Super Stack or Stupid Stack?


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Ok, what the hell is with all the players that - for example - make super-stacks in Russia, at the cost of their ENTIRE territory.

    Is there some magical concept I’m un-aware of, that leads people to thinking this is a good idea?

    In several play boardgames sections, and in some F2F games I’ve played, I’ve seen this same method used a number of times.

    A russian stack of 70+ units, gets surronded in the capital on all sides, by 1 infantry.  And no Counter-offensives are launched.

    Instead of front-lining and micro fighting the germans across the entire eastern front, the STUPA-STACK is used instead.

    When are people going to realize, that unless your STUPA-STACK is so large, your opponent can’t beat it AT ALL, that it’s a bad idea in general.

    A series of smaller battles, who’s odds you can control is always better than one massive battle which you’re going to lose most of the time.

    I’m a firm believer that there’s a time and place for everything in Axis and Allies, (There really is).

    But…

    DON’T BE A STUPA-STACKER


  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    That’s when you really need an atomic bomb in this game.  🙂



  • All it does is delay what is coming. Which could give time for the USA to ride in and save the day. But it also gives Germany a ton of extra income if everything but Moscow has fallen.



  • @Gargantua:

    Ok, what the hell is with all the players that - for example - make super-stacks in Russia, at the cost of their ENTIRE territory.

    Is there some magical concept I’m un-aware of, that leads people to thinking this is a good idea?

    In several play boardgames sections, and in some F2F games I’ve played, I’ve seen this same method used a number of times.

    A russian stack of 70+ units, gets surronded in the capital on all sides, by 1 infantry.  And no Counter-offensives are launched.

    Instead of front-lining and micro fighting the germans across the entire eastern front, the STUPA-STACK is used instead.

    When are people going to realize, that unless your STUPA-STACK is so large, your opponent can’t beat it AT ALL, that it’s a bad idea in general.

    A series of smaller battles, who’s odds you can control is always better than one massive battle which you’re going to lose most of the time.

    I’m a firm believer that there’s a time and place for everything in Axis and Allies, (There really is).

    But…

    DON’T BE A STUPA-STACKER

    Well - it’s pretty much a matter of cost/effective and a time perspective.
    Does it cost you more or less than counter attacking/breaking out - and how much time does it buy you.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    It doesn’t matter how much time it buys you, because it buys time PERIOD. And time almost ALWAYS works in allied favour.

    At the same time, when pending the -inevitable- you are more likely to do better in a series of smaller battles, than you are in one large battle.  Your trade ratio of units will be closer, not only that,but  you benefit from the IPC’s you gain, and you tie up enemy resources like planes etc from doing other things.

    You also thin your opponent out,  keeping his stack stablized, just as yours is stabilized, as it can’t grow when each side is spilling out a few units each turn.

    Your own aircraft/artillery then actually become useful, because you can use their capabilities.

    Then you’re economically improving on the attack, and defence, via destruction of enemy forces,  and the best part is, if an enemy counter-attack goes badly for them, sometimes you get break-out oppurtunities, and economic incentives, you didn’t have on the previous turn.

    If you’re going to lose, and lose bad, the more battles you make your opponent fight, the better.  Because the longer it takes him to deal with you, the longer you have to adjust the rest of your game.


  • TripleA

    well germany has more air units so doing small skirmishes comes out at a disadvantage normally.  Also depends on germany… if he has two seperate stacks one north and one south, I may be tempted to hold ukraine with a mid stack or super stack bryasnk.

    There just isn’t an incentive to trade units from the russian perspective. Russia is fairly limited, maybe if it had a bomber it would do more attacks.

    As of right now, most players don’t like gambling with russia… unless germany does a sea lion, like massive naval buy, then yeah sure gamble with russia and be aggressive.  Other than that… nope, not going to bother.

    plus you can’t have a mid stack up north where you get isolated so your only real option is bryansk and attack back from there, that is it. sometimes you can if italy is not in the picture and/or germany has limited mech units.

    Lots of players screw it and spam infantry to hold up. Russia just doesn’t have the income to compete with germany and usa is far plus he has to deal with japan… then you got uk who has to shutdown italy first.

    it is good to fight back to keep the bombers away from russia, but sometimes you just can’t no matter what you buy or do. So most people just screw it, spam inf, don’t care.

    Stopping production from minors when possible is very wise, you have to counter attack that when you can.



  • Counterattacking can allow USSR to neutralize Germany’s advantage in air units.  If you can stop the Italians from taking a territory like Belarus or North Ukraine with a modest infantry stack, then when the Germans take it they will not be able to land air units there, and be vulnerable to counterattack.  If you have enough artillery, the mere threat of your counterattack might make them pause, thus buying yourself another turn of survival.



  • I have found it hard for Russia to hold out vs Germany if the German player makes smart buys and manages their battles well(and the dice don’t screw you of course), because if you go by G3 you have a huge edge vs Russia. If Japan attacks from the other coast and Italy can come up from the middle east then Russia is screwed. Because they have to decide if they want to run those inf back and just give ground to Japan(at which point the player in Japan builds a factory and starts spamming tanks) or if they want to fight a losing battle vs Japan(because Japan has so many planes that early game really have nothing better to do), so its rough on the Russian player.  Unless the UK fleet is intact and they can drop guys all over the place in Germany so that Germany has to defend everywhere which weakens their attack. It takes the USA at least 5 rounds to even begin to be able to hurt Europe(assuming that Japan does the smart thing and doesn’t bring them into the war early), and really 6-7 rounds to hurt Europe in such numbers that Germany has to guard that flank. By that point Moscow has either fallen or is so close to it that the USA/UK is too late. I have seen both Japan and Germany take Moscow in different games. But Russia is the poor redheaded step child in this game, everyone beats on them.

    So if Russia wants to turtle to buy the USA/UK an extra round or two then so be it. That seems to be their only real option unless the dice are horrible for Germany or you get a stupid German player who doesn’t make Russia his main focus.



  • @Vance:

    Counterattacking can allow USSR to neutralize Germany’s advantage in air units.  If you can stop the Italians from taking a territory like Belarus or North Ukraine with a modest infantry stack, then when the Germans take it they will not be able to land air units there, and be vulnerable to counterattack.  If you have enough artillery, the mere threat of your counterattack might make them pause, thus buying yourself another turn of survival.

    Counter attack with what exactly? Russia doesn’t have enough stuff to even defend with.  Not if Germany goes by G3.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    With anything you’ve got.

    If you’ve built air, great, use it.

    If you’ve got some artillery, use them here and there too.

    The point is, you need to fight 1, or 2, or 3, small battles each turn, to stem the tide.  A full retreat back to moscow, with NO RESISTANCE anywhere, is the worst thing the Russians could possibly be doing.



  • My point is that Russia has almost nothing left(other then units just bought) after G3/G4(depending on Russian troop placement) and if they did counter attack they would be throwing away units for no reason.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I see where you’re coming from Red.

    But that’s a far cry from running everything back to your capital, and letting the Germans have free reign over your entire country, just so you can make a chip stack (that’s going to get smashed anyways).

    And that’s what I’m alluding to.



  • @RedHunter:

    My point is that Russia has almost nothing left(other then units just bought) after G3/G4(depending on Russian troop placement) and if they did counter attack they would be throwing away units for no reason.

    Build artillery.  Russian infantry/artillery may prevent the Germans from doing dumb land grabs, because you can counterattack with small forces to basically trade units without risking your air units to AA.  Attrition is to your advantage.  More likely your ability to do those little counterattacks deters them from grabbing territories they can’t hold so they can keep their force all together instead of getting nibbled down to nothing.  That’s good too.

    If they don’t split their force into little land grabbers, you can also use the artillery to negate their “safety in numbers”.  At the right moment you can strafe the big lump of Germans and retreat back into new reinforcements.  For example suppose you attack Germans in Belarus (without their air cover because Germany took the territory; not the Italians).  Both sides lose infantry, but you retreat back to Bryansk and NCM the 10 infantry you built last turn from Moscow into Bryansk.  You also build new inf/art in Moscow.  Now Bryansk is too strong to attack because you have cannon fodder (and AA) and they don’t, and they can’t advance into Smolensk because they know they can be strafed a second time, and this time its even worse because you could retreat into Moscow and build more infantry.  At this point they may STOP to bring up reinforcements (i.e. expensive mechs).  So building something like 6 artillery instead of 8 infantry on round 1 has led to you now having a whole extra turn to build infantry, and your allies may need that time to help you by sending fighters etc.



  • Artillery is worthless with super stacks of german tanks with at a stack of 11 Inf and another stack of 10+ Mech plus artillery to support them.

    Counter-attacking works well for the German player that splits their stacks.  It does not against the German Tank super stack because they will be fighting to advance regardless of what you put in their way.

    It is all relative to how Germany approaches sacking Moscow.  60+ Infantry with 10-12 Armor and a few aircraft over it allows the Russians to start cutting past the first two waves of German fodder (Inf/Mech) and then start dipping into German Armor by round 3/4 of the big battle for Moscow.

    Of course, Germany can just ignore the Russian stack and move around it to collect IPC, but if you buy US/UK another 2-3 rounds to get a solid foothold in Germany - even the extra IPC Germany collected just goes to the Allied Coffers in the end.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Counter-attacking works well for the German player that splits their stacks.  It does not against the German Tank super stack because they will be fighting to advance regardless of what you put in their way.

    If the germans split tanks from their all tank stack, to take territory, I’m going to attack their exposed tanks, bottom line and everytime.



  • How can Russia win any small skirmish from an economical standpoint? The Germans will generally have three main stacks, supported heavily with infantry. What is the point of attacking the Germans if all you are going to do is trade infantry, especially if the Germans have mechanized units ready to reinforce?

    I guess the overall question I’m asking is, if Russia kills 10 German infantry at the expense of 10 Russian infantry, is that a successful attack?


  • TripleA

    g5 bryansk every game. it don’t matter what you do.



  • @KillOFzee:

    I guess the overall question I’m asking is, if Russia kills 10 German infantry at the expense of 10 Russian infantry, is that a successful attack?

    To compare the value of Russian versus German infantry you have to consider the “replacement cost” of those units at the front.  A Russian infantry can be replaced by another $3 infantry built close by.  To replace a German infantry unit deep inside Russia is much more costly.  It requires either another infantry that was built maybe 4 turns ago, a mech that was built maybe 2 turns ago, or else an artillery or armor unit that is already at the front that will be taken as a casualty instead of an infantry unit in an upcoming battle.  As the number of German infantry near the front gets smaller and smaller they become more and more valuable tactically.  When Germany finally runs out of the infantry meat shield they have to start taking losses on heavy hitter units (artillery and armor) and then the spearhead loses its punch.  So unit for unit attrition works in Russia’s favor.


  • TripleA

    russia is screwed abandon all hope.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    What is the point of attacking the Germans if all you are going to do is trade infantry, especially if the Germans have mechanized units ready to reinforce?

    It’s better to trade Russians for Germans at 1 to 1, in small battles all along the way, then lose Russians 3 to 1, in the final battle for Moscow.

    The reality is, you can’t make a super stack in moscow that’s going to hold, when you’re under the entire economic pressure of germany.  Everyone here agrees…

    So why the hell is it then, that everyone seems to think a super stack, that you lose at the end, and that paves the way to a resistanceless assault by the axis, is the better plan?

    Fight back, when and where you can, fight the small battles, drag-it-out.

    REALIZE that if you don’t attack, you’ll always be at the mercy of the axis deciding what battles they want to fight, and what battles are in their favour.

    When you attack, YOU get to control YOUR odds.

    Look at any number of tournament games playing right now… and you’ll see what I mean.



  • Its just hard to imagine how russia can counter attack a large german stack that has like 15+ in tanks, over 20 some inf, 8 rtl and 10+ mech.  I do like the counter attack everywhere idea, just russia does not have the muscle to delay the german stack from reaching moscow at all if germany is smart.



  • @Cow:

    g5 bryansk every game. it don’t matter what you do.

    I’ll take you up on that if you’re willing.

    As far as whether to counter or not, for me it’s situational. I don’t always counter and I don’t always not counter. It depends on how the game is developing. I have to gain something or at least deny something in order for me to counter. I like to add a little punch to the Russians and at least threaten the counter and thereby give the Germans pause and limit their options. I’m not going to roll over and play possum with the Germans, I like to make them work for it.



  • Played Axis against a very cagey USSR player face-to-face last week, who fought some defensive battles, but mostly just caved back to Moscow. Once he saw that Gstack was bigger than Rstack, he continued (!) to retreat to Middle East, where 2x UK factories had laid waste to Italians. Then, in Caucasus, made a combined USSR/UK unit stand against Germany. Both stacks are +70 units by this point. Succeeded in defence, wiping out all G infantry by round 2, and taking only Russian casualties. Counterattack with British armour also succeeded (after suicide charge by remaining USSR units softened the Axis even further), and for the rest of the game it was a nasty struggle for Germany in Russia – even with the extra income – until the US arrived en masse to tip the scales. So I’ve seen the superstack strategy work… IF the defender is willing to run even further away than Moscow!



  • @Gargantua:

    With anything you’ve got.

    If you’ve built air, great, use it.

    If you’ve got some artillery, use them here and there too.

    The point is, you need to fight 1, or 2, or 3, small battles each turn, to stem the tide.  A full retreat back to moscow, with NO RESISTANCE anywhere, is the worst thing the Russians could possibly be doing.

    Surely the problem here though is that you presuppose the German player is using mini-stacks as opposed to two or three mega stacks as well…

    To be honest I think if Germany goes full Barbarossa from G2 onwards then Russia has no chance, all they can do is buy time (and often not even that). And to be honest, I’m okay with that because if Russia could take Germany solo then it wouldn’t be a very balanced game…


  • TripleA

    look, the typical german play is g3 nov, g4 belarus, g5 bryansk. done deal. everything goes toward russia every turn. it does not matter what russia has where, you just shove.

    Bomb aggressive russia buy players with japan. end russia G6.

    This is easy to foresee with japan especially since most of you silly pandas do some J2 DOW stuff. Just buy bombers J2. don’t dow at all. bomb the russians G6 russia is done.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NisCkxU544c

    I am sure you have all seen this before, yet no one bombs the russians, that is sad.


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