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Cataclysm: A Second World War» Forums » Sessions

Subject: The Siberian War: A Cataclysm AAR rss

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1933-1937: Road to War

In 1933, the new regime in Berlin made their aggressive intentions known by the militarization of the Rhineland. In response, France and Britain formed an alliance to confront this new threat. Germany, and the other fascist power, Italy, began rearming at an accelerated rate, reaching a war footing by 1937. France, who had lost all their influence in eastern Europe because of various isolationist movements in Eastern Europe, was unable to keep pace in mobilization, while the British did not do much better. However, their chief diplomatic accomplishment was bringing the Americans into their military alliance, who were provoked by Japanese militarism and military aid to the Kuomintang (who the Americans also aided).

The Japanese apparently viewed conflict with the Americans as undesirable, as they proceeded on a mobilization strategy that heavily favored the “Strike North” faction of their military, while their navy was placated with a steady expansion under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. The Soviets, who watched wearily as the Japanese army expanded, used political purges to construct the Trans-Siberian Railway and rearm in the face of this growing threat. Under the purges, pretext was given to send aid to the Kuomintang and conquer Finland.


1937-1940: War in the East and Chaos in the West

In 1937, the Japanese opened hostilities with a surprise attack on Vladivostok, quickly capturing most of the Soviets pacific territories. From there, the Japanese war machine slowed, pausing for fear of overstretch. The Soviets, worried with the possibility of being overrun in the east, pulled more and more troops away from Europe and towards the pacific theatre. When the Kwantung army received their armored forces, they quickly grabbed the key territory of Mongolia, setting the stage for the tank battles of Siberia.

In the West, Germany took advantage of weakness in the east, grabbing up Czechoslovakia and attacking Poland. The Poles were able to repulse the Germans and sought Soviet protection. Mussolini, seeking to replicate Hitler’s success, was so engrossed with military adventurism that he ignored rising political problems at home. After a bungled attack on Yugoslavia (that led to a short-lived American friendly regime there), a military coup removed Mussolini from power. The new Italian government proceeded to take Yugoslavia, and positioned itself to take Rumania.


1940: State of the World shortly after the Italian coup.


1940-1943: World War One, all over again

At the end of 1940, Germany declared war on France, retaking the Lorraine region. French allies were quick to respond, with the Americans bringing in large numbers of tanks and British providing heavy air support from Britain. American diplomacy brought Benelux into the Allies, which was quickly crushed by German tanks. Britain retook Benelux by amphibious invasion (facilitated by American naval support), only to lose it to another German offensive. The situation quickly degenerated into positional warfare, with the Germans unable to take Paris (supported by American tanks and a French fortress) and the Allies unable to breakthrough into Germany or retake the Lorraine.

In the East, the Japanese defeated the Soviets in Siberia, despite lacking a key logistics package in Mongolia (lost to clashes related to the interservice rivalry). The Soviets were unable to retake Siberia, leading to the Russians to return to Military Reforms over Political Purges. The Japanese made a bungled incursion into Hebei, leading to the KMT to losing control of Hebei and the Japanese to take heavy losses.

The Italians moved into Rumania and brought Hungary into its orbit diplomatically. Yugoslavia collapsed into civil war, which brought British and Soviet influence. The Italian government fell once again, ending their relationship with Hungary.


1943-1944: The Downfall

In 1943, the British once again took Benelux. Unlike the last time, this stuck, if only because the Germans lacked the material to retake the region. The British pressed ahead into the Ruhr, while the Germans fell back from the Lorraine. Soon, the Germans lost control of Berlin and were pushed all the way back to East Prussia. An American naval invasion took East Prussia, and war was over in the west.

In the east, a mobilized Soviet Union retook Siberia, but quickly stalled out. Both sides began to grind each other down trying to push the other out. Eventually, the Soviet Union made a lucky break in the air war in Mongolia, completely wiping out the Japanese air power there. Japan was quickly thrown back, leaving them with only the Maritime Territory, Manchuria, and Korea on the mainland.

On the Mediterranean, the Yugoslav wars ended with victory for the Italian backed faction, and the Spanish Civil War began with a stalemate. The Soviets, secure in the Pacific, took the Baltic states and Persia.


1945-1946: Victory in the East and a New War in the West

In 1945, the Soviets pushed hard, grabbing Manchuria away from the Japanese. At this point, the Japanese lacked substantial land forces to push back with and began to desperately wait for ground forces to be ready for deployment. When the Soviets took Korea, the Japanese government fell. The newly reorganized government was unable to resist the Soviets in any meaningful way, and the Soviet Union retook the Maritime Territory. When the Soviet Union took Hokkaido, the Japanese government fell again, and this time it was for good. A pro-American government was set up on the Home Islands, and the war was over in the East. The Soviet Union, putting war behind them, transitioned to Collective Security.

In the West, after a peaceful expansion of the spheres of influence, the storm of war came again, with the Americans opening hostilities with a fumbled air raid on Lombardy. French forces captured Lombardy quickly, and the Americans pressed south, grabbing Yugoslavia, Albania, and Greece, but Italy would not surrender.


1946: State of the World at the end of 1946


1947 & later: The Conference of Leningrad & Aftermath
Beginning in 1947, as the Italian war continued to rage, instabilities in Britain and France forced the Allies to the bargaining table. Stalin, interested in promoting himself as a grand statesman, offered to help negotiate peace between Italy and the Allies. The Conference of Leningrad had four main effects:

1) The Allies would return Northern Italy to the Italian regime. In exchange, the Italians would abandon all claims in the Balkans.
2) The Soviet Union would vacate Persia. In exchange, Rumania would be placed under Soviet influence.
3) All colonies would be allowed to determine their own status under free elections. The office of decolonization would be established to oversee these elections.
4) The United Nations would be created to allow all nations to adjudicate decisions without the use of force of arms.

In the following years, after decolonization, British and French power went under a relative decline. Strong relations with a reformed Germany and in Eastern Europe compensated for the losses. The Soviet Union and the United States began competing for influence the Asia-Pacific region, with a new American regime in Japan and the Kuomintang in Southern China forming a bulwark against Communism, concentrated in Northern China and Hokkaido. The Soviet Union had economic troubles in the late 1950s and had to reorganize itself under more capitalist lines. Italy fell to repeated coups over the years, until the mid-1960s, when the Italian Civil War began.

Final Scores
Britain: 10, America: 7 (ignore the American cube in Tokyo), Soviet Union: 8, France: 1, Italy: 0, Japan: -3, Germany: -5
Democracies: 18, Communists: 8, Fascists: -5
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David Timmerman
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Session reports like this really pushing me towards getting this game...

I really need more space to store games and more time to play them.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Awesome! Thanks for sharing your story.
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Marc Hanna
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Jojo_TIMB wrote:
Session reports like this really pushing me towards getting this game...

I really need more space to store games and more time to play them.


The good news is that Cataclysm is a good size and time value for the money! The game proceeds quickly and table space is not out of the ordinary. Highly recommended!
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Phillip Gooden
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This game is so perfect for this kind of storytelling. I hope this gives some life to more chit-pulling strategic games. Personally, I'd love to see a line of Cataclysm-style games based on various historical conflicts. It'd obviously require tweaks, but I think it'd really be something else.
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Russell H
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imawesome13131313 wrote:
This game is so perfect for this kind of storytelling. I hope this gives some life to more chit-pulling strategic games. Personally, I'd love to see a line of Cataclysm-style games based on various historical conflicts. It'd obviously require tweaks, but I think it'd really be something else.


I agree, a Cataclysmic Empires in Arms would be awesome!!!
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Tristan M.
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I think that the sandbox nature of Catalcysm would adapt perfectly, and better than any other game before, to explore alternative outcomes of the Cold War era.

In fact all previsous games on the subject either start when the WW3 breaks out or are focused only on the political struggle (Twilight Struggle).

Only Catacysm would allow a complete narrative with the emergence of minor conflicts and the risk of a major one.
The new game should fix thresholds for the involvement of the great powers:
1st level: conflict between client states/allies (not necessarily dependent on the player's will)
2nd level: one great power against enemy's client/ally
3rd level: direct confrontation between superpowers (limited).
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William Terdoslavich
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You are throwing down one helluva gauntlet...

But I am glad to hear you had a blast.
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Steven Dolges
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The Cataclysm system could be:

Cataclysm: A Third World War
Cataclysm: A Great War (WWI)
Cataclysm: A European War (Napoleonic?)

You could probably do a lot more too.
 
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Phillip Gooden
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srd5090 wrote:
The Cataclysm system could be:

Cataclysm: A Third World War
Cataclysm: A Great War (WWI)
Cataclysm: A European War (Napoleonic?)

You could probably do a lot more too.


Well, there's a WWI variant in the Files section. Simulating the Napoleonic Wars and a hypothetical WWIII would probably require some fairly significant changes to the game system.
 
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