Friday, September 23, 2005

And now: Sports

We've been getting complaints that we don't cover major sporting events. To address this issue, we bring you a complete German opening move for the board game ÄXIS & ÄLLIES Euröpe. Be advised that the SHÄDY ÄCRES house rules include paratroopers, minefields and active neutrals.

Mission: Conquer the United Kingdom and hold it for one round.

INF: Infantry
ART: Artillery
ARM: Armor
AA: Anti-aircraft gun
FIG: Fighter
BOM: Bomber
TRA: Transport Ship
SUB: Submarine
CRU: Cruiser
CAR: Aircraft carrier
BAT: Battleship
TRA*: Naval transport w/cargo
BOM*: Air transport w/cargo
*INF: Transported infantry.

You know what you ought to do: Stack up that infantry, spew out those tanks and artillery units, start walking the long way east toward the slaughter, praying your subs will last you long enough to delay the inevitable mainland invasion. But then…

Every German player harbors a not-so-secret dream of once, just once, turning the tables and going for London instead of Moscow. The problem is that even against a mediocre Allied team this is virtually impossible.

The main obstacle is the lack of a robust Baltic fleet. You lost that in the Norwegian campaign, and besides you were too busy building all those nice panzer formations. They served you well in Poland, the Netherlands and France, but they can’t cross the channel, can they? You know there is no way you can pull this off by paratroopers alone, and by the time you get a big enough Mediterranean fleet in position the Americans will be in the game.

So what do you do? You have to build ships. There’s no other way.

Forget the element of surprise. If you want to, you can try to make it look like a clever way of shortening the Leningrad supply lines, which it partly is, but you’re not kidding anybody. As soon as they see those ships in the Baltic, they’ll know what they’re for.

I think this opening gives you a fighting chance:

Special Advance:
TRA Danish Sea

You’re building it anyway, so you might as well get to use it at least once, right? This is where you hope they spend their cash in Africa. Remember, there’s still time to change your mind.

Purchase Units:

Can you actually afford that? Yes you can. Enjoy the allies counting on their sweaty fingers. As soon as they see that battleship they’ll know what you’re up to, but they can’t be sure, so don’t tell them.

Combat Movement:
Remember: Always jumble the order of the attacks. Don’t show them how you prioritize. Keep them guessing.

3 INF Finland – Vyborg
FIG Norway – Vyborg – (Norway)
BOM* Germany – Vyborg – (Netherlands)
*2 INF Germany – Vyborg

This is for the Winter War. Give the Soviet player something to think about.

6 INF, 2 ARM, ART Poland – Baltic States

If your amphibious assault plan fails, the Army Group North will have to put your plan B into effect: A Scandinavian/Baltic States pincer movement on Leningrad followed by a direct thrust at Moscow.

2 TRA* Danish Sea – Baltic Sea
*2 ART Germany – Leningrad
*2 INF Netherlands – Leningrad

You could get more in there if you wanted, paratroopers, a couple fighters maybe. But that would tell them how important Leningrad is to you. Look at the fighter range: The only way they can make air strikes against your beautiful Baltic fleet is by landing or taking off from Leningrad/Vyborg/Baltic States airstrips. Can’t have that.

3 INF, ART, ARM Hungary – Bessarabia
3 INF, ARM – Rumania – Bessarabia

Your Army Group South’s only mission in life is to stir things up and kill Poles or Ukrainians, depending. It’s the holiday front.

BAT, CRU, TRA* Tyrrhenian Sea – Strait of Gibraltar
*INF, ART Northern Italy - Gibraltar

Take out the British destroyer. Put your Italian fleet in position to move north on its next move. Take Gibraltar so they don’t have the range to get planes in or out of the Mediterranean.

2 SUB Danish Sea – North Sea
SUB Barents Sea – North Sea
SUB Denmark Strait – North Sea
SUB Halifax Sea – North Sea
2 FIG Germany – North Sea - (Netherlands)
FIG Poland – North Sea – (Norway)

Take out the main British fleet. A classic move in many German openings, this is no exception.

2 SUB Bay of Biscay – English Channel
FIG Northern Italy – English Channel – (Netherlands)

Take out that destroyer in the channel.

SUB South Atlantic – Celtic Sea
SUB Azores Sea – British Convoy 2 – Celtic Sea
SUB Mid-Atlantic – Celtic Sea
FIG France – Celtic Sea – (Netherlands)

You might as well get a convoy point on the way, right? If you thought they still didn’t see it coming at this point, you could leave their transports unharmed, tempting them to invade. Every British unit stuck in France would be a bonus, right? Right. But how could they not see it coming? Every single British ship must be destroyed.

Non-Combat Movement:
You’ve now got some fighters in the Netherlands and some in Norway. They all have the range for the United Kingdom, but they could also swing back eastwards.

INF, ART, ARM Tunisia – Algeria

Sorry, you have to sacrifice North Africa. You’re a Dönitz, not a Rommel.

2 ARM France – Germany
2 ARM Netherlands – Poland
2 ARM Germany – Yugoslavia
2 ARM Northern Italy – Rumania

Get those precious armor units to the eastern front. You have to be really stingy about them, though. Don’t build stacks. Also keep a few for the Balkans and Italy just in case.

3 INF, ART France – Netherlands
4 INF Eastern France – Germany
INF Netherlands – Germany
INF Denmark – Germany

Leave a single infantry unit in France, tempting him to use British paratroopers.

2 INF Germany – Poland
INF, ART Czechoslovakia – Poland
INF Austria – Hungary
ART Austria – Germany

Keep the infantry flowing east, but get the artillery to the coast. It’s going somewhere else.

INF Southern Italy – Northern Italy
2 INF Yugoslavia – Rumania
2 INF Bulgaria – Rumania
INF, ART Greece – Yugoslavia

Thin out the Balkans, Southern Italy. If he sends an Egyptian task force to invade, you still have enough armor around to cream him.

2 INF Norway – Finland

That’s all you can spare, unfortunately. In fact, maybe it's too much. You're risking half your air fleet.

Place New Units:
BAT, CRU, TRA Baltic Sea

This is what it’s all about. This is your black queen. The Allies will try to act cool about it, but they’re actually shitting their pants. A German fleet in the Baltic is their worst nightmare. Enjoy it while it lasts, though; the Royal Air Force is coming.

Collect Income:
Collect 40 – 43 IPC

On your next turn, buy land units, maybe a transport if you’ve lost one. The Russian player has probably attacked you two or three places. He's taken Leningrad back - for now. The British player has probably bought a heap of infantry, and the American player has landed a fighter and two infantry divisions in the United Kingdom. If you can think of a way to stop him from putting his tiny fleet in the Sea of Azores, good. If not, wipe him out.

Don’t weigh the odds, don’t even think about them. Make a decision based on intuition. If you don't think you have the juice for it yet, wait a round. If you haven't merged your fleets by the third round, it'll never happen, so act quickly.

If you think you're ready, launch a full scale amphibious assault on the United Kingdom.

„Gib mir deine Hand, deine weisse Hand,
leb wohl, mein Schatz, lebe wohl, mein Schatz, leb wohl.
Lebe wohl, denn wir fahren, denn wir fahren,
denn wir fahren gegen Engeland, Engeland!"

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Blogger Mikkel said...

I tested this one against an Allied player on an intermediate experience level. It worked just fine. I took London on my second turn.

4:56 am  

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