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Subject: Russian first strike strategy rss

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Robert Leonhard
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I'm solo'ing the Strategic Surprise scenario, and I wondered what some of you veterans do with the Russian theater assets and airpower on the first turn.

In my game, I launched all ten ballistic missile strikes allowable in the pre-game. (Later, I reconsidered that idea...)

I damaged two airbases in Germany. Then, I sent my SOF to perform strategic reconnaissance on the German airbases (giving a -2 targeting). In the Strike Phase, I re-engaged with ballistic and cruise missiles, destroying three airbases and damaging all the others, less one.

As for airpower, I will likely hit the remaining airbase to try to put maximum pressure on the NATO air forces. I will also hit a couple of the ground targets in my path in Poland (around Byalstok). Will also hit the NATO air defenses. (A missile already took down the SAM one level.)

In the air superiority fight, the Russians gained air supremacy and walloped the NATO air--mostly French and Polish.

In retrospect, I think I might have been better advised to forego the initial pre-game missile strikes, because they are much more effective after SOF has identified targets for them.

Do you guys have other approaches?
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Cameron Taylor
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I played the tactical surprise advanced scenario. I spent all my allowable missile points as soon as I could. It definitely slowed down NATO air power and I was even able to achieve air superiority on Turn 1. From Turn 2 onwards, NATO dominated the skies, however the S-400 SAMs made it incredibly difficult for NATO strikes (Russian Detection and SAMs at 8).

You're not going to be able to kill units with those strikes, nor are you going to effectively use them to support ground combat without first suppressing NATO air defences. It seems like such a waste to use the missile points for (temporary) SEAD, which is why I didn't do it.

If you fire all your available missile points allowed, you will have a massive missile advantage leading into Turn 1, which translates to a massive difference in destroyed airbases. That could enable Russia to at least contest the skies for a few turns and provide interceptors from surviving air superiority missions, instead of having your air force grounded.

Another approach is you may want to try overwhelming the US carrier groups and amphibious assault crafts' air defences by firing as many missiles as possible. However, it seems to be a long shot to get an X or even Strike 2 result.
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Robert Leonhard
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Yeah, you and I think the same. I haven't looked at the tactical surprise scenario yet. But in the strategic surprise, Russia has a huge advantage in the air. Couple that with those initial missile strikes against airbases, and NATO is facing disaster in the air. I'm looking forward to seeing how long Russia can maintain air superiority/supremacy.

In my game, NATO was able to knock out one S-400 in Kaliningrad. It took two missiles to do it, but both hit.
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Sean Golyer
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Definitely no veteran, fumbling through the same scenario as you. But 10 free cruise missile strikes is too big of an advantage to pass up, Targeting or otherwise. I took a slightly different approach though. I decimated the NATO ADF track with SOF Raids (rolled 0's for a -2 on both SAM and Det) and used the remaining missiles to strike priority ground targets before I engaged them with my own ground forces. Mostly Baltic ground units and what little NATO forces there were in the Baltics. Wiped out a Panzer brigade over multiple missile and air strikes throughout the turn (Step loss in the pre-game strike, Strike 2 in the strike phase, eliminated by Kalin units in the initiative phase).

The NATO ADF track is still struggling to recover (hovering around the 4-5 range for Detection and SAMs) while Russia completely dominates the skies. Turn 2 NATO didn't even bother flying any aircraft in Air Superiority, the risks were too high to damage or lose more aircraft. Holding out until the USAF can start supporting them. With NATO ADF so weak, Russians have been relatively free to strike wherever and whenever they want with little risk. The Airfields are next on the strike list as the Americans are starting to roll in soon.

Honestly not sure how the Allied forces will hold out. Baltics are completely neutralized, Baltic Sea is entirely Russian (US CVN BG has not been able to successfully cross). NATO Article 5 rolls have been unsuccessful so far. The only glimmer of hope is that the USMC managed to airmobile from Germany to Bornholm to keep the Russians from totally locking down the sea entrance. Polish forces are being dropped one by one and a defense lead by the US is being formed around Warsaw and the highway 7. Will see how things shake down as more Russians are about to pour in from Kaliningrad and work the northern coast.
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Robert Leonhard
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Cool report. I play so slowly that I'm still on turn 1. I sent fairly substantial forces into the Baltics for the Russians, and they overran the Latvians and Estonians easily. Now they're clearing. Meanwhile, the main force is marching toward Byalstok. Airstrikes have immobilized and disrupted the 2/1st Cav, which is the rotational brigade.

I'm concerned about how NATO will recover air superiority, if ever.
 
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Kev.
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ThronewolfMN wrote:
Definitely no veteran, fumbling through the same scenario as you. But 10 free cruise missile strikes is too big of an advantage to pass up, Targeting or otherwise. I took a slightly different approach though. I decimated the NATO ADF track with SOF Raids (rolled 0's for a -2 on both SAM and Det) and used the remaining missiles to strike priority ground targets before I engaged them with my own ground forces. Mostly Baltic ground units and what little NATO forces there were in the Baltics. Wiped out a Panzer brigade over multiple missile and air strikes throughout the turn (Step loss in the pre-game strike, Strike 2 in the strike phase, eliminated by Kalin units in the initiative phase).

The NATO ADF track is still struggling to recover (hovering around the 4-5 range for Detection and SAMs) while Russia completely dominates the skies. Turn 2 NATO didn't even bother flying any aircraft in Air Superiority, the risks were too high to damage or lose more aircraft. Holding out until the USAF can start supporting them. With NATO ADF so weak, Russians have been relatively free to strike wherever and whenever they want with little risk. The Airfields are next on the strike list as the Americans are starting to roll in soon.

Honestly not sure how the Allied forces will hold out. Baltics are completely neutralized, Baltic Sea is entirely Russian (US CVN BG has not been able to successfully cross). NATO Article 5 rolls have been unsuccessful so far. The only glimmer of hope is that the USMC managed to airmobile from Germany to Bornholm to keep the Russians from totally locking down the sea entrance. Polish forces are being dropped one by one and a defense lead by the US is being formed around Warsaw and the highway 7. Will see how things shake down as more Russians are about to pour in from Kaliningrad and work the northern coast.

Unless rules changed I dont think you can strike units with cruise missiles
 
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Robert Leonhard
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Right, that's my understanding, too. Realistically, I don't think either side would waste expensive cruise missiles on ground units.

When I set up again, I'm going to forego the intial pre-game strike by the Russians, because if you wait until the SOF targets the airbases, you get more horsepower out of those precious assets.
 
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