Can Karelia be held or retaken?


  • Hey guys, I’ve been playing just about every version of A&A since 2001. I’ve never registered, but I’ve read almost everything on the forums here regarding the Anniversary edition. I’ve finally decided to start contributing, and I’d like to start by posing a question:

    After trying the 1942 setup my playing group has stumbled into the obvious…Germany is destined to take Karelia, whether by walk-in or by force. I’m curious if any of you have suggestions or recommendations regarding dead-zoning the territory for Russia on R2 or R3. I play against German opponents who frequently drop a carrier in the Baltic to protect the fleet, so they’ve either got one or two transports to assist them in retaking/reinforcing Karelia. What would you guys suggest? Is Karelia a lost cause for the first 3-5 turns, or do you try and retake or hold it early?

    Appreciate the input! 🙂


  • @Modern:

    Hey guys, I’ve been playing just about every version of A&A since 2001. I’ve never registered, but I’ve read almost everything on the forums here regarding the Anniversary edition. I’ve finally decided to start contributing, and I’d like to start by posing a question:

    After trying the 1942 setup my playing group has stumbled into the obvious…Germany is destined to take Karelia, whether by walk-in or by force. I’m curious if any of you have suggestions or recommendations regarding dead-zoning the territory for Russia on R2 or R3. I play against German opponents who frequently drop a carrier in the Balkans to protect the fleet, so they’ve either got one or two transports to assist them in retaking/reinforcing Karelia. What would you guys suggest? Is Karelia a lost cause for the first 3-5 turns, or do you try and retake or hold it early?

    Appreciate the input! 🙂

    I am pretty sure you mean Baltic (sz5)

    and yes, if Germany wants karelia for a few rounds, she can have it.  Russia’s options are limited to what Germany allows.  We find that Germany in 1942 is a real Bear in the European Theatre

  • 2022 '15 '11 '10 Official Q&A Moderator

    Yep, the Allies should dance with Germany and Japan, reacting to what they do.

    Russia can’t really make a point of anything, other than holding Moscow.  Follow the lead of the German player, take what he gives you.

    Same with America and Japan.

    It’s Italy that you can push around if you like.  UK can be the bully and go down there and smash all of Italy’s toys and take away her NO’s.  Permanently.

    I always concede Karelia R1 in 1942.  For one thing, you’re sure to keep the AA gun.
    I’ve seen people not concede it in 1942 and do OK, too.  But that was in no tech games.  When Germany could possibly get long range air, heavy bombers, or mech infantry at any time, Russia has to be more defensive and conservative than in no-tech.

  • '16 '15 '10

    @Modern:

    After trying the 1942 setup my playing group has stumbled into the obvious…Germany is destined to take Karelia, whether by walk-in or by force. I’m curious if any of you have suggestions or recommendations regarding dead-zoning the territory for Russia on R2 or R3. I play against German opponents who frequently drop a carrier in the Baltic to protect the fleet, so they’ve either got one or two transports to assist them in retaking/reinforcing Karelia. What would you guys suggest? Is Karelia a lost cause for the first 3-5 turns, or do you try and retake or hold it early?

    Here’s a risky strategy that I use sometimes.  If you play with a bid (Allies definitely need one), bid units to Karelia or bid a sub to SZ6 and an inf to Karelia.  Then, the plan is to strafe Baltic States, Finland, Belorussia, and East Ukraine (or, with the sub bid, hit SZ5 with the planes/sub instead of attacking Finland), and then retreat units into defensible positions at Karelia and Russia.

    If say my bid was 9 (3 inf to Kar), my deployment is something like….

    2 inf 1 tank to Fin
    2-3 inf 1 fig 1 bomb to Bts
    7 inf 1 art to Belo
    3 inf 1 art 3 tank to Eukr

    The actual deployments are highly dependent on the bid…if there is no bid at all, then this strategy is too risky, since w/o capturing Bts or destroying the SZ5 fleet, Germany may still be able to overrun Karelia G1.

    With the exception of Baltic States, which you intend to take, all of these attacks are strafe attacks.  The plan is for all the units attacking Finland, and Belo to retreat into Karelia (which means 1 attacking inf must come from Kar), while the units attacking E. Ukraine retreat into Russia.  Obviously this is risky in dice, as you may get too many hits and actually take Belorussia or E. Ukraine.  So you do Belo first, then E. Ukraine, then Finland and Baltic States.  If for example you get 3 hits in Belo and take it, then you have to adjust your game plan accordingly and accept that you won’t hold Karelia.

    If the plan works, then when its over you have a large stack on Karelia that isolates Germany’s forces in Scandinavia.


  • Without a bid it is even more difficult to win a single game in 42 than 41, b/c of the attackers advantage in LL, but if we assume reg.dice, 42 is mostly the same concept as Revised, LL doesn’t favor any side.

    The problem is not so much about holding Kalia, but have a slight chance (as allies) to win the game.

    A German navy strat is as ineffective in AA50 41 and 42 as it is in Revised, the only difference is that it takes longer time to win with axis, in a no bid game, if Germany buys naval units, and a German naval strat can possibly make it possible for allies to win w/o a bid.


  • In '41, it is easy to deadzone Karelia, even if he does a massive drive, locating all tanks within reach of Karelia after G1.
    Throwing all your land units in Belorussia, and building 6 tanks in Russia means you’ve got 11-13 infantry, 2 art, and 7 arm within reach of Kar, Bst, and EPl.

    Bel and Cau need to be held strong by the Russians. That way they can focus anywhere on the board. Don’t let Germany decide where the fight is, you decide. It’s your turf, not theirs.


  • @cts17:

    In '41, it is easy to deadzone Karelia, even if he does a massive drive, locating all tanks within reach of Karelia after G1.
    Throwing all your land units in Belorussia, and building 6 tanks in Russia means you’ve got 11-13 infantry, 2 art, and 7 arm within reach of Kar, Bst, and EPl.

    But the allies can not afford to continue to sacrifice $7 a turn allowing Germany to take karelia for too long… eventually Germany’s $50+ a turn (and italy’s 12-20?) will simply overwhelm Russia at 30+.

    In other words, deadzoning works for a round or two, but is not a long term solution to the German army


  • Sorry, perhaps I should elaborate a bit more. It is impossible to hold Karelia from a G2 assault, especially if he is determined to take the city. Deadzoning in this way forces him to commit some forces to take the territory, while you can take it back on R2 with some 20 odd units.


  • @Subotai:

    A German navy strat is as ineffective in AA50 41 and 42 as it is in Revised, the only difference is that it takes longer time to win with axis, in a no bid game, if Germany buys naval units, and a German naval strat can possibly make it possible for allies to win w/o a bid.

    Wrong. Baltic navy + India crush means allies dead from the very round 1 (1942 scenario). No way to lose with axis unless crappiest dices with that nasty combo. At first I thought as you, but facing that strat made me learn is unstoppable. Even starting crappiest dices are not a sure victory for allies in fact as I’m checking in a present game

  • '16 '15 '10

    There may be some confusion re. 41 or 42.  Karelia should be held in 41 (imho), but it’s significantly harder to do so in 42.

    Re. Baltic navy….  while it’s probably not the optimal strategy for Germany, if it’s used well, it gives Germany alot of time to build up their defenses.  In some games it takes a while to destroy the fleet, and by that time Germany/Italy have a ton of land units, and Japan’s mainland machine is getting going.  But I’m not sure how great it will work once the bid becomes appropriate and/or once Allied strategies get more refined.


  • @Funcioneta:

    @Subotai:

    A German navy strat is as ineffective in AA50 41 and 42 as it is in Revised, the only difference is that it takes longer time to win with axis, in a no bid game, if Germany buys naval units, and a German naval strat can possibly make it possible for allies to win w/o a bid.

    Wrong. Baltic navy + India crush means allies dead from the very round 1 (1942 scenario). No way to lose with axis unless crappiest dices with that nasty combo. At first I thought as you, but facing that strat made me learn is unstoppable. Even starting crappiest dices are not a sure victory for allies in fact as I’m checking in a present game

    Hey Funcioneta,

    Exactly what is this “India Crush” that you’ve mentioned in multiple threads?  I understand that it has something to do with Japan attcking India.  Can you give me a link to the thread or game where this tactic is employed successfully?  Or elaborate it here in on this board in a thread specifically for this tactic?  Thank you.


  • Gamerman invented this nasty move. 1942 scenario only, prevents UK building India IC at cost of sparing life of chinese fighter. The name “India Crush” comes from old India Crush strat in old AAP

    For anny, 1942 scenario, J1:

    • Purchase what you want, it can vary
    • Attack sui and fuk to ensure China only colects 2 inf
    • Don’t attack Yunnan. You need the inf in Burma!
    • Toast z35 as usual
    • You can choose if do Pearl 2 or attack Buryatia or both

    NCMs (they key of this):

    2 inf FIC to Burma
    fig for, fic, man to Burma (if survived to z35, and must ensure you have move available after attacking sui and fuk)
    bomb to FIC (unless used at Pearl 2)
    tra z62 to z36, unload inf, tank from Japan to FIC

    Done. You should have 4 inf, 1 tank at range of India, and also 4-6 planes (varying z35 results or Pearl done) and one bb shoot. Allies can send (max):

    1 inf (per)
    2 fig (aus, egy)
    1 tank (cau)
    1 bomb (rus)
    3 inf, aa gun (ind)

    The most probable is soviets want use the bomber and the tank against Germany, but anyway is 9-11 japs vs 8 allied, too risky to buy a IC at India. The most probable is tank and bomber are not there, so the usual would be 10 vs 6

    So the most probale is UK simply retreats from India, and that means we are in a similar case that 1941 scenario, just this time Germany is much stronger and allies are slighty stronger in some areas

    If soviets try a possible counter, they are not using units against Germany, and my experience says soviets need every unit they can use against Germany and her future Karelia IC. It’s higly probable Japan can take and hold  India next round anyway (specially if they bought trannies), but anyway the target is done: preventing UK from building a much needed India IC

    As side note, aussie figther will not be used soon. It’s “trapped” in Australia unless it try a escape to mad (risky and anyway of few use) or join with the yanks. In India was more usable

    China will hold a bit more, but since there is not UK aid, Japan can toast the poor chinamen at pleasure (Manchuria IC outproduces China, go figure) and crappy ACME wall means even the Flying Tigers cannot flee to Egypt of Russia (FT in real WWII was a american voluntary unit, not a chinese unit, but still they cannot flee to home  😛 )

    Asia is yours, game over (saving ubercrappy dices or gameplay for western axis). Really wicked, and the worst is that is a hidden move because of poor starting placement of FT (that seem a better target at first sight, but India Crush is better)


  • @Zhukov44:

    Re. Baltic navy….  I’m not sure how great it will work once the bid becomes appropriate and/or once Allied strategies get more refined.

    Yep, it’s possible the bid alters this a bit. Anyway, axis strategies must improve also


  • I am not sure that Uk can not build a IC anyway : yes, it will fall on J2, but it can be retaken by Russia and then UK can build and US can bring back some fighters (for instance). With the order of turn, it is not so easy for Japan to fight such a factory because UK will build there even if Japan took it. So most of the time, Japan must / may loose some air to take it, and the next turn there is again 5 grounds units there (just some random number : 2 from Russia plus 3 built)…

    Of course, this means that Russia 2 must sent some units into India (and therefore at least two infantrys should move to Persia in R1), and this is not sure that they can not afford it.

    Therefore, I do not know if it is possible for the allies or not.

    Moreover, if Japan send everything against India, it will not stay alive (even traded) a lot of time. But during this time, China is annoying with their fighter, and US should come closer in the Pacific…

    But I did not play so much game, and never faced such a move until now, so I dunno if UK can still do it. It is just that it does not look totally impossible to me.

    But I am not sure that the India IC is the best either : combined with a 100% (or almost - one more cv in Atlantic and some ground units during the game may be a need) Pacific US it is very good against Japan. But in the main time Germany is very dangerous, and the money used in India lacks a lot in Europa.


  • @Yoshi:

    But I am not sure that the India IC is the best either : combined with a 100% (or almost - one more cv in Atlantic and some ground units during the game may be a need) Pacific US it is very good against Japan. But in the main time Germany is very dangerous, and the money used in India lacks a lot in Europa.

    If in 1941 scenario KGF I can imagine could have a slim chance of success, you must fight the Pacific in 1942 scenario, simply there is no other choice: you have one Godzilla with Germany, you cannot beat two. The economics are stubborn, and anyway you only need 9-11 IPCs to support a India IC … money that will be lost anyway if UK doesn’t defend India and Persia (and also Burma not traded, 2 more IPCs). It’s money Japan takes and UK loses: you are not losing any troops in Europe, India alone is a 11 IPCs shift (5 from jap NO, 3 for Japan, 3 less for UK)


  • I agree that Japan has to be considered, never pretented that you can ignore it. To my mind, US has to invest in the pacific, and quite a lot (I usually go between 80% and 100% in Pacific with USA).

    And as for the 11IPC shifts, I agree. But UK actually invest 9-11 IPC and earns 3… so that’s 6-8 less against Germany / Italy. Of course, even trading it makes 3-8 more for Japan (according to if they were able to take Australia or not). But the money is in another place.

    And specially in the early game, this money in Europa may reduce axis cash also…

    But I do not have the answer : I did not play enough games until now to manage this scenario.

  • '16 '15 '10

    So far IIC seems temporarily viable but long-term problematic in 42, because Moscow is under more pressure from Western Axis and UK must go after them.  When supporting an IIC, it’s hard to keep the UK fleet in the water, much less make progress against Germany and Italy.  I’m happy to see IIC as Axis.

    Persia/Ching seems like a more promising location to make a stand.  Unlike in 41, Japan can be blocked there.

  • 2022 '15 '11 '10 Official Q&A Moderator

    @Zhukov44:

    So far IIC seems temporarily viable but long-term problematic in 42, because Moscow is under more pressure from Western Axis and UK must go after them.  When supporting an IIC, it’s hard to keep the UK fleet in the water, much less make progress against Germany and Italy.  I’m happy to see IIC as Axis.

    Persia/Ching seems like a more promising location to make a stand.  Unlike in 41, Japan can be blocked there.

    I agree.
    I also like to see UK IC in India, because Germany receives a lot less pressure in Europe from the West.  Besides, J can take it and use it.  If USSR and UK are going to go all out to save the Indian IC, that would be just fine with me.

    As Zhukov said, Persia or Chi are better locations to take a stand.  They are, because they are very close to the Russian factories.  It is much more efficient and effective to fight close to your factories, even if you are giving up a few IPC’s per round.

    UK seems to be most effective pounding out all IPC’s production from Great Britain.  The faster Germany gets pressure from the west, the better.

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