Just found this thread, so figured I’d throw my two cents in the ring, since Allies are more fun to play than Axis in this version (even if they have a much harder time winning).
Under LHTR (AKA “Gencon 3.0” or whatever they call it in AAO), killing the German bomber is the linchpin of the entire Allied opening, as you need the following chain of events to occur:
- USSR kills Germany’s bomber in Ukraine R1.
- No Bomber for Germany = Germany can’t reliably kill Egypt G1.
- Egypt surviving = UK gets an extra FTR B1 for use against the IJN off DEI (SZ37)
- Extra fighter for UK against SZ37 fleet = UK trades its entire Pacific fleet to take down half the IJN B1.
- Japan losing half its navy = Their offensive momentum is totally halted, giving the Allies a solid amount of wiggle room to play the game.
This necessity, coupled with the necessity of taking West Russia R1, as it is the most important tile in Russia in terms of what it connects to, means that you can’t expect to hold Karelia. Thus, I go for the following opening:
Karelia: FTR -> Ukraine, rest -> W. Russia
Archangel: All -> W. Russia
Moscow: Tanks + FTRs -> Ukraine, rest to W. Russia
Caucasus: All -> Ukraine
Despite this, you can and may lose the Ukraine fight. However, due to the default AAO Defense Profiles (WHICH YOU CAN CHANGE IN THE SETTINGS BY THE WAY, PLEASE DO THIS) being terrible, Germany by-default will lose the Bomber last, which means that pulling out after killing the Bomber is not usually an option.
For the Siberia guys, there’s more flexibility with what you can do, but you at least want the Kazakh guy going to Szechwan, move the Ural guys to Archangel, move the Novosibirsk guy to Moscow and to consolidate the guys in Yakut/SFE/Bury. I like to stick them in Yakut, but you can go for Buryatia if you’re planning on a KJF for whatever reason.
After the opening, as Black_Elk said, the strategy depends on the ebb and flow of the game. Things like how Germany/Japan are playing, how dice rolls are going, etc. This determines whether you build 1-2 TANKs with your land units, or all INF/ART. I don’t agree with the notion that the Soviets should be buying FTRs ever. Leave the expensive units to USA/UK.
Finally, I personally find Strat Bombing worthless. Bombers are expensive and don’t pay for themselves until a point where the game has usually been decided one way or the other anyway. For the price of the Bomber you’re gambling IPC value on, you can buy 2 SUBs, 4 INF, 3 ART, or 2 TANK, based on your needs. All of these options are blatantly superior to a Bomber. The only thing that’s worse for you value-wise is probably a Cruiser, lol.
EDIT: I’m specifically talking about purchasing a BOMB. Bidding for one is perfectly acceptable due to how the bidding rules work. An extra BOMB in Russia’s opener gives you much better odds in Ukraine, and you then have the ability to keep the Bomber alive for other roles on both sides of the map.