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Thread: Rumors of France's demise have been greatly exaggerated... (A Question Thread)

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    Rumors of France's demise have been greatly exaggerated... (A Question Thread)

    So, being ever so new to this game (logged 200+ hours, so I'm still learning a lot) - I find myself asking a few questions regarding France's situation early game, and was hoping someone could clear up a few things for me.
    1. What is up with the lack of leaders? France didn't send 100s of divisions into battle w/ no leaders - so why do I have to? I suspect it is to make the game harder for French players, but I think just including a normal list and giving everyone the Old Guard tag would probably make up for it...
    2. Did the French historically have such a small force on the Maginot line? In the two games I have started, it always seems that the German AI can put just enough pressure to break the lines with very little effort (three infantry and an armor if I recall) if I don't reinforce it from its starting point. If that was true in RL, why didn't they just do that? If it isn't true, why does France start without enough to defend a line that historically they could?
    3. From the rumor mill on the forum, I'm lead to understand that France is severely underpowered to allow the German AI to have its cake and eat it too. Wouldn't it make more sense to return them to normal strength (which would allow a French player to use more accurate forces), and just code the French AI to make the same silly decisions they did IRL? Granted, I have no idea what they are - I'm just wondering.

    I feel like some of these questions are probably answered on the forum as well, but I can't seem to find any threads that discuss the above points. I'm sure someone who's been around longer than I have can answer these, so I'd appreciate it.
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  2. #2
    1 you get new leaders every year.

    2 historically the french army was bigger and much better equiped then the german army.

    3 ever coded an ai? what about the german ai? what happens when the player or the allies do something different? it simply wouldn't work.

  3. #3
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    You can easily code the French AI to be stupid and historical: make it research and build the historical French navy at the expense of upgrades. From what it starts with in terms of finished ships it should build 2 BCs, 2 BBs (should aim for 8 total), 2 CVs, 6 CLs (should aim for 8 total), 5 destroyers and a sub flotilla. That's a LOT of IC and leadership to spend on something France historically did, and would be more than enough to nerf France if you gave it the correct starting OOB. You can do all that in the production LUA, though it probably wasn't done because it may be easier to leave units out of the game rather than make my suggested change.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBromgrev View Post
    You can easily code the French AI to be stupid and historical: make it research and build the historical French navy at the expense of upgrades. From what it starts with in terms of finished ships it should build 2 BCs, 2 BBs (should aim for 8 total), 2 CVs, 6 CLs (should aim for 8 total), 5 destroyers and a sub flotilla. That's a LOT of IC and leadership to spend on something France historically did, and would be more than enough to nerf France if you gave it the correct starting OOB. You can do all that in the production LUA, though it probably wasn't done because it may be easier to leave units out of the game rather than make my suggested change.
    You need to add that manpower for France is nerfed beyond belief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by comsubpac View Post
    2 historically the french army was bigger and much better equiped then the german army.
    The elusive "French Factor" is embedded into the game. This is called "historical" play. Apparently, HOI games beginning in 1936 only allow grand strategy to begin after France falls. The alternative, given my sorry view of humanity at the time, could well have been a German-English alliance. Now wouldn't that put some pop into the game.

  6. #6
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    Have you ever heard the term “Cheese-eating surrender monkeys”?

    Any idea where this comes from?

    The French army was rubbish. Their “better equipment” included many tanks that communicated using semaphore (that’s waving flags for the uninitiated) and they had no clue how to use armour prior to a few sharp lessons from Rommel & his ghosts. So… maybe, no leaders is representative of no GOOD leaders. Even level one leaders give a bonus which the clueless commanders of the time shouldn’t.

    The Brom is spot on though. The French AI should be building their fleet, which would have been very good. Richelieu was a beautiful, well balanced ship. Fast, powerful & well armed.

    Just MHO

  7. #7
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    I disagree. French tanks were far superior to German ones, and available in greater numbers, but delegated to supporting infantry formations rather than in a Schwerpunkt or force concentration. Need I remind you of the Char B1, which was so good that it was used in German formations including the SS Nederlander?

    This should be represented ingame by an AI that goes after paired ARM + INF combos and doctrine adjustments to Grand Battleplan.
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    This. French troops were well equipped, they just had no idea how to use said equipment...

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    In game terms , you could put things like inf*3 + arm , and no doctrines
    no more unfinished IN AAR's

  10. #10
    IMO, as so many peace time armies, French were way more scarier on paper than in reality.
    Especially considering French army was post-great depression one, with huge budget cuts probably.
    Oh and French could not even mobilise when Germany re-occupied Rhineland.
    Then, French leadership didn`t knew that their army is not in a good shape and waisted much resouses on the navy.
    Then add in the fact that France was geared towards trench war, not the mobile warfare, so i would say French army was very bad equipped, for the type of warfare they ended up in.

    As for the underpowerednes of France, it is quite an urban legend. Just compare:
    France Germany
    42mil 65mil IRL population
    98IC 144 IC base IC
    2.3 2.2 Base IC per million population
    304 315 Base Manpower
    7.23 4.8 Base manpower per million of population
    9 20 Base leadership

    As one can note, France is generally better developed, than Germany, which dismisses the legend.

    The leadership disparity is there because of how the influence system works, Both Germany and GB have inflated leadership for influence purposes.

    And an average French player can defeat Germany, IF s/he can force a trench warfare and resource attrition on Germany, which is what the original French plan was.

  11. #11
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    You're missing the point. Oh, and your spelling and grammar sucks.

    The point is that France is underpowered compared to historical reality. It is artificially nerfed so that it can be a pushover for Germany. The AI is better at defending that attacking, and sucks anyway, so the solution for events to run their historical course (which they shouldn't, most of the time) is to give France poor manpower, poor leadership, shitty everything. Plus... 'per mil of pop' is the catchword there. Per million. It covers up the basic fact of poor France in comparison to real life, because Germany ofc has greater population. Oh, and Hitler considered France to be a greater threat than the USSR - for a reason. The great French collapse was a fluke.

    Yes, I can force Germany into attrition warfare and have on multiple occasions, but nothing more. France has chronic manpower problems, so you build MOT and TD. Then you run out of fuel. And it's basically a merry go round in Belgium, where you have no fuel or supply, infra is atrocious because of fighting, Britain and America give Belgium all their exp. forces causing supply and stacking problems...

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Portal View Post
    The point is that France is underpowered compared to historical reality.
    Historical reality is, they fell in 1 month.
    Quote Originally Posted by Portal View Post
    It is artificially nerfed so that it can be a pushover for Germany.
    And it wan not a pushover IRL? Even compared to WW1?
    Quote Originally Posted by Portal View Post
    The AI is better at defending that attacking, and sucks anyway, so the solution for events to run their historical course (which they shouldn't, most of the time) is to give France poor manpower, poor leadership, shitty everything.
    So, France has shitty IC, LS and techs. Compared to other 3 most powerful nations in the world,
    Even when factoring it, that it has better IC&MP per capita than any other country. Still shitty?
    Even factoring in that France have better tank techs than anyone, maybe except USSR, their techs are still shit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Portal View Post
    Plus... 'per mil of pop' is the catchword there. Per million. It covers up the basic fact of poor France in comparison to real life, because Germany ofc has greater population. Oh, and Hitler considered France to be a greater threat than the USSR - for a reason. The great French collapse was a fluke.
    It covers well one basic fact, that is, in developed nations worker efficiency is very comparable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Portal View Post
    Yes, I can force Germany into attrition warfare and have on multiple occasions, but nothing more.
    And what else are you supposed to be capable of?
    Quote Originally Posted by Portal View Post
    France has chronic manpower problems, so you build MOT and TD. Then you run out of fuel. And it's basically a merry go round in Belgium, where you have no fuel or supply, infra is atrocious because of fighting, Britain and America give Belgium all their exp. forces causing supply and stacking problems...
    So let me make it clear.
    You`re complaining that France can not easily fight against basically Germany +Austria+ Czechoslovakia + half of Poland, and needs allied help?

  13. #13
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    You're still missing the point. I quote, 'The Illustrated History of the Third Reich - John Bradley.'

    'Though they were inferior to the Germans in anti aircraft and anti tank weapons, they were superior to them in men (four million to two million), aircraft and tanks.'

    Four million to two million. Do you understand those odds? The only reason that France lost was it's doctrinal use of armor in the support roles and it's operational strategy, AKA Plan D, where the bulk of the Allied Army moved into Belgium. I think we all know where that got them.

    So, the solution is simple. Have France's doctrinal inferiorities demonstrated by doctrines in Grand Battleplan, give the French production AI preferences to building INF and ARM and an aversion to dedicated armor. Hell, French armor didn't even have a dedicated military arm. It was attached to the goddamn Artillery!

    Or, even more interestingly, give flavoured AI's. Maybe forward thinking military doctrinal theorists dominated the French war ministry in the early 30's, and they pursue the Spearhead doctrine. This may result in a bloody war where a democratic puppet government is installed in Berlin and an early Cold War.

    Great for both variety and historical plausibility.

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    The catch here is "more advanced AI".
    Oh and France is supposed to suck. Maybe if you spent more time on history and less on other peoples grammar...

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    EDIT: Apologies for language. I was just annoyed, not with him, but another social incident. I hope you understand and excuse me. I thought this forum had a swear filter...

    Anyway... Reread my post.
    Last edited by Portal; 16-05-2012 at 14:48.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Nev View Post
    Have you ever heard the term “Cheese-eating surrender monkeys”?

    Any idea where this comes from?

    The French army was rubbish. Their “better equipment” included many tanks that communicated using semaphore (that’s waving flags for the uninitiated)
    So did the Soviet army, it was called that T-34 and pretty much everyone agrees it was the best and most important tank for it's time.

    Better equipment doesn't include knowing how to use it well and the tank in itself can be great even if it's crew didn't bring a radio...


    I also agree that this could be done in HoI3. You can stop the french AI from researching radios and stop them from researching tank doctrines and stop them from recruiting enough officers.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Portal View Post
    You're still missing the point. I quote, 'The Illustrated History of the Third Reich - John Bradley.'

    'Though they were inferior to the Germans in anti aircraft and anti tank weapons, they were superior to them in men (four million to two million), aircraft and tanks.'

    Four million to two million. Do you understand those odds? The only reason that France lost was it's doctrinal use of armor in the support roles and it's operational strategy, AKA Plan D, where the bulk of the Allied Army moved into Belgium. I think we all know where that got them.

    So, the solution is simple. Have France's doctrinal inferiorities demonstrated by doctrines in Grand Battleplan, give the French production AI preferences to building INF and ARM and an aversion to dedicated armor. Hell, French armor didn't even have a dedicated military arm. It was attached to the goddamn Artillery!

    Or, even more interestingly, give flavoured AI's. Maybe forward thinking military doctrinal theorists dominated the French war ministry in the early 30's, and they pursue the Spearhead doctrine. This may result in a bloody war where a democratic puppet government is installed in Berlin and an early Cold War.

    Great for both variety and historical plausibility.
    Your basic fail is that you simply can not comprehend that:
    1. France is not "unfairly" nerfed into oblivion. If that was the case that would clearly be seen it the MP, IC, and LS statistic related to population.
    France has THE largest IC per capita(2.3 IC/mil FRA, 2.2 GER, 2 USA, 1,18 SU, ex), one of the best LS per capita, and one of the best MP per capita.
    It has everything that a country of it`s size and population can possibly have. If anything France is too strong for it`s size already.
    2. Germany+it`s land grabs before battle of France basically gave Germany way more production capacity and troops than France alone.
    3. German Tanks were build around manuverability, while French around WW1 style speeds and ranges.
    As long as Germany was able to fight on it`s terms, German tanks vere better then French.
    4. Mobile warfare generally has different rules than static. The side with manuverability and initiative advantage can comfortably push the front with even superior enemy forces due to better manuverability allowing to concentrate troops better to get huge local advantage
    (often as much as 5:1 or 10:1)

    And, IDK who is john bradley, but 141 German Division is already 17k*141=2.4 mil, now add Luftwaffe and support personnel on the top of that.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_brunius View Post
    So did the Soviet army, it was called that T-34 and pretty much everyone agrees it was the best and most important tank for it's time.

    I also agree that this could be done in HoI3. You can stop the french AI from researching radios and stop them from researching tank doctrines and stop them from recruiting enough officers.
    You do understand that T-34 of 1940 edition and T-34 of 1942 are absolutely different beasts, AND T-34 of 1942 was about 3 times cheaper and faster to produce, and it had proper sized turret, and it had way better optics, and it had radios, and it had way better reliability.
    T-34 of 1940 had far worse reliability than Tiger.

    Oh, and do i need to mention SU lost like 90% of it`s pre-war tanks in 1941.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1alexey View Post
    You do understand that T-34 of 1940 edition and T-34 of 1942 are absolutely different beasts, AND T-34 of 1942 was about 3 times cheaper and faster to produce, and it had proper sized turret, and it had way better optics, and it had radios, and it had way better reliability.
    T-34 of 1940 had far worse reliability than Tiger.

    Oh, and do i need to mention SU lost like 90% of it`s pre-war tanks in 1941.
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  20. #20
    Funny thing in this debate is that I feel the people who are actually right are being yelled at.....

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