Why a Red player will lose many NM if Whites are occupying Samara, Simbirsk, Kazan, Perm?
Any Red player will adopt the right strategy: hammer the Southern Whites at start as they are yet very weak, and smash Siberians after the withdrawal of the Czech legion. This strategy is the best. It is at the same time unhistorical, based on our hindsight about the RCW, a luxury Reds didn’t have on the Summer 1918.
Reds didn’t known Czechs would withdraw in the Siberian rear during the winter. They didn’t anticipated the full rise of Southern Whites. They couldn’t imagine a SR Komuch would remain unsupported by peasants.
Let’s compare how the REds acted with Estonia. If they tried to create a Soviet Republic, they let in a secondary task Estonia after their first defeats. By looking at the map, the geographical situation seems however to request the utmost energy to protect Petrograd, whose loss would have been a tremendous one for the Bolsheviks, both on symbolic and material ways.
On the contrary, SR Komuch was hammered as soon as possible.
Reds feared Komuch because of its possible seduction over peasantry and its claim to defend the real version of the Revolution. Baltic States were aimed at becoming independent States, without any appeal for the Russian masses. Of course, Estonia would support a White Army, and a stronger Allied intervention here was a real risk. The real point was Komuch was seen like a possible base for a general peasant insurrection against Bolsheviks.
We have learnt it wasn’t the case. Right SR didn’t got this support. We don’t know if more time would have given them at least part of such an influence. Once again, Lenin, Trotsky and the rank and file saw in 1918 a real Army, the Czech Legion, supporting a rival whose flag was Red and just concluded Komuch as the greatest threath.
Strategy isn’t only about geography; politics matter, especially in a civil war.
In gameplay term, the right abstract strategy is deserving so much Whites it imbalances the game from the very start. Options to let Czech longer or to reinforce White strength at start would just create more imaginary features. Forcing player to think WITHOUT taking account of the future, as the FY rules are designed, is the best way to balance the starting situation.
FY has among its general concepts this one. Player will never be sure a reform will get only positive results, Green revolts are randomized, etc. You’re not playing against AI or your human opponents with the gift to predict the future…