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an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Sun May 13, 2018 12:16 pm
by schnetzler
The classical defence ;
- France buys garnisons, garnisons, garnisons... etc
- England buys fighters
- England transfers 3 infantry and mechanized and 3/4 garnisons in France
- an English infantry takes place in Paris (with a +1 defence leader and a 8 entrenchemnt factor); each loss is replaced by the "unlimited" british economy
- the first front line is behind Somme, Oise and Meuse ; a second line later behind Seine and Somme

The classical attacks;
- Germany buys tactical bombers and fighters,tactical bombers and fighters, tactical bombers and fighters, etc.
- Germany buys 2/3 Mechanized

Results :
- Germany takes Paris in october with heavy losses, particularly in front of Paris (some units ares used to take Norway in september)

- transfer the maximum of British ground units (3+4)
- the 2 canadian infantry disembark in France
- the second line of defence behind Seine and Somme (crossing rivers is very costly because Germans (ground and air units) are exhausted whereas British and CANADIANS are fresh troops ; all units retreat behind this line
- at the end, a third line (North-South) from Paris to the Loire river (the Seine cannot be crossed between Le Havre and Paris)

- these 2 canadians units make the difference behind the french rivers : WE GET TIME
. one french garnison per turn comes from Corsica and Africa
. 15 french PP per additional turn
. autumn comes and PARIS never falls before 1941... and the game is over

Garnisons are low cost units used to SLOW attacking units. A garnison costs 15 PP whereas an infantry costs 35 PP, but they have the same defence factor (3) and the same strength (10).

Reducing the defence factor of garnisons (2) seems a better solution that a limit on the number of garnisons. Garnisons should be used for cities defence.
We get similar results for the defence of USSR (an "invincible" defence)

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Sun May 13, 2018 9:02 pm
by duncanr
just invade England - if the UK sends that much to France they will leave the UK empty and they won;t have the PP's to quickly build a defence

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Sun May 13, 2018 11:29 pm
by Peter Stauffenberg
We even have rules for UK garrison limit. For each unit below the limit the UK units drop 5 morale. Then these units get killed very easily.

France produces a lot of garrisons in most games and that doesn't slow the Germans down a lot. If the British join building garrisons instead of labs, naval and air units then it doesn't matter if France falls a bit later. Britain is crippled and will have to pay the price later in the game.

It's important to get the labs built as early as possible. Britain don't have a big production. Especially if the uboats keep sinking convoys.

I have a feeling that the "invincible" France strategy will be easily crushed by a veteran Axis player.

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 6:40 am
by Plaid
Using British units as fodder to delay fall of France and break Axis game was always here and was always considered "foul play".
If Axis player is aware, what going to happen, he will produce ground units instead of labs and break through, but if not - it pretty much works as described.
That's basically broken, just like 1942 Overlord.

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 8:07 am
by Peter Stauffenberg
Fall of France in October 1940 is not a disaster if the British had to build lots of garrisons to make the delay. When France has fallen the Britain will miss that they didn't build what they should have, e. g. naval units, labs and air units.

Germany will outproduce the Allies in 1939-1940 and a few extra turns in France won't matter that much. Maybe you have to bypass Yugoslavia or going to Egypt. However, you should be able to attack Russia in time.

1942 Overlord is also possible for the Axis to deal with if they have a strategic reserve in Germany. If you go all-in in Russia then you can be caught off guard and the 1942 Overlord can become nasty. It's all about how big risks you're willing to do with the Axis. You have to know your opponent and whether he can pull up tricks like sacrificing Britain in France or doing a 1942 Overlord. If you prepare you make them pay. If you are caught off guard then their strategy pays off.

Usually for the Allies to bog down the Germans in 1939-1940 they need to enter Belgium in force. That is very hard unless you DOW Belgium. That has other repercussions. So maybe not worth it. If Germany DOW's Belgium in 1939 and fails to take Brussels in one turn then you have a chance. Usually the Germans invade in March 1940 and get all of Belgium in one turn. Then the resources in Lille and Lorraine are very close for the Germans. So the production gains will be taken as normal by the Germans. It's the extra repairs and later conquest of Paris that will be the downside for the Germans.

One goal of GS is for players to try different strategies. If they find a strategy to catch their opponent off-guard then that is part of the fun. We shouldn't make all such strategies impossible so they have to follow the historical path. We just have to ensure that alternative strategies don't become the norm because of game engine exploits / weaknesses.

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 8:16 am
by Peter Stauffenberg
Just for the record. Garrisons aren't the same as corps units just with less offensive capabilities. There are quite a few other weaknesses too. Some are lower quality and survivability. Garrison units get fewer upgrades so the difference becomes bigger and bigger.

A consequence of this is that garrison units are much more likely to retreat after combat. That can be exploited by the attacker. Since the defender fires first then the lower offensive firepower by the garrison means the attacking unit will take fewer losses in the combat. So you can e. g. get 4:2 odds against a corps. Then you will get maybe 7:1 against a garrison in the same hex.

Building garrisons means more steps to destroy, but each step will be easier to destroy. You give the attacker an easier way to gain XP on his units by producing garrison units.

Just think of Barbarossa 1941. Germany can sprint through Russia since the Russians have a lot of garrison units. It's easy to build a lot more garrison units in 1941 to delay the Germans, but then you will notice you have too few units in the upcoming winter offensive to make an impact.

I try to avoid building garrison units except as rear guards. Garrison units work to protect a captured city so partisans can't spawn there. You can also place leaders on garrisons to have mobile HQ's.

I therefore don't think there is any need altering the stats of garrison units. These units perform a task in the game and does it pretty well. They are no true combat units.

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 7:01 pm
by schnetzler
General answer:
I do not propose a strategy but expose a game weakness :
- garnisons allow EXISTING unrealistic defence of France until october 1940 (and USSR too)
. moreover when sending the 2 canadian infantry corps in France (without any other change) the fall of France is delayed until winter with a very high cost for Germany and not any other cost (2 infantry corps) for England

Detailed answers :
- invade england ? impossible during autumn and winter and later impossible without a german navy
- attack Egypt ? impossible, because El Alamein will stop or delay for a long time any offensive. Moreover Egypt is not an objective.Iraki oil is an objective and it is very far.
- Barbarossa ? it is not necessary to build soviet garnisons ; we use EXISTING garnisons and NEW infantry corps to DELAY the german advance. ALL UNITS in the rears are sent to the front line (no unit remains in Omsk or Baku) and German will be DELAYED (they cannot take Odessa, Smolensk and Novgorod... taking Kiev is a dream); then the very high rate of soviet production during winter is enough to build a new army
- Fall of France : I never said that England needs to build garnisons. I say that France builds garnisons and that sending the 2 canadian infantry corps in France will delay the success of the german offensive until winter ... with a very heavy cost for Germany. England mainly build fighters until september (DD, TB, LABS, ... later) and the morale never drops because we keep enough units in England.
- others strategies : to get a victory in France, Germany needs to build airplanes and ground units (there is no other resource for labs or ships until the fall of France)... and after May 1940 there is no alternative to the fall of France. If this victory is too costly the game is over.

" We just have to ensure that alternative strategies don't become the norm because of game engine exploits / weaknesses" I agree. I say that using garnisons in other place that cities is a game weakness (a garnison with a high entrenchment factor has a heavy defence value : such an anticipation is strategy ; using such a weak unit to get an unrealistic delay is an old "trick" of wargamer). Such use of garnison is a strategy based on a game weakness : exchange PP against time, in place of exchange space against time. Nevertheless such a strategy does not work on a battlefield : a too weak unit is crushed without any delay. Old wargames used "blitzkrieg" attacks to circumvent such defence : attacks with a reduce strength but a full advance (4 or 5 hex) of the attacking unit. Since this is not the game play of "Europe at war" the best possible change is to reduce the defence factor to discourage the use of low entrenched garnisons.

"I have a feeling that the "invincible" France strategy will be easily crushed by a veteran Axis player" Try. The ONLY DIFFERENCE with previous strategies is that these 2 units are sent in France in place of England (with a passive role) or Egypt. The "invicible" defence of France is not a strategy : it is a "trick" based on a game weakness (given that players know in advance what will happen, delaying a german military success with any unrealistic "trick" ensures an economical allied victory)

PS. more details on the defence of France
- 3 units are sufficient to defend the Maginot line
- 3 units (1 mountain corps and 2 garnisons) behind the Rhone are sufficient to defend against an Italian offensive

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 7:15 pm
by Peter Stauffenberg
I usually build lots of French garrison units as the Allies and send the Canadian and some British units to France. Still I lose Paris in either June or July 1940. I'm no novice player.

Don't underestimate the firepower of the Axis in this game. As the Germans I build a mech, 1 tactical bomber and 2 fighter units prior to the invasion of France. That should be enough to ensure control in the air.

I often use the German fighter units as bombers to soften up the French defenders. Then these can easily be crushed by German corps units.

As the Axis you can also exploit the fact that retreating French units to a good defense line can be forced to retreat across the river towards you if you have a contiguous line. That means you can quickly roll up a river line.

Clever use of the German para unit is another ace up the Axis sleeve.

We've played hundreds of games in the beta with Allied players just building garrison units for a long time. They never stopped me as the Axis. The same with Russian garrisons. As the Axis I can easily get to Leningrad, Moscow and Rostov by the end of 1941. I could even get to Stalingrad if I wanted to.

What you describe doesn't correlate to what I've seen in numerous games.

Who are you playing against who can stop you in Russia west of Kiev? One of my opponents tried to send all he could in Russia far west and he held me for a few turns in the south, but I broke through and got to the normal defense line from Leningrad, Moscow and Rostov. Very weak Russian counter offensive in 1941. In 1942 I pushed to the Volga and cut-off rail supply to Murmansk. I even threatened Archangel. I pushed hard southwards and got to the Caucasus and a bit beyond. In 1943 I captured all of the south including Baku even with British intervention from Persia. Moscow got encircled and I had a steamroller towards Omsk. I would win the war in 1944 so we stopped then.

Our analysis after the game was that the Allied player lost the game by losing too many units in 1941 by defending too far to the west. In 1941 the Germans have a huge advantage over the Russians so running with the Russian army is a must.

I've not seen any Allied player being able to stop a skilled Axis at the Dnepr in GS v4.0.

I suggest you try to be the Allies against e. g. Morris. He will teach you how to get Paris and Moscow early. Then try a garrison blob strategy. Morris was the original one making the Allied garrison blob and knows perfectly well how to defeat such a strategy.

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 7:32 pm
by Plaid
Thats nasty strategy to face, but "Invincible" is exaggeration, if I remember correctly, there are AARed games where France spawn garrisons and UK spawn corps/mot. (even sacrificing lab builds), but Axis still get Paris in August-September 1940.

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 7:37 pm
by Peter Stauffenberg
You surely can't defend the Maginot line with just 3 units. Against Axis garrison units on the other side you can, but not against Axis corps units in key hexes. They can ooze through the holes in the Maginot line and isolate these units. I use that strategy all the time as the Axis.

1 corps unit in the south and another in the north. That pins the French garrison units to the Maginot line to prevent a hole. Later in the Axis offensive they have to leave to plug holes and then the Axis ooze through and use friendly rear garrison units to advance behind to keep supply to the Axis units.

You don't need the Italians to push hard in the south. Instead you just send a few units ahead to pin French units and the Italian air force is sent to support the German offensive instead.

The Germans have so much better generals that they have a higher morale on their units. That must be maintained at all times. I usually repair Axis units when they hit 7 steps. Sometimes 8 steps. A healthy air and ground force is important to keep the momentum.

The British morale is set so they can't do repairs early on if they want to prevent repairing below 75% morale. It starts below and would need some time to climb above. If the British suffer some losses (often air losses) then you force the British unit to get a -1 quality. It won't disappear until the British get above 75% and repair again. Heavy British engagement in France can have a long lasting effect on their builds. If they stay below 75% all their air and naval units will have that nasty -1 quality.

The French army starts with only 9 garrison units and some corps sized units. Not enough to for a single contiguous front line even. Even less if you want to garrison key cities like Reims, Lille, Le Havre and Paris. France get about 15 PP's per turn so if they only build garrison units they will get about 10 more garrison units before the start of Case Yellow. That means they might just get a double defense line. I can tell you that this is nowhere enough to last long in France as the Allies.

With some British help you can build a triple line along the coast and that helps some. The Canadian units arrive too late to stop the initial onslaught. What I describe is the normal setup for the Axis to deal with in March 1940. Sometimes they can attack as early as February too making life even worse for the Allies.

Turn 1 of the Axis offensive should clear ALL cities in Holland and Belgium and prevent any Allied move into Belgium with force. The Allied morale loss from losing Belgium in one turn is something the Allies will have to struggle with for quite some time. This makes the Allied units more vulnerable.

If you DON'T take Belgium in one turn then you will struggle as the Axis because you don't inflict the panic on the Allies. A typical mistake is to attack Holland and Belgium in 1939 to take some part of the country then. Maybe you get to Brussels early in 1940, but the Allies will be at full power.

You have to wait for the first clear weather turn of 1940 to attack. Then the Eben Emael fortress will disappear due to paradrop landings. You need to work on the Axis unit setup to ensure you can take both Holland and Belgium in one turn. Inexperienced players struggle with it, but veterans can succeed 100% of the time. It's not that hard. It's best to try a few solo games and find how to place the units and how to use airstrikes in the right places.

Do you get the normal Allied 20% morale loss at the end of the March 1940 turn by taking Brussels in one turn?

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 9:00 pm
by duncanr
If the Germans get very bad weather, the Brits commit a bit extra to France, the Canadians get to France without being hit by a SUB - then France can fall late in the summer.

That's not a killer for the Axis, sure you can't do a Sealion and it might limit some of your options for the Med, but is still leaves you plenty of scope and doesn't hinder Axis production that much. Losing a couple of British CORP's in France can be an issue for the Brits slowing Med operations.

Now does it feel annoying - I am sure it does, but we would need way more games to suggest anything was broken

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 4:53 am
by flybird
In the mirror game between Morris and me,Morris and me both took up Paris in August,and there are huge casualties.40 the French campaign was even more difficult than the 41 Barbarossa.Under the current supply rules,Sealions and North Africa have no hope,The axis wants to win, only to beat the Soviet Union for the 2 players of the same strength

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 4:53 am
by flybird
In the mirror game between Morris and me,Morris and me both took up Paris in August,and there are huge casualties.40 the French campaign was even more difficult than the 41 Barbarossa.Under the current supply rules,Sealions and North Africa have no hope,The axis wants to win, only to beat the Soviet Union for the 2 players of the same strength

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 5:00 pm
by Peter Stauffenberg
I didn't understand exactly what you wrote.

Are you starting your game with the 1940 scenario and even the 1941 scenario instead of the regular 1939 scenario?

Please notice that it's the 1939 scenario that has been tested hundreds of times. The other scenarios are there to show the starting lines like how they were in the real war. They have not been balanced as well as the 1939 scenario. E. g. when we added new unit types we didn't update and balance the scenarios as well as the 1939 scenario.

E. g. in the 1939 scenario we did major changes to the French initial setup so the French started with more corps units, but quite a bit less garrison units.

If you play the 1939 scenario as the Axis you can start preparing for Sealion by building naval units from the start. You can get more offensive firepower by building mech units, tactical bombers and fighters etc. In the 1940 scenario you don't have such adjustments and will have to start with a preset OOB not necessarily suited to your playing style.

It's even worse with the 1941 scenario where the real Germans are placed to invade Yugoslavia at the historical date. So the Germans can't take Yugoslavia in 1940 as in most game starting from 1939. This means you will most likely launch Barbarossa on June 22nd like in the real war and not May 1941 like in most games. That means the Russian Stalin line will become more of an obstacle than it would be in the 1939 scenario.

With more time and testers to test scenarios we could have fine tune scenario balance, but that was not to be. All beta testers gave priority to start new games from 1939 and I can't blame them. They want to have as much influence to the game outcome as possible.

If you end up with an August 1940 Fall of France starting from 1939 then that is a bit more to worry about. Strange that you didn't have that problem with the same 1939 scenario in beta testing. Most AAR's showed a Fall of France in June or July at the latest.

What do you mean by heavy losses? The Germans WILL take quite a bit of losses against a dedicated Allied defense in France. What is important is how much losses did the Germans take compared to the British. If you lose 10 more land unit steps, but destroy 2 British motorised corps then that is a good deal. The same with the air and naval losses. The Germans can early in the game replace losses better than the British. Lots of British losses in 1940 means a later reinforcement of Egypt and Torch invasion.

So everything is relative. If you get heavy losses against the French only then that is not good. However, the real Germans actually took considerable losses against the Allies in the real war in 1940. Enough to delay their immediatel plans after the Fall of France.

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 12:57 am
by flybird
We use 39 of the scene,morris take paris in T18, loss infantry 67(2),tank 19(1),plane 47,
I take paris in T19,loss infantry 55(1),tank 18(1),plane 61 ,our match stipulates that French tank will not fight.

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 1:01 am
by flybird
I think it's time to get rid of the French tank at least

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 2:41 pm
by Peter Stauffenberg
What are the British losses?

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 1:46 am
by flybird
We don't care about British casualties,No matter how many casualties in the UK,The west line can always be launched in 42 years

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 2:12 am
by ncali
But British casualties are important because high ground and/or air losses can make Sealion more attractive. If the British sacrifice themselves for France, they could get taken out that much easier. Also, I tend to tacair the French tank if possible - before it kills a good unit like a panzer. Even if you don't kill it, the efficiency loss from that (particularly coupled with a Belgian 1-turn surrender) blunts it quite a bit.

Don't have a strong personal feeling though on whether France is too tough as I've just recently got back into the game at the new version. Just observations.

Re: an "invincible" defence of France (v4.0)

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 12:10 pm
by Vokt
Hi there.

I don't agree either that British losses in 1940 don't matter. Higher UK losses mean less PP's for purchasing DD's in 1940-41 and ,probably, delaying ASW research.