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WW1 Revisited – An Ash & Will AAR – Central Powers

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You're right that it does seem a bit odd that the Treaty of Bucharest cannot happen before October 1917. I will have to check to see if there was a reason why I set it at that.

As to the value of Ukrainian grain, from what I recall it was a bit of a disappointment due to the situation there and the disruption caused by war and revolution. So while being useful to have it, it wouldn't fully negate the impact of not being able to trade with Holland, particularly as imports from Holland would be of a wider number of products than those from the Ukraine.

Excellent, thanks for the insights as always Bill! :)

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I would just like to say that I'm really enjoying these AAR's. I myself just don't have time right now to play a game, even against the AI. But these AAR's are the next best thing to actually playing.

Keep up the good work. Judging from the number of views you guys are getting, I'd say you have a lot of fans out there.

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I would just like to say that I'm really enjoying these AAR's. I myself just don't have time right now to play a game, even against the AI. But these AAR's are the next best thing to actually playing.

Keep up the good work. Judging from the number of views you guys are getting, I'd say you have a lot of fans out there.

Thank you very much! Very appreciated. :)

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Turn 53 – April 6th, 1918

Sheesh. The entente hit the US again with diplomacy, that’s twice in a row, and it just keeps racing up by 2-4% extra per turn as well. I was under the impression that the chance was not that great of it going up barring German aggression…

Another thing that threw me was a diplomatic hit on Norway from Russia… their chits are still active? Hm.

Anyway. The hit on US this turn caused some panic, and I took a long hard look at the diplomatic spending of all the countries. At absolute most (and it might not be that much) will has placed 6 chits in the US. Two hits consumes two of those. I burnt all of Germanys’ 600mpp into three chits, and went so far as to disband a unit and cancel a tech for the ottomans to place another. That brings us, at worst, even. If Will invests more in his turn there will still be a risk. Its all down to the random number gods now. If the US joins, it’ll all be over before it even begins.

The western Front

h0wq.png

Another game ending threat is the loss of Strasbourg. The Entente destroyed a corps on the Saar mines, and in the city, but could not advance to claim the prize. Lucky, as the resulting nm hit/gain would also mean that my already slim chances of winning would effectively disappear.

The assault in the west got off to an early and unexpected false start, as two French corps are destroyed near the city in an attempt to prevent its occupation. The Austrians have begun moving, and the sector A artillery has been deployed from the reserves.

Italy

7oi8.png

The Italians are as frisky as ever, hitting several of my corps along the line. For now, given the demands of the west, we can do little but shift and prepare.

Near East

Prolonged shelling of one British corps on the line to weaken its offensive potential, some shifts, and Von Der Marwitz moves through the desert to Aquaba to direct his Army against a detachment guarding the British flank.

General Staff

All efforts into diplomacy. The US moves another 4% (gaaaah!) and are now at 74….

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- The set up for your summer offensive looks good :) . Austrian pressure in Italy will achieve at least one result: shortening the front and that will probably free all german units there for offensive operations whitout having to hold the line.

- French units are worn out in several areas of the frontline so if they attack recklessly a chance for decisive victory can present itself. USA mobilization rising is a problem then maybe you'll have to transfer german units from other fronts to speed up your western offensive...

- The plan with Holland is interesting but you'll have to deal with Anvers fortress unless it is left unguarded ^^ .

- NM locations in ME are mostly one-hit things as their base value is 0 so I don't know if you'll get anything valuable from pushing there except lowered UK NM which won't help much.

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- The set up for your summer offensive looks good :) . Austrian pressure in Italy will achieve at least one result: shortening the front and that will probably free all german units there for offensive operations whitout having to hold the line.

- French units are worn out in several areas of the frontline so if they attack recklessly a chance for decisive victory can present itself. USA mobilization rising is a problem then maybe you'll have to transfer german units from other fronts to speed up your western offensive...

- The plan with Holland is interesting but you'll have to deal with Anvers fortress unless it is left unguarded ^^ .

- NM locations in ME are mostly one-hit things as their base value is 0 so I don't know if you'll get anything valuable from pushing there except lowered UK NM which won't help much.

Thanks for the comments as always Strategiclayabout!

The Dutch will probably be able to deal with it, as they seem to start with their own artillery piece if persuaded to join through diplomacy...

Hm, are the Nm locations in the middle east one hit things on the UK only, or are they also a one hit bonus for the conquering power?

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Turn 55 – May 4th, 1918

The US continued to climb as Will did his turn, and going into the start of the grand offensive stood at 78%.

Looking again at the graphs, it seems Will invested one more chit into them in his turn for a total of five.

The western Front

c1hu.png

The emperor himself visited the front on the 1st of May, days before the offensive was scheduled to begin. He is said to have remarked “So this is what the kitchen sink looks like”.

The entente hit the German lines in their accustomed fashion, and after so long fighting and dying to defend them, they finally took the Saar mines. A very large concentration of Entente troops is gathering around the perimeter of Sector D, worrying, but not unexpected.

Then, at long last, it was time for the Entente to feel the wrath that brought low the colossus of the east. (cue last ride of the valkyries).

When the offensive kicked off in Sectors A and B, it seemed to take the Entente completely by surprise. Their lines seem thin in this area, and again paths to their artillery had been left open near Metz. After a furious shelling destroyed the French near Strasbourg, more troops struck and wrecked the emplacement. This makes the possible loss of our own artillery in Sector C less painful. That offensive came off at a limping crawl, managing only to eject the British from the mines and retake them, albeit weakly held. Preemptive shelling around sector D brought down one French corps, now we can only brace for the counter blow.

Italy

6gav.png

A General offensive begun by Von Krobatin destroyed the Italian corps holding Trieste, and advancing Austrians was able to strike the pickets of the artillery behind. In the cauldron near the border, another Italian corps was brought near destruction. Pressure is slowly increasing, and with Italian economy being fairly weak, they cannot hope to replace all their losses.

Near East

wm3d.png

Another coordinated assault, supported by shelling from experienced German crews severely hurt one British corps on the line. Von Der Marwitz offensive mauled the detachment severely, and it barely escaped into the deserts at a sliver of its strength.

General Staff

Germany invests two more chits into USA, Austria one chit, for a total of seven.

We are rewarded, as the US backs off slightly, back down to 78. We decline to send the Zimmerman telegram, not wishing to antagonize the US needlessly…

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Two things to help you make decisions :) :

*

USA entry:

France +3,000 NM

UK +3,000 NM

Germany -2,000 NM

*

Egypt NM bonuses:

UK -250 NM: Port Saïd, Suez & Ismaïlia

UK -2500 NM: Alexandria & Cairo

Egypt surrender (CP capture Cairo):

OE +2,500 NM

Germany +1,000 NM

*

About your question a bit before on USA late rising mobilization:

DE 140 - UK: Support the Preparedness Movement in the USA?

Event fires: When the UK is Entente and fully mobilized, Russia is no longer in the war, and the USA remains neutral.

Cost of accepting: 50MPPs a turn for 3 turns.

Yes: The USA will swing 4-7% towards the Entente, followed by a swing of 1-2% per turn thereafter.

No: Nothing.

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Hi! Great AAR :) I'm reading both and like your struggle for victory! ;) It's a tight race in the end... Would it be an option to let the Austrians attack the French on the West Front, so it costs NM to the French, while the NM-costs is divided between the CP-powers? Or would that be gamey?

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Hi! Great AAR :) I'm reading both and like your struggle for victory! ;) It's a tight race in the end... Would it be an option to let the Austrians attack the French on the West Front, so it costs NM to the French, while the NM-costs is divided between the CP-powers? Or would that be gamey?

It is indeed an option! :) And there are quite a few Austrians on the west Front already, including those nice tanks of theirs!

Two things to help you make decisions :) :

*

USA entry:

France +3,000 NM

UK +3,000 NM

Germany -2,000 NM

*

Egypt NM bonuses:

UK -250 NM: Port Saïd, Suez & Ismaïlia

UK -2500 NM: Alexandria & Cairo

Egypt surrender (CP capture Cairo):

OE +2,500 NM

Germany +1,000 NM

*

About your question a bit before on USA late rising mobilization:

DE 140 - UK: Support the Preparedness Movement in the USA?

Event fires: When the UK is Entente and fully mobilized, Russia is no longer in the war, and the USA remains neutral.

Cost of accepting: 50MPPs a turn for 3 turns.

Yes: The USA will swing 4-7% towards the Entente, followed by a swing of 1-2% per turn thereafter.

No: Nothing.

Hm, this means that the Capture of Cairo would be a nice boon for the Germans, but otherwise not much to write home about. We'll see how the fight for the peninsula goes...

Are you sure about those US mobilization numbers? The preparedness movement sparked some five turns ago as a bulletin, sending the US an immediate 20%, then they have swung by 4% several turns after that. Maybe there is some other factor at work as well?

At any rate, the entry of the US does indeed mean death for me NM wise. My only option then would be to somehow reach Paris and have the French surrender before my NM ran out, which seems unlikely. :)

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Turn 56 – June 1st, 1918

The western Front

y9pb.png

The assault continues headlong, and so far the French opposite sector A and B have neither dug in nor prepared. As the Austrians reach Belfort, Bulgarian artillery debarks trains in front of Strasbourg. A more cautious advance, lacking the momentum or space for a massed attack, brings forces out of Sectors B and C to start enveloping Metz. Nonetheless, two French corps crumble under the advance, and two more Perish in the bitter fighting around the Saar mines and sector D’s cracking defenses.

Austrian armor is brought into play for the first time, and everything stands ready for an attack on Metz should the French counter-attack prove too weak.

Italy

Repositioning and preparations.

Near East

vl49.png

The British struck hard, harder than anticipated. Not only did they break through the line at Jerusalem to destroy surplus ammunition stores and rout much of the pickets, but unforeseen strength in to the rear struck the flanking Germans and hurt them severely. Nevertheless, the British breakthrough was beaten back by barrage and gun, and the invaders cut down. Von Der Marwitz shifts his lines, awaiting the Critical breaking point that must soon arrive unless the British have even more reserves.

General Staff

The demands of diplomacy leave little room for other adventures, and reinforcements for the western front is a priority.

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- For USA mobilization maybe there was a diplo hit on the same turn. No idea for 4% turn instead of 1-2% maybe the manual isn't up to date for that event :) .

- It's possible the rate was increased with one of the patches because otherwise it was quite hard to have USA in the war without Russia diplo chits.

*

- Other than that just one thing to say: push your panzers to the West, if you take Dunkerque it's your win :D !

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Turn 56 – June 29th, 1918

The western Front

x39j.png

The offensive slows down to allow artillery support to catch up. The last of the Bulgarian artillery arrives in Sector B by train, setting up near Saarbruchen. Belfort is now enveloped with stocked artillery in range, and no less than three guns take sight on Metz. The german forces, albeit in French hands, is a necessary stepping stone on the road to Verdun. Losses are comparatively light on both sides, as two german, one French, and one British corps falls in the continuous battles raging along the line.

Italy

Repositioning and preparations.

Near East

lvm3.png

Reinforcements are a byword of the day on all fronts. The multinational peninsula army gains new strength, looking to stockpile shells and break through the British shortly. Von der Marwitz shifts his lines continuously to staunch the worst losses from British attacks.

General Staff

All production is dedicated towards reinforcements, as heavy losses strike many corps along the west front. Our diplomatic advantage is yet at least 3 on the US, but it yields no results this time…

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Turn 58 – July 13th, 1915

Morale is well below 25%, and yet no option to further support the morale of the troops present itself. Perhaps at 20? (this is pretty bad, I had counted on these to offset the penalty for Holland :P)

The western Front

6u3r.png

German NM now at 19%...

The only theatre of note was the western front, and a severe blow to our hopes of victory. Though our estimation of a single corps being able to strike at the newly arrived Bulgarian artillery was correct and that damage expected, we did not expect the efficacy of French artillery. In a seven shell barrage, it destroyed 80% of our artillery utterly, and wiped it out. That is… truly fell news. OKH has yet to devise a way to deal with the plentiful entente tanks, these steel beasts seem utterly impervious, and we had hoped that a massive barrage from three guns would suffice. As this is no longer an option, Hindenburg contented himself with clearing space around sectors A and B. Four French corps were destroyed, including one by sally in sector D. French railway artillery that has been savaging our industry in the north was also struck.

The one major victory came as sector A reached its designated objective, and took Belfort.

As the Entente now seems to have switched entirely into the path of sectors A and B, and are pulling back from Sector A, it is time for our last and most desperate gambit. Most of the remaining central powers diplomatic strength is invested in the Dutch. We must strike wherever the enemy is weak!

Italy

The Italians continue to savage the central powers here, and counter attacks are weak at best.

Near East

Rebuilding strength…

General Staff

The Dutch swing 10% towards us, and reach 90%. Hopefully this means that they will shortly mobilize.

(I seem to be operating under a misapprehension regarding the nature of the NM objectives. When the french took metz they got a "celebrate" event that raised their morale, but I cant seem to find any for germany in the editor now that I check after the fall of Belfort. Eek! :D )

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Turn 59 – August 1, 1915

The US climb extremely swiftly, due to no effort on part of the active entente powers. Only protests against the continuous blockade kept congress from immediately entering the war (they do that at 90% I think?).

The western Front

2n13.png

The Dutch are still mobilizing, and not yet ready to join the war. Two corps were lost along sector A and B, and Hindenburg largely paused to organize his lines and receive reinforcements before the next offensive.

Von Hutier, relieved to the core to be rid of the purely defensive restrictions, threw himself into the offense with abandon. Sector A pushed forwards together with Sector B, closing in on Luxemburg and destroying two British corps (I took the screenie before the british corps crossed our here was destroyed).

Again three guns stand arranged against Metz, we hope that the Entente will be unable to estroy them this time.

Italy

v18s.png

After preparing for weeks for the assault the artillery bombardment by strengthened Austrian artillery was so lackluster that the attack was cancelled. Dissapointing…

Near East

cbcn.png

If Austrian artillery proved a wet slap on the cheek of the Italians, German guns were a nightmare for the British. After a furious barrage followed by attacks from the entire multinational peninsula army, the British corps in Gaza was destroyed. The British have left themselves in a precarious situation, leaving the line entirely open between the two cities. The ottomans punished the local British commander for his foolishness.

Meanwhile, the British forces arrayed against Von Der Marwitz left themselves dangerously weak after an attack upon forward corps. Coordinated strikes from that retiring corps coupled with a staggered attack from the advancing men routed the British.

General Staff

With one final chance to dissuade the US from immediate entry into the war, Central Powers diplomats surge to the challenge, withdrawing from the mobilizing Dutch and flinging themselves overseas (2 more chits invested).

Then, with bated breath, all nations opposing the imperialist entente awaited the result.

.....

.....

.....

A formal declaration of war arrived scant moments before reports that talks had been successful… the Kaiser is confused, but nevertheless it seems that despite all efforts the Americans are coming. Austrians and Germans protest violently, citing no possible casus belli. No American ships have been sunk, no threats made, no threatening overtures of any kind. It is bitter, but it truly seems greed and hunger for glory are the sole driving force of the new enemy across the sea.

(I got a prompt saying “The US declares war” at 89%, and they skipped up to 96 or so, then I got a hit for diplomacy for 9%, bringing them back down. Ah well, at least I tried, now its Paris or bust!)

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Turn 60 – August 10, 1918

The US joins the Entente, and Wilson outlines 14 points for “peace”. A thin piece of paper, an excuse to publicly cover their true motives. If they had not interfered, peace would have been had shortly in any case, one way or another. The Kaiser makes a public speech, wowing to fight until the will of the people can no longer bear it.

The western Front

2hbg.png

Everything is ready for the assault on Metz. In truth, Hindenburg has arrayed a staggering mass of guns, knowing that any direct attack against the French metal fiends to date has failed to inflict any damage whatsoever. Instead, he hoped to reduce them to smoldering husks, and then walk into Metz before the enemy can react.

A full barrage from all three emplacements (30 shells!) thunder through most of the morning and until midday. In the trenches, German soldiers hug the ground, watching dirt rise into the air in a massive cloud, so large as to obscure most of the front. When the guns finally fall silent, they await the word, will they have to cross a river into the teeth of entente tanks?

As word comes “target destroyed”, a vast cheer rises from the men, and they surge forward. A British corps is overrun, and French guns are nearly brought down with them. Once the dirst clears the men can see the shadow of Verdun against the horizon.

Additional attacks clear Nancy, but our forces are exhausted and cannot march to claim it.

In sector A, Bulgarian and German forces push deep into the French lines, enveloping Brussels and Namur. The Dutch move up to Antwerp, bringing their guns.

The Emperor has sent sharp words to the Dutch regarding the practice of leaving their borders open as they declare war. Their blunder has cost Germany dearly, as raiding French cavalry burns and ravaged critical mines.

Italy

rsrt.png

Von Krobatin tries again, and this time his guns find the mark. Another Italian corps falls, and we are one step closer to Venice. More Austrian troops are brought to strength, ready for transport to the western front.

Near East

p3nj.png

The British break and run the straits. Ottomans, long harried and bloodied by the imperialists, rush forward with a war cry feared by all Christendom in centuries past. Slow British guns are caught and destroyed.

Von Der Marwitz pushes his exhausted troops hard, he knows that Cairo is within reach, and its capture can buy the home front precious weeks.

General Staff

The Austrians develop Gas/shell production 3

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I think it would have said "The US Prepares for War" as that's what happens when they reach a high mobilization and normally mobilization is then unstoppable.

The Celebrates event regarding Metz is an event added to boost France's morale when they retake this important city lost in 1870. This made it highly prestigious.

There may be some more like it, but most events are penalties to the side losing the position. But even so, Belfort is now providing you with 100 NM points a turn, which offsets the loss of Metz.

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I think it would have said "The US Prepares for War" as that's what happens when they reach a high mobilization and normally mobilization is then unstoppable.

The Celebrates event regarding Metz is an event added to boost France's morale when they retake this important city lost in 1870. This made it highly prestigious.

There may be some more like it, but most events are penalties to the side losing the position. But even so, Belfort is now providing you with 100 NM points a turn, which offsets the loss of Metz.

You're absolutely right Bill, I spiced it up a little for narrative purposes ;).

That makes a lot of sense regarding Metz, do you know if all of these "bonus nm" events can be found in the editor? I was a little confused as I seemed to remember some of these for Germany from last time around.

100nm? Wow. :D On the map it just says 30, are there additional hidden bonuses?

Thanks as always!

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Yes, if you look in the National Morale script files, all of the events relating to these are in there. Search for the tile location of the resource you're thinking of and you'll be able to see what scripts relate to that location.

And yes, I'm afraid that you are right on the NM value of fortresses, it is 30. I was thinking of Major capitals which is 100. Still, the good news is that Belfort still does offset Metz, and if you could just recapture that and then take Verdun, well, we'll have to see!!

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Turn 61 – August 24th, 1918

The central powers are reeling from the entry of the US. Erich von Ludendorff suffers a nervous breakdown, and all around Germany councils of service men are forming.

The western Front

n3qb.png

The offensive continues apace, the French and British army crumbles under the onslaught, everywhere they are cut down under bombardments and German stormtroopers. Two corps in the line of direct fire around Luxemburg and Brussels escape with a fraction of their strength (1-2), but more simply cease to exist. The breakthrough is total.

Italy

Stalemate.

Near East

b7eq.png

The multinational Pensinsula army, now under the overall command of Von Der Marwitz, give the British no pause. As long as they cannot find their footing, Cairo is within direct reach.

General Staff

The general staff is in disarray due to civilian weakness, the chaos is spreading, even as Luxemburg and Belgium surrenders.

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Unfortunately, this is an instance where the NM model failed and the "winner" is going to lose. Civilian morale should be soaring from the news from France but there is no game mechanism to reflect it.

Yep yep... the real problem I think is the lack of nm boosts for germany with conquests in france. More on that in a separate thread!

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So we're nearing the end of this great AAR with german NM down to 1...

Great effort for you final offensive Ash it's a clear morale victory at least huhu ^^ .

Entente is retreating everywhere !

*

- I disagree with you lettowvorbeck as I believe CP would have won by invading Belgium on turn 1 :) .

- I think not having french NM locations worth around 100 NM/turn for 2-3 years and more ground to defend in the West made the difference.

- Furthermore, german population would be eager for peace after four years of butchery when USA are 100% fresh. And CP couldn't have many more available men to enlist: the NM break also reflects that exhaustion of manpower.

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