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Second Front?


Desert Dave
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I would be curious to hear how everyone is handling ol' Joe Stalin's (... feverish) requests for a second front to take the heat off his beseiged beserkers.

I haven't gotten far enough in PBEM games to add much, but as the Allies against the AI -- do you follow historical precedent and hit north coast of Afrika? Or, go right for Sicily (... not wishing to activate Vichy for the Axis), or what?

In my games playing the Allies against the AI, I thus far have tried two strategies -- 1) Invade Italy, but as was true in the initial instance, crawling crag by crag up that rugged boot can be bloody tough :eek: , and/or

2) Invade Iberian peninsula, whether or not the Axis have conquered it. You can gain precious MPPs and Euro ports, and cause Germans to hastily reinforce, thereby relieving the Russians.

More than anything else, I am curious -- what

have been the second front choices, and the results against human players? smile.gif

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Against the AI it's not too difficult. As the Allies I redeploy a Med. based corps into Sicily as soon as Italy shows her hand. By then I've usually accumulated enough navy in the Med to at least stalemate the Italians. The AI pours a lot of strength into the boot in an attempt to safeguard Italy's limited income (and capitol!). If he brings in airpower and starts tearing up my ships I'll usually pull back and evacuate the Sicily invaders. Better to let him punch air, and weakening his East Front is really the goal. By the time he's pushing the Russians back the Americans are coming on board and against the AI an assault on the Cherbourg penisula isn't too hard to pull off if you let the Americans get an HQ first.

Against a human it's a much different ball of wax. Because of the pressure that Russia was under I didn't want to waste time slogging through North Africa (at no consequential expense in troops or MPP's to the Axis). I decided instead to let the Americans fatten their income by invading Portugal and then rolling into Franco's despotic regime. Unfortunately I learned after the fact that the Axis already had pretty good industrial technology and long range aircraft. He'd seen me staging in the Atlantic, and as consequence put at least two tank armies on alert (stationed on the sliver of land bordering Spain). When I positioned my transports I saw the tank armies, but decided my own attacking contigent and air power could carry the day.

I was wrong. Not being able to cut off Spain at the open of the invasion opened up the country to operational movement. When my troops invaded they seized a decent chunk of terrain (about the SW 1/3 of the country), but he was able to operate in LOADS of corps around the cities, and I knew the going would be slow. The next turn he brought in several air fleets and I realized I wasn't going anywhere. I hoped to at least hold an extra front while I built up another amphib force and tried to hit France, but the expense of maintaining the Spanish front precluded this. I managed to kill off several corps, but his air force was taking it's toll, and my line begin to shrink. In the end I managed to evacuate about half of the original force out through Gibraltar, but handing him Spain and Portugal compounded the industrial advantage he held over the Allies.

It might well have played out differently if he had less research success, but I've learned that an amphibious invasion requires plenty of strength against a human. And also that the costs are too high in maintaining a front to build an effective second amphib force once you've committed to combat. The final lesson is that Germans must accept a pause in action in Russia if necessary in order to commit overwhelming force against a second front. A failed invasion costs the Allies irrecoverable time and MPP's.

Gunslinger

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I too have had problems in Spain. When attacking Iberia, you have to land a unit that cuts off Spain from occupied France. Then the going is quick and you can readily deploy troops against France or Italy. In a game versus the AI where I failed to cut them off, the added advantage I gave them let them crush Russia and actually attempt a sea lion when the game ended.

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Hit Norway first, take Sweden if possible. This will require HQ. Pull out, feint or produce diversion in Spain/Portugal. Use corps to occupy some strategic assets, you will write these guys off. If/When opponent bights nail Britanny. Use your carriers to spot any opposing airfleets and takem out with your best pilots.

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I usually just go right after France when the US joins. Up to that point, I spend almost all of my British income on air tech advances so when I invade, I have support from level 4-5 air. The AI generally overreacts to the invasion and the People's Red Army starts cutting through the German lines like a knife through butter.

Then it just becomes a race to Berlin!

Unfortunately, I have recently had trouble taking Berlin (See my post, "Trouble taking cities...")

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Against a human Sicily can be a death trap for hte Allies - I'm in a game - invaded & conquered Siciliy in Mid 43 (the game is Norse's Torch/Stalingrad campaign) and Norse promply sent 4 German airgroup to Utally, delmolished the couple of US Airgroups providing cover and generally had a good time, etc....very expensive lesson in strategic mobility!! :(

Sure it weakened his Russian front, but he was on the defensive ther anyway, and I'm not sure hte US losses were worth it!!

However the Brits are ashore in Normandy now, adn the Yanks in the Nth of Germany & Denmark, so it may be all moot!!! :D

Hey Norse - you owe me a turn!!

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