Dyle Plan - what next?

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Kragdob
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Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Kragdob » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:59 am

There is a new Allied defense plan in 1939/1940 which is based on invading Belgium on turn 1 thus allowing Allied to establish much narrower front against Germans and removing -20% penalty for Allied units when German capture Belgium.

This have some disadvantages for the Allies (prolonged in time), but the core in this strategy is that it hinders very seriously German options in the game:
=> it forces Axis to build expensive air unit from the very first turn of the game therefore delaying their lab effort (one of the core Axis advantages in the game - the tech progress)
=> it closes Axis option of early fall of France therefore making 1940 Sealion very unlikely, this allows UK Player to send huge BEF force on the continent and even lose it - since there will be no 1940 Sealion there is risk following loosing UK troops. This further increase cost of conquering France (higher loses).
=> higher losses means weaker Barbarossa (and any other actions/strategies the Axis can take)

I am against this possibility for Allies. Even before Allied had serious advantage - now it makes almost hopeless for the Axis to score a decent victory (or any at all). Based on historical evidences such action (even if you neglect political implications) were not possible in 1939. France started mobilization in late August 1939 but it was slow - it would not be able to conduct such a 'blitzkrieg' operation against Belgium in 1939.

I propose following simple solution to this:
=> France should not have the 2 MECHs on the map but rather equivalent of PPs/MP instead (currently 110 PPs) that Player could use to spend on units.
=> -20% effectiveness loss should be applied when Axis capture Brussels, not when Belgium surrenders

I am curious about opinions on this topic.
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Cybvep
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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Cybvep » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:13 am

Let's wait for the conclusion of the games which have been started. If all of them end in Allied victories, then ask Supermax to show us the way to deal with that strategy. If this fails, then we may start to think about potential changes ;).

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Diplomaticus » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:48 pm

Cybvep wrote:Let's wait for the conclusion of the games which have been started. If all of them end in Allied victories, then ask Supermax to show us the way to deal with that strategy. If this fails, then we may start to think about potential changes ;).
I'm in agreement with this.

I think it's too early to say, especially since the negative consequences for the Allies haven't kicked in yet in either of the Dyle AAR's. Since invading Belgium means a loss in convoy size, I'm wondering if we'll see more cases of some convoys not spawning at all (12 is the minimum size possible, so if something lower randomizes there is no convoy), which could really hurt. Unless I'm wrong, the UK won't get the Lend-Lease DD. And the the effect of reduction in USA war effort is very hard to project. How much will this impact US labs? How many PP will the Americans lose, and how will that change game results?

Also, we have to remember that the cat's out of the bag now. If I had known that Morris might pull this (note the critical changes from his earlier version vs. Joe), I could have had counter-measures in place.

So, I sugget that the thing to do is a) have Peter, Morris, and myself try to process turns as fast as we can so we can get a sense of how this all plays out and b) get some other people play-testing Dyle and report back to the Forum.

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Cybvep » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:09 pm

Well, in my current game with PF he tried to do Dyle on me, but I was faster and I attacked Belgium on turn 2. This meant that Poland survived until turn 3 and I took higher casualties during Case White, but the Allies suffered the standard morale penalty as usual and I continued with Blitzkrieg instead of Sitzkrieg.

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Crazygunner1 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:01 am

I think this discussion is premature. There are strategies you can do that counters the dyle plan. Also the long time affect is not yet shown. You have only seen what Morris wants you to see. He doesn´t show what labs he has invested in for the UK, probably very poor cause of all the losses BEF will take together with the RN and RAF during french campaign

All in all, the strain on the Axis war effort is shifted somewhat. For instance the UK and US participation will be much later in the game since they have taken heavy losses and also suffered from lower convoys. My guess is that UK and US won´t put up a effective fight until after 1942. That is 2 solid years of figthing the russians without little or no interference.

Sure Bararossa will be weaker, but not so weak the russians will kick your b... in 41 or 42.
Germans already got a strong luftwaffe, probably won´t have to build another plane until early 43, during that time you can easily build up a very strong army and sub fleet.

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by richardsd » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:38 am

Crazygunner1 wrote:I think this discussion is premature. There are strategies you can do that counters the dyle plan. Also the long time affect is not yet shown. You have only seen what Morris wants you to see. He doesn´t show what labs he has invested in for the UK, probably very poor cause of all the losses BEF will take together with the RN and RAF during french campaign

All in all, the strain on the Axis war effort is shifted somewhat. For instance the UK and US participation will be much later in the game since they have taken heavy losses and also suffered from lower convoys. My guess is that UK and US won´t put up a effective fight until after 1942. That is 2 solid years of figthing the russians without little or no interference.

Sure Bararossa will be weaker, but not so weak the russians will kick your b... in 41 or 42.
Germans already got a strong luftwaffe, probably won´t have to build another plane until early 43, during that time you can easily build up a very strong army and sub fleet.
The Dyle plan is just another version of 'sacrifice the west so the Russians overun Germany' strategiy from Morris (a good one for now), so far so good but its a long way from a 'known winner'.

The UK will be shot for the entire war, they will have very little manpower at all. The US can't react strongly early - this does give the Axis some time.

AND there are counters to be tried.

Way to early to tell what the future holds I believe

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Kragdob » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:31 pm

I agree with your point, yet I still want to emphasize what I mean:

=> such action was not possible in reality (I excluded political implication completely - France just was not prepared enough in 1939 to do anything) - do we allow impossible in the game?
=> it is visible in 1940 that this action extends conquering France a lot (August-Decemeber!) and implicts high casualties (PP) which impacts both options for Axis: Barbarossa and Fortress Europe.

Allied looses:
=> DD = 50PP
=> USA = 3*41 = 123 PP
=> convoys (highly overestimated) = 25% * 290 * 10 (number of convoys till turn 41) * 60% (averaged war effort of UK and USA from turn 0 to 41) ~= 435, the real number is even lower as it would be lost anyway due to Uboats attacks or wouldn't spawn at all.

+ US are one lab behind by 1942

All this is visible now - especially those 'mythical' losses for Allies (why nobody does the 5 minutes math?) but from my perspective it is not problem to wait to see the results. I will be surprised if this is beneficial for Axis.
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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:51 pm

In addition the Axis benefits from full production from Belgium. That is 3 PP's per turn from Brussels is liberated until the Allies recapture Brussels before the fal of Germany. That could be like 70+ turns with 3 PP's extra per turn for the Axis.

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by ncali » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:34 pm

Kragdob wrote:I=> such action was not possible in reality (I excluded political implication completely - France just was not prepared enough in 1939 to do anything) - do we allow impossible in the game?
I'm not convinced on this point. France had an overwhelming amount of men and material to support such an offensive, provided they committed to it. To support my point, the best I can do at the moment is point to wiki's article on the abortive Saar offensive:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saar_Offensive

The political implications would have been significant - but a committed France against a poorly-prepared Belgium (with the bulk of the German army in Poland in early to mid-September) favors France, at least on paper.

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Cybvep » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:41 pm

I seriously doubt that France would have much trouble with Belgium in purely military terms (especially if this was a surprise attack), unless weather severely hampered their advance. Political considerations would have been a much bigger obstacle IMO. War effort and convoy penalties supposedly represent them, but whether that's enough is a different story. It's also hard to say how the Netherlands would react to such a move.

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Diplomaticus » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:32 pm

So long as the Dyle Plan is historically *plausible* (even if unlikely), I don't object to permitting it to continue as a possible gambit... so long as it doesn't turn into some kind of unbalancing super-strategy. Given what's been said in this thread and elsewhere on the forum, I have my doubts, but we'll have to see how it all sorts itself out in some of these ongoing AARs. We must remember, too, that it's not just anybody doing this--it's Morris, one of our top players. So as Borger and others have pointed out in similar situations, we shouldn't leap to conclusions as to how universally game-unbalancing this might get. As I say, so long as it's historically within the realm of possibility, it's nice to see a richness and flexibility to how the game can go.

But while I've got the floor, I'll point out what looks to me like more evidence of the game balance appearing to be slanted in favor of the Allies. The German early Blitz has gradually become a legitimate choice for the Axis player as an opening strategy. A successful Blitz that leads to a very early fall of France (say March or April, for example) certainly is a nice boost for the Axis, but it's in no way, shape or form a game-winner. However, by contrast a similarly late conquest of Paris (e.g. late August or September) is usually catastrophic for the Axis side. At least that's how it seems to me.

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:39 pm

It's nothing new that friendly nations might want to enter a neutral country to "protect" it.

Remember that Churchill wanted to land Allied forces in Norway to prevent Germany from taking Norway. The reason was to cut-off the Swedish iron ore. The Allies had already started to place mines in Norwegian coastal waters, in violation of Norwegian neutrality.

So it's not unthinkable that certain Allied leaders thought of the idea of moving into Belgium soon after Germany invaded Poland to get to better defensive lines and thus protect the Belgians from being overrun by the Axis. The Belgian leaders wouldn't accept such a move because they still hoped it was possible to remain neutral. They feared the Germans too much, remembering the horrors of WW1.

So allowing the Allies to enter Belgium and Holland is a good idea in my opinion. In Vanilla CeaW both Holland and Belgium are flagged as pro-Allied instead of neutral, thus making it impossible for them to invade these countries. We altered it in GS to give players more possibilities.

GS allows for ahistorical events. The Dyle plan is one of them. Spain joining the Axis under certain conditions is another. This is necessary to have in a strategic game or the games can become too repetetitive.

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Cybvep » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:48 pm

TBH the invasion of Portugal in 1939 is a much less plausible option, because there is no "real" reason to do that, only a game-based one (an Allied foothold in Europe post-Case Yellow, Azores when the USA joins etc.).

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by ncali » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:41 pm

The ability of the Allies to do this doesn't bother me (as pointed out above).

But there is one gamey purpose for it that bothers me a bit - the loss of the Axis ability to get the "blitzkrieg" bonus. I've always thought the bonus is to account for superior Axis blitkrieg tactics/speed/surprise. The fact that the Allies have taken Belgium does not, to me, mean the Axis couldn't have achieved a blitzkrieg, with favorable conditions. I wonder if it would make sense for the Axis to get the blitzkrieg bonus on the first fair weather turn of 1940 - if the Allies take Belgium.
(On a side note, I wonder if the Axis shouldn't just get the blitzkrieg bonus in ALL games on the first, fairweather turn of 1940.)

The counter-argument, which I might as well make, is that having to engage the Axis during the winter on a real front (not the Maginot line) has gradually prepared the Allies to deal with the new German tactics.

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Samhain » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:19 pm

Historically France didn't extend the Maginot Line to not upset Belgium (or so says one documentary I saw). In GS you can't extend the Maginot Line no matter how much you want to which doesn't make sense because we have hindsight to not make the same mistakes that were made in history. So if there's something illogical that hinders you* there should be one that will help you, perhaps the Dyle Plan is more risky against a human but it works a treat against the AI, especially if you use the British as well.
*There's also the fact that as the Allies you can't bomb Berlin from the UK or France even if Strategic Operations is at Level 6 to begin with. You can get as far as Hamburg but still. I know this from playing the 2nd most recent GS version which I heavily modded for my own, singleplayer use.
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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Kragdob » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:16 am

Diplomaticus wrote:But while I've got the floor, I'll point out what looks to me like more evidence of the game balance appearing to be slanted in favor of the Allies. The German early Blitz has gradually become a legitimate choice for the Axis player as an opening strategy. A successful Blitz that leads to a very early fall of France (say March or April, for example) certainly is a nice boost for the Axis, but it's in no way, shape or form a game-winner. However, by contrast a similarly late conquest of Paris (e.g. late August or September) is usually catastrophic for the Axis side. At least that's how it seems to me.
This is exactly what I mean and why I started this topic.

I feel convinced that France was capable of such union (in purely military way). This however tips the balance further in favor of Allies in the game (this is what Morris wants to show I think) so in my opinion it should not be possible in September 1939 or have much heavier consequences.

Plus 'blitzkrieg' bonus should be kept reasonably (when Brussels falls or whatever other event meaning that Axis started attack on France) and Canadian mobilization shouldn't be hurried.
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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Cybvep » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:52 am

I certainly agree about Canadian mobilisation. The Commonwealth wouldn't jump in so willingly if the Allies invaded Belgium and there would be a lot of tension, especially if the Allies lost in France in the end and that always happens in CEAW.
Historically France didn't extend the Maginot Line to not upset Belgium (or so says one documentary I saw). In GS you can't extend the Maginot Line no matter how much you want to which doesn't make sense because we have hindsight to not make the same mistakes that were made in history.
Good luck building a Maginot Line in several months AND building units. Anyway, it's not possible to build fortresses in CEAW in general. Also, using hindsight shouldn't be so obvious and easy, as it doesn't make sense.

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Morris » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:47 am

Kragdob wrote:
Diplomaticus wrote:But while I've got the floor, I'll point out what looks to me like more evidence of the game balance appearing to be slanted in favor of the Allies. The German early Blitz has gradually become a legitimate choice for the Axis player as an opening strategy. A successful Blitz that leads to a very early fall of France (say March or April, for example) certainly is a nice boost for the Axis, but it's in no way, shape or form a game-winner. However, by contrast a similarly late conquest of Paris (e.g. late August or September) is usually catastrophic for the Axis side. At least that's how it seems to me.
This is exactly what I mean and why I started this topic.

I feel convinced that France was capable of such union (in purely military way). This however tips the balance further in favor of Allies in the game (this is what Morris wants to show I think) so in my opinion it should not be possible in September 1939 or have much heavier consequences.

Plus 'blitzkrieg' bonus should be kept reasonably (when Brussels falls or whatever other event meaning that Axis started attack on France) and Canadian mobilization shouldn't be hurried.

Thank you Kragdob ! Thank you Diplomaticus ! You said what I want to express ! :D

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by ncali » Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:01 pm

Good point about Canada. It's probably there to partially balance against the Blitkrieg strategy.
But the best judge of this is to see how games play out in which the Axis uses the Dyle plan.
If every one of them results in the loss of England (London/Liverpool) then I'm not sure the strategy doesn't have a lot of risk. With Russia activating in '42 and the inability to focus research until Fall of '41, it is much more viable to attack late than it was before. And I've always thought that taking England gives the Axis a huge advantage in terms of preventing strat bombing of Germany, denying the Allies a staging area to attack France, and significantly weaking the Western Allies.
And that's on top of the inherent long-term costs to the Allies of Dyle that have been pointed out (such as weaker US).
Anyway, I guess my main point is let's see how these games actually play out!

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Re: Dyle Plan - what next?

Post by Cybvep » Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:14 pm

Fortress Europa does not have to be a game-winner, though. You can do fine in 1942-1943, but the situation becomes tough in 1944 and lack of standard Barbarossa makes the Soviets much stronger than they usually are. Also, losing GB is not the end of the world for the Allies - usually they can reconquer the place in 1943-1944, just in time for D-Day, which is easier than one might think when the Germans are being pushed hard in the East. TBH on paper Fortress Europa sounds much more threatening than it really is. It CAN work, but if the intention of Morris is to remove the possibility of a strong 1941 Barbarossa with the Dyle Plan and force the opponent to go for Fortress Europa (presumably he will be preparing for this from the game's start), then his strategy may be effective.

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