I have a very specific strategy that addresses this, but it’s only applicable/worth doing OOB. In LHTR you have outright better options available to you and in AA-Online (which uses 42.2 as a base) you can’t land FTRs on Allied Aircraft Carriers, so the strategy doesn’t exist.
Anyway, here goes:
- R1: Ignore Ukraine completely. Attack W. Russia with everything from Caucasus + all the 1-movers from Moscow. This should be enough to reliably take the territory with minimal losses. Also attack Baltic States with 2 INF/1 ART/1 TANK (tank is from Archangel). This will reliably take the territory, which is vital to cut off the German starting TANKs in Berlin. Lastly, use the 2 FTRs to kill the German Cruiser+TT in SZ5. You have good enough odds at doing this, and it will ensure that Germany can’t do an amphib against Karelia G1 (which denies them the Bombardment + 2 land units). During NCM, move everything to Karelia that can reach, and your AA Guns to W. Russia. Spawn 2 INF in Karelia and everything else in Moscow. Leave Caucasus empty, you can just retake it next turn if Germany over-extends.
Now, Germany can take Karelia under these circumstances if they send literally everything they have from Belorussia/Finland/Ukraine + all of their Air Units, but if they follow this strategy they give up killing the UK Fleet (the one with the BB), Egypt, and West Russia, which gives UK a ton of tools to work with and allows Russia to just do what they’d normally be doing anyway (turtling with INF in Moscow all game). Plus, the odds for the all-in on Karelia aren’t amazing, so if Germany loses they’ll find themselves in decently bad shape.
- B1: Buy 2 DD/1 CV. All of it is going to SZ7 (or whatever it’s called, the one between UK and SZ5). I can’t go into details on moves because it’s dependent on what Germany opens with, but you want to NCM your 2 FTRs onto the CV and NCM your Bomber into either West Russia of Moscow (depending on what Germany did/how likely USSR is to hold W. Russia through G2). Do whatever you’d normally do in the Pacific but don’t overextend.
I’m not going to get into Japan much here because they’re irrelevant to your question.
A1: Whatever you buy/do, at least make sure you wind up with 1 CV/2 FTRs in the SZ off the U.S. East Coast. This is vital to the strategy, do whatever you want otherwise.
R2: Assuming Karelia survived G1, pull everything back to West Russia and retake Caucasus ASAP. As IL said, if Caucasus goes Nazi long enough for them to spawn units there, you’re dead. From this point on there’s nothing special to the Soviet strategy, just don’t die.
Germany will take Karelia this turn. This is unavoidable and trying too hard to hold Karelia will result in you getting your stack wiped out and Germany getting Moscow by G4. You can’t afford to stick your neck out too far with Russia in this edition, as Germany’s starting units are way too strong for you to feasibly deal with for at least the first 5-6 rounds (unless your opponent builds navy or massively overextends).
- B2 is where the “FTR-Conga-Line” starts. Fly your FTRs from the Carrier you built last turn into Russia. Try sniping any territory where it’s just 1 INF. You can probably take out territories with 2 land units if you bring the Bomber with you as well. Do not buy more FTRs with UK, just stack India and build more navy. If Germany sank your Navy G1, buy another CV + more boats. Don’t forget to buy at least 3 INF for India every turn. If India dies Japan’s economy will be uncontrollable and they will inevitably break into Caucasus and win the game for the Axis.
Again, Japan’s off topic here.
- A2 is where it all comes together. In addition to whatever else you’re doing, fly the 2 FTRs you placed off the U.S. East Coast A1 -> SZ7 (where the currently empty UK CV is waiting for you). Also make sure to buy 2 new FTRs for the CV off U.S. East Coast.
For the rest of the game (or at least until Germany is contained), the flow for your Allied game will be:
Soviets: Defend yourself/control the territories immediately surrounding Moscow. Stack W. Russia and wait for your chance to retake Karelia/Ukraine and regain the initiative.
British: Keep India alive/use your starting Air Force to pick off small German/Japanese stacks. Eventually build up enough of a naval presence in Europe to start landing against Norway/Finland/Baltic States/Karelia.
USA: Do what you can in the Pacific, get Africa back under UK control. Buy 2 FTRs every turn, which will use a two-turn process to get to Russian territory:
Turn 0: Buy the 2 FTRs, spawn them on the Carrier off U.S. East Coast.
Turn 1: NCM those 2 FTRs to the British Carrier in SZ7.
Turn 2: Move those 2 FTRs into Russia. From there, they can act as a massive swarm, picking off increasingly large groups of Axis land units for minimal risk.
Again, this ONLY WORKS OOB. In 42SE, you can’t hold Karelia R1/attack the German Baltic Fleet because you need to attack Ukraine with everything that can reach in order to kill the German Bomber there. In AA-Online you can still use the strategy, but it takes additional investment from the US as they need to physically move the 1st CV they buy to SZ7 (which takes two turns), and build a 2nd CV to park off the U.S. East Coast. Fortunately, ranked AA-Online uses the LHTR so you don’t need to worry about this anyway.
I will be making a second post for what you can do in LHTR. Expect it to be much shorter than this one.