Supporting Russia with Britain, UK fighters or Indian Tanks?

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    OK British assistance to Russia is just a given on this board, and W. Russia in particular needs immediate aid to hold in the early rounds. So the question becomes, which is best…

    3 tanks out of India each round, for as long as the factory can produce them?
    or max fighters out of the UK?

    In the first round a naval build is almost always out of the question. So the options would seem to be some combination of air out of the UK, and ground in India. This leaves two magnified builds (builds that try to max the attack/defense advantage of a unit type by grouping them together in one drop) which immediately jump out at me.

    3 tanks in India at 18 ipcs, leaves you with enough for 1 fighter (or a bomber) in UK
    2 fighters out of UK, leaves you with just enough for inf or artillery in India (with max placement of 3 ground, on the principle that if you don’t drop ground in India then the advantage of the starting factory is basically wasted).
    These numbers assuming the UK wasn’t strat bombed by Germany.

    Fighters from UK are 1 round out from W. Russia
    Tanks in India are 1 round out from Caucasus (2 from W. Russia)

    Fighters have the better defense value, mobility, and can be evacuated from Moscow in the endgame…
    but Tanks are cheaper (e.g. 5 tanks for every 3 fighters), and can take/threaten territory.

    Provided the Japanese transport is destroyed in the opening round, Britain can produce at least 6 tanks out of India before it comes under threat. 3 Tanks at the very least (if Japan gives up the north to push Burma). Possibly 9 tanks or more, depending. At a cost of 18 ipc a round, max placement at the factory. Used to be, if you got 6 tanks out of an India factory, it pretty much paid for itself. 3-6 tanks out of the factory for free on this board, seems like a decent bargain.

    There is a school of thought that says “Tanks in Eurasia!”, “Tanks towards the center of the board!”, is the fastest/safest way to win (for either side.) So a lot of what Britain does to prop up Russia revolves around getting tanks to the center of the gamemap. Whether you push them down from the north (with a navy), or across Africa (with a navy), or out of India, they usually end up in much the same place during the endgame.

    Also, in this version of the game, the India factory is free from the first round, so any round you’re not buying 3 tanks here does feel like it’s not making the most of this early production advantage.

    On the other hand, tanks aren’t so cheap as they used to be. And 18 ipcs peeled away from the UK purchase is pretty steep. It will likely stall a British Atlantic fleet build up, which stalls direct pressure on Europe and Germany, and the northern route to Russia.

    Still, from the perspective of the early Russian defense, the ability to get 6 Brit tanks immediately into Eurasia by the third round, with the chance to counter attack and take territory etc, or maintain a forward option against Japan, just seems pretty attractive on this board.

    What do you favor? Max Fighters out of UK, or max Tanks out of India?

  • I’m not a pro gamer, but I believe that tank production is safer, since you can support easier China this way also, if needed. Plus you get to threaten Ukraine at the same time. But I believe that UK helps Russia by attracting German units to the west, or at Africa (threat to Italy).

  • '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    I haven’t found an optimized way yet…  when playing with my friends in this site, I often find British is lack of funds building series of tanks in India:

    1. Germany’s sea lion threat.  The starting power of Germany seems pretty strong that sometimes I am forced to build units inside British at the beginning.

    2.  If I keep building only tanks, it becomes disadvantage when trading units.  For example I would have to lose expensive tank when Japanese troops loses only infantry.

    Because of this,  I tend to build fighter(s) in London and combination of infantry/artillery/tank in India.

    One challenge for having a pre-build factory in the map, to me, is I have no choice but have to add some units there or my enemy would take it from me and this could speed up the collapse of Russia.   In this aspect I think 1E’s map (or earlier version) has its own beauty.  IMHO without a factory at the beginning gives the player more flexibility what strategy he can execute.

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    I agree the starting factory in India is a liability for the Allies (in much the same way that Karelia is) you don’t want to see it in enemy hands, so you try to defend it, or at least trade it so the enemy can’t use it, for as long as possible.

    The difficulty I see with the combo inf/art build out of India, with fighters from the UK, is that these units can be trapped in Persia and killed before they reach Caucasus, or squashed in India with bombardments on the amphibious assault, esp. if the Japanese push Burma. Tanks at least can escape (even if they have to blitz out on non-com). Then there is also the situation where Russia ends up having to cover India out of Caucasus because the British don’t have enough heat in the region, which is less than desirable.

    Trying to save as many tanks as possible in Asia for the endgame (to stack in Russia) would seem the more sound strategy, rather than trading them against Axis inf. So 6 tanks out of India assumes you’re not sending them out uncovered into attacks.

  • Just to jump on this old thread, Black_Elk’s comments are on point and I’ve tried both ways. Infantry (perhaps with Art) in India or all tanks. The lack of mobility with the inf/art is a problem and can cause the evacuation of India to be picked apart, or forcing you to move infantry into the Caucasus slowly at precisely the time when the Caucasus may not be holdable any more, whereas the tanks do provide better mobility and some ability to run up through Caucasus and even threaten southern German territory that is often weakly defended. There is little else they can do offensively since a push up and to the east through Asia is immediately crushed on Japanese counterattack given their massive and superior air force. You’ll lose whatever tanks you send that way, and quickly. In truth, the same happens when you swing west into Ukraine, but you do stall the Germans knocking on the door of Caucasus so there’s value there. Depending on how you’re doing with W. Russia and where Germany parks a tank stack you could also prevent a blitz through from Belorussia into Caucasus by doing this.

    On the counter side, the tank strategy means 1 less fighter coming over each round, and eliminates any real hope of UK saving IPC’s for a future Naval build. At that point you’re basically spending all UK IPC’s each round to finance 3 tanks + 1 fighter, with possibly 3 IPC’s that can be saved.

    And against my opponent, after the UK pre-emptive strike against Japan fleet Round 1 (wiping out Japan southern fleet but losing UK fleet to counter attack), I’m evacuating India by Round 3, so it literally is only 6 tanks you’re getting here. You’re probably right that those should just go straight to Russia and join for the final defense. Maybe try to break out in the Northeast…but sending them east or west of the Caucasus seems to provide no real advantage other than a minor irritant/stall to Germany or a quick defeat by Japan.

    I wonder if just throwing 3 fighters on there Round 1, and then infantry/artillery Round 2 and saving the rest for UK, doesn’t accomplish something. Should be 2 fighters coming over from UK Round 1 so you’re end result is 5 fighters in India 6-7 ground forces beating their retreat Round 3 or holding out as a Japan counter and sticking around 1 more round to provide ~10 ground forces / 5 fighters. Would need to model that scenario.

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    Solid feedback Outlaw

    It seems sound to me, the 3 fighter buy in India. Though I suspect you’d probably have to take the bomber along for the ride, and park it in range of sea zones 17/35/36/37 to make the buy worth it. At least that way, if you get lucky in an attack on sz 37, you’ll have some teeth in the region, to threaten counter attacks against Japanese ships in the next round. I always get nervous leaving the second Japanese transport afloat. 37 is “all in” to have any chance of success, and even then, the battle can get rough if the dice go against you. But the ability to evacuate the fighters in India is a plus, to quickly send them to Western Russia if needed. I would think any ground units you drop in India afterwards, are just a speed bump for Japan. But if you focus on a UK fleet and setting up Europe after that, it could give the allies the edge they need to get something started.

    The results of opening battle in W. Russia would probably weigh pretty heavily on my decision there. And also the destroyer/sub battles in sz 10/11. To say nothing of Egypt (which might change everything) depending on how strong Germany opens, and what sort of bid (if any) the Allies are playing with. On the whole though, for India, I think I like a 3 fighter build, more than an inf/art build there in the first round. It seems safer, despite being more expensive.

    I’d want to magnify the attack potential once I committed to a strat, 30 is a lot to invest, but it seems somehow better than trying to split the difference.

    I find myself going 3 tanks + 1 fighter when I want to be conservative. 3 tanks + 1 bomber, if I want to open up the risk a bit, and lay down a consistent Allied bombing campaign against G. But 3 fighters in India seems to offer some interesting potential. It’s looks better than max fighters out of UK to me. Not sure how it compare to tanks in the endgame, but I’ll have to play around with it.

  • Max Fighter buy on India is an interesting idea. I’ve had two more games since my posts the other day and will consolidate my experiences in the other thread I started. I did a KGF and a KJF both with slightly more success than my ‘traditional’ strategies.

    I play with the same guy constantly so I think sometimes it puts me in a bubble in terms of seeing variations in Axis strategy. For instance, he’s never even tried Sea Lion.

    The attack on SZ 37 typically succeeds with anywhere from a Cruiser + Fighter left, to Fighter only, to mutual destruction. A failure that leaves his Battleship, and I’d be tempted to surrender Round 1. Not something I’m proud of, but, Allied Round 1 is a precarious thing and adverse results with Russia or UK Naval efforts near India to me are unrecoverable. At least against this guy.

    What he does Round 1 with Japan is he parks his transports in SZ 61, staging for a Round 3 or Round 4 take, out of range of Fighters on India. India has to follow the traditional retreat from Burma Round 1. So the 3 fighters, while providing defense power, will offer little in the way of threat to his Navy. I guess it’s nice that they can get to Russia next round, but, I can have Fighters in W. Russia in a single round from UK and that’s usually where I need them most anyway.

    I should also add he is a very conservative player - he will never attack without overwhelming odds, whereas I’ll gamble routinely. So there’d never be a situation where he lands on India, my fighters survive, and hit his Navy. He simply wouldn’t attack if there were a chance of that. Similarly, his surviving transport in SZ 61 will be immediately reinforced and remain so, negating a Bomber zerg raid….

    More thoughts about Allied fleets against this particular player in my other thread. Unless you’re talking about an Allied Fleet as in, INDIA building a naval fleet?

    I will say, as to the rest, that there is a clear Russia Round 1 sequence of attacks that you mentioned in the other thread that absolutely must succeed, and also, Russia can’t lose West Russia for at least 4 rounds, offering plenty of time to convey Fighters over from UK, stop in W Russia , and continue on down to India. On balance, I’m not sure it changes things all that much to put the UK fighters there so early, since W. Russia shouldn’t seriously be threatened enough early on for it to matter. To compensate for 3 fighters round 1 India, you’d need a heavy ground force buy India round 2, especially if you’ve transported troops away to reinforce Africa etc…

    Anyway let me lay out a few things in the other thread that may shed light on how I better managed India in both recent games…

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