This AAR is meant to serve multiple purposes. It is partly a repository for information on how Germany can avoid a war with the Allies under current (3.06) AI and threat rules. There is a lot of misinformation that gets passed around the HOI3 forum, and by making this AAR I can just link to relevant posts rather than retyping the same thing over and over again.
It is also an exploration of the benefits and consequences of spamming IC and a demonstration of the value of IC construction in an environment where you can roughly approximate when the war will actually start. It also is meant as a kind of demonstration of how much impact late game techs make. Furthermore, it is an exploration of the diplomacy AI and the threat system. The system is pretty good and the AI isn’t too bad, but we will see how the system starts to break down as the years roll by.
And finally, the AAR will contain some story elements (usually bookends to gameplay elements) and will attempt to present a Germany that had something resembling ethical and rational leadership. With all of these things in mind, there are a few house rules at work in the game.
1) No DOWs by Germany: Germany will never act as an aggressor during the entire game. (This has a ton of pleasant and unpleasant consequences.)
2) No bullying of other nations: Germany will never generate threat by enacting decisions prior to the outbreak of the war. Once the war is started, Germany may freely enact decisions that generate threat. (Which leaves just the Anschluss at the outbreak of the war and intervention in the Spanish Civil War, actually.)
3) Germany cannot add anyone to the Axis if they will declare their own wars or bully other nations. That means no Japan at all (they’ll DOW the USA) and no Italy until the Albania/Greece decision chain is broken.
4) Germany may use spies in any way she sees fit. (Less interesting in practice than you might expect.)
5) Germany may influence anyone she wants. (Not as interesting as it appears.)
6) Germany can and will utilize guarantees to protect its interests in Europe.
7) Germany will not antagonize partisans in occupied lands with either partisan increasing ministers or harsh occupation laws (we’re the good guys, remember?)
And, in case you were wondering, the game has already been played out, so advice on how to play is welcome, but futile. I’ve also run the late war scenario as Germany a couple times before this particular game, so I already know kind of how to work the system before doing a game “on the record.” It’s not really about bragging so much as demonstrating.
This is for gameplay chapters only, since players looking for tips will want to reference those quickly. The story posts are always one post above gameplay posts.
Chapter 1: Enriching the Reich IC build, initial political appointments in the cabinet, and plans on army and air force builds
Chapter Two: Gameplay: We built this city on IC, RADAR, and airbases Build up to 39, law changes to reduce threat, and special forces build
Chapter three: Fascism spreads via democracy, and StuGs look way cool (Gameplay) Diplomacy and spies during the 36-40 build up. Division builds. Consequences of low German threat on the world at large.
Chapter 4: The Road to War 1941-1943 Gameplay
Chapter 5: It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world.
Chapter 6: Poland is lost, but the United Kingdom is gained
Chapter 7: Endgame
Chapter 8: Wrap up and analysis of failures