So what would be the strategy for NATO, in the scenario of southeast Asia falling to the USSR?
Well, one method I have found successful in the past is for the UK to move their transports from around India all the way up to Western Canada. With the factory in Ontario, you can be consistently producing 4 infantry to send over to Kamchatka; essentially UK forces in the Siberian theatre just serve to absorb hits from Soviet counter-attacks, meaning the main NATO attack (US forces) remains strong and intact, and can continue to push.
Generally the US needs to hold all the territory in the area (North Korea, South Korea, Kamchatka, East Siberia) in order to have the income to sustain this land-grab; if they gain the Heavy Armor tech, it makes this easier – by building heavy tanks from the factory in East Siberia; their extra movement lets you do a “2 steps forward, 1 step back” move from a fortified position in East Siberia, into the territories bordering West Siberia. The UK can potentially snipe a few territories in this same manner, but the US really needs that extra income more; generally the Heavy Armor tech helps the UK more by allowing them to do “2 steps forward, 1 step back” from a factory built in India, through Pakistan, and into Turkmenistan.
The other place that NATO should look for openings is Turkey or Greece. Typically the US naval units from the Mediterranean will move to the Atlantic, but the WE and UK ships may stick around, if they aren’t destroyed by the Soviets. The US would have to extend themselves pretty far in order to be of any help in this theatre, so it’s best left to the WE and UK allies – assuming that US forces alone are strong enough to hold France, and that using NATO forces in the Mediterranean doesn’t compromise Italy in the process.
I think the biggest threat that this Soviet strategy presents, is that it forces NATO to choose between defending India, and attacking Siberia – and may still cause them to lose on both fronts. The presence of Soviet air power in China means that the US cannot leave their transports in the Pacific undefended, forcing the US fleet to make some hard choices:
1. sit off the coast of East Siberia, and watch the rest of Asia fall;
2. split, trying to defend the sea zone around Indochina as well as either the sea zone around Japan or off East Siberia, while trying to move infantry to both theatres every round, or;
3. try to keep all your transports covered, while moving infantry from the Philippines to Indochina every round, and from Japan to Indochina every other round.
Now, if China stops giving aid to the USSR, then this strategy is completely shut down. However, I would argue that this is the always case in this game, regardless of the particular strategy used – and in particular, when the US is prepared to attack heavily into Asia. In this game, the result of the nuclear attack was a Global Outrage, which helped cement China’s alliance with the Soviets; it should be noted that “Chinese Outrage” is also statistically more likely than outraging either of the other 2 neutral alliances, so all in all, the Soviets really need only to fear NATO spies swaying China away – until the Soviets start slinging nukes of their own.
In terms of technology, the most pivotal advancement for the USSR is to get ballistic missiles. Fusion weapons are nice to have, but not entirely necessary. With the placement of Soviet factories and AA guns as they are, ballistic missiles can easily threaten any place where NATO would be expected to mass their navies – effectively shutting down the shuck-shuck almost permanently, via nuclear deterrence. By contrast, amassing snorkel submarines is too costly, and self-propelled artillery (to win the land war) can take a long time to acquire – and anti-tank guns can prove devastating against them. Long-range aircraft can help expand the umbrella of a Soviet nuclear threat, but generally games will be over before helicopters come into play; they can be helpful for quickly spreading into an undefended Africa, if you for some reason don’t go the tried-and-tested route of treading over the Arab League, to get there.