Odd strategy to quickly subdue the Russians as Germany

  • Greetings, I’m going to make my first post on these forums something worthwhile, and discuss the possibilities of strange strategies. If people enjoy this post, I will update with more that I have found.

    When I play games as Germany, I usually ignore Sealion altogether, and go for crushing Russia, which has seemed to work well in the games that I’ve played. As a strategy, I find that building an IC in Romania is a good idea, to shorten the supply lines for the southern front. After playing a game with one of my friends from school, we talked about unorthodox strategies, which got me thinking.

    Normally, a war between Germany and Russia is very straightforward. Germany amasses troops in Poland, Slovakia, and Romania, sometimes with the addition of Finland with small numbers of troops. When Germany initially attacks, he has great local superiority, and advances quickly through the first couple of rounds (game rounds, not battle rounds). After Germany pushes further into Russia, his supply lines get longer, and Russia’s get shorter, which will begin to slow the German advance, and possibly even stop it (especially with the extra income from global, is Japan doesn’t attack Russia in the east, which doesn’t happen in my games). If the Allies land in France or Southern Europe, then Germany must divert some of its forces to assist Italy, which essentially spells the end of any possible victory on the Eastern front, which is exactly what happened in the actual war.

    Now, after my friend and I talked about unorthodox strategies, began thinking about my typical placement of a Minor Complex in Romania, to alleviate supply issues in the south. I realized something that I believe is an effective way to crush the Russians quickly, and then turn my attention back to Britan, which has been isolated with subs at this point. (Now, I haven’t actually tried this in a game yet, and I won’t be able to for a while, so if more experienced players than myself could tell if it is indeed viable, or perhaps even try it in a game of their own.) The strategy would involve creation of the IC in Romania, and then building transports in the Black Sea (Zone 100), and ferrying troops into the Caucasus, or the neighboring territories, Rostov and Ukraine. This would open up a new front in the south, especially since Italy can’t come through the middle east that quickly, and won’t be there for a few more rounds. This will keep the Russians guessing which territory you will assault, which will force them to spread their forces in the south, weakening their defenses further. Also, the territories in the south are twice as valuable as the others, so the economy would be helped significantly more than a northern push.

    Further thinking along these lines has led me to the conclusion that you could also build another IC in Norway, and conduct a similar maneuver in the north, Assaulting Leningrad, Archangel, or any other territory up there. it would also serve to protect Norway from potential Allied invasion. Norway is key, because of its value and the NO.

    What do people think of this? Has it already been done, and would it work in practice, not just in theory? What are possible improvements to this strategy to make it more effective?
    Thanks for reading, it was a lot.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I’ve seen a number of people do this out of Romania.

    HOWEVER.  It usually requires 2 other components.

    A:  An Airbase in Romania as well…

    B:  A bombed complex in the Ukraine, or an outright capture of the ukraine complex, to prevent SUBS from going into the black sea, which will for the germans to be building destroyers there.

    As for Norway… typically your Sea-Lion bluff navy is large enough, that you can just pull it back into the baltic, and hammer away at the Russians, WITHOUT a complex in Norway.  12 IPC’s you don’t have to spend on an item that will make the allies foam at the mouth, is 12 IPC’s you can put on the ground.

  • This is a fairly common strategy, and it is not odd or unorthodox. The reason it isn’t effective is Russia can send one plane to kill all your transports in the black sea. The transports are better put to use in the Baltic sea where you can ferry troops form your Major ICs in Germany and Western Germany to Novgorod. You can protect them easily there.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    I’ve seen it, but as Gargantua pointed out, you have a problem with Russians putting a submarine in SZ 100 (Black Sea) and thus it forces the Germans to put destroyers (ie less infantry!) there.

  • Little Boot you have a very good idea.  Here is one way to go about it:

    round 1:

    • Germany builds MAJOR IC in Romania
    • Japan slaughters Amur by land, sea and air; minor IC in Korea
    • Italy takes Greece by land, sea and air

    round 2:

    • Germany blows France money on 5 transports and a destroyer in z100
    • the large force that just took yugoslavia round 1 now marches over to Romania
    • park 1 fig, 2 tac and a bomber in Greece
    • Japan marches westward (and never stops), use air to kill every Russian in sight, start building mechanized infantry in Korea for cannon fodder
    • Italy build airbase in Greece

    round 3:

    • Germany declares total war on the Bolshevik
    • build 6 inf, 3 art, 1 tank in Romania (and do it every turn)
    • land inf/art at their weakest point (Rostov is best), use Greece planes as cover
    • take Bessarabia
    • Bomb Stalingrad

    round 4 onward:

    • hit their STRONGEST point in the South with 6 inf, 3 art, 1 tank, 1 fig, 2 tac (plus hopefully some of what you landed next door last turn is still alive)
    • hit the North and split them in two
    • Kill as many Russians as you can, especially their armor or air units
    • take Ukraine
    • Bomb Stalingrad
    • starve them out

  • I did it in a f2f game where I went barbarossa instead of sealion.

    Minor in Romania;

    next turn I mobilized 2transports, added 1airbase to romania.

    The Italians added 1airbase in Greece.

    This way sz100 was guarded by 6 aircrafts

  • I like the creativity here, but i don’t think it is a great strategy.  To counter this with Russia, i would stack a shit load of guys in Rostov and retake Ukraine and Cauc every turn.  It’s just to high of an investment to be worth it IMO.

  • Customizer

    Actually, it is an excellent strategy if you plan on forgetting Sealion and concentrating on Barbarossa.  Put a Major IC in Romania round 1, put an airbase and extra men, art or tanks (your choice) in Romania and at least 3 or 4 transports in SZ 100 round 2.  Plus you got to make sure AT LEAST 3 planes land at the airbase in Romania to protect those transports.  SBR on the IC in Ukraine is a good idea but if Russia puts a sub down there, you get a destroyer next round.
    This strategy has been used in a couple of our games and both times was a spectacular success.  Basically, Russia has 5 fronts to worry about:  Finland>Karelia, Poland>Baltic States, Slovakia>E Poland, Romania>Bessarabia and SZ 100>Caucasus.  Russia can’t possibly defend against all of them.  In the first game, our Russian player got totally befuddled and accomplished nothing but losing more and more territory.  The second time Russia had a little more success, but the end was still the same.
    By the way Pherman1215, yes Russia could put a lot of guys in Rostov and keep taking the Ukraine and/or Caucasus back, but what about up north?  Remember, there are also two large German armies coming from Finland and Poland.  If you are stacking up down south, then Leningrad is lost and Germany can head to Moscow north of the Pripet Marshes.  Once Moscow is gone, there will be no more large stacks in Rostov.  Your strategy would be a mere stalling tactic at most.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Keep in mind that the Italian Strategic Bomber on S. Italy can SBR S. Ukraine and land on Greece, from there it can SBR Vologorod if S. Ukraine was not repaired and land on Greece or Romania again.  Why use the German bombers?

  • TripleA

    looks good to me.

  • So the general consensus is that the factory in Norway as well wouldn’t be efficient?
    I’m still undecided as to how it would work, having not yet tried it in a game. I estimate the pressure on the Russians from both north in Archangel and south in Rostov and Caucasus could crack them.

  • Littleboot here is something you could do up North to add to what you might have going on in the Black Sea:

    round 1:
    Walk 1 infantry into Finland and activate the 4 Finns.

    round 2:
    Build minor IC in FINLAND
    Get your ships back to z113 and build a destroyer

    round 3:
    Build 3 armor in Finland
    Sink Russian black sea fleet
    Attack Vyborg from land, sea and air
    Attack Baltic states from Poland
    Bomb Leningrad and Stalingrad (1 bomber for each)
    Let the Italians SBR either Stalingrad or Leningrad if AA hits a German bomber (they can hit either one from Greece)

    round 4 onward:
    Leningrad dies, or at least USSR feels so pressured they split into little pieces.
    Take Archangel asap to deny them the Murmansk NO.
    Don’t ever lose Norway.

    BTW the best part of this is that it is NOT SEA LION.

  • Operation Barbarossa worked last weekend about 1/2 of our players think that, hit Germany on 2 and keep the presure on Russia and keep putting just enough subs and planes in to keep Britian at bay. Japan will also attack Russia on one also (ALPHA+2)  Italy usally helps Germany too instead of focusing Africa & Mid East as much. but last weekend Italy didnt do so well,
    but the Axis still had the win.
    I prefer to go Sea lion and baring bad dice it usally works, but about 1 in 3 to 5 games I’ll turn on Russia with the Sea lion look builds.    Its all about the looks on their faces when I do it in back to back games just to keep them guessing

  • It almost seems to me that it’s more beneficial to Russia to have the Russian front divided up more, but it’s not very obvious at first glance. Let me back up…

    This analysis assumes that Germany is devoting everything to barbarosa (no Sealion), and that Russia doesn’t have to worry about Japan. Also, Germany attacks Russia 4th round, not before.

    Ok, Germany should have about 153 ipcs to spend for barbarosa in the first 3 rounds (30 1st round, 70 2nd round, 53 3rd round). After that, any extra income it gets comes from Russian territories. Russia has about 121 ipcs to spend for the first 3 rounds. The differences between games lays in the purchases between the players.

    So, why would Germany spend extra money on ICs in places like Finland and Romania? (Actually, I can see the usefulness in Romania, but I’ll get to that in a minute). A major IC and an air base in romania along with transports costs Germany 66-80 ipcs, depending on how many transports. So now, when it comes to units on the fronts, Germany has 73-87 ipcs worth compared to Russia’s 121ipcs (not that the extra 34-48 ipcs for Russia will keep Germany from winning against Russia).

    Unless the purpose for a IC in Romania is to exploit the Black sea (which is almost always the case), there’s not much of a use of having it, is there? My reasoning is this:

    1. the immediate benefit of a ic up at a front is you get to attack immediately
    2. in this scenario, Germany is attacking round 4
    3. if the German player has the insight, he could just figure out what units he wants to have up at the front on the turn in the future that he wants them there
    4. so why spend an extra 12 or 30 ipcs on an ic when you’ll get the same benefit if you do a little extra planning?
      conclusion: plan ahead, so that you can buy another 5 or so units to actually do something. (and this goes for any ic that you just want up in the front)

    That’s my first point.

    My second point goes back to the ipcs that both Germany and Russia have to use in the first 3 rounds. If the Russian player is experienced, he will see that Germany is planning on opening more fronts by putting the major IC on romania. However, Germany still has to work with the ipcs that it has, and the same for Russia. Soooo, why doesn’t Russia invest more in the same area that Germany does? As Russia, just station mobile units in Russia and Volgograd, so that you can get to any place he attacks right away. Russia can do this because Germany is investing less on the other fronts. If Germany sees that the south is more heavily guarded than what he was planning on and so he backs off on those attacks, just take your quick moving armor and mechs up to Western Ukraine or Belarus. It’s not as though just because you now have the opportunity to attack Rostov and Caucasus that you will be able to just move your armies there without a fight. With this in mind:

    1. by using the black sea, you get the advantage of attacking deeper in, but the ipcs should roughly balance out.
    2. I would ask if it wouldn’t be more worth it for Germany to instead use the 80 ipcs it would take for a major ic, air base, and 5 trans for other units on the immediate front–you could get 15 inf, 5 art, 3 mech and 3 armor.

    Looking back at this little analysis of mine, I do admit that it (probably) breaks down for Russia. But that’s because Russia breaks down for Germany. Germany starts out too strong for Russia, and so Russia is going to have to give up some fronts so that it can properly defend others–it’s going to have to give ground somewhere. Nevertheless, I think that if Germany is going to commit to building a useful IC in Romania, it only benefits Russia (despite the more fronts it has to face), because it removes a lot of German ipcs from units.

    note: some of the calculations might be off in this, because I can’t yet see it on the board. I don’t yet have europe 1940 because it’s so dang expensive.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Anti-Russian Operations:

    Hit the British fleet and France round 1 (fleet purchase, why let the allies know you are not doing Sea Lion when you really could use those warships regardless of Sea Lion or not?)
    Round 2:  10 Infantry, 10 Artillery
    Round 3: Mech, Arm
    Round 4: Mech, Arm
    Round 5: Fighter/Tactical
    Round 6: Strategic
    Round 7: Attack Moscow

    Very rough, no details plan.

  • Ronrye, you bring up some very valid points, and I believe that you are right in many respects. However, I can disagree with you on the effectiveness of a factory in Romania.

    In most of my games, I build a Minor IC in Romania on the first or second turn (depending on weather I’m going all out Barbarossa, or feigning a Sealion first). After that, I immediately start churning out tanks and infantry there, to fight in the south.

    My strategy consists of taking the Ukraine complex on the 2nd turn we are at war, or the first in the case of an amphibious action in the black sea. After the Ukraine complex falls, I push on towards Stalingrad, and then go northwards. Light to medium pressure in the north, and I have yet to test the effectiveness of a complex in Norway or Finland.

    You say that the construction of a complex in Romania will take away too many funds from the ground force, resulting in lessened success. I have observed this to be false, where the money spent on the complex (minor, mind you, I don’t think a major would be a good idea.) is counterbalanced by the shortened supply line, and the ability to quickly get more tanks and infantry to the south.

    Lastly, I think that both courses of action can result in a win, and there is no one right way to play Germany. Anybody is entitled to their beliefs and practices.

    As a side question, Germany can take Southern France on turn one, with tanks from S. Germany, and Mechs from West Germany, as well as aircraft. Would this be advised? I find I can take all three territories of France easily on turn 1, but it could mean more losses in Paris, and if you use the Luftwaffe, it could jeopardize the certainty of destroying most of the Royal Navy on turn 1, allowing it to group up, and potentially making it much more potent.

  • If you take Southern France, don’t forget there are two surface ships in z93 that convoy raid it.

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