The intention of this AAR is to explore the consequences of a particular military-industrial strategy. It is played on Very Hard / Furious as the Soviet Union on vanilla HOI 1.06c. I'm writing this before starting and throughout I am open to strategy suggestions from readers as long as they are inline with the stated objectives.
The objectives are as follows
1. Focus on fighting using vanilla infantry divisions in large numbers. This enables an extensive curtailment of research areas and the building of the maximum number of units.
2. The war objective is to create security for the Soviet Union from the imperialist agressors. In other words, attempt to control enough of the world so that we can reasonable expect to defeat the allies if a follow on war occurs and within this zone be self sufficient in resources. There is no plan to actually fight this follow on war.
Within these objectives I will not be placing any restrictions on strategy and fully expect to at least really annoy the allies. If I end up at war with the allies and the axis I shan't be too worried.
The industrial policy is to upgrade all provinces according to the following rules
1936 upgrade all provinces with 4 or less ICs
1937 upgrade all provinces with 3 or less ICs
1938 upgrade all provinces with 2 or less ICs (where did they come from ?)
1939 upgrade all provinces with 1 or less ICs
This applies to all "homeland" provinces which includes all those for which we have claims. In previous games as SU I have had privatise industry events creating brand new 1 IC provinces and through this and acquiring claims I may have province upgrades in 1938/39.
This upgrade process is fairly conservative but upgrading more agressively can make it very difficult to acquire sufficient resources.
The technology focus is extremely clear cut. The only technology I really care about are those that affect infantry divisions. Note that this does include technology for increasing production.
The key improvements I am looking for are :-
a. Soft Attack, Hard Attack, Org, Ground Defence, Air Attack & Defence for vanilla infantry
b. Divisional communication techs that improve defence efficiency
c. Infra red sights for night capability (looking ahead a lot here)
d. Techs that effect army detection and surprise
This gives a focus on Infantry, Electronic, Industrial and Land Doctrine. There is an interest in early artillery techs but because all the vanilla infantry improvements are quickly accessible this is not a priority. The limiting factor on improvements is actually in the Land Doctrine area and this will be given top priority throughout the early years. This is closely followed by industrial and computer techs that are investments for future benifit rather than direct pay back in themselves.
This is a very tightly focused reasearch stream and will leave me with no effective air power or naval power. I may relent and research some armour techs which will provide improvements for motorised infantry as I am allowing them (see military policy below)
The initial military moves are simply to install logistic wizards as commanders for all units. Take a few useless naval units out of service (cancel all naval builds) and then get on with the rest of the game. I am not planning any military action until 1941 (if the axis will leave me alone)
An interesting question is whether to disband some units because it is cheaper to build later than supply meantime. The supply cost of vanilla infantry (at my current tech level) is 120 ICs per year (240 ICs for InfA). This means that 4 years 9 months of supply cost the same as a replacement division. I'm not planning to use the army for approximately this length of time and therefore it would be logical to disband say 50% of my divisions. This gives access to more ICs to support research in the early years but does make me feel a little naked - any comments ?
I will be building nothing but infantry until I reach the point where I don't know what to do with the ICs. I have plenty of manpower and I can achieve maximum total combat power by building vanilla infantry. This is not because infantry divisions are particularly strong but because they are cheap enough so that I can use numbers instead of individual strength. If I get fully teched up for infantry then I have
16 SA, 7 HA, 24 Def, 6 AA, 4 AD from each division
this is out of reach for initial combat in 1941 but I believe I can get amazingly close. These divisions cost 570 ICs under normal circumstances but I can build cheaper by having appropriate ministers in place making them even more cost effective.
In addition to ordinary infantry I will build some motorised infantry. Their nominal cost (with vehicle assembly tech) is 700 ICs and they provide an additonal 4 SA & 3 HA from assualt gun and tank destroyer techs. This is potential a major technology investment for units that I may not have in large numbers. They suffer major penalties compared to regular infantry when used in anything but clear terrain, I'm not sure of weather effects, they are more vunerable to air attack but their max speed is 8 rather than 5.
This is enough for now - how about some comments whilst I still have it saved as 1 Jan 1936.