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Thread: "The Mightiest Empires Fall": An Austrian RoP PBEM

  1. #61
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    Interesting as always although I still don't understand how Prussia can survive long term.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    On the bright side ... it'll be as unexpected to us (or rather, given the general level of AGEOD competency in this thread versus my own, to me)
    I know exactly what you mean, sometimes it really feels like I'm sat in the wrong classroom


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  2. #62
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    I take it there's absolutely no downside to not bribing Danzig if the Prussian player opts to bribe them too? In that case, I can't fault your decision here as it's hard for you to come out ahead otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by PrawnStar View Post
    I know exactly what you mean, sometimes it really feels like I'm sat in the wrong classroom
    Not me! I've now played through the tutorial scenario in WiA2, so I'm completely expert at all facets of the game (except for the bits where it told me to go away and read the manual about).
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  3. #63
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrawnStar View Post
    Interesting as always although I still don't understand how Prussia can survive long term.

    I know exactly what you mean, sometimes it really feels like I'm sat in the wrong classroom
    This from the guru of EU?

    Prussia is incredibly dangerous. It has better quality troops, far better leaders and the advantage of interior lines (or in less posh terms, it is surrounded). Add to that, if it takes combat losses, except in its most elite and specialist units, it can recoup them better than the Austrians. Now at this stage the fronts are quite dispersed so it looks like a set of isolated campaigns and, for me, it stays that way unless I reach Berlin (at which point odds on the Austrians have met either the Russians or the French - or both). But the Prussians can start to shift forces between fronts as I make progress (which is actually why I'm content to hang back a bit at the moment), and that means they can concentrate a lot of power on one front or the other. My response to that threat is to mass my own main forces (so almost all the French go into the Wesel-Munster-Minden axis, almost all the Austrians/Bavarians to Daun). So if I get hit by a large Prussian army I can fend it off with some hope.

    You notice this when you switch sides. A typical Austrian corps has 10-12 brigades to gain say 2000-2300 power. A Prussian corps (& this is before leader bonuses) will have 4-5 brigades for the same hitting power.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    I take it there's absolutely no downside to not bribing Danzig if the Prussian player opts to bribe them too? In that case, I can't fault your decision here as it's hard for you to come out ahead otherwise.

    Not me! I've now played through the tutorial scenario in WiA2, so I'm completely expert at all facets of the game (except for the bits where it told me to go away and read the manual about).
    I don't think there is. Simply the Prussians cannot really risk it, but then they usually have money to spare.

    Ah, the manual. All I can say is once you've learnt a good basic knowledge (the hard way by losing), then the manual actually starts to make sense and becomes quite helpful.
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  4. #64
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    "All wretched and distressed": August 1757

    August saw some fighting, a lot of aggressive manouvering and the end of the 'waiting' phase of the war. This post finishes with a brief discussion on how I use the various 'stances', again those interested in just the AAR can ignore that

    France

    Now I have 4 corps at Wesel its time to try and hassle Frederick. My plan is to keep one corps at Wesel, send two to Dulmen and the fourth to stay one province north. In effect the centre will involve a battle with all 4 formations, on the flanks with 3 (due to the 'march to the sound of the guns' mechanic).





    A key part to this is that each corps is in the stance of defend at all costs, not attack. My logic is that if some have attack orders I am vulnerable to a corps commander going inert at a critical stage and being hit piecemeal. That stance will trigger battle and if I win, I hold the ground, even if I advanced into the province. It will take 17 days to reach Dulmen (2 & 3 are inactive) but at no stage is any corps isolated. So even if Frederick guesses correctly, he'll have a 1 hour advantage and then the bulk of the army will respond.

    As it is, he wasn't there when I arrived.



    I suspect Narwhal was probing for a weakness at Wesel or to catch something weak around Dusseldorf. Well I'm content to complete my move. Once I have the central portion deployed in Dulmen, Armentieres can move onto Munster (since Dulmen is adjacent, he'll be perfectly safe).

    I doubt the Prussians will go for Wesel as if it fails, & it will given my stance (even if Narwhal 'wins' the battle), the column will be very vulnerable to being encircled. So I guess he'll fall back towards Hamm or try to defend Munster.

    North

    In the north, there is much less movement. The siege at Stalsrund carries on in its leisurely manner and Narwhal clears my last HRE held cities out. Again, very little I can do about this.



    More importantly, 3rd Division does what it is designed to do, and by late August I have a breach at Koenigsberg. With some luck it should be mine by the end of September and I can redeploy the Russian army to Gdansk before winter sets in.



    Bohemia

    By early August, I risk putting a single brigade into an offensive stance as I want the depot at Lobositz.





    However, I also decided on a major re-organisation of my defence structure to avoid Kollowrat being isolated. My new structure has 6 corps (once Hohenzollern arrives), with at worst 3 corps self-supporting, at best all 6. Also the Elbe is a major barrier to a contested crossing as it is a major river.

    Hohenzollern will arrive at Lobositz by the end of August and will be integrated into Daun's army. Originally my plan was to use this 6 corps force to move into Saxony, in the event, given the disaster on the Oder (below), I ordered Hohenzollern over to the east to reinforce Charles.



    Equally by the end of August, Eger had been retaken, so I am well placed to move into Saxony before the winter snows block the roads.



    Between Daun's 6 corps and the 3 in the HRE force, I have around 180,000. Even if I send 20-30,000 over to the Oder, I think that gives me a degree of security to now push onto Dresden.

    So, we turn our attention to the bad news section. Not least I seem to have taken no useable screenshots (blame panic).

    The (bad) Oder

    At the start of August, my scouting Hussars spotted a Prussian corps under von Moritz hiding in Neisse. Now I have intermittent Cossack scouts to the north, so my guess was this was the Prussian cavalry with no infantry (I think I would have spotted a force moving at infantry speed in better time).

    So, I ordered Charles to fall back to Troppau, but if this was cavalry he wasn't going to make it in time. So he went into the most passive of stances, if he was caught hopefully he'd retreat with minimal losses. Picolomini has arrived at Troppau. I didn't fancy his chances in open battle so I put him in the fort. If this was a cavalry force, they had no means to prosecute a long siege.

    In the event, 2 infantry battalions were caught at Troppau (I'd forgotten to cancel its orders), and yes, it was von Moritz with a purely cavalry corps.



    Fortunately, Charles had managed to run up a mountain squeeling like Julie Andrews. But he, and the valuable siege guns, are very vulnerable, for the moment Picolomini is safe.



    This is bad but redeemable. What I can't afford to lose is the siege guns (they are the only ones in the Austrian army) as not only would that hamper me, it would give the Prussians the means to conduct a siege.

    But clearly my attempt to wage a campaign on the cheap and at speed on the Oder has failed. My next step is to decide how much of the force now with Daun in Northern Bohemia I need to deploy over here. Not just to sort out this mess, but commence the fortress campaign with some security.

    Some comments on stances.

    Stances are one of the complex bits of the AGEOD system. Now the manual and the tool tips do a good job of telling you what each does, but are less use in guessing what to do and when. So these are some rough ideas that I have worked out and make some sense to me.

    You have a very passive stance (you can see this with Charles in the last screenshot, the little indicator is green). Usually I use this for scouting (don't want to be seen, don't want to fight), however, as with Charles above it can be useful for a combat force too. If you know you are going to lose, it tends to make you run away very quickly (if you are really lucky, as I was, even on contact). So its not a bad idea to preserve a force in deep trouble, as long as you retreat somewhere you can escape from it can be very useful.

    You have 4 defensive stances (this shows as a blue indicator). These range from don't retreat unless you are routed to falling back after 1-2 rounds. The first for the Austrian side is incredibly useful if you need to hold on (eg if the Prussians attack Prag). Oddly it can be quite aggressive too, if you enter a province and a battle breaks out and you don't rout, you either trigger a multi-day battle (till one side loses enough organisation) or you end up holding a province that your opponent originally had.

    You have 4 attack stances (orange). Again they range from 'probe-fall back' to 'all out attack'. Really depends on how desparate you are to take a province and how many losses you are prepared to suffer. One use of the probe-fall back stance is to give it to Hussars or Cossacks when you are reasonably confident they won't be in proper action. That way they both scout and take military control (& really muck up the Prussian supply lines). It was the widespread 'abuse' of this (by me) that we solved by a houserule, you can only go into this stance with light cavalry if there is also a leader present. You can see an example in the screenshot of Lobositz, that weak Austrian force in the lower corner is a 'brigade' of Hussars reclaiming military control (and thus reinstalling the fog of war).

    There is an 'all out assault' stance (the red button at the top of the screen). In Wars in America, this allows you to attack structures on the move or at the end of the turn. In RoP, since most cities have some sort of fort, this is less valuable. One use of this stance is if you expect to gain a critical breach in the next turn (ie you have 1 breach on a 2 level fort etc). If you gain a second breach in the turn resolution phase you can launch an immediate all out, attack to the death, assault. Guess what 3rd Division is now ordered to do, in case I manage a second breach at Koenigsberg in early September?
    Last edited by loki100; 06-06-2012 at 22:49.
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  5. #65
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    It's looking pretty dicey for Charles what with the Prussian cavalry on the prowl. Are you also taking NM hits as the Prussians clear out the HRE cities?
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  6. #66
    Nice new update. My five cents: Get your troops out of Slesia and then leave it alone - it is not worth the effort.


    Quote Originally Posted by PrawnStar View Post
    Interesting as always although I still don't understand how Prussia can survive long term.
    They can't ... unless the Austrian player makes mistakes. But loki has played this very competently this far. Even given Narhwal's talent, the safe bet is on Austria to win.

    The challenge for a Prussian player is to trick your opponent into making mistakes. Taunt him into attacking at the wrong places or find weak forces that have wandered too close to the front that can be crushed. It's tricky but it can be done.

    Realistically chance for victory in RoP are probably 35% Prussia - 65& Austria.


    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    You notice this when you switch sides. A typical Austrian corps has 10-12 brigades to gain say 2000-2300 power. A Prussian corps (& this is before leader bonuses) will have 4-5 brigades for the same hitting power.
    No disrespect loki, but this is simply not true. Before leader boni apply, Prussian units have exactly the same combat stats as those of other nations - with two notable exceptions:
    • their infantry and artillery moves 15% faster
    • many of their infantry units have an increased rate of fire (this applies to British infantry as well, but not to Prussia's other allies)
    On the other hand, Austria has some advantages of its own. It has a lot of light infantry which gives an initiative bonus (higher chance to shoot first). This almost makes up for the lower rate of fire. Moreover Austrian artillery is slightly superior.

    However the better Prussian two and three star generals make indeed a considerable difference (this advantage tends to vanish, though, when more talented Austrian one star generals rise to corps command). However early on a Prussian stack can indeed be 10%-20% stronger than an Austrian stack of similar size due to its superior leadership (but not more than 100% as you suggest!). Against Swedish and HRE units who have particularly bad generals this advantage may even be a bit higher.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    You have a very passive stance (you can see this with Charles in the last screenshot, the little indicator is green). Usually I use this for scouting (don't want to be seen, don't want to fight), however, as with Charles above it can be useful for a combat force too. If you know you are going to lose, it tends to make you run away very quickly (if you are really lucky, as I was, even on contact). So its not a bad idea to preserve a force in deep trouble, as long as you retreat somewhere you can escape from it can be very useful.
    In WiA, using the green (passive) stance makes it more likely your forces will rout, I think. I prefer using the blue 'defend stance' with the 'green' level of defence in that situation...so that the unit does not flee in panic, but attempts an orderly retreat. Is this the same mechanic in RoP?

    Interesting thoughts on seizing military control with the use of the offensive stance...that'll be useful against the AI.

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  8. #68
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    An attack towards Silesia made sense. Silesia is both Prussia's most forward position (at least, the most forward position which Narwal can recruit guys in), but it is also far out of the way of the other possible fronts, and to commit troops to the Silesian front would require either cavalry (good move there, Narwal), or moving a corps into such a position that it can't really interact with the other fronts.
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  9. #69
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    It's looking pretty dicey for Charles what with the Prussian cavalry on the prowl. Are you also taking NM hits as the Prussians clear out the HRE cities?
    Charles is due to be diced very soon ...

    Its a bit opaque what level of losses feed into a NM hit (at least it is to me). All those minor losses cost me VPs (I 'won' a game of WiA by taking out masses of small garrison battalions and thus grabbing lots of VPs), which at this stage don't matter too much - we have a long way to go before this game comes down to being decided on VP, but fortunately not on NM. But in the next post I lose 12 elements of regular Austrian infantry & that costs me 3 NM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bornego View Post
    Nice new update. My five cents: Get your troops out of Slesia and then leave it alone - it is not worth the effort.
    Quote Originally Posted by Merrick Chance' View Post
    An attack towards Silesia made sense. Silesia is both Prussia's most forward position (at least, the most forward position which Narwal can recruit guys in), but it is also far out of the way of the other possible fronts, and to commit troops to the Silesian front would require either cavalry (good move there, Narwal), or moving a corps into such a position that it can't really interact with the other fronts.
    Its like a lot of things in this game, its useful to have a threat in place. In this case, the loss of Breslau can be very bad news (its not just VP but also manpower producing) and is feasible on an unchallenged campaign in a year. So the Prussians have a niggling steady loss of fortresses or have to respond. Narwhal did really well with that cavalry move and was unlucky I spotted it when I did - although Charles is doomed, I hopefully can save Picolomini.

    Another reason to press here is that a Prussian player can repay the favour going for Troppau & Olmutz quite easily and at that stage the Austrians have no safe rear area.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bornego View Post
    They can't ... unless the Austrian player makes mistakes. But loki has played this very competently this far. Even given Narhwal's talent, the safe bet is on Austria to win.

    The challenge for a Prussian player is to trick your opponent into making mistakes. Taunt him into attacking at the wrong places or find weak forces that have wandered too close to the front that can be crushed. It's tricky but it can be done.

    Realistically chance for victory in RoP are probably 35% Prussia - 65& Austria.

    No disrespect loki, but this is simply not true. Before leader boni apply, Prussian units have exactly the same combat stats as those of other nations - with two notable exceptions:
    • their infantry and artillery moves 15% faster
    • many of their infantry units have an increased rate of fire (this applies to British infantry as well, but not to Prussia's other allies)
    On the other hand, Austria has some advantages of its own. It has a lot of light infantry which gives an initiative bonus (higher chance to shoot first). This almost makes up for the lower rate of fire. Moreover Austrian artillery is slightly superior.

    However the better Prussian two and three star generals make indeed a considerable difference (this advantage tends to vanish, though, when more talented Austrian one star generals rise to corps command). However early on a Prussian stack can indeed be 10%-20% stronger than an Austrian stack of similar size due to its superior leadership (but not more than 100% as you suggest!). Against Swedish and HRE units who have particularly bad generals this advantage may even be a bit higher.
    I can only judge by my own experiences in PBEM and SP but I find it hard to win with the Austrians. You can push Prussia back a fair bit but the dangerous bit is when your fronts are close but not integrated. At that stage, a large well led Prussian army can turn the tables very quickly. I suppose I'm also going on my own observation that I tend to lose most 'even' fights (even if I hold my ground at the end). Its good though that the game sustains such a variety of approaches and a degree of controversy over balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheExecuter View Post
    In WiA, using the green (passive) stance makes it more likely your forces will rout, I think. I prefer using the blue 'defend stance' with the 'green' level of defence in that situation...so that the unit does not flee in panic, but attempts an orderly retreat. Is this the same mechanic in RoP?

    Interesting thoughts on seizing military control with the use of the offensive stance...that'll be useful against the AI.

    The difference between green and the weak blue (ie retreat quickly) stances is that on green you will try to avoid any combat if you can (which is where Narwhal's cavalry corps is dangerous as it tends to stop that tactic). The weak variant of defend, I believe you start uncommitted and try to get out of the battle quickly if it is going against you. I can't think I've ever used it, as I either want to fight (& cause some losses/buy some time) or not.

    The other good thing about the provinces you take MC from is that they act as 'eyes' as long as they are not taken back, so it improves your knowledge of enemy movements
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

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    "Thus does he poison, kill and slay": September 1757

    Bohemia

    Another batch of reinforcements arrive at Wien



    I decide to send 6 battalions to Charles, the others to Daun (this will fill out my current brigades).

    Otherwise I sit back and reorganise to make the best use of the HRE/Bavarian army. I'm also not sure if I need to send more than Hohenzollern to the east to ease the emerging problem around Troppau where things have gone from bad to much worse.

    Oder

    I gambled on the cavalry having to move away (& resupply) and tried to slip Charles' force into Troppau. Bad move.



    Very bad move Charles is the only survivor, and lies wounded in Olmutz. Even worse, Narwhal now has some siege guns and a supply train to prosecute a siege at Troppau.



    The North

    Browne is set up to assault and I opened the second breach right at the start of September, and Browne struck at once. One major obstacle on the road to Berlin was mine.



    As a result the entire Russian army is quickly redeployed to Gdansk and Browne gets to enjoy his new rank.

    The Observation Corps is still back at St Petersburg and will unlock early in 1758. Those two extra howitzers will make mince meat of any fortress that gets in my way, adding to Browne's already awesome fortress busting division.



    Now in Pommerania, something strange has been going on.



    My esteemed opponent has been doing a lot of naval activity off Stalsrund and I've just noticed he's taken the fort guns from the Oder fort to boost his siege.

    France

    Soubisse is still picking up new units and moving them to the front. In this case one of the batches of mercenaries you can call up. They will be distributed among the existing formations (in particular I have a number of brigades with less than their full number of battalions).



    Around Munster, by late September, Frederick has been manouvered back. In effect, a purely cavalry corps under the Duc D'Orleans will hold Recklinghausen (& can attack Dortmund if Frederick moves back).



    Armentieres and Zweibrucken will move to Munster and start a siege



    All the army is still well placed to offer mutual support and the weakest unit (the cavalry) is hard for the Prussians to hit and would put Frederick's army in a bad position to safeguard the key cities along the Wesel (especially Minden).

    Overall

    Overall, its been a quiet summer but I now have (with the exception of around Troppau) my units where I want them. Koenigsberg is a big gain and I should start taking some cities in the Rhineland pretty soon. I'm more behind on VP score, mainly due to the lost units at Troppau and a few smaller lost garrisons.



    So Autumn starts to nip and I'm fairly pleased. I think I now have the initiative in North Bohemia and on the Rhine. The Russians will deploy to Gdansk with the goal of an attack on Kolberg in early 1758. I'm a bit worried at Stalsrund, but I am going to horde my EP and buy the 'large reinforcement'. That should arrive in early 1758 and I'll send Lucchese up there to take command. It will also make it near impossible to capture Stalsrund.

    The Oder is a worry, especially now that Narwhal has the capacity to conduct a siege. I have Hohenzollern on the way, and will probably send another corps too. That is too strong for the Prussian cavalry and should restore my initiative on that sector.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

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    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Nice to see the Russians on the move, but losing your siege train at Troppau must hurt some. That aside, Narwhal seems to have played these last few turns fairly passively, which would lead me to worry that he's up to something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    Nice to see the Russians on the move, but losing your siege train at Troppau must hurt some. That aside, Narwhal seems to have played these last few turns fairly passively, which would lead me to worry that he's up to something.
    That is one hell of a loss, not only does it put Troppau at risk, but it was an important element to my siege force in the sector. Fortunately, a pioneer battalion I had built to supplement it will be available soon, so at least I have some chance of clearing my way through the forts on the Upper Oder.

    I think he was trying for a stalemate in Bohemia and the Rhineland, plus to take Stalsrund and then free up that corps for action somewhere else. As I'll show in the next post, its not in his interests to have to attack the Austrian army I've built up at Pirna, so again I think he was looking for a chance to rip to pieces any exposed elements (& I was equally keen not to let him have a free snack)
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    "Act not from cruelty or wrath": October 1757

    Bohemia

    Narwhal has been strangely passive, and the bulk of his army is hiding in Leipzig. Although there is a risk of winter coming early, I decide its time to shake things up. Daun and his army will storm Pirna and try to grab Dresden. If needs be, I can shuffle supply up and down the Elbe using bateaux.



    By late October, all is ready and the Austrian army commences its fateful march into Saxony. Few of these troops will ever see their homes again.


    (Note all are moving in defend-at all costs stance, and as a group so if Narwhal reacts I may be on the defensive and should be all on the battlefield at the same time. The combined power is almost 8,000).

    France

    Armentieres reaches Munster and starts the siege. Frederick temporarily sits at Hamm, but he has lost some initiative on this front.



    By mid-October I have breach at Munster (this really shows the advantage of my optimised siege formations) and then falls in mid-October.



    By late October, Frederick has fallen back to Lippstadt, so I decide to push up to Hamm



    D'Orleans is ordered to storm Dortmund (this is safe as it is very unlikely that Frederick will abandon Lippstadt, if anything I expect him to fall back towards Minden).



    Even as Soubisse brings a fresh corps to the area of operations.

    Oder

    Hohenzollern is on his way east to restore my control on that sector. And I decide to send Kollowrat too. If I am going to make any inroads there, I need force to do it.



    And will be joined in time by another Pioneer battalion I've been training at Wurzburg



    Worryingly the Prussians open a breach at Troppau



    I dither for an age over what to do. In the end I order Picolomini to sortie to try and break the siege. In a battle I'll take heavy losses but should then retire back into Troppau [1]. In a couple of turns, my reinforcements will arrive, in any case, with 1 supply wagon, Narwhal can't maintain the siege over winter.

    The North

    Not much happened here. The Russians marched west as fast as possible (ie slowly). At the end of October, Narwhal gained a breach at Stalsrund.



    Elsewhere Frederick's notional ally, Osman dies [2]



    And the VP situation shifts a bit in my favour



    So even if winter arrives soon, I know I can make more progress in the Rhineland. Munster is an excellent safe haven and I can shift Frederick out of Lippstadt. The siege can then be sustained by shuttling supply wagons back and forth.

    If I grab Dresden before the end of November, that gives me a valuable toe hold back in Saxony. I've restored my control over the Oder region so now its a case of grinding through the fortress line till I reach Breslau.

    The Russians will be well established at Gdansk by December and can recover organisation. The Swedes are in deep trouble as I can't reinforce till January at the very earliest.



    [1] – In the event by the time Picolomini got out of bed and started to move, Narwhal's cavalry had gone. In our discussions he said he didn't fancy the trade off of losing lots of elite cavalry to take Troppau, especially as he'd spotted my reinforcements on the way.
    [2] – The other unlikely, and inactive, allies the Prussians managed to arrange was the Crimean Tartars who promised to raid Moscow. This unfortunately established in the minds of Russian policy makers the idea that as a group, they were less than reliable. Something that was to have terrible consequences in 1941.
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  14. #74
    emotionally retarded theif Anazagar's Avatar
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    One hint - never ever leave army commanders without any fighting units. Doing that makes them very prone to being injured (as they will still engage during prolonged battles).
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  15. #75
    That's some good advice, Anazagar!

    What I find worrying are your hold at all cost movement orders. The entire pass road to Pirna is under Prussian control. It depends on the percentage of course, but if Prussian military control is >90%, then you just gave your troops attack at all costs orders since they will switch from defensive to offensive posture once they enter Prussian territory. That may backfire if you run into some Prussians earlier then expected. On the other hand, the pure brute force of this massive force should prevail (unless you have to wage a battle in the mountains - in which case frontage would severely restrict the amount of your troops that can enter combat).

    On the other hand, the sortie with Piccolomini looks like a promising venture. With an inactive commander your force will be defending inspite of making a sortie! This should work well. Making a sortie is the one occasion where a crappy inactive general can be an advanatge.

  16. #76
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    By late October, all is ready and the Austrian army commences its fateful march into Saxony. Few of these troops will ever see their homes again.
    I take it that this isn't going to go well then? That, coupled with Bornego's comments about hold at all costs orders turning into all out attack orders once you enter Prussian-controlled territory leaves me very worried for the success of the Saxony operation. It'll be a fun read though!
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  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    I take it that this isn't going to go well then? That, coupled with Bornego's comments about hold at all costs orders turning into all out attack orders once you enter Prussian-controlled territory leaves me very worried for the success of the Saxony operation. It'll be a fun read though!
    My thoughts as well: loki's sentence doesn't smell of the usual 'Home before the leaves fall' optimism that people tend to exhibit when the expect the war to go well...

    Oh, and loki, what did I smell in the earlier update about your Oder fiasco? 'twas a bad pun! Well played, sir, well played.
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  18. #78
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anazagar View Post
    One hint - never ever leave army commanders without any fighting units. Doing that makes them very prone to being injured (as they will still engage during prolonged battles).
    ah, I thought the new patch had solved that problem? In truth that was a relatively rare instance as I usually have some badly damaged units I'm trying to hide away or a couple of hussar units resting, stuck in the HQ stack

    Quote Originally Posted by Bornego View Post
    That's some good advice, Anazagar!

    What I find worrying are your hold at all cost movement orders. The entire pass road to Pirna is under Prussian control. It depends on the percentage of course, but if Prussian military control is >90%, then you just gave your troops attack at all costs orders since they will switch from defensive to offensive posture once they enter Prussian territory. That may backfire if you run into some Prussians earlier then expected. On the other hand, the pure brute force of this massive force should prevail (unless you have to wage a battle in the mountains - in which case frontage would severely restrict the amount of your troops that can enter combat).

    On the other hand, the sortie with Piccolomini looks like a promising venture. With an inactive commander your force will be defending inspite of making a sortie! This should work well. Making a sortie is the one occasion where a crappy inactive general can be an advanatge.
    Again, that is informative. The tooltips and manuals are great for telling what the stances and commitment levels do, but are not so good for giving hints on when to use what. Some are a bit more intuitive than others, but a great addition to the AGE wiki would be a collection of comments, along the lines 'if you want to achieve this, this is a good combination'. Sometimes small errors or oversights with stances can cost you a battle you would have won otherwise.

    I was pleased with Picolomini (for once), even if he'd lost badly, I'd have saved the fort and killed hard to replace cavalry. As it was Narwhal had pulled back in any case (I think he thought my reinforcements were closer, and in better shape, than they were)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    I take it that this isn't going to go well then? That, coupled with Bornego's comments about hold at all costs orders turning into all out attack orders once you enter Prussian-controlled territory leaves me very worried for the success of the Saxony operation. It'll be a fun read though!
    Its more a comment on the totality of the 1758 campaign in Saxony, were the bulk of the actual fighting is done by the Austrians. That huge force is reduced to one useable (& fragile) corps by the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    My thoughts as well: loki's sentence doesn't smell of the usual 'Home before the leaves fall' optimism that people tend to exhibit when the expect the war to go well...

    Oh, and loki, what did I smell in the earlier update about your Oder fiasco? 'twas a bad pun! Well played, sir, well played.
    well it sort of suggested itself ...

    in this game, we fought less pitched battles and more manouver, but it comes down to a brutal sequence of battles in the end.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  19. #79
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    "To close this scene of care": November 1757

    Bohemia/Saxony

    From an email comment, I think that my lunge at Pirna rather took Narwhal by surprise as he didn't expect me to risk winter cutting the passes. However, Pirna surrendered [1] and I was able to move onto a siege of Dresden before Keith could respond. I don't think that Keith will risk an attack on that force, so I should be able to take Dresden before winter starts to be a real problem.



    Even better, I manage to catch and damage a Hussar force that Narwhal likes to use for raiding and scouting. I'm not sure why, but they really irritate me, so this was a most pleasing win.



    Unfortunately, I was then a bit optimistic with my own Hussars and tried a quick raid on Bautzen.



    I'd hoped to catch and finish off those damn Hussars. As it is, light cavaly against heavy artillery is never a good idea [2]

    Oder

    Here things settle down. The Prussians have pulled back, my fresh units will reach Troppau at the end of the month and can then recover from their marches.



    In order to garrison the forts I intend to take over there, I've recruited a few militia battalions, as this time most of my HRE units are in good shape for active combat



    Related to my plans on the Oder, a number of Cossack units arrive at Poznan. The bulk are for scouting, but a 'brigade' will be useful for taking Military Control of key roads to give me more intelligence on Prussian moves as well as to create holes in their supply network.



    North

    In the meantime, the advanced units of the Russian army reach Gdansk and start building the critical depot at Lauenberg. I also form up a 'corps' of Cossacks. My idea is that they are fast and can take out any isolated units I spot.



    However, the Empress Katerina is not happy. No pay for the troops and Apraksin is arrested



    Still Kolberg is there for the taking in early 1758.

    France

    Soubisse with a fresh corps will reach Munster by the end of the month, even as additional formations unlock from Paris

    In the meantime, a battle actually occurs. I decide to do my usual trick of relying on the 'march to the sound of the guns' and send 2 corps directly to shift Frederick from Lippstadt (if I can)



    The opening battle is a stalemate, with the death of the Comte de Saarsfeld. Also, in this case the bulk of the army at Munster failed to back up the 2 attacking corps (hence the relatively even numbers engaged).



    However, even so the Prussians cede the battlefield (I guess they must have been in a fairly passive stance).



    Lippstadt matters as it is the last level 2 fort between the Rhine and the Oder. So, in combination with Munster, it secures my rear as I move onto Minden.

    And again, not much change in terms of Vps or losses



    But if I take Dresden, as I should, in early December, the regular flow of VP will start to favour me more substantially.

    [1] there is a 5% chance a force with no undepleted supply wagon will surrender regardless of siege progress. I think that happened here. Somewhat later in 1758, I have an incredible piece of luck with this as a fort that should have held at least 2 turns just surrendered, freeing up one of my armies at a critical stage.
    [2] not that this ever stopped anyone trying
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  20. #80
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    I like the differences in style between you and Narwhal: he tends to favor highly aggressive strikes, while you are just slowly but steadily tightening the screws. I realize this might be a function of the relative strengths of Austria and Prussia as much as your respective playing styles, but still. I like how you're taking the big, lumbering strength of Austria and its Allies and slowly, in mutually supported moves, take a city here, a pass there - it really seems that you have found a strategy that deprives Narwhal of his main assets: interior lines, superior mobility and troops that, one on one, are better than yours.

    Of course, all it'll take is one devastating strike by Narwhal and my theory lies in tatters.
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