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      Special Upgrade 4 Tech Tips   12/27/2016

      Hi all! Now that Upgrade 4 is out and about in large quantities we have now discovered a few SNAFUs that happen out in the scary, real world that is home computing.  Fortunately the rate of problems is extremely small and so far most are easily worked around.  We've identified a few issues that have similar causes which we have clear instructions for work arounds here they are: 1.  CMRT Windows customers need to re-license their original key.  This is a result of improvements to the licensing system which CMBN, CMBS, and CMFB are already using.  To do this launch CMRT with the Upgrade and the first time enter your Engine 4 key.  Exit and then use the "Activate New Products" shortcut in your CMRT folder, then enter your Engine 3 license key.  That should do the trick. 2.  CMRT and CMBN MacOS customers have a similar situation as #2, however the "Activate New Products" is inside the Documents folder in their respective CM folders.  For CMBN you have to go through the process described above for each of your license keys.  There is no special order to follow. 3.  For CMBS and CMFB customers, you need to use the Activate New Products shortcut and enter your Upgrade 4 key.  If you launch the game and see a screen that says "LICENSE FAILURE: Base Game 4.0 is required." that is an indication you haven't yet gone through that procedure.  Provided you had a properly functioning copy before installing the Upgrade, that should be all you need to do.  If in the future you have to install from scratch on a new system you'll need to do the same procedure for both your original license key and your Upgrade 4.0 key. 4.  There's always a weird one and here it is.  A few Windows users are not getting "Activate New Products" shortcuts created during installation.  Apparently anti-virus software is preventing the installer from doing its job.  This might not be a problem right now, but it will prove to be an issue at some point in the future.  The solution is to create your own shortcut using the following steps: Disable your anti-virus software before you do anything. Go to your Desktop, right click on the Desktop itself, select NEW->SHORTCUT, use BROWSE to locate the CM EXE that you are trying to fix. The location is then written out. After it type in a single space and then paste this:

      -showui

      Click NEXT and give your new Shortcut a name (doesn't matter what). Confirm that and you're done. Double click on the new Shortcut and you should be prompted to license whatever it is you need to license. At this time we have not identified any issues that have not been worked around.  Let's hope it stays that way Steve
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      Forum Reorganization   10/12/2017

      We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums.  There is now one General Discussion area with Tech Support and Scenario/Mod Tips sub forums.  The Family specific Tech Support Forums have been moved to a new CM2 Archives area and frozen in place. You might also notice we dropped the "x" from distinguishing between the first generation of CM games and the second.  The "x" was reluctantly adopted back in 2005 or so because at the time we had the original three CM games on European store shelves entitled CM1, CM2, and CM3 (CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK).  We didn't want to cause confusion so we added the "x".  Time has moved on and we have to, so the "x" is now gone from our public vocabulary as it has been from our private vocabulary for quite a while already.  Side note, Charles *NEVER* used the "x" so now we're all speaking the same language as him.  Which is important since he is the one programming them
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abukede

Official AAR: Global Conflict Gold

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Tired of doing not very much the RN sallied against a U boat contact just west of the Bay of Biscay. Several destroyer attacks were enough to deal with it and sink it. More contacts have been made off the Canadian coast - I need to decide if it is worth sailing over enough force to deal with them, or whether I should still opt for close home defence. In addition I am just beginning to ponder the possibility of putting together a Royal Naval Task Force to operate in the Indian Ocean. Pearl Harbour is late; my US navy is growing, and a RN task force to supplement the US Navy might just put an end to the Japanese early in this game.

The real action is still in Russia, but snow and ice grounded most of my forces bar a couple of local counter attacks for slight damage to the German invader.

I think the axis is going to struggle from here. My Chinese are so strong they are buying new units and will contemplate an offensive in 1942. The British control Africa and are building now for operations against the Italian mainland. Most important Stalin has had his tech scientists on 24 hour duty all game, and in addition to max inf tech I have air and tank at level 3, and industy and production also at level 3. Anti air at level 2 puts the finishing touches to an impressive Russian arsenal that is going to strike hard in 1942. I am getting 500mpps per turn already in Russia, plenty to cause Hitler no end of grief, especially once the allies make small dents in the West to break his concentration.

Lots of action in spring 1942 to come, and lots of graphics from me once I decide the tide has turned and the allied counter offensive should begin.

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I haven't reported on it much, but at the same time as we launched Barbarossa our U-Boats also set sail for the British convoy lines in the Atlantic, and have been enjoying their hunting there, despite the loss of one crew last turn.

Our U-Boats finally sink the Marat Battleship that is the last remnant of the Soviet fleet in the Baltic.

In the USSR we've been hammering away at the enemy's entrenchment in Smolensk and Kharkov, while also repairing our units now that the ravages of winter have passed.

It is now February 1942 and there are strange moves afoot in the Pacific... on those, more soon!

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Feb '42 and quiet. The Royal Navy took to the seas in force, sinking one U boat near Biscay and damaging another as it dived and weaved its way across the central atlantic trying to get away. Clever Captain - he managed it... for now...

Elsewhere the Chinese sit tight, the Russians sit tight as reinforcements pour in (4 units that turn) and the British Army in Africa is still not ready for a move.

No point me posting a graphic when little is occuring, but as soon as I launch another major land operation I'll post images.

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The US Congress has been alarmed at the warlike stance recently adopted by the US Navy. Great, because it buys us more time before we have to fight the USA!

Our forces encircle the Soviet Corps that is defending the last remaining Ukrainian mine, and batter the defenders of Kharkov down to half strength (a success which surprised us). Most of our units have been replenishing their strength ready for the coming spring offensive.

February1942.gif

Huge stockpiles of weapons have still not reached our frontline troops, and are sitting on railway sidings all the way back to Germany. We will have to find the time to distribute these to our forces before too long, otherwise Stalin won't receiving the good hiding that we've got planned for him!

1942, could it be the year of the Axis?

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Cant go another turn without showing you all a graphic, so here is a zoomed out map of the Atlantic:

Atlantic2.jpg

This is the latest Allied success and you can see the size of the Royal Naval effort to stamp out convoy raiders. On top of the U boats sunk last turn I sank 2 more that turn and damaged a 3rd down to strength 1 before it got away. I think the Battle of the Atlantic is essentially over, and my mind is returning to the idea of a task force to set sail for the Far East in an attempt to finish off the Japanese Empire early.

Little to report elsewhere. The British have a plan in the Med, but it wont be ready for a few turns yet, and I'll keep you all waiting to hear what it is! The Chinese pop away still at the Japanese and get ready for a bit of fun of their own...

Lots of Germans massing in Russia now for an assault on Stalingrad and Moscow. The Red Army is hanging back... my only concern here is that the bad weather has hampered the return of the army from Finland, and these are my best formations. I had wanted longer to refit, rest and reinforce them than I am likely to get, and that might have an impact medium turn. We have reached the stage in March 1942 where any purchases of armour and/or tac bombers wont arrive until September, so time to stop buying and time to start thinking tactics and saving for reinforcements. I have done a good job on the tech front, but will need to be on my toes from here on in. The war could possibly be won and lost in Russia in the next few months - if Russia makes a mess of their fighting retreat then it will be really hard for the US and Britis to make a difference.

To that end Bill's refusal to carry out Pearl Harbour is working interestingly. I have big US mpps now, and Japan are going to be in big trouble in 1943 if they dont do a good job soon, but it has prevented any convoy assistance from the US to the USSR and that can be quite important.

Still - overall quite happy, and looking forward to throwing my Reds at the axis horde when the time comes.

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The Pacific is now a theater of war!

Rain over the Philippines nearly makes me postpone Pearl Harbor, but no, the show must go on. The planes go in and despite some enemy Fighters, three Battleships and a cruiser are sunk!

PearlHarbor.gif

I'm glad I didn't postpone the attack due to the weather over the Philippines because our aircraft weren't even needed to capture Manila. The shock of our SNLF landing there, destroying the US bombers as well as the local defenders has given us a quick victory!

Meanwhile, Italian Special Forces units land and capture the oilfield at Tarakan before moving into Brunei. This was a special plan of Marc's that I'm following through, because they were sent to the Far East a long time ago from East Africa. Mussolini exacts revenge for the loss of his African Empire... in Asia!

manilafalls.gif

Other places to fall are Thailand, Guam, Wake, and they won't be the last! :D

Back to the Eastern Front, both Kharkov and the Ukrainian mine are ours, and Smolensk will soon fall unless the enemy can launch a significant counterattack!

Perhaps the best news of all is none of this, but that Franco is now drawing up plans for the mobilization of the Spanish army... let's hope he doesn't change his mind at the last minute!!

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Wow - what a lot I have to report this turn. The game is now fully on... and for the first time my smiles are mixed with a few frowns.

Let's look at the good news first.

This image shows the Pacific Western Theatre:

PHflop.jpg

As Japanese attacks go this is very modest. I had suspected that my strong Chinese would have an effect, and they have. With the Imperial Japanese Navy preparing for the attack on Hawaii, and land forces tied down in China, Marc/Bill had few points to spend on developing this amphibious zone. He will take a few more of these areas, but Indonesia will now become a pig to take, and valuable mpps will flow into my coffers before the axis reaches high water. As a guide a really good amphibious attack in this area can take nearly all of the areas on ths image above, and certainly all of the mpp producing ones.

So happy there, and happy too with this:

chinesecounter.jpg

This shows the slow beginning of a Chinese counter attack in the northern sector of China. The Japanese corps worn down to 6 will either be destroyed or forced to retreat next turn unless Bill alters his line, and as soon as he does this lower entrenchment will cause greater casualties. I have no illusions here: I wont be retaking China at this stage with this army, but I dont need to: draw some reserves/reinforcements into this area and away from the amphibious operations around Indonesia and I will have succeeded.

And Italian troops in Brunei!!! Got to be a first. Cant say it worries me too much - valuable oil income going to Mussolini is a darn sight better than it going to the Emperor. :-)

And now for the not so good stuff...

Now top of the list is the fact that Spain has mobilised. This is a SERIOUS mistake on my part - I had seen the investment of diplomatic points earlier in the game by Marc and had done some counter diplomacy in the meantime. Sickeningly I just invested 300 US mpps in it to turn it away from the 80% level and bring it back towards the allies. But somewhere I have got my numbers wrong, and at 91% Franco has decided to join. I am not in a position really to pre empt with a landing in Spain, and the extra income, and more importantly the extra units, will be hugely valuable for Bill. From memory 2 Spanish naval vessels will pop up - those I will quickly sink - but I think 2 armies, armour, air and a corps or two will also arrive in addition to Franco's HQ. It's a big blow, and if deployed wisely these units will make my western European plans much harder. Taking into account new axis units and my really bad timing of 300mpps spent on Spanish diplomacy this is easily a 1000mpp equivalent boost to Hitler.

To rub salt into this wound I am a little concerned in Russia. It is a while since I played vanilla GC, but I dont remember seeing figures like these below. First - look at the readiness and morale of this german army in the south, and note that this is for a unit on a very modest supply level of 6 (a factor which affects these values):

topgermanstats.jpg

Now these are very high. For newcomers to the game it is a very important thing to keep an eye on these numbers as they can outweigh tech and leadership values. In vanilla GC there were boosts applied to these figures for when things went well: maybe in Gold these boosts have been extended, becuase the capture of a mine and a city seems to have sent the German army into extreme happy mode.

Now this wouldnt be so bad if it were not for the numbers in this graphic:

poorruskiestats.jpg

This is for a unit that is fully rested, in HQ command and on supply 10, an important aspect of readiness and morale figures. Again - my memory is hazy on it, but it looks like Hubert has decided to increase the impact of local success or failure on other units.

I have plenty of Russian units, and good mpps. but with these figures I am in trouble. Extended combat and the impending loss of 2 more Russian cities is not going to make them any better, and it puts my strategy in doubt. Is the old vanilla safety net of retreating and not engaging the axis in Russia now something that should not be done???? Should the western frontier now be fought for tooth and nail to prevent a big gap in readiness and morale opening up?

We will find out very soon. Overall I cannot complain at the geographic global situation for the allies - it is a strong position - but the 2 negative aspects of that last turn have certainly taken the gloss off, and my task in Europe has certainly been made much harder in the blink of an eye!!

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Kursk and Smolensk are ours, and both Rostov and Leningrad are now under threat. Where will we strike next?

The Combined Fleet is now moving off to its next destination, while our troops move into Malaya and Burma, and the garrison of Hong Kong is destroyed.

A Dutch submarine is battered in the Java Sea, and we have moves afoot to blunt the Chinese attacks near Peking.

Alas, the weather has hampered our operations slightly, but our bombers are now operating from bases in Thailand against Dutch targets in the East Indies, and despite opposition from some US planes, reports suggest that the capital of Batavia is now in ruins.

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No graphic this time - the Russians continue to play for time sitting on a fat pile of mpps, and the US will not be ready for anything major for a bit. One bit of success in China where the northern most Japanese corps defending the Peking Front was destroyed and a Chinese Army rolled through the gap. I plan to try and make things as difficult for Bill in this area as possible.

Main information to put across today is that the Spanish declaration of war on the allies has forced a decision on me to alter my British strategy. Instead of sending Brits out to the Far East as I had almost decided I was going to do, I have decided that the Reds need all the help they can get (particularly with the readiness and morale differences I highlighted before) so I am going to assume that my Chinese and US on their own can take on the Emperor and I am going to use my British power solely in the European Theatre.

This is not a disaster - just a response to the strategic situation.

At the start of this game I laid out my strategic goals for the first 2.5 years. It is time for me to update these, and I will do this next turn as we get to Spring 1942.

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I’m back from vacation. Bill has done a bang up job while I was away with the family at Disney. Before I left Bill and I discussed a long term strategy and it seems to be moving along. So much had changed I had to really sit down and think about strategy and study everything closely before making my first moves. I was pleased to see my Italian units in Asia were put to good use. :P

A lot of action this turn. It’s May 42. Japan opened with a strong turn.

Bill had staged strong Japanese air units (including carrier air) within range of Singapore and I fully took advantage of that by reducing the city to ashes and destroying the garrison. Ground units are moving in to complete the conquest.

JA701.jpg

Up north I hammered the Chinese advance. Last turn Al destroyed a weak Japanese corps. I hit back with a heavy ground attack. I think I could have destroyed the Chinese unit but I decided that I wanted Al to spend MMPs repairing it. I think I left it 2 or 3 strength.

JA702.jpg

Further south… Japan began bringing pressure on southern China.

JA703.jpg

JA704.jpg

Japan continued conquest of the islands in the East as my carrier attack force fell back an opportunity developed. I found a French unit defending an island. My carrier was not in range to strike it, however in past games I had hidden a sub in the port to damage an unwary Japanese amphib… I was in range to strike the port and what do I find? A US sub, probably understrength. Scratch 1 US sub.

JA705.jpg

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Germany was very busy this turn also. I upgraded a number of units and staged for the coming summer offensive. I did not jump this turn because I was facing mud in the north. In the South Al had staged a strong force that was in an ideal position to take Rostov and I did.

GE70.jpg

Spain joined the Axis and I began moving Spanish units to besiege Malta.

I sense a lot of action to come. It’s good to be back.

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Good to have Marc back - not easy I'm sure to pick up the reins of a battle fought by someone else, but I know he will do an excellent job.

My turn... a bit going on but only 1 point of real note. Having banged my head against a brick wall for my stupidity in getting my maths wrong in Spain and letting Franco join the party I decided that perhaps it was a small opportunity to turn something awful into something slightly better than awful. Last turn I put some units to sea in case I was left with space to reinforce near Gibraltar, and as it turned out I did get that space. So the BEF is on the ground...

spain1.jpg

I dont know whether this will prompt Marc to divert precious German resource away from Russia or not. If he doesnt there is a small risk to him in me being able to expand that bridgehead, especially as my British Atlantic Fleet contains 5 carriers now. If he does, then Stalin will owe the British a big case of Vodka.

Elsewhere I managed to sneak a corps back into Singapore to try and cause a bit of grief there, and the Russians continue to sit and wait and the US build for future operations.

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I also promised a review of Allied strategy as we get somewhere close to the turning of the tide (I hope!)

Here was my plan as laid out at the start of the game:

1. Priorities research above all else. This fits into the delay strategy overall.

2. Prioritise infantry, armour and air research for the Red Army, to prepare for the inevitable Barbarossa.

3. Prioritise UK research on anti sub - with a view to attacking the U boats at the earliest opportunity - , infantry and air. I will try to use UK land forces to delay where possible, but need level 1 weapons to do it and an air force than can combat tac air.

4. Prioritise US research on the navy and ground attack aircraft. All else can wait, becuase when I decide to try and wrest the initiative away from Marc in 1942/43 it will be via a US naval assault in the pacific and US air force attacks in the west to try and relieve the Red Army in the East.

5. Try to get level 1 infantry for the Chinese - if this Gold GC plays out anything like the original then the Chinese have no chance unless they get infantry tech.

a. Do virtually nothing throughout 1940 but defend, aside perhaps from a sortie with the doomed French Navy.

b. Launch my first major operation at sea, via a UK assault on the U boats.

c. Delay the Germans in North Africa using all the UK infantry I can in an attempt to prevent any nasty axis gains in the Middle East or India.

d. Pray for Chinese tech, and delay the Japanese as long as possible.

e. Plan my first land offensive in the European theatre as soon as US air power is ready.

f. Peg back the Japanese via US naval operations in the Pacific in around 1942.

How has this gone? Research has been top notch. My Russkies have an advantage in both infantry and armour over the Nazi horde, got level 3 industry and also level 3 air. In addition they have level 2 anti air and still got a max 1000 points invested in research. Elsewhere the US Navy is at max strength 3, max strength 2 for tac air and also level 3 for industry. These 2 superpowers are therefore very much at the races. The Chinese have got to infantry 2 and also level 1 for air and tac air. Only the British have been a bit unlucky - got level 2 infantry and level 1 anti sub, but not much more as the dice have not quite rolled for Churchill. There is still time for that to change.

My 1940 defence worked very well. The Germans were slowed up, and then the defeat of the Italian Navy ensured my priority to try and stop a German incursion into the Middle East was assured. The U boats have almost all been sunk (forgot to say I bagged 2 more last turn plus a destroyer and a spanish cruiser) so the Atlantic is mine. The Chinese have done more than just delay the Emperor - they have actually gone onto the offensive, at least in a limited fashion.

So an excellent first half. So where from here?

1. Russians will have to engage Germany soon. In an ideal world I would love to have a second front of some sort opened up by the time that happens. Spain is a half hearted effort at that, but before the year is out I intend to be giving Hitler major grief in the West following a careful purchase programme in the US and Britian.

2. I intend to crank down a little agains the Japanese in order to allow me to bully Hitler. You may have read me say a couple of turns ago I wanted to hit the Japanese hard, and send a British Fleet over to do it. Changed my mind on that. Spain coming in partly changed it; seeing the morale and readiness scores of the Wehrmacht in Russia finished the job. It is also the case that the Japanese are really struggling - I have been playing GC long enough to know that their Empire is not where it should be, and from here it will get really tough. Therefore I can afford to go heavy against Germany firm in the knowledge that there will be time later in 1943 and 1944 to put the Emperor in his place!

3. US purchases will therefore move away from naval forces for Pacific operations and instead concentrate on building a land and air army ready for operations in Europe asap.

4. Russia overall? This may surprise you, but I will be quite happy to surrender Moscow if the German attack is too strong and continue a fighting withdrawal. I have played games before where I did everything I could to hold the capital and have lost nearly the entire Red Army doing it. Fact is that supply to the East of Moscow is a pig for the Germans - I will destroy as much as I can and then withdraw. Once a second front is opened in the West I will then come steaming back, and blast the Nazi horde westwards in a hurry. Obviously my number one option would be to stop Marc at the gates of Moscow, but it may not be possible. We will see.

So lots to follow with interest as we go through 1942. Keep up and keep checking this thread!

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No graphics this turn. Lots of fighting in Asia. I destroyed the Free French corps in Naru and secured the mine. I could not use Carrier air as the weather over Naru was poor. I landed troops in Guadacanal only to discover the island occupied. I will have to deal with this.

Japan attacked by air and ground Singapore destroying the Indian corps that Al had shipped in. I should take Singapore next turn. Some heavy fighting in Southern China. I forced one of Al's corps to retreat. In Northern China Al hit me hard last turn. I reinforced. Japan also landed 2 armored divisions in the north and redeployed airpower. I expect to ramp up on China.

I have to deal with Davu. Al still holds it and the convoy route for the Philipeans go through there.

In the West I took a beating at sea last turn. Al landed a British army in Gibralter forcing me to redeploy a couple German units that were not on the Eastern Front but elsehwere preparing for an operation.

On the East Front... mud again. :( I decided to continue and strengthen with the exception of 2 key areas. I began the assault on Lenningrad using arty, tac air and ground assault. I faired pretty well hammering the defending army down to 4. I should take the city next turn if the weather turns fair. I advance 2 armor south of Rostov but did not attack the oil well.

The tension is building.

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OK - it's getting really tasty now. First - to China. It is imperative I keep up the offensive on the Japanese to draw strength away from other areas. I had more success in the north where a Japanese Army was destroyed on the spot I have placed an X

chinacounter2.jpg

Note that units that swap when using the shift key now still can have action points left, and I was able to use this to good effect to bring my light armour into play. Delighted to see so much Japanese ground force heading into the area - Japanese operations are sure to be affected. I got lucky out at sea where I had a US cruiser in range to attack and sink a japanese amphibious unit as well this turn - the cruiser may now end up at the bottom of the ocean for its troubles, but I thought it a fair swap at this time and a further weakening of Japanese operations in the area.

To Europe. Here I had a long think. A second front early is my priority as laid out in my second stage strategic plan, and the obvious place for that is northern France. However I am many turns away from being able to do a proper job on that... and the longer I looked at the map the harder I tried to think through the implications of using my Gibraltar bridgehead to good effect. Now - this is a risk, because it means a fast track of resources into Spain, and an inevitable hit on long term strategic planning. Marc may wipe out valuable units in the process (I did it to him in our AAR of the SCww1 ww2 scenario last year... ) However my British mpps are really good thanks to big help from the USA and several resources in the Far East still being under my control. So - I took the decision to go heavy on Spain and fully commit to it. I may lose lots, but Marc will be committed and bound to lose out too.

Last turn I had put more units to sea than I thought I would probably use - as insurance against just such a possible decision - and so I was able to use them.

No room to manouevre down there, so the first decision was to really go aggressive and declare war on the poor Portuguese. I used ever ounce of power I had in the area to destroy the Lisbon corps, but was unable to actually take the city. However more units are ashore, and the fact that I have 5 carriers operating in this area is going to give me a big air presence. This attack wont win me the war, but it might do a huge favour for Stalin. Here is the end of turn graphic:

Spain2.jpg

An HQ and 3 ground units for Marc to deal with... In addition I sank what I think is the last U boat operating in the Atlantic while it sat in Bordeaux harbour. There is one more up on the Atlantic convoy route for me to deal with soon.

This turn I was also able to make happen the next stage of my Mediterranean operation, for although I am diverting a lot of power against Germany I still wanted to continue to expand my success in North Africa. A small combat group was put together, has been deploying and was able to strike and invade Syria this turn. End of invasion graphic here:

syria.jpg

This annoyed Iraq no end, and in fact reversed all the diplomatic points I had invested early in Iraq and the Baghdad government cut off the convoy link, but it wont matter - Iraq is next. :-) Had things not gone well in Egypt then the diplomatic points invested there earlier in the game would have been worthwhile.

Finally - to the zone we are all looking at. The area where the war will be won or lost - Russia. I dont want to give too much away about what is going on there at my end, but I can tell you I deployed 4 units last turn, bought another 3 with available mpps and am still hanging back. I was slightly tempted to attack actually - 1 german armour spotted in Spain and 2 in the Caucasus means a weakened central front, but I held back. The time is not yet ripe, and even if Leningrad falls next turn - which it may well do - I can afford to wait. Marc is going to get increasingly distracted in other areas (Spain, France, Italy for example...) and I will wait until I can really do some nasty damage before I go hell for leather. Here at least for you to see is my immediate defence zone around Moscow - fairly strong, and not an easy nut for Marc to crack when he tries:

Moscowdefence2.jpg

So altogether very interesting, lots happening and more action soon to come I'm sure.

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No pictures this turn.

I reinforced Spain and pushed a Spanish corps into Portugal. Not much happening on the Eastern Front. I decided to sit tight one more turn for a very specific reason. I did take oil south of Rostov. Beyond that not much else going on on the Eastern Front.

Japan... there was some serious fighting in Northern China. Al lost a corp. Singapore fell and the assualt on DEI began. In the Pacific I sunk a US cruiser and began the assualt on Guadacanal supported by carrier air. I also began advancing on Al's southern holdout in the Philapeans.

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Not the best of turns, but I am pushing so hard really before I should do that I am bound to have problems.

The Russians sit tight - to counter attack now really would be ambitious... My main focus was Spain, and what a big fight it is turning out to be. Here is the graphic:

spain3.jpg

Now this is not all good at all! I checked out the predicted stats for attacking Lisbon and it was obvious I could not take it this turn. Therefore the priority became piling as many units into the area as possible, remembering that the whole idea is to divert Germans down here and take the pressure off Russia. I repositioned one army, and then sent the Malta Corps in to help.

Oops! forgot about the Spanish Navy. Sent in a Russian cruiser to take them on - and oops again - found an Italian battleship at sea. At that point I got a bit stupid... maybe cos it is Saturday night. Who knows. Anyway I sent my carrier fleet in to engage and, as you can see, sank neither ship and left my carriers open to attack. I really should have given up the corps transport for dead and concentrated on reinforcing the carriers with more aircraft. My gung ho attitude will not help my troops on the ground. I even moved one carrier into a square with a dust storm so that its aircraft couldnt take off. I'd like to say I've had a few beers already... but that would be a lie. I just had a careless turn fueled by over aggression. It happens.

Still - the one positive here is that my Brits, who are a bit tech starved, have managed infantry level 2, and all those units in Spain and Portugal will take some shifting. It is draining on my own resources too, but Stalin is smiling.

Elsewhere I did a lot of moving in the Pacific, looking to exploit a rather weak Japanese position there and seem to have managed to stem the Japanese tide in Burma and reinforced some other key areas. My US Navy are quite close to being able to steam forward just as soon as I extend my land based air cover. More to come on that in future turns with graphics to show what I mean.

The British in Syria prepare to invade Iraq - that wont surprise Marc at all - and destroyers make contact with the last wolfpack up in the arctic convoy area. Hopefully I can sink it next turn if it dares to stay at sea. I was even able to put a sub on the German convoy route out of Norway and did a bit of damage to the Tirpitz in Copenhagen harbour. I expect some destroyers will steam in to make my sub's life a misery, but it is nice to be able to turn the tables on Hitler in the convoy raiding stakes!

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Interesting turn this one.

Spain has gotten a bit complicated. Last turn I positioned a Spanish cruiser and Italian BB in the med blocking reinforcements by Al from the med into spain. The Gibralter corps ran smack into it. This turn I finished him off and nailed one of Al's British armies in Spain effectively splitting his command. He's in a tight place with depleted carrier air. Whatever he does it will be expensive to both of us. I also have deployed additional assets including fighter air. This was how things ended.

Germany76A.jpg

On the Eastern Front I elected to do nothing. I am not sure this is the right decision. I sense that the initiative has shifted... and with the action heating up in Spain I would rather resolve that first and play it safe... building up. Al's units are upgraded. I would rather have Al strike first and then hit him back. I feel I am in a strong position with lots of armor and air. I also hold some of his oil too. I still have designs on Lenningrad and am building up for that operation. (This strategy is probably a mistake...)

In Asia... I took the DEI this turn with ground and air assualt. Al also reinforced the DEI with a UK army and 2 US fighters. I hammered 1 of the fighters with carrier based air. In China I built up and repositioned a whole lot of airpower. I took the southern city in the Philipeans to secure my convoys. I also continued the attack on the Solomon islands and made a strong effort to disrupt supply.

Not too sure where the US carriers are.

Things are soon to get very complicated.

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Evening all

I had an attack of common sense today after my flighty foolishness yesterday. I took a long look at Spain, pondered the situation and thought of purpose. It looks to me as though purpose has been achieved - good men have died in Spain, but Stalin sits pretty and untouched and more and more Red Army units are taking to the field every day. Therefore the evacuation was begun, 3 units escaped leaving 3 others to likely capture. Unhappy losses for the British, but - again - Russia is key.

A factor in my thinking here was that the "death by a thousand cuts" technique of distracting Germany was further enhanced elsewhere. Marc made a mistake here - he forgot to move his battleship out of Copenhagen harbour - but more importantly he forgot to garrison the city. With so many British mpps currently (still many production centres in the pacific although Marc is gradually reducing them...) I had put a corps to sea just in case this happened, having spotted the city was empty last turn when conducting some convoy raiding. My sub took another pot shot at the unfortunate Tirpitz and then British troops move in. Here is a snapshot seconds before the pressing of the button that saw the Tirpitz go to the bottom of the ocean and another point of concern for Marc appear. This now allows my Royal Navy into the Baltic, and all kinds of nasty stuff can be engineered that way! No more Norwegian income either.

denmark.jpg

So it became less of a difficult decision to evacuate Spain with this opportunity, and for sure Germany is not going to be let off the hook! Meanwhile Stalin sharpens his blade...

Globally Iraq was also invaded - no surprise there - but more surprising was the fact that the Iraqi people rose up and joined the allies even though I was unable to capture the capital while at war. Very handy - no partisan worries there now!

I also found another sub on the arctic convoy route - 1 more than I thought was still left afloat - and damaged it. Also did a bit of bombing in the pacific to try and hit Japanese supplies. I have aircraft dotted all over the place in that theatre, but more of that in later turns. Pressure there will build soon enough.

China? Some local attacks did about another 5 points of damage to Japanese armies, and to the West of China the British presence in Burma stiffened. Dont want to let Marc get that oil supply if I can help it...

Lots happening - lots more still to come. Stay tuned!

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The UK had a tough turn. The UK lost 1 army, 2 Corps, 1 army and 2 more corps mauled.

Japan began exploiting the success last turn in the DEI by going after the US fighters Al

moved there. Note that Al reinforced the DEI with UK troops.

Japan78A.jpg

Japan78B.jpg

I destroyed 1 fighter with heavy air attack and then reinforced that success by landing additional units.

I then pushed into the Indian ocean with Japanese naval assets and look what I ran into! A UK corps. He did not last long.

Japan78C.jpg

I began the assault on Rangoon in force bringing in paras and additional air assets though the weather did not permit air attack.

Japan78D.jpg

Elsewhere I continued the assault on the Solomon’s and got the corps there down to strength 1. Weather over China stunk so I dug in and reinforced.

Al is bombing my convoy routes with a US bomber in DEI. I expect to address this unit in the next turn or so. Japan is strong with a large army and navy. I have to be careful and I expect Al to surprise me soon. I have to be ready.

In Spain Germany nailed Al’s army and corps there. I expect to deal with the Free French unit next turn. Gibraltar is now in Axis control.

I believe the UK lost 5 ground units in the last 2 turns. Al also took Denmark last turn. I had neglected to defend the city and it was an expensive mistake. I now have to fix this. 

On the Eastern Front… dug in. No action or movement. I still feel I am making a mistake but we will see.

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The Allies are building. Destroyed the last of the German Atlantic raiders in Brest harbour, pinged a U boat on the arctic convoys and otherwise did nothing in the West from a combat perspective. Having given up on Spain it is about preparing for the next thrust - remember I have set Germany as my priority target. There will be action in both northern and southern Europe soon.

Britain has had a hard time the last couple of turns with heavy losses due to ambitious zipping around the Pacific. I am about to lose yet another unit at sea with a British Army transport running into axis navy units off the East Indies. Gutted. However the context here is good - by having so many mpps and forcing Marc to use forces in the southern pacific to mop up, and stay strong in China to keep my Chinese quiet, my US navy is reaping the benefits. I am not far off being able to launch operations in the central pacfic with the US Navy despite the fact that my mpp purchase pattern is overwhelmingly still focused on hitting Hitler.

One theatre of operations is active, one that Churchill's government are very keen not to come second best in. This is the situation in Southern Burma:

Burma1.jpg

My Brits may have taken a mauling, but there is enough force in the Indian Ocean still to make life very hard for Marc once he is forced to face the US navy. I do not intend to let the Japanese take my oil reserves here, and once I have Germany under the cosh in Europe I will be trying to squeeze Japan from both East and West. Not got the power to do it quite yet, but my time will come...

Meanwhile it is eerily quiet in Russia. Looks like Marc has given up the idea of storming any further forward, so now it is all about timing my counter attack right. For all you strategists out there it needs to come at a time when I can force Marc to turn his head in more than one direction, so from that angle it may be a while coming. That is not to rule out local operations and attempts to pinch a unit here and there - I might give that a go soon. :-)

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Wow, I wouldn't have guessed that the entrance of Spain would've been such a game changer in Europe...the biggest thing I thought would happen is the fall of Gibraltar. One moment CH was planning the fall of Italy and an expedition to the Far East, the next moment he's engaging German ground superiority with his undermaned UK forces much earlier in the war than he would without Spain, and he is now losing land power he needs for long term success. If only the USSR had hit the Germans when he landed in Spain, then maybe the losses would've been less severe. If this were real life, he'd have been dismissed as head of state, but SC doesn't enforce such limitations, so players can gamble where historical figures could not.

Anyway, given the large UK losses that CH just suffered, I wonder if each nation has different values for the effects of unit losses on their NM. I would doubt the USSR has the same vlaue per unit loss as UK or USA (and the same goes for the respective Axis nations). However, do these effects decrease over time as the war "drags on"? For instance, Churchill came to power mainly because of relatively minor UK losses (both unit and key terrain) in Norway; however, by the Fall of France a month later, the BEF was about to be written off except it had an admirerer in Herr Hitler. It seems Churchill might have survived the complete destruction of the BEF, so maybe the effect on NM is not as great as it was before the fall of France; however, he probably wouldn't have survived the destruction of the RAF in 1940, so there are limits to what a nation will endure.

Although SC is more game than simulation, the tools for NM allow for pseudo-simulation of politics, so it would be interesting to see these effects in the current AAR game. Since CH chose to use his UK strength in the wrong place and had his tail kicked (huge losses from a UK perspective), then maybe his UK NM should see a dramatic drop of 10-15% after so many losses, so quickly. This might make players use UK forces more wisely (as they would've been used in real life), than to toss them away as a distraction for Stalin's purposes.

Anyway, SC would get more interesting if the Allied and Axis players had to accept political limitations associated with unit losses for each of their respective nations, rather than treat them as some worldwide monolithic force that is interchangeable and fights and dies for the exact same cause. It would be neat to see a news flash here and there as a result, and perhaps a change in gov't, which might lead to continuance of the war, but with further restraints, like unit build limits or restrictions on where a unit can serve on the globe. For example, if an Allied player ever managed to recreate history and invade N Africa in Nov 1942 with US/UK units (has anyone done this successfully?), but is hit like CH in Spain and overrun, could there be a DE caused by such a loss that stipulates that US units are restricted to operations in NW Europe with scripts for enforcing it? The same might go for CH in the current AAR game, where his losses in Spain force a DE that restricts his UK forces so the war in Europe has to be dealt with more wisely, AND perhaps a DE pops up to Stalin saying where are you, your western allies need an active eastern front or they will decrease lend lease (how to script an "active front"?). Maybe this is a bridge too far for SC now, but the tools that Hubert et al. are providing with each new game engine seem to be swinging SC more towards simulation than game, so I hope political realities keep seeping in and the use of DEs keeps increasing.

PP

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Zoiks - PP dislikes my strategy. :-)

I'm not sure it would be very easy to set up a political dimension within the SC engine, though Hubert would know more about that. Hearts of Iron does what you suggest, though the game is so complex it is a completely different beast to SC, and the beauty of SC is its simplicity while still retaining never ending replayable challenge because actually an almost limitless number of results and options are always on the table.

Agree that Britain would never have done what I did, though at the same time how do you equate historical politics with the situation in SC? My British were at level 2 infantry, same as Germany encouraging me to take the gamble. This battlefield parity wasnt even close in 1941 in History, so the political map of 1941 cannot easily be matched to the political map I face at present. Also the Battle of the Atlantic is over already - the U boats are beaten, but in reality it was a very close thing until the end of May 1943... so how does the game "predict" a political dimension when the parameters within the game can be so different?

As an aside I dont think Churchill was ever under any serious political threat anyway, even in the darkest days of 1940 or 1941, so again very difficult to suggest a historical political angle when the history itself is very unclear. Had the RAF been beaten in 1940 and Wehrmacht actually got ashore it would probably have been academic anyway as Britain would have fallen, but I doubt Churchill would have been toppled - there really wasnt anyone else better in the wings.

... and back to SC: the forces I have lost have no bearing at all on the long term ability of Britain to conduct operations because I have been sitting on a huge pile of British mpps for a while thanks to uncaptured resources in the Pacific. Only now has Marc been able to whittle these down a bit - but on a profit/loss chart I would suggest I am on an average break even while Russia builds and builds. In other words if I faced exactly the same situation again I would land forces through Gibraltar as I did in this game, though perhaps not take the gamble of declaring on Portugal. That failed because I did not take Lisbon, but it was a whisker away: got the city clear of axis troops but couldnt get a unit in to take it. Pretty tight margins! In History had the UK had the depth of resource that I have had WOULD they have been so sensitive to losses such as I have just had? Remember the Somme and Paschendaele: Britain's largest ever continental army and enormous losses, but because the Empire's strength at that time was great the losses could be sustained.

So - a pop up window telling me that that UK is now restricted in its operations would potentially be absurd in this AAR game because Britain has a power base beyond that which existed in reality. You cant create fixed scripts based on historical tenets when the game situation has quickly moved away from history in the first place.

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