The Final Cut
This piece, along with its coming companion,
“Soviet Options,” will be my last
foray into variants for Defiant
Russia. It was a cool little
game to design and still fun to play. Life
goes on however, and other projects beckon,
including a sequel if I can ever stop playing
games long enough to design them!
Use of any of these options will require
the prior approval of your opponent. It is
recommended that you trade off with an option
from his list, unless you feel an imbalance
between your play. In that case add one to
redress the perceived imbalance. Or you can
toss one in just for the Haliburton of it.
You bought my game, you can play it how you
want until your heart is content!
To download the new counters, click
certainly owed his position to Mussolini,
and to a lesser extent, Hitler. Yet in the
courtship of the Generalissimo, neither dictator
was successful in bringing Spain into the
war on the Axis side. Hitler would only get
the Blue Division as a token gesture of support.
Assuming greater success or coercion, what
would have been the effect on the Eastern
Front if Spain had fully entered the war?
Probably not much, as the Spanish sphere of
influence and operations would have been centered
in the Mediterranean alongside Italy. Still,
we can assume a greater Spanish participation
on the Eastern Front.
Eliminate the Azul Division in the game.
Replace with the Azul Corps, which enters
on turn three. It has a full-strength value
of 3-3 and a reduced-strength value of 1-3.
It can never receive replacements and is worth
two casualty points per 13.0.
This variant assumes a Japanese offensive
launched in the Far East in conjunction with
Operation Typhoon. It doesn’t give you
any new toys to play with, but hurts the Soviets
in the latter stages of play.
The Soviet player loses one replacement point
in both November and December turns. Most
importantly, the Shock Army conversions are
not available in December. Some players may
wonder why the effect of this is not greater.
While STAVKA would certainly have had its
attention diverted, the threat to European
Russia would have remained the number one
Franz von Papen was a most bumbling ambassador
to Turkey. He drew the post as a reward for
queitly handing the Chancellor’s office
over the Adolf Hitler, and there was always
the chance that Hitler might replace him with
someone more competent. If so, the Turks take
advantage of the German invasion, if not to
declare war, at least to make moves in the
Caucasus and Persia.
Starting with the Administrative Phase in
July, the Soviet player must roll one die
at the start of the phase. On a result of
1 in July, 1 or 2 in August, 1 through 3 in
September, and 1 through 4 in October or later,
the Soviet player must divert troops to keep
the Turks in check. When a number is rolled
within this activation range, remove two Soviet
infantry armies from either the map or that
turn’s reinforcements. If taken from
the map they must be at full strength. Simply
remove them. They do not count as being destroyed
kinder, gentler, Hitler is even more of an
oxymoron than “compassionate conservative.”
Germany went to war to exterminate and murder
the eastern peoples, not liberate them. In
this genocidal war the Wehrmacht, as recent
scholarship reveals, shares guilt with the
SS, who are no longer the “alibi of
a nation.” Still, for purposes of this
fantasy we can assume a more pragmatic occupation
policy aimed at exploiting Ukraine’s
The Ukrainians are given limited autonomy.
This occurs in the context of the game when
both Kiev and Kharkov are controlled by the
Germans. In the following Axis reinforcement
step, deploy the Ukrainian “Rada”
corps in either city. It represents a new
unit type in the Defiant family of games.
It has a value of (2)-3. A unit with a combat
value in parentheses defends using that combat
strength, but attacks at half that value.
The unit has only one step, but rates as a
corps. Thus it has a zone of control and counts
for stacking. It cannot be replaced if eliminated.
It is worth one casualty point for 13.0.
Vichy government betrayed many of its citizens
by allowing Germany to conscript them as forced
labor. The military was hostile to Bolshevism
even before the collapse of the Third Republic,
but the Nazis were holding over 1 million
French prisoners of war as hostages to Vichy’s
good behavior. It’s not inconceivable
that Vichy could have put a token force into
Russia in a political move aimed at redeeming
at least some of these men from German captivity,
without entering the wider conflict, much
like Spain did historically with the Blue
Add the Vichy Division “Charlemagne”
as a turn three reinforcement. It is a one-step
unit and has no zone of control and does not
count for stacking. Value it at 1-4. It is
worth one casualty point for 13.0.
Dr. Bennighof’s cool Lithuanian
variant from an early posting deserves an
update. Despite being a one step unit (like
the Ukrainians above), it is a corps sized
formation and thus does exert a zone of control.
It is worth one casualty point for 13.0.
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