The last time I went out to play this game (four decades ago), someone offered me the following proposition. Given that the Germans get their supplies two times out of three during the game, why don't we just "stipulate" that every third German supply convoy gets sunk? I'll let you play Rommel under that rule." (We never did get around to playing that game.)

That proposition seems "fair" with regard to "mean value" but not with regard to volatility. Isn't it true that if the Germans "knew" exactly when their supplies would be sunk, they would gain an advantage by adjusting their strategy accordingly? Or is the "quantitative" factor of how many supplies the Germans get the more important consideration in victory and defeat?

1 Answer 1


You narrowly avoided a massive hoodwink.

The game runs in fortnightly turns from March '41 through October '42, a total of 20 months and 40 turns.

By the Supply Rules, the German supply expectation is:
- Apr. '41 through Jun. '41 ( 6 turns @ 4/6) = 4
- Jul. '41 through Nov. '41 (10 turns @ 3/6) = 5
- Dec. '41 through Oct. '42 (24 turns # 5/6) = 20
for a total expectation of 29 supply.

Your friend offered you a guaranteed schedule for only 40 * 4/6 = 26.7 supply.

You would have found yourself in supply difficulty through the final turns of the game, deprived of 2.3 supply relative to a normal supply expectation.

I doubt that a 1.6 additional supply expectation from July through November '41 would have compensated for the reduction by 4.3 through the final half of the game.

Yes, I have simplified the arithmetic slightly by ignoring the guaranteed supply on April '41 I turn - which adds 0.33 to the expectation in both scenarios - a wash

  • I wouldn't call it a "massive" hoodwink, but in essence I had offered -2 (two extra sunks) for the right to play Rommel (assuming that the fractional supply unit was compensated for by knowing exactly when ships would be sunk).
    – Tom Au
    Jul 16, 2019 at 0:33

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