Konstantinos K
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One of the most important considerations, when planning moves in 3R is not only to tactically organize your move to maximize probabilities of success and minimize losses, but also trying to predict the effect on your opponent and his reaction during his turn.
Very often someone has an almost surefire plan of success, carefully planned using strictly 3-1 and 2-1 attacks, that will capture an important objective, that offers big rewards, (such as Paris, Rome, or Moscow), without possibility of recapture. This plan has the disadvantage however that it will force the opponent to "give up" and direct his full force on another front. The alternative option would be to perhaps give him some hope of recapture at low 1-2 odds, so that he can continue to bleed...and distract him from his other objectives. Of course this risks a major disaster, if your opponent is lucky, and also requires a higher degree of planning to avoid a possibly disastrous blunder. Furthermore the opponent may give up that objective anyway, and you may just have taken an unnecessary risk. Which of the two plans would you follow? Are you going for the "sure kill", or for the "big reward temptation"?
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Lewis Goldberg
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Bonnots Mill
Missouri
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Getting ready to play our first game of 3R in over 10 years, so I'm going for "keeping the rules straight."
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James Cox
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Excellent question!

Short answer: Go for the "sure thing." And "don't try to get TOO sexy and fancy, it'll never work."

Long answer:
I'm the worst 3R player in the world. Period. I don't think I ever won a match unless it was against someone to whom I was teaching the game. So don't listen to me. But if you do listen...

Here's the rub: the OP question is more along the lines of poker or chess, or a business meeting. The OP is getting inside the opponent's head, trying to second-guess what the opponent might do, "he'll do X if I bait him with Y".

The problem with that is three-fold:

1. It requires the opponent to do what you think he'll (what you want him to) do.

2. 3R doesn't readily avail itself to this kind of play. The game is at most 24 turns long. And those are not free-form turns. Those turns are pretty much "scripted" in that France has to fall in the first 3-5 turns, Russia has to fall within the first 12 or so turns, and the Allies have to keep Russia alive and get ashore by the 11th to 13th turn. These gateways have to be passed in order to win, nominally speaking. That kind of scripting doesn't allow for the OP's chance-em style, grandiose, deceptacon plans to go awry and then recover. There just isn't time for that.

Example: Let's bait the allies into grasping for Paris for one or two back-n-forths while they ignore the Med. Oh, crap! They actually recaptured it! Now France won't fall until Winter 40 or Spr 41! Go play with fire like that and see if you can finish off the Soviets before the US enters.

Example: Let's bait the German into coming early into the low countries and make a jump at Paris by leaving minimal forces on the border, while we invade Italy early or intervene in Greece/Yugo. Crap! He actually took Paris on a first turn exploit by using his turn 1 forces and let Warsaw go until turn 1's purchases could kill it on turn 2! Dang it!

You see, you play with fire when you leave him the chance of succeeding - sometimes he will! And usually for some other, less than main effort. To what end is that worth it?

3. It requires you "play your opponent, not the cards". Again, 3R isn't a deck of 52 that you don't know what you're drawing next. It's pretty scripted. Granted, there are vagaries such as "dice", or Russia invading Turkey, or the Spain variant counter, but mostly you know how it's going to go - America will always enter on turn X, Italy will eventually be more of a problem for Germany than a buddy, and Russia will always face Germany because this aint Axis & Allies with the Japanese going crazy on Moscow from the rear.

Finally, I am that mythical player that always only ever rolls "A" on 1:1 attacks, always roll "EX" on 2:1 attacks, and my opponents are always the lucky ones who always ever only roll "D" on 1:1s... So I have to play for sure thing, I cannot ever take risks. Which is why 3R is probably not the game for me. But I persist...

Again, don't listen to me.
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Eric Moody
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I think a “sure kill” strategy is better whether we are looking at it as pure gameplay or from the perspective of historical realism.

Pure Gameplay. In gaining an objective, there’s a difference between gaining it in a way that *allows* your opponent to counterattack and one that *invites* it. Am I attacking with less than full force to tempt my opponent into making what I consider a bad decision? If the answer is yes you have chosen a poor strategy. You are not causing your opponent to burn up his forces in poor attacks, you are *offering him a large reward* for making what would otherwise be poor attacks. You are running a large, and unnecessary risk.

Realism. Viewed in terms of actual warfare, commanders who attack in a way that leaves their forces vulnerable to counterattack afterwards are not likely to remain in command for long, for several reasons:

• Moral. I would argue it is wrong to deliberately use units (i.e. people) as bait for enemy attacks.
• Morale. If it became known that a commander intentionally attacked with a lesser force to invite counterattack, the effect on troop morale would probably be devastating.
• Economy of Forces. Since the Great War, force preservation has been an established principle of modern warfare. (It’s less of an issue with cardboard counters.)
• Heightened risk of failure. Attacking with insufficient force does not just risk potentially disastrous counterattacks, it also runs the more immediate risk of failing to take the objective.

But I assume you asked your question from the standpoint of gameplay alone. Purely as game strategy, it’s best to “get there first with the most” and let your opponent decide how much he’s willing to waste on counterattacks.
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Konstantinos K
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This is great feedback...
My view is mixed on this, but sometimes is just good to be opportunistic and unpredictable: This means fluctuating between "surefire kill" and higher risk-higher reward plans, so that your opponent doesn't play based on your predictable playing style. Furthermore, it also depends on the state of the game. If you are behind (for example France fell early, as allies, started the game with an early 4-6 combo, as Axis), making higher risk moves may be actually the better strategy...But as I said I try to avoid being scripted, so that I can always surprise my opponents!
 
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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You introduce an interesting twist, which is to deliberately offer up a high risk opportunity for a counterattack for your opponent. I typically look at it as more of a cost-benefit question, i.e. while the "sure thing" maybe possible, is it the best allocation of resources? Given the diminishing returns form of combat probabilities, you often have the choice between one "sure thing" vs. two "high probability" attacks. From a practical perspective, I tend to avoid the 1 in 6 chance of getting nuked if I can, however, I will accept the 1 in 36 chance.
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Konstantinos K
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deadkenny wrote:
From a practical perspective, I tend to avoid the 1 in 6 chance of getting nuked if I can, however, I will accept the 1 in 36 chance.


What if you are behind in a game that is going badly? The 1-1 with 5/6 possibilities of success doesn't seem such bad of an option, especially if you are attacking with infantry against armor. Even 1-2 in which the EX or EX-CA is 40% or so, against a critical armor unit, may still be a good option sometimes, depending on the situation. But in a game that is going fairly well, 1-1s are to be avoided, I agree, (except when you have 5/6 chance of capturing Berlin or London with no possibility of a recapture!)
 
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