Late Game Allied Play



  • Suppose that Japan is primarily going the Northern route, is stacking Yakut and trading/picketing Sinkiang because Russia is stacking Novo(almost certainly assisted by Allied fighters). Germany is contained to Eastern Europe and is trading EE’s borders, WE(and in the case of my game, SE too). The big question to me is, is it worth conceding Novosibirsk indefinitely to Japan to secure Karelia?

    From Karelia, the UK(and if present, the US) can reinforce Russia at a moments notice with tanks. It denies Germany $2/turn, relieves Russia the duty of trading Belorussia, and maintains increased pressure on Eastern Europe. If Russia can hold Novo and Germany is contained, then Russia(the territory) doesn’t need any help from the other Allies who can continue to build up. The rub is that the Allied fighters in Novo are not being used against or even threatening use against Germany. They would be useful if the UK has Mideast troops left or the US has the inf from Sinkiang but are otherwise only used for defense.

    It probably varies by the game but I’m looking for a general rule, if possible. The last time I was faced with this decision, I blitzed Russian tanks from Russia to Karelia and flew my Allied fighters from Novosibirsk to Karelia to hold it(necessitating a retreat from Novo and allowing Japan to hold it permanently, also allowing their units cut off in China to advance). Right now, I regret the decision since I think that time was on my side and the US and UK could afford to build up while Russia stacks Novo and wait playing to the Allied economic advantage. If I have control of Africa, the Germans contained, the British stockpiling units in Europe, and Russia held Novo a long time, I think I’d be doing well.

    Has anyone else wondered the same thing or come to some solid conclusions? I’ll probably come to my own after some more games with even competition. What I currently think is best in these scenarios is to hold at Novo with Russia as long as possible and on the turn it must be abandoned, use the freed up fighters to stack Karelia.

    Other opinions?


  • '16 '15 '10

    Well tactically Karelia is probably more important than Novo, though I wouldn’t try to hold Karelia in every game.  Neither of these spots are capitals, so I wouldn’t get too committed to holding either one each turn.

    The important thing is getting maximum use out of your air power.  From Novo, Allied air should be able to hit targets on the Western front.  Holding Novo in the late game isn’t such a big priority imo, though its very nice to be able to trade for an extra 4 ipc.  My main priority is not holding Novo but deadzoning it, as well as preventing Jap stacks in Kazach and Persia, so you aren’t threatened with losing Cauc.

    Stacking Karelia is nice because it blocks Germany in nice and allows the Allies to dominate SZ 5.  But I’ve been in games where this tactic became a liability.  If Japan is getting big and strong and Germany is stacking Ukraine in a threatening way, consider temporarily retreating the stack towards West Russia and then resuming Allied landings at Arch.  Not as strategically dominant a spot, but more flexible.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Hold Novo as long as you possibly can!!! Once Japan gets entrenched in Novo, you won’t have a hope in hell of getting them out of there, not unless you want to start strafing them, but that is a bad idea, because if Japan is making monster income, they can replace their losses, while Russia can’t.

    So, while Karelia is a good tactical choice, get the US to ship guys north and that way, with their help, the UK can hold it, allowing Russia to focus on Japan and staying alive. With Allied help of course.  😛



  • I’m going to agree with TDJ, holding Novo would have been far superior. In that particular game, The Allies were able to hold WE(for what turned out to be only a turn) by pulling out of Karelia on the turn after the UK stacked Karelia(all that Russian sacrifice for nothing!) and Japan held Novo from that turn onward. At the juncture in the game where I decided to stack Karelia at Novo’s expense, America was in the med and had a good grasp on Africa. Right now, I have both Allies in the Baltic and stacking EE but unable to attack Berlin for a long time. Japan is in the med with a firm grasp on Africa and getting BB shots on Caucuses.

    Zhukov, when you don’t stack Karelia as the Allies(assume KGF) what do you do? In my game, Germany never stacked east of EE so I didn’t have to flow troops through Archangel to stop Moscow’s fall.

    Would it be better for the Allies to wage not a stack war, but a war of attrition against Germany? The UK would be trading WE and Kar while building up on Norway, and America would be trading Balk, Ukr with any excess troops going to the MidEast or Africa or through Caucuses to West Russia to then trade Belo). America would be in the med(unless they have to shift north at some point to help the UK topple Germany) to keep some control over Africa and the Mideast and to keep Japan somewhat in check. The Germans can’t keep up with trading all those territories with the Allies and if they can hold the economic adv. and hold Russia, Allies win. For anyone wondering, this is easier said than done or I might win more often  :-D.


  • '16 '15 '10

    Against alot of opponents stacking Karelia is great, because UK keeps a firm grasp of SZ 5 and can attack Western or Germany and puts major pressure on EE.  However, when up against an Axis using massive inf stacks, the amount of troops necessary to hold Karelia can mean being too weak vis a vis Japan.  Against an Axis with these tactics, I have to consider what I wouldn’t do against lesser players…ie land my Brits in Arch and have them filter down into the warzones, rather then block off Karelia.  For example, did you have alot of Russians dedicated to defending Karelia, even though Japan succeeded in stacking Novo?  If so, had you pulled those Russians back, you probably would have deadzoned the territories adjacent to Moscow a little longer.

    A Jap stack on Novo isn’t a catastrophe per se, since you have ample tanks and fighters to shift back to defend Moscow.  You just have to watch out and plan these shifts with a watchful eye re. turn order so you don’t leave Allied troops behind in Karelia.

    As Russia, my chief worry vis a vis Japan would be the threat to Cauc once the Jap army is stronger than the Russian.  If Japan stacks Kazach, it would be hard to hold both.  Once the Jap fleet is in the Med and Japs control Cauc, then Axis has the upper hand.

    Re. wars of attrition, as long as the Allies can hold on to Cauc and Africa and keep the Germans pinned down (max of 35 ipc after G turn) then they should have a good chance of winning the war.  The key in this context is stopping Japan from either getting Africa or using maneuver to secure Cauc.

    Re. not stacking Karelia…I’m not necessarily going to stack anywhere…rely on counterattack as much as defense.  For the first part of the game, Russia alone is dead zoning Karelia…  then UK + Russia are dead zoning Karelia.  Against a really elite Axis, I may eventually have to shift my Russians to deal with Japan, and thus may allow Germany to stack Karelia (if they have the balls that is…if UK is big enough and Russia has enough tanks this could be very dangerous), but then I can continue to land in Arch, and I divert enough Russians to prevent Germany from attacking there.  All of this of course depends on my USA strategy…am i going through Africa or taking the northern route?  If I’m taking the northern route (probably combined with a Nor factory) a Karelia stack makes more sense…If I’m taking the Southern route, a Karelia stack is frequently too costly…the Allies have a good chance of wearing down Germany by landings on its soft underbelly (ie keep trading Balkans, Southern, Western etc), while also using the Americans to help keep the Japs out of the critical Persia/Kazach/Cauc area.



  • Okay, thanks for the reply. Stacking Karelia is a bit of a habit since I’m used to being able to do it against a lot of opponents. Against a considerably lesser player, victory comes quickly that way. The only issue I have with making drops in Archangel is how difficult that makes trading WE since I’m assuming the German player at some point abandons and deadzones it. I would hate to let Germany have it for free or to have the Brits cash out 6 short. The UK might not be able to do both, depending on the German plane placement and how many capital ships are available.

    You’re right that when I tried stacking Karelia, I could have held Japan off much longer. Not only would I have Novo deadzoned, it would be stacked with Russians and Allied fighters for a while. Evacuating Novo for Karelia was a big mistake.

    In my last two PBEM games, one as Axis, one as Allies(in progress) the Axis has won(1 inf to Ukr, 2 inf to Lib). In both, the Japanese controlled Africa, entered the Med, held Novo and were/are able to take Moscow. I think I just need to adjust improve my Allied play to beat better Axis play.


  • '16 '15 '10

    @Fleetwood:

    Okay, thanks for the reply. Stacking Karelia is a bit of a habit since I’m used to being able to do it against a lot of opponents. Against a considerably lesser player, victory comes quickly that way. The only issue I have with making drops in Archangel is how difficult that makes trading WE since I’m assuming the German player at some point abandons and deadzones it. I would hate to let Germany have it for free or to have the Brits cash out 6 short. The UK might not be able to do both, depending on the German plane placement and how many capital ships are available.

    Agreed that Western must be traded, but if USA is in the Med they can take up the challenge (12 can be defended minimally assuming the Kraut figs aren’t on Western).

    In my last two PBEM games, one as Axis, one as Allies(in progress) the Axis has won(1 inf to Ukr, 2 inf to Lib). In both, the Japanese controlled Africa, entered the Med, held Novo and were/are able to take Moscow. I think I just need to adjust improve my Allied play to beat better Axis play.

    That kind of bid would throw my Axis game off…I wouldn’t allow a bid of 9 unless it was a tech game.


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