All the Russian openings: For Begginers

  • 2017 '16 '15 '14

    It’s not big deal; if the first battle had gone better for russia, I think I would have played it differently.  As it was, I gave away the British navy.  i should have taken the same chance and who knows?  It might have been different.  dice are what dice are…  I know through my backgammon plays that we all tend to concentrate on the bad rolls; which we all get more than our fair share of…

  • 2019 '15 '14

    Reposted here for safekeeping:

    My ongoing case for the Russian bomber, as a set-up change.

    In 1942.2 if you’re going to actually purchase an Air unit with the Russians, it should definitely be a fighter rather than a bomber. I think the best time to do this is in the second round. That’s when Russian income will be at its highest for any point during the early game. But I would only do this if your opening attacks went well, and if the German opening counter attacks went rather poorly. If you collect 26-28 ipcs after your opening, that gives you enough for the third fighter, and still have 16-18 ipcs left over for 5-6 ground units. After which point you buy infantry/artillery for the rest of the game, and use your third fighter for optimal trading. But again I would only do that if Russia opens well, and I would only consider the fighter. From a purchasing perspective Russia benefits more from a fighter than a bomber. They don’t really need the reach of a bomber, since all the territories they can reasonably attack are close to home, and the fighter gives you a better attack/defense ratio for the cost. Given how important defense is for Russia its better to buy a unit with att 3 def 4 mov 4 for 10 ipcs, than att 4, def 1 move 6 for 12 ipcs.

    This is the reason why I think its better to just give Russia a bomber!

    Because I don’t think any serious player would ever buy one. An experienced player can use a starting Russian bomber in many interesting ways, but to suggest that an experienced player would actually purchase a new one is just wishful thinking.

    A starting Red Airforce of 2 fighters and 1 bomber is less distorting in my view, than a starting airforce of 3 fighters (because of the way the Russian situation favors defense). An experienced Russian player may purchase a 3rd fighter at some point in the game, but I just don’t see them purchasing a bomber.

    Both situations (2 fighters + 1 bomber, or 3 fighters) would be better than the OOB starting Red airforce of ONLY 2 fighters! But the 2 fighters + 1 bomber combo just feels better to me. It accomplishes several things at once, all of which enhance the confidence of the Soviet player. It gives them more opening attack power, the ability to reach farther with those attacks, and the ability to send a defensive pip to critical territories (like Egypt) after an attack. They can also use it for strategic bombing, if the Allies want to pursue such a game. It has flexibility to be used in either theater (either the Eastern Front with Germany, or against Japan in Asia.)

    There are also several reasonable options for a starting location for the bomber, Moscow, Karelia, or my personal favorite, Caucasus!

    That last gives Russia the most options for their bomber on R1, and it doesn’t currently house an air unit, so that creates a nice 3 way split. Fighter in Karelia, Fighter in Moscow, Bomber in Caucasus.

    That would be my ideal, since it has a certain aesthetic appeal as well  😄

    Think about it, what other unit could you place for Allies that gives you a dozen round 1 options? None of which are totally distorting or going to break a major TUV swing, but which can still provide a lot of gameplay interest for the Allies?

    In the first round, A Russian bomber in Caucasus could, among other things:

    Bomb Germany
    Bomb Italy
    Attack Ukraine
    Attack Belo
    Attack Baltic States
    Attack sz 5
    Attack sz 61
    Land in Egypt for defense
    Land in UK for defense
    Land in Szech for defense
    Land in Bury for defense

    If additional bid units are included beyond the bomber, you might be able to do other things as well.
    Such as Attack Manchuria (sub par, but possible with an extra bid, or some additional starting units in the far east.)
    And unlike most other units, the bomber is very likely to survive, and play-on in subsequent rounds. So it provides an ongoing benefit.

    It can even have a role to play if Moscow is captured, allowing Russia to bomb Berlin or Tokyo during the endgame!

    I just think its the best all around option, if you want to make a set up change. I’m not saying it fixes the game, but I think it should be the starting point for the fix, the unit change around which you build the rest of the set up.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    [reposted for safekeeping]

    Black_Elk, as you can probably guess, I’m all in favor of increasing the Russians’ ability to wage an offensive war, and a starting bomber is one good way to do that. What I wonder about is how it could be possible to offer the players the realistic option to have Russia go on the offense (against Germany? against Japan?) while simultaneously having the Axis wage an aggressive war against the UK and/or the USA.

    I see five main possibilities here:

    1. Russia attacks Germany, and Germany makes attacks based on economic goals, rather than going after a capital. Germany’s extra starting units in the west allow it to conquer all of Africa and maybe even take Brazil, but Japan isn’t in position to deliver a killing blow to either London or Washington, and so the game is slow, at best – the Axis strategy basically involves winning by building up such a big economic advantage that Germany can absorb, blunt, and eventually retaliate against the strong starting Russian attack.

    2. Russia attacks Germany, and Germany directly attacks London while Japan seizes on the distraction to gobble up British possessions in the southern hemisphere. This game will be very short, because if Germany heads west then it won’t take long for the powerful Russian attacking forces to make it to Berlin – either the Sea Lion will work or it won’t, and the game will be decided accordingly.

    3. Russia attacks Germany, and Germany tries to ignore a still-vigorous British empire, cross the Atlantic, and attack the USA, with or without help from Japan. Britain shoots down half the German transports with subs and planes, and then America laughs and easily defeats the rest of the German invasion; meanwhile, Russia enters Berlin and ends the game.

    4. Russia attacks Japan with help from the United States and the UK, as in a standard KJF. Russia is presumably able to seize the valuable territories of Manchuria and Shanghai (otherwise it wouldn’t be much of an attack!), meaning that Russia can afford to let Germany win some territory in eastern Europe and Russia can still build a successful infantry wall. Germany can try to take Moscow before Tokyo falls, as in a standard all-out KJF, but will have a much harder time than usual because Russia has more income, and Germany’s extra starting troops need time to shift over from France and Italy to the eastern front.

    5. Russia attacks Japan with help from only the United States, leaving Britain to help defend eastern Europe. Japan can probably hold out for several turns while still defending Manchuria and Shanghai. Germany is probably forced to gamble on an early blitz to Moscow, because it has no other plausible options for linking up with Japan or relieving the siege of Tokyo.

    I have to say, I’m not wild about any of these scenarios. What do you think?

  • Thanks Black_Elk for these write ups on the Russians.

    I am really trying to figure out what the game needs for more balance.
    The Axis seem to just be too strong on both fronts.

    Ive started using TripleA to test that, and I can easily beat the Hard AI with Axis… but I cant win with Allies, even with a 13 bid for Russians. I can hold past 8/9 rounds, even with American bases on the money islands but cant overwhelm either Japan or Germany.

    What are your thoughts on that… can you beat the hard AI as Allies?
    Maybe you could share some thoughts on how?

    It definitely seems to me the Axis need a few less starting units… they just have too much.

  • 2019 '15 '14

    Yeah there are still some exploits that allow you trounce the AI, things that the AI doesn’t fully understand yet. So even playing vs Axis I find that I need to give them an income bonus to make the experience really challenging. The best place to find the sorts of things I’m talking about is in this thread…

    Most of the more recent 1942.2 saves I posted vs AI Axis are around page 40, but the jar has been updated several times between now and then.

    Using the latest stable, I think it is much more challenging to play against the AI Axis than it is to play against the AI Allies. Keeping Russia alive is difficult, for sure, but I find that the AI is particularly vulnerable to projected air power at sea. They will often withdraw their fleets rather than remain to defend vs air pressure, so usually that is my approach. Air wall to the center, then back the Axis fleets away from the important locations. I try to put every aircraft I can in range of India, and then just bounce them between Moscow and India, as needed until Moscow collapse. I’ve found that it is generally easier to mess with Japan than it is to mess with Germany early on, but also very hard to kill Japan outright (harder than Berlin because there is no double hit option UK/USA). So the shock Japan early and redirect can be particularly useful vs the AI. German AI can stack ground very heavy right from the outset, and also trades heavy vs the Russians, so Moscow seems destined to die though I find you can prolong this a bit if you send enough aircraft right away. The USA repeating drop into Finland can be pretty effective for the endgame, and also positioning a threat on Italy, which the AI will attempt to defend in ways that a human might not. I don’t SBR against the machine, because it does know how to retaliate, but that is another way to overcome the AI if you are relentless with it.

    In general I’d say the most challenging thing that the Japan AI has in its bag of tricks right now is the mass bomber build. Whenever you start pushing Japan into a corner, I find that they just start buying a ton of bombers and stacking infantry on their capital. I’ve had my US/Brit fleets smoked a number of times, by ruthless AI bomber strikes that I didn’t see coming (after they sneakily build up for a few rounds). This can make it near impossible to take Tokyo, but also gives you a way to manage Japan if you know what to expect, while you put your main effort into Europe. AI Japan doesn’t hit pearl, so you start with some extra units than you might otherwise have. Basically I like to hit the AI Axis early in the Pacific and trip them up, then redirect on Europe. Its not too difficult to get something going with the USA if you are able to keep your income in the 40s, but when you go full Europe usually you start dropping down pretty quickly, on account of the way Japan likes to run up into Alaska. It’s kind of gimmicky but you can hold Japan for a long time on that northern route if you let them in, but once you stack that area they like to swing south. Little things like that to take advantage of the AI’s current “personality.” It will trade tanks on the ground till the cows come home, and air for ships if given the chance, but is also very cautious and risk averse on the water with the IJN, that’s what I’ve found so far. It hasn’t been uncommon for me to see the IJN back all the way off their production centers, and try to trade positions with the USA near panama. Or even run an end around down by South America. Which is a little ridiculous, but something you can kind of control, if you overtake them with the Air wall. I really like bombers for UK/USA vs the AI, just like vs a human, but the AI can be easier to trip up.

    Each time Redrum posts in an update things get better though, so hopefully there will come a time when I can’t beat the AI Axis at all.

  • Hi,

    Old player here, having played A&A Classic a lot, but last over 15 years ago, and now waiting impatiently to introduce the 1942 2nd ed in my current gaming group!

    So I set up the board to get an understanding of the opening situation, and then came here to see what the experts think of opening moves. Very interesting read, even though I only went through the first half of page 1 so far :-).

    However, I didn’t quite understand the quoted part below, and was hoping someone could clarify for me.


    Finally there is the aspect that involves movement or range, which for infantry is just 1 space from where they are placed. Now when you look at the map and the production spread for Russia, you’ll see that with an 8 infantry buy, some of these units won’t be able to get into the fight immediately, because the factory in Caucasus can only produce 4 units at a time, and the factory in Karelia is indefensible in the first round, and inf units placed in Moscow will be two moves from the front during the second round. So having surveyed the situation on the ground, for the purposes of attack, buying 8 infantry doesn’t really get you the full 8 attack points the very next round. Instead you end up with just 4 attacks points “at the ready”, from the infantry out of Caucasus, and the other 4 infantry units placed in Moscow will take at least one more round to move out “into position.” To defend against German counter attacks in the second round you still get 16 on defense, but from the perspective of an early Russian offensive, the 8 infantry buy nets you just 4 attack points and 4 attack fodder hitpoints “at the ready” in the second round.

    Looking at the board, the Russia territory (with the Moscow factory) is adjacent to German-held West Russia. Why then would units placed at this factory be two moves from the front? Is this assuming Russia will attack and take West-Russia in the first turn? Or is this tutorial intended for a different board? Or am I overlooking something else?

    Thanks, ZeusEQ

  • 2017 '16

    Karelia is two TTs away from Russia. Archangel is between them.
    So 4 Infantry produced in Moscow cannot be used as fodder if you want to counter-attack a just German’s conquered Karelia G1.

    Tank or plane can move over Archangel, so two Tanks give A6 points (first russian purchase :  4 Infs, 2 Tanks = 24 IPCs) or a single Fighter gives you A3 points more (first russian purchase : 1 Fg, 2 Inf, 2 Art = 24 IPCs) if part of your West Russia moved armies R1 attack Karelia R2.

  • 2019 '15 '14

    Yeah the assumption is that the Russian player will take W. Russia from the Germans, and hopefully with enough force remaining that the Germans cannot immediately retake it on G1. W. Russia is do or die on this map, so allowing the Germans back in is ugly. If they do manage to retake W. Russia, then yes, any units placed in Moscow will be on the front line, though that is the situation we are hoping to avoid at all costs with our Soviet opener.

  • 2019 2017 '16


    Baltic Gambit: and the 30 IPC Russian Opening!

    I’ve got a different suggestion.
    Belarus + Ukraine Gambit: and the 28-30 IPC Russian Opening!

    2inf 1 art 1 ftr attack Belarus (82%)
    3inf 1 art 3 arm 1 ftr attack Ukraine (86%)
    7inf 1 art 1 arm (rest) attack WRussia. (95%)

    Buy 4 inf 3 art.

    Doesn’t matter greatly if you take the Belarus territory so long as you weaken the stack. But it matters greatly if you take Ukraine.
    Possibility 1: strafe Ukraine leaving only the fighter- presumably 3 arm plus 4 mobilising units plus 1 AAA and 2 ftrs end up in Caucasus. Some danger of a counter in Ukr. Max counter attack then G1 is 1 inf 1 art 2 arm 4 ftr 1 bom 1 bat. 7% to the Germans.

    Possibility 2: take Ukraine. No real possibility of holding it and a counter attack on Caucasus G1 is still possible by amphibious assault. Germany will have 1 inf 1 art 2 arm 2 ftr 1 bom 1 bat vs Russia with 4 inf/art 1 AAA 2 ftr. The germans cannot bring the Italy fighter into the assault due to the lack of a landing field in Ukraine. This attack is 19% to the Germans with 6% wipeout.

    Possibility 3: strafe Ukraine leaving the fighter and 1 arm 1 art - presumably 3 arm plus 4 mobilising units plus 1 AAA and 2 ftrs end up in Caucasus. Let’s say you also keep an art. Max counter attack then G1 is 1 inf 2 art 3 arm 4 ftr 1 bom 1 bat. 60% to the Germans.

    The above can be shifted towards the USSR by moving the second AAA to Caucasus.

    So presumably Caucasus can be held G1 unless you get very unlucky. Just need to make sure to take out all the inf and art in Ukraine.

  • I really like these ideas!

    Do you usually allow the straights to be open?  Is that just because of the Harris tournament rule?

    I’ve always just left them closed.

  • 2019 2017 '16


    Do you usually allow the straights to be open?  Is that just because of the Harris tournament rule?

    Yes on allowing the straights to be open. For no particular reason really.

    If you close the straights you don’t need to worry so much about too strong a counter attack into Caucasus. Those 3 tanks are great for retaking Karelia, enough that Germany will probably hold in Finland and just blitz into it on G1.

  • Whether or not the straights are open does change your opening move for Russia. But Germany not taking Egypt first turn wouldn’t be wise in my mind so not sure opening the straights helps or hurts Germany. I guess it would help Germany to have the factory only one tank move away from Egypt and India!

  • 2019 2017 '16


    Whether or not the straights are open does change your opening move for Russia.

    I don’t understand why?

  • because you’ll likely be reinforcing Caucausus with as much as you can.  if Germans bring in navy then that same navy can’t take Egypt on G1.

    UK will have a stronger starting point in Africa then.  could still go either way, but attacking Caucausus on G1 doesn’t seem wise.  you’ll just keep trading the land with Russia.

  • I disagree with you on not defending Karelia. As far as I know, it is unbeatable if you buy 8 infantries and place them on Karelia. I have tried to take it when I was the Axis Powers and I could not retake it at all. If you can prove to me that you can retake Karelia having 8 infantries, I will readjust my strategy with Karelia. How do you beat 8 infantries in Karelia IF the Soviets beat the Germans in Finland, Eastern Europe, and Ukraine, considering that the Soviets take all three territories from Germany?? Ofc, the fighter would fly back to Karelia to defend it, along with 8 infantries.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15

    Karelia can take 2 infantries at most as the production value is only 2.

  • @innohub, huh?? When I played the game, it was unlimited placement within your own territories. I thought in the Classic Axis & Allies Edition (1984), you can place an unlimited number of units in your home territories. But, when placing outside of your territories, you can only place a limited number of units.

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Official Q&A TripleA Moderator

    @vietgamer45 This category of the forum is about 1942 2nd Edition (issued in 2012), not about Classic (1984/86). Classic has its own category here:

    Different rulesets apply.

    Welcome to the forum 🙂

  • @Panther, ah ok. Thank you. 🙂

  • 2019 '15 '14

    Thought this thread might do with an update, since Axis and Allies online is in early release and ranked play over there is using the Gencon set up provided by Larry a little while back. Currently that game also uses a few new rules that change the dynamics quite a bit, the main ones are no landing of fighters on friendly carriers, and no loading units onto friendly transports, which is pretty big esp. for sending fighters across the ocean in either direction.

    Axis and Allies online also uses a “defense profile” where the defender sets their casualty priorities in advance, which means that unless you are playing live and switching profiles on the fly at the last minute, you have to choose each turn your general order of loss for units. This includes things like whether subs will dive or fight, whether fighters or carriers die first, things like that. So for example, you might have to choose between diving in sz53 with the USA sub, or fighting on defense with the British sub in sz41 (Aussie evac), since right now the defense profile is universal for a given turn, and not something you can choose battle per battle. There’s been talk that some of the rules like friendly carriers might be allowed or more nuanced defense profiles allowed, but for now with those rules in play, the opening conditions in the first round are a little different.

    For Russia the main change from OOB is the Ukraine situation, because now Germany has their bomber located there. This also tweaks the German opening considerably depending on whether the bomber lives or dies. Germany is also down 1 sub in sz5 under the Gencon rules and the British cruiser is moved to the other side of Gibraltar so that also alters what Germany might try to do on their first turn.

    sz16 is open by default in Axis and Allies online, and no bid is currently supported, so that’s also something to consider.

    For the Russians the options for opening attacks are a bit more straightforward in gencon than OOB, since its basically a choice between going heavy into Ukraine or the big West Russia Wall all-in. Of the two I think Ukraine has the better payoff, but I’ve had some fun games using both openers, and some terrible games using both openers, since the swing is fairly wild and much comes down to how many hits the Germans put up in the first round of combat.

    The Ukraine play is essentially the same as OOB, but bringing 3 tanks is more essential now since Germany has another fodder unit, and a clean strafe is somewhat harder to pull off.

    For the West Russia wall, Szech and Evenki are somewhat more attractive as landing spots for the Russia fighters. For the Ukraine hit strat, its harder for Germany to get on Egypt early. So in either strat you might find some incentive to put your UK bomber in a territory with max reach into both theaters since India has 2 more inf in the Gencon set up, which makes an early hit on Japan a little simpler. Sometimes the Brits can find a clutch airblitz vs Japanese transports provided they have a landing spot, so Russia might find a reason to stack 4 or 5 units in Yakut. Keeping open a possible hit on Bury R2 can sometimes be nice, to open up a landing spot for British fighters or Bombers on UK2 that might be able to put the hurt on Japan if they fall short somewhere. Fighting east/south out of Evenki is a bit more viable too, provided Russia didn’t get stomped in their opener. So sometimes I see a fighter hanging in a more northern position for that sort of stuff. Its still pretty up in the air on R1 though, so many things could go wrong for either side that will determine the playpattern.

    In general I think its more important than ever to make sure Russia has sufficient hitpoints in their first buy to deal with whatever might happen, because things can certainly get ugly with a quickness. And there’s definitely no bomber bid to lean on in Axis and Allies Online hehe.

    One thing to keep in mind is that a full withdrawal from Caucasus gives Germany a nicer option to keep their battleship alive into the second round at least vs a British air strike, since it denies British aircraft a landing spot in Caucasus if the Germans can take it G1. Another possible reason to suggest hitting Ukraine heavy with the Russians, just so you can stack Caucasus safely and force the battleship to go elsewhere. The other German options for their med fleet aren’t too spectacular, especially if the Brits roll hot on defense somewhere, so unless they are planning a naval build to support it, there are some decent possibilities to kill the German Battleship with the Brits from the air, provided they don’t tuck up into sz16. There is also more pressure on Germany in sz7, so the Russian sub can sometimes make a big difference there now. In the defense profile for Axis and Allies online, its important to set one up for the Russian turn that has the sub remaining to fight, rather than dive, because every hitpoint counts. Making a clean sweep of the Allied Atlantic transports, or killing the British cruiser, while also ensuring that they win in sz7, and keeping the med battleship alive all at the same time is pretty tricky for Germany, so the chances that your friends the Anglo-Americans on the other side of the sea might survive with some more ships is higher. But this is also somewhat offset by the fact that USA can’t skip their fighters across the Atlantic on British carriers in A&AO, so the Russians still have a lot of weight to carry.

    I’d be curious to hear from anyone who’s playing, any thoughts they might have about the Russian opener in A&A online, but that’s what I got so far.

    Good gaming all!


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I usually buy 4 and 3 if i don’t know my opponents skill level or i want a safe game. I never go 8 inf on R1!
    I prefer to buy 1-2 tanks depending on situation ( R1 i would go with 2 due to extra pieces at start). I only attack UKR as a hit and run and take West Russia. I tried every combination of other ideas and they just DONT WORK!. Leave Karelia and use Caucasus to Pivot your entire position. Losing Caucasus for 2+ consecutive turns means you lose the game as Russia. It controls the entire approaches to Moscow from either direction. When you control it you must trade with Germany (take/retake) Ukraine and West Russia.

    The actual moves are 3 tanks 2 fighters plus all in range against Ukraine, then all else in range against West Russia. In NCM do not move sub with UK fleet! That sucker has been known to destroy an entire German fleet including 1 CV 2 fighters ( displaced), 3 AP, and 1 CA… because its happened to me!

    In the far east EQUAL INFANTRY TO WHATEVER JAPANESE ARE IN MANCHURIA. The rest go west and 2 Infantry to Archangel.

    Turn R2 depends entirely on how well or poorly Germany did on G1. If they did a suck out, you can buy less then 8 units, which means 1-2 tanks
    Otherwise you need 8 “slots” to fill ( combination of addressing IPC so that you build 8 units, but not necessarily the same type)

    Lastly, never buy more fighters in the beginning portion of the game! You can buy them once Germany is going down.

  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Trying to hold Karelia is fruitless. I have wiped out positions as Germany where they put everything they got including the fighters and i broke their position to a point where they could not recover even with great play.

  • 2019 '15 '14

    I usually go by the 7 hitpoints minimum rule of thumb, so if Russia is collecting 28 ipcs or more, then I will consider buying additional fighters. The received wisdom for light trades is that when you really need your Russian fighters and artillery to hit they will probably miss, and when you really need that Axis infantry to miss they will probably hit hehe, so an extra fighter may come in handy if you can afford it and it suits your playstyle. The problem, especially in rounds 3-5, is that if the Axis stack a big armor wall and start spreading fodder around, Russia can start hemorrhaging infantry and artillery pretty quickly just trying to block all the blitz paths on Caucasus or Moscow. If you put too much into the light territory trading, then it becomes harder to deadzone vs a big push. But sometimes you really need to prevent the Axis tanks from driving forward, and sometimes a bad dud on a light trade can upend your whole front line, forcing you to withdraw or hold when you’d rather advance. Ukraine, Arch, Belo all play that way on the German side, Kazakh or Novos on the Japanese side. Artillery gives you the most bang for your buck, clearly, but an extra fighter can also work if Axis aren’t already on top of you.

    With 28 ipcs though you can also buy 8 inf + 1 artillery, or 4 inf +4 artillery, 6 inf + 1 art +1 tank, or even 7 artillery, which are all stronger all around buys than 6 inf 1 fighter. So it really depends on how many hitpoints the Axis are throwing at you and whether the British or Americans have any fodder/air to help you cover the core.

    I find you can usually tell by the second or third round whether your Axis opponent is more inclined to consolidate and slam or spread their hitpoints around for the slow bleed. If they are consolidating then you probably want to do the same and spam artillery for a big wall so you can match their stacks, but if they are spreading heavier then you might consider aircraft so you can run more attacks per round and try to trade with less cost in hitpoints over the long haul. A good tell is watching to see whether your opponent is just trying to match you on the ground hitpoint for hitpoint in the air trades and being all conservative, or if they are sending more ground hitpoints than you have defending to try and push the fronts and be all aggressive in the trading game. So like say you have 1 infantry unit defending in Arch, if Germany is attacking with 1 inf +air they are probably the sort who trades light and favors consolidating. If they are attacking with 2 or more inf +air, then they might be the sort that favors the spread. You also want to see whether your opponent is conserving their artillery to deadzone, or if they are throwing it forward, because that is another tell for the opponent’s playstyle and priorities. So, say this time you have 2 inf defending in Arch, if Germany is attacking with 1 inf and 1 art + air, or just 2 inf +air and holding the artillery back to deadzone it might tell you more about who you’re playing against. Same deal keeping an eye out for the airblitz, like if you see that your opponent is willing to attack 2 of your defending infantry, with just 1 of their own + a shit ton of aircraft, that will tell you more about what you’re up against. If the opponent is particularly risk averse or prone to gamble, sometimes you can play off that, either by mirroring and trying to volley more predictably, or sometimes by doing the complete opposite to throw them off. Often you have to adapt to whatever the Axis are doing since they are usually in the driver’s seat, but if something went really well for team Allies, you might be able to dictate and get more brazen with your buys. Russia doesn’t have that luxury very often, but every now and again you can catch a nice break.

    In the Gencon version, in A&AO at least, I think the choice for Russia is either come out swinging heavy in Ukraine if you’re willing to take a chance, or stackfest West Russia if you aren’t, but I haven’t had much success doing much else. Sometimes if the newer Allied player is struggling to manage the approaches to the center of the gameboard it can help to stick to a few hard and fast purchasing rules of thumb, for a couple rounds anyway, that might go something like…

    For Russia buy more artillery and try to hold it back for a few rounds so you can build a big wall of it. Sometimes 3 artillery end up being a lot more useful than 4 infantry to manage your deadzones whatever your income level. Even if the instinct to stack infantry is strong, just trying to get whatever number of art pieces the remainder of ipcs will allow you to fit in when dividing out by 3s for max inf may not be enough to deal with a bigger Axis push.

    For UK buy more fighters than you probably think you need hehe, mainly because they allow you to skip around between Europe and India more easily, and you will need a bunch to cover vs German airblitz of your eventual Atlantic transport fleets, to threaten an Airblitz vs Japanese transports from the center, or just to hold the line on Defense. W. Russia and Caucasus are optimal because they allow you to threaten Germany 3 moves away, while still being close enough to pinball around between India and the Canal, or China or the Eastern front. The more you have the easier it is to split for double duty.

    For USA buy more transports and bombers than you think you need. If you buy a bomber per round for a few rounds, and don’t throw them away on early bombing runs, usually you can get something going before too long once you have a nice pile of them. Also when you transport your infantry around try positioning it where it can threaten two or more territories the following turn on amphib assault, instead of using them to trade territories right away. This is where having more transports and more bombers really comes in handy, because it forces the other player to split defense or possibly withdraw, without having to actually attack. Often you can stay in place and send the transports back for a repeating launch. When the infantry is already in place its easier to set up a stronger double punch with a 2 turn set up, rather than gunning early and allowing a round of delay for Axis to regroup before you can threaten again.

    In general the more stuff you have in the middle of the map the better, so like a big party with everybody all up in Russia, because its usually easier to coordinate and find an opening from there than it is from either side.

  • I have had limited success with the Ukraine attack, have to go all in though, strafe does no good imo. The thing that I can’t beat is heavy industrial bombing raids from both Germany and Japan as early as G1. This destroys Russia fast and they appear to never lose a bomber. Some losses are due to mistakes on my part, purchases, overaggressive play etc. Most seem to just be the result of the fact that Russia needs a bit of luck turn one, without that the game is instantly over. Fighters for sure with the UK, but I find myself gaining naval superiority to get the Brits going with the US, then turning to the Pacific and pressuring Japan. If not, Japan will waltz through India and Moscow while Germany builds 10 men a turn and trades comfortably with the UK and Russia. US turn one purchase, 1 CV, 3 destroyers. Does anyone have a better combo? I link up with whatever remains from the UK fleet in Morocco turn 2 then keep my USA fleet attached to wherever the UK fleet goes.

  • 2019 '15 '14

    Yeah Russia is really the most vulnerable to sustained bombing, even though Germany never really ran a strategic round the clock bombing campaign like that vs Russia during the war. Certainly Japan didn’t hehe. As Allies its harder to get the bombing game up and running. Frequently by the time you have enough bombers to smash Berlin every round, Germany is banking enough to repair and still drop like 8-10 inf a turn. And a bad run losing bombers can really set you back trying to get the edge for a big amphib assault on the German capital. For round 1 USA it depends for me on what’s left alive in sz11 or sz53. If no transports left in 11 I usually buy a pair so 1 CV, 1 DD, 2 transports, then either a tank or sub depending on what Germany has left. If transports left alive I’d stack destroyers. If USA was ignored then I buy bombers and a CV. But yeah I agree, a lot comes down to R1/G1

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