From: Vancouver, BC
Been there against Bavre and learned a lot from the experience.
Several general pieces of advice:
- Never, ever advance into a seemingly empty hex that you have not scouted first, unless you are taking a calculated risk of a surprise attack from an unseen defender. I still make that mistake a couple of times a game and wonder every time why I still do this.
- Buy airships as soon as you can and invest in at least one level of airship tech. The reconnaissance ability of airships is tremendous, both on land and at sea. Great value for money.
-I know everyone invests in trench warfare and artillery tech as soon as possible, but don't overlook investing early in infantry weapons. You can only invest one chit in this tech, so the chances of a breakthrough are few and it just takes a lot of time. It is no fun facing an enemy that has Infantry Weapons 1 when you are still many turns from getting there.
- Always assess the risk of the enemy breaking through your line to attack your artillery pieces. Artillery is no use to you three hexes back from the front, so there is usually some degree of risk this will happen. But it is more likely to happen if your artillery is sitting behind a unit that can be attacked from three sides.
A couple of campaign specific pieces of advice:
- Keep your Russian surface fleet in the Baltic in port most of the time. The German fleet dominates the Baltic, so the best use for your smaller surface fleet is in ambush attacks from ports. Losing Russian ships just accelerates the national morale losses that will eventually doom the Russians. Your subs - when you get them - are your most useful naval units.
- Even though the Russians can exploit the weak Austro-Hungarian deployment in Galicia in the first few turns, if you are facing a full scale German assault in Poland and East Prussia, a few early territorial gains in Galicia will not improve your overall position.
- Figure out a strategy for using your French and British armies to put countervailing pressure on the Central Powers. As enjoyable as it is to keep the French in France facing a quiet Western Front and investing heavily in tech, it means your armies are gaining no experience while his are racking up invaluable experience points beating up the Russians. You can attack Germany on the Western Front, send reinforcements to help Serbia and/or invest in taking out the Ottomans. Once the Italians enter the war, you can reinforce their weak armies and attack on that front. But do something! The only way to defend in this game is to counter-attack.