The Bulgarian Gambit

How it works

  • Russia declares war on Bulgaria
  • On the surprise impulse, it invades with an INF division for free. No matter where the Bulgarian unit is placed, it will not be able to cover the entire Bulgarian coast. Usually the unit is ground-struck with Russia's generous # of bombers.
  • On the follow-up impulse, land with a big HQ like Zhukov and start moving to capture the entire country.

Why it's an exploit

What makes this tactic effective is the economic damage it inflicts on the Germans. Specifically, because of Russian aggression, Russia ships one less resource to Germany because they "aligned" them. This is clearly counter to the spirit of the rules since the intention is that Germany gives up resources for German aggression— not the other way round! Another clue that this rule is an exploit is that it relies on a specific optional rule to work: namely, SCS invasion and transport.

In addition, when Russia cuts the rail line— which is almost impossible to stop, the Russians will cut off the Turkish resource (or the Germans will be forced to ship it using Italian convoys). It's also fairly easy for Russia to capture the Bulgarian resource and start shipping it for themselves. All this adds up to an almost 3 resource swing for very little risk to the Russians.

Historically, it makes little sense since Bulgaria was considered to be in Germany's sphere of influence under the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and was nominally friendly towards the Russians as well. The idea that the Russians would launch a brilliant amphibious invasion of a friendly nation (and then be rewarded for it!) is preposterous.

How can it be fixed?

Probably the easiest way to fix it is to add Bulgaria to the list of countries that allow Germany to break the pact (with the exception that Russia may enter Bulgaria if Russia is allowed to align Bulgaria).

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