All the Russian openings: For Begginers
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…
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:
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.
[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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
SteveO last edited by
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.
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.
ZeusEQ last edited by
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.