Fatal Years AAR 1.03
Starting again with the newest version of FY, installed over RUS v1.03a. Playing as the Reds.
My strategic approach remains unchanged. I intend to focus on the Siberians first, building fortifications along my southern flank to hold off the Southerners. I aim to capture the Volga cities and the Urals, then turn against the Southerners. I will not attack any neutrals who don’t attack me, though I intend to use the option to seek Finnish intervention if it is available to me (the rules seem unclear on this point). I will take a more aggressive approach to the northern region, seeking to capture Archangelsk much more quickly if the foreign intervention level falls. I want to make a special effort to hold on to Perm or at least Viatka as long as possible to keep the Siberians from taking advantage of their connection with the western powers. I intend to use the regional decisions as much as I am allowed and I am leery of using the ‘NEP’ event, though I reserve judgment for the future. With a decent garrison force, I should be able to deal with any green meanies that appear.
Early June, 1918: I build conscript regiments in the cities about to be infested with Left SR rebels. I put all my garrisons across the country on hold at all costs. The South Ural Partisan Army departs on its hegira, this time up the eastern slopes of the Urals aiming to bypass Chelyabinsk to the east and slip into Yekaterinburg (or Perm if E-burg has fallen already). I get a nasty surprise early as I see that many of my troops are at low organization levels and some of my ships need repairs starting out. I get a further nasty surprise when I find out that I am not able to take any regional decisions at all. I foresee a very short career for the revolution at this rate. I put all my garrisons on hold at all costs, put the southern forces on “retreat if engaged”, buy a few replacement points, and hope for the best.
Late June, 1918: Red morale 107, Southerners 100, Siberians 103. Allied involvement 8. Resources 3 EPs, 31$, 72 companies, 12 WS. Siberians take Irkutsk, fail to take Irbit. The Southerners push the Army of the North Caucasus back with some losses – I thought I had them on retreat but for some reason it was ‘conservative’ instead. Ah, well. Trotsky heads for Kazan, Tukachevsky to Yekaterinburg, Frunze to Tambov, Kamenev to Vologda, heading for Viatka in the end if he can make it. I raise some more replacements to fill up the 768 damage I start out with and start a full slate of regional decisions. I’m targeting the provinces I’m going to lose soon, figuring that some of them will be cancelled before they can come to fruition and then I will have a good continuous flow of recruits and money. I intend to use the regional decisions as much as I am allowed. I also start three Cheka missions, since they appear to be allowed from the start, looking to keep the loyalties above 60 in Sovdepia.
Early July, 1918: Red morale 99, Siberians 101, Southerners 100. Allied involvement 8. Resources 7 EPs, 2$, 83 companies, 12 WS. Siberians capture Chita, Viatka, Blagoveshchensk, fail to take Krasnoyarsk. Southerners fail to take Kizlyar. It looks like you pay for your missions up front now, this is new, I think. Thus, starting regional missions in those places I might soon lose turns out to have been a bad decision. Live and learn. Muraviev will probe towards Syzran this turn, while Makhin moves on Penza. Stalin has successfully covered the retreat of the southern forces into Tzaritsyn. It looks like the Whites are converging on the city as fast as they can, not even bothering to pick up the southern towns first. Sorokin, his new corps commander, will launch a spoiling attack against the white forces to the west of the city at Kalach-on-Don, while Voroshilov digs into the city. Meanwhile, Kirov with the Astrakhan force will sail down to Derbent and see if he can’t make some trouble in the Caucasus. Especially if the Southerners are not going to clean up their rear area, we can make things very difficult for them down there.
Late July, 1918. Red morale 99, Siberians 99, Southerners 99. Allied involvement 8. Resources 13 EPs, 21$, 123 companies, 24 WS. Kamenev cleaned up all the Left SR rebels except for the ones in Moscow, whom he somehow overlooked because of his quick departure. Instead, they hammered poor Bela Kun and his Hungarians, while the Moscow garrison sat around and did nothing. Our heroic Red Guards are still holding out in Krasnoyarsk. The garrison in Rybinsk surrendered to the Greens, of all things, costing me a valuable NM point. I must have forgotten to put them on ‘hold at all costs’. Meanwhile, the Siberians have taken Verkhneudinsk. The southerners retreated before us in Kalach-on-Don. Muraviev takes Syzran from a small Czech garrison while Makhin takes Penza with no resistance at all. Blucher has worked his way up around Chelyabinsk to Shadrinsk and next turn will be in Yekaterinburg. Zinoviev arrives in Tashkent, but I don’t know what he’s going to do down there. I hesitate to send one of my few good generals down there, as I think the region is just too full of rebels to really be productive. I just hope to hold on to the capitals for a few more turns so I can get my recruitments done. He will move down to Samarkand. Muraviev goes on conservative defense while the navy tries to keep the whites on the left bank of the Volga. The Cecek division remains on our side, between Syzran and Saratov, as does one Komuch brigade. I send Makhin to take Kuznetsk and open lines of communication between my two armies in the center. I hope I get some points soon as I need to garrision a whole bunch of towns and create some Green-stomping forces. I recruit a new general and buy a few more points of replacements, including one for poor Bela Kun.
Early August, 1918. Red morale 98, Siberians 98, Southerners 99. Allied involvement 8. Resources 18 EPs, 10$, 123 companies, 36 WS. Lot of fighting this turn: Makhin captures Kuznetsk, Kirov fails to take Petrovsk-Port, and the Chechen Division is now besieging Derbent, the Don fleet sinks a couple of White gunboats on the river section closest to Tzaritsyn, Kamenev and the Latvians clean up the Moscow uprising (at last), Semenov takes Khabarovsk, Zinoviev protects Samarkand from a Green column, and Muraviev successfully defends Syzran. Makhin will run down the rail line from Tambov to keep it clear of whites so supplies will continue to flow to Tzaritsyn. Stalin and Voroshilov dig in against an obviously impending offensive by the Volunteer Army. Blucher will go up the rail line from Perm towards Viatka, on conservative stance, hoping to sweep aside any small white forces he finds. The Iron Division moves down from Simbirsk to Syzran to bolster the defenses there. Vastetis gets his promotion to two-star this turn. I also choose the Military Reform option this turn.
Late August 1918, Red morale 90, Siberians 98, Southerners 102. Allied involvement 8. Resources 11 EPs, 484$, 442 companies, 177 WS. Missions 2 cheka, 5 requisition, 4 recruiting. Southerners take Ekaterinodar, Siberians take Syzran, Zinoviev holds Samarkand against the White tribal forces. Blucher captures an undefended Viatka, I can now see the Siberian forces a couple of regions over. Hopefully, we can starve them out now. Kirov slinks over to Grozny to lick his wounds, and towards the end of the turn the Chechen Division shows up and launches a half-hearted attack, which he sees off. Pretty much a stalemate in both of the southern theaters – Caucasus and Turkestan – right now. I play defensively this turn, pulling back to Simbirsk in the north, sending Vatsetis to clean up my rear areas, and building lots of replacements and garrisons for my many ungarrisoned towns.
Early September, 1918. Red morale 87, Siberians 95, Southerners 107. Allied involvement 8. Resources 15 EPs, 28$, 116 companies, 12 WS. No missions. Kizylar and Krasnoyarsk hold out against White attacks, Krasnov takes Novorossiysk and a column takes Maikop, completing the Southern conquest of their core area. Zinoviev sees off another set of white tribals in Samarkand. The Czechs push into the Yekaterinburg region but do not take the town. Tukachevsky retreats to the north, Berzin is still in the region. I put Berzin on conservative defense and move Tukachevsky back to the Yekaterinburg-Perm rail line in line with my delaying defense in the region. My gunboats appear to have free rein on the Volga. The White navies have so far been completely passive, something that I would never do as a White player. Muraviev is immobilized in Simbirsk, a victim of “infighting” no doubt.
Late September, 1918. Red morale 86, Siberians 95, Southerners 104. Allied intervention 9, the Whites must have done something. Resources 19 EP, 17$, 211 companies, 21 WS. Missions 1 recruiting. Small Cossack column attacks Balashov, driven off with about 3000 losses, no NM change. And a significant Czech assault on Simbirsk also driven off with heavy losses, about 4500 this time, still no NM gain. The Whites take Yekaterinburg and blast my forces there, who can’t even seem to get away, but still no NM change. My remaining Yekaterinburg forces will retreat to Perm and see if we can hold out there. Blucher is still facing off against a large White force near Vyatka. Chapaev and Bronch-Bruevich will try to retake Syzran as the Whites appear to have left it empty. If we can take it, we will have cut off two Czech divisions on the western bank of the Volga. As long as it doesn’t freeze and send my boats back home, I can keep them from getting supplies. Stalin is active this turn, he will launch a conservative push out of Tzaritsyn south one region along the rail line to take out an apparently small White force down there. Kamenev and the Latvians are pressing east along the Moscow-Kazan rail line cleaning up pockets of Greens. Bela Kun attacks Rybinsk, then he will make his way east along the Vologda-Vyatka rail line. Here’s a picture of the situation on the Volga Front:
So far, I think I have made reasonable progress. My NM is miserable compared to the two white factions. However, I think I have held important territory and built a reasonably large army. I’m on turn 4 of the military reform implementation time, hopefully if the event works as described, about the time the fall rains end and campaigning can take off in earnest for the winter, my units will enjoy a higher cohesion than Red units usually have in vanilla. Since cohesion loss is the big problem the Reds usually face, I think this will have a significant effect.
"There is no substitute for victory"
Depends on how you define victory.