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Thread: How to defend large land border with Soviet Union??

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    How to defend large land border with Soviet Union??

    Hi all,

    I have been playing the 1933 scenario with Greece, and immediately declared war on Bulgaria ('freedom' cheat for interventionism) and sparked off World War Two in 1933. Germany was collectively wiped out by the Soviet Union and the Allies, and at some point, they declared war on each other causing a large free-for-all in Europe throughout the 1930s.

    As the Soviet Union began to wipe out the United Kingdom's presence on the continent, I also opportunistically declared war on the Allies, in order to capture nearly 3/4 of Yugoslavia. As it stands, it is 1939, and as Greece, I have annexed Bulgaria, Albania, whilst controlling most of Romania and nearly 3/4 of Yugoslavia. I am hoping the USSR plans a version of 'Sea Lion' to keep themselves pre-occupied, but in the meantime, I am wondering how I can go about realistically defending such a border?

    I have focused my military research on MOT + TAC, and by 1939, I have finally converted nearly all of my obsolete 1931 Infantry Divisions into Motorised Infantry. Bearing in mind, my relatively low manpower, I am looking for any tips on a defence. I am also planning to invade Turkey in the meantime to extend my border with the Soviet Union. I have just gotten the hang of air warfare, but am clueless how planes can help in defensive war. Should I research + produce CAS? But since they are best for retreating land forces, I would first have to take over a province from the USSR that is highly unlikely.


    All tips & advice appreciated!

    USA is neutral thusfar and not involved in a Pacific War. Difficulty is 'Normal'.

  2. #2
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    In your case, and in a pure defensive posture, CAS are better than TAC. You don't need to project offensive capability.
    This is all theoretical. Once you are at war with USSR, chances of surviving are better when playing Germany in a 1945 scenario. Your only chance would be a war between USA and USSR in my opinion.

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    Well, Greece was never meant to be able to survive such a situation, especially with the manpower at hand. You've basically overextended yourself, if things get bad retreat to Greece, where there are far more defensive positions. Best you can do.
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    I know I have overextended myself, so my thoughts are basically to expand eastward as much as possible, while setting up a multiple defensive perimeter where I gradually relinquish control of Romania and Yugoslavia in phase one, Bulgaria in phase two, and focus on defending the core national provinces of Greece in phase three. So how would I go about doing this? Obviously the battle is hopeless and lost, but when and if the war eventuates, I would like to last as long as possible with the hope of the USA entering the war.

    How do I employ CAS in a defensive war? I know that they are effective against mobile and retreating units, but when would I use them when defending? I have amassed 3*4 upgraded TACs how should I employ them? How do I use motorised infantry in defensive war? do I put them as reserves and pump up infantry for the main front (bearing in mind the low manpower).

    I love DH and this scenario is actually one of the randomest and most challenging I have come across, so am looking for effective (albeit realistic) and/or creative defensive war ideas? Should I add brigades to my MOT at the expense of their speed?

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    Any answer would be irrelevant. Your context is so delicate that anything except loading a save could provide an accurate idea. If you post one, I (or somebody else) can have a look tonight or tomorrow evening.

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    Land forts can help you survive decades of constant war.
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    Yes, but you need time to build forts. I'd probably focus on air superiority over tacs (Int or Ftr), 10x Fort, 10x AA along a narrow strip (preferably mountain) and converting your units to high morale/stats units (ex Mtn + Art/AC) or Inf + AC + Art. You want to maximize your unit stats to make the best of your manpower, you don't need Mot imo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limith View Post
    Yes, but you need time to build forts. I'd probably focus on air superiority over tacs (Int or Ftr), 10x Fort, 10x AA along a narrow strip (preferably mountain) and converting your units to high morale/stats units (ex Mtn + Art/AC) or Inf + AC + Art. You want to maximize your unit stats to make the best of your manpower, you don't need Mot imo.
    Thank you, that advice is really useful!

    I would like to upload my saved game so that user 'Lucifer' and other interested members could take a look. I've played DH loads of times and this is really an interesting scenario. I have tried to do a search of the forums, but how does one go about uploading a saved game?

    Also, does anybody know how AI functions in declaring war? Would building land forts act as a deterrent against AI declaring war on me? And since I am meant to defend against the USSR, where should my land fortifications go, bearing in mind that in a potential war, I would have to give up many provinces in a 'perimeter' defence. Anyhow if I can upload my saved game it would be worth a look.

  9. #9
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    Also, bearing in mind it is 1939, and USSR is busy attacking smaller countries like Estonia at the moment, and hopefully trying to invade the UK, I am thinking of maintaining my MOT + TAC and annexing Turkey, for extra IC and to extend my borders. Once I have done that, should I be converting my MOT to MOUNTAIN?

    I have tried uploading my saved game (2 files, 1 with a .eug ending) but it failed. I have tried zipping it too but no success.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucifer View Post
    In your case, and in a pure defensive posture, CAS are better than TAC. You don't need to project offensive capability.
    This is all theoretical. Once you are at war with USSR, chances of surviving are better when playing Germany in a 1945 scenario. Your only chance would be a war between USA and USSR in my opinion.
    where do you have 1945 scenario?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrakenPL View Post
    where do you have 1945 scenario?
    He was speaking metaphorically.
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    I doubt the Soviet AI has anything in to invade Britain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Finnish View Post
    He was speaking metaphorically.
    There is no such scenario in DH, but someone made one, for Arma IIRC

    Vajizz, you can compress a save and post it on websites like rapidshare or mediafire .com
    I personally use rapidshare by habit. You will have now to create an account, accumulate some tokens (like by watching an advertisement), then upload your zipped save and post the link provided here.

  14. #14
    Forts are a great idea, but with your IC it's going to be the devil's own job building enough of them to defend that border. So instead of relinquishing Romania I'd make that the focus of my first building effort.

    All other things being equal (and that mainly includes Russia's disposition of forces and the points at which your borders rub together) Russia is likely to come at you through Romania first because of its resource load. So a useful strategy can be to lock up as many of it's division's there as you can. If Poland's still neutral that will leave you with three Romanian provinces sharing a border with Russia, and all of those are behind rivers which are going to add to your defensive multiplier. So I'd start building forts there.

    As far as I know, the presence of forts won't discourage a DoW. But if you have sufficient fort levels in a province, manned by a sufficient number of divisions, the AI will decline to attack them because it judges the odds to be too unfavourable. It will, however, continue to mass its own divisions in the adjacent provinces until it reaches capacity before it makes it's final calculation on whether to have a go or not. So with heavy fortifications and relatively few divisions you can draw off a slab of Russian forces which will sit there for quite a while - partly to prevent you from attacking and partly while it figures out an alternative plan. You can use that time to continue your fort building elsewhere.

    If Poland, Hungary, Austria are in Russian hands then things are going to be very sticky for you, but if they're still neutral they'll give you a nice buffer. Russia typically won't DoW them just to get at you, so that will extend the time you have available to build your fortified lines. As far as Turkey goes, I'd leave it alone. Conquering it will just bring you another border to defend with the relatively few units you have. Additionally, it will give you very little benefit in IC but will jack up your ESE a heap thereby diminishing your capacity to move and fight.

    Good luck. You're going to need it.

    Oh, and you dont need to upload your entire saved game - just an image or two of the game map as it stands. Hitting F10 while you have the desired image on your screen will save it, and you can then post that - a much smaller file.
    Last edited by Epaminondas; 30-05-2012 at 18:25.

  15. #15
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    Hi, thanks for the response it is very informative. I was able to get a screenshot (still have no clue as to how to upload a save game), however it is a .bmp file, these forums will not allow me to upload it, nor am I able to convert it (I am on Windows 7). This is very frustrating as this is a very exciting game for me.

    I have saved the game at the peak of my western borders. However, I could not resist myself today and expanded eastwards and have conquered Turkey and Syria by 1939. (Though this is practice)

    Unfortunately, the Soviet Union has gone on a rampage and has taken over the rest of Europe, with UK on and off fighting in Italy, Spain and Portugal but that is dwindling down. I experimented by letting the game go on for several years and the USSR declares war on Japan early in 1942 so that should keep them occupied for some time, until I can work on a realistic defensive tactic.

    I have completely neglected research on armor, artillery etc., but have kept up-to-date with Interceptors and Tactical Bombers. My land doctrine is 'Superior Firepower.'

    I have gotten my IC to 112 by declaring war on 'Hatay State', taking it over but not annexing it. My manpower is at 63.8, and it is November 1941. My mobilisation is set at 8, so any subsequent further mobilisation will cause major partisan unrest.

    Is a viable strategy to pre-occupy myself with suppressing dissent whilst mobilising to 9? I have never tried max mobilisation, but 9 causes enough headaches, and TC issues on its own.

    Oddly enough, after declaring war on Hatay State, France declared war on me but the rest of the Allies didn't. Continental France is actually a Soviet Union puppet, so this is just the French overseas colonies. Should I try and take over western Africa, which is what France currently controls? I also have borders with Iran?

    My military is:

    9 MOT infantry, all in single divisions.
    9 Mountain infantry, all in single divisions.
    5 1931 obsolete infantry divisions, at the borders. I have stopped researching infantry, I just did it enough to allow for MOT.

    2HQ just about built.

    My air force is:

    2*4 TAC
    1*4 INT (with another 8 INT underway at the moment)


    I have lots of engineer brigades and a few artillery brigades (However, I am just starting in 1939 to research Artillery, which is at 1916 level!).

    The territories I occupy at my European borders are as follows, from east to west:

    Dubrovnik, Mostar, Travnik, Bihac, Banja Luka, Osijek, Novi Sad, Petrovgrad, Resita, Turda & Alba Iulia, Sibiu, Miercuera Ciuc, Suceava, Bacau, Galati, Braila, Constanza.

    I have level 5 fortifications in Ioannina, Metsovo, Kozani (built them) & Thessaloniki.


    I love DH and HOI in general, but usually always play with smaller nations. I have never really come across facing the Soviet Union as an opponent, and rely on the stories that I read on this forum. Obviously from AAR, I would be looking to try and wipe out as many divisions as possible before being completely over-run. Should I invest in CAS? And if so how many? I still am unsure how air force contributes in defending. I know aircraft have 'Surface Defence' rating but how does that come into play? Will aircraft rebased at a province with an airport that gets attacked bolster my defences?

    A static wall defence would have been viable, but since I also border the USSR on the West it looks impossible.


    I would rather play with my saved game from Nov 1941 with IC 112 and annexation of Turkey & Syria, but can also play from 1938/1939 pre-invading Turkey if that would somehow make a significant contribution to my defence. (Turkey was a Stalinist Republic before I annexed it, but not part of the Comintern, unlike all the European puppet regimes).

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Vajizz View Post
    Is a viable strategy to pre-occupy myself with suppressing dissent whilst mobilising to 9? I have never tried max mobilisation, but 9 causes enough headaches, and TC issues on its own.

    Oddly enough, after declaring war on Hatay State, France declared war on me but the rest of the Allies didn't. Continental France is actually a Soviet Union puppet, so this is just the French overseas colonies. Should I try and take over western Africa, which is what France currently controls? I also have borders with Iran?
    Moping up France, demobilizing and giving your manpower time to recover sounds like a better idea than going to level 9. Final levels hurt more than they are worth.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kannon View Post
    Moping up France, demobilizing and giving your manpower time to recover sounds like a better idea than going to level 9. Final levels hurt more than they are worth.
    Moping up France should at least keep me occupied, and then I can have an African border with the UK. However, wouldn't demobilization make my manpower revert to 0, so reinforcements to my troops fighting off the French in Africa would take time, and I wouldn't be able to build anything?? I am not sure when it is appropriate to demobilise, but i presumed mobilisation to level 9 should happen when I am at peace or so, as for a subsequent period, my ESE drops significantly and I suffer many partisan issues, which would be better taken care of when I am not (hypothetically) fighting on multiple fronts. Any advice vis-a-vis mobilisation and de-mobilisation would be most welcome.

    Since I have a large border, should I be just pumping out factories to improve my ESE? And should I focus all my factories in Greece's national provinces behind a mountain of AA guns and land fortifications?




    I took the chance to experiment with the game last night and let it play until 1945 or so... the Soviet Union declares war on Japan in early 1942 and fights through Asia, eventually annexing Nepal & British Raj. In the meantime, USA declares war on the UK (!) in 1945, so if its a premonition of things to come, a USA-USSR war looks ever more likely. The point is, I think I have bought myself enough time to prepare some kind of defence, yet i can continue to opportunistically expand my IC (such as fighting Iran or France's African colonies). I had also invested a lot in fighters from post-1941 onwards, as it would help my defence and is low on manpower. Any thoughts or comments?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Vajizz View Post
    However, wouldn't demobilization make my manpower revert to 0, so reinforcements to my troops fighting off the French in Africa would take time, and I wouldn't be able to build anything??
    Demobilization is only possible while at peace, so the question of reinforcment wouldn't matter.
    That's why
    Mop up France -> Demobilize -> Recovery -> Another war

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kannon View Post
    Demobilization is only possible while at peace, so the question of reinforcment wouldn't matter.
    That's why
    Mop up France -> Demobilize -> Recovery -> Another war
    In my recovery time, should my priority be to improve my TC by building factories, as I would have limited manpower but close to 100IC to spend on production + upgrades?? Or if i have limited manpower, should I focus on something, such as either fighters or land fortifications (or something else perhaps?)? And how is the ESE rating deduced in battle, as my units often get minus points for ESE but do not know how to limit/abolish it.

    Also, after declaring war on French Mandate for Syria and annexing it which causes France to declare war on me, a short time afterwards France offers me a white peace? Should I accept that and focus elsewhere such as Iran with which I have a land border, unlike France's Western & Northern African colonies that are relatively far from Greece? I do want to be at war as with Greece I get a -40% effect on IC for being at peace, and +10% for being at war (this can be overcome by declaring war, but not annexing, the Hatay State).
    Last edited by Vajizz; 31-05-2012 at 06:56.

  20. #20
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    You are being way too expansionary. As a minor, it's disadvantageous to have large swaths of non-core territory. It creates partisan problems, eats up your TC (and as a result your ESE), makes it necessary to invest more in Infra, has little-no impact on manpower, and little impact on IC since core IC is more important. Imho, if you had started runs of 20xserial runs of IC in your core provinces, that would've been better and more useful. Not only that, but the AI in DH DOES do amphibious landings, so by taking more territories, you open yourself up to attacks from the rear.

    ESE is a combination of Infra from capital to the division location, local revolt risk, and your TC.

    You should not be neglecting Artilley. It is one of the cheapest research/construction brigades and as a defensive brigade, it's stat is very very good for the manpower cost.
    Armor is fine to neglect. Imo Armored Cars + Artillery is a very cost effective defensive combo.
    Forget Tacticals, for defensive wars, Tacticals are useless. You want Air Superiority or Air Scramble (but scramble requires SO MUCH RADAR INVESTMENT that imo it's not worth it)

    You know there is a DH manual you can read....

    If I were you, I'd focus on Forts + AA asap. It should be maxed within 3 years (with sufficient tech) given you have 100 IC. Then you can either improve the Infra from your capital to the front to improve supply, or build IC in your core NON BORDER provinces. Add AA in those provinces as well (you can build AA outside of provinces in 99x serials, which finish really quick, about 2-3 months iirc). Once this is done, I suggest you release non-core territory as puppets (make sure to build buildings for your puppets first). This provides you with free firendly troops and they have more usable IC. You also get more resources for your national IC expansion. You may need to gift your puppets some resources though, they sometimes don't have enough. Next focus on reducing the dissent from releasing puppets. Finally mass upgrade your out of date units (assuming 2+ techs behind by now, which makes it cheaper to upgrade). If you recovered your manpower as stated above, you should have plenty to weather through the SOV onslaught.
    Last edited by Limith; 31-05-2012 at 07:09.
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