• I’ve played 3 games recently and every time, Russia was blown out of the game within the first 5 or 6 turns??  they are just at such a disadvantage with little $$ and options and Germany is so strong to hold off and Japan coming from the  east.  how do you guys keep Russia in the game?


  • I usually play a very conservative Russia.  On R1 I usually ONLY attack WRussia, and fortify the crap out of Karelia and Caucasus.  This strategy doesn’t work for long b/c Germany gets too strong; but the UK needs to get troops into Russia via transports and aircraft in UK1 or UK2 at the latest (depending on where Germany parks her naval fleet from SZ5).  Many times I will also send a couple infantry (and sometimes a fighter too) to Sinkiang for support until the US can build an industry and start pumping out units by US2.
    Just my 2 cents…


  • A great deal depends on how allied the allies are.

    Russia should consuladate its forces in the east to pacify Japan sending one or two INF when they can be spared. The second thing Russia should do is be very careful with their spending habits.  A navy is a very bad idea. An air force isn’t the best idea.  For the first several turns Russia should play the defensive and buy mostly INF.

    Getting back to the point how allied the allies are. If they are working together that may be all Russia needs to do for the short term.  Once the UK and/or the US are able to land ground troops in WEurope or Norway (keep in mind that should be absolutly no later then turn 3 or 4.)  Russia can then focus on reinforcing the Eastern front from Japan and possibly acomplishing the same thing for US and UK forces in Asia that the US and the UK are doing for Russia in Europe.

    You should get a hold of Don Ray’s essays.  There is a lot of good basic game mechanics in those pages.

    -LT


  • @kfgolfer:

    I’ve played 3 games recently and every time, Russia was blown out of the game within the first 5 or 6 turns??  they are just at such a disadvantage with little $$ and options and Germany is so strong to hold off and Japan coming from the  east.   how do you guys keep Russia in the game?

    well, i cant say i ve read them

    but i think there are some good articles here on the site contating Allied and thus Soviet strategies


  • @losttribe04:

    An air force isn’t the best idea.  For the first several turns Russia should play the defensive and buy mostly INF.

    Defensive russian play, ok.

    But I find out that some mixed buy of INF, ART and ARM gives me a good potential not only to hold key territories against Germany but also have the possibility to strike back any exposed japanese force.
    And if you can afford to buy a third FIG … it helps a lot while trading territories, because you can minimize your input of INF and don’t have to sacrifice ART or ARM.

    But the game winning move is always a russian BB or the combo CV/sub, best place at caspian sea: No more japanese amphibian attack on CAU … 😉


  • @kfgolfer:

    I’ve played 3 games recently and every time, Russia was blown out of the game within the first 5 or 6 turns??  they are just at such a disadvantage with little $$ and options and Germany is so strong to hold off and Japan coming from the  east.   how do you guys keep Russia in the game?

    well, some general tips would be ( from me, i am not saying its how you should play )

    1.dont buy navy at all
    2.dont buy airforce at all
    3.dont exchange territories( with the excpetion of gaining some tactial/strategic position)
    4.help allies defend in Sinkiang
    5.buy inf only( with the excpetion of tenks)

    can you tell more about the games you play

    do the Axis alwaays play similar strategy or

    maybe, ( i assume ) the core problem of your allied downfall probably lies somewhere else( UK, USA )
    and not in your Soviet play

    USSR is (by far :?) the easiest country to play with. you cant miss as with the other countries


  • @kfgolfer:

    I’ve played 3 games recently and every time, Russia was blown out of the game within the first 5 or 6 turns??  they are just at such a disadvantage with little $$ and options and Germany is so strong to hold off and Japan coming from the  east.   how do you guys keep Russia in the game?

    and yes, dont forget to merge your sub with the Allied fleet

    and if neceserally use those 2 figs for boosting allied defence, either at land either at see


  • and avoid geting yourself fighting against Japan in Siberia

    that 1-2 IPC wont help you bring much all in all since you lose many of your inf

    concetrate on Sinkiang, from there you can with your combined forces in Russia and Caucus eliminate the invading forces of Evenki National Okrug, Novosibirsk and Kazakh and thus in the same time defending the Central Asia through Sinkiang

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    No, in fact, I’ve had a very dominant Russia against some of the best players in the game.  It does not take much for Russia to be collecting 34+ IPC a round early in the game.

    One method is the ultra conservative Russia:  Everything attacks W. Russia, build 8 infantry.

    Another method is the ultra aggressive Russia: Attack Norway, W. Russia and Ukraine on Round 1, Build 3 Infantry, 3 Armor

    The only method that does not seem to result in Germany getting knocked on its heels is the traditional Russia where you attack W. Russia and Ukraine.  I believe this is because you squander Russia’s resources early in the game for little if no return.  Honestly, if it is a LL game I’d promote the ultra aggressive route.  In a traditional dice game, the conservative really works for me.  Sure, Germany gets Caucasus for the one round, but they cannot advance in force.  (And as Russia on Round 2, you probably don’t need the production capabilities in Caucasus anyway, just the income.)

    With the ultra conservative approach, you will have 26 IPC to spend on Round 2.  That’s 7 Infantry, Armor.  Max production for Russia.

    Starting on Round 3 you can begin fleshing out Artillery and Armor to keep up the offensive posture and buying America and England time to secure Africa and flesh out the navy to begin assaults on Europe (which should begin around Turn 6, IMHO, about the same time Germany finally has the forces to push Russian armies out of the Ukraine and back into W. Russia/Caucasus and Japan has started production in SE Asia with real force.)


    If you are getting blown out by Germany in just a few turns, and without giving me details on what you are doing, I would have to guess you are probably playing too aggressively with Russia.  Russia’s strength is it’s defense.  You want to mass your troops in strategic places (aka places you can attack from to earn quick cash) these places are Karelia, Ukraine, W. Russia and Novosibirsk.

    I’d focus on infantry mostly, but don’t neglect tanks!  An artillery unit here and there can make up for lack of fighters if you need to attack more than two or three places and don’t want to expose your tanks.  Inf+Arm = 4 Punch.  Inf+Art = 4 Punch.  By about round 3 or 4, if you are doing well (ie two rounds of 30+ income) you may want to invest in a 3rd fighter.  It can really pay off in a 14 round or better game. (Trading with Infantry, Artillery costs 7 IPC, with two infantry and a Fighter it costs 6 IPC.  11 Rounds of this since buying the fighter can net you 11 IPC, 1 IPC savings after you pay for the fighter!  Not to mention the income from the land you can now grab you couldnt before.)

    If you are doing poorly, don’t get the fighter, you’ll sap your strength.


  • Well, I certainly disagree with notion that russia is a “can’t miss” country to play. russia’s positioning and strength is key to the game. Russia gets more attention than Germany in this game.

    This my first post so take my advice as you will. Germany and Russia sre both well served to buy plenty of Inf. More so for Russia. No navy with Russia is a given, as that is absurd. no af, i disagree. However, a fighter purchase by my Russian game is a luxury, not a core strategy. I will buy 1 fighter in some games when russia looks good with inf stacks, and has japan at its doorstep. (Round 5-6). With japan knocking, you are probably trading 4-5 territories on both sides. That fighter helps immensely. It also helps with defense.

    I would lean to no artillery over no AF. However, there are times you are left with 1 dollar, so why not an art. The artillery is a great idea when Russia is strong, and about to switch from defense to offense. an all artillery stack purchase complements those big stacks of inf nicely. The key to a good russian game isnt obvious to new players. It a bean counter mentality. Always look for the best trades, never let your troops become vulnerable. Im not sure who said dont trade territory, i dont see that approach working at all. You need to maintain the dead zones. ukr/belorussia/karelia. The dead zones are the key to your defense. Always set yourself up in a position to counter attack a german weakness or mistake. And always look for an opportunity to stack. If you can hold ukr, things are going well for you.


  • @Cmdr:

    The only method that does not seem to result in Germany getting knocked on its heels is the traditional Russia where you attack W. Russia and Ukraine.  I believe this is because you squander Russia’s resources early in the game for little if no return.  Honestly, if it is a LL game I’d promote the ultra aggressive route.  In a traditional dice game, the conservative really works for me.  Sure, Germany gets Caucasus for the one round, but they cannot advance in force.  (And as Russia on Round 2, you probably don’t need the production capabilities in Caucasus anyway, just the income.)

    If you are doing poorly, don’t get the fighter, you’ll sap your strength.

    Hmm. I certainly think the UKR/W.Russia  opening has Germany more on it heels than the W.Russia, “turtle” strategy. When I am the german player, i get giddy when i can start my turn with 6 planes instead of 5. Something that isnt clicking for me Jen, if you attack W.Russia, and buy all Inf, How/When do you get to 30+ production with Russia? That doesnt seem to coincide. Do you defend the east aggressively? to reach 30, thats a 6ipc increase. Conceding AT LEAST 1 ipc loss in the east to Japan. you need to be swapping Karelia, belrussia, and ukr with the germans to put you at 30 even. The + is a bit unbeleievable to me, this mean EE, Balkans, manchuria? and things are going very badly for the axis if russia is collecting on the nothern side of 30 ipcs!!

    Ok so back to the turtle opening. As germany, i dont mind this so much. I can hold Ukraine. If you dont attack UKR r1 Jen, when can/do you get the Germans out of the Ukraine? I think the novice germany player rushes caucus. I might trade it, but im not stacking there for sure. Im stacking in UKR. And Im pretty sure i can hold UKR for some time without losing it. This enables me to swap caucus with the russians instead of ukr. That’s a good positon for Germany IMO. They hold the 3 ipcs UKR without ever giving that income to Russia. And they swap the 4 ipc territory, preventing Russia from building there. I dont see how how they can build up a counter fast enough, while trading caucus to get me out of ukraine.


  • One thing I think some (not all) over look is that a great deal of Germany’s forces are not INF.  When Russia’s are.  So kill for kill Germany takes a harder beating until they get some logistical proficiency en route.

    -LT


  • @losttribe04:

    One thing I think some (not all) over look is that a great deal of Germany’s forces are not INF.  When Russia’s are.  So kill for kill Germany takes a harder beating until they get some logistical proficiency en route.

    -LT

    Umm. Your statement is not based in fact. A fact that we can all look up on the starting charts to the game. Germany starts the game with 25 inf, Russia 24 inf/ Effectively you can discount the 2 inf that start in africa, but then lets also discount the 4 inf in the far east for the soviets to be fair. taht still a 23-20 edge in Infantry to the Germans at the start. Where you go from there is your own doing. A smart German player buys sufficient levels of Infantry, in order to never have to lose tanks or planes again after round 1.


  • So im really interested in this discussion Jen. What is your conservative approach? Do you concede Ukraine and trade Caucus? That doesnt seem like it could be good for russia. What i really would like answered, is how do you leave Caucus round 1? if you leave minimal defense, i’ll attack. 6 or less infantry there, im attacking. And i am only looking to trade it. I can trade Caucus and kep ukraine. This means you are trading Caucus, Belorussia, and Karelia every round. This puts russia at 25-26 production, and shrinking if japan is doing it’s job.


  • I should have explained my point better

    1. Russia doesn’t have much besides INF. 
      Germany has all kinds of AUX units.

    2. Most of Russia’s INF is near or on the front lines.
      Germany’s INF may be several turns away from getting to the front line. i.e. WEurope.


  • A uncareful Japanese player can aid soviets reach 34 ipcs as Jen said. If you send an armor to India and Japan forgets leave 1 inf there, it’s 3 free ipcs for USSR. Some similar can happen if soviets letf 1 inf at Buryatia for forcing Japan let 1 inf at Man… and Japan forgets it. It’s rare, sure, but sometimes happen  😄


  • @Funcioneta:

    A uncareful Japanese player can aid soviets reach 34 ipcs as Jen said. If you send an armor to India and Japan forgets leave 1 inf there, it’s 3 free ipcs for USSR. Some similar can happen if soviets letf 1 inf at Buryatia for forcing Japan let 1 inf at Man… and Japan forgets it. It’s rare, sure, but sometimes happen  😄

    If Russia stacks sufficiently in Bury to take Manchuria, i divert japanese forces to kill russian inf. This leaves all of east russia to be gobbled up. Yes, carelessness can expalin alot of extreme results. But Jen sounded as if she was referring to a normal game scenario, and not a scenario that required a weak axis player.


  • @losttribe04:

    I should have explained my point better

    1. Russia doesn’t have much besides INF. 
      Germany has all kinds of AUX units.

    2. Most of Russia’s INF is near or on the front lines.
      Germany’s INF may be several turns away from getting to the front line. i.e. WEurope.

    Well, to me it sounded as if you were making the point that russia had a infantry advantage. I dont agree with this. There is nothing requiring the germans to stack heavy infantry in west europe. The germans start with more inf, and as I play them, gain on infantry, as I out-produce russia in infantry. I buy at least 19 in the first 2 rounds with germany, russia can’t match that!


  • the agressive Russian aproach against an experienced German player simply cannot pass

    there is too many ˝risky battles˝ not to mention those 3 in the first round Jen

    and simply Russia cant produce 30+ constantly, even if it has Germany will have 40+ and overpower them

    And USSR is definitely ˝the easiest˝ nation to play with. There are not easy nations, but some are harder to play with

    The Nations:
    1.GERMANY
    2.UK
    3.JAPAN
    4.USA
    5.USSR

    Germany UK and Japan are the hardest to play with, then goes USA and then USSR


  • @Amon:

    the agressive Russian aproach against an experienced German player simply cannot pass

    there is too many ˝risky battles˝ not to mention those 3 in the first round Jen

    and simply Russia cant produce 30+ constantly, even if it has Germany will have 40+ and overpower them

    And USSR is definitely ˝the easiest˝ nation to play with. There are not easy nations, but some are harder to play with

    The Nations:
    1.GERMANY
    2.UK
    3.JAPAN
    4.USA
    5.USSR

    Germany UK and Japan are the hardest to play with, then goes USA and then USSR

    definitely huh? Well. Granted I think Russia may be the easiest, but I definitely dont agree with your list of easiest to hardest. I think UK gives Russia a run for it money on easiest country. But I really guess it depends on what you feel is optimal strategy for these countries, as well as your definition of “ease to use”. For an advanced player or beginner?  I think USA is the hardest country for a brand new player. UK, is right there as easiest to use optimally. I dont think UK should have to do much contending in asia or africa (in the late game). I bet ur gonna tell me otherwise, as u said an IC in India is a good idea. I dont agree. UK otpimal play is to shuttle troops to Northern Europe, and contend in africa early, waiting for usa to take over. thats it. They might make some waves in the indian ocean early, but for them to try and contend in Indian ocean for a substained period, i think its sub-optimal.

    My hardest country to use is certainly Germany. They fight all three allies at once, and they have to balance defense and aggression. USA might be next. They have alot of logistical concerns. And options. Pacific, atlantic, europe, africa. The challenge is finding the optimal system to deliver ground troops where they are needed. So third would be japan. Although, i might put uk ahead of japan. Japan is usually not contested in the games I play. Only stalled. SO the challenge is of course, getting optimal number of ground troops in position on Mocosw as early as possible.


  • Or you can try the Passive/Aggressive Russia…

    Belo and WR on R1 with mostly INF plus 1 ART, 1 ARM on R1.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    If you turtle up in W. Russia you are primed to hit Karelia, Belorussia and Ukraine on Russia 2.  Assuming Japan hit China and just about nothing else, that should give Russia 31 IPC on R2.  By R3 or R4 you should be stacked heavy in Ukraine trading Balkans, Belorussia and E. Europe with Germany which should be more than enough to break the 34 IPC mark, assuming England is landing in Karelia/Archangelsk and America in Algeria this should be a short game for Germany.  Dice permitting.

    Anyway, yes, it is nice to take out 17% of the German fighter squadrons on Russia 1.  However, you are losing 3 tanks and an artillery unit to do it in most games.  (Lost in the counter attack if not on the attack.)  This is just unacceptable to me.  Why would I sacrifice 19 IPC in good units for 10 IPC of German fighters?  (Assuming that is your goal.)

    Better, in my mind, is to have W. Russia stacked to the gills, make Germany play conservatively.  Sure, he has 6 fighters and a bomber.  Honestly, my Germany usually has 6 fighters or 7 fighters and 2 bombers on Germany 2 anyway. (Depends on if I lost the fighter in Ukraine or not.)  So killing one is not going to break Germany’s back.

    However, leaving yourself stretched on the front lines AND losing significant units on Russia 1 will break Russia’s back.  W. Russia and Ukraine can go badly very easily leaving Russia in the lurch and the allies pulling all the stops in recklase maneuvers in a hope of breaking Germany before Russia breaks.  It can also go very well, but the odds of it going badly seem to drastically out weigh the odds of going really well.

    For instance, if you attack W. Russia with 5 Infantry, Artillery, Armor you have a good chance of seeing only 1 infantry, 1 artillery and 1 armor left!  (Most likely result according to frood.)  Sure, you COULD get it without loss, but the odds are much lower.

    If you attack Ukraine with 3 Infantry, Artillery, 3 Armor, 2 Fighters your odds are significantly better, but still not bulletproof.  Odds are you will be reduced to three armor, 2 fighters.

    Okay, so you make both attacks, you have lost 8 infantry and an artillery in the ATTACK.  That’s 28 IPC, more than you earned in your opening pay check.  But that’s not the entire story!  Now Germany is going to take out that other Artillery piece and all four of your tanks!  You now only have 2 fighters for offensive units!!!  Total cost in units to Russia: 52 IPC more than BOTH your starting pay and your first round’s income combined!  Cost to Germany?  Probably about the same, except, Germany earns 42 on round 1 + 40 for starting pay so can afford it!


    Compare that to W. Russia:  You attack with 11 Infantry, 2 Artillery, 4 Armor, 2 Fighters and probably win with 9 infantry, 2 artillery, 4 armor, 2 fighters.  Cost you 6 IPC, cost Germany 18 IPC + Germany will NEVER get that land back on Germany 1.  Move an AA Gun if you want more security, otherwise just garrison Caucasus with one infantry, leave one infantry in Karelia and build up troops.  I’ve even done the Artillery, 4 Armor purchase on Russia 1 with this opening because that gives you an insane offensive punch on Russia 2, insane enough to make Germany think twice before squandering resources by being overly aggressive, which is what Russia wants to do, IMHO.  A hesitant, restricted Germany, is a Germany that will fall faster.

    Okay, so you miss out on killing the fighter in Ukraine.  But you also saved yourself 2 artillery, 4 armor you would have lost.  Sure, Germany takes Karelia, Caucasus and Egypt.  Yes, they have a 48 IPC income for a round.  However, you can take Ukraine, Belorussia and Caucasus (the latter iwth tanks, the former two with fighters) while England liberates Karelia.  So it is only a temporary loss, and, as I mentioned before, on Russia 2 you are not buying more than 8 units anyway.  odds are you are buying 7 infantry, armor with that 26 IPC income, but no matter what, you cannot buy more than 8 units iwth 26 IPC!  So what skin is it off your back to let Germany take Cuacasus (and hopefully lose some valuable units in the attack) for a round?


  • @Amon:

    And USSR is definitely ˝the easiest˝ nation to play with.

    Completely disagree with that one: Russia/USSR is the more demanding nation to play with.

    @Cmdr:

    Anyway, yes, it is nice to take out 17% of the German fighter squadrons on Russia 1.  However, you are losing 3 tanks and an artillery unit to do it in most games.  (Lost in the counter attack if not on the attack.)  This is just unacceptable to me.  Why would I sacrifice 19 IPC in good units for 10 IPC of German fighters?  (Assuming that is your goal.)

    Jennifer, your entire argument has a point but it also has a few things you didn’t mention:

    The math isn’t like that: G has a starting total on Ukr of 9+4+5+10= 28. R uses 9+4+15=28 on the attack, plus any surviving units have a chance of taking out at least 1 inf on the G counterattack. Add to that the 9+4+5=18 that G loses on WR and you’ve just gave G a combined loss of 46 to your 40 (assuming 4 inf losses on WR, attacking with 9 INF, 1 ART, 1 ARM, about 80% odds you’ll get that or better) on R1, plus G will not receive the 48 from Caucasus. And on the Ukr attack you’ll have a 10% odd of not conquering the territory and a 3.4% odd that any G forces will survive the attack.

    When you presented the WR attack (combined with the Ukr one) you mentioned only 5 INF, 1 ART, 1 ARM attacking? What would you do with the remaining 4 russian INF that can reach WR? Keep them in Karelia?
    I’m asking because if R has 5 inf, 1 art, 1 arm left there, then it is very unlikely G will try to counterattack it with 3 inf, 1 arm + airforce (especially if R moves the AAGun to WR). They can try it and yes they can succeed but that will mean G will not make other attacks.


  • If you do WR/UKR, you send MAXIMUM forces to both territories, starting with everything that can reach Ukraine going there, then everything that is left that can reach WR going there.

    The only caveat to that is whether or not you keep a Blitz Blocker INF as Russia in either Karelia or Archangel.

    That puts 8 INF, 1 ART, 1 ARM against WR (odds are to take with loss of 3 INF)
    and 3 INF, 1 ART, 3 ARM, 2 FIG against Ukraine (odds are to take with 3 ARM, 2 FIG)

    USSR loses $37 IPC (counting the loss of the 3 ARM on the G1 counter in Ukraine)
    Germany loses $42 (counting ONLY the R1 combat losses and NO G1 counter losses).

    If the Allied strat allows for Russia to trade even with Germany, this is a good trade.  But in most cases, Russia has to trade about 25% better with Germany for the Allies to remain strong in the early game (Germany loses 2 INF in the Ukraine re-take would meet this need)

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    I only referenced the fighter because that seemed to be the only thing people wanted to do - kill a German fighter.

    You lose as much as you gain in the attack which is a FAR worse situation for Russia than for Germany.  I still hold that it is FAR better to have those 3 armor in Russia 2 than it is for Germany to have that Fighter.  Especially since Germany can easily afford a solitary fighter and still earn more than the Russians, but Russia cannot afford the three armor and even hope to earn as much as Germany.

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