Wrote this. I hope it will be possible to read it.
In general, as far as I know, the situation with the recognition of national borderlands independence was approximately as follows.
To begin with, we should to see, who formed the core of the White movement (not counting the Cossacks). Whites was a fairly diverse and friable confederation, consisting of people of very different political orientation: from the Socialist-Revolutionaries and liberal republicans to monarchists and people completely apolitical, but who hates Bolsheviks regime.
One of the very few things uniting them, other than dislike of the Bolshevik regime and the desire to destroy it, was the fact that most of them were a)Russians and b)the patriots and nationalists. Well, more or less. The most popular slogan of the White movement - "For the united and undivided Russia!" And we are not talking about the handful of imperialists, or people with financial interests in the territories torn away, but about the majority of people who formed the backbone of the White armies - officers and volunteers from the youth of the educated strata of the population . Who would have perceived such a move by their leaders (recognition of independence of new national states) as a betrayal of national interests.
Again, the point here is not that acceptance of aid of aliens is offended national pride (Whites willingly and without any moral suffering accepted aid of Germans, the Entente powers, ethnic forces - the same Estonians, Ossetians, Circassians, Poles, etc.). The problem is, that the selling the Motherland - it is not good. And Baltics, Caucasus, Ukraine, etc. (Poland and Finland - some special case, see below) was perceived by significant part of the Whites as an integral part of their Motherland - Russia.
Further, it must be said that the attitude to the recognition of the independence of the various national state formations, formed in 1918 and early 1919 on the outskirts of the former Empire among the Russian educated classes, who formed core of the White movement, was various.
The attitude to the independence of Poland in its ethnic boundaries was generally calm, even indifferent. Russian society of the early 20th century, partly sympathized with the idea of Polish independence from purely altruistic reasons (As it may sound funny, but it's true. In addition, Poland had a long tradition of statehood.), partly considered Poland as alien formation, rather casually included in the Russian state, the possession of which brings more problems than good.
Finland had a long tradition of autonomy within the Russian Empire (why Alexander I needed to give it to her - I do not know, but nevertheless it happened as it happened). Accordingly, her independence did not cause particularly strong protest.
Attempts to tear away from Russia the other territories were definitely perceived as evil.
Further, it must be said that "young democracies" were by no means sweet, kind, white and fluffy. It was quite savage and insolent young nationalist regimes that do not suffered from excessive modesty, love for peace, tolerance, but often suffered from overestimation of their strength and have desired under the guise of the Civil War cut off a piece of the former metropolis.
Finland had the desire to create a "Greater Finland", tearing off Karelia from Russia. Poland had a great desire to get hold of Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania, and it saw herself as a new regional superpower. Estonia had the plans on the Pskov region. Georgia - on the Sochi and Abkhazia regions.
Such desires, naturally, were not greeted with sympathy by the Russian national center which was represented by the Whites.
It should be added, that the most of new states has pursued a policy of national oppression of the Russian population. Which turning sometimes into ethnic cleansings. For example, in Finland in the April-May 1918 in the first days after victory of the White Finns, they have exterminated more than a thousand of Russian civilian people (including women and children), most of which had not participated in the conflict on the side of the Reds and were tuned quite friendly. Purely on the basis of nationality. All of this was known to the Whites, and it also does not facilitated co-operation.
Last, but not least. It worth saying also, that in the military sense (with the exception of Poland and, to some extent, Finland) new national states did not constitute a serious force. And active participation in combat operations of most of them, even in the case of formal declaration of war to Reds, was more than doubtful. Separatists in any case by no means have been interested in the active assistance to the one centrists against the other centrists. They were interested in how to get at minimum cost maximum concessions not care from what side. As well as in that the winner in the struggle between the two centrist factions was maximally weakened.
In fact, it was about to get for a big price a weak and unreliable allies.
As a result:
The situation with the joint performance against the Bolsheviks, has evolved respectively. In the range from the armed confrontation between the Whites and a new national states (e.g. UNR, Georgia) to the temporary cooperation against a common enemy (e.g. ZUNR, Estonia).
The independence of Poland and Finland have been recognized by Whites. But this had nothing to do to cooperation against the Reds, since Finns wanted for such cooperation the Karelia, and the Poles - half of the European part of Russia. With a bit predictable result.
On recognition of the independence of others, even in times of catastrophic failures of the Whites, there simply had no serious conversation. Although, the possibility of autonomy was not denied. Here Whites simply have played for time, and in response to the demands of the Allies, who wanted to combine pleasure with business (with one hand - to consolidate the anti-Bolshevik forces, on the other - to chop from Russia plenty of small “bantustans”, controlled by them) - have got off with platitudes. When the British all the same managed to make Yudenich recognize the independence of Estonia, Yudenich "off the record," said, " We will take Petrograd, and then we will turn to the Tallinn." While Kolchak, as Supreme Ruler of Russia, refused to recognize the independence of Estonia at all.
It should be noted, that the Reds in this matter were much more flexible. They have originally proclaimed the right of nations to self-determination. And as true internationalists, they were not shy about handing sovereignties to the right and to the left, when it was dictated by the "revolutionary necessity". Then, after a while, when "the revolutionary necessity" disappeared, and instead it appeared "the revolutionary possibility", in one or another independent country suddenly happened [s]orange[/s]... [s]rose[/s]... i.e. socialist revolution. At the request of the working people, in order to stabilize the situation and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, a peacekeeping contingent of the Red Army entered, and the proper People's Government coming to power. And again, at the request of the working people, the country is integrated into the Soviet Union.
About the implementation of all this in the game.
Historically, such a variant of action was virtually impossible for moral reasons for the leaders of the Whites. And it would have very painful consequences with a "technical" point of view - it would have caused strong discontent in the army and the splash of the Cossack and others separatism. I think a big penalty in NM, simulating these effectsis, is quite justified.
But the fact, that to the player is given such an opportunity - it is, probably, right thing. But here it is very desirable, that the balance made this event a last straw for which falling Whites can clutch for salvation, but not a thick log, which will almost certainly break the back of Reds.
From my point of view, version of this events from Philippe Thibaut appears preferred.
The only things I would suggest:
1. Troops of national formations (except Finns in Karelia and Poles everywhere) should receive penalties, when acts outside of their native regions. Like the Cossacks, but even greater.
2. Remove the first general event with recognition of the abstract independence of all. And distribute the cost of it in NM on the "local" events of entry into the war of national subfactions. Because:
a) Recognition of independence and joining the war on the side of Whites of Finland and the Transcaucasian republics, for example, - things did not somehow connected to each other.
b) In this case, the fact of entry into the war of one or another subfaction is primary. The recognition of the independence and/or territorial concessions - no more than a necessary condition for this.
3. From the perspective of historical accuracy, right to take such a decision should have Siberian Whites (Kolchak as Supreme Ruler of Russia). In the case of defeat of Siberian Whites (NM fall below a certain value), the supreme power goes to Denikin, and the right to make such decisions - to the player of the Southern Whites. From the perspective of gameplay, in order to decision took effect, the second faction of Whites should confirm the decision.
4. When making a decision on the granting independence to one or the other country, the decline of NM should affect not only the White faction, whose leader makes a decision, but also the second White faction too. But in a smaller (e.g., two times smaller) volume. Costs in EP and victory points is only up the faction, whose leader makes a decision.
PhilThib wrote: * Finns: don't offer the option for them to join before 1919 or even 1920....they had their own civil war to win, and that was a bloody affair...they felt no real interest in intervention once they had won...and in all cases, make the possibility rather slim. May be allow it ONLY if the Balts have been selected before (the Finns did send support to the baltics)
As far as I know, the civil war was ended in Finland in May 1918. So, in Summer of 1919 the Finns are quite ready to intervene. And they have a very definite interest for this - Karelia. By the way, in reality, in the 1919 - 1921 just occurred Finnish intervention and attempts to seize Karelia.
On the rights of offtop. From the perspective of historical accuracy, Poland in the main line of campaigns should be the fourth separate faction in the game (Poland is large enough for that), managed either by particular human player or by AI. But not by White player as now. Since with her appetites (as mentioned above), Poland in any case could not be an ally of either Whites or Reds. The Poland's could become an interesting game faction with the opportunity to play on the struggle of Whites and Reds and come out from the Russian Civil War as the actual winner. Pushing back to second place the Red or White Russia and becoming a regional superpower. By the way, I think, this feature would ensure completely wild popularity of the game in Poland.