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?