1

I played several games as a teenager, but never lasted beyond November 1941 on either side. That's when the British get massive reinforcements for Operation Crusader.

As I remember, the Operation Crusader reinforcements were very nearly the size of the whole original German force. So the Germans win if they capture Alexandria before the British get the Crusader reinforcements, and maybe they can win if the original British force is on its "last legs," by November, 1941 so that the Crusader reinforcements don't give the British the advantage.

My recollection was that the Germans received somewhat more reinforcements for part of 1942, but they also have severe supply problems then. Do they have a "second chance" if they haven't beaten the original force and the Crusader reinforcements piecemeal? Or are their winning chances "bunched" before November, 1941?

2

To quote from John Lockwood's excellent article Afrika Korps Theory (Avalon Hill GENERAL, Sep/Oct 1980, Vol. 17 #3):

Once November [1941] rolls around, most British players breathe a big sigh of relief, thinking that the game is won. Although the British receive a big boost in their force position and may even outnumber the Germans on the board, the advantage is not entirely in he British favor. For one thing the supply table from December 1941 until the end of the game is highly favourable to the Germans. As illustrated earlier they will be enabled to maintain a constant attack for as many as 75% of the remaining turns. Coupled with their ten factors of replacements this bodes ill for the British if they are backed up too close to their home base. ....

The middle game in Afrika Korps can be regarded as beginning once Tobruk has been invested by the Germans; the end game once Alexandria has likewise been invested, or nearly so. However just as in Go, the endgame can be quite lengthy. It is an endgame because the strategic positional phase portion of the game has completed, and only tactically significant positional considerations remain. In a game between two strong players this slugging match at Alexandria and then Tobruk (usually) will decide the match, according to the small advantages each has managed to accumulate in getting there. This rarely starts before November 1941 for two strong players.

0

No. And the reason is that the Germans receive larger reinforcements in the spring of 1942 than the British do.

In 1941,the Germans have to deal with two main sets of British forces: the ones that were in Africa prior to November, 1941, and the ones that arrive in November, 1941. The Afrika Korps is stronger than each set, but weaker than the two sets put together.

Thus, the Afrika Korps has to uses its heavier firepower in the earlier going to destroy as much of the pre-Crusader forces, with as little damage to itself as possible. Ideally, the original British force will be on its last legs by the time the Crusader reinforcements arrive, if they haven't been eliminated already.

If this remnant plus the Crusader reinforcements is weaker than what's left of the Afrika Korps, you win. Even if it is slightly strongly, the reinforcements you receive in the spring of 1942 may tip the balance back in your favor. There are severe supply problems in "1942" but these occur in the summer, not in the spring, when you receive your reinforcements. Hopefully, you will have won by June 1942.

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