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Thread: The Prussian Pickle: Seven Year's War

  1. #1

    The Prussian Pickle: Seven Year's War

    I've always wanted to write an AAR to practise my written english. Now I've found a game interesting enough to write an AAR of.

    This is the Prussian grand campaign and I've already played for a few years. Everyone has seen the start so I thought I'd start the AAR now as the situation is a bit more unique.
    This is my second campaign in any AGEOD game, the first one ended in my huge blunder of not wintering my troops.
    I'm playing with the newest beta.



    1758, Late September

    The Bohemian Front
    Leader: The King in Prussia

    I really blundered here! I twice defeated the huge Austrian garrison army in Prag after they sortied out for 2 weeks, and then I pursued them, just to find out after a few turn later that the HRE and France had hidden an army somewhere, then marched on to Prag and managed to make a breach in only one turn. I should have scouted the area before trying anything. The Austrians lost around 20 thousand men in the sortie, so I thought that I could destroy them within a few months, as I had done to a Swedish stack near Berlin.
    As the campaigning season soon ends, I'll probably just withdraw to Dresden and defeat a small Austrian siege force there.
    I cannot defeat the huge allied army in Prag, as they have a huge numerical superiority of nearly 1000 power. I really lost a years worth of work here.


    The Silesian Front
    Leader: Kurt von Schwerin

    This front has been really stable since 1756. I've held Troppau and the enemy usually attacks twice a year and loses a third of their forces. Last time they lost 18 thousand men. I'm moving in the cavalry corps for scouting purposes to see if I could attack.


    The Pommern Front

    Leader: James Keith
    The massive Russian army is approaching, and I had to pull 30 thousand men from other fronts to sit in a fort for who knows how long. I hope the winter will be very harsh. General Keith is praying that he can defend Kolberg long enough.


    Northern Front

    Leader: August von Bevern
    After the destruction of most Swedish troops by Prinz Wilhelm near Berlin. Bevern will react to any movements by the last Swedish army.


    Hanover area

    Leader: Prinz Wilhelm
    The incompetent Prinz Wilhelm will give his command to the Marquiss of Granby of the British army. Then they will make a joint attack against the French sieging force in Hanover and save the city.
    I hope I can destroy them before the winter to reinforce the Pommeranian front next year.


    Western Front

    Leader: Ferdinand von Braunschweig
    The western front has remained really calm. I cannot try any offensive moves because everyone, except Ferdinand himself, are incompetent fools, thus trying any moves would be disasterous.
    Otherwise, I am content that nothing has really happened here. I don't want to lose any ground as Munster is easy to defend.
    I'm not really worried about losing Kassel, as the AI probably forgot to add anything capable of making a breach to it's siege corps in Kassel.


    I would appreciate any tips. The only problem I have is that I don't have enough men.
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  2. #2
    Nice start Searry! Good luck for your campaign!

    I wouldn't push any further on the Silesian front. For some reason Olmutz doesn't seem to poduce much supplies if occupied by the Prussians. You will have a very hard time feeding a substantial army there.

    Don't worry about the Russians too much. Supplying a Russian invasion force in Pommeria is beyond the skill level of the AI. Even skilled human players struggle with this task. Let the AI try; eventually it will lose its forces to winter attrition and starvation. You can even afford to lose Kolberg (it doesn't produce enough supplies to feed the Russian army).

    I gather you abandonned Konigsberg without a fight?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Bornego View Post
    I gather you abandonned Konigsberg without a fight?
    Yes I did. The Russian army is so massive, I just retreated and waited for the winter.

    Thanks for the tip about Silesia, I'll probably move some men to Dresden from there.

  4. #4
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    good to see another RoP AAR. From my limited experience try and concentrate. If there is a large French army in Prag, then an offensive in the Rhineland might pay dividends and go over to the defense in Saxony/Bohemia. In a way you may want more of a mobile campaign as that works to your advantages? I know from playing the Austrian side i did better when everything got very constricted and was often outmarched by the Prussians in mobile warfare.

    And, as with Bornego, I wouldn't worry too much about the Russians, but the new patch may have sorted out the absolute supply hole that used to doom any attempt to move beyond Koenigsberg.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    good to see another RoP AAR. From my limited experience try and concentrate. If there is a large French army in Prag, then an offensive in the Rhineland might pay dividends and go over to the defense in Saxony/Bohemia. In a way you may want more of a mobile campaign as that works to your advantages? I know from playing the Austrian side i did better when everything got very constricted and was often outmarched by the Prussians in mobile warfare.
    Well I could attack the French in the west, but i'll wait for them to move to a less defensive ground to keep my cohesion higher.

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    And, as with Bornego, I wouldn't worry too much about the Russians, but the new patch may have sorted out the absolute supply hole that used to doom any attempt to move beyond Koenigsberg.
    Yes it did fix this. It's the reason I'm worrying so much.

  6. #6

    The pickle continues with heavy losses

    1758, Early October

    Battle of Ritschan



    The turn started with the Austrian attack on Ritschan. It was a devastating defeat which saw the destruction of Heinrich's Column.
    In the losses were several Grenadiers Battalions, Regimental Battalions, Elite Musketeers, 5 Guard Cavalry, Artillery and 5 supply trains, most of Heinrich's troops were really depleted.
    I should have combined Heinrich's forces with the main army, but due to my inexperience I didn't even check how many men Heinrich had before issuing the order to retreat to Dresden...
    Now the Austrians can press the POW to their army, this will make things even harder for me.

    Also several commanders were wounded and 1 killed!

    WIA:
    Heinrich von Preussen
    Friedrich von Seydlitz
    Johann von Bülow
    August von Itzenplitz
    Erbprinz Karl

    KIA:
    Gerd von Manteuffel



    Moritz's 10 thousand troops must now try to reinforce the king's army while we build replacements during the winter.


    Also:

    Now the Prag garrison is in absolute peril and I will lose even more troops. There's no way to save them. I hope they'll kill as many French and Germans as possible!

    Battle of Troppau Fortress



    Now, Troppau battle is a usual Austrian defeat, in which they lost a lot of men, and two Guard Cavalry.
    We took a lot of prisoners which is a good thing when thinking about replacing the losses in the Prague front.
    Will the Austrians finally give Serbelloni some Artillery?


    Also I'm resting Wobersow's Brigade and the Knobloch as they are totally depleted.




    In the East the Russians are closing in on Kolberg. Katte's forces will reach Kolberg in 5 days and reinforce Keith. I'm glad that there's only a few turns left before winter comes. I hope I can hold Kolberg untill then.





    In the north, the Swedish army has left to attack Berlin it seems. Here my inexperience is once again the problem. I should have known the AI would try something, but Berlin? I should have moved my forces to south of the Swedish corps. If I was the Austrians, I could have tried to take Wismar back and winter there. Now I'll have to pursue them all the way to Berlin...




    In the west, I'll try to win and take some prisoners for my army. I really hope this doesn't fail.


    I started building replacements for the southern army:
    Elite Musketeer Battalion
    Regimental Battalion
    Guard Carabiners

    In other news, the British gave me supplies and money, which I really don't need. I need MEN! Also I'm out of Prussian replacement chits and I need them too.
    I'll get a new Prussian General to replace Gerd, and I will upgrade some of my artillery.

    I really need to stop blundering and stop playing this game when I'm tired.

  7. #7
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Will try to follow this. It should be interesting to contrast your game with loki100's and Narwhal's contest. Good luck!

    EDIT: I see you just posted another update. Ouch on the defeat at Ritschau (I apologize for butchering it, but I can't look up the proper spelling right now). And I hope your troops in Prag sell their lives dearly. Maybe they can buy you some time...
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  8. #8
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    couple of general comments from the 'other' side. The Austrians and French suffer from a lack of artillery compared to the Prussians. I found it a constant struggle to either have enough for siege work or to assign them to my field armies.

    don't worry too much about Kolberg. I think the commander there has the fort defender trait and it may have other bonuses, it won't fall in a quick siege. I besieged the damn place for an entire season and never got enough breaches to be able to storm the place.

    & about Ritschan, you've made my common mistake. One thing in the AGEOD system is to try, if at all possible, to send damaged units to the rear. Its really hard when, as with Prussia, you feel a distinct lack of troops but if you don't sooner or later what looks to be a strong force will just fall apart on you.

    Having said all that, this is great stuff.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Will try to follow this. It should be interesting to contrast your game with loki100's and Narwhal's contest. Good luck!

    EDIT: I see you just posted another update. Ouch on the defeat at Ritschau (I apologize for butchering it, but I can't look up the proper spelling right now). And I hope your troops in Prag sell their lives dearly. Maybe they can buy you some time...
    Yes, the Ritschan defeat is the worst I've ever had! Don't know if this will be as interesting as loki100's and Narwhal's AAR, as this isn't a PBEM.

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    couple of general comments from the 'other' side. The Austrians and French suffer from a lack of artillery compared to the Prussians. I found it a constant struggle to either have enough for siege work or to assign them to my field armies.
    I've noticed this. They now have even less artillery as I took a huge column of them as prisoners(~300 companies) last year, it had a around 3 normal artillery and 1 siege artillery.

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    don't worry too much about Kolberg. I think the commander there has the fort defender trait and it may have other bonuses, it won't fall in a quick siege. I besieged the damn place for an entire season and never got enough breaches to be able to storm the place.
    Yeah, I just hope sitting in the fort does the trick.

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    & about Ritschan, you've made my common mistake. One thing in the AGEOD system is to try, if at all possible, to send damaged units to the rear. Its really hard when, as with Prussia, you feel a distinct lack of troops but if you don't sooner or later what looks to be a strong force will just fall apart on you.
    I learned this the hard way. I hope there was a way to convert some Battalions to replacements.

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    Having said all that, this is great stuff.
    Thanks!


    By the way, does anyone know what is the purpose of the Depot troops?
    EDIT: After googling about the Depot troops, looks like Narwhal covered the thing about Depot troops in his AAR... Should have read that first.
    Last edited by Searry; 05-01-2012 at 17:33.

  10. #10
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Searry View Post
    I learned this the hard way. I hope there was a way to convert some Battalions to replacements.

    By the way, does anyone know what is the purpose of the Depot troops?
    In RoP (& I think its unique in the AGEOD system) the depot battalions are utterly key to a flow of replacements. Regard them as a sort of training battalion, when they are 'ready' they disappear and extra Repls appear in your manpower pool for your combat armies. So the system is something like raw MP-Dept Bn-Trained MP. Narwhal in his AAR has a fairly early "beginners corner" that covers this well. In mine after my 1760 disasters I just started building them (put them in a fort if you can that won't come under siege) as often as possible and after about 18 months I was quite surprised how much I'd rebuilt the Austrian army.

    My RoP AAR was SP too, but at least one patch back. Narwhal's was indeed PBEM and convinced me that the way to really enjoy the AGEOD games was PBEM.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  11. #11

    The pickle continues... with victories!

    1758, Late October


    Hurray! A good turn!

    In addition to my other builds in the previous AAR post, I built 1 Grenadier Depot and 2 Infantry Depot after learning they create replacements.

    Battle of Prag Fort




    The turn began with the obvious surrender of the Prag Garrison. I would have hoped they would have offered themselves to Prussia, but it seems the men had no morality left in them!


    Second Battle of Troppau Fortress



    For some reason, the Austrians wanted to shed some blood. Maybe they were feeling lucky after several defeats. I regret that we lost 3 cuirassiers though. I have to train some cavalry replacements.
    von Schwerin is a surprisingly good general, as he always wins against numerical superiority.


    Battle of Koesfelt

    This was a huge 3 day battle which made 32175 people to die, get wounded, or taken as prisoner in battle. I made a conservative attack there, because I didn't want any unneccessary losses.
    We took around 211 columns of prisoners which was the whole purpose of this battle. Most of these prisoners were 30 elements of elite french infantry, which must be a devastating loss for them!





    We lost the first day. Ferdinands columns retreated back to Munster, but his army stayed in Koesfelt. It seems that the possibility of artillery hitting anything is highly randomized, as I had a 4:1 superiority in cannons and they couldn't hit anything this round.





    Now this was an even battle, they lost only slighty more men than us. I noticed that for some reason the French brigades were fatiqued and none of my troops were fatiqued. Maybe it has something to do with the conservative attack?





    At last we did a lot of damage! Here the French lost those 30 elite infantries. We also took those precious prisoners.
    Artillery made around 30 hits in this battle, which baffles me, the most hits(9) were done by siege artillery(!!). Ferdinand gained 1 level to both his offensive and defensive.



    But then, another pickle!




    As his reinforcing columns retreated during the first day of battle, Ferdinand is now left alone in Koesfelt. Though the columns would certainly come to his help if a battle would happen, as they did previously, should I take a risk? There is always the possibility that one of the columns wouldn't march to the sound of guns, and the French could have an upper hand.
    Also I'm not sure if the French lost more cohesion than me, as I didn't take notes about that. Of course I could check the battle reports again.
    There is a good probability now that I could destroy that French army in several turns.
    I'll check the reports and then decide if I'll stay in Koesfelt.


    Battle of Dresden Fortifications




    I decided to attack Dresden immediately, as I had the upper hand obviously. Regrettably we lost one Grenadier column. Moritz will soon reach Dresden, then he will take Chemnitz back.


    Schwedt's operation




    Now that around 7000 troops, and 48 cannons joined Schwedt's cavalry forces, we can get rid of those annoying Austrians besieging Schweidnitz and Bautzen.
    If we can manage this before the winter comes, Schwedt can probably winter in Dresden.


    Siege of Kolberg

    The scourge has arrived!




    That army is huge! Gladly, winter is coming, and we have around 43 thousand men and 240 cannon in the Kolberg fort, I bet they can easily defend Kolberg, plus Keith is a good general.
    If they assault, I'm sure they will take huge losses, as in my previous game I had ~20 thousand men in the Königsberg fort, they had to assasult for two weeks straight and they lost nearly 50 thousand men.


    Hanover area



    The recently promoted Marshal Granby took over the command from the incompetent William, who possibly gained his rank trough being the brother of the king. Nepotism is a very bad thing in martial matters.
    I ordered the Marquis to attack Hanover, and possibly save the city.


    Bevern's forces continue to pursue the Swedish army.

    This turns builds:
    1 Depot Grenadier
    1 Regimental Battallion

    All in all, a good turn.

  12. #12
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Nice way handling the French army! But my, that Russian army is huge indeed... Hopefully, winter will thin their ranks a good bit. Oh, and watch out for those cossacks: I believe they automatically pillage any province they pass through. That could get annoying, if they move past Kolberg.
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  13. #13
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    that was a good set of victories, looks like you've badly damaged the French and will drive the Austrians back into Bohemia. That Russian Army has a lot of supply wagons, if they are full, they may well be able to sustain the siege over winter? This is obv the new patch working well as its impressive to see the AI has managed that. I'm not sure I'd leave Keith in Kolberg though - too good a field commander. Do you have a 'fort defender' rattling around somewhere, if so I'd swap them around.

    and as Stuyvesant says - the Cossacks will both pillage anything and (not sure if again this is new), help a field army to gather supplies.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Nice way handling the French army! But my, that Russian army is huge indeed... Hopefully, winter will thin their ranks a good bit. Oh, and watch out for those cossacks: I believe they automatically pillage any province they pass through. That could get annoying, if they move past Kolberg.
    Yes, they could. But I have a lot of cavalry, so I could just follow them where they're going.

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    that was a good set of victories, looks like you've badly damaged the French and will drive the Austrians back into Bohemia. That Russian Army has a lot of supply wagons, if they are full, they may well be able to sustain the siege over winter? This is obv the new patch working well as its impressive to see the AI has managed that. I'm not sure I'd leave Keith in Kolberg though - too good a field commander. Do you have a 'fort defender' rattling around somewhere, if so I'd swap them around.

    and as Stuyvesant says - the Cossacks will both pillage anything and (not sure if again this is new), help a field army to gather supplies.
    I haven't seen any fort defenders, though I'm not sure as there isn't a filter for that. Keith has 7 defensive skill, so I bet he could do a good job in defending Kolberg.
    I am quite worried about the Russian supply. If there were just a way to steal those wagons... I'm not sure about those cossacks if they can gather supplies.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Searry View Post
    That army is huge! Gladly, winter is coming, and we have around 43 thousand men and 240 cannon in the Kolberg fort, I bet they can easily defend Kolberg, plus Keith is a good general.
    If they assault, I'm sure they will take huge losses, as in my previous game I had ~20 thousand men in the Königsberg fort, they had to assasult for two weeks straight and they lost nearly 50 thousand men.
    The thing about sieges is: it doesn't depend on army size but rather on the amount of artillery (+ engineers and special abilities). The AI is too dumb to use an efficient siege force. Instead of a huge army it needs a medium sized one (just big enough to defeat Keith's force in a defensive battle/repel any Prussian reinforcements) that is stack full with artillery. And unlike the French the Russians have a lot of guns. In the Russian siege force there are none to be seen (although there are probably a brigade or two entirely build of artillery).

    Another thing the AI is really bad at is army, corps and brigade composition. That huge army comes almost certainly with a 35% stacking penalty. It's simply a waste of combat power. The Russians have more than enough two star generals to form a sufficient number of corps to avoid any stacking penalties. Another mistake obvious in that screen is that the AI has put most of its troops into an HQ stack. However HQ stacks always enter combat last if they are in the same region as their corps. A sensible corps/army hq composition puts the strongest troops into the corps and the weakest into the hq stack. An hq stack is a place where badly depleted units can get some rest.

    Make the AI pay for these mistakes.

    Also, if the AI doesn't assault immediately, it might be a good idea to evacuate some of Keith's force by boat (only infantry not artillery), it will make your supplies last longer which is essential if you plan to outlast the Russians.

  16. #16

    The pickle continues with no major events

    1758, Early November


    Battle of Dresden Fortifications



    We defeated the small Austrian force here with no losses, and managed to kill Armand de Belcunze. Took 119 companies of prisoners.


    Battle of Koesfelt



    Well, I took the risk of staying there, and as I feared Ferdinand's columns did not come to help him. Though nothing major happened and Ferdinand retreated back to Munster.


    Battle of Hanover Fortress



    The Marquess defeated the French forces with the help of William, and will now pursue them where ever they might retreat.




    Schwedt's operation



    Schwedt won against the Austrian harrassers in Schweidnitz Fortress and defeated them again Hohenelbe.




    Torgau Skirmish



    Moritz defeated the small enemy force in torgau. Heinrich will take over the command from Moritz, then march to Dresden.


    Dresden area



    I was very worried about the enemy advance towards Dreden. They could have destroyed Friedrich's forces completely.



    Then the King won a battle against a French column. Maybe the other columns were slowed down by siege artillery or something else? Good for Friedrich.



    Now something really weird happened! The forces led by Comte de Souvré stayed in Dresden. Other allied armies disappeard from the vicinity of Dresden, and appeared in Marienberg!
    Looks like a bug to me that they could just teleport there. Weird... Even the replay didn't show how they got there.


    Siege of Dortmund



    We finally lost Dortmund to the French. Not a major loss.


    This turn we took a nice number of prisoners again. I hope I have all my armies replenished by spring, when the next Allied offensive is sure to happen.
    The next year will probably be purely defensive.

    Builds:
    Depot Infantry Battalion

    Also, war exhaustion hit, and we now lose -1nm/turn.


    1758, Late November


    A skirmish in Gortlitz



    We lost here due to exhaustion and low cohesion. Not a big deal. Schwedt was going towards Bautzen.



    Schwedt will join the King in Dresden, and reinforce his troops there if the Austrians are mad enough to attack when it's freezing cold.
    I'm just a bit wary about crossing the river when the allies remain in Lobositz.

    I could possibly destroy the French in Dresden now and take their arty and supply.

    Western front



    Some French armies are retreating towards Wesel, so I ordered Zastrow to attack Koesfelt with his 26 thousand men, and Wutginau to take Dortmund back.




    Also, an Austrian Army trying to enter Silesia is blocked by winter! Hurray winter!



    Bevern is given orders to attack the Swedes in Frankfurt.

    Granby tried to engage the French in Wunstorf, but the French evaded the fight and instead retreated to Diepholz. Granby gets the same old orders to pursue.

    No builds.
    Last edited by Searry; 08-01-2012 at 01:01.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Bornego View Post
    Another thing the AI is really bad at is army, corps and brigade composition. That huge army comes almost certainly with a 35% stacking penalty. It's simply a waste of combat power. The Russians have more than enough two star generals to form a sufficient number of corps to avoid any stacking penalties. Another mistake obvious in that screen is that the AI has put most of its troops into an HQ stack. However HQ stacks always enter combat last if they are in the same region as their corps. A sensible corps/army hq composition puts the strongest troops into the corps and the weakest into the hq stack. An hq stack is a place where badly depleted units can get some rest.
    Thank you! Had no idea that HQ stacks enter combat last, though it probably says that somewhere in the manual. And yes, the AI is bad in building armies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bornego View Post
    Also, if the AI doesn't assault immediately, it might be a good idea to evacuate some of Keith's force by boat (only infantry not artillery), it will make your supplies last longer which is essential if you plan to outlast the Russians.
    I accidentaly left a lot of cavalry in the fort, so I could probably go and fetch them.

  18. #18
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    that was a pretty sucessful turn, lots of useful victories as you cleaned up the flanks. You're a lot braver about winter operations than I am, but then you probably also need to exploit your recent victories over the French?
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  19. #19
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Searry View Post
    Thank you! Had no idea that HQ stacks enter combat last, though it probably says that somewhere in the manual. And yes, the AI is bad in building armies.
    No, it does not :/


    I accidentaly left a lot of cavalry in the fort, so I could probably go and fetch them.
    Cavalry are heavy on the supplies.
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  20. #20
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Could't view the screens (bandwidth exceeded? Or maybe it's just my wife's iPad being finicky), but that sounds like an impressive string of victories. Well done!
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