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Bill101

WWI Breakthrough - 1914 Call to Arms AAR!

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What about the impact of naval blockade then? It should lower the NM of CP regardless their success in Russia ( just like in happened in reality ).

That doesnt happen. In my experience the blockade keeps German NM flat, but as soon as she captures half a dozen towns/cities then it creeps up, subject to casualties on the battlefield. "My experience" of course is mainly with vanilla SCWW1 and not Breakthrough, but currently the figures in this AAR are suggesting the same will happen here. The fact that Germany has gone from 98 to 100 in the last 2 or 3 turns is proof of that, and more Russian towns are going to fall soon.

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Fairly quiet turn. A Russian unit smacked a German Cav doing some damage but beyond that a whole lot of nothing. Behind the scenes a lot going on. I pushed up to the Turkish lines in the Middle East with the UK and expect to begin assaulting it this coming turn. The Russians upgraded much of their army this turn. British units entered Italy this turn as well.

Oh and my blockade is beginning to affect Al's morale... the Germans were at 99% this turn. Once he rolls his fleet out and engages the allied navies it should drop even faster.

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OK - long post coming!

So... The Plan? Like clockwork. In the north of Russia German forces now poised to assault Kovno, a good mpps earner and a decent NM centre too.

kovno.jpg

Further south German troops and artillery will take Brest Litovsk next turn, another big NM centre. These 2 cities alone will add 55 NM points to the German total every turn.

Further south again the Austrians are having fun in the sun. In Galicia upgraded units are pursuing the Russians towards Kiev. The problem for Marc here is that he cannot stop to upgrade his infantry and entrench them at the same time, and I dont intend to give him space to do it. Eventually supply will slow me down... but not yet. Graphic here:

galicia4.jpg

And in the Balkans the hammer fell on Romania, with Austrian, German and Bulgarian troops assaulting from all borders. Bucharest fell, so did the alternate capital and I would expect Romania to surrender next turn. A nice mpps earner for Germany, though no NM comes with it unfortunately.

So the plan is roaring ahead. Additional interest though is now building as we near the autumn of 1915 and a new schedule needs to be developed. This pop up window interested me greatly and makes sense of Marc's tactics:

usa.jpg

Marc is investing in US diplomacy. In order to get the USA in he will have to expend a vast number of mpps and hope that I "help" him by undertaking sub warfare on his convoy routes. This presents me with an interesting dilemma for 1916/17. I had intended to send the German fleet to war at some point, but if it is going to help bring the USA in then I may reevaluate. Marc could end up spending 1500mpps or more on the investment and be left twiddling his thumbs for a long time waiting for them to come in. Why help speed that up? Hmmmm - food for thought.

The second point of interest, though one I was already aware of, is here:

russsubs.jpg

Russian subs, built and deployed in the Black Sea. Marc is definitely gathering for a knock out blow on Turkey in 1916 as a warm up for US entry... I presume he hopes this will happen as soon as possible and he intends to keep the Russian army intact to assist in a demolition of Germany in 1918. When I post my plans for 1916 you will see that I dont intend to allow him that platform. :-) The rail link to Palestine will open next turn - do I send the German army down there?

Finally look at this graphic:

verdun2.jpg

I had absolutely no intention of doing anything in the west in 1915, but Marc's troops going to Palestine and the passive nature of the Russian army has opened the window. This assault position has opened up just in time: Marc has French infantry level 2 now, but if he swaps the two French units over he will lose entrenchment. He can probably take out the German unit in open ground that has moved forward... but that will weaken the defender of Verdun. Basically Verdun is in trouble here... and she carries a hefty negative NM impact on France if she falls.

All fun stuff, and the Kaiser is considering a gentle skiing holiday in the Swiss Alps...!

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Fairly quiet turn. Al will be assaulting Verdun in the next turn or two. I dare not move the unit that's there out. It is only upgraded to 1 but entrenchment is 7. He will likely tae it but I have brought in a number of reinforcments behind my lines so if he does attack it will likely be costly.

The Uk severed the rail line to the Middle East this turn by landing Marines in mainland Turkey. It will only delay German reinforcments a few turns... but it may be enough to get some momentum going against the Turks.

In Russia there was some fighting... not much but some. I abandoned a city in the North and consolidated my forces. I also upgraded a large number of units. In the South I pulled back further into Southern Russia.

Some minor fighting in Italy.

I've been lucky with Tech but Al I think hold a serious advantage on me.

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OK - photobucket working now. :-) Must have been having a half day off... \-[

Well - it is all steady as she goes. Russia is really up against it now: graphic of German assault force in the north here, as Russians turn tail and run:

minsk1.jpg

And in the South more fleeing Russians, more NM acquisitions for Austria and oodles of space to run into. Romania also surrendered allowing more mpp growth and a widening of the front.

srussia1.jpg

In the West my unexpected attack on Verdun took the fortress. 13 artillery shots and 2 attacks by veteran Germans on the level 1 defenders destroyed them easily. Good NM boost for me, and a blow for France:

verdun3.jpg

Any bad news? No - not really - but Marc will be attacking and probably taking Jerusalem shortly. Here is the situation in Palestine:

palestine2.jpg

My defence is not bad: level 1 infantry and the corps in Jerusalem is entrenched at 5, but I suspect Marc must have artillery level 1 and will get rid of me. His tactic to try and cut off the rail link was expected, and I did not leave it unguarded, but it will take me a couple of turns to shift the marines now sat on the tracks on supply 0. What then? Well to be honest I havent decided yet. My plan for 1915 has exceeded expectations in so many ways that I have massive choice available. I will probably send the Bulgarians down there - especially as Turkish HQs can command Bulgarians (unless that has been changed in Breakthrough!) but we will see. A fall in Turkish NM is going to happen, but I am going to make Marc pay for weakening his British line in Belgium and France...

Albania was also taken freeing up more Austrians.

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Okay... back in the saddle. Not much to report. I really debated hammering the Germans in Verdun but decided against it. In Russia I also debated hammering advanced German forces but in the end I also decided not to. Odd I know... but with Russia I am playing for time. Dragging things out... also sucking Al further in. It's my best way to begin bleeding Germans. I also dug in and brought two large forces together in the north. In the South I dug in as well. We moved into September this turn and across Europe I saw rain. I hope it's poor weather in the East as well.

In the Middle East... I held off my attack to upgrade... and also for another reason. I am up to somthing and not telling what. :P

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September 1915. My reorganisation for 1916 has begun. It can take a long time to get all the bits of the jigsaw in the right place, especially when some units now are at low supply levels in the East, so I have decided to give myself as long as possible. Over the next few turns I will take you through the process, revealing my plan for the next stage as I go.

First: a reorganisation of the Eastern Front. I have decided to condense my operations into an Army Group North under German control and an Army Group South under Austrian control, each with a couple of HQ units. First a graphic of the north:

nrussia_zpsac7e830f.jpg

I still have a couple of cities to take here, hopefully before winter, so you can see 3 HQs currently and more units than I intend to keep here in 1916. Once Minsk and Vilna are taken I will scale back and go into defensive mode, allowing Lenin to do the rest...

Here is Army Group South:

srussia2_zps5dffc22f.jpg

I intend a more aggressive stance throughout 1916 here with my eyes on the resources of southern Russia. I hope to take Kiev by spring.

Elsewhere? I have resolved to send the Bulgarian Army to Palestine to help the Turks, and have also sent more force to the Alps to face the Italians.

However the greatest priority is to prepare for the massive impending battles in the West. Several corps are already on their way; I am purchasing yet more and will send several more again from the East. No graphic really to see here yet... if you can all be patient until spring 1916 I will reveal then what I am amassing for my knock out blow.

The battle in Russia has been won. The war will now be completed via the destruction of the French Republic!

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Well… overall I am fairly pleased. Al has had a great run so far but unlike him I would not count the war in Russia as over yet.

The Russian army still has teeth 46 units deployed with more in build. Russia is making in excess of 300 per turn. Morale is only at 70%. Much of Al’s army is a bit over extended supply wise due to his advance and the games of maneuver I played with him this summer. His supply has not caught up yet. It will in a few turns… but then we will be into deep winter. Much of the Russian army is at supply 9 while the Germans are at 4,5,6… with the A-H in the South at 3 and I would hazard advance units are at 1 supply. Ripe for ambush. I was sorely tempted to smack Al very hard in the north this turn. Sometimes my offensive nature gets the better of me but I have to play Russia smart. Almost the entire Russian army is now upgraded to level 2… and I have units stacked 3 and 4 deep in some places. In the end I made the decision to take a safe bite where I could. I destroyed 1 highly experienced German corps using upgraded arty and infantry and taking advantage of my prepared attack bonus, I also took advantage of my prepared attack bonus in the south and smacked an A-H corps that was in low supply and then pulled back a bit inviting him further into Southern Russia. Further south… the Russians went on the offensive against the Turks destroying a Turkish detachment using arty support with Infantry. I was able to retake Erivan.

Strategy wise… Why did I play it safe? I think I could have done him a lot of damage this turn had I wished. Simply… If I engage him too soon the back and forth fighting could easily drop my morale to 50 more rapidly than I would wish. Remember Russian morale is currently at 70%. Not bad for going into winter in 1915 and having given up Warsaw and much of the Frontier. A good deal of my army is now entrenched with excellent supply. On the other side of the fence… with poor supply and weather Al’s casualties will mount rapidly if he presses forward too early. It may also allow me to more easily destroy damaged units should I wish causing him more in losses than he wants to take. On the other hand… should he press… instead of attacking I can just as easily continue to pull back making his supply woes much more of a problem and again making it easier to smack him hard or take a corps out here or there at will. German morale keeps hovering between 99 and 100%. Should he start taking regular casualties each turn I will begin to eat into that… and should things heat up on the Western Front without Russia out of the war his morale will fall fast… so he needs to play it careful and knock Russia out of the war by 1917 so he can focus on the West. The same applies should he sortie his navy… both sides will take losses but his morale would take a major hit with fighting on the West and Eastern Front. Really interesting situation if you think about it. He is performing a balancing act right now.

In the West I brought in more reinforcements... and decided to sit tight. The French army is entirely upgraded and I feel the Western Allies are now ready to go on the offensive. The question is when? Tech is now paying off in a big way… Should I try for a winter offensive? Or wait till spring? I think I may decide next turn. Italy is also getting tech finally… and I am slowly building up her forces. In the Middle East I sat tight again... upgrades. :P Al should knock out my marines sitting on his rail this turn but I planned for that. I also have some initiatives going on that I am not ready to talk about. :P

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Fascinating to see two different interpretations on an ongoing war. From my angle the Entente are in big trouble now... but 1916 will be decisive. We will see what we will see.

From an action perspective not much to show you all: Austrian forces closed on Kiev and now sit adjacent to the city, waiting for the order to assault. German forces got good weather and tried an assault on Vilna from a bit too far away - and failed. Defending corps hung on strength 1, a bit annoying as 10 artillery shots only did 1 damage and on a "normal" day it would have been taken out, but such are the fortunes of war. As you saw from my last post my army around Vilna is large, and there is a good to decent chance that Vilna will fall next turn leaving Minsk as my last target in the East before allowing Communism to do the rest of the Russian job for me. In the West I popped a French corps near Verdun - easily done such is the strength of my German army in that area.

One graphic worth showing you here to explain my overall confidence:

forcessept1915_zps3204984b.jpg

From this you can see how far the Entente forces have fallen behind the CP, and with Germany now earning easily in excess of 500mpps per turn and climbing she is in the box seat to boss any offensive she wishes. I will attack in the West in 1916 - no secret there - and I will take casualties, but as summer turns to autumn in 1916 the German factories will be able to sustain the reinforcements much more easily than France, and indeed looking at the French army on this graph it is hard to see how it will hold. British conscripts will arrive - but they come under strength, under tech and on the wrong side of the channel and take time to get into the battle. By the time Haig is ready to do something dastardly I intend to have broken the French.

Austria strong too... plenty strong enough to maintain an attack on Russia and nullify the Italians.

Turkey? Still waiting for the British to attack.

NM? Germany on 100 and AH on 102. Both still have an upward trend subject to casualties.

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A nice turn for me and I think you will all find it very interesting as some of my strategy and approach to this game starts to come to light. Simply put the German army is a bit smaller. We had the second battle of Verdun. British heavy artillery pounded Al’s upgraded, experienced and over-strength corps holding the fortress. Turns out I did not even need to bring in my French arty. Gas is your friend! French infantry forces mopped up occupied the Verdun. I expect us to continue to fight over Verdun. Al lost a unit that had 2 bars of experience. He had also taken casualties the previous turn assaulting an adjacent corps. On a disappointing note I also brought in my air force to airstrike Al’s arty in the rear… I damaged it but one fighter took catastrophic damage first from a fighter and then from ground defense and destroyed itself. I sat there shaking my head. Good thing air units are inexpensive.

37SecondVerdunA_zps16baaa4c.jpg

On the Eastern Front things got very interesting. Remember it was only 2 turns ago that Al declared victory against Russia! Part of my strategy was to draw him in to lower supply and readiness. In the north Russia went over to the offensive and attacked destroying 2 experienced German corps that had over extended themselves. I also mauled another that was in very low supply and had poor readiness. The Russians are enjoying high supply levels and winter is coming. I was very tempted to launch an all-out offensive against him as I think I could have caused him significant casualties… but again I have to be very careful of morale. I need Russia to remain in the fight as long as possible while doing him serious damage. I also threw away a Cav unit to finish off one of the German corps that had retreated with a strength of 1.

In Southern Russia the Russians also went on the offensive and struck the A-H line destroying a Cav unit that was in poor supply. I could have destroyed a corps but decided against it as Al’s CAV are his mobile units that can move fast and far quickly with little effort. I don’t mind him having 1 less CAV.

I am very pleased with Russia so far. She has taken a beating and is still fighting. German morale dipped to 98% this turn. Russian morale is at 66%.

In the Middle East the UK offensive finally swung into high gear this turn unloading a punishing barrage on Al’s Turkish line… I destroyed the Turkish corps defending Jerusalem, took the city, liberated Palestine while also mauling a second Turkish corps. Jerusalem is a National Morale Center and the Turks took a massive hit with its loss. French Marines landed behind his lines and found an empty city that is National Morale center by the name of Damascus... :P I am confident he can get troops into it next turn but my French marines will be a serious irritant… They were specifically landed to act as a road block to keep some of his units from escaping the British drive. It will be interesting to see how things turn out.

37AssJerusalemA_zps1208e62a.jpg

Now for the very interesting part. For the last 5 turns I have been investing in diplomacy against Holland with each Entente country. I first invested in the USA to get readiness up and convoy income improved and then switched to Holland. The USA is a long-term project. Diplomacy has been maxed out on Holland for the last 4 turns. Each turn I have gotten a hit with diplomacy and steadily lowered Holland’s morale. Even though there is a popup… I said nothing in the hopes that Al missed it, which I think he did till last turn when he invested 250 into diplomacy. See chart below.

GermanyDiploB_zpse905eb77.jpg

The beginning of this turn saw Holland at 8% for the Germans. I just got a 9% hit which swings her to the Entente. Why is this important? Germany starves without Holland and takes not only an economic hit (65 cash a turn) but also a massive morale hit each turn. Perhaps no one ever tried this strategy against him… but it works and is a critical tool for the Entente and part of my strategy going into 1916. He has been taking a massive morale hit each turn from my blockade and now he has to contend with the loss of Holland’s income and the accompanying morale hit which I think is the equivalent to the blockade… now add unit losses to that combined double hit and Al suddenly has to play a very careful game or his morale losses could cost him everything.

Should he sortie his fleet and engage the combined Entente fleet off England… the morale hit with lost ships will be catastrophic… trust me… I’ve done it and been shocked at how quickly morale can fall due to Naval battles. So now he is taking hits on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. He now knows Russia and the French have teeth. The communists will eventually bring Russia down but if he continues to push against Russia this year his morale could be in trouble and he puts in possible late game jeopardy. Another problem he will face is when Russia pulls out of the war he loses the morale boost from the Russian cities and towns he has captured. So if Russia goes quicker... at this point it will hurt him more in the long run.

Greece also joined the war effort… One more thing for Al to focus on and another minor for him to beat up on. Of course the UK could land troops in Greece and make things interesting.

37-Greece_zpsd265e81f.jpg

In summary... Al lost 5 units this turn and his income from Holland, plus a regular massive morale hit. The war is far from over. This has been a very interesting game so far and yes we Beta Testers play hard and rough.

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The Entente strikes back!

But the Empire is not for turning... :-)

First the Palestinian Front. Jerusalem fell this turn - no surprise... it was coming. Final graphic below:

palestine3_zps05bdbb9d.jpg

French marines tried to "Anzio" me... but I saw that coming too and was prepared. They will now perish. I will be fast moving more units in over the next few turns, and will simply play a waiting game down here now, forcing Marc to grind me down one unit after another to try and get to the next NM objective. No counter offensive here from me - but glad to get another Turkish trench hit at the end of the turn.

In Russia the Tsar had to stand and fight eventually - but Vilna fell nonetheless. German forces will now try to push on to Minsk, my final German objective in Russia though winter is very close and it looks like a spring task now. That leaves me with a slight problem in that spring 1916 is when I want to throw my entire army against the French. Do I give up on Minsk? Not yet - but it is a possibility in the medium term. Impressive graphic below showing 2 vast armies on the verge of slugging it out.

minsk2_zps46544d26.jpg

In the west the French unit that retook Verdun was destroyed though I was unable to move back into the fortress. It stands empty... will anyone want to occupy the shattered bunkers there now??

Finally to Holland. I had noticed Marc's diplomatic work there but left my counter diplomacy too late. That is galling. I value the lost mpp trade more than the NM hit at this stage with my overall gameplan, and it leaves me with a choice to make: do I attack and occupy Holland now and recoup the mpps or leave it as it is? No easy answer there. Either way 65mpps per turn lost is a high price to pay for a few hundred diplo points to counter his investment and it is my first major error of the game. It reignites the possibility of early German naval action in 1916 as Marc alluded to in his last post. I will mull that over in the next few turns.

However the balance sheet is still favouring the CP. Russian NM down to 64 and falling - more towns fell that turn too to roving Austrian and German units out in open country - and the French sit on 84 (from memory.) Germany is now on 98 after the losses of last turn. That is a big lead going into a big offensive in a few turns time.

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Looks really interesting. Most games I have seen were almost decided in 1915, but this looks balanced with slight advantages for the CP.

What I have seen quite often in these games: whe Germany can start a major attack in the West already in 1916 and capture a few NM targets, France is pratically gone in 1917.... their NM will never recover.

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Looks really interesting. Most games I have seen were almost decided in 1915, but this looks balanced with slight advantages for the CP.

What I have seen quite often in these games: whe Germany can start a major attack in the West already in 1916 and capture a few NM targets, France is pratically gone in 1917.... their NM will never recover.

Marc's tactic is an interesting one, preventing any real on the ground victory in 1915 by withdrawing into Russia. However it has still led Entente NM to slip away, leaving German and Austria at around 100 throughout the game so far. The loss of Holland is a blow, but I'm not sure how the Entente can close that NM gap now. If Turkey were to fall it would do it... or if the Germans lost on the battlefield at a ratio of about 2:1, but I cant see that either. The key for me is to make my attack in the West powerful enough to overcome a probable inferiority in the number of artillery pieces. It looks as though very little of the British Army is in France: that begs the question whether a massive hit in Palestine is incoming, or whether the Brits plan a hit through Greece or maybe Italy. I need to be on my toes regarding that, but still the basic fact remains that if France caves in when I attack in 1916 it is probably game over.

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I am playing the morale game. At least trying to. I think that Al has a choice especially with the loss of Holland. Oh and he's not getting it back either unless he invades for the cash... which is what I would do. Diplomatically I have too much diplo invested in it. In the West he either strikes with his Navy or his army. If he attempts both the resulting morale hits will cost him the game as from this point forward German morale will begin to fall each turn. I think I am well positioned to defend the West and when he attacks it will be bloody for both sides... the trick is costing him more casualties than he can afford 2 to 1 ratio or not. He has to deploy some forces to garrison his frontier... so on the Western Front it will not be 2:1. It will more likely be parity with a slight advantage in his favor. I hope he is serious about a major offensive in the West in 1916... I personally would not try it till 1917. And if he does he will be outnumbered Arty wise.

Also the Russian's are not out of it... in fact they are far from out. Each German or A-H unit I kill helps me stay in the game that much longer and ties up key forces.

I think you can detect a bit of frustriation from him in relation to the UK. He does not know where the bulk of the UK army is... which is intentional on my part. It could be in France waiting out of sight and prepared to move forward... Italy... Middle East or preparing to land in Greece. Or it could be waiting to land somewhere dare I say... unexpected.

Of course I could be completely wrong with my assessment of the situation and it would not be the first time. At the moment though I am pleased with my position especially with Russia at 64-65% going into 1916.

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Good turn from my perspective. Al lost 2 corps this turn with a number of units mauled as the Entente continued to strike back.

First picture… highlights the slow erosion of German Morale.

39-Hunger.jpg

The convoy route to England became established this turn. I need to swing Holland further in my favor. I don’t think Al will allow it to come to that though. I would expect a winter offensive from him… or early spring attack on Holland.

39HollandConvoy.jpg

Russian forces struck an A-H corps in poor supply facing Kiev and destroyed it.

39-Kiev.jpg

Russian forces have been slowly building up for several turns in Southern Russia. I think that by Spring I will be able to defend against an A-H driven offensive. I may even be able to launch a good offensive against Al’s forces. His time of easy city and town pickings in the South is starting to come to a close. His losses are beginning to mount.

In the North, Russian forces pulled back toward Riga and reorganized my line a bit as I fell back away from Vilna a bit. Remember Al took Vilna last turn and his supply improved and is catching up. Time to fall back a bit and invite him forward. In the North we had mud this turn. Since it’s now November, 1915 I can only assume the weather will only deteriorate. Not sure how much longer offensive action can be conducted effectively this year in Russia.

In the Middle East my French marines moved into a position to block rail reinforcements (see picture below… the arrow is where he moved) while further south my offensive continued with the destruction of another Turkish corps and the mauling of a Bulgarian corps that Al had operated in. I expect that I should be able to remove another Turkish unit or 2 this next turn and if I am lucky the Bulgarian corps too…

39-Turks.jpg

On the Italian front the Italians showed some life for a change and struck the A-H lines severely mauling an experienced A-H unit… that Al had not upgraded. I don’t mind not destroying him as it forces Al to rebuild it and cancels out experience. It’s also almost as much as buying a new unit.

39-ItalianOffensive.jpg

On the new Greek front… A Greek corps struck and damaged a Bulgarian Cav unit removing 2 steps.

Overall I got off relatively easy this turn while inflicting good damage on Al’s forces where I attacked.

In the West my buildup is proceeding as expected. I am pleased and looking forward to Al's Spring and Summer offensive.

Russian morale has fallen to 63 but killing enemy units help. So the destruction of enemy units keep Russia in the game longer. Russia has a number of units in build and by Spring Al should be facing a larger Russian army. German morale has dipped to 97% and I fully expect it to be at 96% or below next turn. A-H morale has dipped to 101% but interestingly Turkish morale is seriously suffering… they just entered the war a few months ago and already it is down to 70%. That slide should continue.

Overall I am pretty pleased however things could rapidly change and Al still has the initiative.

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Morning all

First turn for a long time from me without a graphic, becaure really nothing happened from my perspective worth showing. Autumn mud is a killer for attacks, and with the exception of some skirmishing around Kiev which did damage to both sides I held off. 2 more Russian towns fell unopposed. I also decided to stick a unit in the shattered fortress of Verdun.

My turn was spent buying, reinforcing and moving units. Kiev and Minsk are still in my sights in the East, but as stated before my main goal now is to strike at France and to that end the German war machine is gearing up to be ready in late spring. Forced marching units takes time; operating others by rail is expensive. All this has to be done - and therefore there may not be much to show you all for a few more turns, but prior to jump off I will certainly give you a window into my plan.

Turkey is under pressure: the loss of Jerusalem hit hard, and every Turkish unit that falls takes away a decent slice of NM. I destroyed the French marines blocking the rail link and operated in more Bulgarians to slow Marc down. I can afford to lose German/Bulgarian units at a pretty high rate now that so many Russian towns have fallen and my plan here is just to delay Marc as he advances and hopefully leaving him regretting the decision to send so much British force to the area. We will see. If Turkish morale drops to below 30 I will need to change my stance and get aggressive in the region: that must be Marc's tactic, and if it gets to that then he will have succeeded in drawing my strength away from mainland Europe.

Interesting times ahead...

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Interesting developments. In general I would say the scales tip in favor of the CP, but there are two factors which might change the general picture: Ottoman NM and the thick russian defense line deep in Russia. Usually when I reach Vilna and Minsk, there are just scattered russian units left. An attack against entrenched russian corps with Arty support must be challenging. The German troops will win, but the price will be higher than usual.

What might bring the decision: can the CP afford to concentrate their units to reach their targets in the east quickly or do they need too many emergency units in Palestine?

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Interesting developments. In general I would say the scales tip in favor of the CP, but there are two factors which might change the general picture: Ottoman NM and the thick russian defense line deep in Russia. Usually when I reach Vilna and Minsk, there are just scattered russian units left. An attack against entrenched russian corps with Arty support must be challenging. The German troops will win, but the price will be higher than usual.

What might bring the decision: can the CP afford to concentrate their units to reach their targets in the east quickly or do they need too many emergency units in Palestine?

You are correct - a German attack on Minsk will be more costly than I would like now. Kiev ought to be easier because I am already at the gates of the city with a lot of Austrian units in that sector. I may decide not to hit Minsk at all. The key is that my attack on France must succeed.

In general I still maintain that Russia is virtually out of the war. The loss of so many towns is eating into her NM every turn that passes without me needing to fire a shot, and if she moves forward and engages my Germans in summer 1916 or indeed the Austrians in the south she will suffer horrendous casualties as a result, and her NM will dive.

The key now is in France because Marc's attack on Turkey isnt going to conquer Palestine before I have unleashed on the French. If France survives intact into 1917 then I will be in trouble potentially.

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That is one of the weaknesses of the NM concept: even if Russia doesn´t not loose ground or troops, its NM will decrease.. and this forces the EC player to do something.

Not quite sure about your analysis of the time from 1917 onwards... if Russia is out of the war, a lot of troops can be diverted to the Western Front. But maybe you are right: I have seen very few games to last til 1918, and so my experience is quite limited.

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