i agree with u that in a regular game russia should take maunchuria (they dont even eed the fighter most of the time) and russia should attack germany first turn (any of the 3 german terretories are good targets, depending on stratagie). the problem is that, in doing this, the allies win about 80% of the time (between experienced players). the only way axis can win is if they’re super agressive right off the start. if they wait to long america, with their vast resources, will get heavily into the war and the axis will simply be outnubered. thats why experienced players play by modified rules. the main thing is that russia is restricted and is not allowed to attack first turn. that means russia cant attack manchuria OR germany. also, all te players make a bid to see who will play axis. the lowest bid plays germany and may add units to the board depending on how much they bid. by these rules the game is alot more fair and axis/allies win/loss ratio becomes about 50% percent for each side. for example: a good bid for the axis is 8 ipc. this means, if the lowest bidder was 8 ipc, that person would play the axis, and could add 8 IPC’s worth of units to any of his/her territories. (armor + infantry, transport, sub… etc.) also since russia cant attack, their only option is to stack defence, usually karelia. as u can see this gives the axis a much better chance.
hope this helps u to understand why we make all these crazy first moves as russia, and why an indian IC is questionable.
if u start playing with these rules, its important to remember that, when bidding, u bid enough to get something good from the bid, but u dont bid so high that they can get axis with alot as well. if u want to play axis, a bid of 7-8 is good, u will probably get it, and if not, they lose the advantage of bidding. if u dont want to play axis, bid 9-10. that way, if u get it for some reason, u get a big advantage.
hope this all helps, and good luck against your uncle.