I was wondering how you defend Karelia on R1. Do you move the inf from Archangel there (I do, of course). What about tanks and fighters?
The maximum buildup of troops there discourages a G1 attack in Karelia. But if the German player wishes to do so, he can still overwhelm Karelia and Russia loses all of its attacking strike force (I usually only buy inf with Russia, so if Karelia is lost-with all striking force gone- it seriously takes away the chance of a good Russian pounding on Germany in R2…)
There is a train of thought that one might pull all his forces out of Karelia and Caucases back into Russia and leave a picket behind (that would be 1 infantry) to stop a blitzekrieg.
I believe the goal of that manuever is to invite the German’s to over extend themselves while consolidating Russian forces in one territory. Then, on R2 you can burst forward and retake what was lost, maybe even getting a few German tanks.
However, this can backfire if the German’s only send token forces into these lands and keep their units mostly congregated in a small area. Such as sending 3 infantry into Karelia and 3 into Caucasus to fight the 1 infantry in each. This is almost a guarenteed win which forces the Russians to retake and a very small risk.
Another method is to move 4 infantry from Caucasus and all units from Russia into Karelia and build 8 new infantry in Karelia. However, do note that the Germans CAN beat this entire force on G1. They’ll most likely be down 1 fighter and all units except 2-4 armor units, but they can beat it.