D-Day Strategy from Warspite

Apparently The Axis & Allies site over at Avalon Hill is going to be phased out soon. A new one will replace it. If you have something over there that you don’t want to be evaporated into thin air then cut and paste it, and bring it over here so that it is not lost forever.
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D-Day Strategy from Warspite

Post by Frimmel » Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:56 pm

I think it would be a shame for this info posted by Warspite to get lost in the closing of the AH boards.

Well, it’s hard to give German strategies without mentioning Allied strategy, but in the end it’s pretty standard stuff.

The nature of the game is quite rigid, actually, as dictated by the setup, and the reinforcement schedules. Allies try to capture AND HOLD all three objectives by the end of turn ten, so any German unit still in a city at that time prevents the win. Allied deployment is restricted to the five beaches, so the Germans know where the Allies will be at all times; no surprise flanking attacks. Thus, it comes down to a delaying action trading men and little bits of territory for time.

The Germans have better flexibility in that they have six reinforcement zones, with two of them available for both sets of reinforcements, and better defense from their tanks, so they have staying power. To overcome this, the Allies have air supremacy, destroying select targets with bombers, and using their fighters to pin down German forces, and/or make movement into/through select territories dangerous, restricting the German movement through fear of attrition.

In particular, the Allies have to achieve three things: push enough units towards Cherbourg to capture it without needing reinforcements; hammer Caen so that the Germans don’t keep the British armor bottled up on the beaches; and surround St. Lo so that the Germans don’t keep pouring reinforcements into holding it.

The turn sequence actually dictates much of what each side needs to do. Allied air is placed at the start of the turn, including where the German reinforcements have just arrived, and will arrive later in the turn. There are three main patterns to Allied air deployment:

Scattered thinly, especially over all the German deployment zones. This tries to insure that the Germans suffer a steady 1/6 attrition when coming on the board, and again when the Germans move out of the spaces occupied by the fighters. Except for any spaces getting more than one fighter, the Germans won’t really care where they deploy reinforcements, and so this doesn’t impact the German deployment. In this case, the Germans should simply deploy their reinforcements where they’ll do the most good, collect artillery to protect concentrations, and discourage the fighters from returning the following turn. The protected forces then maneuver normally. The Germans actually have sufficient reinforcements to accept a 1/6 attrition, so avoiding it is being overcautious. The only worry is losing too many tanks, because they’re needed to retake and hold the objectives.
In pairs, sent to four specific locations. This is better for actually shepherding German forces. Any space with two fighters is much more likely to suffer attrition, and so the Germans will avoid entering or leaving them. This should occur in either the two Chartres deployment zones, in the center, or any other space(s) the Allies want to pin down, or block. Note that this isn’t a guarantee that the fighters will do any damage, and so it might tempt the Germans to move through anyway. The overall situation will decide if the risk is worth the attempt, esp. for German tanks. Mostly this is to break up German formations, so they can’t organize counterattacks on the beaches or surround the objectives, preventing the Allies from ever reaching them.
Two groups of four. This should only be done late in the game, when the Allies are trying to take and hold Caen and St. Lo. The placement of fighters in this way should kill 4 of 8 units entering any given space, and is the Allies’ best way to overcome the handicap of attacking first each turn. The Germans advantage of counter-punching each space, weathering the Allies’ attack, then moving replacements into the same battle to be at full strength before the Germans are forced to re-fight the battle, is offset by this fighter deployment. If it happens too early in the game, where the Allies are trying to prevent any Germans from entering the cities, the Germans are free to maneuver, assemble large forces with adequate artillery protection, and threaten to bar the Allies from even getting to the objectives, much less take them.
The German game after this is rather simple. Gather your scattered forces early into large groups with artillery in twos and threes so that the Allies don’t chop you up piecemeal. Try to get artillery into the two Chartres zones, and keep them or more from reinforcements there, so that you have a good central location fairly free from air interdiction and bombing, which will then threaten both St. Lo and Caen, as well as the Allied beaches. Some have suggested an “artillery corridor”, but this keeps you tied down to only those spaces. As new artillery enters the game, move it along, but keep flexible to the developing situation. Don’t try sending reinforcements to Cherbourg. Gather the Germans in the Cotentin Peninsula quickly, counterattack any straggling airborne infantry, and fall back gradually, staying in the way of the Americans advancing from Utah, threatening to annihilate smaller forces. The battle for the city itself shouldn’t start until turn fiveor later, unless the Americans are pushing too fast, in which case they arrive weak, and can be whittled down fairly easily. Here, avoid getting caught in a major battle before falling back into Cherbourg, as you must end that fight before moving again. The Americans will just go around, and now you are forced to attack.

Caen is a weakness for the Germans, as the British have many tanks arriving early, which can hit your scattered forces hard. Obviously, they will be prime targets for your shore batteries, so much naval support, and even early bombing, will wipe your pillboxes out of this sector. They will likely send some fighters and early bombers to this area, so defending it will probably be futile until adequate reserves are assembled to counterattack. Marshall forces in the area, so the British must stick together for mutual defense, and delay the release of their armor to help the Americans off of Omaha and drive on St. Lo. Attack and annihilate any straggling British armor, to reduce their offensive power. They don’t defend as well as they attack, and your losses won’t be as bad as theirs. Again, if attacking early in the game, plan to destroy the entire opposition, so you stay free to maneuver the next turn, and not leave them to reinforce the battle, or worse, go around your pinned forces.

Omaha is where you’ll have the most fun. Four artillery plus pillboxes means a lot of damage to attacking forces. The restricted American reinforcements on turn one going to Utah only (unless you play with the Tactics cards) means the Omaha attackers will be chewed pretty badly. You will have the temptation to eradicate them entirely, but avoid getting caught in a protracted battle there, while the British take Caen and bring up forces to hit your flank. Once your artillery are gone from Omaha, collect forces eight-strong in the Americans’ way, forcing them to take their time building offensive forces to hit you. As I mentioned earlier, if they attack, and don’t destroy your whole force, you push reinforcements in, and crush their weakened force. Even if you don’t destroy it all, you should still hold the ground with a solid force, and they must either keep pouring in reinforcements, or try going around. Once your reinforcements are arriving in strength, set up a defense line flanking the direct route to St. Lo, and if you can, link it up with Caen. Watch for a British flank attack with their armor; they might risk some planes to hit you really hard.

In all sectors, fall back gradually, staying once space ahead of any Allied drive towards an objective, and keep your forces together, to maximize the protection of your artillery. The Allies need to be threatening St. Lo by turn seven, or they won’t have time to take and hold it. It should take two turns to clear you out, while they pin down your reserves in what look like pointless fights. However, this is to keep you from reinforcing the objectives, while they concentrate their airpower on Caen and St. Lo. Cherbourg is likely to be reduced by then, unless they were too aggressive, and weakened themselves, which will detour reinforcements (esp tanks) and aircraft away from the south. Anything they send to the north will never reach the south in time to help, so just delay it; you don’t need to kill them to win.

Your last goal is to keep one eight-strong force adjacent to St. Lo, and free from combat, so that it can move in on turn ten. If you manage two such forces, you can try on turn nine to disrupt their one turn control attempt. By then, they should be concentrating all remaining fighters on St. Lo and Caen, and bombing your armor, so you will have to run the gauntlet of strafing to enter either city. In case they roll really well, it would be best to keep two forces available for this task, in case one gets annihilated between the movement and mandatory combat following it. You can only try to send one such force each turn, so a turn nine attempt won’t be a loss if it fails, and you can try again turn ten.

This all assumes you are playing standard rules, so adapt it to the Tactics or Fortune cards as need be. Obviously, the Allied strategy, aside from being spelled out here in places, is to avoid the Germans doing what I point out her

Again a big thanks to Warspite

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