What focuses should I take as an ahistorical USSR in no step back?

SirL

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I won't ramble on about how the new focus tree seems to be a big mess, it definitely needs some improvements, but at least it's interesting.
The problem I'm having right now is trying to decide which focuses to take and whether I should go right or left opposition. I personally prefer Bukharin's tree.

I have a lot of issues, some of which you can read further on or ignore, but I really just want to know if someone played left/right opposition and figured out a way not to end up with 2 old guard generals and no advisors? Should I rush the civil war? Wait a bit? Focuses to choose/ignore?

1. I want to kill Stalin using his "Plan for the coup" decision. The thing is, I can't figure out how it works! I've saved the game and loaded it more than 15 times. I also tried the same with the NKVD focus, which is supposed to up the success percentage to 80. Didn't work either, Stalin always survives. At which point does the game decide if Stalin survives or not? Because what's written in the tooltip (50 or 80% success) is definitely not the case. At the same time, if I start a new game and just go over the tree using cheats, never even taking the NKVD decision, he always dies. Like wtf. It seems to decide it right at the start of the game somehow?
2. The central "get support from party members" decision doesn't actually give you any opposing side advisors after the coup. I'm not sure if this is a bug or not, they just remain in exile. So, here's a debuff, but you won't get anything for it.
3. Couldn't kill Stalin, so civil war it is. My Bukharin seems to somehow die before it even begins, even though Stalin doesn't get to "The bloc of rights and Trotskyites" decision. I have no idea how this happens. I did "Align the Zynovievites", so he becomes the new leader instead of Bukharin. Except here's the thing - I can't do the later focuses because it requires Bukharin to be the leader. Shrug.
4. Supporting Spain is just... If you take it, when they do their uprising your volunteers get sent back but you can't give them to a faction which is not the main one (either Republican or Fascist). The minor is defeated in about 5 seconds and I'm left at a loss just how I should've helped them without giving them any volunteers, the decision themselves take a lot of cp and pp and take time.
5. Alright then, this Bukharin seems to be bugged or something. Could we maybe go Trotsky and try to save everyone sending them into exile? Tough luck, you never have the needed pp because your stability is 0% and you have to time everything perfectly and know in advance which advisors papa Stalin is going to send to his new spa center. Next, when the war breaks out, you just don't get any generals. All of them remain on Stalin's side, taking a 50pp decision for a single random general is absurd. You never get them back after the war ends.
6. Why are there focuses to enable certain advisors in the left opposition tree if the same advisors are going to get purged a week later by Stalin's tree focuses?
7. The industry tree looks badly designed to me, mildly saying, Low stability, not enough pp even to get war economy and you give me another 10-15% debuff to consumer factories? Should I just skip this one or what.
 
Last edited:

Dryhad

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Not sure I follow your numbering system but I'll try to offer my own experiences from having attempted the Bukharin path:

- Support from Party Members gets you access to the general advisors like Khruschev, not the Left Opposition. You get those further down the tree, with Return Democracy to the Party.
- I think the thing with the POUM needs to be all in and as fast as possible, it might not be viable to do it alongside the coup and it might be inadvisable to do it at all. You can send volunteers to the Republicans before the anarchist uprising to make sure the Nationalists are beaten back as far as possible and give the POUM the best chance of success, but in any case it requires rapid action and may therefore require missing out on Zinoviev and others so I don't know what the best strategy is. The impression I get, though, is that there's unavoidable tradeoffs in this tree and you simply don't have time to do everything.
- Just about everyone can be the target of random mini-purge events that happen when Paranoia is over 50%. This is probably how Bukharin died in your game. Losing Bukharin isn't fatal unless you also lose Rykov, since there's an alternate branch you can take if you have access to Rykov. Usually as the opposition you want to accept these mini-purges to lower paranoia, but you shouldn't do so without checking who is on the block. As noted, one of Bukharin and Rykov needs to live in order to progress fully down the Right branch, and I believe the coup also cannot succeed if Yezov is purged (but you can still fight the civil war in that case, and may have to anyway).
- Exiled characters can't be purged, so the Left focuses that send characters into exile get around even the unavoidable great purges in Stalin's tree.
 

SirL

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Not sure I follow your numbering system but I'll try to offer my own experiences from having attempted the Bukharin path:
Apologies, fixed
Exiled characters can't be purged, so the Left focuses that send characters into exile get around even the unavoidable great purges in Stalin's tree.
No, I know that, what I meant is that some focuses (I don't remember which) don't exile them, just make them available as advisors but Stalin kills them in his first or second purge. There's also no way to integrate Smirnov's and Zinovyev's blocs at the same time, one of them gets purged afaik?
Support from Party Members gets you access to the general advisors like Khruschev, not the Left Opposition. You get those further down the tree, with Return Democracy to the Party.
I wasn't clear. I meant the last focus that you do after the coup is over (Return Democracy) doesn't give the advisors it should. They still remain in exile. The same goes for Zinovyev and Ryutin, taking those actually doesn't do anything. Might be a bug
 

Dryhad

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No, I know that, what I meant is that some focuses (I don't remember which) don't exile them, just make them available as advisors but Stalin kills them in his first or second purge. There's also no way to integrate Smirnov's and Zinovyev's blocs at the same time, one of them gets purged afaik?
Oh, I guess you're talking about Bring Old Trotskyites Back? But after that you can take The Committee In Exile which gives you a decision to exile them.

I wasn't clear. I meant the last focus that you do after the coup is over (Return Democracy) doesn't give the advisors it should. They still remain in exile. The same goes for Zinovyev and Ryutin, taking those actually doesn't do anything. Might be a bug
Huh, I think this might be an actual bug (for the Left advisors at least). It looks like the focus removes the prison bars from their portraits but does not actually remove the imprisoned flag from them so the game still thinks they're unavailable. As far as Zinovyev and Ryutin go, though, you said yourself that you got Zinovyev as your leader. That's what it does. He's either an advisor or a country leader (as is Kamenev from the same focus) but the focus sends them into exile so you don't get them till the civil war fires and in your OP you said that you did (Zinovyev at least). In my playthroughs Zinovyev and Kamenev have both worked as intended although I haven't seen the point in going for Ryutin so I can't speak to personal experience for that focus.

You should bug report the Left advisors though.