The goal I imagine is to get rid of some armor, but that doesn't seem to work since they will get rid of infantry first
On Russia1, if you go after Ukraine with a strafe in mind, yes you are looking to take a tank or two. However, depending on the way the rolls worked out, this may not happen. There are a lot of things to consider when 'rolling one more time', like:
- how did the other battles go (can I handle exposing my tanks)
- if I accidently take, will I have enough to hold it (i.e. potentially taking it with 4 INF, 3 ARM or 1 INF, 3 ARM, etc.)
- where was the bid placed?
- planned non-combat movements
Many times I will roll into Ukraine with the intention of seeing what the dice do. If it looks like I can take it strong and any counterstrike would be in Russia's favor, I will take. Many times I will just retreat back to Karelia or Caucasus (depending upon bid placement).
However, some times I have found that the dice rolls put me in a position where there is only 1 FTR left defending and I have 4+INF and 3 ARM. In this case, I normally just leave the FTR and do a strong retreat back into Karelia. Now Germany is too weak to take Karelia and many times is hard to even hold EEu (depending upon bid and a player's risk tolerance).
To got back to whether or not it is worth strafing if you cannot get rid of any tanks, I would say yes. Many times I will strafe to just get rid of infantry. The goal is to make any atttack by my opponent expensive. Since I strafed all or the majority of his 'fodder', the first losses he incurs would be expensive.
The other goal in strafing is to kill more pieces than they kill of yours. This can be advantageous for more reasons than pure economics. I say this because sometimes you may have a superior force and can easily take out your opponent in a particular territory. However, if you do take it, you may be placing your units (many which may be hard to replace) in a kill zone which your opponent has the upper hand in the counter attack.