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Bill101

1918 Ludendorff Offensive AAR!

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The (German) Empire strikes back!!

Right now we have five areas with major battles.

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In the north, Hazebrouck is German now, and the brigade in there is destroyed. Another French and a Belgian corps is destroyed as well, and my offensive gains momentum. There are not many combat units in the frontline, and if I can destroy Artillery, Air units or HQs, the price for AL will be very high.

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In the west, I did just one attack this turn, and I moved my units in place for a couple of offensives next turn. I want to attack St. Pol, and I am confident this attack will succeed. Abbeville is a target as well, but this will not be next turn. I need to destroy the British corps in the east of the city first. And of course Ham needs to fall next turn, because I need to get closer to Paris to avoid a morals hit. I have 10+ divisions around Ham, so I am quite confident. I have moved 5 Heavy Artillery units (blue circles) in place for attacks, and they all have a lot of Ammunition.

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Around Verdun, I destroy two French corps and conquer Fort Douamont. And I move a fresh Heavy Artillery to the frontline with 10 shots of Ammunition, so I can kill another 1-2 corps next turn. The French Heavy Artillery unit is damaged and needs to draw back, or it might get destroyed. French NM takes a hit due to the fall of Douamont.

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Around Nancy, Al takes his frontline back, and the allied lines looks very thin. I have almost cleared the bulge south of St. Mihiel and that makes a couple of units available for other duties. I consider an offensive at Nancy as well, because there are major gaps in the French frontlines.

Now we come to the southeast. I needed to hesitate with some of my actions until I know where Al does his offensive actions. Now I know it... and this is quite good for because I can unleashed a few things I had in reserve. But let us see how the south east develops.

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Two fresh corps from my building queue are deployed around Colmar. One might die next turn, but at least it will stop the French advance. I destroy a French corps south of Colmar, and I can deploy units down there every turn. Of course the railway connection is lost, but my building queue is full. Even if Al´s attack goes wrong, Al´s strategic target is reached: I need to send troops down there... but maybe I can achieve a victory down there, and this would mean the troops have done their jobs very well.

In general I feel confident. The overall loss ration is 55:21, and this makes me believe I have a chance to be more successful than the German Army in 1918.

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Hah - Michael is not for turning! - and from the sound of it the Germans have plenty in reserve in their queue. This is not good news for me - I am blundering around in the dark a bit because I dont know the shape of mpps or reinforcements in this scenario and I had hoped that the German queue might be thin.

However - my attack in the SE continued, destroying 2 more corps and leaving the ground ready for the final breakthrough next turn into open country. Graphic here:

attack2_zpsbbae606b.jpg

Elsewhere I think Michael's graphics tell the story very well. The British are in all kinds of trouble, and I regret now not shortening my lines much earlier and making better use of my artillery. As it is I am patching up holes, but as fast as I patch them they are opening up. I destroyed a couple of corps on the retreat, but it appears to be much too little to stop the German tide.

Any good news? Some. I have resolved to counter Michael's thrust against the British from the South where I an gathering some force now, but it wont be ready for a few turns yet. I have more US troops inbound and also - at last - got the French ammo tech having had to wait until it hit 95% last turn to click... and this should allow me more attrition of Michael's lines in coming turns.

Close match. I have no idea still whether my position is good, bad or average right now - and I guess that makes it a realistically fun situation... Haig cant have had any idea either in 1918!!

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In the north, I refresh my troops and do smaller attacks. St. Pol is also German now.

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I will concentrate on the Portugese HQ... if I can take that out, any Portugese troops are without leadership until it is rebuild.... and producing is expensive.

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The attacks on Abbeville and Amiens are prepared, my troops are in position. Ham is conquered, Montdidier and Noyon are the next targets, and I did penetrate the Allied frontline there and bring a few corps in position.

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Around Verdun, I take the second fort. My main target is the city of Verdun, and it is closer now. The French Artillery survives, and that was lucky. But at least it cannot fire back or help to lower the entrenchment of German positions.

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In the southeast, I deploy more troops. A French corps survives at strength 1, and every city or village is occupied. I have a rather small picture to show, because I do not want to reveal what I have in the north... one of very few cases of Operational Security.

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This is becoming a race against time... in the SE my attack succeeds in virtually shattering the German front line as predicted on turn 3. Units can now flood through, and my next priority is to establish a supply base and start taking NM objectives. Such is my power here that both are likely:

attack3_zps3978a4cd.jpg

HOWEVER in the north my forces are really struggling. I managed to destroy a few German units while retreating, but there seems no end to the German tide and my British army is now almost cut in two. You can see from this graphic that I am maintaining a line - just - but it is very thin now. Thankfully I have units coming in from the south, but even here Michael is maintaining such pressure that so far I cannot build for an attack.

britdefence_zps83a56667.jpg

In the centre the French are forced to give ground a little, and Verdun is also under attack, but French reserves remain reasonable.

Tough fight!

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Happy New Year to everyone!!!

Okay, this starts to get really interesting.

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My main drive goes in the direction of St. Omer. The Allied frontline there consists of just a few brigades, and I have a Heavy Artillery in place to knock down any entrenchments. And I have damaged a Belgian and a French Heavy Artillery, and this limits Al´s ability to strike back. If I catch these pieces next time, they are gone... so he needs to take them back and repair them... and this is expensive and takes time. I feel quite excited about what will happen at St. Pol... Al has 6 divisions and a tank there. Will he attack St. Pol and try to relief Abbeville? Losses would be horrifying, I have a Str 12 Elite division sitting there in trenches, and Al has no Heavy Artillery in range. And if he just regroups his troops, I can conquer Abbeville.

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Amiens is conquered, and the French NM drops. Next turn Abbeville might fall if Al does not relief the city, and this would finally separate the Allied frontline into two halves. That would be a strategic victory for the German Army, and "Operation Michael" would be a full success.

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Let us look at Verdun. I have a slight numerical superiority and better Heavy Artillery support. I will continue to attack, and sooner or later Al will have to divert troops to the bulge... troops that miss in the southeast. There are two more NM targets: a fort and the city itself, and conquering these means a large drop of the French NM. If Verdun falls, the whole bulge is threatened.

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Okay, I have to divert troops to the southeast that cannot fight in the north. But if the French want there fight here, they can get it. Around Strassburg, I have 8 divisions, and most of them are fresh troops from the building quere. I deployed 5 units around Strassburg this turn, and I have a few in stock. Also, a Heavy Artillery arrived, and I can mount an offensive. Maybe I can cut off some troops.

The Rail Link is reestablished, and I can operate troops from other theaters and simply squeeze Al´s attack. Will he advance further (and risk a loss of all his troops down there) or draw back?

German NM is at 98%, British at 73%, French and Belgian at 82%. Looks promising... and better as in history.

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Attack in the SE continues, though lead units withdraw a little to prevent obvious German counter attack. Michael has been able to deploy and fast move in far more units than I thought would be possible, and it leaves me feeling rather hollow. I suspect he has a numerical advantage here, never mind me having to decide now whether to strike north or south having broken the line.

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Further north the French defensive line has been reformed as you can see here, and this takes a little pressure of the central zone.

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However to the north it is utter chaos. My French artillery now has faster ammo, but my Brit ammo production tech was on 97 this turn... and it still didnt fire at the end of it despite a 2 chit investment. What this means is that I have never have enough ammo to strike back at the advancing Germans. I am regretting not having the 3 British corps in place that I would have had if I had understood the spawning zones better, but that is water under the bridge now. My position here is so desperate that I have had to resort to using air units in the line to protect precious artillery and mauled infantry assets. This graphic shows a reasonably strong British pocket... but the German tide seems irresistible. I destroyed 5 maybe 6 corps that turn but it does not seem to be enough. My guess is that the British will be squeezed out of Belgium in the next few turns, and the Belgians themselves destroyed. This surely leaves the Germans in charge of the scenario.

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Could I have done this game better up until now? Certainly I could have defended in a bit more depth had I known the weight of force coming for me, and I could certainly have had more luck with artillery tech. However I'm left scratching my head a bit becuase there was no way the entente were able to launch an attack against entrenched units on 5 with artillery gaining only 1 shell per turn, and often losing that through counter battery fire. Maybe I should have pulled back straight away from the entrenched starting line and forced the Germans out of their trenches completely. Other than that I cannot see how else this tide could be stopped.

I have been looking for more US troops to arrive, but so far I think 4 corps and 1 brigade is all the help that has come. :-( That in itself is a lesson for future games of this scenario as I had certainly expected more units inbound than this (and I did not check out the editor beforehand to "see" what would be coming my way as that would have spoiled the fun!!)

Certainly a tough scenario for the entente... at least as far as this point in late May. Maybe there is time yet for a turn around.

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What a match! I am loosing a lot of units at the moment, but the effort is worth it.

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St. Omer is close, and I destroy a British division and two Air units. My tanks almost destroy a HQ.

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Abbeville is mine (strategic target reached), and southwest of the city there is NOTHING.... a damaged air unit in Dieppe (killed by my bombers), and that is it!!! Eu and Dieppe are unoccupied, and Al needs to transfer units to hold the city. And by the way: poor Italians!!

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My attack on the French bulge has begun. I count 15 divisions on my side, just 12 on in Al´s formation (plus a tank). Not promising for an attack, because I can easily send troops there via Rail or Deployment, and All cannot do that, his units need to start at St. Die. The red circle shows a German division I just sent down via railway.

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I'm into the Oct. 5, 1918 turn as the Germans against the AI. I may be reading the reports incorrectly but the Americans are shown as having 18 active land units; and I have destroyed 14 American divisions and 3 cavalry divisions to date.

So at least against the AI, there seems to be a reasonable amount of American troops.

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In my previous play tests the Germans usually maintained the upper hand throughout the scenario mainly due to their artillery superiority which they can't seem to lose, and secondly to their entrenchment superiority (they even get to use captured Allied trenches at a higher level than the Allies). In actuality they accumulated over a million shells from the Eastern Front stocks, but expended this rather quickly before the Allies regained parity and could hold their lines. The scenario might be improved if the Allies started with level 2 shell production and the Germans started with a superiority in shots per unit (e.g., 10 shots per unit vs 2-3 for the Allies).

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Dear Peter,

Your post goes in the right direction. In version 1.00 the German Army was simply too strong, and this is why the entrenchment value has been lowered from 6 to 5 in 1.01. A lot of German Artillery pieces start with tech level zero and need expensive upgrades before they can de-entrench, and quite a few German division start with tech level 1 instead of 2, esp. around Verdun.

I have played a lot of matches as the Allies as well, and from July on they have an advantage. They have enough MPP to research and upgrade their Armies, and the American division way stronger than their German opponents. The longer the campaign goes, the stronger they get.

The only question that matters: how far can the German Army advance until the Allies reach parity? In history, the Allied forces knew where the German Army wanted to attack because they were able to decipher the German wireless telegraphy... and Al does not have this advantage.

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A plan is a plan, and I must keep going despite odds that look hopeless now. In the East I have resolved to strike South and attempt to seize Colmar, thereby encircling the Germans in the south. To do this I need to cut the rail again, and also create a decent defensive line on the northern edge of my attack. I succeeded relatively well - the line is cut, the defence is formed, and 2 German corps fell in my attack. Final image here:

attack5_zps389aa5da.jpg

The centre line in the game is fairly stable now, though I suspect Verdun has not seen the last of Germany's attacks. However the western edge is a shambles, with the fall of Abbeville cutting the British from their allies. I am circling the wagons here, and my line is stronger again than it was last turn in this defensive circle, but I am not optimistic I can hold it. Germans are pushing out SW from Abbeville - I may be able to shut the door in them if I can scramble enough units to this sector, but still US forces are thin.

britdefence3_zpsfb4127ec.jpg

From here I dont think the Germans should lose. Even accounting for an mpp advantage that might start to become obvious (though in a parallel game I have going now with me as Germans I have mpps a plenty to spend, around 900 each turn, and unless the military production bonus stops at some point there is no way Germany is going to run out of economic steam) I will struggle to buy back the force required now to attack an entrenched German line from 2 hexes away backed up by level 2 elite artillery and good air support.

If I fight this again as Entente I have some ideas to improve overall tactical performance, but the best I suspect I can hope for now is to hold the line and prevent the fall of Paris. Much of this scenario I suspect hinges on fortune, or lack of, in terms of Entente ammo production: I got mine very late... but if the tech fires early enough then it gives the Entente greater counter attack potential.

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In my previous play tests the Germans usually maintained the upper hand throughout the scenario mainly due to their artillery superiority which they can't seem to lose, and secondly to their entrenchment superiority (they even get to use captured Allied trenches at a higher level than the Allies). In actuality they accumulated over a million shells from the Eastern Front stocks, but expended this rather quickly before the Allies regained parity and could hold their lines. The scenario might be improved if the Allies started with level 2 shell production and the Germans started with a superiority in shots per unit (e.g., 10 shots per unit vs 2-3 for the Allies).

Playing this scenario once here, and starting it once as Germany, I tend to agree with you already. German artillery holds the key - Michael is right that much of it needs upgrading, but that gets done after the first huge mpp load out of 900 points, and from then on it is a steamroller. In hindsight the only way to combat this is to fall back away from the trench lines, and try and force the Germans into open ground where the artillery advantage is negated comparatively. However if German production sits at 900 throughout the scenario then I wonder quite how Germany can be put under enough pressure early enough in the game to begin to stretch her. The ability to buy back 5 divisions per turn fairly comfortably when starting on entrenched values of 5 and still have money to burn on reinforcements and tech upgrade is a big starting boost! If Germany targets everything at one national opponent - in this AAR Britain - then the mpp situation effectively means that a 900mpp Germany is fighting a 450mpp Britain with better trenches, more experience in several strength 12 units, more guns, and better gun tech for a good while. Unless French artillery, growing at 1 shell per turn, can somehow make a dent in the German line elsewhere then this is a very unequal fight until at least the ammo tech clicks. By the time I was able to try and do this in the East, Britain was on her knees, and US troops are not numerous enough, especially coming in at level 1, to make a difference.

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This turn is relatively quiet, obviously both armies need rest.

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In Belgium, my troops destroy a Belgian division and their Heavy Artillery... and enter their side of the trenches which is very important. As most people might have thought already: Belgium is my current target. I want to take Nieuport and maybe Dünkirchen. All of these cities are NM targets, and NM is very important.

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My troops abandon Amiens, it is difficult to defend. I prepare a defensive line behind the river. In general this theater seems to be a big comfort zone... no fights in here, and who ever starts the fight again will have to move forces in front of prepared and entrenched positions... and this will be very unhealthy.

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The defenders of Verdun are destroyed, but I do not yet enter the city.... I wait for reinforcements. And there is a second aspect: An unoccupied tile means there are no trenches next turn, so any Frenchie that moves in will just have Ground Cover Level 1 and be easy prey.

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The Southeast OOB:

Allies: 10 Divisions, 2 Brigades, a Tank, a Cavalry and a Heavy Artillery

Germany: 15 Divisions, 3 Brigades and a Heavy Artillery

I think this means parity... both sides will get their reinforcements, but I sit in an entrenched position. If Al pushes for Colmar, my troops in the north will move to the south and attack his back. Very exciting.

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Here is the current Over-all OOB... looks a bit different from March.

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This is exactly what Haig feared, the British being driven back to the sea!

In reality, the French sent a lot of troops to support the British, so it's very interesting to see how this different approach works out, and good to see French troops advancing on German soil.

As to the US forces that have been mentioned, according to David Stevenson's With our Backs to the Wall, page 269, by the end of the war they actually had both more troops than the British in France, and occupied 162 km of front, 23km more than the British. 1919 would have been the year when they could really have been the spearhead of an Entente advance, but by late 1918 their role was very important too.

US income should suffice to buy an infantry division nearly every turn, depending on other expenditures.

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Well - enough of feeling sorry for myself. Time to get on and come up with a plan to turn this around. Michael gave me a breather that turn... that in itself was interesting, and I decided to debrief myself and get some realism into my thinking:

1. How are casualties sitting? Here is an interesting graphic:

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Fewer British casualties than I thought, and more French than I had sensed. In fact both Britain and Germany have lost 46 units on these bars. Scratching my head a bit perhaps this is not as bad as I had feared. The loss ratio is probably not far off 3 : 2 and this is not dreadful.

2. Belgium is about to be annihilated, but sitting and thinking for a minute the Belgians, on level 1 infantry and very low income, are probably about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Wish I had evacuated the artillery now... but never mind - not a disaster either.

3. NM. Germany in the mid 90s. Bad news... but Britain and France are in the 70s and this isnt total catastrophe either. I can eek this back if I can get on the front foot.

4. Artillery. I said artillery is the key to this game earlier. Well - I now have 16 artillery units. I have all the ammo tech I can get, and just got level 2 artillery in terms of quality for the French and will soon have it for the British. This should mean I can get some parity now in exchanges of attrition.

5. mpps. I am reaping somewhere in the region of 1100 per turn. I didnt do a careful count last turn, but it is about that. I know from my reverse experimental pbem game I have at the moment also that Germany sits on around 900 or a bit more than. So I suspect I have a production advantage (why didnt I check the graphs??? doh...)

6. Objectives. Well - not so good. Michael holds many of them, and is going to be very hard to shift, but Paris is safe and last turn I got a pop up saying the German morale is falling because Paris was not got close to. An earlier window said they needed to get within 8 hexes and they did not - that is good news. I wonder if that pop up will reappear and gradually erode Germany morale further? Will need to wait and see.

7. Force deployment. The French are under pressure a bit near Verdun, but it is not overwhelming pressure. The rest of the main line now seems strong, and the rest that Michael gave me has allowed me to turn my final British pocket into a fortress. Here it is:

britdefence4_zps2b50763d.jpg

Mostly entrenched, 3 artillery units in support plus a tank, and lot of max strength infantry. I also have more being shipped in every turn - Michael's reinforcements have to come from a fair way back now.

8. Offensive. Well - not a great success. I broke the line in the East, but did it too far north of Colmar in hindsight and will now struggle to take the city. HOWEVER I note that Michael has had to move quite a lot of stuff to the area to hold my advance, and that at least has served a purpose. Perhaps Colmar will hold for him, but meantime so might my British army! Current situation here:

attack6_zps50a6cf52.jpg

So where to go from here?? I will sleep on it tonight and see what havoc Michael causes in his next turn, but as I see it I have 3 alternatives:

a. Battle is enjoined at Verdun. I have the ability to throw a lot of artillery and reserve units into this pocket, retake the forts that carry a big NM total each and try and drive straight back through the heart of the German line.

b. Send more units to the east; reinforce the defensive northern perimeter, drive hard at Colmar and destroy the German forces in the very SE corner... as was the plan in the first place.

c. Drive hard with new units into the relatively open zone to the NW of Amiens where currently Michael has left a gap. This gap is likely to be because he does not have enough units to fill it. Advantage of this option is that I can bring my British and French and US units to the front straight away off the production lines; Michael must deploy further back and then use precious mpps to rail them in, or force march over 2 - 3 turns and reduce readiness. This attack would bring the British back into play in a big way.

All 3 options have their attractive elements. The clock now says June 1. I will decide in the next turn or two probably, once I get a feel for the German situation. Is it possible they have started to feel the pinch? Is it going to get very nasty again next turn as thousands more fresh German troops leap forward? Really I dont know... but one thing is for sure: I dont lose many games of SC and even with a lack of scenario knowledge in this one I dont intend to go down without a fight!

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I can't lose the feeling that your counter attack would have hurt much more in a region where you wouldn't had to suffer from such bad supply and movement levels.

But good luck with your defence of Belgium and your current counter attack!

:)

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I can't lose the feeling that your counter attack would have hurt much more in a region where you wouldn't had to suffer from such bad supply and movement levels.

But good luck with your defence of Belgium and your current counter attack!

:)

Supply is not so bad here as it happens - even that cavalry unit on the eastern railway has decent supply. Movement rate is a bit slow... but I think your point may be correct. I had assumed he would have nothing really to stop my dozen or so units fanning out both north and south, but was wrong. If I did it again in this area I would go straight for Colmar. Or maybe hit further north directly at Strasbourg.

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A short summary from my side as well... next turn will be posted tonight.

As Al destroyed a lot of my units in the second turn, I felt a bit scared.... I have played this campaign quite a few times, and in the older versions Germany had a couple of turns with almost no opposition. I lost 7 divisions in the second turn, and I really thought that Bill has changed the balance too far in the direction of the Allies. I expected Al to be in Sedan in July, but I was wrong.

There is one very important factor: experience. I am pretty sure that Al has way more "general" experience than me, because I started to player versus human opponents in the second half of 2012. So if Al and me play a 100% balanced campaign (like Chess) and we both know the setup, Al will definitely win... there is a reason why he has such a good reputation.

In this campaign, it is a bit different. I have played it a lot of times, versus the AI and human players. I have won most of them clearly, and it did not matter on which side I was playing. I have tried many different approaches... exterminate the complete Verdun salient, strike at Nancy, walk through Nieuport and kill the Belgians... or take Sedan with American troops. I know what happens in certain cases, and this is very important.

As I saw the changes in 1.01, I expected a clear and quick defeat. The Allies outproduce me by approx. 2 divisions every turn, and my technological advance will melt down until June. I need to upgrade my Heavy Artillery in the beginning, and this takes ages. In the first turn I have 500 MPP, in the second turn 900. I need to invest in research as well, and upgrading one Heavy Artillery costs me 225 MPP. A lot of my divisions along the frontline are Tech Level 1, and I need to remove them frontline before I can upgrade them. In the second turn, I lost 7 divisions, and I need to buy those back... or at least some. And I need to refresh my attacking divisions, this is expensive as well. In other words: I can refresh 1-2 Heavy Artillery units per turn, that´s it. Took me until turn 7 until I had finished that.

So my offensive power is not as big as in version 1.00. I knew I have just one major attack... I will not be able to do 5 drives as in history. So I concentrated on the British Army. My plan was to give Al the impression that this attack is just a decoy for an attack around Soisson and Reims, and I was successful. The British did not get much help from the French, and I tried to keep the French as busy as possible.

Fortunately, Al thought that the British part of the frontline is the strongest, but that was not necessarily the right view. The British appear strong, but once the first line is destroyed, they fall apart. The way to Amiens and Abbeville is shorter than the way from Reims to Paris, and the terrain is better for an attack. Between Paris and Reims there are a lot of rivers, and around Arras there is just plane fields. And the British do not have much room to draw back... "with their backs to the wall". Once this wall is reached, they can make a last stand and hope for help from heaven.

Bill knows this strategy well... he has suffered a lot from it while we did Beta Testing. But since then the British Army has been strengthened considerably, and I did not expect to get to Abbeville in just 10 turns. I started slow and catious, because I did not expect to make it to Abbeville, so I wanted to avoid getting catched in open space. But what came then was quite a surprise: I was able to take Arras almost unopposed, and I destroyed a British Heavy Artillery. This development has a big effect: without the Artillery unit, Al cannot strike back.. and so he needed to draw back. Once on the run, there was no halt for the British... no second line of defense was established, no entrechments. I was quite surprised about the speed of my advance, and this almost brought me into trouble.

As I reached Abbeville, my troops were completely exhausted and vulnerable. There were 6 fresh British divisions in the south of Etaples, and I really feared they would attack me, because most of my troops were at Strength 3 to 5. But fortunately Al gave me the time to consolidate and entrench. If he would attack me now, I would appreciate it, because my troops are refreshed and under full supply .... and my Heavy Artillery is in place. Every attacker will get a nice welcome present.

Of course Al´s attack in the southeast has reached its strategic target: I have to divert forces to Colmar. 10 more fresh divisions around Arras would have meant almost complete destruction of the BEF, and so the most important target has been reached. If he will succeed around Colmar or not is not really important. If he wants to be successfull, he has to send more troops down there... and these will miss somewhere else.

My next target is the destruction of all Belgian units. Belgium as a nation would no longer exist, and their Military Income can no longer be spent, because they cannot place their units. Allied total income would drop around 100 MPP per turn, and this will help a lot. If this is accomplished, a lot of divisions are free for other tasks. Potentially an attack on the British bridge head, defense against an allied attack around Amiens or simply strengthening the south east... who knows? At least I have the option to do what I think is right.

And there is a very important issue: Al has lost 4 British Air units. Usually the allied forces have a clear superiority in the air, and this will not be the case unless he buys the planes back... and they are not cheap.

So this match remains exciting... I did not expect to get this far.

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Okay, enough talking... more action!

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The remainder of the Belgian Army retreats to Dünkirchen. I can destroy a corps and bring my troops in position for an attack next turn. Heavy Artillery is ready to fire.

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This is the Last Stand of the BEF. I have 16 corps there, and another 8 from Dünkirchen once the Belgian Army is destroyed. An attack is prepared, and further reinforcements are approaching.

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Al has rotated his corps out of Fort Vaux to Verdun and another corps in the fort. The entrenchment goes down from 12 to 6, and this allows me to take both Verdun and the Fort in one turn. French NM drops massively. The whole salient is threatened.

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Save the best for last. The French attack on Colmar has definitely failed. Who does not flee gets destroyed.

Not quite sure if I will stop on the French border or try to take St. Die and start a kind of flank run.

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But please do not think this war is easy for the German troops. Fortunately there are a lot of good news. My troops still believe in victory!!!!

British NM is down to 71%, French is at 69%. Germany seems confident with exactly 100%!!!! Over all loss ratio is 92:47, so almost 2:1. Promising.

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The number of units in this scenario is a bit intimidating to me. It looks as though there are almost as many in this theatre as the Campaign has in all of the theatres.

I the purchase price and upgrade price for each unit then lower?

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@ xwormwood: early June. I was suprised about the speed of my advance. From July on this will get more difficult for me, but what I have reached until now seems promising.

@ Rankorian: there is an easy explanation.... CtA uses corps and detachments, Ludendorff uses divisions and brigades. This means a direct comparison with CtA does not make sense, the scale is just different. The price for a division is the same as the price for a corps in CtA, but the German income is higher. The Allies have around 1.100 MPP per turn, the German Army has around 900.

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Time for Technical Analysis

Dünkirchen

Belgian OOB: 2 divisions, 1 cavalry division

German OOB: 7 divisions, 1 tank unit, 1 Heavy Artillery

Prediction: I will conquer Dünkirchen in 2-3 turns. Any Belgian units that do not withdraw will be destroyed.

British Last Stand around Etaples

British OOB: ~15 divisions, 2-3 Heavy Artillery, 1 tank unit, 1-2 cavalry divisions, Air support

German OOB: 16 divisions, 3 Heavy Artillery, Air support

Prediction: I will try to tie off the British salient and bring my troops in a good position. Once the troops at Dünkirchen have fulfilled their task, I will have 23 divisions, a tank unit and 4 Heavy Artillery units. Both side have reinforcements coming in, so this will get quite exciting. I expect this battle to last for a few months, but unless somehting extraordinary happens, I will succeed in the long run.

Verdun Salient

French OOB: 11 divisons, 2 brigades, 1-2 Heavy Artillery, Air support questionable.. potentially just defensive Air Cover

German OOB: 14 divisions, 1 brigade, 2 Heavy Artillery, Air support

Prediction: at the moment I have the initiative, but that might change if Al diverts troops to the salient. I can easily reinforce my position, Metz is just a few tiles away. If Al does not reinforce his troops, I will try to conquer the last fort in the west of Verdun and Troyon. Being successful there would allow me to establish a frontline between this fort and Troyon.... entrenching behind the river would create a very stable defensive line, and I can divert troops to other theaters.

French Bridgehead

French OOB: 7 divisions, 1 cavalry division, 2 brigades, 2 Heavy Artillery, 1 tank unit, Air Support

German OOB: 17 divisions, 3 brigrades, 1 Heavy Artillery

Prediction: I expect a well-ordered French withdrawal, and Al will attack where he can destroy German units. If he decides to stay, I will try to destroy his units quickly. Then I will (at least) advance to the old frontline. If I can do that, I will either continue to attack or leave a few units there and divert the rest to other theaters.

Most important question - The Unknown Theater

The Allied Armies are regrouping. Their guns have full shell production now, and they can mount an offensive. Since a couple of turns, I see just very few French reinforcements and no American troops activities. I expect an Allied attack somewhere sooner or later. Might be Nancy, or somewhere between Reims and Abbeville. Definitely I will start to deploy fresh divisions in the second row so I can counter an offensive. The area between Reims and Abbeville is a big Comfort Zone.... one tile distance between the German and Allied frontline. Maximum entrenchment, 10 shots of Ammo for every Artillery unit... who ever attacks there will have to pay a very high price. As the campaign started, both Armies were sitting in front of each other fully entrenched, but the Comfort Zone looks different.

The player who decides to enter it has to move over open terrain... no entrenchment, no Artillery support until the second turn. In the first turn the attacker has to move in front of the positions of the defender, then he will suffer damage. In the second turn, the attacker can start the first assault, and maybe in the third or fourth turn he can enter the trenches. Until then I have enough time to bring in reinforcements. And I will try to build a reserve staging area around Amiens, so I can quickly send troops to areas under attack. Any attack through the Comfort Zone needs to be a really massive one. I wonder where it´s gonna occur.

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