So you’re saying that Italy does not need Bulgaria to take this role?
Yes. Â It’s so much more important for the attacking force - Germany - to maximize its attacking ability.
How many territories can you reasonably open up on I3 without Bulgaria?
I only need one, East Poland. Â Germany follows and then Russia is forced to choose a direction, north or south.
With several “can opening” options exercised by Italians on I3, the Russian are forced to take into account the potential for a strike at any of the following:
Combination of Mechanized with troops from Poland / Amphibious assault at Leningrad (assuming italian Planes sink a Russian blocker in 114)
On R4, Russia should have around 30 Infantry, a handful of artillery, a few tanks, and its planes in range of Leningrad.
Anything you put there will be destroyed, and Russia will only lose infantry. Â Great deal for Russia.
If possible, I’d strafe your mechanized (read: expensive) forces and retreat back, so you can’t hit me with whatever’s in Baltic States.
Mechanized / air strike at Belarus with troops from Poland, with option to strike and retreat (e.g., losing mech infantry in the first round).
There will always be a very significant force in Belarus. Â Any German attack there will lose a lot more than it will kill.
Mechanised / air strike at Western Ukraine with troops from Poland, with option to strike and retreat (e.g., losing mech infantry in first round)
Ukraine with Mechanized troops from Romania + air
This is more plausible, since the southern stack is usually smaller than the northern one.
You’d have to have a lot of mechs to make it worth it though. Â If I trade Russian infantry for German mechs on a near 1-1 ratio, that’s a great deal for Russia.
I understand you can’t leave yourself exposed to a counterattack, but can the soviets have a counterattack ready for all these locations?
A good Russian player will always have stacks in Belarus and Northern Ukraine. Â Russian planes/tanks/mechs can swing around and reinforce any weaker points as needed.
Scenario 1: Soviets are very heavy in Leningrad in R3 (They would need quite a bit there to defend against what’s available to reach this)
If you’ve got a good naval and mechanized threat, Russia would be smart to leave Leningrad very lightly defended, if at all. Â Rather they’d stack up in Belarus, ready to kill whatever you put there.
Scenario 2: ï¿½ï¿½ Soviet massed up in Belarus in R3
German push infantry stack to baltic states and take Leningrad "with a moderate force consisting mostly of mechanized infantry. Planes land and baltic states for defence. Soviet cannot commit forces to re-take leningrad because they would be decimated.
I think this is where I’d disagree most. Â If you split your main force between two territories, Russia can attack one, destroy it at the cost of a few Russian infantry, and retreat back, probably to Archangel. Â All the expensive mechs you put in Leningrad are traded for very little.
On I4, Italy talkes Belarus and potentially Archangel. ï¿½ï¿½ On G5, can march infantry to Belarus / land planes there. On R5, the soviet is forced back to Moscow.
I really think you’re underestimating Russia’s counter-attacking capability. Â If Russia moves back Bryansk on R4 - for whatever reason - there’ll probably be upwards of 45 infantry, 5-8 artillery, and 5-7 tanks ready to smack whatever’s in Belarus. Â If Russia plays smart tactically, they can make Germany’s advance pretty challenging.
Scenario 3: Soviet are heavy in Bryansk in R3
That’s kinda weird; I’ve never seen that.
Scenario 4: Soviets left a medium size stack in either Belarus or Western Ukraine
Russia will either put everything together into those two spots, or won’t do it at all. Â Placing medium stacks is very dangerous for either side.