I guess what I find most puzzling is the relatively puny size of the Russian Army. The Central Powers have a huge concentration of inf and art right on russia’s doorstep.
It is very deceptive. Russia has the strength that all of their starting units can easily mobilize in one territory: the Ukraine. The Russian “super stack” round one is immensely intimidating at the start of the game and the Central Powers have to walk on eggshells in the Russian territories, planning each move carefully.
If you slip up on a single move or attack as the central powers, Russia can bring the hammer down and wipe out your forces on one side. Germany and Austria have to work together. You don’t beat Russia in this game by force, you beat them by outmaneuvering them and forcing the Russian revolution. In all of our games when the Russian revolution happens Russia still has an overwhelming mass of troops left in one spot. The trick is that you have to make it so that Russia can’t risk splitting up so many troops to attack everywhere or else they leave Moscow too weak to defend and Germany or Austria will simply conquer Russia.
Instead of a brute smash it’s more of a cat and mouse. Russia will still be making 15-17 IPCs even toward the end and can still pump out troops all the way to the end. With their starting units and a few rounds of buildup the Central Powers are easily looking at fighting against a 60+ infantry stack and a decent amount of artillery.
Excellent point. Looking at the map I can see how a blustering player can very easily botch things on the Eastern Front. But surely, most players with a fair amount of A&A experience should be able to shrewdly maneuver the Russian stack into a contested fight in Moscow? I agree, the Russian army cannot be so big that the game becomes lopsided in favor of the allies. However, making the Austrian army larger than the Russian one is far more historically inaccurate than allowing the U.S. to offload troops to Europe in turns 1 to 3. At least the U.S. was shipping war goods to the allies in the early years of the war. But AHO with a larger army than Russia when the reality was that the Russian Army was twice the size of the Austrian one? It’s a major historical flub. While I’m at it, I’m not a big fan of assigning a 1 IPC value to Switzerland which instead should have just been labeled “Swiss Alps” and declared unpassable.
Still, this map looks AWESOME and this game has an epic scope on the scale of A&A 50th Anniversary, which is my favorite of all the games. Wish the game would already hurry up and get here.
No army in any A&A game is historically accurate beyond the basic ‘Germany had a lot of subs and Japan had aircraft carriers.’ Additionally, there is no distinction between units- a German tank is the same as a british one, so they have to fudge the numbers a bit. This is to make the game balanced, or else you would have the same result as the real wars- Germany and her allies losing.