In Allied General, as in any wargame, you have to study the
terrain, the victory requirements, and the units at your
disposal before starting. When you start a new battle in
Allied General, take time to look at the strategic map.
There are several important things to make note of: First,
white hexes are your high-value hexes, and must be
adequately defended in order to win.
More importantly, green hexes are the objectives.
Not every city is an objective, so you have to see where
the green hexes are and figure out the best way to get to
them. Roads are essential to moving troops fast, and seizing
control of important crossroads will gain you vital mobility.
Some cities must be seized because they lay astride important
crossroads, because their proximity threatens your lines, or
because they are near important objectives and will be useful
in producing and repairing units. Airfields are also important
targets to capture where possible, because controlling the
enemy’s airports will limit their ability to use air power
against you and give you increased air-strike abilities.
Finally, you have to study the units you’re given at the start
of a game, the units you can buy, based on the historical period,
and the possible upgrades. There are several important numbers
associated with units, the most useful being experience, strength,
and hard and soft attack. Defense ratings, initiative and – for
units pushing deep into enemy territory – spotting ability are
also important factors to consider.
The composition of your forces is crucial, especially in campaign
games. When you start a new battle, upgrade units wherever possible
to the best currently available, and always use elite replacements.
You’ll want to build elite, over-strength units through replacement
and successful battles. A tight selection of strong armor and
advanced infantry (such as bridging or paratrooper infantry)
should be the core of your group. A few 15-strength units can cut
a swath through most opposition.
OK, that’s enough of the grade-school primer; it’s time
to get down in the mud. Let’s take a look at the
Russo-Finnish battle on the Karelian Isthmus, which can
be tough to win as the Russians. The victory requirements
are to take two southern cities (Summa and Taipale),
the northwestern city of Tali and its port at Viipuri, and
finally the northernmost city of Sortevala. The problem is
the Mannerheim line: a rigid defensive line of pillboxes
and World War One-era forts bisecting the Isthmus.
First, you’ll need to understand your forces, which are a
mishmash of good and bad units. The conscripts and auxiliary
units are awful, and the best (and most historical) use for
them is to charge pillboxes and divert Finnish fire – in
effect, these troops are cannon fodder. Also useless are the
BT-5 and BT-7 tanks, which seem to be made of papier-mach