German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

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President Eden
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German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#1 Post by President Eden » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:24 am

This is a general strategy thread for the country Germany in the Classic game. Share your thoughts on the Central Powers juggernaut here.

I find Germany to be the hardest country to play for the average player (perhaps only trumped in this respect by Italy). Let's open the floor a bit:

• How do you like to approach the ownership of Belgium with England and France?
• How do your talks with Russia tend to go, especially concerning Sweden?
• Who is your most natural ally as Germany?
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ubercacher16
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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#2 Post by ubercacher16 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:09 am

To answer you three questions:

1. If you are willing to give up blocking Sweden then you can choose who gets Belgium. But you need to be generous with it, because the last thing you need is three builds in 1901. I generally move to Denmark in Spring of 01 so I let France and England fight over Belgium.

2. I generally just threaten Russia with a bounce in Sweden and see what the offer in return.

3. The most natural ally for Germany is Austria. But in the north I think France is the best ally, you can kill England and then go your separate ways.

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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#3 Post by jason4747 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:34 am

If you can get the western triple, is it better to invade Russia, Austria or hack at Italy?

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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#4 Post by President Eden » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:02 am

Thanks for sharing. My thoughts:
  • Regarding Belgium, I don't mind taking it as Germany myself, but I'm also disinclined to negotiate for it with the aim of taking it for myself. You obviously present that posture, but I think I would rather give it to England or France after they make a committal move against the other one (the most obvious one being to the English Channel).
  • Regarding Sweden, I disagree with uber about threatening to bounce being the default. I think simply moving the fleet to Denmark is sufficient as a 'threat' all by itself; the Russian player should already be aware that you don't lose much, in a vacuum, from moving to Sweden. I would rather focus the conversation on what Russia and I can collaborate on: partitioning Scandinavia and figuring out what to do with Italy (and thus the diplomatic picture in the Balkans).
  • As the last answer implies, I actually think Italy is Germany's most natural ally more than Austria. Austria is the usual answer here, and they do have a pretty obvious early peace and capacity for cooperation against Russia and in checking Italy, but German home centers are valuable midgame targets for a successful Austrian player, which means that while Germany is probably one of Austria's most natural allies (never a threat until the lategame, an excellent early partner and a profitable expansion route in the midgame), Austria is difficult to rely on throughout the game - vulnerable to collapse early and betrayal after that.
    Italy, on the other hand, has only opportunistic interest in German centers, and is excellently positioned to cooperate with Germany against a mutual major threat in France. Italy may sometimes pick midgame fights with Germany over centers in France, but it's rare for Italy to become a major threat to Germany's security. Usually Italian players who successfully secure Iberia and Marseilles will then be interested in using their new power base to fund expansion into Austria, the Balkans, and/or Turkey, rather than reaching for further-flung centers like Brest or Belgium.
  • Finally, in answer to jason's question, I think Italy is clearly not the answer (land assaults from the north are difficult, it's hard to get more than Venice out of the arrangement, and any gains you do make don't fix your strategic vulnerability in the middle of the map). Austria poses the same strategic vulnerability problem. Russia is much more of a 'corner' than those two and is my pick. However, a German conquest of the Russian home centers creates a lot of tension with England, who also runs into the same corner and then must betray either France or Germany in order to continue playing. Invading Russia is thus certain to make the 'Triangle' aspect of the alliance a quick affair, and should probably only be done if Germany has a solid agreement with one of England or France to attack the other next.
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ubercacher16
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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#5 Post by ubercacher16 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:59 am

@Eden, I think you may be right about Italy being a better ally.

@Jason, I don't think an unsustainable western triple alliance is a good idea for Germany. France will be content with pushing south, but England will most likely get stuck in StP and then some crashing down on you, while France won't mind lending a hand.

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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#6 Post by MajorMitchell » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:24 pm

I'm usually curious about these types of discussions, partly because I think what is just as, or more important than the question of "strategic suitability" is the question of what is the character of the various other players.
I also note that there has been no mention of the Russian & German alliance.

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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#7 Post by MajorMitchell » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:27 pm

To be fair, President Eden touches on the potential of a Russian alliance with Germany

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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#8 Post by MajorMitchell » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:29 pm

Russia, like Italy can influence "both sides" of the classic stalemate line

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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#9 Post by swordsman3003 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:04 pm

Italy is the natural ally of Germany. Italy and Germany have almost zero overlap in their solo win plans. France can rarely be defeated without Italian help (and a French defeat entirely with English help risks a backstab by England attempting to solo win). Italy holds Austria down simply by existing.

Austria is an overrated German ally. Germany should rarely if ever attack Austria, but of Austria does too well then Germany will not be able to solo win and probably be in danger. Austria is a good ally but not the best.

Turkey is an underrated German ally. Germany cannot make a deal with Turkey at the start and is therefore not much of an ally. If Turkey lasts a very long time and makes some progress late in the game, and Germany is the leader in supply centers, then conditions may be favorable to a German solo win. Do not underestimate the value of Turkey as an ally against Russia, as Germany may walk away with 2, 3 or even all 4 Russian home centers.

Allying France is dangerous and this alliance is overrated. Although Germany cannot profit much or easily from invading France, allying France against England risks France attempting a solo win once France has all English home centers.

Allying England can be a good plan because you have two mutual enemies even though you are neighbors. If you both keep your promises early on then this is a very profitable alliance. Be warned though that England faking an alliance with Germany and backstabbing early is probably the best way for England to grow fast, become unkillable, and/or get a solo win.

Russia is an underrated German ally. Russia can have limited ambition in the north and at least block England from ever attacking you. Both Germany and Russia can expand some without scaring each other. Russia is very easy for Germany to backstab for a solo win if Germany grows beyond 7 points and Russia stagnates.

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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#10 Post by SuperMario0727 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:15 pm

I don't have much experience playing as Germany, so I will only express what I would do as Germany. To answer your questions:

1. I don't think taking Belgium is a good idea at the start. It makes you look greedy, and it gives France and England even more reason to team up on you. I think Germany's biggest threats are England and Russia. That being said, France should be kept isolated from England and Russia, or France should be on your side. Belgium should be treated as a hot potato that should only be taken when it has cooled off. Don't take it until you've made a friend with either England or France.

2. I'm always wondering about this one myself: should Russia get Sweden in 1901? I don't know. I think whether or not Russia should get it early depend upon the circumstances: (a) Is Turkey against Russia? (b) Will Russia get Romania?, and (c) Is England against Russia? In general, is Russia in need of it? As Germany, that's partly your choice. You need to actively talk to other players. If you find that Russia desperately needs Sweden in 1901, then you've done your job as Germany. He's now somewhat at your mercy.

3. I think France is a better ally. It's true that France typically has a better "payout" than Germany, but I think the alliance is more stable in the long run. Neither power can easily invade the other at the start, so aggression between the two is seemingly unwanted by design. That being said, no need to make enemies, especially ones who are impossible to attack. (Try breaking through Burgundy by the end of 1902 with England and Russia breathing down your neck.)

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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#11 Post by Octavious » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:06 pm

Ally is such a fluid term. How on earth, as Germany, do you even define an alliance with Turkey? You clearly won't be taking centres off of each other any time near the start of the game, and if you have any sense you will be talking to him in a friendly manner from the get go. Does this make you allied? In what scenario would you consider yourself not allied with Turkey in the first couple of years?
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Enriador
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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#12 Post by Enriador » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:07 am

Replying the OP:

• How do you like to approach the ownership of Belgium with England and France?

The vast majority of the time I use Army Ruhr to gift Belgium to my ally of choice. I do see the case for the Dutch Blitzkrieg (F KIE-HOL) when F/E fight over the Channel: with this opening Germany is the only power capable of taking two centers (Holland, Denmark) while making a supported attack on a third (Belgium). If you can get away with it, being a 6-center power in 1902 has many advantages that easily offset some of the disadvantages.

Still, A MUN-TYR/SIL (to help Austria vs Italy or Russia) also frees you from responsability over Belgium, which is somewhat relaxing as you watch the Entente scramble over it.

• How do your talks with Russia tend to go, especially concerning Sweden?

I ask Russia to do one of two things: either move F STP-FIN (denying any threat to BAL) or *not* moving A WAR-GAL in 1901. If they follow with the first but not the second, I bounce them most of the time. If they follow the second but not the first, it depends on their chances in the south. If they don't do either I always bounce; if they do both I let the poor bastard in.

Army MOS-STP may or may not be something Germany asks for or forbids. Depends on context with England.

• Who is your most natural ally as Germany?

France. England can be nice when they demilitarize NTH and ENG and don't build more than two armies (which is all they need to race down Russia or convoy into Africa/Iberia), but Prime Ministers are rarely so wise. Russia can provide a nice counter to E/F but otherwise is the biggest threat, with Warsaw and St. Petersburg shadowing you over. France though only asks for one DMZ (Burgundy) and has separate paths of expansion that avoids border tension with minimum hidrance to mutual growth.
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GarlMargs
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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#13 Post by GarlMargs » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:45 pm

Ownership of Belgium

It really depends on the press I'm getting from England and France. If they're squabbling over it, I usually like to sit back and limit my involvement to giving moral support to either side. As long as E/F are squabbling, I'd rather put my energy toward looking out for Austria and establishing a foothold in the Balkans.

If England and France come to a friendly agreement over who should own Belgium (cutting Germany out of the discussion), that's a huge red flag for me. In that case, I will usually open hard to the west and support myself into Belgium, even at the cost of Denmark.

Russia and Sweden

Once again, it really depends whether I smell an Entente coming. My default is to take a hard stance on Sweden, telling Russia that I can't let them have it unless they steer clear of Galicia and my borders. If the west is united against me, I take a much more lax approach, giving Russia Sweden and trying to draw them into a war with England. Ultimately, there's no good owner of Scandinavia, except Germany. Best to keep it contested as long as possible.

Best ally

Early on, Austria and France. In the late game, Turkey or Italy. I despise the Anglo-German alliance as Germany.

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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#14 Post by ziran » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:16 am

if you're germany in a central triple, who is your preferred ally in the north?

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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#15 Post by BananaFang » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:43 pm

Not a ton of experience with Germany but:
• How do your talks with Russia tend to go, especially concerning Sweden?
I ask Russia to move Moscow south and if that is done I will be very likely to let him into Swe. Then I open Kie-Den, Mun-Ruh, Ber-Kie. In the Fall I do Den-Ska, Kie-Den, Ruh-Hol. So I get 2 builds (3 is too threatening) and can swing things vs England or Russia as needed using Ska and Den and a fleet build in Kiel.

• How do you like to approach the ownership of Belgium with England and France?
Per the above I stay out of it and let the two of them discuss it. I want any tension over Belgium to be between the two of them.

• Who is your most natural ally as Germany?
France. Once England grows those fleets are really tough to counter. France has more outlets and is easy to block via land. France's fleets have a longer way to go before they threaten Germany. I want England, Russia, and France to die in that order usually. Long term I want Italy to do well to distract France.

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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#16 Post by mhsmith0 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:18 am

Some ?s...

1) As Germany why do you want Russia south, particularly if you want to go after England? Moscow in STP puts Russia in position to bounce Norway which really screws England up unless he's vacated the channel. If you're seriously anti-England, in for a dime in for a dollar and might as well go full Sealion I'd think?

2) What do you do if/when France opens to Burgundy? Not covering Munich is decent odds most of the time, but when it fails you're in serious trouble I'd think.

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Re: German Strategy Thread: Forum Inauguration Edition

#17 Post by BananaFang » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:49 am

1) I prefer to go after England but I always leave my options open in 1901 because I have no idea what anyone else is actually going to do. So while I may try to organize a Sea Lion occasionally I'd rather wait and see in 1901. What the rest of the board does impacts everything going forward and it may be better for me to ally with England instead. I encourage Russia south so that his focus is there instead of on killing me. It also allows England the flexibility to take Nwy with a single unit and use the other 2 to fight with France over Belgium.

2) Well I try to discuss Bur beforehand so that doesn't happen. If it did, I would probably cross my fingers and go for Hol anyway and ask Bur to bounce England in Belgium. It is very dependent on the situation and ongoing negotiation though. I could also switch to Den H, Kie-Hol, Ruh-Mun at that point if I was paranoid to protect Mun and still get 2 builds.

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