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Conquering Africa as the CP

Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:53 pm

Hello all,

I've become obsessed with trying to nab Africa as the Central Powers (against the computer; haven't ever done PBEM). I know it's a side-show and kind of silly, but I like it. I've found a few things that help:

1) If you are *not* at war with the UK for the first 2-3 turns (no Schlieffen Plan), moving the Marine division and some fast/transport capacity light cruisers to Africa helps. Depending on how long you have to wait for the UK to enter, you can wait for a few of the unlocking divisions to be free. What I really try for here is to get a fast fleet with ~1500 power and a lot of transport capacity, carrying a few divisions from Germany. My thinking is I won't really miss this naval strength (I probably won't be taking on the UK Grand Fleet anytime soon), the leftovers are more than a match for the Russians, and I don't need much transport capacity at this stage in the Baltics.

2) Pick which side of Africa you want to try for: East or West. West Africa is tricky because the French have a sizable force in Dakar, but Lagos is definitely achievable. East Africa (Nairobi) is tough but doable. Same for Madagascar.

3) Consolidate everything! Essentially, what I've been doing is moving all Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean fleets to Africa to pick up the small garrisons in German West Africa; I've also been sending the Goeben and Breslau, as the battlecruiser packs quite a punch. I then pick a jumping off point depending on which side of the continent I want to start on. I've been using the big European fleet to pick up the bigger German African divisions (Vorbek and the guy in South-west Africa).

4) Launch a big ol' naval landing at either Nairobi or Lagos or Madagascar. Use the fleet to bombard. It'll take a few turns to wear down the defenders, but these are all achievable with a land force of about 300 power (the miscellaneous African garrisons, Vorbek and the German SW Africa guy, and whatever I scrape from Europe).

5) Your fleet sometimes catches Entente shipping around Africa. I've caught numerous transports this way. I'd make sure you have a decent sized fleet in case anything big is lurking out there: once I had the Japanese sail over and cause some trouble.

6) Once you're rested and re-stocked, go for the next place on whichever side of Africa you're working on. The Portuguese may be in by now.

That's about as far as I've gotten. Once I was able to nab South Africa when the British forces there tried to get German SW Africa and left it almost undefended.

One thing I want to try is sending some Ottoman forces into Eat Africa via the Red Sea/Indian Ocean. I'm not sure how they'd do, but they could at least help garrison the areas I capture. My ultimate goal is to try for India, but I think that'll be super tough.

Anyways, just wanted to share this. Love the game!

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Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:35 pm

Re: Conquering Africa as the CP

Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:40 am

I'm with you Barg. It's not the sort of thing you'd dare try against another player, but it adds a challenge that in a small way compensates for your game advantages over the machine.

When playing without Schlieffen I've found it possible to ship four divisions into the theatre before UK entry without too much risk, but the problem I've then faced is getting my transport fleets back home. Sometimes I've been able to slip them back undetected but other times not, and given my building programme the other times lead to very inconvenient consequences.

On a couple of occasions I've left some transport capacity in Africa so I can widen my choice of invasion targets, but given the AI's penchant for leaving combat fleets to patrol the area undetected that's produced extremely disappointing results. One option I've found is to try to snag a French TT unit or two in the Med. or South Pacific and sneak them Africa-wards in the early turns.

I agree that Lagos is a ripe target, but once I get there I'm never sure whether to garrison it or not, whether to try to evacuate by sea, or whether to funnel supply wagons there and use it as a forward base.

All very challenging.

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Location: Wyoming

Re: Conquering Africa as the CP

Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:00 am

Guys, this is fascinating. I mostly play pbem, but I think you adventures offer an insight into how this could be done in a three player game. Taking Africa is a real challenge for the Western Entente, so maybe not conquering Africa as the Central Powers, but holding them though the war is plausible.

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