Attack, Retreat or Advance?



  • Another crazy situation that I had considered before but that happened to me for the 1st time:

    Imagine the Germans have a stack of 40 infantry + 15 armor on Ukraine. But that you, as Allies, have a stack of 70+ units on Caucasus, including Russia’s 27 inf and 17 arm, some 35 UK ground units (inf, art and arm) and a few US ones.
    On the 2nd front, the Allied fleet has finished reinforcing Russia through Archangel and has started contesting Western Europe but Germany still has some 30-40, mostly infantry, to defend itself. And the Japs are getting large stacks to Sinkiang, India and Yakut.
    Then Germany moves its 50 unit stack from Ukraine to West Russia. It’s the UK round now. What would you do?

    a) Attack the German stack on West Russia before the Japanese can land planes to protect it, followed by a Russian attack to destroy the remains.
    b) Move all the UK (and Allied) units to defend Russia.
    c) Advance everything into Ukraine.



  • i think i would attack W.Russia with UK from Caucasus and from Russia, and retreat to Russia after all their infantry is dead (is there is anything left to retreat), with some luck you get to keep the tanks (and planes if there are any).
    Then let the Russians finish the job (if the odds are still good enough, or are there that many japanese planes?).

    US units probably just defend either Caucasus or (more likely) pull back to Moscow.

    so: a, and abit b 🙂

    edit: on the other hand, the situation for the Allies sounds pretty bad, so chosing to advance and trying to pinch Germany could pay off as well. i see the dilemma…



  • @special:

    edit: on the other hand, the situation for the Allies sounds pretty bad, so chosing to advance and trying to pinch Germany could pay off as well. i see the dilemma…

    I felt the situation for the Allies was good, even with the German stack advancing to Ukraine since I had the slight income edge and Russia was secured for quite a while with all those Allied ground troops there. I had stopped reinforcing Archangel because I now wanted to force G to pull back their stack, so that Russia and the UK could start smashing Japan on India.

    In any case, I decided by advancing the stack to Ukraine. First the UK, but when Russia then moved all their units the Axis player was shocked. He pulled back the stack to Belo, then I moved mine to Balkans while he got to Eastern Europe. Then I attacked Germany. The UK failed to broke through but the Russians took Berlin (taking 14 IPCs despite losing their capitol the previous turn) with 14 armor remaining. However, the Germans counterattacked with their 40 infantry and killed all the armor. I surrendered because it was impossible to retake Germany with the UK/US forces remaining.


  • '12

    Deadzone Caucus was your choice.  At this point, why was Japan not a monster?  35 Brit ground forces should imply a heck of alot of Japs.

    An attack by the Brits would reduce the possibilities of what the brits can do.  Japan would have to play a bit more conservatively knowing a stack of brits can move around.



  • @Hobbes:

    I felt the situation for the Allies was good, even with the German stack advancing to Ukraine since I had the slight income edge and Russia was secured for quite a while with all those Allied ground troops there. I had stopped reinforcing Archangel because I now wanted to force G to pull back their stack, so that Russia and the UK could start smashing Japan on India.

    I see.
    So if Germany wants to stop the advancing Brits with the W.Russian stack, it has to make a movement away from Russia (is good), also leaving the japanese planes theoretically exposed to a US/Russian attack, so they probably won’t send everything after those Brits… (or Japan won’t reinforce with fighters at all)

    But… Ukraine is getting further away from India, if that was your aim.

    Sounds like an intriguing game. Where does USA stand in all this, by the way?

    And how on earth did you manage to get 35 UK ground troops into Russia? 😄

    edit: just seen your edit now. I was thinking maybe you should have taken Southern Europe instead (with UK) for the IC there. But that would only make sense if you can keep it



  • I think I would have retreated Uk to Russia.It is the normal process of life,when Germany holds strong WR or Japan holds Kazakh,the Allies abandon Caucasus and prepare for their last stand in Moscow.


  • '12

    I would like to have seen a map.  I am not sure how I understand that the Japanese were not able to attack Cau?  The allies were strong enough in Rus to fend of the german stack of 55 ground units AND defend Cau from a Jap attack after the Brits moved 35 land units out of Cau?

    I try to stack Per as Japan, a large multinational force in Cau is great for defense, not so good on offense.  Once Cau becomes a deadzone its nice to move a few tanks from Kaz or Per to Ukr or Wru if possible.  It’s nice to have them around between the Brit/Us turns.

    It was an interesting move going to Ukr, I must be wary of that myself when moving a stack from Ukr to WRu reinforced with Jap fighters.  Mind you, if he had moved the Jap fighters to Wru, they become trapped in effect as the moment Germany moves off WRu the brits can hammer them.

    Germany was not able to mostly abondon WEu (leave enough inf to protect the Jap airforce from a brit attack after the germans pull out if using FE) and move a stack out of Ger to EEu, retreat the tanks to EEu and Inf to Kar?  I guess with Navy in Sz5? and a brit stack in Ukr it was not possible?  I guess maybe too dangerous for the German Inf in Kar and another stack in EEu of mostly tanks and Inf from Ger?



  • The whole point of the move to Ukraine was to sacrifice Russia and to use that Allied army to help take Germany. It couldn’t be attacked by the German stack on WRus and it would arrive Germany before it, through the Balkans.



  • @Hobbes:

    The whole point of the move to Ukraine was to sacrifice Russia and to use that Allied army to help take Germany. It couldn’t be attacked by the German stack on WRus and it would arrive Germany before it, through the Balkans.

    That plan could’ve worked if there were enough Americans around: UK doing the dirty work in attacking germany, then USA finishing the job and taking Germany (getting an IC in the center of the action!) and then having those Russians reinforce it, defending it from being taken back, then it would have been quite a different game!



  • Great scenario, not that uncommon either.

    How would an all out attack turn out

    saying UK: 20 inf 5 art 5 arm against GER: 40 inf 15 arm
    Then you would probably take out 20 inf (17 says my statistics, but you probably have some air that could be used in round 1 of combat).

    Then you leave it to USSR to take out 20 inf 15 arm and say 5 jap figs with 27 inf and 17 arm this is a 50-50 battle if the USSR also has a few figs to bring.
    If a huge Jap stack will move within striking distance then can’t see how even a succesfull attack can prevent Russia from falling next turn.

    The option of advancing is intriguing, but it is hard to give that advice without knowing the situation in Europe exactly. Best case would mean that both Russia and Germany falls, which would still mean that the game is open.

    Retreat to Russia is the safe play - as long as it is Germany that captures Caucasus, you might be able to recover. It is all depending on the general situation - how is the IPC balance? - what is the US doing?
    Retreating might actually make the German overspend a bit to reinforce the front with 4 units in Cauc, which could be what will make him lose Germany.

    So retreat or advance is what I would do.



  • @Hobbes:

    The whole point of the move to Ukraine was to sacrifice Russia and to use that Allied army to help take Germany. It couldn’t be attacked by the German stack on WRus and it would arrive Germany before it, through the Balkans.

    I have been in the exact same situation. Once I saw Caucasus falling and that Moscow would be overrun, I chose to sent the russian armor to Germany via Karelia, in order to make the 1-2-3 punch more effective, instead of letting it die in Moscow. It didn t work for me either. This is actually the very essence of the Allied question; reinforce Moscow or go for Germany. I tend to think there is an added value in reinforcing Moscow, even though taking Berlin is what wins the game. As Bunnies said once (where is he btw???) the Allies may need to trade Moscow for Berlin and this is not a bad trade, but they must make sure to do the trade.


  • '12

    Well if the allies are and will for a few turns win the IPC income battle I think retreat.  If the income is about equal or greater for the axis and nothing soon will change it, I think you have to advance.  Somewhat self-evident I guess.

    The allies with lots of air power and some ground troops ought to make it dangerous to move units/reinforcments around.  As Japan I like to mass in ind to move into Persia when Germany moves to WRu.  A few british tanks in Rus with air units makes it hard to move units to Sin or Yak unless in large numbers which is counter productive to where I want them to be.  My last game the Brits had 4-5 bombers and a few fighters, that and 3-4 tanks can take out 5-7 land units and attrit the japs while winning the IPC attrit war.  Moreover it can tip the tables on what is feasible up north as far as adventurous pushes up north by the allies.



  • A few more indications:

    The UK and Russia could have hit and killed the German stack on WRus but that would leave Russia undefended against Japan, which was massing units on Yakut, India and Sinkiang.
    The US had essentially botched up its transport shuttle at this point - the Japanese were also overrunning Africa so they needed to divert some forces there and I had forgotten to move units into Eastern Canada and to offload the units onboard transports off SZ4.



  • Sorry to go off topic here,but why do you guys not play games on this site?
    I’d love to witness some of these strategies & perhaps have a game with someone.

    By the way I think I would defiantly retreat to Russia


  • '12

    Ah, a bit more context and things begin to become clear.  I can see with a hiccup in the north Atlantic shuck.  You wouldn’t screw up the shuck to do that, but since it already was, less cost to doing so as the lost opportunity costs are being paid for anyways.

    A very tough call you cannot get answers for by merely plugging values into AACalc.  Reversing a multi-national defense into a multi-national offense reverses the IPC differential in the battle usually.   In my opinion, just to win an IPC attrition battle is not worth it in that scenario, unless it was a big payoff like taking a capital as in your case.

    I find it tough to get the japs strong enough to be able to overcome a multinational defense, it takes until turn 9-10.  I do adventure a bit in africa but not really at lost opportunity costs and not with much in the way of an IPC force and it more than pays off for itself by round 7-8.

    As for Flips comment, I can’t agree enough.  I actually love the format of PBEM here and generally the speed is my speed.  I don’t think I could run with you cats who play with 5 minute rounds in a real-time games.  I’m getting old and I am officially brain-injured, dat’s my excuse and me sticking with it!  I would love to see a few 1942 games per week here rather than 1-2 a month.

    Col Stauffenberg must still be doing homework.  Yeah, I got some homework for you.  First, three easy letters to learn… NFA, not to be confused with NFG…

    http://www.cse.nd.edu/courses/cse411/www/slides/lect05.pdf



  • @Hobbes:

    Germans 40 infantry + 15 armor on Ukraine.
    Allies, have a stack of 70+ units on Caucasus, including Russia’s 27 inf and 17 arm, some 35 UK ground units (inf, art and arm) and a few US ones.

    Allied fleet has finished reinforcing Russia through Archangel and has started contesting Western Europe but Germany still has some 30-40, mostly infantry, to defend itself. And the Japs are getting large stacks to Sinkiang, India and Yakut.
    Then Germany moves its 50 unit stack from Ukraine to West Russia. It’s the UK round now. What would you do?

    a) Attack the German stack on West Russia before the Japanese can land planes to protect it, followed by a Russian attack to destroy the remains.
    b) Move all the UK (and Allied) units to defend Russia.
    c) Advance everything into Ukraine.

    How many Japanese units were in Asia?  30 to 40+ ground?  That’s my guess.



  • hey hobbes you are speaking about the game you played VS. me. I think everyone should know the game was Low Luck. The main problem we found out that leaving russia undefended was 1. letting japan take it for minimal losses. 2. Since Russia’s capital had fallen and germany didn’t have a huge attacking power Russian forces became almost useless. Since if Russia took Germany’s capital the money germany lost wouldn’t mean much since russia couldn’t use it. Japan was a monster if anyone was asking. Japan was making 14 units a turn from turn 4-5 till the time the game ended. By the end of the game japan had 80+ tanks and was making 70-80 a turn and had its entired fleet in med with 4 transports that could load and offload men from africa onto western europe or southern europe. This combined with the 70 tanks japan had in russia/caucus moving up to Germany meant game over. As for attack or retreat. I think your plan would have worked better if when you were moving up your stack of 70-80 men from Cacus I would have moved it up to eastern europe so the german 15 tanks couldn’t reach Germany to defend before UK attacked. You ended up moving your whole stack to balkans. Making eastern europe open to move through with 15 tanks to get to the capital before UK attacked. Since it was LL Germany easily held off an attack from UK. I could have attacked the Eastern Europe stack and retreat to Germany with my remaining forces. This would have worked in your favor. Since Russian men at this point are near worthless you could have taken the first round hits on all your russian infantry. Making Germany much weaker and killing Russian units that don’t mean anything. All in all hobbes in this game tried the Norway attack (I was curious to see if it would work out well) and then lost his stack on western Russia. From there it was an uphill climb.



  • I often read dazzling numbers of stacked troops (for ex. over 30 UK units in Russia?, 80+ tanks from Japan?)

    …i don’t get it, do you people buy for 7 rounds before you do anything?


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    @special:

    I often read dazzling numbers of stacked troops (for ex. over 30 UK units in Russia?, 80+ tanks from Japan?)

    …i don’t get it, do you people buy for 7 rounds before you do anything?

    Precisely my thought! I play the game only occasionally, and have never played online. But it simply never lasted long enough to have such numbers. Perhaps I never met a good opponent?


  • '12

    A tripleA save file for this game would have been helpful.  Those do seem like large numbers before the ‘final’  dance(s)



  • In online games with two good players using Low Luck (or even regular dice) it is common to see large stacks like that because players will rather not take chances and wait to move those stacks until they are sure that they can’t be destroyed. It also depends on the overall strat you’re following: if you are ahead on income and you’ve stopped the enemy from advancing then it’s best to keep piling up units until you are ready to move. You’re already ahead of him on income so he’ll be the one who has to take more risks.

    On this game the Allies essentially kept their advantage on income and started a reinforcement chain through Archangel to fortify Russia for a few rounds. That’s how the UK ended up with 30+ units in Caucasus. The problem is really that the Allies work together great on the defense but it can be very hard to advance since each one will have to attack individually.

    Oh, and I don’t think it was so many Japanese tanks… but by then I had stopped counting 😄



  • Hobbes put the point perfectly. A good game Vs. two experts is almost always going to last for 12+ rounds. Most of the game becomes posturing. This is the problem I have with the allies as well Hobbes. Normally when I play the allies I let the UK and Russia do all the attacks unless an attack from US presents itself. I just build up my forces with US until they are too great and since they haven’t done any fodder attacks, their army is huge!



  • @theROCmonster:

    Normally when I play the allies I let the UK and Russia do all the attacks unless an attack from US presents itself. I just build up my forces with US until they are too great and since they haven’t done any fodder attacks, their army is huge!

    Which brings another question, which role the UK/US should have. The most logical is UK nibbles, US delivers the major blow, as you described. However, there are situations where it gets inverted:

    • The UK is better placed and can start assembling a large force while the US is still building up their transport chain.
    • UK forces in Russia can both defend against Germany and still use their advantage of playing before Japan, in coordination with previous US/Russian blows to the Japanese.

  • '16 '15 '10

    This may or may not be consistent with the conventional wisdom, but with regard to low luck games, my philosophy as Allies was always to be aggressive and wear down Germany with all 3 Allies.  So in my view large stacks are more beneficial to Axis (unless they are pinned down and losing bad economically).  In dice it’s not as easy to be as aggressive because amphib assaults can go terribly wrong, and one bad amphib can completely ruin a structured KGF.  For this reason I was inclined to believe the Allies have a better chance at winning in low luck.



  • I believe you are right. The allies should have the advantage in low luck because of the amphibious asaults. I also spend all my units as UK. Meaning I try to take as many territories as I can but still have a steady stream of 2 inf 2 tanks a turn to norway or lenningrad if can stack. I think in our game Hobbes decided against these attacks and kept a steady stream of 8 units heading to archangel with UK.


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