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Bill101

WWI Breakthrough! - 1918 Russian Civil War AAR

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First week of August 1919, has seen probably one of the last combat actions of the French Expeditionary Corps. Together with a White cavalry division, the troops in blue uniforms, chased and destroyed a Bolshevik Corps fleeing from Hulaipole. Their withdrawal may happen any moment, so the Ukrainians are slowly taking over front around Poltava. Thanks to the capture of Hulaipole, a rail line has been cut off and a Red armored train, is trapped now in the area. The 4th Crimean infantry division has received orders to dig in the newly captured town, just in case Mr Trotsky decides to counter attack. And if the Reds return there, they are certainly gonna get it!

11AUG19Ukraine.jpg

If it comes to our tanks, contrary to the Bolshevik propaganda, most of the loses occured due to mechanical breakdowns. Currently our machanics are working frantically in order to bring back to the service, as many of them as possible.

Ordeal of the Red Uralus Front continues in the east:

11AUGURALUS.jpg

Treacherous Latvian, gen Vacietis has been captured, along with all his HQ near Symbirsk. Right now, the whole, massive Bolshevik front is slowly desinterating, suffering form lack of coherent command and control and poor supply. Gen Kolchak ordered the pocket to be eliminated as soon as possible. So far, it looks like the biggest White victory to the date and a major setback for the Bolsheviks.

Kolchak.jpg

NOTE: historically gen Kolchak, was the first ( out of three, most famous White generals - Kolchak, Denikin and Yudenich ) to be defeated by the Bolsheviks. He was executed by his enemies on 7th of February 1920 in Irkutsk, in Siberia.

***

In the North, Allied troops have received an unexpected help from the local insurgents, who have cut off the rail line connecting Emptsa, with the main Bolshevik bases of supply:

11AUGNorth.jpg

There were also some skirmishes on the approaches to Tsaritsyn.

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Given the serious situation, we have taken the decisive step to increase the power of the Cheka to root out those whose commitment to the revolution is less than 100%.

The White tanks in the Ukraine come under attack once again from our Armored Train, and once again they suffer from so called “mechanical failures”. This shows just how much the White propaganda machine can be trusted to tell the truth.

Our forces in the Urals are going to have to attempt to get to the west. It won’t be easy, but the survivors will be stronger for their struggle.

Meanwhile, we have a new Armored Train deployed and ready for action. This war is not over yet!

armoredtrain.gif

And the French are packing up and going home!! :)

Oh yes, forgot to mention that our war economy is also cranking up production, so Denikin's days are numbered!

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The memorable summer of 1919 is coming to an end. This time, there was no major action on the southern fronts. In the Ukraine, the White forces have been regrouping and reinforcing, because the recent fighting cost them dearly. Some of the units have been reducted to half of their nominal strength. Will the exchausted Whites be able to find sufficient will power for the finall push, before the bad wheather inevitably puts an end to any serious offensive operations during the winter? Right now, gen Denikin and his HQ are debating hotly, what should the the next move of the Armed Forces of South Russia ( AFSR ). The good news is, that the wretched Reds have suffered much greater loses so far. It is obvious though, that their manpower reserves are much greater than ours...

If the fighting in the south has been inconclusive so far, there is no doubt that the Bolshevik Uralus Front, that has been pushed into a pocket around the city of Syzran, is suffering a horrible fate:

25AUG19Uralus.jpg

It's units are completelly cut of from any supply bases, so it won't be possible to rebuild them, based on their experienced cadres and veterans. Syzran was captured by the Uralus Cossack forces and another armored train fell into their hands:

25AUG19Uralustrain.png

While the Bolsheviks are still mainly focused on figthing Denikin in the south, the armies of gen.Kolchak are slowly emerging as the most successfull and best equipped of all three White factions...

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Yeah, great AAR. I printed out the whole thread and I'm preparing my own strategy basing on it. Bill, why did you attack Ukraine so early :)? Looks like it wasn't good idea ;).

PS

It's really great that the fight between you guys is so complex. You didn't forget about war propaganda in your AAR. More pictures of Trotsky, please.

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It's really great that the fight between you guys is so complex. You didn't forget about war propaganda in your AAR. More pictures of Trotsky, please.

Hi Ghost!

We have discussed this aspect of the conflict with Bill and came to a conclusion, that in reality the White propaganda was really poor and that was one of the reasons why they lost. So I'm well aware, that a decent propaganda and some nice agrarian reform to please the masses of russian peasants, are essential to our war war effort ;)

Here our troops conscripting some local patriots in the Rostov Oblast:

russianpeasants.jpg

Stay tuned for more!

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Yeah, great AAR. I printed out the whole thread and I'm preparing my own strategy basing on it. Bill, why did you attack Ukraine so early :)? Looks like it wasn't good idea ;).

We underestimated the traitors within our mist!! ;)

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The enemy are advancing from the Urals and dealing with this will require some drastic measures, but fortunately we already have a new Army forming to hold this front. No screenshots just yet as we don’t want to give away its strength and location, but it will be of better quality and under superior leadership than its predecessor.

The French have left the Ukraine and this is providing us with a good opportunity to strengthen our units and bring up some more reinforcements.

More good news is that the US is losing the will to remain, and the “Hands off Russia” campaign in Britain is starting to have an impact. Plus our first Cheka unit has deployed ready for action.

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As it turned out, the Whites decided to continue offensive actions through September and the Bolsheviks are hard pressed on few fronts like never before!

The action in Ukraine, focuses around the cut off armored train deatchment:

08SeptUkraine.jpg

Yet again the tanks and aeroplanes were used in great numbers. A Red corps has been destroyed and the armored train unit has been nearly completely encircled. The White forces are approaching dangerously close the HQ of Mr Trotsky in Kharkov!

Main forces of gen Denikin have assaulted the positions of a Bolshevik corps entrenched in the permiter of Tsaritsyn. The mass, frontal attack has been successfull here aswell:

08SeptTsaritsyn.jpg

In the area around Syzran, the remaining troops of Uralus Front are being subjected to a merciless annihilation. The images from the battlefield are too horrific to be shown in public...

BREAKING NEWS:

Finally there is some news from the Baltics front! Led by a British gen. Gough and spearheaded by the bad boys from Latvian Freikorps, the counter revolutionary forces have suddenly struck the city of Narva! It's worth mentioning, that there are also Finnins Volunteers on the way and an Estonian division, making the so called Baltic Corps ( or simply Task Force Gough ) a truly anti-Bolshevik international! A Bolshevik submarine has been discovered in the process. Professionals from Royal Navy did the rest and the sub rests now on the bottom of the sea...

08SeptBaltics.jpg

The raid of Baltic Corps came as a suprise to all sides. Right now it's hard to say if gen Gough acted on his own initiative or the move is a part of some bigger operation. It is well known fact, that the White gereral Nikolai Yudenich is also building his army in Latvia. No doubt, that eventually he'll become another serious threat to the Bolsheviks. There is only a question when...

russian_civil_war_1918-1920_general_nikolai_yudenich-744908.jpg

No doubt that gen. Yudenich is a handsome and robust man. Apparently the Bolsheviks are terrified of his splendid moustache...

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The time has come to adopt a different approach to the war, one which will enhance our mobility and striking power to deal with the many threats we face.

Trotsky has therefore decided to raise the 1st Horse Army at Moscow. This formation comprises four Cavalry units with a Headquarters staff under Budyonny, and if anything can change the direction this conflict is taking, it will be this.

HorseArmy.gif

The first tentative steps are taken by our new Army of the Urals to attack the White forces besieging us near Samara, and the White general Sakharov is wondering what happened to his bodyguard.

UralsSep19.gif

At Narva, reinforcements arrive to improve our defences for when the Freikorps next attack. We’d been wondering what the Whites were up to in this area, and now they are playing their hand. But don’t they realize that these Germans aren’t here for the good of the Russia they profess to love?

Remember those Whites Wolves that were the spearhead for the enemy’s offensive in the Ukraine? Well, they have met our new Armored Train, and they did not like what happened. Two new units, the 23rd and 32nd Army Corps have just arrived near Kharkov so the battle to save the city is on!

Kharkov.gif

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"Over the town roamed the homeless moon. I went along with her, warming up in my heart impracticable dreams and discordant songs."

Isaak Babel "Red Cavalry"

Bolshevik.png

***

The Reds have been boasting loudly about their new formation - the 1st Horse Army ( so called Konarmiya ), hoping that it may change the course of the war. It would be interesting to quote what gen. Denikin had to say on this subject:

-Konarmiya?! They are just bunch of thughs infected with syphilis [ true story ]!!! This so called army consists mainly of deserters and peasants who ran away from their masters - I expect them to run away, as soon as our Cossacks appear on the horizon!

***

Autumn has finally came at the end of September. It has been raining intensely through the vast spaces of our dear Mother Russia. Fortunatelly Ukraine is no Russia and the wheather there has been good. That allowed the White forces there, to continue their operations without any serious interruptions. As expected, the Reds have been sending reinforcements into the meat grinder near Kharkov, hoping to change the course of this brutal struggle. The Whites have adopted there a simmilar tactics, than the one that proved to be so successful in Tsaritsyn: they bypass the main defensive postitions of the Reds and instead of attacking them directly, they engage the Bolshevik reinforcements, that are rushed into the battle. Thanks to this, the Red front is being keept off balance and the new enemy corps, that has just arrived to the area has been destroyed:

22SEP19Ukraine.jpg

Note: the nasty armored train deatchment next to Hulaipole, has been completely encirceled, rather than assaulted directly. Without the supply, it's useless and as such, it can be slowly destroyed by some low cost unit. This is a good example how to implement the force economy principle in practice.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_force

The last two armies of the Uralus Front have been destroyed near Syzran. The Bolshevik debacle there has been enormous. In total, Red Army have lost there a HQ and five armies. Of course the term "armies" is misleading. In fact they were rather corps size units and none of them numbered more than 20 000 combat troops. Still, in terms of Russian Civil War, the Red loses are huge. An American reporter have met some of those unfortunate men wandering in the field. It seemed like they just wanted to go home:

Prisoners.jpg

Gen Kolchak was quite puzzled to see a new Bolshevik army striking his troops from the direction of Penza:

22SEP19.jpg

If this was some kind of relief attempt, then it came too little too late. Also, sending one corps and one division against six enemy corps supported with artillery, does not seem like a good idea... Ah well those Bolsheviks - it's probably the revolutionary zeal still affecting them...;)

In the north, the Baltic Corps is figting on the outskirts of Narva and a chaotic battle, where both sides are low on supply, continues around Emptsa...

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Lenin is busy trying to come to an agreement with representatives of the Czech Legion, who are offering us gold in return for safe passage to leave Russia. If successful, the gold will help stabilize our economy and fund the war. But even if the Czechs prove treacherous, we will fight on to victory regardless!

Here is the latest picture of our great comrade at work:

Lenin.gif

The Whites are celebrating a little prematurely as our defences remain intact in the Ukraine and elsewhere, and the siege of Tsaritsyn continues. Yes, some casualties have been suffered, but Russia is vast and our reserves are far from exhausted.

Budyonny’s Horse Army is on its way to the front, but where will it go? Stay tuned to find out!

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20TH OCTOBER 1919

ARMED FORCES OF SOUTH RUSSIA BULLETIN:

TSARITSYN HAS BEEN RETURNED TO MOTHER RUSSIA!!!

This is certainly a great news - after nearly a year of siege and innumerous loses on both sides, the Red Verdun has finally fallen!

20Oct19Tsaritsyn.jpg

There are still some Bolshevik units dug in the area of Volzskiy, but their HQ is under attack, so the mopping up operations shouldn't last for too long. The Red propaganda was constantly praying comrade Stalin as the defender and saviour of the city, but to our suprise, he's nowhere to be seen. Gen. Denikin issued a special order regarding Stalin:

"We must capture or kill him! Our agents tell us that within the Bolshevik party, this sneaky Georgian is considered very dangerous and one day he may try to overthrow Lenin"!

And this is how the liberation of Tsaritsyn has been immortalized by one of our artists:

Liberation.jpg

Some good news have reached us also from the far north. Our British and American allies, have finally managed to destroy a Bolshevik army besieged in Emptsa. It was a miserable battle, where both sides were low on supply - a truly "poor man's war"! It was also probably the last major action of the Brits in the north, as due to the political situation in their home country, they will need to withdraw soon.

20Oct19Emptsa.jpg

Elswhere the rains have slowed down operations of the White armies. The Rasputitsa ( mud season ) is finally here!

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It’s interesting to see how the Whites are claiming that Comrade Stalin hasn’t taken part in the defence of Tsaritsyn. Is there are a reason why they are trying to airbrush him out of the picture like this, perhaps in the vain hope that they won’t have to face him in battle?

Stalinnorth.gif

The Whites have also been crowing about their supposed successes in the north, yet it is our Red Army that has trapped a White force from Shenkursk that has been trying to cut our supply lines.

Tsaritsynpost.gif

The Red Army units under Trotsky's command are now taking up new positions near Kursk, while further east we are withdrawing ahead of the Ural Whites until we will be strong enough to face them again.

Kursk.gif

New Military Policy Announced!

The changing situation requires that we try something different, so the Central Committee have met and after some deliberation, are pleased to announce the launch of the New Military Policy.

The New Military Policy will involve sacrifices, but our military experts are confident that it can reap huge rewards and it will be the way to bring the Whites to their knees.

TrotskyNMP.gif

Trotsky, Architect of the New Military Policy

As a first step towards introducing the New Military Policy, our great Commissars are currently introducing an improved method of defensive warfare throughout the Red Army. Things will get much tougher for our opponents from now on.

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There has been a great deal of excitement in the headquarters of advancing White armies. The news of Bolshevik general retreat spread out quickly from the harsh peaks of Urals Mountains to the green steps of Ukraine! This fact proves more than words, that the Reds have been soundly defeated in the 1919 campaign – there could be no doubt about it!

From the other hand, Mr Trotsky’s general retreat order, is perfectly sound from the strategic point of view. It will definitely allow the Bolsheviks to strengthen their forces through the winter and prepare some decent defensive positions. They may be event tempted to strike back, as early as the spring of 1920! We are convinced, that the campaign of 1920, will be a tough one and the opposing armies will be even more numerous and better equipped than they are now. It’s interesting to see that despite heavy loses, the actual number of Bolshevik units in the field is on the rise. Before the introduction of 1st Horse Army, the total number of Red units fell to 38. Right now, despite suffering constant casualties, it is already 43 and is expected to increase further:

17nov1919UNITS.png

Those Bolsheviks are certainly a very hard nut to crack!

In the short term though, the industrial city of Khrakov is expected to fall shortly and the Reds will lose an important industrial centre along with it ( 20 MPP per turn ).

17NOV1919Ukraine.jpg

The Urals armies of gen. Kolchak are pressing west, hampered only by mud and bad weather and the Tsaritsyn pocket is expected to be reduced shortly. Mr Trotsky assessment of the fighting around the city is just an example, how twisted the Bolshevik propaganda can be! In fact, the forces led by gen Denikin, have besieged and defeated an enemy front, that was actually more numerous than the attacking White Caucasus Army Group! The total Red loses here, have been even greater, than the ones suffered in the Urals fighting. Soon the victorious Whites will be able to regroup and resume their attack somewhere else, spreading panic and terror among their fear stricken enemies!

Something that the Bolshevik propagandists are trying not to mention, is the fact that their treacherous negotiations with the Czech Legion have failed! Not only the Reds are not going to put their dirty hands on the gold of our beloved Tsar Nicolas, but the elements of Czech Legion have already deployed in Ekaterinburg!

Because the Czechs are a nation that loves beer and music, they have arrived even with their own field orchestra!

Czech_Troops.jpg

This crack unit is going to be incorporated into the advancing armies of gen Kolchak and will certainly contribute greatly to our final victory!

17NOV1919CzechLegion.png

***

BREAKING NEWS!!!

The elements of Baltic Corps have just broken through the Bolshevik front at Narva and their leading elements are already on the outskirts of Petrograd!!!

17NOV1919Petrograd.jpg

More information on those events are expected to follow soon!

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Petrograd is under threat, or at least that’s what the Whites would have you believe. But our forces there are stronger than they have been telling you, and the White units are very low on supply. Winter isn’t a good time for such an advance, and the city is safe!

Petrograd_zps2c797ed4.gif

As the image shows, this is clearly a foreign invasion, led by Finns and Estonians, with the British in command and the German Freikorps waiting their chance to plunder Russia’s great city. Where are the White Russians, and why do they invite foreigners to dominate and wreck the country they profess to love?

PetrogradRedGuard_zps7d85a27b.gif

Our efforts to force the British and Americans to withdraw from the war are gaining in strength, as the UK’s commitment has suddenly plummeted to 72%. The USA is even lower, at just 37%.

The enemy failed to take Kharkov last turn, showing that they are weaker than they claim, while we have huge forces massing ready for a great counterstroke. Is Denikin really ready to face Budyonny?

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Unexpectedly the last month of 1919 has been quite dramatic and the cradle of Bolshevik Revolution is in real trouble now! The Reds managed to mobilize frantically a whole new front for the defence of the city, but it's future still doesn't look too optimistic. The attack of Baltic Corps at Narva has been only a diversionary operation. Unbeknownst to the Bolshevik HQ, gen Yudenich and his evil moustache have been laying in wait in Pskov. Their objective was the city of Luga, that has been captured without a fight after a Red division left it, lured by the advance of Baltic Corps:

15DEC19Petrograd.jpg

This course of action is probably more than gen. Gough and Yudenich were hoping for. With the capture of Narva and Luga, the Whites have established firm supply bases, just in the vicinity of Petrograd. They will help them greatly to conduct the future operations! From the other hand, the supply situation of new Bolshevik front is expected to worsen dramatically. Thanks to the rapid advance of leadnig Baltic Corps units, all the rail lines leading to Petrograd have been cut off! Because the enemy forces in the city are very considerable, the best option will be probably to let the hunger and frost do the job before embarking on the direct assault on the city...

The troops and civilians in Petrograd await anxiously their future...

RedGuards.png

There was not much action going on other fronts. The Army Group South Ukraine has repositioned it's units before the final attack against Kharkov. We value the lives of our soldiers ( not to mention that the White manpower pool is limited ) and we would like to spare them excessive casualties, that would certainly occur during the frontal assault against the entrenched and well supplied enemy.

In the east, armies of gen Kolchak are slowly but surely advancing towards Penza and the last pockets of resistance left after the Tsaritsyn fighting are being wiped out. It has been a good year...

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So, the siege of Petrograd has begun!

It is now winter so the pace of combat has slowed. Kharkov remains in our hands, the Ural Whites aren't making much progress at the moment, and fighting continues at Tsaritsyn.

If 1919 was the year of the Whites, what will 1920 be?

WhiteRussia_zps31183d82.gif

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The year 1920 brings us hope and some new challenges aswell:

ADVICE1920.png

Currently our troops are nowhere near to Moscow, but they have besieged Petrograd. Due to that our Political Standing will be affected from now on - at least unless we advance closer to the Bolshevik capital or capture the cradle of revolution. This poses an interesting strategic dilema to the White High Command. Faster advance means bigger risks, exposure to the counter attacks and higher rate of loses. Unfortunately our economic potential and manpower are still limited and we should rather carefully manage those scare resources. Slower adavance means the drop of Political Standing, but it woudn't casue any harm to us in a long time. The PS of Southern Whites in 97% and the ones of Northern and Ural Whites are above 100%. The capture of Petrograd would resolve this problem once and for all, but besieging this enourmous city is one thing and assaulting it's fortifications is a completelly different story. All pros and cons need to be reconsidered but by now, a more systematic approach, that would drain the Bolshevik resources, seems to be more appealing to us. The balance of power is slowly shifting in our favour. According to the intelligence raports, after the loss of some industrial centers ( Tsaritsyn, Kharkov, Perm ) and due to the blockade of Petrograd, the total Bolshevik production, has fallen form it's peak of over 400MPP to less than 300MPP. If we manage to maintain in 1920 the 1919 level of attrition, the Reds finally won't be able to replace their loses suffered on the battlefields.

The representatives of adm. Kolchak and the Allied officers have met to discuss the common strategy for the upcoming year:

Alliedofficers.png

***

Some good news reached us from the south - despite the freezing weather conditions, the city of Kharkov has been captured and the last remnants of Red Army after the Tsaritsyn fighting have been eliminated.

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The White advance on Petrograd provides us with an excellent opportunity to achieve a decisive victory in the north.

Red Army units are already launching the counterattack, Polotsk will fall to our forces next turn, and our lead elements, led by an armored train, have entered Latvia. Watch out Yudenich, you may lose all in your foolhardy venture on Petrograd!

Latvia_zps9523d713.gif

As if to show that the true situation in Russia is not how our enemies would paint it, workers in Stavropol in the Caucasus have taken up arms and formed a Red Guard. They are as confident of ultimate victory as we are in the north.

The Central Committee is about to embark on a short holiday, so this will be the last Bolshevik turn until early next week. See you then!

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Denikin.jpg

Gen. Denikin looked at the incoming intelligence reports and wondered about the strategy for upcoming months. Overall the situation seems to be quite optimistic. It turns out, that the Reds took enormous loses in 1919 fighting, especially compared to the casualties suffered by the Whites:

22MarchDetailedLoses.png

Unfortunately due to the enormous manpower reserves and a big industrial capacity, the number of combat units fielded by the Bolsheviks has been relatively steady:

22March20Units.png

As mentioned earlier on, the good thing is that thanks to our recent territorial gains, the Bolshevik industrial production, has dropped significantly from it’s peak at the beginning of 1919. As it can be seen on the chart provided by our intelligence, the total Red industrial output has been reduced by about 25%:

22March20RedMPP.png

This is certainly a good indicator for the future and our goal in 1920 should be to inflict further, systematic attrition upon our enemies, while trying to avoid at the same time unnecessary loses on our side.

***

As to the most recent developments, it seems that the Reds are planning some relief operation in order to help besieged Petrograd, so it’s hard to predict if North-Western Whites will be able to maintain the siege of the city, while fighting the Bolhevik armies rushing from the south. Due to that, gen Gough and Yudenich have already made some adjustments to their front lines.

Other than that, the city of Belogrod has been liberated in the Ukraine and Penza has fallen to gen. Kolchak troops rushing from the east. The relative lull in fighting finally allowed our troops to rest, replenish the loses and improve combat tactics, that would help us to overcome the hated enemy. A decisive year is ahead of us!

The White troops march confidently towards the final victory:

22Mar1920Whitetroops.jpg

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While Bill has taken a short break ( he'll be back next week ), I'd like to encourage a discussion regarding the Russian Civil War campaign. What is your personal experience with it, what strategies would you recommend both for the Reds and for the Whites? Anything else?

We are waiting for your comments :)

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I like playing the reds and I generally go into a defensive mode except being active against the baltics until I have teched up and fully mobilized against the white factions. The reds have several fronts to contend with but if he does not play recklessly - his mpps, troops and tech will overwhelm the whites. I fight to the south just to extricate from the sevastopol area and may involve declaring early against the ukraine - fighting withdrawal from stavropol and eliminating the cav in elista. Hold at Tyaritsyn. I op out the art to the baltics as they are the easiest faction to overcome and gain mpps. Hold fast everywhere else. Have the eastern army group in orel ready to jump into the Ukraine to coincide with the extrication of the sevastopol group. What is good for the reds is that they have cohesion in techs and mpps not unlike the whites who are fragmented but strong initially.

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