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The "Red Tide" Strategy



  • I’d like to play this strategy a little bit, feel it out and refine it, to one which could be used in every game. The most interesting thing here is the almost complete 180 flip. I have been one to build very defensively 90% of the time. After this long discussion, I think that the plausibility and applicability of Russian offensive builds is more and more relevant.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Because Russia faces the “accordion” and the “Can Opener”  it’s only real oppurtunites are on it’s turn of attack; or atleast, forcing the enemy to be weary of such attacks.

    When building defensively only,  the germans don’t have to worry about making missteps or mistakes,  they are never caught on them.  When you change the game up, with russian offense,  suddenly the balance is very delicate.



  • That is a great point Gargantua. The ability to hold Germany to playing a somewhat safe offensive, you buy more time for Russia.


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer

    @Gargantua:

    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.

    GAR
            Have you tried this in HBG 39 1st Edition game ?


  • 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12



  • Thanks variance



  • Gargantua I don’t have the time to watch your games now, hopefully can do it a later moment in time. Thank you for joining the discussion, before nobody seemed to think a counter-attacking Russia was the best defense, now you seem to have convinced most.

    I will buy 6 tanks R1, after it I first stack my artillery pools both at Novgorod and Bryansk, I want minimum 6 at both strongholds. The benefit from stratrgically placed artillery is that they are cheaper while having similiar effect as tanks + upgrading your initial infantry. After building those pools, I will be producing a mix of tanks and mech. Russia is the perfect place to have 2-move units, I will upload my studies about its geography later.

    I am intrigued about the Siberian infantry, but have always considered it a waste of pressure from the Allies. Me and my brother have become expert at the defense of China with forces from Russia, China and UK and our Axis have not managed to wipe us.

    Don’t you miss the 7 IPC that are lost so easily? Does the infantry mass really make such a difference in G8? How do you play your USA?



  • Actually I always counter attacked with Russia, however I build art and planes. Defending was just to boring. Building tanks and mech seems to be better than art, because if the increased mobility.


  • 2017

    @variance:

    Wehrmacht strategy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfGoDNIsJBs

    Looks like Hermann Goering’s grandson has been eating too much schnitzel.


  • 2019 2018 2017

    @Gargantua:

    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.

    But you actually bought those 6 armor only in the game against Wittmann, not in the other two…. why is that?



  • When is it not a necessity to purchase 6 tanks on the first turn?



  • As my next game I will play the USA and USSR again, I will perfect my play with them. Gargantia if you are still around, how does your China usually look when you retreat the Siberians?


  • 2018 2017

    the 6 tanks thing is a crazy plan I tried buying a lot of tanks last couple games, Germany is scared a bit but there is a huge wave of German stuff that starts showing up and bombing on G4 and after…seems like no matter what Russia did at that point, most of its pieces got blasted



  • @Gargantua:

    Because Russia faces the “accordion” and the “Can Opener”  it’s only real oppurtunites are on it’s turn of attack; or atleast, forcing the enemy to be weary of such attacks.

    When building defensively only,  the germans don’t have to worry about making missteps or mistakes,  they are never caught on them.  When you change the game up, with russian offense,  suddenly the balance is very delicate.

    How about fighters instead of tanks?  I usually am Axis, so I haven’t worked out much about Russia myself, but am curious about things like fighters, which can both be used for counter attacks without ending up at risk themselves, and scrambled in SZ 115 and maybe keep Russia’s fleet, or at least force Germany to spend more on navy than it wants.  And, as a bonus, help counter the bombings.

    But maybe I just think that would be so useful because it would play well against my Germany strategies, which include constant bombings of Russian factories, amphibious assaults of Leningrad with my Sea Lion assets.

    I’m also curious about Russia being aggressive into Finland/Norway.  I’m thinking next time I’m the Allies, I’ll put pressure on Germany’s navy because, among other things, it means Scandanavia is lost to them easily.



  • @weddingsinger:

    @Gargantua:

    Because Russia faces the “accordion” and the “Can Opener”  it’s only real oppurtunites are on it’s turn of attack; or atleast, forcing the enemy to be weary of such attacks.

    When building defensively only,  the germans don’t have to worry about making missteps or mistakes,  they are never caught on them.  When you change the game up, with russian offense,  suddenly the balance is very delicate.

    How about fighters instead of tanks?  I usually am Axis, so I haven’t worked out much about Russia myself, but am curious about things like fighters, which can both be used for counter attacks without ending up at risk themselves, and scrambled in SZ 115 and maybe keep Russia’s fleet, or at least force Germany to spend more on navy than it wants.  And, as a bonus, help counter the bombings.

    But maybe I just think that would be so useful because it would play well against my Germany strategies, which include constant bombings of Russian factories, amphibious assaults of Leningrad with my Sea Lion assets.

    I’m also curious about Russia being aggressive into Finland/Norway.  I’m thinking next time I’m the Allies, I’ll put pressure on Germany’s navy because, among other things, it means Scandanavia is lost to them easily.

    Take a look at the Bright Skies strategy how to do exactly rhat!


  • 2019 2017 2016

    @weddingsinger:

    @Gargantua:

    Because Russia faces the “accordion” and the “Can Opener”  it’s only real oppurtunites are on it’s turn of attack; or atleast, forcing the enemy to be weary of such attacks.

    When building defensively only,  the germans don’t have to worry about making missteps or mistakes,  they are never caught on them.  When you change the game up, with russian offense,  suddenly the balance is very delicate.

    How about fighters instead of tanks?  I usually am Axis, so I haven’t worked out much about Russia myself, but am curious about things like fighters, which can both be used for counter attacks without ending up at risk themselves, and scrambled in SZ 115 and maybe keep Russia’s fleet, or at least force Germany to spend more on navy than it wants.  And, as a bonus, help counter the bombings.

    But maybe I just think that would be so useful because it would play well against my Germany strategies, which include constant bombings of Russian factories, amphibious assaults of Leningrad with my Sea Lion assets.

    I’m also curious about Russia being aggressive into Finland/Norway.  I’m thinking next time I’m the Allies, I’ll put pressure on Germany’s navy because, among other things, it means Scandanavia is lost to them easily.

    Why build sea lion assets unless you’re going through with sea lion? A straight attack on Scandinavia by USSR is a loser because too many troops are taken out of Moscow’s defence. A small force just dies for no gain.

    Anyway, assuming you’re playing allies, if Germany avoids building fleet G1, I like the following:

    • scramble to at least one of the fleet battles SZ110/111, assuming he hits both
    • block SZ114 with the Cruiser
    • stack Vyborg, bringing up the starting mobile units
    • mobilise 3 art in Novgorod USSR1
    • US1 build 1CV 1DD 2TT 1inf 1ftr all for SZ101, plus move the bomber and W USA fighter over to E USA
    • Assuming G3/J2 DOWs, move the US fleet to SZ123 but land the fighters on the airbase rather than the CV. If Germany uses a DD (or the Cruiser) to block at SZ124, use the Soviets to attack and land planes on the US CV.
    • USSR will take Finland turn 3.
    • USA will take Norway turn 3.

    Scoff all you want, but I’m finding this strategy a pretty strong start. Many games I’m finding players avoiding the G3/J2 combination, mostly going J3, which is probably good for the allies.

    If the Germans put a CV in the water G1, pursue a more normal strategy of defending Moscow, running 6 inf back from the far east. You don’t have enough as USA to defend against such a fleet with only 1 turn of buys. You can still buy some fleet but don’t buy both the transports. They won’t be getting to Norway without a one way (suicide) trip at least. Also, if you need to spend two turns buying ships, the Soviets are all alone on Finland for too long. Perhaps the British fighters can support them but I don’t really think it’s enough.

    There’s a couple of other possible variations, like Germany stacking half the Luftwaffe in Norway. If you can soften this stack up with one power and take it down with the other, do so. In any event, Germany is now fighting a power which isn’t USSR which is what it doesn’t want to do.

    Often, you will not be able to hold Norway without a second echelon. It may not be worthwhile to bring in such forces because USA needs to face Japan.  Sometimes you can indeed buy a US factory on Norway and start pumping out units. Germany really needs to deal with that. It doesn’t need to worry so much if the USSR ends up with Norway.


  • 2018 2017 2016

    @Requester45:

    When is it not a necessity to purchase 6 tanks on the first turn?

    When your strategy with Russia follows a more conservatively way.
    If you are planning on an Epic Showdown in Moscow with huge Inf. stacks, then you should not Buy any tanks.

    BUT: if you are planning on giving Germany a harder time and looking and luring for opportunities to hurt and slow down the german Aggressor, a tank purchase should be your First choice then.

    @Gargantua:

    Because Russia faces the “accordion” and the “Can Opener”  it’s only real oppurtunites are on it’s turn of attack; or atleast, forcing the enemy to be weary of such attacks.

    When building defensively only,  the germans don’t have to worry about making missteps or mistakes,  they are never caught on them.  When you change the game up, with russian offense,  suddenly the balance is very delicate.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    Seems like the tank choice makes a lot of sense if there’s going to be a G2 DOW and Germany neglected to buy mechs/tanks G1. Otherwise, I’m struggling to see it.



  • I have seen Russian success with a few tactical fighters being added into the mix in the early rounds. The accordion effect that Garganuta is the perfect way to explain the USSR’s ability, and need to counterattack the Germans. If you can slow them down/or force them to rely on Army Group North and the Leningrad route, by the time they have secured their position and line up for an assault through Smolensk or Bryansk, you will have a counter attack force supported by air in Russia that can decimate their entire attack.

    Assuming the US and UK are starting to put the pressure on either in Italy or France, the German momentum comes to a dead halt on the Eastern front.

    Another deviation from the turtleing Russia strategy is also to asses, and possibly stack around 4-6 infantry in Bessarabia, in anticipation of an Italian can-opener move. Yes, it leaves those infantry susceptible to complete annihilation if the German Lufftwaffe decides to spearhead the assault with the Wehrmacht on the ground on a G3/G4 DOW, however, that ultimately is the objective. If the Italian can-opener is not used to give the German fast movers and aircraft quick access to the Russian secondary defensive positions, the risk on attack for Germany goes up enough that they cannot just steamroll through to Moscow.

    I know that I have a minimal amount of posts in this forum, however I have been playing A&A for roughly the last 20 years, and I consider my group to be “advanced”. Our games have gone from favoring the allies heavily, to favoring the Axis heavily on G40, but they are now going back to the favor of the Allies, and that is with no bid, and a house rule implication of research tokens.


  • 2018 2017

    What also works in some applications is a mixed buy, particularly if a G1-G3 attack is not in the coming. I have used a combination of three tanks and six infantry with some success. By the time the G4 attack comes, Russia has 11 tanks and two mechs, as well as the initial aircraft.  Place the armor in Novgorod and the infantry in Moscow.

    This is more than sufficient to make the breakthrough into Scandinavia, without really weakening the Novgorod defense.



  • Hi all! I’m currently working on refining this strategy, as well as implementing some new strategies for the Russians. We all know that it can be boring as the Russian player, however I plan on changing this. Once upon a time Japan was seen as weak, and very difficult to win with, when all it took was a little refinement. I plan on finding this for the Russians, and think I am close. Hang in there guys, and I will be posting this refined strategy soon!



  • I probably should try more of an inf+tanks strategy instead of inf+art.  They attack essentially the same, and on defense the outcome is also essentially the same until the later rounds of dice rolling.  If the Germans + Italians are smart and do the northern route, there is little that Russia can do to prevent the Axis from sitting at the gates of Moscow on G5.  However at that point they often have to divert elsewhere if a stack of UK fighters prevents capture of the capitol.  Russians can’t step out very far with slow moving ground units or face being trapped without ability to reinforce.  However a nice pile of tanks could allow a strategic counterstrike if the Axis wanders too far towards Iraq or Siberia.  Add in the strategic value of having tanks if a Sealion happens on G3 and the build makes more sense.



  • Personally I am convinced I found the best way to play Russia.

    In my last game I did not build a single normal infantry (lots and lots of mechanized infantry instead) and I got a mass of troops very fast to could both north, south and east to advances. My luck is that my enemies have not mastered the Italian can opening and feel obliged to keep the baltic fleet alive against USA bonber spam however so this is really in my advantage.

    You start with lots of infantry as Russia so logically the first buy is always minimum 6 artillery, you could even opt 9 so the South depending on Germany buy. These artillery greatly enhance your starting troops and later your mechanized infantry. Make sure you lose those initial infantry on both offense and defense while preserving your other precious troops.

    Gargantua proposed 6 tanks but I prefer that initial artillery buy and start buying some tanks per turn afterwards. Novgorod and Bryansk are your strong points.

    Put effort in holding the Eastern countries and save China as long as possible, this provides Russia with lots of earned IPC while all troops (besides the Siberians) can 100% focus on Germany. For me it it usually Russia north, China west, USA east and UK + Anzac south hurting Japan from 3 sides if it decides to commit to a place. I have absolutely started to love the Guerilla China so extremely difficult to kill completely.

    With the S125 bonus and the East I was making around 38 IPC per turn for a long time, buying 5 mech and 3 tanks per turn. Because of all your troops being mechanized (and thus able to move 2 spaces) I find the two fighters and tactical bomber sufficient as airforce and rather buy 2 tanks or a tank + mech instead.



  • As with any strategy it depends on a number of outside factors. Keeping a solid grounded base strategy that can be built upon based on a number of outside factors is my ultimate goal.



  • It is hard to be “convinced” of the best way to play Russia when you are going against a German opponent who hasn’t mastered the basic Barbarossa strategy.  Lots of fast movers are fun against weak opponents, but you will find that the TUV swing on a G6 or G7 attack into Moscow is dramatically changed when you spent more money on tanks + mechs and have fewer infantry.  It can be the difference between having no significant lost German planes vs being too costly and making Germany decide to go to plan B.


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