Example of Play: 1st Turn Walkthrough of Russians in “Big World: 1942”

Example of Play: First Turn Walkthrough of “Big World” First of all, we have installed TripleA on the desktop of a PC and started the game. The setup window appears.

starting-example

In order to begin this walkthrough, we must make sure that we are playing the correct game. The “Game Name” in the upper left should read “Big World : 1942”. If it does not, please click on “Choose Game…” and then select it from the menu.

In order to decrease the randomness, for the sake of tutorial purposes, we are going to change the game from its default of “Dice”, to “Low Luck”. You may also want to turn “technology development” off for now. To do so, click on “Game Options…” and then make sure that the “Low Luck” checkbox is checked on.

Finally, we wish to start a local game (“local” means that all the players will use your computer to play). So click “Start Local Game”. (Even when loading games, you must choose a method of how to play them, either by clicking “Start Local Game” or “PBEM” or “Network” or “Lobby”. The savegames do not remember which method you used to start them, and this is intended.)

Now you must select who will be playing each of the nations. You will be playing as the Russians, so leave “Russians” as “Human”. If you are playing against a friend (perhaps by sharing the computer each turn, something called “hot-seat mode”), then leave the other nations as “human”. If not, you can set your opponents to be AI’s. We generally recommend playing against the “E.Z. Fodder” for your first time, and once you understand how to play, you can upgrade the challenge to “Moore N. Able”. The “Dynamix” AI is still being worked on, and as such it generally does not make any sea movements, and also may have bugs that crash the game. After selecting who will play each of the nations, click on “Play” in order to begin.

The Game Begins… When the game starts, the map is focused on the main territories of Russia. You can use your mouse to scroll around the map (right click and drag the main map, or click or click and drag on the minimap). As you can see, the German front line has pressed all the way up to the main cities of Russia: Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad. In addition, the Far East has seen the Japanese claim Port Arthur and Manchuria, putting masses of armies right on the border with Russia. Be sure to also notice Russia’s small fleet.

Technology Research Phase We are given the option of spending resources on tech. Russia is both poor and under attack, so it is a good idea not to spend any money on technology. In the upper right of the screen, click “Done” to continue to the next phase.

tech-phase

Purchase Phase A production window will appear. Here you can see the basic stats of each of the units you can purchase, and for more detailed information, you can hold your mouse over a unit’s picture for a moment, causing a tooltip to appear. Russia should buy mostly infantry for a very long time, as they are the most cost-effective defenders and the cheapest units. In order to counter-attack, you will need to rely on artillery and air power. Armour is a bad buy because it is subject to destruction on counter-attack. 10 infantry + 1 artillery is a reasonable first-turn production (other reasonable purchases are 7 infantry + 2 artillery + 1 tank, or 8 infantry + 1 fighter).

purchase-example

If you click “Done” on the production window before you are really done, do not worry, as you can still change your purchase as long as you have not yet clicked “Done” on the right-side panel. Russia has 4 factories, and only 3 are on the front line. Adding up the values of each territory where you have factories, you see that you can produce no more than 12 units per turn, of which 9 could be on the front line with Germany and 3 further back. Supposing you decide that you want to produce fewer units, because the front-line factories can only produce 9 units total. So let’s produce 7 infantry, 2 artillery, and one armor instead (click “Change…” to do so).

change-production

When finished, click “Done”.

Combat Movement Phase In the Far East, you notice that you can attack Northern Manchukuo with a total of 5 infantry (5@1), against a total of 2 infantry (2@2). If you were playing with “normal dice”, this would be a risky attack that most commanders would avoid even though you have a good chance of success. Since we are playing using “low luck”, this battle would be easily won with near-certainty. However, as a commander, you need to look ahead not just to the end of your battles, but to what might happen on the opponent’s turn, and maybe even beyond that. If you attacked Manchukuo, your infantry forces

(representing about half of your total Far East forces) would be left exposed to a devastating counter-attack, especially since Japan has significant air capabilities. With half of your forces wiped out, you would be forced to give up much of the Russian Far East. Because of this, we choose not to attack, meaning no combat movements are needed in the East for Russia.

On the Western Front (from the Russian perspective), we will crush the Germans wherever we can. It is important not to let Germany get close to your factories, so we must push them back. We will conquer 4 territories and try for one submarine.

russia-move-example

We will attack Southern Russia with all the adjacent infantry and artillery that can’t attack anywhere else. We have 7 infantry and 1 artillery (10 attack power) and 8 hitpoints VS. 13 defense power and 5 hitpoints (2 infantry, 1 artillery, 1 armour, 1 fighter). This battle strongly favors the Russians because of our advantage in hitpoints.

We will attack Finland with 3 infantry from Karelija and 2 armor (9 attack power and 5 hitpoints VS. 4 defense power and 2 hitpoints). This is an easy win for Russia, and our tanks cannot easily be counter-attacked since Finland is separated from the German reserves in Eastern Europe. We will attack Novgorod with 3 infantry from Leningrad and we will attack Western Russia with 3 infantry + 1 artillery from Moscow.

russia-example-move

At this point, we still have more forces to commit, and it looks like we can take out one submarine as well. We throw 2 tanks into the S. Russia battle, because we want lots of troops left there, so it will be difficult to counter-attack them. We add 2 infantry, a bomber, and a fighter to the Novgorod battle, to ensure that we win it. We add a fighter, an infantry, and a tank to the W. Russia battle, since we would prefer to not take so many casualties in this battle. (Generally speaking, the longer a battle goes on, the more casualties the defender will cause to the attacker. The attacker should aim to destroy the defender in as few rounds as possible.) 29

This leaves the entire Russian navy plus one fighter to take out one German submarine. Destroying the submarine is important because it helps to protect the British navy. This is a really strong Russian offensive, and it may not be the best possible Russian Turn 1, but we will leave it to you to figure out a better strategy. We now end this phase by clicking “Done”.

Battle Phase We have 5 battles, which we can resolve in any order we wish. Generally speaking, it is best to resolve the ‘most critical’ battles first; that way we can decide if we need to retreat from other less critical battles, or choose casualties in a specific way. However, for this example play-through, we will just go down the list. To start a battle, just click on the buttons on the right side (and to show where a battle is, click on the “Center” button).

minimap-example

1st Battle: Finland

Here we have the Russians with 3 infantry (rolling @1), and 2 armour (rolling @3). The Germans are defending with 2 infantry rolling @2. You can see what number each unit is rolling at by looking at which column it is in. For our battle, the Russians have a total of 9 attack power, meaning that using Low Luck the Russians will automatically get 1 hit, and will roll a die @ 3 to determine if we get 1 more hit or not. (9/6 = 1, with 3 remainder). We roll a 5, meaning we miss the chance for the second hit.

battle-example

Now the Germans have their chance to roll. With a total of 4 defense they get no automatic hits, and must roll a single die at @ 4 to determine if they get any hits. (4/6 = 0, with 4 remainder). The Germans roll a 3, meaning they hit us. We choose to lose one of our cheapest units, an infantry. Since we still have great odds, we choose to continue the attack. 30

On round 2 of the battle, we kill the remaining German infantry. The Germans get to shoot back though, but they miss their roll by getting a 4 when they needed a 1 or 2. The end result: the Russians lose 1 infantry, while the Germans lose 2 infantry. The Russians now conquer Finland (and Finland turns red to show this).

2nd Battle: Southern Russia This battle does not go as well for us as we had hoped for, but we still manage to win. The Russians lose 5 infantry, but the Germans lose all of their units, including an expensive fighter.

second-battle-example

3rd Battle: Novgorod In Novgorod we win handily, losing only one infantry. We have 4 infantry and 1 bomber and 1 fighter left.

4th Battle: Western Russia Here Russia wins, losing 2 infantry. We are left with 2 infantry, 1 artillery, 1 armour, and 1 fighter. 5th Battle: Norwegian Sea (Sea Zone 6) In this battle, the two submarines fire first. Unfortunately ours misses, and the German’s hits. We take a transport casualty. After this, our fighter rolls, getting a hit and killing the German sub. If our fighter had missed, the German submarine would have a chance to submerge, effectively ending the battle. (The AIs almost never submerge, but human players do.)

In all the combat resolutions, just use common sense, and mostly do what the game tells you to do. The battles pretty much play themselves. Sometimes, you may wish to choose different casualties than the engine suggests, and often you must make a hard choice about whether to retreat or continue. 31

Non-combat movement

First, we must “land” all of our aircraft. The fighter that attacked the German submarine should land in Karelija. The 2 other fighters land in Leningrad, and the bomber lands in Moscow. Defending Leningrad with fighters, especially British fighters, is key to Russian survival. Russia must hold onto Leningrad for as long as possible, and fighters defend at 4, making them very good at this when backed up with sufficient infantry.

non-combat-move

In the middle, all the Russian infantry heads for the German front. The single artillery in Sverdlovsk, and the 2 infantry in Omsk, will head to the east to provide some attack power in case the Japanese get greedy.

In the East, send all of your units to meet in Amurskaya. Continue to move them each turn, and watch how strong the Japanese are. If the Japanese get too strong, or have enough aircraft in the area, you may be forced to move back to Buryatia in order not to lose your forces.

russia-far-east-move

When you are ready, end the phase by clicking “Done”. If you should forget to land a plane, you will be told. If this happens, you can force the plane to commit suicide or you can go back and continue making moves.

Unit Placement Phase

unit-placement

In order to place the units that you have purchased, you must ‘left click’ in any or each of your territories that contains a Factory or unit which has the ability to produce other units. To place sea units, you must click in a sea zone next to a territory containing a factory unit. You have a total of 10 units to place: 7 infantry, 2 artillery, and 1 armour. We start by placing units in the most important territories. Click on Leningrad, and use the menu that appears to place one infantry and one artillery there. Click on Moscow, and place 4 infantry. Click on Sverdlovsk, and place the armour there. This unit can use its extra movement to reach either front quickly. Click on Stalingrad, and use the ‘max’ button to place the remaining 2 infantry and 1 artillery there.

When finished, hit “Done”, and the Russian turn will end. The TripleA Engine will calculate your total production for the turn by adding up all the territories owned by Russia, and give you that many PUs. Because of our attacks, Russia receives 41 PUs this turn. Now the German player begins their turn.

Analysis of the luck factor for Russian turn 1

The low luck system can make battles more deterministic (less luck-dependent), but at the cost of removing some of the risk and changing how the game is played. Basically, every 6 firepower points guarantee one hit, and you only roll for the remainder. But you still have to set up the battles to make the system effective. For example, a battleship-on-battleship encounter is completely random, and the swing is huge. But a bomber plus two infantry attacking a fighter under low luck rules guarantees that the fighter dies in one round, taking a maximum of one infantry with it. Sending a bomber plus 1 infantry leaves this battle up to luck completely, while sending 1 bomber plus 3 infantry is unnecessary since you only need 1 hit to kill the single enemy fighter. Most of the Russian attacks in the Example of Play are easy to analyze, especially because using lots of lowfirepower units means that their combat value degrades very slowly. Accordingly, the details are left to the reader.

Norwegian Sea: Finland: Novgorod: W. Russia: S. Russia:

3 + 2 sub + 0 3x1+2x3 5 x 1 + 2 art + 2 x 3 4 x 1 + 2 art + 2 x 3 7 x 1 + 2 art + 2 x 3

vs. 2 sub; expecting 0-1 loss; vs. 2 x 2; expecting 1 loss (1.5 rounds); vs. 2 x 2 + 3; expecting 2 losses (2 rounds); vs. 3 x 2 + 3; expecting 2.5 losses (2 rounds); vs. 3 x 2 + 3 + 4; expecting 3.5 losses (2.5 rounds);

lost 1 lost 1 lost 1 lost 2 lost 5

Overall, Russia lost just a bit more than expected, but nothing out of the range of general variability. Remember that if you make 20 attacks, each of which has a 95% chance of winning, on average you will lose one of those attacks. Just because the Battle Calculator says that you have a 95% or even 99% chance of winning, doesn’t mean you should not prepare for the possibility of losing that battle.

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Strategy analysis

Germany’s primary turn 1 objective is to at least cripple the British navy. After that, the British concentrate their ships and cause the Germans no end of trouble. Russia must do what it can to help the British on turn 1. Therefore the primary Russian objective on turn 1 is to exert maximum pressure against Germany, while building up defense forces against the coming retribution. After turn 1, it becomes Britain’s primary responsibility to do everything it can to help the Russians.

We can see that Germany cannot effectively attack both the British navy and Russia, because they have only so many aircraft, so by forcing this choice either the Allies will have plenty of time to build up a defense of Russia, leading to a long-term Allied win, or the British maintain their fleet, which may lead to an early Allied win. In the Far East, Russia puts on a strong immediate defense, which can be converted to a good delaying action. Considering that Britain and China move before Japan, the Japanese will have great difficulty expanding in Asia for a long time, which gives the Americans time to build up.