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AoD Official AAR/Walkthrough #2!!!

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Okay… with the imminent release of the game… we’re back for a much more intense Official AAR. We have switched sides, with Jim now taking the reigns of the Allies. I will take the Axis. The Axis in this game plays much differently than in previous releases of Gold.

It is important to note: Playing the Axis is less forgiving than in previous versions… in that if you have a major reverse it is much more difficult to recover and regain the initiative. So play careful attention as I roll out my attacks and strategy.

I intend to show you what Germany, Japan and Italy can do in this game. Jim is going to attempt to stop me. We are going to hold nothing back and you will see less experimenting with strategy and much more action. Likely one of us will end up intensely disliking the other for a few weeks. I hope you all enjoy it!

1AGarrisons.jpg

Note these cities. Japan starts with an HQ, several armies and a cavalry unit deployed in Manchuria. Most of these will be needed elsewhere. Make sure these cities and towns are garrisoned at all times, especially when swapping units out. You do not want Russia to enter the war early… trust me.

1A-7thLuft.jpg

This is an interesting decision event. I always say “Yes” to this one… even through the unit arrives early and understrength, especially if I wish to invade England. It opens up your strategic options. In this game I think there are times when the paras can be the most dangerous units in the game. Stand by for more on this!

1AGermanyPositions.jpg

Note the starting positions for Germany. The Reich starts with a powerful army, with 3 HQ and 2 more in the build. Germany begins with 11 deployed corps, 5 armies, 2 armor, a tactical unit, medium bomber and 3 fighters. You also begin with 3 cruisers, and 3 subs. This by far, due to the concentration of terrain (Europe) and the compact nature of the theater of operations, makes the German military the most potent force on the map at least for the first year of the war. Germany must take full advantage of this… and it is very important to take as few casualties as possible so that you can grow this combat power. This also gives Germany a head start on what you need to build for Barbarossa.

1A-UpgradeofBombers.jpg

My medium bomber began the game with the ability to upgrade. Instead of throwing an under tier aircraft into action I made the decision to upgrade his capabilities and use him next turn. This makes him much more effective and when I begin my assault on Warsaw he should come in very handy.

1A-InvasionofPoland.jpg

This is the beginning of my invasion of Poland. My turn 1 objective is to eliminate the Polish HQ so that it cannot add strength to the Warsaw defenders. A secondary objective is to eliminate the frontier defenders with as few casualties as possible. Basically make my offensive as bloodless as possible from the German perspective. This means using my armies that are adjacent to the Polish defenders to attack first… you gain a prepared assault bonus with adjacent units meaning you take less casualties and do more damage. Then you follow up with secondary units and finally by armor to mop up, all the while building valuable experience that will make the difference on the Eastern front in nearly 2 years time.

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1A-InvasionofPolandB.jpg

These were the final positions for the invasion of Poland. You can see I occupied the mine, (get that production going baby!) and destroyed the border defenses, including the Polish HQ. I have also advanced 3 units adjacent to Warsaw so that next turn my prepared assault bonus can help take down the city. Also note how one of my corps assaulted the Polish medium bombers… I do not want Jim having the ability to cause me greater casualties. Note how few casualties my assaulting forces took in breaking into Poland.

1A-JapanTech.jpg

Moving to Japan… you can see she starts with investment, however one of the key areas you will need is not yet invested. My first purchase with Japan is in Industry! This is critical. Japan must upgrade her industry to at least level 3 by December 1941 or she has no hope in competing with the Western Allies. This makes a huge difference. Do not neglect it!

1A-JapanStartingPositions.jpg

These are the starting positions for Central China. Japan looks strong right? Not really so. Those forests are where partisans can pop up. They need to be occupied. I spent much of this turn reorganizing my forces and I conducted no attacks. There are a bunch of things I must do first to reorder the Japanese army in China… but I expect to begin to conduct major operations within a couple turns. More on this later.

Now off to Jim!

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2a_zps10fa583c.jpg

Well here we go again, from opposite sides as in the last AAR.

Marc has opened with a crushing invasion of Poland, no surprise there. I like the fact that it seems almost impossible now to take Poland on turn 1. There is no doubt that it will fall next turn, unless for some reason Marc decides to toy with the Poles as a cat would with a mouse. I've seen him do that sometimes in France, when he is looking for experience for his units, but in the case of Poland, I suspect he wants it over with fast, and then off for a possible early invasion of the Low Countries.

As you can see above, I have to support the French in a very real way, or risk losing France early. The down side of that is that if I am not careful, some British units can be lost in France. This would lead to a situation where, if France falls early enough, Marc would be tempted to invade the UK and I would have little left to defend it with.

The trump card for Britain is the Royal Navy of course. It can make an invasion very risky for the Germans. We'll see how it unfolds...

The other decision I had to make this turn was about India. The Viceroy of India is a bit of a patriot, and wanted to bring India in on the side of England, without consulting with the Indian Congress. I don't want to risk upsetting the Indians, and having unrest (which costs money). So I told the Viceroy to cool his heels for a bit, and let the Indian representatives decide for themselves. Doubtless they will make the right decision.

A benefit of this decision is that Indian troops will show up in Egypt fairly quickly, where I will probably need them.

In China I have done nothing, beyond getting engineers into the task of building more fortifications.

At sea, the Royal Navy is going hunting for the Graf Spee, and wishing it had more destroyers so that it could also hunt effectively for subs.

France is pondering whether or not to cross the border and attack the Germans---but that is unlikely to be a good move. Although their fortifications do not match the might Maginot Line, they also can't be disregarded.

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Only 1 picture this turn. I took Warsaw hammering the city by air and then by ground assault. I was also able to eliminate both of Jim’s aircraft, however Poland hung on and did not surrender. It was a bummer that Poland did not surrender… but she likely will next turn.

2A-PolandA.jpg

This is a picture of the beginning of my assault. Three ground units and 2 aircraft were destroyed.

In China… Japan is still in the process of reorganization. I expect offensive operations to begin next turn and continue without letup for several turns. I did invest in another chit of Industrial research. Next turn I will begin investing in additional ground forces for China.

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Warsaw still holds out. In terms of how the game works, this is probably because the Poles still possess a couple of key cities and the unit in Krakow is still quite strong. There are a number of parameters the game engine looks at for determining surrender by any nation, and sometimes just taking the capital city is not enough.

For the sake of security, I am not showing a map of France right now, but I have now met the requirement of having five British units in France. Lord Gort is there of course, but I may replace him with someone more effective when finances allow.

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NOTE: To toggle supply levels on the map, press "s" on you keyboard once for current supply. A second press of the "s" key will show you (after a slight delay, sometimes) projected supply for your next turn. This is YOUR supply, not the enemy's.

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Not a whole lot of action this turn. Having captured Warsaw last turn, Poland finally surrendered this turn. It did not matter much when they actually surrendered as I already held all of the production sources. It would have been nice to get the 144 bonus income from the surrender the previous turn though. I intend to put that to good use this upcoming turn. Basically Germany spent the entire turn repositioning forces from the East to the West. I have a couple tricks up my sleeve that I will reveal shortly.

My U-Boats and surface raiders are already actively at work… hitting Jim’s convoy lines. This past turn the UK lost 28 MPP. I expect that to increase in the coming turns. I want to cost him as much as possible to keep the UK from building up forces too quickly. This means I must be careful with my U-Boats… and creative.

In China, my coastal offensive kicked off this turn with an aerial attack followed up by a direct ground assault on Foochow with good results.

4A-Foochow.jpg

The Chinese took it worse than the Japanese… 7 steps for 3. That said I would have preferred taking fewer hits but the Chinese had been fully entrenched and digging them out of those entrenchments was somewhat costly. I also felt I did not have the luxury to wait for a prepared assault bonus. I need to begin causing the Chinese financial pain… and leaving them alone 2 turns already is too long.

4A-CoastalOffensive.jpg

I expect I will take Foochow next turn and then my next objective will be Amoy. As you can see, I have already begun to build up a nice bit of combat power to force my way south along the coast. The Special forces units are critical to reducing enemy fortifications. Each attack by them drops fortifications by 2 steps.

Some players prefer to use carriers to support their coastal push. I always found this to be too costly to justify such action. I would rather save my cash for unit purchases and keep my carriers at full strength until I really need them.

My goal will be to keep the pressure on the Chinese by continually inflicting casualties on them so that they have difficulty building up.

Back to Jim.

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As expected, Poland surrendered. See below for a summary of this, and other events from the previous turn.

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My moves in this turn were most behind the scenes, and those that were "on the ground" such as in France can not and will not be shown at this time. Shhhh...top secret.

The extra turn that Poland held out may pay some dividends, because the weather will even sooner now be unsuitable for air and ground operations in the west. That said, I expect to see offensive action from the Germans in the Netherlands and Belgium sooner rather than later---possibly in December.

In China, I replaced the losses to the defender in Foochow, and made some other moves elsewhere to further optimize my HQ placements.

Overall, I feel that the Allied defensive plan is a sound one and it emphasizes a good balance of technical research, diplomacy, replacing losses, upgrading key units (and only those---no point upgrading units in the back lines) and construction of new units.

U-boats are causing me some pain, but until I get some DD's in the water, I'm somewhat helpless. Bombers are next to useless against subs right now, until I upgrade them and I am reluctant to expose carriers and battleships to submarines.

Back to Marc now.

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The weather cleared over Northern Europe this turn allowing the Germans to invade Denmark. Invade Denmark? Really? Yes! I prefer to invade Denmark because I do not want to waste money on being “invited” in. I would rather spend that cash on research and units… besides Germany gets a nice readiness boost and plunder. If the weather is good… I may use that boost to invade the Low Countries early. Typically the weather in November, 1939 is poor but I got lucky. I decided to roll the dice and capture Denmark several turns early, which will give me extra income amounting to the equivalent of a division. Every extra little bit with Germany pays dividends later against Russia.

5A-Denmark.jpg

I used my medium bomber to hammer the defenders in Copenhagen and followed up with a swift occupation using ground assault and airborne assets. Remember that German paratroop I opted for early? He was put to good use this turn. As expected Denmark fell quite easily.

5A-Foochow.jpg

Half a world away, I continued my offensive against Foochow, hammering that city by air followed up by prepared ground assaults which shattered the defending units. The Japanese forces took very little loss in the assault. You can see from the picture that Jim reinforced the defenders, spending badly needed Chinese cash. He really had no choice… he must hold off Japan for as long as possible… lest I get significant forces south before he is prepared to receive them. Foochow gives Japan 2 National Morale points a turn… so officially the Chinese slide on NM points has begun.

5A-Foochowsecured.jpg

My next objective is Amoy. Note the DD I am using to scout the city. This way I do not have to worry about a surprise engagement by bumping into the defenders. I will likely begin attacks on Amoy next turn. I need to keep the Chinese spending cash repairing units instead of purchasing new builds or performing research.

Beyond that… not a whole lot going on. U-Boats are beginning to put a dent on UK income. To date I have cost Jim 80+ MPP… which is more than the cost of a division. I have a plan to ramp that income hit up much higher.

Back to Jim

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No maps to view this turn, as there is nothing to report from any of the Allied fronts.

British, Canadian and French ships are searching for U-boats and surface raiders, but although merchant losses continue, so far no U-boats have been sunk.

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Not a whole lot on this turn. The weather was poor over Europe so no action there. In the East I conducted the first attacks on Amoy continuing my coastal campaign.

8A-Amoy.jpg

I moved up reinforcements. I expect Amoy to fall next turn and I will continue my advance further south.

8A-Thailand.jpg

Japan invaded and occupied Thailand this turn. The resultant readiness boost will help me more easily secure Amoy next turn. In addition, the added income boost will be nice. I plan on using Thailand as a spring board into Singapore and Burma.

We are moving into January 1940.

Back to Jim

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I really hope this 'readness' bonus get eliminated at some point. Japan doing something like this in the real war was impossible for a whole lot of reasons the games does not account for. If anything, the only bonus you should get is against the country you just went to war with.

Why on earth would units in China 100's of miles away attack better just because Thailand was invaded? So when Germany invades Luxumburg German units get a bonus in Africia? Really? I am sorry this is totally idotic.

Is this modable in any way as I would love to be able to diable this feature if possible.

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No action from the Allies this turn; just waiting for the hammer to fall on Amoy. The early invasion of Thailand was a surprise. Marc got lucky; there is a small chance that the isolationists in America prevail, and this time they did---no jump to American war readiness.

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I really hope this 'readness' bonus get eliminated at some point. Japan doing something like this in the real war was impossible for a whole lot of reasons the games does not account for. If anything, the only bonus you should get is against the country you just went to war with.

Why on earth would units in China 100's of miles away attack better just because Thailand was invaded? So when Germany invades Luxumburg German units get a bonus in Africia? Really? I am sorry this is totally idotic.

Is this modable in any way as I would love to be able to diable this feature if possible.

This is a feature we've had for some time now essentially attempting to model a morale boost amongst your forces for good news on the combat front via significant victories, but I can certainly understand that perhaps not everyone might enjoy such a feature.

We can look into adding a disabling option or further modifications for SC3 if this is something players are really looking for.

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Numdydar,

I understand your concerns. I view the readiness boost having the soldiers across a given country taking heart, being encouraged and becoming more motivated as a result of such victories. These readiness boosts for morale and readiness are short term gains only and abate rather quickly. It is an almost use it or lose it kind of thing.

Turn wise… one of my U-Boats blundered into a UK cruiser and took some damage. I was hoping to avoid that kind of thing.

10A-Spain.jpg

I was shocked to discover the UK investing diplomacy into Spain. I would never have done that as the UK is very vulnerable to German invasion… I always work to strengthen my defenses before making such expenditures.

10A-SpainDiplo.jpg

Here you can see Jim invested 150 MPP in Spain. That is the equivalent of a British army! You can also see his research investments… 1 chit is likely in infantry tech…. perhaps 2. This actually makes me want to invade England as she is likely to prove weaker than expected. We will have to see how the invasion of France goes. If it is light on casualties I may pull the trigger and invade England.

10A-Amoy.jpg

My coastal campaign in China continued with the capture of Amoy. Note my special forces unit assaulting the city first. He removes 2 levels of entrenchment per attack. The defender in Amoy was heavily entrenched. That said Amoy fell with little loss on my end. I advanced beyond Amoy moving in the direction of Hong Kong with the goal of taking one more coastal city before pushing north into the Chinese heartland. Naning… though a primary objective for many players is a secondary objective for me.

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I really hope this 'readness' bonus get eliminated at some point. Japan doing something like this in the real war was impossible for a whole lot of reasons the games does not account for. If anything, the only bonus you should get is against the country you just went to war with.

Why on earth would units in China 100's of miles away attack better just because Thailand was invaded? So when Germany invades Luxumburg German units get a bonus in Africia? Really? I am sorry this is totally idotic.

Is this modable in any way as I would love to be able to diable this feature if possible.

I can see how a nation's morale would be increased as other nation's fall to your home country, but I have to agree that throughout the AAR's the morale boost has been pretty gamey, especially after having a peek into the attacker's mindset.

I think what needs to be considered is real consequences for these types of DOW's. A 3% drop in war readiness by a country like USA is not a real deterrent, and like mentioned by another poster in another AAR there are no real consequences at all if the majors are already in the war.

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I really hope this 'readness' bonus get eliminated at some point... Is this modable in any way as I would love to be able to diable this feature if possible.

Hi numdydar

This can be edited by opening up the campaign in the editor and selecting:

Campaign -> Edit Morale Data

and changing the Surrender (Land Units) and Surrender (Naval Units) data.

Bill

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A word about my investments in Spain. Franco is a much misunderstood man. Sure, he's a Fascist, but he also has more of an affinity for France and Britain than he does for Germany. Something about the colour of British pounds sterling makes him want to break out singing "Rule Britannia"!

Seriously; while it's true that an army would defend Britain more effectively than Spanish friendship, why not have both? Spain dropped from 40% pro-Axis to 26% pro-Axis. This makes it more expensive now for Marc to bribe them (which he might have considered doing). And if he later invades Spain, I can live with that---the Germans can never have too many fronts as far as the Allies thinking goes.

Britain has a navy--that makes a German invasion a bit risky, provided I keep my carriers out of range of his land based bombers. And I have not totally neglected defense----by spring the Brits will have two more corps and another army. Plus I plan on delaying Marc in France so that he has little or no "weather window" for an invasion. Lastly, the British do not intend to leave anyone behind in France if things go badly there.

We will see, in any event.

Following two screen shots show the only action which occurred this turn for the Allies:

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Hi numdydar

This can be edited by opening up the campaign in the editor and selecting:

Campaign -> Edit Morale Data

and changing the Surrender (Land Units) and Surrender (Naval Units) data.

Bill

Cool. Will definately do that for my next game :)

Now if there was a way to get this to work for the country just attacked for one turn ... :D

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A fairly quiet turn. We are now into February, 1940… so that will not last long.

12A-China.jpg

I began my attack on Shenzhen with an aerial bombardment to reduce the entrenchments, then assault by special forces.

12A-ChinaB.jpg

I almost destroyed the defenders. Japan is now causing China casualties each turn. So far I have taken 2 coastal cities. I expect that I will take Shenzhen next turn.

Back to Jim

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Replaced some of my losses in Shenzhen, otherwise it was a quiet turn. There was a LOT of movement of various Allied forces on land and sea, but nothing I can share---yet :)

Iceland joined the Allies and Britain garrisoned it, so when my bombers have longer range, they will be able to join in on the war against U-boats, which is good---'cuz they are hurting the UK economy at the rate of about 30mpp's per turn :(

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Things got a little interesting this turn. Jim unzipped his fly in the Med and showed me a bit of what he is packing.

14A-Med.jpg

I also spotted another BB thanks to air recon. I took steps to better prepare Italy for an early entry into the war. I am curious as to what he is up to. I was wondering if he would try an early knockout blow to Italy’s navy. Looks as though he may try. I have a few surprises waiting for him.

14A-Netherlands.jpg

The weather improved and Germany took the opportunity to invade the Netherlands early. She quickly succumbed. Belgium still remains neutral…

14A-Shenzhen.jpg

Shenzhen predictably fell as well, wrapping up my Coastal campaign. I now will turn and drive north into the Chinese interior. I have a few surprises for China that are timed to coincide. The Chinese are now losing 6 national morale points a turn due to the loss of those 3 coastal cities. It is now time to accelerate that loss.

Back to Jim.

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With the invasion of The Netherlands, can an attack upon France be far off? The Anglo-French alliance is ready!

Some British politicians and military planners are not convinced that the French plan to defend from the Maginot Line is a good one, and are urging the French to secure the (so far) neutral Belgian border. In fact, some have suggested crossing into Belgium, since that country does not appear willing or ready to act in its own best interests by joining the Allied cause.

Just in case, there is also planning in Britain for what Mr. Churchill terms a "Home Guard"...

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No action in China, other than reconnaissance flights by Chinese and foreign volunteer pilots, utilizing the latest in American military pursuit plan technology as seen above. Planes such as the P-40, P-43 and P-35/36 will make short work of the Japanese "rice paper and bamboo" aircraft, will they not?

13a_zps51e18142.jpg

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The weather cleared for most of the Front in the West this turn and I decided to invade and secure Belgium.

16ABelgium.jpg

I used a combination of air and ground to take Brussels. There was no British or French air defense. I am wondering where those fighters are? Knocking out all 3 Belgium units was a pushover. The hard part comes this upcoming turn when I push into France. Is Jim prepared?

In Asia there was no action as I prepared for my next big offensive, by repairing units and bringing reinforcements up.

16AConvoyLosses.jpg

I thought you might find this interesting. This is a graph of convoy losses for Britain. You can see that I have cost Jim 190 losses to date. I would have cost him more but I made an error with one of my U-Boats and he got clobbered… and is currently limping home for repairs. Convoy losses this turn should push him over 200. Convoy raiding is an important tool to slow UK production down. Don’t neglect it!

Back to Jim.

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This AAR is making it hard to resist purchasing this expansion (plus the base game).

I'm currently playing a "Storm over Europe" campaign" but would like to also expand into the other operational theaters.

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