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Thread: What does this button do? - a Semper Fi gameplay AAR (Germany, 1936)

  1. #1

    Post What does this button do? - a Semper Fi gameplay AAR (Germany, 1936)

    Welcome to my new AAR!

    As you can tell from my signature, I have tried starting an AAR before, but the first time my literary ambitions killed the project and the second time (the 1942 scenario) it just became obvious after 6 months of game time that the scenario was flawed and unplayable because of poor AI.

    Now I got my hands on Hoi3 and Semper Fi and have decided to lower my ambitions and do a straight forward AAR of what I learn during the 1936 scenario. I have done a single test game up until the invasion of Poland (which I did not complete), so there should still be plenty of new discoveries for me in this game - and hopefully also something of interest for the readaars.

    The AAR will be strictly gameplay with a fair amount of pics. I hope you will enjoy the ride!

    :-) Jesper

    INDEX OF POSTS:
    Episode 1 - Setting up the economy, January 1 - March 1, 1936
    Episode 2 - Setting up the Wehrmacht, March 1 - May 1, 1936
    Episode 3 - Skipping through the first year, May 1 - December 31, 1936
    Episode 4 - Diplomatic victories and setbacks in 1937, January 1, 1937 - December 31, 1937
    Episode 5 - Some thoughts on the gameplay in 1936 and 1937
    Episode 6 - The Treaty of Munich and early military planning, January 1, 1938 - May 28, 1938
    Episode 7 - Fall Grün - OOB, Maps & Strategy
    Episode 8 - Fall Grün - The Invasion of Czechoslovakia, May 28, 1938 - June 1, 1938
    Episode 9 - An Unexpected Turn of Events
    Episode 10 - Oh, bugger! June 1, 1938 - June 3, 1938
    Episode 11 - Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire
    Episode 12 - Fall Weiss - The Race to the Front, June 3, 1938 - June 7, 1938
    Episode 13 - Fall Weiss - The First Battles, June 8, 1938
    Episode 14 - Fall Weiss - The Ground War Begins, June 9, 1938 - June 11, 1938
    Episode 15 - Fall Weiss - The Spearhead Splits Up - June 12, 1938
    Episode 16 - Fall Weiss - Race to Warszawa - June 13, 1938 - June 20, 1938
    Episode 17 - The War in the Atlantic - June 13, 1938 - December 31, 1938
    Episode 18 - The Siege of Warszawa - June 13, 1938 - July 1, 1938
    Episode 19 - Fall Weiss - The Fall of Poland - June 21, 1938 - July 2, 1938
    Episode 20 - After Poland
    Episode 21 - Reflections on Warfare in Hoi3
    Episode 22 - Alternative Fall Rot via the Back Door - July 2, 1938 - August 10, 1938
    Last edited by Commander-DK; 10-08-2010 at 23:15.
    What does this button do? - a Semper Fi gameplay AAR (Germany, 1936) - World War II accidentally started on June 1, 1938 (dead)
    Turning Point: STALINGRAD - a 1942 campaign gameplay AAR here - the war begins on page 13! (dead)
    A World in Flames - an international DDA 1.1 1936 AAR Index in the first post (dead)


    "You mean now we can't say 'Hello, we're French spies' to strangers on the street like we used to?"
    - Furstner in The Popular Front by Prufrock451

  2. #2

    Episode 1

    EPISODE 1

    My first priority on January 1st 1936 is to set up a stable economy for Germany for the years to come. That means trading for sufficient resources for my industry. I will also have to handle diplomacy, espionage, production and tech research, none of which I will let the AI handle for me.

    My strategy is to increase the threat of France and the UK to prevent them from gaining as many new allies in Europe as possible and to get Italy into the Axis as soon as I can. I would also like to increase the threat of Hungary to scare Romania into the Axis, but I don't know if it is doable. In any event, I hope to dow Hungary before 1939, have them annex Slovakia and then annex Hungary - thereby ridding me of Slovakia, a puppet that usually annoys me to no end.

    I won't be rushing techs except concerning IC and Leadership, and I expect to build a little of everything - but the Kriegsmarine will have to make due with submarines until I have flattened the UK with flying bombs - a strategy I never got to try out in Hoi2.

    But I am getting ahead of myself here

    January 1st, 1936:

    Intelligence:
    All priorities are set to zero. Germany, UK, France, Austria and Hungary all get max priority for now – the rest none. In Germany I lower neutrality, in Austria I Support Our Party and in the UK, France and Hungary I increase threat.

    Politics:
    Hjalmar Schacht takes over as Armaments Minister: +10% IC
    Jospeh Goebbels takes over as Minister of Security: +5% leadership
    Werner von Fritsch stays as Chief of Army because of the reduction of Armour Practical Decay
    Fritz Bayerlein takes over as Chief of Staff to get the +10% Supply Throughput. It may not be much but it is practical here and now.



    I can’t create new laws right now but that will change in a couple of days with the lowered neutrality and more money in my pocket.

    Technology:
    To get all my trades up and running and to rid Germany of foreign spies quickly, I devote all my 27.81 points of Leadership to spies and diplomats the first couple of days.

    Production:
    In the production line I kill off the old destroyers and subs I for some reason were making. I won’t need a surface fleet in the first 5 years, because I don’t plan on Sealion until after Barbarosa, and I know that by October 1936 I can get the Type IX submarine, so why construct a single unit of the Type VII?

    I order the construction of a level 3 Rocket Test Site and level 10 Anti-Air guns in the province Rostock on the Baltic Coast. I don’t bother with a coastal fort there, because I intend to take Denmark and close the straits before the Allies might get in a position to land troops there.

    In Wilhelmshafen, however, I order a level 3 coastal fort, level 10 AA guns and an upgrade of the airbase to level 10 as well, because this will be my main port for the Battle of the Atlantic and my main airbase for the air defence of Germany from Britain’s strategic bombers to begin with.

    To assist in the air war I order a carpet of AA guns, so to speak, covering the four regions of Norden, Bremen, Hamburg and Holstein in the North West (17 guns in all) as well as the three regions of Saarland, Lorraine and Baden on the French border (15 guns in all). This is because in Hoi2 I fought most air battles in 1939-1940 over these provinces and I know how much help AA guns used to be to my interceptors going up against the French and British.
    I also order 4 AA guns for the city of Hannover, because that city was continuously hit by strategic bombers in my first and only test game.

    The air bases in Bitburg and Stuttgart are also upgraded to level 10 bases.

    So far my Production line now costs me 129.12 IC.

    I then order a division of 2 militia brigades – the 1. Luftwaffe Feld-division – to meet the brigade requirements for the Rhineland event. I also order a wing of Stukas, a wing of air transports, an infantry division and a motorised division, as well as a fleet transport flotilla and finally a guard division composed of 2 garrison brigades and 2 artillery brigades to max out as many practicals as possible right from the start.

    This brings my Production que cost up to 176.54 IC.

    Diplomacy:
    I immediately start influencing the United States towards me. Later I may have to influence Japan away from the Comintern, but that is a worry for later in the game.



    When it comes to trade, my main concern is to get Rare Materials from the Netherlands and USSR and to sell as much of my surplus energy on the world market, while there is still a demand for it. I therefore use my 31 diplomats on January 1st to buy and sell just that. Later I can worry about getting more metal and crude oil.

    It pays off well. Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Republican Spain, Bulgaria, Greece and Yugoslavia all agree to buy energy from me and the USSR to sell me Rare Materials. Unfortunately, Finland refuses to sell me a meagre 2 Rares a day… Switzerland declines to buy Supplies from me.

    January 2:
    Politics:
    My change of ministers means that I now have 211 effective IC

    New Laws:
    I can now enact the 3 year draft period law because I lowered my neutrality below 60, but I cannot yet afford it.

    Diplomacy:
    I have 8 new diplomats, so now I go for trade with Netherlands. I manage to buy 10 rares/day from Netherlands and earn more than enough money to cover it by selling supplies to my old enemy France.

    At the same time, USSR begins to influence Japan towards the Comintern. I have read about the AI doing this and making Japan actually join the Red block, so I am weary but unwilling to spend Leadership to counter it already.



    January 3:
    Politics:
    I enact the Three-year draft, which means I get a +25% manpower and officer recruitment. It sets me back my entire cash reserve though…



    Diplomacy:
    I have a very positive cash flow now, but I spend most of it getting Romania to sell me 8 crude oil a day. Portugal helps out a little but deciding to buy German energy – 18 units a day!

    January 6:
    The warship KMS Graf Spee is added to the Kriegsmarine.

    Diplomacy:
    Those rats in the British Foreign Office also begin influencing the United States. A war of diplomacy to sway the giant begins…



    January 7:
    Diplomacy:
    I convince another arch-enemy, the UK, to sell me enough Rare Materials to get a small daily surplus.

    After a game week, I reduce Leadership expenditure on Diplomats and Spies and turn to Research:

    I start out with:
    Education 2 (to get more Leadership)
    Industrial Production 5 (to get more IC)
    Industrial Efficiency 5 (to get more IC efficiency)
    Operational Level Organisation 2 (to reduce attack delay)
    Operational Level Command Structure 2
    Tactical Command Structure 1 (to increase Mot inf morale and get 5 brigade divisions later)
    Supply Production 5
    Submarine Engine 3
    Submarine Hull 3
    Submarine Torpedoes 3
    Light Tank Gun 2
    Light Tank Armour 2
    Light Tank Engine 2
    Light Tank Reliability 2
    Small Arms 2
    Light Artillery 2
    Infantry Support Weapons 2
    Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons 2
    Artillery Barrel and Ammunition 4
    Artillery Carriage and Sights 4

    A total of 20 research projects for the 19.69 Leadership I have available.

    January 8:
    I am running low on cash, but I convince Denmark, Sweden, Hungary and Ireland to buy more Energy from me and Austria to sell me a tiny bit of metals.

    January 11:
    To my surprise, Sweden finds me threatening, so I check the Intelligence interface and discover that I am still lowering my neutrality instead of doing counter espionage and Germany is apparently filled with hostile spies. I change that at once.



    January 17:
    Italy asks to buy more energy and I agree.
    I also buy more metal from USSR, Sweden and Switzerland

    January 22:
    USSR asks to buy more supplies and they will pay handsomely for them. This is a situation I was hoping for, because it gives me cash to buy more rares, crude oil and metals.

    January 23:
    With Soviet cash I finally secure a nice daily surplus of Rare Materials from the Netherlands. I also have enough left to get some metal from Luxembourg.

    The United Kingdom starts diplomatically influencing South Africa – I presume to get them in the Allies. I like this because for some reason the UK AI only influences one nation at a time, so now they won’t be influencing the United States for a while.



    By the way, my scare tactics seem to be working beautifully in the UK and France, whose threat is increasing nicely. Not so in Hungary, but I see I only have 3 agents alive there. Perhaps they are killing off mine faster than I can send them? I switch their mission in Hungary to Counterespionage for a while.



    I have caught 22 spies this month in Germany and the number of hostiles is gradually falling.

    January 31:
    The Spanish Civil War kicks off! This is not the earliest I have ever seen it happen (that was January 8th) but still pretty early. I support my fascists brothers in Spain, but secretly I hope for a Republican victory, so I can conquer Spain later…



    That same day the Soviets intervene on behalf of the Republicans. Good.

    And just before midnight the Italians also intervene on behalf of the Nationalists.

    February 2:
    Sweden sells me more metals but Austria refuses. All the more reason to Anschluss them quickly.

    February 10:
    The Czechs and the Hungarians both try to sell me more metal. I agree to the Czech offer but turn down the Hungarian one to avoid a daily cash deficit.

    However, immediately afterwards I succeed in getting the USSR to buy more supplies from me, once again securing a flow of cash to das Reich.

    February 13:
    Word gets around that I have money it seems. Now Yugoslavia and Peru both want to sell me metal and Nationalist Spain wants to buy energy. I agree to all.

    February 14:
    The UK renews their diplomatic influence towards South Africa

    The situation in Spain looks fairly even…



    February 17:
    20 AA guns are finished

    A metal deal with Sweden finally ensures that I have a tiny daily surplus of that resource also…

    February 18:
    1 AA gun finished

    King George V dies in the UK.



    February 21:
    Czechs cancel metal deal – bastards!

    February 22:
    1 AA gun finished

    The Canadians, Irish and Cubans all offer me more metal than I lost on the deal with the bastard Czechs, love it! (the next day Lithuania does the same)

    February 25:
    I finally have a small but important surplus on my trades and finances. +5 metal, +10 rare materials and +0.76 $ a day. My fuel is rising by +111 a day simply because of conversion.

    February 27:
    Cuba cancels metal deal, but it was tiny anyway. Italy once again asks to buy a lot of energy!

    February 28:
    Ethiopia surrenders to Italy, who makes them a puppet state.



    March 1:
    1 AA gun finished.

    Status: After 2 months the economy is looking good, production is underway and I am about 2 weeks from the Rhineland event. After that I will focus on restructuring the Heer, Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe more properly.

    I find it strange that the tooltip at the top of the screen say I am only getting 0.2 spies a day, while my Leadership consumption says 0.3, but apart from that everything looks peachy.

    Up next: restructuring the Wehrmacht!
    What does this button do? - a Semper Fi gameplay AAR (Germany, 1936) - World War II accidentally started on June 1, 1938 (dead)
    Turning Point: STALINGRAD - a 1942 campaign gameplay AAR here - the war begins on page 13! (dead)
    A World in Flames - an international DDA 1.1 1936 AAR Index in the first post (dead)


    "You mean now we can't say 'Hello, we're French spies' to strangers on the street like we used to?"
    - Furstner in The Popular Front by Prufrock451

  3. #3
    Nice! Good solid start.
    Too bad you want to annex Hungary. I loved the option in HOI2 to give Slovakia to Hungary, which would also immediately bring them in the Axis. From a game perspective maybe a tad overpowered, but not impossible in historical context.

    What patch version are you running?

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Thumbs up thanks for reading!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pier View Post
    Nice! Good solid start.
    Too bad you want to annex Hungary. I loved the option in HOI2 to give Slovakia to Hungary, which would also immediately bring them in the Axis. From a game perspective maybe a tad overpowered, but not impossible in historical context.

    What patch version are you running?
    Quote Originally Posted by soulking View Post
    So, your going straight forward historical or are you going to add in a few ahistorical choices here and there.
    Hi, thanks for reading!

    I am running a basic install of Semper Fi (patch 2.0 I think it is called?). I will be doing som ahistorical stuff, if I can get away with it - invading Hungary is one of them. I am just not sure how the annex / occupation settings work in Hoi3/SF, so I will have to toy around with that a bit. One thing is certain: I want as few and as powerful allies in the Axis as I can get. Back in Hoi2 having Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania in the Axis always felt completely useless because of the poor quality of their troops.

    This time I'd like to split the Balkans and Greece between Italy, Romania and myself, but I guess I will have to see what happens. Maybe, with this new threat concept, I am gonna provoke USSR too much and have to alter my plans

    Hopefully there will be another update later today.
    What does this button do? - a Semper Fi gameplay AAR (Germany, 1936) - World War II accidentally started on June 1, 1938 (dead)
    Turning Point: STALINGRAD - a 1942 campaign gameplay AAR here - the war begins on page 13! (dead)
    A World in Flames - an international DDA 1.1 1936 AAR Index in the first post (dead)


    "You mean now we can't say 'Hello, we're French spies' to strangers on the street like we used to?"
    - Furstner in The Popular Front by Prufrock451

  6. #6

    Post Episode 2

    EPISODE 2


    March 2:
    In preparation for the Rhineland event, I move the 25. Infanterie-Division from Stuttgart to Donauschingen.



    March 5:
    25. Infanterie-Division arrives in the Rhineland. Now all I gotta do is wait for my new Luftwaffe militia division to be completed, so I can meet the event’s 120 brigades-requirement.

    March 8:
    1 AA gun ready

    USSR buys more supplies

    March 14:
    The 1. Luftwaffen-Feld-Division arrives and is placed near the future Rocket Test Facility in Rostock.

    This enables me to choose the Re-occupation of the Rhineland event, which I promptly do, because it only hurts my relations with the Allies and not my threat in general. It does, however, give me a nice amount of cash and manpower and 2 points of national unity.





    March 15:
    Now it is time to restructure the Wehrmacht in a manner that gives me a much better overview of the divisions and assets.

    I decide to use every single level available in the OOB command structure – not because I have that many units but because it is the Army Group commanders that reduce supply consumption all the way down through the ranks.

    I have decided that for now, there will be two theatres: Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) in the East and Oberkommando West (OB West) in the West. Each theatre will be in command of a number of armies each responsible for the defence of a sector:

    1. Armee – the Danish, Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg borders
    2. Armee – The French border as well as the Swiss and Austrian borders
    3. Armee – the Polish border and Baltic coast
    4. Panzerarmee – the Slovakian border and strategic reserve



    To keep overview easy, I have come up with a simple numbering/naming scheme that I feel makes sense. Each army will contain – on paper – the maximum number of divisions and corps that it can possibly hold (25 and 5 respectively) and the numbers and names of units will be reserved for any future unit that does not exist at the moment.

    That means e.g. that the 2. Armee will be comprised of the VI-X Armeekorps, respectively made up of the 26.-50. Infanterie-Division – even if the 2. Armee to begin with only consists of a handful of divisions and not 25 full divisions.

    By sticking to this naming convention, I will always know which corps, army and army group each and every division belongs to because everything is just a matter of counting to five.

    Most divisions will initially be 3 brigades strong to begin with, though some may later be reinforced with a 4th brigade for special purposes.

    About the Kriegsmarine:
    I disband the I and II Unterseebootsflotte under Assmann and von Nordeck, because the Type IIA and Type IIB submarines at their disposal are horribly inadequate for modern warfare – both in terms of range and convoy sinking abilities. I wish I could sell them to an ally like the Italians, because in the Med range is less of an issue, but that feature does not appear to be in the game any more.





    Regarding ranks and promotions:
    Von Epp is promoted to field marshal to take command of Heeresgruppe Ost
    Von Kluge is promoted to full general to take command of the 3. Armee
    Liebmann is promoted to field marshal to take command of Heeresgruppe West
    Fleck is promoted to field marshal to take command of OB Luftwaffe West
    Von Hammerstein-Equord is promoted to field marshal to take command of OB Luftwaffe Ost
    Föhrenbach is promoted to field marshal to take command of the Baltische Flotte
    Von Württemberg is promoted to field marshal to take command of the Kriegsmarine

    The new command setup is as follows:

    Eastern Theatre:
    Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (von Blomberg) commands 3 Army Group level commands:
    - Heeresgruppe Ost (von Epp) in command of 3. Armee (von Kluge) and 4. Panzerarmee (von Rundstedt)
    - OB Luftwaffe Ost (von Hammerstein-Equord K.) which commands all air wings in the east
    - Baltische Flotte (Föhrenbach) which commands the Baltic Fleet in Königsberg (under Böhm)

    Western Theatre:
    Oberkommando der West (von Böhm-Ermolli) also commands 3 Army Group level commands:
    - Heeresgruppe West (Liebmann) in command of the 1. Armee (von Kaupisch) and 2. Armee (von Fritsch)
    - OB Luftwaffe West (Fleck) which commands all air wings in the west
    - Kriegsmarine (von Würtemberg) which commands the Kriegsmarine based in Wilhemshafen (under Raeder)

    Initially, the 1. Armee consists of the I.-IV. Armeekorps in a total of 12 divisions. The 2. Armee is made up of the VI.-VIII. Armeekorps, who are all maxed out for a total of 15 divisions.

    The 3. Armee is comprised of the XI.-XIII. Armeekorps and a total of 9 divisions, while von Rundtstedt’s 4. Panzerarmee is, in reality, mostly just an army on paper consisting of a single corps with three armoured divisions in it.

    March 27:
    Small trade with Nationalist Spain, they want to buy energy

    The war seems to be going well for the Nationalists – unfortunately



    March 30:
    2 AA guns completed

    April 1:
    1 AA gun completed

    April 2:
    12 AA guns completed. This finishes my carpet of AA guns in the Northwest and Southwest sectors of Germany - hopefully it will help me stem the tide of Allied strategic bombing.





    I start the production of 2 Interceptor air wings

    Intelligence:
    I switch the German spies back to lowering neutrality and my seven spies in Hungary back to increasing threat.



    April 4:
    The UK switches their Diplomatic Influence from South Africa to Canada…



    Japan is still being moved towards the Comintern. I am wondering what it might do to the game, if Japan allies with USSR and never attacks the USA in the Pacific? It will probably mean that Stalin won’t feel a need to guard his back door = a harder fight on the Eastern Front, and if the USA joins the Allies without having a war in the Pacific on their hands, they will probably devote more assets to the European battlefields as well…

    April 11:
    Infantry division deployed to strategic reserve

    I order a new infantry division to keep my practicals high

    April 15:
    My guard division of 2 garrisons and 2 artillery is ready to be deployed. For now I group it in the strategic reserve until I have enough such units to form a new corps of them. I order the construction of a new similar unit to keep my practicals up.

    My flow of crude oil has started to drop a bit – perhaps from moving all the troops around the map, which drained fuel – so I trade some more money to the USSR for 3 more crude oil a day…

    April 17:
    My first three fields of research are completed: Light Tank Gun, Light Artillery and Artillery Carriage and Sights!



    I initiate three new research projects:
    Logistical Strike Tactics 2
    Installation Strike Tactics 2
    Fighter Ground Control 1

    Italy buys more energy

    April 18:
    I complete the research into Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons and start to research Anti-Tank Ammunition and Muzzle Velocity 2.



    April 24:
    Once again, the USSR wants to buy supplies for cold cash. I accept the deal.

    April 25:
    The UK shifts their Diplomatic Influence back to South Africa instead of Canada

    April 28:
    I complete two more research projects: Small Arms and Infantry Support Weapons. This means that all my infantry techs are now level 2 and opens up for the construction of marine divisions as well as specialist equipment for my troops!



    I want to get Airborne infantry as soon as possible because the ability to produce them is a requirement to train the doctrines related to air drops etc. So even though the next level of infantry techs (3) are 1938 techs, I start to research them now and move them to the top of my research line. They are:

    Small Arms 3
    Infantry Support Weapons 3
    Light Artillery 3
    Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons 3

    For a while this means I have 22 research projects going for only 19.70 Leadership but so be it.

    May 1:

    I do a status check to see if the new command structure with logistic wizards in charge of the army groups has reduced my supply and fuel consumption to any significant degree. On May 1, I use 88 supply units and 42 fuels units per day.



    Back on February 28 that number was 98 supply units and 53 fuel units. It may not be a huge reduction, but if we look at percentages, I have shaved almost 11 percent off my supply consumption and more than 20 percent off my fuel consumption!
    What does this button do? - a Semper Fi gameplay AAR (Germany, 1936) - World War II accidentally started on June 1, 1938 (dead)
    Turning Point: STALINGRAD - a 1942 campaign gameplay AAR here - the war begins on page 13! (dead)
    A World in Flames - an international DDA 1.1 1936 AAR Index in the first post (dead)


    "You mean now we can't say 'Hello, we're French spies' to strangers on the street like we used to?"
    - Furstner in The Popular Front by Prufrock451

  7. #7

    Post Episode 3

    EPISODE 3


    The past couple of days I played the game from May '36 to January '38, resulting in 16 pages of notes like "AA gun completed in Wilhelmshafen"

    That won't make for very entertaining reading, so in everyone's interest I have decided to quickly skip through the trivial parts and just sum up the major events and decisions during this time.

    So, even though I won't go into detail with it anymore, assume that I am always building a few units to keep up the practicals and that I keep as many trades going with a surplus as I can to help my industry.


    Research completed in the rest of 1936:
    Light Tank Engine 2
    Light Tank Reliability 2
    Artillery Barrel and Ammunition 4
    Light Tank Armour 2 (open up research path to Medium Tank Brigade)
    Anti-Tank Ammunition and Muzzle Velocity
    Operational Level Command Structure 2
    Operational Level Organisation 2 (important - reduces attack delay!)
    Anti-Tank Barrel and Sights
    Tactical Command Structure level 1 (eventually leads to Superior Firepower doctrine and 5-brigade divisions)
    Submarine Engine
    Submarine Torpedoes (allows construction of Type IX submarines)
    Medium Tank Brigade (allows construction of medium tanks)
    Submarine Hull
    Supply Production


    Unites produced in the rest of 1936:
    2 motorised infantry divisions (2 brigades each)
    3 troop transport flotillas
    1 wing of Stukas
    2 infantry divisions (3 brigades each)
    2 guard divisions (2 brigades of garrison, 2 brigades of artillery in each)
    1 Junkers air transport wing
    2 interceptor wings


    The diplomatic scene in 1936:
    The United Kingdom is obviously not liking that I am increasing their threat and driving people away from them. Throughout most of 1936 they were diplomatically influencing South Africa, but every now and then they stopped only to influence Canada instead. My guess is the AI is trying to keep at least a few candidates for the Allies once the war breaks out.

    On December 1, 1936, the UK starts diplomatically influencing Italy also, which has me slightly worried for a while because it could mess up my plans to get Italy into the Axis quickly. But the UK AI apparently only does Diplomatic Influence a few weeks at a time, because when I check later, they have stopped again.



    The USSR continued throughout 1936 to draw Japan towards them.


    A few major events in 1936:

    On July 6 it was all over for Republican Spain. The Nationalists had apparently steamrolled them and annexed them before you could say Viva La Revolution!



    Later in July I got a Surge of Volunteers event, which slightly increased my manpower for a few days.



    In October, King Edward VIII decides he doesn't want to be king of the British Empire anymore and on the 16th he abdicates the throne.

    I get another event in October - the "Prohibit new parties" event - and choose "... and not a day too early" to get the small bonus to Leadership for a few days.



    On November 15 the first level of my grand Rocket Test Site is completed in Rostock! I can hardly wait to produce my first V1's and level the UK's industry but I guess that is still quite a way off in the future

    On November 26 all my spying and meddling in Austria finally pays off as I am given the opportunity to annex my southern neighbour in the Anschluss event. I choose to wait, however, because I am afraid the aggressive move will scare Italy away from the Axis if I annex Austria too soon.



    Espionage and intelligence in 1936:
    Nothing much happens in the rest of 1936. I have a surplus of available agents, so by September 1936 I also start to increase the threat of the USSR in the hopes that a 2-dimensional threat against Romania from both Hungary and the USSR will get them into the Axis sooner.

    I also switch my domestic spy mission to "Support Ruling Party" - something which I believe helped me get the opportunity to Anschluss sooner.




    Up next: Diplomatic Victories and Defeats in 1937!
    What does this button do? - a Semper Fi gameplay AAR (Germany, 1936) - World War II accidentally started on June 1, 1938 (dead)
    Turning Point: STALINGRAD - a 1942 campaign gameplay AAR here - the war begins on page 13! (dead)
    A World in Flames - an international DDA 1.1 1936 AAR Index in the first post (dead)


    "You mean now we can't say 'Hello, we're French spies' to strangers on the street like we used to?"
    - Furstner in The Popular Front by Prufrock451

  8. #8
    keep up the good work

  9. #9
    I agree with the others who said that they prefer to keep Hungary around. I just like the look of the Balkans all divided up between my allies

  10. #10

    Thumbs up thanks for reading!

    Thanks for the feedback Duke of Awesome and Rabid! Sorry to disappoint about Hungary but in this game/AAR I want to explore some alternatives to going historical all the way to Barbarossa - just to see how the game reacts.

    It may not be worth it to annex or puppet the Balkans, but there are also a lot of other mistakes that I may be making - like focusing on interceptors instead of multi-role fighters or spending too much IC on installations like radar and forts.

    Only time will tell. I am sure I will enjoy exploring the game, and I hope you will enjoy reading about it too!

    Another update within the hour.
    What does this button do? - a Semper Fi gameplay AAR (Germany, 1936) - World War II accidentally started on June 1, 1938 (dead)
    Turning Point: STALINGRAD - a 1942 campaign gameplay AAR here - the war begins on page 13! (dead)
    A World in Flames - an international DDA 1.1 1936 AAR Index in the first post (dead)


    "You mean now we can't say 'Hello, we're French spies' to strangers on the street like we used to?"
    - Furstner in The Popular Front by Prufrock451

  11. #11

    Post Episode 4

    EPISODE 4

    First a look at research and production in 1937:

    Research completed in 1937:
    Logistical Strike Tactics
    Installation Strike Tactics
    Industrial Production (raises total IC from 211 to 215)
    Industrial Efficiency
    Medium Tank Gun
    Fighter Ground Control 1
    Light Artillery 3
    Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons 3
    Basic Medium Fuel Tank (more range but also vulnerability to TACs)
    Basic Bomb
    Medium Tank Engine
    Medium Tank Armour
    Medium Tank Reliability (improves medium armour model to PzKpfw.NbFz.VI, which is all I need for the campaigns against Poland and Hungary)
    Infantry Support Weapons 3
    Small Arms 3 (opens research path to Airborne Infantry and Mechanised Infantry!)
    Agriculture 5
    Special Forces 2 (improved organisation for my paratroopers and mountaineers)
    Tactical Command Structure 2
    Oil Refining 2
    Fighter Ground Control 2
    Mountain Warfare Equipment
    Education level 2 (started on January 1, 1936, completed on September 30, 1937, this vital research gives a +10% bonus to my Leadership points!)
    Decryption Machine level 1

    Units produced in 1937:
    2 Type IX submarine flotillas
    3 Troop transport flotillas
    5 Stuka wings
    9 interceptor wings
    2 Junkers air transport wings
    5 guard divisions (2xgar + 2xart)
    4 infantry divisions (3xinf)
    5 motorised infantry divisions (2xmot inf)
    5 light armour brigades
    3 medium armour brigades
    3 gebirgsjäger divisions

    The guard divisions were placed on the French border, the infantry on the Polish border and the motorised infantry and armoured brigades used to form most of what will become 3 medium armoured divisions, 3 light armoured divisions and a corps of motorised infantry (all for the 4. Panzerarmee).

    I also improved the coastal fort in Wilhelmshafen to level 3 and the air bases in Wilhelmshafen, Bitburg and Stuttgart all to level 8 (out of 10). My level 3 Rocket Test Site in Rostock is also completed in 1937.


    Diplomatic victories and setbacks in 1937

    The second year of the game was an interesting one, where I got to play around with the diplomacy and espionage system and test different theories and strategies - some more succesful than others

    I had decided to postpone the Anschluss of Austria until I could get Italy into the Axis but already by January 8 France begins to influence the USA away from me!



    This meant that Italy (UK), Japan (USSR) and USA (France) could all possibly be lost. I don't mind saying that the prospects were grim, so I decided to counter-influence Italy and also Japan as soon as Italy was safely in the Axis camp. It annoyed me to no end, however, that I had to give up research slots to increase the diplomatic influence, but I also enjoyed that the AI was giving me this sort of challenge.

    At the same time I had some surplus spies that I used to support Mussolini's ruling party in Italy. I really didn't feel like taking any chances.

    Italy warms to the Axis cause
    By April 20, 1937 I get the good news: Italy is now susceptible to an invitation to the Axis! I have increase the threat from France to a nice 29.7 and Mussolini has apparently lowered his own neutrality - perhaps via the war in Ethiopia - to 54%. At the same time Italy is close enough to my political corner that I can invite them not only to an alliance but to the Axis Faction.



    The interface says an accept to an invitation to the Axis is “very likely” so I give it a try, and Italy agrees!



    That very same day, Italy begins influencing Switzerland. I don't really know why the Italians feel Switzerland is so important. Perhaps they crave clocks and chocolate?



    The next day I get the Pact of Steel event (or strategic objective I think it is called) from getting Italy into the Axis. I wasn't expecting it, so it comes as a nice surprise that we now enjoy a +5% supplies and +5% research efficiency!

    Since Italy is now locked to me, I start to influence Japan away from the USSR and hope it is not too late. Two days later the United Kingdom starts influencing Portugal away from me. At that moment, France was no longer influencing the United States of America, and the UK was already influencing South Africa. France began to influence the USA again on May 1 and so the diplomatic game continued...



    Anschluss of Austria - May 2, 1937
    Intoxicated by my succes with Italy, I decide to annex Austria on May 2. I have carefully examined which nation each nation in Europe finds most threatening and the spread is as follows:

    Finds USSR most threatening: (threat)
    Estonia 26.3
    Finland 26.3
    Latvia 26.3
    Lithuania 26.3
    Poland 26.3
    Sweden 15.8

    Finds Britain most threatening: (threat)
    Norway 19.7

    Finds Hungary most threatening: (threat)
    Albania 19.4
    Bulgaria 19.4
    Greece 19.4
    Romania 19.4
    USSR 6.2
    Yugoslavia 19.4

    Finds France most threatening: (threat)
    Austria 44.2
    Belgium 44.2
    Czechoslovakia 44.2
    Denmark 44.2
    Hungary 13.2
    Ireland 44.2
    Italy 30.5
    Luxemburg 44.2
    Nationalist Spain 39.0
    Netherlands 44.2
    Portugal 9.6
    Switzerland 44.2

    Looking at these number I decide it is worth the risk to annex Austria even though it will increase Germany's threat by 20. Except in the case with Hungary all the other nations will be more afraid of someone other than me afterwards - and Hungary I don't really care about at this point because I have a plan to annex them also.



    So, on May 2 I order the Anschluss and take over Austria. The event nets me a new Leadership score of 30.35 and I also take over some very minor stockpiles of resources:
    Energy: 2175
    Metal: 2132
    Rare materials: 564
    Crude oil: 172
    Fuel: 29
    $: 85
    Manpower: 500

    My base IC increases to 160, which means a modified IC of 243 once I get rid of the dissent hit from the event. Once the dissent is gone all my resource flows look good except fuel. Apparently, once I reach a cap where I have twice as much fuel as crude oil, I stop converting crude into fuel. At least, that seems to be the case because conversion has stopped at 11K crude and 22K fuel.

    With friends like this, who needs enemies?
    On June 29 I am ready to send a firing squad express to Roma and put a bullet in Il Duce's you-know-what!



    Italy signs a bilateral alliance with Hungary!

    Apparently, Italy has missed all the signs orchestrated by my Abwehr that Hungary is a threat to world peace and needs to be put down like a rabid dog

    For some reason the AI allows faction members to make bilateral alliances outside of the faction. It is a little stupid when you play Germany, but I supposed playing as Italy or Japan it is nice to still be able to make new friends against the bigger enemies. The AI just does not take into account that a German player might want to go ahistorical at some point.

    There is not much I can do about it. I have no clue what Italy will do when I dow Hungary later on - perhaps leave the Axis and dow me? (if you know, please DON'T post a spoiler here - we'll have to wait and see )

    Diplomacy in Europe
    The mess with Hungary and Italy has left me a little distressed, so I check up on the diplomatic situation in Europe and get a little surprised.

    In Europe, Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Greece, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Albania, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Nationalist Spain, Yugoslavia and even Poland are all drifting towards the Axis!

    The only two countries in Europe, who are moving away from the Axis, are Portugal (because of influence from the UK) and Romania! – the one nation I desperately wanted to join me in the Axis because of their nice crude oil and fuel.

    As far as I can see, the neutrals are moving away from the Allies because of the threat they pose, so that part of my strategy seems to be working so far. Romania, however, is drifting towards the Allies because of "ideological similarities" the tooltip says. This leads me to thinking that I might have benefitted from using spies since the beginning of the game to support my party in Romania and make them more fascist. As it is, I have little hope to turn them my way by spies alone this far into the game.

    I find it interesting that when I look at threat/neutrality, Poland is so scared of the USSR that they are close to ready to join the Axis faction. In fact, it could probably happen this year. They are, however, still far away from the Axis corner and so an alliance is probably all I can hope for unless I invest diplomatic influence.

    Looking at the Netherlands, I get another bright idea: If they could remain neutral throughout the war – and friendly towards Germany – then the British fleet should let their resource convoys reach Europe safely. That could become a vital source of rare materials, crude oil and metal worth much more than an occupied Holland could ever be. The only question is, whether Japan will leave the Dutch possessions in the Southwest Pacific alone or eventually force them into the arms of the Allies?

    A look at my relations with the Netherlands, however, also puts a hole in this idea. My relations with the Dutch is only 10 (some reason I thought I was trading a lot more with them, and at this point they won't sell me anything?). I guess it is a viable strategy if Germany had pursued better relations, trade and espionage influence since 1936. At this point it seems too late, because once the war starts the Netherlands will probably run towards the Allies like everybody else...

    War in Asia
    Like clockwork, Japan declares war on Nationalist China on July 1, 1937.



    Japan thus ends up in a war against Xibei San Ma, Guangxi Clique, Communist China and Shanxi also… In my only Hoi3 test game (up until September 1939) Japan got completely stalled at the Chinese border by the Chinese alliance. I am excited to see how she fares this time.

    By diplomatically influencing Japan since I got Italy into the Axis in April, I am able to invite Japan into the Axis by August 19. I choose not to, however, because I am pretty sure that the Treaty of Munich will not fire if I get dragged into the war in Asia. Instead I switch to influencing Romania towards me and Japan starts drifting back towards the Comintern. I will have to influence Japan again later, I guess.



    Game events during 1937:
    I get two game events this year:
    Political Feud in the Government (February)
    Re-organisation of the War Ministry (November)

    Year-end status on diplomatic influence:
    By December 23 France begins to use their diplomatic influence on Canada. I do a status check. The following majors are influencing others:

    Germany: USA and Romania
    United Kingdom: Portugal and South Africa
    Soviet Union: Japan
    USA: None
    Japan: None
    France: Canada
    Italy: Switzerland


    Up next: Some thoughts on the gameplay in 1936 and 1937
    Last edited by Commander-DK; 19-07-2010 at 04:37.
    What does this button do? - a Semper Fi gameplay AAR (Germany, 1936) - World War II accidentally started on June 1, 1938 (dead)
    Turning Point: STALINGRAD - a 1942 campaign gameplay AAR here - the war begins on page 13! (dead)
    A World in Flames - an international DDA 1.1 1936 AAR Index in the first post (dead)


    "You mean now we can't say 'Hello, we're French spies' to strangers on the street like we used to?"
    - Furstner in The Popular Front by Prufrock451

  12. #12

  13. #13
    Baron Von Uber's Avatar
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    curtis: I'm not even going to bother with this thread. The skids to hell have already been greased on this baby.

    Brain Surgery - The AAR!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by soulking View Post
    I love how Norway hates Britain
    Yeah, that struck me as pretty funny too. Don't really know why Denmark feels more threatened by France than Britain, but I guess it must be something with distances and relations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Von Uber View Post
    Subscribed
    Thank you - and welcome onboard!
    What does this button do? - a Semper Fi gameplay AAR (Germany, 1936) - World War II accidentally started on June 1, 1938 (dead)
    Turning Point: STALINGRAD - a 1942 campaign gameplay AAR here - the war begins on page 13! (dead)
    A World in Flames - an international DDA 1.1 1936 AAR Index in the first post (dead)


    "You mean now we can't say 'Hello, we're French spies' to strangers on the street like we used to?"
    - Furstner in The Popular Front by Prufrock451

  15. #15

    Post Episode 5

    EPISODE 5


    Some thoughts on the gameplay in 1936-1937


    Diplomacy and trade
    I have noted a few significant differences between Hoi2 and Hoi3 when it comes to trade and I like the new system a lot. First of all, distance and availability of convoys plays an important role. In Hoi2 Germany could easily trade with Nationalist China, Japan and South America to get a lot of resources - no more in Hoi3. Some nations simply won't trade with me - even at the beginning in 1936. I haven't detected a system in the refusals but the pattern seems to be that range lessens the chances.

    Overseas trading also requires convoys, making a country such as Germany extremely vulnerable once war breaks out because the Royal Navy and France can choke off any convoys passing through the English Channel. You can, of course, just produce more convoys to make up for the losses, but the Strategic Warfare impact will cost you National Unity, forcing you to spend Leadership on domestic spy missions. See how everything seems to have an impact on every other decision? I LOVE THAT! Hoi3 is finally a game where you can't get everything but have to make a few tough choices every now and then.

    Overseas trading is not really necessary for Germany, however, as the USSR will almost sell you everything you need to keep the economy going. Whenever I was short on money, I would sell a few supplies back to the USSR (I had surplus of supplies/IC anyway) and earn plenty of money that way.

    Of course it is wise to trade with as many different countries as possible to keep up good relations, but unfortunately unlike in Hoi2 a steady trade does NOT improve relations more over time - it just improves by a fixed number pr. trade (10 or 15 I think it is). Thus, to get better relations, it is actually worth it to set up a number of smaller trades instead of getting tempted to just set up one large - e.g. buying 15 crude oil at a time. This is probably my only dislike about the current trade and diplomacy system compared to the old one; I'd like to see some gradual improvements of relations over time from trading. On the other hand, it has removed the old gamey Hoi2 tactic as Germany of just selling 4 energy at a huge discount to every nation in 1936 and then just sitting back and watch relations improve across the board.

    Btw: You get a discount when buying resources now from partners, you have good relations with, but you cannot give friends and allies a discount when they buy from you.

    Practicals and production of units
    In Hoi2 it was important to create units in series to get the gearing bonus to production time (and cost?). In Hoi3 the system works a little different it seems. Every time you produce a unit of a given type, your "practical knowledge" (as opposed to theoretical knowledge used in tech research) of how to produce that unit is improved, lessening both the cost in IC and production days of the next unit of that type.

    These "practicals" go up as long as you continue to produce even a single unit at a time - but when you stop they slowly disappear over time. That is why, in some cases, it is good to have a minister that will halt this "decay" of practical knowledge.

    In my game so far I have seen a huge impact of continuously building a unit at a time instead of building them in "blocks" e.g. 20 infantry divisions at a time and then moving on to the airforce etc. It is a little bit more micro-management but it definetly pays off!

    By November 1937 I had produced a handful of infantry divisions, one after another, which gave me a "practicals" reduction on time and cost of future infantry divisions of -23.6%.

    Through the year 1937, my practicals in Light Aircraft (interceptors and Stukas in my case) continued to improve reducing time and cost by -31.4% (January), -34.4% (June) and -39.4% (November). As I ended up producing 6 Stuka wings and 20 wings of interceptors by the end, the IC saved by this were definetly something to take into consideration!

    Looking back, I should have paid more attention to costly and/or time-consuming units such as armour and submarines. Remember that I actually cancelled the submarine production at the start of the game and did not want to construct a new Type VII because I would be getting the Type IX design by October? Well, when I finally got the Type IX design, my practicals in subs were actually so poor, they added 2% to the production time and cost! It took me a little less than a year to complete my first two sub flotillas after that and only after that could I crank up mass-production of subs with a nice -13% bonus to construction time and IC cost!

    Had I invested a few points of IC in sub construction from the beginning of the game, I would have had those practicals by October 1936, in time for the first batch of subs instead of 10 months later...

    Espionage
    The Intelligence system of Hoi3 is both great and somewhat useless I feel. In my test game before the AAR, I got 10 spies to USSR and 10 spies in USA. In USSR I set them to "Disrupt Research" and in USA I set them to "Tech Espionage", hoping that I would steal some research from the Americans. In 3½ years absolutely nothing happened.

    I haven't been able to confirm it, but I am starting to guess that Politcal Espionage, Tech Espionage and Military Espionage missions just improves whatever information you get on that particular field and that you cannot steal tech research anymore. I think it is a shame that there are almost too many different spy missions because, as a country doing the espionage, wouldn't you like to spread out your people to know as much as possible about as much as possible? I am guessing that Paradox wants the player to keep changing the mission to a new focus and that way gradually discover more instead of just being able to send in 10 spooks and then getting everything on a silver plate. But it is a bit annoying.

    As a consequence, I rarely do anything abroad but: 1) Increase Threat or 2) Disrupt National Unity. That second option is, IMHO, only really worth anything in a wartime situation when you are trying to make an enemy collapse. In peacetime I haven't observed any effect of it.

    I have tried a little bit in 1937 to support Italy's ruling party from influence by the French and British, but it was near impossible to evaluate whether it had been worth the Leadership points spent.

    In Austria, I sent in spies to Support Our Party to get the Anschluss quickly, but I have a suspicion that the event is bugged. In the tooltip it says that the organisation/popularity of the NSDAP must be above 40 for the event to fire. When the Anscluss event became available, I was nowhere near 40 with the NSDAP in Austria but I had just raised the score to 40 in Germany via domestic spies. So, I haven't tried it, but I suspect that the info in the forum that you need to send spies to Austria is actually wrong, but I haven't bothered to confirm it.


    Up next: 1938 and the Treaty of Munich!
    What does this button do? - a Semper Fi gameplay AAR (Germany, 1936) - World War II accidentally started on June 1, 1938 (dead)
    Turning Point: STALINGRAD - a 1942 campaign gameplay AAR here - the war begins on page 13! (dead)
    A World in Flames - an international DDA 1.1 1936 AAR Index in the first post (dead)


    "You mean now we can't say 'Hello, we're French spies' to strangers on the street like we used to?"
    - Furstner in The Popular Front by Prufrock451

  16. #16
    Second Lieutenant
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    Nice so far. I like the format you are using - analysis of actions and why things may hapen the way they do.

    Looking forward to more.

  17. #17
    Lt. General soulking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commander-DK View Post
    Yeah, that struck me as pretty funny too. Don't really know why Denmark feels more threatened by France than Britain, but I guess it must be something with distances and relations?
    Denmark feels more threaten by France then by Germany? wow...

  18. #18
    I'm enjoying the AAR, since it explains HOI3. I am subscribing.

  19. #19
    First Lieutenant charmquark94's Avatar
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    Very readable and informative so far, thanks for all the effort - Joe
    “Strike them with terror, O Lord; let the nations know they are but men.” Psalm 9:20

  20. #20
    Relaxed Cynic Forgiven's Avatar
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    Ah, seems there's so many Ger 1936 ones around, are we lacking imagination
    Anyways, will be good to compare how differently people do things in the end.
    ‘If you do not submit at once, I will invade your country. And if I invade, I will pillage and burn everything you hold dear. If I march into Laconia, I will level your great city to the ground.’
    'If'

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