Revised USSR-Germany Pact Rules

Version 0.2 (updated Nov 18th, 2009)

Modify the defensive garrison values of units according to the following chart:

Time since pact was signed Defensive garrison effect e.g. using GE/USSR pact
Same year as pact signing Cannot break the pact 1939
J/F-M/J of 1st calender year x 3 1st half of 1940
J/A-N/D of 1st calender year x 2 2nd half of 1940
J/F-M/J of 2nd calender year x 1.5 1st half of 1941
J/A-N/D of 2nd calender year x 3/4 2nd half of 1941
J/F-M/J of 3rd calender year x 1/2 1st half of 1942
J/A-N/D of 3rd calender year x 1/3 2nd half of 1942
4th calender year and beyond x 1/4 1943+

Optional: The Leader's Impatience

- Starting with impulse 7 of M/J 1941 (and any later impulse), Germany may treat the Russian defensive garrison as 3/4 instead of 1.5.
- Starting with impulse 7 of M/J 1942 (and any later impulse), USSR may threat the German defensive garrison as 1/3 instead of 1/2.

Note that this means impulse 7 on the track, not necessarily the 7th impulse of the turn.

If playing the Cumulative Impulse System, use an impulse value of 34+ in place of impulse 7.

Rationale

Many consider a 1941 Barbarossa in WIF to be too difficult for the Russians to survive, especially when playing Deluxe with the 2d10 CRT. When combined with a Gangwaltz (all 3 Axis players attacking Russia) or a "Super-Balbo" (Balbo + huge commitment of Italian bombers), it requires nearly perfect execution on the part of the Allies to have a hope of coming back. Even more irksome, is that such comebacks are only possible because of the relative sanctuary of the Asian map where the Soviet remnants can realistically form a line. Such comebacks (which rarely result in a win, given normal bids) are wholly unsatisfying because deep down, we know it's just an accident of map-scale.

Knowing that their odds of surviving a 41 Barb are low, Soviet players are forced into a difficult choice:
(a) try to stuff the border and hope that Germany doesn't break the pact
(b) or defend further back and allow the Germans to attack whenever they please.

Option (a) is incredibly risky and if it fails, the Russian army will almost certainly be destroyed. If it succeeds, it can save Russia but such a result is completely unsatisfying because it essentially comes down to the luck of the chit draws. Nobody likes a game as long and complicated as WIF being decided this way. It's also difficult to rationalize given Hitler's obsession with destroying communism and his absolute control of Germany.

Option (b) essentially gives the Germans all summer to destroy the Soviets. It's not uncommon for Germans to start Barbarossa in J/F or M/A when faced with such a defense. The result is predictable. Unless the German player is horribly unlucky, the Soviets can easily be driven off the European map.

Historically, Barbarossa didn't start until June 22nd, 1941 (nearly the very end of the M/J turn). The Dnepr was not crossed until the end of August. The encirclement of Kiev came in S/O and the drive on Moscow did not start until N/D. Such a result is scarcely possible given the way the pact rules currently work. If the Germans can break the pact, they will certainly at least take advantage of the whole of M/J.

This rule essentially forces a compromise. Stuffing the border is now virtually guaranteed to work, up until the end of June. The trade-off is that the Germans will be allowed to break it at roughly the historical time (or right on schedule, if playing with the "Leader's Impatience"). However, they will only have a little more than half the summer to make progress against the Russians.

This rule also has a number of good side effects:
- this rule discourages the No-Bess gambit and encourages Germany to avoid aligning Rumania as long as possible. Aligning Rumania too soon allows the Russians to stuff the border much more safely from the Rumanian border instead of the exposed Polish salient.
- it may very well be possible for Russia to maintain a 1939 pact with Japan at least until the end of M/J 1941, thereby diminishing the effectiveness of a Gangwaltz.
- since the Fascists are granted an exception under the "mad dictator" clause, it's only fair that Stalin gets the benefit as well, albeit one year later. This rule pretty much eliminates the Sitz as a viable (no-fun) strategy. Germany can avoid confronting Russian until 1942 but that's it.

Since this rule effectively shortens the window of opportunity for Germany, I recommend combining this rule with the Fall of Paris.

If you also want to simulate the logistical difficulties of Barbarossa, try Simple Logistics.

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