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abukede

Official AAR: Global Conflict Gold

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The weather was pretty poor for me. In the West... I pulled back my forces into Germany... the road to Paris is open. In the East I pulled back also to tighten my lines and await Al's thrust forward. This year we have had terrible weather which has greatly hampered operations. I expect the weather to improve significantly. Al has played a masterful game in against Germany.

In the East... China is still a major thorn. I am taking major casualties each turn and repair costs keep me from doing anything else. With the latest patch China has had some teeth pulled... so do not expect an easy repeat of what has occured in this game. My supply in China is terrible. Next to an HQ the best a Japanese unit gets is level six. It is really only a matter of time till my line completely collapses even with heavy air support from my end... I can only delay it slightly. Burma continues to hold. I mauled a UK unit and forced it to retreat. Intelligence shows Al has mustered a massive fleet. He is clearly waiting for the right moment. I am also expecting a Russian attack into Manchuria. :P It is only a matter of time.

No pics this turn as I need every little edge to hang on and throw surprises his way.

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Would you believe it? Bad weather in the East - AGAIN.

But I am not for waiting now, so here are some images for you as I unleash my own version of Operation Bagration.

First: the Turkish Front. I decided about a year and half ago in game terms that it would be a good idea to have Turkey onside. Turkey comes with a couple of armies, a corps, a cruiser and an air unit which are very handy, but it was nevertheless an expensive business to get them onside. However - the death by a thousand cuts method of bleeding Germany requires that she spread her forces over as wide an arc as possible... so I did it and am now on the attack. This image shows how I have blasted my way across the straights, and have Turks knocking on the doors of Sofia. Notice too the British Army here. I have been spending time slowly moving them over from their Iraqi and Persian conquests to be able to join their Turkish allies. British and US HQs can receive supplies from Turkey, so it is a good route in for them if a landing in Italy is decided against.

Turkey1.jpg

... and here below is the awesome power of the Red Army on the march, still hampered by poor ground and air conditions, but ready to do a whole lot of damage to Germany. I have rarely seen an army in GC as big as this, but with soft builds on the game gives an advantage to the side with the greatest mpp lead, and that is very definitely the allies in this game. If you want a closer game with mpps playing less of a role then play with soft builds off. Anyway - look at this and gape in wonder:

Bagration6.jpg

Elsewhere Marc's decision to pull back from the Belgian beachhead allowed me to drive further into France. He took me rather by suprise - I had been planning on getting my main invasion drive underway 1 turn later so was not quite able to exploit the space he gave me, but the Red Army appearing in the East will have him running for cover, and even if he counters me here and does some nasty damage I have a host of incoming US units on the way. The end of turn graphic is here: Brest about to become another allied port, and Paris next turn may well fall. Franco's Spanish Army is no more as a tank battle SE of Paris saw them eliminated.

Dday8.jpg

Finally a look at China. Attacks in the north have liberated Chengchow as my increasingly elite chinese army is hard to stop. I am pushing south as well as east, and the Japanese are hamstrung by it. No need for the US Navy to make an appearance yet.

Chinacounter8.jpg

So I think we are heading for the end game already. There will be a short and nasty battle in Eastern Europe somewhere. Maybe Marc will try a "Bulge" on me and see if he can throw me back, but I doubt that as the time to do that was while I was still hemmed in. Once that is done Russian units will invade Manchuria and the US Navy push forward. All good for the good guys.

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Yes - it's the effect of soft builds. I'm not sure I like them really - the cost increase makes them work to a degree, but the maps arent designed to have the number of units I have on show here. Possibly I could have attacked earlier and have waited too long and built up more than necessary, but winter came at the wrong time and I was unsure just how big an army Marc had built up in the quiet periods of 1942 and 1943. Better safe than sorry seemed to be common sense...

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- Thanks for the screens Catacol Highlander ;) . Sure seems a nightmare to move so many units... But I still like the idea behind soft build: being able to build more units at higher cost if you need it badly. So maybe higher costs to keep the unit popping in line ?

- If you take the 6 Panzer Army formed for the Ardennes offensive in late 1944, it was built at great cost by cannibalizing more or less all modern/elite reinforcements available while Guderian was pleading for refitting units on the more vulnerable eastern front.

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Okay... sorry for the delay. I've been very busy preparing for me next show which is on the Luftwaffe. I was able to get some time in to get the turn done. I used ground and air in the west to hammer at a US armor and detroyed it. In the East I mauled a Russian corp and destroyed an army and pulled back just slightly toward Romania in the South. Al had crept forward and I was sorely tempted to unleash the Panzers... however behind his front lines I see 7 armor. :P I will let him creep forward a bit more before we tussle. Still all in all things are not good for germany as things press in. Unit shortages will soon be felt when combat ramps up. I expect him to liberate Paris this turn.

In China... just plain bad news. Japan can do nothing against the Chinese. Supply is real low and it's only a matter of time. Just trying to hang on as long as possible out there. The UJN is still strong... and last turn I lost track of the USN. I wonder where they are.

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May 1944... annihilation of the Germans gathers pace. In the West a combined US and UK operation retook Paris, and paras dropped in to seize Nantes (or Brest as I think it should be!!) This now gives me 2 harbours in France so that Marc cannot use his annoying rail gun to disrupt my supply, though it will take a few turns to get up and running. There is therefore now a clock ticking in the West - in somewhere between 3 and 5 turns supply issues will be such that I can really cut loose and cause mayhem and havoc in the west, although I suspect I have enough units ashore already to cause all kinds of problems before then too. Marc has cleverly been keeping most of his key units out of the range of my tac air, but as the graphic below shows I can now start setting up air bases in France itself. The days of the Wehrmacht in the West are surely counting down...

Dday9.jpg

And the East? Good grief - it was mud again in May. I cant remember the last turn where ground conditions in the East were right, so sighing and cursing under my breath I had to content myself with 2 limited operations. The first was against Minsk, and the defenders held out as I wanted to keep my armour concentrated in the south and the mud reduced the attack values of my infantry formations.

However further south Kiev was an easy capture with Red Army tanks rolling forward, and the Red Air force also pinged a panzer corps for 3 points of damage.

Eventually, when the ground is right, I will cut loose and show you the power of massed tanks when used properly. They are irresistable, particularly when supported by artillery and air support, and the Wehrmacht's days in the East are also numbered. Final graphic below as waves of red head west.

Bagration7.jpg

China? Did little this turn bar do some damage to some Jap armour and tentatively head into Indochina. To be honest I am not that motivated to risk heavy casualties here - all I need do now is hold the Japanese Army at bay and wait for the ability to launch Red Army tanks through Manchuria. The Jap Army will then fall like a house of cards.

US Navy playing it coy still, and quiet in Burma as I rested my British units prioritising mpp spending on carrier repairs in Europe.

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Finally some pictures!!! This was a fun turn. At the beginning of the turn I got a lot of goodies. I think about 8 volks units. Some came with experience. :P Two popups like the one below.

B1.jpg

So it is nearly the end for Germany and Al got a little careless in the West… thinking perhaps the Germans no longer possess the capability to do him any real damage. German forces in the west exploded out from behind fortifications using a combination of air and ground. I could have simply gone for units to destroy but my objective was to do as much damage as possible to his offensive forces to slow him down. My secondary objective was to make it difficult to land additional forces.

Here you can see my tac air digging into his armor. Notice the US fighter a tad bit forward than he should be. Before the turn is over Al will be looking for a replacement. For us beta testers it is the little things in life that make playing against each other so much fun. I know Al will be beating himself up over the loss of that fighter. :P

B2.jpg

Notice the enemy army in port. I have been bombarding the port to keep him from being able to unload in the same turn. I have been using my rail gun for that. He’s been very handy.

B3.jpg

This is how it ended. Al is down 1 veteran fighter with 3 stars, 1 armor, 1 corps and multiple units mauled. I also used a paratroop with less than spectacular results.

B4.jpg

In the West I fully expect to get pummeled by Al’s air in return. I repaired 2 fighters in the West so I should eat away at him a bit and I also brought up reinforcements… but the bottom line is I will probably lose both armor that I used this turn and another 2 ground units. Germany is facing overwhelming forces and anything I can do to delay him works to my advantage. I am trying to see how long I can delay the inevitable. It’s actually fun and I would recommend trying it when the game seems lost you really learn a lot.

I almost did the same thing in the East with larger and more powerful forces but changed my mind at the last moment. I settled for tightening my lines and bringing up reinforcements.

Not much from Japan… just trying to hang on in China.

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Well - this is becoming tiresome. Having watched Marc's replay I eagerly turned to the East, waiting to unleash the Red Army hordes that are waiting - with Red Army commanders getting very excited to see so many aircraft and tanks deployed by Hitler in France. What did I find - on June 18th?? - MUD. Now as a European I can tell you that mud in June in Eastern Europe doesnt happen. As a continental land mass the temperatures are too high... and away from the western edge there is insufficient rainfall. Many moons ago I offered to look again at the weather patterns in SC... and I think I might have to make that offer again! In essence all I was able to do was capture Minsk... another mpp producing city and another dent in Marc's Empire - but even with motorisation I cannot leap forward in mud conditions. Most units will only crawl 1 or 2 hexes max - not enough.

I had to satisfy myself with a liberation of Athens and Greece further to the SW after another amphibious landing.

So... cursing under my breath I whipped the map over to Europe. And over the UK it was raining. I shook my head in disbelief. Now - that is much more like it in terms of realism: it rains in the UK all the damn time!!! (apart from now in 2012 when we have drought warning in force - but that is another story...) but in game turns it is unlucky. So my airforce was grounded. That was a killer, because really I should have been able to deliver a major blow. As it was heavy fighting secured the destruction of both panzer corps and some other broader damage, but my own beach head is not massively secure, and high casualties are likely to continue here.... until the Reds can be unleashed!!

So: all depends next turn again on the weather. Fingers crossed the gods of war deal me some kind of decent hand as it has been muddy or snowy in Russia now for months and months on end. 1 good turn of weather on both fronts and I suspect I can virtually put the European war to bed.

End of turn graphic in Europe is here, showing a very very chaotic situation. If Marc has more panzers in reserve then next turn I am going to take a big hit.

Dday10.jpg

In the East the Chinese basically continue to sit tight and the USN plays silly buggers, waiting for good news from Europe.

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I'm back... been super crazy with work and family... managed to get some time at the desktop. Sorry for the delay... but turns against Al take some time to think out... especially when he is kicking my butt. I don't want to make it easy for him.

We had heavy fighting in the West as my Spring like Bulge offensive began to slow down. I destroyed a British and US Army, mauled a number of units heavily... including the armor you see.

This is how it ended... it looks like both sides are pretty beat up... Also note how few Allied combat units are actually ashore.... which is good. The rest were eaten up over the past few turns.

GE127.jpg

Had Al managed to hit me on both sides in powerful strength I would have been in real trouble. What I have managed to do... is tangle with Allied forces in the West in a low intensity fight that sucked up units and MMPS over a number of turns... puntuated by a major offensive designed to keep the forces in the West off balance. In the East... I focused on a careful strategic withdrawl... moving backward just at the point when Al was ready for an offensive. I used my airpower to carefully watch Al... as he built up. My counter-thrust in the East a few turns back was calculated to throw him off balance... like the one in the West just did. Both were violent and powerful enough to cause significant casualties to the point where some type of strategic pause was required by the Allies. That said I think my time at careful withdrawls are over... there is really no where else to retreat. It is likely Russia will hammer Germany hard this coming turn and the Allies will strike hard with what is left in the West as well. I am not sure how much longer Germany lines will remain in tact. The good news is German forces in the East are dug in with plenty of aircover and tac air standing by. It's gonna be ugly but Al has the masses of men to pull it off.

Nothing much to report Asia... Japan is getting her strength sucked away in China.

What a fun game this has been... Excellent job Al! You know it is a shame players can't see a complete replay of our turns... it has been like a chess match.

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Glad to get back into this, and very much the beginning of the end. Finally I got the weather I wanted, and I broke Marc's lines in the East.

The beginning of my Eastern assault looked like this - awesome:

Bagration8a.jpg

My plan was simple - drive hard for the Romanian Oil and try to link up with my allied units coming across from Turkey. In this I was successful, brushing aside the 2 corps and army defending the area around Odessa and destroying the panzer corps protecting the crossing to the north. I took some casualties in the process, but having broken the line there is nothing that can stop me now: Marc can either counter with the armour he has, destroy as many as 4 of mine but then fall victim to sheer weight of numbers; or retreat further back. But there isnt really anywhere to go now. Final graphic of the penetration point is here:

Bagration8b.jpg

To the west I was happy to tidy up my lines, get a couple more armies ashore and destroy the weaker of Marc's units that had made a nuisance of themselves. My western forces now are no more than a distraction, and every unit that sits opposite them is one less for the Red Horde to worry about. Starting position was here:

Dday11a.jpg

... and after a few attacks and a bit of movement it finished thus:

Dday11b.jpg

And what of Asia? Well at last Burma fell. It has been a long time coming as my forces took a while to get the supply and tech combinations right, but the South East Asia front finished like this, as British and Chinese forces look to crush the Japanese between their pincers:

Burmaliberated.jpg

Finally - before this AAR comes to an end I promise a bit of USN action. I have held them back as they are no part of my plan really to win this game (at least not until the endgame) but it would be a shame not to use them, so as quickly as I can I will bring them into action now for you to see. What will be interesting there will be to see how large they can grow with very little investment: from memory I think I built 1 carrier and a couple of subs, but otherwise it is all fixed arrival stuff that comes "free" - so worth a look. Keep tuning in to see what happens there.

So a happy Allied High Command!

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reading this aar is like watching 2 chess masters at work. it's amazing how when your opponent has a great turn, you guys just adjust and continue. very easy to get down at those times and concede. anyway, i don't have the game yet, but i'm wondering what the victory conditions are. do the allies have to take berlin, tokyo, and rome for to win?

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Zukkov... the game has been decided for some time. Al should have no problem taking Berlin and Japan is completely on the defensive. There is no hope. That said... my goal for some time now has been to make it as difficult as possible for Al and to see how long I am able to hold out. I have really enjoyed giving him more than a few headaches. You see when you are losing a game... people have a tendency to quit way too early. I think it can be great fun to hold out and as I have said more than once you learn a great deal about the game by simply defending what you have. It teaches you to be creative and economical with you forces. It also allows you to set up traps and ambushes for when your opponent gets over-confident. The reason that it is fun and important to defend... play a game out is that in another game you may be on the offensive in one theater or region while you must hold and be on the defensive in another... like North Africa or Burma. Meaning that you will be better prepared to handle a defensive fight somewhere else. Just my philosophy.

Now go out and get the game! What are you waiting for? Buying this game it is not something you get play for a few hours and then don't come back to.. this game becomes an obsession.

Oh... and for all those waiting for SC3... which is being worked on as we speak... I and the other beta bunnies have been hammering Hubert and Bill with all kinds of ideas concerning gameplay tweaks and enhancements for months now! I am expecting something special. :)

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Back from a long week of work. Things should ease up this week so turns should come quicker.

It is the end for Germany. I struck back carefully on the East Front destroying 1 armor, 4 or 5 armies, special forces and corps. I could have done more damage, especially to Al's armor but that would have left me open and weak... which would have led to a devastating attack that would speed up Germany's collapse. That said Al's next turn on the East Front will be a hammer blow. I withdrew most of my forces out of the Balkans leaving only dug in units in the cities to act as speedbumps. I have some powerful units hidden from view, which I am saving. I want to see if I can get into the next winter... unlikely but we shall see. It's really quite fun defending and making it as difficult as possible for your opponent. :)

This is how the situation looks at the end of my turn. The red arrows represent spaces where I destroyed units. Note the Garrison at level 6! He's my surprise and has survived multiple attacks over many turns! Garrisons are great speedbumps especially if placed in the right position.

GermanEnd1.jpg

In the West... I pretty much pulled back... my purpose is delay at this point. I still own Spain... :) I don't think Al has the strength in the West to break into Germany in a powerful way... at least not for another 2 turns. Once he is able to ramp up pressure on both the East and West at the same time... the collapse of German arms will come quickly. I keep bombarding the Port in Belgium to keep him from landing units quickly. I have been using a railgun for this purpose and I know it annoys Al to no end. :)

GermanEnd2.jpg

Japan... a whole lot of nothing. I am expecting a Soviet attack in the East.

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Into the home straight here. Russian Front first... Forces to the north in the area around East Prussia successfully stretched the German line as a diversion, and the armoured wedge smashed further into the Balkans. Romania fell; Bulgaria was overrun but the capital could not quite be taken. Reserves pour forward... and Germany is likely to be out the game soon. In the process 2 precious panzercorps, 1 tac air and 1 fighter were destroyed along with a couple of less valuable infantry formations. Final position thus:

Balkansoverrun.jpg

Elsewhere the allies in the West took a breather and brought forward more reinforcements. The Chinese, now successfully with motorisation, upgraded nearly all units and will soon be able to attack properly. The USN was quiet...

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i think it's time to unleash the u.s. navy before mark capitulates! you're keeping a lot of sailors from being able to tell their grand kids stories about how they defeated the japanese single handed with nothing but a rowboat and a broken paddle! :-p

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Germany is collapsing fast. My strength is bleeding away fast. I did a little damage to Al... he only lost a couple of units with a few mauled on the East Front. I elected to pull back and form a new line in South Eastern Germany... but that will not stop his armor. It the West Al is gathering his strength... I expect him to hit me next turn... the good news is that it's september so hopefully the weather will turn sour.

Japan has no good news nor anything of interest to report. Al's naval superiority will be staggering when he hits me.

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No graphics today... Hungary, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia all fell that turn as the big southern hook in Europe pushed through led by multiple armoured units. I had expected more of my armour to be destroyed - as it is 9 units remain alive and that is a huge force... made possible by soft builds of course which accentuates my mpp advantage.

In the west the US made the first small dent in the Siegfried Line, but only a small one. USN repositioned and closed... and the British Army in Burma pushed on towards Thailand.

If the weather holds I should have some good graphics to show as Germany crumbles and the allies close in on Japan in a big way.

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I pulled back in the East leaving garrisons in East Prussia and Warsaw. I did destroy 1 russian corps that had taken a mine... :P Al is near at the end of his supply line. His forward armor is at 5 supply and it's now Oct. I am hoping things get slowed down quick by weather. The Allies in the West have a powerful force and they should breach my western wall this turn or next. It is ugly and I am doing my best to make it as difficult and painful a process for Al. In Asia... minor action... Al has built up forces in Siberia... he will probably invade this turn.

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