37 IPC = 11 Infantry, 1 Artillery. That gives me a jump on the Infantry to Artillery/Armor ratios and allows me to move slow moving infantry up to the front while Germany’s playing with France and England. (Even if you don’t go Sea Lion, Germany’s playing with the British fleet for at least that first round.)
Second round I probably still have 37 IPC, unless Japan’s player is really inexperienced, in which case, I have 49 IPC, but let’s assume 37 IPC, for argument’s sake:
I no longer have 3 rounds to get into position before expecting a German attack, I now have 2. (because on Round 4, Germany’s going to attack, probably.) I cannot get units from Volgorod or Muskva to E. Poland, Baltic States or Bessarabia any longer, nor can I get them to Belarus, N. Ukraine, S. Ukraine or Novgorod (from Muskva/Volgorod remember) thus, getting units that travel one per turn is no longer as beneficial, so I’ll ease off those units a bit:
37 IPC = 5 Infantry, 1 Artillery, 3 Armor. Note: This allows me to put slow moving units into Novgorod and S. Ukraine where they are in position, while Armor can go in Muskva where they can get into position with the first round of builds!
Round 3: I’ll probably still have 37 IPC, I am still assuming Japan does not attack:
I’ll get 6 Artillery (24 IPC) + 2 Armor. The armor can move in quickly from Muskva while the Artillery (again) maximizes my factories in Novgorod and S. Ukraine. All this extra artillery makes my infantry stacks (that should be standing at about 41 Infantry) a significant threat to any German stack.
By the start of Round 4, the Russians should have: 38 Infantry, 10 Artillery, 7 Armor and 2 Mechanized Infantry on the front lines, with which they can support with 2 Fighters, 1 Tactical Bomber from Novgorod to attack a German stack. (Assumes: 1 Infantry in Baltic States, 1 Infantry in E. Poland and 1 Infantry in Bessarabia as a picket line; also assumes the force is split between Novgorod, Belarus, N. Ukraine and S. Ukraine with Novgorod and S. Ukraine containing 3 artillery each, the rest split between Belarus and N. Ukraine). There should also be at least an AA Gun present, though, I would have 2 present, one in the north, one in the south.
Compare that to all infantry builds. For one, most of your units are still walking to the front lines since you have to build at least some back in Moscow/Stalingrad. For another, you have SIGNIFICANTLY less offensive punch, meaning German stacks are safer. Now, just because you CAN destroy the infantry stack does not mean you SHOULD, but wouldn’t you want the possibility of doing it?
Essentially, if you stage as discussed, Russia can pose a serious health risk to the German economy while maintaining the Russian one, and that’s what you want! With England harrying the German navy, encouraging them to keep planes back in W. Germany and putting more ships in the water, Russia can easily out grow the German army in strength - if you can hold them out of red territories for a few extra rounds!