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Thread: Learning from Prussia - a Rise of Prussia AAR against a real player - for beginners

  1. #21
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Just to say that this AAR will carry on being updated - I plan to go until the very end - but of course Baris and I both partied like young lads in our respective countries for 31/12/2010, and did not play a lot. Plus I "caught" back to where we are with the last update so really I don't want to reveal too much already (we are Late Feb 1757).

  2. #22
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    I'm interested in learning more about the AGEOD games, as I recently bought ACW and quickly followed it with Revolution Under Siege. Haven't really played either yet, but particularly the subject matter of RUS was too good to ignore. And now I'm reading this and wondering if I should've gotten RoP as well.

    Anyway, I like the format, I think I'll learn some good stuff and I expect it will be an interesting PBEM game to follow. Thanks for the AAR!

  3. #23
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Part IX : Late November 1756 – Early December 1756 – the siege of Troppau

    In late November 1756, nothing interesting. Troppau stills holds – but I am confident its supplies are now running low, and General Picolomini is again on sight.

    As for Frederick’s columns, they are back heading back home in the snow – but they have supplies, home is not too far and the weather while cold is good so it should be no problem.



    Early December 1756 sees a good surprise, though !



    A breach, finally ! [The orange icon near Troppau with a small 1]
    One more breach and I can assault Troppau, as Troppau as only 2 levels of fortifications.
    Picolomini is still around, but I expect him to move toward me now Troppau is at risk. Note that my troops are in defense, and not “offense” as they look on the screenshoot (or on the previous screen ; more details on offense / defense next AAR).

    The siege carries on.

    Frederick’s columns are back home (in Dresden)


  4. #24
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Part X : Conondrum at Troppau
    Late December 1756 sees an interesting situation…
    First, to get that over with, let’s just see this screenshoot, which shows that the military operations should stop now, as Winter is there. Fredericks troops are wintering in Dresden, as expected (no teleportation available back then).



    In front of Troppau, the situation is much more complex :



    My troops did a second breach. I can now assault the structure and take it once and for all. But Picolomini is just there, a few days away, and will most probably try to attack me. To explain my problem, I need to do a double “Beginner’s corner”.

    Beginner’s corner : Postures and Rule of Engagement

    As you have seen, I give orders to my troops for the next 15 days. But what happens if my troops meets the enemy ? Do they engage ? Do they flee ? Well, much depends on who is your commander… and what posture (a.k.a. “stance”) and Rule of Engagement (ROE) you gave them.

    There are 4 postures :

    - Assault Posture (RED icon): your unit will attack any enemy army it encounters, and assault any structure it finished its moves on, if it can (i.e. it is not a fortress)
    - Attack Posture (ORANGE icon) : your unit will attack any enemy army it encounters, but not the structures
    - Defensive Posture (BLUE icon) : your unit will not attack any enemy on its own, but will block its movements if some conditions are met. It will also fortify, thus increasing its bonus each turn (up to a maximum)
    - Passive posture (GREEN icon) : your unit will move out of the way (in another province) if it meets an enemy army, whatever that other army’s posture is. If it is attacked, it will try to retreat ASAP.

    Note that there is a special order called “Evade Combat” which allows small units (a few cav, irregulars, raiders), to avoid combat and enemies without actually “moving out of the way”.

    Once the battle as started, you might want to decide whether your army attacks aggressively or not. Those are the rules of Engagement. There are 4 of them, with different names depending on your posture :

    - All out attack / Hold at all cost : The army will NEVER retreats, whatever the odds are. It can still rout, though. It is to be used VERY carefully, because whole armies can be destroyed because you gave that order at the wrong moment. On attack, “All out attack” will also translate into more losses for everyone, especially you.
    - Sustained attack / Defend : The “standart attack”. Your general will take the initiative in retreating if he feels the situation gets… difficult.
    - Conservative attack / Defend and Retreat : The army will fight a little, than retreat, except if the general believes he is clearly winning the battle. Losses will be limited for both sides. Good to use when you are not quite sure of what you will meet.
    - Feint attack / Retreat if engaged : Your army will retreat very quickly (Feint attack) or immediately. I almost never use feint attack, but it can be good to exhaust / slow down and enemy. Retreat if engaged is handy, though.

    You can see what Posture I selected by looking at the color (and form) of the icon on the upper right corner of the picture of the general on the map : Wedell is in Assault Posture, while von Schwerin is in defend posture. Why those postures ? Well, you need know to read :

    Beginner’s corner :Activation

    I have talked a lot of activation already. What is it ? Well, a general can either be activated, or not. In the settings I put :

    - An activated general behaves normally
    - An non-activated general is sulking, distraught or just play lazy : he gots a (very significative) malus in speed and attack capacity, and more importantly, cannot be set in an offensive or assault posture.

    Activation depends on three main factors : the strategy level of the general, the strategy level of the Commander-of-Chief of the army, if applicable, and whether the general was already active the previous turn.

    To see whether the general is active or not, look at the envelop ABOVE his portrait : if it is white, he is active. If it is yellow, he is not.

    And, back to my situation, that’s the case of Von Schwerin – he is NOT active thus cannot assault the structure.

    My conundrum is that I NEED to assault the structure since it is winter, but if I put Wedell into “assault”, he will not only assault the structure, but also attack offensively Picolomini’s army as soon as possible, without the protection of his fortification and more importantly, without waiting for Von Schwerin, because I cannot change a posture during a turn. On the other hand, I can give Wedell the order to “enter” the structure once it is taken – in which case his “posture” will become without interest, but if I do this von Schwerin will be alone to stop Picolomini, and Picolomini might actually defeat von Schwerin and trap everyone in Troppau (Wedell + von Schwerin retreating) with no relief armies in sight…. Difficult choice indeed…

  5. #25
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    nice pair of updates and very clear as to your decisions - I'm still making my way through the 3rd training exercise, so really enjoy this both as an AAR and as an intro to the game
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  6. #26
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    The discussion of activation and its consequences was very helpful and I'm looking forward to seeing what decision you end up making at Troppau - and what its consequences will be...

  7. #27
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Part XI : The Fall of Troppau

    I finally decided to tell Wedell to assault and then enter the structure, while von Schwerin would stop Picolomini. Both armies (Von Schewrin’s and Picolomini) are roughtly the same size, and Schwerin is that much better than his prospective opponent.

    First the results of the assault :



    360 dead Prussians vs 1000 for them. More importantly, I capture all the guns and the supplies there – which means it will be about as hard for the Austrian to take back Troppau as it was for me to take it.

    Picolomini makes his move, and is faced as expected by Von Schwerin :


    This battle is much larger, but not too much letality either. I suspect Picolomini was in “Conservative Attack” mode, and Picolomini is easily repulsed without significative loss for either side.
    At last, Troppau is mine !

    As for Frederick, it is the beginning of a new cunning plan of mine : a Winter attack. This succeded wonderfully in a previous game against Baris, during which I surprised his English main army garrisoned in a depot, sieged it and then annihilated it in the middle of winter, thus ensuring victory for Montcalm. I will try exactly the same, but before I need to set a forward depot : that’s the kind of job Frederick does not trust anyone to do, so he is going forward with the objective of setting up a depot (cost : 2 units of 4 elements of supply wagon) in Lobovitz. He takes his bro with him, to show him how it is done.


    Next turn, the columns will start their move, so they arrive in Lobovitz just as the depot is finished. Then, it is only one turn to siege Prag and trapping the full Austrian army.

    Note that I had this idea BEFORE reading about the suggestion on the forum. Putting a depot in the initial rush is an even better idea, though, and I will keep that in my mind for the next game.

    Some change in Austrian :

    The Commander-in-chief of Austrian forces is changed (by event) - but Charles de Lorraine is not any better than Brown

    More importantly, you can see on this pic that Picolomini is not any more the leader of his army (he probably lost seniority after his battle), and that face is Von Daun – the best Austrian leader.



    The only good news is that if Von Daun is here, he is not in Prag.

  8. #28
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Part XII : Empire Total War

    Not much news on the military front this turn :

    In Troppau, Daun decides not to try his chance against my armies :



    Frederick’s smart plan does not see any change ; and as you can see here, I give the orders to my troops to march toward the not-yet-built depot.


    The supplies they carry with them should be enough to avoid them dieing due to winter.

    More news on the Diplomatic front, though – with two bads news.
    First, the Holy Roman Empire declares war on me :


    This was to be expected, as the Holy Roman Emperor is the husband of the Empress of Austria (for complex historical reasons I won’t get into).

    Worse news, the Russians gangs up as well :

    While I don’t expect them any time soon, my defense in Eastern Prussia are wholly inadequate (20 000 troops vs expected 100 000 Russians). This cannot be good.

  9. #29
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    so did you get away with it at Troppau due to having two armies? I suppose what I'm asking is if you only had one command would it have been an idea to split it into two - one tasked with ending the siege and the other with fending off the Austrian Army?

    presume that Russia is bad news, I vaguely recall that Zorndorf was little but a bloodbath when the Prussians and Russians clashed later in the Seven Years War.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  10. #30
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    I decided to let Wedell enter the structure as soon as the assault was finished, while von Schwerin defended the point. You might have "jumped" over one of the updates.

  11. #31
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Part XIII : The weather is Austrian

    First news : my cunning plan is destroyed by winter :



    The screenshoot is not very obvious, but you can see the armies are using a weird route to go where I told them to go. This is because the mountain pass has an horrible weather, and canons / supply chariots cannot go through. So I have to call off the attack – and my troops will be worse off than they would have been without attacks, due to frostbite (rather minor actually).

    The Austrian player probably never saw me making that useless and somewhat costly attempt.
    Frederick is ordered to remain where he is.

    Little Braunschweig joins the war. The troops they give me are very, very few, but quite elite. You can see ALL the troops I have thanks to them (except garrisons) on this screenshoot :

    Not much, but the leader (the Ebprinz Karl) is quite good (5-2-2 / Fast Mover / Staffer (bonus in command points). He is the son of Ferdinand of Brunswick, so it kind of runs in the family. I decide to move him in Magdeburg, where he cannot be less useful than what he is at Braunschweig.

    As the HRE is at war against me, I decided to go siege Lubeck with some troops from Hannover (more or less the only troops I can move. I hope to trigger a Lubeck quick surrender (scripted event – Lubeck joined Prussia after switching side historically).

  12. #32
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhal View Post
    I decided to let Wedell enter the structure as soon as the assault was finished, while von Schwerin defended the point. You might have "jumped" over one of the updates.
    ah no, I'd missed the option to combine the assault order with the 'enter structure as soon as possible' order. Can see what you did now.

    this game is seriously addictive and utterly immersing, still struggling with the Saxony scenario but at least I now have something vaguel resembling a strategy to follow
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  13. #33
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Will you have the ability to raise significant numbers of new troops to meet the HRE and/or the Russians, or are there events that give you new armies? In other words, will you be able to fight your foes on all fronts, or will you have to knock them out one by one, in order to survive?

  14. #34
    emotionally retarded theif Anazagar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Will you have the ability to raise significant numbers of new troops to meet the HRE and/or the Russians, or are there events that give you new armies? In other words, will you be able to fight your foes on all fronts, or will you have to knock them out one by one, in order to survive?
    He has an army in koeningsberg and will get landwerh (militia) in brandenburg - together about 40k troops. Also it's possible to buy brthish reinforcements in late 57/early 58 - 15 k at start IIRC .
    MacGregor about me

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    - Radosław Sikorski Polish Minister of Foregin Affairs.

  15. #35
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anazagar View Post
    He has an army in koeningsberg and will get landwerh (militia) in brandenburg - together about 40k troops. Also it's possible to buy brthish reinforcements in late 57/early 58 - 15 k at start IIRC .
    Thanks for the answer.

  16. #36
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    I think I ll do a Beginner's Corner with unit construction (which is possible, albeit at a very slow pace), reinforcement buying (possible, and different from unit construction) and other "ways" to get troops as soon as possible.

    But for now :

    Part XIV : British “observing” the situation
    Not much happening in Late Feb, but some diplomatic victories for Prussia (100% scripted – no player influence at all) : the British create an “Army of Observation” – sort of UN of the era, you see… NOT.




    For the Prussian army, the situation is getting worse, even though there are no enemies to fight :



    Poor sanitation for Keith’s column, which got some losses yet again. The “poor sanitation” event always strike the largest column of a side – this should get corrected in the next patch, but for now Keith WILL be the victim of all those events (they are rather rare though, I have been unlucky).

    Not much happening until early march either. Let’s use the opportunity to take a peek at the force facing the Russians :



    Lehwaldt is commander the Prussian forces in Königsberg. Not really my best general, but quite good nonetheless (4-2-4). Dunno what he did to Frederick to be assigned there, though. He commands close to 19 000 men, and an awful lots of canons, most of them fixed batteries, though.
    He is assisted by an important cavalry force : 10 000 men and that much horses. Choosing between keeping this very significant cavalry to protect against the Russians or using it on the Austrian front is an important decision. We will see later what my choice was.


    This is a random shoot of a Braunschweig unit (in Red) being constructed :


    “Gardes du Corps” are the best cavalry available to the Prussian player, but I can only construct one unit of those – and then it takes ages (3 months I believe). As I have a very limited manpower pool, I only build the best Austria on the other hand lacks money, but not manpower. Guess what they build...

    Finally, It is the end of Winter in Bohemia, as you can see. I order Frederick to built a depot at the end of the mountain, while my army is moving toward him… and toward Prag.
    Note that Zieten, the moustache guy, does not lead an army but just a group of Hussards - useful scouts and raiders, but definitely not the kind of people I trust for battles.


    The following turns are going to see LARGE battles, at last

  17. #37
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    couple of game play questions if you don't mind.

    First those 10,000 cav, presume they'd stand no chance against a balanced force in a pitched battle so would you be looking to use them to mess up the Russian supply lines?
    Second, about winter. In general does the game force the mindset that the best thing to do is to huddle up in a nice warm city and wait till it all gets nicer? Or can you use depots and wagons to do something useful?

    many tbanks again - I'm really enjoying this as an AAR and as an insight into the game.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  18. #38
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    Nice to see and AGEOD AAR. This is interesting stuff.

    Birth of America is the only AGEOD game I have played. There I found myself a bit thrown by the tiny forces and huge areas involved.
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  19. #39
    emotionally retarded theif Anazagar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    Second, about winter. In general does the game force the mindset that the best thing to do is to huddle up in a nice warm city and wait till it all gets nicer? Or can you use depots and wagons to do something useful?

    many tbanks again - I'm really enjoying this as an AAR and as an insight into the game.
    Offensive opperations in winter can be very tricky. Forces in a region with snow but without a structure (city, fort, depot) at the start of a turn will during the turn resolution recieve hits due to hars weather. Those hits can be mitigated by supply wagons (thus costing you food). Also winter can block moutain passes (meaning that no supply or forces can travel through those regions - the good thing for prussians that there are no passes on the dresden-prague road along the elbe - one of the reasons Prague Gambit 56 can work).

    That means that while it is advisable to winter your forces in a place where you can easily supply them but it's not like they can't move an inch.
    MacGregor about me

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    - Radosław Sikorski Polish Minister of Foregin Affairs.

  20. #40
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    couple of game play questions if you don't mind.

    First those 10,000 cav, presume they'd stand no chance against a balanced force in a pitched battle so would you be looking to use them to mess up the Russian supply lines?
    Second, about winter. In general does the game force the mindset that the best thing to do is to huddle up in a nice warm city and wait till it all gets nicer? Or can you use depots and wagons to do something useful?
    1. You are correct : 10 000 cav would get butchered against a balanced force. They would completely obliterate an enemy army with low cohesion, poor leadership and not fortified. It would be destroyed by an army with high cohesion, high discipline (a fixed value depending of the unit), or fortified.

    There will be a large battle in a few turns, and I will use the opportunity to give a few info on battles. To give a few tidbits I won't get into at the occasion, Cavalry can charge enemy elements (sub-units) during a battle. If it charges, the target enemy element can try to form a square, the "test to know whether a unit forms a square depends on cohesion, defensive rating of the leadership (division leadership or just army leadership ? I don't know), discipline and a few other things I don't know. If no square is formed, the elements suffers an awful lot. If a square is lot, the cav suffers a lot. IIRC, cavalry can also flank during battle (if you play HoI 3, just think "bonus in frontage only the cav can use".
    In reality, I say cav, but really there is heavy cav and light cav. The light cav (croats, chevaux-legers, hussards, ...) are not very good in battle, except pursuit, where they really shine.

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