Russia : Double Your Pleasure
Russia in Diplomacy is a little like the old joke of "good news/bad
news." The good news is that you start out with one more unit than
anyone else. The bad news is that
you can't concentrate all four units on one target.
More good news is that you, as Russia, have a golden opportunity to
affect every other country on the
board in a direct manner. More bad news is that the
converse is also true. In short, you're going to have to spend a lot of
time in the trenches on actual diplomatic work.
has the ability to open up a two-front war and grab centers before
anybody else knows what's happening. There are several alternatives (E/T,
E/A, G/T and G/A) for dividing your
forces equally. Of course, Russia can ally with
someone both in the north and south (or east and west, if you prefer);
but I'm talking about an active
campaign in both areas. The one that I prefer is to
open against Germany and Turkey. If you ally with Turkey from the
beginning, you will (with two game
years at most) hear rumors about the "stop the R/T
steamroller" movement. This will hamper your operations in the north
thing which is an absolute necessity is to forge an immediate working
alliance with your allies. By splitting your forces equally and
committing yourself to a two-front
war, you leave yourself wide open and vulnerable to an
early stab. In the case of opening against Germany and Turkey, Russia is
vulnerable to stabs by Austria (from the very beginning) and England
(within a couple of turns). If you
do opt for a two-front war, you must negotiate with your allies quickly. One thing to remember is that you need
to give them more of a reason to
ally with you than against you.
opening against Germany, you must have a working alliance with both England
and France. France opens to Burgundy while Russia opens to Selesia. (You
must have convinced Germany not to
open to Denmark. If he has, he will bounce you from
Sweden when he realizes what's going on.) One extra advantage is that if
Germany has made traditional moves, Berlin is also open. Russia and
France can get tricky and try to
grab both Berlin and Munich. This, however, is a true gamble and can backfire easily. Russia must have a good
relationship with England and this
time because Germany is going to do everything she can to convince England to help. But while you must keep both
England and France interested in
working with you, you must also be careful to prevent the development of an E/F alliance.
a very defensively placed country, is not all that hard to defeat if
you do it quickly. If the Turk is permitted to grow too large, he is
virtually impossible to defeat.
Here, you must ally with Austria. (An extra incentive
for you to keep Austria on your side is to prevent an A/G alliance from
being formed.) You must also try to convince Italy to help you and
not attack Austria. If Italy is
reluctant to do this, you need to convince your good ally
France to stir up a little trouble for Italy.
of the Black Sea is imperative to crack Turkey. It virtually cannot be
done in the early moves without it. Therefore, you must lie through your
teeth to Turkey promising him
anything in order for you to open to the Black Sea.
Once there, you cannot be moved from it by Turk in 1901 and you can build
a second fleet in Sevastapol in W.
'01. In the Fall your unit in the Black Sea
can support you to Rumania. (Again, depending on how well you've
snockered Turkey--or how gullible
Turkey is--you may have a chance to grab Ankara as
you have done your job well convincing Turkey not to open to the Black Sea
and convincing Germany not to open to Denmark, you're assured of gaining
Rumania and Sweden for two builds in 1901. By gambling, you could try for
Ankara. By really gambling, you could also try for Berlin. Your best bet
is to use Silesia to support France
to Munich, which will further good Russian- French relations, and take Sweden
and Rumania for yourself.
theoretically, you could have these moves for 1901: Spring: A Moscow-Ukraine; A
Warsaw-Silesia; F Sevastapol-Black Sea; F St.
Petersburg(sc)-Gulf of Bothnia. Fall: A Silesia supports French A
Burgundy-Munich; A Ukraine-Rumania; F Black
Sea supports A Ukraine-Rumania; F Gulf of Bothnia-Sweden.
builds for Winter 1901 will depend upon whether you feel the alliances
you made in 1901 are holding. For argument's sake, let's assume they are.
You need to build a fleet in
Sevastapol to use against Turkey. You can either
build an army in Warsaw to use against Germany (although you should make
Austria feels safe about this) or a fleet in St. Petersburg(sc) to gain
control of the Baltic (a better choice).
England shows signs of being hostile, a build in St. Pete will gain you
some time. If France shows signs of breaking off the alliance, you need
to promise England everything under
the sun (and more if necessary) to prevent an
E/F alliance from being formed. If Austria shows signs of being nervous,
talk smoothly to him. And talk fast
if things are going your way, France should be able to support you to
Berlin in Spring 1902 and one of you should gain Kiel in the Fall. Your
fleet in Sweden can continue to hit
Denmark in order to cut support, or it can stay
in Sweden if England is looking greedy. Your newly built northern unit
(whether army or fleet) can be maneuvered into position for use in 1903.
the south, your fleet in Sevastapol can be supported to Armenia to set up
an attack on Ankara in the Fall. Your alliance with Austria is not vital.
While you are moving your fleet from Sevastapol to Armenia, your army in
Rumania can support an Austrian unit to Bulgaria. Assuming Austria has
taken Greece in 1901, he can use
that unit to support the move to Bulgaria, and you
will be free in Fall 1902 to use your F Black Sea to convoy Rumania to
Ankara with Armenia providing support. If Austria is not in a
position to support his holding of
Bulgaria in the Fall, it can only help Austrian-Russian relations for you to use Rumania to support Austria in Bulgaria while
attacking Ankara with your two
fleets. If Italy is helping you, Turkey is going to be too busy
to defend everything and you stand an excellent chance of obtaining
Ankara in 1902. If Italy is not helping, take heart that he can't reach
you directly and is probably
bothering France, Austria, or Germany.
for 1902 should look something like this: Spring: A Rumania supports Austrian A
Ser-Bul (better than Gre-Bul); A Silesia-Berlin
(supported by France); F St. Pete(sc)-Gulf of Bothnia; F
Sevastapol-Armenia; F Sweden holds (or Swe-Den, which will probably
fail); F Black Sea supports F Sev-Arm.
Fall: A Rumania-Ankara (or supports Austria in Bulgaria); A Berlin supports
French A Munich-Kiel; F Gulf of Bothnia-Baltic Sea; F Armenia supports A
Mum- Ank (or Armenia-Ankara); F Sweden-Denmark (again, it will probably fail); F
Black Sea convoys A Rum-Ank (or supports Arm-Ank).
you will probably have two builds (Ankara and Berlin). You might
possibly pick up Denmark as a third build, although that is more likely
to happen in 1903. Your builds in
Winter 1902 will have to depend on whether you
will now attack England or France in the north and whether you will
attack Austria or Italy in the
for all practical purposes, is defeated. If you've been smart, you've
been sounding out both France and England about the possibility of a
joint attack on the other.
Whichever player offers you the best opportunity will
decide your builds. If you decide to ally with England against France, a
build of an army in Warsaw is
needed to protect what you've gained. If you decide to
ally with France against England, a fleet in St. P(nc) is vital to ensure
your control of the Barents and to set up an attack on Norway.
builds in the south will also be dictated by the situation. Turkey, while
not in the desperate straits that Germany is in, is nonetheless on the
ropes. You can support yourself to
Constantinople or support Austria there in 1903.
(As a personal preference, I believe Russian control of Constantinople is
vital if you intend to break into the Aegean/Ionian area). If you decide
to attack Austria along with Italy,
then an army in Warsaw is needed. If you decide
to attack Italy alongside Austria, then a fleet in Sevastapol is
necessary for successfully challenging Italian sea power. One thing to
remember: if you decide to ally with Austria against Italy, you must keep
Austria satisfied with you. Italy is bound to point out that if he falls,
Austria is almost completely surrounded by Russia and a likely
target after the Italian falls.
in all, the option of playing Russia as an aggressive country and
immediately open with a two-front war gives the player an excellent
chance to try not only his
diplomatic skills but his skills to detect whether he's being
sandbagged or not. Continual communication with your allies is vital. It
is a dangerous plan of attack in
the early years, but one that an aggressive player
is surely tempted to try.