From: The Duchy of Cornwall, nr England
Hi MichaelT, you didn't really answer my post. You mentioned soviet advantages, but were not specific about what they are and how you apply them in the early stages of the game to counter your extended Lvov opening.
How do you personally counter it and go on to achieve an easy victory as the soviets?
I do not want to get into a pissing match to say who is a better player, and I can only speak from the experience of 2 GCs run under 1.05/1.06, in which I did not use the "Lvov Gambit", did not Mule and used HQBU no more than 6 times. The only house rules I asked for were to restrict Red Airforce spamming, nor did I place any restrictions on the use of paras and I ended up forcing surrenders in turns 60 and 80 respectively, the second on the verge of getting 260 VPs. My first opponent used an aggressive forward defence, the second a runaway,so I really don't think you can generalise about Axis chances of winning without muling.
There is a saying "Do unto others as you would be done by", which is why I asked for your counter to the extended Lvov move. Personally I would never use a move that I would not be happy to defend against myself (I can show you AARs where I have pulled back deliberately). Of course I want to provide my opponents with a challenge, and likewise I expect them to set challenges for me to overcome. Pushing the limits beyond what was historically and strategically feasible by exploiting the perfect knowledge of the opponent's deployment and their lack of ability to react serves no purpose other than leave a bitter taste in your opponents mouth, which is not the point of playing the game IMHO. Players need to be looking forward to receiving their next turn, not dreading it. If I was to pick up a random Multiplayer campaign with no pre-agreed house rules, I would playing Russian Roulette, hoping that my opponent hadn't learned your extended Lvov opening.
I appreciate that you are in the (hopefully small) group of players who have to win at all costs, but have some empathy for opponents and players who want to play for fun,education and enjoyment regardless of the result.
I stopped playing WIR, a game I truly loved, because I realised the stupidity of all the exploits I was using simply to win the game.
If I felt the only way to win the game was to use muling and extended Lvov opening moves then I would stop playing this game, which I don't love quite as much as WIR, but it is close.