• 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    the only aggressive play russia can do is to dick around in china, especially if Germany buys navy


  • @Afrikakorps:

    I also like to share my view on Russian economy, to support why I am so positive Russia can become most exciting nation to play instead of most boring.

    RUSSIA = 30 IPC
    But many national objecties to grow

    Siberia: +7 IPC
    SZ125: +5 IPC
    Iraq: +5 IPC
    Italian Somaliland + Libya: +7 IPC
    Italian Islands: +6 IPC
    Scandinavia: +11 IPC

    That is +41 IPC, PER TURN for a total of 71 IPC without entering German borders (as those can be easily defended by Germany)

    How is Russia getting the Italian islands?  They’re loading on US/UK transports in the Med?


  • @Requester45:

    Right, so some of these you don’t achieve until late game. The Scandinavia gambit is controversial because if the German player is skilled, they will not lose Scandinavia, or if they did, it’s because they wanted Russia to waste time and units from defending Novgorod and or Moscow. I feel as though the reason most players play a conservative “boring” game with Russia is because of trial and error. When I first began playing AA years ago, everyone wanted to play an aggressive Russian game including myself, because in human nature. You want to have some fun battles and out maneuver the enemy and out smart the enemy. However through trial and error we find that Russia cannot keep up with the ever expanding German forces. Germany rapidly gains IPCs and Russian territories, while Russia is slowly losing IPCs and retreating. Russia cannot compete in this way, and instead are forced into a shell (Moscow). The only way that Russia is going to be able to compete in a way in which you describe is if the German player has dedicated their game strategy to taking out the UK both in the Atlantic, and the Mediterranean. Which is not the case most of the time, because Russia is a sleeping giant. If you look into the war in real life, Hitler realized this too late. He knew that he would have to attack Russia and have a two front war and by waiting too long he allowed for Russia to gain too much momentum.

    You will likely be right as you all got more than 100 battles under your belt and tried everything. However so far the arguments were that Novgorod would fall in any case, or they could just bypass it and take Moscow. I have proven these arguments wrong so far by theory, so with more arguments you could break down the hypothesis.


  • Well that is the point I have just touched on. Your hypothesis has been tested over the course of thousands of AA games by the AA community. The Russian strategy has been refined down to what it is now, with the exception of the occasional outlier. Your small scale purchases may not consist entirely of infantry, however the importance of stacking Moscow has been proven to be what makes or breaks an allied defense.


  • @IKE:

    @Afrikakorps:

    I also like to share my view on Russian economy, to support why I am so positive Russia can become most exciting nation to play instead of most boring.

    RUSSIA = 30 IPC
    But many national objecties to grow

    Siberia: +7 IPC
    SZ125: +5 IPC
    Iraq: +5 IPC
    Italian Somaliland + Libya: +7 IPC
    Italian Islands: +6 IPC
    Scandinavia: +11 IPC

    That is +41 IPC, PER TURN for a total of 71 IPC without entering German borders (as those can be easily defended by Germany)

    How is Russia getting the Italian islands? �They’re loading on US/UK transports in the Med?

    Yes, USA pacific fleet comes to Med with two transports. Once those transports are empty they come pick up the Russian fortune seekers 😉


  • @Requester45:

    If you look into the war in real life, Hitler realized this too late. He knew that he would have to attack Russia and have a two front war and by waiting too long he allowed for Russia to gain too much momentum.

    Hitler was crazy. He was never going to take down Russia. His only hope was for them to join the Axis (which they offered to do), but he blew it.


  • Nobody will argue that Hitler was crazy haha.


  • Yeah, I suppose I shouldn’t be derailing a good conversation like that.

    My perspective on all this fancy Russia stuff is that it’s important to study in order to have an idea of Russia’s hidden potential in this game, but then at the same time to recognize that in many (perhaps most) games it will be infeasible to try to act on that potential. If Germany blows a couple rolls or starts throwing money into the water, then yes, you immediately do bright skies or red skies/red waters/red tigers/bright tigers/whatever grand Allied fantasy you’ve spent hours coming up with, and that’s how you win that particular game. The point is you don’t just start doing it before you see a strategic situation you can capitalize on where you know you will be at an advantage when you do.


  • @larrymarx:

    Yeah, I suppose I shouldn’t be derailing a good conversation like that.

    My perspective on all this fancy Russia stuff is that it’s important to study in order to have an idea of Russia’s hidden potential in this game, but then at the same time to recognize that in many (perhaps most) games it will be infeasible to try to act on that potential. If Germany blows a couple rolls or starts throwing money into the water, then yes, you immediately do bright skies or red skies/red waters/red tigers/bright tigers/whatever grand Allied fantasy you’ve spent hours coming up with, and that’s how you win that particular game. The point is you don’t just start doing it before you see a strategic situation you can capitalize on where you know you will be at an advantage when you do.

    Exactly! That is why it is a bad idea to build mainly normal infantry as Russia, as you will not be able to capitalize on mistakes. The plan is to hold Novgorod, if this seems impossible, retreat back to Moscow as usual. However this retreat becomes much easier when the infantry is mechanized.

    Trying to hold Novgorod might be a fancy plan dependent on mistakes of Germany. However building mainly mechanized infantry is always usefull for Russia. Depending on how likely it comes to the defense of Moscow, start adding normal infantry. As long you place 10 units per turn in Moscow, what is the difference?


  • Like I said, we will just have to give it some play time, and see where it can or cannot be improved upon.


  • @Polishpowerhouse:

    Regarding the Russian economy…here’s another idea it does have some negatives that need to be managed… Declare war on Japan and attack Mongolia 1 turn before you think Germany will invade. With air support those 18 infantry back east can sweep thru mongolia in 2 turns. Maybe a tank and mech as well. Once at war in Europe the NO for Russia kicks in. You have converted Mongolia to pro axis and captured them…that’s 18 a additional ipcs a turn. You have also successfully moved your infantry away from the coast and amphibious assaults but still threaten japan’s goal of crushing China. In fact with a strong Calcutta Yunnan force to the south and a ton of Russians in the north, Japan should be challenged how to allocate their scarce land troops. Throw in a straffing raid in Afghanistan from UKP plus middle east money including Saudi Arabia it could be an additional 12 ipcs bonus…pushing up to 30 bonus just for holding pro axis neutrals.
    Maybe time a Spanish beachhead to minimize Germany bonus for activating Spain? Maybe a Persian factory to mitigate turkey getting activated by Italy or germany?

    Read the rule book again. Original pro-axis neutral


  • Colt45 is correct, the Mongolians can’t give Russia any income. You’ve got to go for Iraq and the Italian territories in Africa and the Mediterranean if you want to go for sneaky Russian income boosting.


  • OK, so by studying the Russian map, reinforcing Novgorod + Bryansk creates the ideal defense perimeter for Russia to threaten with a counter-attack.

    We have agreed that the defense of Moscow is always the priority of Russia. You will know yourself when holding Leningrad will become impossible, this is especially the case when Germany invested in the Baltic Fleet.

    Also artillery and mechanized infantry are the best build for R1, add infantry on how focused and lucky Germany is, otherwise try to keep the defense of strategic points.

    Now I studied the best way to counter-attack Germany itself, might you face the opportunity that you destroyed their stack with your counter-attack from Novgorod + Bryansk.

    The best location to attack Germany is from Eastern Poland to Slovakia, especially when you have mobile forces. As Germany needs to protect its capital at all costs, there are chances you will be over to take over the Balkans while Germany needs to keep its forces in Berlin. Slovakia provides most borders to other countries, therefore more options that you can push against Germany and overpower him as he will be unable to defend them all, in contrary to for example Poland.


  • Thanks. I misread that portion off the national objectives for Russia.


  • @Afrikakorps:

    The best location to attack Germany is from Eastern Poland to Slovakia, especially when you have mobile forces. As Germany needs to protect its capital at all costs, there are chances you will be over to take over the Balkans while Germany needs to keep its forces in Berlin. Slovakia provides most borders to other countries, therefore more options that you can push against Germany and overpower him as he will be unable to defend them all, in contrary to for example Poland.

    If you’re studying scenarios like that where the Russians can actually take and hold parts of Europe, you’d better factor in the Japanese. If the Germans haven’t already capitulated, it means there’s still a shot at winning on the Pacific, which means the Japanese have grown big and monstrous.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16

    I strongly agree with larrymarx – these grand Russian strategies make plenty of sense if Germany is screwing around, but if Germany and Italy are gunning straight for Moscow, then you need to just build infantry and defend Moscow. That’s a thankless and boring task for the Russians, especially if you’ve got 6 players at the table and running Russia is your only job, but nobody said life was fair.

    The arguments about “oh, I can still place 10 units a turn in Moscow,” and “oh, artillery isn’t that expensive anyway” strike me as wishful thinking. You need to place 13+ units a turn to defend Moscow against an all-out G6/I6 attack on Moscow. Some of those units will have to go in Kiev or Stalingrad and then march to Moscow. That’s fine; that’s how that works. Eventually, you may get to a point where it makes more sense to build 2 mech in Stalingrad instead of 3 infantry in Stalingrad, because infantry in Stalingrad won’t have time to march to Moscow before the key battle. That’s fine too. But you can’t just wish away the extra cost of building your entire army out of 4 IPC artillery & mech. inf. If your units are 33% more expensive, then you have 33% fewer units that still each defend on a roll of 2, and that means what should be a nailbiter for Germany will instead be a blowout victory, every time.

    The arguments about how artillery is going to make the German army think twice about advancing and/or allow you to launch a devastating counter-attack before G6 are at least interesting, but in the absence of specific details, I’m not convinced. Show me a specific attack on a specific turn that you think you can pull off in a way that actually slows down the German advance, and maybe I’ll come around on that one. For the most part, I think the Germans are going to be able to easily combine their stacks and keep marching forward.

    Can you hold Leningrad for an extra turn if you stack your units there and build mech. inf? Probably, but I’m not convinced that it’s a worthwhile gambit. Just based on your starting troops at setup, you’re going to have about a dozen regular infantry in Leningrad (nominally worth 36 IPCs) that will wind up trapped or killed in the north and unable to participate in the battle for Moscow, and that will plausibly cost you more than the 14-ish IPC swing you get from holding Leningrad/Archangel for one extra turn.

    More generally, going back to the main idea of building a large American bomber fleet, I want to point out that the fleet can’t arrive in the Baltic until US3 in most games – which means that Germany gets three turns to reinforce Scandinavia, which is usually plenty to protect it against the Russians, who must (as discussed above) begin retreating east before R3, or else divert a large stack of troops that can’t participate in the Moscow battle. I could see the American bomber fleet working well with a British invasion of Norway, since UK3/UK4 is roughly when the UK will be in position to rebuild its Atlantic fleet to the point where it can operate safely on the fringes of German territory, like the Norwegian Sea. Norway is the big chokepoint for Germany anyway; that’s where their NO is.

    But if the plan is to use the American bombers to protect a Russian invasion of Scandinavia, I think the timing is wrong – by the time the Americans can actually shut down the Baltic fleet, the Russians need to be either already sitting in Norway (to collect enough income to raise new units to defend Moscow despite the diversion of the northern armies), or retreating toward Moscow (to defend it against a concentrated German/Italian assault). You can’t afford to wait to start invading Norway with after the Americans have killed the Baltic Fleet, because you won’t have enough time to collect enough income to pay for your investment, but you also can’t afford to invade Norway before the Americans have killed the Baltic Fleet, because you just don’t have enough troops in the region to deal with the starting Scandinavian garrisons plus the possibility of naval reinforcement plus naval bombardments plus the Luftwaffe.


  • This is a great explanation of the points I have been trying to make since the beginning of this argument. Russia cannot play an aggressive game unless Germany is playing nonsensically.


  • What we need is a definitive strategy guide for first six or so rounds of this game so we don’t have to keep proving this stuff over and over again in forum threads. The guide should outline three or four approaches to the game that the Axis can take, as well as the most effective Allied responses to them. My assumption is that while there are a number of directions that the Axis can go with the game in the beginning, the Allies are stuck in a reactionary posture early on and so there is only one true path for them to walk to ensure the best possible outcome by round six for a given Axis strategy.

    In order for a guide like this to be possible, assumptions about the outcome of battles need to be made. I think the best approach would be to come up with a “no luck” method that dictates the outcome of battles by consulting a battle calculator, rounding to lean in favor of the aggressor, but also to require that every small battle undertaken have 80%+ odds of victory, and every large battle 95%+ odds of victory to reflect what choices players would realistically make in the opening turns if they didn’t have the benefit of “no luck” rules.

    The positions reached by turn six would almost never actually be reproduced, but they will be accurate in broad strokes. All of the creative strategy making that happens on this forum depends on assumptions like this, but assumptions are invariably too vague to definitively prove or disprove, as Argothair pointed out. A strategy guide like this is something that the community could come to consensus on using something akin to the scientific method, and it would be something that anyone could consult in an effort to improve their game. Anyone could challenge the ideas about the most effective plays in the guide, and they would actually have something concrete to challenge.


  • @Argothair:

    The arguments about “oh, I can still place 10 units a turn in Moscow,” and “oh, artillery isn’t that expensive anyway” strike me as wishful thinking. You need to place 13+ units a turn to defend Moscow against an all-out G6/I6 attack on Moscow. Some of those units will have to go in Kiev or Stalingrad and then march to Moscow. That’s fine; that’s how that works. Eventually, you may get to a point where it makes more sense to build 2 mech in Stalingrad instead of 3 infantry in Stalingrad, because infantry in Stalingrad won’t have time to march to Moscow before the key battle. That’s fine too. But you can’t just wish away the extra cost of building your entire army out of 4 IPC artillery & mech. inf. If your units are 33% more expensive, then you have 33% fewer units that still each defend on a roll of 2, and that means what should be a nailbiter for Germany will instead be a blowout victory, every time.

    Ok, here is the deal, in my mind. Russia can take this %100 turtle approach and just build INF, not saying it is a bad plan. (I take that back, it is a very bad plan, IMO)

    BUT

    If Russia builds 0 Art/Mech/Arm they have gimped themselves to the point that they can not counter attack Germany in T1-6. They just all fall back to Moscow and let the dice fest commence but on German terms.

    SO

    If you are so fatalistic that Russia will fall on G6, my God, my foe is the most experienced German player known to man kind. Then, I would propose you, as Russia, decide to take the dice fate in your own hands. Russia will have a chance to attack Germany as they advance onto Moscow. Now, the chance of total victory will be slim but THIS IS A DICE GAME. Russia could cripple the German advance. Never forget, in A&A the attacker has the one advantage in that he can retreat. So, a Russian attack that goes 60/40 in Russia’s favor on the first attack, Russia retreats, might just buy Russia one more turn. One more chance to counter attack, one more chance to build more troops.

    Sitting in Moscow just waiting for the big dice fest assault is just lazy play from a ‘jaded’ player who thinks Russia has no chance against a experienced German player.

    Make Germany go into Moscow on a 50/50 or 35/65 chance. You cant do that by just building INF and never attacking them. Make the German player make the hard choice of going into Moscow on 50/50 or less odds. It gives you at least one more turn if he balks. It is just lazy Russian “play” to just build INF and retreat to Moscow.

    In my experience of playing WWII board games for almost 25 years this is what I have found. Axis players love the start of the war and getting 90+% attack odds on almost every battle. Once you get to around T6 in A&A with proper Allied play those odds now become 50/50 or 40/60 in critical battles. That is when the Axis start to get concerned. They no longer have overwhelming odds and are forced to make hard choices on attacks. If they lose, it could be the start of the end for the Axis.

    As a Allied player you have to get the Axis powers in these critical situations. Some Axis players will balk and not take the attack on 50/50 terms and wait one turn to get more “force” into the combat. This only benefits the Allies.


  • Assuming that the Germans take the northern option to get towards Moscow and are supported by a healthy number of Italian fast movers, the game is very scripted in the Eastern Front.  If you are playing with a battle calculator, there will be little chance of a sensible counter attack in a majority of games. The key part is buying 10 fast movers on G2 so that they can be available to protect your horde and force the Russians to fully retreat due to the Italian/German 1-2 punch.  A combined Italian + German force will be sitting next to Moscow at the end of round 5.  It is simple to add up all of the units that could make it there and then subtract out a few that will inevitably be lost in the minor battles of Russian blockers or troops that can’t retreat in time.  The question becomes what happens on G6.  In most of my games taking Moscow is not an option as it has received some reinforcements from the UK.  I divert south and can decide how hard to push towards the oil fields or an eventual return to sack the Russian capitol.  If the Russians try significant counterattacks, I am grinning because I know that the game will not end well for the Allies.  Trading 10 Russian ground units for 10 German ground units is not a good deal. Having a strong Allied force in Moscow on G6 is not too bad of an outcome.

    Other people do have very good German tactics that are less easy to estimate the forces  and positions on G5.  I have seen the southern route successfully employed by some top players.  I have also seen German pushes into the Med/N Africa/Middle East be employed with success.  Finally there are some players who invest much more strongly in bombers during the early game.

  • '19 '17 '16

    Curious as to why fast movers G2 are so important in your opinion?

    Germany has a big enough stack of infantry that USSR can’t take them down very easily and slow movers bought G2 will arrive early enough for a G7 attack on Moscow. Unless you are targeting a G6 take down, of course.


  • @Arthur:

    In most of my games taking Moscow is not an option as it has received some reinforcements from the UK.

    @simon33:

    Germany has a big enough stack of infantry that USSR can’t take them down very easily and slow movers bought G2 will arrive early enough for a G7 attack on Moscow. Unless you are targeting a G6 take down, of course.

    Yes, ABH, if you say that Moscow on G6 isn’t generally an option in your games, you might as well go for those slow-moving artillery on G2 which might give you the edge on G7, right? Or are we missing something?

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16

    If Russia builds 0 Art/Mech/Arm they have gimped themselves to the point that they can not counter attack Germany in T1-6.

    I wouldn’t advise buying zero offensive weaponry, but the weaponry you buy needs to be suited to its task. You’re not going to get a realistic counterattack before R8 against the main stack of a dedicated German+Italian 100% push on Moscow, but you might get some counter-attacks against little fringe pockets in the corners. Like, if you have 2 mech and 2 tanks available, then Germany has to watch where it lands its planes, maybe it winds up leaving 2-3 infantry behind the main stack on garrison duty, and then those infantry don’t quite reach Moscow for G6. If you have 2 art available, then that makes it a little harder for Germany to permanently occupy the territories immediately adjacent to Moscow.

    But you start with most of the offensive equipment you need, so – replace it as needed, maybe add one or two pieces if you have a specific purpose in mind, but don’t go dropping 20+ IPCs on offensive equipment for Russia while Germany and Italy are devoting 100% of their income toward rushing Moscow.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    I don’t even know why we discussing this. If you don’t care if Russia is lost on G5 or G6 then it can be fun to mess around in finland/norway combined with buying armor and bombers for Russia. Yesterday I played with some guy online and he did exactely this, he bought bombers, armor and offensive stuff. End of R4 he had to evacuate Russia and it gave me a nice price of about 35 ipc for Germany. He surrendered the game just afterwards.

    If you play against someone who just goes directly for Moscow this is the result always. Period. Germany can fix Finland and Norway afterwards.

    With that beeing said it is OK for Russia to buy a mix of inf and art, even 4 art and 7 inf for the first two rounds is not bad. I usually buy 11 inf and 1 art. I also try to buy a fighter, maybe round (3), 4 or 5. A few mechs can be fine too at this point. The first two rounds Russia should focus on retreat and not loose units. By this approach you might be able to keep Bryansk for a round or two if Germany goes south. If Germany goes north this is hard if there is a credible Italien can opening force. In this case Moscow can be lost to German fast movers.

    I have not seen any better than this if the goal is not to loose moscow on G5 or G6


  • Yesterday I discovered another important reason for Russia to build mainly artillery and mech. On the defense, Germany can use its Luftwaffe, which adds a lot of power to his force making it much stronger. On the defense however, especially in newly taken zones, there can be no aircraft, making Germany much weaker on the defense than on the offense in Russia.

    We played another live game yesterday and the Allies took the victory. I am very happy with my preparations in this topic, as they all worked! I got to take Iraq, Italian Africa and even Sicily/Sardinia.

    I had build mainly mech + art every turn, first more art, then mainly mech for fodder. It worked extremely well as I got surrounded by all Axis as Japan had pushed lots of tanks and planes through China. Because of the mobility I was able to fend off every attack, and could retreat where he was too strong. Both Novgorord and Bryansk I retreated them on the turn he could attack, making his luftwaffe useless every time, and then retook it on the counter-attack.

    I could match Germany because of the USA bombers. Having lost its baltic fleet last time early to the bombers. Now he build a very strong baltic fleet. Needless to say, Scandinavia had to wait until R6 when USA had finally enough bombers to take it down. All this German fleet was ofcourse not invested in land troops, that gave Russia the time and forces to overpower Germany eventually.

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