How can I strafe?


  • 2007 AAR League

    I keep reading about hte ability to strafe targets.  I’m not stupid in not knowing what strafing is, but in teh game, how does it work exactly? B/c you can’t just use hit and run tactics, the other country has to be able to return fire as well.  So there is the possiblity of losing fighters then, correct?



  • As far as I know, strafing is just attacking for one round and then retreating so you dont end up in a territory youll get killed in next round. I suppose it could even go 2 or 3 rounds but the point is that before you win the combat, you retreat…



  • A tactic that does not alwasy work, if you misjudge.

    Ezto just had that happen to him in our game… he lost 3 Russian ARM as a result… a serious loss for Russia, half of their offensive might gone in exchange for 3 IPC territory they immediately lost…



  • There is the thing, trying too powerfully to strafe and end sitting in the wrong place.

    Usually strafe for soviets is destroying the german cannon fodder inf + art and then retreating. But you really have to carefully think when it’s really good to strafe. 1st turn ukraine strafe is very good option. 3inf 1art 2arm 2figs to ukraine, you hit one round and hope for good that you inflict 3-5 hits 🙂



  • Ezto just had that happen to him in our game… he lost 3 Russian ARM as a result… a serious loss for Russia, half of their offensive might gone in exchange for 3 IPC territory they immediately lost…

    That’s true, but simultaenously switch now has 4 tanks and 1 infantry waiting to be killed in Ukraine, which is also a serious loss for Germany.



  • Yes, but Tri… I don’t think it matters at this point…

    Ezto’s heavy Naval build in SZ2, and US focus on Japan (playing to my storngest nation, which he knew from reading hte boards) created a problem…  a weak UK land mass.

    I just took London in G2.  Lack of ARM is no longer a concern with 82 IPC’s to spend in G3.  BUILD limits are now my problem 😄

    But I do have that nasty US fleet to kill…



  • I know, I posted the about the weakness in Ukraine well before Ezto exposed London. The observation was only valid at its time. You could build 16 tanks (max out both complexes)!!



  • That game is over, and how did he open UK?? Haven’t read your game posts…

    UK is very fun nation to play, always on the edge…



  • Well Ezto only built 1 infantry for land defense (other stuff was carrier + transport). He then landed 2 fighters on his carrier (completely unnecessary as SZ2 is already immune to any serious German attack) and sent his bomber to sinkiang, which weakened his defenses. He did reinforce with a tank from Eastern Canada but Switch’s attack force gave him a 66% chance of winning against the remainder in London.



  • Well, Tri posted the details.

    Without taking UK, I was going to be in for it for a couple of rounds… getting INF back to the front…

    UK building up navy, but holding back in SZ2, is a serious risk with the Germany AC buy in G1.  It puts an extra 2 FIGS in range of UK that an inexperienced player might not see, tipping the scales.  I don;t think Ezto is inexperienced, just think he thought I might not try it based on posts that I have made about playing Germany.

    But, as I have often said… you start with a strategy, but if you are not willing to jump on opportunities, you lose.

    There is a small chance Ezto can pull this game off, but not likely.  UK will be liberated in UK2, and reinforced in US2.  I do not have the AF to take it again.  US has a hell of a fleet in the Pacific, but Japan has 2 rounds minimum to prepare for it.



  • Back to the actual question…

    Strafing is typically used when you outnumber on offensive pips the defensive pips, and can therefore attack and retreat causing more harm than harm received. It is especially useful for Russia, both on the german front and japanese front, though I find myself using it against the japanese more often. The best example I can think of is when Japan realizes they must hurry to help out germany. Their front lines are then often comprised of lots of armor, and some infantry. Of course, they have a nice chunk of supplies coming from japan to back them up, so if you take out the front line, whatever you attacked with will in turn get taken out. Having a lot of fighters makes things easy, because you can always retreat when things go south, and even if you take it you only lose infantry, which isn’t too bad. But russia usually doesn’t have 6 fighters lying around. Lets take a very basic example of a naive (or hurried, more likely) japan marching towards moscow.

    Their front line is 1 infantry, 3 armor, their second line is 4 infantry, 3 armor, and third line is 3 infantry 3 armor. At some time you will learn when to build offense for russia, but lets say that russia has managed to develop a few tanks (or) artilleries and is sitting in novo. Japan is in sinkiang with their inf and armor, and russia has a stack of 4 inf, 4 armor in novo. So, you can either take sinkiang and get slaughtered on the counter, or more optimally, you strafe. I’ll go directly on pips (which is not realistic at all!) and attack the 1 inf, 3 armor with 4 inf and 4 armor. So, russia can expect to hit about 3 times on the first round, and japan will hit about twice. The tradeoff is 2 russian infantry for 1 japanese infantry and 2 armor. So out of this battle russia has gained 7 IPCs. If you can strafe effectively enough and the other allies are doing something besides picking daisies, russia can sometimes hold off japan for about forever. Compare this to if you try and take his territory in sinkiang. You get countered and everything is destroyed, and you are at an IPC loss against japan’s front. Okay, so lets take the above example. Russia takes sinkiang down to 1 armor, and retreats with 2 inf and 2 armor. In moscow they build 3 armor and from the previous turn move in three more inf to novo. Now if japan moves all to sinkiang you have 4 inf, 4 armor vs. 5 inf, 5 armor. So now if russia strafes again it is 20 pips vs. 20. Lets say each gets three hits each round, after the first it is 1 inf, 3 armor vs. 2 inf, 5 armor. Russia stays on and destroys 3 more, and japan gets 2 more, russia retreats with 5 armor (then moves more inf from mos->novo). The key is that russia is trading their infantry (and less of them), for japanese infantry and armor with russian inf. The IPC differential of this battle puts Russia up 12 for that battle alone.

    Strafing can be brutal though, and it’s sort of personal preference and how lucky someone is feeling how they strafe. You don’t want to overstrafe because then you lose a lot on the counter, and if you understrafe it is pointless. The general principle is still that you want to produce the capability for you to trade less of your ipcs for more of your opponents.



  • Also, though I will say aaFiendish does give an excellent analysis of what a strafe is, remember before trying that out with Russia that if you’re buying tanks for Russia it’s at the expense of INF which you will need to help hold off the Germans. Usually the only time you’re strafing Japan like this is after the UK/ USA have really started to move in on Germany and she (G) can no longer afford to launch massive offensives against Russia. Thus, without the need to constantly reinforce the western front, the Russian player can try and fend of Japan. By this time in the game, Japan is most likely in an all out blitz to take out Russia before Germany gets conquered or the US builds a fleet and starts to wreak havoc in the Pacific.

    As I said, aaFiendish makes an excellent point; I only wish to re-iterate his comment that the strafe against Japan usually occurs when Japan is trying for that last storming of Moscow before Germany falls and thus trying to get strafes in the beginning against Japan are not the best advised.



  • Definitely strafing japan early on is bad news as kyrial pointed out. Personally however I do not mind interspersing armor with infantry, especially when I have the magic 29 IPCs. 8 inf, 1 armor is a frequent buy of mine. It’s slow, but by the end of round 5 if the allies are doing their job, russia has a nice offensive and does not have to do an all-armor bid.

    Another thing to note about strafing is that it can be used against germany pretty effectively, in case they take a territory a little too hard. For instance, if germany took something with lets say 4 inf (I don’t know why they would), a good strafe against that might be 2 inf, 3 armor. You are likely to only trade inf, take out more inf, and not take the territory. It’s also an effective strategy when the UK gets their troops into europe to use as (very) minor strafes. Lets say there is a nice stack in karelia of UK/russian troops, and a nice stack in eastern europe of german troops. Germany trades belorussia by attacking with 2 inf and fighters, and takes it with both inf. The UK can take it, but then they may be leaving karelia somewhat exposed. Furthermore, it would be preferable to give the IPCs to russia instead from west russia, as they need them more. Russia taking out two infantry, while they can do it, will require them to use artillery/armor or some fighters. Furthermore, it will be russia trading their inf, and I would rather trade UK inf than russian inf. The odds of russia taking 2 inf 1 fig vs. 2 inf with ground forces is about 60%. The odds of russia taking 1 inf 1 fig vs. 1 inf with ground forces is about 55%. Of course, you can always take belorussia with 2 inf 1 fig vs. 1 inf. So, if UK strafes belorussia down to 1 inf and retreats, they could trade 1 of their inf for one of their opponents. It’s a much more chancy moves than what I would refer to as large-scale strafing, but there is some benefit to it in my mind as you are attempting to even out the loss between russia and the UK, instead of just russia.


  • 2007 AAR League

    So, would it be a good tactic to do strafing runs on a certain territory, so that you keep pounding down on the other guy’s army?  Because if you did that, then that would mean he would have to keep reinforcing that area or have to build more of one thing than another and affect his strategy.



  • So, would it be a good tactic to do strafing runs on a certain territory, so that you keep pounding down on the other guy’s army?  Because if you did that, then that would mean he would have to keep reinforcing that area or have to build more of one thing than another and affect his strategy.

    Yes and no; yes because if you notice that, for example, Germany seems to be building in one territory to make a big push, strafe in order to stall him. One example of this could be some major German INF moving to the front and tanks just a space behind, setting it up perfectly: the tanks are safe from attack while the INF are there for the fodder in the coming move. Strafing the INF (esp if they have no defensive units with them such as tanks/ fighters) can make it that much more costly for Germany to try and attack the next turn since they won’t have nearly enough INF to cover potential losses and you can whack quite a few tanks.

    No because you want to keep your units safe as well, relatively safe that is; every now and then you get the old 5 attacking units 5 misses and he hits 4 times. Considering that you are probably strafing to forestall an attack, it could be disasterous for you to lose a bunch of units with no real losses to him. The strafe can be your friend but be smart with it; don’t over-use it.


  • 2007 AAR League

    I’m just curious.  What happens if you want to strafe a territory, and you go in with the goal of only one round of combat, but somehow you manage to destroy ALL of the other guy’s units?  Do I now HAVE to take that territory, or can i still retreat like i planned?



  • You have to take it.  Unless you only attacked with fighters and bombers.



  • To clarify Triforce’s point, you would have to attack ONLY with fighters and bombers to have that option. Therein lies the trick with strafing. Overstrafing is usually worse than not strafing at all, and sometimes it’s gonna happen.


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