So, my room-mate and I play Classic sometimes. We use the rule variation where the U.S.S.R. cannot attack first turn, in an attempt to balance the game a bit for the Axis (Since the U.S.S.R. could take out a significant amount of Axis material T1, especially Germany).
HOWEVER, he can’t beat me. I utilize turn one to place everything (except my tanks which go to Moscow, the 4 Infantry on Moscow which move to the Caucuses to prevent a blitz, and the troops in the East which move to Evenki and harass Japan) onto Karelia. The purchase of 8 Infantry is also dropped on Karelia (Final count is 18-ish Infantry and 2 fighters).
There appears to be three possible responses, none of them good, for the Germans.
An all in, single round strafe on Turn 1 in hopes of annihilating the Soviet infantry, and preventing a counter attack. However, this only has the affect of the U.S.S.R. wiping out the German infantry (about 10) on casualty rolls. Which is devastating to the German IPC count, and their ability to sustain attacks on subsequent turns.
Try to hold Eastern Europe and wait to Strafe until Turn 2. Ideally, you bait the Soviets into an attack. Otherwise, the numbers on Karelia grow by at least 8 and possibly another tank.
An all out attack Turn 1 that the U.S.S.R. wins on average rolls. It leaves both powers crippled, and gambles that the Germans can hold off the U.K. This also creates the possibility that the Americans can forgo a D-Day strategy (Or delay for a turn or 2) and instead focus on a fleet to destroy Japan’s navy, and hamper transport movements.
Am I missing something? My room-mate is tired of losing.
(When we switch sides, I usually strafe, and try to bait the U.S.S.R. into ill advised attacks. It usually works, but even with the rule change, the game does not seem more balanced.)