Red Russia: New Options
By William Sariego
October 2015

Red Russia was an ambitious project from the start. It was my first attempt at designing a multi-player game, which holds its own pitfalls concerning balance and playability over a two-player game. The pure scope of the conflict held its own complexities that presented quite a design challenge. Using the Soldier Kings system of Rob Markham as a base helped reduced this to a manageable level. The basic system was adapted to the more modern setting but the core remained recognizable. In development Kevin Canada added new layers of complexity and chrome to the game, taking the design to another level. The beauty of Daily Content on the Avalanche Press website is the ability to go even further, into the realm of the Odd and the Weird just for the pure fun of it! Use the following rules for either play balance or sheer variety.

The Emir at Bey

Said-Alim was a casualty of development, and that is certainly not too inaccurate from a historical viewpoint. He was more interested in stopping the encroachment of the "Red" infidel in traditional Muslim lands that he was in promoting the "White" cause. Still, the Northern/Central Asian player is the weakest faction and needs all the help they can get! Said-Alim deploys in the Central Asian Region as described in some of the early printings of the rulebook.

Red Fleets and Black Seas

The Bolsheviks had possession of ships in the Black Sea. They were far more vulnerable to the Whites than the Red fleet in the Baltic Sea, with the latter protected by the guns of Krondstadt. When faced with the threat of loss or even worse, capture by the Western Allies entering the conflict, Lenin ordered most of the ships scuttled. Thus this fleet was not included in the game. However, for the purposes of this variant, add the Black Sea Fleet in Odessa at the beginning of Turn Three on its reduced side.

France Ascendant

Following the treaty of Versailles, France found herself with more prestige than at any other time in the 20th century. It would be a pedestal she would not stay upon long, soon becoming wrecked by a ruined economy and internal strife. For a brief time, however, French political goodwill and military advisors were sought by many nations, including the newly reconstituted Poland.

The French military mission to Poland has had more attributed to it in some histories than it deserves. Still, it makes for a good "What If." Starting on Spring 1920, if any Area of Poland is under Bolshevik control, roll a die. On a result of 1 through 3 place the Weygand Leader with any Polish unit. He is a Polish Leader for all purposes for the rest of the game. Otherwise, continue to make the die roll when any new area of Poland is conquered by the Reds.

An Early Tomb for Lenin?

Following years of exile which included poor living conditions, diet, and his exhausting work toward overthrowing the Tsar, Lenin was beginning to feel the strain toward the end of the Civil War. He would not have his first stroke until May 1922, but the labor of his tasks could have taken a toll earlier. Starting in Spring 1920, at the beginning of the turn, roll a die. A result of 1 causes a second roll on the following table. The Lenin’s Health Table is only consulted once per game.

Lenin's Health
1: Lenin Lives! The Reds score a Propaganda coup after false rumors of his demise. The Bolsheviks gain 2 Money.
2: No Effect. Just what it says!
3: Lenin Ill. Replace the Lenin counter in Red Russia with the new counter in this variant for this turn and the next.
4: Lenin Very Ill. As #3 but the change is for the remainder of the game.
5: Death’s Bed. Replace the Lenin counter with the 0-rated counter for the balance of the game.
6: Lenin Dies. Obviously bad news for one player and good for the rest!

Ten Days that Shook the World

The eyewitness account by John Reed of the Russian Revolution inspired many around the world for decades, including this writer. Warren Beatty would further Mr. Reed’s renown with the Academy Award-winning movie Reds in 1981. At the start of the Summer 1919 turn roll a die to see what, if any effect the publication of the book has on the events of the Civil War due to world opinion.

Response to Reed
1: Bolsheviks Abroad! Sympathetic Leftists around the world donate hard-earned cash. Bolsheviks gain 3 Money.
2: Young Volunteers. Young people around the world join the fight for a new tomorrow. Bolsheviks gain 2 Manpower.
3: Propaganda Coup! Bolshevik player rolls on the One Russia Table at +1.
4: Propaganda Coup? Bolshevik player rolls on the One Russia Table with no modifier.
5: No Effect. Just what it says!
6: Backlash! Random White Faction gains 2 Money.

To the Finland Station

Armored trains were a common sight during the Russian Civil War, and I experimented early with one-inch units to represent them. In the end I dropped this, but would regret not accounting for them when all was said and done. The idea of using armored trains as combat support markers didn’t occur until far too late in the development process. Once again, Web content to the rescue!

Each faction can purchase armored trains for 2 Money. Trains do not cost Manpower and require no maintenance. The counter mix for each Faction (four Bolshevik, two Siberian and Southern, and One North/Central Asian) is an absolute limit on how many can be in play for each.

When purchased, an armored train is attached to a friendly Infantry Army (only) or an Area under your control. It can switch attachment at the start of the player’s turn. An armored train cannot move of its own accord, but must accompany its parent unit (or remain in an Area). It grants an extra die to the unit in Combat or the Area in Siege resolution.

If the Area to which it is attached is conquered or if the unit to which it is attached is eliminated, remove the train marker. It must retreat with the parent unit.

You can download the new pieces here.

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