Hitting Karelia on G1 - New Allied Strat

  • There is a ‘magic number’ for hitting Karelia on the first turn: 18. Add up the number of Infantry and Armour in Karelia at the end of R1 (assuming that the two fighters are there of course), and if they total 18 or less you should be able to take Karelia and have a few tanks left (two on average). You must use everything (planes too) and it is VERY important that you buy all infantry if you are going to go for it.

    However, THIS IS STILL A HORRIBLE IDEA! It is a huge gambit that will only work against inexperienced players. You are speeding up the arrival of allied soldiers in Europe by a turn-and-a-half. Even if you got lucky and killed 2 transports with your German subs, the Allies can have 14 infantry in Norway at the end of turn 2!

    The real magic number is 16 - that will allows for one of two things:

    1.) pulling the Bomber from Karelia and hitting the North fleet with 2 subs, 1 tran, and the bomber.

    2.) hitting Karelia full force will leave you enough tanks to keep it on UK1.

    This strategy still won’t work against good Allied players, but good Allied players won’t give you a magic number of 16 anyway so that makes it a decent gambit.

    The real point of all this is a new Advanced Strategy for Allied Players I have been developing:

    You don’t have to put as much defense into Karelia on the first turn as conventional wisdom states, because it’s actually a good thing to bait the German player into hitting Karelia on G1. Tanks in Novo on R1 are an empty threat (hitting Manchuria full force on R2 is suicide) and it takes pressure off of EE. Next time you are Russia, move 4-5 Inf into Novo on R1 instead and see if Germany bites! The extra infantry will stall Japan a turn (on J2 or sometimes J3).

    The reason I say this is an advanced strategy is because you will have little room for error against Germany on Turn 2 if they take the gambit, and if they don’t then Russia can’t afford to take Norway or Karelia will fall on G2, and you have to be sure to push max Infantry towards Karelia as quickly as possible of the missing infantry will hurt you on G3.

    I have tried this five games now - on 2 of them, Germany hit on G1 and the game ended early. Germany should not take the gambit, because their real advantage is the missing Russian infantry on G3. Once I lost Karelia on G3, which is why I say you HAVE to get some Inf there on UK2.

    Give it a try and let me know what you think!

    [ This Message was edited by: Ansbach on 2002-05-13 15:08 ]

  • I don’t know if this is really related, but i did play a game (as Russia), and just to be cute i took Scandanavia, moved some forces east for the Japanese threat, and pulled many of my forces out of Karelia, pulling my AA gun with it (not all forces). the Americans and Brits were to bomb Karelia, and then we were to launch a full scale offensive against Germany. Unfortunately my allied players lacked balls and although the “gambit” was effective in the short run, the German offensive was week and late (i.e. after Russia got sacked). Obviously this post demonstrates that i’m an idiot, but i think that a ploy related to this with the right Allied players can work, and at the least piss off Germany. I know how important Karelia is, but thought that a reinforced Russia would hold off longer. I was wrong.

  • Normally, when the Russians stack Karelia on R1, the Germans are forced to picket Ukraine and hold EEu. However, if the Russians move that many INF into Nov, it allows the Germans to spread out a little more in Europe. Thus, meaning they can maintain a force in Ukraine and EEu without fear of an attack by the Russians. Why? Because all the Russian INF fodder are sitting in Nov.

    The correct German response to this would be to perform the first turn as normal which would include taking out the British Navy, gain ground in Africa, and set up an aggressive defense in Europe. This Allied strat takes the pressure off German on turn one, allowing Germany to spread out more and potentially collect more IPC’s on G2…not to mention more options.

    I think this is just a good way to get Allied troops out of position of where the real war is fought – on the EEu/Kar front.

  • Well, in practice you are somewhat correct. The only spreading out you can really do is sending an extra fighter to Africa - which is not bad at all, but it’s not like you are gobbling up a bunch of extra territories on G1. The big advantage Germany gets is spreading those troops west to defend WE.

    Also, don’t forget to look at the big picture. If you just look at Germany, then obviously it’s a bad move. The effect in the German theatre is all negative - you have to factor in the advantage of delaying Japan one turn.

    You are right, the whole game pivots around the Eastern Front. But Karelia won’t fall with a good Allied player - EE is the focal point. The theory behind this strategy is two part:

    1.) Since Karelia won’t fall if played properly, that means you may have excess infantry that you could use temporarily elsewhere - how many is the key question,

    2.) If the 4 infantry taken out of Karelia delay Japan one turn, that means one more turn of buying infantry in Karelia instead of Russia! You are moving four out now to gain eight later.

  • Removing inf from Karelia to Eastern Russia works well toward effectively handling with the rise Japanese threat. Even if I counted and the magic number is 16 for Karelia, I still wouldn’t hit. Karelia is a static front, I don’t expect much in the way of Germany attacking it early on or the vice versa if the Germans are smart in pulling out of Ukraine. Of course, with less infantry in Karelia, I might be able to hold onto Ukraine a turn longer, so there is a downside to M16.

    Unless those infantry can properly link up with the 5-7 inf stacked in Yakut, I fear that there is very little that 4 infantry can do against a pitched battle against the might of the Japanese air and land. In that sense, I might have lost 12 IPCs with only nominal effectiveness. So unless you have a solid Far East defense with Russia in Japan (what I use is the policy of sustained retreat) to go with it, I would advise not to send the extra 4 infantry.

  • I agree, you’d need some serious allied backup in Asia, both a US and British IC.

  • A British and USA IC would be nice, but it really isn’t needed. As Ansbach puts it, all of USA and UK forces should go to Karelia to attack the Reich or landbridge to the Far East. But 4 inf simply won’t cut it. Now if you can mass existing US/UK/Russian forces together into one or two territories along with those inf, you can create a bulge in the Japanese line. This puts them in a vulnerable position since they either have to take thus area and delay other offensive for buildup or waste inf to protect against this pain in the flank.

  • An important clarification: I’m not talking about sending only 4 infantry - this is an additional 4 infantry… make your stand in Novo and you can keep Yakut and Sinkang as dead zones for an extra turn, possibly two if the Japan player’s not top-notch.

  • Aaah I see, good idea.

  • Ah, forgot the “additionally” clause. Overall, this seems pretty sound. When I play Russia, usually I focus too much on Germany and sometimes forget how quickly the Japanese can creep up in my back door. On average, I may shift 2 inf now to Nov, and I’m sure another 4 would help me out without jeopardizing my Eastern Europe Operations. However, what I like about Russia is accessibility. Even if I forget to place 4 inf. in Russia early on, I can do so later due to fact that Nov is only one space away, making supply lines a minimal concern.

Suggested Topics

Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures