Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Look into the Past

Here is a peek at Valiesk's old flag from the merry days of the Cold War, back when it was the People's Republic of Valiesk.

The Rebels have Arrived!

I've just received a package of Rebel Minis (pun not intended) Modern US Infantry to serve as the National Salvation Forces, AKA the Rebels. Time to prime and paint!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Loyalists are Ready!

I've finished up painting my Government Forces (AKA Loyalists) for the Valieskan Civil War.

Mechanized Rifle Platoon
3x Rifle Squads
3x BTR-70s
1x Command Team

Mechanized Rifle Squad:

1x Squad Leader
1x RPG-7
2x RPK-74
3x AK-74
1x BTR-70

Sunday, July 17, 2011

FAD4 Valieskan Force Overview

In this post I'll overview the various factions of the Valieskan Civil War using FAD 4.0 stats. For the time being I won't be designing any specific unit, but rather thinking about the big picture and the advantages and disadvantages of all forces.

Government Army (AKA "Loyalists")
Miniatures: QRF Motor Rifle Infantry.
Quality: Conscript.
Resolve: Steady.
Squad Size: 7 men (1x RPG-7, 1x Leader, 2x RPK-74, 3x AK-74).
Armour: Light.
Infantry Weapons: Assault Rifles, RPGs, SAWs.
Vehicles: APCs (BTR-70), Tanks (T-72), Helicopters (Mil Mi-24), Jeeps (UAZ), Trucks (Ural).

Government Spetznaz (AKA "Loyalist Spetznaz")
Miniatures: Rebel Minis PLA.
Quality: Regular.
Resolve: Determined.
Squad Size: 7 men.
Armour: Enhanced.
Infantry Weapons: Assault Rifles.
Vehicles: Usually Helicopters (Mil Mi-24).

National Salvation Forces (AKA "Rebels")
Miniatures: Rebel Minis US Army.
Quality: Regular.
Resolve: Steady.
Squad Size: 4 men (1x SAW, 1x Leader w/M-4, 1x M-4 w/M-203, 1x M-4).
Armour: Enhanced.
Infantry Weapons: High-Tech Rifles, Rifle Grenades, SAWs, Missile Launchers.
Vehicles: Jeeps (HUMMERs), IFVs (Bradleys), Helicopters (Black Hawks).

Village/Citizens' Militia
Miniatures: Peter Pig Partisans and Hardened Militia.
Quality: Rabble.
Resolve: Uncertain.
Squad Size: Varies (6-10 men and women).
Armour: None.
Infantry Weapons: Low-Tech Rifles, sometimes Assault Rifles and rarely RPKs and RPGs.
Vehicles: Mostly soft-skins; sometimes Technicals (i.e. Gaz-66 with a machinegun bolted on).

Vory v Zakone
Miniatures: Rebel Minis Armed Gunmen.
Quality: Regular.
Resolve: Uncertain (usual criminal behavior) or Determined (w/ combat drugs) .
Squad Size: 6 Men.
Armour: None.
Infantry Weapons: Assault Carbines, Shotguns, Missile Launchers, SAWs.
Vehicles: Mostly soft-skins; sometimes Technicals (i.e. Gaz-66 with a machinegun bolted on).

Red Front
Miniatures: Khurasan Miniatures Spuldevan Resistance Fighters.
Quality: Conscript.
Resolve: Determined.
Squad Size: 7 Men and Women (1x Leader, 1x RPG, 1x Medic, 4x AK-74).
Armour: Light.
Infantry Weapons: Assault Rifles, SMGs, RPGs.
Vehicles: Technicals (i.e. Gaz-66 with a machinegun bolted on); sometimes old tanks (T-55).

Black Freedom
Miniatures: Rebel Minis Post-Apocalyptic Survivors+Rebel Minis Bikers.
Quality: Rabble.
Resolve: Determined.
Squad Size: 6 Men and Women.
Armour: None.
Infantry Weapons: Assault Carbines, SMGs, Pistols, Shotguns.
Vehicles: Soft-Skins, Motorcycles.

White Legion
Miniatures: Undecided yet.
Quality: Regular.
Resolve: Steady.
Squad Size: ?
Armour: Light? Enhanced?
Infantry Weapons: Assault Rifles?
Vehicles: Soft-Skins, Muscle Cars, Tanks?

Russian Spetznaz
Miniatures: Rebel Minis Spetznaz.
Quality: Elite.
Resolve: Determined.
Squad Size: 12 Men (whole unit).
Armour: Light.
Infantry Weapons: Assault Rifles, SAWs, Missile Launchers, Pistols.
Vehicles: Usually deployed by Mil Mi-24 helicopters.

German KSK
Miniatures: Rebel Minis KSK.
Quality: Elite.
Resolve: Determined.
Squad Size: 12 Men (whole unit).
Armour: Enhanced.
Infantry Weapons: Assault Rifles, SAWs, Shotguns, Pistols.
Vehicles: Usually deployed by 'Little Bird' helicopters.

US Special Forces
Miniatures: Rebel Minis KSK.
Quality: Elite.
Resolve: Determined.
Squad Size: 8 Men.
Armour: Enhanced.
Infantry Weapons: Assault Rifles, SMGs, Shotguns.
Vehicles: Usually deployed by 'Little Bird' helicopters.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Choice of Wargaming Rules for Valiesk

I've been thinking about which rulesets to use for Valiesk and have reached a conclusion.

My first choice, for platoon-level engagements, is Fast and Dirty v4.0 (FAD4) by Ivan Sorensen. This is a free ruleset available on the 'Net, which is quite interesting and dynamic when it comes to infantry tactics and morale, all while staying quite simple to learn and use. It was designed with sci-fi in mind, but could definitely be used for any modern or sci-fi milieu starting from WWII and up to futuristic sci-fi.

This is a platoon- or company-level ruleset, which, while having relatively cumbersome vehicle rules, is great nonetheless for infantry engagements with a few vehicles added for good measure. And it supports a wide range of weapons, equipment, and troops qualities.

The second ruleset I intend to use is USE ME Modern Warfare by These are very elegant rules, using two characteristics per until (ELAN, which is unit quality, and Move, which is its speed) and only 1d6 for all rolls. It is fast and furious, and highly suitable to quick resolution of small-units engagements, such as Russian Spetznaz rescuing hostages from an embassy taken over by Black Freedom, or the Valieskan Police raiding a Vory warehouse.

This is a modern ruleset based on a previous sci-fi ruleset and produced by the wonderful Oh, and I was its co-writer, so let's say I'm a bit biased towards it. It was fun statting all the real-world forces in USE ME stats!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Speech of President Navchenko, July 2011

Speech of President Marina Navchenko, July 2011

"My fellow citizens and patriots.

Our times are dark ones. Enemies of our freedom, of your democratic choice of government, are arming themselves and preparing for war against the citizens of Valiesk. The arch-traitor, General Moraviev, is building his own terrorist army bent on destroying all we have labored for in the last two years and return our fair country to the dark age of Vassiliev's reign.

We will not tolerate this. We will not let these bandits rob our country of its democratically-elected government.

Citizens, patriots, I, the President you have elected in the first free elections in Valiesk's modern history, call you to do your civil duty and enlist in the Army of the Republic of Valiesk to defend our homeland from traitors, terrorists and would-be tyrants. make no mistake. Moraviev's gang will not submit itself to the laws of our country or to the justice of our courts. Only in the battlefield we may stand a chance to defeat this threat to our liberty. And for that we need men and women willing to give their blood for the sake of our homeland.

And I ask Moraviev and his ilk: If you truly see yourselves as saviors of our nation, if you see yourselves as a legitimate opposition to my administration, why do not you try to win the support of your fellow citizens in open elections? Why do you fear the will of the people? The answer is simple. All of these gangsters are sworn enemies of the people's will, the will expressed in the democratic process. They want to steal our country from us and sell it to the highest bidder. We will not let them do so!

My fellow countrymen, to arms! To arms! Defend the homeland from these criminals!"

Monday, July 4, 2011

Facts at a Glance 2011

The Republic of Valiesk - Facts at a Glance (2011)

Capital (and largest city): Igorgrad
Official Languages: Valieskan
Ethnic Groups: 89.4% Valieskans, 5.2% Poles, 3.6% Russians, 1.3% Ukrainians, 0.5% Others
Demonym: Valieskan
Government: Presidential Republic
President: Marina Navchenko
Independence from Soviet Union: November 1990
Area: 37,000 Square Miles
Population (2010 census): 1,540,000
Population Density: 41.62 persons per square kilometer
GDP Per Capita: $4,600
Currency: Valieskan Ruble (VAR)
Time Zone: GMT+2
Internet TLD: .vi
Corruption Perception Index: 3.9 (68th least corrupt)
Number of Troops: 74,000

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Flags of the Valieskan Civil War

I've created flags for the main factions of the Valieskan civil war:

The old State of Valiesk (1993-2009)

Government of the Republic of Valiesk ("Loyalists")

National Salvation Forces ("Rebels")

Red Front

Black Freedom

The White Legion

Friday, June 10, 2011

Loyalist BTR-70s ready for action!

I've painted today three QRF BTR-70s for the Loyalists. While I'm not completely pleased with the result of the inking wash I used to flesh out their details, they look like they've seen some action, which is very appropriate - the Loyalists have mostly old Cold War-era gear at their disposal.

And here they are:
And a closer look at one of them:
Tomorrow I'll paint the Loyalist troops themselves, in similar colors to their BTRs: olive-green uniforms and steel helms, armed with AK-74s, RPK-74s and RPG-7s.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Loyalists: Primed!

I've finished priming the Loyalist forces, so here they are - I hope I'll be able to paint them this weekend.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Loyalist Work-in-Progress

The Loyalist Mechanized Rifle Platoon is slowly but surely taking shape. Now all troopers are based, and neatly form three rifle squads, each with four AK-74s, two RPK-74s, and an RPG-7, as well as a three-men command team with a kneeling platoon CO. All of these ride the BTR-70s, one for each squad; maybe I should buy a UAZ jeep for the command team? Or would they ride one or more of the BTR-70s?

Once I'll put my grubby hands on some decent white Gesso primer, I'll prime them, then paint away! The next step is, of course, buying and painting the Rebels and their expensive Western vehicles (HUMMERs and maybe an M3 Bradley).

Saturday, June 4, 2011

BTR-70s under production!

I've assembled three 15mm BTR-70s from QRF to serve with the Loyalist Mechanized Infantry. The next step is priming and painting them in olive green.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Loyalists have Arrived!

My three packs of QRF 15mm Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry have arrived today. They will serve me well as Loyalists. Their gear is quite dated, as the newer gear mostly fell into the hands of the well-funded, well-connected Rebels, so they are mainly armed with AK-74s, RPK-74s and RPG-7s.

I've also ordered three 15mm BTR-70s from QRF to mechanize this force; hopefully, they'll be here shortly.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Reenforcements are on their Way!

I've recently ordered four more packs of Khurasan Miniatures Sepuldevan Resistance fighters to complete my Red Front platoon, as well as three BTR-70s from QRF to mechanize the Loyalist Guards Platoon.

Next in line on my to-buy list are a T-80 for the Loyalists, a T-55 and a GAZ-66 for the Red Front, and troops and HUMMERs for the Rebels, not to mention a helicopter for the Russian Spetznaz...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Loyalists are on their Way!

I've ordered a platoon's worth of Soviet/CIS Motor Rifle Infantry from QRF to serve as Loyalist troops. They've got a mixture of AKs, RPKs and RPGs which would be perfect for this kind of force. Later on, when more funds will become available, I'll buy them three BTR-80s and maybe one T-80 to bring them to a reinforced platoon strength.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Russian Spetznaz

Here is a platoon's worth of Russian Spetznaz troopers, the best of the best, with AK-107s, RPK-74s and RPG-32s. Eventually I'll order them a chopper or two from QRF.

Vory v Zakone Thugs

Here is a gang of Vory v Zakone thugs, several with AK-74s, one with an RPG-29, one with an RPG-74 and two (sniper and spotter) with an SVD sniper rifle:

Factions in the Valieskan Civil War

Here is a short outline of the factions involved in the Civil War in Valiesk:

The Valieskan Government ("Loyalists")
A large portion of the Valieskan Army has rallied to Nachevsky's cause, and have sworn to defend the elected President and her administration to the death. While many of the better-equipped, better-trained forces have defected to Moraviev's National Salvation Forces, the bulk of the ordinary Army, as well as parts of the Navy and Airforce, remain loyal to the government.

As most elite forces have defected to Moraviev's side, the Loyalists have mostly ordinary conscripts and officers at its side, with only mediocre training and, for the most part, old Soviet-era equipment, from AK-74s and RPG-7s through BTR-80s to T-80s and Mil Mi-8s. The big exception to this is the Velieskan Spetznaz, equipped with the latest Chinese military technology recently purchased by Nachevsky. What the Loyalists lack in equipment and training, however, they make up in numbers, as many of the conscripts have voted for Nachevsky in the 2009 elections, and do not want to see their vote overruled by Moraviev's forces.

The National Salvation Forces ("Rebels")
General Moraviev's forces represent the interests of several very powerful people in Valiesk and abroad, and their funding reflects this. While outnumbered by the Loyalists, the Rebels - most of whom are former Presidential Guard and other elite forces - enjoy superior training and modern, Western-made equipment. Unlike Nachevsky's conscripts, Moraviev's forces are composed mostly of career soldiers and officers, usually former supporters of the Vassiliev regime who dislike the current populist regime and its policies and wish to return to a more stable, authoritarian rule.

As a side note, the Rebels also have far more 'moral flexibility' than the Loyalists, as they see their cause to be far more important than inconsequential things such as human rights and the rules of war; their well-funded public relations machine could smooth over and cover most messy affairs done by the Rebel troops.

Village Militias
Formed by Nachevsky's presidential decree and supplied with hand-me-down arms by the Loyalist army, these rural forces are tasked with protecting the results of Nachevsky's Land Reform from whoever opposes them, from landlord-employed Vory thugs to the Rebel army. While badly equipped and only semi-trained, these forces know the countryside like the backs of their hands, and are able to move through it with ease. They are also fighting to defend their homes, and spare no effort in doing so.

Vory v Zakone
The Valieskan criminal underworld is ruled by the organized crime gangs - the Vory v Zakone ("Thieves under a Code"). These thugs, in many cases unemployed former KGB agents and other persons with similar military or paramilitary training, take part in armed robberies, bandit activity, drug and gun trafficking and similar criminal jobs throughout Valiesk. While they lack military-grade equipment, they are fast, determined and callous, melting into the woodwork if they encounter a much mightier foe.

The Red Front
Formed by a merger of several communist, socialist and anarcho-syndicalist organizations in the underground during Vassiliev's reign, the Red Front is a determined left-wing guerrilla force who thinks that Nachevsky hasn't gone far enough in making Valiesk democratic and socialist. While they lack heavy firepower (except for a few 'liberated' T-55s and several 'Technicals', that is), they are very committed to their cause and quite willing to die for it. Their traditional arch-enemies are the White Legion, not to mention Moraviev's Rebels (whom they consider to be nothing but an incarnation of Vassiliev's forces), but they won't hesitate to fight the Vory or even Nachevsky's Loyalists if deemed necessary.

Black Freedom
In 2009, a group of anarchists split from the Red Front, complaining that the Red Front was too authoritarian for their tastes. These anarchists, highly spirited by badly organized, formed Black Freedom - a series of gangs determined to bring any authoritarian regime (Nachevsky's administration included) to its knees and throw it off the backs of the people. They are lightky armed, but well-used to violence and with high morale.

The White Legion
Originally called the "Motherland Army", this neo-fascist gang has a tradition of terrorizing minorities, homosexuals, leftists and trade-unionists and getting into particularly messy street-brawls with the Red Front. While their weapons are mostly civilian in scope, they are well-experienced in street brawling and willing to do anything to crush their enemies and get into power.

Russian Spetznaz
Russia is more than prepared to defend its interests all around the globe, Valiesk included. While an all-out military intervention is rules out for the time being, teams of Spetznaz special-forces operatives could be sent by helicopter to defends the interests of Mother Russia in Valiesk. They are heavily armed and among the best soldiers in the world, so their relatively small numbers should be more than capable of defeating much larger hostile formations.

German KSK
Germany follows the events in Valiesk with great interests, as it is heavily invested in Baltic commerce and diplomacy. While, again, a full-scale military intervention in Valiesk is highly unlikely to be favored by German public opinion, should the interests of Germany be threatened by any faction in Valiesk, the German counter-terrorist forces - KSK - will be deployed to swiftly and decisively deal with the threat.

U.S. Special Forces
For the most part, Valiesk is not a priority target for U.S. military action. In th case U.S. interests in the region - such as the U.S. embassy at Igorgrad - will be threatened, however, the U.S. will be able to deploy teams of its Special Forces to defend these interests.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

History of Valiesk in the last 100 years (part 3 - Final)

1990-1993 - the Independent Republic of Valiesk
With the Soviet troops gone and the United People's Party bankrupt, Valiesk entered a turbulent period of political chaos, with presidencies surviving only a few months before succumbing to scandal or political collapse. The economy plummeted, long lines formed in front of bakeries, and crime was rife.

This was the golden age of the "Oligarchs", smash-and-grab capitalists - usually former UPPV middle-level apparatchiks - to whom almost everything was privatized in a hurry and without too much costs for the Oligarch. These former bureaucrats now lived like kings in ritzy mansions, enjoying all good vices of life while the ordinary citizens suffered from mass unemployment, poverty and crime. They managed their newly-acquired business empires for a single goal: get as rich as possible as quickly as possible, no hold barred. Most of them had connections with the Vory v Zkone - the local organized crime gangs, now full of unemployed KGB operatives (the ones who didn't become Oligarchs, that is).

1993-2009 - the State of Valiesk
In May 1993, the former commander of the Valieskan KGB and an aspiring businessman, Anton Vassiliev, grabbed power in a thinly-veiled coup. Renaming the republic the State of Valiesk, he then moved quickly to consolidate power. First and foremost, he threw many of the Oligarch to prison on corruption and tax-evasion charges, allowing for hostile takeovers (so to speak) of their assets by him and by his relatives and friends. Second, he brought in Western-European and U.S. investments, in many of which he was the local business partner; Western weapons and equipment also streamed by the truckload to his Presidential Guard, now bloated into a full Brigade with the latest high-tech gear. Crime, also, was finally brought to a more tolerable level due to a massively-inflated police apparatus and use of military forces to break up gangs and end protection rackets.

Vassiliev's reign was marked by grand and wasteful projects on one hand (with the contractors being his close relatives), and with iron-fisted repression on the other. Nationalism, as well as a cult of personality around the "Illustrious President" were actively encouraged. Death squads went rampant in the cities, and torture was highly common in state prisons.

Public resentment of Vassiliev's rule came mostly in the 2000's, after the initial admirations of his way of dealing with crime and corruption has subsided and his own crimes and corruption became apparent. While any protest met with brutal repression and any resistor who was found was 'disappeared', several resistance movements began to form underground, from the right-winged Motherland Army through the moderate leftist Democratic Socialists to the far-left Red Front.

Eventually, in 2006, Vassiliev's foreign business partners got tired with his excesses and with his wasteful ways and started to pull out their investments, destabilizing his administration and intensifying his resentment by the public. Both the Motherland Army and the Red Front began active guerrilla resistance against the regime, drawing more and more soldiers to defect to their respective organizations.

In December 2008, a very broad coalition of Vassiliev's opponents, from the right and the left, overthrew his rule with the help of the majority of the Army and even some of the Presidential Guard who grew dissatisfied with Vassiliev's nepotism and favoritism. To avoid further chaos, a broad coalition government was installed to run the country until the elections. Vassiliev himself fled to an undisclosed location, taking with him a good chunk of the state treasury to his secret Swiss bank account.

2009-2011 - the Republic of Valiesk
In March 2009, Marina Navchesky of the Democratic Socialists was elected president, on a platform calling for the restoration of democracy, for the elimination of corruption and for social justice. She soon formed a coalition government with various leftist and centrist parties, including the PDPV (People's Democratic Party of Valiesk, the remnants of the old UPPV) and began making reforms.

All of Vassiliev's massive 'private' (that is, stolen) property was nationalized and their books exposed on the internet by the new government, showing the old regime's corruption and maintaining a feeling of transparency in these business. These businesses, including most utilities, the coal mines, the iron mines and heavy industry, were turned into joint-ventures, with the Valiskan government holding 51% of the assets and the rest held by private investors, including foreign - mostly Russian and Chinese - ones.

Navchensky also began tackling the remaining Oligarchs, a move which bought her and her administration many enemies. Supporting unions, legalizing strikes and increasing the minimum wage also enraged some very powerful people, who began, at back rooms and behind the scenes, to talk among themsleves about the "rising communist threat".

Things came to a head in 2011, when the Navchensky administration put forward a sweeping land reform program, which stepped on too many rural landlords' toes. General Moraviev, chief of staff of the Valieskan Army and former commander of Vassiliev's Presidential Guard, declared Navchensky's administration illegitimate and called the Army to follow him in rebellion. Navchensky responded by calling the soldiers to rally to her cause, the cause of democracy, and defend the Motherland from the "aspiring dictator" Moraviev.

Thus began the Valieskan Civil War.

Monday, April 4, 2011

History of Valiesk in the last 100 years (part 2)

1940-1944 - German Protectorate of Valiesk
The Third Reich invaded Valiesk on February 1940, taking the backward island nation by surprise with a naval invasion backed up with a massive paratrooper attack. President for Life Darilov was killed on the second day of the attack when a Luftwaffe bomb penetrated his bunker under the Presidental palace in Igorgrad, leaving the nation leaderless and critically damaging the Valieskan national morale, which was built up for two decades as a cult of personality of Darilov. Soon enough, after two weeks of fighting, Valkiesk surrendered to the invader.

The Whermacht set up a colonial administration in Valiesk called the German Protectorate of Valiesk, and proceeded to squeeze out every last bit of profit they could from the local industry and workforce, as well as from the coffers of the former Darilov administration. Most of Valiesk's Jewish population of 60,000 were murdered by Nazi firing squads, and many Valieskan workers were shipped to Germany as slave workers.

The Valieskan people resisted these atrocities, forming partisan groups in the mountains in central Valiesk and fighting a guerrilla war against the occupation. Later on, in 1943, they began receiving air-dropped supplies and weapons from the Soviet Union. While a thorn at the side of the Third Reich, the Valieskan partisans were unable to liberate their island from the Nazi occupation. But then the Red Naval Infantry came.

1944-1990 - the People's Republic of Valiesk
The Red Army attacked the German forces in Valiesk in mid-1944 using a massive Naval Infantry landing force, with powerful air and naval artillery support. After three months of intensive fighting and many casualties, the Red Naval Infantry liberated the entire island. Without much delay, they set up a provisional government under the leadership of Boris Nobrinsky, leader of the local partisans. In 1946, a year after the victory in the Great Patriotic War, this provisional government was transformed into a pro-soviet People's Republic of Valiesk, ruled by the United People Party of Valiesk.

Under communist rule, Valiesk was rapidly industrialized, its villages turned into mechanized cooperatives, its fishing boats motorized and the industry at Igorgrad and the other major cities vastly expanded; in 1976, a nuclear power plant was installed near Igorgrad. With the proximity of the pro-Western Scandinavian nations and Western Germany, of course, it was also heavily militarized, with several Red Banner Fleet submarine bases, Red Fleet naval bases, ICBM silos and a large, powerful army equipped with the latest Soviet arms.

Its proximity to the NATO states also made Valiesk a primary setting for cold-war maneuvering and espionage, with multiple listening posts and similar military intelligence targets based on the island. The local KGB branch was accordingly buffed out and heavily funded by both local resources and funds from the mainland.

Up until 1978, People's Valiesk's economy was constantly on the rise, owing to massive industrialization and to the establishment of many new coal and iron mines in its hills and mountains. However, during the late Brezhnev era, Valiesk's economy started to suffer from the same recession which engulfed the entire Warsaw pact in these years, and public unrest - almost unheard of until then - started to grow. Then, in 1990, the Soviet Union withdrew its forces from Valiesk, and the People's Republic disappeared almost overnight.

History of Valiesk in the last 100 years (part 1)

1917-1919 - the Soviet Republic of Valiesk
Up until the February Revolution (1917), Valiesk was nothing more than a backward province of the Russian Empire, albeit with a naval station at the district capital of Igorgrad. The island's population was mostly composed of fishermen, hill-country peasants and a minority of workers in the shipping and shipbuilding industry. The February Revolution and the fall of the Czar replaced the provincial administration with a Soviet of Workers', Peasants' and Sailors' Deputies, initially with a Social-Revolutionary majority and Bolshevik and Menshevik minorities. The bulwark of the revolution in Valiesk came not from the natives, but from Navy sailors stationed at Igorgrad, who brought modern political ideas from the mainland.

The upheavals of 1917 gradually moved the local electorate to the left, and in November 1917, a new Soviet was elected with a left S-R majority; the left S-Rs formed a coalition government with the Bolsheviks and declared Valiesk an independent socialist republic.

Then came the Russian Civil War. Several times, the White armies, assisted by the British and German navies, tried to take Valiesk from the Red government; twice they succeeded, only to be overthrown by a Red counter-offensive, creating massive destruction. Finally, in 1919, a British-led White invasion conquered Valiesk and held it.

1919-1940 - the Republic of Valiesk
Following the British-White conquest of Valiesk, a provisional government was formed with a Nationalist majority, and Valiesk was declared an independent republic. While nominally a parliamentary democracy, the young Republic soon started to show ever-increasing authoritarian tendencies, with its President Michail Darilov becoming little more than a dictator. While some British and German investments brought with them some development of Igorgrad and its environs, corruption was rife, and the vast majority of the Valieskan population remained in backward villages on the coast or in the hilly country in the middle of the island.

Relations with the nearby Soviet Union were strained at best, with Darilov building up paranoia about an impending Soviet invasion in order to consolidate his rule. In 1935, Darilov crowned himself President for Life and the Eternal Protector of Valiesk. However, in mere five years, his life, and presidency, would come to an end with the Nazi invasion of Valiesk at the dawn of the Second World War.

Welcome to Valiesk!

Welcome to the Republic of Valiesk, a fictional Baltic island-nation which has seen much bloodshed in the last century, and is now, again, heading towards civil war. This will serve as a background for wargaming (and, later on, possibly RPGing).

In this blog I'll explore Valiesk's bloody history from the Russian Civil War through the Great Patriotic War and the Cold War to Perestroika, independence, modern dictatorship, overthrow and ultra-modern civil war. I'll also explore the current politics of this hapless nation, and the 15mm miniatures that will represent the various factions in the civil war (and the wars of the past).

So welcome, enjoy your stay, and keep your AK-74 loaded!