These are my point of views based on my few years of experience of both online and board gaming, and I always play dice and not low luck.
I like to go abit on the offensive with Russia, but it depends how well the german opponent responds to it. Nevertheless, I usually switch between these two buys:
3 inf, 3 tanks
2 inf, 2 art, 2 tanks
I attack Ukraine with everything possible and retreat if Im looking to lose figs (odds are in russian favor).
The rest attack West Russia, and with bad luck here you can end up losing abit of infantry. You may also consider having an extra tank in WR at the expense of Ukr.
If all goes well Ukraine is captured but set up for a counter attack by germany. If they try stack it you have a nice offensive purchase to compete with. If you bought the 2+2+2 place inf and art in Caucasus, so that they can reach Ukraine in addition to the 2 tanks from Moscow. I also land fighters in Kazakh and inf in Sinkiang for a possible counter vs the Japanese, and I never leave more than 3 inf in Buryatia. It sucks having a stack of 6 killed in R1.
Never leave a big russian army exposed for an easy kill though. If you are stacking WR, Ukraine or any other territory, make sure it has decent odds should Germany go all-in with help from fighters.
Don’t necessarily do anything, but the strategic advantage of having a competitive fleet in those zones is huge. In either case you should support it with a carrier landing 2 figs on it. In sz 8 this will enable you to not having to worry about a Berlin naval invasion, in other words you can place more troops in SE at the end of each turn to keep SE protected. In the med sea it helps you compete for Africa, prevents SE naval invasion and it adds a long distance threat to Caucasus.
But most importantly, it forces the allies to spend precious money on buying boats that will have limited impact on the war when (or if) they destroy your fleet. In other words: you get more time to slap russians.
The dream scenario is taking Africa and a few other UK territories (help from Japan) leaving UK pretty broke and simultanously forcing them to compete with your fleet in sz 8. It buys you lots of time to fully focus on Russia, because USA is a slow starter.
UK IC IN INDIA:
Yes its viable not getting it. If you get it you basically force Japan to take it and you HAVE to buy troops there every round, meaning less pressure on Germany. Imagine having lost Africa in this scenario, German fleet is big in sz 8 and UK is making 20 bucks a turn.
Not getting the IC gives you flexibility with several options:
a) Retake Africa and move troops towards Persia and Anglo Egypt. Make Persia a buffer territory to protect the Russians. Russia is welcome to provide counter attacks should the Japanese capture Persia.
b) If you don’t retake Africa and leave that task to the USA you could go gung-ho on the Japs. Use UK destroyer off India vs the Jap transport. Capture New Guinea with two inf. Capture Borneo with 2 inf. Kill Jap submarine with UK submarine. Use the UK fighter off India to join with either the UK sub and land on the US Hawaii fleet, or the UK destroyer and land in China (or together with AC help capture Borneo). If most of these attacks succeed and Japan gets unlucky with Pearl Harbour or China they might be in a world of shit.
Basically, with all the UK troops that are spread around on the map you should either go gung-ho and attack everything possible, or go defensive and try hold territories like India, Anglo Egypt and gather the India/Australia fleet. Either works if implemented well and the main point with India if you don’t have an IC there is to just slow Japan down a bit.
As for UK IC India is really only the viable option in R1 if you ask me. Norway is a good option later on, and Anglo Egypt in some rare cases.
It all depends what UK did in its turn. If they built an IC they probably stacked everything possible there, making it pretty hard to capture on R1. I would rather look to capture it in R3 like this:
R1: Make sure you end your turn with 4 transports, capture Sinkiang heavy and win Pearl Harbour with a destroyer, submarine, bomber and fighter (good odds and if/when you win the battle there is usually nothing left for USA to counter kill).
R2: Transport max number of Jap land troops to FIC, enabling them to attack India next round. Make sure your fighters can reach. Move a good number of inf who won the China battle into FIC.
R3: Capture India with everything necessary. Could use the 2 inf from East Indies as well together with naval bombardment from battleships.
This also depends abit on what Russia and US are doing. Typically USA may move to Solomon Islands with its fleet and build more boats in Pacific. Ignore it for now and focus on gaining control on India, China/Sinkiang and Buryatia. Once done you can consider getting fighters and possibly carriers to defend against the US fleet, but don’t forget to build those troops and put pressure on Russia. Im sure the free IC in India helps:) Rule of thumb: never buy subs, destroyers or battleships with Japan - the sole reason for USA to hassle you in the pacific is to get you to spend money on that shit.
If USA and UK commits to attacking Japan like this, make sure to get on the offense with Germany.
Move your stuff to Algeria and start building transports and troops. Build whatever possible to gain control around sz 13 and protect your transports. Usually it takes a carrier and maybe some fighters if you choose to abandon the Pacific, but don’t buy more than necessary. Get those transport/troop numbers up.
Consider sz 9-13 your main route for moving troops. Place troops in Eastern US, move them to Eastern Canada for pickup. It will enable your transports to move from sz 13 to 9 for troops pickup and back to 13 for offloading in one turn. Have 4-6 transports for this move. Have a surplus of transports moving around in the med (2-4) to hassle Germany and keep Africa protected at the same time.
This requires some logistics planning, especially in the buildup phase. Any given turn you might consider going all-in on WE or SE, messing up your system:)
I hope this atleast give you some ideas. Nothing is set in stone in this game as Im sure you know. Im an opportunistic kind of player and I try stay open for a change in strategy during the game. For example with Russia on R1, I usually leave some troops in both Yakut (4-6) and Sinkiang (3-4) who, with support from fighters from Kazakh, can be a possible threat to China and/or Buryatia. Always have counter attacks ready, because who knows - maybe Japan loses 3 out of the 5 inf that attack China?