Infantry Push Mechanic — Alive and Well or Dead and Buried?

| July 11, 2007 | 1 Comment

Now let's talk about the phrase that, so far as I know, was coined by Don Rae himself. That is the "Infantry Push Mechanic". Here is how Don Rae himself defined it:

“THE "INFANTRY PUSH MECHANIC" DEFINITION:

Always purchase infantry for your land-based fronts before you buy tanks (or fighters or bombers), take the time to develop your fronts, pushing your infantry out to them first, reinforcing them with attack capable units only after you have established a solid front (that is, one that is not in a Dead Zone – see Essay #4 for details). After you have established a sufficient infantry (defensive) presence, you can then buy additional (attack) units, such as tanks (or fighters, bombers) to suit your individual situation, without fear of wasting them needlessly or quickly on your front lines. This concept is referred to as: "THE INFANTRY PUSH MECHANIC" throughout the essays.

This tactical purchasing plan of approach is the ONLY one that works ALL the time – there's just no other way to do it and win consistently at the same time. By using this style and method of purchasing, you will be saving yourself a lot of wasted time and effort in trying strategies and approaches that simply don't work, by never relying upon attacker's luck to win.

If you adopt the infantry purchase-first strategies, you will ALWAYS overcome any player who is trying to wear you down with consistent waves of attacking pieces – the economics and sheer numbers maintained will allow your own defenses and counterattacks to happen naturally, with overwhelming force and subsequent long-term positive influence on YOUR game.”

The Infantry Push Mechanic is alive and well in Revised – in a very limited sense. In most cases, your fronts should be reinforced with infantry on a consistent basis. Infantry are still the cheapest cannon fodder money can buy. But unlike Classic, your purchases will be more varied because you have more options in Revised. With the addition of the artillery piece, you have more flexibility with your purchase decisions. Consider the following options for spending 24 IPCs in Classic (land units only), assuming you spend almost all 24 IPCs:

8 infantry
6 infantry, 1 tank, save $1
4 infantry, 2 tanks, save $2
3 infantry, 3 tanks
1 infantry, 4 tanks, save $1

Now look at the options for spending that same $24 in Revised:

8 infantry
6 infantry, 1 tank, save $1
6 infantry, 1 artillery, save $2
5 infantry, 1 artillery, 1 tank
4 infantry, 2 tanks, save $2
4 infantry, 3 artillery
3 infantry, 3 tanks
2 infantry, 4 artillery, save $2
1 infantry, 4 artillery, 1 tank
1 infantry, 4 tanks, save $1

Basically, a player has twice the purchase options in Revised for 24 IPCs that he (or she) has in Classic. And depending upon your strategy, it may well be worth buying a few tanks or artillery each round, rather than maxing out your infantry purchases, to increase your offensive firepower. The artillery in particular is a very nice purchase because it costs only 1 additional IPC and increases the offensive firepower of one of your infantry by 100% at no additional charge. The Axis players cannot ignore the offensive firepower of tanks and artillery in their purchases because, in a sense, the Axis is “on the clock” and more often than not must be the aggressors in the game. Experienced Revised players have a name for Axis purchases involving only infantry – it is referred to as “turtling” and usually means the Axis is in trouble because Germany can no longer afford to buy offensive pieces.

The Allies, for similar reasons, will want to consider purchasing offensive pieces early and not just infantry. For Russia in particular, purchasing armor allows Russia to create dead zones two spaces away from its capital, which is critical for keeping Germany at bay. If all Russia buys is infantry, it will be only too easy for Germany to occupy Ukraine early because Russia can only place four of those infantry in Caucuses. Indeed, the limit on an IC's production to the value of the territory is the one rule change that really killed the Infantry Push Mechanic for most purposes. Russia no longer has the option of buying 8 infantry and stacking it on the front as it could in Karelia in Classic. Thus, to make dead zones effectively, armor purchases MUST be considered sooner than would have been the case in Classic.

There are other examples of this as well. For example, Britain is limited to producing 8 units a turn from the UK. Thus, with a 30 economy, purchasing 10 infantry simply is not an option in Revised. Thus, inevitably, more offensive units will be purchased in Revised than you would ever see in a game of Classic between two experienced players.

So goodbye Infantry Push Mechanic, and good riddance!

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Category: Axis & Allies Revised, Strategy

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  1. Starlight Sniper says:

    In the 1892, er, sorry, 1982 2nd edition, the I.P.M. was HUGE and made sense.

    I find now-a-days I use variations on it when it’s required. It’s always a solid strategy, but also a sign that things may not be going so well.
    The priciples are still the same:

    – Cheap cannon fodder!!! Although with so many new units in new versions (2015 a.d.) is the 6$ sub the fodder? The 6$ Tank? The Soldier is always 3$ (Unless you get the “Pruduction Upgrade” where units are a ‘buck cheaper). Cruisers, Blockhouses, Oil Money, Air/Naval Bases, Sea Mines, Mech Infantry, Lend-Lease, Dog-Fights, Neutrals, Convoy Zones, Kamikazee, Artillery Pre-Fire, Cards (D-Day), Tacticals, AA(A)Guns and “Defenseless Transports”!! So much fodder, so few cannons.
    The Principle remains the same:
    Good Solid Cheap Units + Time = Victory

    I’ve yet to convince my Saturday Game Night buddies to play the ’82 (2nd). One day they will see the light.

    Cheers,
    Starlight Sniper

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