What are some good Russian strategies?

  • 2007 AAR League

    Does anyone have any Russian strats that they’ve used, successfully or not?  It seems that everyone around here is either focused on German or Japanese strats, which, is fine with me since I love to play as Germany, but I just want to try a diff country for a change.  Got a game with friends this weekend, so I just want to try a different country, see if anything works.  So, anyone got any idears?

  • There are lots of ideas, and they are strewn throughout this forum. I reccomend that you pick through them and pick up the bits that are around. As detailed strategies are difficult, given the variables, I usually would give the following advice.

    1. Trade territories with Germany. Do this as cheaply as you can afford. You may be able to trade belorussia, karelia, and ukraine. I try and trade with either 2 inf, fighter OR 1 inf, 1 fighter (if i am feeling feisty) OR 1 inf, 1 art, etc. Obviously if germany has more than 1 unit on a territory, you should probably hit it with more. Against two, you might want to go 1 inf, 1 art, 1 fighter. Always keep a large force in west russia if possible, as it threatens a large amount of territory.
    2. If you ever gain the advantage, step into germany if it does not expose your backside. If I can take and hold a territory I will do so, as it results in an IPC differential and forces defense of further back territories. It also means you don’t trade, which means you are less likely to take casualties on the assault.
    3. Fall back in the east in an orderly fashion. If you can ever form a solid block that can’t be broken by japan that round with allied planes and other help, do so. Every round you keep japan at bay is critical.
    4. Beg your allies. Seriously, I spend a lot of time as russia begging my allies to come to the rescue. They tend to get distracted after a few beers and start thinking that battleships are a cool idea when there are 10 of them. You need your allies to land in europe to save your ass. Russia can be a very strong force, but only if your allies allow you to be.
    5. Once you have fallen back to around novi, take stock of the situation. Hopefully along the way you will have built up an arsenal, and most critically german movement against you has all but halted due to allied threats. If germany is on your doorstep AND japan is on your doorstep, you are screwed. Blame your allies, I always do  🙂
    6. If germany has been halted by your allies, turn most of your meat towards japan and pummel them mercilessly.

    Those are the general guidelines I give. To play it safe I’d attack belorussia with 3 inf, 2 fig, and west russia with everything you have got the first turn. A general safe buy is 3 inf, 4 art. I rarely do either, but it’s a good place to start.

  • As a rule I’d say only trade with Germany if your allies are fully engaged in killing Germany first. It can get really lonely trading pieces with Germany if the U.S. and U.K. aren’t landing any footsoldiers to help out.

    Try taking (or at least strafing) the Ukraine. 3 Inf, 1 Art, 2 Arm, and 2 Ftrs should do the trick. The upside is the death of a German Fighter before it ever gets off the ground. For some reason not many people on this board use this move, and no one has been able to articulate why it’s not a solid move. They won’t even try. Again, only do this if your allies are also going all out vs. Germany, as you’ll lose too much Russian hardware to go it alone.

    Stack 6 Russian Inf in Buryatia on R1. Try moving a few into Sinkiang and maybe one to Persia (and eventually India) to assist your allies for a few turns. Never forget to move your sub to SZ 2. Build mostly Inf, but not all. A slowly built Armor reserve in Russia can hit nearly anywhere important on the board and provides a nice deterrent to large stacks of axis forces moving forward.

    Hope this helps.

  • 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13

    DFox, try this. R1 buy 5 inf, 1 art & 1 arm. attack W.Rus w/2 inf & fig from Kar, 3 inf & arm from arch, 3 inf, fig & art from Moscow. You will destroy W.Rus and leave a big stack there. Move remaining arm & fig to Cau. Move all other Inf West into Cau or Moscow. Leave 1 inf in Bury (withdraw) from Asia. Make a stand in Asia further west.

    Place 3 inf and art in cau & remainder in Moscow. Sub follows G fleet. R2 buy 6 inf & 2 art. If G moved his arm in range attack in force. The basic strat is to attack in force (overkill) into a heavily defended area so as to hold it for the following turn or at least make it very costly for G to counter. Always purch enough firepower for following turn attacks. Keep pounding G. If G makes any foolish Naval buys your all set. Goodluck

  • i like to hit west russia with everything that can except the armor then hit ukraine with the force in caucasus plus the two armor in russia, don’t take it but hit and retreat.  the upside is you kill the front line german inf, but the downside is you leave the fighter to pound the brits in africa.  its worth it to me, africa will be retaken and you start trading ukraine without losing any initial armor.  the one in arc can either go east to harrass the japs or go to cauc.  i have hit west russia with everything and seen germany counter whole hog, wiping my tanks out because he has 6 inf that can hit and a mess of air.  don’t do bury, japs will hit that stack hard and then you have nothing up there.  if you do really lobby the brits to hit the kwang tran with the indian fightr then land in bury.  i prefer the 8 stack further west.  they wont mess with that for atleast a couple turns and you only lose i ipc.  also, if you strafe ukraine you can move 4 inf into singkiang wich will hold the center longer.  russia is fun because you decide the game really, you fall it is usually call it time.

  • @88:

    As a rule I’d say only trade with Germany if your allies are fully engaged in killing Germany first. It can get really lonely trading pieces with Germany if the U.S. and U.K. aren’t landing any footsoldiers to help out.

    I would argue that if your allies aren’t helping you kill Germany than why bother trying yourself? I would never advocate that a novice tries KJF, though at least Japan would probably be easier to handle.


    Try taking (or at least strafing) the Ukraine. 3 Inf, 1 Art, 2 Arm, and 2 Ftrs should do the trick. The upside is the death of a German Fighter before it ever gets off the ground. For some reason not many people on this board use this move, and no one has been able to articulate why it’s not a solid move. They won’t even try. Again, only do this if your allies are also going all out vs. Germany, as you’ll lose too much Russian hardware to go it alone.

    I prefer this move as well, and do it just about every time. I like taking out the fighter and also alleviating any crazy attacks on caucus, and especially a full stack on ukraine if belorussia goes south. So I’m with you on this one, but I think for a beginner it might be better to take the safe road. If ukraine goes seriously south I wouldn’t expect a novice russia to be able to dig themselves out. Taking belorussia and west russia are far less risky, and provide decent enough gains.


    Stack 6 Russian Inf in Buryatia on R1.

    Every time I do this I smack myself when Japan crushes them, but I do still do it pretty often. Still, Japan killing all these inf hurts a lot. If you can retreat with them to novo then by about turn 4 you will have a very large stack of infantry, with at least a few armor/fighter to support them. I find that I can hold off japan longer doing it that way then making a hold in bury. Of course, if japan shuns away from bury it’s a good move, but again…for a novice russia I would assume that having 1/5th of your infantry destroyed on the first turn would be a bad thing, and that they could accomplish more with a safer strategy.

  • 2007 AAR League

    So would it also be a good idea to create at least 2 hard “stacks” so that if Germany does come attackin’, it’ll be a pyrrhic victory?  How easy is it to keep grinding away at the Germans using hard stacks?

  • if you strafed ukraine r1 and have a good stack in west russia you can move it to ukrain r2, threatening balkans, easter euro, the risk there is if he is strong in karelia you will have a big german army in archangel g2.  if your allies are helping in northern you can push in ukraine and if they are heavy in africa you need to protect north.  dont get cocky and split you stack trying to bag alot of cash or you can find yourself out of manpower pretty quick

  • Don’t expect to be able to move to ukraine on R2 though. Only do it (or anything!) if you will not get creamed on a counter.

  • if germany bought a baltic fleet (often the case) you can move into ukraine pretty thick if he went karelia, just be ready to pull back to west russia r3 if he responds the way he should with that big stack 2 spaces from berlin.  keep your supply lines short! if you get strung out your front force could be out of position to counter a surge from either axis.  you don’t have to take berlin, just keep him bottled up(with help hopefully) then hold japan off until uk/usa finish the job

  • Fox- you’re getting alot of different advice here, and even though it’s all quite different they’re all good ideas. There’s no right way to do it, but there are some ways that are better than others. Playtesting will be your best route and the most fun.

    Fiend- it’s good to have someone finally respond positively to the Ukraine move. Killing the German Fighter is huge in the long term. Think of it this way- what’s the value, over 10-15 turns (or more), of an extra German Fighter parked defensively in France, S Europe, or Germany? One or two more Infantry will be needed to make up the defensive value- Infantry that are ALWAYS needed on the front with Russia. How about on offense- how much value can you place on that extra 3 pips on the Russian front if you’re engaged in trading battles? Add it up- over a long game that extra Fighter will hit something how many times? 5, 10, 15? That’s alot of battles that are over just a little quicker, meaning a chance that a few less German Infantry are hit. Fighters are also a deterrent for the allies when it comes to how they plan their naval moves. Taking out the Ukraine also puts some strain on Germany’s first turn, as the other battles get a little shakier, and now Germany also has to counter it, making a northern thrust or E Europe stack just a little weaker. Getting the initiative is a huge factor. As anyone who has played deep into games knows, quite often the difference in a game can boil down to having a few more Infantry at the right time.

    As to Buryatia- I agree completely that losing 6 Russian Infantry is painful, but most of the time the Japanese go after Hawaii and China. It is absolutely much more safe to pull back, but I never do it personally. I agree, however- conserve Russian Infantry at almost all costs.

  • My general advice for Russia is to always try to reduce the number of infantries on the German and Japan frontline. Strafe the territory until the inf is gone then retreat. Moving infantry from the production centers to the frontline takes a long time for Germany and an even longer time for Japan, and without inf, all attack cost a lot of money. There’s no greater pleasure than trading inf for tanks or fighters :).

    For this reason, I always attack Bellorussia and West Russia on the first turn. Bello is easier to take (strafe) than Ukraine and it reduces the amount of inf by the same amount. Even though I agree with 88 that one less fighter on G1 is good, I think its’ not worth loosing 2 armor, 3 inf and 1 art to do so. Russia have so little offensive power that loosing 2 offensive pieces on a total of 6 (4 tanks and 2 fig) is too much.

    So I always try to have a big pile in West Russia and I either trade territories with Germany with little inf like AAfiend said or I kill most infantries aproaching my the frontline then retreat to a big stack.

  • Did I mention that it’s more than just a Fighter… it’s also an Artillery and an Armor killed. Also the Ukraine is worth 3 IPCs ( 29 IPCs sounds like 8 Inf and an Arm on R2).

    With an aggressive Russian purchase of 3 Inf and 3 Arm on R1, you end up with 5 Armor total on the board- not bad. If you go with a more conservative 5 Inf/ Art/ Arm you still have some teeth and a little more bulk. If you go 8 Inf you shouldn’t try to take the Ukraine at all as you won’t have enough offense left on the board.

    I respect the Belorussia move- it’s solid- I just think there’s more of a long term gain for the allies when the Ukraine is taken.

  • 2007 AAR League

    How good (for lack of a better word) of a move is it to, let’s say, take the territory, but leave one guy behind and retreat the rest of your forces, so that you can rebuilt your stack and on the enxt move, attack with an even bigger stack?  Is that an acceptable move?

  • Fox,

    The annoying answer is that…it depends. What are you going to take the territory with if you win? If you take it with a lot of troops that will die on a counter, then it would be silly to take it. If you take and can withstand a counter, then go for it. Typically germany will only have 1-2 inf on their frontline, unless they are moving in bulk. If you can take out that bulk, then the move you suggested is great. If you can’t, but it is weak on offense, then just sit tight and attack what you can.

    Be careful about trying to strafe too much (the term “strafe” is a common term for what you are suggesting), as if you take something and are vulnerable to a counter, you could well have screwed yourself out of a game.


    I forgot about the pearl thing. Honestly I have only been playing the ‘pact of steel’ variant in triplea, and while most of the concepts are applicable to revised, the manchuria stack is a discrepancy. There is no ‘pearl harbor’ option in ‘pact of steel’, so creaming manchuria is a simple decision to make. My bad, should have paid more attention to this difference.

    I definitely like the offensive purchase thrown in with the ukraine attack. I don’t know how applicable it is to revised, but I sometimes purchase 1 fig, 1 arm, 1 art, 2 inf on the first round. It hurts until you stabilize your stacks against germany because you are obviously a bit weak, but in the long run that extra fighter is extremely valuable. Still, the safe route for a new player is definitely a big inf stack, inf/art, or inf/tank.

  • 2007 AAR League

    Well, after playing a lenthy game, my friends and I came to the conclusion that, as Russia, you have to play an aggressive first turn.  For me, I went full throttle into the Ukraine and wiped it out, then took West Russia as well.  From there on out, I usually would either create two stacks in two adjacent areas, or just leave one or two cannon fodder pieces behind, while I regrouped in the areas behind.  By doing this, I could hit with a bigger stack the next time around and then keep that area with assurance.  So a word of advice to all, even though everyone knows this: take the Ukraine with all major hardware.  It takes out the fighter, and, in a way, shakes the German player’s resolve, forcing them to make decisions.

  • Fox- it actually isn’t that obvious to people to take out the Ukraine. Alot of people that post here take out Belorussia and W Russia on R1 instead, and I’ve been trying to get conversation going about the Ukraine move, but I’ve met some resistance to it.

    What you said sums it up- Germany has more difficult decisions to make, and a few less pieces to make them with. The battles become just a little less sure without the extra Armor and Fighter, and the Ukraine has to be retaken, resulting in a smaller stack in either the Ukraine, Karelia or in E Europe. I always plan my German move expecting to have only 5 Fighters, and when I have 6 I’m freakin’ happy.

    An aggressive Russian purchase of 3 Inf 3 Arm also gives Russia the opportunity- for a round or two only- to have a large enough threat to make Germany hesitant to come forward. It gains the initiative for Russia on the front for a short time which is a precious commodity.

    I think the issue is that most people cringe at the idea of using up the Artillery and several Armor it’ll take for Russia to kill the Ukraine, but I completely believe that it’s worth it in the long run.

  • The one thing about ukraine is that it is a riskier battle. Well, it is certainly riskier than west russia in terms of dice. Belorussia is a bit closer, but the end result if you did west russia/belorussia and belorussia went south was that it was only 3 inf. Ukraine is not a battle that is always won, though it usually is. Still, even in LowLuck it can go wrong. I would suggest that anyone who is planning to take Ukraine takes a look at the board with ukraine held with 1 arm, 1 fig, and the russian 3 inf, art, 2 arm dead, and see what they will do. If you cannot come up with something you feel comfortable with doing at that point, then I would not suggest you do ukraine, because it is a very real possibility. I still think it’s worth it, but when it goes south it does set russia back moreso than the west russia/belorussia move. I’d say just be aware of the consequences, and think of something to do when the consequences are poor, because it will happen.

  • The one thing about ukraine is that it is a riskier battle. Well, it is certainly riskier than west russia in terms of dice.

    Mathematically, a full Ukraine attack isn’t that far off from a full West Russia attack (96% for Ukraine, 99% for West Russia). The difference however is that a full Ukraine attack leaves your West Russia attack at about 80%, and anything less than a full Ukraine attack begins to get risky. Also, the Ukraine attack usually exposes your tanks.

  • Hmmm, I’m not so sure about that trihero. If I attack ukraine with…

    3 inf, 1 art, 2 arm, 2 figs

    then that leaves for west russia…

    9 inf, 1 art, 2 arm. I guess you are talking about a full ukraine attack, so that’d be 3 arm in ukraine and 1 arm in west russia. So, with 9 inf, 1 arm, 1 art in west russia, you are looking at as you say about a 99% chance, don’t you? I mean, 9 inf, 1 arm, 1 art vs. 3 inf, 1 art, 1 arm? Then in ukraine you have 3 inf, 1 art, 3 arm, 2 figs vs. 3 inf, 1 art, 1 arm, 1 fig. You’ll say that’s about 96%. Attacking without that extra armor still gives you a greater than 80% chance. I very often keep the armor back and use it against west russia instead, because as you say, you will lose armor in a counter. Maybe my odds for west russia while doing the ukraine attack are very off for some reason…

    With the extra armor in west russia that is a sure win, so you have about a 20% failure rate in ukraine. It’s probably more than that if don’t want to risk your fighters at all. I usually play lowluck so ukraine is always valid percentage-wise, so I guess I should have taken that into account.

    I still think the move is valid though, even with “only” a 80% success rate. The question is, do you think it would be legitimate if you were guaranteed to take out ukraine and in return lose 2 armor? I can see that losing 3 would be worse news, but I am willing to trade 2 arm, 1 art 3 inf for 3 inf, 1 art, 1 arm, 1 fig. I would not be willing to trade 3 arm for that same amount as russia.

  • I’m not sure if Ukraine is a good attack. I was just saying that if you do a full Ukraine attack mathematically you have a 96% chance to win, but then you leave West Russia with about 80% chance with the rest of your forces.

  • Are you sure that 9 inf, 1 arm, 1 art vs. 3 inf, 1 art, 1 arm is a 80% chance? I am pretty sure it is not…

  • Whoops sorry. I was thinking about something else, doing a triple attack (belo/west/ukraine). If you do a triple attack some of those chances are 80%, you’re right 9 inf 1 arm 1 art is 99%.

    I’m on the fence about the ukraine attack. I’ve gone from extremely enthusiastic to lukewarm on it. It does get rid of a lot of German gear, but it exposes your tanks. Sometimes Germany can afford the effort to take out those tanks, and sometimes not.

  • I would definitely expect the germans to counter the tanks, to me it is completely worth it for germany to do so. However, I estimate the trade of 2 russian armor, 1 artillery, 3 inf to be well worth 1 german armor, 1 art, 1 fig, 3 inf. I could see how it may not be worth it for some though. I just hate german figs.

  • i like to strafe ukraine, 3 inf, i art and three armor, if first round is good and german roll is weak, hit again if your infantry is toast pull back for next round.  it does leave them that extra fighter so it is a real tough call either way. i have tended to pull back rather than lose 3 tanks but i might try the other next time to see what kind of footing it leaves germany.  its just hard to sacrifice those tanks!

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