Russian retreat strategy advice needed



  • 1. In general, how you you fall back on the Eastern front as Russia?

    I keep screwing up and get my Northern and Southern stacks separated.

    Do you abandon the North in the second turn of war with Germany?

    2. Also, if your opponent declares on Russia G1, what is your strategy? It is hard to build any meaningful infantry in time to hold Moscow, especially with Italian can-opening.

    Build planes in the US and GB and fly them over, ignoring Japan? Move in India planes? Egypt factory?

    Thanks for any help.

    –Jeff



  • So much of Soviet play is in response to what the Germans  (or the Italians and the Germans) do before you – it’s nigh impossible to form an all-encompassing foolproof plan that works in every instance.

    In general, you never expose your troops unless you can get equal or near-equal value on your kills. And not just on the pieces themselves – you have to look “x” number of turns in the future, knowing what you can move to and build in Moscow by the time the Axis is ready to attack there, and knowing what he can move there or build and move there by then. If it increases your odds in that final battle for Moscow to lose 20 infantry now to take out 13 of his that he cannot replace, then you do it. If it doesn’t improve your odds, you fall back.

    That said, if Germany, for instance, buys naval on G1, you buy 70/30 artillery/infantry R1 and push your land units into a threatening position. If he does a Sealion buy G2, you follow with mechs and armor buy R2. If he does a land unit buy G2, instead, you repeat the 70/30 artillery/infantry buy on R2.

    There’s nothing wrong with splitting your stack IF you: don’t stand next to him where he can hit you on his turn; pressure his advance by not allowing him to capture objectives without taking an extra turn (Leningrad and Ukraine aren’t in a straight line from Berlin to Moscow); make sure that your units can get to Moscow on the turn before he hits it.

    Don’t lose pieces by blocking blitzes. If he wants to blitz into your stack, let him (assuming it’s not the Moscow stack and he can win at Moscow with that move)! You’ll make it painful for him if he tries. And the 5 infantry you’ll save over the course of the game are 5 more infantry you’ll have at the gates of Moscow.

    Counterattack with planes and infantry as fodder if he pauses to collect his forces behind just a piece or two.

    And as you’re counting pieces, keep in mind all the armor he can build in Leningrad and Ukraine 2 turns before he attacks Moscow and the bombers he can build at those two locations 1 turn before he attacks Moscow. The longer you can delay him, The greater the chance that he can’t complete those last two builds as your allies are knocking down his Atlantic Wall.



  • Fortress,

    Do you use the other allies to reinforce Moscow? If so, how?



  • As far as the G1 DOW on USSR… If he does a G1 Barbarossa, he’s not a threat to Sealion. The British can hit the Italians hard in the Med on UK1, and put Cairo out of play early with their UK1 buys. They’ll be getting a fleet back together and landing in Europe in short order. In addition, air from Scotland, Egypt, and India can all reach Moscow in time (as do Mechs from India) if you do a piece count and your conclusion is “uh oh… I only have a 20% chance of holding”.

    In addition, the game isn’t over when he captures Moscow. He needs 8 VCs in Europe, and if he’s hitting the USSR G1, he’s not in a great spot to get Cairo or London for a whole turn before Paris, Leningrad, or Stalingrad can be liberated or Rome captured. With that in mind, if you’re getting creamed and defending Moscow is a lost cause, you can run. Those are still useful pieces elsewhere.



  • Very very very rarely do I think it needs to be done (reinforcing Moscow) in Global. Only once have I had to stage Anzac and British planes to be able to reach Moscow in one turn from the middle east and China – ended up not needing them but it was nice to know that their extra killing power was there if I needed to bring them in.

    Just from a cost standpoint, if you’re taking 10 IPC units and parking them somewhere they can’t kill anything for several turns, you’re probably going to lose initiative in several other spots. If Germany is so single-minded that nothing is going to stop him from taking Moscow, then he’s going to get there – but he’s probably going to lose the war if he doesn’t have balance in the Atlantic and the Med.



  • Early German blitzes are a suicide run.  Even a successful blitz allows you to counter attack his armor for two rounds before reinforcements arrive for Germany.  So if you can bait the Germans into being overly aggressive, you’ll give up two 1 IPC territories to give you two rounds to strike at that blitzing stack that likely won’t be reinforced unless the Germans are solely on a Mech/Arm purchase schedule.

    The slower, space by space methodical advance requires hit and run tactics to chew down his fodder.  The difference between the German’s winning and losing in Russia is generally the German ability to continually reinforce the advancing stack, so your single priority is to continually hit and run his stacks accepting that your losses cost you far less to replace than his do the further the Germans get from Berlin.

    At some point you need to go for the throat against the Germans, accepting larger losses for the trade off of cutting into Armor - but thats another discussion that is a game by game play and not something you can script out on a discussion.



  • Are you stacking on W. Urk and Belarus R1 & R2 hoping to counterpunch East Poland?

    Or should the southern units fall back to Brys then move up to reinforce Belarus, because the pripet marshes always seem to divide my 2 stacks and I don’t seem to have enough ever to take back EP anyway.

    Maybe I should strafe EP early and merge the two remaining smaller stacks in Belarus?



  • I don’t like a Russian strafe unless you can fall back into a stack that can’t be obliterated by the German counter. The only problem with a Russian strafe is it can really only be done if the German stack doesn’t have a bunch of infantry. If the Germans have enough infantry where your strafe leaves enough of them alive that they can counter-attack, kill your remaining guys, and still have a standing force that you can’t kill on a counterattack, then you can’t do it. And in most cases a well-executed German march to Moscow led by heavy amounts of infantry and artillery isn’t going to be open to a strafe-retreat. If he’s spearheading the assault with copious amounts of mechs and tanks? Well that’s a much more attractive tactic.

    As far as what happens at the border: I’ll stand in those two spots (Belarus and Western Ukraine) so that he HAS to commit everything to East Poland or risk having a smaller stack smashed. When he puts everything into East Poland, you can’t kill it, but your two smaller stacks are vulnerable. That’s when I step back to Bryansk. Now HE can’t split his stack or it costs him a turn reaching Moscow because he can’t stand next to your stack with less than a full army. And every turn you make him wait and regroup, that stack in Moscow gets bigger. Keep making him stop to smell the roses and sooner rather than later the Med and the Atlantic become a huge headache for him and probably costs him the war even if he somehow captures Moscow against a Soviet stack that grows faster than his does.



  • When the germans attack then it is importent to protect all your expensive units. planes, med, tanks art. but also large stack of infantery. If it is a good german player he will buy 10 infantery in G1 and 10 tanks in G2. In G2 he had move all his planes to the eastern front, ready for an attack. with this force he outnumber your russian infantery, even if you have 15 or 20 inf in a territory close to him. normally I evacuate Leningrad with all of the units there. move them back, and I keep them out of range for the german ground troops. I really hurts in my heart to giv up the city, without any fight, but it cost to much to keep it, and the germans can also get more unit to leningrad than you. but also faster. When you retreat leave one inf at every teritorium to prevent the germans to blizt. Move your troops to moscow. buliding inf here. You do also need to build art, so you can make a counteroffensive. It is at that time the russians get dangerous. Sometime i move the russian far east units back to moscow, because Moscow must not fall.

    The most importent city is mosow, it must not fall, otherwise it is gameover. The nex one is Stalingrad. it is easier to recapture than leningrad. Here I try to recapture ukraine because of industrial complex, and it is very close to moscow. finally it is leningrad. I know it is a VC, but as russian you need to be careful with your units. always remember that.

    As long as the axis don’t get moscow they don’t win, otherwise they got london…

    If you make a counterattack it is importent that your units doesn’t become sitting ducks. special not the expensive onces…



  • @coolrunner:

    When the germans attack then it is importent to protect all your expensive units. planes, med, tanks art. but also large stack of infantery. If it is a good german player he will buy 10 infantery in G1 and 10 tanks in G2. In G2 he had move all his planes to the eastern front, ready for an attack. with this force he outnumber your russian infantery, even if you have 15 or 20 inf in a territory close to him. normally I evacuate Leningrad with all of the units there. move them back, and I keep them out of range for the german ground troops. I really hurts in my heart to giv up the city, without any fight, but it cost to much to keep it, and the germans can also get more unit to leningrad than you. but also faster. When you retreat leave one inf at every teritorium to prevent the germans to blizt. Move your troops to moscow. buliding inf here. You do also need to build art, so you can make a counteroffensive. It is at that time the russians get dangerous. Sometime i move the russian far east units back to moscow, because Moscow must not fall.

    The most importent city is mosow, it must not fall, otherwise it is gameover. The nex one is Stalingrad. it is easier to recapture than leningrad. Here I try to recapture ukraine because of industrial complex, and it is very close to moscow. finally it is leningrad. I know it is a VC, but as russian you need to be careful with your units. always remember that.

    As long as the axis don’t get moscow they don’t win, otherwise they got london…

    If you make a counterattack it is importent that your units doesn’t become sitting ducks. special not the expensive onces…

    If somebody ever built 10 infantry against me on G1, he would never take Cairo or London. E.V.E.R. Both European Axis navies would be decimated. The Royal Navy would rule the high seas. And 2 IC’s in Africa would be cranking out 6 land units per turn. There is no way the Axis could make it to Moscow/Stalingrad/ and back to hold Cairo/London for a full turn before the Allies could capture Paris or Rome (or Leningrad).

    Moscow is NOT game over if the Axis ignores UK with a 10inf buy on G1. 8VCs. Leningrad makes 5. Moscow makes 6. Stalingrad makes 7.

    Why are you discouraging a blitz? You just said make sure your valuable units aren’t left vulnerable for a counter-attack. Why would you keep your opponent from making that EXACT same mistake. Don’t let him blitz Moscow, obviously. But if they want to get tanks out from underneath air and infantry cover? Knock yourself out! I’ll even help you move those pieces!

    That’s a brutal German play, not a good German play… Those 10 infantry aren’t on Russian soil until G3 anyways. If you’re going to attack G3, there’s no reason to ignore UK for the first 2 rounds. Germany has to at least make UK think about his UK1 purchase and make him pay when he goes mechs and an IC.



  • Well buying naval turn one relieves a lot of pressure off of russia, it makes it significantly harder to even take moscow.  The idea is usually to take out russia asap so that you can bring your left over moscow force to either cairo before the US gets there, or to india to relieve pressure off of Japan.  With germany making 90+, he can rebuild his navy quickly and threaten london while he works on the middle east if london becomes too crowded.



  • Do you ever try to punch through the Finland stack with some art/inf air and knock out the Germany NO?

    Or is it better to have those inf./art in Moscow instead of stranded up north when Novo falls?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    @Jeff28:

    Do you ever try to punch through the Finland stack with some art/inf air and knock out the Germany NO?

    Or is it better to have those inf./art in Moscow instead of stranded up north when Novo falls?
    [/quote
    I think it is best to keep your strength and mind on the South, as that is where the money is. Let the Allies land in Norway and help that way. However, if the German attacks from Finland and loses, then grab it,  especially if he has no transports to take it back.



  • Every game, obviously, is different. It helps if you’re flexbile enough to take advantage of holes like that. It doesn’t generally pay to buy mechs when you’re retreating (there’s not a Sir Robin running-away-faster bonus). But… you start with 2 mechs and 2 tanks. A possible use if they’re in position is in a counterattack up north, especially if (as has been said) there’s a soft spot behind Finland that isn’t able to be reinforced by the Germans.

    You’re taking about a 21 IPC-per-turn swing if you hold those 2 territories. The Germans lose the 5 IPC NO and the 5 IPC from the territories. The Soviets gain 5 IPC from the territories and 6 IPC from the Spread of Communism NO. Plus if the Germans spend on material to take it back, those are IPCs not spent on taking Moscow or on securing the Atlantic Wall. On both counts you’re making it more likely that your allies will turn Sauron’s eye in time.

    Again, every game is different. If he’s taking the northern route, get those motorized units south to take advantage of opportunities to blow into Romania and southern Europe. I had one game where a British IC on Greece and some transports from Africa plopped about 15 guys down there, complete with air cover. The lone Russian tank took a territory and the British sat on him in the rare Russo-Anglo European can opener.

    Maybe in some games you want the British or the Americans to have those IPCs in Scandanavia. Maybe you want the Americans to drop an IC and/or an airbase up there.

    The key is having at least a tiny amount of flexibility in your plan to adapt to changing scenarios.



  • didn’t have time to read all of it, but one thing that has probably not been mentioned;

    when germany is capable of taking moscow, then, it is time to retreat, if you alow his stack to kill you in moscow, and then turn south, it is hard to defend cairo, if you retreat from moscow, and force him to keep his stack there, then that stack will not turn south. at this point you will prolly only collect like 8 ipc anyways, while your army should be worth at least 250 IPC, prolly like 300, do not let him kill it for half the number of IPC, then it is far better to let him get moscow, and keep retreating, forcing him to either build a completly new army to attack cairo over land, or to alow you back into moscow at some point.


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