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Axis Naval Strategy

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:04 pm
by Tex01532
What kind of Strategies and tactics are best to use against the Allies in the Atlantic, and Med?

From the start of the game I like to post my Uboats off the coast of the USA and catch the convoys coming up the American coast. But once America joins the war this strategy becomes near suicide, and I'm not sure where I should place my Uboats and surface fleet. Suggestions?

As for the Mediterranean, I like to set a goal to eliminate the Royal Navy's carriers and battleships. I'm usually able to pull them out of their ports by managing to pin an enemy corps or tank force against the coast in Egypt-Libya, from there I dispatch my Italian Royal Navy battleships and subs to engage them.

Thoughts? Concerns? Suggestions?

Re: Axis Naval Strategy

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:39 pm
by ferokapo
Tex01532 wrote:What kind of Strategies and tactics are best to use against the Allies in the Atlantic, and Med?

From the start of the game I like to post my Uboats off the coast of the USA and catch the convoys coming up the American coast. But once America joins the war this strategy becomes near suicide, and I'm not sure where I should place my Uboats and surface fleet. Suggestions?
There is no fixed best place for your U-Boats. You're the hunter and the hunted at the same time. It depends on where the Allies place their strategic bombers, and which convoys they escort with surface ships. Best strategy is to lay still and wait until you see an unescorted convoy, attack it in force (with packs), and see whether you get hit in return by enemy bombers. If so, move your U-Boats to an area where you suspect no enemy aircover. Rinse, repeat. It's a fun game of hide-and-seek for both sides. Later in the war, if the Allies invested in anti-submarine warfare (ASW tech, bombers and destroyers), your U-Boats will have a hard time. Then it's best to use them as deterrent or fleet-in-being. Any bombers the Allies use for guarding the convoy lanes will not bomb your cities. If you then see a significant increase in bombing raids, maybe it's time to test again whether there are any bombers left to guard the convoys...
As for the Mediterranean, I like to set a goal to eliminate the Royal Navy's carriers and battleships. I'm usually able to pull them out of their ports by managing to pin an enemy corps or tank force against the coast in Egypt-Libya, from there I dispatch my Italian Royal Navy battleships and subs to engage them.

Thoughts? Concerns? Suggestions?
Your Mediterranean strategy seems valid against the AI, but I find it hard to believe it works against a human player. Only if the Allies are careless, will you be able to seriously challenge their naval supremacy in the Med. Or if you move your German subs there, plus some TACs, and also build Italian subs. I haven't tried out that strategy yet.

Re: Axis Naval Strategy

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:44 pm
by schwerpunkt
eisenkopf wrote:
Tex01532 wrote:What kind of Strategies and tactics are best to use against the Allies in the Atlantic, and Med?

From the start of the game I like to post my Uboats off the coast of the USA and catch the convoys coming up the American coast. But once America joins the war this strategy becomes near suicide, and I'm not sure where I should place my Uboats and surface fleet. Suggestions?
There is no fixed best place for your U-Boats. You're the hunter and the hunted at the same time. It depends on where the Allies place their strategic bombers, and which convoys they escort with surface ships. Best strategy is to lay still and wait until you see an unescorted convoy, attack it in force (with packs), and see whether you get hit in return by enemy bombers. If so, move your U-Boats to an area where you suspect no enemy aircover. Rinse, repeat. It's a fun game of hide-and-seek for both sides. Later in the war, if the Allies invested in anti-submarine warfare (ASW tech, bombers and destroyers), your U-Boats will have a hard time. Then it's best to use them as deterrent or fleet-in-being. Any bombers the Allies use for guarding the convoy lanes will not bomb your cities. If you then see a significant increase in bombing raids, maybe it's time to test again whether there are any bombers left to guard the convoys...
As for the Mediterranean, I like to set a goal to eliminate the Royal Navy's carriers and battleships. I'm usually able to pull them out of their ports by managing to pin an enemy corps or tank force against the coast in Egypt-Libya, from there I dispatch my Italian Royal Navy battleships and subs to engage them.

Thoughts? Concerns? Suggestions?
Your Mediterranean strategy seems valid against the AI, but I find it hard to believe it works against a human player. Only if the Allies are careless, will you be able to seriously challenge their naval supremacy in the Med. Or if you move your German subs there, plus some TACs, and also build Italian subs. I haven't tried out that strategy yet.
I agree. It depends on your level of commitment to building German and Italian SUBs. With the Italians, quite often I end up building upto 9 SUBs which does give you an opportunity to hammer an unwary allied player's Med fleet. With the Germans, if I go a strong SUB option, I usually park them 18-20 hexes east off the coast of Nova Scotia and try to ambush all of the southern convoys (I set pickets across to Spain). Sometimes I also set up a SUB force off of the coast of Norway, backed up by air and surface naval units to hammer the russian convoys.
If I go weak SUBs, then I just park a wolf pack somewhere between Spain and Nova Scotia, with the odd straggler as far south as the Canary Islands just to be annoying and pick off any unescorted transports or convoys.

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:34 am
by zechi
A more daring Axis strategy is a "Plan Z" strategy, trying to get naval parity or even superiority in the Atlantic.

The first step to do this, is to "open" the Med so that the Italian and German fleets can be combined. At the same time it is necessary to close the Med for the Allies. If you manage to do this before the US enters the war, you will have a strong combined Axis navy in the Atlantic which will be able to challenge the RN. With some luck you even managed to destroy several RN units and then it is even possible to get the upper hand in the Atlantic even after the US enters the war.

In one game I even manged to nearly completly wipe out the combined Allied navies. The AAR can be read here: viewtopic.php?t=19188&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

However, against a cautious Allied player it es very difficult to get naval parity or even superiority and of course a strong commitment to the Axis navies will force you to do a rather weak Barbarossa.

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:47 pm
by JimR
How do you get nine Italian subs? (I know -- by building them.) But given all of the other demands on the Italians' limited PPs (tech investments, unit repairs, land units), don't you have to give up too much to build an additional seven subs beyond the two that the Italians start with? I think this could happen only if the Allied player is following a very passive strategy in Libya/Egypt, and if not much priority is placed on Italian tech development.

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:49 pm
by schwerpunkt
JimR wrote:How do you get nine Italian subs? (I know -- by building them.) But given all of the other demands on the Italians' limited PPs (tech investments, unit repairs, land units), don't you have to give up too much to build an additional seven subs beyond the two that the Italians start with? I think this could happen only if the Allied player is following a very passive strategy in Libya/Egypt, and if not much priority is placed on Italian tech development.
You can do it if you only invest in INF, General and Naval techs and dont suffer major losses in North Africa. I usually reinforce NA with German INF so the Italians dont usually suffer much in the way of PP losses there. I usually find with the Italians that PPs are not their constraint, its their manpower and keeping it above 60% to avoid the Survival penalty (I use 60% as my threshold to leave a buffer for repairs when all hell breaks loose).