This AAR is a second go at using Semper Fi and the 1939 scenario, and, obviously, the USSR. I'm using the latest patch, plus the event and lua files that didn't make it into the patch & DiDay's Common Weapon's mod. Hopefully as a package should be stable enough to sustain this AAR. As an update on this, I patched to 2.04 from September 1943 (in game), and to the final version of that patch in August 1944, and the transition has worked out fine.
I want to focus on the Great Patriotic War (and its aftermath, if any) so decided to start on 1 September 1939 with the German invasion of Poland. So hopefully I end up with a bit of time to re-organise things, but won’t have the luxury of a 1936 start, so will have to deal with the consequences of those earlier decisions. What I’ve done is to break things into chapters. So chapter 1 runs from 1 Sept 39 to the German invasion. Each chapter is then broken up into a number of sections. Some of these will provide a chronology (though I'll largely ignore events that don't involve the USSR), others background and others will be more thematic. I'm keeping to the History Book model that I started with last time, but again I may add a number of more game play orientated posts (I still hold to the view that SF/HOI is new enough as to merit explorations of game mechanics and strategies).
I’ll use quite a few pictures and contemporary posters and will rely on drawn maps rather than screenshots. In part this is for feel, also I’ve found some rather nifty pieces of software that allows you to extract (at virtually any scale) simple maps of almost anywhere on earth. If you’re interested check out this longer discussion on the merits of a couple of options , for both you can extract with cities named or blank and then draw onto that framework as you wish. The other reason is I was having a bit of a struggle with my videocard and the province borders were all rather ugly – this is now sorted but for the most part I'll stick to the current maps rather than in-game screenshots.
Obviously for this to work, I needed the Germans to want to invade the USSR, so I took the liberty of tweaking their victory conditions to encourage them to do so. I also, as needed, improved their supply or manpower to give them a block of supplies in Berlin, in mid-1942 (which had the result of sorting out their production AI that really wasn't coping) & a small mapower boost in Oct 43 (or they would have just collapsed) and again in April 1944. All these changes are signalled in the narrative and the reason was to sustain the AAR.
Oh, and just to add to the fun, and hopefully your enjoyment, its on ‘Hard’.
And as a first impression – it remains rather scary. Lots of 1918 tech infantry and stuff so most of the initial IC going on upgrades and I have 2 (yep 2) medium tank brigades, so out of somewhere, I need to build armour, loads more infantry, support brigades, an airforce etc, and all in roughly (hopefully) 18 months, and deal with a massive upgrade backlog.
If anyone is interested, about 90% of the chapter headings are from the poems of Emily Dickinson - brilliant in themselves and utterly invaluable for such gloomy subject material. As the lady put it "Good Morning Midnight, I'm coming home".