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USA and USSR readness

Iron Ranger

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Just a question, has anyone ever seen the USA enter even close to her historical date? In every game this country always enters early, even as early as the summer of 41 when the only abnormal DOW is Sweden. I've even seen the allies DOW on Iraq, Irland and the LC and she still enter's in the fall of 41. It seams the % readness for USA needs to be decreased by 10 and USSR's increased by 10.

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I just played an Allies vs AI game where the US entered on Aug 16, 1942, long after the USSR entered the war. Germany had attacked only Belgium and France. Finland had declared ware on Russia. Yugoslavia and the Axis minor countries were still neutral and Italy took Malta.

The Allies had conquered Ireland while the cowardly Italians declined an invitation by Egyptian rebels to move into an ungarrisoned Egypt. The German axis also decided not to risk sending a transport from France to Canada which had sent all of its troops to the UK, even through the entire UK fleet, of 4 ships, was off the coast of Norway.

[ April 17, 2003, 07:09 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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Seeing that the American's were isolated from European politics, and without a Pearl Harbor an Official DOW may have been ages off...I think more realisticly US forces shouldn't step foot on the old world until 1942 regardless how the war goes but their aid to the Allied Powers increases with each Axis victory... We need a 100 MPP convoy to UK at Fall of France, that increases 20 MPP for every Minor conquored. As she didn't want Nation Socialism anymore than anyone else. Then get rid of the bidding system altogether!

As well as any U-boat operating within US-UK convoy routes increasing the US Readiness by %4 per turn. Those are American's being killed on those ships! Historically you may say that's what brought the US over in WW1 and the second biggest factor for Public opinion in WW2

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I think both countries entry % should be lowered drastically.

The USSR, without the impetus of the German invasion, wouldn't have had a decent army till mid-1943. Even then, it would have had logistical problems that would have made an invasion of Europe very difficult. The idea of the Soviet Union launching a 1942 seems ridiculous to me and doing it in 1941 totally unrealistic. Starting it at 30% makes no sense.

The United States was overwhelmingly isolationist. If Britain were successfully invaded I could see the United States -- possibly -- becoming alarmed. In that sense I agree with the % jumping with the fall of London. Other than that, I'd say an American entry in late 1943 at the latest. I guess the historical U. S. setting is the best solution. Most SC games have the Axis conquering the Low Countries and France and giving the UK a hard time during 1941, so I'd say the Pacific can be regarded as a constant.

So I'd figure the setting should be USSR 0% and Random with the USA 0% set at Historical Entry. If we assume the Pearl Habor attack as a constant we have to figure Hitler's decision to declare war would also follow.

I've read many postings saying he expected Japan to reciprocate with an attack on Asiatic Russia, which is true. But equally influencing his decision was the urging of his Admirals. They wanted a free hand to use their U-boats against the U. S. Navy, which had been waging an undeclared Atlantic War through most of 1941.

[ April 18, 2003, 04:34 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Lowering Russian readiness would be realistic, but only if the Russian MPP bank account increased each turn to reflect the additional time they had to build up their army.

Thus the Germans would face a critical strategic decision - When to attack.

Another aspect to be considered is play balance, any serious delay in Russia or the US entering the war could doom the UK to defeat.

To prevent this imbalance and reflect the deployment of additional Russian troops I would;

Give Russia one free random (corps / army / armor / air / rocket) unit every 2 months after a specific date and 50% of the time remind the Axis player of this with a popup note that says: Intelligence agents report that the Soviets have mobilized an additional ( manpower / Corps/ Army /Armor division /Air fleet/ Rocket) unit.

The chance of obtaining each free unit should be about;

Corps 45%, Army 25%, Armor 15%, Air 10%, Rocket 5%

I would also allow the USSR to use its 3 research chits as of a specific date.


In summary:

Attacking Russia after XX/XX/XXXX (Historical?)give Russia

- Extra 20MPP per Turn in their Bank Account and/or

- Free Combat Unit Every 2nd Month (4 turns)

At Date xx/xx/xxxx (Historical?) Russia uses its three research chits and research is checked each turn while Russia is at peace. After Russia enters the war it may spend MPPs to upgrade existing units to any new research levels.


Thus while the German army delays attacking Russia, the Russian army is building up its forces. And if it delays too long Russia may make important technology breakthroughs.


Additionally I agree that Russian readiness would increase dramatically if Germany launches a Sea Lion, as Stalin would know that the Axis would be facing only a one front war if they could knock out the UK.


Also during the winter I would like to see the Russian Hexes turn white and action points of Axis units in Russia be reduced by 1 to reflect the effect of winter and the poor Russian roads.


[ April 18, 2003, 12:18 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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Playing against the AI at Intermediate or Expert level will affect the random entry chances for everyone unless you set them to historical. Even for human play at default settings, you still have some variation with random entry and may see earlier or later entry dates. Those declarations of war also have variable effects, so it's very difficult to pin down exactly what's going on. This is OK and keeps the game interesting.

Pearl Harbor purists can opt to keep US entry historical. Russia should be kept random so the Axis won't take it for granted. I'll agree that the Red Army was unprepared for war in 1941, but what if there were no officer purges in 1937 and reorganizations in 1939? A moderately capable Red Army against an unprepared Wehrmacht garrison force would have been a serious threat. Russia starts with no HQ's, so they can't do too much harm on the first turn anyway. It's up to the Axis player whether they continue to be a serious threat or not. ;)

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Edwin & Bill

Good points by both.

Regarding Edwin's observation on USSR capabilities; yes, I neglected to say that the USSR should have compensation for having a lower entry %, giving Germany more time to prepare for the attack. This was done in Bill's 1939 & 1940 MODs by assigning extra MPPs to both Italy and the USSR to enable them to fight off gamey attacks. When lowering the USSR to 0% I also assign 750 MPPs to them, enough to replace some casualties and buy several corps.

Regarding Bill's variant of there being no purges; a very interesting idea and well within the realm of historical possibility.

The main thing that bothers me about a Soviet preventive war is the supply problems they'd have encountered. In 1945 they moved West with thousands of donated American trucks linking them to supply bases. They had difficulty keeping their troops provisioned even under those conditions. Of course it has to be considered that they were still rebuilding their own railroad system, which needed to be converted back to their wider track guage, but I think their organizational problems ran deeper than that.

Anyway, Soviet prventive war isn't too devastating against a reasonably prepared Germany, I just think it ought to happen as late as possible. In the game any time after January 1942 is okay with me. I find setting it at 0% works out pretty well. On Expert the USSR usually preempts in the Spring of 42.

I'm not really a Pearl Harbor purist; I think it was perfectly feasable that Japan might have invaded Asiatic Rusia instead, or perhaps seized the Dutch East Indies without attacking America on the assumption (probably correct) that the USA wouldn't go to war over it.

In the game, the USA seems to always enter early. I've tried playing at random and 0% in many games and, as Iron Ranger and others point out, the US always enters in the Spring of 1941.

Now I set it at historical. This isn't assuming the US would voluntarily have declared war on the Axis, it wouldn't; it's assuming the Pacific historical timetable literally progressed on schedule -- the fall of imperialist powers prompting Japan to seek a Golden Opportunity with the War in the Pacific convincing Hitler that his U-boats would have to face the U. S. Navy's leftovers.

If we had our preferences as the Axis I doubt any of us would voluntarily declare war against the U. S., at least not till the USSR and UK were taken care of and Germany's proverbial Blue Water Fleet was roaming the Atlantic in 1945 or 1946.

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One quick point: Stalin gave a speech to Russian cadets in early 1941 in which he said that the Russian army had to recon with the possiblity of war with Germany in the near future.

He would do everything diplomatically possible to delay any potential war to the autumn of 1941, when the fall rains and winter weather would make it impossible for the Germans to attack. But they would have to recon on war with Germany in 1942 at the latest, and possibly Russia would have to attack first.

It's quoted in the "official" Russian (Soviet) history of the war, published in the 1980's. Most of the work was done after Khrushchev's XXth Congress speech, so I don't think they went out of their way to portray Stalin heroically.

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Good item, never knew about it.

Unfortunately Stalin used to give off mixed signals; to pick up on the wrong one meant death or a gulag.

While he was doing these things he was also sending people to Germany to learn their techniques, then either executing or imprisoning them later on the premise that they'd turned fascist!

A typical incident, he scared the hell out of Sergei Prokofieff by saying he liked a piece he'd written but it had too many flats . Prokofieff was afraid to change it and afraid to let it remain the way it was. He always suspected his friend, film maker Sergei Eisenstein, was killed by the KGB (the proverbial heart attack) after making his quota of patriotic war movies (Alexander Nevsky, Ivan the Terrible [two long films]) with Prokofieff writing the music. Both had travelled extensively abroad and knew Stalin considered them weak socialists, at best.

The only reason I say this, is once the war started the Soviet army was filled with very capable officers freed from imprisonment, and when it ended they were returned to Siberia.

A wartime film about Nicholai Lenin had an exile actor playing the starring role. He was behind a stockade again before anyone saw the movie.

[ April 22, 2003, 02:44 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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JJ: I'm a musician (a conductor, actually), and have many stories about both Prokoffiev and Shostakovich. Shostakovich has an interesting memoir titled "Testimony"--his account of the competition to write a new USSR national anthem is hysterically funny.

I will try to look up the words to Prokoffiev's "Ode to Stalin." You'll laugh yourself sick. It's one of the pieces P wrote to get (back) into Stalin's good graces. Periodically, he would get in trouble and would have to do some film music (Nevsky, Ivan, etc.) or some other schlock to buy his "get out of jail" card. Even though he hated his music for Nevsky, it's his best piece of this genre--the Battle on the Ice is very nice; John Williams "borrowed" quite a bit of it for the "Battle in the Forest" in Star Wars III.

HINT TO POWERS THAT BE: The synthesized movie music that starts the game could be replaced with some MP3's of Prokoffiev's score to Alexander Nevsky...

The "end of the war" tune is nice. But in neither case does the composer get credit. Who wrote the music?

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The opening game music drives me nuts. I enjoy listening to the web-radio and it always seems as though there's some great work running it's best passages while I'm loading a PBEM file. Suddenly the Grosse Fugue is being shoved aside by that inane martial music!

I heard that Shostakovitch piece on the radio (WQXR-NY) about twenty years ago -- it's full title is something like Comrade Stalin, Our Savior, Protector and Inspiration or some such suck-up drek. The whole time it was playing I was staring at the radio and when it was over I was still staring at the radio in disbelief. It's one of those pieces, like Beethoven's Wellington's Victory, that I'd like to get just to round out the collection, but somehow I can't bring myself to do it.

That must be a great profession. I love the way Hollywood portrays conductors as doing little more than arriving for a performance and waving their arms with glaring looks at the orchestra, no individual interpretation, no rehearsals, just some sort of improntu psychic control of 90 musicians all wanting to play their part their way!

I grew up watching Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, with his bizarre let's dance method. Before he became ill, he was great to watch, especially in pieces that had a little bounce. Give Bernstein a Bruckner Symphony and it was Fred Astaire with a baton!

Hope you fill us in on a lot of your musical experiences. Judging from all the Toscannini, von Karejan and Sir Thomas Beecham stories I've read, it would seem conductors have a pretty lively time.

I've always wondered what Prokofieff's music would have sounded like if, instead of returning to Russia he'd have written film scores in Hollywood. Same with Eisenstein, he might well have remained in the West. Hopefully they wouldn't have been stuck doing collaborations on things like Andy Hardy Wreck's His Dad's Car! -- presumably with Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland and Diana Durbin warbling in Russian. smile.gif

Glad you like Alexander Nevsky, The Battle on the Ice movement is incredible as is the woman's lament that follows it. I even enjoy the more or less corny passages that Prokofieff must have hated. He was an incredible composer, his violin and piano concertos alone would rank him among the greats. As for Shostakovitch, I think his brooding, grandiose and introspective Fifth Symphony might be the greatest single item to have come out of Stalinist Russia.

[ April 25, 2003, 05:18 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Wow. And he knows music, too! If there's ever an SC convention, JJ, we'll have to have a beer (or two...). Shostakovich 5 is a great piece; the seventh (he wrote the first two mvts in Leningrad during the siege), is my personal favorite to listen to--the 5th is more fun to play. You should know that the end of the 5th was intended to be played fast and "driven" though it's usually done triumphantly these days.

Shostakovich's intention was for the music to be a FORCED triumphal march as though someone (guess who he could have had in mind?) was driving people to act more heroically than they truly felt. It's a very anti-Stalinist piece, but Stalin & Co were such cultural/intellectual rubes that they didn't understand that at all. They thought it was a wonderful representation of the "triumphant Soviet man." And, I guess, in a sense they were right...

[ April 25, 2003, 10:31 AM: Message edited by: santabear ]

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