Operation Barbarossa 3.0

  • I am working on a theory for the best way to conquer Moscow and not lose Berlin/Rome/Paris in the process.  Chomper’s and I have played about 20 games of Global so far and neither one of us has been able to take Moscow once as the Axis (A couple of games were called a draw in which it looked like Japan would eventually take Moscow but America would take Berlin).  The standard build for the Russian player is essentially 9 artillery the first 2 Russian turns to go with bulk of Russia Infantry the Russian’s start with.  The Russian’s fall away from the borders, if they are facing Tanks/Mechs and a Italy can opener they may leave enough Infantry to block.  After that Russia builds a mix of infantry and artillery to try and keep them around equal numbers.  The Russians than mass together at the best strategic location depending on which way the German’s move when they launch Operation Barbarossa.

    Some ways we have tried to take Moscow that have not worked for us and resulted in Axis defeats.

    -Using Tanks and Mechs to Rush to Moscow and take it with speed and mobility.  The problems we ran into is Germany has to spend too many points on these expensive toys and they don’t make that much more than Russia when it is all said and done considering they have to fight Brittan/US and sometimes make sure Rome does not fall.  We can make it to a city such as Leningrad but at around then major points have to be spent on the Eastern front and before long the Russia stack of Infantry and Artillery grows so big that the Germans are so behind in numbers as Russia was buying cheap units that they can either fall back or stay and be destroyed.

    -Pulling off Operation Sea lion first so that Germany has to fight one less enemy and give Germany a point boost by looting the UK treasury.  I think this would actually work if it could be done on the cheap and preferably on G2.  For this to happen though it requires the allies to make a mistake in leaving London undefended and that is not in the axis control.  If too many transports are required to be built than it costs too many points to capture London.  Germany can’t afford to then spend points defending it so US will take it back before long and most likely sink the German transports.  The final result has been not enough boots on the ground for Operation Barbarossa.

    -Building a major industrial complex in Germany and then producing it’s own army of infantry and artillery with it’s two major factories.  The idea was that the Germans could then make more units than the Russians and have more IPC’s that they could gain the number advantage.  This has resulted in our most competitive games but the problem the Germans ran into was the Moscow was too many spaces away so they would start out with the number advantage but by the time they get to Moscow the Russian army is too big as the Russians have had too many turns to build up.

    -Romania Factory failed for multiple reasons.  30 points is a lot to spend for Germany on a factory that can’t also be used for defense.  Also ten unit’s a turn is not enough as Russia builds 8-13 unit’s a turn depending on the situation.

    There are other strategies we have tried but I won’t list them all her for time’s sake.

    One strategy I am considering that I have not tried before is bombing Moscow with Japan bombers from the first available opportunity and from that point continuing to do so until either Germany or Japan can take the city.  I have never tried this before so I am not sure what to build to go with this method of attack.  Do you think if Japan started bombing Moscow around turn 4 it would be possible to capture the city with Germany with Tanks and Mechs or is it still not feasible?  Maybe the Tanks and Mech’s could then be used to peel more points off Russia and capture a city, maybe two?  At that point Germany spends most points on making Europe a fortress and waits for Japan to bust through India and China.  Then the axis could one two punch Russia with both armies and it just might fall.

    Are there holes in my method of attack here?  The whole thing falls apart even if Moscow is captured if the allies can crack Berlin.  So it would be a delicate balance of points spent on attack and defense with the Germans.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated,

    Frank T

  • You suggest making fortress Europe with Germany and waiting for Japan to bust through China and take the city, but I think Japan’s role should be to keep the US occupied as much as possible so the Germans can push harder on the Eastern front. It’s better to have a single strong attack than two weaker attacks. Japan can harass the Americans in the pacific or they can fly their massive air force into Europe to make the Allied navy retreat for a turn or two.

    As far as tanks and mechs go, I would suggest using them to push the Russians back but waiting for your infantry and artillery before you make the final strike. Consider building another minor factory next to Stalingrad to begin pumping infantry in preparation to take Moscow. Remember that as long as Russia is confined to a single territory, they aren’t a threat. Make sure you count up the pips and wait until the battle is good before you take it. Even if the battle is good, consider holding off for more reinforcements so that you’re left with as much force afterward as possible. Your army isn’t going anywhere and taking their capital isn’t going to suddenly win you the game. You’re in it for the long haul as the Axis.

    If Japan lands a tank in Jehol on turn 1, they can blitz into Novosibirsk on turn three and land bombers in Suiyuan, allowing them to bomb on turn 4 without having to build an air base. Russia can stop this by getting a few infantry into Novosibirsk, but then you could take out the infantry with the tank, mech and bombers so you’ve still accomplished your goal of reducing the stack. You may wish to hold off bombing til turn 5 anyways because you may want to bring at least 1 fighter escort to soak interceptor hits.

  • Yeah this is a problem I have faced before. At the start Germany can out produce Russia. But once your supply lines get stretched  the Russians begin to outnumber you. Also in order to bring new units to the front you have to spend more money on tanks and mech, while the Russians buy cheap units in bulk.

    Once you are dealing with regular invasions, or threats of invasion Russia is spending more on the front than Germany is.

    The last two face to face games I played the Russians actually attacked the German stack. One time it reduced the army to a shell and I had to fall back to Lenningrad. The second time the Russians outnumberd Germany 80-60, and they destroyed the main army.

    I could have countered with resereves but that was the game.

    It is very tough for the Germans to kill the Russians. As it should be. I guess it makes the Axis vistories all the sweeter when they are achieved.

  • I have a G5 Moscow crush that’s worked well for me in past games. I like to start with these moves, then adapt to the russian defence:

    G1 Purchase:

    -7 mechs, save 2ipcs

    G1 Combat:

    -All ground into france, except for one mech to defend belgium
    -All air into france, except for the norway fighter and the bomber
    -2 subs on each UK transport, remaining sub can attack any non-destroyered stack
    -attack Russian navy with all navy, fighter from norway to help
    -attack eastern poland with all available ground and the german bomber
    -attack yugoslovia with the infantry and artillary from southern germany, but retreat to romania after the first round of rolls

    G1 Non-combat:

    -activate finland with one of the norway infantry
    -move infantry and art from germany to poland
    -transport to sit with battleship outside st petersburg
    -place 3 mechs in germany, four in western germany

    G1 Result:

    You should roughly have…
    -eastern poland: 3 tanks, 6 inf
    -romania: 4 inf, 1 art
    -france: all of the tanks and mechs still alive and maybe an infantry or two if you’re lucky
    -poland: 6 inf, 4 art
    -IPCs: 61 – 37 from territories, 5 from NOs, 17 from france, 2 saved


    Buy a tank and a mech, do whatever moves you want as long as you A) activate bulgaria B) start moving mobile units to the front and C) keep your fighters . You should end with a tank in romania and a tank in slovakia. Keep buying tanks/mechs and sending them to the russian front

    G2 Purchase:

    -13 mechs, 3 inf

    G2 Combat (I’m going to start getting a little vague here, as your exact moves will depend on your opponent, so commit planes where you need to, etc).

    -all ground into western ukraine
    -romania stack into bessarabia
    -normandy with infantry from france and air support

    G2 Non-combat

    -all mobile units move towards front
    -place mechs in germany and western germany, inf in france

    G2 Results (assuming only a blocker infantry in your way – obviously if you have to destroy a stack, the results will be different, but Germany should be easily able to handle any russian stack at this point)

    -western ukraine: 3 tanks, 5 inf
    -bessarabia: 4 inf 1 art
    -west. germ: 10 mechs
    -germ: 7 mechs, 5 tanks
    -poland: 4 mechs
    -east poland: 3 mechs, 6 inf, 4 art
    -IPCs: 47 – 42 from territories, 5 from NOs


    keep buying mobile ground; can opener attacks on any targets of opportunity, failing that, suicide attack russian stacks

    G3 Purchase:
    defense for landings

    G3 Combat:

    -ukraine with bessarabia guys if it’s lightly defended

    G3 non-combat:

    -all remaining ground to western ukraine

    G3 Results:

    -western ukraine: 3 tanks, 11 infantry, 4 art and 7 mechs
    -poland: 10 mechs
    -east poland: 7 mechs, 5 tanks
    -ukraine: 4 inf 1 art

    G4 purchase:

    G4 attacks:

    -bryansk with all ground

    G4 non-combat:

    -western ukraine with all remaining mobile ground, and airforce

    G4 results:

    -bryansk: 8 tanks, 15 infantry, 5 art and 14 mechs
    -western ukraine: 10 mechs, 1 bomber, 4 fighters, 3 tacs

    G5 purchase:

    G5 attacks

    -moscow with 8 tanks, 15 inf, 5 art, 24 mechs, 1 bomber, 4 fighters, 3 tacs

  • @ pelanderfunk

    I intend to try out your mech inf idea, but I have a few small points to raise:

    1. You can’t hit the Russian navy with the Norway fighter. It has to be one of the ones from West Germany.

    2. Why not try to take out the Battleship + destroyer stack so that you can send a sub to steal Russia’s bonus for a few rounds? Any units you lose in Paris as a result of lacking air support are made up for by fewer units that the Russians can buy, plus having your subs around longer means the UK is making less too.

    3. Why not make use of your starting transport by at least purchasing an artillery on the first round to ship to the front on the second? One more artillery adds three pips to the battle of Moscow, but a mech adds only one. I do realize your path to Moscow doesn’t take you through the Baltic States, but it may be worth diverging a tiny bit.

    4. I tend to prefer using Italians to defend Europe so that Germany can focus more on the Eastern front. For example, if the Italians did this then Germany could purchase 4 tac bombers on turn 3 instead of defense for landings to add 16 pips to the impending battle. Surely this would have more of an impact on the Russian stack than Italian suicide attacks?

  • OK, so I did a trial run of the mech inf idea and it turns out to be something I won’t use in my games. I found that if the Russians build nothing but infantry and enter a full retreat from turn 1, they can hold on turn three at Bryansk. Just to make the German attack stronger, I upgraded four of the mech on turn 2 to tanks and bought two bombers on turn 3. Here’s the attack on Bryansk I came up with:


    17 inf
    8 mechs
    5 art
    11 tanks
    4 fighters
    3 tacs
    3 bombers

    Strength: 109 Hits:51


    35 inf
    2 mechs
    3 art
    2 tanks
    1 tac
    2 fighters
    1 AA gun

    Strength: 98 Hits: 45

    So, the Germans will likely win this battle. In fact, the battle calculator puts the odds at 96.9%. But, it won’t matter, because bordering Bryansk the Russians had 11 infantry and 7 artillery (the latter I built on the previous turn to prepare the counterattack). If the Germans win the battle and take the territory, they’ll likely have a stack of tanks left, but it won’t be enough to stand up to that. If they pull out before winning, the Russians will consolidate even more and there will be no reinforcements to fight them. If the Germans don’t take the battle, the same thing will happen.

    Meanwhile, in this test game, the British were rampaging all over the Italians. Because I wanted to save the Luftwaffe, there was no counter on turn 2 for the Taranto raid, and the British were able to pump 3 transports out of their Egypt factory. They had brought in all of the aircraft from India and they decided to land everything in Yugoslavia that turn (because it was attacked and not captured, it converted to a friendly space that the Allies could land in). There were 7 fighters and 2 tac guarded by 4 Slavic infantry on the continent that the Italians could do nothing about and which the Germans were too preoccupied to deal with. There was no way Italy was going to be able to stop Britain from capturing Rome - on turn 3!

    All in all, I don’t think the strategy is actually a bad strategy. It’s pretty close to what the Germans actually tried in the war. I simply believe that this game is too far in favor of the Allies. It seems that without special strategies and counter-strategies on the part of the Axis, Britain and Russia can hold them off on their own. If the Axis get too devious, however, they’ve probably delayed themselves a turn or two and America is already on top of them. It’s up to Japan to save the day, but they’re on the other side of the world. The Allies are always one step ahead.

  • That’s the problem.  There’s literally no combination of units the German’s can come up with that’ll beat a Russian player churning out inf/art.  There’s really no way of taking down Moscow before at least turn 10 once the Russian player realizes this.  I honestly believe Germany going inf/art w/ a sub a turn is the only thing that gives them a fighting chance long-term.

    This game is painfully allied-favored.

  • Riiiiight.

    I think the mistake here is to look for a guaranteed strategy to capture Moscow. Yes, that was the way to win AA50, Revised and so on, but this is a different game.

    Firstly, it depends what the rest of the board looks like. Germany needs to not be too distracted defending France, which means Italy needs to be doing the business in Africa and Japan needs to have put the frighteners on America.

    Secondly, you don’t need to take Moscow to get the Axis income above the Allies income. If Russia is building all infantry/artillery and the Yanks are going mostly Atlantic, the correct response would be a German turtle, and helping Italy to push out in Africa. It will take a long, long time for the Russians to get an infantry army into Berlin. Monster Italy and monster Japan is enough to take Axis income above the Allies.

    Thirdly, Barbarossa is positional warfare. Push forward stacks that can’t be counterattacked, keep your tanks alive, force the Russian into bad positions. For example, imagine a typical G3 setup with about 10 inf + some art in Leningrad, 10 inf + some art in Belarus, and about 15 inf + some art south of the Pripet. Germany pushes into Baltic States and Eat Poland. Put enough in that (1) You can’t be attacked, (2) You can guarantee taking Leningrad if they put everything into it, (3) You can guarantee beating their combined Leningrad / Belarus / Bryansk army if they concentrate it in Belarus. At that point, a smart Russian player is forced to retreat their Leningrad army to Archangel - a horrible place to be!

    Fourthly, you can have a successful Barbarossa without taking Moscow. How about a limited offensive to take Leningrad and the Ukraine, then sit and trade the border territories? That gets German up above 60, and Russia’s income should be down into the 20s. If the US is pressing hard then you can spend that money defending Europe and preventing any Russian advance.

  • That’s a plan predicated on Italy taking Africa and expanding its economy.  They won’t if half their fleet is at the bottom of the Med.  If Germany has to assist Italy in Africa, it’s weakening its push into Russia.  If the Russian player organizes his defense around Bryansk and Belarus with R1 and R2 9 art builds complementing their already considerable number of inf, by G4 anything less than a really concerted German push is gonna stall a province or two in.  If the German player continues to posses the advantage in numbers (only possible IMHO through its own inf/art buys) the Russian player is forced to fall back for a turn to allow extra reinforcements from Moscow, but by R6 or so the Russian stack is always bigger.  You really only need to hold the line for the first 6-7 turns before America’s camped at Gibraltar with a considerable force of its own, forcing Germany to concentrate the vast majority of its spending on covering the ridiculous number of critical territories within striking range of the US fleet.  At this point even a 20 IPC Russia (unlikely to fall even this far unless the Japs are pushing very hard) is probably spending more than Germany on the Russian front, allowing them to always possess the advantage in numbers.

  • In response to Japan putting “the freighteners” on the US….How does Japan distract the US in any way that doesn’t slow Japan down more IPC-wise than the US?

  • Taranto definitely does not stop Italy from advancing in Africa. A well-played Italy with German help to clear the med and a sealion threat to prevent builds in south africa can push out pretty well in my experience so far.

    Yes, the basis of any german offensive is inf and art. It has always been this way and always will!

    I’m not saying you can do all of these things at once, in fact you can’t - this game is all about responding well to your opponent’s moves and builds, and using the correct economy of force. There is no magic strat I can give you to win as either side, although the US gibraltar shuck is indeed the easiest potential game-winner to implement.

  • I agree with everything Nagano just said based on my own experience.

    I would add, however, that the Taranto raid combined with support from the Indian navy and air force makes advancing in Africa a much harder prospect. If Britain does this combined with a US KIF strategy, I don’t think Italy has a chance of making it past Egypt no matter what Germany does. When I play the Allies, this is my strategy of choice.

  • @larrymarx:

    I agree with everything Nagano just said based on my own experience.

    I would add, however, that the Taranto raid combined with support from the Indian navy and air force makes advancing in Africa a much harder prospect. If Britain does this combined with a US KIF strategy, I don’t think Italy has a chance of making it past Egypt no matter what Germany does. When I play the Allies, this is my strategy of choice.

    Yes, the allies can do that, but then japan is unchecked

  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    Yes, the allies can do that, but then japan is unchecked

    That’s a pretty good trade-off IMHO.  It’s not like those Indian planes stop Japan dead in its tracks or anything.  You can also fly them back after you’ve finished off Italy’s African forces around turn 4 or so.

  • @calvinhobbesliker:


    I agree with everything Nagano just said based on my own experience.

    I would add, however, that the Taranto raid combined with support from the Indian navy and air force makes advancing in Africa a much harder prospect. If Britain does this combined with a US KIF strategy, I don’t think Italy has a chance of making it past Egypt no matter what Germany does. When I play the Allies, this is my strategy of choice.

    Yes, the allies can do that, but then japan is unchecked

    Honestly imo in the global game Japan is a lot less of a threat then Germany because America can always come back and crush them later on.

Log in to reply

20th Anniversary Give Away

In January 2000 this site came to life and now we're celebrating our 20th Anniversary with a prize giveaway of 30+ prizes. See this link for the list of prizes and winners.
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys
T-shirts, Hats, and More

Suggested Topics

  • 7
  • 14
  • 17
  • 9
  • 12
  • 12
  • 9
  • 6
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys