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minor nations?


dougmangin
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I was playing a pbem game recently (as the axis) and I was a bit overly agressive - I attacked a number of minor nations, poland, denmark, norway, low countries, spain, sweded - yeah I was greedy. Anyway due to my actions there were consequences, one being the axis minor nations never did become active. So I ended up conquering them instead.

I dont know if this has been discussed before - but after finding myself in the above situation I began to wonder whether it wasnt better to attack minor nations anyway. Certainally not for the allies - not a number of them anyway - they need the us and ussr in the war asap. But for germany I began to wonder which is better - having axis minors join the axis, or just conquering them outright.

Here is what my experience showed in a few cases - if you dont attack the minor nations (here I am talking primarily about bulgaria, hungary, and romania) then they eventually join the axis. Doing so you get the benefit of their mpps, as well as their free units. With armies costing 250 and corps 125, those free units are worth a good bit of cash. So there are advantages - but....

I found that in many cases it was better to conquer those axis minors. My reason being, one you still get the mpp production every turn after you conquer them, two you get plunder - resources you can spend on what you want. With the three nations mentioned above you can get somewhere around 800 to 1200 mpps total. That is quite a number of corps, armies, or a few air units. But it does not buy the same number of units that you would have gotten for free. But that isnt necessarily a bad thing. You may not want or need the same kind of units they come with - perhaps you would do better to add tanks, or air units, or hq's. plunder lets you decide.

Plus those axis minors do not ever seem to play a significant factor in my games. For one they have no experience, and by that point in the game many of your units are already seasoned veterans. Secondly and perhaps more important - they cannot be attached to a hq - receiving the bonus that german units would.

So even if you are able to buy fewer units with the plunder than you would have received from those nations joining you - I find the units you do buy are more valuable to you. AND in the process of attacking those minors I would usually use units that I had recently purchased - that way I can get more experience to my newer units before they trek on into russia.

So in my experience I usually do attack those nations. You do have to consider how that affects the ussr and usa entry into the war - but if you can afford to speed their entry up, if they are about to declare war anyway, or if they have ALREADY declared war - I have found in most cases it was better for me to attack rather than annex those minors. I dont know if this is a good idea or if anyone else has ever run through a few campaigns to see how this affected them - any ideas or comments?

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I can understand that method (I still use it myself, sometimes). The Axis Minor armies really are pretty wretched, and in any major offensive they honestly just take up space better used by more seasoned German units.

However, there is one big problem with conquering the Axis Minors, and that is that their cities and production facilities will peak at 80% efficiency, the standard for conquered nations.

(Frankly, I sometimes find that very annoying. For instance a sub war in the Atlantic is almost always fought from the ports of Brest or the other one south of it. And you're telling me the max for those ports is 8 supply? Please... :D

[ November 14, 2002, 01:46 PM: Message edited by: I/O Error ]

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Interesting problem. Looking at Romania only, and assuming it would be in play for about 4 years from 1941-1944 (say 56 turns), that's 80 x 56 = 4480 MPPs as a minor axis ally but only 3584 MPPs as a conquered minor. For a modest gain of about 300-400 MPPs of fast plunder cash, you forfeit about 900+ MPPs during the game plus the aggressive actions help bring in the USSR and US earlier. Is that worth the cost, assuming you're playing a "balanced" game where the Allies eventually turn the tide and the war drags on for the long haul? Maybe, maybe not. Hungary and Bulgaria are different because their resources are low, so it doesn't much matter except for the adverse political cost.

In the case of Germany attacking Spain and adversely affecting the Balkan minors from entering as allies, sure - go ahead and blitz them for MPPs rather than wait forever for them to join, if at all. Under normal circumstances though, it's prudent to focus on the long term advantages and leave your minor allies alone. Since they don't receive HQ control benefits, they make ideal garrisons against partisans and free up German and Italian units to fight at the front. So that's something to consider.

SC2 could improve the political model by providing a full spectrum for minors to enter as allies of either side, depending on events. If Germany attacks Hungary, for example, that could trigger a revolt in Romania and maybe bring them in on the Allied side. How would you like to watch 60-80 MPPs going to Britain each turn until you were able to take the oil fields and force Romania to surrender? That might make the Conquer-Your-Allies strategy less appealing.

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Originally posted by Bill Macon:

Interesting problem. Looking at Romania only, and assuming it would be in play for about 4 years from 1941-1944 (say 56 turns), that's 80 x 56 = 4480 MPPs as a minor axis ally but only 3584 MPPs as a conquered minor. For a modest gain of about 300-400 MPPs of fast plunder cash, you forfeit about 900+ MPPs during the game plus the aggressive actions help bring in the USSR and US earlier. Is that worth the cost, assuming you're playing a "balanced" game where the Allies eventually turn the tide and the war drags on for the long haul? Maybe, maybe not. Hungary and Bulgaria are different because their resources are low, so it doesn't much matter except for the adverse political cost.

In the case of Germany attacking Spain and adversely affecting the Balkan minors from entering as allies, sure - go ahead and blitz them for MPPs rather than wait forever for them to join, if at all. Under normal circumstances though, it's prudent to focus on the long term advantages and leave your minor allies alone. Since they don't receive HQ control benefits, they make ideal garrisons against partisans and free up German and Italian units to fight at the front. So that's something to consider.

SC2 could improve the political model by providing a full spectrum for minors to enter as allies of either side, depending on events. If Germany attacks Hungary, for example, that could trigger a revolt in Romania and maybe bring them in on the Allied side. How would you like to watch 60-80 MPPs going to Britain each turn until you were able to take the oil fields and force Romania to surrender? That might make the Conquer-Your-Allies strategy less appealing.

You have a very valid point there - the economic difference is noticable. However, although this is not a real world economics problem - there is an element of time value of money here. Not to say that in this game you earn interest. But as in real life a dollar today is worth more than a dollar a year from now. The reason in real life is inflation. We dont have that in this game. But what we do have is the reality that money now is more valuable than money later. So if you take that plunder and buy two or three units - over the course of three years you have increased the value of those units by gaining experience to such a degree that the same amount of plunder later would not be able to buy the same quality units. Plus in this game no matter what you spend you cannot buy experience, you can only earn it. So if you wait over time to gain the funds, and over time it is better to wait, but you have to wait 25 turns (80 - 64/400) to have the mpps equal. Over 25 turns two or three extra units can do a lot of good - and after 25 turns if you waited and bought you would have the same number of units - only mine would be worth more due to experience. Or lets say you stuck that plunder into research - that is 25 turns at an increase of 5% chance per turn. Id be willing to bet that over that time you would get at least one tech out of your investement. And a tech now is worth a heck of a lot more than a tech later.

OK I am not an economics prof - I just deal with this kind of thing in engineering work I do. And the conclusion of the matter is - it is better to have now and use it - than to wait over time. Ask yourself this, would you rather be magically given 1000 mpps on your first turn or in 1943? It could do you a whole lot more in terms of units, research, and effective use of resources to have it now.

Plus I really dont like minor nations units. You have to pay for their reinforcing, operationaly moving, transporting, etc... just like they were yours - only they dont perform as well as yours because they cannot be attached to a hq. All things considered I would rather take the plunder now, research, buy some units, and have assets I can use now rather than wait. Of course then you get into the whole issue of brining ussr and us into the war earlier. Which is why I usually only do this if the minors ARENT going to join, are delaying in joining, if the ussr is about to delare war anyway, if they are already at war, or if I am already prepared for the ussr war. Anyway that is just my two cents. I think you are right, there are definate disadvantages - but so far I seem to like taking this risk when it seems appropriate.

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Originally posted by dougmangin:

Plus I really dont like minor nations units. You have to pay for their reinforcing, operationaly moving, transporting, etc... just like they were yours - only they dont perform as well as yours because they cannot be attached to a hq. All things considered I would rather take the plunder now, research, buy some units, and have assets I can use now rather than wait. Of course then you get into the whole issue of brining ussr and us into the war earlier. Which is why I usually only do this if the minors ARENT going to join, are delaying in joining, if the ussr is about to delare war anyway, if they are already at war, or if I am already prepared for the ussr war. Anyway that is just my two cents. I think you are right, there are definate disadvantages - but so far I seem to like taking this risk when it seems appropriate.

They are useful for squashing partisans (either

killing them outright or preventing outbreaks),

letting your good units do the frontline fighting.

I'd always take some freebie garrison units any

day!

JD

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Originally posted by John DiFool:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by dougmangin:

Plus I really dont like minor nations units. You have to pay for their reinforcing, operationaly moving, transporting, etc... just like they were yours - only they dont perform as well as yours because they cannot be attached to a hq. All things considered I would rather take the plunder now, research, buy some units, and have assets I can use now rather than wait. Of course then you get into the whole issue of brining ussr and us into the war earlier. Which is why I usually only do this if the minors ARENT going to join, are delaying in joining, if the ussr is about to delare war anyway, if they are already at war, or if I am already prepared for the ussr war. Anyway that is just my two cents. I think you are right, there are definate disadvantages - but so far I seem to like taking this risk when it seems appropriate.

They are useful for squashing partisans (either

killing them outright or preventing outbreaks),

letting your good units do the frontline fighting.

I'd always take some freebie garrison units any

day!

JD</font>

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There are two other issues to consider regarding the conquest of axis minors.

One is timing. Hungary and Romania joined the Axis alliance in November 1940, Bulgaria in February 1941, and the game provides a 25% chance each turn of them joining on or after their historical entry dates, unless you've attacked Spain. To benefit from their plunder, you have to attack them before they become your allies. When you do, it affects USSR and US readiness and eventually brings in those extra Allied MPPs sooner. Remember that the "cash now" argument works for both sides.

The other issue is the adverse effect attacking your facist Balkan minors has on those other potential facist minor allies - Spain and Turkey. These minors may join the Axis alliance if Britain is near surrender, but not if Germany has an unfavorable relationship with Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. This may or may not be important in your game plan, but one should understand the opportunities being lost if you choose to pursue a certain strategy.

In the final analysis, you decide what to do. There are pros and cons on both sides of the issue. IMHO, attacking your own facist allies in a game where you have few allies is not a wise thing to do. If you do decide to attack them it may work out OK depending on your overall strategy and luck, just understand what you're doing and why.

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Originally posted by Bill Macon:

There are two other issues to consider regarding the conquest of axis minors.

One is timing. Hungary and Romania joined the Axis alliance in November 1940, Bulgaria in February 1941, and the game provides a 25% chance each turn of them joining on or after their historical entry dates, unless you've attacked Spain. To benefit from their plunder, you have to attack them before they become your allies. When you do, it affects USSR and US readiness and eventually brings in those extra Allied MPPs sooner. Remember that the "cash now" argument works for both sides.

The other issue is the adverse effect attacking your facist Balkan minors has on those other potential facist minor allies - Spain and Turkey. These minors may join the Axis alliance if Britain is near surrender, but not if Germany has an unfavorable relationship with Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. This may or may not be important in your game plan, but one should understand the opportunities being lost if you choose to pursue a certain strategy.

In the final analysis, you decide what to do. There are pros and cons on both sides of the issue. IMHO, attacking your own facist allies in a game where you have few allies is not a wise thing to do. If you do decide to attack them it may work out OK depending on your overall strategy and luck, just understand what you're doing and why.

I have recently played a few games where I tried both strategies vs AI - which I realize isnt the best standard - but what I have found is that if I conquer poland, denmark, defeat france, and perhaps norway - then I stand a better chance if I let the axis minors join.

The breaking point seems to be if I proceed on into spain/portugal or sometimes if I take yugoslavia too soon. What it seems to come down to is if you are going all out for as much conquest as soon as possible, then the axis minors are simply more fodder for the fire.

However it seems if your plan is to halt after the nations above - dont attack spain or yugoslavia - sit, build up forces, pay your scientists to do their thing - play the uboat game, and prepare to attack britain or ussr - then it is a bad idea to attack your friendly neighbors. One big reason being that while you are decreasing the value of those resources to yourself, you are at the same time increasing the production to britain - even if only for a few turns.

I have often wondered about that - how should or could the full benefit of polish or other far flung minor nations industrial production GET to the UK? Shouldnt there be some limit - say the mpps generated in that nation can only be spent in that nation? Anyway that is a side point - but one I would like to hear others opinions on.

One change that would cause me to never attack potential allied nations is if there were some way you can allow minor nations to benefit - albeit at a reduced rate - from hq's. I dont see any reason why my beloved canadian friends cannot serve under and get the readiness bonus from british hq's.

Anyway - what I have found over the last few games is that if you dont have to - or if they are going to join you anyway then go ahead and beat up on the little kids on the block. But if they are going to come and play with you then let them - you deny any production to the allies and you get a greater benefit in the long run.

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