Russian balance (Full Version)

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sveint -> Russian balance (7/12/2021 8:20:59 AM)

It seems many people think Russia is currently too weak. My own experience seems to be that while they are certainly not too powerful, they aren't drastically weak either.

Here is a typical situation from one of my games. The only game I have going as the Allies where this is not the case is against harrybanana, but he is an outlier to say the least.


ncc1701e -> RE: Russian balance (7/12/2021 9:06:27 AM)

Thanks for the feedback. Could you please tell me if you can survive 1942 summer campaign in your games?

eskuche -> RE: Russian balance (7/12/2021 12:49:46 PM)

I think some/many people conflate skill with game balance. Until there is willingness to accept that one might just be worse, it's hard to say what's game balance and what isn't.

stjeand -> RE: Russian balance (7/12/2021 2:33:36 PM)

I agree with that...

I only say it based upon my experience.

So far no one I have played has held Moscow in as the Allies or me as the Axis.

NOW I am in a game with Harrybanana now and perhaps he will but I can't say.

I don't consider myself a bad player...nor a great player...Just average.
I have never held Moscow in a single game.

Could be I am a bad player. [:D]

Duck Doc -> RE: Russian balance (7/12/2021 3:19:53 PM)

As the Allies that is a pretty good front except at Leningrad. You have even avoided any salients and have a solid front. Quite an accomplishment.

Compared to dedicated East Front games in WarPlan I find as the Germans taking the Orsha land bridge, Kiev and Crimea are a cinch and Moscow tends to fall like a ripe plum. This is playing against the best player I know, Myself. HOWEVER, this is a strategic game and I tend to cut it a lot of slack in this regard. The requirement to take Moscow, Leningrad, and Stalingrad for victory is fair but I propose that a thrust via the Caucuses to the Mideast would be a greater challenge. Capture the Suez Canal as the Axis and win the game.

sveint -> RE: Russian balance (7/12/2021 7:23:33 PM)

I don't have many games in 42 yet, I'll report back later.

When stating one's opinions on this one must of course consider both games where one plays Axis and where one plays Allied (like stjeand does).

AstroBlues -> RE: Russian balance (7/12/2021 7:34:43 PM)

I am in a game where it is Feb. 1942. The Russians are still holding. Leningrad is cut off.

What is being said about choosing assault for the Russian units in 1942. Is this a better defense option than Anti-Tank?


stjeand -> RE: Russian balance (7/12/2021 7:52:54 PM)


What is being said about choosing assault for the Russian units in 1942. Is this a better defense option than Anti-Tank?

It is not a better defense BUT you receive a LOT of free armies that are assault. So the thought here is you just have to focus on one advancement and you just build all assault troops...that way you can advance other things you may need.

As I am learning more and more playing the Allies...I have a lot more to test. Sadly I and Harry thought I was doing well in Russia until...
One very bad horrible not good turn and then it was over. He cut off all my armor and mech and that was all for Russia.

We will have to see how it defends now that France has fallen.

I know I need more Allied practice...and will get it at some point.

PL1 -> RE: Russian balance (7/13/2021 12:55:48 PM)

How are the Allies doing? Are they putting pressure in Africa, are they bombing Germany, are they posing a serious threat to invade France/Italy or both?

Villain -> RE: Russian balance (7/13/2021 1:35:27 PM)



How are the Allies doing? Are they putting pressure in Africa, are they bombing Germany, are they posing a serious threat to invade France/Italy or both?

IMHO the Allies are usually hard pressed to survive and win the BOA due to the common strategy of not attacking the Netherlands, Norway and Greece to prevent the UK from receiving their (95) MM. Pretty hard to create/pose a threatening force or build a bomber fleet when you're spending every spare PP building MM and Escorts and maximizing your shipyards. Being creative requires Landing Ships to invade but prior to the USA joining the Allies they just don't have the luxury to build more than a few before their shipyards are busy building MM/Escorts.

The Germans need only send a token force of 2 or 3 Inf corps to effectively hold Libya since the Allies have not the strength nor regain effectiveness fast enough at the limit of supply range to force their way into Tobruk. Not needing to garrison Netherlands, Norway or Greece also frees up units either for USSR, to garrison France or threaten a Sealion.

PL1 -> RE: Russian balance (7/13/2021 3:11:25 PM)

95 MMs are a lot of MMs... The equivalent of 950 PP or 2 Hbombers 39 tech. I dont mind having choices (to attack or not), but there should be consequences. Just to push the conversation further and to put a trigger on events, the entry of the US seems to be a good one :
For Netherlands : Considering that Germany declared war on the US after PH, maybe an automatic declaration of war on Netherlands as well? Making the Netherlands a US or UK ally.
For Norway : Automatic cancelation of the Winter Convoy when the US enters the war (plus a trade with US of their rare resource/PP/MMs)?
For Greece : If Cairo and Tobruk is in Allied hands when and after the US enters the war, then Greece eithers becomes an Allies Ally or becomes a trade partner with US (rare resource/PPs/MMs)?

Not sure if they would have wanted to fight... but help maybe. Maybe after an event likely to shift the balance, they might have wanted to be part of the winning side.

Nirosi -> RE: Russian balance (7/13/2021 4:09:04 PM)

+1 interesting ideas! Hope Alvaro will have a look[:D]

However I believe the problem is not that the Allies are hard pressed to win the BOA without Norway/Greece/Netherland MMs, because I believe that to make it historic, they should be hard pressed even with them. The problem is that now it is even harder and it can paralyse them for an extra year or so even by trying very hard (now with the new weaker UK). They will still win it most of the time but later (maybe too late).

But even with all those historical MMs I hope that we will not see the UK been able to survive the BoA and build 150 LCs by 1941 as we could see before! Even with all those countries, seeing the UK winning the BoA against a willing Germany and still be able to have enough LCs to land 4-5 corps somewhere by 1941 is borderline game breaking to me and means that the BoA is too easy to win.[:(] Of course, there will be exceptions (and that makes it fun), but if that would be the norm again, a fix would be needed. We would need quite a few games to see...

PS: this of course considers that Germany takes the BoA seriously, if not, then everything is Ok and the UK should be able to punish them earlier[;)]

Nirosi -> RE: Russian balance (7/13/2021 5:29:48 PM)

More thinking about the three countries because I have time today. [:)]

We tend to see the problem as a whole, but in a way, there are three different questions and not all three countries (not giving their MMs to UK) are equally problematic.

The Greece one is hard to call. I believe it is not worth it most of the time for Germany to invade, but at least there is a drawback since Greece gives some PPs, and also Bulgaria, that also gives some PPs and also produces PPs for itself. Bulgaria also gives 3 divisions, but lets not count them as they are used to garrison ports in Greece anyway. So at least there is a small drawback even if it is probably still worth it not to take it unless for some strategic reasons related to some players German plans? Then again, Germany was not really interested in the real war, it was kind of forced to by the situation.

Norway, the more I think about it, the more I believe there is no problem since the drawback is quite big. It would be very easy for the UK to take Norway with a single corps in 1941. And then Germany would lose 25 resources for 8-9 turns a year. Those are resources that would then have been multiplied by the yearly multiplier for transformation in PPs. So quite a lot of cash. Even when counting the garrison requirements, I believe that Germany does not make a 2vs1 “damage” to the UK which is the ratio more or less required for the Axis against the Allies to win. And this is without counting the strategic advantage of having Allied units in Norway right across Denmark. Honestly, I think I would be happy to see Germany not take Norway when I play the Allies. It seems balanced enough for me to allow for a fair strategic choice.

Netherland is the most obvious problem since there is no drawback for Germany to avoid it; quite the contrary. But I am wondering (I am thinking out loud here) if the solution is not a very easy one: France invading Luxembourg (in March or April). With a French Corps well entrenched in Luxembourg, it might make it harder for Germany to take Belgium in one turn (but I did not test it). Germany might have to (or be tempted to) take the Netherland a turn earlier (since they now can without giving Belgium to the Allies) simply to still keep its timeline.

So, I believe that all those are either no problem (Norway) or minor problem (Greece) or major problem (Netherland maybe), but when taken together (especially the last 2) then it becomes problematic.

PL1 -> RE: Russian balance (7/13/2021 6:54:45 PM)

Those are nice, but they are strategic choices made by the Allies, like a counter-move in a chess game. They are not considering the political ramification of decisions. We have lots of examples of those in the game : the DOA on Poland, the DOA of France and UK on Germany, in the 39 scenario, the prerequisite for the DOA of Italy, the US/USSR entry modifiers for certain events, the Benelux event etc. You just have to look at the Game notes to find lots of examples.

I believe that, for the Netherlands in particular, there should be a trigger following the Japanese invasion. I cant believe they would have stayed neutral the whole war. Hard to negotiate with the US following the Japanese defeat when you did not gave them access to your ports following a Dday event... Maybe the Norwegian trigger should be tied to the same as the Swedish one, Paris in allied control. Maybe unprotect the trade route if not in German hands... there is a lot of possibility. As for Greece, I cant believe they would have stayed neutral. They might have wanted a piece of Yugoslavia's territory after the war, or Bulgaria or some other concession. Hard to do when you looked on and did nothing. Also, for those countries, I strongly suspect that their preparedness for war would have gone up seeing everything that was going on around them. A boost in their tech and their mobilization at least. There is no surprise after a while. You know the world is in flames :-)

You could also go an other path altogether and give objectives to certain countries to unlock certain advantages. In lieu of a free yearly upgrade of % of the war economy, the special Manpower Germany receives at certain dates, access to certain rare material to get a certain type of unit upgrades... Those are just some ideas.

Nirosi -> RE: Russian balance (7/13/2021 8:02:34 PM)

I still think the only real problem is the Netherland. In the case of Greece and Norway there are some kind of trade off. Also, my feeling is that on the contrary, it is very realistic to imagine that Greece would have done everything possible to stay neutral in view of the overall situation (or maybe join the winners symbolically just in the last few weeks of the war like Turkey did).

In the case of Norway, I think the situation is already perfectly represented in the game since with everything I know Germany did actually invade Norway because they were afraid of Allied intentions and did not want to risk seeing the British there first (and before he was PM, Churchill actually was trying to convince the government to do so). So, the actual trade off: take Norway of risk having the UK do it and cut your iron ore in winter seems fair to me and historically based.

However, if players do not like it, another one could bring the same effect: make the iron route immune to raiding only if the Germans occupy Norway. Can still make sense. However, I do not think it will change the way most players play. Those Germans that do take Norway would still do it, obviously; and most of those that do not would probably still not I think.

So, for me Greece is represented realistic enough now and for Norway it as almost perfect now as it represent the real historical dilemma. Netherland is however more problematic both because of the Pacific but also the game balance.

stjeand -> RE: Russian balance (7/13/2021 9:29:20 PM)

One larger issue is that these countries never had as many MS as they give the UK...
Axis avoid them because the numbers are highly over exaggerated.

The Netherlands had the majority of their shipping in the Pacific...this does not account for that it just gives all the MS to the UK.
Norway lost a lot of MS when Germany attacked...this does not account for that so Germany gets a huge amount there too.
Greece I can't speak for...I don't know enough about what they had or did not as I have not ready much.

george420 -> RE: Russian balance (7/13/2021 11:24:53 PM)

What is BOA?

Nirosi -> RE: Russian balance (7/14/2021 12:04:12 AM)

BoA is Battle Of the Atlantic

sveint -> RE: Russian balance (7/14/2021 12:26:23 AM)

I think we're getting off topic. The Western Allies and neutrals are fine (or to be discussed elsewhere). The question is, are the Soviets too weak?

So far my experience is that they may be just the tiniest bit too weak. But nowhere near what others are reporting.

PL1 -> RE: Russian balance (7/14/2021 1:08:42 AM)

Yes and no about the topic because "weak" is subjective to what you put them against, but I understand your point.

Is the USSR "weak" is a tough one, because you don't know what they will be fighting nor when. The only gage I can think and one that would match the aggressiveness of what they face would be to match their exp and/or their PP % and/or their doctrine, etc., to their losses. That way, if it is light, then it goes down slower and if it is high, then it goes up faster. You could argue that they learn under fire. After listening to all of Dan Carlin's podcast on both WW's, I think he would agree :-)

sveint -> RE: Russian balance (7/14/2021 4:15:49 AM)

Another example. The Western Allies are doing catastrophically bad, UK is conquered, a landing in Spain is getting crushed.
And yet the Soviets are fine and have a huge number of armor under production, even beyond the pre-named ones.


ncc1701e -> RE: Russian balance (7/14/2021 6:28:10 AM)

Barbarossa started in 1941 or later?

sveint -> RE: Russian balance (7/14/2021 7:18:41 AM)

Above was standard Barbarossa (but with a few Germans in the UK).

But here is a counter-point. I've had a horrible game as Germany, and I'm playing a very experienced player, yet I am making very good progress in Russia:


stjeand -> RE: Russian balance (7/14/2021 11:16:48 AM)

Sadly I can only comment on my game experiences.
I don't know how others play...and some of the games you are displaying seem to be way off.

No idea how the USSR can have so many aircraft and mech/armor with the UK conquered unless the Axis just did not bother in the USSR which clearly they did not. Then the USSR would be fine overall. But that is way out of the norm.

I think we need to focus on the more historical play not the weird.

Invasion of the USSR in April/May of 41 with 10 mech/armor...UK intact and Africa being fought over.

Nirosi -> RE: Russian balance (7/14/2021 12:44:45 PM)


Invasion of the USSR in April/May of 41

Is that not the problem with the USSR, Barbarossa is rarely historical? Axis invade often 3-5 turns earlier than historical. And then of course they should do better (if not then that will be a problem). If there is an imbalance it might be how easy it is to attack that early, especially the April attacks...

stjeand -> RE: Russian balance (7/14/2021 1:06:10 PM)

Add to that they always get a clear or cold turn in Oct - Dec and get another attack in.

The winter is VERY light.

CHINCHIN -> RE: Russian balance (7/14/2021 1:39:03 PM)


ORIGINAL: stjeand

Add to that they always get a clear or cold turn in Oct - Dec and get another attack in.

The winter is VERY light.

I agree.

After several turns of snow in Russia, sometimes there is a clear turn in which the axis player goes on an offensive as if it were August. Snow on the ground and extreme temperatures are not taken into account.

In the Arctic, and Arctic Circle areas, from October 15 to March 15, it should be rain for the best possible weather.

AlvaroSousa -> RE: Russian balance (7/14/2021 1:53:03 PM)

Arctic zones gets no clear weather in Dec, Jan, Feb, and only 10% in March.

ncc1701e -> RE: Russian balance (7/14/2021 2:01:14 PM)


ORIGINAL: AlvaroSousa

Arctic zones gets no clear weather in Dec, Jan, Feb, and only 10% in March.

20% in November and March according to the Weather Zone Data.pdf:


canuckgamer -> RE: Russian balance (7/14/2021 2:20:09 PM)

In our PBEM game we got some blizzard turns around Stalingrad when the weather zone pdf indicated zero possibility of that happening.

It is the end of May 43 and the Axis hold Moscow and are driving on Baku. We are still fighting in Tunisia, North Africa, and east of Alexandria in Syria. The Axis have also retaken Iraq.

I have had a tough time with the Russians even with the changes to terrain in one of the patches. The revision of the shattered rule has so far only added one USA unit to the deployment queue.

I made this suggestion before but I think the Russian units appearing in December 41 arriving from Siberia should all be winterized. It would be historical and allow the Russians to conduct a limited counteroffensive in the winter of 41/42 (also historical) to throw the Axis back from Moscow. In our game they took Moscow in the spring of 42 since they were only 2 or 3 hexes away when winter hit in 41.

This is our 3rd PBEM game and the Axis have never declared Vichy or invaded Yugoslavia and Greece.

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