Jump to content

AoC Strategy for Axis and Soviets

Recommended Posts

Some gamers have commented to me that AoC is unbalanced. Some say its the Germans are too strong, some say its the Soviets. Like chess, AoC is a delicate balance of strategic concepts and tactical operations. Knowing what to do when and how to use your units is the key to playing it correctly. I purposely designed a steeper learning curve to challenge players.

I have played over 20 games of AoC vs some very good opponents during beta. My main purpose was to debug the game and secondary to discover different strategies to both sides. I wanted to make sure what I conceptualized could work without exploitation by players.

To assist some players that are finding the game unbalanced I am going to list the overall strategy one should take as the Axis or the Soviets.


The Axis approach is of aggression, aggression, aggression. The main focus is to keep the Soviets off balance by pushing forward as hard as you can to destroy and entrap the Red Army. The elimination of forces will make the 1942 offensive easier.

On the map there are 3 objectives the Germans can go for: Moscow, Leningrad, Rostov. As the Germans your main effort should be 2 of the 3. You should be able to take one of these objectives by the end of 1942... which is better than historical. If you focus on all 3 you will fall short as the Germans did. If you don't take any at least you should be in a good position to take 1 or 2 in 1942.

Always keep an eye on you supply and manage your forces for maximum firepower. Protect your armored units by having plenty of infantry to support them. Try and not leave then in a spot where the Russians can hit them in the front line easily and destroy them. Their experience is GOLD in this game.

When using armor your forces should be spread in small groups to put pressure on the enemy. If you mass all the armor up on one front, in 1941, the other locations will suffer and you won't be maximizing their power effectively.

When winter approach you need to know when to stop attacking and set up defensive positions for maximum entrenchment and supply. If you don't a smart Soviet player will do a lot of harm to your forces. Usually October is when you should start setting up defenses in strongly defended positions. You can keep pressing very weak fronts with your units but do so on a small scale where you have room to fall back and you are taking little losses. Usually there is one spot on the line that the Soviets can't cover to allow this.

After the 1941 winter......

In 1942 you need to be patient and make sure your forces get to maximum readiness. If you played your 1941 offensive correctly, and the winter, the Soviets should not be able to attack you without heavy losses. Maximum readiness is the key to 1942. This means NOT attacking as soon as the sun shines. This means waiting until your armor and infantry are fresh and 90% readiness or better. This might mean waiting till June 1942.

In 1942 the advantage is yours of where to attack. You will have 2 or 3 objectives to go after from 1941. The Soviets don't know which. You can pick and chose where to fight and mass your forces to punch a hole and advance. By mid summer the Soviets should only have 1 armor(1942) for every 2 panzers you have in the field. If you manage to clear out 2 objectives you should have enough strength in 1943 to force a surrender before the weight of the Western Allies comes to bear.

If by 1943 you have 0 or 1 objective you need to plan for the long game. Know when to cut your main offensive and go on the mobile defense. Fall back and protect armor. At this point in 1943 the Soviets will have more armor, planes, and men (although not better). Exchange land for time and use tanks to blunt offensives and delay their attacks. With the right balance you should score a victory by delaying and preventing them from reaching your capital.


1941: The Soviet strategy is one of exchanging land for time and bleeding the enemy. You must delay as long as possible. I will go down a list of do's and don't to state how your defense will go.


#1 Garrison every resource ahead of time with an army to max entrenchment

#2 Form defensive lines with good terrain and know when to retreat

#3 Mass armor to form counter attacks in weak German positions

#4 Build the 1942 armor ASAP

#5 Counter attack as much as possible in the winter

#6 Upgrade leaders for better supply


#1 Garrison resources and run away to form a far rear line ignoring rivers and defensive terrain. All you will do is make an "experience in a box" for the Germans who attack isolated cities

#2 Use armor as line defense unless you absolutely have to.

#3 Stay in a defensive line too long. The Axis will surround and destroy you. This accelerates their advance and gives their units more experience. Anticipate when the line will break and fall back. If you have to sacrifice 1 unit as a speed bump to save 3 do so.

#4 Sit back in the winter. Even with a full army in 1942 the Germans will destroy you early in the Spring.

Winter 1941: When the first of the Winter effects hit the Axis you must attack all along the line. Hit positions as much as possible even if you take more losses. 2-1, 1-0 is acceptable. The goal is to drive the Axis readiness and moral down. The Germans are taking too many losses to recover all their units in the Winter. Doing damage to them at the expense of units hurts them more than it hurts you. You might feel taking 2-1 losses is suicidal but there is a benefit for 1942.

The more you attack in the winter, the longer it takes the Germans to recover in 1942. The longer the recovery the shorter their 1942 offensive. The shorter the offensive the better chance you have of taking the offensive in 1943.

In 1942, the Germans should wait until their readiness is in the 90's before conducting any operation. If the Soviets have not done anything during the winter the Germans will attack in the Spring. They will have an offensive that lasts from March/April till October/November. This is 6-8 months of German firepower bearing down on the Red Army. Performing a large winter offensive might deplete and drop your readiness down along with the Germans but they will be in no shape to attack you until June. With 1942 your production gets stronger and starts overtaking the Germans.

In 1942 the Germans should select an objective to take so they can make a final push in 1943. Be ready to deploy your armor to the offensive area and look for opportunities to counter attack. You are mainly looking to blunt their assault using tank groups in force and slow/stop their 1942 offensive.

If you can hold the Germans to 0 or 1 objectives till 1943 then you can start going on the offensive. You will use similar tactics the Germans did in 1941 but your main goal is advancement to their capital. Eventually your army will be so large that there Germans can't keep up. But they will delay you as much as they can. Western Allied action will start taking its toll on German industry in 1943.


Technology: Always keep infantry, tank, and fighter tech maxed out all the time. Production technology is next on the list. After that you have options for what you can do.

Game Time: AoC is a huge conflict on a single front with many variables. Do not expect to win the game in 1941 as either side. Plan for the long term and plan strategically. The quick kill doesn't work in this game for either side.

USSR 1941/42 - Do not despair if you are getting beaten to a pulp in these years. If you play your strategy right your patience will pay off. 1943 and 1944 will bring lots of fun for the Soviets as they drive their army down toward Berlin.

Germany 1943 - Defending in 1943/44 for Germany is an enormous challenge for any player. It is also a lot of fun in the SC2 system. You will find that playing defensive and losing will make you a better player at attacking. We learn more from our losses than victories.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the tips Big Al !

- I would add for Germany that putting frontline starting soviet units out of supply before destroying them "waste" some time early but will also delay USSR effort to build reserves for late 41 and then weaken any winter offensive.

- Having to buy back most units at full price is a pain for Stalin (no need for light tanks of course since they won't come back once out).

- For USSR, those light tanks can be the key to good defense/slowing down Nazis. However it is also possible to take some risks and "save" them for russian later counter-offensive. Along with heavy tanks, they can create a dangerous mass effect at the critical point :) .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Bumping this back to the top for new AoC gamers.

A few more notes.

GERMANY - Just in case it wasn't clear above... you want to split your armor between north and south of the Pripyat Marshes. Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk are key cities to hold. In general blasting through Kiev and turning south is the better plan then cramming into Dnepropetrovsk in which the soviets can defend it easily. The resources in that area are of vital importance. There are 80MPPs between Kiev to Kursk to Rostov. You should at least grab 80MPPs in the area.

Another strategy would be to go for Moscow area. There you have 70 MPPs from Kiev to Kursk to Kalinin with less terrain to deal with but a farther area to get to.

On the Leningrad front if you plan not to take it in 1941 it is ok to form a defense line on the west side of Narva Pskov, Opochka, and Velikiye Luki. If requires less units then storming up to Leningrad and the Soviets have to put tougher units to defend the weaker line. Near Leningrad they can put weaker units due to the swamps and supply situation for the Germans.

SOVIETS - Even though Finland looks weak and you think you can take them out in 1941 I caution you. It will take more resources than you think to do so and give valuable time for Germany to advance. Before summer of 1943 you have to take Helsinki to beat them. After than time you don't to force a surrender.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...
  • Create New...