Archive for February, 2011

Nick Drake and me

Posted: February 3, 2011 in Mod Workshop

Nick Drake was a fabulous singer who died in oblivion. His success has come 20 years after his death.

Some of his songs are for me among the greatest I’ve ever listened to

So why I’m talking about Nick Drake?

Because of this:

The author is right, but I just don’t care. One of the most terrible thing in PC wargames is the certitude better design are obtained by large input of ideas by players.

That’s wrong. A good design is a coherent one, not a result of several additions made by a plurality.

The second misconception is success is immediat.No. Genrally, the best creations get recognition very slowly, because the consumers are very conservative and just look for another iteration of an old products. New things are rarely welcomed.

I don’t know if my mod is good. I like it, but it’s maybe a remarkable piece of shit. I try to maintain coherence and adapt the ideas I read when they seem fine for me. But once again, an ignored creation is generally just a crap turkey and not an underestimated masterpiece.

We’ll see in what category belongs Fatal Yeras in a few years 🙂

Tool for historical modding: books.

Posted: February 3, 2011 in Wargaming

Historical books are the basis of any real historical modding work. When you’re not knowing history, you can’t address the historical rightness of a game.

This point is more important for computer wargames than for boardgames. If boardgames have variants of rules, generally these efforts are rather rare and in any case made by people with strong historical knowledge ( yes, the average boardgaming player is better than the average  PCgamer). Then, the Computer wargames forums and beta squads are mainly destined to offer ” improvements” devised by players who generally are more or less under the Paradox syndrome ( let’s create an unhistorical solution to fix an unhistorical outcome).


Let’s take an exampl :


What’s wrong? Fundamentally the idea that a revolutionary movement is popular, especially when it promises Democracy. In reality, if it would have been the case, Humanity will live in a perfect utopian society since a few thousand years…

Komuch was maybe a sympathetic movement, but it lasted 4 months before crumbling. Peasants didn’t enlisted to support SR, simply because they were weakly politicized and as they have got by themselves land property, they just didn’t understood why they should fight for a party wanting to give them this property after the end of the civil War. All in all, Komuch got at best 30,000 men, a large part being unmotivated at start.


Bolsheviks were certainly popular from November 17 to the spring of 1918. They were, because Lenin just trashed the real political program of the Party for what the masses wanted: land property and peace. But that wasn’t the real Bolshevik program and Lennin could not postpone it indefinitely, except by destroying the Party, which wasn’t his aim… So, after these few months,mood became disillusioned about the Reds, and this was aggravated by the persistence of penuries. This opposition was treated by repression , aggravating the processus…


No side was popular,a nd the idea to give propagandist trait to military leaders ( which is insane, as most Red leaders were ex-Tzarist officers collaborating for various reasons with a new regime they despised)is just wishful thinking. Except very small minorities, most of the Russian population just hoped the war to finish without storming their house. In the end, when it was clear Civil war would storm their house, they were forced to choose. They favored the less menacing and in opportunity the winning side, ie the Reds. But ten years after, in spite of the Nep, Stalin launched the war against peasantry, because peasantry and Communism remained too much hostile to each other to maintain the compromise Lenin established, after the Civil War, and only because he faced the risk of  a general rebellion against the Communist power…


A people’s Tragedy, even if depressing by moments, because his author, Orlando Figes is a little too much prone to criticize everyone, will help to understand how much all the factions were small minorities.


New Fatal Years update

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Rus Mod

Beware: the first file I’ve posted missed a file. Please download again

02/02/2011: archive updated again ….There are some release less quiet than others…

Yet some bugs fixed and a new rule

16) Finland activation.

Finland case must be distinguished of the other minor States born after the Collapse of Russian Empire.

First for historical reasons: Finland had some autonomy in the Tzarist Empire and was so the region Russians were the less inclined to deny independence.

Then a part of Finnish opinion was in favour of a war against Bolsheviks. Among them was Mannerheim. Some Finnish volunteers fought in the Balt Republics and The Finland intervention in October 19 to help Yudenich’s effort was a close affair, the intervention being dismissed because of the very Kolchak’s reluctance to recognize Finland as Independent State.

Then the gameplay is militing too in favor of a Finland intervention, to the condition this intervention be possible rather than certain. Finland is the BIG What-if of the Russian Civil War and may dramatically change its curse, or at least the Northern Theater interest.

New rule:

Until the end of 1919, Southern Whites gets an option allowing Finland to join the White side without playing the Recognize Independence option.

Whites will lose no NM when playing this option, whose cost is 25 EP and 100 rubles.

But playing this option will provoke war entry of Finland only 1 time from 6 ( 15%) unless White players is controlling both Narva and Pskov, raising the success percentage to 35 %. whatever the success or failure of this option, cost will be paid. The option will be checked only on the turn of its activation, and can’t be replayed even if unsuccessful.

Design notes: playing the option is for Southern Whites a must have, but chances are slim, except if Whites are doing reasonably well in Northern Russia. Red player has another incentive to fight for Blat Republics, as the Finnish forces are important and good in quality, creating a real menace on Petrograd.

The option will not be playable from 1920, as at this time, Finland public opinion was massively against war continuation.

The new version is available from the download box at your left.