In the battle for Scandinavia, Russia has been vanquished by England far too many times. We’ve all seen it happen: first Sweden falls, then an English fleet slips into the Barents Sea, and all of the sudden St. Petersburg is gone — and the rest of Russia soon with it. But no more. No. More.
There are an opening series of moves that can — with the right diplomatic maneuvers — completely halt a North-committed England in its tracks. England will be able to accomplish nothing — much like the current United States Congress. At the very least, it will force a stalemate and allow you to focus on other regions; at best, it will grant you complete control of Scandinavia and access to England’s home supply centers. I have coined this opening “The Finnish Filibuster.”
In the opening Diplomacy phase, it is vital that you establish good ties with Germany: at least convince them to maintain a neutral position in Scandinavia, if they do not want to help you against England. If you are bounced out of Sweden, it will throw off the entire plan, and make progress in Scandinavia seriously difficult.
In the opening spring phase, move St. Petersburg to the Gulf of Bothnia and Moscow to St. Petersburg. (This is a trick most of us have used at some point or another, usually followed by a move from St. Petersburg to Norway, forcing England to support themselves in to claim the center.) Now, it is important to note whether or not a Sealion is developing (if France has moved to the Channel and German-French ties look strong, then the odds are good). If you think there is one, then it is usually in your best interests just to go ahead and move to Norway, as you might actually take it if England decides to support themselves holding in the North Sea.
However, if France has not moved to the Channel, (and neither has England) then it is time to use this new opening. England will almost assuredly assume you will be moving to Norway, and thus will support themselves into it. This actually benefits you, as it means there won’t be any pesky fleet in the Barents Sea come the end of 1901. However, instead of moving to Norway, you instead move the army in St. Petersburg to FINLAND. This allows you to build a fleet in the north coast of St. Petersburg (or an army) in the first build phase, a benefit you would not otherwise have — and gives you a strong grasp on Scandinavia, with control of two of the three territories.
Moves after this depend on the tactical and diplomatic situation, and thus will vary from game-to-game. Hopefully, you’ll be able to convince Germany to side with you at this point, as they can see you have the upper hand in the battle for Scandinavia. Beyond that, there is little left to say. Good luck, my friend!
If you wish to e-mail feedback on this article to the author, and clicking on the envelope above does not work for you, feel free to use the "Dear DP..." mail interface.