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Thread: Napoleonic Dreams AAR

  1. #1

    Napoleonic Dreams AAR

    Napoleonic Dreams AAR


    It should be noted that this is poorly researched fiction thus some characters will probably behave completely different to the real people, then again HOI3 most of the time does not even closely follow history. This is also my first AAR so bare with me, I don't consider myself as good as some players such as Xamand and IanClacher but I will certainly try, even if I do fail.

    France 1936
    Difficulty: Normal
    No mods but minor save game alterations and possible use of the No neutrality cheat if things are taking too long.

    Part 1.1
    The Dream


    Wednesday January 1st 1936, Paris, France.



    It was midnight, and all the population of Europe were asleep in their beds. All except Albert Lebrun, Président of France. He couldn’t sleep no matter how hard he tried; it was if a divine hand was keeping him awake. He tried praying to this divine being to let him sleep but to no avail. He tried reading in bed but his wife kicked him out of the bedroom from which he drifted to his study to see if his work could bore him into sleep. Unfortunately he quickly ran out of work to do and was left staring out into the darkness through the window behind his desk.

    He glanced around looking for something to do or read and his eyes fell on a book that General Gamelin had tried to encourage him to read. It was a book on Napoleon Bonaparte’s career in building a large empire throughout Europe. Lots of dates, lots of numbers and lots of countries that no longer existed. It hadn’t interested him much but it was probably just the thing that would bring him the sleep that he needed. Albert began to flick through the book, mostly just looking at the pictures and the diagrams of the battle that only made some sense, but most of it was lost on him. He stopped when he came to a page that folded out to reveal a map of the extent of Napoleons achievements. From the Spanish border with Portugal all the way to Moscow, it was certainly an amazing achievement to do in such a short space of time. He looked back out the window and then to the clock that sat on the mantelpiece. It was almost two in the morning, he felt his eyelids drooping and accepted that it was the moment to sleep. I didn’t want to move from his chair so he pulled a blanket out of a cupboard and placed his feet on the desk.

    There are times when there are dreams so vivid that you are convinced that it is reality. Albert Lebrun was having one such dream. He galloping proudly on a white stallion past thousands if not hundreds of thousands of soldiers, their rifles resting on their shoulders with fixed bayonets. Buttons and medals gleaming, not a single thread out of place. Behind them row upon row of tanks, trucks and far off in the distance he could make out artillery guns of a dozen calibres. He stopped his horse beside a podium, behind which stood all his generals standing proudly in rows. He took his place behind the podium, placing his hands either side of it and out of the pale clouds surrounding his army was revealed several buildings. These were not just any buildings, the Kremlin, the Reichstag, the British Houses of Parliament and the Statue of Liberty to name a few that he saw. It was then the generals called out in unison, “Long live the Empereur!”

    The morning sun woke him, he’d only gotten three hours sleep but that did not matter. The dream he had was still in his mind and embedding itself solidly in his memory. He picked up the phone and called his secretary. It rang a few times until Noirtier picked up the phone.
    “Do you know what time it is?” Noirtier mumbled, still half asleep.
    “It’s just gone five Monsieur Noirtier, I want you to call an emergency meeting, I want every minister there was well as the chiefs of the military! Nine O'Clock sharp!” He said bluntly.
    “Oh my God? What’s happened?” Noirtier, now fully awake, almost shouted.
    “While you’re at it bring me a list of all the candidates suitable to replace them.”
    “What is-“ Noirtier was cut short as Albert gently placed the phone down. He smiled as he looked out the window as the sun began to rise. Today was going to be a good day.

  2. #2
    Second Lieutenant Threedog43's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIDeus VultHearts of Iron IIIVictoria 2

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    Interesting, I'll be following this. Don't think I've seen a France AAR

  3. #3
    Part 1.2

    The Shake up


    9:15 AM


    The Ministers


    Around a long table sat the ministers. Some were calm and composed while a few were pale and wiping the thin layers of perspiration that was growing on their brow. Emergency meetings always brought bad news for the government but for once they did not know anything. What was slightly frustrating also was that the Président was late. He was the one who called the meeting and when they tried to interrogate Noirtier he was just as much in the dark as the rest of them. In front of them they had brought documents that would be needed in emergencies and since they had no idea what it was about, they had brought them all; only the top half of Gamelin’s head was visible behind his.

    The doors opened and the Lebrun’s small figure stepped through striding quickly over to his place at the head of the table. He placed the file he was holding down in front of him, opened it and read the top page carefully while without taking his eyes off of it, he pulled out a pen from his jacket and signed it. The ministers looked at each other, waiting for someone else to speak up until all eyes fell on Albert Sarraut. He gave an annoyed look back to everyone then turned to Lebrun.
    “Monsieur Président...” Sarraut said slowly.
    “Yes...?” Lebrun replied without looking up as he examined the next page he was supposed to sign.
    “Why have you called this meeting?” Lebrun looked up then back down, quickly signed the document and placed his pen back in his jacket.
    “A shake up of government.”
    “A wha-?” Sarraut replied stunned. Lebrun let them soak in those words and smiled slightly and the shocked faces.
    “Well that was what I had planned originally.” There was some sighs of relief at this, “I can announce to you all that you are all utterly irreplaceable, except you Monsieur Paganon.” Joeseph Paganon, Head of Intelligence, who had only just reclaimed the colour in his face immediately lost it all again.
    “M-m-me?” Paganon stuttered.
    “Yes, leave your files here and leave the room please.” Paganon did not move for a moment at the utter disbelief that he was now out of a job. He stood weakly and then stumbled out of the room.
    “Now that that’s done, as I said you are all utterly irreplaceable...”
    “Who will replace Monsieur Paganon?” Sarraut interrupted. Lebrun glared at Sarraut with such a look he sunk back into his chair.
    “Flandin will now take that office.” Lebrun smiling at the Foreign Minister.
    Pierre Flandin stood up his hands playing nervously in front of him. “Monsieur Président I’m honoured at being given the job but who will take over the Foreign Ministry?”
    “Oh no, you’re still the Foreign Minister.”
    “Both roles? I can hardly keep up with work from one, I don’t know how-“ Flandin looked slightly horrified at the mountain of work he could see in his mind.
    “You get paid for both jobs.” There was a long pause. Flandin had stopped moving nervously, in fact stopped moving completely. Everyone began to look at each other. “Someone prod him or something.”

    The Armament minister, Vincent Auriol who was sitting next to the statue poked him and quite suddenly he became instantly reanimated. Flandin leaned over the table and pulled the Intelligence documents over to his place, sat down and with stern authority he said while smiling, “As you were saying Président.”



    “As I was saying,” Lebrun said with a hint of frustration, “You are all utterly irreplaceable, however!” pausing for dramatic affect “Some of you are irreplaceable because there’s no one to replace you buffoons! Now all of you can leave except the Gamelin, Auriol and Flandin. I need to discuss some plans.”
    “Should I stay too?” Sarruat asked.
    “No, you’d only make me want to hurl you out of a window.” Lebrun gave him an expression along the lines of I mean it. After Sarruat finally scuttled out of the room, Gamelin shifted the pile over to one side so he could be seen.

    “Gentlemen, I have a plan that will make France even more powerful than before. But it needs preperations.”
    “What is the plan?” Gamelin asked.
    “You will see, in the fullness of time. Now...”

    It is here we leave the discussion because that takes more effort to do in a dialogue than what’s going to be shown.

    Here is an overview of my current military state:






    As you can see, it could be better but not to fear 10 infantary divisions are on their way (30 brigades of reserves).



    Technology:


    For any of my plans to come into fruition my neutrality has to go, fast. (hence the mention of the no neutrality cheat if this takes too long)


    I've deployed most of my forces along the standard borders but moved 5 divisions to sit near the Spanish border.



    With that over I must get on and play for a bit since my game is still only on the second day.
    Last edited by Khazorath; 16-03-2010 at 16:50.
    EU4 Mods used: Extended Timeline, A Song of Fire and Ice - Alpha, Bigger Diplomacy View, Better Color Map Modes v1.0, A Simple Map Borders Mod

    Hearts of Iron 3 AARs
    Napoleonic Dreams AAR
    Ended 28/5/2010
    Unpredictable AAR - Random HoI3 - SuiciSpai Approved
    15/5/2011 - 20/9/2011 - Finished
    Unpredictable II - RandomHoI3 2.3 FTM 3.05
    Prematurely Ended November 2011

  4. #4
    Not a Communist Red_Communist's Avatar
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    Looks good, and interesting. I'll follow this AAR.

  5. #5
    Part 1.3
    Not much has happened.


    1936 – 1938 are fairly insignificant years and thus condensed into this one post.

    I immediately started lowering my neutrality and increasing my threat in Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain. At its current rate it will not be until 1939 that we’ll get to see the first action by French troops. Thankfully the Re-Occupation of the Rhineland lowered my neutrality by -3 which saves me around 3 months.



    Unsurprisingly the Italians had conquered Ethiopia on April 20th 1936 and made them a puppet. This isn’t exactly worth mentioning due to its inevitability. Just over a month later the Spanish Civil War kicks off and I begin to increasing my threat in Nationalist Spain at this point still hoping that by the time my neutrality is low enough and can invade both of them.






    1936 and 1937 were not good years for my development. I was plagued by strikes, scandals and demonstrations which lowered my unity by 3%. For 3 weeks my leadership was lowered by 20% and the constant dissent from events forced me to slow down if not stop upgrades which are most definitely needed if I am going to be prepared to deal with Germany.



    In quick succession at the end of October 1936, Japan, Italy and Hungary and much later in June 1937 Portugal joined the axis. I had been hoping to invade Portugal at a later date without incurring the wrath of any alliance; however it seems that I no longer have a choice if I am to achieve great things.

    One small piece of good news was New Zealand joined the allies. A quick question to those reading compared to HOI2, how often do you see NZ troops doing something because as far as I can tell they only build up and sit in their country in this game.

    For most of the Civil war both sides had done little. They would exchange provinces every now and then but for the most part the lines were static. That was until June 1937 when the Republicans managed to breakthrough and quite quickly cut off the North West corner and take the only Nationalist port and were quick to exploit their successes.






    It was at this point I expected the war to be over win a few days because the last VP owned by the Nationalists was exposed but the Republicans either tried and failed or did nothing.

    A month later the Nationalists countered and cut off the North but did not make an attempt to retake the port. After two weeks the line was broken.



    Thinking that this must be the final end and the hope of my plan divide and conquer almost in its grave, the Nationalists yet again exploit weaknesses in the Republican lines and this time encircle a several divisions. This encirclement lasted for most of November but without a port, resources and factories it was clear that the end was nigh.





    On a side note Communist China joined the Comintern (like that will affect me anytime soon) and Japan continues to do its general failing in China.

    Finally after one final month of holding out, on the 22nd December 1937 the war came to an end which now means I must face a unified country.

    And now for the military development as of 12th January 1938:


    My army has increased by 59 brigades and will probably increase by another 25. However this might not be so since I may change priorities.

    You may have noticed the Battlecruiser being built earlier, depressingly it was the most advanced ship by 2 levels. I can only hope my navy does not meet the enemy or else it will certainly be a one sided battle.

    Q: Should I have used the No Neutrality cheat seeing as I have not been able to make any conquests doing it legitimately and possibily soon fighting Germany and Italy?



    Back to the story:

    "Damn it all!" Lebrun cursed as he threw a pencil across the room which left a long line across the white surface of a painting. The news that the civil war had ended buried his plans for good and even though it had been almost a month, it still made him angry. No one was aware of the plan but a smart general would have figured out why such a large force was 'guarding' the southern border. However, there seemed to be no smart generals. Gamelin seemed to be blissfully unaware and had much of his time taken up by inspecting all of the new divisions that had been created.

    The other chiefs were mostly disappointed that they hadn't been given anything new, especially the navy. The air force could melt down or sell off its obsolete aircraft in a few months but the navy was still had many ships from the Great War. The launch of the Battlecruiser Dunkerque was something to celebrate but it was not enough in Darlan’s opinion. There was a knock at the door and Noirtier stepped in.
    “Général Gamelin and the Foreign Minister to see you sir.”
    “Send them in.” The secretary left and was swiftly replaced with the beaming Gamelin and the exhausted Flandin who had become increasingly gaunt over the two years. Gamelin saluted while Flandin collapsed into a chair, hoping to find a moments rest while Lebrun talked military matters with the Général. This was not the case.

    “Excellent news Monsieur Président!” Gamelin smiled, “The army will have soon reached over 65 divisions on paper!” Gamelin looked like a child expecting to be given a cookie for its success but the long pause and Lebrun’s mildly aggressive expression gradually forced the smile away.
    “On paper...” He said slowly.
    “Well if there was a war they would mobilise we would have around a million men...”
    “Mobilising takes time. Mobilising costs money. Mobilising takes precious factory output away from important other things!” His voice growing steadily louder as he vented his frustrations, “What am I supposed to do with an army that isn’t even the field?!” Lebrun wanted to throw his pencil at Gamelin but it was already on the other side of the room.
    “But sir, this was the only way to train such large numbers in a short time with little resources.”
    “Where’s Auriol?! Why isn’t he here? What’s he doing with our factories?”
    Flandin pulled himself up in his chair and said weakly “Flandin has increased output by over 10% with his administrative skills and has improved the tools and efficiency so that there is another 10% increase.” Lebrun glared at him for undermining his rant, but he was right Auriol had been doing his job. However this did not stop Lebrun’s next complaint.

    “Then why haven’t you been as successful in manoeuvring us into a hostile position with our neighbours?!”
    “It has been more difficult that I thought...”
    “How hard can it be?! Murder, plot, steal, adultery! Piss on their mothers graves if you have to!”
    “Yes sir...” Flandin replied timidly. He hadn’t the strength to argue anymore. He wished someone would replace him.
    “Alright both of you get out of my sight.” They left without a word, Gamelin now looking as equally depressed as Flandin. “And if you see Sarraut waiting out there tell him to go away! I don’t care if he hasn’t seen me in two years!”

    Noirtier entered holding a piece of paper. “Some surprising news sir.”
    “Have the Russians finally realised that Communism is a bad idea?”
    “Not quite as world changing as that.” He smiled, “It’s about Monsieur Paganon.”
    “What of him?”
    “He’s to be executed by guillotine today.”
    “Oh my, I’d forgotten about him”
    “Yes, that assassination attempt on Monsieur Flandin last February was most unexpected.”
    “Yes, I can’t see why he would do such a thing. Maybe he needs something nice to cheer him up. Think he would like a fruit basket?”
    “I do not think so sir.”
    “Oh? Any ideas?”
    “I think changing his sentence to life imprisonment would be more appreciated.”
    Lebrun mulled over the thought without any seriousness for a few moments, “Yes... I suppose so. It’s a shame really, I hear some people still enjoy watching the spectacle of an execution. Get what’s his face on the phone then.”
    Last edited by Khazorath; 16-03-2010 at 16:58.
    EU4 Mods used: Extended Timeline, A Song of Fire and Ice - Alpha, Bigger Diplomacy View, Better Color Map Modes v1.0, A Simple Map Borders Mod

    Hearts of Iron 3 AARs
    Napoleonic Dreams AAR
    Ended 28/5/2010
    Unpredictable AAR - Random HoI3 - SuiciSpai Approved
    15/5/2011 - 20/9/2011 - Finished
    Unpredictable II - RandomHoI3 2.3 FTM 3.05
    Prematurely Ended November 2011

  6. #6
    Part 1.4
    The Last Year of Peace


    As you have read, things were going far too slow and random events were not helping the problem. Thus again I can sum everything up into one post although I forgot to take some screenshots so you will have to use your imagination . I've also been doing a little investigating.

    The final 3 divisions I built were two marine divisions (4xmarine brigades) to join two others that I had built before forming the 1st Marine Corp. I sent them to the jungles of Africa to sit beside the Belgian colony as well as leaving one to watch the Spanish division guarding their tiny slice of territory. The other was a light armour division that I sent to the Maginot Line because it was being neglected (and also the German side seemed to lack any defensive structures along the river that marked the border).

    With all my current planned divisions dealt with and the only thing left to wait for was war, I halved my officer output and pumped it into espionage which notably increased the rate the threat levels were increasing but not fast enough. It would have been around May 1939 which is the traditional kick off time for Germany in this game. (I would much prefer to have Germany allowed this option in August).



    Due to my desire to lower my neutrality and it lasting almost 3 years, there were increasing delays to my technological advancement.




    After over 8 months Japan had finally had some notable success in China. Despite what the screenshot claims below, Shanxi became a puppet and was adequately dealt with by its former allies although their new masters hold onto the key provinces.





    The war was coming soon with the Anschluss with Austria. But it decreased my neutrality by another 3.



    At the time I suspected for no reason at all, Luxembourg began Mobilising, perhaps they had got wind of my plans. I accidently clicked ok on the next message that appeared 12 hours later was that Denmark was also Mobilising.



    The increase of military activity was caused by Germany taking over the Sudetenland (sp?), however to my annoyance this was not announced to me (France was present at Munich so why weren't we told?). This also brought Ireland to the allies.





    It was at this point I decided to see if I had any new options to replace some of the useless ministers I had. Again only one to kick out. This time the minister of security Marx Dormoy who was doing nothing but magnifying the affects of loss of unity. His replacement is far more useful and will help deal with the infestation of foreign spies.



    The Germans finished of Czechoslovakia and everyone was wising upto the storm ahead. Poland joined the allies also (unnanounced too).



    However there was a silver lining to it all...


    11:00am Tuesday 13th December 1938


    "Noirtier!" Lebrun shouted as he read the latest reports from the Intelligence department. Noirtier rushed into the room, Lebrun had become increasingly impatient over the last three years and Noirtier had learnt the hard way what happens when he didn't immediately appear.
    "Yes sir?"
    "I'd like to talk to the British Ambassador...What was his name..."
    "Sir Eric Phipps?"
    "Yes him. While you’re at it bring me the treaty we signed when we became allies too." Lebrun tried to hide his smile. Noirtier left the room with greater speed than he had left it with a slightly puzzled look on his face.

    An hour later Noirtier let the ambassador into the office and Sir Eric strode into the room with gentlemanly grace, his hand already outstretched to greet the Président. He was a short man, only just around 5'5 and had black hair that he kept slicked to one side. He wore a dark suit in a style that had been far more fashionable at least ten years earlier.
    "Monsiuer Président." He said in a perfect Parisian accent as he grasped Lebrun's hand. Lebrun returned the handshake but with not as much enthusiasm. "What can I help you with today?"
    "I have been looking at our alliance treaty and I discovered a most dreadful error." He said with a slight smile.
    "An error? Please you must point this out to me so that we can get it redrafted."
    "Yes, here is the treaty." Lebrun pushed an old piece of paper to the edge of the desk so that the ambassador could read it.

    The ambassador leaned over and read it. He frowned and then read it again with greater care. Then a third time to be certain. He straightened up and turned to the Président.
    "Monsiuer, I do not see anything wrong with this treaty."
    "You cannot see it?"
    "No."
    "Here look," and Lebrun pointed to the top edge of the treaty, barely even touching it, his eyes fixed on Sir Eric. "Do you see it now?" Sir Eric needed only a glance to see that there was nothing there.
    "Again, no. What is wrong?"
    "I would have thought you were more observant than that, shall I tell you?" Lebrun said teasingly.
    "Please do!" Sir Eric replied with greater confusion.
    "It says we're allied to you!"
    "And this is the mistake you refer to?"
    "Yes!" and Lebrun picked up the document and tore it to shreds, throwing each piece into the air and savoured Sir Eric’s horrified expression at this sight.
    "What are you doing?!" Sir Eric cried after a long moment of silence. Lebrun simply grinned back.
    "Simply informing your government that we are no longer allies, that is all." Lebrun said as he slumped down behind his desk then putting his feet up.
    "This is madness!"
    "Most likely, now please leave I have work to do." The ambassador, paler than snow walked timidly out, not even close to the man that entered five minutes earlier. He was certainly going to lose his job.

    Lebrun beamed as he looked out of his window and noted how the whole of Paris seemed to glow in the sunlight. He sat there staring out for awhile and casually picked up the phone and called Gamelin.
    "Général? Mobilise the army... Yes all of them, this is not a drill." At last, Lebrun thought, things were in motion.


    SAVE GAME EDIT COMPLETE
    Last edited by Khazorath; 16-03-2010 at 17:06.
    EU4 Mods used: Extended Timeline, A Song of Fire and Ice - Alpha, Bigger Diplomacy View, Better Color Map Modes v1.0, A Simple Map Borders Mod

    Hearts of Iron 3 AARs
    Napoleonic Dreams AAR
    Ended 28/5/2010
    Unpredictable AAR - Random HoI3 - SuiciSpai Approved
    15/5/2011 - 20/9/2011 - Finished
    Unpredictable II - RandomHoI3 2.3 FTM 3.05
    Prematurely Ended November 2011

  7. #7
    Magister Philosophiæ volksmarschall's Avatar
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    A French AAR is always nice to see, whether you hold off the Germans, or fight from the colonies. Anyway, certainly looks like Europe is at a boiling point with all the nations mobilizing their armed forces. Btw, nice blend of gameplay and pictures with a narrative element within the French government. Keep up the good work!
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  8. #8
    Part 2.1
    Spain




    The Army needed a month to prepare its forces and I poured as much IC as I could into reinforcements. Since there was no longer a need to decrease my neutrality I switched it unity as I was in dire need of it. While expecting the worst I also returned the Officer training back to the levels it was at before, it turns out that this was not necessary. This is also split into two posts because of the number of pictures.




    Just after a week I left the allies Britain has not seemed to have gotten the message clearly... and again, and again, and again like clockwork every two weeks, despite my firm NO.



    1939 started with the sound of gunfire as Italy began to make its moves.



    I also learnt that I could DOW Belgium but I wished to deal with Spain first.



    Lebrun's dream of a European empire began on 12th January 1939 and allowing me to exploit my industrial capabilities. I renamed the army HQ from Spanish Border Control to Spanish Invasion Force. A total of 15 divisions 13 of which were largely infantry. Meanwhile in Africa I took care of a militia division that would have been posting annoying messages of how it took the middle of nowhere.








    The following screen shots are taken weekly to show the developments with some added for interest purposes.



    Not long after the first day another country has joined the axis





    Unfortunately there was a Spanish division in west africa who began conquering nothing but another one in Morocco which had eyes on Casablanca.





    The two armoured divisions powering there way through the north were eventually stopped short of their destinations and the Spanish put up strong resistance against them.





    Frustratingly the Spanish Navy began to sink my convoys in the Med, I sent two flotillas to search for them however not once did they make contact with the enemy fleet(I need to double check that though). I saw them once and it was a pair of submarines that were constantly evading my ships. My navy is outdated.





    Out of nowhere a large force blocked my counter attack in Morocco. I never saw this force again afterwards, perhaps transported to Spain.



    In hindsight I should have seen this coming, thus I have stopped work on Belgium and begun working on a new target.



    This battle lasted far longer than I'd expected (Just over 2 weeks), especially since the enemy was encircled from almost the start of the battle.

    Last edited by Khazorath; 16-03-2010 at 17:23.
    EU4 Mods used: Extended Timeline, A Song of Fire and Ice - Alpha, Bigger Diplomacy View, Better Color Map Modes v1.0, A Simple Map Borders Mod

    Hearts of Iron 3 AARs
    Napoleonic Dreams AAR
    Ended 28/5/2010
    Unpredictable AAR - Random HoI3 - SuiciSpai Approved
    15/5/2011 - 20/9/2011 - Finished
    Unpredictable II - RandomHoI3 2.3 FTM 3.05
    Prematurely Ended November 2011

  9. #9
    Part 2.1 cont.

    Althought I had not planned on invading Holland after Belgium it had certainly on the list. It is increasinly likely that war with one of the factions is going to happen sooner that hoped.





    The battle for Madrid started badly but as more divisions joined in victory would come soon.



    Meanwhile I am being repeatedly asked by the United States (supposedly an industrial powerhouse) for large quantities of supplies that I could not possibily do at that time.



    On the same day the US joined the allies as well as the bloodiest battle of the war.



    Two days later, Madrid fell.



    With too few divisions in the North the enemy manged to break the encirclement for a time. Meanwhile, realising that my officer ratio was now larger than when the war started I halved it again and added a new tech to research.







    The battle for the final VP began around 25th March however it met heavy resistance and failed before being restarted a few days later with reinforcements. Meanwhile Shanxi had surrendered...again.



    The final nail being hammered in...



    ...and of course...


    Lebrun had been to Versailles before, although that was to deal with The Great War. Much of its splendor had been hidden away behind the vast numbers of negotiations and spectators for him to see its true beauty, He stood in the Hall of Mirrors awed by the paitings, the gold and the dozen crystal chandeliers that lit two hundred foot hallway. At the centre stood a lonely table, plain and worn out. It was said that it was the table that the famous treaty was drawn out on. On it was placed a small uniteresting peice of paper that had all the signifigance of the world. He had brought some of his ministers to view his greatest achievement to date. Gamelin, Darlan, the new Airforce Chief Vuillemin after it was decided that an Air Chief obsessed with the idea of heavy bombers while none existed was a bad idea. Also joining them was Flandin and, although not his idea, Sarraut who he ignored anyway.

    Flandin had dissappeared somewhere as he was in the habit of doing when he did not have to work while the others dispersed throughout the hall. Noirtier strode in followed closely by a heavily tanned man with bushy black hair and a mustache. Across his chest he wore a red sash. The man bowed slightly when he reached the table.
    "This is the Spanish Ambassador, Monsieur Moreno. However he does not speak a word of French." Noirtier said.
    "Not at all? Where is his translator?" Lebrun asked. The ministers and military chiefs began to congregate around the table.
    "He released his translator and all his staff from his services the moment he recieved word from his government. He has asked me to translate."
    "You speak Spanish?"
    "It was in my resume."
    "Very well, ask him what he has to say." Noirtier nodded and began to converse with the Spaniard.
    "My government has informed me... that due to the power of the French army... our nation has but one choice." There was a pause as the ambassador wiped away a single tear. "One choice, and that is to surrender unconditionally." Lebrun beamed as well as several others, some shook hands. It seemed that all were onboard of Lebrun's plan even if they did not know the details.
    "Excellent..." Lebrun said quietly. He placed a pen on the paper and slid the paper over across the table. "Sign here."




    The current state of Europe.



    **Edit**

    I forgot to add some final thoughts. My main thought is that the war would have gone quicker had I placed 3-4 divisions in the invasion force as you saw the armour divisions had difficulty. Also more fighters and improved naval capabilities, as you saw the Spanish navy constantly managed to escape two flotillas. Spanish bombers also slowed down my advance had prolonged battles by several days. But now that is over I must wait and see if the game forces me into a war with Germany, which I hope it does not.
    Last edited by Khazorath; 16-03-2010 at 17:33.
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  10. #10
    Second Lieutenant itsdodge's Avatar
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    Great AAR!

    SOme thoughts - I would have gone south with most forces and sent marines in to La Corona (?) in NW, as well as some marines (or even INFantry) to Seville (?) SW.

    I like the idea of A France Triumphant - gone are the days of a truely Napoleonic vigour!

  11. #11
    How did you change to save game to get France out of the Allies?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Morrell8 View Post
    How did you change to save game to get France out of the Allies?
    Its very simple. Go to your savegame folder (its in the HOI3 folder), right-click on the save game and then open with. Select notepad and it will open but appear blank for a couple seconds as it takes that long to load. Then goto edit -> find and search for "Faction" and it will stop at "faction={axis={" straight away, scroll down to the faction you're in and delete your country off the list (just delete the whole line). Save and exit.

    When you load up your savegame you shall find yourself factionless and the faction you were previously member of sending you invites every 2 weeks.
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  13. #13
    Part 2.2
    16 days


    14th April - 1st May

    My annexation of Spain took longer than I wish and ended on the 14th April 1939 this left me 16 days to find out if I have to deal with Germany and the Axis.

    Day one I do the basic things and reorganise and redeploy. First I rename the Spanish Invasion Force to the Portugal Border Control and move the 1st HQ Corps and 2nd HQ Corps into positions that would destroy Portugal within a week. Fighting a war in two directions with limited men is not fun. However viewing that Germany is the greater threat I detached the 1éré Armée and sent the off to the Maginot line. Meanwhile I returned the Mediterranean Fleets and a flottila I had raiding in the English Channel to port and rebased a submarine flottila to the Balearic Islands and a Battleship fleet to Spain.

    In Africa I strategically redeployed my marines away from the Belgian Colony up to Tunis. This was a stupid idea as you will later see; I should have used a transport.



    With potential war looming I examined the Diplomacy screen to see who I was dealing with and who I was not.



    Japan continues to disappoint. It had tried a landing on the East coast of China but that failed. Its only success is on the island owned GuangXi Clique.



    9 Days after receiving orders I checked up on the marines’ progress or lack of.



    On April 26th the 1éré Armée HQ and 1 division arrived at the Maginot Line, this was where I found the other 4 divisions.



    Noticing the sudden increase in speed when those divisions reached France I checked the infrastructure of Spain.



    Depressingly only 2-3 provinces were damaged which meant a large amount of work would need to be done if I were to improve it, and if I will be able to.

    May 1st 1939



    I am not a war with Germany and smiled as I watched their divisions move away. The game is not scripted for Germany to DoW France.




    An hour after the news that the world had gone to war and France would not be drawn in, Général Gamelin placed a file down on Lebrun's desk. It was simply titled, 'Operation Freehand'.

    Last edited by Khazorath; 16-03-2010 at 17:46.
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  14. #14
    Second Lieutenant itsdodge's Avatar
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    Sneaky Frenchmen!

  15. #15
    Part 2.3
    What My Neighbour Is Up To..


    Here is what Operation Freehand can be summed up as. With the Allies and Axis now at each others throats and ignoring little ol' me (who is not as little as they used to be) this gives me a litteral freehand to do what ever I want with the rest of Europe while they are distracted with their silly war.

    First off a summary of the countries who are not taking part in the war or in a position which means I won't have a chance to attack them meaning Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

    The countries I can invade are Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. However a week or so I could declare war on Luxembourg I noticed something in the small print...



    So much for that plan... however from May 1st there was only two months wait until Switzerland became availible. Cancelling the spies in Lux I began to pour them into Denmark, Turkey and I think Norway. Meanwhile since not much is happening I was left to be a spectator in the European Civil War.

    Starting from two weeks in:








    Has I had suspected, this event fired:



    Finland is finally catching up with whats going on



    24 days later, Poland is dead with Holland close behind.





    Final moments of Belgium





    It took just 1 month 1 day to do the same amount that I achieved in 4 months and Spain had a smaller army. Had I known I did not have to worry about the Germans things may have been different.

    The day after the war ends, units that I began construction at the start of the Spanish war start appearing. On June 13th a much needed interceptor wing is deployed and a Tac bomber filled the free IC. 16 days later 2 mountain divisions are deployed along the Swiss/Italian border. Noticing that I have more free IC than I thought I order 3 Destroyers (238 days) and 2 Light Cruisers (358 days). My navy sure needs improvement.

    2.4 is coming within the hour!
    Last edited by Khazorath; 16-03-2010 at 18:12. Reason: Oh god I hate changing the IMG. 100 down, 120 to go
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  16. #16
    Part 2.4
    Operation Freehand Begins!


    Before Europe heard the last shot from the last war, France is at it again, this time with Switzerland starting on July 10th 1939.



    This is the basic plan, with armour divisions doing poorly in mountainous terrain it was best to leave them on the hills around Bern distracting the Swiss divisions so my infantry has an easier time moving through the Alps. Once again I am using the 1éré Armée since they are just lying around doing nothing but are amongst the fraction of experienced units under my command.



    Within the first day my armour has begun attacking Bern.



    My infantry divisions meet resistance early on and so I call in the Airforce to deal with the swiss bombers and provide ground support for my stalled units.





    Bern falls



    In an effort to draw the Swiss forces away and potentially cut some off, I bring in my newest mountain divisions from the South.





    I recieved disastorous news the day, my hopes of conquering the world was shattered...



    The distraction began well as an attempt to encircle but its other aim as a distraction certainly worked out. Although I had to bring in another mountain division to stop the battle from ending.





    My infantry are finally able to move when I sent into two more divisions from the north to sort things out.



    The start of final moment was close at hand!



    Of course this message was going to appear. It appeared at midnight on 29th July 1939. 19 days exactly.




    As Lebrun drove by in his car he passed a colomn of Swiss PoW's as he closed in on Bern. Rather than sit back in his office Lebrun had unofficially travelled with the mountain divisions to see first hand the work his army was doing to fufil his dream. Once the war was over he had to return to his official duties and discuss with the former government on how he was going to run his new terrirtory. He was going to be damned if he was going to let them continue their neutrality.

    Unlike the photos he saw of Spanish PoW's marching into captivity, the swiss still looked like an army. Their unifroms were still well maintained and the majority marched upright and proud. Some had looks of disbelief but the overwhelming feeling shown was anger. The army could have still fought or at least fought to the point where it was broken. Instead their government surrendered after 19 days. Lebrun couldn't understand why they were so angry, he had never been a soldier but he thought that they should have been grateful that the war ended so quickly before too many people died. They were beaten but he couldn't help but admire them; they were still an army. Perhaps he could use them in the next campaign... or perhaps the one after that would be more sensible, giving an army their guns back straight after defeating them would not end well.


    I felt slightly sorry for the Swiss army at the end, they were still intact and could have kept fighting for another month at least but instead were not allowed to defend their country till the end or their destruction like the Spanish.


    Meanwhile...

    The Japanese have managed to stop the Chinese advance it seems and tried to land again in Eastern China but it seems to have failed some were encircled and are on the brink of destruction. During this time my airforce recieved another interceptor wing and the first all Medium Tank division was deployed. These were replaced with 4 TP's and 3 Garrsion divisions.

    I am also starting to wonder whether my marines have gotten lost along the way...


    And this is how Europe now looks. It is quickly becoming a continent of 3 colours:

    Last edited by Khazorath; 16-03-2010 at 17:59.
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  17. #17
    Magister Philosophiæ volksmarschall's Avatar
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    Invading Switzerland was an interesting move, well, it will certainly make a great defensive area against the Germans somewhere down the road if that's the path Europe takes.
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  18. #18
    Major IanClacher's Avatar
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    Cool...French aggression...J'taime j'taime

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by volksmarschall View Post
    Invading Switzerland was an interesting move, well, it will certainly make a great defensive area against the Germans somewhere down the road if that's the path Europe takes.
    Switzerland seemed fairly obvious, as well as spain. Niether of those countires tends to do anything in the war so I can take them over without worrying about the factions getting annoyed. Also my DoW won't instantly make them join the allies.

    I haven't had a chance to play more but I'm not sure I will take on Germany since I have now deprived it of the resources and IC of northern France. This means if they were to take on the Soviets they would die quickly and I'd have to deal them if I left Germany to its own devices while I ran around picking of European countries.

    Also atm I need more IC to build more troops but they won't begin to pumped out in large quantities till the navy recieves its new ships. Ah decisions decisions. I will post something tommorow, but probably nothing big in terms of scale. Maybe an invasion or two, depends on who I wish to deprive or gain an advantage.
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  20. #20
    Edit the savegame and take out the English Guarantee of Luxembourg and take them down quickly

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