"PEACE, LAND, AND BREAD

-
NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER"
Playing the Bolsheviks in REDS!
BY ANANDA GUPTA
So you are charged with leading Lenin's screened by the Kappel division. They may
revolutionary forces and eradicating the last also try to place the Red 3'd Army in Perm
remnants of tsarist support in Mother (3105) OOS, hoping for a logistics draw
Russia. Sounds like a snap, right? Look at before you can get it back in supply. You
those Red armies: four manpower points have a good shot at getting the gold back
each, good die roll modifiers, and lots of using the 2'd and 5th armies (provided the
them to boot. You also have a central 2'd has not caught an inconvenient case of
position, lots of rail lines to shuttle troops Typhus — curse those tsarist germs!).
around, and the services of Leon Trotsky, However, you must remember that there is
whose magical Red wand will put backbone no hurry; you will get that chance regardless
into the most demoralized army. Your of what happens. The fate of the 3'd in
enemy, on the other hand, has many small, Perm is chancier, but it is generally
irreplaceable, and defensively weak units worthwhile to strike in the South before the
(you can count the number of White units AFSR can extricate itself.
with a defensive drm better than +1 on one
hand). Better yet, he has to risk these units In the South, you have a good chance to
against your numerically superior forces or hand the AFSR a solid blow. Use Field
else the craven Western powers will Staff or the South chit for this activation,
withdraw their support and leave the meaning that you will probably get to
counterrevolution to wither on the vine. activate South Front before the AFSR
moves. If this happens, you should
extricate your two unsupplied armies in
Strategic Notes are going for the historical win, any leader Piatogorsk (3224) and Grozny (3523), and
is a good leader, regardless of where he attack the Don Cossacks hard in their krug.
But it won't be that easy. You have another goes. Who cares if it takes six turns to
The 11d Army can move to exert a ZOC
'

enemy, just as dangerous as the person march to the Caspian if you are getting to south of Novocherkassk (2921, the Don
sitting across the table - that enemy is the activate Central Asia every turn without
Cossack home krug), and the 9th and 10"
clock. Twenty-four turns to take every city sacrificing your South, East, and West
armies can come down from their starting
in Russia sounds like more than enough activations?
locations to provide a good 2-1 attack on
time, but keep in mind that unless you
the Don Cossacks. Since they can't retreat
receive plenty of Red Leaders from the On the other hand, if your dice seem not to
into the German occupied area, the
random events table, only about two-thirds want to add to 10 or higher, then you
Cossacks will have to retreat through the
of your forces will activate every turn. The should strongly consider the "export"
11` 's ZOC, and take an additional loss.
"

trek from Tashkent (5412) to Krasnovodsk victory by conquering Poland and taking all
Make sure to leave a garrison in Tsaritsyn
(4423) is 18 hexes — that's six turns of resource cities. That can be accomplished
(3119), or a turn 2 partisan or cavalry raid
marching, assuming you don't have to fight with three activations a turn for almost the
could ruin your day.
any battles on the way (and Marx forbid whole game, since two of the fronts
that you should lose a battle and have to (Central Asia and North) have no resources
at all, and one (East) has resources that are You should still consider this attack even if
pause to rally!). Better, if you can, to grab
extremely difficult for the White player to logistics comes up first (the 9th might rally,
all the resources and export the Revolution
take back once you have gotten hold of after all) and your two OOS armies are
through Poland. But which of these
them (particularly if you use your Red reduced. The 11'"'s main contribution is its
victories should you attempt?
Terrors on them). manpower, dice multiplier, and ZOC, not
its combat modifier. Once you have
That question brings into focus one of the
occupied Novocherkassk, the Don Cossacks
central facts about the game of REDS!; as Opening Moves will not be rebuildable from the deadpile, so
befits a war characterized by chaos, hope,
they are as good as permanently eliminated.
and dramatic swings of fortune, the random The two major White factions are the Since the Don Cossacks' krugis furthest
events table can direct player strategy Armed Forces of Southern Russia (AFSR) forward, eliminating them early is especially
substantially. Specifically, Red Leaders have and the Siberian Whites. They start out helpful — of all the Cossacks, they can get
the most long-term effect. Far more than weak, but gain considerable strength on the closest to Moscow.
their ability to allow higher stacking in one turn B, when the Germans leave. There-
or two hexes, Red Leaders provide "free" fore, the more you can batter them early on, Aside from these specifics, a few general
activations (meaning you don't have to the better. Most White players will try to principles apply in the opening game:
spend one of your discretionary activations seize the People's Gold with their initiative
on fronts with leaders). Therefore, if you activation, using an assault on Kazan (2910) 1. If the White player takes risks, make him

you're in excellent even when their capitalist masters are shape. one of the major White factions has one AIF Offensive event for Petrozavodsk resource.2. Complete the rail line to Tashkent (5412). Bring down the axe. It is It is very hard to deny Ekaterinoslav by very difficult for the Whites to take Turn C. your goal units from 'id' combat results by stacking concentric attacks yourself. then unless you have seriously 4. you will Army to kill). which is quality units and ability to "shield" reduced the easy 2-1 or 4-1 attacks. where they can't make an emergency out hard and fast. and thus will retreat to 15. take the Major Withdrawal is Turn E. What you more armies until Turn D you will still be opponent attempts dramatic encirclements. even with several armies. if you haven't gotten In particular. So what if you lose three armies? (3108). defender's avenues of retreat are covered by turn D. If you decide to go for the Naturally. The White should be to force the Siberians back to the them with full strength ones. are legitimate aims. You'll get them back. or rail line interdictions. You want Major Withdrawal by indecisive. the latter. So. 6. 5. But his armies are Whites get no more than two of the five Early in the game it's almost always better hard to replace. Ekaterinoslav 2423. Your primary early game objective is Minor Withdrawal — don't lose sight ofit! Many If you still have work to do against the Red players get caught up in taking territory AFSR or Siberians. Army — or if you do. Conquering Poland at this stage barring a cavalry raid. After all. so in general it is best than the former. Minor Withdrawal. units in and near Poland. Kiev 1920. 3119. the attrition curve will catch mauled both major White factions and Recall that the Cossacks in Orenburg up with you in the end. The Siberians are of two and three units across a largish front is harder for a quick strike from Northwest much softer after the Czechs have gone while still guarding his supply lines. going for. and the Latvians. your armies. Kharkov 2420). Remember that This is especially true because many White 2. But don't lose moves 00S if they start in supply. But it only takes attempts to push forward and take a third Ideally. and a strike through the mid-game goes (and particularly how many Ukraine with at least four infantry armies. If all that has Remember that AIF units still have ZOCs take it back by the end of Turn 7. If by turn 7 (1916) or Vitebsk (1715) to keep the Poles way you can kill two counterrevolutionary the White player is able to maintain stacks out of the war (Smolensk is better because it birds with one stone. but if you squander that point. he'll have do after Turn C. REDS!: Playing the Bolsheviks pay. You also need to ensure that the knocking off a dotted unit here and there. you can send in a regular you be able to spare literally half your army. And heart. have a lot of trouble sustaining offensives. Petrograd is safe. the earliest you can get potential for counterattack. That way overextend yourself and let the White player attacks" to refer to any attack where all the you have a shot at Major Withdrawal on cash in on low-risk counterattacks. If your sight of the forest from the trees. to decimate one White stack than cause Trotsky to bring them back to full strength. make sure you can Withdrawal has occurred. army to help the Turkestan forces crush the but since the Red Train doesn't work for pathetic Islamic Whites in the east. but laying this groundwork the 1" Konarmiia. thereby declining the opportu- be to send a reduced army to Smolensk deny them the resource-rich Ukraine — that nity to overextend themselves. One of your first rail moves should to focus on the AFSR early in the game and reorganize. but not that safe. and Minor be starved into counterrevolution. Target individual stacks than yours at this stage of the game. Tsaritsyn incidental casualties across the whole front. If it hasn't happened at rebuilding capabilities. they can lash player's margin for error is much smaller Urals. (3612) and Uralsk (3414) can't end their armies on Turn 8. Don't concentric attacks (I use "concentric three resource cities on turn C. and they don't have Ukraine resources (Rostov 2822. look at the White forces' to stick his neck out. then even if you lose no you are in for a tough haul. If you lose three taken out many of their irreplaceable units. and try for cutting it close. Both. and with that Petrograd can Petrograd fall to a strike from Northwest Army has been crushed. Northwest (1708) to fall. The White factions are fragile. no matter how well you ZOCs). particularly conquest of Poland until the late game. leaders you get). now is the pressure on the rail and river lines that lead time to decide exactly which win you are through the Urals to Omsk (4301). it tempts Fate to conquer Poland on the cheap. you can restore this of the game is best done via a simultaneous rail line without much trouble. so settle for a strong position on Mid-Game (Turns 8-14) Petrograd (1611) without help from the the Don and ruthlessly punish any White AIF forces in the north. of course. Accordingly.Don't push too hard You have massive turn E at the latest. that fact. best to leave the or killing White units. exploit thrust at Simbirsk (3012) or Izhevsk and try to put together concentric attacks. With their high If he leaves 2-manpower units alone. happened by Turn 8. only in the ideal situation will historical win. can't hurt. don't let lost several irreplaceable units. And. Make sure to garrison Poland' Don't Minor Withdrawal removes two of the players may treat the latter as more serious forget that fateful third bullet of section Siberians' best units. home. really want is to deny the White player playing "short" for two turns. 3. supply is very hard to come by for those guys if you are putting even minimal If you are in the ideal situation. but don't lose That way you can still waffle a bit on which . Whether invasion of the Baltic States with two armies you need to do so will depend on how the (to trigger the war).

The Poles' good armies and 50% bread are indeed within your reach. The Red player may stick his their lack of replacements and rally rolls neck out and you can punish him in return. You must carefully balance the of the Motherland. swallow your rescued the Tsar from Lenin's mob. maintain a couple of quagmire. when the departure of the Whites' since your timetable is not all that you. When you Late Game (Turns 15-24) advance. You'll need those disadvantages are your low replacement when there is a Red leader in the Field Staff armies on the other side of the map as soon rate. where in addition to the Gold will stave off Minor the heartland. since Red counterattacks or bad seen a game where the Whites took Given your low replacement rate. it's going to be a long game for until Turn B. then send the aforementioned Keep him "playing short" as long as possible forces to Poland and knock it out. reserve to secure supply lines. do so in one place per faction at a time. Allied naval support. In this case. You might also have lucked out. especially the major ones (the AFSR and Early Game Conclusion Siberians). by Playing the Whites in Red armies (especially on turns right after a Strategic Turn). Be especially careful pride and make peace. the Reds put together a concentric attack on army is at near-full strength. and manpower value of 3 or 5." be careful not to leave your stacks under- untouched. Of course. If Major Withdrawal has are able to stay ahead of the attrition curve. so as to deny ing force. with two or three garrisons in focused on a small sector of the front. as the Red player will be much more as possible.peace. can turn this campaign into a out. fickle western support. BY ANANDA GUPTA occurred. and there concentrated! The Reds love nothing more and grab Rostov and Ekaterinoslav. — even if he'll get to replace all or almost all your cavalry armies to penetrate the Vistula You must resist the onslaught and keep of his armies on the next Strategic Turn. The timetable will be tough By following the above tips. which aren't enough time and troops to protect than to see a spread-out White force. to avoid having any of your factions. when you can target reduced hasn't happened by Turn F then you'll need to make sure that it might as well have. Go in spearheads. good begging you to cut it off and crush it. thereby forcing the White manned and vulnerable. Then Who? Conversely. you will have no choice to spread this sector. combined with only one hex. and disasters on one front can maintain a solid front through the vastness substantial new forces rally to the Tsar's multiply. and try to keep the action fast and hard. If you lose all of the AFSR volunteer divisions before Your task in the early game is to survive In many ways your task is harder than the Turn C. and of lone or disordered units. provided you have overwhelm. Concen- a ZOC and playing havoc with Polish from conquest and retain strongholds in tric attacks to take out full strength Red retreats. land. overloading the White replacement REDS! You will not be able to hold out if the Reds capability. concen. Don't let that happen. do so without hesitation. and disaster strikes. so you don't have time to waste turns" on one of his fronts when he enjoys (especially since peace with Poland is not As the White player your chief objective is an edge on the initiative roll. And when you are on the defensive. Your and resist temptation. and the required positioning and advance after automatic activation for all your units every combat will leave you with a frontline full If the dice and chits go against you in turn. dice will allow the Reds to destroy your Moscow against heavy Red resistance — that tric attacks are your worst enemy. so every single one you banner. wiping out all the White forces irreplaceable units. the Red replacement and rail any of your good stacks. And stay Ukraine opens up. successful experience .41 . able to put together devastating "double in Russia. spect about any kind of major attacks before ahead of the attrition curve. you'll need to go in fast movement rates get overwhelmed. with try to set up interlocking ZOCs so that the White forces dissolving under the your vulnerable stacks are open to attack via pressure of your armies. when you are on the combined with Trotsky's ineffectiveness in offensive. I have never Turn B. into a trap — that juicy Red army may be or gamble that he'll even be able to use Among them are high quality units. scattered Red resistance — you'll overextend yourself and get torn to pieces. easy 2-1 attacks with one or two Red rally chance in and adjacent to Warsaw. Make sure you your western allies engaged. You don't have enough units to Germans opens up the Ukraine and flexible. but if them at all. Try to trigger the Miracle of the hard-to-reach areas of the map in order to armies can generate a huge advantage. You should be extremely circum- resources you assign to each front. When their still valuable to make him play without have at least one unit in the north. with several live Red armies in the area. it's and negate the river shift. Use Twenty-four turns of Red Terror await you. and lots of box. automatic!). armies. Don't be suckered player to either give up his automatic rallies You have many advantages. If Major Withdrawal If Not Us. but Vistula while the Poles are already relatively eke out the "survival win. rendered impotent. and show Don't try to advance a long line against Europe that the future is Red. Keep your stacks at four turns. hitting only on a 'I'. exerting resolve falters.REDS!: Playing the Bolsheviks win to go for. grit your teeth Poland. Better to wait until your is. By now you should be past the Urals. And when the Rather. Don't let forces piecemeal. though. and stay lose hobbles your ability to hold ground. supply lines. you must protect Poland three or four of them until then. . playing the weight of numbers can overwhelm superior but Poland can be conquered in three or Reds in REDS! can be both a fun and troop quality.