What I had in mind was the situation when a country was deadzoned and traded between two factions, for instance UKR from EEU and CAU, and the german attack failed, and the russians survive with one russian INF.
Should I move back that INF to CAU and leave UKR empty or should that INF hold position?
Until now I prefer to let that INF hold the line (2+ IPC) and move out otherwise, but perhaps I have to overthink this approach …
I remember posting a sarcastic rejoinder on another board, or maybe it was this board. I forget. Anyways, what I posted was something like “Oh, what is this round sort of thing that rolls around, this round thing with a little hole in it, how cool is that? I think I will call it a WHEEL.” Which is to say, yeah, you know, if someone’s pointing out the obvious, they don’t have to be all proud and think they thought of something clever themselves. Which is what I want to comment on for the following; a lot of this stuff that follows is stuff that most people already know, but I’m just going to go ahead and point it out for the few that haven’t already seen this tired old mule five million times.
In Axis and Allies Revised, there are economic decisions, logistic decisions, tactical decisions, ad strategic decisions. Which all sounds really impressive, but here’s what I mean. You have to think about how much income you’re pulling in. You have to think about what attacks are possible based on where your forces are. You have to think about how your possible attacks can be used to accomplish what you want to do. Finally, you have to think about all of those things at the same time, and come up with an overall plan. Wow, simple, you know, obvious, right? I knoes.
I mean yeah yeah, sure, everyone does that, even unconsciously (not even subconsciously but unconsciously ) but what does that MEAN in terms of gameplay? (And why am I always beating my favorite dead horse “look at the board, look at the board, look at the board”?)
Let’s take the example above. You can figure out the economic advantage of leaving an infantry there very easily. You can figure out the logistic advantage that you can get from a trade very easily. You can figure out whether leaving one infantry in multiple territories is going to help you accomplish what you want to do. But the big question is not what you WANT to do. Anybody can come up with a short term plan to accomplish what you WANT to do. It’s the long term plan that you have to think about; that is, what you HAVE to do. Your short-term goals are going to contribute to your long-term goals, but if you don’t have long-term goals, you’re in trouble.
For example, let’s say that you’re thinking short term. You think “I’m going to use my German air and tanks, and produce more tanks, and blast the c*** out of the Russians. KEWL.” I mean, okay, maybe you’re not all KEWL or whatever, but that’s a short term plan. You’re not thinking about what your opponents might do to stop you, you’re not thinking about how Japan can help you. If you’re just thinking about what YOU want to do, it’s what I’d call a tactic. Once you start thinking about EVERYTHING, then you have a strategy.
So, you say, you specified that a country was deadzoned and was being traded. Ask yourself if that’s enough to formulate a grand strategy. Of course it’s not. The specified conditions lead to the understanding that it’s a position concerning short-term trade. What other things SHOULD we look at?
Well, we know neither side has enough superiority of ground forces to advance en masse, so they’re standing off. What else do we need? How about the question of who has more air (i.e. who can trade with more surety?) Well, Germany, you say, obviously. But Germany also has to control the Atlantic and Africa with its air, so if Germany moves its air into attack positions deep on its eastern front, it will have to worry about Allied landings. Is that something that Germany can afford? Of course Germany can afford an Allied landing, especially depending on the status of the Allied transport chains in the Atlantic. So what is the current status of the Atlantic and Africa? will Germany probably be willing to trade a weaker position in the Atlantic for a superior position against Moscow, and if Germany is willing to do so, will Germany and Japan combined be too much for Russia to handle?
So just how valuable IS that one infantry on the front?
Generally, I would say that Russia should preserve its infantry. If Germany DOES attack a lone Russian infantry, it can choose to gain attacker advantage by sending 2 infantry 1 fighter for an attack of 5 vs 2; there is a decent chance Germany will kill the Russian infantry at no loss and gain a 2 IPC territory, also a decent chance Germany will kill the Russian infantry at cost of one German infantry and gain a 2 IPC territory. There is some chance that Germany will lose both infantry, but considering the additional 2 IPC to gain, the trade is generally worth it for Germany (unless the logistic problem of getting ground units from Berlin to the eastern front is a big one at the time). So consider that happens if Germany ends up capturing the territory with 2 infantry intact. That means Russia in turn has to commit more units to recapture the territory, and Germany’s trading ability is greater than Russia’s.
So what happens if Russia leaves nothing? If a German tank blitzes, then a Russian tank can blitz right back; German forces move up, Russian forces move up. Germany has economic superiority, but Russia has the other Allies moving in from the Atlantic (assuming KGF). If Germany leaves infantry, then Germany could have left infantry anyways on the trade, so things haven’t changed much.
Conclusion: Germany has superior trading ability. Germany may leave defense forces of 2 infantry or more per territory, particularly in Belorussia and Ukraine early (since UK/US probably can’t drop units into those territories early, unlike Karelia and Archangel). However, Russia should avoid leaving infantry in territories if it can help it.
Note leaving infantry behind is sometimes good re: Tim’s post.