Warwick wrote:In support of seeing more Eastern Entente play I offer this advice.
Start by playing the 106 turn game. This fixes the war plans of the Central powers towards France and Serbia, mostly.
On the first turn you will only have the Serbia forces and 2 armies on the German border as active troops. Send your 2 3-star generals on the German border back to Minsk. Remember you can rail commanders without any rail points so just send the commanders, no troops. In Minsk is the Duke and on the second turn you can assign these 2 3-star generals to be army groups. This will raise their command point totals from 24 to 48 and allow you to make 2 solid troop stacks to threaten the German's. Take note that the Russia's have a 3-star in Warsaw and one on the Turkish border but these are locked for several turns, however you will want upgrade them when you can.
The Serbian front is really your main concern in 1914. The Serb are outnumbered significantly. They have so few stacks that they can not cover they entire front, expect to see Austrian columns marching in your rearward areas. Fortunately, the Serbian commander's tend to be very good. Focus on ensuring each stack in Serbia has a very good defender in command. I tend to randomized generals stats but the Serbs can still have 3 or 4 strength defending commander on each corp they possess. Also break out your officers to one per stack. This will allow you expand your coverage on the front when new troops are built.
One the first turn move your Serbian army in the south end of the line to Monte Negro. This will move it through the Uzinc (sp?) army, it is the stack with a commander that starts locked. Very often the Austrians will attack here hoping to drive towards the depot just east of this region. The other path of attack is along the eastern edge of Serbia through Negiton (sp?). Austrian forces will often march south through these areas since Serbia can not get troops there. The only worry about this attack is the city of Nish. This is a major center for Serbia and one of only 2 cities that can build MTN or INF division for the Serbs. I tend to build 2 militia in Nish on the first turn and one more in Parmintea(sp?) which is a little south of Nish. These forces are active by turn 3 and can make the difference in a defense near Nish.
The last line of attack the Austrians take is straight at Belgrade. To counter this I take the best defender in Belgrade, other than Radimor Putnik(sp?), your 3-star Serbia general, and combine him with the Belgrade garrison and some infantry division, The goal is to have a 24 command point stack in Belgrade with a strong defensive commander and the trench value of the fortified city. Send 2 miltia unit to the serbia army in the area adjacent to Belgrade. This will create a 24 command stack as well. The remaining forces and Putnik travel south to Nish to take over defense of that region. Start an INF division and a LT ART unit in Belgrade, remember to leave a commander behind to command these troops.
Now a flaw in the game is the Serbians pull from the Russia's manpower pool which makes the Serbia Army almost immortal, however it is still small and can be overwhelmed. The rest of the Russian strategy is to relived that pressure. The only way to accomplish that is through attack. Russia has 2 targets to draw the Austrians and the Germans into a fight on their terms, Lemburg (sp?) and Cynertosk (sp?). Lemburg is a major rail hub and strategic city that sits on the northern side of the mountains in Galacia. Cynertosk, which I am certain I am not spelling correctly, is to the south and is the strategic city controlling the rail line into Austria's Transylvanian region.
Russia has 4 armies activate on turn 2. One in the Lublin/Ivangrod region will remain in this area to respond defensively. Further to the East 2 armies are pointed at Lemburg. Organize these armies in stacks that maximize their command points. The goal is to advance south and push the Austrians away from Lemburg and beseige the city. Do not worry too much in taking the city, the threat is what we are after. The AI will gather a force to relieve the city and will need to strip the Serbian front to do it. Your army in the south is pointed at Cynertosk(sp?). With this army try to win the city by marching, split off 2 24 command point corps and aim to cut the rail line leading to the city. Often the AI will retreat to reestablish supply. If he doesn't you have a corp that can attack without a river penalty.
The outcome of this opening is generally a stabilized Serbian front and a strong counter-attack by the Austrians and Germans into the Ukraine and southern Poland. You will gain several free stacks on turn 4. Be sure to rail these to the weakest spots in your line. Try to review your command set up, if you find a stack with 2 generals in it consider breaking one out and retreating him to your staging areas. Command points are extremely important and you do not want to waste them.
Remember to keep building units. When Nish is reasonably secure start building MTN divisions there. For the Russian's try to build 2 or 3 RES divisions per turn. You will need the bodies to fill the large areas and fronts Russia has to deal with. Do not neglect the Turkish border, show it a little love when you do builds. Once you feel comfortable with your unit density start adding in aircraft and artillery. You have the option of using 'state funds' to overcome Russia's biggest problem which is an absence of money. Find this under the 'option tab' which is F11 or F12. Drag the icon onto the Russian flag in the diplomatic area and on the next turn you get 1,000 extra in money with a rise in inflation.
Well those are my thoughts on a Eastern Entente opening and ways to stabilize your situation. Good luck.
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