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Diplomaticcorp Discussion Forum:  dc319

(1936 Playtest)

Post:< 17846 
Subject:< 1936: Suez, French Algeria and the wider Med >
Topic:< dc319 >
Category:< Active Games >
Posted:Sep 17, 2010 at 11:56 am
Viewed:321 times

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Charles and all,
I've been refraining from publicly commenting on my observations since 1) I'm probably colored by the actions in DC330 and would prefer to comment at the end of that game and 2) many of the observers are also in DC330 and even though the game seems to be heading towards the end stage, I wouldn't want to give anything too much away!  [Note, I'm playing Britain in DC330, the v1.3 version of this variant]
However, I'll just make some comments limited to the start of the game, and in particular France.
There's been a lot of discussion here about France, and I personally have had a closer perspective on that power (although not as close as Nick!)  I think I agree that France is a bit hampered, but not to the degree that has been expressed here.  In DC330, Italy made a strong move to attack France from the start.  Even though Italy had a tactical advantage, France as able to stymie Italy as long as Britain (myself) didn't intervene.  However, the far flung army out in Beirut was treated as a bargaining chip only and didn't actually do much to dictate the events in the east. 
But I think Beirut is an issue for France.  If Turkey wanted to boot France out of the Mideast, France has no option BUT to appeal to Britain.  And unless Britain steps up, France will lose Beirut.  Italy is too far away to do something in year 1 and USSR could threaten Turkish space from the north, but again, it won't stop Turkey from taking Beirut.  The fleet in Suez is the only potential help that France has.  But this adds a weird dynamic in the sense that it commits France and Britain to be friendly in the main theater (Western) based upon the potential situation in a secondary theater (Near East).  Also, unless Suez moves right away, again it'll arrive too late to help Beirut if Turkey moves two on that center.
I know in Diplomacy there are lots of situations where a power can commit more resources over a rival and who ever loses out in gaining the tempo advantage loses, but in this case France can only count on Britain to help out and forgo any other action.  In a situation where France knew Turkey was going to attack him, France only has two options - bounce Turkey in Alexandretta or get British help to move Suez to the north.  Normally that's not an issue, but here, France can't reinforce his position in Beirut.  Again, without friendly British help.  And so even if France guessed right and bounced Turkey from having two on Beirut, it'll only forestall it until the following year.
I think one potential option could be to have Iraq border Beirut and then France could use diplomacy to enlist other friendly powers to use DPs to aid Beirut in the case of a Turkish threat.  But I guess it could cut both ways and Turkey or Britain can use the neutral to support an attack into Beirut with just one unit.
Net net, I don't know if the army in Beirut really aids France and actually hurts the French position since 1) France can only appeal to Britain if Turkey attacks his position and 2) if France loses out and still has his army there, it becomes a resource drain on France and 3) France has no way to reinforcing or reallocating that unit effectively by itself.  In DC330, if France could rebuild a fleet or another army in his battle against Italy, then the results of the Italian/French war would've turned out differently.

2010/9/17 Charles Féaux de la Croix <charlesf(at)web.de>

I don't understand the proposed change to suez.

Jimmy, Suez becomes a British Home Supply Centre. In other words, it becomes a British build site.

I strongly recommend a French med fleet whether in Algiers or toulon/Marseilles

I've already noted in past mails why I've not chosen to do so. And it sure wouldn't help France's prospects. I'm sticking to the unit setup which follows in the footsteps of the 1900 variant. It believe it works best.

But with the promotion of Algiers to a French HSC, you'd be able to build a fleet there and have it sortie as early as Spring '37. Same is true for Marseilles, of course.

And yes, I remain a Dippy traditionalist in the naming of that space. In the case of Kiel/Hamburg I did however depart from the Standard mould. Just felt the more centrally located Hamburg looked better on the map than an awkwardly-perched Kiel.



This message is in reply to post 17841:

Hi guys,
all this design talk has had me cast another critical look at the 1936
map. While I'm not in the least worried that the balance between Poland
and the Soviet Union might be off as many of you assert, I do hear what
you're saying about Turkey and France.
Yet the more I look at France's and Turkey's internal make-up and their
immediate surroundings, the more I remain convinced of the present
lay-of-the-land. There are very good reasons why say Lorraine's shaped
as it is, Paris and Marseilles don't adjoin another and Ankara abuts
Istanbul - just to name a few things I've re-examined.
So if I'm so very happy about say the space adjacencies in Turkey's
environs, what options other than redrawing the map might I use to reign
the Kemalist state in a bit? This train of thought had me consider the
basic issue that had allowed Turkey to rapidly consolidate her hold over
her Near-Eastern backyard:
Unlike on her Northern and Western flanks, the opposition to Turkish
expansion's rather soft towards the South. France's Lebanese garrison is
an isolated outpost and Britain might often lack the muscle or
motivation to go toe-to-toe with Turkey in a bid for Near-Eastern
hegemony. Now I do think Prime Ministers have neglected the Near-East to
their detriment. The region's readily reinforceable and promises
lucrative spoils.
But Britain will typically view this region of the map as subservient to
her interests closer to home. Why pick a fight with say Turkey or Italy
down there? Why not simply exchange Near-Eastern SCs for favours
elsewhere? Suez may in this context be appreciated for its strategic
value, but doesn't have much greater value to the Britain than any other
SC. So rather than the Suez Canal Zone serving as the lynchpin of
empire, British units might as well "migrate" elsewhere.
Clearly this wasn't doing justice to Britain's jealous guarding of the
Canal that connected her to the Crown Jewel of her empire, India, as
well as the white dominions in the Southern hemisphere. So turning Suez
into a British home SC struck me as both an adequate means of making
Turkey's expansion into her backyard more challenging as well as giving
Britain a more robust and more historical role in the Near-East.
Indeed, this had me thinking that my British grandfather's deployments
during WW2 nicely illustrated how the Suez Canal Zone (and also
Alexandria) served as a real pivot-point for British actions in the
region. Whether he was sent to Abyssinia, Syria, Greece or Libya, it was
always from there and always the point of return thereafter (iirc).
Gotta admit that I'm liking this simple change a lot! Turkey immediately
feels more constrained by British imperialism and more hemmed in. The
contemporary anti-imperialistic motivation comes more to the fore and
also had me rethink that Turkey's otherwise historically overly generous
allotment of three SCs might also well be seen as representing the fact
that nationalists throughout the Middle-East looked to the Kemalist
republic in their own anti-imperialist struggles. If you think of those
Turkish SCs partially representing that wider rising anti-imperialistic
movement down there, those three SCs no longer seem as a historical
stretch. Smile
Next to the repercussions for Turkey, how might this change impact on
others? Obviously it enhances Britain's military capabilities, but also
complicates her diplomatic situation by having Turkey and to a lesser
extent Italy worry more about the British presence in the Near-East.
What about France? I'd argue it tends to strengthen France's hand as
this change is more likely to pull F Gibraltar towards the Near-East
than presently is the case. Also, the very fact that Suez then means
more to Britain also means that France gains a little more leverage on
Britain by the possible threat A Beirut presents to Suez.
I like to think this change turns Suez (sorta "India's outpost"Wink into
something akin to what the Nationalists and Republicans mean to their
respective patron powers: considerable opportunity, but also additional
responsibility that might complicate wider diplomatic efforts.
An other idea also occurred to me (not sure which germinated first,
actually). How about also turning Algiers into a French home SC?
The historical rationale is clear. French Algeria was an integral part
of France, rather than having the status of a mere French colony. A good
10% of Algeria's population was ethnically European. So one might
elevate Algiers into being a proper home SC.
The question of course is whether that'd serve the game well. Were I to
go down that route, the map would have to be adjusted to reduce the
otherwise too great Franco-Italian tension.
Of course one could simply defuse tension over the Tyrrhenian by no
longer making it adjacent to Algiers. Yet I very much like this
anti-French opening alternative to probably the more common Ionian
opening. I want each and every unit in my variants to have multiple
viable openings rather than boring ole no-brainer default moves.
So, if not defusing Franco-Italian tension in that manner, how else
might one go about it?
One way to go about it would be to split the Tyrrhenian into a Northern
and a Southern space between Sardinia and Naples. That'd make what then
would be the Southern Tyrrhenian into less of a hot-spot as Rome would
be shielded by the Northern Tyrrhenian.
This measure might be accompanied by good ole Tuscany being restored.
A more indirect measure I'm contemplating gives Italy a more Eastern
bent: Redrawing the Adriatic Sea to touch Greece! This would make Greece
more of a concern to Italy than it already is as it'd not only serve an
enemy (i.e. Turkey) as a spring-board into the Ionian, but also into the
Adriatic! So that further heighten Turkish-Italian tension.
Now having outlined the possible follow-on changes upon a move to grant
Algiers HSC status, I do have to say that I remain undecided whether
this whole measure's the way to go or not (unlike the Suez change, which
I'm very bullish about). So I especially appeal to you guys to say what
you think about such a change and its ripple-effects.

There are 3 Messages in this Thread:

1936: Suez, French Algeria and the wider Med (charlesf) Sep 17, 05:55 am

1936: Suez, French Algeria and the wider Med (charlesf) Sep 17, 07:19 am

1936: Suez, French Algeria and the wider Med (sunchung) Sep 17, 11:56 am

There are 46 Threads in dc319:

1936 v1.4 (charlesf) [6 Replies]

1936 v1.5 (charlesf)

1936: France's Levantine Army (charlesf)

1936: Suez, French Algeria and the wider Med (charlesf) [2 Replies]

DC319: More variant discussion (charlesf)

dc319: EOG Italy/Nationalist Spain (dknemeyer)

DC319: F EOG (jlqueiros)

DC319: Game Over! (charlesf)

DC319: Spring 1943 Moves (charlesf)

DC319: Winter 1942 Retreats/Adjustments (charlesf)

DC319: Fall 1942 Moves (charlesf)

DC319: Coming Adjucation (charlesf)

DC319: Fall deadline on 1 September (charlesf)

DC319: Summer 1942 Retreat (charlesf)

DC319: Adjudication? (jlqueiros)

DC319: Spring 1942 Moves (charlesf)

DC319: Winter 1941 Retreats/Adjustments (charlesf)

DC319: Game Status (charlesf)

DC319: France absent (jlqueiros)

DC319: GM unreachable (TJKnauss)

1 - 20 of 46 shown [More]

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