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Thread: TutAARial, or How I learned to Stop Fearing Hearts of Iron 3 (Semper Fi)

  1. #21
    Next segment's going up today....

    Aulus: Yes, I will be explaining unit positioning and the combat system (as best as I can)....

    NERFGEN: the buying of oil is just to stabilize the levels, and also to increase relations with USA.... oooo the ze big scary Germanz!
    Last edited by mankle30; 02-12-2010 at 17:17.

  2. #22

    Build Up Part 4: January - July 1937

    January 22 1937: Our CG needs slowly drop. This is one of the effects of rising national unity. Soon our neutrality will start to drop because of actions that the Germans take. This is why it’s so important to get that NU up to where we can take advantage of the better laws. Lower neutrality also will lower your CG needs.

    January 26: We’re now on top of our IC needs for Upgrades. With this taken care of, we’ll be able to start building some infantry divisions.

    Feb. 8: We have a bribed Minister in our Cabinet. If we give him a new position, our party loses some organization. That’s better than the alternative, with the chance of losing 1 of our hard earned unity points.

    Also, in the new year, we’ve got some new ministers vailable. I’ve changed the Minister of Security to Chautemps, who as a “man of the people” gives us 5% more leadership.

    I also send our transport fleet to Tunis to pick up some divisions for the defense of France. I also send the 3 mountain divisions to Djibouti for pick up, and use our pacific transport fleet to pick up our 2 infantry divisions in Indochina.

    I’ve also started disbanding the HQs that are unnecessary - those extra officers go back into our officer pool.

    Those I send to Dunquerque to join the Paris HQ. The Mountain divisions from Djibouti will bolster the defense of the Alps.

    February 17: I have free IC above my production queue, so I’ll put an infantry division (with artillery) in the queue as reserves.

    February 20: Nationalist Spain has won! While they probably won’t be officially allied with Germany, they’ll be friendly to them, so we’ll need to keep an eye on them.

    On March 1, we lose 1 unity due to a great peace demonstration .

    On March 4, all of our infantry is now back in France from our colonies in Africa and Asia. We’ll reorganize our mountain divisions, as they are now in 3 divisions of 2 brigades. We’ll put them into 2 divisions of 3 brigades. We also have a cavalry division there, so we’ll upgrade to light armour and add another light armour brigade and bring this unit to northern France to be used as a mobile reserve force.

    March 14: We’ve reorganized our mountain divisions and doing some reorganizing in the south of France. We’re creating two corps in the Army of the Alps – 1AA and 2AA, and attaching our two new divisions to them.

    On a side note, if you look at our 65th Mountain Infantry Division here, above the button to create a new corps is a number in a box (in this case 24). That number is the unit's weight. 1 transport ship can carry 40 weight.

    While we reorganize, I notice that we have a level 4 general, Juin, and we’re going to give him the 1st Army Group, and move Martin down to the South. We create the 1SF Corps (for the South of France), and attach 5 infantry divisions to it. The other three divisions are sent north. Our 2 divisions from Indochina are added to the 32 Division in the 3rd Army in the 1st Army Group.

    April 6: I now have 9 divisions in 2 corps in the 3rd Army, and 15 divisions in 3 corps in the 7th Army. The 2nd only has 4 divisions (which will be filled out in time), and the 8th only has 3, so I’ve decided to dissolve the 8th and fold the remaining divisions into 3 corps of the 2nd (the 3rd will be an armoured corps).

    April 10: Our 1st 2 light tank techs finished, and our artillery did too.

    April 13: Light Armour Reliability and Armour also finished researching, as did Industrial Efficiency 5. I put engineer techs Assault Weapons and Bridging Equipment into the research queue. After the next batch, we add the infantry techs for another round.

    April 15: Agriculture Advance.

    April 17: Education Advance.

    April 19: Industrial Production advance. We’re now at 78 IC.

    Now for a thought on our defensive strategy. The well defended Maginot is primarily to deter the Germans from attacking there. We plan to have reserves available to defend there if necessary. Otherwise, we expect the Germans to attack through the Low Countries, as they did in World War I. It’s here that our real strength will lie. This is why our armour is so important. In order to outmaneuver a German attack, we need powerful mobile divisions to flank and cut off the Germans, and strong infantry to stand up to them and hold them in place. This will be our tactical goal. Engage, hold in place, outflank and destroy. We will also start to pay attention to our airforce in the coming year and a half. Unfortunately, we won’t have the IC to dedicate to building very many new fighters, so we’ll have to rely on the British for most of our air defense.

    I’m also going to start researching Radar.

    May 3: There’s a Great War Demonstration that gives our ruling party 2.0% more support. Woohoo.

    July 3: Our last Cavalry division has been replaced with another light armoured division.

    July 15: We’re on top of our IC needs and have about 1 ½ to spare. I’ll add a fighter wing to the build queue. I would have licensed an interceptor wing from England, but ours are actually better, giving an 8 air attack over the Hawker Hurricane’s 6.

    July 28: Our first new armoured division was finished and was added to the 2nd army’s Armoured Corps. I’ve also put the S.P. artillery into the research queue (at the top), as well as Anti-Tank research. I’ll begin building a new “Tankbuster” armoured division. This will be swapped out in the 7A Corps. I anticipate more tanks coming through the north than through the Maginot Line.

  3. #23
    Field Marshal sprites's Avatar
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    great totAARial , i have not played much hoi3 and learned a lot!
    no more unfinished IN AAR's

  4. #24
    Thanks Sprites. new update coming up...taking us to 1938!

  5. #25
    Our CG needs slowly drop. This is one of the effects of rising national unity. Soon our neutrality will start to drop because of actions that the Germans take. This is why it’s so important to get that NU up to where we can take advantage of the better laws. Lower neutrality also will lower your CG needs.
    Is it true that lowering neutrality and raising unity brings Consumer goods need down?

  6. #26

    Build Up Part 5: August - December 1937

    August 5: Japan was accepted into the Axis. Again, interesting, but we have a lot more important things to worry about!

    August 7: Operational Level Organization Advancement!

    August 19: We can build Marines!

    September 19: Our first new infantry division is ready. It will be used to bolster the Maginot Line. Our goal is to have 2 divisions in each province, with strategic reserves prepared to fill a break in the line.

    September 28: Blitzkrieg Advance!

    October 1: a new light armour brigade was added to our 6th Light Cavalry division, now in the 2A Corps of the 2nd Army. As the armoured brigades and divisions are finishing, we’re adding more infantry into the queue. We’re also on the verge of finishing off the massive backlog of upgrades. More will hit us once our infantry techs upgrade in mid-1938.

    October 12: Schwerpunkt Advance!

    October 30: A new infantry Division – the 3rd Moroccan Division. We begin training of our first Marine Division. In addition to the marines being useful for attacking across rivers, we plan on being able to land troops behind enemy lines in Belgium and the Netherlands to surround and entrap the Germans as they press their attack, hopefully stretching their supply lines thinly.

    November 7: Shanxi has surrendered to Japan.

    December 7: Communist China Surrenders.

    December 10 : Med. Tank Engine. Add Inf. Warfare 22 to the queue.

    Dec. 11: Med. Tank Gun.

    Dec 19: Med Armour, Reliaibility. Added more Artillery and Assault concentration, Amphibious Equp’t.

    Dec. 27: Sold 1 energy to Nat. Spain… keep on their good side.

    This brings us to the end of 1937. As you can see, there wasn't an awful lot of exciting things happening this year. As France, with such low national unity, things move pretty slow until Germany's threat level gets high enough to bring our neutrality down. That pretty much means that until 1939 really gets going, it's really a slow build up to the start of the war.

  7. #27
    First Lieutenant prince_blucher's Avatar
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    Excellent tutorial, Mankle, well done and thanks, I've learned alot already.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruunu3004 View Post
    Is it true that lowering neutrality and raising unity brings Consumer goods need down?
    Ruunu: Yes! In the next update, I have a series of a couple of screenshots that illustrate just how much.

    Prince: Thanks! It's going to get really interesting when I get to the war!

  9. #29

    Build Up Part 6: January - June 1938

    Jan 1, 1938: New round of Ind. Prod. And Ind. Efficiency. I moved them to top of queue.

    Jan 17: An infantry division is finished.

    Jan 21: Anti-tank barrel advance!

    Here’s our production screen on February 1.

    Notice that we now have over 31 IC to devote for production, and our upgrades are finally below 10IC. Our total IC is at 78, up 6 from where we started. Not a huge increase, but valuable nonetheless.

    On Feb. 1, we can deploy our first squadron of interceptors, “Groupe de Chasse 22”.

    If you look at the deployment screen, you can do one of two things, just like with infantry divisions. You can click on a green province (in the boxes), or you can click on a “target” in the “Select Target” box.

    We’re going to select the” 1er Groupe de Chasse” (literally translated as the 1st Chasing Group, but actually 1st Interceptor Squadron or Wing), and our new interceptor will be automatically be joined with them. It will also be put with the 1st Interceptor Wing for purposes of the chain of command, and since that wing is already attached to an Army Group, the strain on supplies will be lower than if I had just plunked the new squadron down in a green province. The green provinces, incidentally, are the ones where you have airfields. Clearly you can’t put a new air unit in a province without an airbase! If you do choose to just plunk the new squadron down in province, you’ll have to manually attach it to the chain of command.

    One final note about air units (there will be more discussion later). I tend to like to group them into wings of 3 squadrons. It multiplies their effectiveness (especially against multiple enemy units), but it also helps avoid too heavy stacking penalties.

    I have also dissolved the 4th Army (in the Maginot Line HQ), and folded that corps into the 2nd Army. Now the 2nd Army is in charge of Maginot Line defense and has 16 divisions (on Feb. 10) in 4 corps. The plan is to have 2 divisions in each province along the line as well as reserves behind.

    Feb. 8: We finish researching Self-Propelled Artillery. This is actually a REALLY important tech if you want to maximize the punch you can get with your armoured units. I think I've mentioned before that divisions move at the speed of the slowest unit in it. This means that if you attach regular artillery to your armoured divisions, it will slow them down to the pace of regular infantry. Part of armour's benefits (in addition to being tougher to kill, and having higher attack against other hard units) is its speed. Another added bonus is that SP Artillery raises the softness of a division, allowing you another way of getting into the Combined Arms range.

    I put 6 SPArty brigades into the build queue right away.

    I also put some land forts into the queue, but I put them right at the bottom. They’re “luxury items.” I hope to not have to defend those two provinces, Longuyon and Montmedy, I’d rather be taking the fight to the Germans elsewhere, or use the natural river barriers for defense, but if the Germans break through Belgium and Holland, I’m vulnerable, especially right at Luxembourg.

    Feb 21: Education advance.

    I also put another round of medium tank upgrades into the research Q. After the tank techs are researched, probably around mid-1939, I’ll start upgrading our fighters a bit. Again, I’m not too worried, I’ll probably only research the armour and armament techs. We don’t need too much range if we’re fighting above our own skies.

    March 3: Our “Tankbuster” Division is finished. I’m going to put it into the 7th Army and move over a light armoured division from there to the Maginot line HQ. I have a feeling that most of the German armour is going to come over the flat plains of Holland.

    March 4: Nat. China Surrenders to Japan.

    If you notice, our officer rate is in the 100 teens. Eventually, I’ll start putting more leadership into it, but since we can’t enact better mobilization laws, we still get a penalty to our ability to recruit and train officers. As our upgrade need comes down, I put another reserve infantry division into the queue and move the forts down. They’ll get finished, but they’re not a high priority.

    April 9: Small arms and light artillery advance.

    Notice the big jump upgrades takes (from 8.25 to 26.84).

    (IC on April 9)
    (IC on April 10)

    This is because of how many units need to be upgraded. Since these two techs upgrade infantry, which is our most plentiful unit, the IC need to fund all it is quite high. We’ll partially fund these upgrades by pulling IC away from the land forts.

    April 10: Bridging equipment advance! Our engineers will be more effective attacking over rivers.

    April 18: Assault Weapons advance. Makes engineers a little bit stronger.

    April 20: Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons Advance – makes our infantry stronger against tanks!

    May 6: Infantry Support Weapons Advance!

    May 9: Germany Annexes Austria.

    This dropped our neutrality 5 points, from 90 to 85….This drops our CG need by about 5 points as well.

    May 31: You can see our production screen above, our upgrade need is way up in the 40’s.

  10. #30
    I notice you have reinforcement locked in at .03. Is this a conscious allocation decision to give just a trickle of troops until you really need them, or carry-over from when you didn't need that many reinforcements?
    1 Clerk............................................. ........................1 Angestellte
    Nationality/Culture: Yankee /
    North German...............Nationalität/Kultur: Yankee-Amerikanisch / Norddeutsch
    Religion: Orthodox.......................................... ..........Religion: Orthodox
    Ideology: Reactionary....................................... ........Ideologie: Reaktionär
    Issues: Protectionism (Mercantilism), Pluralism.............Probleme: Protektionismus (Merkantilismus), Pluralismus
    Current Work: Student (Germanistik / Linguistics)......Arbeit: Student (Germanistik / Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft)
    Cash Reserves: Low, but steady..................................Geldreserv en: Niedrig
    Revolt Risk: 7.5%.............................................. ........Revoltenrisiko: 7,5%
    Militancy: 3.00 (-.01).............................................. ....Militanz:
    3,00 (-,01)
    Consciousness: 7.00 (+.02).........................................Bew ußtsein: 7,00 (+,02)

  11. #31
    Hi Aulus.....I just hadn't adjusted it to the need yet..... I manually handle the IC sliders .... I think everyone around here agrees that the AI is hopeless when it comes that!

  12. #32

    Build Up Part 7: July - December 1938

    July 4: Our first Marine Division is ready.

    We’ll put another one into the queue. I’ll deploy them to Dunquerque, and create a Marine Corps for them. Notice, there are only engineers as a support. If we’re using the Marines to attack across rivers and amphibiously, we don’t want to attach other support brigades like artillery or anti-tank. Like attaching artillery to mountain divisions, it’s pretty much a waste due to the large penalties involved. I appoint a LW/Fortress Buster commander, Cazaud, to the Corps. This will give small bonuses (at the Corps level, it’s half of what the division commander gives) for both of these traits to the divisions under his command.

    I’m also going to replace Georges as commander of Maginot Line HQ with Leclerc de Hautecloque, who’s a higher level general (4), as well as a Logistics Wizard, and Martin in 2nd army Group in the south with Catroux who is a level 4. Now all my army group commanders are have skill levels of 4. I’ll get into placing generals a little closer to when we get to combat. As well, we’ll get a new group of generals on January 1 1939 before we’re at war anyway, so we may get some better ones.

    I’m now researching “Special Forces” land doctrine to increase org. for my marines. I’m not researching or planning to build Airborne Infantry. The reason is that to make them useful as anything other than infantry, you need to build transport planes, which are enormously costly for IC, in addition to the increased cost of the paratrooper training.

    July 21: Artillery Barrel and Ammunition Advance, Xibei San Ma surrenders to Japan, and we get a new infantry division.

    August 7: Artillery Carriage and Sights advance!

    August 18: The first 3 SP Artillery divisions are ready and get added into the 7A corps in Dormands. I also put a new armoured division into the queue. Note the stats - they're higher than they were, due to our tech upgrades. The medium armour upgrades well, and there is another round of tech upgrades being researched right now. I put 2 more SP artillery brigades into the queue. That will top up the last two three-brigade armoured divisions in 2A corps.

    August 28: The 6th SP Artillery division is ready and attached.

    September 26: Infantry Warfare, and Assault Concentration advances.

    October 13: We get a surge of Volunteers which will give us a 10% bonus to manpower for a period of time. I once read that if you wait before clicking “Let’s Fight” until the the effect lasts until after the 1st of the month, you’ll get a better bonus, as the 1st of the month is when the manpower is added. However, I think this is only for HOI3, and not the Semper FI expansion.

    November 14: Antitank barrel advancement.

    November 23: I add another infantry division to the queue, but if you notice, our national unity is now at 60%. This is the magic number for better Economic laws, so now I’ll change my spies over to lowering neutrality.

    We need to get our neutrality to below 70 to get the next law. I’ll change ministers to get a lowering neutrality minister of Security (Paganon will do). This means giving up a 5% bonus to our leadership. This is a sacrifice I’m willing to make right now.

    November 26: Brazil wants to buy energy. We’re going to need it, so we decline.

    Another infantry division is ready. I’m also reorganizing our Maginot Line 2nd Army. I’m going to give each corps of 4 divisions responsibility for 2 provinces. Therefore we’ll eventually need 2 armies to cover the whole Maginot Line. I’ll also give each army a 3 division armoured corps.

    December 6: The land fort at Longuyon is finished and we have researched Radar. Next to research is “Advanced Aircraft Design”.

    December 15: Anti-Tank Ammo and Muzzle Velocity advance!

  13. #33
    Colonel NERFGEN's Avatar
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    It's looking like you've got the mess out of France's economic status quite fixed there..

    One minor detail: "le groupe de chasse" is the hunter group In france the fighter is called the hunter

    Come to think of it in latin countries its like that...
    The USSR produced 57,224 T-34 tanks of various specifications during the WW2 timeline. 44,900 became scrap metal (aka destroyed).
    Total USSR AFV 1941-45 losses were 96.600. War winning tank much?

    Aar Tribute to the classicaar: RISK

  14. #34
    Thanks Nerf! Nothing like "the thrill of the hunt"!

  15. #35
    Corporal pkawol's Avatar
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    I just wonder if Japan succeeds in China so far
    In my games it always fails.

  16. #36

    Build Up Part 8: January - September 1939

    1939 is a big year. Germany will attack Poland and drag us into the conflict. They will PROBABLY not attack France until early 1940, but they could. If they detect weakness along the Maginot line, they will attack, therefore, we need to have our Maginot line defenses in place by the summer, and mobilize our reserves around August.

    January 12, 1939: 2nd Marine Division. Now we’ll concentrate on a couple more armoured divisions, but mostly infantry.

    February 18: Assassination attempt of the opposition leader. I choose the “do what you can to calm things down” option as it won’t cause us to have to pull IC away from production in order to devote it to CG.

    February 25: Industrial Production (IP) and Industrial Efficiency (IE) advances. These are important techs because they help us increase our IC without tying any up building more factories. IP helps us get a higher percentage of available IC out of our base IC. This can be tricky, especially if you're a country with limited resources, because even though we're getting more available IC, you still have to have the resources to keep the factories going. IE makes everything you build cost less IC, which for the resource starved, is a blessing!

    I look at building stuff (units, planes, ships, installations) as having 2 IC dimensions. The horizontal - how long it takes to build something - can be shrunk by having high practicals - the more practical knowledge you get by building a lot of the same things. The vertical - how much IC each item takes to build - can be shrunk by higher IC efficiency.

    March 2: Med. Tank Gun advance, and a SPArty brigade. The last SPArty brigade is attached on March 3.

    March 16 is a busy day: 2 more tank advances, and 2 new divisions to be deployed – 1 armoured and one infantry.

    March 22: The last tank tech is finished. We’re also starting the 12 Corps in the 1st army.

    March 29: Germany annexes Czechoslovakia. This drops our neutrality to 68% and allows us to enact better laws. We can enact Basic Mobilization, and soon, when we’re at 65% Neutrality, we’ll be able to enact Full Mobilization. Notice, that we’re going to need more resources, so our cash reserves will come into play here. We’ll trade with allies and the US, and probably have to sell some supplies.

    Now that our economy is starting ramp up, I’m adding more armour and another fighter wing to our production queue. I’ll wait another couple of months to really add infantry, because they finish much quicker than armour (mostly due to our higher practical levels), and soon enough, we’ll have more IC to play with.

    April 2. You notice our neighbors are mobilizing. I’m going to wait until August. The increased number of troops will require more CG at peace, and more Supplies.

    April 5: Another Infantry Division gets added to the Maginot Line at Metz into 12 Corps.

    April 24: We’re getting requests for Energy, but we’re going to need it for ourselves very soon.

    May 20: Italy is accepted into the Axis. This makes us worry a little. Italy will be a concern only if Germany puts out their call to arms if they're having trouble with their invasion of France. This will get the Italians to start attacking us at our border. To defeat this, we do need to keep significant forces in the south to keep them on their side of the Alps.

    May 24: Special Forces Advance!

    June 1: Light Artillery Advance!

    June 10: Land Fort at Montmedy. I’ll start another one at the same spot.

    July 6: Small Arms Advance!

    July 8: We can go to Full Mobilization, and we have a new infantry division. We now have 135 IC to work with, and we’re still not even at war time mobilization, which we’ll be able to do (as well as better draft laws) when Germany attacks Poland. Our Maginot Line is well defended, at least against probing attacks the Germans might try. Now is when we start to build the rest of the army to defend the north, and take the fight to the Germans!

    July 11: Infantry Anti-Tank Advance.

    August 1: To reverse the deficit, we sell 3 units of supplies to the US.

    August 6, a new armoured division gets attached to complete our 3 division 2A corps for the 2nd Army.

    August 14: We enact War Economy . . . More IC! Now I’m going to use my spies to raise national unity again. This does 2 things, it will help us get closer to better draft laws, and if we get invaded and lose ground, it will take longer before we’re forced to surrender.

    August 20: Now you can see that since enacting the War Economy, we’re running short of energy and money. We’ll make 2 deals the with the US, one to buy energy,and one to sell supplies. We’ll also buy a lot more energy than we need right now, to act as a buffer for when we bump up our economy one more time.

    August 24: We receive word that Germany is mobilizing. We’ll do the same. So what happens when you mobilize? Your reserves get filled up, being drawn from your manpower reserves (see below for a bit more).

    How do you mobilize? Go to the politics screen and select the "Mobilize" button! It's important that you time it well, so you make sure you don't get attacked before you can get all your troops to their units. If you're playing as Germany, it's also useful to attack when you know your enemy hasn't fully mobilized yet!

    September 4: We’re at War. We enact new laws and wait for our raising national unity campaign to have effect that lets us enact Mixed Industry again.

    If you look at our production screen there are several things to note.
    1: In the top left hand corner, you see the “at war” icon. If you mouse over it, a tool tip comes up which tells you who you’re at war with!
    2: Next to the “at war” icon is the “Better Laws” icon. Mousing over gives us the tool tip that tells us which laws can be enacted.
    3. This is our manpower display. Right now, we have 848 manpower left. If you mouse over it, it will tell you how much you need to fully reinforce your army. Right now we have no problems, and I don’t think we’ll really have much of a problem with it at all.
    4. We’re still mobilizing, which means that we’re still pumping over 27IC into reinforcing our army. Mobilizing takes 1 month, which means that this will go down to manageable numbers quickly and all our armies will be up to full strength on September 24.
    5. Our CG needs are down to 0! When you’re at war, the citizens of your country don’t demand consumer goods and are willing to go without. This gives us more IC to use for production.

    This is our production screen on September 5.

    September 8: We’ve been presented with an interesting opportunity. Germany has left some provinces on their side of the Maginot line, called the Siegfried Line, lightly defended.

    However, if we attack, and throw everything we have through those gaps, we might be able to break through before the Germans can send troops back from Poland, or down from the North. We do have enough in reserve to punch through. Or we could sit and wait. Remember, attacking armies, especially well defended positions, will take much heavier casualties.

    What shall we do? Stay tuned!

  17. #37

    Ground War Part 1: Tactical principles

    This is as good a place as any to start the combat portion of the TutAARial. There are four provinces along the Maginot Line that the Germans have only 1 division protecting. Hopefully, by the time our reserves are all mobilized and we can bring elements of Paris HQ into the mix. We won’t have enough resources to break through the German lines with the troops we have here, as breaking through these fortified provinces is extremely difficult.

    What we need to do is engage ALL of the German provinces along the Maginot Line in order to keep the Germans pinned down. These are called “pinning” attacks or engagements. By pinning down the Germans, they won’t be able to reinforce the more vulnerable provinces. Even though we probably won’t come close to winning any of these pinning actions, we win by keeping reinforcements out of action long enough for our troops to break through and cause havoc behind the German lines, where we don’t expect there to be as much resistance . . . at least not yet (until they figure out what we’re doing and respond).

    You should also notice where troops are moving. Those that are moving are particularly vulnerable because they won’t get the “entrenchment” bonus. This is a bonus (1% a day for up to 10 days) to defending units that have been in place (and thus been able to prepare their positions). If you see units moving around on the other side of the line, this is a good opportunity to attack without having to give up the bonus.

    When looking for places to make our breakthrough(s), there are a few things we’re looking for.

    1. Forts. We’d rather not attack a province with a fort. Unfortunately, there aren’t any along the German border with France.

    2. Terrain. We’re looking for the flattest, least obstructed terrain we can find. Cities, forests, woods, mountains, hills and rivers all give penalties when attacking. Certain units have smaller penalties in some terrain. Marines obviously have an easier time attacking over rivers and from ships, and the engineers that we’ve attached to the Marine divisions also further reduce the penalties for attacking over rivers. Mountain infantry obviously do better in the mountains and hills. Armoured and Mechanized/Motorized divisions do worse in forests and woods, as well as urban environments.

    In almost any other terrain other than plains, the infantryman is king. If you’re looking for the easiest path to break through with armoured divisions, look for the plains.

    3. Provinces that can be attacked from multiple directions/provinces. The more provinces that you can direct your attack from, the higher bonuses you’re going to get for multiple attacks, and you’ll also be allowed to stack more units into the battle (more on stacking later).

    This is a good place to discuss the concept of Combat Width. Every combat unit has a certain width. Usually an infantry brigade has a width of one, and an armoured brigade has a width of two. Support brigades have a width of zero. Our standard infantry brigade is 3 infantry and 1 artillery, with a combat width of 3. The way the game works is that when there is one province attacking one other one, there is an available combat width of 10. You can keep adding divisions until the combat width is EXCEEDED. Therefore, we would be able to get 4 of our standard infantry divisions (we stack 3 divisions for a width of 9, which lets us get one more in, to bring our width of 12). Every extra province that you attack from adds a width of 5. Therefore, we’d be able to get 6 infantry divisions into a 2 province attack. (Combat Width of 15 – since 5 infantry divisions equals a width of 15 it hasn’t exceeded the width yet, we can still get one more in).

    We also need to keep in mind the stacking penalty. Every unit above 5 in a province, either attacking or defending, gives a stacking penalty. You can reduce this penalty with a high level general as the Theatre HQ commander. This stacking penalty means that even if you have the combat width to put 6 or more divisions into combat, you’ll still be penalized for having that many divisions attacking from a single province. This also comes into play when you’re defending! If you have more than 5 divisions in a province and you’re being attacked, you’ll get a stacking penalty.

    Let’s look at the pros and cons of attacking some of the provinces along our border with Germany. Also notice, that since we don’t have any radar deployed, we can only see the number of divisions in the province directly adjacent to our border. If we had radar (which helps air units as well), we’d be able to “see” farther into enemy territory. The other way to get better intelligence on enemy units is using your planes on attacking missions. I’ll demonstrate this later.

    1: Todtmoos.

    There is only 1 german division stationed there and there are two provinces that we can attack from. Also on the plus side is that the province terrain is plains, and the division is a mountain division. On the negative, there is a river blocking our path.

    2: Hinzergarten.

    2 German divisions here, but all other parameters are the same as Todtmoos, including the river.

    3: Baden.

    This is a plains province, has one has only 1 defender, and can be attacked from 3 provinces, although all three have a river border.

    4: Donaueschingen.

    While a plains province, there’s a river, 2 defenders, and a fort (standard for this region). Also on the downside, is that our attackers from Strasbourg are vulnerable to attack from 3 provinces.

    5: Villingen.

    Plains, 1 defender, can attack from 2 provinces, have to cross rivers.

    6: Achern.

    We don’t have to cross a river to attack, and there’s only one defender, but we can only attack from one province.

    7: Pirmasens: Forest, 2 defenders, no river, can attack from 2 provinces.

    8: Saarbrucken.

    Urban, one defender, can attack from 2 provinces, only one of which has a river crossing. A quick note is that there is NO border with Metz, so we can't attack from there.

    9: Saarlouis: at least 2 defenders, no river, can only attack from 1 province.

    From this analysis, the best places to make a breakthrough will be Todtmoos, Baden, and Villingen. We will concentrate our forces in those three provinces, while attacking at the rest of the 9 provinces along the border to pin the German forces. Keep in mind that only the units under attack will be pinned while they’re fighting, which means that if Germany brings reinforcements from other provinces further east and north than the ones we’re attacking, there’s nothing to stop them.

    Let’s talk about the combat mechanics a little. While you can get more information about detailed mathematical models that the game uses at the Wiki, or the strategy guides, let’s look at the Combat window to see what’s going on.

    Clearly, we have a numerical advantage. but there's more to it than that. Each little point that is displayed has been given a number. There are other pieces of information that you can find out by mousing over certain things, like the general's picture (will give you his skill, experience and traits). If you mouse over a division, a tool tip will come up and give you all of the multipliers being factored in, like division combat experience, general experience and skill, terrain penalties, and a multitude of other things! In our screen, here's what we see.

    1. Multiple fronts - this indicates that there's action from more than one front.

    2. Stacking Penalty. Yes, we're getting a stacking penalty. More than 5 divisions from 1 province incurs a stacking penalty.

    3. Indicates that Experience is a factor (I actually forget what this indicates at the moment, but I'll check it and edit!)

    3. Entrenchment - this shows that the defending units have been immobile for at least one day and have "dug in".

    5. Fortress - shows that there's a land fort.

    6. River crossing - nuff said.

    7. Combined arms bonus - shows that at least one unit is getting the combined arms bonus.

    8. Terrain - indicates that terrain is a factor.

    9. Night - it's night time, and unless you have the "night-fighting equipment" tech, both sides are penalized.

    10. This is your highest level general involved in the combat. He's the one who's seen as the "leader" of all the troops, while individual divisions still get bonuses from their own leaders.

    11. Units in reserve. These units aren't fighting. They'll have the possibility to reinforce (move up to the top) every round of fighting (every hour) depending on a number of factors. They only do this if there's available combat width. Clearly, the Germans in this example have a greater chance of reinforcing from reserves!

    12. Combat width. This is 15 in our case because we're attacking from 2 provinces. If you look at our units - we have 6 units attacking and 18 width. Remember what I said, you can keep adding units as long as the combat width isn't exceeded. In this case, each infantry division has a width of 3 (1 for each brigade -- artillery and other support brigades don't take up combat width). 5 X 3 is 15, and since we haven't exceeded the width of 15 yet, we can add one more division for a final combat width of 18.

    There's one final thing to discuss and that's the "Tactical Withdrawal" event just above combat width. The reason that the Germans' 35. Infanterie-Division is in reserve is probably that it has had the "tactical withdrawal" event, where a unit withdraws for a time. Various events occur, and are mostly randomly determined, but there are techs in the "doctrine" section that can increase likelihood of certain favourable events happening.

    Needless to say, this plan is a big gamble. There are two things that we have to wait for. The first is our troops to fully mobilize. Right now most of our divisions are still about 300 troops short of fully mobilized. An combat brigade will have 3000 troops and a support brigade has 1000.

    The second thing is that we need to wait for more of our forces from the 1st Army Group to arrive to do most of the dirty work.

    While our Maginot line troops are adequate to defend against a German attack (and deter an attack), they’re not going to be nearly enough to break through these heavily fortified provinces. Even though it might seem like we could win the battle with even 3 or 4 divisions attacking, in reality, we’d probably need 8-10 in each province that we’re attacking, plus some air support. We’re going to have to throw the fighters and Tactical Bombers that we have at the Germans to help things.
    We’re going to actually use the German philosophy of Schwerpunkt against them. This is the idea of applying a decisive amount of force at the decisive time. It is also imperative that we achieve our breakthroughs as quickly as possible in order to push our fast moving armour through before more units are able to be brought from the north and east to engage in the battle and keep us bogged down at the fortress line. We also need to achieve operational surprise by not even coming close to attacking or sending fighters and bombers overhead until the moment we attack all across the front. If we can mass an overwhelming amount of force at our chosen points, we should be able to achieve a breakthrough fast enough.

    Also, one of the most important things to do before we launch an attack is to have a plan for what the ultimate goal is. To achieve victory in HOI3, you must capture a percentage of a country’s Victory Points that exceeds the country’s national unity.

    (VP map mode)

    Because Germany’s national unity is 90%, we’re going to have to take almost all of Germany’s Victory Points. We also need to make sure that we can defend what we hold. Our Plan could be to sweep through the south (hopefully breaking through at several points), and then pushing north as far as the North Sea in order to trap the German divisions and eliminate them. The outside divisions will dig in and prepare for the response from the Eastern Front with Poland. Hopefully our British allies will help us out! In actuality, this is probably too much to hope for, but we’ll give it a go. However, our plan is really to hopefully distract the Germans enough to help out Poland, and maybe take and hold as much territory as possible.

    Operationally, I will bring the 7th army as a main assault force with its 10 infantry and 5 armoured divisions. I will also detach the 1st Marine corps (2 divisions) from the 3rd army and attach it to the 7th. The third army will serve as a reserve force with its 9 infantry divisions. In terms of extra reserve forces, the Maginot Line HQ has the 1st Army with 7 infantry divisions and 3 armoured divisions, and the 2nd Army has 12 infantry divisions and 3 armoured divisions. The infantry will do the dirty work in the trenches, and the armour will exploit our breakthroughs.
    Last edited by mankle30; 10-12-2010 at 16:24.

  18. #38
    If you're having trouble seeing my screenshots, apparently, I've exceeded monthly bandwidth on my photobucket account, and my account was suspended until (I think) early January. I'll start a new account for all new posts, and theoretically, everything else will be ok in a little while. If you can see them, please disregard!

  19. #39
    Colonel NERFGEN's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIFor the MotherlandHearts of Iron IIIHOI3: Their Finest HourSemper Fi
    500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Inside your brain
    aaah . can't see nothing .. frowns at photobucket ..greeedy basterds...

    The USSR produced 57,224 T-34 tanks of various specifications during the WW2 timeline. 44,900 became scrap metal (aka destroyed).
    Total USSR AFV 1941-45 losses were 96.600. War winning tank much?

    Aar Tribute to the classicaar: RISK

  20. #40
    yeah i know. I've started a different account and i'll re-do the last post, and all subsequent posts. I'll also keep an eye on the bandwidth thing, and I started an imageshack account as well, in case something goes wrong with photobucket.

    Edit: Screenshots for last post are back up.
    Last edited by mankle30; 10-12-2010 at 16:32.

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