Fleets vs. Armies

What are your winning tactics? Kill them all? Discuss strategy for the classic and variant games using the classic map, or visit the sub-forums for the variant maps.
Forum rules
Strategy
In addition to the general Forum Guidelines (see here: http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/view ... 30&t=15441), there are additional rules for posting in this forum.
1. When discussing strategy, reference should not be made to any active game. This section of the Forum is for general strategy discussion, not specific situations within games.
2. It follows that links, images, game name and/or number should not be added to a post if the game is active.
Posts which refer to a specific situation in an active game, or which link directly to an active game, are subject to editing or removal.

Fleets vs. Armies

Postby Cliff Dancer » 26 Dec 2017, 23:44

Hey all,

I've been recently adding a bit to the forums, and trying to think of the game more from a chess perspective (studying the game off-board, reading, investing large portions of my life, etc.) to get to the next level.

I'd like to hear what some different perspective are, by power, on typical considerations for building fleets vs. armies. From my current understanding, here's what I typically try for:

England/Italy: build armies early as reasonable. Maybe get a fleet 1901, but your second build should be focused on army if you're going for an eventual solo. I see too many 5 fleet 1 army Englands, or 5 fleet 2 army Italys.
Austria: conversely to England, you need additional fleets to solo. Possibly as early as 1901, but likely not until later.
France: build as many fleets as reasonable. If you can defend with your original 2 armies, try to get up to 4 fleets 2 armies. You're going to want to attack England come 1903 probably, and you'll need at least 1 fleet South to keep Italy in check.
Germany: 1901 is typically 1 fleet 1 army, then I think it's pretty dependent on gameboard, but focused more towards armies.
Russia: Either north or south, you'll eventually need additional fleets to solo, but probably not both.
Turkey: Pretty balanced, but not more than 4 fleets, possibly 5, but probably not.

The above is definitely over-simplified, but hopefully not completely false? What do you think? What other considerations other than setting yourself up for an eventual solo?

~CliffDancer
CliffDancer, Russia in Colonial 7, Northumbria in Heptarchy XV, The Greys in Invasion Earth
User avatar
Cliff Dancer
 
Posts: 62
Joined: 04 Aug 2016, 05:24
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1390)
All-game rating: (1418)
Timezone: GMT

Re: Fleets vs. Armies

Postby kaptkidd6 » 27 Dec 2017, 00:24

I generally consider fleets a superior in support because they are less likely to have that support cut; and of course they can still convoy even if attacked by a single adversary, they must be dislodged for the convoy to be interrupted. (of course, the army still has to successfully disembark) However, armies have the advantage of being able to reach all supply centers and not being limited to the shorelines of the continent.

In that model, I generally consider England to be primarily a maritime power. As such, I generally expect a ratio of 2 fleets to every army for the first 3-5 years, with a higher ratio of armies after establishing dominance of the seas.

Italy and Turkey are more of a hybrid model, and depending on the situation in particular games, I usually will aim for a fairly even distribution of fleets to armies.

The remaining countries being more vulnerable to attack from the land, will generally tend closer to a ratio of 2 armies per fleet early in the game.

Of course this is merely a guideline, subject to the vagaries of individual situations and alliances in effect at the time.
kaptkidd6
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 10 Oct 2016, 02:07
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: 1098
All-game rating: 1110
Timezone: GMT

Re: Fleets vs. Armies

Postby mhsmith0 » 27 Dec 2017, 01:41

I'd tend to think that the builds depend in very large part on where you're going and who you're attacking or defending against.

Turkey:
Fleets anti-Italy
Armies anti-Austria/Russia

Turkey building mainly fleets is trying to ram through ION and possibly eventually Iberia.
Turkey building mainly armies is trying to ram through the Balkans, and then either westward towards Germany or northward towards Russia


Italy:
Fleets anti-Turkey and France
Armies anti-Austria/Germany

Italy building mainly fleets is friendly with at least one of Germany/Austria (or MAAAYBE England) and is pushing thorugh to Turkey and/or France
Italy building mainly armies is probably heading north, and is probably friendly with some combination of Turkey/Russia/France


Germany
Fleets anti-England
Armies anti-France/Russia

Germany building mainly fleets is going for England in the long term and sometimes short term
Germany building mainly armies is going west to France or east to Russia


France
Fleets anti-England/Italy
Armies anti-Germany

etc

probably Russia has more relevancy on WHERE things are being build compared to what, though a naval Russia is probably pretty friendly with Austria and an army-happy Russia is probably pretty friendly with Turkey
Austria is almost assured to be a land power, though spamming fleets is substantially anti-Italy
England I'm less sure of tbh, probably because it's a naval power in some isoliation, and probably is in large part a function of where its units are vs what they are
Proud holder of the Superior Tophat of Solving, an item entrusted with the forum's most prominent smartass
User avatar
mhsmith0
Premium Member
 
Posts: 3580
Joined: 11 Dec 2015, 06:55
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1269)
All-game rating: (1439)
Timezone: GMT-7

Re: Fleets vs. Armies

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 27 Dec 2017, 19:24

Turkey is a good example of how dependent it is on what you want to do. Typically, Turkey either solos by getting to Iberia or to StP (occasionally to Munich, but Munich is a LONG ways away for Turkey). So if you're looking at ideal unit distribution for Turkey...well, if they're going to try and push through the Med and get to Iberia, then they need a lot of fleets. 6 to 7 fleets, in fact, if they want to hold stuff and have a supply chain back to their homeland. On the other hand, if Turkey is going to run an I/T and push up through Russia and/or the middle of the board, then they're looking at probably just two fleets and focusing on armies.

If you look at Austria, they can solo with just one, maybe two fleets. Germany can do it with just one or two. Russia needs a balance, France needs a balance. England can solo in the right circumstances with just two or three armies if they control the seas around Iberia or can make their way onto the Italian boot.

So it really just depends--builds are super important, because what you build says a lot about who you plan to work with. A Germany that builds fleets early is signaling they're fighting England, whereas a Germany that builds armies and forgoes a fleet build is signaling they're friends with England and either going for the Western Triple or against France.


For the most part there's no hard and fast "country X needs to focus on armies/fleets above all else" rule, it's much more dependent on who you're trying to work with than anything else.
Platinum Classicist
(h/t lordelindel)

I am your (co-) Leader.

GM of WitA 7, WitA 8.

Come play face to face!

Need a forum game GM'ed? PM me!

Mod (but I'm normally not talking as one)
User avatar
nanooktheeskimo
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9590
Joined: 19 Jun 2014, 19:52
Location: East TN
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1209
All-game rating: 1389
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Fleets vs. Armies

Postby Chessplayer » 28 Dec 2017, 02:34

I just wanted to throw in my amateur opinion on the matter :) . In my limited experience, I think that fleets act as a first round invasion force, and are similar to the Howitzers of WWI. Continuing this anology, I would compare armies to the troops that follow in behind. The reason why I say this is that it makes sense to control the bodies of water around the place you want to invade and (soften up) the march the troops must make when you plan on storming the territory.
Tactics, Comrades, tactics.
-Squealer
Chessplayer
 
Posts: 55
Joined: 01 Aug 2017, 00:19
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: (902)
All-game rating: (917)
Timezone: GMT

Re: Fleets vs. Armies

Postby Zosimus » 28 Dec 2017, 05:23

Generally speaking, armies are better than fleets. This doesn't mean, however, that I think that England would be thrilled to start with all armies. It depends on the situation.

England should have an equal number of armies and navies. Every other power should have more armies than navies. Austria should run about 70% armies. Italy and France should run around 60% armies.
Be more aggressive.
User avatar
Zosimus
 
Posts: 650
Joined: 19 Aug 2014, 22:17
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1696)
All-game rating: (1730)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Fleets vs. Armies

Postby ColonelApricot » 28 Dec 2017, 06:15

One way to think about it is that only armies can occupy all supply centers whereas fleets can only occupy coastal supply. However fleets influence much greater areas compared to armies. Consider the North Sea or the Ionian Sea - occupation of which can have huge effect on the game.
Dog of War in ToS
GRU of the Despicables in TTT
User avatar
ColonelApricot
Premium Member
 
Posts: 382
Joined: 06 Oct 2013, 11:48
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1010
All-game rating: 1400
Timezone: GMT

Re: Fleets vs. Armies

Postby WHSeward » 28 Dec 2017, 06:56

There are only 2 western SCs that are not coastal and 5 eastern. So fleets can occupy 27 of the board's 34 SCs.

You only need 18 SCs to win.

In order to win most of the time you are going to want a balanced force composition.
"As a general truth, communities prosper and flourish, or droop and decline, in just the degree that they practice or neglect to practice the primary duties of justice and humanity." WHS

A member of the Classicists.

Ask me about mentor games. Send me a PM or post in the Mentoring forum.
User avatar
WHSeward
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2934
Joined: 29 Dec 2012, 22:16
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1633)
All-game rating: (1647)
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: Fleets vs. Armies

Postby Zosimus » 28 Dec 2017, 15:17

Although it's true that there are a good number of coastal supply centers, that doesn't mean that you necessarily want fleets there. For example, if you're England, do you want to put an army into Kiel or a fleet? If you're Austria, you're never going to get a fleet into Kiel, only an army. The only country that wants fleets in Kiel is Germany.

Another example is Finland. Although both an army and a fleet can go there, you would much rather have an army there.
Be more aggressive.
User avatar
Zosimus
 
Posts: 650
Joined: 19 Aug 2014, 22:17
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1696)
All-game rating: (1730)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Fleets vs. Armies

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 28 Dec 2017, 17:48

Zosimus wrote:Although it's true that there are a good number of coastal supply centers, that doesn't mean that you necessarily want fleets there. For example, if you're England, do you want to put an army into Kiel or a fleet? If you're Austria, you're never going to get a fleet into Kiel, only an army. The only country that wants fleets in Kiel is Germany.

Another example is Finland. Although both an army and a fleet can go there, you would much rather have an army there.

Actually...as England, I'd only want an army in Kiel long enough to force Munich, then I want a fleet there or moving through there to Baltic.
Platinum Classicist
(h/t lordelindel)

I am your (co-) Leader.

GM of WitA 7, WitA 8.

Come play face to face!

Need a forum game GM'ed? PM me!

Mod (but I'm normally not talking as one)
User avatar
nanooktheeskimo
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9590
Joined: 19 Jun 2014, 19:52
Location: East TN
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1209
All-game rating: 1389
Timezone: GMT-5

Next

Return to Diplomacy Strategy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest