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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(53496)

First Lieutenant
Feb 1, 2006
226
0
"Has Stalin completely lost his mind?"
-- attributed to Mikhail Tukhachevsky


Introduction
For whatever reason, the whim struck me to play a game as the USSR using only Cavalry as my land forces. It's a very silly idea. This silly (and probably short, at least in word count) AAR is the result.

This game was played on Normal/Normal using version 1.3b with SMEP 4.5. The unit limits I set for myself were:

* Only CAV and HQs as land divisions (not even GAR are allowed). All Brigades are OK.
* Only Fighters as air units (they can more or less do everything, anyway)
* No Carriers (since they're the 'best' naval unit, I clearly couldn't build any in this game)

Limits apply only to the USSR. Puppets and allies can build whatever seems appropriate for them. I tweaked most of their build preferences (especially those that would otherwise build nothing but INF).

Previous AARs (both more serious than this one)
Trattato di Roma - Clash of the Dictators (Italy, 1936, SMEP)
The Lion's Teeth (UK, 1936, SMEP)
 

GeneralHannibal

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I wonder how well you'll do during Barbarossa.
 

unmerged(53496)

First Lieutenant
Feb 1, 2006
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"Boris!"

"Ivan."

"Have you seen this new memorandum from Stalin? What can it mean?"

"I think it is fairly clear what it means, Ivan. 'Make the whole army into cavalry or I'll have you purged' doesn't leave much to doubt."

"No. I mean: what is Stalin thinking with this order? Why would he want the entire army to be changed over to Cavalry?"

"Perhaps he just likes horses."


* * *

The Red Army was a sorry affair as 1936 began. Hordes of illiterate, badly-trained peasants made up most of the army's divisions. Some possessed vehicles in which to travel, but few of these actually ran, and those that did had no real roads to follow. The army was supported by an antiquated air force and by a navy that would have been embarrassed to show its face at Tsushima.

Disgusted at the poor levels of readiness in his armed forces, the Wise, Benevolent, Gracious and Charming Stalin turned his prodigious intellect to the problem, and soon seized on the only solution: Cavalry.

Riding a horse required skill and discipline. Riding a horse required not being too drunk to stay on. Riding a horse meant not walking in the mud. Riding a horse meant not needing actual roads. It was the perfect solution!

Besides, it was statistically provable that horses were loyal to the revolution. None had ever been arrested for counter-revolutionary activity, after all.

Thus, on 1 January 1936 the order went out: all existing (non-Cavalry) units of the Red Army were to be disbanded, and the troops retrained as cavalrymen. Enormous horse studs were created in the vast Russian steppe to supply the new divisions that were projected to be formed.

A downside of this plan was that the country would temporarily be defended by 30,000 men on broken down nags and carrying lances and black powder muskets. But Stalin was confident that this was a risk worth taking.

And so it proved: as the months of 1936 ticked by, lots of men and lots of horses were enlisted in the New Model Red Army. For some reason, all of these troops were sent to the Sinkiang border for exercises. Lots of them.

Lots.

For exercises.

In August 1936, the Spanish got into a squabble over whether the daily siesta should be from 12 noon to 2pm as it had been in the past, or 1pm to 3pm as the more modern-thinking workers believed. A Civil War ensued. Stalin immediately ordered that supplies and aid be sent to the workers. Thousands of horses were immediately shipped to Spain. Unfortunately, when the ship arrived the workers were on siesta, and the counter-revolutionary forces won the day.



Stalin pouted in his dacha for a week.

Still, the Red Army was now looking far more splendid than it ever had before, with hundreds of thousands of men and horses able to be massed for dazzling parades in Red Square.

Or they could have been, if they weren't still all on the Sinkiang border.

These were long exercises.

More months ticked by, and the world was generally pretty quiet, until some Chinese con man sold the Kwantung Army a bridge that didn't belong to him. Fighting ensued, and suddenly Japan and China were at war.

Loudly declaiming the perfidious lies and deceptions of the Chinese business class, which had too long oppressed the workers, Stalin announced that the Soviet Union was now also at war with the "mercenary bankers and counter-revolutionaries" of Nanjing.

What a happy coincidence that the whole Red Army was still on exercises on the border with Sinkiang!

The new, improved, much taller than before Red Army entered Sinkiang in October 1937. They were still there two months later. In this time, Soviet Commanders had learned three important lessons:

1. Crossing mountains is really, really slow.
2. The Mongolian Army sucks.
3. Horse meat is not very tasty.



Stalin, infuriated by the slow progress of his forces, ranted and frothed and executed a few commanders to 'encourage' the rest. Then he had a good lie down and felt better.

News from the front was about to improve, however, as the Red Army's leaders hit upon a successful new strategy:

Having lots, lots, lots more troops than the enemy.
 
Last edited:

GeneralHannibal

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Will you aid the Chinese commies?
 

unmerged(47162)

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Aug 4, 2005
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the start of a communist ruled asia!
 

Raze

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Ha ha! Nat. China can't beat the Japanese who ride bicycles and the USSR who rides horses.
 

unmerged(53496)

First Lieutenant
Feb 1, 2006
226
0
The Chinese Communists will be "aided" in the finest Stalinist style.

China is indeed doomed but the real question is who will profit the most from the settlement: the USSR or the Japanese? In the first few months, Soviet progress has been rather slow (and in Mongolia we've actually been in retreat due to spirited Chinese activity up there).
 

kramari

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Nice start really. You made me laugh a couple of times. Keep it up!
 

unmerged(53496)

First Lieutenant
Feb 1, 2006
226
0
"Hey, Boris?"

"Yes Ivan?"

"How would you describe the Japanese?"

"Reactionary imperialist dogs."

"And the Chinese?"

"Counter-revolutionary bourgeois jackals."

"But it's OK to join forces with one to defeat the other?"

"Absolutely, Ivan, if it's in the best interests of the Worker's World Revolution."


* * *

Swamping the Chinese with massive hordes of troops was likely to be a successful strategy, but it required time to raise, train and deploy the necessary men. And horses.

One of the things that was slowing deployment was the massive stockpiles of oil, coal and steel that were accumulating in massive mounds all over the Soviet Union. Red Army units were constantly having to detour to go around these unsightly piles. There was one particular pile of coal in Omsk that took units three days to ride around.

"We're drowning in the stuff!" Stalin complained to Foreign Minister Litvinov. "Give it to the Japanese in exchange for their technological secrets!"

"Great Stalin, the Japanese won't give us their secrets unless we sign articles of alliance." Litvinov protested, "Surely we can't align ourselves with such imperialist enemies of the working class!"

"You mean they'll actually give us stuff if I sign a piece of paper?" Stalin shrugged, "Give me my pen. We can always claim we never signed it, later."

Which was fair enough, really. When you're already at war with the only Communist state not in the Comintern, why not compound your cynicism by allying with a bunch of Paternal Autocrats?



With the Omsk Coal Mountain eliminated in exchange for blueprints for advanced naval vessels (apparently they use liquid fuel for those now, instead of coal furnaces!), Red Cavalry poured into Mongolia. The Mongolian Army still sucked, but it was barely visible amidst the hordes of furry-hat wearing Russians who now swarmed into north-western China.

"Soon we will reach our Communist brethren in China!" Pravda trumpeted, "Once we have educated them to the mistake of allowing their nationalism to supersede their socialism, they will join us!"

The definition of 'soon' had to be adjusted a few times, but by March 1938 Soviet Cavalry were riding through Yan'an. They were lost, but they were there.

After capturing Chairman Mao and giving him a thorough spanking to show him the error of his ways (let's see him sit on any chairs now!), Stalin announced the creation of the Reformed-And-Now-Truly-Communist People's Republic of China.

Days after the announcement, thousands of Red Army troops were issued with little golden stars for their furry hats and told to pretend they were Chinese. Once it had been explained to them that this did not mean they should promptly run away, this impromptu Army of the People's Republic joined in the ongoing war with their nationalist rivals.



Soon the mighty combination of the Soviet Union, her brave and noble Chinese allies, and her vile imperialist Japanese allies, crushed all resistance between them. Truly, it was a great day for self-serving alliances of bullies against weaker opponents!



Stalin celebrated in his dacha with some vodka. With the war against China won, he then ripped up the alliance with the Japanese and did a little jig on the scraps of paper. Well, technically I guess it was the Japanese who left the alliance. The jig part is true, though.

Having thoroughly enjoyed bullying the Chinese, Stalin looked around for other small nations to prove his manliness against. He was pleased to find out that the Soviet Union had lots of options: Finland, the Baltic States, Poland and Romania were all on his doorstep, ready to be brought under the hoof of Soviet occupation.

There was just that pesky matter of Germany and the Allies, neither of whom were likely to react well to him bullying little European nations. And bullying is no fun if you might get hurt doing it.

So Stalin sacked Litvinov for his 'repulsive policy of alliance with the Japanese' and sent his new foreign minister Molotov to strike a deal with the Nazis.
 

unmerged(59851)

General Secretary
Aug 13, 2006
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I love the comedy in this AAR.

"So Stalin sacked Litvinov for his 'repulsive policy of alliance with the Japanese' and sent his new foreign minister Molotov to strike a deal with the Nazis."
 

GeneralHannibal

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Those Japs should be punished for forcing you to sign an alliance with them.
 

VILenin

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Very good so far. I think I might have to adopt the broken-treaty jig for my future Soviet games. :rofl:
 

unmerged(53496)

First Lieutenant
Feb 1, 2006
226
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GeneralHannibal: Clearly an alliance was merely Japan's perfidious attempt to sacrifice honest socialist workers on the altar of their own imperialist ambitions! They will be first against the wall when the revolution comes! Or myabe second. Or third. Really, it depends when we get to them. Gotta deal with those dangerous Estonians and Finns, first.

General game notes: I'm not sure why the Japanese stopped advancing. Possibly an AI bug, or the "go defensive" switch got tripped? I've installed DAIM since then and it makes a huge difference to Japanese performance in China.

The only benefit I allowed myself from the Japanese alliance was trading for tech (mainly naval). I also got to see rough numbers of their troops from the map, of course, but I didn't take MilCon or examine their units in detail.

Mainly, I made the alliance just to see if it was possible to get Stalin and Hirohito in bed together :)

After creating PR China, I sent an expeditionary force of 36 CAV divisions and 1 HQ. That should be enough to keep them defended while their own forces build up. I did tweak their build strategy. It's still about 30% INF and 20% Mountain units, but the rest is a wide variety of things: CAV (of course), MIL, HQs, Fighters, Destroyers and Cruisers. I regularly tweak puppets in this manner, via the same game file. It's probably possible to add new AI files to game, actually. I should look at doing that for some of the more powerful 'minor' nations (FRG, DDR and Scandinavia at a minimum).
 

Nehekara

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Wow...
This is just FUNNY!
It is of greastest importance to make the world more communist, by any means neccesary