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Will95

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  1. Curious to hear people's thoughts on German strategies in the B2B/standard Barbarossa campaign. To me, it seems pretty much impossible for Germany to achieve anything beyond a stalemate or minor victory (by clinging onto Warsaw). Ash and I are currently duelling it out again, I am Soviets and he Germany. He's done a great job so far - better than I've ever managed or seen in Barbarossa AARs - in terms of killing stuff, building up his elite step tanks and whatnot but the prospect of him reaching Moscow or Stalingrad is pretty much zero (he managed to get Leningrad in early 42). My 1943 resources are about to come online and the resource disparity will almost certainly allow me to break the current deadlock and start the long walk to Berlin. Given the lack of 'comeback' mechanics in place for the Germans (no lend lease, Siberian troops, winter events, patriotic war bonuses etc) and the late game garnishments to their MPP income (defence of Italy, France, allied strategic bombing) I can only assume that a German victory must be pretty much sealed by the end of 1941 by making huge gains in territory as well as killing enormous swathes of troops. However, this appears to me to be basically impossible. It's about 50 squares, give or take, from the Russian border to Moscow. Even if Guderian moves an average of 2 squares per turn (which I'd say is unrealistic if the Russians mount any kind of a defence), that's 25 turns to get to the Russian capital, which puts him in the middle of Jan 1942. Basically if there are any German strategic experts out there, I'd love to hear what kind of strategies are viable! It doesn't stop me having a cracking time with this campaign, but it does rather put a dampener on things when it feels like a foregone conclusion at the outset...
  2. Turn 16 Much excitement in the east as the Russians capture the second fortress with minimal losses. Artillery railed from the Caucasus is helping to press the advantage, and the thin Austrian line looks to be on the verge of cracking! The Russians now have infantry weapons level 1, but the Austrians don't - this is giving me a sizeable edge in engagements, allowing me to deal damage while taking little in return. Still no push from the Germans by the mines - they outnumber me, but lacking artillery, Ash is probably reluctant to engage. Meanwhile Russian troops are but 80 miles from Berlin! In the distance I can see the Kaiser's forces mustering near the capital. Notice the improved German units - they've had inf weapons level 1 for a couple of turns now, and there's been a pause in German offensives while they get fitted out with their new kit. German troops retreated from the Konigsberg area back to the Danzig defensive line. I'm preparing my own troops to move in on Konigsberg - I'll probably send one of the artillery pieces from Austria to help break the defenders down. No movement from the Germans facing the British in northern France - I'm grateful, as it's giving me time to get my troops across the Channel. I've now got artillery ready and almost in position for a push near Caen - airship scouting reveals a very thin German line here! I suspect the bulk of the army is heading south, to destroy what's left of the French. I'm also preparing Royal Marines to seize an empty Calais. The French are very thin on the ground in the south, and when Italy suddenly declared war I didn't have time to reinforce Turin, so I've got to remove the cav blocking me before I can move in to help France. I have 2 more French corps arriving over the summer, but that's it. Their income is pitiful, around 40mpps per turn, so they're well and truly out of it now. Overall, the situation is still pretty dire; the French losses are Germany's gain, and unless I manage to take back a good chunk of France their NM will be shooting up in no time. The one glimmer of hope is the gains I've made against Austria - they still have yet to take any Serbian territory (they tried - the detachment beat off 4 corps attacks barely breaking a sweat) and they're losing territory to the Russians. With both fortresses in hand, I can afford to leave this front defended with a skeleton force, and turn my attention to the Germans. The Romanians are also at 50% mobilization, and I'm going to start piling diplomatic pressure on them to get them onside. In other news, the Italians captured Trento - this is significant from a defensive point of view, as holding the town makes an attack there almost impossible. Trieste is only lightly defended by cavalry and I'd like to take it too, to apply more pressure to the Austrians, but I'm keenly aware that the Germans may destroy the French and continue straight on into Italy - if this happens my defensive options are limited. Basically, I have to press my advantages, few that they are - once I have British inf weapons upgrades, I'll attack the Germans hard in France and drive toward Paris. I'm waiting for upgrades before I begin the Middle East campaign in earnest as well. The Russians will be redirected towards Danzig and Konigsberg. Diplo pressure will bring the Romanians into the war, and from there allow me a route into Bulgaria, and eventually Constantinople. Much to play for yet.
  3. A = auto-assign. Troops can be manually assigned by the player, but will be automatically reassigned if troops move out of range or are destroyed. S = silent. Artillery by default will counter-fire any enemy units that attack while within range. Silent prevents them doing this (so you can save up shells for an assault). All French forces will be used to hold Marseilles to the bitter end. When Paris was lost, French troops mustered in north Africa, a HQ and a corps, which I'll be aiming to send across. I have some more French troops in the production queue as well - if I can hold out until the winter, it might give me enough time to form a reasonably sized defensive force.
  4. Turn 14 The West settles down, with British and German troops fanning out to cover the lines, German artillery looking menacing in the distance. Nearby, a German sub was spotted - and sunk. At least one other sub was nearby and took some damage but slipped away. Notice the thin German lines near Caen - I would like to exploit this with a British push once I've brought my artillery across the channel. Another British corps also awaits transportation. Low French MPP income means the HQs are still just chilling out by the beach, surveying the ruins of their country.... Further south, French troops destroyed the cavalry unit that had caused so much damage, and retook a mine. It'll be some turns yet before they start producing again. In the east, Russian upgraded their artillery at last, in preparation for a fortress assault next turn. Meanwhile a German town was assaulted by Russian troops, with the defenders taking heavy losses.
  5. Serbs are indeed going nowhere, but this is essentially a win for them. The Serbs really have no ability to be offensive unless British or French troops are sent via transports to support them, and I'm not in a position to do that right now. The mere fact that I still hold Belgrade this far into 1915 is a minor victory, and has contributed to increased Romanian readiness. Russian income isn't enough for me to afford heavy artillery or the like for the Serbs yet; it's cheaper to send British troops in support, if and when that becomes a possibility...
  6. Turn Twelve No pictures this turn, not too much new... Paris now has two artillery pieces trained on it - surely it can't last more than one more turn. Managed to take another German corps with me at least, and destroyed a German cavalry unit with the Brits. The French generals are retreating to the coast, where they are preparing to evacuate by sea to Marseilles where it looks like it's going to be Custer's last stand... The Russians captured Breslau and made another breakthrough in the weak Austrian line, striking the general behind. But still no Russian artillery tech, frustrating as it is now over 80%!
  7. Yes, the capital defaults to Bordeaux in the event of a Paris capture. But it's already been taken. That just leaves Marseilles, which, thankfully, is quite some distance from the current front line. It's also a lot more mountainous in the south, so a bit better territory for a defensive war. I will be recieving 5 fresh corps over the next few turns which will go some way towards preparing a defence, but if Ash continues to commit both German artillery pieces against the French they won't last long. I'm hoping to send the Italians in support (they've just entered in my latest turn) to bolster them a bit. No troop transportation from Africa, I'm thin enough on the ground there as it is.
  8. Hi operating! Thanks for following along so closely, always good to have someone to bounce ideas off So with regards to Danzig and cutting the rail lines; unfortunately not really possible. To do that in one swift motion I'd need to expose my general by bringing him further south, and I could be cut off - don't have enough troops in the area. Furthermore if he's garrisoned Danzig then I'd only be able to cut them for a turn, two at the very most, before any interfering units were destroyed. I know it looked very open in the Turn Eight screenshots but he's since moved quite a bit of support to the area. I touched on Jablonista pass in my latest turn - I will open it up next turn (you can see from the screenshot I've badly wounded the detachment holding the gateway town) but I'm not going to make any big plays down there. It's mountainous, very narrow, and poor supply as a result. Very easy to be cutoff if Austrians were to make a surge forward, I've made that mistake before and I don't plan to make it again, tempting though it may look! With the Austrians digging in with better trench warfare I need to wait for artillery before doing anything big now, and so far I'm getting good results just attritioning the Austrians on this line in preparation to encircle the fortress. Remember, taking the fortress will have major ramifications on Romanian mobilization, unlocking more troops, more HQs and a bigger MPP base, as well as new strategic angles of attack. When I mentioned pulling back in Prussia, it was just pulling away from where I was out of supply. I'm still keeping close to his lines but I can't attack dug-in German troops without overwhelming numerical superiority AND artillery (their base stats are superior to mine). Yes, I have captured the mines just near the Moravian Pass. I can't push too much further in though, hence the new attack on Breslau. There is a German general in the area too, I saw it was operated there along with all the corps. The French situation is tricky. I'm trying to make a nuisance with the Russians but even so, I don't think the Brits have it in them to take on the Germans solo. That's why I need the Italians in the mix as well, so for now I'm just going to fight to keep hold of whatever chunk of Brittany I can keep. I'm sending more Brits there every turn but the Germans have numerical superiority. I just need to hope for an early hit on infantry weapons. The flag you see at the bottom is the Russian flag - Serbia and Romania are minors underneath Russia, and they all draw from, and contribute to, the same MPP pool. The Serbs can theoretically get artillery but it's very costly (more than 1 whole turn's worth of income).
  9. Turn Eleven (sorry missed a turn, but it wasn't very dramatic) This turn was chaotic! The French are on their knees. Paris is almost directly under siege following renewed spring offensives by the Germans. The British have finally arrived and are putting the hurt on German corps in the north, but the south is unguarded and there's a cavalry division running rampant. All French MPPs have gone into reinforcements so they are a long way from improved trench warfare or better weapons. A French surrender, now highly likely, won't automatically end the game, but it will make it extremely difficult to win. On the plus side, attacks from airships, aircraft carriers and French troops managed to badly hurt a number of German HQs which might buy me an extra turn or two. In the east, Russian cavalry seized two border towns that were left undefended. I also launched an attack on a lightly defended Breslau, and defeated an Austrian corps down the line, allowing a small breakthrough. I'm still eagerly anticipating artillery level 1 for the Russians, because once I have it I can really start to pile the pressure on by taking down the second fortress. I'll also be opening up the Jablonitsa Pass very soon, and I might send Russian cav to cause a nuisance in the backlines. However I'm not going to send a whole army down there - in my experience, as both CP and ET, it's a deathtrap! My detachment was cleared from Sarajevo, but they did their job, prodding the Italians closer towards mobilization. Still no offensive from the Austrians but I spied an artillery piece last turn so I suspect Ash is also waiting for his first artillery tech to hit before he attacks. Meanwhile of course, I'm investing in Russian trench warfare to make it harder for him. At the end of my turn, the Italians were provided funds by the British to further mobilize their troops. Nationalists also called for war, meaning the Italians should be entering within the next few turns. This will open up another front on the beleaguered Austrians and hopefully allow me to cause a bit of a nuisance. Alternatively, I might use them to liberate a defeated France in a two-pronged attack, with the Italians in the south and the British in the north. I'm not sure how well Britain and Russia will cope as the lone military powers of any significance against a significantly stronger Germany. I suspect very poorly But perhaps the fall of France will push the USA into action?
  10. Turn Nine Snowfall returns again, but not before the Germans had a chance to knock out 3 more French corps. The only saving grace is that the defenders took a lot of Germans with them, so the enemy front line is full of half-strength corps. The British had their first proper engagements of the war, defending valiantly against a German attack (doing 12 points of damage while only taking 4!). Lots more British arrived this turn, and next turn I play to replace French (terrible 4* general) with someone more capable of the Herculean task now required. I'm also going to prepare my Marines for an amphibious assault, possibly to retake the port of Calais and force the Germans away from the north coast. Notice the thinning German line as the Kaiser realises that he has pressing matters to attend to in the East... The Austrians launched a number of spoiling attacks against the Russians but didn't achieve much. You'll notice Russian artillery has now arrived, and once I unlock level 1 artillery I should be able to storm the next fortress. This, I believe, will tip the Romanians further toward mobilization, which opens the door to all kinds of mischief - invasion of Bulgaria, threatening Constantinople...etc. At least 3 German corps were operated to northern Prussia to defend, and I pulled back.
  11. Yes, the French start with 4 generals provided you say Yes to the decision to deploy general Foch (level 8 general so a no-brainer really). Help is on the way, albeit slowly. I said Yes to a lot of British DE's which really hampered my income, more than I thought it would so haven't been able to afford as much transportation as I would have liked. It just picked up at the end of turn 8 so hopefully it'll come faster now. Yes, the Russian's are at a bit of a standstill now without artillery, especially as the Austrians just got level 2 entrenchment. However I have 2 chits in improved artillery and I will take delivery of my first artillery piece in early 1915, so if I get a hit I'll be able to start moving again. I have, in any case, begun to move offensively in Prussia, but the German troops are significantly better than my own, assuming tech parity, while the Austrians are on the same level. That's why I always like to hit the Austrians early and hard.
  12. Turn Eight Finally into 1915, and it has become unseasonably warm - the snow lifted, allowing for an unprecented turn of aggressive moves from the Germans. Firstly, they took Belfort as was expected. Then they advanced, closing in on Paris. Where are the British, you might well wonder!! They are arriving, but slowly. Hopefully I'll have 5 fresh British corps ready for action on the continent by Ma, although I may have lost Paris by then... Hostilities finally began in the Middle East this turn, with attacks on an outstretched Ottoman detachment. ANZAC corps are moving to assist, but further reinforcement of this front will be necessary if I'm to make any significant gains. Finally some action in Northern Prussia as the Russians heed the desperate call from the French to distract the Germans. A German marine corps was caught unawares and struck down easily. Ash will now have to choose between operating more troops to this sector, or falling back from his heavily defensive position by the river near Konigsberg. Danzig has been left wide open. Further down the line, the German reaction to my little foray into their mining territory was appropriately strong. A HQ and 5 fresh corps from the West were operated immediately to the front line - I maintain hold of the mines and destroyed one German corps. More Russian reinforcements have been sent to this sector to help try to protect my gains and force more German attention here. Further down the line the Austrians come under attack, with one corps brought to 1 strength. The Serbian front is quickly emptying of Austrian troops as they get send to help defend against the Russians. The Typhus outbreak at the end of my last turn was quite painful, hitting my HQ and my front line supply. However once recovered, I now outnumber the Austrians 6 corps to 5, plus detachments, and I may be able to go on the offensive... Furthermore my capture of Sarajevo sent ripples through Italy, and their readiness increased. The better the Serbs do against the Austrians, the closer the Romanians and Italians get to entering the war, which might just make up for the dreadful start in the West. Britain got a hit on shell production at the end of this turn. My tech strategy right now is to get improved artillery for the British and Russians ASAP - in the former case this will allow me to make quick progress in the Middle East, and for the Russians it will allow me to crack the 2nd Austrian fortress at Przyemsl, further tipping the Romanians towards war.
  13. Turn Seven Snowfall puts a pause on the relentless German offensive. Action is light with some maneuvering - the British finally make landfall as the French are clearly in dire need. Belfort is surrounded and artillery moves up to pound it to rubble - no doubt the fortress will be stolen next turn. The French are simply outnumbered horrifically. The Russians, seeking to create a distraction, send troops to occupy unguarded German mines. This will surely force a swift response and force the operating of some troops to the area, unless Ash wants to open up a significant hole in his eastern line. More Austrian troops seem to have been operated to face the Russians, which is a good sign as it takes the pressure off Serbia. The Serbs still hold steady, although an outbreak of Typhus at the end of my turn reduced the effectiveness of a lot of front line troops. A detatchment sallied out to occupy Sarajevo, and the Romanians observe with interest...
  14. Yes, the situation is very bad in France! I believe Ash is going 'all-in' to try to KO me, including sending reserve defensive corps from the east, in order to press his advantage here, hence the eastern mines left undefended. It's bad, but I think I have enough going for me in other places. The game does not end if Paris is captured, although it does deal a huge blow to French NM. French artillery doesn't arrive until a bit into 1915, same with the British. Part of what makes the Germans so strong in 1914 and early 1915 is that they are the only faction with artillery - and they start off with artillery level 1 (meaning it reduces entrenchment) while everyone else starts off with 0. So the placement of that artillery in the first turn's deployment phase is really what defines the early part of this campaign. I put mine in the East last match and used it to hammer the Russians, capturing Warsaw before Christmas. You can also send it to Serbia which makes capturing Belgrade and Nish much, much easier. Or, as Ash is doing here, you use it to brutalise your way through the French with terrific gusto, and not a small amount of skill!!
  15. Turn Six A dreadful turn for the French - two corps were brushed aside outside Amiens ahead of a powerful German offensive, which has brought the front line dangerously close to Paris. My priority now is the defence of the capital to prevent the NM collapse that would occur if I were to lose it. Worse, the British MPP income is choking under the heavy expenditure of so many decision events over the last few turns, so all I'm able to send is the HQ for now. A large British army - big enough to stem the German tide, at least for a while, is waiting on the island for transportation, but cost is the biggest factor at play now... With so much resources committed to the West, I'm gearing up the Russians for an assault into Germany proper - I have my eye on the two mines nearest the border. Taking both of those out would probably force a strong reaction. Down the line the Austrians battered some Russian units, but I'm a long way from running out of troops.
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