The last of the old list-posts (I think that I might have posted some of the below before in another post some months ago, but here is the full text - a lot of stuff, but feel free to skip ):
Soviet Armoured Fist Defence of Barbarossa (tactics + build strategy):
73701 - Bryce
"STRATEGY I MOST OFTEN USE
I call my Soviet doctrine I use the most the "HEavy-AT" Strategy, or
HEAT for short.
Before Barb, you:
+ build EVERY gun
+ build EVERY Arm
+ build EVERY Mech
+ you start game with 8-6 heavy mech in force pool, build it for 7
+ you spend 4BP in 41 converting to 9-6 heavy arm and mech
+ remaining BP are spent on grunts, consider the possibility of
building pilots for your Ftr.
After Barb begins, your three tasks are:
+ Rail out ALL factories
+ Gain signifigant LL (you should have been badgering the Allies for
turns and turns already)
+ Extract your army with few losses
Once Barb begins, the German must kill the speed bumps in Lvov, etc.,
the first few impulses. Some players think this is not that useful.
Way I look at it, I am spending BP to burn an Axis impulse. They will
not advance their land units that turn, and that means they can't
really advance their aircraft that turn either.
Speed bumps further back are less useful. Here, a keen Student will
simply advance on it and then (closer to end of turn) simply fly all
their bombers needlessly in support (which will rebase them close up
for next turn). I like to avoid that, but sometimes you can't have
HQ will be pretty far back, and will reorg as many units as I can,
along with 3 TB-3 (I'll build some before the war). TB-3 are your best
unit, able to reorg as you fall back, huge range, and can even fly at
night protected by NF. I will rarely risk them to ground strike unless
again, at night. Their use under these conditions can degrade German
ground strikes and always complicate battle calculations.
Bottom line, my initial Barb strategy is all about denying the Axis
effective use of their action limits their first impulses, so they are
out of position as much as possible. I try to do this a lot in early
Barb. The trick is to succeed at it.
After the speed bumps, I employ "heavy-AT stacks" particularly in the
south. These stacks are spaced so any one of them can only be faced by
2 Axis land stacks. I fly HEAVY Ftr protection, and stay ahead of the
advancing Stukas and Axis fighters. Hopefully this will burn 1 or 2
more Axis impulses.
At some point I run across the Dniepr. If I've done a heavy-AT, I'm
likely to stand and fight at that point, simply to burn another turn
and OC for as cheaply as possible. I am much more likely to withold my
OC to unflip my HQ, pull them back and reorg the line than I am to use
it to counterattack at this point, I will willingly trade an OC for an
air OC played by the Germans, forex, in these circumstances I may not
even fly any planes of my own at all...
In the north, the front splits quickly with the main force retreating
to Smolensk and a smaller force retreating to Novgorod-Leningrad.
Once the Germans have crossed, I fall back once more, again using
heavy AT stacks to shield the rest of the army. I will fall to the
factory line in good order and hold there til the city stacks (I keep
them in front) are taken then I retreat again.
If the Rostov-Voronzek-Moscow river line is breached, as is likely, I
resume a retreat to the Urals, with a large number of crappy units
infesting the Caucasus stiffened with some good ones in key hexes.
I employ only long range bombers early on. Fighters fly and then
rebase back as far as they can. Most of the time I can get them to a
city (even a hero city) where I can remove them if need be to get them
out of danger. Forex, in my current game as Russia, its JF45 and I've
lost ZERO AC to overruns.
I also build every single Ftr3 the Russians have, if playing with
nightmissions the Russians now have the ability to get 'some' factors
in along with the occasional key ground strike. The Germans can
counter this, but then the Brit night-bombing of their factories is
unimpeded. Its a tradeoff.
I concentrate my 2 ski and mtn div with 6 corps including the
Astrakhna Mil for the dreaded 3 hexside counterattack once winter sets
in (which isn't that effective against a German that knows its coming
and plans accordingly).
There are several mods to this strategy. If the Germans have more OC,
I'm less likely to stay and fight in a place, depending on which HQ's
If I've railed out all the factories, I'm much less likely to stay and
fight for a spot. Hexes are just hexes til you get to the Caucasus and
Urals. Basically if I have the factories out and LL secured then I am
happy to fall back and conserve my forces (and burn Axis action limits).
If the Germans have built an Italian air force from Hell, I'm damned
sure not going to stay and fight for anything. HEAT or not, you'll get
rodeoed and surrounded, then its Communists and Indians, with the
Wehrmact driving round and round shooting arrows into your little red
"Hmmm...I still don't know, but it seems like Russia is playing into
the hands of the Axis in your games. Break contact with the Germans
and either let them:
a) consolidate their lines, <OR>
b) chase you deeper into Russia to the next defense line
I firmly believe that a USSR that concentrates on a mobile mechanized
army early can do an optimal withdrawal (fast enough that German
airpower is at a disadvantage, slow enough that you rail out all your
Once these are accomplished you simply fall back once again. And
again. At no time do you let the Axis attack you at advantage.
A strategy like this often results in ~10BP of Soviet casualties in
bad weather turns and 20-55BP of casualties in the long summer turns,
but it assumes the Germans are sticking to you like a tarbaby.
If the Germans do not take the bait and follow you (option a) then
being at least 6 hexes away from them will result in an effective gain
in production for the USSR (10/turn in bad weather to 35/turn in good
weather). This initial bonus I would first use for additional FTR,
after moderate parity I would then start spending some of it on OC and
cheese units (Russian OC production would commence in late 41).
Note also that you can't leave Russia alone and then change your
mind...4 turns of AC production will result in a very different air
force mix...now Russia can actually do counterair operations as you
rebase forward, which translates into flipped units on the German
front and massive Soviet blitzes of these hexes. So now Russia can
hold for more than 2 impulses, flip AC and units, vaporize a key hex
or two and THEN fall back again.
Finally, at some point, Russia will have 4 or 5 OC, plus a large air
force plus a large unblooded army (and we're assuming no LL btw). They
will race forward to meet up with the Germans. They will either do so
in bad weather (slowly rebase FTR forward) or in good (supercombined
or fly all FTR as CAP, reorg with HQ's, next impulse reorg all HQ). In
any event, the Russian will be in contact with the Germans at that
point and the main event will start to unfold.
Tactics such as Mr. Jacobi's come to mind, there are plenty of others
as well (if you don't bother Russia, then Russia is going to bother
Japan, Finland, etc., 10x 3-3 Inf is only 30BP and that was one turn's
savings. Give them an HQ, one kill stack, a couple AC and a slogan and
send them on a rampage somewhere without affacting your Eastern Front
in the least.) I would not want to face this sort of fight in 1943,
because the 2d10 is not about the strength of the hex, its only about
the plusses you get in the attack.
The German alternative is to deny this scenario by following the
retreating Soviets and continually embed your jackboot in their
backside. It will result in the losses described above, so no
effective counterattack force is formed, and no Soviet
counteroffensive can begin the next year(s) either.
The disadvantage here is that you will have to abandon your turtle
strategy. Partisans will matter, Soviet winterized attacks will
matter, rebasing AC becomes quite problematic because you are
attacking, not to mention that each impulse finds you further away
from home as the Soviets continue to retreat to interior river lines
(Dniepr -> factory line => Moscow-Voronzeh-Rostov => etc.). And you
may not succeed in really blooding them the way you want to.
To sum up, I think your strategy is most effectively employed if you
first beat the stuffings out of the Soviets by chasing them down
(assuming you do) for 2 summers and THEN adopting your hedgehog
defense at a river line. This is the best strategy I know of; many
Germans don't know when to quit and so they die OOS and fragmented. I
think 2 summers enough to bleed the Soviets so they aren't a complete
But doing this AND defending shallow territorial gains only works if
the Soviet player doesn't grab his marbles and march off to Moscow. I
see the two objectives as being pretty much incompatible unless one is
early Barb and the other late Barb."
"> I can think of a number of things that are also very high priority. ARM for
> one, since this is the only way the Russians can take advantage of the Blitz
> table. Then there is ART and other divisions, since you can be expecting to
> take losses or advance hexes, and those good quality mobile AT and AA are
> invaluable. Dont forget that we want some TAC, too.
My Soviet builds tend to be one Arm/turn, 2xFtr/turn, at least one
pilot, one gun, one div and grunts. If an HQ is available it takes the
place of 2 grunts. This works well and gets out the key units in a
Note also that it depends what you play with: many hate MiF because
the Germans get all those mech in the late war. I like it, I am
willing to give them that because I get all the Soviet mech early on
as well. Many are good enough to stack in the secondary front hexes,
and thus help delay the German advance.
> I would be very surprised indeed to see a 1943 Russia with 15+ FTR, a
> respectable TAC force and enough ARM and supporting forces to strike fear into the
> hearts of Germany. This doesnt mean that it cant be done, or that its never
> happened, or that your style of play is wrong - I'm not trying to
Well in my current game, the German has been very aggressive, using a
huge army and air force. I've employed a heavy mechanized defense.
The German killed ~10BP/turn, managed to hold him to 15BP in early
summer, last JA he managed to kill 50BP. In the last 6 turns I've
counterattacked and killed 3 Mech, Mech div, 2-3 Inf and some divs.
The Germans have only had one bad battle for Kursk where they lost a
Para and Para div. They have had NO Italian help in Barb (one key
reason I've been able to hold my own in the air).
Its MJ43, I only have 12 FTR, 4 LND4 and 7 LND3 (I detached 1 FTR, 2
LND3 to Iraq for the defense, now its an advance there). All Arm and
HQ on map except 1xHQA on spiral. I think I have 4 Mech in the force
pool left, some of that because I upgraded GBA. All mech/arm divs,
ART, AT, TD on map, I am now concentrating on Katyusha and SPA (none
on map). LL has been minimal. I've built 2xOC (none on map).
I am still on the defensive of course, and this summer promises to be
a bloody one for both sides...I am about to fall back to the
Moscow-Voronzeh-Rostov line, since the factory line has been breached
(because of some of the battles I have chosen to defend much farther
forward than I would normally). In the north they managed to cut the
link between Vologda and Archangel, but I think I'll have it re-opened
in the next couple turns.
Most of the German mechanized losses have been in battles where I've
flipped one unit perhaps (or none) and then massed the Soviet blitzers
against them. Its worth doing just to force the German to fly huge
numbers of bombers and fighters to the hex defending it (one key
battle saw 9 Lnd3 support a hex), because those bombers won't be
ground striking me. Repeatedly, the German has managed to knock a hex
out of my line and advance, but quickly learned that a blitzable hex
surrounded on 4 or 5 sides is a BAD thing when faced with a mechanized
defender. You don't do it unless you have them flipped, and my
threatened counterattacks threatened his ability to do air impulses.
There is no doubt that weather and luckballs have played a part, in
other games we often see Germans advancing to the other map or
aligning Turkey. But then, I wasn't playing Russia those games either...
We think the heavy mechanized strategy works for Russia, maybe not
quite as well as this time perhaps, but it does well. But your mileage
will vary depending on what rules and counters you play with."
"> Well, you certainly have a mighty Russia then, what with all the FTR being
> built, and all the HQ, and heaven only knows what else. I never seem to manage
> it - must be poor play on my part.
Nope, but the descriptions I've heard so far (slow German advance AND
heavy/moderate Soviet casualties, more German reorg than Soviet reorg,
etc.) certainly suggest that your Soviet gameplay could be more effective.
You're right that early on, Germany has more reorg and can reorg FTR
even on a land move (necessary sometimes when you only have 4 air
missions). But this doesn't last forever. Russia can, in some cases as
early as mid-43, start the turn with an air impulse, use all their HQ
and then spend one OC the next impulse to unflip all their HQ.
Assuming that only Zhu, Kon, Yer, Timmie and Vatty are on map, this
would allow 17 AC to reorg. Since I'm a cautious soul, suppose I leave
Yeremenko unflipped to guard a threatened hex with HQ support in case
the Germs get frisky. That's still 14 AC reorg'd. And no, the German
can't come close to matching this without flipping their HQ and
leaving them that way. Which is fine with me, let them sit that way
the entire turn.
Or rather, the German CAN match this, once perhaps. And then their
last OC is gone. The Russians will be doing this every other turn in
43. In 44, they will be doing it EVERY turn (good weather turns only,
we can assume in bad weather they will simply make high odds
Finally, if Russia ever does make a breakthrough (its not a sure
thing, but I believe they can during a turn with multiple OC to play),
the Luftwaffe has a very good chance of getting stomped on while
facedown. If this happens, the German better pray he goes first and
can fall back. Been there, done that (and had it done to me), got the
"> Remember, desire and execution are two different things. Germany WANTS
> to kill Russians. Russia desires to stop that. Also note that Jeff very
> importantly stated the Germans wanted to kill Russians with few casualties by
> making high odds attacks. That's an important part of Jeff's statement.
Well then I am completely flummoxed then, and can only assume that
your Russians are being done in by their own choices. Germany can
dream of dead Russians all she wants but if they don't pursue them
fullbore then the Soviets get to decide if this happens or not.
Germany is apparently calling the shots in your dance and Russia is
doing her best to be Ginger Rogers to your Fred Astaire. Now I (as
Stalin Rogers) like to step on Fred's toes, drink vodka from a bong,
twirl the wrong way and do the robot at inopportune times. And I
always keep belching my borscht-onion breath in your face. Always.
If you are committed to:
+ only making high-odds attacks <AND>
+ gradual consolidation of territory (due to Soviet retreats)
and I am committed to:
+ heavy mechanized build strategy <AND>
+ retreat at first opportunity (factory & units safe)
then I see no way for the German to make any high odds attack except
upon my sufferance. I'd submit from past experience that there would
be no long summers where you can apply the lash...I'm not there. Have
fun beating up my ex-peasants. Put an extra SS unit on map.
As I have posted earlier, against a passive German, retreat gains me
1) my on-map army is not damaged
2) my on-map air force is not damaged
3) each turn's budget will buy ADDITIONAL units, not REPLACEMENTS
4) faster OC production (say within 4 turns of start of Barb)
5) I'll have more saved oil than God
Now I see some gains for the Germans as well. You can pull a combined
or even naval whenever you want, the West ain't gonna like that.
Soviet partisans are kaput. And your oil expended in the East is going
to drop to zero, same as mine. The West can forget about serious
invasions of France/Italy, you can even rail out some land units if
need be. I don't see you flying out many AC though, that's a lot more
dangerous as the Russian gains parity with you.
I guess my point is, if you don't keep banging on my head and I
retreat to the MVR line well ahead of time, with you slowly loping
along after, by the time you get there you are going to face a Soviet
player with 4 extra turns of production. Their army is bigger, their
air force is MUCH bigger, and they aren't as eager to retreat anymore.
I can darn nearly put 2-3 mechanized per key hex on the river by this
One thing I have found is that, with a heavy mechanized force, the
Soviet can launch spoiling attacks on you without flipping you first;
without flips such a battle can be a +13, if the turn were close to
ending I would certainly consider doing this to the lead German kill
stack. If I ground struck the hex and one adjacent to it and then hit
the hex itself, sure you could intercept both strikes and then
hopefully escort your support bombers in, but so what, I just used
practically every single plane you have in this key sector, so next
impulse you aren't going to do much to me and I'll still have some Ftr.
What are you going to do, call an air to reorg the planes in this one
sector? Do a land and rebase more in while 2 good HQ reorg 3 of them?
I just bought an impulse and my newly formed GBA will lead my
triumphant blitzers back across the river. Score: Russia 1, Germany 0.
I've done this several times, and it can be very effective at stalling
a front. The only hard part is knowing where to place old Zhukie and
Vattie Zhuke adds to the battle, the other waits to reorg those flippe
from behind the river line). Once you got that its trivial to pull
back across and leave him flipped with the Saratov Mil and a 1-5 Cav
div stacked with him, as long as he has a good retreat route back to
the river line. That way Zhuke protects the front to a faretheewell,
but can't be killed himself. I'll console myself with the 3BP gain I
made in the battle and the fact that he won't cost me oil to reorg.
But suppose you're indeed careful and approach MVR in a way so that I
can't pull stunts like this. So what, bad weather will have set in.
I'm fine til early 42. So in MA42 you begin operations when it clears,
but by then I'll have had 6-7 turns of production versus no losses.
You'll have 1-2 OC and lots of AC, but so will I. You'll have huge
reorg ability but so will I.
You go first? You can do your air and fly all your planes, then do an
OC next impulse to unflip HQ. Big deal. Wholesale flippage of the
Russian front is not going to happen, at least not on average. Key
hexes will soak up 2 or more bombers to ensure they are flipped. I
don't even have to fly my aircraft, I could choose to just fly a few.
Or none. Flip all you want, Uncle Addie.
On my impulse, I choose a land, reorg my HQ and proceed to unflip
every land unit I have. Yes assuming you still have a faceup HQ you
can now do a land OC and blast a hole, but I don't think you'll be too
keen on crossing over the river line to my side while I still have a
protected HQ ready to blast you back. Not to mention unflipping your
HQ's to maintain the offensive will burn your last OC. )Otherwise
you're pretty much done at this point, with no real advance past what
you have. I'll be out of OC too, but unlike you my third one will
If Russia goes first in this scenario, I can launch spoiling air raids
in a key sector. No I don't have as many Lnd3 as the German, nor do I
have as many FTR. But if I gang up in an area, I can get an edge.
Early war my Sturmo's are not self-escorting but you can bet that
there will be enough for the German to be forced to fly FTR to protect
a key sector. Its a good way to scrap the loser Sturmo anyway.
Send them to their dooms.
I like playing with night missions for this exact reason, the aircraft
don't hit very well but boy do they burn up FTR trying to stop them.
But even without night missions, I've just protected that key sector
from his riposte on his impulse, because Addie has to reorg first.
Giving the Russian the initiative in deciding what battles will be
fought and when is a recipe I think for disaster. All my strategies
have assumed a standard income and meager LL, but you can bet I will
demand max LL from the Allies from the get go. Suppose I get 7BP/turn
that way, this translates about 112BP I picked up before the MVR
clash. Add this to the army that I did NOT lose, and Russia has firmed
up very nicely indeed. This is an ideal, of course, but the real
answer isn't too far off.
I've heard the repeated comment that your Soviets are stymied even
with 60BP/turn economies. If this is true, then something is not
right. My suspicion is that your Soviets have been attrited and pruned
by your Germans so much so that they are still in recovery, buying
But thats a Soviet choice and one I would suggest not making. I feel
pretty comfortable saying that a Stalin who did pull back would not
lose much and by the time he gets up to 60BP/turn Hitler is definitely
going to be feeling it. I would not want to face a Jacobi twice a turn
at that point, followed by land OC. As the Soviet I can and will burn
3 OC a turn in the summer turns, and maybe more than that. Sooner or
later I will break through and when I do, the Luftwaffe will be the
main victim. Even killing 4 FTR in a sector at the end of the turn
spells disaster for it when the next turn begins, especially if I go
Let's not even consider what the Sturmoviks will do if they get to fly
unopposed. Hell, I won't even use an OC the first impulse, no need
when 3 bombers will do just fine. I'll wait til the second impulse of
JA to play that game we all know and love called "Who wants to be a
Cross of Iron Candidate?" Hmm...should Manstein use his reorg? Or
should he phone a friend? Is that your final answer? Let's ask the
We have of course not considered other options, such as flying carpet
bombing missions in the air/supercombined impulses against unprotected
hexes. On a combined this can lead to all sorts of nasty events like
your lead kill stack vaporizing, leaving a div to be overrun and a
tender hex behind it to be immolated, or the hex adjacent to it faces
blitz from 4 hexsides (+15 without HQ support). Even killing just the
div in a carpet raid is very bad because in the blitz the same impulse
both corps will die. The 12-5 SS doesn't get to go to the spiral. You
get to rebuild it.
Once the air force is gone, the Germans cannot hold against these
tactics. And I strongly believe that the Soviets can get a
breakthrough in the late war."
Bryce (67898) ( buildstrategy + tactics )
> Obviously you've tried this enough times to have some answers to my concerns.
> How exactly do you manage to disengage from the Wehrmacht? Or do you refuse
> to engage them at all, retreating just slow enough to rail out your
> factories? Do you do this against a 1941 Barbarossa only, or 1942 as well?
Good questions. Part of the answer depends upon build strategy, part
of it on your tactics (and what the German built, when he does Barb,
In the below, I've made some assumptions. You will have to modify
this slightly if you don't play with these options:
2d10 combat (stop reading, it only works for 2d10)
MiF Mech & Mot
First off, Russia should build out their Arm, Mech, AT, AA and all
HQ. This includes all possible Arm and Mech divs. Without MiF, this
translates into something like:
1xHQA, 3xArm, 3xMech, 2xAT, 3xAA, 1xdArm, 2xdMech
Of these, 1 Arm is 9-6 heavy, 2 Mech are 9-6, 8-6 heavies. When GE
DoW's you add 1 Mech from reserves. Let's also assume you built your
41 Arm and Mech so they'll start to arrive by JA.
I'd station 1 AT or AA + 1 Mech in the northern flank. The balance of
your mechanized troops will be based in the south. This doesn't
really depend upon the German. If he masses all his Arm in the north,
yours are still south. If he masses in the south, yours are still
Your additional builds should consist of:
+ all HQ as quickly as possible.
+ build ALL Arm/Mech heavies. Note you start with the 8-6 in your
force pool (in other words, you NEVER draw the 5-6 Mech at start)
although it can't show up on map.
+ a few Mot...think of them as outrigger escorts for your land
battleships, and able to stop most boogers from trying an endrun.
+ build *some* pilots prior to 41. Possibly a couple Lnd4 (or the
+ Gear up in ND40 so that, starting in JF41 you can build 2 or even
3 FTR, and they can mate up with your already built (and stood down)
+ If you play with night missions, build 1 FTR3 and 1 FTR2/turn in
41 on. German NF are needed elsewhere. Yours on your night raids will
cause much consternation. ALWAYS build them all, and get the P-61's
if you can. They all cause no end of pain.
+ A useful build but one hard to stomach early on are ATR. Often
the Germans will manage to flip one key unit. Being able to reorg it
with an ATR instead of flipping your HQ is invaluable (night ATR with
FTR3 escorts in the worst case).
+ Once FTR3 are done for the year, build 2xFTR2 and 1xLND3. Don't
build LND2 yet, your goal is to build planes with plenty of range to
run away after their use. By 43 however, start in on your LND2. This
means that you've scrapped all of them prior to 41, so they are all
pretty good planes. They are a real force multiplier, because often
you fly them unescorted. Many will die, but in flying they do a
number on German air superiority. Unlike Stukas, 5- factor Sturmoviks
are not terrified of a 7- factor Fw-190.
The rest of the army is much as you might expect, Gar and Inf
slowpokes. Note that in the south you DON'T need as many speed bumps,
the whole logic of bumps is to burn a German impulse. Your armored
fist can do the exact same thing, except that it won't get overrun,
and its plenty fast enough to run backwards.
Have saved oil kept in Leningrad (4), along with Archangel, Murmansk
and some in Sevastopol.
TACTICS - NORTH OF PRIPETS
I am assuming your German is playing standard. Standard play for
Russia is then to fall back in the north, first to Vitebsk and thence
to Smolensk. You take advantage of terrain, etc.
Take a look at the German setup closely. If they only put 1 Arm up
north, your AT and Mech are fine. If they put 1.5 Arm up north,
consider an Arm and AT instead. If they put 2, go back to the AT and
As you fall back in the north, your force splits to one guarding
Pskov-Novgorod-Leningrad and one guarding Vitebsk-Smolensk-Gomel. The
German is likely to try to hammer the second group and screen the
other one. Make sure no oil dependent land units (except possibly an
HQ) moves with the Leningrad force.
When do you retreat? This is easy. If in Germany's next impulse they
will be able to hit you with multiple nasty ground strikes, then its
time to do the bugout boogie. There are mods to this of course, if
you are in woods hexes, forex, or if you have more AT/ARM and can
make him fight an assault across the river by Smolensk forex, but in
general, when he has a good chance of ground striking and flipping
you (same number of FTR as you plus 3-4 bombers) then its time to
Slow Gar in cities can rail out; if so rail a 2-1 Gar in as a stopgap
and walk back out of FTR escort range.
The biggest problem I have with Russia is retreating when I should.
My biggest disasters I always look at afterwards and realize that I
waited an impulse too long to walk out. Once your units flip they are
stuck, and the German will simply get even stronger the next impulse.
TACTICS - UKRAINE
This is where it gets fun (well fun is a relative term). Your German
may smile as he sees the wide open spaces here, with no bumps to stop
him. And then you rush forward to the west side of the Dniepr with
the armored fist. You can easily space your army out every other hex,
the best the German can o is *maybe* get a 3:1 battle.
To call a blitz, he'll need either 4 Arm or 3 Arm + an dArm. If he
hasn't planned for this it will be a rude surprise (remember, you get
to keep your -blitz bonus in assault).
If he does have the Arm, he can call a blitz, but with NO AC (well he
can fly unescorted Ju-88's I suppose, which is pretty scary so let's
assume he doesn't). So the best he can get is about 55:21. Of course,
the Soviet can add in massive support (Lnd3) and you may have Zhukov
right behind the 2 stacks. So the final odds will be around 3:2 (+3)
+4 blitz (+9 - 5). I don't know many Germans who have to stones to
try a +7 blitz at this point; if they roll slightly less than average
their force is flipped and you aren't...which means the Soviet
armored fist is going to vaporize 1 or 2 of their flipped kill stacks
in counterattacks (I suppose they may employ an HQ to reorg but
flipping them now on the Polish border works for me).
Remember also that some of their units are not fast; half are 5
movers, not 6 movers...judicious hex selection can usually put you 'a
hex too far' for the 5 movers to seriously contribute.
So, in general, the German isn't going to want to attack like this
early in the turn, if it fails it immolates his entire blitz force.
They'll advance instead, trying to ooze around your armored bastions
while they rebase some FTR forward. OK.
It's either time to LEAVE or time to ATTACK. If a kill stack is
placed forward where you can take a shot at it, consider doing so. Of
course, factors like end of turn and weather apply here, i.e., no you
probably don't do this early in the turn.
But you do have several AC. Fly 2 bombers at 2 of his front hexes.
Chances are only 1 FTR can guard both, meaning one of your bombers
will get through automatically. Fly night missions if you can, or
just intercept with 1 of your FTR, you should have some good ones
from your JF41 build.
If your bomber does well, consider an attack (odds +6, flips +4,
blitz +4 is a +14 blitz. This is enough to give the German pause.
If you do so-so, well, you have stopped a couple blitzer units from
trying to surround and kill your armored formation.
If you miss, well, you definitely need to fall back. Console
yourself; one downside of attacking is that the German often will fly
every bomber that can make it. Its a free rebase up to the front for
Remember, at this point, if you do one good counterattack and remove
3 German blitzers their ability to launch nasty blitz attacks back at
you might be curtailed for a couple impulses...suppose forex, that
you kill an Arm div + Mech, and */B the Arm, thats 1.5 Arm on this
front he's lost for this turn. If he doesn't have enough Arm left
over to call a blitz on your armored fist (2 Arm + AT gun) then he is
going to go kaput for at least an impulse while more armored units
On the other hand, if taking 3 out doesn't really change his force
mix (i.e., he's got the max Arm pointed at you) then it makes no
difference and counterattacks are only useful for propaganda, GBA,
and instilling caution in them.
My only concern here is victory disease; if you counterattack don't
do this for more than 1 impulse. Constantly dance just out of range.
Your fist is powerful, but if it stops moving for 1 impulse the AC
will flip it and the German rodeo will finish it off. Chortle as the
German kill boogers are reduced to a crawl, but ALWAYS be ready to
get out of dodge, avoid the flip-flop etc.
I would suggest that you try for a counterattack within 4 hexes of
the Dniepr so your FTR can rebase back across the river for next
turn. Don't be afraid to use the Zhukov + Mil + Cav div strategy if
you can do this adjacent to the river line. But as long as you fly a
couple bombers a turn you keep burning up the German airpower that
would rather be used to move forward again.
TACTICS - STATIC DEFENSE
When the Germans have finally gotten to the Dniepr, evacuate across.
Station your units optimumly and wait for counterattack. Its ok here
for your units to be ground struck, you're as strong as you can be.
Enough others have written about this strategy so I'll be brief.
Once pierced (with an OC forex) retreat in good order to the factory
line and repeat. Then to MVR. Then to Urals-Caucasus.
If you've maintained your armored fist you can cause the retreat to
be at your pace (the German MUST face your fist with his armored
units, can you imagine being able to counterattack against 2 Mot and
In a game like this I tend to fight VERY hard for the defense lines,
not because I can hold them, but because by fighting for them I can
make Germany exhaust their store of OC, bombers, etc.
TACTICS - DYNAMIC DEFENSE
The above production and strategy tends to put the kibosh on a
Germany that can 'make killing Russians a priority'. Its hard to do
when their big bad Arm are glaring at you under air cover, etc., when
you are on the advance. One misstep and they can attack, it opens
Now, if the German begins to operate as you have described in your
games, i.e., moves slowly to consolidate his territorial gains? Once
this becomes apparent, as the Soviet all you need to do is get your
army organized to keep moving and get EVERY SINGLE FACTORY out. Leave
no factory behind.
Once this is done (that is, production has been permanently
protected), then you can retreat at will. Wait for the Germans to
crawl forwards. To be honest, really all you need to do is just drive
your tanks the same way you did in the Ukraine, i.e., always staying
hexes in front of the Germans, able to slash back if he sticks his
nose out, but safe from counterattack.
You can continue this retreat strategy clear to the Urals (at some
point you'll have a Caucasus army set up to repel the invaders down
there). Contrary to popular thought, fighting from the Urals is NOT a
bad thing if you CHOSE to move there, i.e., you have all your
factories, all your planes and all your army. In fact its a very
nasty thing, becuase your ability to really fudge the German by
overextending him is huge. Think about it, your army is still as huge
as always. Just as the 2d10 table is all about bonuses/flips (not the
odds), so too is Soviet strategy all about massive breakthroughs; A
Russian can gain 15 hexes in a turn this way when the German is
This is one way that breakouts happen; a very strong Russian goes to
the Urals and then smashes back, breaks the German line and then
suddenly its a race west to maintain supply. If the Russians win such
a contest, the German line is devastated and entire army groups can
find themselves 30 hexes past Poland cut off (and soon to be dead).
This isn't the only way of course, Mr. Jacobi's methods are equally
devastating if the Soviets start near Moscow or even when they're in
Poland. But a well prepared Soviet player in the Urals often
accomplishes the most spectacular offensives using the OC this way.
Lots of German hordes dead and cut off in a matter of impulses. But
ONLY if the Russians weren't pared back getting pushed back..."
> First off, is the use of Patton in Flames "heavies" (which I do not use) key
> to your defense? Are they in fact a seperate force pool, which means that you
> -cannot- draw the low value MECH? You imply that this is the case, and Im not
Regards PatiF...the USSR certainly has an advantage using PatiF with
the "heavy AT" strategy; essentially upon Barb your 6-6 Arm, 5-6, 6-6
Mech have all gained 3 combat factors. This allows the Soviet a couple
stacks equal to the Germans, better actually when AT are added to them.
When using PatiF, a unit can either be normal or heavy. If you convert
it to heavy, the normal unit is removed from the game permanently. The
heavy version is the same type but costs 1BP more to build, ie. an Arm
costs 7BP, and costs 2BP to convert over one that is currently on map.
If I have a regular Arm and a heavy Arm in my force pool, I can choose
how much to spend, just like Ftr2 and Ftr3.
Regards the low value Mech, the setup rules do not allow you to start
with heavies on map for the Global War scenario. Russia does have a
8-6 heavy mech in 39 though. What I usually do is exchange the 5-6 for
its 8-6 heavy, then choose from the 6-6 and 7-5 Mech for setup (mopre
choices if using MiF). You can't draw the 8-6 heavy.
PatiF is not central to the heavy AT defense; a 6-6 Arm, 7-5 Mech and
2-3 AA gun is still a respectable defensive stack; I still think you
can retreat as per Patif. Attacking is not as easy, certainly some
odds shifts down here due to lost combat factor density. So a
non-Patif AT strategy can't counterattack as aggressively.
> you dont use fractional odds - night TAC missions become less attractive when
> you are affecting the die roll by .05 instead of a full chart.
Night missions fall into 2 groups: ground strikes and ground support.
Strikes aren't usually hurt much, your bombers hit on 2's instead of
3's. The benefit you gain (bomber survivability) is worth it early on,
at least from what I've seen.
We don't do fractionals. Just 2:1, 2.5:1, 3:1, etc. So one night
bomber adding 2 factors may or may not improve the odds. In general,
I've found it will usually mean a +1 change in favor of the Russians.
Worth doing on a +9 attack, not worth as much on a +16.
> Second, where are you getting all the production to build all these quality
> units? You casually mention about 70 BP of mechanized units (without MiF!) ,
> and also suggest building 6-9 FTR plus PIL manufactured earlier. That's a heap
> of production, considering you get ~142 BP (total) to play with prior to J/A
Not casually. Do the math:
36 3-5, 4-5, 5-5, 6-5, 6-6, 7-5, 7-6, 8-6H 1-5D, 1-6D Mech (1 map, 1 GE)
28 6-6, 7-6, 8-6, 9-5, 2-6D Arm
5 Patif upgrades
16 2xAA, 2xART
12 6xFtr(1 SO, 2 ND, 3 JF41)
Now, I am assuming that nobody considers Soviet HQ as 'luxury' items,
they are MUST builds. Ditto for guns. If you deduct those from the
equation, then the AT build only soaks up 69/49BP (MiF/No MiF).
The Mot and extra Pilots, AC are a preference of mine, and technically
not a part of the AT build. Build other things if you like.
> Third, what German worth his salt tips his hand regarding the direction of
> his armored forces? I mean, come on, German ARM can set up in central Poland
> and go either direction.
In my earlier post, I said their direction does not matter. I will
cheerfully let you put all your stuff up north while I remain armor
heavy in the south. Armor are wasted in the tree/swamp line, so
practically they will funnel right on to Smolensk and thence to the
Gomel-Tula area which is clear terrain. I'll have plenty of time to
use my AT force to first evacuate the Ukraine, establish a Dniepr that
you can't break and THEN round the Pripets corner to stiffen my line
The key is that with both armies (north and south) retreating in
lockstep, I have plenty of time to reinforce the north. Remember, my
heavy AT can hold clear hexes against the Axis vanguard elements.
> You know what I would do against your proposed defense? I would send the
> great bulk of the Wehrmacht NORTH, and slam through your thin defense there with
> the goal of taking Novgorod in summer of 41, and hope to pick off Leningrad
> sometime in 42, if not in the winter. I would send sufficient forces in the
> south plus the bulk of the air force to take Kiev and keep those expensive units
I would not consider my line in the north to be thin in quantity. It
would be thin on initial mech and AT, for sure. But the forest and
swamp hexes don't matter.
I have no doubt that largescale attacks on Pskov followed by Novgorod
will result in the fall of these cities. If you start in JA41 however,
you may find Novgorod a city too far however.
If you don't have a large mechanized force in the south, forget coming
in. The Soviets can and will chew you up on your initial advance.
Worse, they can sit on adjacent to Kiev if they want to, IF they can
ensure that you can't blitz them. With MiF this is possible, without
its harder to do of course.
The counterattack ability is the chief threat in the south at first.
If I've secure the front, got the stragglers across the river AND you
have a small army facing them, then I know you ain't coming across
anytime soon. So after that the AT force will probably go up to where
its needed. Just that I *may* have gotten 1 or 2 GBA in the meantime.
Let's put it this way, I consider Davis one of the better German
players out there and this last game I faced a heavy German force in
the south. There's no doubt I got lucky on a few items, but I killed a
9-6 Mech, 8-6 Mech, 2-6 Mech div, and B'd 2 Arm back while still west
of Kiev. This won't happen every game, and is much less likely against
a German expecting a heavy AT strategy. But my point is that we were
both surprised by the Soviet ability to do exactly this and still
retreat in good order.
> in front of Leningrad (say within 8 hexes or so) is very tough to take when
> there are a lot of Russians there. Maybe you're happy with that result - but I
> know that the loss of Leningrad will cost you a LOT of production in 1943 and
You apparently think that I retreat everywhere. I am sorry to have
given that impression.
Places like Pskov I may retreat, but more likely it will fight to the
death. Novgorod will fight to the death. Leningrad will fight to the
death. My play sees the northern front (quickly) split up into 2
groups, the Leningrad front (which is going to fight til its
conquered) and the Smolensk front (which will retreat whenever its
> That would certainly set up an intriguing 1942, wouldnt it? Assume that the
> Germans have taken Leningrad, Pskov and Novgorod in the north; Minsk and
> Vitebsk in the center (and are adjacent to Smolensk); and hold everything west of
> the Dnepr save Dnepropatrovsk. Do you turn tail now? Wait for the Germans to
> blow across the Dnepr first? Or stack 'em up and fight?
If you come at me as you describe, i.e., JA41, heavy Wehrmacht in
north, heavy AC in south, I have no doubt that you would take out the
DEFINITELY: Minsk, Vitebsk, Kiev
POSSIBLE: Novgorod, Smolensk
You have to be lucky with weather to get a shot at Novgorod and
Smolensk. Leningrad? No way. Even with the Finns, it'll be secure for
the winter. I suppose you could build a German winterized army to
fight for this particular objective. If so, I'd pretty much see it and
plan accordingly. Forex, exchange some of those pilots and FTR for a
fort on Novgorod. These are questions of taste and vary from player to
I would assume in this game that I held the Ukraine, retreated my
factories and stragglers, perhaps launched 1-2 counterattacks and then
retreated. So now I'm holding the Dniepr against your smaller army,
and the better half of my AT force move up as a flying reserve to
overwatch the retreat from Smolensk (which is either sitting tight due
to bad weather or started retreating early because of good weather in
So would I hold in 42? Tough call. I have several choices. But what
would probably happen is that the situation in the Smolensk front will
dictate what I do. If I am holding there, my flying reserve will
remain split; I'll hold at the Dniepr. If Smolensk is abandoned,
having the 2 fronts retreat in lockstep isn't a bad idea. If I have
fallbacks prepared I may have the Dniepr line stay until broken by an
OC (or just plain broken).
In all cases, once the northern Wehrmacht force fans out behind the
Smolensk funnel the 1st Ukrainian Front will retreat to the factory
line. The question is whether this happens in 41 or not.
Frankly, I'd assume you'll start earlier (MJ41) to have a crack at
Novgorod and its surroundings. Or are JA41 Barbs typical for your group?"
"> Regarding the Soviet MiF Mech corps, they're dog meat (5 bps for a 3-
> factor MECH??). Your proposed builds are frightfully low on INFs and
> GARs, so use the bps budgeted for these MiF corps for foot soliders
> instead. In any event, most groups play without the MiF corps (using
> only the divs), so these weak corps are likely unavailable even if
> you wanted them.
I agree, most games they are unavailable. But their worth is
inconceivable to me. In a heavy AT strategy, a 3-5 Mech across the
river adds a -2 on the roll. Sure it sucks. But stacked with a decent
unit (forex a PatiF heavy) they can make a real difference.
I build them all out (we do play with MiF in the San Jose group) and I
relegate them to the secondary theaters and the flanks. The German had
better pay attention to your armored fist, and that means the rest of
his forces are contending with your second string, the 5-5 Mech forex.
And like I said, these boogers stiffen up a river line like you
One final caveat: the idea behind the heavy strategy is that you lose
fewer units because of your ability to retreat in a timely fashion.
The idea is that your army is actually in better shape than one
composed of more units (but fewer blitzers).
> The Soviets should scrap their weak INFs: anything less than 5
> factors (except for perhaps keeping the fast 4-4 INF). Your heavy
> ARM/MECH builds won't leave you many bps for your entire INF force,
> so might as well maximize your INF strength. Same strategy with the
This is one of those problems that I have not found a solution for.
Many players do exactly this, and hey, if it works then it works so
who am I to say differently?
But I have found that I don't scrap a one of them. And the reason is
yes, they suck, but when running, I vastly prefer to throw a 3-3 Inf
into Kiev rather than a 5-4. They cost the same, but the loss of the
one does not hurt my on map combat factors as much.
Furthermore, I posted a while back all the myriad missions that these
'worthless' units are capable of. Time and again in the late war, as
Russia I find my force pool exhausted and I want more grunts.
I believe that if I employ a heavy AT strategy and conserve my army,
then I will survive til the late war AND have all these 3-3 jokers
stiffening my line. And that allows me an operational flexibility that
you don't have.
> Your builds don't include AT guns. These are good. I'd include them.
I've assumed the Russian was unlucky and his initial gun setup
included all his AT guns. Thats why they weren't listed. You start
> Your builds include no TACs. Not a bad thing since you're on the
> defensive and you need FTRs more. Just realize that your dreams of
> groundstriking Germans are probably just that. At least early on in
> the war.
Agreed, you don't get many shots, and they are mainly night missions.
As I said earlier, once you have faced a Soviet AT strategy as
Germany, the next time around I doubt the Russian is going to get many
counterattacks on you because you're focused on it. But it will still
slow down your advance.
I definitely countenance building TAC. In fact in 42 I think you
should start building Lnd3 instead of Lnd2, simply because they are so
damned good (and because after their mission they can rebase backwards
out of harm's way). In 43 I begin switching over to Lnd2, you only
build from the 41-43 pools, and they are all good (some spectacular).
Another nice build if you can shoehorn it in (and yes its tough to
build all these planes!) are Atr. These suckers on your land impulses
(where normally you are reacting to the German) can be instrumental in
flying night mission(s) to reorg the 2 flipped units on a front. They
are hard to kill, they burn up German Ftr on a front where they
already flew, and your HQ doesn't have to flip to reorg, its still
there waiting to provide support. Definitely a force multiplier if you
can get it.
Russia needs a nice army. But her AC dictate her ability to defend and
attack. If you don't agree with the above, fine. At the very least,
always build lots of fighters.
> Consider advance building the '42 Vatutin IHQ.
We often don't play with this rule...
> To hold a vulnerable/blitzable river hex, use this combination: 1
> Mech div, 1 AT gun, and 1 strong INF/GAR/MIL. The Mech div is nice
> to force an extra attacker loss, and deters Germany's use of ENGs.
> Defense cost is 8 or 9 bps/hex, and frees your expensive MECHs and
> ARMs to defend other hexes or be available for counterattacks. This
> assumes the 2d10 combat table.
First off, remember that if everybody is attacking across a river,
then its extra loss. If some of them aren't then this hex is pretty
much had it.
I like this, but to me, a 'vulnerable' river hex is one they can paste
from 2 hexsides. Assuming stacks of 18 each, with one having a
motorized Eng in it and the other just having a Mech div plus corps,
the German gets something like:
HEX1: 18 CF, +2 blitz
HEX2: 9 CF, +2 blitz
TOTAL: 27, +4 blitz v. 11 CF, -2 blitz
Its reasonable to assume the Germans concentrate their AC here, if
they flip all 3 and use ground support they'd have:
3:1 => +6 (at least)
flip => +4
blitz => +2
If I faced two hexes like this on the Dniepr I could use 1 OC to
pretty much make sure both were toast. The extra loss goes bye-bye
because there's no way the German can roll the 13 result, you can only
catch them with the 19 (I forget what it is).
Plus, this worries me because a Guderian could double 2 of the units
in this battle and 6 in some other battle. Multiple perforations in
the same impulse is more likely to lead to catching the Soviets before
they can run, and (potentially) nailing a large part of their army.
Now I would CERTAINLY agree that these 3 units are perfect for a more
secure river hex, i.e., only 1 German stack can attack it. Then you
"> Nice summary of the Russian problem and solutions.
> Two questions:
> 1. With an active committment of Italians, say 4 FTR2 and 2 LND, can the
> armored fist of death still function in the Ukraine?
SHORT ANSWER: HELL NO! You turn into the Armored Fist of Chickens.
What good is it to be a Hero of the Soviet Union if you can't show the
medal to your grandkids?
LONG ANSWER: A Barb with active Italian support is MUCH harder. The
reason is that the German gets to rebase forward his AND the Italian FTR.
(A Barb42 in which the German has taken Gib and lent to Italy so
they've built 5 FTR and 7 LND3 is much much worse, with the Axis
basically getting to do an air the first 3 impulses of each turn
(Italian HQ, ATR to do the reorging). Believe me its horrible, even if
your Axis bombers can't hit for ****e. Just ask Dave S.
So what happens? It means the Soviet advantage of forcing the German
to advance into his heavy AT stacks (protected by FTR) can no longer
effectively counterattack. Even when advancing the German is better
than you are in the air, with more FTR to fly. He still doesn't have
his good GS AC up to flip you, so you can still hold for an impulse
but that's it.
If its a Barb42, you don't want this, because now they will have FTR
superiority AND plenty of bombers in range (8-9 hexes) to wallop you
good. Some are going to get through and flip key units which will then
be surrounded and taken out.
You might consider fighting adjacent to the Dniepr then (1 AT unit + 2
crappy ones) in key hexes (they can always retreat. But thats the only
place short of the Dniepr (insert river line here) that I would really
try to hold.
> 2. When people say fighting from the Urals, I do not see the Russian coming
> back if the German holds along the Asian Volga (8 hexes) from Astrakhan to
> Perm. Do you really mean retreating across the Volga to the mountains, or is going
> to the Urals simply shorthand for a rearward defensive line?
What I mean is, IF you've retreated in good order (i.e., low losses)
then just stacking on the Asian map does wonders for you. You will be
able to double stack your front on that map. Germans that push onto
the map tend to find themselves surrounded by blitzers who try to GS
them. In general, progress is slower.
Of course, if your army was torn to ribbons and you retreated, you're
still going to have problems.
> 3.And one more -- does this strategy envision holding Leneingrad,
> and Murmans, or not?
SHORT ANSWER: NEVER GIVE UP THESE CITIES.
LONG ANSWER: Regards Scandinavia, if the Finns mass up they can often
take Murmansk. If so, cry but relax its not the end of the world. In a
way you did your job by removing their HQ and large numbers of units
from your immediate problems.
Regards Leningrad, you should hold as long as you can at Pskov, you
either fight to the death or retreat depending upon the situation.
Once Vitebsk falls your northern front begins to split into the 1st
Karelian Front (based out of Leningrad) and the 1st ByeloRussian Front
(centered around Smolensk).
The 1st Karelian has as many units as you can spare. Its job is to
hold in the swamp and forest hexes. Consider a fort in a key hex or
two. Hold Novgorod at all costs, its the key to Leningrad. Keep a
crapper behind the lines to stop the pesky Finn from cutting your rail
link. Rail out the Leningrad factory. Have at least 4 oil stored there.
The 1st ByeloRussian Front is more mobile (fewer Gar, faster AA, AT
and HQ) with the exception of 5- mover Cav, which are in Karelian
swamps if possible. After Vitebsk it will fall back to Smolensk. When
the Axis firepower against it is dangerous it will retreat again.
The German will have a choice: engage the Karelian Front or chase the
ByeloRussians (soon to be renamed the Moscovian Front). If they max
against the Karelians, the ByeloRussians may hold at Smolensk for some
time. If not, keep your jogging shoes on. Rail your good Gar out of
Smolensk, rail in a 2-1 Gar if you have it ready (or some equally
juicy booger) and fall back."
"> Are you really clearing out of the city line without va fight
> justbecause GE can get ist army and air into play there? Wish my
> opponent would give up that easily!
Against an aggressive opponent that is snapping at my heels? NO.
Against you I will have to fight in order to give the factories time
to leave. Which means you bust the line, I fall back to the factories,
etc. and we do it all over again.
But yes, once you have broken a line, I will fall back. As long as
I've gotten the factories out, its not that big a deal. If Russia has
retained her entire factory base but gets pushed to the Urals and
Caucasus, she can come back just fine in 44. It can get real ugly.
Now, if I were facing a German who wished to slowly advance and
consolidate their acquisitions (who knows, perhaps they are doing
combineds even to sink Brit shipping?) then I will often fall back at
the first opportunity. Why not?
Am I going to get a shot at killing some units? No, they're set up
defensively and have more air.
Am I going to get my factories out? Yes.
Am I going to get my slower units out? Yes.
With the aggressive German I have no choice: stay = DIE. With the
passive German, to stick around his front line for any reason = WHY? I
will lose AC and land units by attrition. Which is not to say that
some key hexes like red factories and resources would have unit(s) on
them for the production bonus.
Given a passive German Barb and a rapid Soviet fallback, I lose the
production bonus for attacks but gain over 100BP (when you include LL)
in the first year. You better bet I'll do that. But stick around? Why
would I do something that complements the German strategy of a slow Barb?
Now, having said all this, I'd have to start out the game assuming
you're doing an aggressive Barb, so I would build and place my units
accordingly. I would then retreat, employing my heavy arm/mech/AA/AT
units etc., to the next line, etc. as described above. But if you
switch tactics on me and go slow, I'd switch tactics as well."
"> As I've stated before, I believe that a lot of ftrs are a liability
> before the front solidifies. Certainly, the strategy of retreating in
> front of a GE advance will come to an abrupt stop if you USE ftrs a lot.
> Or you lose the critters to overuns.
> Secondly, the oil 'problem' is a chimera: it doesn't exist if RU
> retreats back to the Urals.
What I've done in the past which works is:
1) early on, Russia only flies Lnd3 and Lnd4. These can fly missions
and rebase far back.
2) I build plenty of Ftr, you cannot have too many. Why?
If you build lots, the German attack is correspondingly slowed. Now
suppose the German builds up and slams your line finally, and both of
you fly lots of planes. Well, first off, its harder for the German to
make headway since there are more Soviet FTR. He's still superior in
the air, but the Soviet forces fly over friendly hexes and enjoy the
bounce (Bf-109's cannot say the same when bouncing Sturmoviks).
What I have found is that:
+ my Soviet FTR retreat as far as they can (4-5 hexes for many) and
land in cities, etc.
+ the German used more AC to counter the extra Soviet AC, so their
followup attacks are not as strong.
Finally, remember that as the Russian, you DON'T have to fly all your
planes. Just fly some. If he flies enough to do overkill, sigh and
cry. But later that turn you'll still have plenty of FTR ready when
he's scraping the bottom of the barrel. And that pretty much ends the
Varying your techniques amongst the above will allow you to enjoy a
large air force without getting them overrun very often. Of course, it
helps to build your land force as well...in my games a heavily
mechanized Soviet force can do a slow retreat (and protect those
flipped planes) even when faced with the cream of the Wehrmacht."
"> Reorganising with an ATR? I would assumer:
> - flip (if it is a problem) occured in frontline
> - GE FTR is within interception range
> ergo an ATR reo is an unhealthy proposition. (Only advantage I can see
> is that it might delay GE a bit - as it might have to bring up one more
> ftr. and perhaps can bomb one fewer hex.)
The above assumes a couple things which you find on the front.
Germany just succeeded in some ground strike, but was doing other
things with their other air missions. Suppose 2 ground strikes,
perhaps 1 rebase and maybe 1 mission given to the Med.
Your ATR flies at night, escorted. A DX result will result in a dead
I-16. At this point, a 5- factor Me-109 has a good chance of clearing
you. Granted that the the bounce will hurt, even if its down a result.
I try to build one Russian NF for the express purpose of escorting
that critical night-bombing/ATR/paradrop/air transport mission.
- the Germans have multiple faceup FTR in range (possible if this
front has been static long enough for them to rebase forward) <OR>
- Russia doesn't have enough FTR to escort this and still provide
some air cover
- You have to escort with your FTR while the German can elect to
intercept (or not)
THEN no, this might not be a good idea. I'm sure there are more
situations where this is true.
That being said, if you are prepared to do this you can sneak the ATR
in more often than you think. Reorging a key hex or a flipped AA/ART
is a nice thing to be able to do."
Bryce 68034 :
" >Fly 2 bombers at 2 of his front hexes<
> Which bmbs? I thought you didn't build any? Or do you advocate doing
> this with your LND4s?
How many bombers I have depends upon when they come in. At start you
have what, 4-5? As to whether you build AC as Russia pre-Barb, thats
a matter of choice for most players.
Most of the time, its not worth it to send in a bomber to change a
+15 to a +14 attack, in my opinion. It does make sense to me to try
to change a +10 to a +9.
So I don't see my bombers flying all that much until I get into
a 'key hex' situation. At that point, yes, I will try something like
With regard to being on the retreat, *sometimes* its possible to fly
a night bombing mission against a German spearhead with rough
equivalence in the air. I will often consider flying one bomber to do
exactly that, and I am willing to fly them on unescorted night
missions. If this pulled off the only FTR and I get through AND
manage a flip or two, this leads up to a counterattack. The German
can fly in ground support himself, but if its unescorted he may be
flying at night as well.
If the above situation existed but it looked like it just gives the
German a chance to rebase all his bombers that particapate in the
mission (say we're close to end of turn) no I'd probably forego it
unless the target were completely flipped, i.e., I got really lucky.
I will rarely risk a TB-3 unless either the situation is desperate or
the chance of balling up the German move is too good. And then it
will almost always be a night mission. And yep, even then, sometimes
"> > My inclination is to be mentally prepared to retreat but to see how
> > it goes. Furthermore, my inclination is to mass all my arm/mech
> > behind the Dnepr and to make it a pain for Germany to get across
> > . . . .
> Nothwithstanding your caveats (most of which are subsumed by the
> hypothetical I posed), I put you in the stand-and-fight camp. I'd be
> tempted to run, but fighting is a valid, and certainly the most
> common, defense. There are advantages and disadvantages to either
> strategy, which we have already discussed.
> I'd be interested in hearing from Bryce what he would do as the
> Soviets in the above situation.
Assuming I understand the setup:
MiF = yes
Germans have superiority but not markedly so
No significant Italian air force
1 German, Soviet OC
IF THE BYELORUSSIAN FRONT IS DEFENDING SMOOTHLY, I think I would
station 2 HQ in the south behind the lines (forest by Kharkov?) and
make the Germans blow their chit to dig me out. In this case, I really
want that OC burned and gone.
There's a good chance I'd have a fort in the south somewhere. The
forest hex or 2 sides of Dnep are a good choice. As Russia I often
(not always) spend on 1-2 forts somewhere. But not always. Let's
assume that I did NOT this time.
To hit most of the line they'll have to take out the western forest
hex, which would have some good grunts in it plus an AT. Without that
much of the line is out of bounds. That ate up 2 impulses. After that?
If they try an air/land w/ OC combo, my HQ would probably be used to
reorg on my turn. 9 reorg should get my army back faceup, plus gets
some key FTR ready to defend the line. On the OC, the Germans will fly
3-4 missions, say 3 because 1 will be an paradrop. I should have
enough to cover these and skedaddle the planes back to the factory
line. So figure the Germans flip a key hex and blast it. If they flip
2 key hexes and blast one, I have to retreat with everything that is
left. Hopefully the flipped units can be mated up with crap and not
surrounded. If just one hex is nailed, then I should be able to
retreat in good order and the heavy AT strategy comes into its own again.
If they just go for the land OC breakthrough, then I might consider
counterattacking with Zhuke the Duke.
What really scares me more is if they do a land/land w/ OC, or even
use a land/land/land w/ OC late in the turn. At this point,
significant parts or the Red Air Force have flown and are face down.
At this stage you can wind up with serious flippage and a retreat
disaster. So late turn I may even consider burning my OC as a super or
something else just to reorg the entire air force and troops. To me
this is the worst tactical problem; incremental flippage followed by
IF THE BYELORUSSIAN FRONT MORE CLOSELY RESEMBLES COMMANDER ADAMA
FLEEING THE CYLON TYRANNY, then the 1st Ukrainian Front better be
packing their bags. Its often possible for some fast German Arm to
surge south around Gomel and start to shaft you easy, it can happen in
2 impulses (just imagine a flip-flop under these circumstances).
In this case I would flee once the Germans have air superiority, and
retreat to the factory line. Most of the armored fist would position
itself north of Kharkov, around Kursk.
IF THE AXIS DO A MAX ITALIAN AIR FORCE, I'm retreating period unless
my I-16's shoot down enemy AC on a 3:1 ratio. Otherwise you will be
subjected to 2-3 Italian air impulses in a row while also facing
repeated German land impulses. The Germans won't be flying their
bombers either, just rebasing them forward. Once the Italians run out
of planes the German Stukas will fly unescorted (no Russian FTR left
I'd rather pull back hopefully far enough so that the Italians are out
of range for a while. Problem is, you have to fly *some* units just to
get those Axis FTR flipped. Another reasons night missions are so
critical to Russian survival.
The only bad thing for the Axis on the above is that it BURNS OIL like
you would not believe to keep that air force going. But we can assume
that they saved enough, and it don't matter if they run out but kill
you, because you have oil wells they can then take out.
Just my $0.02."
Edit: have split the text into the individual posts for easier reading.
< Message edited by npilgaard -- 8/17/2007 11:58:13 PM >