How are you suppose to defend Russia?



  • In most of our recent games, Germany builds all mech. infantry and tanks. Then on turn 3, He rolls into Russia. By turn 6 or 7, Germany has Moscow and all of his beloved resources, Help!

    P.S. We always go south.



  • Hello DesertFox,

    defending Russia can be hard and demoralizing but very much possible. A few short tips:

    • Do what The Red Army historically did: fall back! Unfortunately you can’t destroy your factories when you leave them 😉

    • When falling back, leave no single INF behind. Not even as blockers. Position your army in 1-2 critical areas, 2 areas away from the German INF/ART ball. Make a stand in Moscow ofc. Retake Ukraine once.

    • Counterattack German Panzers that blitz adjacent to your Armies. Also attack/strafe/make a stand against any stack if you can come out of the battle (including the following German counterattack, if any) better than before the attack. I.e. with a bigger unit difference in your favor and without loosing Moscow.

    • Retreat your Russian units from the Pacific. Get them into Moscow or use them to retake Stalingrad/Caucasus. Or a bit of both.

    • Understand that Moscow will fall (and thus the allies will have a real chance of loosing the game) if your western ‘friends’ don’t send units into Moscow to help you. Get a minimum of allied units worth ~70IPCs into Moscow before the end of round 5. Personally I like British FTR the most.

    • Also prepare for the loss of Moscow if the Western Allies cannot (or simply do not) threaten serious invasions in the west. I consider ferrying ~30 allied units into the west during the invasion turn ‘serious’. Example: 20 USA land units to do take an area, followed by 10 British (FTR!).

    • Prepare the Brits in the Middle East for contesting Caucasus against Germany.

    • A personal favorite: bomb all german IC’s (at least the ones in the west) with the western Allies (also much like historically).

    Hope this helps!


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    Sound advice by LeClerc, as usual.

    One more thing that the Western Allies may do to try and help Russia, is to keep an eye out for Norway. If Germany is marching into Russia at full strength, they may send in all Norwegian and Finnish units, leaving Norway poorly protected. So if the British can then create an early threat to take Norway, then Germany needs to respond to that because losing Norway is effectively -8 IPC a round for Germany. Creating such a threat doesn’t require a big investment: just two UK transports would be enough because Germany initially has only one transport to recapture Norway. And there may also be an opportunity to land the French fighter there to reinforce the UK.
    Whether it’s always a good idea to actually execute the threat to capture Norway is another matter, but it already helps to give Germany something to worry about.

    As far as Russia itself is concerned: don’t just buy infantry, but add some (not too much!) artillery as well to improve your strafing possibilities.



  • Thanks, Herr!
    Sadly enough I often forget some of my own advices when playing the game. Heat of the battle so to say :-D. I like your avatar, Herr. Loved the movie and Jürgen Prochnow is a very good actor too.

    Norway and those INF/Katyushas are very important as well. Russia needs as much body and punch as possible.



  • Buy all artillery round 1 - 3 Stalingrad, 3 Ukraine, 1 Moscow
    Buy all artillery round 2 - Placement depends on G2 or G3 DOW
    Round 3+ buy 9 Inf + 1 Ftr

    When you can no longer afford that (which will eventually happen), spend the 30 IPC for 9 Inf on Moscow, and anything you can afford that can beat the Germans to Moscow that you can place in Stalingrad (2 Mech > 1 Armor).

    Continue on this route until Germany attacks Moscow directly.

    I prefer the additional Artillery on R2 in the situation I can counter attack on R3 if there was a G2 DOW.  Notably if Germany races too far forward on G4, I’m going to want that Artillery available to cut deep into the German Armor on R4 and potentially stall the advance.

    Learn the art of strafing.  Example:
    Germans take EPoland with their big stack.  You had stacked everything in Belarus / WUkraine.  You retreat backwards to Bryansk, consolidating your stack.
    Next turn, the Germans move their big stack to Belarus, but they blitz a single tank through W.Ukraine to Ukraine, and another tank through Baltic States to Novgorod.
    You being next to Ukraine with your stack, can send in 2 Inf, 2 Ftr and 1 Tac to reclaim Ukraine from Germany.  You figure there is a 50-50 chance of losing 1 Inf, so you’ll strand the lone surviving Inf in Ukraine while your Ftr fly back to Moscow and join your stack that is retreating there.
    You’ve effectively denied the Germans the use of Ukraine next turn for 6 IPC.

    Just remember, trying to leave blocking Inf in 1 IPC territories is a bad trade for the Russians.  You give up 3 IPC and certain death of the unit to deny Germany a 1 IPC territory you will lose regardless if the Inf was there or not.

    It is better to strafe the exploratory blitzing Germans where possible.

    In a last ditch effort, you can block with an Inf if you are caught out of position - just beware an Italian “can-opener” where the Italians blitz an armor forward, supported by their bomber to clear that Inf out for the Germans to blitz and ruin your day.

    In an entirely worst case scenario, if you have no way to save yourself, you can spend the IPC to place an AB in a location to block a blitz that would ruin everything.  Blitzing units cannot move past infrastructure they captured that turn.  So, in theory you can place an AB on Smolensk and keep your Russian stack on Bryansk to prevent the Germans from blitzing into an undefended Moscow.

    It could be worth it if you had Ukraine under your control, the German stack was in Novgorod, with nothing protecting the soft underbelly in Romania and Germany just purchased boats and planes so there was no new ground units coming out of Berlin.

    You could do some economic damage spending 18 IPC on 3 Arm in Ukraine, blitzing them to Poland and then spreading out to Bulgaria, Albania and Slovakia on the next turn.

    Assuming you lost all 4 territories the turn after you claimed all 4, you could realistically have gained 15 IPC from NO’s (Romania twice), 6 from Romania, 3 from Slovakia, 1 from Bulgaria and 1 from Albania for a grand total of 26 IPC that cost you 18 IPC and on the “Annoyance Factor Scale”, you went off the charts in aggravating the German / Italian players while possibly causing serious problems in their defense of Europe from Allied incursions.

    That won’t always be there, but it is something to keep your eyes open for.

    I also have an opponent that consistently positions to attack Finland the moment Germany starts the war with the intention of taking Finland and Norway to collect 11 IPC / round until Germany diverts resources to correct that problem.  This R1 purchase includes 1 Arm, 1 Mech, 1 Art placed in Leningrad.  You can look through that minigame he plays there, but the Annoyance Factor Scale is pretty high on the Russians taking Finland and Norway very early in the march to Moscow.  In short, its +11 IPC for Russia, -10 IPC for Germany until they correct it.  You spent 14 IPC to do it, trade out around 12 IPC of units to accomplish it, but its a 21 IPC Economic swing as long as it is in effect, so it pays for itself immediately.  Then costs even more IPC for Germany to correct the problem - which means less units headed to Moscow.  Oh… and have fun correcting it with 4 UK Ftr sitting on top of 6+ Russian units in Norway.



  • Great advice from all above.

    Not sure if this applies here, but defending Leningrad will cost you Moscow more times than not.

    Once the Germans enter Russian territory any inf (and AA gun) in Leningrad need to head towards your capital (fall back like tIsILeClerc said). If you don’t retreat them by this time they will either die in Leningrad, or be too late for the defense of Moscow. Make sure that you don’t loose a bunch of inf up there if the Germans amphib it. Start bringing back the Far Eastern units (leave a handful to keep Japan from blitzing.

    I would be more inclined to trade your minor ICs w/Axis if given the chance (withdraw and counter attack), rather then defend them. If you trade them it delays the axis from using them against you to build units.

    I also agree that the Brits need to get some fighters to Moscow, and filter in some ground units from Mid East. These are all basically stall tactics to give the allies more time to make landings in Europe. The longer you can delay the assault of Moscow the better.



  • Thanks guys. Our main problem with Russia is what to buy. In past games in order to defend a territory, all you had to do was buy a ton of infantry and you were set. Now since they are more tanks and fighters, it has become harder to defend territories. Also the Axis use the 1-2punch which is when Germany takes a territory, Italy takes the other one, which makes straffing ourdated.


  • '14 Customizer

    Italy has only 2 tanks to start with not counting Africa so those two tanks are all you have to worry about. They may send their bomber for help but their force must be fast to keep up with the German stack. What you need to do is predict where Germany wants to move the stack next and then put at least 2-3 units there to prevent Italy from taking it. This lets Germany land their planes with their stack which prevents Russia from strafing the stack.

    Also, I agree 100% with WildBill. If Germany can sucker Russia into attacking with the Leningrad stack they will miss the opportunity to reach the capital in time to help defend. Mostly depends on the size of the stack left behind. Sometimes its meaningless and other times it can cost the game but its definitely not helping Russia protect their capitol.

    Also if your playing Germany… The turn before you attack Moscow, try to let Russia take back Archangel if they don’t have it and move the sub out of sz 125. This will give Russia their NO back so you can collect on it when you take Moscow 🙂


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