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.
Much like in AA40 Global, if Russia could defeat Germany by itself the game would pretty much be over before it started. However, if Russia does prevail I highly advise calling the game over at that point, because Russia will become a beast and France will become unstoppable.