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Russian Civil War 1918-1922 (second edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Refining the Model rss

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John Griffey
United States
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1. Game Calendar. Russia has long cold Winters and muddy Springs and Falls, and the game should account for this.

Turn 1: Summer 1918. (May 15-October 15)
Turn 2: Winter 1919. (October 16 - May 14)
Turn 3: Summer 1919. (May 15-October 15.)
Turn 4. Winter 1920. (October 16 - May 14)
Turn 5. Summer 1920. (May 15 - October 15)
Turn 6. Winter 1921. etc.

In Winter, Blue and Green units move 2. Red and White units move 3, and move 6 by Railroad.

The ICE MARCH event may be played only in Winter.

2. Archangel Railway. The railroad to Archangel runs through Vologda province, from Tver-Moscow. (The American embassy was evacuated to Vologda, on the Moscow-Archangel Railway, when life was deemed too dangerous in Petrograd after the murder of the German ambassador in 1918.) Archangel does not link by railroad to Murmansk. Use red post-it note paper to 1) paper-over the railroad linking Archangel and Murmansk, and 2) construct the Moscow-Vologda-Archangel railway. Name as "KAM" a new territory on the marshy Karelian peninsula. It borders Olonetz, Archangel, Finland, and Murmansk.

This map change makes sea movement in the White Sea between Murmansk and Archangel meaningful, if Sea Movement rules are being used. Archangel - Murmansk sea movement is not permitted in Winter turns.

3. Equal Starting Deal. Randomly deal out the twelve major leaders first, so that each player gets at least two of them. Next, continue dealing with the thirteen Politburo seats. Next, continue dealing with the 1-strength leaders and the two assassins. Finish dealing by using the Auxiliary Forces Randomizer, if that is necessary to give each player an equal number of pieces in the deal.

4. Lenin. Lenin was politically far more important than Trotsky. Whoever controls Lenin automatically controls two Politburo seats which cannot be purged away from Lenin. If Lenin is killed his Politburo seats go into the Randomizer. Trotsky, the former Menshevik, gets no automatic Politburo seats at the start. During a Purge, Lenin's Purge value (3) is doubled to 6 if he is in Petrograd. Trotsky's Purge value (3) is doubled to 6 if he is in Tver-Moscow. These extra Purge points reflect the two Leaders' importance as head of the government and head of the army, roles they could not play away from their capitals.

5. Stalin. A biographer of Stalin, Simon Sebag Montefiorre, makes a strong case that Stalin was Lenin's favorite, because they both esteemed brutality and ruthlessness. VARIANT: The player who controls Stalin automatically controls one Politburo seat. The Politburo seat goes back in the Randomizer if Stalin is killed.

6. Purges. All Politburo seats have a Purge strength of 2 on the initial Purge, and a Purge strength of 4 in counterpurges. It makes no sense that a politically powerful Politburo member at the capital has no more Purge strength than a low ranking leader out the countryside. Also, you need to win 2 purge points on the Purge Results Table to capture a Politburo seat. So, shouldn't the Politburo seats have a Purge strength of 2, the same as a 2-strength leader? Also, even doubled to strength 2, it's usually too difficult to counterpurge. Also, higher Purge strength for Politburo seats makes it more possible for a player with lots of Politburo seats but no Red leaders to pick up some Red leaders.

7. No Trading Session. Cancel Rules 16.33 & 16.34. Trading is contrary to the spirit of the game, which is at its best when at start all players can win either a Red or a White victory. In life, you play the hand you're dealt.

8. 2, 3 & 4 Player Game Chit Draws and Random Events Rolls . (This is to make the number of Random Events Table rolls, and the number of chits drawn per calendar turn more equal.) In 2 and 3 player games, each player rolls twice on the Random Events table in his Random Events Phase, and each player increases his chit draw by +1 in his Randomizer Phase. In four player games, each player rolls twice in Summer and once in Winter on the Random Events Table, and draws +2 chits in Summer and +1 in Winter in the Randomizer Phase.

9. Labor and Peasant Unrest. Agrarian uprisings continued until 1922, by which time famine had so weakened the peasantry they could not further resist the Bolsheviks. The Kronstadt Mutiny was March 1921, also quite late in game turns. VARIANT: Black "Anarchist" units are replaceable on turns 1 through 7.

10. Green Nationalists had the support of great powers such as Britain, France, and Japan. Green units may be replaced even after turn 5.

11. Before the Armistice. The one million Central Powers occupation troops in Russia after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk were too numerous and well equipped to be effectively attacked, either by conventional means, Terror, or by Subversive Attack. I've never liked the way the game lets the Reds make "Subversive attacks" which wipe out the CP units before the Armistice Chit is drawn, making the Armistice Chit pointless in most games.

VARIANT: The CP unit in Kutais deploys in Estonia. CP units cannot be attacked by any means, including Subversion and Terror. Upon Armistice all CP units are removed. The Kerch Strait may not be crossed in either direction.

No movement or combat in permitted on or west of the CP controlled line running from Finland & Estonia to Yekaterinoslav. Purges and Assassinations of the Red leaders which begin in Belorussia are permitted.

White and Blue (non-CP) Allied units listed to set-up or to appear as reinforcements in this region instead appear upon Armistice.

Place "Option 2" chit in the at Start Randomizer cup as a second Armistice event chit, doubling the likelihood of the Armistice. (N.b., there are 51 chits in the Start Randomizer.) When either Armistice chit is pulled, the other Armistice chit becomes "No Event," and the drawing Player removes it from play and draws again.

12. Allied Determination. The Allies were determined to get Russia back in the war. After the Armistice, they quickly lost enthusiasm for intervening in Russia. They still had an interest, as the Bolsheviks had canceled their international debts, were threatening to meddle in the peace settlements with Hungary, were threatening to invade Poland, and were generally showing a bad attitude toward the West. Before Armistice, Blue units have double defense against Subversive, Terror, and Conventional Attacks. The "International Armies In" chit goes into the Randomizer at start. If it is drawn after the Armistice it produces only one 6-strength combat unit, not three of them, and the controller of the INT force is still eligible for a Red victory.

13. Cheka. The Cheka were the dreaded enforcers of Bolshevik will. They broke strikes, arrested and assassinated enemies, starved disobedient peasants, and organized blocking battalions which fired on retreating Red Army soldiers, Even the Red Army feared the Cheka. Construct four Cheka counters. Cheka counters are red with a black outline (symbolic of their black leather jackets), and bear the Cheka's hammer & sickle on star, on sword, on shield logo

A, Intrinsic Defense Strength. Cheka defend with a strength of 1, but cannot attack normally. Exception: the Moscow Cheka defends with a strength of 2, representing Dzherzinsky. The "1" or "2" is parenthesized to remind players it is defensive, only, and is only used when there is no Red combat unit stacked with the Cheka. Cheka have the following special properties.

B. Appearance in Game. Two Cheka units are passed out in the initial deal of leaders and Politburo markers, and the 2 assassins. One goes to Petrograd, the other to Moscow. The two other Cheka units are drawn from the Auxiliary Forces Randomizer and may be placed at any Red controlled Critical City.

C. Control. Like leaders, Cheka units are controlled by individual players until they are either destroyed or purged away. A Cheka stacked with combat units in the absence of a leader establishes a player's control of those combat units, but the player still needs a leader to move a combat unit or make a normal attack with it.

D. Purges. Cheka units can be stripped from another player using the Purge procedure, in the same manner as a 1-strength leader can be purged.

B. Anarchists cannot be placed in a province with a Cheka unit. (Exception: the Kronstadt Mutineers may be placed in Petrograd even if a Cheka unit(s) is there.
C. As with Armored Trains, Cheka units stack free and can move only by Railroad.
D. A single Cheka piece per Red stack can double the combat strength of one combat unit. The doubling of the combat unit occurs in defense, offense, and when making Subversive attacks.
E. Cheka units allow a stack to make Subversive on black Anarchist units, and on White combat units which lack a leader.
F. Cheka units are not subject to Epidemics (they got the best of everything).
G. In the result of an exchange combat result, Cheka units are always the last unit removed.
H. Cheka units can move on their own, even without a leader.
I. If you control the only Cheka unit in a province, you may add one or subtract one from any assassination attempt in the province.
J. Cheka if destroyed are permanently removed. They count as 1 or 2 White Victory Points, depending on their value. .

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