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3 Questions - UK in Med and Vichy France


JJColorado
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Hi,

I'm somewhat experienced w/ the game (some PBEM) and three questions keep bothering me.

1) What do most players do with/to Vichy France? If I as the Allies mount Operation Torch against French North Africa - will Metro Vichy be at war with me and the Germans get them as an ally?

2) The UK and US have a really really hard time operating in the Med due to very low supply ( max supply in the Med is 5 MPP city). I end up fighting one or two engagements (bombard or ship to ship) with each BB/CA/CV and then having to spend many turns sailing back to U.S. to repair the ship --- and by the time I reach the central Med I'm always at 2 or 3 supply value for my ships. Am I missing something?

3) Now that I think of it - one more question. When I try to mount an invasion of Italy as Allies I almost always end up so committed there that I cannot mount an invasion of France in 43/44 - at least not until what seems to be way too late. Is this normal? Any tips?

4) I read somewhere that attacking Iraq as the Allies is important because it gives a land connection to Russia. Why is this important? Will it allow all of my cities North Africa to go to 8/10 MPP's? I guess that if so this would solve my supply problems. :)

Thanks!

John

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I'll try and answer your questions. This will be a basic answer as many of the detial of the game are/can be complex and you get the best feel for them by playing alot against another human (AI sucks).

1)As germans they will do one of two things, a) Leave it until USA enters the war then attack B) Attack ASAP after France falls. As allies people normally leave unactivated until you land in France (1942-43). Yes

2) The med is a death trap for the allies. Expect to lose it and give it up. Its nice to throw a few units in egypt to slow the axis down and one or two fights around Galbraltir can be good but due to the super power of air and low supply the axis will always control the med.

3)Forget history. Unless the Axis makes several mistakes or your very lucky you will have to go Berlin before Rome. I have done the histrorical route but it will only work if the axis also go's the historical route, and since we know that lost, why do it?

4)Yes Iraq is the key to starting the counter attack in the med - but normally the axis control it and the MT hex on the border. If you can keep control of egypt and take and hold Iraq before/after Russia enters you can open the med as a second front just like history. But no experenced player will allow UK to hold egypt and its imposialbe to hold it unless you leave UK wide open for Sealion. Yes the resources will advance to 8/10 if you have a link to Moscow.

Bottom line: The med is an axis lake and no stratigy will ever change this. Only if the axis allow the UK to survive will have an opertunity to counter attack in this region.

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Hi,

Thanks for the answers. I haven't ever seen the Axis go after Egypt yet. It seems like there is not time/resources to do this between fall of France and attack on Russia while still dealing the Scandinavia and the Balkans. I'm presuming that it's fatal to Barbarossa to have German and Italian resources tied up in the Med during mid-late 1941. So, how does this usually work in terms of timeline and force commitments?

Thanks

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So, how does this usually work in terms of timeline and force commitments?

Start the attack after the fall of France, Greece or VF. Each has an advantage and disadvantage. But Normally you will start in Fall/Winter or 1940. Use one HQ and lots of air (German) plus Transported Armys and Corps (Itialian) and you will control the MIddle east in a few turns.
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johnpruner

I haven't ever seen the Axis go after Egypt yet. It seems like there is not time/resources to do this between fall of France and attack on Russia while still dealing the Scandinavia and the Balkans.
Playing against the AI and playing against a human opponent are two completely different things. The Axis AI doesn't go for a lot of things.

Comrade Trapp

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Bottom line: The med is an axis lake and no strategy will ever change this.
None, ever? UK, French, and/or Canadian units can be used to attack Libya and capture Tobruk early, either declaring war on Italy for a surprise attack or just waiting for Italy to enter and then attacking. If UK controls Tobruk and maintains air superiority over the central Med, it is very difficult for Axis to counter-attack.

I'd argue that Italy is very vulnerable in its opening moves and risks losing Tobruk. If the Allied player fails to appreciate this and prefers to abandon the Med without a fight, you not only give up a valuable strategic position to launch a counter-offensive against Italy later in the game but also give up valuable Iraqi MPPs to fund a future counter-offensive. Tobruk is key. ;)

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Tobruk is an absolute waste of time. Your ships are cornered, there is no supply, & it's very simple for the Axis to counter. Oh, there's no escape for the ground units either.

I don't know who is authoring these lame strategy guides, but just remember..the only book you can believe is the King James Bible.

If anybody needs an online & live headcracking, let me know.

Rambo

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None, ever?
Yes, never. Your right Tobruk is a Key hex but its very hard to take unless it's a surprise attack (allied DOW?). And if the allies are going to DOW italy why mess around with Trobruk when you can go for Rome! If its not a surprise attack on turn two italy can operate thier western army (10 th?) and make Trobruk an untakable hexs without leaving London wide open. The med can have some fun battles in the early game but once the Axis war machine gets going the allies will lose everything.

Head cracking - I'll give you some head cracking. Its 1941 and I still hold Egypt, Morcocco and Norway - ouch!

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My two cents concerning Tobruk :cool: :

- With the current Z-League rules concerning Italy, an Allied Med strategy can not be successful any more against a veteran player. Here Rambo is right.

Axis can prevent Allies from taking any italian city, Italy has its fleet and together with some german airfleets they cant be stopped in the Med by allied forces, only delayed.

- in a non-ZL game where only the Rome gambit is forbidden and not the normal DOW + landings on Italy, it is possible for Allies to take and hold the Med. Here Bill Macon is right smile.gif .

If Allies DOW Italy + land units immediately, they can take Tobruk in the same turn, or at least cut it off from Tripoli and take it later. More important: they can destroy most of the italian fleet - if Allies take the two fleet bases with corps, Italy will even loose the whole fleet, no ship can escape.

Axis need some time to reconquer the lost italian cities in the mainland, so Allies have enough time to take all african cities + Iraq without much resistance. Without italian ships and without a land base for fighters in Africa, its usually not possible for Axis to reconquer Africa in time before Barbarossa.

In a non ZL-game an allied Med strategy is possible (and was often used before the ZL rule has been made). And it is a lot of fun for both sides. The game can be how it should be: Time is against Axis and not in favour like in a ZL standard game. Allies have the mpp advantage, Axis have the units and experience. A lot of possible battle grounds...

But dont forget: an allied Med strategy has also some risks and if Allies dont take care they can loose England ;) .

Play a fun game or in the PBEM-League and try it. An allied Med strategy will make the game really different smile.gif .

[ October 16, 2003, 06:06 AM: Message edited by: Terif ]

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The Rome Invasion and the Italian normal gambit both exploit the same flaw. Italy has a poor setup and can be seriously hurt if Allies surprise attack them. Forbidding one of the flaws and not the other is only frustrating for players who do not want to be forced into precise Opening Chess Moves deciding the game.

Like some ppl say, having battles in the mediterranean seems fun. With optimized landings in Italy, SC will become a game highly DECIDED in the mediterranean. "At best", it will be a sea-lion vs Italian gambit contest. I mean, giving UK 200-300 handicap and Russia 2000-3000 wont work if Axis do not get Iraq and do not sea-lion.

That definitely means lower bids, weaker Russia. The game will be decided in Italy and Mediterranean (yes Iraq is that valuable) instead of decided in Russia. If Allies lose Iraq Axis will crush a low bid Russia (exactly like the game played before the bid systems were invented). People then HAVE TO do the Italy gambit to prevent this easy Axis Cookie-Cutter win (Spain, Vichy, gibraltar, Iraq and DOW and overwhelm a weak Russia).

CONCLUSION:

Having a 2000-3000 MPP handicap Russia AND a mandatory UK holding Iraq is not compatible. Strong Allies in the mediterrean means Russia must be weaker to balance the game. Since a switched side Iraq means 160 MPP difference, the game is likely decided pre Barbarossa by a opening theory contest in Italy, Egypt and later on Iraq.

[ October 16, 2003, 09:39 AM: Message edited by: zappsweden ]

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I don't know who is authoring these lame strategy guides, but just remember..the only book you can believe is the King James Bible.

Lame? Sure, if you say so. Our resident Christian literary critic speaks his mind like a lonely wolf in the wilderness. :rolleyes:

Back on topic. The UK position in Egypt in the default 1939 scenario is very weak. This was a serious problem before the South Atlantic loop was added, and is still a problem. A solution is to add some additional UK units to the setup in Egypt and provide some historical balance. This is what I did with the Campaign mods and others have tried different variations, which not only provide a better challenge against the Allied AI but also for hth play.

You can play head-cracking games with the default scenarios and the game's various limitations, and with whatever league rules and "bids" you want to try to achieve some balance and get whatever satisfaction you want from that. Or, you can try scenario mods that attempt to provide a better historical balance and a more satisfying game. If the mighty Axis war machine consistently causes the Allies to lose everything, maybe you need to try some other scenarios. There is a choice, yes? ;)

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Zapp:

I didnt say the no landing rule is bad in ZL. You consider competition the most important in the ZL and in this context you are right: the rule is necessary to achieve a balanced, standard and repeatable game without surprises.

But in other aspects this rule has also some disadvantages. Its part of your effort to force the players into the standard game. Different strategies are difficult, especially a successful Med strategy is not possible in ZL. So in a ZL game the whole Mediterranean cant be used as a battleground.

For pure competition, you are right: there it can be useful to limit the possible/allowed strategies.

But I personnally like to do different things and not to repeat the same strategy/tactics over and over again, for me thats boring after a while. The fun in SC is for me to try different things, develope new strategies and tactics (not to forget: playing different opponents ;) ). For me, this game needs too much time to play it only for competition purposes. I play SC to have fun DURING the game and not only to have a win or loss at the end.

When I started to play SC last year, it was also a good motivation for me to win my games. So I understand that this is important for you. But since a long time this is not any more important for me (the first 200+ games I have been unbeaten ;) ). I now play SC only to have fun and if my opponents are not so experienced I usually give them an appropriate advantage, so that they have a chance to win (or try a new and risky strategy :D ).

I just deviated from the subject, but I dont want to refresh our argument, so just let it stay: we both play SC because of different reasons and I have nothing against the rule in ZL.

Conclusion:

An allied Med strategy is an option in a fun or PBEM League game and it can be a lot of fun. In a ZL game it is no option.

[ October 16, 2003, 09:38 AM: Message edited by: Terif ]

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Originally posted by Terif:

For me, this game needs too much time to play it only for competition purposes. I play SC to have fun DURING the game and not only to have a win or loss at the end.

Keeping track of every game, every saved turn, every statistic (bid level, sides, result, ...) of every game played, noting unit positions to remember when resuming game and using rare cases flaws or exceptions seem more like competition to me. ;)

Some of those rare cases were surely discovered between games, not in them. Testing, analyzing and preparing before and after games is competition to me. Competition does not necessarily mean u win prizes or are professional and get a wage.

To me it seems higly unprobable that someone who plays "just for fun" creates a big argument, threatens to contact the league staff and quit the league over a rule change. :rolleyes:

My guess is that it was a chance to get out of the SC addiction world. To free your mind from being tossed between SC addiction and real life. Since being confirmed as a good player of SC meant more than real life to you, forcing yourself to stop playing without a reason was harder since u have this "will play or will not play?" choice.

It was much easier to snap at something and blame it for your retirement, leaving you with a "no turning back" definite result.

As u know, anyone can play BOTH fun games and playing Z-League games. There is no "either play for fun or play for competition" contradition.

[ October 16, 2003, 10:57 AM: Message edited by: zappsweden ]

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here we go again..........

Comrade Trapp

Yep, seems so...

Zapp:

I am still playing SC, for fun and PBEM and I am still in the forum. And yes, I had a lot of fun experimenting with SC and to find out everything about the game in the past.

The only thing I dont do any more is playing a Zapp-League game and the reasons are well known to everyone who followed our argument.

So lets stop it here, I dont want to repeat the whole story again and its over now. No need to continue our argument.

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You guys need to try JJ's Z-Plan tourney II edition, talk about having fun, opening up many different options, squashing ahistorical gambits,no cookie cutting, and there is no need for bidding/house rules....download, pick your side and have at it....no quiet times, war from the get go! SC ..."gotta luv it".

[ October 16, 2003, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: SeaMonkey ]

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OK, back to the subject.

A solution is to add some additional UK units to the setup in Egypt and provide some historical balance
True, what would be nice is a Siberian Transfer type a event. It would involve units landing on a set date (small ramdom var). These units would consist of the Coloial troops that fought in the desert for UK (Indian, South African ect....). I would suggest 1-2 armys and 1-2 corps plus 0-1 armoured units - MINOR units similer to the Canadian army and corps.

In a variation of Bills 1939 senerio I activated Canada, replaced the two units there with UK units and moved the Minor units to port Said in Egypt and reduced thier strength to '2'. This gives the UK player an option to provide defence of Egypt, if he wish's to move and reiforce these units.

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Iron Ranger

Your colonial event gives the Axis a mighty strong reason to take Egypt.

It might be even more interesting if the allies had a choice of ordering these units to Egypt or the South Atlantic. Of course, such a decision should be made a few turns before their appearance.

If Egypt the reinforcments must arrive before the Suez falls to the Axis or they are lost.

If the South Atlantic then reinforcements must make the run to England past any waiting Axis wolf packs and would appear a few turns later.

Prime Minister: South Africa has mobilized 10,000 men to support England (1 Corps). Where should they be sent?

1. To England (Appear in the South Atlantic in 2 turn)

2. To Egypt (Arrives in 5 turns)

3. To Australia (increases chance for siberian transfer)

Naturally when the event occurs the Axis receive this message:

Our agents in South Africa report that the British have mobilized an army of 10,000 men.

IF they have chits in intelligence they may even learn of their destination.

----------------------

[ October 16, 2003, 08:00 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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Or the reinforcement of the Middle East by Indian, South African etc. troops is activated by either Axis troops entering Egypt, or their naval forces (including transports) moving into the hexes in the vicinity.

I'm thinking of something that would work a bit like the Siberian transfer - it would be triggered by the Axis player, thus making Egypt harder to attack.

Just a thought.

Bill

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SeaMonkey wrote:

-------------------------

You guys need to try JJ's Z-Plan tourney II edition, talk about having fun, opening up many different options, squashing ahistorical gambits,no cookie cutting, and there is no need for bidding/house rules....download, pick your side and have at it....no quiet times, war from the get go! SC ..."gotta luv it".

-------------------------

Where can I find this scenario? What is the file name, etc?

Thanks!

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SeaMonkey wrote:

-------------------------

You guys need to try JJ's Z-Plan tourney II edition, talk about having fun, opening up many different options, squashing ahistorical gambits,no cookie cutting, and there is no need for bidding/house rules....download, pick your side and have at it....no quiet times, war from the get go! SC ..."gotta luv it".

-------------------------

Where can I find this scenario? What is the file name, etc?

Thanks!

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Anyone interested in any of my Scenarios:

Please contact me by e-mail via the envelope over this Posting. There are several, all of which are also at Otto's in earlier versions. I haven't yet sent him the revised campaigns as they're still receiving minor adjustments.

JohnPruner

Thanks for being interested.

As with the revised 1939 Fall Weiss Adaptation, I haven't sent it to Otto's yet.

I've emailed it to you a few minutes ago.

The game calendar starts in Sept 1942 but is actually set at Sept 1939. The reason is to allow the full game legnth, which goes to 1947 in either case.

The main differences between my original versions and the revisions is streamlining. Generally, I've been trying to reduce the number of starting units and active nations so the game will flow more smoothly and with better balance.

SeaMonkey

Very pleased you like it and thanks for telling others. Many of the changes are due to input and suggestions from yourself and Panzer39 while most of the rest are from the Z-Plan PBEM Tourament. smile.gif

[ October 18, 2003, 11:25 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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