Russia at War

We've talked about Advanced A&A... Now I'd like to hear your comments on what YOU envision a DELUXE A&A GAME to be. What would it look like.

Where should Moscow be on the map?

In the centre of the USSR for game balance
No votes
In the West of the USSR for historical accuracy
Total votes: 8

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Russia at War

Post by Flashman » Wed May 02, 2007 5:28 pm

I’ve been thinking about the role of the USSR. In Axis & Allies this is considered the least interesting power to play due to a lack of early options. You have to buy lots of ground units to bulk up defences, and are very limited in buying expensive units. This partly reflects the crisis of 1941/2, but hardly represents the fact that the Soviets had the largest army of any power and still possessed a large war industry.

I suggest therefore the following revisions are considered to make the task of playing Russia more interesting and historically accurate. This contains many ideas borrowed from elsewhere, so please feel free to add more.

The Map
Like many people I’m unhappy with the map regarding Soviet territory. It looks wrong, and I’m convinced it’s possible to have a geographically accurate USSR without ruining game balance. I particularly dislike the two Soviet ICs being adjacent; this often leads to a huge build up around this area with all five powers pumping units in here at the expense of other regions.
My changes are;
Move Moscow to “West Russia”
Divide “Russia” horizontally, with the north part becoming “Urals”
Move the IC from Caucasus to Urals
Move the VC from Moscow to Stalingrad

The map should look something like this:

I’m assuming that the archaic “capture-the-capital” rules are deleted, so the loss of Moscow is not a disaster; the USSR can continue collecting income and building units in the Urals, where so much of their industry had been evacuated to. This centre is two spaces from the three main Soviet areas.
The location of VCs in part reflects Hitler’s obsession with capturing these “Holy cities of Bolshevism”.

Japanese non-aggression treaty
I’ve posted in detail on this elsewhere, but it certainly frees the Soviets to concentrate on the German front. The Siberian troops freed by this may well have saved Moscow in 1941.

Limited Allied Co-Operation/ Soviet Xenophobia
AAR often sees large numbers of US and UK forces piling into north Russia to defend it against Germany. This is totally unhistorical as Stalin would not consider allowing his allies to share the glory. Yet huge aid was sent to Russia, so how to reflect this?
One solution is the Lend-Lease NA, although I would modify so that units can be converted only at the end of the Soviet turn.
Personally I prefer to ban UK/US units from Russian soil altogether, with the exception of aircraft which may land there. These units are considered to be refueling, and may not participate in the defence of the territory. The western Allies may not use Soviet territory to attack Japan under the terms of the non-aggression treaty if it is in force, and US/UK aircraft landing in Russia after attacking Japan are interned (removed). Similarly, Soviet units are subject to the same restrictions regarding UK/US territory.
So what happens when the US/UK liberate Red territory? Should even this be allowed before USSR is eliminated?

The Russian Convoy
While military units sent to Russia were of negligible use, vast aid in the form of food, clothing and especially transport vehicles did help swing the war. Instead of transporting units to Russia, allow cash to be loaded in US/UK homeland and shipped to Russian ports and added top Soviet income.

Winter Weather
Each turn represents a month(?), so for certain months (Nov-Feb?) enemy ground units in Red territory may not attack.

The importance of partisan warfare is somewhat disputed, but certainly contributed to German difficulties. My suggestion:
When Soviet territories are under attack the USSR may, after any round of combat, withdraw up to two infantry from the battle. These are considered to have become partisans, and remain in the territory even if it is captured. On future turns partisans may only be attacked by infantry, but may themselves attack any units in their area on future Soviet turns. A partisan unit should be placed in Belorussia/West Russia at setup.

Chinese Communists
Allow Soviet infantry to move into Chinese areas to represent Communist partisans. This does not violate the NAT.

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Post by Comrade Tiki » Wed May 02, 2007 9:06 pm

Regarding Moskva:

If D-Day type battles, continuing over several turns without a victory for either side, were enabled (and the fought-over IPC count going to neither side during the fighting), Moskva could evade successful capture by keeping forces in the area to continue fighting the Germans (as they historically rested only several miles away from capturing the capital).

But whether battles change or not, I do endorse the displayed setup of Russo-European territories. [Pripyet Marsh is somewhat odd to include on the global map. If four corners could meet (excluding travel from opposite ends) it would erase it from the board.]

A Ural factory would complicate the gameplay in that area, in a good way of course. I'm not one for NA's, so I'll leave my reply at that.

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Post by adlertag » Thu May 03, 2007 10:43 am

The Moscow territory must be adjacent to Karelia, Komi, Ural, Kazakhstan, Caucasus, Ukraine, and Belorussia. Moscow was a big cross-road, and a big railroad junction. In your map it is the other way, Moscow is isolated and your "West Russia" seems to be the big junction ?

I also want Sovjet industri in the historic correct locations. Now the big sovjet industri was located in Donbas area, wich in your map will be Caucasus. Also Moscow, Ural and Leningrad was industralized. With IC only in Moscow , then Sovjet can never build a navy. And after WWII the Red Navy was second to US Navy only.

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Post by adlertag » Thu May 03, 2007 11:01 am

Now this is my Europe-scale map, too big for deluxe but show you that Moscow is a railroad junction.


In this experiment the convoy zones was movable tokens. In deluxe the convoy zones must be printet on map, of course.


Now this show the right scale and placement of Sovjet territories


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Post by Flashman » Thu May 03, 2007 12:48 pm

I dislike corners meeting. I include Pripet to break up the monotony of Eastern Europe, and it did play an important factor in German planning. I also considered it as a partisan area.

Compare with my AAE1942 map:

Yes, Moscow is a rail junction, I favour ul nc rail movement.

The choice of Urals for the other IC reflects the mass movement of industry to this region, pretty much complete by spring '42[/url]

I'm reading that Sebastopol held out 'till June '42, so I wonder if the Crimea should be Soviet controlled with maybe an infantry and artillery?

The Soviet shipbuilding is a problem; one version has a Soviet IC in Ukraine which they have to recapture if they want to build navy.

Actually I've no objection to ICs in Leningrad and Kharkov, as long as my insistence that the enemy cannot use captured factories is enforced.

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Post by Larry » Mon May 07, 2007 8:53 am

Cool stuff. Interesting 3d's Comments noted

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Post by polar » Tue May 08, 2007 5:59 am

I realy enjoy your map Flashman.

I enjoy the idee of more provinces.

However a few things can be noted:
-Some rules changes to make huge armies in one provinces less benefittial should be added if we are to increase the number of provinces.
-I'm for income after combat. why? Because then you get a benefit right away from capturing enemy terretory. I fear that attacking and defending land will be of lesser importance compered to attacking and defending millitery units.
-Increased number of provinces will make tanks more important. Which I very much welcome. And tanks may be important for blitzing. As of now, even Germany tends to build lots and lots of infanteri and artellery and almost no tanks. As russia I allways only use infanteri and artellery.

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Post by Flashman » Tue May 08, 2007 4:52 pm

I fear that attacking and defending land will be of lesser importance compered to attacking and defending millitery units.

Well many people in WWII (including Hitler) emphasised that modern war WAS more to do with destroying the enemy in the field than in capturing territory.

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