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Subject: Question on playing the "Historical Game" with Cheka and a couple of cards... rss

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Joel Eddy
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I'm trying to play the "Historical Game" that you can play by including the Expansion Kit along with the base game of Soviet Dawn. It's my preferred way to play Ottoman Sunset, and I was hoping this game would be the same. It seems like the "Historical Game" to me may be too hard in this game compared with that of Ottoman Sunset. I felt the "Historical Game" in Ottoman Sunset was more fun and actually winnable. It could be that I need to be more patient and learn the Soviet Dawn system a bit better...

However, I do have some questions regarding Cheka and a couple of cards that refer to "If the Dawn Cards have been shuffled in then do XYZ".

How should I treat these?

My thoughts on Cheka are as follows: "If I use it in the Historical Game, I should use it to just remove the effect of an entire card from the game, receiving my two free actions, and then NOT shuffle it back into the deck". Yes? No?

As far as the couple of cards that refer to "If the Dawn Cards have been shuffled in then do XYZ", I would just always treat the card as if the Dawn cards were "in play"... whenever playing the Historical Game scenario.

Anyone else have anything to contribute?

Thanks!
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David Kennedy
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Comrade, you are missing the central point of the design -- chaos. These are revolutionary times. Events are in flux and can't be predicted. You are trying to square a circle and then noticing it isn't a circle afterwards. To be a successful revolutionary, one needs to understand the scope of possibilities and then be ruthlessly opportunistic to seize the revolutionary moment when it presents itself. Revolutions can't be planned. Revolutions are launched. Your mission is to bend events so the revolution triumphs. What on earth do you think Cheka is for!?! Egads.

I suspect you are fussing excessively about matters theoretical; the dialectic and all that. And now you have the termacity to complain that you are unsuccessful!

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- the revolution needs men of steel, resolve and action. If you find yourself paralyzed by indecision (clearly that is the case here), no shame in a shot of vodka to stiffen your resolve. But, this hand-wringing is unacceptable. Lenin has entrusted you with great responsibilities. If you can't be counted on, Cheka will be knocking on your door.

Remember -- chaos, resolve, action.
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Joel Eddy
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Nice post. However, it doesn't help me with my question.

But..umm however! After playing a bit more after posting I started to realize that playing the Historical Game was foolish to begin with. The game was not really designed with that in mind to begin with, but like you say as more of a tactical game.
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David Kennedy
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eekamouse wrote:
... but like you say as more of a tactical game.

Absolutely not, comrade. That is what the reactionary, capitalist swine want you to think. (Don't think like a fascist.) Clearly, you have not reviewed the intel briefings put together by Cheka.

To lead a successful revolution, you need to understand the event decks and the dangers which each epoch poses. Early on the Finns and the Germans come on strong. During the Twilight epoch, it is Kolchak from the east (watch out if the Czechs join the fray!) and the Allies or the Germans, depending upon whether or not you accept or reject the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. This is a crucial decision, which your earlier post seems to completly overlook. Read this summation of the pros and cons for accepting or rejecting the treaty: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/561394/to-bukharin-or-no.... During the Dawn epoch, pressure from the east continues, with the Allies ratching up the pressure and the Poles becoming a major threat. Of course, never overlook Deniken in the south and when he will ride.

How will you use Cheka is another key decision to make. In conjunction with what to do with the Treaty, using the Cheka chit allows you to try and direct events in your favor. Do you use it early on to parry the Finns by containing the Finnish Civil War or suppress the rise of Mannerheim? Or do you prefer to keep the Czech's at bay? Of course, events are unpredictable. You may need Cheka to bail you out simply to keep the enemy out of the Kremlin or give you time to kill the Czar. Or if events have been kind, possibly Cheka can be deployed to deal with the perfidous Poles.

How will you manage the Political Track to deal with the Allies? Remember, drive it to Allies Indecisive and you shut down the Allies. Are you aware of when the respective fronts can be driven from the war? You need to look sharp and be ready. You can't wait until the event is revealed. You must plan ahead. Possibly, the opportunity will come too soon and Cheka will bail you out again.

So you need to learn the event decks. Take a look at these intel briefings:

1) Trends in the Event Deck => http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/55415/trends-in-the-ev...
2) Summary of the Event => http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/58928/summary-of-event...

If you think you're just flipping events and responding to enemy moves, yes, your head will get handed to you more times than not. But, if you know what is most likely coming, you can assess risk more clearly and allocate your precious action points more effectively. Then victory comes because you are a true revolutionary and you played the event cards just right.
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Joel Eddy
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Man. I hate to say it, but I think you totally missed the point of my original question. I totally agree with what you are saying in the last post though
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David Kennedy
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Memo to Troksky:

Reopen the file on Comrade Joel and put a security detail on him. He may becoming unreliable. Possibly, exhaustion. No matter, the Revolution needs men of steel. Check the files on his family and known associates. Let me know what you find. Need assessment as to whether he needs re-education or alternate motivators. I'll discuss with Lenin once you issue your report.
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David Kennedy
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eekamouse wrote:
I think you totally missed the point of my original question.

I think the designer's intent was to emphasize the character of the times (with which I concur). Thus, there is no immutable timeline/historic sequence to follow. Chaos is the watchword. This is not a bug, but a feature of game engine.

As the Marines say, "Embrace the suck." Enjoy.
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Joel Eddy
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HitchKennedy wrote:
eekamouse wrote:
I think you totally missed the point of my original question.

I think the designer's intent was to emphasize the character of the times (with which I concur). Thus, there is no immutable timeline/historic sequence to follow. Chaos is the watchword. As the Marines say, "Embrace the suck."


OK. I "think" we are on the same page. "Scrap playing the Historical Game and play the "random" game". Please tell me I'm right, lol.
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Darin Leviloff
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Joel, its an interesting question.

Firstly, philosophically, I will say that I do prefer playing my games randomly, even Ottoman Sunset. To me, that solves the whole gamer's conundrum that you know whats going to happen and, therefore, you won't make historical mistakes. Here, you know what's going to happen, but not when. Certainly, the chaotic approach works better from the theme of the Russian Civil War which was a "Triumph of Chaos".

However, I understand that the game may have additional educational value and simulation value in the historical order. So, if the Cheka is obtained, I think it would be a real disservice to throw away an event of significance because you happen to achieve this advance. It also might do real violence to the game- for instance, if you know the Poles will never come into play or advance two space in a great offensive because you've "buried" the card, then that might "break" the game in some sense.

I would play Cheka as it works. Shuffling will be difficult because you don't really want to shuffle, so I'd just bury it half way into the deck. Yes, this is ahistorical, but there's no other way to go about this unique situation (other than purposely placing an event out of order on the assumption that historically the Cheka delayed the event?).

Thanks, Joel. I enjoyed your OS review and I'll look for your SD review now.
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Joel Eddy
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Crassus wrote:
Joel, its an interesting question.

Firstly, philosophically, I will say that I do prefer playing my games randomly, even Ottoman Sunset. To me, that solves the whole gamer's conundrum that you know whats going to happen and, therefore, you won't make historical mistakes. Here, you know what's going to happen, but not when. Certainly, the chaotic approach works better from the theme of the Russian Civil War which was a "Triumph of Chaos".

However, I understand that the game may have additional educational value and simulation value in the historical order. So, if the Cheka is obtained, I think it would be a real disservice to throw away an event of significance because you happen to achieve this advance. It also might do real violence to the game- for instance, if you know the Poles will never come into play or advance two space in a great offensive because you've "buried" the card, then that might "break" the game in some sense.

I would play Cheka as it works. Shuffling will be difficult because you don't really want to shuffle, so I'd just bury it half way into the deck. Yes, this is ahistorical, but there's no other way to go about this unique situation (other than purposely placing an event out of order on the assumption that historically the Cheka delayed the event?).

Thanks, Joel. I enjoyed your OS review and I'll look for your SD review now.


Awesome. Thanks for your reply and your efforts with both games!
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