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Dear Readers,

this is a report of my experiences with the current 1.01 AI. I have no clue about Human vs. Human, so for all of you who just use to play against human players further reading might get boring. I played all scenarios to get familiar with the new units, entrenchment und shell production. Needless to say I was very impressed by this game, because the more detailed a game is, the more fun to play I have.

For me it is pleasing that the Benelux countries are now separated and no longer one country as in earlier versions. I love the design of the map, and I understand that some cities in Germany have to be "relocated" to make the game playable.

Up to know I played three times "A Call to arms", and I come to a rather unsatisfying conclusion: while playing against the AI there is a kind of "optimum path" you need to follow. I don`t like that, because there is not much variability. In SC2 you could always play different variants; fortify the eastern border of Germany and take North Africa and Middle East.. or leave Africa away and storm through Russia. According to my observations this doesn`t really work in TGW.. there are certain Do`s and Don`ts in this game.

Don`t get me wrong: this is a great game, and by far the best I have played in almost 10 years of Strategic Command. But I think the AI needs some tweaking. This thread is not to find the best way to play the AI, it is to show weaknesses of the AI.. to enable Hubert & Friends to improve it.

So let me describe in Detail what I did.. unfortunately it is almost the same procedure in every game.


German Western Front:

Crush Belgium as quick as you can. Take any undefended cities. Advance as quick as you can and leave half destroyed units for the second wave. Amiens is a logic target of your attack, but it is not worth the effort. When you arrive in front of Amiens, the AI defends it. Better take Abbeville and dig in behind the river that goes from Abbeville in the direction of Southeast. Leave the tile east of Amiens free, because the AI will always send a single unit there you can easily destroy. Advancing further than this line doesn`t bring you any advantage in 1914, and the cost is horrifying. It is better to establish a fortified frontline.. the AI attacks you and bleeds white. You can easily destroy up to 3 units per turn without loosing a single. Stay north of the Chemin des Dames and dig in behind rivers. Try to leave tiles open a single unit can easily take.. and then destroy it. With that strategy you loose 1-2 corps until the end of 1915. The area between Amiens and Luxembourg is a slaughterhouse where the AI does uncoordinated attacks. Use this for you.

After the initial attack move any cavalry to the east. If you leave them in the west they end up either standing around or in a french pan. Once the frontlines are established, you can move a few corps to the east and start to buy artillery... all 4 heavy Arty and the two Rail Guns. You will need them.

Max out research as quick as you can. Infantry Weapons, Shell production, Industrial capacity.. and Aerial warfare, Subs, Heavy Arty, Shells, trench warfare. Forget about the rest. Apart from that it is helpful to invest a Diplomacy chit into Norway and Holland. Any additional chits you can afford: put them into Switzerland. This is vital for the later stages.

German Eastern Front:

Establish a front line around Gumbinnen. Dig in behind rivers. The AI is not capable of breaking through, and you can easily destroy the russian units one by one. Any cavalry unit that comes over from the west will be used to guard the flanks and destroy single russian units which try to slip through the defenses. These should be destroyed quickly.

Garrison any cities in Western Prussia. Once the western front is firm, move a HQ and 4-5 corps over and start to wipe out the garrisons in Poland one by one. Usually you have Warsaw in late 1915 or early 1916. If you follow my strategy in the west you will have a lot of spare corps to send to the area around Gumbinnen. Once you have 7-8 corps and cavalry, start attacking Kovno. Take city by city.

German Navy: Don`t do anything in 1914. Leave them in their ports.

Austrian Eastern Front:

To attack Serbia might be emotionally right, but to win the game quickly it is the worst you can do. Fighting trought the serbian hills takes ages and consumes a lot of units. You can easily take Serbia in 1916 with Bulgarian troops. So divert any free troops to Galicia. Garrison every city at the border. Put a corps into Tarnopol and another one in the oil well. You will loose Tarnopol, but the AI is exhausted with capturing one target. Be defensive around Tarnopol, and you will be able to keep the oil well. Mass your troops around Lemberg and start to destroy the russian units. Once you have done that, relief the sieged oil well and free Tarnopol. By the end of 1915 all units in this theater are wiped out. You can start an offensive in the direction of Brest-Litowsk. In my second game I had so many unit left I simultaneously mounted an offensive through Kiew and almost reached Kharkov before the russians surrendered in late 1916.

Austrian Western Front: (to start in 1915) Do not give up Triest. Garrison Trento with a corps and dig in. If you have a HQ behind it, the AI will never be able to destroy it. Let the italians move into the direction of Klagenfurt, they will do it. Once they have moved a few tiles, attack Udine and cut their supply lines. Then you can easily destroy them, and with supply 0 Italy will miss them. After taking Udine you can advance slowly.. that will occur in 1916. It will be vital to see the developments on the other theatres to understand why.

Austrian Navy:

Put a few MPPs into the Austrian Navy.. Italy will attack, and France and the UK will send subs into the Adriatic. Be prepared. You need to gain superiotiy in the Adriatic.

Austrian Research: Infantry, Industry, Arty, Shells, Trench warfare.


German Western Front:

Buy Arty and give them experience. Use the Rail Guns to damage ships in the channel. Two railguns make good damage and can sink a destroyer or even a cruise in one turn once they have experience. Repairing ships is quite expensive for the AI. Continue to destroy single Entente units. Under no circumstances attack fortified positions. 1915 is the year to act in the east, not in the west. Move any corps you don`t need to Gumbinnen.

German Eastern Front:

Continue operations in Poland and Eastern Prussia. Let russian units run into your trenches in Gumbinnen until you have 7-8 corps and cavalry. Then attack and take Kovno. You will have Kovno by mid/end 1915. Now you can advance deeper into russia. Concentrate on destroying russian units and taking cities. Leave the two villages north of Memel alone and put detachments in front of them to guard them. In one of my games I was 4 hexes away from Petrograd before russia collapsed.

German Navy:

Usually I have 600-700 MPP per turn in mid 1915. Make sure you research Industry. Sooner or later you will have spare MPP. Use them to refresh and upgrade your Navy. Don`t send ships or boats out unless they are on maximum tech. Get your whole fleet to meximum tech. Have your subs at least at Level 1, better two. Once you have your complete fleet up to date, hunt russian subs. Use the complete fleet. Wipe out the russian fleet that will come up onces you hunt Subs in the Baltikum. Usually you will loose 1-2 ships, maybe less. Let your subs be the first line of attack, the AI jumps upon them. Fight enemy subs with your DDs, enemy BBs with your subs and enemy Cruises and DDs with your BBs. Use your Cruisers to kill any heavily damaged units. Withdraw damaged units as quick as possible. Sinking the whole russian Navy helps your NM and harms Russia. Then move your navy back to the ports and try to upgrade your subs.

Austrian Eastern Front:

Continue destroying the russian Army around Galicia. Sooner or later you reach a point where you cannot see any russian unit outside the cities... they have just the garrisons left. Then start taking Lutsk and the other cities one by one and work you way to Brest-Litwosk. This makes it easier for the german forces in Poland. Attacking from two sides is too much for the AI.


In 1915 almost nothing happens down there. Austrian units guard the cities, and serbian units sit around and do nohting. Once Bulgaria enteres the war, upgrade their corps and attack Serbia. Once Romania enters the war, attack it with Austria troops from the north. Usually Romania enters in 1916, and by that time the russians are almost gone.

Austrian western front:

As mentioned above: let the italians march into the trap and destroy them.

Austrian Navy:

Invest MPPs into the Navy. Destroy any enemy unit that appears in the Adriatic. When you have the choice to send german Subs down there, do it.. they tip the scales. There will be crucial moments and you might loose a few ships, but the outcome is worth it.


Fortity the eastern part of Anatolia. AI does not get through. They will try at Trabzon and the city south of Trabzon, but they cannot get through. Always refresh the garrison in Bagdad. The AI is not capable of destroying it. Also fortify the Sinai peninsula. AI will never get trough. And put a detachment into every NM target in the south.. in 1916 the Arab Revolt will start. These three areas will remain unchanged until the end of the war. There is nothing to win down there, and keeping these cities will help turkish NM.

But what is Turkey supposed to do? Beef up your Navy. Research Infantry, Industry, Arty, Shells and Trench warfare. Put Limand von Sanders and 3-4 corps around Adrianopel. Buy Arty and Rail Gun. Wait until Bulgaria and Greece are in the war. Then fight your way through Greece into Albania and capture it. Attacking Athens is difficult (terrain is awful), so better leave it (I did it, but it is not worth it, and usually the war is over before you have it). Garrison greek Cities and move any availabe unit to Albania.


German western front:

Continue destroy single units. Do not yet start major attacks. You now should have all arty and Rail Guns. Buy overstrength as soon as possible. Six strength 13 Arty pieces rock. Make sure the Atry is placed in a way that any attacking Entente unit gets a knock on its head when it attacks. Heavy Arty Level 2 and Shell production Lvl 3 should be reached already. It makes sense to "overresearch" this tech, i.e. put in more chits than you need to get it early. Gain Aerospace superiority by buying Fighters. This limits the AI in attacking you.. if you don`t have enough fighters, Entente Air power hammers your ground units before they attack you, and this makes it more difficult for you to defend. If you have enough Fighters, the Entent attacks rarely.

Usually you get Switzerland in the boat in 1916. Upgrade the swiss units and siege Belfort. Sooner or later you get it. French Morale is down.

German Eastern Front:

Advance deeper into russia. Ende of 1916 Russia collapses. My earliest was September.

German Navy:

Repair and upgrade your navy. Make sure you have your subs at least at Lvl 2, better 3. Then drive along the norwegian west coast until you reach the english fleet. Destroy it completely. Let your subs be the first line, the AI cannot cope with them. Then pick the english ships. If you are lucky, you catch them with low supply. Depending a bit on luck and weather you can get away with 5-7 lost ships on your side, but the Grand Fleet is gone. This does not work without proper subs, they are the working horse of your fleet. Not really historically correct, but this is one of the few things where the game should be tweaked.. Germany should not be able to kill the english fleet.

If you did this, german NM skyrockets.

Austrian western front:

Move a cavalry corps into Berne. Let it march into northern Italy. AI gets mad and wildly starts to operate units through whole Italy... units it will miss somewhere else. Usually the AI puts english troops into northern Italy.... just guess where they come from.

Austrian Eastern Front:

Kill russian units and help Germany to finish them off. When Romania enters the war, conquer it with Austrian troops from the north. Usually you get it in 4-5 turns. Do not enter the mountains, just take the two Capitals.


Use Bulgarian troops to attack Serbia. Use turkish Rail Gun to siege cities. The serbian troops will not survive without supply. Sooner or later you will have the last city.

Turkish troops should have secured Albania in 1916. Once the port has recovered to supply Level 5, put the turkish troops into their landing boats and take southern Italy which is completely undefended. Of course you need naval superiority in the Adriatic. You can take the turkish Navy to help their Austrian friends. This is why I wrote "beef up the turkish Navy".

Now Italy is under attack from three different directions, and the AI doesn`t like that. Usually it starts operating units and wasting precious MPPs. I saw the AI sending english troops down to Naples.. these units are needed in France.


German Eastern Front:

Refresh and upgrade all units. Send them to France. 1 HQ, 3 corps and 2 Cavalry go to Berne and take Turin and Milano.

German Western Front:

Mount an all-out attack. Including the units from Russia, you have more than enough troops. Pull back battered units and use fresh ones, by now you have more than enough MPPs. Attack at Amiens, Chemin des Dames, Verdun and Belfort simultaneously. Use Arty and Rail guns to soften up crucial targets. Sooner or later you reach a point where the western part of the Entent front starts running, and they do not stop before Bordeaux. Taking Belfort, Verdun and Paris is a severe blow to the French moral. In late 1917 they surrender. Game over.

Conclusion: be defensive in the west, kill Russia quick, sort any other problems in the east and then finish France.. usually you`re done in 1917.

Germany has too many MPP, Turkey is not threatened at all.. and Austria can strike deep into russia. There should be some kind of Oberst Redl effect to weaken the Austrian army.. and Subs are too powerul. It takes to AI a lot of ships to sink one, and if a group of high tech subs appears, the AI is lost.

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Nice assesment, my games follow a similar pattern. One thing that concerns me is, even on the hard levels, my games are usually over by 1917. I never see the Americans. This is against the AI and from both sides. Maybe National moral loss is too fast, I don't know. I love the game, but I feel something just isn't right.

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Dear Peter,

honestly I haven´t yet started to think about bombers and airships. At the moment I usually gather my two airships around Ostend and hammer London while I use the two Recon bombers to soften allied entrenchments and lower morale around Amiens. I try to keep them all together so I can also attack ships in the channel. I usually have my two Rail guns up there as well, and from time to time it is necessary to kill a ship with strength 1 or 2 with bombers.

Concerning NM: when the game ends, NM for Germany is around 90. Turkey is at 70 an Austria close to 100. The NM-concept is not really working for Austria since practically no of their ressources is occupied.. and they do not suffer from any blockades.

Basically it doesn`t bring me any favor to have NM at 90, but any NM point Germany or Austria has, the Entente doesn`t have.

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Nice assesment, my games follow a similar pattern. One thing that concerns me is, even on the hard levels, my games are usually over by 1917. I never see the Americans. This is against the AI and from both sides. Maybe National moral loss is too fast, I don't know. I love the game, but I feel something just isn't right.

That's my one issue too. Having played 3 times as the Entente on Hard mode against the AI, all three games have ended by the end of 1917. Usually Germany and France have such low morale by then that its just a race to see who dies out sooner.

This means that not only is US intervention unnecessary, there is no real point in fighting for Africa either as the Entente or frankly even worrying about AH or OE as once Germany's morale hits 0 the game is over.

So I attack with Russia, blockade with the UK and just try to hold in France, Serbia and Egypt. By Nov 1919, Germany is past saving and it just becomes a matter of when they will hit zero.

It feels to me that morale is about 1.5 to 2 times too fast.

I don't mean this as a shot at the game. Best SC2 yet, IMO. Just would like to see these countries fight longer in a pointless, unwinnable war.

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I still admire your devotion to your customers. In my initial posts there were two things I should have pointed out more than I did: praise your work to the skies and make detailed suggestions.

So here are a few things which should be tweaked in my eyes:

(1) Austrian problem

I think there should be some Oberst Redl-effect that severly limits the Austrians during the initial phase of the war. For those of you who don´t know what I`m talking about:


This poor guy did a really big damage to his motherland, and Austria never recovered from that blow. But in TGW the austrian forces fight as good as the german troops, and this is not historically correct. A normal austrian division consists of a lot of different cultures and languages, and their moraler and will to fight and die for their country was not as high as in german units. Many of their soldiers where drafted from regions the Austrian empire occupied, and desertions were usual.

A possible solution could be a kind of "Redl effect" that lowers strength, morale and readiness of the austrian troops in the initial stages of the war. What I`m thinking about is some kind of script similar to the "Russian Winter effect" we know from SC2.. once the Austrians have survived this, they can go on as usual. After the initial catastrophes they got massive support by german officers, and the situation improved. But it should be possible for the russian AI to conquer at least something in Galicia.

In the beginning stages of the war Austria lost a few battles, and this was a major blow for the NM.. this is not represented in the game.

(2) Belgian problem

Belgium is too easy to conquer. Ypres was never really conquered by german troops during the whole war, nor did Belgium surrender. In TGW one can conquer Ypres in the second turn and finish Belgium in the third. The german troops can run through northern France and advance further than they ever did in reality. Maybe a second belgian Fortress would help. Germany crushed the belgian fortresses with heavy artillery, and this consumes time. One or two additional turns would allow France to garrison the cities in northwestern France. Advancing to Amiens allows the german Army to create a slaughterhouse around Chemin de Dames.

(3) Subs

In my eyes subs are very powerful. It takes approx. 5 ships to sink one, and the AI really puts an effort into attacking subs first. Apart from that: when the german fleet battles the english navy in the North Sea, subs and ships sail together, and this didn´t happen in reality. The subs are the working horse of the fleet: they swallow a lot of damage, they are very difficult to sink and can kill enemy BBs easily. When they reach tech level 3, subs are almost unvincible.

(4) Fighters on the western Front

For Germany it is very easy to gain air superiority on the western front.. one simply needs to buy all fighters and research tech which is not very expensive.. and Germany has a lot of MPP when you research industry. Without air superiority the Entente cannot soften german key positions, and this severly limits their offensive capacity.

(5) Turkey

In the current version (1.01) Turkey is not threatened at all. Russia cannot break through in eastern Anatolia, the UK cannot seize the Sinai (=> Jerusalem) and the Indian troops cannot take Baghdad. After finishing the game I checked the english units down there.. they had massive air support, artillery and 3 or 4 infantry units. Unfortunately this massive forces is not capable of taking Baghdad (defended by one corps). Maybe a script would help here.

Apart from that: what about a Gallipoli script?

(6) Lazy serbs

Taking Serbia is possible, but difficult and consumes a lot of units you need in Galicia. So I pull my austrian corps out of Bosnia and garrison all cities on the border. The serbian troops don`t do anything at all until they get conquered from the south. Apart from that: I think the austrian public will not like their leaders to let Serbia get away without punishment.

(7) Italian garrisons

The southern part of Italy is not garrsioned at all. It is possible for turkish troops to sail around Greece and seize southern Italy. Then the AI pulls Entente units out of France.. which makes it easier for the Germans. A solutions is to garrison southern Italy with italian detachments at the beginning of the war and persuade the AI to leave them there.

Hope this helps.

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  • 1 month later...

Much of this I believe was addressed with the v1.02 patch and Bill has added in a few more adjustments for the upcoming patch.

I don't remember all the additions off hand (these can be viewed in the VERSION NOTES found in the installation directory), some of the AI changes might not be listed as the number of scripts that are edited between versions are usually quite a few but I can say that I did make adjustments to the Italian garrisons as well as the Fighters and hopefully that will help out a bit.

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