Can a Russia-first strategy work?

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carlisimo
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Can a Russia-first strategy work?

Post by carlisimo » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:53 pm

I'm thoroughly enjoying this game during my commute (by train, not car!). I'm offline during that time so I'm just playing against the AI, and as the Central Powers I'm always struggling. I've managed to win once so far, and it was by hammering France hard and then turning towards Russia. I haven't been able to do the opposite.

Can it be done? I really have trouble with the length of that front, all while holding the line in the west.

BattlevonWar
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Re: Can a Russia-first strategy work?

Post by BattlevonWar » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:41 am

I am playing a game with a pal, we have played over a year together. He is one of the best I've ever seen and I have noticed and heard him mention Russia First does not seem optimal. Not that it cannot be done but I noticed when I lost Warsaw to him, unlike in the old patches the penalty to NM% was not that high. Plus it's very hard to knock out the Russian Battleship which was an additional hammer to Russian Morale to force a surrender. You might be able to do it.

Historion
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Re: Can a Russia-first strategy work?

Post by Historion » Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:10 pm

Russian capitals and Industry are located far to the east : Helsinki 5, Petrograd 9, Moscow 7, Tsaritsyn 5. Most other russian cities have only 1 production. So it will be impossible to quickly lower Russian production.
Brussel 7 is sure to fall to CP and Paris 14 is also close to the forming western front. Taking Paris has a similar effect on Entente PP-Income as taking 14 russian cities while Germany will get up to +7 PP Income from holding Paris.

On the other side, Russia is very close to CP capitals : Koenigsberg 12 (2 hex), Berlin 25 (7 hex), Budapest 11 (8 hex), Vienna 12 (8 hex)

carlisimo
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Re: Can a Russia-first strategy work?

Post by carlisimo » Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:37 pm

Good points all.

I wanted to try Russia-First because when I did it the other way around I really struggled to defend Germany’s eastern cities. I suppose that’s what I need to learn to do, more than actually trying to knock Russia out. I can’t maintain a long front in the west and keep Russia at bay. I take losses against entrenched infantry that really surprise me.

But I’ve discovered another reason not to do it. If you don’t take Belgian or French ports, your u-boats drop into the red if they’re more than one hex east of Brittany.

On the plus side, if you don’t attack Belgium at all the western front is very short and very static. You can really focus elsewhere. Then once you refocus on that front, advances in technology make it quite a bit easier to breach the French line.

Retiredgamer
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Re: Can a Russia-first strategy work?

Post by Retiredgamer » Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:49 pm

Russia-first is the only one that has worked for me so far (admittedly only a couple of tries, on Balanced). First time, I underestimated the initial Russian attack and never really recovered.

Second time I focussed on Serbia and Russia by building garrison and infantry only for Germany and AH, and ground out a win in the initial fight in the east, while pushing the Serbs back from Belgrade. In the west, used just what was there at the start to push to Rouen and pretty much sat on that river line for a couple of years. Used the Turks in the east to force Russia to deploy two infantry units there, which they bypassed to take a few Caucasus cities. Cost me a gubbing in the ME, but just about held on around Aleppo until the Russians cracked in 1916, after St Petersburg fell. By then, there had been no real front line in Russia for a while and I was just racing around (as much as infantry can race in Russia) grabbing 1PP cities.

Didn't build anything but garrisons/infantry for Germany until after Russia fell (couldn't afford to) and the only other thing I built for AH was a solitary artillery piece to reduce Belgrade and the other tough Serbian PP centres. After Russia fell, disbanded a lot of garrisons and built the fancy stuff,and it was just a case of the proper application of overwhelming force in Italy and France. Helped by the AI suiciding the British fleet against the German fleet around Hamburg, so there was no blockade.

Great game, but I'm not at all sure the AI doesn't "cheat", notwithstanding the firm denials of the developers here....

Historion
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Re: Can a Russia-first strategy work?

Post by Historion » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:33 pm

Here is my CP starting strategy

AH usually concentrates first on Serbia, taking Belgrade asap to remove the 9 PP from Serbia's Income.
Serbian front has a length of around 10 hex. The player should try to take out Serbia with 3-5 Infantry, 5 Garrison, Artillery in the following turns.
The front to Russia should be fortified by additional Garrison north of Lemberg and Breslau before Russia attacks.
AH then should produce numerous Infantry units (minimum 5) which gather at Lemberg and strike for Brest-Litovsk.

Germany does its run through Belgium. The resulting western front usually has a length of 11 hex from Calais via Verdun to Swiss Border.
Germany should deploy Garrisons to protect Koenigsberg (12 PP), Danzig and Posen before Russia attacks.
Germany should produce numerous Infantry units (5-10) which gather at Koenigsberg and strike for Brest-Litovsk.

If the british homefleet advances from Scapa Flow to the channel, with some luck you might kill a cruiser and a Battleship in the north sea.

After Russia attacks and infantry is ready, AH and German Infantry Troops advance and unite at Brest-Litovsk, forming a closed front of 15 hex from Koenigsberg via Brest-Litovsk down to Lemberg cutting supply for alle Russian Troops in the pocket. (If you are quick, you can capture an unguarded Brest-Litovsk.) Clean the pocket.

CP then has to guard following fronts :
- Serbia 10 hex,
- Russia 15 hex,
- Western Front 11 hex.
Kill Serbia before Italy enters the war to free units. Front to Italy is only 4 hex.

Retiredgamer
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Re: Can a Russia-first strategy work?

Post by Retiredgamer » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:50 pm

HIstorion:

Looks like we are on pretty much the same wavelength. I did eventually pocket around half the Russian forces between Brest-Litovsk and Lemberg. Most of the movement was Germans from the north because the AH/Russian lines were fairly static, with the AH using its artillery in Serbia early on.

I found that the construction and maintenance of enough inf/gar units to win early in Russia pretty much precluded building anything more sophisticated or investing in ammo/research etc until the Russians surrendered. Bit disappointing when you want to play around with zeppelins and all the fancy stuff....

Historion
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Re: Can a Russia-first strategy work?

Post by Historion » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:40 pm

A minimum of fighter and airships is necessary until anti-air-defense is researched. Airships are good to remove enemy fighter, bomber and artillery.

Turbo624
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Re: Can a Russia-first strategy work?

Post by Turbo624 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:46 pm

Russia is way over powered in this game. A Tannenburg type crushing is impossible. Better to concentrate in the West. France and the UK's units seem less powerful than the Russians. Totally ridicious.

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