In practice, infantry and tanks are better than infantry and artillery for the added defense and mobility. However, infantry and artillery are more cost effective offensive units at distance 1. The problem with your artillery analysis is that you’re assuming that the attacker will have a huge battle, then their artillery are one step ahead of their infantry and therefore inefficient. Let me tell you, this doesn’t happen. Offensive units that Russia and Germany purchase are 90% of the time purely for threat and in the case of tanks, mobile defense. And with the Soviets, if supply lines ever become a problem, you’ve won. Any time a truly big battle happens and the infantry are depleted, either someone made a mistake that will likely cost them the game, or a capitol fell.
I am definitely assuming that the attacker will have a huge battle. I am coming from the standpoint of a very risk averse player. I hate losing any units except for infantry so my battles tend to be of the sort where I can definitely take the territory and then hold it until the next round without being attacked by an army larger than mine. I don’t like battles with small amounts of units because that leaves a lot to chance and since I assume that I am the better player taking chances is the only way to lose. In my experience capitols fall in big battles and taking capitols is the way you win. Often I will take a few turns to take the capitol by attacking and retreating and doing it again. I do this because I always have a stream of infantry coming and I don’t want to get into a situation where I barely win and end up losing tanks and fighters. I totally agree that if Russia is worried about supply lines then they have already won. It is different for Germany though because they have to fight on two fronts. That is why I would ALWAYS rather have 4 tanks than 5 artillery when I am getting close to a major battle. I also think that infantry pose more of a threat than most people realize.
Certainly Germany is well served by lots of infantry but if changing 5 infantry of my build to 3 tanks will keep the Allies out of Karelia for a round, why not do it? That’s one more round they aren’t trickling units into Russia, one more round they aren’t trading Belo, and one more round that Eastern is under relatively minor pressure. In the same way, if an artillery build will delay Japan from holding Novo another round, I’ll do it.
Who cares about Karelia? There is no IC there, and it is worth 3 IPCs.
Having the UK build up Norway until a Karelia stack is safe is the basic strategy and I do the same. Often, I’ll send the Brits to Algeria first.
I never bother squabbling over Africa. The main struggle is to take Germany or take Russia. Germany can stand to lose 2 IPCs. In fact I always transport my guys from Africa back to Europe. I would completely abandon it except that my transport gets killed before I can use it the second time.
I am reluctant to criticize any strategy with Germany because you can play perfectly and still lose badly. They are doomed. My issue with offensive units is that you start with plenty. As long as you never expose them to risk then you will always have them and so you are capable of taking a territory without losing too many infantry.
Have you played with bids to even the game yet? Germany isn’t completely doomed. Typical ranges are from 6-9 IPC’s in pre-placed units and any unspent bid money becomes extra IPC’s to spend in the first round. How do you define “plenty” of offensive units? If building 2 tanks G1 allows Germany to hold Karelia until the infantry waves arrive starting G3, so be it! Infantry is the best buy but I think you underestimate the tactical value of tanks. 44 IPC’s to me is 13 inf, 1 tank - not 14 inf, save 2.
No, I have never played with bids and I can see why that would make for a much more interesting game. I define plenty as whatever Russia and Germany start with. I guess about 20 for Germany and a dozen for Russia. I agree about the 44 IPC situation. I would not, however, buy 12 infantry and 2 artillery.
Have you used your Japanese fighters to hold German territory or taken Africa with japan?
My basic strategy with Japan is to take Asia as quickly and decisively as possible. I buy infantry the first round with two transports and then tanks and infantry and then nothing but tanks. Every now and then I get to Russia in time to be relevant. I do fly my fighters when it becomes clear that Asia is wiped out. No, I never go after Africa period.
Do you have time for a play by forum game of Revised? If you haven’t done it before, I can show you the ropes. It’s hard to evaluate someone as a player by just their posts. All I know so far is we both have diarrhea at the keyboard.
I would love to play a game some time. I would have to find some time to do it though. I think we are both good enough that the game will take about…. a week. Also, I don’t really play with the victory cities. I usually just play until either Russia or Germany falls and then call it quits. If we did a 10 victory city game I would have to seriously reconsider my strategy.