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Will95

WW1 Revisited - An Ash and Will AAR - Entente

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Turn 46

The Germans clutch on to a sliver of Belgium as we destroy a single exposed corps and take another town. Elsewhere down the line we reinforced our damaged units, dug in, and hope to told the line (although notice how Luxembourg is in range of 3 (!!!) German artillery pieces). I'm awaiting the big reinforcement wave to arrive for the French, then we can push hard again.

1917-09-08.png

In Italy there is a significant German build-up out of Innsbruck. With too many mountains to fight over, we push towards the Austrians and hurt a HQ and an Austrian corps.

1917-09-08png2.png

In the Middle East the German push destroyed one of our most experienced British corps and damaged our most experienced HQ. Very annoying. Partisans are being armed and used in a front line capacity. Facing the Ottoman line is easier going, and we mauled two front line corps, but failed to destroy either.

1917-09-08png1.png

Norway is now trading with the British to the tune of 20 MPPs per turn. Hurray!

The US preparedness movement is also beginning to make traction, and hopefully we can have American boots on the ground by May 1918.

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Turn 48

The Western front was remarkably quiet this turn, although we still destroyed one German corps. We also advanced the British around Luxembourg, as the Germans here don't seem strong enough to mount an effective counter attack. Next turn I hope to clear Luxembourg of German presence.

1917-09-22.png

We fired a few artillery shells into the Ottoman trenches but the effect was minimal, and we decided to reinforce rather than attack. Slow progress here is pretty frustrating, and clearly the situation calls for a lot more infantry than I currently have. Luckily, in about 5 turns time I should have another 3 corps here.

1917-09-22png1.png

I'm playing heavily at the diplomacy game, trying to strangle the German economy. Our diplomats are now working around the clock to get the Swedish on side. This is part of a more audacious plan- if I can bring the Swedes fully around and become part of the Entente, I will send a large and now very experienced submarine army to the Baltic with the aim of sinking the Prussian fleet, using Swedish naval bases to reinforce. But that could take a while...

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Turn 49

On the Western front we advanced across the entire line. We are braced for severe losses. One enemy corps was destroyed in the advance and another badly wounded. I have a lot of backup troops though, so the real question will be- how equipped are the Germans to launch a full scale counter-offensive?

1917-10-20png1.png

In the Middle East, our HQ is hit again, more xp lost, and the Brits are under intense pressure. Partisans are proving next to worthless in open combat.

1917-10-20.png

Also worth mentioning is that Ottoman troops have been sieging Basra for some time, but still have yet to do a lick of damage to our troops inside. On the contrary, they're bleeding themselves dry.

In Italy, the Germans are beginning to advance and we lost a corps. Another corps is destined to go down fighting, trapped by action points in the mountains. A corps also went down against the Austrians. Time to prepare the defensive war!

The Swedes have ceased to trade with the Prussians- huzzah! Now we turn our diplomatic attentions to the Swedes and Americans, whose entrance into the war should secure a victory. Another French tank has been ordered, and the British have begun producing their own armour, although not as technologically advanced- yet.

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Turn 50

The Western front is a complete bloodbath. Reminds me of the 1915 battles around Lemberg with the Russians and Austrians. Our advance was predictably blown apart, with 4 French corps going down, causing morale to sink to 50%. Fortunately, we have significant reserves who now fill the gaps. Our own counter-attack was good, but not quite as effective. We destroyed a corps, mauled a detachment to 20% and took down a corps to 60%. A new artillery piece has arrived to start working on the Strasbourg defensive line.

1917-11-17.png

There is a situation developing in Italy. This image is quite alarming:

1917-11-17png1.png

We have lost Maan in the Middle East, a serious blow. This was made slightly less painful however, by our attack on the Ottoman front line. It was surprisingly effective, moreso than the battle statistics suggested, and we destroyed 2 full corps. Austrians will now have to fill in the line, no doubt. More British troops are en route, consisting of 3 healthy corps, but it will be some time before they arrive, and Germans are now threatening my ME position.

1917-11-17png2.png

A little project I've been cooking to a while came to fruition last turn, although I forgot to take a picture. The rail line between Constantinople and Damascus/Jerusalem has been cut. It probably won't last long, but it will prevent Ash operating troops in or out.

Adana.png

Sweden continues to slide our way, and the Brits get their first hit on advanced subs. I am currently the proud owner of no less than three 13 strength submarines- with sub tech, they could be quite fearsome, no?

(I am genuinely interested, I know elite steps on infantry tend to function a bit wierdly in WW1, how does it work with naval combat?)

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Turn 51

Winter is coming. Actually, it's here. And it's cold!

Fortunately, it also blunts any and all offensive action, meaning that while we took no losses this turn, we were also unable to inflict any. Instead, we advanced where we could, dug in everywhere else, and upgraded our artillery.

1917-12-15png1.png

In Italy, little action.

1917-12-15.png

The only real action occured in the Middle East- our British HQ was chased all the way to Aquaba, and just escaped with his life. He was able to take a naval transport to safety, but the eastern flank of our troops remain exposed. However, a withdrawal from the line by Austrian troops mean we now occupy Gaza. A solid supply base is welcome in the desert.

1917-12-15png2.png

1918 war plan inc!

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1918 War Plan/1917 Summary

Phew. We've made it to 1918. I honestly didn't think the game would go this far, but Russia's capitulation and some tactical missteps mean that Ash is still very much in this. French morale is now almost on a par with the Central Powers, the British have taken a pounding in the Middle East and the Italian reign of terror appears to be coming to an end.

The War So Far

Western Front

Activity: 9/10

Tactical Success: 5/10

Strategic Success: 6/10

The Western front was a total bloodbath, no doubt about it. Casualties taken versus those inflicted are roughly equal, although perhaps marginally in our favour. And, if you compare front lines from December 1916 to now, you'll see that all we have to write home about is the taking of a Belgian town and the city of Luxembourg. Hardly a patriot-rousing headline.

Italian Front

Activity: 4/10

Tactical Success: 3/10

Strategic Success: 5/10

Very little was gained in this theatre this year, and we now face a defensive war. We lost 2 corps and have nothing to show for it, unfortunately.

Eastern Front

Activity: 7/10

Tactical Success: 1/10

Strategic Success: 0/10

Naturally there isn't much to say of this theater anymore. Russia and Romania are now both out of the war, although at least we inflicted a bit of damage before going down.

Middle East

Activity: 8/10

Tactical Success: 6/10

Strategic Success: 6/10

This theater was pretty hot in 1917, as we took Maan and Gaza, but not without paying for it pretty heavily. We lost some 3 corps here, but did a lot of damage to the Ottomans and some to the Germans. The Ottomans are also bleeding themselves dry in Basra in a fruitless attempt to dislodge the British.

1918 War Plan

Western Front

1918 will probably play host to an un-glamarous slaughter in Germany/France. The French industry is big enough now to support even the most brutal loss of life without much of an issue. The British industry isn't quite as powerful, but still big enough to cope with serious losses. They also maintain a fairly high national morale. I'm investing in USA diplomacy to usher them into the war as quickly as possible so that they can be used either in the west, or, if they aren't going to achieve much there, I'll send them to the Middle East.

I am also going to continue working on Swedish diplomacy with a view to getting them on the Entente side. This will provide me with a string of naval bases from which I will aggressively pursue the Prussian fleet. I have no reason to suggest that this fleet isn't still as bruised and damaged as it was after destroying the Russians, while the British fleet is healthy and strong (and our subs are all at 13 strength!).

If I am feeling particularly audacious, I may also use Sweden as a launch pad for amphibious raids on coastal targets such as Koningsberg.

Italian Front

The long-awaited defensive war has finally arrived. It looks like the whole Austrian army, barring a couple of units in the ME, are being used to drive the Italians back. They have a surprisingly robust economy however, and well equipped troops, so I believe they can put up a pretty stiff resistance.

Middle East

Reinforcements in the form of 3 corps are currently en route to bolster our presence here. We will continue to push as normal, while also defending against the German threat to our flank. If Ash does decide to push up through the desert, he's going to find his supply dead in the water. Aquaba will probably be lost- nothing we can do about that. This might also be the theater where most US force gets sent. I don't think having extra troops in the West at this point would accomplish as much as forcing the Ottomans to back out of the war.

I've mentioned the USA alot because, simply, I need them to join the war sooner rather than later. The German economy is strong and growing, and I'm no doubt going to be facing a large army that is almost entirely dedicated to the Western front come spring 1918. However, one needs to bear in mind that they will be building their army from scratch, while also simultaneously needing to research necessary tech. If memory serves, corps take 5 months to be build, and HQ's 3. So, let's say a minimum of 6 months is necessary to raise any kind of a task force worth sending, plus another month in transit while they get transported to the front line. Add in the fact that the US actually need to enter the war before army production can begin in earnest, and it is unlikely that the Americans will grace us with their presence until somewhere around Oct/Nov, meaning their effective military timetable will only really begin in 1919....Phew. A quick win is off the table then, eh :P

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The German-French NM disparity has narrowed incredibly fast. It sounds very French of me to say so, but the UK needs to shoulder more of the burden on the continent. The British manpower commitment is still tiny and with lots of NM to spare, while the French are bleeding like crazy from one end of the line to the next.

I love this AAR. It is just as much fun to read as it is to play the game.

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The German-French NM disparity has narrowed incredibly fast. It sounds very French of me to say so, but the UK needs to shoulder more of the burden on the continent. The British manpower commitment is still tiny and with lots of NM to spare, while the French are bleeding like crazy from one end of the line to the next.

I love this AAR. It is just as much fun to read as it is to play the game.

I mean this quite genuinely when I say that I'm afraid of my own sense of patriotism from causing me more harm than good- like, when deciding which unit to send to the front line to almost certain death, I have to catch myself before I just send a French unit instead of the British, who really ought to, as you say, shoulder a bit more of the burden :P

The drop really hurt badly this year with all the losses being taken and the fall of Russia.

Really glad you're enjoying the AAR, I'm afraid I'm probably not as descriptive or well-formatted as Ash, who tends to put more effort into these things, but I hope that hasn't impacted too much on the enjoyment! :D

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Turn 52

It seems the winter did little to slow the Central Powers counter-attacks. The damn snow refused to fall and we took further (French!) losses. Fortunately, our own counter-attack was just as brutal. Artillery facilitated the destroying of 2 corps, and the serious mauling of 3 more (20%, 30% and 50% respectively). We also gained an opening to take some pot shots at the German artillery. Our next objective is the Saar mines.

Luckily for us, the snow arrived at the end of our turn, making any German counter-attack seriously blunted.

1918-01-26png2.png

In Italy, the Austrian offensive reduced a corps to 10% strength and destroyed another. Fortunately, the Italians are made of stern stuff (in this version of history, anyway :P) and they reacted savagely to recent losses. We damaged several corps to half strength, destroyed a full Austrian corps and hit Von Straussenburg's HQ for a whopping 50% damage. The Austrians will regret setting foot in Italy!

1918-01-26png1.png

In the Middle East, we lost another corps. Our lines are stretched to breaking point, and it's really down to the artillery to do the heavy lifting. Fortunately our first reinforcement corps arrived this turn, and next turn will be joined by 2 more, and 2 more after that will follow up in the next month or two. It is time to break the Ottomans, once and for all.

1918-01-26.png

Also worth a mention, our Royal Marines who severed the Ottoman rail lines remain mostly healthy despite an Austrian cavalry attack. They should hopefully hold out for a while yet.

Our diplomatic efforts were rewarded at the end of this turn by increasing US war readiness by 9%. Hopefully this is the start of a trend!

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- Break the Ottomans ? I can only see Austrians and Germans :D . Thinking of landing at Gallipolli again huhu ^^ ? At least you diverted a lot of CP forces there.

1918 will be great for the AAR: the decisive year is here !

- Interesting plan with Sweden, any idea in mind to deal with Denmark ?

I agree with lettowvorbeck that sharing the blood burden in the West is a good idea.

USA: you're right but remember the NM effect of their entry alone will help a lot !

*

Oh and about your question for naval elite steps: they are quite effective better than land ones because of one simple thing. There is no heavy artillery unit on seas and concentrated attacks are pretty difficult to organize. Upgraded elite subs are very hard to eliminate unless you have masses of destroyers and air support.

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- Break the Ottomans ? I can only see Austrians and Germans :D . Thinking of landing at Gallipolli again huhu ^^ ? At least you diverted a lot of CP forces there.

Nah, Gallipoli was expensive :P I just need more manpower. If I had another 3-5 corps in the ME I could break through to Jerusalem. Even though their NM is higher than the other CP nations there are a lot of big NM objectives right in front of me.

1918 will be great for the AAR: the decisive year is here !

- Interesting plan with Sweden, any idea in mind to deal with Denmark ?

I agree with lettowvorbeck that sharing the blood burden in the West is a good idea.

No idea for Denmark- they got pissed at me before when I sneaked a destroyer through the straights into the Baltic (just because I was curious) so they have a slight CP leaning, which would probably increase a fair bit if I sent the whole navy through :P If that did happen, and they joined the CP, I take it that would remove my ability to send fleets through to the Baltic?

USA: you're right but remember the NM effect of their entry alone will help a lot !

*

Oh and about your question for naval elite steps: they are quite effective better than land ones because of one simple thing. There is no heavy artillery unit on seas and concentrated attacks are pretty difficult to organize. Upgraded elite subs are very hard to eliminate unless you have masses of destroyers and air support.

Excellent. The Germany navy is still large but I suspect Ash is just sitting in/around port with damaged ships from before. A few upgraded battleships, a carrier or two, a couple of destroyers and my prided submarines should make short work of them, I hope!

kjhksfdsfds

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Just wanted you to know, that I read this AAR with great pleasure :) Thanks for your work! Well, as an Austrian I'm not too glad, that you occupy my country, but hey, there will be a Second World War to take revenge ;)

What I really like in this scenario: The CP seemed to be beaten in 1916, but now the NM of France is only 10% above the german one. Ok, your chances of victory may be over 90%, but it's seldom in strategy games, that a game can theoretically become tight again. Keep up the good work!

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So glad you guys are enjoying it!

CP have indeed put up a tremendous fight, and I suspect this game will go on well into 1919 before a clear victor emerges...

As for SOE, I'm sure there's a good chance we will return, yes :)

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I to am 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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Turn 53

The Spring has arrived. Let the bloodbath commence.

A barrage of artillery came first- 4 guns. Next, the upgraded recon bombers overhead. Finally, airships provided extra recon. Then came the infantry waves. 2 German corps went down with a third reduced to 20%. Crucially, we also cleared the Strasbourg defense, although regrettably exposing one of our own to certain death. We tried to clear and occupy the Saar mines but were only able to destroy the defenders.

1918-03-23.png

In Italy, our counter-attack continued. Artillery and armoured proved highly effective, reducing two Austrian corps to 10% and 20%, and a German corps to 30%. At the end of this turn Italian armour reached level 2, a huge help.

1918-03-23png1.png

In the Middle East, we sent away our third HQ. He is needed on the continent to fight the Germans. Meanwhile the reinforcements have now arrived in full- 3 deliciously fresh corps. We didn't attack for obvious reasons.

1918-03-23png2.png

Norway is tipping very heavily towards the Entente. Question: will they cease to trade with me if they join (like Holland)?

Sweden are being stubborn and still side slightly with the Central Powers.

The US, however, is starting to tip towards us at a rapid rate, and now sits at 70% mobilization. We may have boots on the ground by Christmas!

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I to am 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.

Thanks mate! This has got to be our longest AAR so far, and it's really been terrible fun to play so far. It's just a shame we didn't make an AAR of our last campaign, which was Barbarossa to Berlin, which went on for over 100 turns...

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Turn 54

The terrible grind continues with fighting across the western front. The French lost 3 corps, so we destroyed 3 of theirs. We were beaten back from Strasbourg by a large German force, so taking it is probably out of the question for the time being. However, the big news is that we were able to destroy the Saar mine defenders...and take it for ourselves. I fully expect to lose the mines next turn, but the damage has been done; the Germans will endure a 30mpp hit next turn, reducing gradually but continuing for 9 more turns. Our first rail gun has also arrived, because I have noticed that there is a spot in Belgium just by Antwerp where I can place a rail gun and actually have a direct line to Dusseldorf! I have also ordered a French heavy bomber due to arrive by the end of this turn. To further increase French aerial dominance, we got ground attack level 2 this turn.

1918-04-20png4.png

In Italy there was sporadic fighting, but no decisive winners. We took the opportunity mainly to reinforce and withdraw our armour from the front line so it can be upgraded.

1918-04-20png3.png

Our main reinforcements have now arrived in the Middle East. The line should be, for the time being at least, fairly secure. Our Royal Marines hold fast, still blocking the railway line.

1918-04-20.png

The Americans continue their gradual slide towards full mobilization. They also got their first tech hit this turn, with level 1 infantry. Getting them into the war will hopefully tip French NM back above the magical 50% line, I need them to stay strong!

Our first British armour unit also arrived on the continent this turn, and we continue to invest in Swedish diplomacy, as well as sub technology. My subs are going to be like a bad dream when they make their appearance.

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Cool beans. Well I've removed all my chits in Norway for the moment anyway, everything is plugged into Sweden and the USA. I don't suppose you know the exact stats for the NM boost when the USA enters the war?

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Turn 55

Good lord, this is every bit as bloody as I expected it to be, and more. The Germans attacked brutally into the countryside outside Belfort, destroying two corps and an artillery piece (again!). Our Saar mine occupiers were also lost. In fact, the last 2 turns have been the heaviest losses the French have taken to date.

But our counter attack...was just as bad. We blasted away the Saar defenders once again and marched in. The French also broke through and joined them adjacent. In the south our tanks mauled the invaders (who still have yet to set foot in France). I'm beginning to lose track of losses taken versus those inflicted, but sufficed to say, we mauled half to death as many as we killed. We also came within a hair of destroying an artillery piece, bringing it down to 1 strength, but it retreated in the nick of time.

1918-05-18png1.png

In Italy we lost Trieste. A heavy blow. We back up a bit to regroup and continue rebuilding losses.

1918-05-18png2.png

We broke through the lines in the Middle East, attacking the elite German artillery, but succeeded only in exposing ourselves and removing the elite steps. As our friends in France would say, c'est la vie. More promisingly, our reinforcements with the help of some artillery pulverized the line of German flankers, and we did some serious damage to the infantry here.

1918-05-18png3.png

The Brits got their level 2 armour this turn, a well timed tech as our armour has been operated to the front line. Our 2nd British HQ is now 'boots down' in France and will shortly be joined by 2 corps from the UK to bolster the somewhat weak lines in the south of the western front.

Oh, and I took some shots of the MPP damages so far. Pay particular attention to what the most recent fighting has done...

France:

France.png

Germany:

Germany.png

It makes for fairly grim viewing, but does show that the Germans are bleeding hard with the most losses taken this turn by a good 3-400 MPP margin. Their NM is nosediving while France is just about staying ahead of the curve. The British and Italians, of course, are still riding high.

During Ash's turn the US turned away from mobilization slightly- the work of dastardly German diplomats. I think it's a waste of MPP for the CP though- now that the US is over 70%, it's entry into the war must be all but secured. I don't expect Ash to send the Zimmerman telegram, but I'm sure that if we just let nature take its course (with a small diplomatic push from our side of things) the States will see sense...

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Cool beans. Well I've removed all my chits in Norway for the moment anyway, everything is plugged into Sweden and the USA. I don't suppose you know the exact stats for the NM boost when the USA enters the war?

USA entry:

France +3,000 NM

UK +3,000 NM

Germany -2,000 NM

*

And to be fair as Ash got them too :) :

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

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Turn 56

The Germans are joined by an alarming display of Austrian armoured firepower and have made quick headway towards Belfort. French newspapers still espouse that Germans have yet to set foot in France, but this looks like its about to change. We lost 4 French corps once again, but hit back just as hard, maintaining control of the Saar mines and thrashing a number of corps. The artillery at Metz was in a perilous position, and now replaced by much sturdier French armour. British armour also got its first taste of battle, destroying a corps. Upon close inspection however, the Austrian threat is not as serious as it first appeared. For some reason, all the Austrian troops here are extremely low in morale and readiness, below 50% in both categories for the armour piece that I can see, which is going to seriously hamper combat proficiency.

1918-06-15.png

Italy is a quaint sideshow compared to the brutality of the west. Neither side made any major attacks besides doing some decent damage to an out-of-supply German unit in the mountains.

1918-06-15png1.png

The Middle East, too, seems suddenly rather unimportant. We hit out at the Germans in the desert for good damage while taking none ourselves. The French navy removed a few steps from the Austrians in the region.

1918-06-15png2.png

Sweden continued to slide our way, although not fast enough for my liking. The Americans are finally over 80% readiness now though, so their entrance can't be far off. The Germans dipped below 25% NM this turn too- unless they make some quite spectacular (and unrealistic) gains in the very near future, I think they will exhaust themselves into submission. For now, Belfort and Metz are probably safe. Unfortunately I have another couple of turns to go before my major reinforcement waves arrive. Luckily, 2 British corps arrived at Calais this turn, and will be send to reinforce the area around Nancy.

The Americans got a lucky breakthrough with level 2 infantry, so as soon as they are fully mobilized, they will be in a position where I can start sending combat troops immediately. I just hope they arrive in time...

This one's really coming down to the wire!

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