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Thread: Germany, 1936: Cabals from the Meuse to the Memel

  1. #281
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    BTW This AAR passed 40k views

  2. #282
    General Winner's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    BTW This AAR passed 40k views
    That's because people are checking for updates all the time...
    HoI2, mod 1914 -- Could Schlieffen Plan have led to a German victory in the Great War? Find out in this AAR! -- Completed

    "Superior training and superior weaponry have, when taken together, a geometric effect on overall military strength. Well-trained, well-equipped troops can stand up to many more times their lesser brethren than linear arithmetic would seem to indicate." - Spartan Battle Manual

  3. #283
    Evil Lawyer K W's Avatar
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    Part XLVI: Review of Case Yellow


    While our troops are redeploying to the German-Polish border, I wish to express some of my thoughts regarding the campaign in France before we continue with Case White. While Case Yellow was certainly a success and successfully proved that a France First strategy in DH is possible, I feel nevertheless the urge to engage in some nitpicking, especially about the AI.

    The French AI behaved extremely silly during the entire campaign; our victory was way too easy and I'm afraid that this somewhat disqualifies the universality of the France First strategy, as it appears to be an outright AI exploit:
    1. The French AI fails to mobilise their army when an unscripted war occurs. This is such an eminent flaw that one could call it with very good reason a bug that needs to be fixed. I don't wish to brag, but considering the dismal strength of the French divisions I wonder why I haven't assaulted the Maginot Line as well to tie even more French divisions in useless places so that the main attack could proceed more smoothly.
    2. The French AI overstacks the Maginot Line to an extent that it becomes nonsensical and harmful. Retrospectively I would even claim that my diversion tactics were probably not required at all and an overkill, if I combine it with the AI's refusal to move their mobilisation slider. This is also very close to a bug and should be fixed. In my humble opinion, one doesn't need more than nine divisions in a province with level 10 land fortifications, even against the Wehrmacht. I don't have a comprehensive AI modding skill, but clearly there should be an option to cap the maximum number of divisions in a province?
    3. The French AI fails to concentrate on their main objective (defense!) and instead is too easily distracted by traps and rather unimportant minor opportunities. It would be already a step forward if an AI switch that forbids the French AI to take enemy territory during the first weeks of Case Yellow would be activated. Taking Trier or Luxembourg while my main attack forces are steamrolling Belgium is foolish, plain and simple.

    Overall, the number of mistakes I made during Case Yellow is tolerable and way lower than during the Spanish Civil War. I should have stationed Rommel a little bit earlier in the Netherlands, refrained from ordering my spearheads after the capture of Paris to raid South France without any plan and used my Air Force more effectively against the French, as I've sometimes forgotten to pay attention to the Luftwaffe and to adjust their area of operation more frequently.

    After Poland falls, we will see if I'm able to learn from my mistakes ...
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  4. #284
    Evil Lawyer K W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dachspmg View Post
    Are you going to take that event that permits you to cede your chunk of metropolitan France for a higher chance at allying with Vichy (I think it's the Montoire conference, and I don't remember if there's a dissent penalty or something like that), or have you decided that you actually don't want an alliance of any sort with them?
    I prefer not having an alliance with Vichy as it would effectively prevent Operation Overlord as soon as I give them their territory back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winner View Post
    Yay, an update, finally

    I also strongly advise against attacking the Soviets in the winter. It's unlikely you'd make much headway over the frozen terrain, and it would give the Soviets time to redeploy and dig in - plus they'll probably get some bonuses once the war with Germany starts. Finish off Poland (and Yugoslavia, since the Italians will surely drag you into the Balkan mess) first, and launch Barbarossa in late spring/summer 1940. The Soviets should still be relatively unprepared.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dachspmg View Post
    Yeah, winter offensives against the USSR are the height of folly without at least mountain divisions, and you've rejected those on the grounds of cost. I'll add my voice to the "wait till spring" chorus.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timmie0307 View Post
    Nice conclusion of Fall Gelb. I would suggest you wait until some event fires about Spanish cooperation / Vichy cooperation in which you can trade land for a Vichy ally, although it would be better if a neutral Vichy would guard the beaches, less beaches to take care of in case some Brits try to get to Berlin quick.

    Furthermore, I would wait until you have defeated Poland, upgraded the most important bits of your army and invade in 1940 as soon as the snow/mud etc. allows it...

    Tim
    Quote Originally Posted by Gusbrown View Post
    Spring 40 is the time to hit the ruskies, especially if you can catch them tied up in finland or just after the end of winter war, better before, Finnish ally and all that, good to see you back KW.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gytis View Post
    Attacking SU in winter would be the most foolish move, they would surely crush you . Spend time to get more armored divisions, airplanes and airports (you are building them, aren't you?) online and go for a 1940 spring offensive.
    OK, OK! You convinced me ... We will take the safer approach and try a Spring Offensive in 1940.

    Quote Originally Posted by PEP View Post
    Great AAR man! I've been waiting a long time for this update.
    There should be a scientific study about the phenomenon of AAR slowdowns. Most AAR writers seem to considerably decrease their update pace after a certain point, and I'm no exception. However, I'm also very content that this AAR is still running and that it progresses, slow but steady ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwax23 View Post
    Great AAR. 2 days to read. All of it worth it. I wait in anticipation for more updates sir.
    I appreciate your effort to read this AAR. Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKestrel View Post
    +1 from me. Keep up the good work!


    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    BTW This AAR passed 40k views
    Quote Originally Posted by Winner View Post
    That's because people are checking for updates all the time...
    It's insane ... only the Germany Beta AAR has more views.
    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. – George Orwell

  5. #285
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    The French AI overstacks the Maginot Line to an extent that it becomes nonsensical and harmful.
    I agree wholeheartedly. It should stack fewer divs there and be more concerned with the Paris area. They should only stack more troops on the Maginot Line when the Germans are overstacking the Siegfried Line.

    The French AI fails to concentrate on their main objective (defense!) and instead is too easily distracted by traps and rather unimportant minor opportunities.
    Yes, they should prioritise the defence of their VPs more, especially if the Germans have many mobile divs or PARAs.

    You should have no problem with Poland, as the British won't be able to do much in the West in 1939-40.

  6. #286
    Field Marshal Baltasar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K W View Post
    [*]The French AI fails to concentrate on their main objective (defense!) and instead is too easily distracted by traps and rather unimportant minor opportunities. It would be already a step forward if an AI switch that forbids the French AI to take enemy territory during the first weeks of Case Yellow would be activated. Taking Trier or Luxembourg while my main attack forces are steamrolling Belgium is foolish, plain and simple.
    Surprsingly enough, the WWI French strategy went pretty much along this way. They used two armies to pin the Germans in Alsace Lorraine and wanted to use their other three armies to push into Germany, across Saarbrücken and continue into the Rhineland. This was despite the knowledge of the Schlieffen Plan which would have meant an encirclement of the French forces if the French had continued their attacks.
    So, while you assume the AI is stupid, it's rather... Old guard ;-)

  7. #287
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    He is not talking about pinning. He is talking about the French AI being too eager to conquer unguarded or poorly guarded territory while its very existence as a major political entity is in danger.

  8. #288
    Imperatrix Dachspmg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baltasar View Post
    Surprsingly enough, the WWI French strategy went pretty much along this way. They used two armies to pin the Germans in Alsace Lorraine and wanted to use their other three armies to push into Germany, across Saarbrücken and continue into the Rhineland. This was despite the knowledge of the Schlieffen Plan which would have meant an encirclement of the French forces if the French had continued their attacks.
    It wasn't stupid. Joffre surmised that if the Germans were strong on their right (and that's what their ostensible plan called for) and if they were strong on their left (the apparent result of the battles of Morhange and Saarburg) then they had to be weak in the center. Unfortunately, they were not, in fact, weak in the center, but quite strong, having not moved Fourth Army in particular over to the right wing. The result was a two-day evisceration of two French field armies in Luxembourg.

    Fundamentally, Joffre's intuition - attack in the center, where the enemy would theoretically be weak - wasn't a bad one. It's what anybody among us would do if faced with a massive German assault through Belgium: cut them off by attacking north towards the Maastricht Appendix. (It's still the bread and butter of playing as the French Commune in the Kaiserreich mod.) But his assumption, that the Germans would come down hard down the valley of the Meuse and thus be too weak to parry his centerline attack, was false because it assumed that the Germans would slavishly stick to the dying words of a man who hadn't been connected with war planning for nine years. Unlike Schlieffen, with his post-retirement monomaniacal focus on the Right Wing, Moltke had to deal with real military problems and real military solutions, and thus strengthened the armies in Lorraine to the detriment of the First, Second, and Third Armies. Logistically, a stronger right wing would have been nonsense anyway. Had Moltke not strengthened the center and the left, arguably either one of Joffre's attacks - the Lorraine offensive or the Luxembourg one - could very well have succeeded, leaving the vaunted right wing high and dry.

    /would-be MA topic ranting

    ...

    Anyway. Actual AAR stuff. I also thought the French AI was too narrowly focused - opportunistic in a bad way. I get the search for some realism in shifting so much of their army to the Maginot fortifications, but wasn't only one of their three army groups meant to cover that area? Proportionately, it absorbed entirely too much of the French army and crippled them to an extent even worse than in OTL. So your France-first strategy did benefit from a little unintentional (or at least semiintentional) exploitation. Still, the Soviets have a great deal more space, and it's a bit harder to make grand encirclements. Hopefully it won't be nearly so easy next time around.
    Ah yes, "Vandals". The invincible race of warriors and pirates allegedly occupying Africa. We have dismissed that claim.

  9. #289
    General Winner's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    He is not talking about pinning. He is talking about the French AI being too eager to conquer unguarded or poorly guarded territory while its very existence as a major political entity is in danger.
    "Hey, look, Pierre, the Germans have left this part of the border completely undefended!"
    "Oh my, you're right, Francois, let's invade through there with half our available reserves, it can't possibly be a trap!"

    HoI2, mod 1914 -- Could Schlieffen Plan have led to a German victory in the Great War? Find out in this AAR! -- Completed

    "Superior training and superior weaponry have, when taken together, a geometric effect on overall military strength. Well-trained, well-equipped troops can stand up to many more times their lesser brethren than linear arithmetic would seem to indicate." - Spartan Battle Manual

  10. #290
    Old Guard Miihkali's Avatar
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    This is great! One of the best AARs ever.
    Mikael "Miihkali" Tuominen

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  11. #291
    Evil Lawyer K W's Avatar
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    I'm unsure if it would be wise to continue right now. Can someone verify that the Free France events fire correctly in the latest beta? Some time ago I've read on the forums that Free France isn't created correctly, but I'm unsure about the precise date, so I can't remember if it was fixed by the latest beta or if the bug is still in the game. In the latter case, I will wait for the release of the next beta patch before I continue with the AAR.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    You should have no problem with Poland, as the British won't be able to do much in the West in 1939-40.
    Anything else would be very surprising. My spies claim that the polish army consists of just 38 infantry divisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baltasar View Post
    Surprsingly enough, the WWI French strategy went pretty much along this way. They used two armies to pin the Germans in Alsace Lorraine and wanted to use their other three armies to push into Germany, across Saarbrücken and continue into the Rhineland. This was despite the knowledge of the Schlieffen Plan which would have meant an encirclement of the French forces if the French had continued their attacks.
    So, while you assume the AI is stupid, it's rather... Old guard ;-)
    In this case the AI should, for the sake of the gameplay, refrain from being overly "Old Guard". The incompetence the French AI displayed in this AAR is definitely exaggerated beyond historical authenticity, even if the subject at hands is the historical performance of the French army in WW II.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    He is not talking about pinning. He is talking about the French AI being too eager to conque unguarded or poorly guarded territory while its very existence as a major political entity is in danger.
    Yes, yes and yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dachspmg View Post
    Still, the Soviets have a great deal more space, and it's a bit harder to make grand encirclements. Hopefully it won't be nearly so easy next time around.
    From my experience, grand encirclements against the Soviets are not harder, but easier. After all, the Soviets tend to amass their hordes at the slightest sight of a possible penetration or encirclement in the corresponding area. The larger the area, the thinner the Soviet lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winner View Post
    "Hey, look, Pierre, the Germans have left this part of the border completely undefended!"
    "Oh my, you're right, Francois, let's invade through there with half our available reserves, it can't possibly be a trap!"



    Quote Originally Posted by Miihkali View Post
    This is great! One of the best AARs ever.
    Thank you so much.
    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. – George Orwell

  12. #292
    Just a thought: If you are going to wait with Barbarossa until summer, are you going to use that time for Operation Weserübung? You might want to at least invade Denmark to deny the Allies access to the Baltic Sea - otherwise they might decide to later land forces in the back of your troops in the east while you are busy fighting the Reds.

  13. #293
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