The Communist Information Bureau, COMINFORM, expelled Yugoslavia for Marshall Tito’s refusal to conform to Moscow’s wishes. Albania would ultimately follow a similar tack, breaking with Yugoslavia, then Khrushchev’s USSR. While remaining within the Soviet structure, Ceausescu’s Romania would also test the limits of Moscow’s patience with occasional flares of independence and nationalism.
Time: Early War
Removed after event: Yes
Not a dangerous card by itself, but it has mildly concerning interactions with the other cards that affect Eastern Europe. You generally want to play Independent Reds as soon as you can, before the US plays Warsaw Pact Formed, Comecon, or Romanian Abdication to force some USSR influence into Eastern Europe. On the other hand, if you drew Truman Doctrine with Independent Reds, you probably want to get rid of Truman first, before Independent Reds.
Regardless, Independent Reds is usually not worth bothering over. You need every Op you can get in the Early War, and Eastern Europe is too expensive to fight over in the Early War anyway. Romania is the most troublesome, since if you play Independent Reds after Romanian Abdication, the US can play Truman Doctrine to score an additional 1VP on Europe Scoring. Even then, Independent Reds is probably not worth sending to space.
One of those events that the owner of the event isn’t that interested in triggering. For a US player, it’s usually not worth an Action Round, though if you’re in a tight battle for European domination it can be a cheap way to cut the USSR’s country count. But Independent Reds does have an impact on US play: it’s the opposite of the above, namely, that you want to trigger Warsaw Pact Formed, Comecon, and Romanian Abdication as soon as you can so that Independent Reds isn’t totally useless.
As noted the US rarely wants to play this for the event anyway, but one time I got a hand of mostly USSR events on turn 2 and decided what the hey, the Romanians have abdicated so let’s get 3 free influence. My opponent had headlined… De-stalinization. (sad trombone)
The play was still probably correct, but yeah, even as a throwaway headline the Independent Reds can be shaky.
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If IR is play and there are no influence in any of the named countries, does it get discarded or removed from play?
Removed from play.