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ERISS
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Pogroms

Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:36 am

That's a sensitive matter.
There are already pillage and looting ingame, ok.

But, if one pogrom is nothing in the military strategy,
numerous pogroms where adding jews in the war.
Like people went to the Red Army against the White ill-treatments.
Many jews went fighting in the makhnovist army.
Even, White cossaks were sent, disguised as makhnovists, raiding the jews (Denikin, or Wrangel?, wrote late that*). They had just to remove their uniform and keep a black rag on a stick.
So, pogroms were at least a little important in this war, politicaly then military wise. If that was not, there were no need to hide to make pogroms (at first nobody was hidding).

They could be added by flavour events (as treachery or nasty ones).
http://www.ageod-forum.com/showpost.php?p=191826&postcount=4

* At least a great White general who was so pride of his 'political' tricks on the makhnovists (on the jews I say..) that he was idiot writing it!

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Василеостровск
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Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:02 am

All sides carried out pogroms to an extent during war. Most happened in Ukraine and under direction of Petliura and also by Ukraine nationalist units acting independently of each other ('greens') and several by Denikin. Bolshevik soldiers conducted as well, though officially it has always been stated that they were conducted by soldiers acting without direction and punished for it. Though since end of Soviet times documents have been released that have showed several were ordered by Bolshevik leaders. Dirty secret of Soviet Union was our treatment of certain Jews. Some were allowed to flourish, depending on output, but if not strong enough output they were repressed, while non Jew with same output would simply just not advance. It is delicate situation that started in revolution times, with Soviet government, repression goes back further in Russia of course.

In game terms I think this means since pillage option is already available the only way to add would be flavour event. Though I find odd you make such a big deal about cover art not being sensitive and could offend, but you make thread wanting to add simulation of systematic removal and/or murder of people based on religious and ethnicity background, and those victims are Jewish people? Do not you think more people would find that offensive than hammer an sickle on cover?
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Василеостровск
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Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:09 am

ERISS wrote:* At least a great White general who was so pride of his 'political' tricks on the makhnovists (on the jews I say..) that he was idiot writing it!


Well by today's standards you could judge him as 'being stupid for writing it' but in Russia at this time it was perfectly acceptable. You must judge the 'smartness' of writing this in context of time and place.
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Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:19 am

Someone was talking about the fine line between historical accuracy & fun vs. distateful possibility in games. I think progroms are actually a very sensitive topics, and fall right in that category of historical details that you really have to ponder if you put them in a game or not. If there was ever an event for them, I think it should be informative only, like the murder of the Czar family.

But yes, they were a sad reality of this war. :(

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ERISS
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Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:37 am

В wrote:All sides carried out pogroms to an extent during war.

Interesting here:
http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/Colonies_of_Ukraine/pogroms/ukrainianpogroms.htm

I find odd you make such a big deal about cover art not being sensitive and could offend, but you make thread wanting to add simulation of systematic removal and/or murder of people based on religious and ethnicity background, and those victims are Jewish people? Do not you think more people would find that offensive than hammer an sickle on cover?

Again, I talked about the cover: I'm ok with ingame historical Savastika and Hammer&Sickel. I don't like hidding the history, I just don't like promoting sick things to sell something.

The difference between WW2 and RCW, is that the slaughter of Jews was politically important for the armies of RCW. They generally tried to give their kills to the opponents. It was a sad 'game' in the war.
I mean, per exemple, the Whites (the bigger killers) had to not talk about this with their western weapons merchant-governments.

I talk about this, as in the game I was crafting (until R.U.S.), the pogroms counted at least for Historical points (edit: in negative for sure). (yep there are many levels of victory in this game)

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Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:41 pm

It's completely unfair to accuse the White Army of being behind the majority of pogroms, most of them where spontaneous actions from local peasants or raids from Petlioura's bands or "Greens" (both Ukrainian Nationalist or Anarchist pseudo armies).
I could quote that to illustrate the above;

"In his book *200 Years Together*, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn provides these numbers from Nahum Gergel's 1951 study of the pogroms in Ukraine: out of an estimated 1,236 incidents of anti-Jewish violence, 887 mass pogroms occurred, the remainder being classified as "excesses" not assuming mass proportions. Of these incidents, about 40% were perpetrated by the Ukrainian forces led by Symon Petliura, 25% by the Ukrainian Green Army and various Ukrainian nationalist gangs, 17% by the White Army, especially the forces of Anton Denikin. A further 8.5% of Gergel's total figure is attributed to pogroms carried out by soldiers assigned to the Red Army."

I really don't see how it could be put in-game by the way. Looting ? Forced Conscription ?
Talking about looting and pogroms I also remember listening to my grand-father (a young officer in Denikin and then Wrangel's army) telling me about German and Swedish villages being attacked and looted "pogrom-style" around Kherson and Nikolaiev by detachment of Anarchist and Red bands...

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ERISS
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Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:41 pm

Alexor wrote:It's completely unfair to accuse the White Army of being behind the majority of pogroms,

" numbers from Nahum Gergel's 1951 study of the pogroms in Ukraine:
Of these incidents, about 40% were perpetrated by the Ukrainian forces led by Symon Petliura, 25% by the Ukrainian Green Army and various Ukrainian nationalist gangs, 17% by the White Army, especially the forces of Anton Denikin. A further 8.5% of Gergel's total figure is attributed to pogroms carried out by soldiers assigned to the Red Army."

Yeah, sorry. As pogroms are the most in the White ideology, so I figure they were the worst in number done.
What could be intersting, is the % per army size, showing what army actually was the more active on pogroms...
German and Swedish villages being attacked and looted "pogrom-style" around Kherson and Nikolaiev by detachment of Anarchist and Red bands...

Yes, they also killed memmonites. Whites, Germans, and all who could help them were vengefully hated.

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Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:03 am

Am I the only one here who has read Isaac Babel?

If something is a part of history and has a significant and identifiable impact on how events were played out, not to include it would the most brain-dead form of censorship.

If something is a part of history and has a negligible and indeterminable impact on how events were played out, you often have to question the motivation of the person proposing it.

I've made a lot of graphics mods for many different games involving WW II, and one of the things that I've made a lot of are flags. I have no use for people who want you to bowdlerize symbols of evil out of political correctness (except when it involves compliance with local law), because people are far too prone to forget just how bad and rotten the bad guys really are, and if they aren't reminded from time to time they'll start to glorify them.

But I must say this whole discussion of pogroms is making me somewhat uncomfortable. If there were a large body reputable scholarship establishing that pogroms were relevant to influencing the outcome that would be one thing. But I don't think you have to mimic the Producers to cross a line that involves bad taste.

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Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:18 am

Come on people, this discussion - although led with decent arguments - is getting nowhere. :blink:

Would any of you really want to play a game which offers the option to order progroms?

And would you actually choose this option???

I used the word distasteful in another thread. However, here it doesn't seem strong enough.

AGEOD does an admirable work of simulating many aspects of war; however its darkest, most atrocious side cannot be simulated in an adequate way in a game, simply because it is a game.
We are talking about something that under todays laws would qualify as a crime against humanity. How could you possibly implement that as one or two mouse clicks and a tooltip in a computer game?

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Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:33 am

OneArmedMexican wrote:Come on people, this discussion - although led with decent arguments - is getting nowhere. :blink:

Would any of you really want to play a game which offers the option to order progroms?

And would you actually choose this option???

I used the word distasteful in another thread. However, here it doesn't seem strong enough.

AGEOD does an admirable work of simulating many aspects of war; however its darkest, most atrocious side cannot be simulated in an adequate way in a game, simply because it is a game.
We are talking about something that under todays laws would qualify as a crime against humanity. How could you possibly implement that as one or two mouse clicks and a tooltip in a computer game?


AGEod games are all about historical accuracy NOT political correctness. Pogroms though distasteful in the original setting are a form of attrition that add to the historical accuracy of the game design. It doesn't mean that AGEod would be endorsing such activities, just taking the attritional value into historical account in the game design.

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Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:27 am

Gray_Lensman wrote:AGEod games are all about historical accuracy NOT political correctness. Pogroms though distasteful in the original setting are a form of attrition that add to the historical accuracy of the game design. It doesn't mean that AGEod would be endorsing such activities, just taking the attritional value into historical account in the game design.


Are you actually saying you would want progroms as an option in this game?
Or just in a "hidden" way as a factor in attrition, not that this would seem very logical to me.

My argument was not made out of political correctness, I care little about that.
But one of the goals of a historic strategy game, is to explain history: I think progroms need a lot more explaining than possible in any game.

Once again: Is there really somebody here who thinks progroms should be made into a game???

Use your imagination people: Would you actually want to sit in front of your PC, spending 2 Engagement points and gaining 1 NM by ordering some progroms against Jews.
To me that is simply sick!

Not to mention that no gaming company in their sane mind would actually go along with such an idea. The age ratings of such a game would be the least of their worries. In some countries they might actually face criminal investigation.

Please don't take my words the wrong way. I don't mean to offend anybody. I just have a very hard time believing people are seriously demanding to add progroms to this game.

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Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:59 am

Pogroms were not just directed against the Jewish population. They were also directed against the German population in Russia in 1915 and their effect game wise should be to lower the productivity of a region much like looting regardless of the ethnic group involved and the game design does not have to detail the specifics but just take into account the effects.

see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogrom

Incidentally, though my real name is Irish sounding, I have quite a lot of Jewish ancestry in my heritage and it doesn't offend me at all to have an historical game based on historical facts. You can't change history, only learn from it. Pretending things didn't happen or leaving them out of historical game designs is just a feeble attempt at rewriting history for political correctness purposes.

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Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:46 am

Gray_Lensman wrote:Pogroms were not just directed against the Jewish population. They were also directed against the German population in Russia in 1915 and their effect game wise should be to lower the productivity of a region much like looting regardless of the ethnic group involved and the game design does not have to detail the specifics but just take into account the effects.


I am flabbergasted. Apparently, you actually want progroms in a video game. :blink:
My example was made to illustrate my point not as a proposal on how to best implement the slaughter of civilians in this game.
Seriously, do you really think a decrease in some ressources is an adequate way to explain atrocities?

Gray_Lensman wrote:it doesn't offend me at all to have an historical game based on historical facts. You can't change history, only learn from it. Pretending things didn't happen or leaving them out of historical game designs is just a feeble attempt at rewriting history for political correctness purposes.


Valid point, I can accept that - although I still disagree.
Believe me, I don't want to pretend progroms didn't happen. But a video game is not the right tool to tell of these tragedies.
And I don't think there is much danger the people playing this game don't already know about progroms, mass executions or starvation. My impression from this forum is that the average AGEOD gamer has solid historic knowledge.

Perhaps a better way might be to include a historic section in the manual or the scenario backgrounds.

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Pograms?

Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:08 am

YUCK! Not acceptable, not mentionable. Disgusting. :wacko:

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Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:24 am

On the one hand, I don't understand why pogroms aren't understood to be abstracted into looting.

On the other...people, this is a game where prodrazvyorstka (which, in real life, induced mass famine) and Cheka are standard tools in the Bolshevik arsenal :w00t:

May I suggest that if ethical behavior by the player's forces is a moral concern to you, a game about the Russian Civil War, of all things, might not be for you?

EDIT: It reminds me of the doublethink on Paradox's HoI forums, where, on a forum about a game that explicitly lets the player order bombing of civilian objectives (in HoI3, complete with political repercussions, leaving no doubts about the implicit targets), you aren't allowed to discuss terror bombing. But as long as you call it "strategic bombing," it's just fine.

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Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:39 am

alexander seil wrote:On the other...people, this is a game where prodrazvyorstka (which, in real life, induced mass famine) and Cheka are standard tools in the Bolshevik arsenal :w00t:

May I suggest that if ethical behavior by the player's forces is a moral concern to you, a game about the Russian Civil War, of all things, might not be for you?

EDIT: It reminds me of the doublethink on Paradox's HoI forums, where, on a forum about a game that explicitly lets the player order bombing of civilian objectives (in HoI3, complete with political repercussions, leaving no doubts about the implicit targets), you aren't allowed to discuss terror bombing. But as long as you call it "strategic bombing," it's just fine.


First of all, you make some good points. I have to admit I am not totally innocent of what you call "doublethink". Here are acouple of "buts":

1) As far as famine as a result of forced conscription is concerned the game itself hides that aspect pretty well. You will find options like "raise money", "requisition" or "force conscription", etc. But what that really means is left to your imagination. So I guess, the developpers themselves are pretty good in the "doublethink" departement.

2) Frankly, I would prefer if the game was more explicit about what such an option entails - and thus make you think before ordering it. It would add a moral dimension this game is lacking.

3) And than there are some things I really don't won't to see in a video game. Doublethink or not: I don't want to reanact progroms. There is a point where things get sick.

4) Tolstoi was right when he wrote that war is the vilest thing in life and that we should remember that and not play at it.
But isn't that what every strategy gamer is doing?
My answer would be no. Strategy games are there to sharpen minds, to tell something about history and to offer enjoyment.
In order to do that a certain degree of abstraction - or "doublethink" if you want - is necessary.

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Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:43 am

OneArmedMexican wrote:I am flabbergasted. Apparently, you actually want progroms in a video game. :blink:
My example was made to illustrate my point not as a proposal on how to best implement the slaughter of civilians in this game.
Seriously, do you really think a decrease in some ressources is an adequate way to explain atrocities?



Valid point, I can accept that - although I still disagree.
Believe me, I don't want to pretend progroms didn't happen. But a video game is not the right tool to tell of these tragedies.
And I don't think there is much danger the people playing this game don't already know about progroms, mass executions or starvation. My impression from this forum is that the average AGEOD gamer has solid historic knowledge.

Perhaps a better way might be to include a historic section in the manual or the scenario backgrounds.


Pogroms had slight effect on outcome of war, but were not as big of a part of war as Red Terror. Cheka killed and affected more people. They killed families of people suspected of supporting 'counter-revolution' they facilitated famine to starve communities that not support Bolsheviks, forced conscription by killing those and families of those not join Army. Horrible, horrible crimes, on same level as pogroms against ethnicity, and this is represented in game - all be it abstractly, why is abstract representation of pogrom sick when abstract representation of Red Terror that killed far more people ok?

That being said I don't think you need button that says 'kill, loot, pillage from xxxx ethnicity' the looting already in the game should serve that purpose. And I think it is already representative of it in game and nothing more needs added. I just don't understand why people OK with adding far greater crimes to computer game, but mention of pogrom is off limits? History of my country and this war is not clean and most time there are no clear cut 'good guys' everybody does horrible things.

But to be clear so far in my playing this game I think the correct balance has been made, the horrors are adequately represented and reflect the outcomes in reality they had and in a manner that is not distasteful at all, I see nothing more needing to be done.
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Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:16 am

I agree with OneArmedMexican's view.

There won't be progroms in the game from our side. They don't have value in military terms. And this is a game. It must be fun, and children are going to play with it. Adding them is distateful.

So although they were a reality, I don't feel they need to be simulated.

I have move this topic to the History subforum on purpose.

You can discuss the topic from an historic perspective, but that is it.

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Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:08 am

Completely agree with Василеостровская concerning the overall horror of the Civil War. If you really think of what the "Tcheka" detachment were made for you would think twice about playing with them in game. Personally, because of my family history, I can already tell you that I could never"play" them but after hesitating a long time I will buy and play that game because it seems to be such a great simulation of the conflict (and I trust the AGEOD team too :) )

That being said any simulation has to stay close to reality but at the same time being playable. There is absolutely no point for a "pogrom" function in-game...it should be represented by the general looting and chaos that was happening everywhere at the time.

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Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:43 am

Alexor wrote:That being said any simulation has to stay close to reality but at the same time being playable. There is absolutely no point for a "pogrom" function in-game...it should be represented by the general looting and chaos that was happening everywhere at the time.


100% agree. Also, except to the point of view of people directly effected by pogroms, they were very minor part of over all terror warfare used by all factions. On game of this scale no need to get into that level of detail. Only problem i have comes in commentary in this topic. Pogrom atrocity should not be considered worse than other atrocity simply because it is ethnic crime. If village razed down and looted and inhabitants murdered or forced to leave area because of ethnicity i do not see why that is considered more horrible than tcheka raze down village loot and murder inhabitants because of allegiance. Reds even in some cases did this to orthodox people for not wanting to join because religion. All these atrocities are horrible in my opinion and I do not think exact reasoning behind horrible crime makes one 'worse' than the other. They are all equal in disgust.
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ERISS
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Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:55 am

Cat Lord wrote:There won't be progroms in the game from our side. They don't have value in military terms.

I disagree. Pogroms had political value (mainly international one, even with far less strenght than nowadays). Then they could have economical, and then military, results.

And this is a game. It must be fun, and children are going to play with it. Adding them is distateful.

I'm ok with this. You set your target consumers; adding pogroms could sell less as it would be a more serious game.

В wrote:Pogroms had slight effect on outcome of war, but were not as big of a part of war as Red Terror. Cheka killed and affected more people. They killed families of people suspected of supporting 'counter-revolution' they facilitated famine to starve communities that not support Bolsheviks, forced conscription by killing those and families of those not join Army. Horrible, horrible crimes, on same level as pogroms against ethnicity, and this is represented in game - all be it abstractly, why is abstract representation of pogrom sick when abstract representation of Red Terror that killed far more people ok?

Very well said.

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This is not allowed

Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:59 am

The game is using the AGE engine under licence. In the licence agreement, such things are prohibited. Therefore it won't be in the game because that would constitue a breach, whether it has importance or not is irrelevant :)

Matter closed. :D
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