C A U T I O N ***Screenshot heavy post *** SCREENSHOT HEAVY POST *** Screenshot heavy post *** C A U T I O N
HOI3 FTM patched to v3.05. Scenerio: Germany; "1938, The Gathering Storm"; Difficulty: Normal. This is a vanilla game, and does not employ any mods or cheats. Autosaves are weekly. Run on AMD Athlon 64x2 Dual Core Processor 4800+964MHz 3.00GB RAM; XP Pro v2002 SP3.
This AAR will illustrate a top-down design approach for the construction and deployment of large scale Naval forces. This is a follow-on to a previous AAR on OOB planning for ground forces (see note below).
Designing a navy from scratch is perhaps the most daunting task in HOI3, because without a design screen it's a total crap-shoot to come up with effective naval units. Building the wrong ships, or researching the wrong doctrines is the surest path to defeat, particularly for Axis countries.
One must prepare a detailed naval strategy and surprise the enemy by going on the offensive at the earliest opportunity. Naval combat is fraught with hazzards, and we'll look to exploit any advantage to gain the upper hand. This AAR will include a primer on Naval Intellegence as well as numerious lessor-known strategies. The goal here is to create detailed plans and execute them on cue. Naval engagements will be broken-down to discover what went right or wrong, and as the famous American commander John Paul Jones once said,
"I have not yet begun to fight."
What's New? -- Task Group Design Model
Most navies in HOI3 are simply a stack of ships, and--the bigger the better. However, that philosophy died with FTM, and players must now confront the daunting task of constructing Naval task groups without the aid of a design screen!
This AAR will use a customized spreadsheet to design naval fleets, squadrons, and flotillas. Employing a specialized "task group design model," emphisis is placed on various factors as speed, gunnery, detection, defenses, etc. One can also move existing ships around to discover which combination(s) work best. As a result, advanced Naval planning for force mix, technologies, and doctrines may now proceed in orderly fashion!
This AAR is directed at Multiplayer gaming, and Italy was specifically chosen because it is hamstrung with few IC and limited leadership. Against an experienced British player Italy is extreemly vunerable to invasion, and so must fight to establish a degree of Naval and Air superiority in the region. The strategies employed here will deal with countering aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean, and should otherwise prove more than effective against HOI3's Naval AI.
The '38 scenerio was selected because it is typical of MP games, and also gives precious little time to prepare for war. Creating superior forces from the '36 scenerio is one thing, but doing it in crunch time is what this AAR is all about!
There is NO HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE to this game--it will simply be played to win. This AAR uses modified victory conditions to include all of Italy's war goals.
For land units the player will use the same build rules as the AI, that is; no reserve units. An exception is given to home guard units, they being designated for defense of core provinces and/or anti-partisian duty, but such units will never be upgraded or used for any other purpose.
The board will be updated twice a week; Once on Sundays, and again in the middle of the week (generally Wednesday or Thursday). Reports will be quarterly, that is, one for every three months of the game. The campaign should move along fairly quickly, and will likely take about 8 weeks to complete. Postings will use a 3-month delay, for example, as you are reading the first report of September, 1938, the game will have already progressed to March of 1939.
Feel free to interrupt and ask questions at any time. The author appreciates your subscription and any comments you may make.
Now, let's go surprise the British Navy!
NOTE: Also employed here, the prior AAR: OOB planning for Germany, 1938-45 referenced here discusses the top-down design approach for gound units.