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Thread: The First Global War

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    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    The First Global War

    Introduction and stuff

    So this will be another PBEM between myself and Narwhal but this time using Rise of Prussia (we fancied a return to scale after the more focussed experience with WiA). However, I've had an idea for a while that I'd like to convert an AGEOD game into a History Book rather than gameplay report (all the material and more is in the game). So this one will be mostly reported in my voice and as a history book format.

    I'll use the same approach as I used in my earlier Great Patriotic War, so the posts will be often organised thematically rather than in strict chronology and some time periods/places will be reported in detail and some quickly skectched in. I also want to play around with the quite detailed battle reports that RoP generates.

    As to game play things, we'll probably be using the last release candidate for patch 1.4 but with a couple of modifications. One is some house rules on the use of Bateaux as these still can pass in front of fortresses and across the Baltic. The other is we've increased the likelihood of leader deaths in combat. This will harm both of us as Austria needs as many leaders as possible given the multi-national and relatively larger armies (& the often rubbish leaders), Prussia is very vulnerable to the loss of its star generals.

    Otherwise, we'll use historic attrition (ie armies suffer desertion etc and can only replace losses if on a depot), which is a nice balance rule. It favours the defender at any one time (a bit, as they are closer to their depots) but harms the Austrian side a bit more, so makes it hard to use brute strength. We've opted for the limited activation rule (ie inactive can move slowly but can't attack), as opposed to the more brutal inactive=no move rule I used in my earlier SP RoP AAR.

    Narwhal has the evil Prussians and I have the much nicer dressed Austrians. That also means he has to try and destroy France and I may get the pleasure of finishing off Cumberland.

    It maybe a while before posts related to the game are up, but never fear, there will be a number of context setting posts.

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  3. #3
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    One War or Many?

    One issue that has confused previous histories of the Seven Years War is whether to see it as a unified conflict that spread across the globe or as a collection of disparate conflicts.

    Whatever it became, it is clear that almost every element in the war had a root in a separate existing conflict.

    The dispute between Portugal and Spain in Latin America went back to the Treaty of Tordesillas that notionally split their spheres of influence. Unfortunately this was done before the full geography of the region was known.


    (Latin America 1750, the war took place in modern day Uruguay)

    In North America, Britain and France were embroilled in an undeclared war about access to the Ohio valley. The newly constructed French Fort Duquesne effectively blocked any further British expansion westwards.


    (layout of Fort Duquesne)

    Ever since the events of the summer of 1754 ownership of this region had been contested and by April 1755 this had spilled over into open warfare in North America and would shortly become fused with a number of existing conflicts between the British and French and various native Indian tribes.



    (George Washington at Fort Duquesne, 1755)

    In India, both Britain and France were engaged in a struggle for commercial dominance. In particular both states were engaged in a struggle for influence over Bengal and Bengal in turn was trying to maintain its independence by playing both off against each other. The resultant wars had lasted from 1746 to 1754 and erupted again in 1756.


    (Calcutta, 1756 and the disputed British Fort)

    The central struggle, in some senses, lay between Austria and Prussia as part of what was to be a century long sequence of wars for dominance over Germany. The War of Austrian Succession (1740-8) had seen Britain allied with Austira and France with Prussia, with Spain later joining the anti-Austrian alliance. The focal point of the European element was Silesia with this being given to Prussia at the treaty of Aix la Chapelle in 1748.


    (Silesia, Prussia and Austria, 1750)

    There was no feeling that this had settled their rivalry and Marie Theresa set about modernising the Austrian army so as to take on Prussia on more equal terms.


    (Marie Theresa)

    Beyond this, the Seven Years War contained elements of other European struggles. The legacy of the 40 year civil war that had followed the Act of Union incorporating Scotland into England was found in the presence of Scottish battalions in the service of both the English and French crowns. Equally noted Jacobite leaders such as James Keith found themsleves notionally on the same side as the Earl of Cumberland, notorious as the victor at Culloden.


    (James Keith)


    (The battle of Culloden, 1746)

    This period too saw Russia turning West and seeking to assert its power in Central Europe.

    Thus the Seven Years War was,variously, a global struggle between Britain and France, for mastery of Germany, of separate colonial disputes and had within it the legacy of other wars.

    What was truely surprising was the alliance between Bourbon France and Hapsburg Austria, something unprecedented over the two previous centuries of European History [1]

    [1] A theme well developed in: Lockyear, R. (1974). Habsburg and Bourbon Europe 1470-1720. Harlow: Longman

  4. #4
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    You just can't stay away from the games and AAR-writing, now can you? mind you, I'm certainly not complaining... Looking forward to your history-book treatment of this matchup.
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  5. #5
    Another one? You two don't rest. Good for your fans!

    Historical attrition is going to annoy both of you very soon (but I suspect Narwhal will curse it even more than you). Even with standard attrition, Prussia struggles to meet its replacement needs (for example I never manage to find enough light cavalry replacements).
    Additionally there are some units that lack replacements completely (Palatine elite infantry, ...) historical attrition will make these units useless right out of the gates.

    Good luck and may you be spared typhus and poor sanitation events!

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    Good luck to you both and third times a charm Loki maybe you will win a decisive victory this time!

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    There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God's commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.

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    Lt. General ashandresash's Avatar
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    I love Rise of Prussia, and I love how loki100 and Narwhal play it. Following indeed
    Why do you sound surprised? I love America. Just because I think gay dudes should be allowed to adopt kids and we should all have hybrid cars doesn't mean I don't love America - Liz Lemon

  9. #9
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    You just can't stay away from the games and AAR-writing, now can you? mind you, I'm certainly not complaining... Looking forward to your history-book treatment of this matchup.
    aye I know, but remember I write for a living so in a wierd way i sort of find play+AAR not so much more work than just playing the games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bornego View Post
    Another one? You two don't rest. Good for your fans!

    Historical attrition is going to annoy both of you very soon (but I suspect Narwhal will curse it even more than you). Even with standard attrition, Prussia struggles to meet its replacement needs (for example I never manage to find enough light cavalry replacements).
    Additionally there are some units that lack replacements completely (Palatine elite infantry, ...) historical attrition will make these units useless right out of the gates.

    Good luck and may you be spared typhus and poor sanitation events!
    I really enjoyed RoP as a game. WiA is brilliant as its so focussed, but this has a scale that is missing in N America. Its pretty clear that the OOBs etc have really been overhauled since the 1.3 patch, at least the Austrian army looks very different and its now feasible to imagine trying to pull off the Hussar raid on Berlin.

    If attrition plus combat losses means we both make that journey down hill from a trained army to an armed mob then it should also feel more realistic if the war drags out.

    Quote Originally Posted by JackTheRipper21 View Post
    Good luck to you both and third times a charm Loki maybe you will win a decisive victory this time!
    I'll settle for stopping Narwhal from an outright victory to be honest, one delight of these PBEMs is learning while having my head handed to me. But with the OOB and supply changes, I now think you can bring the Russian army to bear from 58 onwards, if so, that should generate an awful lot of pressure on Prussia (if I can hang in there to that point)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheExecuter View Post
    In from the beginning this time...

    & you're more than welcome, hopefully juggling stuff around and chopping it up won't spoil the MP experience for any readers.

    Quote Originally Posted by ashandresash View Post
    I love Rise of Prussia, and I love how loki100 and Narwhal play it. Following indeed
    Fans are always more than welcome, but my aim is to avoid the complete shambles I made when I played this against the AI ....

  10. #10
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    A strange alliance

    The War of Austrian Succession (1740-8) had been ended at the peace of Aix La Chapelle in late 1748. Primary this imposed the situation that had existed before the war with Britian and France returning their various colonial gains. However, Prussia was awarded Silesia and Austria also lost Parma and some smaller Italian holdings to Spain. In effect, that earlier war had followed a recognisable pattern of alliances with Bourbon France and Spain allied against Habsburg Austria. In an almost separate war, France and Spain had continued two centuries of largely colonial struggle with Britain.

    By 1750, Maria-Theresa had set herself the goal of regaining Silesia. One element was to overhaul the Austrian army and adopt many of the Prussian innovations around drill and controlled musket fire. The second was a search for an ally.

    Austria had felt betrayed by Britain in the first war, not least in threatening the withdrawal of subsidies to force Austria to accept the loss of Silesia. From 1750, Wenzel Anton von Kaunitz proposed the near unthinkable, an alliance with France. By early 1756 the two traditional enemies came to an agreement when Britain signed an alliance with Prussia. In effect, it was an alliance driven by practical need, the Anglo-Prussian alliance had brought Habsburg and Bourbon together in the face of mutual enemies.


    Wenzel Anton von Kaunitz, principle architect of the Austrian-French alliance

    Specifically to avoid a repeat of Aix-la-Chapelle, the treaty prevented either Austria or France concluding a separate peace with Prussia.

    There was reason to doubt the strength of the new alliance. Facing war with Spain in early 1762, Britain, under the Duke of Newcastle, opened tentative negotiations with Austria. Their offer was a neutral peace with Prussia in exchange for support for Austrian gains in Italy.

    However, surprisingly the alliance held and lasted until the French Revolution. Maire Antoinette, one of Marie Theresa's sixteen children was married to the future Louis XVI in 1760, bringing the two royal families closer together.


    (Maria-Theresa and some of her children)

    With a suitable set of alliances in place, especially as Russia, Sweden, Saxony and Bavaria were all worried about Prussian expansion, focus turned to preparing the Austrian army to face the Prussians on the battlefield.

  11. #11
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    First, I would like to say that I will not do an AAR myself, even though I may intervene .

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    As to game play things, we'll probably be using the last release candidate for patch 1.4 but with a couple of modifications. One is some house rules on the use of Bateaux as these still can pass in front of fortresses and across the Baltic.
    This "bug" is discussed at lenght in my AAR against Baris. This will bring some troubles in my supply of Königsberg - if I succeed at keeping it.

    The other is we've increased the likelihood of leader deaths in combat. This will harm both of us as Austria needs as many leaders as possible given the multi-national and relatively larger armies (& the often rubbish leaders), Prussia is very vulnerable to the loss of its star generals.
    Indeed. The death rate of the "normal" RoP is much too low in our opinion. Remember that by 1758, most of Frederick "star-generals" - von Winterfeldt, Keith, Moritz, Von Zastrow, Kleist - while the health of many other forced them to quit the battlefields - Lehwaldt, Wedell, Preussen. If you had those who fell in disgrace - Wilhem von Prussen and Donah - you understand that by that moment 75% of the original 2 and 3 stars leaders of the Prussian player should be out.


    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    What was truely surprising was the alliance between Bourbon France and Hapsburg Austria, something unprecedented over the two previous centuries of European History [1]
    This moment is actually called the "Diplomatic Revolution" in France


    Just came from Vienna, and actually reading for unrelated reason "The story of Barry Lindon". This could not arrive at a better moment.
    Last edited by loki100; 20-03-2012 at 08:20.
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  12. #12
    Superb
    I advise not to go with historical attrition and Prussians should never built depot bns as it would be counter efficient way of getting replacements. Prussia will get proportional replacements every 2 turns with excess concript companies till maybe 1760. Austria should built depot bns.
    Thank you for writing this,
    Cheers.

  13. #13
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    I'll be following this one!

    Actually your previous WiA AARs were of such a great entertaining value that they made me buy (and enjoy) that game (currently having great fun with the 'few acres of snow' scenario , after learning how to play thanks to your AAR!). Now that I've been thinking about buying RoP for a while, you guys might get me interested in that game too.

  14. #14
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhal View Post
    First, I would like to say that I will not do an AAR myself, even though I may intervene .

    Indeed. The death rate of the "normal" RoP is much too low in our opinion. Remember that by 1758, most of Frederick "star-generals" - von Winterfeldt, Keith, Moritz, Von Zastrow, Kleist - while the health of many other forced them to quit the battlefields - Lehwaldt, Wedell, Preussen. If you had those who fell in disgrace - Wilhem von Prussen and Donah - you understand that by that moment 75% of the original 2 and 3 stars leaders of the Prussian player should be out.
    i somehow suspect you will, after all history is never a neutral subject. From what I've been reading not just on the Prussian side, it appears as if the battlefields of the Seven Years War were dangerous places for senior officers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhal View Post
    This moment is actually called the "Diplomatic Revolution" in France
    Just came from Vienna, and actually reading for unrelated reason "The story of Barry Lindon". This could not arrive at a better moment.
    I remember that used to fire as a scripted event in EU2 ... usually utterly disconnected from whatever was going on in the game at that stage too

    Quote Originally Posted by baris30 View Post
    Superb
    I advise not to go with historical attrition and Prussians should never built depot bns as it would be counter efficient way of getting replacements. Prussia will get proportional replacements every 2 turns with excess concript companies till maybe 1760. Austria should built depot bns.
    Thank you for writing this,
    Cheers.
    Maybe we should rethink that, no actual game play has taken place yet, but I suspect a lot of plotting is going on.

    Quote Originally Posted by De_Spinoza View Post
    I'll be following this one!

    Actually your previous WiA AARs were of such a great entertaining value that they made me buy (and enjoy) that game (currently having great fun with the 'few acres of snow' scenario , after learning how to play thanks to your AAR!). Now that I've been thinking about buying RoP for a while, you guys might get me interested in that game too.
    RoP is superb, I really like WiA for its focus, but RoP is a much richer experience with a feeling of real scale to your armies and dramatic sweeps of movement.

  15. #15
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    The Austrian Army, 1756

    After 1748, the Austrian army was almost completely reorganised and retrained. Given the inevitable renewal of war with Prussia, if possible, Marie-Theresa was determined the Austrians would be able to match their opponents on the battlefield.

    The Artillery

    Artillery was seen as the best in Europe but was separate in terms of organisation and promotion to the regular army


    (Austrian Artillery in the field, 1762)

    The lighter 3 pdrs were allocated to the infantry and dispersed along the firing line but the heavier guns 6/12pdr and 7pdr howitzers were kept as batteries on the flanks of the line to deter outflanking moves. This model of deployment was criticised by some as forcing the infantry to deploy to protect the guns rather than one of using the guns to assist the infantry.

    By 1762, the Austrians had 352 3pdrs, 90 6pdrs, 58 12pdr and 36 7pdr howitzers in the field.


    (artillery battery)

    The Cavalry


    (Austrian Cuirassiers at Prag, 1756)

    The Cavalry was divided into three types. 18 regiments of Cuirassiers as the shock force, 12 regiments of Dragoons and 10 of Hussars. The latter were designed for scouting, raiding and protecting the flanks of the army.





    The Infantry

    In summer 1756, the Line Infantry establishment was made up of 55 Regiments of which 39 were German, 10 Hungarian and the balance recruited from other nationalities in the Empire. Notionally each regiment had 3 service and 1 reserve battalions (each notionally of 800 men) but the overall force was 38,000 under this target. The result was that most regiments opened the campaign organised into 2 Field Battalions.


    (German infantry battalion)

    (Hungarian infantry battalion)

    Tactics had been overhauled since 1748 and in terms of rate of fire the Austrian infantry matched their Prussian opponents. The fatal flaw was the continued use of the wooden ramrod which often broke in sustained combat while the Prussians had adopted a metal one that was more reliable. In addition, despite efforts, deployment speed on the battlefield was slower than the Prussians and less well disciplined.

    The regular infantry were supplemented by 11 Grenz (or light) regiments recruited principally from south Austria and the northern balkans. These gave the Austrians a weapon the Prussians lacked in 1756, both as scouts and as a skirmish screen on the battlefield.


    (Light infantry battalion)


    Despite this, the army suffered from several weaknesses. One was that 30% of this force was deployed in Croatia, Hungary or Italy to guard against Ottoman incursions or any threat to Austria's provinces in Italy. The second was that despite the new training, the army lacked the Prussian training in offensive operations on the battlefield. Finally, its senior command was less talented than their Prussian opponents.


    (Austrian OOB, Prag, summer 1756)

    One especially useful source for all the combatents in the Seven Years War can be found here.

  16. #16
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Okay, we're building up, setting the scene - numbers for Austria (I assume), but definitely lacking in quality. Not exactly an ideal position from which to start a war...
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  17. #17
    The only thing the Austrians need to do is to try and keep their army intact and avoid decisive battles until the French come and kick their enemies collective asses.
    And of course save the Saxon army.
    Last edited by Searry; 22-03-2012 at 17:16.

  18. #18
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Okay, we're building up, setting the scene - numbers for Austria (I assume), but definitely lacking in quality. Not exactly an ideal position from which to start a war...
    I'm not sure that in terms of quality of troops that the starting Austrian army is now that much worse actually (the leaders are, and the German allies are pretty weak).

    Quote Originally Posted by Searry View Post
    The only thing the Austrians need to do is to try and keep their army intact and avoid decisive battles until the French come and kick their enemies collective asses.
    And of course save the Saxon army.
    Well the main event has just started and I've a trick I've been practising that may just either keep the Saxons in existence (unlikely but possible) or force Narwhal to assault Prina (expensive) or to fight an early battle on my terms (don't care if I lose as I'll recover over winter), no doubt he has other ideas on this subject ...

    Just to respond to some comments above, the game settings are:

    a) we've modded the leader loss rate up to 4 times higher than default (if this proves too brutal we'll drop it), both sides lost a lot of commanders and it was one reason the war between the Prussians and Austrians sort of petered out around 1762
    b) commitment is medium delay (so units in the same province don't immediately engage, the higher the leader strat value the more likely that force will actually find their opponent);
    c) we've kept to Historical attrition (from some testing this doesn't seem to be too bad)
    d) no random variation of leadership statistics
    e) the Historial recruitment pool

    and we've agreed to apply restraint to the use of bateaux

  19. #19
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    Well the main event has just started and I've a trick I've been practising that may just either keep the Saxons in existence (unlikely but possible) or force Narwhal to assault Prina (expensive) or to fight an early battle on my terms (don't care if I lose as I'll recover over winter), no doubt he has other ideas on this subject ...
    That was a nasty surprised. I always wondered how the Saxons could have a chance to survived except with a Prussian blunder ; now I know.

    Here is my mail to Loki100 when I saw what he was doing :

    I rehearsed the attack on Pirna many times, but never thought of doing what you did
    It is still not solved, and I believe the Saxons will still disappear from the map. Loki100 has not thought of all the parameters (or so I believe).
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  20. #20
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Okay, we're building up, setting the scene - numbers for Austria (I assume), but definitely lacking in quality. Not exactly an ideal position from which to start a war...
    The Prussian troops have one main advantage : their speed. All their troops move 35% faster than their enemy.

    Also, Austrian troops tend to be considered "heavy" for frontage purpose when the equivalent Prussian troop would be "medium".
    Learning from Prussia - a Rise of Prussia AAR for beginners - or how a forced march in winter saved Prussia from anniliation.
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