Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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Diplomaticus
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Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by Diplomaticus » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:03 pm

Gang,

Although I have so little time that my poor CEAW opponents have had to be very patient at times waiting for my moves, I want to do an AAR of my current game--a rematch between me and SuperMax, with me now taking the Axis side. I apologize in advance that I won't be able to do this in as much detail as I'd like, but I'm inviting Mr. Max to join in this AAR, so perhaps he can add some things to flesh this out.

Let's begin with the November 1939 turn. Up to this point, the game was moving along in normal fashion. Standard Poland in 2 turns. Axis took advantage of clear October weather to invade the low countries. Only odd thing so far were some ominous notes from Max and a strange weakness in the French defenses seen so far.

Then I opened the file for the November turn, and I saw this:


Image


and this:

Image


Well, that was unexpected. :shock:

rkr1958
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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by rkr1958 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:40 pm

A 1939 invasion of Portugal by the allies! I can't wait to see what brilliant (or is it devious :D ) strategy Max has in mind.

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by joerock22 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:47 pm

This will probably be answered, but I'm just wondering why the Allies would do this. The Allies gain 3 PP, but the Axis gain 2 PP from the Spanish mine. The U.S. also suffers a war effort penalty. Also, unlike Morris's early aggression, this will make France fall earlier.

Max must have some overall grand strategy in mind, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is. :?

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by Cybvep » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:52 pm

Interesting. It gives you some opportunities, though, as the Allies may be weaker in 1939-1941 than they usually are.

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by Morris » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:02 pm

That's Max ! But I still do not understand the reason . It must be sth which could only be explained by Max's genius . Looking forward to the answer :D

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by Morris » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:29 pm

Let me guess the answer :

Since Axis bliz Allies sucessful in 1939, after learn the Allies difficult situation after Joe's bliz to me , Max did prepare for the Uk's weak 1941 -1942 , so make Portugue a landing base for USA & UK sothat they may come back to Europe in 1942 without a bloody landing & also for Free France in early 1943 . if Axis won't take Spain , this method seems workable . :) Is it right ?

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by rkr1958 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:48 pm

joerock22 wrote:This will probably be answered, but I'm just wondering why the Allies would do this. The Allies gain 3 PP, but the Axis gain 2 PP from the Spanish mine. The U.S. also suffers a war effort penalty. Also, unlike Morris's early aggression, this will make France fall earlier.

Max must have some overall grand strategy in mind, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is. :?
Joe, I think it was you who told me about a game Max had once play the vanilla version against an unnamed opponent. In that game Max, as the allies, invaded and captured Berlin in 1939.

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by Crazygunner1 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:29 pm

I see a few possible strategic gains in this. Portugal if not dealt with will remain as a thorn in the side for the Axis. They can´t really take it back easy and as soon as Barbarossa is aproaching the allies can declare war on Spain and take advantage of that. Since allies already have a foothold in europe, Axis have to divert many useful forces in order to stop the invasion or throw them back into the sea. Early start of invading europe...

Or he will finish of Spain before the fall of France, that leaves the UK quite vulnerable though

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by Crazygunner1 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:38 pm

rkr1958 wrote:
joerock22 wrote:This will probably be answered, but I'm just wondering why the Allies would do this. The Allies gain 3 PP, but the Axis gain 2 PP from the Spanish mine. The U.S. also suffers a war effort penalty. Also, unlike Morris's early aggression, this will make France fall earlier.

Max must have some overall grand strategy in mind, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is. :?
Joe, I think it was you who told me about a game Max had once play the vanilla version against an unnamed opponent. In that game Max, as the allies, invaded and captured Berlin in 1939.
Think i remember that, didn´t he launched a strike through the Maginot line and advanced into germany? Back in those days France still had a tank and a pretty good one at that. :D

I played with that strategy as well, but couldn´t really get it working properly

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by supermax » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:47 pm

Well, i guess my reputation precede me!

I dont want to dissapoint you all, but the general intention was simply to force the issue on the game being un-conventionnal, and yes, some vague notion of attacking spain like a game i did against Plaid recently. The strategy worked very well. But it doesnt if the axis player does a early blitz strategy, like Dilpo did. So i kinda got myself in a bit of a tight corner.

So as you will see it unfold, it is a very different game than most, which i enjoy!

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by supermax » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:48 pm

Crazygunner1 wrote:
rkr1958 wrote:
joerock22 wrote:This will probably be answered, but I'm just wondering why the Allies would do this. The Allies gain 3 PP, but the Axis gain 2 PP from the Spanish mine. The U.S. also suffers a war effort penalty. Also, unlike Morris's early aggression, this will make France fall earlier.

Max must have some overall grand strategy in mind, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is. :?
Joe, I think it was you who told me about a game Max had once play the vanilla version against an unnamed opponent. In that game Max, as the allies, invaded and captured Berlin in 1939.
Think i remember that, didn´t he launched a strike through the Maginot line and advanced into germany? Back in those days France still had a tank and a pretty good one at that. :D

I played with that strategy as well, but couldn´t really get it working properly

guys that was a long time ago. It was during the time of my first game against Joe Rock, in which both of us had a lot of fun. Yes, i did take germany in 1939, but that player was far from being good.

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by supermax » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:49 pm

joerock22 wrote:This will probably be answered, but I'm just wondering why the Allies would do this. The Allies gain 3 PP, but the Axis gain 2 PP from the Spanish mine. The U.S. also suffers a war effort penalty. Also, unlike Morris's early aggression, this will make France fall earlier.

Max must have some overall grand strategy in mind, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is. :?
Well, thats just it Joe. Not really...

Like i said it works well if the axis doesnt blitz in the fall, however.

Sorry to be dissapointing! :)

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by trulster » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:59 pm

Crazygunner1 wrote:I see a few possible strategic gains in this. Portugal if not dealt with will remain as a thorn in the side for the Axis. They can´t really take it back easy and as soon as Barbarossa is aproaching the allies can declare war on Spain and take advantage of that. Since allies already have a foothold in europe, Axis have to divert many useful forces in order to stop the invasion or throw them back into the sea. Early start of invading europe...
Hmm not a good idea in most games I think. Even with Barbarossa going on, the Germans can always rail enough quality troops to shore up the Spanish, saving them from conquest and then driving the Allies into the sea (worth a bit of pause in the Eastern Front in my book), and then you have just granted the Axis a bunch more PP, units AND manpower.

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by Cybvep » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:19 pm

The biggest advantage of this strategy is the fact that it is a novelty. The opponent doesn't know what to expect and will be wary of the Allied foothold in Europe.

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by richardsd » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:10 pm

Cybvep wrote:The biggest advantage of this strategy is the fact that it is a novelty. The opponent doesn't know what to expect and will be wary of the Allied foothold in Europe.
there are several things you can do with Portugal, including just driving people mad guessing!

its also a big distraction from other things the Axis might want to do

will be inetersting for sure!

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by Diplomaticus » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:44 pm

Well, well, well. That little posting sure created a stir.

Unlike the Dyle Plan, I don't see the "Lisbon Opening" becoming anything more than a kind of trick play. True, you do gain certain advantages, as people have pointed out: extra PP, a couple of ports on the Continent that Axis can't easily get at, etc. In addition, here's an unexpected plus:

Image

Normally, the Allies don't get the Azores until relatively late in the game, but now they get control as soon as the USA is in.

However, there are so many disadvantages to the Allied cause, that I just don't see this being often repeated. First you get this:

Image

Then, there's the simple fact of all those units diverted from France. The French have some key units, including their air force, unavailable for the defense of Paris. On top of that, the PP price tag must be huge. I can't tell if Max had to pay 35PP to overuse his invasion limit, but landing all those units cost 8PP @ at a time when neither the French nor the English have a lot of production to spare. As folks have pointed out above, the diverted units and the lost PP's insure an early fall of Paris. And not just early, but at a very low cost to the Germans. As this screen shot shows, even by November 1939 (mud), the Axis are already on the move:

Image

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by Diplomaticus » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:54 pm

The Allied takeover of Portugal is a 3-turn endeavor. You've already seen turn 1 (11/20/1939). Here are the next two turns in the sequence (12/10 & 12/30/39):

Image

Image

Here we see another category of disadvantages for the Allies: casualties. Not only did the Allies suffer some losses in the actual siege of Lisbon (including 2 steps off the carrier), but the Portuguese gar was able to move in and take a step off the French fighter, and the German u-boats were able to get some potshots in at the transports. The second screen shot shows the beginning of the turn, but the subs moved in and scored some hits on the northern BB too.

So, all in all, the price tag for this strategy is pretty high. As Max pointed out, it really is meant as a strategy vs. the Sitzkrieg. I don't know if this was part of Max's thinking, but I suspect that he feels that the inherent Allied advantage is so great that he'll be able to overcome any deficit caused by the use of the Lisbon Opening. I think there's some truth to this, but we'll have to see.

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by avoran » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:59 pm

How did the French FTR get down there? Can it make an amphibious landing??

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by Cybvep » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:10 pm

Wow, France is pitifully weak. This gives you interesting options, although I can already see how annoying US STRATs will be in the Atlantic...

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Re: Diplo v Max Rematch: The Lisbon Opening

Post by Diplomaticus » Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:51 pm

While all of that fun stuff is happening down in sunny Portugal, we can see what the Germans can do, even in wintry weather, against the reduced Allied forces back home.

Here's the December 10, 1939 turn:

Image

and December 30:

Image

Now, both of these screen shots display the beginning of the Axis turns. So that panzer that has formed a bridgehead across the Seine has survived the Allied chance at counter-attack, and the Germans are poised to turn the Allied flank.

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