Russian Leningrad Strategy



  • Usually when I play Russia, I retreat my infantry in Vyborg and Karelia to Leningrad and then to Belarus, together with the troops that start on Leningrad. This gives me a larger stack in Belarus, but at the cost of allowing the Germans to walk into Leningrad. Is there a good way to perhaps delay the loss of Leningrad?


  • 2019 2018 2017

    Obviously, its going to depend on how the German player is coming at you. But if you are dealing with a G2 (or after) attack, a good R1 build is often 6 tanks (in Leningrad and Ukraine) since it can often deny the Germans East Poland on G2. I read about this in a post by Gargantua in an earlier thread and have so far found it a fairly effective buy.

    And generally more offensive and more mobile builds (armor and artillery) in the early turns will limit what Germany can do (or force Germany to fully commit and give the allies more room to maneuver in the Atlantic) and give the Soviets more options to counter.

    You can also keep a couple of inf in Leningrad so that (supported by Soviet air, armour and/or artillery) any move into Karelia or Vyborg from Finland can be countered.

    This will not allow you to hold Leningrad but might get you another turn or two.


  • 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    On Russia’s first turn, move your units from Ukraine and West Ukraine to Bryansk.  Build all artillery unless Germany built mech/armor in which you would build 3 artillery in Novgorod and the rest mech/armor.  Stack Belarus for the stall.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    @farmboy:

    Obviously, its going to depend on how the German player is coming at you. But if you are dealing with a G2 (or after) attack, a good R1 build is often 6 tanks (in Leningrad and Ukraine) since it can often deny the Germans East Poland on G2. I read about this in a post by Gargantua in an earlier thread and have so far found it a fairly effective buy.

    And generally more offensive and more mobile builds (armor and artillery) in the early turns will limit what Germany can do (or force Germany to fully commit and give the allies more room to maneuver in the Atlantic) and give the Soviets more options to counter.

    You can also keep a couple of inf in Leningrad so that (supported by Soviet air, armour and/or artillery) any move into Karelia or Vyborg from Finland can be countered.

    This will not allow you to hold Leningrad but might get you another turn or two.

    Interesting move but would it allow a positive expected value from an attack on Eastern Poland? Even if no fast movers are placed in Germany G1, a couple of inf from Greater Southern Germany would swing it to be negative the way I count it.


  • 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    @farmboy:

    And generally more offensive and more mobile builds (armor and artillery) in the early turns will limit what Germany can do (or force Germany to fully commit and give the allies more room to maneuver in the Atlantic) and give the Soviets more options to counter.

    What Simon33 says is true, but if that’s the case, then what Farmboy said above is the gains the allies enjoy from aggressive Russia


  • 2019 2018 2017

    Perhaps I’m missing something, but I think that Germany could end up with 24 inf, 5 art, 3 tanks and 3 AA in East Poland on G2. 35 units with a power of 67. This assumes the armor in S Germany and the mechs in W Germany go to France.

    The Soviets can counter with 19 inf, 2 mechs, 8 tanks, 2 art, 2 fig and a tac. This is 34 units with a power of 61.

    The odds I’m getting are 62% for the Soviets. Despite having a slight advantage in numbers and power, the Germans (after the AA are gone) are losing more valuable units from the start and this quickly shifts the power advantage to the Soviets.

    And often, even when Germany is setting up for a G2 into East Poland, they don’t quite have those numbers and the odds are better for the USSR. The Germans send an inf into Bulgaria, lose 1 or 2 in strafing Yugoslavia, and/or send 1 or 2 to Norway. Of course, the German player can also set up for a more aggressive move into the USSR by pulling some other units that would normally go against France back or building mechs and tanks on G1. But the Soviet player can see that before deciding on their build.

    I don’t have enough experience to judge it yet if this is a good build if you can’t discourage the Germans from going into East Poland but I think it might be. A more mobile and offensive component to the Red Army forces the Germans to keep their stack together as they move towards Russia and then limits the income they can grab (and deny the USSR).


  • 2019 2018 2017

    Correction. Two soviet AA snuck into my calculation. Actual odds are 45%. Even so, if the German player is short even just 1 inf the combat favours the Soviets.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    Hmm, interesting analysis. Germany has to really stretch to pull in the 24 inf too.

    If a G1 buy of 3mech 3arm where done, it seems to be negative.

    What happens when the more usual move of a I2+G3 DOW is done? If the Germans don’t buy fast movers G1, that is what I expect anyway.


  • 2018 2017 '16

    I like to buy 1 Tac Bomber, 2 Artillery, 1 Tank, and 4 Infantry on R1. The Tac is good to pair with the tanks that I like to purchase with Russia throughout the game. I will hang around in Leningrad for a couple of turns to see if Germany goes Sealion. If they do and the US is able to wipe out their navy then that leaves Scandinavia wide open for Russia for an extra 11 IPC’s. I will put at least 3 planes on Leningrad during this early period to play kitty by the door in case Germany makes a mistake with placing or moving their boats.  Kitty pounce. The planes will also prevent an early amphibious assault on Leningrad with the threat of scramble.

    More often than not Germany will not do Sealion or leave their boats exposed and that’s when the troops and planes will make their way into position for Barbarossa. It’s worth giving yourself the opportunity to take advantage though and it keeps Leningrad in the hands of the Russians for a few turns.



  • @simon33:

    Hmm, interesting analysis. Germany has to really stretch to pull in the 24 inf too.

    If a G1 buy of 3mech 3arm where done, it seems to be negative.

    What happens when the more usual move of a I2+G3 DOW is done? If the Germans don’t buy fast movers G1, that is what I expect anyway.

    Interesting. I had no idea that 6 tanks could potentially make East Poland not stackable…and if Germany buys mechs/tanks G1 in anticipation to bolster it, that prevents them from buying more ships for Sealion.


  • 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Bid some artilleries in Russia to let Germany know you are planning aggressive Russia.  Maybe they build mech\armor G1 and the minimal sealion threat lets UK off the hook


  • 2019 2018 2017

    I don’t have the experience yet to know. In the 3 games I’ve played where it has been used (twice by me) it blocked a G2 attack. And it seemed worth it for that.

    An I2 move would allow the Germans to land air with their stack on G3. In that situation I might sacrifice enough inf to block the Italian can opener in East Poland. The logic here would be that as long as I can keep the German air and the German land units separate, the Germans can’t pull much out of their stack and still safely move forward.
    And without the can opener, the German units could probably safely advance on G3. But it wouldn’t be certain. The Soviets have 6 more inf and an artillery + another 6 armor build (possibly minus 3-4 inf as a block in East Poland) that can be ready on R3. If the Germans aren’t spending most of their G2 income on mechs and armors they might be hard pressed to move in on G3 (Usually they will of course, but sometimes developments in the West force them to build more there)

    Regardless, I think the additional offense more than compensates for the weaker defense in the end but will need to play more to know.
    @simon33:

    Hmm, interesting analysis. Germany has to really stretch to pull in the 24 inf too.

    If a G1 buy of 3mech 3arm where done, it seems to be negative.

    What happens when the more usual move of a I2+G3 DOW is done? If the Germans don’t buy fast movers G1, that is what I expect anyway.



  • The only times that I have struggled to move the Italian + German stack to Belarus was when I had massively bad luck on the G1 opening attacks.  Allies are better off trying to prevent the horde from reaching Bryansk.  Purchasing art is far more efficient than tanks if you want to have a shot at a counterattack.

    Don’t attempt to block the Italian canopeners with a stack of six infantry: it isn’t worth the sacrifice since Germany will just wallop them with a cost of a mere two infantry.  You can’t get into those kind of trades and hope to survive in Moscow on G6.  That is a net of 10 points when calculating German attack power - Russian defense power.  Huge!  It is better to give ground and patiently wait for the time when the German supply lines are overextended.


  • 2019 2018 2017

    Artillery are certainly more efficient (especially since you generally already have the infantry to match), but not if you need to hit someone two spaces away on your next turn. I’ve only done this build a couple of times but so far the build starts with the armor in R1 and then shifted to artillery and infantry after. If an R1 armor build can block a G2 move into East Poland, I think it is often going to be worth it, since it gives you an extra turn to  buy the inf and artillery in any case. And the mobility and attack value of the Armor can be valuable later on too.

    Blockers are a risk in the way you say. But they can be useful because they both deny German mobility and they deny it the opportunity to land its air with its land units. And that means it is a weaker stack that can’t afford to separate many units as it moves forward (denying it income). One can make a (conservative) estimate of what the balance of forces is going to be in Russia when the Germans get there and make a judgement of whether a blocker is worth it. The power differential that results from the blocker is important but it is also worth considering how the blocker changes the next German turn. If there is no blocker, do they get more income (and take more of your income away), or the use of a factory sooner? I think these things can also change the outcome of the combat in Russia and sometimes will make the use of a block on Italy worth it.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    @simon33:

    Hmm, interesting analysis. Germany has to really stretch to pull in the 24 inf too.

    If a G1 buy of 3mech 3arm where done, it seems to be negative.

    What happens when the more usual move of a I2+G3 DOW is done? If the Germans don’t buy fast movers G1, that is what I expect anyway.

    Interesting. I had no idea that 6 tanks could potentially make East Poland not stackable…and if Germany buys mechs/tanks G1 in anticipation to bolster it, that prevents them from buying more ships for Sealion.

    This is the build that helped us win our first game at YG’s tournament as the allies, and almost always my build with Russia.

    Follow up round two with FULL mechanized.  Your force can hold/delay leningrad unless the germans are heavily organized and determined to take it.  Usually this can buy you an extra round or two depending on what the germans are doing, whilst you evacuate your infantry.


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