Greetings Honorable readers and...INFIDELS, I am Field Marshal HongKongPhooey, Imperial High Commander and High Counselor to His Imperial Majesty. I am also YuriNader, Marshal of the Soviet Union and for five consecutive terms its leader. It was not originally my intention to become such and I certainly did not imagine I'd make it on my first attempt. Yuri started out as a humble spy, created expressly to keep a watch on the doings of CommanderKOO AKA CommanderBLK of the African Warlords. As is often the case the Empire and Warlords were at war, and as often the case they were losing without support from another faction. So KOO did the next, worst thing and launched a massive rogue offensive against the SE. The Soviet Chairman at the time was unwilling to sign a peace treaty with us to bring these attacks to an end. We, therefore, had to deal with them by other means. But I wanted to do more than just spy, so as a lowly junior commander I joined PvP battles in order to throw them to help my Empire. This soon backfired, however, when I started winning.
I discovered I enjoyed playing with the stronk (but slow) Soviet units. They made for quite a change of pace from the Empire's. Such variety is a big reason why so many have different toons in different factions. I adapted the grinding techniques my dear friend and Shogun Brother Darkagma developed for the SE to the SU. I also discovered I had a knack for PvP Blitz and it wasn't long afterwards I started to get noticed (not a good thing for a spy) and invited to join battlegroups. But I decided to start my own instead-the Iron Curtain Chefs. As I closed in on an elusive SU High Command slot, I found myself in a position where I could make a serious run for faction leader. What finally drove me to do so was when the then SU leader allowed himself to be bullied by the UR into turning on his faithful allies and friendly neighbors, my Shoguns. UR had started a war with the SU and the Empire naturally backed them as much as we could while also fighting off other enemies at the time. But even with our help the Union, due to poor leadership and lack of teamwork, continued to lose ground to the Republic.
The decision to turn on us proved very unpopular amongst the rank and file Comrades and with many High Commanders as well. So it not only gave me a motive to run for chairman but an opportunity as well. Masaharta, my Boss, best friend and partner in March of Warcrime, agreed that the SU needed a new leader. At first he considered running himself. But his leadership was still needed in the Empire and dual faction leaders are forbidden anyway, so the burden fell to me. The campaign that followed was dirty and bitter. Politics, especially in the Union, is warfare carried on by other means. I claim no innocence for my part in it. I exaggerated (if not outright lied), cheated (by soliciting votes from other factions' alts) and did other dishonorable things I'm not proud of. But I am proud I also managed to get the endorsement of four former, respected Soviet leaders and several key members of the High Command. Without their help and active support I would not have won. In fact I didn't think I would on the first attempt. My goal was mainly to get my name out there and present a viable alternative to the then current regime. So I was as surprised as any when I logged in to see my name and picture atop the faction page. But I soon discovered that getting elected was the easy part.
Wars With the Latin Junta
Since these wars largely centered around the Junta's long time leader, Majik Mewt, a few words about him are in order. As a person he is a nice guy, as a Merc he is helpful and kind. As a player he was one of the best and most relentless grinders this game has ever known. As a leader he was a manipulative, mendacious, moody megalomaniac. He was also a bully, and his favorite whipping boy was the SU. He invaded, overran and humiliated the Union numerous times. The few Soviet leaders who dared stand up to him he would demand their resignations before he withdrew. Only to invade again later at the slightest provocation or on a whim or simply because he could. So it was not long before I ran afoul of him too. The Union was at war with the Republic again, both to back our Shogun allies and to get some payback for our earlier humiliation at their hands. Mewt decided that the SE-UR war must be a 1 v 1 and if the SU did not stand down immediately, he would invade. We did not and he did.
However, the Junta was not as strong as it was previously nor was the Union as weak. This time they did not simply break into our far eastern port and Blitzkrieg their way to Moscow. We fought them for every territory, held them off in some and retook others. I approached Mewt with an offer that if he withdrew we would lay off the UR, except for skirmishes in Alaska. Knowing that the longer his forces were tied down in Mother Russia, the more vulnerable the Junta was at home, he agreed. Shortly thereafter followed one of the strangest episodes in the history of this March of War. A UR alt called Revolutionario, was making a serious bid for power in the LJ and seriously challenging Mewt's authority. Out of sheer frustration, Mewt allowed this UR coup, resigned and Revo took over. He immediately invaded both the Empire and the Union, but his offensives were quickly repelled and all the other factions soon united together against this crazed usurper. With the Empire spearheading the crusade and the Comrades of the glorious Red Army not far behind, South America was invaded and overrun. We still have screenshots and souvenirs of our brief, glorious trip to that majikal land. Most notably Comrade Makron, my second in command at the time, has some captive Amazons who still reside happily in his spanking chamber.
Revo eventually resigned and Mewt was restored. One would think after this he would be grateful and not invade the Union again without just cause (or as Makron so eloquently put it: "I do not want to go to war with that cray cray muthafuckah again!"). But unfortunately, this was not to be the case. Mewt invaded us three more times while I was leader. Each of these efforts ended in much the same way as the first: We were never overrun or wiped, the Urals were never breached, Moscow stood safe and he was compelled to withdraw. In fact, in one war I nearly turned the tables on him...as we shall see soon.
Wars With the United Republic
Outside of their alts, there was little love for the Republic inside the Union when I took over as Chairman. Many Comrades and High Commanders resented their attacks and attempts to meddle in internal Soviet matters. So, as noted above, I took an immediately hostile stance towards them. They were backed at first by the Alliance and later by the Junta. But eventually their protection wore off and much of North America was Russian red or Shogun grey. A withdrawal was eventually agreed upon and their leader, GEN3R1C, was replaced by an EA alt called GI Jane who proved no better. Nevertheless, I was willing to give this new (old) leader a chance and granted Jane an objective on Kamchatka. Which Jane promptly took and used to attack Japan thus igniting another SE-UR war. We backed our Shogun allies as best we could while fighting off another of Mewt's invasions. But the Empire was on its own for the most part of this long, hard conflict. The tide swung back and forth many times, but eventually Shogun teamwork, leadership and dedication won the day. Mewt finally withdrew from the Union again so we were able to come in at the end and help deliver the knockout blow. This time the Republic was wiped off the map.
Masaharta, as always, granted generous peace terms to their new leader Carolyn. He also convinced me to give her break, so I tried best I could to get the Comrades to withdraw. But they had gained a taste for Republican blood and matters were not helped by the fact that Ninja, the worst rogue player the game has ever known, kept launching and spearheading new attacks. Eventually Ninja and the wayward Comrades stood down. But not before further embittering relations with the UR, which I was really hoping to improve with their new leader and now that the score had been settled. Carolyn and the UR HC, understandably, thought I approved of these continued attacks, even though I tried to make it clear this was not the case. They wanted commie blood now and so continued to attack the Union beyond our approved Alaska-Kamchatka skrim zone. Which was not a problem, we held our own and drove them back. Long as peace with the EA was maintained, they did not pose a serious threat.
But peace with the EA did, eventually, lamentably, break down (as I shall elaborate on further), and the Union was again caught between two foes in the east and the west. Seeking a way to avoid being crushed by this vice, I approached (who else:) Masaharta, who suggested a simple yet brilliant idea. He had just signed another peace treaty with the UR, so they could not attack Shogun lands for a week. If I allowed the SE to take a few key territories across the Union's middle, we would have a firewall to prevent our enemies from linking up and the Union from being wiped off the map yet again. I heartily approved, the Comrades and Shoguns cooperated (an amazing thing in itself:) and thus was built the Great Grey Wall, as I dubbed it. While the UR was held at bay I had the Comrades focus on the main threat of the EA. The EA advance was halted at Moscow, thanks a heroic effort led by Comrade Makron! The EA agreed to peace in return for some humiliating but necessary and temporary territorial concessions (Google "Treaty of Brest-Litovsk") and now I focused the Bears' full fury against driving the invading capitalist bastards from our lands! Which we quickly did and soon our forces were again Alaska bound!
By this time the Republicans were also facing a threat from south of their border by Mewt and the Juntas. Carolyn had no choice but to approach me for peace and we both knew what would happen if I refused. That would have been the easy, obvious thing to do. But I decided on something bolder, something unexpected and (pardon the cliche) outside the box. I proposed an alliance between the Union and the Republic against the Junta. Carolyn and her HC agreed, they really had no choice at this point either. While they attacked from the north, we went after them via the East Australia-Chile route and continued to pound their port at Sao Pao. It was a tough slog...the Junta was the game's most powerful faction at that point and they battled like demons under their fanatical leader. But courage, determination, perseverance and sheer numbers eventually wore them down. The UR broke through into northern South America while we finally managed to take Sao (with a PvP victory by yours truly sealing the deal;). But just as we had the Mewtzilla cornered in his lair, Carolyn and the UR HC suddenly agreed to a separate peace and pulled out. The unlikely alliance with the UR had almost worked yet it proved to be one of my big mistakes. But I had no time to lament what could have been if I had simply marched on into North America again instead. There were less than 24 hours left on the clock before our fragile truce with the EA expired!
Wars with the European Alliance
My relations with the EA started out badly, ended much worse but with a long period of peace in between. As mentioned earlier, when I first took office we went to war with the UR, who were allied with the Alliance at the time and who actually chose to help their fellow Capitalists for a change. The result was a series of inconclusive border skirmishes with both. Eventually, the EA was drawn off and could no longer support the UR, but soon Mewt and the LJ moved in to fill that role. I knew that this scenario was unsustainable and something had to be done. So since our common border was fairly stable at this point, I approached the Alliance leader, Cruser59, about the possibility of a peace treaty between us. Surprisingly, he agreed and thus we signed the first of our four consecutive pax pacts. Perhaps this was not so surprising, since former Soviet leaders CticAr, Comrade Makron and CaptainBlorg had steadily improved relations with the Alliance after a series of seemingly endless wars.
This prolonged peace, one of the longer ones in our turbulent history, greatly benefited both factions, since it gave each a free hand to deal with other matters (see above). I even at one point discussed the possibility of an alliance been us with Cruser. Together the Bear and the Lion would make a deadly, frightening combination, if they could only set aside their differences, personal and otherwise. But, unfortunately, this would prove not the case, at least not in my case. And trusting the EA's leadership would turn out to be another of my big mistakes.
It all started to fall apart when the time to sign our fourth, and final, treaty came around. I sent it off to Cruser, expecting him to promptly sign as he had done before. But this time he was late...as in 3 days late. Which gave the arch rogue Ninja plenty of time to open fronts on the EA and drive all the way from Poland into West Germany. This, in turn, gave VietnamVet, the "Pebble of the Alliance" and its shadow leader, an excuse to engage in one of his favorite activities besides bitching and bossing; taking Soviet lands. Matters were now out of control, the UR was again attacking us from the East, but I was still winning the election and looking towards a 4th term. Then after election day rolled around, another one of the strangest incidents in March of War history occurred, again involving Mewt and the Juntas. Someone calling himself "The Pecker" had won the LJ elections and he sent me a treaty to sign. My first instinct was to reject it outright. But considering that we were holding our own against the EA and the UR (aided by the Great Grey Wall), who knew when or if Cruser would return, and that the Junta were pushing into the Union again, this time through the south via Central Asia, I figured why not. It was, of course, a dumb move...the dumbest I made. It turned out "The Pecker" was none other than ex UR FL and my old nemesis, GEN3R1C, who had managed to rig the Junta's election via hacking. He was promptly banned, Mewt was restored and the bogus, ill-considered treaty voided. But it had cost time, allowed the war with the EA to rage on and within the hour I signed it Cruser showed up again. If I did not know better, I could swear it had been planned in advance. We had to wait till it was annulled before we could sign a legitimate treaty to put this madness to a temporary end. Cruser asked me to send him the PT, so I did, stupidly thinking he would wait until our borders returned to normal. He didn't, and accepted it leaving the EA in control of most of our lands west of the Urals. Moscow held, thanks, again, to a heroic effort led by Makron. But the damage had been done. Makron was furious at me for my stupidity and rightly so. He left as my second in command, which was another deep blow. Yet to my thinking we were exchanging land for time, time that we could use to regroup, deal with other threats, such as the UR and LJ, and then return to settle our accounts with the Alliance (if you didn't earlier, please Google "Treaty of Brest-Litovsk" now).
What I did with this time was previously discussed-Driving the UR from the Motherland, then aligning with them against Mewt and nearly beating him if not for the UR's treachery. When the truce with the EA expired, all I could do was try and hold them off the Urals. But soon the UR were again, predictably, coming in from the east. Without Makron to help me lead the defense, Moscow fell. What I had most feared and fought to prevent was now coming to pass; the Union was being overrun from two sides. And this time Masaharta and the Shogunate were unable to aid us. Yet my enemies decided not to try and link up and wipe us off the map. Instead they left us with 3 or 4 territories sandwiched in between them, east of the Urals. VietnamVet ordered the EA to hold his so-called Ural Wall at all costs. He also publicly endorsed my rival in the Union, Lazy_Comrade, to replace me as Chairman. This backfired, for despite the support of an army of EA alts and the fact that my true identity had been leaked, the loyal troops of the Red Army rallied around their beleaguered leader and Motherland.
I was elected to my 5th and final term, during which we managed to breech the Ural Wall, though we could not liberate Moscow. These were the only bright spots in those miserable last two weeks. As the war continued in a back and forth stalemate, I could see the end coming to my time in the Kremlin...and I was glad for it. I handed the keys to Comrade Lazy along with my full support and asked only that he not allow himself and the Union to become puppets of the Evil Alliance, and that he would not make peace with the proto fascist bastards until we had liberated all our lands from them. To this he agreed.
Wars with the Lazy_Comrade
Comrade Lazy and I have a complex relationship. To call us Frenemies would be an oversimplification. We despise and distrust one another, yet are able to work together. On a certain level we hold a grudging respect, yet are contemptuous of each other. Even though he fought to remove me from office, in all my time as Chairman he never openly rebelled or went rogue. He always tried to clear objectives with me first and issued priorities that I agreed with 90% of the time. We could have very civil and productive strategy meetings. So when he succeeded me as Chairman, I tried to return the favor and help him however I could. Especially now that I knew firsthand how difficult it was to lead such a fractious faction. He, in turn, kept his promise and fought long and ably to retake our lands from the EA.
In all his time as Chairman the Union only had two, brief, non consecutive weeks of peace with the Alliance. Their arrogant leadership treated him with the same abuse, disrespect and contempt they had me. But while I matched them insult for insult, Lazy seemed to take it in stride...he preferred to seek payback on the battlefield. Together he and I fought many battles against them. It was a very long, hard slog, but eventually the bears wore down the lions. We finally managed to take their port of Benelux, deep behind their lines. From there we broke into France, Germany and VietVet's homeland of England itself. The EA soon sued for peace with the Motherland's lands fully restored. It was at this point I began to no longer regard Lazy as a rival and foe, but as a friend...and I extended my hand accordingly. His response was to bite and spit on it. The lesson here Comrades-To trust someone is to risk betrayal.
I was completely caught off guard by this. Up to that point we had not only been working together but getting along great. Whenever he needed my vote on an attack or to grind out some battles or post priorities or rally the troops or intercede with the SE, I gladly did so when time and my duties within the Empire permitted. He even promised at one point to officially name me as a second in command...he did not, of course, and I didn't really mind. I had never named him as such when I was leader, even though he effectively acted thus and now so was I. But apparently the old resentment, jealousy and hostility was still lodged deep inside and now something had suddenly brought it to the surface. He decided that I was the villain of the peace, the evil, Imperialist usurper and tyrant, and my beloved Empire the Sole Evil faction in all MoWdom. And so he allied with our old enemies the African Warlords against us. He justified this to the Union Comrades and High Commanders as an effort to "punish" the Empire for my usurping the Kremlin. Not realizing that such treacherous turd moves were exactly the reason why I was compelled to seek the Kremlin is the first place! While my Shogun Brothers and Sisters ably and gallantly battled against this attempted double team, I helped within the Union as Yuri, deflecting the Union's attacks away from the Empire and against the beast mongers. I was aided by many loyal Comrade Commanders who were also opposed to Lazy's war. CommanderBLK/KOO was furious because by this point I outranked him in the faction so he could not out vote me 1 v 1. The tables had been turned; Yuri had gone from watching helplessly as BLK used the Union as a pawn against the Empire, to using it against the treacherous Warlord himself to help protect the Empire! The dragons successfully held off the bears with one claw while they fought the warbeasts with the other. Lazy's ill-considered plan had backfired and he was forced to sue for peace.
Comrade Lazy would try the same thing again two more times with the same results (What is that quote-“the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”?:). In between he would engage in a "friendly" war with his new AW buddies, which resulted in the Union being nearly wiped off the map again, due largely to the efforts of the many EA alts who at that time pretty much controlled the AW. Eventually such arrogant assholery by the Alliance leadership caught up with them and led to the permanent loss of Australia and New Zealand, Europe being overrun for months and every faction in the game turning against them. Well every faction except the SU, which even though the opportunity was prime and ripe for the Motherland to take just revenge against her long time tormentors, Lazy held back. He had gone from being a fearless fighter against EA oppression, to a frightened, tired tool; The very thing he promised me he would not become. He treated with the EA to try and block my efforts at payback. But again his plan backfired when I made a secret, unofficial pact with my old foes the Republic and the Junta to seize the EA lands they occupied which bordered the Union. With their help soon large parts of Europe were red. We did it without fighting a single battle against the Alliance and there was not a thing VietVet and his ilk could do but fume and bitch about it.
After helping to save the Empire from being double teamed three times, this is my proudest accomplishment since my time as Chairman. And as I saw my time as Chairman come to a close, so Lazy could see his too. And he, likewise, seemed glad for it. I encouraged DerFloh to run to replace him. DerFloh would prove a more able and reliable leader, who would not place petty, personal grudges above the interests of the Union. Yuri had been avenged but not yet vindicated...that is a matter for history.
Wars with History
It is not always true that the winners write the history, it is often the survivors. And this survivor has two big contentions with the histories written (mainly by enemies and detractors) about his leadership of the Union thus far: First that my Chairmanship was a failure and second that under me the Union was an Imperial Puppet State.
My tenure ended badly. I made mistakes which I have openly acknowledged and expounded upon here. But for most of my Chairmanship, we had peace with the Alliance, were generally successful against the Republic and held off the Junta four (5 if also counting Revo's brief, failed invasion attempt) times, almost defeating them once. Even after my identity as a Shogun High Commander had been leaked to my enemies, most of the Comrades continued to support me until the bitter end. They elected me five times in a row, so I must have done some things right. I'm not claiming to be one of the best Soviet leaders, merely one of the better ones.
I tried to instill in the Union the same teamwork and camaraderie we enjoy in the Empire. For a while it worked to a degree, which is why we were able to do so well, but ultimately it failed for a number of reasons. The greatest of which being that the SU is one of the most divided and dysfunctional factions in the MoW World. It is ironic that such a dis-unified mess is called the Union and that in a faction where everyone calls everyone Comrade, true camaraderie, much like basic consumer goods, is in such short supply. I often felt very alone, even though I enjoyed the help and support of some wonderful and loyal friends such as Mak (of course;), TatianaRomanov, Katya, NatashiaDosily, VodkaThief and F13ND, to name a few. If I had had more time to build an effective leadership team, as Masaharta and I had done in the Empire, I may have made a bigger, more lasting dent in the (dis) Union's contentious culture. Still, this was ultimately my greatest failure.
I have written down some of the lessons I learned as Chairman, here, in hopes that future Soviet leaders may repeat my successes and avoid my mistakes:
One of them, DerFloh, informed me that he found it quite helpful.
As to the Union being an Imperial puppet; Even though the Communist, anti-colonial SU and the Capitalist, Imperialist SE are an ideological odd couple, they share a long common border along with many common interests and enemies. Both need one another and cannot afford to be enemies on a permanent basis. Therefore, oftentimes, what is in the interest of one is also in the interest of the other. So while an action on my, or any Soviet leader's, part may be perceived as doing the Emperor's bidding, it was in fact to the benefit of the Bear and the Dragon alike.
There were also numerous times where I really wanted to help my Empire out, but did not, for doing so would have put the Union in jeopardy. For instance, during the SE's long, brutal war with the UR under GI Jane, not only I but many of my Comrades wanted to come to the Empire's aid, and I had to painfully explain to them the reasons why we could not. Masaharta, likewise, found himself in the same position during the EA-UR double cross and double team in my 5th term. There were also times as well when I, politely, but firmly, refused Masaharta's requests. For instance, when he wanted to include Moscow in the Great Grey Wall...I told him, sorry Sir, but HELL NYET!
If I had sheepishly followed every order and suggestion Masaharta gave, he would have lost respect for me ("loosing face" as we call it in the Empire). Likewise, if my Comrades and High Commanders saw I was blindly following Imperial interests to the detriment of the Union, they would not have fought for nor voted for me so many times. Especially after my true identity had been compromised. Which brings up the subject of the High Command. As anyone familiar with this game knows, a faction leader can do little without the support of the HC. The FL is merely a first among equals, whose only real powers are to make peace treaties and hate speeches. To truly control a faction, one must control its HC as well as FL. In fact, I would argue that control of the HC is more important than controlling the FL, who can be removed and replaced anyway. I was the lone Shogun on a Soviet High Command, surrounded by EA and UR alts. And then there was Ninja, who outranked nearly everyone in the faction and thus had a license to help wreck mine or anyone else's leadership. So there were times when I simply could not control the Union, such as when I tried to order stand downs and withdrawals from the UR and the EA.
Nevertheless, under my Chairmanship, the friendship between the SU and the SE flourished, and not merely because I was an undercover Asian, but because it was in the Empire's best interests to have a Union that is a strong, proud and loyal ally who can stand on its own, rather than a weak puppet state that must be constantly propped up and bailed out. Under me the bears were stronk and proud and raised their red banners high next to the dragon standards as friends, neighbors and equals! This is something to roar about, URRRRRAAAAAAAA!