In my opinion, Russia is the key to the whole game. At first glance it would appear that Russia is the weakest of the Allies and while that may be true to begin with, Russia has territory and men to burn in exchange for time. My best opening move is to buy 8 men=24 IPC. Move all men from Russia to Karelia. Move all but one man from the Urals to Karelia. Move all planes to Karelia, they have excellent defensive strength. Then move all tanks to Russia (they are much to valuable offensively to waist in defense) and consolidate as many men in the Eastern Soviet Union as is possible to put pressure on the Japanese in Manchuria. Then place the 8 men that have been purchased in Karelia. This gives Russia a SCARY number of men to defend Karelia with and the one man in the Urals prevents any blitzkrieg into the Russian capital. Note that I would NOT attack the Germans at all. To do so would only reduce the defensive strength of Russia for a somewhat insignificant reduction in German power.

Germany is thus left with the option of attacking Russia at Karelia, in the face of overwhelming defensive strength, attacking the Urals, or going after Great Britain. Attacking Karelia is the obvious best choice of the Germans in both a tactical and strategic sense. However, due to the Russian placements and movements, the numbers in the first round almost ensure that the Germans would loose or just barely win this engagement. Germany will have to consider waiting one turn before the offensive numbers are again in its favor. Germany could attack the Urals easily, but due to supply lines, this would leave Germany spread thin across eastern Europe and the Ukraine. Russia could then respond the next round by either being defensive again in Russia, or actually going on the offensive. Finally Germany could change strategic direction and go after Great Britain. To do this, however, would most certainly leave Russia in the perfect position to build offensive strength to match its defensive strength…Germany would never recover the initiative on its Eastern Theater.

Russia’s opening round, as I have described it, gives the allies the time to counter the axis. Even should Germany and Japan get lucky and finally take Russia, the amount of time that this would take should give Great Britain and the US the advantage to win the game.

I would be interested to have some feedback on this approach.