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What's the best buy for Russia?



  • Let’s say you’re Russia, facing the first turn of a major Barbarossa- including an Italian force to hit Bryansk. You need to keep those 20 pieces in the East to pressure Japan (even if only a little bit). What do you buy? Where’s the fine line between fortifying Moscow and buying time? I would assume it’s important to fortify Archangel for the UK fighter inflow, so I would probably stack Leningrad. Obviously, Moscow will need reinforcing. Other than that though, I’m not sure what you should build.


  • 2019 2018

    My personal preference is to strike a balance between fortifying Moscow and building a mobile force with which I can launch counterattacks to slow the Axis advance. Typically, my USSR purchases for the first few turns are along these lines:

    5 Infantry
    2 Mech Infantry
    2 Armor

    I tend to mass the mobile force in Bryansk and strike when and where necessary.



  • @The:

    My personal preference is to strike a balance between fortifying Moscow and building a mobile force with which I can launch counterattacks to slow the Axis advance. Typically, my USSR purchases for the first few turns are along these lines:

    5 Infantry
    2 Mech Infantry
    2 Armor

    I tend to mass the mobile force in Bryansk and strike when and where necessary.

    Thank you! I will use this purchase next time I play Russia.



  • Nothing beats infantry except maybe AA if Germany and Italy are going with aircraft, you should only use tanks and mech if you’re feeling balsy enough to help China or to try and Spread Communism.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    Don’t fortify Leningrad. Heaps of troops can be cut off there.



  • @simon33:

    Don’t fortify Leningrad. Heaps of troops can be cut off there.

    I am kind of in a different boat with that, I say defend it but make sure your forces can escape from it.



  • Depends on other factors too…

    1. G-1 buy

    2. Did Germany manage the Yugo slide… moving it’s forces from GSG to Romania

    3. Did either of UKs fleets (SZ 110/111) survive?

    4. What was the bid and where was it placed…


  • 2018 2017 2016

    1 Tactical Bomber (to pair with fighters or tanks)
    2 Artillery
    1 Tank
    4 Infantry

    Don’t be scared to defend Leningrad. Look for an opportunity to jump on boats in the Baltic Sea until it’s time to vacate Leningrad. Look for every opportunity to kill Germans with your planes while retreating to Moscow. Don’t just run back there and hide behind Olga’s skirt. Make them earn every inch of territory.


  • 2019 2018 2017

    Six tanks. Three in Novgorod, three in the Ukraine.

    I haven’t tried it, and I most certainly haven’t invented it, but it seems like a good plan. All credit for the idea goes to Gargantua: https://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=40640.0



  • @AxisAndAllies1940:

    Let’s say you’re Russia, facing the first turn of a major Barbarossa- including an Italian force to hit Bryansk. You need to keep those 20 pieces in the East to pressure Japan (even if only a little bit). What do you buy? Where’s the fine line between fortifying Moscow and buying time? I would assume it’s important to fortify Archangel for the UK fighter inflow, so I would probably stack Leningrad. Obviously, Moscow will need reinforcing. Other than that though, I’m not sure what you should build.

    If Germany attacks Russia on the first turn than you need to get units to the frontline immediately. Mechanized infantry would be suitable here being able to be produced in Moscow and reach either the North or the South. You also need your own air support. Against an opponent with more airpower, more mechanized infantry, more tanks, and more income the last thing you want to do is get into an enormous dice rolling battle at your capital. If you stack Moscow well and delay a G6 attack, chances are Germany will be able to put in enough resources towards capturing your capital the following turn or the next after that. They will bomb you past your capacity to repair. You have to get aircraft because you need to kill as many German units as possible. Tanks are fantastic and should be purchased, however the best Russia games that you will have will be ones where you can kill a large stack of axis units and create a setback. If all of your powerful units are tanks and artillery they will be consumed in a counterattack. Aircraft can escape the danger zone and return to a factory in need of protection.

    Mechanized infantry and aircraft can fight a defensive war on an enormous front giving you the option to not only defend your factories, but also project considerable counteroffensive pressure.

    You can never buy time if you never attack. Russia has to attack Germany. You cannot win a retreating war and if you attempt to delay with blockers Italy will clean them up. You have to capture territory back from Germany without losing your ability to do it again. Try to purchase 1 aircraft every turn with Russia in your next game.


  • 2016 2015 '10

    Infantry are your best bet to counter a Barbarossa.

    However (in 2nd edition Global) its wise to buy some mechanized units on R1 to help out in the Middle East and China.

    So I typically buy 5 inf 1 art 3 mech 1 arm.  But as others have noted, what you should buy should depend on G1.

    But after that, if it’s a hard Barbarossa, I’m generally buying infantry plus a few artillery and mechs.

    The main strategic orientation should be defending Moscow but also do what you can to deny Germany income, which includes preventing them from getting Ukraine, Leningrad, Stalingrad, and Cauc for as long as possible.



  • An alternate strategy is to use the Bid money wisely, to prevent a G-2 hold of Eastern Poland.
    If Soviets can place 1 Art in
    West Ukraine,
    Leningrad
    Belarus and
    Ukraine
    as part of the bid

    Then with buy of 6 Tanks on R1 in frontlines, the German forces in E. Poland can be exterminated on R-2


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    It matters a lot which turn the attack is coming for you. If you’re looking at an I1/G2 declaration of war, with Italy building a mech and a tank turn 1 to help with can-openers, and Germany buying land units on turn 1 (especially mechs/tanks), then on R2 I would build something like 7 inf, 4 art. Your goals should be to (1) prevent Germany from taking Moscow on G6, and (2) force Germany to lose enough tanks taking Moscow on G7 that they don’t have enough left over to blitz into Persia with significant forces. You can’t hope to stop Italy’s huge can-openers with no prep time, so your stack(s) have to reach Moscow before the German tanks are two spaces away. That probably means evacuating Leningrad on R3.

    Fortunately, in this scenario, you don’t have to worry as much about delaying the Axis income surge, because the Axis spent so little time on the western front that UK likely still has a large fleet, no Sea Lion threat, etc., and Italy will not have time to take Greece, let alone Egypt – so the UK will be pounding hard at France by UK4, with serious threats to both Western Germany and Rome, even if US is going primarily against Japan. The Axis are going to be losing the income game even if they take Leningrad, Archangel, and Ukraine early. You need to at least trade the Stalingrad factory so that the Germans can’t build there until later in the game (that’s part of what the artillery are for), and if you can slow the Germans down by a turn on one of your flanks, great, but the top priority has to be getting large stacks of hit points back toward Moscow. If Germany builds strategic bombers, either get Britain to fly you a couple of fighters, or build a third fighter yourself and park your air force in Moscow – you need to be able to build there, which means you need to be able to intercept enemy bombers at a profit.

    On the other hand, if you’re looking at an I2/G3 declaration of war, with Italy building air force or navy on turn 1 and giving Britain problems in the Med, that’s when I agree with all the other commenters that you need to be more aggressive. I like the 4 inf, 2 art, 1 tank, 1 tac idea – that’s nice and balanced, gives you plenty of options. The extra turn of Russian income means you can afford to buy a more aggressive set of units and try to deny landing spaces to the Axis…but it also means more responsibilities. Britain will be nearly exhausted after losing all its fleets and wrestling with a 20-IPC Italy, so you can’t expect much British aid, and you also can’t afford to give away Leningrad and Ukraine early because at that point the Axis are dangerously close to outproducing the Allies in Europe. I would plan on building 3 mechs a turn in Leningrad through about R4, then evacuate on R5 so that the mechs can make it to Moscow on R6 to defend against a G7 attack.


  • 2018 2017

    We should start with the principle that in OOB play, or even modest bid play, Russia has so many structural weaknesses that no matter what you buy, the Axis should be able to detonate you by turn 6-8.    Exactly what type of game you are playing will color the answer to your query.

    In OOB play with bid, the bid often goes to making the Allies tougher, outside of Russia.  In this case, you are likely to get Stratbombed into the history books, which means that you will have to frontload your bulk purchases of 3 and 4 cost units early in the game when you still have 19 production slots.  Within a few turns, you are likely to have base 13 production, with some damage–so that buying more expensive units is better later, because you need to heal fewer slots to produce them with.  Leaving factories damaged is a key part of cagey play but you will have to fix something sometime, or produce nothing.

    In BM air interception (whether you play with the full suite of BM or other mods), you are less vulnerable to SBing.  Still, I suggest bidding at least 1 fighter, and buying at least 1 more on turn 1.    With 4 fighters, you would be able to deter most unescorted bombers, and retain your production slots for later.  SB is the easiest way the Axis can paralyze you, and they can still do it with BM rules, since you as the defender need fighters to take advantage of the rule.  Plus, you cant cover more than 1 or 2 factories at a time.

    Many players offer up a stronger offense–buying tanks, or artillery.  This idea is pretty good for forcing the “E Poland Stack” where Germany can’t stack up right next to you for fear of getting hit before he can present a solid positional defense.  Unfortunately, attacking with Russia only hastens its demise, and so this is largely relegated to threat rather than being able to survive attritional warfare.  There are many games where I buy artillery but after 1-2 rounds of offensive or defensive battle, have few or no infantry left to match them with anyway.

    Combining some fairly large bid, friendly allied pieces from ME, flown-in fighters, and modifications to the game to keep Axis income, can-opening and SBing to a modest limit, Moscow can be kept alive.    If Moscow is still alive before Japan can sneak in the back door–the Allies may be able to invade Scandinavia, Leningrad, or come up in force from the middle east and stymy Germany further.    Still, once Germany has all the Russian factories to work with, and most of Russia’s money, it is only a matter of time.

    I would also caution that while there is much you can do in Yunnan, and with the 20 pieces in the east, that these plans assure Moscow’s fall, or at least anticipate it (knowing Moscow will fall you do something else).

    Also, if you are ignoring Italy with UK and are using the USSR Cheezbombing strategy (taking somalia and tobruk with USSR) you’ll need some mechs and armor for that.    I’ve seen this save the bulk of Russian income–but some players HR this out because…its cheezebombing.

    Buy now; 1 fighter, infantry
    buy later; artillery to match

    if bids or mods give Russia a survival edge
    buy now; 1 fighter, 1 tac
    buy later; whatever you like



  • In typical games, it is almost impossible for Russia to come out ahead in trades.  Even an exchange of 3 German infantry for 2 Russian infantry is essentially a tie in terms of net benefit for the inevitable Moscow attack.

    I do like to have some arts purchased early so that Germany has to bring in reinforcing fighters on G3-G5 moves close to Moscow.  If I am behind as the Allies at that point and have a 10+% chance of victory, I might be tempted to make a desperation attempt at winning the game.

    Sometimes I know that the opponent loves to play for the economic victory by sweeping into the Middle East prior to sacking Moscow.  Those are the games where additional fast movers make a big difference because additional forces must be left behind the main German advance.



  • The only possible way USSR can get ahead of the Axis barring outside factors would be if Germany does something foolish and double down on Africa or Sea Lion. Germany has a 100% win over USSR if both sides play perfect, I am not quite sure if that is what the game creators intended or an oversight but it makes for sometimes a very boring game as Germany will smash France and then smash USSR and USSR WILL need help from the allies usually with something as cheap as fighters.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    I agree with all of that, and I also am often surprised by how often people keep funneling large numbers of fighter planes into Moscow without thinking about whether it’s still cost-effective.

    Like, let’s say you have 3 British fighters hanging out around Egypt on turn 4, and you’ve already sunk the Italian fleets. Your opportunity cost for moving them to Moscow is almost zero, and the Moscow battle on turn 6 / turn 7 is often close enough that even 3 fighters could either take out 10 German tanks or delay the German conquest of Moscow for a full turn, allowing Russia to collect and spend another 20 IPCs or so, even after repairing damage from strategic bombing. You might also buy a critical turn for the Siberian guards to arrive in Moscow and lend their defensive weight to Moscow. This is hugely cost-effective and you should always do it.

    But if you’ve already sent those 3 British fighters, and then you build 4 more British fighters plus 6 American fighters every turn and send the whole stack to Moscow on turn 8, now you’re spending 100+ IPCs per turn of Allied resources to protect a Russian economy that’s now earning 10 IPCs or less per turn thanks to the loss of Archangel, Urals, Stalingrad, Caucasus, Siberia, and so on. The opportunity cost here is huge: you’re essentially committing the entire Allied economy for several turns simply to defend the single fixed point of Moscow. While you’re doing so, you’re very unlikely to make progress elsewhere on the board; in fact, you’re likely to lose ground. This strategy is unsustainable and mostly pointless – those same fighters (or the money that went into them) could have been used to sink the Japanese main fleet, to take France/Norway/Denmark/Italy, to support an American factory in Korea, to support an Indian fleet that can retake the money islands – whatever else it is that needs doing.

    Yes, once Moscow falls, you’re on the clock: you’ve got to accomplish one of these five goals relatively quickly or else you lose the game.

    • take and hold Paris

    • take and hold Rome

    • take and hold Tokyo

    • establish such a strong defense in the Middle East (e.g. triple factories in Egypt, Persia, and Iraq) that the Germans can’t break through in force

    • wreck the German economy by taking Norway, Denmark, and Western Germany and credibly threatening to take Berlin if they don’t pull back and turtle

    That said, you’ve got more time than you think, especially if you can use some or all of the Moscow stack to hold terrain more strongly than an Italian can-opener can crack. If you can limit the German advance to one territory per turn, it’s a long road to Egypt: the Germans take Moscow turn 8, re-take the Caucasus on turn 9, take northwest Persia on turn 10, Iraq on turn 11, Jordan on turn 12, and Egypt on turn 13. If you’re going to win at all as the Allies, you really should be able to get one of those goals accomplished by the end of turn 13 – if you can’t do it by turn 13, you probably won’t ever be able to do it, so you should surrender and congratulate the Axis on a good game. Just my two cents.



  • Historically, Hitler would have crushed Russia if he put 100% of his resources to that invasion. Instead he spread his spending on multiple theaters, losing everywhere.  A smarter leader would have conquered Russia and built up a stronger defense against Allied liberation. Eventually there might have been a stalemate, but I will leave this to actual historians.  Likewise, Japan would have done better if they hadn’t misunderestimated America.

    I don’t see allied fighters in Moscow as a waste. You can instantly flee when the odds are not in your favor. You can also strafe German pushes to Siberia. If you can win the strike in one turn, there will be essentially neutral TUV exchange even if his stack is primarily infantry. Straight up trades is not that bad for the Allies.

    I disagree about the win or lose by turn 13. With Dark Skies type plans, the projection of power into multiple zones can tip the benefit to the Axis if the economies are similar.



  • @Arthur:

    Historically, Hitler would have crushed Russia if he put 100% of his resources to that invasion. Instead he spread his spending on multiple theaters, losing everywhere.  A smarter leader would have conquered Russia and built up a stronger defense against Allied liberation. Eventually there might have been a stalemate, but I will leave this to actual historians.  Likewise, Japan would have done better if they hadn�t misunderestimated America.

    I don�t see allied fighters in Moscow as a waste. You can instantly flee when the odds are not in your favor. You can also strafe German pushes to Siberia. If you can win the strike in one turn, there will be essentially neutral TUV exchange even if his stack is primarily infantry. Straight up trades is not that bad for the Allies.

    I disagree about the win or lose by turn 13. With Dark Skies type plans, the projection of power into multiple zones can tip the benefit to the Axis if the economies are similar.

    I disagree, Wehrmacht going all in USSR taking on the second largest industrial nation in the world being backed by the 1st and 3rd is not going to go well for Germany but then again, the end game was never to conquer USSR.


  • 2018 2017 2016

    Basically you could buy 12 Inf each round and get want you want.
    The best buy would be what you actually want to achieve.

    Six Arms round 1 or two is not bad,  neither a 4 Artys rest Inf buy a couple of turns or you buy a Ftr and Inf.
    As long as you know what exactly you want to do with all them?!

    Make it difficult for Germany to get to and get Moscow after all, even when it means you abondoning Moscow and Block the Gateway to the south.


  • 2019 2018

    The most effective russian players I’ve encountered are the ones that are able to build up a force that is able to threaten a counter on a german stack. If a good german player wants to go for Moscow they are able to get it, however I’ve seen plenty games where the UK/USA are putting enough pressure on the  German player for him to stop just in front of Moscow. If the Russian player only has bought inf at this point there is not much of a threat for the German player to keep russia contained and slowly kill it economically. However if there is a stack of paired inf/art the pushback power is a lot bigger and thus Germany can be challenged and Russia may be able to break the German wall.


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