Fighting off Barbarossa from Moscow…


  • Has anyone tried the following builds with Russia when faced with a G2 Barbarossa?

    R1 build 1 Tactical Bomber, 2 Tanks, 2 Mech and 2 Infantry

    R2 onwards build all Infantry

    The theory behind this would be that you can then group 2 fighters, 2 tac bombers and 3 tanks in Moscow and, using the Red Army as a meat shield, use those 7 units as a hammer to counter-attack when the Germans advance into places like Belorus…

    Has anyone tried this approach? How did you fare?


  • Not nearly enough to do enough damage unless Germany is also building lots of naval and comes in dumb. Most players won’t expose their stacks to effective Russian counters unless they’re going to get a good exchange out of it. The other issue is that Germany will almost always have reinforcements coming up from behind their front. So even if you do manage to take out their front stack, Germany will be able to counter the units that you’ve just exposed. Germany can afford to replace their units more then USSR can and you’ll soon be bled dry of units.

    If you are planning on conducting an aggressive defense, I’d suggest switching out those mech for some arty to give you a little more punch when the time comes. Keep buying some arty each turn as you can afford them, maybe with the occasional tank/air thrown in. Large numbers of inf/art pairs + a bunch of tanks/air could be effective strafing German columns and then falling back onto advancing reinforcements. Just be aware that regardless of what you do, most games end up with the the Soviets huddled or overrun in Moscow. Sometimes you can reverse your fortunes if your allies can get to you in time and massive landings are taking place on Germany’s coastlines


  • I like 5 artillery, 2 infantry and the tactical bomber.  After that build all infantry and bring far east troops home.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    The best way for the germans to win in Russia, is to BE attacked by the Russians.

    The best way for the Russians to win, is force the Germans into attacking.

    Interesting concept though, but you can always build expensive units later, and should start with pure inf builds IMO.


  • But can’t the threat of a counterattack slow them down and buy you another turn?

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    It can at times, but having 2 infantry and an artillery is still better than another tac.

    Especially EARLY. As Russia’s mobility factor is less important.

    But hey, bake the cake however you want. 🙂

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Soviets will only win the eastern front if the German player wins it for them by being stupid.  That being said, the USSR should keep some offensive power to take advantage of that chance.  Artillery is probably the safe bet, but throwing in a few tanks now and again doesn’t hurt.

  • TripleA

    when germany buys naval i like 6 mech 1 fighter 1 inf. if he follows through with sea lion you can hold east poland no problem. with everything that moves up. if not oh well, not a bad buy still.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Buying MECH as Russia, EVER, (save the end of the game), Just doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

    Isn’t Artillery hands down the better buy?

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    This is a build strategy I’m willing to try next game.

    1 artillery
    1 tank
    the rest infantry

    Every turn,  with the odd dollar building an artillery or two.


  • A small group of mechs, like 4-5, can be very useful.
    I definitely wouldn’t buy much more than that; I agree that artillery are usually better.

    I’d go heavier on artillery though than one a turn, and probably wouldn’t buy much in the way of tanks at all.  Maybe just a couple early on.
    If I’ve got something like 50 Infantry, I’ll want at least 15 artillery.  They hit as hard as tanks and cost way less.  Delicious.


  • @Gargantua:

    Buying MECH as Russia, EVER, (save the end of the game), Just doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

    Isn’t Artillery hands down the better buy?

    depends on which territory u think u have to stack on a given round to stop ger s advance for 1 round.
    eg if ussr has to stack blrs in ussr4, infs/arts bought in moscow/ukr/volgo in ussr2 wont serve that purpose, so buyin mechs will be much better.

    actually this logic applies to every buy ussr makes. eg if u have to deny ger a blrs stack say in g4, it s better to buy arts in g2, tanks in g3 etc etc.

    so it s about reading the game enough to be able to tell which units u will need in ca 2 rounds after your current purchase.


  • @Gargantua:

    Buying MECH as Russia, EVER, (save the end of the game), Just doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

    Isn’t Artillery hands down the better buy?

    Germany will be light of troops at the front because of all the naval buys, but it’ll take you 3 turns for your first buys from moscow to reach the front. By that point, Germany will probably have switched to ground units and be ready to meet your advance. If you can gain control of the front by deadzoning some German terr, you have a big advantage and can collect a bunch of NOs and maybe maintain that dominant position for a couple of turns.

  • TripleA

    basically if germany goes through with sea lion you want to be ready to attack some territories.

  • Customizer

    Mec are good for cheap mobile canon fodder.  Also useful when you need to defend a forward space but inf/art buys will get there too late.

  • TripleA

    mid late game you place them behind russia and hit wherever axis blitz to.

  • Customizer

    What you buy I would say is pretty circumstantial.

    I am in a game right now where I want to stand in Bel and stall the Germans for an extra turn.  To get the German odds below 50%, I need my buys to be in Bel next turn.  That means mec.


  • i think garg put it best:

    russia NEEDS germany to attack it, not the other way around

    that said, the threat of countering goes a long way

    logistically, mainly inf/art is the way to go, with the occasional mech/tank or aircraft

    and ALWAYS quintuple-check any counter/strafe you consider as russia.  you need pretty good odds cuz if things go even a little south, it’ll bite you in the arse.


  • The only way that Russia can be the aggressor is if the Germans are buying a lot of boats, or the Germans split their forces early and try to send half north, and half south. In most games of a strong Barbarossa the Germans  super stack E Poland (sometimes Bess). This forces the Russians to back down because they have no chance to attack, and will surly be wiped out if they stay put. The Russians are already in a pickle because of the marsh, and can’t really defend until the Germans get closer to Moscow IMO. At that point sometimes the Germans lose momentum because of allied landings and the possibility of a Russian counter attack could stall the Germans depending on how hard the Germans are pushing (and if the is Italians involved allowing the Germans to keep air with their troops)

    Most German Generals will head south to push into the Ukraine to try and grab the oil bonuses or 2 IPC territories to build more minor ICs. They will normally have 2-3 tpts and maybe a small force to annex Leningrad with relative ease because the Russians are trying to def the south.

    A couple of mech will help Russia if they are trying to trade a weakly def German Ukraine, Caucasus, or track down German breakthroughs behind them. Sometimes a mech/tank can get you the Russian NO in Iraq, or Africa to replace income lost through German or Jap gains.

  • Customizer

    In my gaming group, we take turns playing different countries by rolling the combat dice. First person rolls all 6 major nations and whatever comes up a “1”, that is their country for this game. (If 2 or more come up “1”, then they get to choose.) All of us just hate it when we get stuck with Russia because it just seems like they always end up getting taken over, even in Allied won games sometimes. Also, it seems like Russia’s game is ALWAYS defensive - basically buying lots of infantry and hoping you can slow down the Axis enough for UK and USA to take some of the heat off. In other words, BORING.

    It seems to me like the only way that Russia is able to mount any kind of offensive battles is if Germany goes for Sealion. In fact, since the Alpha +3 rules came out where Russia can attack the Axis if London falls, whomever plays Germany (including me) doesn’t even bother with Sealion anymore. Usually, Germany will take France and sink all or most of the Royal Navy and immediately start building up for Barbarossa. Germany leaves a few men in the coastal territories for defense against Allied landings, some Luftwaffe presence to keep the Royal Navy at bay and perhaps a few subs here and there to help against any Royal Navy threat or to convoy raid England. Everything else starts piling up on the eastern border until round 3 or 4, then a massive attack on Russia.

    My question would be, as Russia, when you see Germany stacking up along the border like that, what can you do to properly defend against it? While Russia does have a lot of men at start, there is just too many territories along the front to put up a proper defense. In almost every game that starts like this, Germany is taking Moscow 4 rounds after it attacks Russia. England usually has it’s hands full with Italy and just can’t get enough stuff together to really attack the Germans. USA in most games spends most of it’s resources in the Pacific to smash Japan as quickly as possible. Sometimes this works with USA and the Pacific Allies being able to neutralize Japan quickly enough for USA to really be able to send a strong force over to Europe, usually taking out Italy first and going from there. Other times Japan is a little craftier and keeps USA’s attention longer so Russia ends up being doomed.

    So, when Germany goes straight Barbarossa, what can Russia do to turn the tide?


  • i think the real question is “what does UK do to turn the tide against barbarossa?” 
    with german resources tied up in the east, UK should shut down Italy, secure egypt, and provide moscow with air/mechanized units. another thing is getting bonus income for russia from iraq, and possibly ethiopia/italian somaliland (this trick is a bit underhanded but hey).

    knp, i know in another thread you said you didn’t like the taranto raid, but have you tried it much?

    granted i pull an extra fighter off london as well as the bomber, which might leave you a bit open to sealion, but that takes tremondous pressure off russia.

    the damage you deal to italy allows you to support the ruskies with much needed hardware for the defense of moscow

    i’d say try taranto in conjunction with an egypt lockdown, get as much other there as possible basically


  • Last game i played i built a tank each round plus infantry. i kept the tank stack  behind the front in the south of russia. Its objective was to intimidate and threaten a counter attack and look for an advantage. While my infantry slowly held off the germans the tank stack went south and piled through the italians which were doing really well and helped the uk recover.


  • That’s a switch, the Russians bailing out UK. Sea Lion game?


  • no but germany with held back from attacking russia for four rounds and britain was alone until america got in.

  • TripleA

    well if germany buy all naval g1 and g2 then east poland stack looks good, especially if russia bought 6 mech and a fighter (even if germany hits east poland on g3, it is a close battle like really close and russia will have placed men on russia and ukraine on R2 so you will be fine as long as reinforcements come and it is not like all the men on uk will just sit there… they get shipped off sooner or later, plus if russia can take back belarus on Russia 5, then on USA 5 bombers kill all those transports no problem and land belarus, which is hilarious, it is also hilarious when germany goes 50/50 on east poland g3 and loses the battle it is so funny).

    plus losing russia does not equate to GG. germany still needs mech/tank to take egypt, marching from russia to egypt takes a bajillion years. as long as you shut down japan in time, you will be fine without russia.

    I am only suggesting east poland stack if germany bought all naval g1 and g2. Also I would only do this if sea lion had better than 1/3 odds of working.

    Also buy a couple bombers usa 1 to fly into london, because japan should DOW j2… if japan waits till J3 to go to war, he will be saying, “I am not going for the pacific victory or even come close for the first 10 rounds.” So full atlantic to liberate uk and then come back to take care of the pacific. If he hits east poland instead, you go full pacific and japan if japan can’t take out uk pacific then you don’t need russia at all, you got a second russia with uk pacific once you take care of japan.

    In general sea lion does not work if allies play right.

    Anyway this is a barb thread. There is an advantage to holding bryansk and being able to attack a german stack from it… it forces germany to make one big stack in belarus instead of being able to split forces up or blitz around etc. I like to have 5-10 artillery as russia for this reason, I like having 6 mech around, 1 space behind my russian stack of men to counter attack wherever germany blitzes.

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