One of the most difficult problems in wargaming is the way to address the uncertainty faced by leaders. Wargamers are generally aware of the outcome of such big events, which were, in fact, unforeseen and for some unpredictable.
Let’s take the Czech legion: its withdrawal wasn’t a certitude for Russian factions on June 18. Players, on the contrary, are knowing in the official version Czech units will cease for the largest part any real military action in the few turns following the end of WW1 ( a 50% probability each turn).
This solution is hampered by 2 major flaws:
- the 50% probability is a very high one, so in most games Czech Legion will demobilize in the very first turns after the fixed turn. This event is too much predictable for both sides.
- Siberian player has no way to alter, even slightly, the outcome. Gaming pleasure comes mainly from the decision-making process. Trying to keep Czech Legion would spice up the Czech matter.
Previous version of FY has tried to deliver a better model. Reds must choose between leaving Siberian control most of the Volga bank and concentrating against Southern Whites first, to the risk of huge NM losses or give priority to the volga front in the first turns of the Great Campaign. Lenin didn’t known in June 18 Czech menace would be over a few months after.
Siberian will play with a refined model of FY features about Czech legion.
From September 18, a 6 sides die roll will be simulated each turn by events. Czech Legion will demobilize on a 6 result. Of course, other events will add modifications to the die roll results:
- Allied Powers pressure: -1 (25% chance to fire)
- end of WW1: 2 (85%)
- loss of Samara: 1 (75%; Czech were rather close to SR and the loss of Samara would signify the end of Komuch)
- High Siberian National Morale: -1 (75 %; victorious armies have more reasons to fight again)
- Komuch Left policy: -1 (50%; this Komuch option is simulating the adoption by the Komuch of social reforms pleasing the Czech revolutionary elements)
- War exhaustion: 1 to 3, with higher risks to get -3 each more turn ( variable probability; from October 18, Czech were more and more reluctant to fight in Russia, as the WW1 was over and Czechoslovakia created)
- Directorate created: -1 (75%; Directorate was felt mandatory to fight Bolsheviks in good condition, by a unified force)
- Directorate strong :-1 (75%; I will explain later how FY will compute the strength of the Directorate)
A few of these events are the consequence of player choices, giving him a way to alter the results, without full control over, as the Czech Legion is first a subfaction determined by its own political agenda, different from the player one.
However, it would remain a design problem: keeping Czech Legion longer in the game is a no brainer issue as the units are the finest of the early Siberian player’s army.
So I’ve added a new event: from October 18, some Czech units will be immobilized for one turn if the die roll is 5 or higher. This rule depicts the growing reluctance of Czech soldiers to commit themselves in the Civil War when their main goal is to come back home. In gameplay terms, the efforts done to keep Czech units a few more turns will maybe turn into waste, when these units stay inactive….
In the end, this system should create more uncertainty, replayability, choices to make, and adverse results…