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Subject: Soviets Invading British Persia rss

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John Spicer
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We have a dispute over whether the Soviets can invade Persia before there has been a Persia DE, i.e. when the country is still cooperating with the British.

I think the Soviets cannot delare war on any part of the British Empire. Meaning only the British can decide to overthrow the Persian government i.e. declare war, and thereby they accept the consequences of Betrayal.

My opponent thinks the Soviets can invade any British Protectorate without consequence.

Who's correct please?

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M v Haastregt
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As per rule 20.53 allied and soviet territory is common for command and supply.
Since Persia is Brittish controlled, entry of Soviet forced would have No effect on hex ownership.
Brittish and SU units cannot occupy the same hex.
Therefore, the SU can’t declare war on the Allies.
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John Spicer
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Thanks, it's the way I see it, and it matches the historical position, that the Soviets would not attack a British protectorate on their own initiative.
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Juan de Marco
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By a party in the Allies declaring war on Persia, Persia joins the Axis.
Soviets can declare war with no consequences to Allied Betrayal.
Thus, Soviets can declare war on the MidEast Mandate (Persia).


of note: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Soviet_invasion_of_Iran
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Juan de Marco
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And it also says that Persia and Iraq are not Allied territory, but they are cooperating:
20.921 British Protectorates Iraq and Persia are Cooperating (16.0) with the Allies: they have ceded PPs, Bases and Transit Rights (see below) to the Allies while still remaining 'neutral'. Even when occupied by the Soviets, they are considered to be Allied controlled.

and Soviet Belligerence means the Soviets can have wars 'all of their own':
20.521 Belligerence Effects • The Soviets join the Allies. • The Molotov Pact is cancelled: Soviet forces are no longer restricted to the USSR/E. Poland/Baltic States. • The Soviets can issue Declarations of War which are not considered Allied Betrayal (see 20.36).


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John Spicer
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Just thinking through the complexity if the Soviets can declare war on British Persia:

Since it's still a British Protectorate the Persian units trace supply to Tehran, which traces National Supply via Abadan to London. Going to be hard to beat the Persians if the British don't betray them.
But the Persian units, even though British, are actually controlled by the Germans as they are fighting the Soviets...
If, as in my current game, Turkey is cooperating with the Germans, can they also help the Persians trace supply to London if they need to? Guess they can if they choose. And why wouldn't they choose...
And the Germans can rail through Turkey and put a unit or two just into Persia, where they have secure supply into Turkey. Ties Russian units down/ cuts off anything that tries to go to Tehran.
The Germans can build up the Persian units. But do the Persian units have to be able to trace a supply line to Germany to receive PP's, or can they get reinforced with German PP's via Abadan? Not surprisingly not covered in the rules.
And I am sure there are more twists if you think it all though.....


But what's certain is that it all gets very very messy! And hard to see what the Soviets gain by taking on the Persians while the Persians are getting National Supply via Abadan to London - looks like a nightmare for the Soviets.

Surely far simpler to say the Soviets can't attack the Persians! Although the other intepretation opens up a world of weird possibilities.
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Juan de Marco
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Of course not, by way of the Soviet attack, (Soviets are on the Allied Side since SM event happened) the Persians join the Axis and from that moment on have their national supply run to the Axis supply source (Berlin), not London. The only way they trace supply in our game (Abadan and Iraq are garrisoned by the Western Allies) is via the railline via Turkey. That tenuous 4 hex railline in the mountains. Minors such as Persia having National Supply use a seperate PP pool if they have no Sea/Rail supply, only National Supply emanating from Teheran. With a rebellion in Persia, you could rail in German units via Turkey that is cooperating, and build those up using EF PPs. Once Turkey joins or the Axis are in control of Basra and Abadan (Red Sea is already controlled by the Axis), Persia also has Rail/Sea supply and its units can be built up with the Axis EF production pool.
 
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John Spicer
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We clearly disagree completely on this one, not that it matters to the outcome of this game! I'm still with the original response that the Soviets cannot attack a British protectorate.

I think the rules have quite reasonably been written to cover the Soviets attacking true neutrals, not British protectorates tracing supply to London - this is a real edge case, although I suspect it comes up more often than some as Persia it appears can influence games.

I've also just noticed a discrepancy between 20.561 and DE SE. The DE has clearly been amended to 'German' (in red) units, the rule still says 'Axis'. We've played using German, which is I think correct given the red amendement in the DE, i.e. the Italians and their Arab allies can roam the Mid East, but the Germans will stay out for fear of provoking a Soviet backlash.
 
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Juan de Marco
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Yeah we sort of sidelined the original question and went on ahead both not doing much with Persia.
 
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