Russia opening, Octopus or Southern Defense?

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Russia opening, Octopus or Southern Defense?

Postby 0wl » 18 Apr 2020, 13:45

Hello all, I'm wondering what others thoughts are on which of these two openings is better. Mind you which is better might depend on the diplomatic situation in the game.

Personally I prefer the Southern Defense. I think the octopus opening provokes a conflict with England and leaves you too spread out to defend yourself.

Has anyone had success with an Octopus opening? What board situation would make these two openings a better or worse idea?
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Re: Russia opening, Octopus or Southern Defense?

Postby war_horses » 18 Apr 2020, 14:04

I never succeded anything of note when I did the Octopus.
But I think if the German player is friendly wih you, you might have a chance.

Since you are way more threatening to England, you might convince Germany to work with you.
Anyway, if you do this opening, you should defeitly play agressiv in the north to equilibrate some possible losses in the south.
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Re: Russia opening, Octopus or Southern Defense?

Postby UM85 » 18 Apr 2020, 14:31

I've never had success with Octopus. If you try to do everything, you end up doing nothing. Russia really has to pick a direction based on the diplomacy and then make moves in accordance with that.
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Re: Russia opening, Octopus or Southern Defense?

Postby Pope Pius IX » 18 Apr 2020, 18:24

Not wishing to sound like a stuck record, but I also have achieved very little playing with the Octopus.

One thing that is quite interesting to play around with is a manic stab at Germany in Fall 1901. Warsaw holds or bounces Galicia in Spring, Moscow moves to Ukraine and Sevastopol goes for BLA, with St P in Bothnia. But then in Fall, move Warsaw to Silesia, GOB to BAL and suddenly Germany's on the back foot. This sounds hyper-aggressive but it does have the possibility of working better than the Octopus, because whilst the Octopus may possibly persuade England to ally with you, whatever this opening is called (if it doesn't have a name, I'd like to suggest the Brusilov) also stands a chance of getting the French on your side.

Additionally, you don't even need to be subtle. Germany, if they hear of your plan, will attempt to bounce you in Sweden, and you just swerve that, and end up with Germany having to cover Denmark, Kiel, Berlin and Sweden with one unit way out of position in Sweden and probably another in Holland.

There are two major problems with this plan, which is that firstly, if Austria and Germany are allied, you've got a major problem, and also, you need to be sure of at least one southern build to offset the fact that you won't get any in the north (or are unlikely to) in the first year.

Incidentally, I've done a totally unscientific search for this kind of opening, and the Diplomatic Pouch simply describes it as either "anti-German" or lumps it with quite a few other openings as simply being part of the "Ukraine system", which I don't think does it justice. The Brusilov sounds way cooler.
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Re: Russia opening, Octopus or Southern Defense?

Postby 0wl » 19 Apr 2020, 19:26

I agree that the Brusilov would be a great name for that opening.
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