Russian strategy, offensive tactics



  • I always think, that russia is obviously one of the more important players in the game, for the allies anyways.  I think that a constant stradegy of partial defense and offence will keep the germans and japenese in check. 
    On your first turn, get two tanks, and four infantry.  To keep the germans/japanese in check, you must take the initiative, attack on all fronts, and cause as much damage as you can, and also collect the most ipc’s as possible.  By doing this the axis must concentrate only on you, not the other allies, mainly the united kingdom.  This allows them to build without problems from the axis.  At the end of turn place down units on archeangle to prevent capture, and so you can then easily strike southern europe next round.
    On second turn, alot of your units will be destroyed, and the japenese probeably have penetrated throuh the soviets eastern terriotries. and the germans problably diddn’t penatrate through most of your deffensives, just damaged them up a lot, now you build all infatry/artillary.  The reason for no tanks is because now you have to counter the japense forces.  You once again counter all attacks, and cunduct mass offesive movements.  Place all units in russia, so you can move easily in both directions.
    By round three you have just about nothing left due to counter attacks from germans and japenese. 
    But now your fellow allies have mounted forces against the axis, the americans in the pacific, and the 
    americans/united kingdom in europe.  This relives pressure on the russians.  Allowing them to only build tanks to help mop up remaing forces in erope and asia. 
    By round five a mass alled force would have landed on both asia and europe.  And russians will be rolling through the axis territories. 
    So what do you think about soviet offensive instead of defence? Any thoughts or comments?



  • Russia does have to take the offense, initially.

    West Russia is one of those moves that is so common that it is a “must do”  They also need to attack either Belorussia or Ukraine (but NOT both!)  This gives them extra IPC’s, and some cushion against Germany.

    In the east they go defensive, since they have no offensive units against Japan.  If you KNOW the UK player will take out the Kwang TRN, then stack 6 INF in Bury on R1.  Otherwise, stack to Yakut.  In R2, retreat to Yakut, where you will have 8 INF if all went well against Germany on R1.  Then HOLD Japan there for a couple of rounds before retreating again.

    As Russia, you simply CAN’T push back against Japan IF you plan on keeping Germany in check.  Income simply does not allow for it.

    Recently I just test gamed a strat where Russia went heavy against Japan in Asia, with Allied help.  Germany was in Archangel IN FORCE on G2 (6 ARM, 7 INF).

    So, the results of lots of games and lots of players is that Russia DEFENDS east, and ATTACKS west, with the caveat that Russia defense in the west takes priority… the attacks simply being income boosters and shielding of major territories (Caucuses, West Russia)



  • R1 i feel should most often always be west russia and ukraine.



  • There is a strong argument to be made for Belorussia rather than Ukraine.

    Both serve to shield your West Russia Stack.

    Belorussia preserves USSR tanks for future use
    Ukraine kills a German FIG.

    I’ll be honest… I tend to favor saving Russia’s offensive forces over killing 14% of the Luftwaffe in exchange for all of Russia’s tanks…
    And that means West Russia and Belorussia as R1 attacks.



  • yeah but it keeps germany from mobilizing a huge force and russians first turn purchase can be 3 tanks/3 infantry.  with a 3 tank placement in caucaus you now have a huge force to once again push against germany if they decide to try and move back into ukraine.  just my thoughts.



  • It has been play testes multiple times…

    You crush Ukraine on R2 if you want to take the gamble on it, using the West Russia Stack and your Caucuses forces.  Trying to trade Ukraine from the start leaves Russia very quickly without ARM.

    Also, a 3x3 R1 purchase is sub-optimal.



  • Once again I disagree, that just means you are leaving 6 german units (including an art/tank/fighter) in ukraine only to be further reinforced by german units from 3-5 other german countries, so on R2 you could be looking at a ton of guys in ukraine ready to push into caucaus, a ukraine hit totally negates germany even thinking of pushing into caucus until 2-3 turns later and even then that is questionable based on what everyone else does.  Everytime the allies have won the ukraine hit has been included so I am pretty biased in my belief



  • But with a well played West Russia Stack and Caucuses Defense on R1, Ukraine falls on R2, and takes even MORE German units with it.



  • Switch,

    I agree Belorussia should be taken, it forces the GER player to consolidate/retreat. RUS opening has to be very limited and very lucky.



  • I am also a fan of the Belo attack because I think Russia needs to save all offensive pieces it can to with stand the germans.  With a large West Russia stack and Inf and armor from R1 purchases you can put a huge dent in german offensive plans by taking Ukraine on R2.  From there I would invest in mainly inf for a few turns to reinforce then slip the occasional ARM or ART to bolster your force for when the cavalry comes



  • Urkaine on R2 can probaly be taken with limited forces. If the GER makes a play in that area.



  • I understand why W Russia/ Belorussia makes sense.

    To me the issue is one of choices and options, rather than IPC values etc. A successful attack against the Ukraine limits Germany’s opening choices. They have to kill the Russian armor in the Ukraine, so that’s one place they have to go. Only 5 German Fighters means that difficult choices need to be made regarding their usage.

    For example- we’ve all seen the Sub/ 3 Ftr opening against the British Battleship result in both a Sub and Fighter being lost- a 4th Ftr usually means you only lose the Sub. Killing the Battleship in one round also means a 33% chance that you keep the sub. Nice to have that sub as Germany.

    In Egypt- personally when I have 6 German Fighters one of them goes along with the Bomber to make sure the battle only lasts one round- otherwise the Brit Fighter will probably get to swing twice. The difference between having 1 Armor and 2 Armor in Egypt for Germany is huge. If you kill them in one turn you might even end up with an Inf left as well (50/50 chance in a 1 turn battle), which completely stops Britain from taking back Egypt on UK1, almost single-handedly ensuring that your economy ends up around 45-47 until the inevitable Allied cleansing of Africa.

    Finally, if Germany has to go to the Ukraine, the northern thrust is weakened. IMO Germany going heavy in the north is much more deadly to Russia. The typical lone Russian in Belorussia is an easy kill, whereas 2-3 Russian Armor in the Ukraine needs around 3-4 Inf and one of your Fighters to get the job done.

    A German Artillery and Armor are also nice to kill.

    Yes a Ukraine attack weakens Russia’s offensive capabilities, but it does the same to Germany.

    My final caveat is that I play the Axis with no bid. It’s a good challenge and a victory is more meaningful to me. The ability to add a German Infantry to either Libya or the Ukraine, along with a couple of extra IPCs to spend might change my thinking. As is I still think W Russia/ Belo is a smart opening- I just like the idea of crippling Germany in a more significant way right out of the gate.



  • Well said 88, I agree heartily that attacking Ukraine and WR is the way to go on R1.  Losing that armor to the counter on G1 does hurt, but I think the loss of the German Fighter hurts him more.

    Though it may not be totally smart, I’ll even hit Ukraine with an extra Inf from an Axis bid sitting there.  Killing that fighter (plus the art and arm there) is that important to me.



  • A very sneaky way to achieve both preservation of armor and thinning of Germany’s, is to get sent into stunning retreat on an R2 attack on Ukraine (4 inf, 1 fig vs. 2 very stubborn German inf), and forgetting to transfer West Russian stack to defend Caucasus.  Thus “tricking” your opponent into sending 3-4 armor blitzing G3 into Caucasus.  In a current game this has left me as the Allies with more Soviet tanks than panzers, giving me a glimmer of hope before massed Japanese come knocking on Moscow’s gates 😮

    Though if you try this brilliant strategy, I advise not having your UK bomber parked in Caucasus, kinda offsets any net IPC gain from killing German armor.



  • It’s ok, Bebo.

    I understand what you are saying.



  • In our gaming group we usually only strafe ukraine and take west russia and belorussia. So that we really slow the meat wall from germany.

    But taking ukraine is really good option, have anyone thought of taking norway too with russia? Attack norway with 3inf 1arm 1fig, attack ukraine with 3inf 1art 1arm 1fig and the must take w.russia. If these succeed making germany play their opening round with 4 fighters isn’t bad. But this is really taking chances…



  • The reward of attempting that much does not exceed the risk.

    While it may be mathematically possibly to eliminate two German fighters on the first turn, the losses for the Russians will outweigh any gains.



  • And the losses would be massive…
    Karelia would be bare.  West Russia would have little in it, as would Ukraine (you have to take it to kill the FIG).  And the Norway troops are out of position for defense of the Russia Front.

    A couple of amphibs, a couple of tanks and INF, some AF use…
    Russia is left with their R1 build, and nothing else against Germany…  That is a bleak Russian strat… Moscow about G3 or 4 anyone?


  • 2007 AAR League

    i usually hit ukraine and w russia on r1, seems to be the best option, 1less fig for the germans can result in a weak germany if things dont go well on g1


  • '10

    @Thamor:

    have anyone thought of taking norway too with russia?

    One reason not to attack is, like the others pointed out, it leave Russia very thin and out of position on the German front.

    Another (personal) reason is that I believe it is most beneficial for UK to take Norway.  It makes up for territory lost in other parts of the world so they can still pressure Germany fairly effectively.  Also, they do not lose any units in the taking of the territory as Germany generally evacuates Norway, given the chance.



  • In one of my last games the Russian player took Norway on R1 and stretched himself thin enough that Germany was able to take Moscow alone while Japan messed with the U.S…  I wouldn’t reccomend a Norway attack on R1.  Leave it for the UK or US.



  • If Russia wants to go offensive… maximize the West Russia Stack, then start moving toward Berlin, reinforcing with ARM to the stack, securing the supply line and the rest of your front with INF.

    You won;t make it to Berlin using that strat, but with some Allied pressure on the northern flank of your forward push, you can wreak havoc with Germany’s forces, and potentially castrate Germany of offensive units about the same time Russia is wiped out in their advance.  Then the Allies better be poised to continue the push, or Germany is going to rebuild faster than Russia and be on Moscow’s doorstep in a couple of rounds…



  • I think that without allied support it is hard for Russia to be offensive.  If the Japan and Germany players are on the same page then they are gunning for you.  I agree with switch that the West Russia stack is Russia’s primary offensive weapon but without aid from the other allies they can’t defeat Germany or Japan.  I suggest defending on the Japanese flank and picking your fights wisely on the German front until the UK and US fortify Karelia or attack Western Europe.  No matter how offensive you want to be your primary focus has to be holding Moscow because 99% of the time the Axis will be coming from both sides.


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