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Diplomaticcorp Discussion Forum:  dc319

(1936 Playtest)


Post:< 17863 >
Subject:< 1936 v1.4 >
Topic:< dc319 >
Category:< Active Games >
Author:charlesf
Posted:Sep 19, 2010 at 9:08 am
Viewed:355 times

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Karsten,



thanks for your input. As you shall see, I once thought not so
unlike you...



having
the chance to lead USSR to it's doom in the current game, I
thought I add my 2 cents considering the balance in the east:




I found it rather hard to find a position for my soviet armies in
the very early game, that did not leave another front totally
vulnerable (well, the two times I was daring enough to do it both
were followed by my neighbors jumping exactly on me exactly
there... but that could have to do with the diplomatic situation
as well).


Nigel managed to gain three SCs in his first year. All in different
regions: Up north Finland, further south Latvia and in the Near-East
Iran. Nor did he lose any of his home SCs while making those gains.
It can be done.



But is the USSR quite vulnerable at game-start? Yes. That's how I
want it to be. I want players to feel the same kind of paranoia as
Uncle Joe felt about a possible anti-Soviet capitalist crusade. The
communists hadn't yet forgotten that the great powers had intervened
on the Whites' side during the Russian Civil War...



In game-terms, this is the price the Soviet Union pays for enjoying
a board-edge position. Uncle Joe doesn't have to maintain a 360
degress defence as most other powers have to. That has long-term
advantages.




Heading south, you forfeit your options in Scandinavia and with
some bad luck, you lose the Baltic states and have Britain
knocking on your door with two tempi and neutral support in
Leningrad. Heading completely north, you forfeit Iraq and Iran,
having Turkey eying Stalingrad directly, able to support
themselves in easily. Sending one unit south, one north and on
west makes you completely depending on DP and other player's help
(where I managed to get screwed, say... three times?).





The USSR will have to decide where it wants to focus its energies.
There are basically five general directions towards which one can
make a play during the first year:



1. Scandinavia (Finland/Sweden)

2. Latvia

3. Rumania/Cracow

4. Near-East (Iran/Ankara)



Obviously the USSR cannot make a play for all of those. The question
then is whether it goes for two or three out of these four.



As for "Turkey eying Stalingrad directly", here's one idea how you
might neutralise that threat:



Offer France favours by Republican Spain (e.g. support into Madrid)
in exchange for her arranging a bounce with Turkey over Alexandretta
(or for her simply moving there). That'd tie down A Ankara very
nicely.



Incidentally on of the was how the Republicans can be used to
further Soviet interests...



There
are two major weak points that can be very easily addressed inmho:




1.) NRG borders LEN. This does give the British player a major
advantage in taking Scanfinavia, as he will almost for sure have a
fleet sitting in NRG, which is in fact necessary to take Norway


Britain could take Norway via NTH, provided it gets minor power
support.



In any case, Britain need not gun for Norway in the first year.
London might decide to make more of a play for any of
Den/Net/Bel/Bre instead.



Perhaps the USSR could get the Brits to not enter NRG in return for
Uncle Joe doing Britain a favour in Spain or the Near-East.
Considering how Britain is bound to fear Turkish expansion into the
Near-East and have a considerable interest in having Spanish affairs
working out in a way amenable to Britain, I dare say Moscow has got
a number of diplomatic cards to play.



-
but does put constant pressure on LEN. a USSR fleet build LEN(nc)
in case you have an early gain is not only the most direct
declaration of war to britain, but cannot be used for anything
else than northern Scandinavia, while Soviet armies are
desperately needed everywhere on the map. Removing Len(nc) is not
an option, but reacing it via ARO and Finland (not to forget it's
baltic borders) should suffice to balance the region. Thus, I
would relocate NRG to not border LEN.





We'll have to agree to disagree there. I love that the Western-most
and Eastern-most powers are quite close to another in the Far North.
As they might ultimately be in the Near-East.



Gives you added diplomatic complexity and does justice to the high
Anglo-Soviet tensions during the interwar period.



2.)
The second,? I even think grave problem is the "claim" the map
gives Poland on the Baltic states, which makes it difficult to dip
about their fate.


Poland's in a pole-position regarding these two SCs. Much as say
Germany is when it comes to Denmark and the Netherlands. To expect
say an equal division of those two SCs, is to expect quite much.
That's like say Britain expecting to get Belgium in Standard. It
ain't the norm.



They
are polish home SC right now, and that will always make Poland
want them badly. It does in the end give you more flexibility to
build. Yet as three of them is much too much - it does neither
reflect Poland's situation in the era, nor does it by any means
reflect the importance of the SC that are flagged "build SC" in
the Baltic.


Poland's diplomatic position is not set in stone in this game.
Historically Poland horribly bungled its interwar diplomacy, if you
ask me. The "Jagiellonian dream" of establishing a Polish-led
power-block on territory once belonging to the Polish-Lithuanian
Commonwealth wasn't a pipedream. In light of the precarious
independence many states gained on account of German and Russian
defeat, whilst those countries were bound to reemerge from a period
weakness, I think there indeed existed a quite compelling
pull-factor for these states to form a confederation led by the
region's most powerful state: Poland.



Of course, Poland made a royal mess of it by picking fights with
almost all her neighbours. That's what thwarted the Intermarum
project. I chose to not burden my Polish player with the same
unenlightened greed that kept such alliances and confederations
largely merely on the drawing-board.



Yet
simply removing one or two pink circles does not do the job for
me, as any expansion of both USSR and Poland will still result in
a clash there with units, that cannot be send elsewhere easily. So
what I would do redrawing the map is:




- Remove SC LAT completely. It didn't have that much importance
historically,




Riga's been a key city for centuries. Had Peter the Great taken
Riga, he'd have made that his capital, I understand. Saint
Petersburg was a poor substitute.



? and
for the sake of the game's balance in the region this serves as
well.



If one subscribes to the thesis that the balance is off in the first
place.



-
Create an SC EUK, not being a build SC for anyone.


- redraw WUK and STA so EUK does no longer touch Moscow.


- optional: redraw STA to not have an (wc) and make EUK a build SC
(home of the Black Sea fleet)





You might be interested to see how this part of the map looked like
in the variant's very first draft back in 2004. Sounds like it was a
mirror-image of what you propose (save for Latvia, that is):







As you can tell by the variant having evolved further, I didn't
particularly like this arrangement. I've long-since paired down both
the USSR and Germany to 3-SC powers. Works IMO much better and as I
read more about the times, the more comfortable I felt with me doing
so.



And
thus [a Sevastopol SC] serves to have another reason for Turkey
and USSR to fight over, as an IRAQ/IRAN agreement now can be done
too easily imho.


Easily done? I think the whole issue is very tricky for both Turkey
and the USSR.



Indeed, one reason why I scaled the USSR down to three SCs is that I
didn't like the then overly antagonistic Soviet-Turkish relations. I
wanted the Black Sea to be initially quiescent rather than a
battleground for F Sevastopol and F Ankara (the shift of the Turkish
fleet to Izmir is also one reason why I prefered a 3-SC Russia. Much
better there!).



As a
plus, it gives a strategic very important region the role it
deserves - just think of the battles of Sevastopol and Kharkov,
both EUk.





It's already pretty important a space. But if you look at the map,
you'll see that only the three major German objectives in the USSR
(Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad) have SC status. I happen to like
that.



Good discussion.



Cheers,



Charles

This message is in reply to post 17847:

Hi guys,



I've now decided to run with the various changes I discussed in my
past mail and implemented those on the below v1.4 map. Here a
summary of the changes:



- Both Algiers and Suez are no longer marked with a red
circle as they're now regular HSCs.



- The Tyrrhenian Sea has been divided into Northern and Southern
Tyrrhenian Sea spaces.



- Tuscany makes a comeback.



- The Adriatic now adjoins Greece.



- I've removed the Abruzzi buffer province that was geared to
facilitate an amphibious landing in Italy. Given the redrawn
Adriatic adds to Italy's defense worries in the East, I felt I
might help out Italy be removing that landing-site.



- I also cut out the now fairly redundant-seeming Ligurian Sea
space. As the SC-space ratio is already pretty high at 1:2.56, I
felt it wise to not further increase the number of overall spaces.
Standard has a ratio of 1:2.2. Plainly 1936 is a whole lot more
fluid variant, though some of 1936's spaces (e.g. Iceland, Kuweit,
Caspian) are only of very marginal use. So the "effective" ratio
is arguably somewhat lower.


All-in-all, I'd say that Franco-Italian tension is increased in
Africa (owing to the threat potential of the Algiers HSC), while
round Piedmont it has been reduced by a fair amount. To the East,
Turkish-Italian rivalry over Greece has been intensified.



I'd be interested to hear your take on these recalibration measures
in the wake of Algiers and Suez being promoted to HSC status.



Charles

There are 7 Messages in this Thread:


1936 v1.4 (charlesf) Sep 17, 12:06 pm

1936 v1.4 (dknemeyer) Sep 18, 10:58 am

1936 v1.4 (buyz2men) Oct 01, 03:41 am

1936 v1.4 (charlesf) Sep 18, 02:27 pm

1936 v1.4 (Nigs) Sep 18, 04:18 pm

1936 v1.4 (Nitsch) Sep 19, 06:39 am

1936 v1.4 (charlesf) Sep 19, 09:08 am

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