The "Red Tide" Strategy



  • This strategy has been extensively discussed in the “Bright Skies” forum, and I will start this thread to lay down an explanation of this strategy to be refined and perfected given the right in game circumstances. Afrikakorps began the conversation, extending onto the US strategy of “Bright Skies” a hand in hand strategy for the Russian forces to use with the help of the US strategic bomber fleets. For purposes of separating the Russian tactics and the US tactics, we will call the Russian portion of the strategy “Red Tide.” This strategy revolves around the idea and concept of a Russian force that can both attack axis positions, as well as be mobile enough to defend key positions at any given time.

    In order to fulfill the attacking portion of this strategy, the Russians will use the units it has at the onset of the game, as well as additional artillery to have somewhat formidable attacking forces staged in several key location in the Russian territories. When you start the game you have several artillery, as well as several tanks, and planes that can be staged and used in these two primary Russian forces. Given that Germany has weak enough spearheads for their columns, Russia will be able to attack and sometimes entirely destroy these smaller advancing forces. This is meant to slow the German forces down while giving other Russian units the proper amount of time to expand into axis territories (mainly Africa) and gain these all important NOs. The idea is that the Russians IPCs will continue to stay at a steady level and/or increase as the game progresses. This of course will only be a possible strategy if the German player does not entirely commit to a Moscow rush. I’ll discuss this further down.

    The speed is the second part of this strategy. Along with the artillery being purchased, the Russian player will purchase Mechanized Infantry and place them in the designated zones, so that they (along with planes and tanks) can reach a large area specifically around the Ukraine, and Novgorod, while also being able to fall back to Moscow in the case that they feel more threatened. The mobility can allow you to take out small German forces that may break away from the main forces, while also being able to combine for an attack on a larger German advancement, slowing them down.

    This has been heatedly discussed on the “Bright Skies” forum, with many strong points on both sides. I believe that in order for this combined strategy to work, Germany has to focus its forces in a few other places, rather than a full 100% commitment on the Russian front. This can mean a push on London, a massive naval build, or a larger Mediterranean push. Afrikakorps also discussed the combination of the US strategy “Bright Skies” to support this Russian “Red Tide” stating that the two of these must support one another. Doing so will take away the full might of the US in the Pacific. It will become much more difficult to stop the Japanese, and that can be discussed in an entirely different thread. “Red Tide” can be used in games where the German player is undecided or fully committed to Sea Lion. It is difficult to judge what Germany will do before G3. Afrikakorps has detailed more on this strategy, and has some extremely fine arguments for its implementation. The key will be to watch Germany’s play.


  • Disciplinary Group Banned

    RED STRATEGY

    **BUY INF, AND NOTHING ELSE. KEY TERRITORY EASTERN POLAND. YOU NEED TO BUY TIME FOR THE ALLIES. DON’T HAVE A COWBOY ATTITUDE, AND DON’T BE A WANT A BE HERO WITH RUSSIA. WORK AS A TEAM WITH OTHER ALLIE PLAYERS IF THERE ARE ANY. **



  • That is the argument in case you haven’t been paying attention.



  • The Allies in general, but particularly Russia, should adapt their purchases each turn based on what the Axis powers are doing.

    On turn 1, there are three types of builds that Germany can make.

    1. Barbarossa - any combination of land and air that involves at least one land unit. Examples:
         7 artillery
         3 tanks, 3 mech
         1 bomber, 1 fighter, 2 mech
         1 major factory

    2. Sealion or KBF - full naval or a combination of air and naval that involves a transport or a capital ship. Examples:
         2 transports, 1 carrier
         1 battleship, 1 fighter
         1 transport, 1 destroyer, 1 bomber
         5 submarines

    3. Ambiguous - any combination of units that avoids transports, capital ships and ground combat units and has at least 1 aircraft. The various Sealion feints as well as the “Cobra Kai” opener would fit this category. Examples:
         1 bomber, 1 fighter, 1 destroyer
         2 bombers, 1 submarine
         1 fighter, 1 destroyer, 1 minor factory
         3 fighters

    If Germany goes with option 1), I propose that Russia should assume a defensive posture from the very beginning. If Germany goes with option 2), most players would agree that Russia should make an offense-oriented purchase. The question is whether, and to what extent, Russia should purchase offensive units if Germany goes with option 3), which seems to be the most common from what I’ve gathered on the forums.

    I believe that 9 land units consisting of a mix of mech infantry and artillery is worth exploring in this scenario. On G2, Germany will typically telegraph their intention to go for Moscow with a Barbarossa-style purchase, and Russia can switch to building infantry. The one turn worth of mech and artillery will still help them even if Germany goes all in for Russia from G2 because they can use the units for counterattacks and to take income territories in the south. I have also found that adding 7 or so artillery to the Bryansk stack will prevent the Germans from stepping up for one turn while they wait for slow-moving reinforcements. For these reasons I propose 7 artillery, 2 mech as a good R1 purchase against an ambiguous G1 build.

    After this type of R1 purchase, if Germany does not go full Barbarossa, the option is there to use strategies such as “Ride Tide” and “Bright Skies”. The question becomes how best to continue adapting purchases to what the Germans are doing. For example, if Germany appears to be contesting the Med while also putting the bulk of their resources into the push for Russia, just how safe is it for Russia to play aggressively? It is widely agreed that against a full German onslaught, Russia requires Allied assistance to hold Moscow. This implies that against an 80% German onslaught, the Russians could probably hold Moscow without Allied assistance, but they would still need to adopt a defensive posture to do so. It may be wise for the Allied players to take this approach, opting to go on the offense more with the Western Allies instead of with the Russians.



  • I would have to agree with you. An adaptive play is what is most important while playing AA. For Russia it is crucial to defend, and therefore you must be sure that Germany is not moving forward with 100% focus on Moscow and base your purchases around that. If Germany devotes roughly 80% of its forces to a push on Moscow, then do a simple counter balance calculation and use 20% of your IPCs on offensive units. Make sure that you are keeping the odds in your favor, looking turns into the future. Always think about the worst possible outcome and play accordingly, at least for Russia.



  • I wanted to say, I agree with the “all infantry” purchase for USSR, plus maybe 1 art per turn and 1 ftr later. What I found is also effective is for American bombers to land in Morocco as soon as DOW and then fly to Ukraine to help defend Russia. The American bombers can pick off occasional stragglers and also take hits if Ukraine gets attacked.



  • Requester thank you for the excellent outline of the strategy we discussed in the Bright Skies thread and the start of the discussion on this Russian strategy.

    My view is that in any case, the first build of Russia should be ideally artillery and mechanized infantry. You already have a lot of infantry at your disposal, but not much artillery (3 total) or mech (2 total) while both of them greatly enhance your already existing infantry. While they add the same defense value when combined in a stack, artillery double the attack value of your already existing infantry while mechanized infantry can attack from longer distances or reinforce stacks faster.

    Especially reinforcing stacks is noteworthy, as Russia has limited production output. Only Moscow can produce 10 units per turn, while Leningrad and Stalingrad only 3. Ukraine will be lost in any case, but also holds least value for Russia. Leningrad however is a big IPC swing into German favour, and also ensures losing Archangel next turn and thus the S125 NO. Losing it is a 20 IPC swing in the Germany vs Russia battle. However reinforcing Leningrad can only be done in time with mobile mechanized infantry, normal infantry would take to long. Also, in case Germany ignores Leningrad, normal infantry would be too slow to react and will lag behind in both offense and defense.

    Therefore I will always be building a mix of 9 artillery / mechanized infantry. Only when the defense of Moscow is imminent, I might buy infantry instead.

    The greatest proposal for infantry instead of artilery / mech infantry is the amount of numbers. Yes, on the defense, you can mass 3 more infantry per turn, a difference of 12 units before G5. However my assumption is that the threat a mixed force provides consisting out of the initial infantry supported by build artillery and mechanized infantry, makes up for the numbers, as it can counter-attack when Germany has different stacks besides 1 big concentrated group.

    This is based on the same idea that Japan needs to concentrate its fleet when the USA is active in the pacific. This forces Japan to pick one goal and go for it, while without the USA attack threat, Japan could disperse its fleet and attack multiple locations at once, therefore expanding faster.

    A bit more about the ideal situation for the Red Tide. The ideal defense perimeter is Novgorod + Bryansk, as they can reach most of Russia, while combo-attack a German force trying to sneak to Moscow through Belarus. Also mechanized infantry from Russia can reinforce both strongholds fast, while both Novgorod + Bryansk fast movers could reinforce or attack each other in case of tactical retreat.

    All warfare is based on deception. This sort of warfare greatly enhances your possibility to deceive your enemy. In my last game Germany marches to Leningrad with overwhelming numbers. In both Vyborg as Karelia was 5 infantry while most forces + tanks were in the Baltic States. I had build 6 artillery in Novgorod in my three turns while mechanized infantry from Russia. I divided my big stack of Novgorod in two attacking groups to Vyborg and Karelia while I moved my fast movers to Smolensk and Archangel while my Bryansk stack (also with 6 artillery) remained in place in case he did not took the bait of Leningrad. Therefore my force was divided into 4 much smaller forces, while I took out 10 infantry with minimal losses. Germany took the bait and took Novgorod with its main stack, but the airforce he had concentrated had no good targets. He also reinforced Finland with some troops and airplanes. In my turn, all 4 groups attacked Leningrad, and combined they were bigger than the main German stack, that had lost the 10 infantry from Scandinavia and had its airplanes in another zone. I destroyed the German stack while I lost all my infantry (the 18 initial ones) but my artillery and mechanized infantry survived to directly pressure German more defensively for 1-2 turns as he had to regroup / reinforce. The deception of my different groups led to him taking the bait. The buys of artillery and mechanized infantry had allowed me to set up the bait and massacre him in different steps, while I was on the offense instead of defense. So even when the dice were not going into my favour, I could have retreated into one of the zones I was attacking from.

    This reinforced my assumption that favour is with the attacker, as that is the one who controls what happens and when it stops.

    Another thing that mechanized infantry allowed me to do. First it destroyed the German main stack, however the Axis attacked with all its forces and Japan was now close to taking Moscow with about 10 tanks and 10 airplanes. The mech could quicy reinforce to my eastern flank and attack those tanks with artillery that I build in Moscow. Also the 3 starting planes were highly effective all my turns. The supply lines for Japan were so far and with his tanks destroyed, he had no choice than to retreat its planes. My troops and focus on the north + japan had in the meantime allowed Germany to get to Rostov, able to take Caucasus and Stalingrad next turn. Again the mech could relocate and take back the Caucasus + reinforce Stalingrad just in time.

    In short, the mechanized infantry allowed me to be everywhere on the right time, which made the Axis attacks very frustrating as even while he attacked me on all flanks, I could be where needed because of my mobility and good use of Russia geography.

    We combined this Russian strategy the Red Tide with a Taranto attack + Bright Skies USA strategy. If Italy wanted any chance of survival, Germany had to help. All that help is less focus on Russia. My brother that played the UK played a very good game, even while rolling terrible in the first 3 rounds. Luck was absolutely at the Axis side, but our avoidance and counter-attacks won us the game.

    I do not see how in case of 100% Russia, Germany is going to prevent the early death of Italy and liberation of France, as the USA has its invasion fleet ready to attack Gibraltar after USA1.



  • Well written Afrikacorps. It is good to highlight both the advantages and disadvantages.


  • 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    A good rule of thumb for Russia is that if Germany builds tanks/mechs then you build tanks/mechs.  The goal is to stall them at Bryansk while the Siberians walk home and the allies get in the game and fly in reinforcements.  Sometimes it is to your advantage to attack their ground units rather than be attacked by combined ground and air units, especially if they bought mostly tanks and not enough mechs.



  • That is a good point variance


  • 2020 2018 2017

    I bought a bunch of artillery in Game 165, as AK points out, eventually, you are reduced to only 10 production and that is getting bombed.  Russia is probably going to fall if they smash all your money and bomb Moscow–I had to get creative and only buy tanks and fighters later on to optimize the production slots left.

    Next game plan 166 is to scale back the southern force;  1 mech.  UK takes Iraq.  Russia may enter China probably with the mech and armor not air.  Everything else is going to protect Moscow, and the US bombers are going to go to Scotland (or London if unsafe) this time.  Modest goal is 30 infantry by G5.

    I think you can do some small actions to push back and block german forces, mostly mopping up whatever just got you (artillery etc), but even with the artillery, I don’t think the turtle stack can risk pushing out of Moscow until Russia is basically producing nothing.  Any risk attacks or attempts to stack may slow Germany down but at least against Maphead, I have to dissuade an attack on Moscow at all costs and so its bombers, infantry turtle, and fighters.



  • @variance:

    A good rule of thumb for Russia is that if Germany builds tanks/mechs then you build tanks/mechs.� The goal is to stall them at Bryansk while the Siberians walk home and the allies get in the game and fly in reinforcements.� Sometimes it is to your advantage to attack their ground units rather than be attacked by combined ground and air units, especially if they bought mostly tanks and not enough mechs.�

    It isn’t too hard to calculate what non-starting units can hit Moscow on G6:
    *Slow movers built G1
    *Fast movers built G2 & G3
    *Planes and strategically built fast movers on G4-G5

    If you add up all of those units, the only way for Moscow to hold on G6 is to focus primarily on infantry since two of those units is so much better than a single tank on defense.  If you get too cute as Russia, the math is very simple for your opponent.  If you play smart with primarily building infantry with additional support from Allied planes, Russia should hold for at least a while longer.  At the very least the final battle should be very costly to Germany.



  • Anything other than opinion must be factually accurate for the topic and must be supported by expert consensus where such consensus exists. That being said, the general consensus of the Russian strategy is to purchase mainly infantry, and stack Moscow. However the opinion of some AA players, is that the infantry stack of Russia is not the only strategy that can be used. This is where the “Red Tide” topic has surfaced, evaluating the effectiveness of a strategy other than the standard Russian moves. By no means does the “Red Tide” strategy replace the overall consensus strategy, but merely offers players an alternative to the standard play. Being that a game of AA is extremely fluid, the turn by turn purchases or moves differentiate, and can deviate from an original plan, however a “strategy” will be your overall game plan for any given army or armies during the length of an entire game of AA.



  • Purchasing artillery in the first 1 or 2 turns may not be such a bad idea for Russia. You can at least strafe attack any German army coming in at Leningrad or Ukraine. A strafe attack will subtract vital units from the German stack that will be used against Moscow later.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    @Requester45:

    Anything other than opinion must be factually accurate for the topic and must be supported by expert consensus where such consensus exists. That being said, the general consensus of the Russian strategy is to purchase mainly infantry, and stack Moscow. However the opinion of some AA players, is that the infantry stack of Russia is not the only strategy that can be used. This is where the “Red Tide” topic has surfaced, evaluating the effectiveness of a strategy other than the standard Russian moves. By no means does the “Red Tide” strategy replace the overall consensus strategy, but merely offers players an alternative to the standard play. Being that a game of AA is extremely fluid, the turn by turn purchases or moves differentiate, and can deviate from an original plan, however a “strategy” will be your overall game plan for any given army or armies during the length of an entire game of AA.

    If improving Russian play for combo with Bright Skies is what you are after.

    Look no further!  It sounds like what you guys need is to use my RED BLITZ strategy.  I’ve spent a long time developing it; and in the face of MAX moscow crush offensives against expert players.

    RED BLITZ gives Russia the best defense, counter-offense options, and sealion punishment possible.

    R1, 6 tanks,     (Siberian forces hail mary for Moscow, arrival R6/R7)
    R2, 8 mech, 1 tank
    R3, Probably all Mech again
    You won’t get into Artillery until round 4 or 5+
    Infantry/Artillery on your last few turns whilst the germans on the doorstep.

    TRUTH:
    The russian’s can’t go toe to toe on defense against a fullscale superstack german invasion each round;  but what the russians can do is build counterattack potential capable of delaying the german stack or slowing them down.  If the germans do move up, they’ll get pounded man for man or better.  This is what russia needs to do.

    If you stop the german offense for 1 or ideally 2 turns; your siberian forces will arrive in time; and you’ll have a beast of a force for the germans to try and crack; whilst also having the offensive power to strike back; as well as the mobility to hit back at outward territories like stalingrad etc.

    The Eastern front needs to be viewed by Russia as a race;  about which side can get as many units in range as possible, as fast as possible.

    Also NOTE - that every turn you are delaying the germans, you are holding onto a few more petty $; and your capital;  making up the difference for the more expensive units you’ve built.  Which is why infantry are your late purchase, and not your early one.

    Don’t believe me?

    Check it out Ripley. (And of course it was implemented at TG6Con)

    PROOF:
    Review these games at your liesure
    Karl7     - http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=40229.255
    Variance - http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=40237.0
    Wittman - (Game In Progress) http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=40611.60

    Like any strategy, it can be defeated, but average or better players will have more success with Red Blitz then with slower inf/art stacks.  Your enemy will have fought an army, and not just a plastic mound of infantry.

    (I originally posted RED BLITZ theory last year)
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=38080.0;prev_next=prev


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Responding to a few of the comments:

    @Dauvio:

    RED STRATEGY

    **BUY INF, AND NOTHING ELSE. KEY TERRITORY EASTERN POLAND. YOU NEED TO BUY TIME FOR THE ALLIES. DON’T HAVE A COWBOY ATTITUDE, AND DON’T BE A WANT A BE HERO WITH RUSSIA. WORK AS A TEAM WITH OTHER ALLIE PLAYERS IF THERE ARE ANY. **

    If you still want to have a capital after G6, and buy even more time for the allies; don’t buy all infantry.

    In short, the mechanized infantry allowed me to be everywhere on the right time, which made the Axis attacks very frustrating as even while he attacked me on all flanks, I could be where needed because of my mobility and good use of Russia geography.

    This is what RED BLITZ is all about!



  • Thanks for joining the conversation Gargantua! We have been discussing the Russian strategy, and I have found that there are many different opinions on how Russia should use it’s IPCs. I believe that reactionary play is the most suitable, while also including some diversity in your purchases. All infantry is a poor build giving only one effective mean, while purchasing artillery or mechanized infantry can provide you with several options. Now if there is an obvious Moscow push from Germany with solid German purchases, more and more infantry is important.


  • 2017

    @larrymarx:

    The Allies in general, but particularly Russia, should adapt their purchases each turn based on what the Axis powers are doing.

    On turn 1, there are three types of builds that Germany can make.

    1. Barbarossa - any combination of land and air that involves at least one land unit. Examples:
      7 artillery
      3 tanks, 3 mech
      1 bomber, 1 fighter,
      2 mech 1 major factory

    To me a great Sea Lion purchase is 6 artillery / 2 infantry. Some of my best Sea Lion games were with that purchase.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    @Ichabod:

    @larrymarx:

    The Allies in general, but particularly Russia, should adapt their purchases each turn based on what the Axis powers are doing.

    On turn 1, there are three types of builds that Germany can make.

    1. Barbarossa - any combination of land and air that involves at least one land unit. Examples:
      7 artillery
      3 tanks, 3 mech
      1 bomber, 1 fighter,
      2 mech 1 major factory

    To me a great Sea Lion purchase is 6 artillery / 2 infantry. Some of my best Sea Lion games were with that purchase.

    Build 6 tanks next time, and your mind will be blown


  • 2017

    Or 5 tanks for 30 IPCs?

    I get your point…next think you know the UK is buying stuff on SA and a factory in Cairo on UK 1.



  • @Ichabod:

    Or 5 tanks for 30 IPCs?

    I get your point…next think you know the UK is buying stuff on SA and a factory in Cairo on UK 1.

    No, buy 6 tanks, and try to pull one over on your unsuspecting friends!  😄  😄 😄

    Kidding of course


  • 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    I think Garg means for Russia to buy 6 tanks in Leningrad and Ukraine.  Every game.



  • Oh. Well if that is the case, my comment is even more irrelevant than it already is.  Darn



  • That makes for an interesting conversation. A 5 tank purchase with Russia… I have never even considered that possibility.



  • I have not considered that either. My group rarely ever does anything aggressive with Russia; the most aggressive I’ve ever seen someone play Russia (myself included) is buy 7 inf 4 art on the first couple of turns before they are brought to war, but it is usually just turtle turtle turtle.  It’s boring but somehow effective. Maybe that’s just a testament to a need for improved German play, but I digress. I will consider trying one of these “new & different” Russia strategies the next time I play that nation.


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