Anyone else think England’s more dangerous to Germany than France?

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Pinecone333
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Anyone else think England’s more dangerous to Germany than France?

#1 Post by Pinecone333 » Sun May 09, 2021 7:54 pm

I know that the traditional wisdom is that France is the most dangerous force to everyone on the board and must be taken down first, etc. But I’ve played a few games as Germany lately where England ended up being a far bigger problem to me. The trouble is that once England has territories in Scandinavia, it’s almost impossible for Germany to take them back, as England’s navy will always be bigger than Germany’s. French gains can be taken back much more easily.

What do other people think?

goldfinger0303
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Re: Anyone else think England’s more dangerous to Germany than France?

#2 Post by goldfinger0303 » Sun May 09, 2021 8:09 pm

I'm definitely guilty of having an anti-England meta as Germany. I've just been burned too many times by a fleet slipping into Hel or Ska.

Frankly, the best move is to set England and France at war, grab all of Scandinavia before England can, and then stab France with Italy/Turkey.
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Re: Anyone else think England’s more dangerous to Germany than France?

#3 Post by swordsman3003 » Sun May 09, 2021 10:12 pm

All else equal, France is the worse problem for Germany. But England is not far behind. If the English player is better or more hostile, it doesn't take much for England to be the worse problem. Increasingly often, I try to get Russia as my long-term ally.

Part of the reason "destroy France" is so import to Germany is that French centers needed to solo win are tactically difficult to conquer in endgame. Whereas, English home centers do not lay anywhere near stalemate lines. (This has nothing to do with France being more likely to conquer Germany than England; it has to do with what needs to happen for Germany to solo.)

I stand by my article: The Anti-France Metagame
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Yonni
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Re: Anyone else think England’s more dangerous to Germany than France?

#4 Post by Yonni » Sun May 09, 2021 10:57 pm

In general, there's a disparity between the way Diplomacy players and Gunboaters talk about the game but I think Sword's thesis does hold water. It's a little old but Tru Ninja's analysis of FP games showed that England is a likelier draw partner than France for Germany. Likewise France sees a greater boost in win percentage by eliminating Germany than England does (Russia, however, benefits the most).

That being said, none of these numbers are even remotely large enough to convince me to move against one over the other. It all depends on their press.
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goldfinger0303
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Re: Anyone else think England’s more dangerous to Germany than France?

#5 Post by goldfinger0303 » Mon May 10, 2021 6:50 am

I think those analyses are valid, but slightly off-point for this question.

It does make sense that locking down French centers first leads to more wins than trying to lock them down later (as sword was saying). It also makes sense that France gets a greater boost in win percentage than England from eliminating Germany (as France is likely to be holding Munich, and it's very hard for England to grab it)

So looking at it from a perspective of who is the more dangerous *target* for attack, then certainly the answer is France. France is just a plain stronger power after all, and certainly its centers are more important to take than England's.

However, from a position of "X power is attacking me" I think the clear answer is England, especially in a press game. A French attack can get bottled up quite easily and pose no threat beyond Belgium. The death blow will always come from England (or rarely Russia). So from a reactive standpoint rather than a proactive one, I think the answer is England.
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Re: Anyone else think England’s more dangerous to Germany than France?

#6 Post by Sunstriker » Tue May 11, 2021 2:24 am

If I had to fight one and for some reason the other wasn't going to get involved, I would rather face England. I've not found England to be as much as an issue as France when they're by themselves. It's the threat of France holding my forces in check that makes England's forces extra threatening to me. The 'ol hammer and anvil.

Though that's not to say that England isn't dangerous. Simply that I see France as a greater long term problem than England. I've found the spread out nature of England to be something I can overcome easier than France's solid fist
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Re: Anyone else think England’s more dangerous to Germany than France?

#7 Post by Nescio » Tue May 11, 2021 3:39 pm

As others pointed out already, the main thing is you shouldn't allow England and France to ally against you: better let them fight each other while you focus on Russia.

Keep in mind Germany doesn't really have to conquer England to win, nor does it need the French centres for a solo-victory (although excluding both is challenging). Although it's possible to eliminate England early, it tends to be time-consuming, which means you can't really expand elsewhere.

Of the 7 games I played as Germany against bots, I won three, and I didn't attack England in those three games. Of the other four, two were won by Turkey and the remaining two could have been Turkish solo-victories too, if the game hadn't been drawn. Based on that very small sample, I'd say Turkey's the most dangerous to Germany.

That's against bots, though. In full-press games against humans, what matters more is how communicative and reliable the players are, rather than which country they're playing.

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