All the Russian openings: For Begginers

  • Black elk, it is apparent to me that you like to create walls of text in reply to anwsers. I have nothing wrong with it, infact i enjoy it, but what compels you to write essays in response to a question? (also can you do a japan guide, as i am a TERRIBLE japanese player.)

    Sincerely, Hitler

  • 2019 '15 '14

    No gift for brevity and too much time on my hands I guess.

    Even in casual conversation I’m prone to digressions, so I’m sure the same tendencies surface in my writing as well.

    As far as Japan goes, there are, broadly speaking, two scenerios you should be ready to manage…
    What to do when the Allies are ignoring you?
    And what to do when they’re not? Hehe

    The first situation is fairly straightforward, you help Germany get into position on the center as quickly as possible. I think there is a general agreement that the easiest way to achieve this is with aircraft. If Germany is doing reasonably well in the East, Japan only requires 12 ipcs a round to make a viable contribution to the war effort against Russia. A bomber built in Tokyo can reach Karelia in one move, and from there can bomb Moscow relentlessly. This is often faster and cheaper than taking red territory directly. If you go with that approach it may not even be necessary for you to bring ground units in range of the center, for Germany to still break the Russians. Your starting fighters can support the German advance (providing defensive pips), while your bombers hammer the Soviet production centers. That leaves you with 20 ipcs a round or more to dedicate to your own ground campaigns in Asia, or naval ambitions. The faster you push ground units towards the Center the more likely it is that Axis will take the Russian capital before the western Allies are in a position to stop the center crush. To get your ground forces in range you can either expand production with factories, or (my preference) transport them from Japan to the mainland. With the latter method I dig the shuck into Yunnan from Japan via sz61.

    The second situation, where Allies are focusing on you instead of Germany, is a bit more nuanced. Here your main priority is to preserve the Imperial Japanese Navy for as long as possible, stack the home island and do your best to maintain a route into Asia with your transports. Your goal should be to draw as much Allied TUV into the Pacific as possible, without losing your own TUV in the process, that way Germany has a free hand, again to rush the center. Aircraft are very useful here as well, especially in combination with carriers and a one time sub spam. Basically you want to cover the money islands (Borneo and East Indies) to prevent the USA from gaining a production foothold. American conquest of a south Pacific might be inevitable, but the longer it takes them the greater the chances that Germany will run the board and arrive in time to save you on the mainland. More than anything though, you want to stack Tokyo with enough fodder that USA has to invest two or three times as much in ships and air to get an adequate number of infantry transported in range to actually threaten your defensive investment. Again if you already have Tokyo stacked, and can still afford 12 ipcs a round, you can provide Germany with bomber support. More often than not though, you will be the one in the driver’s seat as Japan, because it’s pretty hard for the Allies to mess with you, while still preventing Germany from taking the center.

    With the center under Axis control, and both their starting capitals uncontested, Axis have effectively won the game, regardless of how high the USA is on income. You can defend Eurasia with aircraft alone, until Germany is able to build carriers and achieve Naval parity with the Western Allies.

    There’s a bit more to it than that of course, but since this is a Ruskie thread I don’t want to get too sidetracked. I’ll probably draft a Japan guide at some point to cover their openers in more detail.

    Hitting sz 53 is a strong play, if you haven’t seen it done before, though this puts your starting bomber out of position on Moscow for 3 rounds. It’s just a matter of keeping your fleet consolidated and shucking infantry into China after you shock the USA into submission. It’s possible to run that attack even if you get smoked in sz 37 by UK. The move is 1 sub 1 cruiser, 1 bomber and 2 fighters  (take the fighter from Japan as your first casualty) then send the carrier to sz 61 and land any surviving aircraft at Wake. As Allies/USA you should dive immediately and save your sub for the counter attack. There is really no way for Russia and UK to influence the sz53 situation, unless they just want to sacrifice units in an attempt to draw the Japanese fighters/bomber somewhere other than pearl.

    Before going too much father, it might be helpful for me to ask… Where do you feel you are getting stuck with Japan? At India? Or at Moscow? Or on the water?
    If I had a sense of where you feel most frustrated as the Emperor we might be able to give you some more useful opening pointers, or more specific strategy ideas for the second and third rounds.

  • 2017 '16 '15 '14

    I need help again…  Went for a fairly conservative opening for Russia with the Bomber bid.  Felt like it went pretty well with most everything in WR and a win in Baltic (3 inf, art, bmb).  The 8 inf, 2 art, 4 arm, 2 AA was hit by the Germans with everything they had with a 52% win ratio, 2% draw, 46% loss.  The result is Russia now has lost Karelia and Caucasus, held West Russia with nothing left.  Meager defensive units of 4 inf, 2 arm in Russia.  Seems like the Axis can take a lot of chances and are able to recover more easily than the Allies.

    it sounds like I’m whining and I probably am.  I’m not really seeing the fun in a game that comes down to a coin flip in the first round.  If Russia doesn’t press forwards, then they are just buying infantry and getting squeezed.  if they do press forwards, they are being left open to a coin flip which leaves them basically defenseless.

    This is the same problem I had with 1942; Germany could just spam tanks and if a battle went poorly either way, the game was basically over.

    What am I missing here?  Should I just use the battle calculator and anytime I have a small percentage of victory, go for it?  Might as well just have the computer play.

    Kirk S.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Can you be a little more specific about the big opening battle you’re describing? What troops and planes did the Germans bring to West Russia? What kind of casualties did they suffer? What was the German build on turn 1?

    My math may be off, but I’m not seeing how Germany can (1) retake the Baltic States on turn 1, (2) wipe out your forces in West Russia on turn 1, (3) garrison western Europe with enough troops to hold off even a token UK/US attack, and still (4) come after Russia with enough force to beat the 4 inf, 2 arm in Moscow plus the 6 inf, 2 art you can build on Russia’s second turn, plus the 3-4 inf you can bring into Moscow from Siberia as reinforcements. At best, I think Germany can do three of those four things.

  • In response to Elk, I feel stuck when it comes to making asian advancements. Basically UK will pump 2 fighters a turn in India and 1 destroyer in london every turn. With this method, he can have superb power projection, meaning i cant get close to india. ( When im playing the allies, I tried to get him to send at least 1 fighter a turn to russia, but he says he needs it for “Indian defense” and cant afford to give me any.) so while hes pumping fighters off of india, I try to push through china and the UK will be sucking up the money islands (he has INSANE luck with the sz37 battle) and the us buys some destroyers and subs just to throw something at me while hes focused in eurpoe. As soon as i make any progress in asia, my fleets destroyed, and i just stack tokyo until the us diverts there attention from the eurpoean theatre to me. So, Im wondering, how do i make progress in asia without my fleet getting totally anniahlated?

    Sincerely, Hitler

  • You can build a factory in Manchuria and set up a 2 transport shuck between Japan and Yunnan. Then you can buy 3 tanks in Manchuria and 4 units in Japan and dump 7 units in Asia every turn. With India only building 2-3 units per turn, it will eventually fall, especially with your large air force.

  • 2019 '15 '14

    @craykirk that’s a pretty balsy opening by G? Who was your opponent?

    This is the danger of not wearing down either Belo or Ukraine, it leaves G with a lot of fodder to attempt an all out air blitz.

    One might think that slamming W. Russia would have some effect on the sz7 battle, though unfortunately G can attack the British battleship with just subs and a cruiser and still come out clean.

    My assessment would be that you went too big into Baltic states. 3 inf 1 artillery and the bomber is bit overkill, since anything in Baltic States is easily destroyed on G1 (they just have a ton of units in range.) Germany has 1 inf and 1 tank in Baltic States, which is 9 TUV.
    3 inf and 1 artillery is 13 TUV, so even if you include the 2 ipcs you gain from taking the territory, you’re still trading at a loss. Russia just can’t afford to trade at a loss on this board, at any point, let alone in the first round.

    8 inf 2 artillery 2 aaaguns and 4 tanks is a strong result for W. Russia in the Soviet opener. So for G to go balls out and attack you with everything, means that your opponent is either being reckless, or they simply don’t consider you much of a threat.

    A larger bid might have been advisable if dealing with a disparity in player experience. If your opponent is seasoned, he may have felt the need to hit you with a hot shot right away, just to shake you. Which seems to have been successful. Forcing a player to play outside their comfort zone is a pretty sound strategy, if you think you can pull it off. Now the dilemma you’re faced with is how to respond to an unconventional play. The only thing you really have going for you at this point is that Gs air is out of position on sz7. So the optimal response is probably a carrier build by UK. Though this will depend on whether your Canadian destroyer survived, and whether G built more bombers.

    It’s a tough spot man, I feel for you. I’d say just do you best to muddle through. Instead of approaching things like you’ve already lost, try to see how long you can hold out, and throw everything you can at G with UK/USA. A crushing defeat in W. Russia on G1, requires an immediate response from UK. You can’t give G a round to regroup, but you’ll have to be careful of the threat from the rear. If G smashed all your ground, they might just turtle up and let Japan do the dirty work.

    I’m just getting off work and gotta drive home. I’ll response to Fuhrer about Japan when I get home.

  • 2019 '15 '14

    @Fuhrer when you say “pumping 2 fighters into India” do you mean he is flying 2 fighters to India from UK, or that he is actually purchasing fighters in India? If the later is the case, that is rather poor purchasing on your opponent’s part, and you should exploit it. This means he will have very low fodder hitpoints at India.

    If you’re running into problems pressuring India with Japan, this usually means you aren’t purchasing enough transports.

    If your Japanese fleet is being regularly destroyed, that means either you’re not supporting it with sufficient carrier defense, or you’re trying to move it too far from home too quickly.

    Operating out of sz 61 or sz62/60 is much safer than trying to do so out of sz 36, especially if UK is concentrating their air-power in India (and if they have ships surviving after a successful sz 37 attack, to help make that air-power more effective.) If you’re second carrier is destroyed, you should replace it immediately.

    If your transport in sz 61 survives UK1, you are still in a strong position to crush India, but you have to back it up. Often times the Japanese player will stop short of purchasing enough transports to be effective. This is a minimum of 4 transports so you can transport the max production (8 ground) off Japan each round. But even this is on the low end. It’s better to have 5 or even 6 transports as the Japanese.

    This allows you to push units first into Buryatia, to feint like you’re going to drive against Russia along the northern route, only to pick up some of those units the following round (with the purchase of additional transport capacity) and then swing south to pressure India.

    Don’t be overly distracted by East Indies, Although it certainly sucks to lose this income to UK, its worse to let it deter your advance on India, while you get stuck out of position trying to recoup your loses in sz 37. If you keep pushing ground units into Yunnan via sz 61, this will allow you to threaten both India, and East Indies the following round, without putting your fleet at risk from India based fighters in the process. Even if Japan loses 2 of their starting fighters in sz 37, they still have 4 fighters and the bomber left, which is a lot of attack power, when combined with sufficient transport capacity.

    I’d say your friend is on the right track that he needs fighters for India defense, but he should really be transiting them over from W. Russia or Archangel to India, rather than building them in India, both to cover Moscow and to give India sufficient hitpoints to face down a Japanese Burma push.

    As for the 1 destroyer a round built at UK, you should be destroying these with German aircraft as soon as they hit the water. You can trade at advantage vs a single UK destroyer with 2 German fighters pretty easily. The DD only has a 1 in 3 chance to shoot you down, which means more often than not you can crush that enemy TUV at no loss to yourself. Better to sink a destroyer when its by itself, than waiting for it to stack up in a larger group.

  • 2017 '16 '15 '14

    I’m not a threat…  that’s why I’m playing because I want to learn.  Take a look at craykirk vs cow in the tournaments.  I might have gone 2 inf 1 art 1 bmb and most everything else in West Russia.  We both lost the ground forces however since have of the attacking force was air, it totally decimated Russia.  The first round went poorly for Russia and well for Germany (which seems to be pretty typical for how I remember my dice luck).

    I have attached the save game.  I probably should move this to a different whiny thread…  😮

  • Isn’t it a bit unfair to ask advice on your current game? I see you’ve played on from G1, so maybe the advice no longer applies though.

  • 2017 '16 '15 '14

    The game is over very soon.  I just want to understand how Russia is supposed to open a game without getting stomped.  I’m just playing to get some experience and so far, that is exactly what it has been…  An experience.   😄

    The TripleA AI nor any of my friends that play every have done anything like this.  In fact, my friends have decided that the game is basically unplayable as the Allies much like the first game was for the Axis.  I didn’t even consider that stacking West Russia basically forces Germany to hit it.  I refuse to admit I threw away $120 on a copy for me and a friend…

  • TripleA

    Use my scientifically proven setup of 1942 2nd edition.

    If you cant get someone to use additional unit setup… you got to bid… you need 16-24 ipcs for the allies…

  • 2019 '15 '14

    If both players are on an equal footing a bomber bid to Russia can be fun, but going up against someone like Cow who digs Axis and has a good grasp of the blitz, I think more hitpoints on the bid would have been advisable.

    It’s very hard to back the Germans off W. Russia if you leave both Belo and Ukraine alive. The Baltic states opening I described in this thread calls for 1 inf 1 art and 1 fighter and was noted as a gambit, meaning you’re just trying to trip the other guy up on an equal trade, or a trade at advantage, counting on luck. This allows you to send an additional hitpoint into the W. Russia fight. But even then it can be tight. Your fighter landing choices may have helped sealed the deal psychologically for the Germans, since they were flown out of range of the north.

    I think the best use for the bomber is in an attack on Ukraine, so you can hold Caucasus instead of having to trade it 😉

  • TripleA

    Yeah I just went with the easy win strategy. bomber + 9 guys, next round bring the heat with some armor, round after that start defending against europe drops.

    I am still torn as to getting bomber + inf/arty or armor + inf/arty round 1. I like armor so I can hold karelia round 2 even if russia buys some too.

  • 2017 '16 '15 '14

    First time for everything, I wanted to give it a try since none of the games I’ve played with my friends have gone more than 3 rounds before the Allies surrender.  This doesn’t give a lot of time for developing any sort of strategy for the Allies.  My attacks on Ukraine have historically had very poor outcomes.  I still don’t really understand how it is to my advantage to throw a round of dice at a group of units which is stronger defensively than than I am offensively in the hopes that I will get good dice and they will get bad?  How does it help me to throw away units?

    I’ll look for Cow’s setup and see if I can convince anyone to give the game a 2nd look.  I play the TripleA AI occasionally however it just isn’t very talkative and doesn’t seem interested in having a beer or two during the game.  😉

    Thanks for the patience…

  • TripleA

    Yeah the allies do not get to have fun in this map.  Russia cant deadzone karelia for long, G2 it is an easy hold. Especially if germany bought 4 armor on round 1.  12 inf aa gun and 14-15 armor, wam bam russia got nothin on that.

    Meanwhile the allies do not have any attacks. USA and UK do not get rolling at all, in either theater. USA starts out losing HARD in the pacific half and has to do LOTS of build up in order to get something going in the Atlantic half. So what are you supposed to do? Just roll over and die? Seems that is what the developers had in mind.

    That is why it takes such a huge bid.

  • craykirk: Just so I understand the opening correctly, was Germany hitting the W. Russia stack with everything possible, ie: 6inf, 1 art, 3 Tanks (I understood you killed the baltic tanks in R1?), 4 planes and 1 bomber?
    If so that is a really cutsy move by Germany 😃 Its the kind of move I would hope Germany would do against me in a game without a bid as it is one of the few things that could result in such a huge catastrof that could lead to an allied victory.

  • TripleA

    Yeah I went nuts. #YOLOSWAG

    The allies look depressing now. I never play the allies below 18 for a reason.

  • Moderator


    Yeah the allies do not get to have fun in this map.  Russia cant deadzone karelia for long, G2 it is an easy hold. Especially if germany bought 4 armor on round 1.  12 inf aa gun and 14-15 armor, wam bam russia got nothin on that.

    That is incorrect.

    A “typical” R1 buy is 4 inf, 3 rt.  So on R2, you are looking at

    1-2 inf Belo (since it doesn’t seem like Ger is bleeding any off and is gunning straight for Kar.
    7  to start in Wrus
    2 inf Arch

    Now your rd 1 buy of 4 inf, 3 rt + 1 inf Kaz, 1 novo brings your rd 2 numbers up to:

    15-16 inf, 6 rt, 4 arm.  Now here’s the difference, Russia gets to see the G1 buy of 4 arm and can counter on its Rd 2 buy with 3 or 4 armor of its own.  We will go 3.

    SO, Russia has a stack of 15 inf, 6 rt, 7 arm, 2 ftrs aimed at Kar.

    That is deadzoned.  Now it may not be a lot of margin for error, but it is possible.  And that is with NO bid and only a 3 arm counter by Russia.  Now of course I made some assumptions, but I also don’t think it is just easy to say Germany can put X units here and assume there isn’t a possible counter.

    It works out about the same with an 8 inf R1 buy, only your countering force is 19 inf, 3 rt, 7 arm, 2 ftrs.  You’re still projected to clear with maybe 2-4 units.  I think it is about 60% for the Allies.

    If G bought 5 armor rd 1 you will need 4 on Rus 2.

  • TripleA

    Japan flies air in from sz 34 with the starting bomber from japan and it is a done deal for the axis to hold.

    You can deadzone Karelia for a few rounds, not for long if you have to buy armor, which is what Germany wants, easier to kill an armor than 2 inf. As Germany having caucasus dead zoned ruins the total # of units the allies can put on the map drastically. Allies already start the game without being able to put units on the map, they can make boats and oceans sure, it dont matter if you lose Russia because you had to buy tanks for so long.

    Plus are you really going to attack that? like that is everything from you. Germany will be fine, Germany will be okay taking that loss.
    you just reinforced why such a big bid is necessary.

  • Moderator

    I agree. Germany will take Kar.
    My focus as the Allies (Russia) is to try and delay it until G3. I think there is a huge difference from G2 to G3.

    At least in rd 3, UK/US have a something going in the Atlantic. By then you can have the BB/Cru and UK Cru (from Aus) off of Afr (token threat to Fra/Ita) and some trns floating around. Plus US AC rd 1 buy followed by US AC in rd 2. So that by rd 4 you can be up by sz 6 comfortably. Unless you are beelining Sz 3 with US from rd 1 on and going with a northern shuck.
    That’s if you are going full on KGF. At least they can have something going.
    It definitely feels bad or overwhelming seeing G camped out in Kar on G2 and it seems like the Allies are miles away in the Atlantic. So I try to project the threat to Kar and see if I can keep G out until rd 3.

    Cauc is never really an issue. Ger tends to go Bal, then Kar. So that leaves Ukr as an early deadzone so Cauc is safe for placement.

    You also get a nice supply of UK troops to Cauc once they are forced to evacuate India. Hopefully you won’t have to flee until UK 4 or later, but even on UK 4, you’ll have 3 builds, 9 extra units plus your starting units and it is a decent force to head to Cauc. You should have the 2 US inf from Sze as well. They are good for 2 trades of Russian boarder territories.

    It is definitely a challenge though. 🙂

  • TripleA

    It is just not a huge deal for germany to be deadzoned in karelia if he gets caucasus out of it as well. income wise it is pretty good.

  • 2017 '16 '15 '14

    As if I couldn’t feel any worse about my play…   😢

    it’s been a real fustercluck.  Great moves combined with poor dice mean Game Over Man, Game Over!  Where is Bill Paxton when you need him?  German defensive dice have been brutal…

    It was 5 fighters and a bomber, AA missed and the first German attack was pretty hard.  The Russian response was, as they say, meh… 😞

  • TripleA

    Also nothing stops the G4 holding it down at west russia, at that point you cannot hold both Caucasus and Russia. Allies have to give it up smooth even if they have india in the mix at caucasus.

    The allies get rolled really hard. All the bunnies agree.

  • 2019 '15 '14

    I feel for you man. It’s like you hopped into the ring with Eye of the Tiger playing over the loud speakers, ready to rock, but then got immediately cold clocked and Xenomorphed straight through the chest!

    Its kind of a bummer to get Cow stomped the first time out. He went Bovine belligerent on you!
    No time to chew the cud and ruminate. Alas, no chance to play around with the Red bomber.

    I don’t know that many other players would have taken that shot on you right out the gate in the slightly better than 50% range. I guess if it was a roulette wheel, and you bet on red, but he was the house. And anyways, always bet on black, or you might get sniped! hehe

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