What is so bad about taking Karelia in the first turn(s)?



  • Maybe the people I play against are bad, but if Germany takes out the British and American fleets what is so bad about hitting Karelia quickly?

    For example, 7 ARM, 11INF and 1 FTR against 11INF and 1FTR or 16INF 1ARM and 1FTR.



  • It’s not that it’s bad - it’s great for Germany if they can do it. The problem is that Karelia can never realistically be taken if the Allied player knows what he is doing (barring some crazy luck on a suicide attack). The Russian player will stack Karelia on R1, and it just goes downhill from there… to even have a shot at taking Karelia on G1, Germany has to bring everything they have - ignoring the Allied fleet - and they still only have about a 70% chance of taking it. And then even if they do it’s suicide.

    The real battle is over Eastern Europe, not Karelia. Germany has to put as much pressure as possible on Karelia, to keep Russia from being able to send troops east vs. Japan. But they will never be able to take it unless the Allied players make a mistake. Look at it from Russia’s view - they want to divert as many troops as possible to their Eastern Front vs. Japan, while still holding Karelia and putting pressure on Eastern Europe. This means that if they really wanted to, they could choose to hold Karelia at all costs and fall like a house of cards against Japan. So any shot that Germany has at taking Karelia is the result of Russia sending too many troops east (or later, the US not establishing the pipeline to Europe) - i.e. as a result of an Allied mistake. This also means that the real battle for Russia is vs. Japan.

    Germany can never plan on taking Karelia - the best they can do is put pressure on it and wait for an opening…



  • Okay let’s look at the numbers.

    Maybe the people I play against are bad, but if Germany takes out the British and American fleets what is so bad about hitting Karelia quickly?

    For example, 7 ARM, 11INF and 1 FTR against 11INF and 1FTR or 16INF 1ARM and 1FTR.

    In the first scenario, Russia has made a big mistake to leave 1 ftr in Karelia, because with only 11 inf Karelia is a deadzone. The only time this is okay is if Russia has placed a stack of inf, armor and ftrs in Moscow planning a counter strike to wipe out the German armor. Although to make it work Karelia should have about 16 inf on it.

    If you work out the number hits by averages for the second scenario you find that Germany will win with 4 armor and 1 ftr left. That leaves 4 armor dangerously exposed to a Russian counter stike. With the German armor destroyed, any German offensive is crippled and the game is essentially over on turn 2.

    Look what happens if Russia puts 18 inf and 2 ftrs in Karelia. By averages,
    Germany loses everything, and Russia will still have 1 inf and 2 ftrs. Germany has just lost the game.

    Against a seasoned player, Germany will lose the game in an all out assualt of Karelia on G1. It is better to just strafe Karelia to do some damage, and “rescue” the armor in Finland Norway. After 1 or 2 rounds of combat, withdraw to Eastern Europe.



  • It is better to just strafe Karelia to do some damage, and “rescue” the armor in Finland Norway. After 1 or 2 rounds of combat, withdraw to Eastern Europe.

    I would even go so far as to say this is a bad idea also. Germany will lose 8 of their 11 infantry on average on the first turn and can’t go a second turn, meanwhile Russia will only lose 5 on average (unless you ignore the fleet and bring your planes, which is suicide). Germany is -9 IPCs in the trade on average, and they ‘rescued’ 14 IPCs so they are +5. However those 3 Inf and 1 Tank should get at least 1 hit on an enemy Inf when they defend, so you are at +2 IPCs. Pretty even, so you aren’t really ‘saving’ them. Plus you are giving up your transport as fodder in the North Sea battle, and will just lose it, so you could argue that is -8 and you are at -6 IPCs as Germany. What happens if that tranny was the difference in you losing a plane? And if you don’t bring the tranny and 2 men from Germany, you only have 9 infantry - any luck at all by the Russians during the first round of battle and you are losing tanks. Most importantly, Germany can not afford to trade evenly with the Allies!

    Plus Norway is empty - it is much better to make the Allies commit an attack to Norway instead of waltz in.



  • I agree with Ansbach, using a hit-and-run policy with Norway and the German forces in Europe T1 is a bad move. You’ll probably end up losing more IPCs (IPC value of the units) in the battle than if you had just left those men to fend for themselves in Norway.

    To answer the first post, attacking Karelia by Germany is often a mistake against seasoned Allied Players. Chances are, like Zero said, you will either lose everything or have only your ARM survive - which is this case you still lose everything from a Russian counterattack. Of course, many people make the argument that the Axis will lose anyways even with RR (but no bidding), so you might as well push your luck into one Waterloo and hope for the best.



  • I can understand what you are saying, however, I believe that the only way the axis can win is to crush Russia between Japan and Germany. I believe that this is easier with a small bid for German troops in the eastern front.

    You often talk about how Germany should fall back and let Russia have the Ukraine and Finland. BUt then U.S.S.R. has as much money as Germany! :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: BUt a German attack on a well stocked Karelia plus Japanes attacks on S.F.E.A.
    and Yakut will destroy from 16 INF 1 FTR to 26 INF 1 FTR 2 ARM. That is out of a 1st turn Russian total of like 27 INF 4 ARM 2 FTR. In one turn the Axis can cut the Russian IPC by 1/3 and forces by 1/2 to 3/4. While Russia can mount counter attaacks, they have only enough forces for the second turn to launch a mild counter attack (they have mostly infnatry) and even then they would be ignoring one side.

    After a few turns, and the allies can finally begin to give Russia more aid than a couple of fighters, but by then Japan should have penetrated all the way to Kazakstan, and be putting pressure on Moscow, pinning down Russian troops. Germany should have drained Russia’s resources via a seesaw battle over Karelia, which by now should fall permanently to Germany (at least as far as Russia is concerned, I suppose the allies could land troops, but Germany’s income should have gone up in Africa, which would also draw off allied troops) because the Japanese would pin Russian troops in Russia.



  • @yourbuttocks:

    I can understand what you are saying, however, I believe that the only way the axis can win is to crush Russia between Japan and Germany.

    You are absolutely correct! But it’s not a pincher attack - Japan is the Hammer and Germany is the Anvil.
    @yourbuttocks:

    You often talk about how Germany should fall back and let Russia have the Ukraine and Finland. BUt then U.S.S.R. has as much money as Germany! :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: BUt a German attack on a well stocked Karelia plus Japanes attacks on S.F.E.A.
    and Yakut will destroy from 16 INF 1 FTR to 26 INF 1 FTR 2 ARM. That is out of a 1st turn Russian total of like 27 INF 4 ARM 2 FTR. In one turn the Axis can cut the Russian IPC by 1/3 and forces by 1/2 to 3/4.

    Are you talking about hitting Karelia with everything on Germany’s first turn, including all 5 fighters and a bomber? Because unless you are, what you have described is simply not possible, and even then it is suicide.

    Download the odds calculator from this website - P10000 - and take a look at the information below:

    Russia can have 19 Infantry, 3 Tanks, 2 Fighters, and 1 AA Gun in Karelia.

    The most Germany can attack with is 11 Infantry, 7 Tanks, 5 Fighters, and 1 Bomber.

    Germany has a 60% chance of winning, so 40% of the time they will throw away their game on the first turn. When they do win, the typical results will be to have 1-2 Tanks left, 4 Fighters, and 1 Bomber. Since they didn’t attack the North Sea, the UK can hit Karelia back with 2 Infantry, 1 Battleship, 2 Fighters, and 1 Bomber. This force has an 85% chance of taking back Karelia against 5 tanks, so even if you get lucky against Russia you will still lose Karelia on UK1.



  • I will try not to attack Russia too early with Germany unless I have to. Axis players quiting the game after the first turn from one battle is not sportsmanlike behavior.



  • Here is something your Allied opponents might not be doing - they should be landing fighters in Karelia to help defend it, and Russia should be putting 6-8 infantry in Karelia every turn. That will keep it from falling before the Allied pipeline shows up.



  • Well usually the combination of 18 inf and 2 ftrs in Karelia will be more than enough to blunt an German offensive into the Motherland. However, if you know you’re still not secure, then shift your ARM there too (remember, they’re just as strong as inf!).

    For the Allied ftrs, I think they can be used elsewhere, such as landing on carrier (very important if the Allies want to rebuild their fleet) or attacking any lone German subs that survived the first round of combat. My suggestion goes to the former, if Germany does manage to take Karelia, you need to build up a transport fleet very fast and a carrier will make sure that the Luftwaffe won’t dare touch it.



  • As I posted somewhere else, I sometimes like to pull out of Karelia with Russia (place one inf there at end of turn) and Stack the Caucasus instead.

    It throws some people off.

    What would you people do if you encounter that scenario?



  • Take Karelia (maybe with forces from Norway). This prevents Russians from building there next turn.



  • works out great for russia if germany actually tries to keep it, but a reasonably smart germany wont actually plan on holding it. a smart germany will take it, and non combat his tanks from norway. this is really a trap manuver to try and sucker germany into committing a large concentration of troops into a killing ground. heh, have suckered lots of newbies, and a few arrogant experienced players with this one.



  • Yeah, don’t get greedy with Germany. Attack Karelia with 3 inf from Norway and non-combat that ARM out of there. By forcing Russia to retake Karelia, you delay them enough to ready defenses across Eastern Europe and maybe hold Ukraine for an extra turn.



  • usually when i do the russian pull back, i have all russia’s tanks in novabrisk. if germany puts a large force in kar, i take it out, if they dont, i take the tanks to japan.
    the pull back allows you to keep nearly all your units, and forces the germans to really think about what they wanna do. by pulling back, it allows you to gain a position where you have 4 tanks and 2 planes that can reach nearly any potential targets of opertunity. like the time i did this and the japs had left just 2 troops to guard 3 planes and a factory in manchuria. hit em with 4 tanks 2 fighters, and 5 troops, eliminating them pesky fighters, and delaying them using the factory.
    the real reason it worked long term was because i had a friendly britain sending me fighters for defence, while amerca was doing the flotilla thing. doesnt work quite so well when your allies are uncoordinated.

    overall, not the most effective tactic, but fun and works under certain cuircumstances. i even won a turnament with it once. the german guy was normally pretty good, but he was “convinced” that i was a noob, and fell for it hook, line and sinker. psychology in a game can be fun 🙂



  • Yes, almost every competitive game I played has a deeper metagame.



  • I’m not neccessarily saying that Germany should take Karelia, but they should threaten it at least, for two reasons, 1 to drain IPCs via hit and runs, 2 to pin down IPCs defending Karelia (and not attacking Japan or the Ukraine)

    If Russia well stocks Karelia (Russia restricted) and Germany only takes it with like two tanks, than it doesn’t matter because the british can’t counter attack for 2-4 turnsand the Russians are exhausted. In a turn or two, when the Japanese knock on Moscow, the Russians have almost nothing left.



  • I don’t mind letting USSR keep Karelia, because after Japan is done, that’s all their gonna have. 😎



  • One thing not considered so far is what Germany is really to do in the east. I feel they have to engage the russians at some point or else the soviets will simply stack infantry. After three turns of eight infantry per turn that’s around 30. This will impossible for Germany to overcome also US and UK will be entering the fray at this point.
    Japan should be close to Moscow by now but will still have a hard time taking it.
    Unless you’re aiming for an IPC victory i really think that Germany has to hit Russia but also not overextend their all too crucial armor, it’s delicate balance



  • I dont know about what you said as Japan. As Japan, I like to have at leas 2, if not 3, factories on mainland Asia. One on Yakut, one on India, and one on Indo-China. This lets Japan move 8 infantry a turn to threaten Moscow. That forces Russia to remove a lot of forces to the east. I only do this once I have Novosibirsk and usually Evenki or Kazakh. Russia is barely holding onto the skin of its teeth by then and has to funnel forces ot the east to counter the Japanese stack. This eventually weaken Karelia enough to even the odds for a German invasion of Karelia.



  • I would probably suggest going against building an IC in Yakrut for Japan. It’s much more economical to just buy two transports instead. Usually when I set up an IC (India or Burma, maybe for both), it’s to produce ARM and not inf. I think that 6 ARM should be more than enough (if you factor in supporting inf) per Japan once it hits critical mass.


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