The "Red Tide" Strategy



  • Gargantua alluded to a concept in his original 6/21/2016 post that I think all of us have been overlooking: strategies that have a 50/50 shot at success are good for the Allies.

    Given that the Axis are viewed as having an edge overall in the game, reducing things to a coin flip should be viewed as a success for the Allies just as a draw can be seen as a good result for black in chess. In Axis & Allies, the Allies are the black pieces.

    Though we say the game as a whole favors the Axis, what it really boils down to is the Axis having an edge in the key battles that the game hinges on. Normally, this means the battle for Moscow. However, that particular battle doesn’t have to be the one that the game hinges on. Aggressive Allied play can force the game to be decided on earlier battles. If the Allies are the ones choosing which battle will be decisive, then they can simply choose battles with better odds than the final Moscow battle will have and this will be good for them. The Axis can respond by following through with their plan as normal and exposing themselves to the reduced-odds decisive battle, or they can prevent the Allies from obtaining this advantage by playing more defensively so that any given battle will not have greater odds than the final Moscow battle. If the Axis play more defensively, then the Allies are compensated for the extra IPC’s they spent on offensive units.


  • 2018 2017

    since russia cant declare war on germany, the germans could still get ready with everything stand at the border and the italians could still can open to attack the stack so they have to hide +2 the lines.



  • Let’s consider an optimum offensive Bryansk stack on R3. If the Russians pour everything they have into being able to threaten any units that step up to Bryansk, they can have the following available on R3 for an R4 strike:

    27 infantry
    21 artillery
    12 mech
    2 tanks
    2 fighters
    1 tactical bomber

    Let’s take a German Sealion feint as an example. Suppose the Germans build two bombers and a sub and lose one infantry and two fighters on the first turn. Then, on the second turn, they build 8 mech and 6 tanks. Italy will can open, which means that there’s no hope of stopping the German air force from landing. Not counting Italian units or the 7 Scandinavian infantry, Germany can step up on G4 with the following:

    27 infantry
    5 artillery
    12 mech
    15 tanks
    6 aa guns
    3 fighters
    4 tactical bombers
    4 bombers

    My battle calculator shows that the defender wins 100% of the time. If I swap sides and have the Germans attack the Bryansk stack, they win 87% of the time.

    It really doesn’t look too good for the Russians. I think this confirms that if the Germans pour everything into the Russian front, there is no Red Blitz or Red Tide.

    However, if the Germans pour less than everything in, the Bryansk stack can hold. If I remove the planes and the 6 AA from the calculation, suddenly the Russians win 53% of the time. Also, if I build 6 tanks, 1 mech instead of 10 mech on R3, the odds are now 58%. I’m not sure the extra 5% justifies the sacrifice in the defensive power of the stack, but this is certainly open to debate. In any case, I think the R4 Bryansk gambit is worth considering in any game where the Germans are doing something less than full-bore Barbarossa.



  • As it was alluded to early. It is critically important for the Allies to make as many battles 50/50 battles for the Axis to consider.

    The Axis have a overwhelming advantage at the start of the war and the vast majority of their attacks are 80/20 or greater in their favor. They do no balk at this and just roll the dice knowing the odds favor them.

    There needs to be certain point of the game, around T5-6, that the Allies can start shifting the odds towards a more 50/50 balance. Some Axis players will balk and wait one turn thinking they can bring up more force to push the odds in a battle to the 75/25+ range. This benefits the Allies more than any tactic can. If the Axis live in fear of a 50/50 battle that can tilt the war to the Allies then the Allies have finally turned the corner so to speak.

    I think the discussion should be how do the Allies accomplish this goal. IMO a massive stack of Russian INF sitting in Moscow with some Allied air support does not accomplish this goal on the Russian front. It just leads to the standard, been there done that, dice fest on G6 or G7 on Moscow.


  • 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    @larrymarx:

    Gargantua alluded to a concept in his original 6/21/2016 post that I think all of us have been overlooking: strategies that have a 50/50 shot at success are good for the Allies.

    Stalin never cared that counterattacking was more costly for his side than the enemy; all that mattered was that the Germans were hurting too. Losing a $4 mech in Smolensk is a greater loss to Germany than it is for Russia losing a $4 artillery in Smolensk.



  • @PainState:

    I think the discussion should be how do the Allies accomplish this goal. IMO a massive stack of Russian INF sitting in Moscow with some Allied air support does not accomplish this goal on the Russian front. It just leads to the standard, been there done that, dice fest on G6 or G7 on Moscow.

    If we factor in the British and the Americans, we may be able to turn the Bryansk scenario I described around in Russia’s favor. They can add 10 bombers, 5 fighters and 1 tactical bomber minimum to the Bryansk stack and make it hold even against a German all-in. The British can also kick in a tank and a mech from Egypt.

    Maybe this is the best Red Tide strategy. From turn 1, the Allies stack Bryansk with everything they have, and then they attack on any battle where the odds are 50/50 or better. The British with their fast movers and modest air force, and the Americans with their bomber stack, can annihilate small German and Italian troop elements or mop up after the Russians throw themselves completely at the German stack.

    The purchases would look like this:

    Russia
    R1 9 artillery
    R2 9 artillery
    R3 6 tanks 1 mech if attacking R4 / 10 infantry, 2 mech if not

    Americans
    A1 4 bombers
    A2 4 bombers / 6 bombers if Japan went J1
    A3 6 bombers

    British
    B1 6 infantry, 1 fighter
    B2 1 bomber, 2 minor ICs for Persia and Iraq
    B3 4 mech, 2 tanks

    The purchases beyond these would depend on how the board looks on R4.

    The biggest problem as I see it with the hold Bryansk strategy against a German / Italian all in is the possibility that they will take the northern route for the Smolensk can opener threat, forcing Russia to keep a small stack of infantry there that can withstand the Italians. If the British rush to join the stack, they can be the ones to retake Smolensk from the Germans starting on B6, but Russia will have to take care of defending the territory on R4 and R5.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Guys, many of you are missing the crucial concepts.  By being offensive minded Russia can hold on to it’s capital to R8+ and by securing it’s far east forces into the capital.  Whilst being on the maximum ready to counter sealion.

    RUSSIA buying 6 ARMOR first turn is a must.  It’s not a debate.  If you take the pains to look at any of the game links I posted - against seasoned veterans; you’ll see what I mean.

    The reason you need 6 armor R1 is because it stops the G2 stacking of Eastern Poland.  If the Germans stack eastern poland you will destroy them.  That’s 1 round of extra time you just bought yourself.

    Now… continue with the “counter attack” methodology, and buy yourself 1 more turn somewhere over the next four,  and you’ll have bought enough time for all your eastern forces to make Moscow.  Which will buy you even more turns and time; and make the axis mission that much harder.

    You’ve also invented the possibility of catching the Germans off guard, or asleep at the wheel.  If they are not paying close attention, you will smack them something serious.

    Moscow G5/G6 is now impossible.  Moscow G7 unlikely,  Moscow G8+ possible.  This is how you fight back.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    ACCORDION EFFECT

    I’m going to explain this as best I can; maybe someone else can do a better job later.

    When the Germans invade Russia, with mech and tanks,  a key element of their success is the ability to move the main force forward one territory; with reinforcements coming up behind.  Even if the reinforcements don’t make it to the same forward territory, they are in range of striking next turn because of their mobility; landing with the next stack.

    I call this the accordion effect.  And it’s used with devastating effect against russian Defense only builds; who simply can’t reinforce at the speed of which the german offensive punch is appearing.

    The Russians therefore have to build their own accordion;  by building mobile units that can rapidly respond to where-ever the main Russian stack is currently. So that that stack can hold in place, and isn’t “forced” to retreat.  Further, the russians need to be able to attack the forward german stack, before it’s reinforced by the units behind it

    It’s the lull in the wave, and the only chance Russia gets to go pound for pound or better.  That’s what Russian Defense doctorine, and RED BLITZ is all about.

    Look at my games.



  • The Germans, if they do the following things:

    • pull off the Yugo strafe losing 2 infantry
    • bring 3 aa from Germany with the main stack
    • add 3 tanks from GSG to the main stack instead of using them in Paris
      can have the following units in Eastern Poland on G2:

    21 infantry
    5 artillery
    6 tanks
    3 aa

    The Russians, if they build 6 tanks R1 and bring every unit to bear on the Eastern Poland stack R2, can enter the battle with:

    18 infantry
    2 mech
    2 artilley
    8 tanks
    2 fighters
    1 tactical bomber

    This is a 26% battle for the Russians with a TUV swing of -38.

    So what would you do as Russia in this case?


  • 2017

    @larrymarx:

    The Germans, if they do the following things:

    • pull off the Yugo strafe losing 2 infantry
    • bring 3 aa from Germany with the main stack
    • add 3 tanks from GSG to the main stack instead of using them in Paris

    The Soviets would be able to see that in advance and change plans if necessary … but would players really divert 3 tanks from Paris on G1?

    If Germany were that serious about countering such a Soviet play style, they could simply buy a couple tanks on G1 to mobilize in range of E. Poland.



  • @wheatbeer:

    @larrymarx:

    The Germans, if they do the following things:

    • pull off the Yugo strafe losing 2 infantry
    • bring 3 aa from Germany with the main stack
    • add 3 tanks from GSG to the main stack instead of using them in Paris

    The Soviets would be able to see that in advance and change plans if necessary … but would players really divert 3 tanks from Paris on G1?

    If Germany were that serious about countering such a Soviet play style, they could simply buy a couple tanks on G1 to mobilize in range of E. Poland.

    I agree with you that the Soviets would see it in advance and change plans, but I still posed the question to Gargantua because he said “RUSSIA buying 6 ARMOR first turn is a must.  It’s not a debate”, and I want to see if he can actually back that up.

    Diverting 3 tanks from France is not that big of a deal. If you bring every other land unit in range plus the two aircraft on the Russian front lines, France is a 99% battle for Germany. Basically what the tank diversion means is you’re giving up an extra French territory (Normandy or S. France) for one turn.

    You could do other things like not do a Yugo strafe and bring some mech from W Germany instead of diverting 3 tanks from GSG. If you leave the Eurofluff countries entirely to Italy, then you can throw everything into France as usual. Replace 3 of the tanks in my G2 German stack with 3 infantry in that case. This is a 37%/-30 battle for Russia. Germany has plenty of options to put up a strong Eastern Poland stack on G2.

    The reason I didn’t suggest buying ground units G1 is that I’m trying to operate within what I believe to be the current meta, which is a Sealion feint.


  • 2018 2017 '16

    The only way to defend Russia is to attack and counter-attack as long as possible. Keep the front lines as far from Moscow as long as possible and collect as much money as you can. You can hold out longer than you think giving your allies a chance to make a landing. If Germany doesn’t go Sealion you should be able to sack Rome on UK 5-7 with the US dropping troops somewhere in Europe. Germany will have no defence on the western front if you make them work for every inch on the eastern front instead of running back to Moscow and hiding behind your mamma’s skirt. If they keep coming they will eventually take you down but not before the allies threaten Berlin. If you turtle they will take you out too soon and the game will be over because your allies won’t have enough time to make significant landings.

    Unleash Crazy Ivan and let him kill Panzers. You know you want to.


  • Disciplinary Group Banned

    @Gargantua:

    @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

    For me there is no proof here because it all depends on how good the other player/players are.

    BTW, did you get my PM Gargantua???


  • TripleA

    Wait why is Germany stacking east poland and not baltic states? @_@



  • Because they want to push south of the Pripet Marshes and eventually take the oil fields.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    @Cow:

    Wait why is Germany stacking east poland and not baltic states? @_@

    Baltic states is fine, if you go Baltic states you will be stopped in Belarus; but get Leningrad for certain.

    If I recall in one of our last games (3 years ago?) this is exactly what happend; you went Baltic states, and were forced into Leningrad.  The delay still fits the strategic goal of pulling the eastern forces to Moscow.

    Larrys comment also holds true.  Please be my guest and take Baltic every game.

    @Davio Vann

    • just saw your PM and will respond
    • those players are some of the best in the online league. They would mop the floor with 80%+ of players on axis and allies.org; and do on a regular basis.

    @Larrymarx
    -even in the face of a drained France, or whatever outrageous sacrifices you are willing to make as Germany, like not taking Baltic, Bessarabia, or defending/blocking Poland/Romania, or Barely winning France for a Shrunk TUV gain etc, 6 armour is still the best build Russia can make R1, so as to allow Russia the critical components it needs to defend itself; and keep the German stack checked, now and in subsequent turns.

    Infantry and artillery builds early against that kind of German pressure will not perform better than the tanks and mech(r2) as they will not be able to rapid respond on offence or defence.

    Why don’t you map/math out suiciding germanies entire airforce into Russia G1,
    And skipping France.  Wow that would be amazing - I would probably still build 6 tanks to respond.



  • 6 tanks are not better than 9 artillery in actual combat - this is true even if the artillery aren’t paired with infantry. What makes the tanks better is their range. However, if you know the German stack is advancing towards you, you don’t need that range if you plan on an all-out assault.

    You said yourself that the Russians need to be able to attack the forward German stack before it’s reinforced because it’s the “lull in the wave, and the only chance Russia gets to go pound for pound or better”. I agree with you on this point; however, if the stack looks as I described it (which, by the way, doesn’t require “outrageous sacrifices” - at a minimum you simply don’t strafe Yugo and don’t take Bessarabia or Baltic states unless they can be blitzed - Russia has 37% odds against that stack), there is no such opportunity on R2 and the Russians will have to wait. If the Russians must delay their strike until at least R3, it does no good to have 6 tanks sitting around that can’t attack anything for a turn. It would be better to get the artillery, then move them up and buy tanks the turn before you are going to attack.

    There is still the argument that possessing a stack of tanks and mechs gives you the ability to continue threatening two spaces away throughout the game - for example, Novgorod and Archangel from a Bryansk stack, or the Ukraine-Volgograd line from Russia if and when the stack must retreat. I really only see this capability as worthwhile against smaller stacks - you won’t be able to take down the main German stack with just the tanks and mechs. It seems to me that the best compromise is to maintain a contingent of tanks and mechs capable of hitting small stacks, but not too much more than that.



  • Gargantua you are a genius! I will be buying tanks next time R1 and adding artillery and mech the later turns. The heavy investment in mobile power will suit Russia well. I considered this earlier but decided on the more numbers - - > artillery + mech.

    However I am not convinced about the withdrawal of the Russian forces, that is why I have not simply copied your Red Blitz that inspired me developing Russian strategies of my own. Because the USA will focus its first buys ans initial fleet on Europe (Bright Skies) I feel the Siberians play a crucial role in the battle of China, as moving them to Moscow gives Japan freedom to destroy china + UK. In my battles in uses that stack with great effect against Japan so far giving China some crucial time to survive and remain annoying.



  • How are you going to proceed, if Germany does not attack Russia on turn 1 and instead sets up a large stack and starts to move on G2 or G3? Would that affect the Red Blitz?


  • 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    @larrymarx:

    The Germans, if they do the following things:

    • pull off the Yugo strafe losing 2 infantry
    • bring 3 aa from Germany with the main stack
    • add 3 tanks from GSG to the main stack instead of using them in Paris
      can have the following units in Eastern Poland on G2:

    Germany could potentially have 4 mechs in there too, just hit France with a lot of planes and sink z111; not z110. No one does that though.


  • 2017

    @Gargantua:

    The reason you need 6 armor R1 is because it stops the G2 stacking of Eastern Poland. If the Germans stack eastern poland you will destroy them. That’s 1 round of extra time you just bought yourself.

    Gargantua,

    Congratulations on winning the tournament! You are definitely a higher caliber player than me. I hope to make it to a tournament some day. Any questions I may ask (that you may choose to answer or not), is not criticism. Why stack E. Poland? I guess in your games people mostly do the southern drive route? I get to Bryansk on G5. If I can’t force Russia back, I move into Smolensk, then G6 move into Bryansk to be in position for the NOs (Stalingrad / Caucasus). Of course in that scenario of having to go into Smolensk means you “bought” that important turn.

    The only reason I might stack E. Poland is if I did the Italian DOW thing and can opened for Germany to stack there so they could collect the $5 wheat/trade NO again and land the Luftwaffe. Otherwise I stack Baltic. I don’t understand any reason why to stack E. Poland as securing Leningrad immediately is important. The Southern Route I think is best done with a G3 DOW so all of the slow movers can catch up.



  • If Germany were to wait until G2 or G3 it would give Russia more time to build more offensive units.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    @Ichabod:

    @Gargantua:

    The reason you need 6 armor R1 is because it stops the G2 stacking of Eastern Poland. If the Germans stack eastern poland you will destroy them. That’s 1 round of extra time you just bought yourself.

    Gargantua,

    Congratulations on winning the tournament! You are definitely a higher caliber player than me. I hope to make it to a tournament some day. Any questions I may ask (that you may choose to answer or not), is not criticism. Why stack E. Poland? I guess in your games people mostly do the southern drive route? I get to Bryansk on G5. If I can’t force Russia back, I move into Smolensk, then G6 move into Bryansk to be in position for the NOs (Stalingrad / Caucasus). Of course in that scenario of having to go into Smolensk means you “bought” that important turn.

    The only reason I might stack E. Poland is if I did the Italian DOW thing and can opened for Germany to stack there so they could collect the $5 wheat/trade NO again and land the Luftwaffe. Otherwise I stack Baltic. I don’t understand any reason why to stack E. Poland as securing Leningrad immediately is important. The Southern Route I think is best done with a G3 DOW so all of the slow movers can catch up.

    If you review the posted games - against expert players.

    You will see that the 6 tank build forces the Germans into stacking eastern poland together G2.  Because deviations from stacking Eastern Poland; going north or south, are exposed to significant counter attack potential.

    that is why I have not simply copied your Red Blitz that inspired me developing Russian strategies of my own - AfrikaCorps

    Good!  That’s what this thread is all about!  Thank you for the compliments gentlemen.  I’m just posting my opinion on Russian defense doctorine. Take from it what you will.

    Regarding the withdrawal - Keep in mind my “point of no return” is Timguska.  You can always re-enter the chinese back door if Russia is doing hot in Europe.



  • That is a good point Gargantua. I feel as though the relation between the Russian “Red Tide” or “Red Blitz” strategy and the “Bright Skies” strategy can be small, or large. Personally I feel that the US needs a strong presence in the Pacific, however some assistance in Europe is needed, whether its some bombers, or small amounts of naval units. I feel the cooperation between Russia and the UK is more important for the European side of the board. When looking at the game as two separate parts, Europe and Pacific, the US has a set amount of IPCs for each game. Pacific being 17 and Europe being 35. Taking this in, I tend to divide the way in which I spend IPCs for the US in a similar manner when I play world. Remember that when you are playing a game of AA where you are not constrained by time, the allies can play a slow and methodical game. By placing 35 IPCs worth of units in the European side of the board, and 17 IPCs on the Pacific side of the board. When the US comes across bonuses, I tend to use most if not all of it in the Pacific. The US will be the only determining force in the Pacific. The UK and ANZAC forces certainly cannot support a staving of Japanese forces in the Pacific, and if you were to spend all of your IPCs to support a “Bright Skies” strategy in Europe, Japan would be an untamed beast, and by the time the US could respond to this, Japan would be to large of a force and maybe even be on their way to 6 victory cities.



  • Most of the players here seem to agree that building offensively is a good idea for Russia, but it isn’t yet clear exactly what the consensus is on what units to build, when, and under what circumstances. I would like to propose the following:

    If Germany is set up to bring a “normal” amount of units to an Eastern Poland stack:

    22 infantry (reduced by 2 for a Yugo strafe)
    5 artillery
    3 tanks
    3 aa

    then Russia should respond with a Red Blitz and buy 6 tanks per Gargantua’s suggestion. The Germans will either:

    a) hold back from advancing their main stack
    b) take Baltic States instead of Eastern Poland, or
    c) get crushed in Eastern Poland

    All three of those outcomes are good for Russia. Russia would prefer for Germany to take the northern route so they aren’t threatening to capture the southern oilfields.

    If Germany is set up to bring an “extra” amount of units (at least 2 more than they have in the stack I described above), Russia should build 9 artillery. They should still bring everything up to the front lines to keep the Germans honest, but they will fall back to Bryansk on R2 and buy another wave of artillery.

    In either scenario, there are two goals:

    1. to hold at Bryansk instead of in Russia. If the Germans take the northern route, this is accomplished by keeping enough firepower across the two territories that the Germans can’t advance to Smolensk. If the Germans take the southern route, Bryansk simply needs to hold defensively.

    2. to contest every territory in reach that doesn’t contain the main German stack. This includes Novgorod if the Germans go south, but not if they go north.

    If the Germans are pouring everything into the eastern front, Russia will require Allied assistance in the form of American bombers and British fighters and mechanized units to accomplish goal 1).

    In order to accomplish goal 2), the Russians should maintain a mechanized contingent consisting of around 8 units until and unless the British have enough units in the stack that they can take over this role.

    As I see it, it is open to debate whether the Russians should pull the Far East forces. It may depend on how intent the other Allies are in bolstering Russia’s defense.


Log in to reply
 

Suggested Topics

  • 11
  • 6
  • 17
  • 3
  • 41
  • 23
  • 10
  • 11
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys

38
Online

14.0k
Users

34.3k
Topics

1.4m
Posts