Getting to know AGEOD... ROP AAR by a beginner
Hello everyone. Recently I`ve found big interest in AGEOD games AAR's and, as interesting as they are, unfortunately on Paradox forum's there is just a handful of those. That was one of the reasons why I decided to start my own.
As for my humble person - I`m almost total AGEOD system beginner. In fact my whole experience and knowledge about those games comes from following an excellent Narwhal's AAR, a few turns playing ACW (where I managed to get outmanouvered by a Disabled AI or should I say I outmanouvered myself ) and finishing tutorial in ROP. And that is another reason why I want to start this AAR: premiere of Pride of Nations, a game that I`m really looking forward to, is getting close. I want to get familiar with ROP, hoping it will help me to not get overwhelmed by PON. AAR is to make myself try harder I guess, I might not do anything totaly stupid, knowing you guys are watching . If I`m able to recognize what is a stupid move and what isn't is a totaly different matter.
In this moment I`d also like to apologize for all my future linguistic mistakes in this thread. As you can figure out I`m not a native English speaker, hopefully I`m able to make myself understood though.
As for the game itself: I`m going to play Prussia. I`ve got the feeling Austria might be easier for the beginner as (again, from what I read in the AAR) it punishes the mistakes less (if I accidentaly loose my army on Austria I might still have many left, or raise a new one - on Prussia it'll prolly be The End) but since the tutorial I played as Prussia I'd like to carry on with that.
The settings are going to be as normal as possible. Normal difficulty, normal activation rules etc.
The campaign I`ll play is 1756-64 (the longest one).
Alright, let's start then...
Last edited by Sathariel; 01-03-2011 at 14:16.
The game welcomed me with this screen:
I`m going to try to follow the strategy advised there - eliminate Saxony by blocking the Pirna Camp, and try to destroy Austrian army.
Now lets see what have I got on my disposal to achieve those targets. That's the initial setup of the Saxony/Czech/Silesia theater:
Let me talk throught it a little bit. Forces marked by 1 is my main starting army, commanded by the king himself. It consists of 4 corps: Keith's, Wilhelm's, Ferdinand's and Moritz's. Their combined power is around 4000. At 2 I have Wedell's Column with power reaching 880. At 3 is an independent von Schwerins unit, with power 820. Number 4,5 and 6 are cavalry units - 5 being the cavalry corps of Frederich's army. led by Karl von Katte.
When we look at this window:
we can see the skills of the generals I mentioned. While Keith is excellent, we can see Wilhelm is not. Ferdinand (von Brunswick, not Prussen) and Moritz are passable so I keep them in command. Wilhelm I replace however, his corps will be led by Heinrich von Prussen (5-3-4 2-star general). Wedell and von Schwerin can stay on their posts while von Katte I might look to replace in the future. The unit you could see as nr 6 is led by von Zieten (6-3-1 1-star general).
Now it's time to mention the initial strategy I`m planning to follow.
Main army's target (1) is to engage and damage/destroy Austrian army in Czech, also to capture Prague before winter. If it fails to fight the Austrians, one of the corps (Moritz's one) will be withdrawn to protect Saxony against possible invasion. The Wedell's Column (2) is going to help with sieging of Pirna Camp, and after Saxony's surrender it will head towards Silesia to strenghten von Schwerin's forces in case of invasion. Von Schwerin (3) will remain in the defensive postion, holding 1 of the passages through hills. Cavalry units (4) will merge and move towards the second of the passages to Silesia, delaying the possible Austrain offensive until Wedell's forced arrive.
Finaly the (5) unit is cavalry that is going to serve as the main army's recon.
Following the initial strategy I`m making my first moves:
The units marked with O will be used to besiege the Pirna Camp. Moritz Column with 662 power and Wedell's with 877. Hopefuly it's enough to keep Saxons at bay for a few turns until they surrender. Von Zieten is taking his cavalry forward to scout the area for Austrian's army, while my main forces move forward straight towards Prague.
Im also bringing 2 more units from Magdeburg by a river to strenghten Moritz Corps further.
With those orders given I press End Turn.
go for it, you're brave to try this as I'm finding it all too easy to get a right bashing off the AI even with Narwhal's AAR as a guide.
Thank you loki, I know the feeling. To be fair the 3rd tutorial (attacking Saxony) I even managed to, maybe not lose, but underachieve... However, I won't learn the game if I`m affraid of it (and I somewhat am but gonna try anyway).
Orders were executed, armies were marching, players were sweating (just 1 player actualy)... Friedrich's main army met the Austrian in quite familiar-sounding location: Lobositz. Coincident or not I managed to do a bit better:
The lost element hurts, still I`m quite pleased with the results.
The battle left me with quite confusing setup though:
Prussian and Austrian corps mixed with each other slightly. Also the situation gives me probably a chance to damage or even destroy the enemy army involved, yet I`m not sure if I`ll be able to use that opportunity. As my soldiers are slightly tired after fighting, and 1 of the Austrian units didnt participate in the battle I order my troops to gather, hoping to engage the enemy further in the process, while taking good defensive positions.
For some reason (I either missed the province while giving the order or changed it by some reason) Wedell's Column (W) moved just 1 province, not 2 so I move it forward to Pirna Camp this turn. It will take 4 days for him to get there. He'll get the unit I brought from Magdeburg by river (R) and take over from Moritz's as besieger of Pirna. Moritz (M) is going to move south, while the main army (F) will move north, I`m hoping those moves will bring further damage to the Austrian army, as well as create quite big task force for me (still would hope to capture Prague). The cavalry unit (C) is going to move closer to the Czech capital so I get some recon about the garrison there.
While Austrian army is busy getting beaten in Saxony, my units in Silesia stood idle. Not anymore:
Cavalry corps (1) (Gessler replaced Katte as a leader after merging the 2 cavalry units - but he is just slightly better, if at all) is going to move 1 province north of Tropau for recon purposes, while the von Schwerin will proceed to Kosel, from where I hope to launch an attack on Troppau fortess.
Enough for now, to let the potential reader (dare I hope - readers? ) catch up and, even more importantly - to let me cool down from all the excitement.
Last edited by Sathariel; 01-03-2011 at 14:14.
Ooh, another AGEOD AAR! And one squarely aimed at my own level: utter beginner.
I look forward to seeing your progress and hopefully I'll learn something (my most extensive experience has been with RUS, managing to lose the Finnish Civil War - as the Whites, so there's definitely room for improvement).
The beginning of the game is a bit forced : either a massive attack on Prag, to be sure to capture it, or a "regular" attack on Prag - with a chance to fail - coupled with an attack on Olmutz and/or Koeniggratz.
The main thing to pay attention as Prussia is to never engage your enemy in risky battles. Lose once and it becomes VERY difficult, lose twice and it is game over.
Also - good luck with your AAR. I discovered how time-consuming it was. Next AAR will be on short scenarios or on BoA for me
Stuyvesant - as I said in ACW I basicaly lost to a deactivated AI ( I lost a lot of my armies due to lack of supplies or attacking fortified positions and had no idea how to recruit a new ones ). Beat that hehe.
Narwhal - thank you. That's why I`m worried I picked up the wrong side, even if I knew that Prussia is less-forgiving I still went for it. I just hope I won't make many huge mistakes and if I do - I`ll hopefully learn not to make them in the future.
I self-imposed a rule on myself saying: no more than 2 turns in a day. (turns, not necessarily updates). I`m VERY excited about the game and felt like spending half a day playing it yesterday but first of all I dont want to make errors caused by the rush, and secondly: don't want to spam this topic TOO much, as it can make it very hard to follow.
So 2 turns/day (will probably correspond to 2 updates a day during normal months, 1 in the winter ones (as I`m planning to withdraw to the cities and don't think AI is going to launch an offensive either). Sounds fine with you guys, or is it still too much?
Go ahead, spoil us rotten. since I like a good thing, I certainly don't want to limit your postings, so two a day is fine with me. Then again, a lot will depend on how detailed and long your updates get. I expect most people will only be able to read/comment once a day, so if you give them two massive updates a day, they might fall behind. I'd let the amount of action (and/or the amount of feedback you receive) determine whether to do one or two updates a day, if I were you.
Interesting....I was just planning to give RoP another try (courtesy of the same AAR that apparently inspired yours in fact)....I will be following...Enjoy.
Turn 3 - early Oct
My orders to gather the main forces in one place resulted in 2 more battles:
First one being my decisive victory. 37 destroyed Imperial elements to my 3 (why those 3 had to be grenadiers though? ). Austria lost their ability of offensive, question is for how long...?
Second battle, was a small, follow-up one:
Enemy suffered around 50 damage from retreating from it (more than from the battle itself I belive).
The outcome in Saxony:
Wedell will stay at Pirna Camp, his power matches the one of the besieged Saxons so he should be fine. Ferdinand should face the court-martial for treason as he stayed in Pirna instead of moving with the main army as I wanted him to ( - he probably didn't move because I never ordered him to by mistake). Then, on the other hand, seeing as my corps involved in the battles are getting weaker as the cohersion get lower, fresh soldiers under Ferdinand can help a lot. His execution is therefore postponed .
I order my main army to move towards Prague as I`m getting worried I may not be able to capture it before the winter. 2 corps (Ferdinands and Moritz's) are going to stay on the other side of the river to prevent the beaten, but still capable of causing me problems army, from doing so.
In other theaters:
My units in East Prussia get activated. Their commander (Hans von Lehwaldt) is a good defensive general and that's exactly what I need, I create a new army then and make him a commander (what causes me to lost 1 National Morale and 10 Victory Points due to seniority rule but I pay it).
I get some units activated in Stettin and Kolberg as well (they got activated last turn actualy I think) Stettin's 2 cavalry units I`m sending southwards to Saxony, they'll serve under von Zieten.
The infantry (4 regiments) I join and create a full brigade. Kolberg's 2 regiments I create another brigade with. Both units I send to Berlin to be my reserves.
Thank you Stuyvesant. Think that's exactly what I`m gonna do, 1-2 updates a day (depending on amount of action). 2 for now as I fight on just 1 front. 1 later on when things get more intense.
And Innocent Beard - you are 100% correct. If it wasn't for Narwhal's AAR I wouldn't even think about getting ROP.
You destroyed an impressive number of elements in those battles. Given the slow pace of construction tha Narwhal has mentioned, that ought to give you some breathing room for a few turns. Too bad winter is almost upon you.
TURN 5 - early November
As my corps started chasing damaged Browne's army around many more battles were fought:
As well as a small enemy unit stepping right into Ferdinand's corps and getting whiped off the map, with cannons and supply wagons captured:
All those fights as well as ones from the previous turn bring the statistics up to total of:
Prussia: 19783, Austria: 34780
Prussia: 17, Austria: 135.
As you may notice, due to my units getting in really bad shape I suffered quite massive losses (this turn I lost more or less same amount of men as the AI, fortunately much less elements).
That was the peak of my achievements, things went downhill from now. I started making one mistake after another not even realizing it at first. This turn basicaly made me see many bad calls I made before. I guess it serves me right, I actually got quite arrogant after those first 4 turns. Let me show you what I mean:
As you can see Austria sent brand new corps, that I had no idea even exists (due to withdrawing my scouts) through Sudeten into undefended Saxony (that in the original plan was supposed to be defended by Mauritz corps, but... once the fighting started I totaly ignored the original plan and went all-in after Browne's army). The winter is just around the corner and I didn't even manage to breach the Prague fortess once, what makes me certain I won't be able to capture it this year (no surprise here either - I split my exhausted forces into 2 and the besieging part simply had no power to do its job). I had the picture in front of my eyes: Prussian armies cut off from any supplies (due to losing Dresden and not capturing Prague), in the middle of the winter, in enemy territory, with no possibility of escaping. Because of that I did what every self-respecting amateur player would do in my place - I panicked, gave bad orders and made the whole situation even worse:
First of all I sent my entire army right into the middle of the snow-covered mountains in a panic retreat to Dresden. They won't even reach it next turn, I could've moved just a few provinces, into the last not affected by winter and give them some rest there but nope - better to push your soldiers to the limit with a few months-long continuos skirmishes with the enemy, then force them into disorganized withdrawal for 15+ days only to suffer from frostbite. I guess Prussian soldiers are supposed to be tough and I`m about to check how tough...
I also move Von Zieten's cavalry from Dresden to Leipzig... again - no idea what for, was I hoping they can stop the Austrian's advance?
Last edited by Sathariel; 04-03-2011 at 16:44.
I've found siimilar in this game, you get too optimistic, stop really paying attention and the AI hands you your head. Think its so easy to set up a turn fast as you often only have 4-6 units to order and that tends to lure you into thinking its simple. Also its so tempting to move a unit if you can when quite often the best move is to sit tight and just recover.
be interesting to see how you manage to extricate yourself.
Looks like exactly like my first game against the AI : trapped in Prag that would-not-fall.
I think I would have tried to go a little north, sit there and build a depot, then move my troops by foot except the guns I would take away with the bateaux. But for such a plan you would need to sacrifice some cavalry to open the road from Dresden so that supply pass through.
RoP has one of the best AI I have ever seen in a TBS game. It is right there next to XCOM2 AI.
I sure did get too optimistic, loki. And unwilling to adapt to new circumstances. Few victories and I began to belive my armies can achieve anything without much of an effort.
Narwhal - depots and bateaux are the tools I`m yet to learn to put into effective use. Depot I prolly mostly ignore since I don't really have problems with supplies while storming towards Prague. Bateaux.. not sure why, don't know what can I use them for, or where can I use them. Can bateaux serve as transports for Konigsberg btw?
Turn 6 - late November
No surprise: the enemy captured Chemnitz
The city served as a somewhat expensive but at least detailed recon report. 22 thousand soldiers, 48 cannons under Picolomini (somehow I don't belive his stats are really 0-0-0, guess they're still hidden?).
I calmed down a bit, panic turned into cold realization of 2 things: I`m in big troubles but also if I want to get myself out of them I can't just send my not-ready to fight corps against a rested enemy one by one. I needed some kind of plan and pray it works. Fortunately the luck was on my side as the weather took some mercy on me.
Seriously I was more lucky that I deserved, I send unprotected canon and supply train (that I captured the previous turn) first, my forces are split but nothing bad happened to them. Time to change the plans a bit: instead of rushing towards Dresden I`m going to gather my units in Pirna first. I`m certain Austrians are going to go straight for Dresden, ignoring my corps as they arrive nearby... If they won't I`m about to loose big time, or maybe even not - I get nice defensive position in Pirna and with time more and more of my corps is going to arrive to help out.
I`m sending the cavalry (who luckily survived staying in Leipzig) to cut off the enemy's supply route.
You may be wondering what is going on in another theater, mainly Silesia.
Well the answer is:
totaly NOTHING. Von Schwerin still tries to besiege Troppau but without any success. I decided to give him one more turn and if he won't get even 1 breach - to withdraw him.
Turn 7 - early December.
Winter is obviously back (December in Sudeten, it's some kind of miracle I wasn't affected by it the previous turn). The enemy, luckily, started besieging Dresden.
My units slowly arrive in Pirna, or nearby. Long march with not enough rest left it mark though, they are in no fighting condition at all. You can see Ferdinand's collumn has ~300 power, which is already small and it's the corps that was the closest to Pirna, so had already a bit of rest, my other units are in much worse shape.
I was left with a difficult dillema: either I attack Dresden now and there are great chances I`m going to lose, or I order my soldiers to camp in the snow and at least rest a bit. My supply wagons have SOME supplies, not that much but should protect me at least a bit against frostbite. Having that in mind I decide not to take too much risk and after being tempted to attack (all in all my armies haven't really been beaten by the enemy yet, only by weather) I order a rest in Pirna. They can have some snowball fights, make a few snowmen, do some figure skating - whatever floats their boats, as soon as they're ready to fight in 2 weeks.
von Schwerin gets the first breach, I decide to stay and carry on with the siege as his supply wagons are full and he can stay in winter conditions for 2 more turns (or so I hope).