But to return to USSR1.
Having defined some preconditions, now to define the conditions under which those preconditions may be bent.
Why do we assume West Russia needs two AA guns to hold? We shouldn’t simply assume; the point of this all is to make mathematically informed decisions. So what we should really do is run the numbers on West Russia’s defense, and the odds of West Russia having what we think is adequate.
But with “we think”, we come to the next conceptual barrier. It is not that there is a single best move, nor is it even simply a question of risk management and understanding probability distributions. Rather, much like a game of cards, a player should do their best to find the “tells” of other players, and when necessary, try to play to their outs.
Suppose, for example, I’m playing against a player that I know doesn’t like to do G1 hit West Russia, because they’re just not used to it. If I do a R1 12 to W Rus / 9 to Ukr open and only have 2 inf 2 art 1 tank surviving at W Rus, they might overcome their reluctance. But what if I have 5 inf 2 art 1 tank 1 AA? Even if Germany is favored in the attack, they might not attack.
So, what are the numbers on G’s attack on Caucasus, if USSR1 captures Ukraine? Say it’s 1 inf 1 tank 2 fighter 1 battleship vs 4 infantry.
22.26% attackers lose all units. Well, that’s a disaster.
But here’s a lesson in practical calculation aid reading. If attackers are likely to lose all units, there’s probably some intermediate result where the attackers can tell they’re going to lose, then they can retreat. Germany doesn’t have to lose its expensive air.
So, not so bad? Well, read on.
Totting up the numbers, it’s 66% that Germany destroys everything on Caucasus, yet fails to capture. That’s reasonably likely. And if Germany does fail to capture, UK1 can hit the battleship and transport with destroyer, fighter, and bomber. Unlike other scenarios, the UK1 bomber lives, AND UK has a decent chance to lose no air, not even a fighter. And that’s not great for Axis.
We can run the numbers on if Germany gives up a fighter instead of a tank, and mention some later consequences. But let’s just say generally Germany doesn’t want to give up air, for good reason. That is, I acknowledge assumptions are being made here, but I’m saying absent evidence to challenge a particular assumption, this is what we’re going with. 🤷
The core challenging assumption is, what if Germany thinks that trade is reasonable?! Because it might. But that’s where we refine the stipulation of 2 AA on West Russia to, 2 AA on West Russia because we think Germany is deterred from the target.
And THAT closes the circle some. Because when will Germany find it profitable to trade at an IPC-value loss, considering the utility of Axis tanks and fighters? When the Axis plan to make it a battle of simple unit count. And in plain English, that pretty much means when Germany does multiple early attacks that deplete USSR’s numbers more than Germany’s own, and though Germany loses more IPC value and more units even, Germany still ends up overwhelming USSR.
But if we believe West Russia is not attacked (or even if attacked does reasonably well), then we think that precise thing probably will not happen.