The Dyle Plan

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

Moderators: rkr1958, Happycat, Slitherine Core

peterjfrigate
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:43 am

The Dyle Plan

Post by peterjfrigate » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:50 pm

Hey guys - I think I know what Morris was up to in his game with Diplomaticus where he got pummeled after attempting a Dyle plan (D) i.e. an Allied invasion of Belgium. To explore this I played a couple test games with Schnurri and Tim, but only to the fall of france. We didn't consider the long term effects, but here is a summary of what happened.

I figured Morris was on the right track, but his plan did not succeed given two points:
1. Axis blitz in 39 ---> no Dyle.
2. Attack on the 1st turn of fair weather between Oct-Nov 30.

Obviously we know what happens if you ignore a blitz. The second point is that since there's a good chance of only 1 fair weather turn between oct-nov (somebody wrote that on the forums, I believe), then the Allies can often do their own blitz into Belgium just before the weather turns against the Axis player, thus hindering any counterstroke. Neither condition is under the control of the allied player, however, many (most?) axis players don't blitz, and the chances are good that the allies can attack into France at the right time (i.e. the first fair weather turn between Oct-Nov '39). In my game with Tim this didn't work out - I had bad weather starting in Oct. However, versus Schnurri it was more interesting - I got perfect weather (fair on Oct 11, then Mud for a long time, then winter straight till March 1940 I think).

I'm not certain the cons outweigh the pros, but they seem to, so I'll lay it out for you as best I can.

First off, here's a shot of the Allies after they've conquered Belgium. The few extra turns to prepare also guarantees the Allies have overwhelming force. I got a bit unlucky with the "border guard" which didn't die until the third attack. Still, I had plenty left to take the Capitol.
Image

Of course, the Canadians immediately activate...
Image
and so the question becomes how much can the Allies drain the Axis before France succumbs?

I reckon that Schnurri and I are on a par skill-wise (we are both good, but, not ascendent, players), so I think our results were pretty much to be expected. I might as well just tell you what happened, which is that France did not fall until Oct. 40. In addition the Axis casualties were obviously much higher as you can see here.

Image

The army unit losses were 1 German INF, 1 ARM and 1 Mech

The state of the Uk was not great -- they lost 2 Mechs and an INF and some GARS. On our last turn I built 2 INF because I was suffering the morale drop. I had no DDs in the pipeline, and 5/7 labs, but the RAF and RN were in good shape.

Here are the pros and cons:

Pros:
activate Canadians early
no morale drop
extras PP for French (and PP denied the Axis for a few turns in 1940!)
Netherlands activates at full strength
fighting under a narrow front leading to much greater Axis losses
delayed Fall of France

The Cons:
smaller convoys
extra PP for Axis when Belgium finally conquered
reduced PP for US

What effect will this Dyle plan have on the axis Fortunes? Certainly, it seems to take a 41 Sea Lion off the table, and it generally throws off their timetable, whatever their plans were: a 41 Barbarossa will be weaker, it will take longer to activate Spain, etc...The Dyle Plan seems to be a good way to execute the "bleed the axis" strategy. Sure the US is weaker, but what does it matter when Russia is waiting to go in at full strength?

Anyway, I'm just throwing this out there to see what others think.

joerock22
Captain - Heavy Cruiser
Captain - Heavy Cruiser
Posts: 928
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:38 am
Location: Connecticut, USA

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by joerock22 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:37 am

Interesting. I'm amazed at how high the Axis casualties were. Against this type of strategy, I think the Axis have to forget about everything else besides the Fall of France. Forget building subs early. Labs might have to be purchased later than normal too. Focus all effort on air units, since these are the only units that are not hindered by the narrow front. Achieving at least parity in fighter numbers, plus a large number of bombers, will be crucial. And the advance has to be methodical--you attack 2-3 units per turn with a high probability of killing each of them, and avoid putting your strong units at risk. My guess is that your opponent took some chances with his German units and paid for it.

From our AAR game, I got the impression that Morris's strategy had some merit, and this test game seems to prove it. How it will effect the game in the long term is anyone's guess. Hopefully someone will do a full AAR. But this is a nice start. Thanks for posting. :)

supermax
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:05 pm

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by supermax » Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:49 am

There is a simple fix as stated...

Just do the blitz on turn 2 with the germans. I always do it its worth it for long term planning on the german side.

You do not give the allies any room for any manoeuver that way, and you usually kill off France earlier.

So i hope someone can attempt this against me.

Schnurri
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Posts: 398
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by Schnurri » Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:42 am

I think Peter was pretty lucky with his counterattacks. On the first turn my 90+ efficiency panzers took Holland and were all behind rivers but he somehow killed one with some Mechs and no air superiority.

The early German blitz is also not a sure thing - most of the time you take at least Brussels, but about 25% of the time you fail and then can be in trouble.
joerock22 wrote:Interesting. I'm amazed at how high the Axis casualties were. Against this type of strategy, I think the Axis have to forget about everything else besides the Fall of France. Forget building subs early. Labs might have to be purchased later than normal too. Focus all effort on air units, since these are the only units that are not hindered by the narrow front. Achieving at least parity in fighter numbers, plus a large number of bombers, will be crucial. And the advance has to be methodical--you attack 2-3 units per turn with a high probability of killing each of them, and avoid putting your strong units at risk. My guess is that your opponent took some chances with his German units and paid for it.

From our AAR game, I got the impression that Morris's strategy had some merit, and this test game seems to prove it. How it will effect the game in the long term is anyone's guess. Hopefully someone will do a full AAR. But this is a nice start. Thanks for posting. :)

El_Condoro
Panzer Corps Moderator
Panzer Corps Moderator
Posts: 2095
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:32 am

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by El_Condoro » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:03 pm

Has anyone played through to find out what effect annoying the US has later in the game? Also, they refuse to give the LL DD don't they? Will the long-term reduction in convoy production be worth it?

richardsd
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Posts: 1127
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:30 am

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by richardsd » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:37 am

El_Condoro wrote:Has anyone played through to find out what effect annoying the US has later in the game? Also, they refuse to give the LL DD don't they? Will the long-term reduction in convoy production be worth it?
In this strategy I doubt long term US considerations are an issue. This is all designed to ensure that an enormous Russia wins the game for the Allies.

Thinking it through all the US has to contribute is STR bombing and pressure in the Med, Russia will dot he rest.

El_Condoro
Panzer Corps Moderator
Panzer Corps Moderator
Posts: 2095
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:32 am

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by El_Condoro » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:56 am

OK, so Russia will be so powerful that it will take Hamburg, Paris and Rome? All of Europe, really. :) I'm still curious - has anyone played this strategy through to its conclusion and what happened?

Morris
Major-General - Tiger I
Major-General - Tiger I
Posts: 2289
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:00 am

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by Morris » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:33 am

El_Condoro wrote:OK, so Russia will be so powerful that it will take Hamburg, Paris and Rome? All of Europe, really. :) I'm still curious - has anyone played this strategy through to its conclusion and what happened?
I have the experience : Russian will take Berlin & Hamburg & USA & UK will take care of Italy :)

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4711
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:52 pm

El_Condoro wrote:OK, so Russia will be so powerful that it will take Hamburg, Paris and Rome? All of Europe, really. :) I'm still curious - has anyone played this strategy through to its conclusion and what happened?
How things go depends on how the Axis defends. Quite often I see a Sealion where the Allies land in 1944 and take Paris and rush towards Hamburg. The western Allies can even take Berlin if the Germans put most of their effort into stopping the Russians.

So it's not like Russia wins the war for the Allies. It's more like the Allies win if the Russians survive 1941-1942 and can launch counter attacks in 1943. The western Allies will almost always get the upper hand in the Med in 1943 so the Axis will be put under pressure from several sides. If the Russians are weakened enough then the western Allies can't move fast enough to get to Berlin in time.

So the main Allied strategy is about spreading the Axis forces thin so you can exploit weak spots.

El_Condoro
Panzer Corps Moderator
Panzer Corps Moderator
Posts: 2095
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:32 am

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by El_Condoro » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:16 pm

Well, I've launched a Dyle Plan against Rollo. I'll soon find out what effect it has. :)

peterjfrigate
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:43 am

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by peterjfrigate » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:27 pm

Nice - please let us know how it turns out and take a screen shot of the casualties if you don't mind.

Diplomaticus
Sergeant First Class - Elite Panzer IIIL
Sergeant First Class - Elite Panzer IIIL
Posts: 447
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:10 pm

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by Diplomaticus » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:39 pm

With his new & improved Dyle Plan, once again Mr. Morris has shown us all how the limits of CEAW GS can be tested by an innovative thinker. In the past, some of M's inventions, such as the armor/mech blob strategy, have resulted in us electing the tweak the rules to circumvent the exploit. I don't think that will be the case with the Dyle Plan, but I do have some general thoughts.

In my current game vs. Morris' Dyle Plan, I had average fall 1939 weather (2 clear turns) and lucky spring weather (clear in late Feb & March). While this has resulted in much better results for me than for Peter, I am still facing a late August/early September fall of France, which is devastating for the Axis. Worse still, I've lost a Korps, a panzer unit, and countless steps. My labs and general timetable have suffered badly. At this point, my chances of winning this game are slim.

The keys to this Allied success, IMO, are three: 1) Excellent defensive positioning in the winter of 39-40. 2) Allies don't suffer the -20% morale penalty [this is huge!]. 3) Germans have to face nearly the entire British/Commonwealth army in France. Add it together, and the result is a long, nasty, uphill struggle for the Axis.

Really, this is just a new incarnation of M's old Expend-the-British strategy. He's long worked with the idea that it doesn't much matter what happens to the British, so long as you bleed the Germans. To counter this, we instituted the morale penalty for losing the UK Home Guard, but with M's new Dyle Plan, this isn't much of a disincentive. By making such a ferocious force on land in France and using the bulk of the British & French fleets to protect England, it's really not possible to pull off a Sealion in 1940 to take advantage of M's overcommitment to the Continent. We need someone like SuperMax (are you reading this, Max?) to show us the way again.

I think and hope that we will be able to counter the Dyle Plan without changing the rules, but I do have one suggestion: A big advantage to the Allies for invading Belgium on the first turn is the immediate activation of Canada. But let's think about this--Canada joins the war because the French and British violate a country's neutrality? The Canadians eagerly join in because of an unprovoked invasion? This really makes no sense at all. The USA shows its outrage by the game rules reducing convoys and reduced war effort (plus loss of the lend lease DD, I think?), so why should Canada have the opposite reaction? If we consider any rules changes at all in response to the Dyle Plan, I suggest that we have Canada enter the war at its normal time, not because of an *Allied* DoW against Belgium.

peterjfrigate
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:43 am

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by peterjfrigate » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:55 pm

Many good points here. One thing about the Canadians - Canada was already committed to the Allies and declared war on Germany on Sept 10 1939 as a response to the invasion of poland. Delaying the activation of the tougher Canadian units to the fall of Belgium seems like a good way to simulate the time needed to mobilize those units (so the timing of their activation reflects logistics, not politics). I haven't fully given up on a "battlefield" solution to Plan Dyle, though it will be found by somebody who knows how to play the axis (i.e. not me!). If there's a way to stop the Allies from getting the Liege fortress then I think Dyle is much less attractive.

avoran
Sergeant Major - Armoured Train
Sergeant Major - Armoured Train
Posts: 589
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:45 pm
Location: Veliki Novgorod

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by avoran » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:11 pm

I'm not a GS expert (as anyone who has played me knows!) but the absence of the morale penalty here looks 'gamey' to me. IRL the French weren't demoralised by the surrender of Belgium per se, but by the shock of blitzkrieg. But as the rules stand this artificial distinction has a huge effect on the game. A suggestion for the experts to chew over for 2.2: what if the morale penalty was imposed anyway, for example, in response to units or hexes lost - and maybe with a role for the fall of the Netherlands too?

For all that, kudos to Morris for figuring this out. :) I'm very tempted to try it out myself next time...

minor
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:28 pm

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by minor » Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:40 pm

First turn capture of Brussels is pretty hard, especially if you want to place an inf to block Liege. Just try it by yourself. We should see some failed attempts in the future.
There is one obvious viable countermeasure - early blitz. Try to kill one of the units blocking Liege (gar south of the city preferably) with double tac and armour. When the fortress is taken Allies are in big trouble (but still they are in much better position then normal).

Crazygunner1
Major - 8.8 cm FlaK 36
Major - 8.8 cm FlaK 36
Posts: 959
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:13 pm

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by Crazygunner1 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:31 am

I figure that you can usually hold Belgium over a 3 year time if a normal game, that generates about 160-170 extra pps for the Axis to cover their losses....in reality it is probably more like 200pps.

Does anyone know how the effects are with the convoys and US production?

peterjfrigate
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:43 am

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by peterjfrigate » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:16 pm

minor wrote:First turn capture of Brussels is pretty hard, especially if you want to place an inf to block Liege. Just try it by yourself. We should see some failed attempts in the future.
There is one obvious viable countermeasure - early blitz. Try to kill one of the units blocking Liege (gar south of the city preferably) with double tac and armour. When the fortress is taken Allies are in big trouble (but still they are in much better position then normal).
Yes, I agree - the way to defeat the Dyle plan is to have at least 1 TAC and FTR in the West at the end of turn 1 and 2 INF in/near Cologne. If you hot-seat the situation on turns 1-2 in the game between Morris and Diplomaticus, you find you can't walk into Liege because of ZOC. However, with air support you should be able to knock away one of the blockers and move into the fortress with the other INF. Combine that with an early blitz and the outcome should be bad for the Allies.

Morris
Major-General - Tiger I
Major-General - Tiger I
Posts: 2289
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:00 am

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by Morris » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:34 am

Crazygunner1 wrote:I figure that you can usually hold Belgium over a 3 year time if a normal game, that generates about 160-170 extra pps for the Axis to cover their losses
Please check the casualty report of the AAR with Peter , a normal France campaign the axis loss should be around 40s (INF) 25s (arm ) 40(air) . But the Dyle plan will take 50 more steps of INF ,15 more steps of arm , 60 more steps of airforce . Please caculate the increase cost of Axis . It is much more than 200 pps . BTW , this is the lost in 1940 period which pp is much more precious than 1943 . & the most important loss of Axis is not pp , It is time !

Morris
Major-General - Tiger I
Major-General - Tiger I
Posts: 2289
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:00 am

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by Morris » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:39 am

peterjfrigate wrote:
minor wrote:First turn capture of Brussels is pretty hard, especially if you want to place an inf to block Liege. Just try it by yourself. We should see some failed attempts in the future.
There is one obvious viable countermeasure - early blitz. Try to kill one of the units blocking Liege (gar south of the city preferably) with double tac and armour. When the fortress is taken Allies are in big trouble (but still they are in much better position then normal).
Yes, I agree - the way to defeat the Dyle plan is to have at least 1 TAC and FTR in the West at the end of turn 1 and 2 INF in/near Cologne. If you hot-seat the situation on turns 1-2 in the game between Morris and Diplomaticus, you find you can't walk into Liege because of ZOC. However, with air support you should be able to knock away one of the blockers and move into the fortress with the other INF. Combine that with an early blitz and the outcome should be bad for the Allies.

You are partly right . But when Axis attack the blocker beside Liege, the wounded blocker will probably retreat into the fortress Liege ! Then it is too difficult to eliminate a unit(3-5steps) in a fortress by one strike . :)

peterjfrigate
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:43 am

Re: The Dyle Plan

Post by peterjfrigate » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:17 pm

Image

You are right, so here's an even better way to take Liege - works 100% of the time and you don't need your airforce!


Morris wrote:
peterjfrigate wrote:
minor wrote:First turn capture of Brussels is pretty hard, especially if you want to place an inf to block Liege. Just try it by yourself. We should see some failed attempts in the future.
There is one obvious viable countermeasure - early blitz. Try to kill one of the units blocking Liege (gar south of the city preferably) with double tac and armour. When the fortress is taken Allies are in big trouble (but still they are in much better position then normal).
Yes, I agree - the way to defeat the Dyle plan is to have at least 1 TAC and FTR in the West at the end of turn 1 and 2 INF in/near Cologne. If you hot-seat the situation on turns 1-2 in the game between Morris and Diplomaticus, you find you can't walk into Liege because of ZOC. However, with air support you should be able to knock away one of the blockers and move into the fortress with the other INF. Combine that with an early blitz and the outcome should be bad for the Allies.

You are partly right . But when Axis attack the blocker beside Liege, the wounded blocker will probably retreat into the fortress Liege ! Then it is too difficult to eliminate a unit(3-5steps) in a fortress by one strike . :)

Post Reply

Return to “Commander Europe at War : AAR's”