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Bill101

1914 Call to Arms AAR - Bill v Dan

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Hi

Inspired by some of the other AARs, they gave me the idea to do one of a new game I've just started with Dan, another beta tester. We probably won't go into quite as much detail as the other AARs, just enough to give you a feel for our progress and to see how our strategies pan out.

In our last game, I swept through Belgium and France and established a very good position to the north and west of Paris but I failed to follow it up successfully.

One mistake was to fail to capture all of the Channel ports, and eventually the British forces established there managed to break out to the south, squeezing my German forces in the vice of a large pincer movement as I had to face them as well as a growing and revitalized French army to the south.

Hoping for a better start, I've stormed into Belgium in turn one, capturing Brussels and now at the start of my second turn I'm poised to enter France.

Here's the situation at the start of my second turn as I'd forgotten to take a shot at the end of turn one, showing my plans for turn 2:

Western_Front2start.jpg

In the east, I've deployed my 2nd Austro-Hungarian army against Serbia.

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Central Powers' second turn:

Belgrade is captured and Austria-Hungary also destroys a couple of Russian units. But the war in the east has only really just begun so we're not celebrating just yet!

Serbia2.jpg

Russian forces are threatening Memel so once Hindenburg has got used to being back at work we'll see about dealing with them. I don't know what Samsonov is up to near Warsaw, so my Recon Bombers might be put to work in that area in coming turns.

Now to the west where our lead elements storm forward, taking Lille, Arras and Maubeuge. The British Expeditionary Force stood in our way and it has suffered for this, though our attack on Amiens from the south was a bit of a failure.

Western_Front2end.jpg

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Bill badly mauled me, in France, in opening part of our prior 1914 game. I am concentrating on creating a hard line further back that will actually hold in the Northern part of France this time. I am being more conservative with Russia. I expect Russian to last the entire game as it did last game. I am also putting priority on Trench research by all all active Entente nations and on ASW by the USA.

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Feel free to observe and comment, but Dan and I have an understanding not to read each other's posts, so please bear that in mind. Though as the game progresses it'll be easier to discuss past strategies and mistakes... we're bound to make some! :)

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Central Powers turn, 29th August 1914

Some Russian cavalry and infantry made the mistake of marching into East Prussia and seizing Tilsit and Gumbinnen. Big mistake, though while we destroyed the cavalry their infantry have survived... just!

EastPrussia29Aug14.jpg

Further south the Russians are threatening Galicia, but at the moment we still hold the oilfields.

In Serbia we follow up our success in taking Belgrade with a big attack on Valjevo to the west. The Serbian unit here is made of sterner stuff and manages to hold on to the town by the skin of its teeth.

Serbia29Aug14.jpg

In the west, a gruelling fight ensues for Amiens, and despite our best efforts the French III Corps ends the turn still holding the town. Our first setback, though we feel a little better after destroying a French Corps near Mulhouse to the south.

France29Aug14.jpg

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All active Entente majors now have two research points in Trench. UK has one point in Artillery and in ASW. Amiens is a thorn in the German path.

The blockade is partially in place. The close blockage has full strength cruisers and a few destroyers. Those classes of ships hold up best against sub attacks. The full strength battleship reserve is located near Rosyth to respond to German naval attack against either the close blockade line or against the Strait of Dover. I plan to put weak ships (strength 5-7) on all of the far blockade squares. I don't have the MMPs to repair them anyway. This thorough blockade will seriously erode German morale and over time win the game.

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The BEF's I Corps in Abbeville is destroyed, The French in Amiens are hammered some more (but only down to strength 2) and minor attacks are launched on Calais and Le Havre.

France12Sep14.jpg

I think I'm going to have to admit that my rebuff in front of Amiens last turn calls for a new plan of campaign in the west, with more methodical and better prepared attacks. Things should get better once my HQs have caught up and are better able to provide some decent supply.

Better news elsewhere as the Russians are driven from East Prussia, and we batter some Russian Corps in Galicia and southern Poland. Unfortunately both retreated before we could finish them off, but their time will come!

Valjevo in Serbia is captured, but we've had to force march some units away from this front to deal with a Russian incursion near Klausenberg.

Galicia12Sep14.jpg

It's time to start preparing for a long war as there's no way we'll have won this by Christmas, so Germany is investing heavily in improving her war economy.

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I will enjoy reading everyone's comments when this game is done. I am not reading or looking at anything to give Bill a fair game.

I may be able to hold a line along Amiens. The combined navies have been shore bombarding. French and UK counterattacks have killed a lot of German corps in that area. Many remaining German corps are damaged.

I am concerned about the Russian Front. The German units have lots of firepower and the Russian corps are oddly weak when attacking. Promoting my poor 4 quality HQ there will be a priority. I am nibbling when I can in the Balkans and in Serbia. I did not choose to transfer Russian units from the Caucasus as I will need them later against the Turks.

UK gets an Intel research point hit. No trench research point hits yet.

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There's a lot of fighting between my Austro-Hungarians and the Serbian and Russian armies. So far this is going ok as although the enemy have entered Hungary they are suffering losses and their supply level is low.

But the situation is fluid and reconnaissance flights near Warsaw indicate that the enemy aren't planning any moves on East Prussia from that direction. Therefore I have a feeling that the Russians are moving forces south to put more pressure on Austria-Hungary. Consequently the best thing for Hindenburg to do is to advance into Russia and launch a full scale attack on Siauliai.

EP26Sep14.jpg

Now to the west where my main effort at the moment is in maintaining my bridgehead over the river Somme, and removing some of the irritations on my right flank. This is partly achieved by destroying the enemy unit holding Calais, and in coming turns we hope to be able to follow this up by knocking out Belgium.

France26Sep14.jpg

Hopefully Dan won't send any reconnaissance flights out in the direction of Maubeuge, because were he to do so it would highlight just how weak my left flank is. The only good news is that some more Reserve Corps have arrived, and they will soon be Force Marched into action (a new feature we're currently trying out).

Oh yes, and three tech hits! :)

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Goal one has been met. More German corps are dead and the blockade is bitting. German National Morale has now dropped to 88%, below the 90% required for an attack bonus. In France, the Amiens river defense line is looking more possible.

In Russia, I am playing Russian numbers to German quality. If Germany doesn't retreat, I will own his cities behind the lines. The Balkans are mostly stable this turn. Serbia took an Austrian town.

In research, Russia got a Trench hit and the US got an ASW hit. That probably means that all beginning US naval units will get one point in ASW for free.

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I'm surprised and confused that you haven't taken Antwerp, and have left Ostend and Ypres in Belgian hands (if I'm reading the map right).

Is there a reason for this? I always take them, but I never get as far into France as you have either. Hmmm - am I blowing it by taking these places? Are you planning on taking them later? Could they be used to land Allied troops in your rear?

I'm just full of questions aren't I?

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Okay, just read the strategy guide, and it recommends exactly what you are doing. So I started a game against the AI to see how it works out. So far as the German player I'm doing much better in advancing through the low countries into France. I'm looking forward to seeing how well you do here, and how well I do too!

Thanks for the AAR!

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Please explain how the forced march works in the game. :)

No problem. Basically it enables most ground troops (excluding HQs) to be able to move double their normal distance.

The conditions are that they can only do so when in good supply, on friendly territory, cannot attack in the same turn, and they suffer a morale & readiness hit to reflect the tiredness and exhaustion. So it's essentially a march move which it takes the unit a few turns to recover from.

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I'm surprised and confused that you haven't taken Antwerp, and have left Ostend and Ypres in Belgian hands (if I'm reading the map right).

Is there a reason for this? I always take them, but I never get as far into France as you have either. Hmmm - am I blowing it by taking these places? Are you planning on taking them later? Could they be used to land Allied troops in your rear?

I'm just full of questions aren't I?

Of course, but that's good! :)

I see that you've since taken a look at the Strategy Guide, but essentially my plan is to batter the French and take as much of their territory as possible. I would then deal with the Belgians later.

Usually I can advance much further than this, but his French Corps in Amiens has messed up my plans.

In our last game it was my failure to finish off Belgium and take the port of Calais from the British that cost me the war. So this strategy relies on not neglecting to deal with the right flank before it can start to threaten the German position inside France.

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Well I never, the Russians have retaken Gumbinnen while I've been attacking Siauliai. That's got to stop, so this turn Hindenburg destroys their Corps in Siauliai and sends a Corps to take up a defensive position in Tilsit, with more to follow so that we'll be able to drive them out again, hopefully next turn.

The Austro-Hungarians are switching to a more defensive role at the moment, as the Serbs have taken Sarajevo. But that doesn't stop us from hammering a unit of Cossacks and driving them out of Hungary, nor of launching some minor attacks near the Galician Oilfields.

France24Oct14.jpg

Our forces in the west have destroyed a French Corps near Amiens and another on the Chemin des Dames, but I need to get some reinforcements up into this area very soon. Hopefully winter coming up will buy us some time to strengthen our positions in the west.

The addition of a new ally, the Ottoman Empire, also fills our hearts with joy, renewing our hope for victory!

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France and the UK are hampered by the lack of MPP's due to the need to pay for decision event choices. I can't repair everything that I would like. Therefore my counterattacking units are too weak to occupy all the Amiens river defensive line that I hope to create. However, they killed two more German corps. The German line is looking thin. I transported a UK corps into Belgium to create a more defensible pocket behind the German lines.

The Serbs are doing well and are conducting nibbling attacks at favorable odds. The other main front in the Balkans is pretty stable again. I am walking a Russian HQ from Warsaw north to assist the Russian Front.

The Russian front is looking very interesting. I lost a Russian city but killed a German corps and took a German city. Now the main German army is pocketed behind the Russian held river line. Using the new Forced March feature is helping me put the Russians where I need them without having to pay for Operational Movement. Russia put another research point into Trenches and one into Production tech.

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No problem. Basically it enables most ground troops (excluding HQs) to be able to move double their normal distance.

The conditions are that they can only do so when in good supply, on friendly territory, cannot attack in the same turn, and they suffer a morale & readiness hit to reflect the tiredness and exhaustion. So it's essentially a march move which it takes the unit a few turns to recover from.

Nice! Are you guys happy with how it works in practice so far?

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I can see why you'd want to be in good supply, but don't quite get being only on friendly territory. In other words, if I as the German force march my troops, they start in Germany, can they force march across the parts of France of Belgium that I control? Is that considered friendly territory? If so, then it makes perfect sense, no force marching in exploitation situations.

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