• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

red_KLG

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Indeed it does. I like how some elements of the admin thread come back in this update :)
Easy to say that given that your character didn't spoil (accidentally) Stalin's plans for party domination !!! :p :p
 

SovietAmerika

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I loved the prologue. I really got the feel of actually sitting in the office with Stalin and his cronies.
 

son of liberty

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Easy to say that given that your character didn't spoil (accidentally) Stalin's plans for party domination !!! :p :p
Further investigation has shown that there was no accident here. There was interference from an as yet unidentified party. The investigation as to that party's identity continues. When identified, they shall be dealt with appropriately.
 

Sakura_F

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Can't wait for more chapters. I want to see how you write Anastasia's character. :3
 

SovietAmerika

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Can't wait for more chapters. I want to see how you write Anastasia's character. :3
Same here with Milena. Remember that she's sleazy.
 

Davout

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Excellent prologue. I think Vatutin and Tukhachesky are ad idem although I am worried that Avindian may develop a split personality if he plays both Stalin and Napoleonchik.

Please forgive my fanboy moment but the chance to be in this AAR is a dream come true. I studied Russia history at university and wrote a paper on Barbarossa from the Russian perspective. I hope to improve on the historical result although it would be hard to play worse than Voroshilov.

I do not profess to have any great skill in playing and I have not done AI controlled forces before so please do not hesitate to offer suggestions/tips/tricks which may assist.
 
Last edited:

Avindian

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Indeed it does. I like how some elements of the admin thread come back in this update :)
This will be a recurring theme; my assumption is that non-players won't read the admin thread, so this is how I will introduce them to what's going on behind the scenes.

Easy to say that given that your character didn't spoil (accidentally) Stalin's plans for party domination !!! :p :p
I needed a deus ex machina and you were handy. :)

Fantastic.
Thanks!

I loved the prologue. I really got the feel of actually sitting in the office with Stalin and his cronies.
I'm glad you liked it.

very nice indeed! :)
Somebody who isn't actually a participant comments! Yes! :D

Further investigation has shown that there was no accident here. There was interference from an as yet unidentified party. The investigation as to that party's identity continues. When identified, they shall be dealt with appropriately.
Perhaps there is.

A very well done prologue.
Thanks for the kind words!

Can't wait for more chapters. I want to see how you write Anastasia's character. :3
Everybody in the Politburo will get some sort of introduction in the next chapter.

Same here with Milena. Remember that she's sleazy.
But sleazy in a family friendly way. :) (We have to remember Forum rules. ;))

Excellent prologue. I think Vatutin and Tukhachesky are ad idem although I am worried that Avindian may develop a split personality if he plays both Stalin and Napoleonchik.

Please forgive my fanboy moment but the chance to be in this AAR is a dream come true. I studied Russia history at university and wrote a paper on Barbarossa from the Russian perspective. I hope to improve on the historical result although it would be hard to play worse than Voroshilov.

I do not profess to have any great skill in playing and I have not done AI controlled forces before so please do not hesitate to offer suggestions/tips/tricks which may assist.
I study Russian history too, which is why this AAR has been one I've wanted to write for a long time. Improving on the historical result should indeed be a snap. :)

We'll have one more introductory chapter in which we discuss the creation of the Politburo. If you want to participate (and aren't already), go ahead and PM me.
 

Vrael_1492

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Russian history is also one of my favorite subjects :)
 

Cataphractoi

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Man, I just love the way you write. I would participate in this, but lets just say that my experience with HOI3 has been... discouraging, and leave it at that. It doesn't help that my computer has been broken for the last two months. Not only am I terrible, but also rusty. Anyway, looking forward to see the first real chapter! And, also, can we have one or two screenshots every year? I loved your last interactive AAR but it was just too hard to follow at times.
 

SovietAmerika

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Man, I just love the way you write. I would participate in this, but lets just say that my experience with HOI3 has been... discouraging, and leave it at that. It doesn't help that my computer has been broken for the last two months. Not only am I terrible, but also rusty. Anyway, looking forward to see the first real chapter! And, also, can we have one or two screenshots every year? I loved your last interactive AAR but it was just too hard to follow at times.
I don't own HOI3, and I am still involved. I just go with a position where the game isn't needed.
 

Avindian

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Man, I just love the way you write. I would participate in this, but lets just say that my experience with HOI3 has been... discouraging, and leave it at that. It doesn't help that my computer has been broken for the last two months. Not only am I terrible, but also rusty. Anyway, looking forward to see the first real chapter! And, also, can we have one or two screenshots every year? I loved your last interactive AAR but it was just too hard to follow at times.
You want fewer screenshots or more? The first post is atypical, rest assured. :)

I don't own HOI3, and I am still involved. I just go with a position where the game isn't needed.
She's absolutely right; if you're interested, send me a PM.
 

Avindian

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Avindian

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Introduction of the Politburo

Author's note: We still need more candidate members of the Politburo; if you're interested, PM me!

31 December 1935, Moscow, 1:59 PM

Stalin sat back in his favorite armchair. Molotov was due in precisely one minute; he would have the dossiers of the new Politburo members for 1936 with him, which would be important to have before he met each one personally. Sure enough, as soon as the clock struck 2 PM, his secretary poked her nose in to announce Molotov's arrival.

"So, Slava. You have the information for me?"

Molotov nodded. He was personally irritated that he had been given no specific post in the Politburo. Furthermore, despite his status as a full, voting member of the Politburo, he was rarely able to participate in meetings. He was Stalin's trusted troubleshooter, which meant he had little time for the actual exercise of power in Moscow. However, his face was an unreadable mask and did not betray the slightest hint of his displeasure. "Yes, Comrade General Secretary. They will be here at 4 PM."

"Thank you, my friend." He grinned slyly at Molotov. "I know you had hoped to become Minister of Foreign Affairs yourself. You must content yourself with your role in managing the Council of People's Commissars for now."

Molotov felt an icy chill run down his spine. Stalin had done it again. The General Secretary was the only man in the Soviet Union Molotov genuinely respected or feared since the death of Lenin, and even more than Lenin, Stalin knew every detail before anybody else suspected it was important. Molotov, again careful to hide his emotions, simply nodded and left. Stalin skimmed through the dossiers lazily, and again at 4 PM, his secretary announced the new Politburo members were ready in the conference room. Stalin made his way and sat at the head of the table; Molotov was to his right, Tukhachevsky to his left, and Kalinin at the opposite end (which said a great deal about the supposed "head of state's" role in the government). The others sat down wherever they could find a seat. Molotov formally opened the session and did most of the talking while Stalin sat quietly smoking his pipe.

"Comrade Petrova?"

The new Minister for Foreign Affairs, Anastasia Ivanovna Petrova, stood. At the tender age of 24, she was among the youngest individuals in the room, yet she had experienced more of life than most. "Comrade Chairman."

Molotov proceeded to drone on about her accomplishments -- her two brothers, Mikhail and Nikolai, her heroism as a little girl in Poland, and her role in securing American recognition -- but Anastasia wisely watched Stalin's reactions instead. She had met the General Secretary on a handful of occasions before, but never spoken to him personally. She was amazed at how rough and uncouth he seemed, with his feet on the table. He was flipping through some folder, yet she knew he heard every word Molotov said. After the Chairman stopped, Stalin asked her only one question: "Comrade, you can keep your emotions in check, can you not?"

She nodded her head. "Yes, Comrade Stalin. I am not trained as a diplomat, but I learned much from Comrade Litvinov before his retirement."

Stalin simply gestured approvingly with his pipe and inclined his head toward Molotov. "Next is Comrade Rakobolskaja. She --"

"Slava, I know all I need to of our illustrious Commissar of Defense's... qualifications. Continue." Stalin winked lecherously at the Polish beauty, who had the good grace to blush slightly.

Molotov saw Tukhachevsky's face flush, on the other hand, with temper. The Commissar of Defense, although a bright woman in her own right, was nonetheless selected to ride herd over the difficult Marshal. "We all know Comrade Yagoda. Next is Comrade Kamensky."

Yagoda's own reputation had recovered since the Kirov debacle, but it was by no means entirely secure. A simple glance at Comrade Yakushev, a new candidate member of the Politburo proved that. Genrikh looked up at Kamensky as she rose, muttering to himself: Three women. We have truly attained socialist equality between the sexes. Kamensky had joined the party shortly after the revolution, but her ruthless drive to succeed had earned her respect and admiration, if not fear, from junior male colleagues. She was a consummate politician, and as Commissar for Trade and Industry, she had negotiated some of the most lucrative contracts the Soviet Union had ever had. Stalin raised a single eyebrow as Kamensky insisted on introducing herself; she had never liked the humorless Molotov. Stalin asked her no questions; he knew all he needed to about Kamensky.

It was Tukhachevsky's turn to nod with approval at the newest Commissar for Education (or Enlightenment, as Molotov insisted on calling it). Sergei Petrovich had been raised in an orphanage. Entirely self educated, he enlisted in the Imperial Army in 1911. When asked to fill out the necessary paperwork, he simply wrote "S. P. Soldatov" on the form. He thought that with a last name that screamed "soldier" (literally), his background would not be questioned too closely. He could read and write -- unusual for a common soldier -- and when a Bolshevik recruiter stopped by his unit six months into his first tour, he couldn't sign up fast enough. He proved to be smart and dedicated, and while he had never attained high rank in the Imperial Army, he was the perfect "Red Commander" and made a captain during the Revolution, where he met Tukhachevsky. The future Marshal liked Soldatov right from the start, and personally steered his career from then on. Stalin had given the position to Soldatov as a measure of reconciliation with the Marshal.

To counteract Soldatov, the Commissar of Justice, also ex-military, was Stalin's choice. Former Kombrig Feodor Vasilievich Sokolov had retired from the army in 1934, largely trading on the heroism he'd displayed as a youngster until he caught the attention of Stalin. The young Captain had openly quarreled with his commanding officer during the Russo-Polish War, especially on what he considered the "fool's errand" of Tukhachevsky. Stalin decided then and there to protect the junior officer. While still in the Red Army, Stalin had secured the partially illiterate Sokolov a place in the law school of Moscow University. Sokolov graduated first in his class, entirely on his own merits and hard work, and served with distinction as a military prosecutor.

The new Commissars for Agriculture and Communication were also chosen for their loyalty to Stalin. Vladislav Geramovich Sarigov was ex-military, but a severe injury in 1922 cut short a promising military career. The young officer was given a post as an instructor at the Frunze Academy in Moscow. He was so popular among students and professors that he received an award for excellence, presented by Comrade Stalin himself. Sarigov, a born charmer, used his charisma to make an impression on the General Secretary and just three years later, he was named Commissar of Education before transferring to Agriculture in 1933. Another teacher, Viktor Ivanovich Glazkov, was one of the most popular professors at Petrograd State University prior to the Bolshevik Revolution; his popularity and loyalty to the Bolshevik cause won him praise, as did his skill at propaganda, making him the perfect Commissar for Communication.

Stalin chatted politely with some of the new members, but found himself most concerned with the final two full members of the Politburo. The Chief of the General Staff, Nikolai Feodorovich Vatutin, was a staff officer born and bred, and had secured his position with help from his former instructor Sarigov. Vatutin had little field experience, and while his enthusiasm for bureaucracy matched Stalin's own, the fact was he was exceptionally junior for the assignment: a mere Colonel being named Chief of the General Staff normally suggested patronage, but it was the lack of patronage that made him a compromise candidate between Tukhachevsky, who'd preferred Soldatov, and Stalin, who wanted his friend Kliment Voroshilov to have the position. Hrynko, the Ukrainian Commissar for Finance, was a complete unknown, yet he'd held his position since 1930, making him the longest serving member of the Politburo. If not for his competence, Stalin would have fired the nationalist with his establishment of "Socialism in One Country", yet found his talents and ability to build consensus indispensable.

The ten full members of the Politburo made a bare hint of an impression on Stalin (apart from Rakobolskaja). The men he trusted and liked most were nowhere to be found -- Kaganovich, Molotov, and Voroshilov maintained their credentials on the Politburo as full voting members, yet had no formal positions. That gave Stalin flexibility to use Molotov and Kaganovich as he saw fit, but Voroshilov in particular had been handed dull assignment after dull assignment. Tukhachevsky's absolute dominance over the Red Army meant that there was no place for men like Voroshilov. Stalin's full attention was on, instead, the candidate members of the Politburo, who he might be able to mold in his image. Only time would tell if he (and they) would succeed.
[HR][/HR]
A very wordy update -- the last one without a lot of screenshots -- but I wanted to introduce and flesh out some of the major characters. Some of this comes from the players, some of it is mine. The amount of description here has nothing to do without how prominent they will be in future updates; some just inspire me more or wrote more about themselves. The next official update will cover the first half of 1936; for now, here are our victory conditions (note: I tried, really hard, to set up Persia as a victory condition too but failed; imagine "Persia" where you see "Latvia" below.)

 

red_KLG

Colonel
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So the pawns are ready to march, Bishops observe and the King spends his time constructively with his many Queens !!!!!
 

Sakura_F

Stadtholder of Turin
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Anastasia's awesome. :3