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Triumph of Chaos v.2 (Deluxe Edition)» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Tsaritsyn is in danger! rss

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Mark Herman
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Triumph of Chaos’ v2 campaign game begins with the White Southern forces poised for an offensive toward Tzaritsyn. A common opening move is for Deniken to attack Gashun held by a single Red Corps that sans card intervention is numerically always going to be a White success. With this as a presumed opening white move what does Lenin do?



This strategy discussion is focused on the REDS. I’ll try and do a companion piece at some point for the WHITES.

As a short piece of background, I have been a fan of this game since its v1 days. My Russian Grandfather left Russia in 1921 near the end of the revolution when a white army was cutting a path of destruction through space 246 (Eastern Rumania), which is roughly where Moldavia is located. Unlike people of royal background my grandfather was a black market smuggler that allowed him to rapidly cross the Rumanian border where one of his criminal associates happened to be the mayor of a small town who gave him forged papers making him a Rumanian citizen, fast forward a few months and he’s in Brooklyn.

To appreciate the situation caused by White’s opening attack. Once Gashun is in White hands the Soviet 11th and 12th armies are now cut off and will be eliminated at the end of turn 1. Now in your first game the normal reaction is to stabilize the situation and play your next card for OPs and move forces, but that may be a mistake. So, what is Lenin going to do about this needs to be considered in the broader context of 1918 and the remainder of the game.

If you are not acquainted with the game, the political efforts to gain control of factions runs through the end of 1919 (game turn 9) when the musical chairs aspect of Russian politics settles down. Many significant decisions occur in 1918 that will impact how the political environment evolves in 1919, so there are many important choices that need to be made.

Before I continue it should be noted that each side will initially have 15 cards available for the 1918 game turns. Fourteen of these cards are asterisk events, meaning that once you play the event they are out of the game with only the Greens card recycling into the future turns. The alternative to playing a card is to employ a Special activity (rule 7.3) of which I will only focus on 7.35, Green Activation in this discussion. Over the course of 1918 each side will have 17 rounds. A round is the play of a card (OPs value or Event) or Special Activity.

Red Political Strategies (key R#= Red card #)

Gain Factions: Ukraine, Baltics, Poland, Southern Republics
R1 (Ukraine), R2 (Poland), R3 (Baltics), R9 (Treaty of Brest Litovsk), R15 (Southern Republics)
These five cards focus on Political choices. Each card is an either or choice. Do you want influence in the named region or two armies. The Germans will usually be out of the game before the end of 1918, but if the Whites as I did in the tutorial, gain control of the German army, you may want to make a “Deal with the Devil” event to shut down this threat. Lastly there are the Southern Republics, which are a solid way to put pressure on White’s positions in the East.

Russian Politics: Greens (R6), Socialist Revolutionaries (R5), Partisans (R14)
An interesting set of decisions arise around how to deal with the Socialist Revolutionaries who begin White aligned but inactive. At the beginning of the campaign game they sit between the Russian and White forces in the East. Getting control of the Socialists has many advantages for the Soviets and a more significant downside if the Whites improve their control so they become active.

Another interesting set of choices is sometimes sparked by getting Green forces into play and then using Special activity to activate and maneuver them. I find that if you are going to go heavy on events you will find that you might not be able to take a full hand of cards on the last turn of 1918. If you go that route then the Green card/ Special activity combo is a useful support to a heavy event strategy.

Key Political Strategy Points
So, all of this coordinates with the Political phase that precedes the White attack on Gashun. Right out of the gate you want to have a focus on who you want on your side and who you do not want on the Whites side. Given that the early game is going to have a bit heavier emphasis on the Southern front anything you can do to keep things quiet in the East is a good idea.

Training
There are two Improved Training cards (R10, R11), both of which are 4 ops cards. For my money these have to be played by events and while you can pass on one of them one time, you should not pass on both or risk going into 1919 with all of your army reinforcements showing up on their reduced sides requiring you to continually use replacements to build them to full strength. So, my thought is on the first turn you can use one of these for their 4 Ops, but thereafter you need to play these to create the training infrastructure for the long term.

Eastern Front
With an understanding of the available Political strategies I would offer that there are a few things that you need to accomplish on the Eastern Front, but the main one is keep it as inactive as possible until you have the forces to deal with a two front war. Until the Whites link up (rule 7.25), which from a Soviet perspective is hopefully never, they are restricted to activating multiple hexes in only one region. These means that they can either make a push in the South or the East on any given turn.

Early on the Tsaritsyn offensive that opened the game is going to likely continue, so White will be limited to single space activations. If you can support your political moves with the political events focused on keeping the Socialists inactive it will pay dividends. Under no circumstances should you attack the Socialists until they are White active forces or about to be. The unknown factor is whether the Czech Legion is active on the first turn or not. This will be determined by the Political phase and whether White is pursuing a Kolchak coup strategy or other events that push Czech control around. What you should plan on is that the Czech Legion will be white and active out of the gate. Red is advantaged if this is not the case and the Whites only have the Siberians to work with.

Southern Front
This is where we began and where I will finish. What Red cannot afford is losing Tsaritsyn early in the game if ever. The Reds have Trotsky available, but he is guarding the direct route to Migulinskaya. If the Eastern front is quiet you can shift Stalin down from Saratov. The other option is to play a card and bring reinforcements directly into that location to bolster its defenses, but without a leader your Red units may be vulnerable to the Switch Sides event.

As you can see what to do next really depends on the Political decisions that you have already made and the cards you are holding. Hopefully this strategy breakdown will be of some use in your next game.
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Robert Heinzmann
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Mark, very insightful. I have never seen a game where Tsaritsyn does not fall on turn 1. White is just too strong. Sartov is where Red has to Stand. Delay at Tsaritsyn, but hold at Saratov. I love the political aspect you have to play during the action rounds with the dual purpose cards that once played commit you. As Red the Army Training cards are no brainers as they bring in an Army with the card. For White, i play the first one for OP/RS the second as the event, When i recycle the first one I play it as the event. Don't let it disappear into the 1919 deck!

Bob
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Mark Herman
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viperxo wrote:
Mark, very insightful. I have never seen a game where Tsaritsyn does not fall on turn 1. White is just too strong. Sartov is where Red has to Stand. Delay at Tsaritsyn, but hold at Saratov. I love the political aspect you have to play during the action rounds with the dual purpose cards that once played commit you. As Red the Army Training cards are no brainers as they bring in an Army with the card. For White, i play the first one for OP/RS the second as the event, When i recycle the first one I play it as the event. Don't let it disappear into the 1919 deck!

Bob


I have seen Tsaritsyn go either way. Stalin can hold if things go your way. Try getting Green units into play.
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David Dockter
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Good discussion!
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