• I think that most players will agree with me when I say that in a game between 2 players of even skill levels, even luck, and no Operation Sealion, that Moscow will fall to Germany. A skilled Soviet player will be able to delay and make it difficult but in the end their demise depends on Germany and the other Allied powers.

    So in the end, when Germany has amassed its troops to take Moscow, and it is the last Soviet turn what do you guys do? I see 2 options:
    A. fortify Moscow as much as possible and take as many of those damn Germans out as you can.
    or
    B. Retreat and cause problems elsewhere (India, Egypt, China)

    If you retreat the Germans will most likely be forced to follow. Yes you give up your capitol for free, but those troops can reinforce/be reinforced by other powers in other strategic and important locations.


  • Actually, I haven’t seen Germany take Moscow unless they do a G1 and send everything there by a straight line, and even then its difficult to take on turn 5 or 6.  This is if Russia buys mostly all Infantry and slowly falls back to Moscow- easily having over 50 Infantry there by G5.  YOu are right they only have to delay until the Western Allies make landings in Europe.


  • @BJCard:

    Actually, I haven’t seen Germany take Moscow unless they do a G1 and send everything there by a straight line, and even then its difficult to take on turn 5 or 6.  This is if Russia buys mostly all Infantry and slowly falls back to Moscow- easily having over 50 Infantry there by G5.  YOu are right they only have to delay until the Western Allies make landings in Europe.

    You haven’t seen it? I’m curious what is causing the Germans to fail in capturing it, in the games your playing?

  • TripleA

    I take Russia over with Germany every other game. It is not hard.


  • If the allies send air support to moscow, then they stand a lot better chance at holding it.


  • @Cow:

    I take Russia over with Germany every other game. It is not hard.

    Like I said, how do you take Moscow?  Last game I played I did your G1 opening and was at the gates of Moscow turn 5 and had a 50-50 chance of getting it WITH all my air.  I did not attack anywhere in the east with Germany except the shortest line to Moscow.

    All Russia did was retreat and buy at least 9-10 inf/turn.

  • TripleA

    Did you take Russia?


  • @Cow:

    Did you take Russia?

    With 1 tank and lost most of my Air, so yes however it was retaken by Russia and now Germany is doomed without air and my main east front force destroyed.  So it IS possible to take if you go for broke with Germany.  The allies were landing in France and threatening Italy (already lost Scandinavia), with no naval purchases (everything towards Russia) and most of my air gone I could not contest the landings.

    I am starting to feel like a longer economic game is the better way to play the Axis.  Don’t worry about taking Moscow/Calcutta early, just take all other territories and eventually you will make more money than the allies and then its a game of attrition.

    Maybe there’s a better way to take Moscow?


  • What were your initial buys G1/2/3


  • G1- 3 Tanks 3 Mech all units that can reach in East Poland
    G2- 6 Tanks 4 Mech (for Berlin, more mech for west germany, but only the Berlin units make it to Moscow) all units that can reach in Baltic States
    G3- 1 Fighter the rest Infantry (any tanks/mech bought now will not make it to Moscow and the western allies will be landing soon).  All units that can reach are in Belarus ~20 Inf, 6 Art, 6 Mech, 9 Tanks
    G4- 1 Fighter the rest Inf/Art- all units that can reach are in Smolensk ~20 Inf, 6 Art, 12 Mech, 15 Tanks, 5 Ftr, 5 Tac bomber, 2 str bomber. 
    G5- attack Moscow;  they have 90% of their starting army there plus 4 rounds of buying 10 Inf in Moscow…

    Have to look at the map to get more precise unit counts.  Germany did not bother with attacking Yugoslavia or Leningrad.  No wasted moves, no attacks anywhere in the east but straight line to Moscow.  Russia did not contest anything but Moscow.

    Maybe I could have better German reinforcements, but then I would have very little to oppose Allied landings in Italy or France.


  • imagine if the western allies had units in moscow to help defend.


  • @ghr2:

    imagine if the western allies had units in moscow to help defend.

    They did not, but my opponent expressed interest sending some british air to moscow through egypt next game

  • '17 '16 '13 '12

    This move will depend on how things came about with the siege of Moscow.

    Usually, Germany is building up strength while camping outside of Moscow. The German player will usually wait until they got a reasonable chance of winning and a positive expected IPC kill ratio.

    If strong reinforcements (e.g., 6 extra tanks + mechs + all German air flying in reach) signal an imminent attack on the next turn that would be one sided, there is no point in taking more losses than your opponent if you are going to lose the battle anyway. If you decide to make a stand, it must be because you have a chance of winning the battle or at least inflicting significant losses to German air and tank stack.

    That obviously supposes that Moscow is not the final victory city. In these cases, a 1% chance of winning is better than retreating and giving away the final VC, with no opportunity to take it back (or any other VC back)

    @Strikers:

    I think that most players will agree with me when I say that in a game between 2 players of even skill levels, even luck, and no Operation Sealion, that Moscow will fall to Germany. A skilled Soviet player will be able to delay and make it difficult but in the end their demise depends on Germany and the other Allied powers.

    So in the end, when Germany has amassed its troops to take Moscow, and it is the last Soviet turn what do you guys do? I see 2 options:
    A. fortify Moscow as much as possible and take as many of those damn Germans out as you can.
    or
    B. Retreat and cause problems elsewhere (India, Egypt, China)

    If you retreat the Germans will most likely be forced to follow. Yes you give up your capitol for free, but those troops can reinforce/be reinforced by other powers in other strategic and important locations.


  • I think it’s almost always a bad idea to retreat behind your capital. You can use the forces you build in the last turn to make your defense stronger and pulling everything back leaves those troops stranded. Your retreating army is never going to get reinforced without a capital so it will never get stronger than that last turn. An army consisting of mostly infantry is not going to be very useful in a counterattack either, and will certainly get less kills that way than when defending. You may as well sacrifice them to get as many kills as you can, or they will become nearly useless.

  • '21 '18

    There will be more German troops avalaible to attack Egypt if Russia is not making a stand. The German player could left mostly inf and art to guard Moscow and throw all the fast mechs and tanks with aircraft support at Cairo. Around 25-30 inf and 5 art could be left for the defense of the Russian capital, with some mechs if the Russian stack is too strong. It will be hard for the Allies to reinforce fast enough against a force of more than 20 tanks, 14 mech and planes coming down four turns later.


  • With Germany, here are some very very basic basics to follow. This method is counter to the G1 or G2 Barbarossa most experienced players are currently employing, but it is just as effective if you’re patient:

    G4 German Barbarossa. Goal: spiky naval shield for Atlantic wall, armored gauntlet for Russia. Italy makes mixed purchases in support of land war in Asia (mostly land, sprinkled in air and sea). Italy can-opens territories, Germany reinforces newly taken Italian positions on Russian front. Best of all worlds - Italy gets money, Germany steps forward and can land air forces to boot. This preserves Italian forces for the next step forward.

    Germany makes purchases of all fleet first round (carrier/destroyer/sub), then balanced purchases until the end of days. Never stop. Don’t let your opponent breathe. Dismantle Russia by turn 10, 11, 12 or whatever.

    By balanced purchases, I mean the following - let’s say you have 60 IPCs with Germany - a fair number for the midgame. Buy a fighter, destroyer, 2 armor, an artillery, 2 mech infantry, and 6 infantry. Just keep doing it (or some variation of it… a bomber instead of a fighter, or 2 subs instead of a destroyer, or no armor and more infantry - it is adaptable to what you need turn by turn, but follows a basic pattern). Air and fleet to keep bolstering the SZ112, most everything else keeps flowing to the front. Let your imagination run wild from there. A wonderful moment will come when you realize that with Russia eventually pinned down, you can slip just a few armor and mech infantry behind the lines to go wild and take Russian economy without compromising your major force.

    When you have such versatile forces - mostly infantry and mech infantry, some artillery, armor, air and sea, you are able to adapt and fight a war of both movement and attrition on all fronts. Air power can shift from Atlantic to Med to Ost Front at will. Mechanized forces can hammer away either north, south, or behind lines, at will. Infantry and artillery armies can become ground holders, and provide stepping off points for deeper excursions. They are predictable purchases… but are designed to keep the maximum level of unpredictability. Good times!


  • @Gekkepop:

    I think it’s almost always a bad idea to retreat behind your capital. You can use the forces you build in the last turn to make your defense stronger and pulling everything back leaves those troops stranded. Your retreating army is never going to get reinforced without a capital so it will never get stronger than that last turn. An army consisting of mostly infantry is not going to be very useful in a counterattack either, and will certainly get less kills that way than when defending. You may as well sacrifice them to get as many kills as you can, or they will become nearly useless.

    Retreat ALWAYS.

    if you will lose 350 IPC worth of units, while germany only lose 170, then it is WAY better to retreat with 320 IPC worth of units. Germany either have to follow you, or chose to never take anything behind moscow, you can easily force him to keep 250 IPC worth of units ot guard against your 320 IPC worth of units.

    IMO to not retreat is the same as giving up the game.


  • Agreed. One of the basic maxims of the Art of War is to know that when you can not win, you need to fall back. Being dead allows no options, and opens up lots of them for your opponent.

    I’ve seen games won when Russia chose to retreat, retreat, retreat… and eventually become the defensive backbone of a large Allied relief force that never could have made it alone. Not only that, but Russian forces can make attacks of opportunity, and kill Axis forces as they retreat (or leave blockers behind for attrition). Every Russian unit that dies is irreplaceable, yes - but it also preserves UK and US forces so they can grow, and take over the fight.

    Don’t be afraid to retreat!

  • 2023 '21 '20 '19 '17 '16 '15 '13

    I base my decision to fight or fall back on what’s going on in Egypt. If the axis will never take Egypt then I’ll fight to the last man in Moscow. But if the fall of Moscow signals a German offensive through the middle east, then I’ll fall back and fight a delaying action in the hopes that will buy enough time for UK/US to prevent Egypt from being taken.
    And…the fall of Moscow doesn’t necessarily mean GAME OVER for the allies. There are times when letting Moscow fall can be beneficial to the UK/US.


  • Well said re: Egypt ~


  • The problem is that Russia will usually have a force consisting mostly of infantry, which are weak when attacking and will not force nearly as many Germans to stay behind to defend the counterattack as they would have killed in defense. Your example of killing less than half of the IPCs that the Germans will kill means the Germans are attacking with such overwhelming force (maybe 3:1 in IPC value) that the game is likely lost anyway.


  • In G1 Barbarossa games I’ve seen - if Russia doesn’t adventure too much, and if UK/US are able to get a few (six or seven) fighters to Moscow, Germany should win with a few armor remaining and all their airforce. To me, this is a good exchange, IF the UK was rooted in to the Middle East and has been producing infantry for the last 4 or 5 turns.

    If not… Germany will turn south and crunch the center of the board. Game over.


  • a losing battle does not become better by standing, there has to be a very narrow margin if standing with 7 extra inf and dying is better than retreating. For one thing, He might relocate his airforce allowing you back into moscow.

    I think you seriously underestimate the strength of infantry on attack, if you have two inf stacks, then the attacking stack need to be 1.41 times the defending stack for it to be an even fight. with some artillery and planes, you should be quite formidable on the attack. Once you realise you will have to retreat the next round, you could always do a 100% art build if you have too many infs.

    You will almost always be able to bind up more german resources by leaving than you would kill by standing.

    by all means if he has a 55% shot at winning, sure you can stand, but when he has 70% chance of winning, and 60% chance of not losing planes, then you will always lose more IPCs compared to what he will lose.

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