Eastern Front



  • Hello everyone,

    my first post here. I’ve not been playing A & A long, just a few games.

    My question I want to put to you all is just how defensive/offensive should Germany be on its eastern borders??

    Without wanting the thread to get heavily into bids, Africa and navies I’m going to try and keep it as narrow as possible - just where should Germany be holding it’s front? KAR-BEL-UKR (with or without NOR) or closer to home, initially, EEU-BAL and expand from there?

    It seems natural to me to hold the line wherever it lies after R1, which is what I’ve been doing until now. But that appears to create a gap in bringing up re-inforcements, to hold that line. So should I be falling back a territory westward to consolodate?

    The only thing I’d add is that I’ve been building 1 fig and 10 inf on G1.

    Looking forward to your helpful replies.



  • I would say, as a general rule, trading as far from your capital with Russia is a good idea.



  • @Nerazzurri:

    My question I want to put to you all is just how defensive/offensive should Germany be on its eastern borders??

    I can’t answer that question in detail at this time, as it’s a pretty general question and requires a really long answer.  But if I were to respond in detail, it would only be a long version of:

    “In chess, how much attention to queenside should Black play?”

    Sounds silly, doesn’t it, if you think of it like that?  Of course, the answer is - as much attention as it can and/or has to; it depends on the board position.

    And obviously the board position is going to be very different if the Allies are going KGF transport fleet, KGF airforce, KJF, or if the Allies went for aggro Russ1 and failed, and so on and so forth.

    Generally, I would build infantry and artillery to begin with, no fighters.  Then I’d build more infantry.  If playing against KGF, I’d just build infantry like hell and march them east and station German tanks at Eastern Europe.  If Allies land in force at W. Europe, S. Europe and Berlin infantry and E. Europe tanks clear while German air trades in the east; if the Allies land lightly at W. Europe, S. Europe infantry and air take back while German infantry continues to march to the front.

    Of course, if Russia left itself open at end of R1 (bad luck or bad attacks or bad buys or some combination), I’d just build a hell of a lot of tanks on G1 and smack the hell out of 'em while Japan does the same thing on the other side.  This doesn’t work unless Russia REALLY messed up of course.



  • In my short experience so far, it seems that after R1 you’re normally left with UKR in Russian hands, WRU heavily occupied, BEL possibly lightly occupied and KAR in Russian hands but unoccupied.

    Part of the general reply would be taking KAR from NOR and I think KAR should be held. But my problem is it’s hard to reinforce on G2 + 3 as the heavy Russian forces from WRU and UKR/CAU are shredding my forces to the south.

    So, much as I’d like to hold KAR in the opening rounds, it just doesn’t seem possible and it’s an open invitation to the UK to party in Asia.

    As you say Bunnies, much depends on the board at the time, there’s no hard and fast rule for any scenario. I just get the feeling that, ‘normally’, KAR might be a territory too far for G1?



  • Be careful about launching any offensives from Norway. It is important to leave somewhat of a defensive force in Norway to protect your back door. It is very easy for the UK and US to land troops there.



  • @Nerazzurri:

    It seems natural to me to hold the line wherever it lies after R1, which is what I’ve been doing until now. But that appears to create a gap in bringing up re-inforcements, to hold that line. So should I be falling back a territory westward to consolodate?

    Maintaining a supply line is a challenge for both Axis since they are primarily making their advances territory by territory unlike the Allies who retain much flexibility with transports. That flexibility allows the Allies to maintain pressure across a broad front without necessarily having to hold a wide swath of territory to do so. To counter this the Axis need to push a broad front on to Russia as fast as they possibly can to try and wear Russia thin.

    So Germany really should not be just holding the line or falling back that early in the game. Particularly while your Baltic fleet is still intact. The first couple rounds is your best opportunity to start to make territory gains towards the east. If you’re able to hit 45+ ipcs as Germany early in the game (including Africa) you stand a good chance of maintaining those gains for a number of rounds. If the Allies are not very well coordinated you might even make it to Moscow with your Panzers.

    Mid to late game as the Allies “dog-pile” on Germany it might be time to maintain or pull back. Hopefully by then the territory/income losses you’ve inflicted on Russia gives Japan the time/edge they need to make it to an under defended Moscow for the kill. These are just generalizations and as has been said much depends on what else is going down on the board.

    But if you don’t start to grab what you can early on and fill Hitler’s coffers it’s unlikely you will be able to substantially improve Germany’s board situation later in the game. Failure to do so puts the Axis on the defensive much earlier in the game and the Axis really can’t afford to play against the clock or the Allies will almost always come out on top. Hope this helps. ~ZP



  • @Francis:

    Be careful about launching any offensives from Norway. It is important to leave somewhat of a defensive force in Norway to protect your back door. It is very easy for the UK and US to land troops there.

    There is always an insufficent defensive force in Norway, I think.
    UK/US can easily land there, in most cases with free BB shot and many air. I think Norway can’t be hold in long terms. Perhaps you can make it to a deadzone for some turns and trade it from KAR or with transports via SZ 5.
    I think the three INF from there are better used against Russia instead of waiting for an overwhelming attack from the allies.



  • Norway is a lost cause.  Germany can’t hold it.  About the best you can hope for is to trade it a round or 2 (using the SZ5 TRN and FIGs to do the trading) if the Allies only send token forces there

    Germany is better off using those forces to maintain income in Central Europe and make up the lost income in Africa.



  • The more important practical sub-questions are:

    1. How to pressure the Eastern Front while still defending against massive Allies.
    2. How early or late to leave France to swapping.
    3. Balancing with the demands of Africa (Too often I’ve lost in Africa from either side ;-))

    For 1) once the UK and US transport fleets grow, clear the Axis counterpart and get well positioned, they effectively “multiply” the threat by each area where the threat is applied, making a total defense of everything pointless.

    For instance, a Baltic fleet threatens WEU, GER, EEU, KAR of which Germany can stay in, say, only GER and KAR.
    An US fleet in Med threatens WEU, SEU, BALK etc., of which only SEU is almost mandatory to hold.
    Dividing UK and US threats into N and S reduces their interference in same areas as “multi-attackers disadvantage”.

    What I don’t know if how a not-very-rich Germany can stop UK(+US) flow to Archangel then Moscow if they want that, instead of the Norway build-up.



  • @Nerazzurri:

    In my short experience so far, it seems that after R1 you’re normally left with UKR in Russian hands, WRU heavily occupied, BEL possibly lightly occupied and KAR in Russian hands but unoccupied.

    If Russia is going the big three attacks on R1, Germany might do well going VERY offensive (depends alot on what was left)

    Russia can not afford to trade unit for unit on the eastern front, especially early and especially as inefficiently as the big 3 R1 attack.



  • @axis_roll:

    @Nerazzurri:

    In my short experience so far, it seems that after R1 you’re normally left with UKR in Russian hands, WRU heavily occupied, BEL possibly lightly occupied and KAR in Russian hands but unoccupied.

    If Russia is going the big three attacks on R1, Germany might do well going VERY offensive (depends alot on what was left)

    Russia can not afford to trade unit for unit on the eastern front, especially early and especially as inefficiently as the big 3 R1 attack.

    Wouldn’t it be true to say that Russia CAN afford to trade like for like as long as Allied assistance arrives as promptly as it should? I understood this to be the case.


  • Moderator

    Usually the UK and US need to spend the first 2-3 turns clearing out Afr, so it is to Germany’s advantage to trade unit for unit with Russia, before the Allied hordes arrive.  Weaken Russia so Japan can hopefully finish them off.

    As for the initial question there are a couple ways to go.
    First the standard EE stack which allows trading of kar/ukr/bel, but you should look to move a decent stack to Bel within the first few turns (2-4).  This prevents Russia from continuing to trade Belo and keeps your stack safe from any Russian inf in Cauc.  From here you can look to stack Kar or Ukr (depends on game).  If you go to Kar you can cut off Allied reinforcements to Russia, if you go to Ukr you’re obviously looking to take the IC at Cauc.
    If you make the Belo move in Round 3-4, that means the Kar/Ukr move should probably come in round 5 or 6.

    Buy infantry heavy early (maybe 1 rt/arm if you have the extra 1-2 ipc) so you have a steady supply when you do expand.

    The Second and Third option, would be to bypass the Belo move and go directly to Kar or Ukr as early as possible and hold there for a few turns and build up, but again this really depends on the game playout and what the Allies are doing.



  • Seems like sound advice for a beginner like me to start from Darth, thank you. Although, as you say, it can depend on what your opponent is doing, going straight for UKR + CAU seems a bit risky because it’s inevitable that the eventual threat is going to come from KAR and you have already commited your momentum to the south.


  • Moderator

    Right.  If you go heavy to Ukr, you may have to concede Kar and may have to deadzone EE as well by sending additional inf East via Balk, but the trade off is putting immediate pressure on Cauc.
    This can be the case if Russia has some bad rolls early or Germany is really doing well in the trading game (always coming out ahead).  Here you don’t want to mess around, force Russia to defend both Wrus and Cauc heavy early before both the UK and US can land a combined 12-16 units in Kar.  Now the Allies have to react to the immediate threat to Russia instead to trying to get to Berlin, and if you can gain Cauc, you can pretty much play Def by stacking Cauc and EE/Ger until Japan can potentially take Mos.



  • A G1 move into Karelia early can put a SERIOUS crimp in the Allies game.  But you have to judge when it is worth the risk.

    If Russia loses ARM on a Ukraine attack, and West Russia goes even slightly below average, an initial push into Karelia heavy can play havoc with Russia.

    But if Russia has 3-5 ARM in WR, Cauc, Russia; plus 1-2 ART and 7+ ART in WR plus their 2 FIGs, a move into Karelia is nearly suicidal.


  • Moderator

    Good point Switch.

    I’ve been looking at this move more and more as an alternative to my typical Ukr push, but I’ve been finding Russia taking Ukr with 3-4 ground units and Wrus going well enough the past few games making it a no go given the units needed to take out the Russian arm in Ukr.



  • agreeing with Switch and Darth

    Karelia is the key, but often times not attainable, especially against a strong 3 inf, 3 tank Russia one buy.


  • '11

    I’ve been toying with a one AA gun and 11 infantry buy on G1. I use the transport to pick up 1 inf & 1 AA gun from Germany and bring them to Norway for reinforcement. This at least gives you better protection in the North so the Allies cannot completely overwhelm you. For attack on G1, I push all the armor from Germany towards KAR with some forces from Eastern EU and the fighter from Norway. You should be able to attain victory in KAR with these forces and then create a picket line stretching from KAR through BEL and Ukraine SSR, after reinforcement. I have had some good success with this strategy and it should leave you in a good position to launch an assault on CAU from several different points.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Interesting idea, Antholin.

    Though, you don’t really need to buy an AA Gun, you have three of them at the start anyway.  Just shuffle the gun from S. Europe to Germany and from Germany to Norway.  (S. Europe is safe from SBR because of the gun in W. Europe…well, as safe as Germany is anyway.)

    Could save you the cash.  Or, 10 Infantry, Armor, AA Gun could work, instead of 11 Infantry.


  • '11

    That’s very true. I just like having as much AA coverage over the reich as possible. One of the guys I play against just loves using his bombers to wreak havoc with my economy. So, I guess I’ve gotten a little AA gun crazy. I figure they’re not too costly for the potential coverage they provide. I buy up that amount of infantry to free up all available armor, artillery & fighters to fight on the Eastern front. Next game, I will probably shuffle the S. Europe AA gun up to Germany and that up to Norway. At least I’ll be able to field another tank. Thanks for the advice Cmdr Jennifer.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Understood, however does your opponent know that he can avoid all your guns except those over S. Europe and Germany by going over the naval routes?

    England, SZ 6, SZ 5, Germany (3 Movement Points)
    Caucasus, SZ 16, SZ 14, S. Europe (3 Movement Points)


  • '11

    He doesn’t know yet, as he’s only played a few times. However, I’m not about to point that out to him. When I play as the Allies, then he’ll find out. Can’t let your friends in on all the secrets.  😄



  • @Antholin:

    He doesn’t know yet, as he’s only played a few times. However, I’m not about to point that out to him. When I play as the Allies, then he’ll find out. Can’t let your friends in on all the secrets.   😄

    That’s the most effective strategy out there…
    when your opponent messes up.


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