Russian Basics for Revised

The first thing you need to realize is you are not alone in the battle. It will take all 3 Allies to beat the Axis, but due to other priorities you can't really expect significant help from the UK and US until round 4 or 5 (outside of some air support). So, what is a good way to set up a solid base and ensure your survival until the Allies can take some pressure off of Moscow?

Lets take this step by step and start off with your purchases.
Russia has quite a few options, but I'm only going to list 3 basic buys (with one alt) which most others can then be adjusted from.

The conservative play (8 inf buy). 8 units, 8-attack, 16-defense
This is great for defensive purposes but due to Russia's placing limitations, it restricts what Russia can do in rds 2 and 3, in terms of detering German advances, and might leave you a little too weak offensively. You also lack mobility since you only start with 4 armor and 2 ftrs.

I do not like this buy, b/c an aggressive Germany player can take advantage of the lack of early Russian firepower and mobility. Just a bit too conservative for me.

The middle of the road play (5 inf, 1 rt, 1 arm). 7 units, 11-attack, 15-defense
You get a little more punch with this buy and it only costs you one less unit and one less defensive point. You can place 3 inf, 1 rt in Cauc and with the rest in Moscow and you now have potentially 5 armor to use on Russia 2.

I certainly favor this buy over the 8 inf purchase, and is good for beginners who want to attack or at least threaten multiple territories while still providing a solid defensive base. This buy will not lose you any games.

The aggressive play (3 inf, 3 arm). 6 units, 12-attack, 15-defense.
I term this aggressive b/c you are only buying 6 units, you do add 12 attack points and still get 15 for defense, but you don't have quite as big of a stack of infantry as some players may like.

I really like this buy and teamed up with an infantry retreat (Eve, Novo, Kaz) you can really put a serious threat on Germany's eastern borders (Ukr in particular) and force Germany into thinking twice before making any aggressive moves into the East. Also you almost match Germany interms of armor since you should have 7 on the board and right on the front lines.

(Note: an alternative aggressive buy would be the 2 inf, 2 rt, 2 arm buy. 6 units, 12-attack, 14-defense <– I like this one as well.)

Now to your Combat Moves.

In my opinion Russia should be very careful in not overextending themselves and risk too many losses on R1. I think there are some solid "basic" attacks that Russia can do to inflict enough damage on Germany or stregthen your position. I would limit my attacks to 1 or 2 of the following 3: Wrus, Belo, and Ukr. I think Wrus is the only must attack and your other attack may depend on a possible bid placement.

My early preference has been to attack Wrus and Ukr with max available Russian units (assuming no bid units to Ukr). However, lately I've been just attacking Wrus with about 10 inf, 2 rt, 2 arm, 2 ftrs. I like the idea of trying to limit Russia's round 1 losses and with an "aggresive" buy, Germany will not be able to stack Ukr on G1 and you can just trade Ukr from R2 on.
You leave an extra German ftr, but I think it is essentially a wash between killing the fighter and losing 1 rt and 3 arm. As long as you went with an "aggressive" buy you should feel no ill effects of leaving Ukr as is, but I'm certainly not going to fault players that want to take out that fighter.
In terms of the Belo and Wrus Attacks, I prefer to just attack Wrus in that case, again to minimize Russian losses and IMO Belo is not a priority which means the Germany player doesn not have to counter it on G1 which could mean a heavy Germany move to Ukr early esp if you took a few extra losses in Wrus as a result.

Now that Combat is done, you'll want to land your fighters in Cauc and non-combat any available tanks there and move your Moscow aa-gun to Wrus and your sub to sz 2. I prefer to retreat all my Eastern infantry one territiory to maximize the early pressure on Germany as well as cutting down my supply lines while increasing Japan's. It really does not hurt you to give up Bury, Sfe, and even Yak in the first 1-3 rds. Together they are only worth 3 ipc and if you can get and hold Ukr b/c of it it is well worth it. And if Japan gets overly aggressive it isn't too hard to pickoff 1-2 inf with the Allied forces already in Asia.

Now it is time for placement, you want to place 4 units in Cauc with the rest in Moscow. Always place armor in Moscow, since they can move 2 spaces, until you can take and hold Ukr.

A typical summary for me, if I go 3 inf, 3 arm with only the Wrus attack will look someing like this:

Wrus: ~8-9 inf, 2 rt, 2 arm, aa
Cauc: ~6 inf, 3 arm, 2 ftrs, aa
Mos: 4 inf, 2 arm
Yak: 4 inf (or 6 inf)
Novo: 2 inf (or 0 inf)
Kar: 1 inf
Sz 2: 1 sub (with UK ships)

This isn't the most aggressive opening but I find it to be very solid and very tough to crack, and you haven't done anything that gives Germany/Japan a big opening or willl cost you the game. You've got a mobile army, where you can add 1 tank per turn, and a strong power base in Wrus, Cauc, and Mos. This also allows the UK and US some freedom to do different things since Russia does have a strong central location and isn't in need of immediate air support or reinforcements.

This opening also will work with most if not all bid placements of 8 or under.

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Category: Axis & Allies Revised, Strategy

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  1. David White says:

    I don’t understand the logic in leaving just one inf. alone in Karalia at the end of R1. Is it just being set up as a trap for a dead zone? It doesn’t seem like it would take too, much for Germany to grab that & still have plenty left over for a significant attack on the Caucasus. Even if their Cauc. attack failed, R2 would then consist of trying to get Kar back instead of keeping the Germans on their heels by attacking Ukr.

  2. Dave White says:

    Tough to crack??? Doesn’t give a big opening to Germany??? Accordng to the above, you’ve left Kar. w/ only 1 inf (and nothing else to defend). They can be reached with tanks from Germany, as well as (transported inf. from Germany (actually, several tanks from territories only two moves away. They are also subject to attack from Nor/Fin inf. & any other territory adj. to Kar boarders (not to mention fighters.). Not that G1 even needs all of that, because you have left Kar w/ only 1 inf. The rest of G2 forces (not needed to overcome 1 inf. & withstand a R2 counter, can be used to re-take WR or hit Cauc.
    What am I missing here???

  3. jim hannagan says:

    you leave it as bait not a dangerous move as germ. is still 2 moves away from your capital advanced tactics dictate a lot of sucker bait type moves such as this

  4. NinjaEskimo012 says:

    Given a Russian bid 12 of 2 artillery in Karelia and 1 artillery in Caucusus, you can make an extremely agressive R1 and take all three–Belorussia, Ukraine S.S.R., and West Russia:

    Karelia S.S.R. -> Belorussia: 3 infantry, 2 artillery
    Caucusus & Russia -> Ukraine S.S.R.: 3 infantry, 2 artillery, 3 tanks, 1 fighter
    Karelia, Archangel & Russia -> West Russia: 5 infantry (leave one in Archangel), 1 artillery, 1 tank, 1 fighter

    With this setup, usually the Axis bid 12 goes for German units in North Africa, but I’ve seen this play work even with 4 extra German infantry spread throughout the three target territories (1 Belo, 1 Ukr, 2 WRus). I’ve changed it up some in the past by having an extra artillery in Karelia join the fight in West Russia and the fighter helps out in Belorussia, but I prefer the artillery attacking Belorussia because it typically puts the German player into a frantic “a good offense is the best defense” mode where he makes mistakes in his buys, like buying too many tanks on the first turn with no infantry and artillery to come up on later turns.

    Now, after making those opening moves against the Germans, you’re at a critical decision point: do you want to help the Allied war effort against the Japanese, or fortify your front and keep pressuring the Germans? I usually come to a choice between two options, based on what I bought:

    1) Amass 6 infantry in Buryatia S.S.R. and reinforce Sinkiang with 2-4 infantry from Novosibirsk and Kazakh S.S.R., or
    2) Bring up 4 infantry in Buryatia S.S.R., move 2 infantry from Yakut S.S.R. to Novosibirsk, and reinforce Caucusus and Russia with 2 and 4 infantry respectively.

    The first scenario usually is pre-empted by a buy of 2 infantry, 2 artillery, and 2 tanks, with the armor popping up in Moscow, but can work well with a purchase of 5 infantry, 1 artillery, and 1 tank, too. I’m running the gauntlet a little with these buys, as the situation could easily turn for the worse with some unlucky rolls in West Russia and a few German units left to cause trouble, which is why I prefer the second scenario. With the second one, I usually buy 6 artillery, but I’ve occasionally bought 4 artillery, 1 infantry, and 1 tank, splitting the artillery evenly and rush-ordering the tank and infantry to Caucusus. I prefer the 6-artillery second scenario because it prepares the Ivans to launch a wave campaign against the Krauts’ eastward advance, and if West Russia does have a problem, there’s easy defense and mop-up before you have to deal with the advancing German front.

    Regardless, the outcomes of your attacks usually leave you with a generous Russian income of 31 IPCs after R1, the German player feeling pressured on both sides, and the ability to counterattack in Ukraine on R2, maybe even Belorussia while you’re at it. The one drawback is if you’re playing with an open SZ16; while it shouldn’t be a problem on G1, G2 and definitely G3 can see a German amphibious assualt on Caucusus if they play their cards right in countering the Russian advance. A heavy air force strategy by the British in hunting down German ships in the Mediterranean, though, should clear you of that danger.

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