R1: What to leave in Cau if you don't attack Ukr?


  • This issue has puzzled me for some time. I believe bad dice in Ukr can hurt Russia more than Germany, and doing Belo/WRu makes it easier to dissuade a Kar stack on G1 (keeping Germany out of Kar gives you all sorts of benefits - your tanks can stay in Cau/Mos to deadzone Sink/Yak, Kar is a natural staging ground for the allies, it reduces German income, etc). However, do you defend Cau in this case?

    Using 0-1 inf gives Germany some free income and makes it easy for Germany to stage in Ukr - a lot of your forces are in Mos on G1, and you can only build in Cau on R3. Furthermore, you cannot fly your UK figs to WRu on UK1 in order to take out the German Med fleet on UK2 unless you are willing to trade Cau with Germany on your second turn.

    Putting a big stack in Cau is attractive if Germany can’t attack it. Russia has to be careful here - Germany can still clear Cau (4 inf, art, 4 tank, 4 fig, BB), sz 13 (sub, 2 fig) and AE (African units + bid, bomber), and WRu must also be sufficiently strong. In the above case, the Cau attack has about zero EV TUV-wise but quite a few Axis players will consider that a good deal. If you defend Cau with all you have, are you happy to see such a German attack?

    A middle ground seems to be to leave a few inf (around 5). Germany cannot really attack this stack profitably and Russia has some more offensive strength against Ukr if Germany chooses to attack Cau than if you only leave 1 inf, but you still run into some of the same problems as the first scenario.

    Lastly, how do German bid units in Ukr (or Belo) alter the equation? For those of you do not leave Cau empty, do you change your mind after one, two or three bid inf? Or do 1-2 inf there rather make you want to attack Ukraine?


  • if the ukr attack goes south russia is in big problems. after one disastrous round of battle the survivors should be retreated to cauc. to protect these valuable units (2-3 tks, 1rtl) every inf available should be moved in. however don´t place any fighters there because as germany i would love to destroy them- at any cost.

    however if russia decides not to attack ukr r1 there is no need to retreat fully. place some cheap troops (~5inf) to make an attack risky. risky in the sense of the overall german situation g1. yes, all other necessary fights could be fought, but at a bigger risk for germany. additionally with these defenders germany will have to commit tks to this attack. take them out r2.


  • Russia should avoid inviting an attack that germany could win, IMO. The axis can play their game fast or slow, and the chance to kill 5 russian infantry on R1 (even if it costs a few tanks) is a very good one for the axis.  Forcing production back in moscow and reducing the overall size of the russian army is worth it even if the battle appears to be a tough trade for germany.  (In any case, german tanks left defending the following round do hit sometimes, so it’s not like they’re just sacrificed).

    If skipping the ukraine attack, I would place a respectable stack in caucusus, including fighters.  Germany should have to commit all their available fighters to even have a chance, and then in that case it’s too risky for them.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    I like to stack Caucasus.  Yes, it is technically true that Italy could suicide against it and Germany could follow up and capture it, but I think that hurts the Axis far worse than the allies.

    Since you are building tanks on Round 1 anyway (you are, are you not?) it would be an easy matter to reinforce from Russia and build the tanks in Caucasus.

    PS: If Finland is under defended, and the SZ 5 fleet is due to be sunk, why not take Finland and then Norway?  Russia needs it far more than England, and it puts you one gray territory away from a 10 IPC NO!)


  • Are you talking about Revised here?  :roll:

  • Moderator

    I pretty much always stack, unless Wrus goes really bad or G bid 3 units to Ukr.

    Didn’t quite work in our game though, you took pretty handily, but even so it can still be damaging to Ger.

    I think if you go with 9 inf to Wrus, you have enough flexibilty to defend Cauc heavy and feel pretty safe.

    I rely on the psychological threat a lot, does Germany really want to commit multiple ftrs and its BB for Cauc particularly when Russia has an overwhleming counter available?  Does that leave Egy too light?

    Obviously losing the Russian ftrs is bad, but I’m fairly confident in my defense that I can hold out considering Germany should be pretty thin after that.  You can also counter with UK from Per with 1 inf, 1 ftr (sz 35), 1 bom (uk) if they only take with 1 unit.  Otherwise its and easy heavy counter with Russia, but again you have to be solid with your Russian defense and might need to buy a couple of rt for later trading.

  • 2007 AAR League

    Put 5 inf there 2+3 bought.

    Threathen with a russian counterattack with forces from moscow, WRU.

    It forces germany to commit forces if they want to take caucasus, but they woin´t have enought to hold it.

  • '16 '15 '10

    Good discussion.  But the answer always depends, I think, on how many infantry Russia lost in Belo and WR.  Generally, if Russia came out strong in these battles then its safer to stack.  Otherwise, stacking could be risky as Germany might decide its position is strong enough to destroy these units and bring more up to Ukraine at the same time.


  • Guess it could also depend on whether you attack Belo and WRu or just WRu. If you do both, you will generally lose more in WRu and keeping WRu strong enough can be a bit dicier. Zhukov has an interesting point that you can shove in some more hardware to WRu if you have bad luck there.


  • I stack with ftrs, most commonly my R1 ends with 8inf, 2arm, 2ftr in cau. The  german option to attack it on g1 to me, feels like the same type of gamble the russian player was trying to avoid in ukr r1. the most likely result of that g1 attack on cau is germany being forced into sacrificing a plane just to take cau with 1 arm, which is countered handily on uk1 with inf, ftr, bmr. the only arguable reason to commit to this is the killing of those russian ftrs. is forcing yourself into a best-case-scenario-trading-of-cau-while-constantly-having-germany-purchase-4±arm(usually the g1 buy for this battle is 5inf/5arm) while praying jpn moves its heiny quickly enough worth those 2 red planes?

    1inf bid in ukr for me changes nothing (germany usu takes with 1 unit still)

    2inf bid means germany just as often takes with 3 arm as 1 so i still stubbornly stack as above. also a 2inf bid in ukr means at most 1 inf in lib…does the german player really hose himself in africa just to do this? another allied advantage?

    3inf bid ukr means germany often takes with 4arm, which is a problem since the next wave can be 7inf/4arm/planes(if belo wasnt touched). But then a 3inf bid in ukr means no bid units in lib and no need to focus any us or uk troops in africa. this means the fastest buys/placement of brits and yanks toward berlin is very smooth. does the german player like to play this high-risk race type game? DDay uk2? hmmmmmm chances are that if he does he’ll make other mistakes that can be taken advantage of.

    Ive personally given up messing with either the r1 ukr or the g1 cau. Just doesnt seem worth it in a serious game. MAYBE, MAYBE this can be good if there’s a silly error or dice catastrophe on r1. even then, i believe the advatage you receive from that r1 snafu can be utilized long term and safe-like, rather than giving yourself an opportunity to eat some of russia’s crow.


  • With 8 inf, 2 tank, 2 fig it is definately not profitable for Germany to attack Cau (assuming no bid units in Ukr). If you don’t attack Belo, you’ll probably kill all units in WRu on round one, allowing you to leave 10 ground units in Cau. Still, against 9 ground units (likely if you do Belo as well) I can see why German players want to attack - trading stacks of equal unit value to kill those Russian figs is not a bad deal (a lot of players won’t hesitate a second if you ask them to trade 2 german figs or 4 german tanks for those Russian figs).

    While it is not without risks for Germany (just like a R1 Ukr attack can also go south for Germany), exposing yourself to such a G1 attack means exposing yourself to a similar risk that you wanted to avoid on R1 by skipping Ukraine. If you’re up against a notoriously risk averse German player, that might be less of a problem though.


  • I have a heavy poker background … full disclosure and all. The dynamic here very much reminds me of a poker concept that goes something like this: If you are playing against someone who has proven to be a worse player than you, avoid close gambles because you dont have to “gamble” to beat that player. Against someone proven better than you, take the close gambles because those are going to be your best spots. When I say “gamble” I"m talking about (in poker anyway) those 55-45 situations and even those 60-40 spots. IMHO i think in comparison to A&A, these would be around 65-35 and 75-25 situations, respectively. I also believe R1 ukr(no bid/1unit bid)/G1 cau(10ground + red planes) are both spots that fall into this category. So I guess If u ever see me try this on you, you should feel complimented!

    I think the real question here is, if you’re not stacking cau sufficiently, where are those units placed instead and how are they of better value there? There could be an argument when 3inf are bid in ukr, to R1 push absolutely everything into wru and possibly belo and defend cau 1 inf(placed). The argument being that wru might get wiped out otherwise. I rarely play against 9 bid in ukr so i dont have much there…any1?


  • My normal Russian 1 purchase is 1 arty 2 arm and 1 fighter. I place all of this in the Caucasus and bring over the 2 INF from Kazakh. The only unit I use to attack W. Russia from the Caucasus is the arty. I do the 3 Infantry 2 fighter attack on Belorussia and send the rest of my units that can reach to W. Russia. If W. Russia goes badly I may shift 1 infantry from the Caucasus to W. Russia.

    I have found that most German bids go to Africa anyway and I do not play against 9 bids. This set up does 2 things. It provides Russia with a 3 fighter attack Russia 2 on the German Battleship and Transport in the Med. If there was a transport bid the attack will come on Russia 3 with 4 fighters. This stops Germany from reinforcing Africa right from the start. It also sets up a quite risky attack for Germany if they should chose to make it against the Caucasus. One that has a potential and history of leaving a very sour taste in the German commanders mouth when they loose the Luftwaffe there. True Russia has lost their Air Force as well; BUT, Allied fighters can be flown to Russia for defense if need be. I also think about everyone here would agree that when Germany looses its fighters it is in serious trouble. And if you are new make note of that.


  • @Cmdr:

    I like to stack Caucasus.  Yes, it is technically true that Italy could suicide against it and Germany could follow up and capture it, but I think that hurts the Axis far worse than the allies.

    Since you are building tanks on Round 1 anyway (you are, are you not?) it would be an easy matter to reinforce from Russia and build the tanks in Caucasus.

    PS: If Finland is under defended, and the SZ 5 fleet is due to be sunk, why not take Finland and then Norway?  Russia needs it far more than England, and it puts you one gray territory away from a 10 IPC NO!)

    wrong game?


  • @crispyHaole:

    I think the real question here is, if you’re not stacking cau sufficiently, where are those units placed instead and how are they of better value there? There could be an argument when 3inf are bid in ukr, to R1 push absolutely everything into wru and possibly belo and defend cau 1 inf(placed). The argument being that wru might get wiped out otherwise. I rarely play against 9 bid in ukr so i dont have much there…any1?

    If you attack Belo and leave 10 units in Cau, that means you’re hitting WRu with 6 inf, 2 art, 3 tank. On average, you will lose 2.6 units in WRu. If you lose 4 units (or even 3), Germany can counter with 3 inf, art, 3 tank, 4 fig, meaning you are offering him to trade at 1:1 rate or better.

    Also, each additional unit in WRu helps to deter a G1 Kar stack. If you take Belo and WRu with 3 inf, 2 art, 3 tank (and have 3 tank, 2 fig, 7 inf in Cau), attacking 7 inf, 5 arm in Kar on R2 doesn’t seem like a good idea for example. This principle also applies if you don’t attack Belo (leaving 10 ground units in Cau gives you a 7 inf, 2 art, 6 arm, 2 fig attack against 9 inf, 6 arm on R2 if you lose 2 inf in WRu).

    Interesting idea a44 of hitting the German Med fleet with Russia. I prefer to fly one or two UK figs to WRu on UK 1 and kill it with help of the Indian Ocean AC (and fig if need be) if I want it dead fast though.


  • @KGB:

    @crispyHaole:

    I think the real question here is, if you’re not stacking cau sufficiently, where are those units placed instead and how are they of better value there? There could be an argument when 3inf are bid in ukr, to R1 push absolutely everything into wru and possibly belo and defend cau 1 inf(placed). The argument being that wru might get wiped out otherwise. I rarely play against 9 bid in ukr so i dont have much there…any1?

    If you attack Belo and leave 10 units in Cau, that means you’re hitting WRu with 6 inf, 2 art, 3 tank. On average, you will lose 2.6 units in WRu. If you lose 4 units (or even 3), Germany can counter with 3 inf, art, 3 tank, 4 fig, meaning you are offering him to trade at 1:1 rate or better.

    Also, each additional unit in WRu helps to deter a G1 Kar stack. If you take Belo and WRu with 3 inf, 2 art, 3 tank (and have 3 tank, 2 fig, 7 inf in Cau), attacking 7 inf, 5 arm in Kar on R2 doesn’t seem like a good idea for example. This principle also applies if you don’t attack Belo (leaving 10 ground units in Cau gives you a 7 inf, 2 art, 6 arm, 2 fig attack against 9 inf, 6 arm on R2 if you lose 2 inf in WRu).

    Interesting idea a44 of hitting the German Med fleet with Russia. I prefer to fly one or two UK figs to WRu on UK 1 and kill it with help of the Indian Ocean AC (and fig if need be) if I want it dead fast though.

    I think there’s a slight miss communication here…

    I wasn’t suggesting hitting wru and belo and stacking cau with 10 ground/2 planes. My opening is almost always as i stated earlier, wru with all (excluding 3inf/arm cau) then stack cau.

    What I was stating was that IF you decide to open as I do BUT not stack cau as I do, then where oh where did you put those units instead (the ones I stack cau with). Furthermore, how are they of MORE value (wherever you place them) in that position.

    I went on to say that 1 possible (good) answer to my question was in the instance of a 9 bid in ukr. Here some ppl have a good argument for hitting belo with all(3inf 2 ftr), wru with the rest(including all cau units) and leaving cau with 1 purchased inf.

    About stacking Kar, this is a VERY GOOD point. I’m not thrilled about attacking 9inf/6arm R2 with 7inf/2art/7arm/2ftr (you said 6 arm, my purchase for this R1 is always 3inf/3arm so I have 7arm here). However even with 6/2/6/2 Russia is about a 2 to 1 favorite (7/2/7/2 is about an 8 to 1 fav) and IMHO because of position, is FORCED to make this attack. I think strafing this stack to 1 or 2 arm is optimal(especially when G1 purchased 5inf/5arm and therefore has a solid counter), but alas the dice don’t always cooperate in these small stack strafes. Another side benefit of that G1 9/6 is that the z5 navy stayed put(unless germany split it up?), meaning any surviving UK ftr (odds are 1) may land in wru and threaten z16(possibly z15 depending on Africa situation) since if R2 leningrad goes bad, cau units inevitably travel north, tempting the G2 amphib, especially if a few german inf remained in ukr rather than moving to eeu G1(not likely though).

    Most of the time, if Germany stacks len on me it’s because of a combination of poor R1 wru, bad Russian trades(ukr/belo/len) in the next few rounds, and Germany sacrificing planes in the atlantic, slowing UK and US reinforcements/counters. Not that often in my experience.

    Great discussion btw!


  • rereading my own post I’ve decided I type like I think, which is awfully jumbled. sorry 🙂


  • Okay, fair enough. If you only attack WRu and buy 3 arm you should generally be safe against a Kar stack on G1 (don’t know why I listed 2 arm in my last post - I usually buy 3 unless I vacate Cau completely, in which case 5 inf art arm is also sufficient to deter a Kar stack). Perhaps attacking WRu and Belo and stacking Cau is just my fetish  :lol:

    The issue with German bid units Ukr is that they project force into both WRu and Cau, so holding both quickly becomes infeasible if Germany puts some stuff in Ukr.

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