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Best strategy for defending Russia


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I would like to hear from the forum on the best ways to defend Russia.

Some specific issues.

1. Best tech to invest in?

2. Fight for every inch of the country or let frontier cities fall without much of a battle. Seems to me that you should fight for every inch of the country. Despite over a thousand mile supply line to panzer units at points, the game doesn't penalize axis enough on this logistical nightmare! (Keep in mind that the Russians use different rail gage than the west and destroyed most of the trains from falling into axis hands.)

3. Attack Iran and conquer for additional resources?

4. Attack Finland when they join the axis to at least put a corridor escape route for units north of Lenningrad.

5. Speaking of Lenningrad. This new version of the game seems to make it harder to defend Lenningrad. The terrain outside the city cannot be entrenched, but panzers not really effected by the marshland? That makes no sense to me.

6. How to best deploy the engineers? Best places to entrench?

7. How to defend against Japanese attack in Siberia. This seems to be a no win scenario for

some of the border cities.

8. When to counterattack. Seems to me that if you counterattack too soon you could get your units decimated.

9. No strategic redeployment of forces in the caucus if Rostov falls. This makes it critical to hold Rostov? Seems to me that there should be a supply center south of Rostov.

10. Where to best deploy the Russian HQ units.

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Twofold: tie up some German forces elsewhere: in Africa, or even by a strong defence on France in 1940 to slow up 1941 preparations. Another sneaky one is for the UK to invade Norway in early 40 - quite easy to do and a distraction for Germany.

Then in Russia I prefer to fall back. If you defend at the border your forces are likely to be wiped out and then the rebuild operation in winter 1941 becomes almost impossible. If you fall below 30 in the unit charts then I think you are doomed. If you can keep that chart above 40 you are in decent shape.

Most axis players attack the caucasus because at present there is a bit of a weather bug that allows almost permanently good weather in the south. Plus once the rail line is cut east of Rostov Russia loses quite a few mpps.

I think Leningrad is almost irrelevant to the axis in 1941 though some clever Russia players will attack Finland from there and so the axis might want to ensure the survival of their northern ally. It was a good tactic to do that in Gold, but I'm less certain now because it requires some Russian armour, and it allows the Wehrmacht to roll fast through to Kharkov, Smolensk and possibly on towards Moscow as well rather more easily than is ideal. However I have seen it done by Russia to good effect so worth considering as a Russian option.

For tech I always prioritise industry and armour early on - you want level 3 tanks in 1942 to slow down the panzers, and level 3 industry by then too in order to keep the mpps up. Infantry weapons are also important - need to get to level 2 by Barbarossa.

After that artillery and shell production for me with a bit of AA, with fighters coming in around 1943 - to be honest I dont see the point of trying to counter the Luftwaffe in 41/42 cos the effort to try and do so is too detrimental to ground development. Ground air as a final investment once the tide turns...

I tend to use engineers around Rostov to try and preserve the caucasus, though axis artillery tends to render it a futile operation if the axis player is determined to advance there.

Important to garrison the siberian cities with corps. Long term you need a way into China from Russia if you are to maximise your chances of taking Seoul. It can be done by massive sea assault, but if the IJN happen to win the war at sea then you are in trouble if you have also lost all those cities. I often fortify around one or more of them if possible after putting down one fort near Rostov. However - again - if the axis player is determined to take them then there is probably little you can do.

It is possible to ferry troops into the Caucasus from east of the Caspian as there is a supply centre there - I have done it to decent effect as German supply is poor to the SE of Rostov and the mountains can be held.

Always attack Persia with a single tank unit in good weather. Turn 1 takes it to the capital where you will destroy the garrison. Turn 2 takes the capital. Easy to do with a light tank unit.

I dont do Iran.. but interesting idea if you can spare the resources.

Finally - a good axis player will always put you in trouble. Russia will be pinned back to Stalingrad and maybe beyond. (Be careful not to lose your convoy supply routes at Murmansk and Archangel!!) A good axis player may even be able to take Africa too, thereby cementing Italy's position. And a good axis player will take all the pacific islands, possibly Hawai too, and advance towards India, Australia or in one game I am playing both! I think to go for India and Australia spreads the Jap Army too thin - but that's just my feeling. The question then is - how to combat this?

1. Early invasion of France with US armour at level 3 or 4. This can be a real killer for Germany, and often France is not that well defended in 42 or 43.

2. If you are in the ladder play for the 1 point win. That means holding on for dear life in Burma and SW China so that Chungking is in range of a ground assault, and then all you really need to do is plan for the retaking of Paris and Moscow - both of which are possible with overwhelming allied air power becoming a reality in 1944 and after.

But even then you may be in an impossible position if German and Japanese NM gets much above 110 each.

My feeling is that a good axis player will tend to win most games because he/she will maximise the opportunities in 1939-42.

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Thank you for your feedback.

I agree with most of your points.

It seems to me that the Russians should fight for every city though. By putting divisional and cheap units upfront it slows the German advance. If you get to level two or three industry for the Russians the units are cheap to buy again with upgraded tech. If the axis player surrounds units to drive supply lower than 5 then that slows the advance. This game doesn't punish the axis supply lines enough to have the fall back strategy work in my opinion. In fact, the Russian supply situation in this game seems to be worse than the axis! If the axis get to Rostov that kills the supply to the south of there and if the hex to the south east of Leningrad is taken then supply in Lenningrad becomes a mess.

I totally agree with your comment that it is going to be really hard to beat an experienced axis player. They can get so far ahead by 1942 that it is impossible for the allies to turn the tide.

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I don't see it that way. With Soviet HQs in proper deployments the Red Army always has the benefit of 10 supply.

The Red Army has a monumental task at hand to properly inhibit the German and Japanese armed forces from overrunning their country, but it is not impossible. Actually with patience and a strategy of retreat of the historical variety the USSR can, with the pro-active aggression of the Western Allies, finally stymie the Axis assault.

To be sure, it is a fine line of balance that AoD possesses, as the fortunes can go either way. I always garrison every USSR city and defend in favorable terrain, allowing the Red Army occupants the greatest entrenchment value. Don't lose your nerve, try to provide for a line of communication to the rear echelons to keep your soon to be vanquished forces an adequate supply to regenerate.

You can prevail.

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OK, you know the SC supply rules and you know how to access the supply display for each rhombus(tile), for the current turn and for the potential next turn, right?

Simply find the supply sources that are rated 6 or more and keep your HQs within a distance that does not allow them to fall to less than or equal to 5. So for an 8 supply source, do not allow your HQ to be greater than a movement cost of 2 away. They will then have a 10 supply value to project to combat units in their periphery.

If the supply source has only a 5 value, make sure you are within 4 movement cost with your HQ deployment in which it will then convey an 8 supply value to in range combat units.

Use your "S" key to check the supply status of surrounding tiles, you'll get the hang of it!

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I agree with Al and Seamonkey. The situation is far from hopeless as the Russians. Supply is in fact better for the Russians on their own ground with especially with cities providing supply and German supply terrible in 41' until towns/cities regain strength.

Using terrain, entrenchment, and supply is key for any defense. With the Russians I tend to follow Al's way though at times and give ground in 41' when units approach and known to be easy prey when Germans set next to them for prepared offense and/or artillery and multiple bombers in range to prepare the attack. Russia has lots of good ground to defend around the line running from (Rostov, Kharkov, Kursk, Vyzama, Kalinin, Novgorod, Leningrad). But need entrenchment to allow best defense to hold out until and thru winter, so always prepare a turn or 2 ahead.

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Supply in Russia is ok around the main supply centers, but if your units are around supply centers of 5 and you do not have an HQ unit by the units, then Russian supply sucks. Also the minute the German forces cut the rail lines outside of Rostov and Leningrad the 10 supply centers drop to five. This makes it critical for the Russians to defend those areas. Also, if Finland sends a unit to cut the rail line running up to Murmansk, the supply at Murmansk is effectively terrible, despite the fact that the port is suppose to be taking in tons of allied supplies!!

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Agree with last post, if Soviets can enjoy supply advantage it makes for a fair contest despite all the other German advantages at that period of the war. But relying on supply 5 and in Rostov and south losing any reinforcement center except across the sea dooms Soviet defense. Any Rostov is trivial to cut. Any rail hex NE of it. Not enough Soviet units to stop that (or stop a crossing even if defended).

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Ihughes41 I am neutral on Caucasus as I can see it both ways. Supply was just as bad for the Russians in the mountains as it was the Germans. I definitely try to defend and fight at the river until the German #'s are in their favor then retreat to the mountains. Once retreating to the mountains it is imperative that the Russians have a HQ down there to keep supply in their favor. Getting thru the mountains for the Germans can be a task if they are not prepared to bring the #'s down there needed. And Russians can still bring in some units through the port left. If Germany goes strong down there this opens other areas for Russia to defend easier and perhaps a chance to cut them off down there. A strong defense in the hills in front of Kharkov, and forests/hills behind the river here can offer a force to hold and perhaps strike down to Rostov if the Germans go down to the Caucasus and if they do not strike their flank. 41' is definitely in the German favor but with proper terrain/entrenchment the Soviets can stretch the Germans who can not be strong everywhere and then with time strike somewhere in the soviet favor.

However 42' must see some other western demonstration and eventually a major effort in the west/Mediterranean to fully able this. Otherwise on their own Russians probably will fail.

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One other very important task for the USSR player to accomplish. The Red Army must always keep an adequate number of ground combat units for imminent deployment in the build Q. This should be a number one priority for the Allied player to address from the beginning of the first turn of SC.

Units that are ready to deploy onto the map give the USSR player maximum flexibility to stem any breakthrough the Axis might accomplish as they can be positioned around any 5 or greater supply source in the Allied player turn.

Do not, I repeat, do not ever leave the Red Army build Q devoid of ground combat units, always keep a reserve, 3 units is adequate, 5 is better. If you find yourself without a build Q reserve, you are indeed in dire circumstances.

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