This is my first AAR attempt, so please show some understanding (actually twice as much, since english isn't my mother tongue)...
I believe to be, may be not a good, but at least an experienced player at HoI3. Winning isn't a problem at all when you play Germany but as historical freak (and former RPG player too) I wanted to have a little bit "more".
And here's the challenge : an historical/RP approach against the game-oriented AI. The air War will be the very hard part !!!
I will be playing Germany from 1936 (using SF 2.04f I.C.E 3.3.4) and I intend to follow the historical path, at least up until 1941, June 22nd. After that, my previous experiences (I've played/tested this scenario 5 times already) showed me that the events will take the lead.
This AAR is planned to be a mix of different styles. The narrators will be political and military leaders involved in different situations and discussing ; what they have to face, what are their choices, options, possibilities, etc, etc... So far as we know from History, I'll try to follow their personnalities, interests, ideas, rivalries, friendships to reflect them in game-terms.
I'll post OoBs and, if possible, some saved games ("ready-to-play") including :
- Unternehmen 'Otto' (Austria)
- Fall grün (Czechoslovakia)
- Fall weiß (Poland) + Western Front
- Unternehmen 'Weserübung' (Denmark/Norway)
- Fall Gelb (BeNeLux, France) + OberOst
- Unternehmen 'Marita' (Yougoslavia/Greece) and 'Merkur' -Crete- if Italy didn't succeed quickly enough in Greece.
- and, last but not least, Ansatz 'Barbarossa', including armed forces of the other Axis countries participating (using HoI3 Army Organizer).
Those OoBs are going to be as close as possible (i.e. as far as the game allows it) to the historical ones, including Command Structures, Commanding Officers (don't expect Rommel leading a 25 divisions PanzerArmy in 1939 !) and a bunch of misc. units (Landwehr, Grenzschutz, Flak-korps, etc, etc...) mostly "useless" but adding flavor to the game. Still, no "Airborne Army" nor "Landungskorps" until very late in the game !!!
Btw, for unexperienced players, the german historical Build-up and Organization might be a pretty good guideline, at least for the ground forces, even if the AI don't play by the same rules.
I'll also try to respect the proper numeral and designation of command units (corps and up), units (div, bgd) and sub-units (rgt, btn), as well as the way they're being created. In some cases, you'll might see divisions losing one (or more) of their experienced regiments to form other new (fresh !) divisions. SS-'Reich' Division losing its rgt 'Germania' going to the 'Wiking' division for example, or the 16th ID splitting to form both 16th PzD and 16th ID (mot).
Of course, a lot of Ibuprofen is required to run this organisational nightmare...
For historical immersion, a great role will be given to the ErsatzsArmee (reserve Army). Each unit will be created in (and attached to) its original Wehrkreiss (military district) and then moved when and where required. The same rule will apply to HQ-units.
And YES, there might be some "mistakes", intended for the most part, in these OoBs. Not all sources give the same informations and some compromises/choices have to be made. After all, HOI3 is just a game...
Some units will be produced before their official "date of birth", simply because of the game system (practical). As Germany, IRL, you should produce almost everything in 1939 ! Nevertheless, I'll try to be faithful toward their date of deployment/commission after the war has been declared.
The same game system forced me to cheat a bit at the beginning otherwise, it would have been impossible to be on schedule. But using "instantconstruction" benefits all other countries too and I kept it to the very minimum required.
At the beginning of the game, I also gave Germany a 300 manpower bonus (800 in reality but 500 of them are just an advance, substracted again in July 1941). My previous tests/experiences showed me it was mandatory in order to achieve the 1941 OoB.
I also gave a 2000 MP bonus to the Soviet Union (this, permanently), just to make sure "the Bear" didn't run out of MP in the course of Barbarossa. By the same token, I'll give the Soviet AI a "boost" to speed up its production, this every 1st of January until 1941.
Up to 1940, I'll have to reload the game a few times as other Axis "minors", but only to see (and to correct) if they're studying the proper research fields and producing the right units (Yes, I want the 185th 'Folgore' parachute division !).
Being "faithful" toward naval and air units OoB is also quite hard because of the game-scale.
For naval units, I choose 6 ships/boats per flottillas (DD, TB, Subs).
Concerning air units, I sometimes use Groups (Gruppen) designations like II/JG 51 or III/JG 54 instead of Wings (Geschwader) for historical deployment purpose.
Same problem toward bombers and naval bombers : they are different unit types in the game as, IRL, some KGs were specially trained in anti-ship warfare (KG 26, KG 30, etc...). I then form a combined-unit TAC-NAV (KG 26 - II/KG 26).
By the same token, some minor modifications within the OoBs had to be made due to the 5 slots limit of the Chain of Command.
As some generals are still missing on the leaders list, there will be some changes there too... but no major ones. Rommel will remain CO of the 7th PzD until late 1940 and von Manstein won't be an AG commander until 1942.
The only major weakness will be the lack of almost every historical U-bootsflottillen commanders (Eckermann, Hartmann and all others... I miss you so much... sigh !).
At operational level, don't expect "optimisation". As a rule of thumb, and unless otherwise historically stipulated, I'll keep the "4-brigades" divisions as such :
- ID : 3inf / 1Art, 2inf-1Mil / 1Art or 1inf-2Mil / 1Art, depending on their mobilisation "wave" (Welle) or status (frontline, occupation force, Landwehr, etc...). later on, optional AT, AA, Eng. might be added. AGuns, if any, come only '43+
- ID mot : 2inf(mot) / 1Art(mot) / 1AT(mot), light-medium TDs or AGuns (also '42-43+). The 5th bdg is variable but usually Eng.
- PzG (not before late 1942) : 2inf(mech) / 1Art (mot), sometimes SPArt (GD) / Medium Tds or Aguns. 5th bgd variable...
- Airborne : as historically stipulated. After '41, I'll make the distinction between airmobile units (22nd, 91st) and Fallschirmjäger units, which will be upgrade to heavy paratroopers.
- Marine-Infantry : not before 1944. Exception : the 'Gotenhafen' Marine-Brigade (for flavor).
- PzD and light PzD : very (very !) variable till '40-'41.
After '41, usually 1Arm, 2inf(mot) or 1inf(mech)-1inf(mot) '43+, 1Art(mot) or 1Art(SP), and either AGuns, Eng, AC...
Until 1944, I'll keep the historical number of PzDs : 1 to 27, plus some reserve- and named-PzDs.
Historically, as the Pz/mech/mot forces had priority, they'll get the 5th bgd before all others.
No Mech-Inf nor SP-Art before '42-'43. Some minor exceptions still (units with french-captured SP-Art).
- SS-Units : also historically limited to the 42 divisions known (IRL 38, but the 23rd, 29th, 30th and 33rd have been created twice), plus the 7 other divisions planned (45+) and, probably, the other 2 SS-PzDs historically planned (26th, 27th) but, IRL, turned from PzGr-Bgd (49th, 51st) into PzG-Div (17th). All together, ca. 50 divisions max. but some security units too, among 16 Corps and 2 Armies.
Toward Research, don't expect "optimisation" either. I'll try to follow the historical path too and sometimes there will be a waste of research but I intend to act like this to reflect how the Third Reich actually ran at that time : a real mess where the right hand didn't know what the left one was doing... at least until 1942.
Still some "mistakes" will have to be made (for example researching up to Isotopes separation, not done in WWII by Germany IRL, in order to get special night fighter equipment) or studying agriculture slight forward (because of the game mechanics, manpower is a bit low for Germany... as for other countries too). All in one, just few exceptions though.
Of course, screenshots, pictures will be included and, if I can find subtitled versions, may be some videos ("cleaned-up" Wochenschau with the famous music from Franz Liszt 'Les Preludes').
As usual, comments, ideas and suggestions are welcome. This is a monster work and I can't think of everything.
Aaaalso... Fahrzeuge besteigen, Motoren an ! Panzer, Maaaaarsch !!!