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Bill101

WWI Breakthrough - 1914 Call to Arms AAR!

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In my desk jockey general position, I think the CP time table had been disrupted by Russia's hanging on. The mid-east incursion is also pin-pricking. 1917 is around the corner where the USA's resources is going to bear.

I would have preferred an all out assault on Russia in 1914 and it should be done by 1915 then sweep west- a CP player would enough resources to batter entente forces both on the mid-east and west. I would have kept a narrow west front and not attack Belgium. Not unless the CP has tremendous overwhelming force in the west by now.

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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.

Actually, the NM system is brilliant as it brings war weariness to bear. I would not dare to think what gamey players would do without it. It would not be WWI for sure.

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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.

That's actually fine. It reflects quite well the situation, when the war effort ( mobilization of the economy and society ) is unsustainable in the long term for the Tsarist monarchy.

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Hello all,

We are now deep into November and mud is upon us. On the Western Front the French made several attacks and destroyed the German Corps in Verdun. Many players expend all of their arty shells in an attack on entrenched units hoping to do as much damage as possible. The truth is you dont need to waste all of your shells but simply de-entrench the unit. The Bristish and French took turns pounding the fortress. By doing it this way you save shells and can hammer away the next turn if required. There was another German unit that had also pushed forward. I hammered him from 11 to 4 with a ground attack. I could have destroyed him but that would have meant leaving entrenchments. Should Al rebuild him this turn and leave him in place he will be destroyed.

In the East... the Russians redressed much of their lines and entrenched where they could. Mud so... no fighting on almost the entire front. The Russians did launch a limited attack on the Turkish front that caused some minor casualties. We have some naval activity in the Black Sea... so things might get interesting.

In the Middle East I took a strategic pause to upgrade units and reposition my arty. The British and French also deployed additional units this turn.

The Arabs under Lawrence rose up capturing a Saudi town and the resulting revolt caused another major drop in Turkish morale.

Overall... a fair turn.

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(Whistles tunefully while taking a winter stroll...)

And that was pretty much my turn. A lot behind the scenes that could not be seen went on, while Europe was locked into ice and snow in the midst of a slightly early winter.

However dont be lulled into thinking that the winter months are boring ones with nothing to do. They are CRUCIAL! Why?

1. Purchase. Always get your maths right on this one. A corps takes several months to build. Do that in the summer and a corps built in May wont arrive until the campaign season is nearly over. Rarely much point buying corps in the summer... but do it in the winter! A corps bought in December will arrive in spring - and in game turns this is only 2 - 3 turns to wait. It's a no brainer.

2. Movement. Movement in SCww1 Breakthrough is as tough as in vanilla SCww1. Forced march saps morale and readiness, so big strategic changes are nigh on impossible without wasting the key campaigning turns when weather is good. So - do your big movements in the winter where possible. But be sure to get them right! By the time a corps has been moved by rail, then reinforced and then possibly upgraded 3 turns have gone. That is almost all of winter in game terms. So timing is key, and efficiency is key.

I am basically hoping that spring might come early, and I intend to have all my pieces in the right place for that first turn of good weather. Got a bit more jockeying and purchasing to do before then.

Therefore Marc will have noticed very little indeed. But he knows what is coming... My Germans are massing in the West. Austrians are massing in the Alps. Austrians are also poised next to Kiev, and Germans not far from Minsk. Russian NM dropped to 59 that turn - it is falling about 2 points per turn without me doing a thing, and I am quite happy to let it dribble downwards at this pace. German NM stabilised at the moment on 97 which is fine - even taking into account the loss of 1 corps and damage to another last turn, with Austria still on 102.

As a final sidenote maths is a key part of this game - if you dont grasp numbers then the game gets tough. Marc has correctly pointed out that my foolish loss of Dutch support is costing me NM... but actually not that much. If you purchase the game it is important to get to grips with the scripts and maths angles. Hunger is costing me 50NM per turn, but the capture of a single city wins me back 25 and a fortress 30. Hunger is not going to strip my German NM without parallel loss of towns and cities - and the Russian retreat in the east has handed me a constant supply of NM points while Russian points ebb away. Get to grips with numbers and the number balance and the game is yours to master!

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Very little action to report. Poor weather across much of the map. The Russians did mount a limited offensive with arty against Turkish forces with ok results. In the Middle East UK forces repositioned. On the Western Front some repositioning of forces with the British assuming responsibility for some of the Western Front. Beyond that not a whole lot.

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Evening all

Jan 1st 1916... and snow everywhere. One more Russian town fell to the Austrians unopposed in the south, and my artillery gunners chose to do a bit of shooting practice on all 3 fronts, but otherwise it was a turn of more building, more moving and more preparations. My scientists seem to have rather gone to sleep in these winter months, but hopefully that will turn around soon too.

I noticed at turn's end that the early winter shows signs of an early end. Ice turned to mud in the east at least, and that might be good for Marc in some local counter attacks with his Russian army next turn. However overall by starting my 1916 preparations so early one thing is for sure - I will be fully ready for the coming spring. I will probably have a graphic or two for you to that end next turn...

Russian NM slipped another 2 points to 57 without any CP action. The loss of one more town that turn wont have helped, and I am certain that Marc will counter attack in the spring. Russian NM at that point I hope will fall through the floor... German NM static on 97 for now, and Austria up to 104: reaping rich rewards for multiple conquests in Southern Russia.

And the French? They better give out some large extra rations of cognac to the troops, because when the German hammer falls it is going to rip them to shreds if their trenches and guns arent ready!

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It is late January and unexpectedly this turn yielded a great deal of down and dirty fighting around the map.

In the West Al pushed forward with the intention of taking Belfort and Nancy. Unfortunately the conditions were mud so I was unable to launch a full counter offensive… however using ground attack I was able to destroy the corps that moved adjacent to Belfort. Using arty and ground attack I hammered another corps that was near Nancy… forcing him to retreat with only 1 remaining step. I used air attack in the hopes that I could destroy him but no luck. Al should be able to take Nancy soon. The city is exposed and he has plenty of arty support. In fact the French can see 3 arty along my front. I brought up additional arty assets and about 5 additional corps to prepare some heavy fighting once the weather turns fair. The UK also assumed additional front space this turn and landed 3 additional corps in France. I should be able to land an additional 3 next turn… so UK buildup is going great. With the level of entrenchments that the allies have I expect it to be one heck of a slug fest come fair weather. I think Al jumped a couple turns early. The weather is poor and really not fully conducive to fully breaking the French lines. He can easily have some local success but it will be more costly and slow going… I could be wrong but it is my feeling game flow wise. Sorry no pictures of the West Front this turn... operational security. I hope you understand. :P

On the Eastern Front the Russians struck hard against German forces which had pushed forward. In the North they destroyed 1 German corps and heavily mauled another… before pulling back the first layer of my lines around Minsk. German supply and readiness were weak which I took advantage of. In Southern Russia the Russians struck hard with a winter offensive against 3 A-H corps causing significant casualties on 2 of them. A-H supply was poor and readiness suffered significantly. I expect to continue my offensive next turn. On the Turkish Front Russian forces continued their offensive destroying a Turkish detachment and retaking the city of Sarikamish. I expect to continue my Russian offensive against the Turks next turn.

The British offensive in the Middle East continued with the assault on Gaza. I destroyed the Turkish corps there but elected to not take the City.

45-Jaffa.jpg

My next push forward will be against three Bulgarian corps Al brought up before Haifa. The British brought in additional reinforcements this turn as well. I expect that shortly I will be opening a second Front in the Middle East. Al is about to besiege Basra with a large Turkish army. I am betting he wishes he had not sent them so far from rail as they are badly needed in Russia.

All told it very a turn filled with action. German morale dipped to 95% this turn… a hair above 94%. Turkish morale took a serious dip as well. The UK also scored a diplomatic victory on Holland this turn bringing her closer to the UK favoring the Entente by 9. If I get another hit or two she will begin economically supporting the UK.

Game wise I think we are in a very interesting position. Al has sent significant forces to the West. It appears as if he stripped forces from the East where the fighting has been heating up for several turns now. Russia is far from out of the war at this moment and she may be in a position to launch powerful offensives against both German and A-H forces come spring around the time when fighting in the West should really be heating up. Al had planned on a knockout blow to the Russian army last year. Simply put he did not succeed and as a result he is now beginning to take serious casualties as the Russians fight back. Should he put his summer offensive in the East as opposed to the West (based upon his actions… it is clearly the West) he could easily knock Russia out of the war this summer. Yes my morale is eroding but with each kill I slow that erosion and cause Al additional morale loss. That said I think Al is in a better position than I am… however in the next few turns he has to be very careful as the game is his to lose.

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Evening all

Snow and ice back for my turn so not too much attacking yet... but I achieved my goal in the west of getting units adjacent to key targets and am ready from next turn to unleash the dogs of war.

What have I done specifically?

1. Massed a major force in the Alps to put the Italians under severe pressure. If this goes well it may even force Marc to move other troops into the Alps to save Italy. Here is an image of this force ready to go when the weather turns:

alps1.jpg

2. Gathered enough force to take Kiev. Whether I can hold it remains to be seen afterwards, but in good weather it will certainly fall. Image here:

kiev1.jpg

3. And of course the big one... Ready to smash the French into miserable oblivion. However I am going to be unkind and hold my graphic back by one turn: too much intel for Marc might make a difference to his deployment so next turn I will reveal all. However I can confirm Marc's sighting of 3 artillery units ready to go, and ranks of confident, often veteran troops.

Why am I so confident overall? This has ceased to be a game about anything other than National Morale. My Turks are my low point, sitting on only 67 now... but I am not too worried there: Turkey is peripheral unless she actually falls, and I wont allow that for sure. More important is Russia's next step down - now on 52 - and very importantly the falling French total now sitting on 78. Germany is on 95, 2 points lower thanks to necessary casualties last turn to get my to my attack positions in the West, but very much ready to seize more NM centres in the next 9 or 10 game turns. Austria is sitting pretty on 104. Mpps are plenty for the CP, and the foolish loss of Dutch support is not felt at all now, with Germany earning over 600 per turn and Austria up over 300. This will be enough to sustain my offensive, and with the big NM gap currently French casualties are going to be high.

1916 is about to get very tough if you are Petain or any other French general for that matter...

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Some action this turn in the West. Al moved forward another German corps next to Belfort. I mauled him down to just 2 steps. I could have moved forward a French unit to kill him but it would have meant leaving the trenches right before a major German offensive. Al has moved up against my line near Nancy. He probably will be able to take that city this turn as he used his arty to remove my entrenchment last turn. We are about to enter Spring so things should shortly get ugly. German morale is now 94% and seems to be falling each turn. Killing a few German units should help accelerate this decline.

In the East the Russians moved over to the offensive in the North around Riga and moved forward against German lines. In the South the Russians continued their offensive against A-H forces destroying a corps I had worked over last turn. The Russian navy also got into the show bombarding A-H forces in the Crimea. The Russians also continued their offensive against the Tukrs damaging another detachment. In the Middle East I took another turn for a strategic pause to upgrade UK forces. I expect that to end this coming turn.

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Evening folks

OK - the weather all over was rubbish, but as I said last turn I was ready to start my 1916 offensive anyway. I intend to put the war beyond Marc's reach before winter sets in again.

First an image of my attack force in France prior to jump off:

france1.jpg

This is a lot of power. I cant see the French holding this back, and from this position I took Nancy easily immediately after taking the photo shot. Mud and rain meant I waited elsewhere, but the French front here will crack soon once I get going in good weather.

Further to the south, in an attempt to stretch the western allies further, my very confident Austrians also began an offensive in the Alps. I destroyed one corps and moved forward - final positions thus:

alps2.jpg

To the East I chose to wait for better weather before assaulting Kiev, though an Austrina corps continued to dance along the north coast of the Black Sea, taking another town and corps and a further 24NM per turn in the process.

Marc looks likely to counter in northern Russia shortly. I have made a few adjustments to my reserve positions to take this into account. Around Minsk I am holding tight for now.

In Palestine? A strange calm on the front. I smell a transfer of British artillery resources to Basra where my Turks are only slowly getting fully ready for a scrap. As I have said in previous posts - I am quite happy to see British power down in Africa: it is less to have to worry about in the West.

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So it was a rough turn for Germany… Despite the poor weather the Russians attacked on the Riga front this turn, destroyed 2 German corps and retook a town.

Part 1 of the Offensive

Russianoff1.jpg

Part 2 of the Offensive

Russianoff2.jpg

It is clear Al is spread very thin as a result of his preparations for an offensive in the West.

On the Turkish Front the Russians advanced and took the town of Rize while battering entrenched Turkish units. I expect when the weather turns fair that the Russian offensive drive against the Turks should pick up steam.

I also got this decision event which if answered “Yes” can help Russia’s staying power. Of course I selected “Yes.”

RusDecisionEvent.jpg

Interestingly Russian morale increased this turn from 49% to 50%. Russia deployed additional units and is very strong. Russia also has excellent arty tech so it should help with offensive action. A Reinvigorated Russia… Russia on the move in 1916 with multiple fronts has got to be of some concern.

In the Middle East I was content to hold the line along Jerusalem. I did open a second offensive front by advancing powerful forces toward Aqaba. I expect Aqaba, a National Morale Center, to fall quickly and then Al will be faced with a Second Front against the Turks from the UK alone… 3 if you count the Russian Front. I also have a fourth planned… Just getting forces into position.

In the West the French attacked two German corps, one in Nancy and the other facing Belfort. The Nancy corps was destroyed while the corps facing Belfort was mauled. I could have destroyed him also but decided to remain in my trenches. Besides Al has to make a decision to repair him in place and pull him back and advance another unit. Each advance Al makes forces him to come face to face with entrenched French forces where I get can easily counter attack with plenty of arty support. French entrenchment is level 4 which allows troops on the line to dig into 5 levels.

I noticed after my turn that Al was kind enough to post his offensive force. So I thought I would post my defensive force waiting for him. Notice how many units I have backed up that are entrenched almost as many as he has preparing to attack. I have more that are just out of view as well and with the British taking over more and more of the French line additional reserves become available.

FrenchPositions.jpg

In addition I moved up a powerful force of British reserves in Northern France. Al has Cav employed on the line so he can clearly see my preparations to attack in the North. It has to be a little unsettling.

Good weather this coming turn… so the slaughter in the West should begin. :P Al should be able to rapidly take Belfort and destroy a 3 to 4 units. Should he advance my counter-attack should destroy a similar sized force. As I said… I would have waited till Russia was comfortably out of the war and then used all of my forces on France. Well… we shall see what happens.

German morale was 92% at the end of this turn.

One more graphic... at the beginning of the turn these were the losses to date. Add 3 Corps to the German number. Keep in mind a good chunk of the Russian losses are Serbian units... and a good number of the UK are Belgian.

Lossessofar.jpg

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Yep, the war of attrition in the west without overwhelming odds for the kaiser is kaput. Meanwhile, Russia is left on the hook and is still kicking and starting to jab back.

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Yep, the war of attrition in the west without overwhelming odds for the kaiser is kaput. Meanwhile, Russia is left on the hook and is still kicking and starting to jab back.

Aesopo - have faith. :-)

Yes - the war of attrition is on. My loss of 2 corps in northern Russia was a little unexpected: I had expected 1 to go, but not the second that I fast moved in under strength. That will teach me...

However the slicing and dicing of entente NM continued.

In southern Russia Kiev fell and an adjacent Russian corps mauled. Austria is powerful now with NM at 106 and I need to decide now how best to use her power other than in an attack on Italy. Final Kiev battleground graphic here:

kiev3.jpg

In the West 2 French corps were destroyed and the Germans inched forward. This is going to take a while... both sides will swap corps for many turns, though French losses are already higher than German equivalents thanks to the NM gap between the 2. Germany is on 93, France on 73 and this is the key to my strategy now. Final western graphic here:

france2.jpg

Elsewhere zeppelins raided London to decent effect, and another partisan unit in Palestine was destroyed.

What next? Well Marc is continuing to squeeze Turkey and I have an eye on that to make sure she does not get into a catastrophic position. The Russians in the north will also move forward I am sure: I may need to move an Austrian army in to the north to face off the Russian advance here - we will wait and see. Marc has artillery in support so my dug in detachments and corps can be gradually taken down - I would very much like to take Italy out of her comfort zone and force entente troops to come to her aid, but this may need to be put to one side to ensure a safe Prussia.

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No pictures this turn…. Operational Security. I hope you understand. A lot and I mean a lot is going on. We had some extreme heavy fighting this turn.

In the West the French launched a major counter attack supported by 3 Artillery units. 2 German Corps were shattered. I almost got a 3rd facing Belfort. He was reduced to strength 1, which is almost as good. The French brought in additional units to the front, pulled back damaged units for repair and brought up fresh reserves for the next round of action. UK Cav also occupied Verdun… so I guess that means we will shortly have the 4th battle of Verdun… but it made sense from a NM standpoint for the French. He will likely destroy the Cav but if he occupies the fortress he will lose another corps which is good for the Entente. So basically on the West Front we have had heavy fighting for the past 4 turns… with little movement. French morale went up by 1% this turn, which German morale dropped significantly.

On the Eastern Front… the Russian forces in the North continued their offensive shattering a German corps in Siauliai, liberating that town and pushing on to Memel where they found an Marine unit with no fortifications holding the city. He is now strength 3.

Al marched reinforcements to Kovno and I was very tempted to push my main body (20 units) in the North forward. I think Al has stripped much from this front. It is clear he is rushing reinforcements in as a stop-gap… as I have destroyed 2 corps and caught the marine unit completely without fortifications. I may test his strength next turn. He is facing a powerful offensive fighting force driving forward in the North and another one fully entrenched just above the swamps centered around Minsk. This army is very strong, well-rested and like the force coming from Riga supported by artillery.

In Southern Russia I fell back from Kiev which fell to powerful A-H forces last turn. I also pressed forward in the Crimea and was able to isolate 3 A-H corps and an HQ. The Russians pushed forward with serious force. So it will be interesting to see how Al responds.

On the Turkish Front Russia pressed forward her attack and almost succeeded in destroying the Turkish defenders at Oltu. The defender was left at step 2 strength. Hopefully I will be able to secure and liberate that town this next turn.

Russia has been seriously building up her strength and I am seriously considering throwing her all in.

In the Middle East the Siege of Aqaba began with a strong attack. If I recall correctly I think the defending corps is down to 2 or 3 steps. That town should fall this turn and since it is a NM center it will bring a big hit on Turkey which is hemorrhaging morale. I think she is down to 65%. So my second front in the Middle East is now open giving Al another headache to worry about. I was also able to bring in additional forces to the theater this turn which have begun moving up to the front.

In Greece I was pleasantly surprised to see Greece call up a large sized army this turn. This really made my day as things could get interesting for the A-H on that front.

Pretty quickly Al is having to worry about more Fronts than just the East and West. As a quick summary there is the Russian front in the Caucuses, the Jerusalem Front, the Aqaba Front, Basra Front, Italian Front and now the Greek Front…

So all told last turn… Al destroyed 3 Entente units… this turn I destroyed 3 while almost getting 7 units. Came real close on those other 4. As a result of the heavy fighting I was pleasantly surprised to find German morale had dipped to 89% at the end of this turn. It is beginning to slide fast... catching up with French morale. German losses for this turn almost totaled 1k in cash. Also you have to take into account that each unit destroyed was experienced.

This has been a really fun game and honestly… it could still go either way.

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And so the bullets keep flying. 1916 is all about France to me... all about grinding down French morale and breaking the French front. My parallel assumption is that Russian morale will continue to slide.

So - what's happening?

First to the French front. Graphic here:

france3.jpg

More swapping of strength... and the French defence around Belfort looks almsot ready to crack. As he must do Marc is keeping his artillery close to the front, but it leaves them vulnerable should the front itself crack. That may happen next turn... or it may be the turn after. The destruction of 1 corps and mauling of another led to an error on my part there: I left Nancy unoccupied and that was not intentional. It isnt a problem in terms of a French counter attack, but is an error in terms of keeping frontal pressure across all hexes on the French. Still - with big artillery reserves Belfort is nearly in my sight. When it falls French NM will take a dip as it is an NM objective. I also destroyed the British cavalry in Verdun without loss and retook it.

My strategy is also to squeeze Italy as this will, in time, force other entente troops to divert to Italy's aid. Image here:

alps3.jpg

My attack here was particularly successful, destroying 2 corps and getting fairly close to penetrating the Italian front. I expect Marc will end up moving British troops into the area - and that is all good news for the Kaiser as it will stretch the French in the west even further.

Elsewhere I have not gone all quiet in the east: still looking to accelerate Russia's decline. Forces around Kiev pushed forward, destroying one Russian corps and mauling another. A 3rd was hit in the south by the Black Sea. Image here:

kiev4-2.jpg

Strategically I chose not to form the Austrian army in Prussia that I had toyed with last turn - instead moving German troops into the area to stiffen the defence. German troops fight better and the Austrians will need all their power to try and cope with the full southern Russia front and Alpine front.

Overall summary? 5 Entente corps destroyed and a few others damaged. However it is not about corps now - as stated before it is a game of NM from here on in. German NM remains 20 points ahead of France: 90 to 70. Austrian NM is climbing: up to 107 now, with Russia sliding to 44. I predict further fierce fighting in the west with the eventual fall of Belfort, and at that point a widening of the gap between Germany and France. Russia will continue to slide because she has lost so many towns and continues to lose units. Fighting in the north may well intensify if Marc goes onto a general offensive there, but that will only serve to speed her decline. Italy is now in trouble and will need assistance - as good as destroying units in the west.

So - in conclusion - steady as she goes

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Okay... very little fighting this turn. In the West las turn the French lost 2 corps, the Italians also lost 2. I decided I needed to take a strategic pause and reorganize my lines in the West and build up my forces. I restrengthened my front line. Al should hammer it, and probably will take Belfort this turn. I placed my forces in a position to really hammer him next turn should he break my first line of defense and move forces forward. In addition it is the middle of June and I need to slow things down and drag his offensive out till winter. This turn also allowed me to make further entrenchments well behind the front line and bring up a few fresh units.

In the Middle East Aqaba fell this turn. If you recall Aqaba is a NM town. It hammered Turkish morale. As a Result the arabs really rose up in revolt and TE Lawrence HQ deployed this turn. The town of Maan is next.

The Russians continued their offensive in the Caucuses and in Southern Russia pulled back a bit and reorganized my lines there as well. Al has a lot of force in the area and I have to play careful. In the North Russian forces continued to attack Memel while moving powerful forces forward and around Al's lines. Russian morale is at 46 this turn... not great and I need to play very carefully. Russia must stay in the war long enough for Turkey to fall... which in the coming turns I will rapidly push along. I think there is a chance I could break Turkish morale this summer.

On the Greek front... Greece has deployed additional forces yet again!

So all in all not a lot of action but a lot going on behind the front lines.

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The Kaiser has read his reports from the front... and is happy.

In the West Belfort fell without loss. I brought forward the rest of my artillery ready for another round of attritional unit swapping soon... but the point is that German NM has stabilised on 90 for now (and Belfort will certainly help that) while France is down to 66 according to end of turn stats. That gap is crucial - and I intend to widen it further.

Elsewhere Austrian NM rose to 110. A quick image to show you why:

blacksea.jpg

You can see just about from this zoomed out shot that the Austrians have been merrily advancing all over southern Russia. In one respect this is not good - it takes good corps out of rail move range and prevents them causing mischief on the main battle fronts, but on the other it is a crippling process to Russian NM which fell to 40 that turn, and the more towns I take the faster this will continue to fall. The far south eastern tip of my advance on that shot captured a town and port at a combined gain for AH of 24 per turn and loss to Russia of 24 per turn. Russia is teetering on the brink.

Elsewhere? Marc continues to push in Palestine. It will take him a few turns to seize Maan and Medina if this is where he wants to go: I think shortly I will be forced to send an extra army group down to the region to try and stabilise what is going on, but I can afford Turkish morale to drop a bit more yet before panic stations hit. Austria has such depth of resource now that I may use them to bolster the front, remembering that I didnt send any Austrians to Prussia and instead stabilised that front with spare German corps.

In the Alps another Italian corps went down - little point showing you a graphic as it looks much like the last one, but in summer it takes a long time in raw turns to replace a corps, and Italy is going to need help very soon.

Greece? Not a concern right now. It takes a lot of effort to drive through the mountains down to Athens, and I dont need to waste time and resource doing it. Should Marc try to use it as a staging post for an attack I think it would suck up a lot of British mpps at a time when the western front is going to need Haig at his best. We will see... but it is easy to fast move stuff to the region and I have it currently boxed in with entrenched detachments, so happy to sit and wait.

All going fine... some big battles in the west to come yet though!

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Not to burst the buble of this rather interseting game, but I must say that for whoever played many Call to Arms games before it is really easy to see that Germany has won this match without question.(Even if the Ottoman surrender this very turn it would do little at this point, their withdraw from the war is really just a setup to make Austria fall apart, and it is obviou that will never happen. And the Ottomans actully hold on for quite a long time because all those towns you capture are worth 0 NM(only the events do hits)) Still, abukede, keep fighting and go down with pride!

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While Marc takes his next turn, and some are talking of bubbles, let me post something to anyone following this thread that has not actually taken the plunge and bought this game yet.

What is it that makes it special? Big clues are within this AAR.

The key to it all is NM. National Morale.

Why does this make the game so great?

Because it allows victory or defeat in such a wide variety of ways. In a conventional wargame territory is everything; capture the capital and the country surrenders. This happens in Global Conflict, another great game. But in my opinion SCww1 surpasses it. I have never seen Germany defeated by the capture of Berlin. It just doesnt happen. I have never seen Britain knocked out by the capture of London. Actually - for all her inherent combat weakness, I have never seen Russia lose St Petersburg either, though I have seen German troops adjacent and trying to take it.

What this means is that the strategy to win is all about addressing NM. Territory of course is a big part of that - every town, city, resource and port hold NM value. But casualties are a huge factor too, as every unit that is damaged sees the NM of that country fall. Attack and attack and lose soldier after soldier and your morale will fall. Ignore the smaller outposts of your empire that contain NM points and suddenly you can be in trouble. EVERY PART of the SCWW1 map is important because it affects morale in positive or negative ways. And every player must not ignore mpps - purchase points, the nuts and bolts of reinforcing the line. A complex planning process.

So to defeat Germany forget about taking Berlin; instead plan to cause the fall of the Kaiser by reducing NM to 0. That can be speeded up by attacking the German fleet with subs in the Baltic, or landing Marines in Denmark, or attacking key NM centres (labelled on the map) such as Metz or Konigsberg. Actually the options are massively varied.

Has Marc's strategy been valid? Of course - yes. He put his stall in hitting the NM objectives in Palestine and knocking Turkey out the war. This can be done and I have seen it done to great effect. It does a lot of damage in turn to Austrian morale, and if Russia is still in the war this gives the Tsar a huge boost himself. The problem Marc has in this game is that I took out Serbia very quickly and so opened up a rail route to the area. This, in effect, made his strategy difficult and it has been uphill for the Entente ever since.

Pulling all this together... this game rarely replays the same way twice. I have gone for France in a big way this game now in 1916, but in the recent tournament I was beaten as Entente by a player who set about wiping out my Royal Navy and in the process effectively destroyed the UK as a combatant. German NM soared to a massive 130 as the population celebrated the ending of the blockade and the sinking of the Entente fleet almost to its last ship. A totally different strategy - and all done while initially Entente land forces were comfortable. I admired the courage of such a strategy and cursed myself for lacking the flexibility in my planning to deal with it. Wonderful stuff. The Final of that tournament I happen to know was won and lost on a decision by the German player to throw his weight into an all out early attack on Italy. If Italy falls then French NM takes a big hit, and the 25 - 30 towns and cities of Italy give Germany an enormous morale boost every turn. Could have led to early victory... actually led to Germany being stretched and sudden collapse and defeat as the campaign failed, the Russians charged into East Germany and morale plummeted. Entente armies never got close to Berlin before this happened. Overall Paris is the most vulnerable of all the grand nation capitals, but France can fall without losing Paris if casualties and resources fall elsewhere.

All this makes SCWW1 a BRILLIANT game because the seemingly predictable battlefield of WW1 can actually be approached from all sorts of angles. I have a Germany to France NM lead of 24 or so over Marc now and that is a lead that really should be game winning from here. But who knows - a sudden collapse from the Turks, or NM losses in the East to sudden Russian success could turn it around. Every town is important; nothing can be surrendered without careful thought as to impact on NM.

Go out and buy this game. It is unique, challenging and utterly replayable time after time. And I am only talking about 1 scenario. Last count there were 30...

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... but in the recent tournament I was beaten as Entente by a player who set about wiping out my Royal Navy and in the process effectively destroyed the UK as a combatant. German NM soared to a massive 130 as the population celebrated the ending of the blockade and the sinking of the Entente fleet almost to its last ship. A totally different strategy - and all done while initially Entente land forces were comfortable. I admired the courage of such a strategy and cursed myself for lacking the flexibility in my planning to deal with it. Wonderful stuff.

I wonder who that was, ;p But it only works once it seems, I lost more games to trying that then won.

But on seriousness, great speach and I agree with it pretty much compleetly.(though i have captured Petersburg before, back then it didnt even cause NM damage to Russia(idk if it was changed, it did cause NM rise for Germans, which was interesting)

Though I have seen a Germany win AFTER Ottoman, Bulgeria and Austria surrendered/withdrew. Which is why I am saying this game is a set victory for CP, unless CP decides to do something really stupid.(like lose Ottoman Capital city) Admitetly, I would like to know how much moral damage each does. 20% for each mayor and 10% for Bulgeria?(Also, I don't know the historyic factor, though I do know Bulgeria was beaten and it caused a mayor colaps in the frontlines, but the 10% moral when Bulgaria is totally irrelevant seems a bit harsh when considering that Eentente can lose any minor nation they want and lose nothing)

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Okay... lets just say from my perspective the game is far from over. Al still has the initiative but he is beginning to find it more difficult to move forward as he likes. The French are dug in and there are a lot of French forces stacked up, including 5 arty supporting the front line. That said... I did little on the West Front other than dig in and restrength damaged units. Many French forces are now dug in on the frontline to entrenchment level 6. I also brought up additional arty assets. I expect a real serious assault this turn from Al, however I expect it to be costly for both sides.

On the East Front... I debated a general offensive but decided to hold off a bit. I want to see how things continue on the West Front before I make my move. When I do make it... it is likely that the resulting combat could quickly usher Russia out of the war.

The Russians did destroy a Turkish unit this turn in their continueing offensive. Beyond that there was a lot of movement behind the lines.

In the Middle East a lot of movement too but little action.

On the Italian Front the Italians deployed additional units including their first arty.

All in all... not much to report as I am pursuing a strategy of delay. Al is trying to knock out France in 1916. As he has discovered it is slow going and costly. I expect some very serious action of the next few turns.

Great game so far.

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Evening all

There is nothing unpredictable about my 1916 strategy now - I have laid it out for you all to see. No discussion of the East or Palestine needed here: I am sitting tight and waiting for Russia to fall apart on its own, and my lines in Palestine are simply waiting for some British action.

Everything is in the west as I try and break the French in 1916. My offensive rolled on this turn, destroying 2 corps and a french artillery also. This is a problem for Marc now: if he defends with artillery up close then that artillery is going to be under attack very quickly. Final graphic here, showing 2 German corps penetrating the French front line and a gap where French artillery used to be:

france4.jpg

And further pressure was maintained on Italy with the loss of yet another corps. Italy cannot sustain losses like this for long... and I am expecting to see French or British corps diverted here soon. Final graphic:

alps4.jpg

So I am uncertain how long it will take to break the entente in the west with these tactics, but break they eventually will. The NM gap between Germany and France was widened by one more point that turn, and Germany took a 12NM French town too. German cavalry in the East look likely to sneak yet another 12NM town next turn in Russia.

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