To defend or not to defend, that is the question?!


  • 2007 AAR League

    It seems sometimes when most people play, they leave one or two men in a territory they know will be taken, just to keep it garrisoned.  But an aweful lot, it seems, when the defenders get attacked, they score no hits.  Jennifer even gripes about this in her 2 on 2 game with Froodster, CC, and Frimmel.  So the question is this, or at least the situation anyway: Do you leave a man or two in a territory and make the enemy put some effort into a battle?  Do you leave a place open and just let the enemy blitz in and out?  What would you do?

    I know one of my slight fears or anxieties about this is, is if I leave it open, and he has a stack of tanks, he can drive right through and hit whatever’s beside that empty territory, and if he does that right before my planned offensive, then my plans and timetable and careful planning are upended.  But hey, that’s the way of war, right?



  • if there are tanks than can “free” blitz in and out i might leave a place holder grunt but if he is going to take the territory in force it is a waste.
    as far as trading spaces, you have to weigh the pros and cons, if you leave 3 you should get one hit and he will have to leave more behind because he had to bring more, if you can afford this escalating exchange more than your opponent then it works well, if not then don’t go there


  • Moderator

    I think there are times to use both.  I will usually leave a territory empty if I think I can really gain some sort of positional advantage.

    I will also leave some places empty if battleships are nearby, since I always assume they will hit on an amphib attack.

    I wouldn’t leave one open if it ment my opponent could send tanks/ftrs vs. tanks all alone, but I would if it was tanks vs. inf + tanks.  Or if I set a specific trap where by blitzing and attacking with his tanks (while I lose tanks) I gain some other advantage.

    It really just depends on the situation for me.



  • It’s all about context.

    I never like to leave a frontline territory completely unmanned.  When you do that, it just takes a single enemy infantryman to walk in and capture it, usually a no-brainer for the conqueror.    Leaving just a single Inf in a territory means that your opponent has to do more calculations and spend more units to take it.  A single infantryman will usually command the attention of at least 3 enemy Inf, or some enemy Inf + heavier support of some kind.  Those are units that thusly are not being used elsewhere to harrass you. Â

    The added value of stopping tank blitzes is an important consideration.

    But of course, it all depends on the situation.  If you need to leave frontier territories open in order to maximize the defense of another key territory, then do it.  We’ve all seen massive battles ending with a single defensive unit remaining alive and holding the fort.  Sometimes every man counts.

    ~Josh



  • I am with Lime on this one…

    I tend to at least “picket” to force my opponent to use a higher level of force to take a territory.  Add in the 1/3 chance of killing something on my defense roll, and I’ll usually sacrifice an INF at the front, especially if there are a lot of tanks in my opponent’s arsenal to prevent a blitz through to my main stack beyond teh contested territory.

    And as was posted, that BB shot calculation oftne changes that math to cause me to leave a territory vacant (unless blitz through is a significant issue).



  • Short version:

    @OutsideLime:

    It’s all about context.



  • a single infantry walk in to a territory worth less than 3 is not always a “no brainer” but a tank in/out is, which to me is the use of the “picket line” which i also use frequently because there  are often tanks on the front line


  • 2007 AAR League

    I agree with Lime and Switch.  Especially when you’re trading territories on a broad front.  This usually entails infantry with fighter support.  Forcing your opponent to spread out his limited supply of fighters dilutes the firepower brought against any one territory and can often disrupt your opponents broader plan.



  • Exactly.

    Let’s look at Europe for a moment…

    USSR pickets a 3 territory wide front:  Archangel, West Russia, and Ukraine at a cost of 9 IPC’s of units (3 INF).

    To have good odds of securing victory in all 3 territories, Germany needs to use 2 INF and 1 FIG in each.  So Germany has to devote $48 IPC of resources to reclaim those 3 territories from $9 IPC of Russian units… 3 territories Russia has already been paid for.  If Russia hits just ONE German defender, the economic trade is already in Russia’s favor just from value of units lost and value of territory Russia was paid for.

    But the main thing is that, especially in the earlier parts of the game, Germany is INF starved on the Russian Front.  6 INF represents pretty much ALL of the INF left on the Russian Front after R2.  And 3 FIGs represents more than half of Germany’s FIGs.  So no massed attack on Naval fleets with AF while those FIGs are engaged in ground attacks in central Europe.

    And Germany is not likely to push forward with their tanks due to lack of INF screen, since their INF is spread over 3 territories.  If Germany DOES advance ARM with slim INF shielding, Russia counter-attacks, or strafes, losing INF while Germany loses ARM, then Russia pulls back preserving their ARM and FIGs.  And if Germany pushes back in only 1 territory, that is extra free revenue for Russia the next round.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    But Switch, in that case Germany is dedicated 48 IPCs to take out 9 Russian IPCs with a very good chance of only loosing 0-6 IPCs in units herself.  So Russia is down 9 IPCs out of a collection of 24 (I’m going to assume R1 to maximize Russia’s ability to recover here).  That means Germany has just destroyed 38% of Russia’s ability to build up units.  At what cost?

    Germany actually expended 6 IPCs on the attack (worst case, and it’s almost always - it seems - no cost) and forced Russia to attack with 3 infantry, 1 fighter to two territories.  So Russia’s down 0-9 IPCs on the retake plus a territory (say 2 IPC) for a total of 11 IPC to kill 12 IPCs of Germans.

    Total for a round:

    Russia down 20 IPCs
    Germany down 16 IPCs

    Or you could not picket, let the germans roll in and out, and then do the same yourself.


  • 2007 AAR League

    @Jennifer:

    But Switch, in that case Germany is dedicated 48 IPCs to take out 9 Russian IPCs with a very good chance of only loosing 0-6 IPCs in units herself.  So Russia is down 9 IPCs out of a collection of 24 (I’m going to assume R1 to maximize Russia’s ability to recover here).  That means Germany has just destroyed 38% of Russia’s ability to build up units.  At what cost?

    Germany actually expended 6 IPCs on the attack (worst case, and it’s almost always - it seems - no cost) and forced Russia to attack with 3 infantry, 1 fighter to two territories.  So Russia’s down 0-9 IPCs on the retake plus a territory (say 2 IPC) for a total of 11 IPC to kill 12 IPCs of Germans.

    Total for a round:

    Russia down 20 IPCs
    Germany down 16 IPCs

    Or you could not picket, let the germans roll in and out, and then do the same yourself.

    Hehe, yeah, that’d be the way to go.  Just come to an agreement with your enemy to not produce bloodshed but instead stomp the country flat!  :-P  But those are good points both by Switch and Jen.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Jen,

    Without getting too bogged down in the numbers-side, I tend to agree with Switch.  Germany is infantry starved until G3 at the earliest.  Why not bleed Germany white to prevent the Krauts from building up too early?  Even if you are correct that Germany retakes territories with no losses on ITS turn, what about the next Russian turn?  So Russia attacks with 3 inf. and a fighter on 2 out of 3 (using a tank on the other), where does that leave Germany?  If Russia retakes with no losses, Germany now needs 4 inf. to retake (which she doesn’t have readily available) or, best case, only 3 inf. (assuming one Russia loss to retake on prior turn), which is still a stretch.  And over time, Russia at least trades even with Germany.  This is not sustainable forever, but Russia is simply buying time until the Lymies and Yanks  show up.  Isn’t it easier on the Brits and Yanks if they have a thinner German front to penetrate once they arrive?

    A lot of this hearkens back to my days playing Classic, but I think the same applies to Revised.  Not to mention that Switch guy seems pretty smart to me . . .

    WG



  • Not to mention that Switch guy seems pretty smart to me . . .

    please don’t give switch a bigger head than he already has 😉

    but seriously, russia can easily find itself out of fodder pretty quick this way as well with nothing left to send towards the onrushing japs.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Crit,

    Point taken about Switch.

    Anyway, if Germany pickets you, what choice do you have as Russia?  Sit there and starve (from an IPC point of view)?  Also, you’re never going to fend off Germany and Japan by yourself.  Hopefully, your trusty allies have sent some help by the time your fodder is running low.  If not, it’s a sushi dinner with Lager to wash it down before you know it . . .

    WG



  • weekender,

    what i usually do as russia is keep my stack together, taking a single territory in force and moving the aa into it to stop the stukas, dancing back and forth with the nazis.  less total income but less attrition as well.  i try and send 2 inf each turn to novo so they can move to either china (sink) or yak if needed or the opportunity arises to make a real move on japan (not likely) and then if eukrope collapses i have a sizable reserve to put back in moscow

    and switch, you know i had to jab just a little :mrgreen:


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Actually, the idea here is to preserve Russian units.  Russia’s going to find herself without enough forces pretty gosh durn early in a normal game.  As Germany you want to maximize the bloodshed on Russia as much as possible.  That means stacking 2 or 3 infantry as a picket.  As Russia you want to minimize that blood loss, so picket only when you have too and pull da _ _ _ _ out whenever possible to save that guarneteed dead infantryman.

    Currently the standard mantra is “picket, picket, picket!”  And when all else fails, re-enact Picket’s Charge! (Or the Civil War version of the Charge of the Light Brigade.)  I gotta think there’s a better way, it may seem less prosperous to give Germany the land, but is it really?



  • my point exactly jen,


  • 2007 AAR League

    Arrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhh.  Just lost my whole friggin’ post because I wasn’t logged in!!!

    Let’s start again:  Crit, I agree you need to reinforce the Novo front– it’s a delicate balance.  And Jen, I’m not advocating suicide, just not handing territory to Jerry on a silver platter.  Played correctly, I don’t see Japan seriously threatening Russia before J3 at the EARLIEST, and if you pay attention to that front, you can hold the Japs off for a while.  So, worst case, you have 3 turns where you are building at least as many troops as Germany and Germany cannot forget W. Europe.  And by G3, the Allies should have opened at least one other front on Germany.  So is Germany seriously outproducing Russia (in terms of infantry ONLY, not IPCs obviously) the first few rounds?  Not likely, unless you let it.  At some point (usually R3 or R4), I am seriously backing off and letting the battle come to me as Russia.  But I have had battles where I have suffered HALF the losses Germany has suffered, so dice play a factor there too.  Besides, Russia is REALLY boring to play if all you do is sit back and wait for the b – -- – -- slap to hit.  Make the Krauts work for it!

    WG


  • 2007 AAR League

    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

    And and Infantry on your front line is worth more than 3 IPCs income for next round.

    What can you buy with 3 extra IPCs? Another Infantry. And where will it be? Back home. So it’s a quick way to transport an infantry back to Germany, but I’m usually trying to move them the other way!

    Also, you don’t really deprive Russia of the income, because when Russia recaptures they still get the income anyway. In the end, it amounts to an even trade, the question is who can afford the trade.

    That said, I will put a picket if it prevents the other side from blitzing my AF or something like that.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Not saying don’t attack Germany.  Just saying, if you can, why bother leaving a picket for Russia when you can pull him back to fight a German picket later iwth MUCH higher success rates?

    BTW, when I picket with Russia, it’s 3 infantry.  Forces Germany to devot a lot more to the engagement and usually - so far - results in my collecting money for territory he couldn’t take back due to lack of resources.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Jenn, I like that approach as well.  In fact, I think we are saying some of the same things.  You do have to pick your spots as Russia.  It can’t be a tit-for-tit battle with Germany – not for long, anway!  But from earlier posts, I had a vision in my mind of two stacks sitting opposite each other swapping territory back and forth with tank blitzes.  I have NEVER seen that in any game I have played.  I guess as Russia I haven’t been fortunate enough to have a German player be so obliging in leaving territories open like that.  😛


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    It happened a lot in Classic, but in Revised there’s almost always at least two ways to get where you want, usually 3 or 4.  (I think the only stumblers are Egypt/Trans-Jordan and Sinkiang/China.)


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