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Subject: Czechmate - A failed revolt in the East rss

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Howard Bishop
United Kingdom
High Wycombe
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With an empty house and time on my hands I finally got round to playing Revolt In The East in solitaire mode.

I went with the 1968 Czech resistance scenario, because it seemed a good entry to the game and reasonably plausible.

Having read round the subject it seemed slightly odd that none of the WP countries that were involved in the '68 invasion are given to the Soviets, but that's fine. They have plenty of other firepower to bring to bear.

Turn 1
The Czech army occupy Ostrava and Prague and the 1st Army takes up a position in the rough terrain south of Brno and the brave defenders wait for the onslaught. The NATO forces in West Germany make some minor moves, but nothing significant.

Note : In 1968 the Soviets were able to invade with almost complete surprise, so I decided to limit the redeployment.

In response to Czechoslovakia's political reforms, Soviet armies cross the border. The attacks on Prague and Ostrava are only partially successful. The defending units are wiped out, but with significant Russian casualties and the cities remain in revolt. Brno is taken and it appears that the Soviets will only have mopping up to do.

Turn 2
The Hungarian and East German governments are appalled by some of the apparent Soviet army atrocities and demand an audience with Brezhnev. They are sent away with a flea in their ears. They feel they have no choice, but to mobilise and prepare for rebellion.
Revolt markers placed on Rostok, Berlin, Leipzig, Budapest and Obderlin.

Note : It's not entirely clear what's supposed to happen to the Berlin garrison in this instance so I used the rule from the standard scenario (14.11)

The East German 2nd Army is pinned by the Soviet 11th Guards and the 1st Army occupies Rostock.
Hungarian 1st and 2nd armies occupy Budapest and Obderlin respectively
All NATO forces advance to the West/East German border in preparation for limited action in East Germany and to protect West Berlin.

The Soviets are swift and ruthless in employing the Brezhnev Doctrine. The armies deployed to guard the Warsaw Pact western flank turn east. Leipzig, Rostock, Berlin, Budapest and Obderlin all fall. The forces that had "liberated" Czechoslovakia are handily placed to suppress the upstart Hungarians.

2nd East German army is surrounded, but take down the Soviets pay a high price in the ensuing battle.

Prague and Ostrava are also taken, but Brno goes into revolt again when the Soviet 37th army is prematurely moved out.

Turn 3
There is sporadic fighting and resistance in East Germany and Czechoslovakia, but the rest of the Warsaw Pact dithers in its response. The American and British ambassadors in Moscow are given short shrift.

Brno finally falls.

Soviet forces move proactively into Rumania and Bulgaria as a show of support to their allies.

Turn 4
Hungarian partisans fight a rearguard action and destroy some Soviet supply convoys. NATO wrings its hands.

Russian divisions return to their posts on the border.

Turn 5
There is widespead civil disobedience in Budapest, but the Soviets easily quell the rebellion before it can become a fully fledged revolt. Rumours of Polish disaffection reach Moscow. Two armies are sent to monitor the situation and to guard key communications hubs.

Turn 6
A demonstration in Poznan is brutally put down. The Communist government is replaced in a coup and the army rebels against Soviet occupation. 4th Polish army occupies Stettin. Polish civilians build barricades in all cities.

The Soviets send a large force to deal with Stettin and the situation in the south is helped by returning replacement armies. Wroclaw, Gdansk, Krakow and Warsaw are taken easily, but the attackers are easily repelled in Stettin. Lodz is not attacked and remains in revolt.
3rd Polish army is attacked from two directions, but goes down fighting.

Turn 7
The hope for support from elsewhere in the Warsaw Pact and from NATO is unheeded, but there is more unrest throughout Poland.
2nd Polish army slips out of the net and is able to reach the beleaguered rebels in Lodz. 1st Polish army engages the enemy to prevent them from rolling into Stettin.
4th Polish army digs in in the city.

The Soviets are forced to withdraw after a disastrous attempt to cross the Oder, but massive air support turns the tide against the defenders in Lodz. The Soviets fight to a standstill and the city remains in Polish rebel hands .... just.

Turn 8
There is uproar in London. 1,000,000 march to demand action to support the brave Poles. There are rumours that Harold Wilson has taken orders directly from the Kremlin. He is forced to resign, but still no action is taken on the ground.

The resistance in Poland is finally broken, but only after the Soviets bring all their air assets into play. The forces attacking 1st Polish army pay a high price, but the country is finally suppressed.

Turns 9-12
Soviet forces redeploy to meet any further revolt or threat from the west, but there is no little in the way of organised resistance. The presence of large numbers of Soviet troops and tanks in the Balkans keep the people of Rumania and Bulgaria quiet.

The Soviets win by a landslide. Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland and Hungary are all suppressed.
Rumania and Bulgaria are unrevolted.
NATO scores 0.

It's always difficult to remain entirely impartial when playing solitaire and when the revolt rolls continually went against NATO I really felt for the cardboard resistance network in the countries that fell. While the game isn't broken, it is very susceptible to the vagaries of the rolls on the revolt table. There was a point during the Polish revolt when it briefly threatened to get out of the Soviets' hands, but it was a comfortable win in the end. This would be very frustrating in a face to face game. Equally well, if the rolls went the other way then the NATO player could probably canter to an easy win. On the plus side, it does mean that each game is different and it did build tension and interest.

The way the air units work is a bit weird, but it's always difficult to factor in air power in games like this.

I did enjoy the experience. Even though it was my first time through and there were a few times I had to refer to the rules, it didn't take that long to wrap it all up (helped by the fact that no NATO units were involved).

I will think about some ways to narrow the random element and to take some of the "gamey" elements out, but it's a game that wouldn't benefit from extra rules that overcomplicate things.
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Steven Goodknecht
United States
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This was my first S&T game all those years ago. Thanks for the memories!
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