How do you break France as Germany?

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Harin

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In one my first German games after all the changes, I ran into much of the same trouble the OP mentions. Declaring on Lux, Neth, Bel, all at the same time and playing like nothing had changed had me stopped at the Belgium/France border, but Belgium was still in the game. I was under red air and there were a few areas that were not connected by rail to my capital. I was using a 20 or 22 combat width tank division, something I often times limit myself to. My infantry was the old 20cw. Like I said, I played like nothing had changed. Supply was something I was relearning.

Since I now had a challenge, I decided to play it through. It took me a minute to realize that in one or two tiles there were no train tracks running east and west where I needed them. (This has not happened since.) This caused red supply on a large part of my western flank. Thankfully, they build fast. Then I noticed all my tanks had red fuel cans, reducing my tank speed to 1/km and trashing their combat stats. Thankfully, Axe99, was actively updating the WIKI and talking about supply on the forums and I discovered that fuel cannot be replenished in a tile that has bad supply. I had to pull my tanks out, let them refuel, then send back in and repeat.

So, to win this time, I stopped stacking so many tanks in one tile and to refuel them as necessary. I would use fewer tanks to cause a breakthrough, using up their fuel, and then have tanks with full fuel tanks push through and try to grab as much as they could, until they ran out of fuel. Infantry caught up, usually, before the out of fuel tanks were in trouble. It did not take to long before one of the breakthroughs was to much for France and France fell.

Now, I rarely declare on all three Benelux countries at once. Instead, I use almost the exact same method Simon_9732495 posted above. Of course, not using collaboration and declaring on all three at once would probably be a better challenge.
 
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Harin

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Would anyone else also confirm this? If I need to make AA I will.
Also what does AA so exactly in battle? Just lowers the damage cas does?

The WIKI says that AA can reduce CAS by 75% with just 10.7 air attack, averaged among the divisions in combat, including the reserves.

Enemy units damaging CAS[edit | edit source]​

Divisional anti-air (AA) weapons reduce the damage from CAS. Anti-air capabilities are averaged across all divisions including the reserve. The maximum damage reduction of 75%[8] is already achieved at 10.7[8][9][10] average anti-air attack.

Additionally, the divisional AA (again using the divisions' average) has a 7%[10] chance to shoot down a portion of the attacking planes. When it does, it can shoot down a fraction of attacking planes up to 0.5%[11] × (air attack). The actual amount is a random value up to that portion (i.e. on average half as much) but at least one plane always gets shot down. None of the plane's attributes have an influence on the effectiveness of anti-air.

Example: The enemy side of a battle has four divisions with 1936 support anti-air battalions (15.2 air attack) and four divisions without any anti-air. They get attacked by 91 CAS planes every 8[12] hours. The enemy side's average division air attack is
{\displaystyle 4*15.2/8=7.6}
. Averaged over a long time, they will shoot down
{\displaystyle 91*50\%*7.6*0.5\%=1.729}
planes every time they are attacked. (Taking into account the minimum-of-1, the result is 1.84).
 
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Harin

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So they don't actually kill that many planes and it seems that you need a ton of aa in your division to get anywhere?
Actually, they do kill planes and you need only 10.7 air attack (averaged) to reduce CAS by 75%. That is typically only a support company's worth. In the example above, the AA is shooting down 1.84 CAS per attack, which is every 8 hours, I believe. If more divisions are involved then the losses get larger.
 
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TalyonUngol

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Actually, they do kill planes and you need only 10.7 air attack (averaged) to reduce CAS by 75%. That is typically only a support company's worth. In the example above, the AA is shooting down 1.84 CAS per attack, which is every 8 hours, I believe. If more divisions are involved then the losses get larger.

Oh I see. So even just having the support AA is more than enough to do something? Okay. I see. I think I may just have to change up my strategy then to include support AA companies.

Arty, AA, And Engs.

I know that having all support companies is bad because of the org drop.
 

blahmaster6k

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I obviously cant get air superiority due to not being able to produce planes like britain or france can,
You start with way more factories than the UK, you should be able to out produce them just fine. Just remember that you get plenty of infantry equipment, support equipment, and artillery from capitulating and annexing countries in Europe that you don't really need to produce much yourself. This leaves you free to put the vast majority of your factories on tanks and air. I frequently have more factories on planes than the UK has total military factories before the war.
Would anyone else also confirm this? If I need to make AA I will.
Also what does AA so exactly in battle? Just lowers the damage cas does?
@Harin covered most of it well, but it's also worth mentioning that just having AA at all reduces the defense and movement penalty from enemy air superiority by a lot. This greatly helps when your goal is to maneuver with fast divisions for encirclements or even just snaking to Paris before France can block you.
 
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Harin

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I suspect the main thing is your tank divisions. They need to be rotated out to refuel, but they are still much better equipped to cause a breakthrough. When the French AI has the time to make a solid line, it becomes more important to find decent terrain and weather for the tanks to attack. Attacking across a river, under red air, bad weather, and before your engineers are updated, can take to long, allowing the AI to reinforce the tile. You will notice there are several river tiles to cross.
 
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blahmaster6k

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I suspect the main thing is your tank divisions. They need to be rotated out to refuel, but they are still much better equipped to cause a breakthrough. When the French AI has the time to make a solid line, it becomes more important to find decent terrain and weather for the tanks to attack. Attacking across a river, under red air, bad weather, and before your engineers are updated, can take to long, allowing the AI to reinforce the tile. You will notice there are several river tiles to cross.
To add to this - if you can stand min-maxing it's a very good idea to grind up the general and field marshal you intend to use on your tanks. You can grind out many general traits by sending volunteers to Spain and Japan in the first few years of the game. A general/field marshal that both have adaptable, improvisation expert, one each of panzer and combined arms expert, fortress buster, and two terrain traits of your choice will be much better at breaking through France than base Guderian, Rommel, Manstein, or any other starting general.
 
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TalyonUngol

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You start with way more factories than the UK, you should be able to out produce them just fine. Just remember that you get plenty of infantry equipment, support equipment, and artillery from capitulating and annexing countries in Europe that you don't really need to produce much yourself. This leaves you free to put the vast majority of your factories on tanks and air. I frequently have more factories on planes than the UK has total military factories before the war.

@Harin covered most of it well, but it's also worth mentioning that just having AA at all reduces the defense and movement penalty from enemy air superiority by a lot. This greatly helps when your goal is to maneuver with fast divisions for encirclements or even just snaking to Paris before France can block you.

If I dont put enough factories on guns, im usually looking at a huge deficit of guns at the start of WW2.
 

GrandVezir

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If I dont put enough factories on guns, im usually looking at a huge deficit of guns at the start of WW2.
Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Netherlands will provide thousands, if not tens of thousands, of infantry equipment before you need to worry about France.

Under-equipped infantry can glare at the French across the Maginot/Westwall as well as fully-equipped can until the captured guns reinforce them.
 
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TalyonUngol

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Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Netherlands will provide thousands, if not tens of thousands, of infantry equipment before you need to worry about France.

Under-equipped infantry can glare at the French across the Maginot/Westwall as well as fully-equipped can until the captured guns reinforce them.

hmmm. Alright. Well I still listened and focused less on guns this round. SO far so good. Killed poland so now im goign to try that Netherlands and Belgium strat!
 

blahmaster6k

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Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Netherlands will provide thousands, if not tens of thousands, of infantry equipment before you need to worry about France.

Under-equipped infantry can glare at the French across the Maginot/Westwall as well as fully-equipped can until the captured guns reinforce them.
This. I just start the game by deploying up to 127 divisions (7 volunteers to send to Spain, and 120 2w infantry just to inflate my division count to send the maximum of 7 volunteers to Spain, which conveniently is also a full five army group. After the SCW is over I switch all the 120 infantry divisions to full size ones (I like 10-0, 9-1 also works). They won't have equipment, but that's fine. I then train all 120 divisions to regular while I don't have guns, it takes longer since you lack equipment but you won't burn that many guns since you don't have guns to burn in the first place. Then as I annex Austria, Czechoslovakia, and conquer Poland the guns reinforce to the divisions and by the time I'm worrying about France they're all fully equipped. This is all with 5 factories on guns at the start of the game and then lowered to a single factory once I get fighter 2 and medium 2.
 

TalyonUngol

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And auto fail. Still cant get through belgium despite producing 15 factories for fighters from the beginning and tanks and artillery. Only had 5 factories on guns until 1939 Waited to do belgium until Netherlands fell, but the way that they fell had it so Belgium was blocked off on two tiles by the capitulated netherlands, so they were reinforced by the French and belgium within days. No time to actually barrel through into Paris. France was waiting within a days march.

Sigh.

Anyone else have any good strategies for this? Cause this was a compelte fail lol

Even made some super infantry for a good push since I had the guns and arty for it... but can't break through.

So could still use some help!


And literally got overrun by the french within a month. Broke through my large width infantry like butter.
 
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blahmaster6k

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And auto fail. Still cant get through belgium despite producing 15 factories for fighters from the beginning and tanks and artillery. Only had 5 factories on guns until 1939 Waited to do belgium until Netherlands fell, but the way that they fell had it so Belgium was blocked off on two tiles by the capitulated netherlands, so they were reinforced by the French and belgium within days. No time to actually barrel through into Paris. France was waiting within a days march.

Sigh.

Anyone else have any good strategies for this? Cause this was a compelte fail lol

Even made some super infantry for a good push since I had the guns and arty for it... but can't break through.

So could still use some help!


And literally got overrun by the french within a month. Broke through my large width infantry like butter.
What did your fighters and tanks look like? Can you screenshot your air and tank designs and templates? When did you research 1940 fighters and medium tanks? Did you research mechanized 1 for the hardness boost to motorized?

Actually, it might be better if you could attach a save file so we could get a better picture of your game.
 
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What did your fighters and tanks look like? Can you screenshot your air and tank designs and templates? When did you research 1940 fighters and medium tanks? Did you research mechanized 1 for the hardness boost to motorized?

Actually, it might be better if you could attach a save file so we could get a better picture of your game.

I never researched 1940 planes as it was only 1939 when I attacked France and such. It was Oct of 1939 and I was just starting to research such planes. As for mediums, I never produced them from the start as I was too busy focusing on arty, planes, support equipment and AA guns. Hard to focus on tanks when arty is expensive. As for mechanized, no.

Seems to me like you're saying I should be researching things way earlier than I am supposed to like 1940 planes in 1938. I dont think I like that and I would like to request a different idea here on why things are going on. If its because im behind on research in 1938/9, then the game is poorly balanced.

As for a saved game ,I already deleted that game and moved to another one. When my army got encircled, I just quit and deleted. And my only tank designs were what was given from the start. I didn't have the army exp as im focused on my infantry to actually do anything.

Cant focus on everything without neglecting something lol.



But my issue is, nothing seems to be working. Not planes, not waiting to fight Belgium and France. Keeping alot of infantry back to keep from overwhelming the supply. Not bum rushing with tons of motorizeda nd tanks.

I just cant figure out whats going on and obviously, no one seems to be able to tell me whats going wrong since im doing everything im told here to do.

Think imma just give up at this point until I can do a co-op game with someone who can actually pinpoint my problems. Screenshots only go so far.

Thanks anyway for the help. Just dont really have it in me to keep trying when its wasting days and days of my time.
 

blahmaster6k

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I never researched 1940 planes as it was only 1939 when I attacked France and such. It was Oct of 1939 and I was just starting to research such planes. As for mediums, I never produced them from the start as I was too busy focusing on arty, planes, support equipment and AA guns. Hard to focus on tanks when arty is expensive. As for mechanized, no.

Seems to me like you're saying I should be researching things way earlier than I am supposed to like 1940 planes in 1938. I dont think I like that and I would like to request a different idea here on why things are going on. If its because im behind on research in 1938/9, then the game is poorly balanced.
I'm not quite sure I understand your meaning when you say "I don't think I like that." Do you mean
1) I don't like it for historical or role playing reasons.
or
2) I don't like it because I feel like I sacrifice too much in other areas by researching ahead of time.
or
3) Something else.

For the very last bit of that quote, the game balance is irrelevant in my opinion. We can't complain about game balance as an excuse for not being able to win when asking for help, we need to make use of the tools we have in the best ways possible under the game systems as they currently work, however that may be. You asked for advice on how to win, and I'm trying to help with that as best I can. You don't have to follow my advice or anyone else's, but you make it much harder for yourself by not researching important technologies ahead of time.

If it's the first option:
There are still some things you can do to improve your odds even without ahead of time research aside from bonuses. For air, even if you don't have 1940 planes unlocked, you should be putting the first 175 air experience you get (from air volunteers in the SCW) into adding level 5 engines to your fighter 1. Upgrading engines as much as possible and making sure that your fighters have the light air designer for extra agility will help you win the air war much more easily. This allocation of experience takes priority over all air doctrines and spirits. Speaking of spirits, you really want to go for industry liasons as quickly as possible to research fighter 2 even faster when you decide to go for them, and centralized control to make your fighters perform better in combat.

For air doctrine, make sure to go for at least the air superiority mission efficiency +20% doctrine, not the ace generation chance doctrine if you're taking battlefield support. Operational Integrity is the best doctrine for fighters upon completion, though it is only marginally better than Strategic Destruction, and slightly worse in some respects since SD gets its all important fighter agility doctrine one doctrine sooner. As Germany you should probably still be going Battlefield Support though, since you have so many discounts and bonuses specific to that doctrine.

If it's the second option:
The most optimal way to win the air war is to start researching 1940 planes as soon as you can afford to without missing out on too much other stuff. It's entirely possible to put a research slot on them as early as 1936, though not needed in single player. There was another thread on when to research fighter 2 as Germany recently, with a lot of good comments by experienced players, I'd check it out if you want help on that front. But my preferred strategy is to research fighter 2 starting in mid 1937 after all the key industry techs are done or on other slots.

I don't bother keeping up with infantry equipment technology at all. Counterintuitively, researching them is kind of a pitfall. Infantry as Germany mainly exist to hold the line, not to attack. Attacking is best left to tank divisions which Germany excels with. It's not a good idea to invest a lot of research into something that's only there to stop you from losing, you want to invest into weapons that will win you the war. You do need artillery research both for modern support artillery and for unlocking medium howitzers to put on your tanks, but you don't need infantry weapons or infantry support technology to beat France or even the USSR.

Germany gets so many bonuses to tanks that you can easily have a fully upgraded 1940 medium tank in production in 1937 or 8. Use the close support gun in single player until you unlock medium howitzers since it's cheap, you start with it, and it has very high soft attack which is king in single player.

And my only tank designs were what was given from the start. I didn't have the army exp as im focused on my infantry to actually do anything.
This is a big problem. You have mobile warfare doctrine, you can take the army spirit to make designing tank templates free for 35 xp. You also only need to spend about 30 xp to design a good tank completely from scratch. You should be getting hundreds of army experience from volunteers to the Spanish Civil War, from your chief of staff and army high command, and from any lend-leased guns you sent to Spain. It should never be a problem to design a tank.

The prioritization of army experience should be: spirits -> tank designs -> template designs -> doctrines. The reason for this is that you need spirits to increase your army exp gain and reduce land doctrine cost(best taken early to maximize gains) and make template designs free. Tank designs because you need to be able to build your desired tank before you can even worry about putting them in a template. Template designs because you need to be able to put your tanks in good divisions before you can even worry about buffing your divisions with doctrines. Lastly, doctrines because that's the final cherry on top to make the good divisions you've designed even better. Doctrines without good divisions to buff are worthless - zero multiplied by 100 is still zero.

As long as you have green air, some CAS, and good tank designs and templates, beating France should be easy as long as you micro your tank divisions and don't use the battle planner. Look for places you can break through the lines and start snaking, all you usually need to do to capitulate France is take Paris, Calais, and one other victory point.

Lastly, economy. If you followed all the rest of the advice and have good designs and still can't break through, my guess is you built civilian factories for too long (this is sometimes called civ greeding) and don't have enough equipment produced. You really want to start building military factories at least by January 1938 so you have time to build up production efficiency. You can start building mils as soon as January 1937 if you really want to make sure you have plenty of equipment. Build synthetic refineries only after you have built up a large base of military factories, you delay your factories by too much if you build refineries first.
 
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The Colonel

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As long as you have green air, some CAS, and good tank designs and templates, beating France should be easy as long as you micro your tank divisions and don't use the battle planner. Look for places you can break through the lines and start snaking, all you usually need to do to capitulate France is take Paris, Calais, and one other victory point.
I agree with all your advice except this. Even without all those advantages, you can 100% just draw an attack order onto Brest from the Franco-Belgian border, hit go, and as Germany vs. AI you should win every time with 0 player input from then on. With air superiority etc., there should be absolutely no question. Now, I think it's more fun to do some micro anyway and it will probably save you a few casualties or make it a little faster, so no reason not too, but it does make it a little more likely that you accidentally over extend and get into a hairy situation with your precious tanks haha.
 
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Also just a more general thing about investing in infantry v. tanks, this is definitely something I've learned a lot more about recently, specifically that I previously was wasting a lot of resources over-investing into infantry when I was planning to build tanks. If you are building tanks, you really shouldn't care about the offensive abilities of your infantry at all, because the only time they should be attacking is to pin while your tanks move or when the enemy has already been eviscerated and you are just marching to victory points. I played an MP with friends as Bulgaria a couple weeks back and was shocked that I was able to squeeze out 8 serviceable tank divisions (these were pure soft attack medium tanks using howitzers btw) and have arguably more game impact than anyone else in my faction just strat redeploying back and forth across Europe with them to stop breakthroughs or kill vulnerable enemy divisions. I also nearly got capped when the Soviets declared war on us early because I had almost no infantry to speak of and they were all in Italy dealing with naval invasions. I spent a while having tank divisions in training that were half equipped due to a gun deficit, not tanks.

Usually when I play Germany now, I leave my infantry as the starting template, just with support AA added, and only maybe add that one line artillery like by Barb because I've build up a surplus from by then 5 years of production and capturing equipment. I've also been not even using engineers sometimes to save on all that support equipment (not usually as Germany, but other tags).
 
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