Russian winning strategy?



  • If it were JUST Karelia, I would agree with you Tri.

    But it is Archangel too.

    And that is 4 IPC’s and 2 territories for Russia to re-take, not 1.

    Holding Germany to JUST Karelia on G1 allows Russia to set the tone for Turn 2 by how they use the WRS.  Germany in Archangel in ANY amount makes Russia react to Germany FIRST, then move on to whatever Russia wants to do.

    And initiative is an EDGE.

    And then there is also the 8 IPC shift… -4 Russia, +4 Germany.  And Germany gets that for free without a Russian blitz blocker, unlike Russia R1 gains in WR and Ukr/Belo.

    Also, you are forgetting that Germany can stage to Karelia instead of Eastern… 7 INF (more if Belo was not attacked), and 4 ARM, with 3-4 more staged in Eastern for advancement in G2 against either Archangel or West Russia.  Yes, Germany can stack HARDER in Eastern… but they can MATCH the WRS in Karelia, and then either move into WR, or to Archangel IN FORCE in G2, destroying Russian forces with minimal loses by hitting the weaker territory.  With a blocker on R1, there are no weak Russian territories to hit… they either over-run their ARM into Archangel and get destroyed, or a FULL STRENGTH WRS is poised to counter…



  • I’m a little confused by what you have to say. On one hand you say Germany will stack in Karelia, and on the other hand you say that Germany will threaten Caucasus. Those are incompattble.

    I also completely fail to see how 1 tank in Archangel shifts the balance in favor of Germany. They have lost a tank to a Russian inf. Troops that Russia uses in Archangel can be used against Karelia next turn, so just count that as the forces you would have used from West Russia instead. The Germans can try to conest Karelia/Archangel, but you’re forgetting that the UK would love that. Having the UK drop 4 inf 4 tank along the north screws Germany up a lot.

    And even if the Germans can draw a large force in Karelia, if they go to Archangel they’re meeting up with builds directly from Moscow which will quickly overpower them. The best the Germans can do is match the W. Russia stack, but I don’t see how this is adantageous to do it in Karelia when Ukraine is worth more and invulnerable to UK naval assaults.



  • It is a matter of reward, threat and counter.

    Keeping Germany to Karelia in G1 means that Russia has more income, controls the center of Europe, and can attack in maximum force in ANY territory Germany moves into.

    Allowing that ARM to Archangel means that Russia HAS to send forces to Archangel in R2… unless they want to leave an ARM on Moscow’s doorstep and surrender 2 IPC’s to Germany…  That means forces devoted to Archangel instead of to Belo, Karelia or Ukraine.  And that force diversion means greater losses for Russia in those other battles since overwhelming force not only increases the odds of winning, it decreases the number of lost units by negating second or third round defensive fire.  THAT is a significant edge for Germany… weakening a Russian attack at the cost of only 1 ARM, which paid for itself with 4 IPC of territory the previous turn and the 50/50 of killing an enemy unit on the way out.

    Also, I am not saying “stage in Karelia” and “Attack Caucuses” as being simultaneous options.  They are options and Russia leaving the north vacant after R1 gives Germany both options… for free.  However… if Germany CAN sucker Russia north, then Germany can hit in the south with up to 4 INF, 4 ARM, a BB shot and their AF  WHILE STILL HITTING EITHER WR OR ARCHANGEL WITH THE KARELIA STACK.

    Massed land forces are perhaps the most powerful offensive and defensive move in the game.  Making Russia split their forces 3 ways instead of 2 seriously weakens Russia and allows Germany to take out units with minimal losses.  Maximum forces in WR is the best deterent that Russia has.  They block the central avenue of attack and can immediately counter with all INF, ART and ARM into Archangel, Karelia, Belo, or Ukraine.  Split up to any degree, they take more losses on either attack or defense… and split into Archangel removes INF screen from attacks in Belo, Ukraine, or Caucuses.

    Germany loses 1 tank but gets 4 extra IPC’s.  Russia either accepts that economic loss, or splits their forces to some degree and allows Germany to destroy those forces for far less cost than would be possible if they remained stacked.  And Germany can do so without breaking their own stack, making Russia’s losses even higher on THEIR counter.

    Block in Karelia.  Lose 1 INF, maybe take 1 with you.  Make Germany reach Archangel on G2 instead… after the UK has built up and staged their Navy for a counter-attack… after Russia has built more forces to swamp futher advances… and with the economic shift being 4 better for Russia by only being down Karelia instead of Karelia AND Archangel.



  • Allowing that ARM to Archangel means that Russia HAS to send forces to Archangel in R2… unless they want to leave an ARM on Moscow’s doorstep and surrender 2 IPC’s to Germany…  That means forces devoted to Archangel instead of to Belo, Karelia or Ukraine.

    Incorrect. Archangel can be countered directly from Moscow. You do not need to divert forces from the W. Russia stack. Think of it instead of moving troops from Moscow to W. Russia, you move some to Archangel instead. And those forces will be used to counter Karelia the next turn, so the W. Russia stack is free to go ahead with Belo/Ukraine.

    Making Russia split their forces 3 ways instead of 2 seriously weakens Russia and allows Germany to take out units with minimal losses.

    The UK comes from the north, making it 2 ways instead of 3. The Germans would be the foolish ones to go with 3 ways with the UK descending from the north.

    Germany loses 1 tank but gets 4 extra IPC’s.

    2 extra IPCs. You always get Karelia, so Archangel is the only extra that you’re looking at.

    and with the economic shift being 4 better for Russia

    The economic shift is only 2 when Germany takes Archangel, because the Russians do not technically lose Archangel. They collect on it when they counter it, so the only net effect is that Germany has gained on it for one turn which is 2 IPCs. Germany is up 2 IPCs more than normal and does about 1.5 more on the way out, but loses a tank to do so (Germany spend 5 IPCs to get 3.5 IPCs). Would you rather that or have a 1/3 chance to take out 1 infantry (Russia spends 3 IPCs to take out 1 IPC). The blitz blocker removes the chance that the Germany player will (foolishly?) use a tank to go to Archangel.



  • OK… you need to think 2 turns out…

    If Russia counters “direct from Moscow” with INF (and/or ART) to Archangel in R2, then those forces are stuck in the north, or moving to WR in R3.  If they are ARM, then Moscow forces COULD have been used in Belo or Ukraine in R2.

    The INF and/or ART in Archangel represents stalled forces… Germany shifts gears, heads south, and those Russian forces in Archangel are now 2 moves away from the action instead of adjacent to the action.

    That is an edge for Germany… forcing Russia to pull forces out of position for minimal or (in the case of “reclaiming” Archangel) NO gain.

    Leave an INF in Karelia, you lose an INF and keep Archangel for free.
    Pull the INF from Karelia and you have to re-take Archangel to get paid for it on R2, and to re-take it takes more than just 1 INF.

    So… do you KEEP Archangel at a cost of 1 INF?
    Or do you let Germany have it, get paid for it, and then fight to take it back at the cost of forces being drawn away from Ukraine/Caucuses?



  • OK… you need to think 2 turns out…

    That’s exactly what I’m doing. In 2 turns Germany should still be fooling around with Karelia, unless it has build no navy at all so the UK is allowed to go unhibited from the north. If you’re still trading Karelia, those forces you spend in Archangel will be put to the same use as they would have were they instead to have gone straight to West Russia.

    It does mean they’re locked, but wouldn’t you see yourself as locked anyways if you were sure you were going to trade Karelia? If the Germans stop messing with Karelia and go south, then celebrate, that means you don’t have to trade Karelia anymore, instead meeting the Germans where you are clearly your strongest with Caucasus forces deploying immediately adjacent to Ukraine. And the Germans are going south for sure with one less tank instead of 1/3 time with one less inf.



  • Countered by their boosted G2 build, and with 2-3 fewer Russian units for 2 turns in the south.

    I see that as a net increase of about 6-9 IPC’s to Germany, even after figuring in the loss of the ARM.  And that does not count the battle results shift of those 2-3 units that are not participating in T2 and T3 combat elsewhere…



  • I see that as a net increase of about 6-9 IPC’s to Germany, even after figuring in the loss of the ARM.  And that does not count the battle results shift of those 2-3 units that are not participating in T2 and T3 combat elsewhere…

    The only case in which you’d see this net increase is if Germany pushes hard immediately into either Belo or Ukraine so the Russian forces in Archangel are useless when needed most. Otherwise, if Germany does normal deadzone trading, there is no net increase along the south at all. I don’t think Germany pushes hard early on, otherwise core tanks are being exposed. And even if there is a net increase along the South, the Russians always get a net increase along the north when the Germans ignore it.

    And again, Caucasus deploys adjacently to Ukraine. The Russians have a good cushion to deflect a Germany that is focused on the South.


  • Moderator

    I’m with Tri on this one.

    I just don’t see how Russia has to divert anything.  Why would they send inf and rt to counter when you can send 1 inf and up to 3-4 arm?   So you trade an inf for arm and the 2 IPC Ger gained and it is a wash.

    The Russian Armor can still reach all necessary territories on the following turn.  And Russia has no business using their armor on Germany in rd 2.  Your ftrs are more than enough to trade back ukr or belo or even kar.

    As an example, this exact thing happend in my very first Revised Game.  As Russia I attacked Belo and Wrus.  I had a huge force in WR and Cauc and some troops in Mos.  When Ger blitzed to Arch I took him out in Kar with UK troops on UK1 and then took out his Arch armor with my Moscow inf and Arm on R2.

    And that was my first game of Revised.

    Seeing as how I could deal with it as a complete noob to Revised I fail to see how it can be that great of a move unless the Russian player just completely messes up.

    This is more just personal preference but I’m a complete armor hog and don’t like losing my big guns for what might be a marginal gain at best, and certainly not in rd 1 or 2.



  • I have to side with switch.  If Russia leaves 1 inf in Karelia as the blitz blocker it opens up options for the Allies.  The German player has to decide how much of their forces they want to commit.  On UK1 Germany loses Norway  99% of the time. 
        If the German player takes Karelia with minimum forces they will lose the territory on either R2 or UK2 so if they want to hold on to the territory they have to attack on the heavy side.  To me the more German troops that head to Karelia instead of Moscow and Caucasus the better. 
        Also I think that the more Russia can control where Germany attacks the better.  By leaving the blitz blocking infantry the German movement stops there allowing for an allied counter attack.



  • I guess what we have here is a matter of personal preference…

    By using a blocker in Karelia:
    Russia loses 1 INF
    Germany is +2 IPC’s (for a net G1 revenue of 42)
    Germany has a 1/3 chance of losing 1 INF
    Net Shift:  Even (Germany +2 IPC, Russia -3 IPC INF, Germany -1 IPC INF)

    Not using one:
    Russia has 50/50 of losing 1 INF on R2
    Germany loses 1 ARM
    Germany is +4 IPC (for a net G1 revenue of 44)
    Net shift: Russia - 0.5 IPC  (Germany +4 IPC, Russia -1.5 IPC INF, Germany -5 IPC ARM)

    This of course does not consider any positional advantage that may or may not result to Germany based on Russian force diversion to Archangel in R2 (which I still think can be a major factor).

    There is also one other factor…
    With the blocker, Germany is going to go pretty hard into Karelia, especially w/ the WRS adjacent (5 INF/4ARM minimum), so the odds of a dice frack are negligable (around 0.2% chance that Germany loses 2 units)
    Without a blocker, and with the proposed “light” strike on Archangel, the odds of a dice frack increase, the odds of losing an INF AND an ARM is 2.6% with an Archangel counter of 1 INF/3 ARM. AND, a 0.1% chance of mutual destruction is introduced!

    That may not be a huge factor, but as a player I want to maximize the odds in my favor.

    Using a blocker, Russia fairs half an IPC better by leaving the blocker; and removes the risk of an R2 battle in Archangel completely.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Blocker’s serve their purpose.  As mentioned before, it ties up assets. (Your opponent has to defend land s/he could have left empty, or invade to kill the blocker which costs at least 6 ipcs for 2 infantry, more then the property’s worth for sure.)  They also stop blitz’s…



  • This of course does not consider any positional advantage that may or may not result to Germany based on Russian force diversion to Archangel in R2 (which I still think can be a major factor).

    And this doesn’t consider the positional advantage that definitely results from Germany being down a tank. Like Darth says I don’t see anything wrong with sending 1 inf + 4 tanks to Archangel on R2 to take out that German tank. Those tanks have nothing to do anyways, and they’re in position for any German advance.

    I really fail to see how some units in Archangel throws the Southern line to the Germans. It’s like you always forget that Caucasus immediatley borders Ukraine, which means the Russians have +units able to deal with them there, and it’s never like the Germans push south early even if they see some units in Archangel unless the Russians got dice fracked.

    Without a blocker, and with the proposed “light” strike on Archangel, the odds of a dice frack increase, the odds of losing an INF AND an ARM is 2.6% with an Archangel counter of 1 INF/3 ARM. AND, a 0.1% chance of mutual destruction is introduced!

    Forget light strike, think 1 inf + 4 arm. If the Germans take 4 arm in Archangel to mean they can advance, they’re stupid!

    Net Shift:  Even (Germany +2 IPC, Russia -3 IPC INF, Germany -1 IPC INF)

    Your math is wrong too. Germany +2 then -1 = +1, then Russia is -3, so the net difference is -4 IPCs Russia.

    Net shift: Russia - 0.5 IPC  (Germany +4 IPC, Russia -1.5 IPC INF, Germany -5 IPC ARM)

    Your math is right there. Would you rather be -4 or -0.5?

    I too thought that leaving Archangel bare was totally inconceivable when I first started the game, but I think it doesn’t serve the Germans well to lose their tank for minimal gains.



  • I thing you are right to buy an additional fighter R1. It will help you in the further trade of countries. But just one should be enough. As a Russian you need mass. And for the final defense of Moskwa allied fighters are required anyway.

    As you are on defense in most games I wouldn´t recommend to rely on rtl. One should have 4-6 for deterrence. The West Russia stack is where most of them should be stationed. In addition to these I would rely on tanks. Due to their movement of 2 they later help to assist allied defense in India for example or may counter a japanese intrusion. Generally the help to cover a greater territory. With them you are able to create more deadzones. But more than everything else you need inf, inf, inf as fodder.
    So I would recommend to buy the fighter R1, after that some rtl. R2, followed by tank/inf in mid game. In the final stage, if your allies played bad or unlucky and the axis is knocking on your door, all inf is required.

    And to the discussion in the last post, I thing you should indeed leave 1 inf behind wherever it is not obvisously going to be killed by an overwhelming force. But even then it´s worth to thing about it. I.m.o. the russian job is to keep Germany busy in many small fights, to cause fraction as Clausewitz would say. The more smaller fights Fritz is in the more you may be lucky once. I´m really happy if for example Ukraine remains russian. It´s the momentum to push! 😄



  • You are right, I fracked the math on the first one.



  • @trihero:

    Germany +2 then -1 = +1, then Russia is -3, so the net difference is -4 IPCs Russia.

    I think that works out to -2 for Russia, not -4.  (+1-3=-2)

    But -2 is still worse for Russia than -0.5.  Especially since the -0.5 also results in a dead German tank.

    So the short term economics clearly favor allowing that German tank to blitz to Arch.

    I do not agree that an Inf or 2 plus Armor going to Arch in R2 means that Russia has a lot of units out of postion to contest the South.  The Armor can still get to the South on R3, and any surviving Arch Inf can help trade Kar on R3, which you would otherwise probably be doing with WR units.

    For the most part, allowing a German Tank to blitz to Arch gives me something to kill with Russian Armor on R2, Russian armor that otherwise would probably not be used.  And I’d rather kill that German tank now when its alone, than later when its backed up with Inf.

    Lastly a point was made that allowing the tank to blitz to Arch forces Russia to react to Germany, ceding the initiative to Germany.  I don’t look at it that way.  By leaving Kar bare, I’m the one trying to trick Germany into blitzing to Arch.  So he’s reacting to me, in a way that I want him to react.  As Russia, I’m dissappointed if Germany does not blitz to Arch, it means he didn’t fall for my trap.



  • I think that works out to -2 for Russia, not -4.  (+1-3=-2)

    No, you see, anything positive for Germany is negative for Russia. So +1 for Germany is the same as -1 for Russia, so -1 and -3 together is -4. What you’re doing is if Russia had +1 then -3, that would come out to -2.



  • Doh, now I feel stupid.  Of course you are right.  Though it only further lends support to my contention (which you support) that leaving behind a “blocker” in Kar on R1 is a bad move for Russia.

    And thank you Tri (and DM), for championing my cause here.  You’ve done a much more eloquent and thourough job than I could have.



  • OK, a poll then…

    If you’re Germany, and you see a lone Russian infantry in Karelia, how do you attack it?

    The answers will provide the evidence for my assertion that the blocker is a good thing for Russia. Germany has to use either 3+ infantry to kill it, or 2 infantry and a fighter. That compromises some of Germany’s other options.

    Example- 3 infantry in Karelia means 2 less in E Europe, which means potentially 2 less in Belo or the Ukraine on G2 if Germany wishes to push forward. As we all know 2 infantry can often mean the difference mathematically whether a move is feasible or not .

    And if a fighter is used, well… Germany’s air power is needed more in other places. Every battle is critical.

    IMO, leave the blitzing tank out of the equation. The blocker forces German offensive action that otherwise would be a simple 1 infantry walk-in. As the German player, which one causes more potential problems-  stepping in to Karelia for free or being forced to assault it?


  • Moderator

    I don’t attack Karelia on G1.

    If it is empty, I’ll move an inf from Fin to take it and tranny the other 2 inf to EE.

    If it is occupied (by 1 inf), I’ll keep 1 inf in Fin and still tranny 2 inf to EE.

    My G1 is occupied by a counter of Ukr (or Belo - although I may chosse not to counter that either), as well as killing the British BB and DD in the Med and taking out Egy.

    So I do about 4 battles, which I think is more than enough.

    1 sub, 4 ftrs to UK BB
    BB, loaded trn (possibly ftr if I have an extra) to UK DD
    4 inf, 1 arm, 1 bom (if 1 inf bid to lib) to Egy
    necessary inf (1-3 pending on how R took it) to Ukr (or belo) with 5th ftr

    I perfer to build up and move in force rather then risk nickle and dime myself to death.  My stack on EE tends to range from 7+ inf, rt, and 4+arm after G1.

    And for this reason I don’t think it is that critical for Russia to even defend Kar on R1.

    I perfer to take Belo with 3 inf and 2 ftrs and move in force to WR with 9 inf+ with needed rt and/or arm support.

    I rank Ukr as more imortant then Kar, thus that is generally my focus no matter which side I play.



  • I always just run Karelia over with 3 inf from Norway. To me they have absolutely nothing else to do, so I’m hardly stretched for units. I use the tran to bring 2 inf from W. Europe over to E. Europe; I consider it a waste of resources to defend W. Europe on G1 when the UK has no feasible way to take it without risking their navy. Those 3 inf in Norway will never have anything to do if you’re the type that runs the Baltic navy away anyways, since there won’t be a tran to help them out.



  • But Tri…

    The UK navy in SZ7 at the end of UK1 is not a bad move.  UK drops an AC and loads it with existing FIGs and another TRN.  Russia blocks in SZ6 on R2.  Only way Germany can attack that fleet is with AF… and 4-5 FIGs and a BOM against 1 AC, 2 FIG, 1 BB, 2 TRN is not a happy fight for the Luftwaffe.



  • Huh? Subs can go right through the Russian sub, for starters to get to the UK fleet to act as fodder for the Luftwaffe. Secondly, I hope the UK didn’t land anywhere otherwise it will just about troopless and can be boarded through SZ8 from the gibraltar fleet as well as through SZ6. A carrier + transport leaves you with 2 infantry leftover to purchase, so hopefully you didn’t land in W. Europe with many forces otherwise it’s very bare with like a bomber and 2 inf.

    I don’t think it’s a terrible idea to build defense with the UK fleet, but you have to be very careful about it, and you’d better hope the US rocks at logistics since it’ll be acting as a major landing force instead of UK with the  UK’s cash going into defense.



  • If UK and US are idiots, and the Germans and Japs geniuses, the Allies will lose.

    If you attack a country with ground forces, whatever ground forces you attack with are committed.

    For this reason, I like to have three USSR fighters and some artillery.

    Tanks are a must-have; if Germany does massive infantry push, the tanks can rush back east to mess with Japan.

    Basically, I usually build a fighter, LOTS of infantry, and a couple of artillery every so often.


Log in to reply
 

20th Anniversary Give Away

In January 2000 this site came to life and now we're celebrating our 20th Anniversary with a prize giveaway of 30+ prizes. See this link for the list of prizes and winners.
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys
T-shirts, Hats, and More

Suggested Topics

  • 2
  • 3
  • 15
  • 5
  • 16
  • 48
  • 15
  • 7
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys

48
Online

14.9k
Users

35.7k
Topics

1.5m
Posts