• @boston_nwo So curious as to the counter to the West Russia death stack, as that particularly strategy has always given me fits. Hitting it on German turn 1 seems to be all too often a suicide move

  • @brian-cannon
    A G1 ukr stack and hitting egypt, 6 units to SZ7. Egypt is a bit risky at 60~% but its the biggest punish G has round 1, optionally you can shuck troops from italy to ukr instead. Dont remember if you need fighters to stack ukr, but any spare ones should be in NW eur. 6 fight together with the bomber it makes a UK1 fleet drop unlikely. You also obv trade cauc and karelia. the ukr stack forces R to pick between cauc and w-russia. If they stay in w-russia you get bonus cauc income, if they retreat to cauc you’ll go into an axis favored middlegame where G only has to trade w-russia with R, making it easy to preserve your stacks.

    I dont like it as a KJF opener either tbh. It leaves the german med navy alive which allows for efficient logistics from G.

  • @quintin said in Russian Openings and AA Online:

    A G1 ukr stack and hitting egypt, 6 units to SZ7. Egypt is a bit risky at 60~% but its the biggest punish G has round 1, optionally you can shuck troops from italy to ukr instead. Dont remember if you need fighters to stack ukr, but any spare ones should be in NW eur. 6 fight together with the bomber it makes a UK1 fleet drop unlikely. You also obv trade cauc and karelia. the ukr stack forces R to pick between cauc and w-russia. If they stay in w-russia you get bonus cauc income, if they retreat to cauc you’ll go into an axis favored middlegame where G only has to trade w-russia with R, making it easy to preserve your stacks.

    I dont like it as a KJF opener either tbh. It leaves the german med navy alive which allows for efficient logistics from G.

    I agree if USSR retreats to Caucasus early that it’s an Axis-favored game. Also that a German Ukr stack offers Germany increased income.

    For the rest, I feel there are points that should be made. In context, I’m talking about a sharply played W Rus only open.

    First, the reasonable assumption. I think we reasonably assume that USSR did not fortify Caucasus, yes? If USSR did fortify Caucasus some, that offers Germany a small-stack battle at good odds, and I think it reasonable we assume that not happen. If USSR declines that and leaves Caucasus open, then USSR cannot use units mobilized on Caucasus to hit Ukraine on R2. I think all posters to this point would agree on this?

    Then let’s assume USSR’s West Russia only open ends with 9 inf 3 art 4 tank 2 AA guns. Germany’s counter is 6 inf 1 art 4 tanks 4 fighters 1 bomber (6 fighters if it takes liberties elsewhere but it was stipulated not). Using


    • which, I know, I had some discussion with another poster elsewhere about its not giving accurate results but at least it’s supposed to be able to factor in AA gun presence - gives about 70% defender if you only use four fighters.

    But if you add the two fighters that supposedly weren’t used then it favors attackers somewhere around 60+%, then we maybe have that scenario that Hobbes was talking about years earlier on the 1942 Second Edition board but never elaborated on.

    And the first question is - is that really so unreasonable that Germany goes all in on West Russia? I feel that a lot of players on Discord and in the meta are led to believe that 3 subs 1 cruiser 2 fighters against the UK battleship/destroyer/transport/USSR submarine is “standard”. But especially in 1942 Online you can take the chance that your opponent set their defensive profile to “submerge” so can’t respond appropriately to your attack. If the USSR submarine does not participate, 3 German submarines and a cruiser have decent odds against a UK battleship and destroyer. But even if you do not take advantage of defensive profiles, you could still send both German Atlantic subs after UK’s East Canada transport/destroyer and/or US’s East US fleet. Then Germany’s starting Baltic fleet could split, leaving Germany with at least a submarine fodder plus its fighter and bomber against any UK landing.

    Then especially if Germany doesn’t follow through on an all-in West Russia attack but only strafes - then I think Germany secures Karelia, Ukraine, and is generally positioned well. I feel this is a much more punishing situation than Egypt, which I think is questionable. Yes, technically Germany hitting Egypt with the bomber is favorable, but I don’t see that Germany gets an acceptable position if it fails - plus, of course, the W Rus only open leaves USSR’s fighters free to go where they like, in which case it is possible that a USSR fighter lands on Egypt. I’m not saying that’s a picnic for USSR, that USSR fighter is horribly positioned, but it does protect Egypt (and is accounted for in my aforementioned estimate of USSR’s W Rus survivors).

    (So perhaps Egypt is not the biggest punish G has on round 1, is what I’m getting at. Perhaps all-in on West Russia is. Again, it’s not really about “60% on West Russia” so much as it’s that Germany can very possibly claim Karelia, weaken West Russia’s stack against any contesting of Karelia, also lock down and deny USSR any Ukraine income, after Germany moves in up to 4 infantry 2 tanks, then possibly fighters and/or units moved via the German Med fleet.)

    So wrapping up this part - again, is it really so unreasonable that Germany goes all-in against West Russia? I feel that a lot of players are looking at the “greed” variation where Germany only sends four fighters, but I think the outcomes with six fighters are reasonable.

    Yes, UK retains a battleship (assuming defensive profiles not exploited with a gamble), but what does it do with it? UK still wants a carrier and destroyer, right? Especially if Germany has its full starting airpower. And what really happens if Germany lets UK build early fleet? It takes quite a while for UK to build a stack capable of challenging Germany at Karelia - and the only reason Germany won’t have a stack at Karelia is if Axis shifted off position, and why? To break Russia and win the game (I’m not talking about VC win condition, I mean generally if Axis capture Russia without making major mistakes or fighting any losing stack battles, I expect Axis to win in the end.)

    That is, I feel that Germany can afford to let UK do its thing in the Atlantic (again, Germany has options - hitting the UK fleet gambling on defensive profiles or at least having its Atlantic submarines hit East Canada’s sea zone), which frees German fighters up to land in Ukraine, which frees German tanks to push to Karelia, which pretty well secures the position off a G1 strafe into West Russia (even if capturing then suffering the counter, most of USSR’s attack units are dead and Germany can push to fill that void).

    Second, I don’t know that an early German Ukraine stack does force USSR to pick between Caucasus and West Russia. I’ve often written that a G4 Ukraine stack threatens Caucasus and West Russia - but the context is also that G4 has a Karelia stack. and has a massive attack on West Russia regardless. It’s that combined German threat that makes USSR want to push a stack to defend Caucasus regardless - because West Russia’s odds of holding won’t be great anyways, and by that point Germany has an infantry-heavy force that with Japanese fighter backing may seriously hold Caucasus if USSR abandons it then tries to counter-hit anyways (explicitly, I’m saying if USSR reinforces West Russia it might fight a losing major-stack battle, if USSR abandons Caucasus and tries to counter-hit against Germany then USSR might lose, which means instead of G5 West Russia, G6 Caucasus, G7 Russia, you instead get G5 Caucasus, G6 Russia.)

    Germany holding Ukraine and denying USSR income is good for Axis regardless. But I really don’t know that I would say I think Germany’s in a position to seriously threaten G2 to Caucasus.

    Suppose G2 does presss to Cauacsus. That’s 10 infantry, 1 artillery, 10 tanks , 6 Japanese fighters, 1 Japanese bomber. You can add up to another two infantry if Germany doesn’t look to Africa -which, reasonably, if Germany is trying to close the game in Europe, could happen - I’ll get back to this later (it goes back to my first point that I think G1 Egypt is not the most punishing move). I just wrote USSR’s R1 West Russia survivors are 9 infantry 3 artillery 4 tanks. Add to that USSR’s R1 and R2 builds that will hit before G3. Suppose USSR1 buys 4 infantry 3 artillery, collects 26 IPC, then USSR2 buy is 2 infantry 5 artillery. USSR’s counter is then 15 infantry 12 artillery 4 tanks 2 fighters.


    Doesn’t favor attackers by much but it does favor attackers - and that’s even if Japan heavily commits to the reinforcement which will affect its timing against India. Do the Axis really want to go all-in on a losing-odds projection?

    You could say, fairly, that Germany still has its air force and it could tank dash. But India surviving, and Allies can still push fighters to Russia for fast defense - I don’t know that I really like the odds for a fast G2 push to Caucasus.

    Wrapping up this part I’m saying - if you change the projection to include German reinforcements to the Ukraine/Caucasus region, I think you can get more favorable projections. So again, I’m not sure I would say G1 Egypt is the best Germany should do if USSR doesn’t hit Ukraine. I think Germany should consider G1 Egypt, especially if R1 opening dice results give unfavorable projections for a fast German press in Europe, but it should be calculated.


    Then there’s a few other points. Suppose, again, that Germany’s sending “6 units to SZ7”, which I think is the “standard” meta right now - which is the 2 Atlantic subs, the Baltic Sea sub, the Baltic Sea cruiser, and Germany’s two fighters that are in range. That leaves the UK East Canada fleet and the US East US fleet alone. Then it’s specified that German fighters end up on NW Europe. Which I can see the good points for, you threaten territories in Europe and UK’s sea zones, as well as the sea zone off Morocco (German fighters on France don’t threaten territories in Europe nearly as well) But I do also prefer to send at least one fighter to Africa.

    Remember the projection that I’m debating - that Germany lands its fighters on NW Europe, which I think perhaps Germany can get away with not doing. If UK’s East Canada and East US fleet are left alone, you can get UK and US destroyer off French West Africa (and as no mention was made of the UK cruiser, perhaps that survives too). But that is not in range of Germany’s fighters. The lone German bomber can hit, but it’s not a favorable battle even if it’s just the destroyers.

    So then UK/US have a pretty formidable force in Africa. It’s not super formidable, but if Germany wants Africa income, it’s going to have to push for it. And again, I don’t think we can just assume Germany destroyed the UK fighter on Egypt, as a W Rus only open can have a USSR fighter flying to Egypt.

    As to leaving the German Med fleet alive - I don’t know I would say that’s a safe assumption either.


    It’s a low dice count high risk battle with no good contingencies in case of failure. I can see that UK might not want to undertake that battle casually. But the base is still around 80%+ that the German battleship is destroyed, then USSR can pick up the transport with its fighter. And if you figure G1 to Egypt as a reasonable risk at 60% (assuming USSR didn’t land a fighter, yes?) then isn’t 80% pretty decent?

    I’m not saying any of this is easy for either Allies or Axis in a sharply played game. Both sides are going to look for any small advantage to leverage into a large one. But I am saying I think a lot of responses about what actually happens are far too simple, that the correct projections are being wholly overlooked.

    BTW I noticed my post in this thread dated Dec 17 2020 5:09 PM (I guess Eastern US time) mentions Germany’s counter at 6 inf 4 tank 4 fighter 1 bomber for the “greed” riposte. But actually there’s another artillery in there, which changes the numbers. When I looked at the setup again to do the writeup in this post I remembered I’d given what I thought were different numbers in a projection earlier. Eh.

    edit - on reading this post for edits, I noticed I mentioned Germany has a 60% on West Russia. That’s not really how it works. The R1 opening dice determine the survivors on West Russia. It’s something like . . . what was it, the 85th percentile that USSR has at least that many survivors. But USSR could have more survivors, which would make a German attack less favorable (though there are compensations, like clearing both USSR’s AA guns and the possible strafe into consolidation I mentioned). USSR could also have less survivors, which is going to happen in 15% or whatever, which leaves Germany with a pretty nice attack.

    Which goes into a point I made a few times about pre-placed bids and Axis and Allies. Axis and Allies is packaged as a game of strategy and tactics. But if you have 15% - almost one in six - that the opening moves result in Germany managing to generate a position that may well result in an Axis win, then is that really acceptable in a game that’s packaged as a game of strategy and tactics? And I’ll mention you can look at similar projections off W Rus / Ukr splits, a lot of posters assume it’s safe because it’s the meta and they assume Germany doesn’t send all its fighters, but that isn’t necessarily the case, especially if USSR’s opening dice are a little sour.

    second edit - noticed I was sloppy when I wrote “instead of G6 Caucasus G7 Russia you get G5 Caucasus G6 Russia”. It is not necessary that Germany hit Russia on G7 or G6. I knew what I meant, but I skipped over the proper explanation. If Germany keeps its force at Caucasus too long against the KGF (I know, the context of this reply was KJF, I’m just saying) - then UK and US can get a stream of cost-efficient ground units flowing into Russia via Finland/Norway, Karelia, Archangel, Russia. But when Germany retains control of Caucasus, it can place four units there a turn. This is in context of Germany having another stack at Karelia supplemented by Japanese fighters that block UK/US. The end situation is Germany has large stacks that it can cost-efficiently supplement via production at Caucasus and Karelia while cost-efficient UK/US reinforcements are cut off. Depending on Allied pressure, Germany may just sit on Caucasus and Karelia, building advantage, then eventually shift both stacks to Russia. This is what I’m saying the Allies need to try to avoid.

    This is quite different to a fast G2 push to Caucasus. If Germany built tanks to try to storm USSR, then it has some possibilities but UK/US fighters can supplement USSR, and the Axis haven’t really had a chance to choke off USSR’s income yet. If Germany built infantry to push to Karelia, then Germany has no followthrough to USSR’s counter. If Germany mixed infantry and tanks, it ends up trading unsupported tanks for USSR infantry, which keeps USSR on its toes for a while but in the end I think the Allies have at least a fair shot to able to overwhelm the Axis. This is what I think happens, why I’m saying there’s a distinction between the G5+ push to Caucasus and the G2 push.

  • '22

    @brian-cannon I think the key is for Germany to stack ukr, trade cauc, and prevent russia from stacking cauc. Russia is forced to trade karelia and cauc. Russia will want to trade belorussia. Russia can’t afford to stack karelia because germany will move into Caucasus. This 3 territory trading, especially if germany leaves more than 1 inf in karelia and cauc will quickly exhaust Russia.

    Germany buys max infantry every round and allows uk to trade france & northwest europe. Germany shouldn’t overcommit to defending western europe. Focus resources on pushing to moscow. Once Cauc is stacked, winning is within sight.

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