never had tried such an idea before, In a little while i'm going to start a new game and run it more smoothly, however even with my unexspected losses, I was able to absolutly decimate the German's and the USSR is 85% readiness! Of course after the USSR enters, the war is pretty much over since nethier France nor the Low Countries have fallen, Poland should never have fallen but like a idiot, I forgot to reenforce warsaw 1 turn *smacks head* LoL.

Sorry I forgot to mention Canada but yes I brought them over ASAP. I'm glad you approve of the strat, I figured it was worth a try and noteworthy.

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Edwin, I had very very similar result's in my game, I held onto France until the Soviet's really laid a hurt on the Germans, then started my own push and systimaticly crushed them. The only difference I had, Which I think worked out to my advantage, is that Poland did surrender and the AI declared war on Belgium right after! Belgium never fell and it was key in my forces driving deep into Germany. I really do like this strat. a lot vs the AI atleast ;0) glad you all seem to like it as well.

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Edwin P

Wow, what a details. I am amazed. Do you fight with expert-settings? And the experience, is it +1,+2,+3 or default ?

It's suddenly a trilling game, with all that allied activity :D


Ow well, it was not so hard. I see you played against a Expert Ai, do you use FOW also ?

I tried it with default settings, and all vissible. Going to try it the "hard way" too.

I am using the 1.06v btw, makes that any difference?

And Polen surrendered, on turn 5 or 6. Instead of not going after the polish units, the germans did, aldo i was 4 hexes away with the airfleet, and 3 hexes with a inf unit. Very weird.

Futher, i attacked on turn 3, not 2.


Howw, this ain't workin for me with 1.06 i guess.

Setting/expert +2 Axis exp.

turn 1 > invaded germany, still warsaw falls at turn 2 and counter-attack cost france 1 army. From then on, france/england are in defence, polen falls *(turn 5 or 6), aldo there are 2 corpsed str 9 and 8 and a airfleet (str4) in the background. may 40, germany declares war at the LC, tried to hold it. But lost it 3 turns later..

Now, okt 1940, france only have left 2 corpses and a HQ, paris is falling soon....

Is the differnce that great between 1.07beta and 1.06 :confused:

[ May 06, 2003, 10:07 AM: Message edited by: 88mm ]

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I played at Expert +1 Experience with FOW ON. If FOW is off the Axis AI will see the polish units and hunt them down. I will try it at +2 Experience tonight.

Also, I invaded Germany on Turn 1 and operated the Str 4 Polish air unit to France where it was reinforced (it appears that you must reinforce the polish air to keep Poland from surrendering). I kept reinforcing it to 10 every other turn) and used it to support Allied attacks into Germany. When the Germans responded in force I retreated back to the Magninot Line.

The key was that with the attack on Turn 1 Germany only left 2 units (Corps and Army) in Poland to continue the attack on the Polish Army unit holding Warsaw and I had two Polish corps hiding along the Russian border (both were at full strength). Also the continued presence of my naval ships in the Baltic kept drawing German Airpower. This prevented them from supporting attacks by the German army on my units, but it also gave me several ships with a Str of 2,3 and 4.

In addition, I landed a UK Corps in Northern Germany which siezed control of the port in North Eastern Germany, even after it was destroyed the UK retained control of the port as no German Land unit advanced next to it.

[ May 06, 2003, 12:52 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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Very interesting Night (Knight) you have done what many historians have suggested france should have done in 1939. It's funny that here with this game, and all the possibilities, number of gamers, and ways to change history, it took this long for someone too try this scenario.

I give you an honorary Knight Of SC award.

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88, FOW should be on, I always play with it on just because it makes the game more fun, i'm not exactly sure if 1.06 makes a difference but I DO have 1.07 beta. Attacking on turn 3 might be to late IMO because you have to push hard and fast into Germany and cut off/capture as many resources as possible, often the German's will bring back an army and tank group, but since they are isolated they can be easily destroyed, or even severely damaged costing the already struggling German MPP production to take a real hit. If you follow my plan loosly, like Edwin P. did, and use the very powerful allied fleet to destroy the German fleet and distract the air units, which are IMO Germany's most powerful element this early in the game.

Edwin, I very much like your idea about oper. the Polish air fleet out and i'm going to run another test using this plan.

Seawolf, Thanks very much smile.gif Honestly it's nice to know I got noticed.

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June 22, 1941, Germany Surrender's to the combined Might of England and France after losing all land and cities west of Berlin, and finally Berlin itself.

I did it without the USSR even entering the war smile.gif Italy is REALLY screwed now, and as if thing's wern't bad enough, Russia is a turn away from entering itself LOL

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2/4/1940 - French Occupy German Mines and UK corps land to sieze port of Kiel

4/28/1940 - Italy declares war on Allies, Poland forces are hiding in the marshes while the Polish Air Fleet aids French forces on the western front.

6/9/1940 - Poland Surrenders

6/23/1940 - Colgne Falls to French, French Corps reaches outskirts of Prague but is destroyed the following turn, Russian Readiness 72%

10/13/1940 German counter attacks retake mines.

11/24/1940 French retake mines while destroying German weakened German corps and army

3/30/1941 Essen Falls to advancing French troops

5/25/1941 Russia Declares War on Germany, UK armnor lands north of Hamburg, Hamburg falls to French Troops.

6/29/1941 Warsaw falls to Russian troops while Berlin is surrounded by British and French Units.

7/13/1941 France takes Berlin and Germany surrenders to French.

At this point in time the UK navy has 3 full strength units, all other Naval units are of strength 1 to 4, and 2 carriers were lost in combating the Germans and only 1 Airfleet remains operational.

3 Corps units held despite continuous attacks by Italian Army and German Air Units in the Mountains of South Eastern France.

All in all, an exciting game with lots of attacks and counter attacks. What killed the Germans is that the AI had the Air Fleets attack Naval Units instead of land units. In addition the AI did not search for the Polish units hiding in the Swamps of Eastern Poland, thus denying it valuable MPPs it needed to contain the French advance into Germany. Also, it did not attack Denmark for the Danish Plunder nor did it create lines of units. The French were often able to concentrate the attacks of 4 infantry units against 1 German unit and destroy it.

Night Thanks for this strategy it makes for an exciting short game against the Axis AI.

Pehaps Hubert will add a routine to the AI that will assist the Germans in countering this strategy such as sending more Italian Troops to Germany or having Italian troops seize the unguarded overseas territories (Egypy, Malta, Algeria, Syria or attack Greece) instead of letting them batter themselves to death trying to enter Southern France. It would also be better if the Italian navy came to the assistance of the Italian army units.

[ May 07, 2003, 12:42 AM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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I will try it against an unsuspecting Human, hopefully one who hasn't read this post. But even so, delaying the Polish surrender by a turn or two has deprived Germany of its plunder.

The major con against this gambit is that it leaves all the Allied overseas territories undefended - Egypt, Vichy Syria, Malta, Gibraltar, Vichy Algeria, Canada, the UK. If the Gambit fails or a human Axis player realizes what is going on the Allied player could be in deep trouble. Imagine an Italian army unit sailing thru the straits and then landing in the UK.

[ May 07, 2003, 03:53 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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Sorry about the long winded reply smile.gif

I agree with Edwin about the oversea's positions of the Allies not being taken by the Italians, however before I realized the Italians would not invade an undefended Malta, I had sent the British Med. Fleet into and around it's port to atleast slow a invasion there. Also, If you use the corps in Gibraltar to bounce back and forth between Algeris and Gibraltar, since they both have ports you can load and unload in 1 turn and I have succesfully held both since you can see an Italian Transport off the coast and it has to wait for it's next turn to land, this can also be done between Algeris and Malta if need be, the only weak point of this strat. is of course if the Italian Navy comes out to support the invasion and blocks the port and/or intercepts the transport in route. What I think could work is that if you send the Canadian Corps down to Gibraltar and the Gibraltar Corps to ethier Algiers or Malta, you can successfully defend them, this of course does leave 1 area in the western med open. Beirut is another issue which I am currently facing but hope to solve. You must remember that Italy takes some time to enter the war, and this may give you time to reenforce those positions IF you can find the spare MPPs for an extra Corps or Two, Also, Although the Atlantic Fleets often take a beating from German Air Fleets in and around the Baltic, you will notice that after you defeat the German Navy, you still have a good number of ships left, specificly battleships/cruisers that have no real target's but the stray German land unit now and then that brushes the coast, if you can send 1 or 2 of these ship's down to reenforce the British Med. Navy, it may be more possible to counter the Italian naval power if planed out correctly.

The issue of Poland is a difficult one vs a Human simply because he would go looking for the Polish units. I doubt the Operated air fleet counts for anything if there is no unit's inside Poland itself. I am going to work on some strats. that may be able to buy those crucial extra few turns vs a human player.

If you look at it overall, the Polish problem is the only major thing effecting it's use vs. a Human player, the Med. problem can be solved or atleast minimized by what I have stated above. The Polish Plunder isn't the real problem with poland's early surrender, it is the fact that if those German troops are allowed to turn on the French Armies before sufficient steam is gathered in the west, you lose the advantage of isolating German unit's and cities, and the whole strat. is pointless.

[ May 07, 2003, 04:15 PM: Message edited by: Night ]

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I agree with your reasoning and the dangers of the Italian fleet, especially in the hands of a human.

The only change I would make to your strategy is to try avoid disbanding the French corps in Beruit. Then you could move it/operate it to defend Egpyt, which is more valuable than Beruit and as you said when you have enough MPPs build a corps and sent to to help hold the positions in the Med.

The important concept behind Night's strategy is that it eats up German replacements faster than Germany can replace them early in the game and Germany must reinforce its weakened units or face their elimination. Thus Germany is prevente from building new units and the combined French UK production is twice that of Germany, especially since they can't divert resources to the conquest of Belgium or Denmark.

[ May 07, 2003, 04:56 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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Exactly Edwin, Germany this early in the game is very weak industrialy, and if it's standing military can be picked apart because it cannot replace it's losses, you can obviously see what will happen.

I'm not positive but I think you need to disband that corps in order to have enough MPP to buy the HQ. I will have to go take another look.

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Also got this to work at expert +1 w/o disbanding Beirut corps. Thanks for making the game more fun!!

The German 88mm PAK/43 AT-gun is without questioning the best AT-gun of WW2 (discovery channel/ Battlefield series)

...it was the best gun, period. It killed almost anything the Germans could point it at...tanks, people, aircraft, whatever...
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