Soviet Russia - The Means To Be Aggressive


  • With my time spent in A&A Anniversary and glancing at post after post on the forums, it feels as if a specific mindset has been given to the Soviet Union and overall the struggles and hardships that come with it. Some will say it takes pure luck to survive and come out swinging as the Soviets and others will say it can be done with intuitiveness and an open mind to thinking outside the box. Yet, all the same, it seems as if a handful of players believe the Soviets have an inability to preserve themselves as a whole against the wrath of the Axis powers from the West.

    To start, I think it’s important to discuss the problem that lays before us on the board before talking about the solution. As the Soviet Union you’re faced with overwhelming odds stacked against you when facing Germany, sure you have a surplus of infantry but what does that mean when you lack an inner core in the form of moving steel and ammunition? A lot of what people misconceive with the Soviet Union I typically think comes in two parts.

    The first part revolves around the prospect of what ‘preservation’ looks like and how it’s done. As a nation scraping the barrel on armor and supporting equipment to start the game it seems like a standard principle can be built upon this very fact to conserve your units the best you can. What this may look like can involve retreating your units back, keeping them out of the fight, and saving them for ‘the big battle’ that is presumably Moscow or Stalingrad. This above all else is the first and last mistake Soviet players ultimately make in their endeavor against the German War Machine. Paving the way for the Germans to walk to Moscow and swipe away at your IPCs will only make the fall of Moscow quicker, which is why it’s important to understand the means to be aggressive.

    The second part lies within the very premise that many players have an overall reluctance to engage with German troops. Touching back on the concept of preservation, the second thought on “What if I get bad dice rolls” or “What if the battle goes South for me”. An overall lack of aggression and taking risks is the other problem that causes most Soviet players to die out. It’s what’s gotten many to believe that the Soviets can only hold out until turn 4 or turn 5.

    To summarize, both of these parameters have hindered the player’s ability to find success as the Soviet Union. Some may think the Soviet Union can only survive for 4 to 6 turns which is precisely what describes a fixed mindset. As an Allied Nation, especially the Soviet Union, it’s important to think outside the box and step out of your comfort zone of always preserving units and not using them. Now with the alternative of being aggressive, are you going to lose land? Yes. Are you going to take heavy losses? 100%. Though it’s all with the intention and core concept of truly bringing the fight to Germany and making them fight for the victory that they desire. That’s not to say the UK and America won’t play a role in stopping Germany and Italy either, they absolutely will.

    From a more technical and open-ended approach, yes it is possible for the Soviets to hold out against even the likes of both Germany and Italy, and yes, it is very possible for the Soviet Union to beat back the Germans through brute strength and carefully played tactics. What it comes down to is the way the player wishes to think. Conservatively, or aggresively.

  • 2022 2021 '20

    Without specifics it is difficult to agree or disagree with your comments about aggression. One question I have is this AA50 1941 with NOs or without? Having recently played my first game without NOs it is certainly a very different game than with them.

    I have not done the research you state you have done or played very much AA50 online so I will not contest your overall statement that people in general feel Moscow will fall within 4-6 Turns. From personal experience I totally disagree with that statement though. Moscow should NEVER fall to Germany or Italy. The Russians, with aggressive US and UK Allies, should be able to hold and push back Germany and Italy. It is Japan that ultimately takes Moscow.


  • @andrewaagamer

    It overall depends on what the players agree upon, I personally like to play with National Objectives on and the primary reason for this is it really fleshes out the conflict between Germany and Russia based upon the fact that each national objective earns you one more tank than the opposing force. Personally, I do believe the Germans have a definitive advantage as their national objectives are much more ‘in reach’ then that of the Soviets or any other allied nation but they’re not impossible to get either.

    As for your generalization on the idea that Moscow should hold on, I ABSOLUTELY agree with this. With my own personal experience as well, I have seen first hand that against a competent Axis player, it is VERY possible for the Soviet Union to not only beat back Italy and German forces but to push them back to Rome and Berlin. If I have to be honest I feel like when many players talk about both Italy and Germany they think of it as some kind of insurmountable challenge that you can’t overcome. What many people seemingly forget is that Italy in this version is the absolute epitome of weight if anything to Germany, there’s not a whole lot that Italy will be able to commit to the Eastern Front, besides, Italy’s priority should be in the Mediterranean and Africa. I actually spoke on this idea in a previous thread I made talking about the Soviet Union’s ‘typical’ reliance of an Allied invasion. I personally think that the Soviet Union cannot and should not rely on the British or Americans make some sort of big naval invasion. That’s not to say that they shouldn’t help whatsoever, because the UK taking Norway and Finland as well as liberating Leningrad will be absolutely instrumental to the success of the Soviet Union, but overall from a general perspective, it will ultimately be the Soviets that have to beat back the unrelenting forces of the German player and yes, as you touched upon earlier, should take Berlin.

    As a quick side note, I seriously don’t think Japan will be looking to take Moscow or even remotely pose a threat to the Soviet Union. Any Japanese player should be working toward taking India, (assuming the Turn 2 Lightning attack is out of the question) as well as seizing Honolulu from the United States). Point is, Japan is going to have a lot bigger things to worry about in the Pacific then worry about the vast distance between them and Russia.

  • 2022 2021 '20

    @thedesertfox said in Soviet Russia - The Means To Be Aggressive:

    @andrewaagamer

    It overall depends on what the players agree upon, I personally like to play with National Objectives on and the primary reason for this is it really fleshes out the conflict between Germany and Russia based upon the fact that each national objective earns you one more tank than the opposing force. Personally, I do believe the Germans have a definitive advantage as their national objectives are much more ‘in reach’ then that of the Soviets or any other allied nation but they’re not impossible to get either. >

    As I mentioned I have only played one game without NOs. I found, even though Germany had LESS money to spend, they were actually able to send MORE ground troops against Moscow due to France being so significantly downgraded in importance that no Axis troops were used to defend it. This made life more difficult on Russia but still Moscow held easily and the Russians eventually were able to push the Western Axis forces back due in large part to UK and US invasions. With NOs Russia should always be able to push Germany/Italy back.

    As for your generalization on the idea that Moscow should hold on, I ABSOLUTELY agree with this. With my own personal experience as well, I have seen first hand that against a competent Axis player, it is VERY possible for the Soviet Union to not only beat back Italy and German forces but to push them back to Rome and Berlin. If I have to be honest I feel like when many players talk about both Italy and Germany they think of it as some kind of insurmountable challenge that you can’t overcome. What many people seemingly forget is that Italy in this version is the absolute epitome of weight if anything to Germany, there’s not a whole lot that Italy will be able to commit to the Eastern Front, besides, Italy’s priority should be in the Mediterranean and Africa. I actually spoke on this idea in a previous thread I made talking about the Soviet Union’s ‘typical’ reliance of an Allied invasion. I personally think that the Soviet Union cannot and should not rely on the British or Americans make some sort of big naval invasion. That’s not to say that they shouldn’t help whatsoever, because the UK taking Norway and Finland as well as liberating Leningrad will be absolutely instrumental to the success of the Soviet Union, but overall from a general perspective, it will ultimately be the Soviets that have to beat back the unrelenting forces of the German player and yes, as you touched upon earlier, should take Berlin.

    Depending on what “typical” invasion means I probably agree with you. Early on UK/US don’t have to make major landings however they do need to take back Africa (US) take Norway and Finland (UK) and trade NW Europe (UK) and most importantly pin troops in France/Germany/Poland.

    As a quick side note, I seriously don’t think Japan will be looking to take Moscow or even remotely pose a threat to the Soviet Union. Any Japanese player should be working toward taking India, (assuming the Turn 2 Lightning attack is out of the question) as well as seizing Honolulu from the United States). Point is, Japan is going to have a lot bigger things to worry about in the Pacific then worry about the vast distance between them and Russia.

    Okay vastly different playing experience here. Unless the US goes whole hog in the Pacific, rarely done and usually a mistake, the Japanese’s whole focus should be get to Moscow ASAP.

    I have never seen the Axis win unless Japan captured Moscow. In fact, I have a saying: If Berlin and Moscow fall on the same Turn; the Allies will win. If Berlin falls two Turns after Moscow falls; the Axis will win. If Berlin falls one Turn after Moscow falls; it is a tossup.


  • @andrewaagamer

    That’s the general idea, basically summarizing the prospect that the Soviet player can and should push Germany back. I think what a lot of people tend to forget is when stripping all the other outside factors away, you and Germany are both tit for tat in natural gaining IPC’s, with Germany gaining 31 and you as the USSR getting 30 so it’s not a drastically different match up in strength then what people make it out to be.

    As for Japan and the Pacific theater, I definitely see where you’re coming from and I think to lay the baseline down for exactly how the Axis are meant to win, the way I play it is the Axis are required to take every city in the old world, except for London, since taking London is practically out of the question of the possibility for either setup of the game, meaning the Axis need to take 12 victory cities in total to win, I think this is a very marginalized and fair victory condition.

    One thing that I honestly discovered that I hadn’t seen before when played as the United States and the UK in the Pacific was just how vastly different the style of combat is then what you see in the Atlantic side of the map. With each island holding special significance to it’s controller, especially if National Objectives are on, it means that Japan needs to be actively using their navy to screen the Pacific ocean and provide atleast one infantry for each island under their control. All in all, even on mainland China as well as the island fighting either side will primarily fight with infantry and fighters and maybe a tank or artillery. Now obviously the Americans won’t go full speed into the Pacific that would be a waste of valuable resources and the Americans dont need to put up that much offense anyway to the Japanese. My point being, all the Americans need to mount an offensive and island hop in the Pacific is a few infantry and an artillery/tank to start liberating islands, and, as I touched on the idea earlier, it emphasizes these islands all the more to be protected due to their value that they hold with National Objective money. Should the Japanese dedicate wave after wave of land forces to try to take Moscow and they neglect the big bad 3 in the Pacific. Though, as you said, this idea can vastly vary between whether or not you do play with National Objectives so it ultimately comes down to the circumstances for which the players have agreed upon.

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