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Thread: Germany Tutorial: Take 2.

  1. #461
    Field Marshal misterbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justleroy View Post
    wow, that was a marathon session. ;p I think I got lost a few times, as I have more than 26 divs in OKH (up to 32 now, will be have more than 40 if I keep building inf). But, I'm not so worried about that. Handling Poland and France is easy. It's the Soviets that scare me....

    I'm really enjoying your AAR, but please keep the chapters to six months for sanity's sake , especially once the war starts (might want to do even less time then, like 3 mos.).
    sorry if I got carried away
    Germany Tutorial, Take Two: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...2#post13243122 or find it in the Major Threads sticky.
    Tutorial AAR in pdf form available on Gamefront, courtesy of Davy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7H...it?usp=sharing
    Honoured by USKnight for the above tutorial here: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post14404907
    Current EU IV AAR: La Douce France http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post17163635 Completed!

  2. #462
    Private justleroy's Avatar
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    No problem. I know how it is, you start playing a "quick" game and suddenly it's 3 AM and you have to leave for work at 5...
    Felt like a marathon runner at the end, though.
    I did have a question. When you build subs you put them in groups of three. Doesn't that make them easier for the enemy to spot? I know sending them out alone is a death warrant, so wouldn't groups of two be better?

  3. #463
    Quote Originally Posted by justleroy View Post
    No problem. I know how it is, you start playing a "quick" game and suddenly it's 3 AM and you have to leave for work at 5...
    Felt like a marathon runner at the end, though.
    I did have a question. When you build subs you put them in groups of three. Doesn't that make them easier for the enemy to spot? I know sending them out alone is a death warrant, so wouldn't groups of two be better?
    There are several schools of thought regarding subs on the HOI3 forums. Some people send them out alone and hope they don't get caught, some people send them in two's to increase survivability at the expense of visibility, some people send them in threes for the same pros/cons, and some people send them out in twenty sub deathstacks to destroy battlefleets. Its mostly a matter of taste and style, but IIRC, groups of threes tend to maximize efficiency and achieve the most balance. There was a thread on it a while ago that I can't seem to find, so anybody can feel free to correct me.

  4. #464
    I see groups of 3 recommended a lot for subs. Personally, I've had the best results keeping them in single groups.

    I figure it this way: if subs enter combat with anything other than another sub they are toasted. Really, even if another sub catches them, they are toast.

    Keeping them in single groups maximizes the coverage of zones for convoy raiding forcing the enemy to search farther and wider for them (and really causes havoc with the convoys). Afterall, really subs are a strategic weapon, not a combatant like a battleship or even a cruiser

    -barnez
    Last edited by jbarnez; 18-05-2012 at 04:38. Reason: clarification

  5. #465
    Field Marshal misterbean's Avatar
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    the main problem with subs is that they tend to sink, taking their commander with them. I can't count the number of times I've lost Dönitz a few weeks into the war. My personal preference with subs is, actually, don't build them. not worth it. but people convinced me to do it, so here we are.
    anyway, war is still months away. next few chapters will be all about war and combat, ships and planes (including their commanders). during that time, I'll run a few tests using subs solo, in twos or in threes. We can always change it in 1939. Will keep you posted.
    Germany Tutorial, Take Two: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...2#post13243122 or find it in the Major Threads sticky.
    Tutorial AAR in pdf form available on Gamefront, courtesy of Davy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7H...it?usp=sharing
    Honoured by USKnight for the above tutorial here: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post14404907
    Current EU IV AAR: La Douce France http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post17163635 Completed!

  6. #466
    Field Marshal misterbean's Avatar
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    Chapter 17: Sic The Dogs Of War
    (gratefully acknowledging Rensslaer for proofreading and free advice; I owe you one.)

    “I love it when a plan comes together!”

    Since this is a wargame, it would be nice if we all knew exactly what combat entails, wouldn’t it?
    First of all, this is still a strategy game. You don’t fight, just for the sake of fighting. There must be a reason to fight. Combat experience is all nice and good, but any combat costs Manpower and IC to replace casualties.
    We should therefor always be mindful of our objectives. Why do we fight? Objectives come in two forms: tactical objectives, where we decide to capture a certain province, and strategic objectives, the reason WHY we need that province.
    For instance, the historic German invasion of France was composed of two strategic objectives: the destruction of a large portion of France’s defenders, and the capture of Paris and other important cities. These two shaped what we know as “Von Manstein’s Sickle Cut.”
    The way we achieve strategic objectives is through tactical ones. Let’s look at each one in detail. Germany knew most of French troops and the British B.E.F. were situated along the border with Belgium, ready to jump into the fray should Germany have any plans like WWI (attack through Belgium first). This became the cornerstone of German planning.
    Any assault into Belgium and Holland would be met with force. There was nothing Germany could do to stop that. But one man had a briljant thought: “how about we use it?”



    Army group B, consisting of the 18th and the 6th Army, would invade the Netherlands . At the same time, Army Group A would launch a powerful feint into belgium, using the 4th Army. This would be enough to convince the Allies that the main assault had begun. They would send their men North to stop the fieldgray tide…and into the trap. (tactical objective 1)

    Army Group B.

    The 18th Army was tasked with pacifying the Netherlands.
    The 6th Army was instructed to close any path north into Holland, preventing the French and British from reaching Rotterdam or Amsterdam. They would try to break through, hopefully not looking over their shoulder until it was too late.

    Army Group A.

    The 4th Army would launch a powerful attack into Belgium, aiming for the belgian coast.
    At the same time, Panzergruppe Kleist would launch a quick, all-out race to the coast, cutting off retreat to France. (tactical objective 2)
    The 12th Army would cover their southern flank, while the 16th Army would cover their rear. If succesful, a huge portion of Allied soldiers would be trapped between the 6th Army to the North, the 4th Army to the west and the Panzers to the south…and destroyed, thus fullfilling the first strategic objective.
    While all this was going on, Army Group C, guarding Germany’s border with France, would launch attacks against the powerful French fortifications known as the Maginot Line, designed NOT to win the fight. Their purpose would be to pin the French army in place, preventing it from a coordinated counterstrike.
    With at least 75% of their armies cut off or destroyed, the Allies would not be able to stop Germany any longer from achieving their second strategic objective: the surrender of France.

    Why this elaborate example?

    Because it is vital in the midst of war not to lose sight of who is supposed to be doing what. In the above example, it would be very easy, in the confusion of manually ordering about 100 divisions around, to send 12th Army forces to help in the fall of Brussels (Belgium’s capital). That was not their purpose.

    Getting back to the game, I’ve found that it helps if we start from the corps level. Clicking a corps’ green bar to select all it’s subordinate commands helps A) to keep the corps HQ within radio range of the divisions (200 km range, remember from our lesson on the OOB?) and B) to keep them focused on a single mission as a unified whole (for instance getting the entire corps to defend a single province or group of provinces).
    So if need be, write down on a piece of paper each army’s objective in shorthand (something like this: I. Armeekorps ->Amsterdam, II. Armeekorps ->Nord Holland). Be as detailed or as broad as you need it to be. After a bit of practice, you will find that it becomes increasingly easier to keep most of it stored in your head. Come 1941, we will have an active front from the Baltic Coast all the way down to the Black Sea and beyond. You’ll drive yourself bonkers otherwise. For the longest time, I kept Barbarossa purely on AI control because the sheer magnitude of it all made my head hurt.

    Germany’s military doctrine stands or falls based on speed of execution and the use of combined arms.
    In this context, combined arms means the real-world use of the term: the combination of ground-, air- and naval assets to achieve the greatest possible result in the shortest time, hopefully with the least losses.
    In HOI3, your armies will attack or defend, while your fighters keep enemy bombers away and your own bombers will decimate the enemy. If your chosen nation has plenty of warships, and the fight is in a coastal province, you could contemplate sending your battleships to bomb the coastline (much like was done during the US’ Pacific island-hopping campaign).

    Speed of Execution:

    The two ways to ensure this is by firstly, researching the right doctrines.

    Operational Level Command Structure reduces the time needed to occupy an enemy province after a successful attack. In 1936, we researched a 4% increase in attack speed. By the time the war begins, our forces will move 6% faster than normal. This reduces the chances of having to fight for the same province twice (against reinforcements, for example) and increases the chance of succesfully cutting off the enemy’s retreat in some cases.

    Operational Level Organisation reduces attack delay (the time needed after a fight to treat the wounded and reorganise yourself back into a cohesive fighting force). The basic time needed for this is 165 hours. This is modified by the length of the fight and other factors, of course. What the tech does is reduce the base amount of hours needed until you can give the division new orders. Our tech-rushing of this doctrine will enable us, by the time Barbarossa starts, to cut Attack Delay by 96 hours. That’s a lot of time between attacks. With the right modifiers, we will be able, in some cases, to just order the division into the next fight without any delay.

    And let’s not forget the techs that increase a unit’s organisation. Organisation is reduced, along with strength, by sustaining damage in combat. More org means the division can last longer until they need some R&R. Combine this with the two previous ones and we see a division having attacked a province, move at break-neck speed into the enemy province and straight on into the next one without so much as needing a breather. (Morale, by the way, is the amount of org regained per day)

    Secondly, speed of execution also depends in no small manner in deploying our troops in the right place and with the right equipment (using engineers to attack forts, having mountaineers ready in hilly terrain, marines in the jungle,…). Stationing your panzers one measly province too far left or right might mean extra hours needed to reach their tactical objectives, or forcing them to advance through less than advantageous terrain.

    Similary, it also requires us to act proactively: during any attempted breakthrough, the enemy is bound to try a counterattack to stop us. If he were to succeed, our fast panzers would get stuck on Attack Delay. So make sure to have extra forces present to pin the enemy in place, preventing him from doing the same to you.

    There’s a neat trick to overcome Attack Delay, known as Leapfrogging. You have an army consisting of, say, 3 corps. You attack with one corps. When they arrive at their destination and are forced to halt, send in the next corps to attack the province behind it. The third corps is send forward, waiting for the second corps’ attack to finish, after which they get their turn.

    This is where planning comes in, as well as knowledge of enemy strongpoints. Where are his airbases? How can they be neutralised or taken for our own use? Are there any forts they could retreat into? How many divisions are in the strategic reserve, one or two provinces back where we can’t see them? Questions such as these and finding answers to them are what this game is all about.
    Luckily, there is two techs of vital importance here: radar and decryption.

    Powerful, level 10 radar, stationed in Dover, enables a Uk player to watch German forces amass, and picks up Army Group HQ’s as far away as East Prussia. It tells you which air- and naval bases are manned with planes or ships and whether or not they are defended.
    Decryption gives you more details. If your decryption tech is higher than the enemy’s encryption tech (hiding such things from enemy intel), you might see that there are heavy armour divisions behind the frontline.
    Knowledge is power. Knowing where the enemy is weak is the start of strategic planning and the deployment of troops.

    As you can see, Hearts of iron requires you to think on your feet. What would you do if the situation were reversed, and how could you stop it from happening to you?
    That’s where the fun is. It is like chess, only with guns and Hitler.

    Next chapter: we get technical and start talking about how combat is resolved by the game. See you then!
    Last edited by misterbean; 26-05-2012 at 22:40.
    Germany Tutorial, Take Two: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...2#post13243122 or find it in the Major Threads sticky.
    Tutorial AAR in pdf form available on Gamefront, courtesy of Davy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7H...it?usp=sharing
    Honoured by USKnight for the above tutorial here: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post14404907
    Current EU IV AAR: La Douce France http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post17163635 Completed!

  7. #467
    General SSmith's Avatar
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    Are you therefore going to attempt to implement the historical German plan? It would be fascinating to see if it can be done - despite the fact the Belgian front will be strongly defended.

  8. #468
    Field Marshal misterbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSmith View Post
    Are you therefore going to attempt to implement the historical German plan? It would be fascinating to see if it can be done - despite the fact the Belgian front will be strongly defended.
    That is what I always do in my private games. of course the success of it all depends on not getting hung up in Verviers and/or Luxemburg. Ran a test this afternoon all the way to the start of Barby. Worked like a charm. for some reason or other, I can never get a "Schliefen-variant" to work for me. Don't know why not.

    edit: of course when the time comes, I'll be sure to point out alternatives to the Sickle cut.
    Germany Tutorial, Take Two: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...2#post13243122 or find it in the Major Threads sticky.
    Tutorial AAR in pdf form available on Gamefront, courtesy of Davy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7H...it?usp=sharing
    Honoured by USKnight for the above tutorial here: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post14404907
    Current EU IV AAR: La Douce France http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post17163635 Completed!

  9. #469
    Field Marshal misterbean's Avatar
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    Chapter 18: Combat.
    (Frontage graphics courtesy of Surray)

    Today’s lesson is all about teaching you the ins and outs of ground combat. Obviously, as this is a wargame, it is by far the most important lesson of them all. I will teach you the basics of combat, starting out with a simple attack between two opposing infantry divisions.

    We will then take it one step farther and see what happens when multiple divisions attack from a single province, followed by what is called “Multiple Axes of Attack” (attacking from several provinces at once).

    The Ground Rules.

    Initiating an attack is simple. In HOI3, moving is attacking. You fight to conquer enemy provinces from its defenders.All you have to do, is give the division(s) orders to move to an enemy province. If there are any enemy units in that province, combat is initiated.

    All combat has an “attacker” (the one who tried to move into enemy territory) and a “defender” (the one trying to prevent them from doing so). The attacker is always shown on the left-hand side of the combat card, the defender is always on the right.

    Combat is measured in 1-hour “rounds”. Each round is divided in 5 phases: firing, damage, shattering, push back and reorganisation.

    During the firing phase, each unit randomly targets an enemy unit for the entire round.
    Each side will choose to use hard attack or soft attack, based on the “softness” of the target: a division with 70% softness has 70% chance of receiving a soft attack and 30% chance of receiving a hard attack. Since most units are on the softer side of the spectrum, this makes AT guns only usefull in certain, limited situations.
    They will fire a number of shots equal to the attack rating, modified by combat modifiers such as weather, terrain, leader skill, and so on. This is the Attack Effectiveness and can be seen on the combat card when mousing over a unit in combat.
    A defender under fire will use its defensiveness (also modified) to avoid taking damage. Each point of defensiveness used will give an 80% chance to miss. When all defensiveness points have been used up for that round, any subsequent shots fired will have a 60% chance to miss.
    Attackers use Toughness for the same purpose: to avoid taking damage while on the offense.

    Damage phase:

    Each succesful hit will cause randomly between 1.5 and 3 points of strength damage (actual casualties, as in men wounded and dying) or an average of 2.25. It will also cause randomly between 0.1 and 0.3 Organisation damage (or an average of 0.2).

    Shattering phase:

    After firing, each side’s strength and organisation is checked to see how large the percentage of casualties were. (a 500 strength unit suffering 10 casualties will have 2% strength damage and start next round at 98% strength)
    When all of a unit’s strength or org is gone, it will shatter (cease to exist) and is rebuild in the nation’s capital if a supply line to that capital exists. If there is no supply connection to the capital, the unit will surrender/die.

    Pushback phase:

    When a province is occupied by an attacker, the defender is forced to withdraw to the next province, damaging infrastructure and buildings in the now vacated province. If the province it is moving to is occupied by the enemy before it arrives there, it will halt its movement and remain in place. If, by that time, the attacker has arrived and occupied the target province, the defender is killed.

    Reorganisation phase:

    Each combat’s side is divided between frontline troops and reserve troops. The frontline troops are the ones doing the actual fighting. The reserve troops wait until one of the frontline units is too badly damaged to continue. It then uses a complex mathematical formula to calculate the odds of each reserve unit moving forward to take its place, which is modified by the Corps commander's skill level (if within 200 km of said corps).

    After the fighting is done and the province is occupied or the attack has been stopped, there is an base attack delay of 168 hours. During this time, the unit cannot move or obey any further orders. Any orders given during attack delay will be executed when the delay ends.
    Attack delay can be reduced by researching Operational Level Organisation. Each level researched reduces attack delay by 24 hours. Every hour of combat reduces attack delay by 1 hour to a minimum of 1 hour. Breakthroughs reduce attack delay, though I’m not certain by how much.

    In FtM, units on Attack Delay can be recognised by a yellow triangle in the corner of the unit’ on-map counter.

    Units cannot regain org while moving into enemy territory, so it is up to the player/AI to decide whether to let a division rest after it arrives at its destination or to keep it moving.

    While there are too many modifiers in combat to possibly relate them all, the most important ones are:
    Terrain.
    Weather.
    Division Leader Skill (5% combat bonus per skill point)
    Combat events (resulting from doctrine research, there is a chance each round of getting one, which will sometimes have huge modifiers, such as both 25% attacker bonus and 15% defender bonus).
    Combined Arms Divisions. A unit with a softness between 33% and 66% gets a base 20% modifier. Researching the Combined Arms doctrine tech gives an additional 10% bonus.
    A division leader with the panzer general trait gives 10% bonus.
    A Corps leader with the panzer general trait gives 5% bonus.
    An army leader with the panzer trait gives 2.5% bonus.
    An army group leader with the panzer general trait gives 1.25% bonus.
    A theater leader with the panzer general trait gives 0.6% bonus.
    And yes, these stack, meaning that under ideal circumstances the maximum bonus is 49.35%, provided every unit is within radio range of its higher-up (as discussed in the chapter on Orders of Battle, 200 km for corps, 400km for armies, 600km for AG, 2000 KM for theaters).
    This is the single highest bonus in the game. Before you all start building 100 armour divisions, remember that these divisions cost a lot of IC and time to build and they all consume tons of supplies and fuel.
    Shore bombardment: Whenever you’re fighting over possession of a coastal province, having a fleet in the sea province next to the coastal province (e.g. The English Channel when fighting for Calais) provides a defensive penalty. (just move the fleet into the province by giving it a “move” order).

    Ground attacks performed by bombers do damage on their own account, and can be considered as mobile artillery stations.

    Most of the above could, practically speaking, be safely ignored. The game engine takes care of the details. All we need to know is:

    1)moving = attacking.
    2)when a unit’s Strength or Organisation drops too low, it loses the ability to keep fighting.
    3) After a defender loses a fight, he is forced to vacate the province.
    4) If it has nowhere left to go, it is destroyed.
    5)If both the province it is retreating to and the province it is in right now are occupied by the enemy, it is destroyed.
    6) attackers cannot be destroyed or forced to vacate the province they occupy at the time.
    7)After a fight, there is an Attack Delay of anything between 1 hour and several days, depending on circumstances, during which time it cannot move.
    8) The single most powerful combat modifier is the Combined Arms modifier (softness between 33 and 66%).


    Combat Width

    Now it gets tricky. Fights can be lost by not paying attention to stacking or combat width.



    Whenever an attack is initiated from a single province, the frontline is considered to consist of 10 squares. This is called the Frontage. In these 10 squares all your attacking units are placed. Each unit has a combat width.
    For infantry, motorised infantry marines, paratroopers and mountaineers, this is 1 combat width per brigade. In other words, every infantry brigade in the fight will take up 1 square. Milita take up less space (I believe 0.75 if memory serves).
    All forms of armour have a combat width of 2, unless the Spearhead Doctrine tech is researched, which halves armour combat width (making it Combat Width 1) and enables you to stack more armour divisions into one frontline.
    All support brigades (art, AA, AT, Eng, MP, etc.) have a combat width of 0. A unit needs at least a Combat Width of 1 to engage in combat. Single support brigades without attached combat brigades will retreat after the first round (hour) of combat, as will HQs.



    In the above example, the “blue” side is using 3 Larm brigades to attack an infantry division (consisting of 2 inf/2art) and an Larm division (consisting of 1 Larm/2 art). Note how the support brigades (the Art) are behind the combat brigades and don’t take up any space in the Frontage.
    The Red side still has 6 Frontage left to fill, while the Blue side still has 4 Frontage left.



    As long as the total occupied Frontage on one side doesn’t exceed 10 (in other words equals 10 or less), 1 more division can be placed on the frontline.
    Any other units involved in the fight will be placed into the combat reserve, waiting until one of the frontline units leaves the fight, so that one of them can take its place.
    This is important because the Frontage system enables support brigades to act as power multipliers: the add to the combat abilities of the division, but don’t take up any space.

    We can use this knowledge to try squeezing in as many divisions as possible into one front.

    Attacking from multiple provinces:



    Each province added after the first will add 5 Frontage to the fight.
    In other words, attacking from 2 provinces gives you a total Frontage of 15.
    3 provinces means Frontage 20.
    4 provinces means Frontage 25.
    And so on.

    Stacking

    Only a certain number of units can be involved in the same fight before stacking penalties get involved, reducing your combat effectiveness. This number depends on the bumber of attack vectors (axes of attack), but is very steep and requires a formula too complicated for me. Avoid it whenever possible.

    Units in combat reserve count towards the stacking limit as they are considered to be “involved” in the fight.

    These penalties are very harsh and often mean the difference between swift victory and defeat. If a fight takes forever, it is always wise to check the number of units involved. Taking some of them out of the fight might make it easier for the others to actually win the bloody thing.

    Attacking from a single province gives you a stacking limit nof 4. In other words, 4 divisions can be engaged in the fight without incurring a penalty.

    Each additional province added beyond the first adds more divisions to the limit according to the following formula:
    Allowed units in fight = integer (frontage/unit width)+1. Let’s assume standard infantry (3 inf/1art).

    Attacking from a single province gives you a stacking limit of 4: frontage 10/unit width 3 = 3+1=4
    Attacking from 2 provinces gives you a Stacking Limit of 6: frontage 15/ unit width 3 = 5+1=6.
    Attacking from 3 provinces gives you a Stacking Limit of 7: frontage 20/unit width 3 = 6 +1=7.
    Attacking from 4 provinces gives you a stacking limit of 9: frontage 25/ unit width 3 = 8+1=9.
    And so on.
    In other words: tanks count more towards the stacking limit than infantry as they take up more space unless proper research has been done to reduce their combat width.

    Amphibious assaults and airborne attacks add one province to the attack, widening the frontage and allowing more units to engage the enemy. (but of course they too count towards the stacking limit).
    Theater commanders reduce stacking penalties by 1% per skill level.

    Attacking from multiple angles gives the defender a combat penalty as they are in effect forced to fight on multiple fronts at once.
    For units that are completely surrounded, this penalty gets harsher, and is compounded by the fact that they are cut off from their supply chain, making it impossible to regain strength and organisation and are entirely dependend on supplies INSIDE the province at the time (surrounded units in a capital never get out of supply because that's where the resource pools are stashed, remember?).
    Often, a more powerful unit or group of units can be softened up by encircling them and using bombers to soften them up for a few days.

    And if you’re not a math wizard, all you need to do is memorise the following:

    Frontage 10 + 5 for each additional province.
    Stacking limit 4 (1 prov), 6 (2 prov), 7 (3 prov), 9 (4 prov) for regular infantry. Beyond that, it doesn’t really matter anymore.

    Now that you know how combat works, let’s look at a combat card, shall we?



    At the top is the name of the battle. This will always be named after the target province. In the above example, a German division is trying to capture the province of Lomza in Poland.

    To the left of the name is a small icon (yellowish with a red arrow). Clicking this enables us to end the fight.

    Below the name is the surrender progress. As the attacker gains or loses ground, the red will increase or decrease. When the whole line is red, the attacker has won the fight. Mousing over this line will give you a percentage, indicating how the combat is going.

    Next are the flags of the two nations involved as well as an indicator of the terrain type of the target province.

    Below this we have series of small icons indicating combat modifiers. As always, mousing over these will indicate just what they are. Unfortunately, they do not say who is getting which modifier. Some judgement calls will have to be made here.

    As I said before, the attacker is always on the left (in this case Germany) and the defender on the right (Poland). First we have the commanding officer in charge of the battle. If several divisions are involved, one is appointed by the game to command. His skill level will affect the fight.

    Any combat events will be shown in the oval between the two portraits. Mousing over the icon that will appear at this time gives you the details involved.

    The number “10” in the middle indicates the frontage.

    Each side’s units will be listed next, giving you type of unit, name, strength, org, province, and combat width. Mousing over each unit gives you all the details affecting this unit.
    In the above example, the German unit has an Attacking Effectiveness of 61 and a defending effectiveness of 123.70. As you can see, fighting in a forest at night is clearly not a good idea (-20 for fighting in a forest and -50 for fighting at night). If this fight were occuring on a plain during the day, the Attack Effectiveness would be 131%, more than enough to overcome the Polish Defensive Effectiveness.
    In this case, there are no units in reserve. If there were, they would be shown in the bottom half, along with a percentage chance for each of them to move up into the frontline.

    Combat progress will also be shown on the main map as a bubble with a number inside it, pointing towards the defender. The number indicates the surrender progress of the fight, with a colour to denote how the fight is going: green means the fight is going the player’s way, yellow means it could go either way, red means trouble. It may need your attention. (note that most fights will start red and then turn yellow or green after a few hours, depending on the circumstances).
    You can also see all combat you’re involved in using the browser on the right of the main map (in this case Lomza 40% in green, indicating we are attacking and have progressed 40% towards capturing the province). If we are defending, this will be listed in red.

    I think that about covers ground combat. Take the time to really learn this lesson. In a game that is all about World War II, it is the single most important lesson I can give you. You cannot win a war without occupying enemy VP provinces. In order to do so, you need to fight. Knowing what makes for a winning fight is half the work.
    Read it a couple of times, and ask me any questions you may have.

    Next: the ins and outs of airpower. See you then!
    Last edited by misterbean; 26-05-2012 at 22:38.
    Germany Tutorial, Take Two: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...2#post13243122 or find it in the Major Threads sticky.
    Tutorial AAR in pdf form available on Gamefront, courtesy of Davy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7H...it?usp=sharing
    Honoured by USKnight for the above tutorial here: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post14404907
    Current EU IV AAR: La Douce France http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post17163635 Completed!

  10. #470
    Hi misterbean,

    I've been reading your tutorial with great interest, I learned a lot. However, I think the division leader skill gives +5% combat bonus per level. And the hard_on_soft bonus I keep hearing about, could you explain that as well?

    [/nitpick]

    Anyway, thanks a lot for your great tutorial!

  11. #471
    General nimrod123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haener View Post
    Hi misterbean,

    I've been reading your tutorial with great interest, I learned a lot. However, I think the division leader skill gives +5% combat bonus per level. And the hard_on_soft bonus I keep hearing about, could you explain that as well?

    [/nitpick]

    Anyway, thanks a lot for your great tutorial!
    hard on soft happens when a divison with lessb then 50% soft fights a divison with more the 50% soft, gives extra org damage
    In the future there will only be two workers, a human and a dog. The human's job will be feeding the dog. The dog's job will be making sure the human doesn't touch the computers.

  12. #472
    Field Marshal misterbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haener View Post
    Hi misterbean,

    I've been reading your tutorial with great interest, I learned a lot. However, I think the division leader skill gives +5% combat bonus per level. And the hard_on_soft bonus I keep hearing about, could you explain that as well?

    [/nitpick]

    Anyway, thanks a lot for your great tutorial!
    oops. nice catch on the leader %.
    about the hard-on-soft: basically, what nimrod123 said: wheneven a unit with less than 50% softness engages a unit with more than 50% softness, the "hard" unit gets a bonus, though I'm too lazy right now to look up the exact modifier. (hey, it's saturday and the sun is shining, 20° centigrade; sue me
    Germany Tutorial, Take Two: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...2#post13243122 or find it in the Major Threads sticky.
    Tutorial AAR in pdf form available on Gamefront, courtesy of Davy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7H...it?usp=sharing
    Honoured by USKnight for the above tutorial here: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post14404907
    Current EU IV AAR: La Douce France http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post17163635 Completed!

  13. #473
    Field Marshal misterbean's Avatar
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    just finished writing the next chapter. expect an update tomorrow.
    Germany Tutorial, Take Two: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...2#post13243122 or find it in the Major Threads sticky.
    Tutorial AAR in pdf form available on Gamefront, courtesy of Davy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7H...it?usp=sharing
    Honoured by USKnight for the above tutorial here: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post14404907
    Current EU IV AAR: La Douce France http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post17163635 Completed!

  14. #474
    i have been following this for a while, and while i think its great, i was honestly positively shocked that you have "only" gotten to fall gelb. I like the insurance that i wont miss much reading this. How long in game do you play before you stop at this point? A couple of months?

  15. #475
    Field Marshal misterbean's Avatar
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    until the war is won (I hope ). my extended absence from the forum due to login problems has something to do with the pace, as does the nature of a tutorial: I have to assume that my target audience needs me to explain everything. obviously this slows things down as well.
    but don't worry. I don't plan to stop any time soon.
    Germany Tutorial, Take Two: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...2#post13243122 or find it in the Major Threads sticky.
    Tutorial AAR in pdf form available on Gamefront, courtesy of Davy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7H...it?usp=sharing
    Honoured by USKnight for the above tutorial here: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post14404907
    Current EU IV AAR: La Douce France http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post17163635 Completed!

  16. #476
    Field Marshal misterbean's Avatar
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    Chapter 19: Airpower.

    One of the most asked questions on the forum, concerning airplanes, by beginners is: “Do I even need an airforce?”
    Strictly speaking? No.
    There is nothing an airplane can do that cannot be substituted by something else. You could use AA brigades and provincial AA to ward off enemy bombers, add more artillery brigades to the mix and use convoys to keep your forces supplied, or amphibious landings to reach across seas.
    However, when you look at the numbers, things look a little different.


    Taken from the 1940 scenario.


    Aerial defense.
    Povincial AA is a static defense in an age when mobility is starting to become more and more important (and its usefulness is still highly debatable). Even AA brigades, attached to your infantry divisions, have limited mobility. Strategically redeploying a division from the Polish border to Wilhelmshaven will take days. Rebasing an interceptor wing takes a few hours. This becomes even more pronounced if you ever start a game as the Soviet Union, the UK or Japan. The RAF can be on the other side of the world in less time than it takes for me to type this sentence.
    An up-to-date interceptor wing has more firepower, by itself, than two AA brigades combined. Since they are almost always used in pairs or trios, the advantage becomes even more important.

    Aerial offense.
    The same goes for bombers. With 1939 tech researched, a tactical bomber wing has a soft attack of 8, a 1939 artillery brigade has a soft attack of 6. Using wings of 3 tactical bombers means an added soft attack to your assault teams of 24. And the beauty of it? they have a stacking limit of their own, so they won’t limit the number of ground forces you can add to the mix.

    Supply and power projection.
    Transport planes don’t need a local airbase (which may be damaged in combat) to ship supplies and fuel. They can, with their extended range, drop the stuff right where you need it, without having to wait for your supply chain to catch up.
    In order to reach secluded islands, you could send in the marines, obviously, but what if the province you need to take is completely land-locked? Historically, Germany used paratroopers to take out the fortress of Eben Emael in the Belgian province of Liège, instantly depriving Belgium of the lynchpin of its entire defense. Paradroppings can be used in the most abusively gamey ways. One AAR proved this by practically winning the war with only paratroopers and transports.

    Now that we have established that airforces are useful, let’s explore what types of wings we can produce and their best use in-game.
    Let’s start with the three basic types of practical: light, medium and heavy planes. Most nations, with a possible exception of the US, can only afford to build up two types of practical at most, and you can get very good mileage out of just one type.

    Light aircraft consist of interceptors, multi-purpose (fighter/bombers) Carrier Air Groups and Close Air Support. Since you can’t do without fighter-based protection, this one is practically mandatory.
    Interceptors provide the best defense (high firepower against other planes and excellent protection).

    Multi-purpose planes offer firepower for added protection and range. The range benefit is very useful, enabling them to reach spots far outside the range of your interceptors, but it is my experience that they tend to get shot up more during continuous missions where they meet interceptors. They can be used as bombers, both to attack land-based and sea-based targets, but offer none of the outstanding effects each bomber type has. Basically jack-of-all-trades, master of none.

    Close Air Support planes have very short range and are extremely vulnerable, but they shine when used in an anti-tank role (much like the RAF used a version of the Hawker Hurricane against the Afrika-korps to great effect). Since all of our major enemies will sport medium and heavy armour, Germany needs at least some of them.

    Carrier Air Groups shine, obviously, when used to protect their carrier and attack other vessels during naval combat. However, they can be considered to be brigades. As such, they can be detached (I’ll explain more in detail in the naval chapter) and used for port strikes (Pearl Harbour and Taranto come to mind) and naval strikes from airbases. Just keep in mind that naval bombers are much better in this regard.

    Which brings us to medium planes. These come in two bomber types: tactical and naval bombers.
    Tactical bombers are your workhorses, capable to attack enemy ground forces, engage in naval combat (they can even raid convoys), logistic strikes and other strategic missions. More sturdy than the CAS with reasonable ranges, any self-respecting major nation should at least have a few of these.

    Naval bombers are the masters of the sea where planes are concerned. Offering better naval stats than tactical bombers, their only shortcoming is a slightly reduced mission range.

    Finally, we have heavy planes. They are basically two oddballs. Strategic planes and transport planes.
    Strategic planes (flying fortresses, for example) offer tremedous range and awesome offensive capabilities AGAINST PROVINCIAL TARGETS. Against installations (radar, AA and such), infrastructure, air- and naval bases or your enemy’s industrial centers, there is no other plane in the game that offers this kind of firepower. But that’s it. While the historic B-17 and B-29 strategic bombers could be used to strike fear into the heart of the US’ enemies, the in-game versions of those bombers little to no combat use.
    Don’t get me wrong. They can be used in various ways. For instance, in one UK game (this was during SF), the French AI panicked during the invasion of the Low Countries and abandonned Wissenbourg (one of their Maginot provinces). Luckily, this one time I actually had UK’s strategic bombers stationed in Paris, bombing German industry. I intervened by log striking the German Saarland, giving me time to use the B.E.F. to plug the gap. Germany still won the day in the end, but that’s another story. That day of French panic, however, general Portal’s strategic bombers were the heroes of the day.

    The other “oddball” are transport wings, the only type of unit in the game that can land paratroopers in land-locked provinces behind enemy lines and ferry supplies and fuel across hundreds of miles without needing to rely on the supply chain or nearby naval bases.

    Each type is, obviously, more expensive to build in terms of both IC and time than the previous one, and requires more fuel and supplies to keep running. In the end, the nation you choose to play determines what your airforce will be made of.
    If IC and time are limited, light aircraft offer fighers, bombers and naval strike ability across your nation and you can get a whole lot of mileage out of them, as long as you have airbases near every frontline.
    If you have both IC and time, however, you can choose to add another practical to the mix. Given their limited use on the battlefield, most players choose to dismiss heavy planes and opt for medium planes. That is what we are doing with Germany: a healthy mix of cheap, light planes and more powerful, extremely versatile tactical bombers.

    Stacking.
    It bears repeating: any bomber wing, including the first, will have 10% stacking penalty per bomber (10% for 1 unit, 20% for two, etc.), while fighters suffer 10% per plane starting with the 2nd one (0% for 1 unit, 10% for 2 units, 20% for three units, etc.).

    But who will command these airwings?

    Like ground forces, airwings have generals with a rank, skill and traits. Things work slightly different for aerial units than for armies, though, and the following only talks about airforce officers.

    A major general can command 4 wings. As you will see later in this chapter, aerial stacking limits make the use of more than 4 wings in one battle highly unpractical. As such, a major general is basically all we need and there should never be a real need to promote them (with the possible exception of commanding CAGs).

    A lieutenant general can command up to 8 wings at a time. Whenever situations erupt that require the use of more than 4 wings in one aerial mission, it would be wise to ensure that at least one of the commanding officers is a lieutenant general.

    Air generals can commando up to 12 wings. Apart from roleplaying, there is never any real need to promote anyone to this position. Having this many planes in one area makes them all virtually useless.

    Skill works exactly the same as for divisional commanders in your army. No need to waste more time on it than needed.

    Traits, however, are of vital importance in assigning the right man for the right type of wing.
    These are:

    Carpet Bombers: they offer 10% bonus during strategic attacks and should be reserved for, obviously, strategic planes and tactical bombers lined up for extended duty in this area.

    Fleet Destroyers: offering 10% in naval attacks, they are perfect for naval bombers and CAGs.

    Night Flyers: with 10% bonus on night attacks, they offer some use when planning to fly nighttime missions. I often use these for my interceptors if I have to defend myself from a lot of nightly bombing runs.

    Superior Tactician: they offer a 10% bonus for “tactical attacks”. Nobody, as far as I know, understands the term, but Paradox has assured forumites to use these for your tactical bombers, interceptors and fighter/bombers.

    Spotters have 10% bonus to their ability to detect enemy forces. I believe this extends to all enemies. Can also be used for interceptors and bombers.

    Tank Busters make it 20% more likely that your plane will target the enemy with its soft attack. They should be used whenever you are facing armoured opposition on the ground.

    I assigned the following commanders to my various wings:

    Luftflotte I: Kesselring
    Luftflotte II: Sperrle
    Luftflotte III: Von Greim
    Luftflotte IV: Von Richthofen

    Stuka 1: Udet
    Stuka 2: Löhr

    I. Fliegerkorps: Sommé
    II. Fliegerkorps: heilingbrunner
    III. Fliegerkorps: Kitzinger
    IV. Fliegerkorps: Lörzer
    V. Fliegerkorps: Milch
    VI. Fliegerkorps: Felmy


    This concludes the chapter on Airpower. As always, don’t be afraid to ask questions or pose constructive criticism.
    Next: Kriegsmarine.


    EDIT: Azedalis correctly pointed out to me that it is NOT the type of plane that gives an extra 10% stacking penalty, but the type of mission!!!!!
    Using fighter airplanes on any kind of bombing mission (for whatever reason)gives 10% stacking that you don't have when using intercept/superiority missions!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by misterbean; 28-05-2012 at 22:06.
    Germany Tutorial, Take Two: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...2#post13243122 or find it in the Major Threads sticky.
    Tutorial AAR in pdf form available on Gamefront, courtesy of Davy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7H...it?usp=sharing
    Honoured by USKnight for the above tutorial here: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post14404907
    Current EU IV AAR: La Douce France http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post17163635 Completed!

  17. #477

    Wink Setup of Airpower

    Hi Misterbean,

    first of all let me thank you again for this fantastic AAR. I have read quite a few but this one is the best in many way's for me.

    As I followed you through the years I found it difficult to get all the production schedules right. I guess I missed some and got mixed up
    somewhere. You listed the different airwings. It would be a great help if you could list of how many plans each wing consists.
    For example I have only 5 Koprs with fighters; I-IV have four wings each and V has 2 so far...

    So please be so kind and help me out on this one.


    Luftflotte I: Kesselring
    Luftflotte II: Sperrle
    Luftflotte III: Von Greim
    Luftflotte IV: Von Richthofen

    Stuka 1: Udet
    Stuka 2: Löhr

    I. Fliegerkorps: Sommé
    II. Fliegerkorps: heilingbrunner
    III. Fliegerkorps: Kitzinger
    IV. Fliegerkorps: Lörzer
    V. Fliegerkorps: Milch
    VI. Fliegerkorps: Felmy

    You have allready explaint the value of airpower, but in one older post you mentioned that it is better to have many small fighter wings attacking strategic bombers again and again than large wings. That had something to do with national unity as far I remeber. I thought you meant korps with a maximum of 2 wings maybe but when I recognize the production I have done so far, most of your korps should have 4 wings at the begin of the war.

    So next wish from my sight enlighten me with how intercepting those nasty allied bombers work best for a noob like me.

    And keep on going. Good weather is no excuse to let your fan's wait so long for the next post

    Max

  18. #478
    Field Marshal misterbean's Avatar
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    ok, Max. all our bomber wings should be in groups of 3, while the interceptors go in groups of 4. With 4 interceptors, I have the same stacking penalty as the RAF's bombers, which usually attack in groups of 3, while maintaining superior fighting power.
    What happens in a dogfight between, say, Spitfires and Messerschmidts, is the same as ground combat. each plane randomly targets an enemy plane. having four of them means the damage is spread around more.
    Right now, on 1/1/'39, I have 5 fighter groups of 4 and 1 fighter group of 3 (VI. Fliegerkorps).
    Stuka 1 has its 3 bombers, while stuka 2 only consists of 2 bombers.
    Luftflotte IV only has 1 tactical bomber, while the other 3 are complete.

    you may have missed a spot somewhere. Do you still have a save from early 1938? I have annual saves on file, so I could look into it where you went wrong, if you want.

    As for the nitty gritty, I will get more into detail when the war starts, but basically, it's very easy. wait until you see the AI start bombing someplace. usually, it gets fixated on just 2 or 3 provinces at a time. so once you know where they've hit you, that is where they will return next time. set one of your interceptors on an "air superiority" mission (maintain a constant presence in the air) over that one single province, and you should get them every single time. (Dortmund and Leipzig are favorite targets, but sometimes it will zoom in on Köln or Bitburg, for instance).
    if you have radar, you could opt for "air intercept" instead (keeping the fighters on the ground until an enemy is spotted) to save on fuel.
    Germany Tutorial, Take Two: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...2#post13243122 or find it in the Major Threads sticky.
    Tutorial AAR in pdf form available on Gamefront, courtesy of Davy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7H...it?usp=sharing
    Honoured by USKnight for the above tutorial here: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post14404907
    Current EU IV AAR: La Douce France http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post17163635 Completed!

  19. #479
    It's been a couple years since I played HOI3 and your tutorial is helping to refresh my memory. Some of the tips were new to me and helped explain what was going on or why to do this. Thank you for writing this.

    A few questions:
    1- we created a Flotte with the CVL, do you assign the Troopships to that flotte or to their own flotte?
    2- we seem to be researching everything and anything under Naval, Escort, and Capital tabs.... are we going to decide if we're building SAG's, CTF's, or what? I suppose this will be in the next chapter; just wondering if we could have been more focused with our leadership points.
    3- Air Tab: Bomber or Fighter Targeting Focus? I usually do Bomber, just wondering which you choose and why.
    4- Air Tab: Foward Air Control or Battlefield Interdiction? I usually do Foward Air Control until after Barbarossa and then push Battlefield Interdiction. Your thoughts?
    5- Radar: You haven't gotten there yet but I'm curious, where in Germany do you build them?
    6- Officer Ratio: At 1Jan39 where should it be? I've let mine drop to 102-104% during this prolonged peacetime to add more to research... it's now time to start building back up. Could you discuss how to do this while still maintaining a decent research program?

    Suggestion:
    You've written a really good tut but it would really help if an annual summary was included at the end/begining of each year. A sort of "What did we build this year and where is it" type of thing. Also it would help if you gave what the resource stockpiles were at the end of each year..... a kind of check to see if we're trading enough or need to do more in order to be ready at Danzig or War.

    From Chapter 17: "There’s a neat trick to overcome Attack Delay, known as Frogleaping. You have an army consisting of, say, 3 corps. You attack with one corps. When they arrive at their destination and are forced to halt, send in the next corps to attack the province behind it. The third corps is send forward, waiting for the second corps’ attack to finish, after which they get their turn."
    Uhmmmm, It's Leapfrogging....

    zz

  20. #480
    Field Marshal misterbean's Avatar
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    good questions. let me just leap your frog .

    1) the escort carrier is assigned to the troop transports, that's right. the CAg will help keep the transports safe (I hope), along with some screens.

    2) yeah. we are going to go carrier route. however, until we can get enough of them build to take over, we will need those battleships and battlecruisers to keep our shores safe from those savages from across the Channel, so until now we've researched everything we could, because we can never build enough ships to overcome the Royal Navy. this way, the excellence of our officer training regime will keep us alive at sea. (actually, for those of you interested, the 4 combat fleets of Plan Z ARE a workable option in HOI3 on normal by 1940, but that would mean sacrificing army and air units, which I don't really want to do in a tutorial AAR).
    3) and 4) these two cancel each other out, so its in our best interest to keep them at the same level and then leave them alone. RL Fighter Command definitely favored Bomber Targeting: they never went into battle during the Battle of Britain if there were no bombers around. But we are playing Germany, and as an offensive-type of nation, we need to be able to take out the fighters as well as the bombers. As for the other two, my personal preference is Forward Air Control, but, again, you never know what you will find during war. So put them on an even keel and forget about them.
    5) radar. I always try to have 10 radar in Wilhelmshaven by the time I invade the Low Countries, as they will allow me to keep a close eye on whatever the Allies are doing behind the begian border, where we can't see them. If you can spare the IC (given that they're cheap), at least 2 in Dortmund and leipzig. maybe Köln. those are the AI's favorite targets. having them there makes it easier on our fighters to ward off enemy bombers.
    6) the only option here, is to sacrifice as much as you can. there's a lot of 1938 tech around, but less 1939 tech. we will gradually move points over from one thing to the next. worst case scenario, transfer all LS to officer training for a few weeks. it really doesn't take long to build it back up to 100+ %. and we have the Sitzkrieg, where we will be doing our upgrades, giving us about 6 months to get back on top.

    interesting suggestion regarding resources. I may do that.

    edited to add: radar lvl-10 in Wilhelsmhaven also allows us to keep an eye all the way to Dover and Home Fleet. later, by 1941, lvl-10 in Köningsberg comes in handy.
    Germany Tutorial, Take Two: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...2#post13243122 or find it in the Major Threads sticky.
    Tutorial AAR in pdf form available on Gamefront, courtesy of Davy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7H...it?usp=sharing
    Honoured by USKnight for the above tutorial here: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post14404907
    Current EU IV AAR: La Douce France http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1#post17163635 Completed!

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