Germany AI Exploits
French AI Exploitation
In most games France has more than 70 divisions at the start of the war. There is an easy way to remove around half of them. After the fall of Poland, put most of your armies in Nuremberg or Frankfurt. Put 6 divisions in Stuttgart, 6 in Saarbrücken and only 3 in Freiburg. Most of the time, the AI will attack Freiburg and makes a breakthrough to southern German provinces. In the event that they don't attack, removing the garrisons in Freiburg alltogether will stimulate the AI into an attack. The French AI will rush in and try to capture as many Southern German provinces as possible. When you are ready to cut them off, attack and capture Freiburg. By doing this, all the French troops that are behind your lines quickly become out of supply. This will allow you to destroy a large portion of the French army.
USSR AI Exploitation
The French supply cut-off trick also applies in many other similar situations, such as during the invasion of the USSR. The USSR front is huge and the numbers of divisions in play are very large. It is possible that you could lose control of the situation if you are not careful. Note that the AI in 1.3 and above is much better about garrisoning provinces that it has captured in order to maintain supply to its troops. Use this strategy with caution, as it could easily backfire.
The Amphibious Option: Spain
An easy conquest of Spain can be accomplished by building transports and convoys from the start of 1936. With only 3 to 6 transports by April 1, you can launch a successful invasion of Spain. As Republican Spain has no guarantees or alliances to protect itself from foreign aggression, you will not have to worry about the Allies at this time. By shuttling 9 - 18 divisions to Spain using your brand new transports, you should be able to annex Republican Spain by the end of the summer or even as early as July. This gives you an ideal launching point for invading Gibraltar and France when war with the Allies occurs. This will also give you the needed transports to launch an invasion of the UK as well. If you plan for the UK, make sure to research marines to create the bridgehead. Invading France from Spain exploits the AI weakness as it does not reinforce that border in sufficient numbers. You could potentially be in Paris within two weeks of the outbreak of war and have most of western and southern France at the same time. If you release Nationalist Spain, you lose the belligerence. You also get a puppet-base for attacking France later.
Aggressive Amphibious Assault on USSR
- Attack Poland as early as possible, destroy the Polish army and capture all territories, BUT NOT the border territories to Soviet Union! These territories are your buffer to the Soviet Union. DO NOT annex Poland, or you will lose your buffer.
- Declare war on the Soviets and invade Leningrad directly or through the province southwest of it. Then bring about 10 Inf + 1 HQ to Leningrad and wait. The Soviets will bring 50-60 (or more) units to the surrounding provinces. But with 10 Inf and 5 Fortification in Leningrad they don´t attack you (or they don´t succeed in attacking).
- The West Front of the Soviet Union is now open; very few troops there. Go through the last Polish territories to attack the SU. Use cavalry or tanks to go quickly to the east and capture as much territory as possible. Sometimes, you can walk to Stalingrad without fighting.
- You must close the trap for the big Soviet armies with your small forces. The goal is to cut supply to the Soviet armies.
- Invade Murmansk with a small force. Use it as a new base and then invade Archangelsk.
- At the same time, go with tanks, cavalry and HQs directly to Moscow. Your slow infantry follows.
- Until now there shouldn´t be much resistance from the Soviet armies; They wait near Leningrad. Now the tricky part begins.
- You must go from Archangelsk to Moscow and from Moscow to Stalingrad to close the east side of the trap. No supply for the Soviet armies from land.
- After a short time the AI will supply via the coastal territories. So the next goal is to conquer the coastal territoris to finally shut the Soviet armies off from any supply.
- Perhaps you can alternatively destroy all Soviet convoys - I didn´t try.
- Without supply you can go battle to battle to tear the bear down.
Finally: It is not easy to hold the Soviet armies in the trap and to get the trap closed. But the price is it worth. About 75 Soviet armies could be destroyed in a few months.
Poland as an Ally
This is to be used if you have a large amount of IC. If you build factories (you always should anyway), say around 15 x 2 starting in May-June 1936 (after expending first months overstocking supplies) you will have an IC of around 300 by Sept 1939. Increasing the Central Planning slider will help as well.
- If you influence Poland enough, up to +200, they will join you after 2 or 3 attempts. The advantage of this is that you can take France, Denmark, Holland and Belgium before the fall of 1939 (if you play historically).
- Once Poland is your ally, you can asume military control over them along with your other allies (Hungary, Slovakia, etc). These forces can be used to protect your rear from attack, for example protecting France while you invade the USSR in 1941.
- A weak point of this strategy is that Russia will be annexed by Poland (if you are attacking it from Polish territories) so you won't gain anything IC-wise by invading Russia. However, with Russia down, that is not be a problem.
If you annexed Hungary via the above strategy, then wait for the Treaty of Munich and The End of Czechoslovakia fire. In The End of Czechoslovakia, choose the second option (partition Czechoslovakia between Germany and Hungary). Since Hungary does not exist anymore, you gain the whole Czechoslovakia! [1.2!]
In 1.3, this has changed. A Germany that occupies Hungary is forced to found Slovakia through this event. Therefore, a strong Hungary might be a better way to go since it has three tech teams when it gets Slovakia.
Annexing Denmark with Greenland and Iceland
It is very easy to annex Denmark due to an event that simulates Denmark surrendering once Germany occupies Kolding (The province located directly north of Kiel). However this event gives away Iceland and Greenland to the UK and United States, respecively. This is not a good idea if you want to stack armies in Canada in preparation to attack USA before it declares war on you.
There are two options to annex all of Denmark, Iceland and Greenland:
- Bypass Kolding by using either amphibious or airborn attacks against Arhus, Odense, and Copenhagen.
- Attack and annex Denmark prior to annexing Poland (in this case, you can capture Kolding without having the event fire. Doing this makes an Allied DoW against you probable, due to the increase in your belligerence)
Note that Greenland & Iceland is not the only, or arguably even the best, route to North America. Bermuda may be the better choice. Evaluate your options carefully before going out of your way to grab Greenland & Iceland.
Inviting Central Asian Nations to the Axis is a very risky proposition during your war with the USSR. Gaining countries such as Persia and Afghanistan will probably hurt Germany more than it helps during war as the USSR will be able to quickly conquer these countries and creating a larger front for Germany to fight on.