German Invasion of USSR Using Lightning War

Global FAQGerman Invasion of USSR Using Lightning War
Chris_Henry asked 11 months ago

This is a question or two tied into general curiosity.
Situation is Germany and USSR have signed Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, so German forces are as far east as Warsaw, USSR is in Lubelskie. The turn Germany Declares war on the USSR, let’s say they want to use the Lightning War ability.
First, a question. If using the Lightning War ability the turn they invade the USSR, does the Soviet Surprise Attack take effect on both rounds of combat?
Second, I’m curious as to if anyone has tried this, because it’s conceivable to just take Moscow the first turn Germany goes to war with the USSR. If my question above is affirmative, then it’s even easier for them to do so.
Germany can stockpile medium armor and mechanized infantry at Warsaw. They attack Lubelskie, win in under 3 rounds of combat; because the armor and mechanized infantry only moved one space, they can blitz into Minsk; they attack Minsk, win; Lightning War comes into play, German medium armor and mechanized infantry from Minsk attack Western Russia, win in under three rounds of combat; because the armor and mechanized infantry only moved one space, they can blitz into Moscow; they attack Moscow, win.
This obviously requires German forces to win tow battles in three rounds of combat or less for the blitz to come into effect, but it’s possible.
I know Germany has to wait until July 1938 to be able to build medium armor and mechanized infantry, but they could maybe just stockpile all their IPP’s until that time and build as many as they can before the July 1940 cutoff to use the Lighting War ability. USSR would only be getting a maximum of 13 IPP’s a turn (8 IPP Starting Income; 1 IPP for Viipuri, if taken; 1 IPP for East Poland; 3 IPP for Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact being signed), at times, with one or two Sleeping Bear rolls mixed in. But Germany would have more IPP’s to spend on this route than the USSR. USSR player would have to be keen to know that this was happening and turtle a lot of it’s troops from across the country at Moscow to try and prevent this.
Has this been considered? Curious of your take on this!

Chris_Henry replied 11 months ago

Sorry, more to the thought. I forgot 1 IPP to USSR in Lithuania as well, my mistake. But still not a lot of income.

Also wanted to add for clarity that the Lightning War use would allow potential Light Tanks, Motorized Infantry, and potential towed artillery to also attack Western Russia in the scenario above, therefore leaving more medium armor and mechanized infantry (and or course any aircraft) to continue the final blitz to Moscow.

Just saying, it’s possible.

True, the west would quite possibly be ignored at first. But France has to wait an entire turn before attacking Germany anyways (assuming it’s peacetime bonus of 5 IPP’s for Germany attacking USSR even get it to wartime income levels), leaving Germany with a bit of time to turn some attention back that way. While this would leave France stronger and more difficult to take out, you’ve essentially destroyed the USSR already and can focus vast resources to the west again.

Again, just curious on your thoughts on this!

Morten Munck replied 11 months ago

Taking Moscow does very little for Germany. You don’t get the stored IPP nor does it restrict USSR from producing units elsewhere. These have always been ‘issues’ with A&A. Luckily HBG have taken them into consideration when designing GW.

If you do as you propose, the Allies would probably be in Berlin shortly thereafter.

I don’t think it is even possible from Germany to “destroy” USSR in GW.

Chris_Henry replied 11 months ago

Very true Morten, using the word destroy was probably a bit extreme haha.

Yea, I have definitely thought about how the Allies would be dealt with in this scenario. To be clear, I don’t think this is a fool proof strategy by any means. A lot would have to go right, and you’d need to balance what would be needed to face the Allies.

Definitely doesn’t finish the USSR. And I certainly agree, I love how HBG did that in this game, that they still fight on even if Moscow is taken. I’m more throwing it out there as something that maybe puts them on a back foot, and maybe makes it hard to recover from?

I more broach it here to see if designers think the potential could unbalance against the Comintern. I don’t think it does, though again, just bouncing a topic off here!

1 Answers
HBG-Doug Staff answered 10 months ago

Hey will here (under Dougs name for some reason today) – I tried all kinds of ways to break the game open, including some really interesting 1st turn 1936 declarations of war on Russia, saving IPPs up, moving every single fleet on the map loaded with transports to striking distance from the USA.   Based on that I made a lot of tweaks and changes and I did try several deep dives into Russia.   A lot of other play testers did too.   But there is the issue of France, which given time can cause some consternation for a stretched out Germany ….Love to see more reports on this