Mechanized Russia


  • 2017

    @weddingsinger
    I’ve played against a group in Nashville a few times. They like Allies. This was several years ago. They bought mech mainly for defense. Mech could drive up to Belarus quicker and reinforce the defense stack. Mech could work for Russia on the front end (maybe slowing down) the German advance into Russia. But I don’t think it will work against a good German player or really be very helpful on the back end like turn 6 or 7. All of those mech in Moscow instead of artillery.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    I tried this in a face-to-face game against Karl7, who of course is very good with the German pieces, and wound up losing Moscow on G6 on a German attack that had 91% odds – but Germany lost about 80% of its stack taking Moscow, so it was likely that the Middle East would have held, and almost certain that Cairo would have held. We ultimately scooped at least as much because the Western Allies didn’t have a sufficient compensatory attack as because the German drive was unstoppable. Like, the Allies were able to barely take Rome on UK6 using a one-two punch, but trading both Moscow and Calcutta for Rome is not a good trade.

    I think my main mistake was that on R2 I placed slow movers up front in Vyborg with fast movers behind the lines in Leningrad, with the idea of maximizing my threat to Finland. This might have worked fine if the Allies were swarming toward Norway, but the British Atlantic fleet was wiped out, there were German subs in the Atlantic, and the British and Americans were both focused on beating up Italy in the Mediterranean. Without Anglo-American pressure on Norway, the Russians can’t afford to invest too much against Finland. Karl7 was able to temporarily retreat all Finnish forces into Norway, and just come right back to Finland after Leningrad was dead zoned by the advancing Baltic States stack. I held Finland for one turn, and then I wound up with 10 slow movers stuck in Vyborg, unable to either kill the reinforced Finnish stack or safely stack up in Leningrad.

    What I should have done was put the fast movers in Vyborg and the slow movers in Leningrad – that way I could have moved the entire stack to Archangel or Belarus to join up with the rest of my forces to form one mega-stack capable of temporarily holding out against the main German forces. Instead I was defeated in detail. All of my armies except the 10 inf/art in Vyborg and a blocking force of 4 inf + 1 AAA ultimately made it home to Moscow for the G6 battle, which is a somewhat impressive recovery rate (if I do say so myself) given that I was playing far enough forward that Germany wasn’t able to build any units in either Leningrad or Kiev until G6. Still, 15 armies is still too many to lose when you’re building mechs; the point of mechs is to get damn near everybody home.

    I’ll try the strategy again with the proper configuration of fast and slow movers in another game and let you all know how it goes. Keep the faith! The Allies will find an answer to the German mech/tank rush.


  • 2020 2019 2018

    @Argothair
    Nice report. Mechs are so versatile, they are challenging to play. Truly a great addition by Larry.



  • @Ichabod More or less agree completely.

    So far going mechanized means you can capitalize on German mistakes, which is harder to do with single movers. Certainly it would mean if the German player does something different (Sea Lion), Russia will be a force.

    The 3rd part I’m not so sure of is whether the extra defense at the start really does slow even a disciplined, good German player down a turn. If it does, its worth it since Russia ends up with the same number of units (with the extra turn of buys) and has an extra round of Allied help.


  • 2018 2017

    the oob game is too imbalanced for this to make a positive difference. G1 can buy an extra turn, endgame is G5-6 now. I recommend modding the game as I have laid out before. Russia cannot take iraq or scandanavia because these are needed for allied factories controlled by powers that can afford that. pieces left west are cut off and destroyed.



  • @taamvan I’m inclined to agree about original game… I’ve been testing mostly in balanced mod to some success.

    I am happy to report that mechanized Russia will absolutely punish Germany for Sea Lion. In one case an opponent did a delayed Sea Lion (land on Scotland G3, London G4) and Russia took Berlin R5. That game was all artillery R1 and then mechs/tanks R2 and R3, then more planes.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @weddingsinger Agree; I won an in-person game recently after buying 9 mechs on R1 and 8 mechs / 1 tank on R2 against a German Sea Lion. The Germans took London, along with heavier-than-expected casualties, on G3, but the Germans never pushed the Soviets out of Romania and the Russians wound up out-earning the Germans (trading 4+ of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Finland each turn) by about R5. The Axis scooped when they saw that the US didn’t even need to liberate London; Russia could hold Germany off all on its own while the Western Allies contained and rolled back Japan.

    Granted, this involved some luck on the defending dice for London (Germany should have had additional air force survivors) and some sub-optimal positioning for German defenders (with a bit more advance planning, Germany probably could have held more of Eastern Europe), but it still felt like a board where you definitely wanted to be playing the Allies.

    I would say that mechanized Russia makes a much weaker defense of London possible. I bought 2 inf, 1 ftr for London while sending away 2 infantry to Gibraltar and sending the entire British starting air force to either Taranto or to pick off a sub off the coast of Canada (meaning that the fighter had to land in Canada and couldn’t return in time to defend against a G3 Sea Lion). I think that was slightly too weak; if I had that game to do over I would have bought 3 inf, 1 ftr for London and perhaps not sent the fighter to Canada (sending only a DD instead) to kill the German sub…but the fact that my pathetic defense worked anyway was a sign of just how powerful MechaRussia is against Sea Lion.



  • @Argothair I’m sort of debating whether Russian bombers become worthwhile when you see Sea Lion since you can hit Berlin hard and use them for other things on your attacks.

    For those who do want to invade with Russia, hit the Slovakia pathway because German transports can hit the coasts. Tanks in Slovakia force German/Italian blockers in Southern Germany, etc but unless you’ll be able to take Berlin, push south and gobble up all that precious money… take N. Italy if you can…


  • 2018 2017

    are yall drunk on the power of a string of allied victories? neither type of bomber meets the goal of stack/positional defense or strat bombing defense.

    I liked lots of mechs for rus in the past but armor and fighters are more game changing and dont req as many free production slots


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Ha. Yeah, I think buying Russian bombers is a bridge too far – Germany has quite a large ground force in central Europe even after loading 10 transports to go to London, so Russia needs a large ground force that can stand next to it and trade hits. If you buy bombers before you get rich then you’re just asking to have your stack mauled on a German counter-attack. The Italians can still can-open for the Germans even if the Russian stack is in East Poland!

    Maybe you buy 1 or 2 bombers in the endgame to finish Berlin off, but not until after Russia is pulling in 60+ IPCs.

    Taamvan, what’s this about free production slots? For the first few turns Russia has 19 factory slots and only 37 IPCs, so how do you run out of slots?


  • 2018 2017

    I like a sturmovik or buggy as much as the next guy, but maybe buy mech with uk pac and send it west. You guys are musing russia raging and there are many fun things for germany to do by waiting until G3. But im usually playing with a russia missing half its factories and bombed the rest.

    Overall the consensus seems to be that sea lion and threats of are valuable parts of the playbook but present an overall drain on germany resources vis all the allies in the mid game when you want to take the big $$. I cant think of any version g 4X/bm where reviving uk atl isnt the first allied move usa cant go all pac when uk is dead or dying bc its right on the sz 91 path of potential targets



  • I find buying 2 tanks per turn and the rest on infantry gives the Russians a lot of bite (minimum 8 tanks by t4, 12 by t6) for offense or defence.

    Pull back, let Germany advance and extend their support lines (and split their air power from the west) then hit them with a few efficient raids to deplete their infantry. The key is to hit and retreat - and any expose the more expensive German tanks/artillery if they continue advancing, effectively bringing them to a halt.



  • @Caesar-Seriona

    What if your intention is not to hold Moscow? That changes the equation, Russia can influence the pacific and still keep germany honest as long as it is willing to lose Moscow but not its stack. Moscow can be retaken, it is not a game loser to lose Moscow.


  • 2018 2017

    @Bubc That is sort of true, but losing Moscow before T6-T7 when the Western Allies can begin to put pressure on Germany is a game loser.

    If the Russians move most or all of their forces out of the way, Germany can just waltz into Moscow. That’s why the defense always culminates there. In a KGF, Japan is also so rich that its not far behind Germany in wrecking Russia’s best (2>) money.

    If Germany is unlucky and has lost alot of air and fodder, or loses everything in the culminating battle and only has 1 hunk of guys left defending Germany, then the game isn’t necessarily decided by the fall of Moscow. But Japan (with little USA pacific committ) can easily take its VCs on that board.



  • @Bubc Wrong, it is game over if Moscow is lost. USSR should always have pressure on Moscow regardless if it wants to sit on it or not. If Germany is not going east, it will stop anything coming from the west.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    The way to think about losing Moscow is: “what compensation am I getting?” It’s like losing your queen in chess. Can you still win? Sure. Are you going to win if you can’t point to the massive, obvious advantages that you’ve accumulated that outweigh the value of the queen? No. You’re not going to just ‘get lucky’ or ‘have a fighting chance’ if you lose Moscow and don’t get much in return.

    On the other hand, if you can trade Moscow for 5 or more active, sustainable Allied factories in Normandy, Southern France, Southern Italy, Norway, Finland, Leningrad, Egypt, Persia, and/or Iraq, then that’s probably a good trade, especially if you also hang on to India and Australia.

    If Moscow isn’t lost but is merely misplaced for the moment in that Germany is sitting in Moscow but can’t necessarily afford to keep it, because there are 50+ Russian units camped in the Urals, then maybe only 3 of those factories would be needed to even things up.

    We could (and should!) quibble over exactly how much compensation the Allies need, but claiming that losing Moscow is “no big deal” or that losing Moscow is “game over” is at best an oversimplification, and often quite silly.



  • @Argothair

    i think you have it exactly
    buying a few mech and tanks for the russians will convince Germany that to go big stack and go straight for Moscow, Russia can feign a turtling defense while at the same time sending a few fast movers west to China (KJF), a few infantry north to Norway to support a US invasion and/or troops to the middle east to facility a UK shuck or factory, at the same time backing off the main stack in moscow when the Germans get ready to make their strike. What are you accomplishing by losing your stack in Moscow any way by the time the germans get there your production capabilities are very limited.
    The original question was about fast movers for Russia, the question is are those fast movers good for making a difference somewhere, i think they can make a huge difference in the middle east, india and china and possibly Norway and its a flexible response too depending on your choice to go KJF or KGF.
    I will differ to the more experienced players now but i think it has potential.


  • 2018 '16

    So i tried this today on Triple A. Went all mechs R1, then all arty R2, it was a G3 DOW. I had Finland, Norway, Romania. So i’ve gotten some good paydays and this has allowed the US and UK to begin to bug Germany on the West Coast. i’ve enjoyed this so far and at the onset of turn 6(where we currently saved) Germany has made no progress other than recapturing Norway and taking Leningrad and Archangel which Archangel will be easily recaptured. Ukraine, W Ukraine, Bryansk, Smolensk and everything east still under heavy guard and threat.

    I like this so far. I will post additional updates as we continue.



  • @seancb try flipping the order, so R1 buy 6 artillery, then buy mechs and/or tanks so the artillery are available right away.

    If it looks like a slow play Germany I may buy 3 more art for the northern factory on R2



  • So here is a scenario (balanced mod) where mechanized Russia helps, though its too early to know how much…

    It is after R2 in the image.

    G1 buy is all about Russia (6 mechs and 1 tank)
    R1 responds with 3 art and 4 tanks

    On R2, realizing Germany can NOT take Eastern Poland safely, even with an Italian can opener, Russia buys another 3 art and 6 mechs (66% chance for Russian win, if Italy blocks the 3 mechs in the south its still a 55+% victory for Russia)

    Depending on G3, its possible R3 I’ll even buy a tactical or two, if it’ll give me a shot at victory on R4. In either case, the Russian purchases get enough units to the front to slow down Germany a full round and create threats going forward.
    russia.jpg


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Very interesting; thanks for sharing the concrete example! I hadn’t seen anyone throw their entire stack of infantry into Belorus before on R2 (you’re abandoning Scandinavia without a fight), but I can see why you’d want to.

    One minor tweak that I would suggest is sending 1 infantry to Bessarabia to partially block the Italian tank – otherwise it can blitz through Bessarabia into Western Ukraine on I2, and then your 3 mechs in Ukraine can’t reach Eastern Poland on R3. Alternatively, the Italian tank can blitz through Eastern Poland to Bessarabia on I2, and then the Germans can send one mech to cut you off in Western Ukraine while landing planes in Eastern Poland on G3.

    The fact that you are actually able to nearly stalemate the German player in this way is part of why I strongly prefer to take Greece with Italy if at all possible, and to try to strafe Yugoslavia with Germany on G1 and wind up in Romania with extra forces…if the German player were just a little more detail-oriented about getting his forces onto the front lines of eastern Europe, then your mechanized forces would not in fact be able to deadzone Eastern Poland.



  • @Argothair Also not sure why there was a purchase of 10 infantry for germany. Gives russia more time.


  • 2018 2017

    @Mursilis Yes this is a great idea but if germany can amphib leningrad it could kill all those goodies. Also as you point out if G had purchased mechs or tanks instead they could join the stack and bend the odds a bit more–though the threat is pretty high from those art/inf up front.

    Argo I think you’d need to block both bess and epoland to keep him from moving through


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @taamvan Agree with you re: infantry.

    This is very nitpicky, but disagree on blocking east Poland – there is only one Italian tank in Romania, so if you block Bessarabia then either it blitzes through East Poland to attack Bessarabia (in which case you can just go through West Ukraine to get to East Poland) or it blitzes through East Poland to occupy West Ukraine (in which case you can go through Bessrabia to get to East Poland).


  • 2018 2017

    @Argothair Ah yes, i see your point. And the mechs don’t need to blitz to do that, the question is only about blocking the 3 extra units with 1 blocker.


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