• The general consensus is that the Allies have an advantage in this game and overall I think this is true. From what I’ve gathered the Central powers need to take out Russia as quickly as possible and have Germany and Austria-Hungary simply defend in the west and the Ottomans just defend for the whole game. Then Germany and Austria-Hungary look to eliminate France and Italy before the British eliminate the Ottomans. There are other details to this of course such as a German invasion of Belgium, sinking the Royal Navy in the North sea and near Canada on turn 1 etc but this isn’t the point of this post.

    I wanted to suggest what I think is a good opening move for Austria-Hungary and gauge what people think of it and if the Allies can counter easily. I also want to say that this move is with OOB rules, using the Russian Revolution rule and having a house rule where Switzerland is impassable and not part of the game (I really don’t like the idea of powers being able to invade Switzerland).

    I advocate an Austro-Hungarian invasion of Romania on turn 1.

    Purchase: 4 infantry, 2 artillery and 1 fighter


    6 INF and 2 ART from Galicia to Romania
    4 INF and 2 ART from Budapest to Romania

    8 INF from Budapest to Serbia
    2 ART from Trieste to Serbia

    6 INF and 2 ART from Tyrolia to Venice
    6 INF from Trieste to Venice

    6 INF and 2 ART from Bohemia to Galicia
    3 INF from Vienna to Trieste
    9 INF and 2 ART from Vienna to Galicia

    At the end of the combat the Austro-Hungarians will be contesting Venice and will not declare another attack there until Russia is defeated. Statistically, both Serbia and Romania will be occupied by Austria-Hungary after the mandatory one round of combat. Also statistically, Austria-Hungary will lose 3 INF in Romania during the combat so will be left with 7 INF and 4 ART in Romania. This means that along the Russian border Austria-Hungary will have 22 INF and 8 ART, which is formidable. Plus the Germans start with 12 INF and 6 ART on the Russian frontier.

    I feel that this opening move really squeezes Russia and primes it for an invasion in turn 2 by Austria-Hungary (Germany will invade Poland on turn 1 with both armies from Prussia and Silesia). It also increases Austro-Hungarian production by 5 IPCs straight away and has a large force in Serbia ready to invade Albania in turn 2 (or respond if Italy activates Albania). You also get a foothold in Italy and defend just one territory from the Italians. By the time Russia is defeated the Italians will have kicked you out of Venice but then you as Austria-Hungary will able to use your whole production against them and you will easily drive them back.

    Hope you enjoyed this and I await any views/opinions.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18

    In my opinion, if you’re going to go heavy Kill Russia First, you’re best off either hitting Poland or stepping up to Galacia with as many of your units as possible. Hitting Poland is more viable OOB than in tournament rules, as Russia can’t 2-move its entire army to reinforce.

    Hitting Romania in particular is pointless IMO, as you’re trading a lot of units for it and saving Russia the trouble of walking an INF into Romania to activate it. you’re better off stacking Galacia heavily, as that territory borders both Ukraine and Poland (rather than Ukraine and Sevastopol). The idea behind this is that you’re trying to force Russia out of position, over-extending into Romania or Ukraine/Poland while ignoring the other front. Then, on turn 2, you can hit Romania with the Serbia guys, Ukraine with the Galacia stack, and Poland (assuming Russia counterattacked) with the Germans.

    I would also advise against simply ignoring Italy. If you dilly dally there too much, Italy will establish itself and start seriously pressuring you in Venice. If you drop Venice for even a moment, Austria’s economy will be in great danger, as Tyrolia (4 IPCs) and Trieste (4 IPCs) are both adjacent to Venice.

    So, specifically, I would make the following changes to your overall strategy:

    • Either hit Poland with the Galacia guys, or have them hold position.

    • Have the Budapest guys split up. ~4 INF/2 ART from Budapest to Serbia, everything else to Galacia to stack.

    • Everything from Trieste to Venice, instead of just the INF.

    • Everything from Bohemia to Poland, or have them go to Galacia as you said.

    • You might want to divert some of the Vienna guys to go towards Italy instead, but that’s on you. I admittedly have a bias towards killing Italy first as the Central Powers.

    Just trying to give some constructive feedback. Overall the idea of hitting Russia fast and hard is a good one, but if you go in too hard you’ll lose more AH INF than it’s worth.

  • Hi thanks for your reply 🙂

    I just wanted to say a couple of things.

    Firstly, the troops from Bohemia can’t move to Poland, so Austria-Hungary would be hitting Poland in the first turn with 6 INF and 2 ART which is weak in comparison to the Russian units defending.

    Secondly, if you invade Serbia with only 4 INF and 2 ART, you almost definitely won’t win the combat in round 1 and risk even losing (not in one turn obviously but I meant if you just left 4 INF and 2 ART to fight 3 INF and 1 ART and only Austria-Hungary declares attacks). So I don’t see how you can have an army in Serbia ready to respond to the Russians in Romania or the Italians in Albania. The Russians and Italians would be left open to attacking Budapest and Trieste which are worth a lot of IPCs. Some of the huge stack in Galicia could be used to hit Romania but that means troops that won’t move in to Ukraine in turn 2 so actually you end up with a situation where some of your troops will be in Romania in turn 2 but I feel that in my strategy the troops that end turn 1 in Romania will invade Ukraine in turn 2. You can also respond to the potential Italian incursion by moving quite a few of the Vienna units to Trieste in turn 1 but this means fewer troops going east. A large group in Serbia and a mere 3 INF from Vienna to Trieste let’s say is good enough to secure the western Balkans and to defend against Italy.

    This isn’t meant to be a thing where I have a go at you but simply a healthy debate.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18


    To respond to your points:

    • To be fair, I prefer stacking Galacia over hitting Poland AH1. I only brought up the possibility of hitting Poland as a hypothetical.

    • I don’t particularly care about winning in Serbia round 1. I only even attack Serbia at all because the rules of the game force you to. The rules of 1914 allow you to choose whether or not to press combat each turn, so you can simply have the Austrians not attack the Serbians each turn, which allows you to potentially roll 3s with your stack there instead of 2s (assuming the Entente presses combat).

    • That being said, I think I was a bit off in assuming the Serbia guys would be capable of hitting Romania round 2. You’d probably need to split the Galacia mega-stack to hit both Romania and Ukraine, depending on what Russia does.

    • You can most definitely contest Romania and Ukraine AH2 if you’re committing 100% of Germany’s buys towards Russia. Yes the battles won’t go in your favor initially (and you may have to spend some turns not pressing combat in Ukraine), but your objective in a Kill-Russia-First style of strategy should be to hit Russia on multiple fronts and force them to lose more troops each turn than they can feasibly replace. Starting fights in Poland (with Germany), Ukraine and Romania should be enough to accomplish this goal.

    • Side-Note: Your 10 INF/4 ART swings for 36 (8@3 + 6@2) and has a 60% chance to wipe the Romania stack in one round of combat. Those are pretty good odds, but it’s not exactly consistent, especially considering that a big chunk of your strategy hinges on having the Romania stack available to march on into Ukraine AH2.

    • On the topic of fighting/holding off Italy, I prefer killing Italy first as Austria over killing Russia first, but that’s beyond the scope of this conversation. However, because Italy goes after Austria, you can send some of your turn 1 buy into Trieste Round 2 to slow down Italy if you’d rather send 100% of the Vienna guys East.

    I don’t have much more to add, really. If I were Russia playing against this I would just shuffle all of my units into Ukraine R1 and hope that France/Italy/UK can do something productive in other theaters.

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