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Welcome to this AAR dev diary!

Join me as I take on the task of surviving as Poland against both the Soviets and the Germans in the upcoming No Step Back expansion. This diary will function as a sort of compilation of the new features. Normal caveat is that there might be bugs here, and balance are prone to change. It's also a pretty screenshot heavy diary.

Without further ado, let's start.

BUT WAIT. Arheo here! Because I love dev diaries so much, this week you get not one, but two (well, one and a bit really) diaries to feast your eyes upon. For those of you who are invested in the combat width and combat targeting changes mentioned last week, take a look here for more information.

On with the show!


1936 - The year of housekeeping​

First off let's start with some housekeeping and strategy. I know that Germany will attack first and I can’t properly defend against both the USSR and Germany. My plan is to give up eastern Poland when the USSR demands it to buy myself time and take out Germany, then swing around and take back my lost land.

Therefore I’ll focus my industry buildup on western Poland since I plan on losing eastern Poland, thus limiting my potential losses.

We start off with the looming peasant strike, which we need to deal with eventually but I like to start out taking care of Danzig first since it gives some easy factories and only takes 35 days. The strike is on a long timer so there is currently no emergency to deal with it from the get-go.

It is also the path where you can get rid of the Embargoed Economy law which is quite crippling. Since I need to build up compliance it takes some time to get rid off it, so I like to get that ball rolling as quickly as possible.

I know that I will need to increase equipment buildup since Poland has lots of borders to cover. I plan on making cheap tanks later on as well just to deal with basic infantry.

I am a bit worried about German bombing, both against my troops but also because I know that the AI likes to bomb trains, so I plan to make a token air force just to intercept bombers as well as AA tanks and get AA into my divisions.

1937 - The year of toaster buildup​

I have started my industrial buildup and in early 1937 I have completed all the must have industrial focuses that I want. There are still quite a handful of very nice focuses to take here, but time is of the essence and I need to deal with the political focuses as well. I am on a very tight deadline.

The national defense fund is particularly good to kickstart the Polish industry.


I have also dealt with Danzig and achieved enough compliance to Ban the Nazi party. This will get rid of the crippling trade law. After that I will switch to dealing with internal politics.


While the industrial buildup was ongoing I was a little sneaky. Krystyna, the gunslinging seducer has quietly infiltrated the Reich with the end goal of preparing a collaboration government to make it easier to capitulate Germany.
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I also started hiring military advisors for additional XP gain. Since historical Poland can’t farm XP in Spain, advisors are the next best bet.

This reduced my total command power cap, but it's more than worth it. I will need it to unlock doctrines but more importantly, design my tanks.

Mid 1937 - The April constitution​

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It's now mid-1937 and I am starting to deal with the internal politics of Poland. As I do this people will get more and more irritated, and I would rather avoid a civil war, but I don’t like spending 100 pp to sideline people.
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Luckily for me most of the focuses in the Sanitation path can be used to modify the left and right irritation (I like to think of it as a big aspirin).
There are also some really nice “bonus” focuses that can only be taken as long as you are dealing with the Sanitation, and then becomes locked out that I want to try and take. You can kinda mix and match which of these bonus focuses you want to take, depending on how much of a rush you are in.

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I get the sense that someone is considerably more annoyed than the other

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At the end of it all I manage to keep everyone relatively happy without too much effort.

I managed to pick up some focuses along the way, mostly advisors that will help me later on. It is now December 21’st 1938 and I am starting to feel a tingle in the back of my neck. Surely it's just my paranoia. No one is out to get me, surely.

Early 1939 - Defense prepping​

So, no ones really out to get me, but just in case I start to plan for all eventualities.
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Before I go back and finish up the industrial focuses that I left behind I do a detour to take Plan West, which gives me some hefy temporary construction bonuses for forts.

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At this point I start to look into what type of spirits that I have available to me.
Theatre training looks pretty tasty for getting terrain traits much faster, and is relatively cheap. This is a grand battleplan exclusive, but I don’t feel that I have enough XP to switch as I currently need it for other stuff, and it's pretty ok for defending.

Designing a tank fit for Poland​

When all this has been chugging along I have been researching tank modules. As said previously I plan on making a cheap tank that can deal primarily with light infantry. I need to be rather quick to deal with the German enclave in Köningsberg, while also working within the rather modest industry output that Poland has to be able to get out any divisions before the war starts.


It does not have fancy bells and whistles that other tanks have, but it is relatively cheap. With a Automatic cannon it's also moderately good at taking out infantry, but terrible at going against anything else.

This means that I need to focus these tanks on infantry v tank battles and avoid German panzers as much as possible.

Armor is also quite low, but as long as the infantry does not pierce it it's fine. I usually prefer welded armor since it provides a good balance between cost and armor. I use Christie suspension and Gasoline Engine to boost the speed of the tank considerably, and a 3 man turret for some extra breakthrough, with a radio to provide some extra breakthrough (gotta have the Poles being able to listen to the latest hits)

I am also setting up a separate tank construction for some AA tanks, which is using the same modules, except I am changing it from a Automatic Cannon to a basic anti air gun

Late 1939 - Not peace in our time?​

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Uh oh
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This is how I am currently doing. I have 3 tank divisions in the field, 1 army guarding against attacks in the south, and 1 ⅓ armies defending central Poland, mainly huddling behind rivers. A full army is preparing to take out Köningsberg and then switch around to face the Germans.


As the Germans starts to pile in I spring my trap, reducing their supply to buy myself some time

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Early on in the war and I am getting pummeled by CAS and Tacs, and even though my token air force manage to mitigate some damage I am quite happy that I have equipped my divisions with AA

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Early in the war I am getting pushed on some fronts but I am sticking to my original plan, following the railway and sniping the ports.
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Katowice is lost pretty quickly, despite reinforcing it with forts.
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As I push into Memel I realize that my supply is getting awful. I don’t want to have to build railways at this stage as my industry is strained already. I try to alleviate the issues by motorizing the node closest to it. It did improve my situation a bit, but not enough to solve it.

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In November there has been some back and forth. The Germans are piling up as I try to make another push against Köningsberg. I also manage to take over and link up a new Supply hub in Allenstein
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A thrust has begun to form, and they are pushing quite hard as well. I need to finish Köningsberg fast. Things are looking a bit bleak, but in the darkness there is a hero ready to rise. It's Romania.

Romania coming to Polands aid, colorized

I convinced my neighbors to join our cause, and there they come, a shining beacon of hope.(A better love story than Twilight)
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With the aid of the Romanian allies I managed to perform a push to take back some land, but in my negligence the Germans sent some medium tanks to Memel and quickly started pushing me back. As feared my automatic cannons could not deal with these tanks, and supply flow deteriorated quickly as supply lines were cut.

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I used some of the XP I gained to add Quick Improvisation. By doing this I got the ability to do several force attacks in a row, finally cutting off Memel from the tanks. They are stranded now. With one last force attack I manage to finish the cornered Memel guard off, stabilizing the front.

1940 - Death on the Reich​

With the last pockets dealt with and Köningsberg that entire army is free to deal with the German front.
Poznań and Łódź will be my 2 first targets since they contain a lot of industry that was lost early in the war.

Planning to go on the offensive decide to promote Marian Rukiei, my field marshal, who has now leveled up enough to be able to be an Chief of Army.


After that I plan my attack. I can see that the railways that supplies the Polish front is largely supplied by 3 points which if cut off, would create 3 breaches that would force the Germans to either fall back or start taking logistical penalties

2 of those are supply hubs which, if I take out, should force the Germans to leave Poznań . I can then go via the sea, taking the ports there for added supply all the way to Berlin.

One rail junction to the south is also susceptible to being cut off, close to Brno. I doubt I will be able to take it in the first offensive but if I can I will go for it. For now reclaiming my core territory takes priority so I will go for the two supply hubs.
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Shortly after Hungary is doing what Hungary does and declares war on me, cutting a large portion of my force away from supply. I force deploy my now freed army via rails to respond. While it might have looked bad for a second it has opened up an opportunity elsewhere. I redeploy my tanks…
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A coordinated push with my tanks later and Poznań is retaken, a pocket is encircled and the Berlin railway is cut off. Romania is struggling in the south against Hungary. My race-cars sees the opportunity and…

A temporary victory to be sure. The tank is alone and the railway is unguarded. I have some spare units to redeploy and I pray that they will get there in time.

Alas the tank was encircled and destroyed, but it did pull enough troops away from the front to allow me to advance and redeploy troops. With overstretched supply lines I stop my advance to allow the railways to be regauged.

As I have unlocked some tactics I set mine to Elastic Defense for some extra defense. I would have liked to have Blitz
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But I feel that I don’t yet have enough tanks to make do with this tactic. I'll switch it around later

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Through some shenaniganry Germany managed to get a hold of Norway and Sweden. I set a small task force to deal with this. It should be simple as I took every German port, so even though I know that there are German units guarding it, they are basically sitting ducks.
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As expected the Soviet Union finally woke up and on the wrong side at that.

Although I planned for this already I cant resist leaving them a parting gift

As the end of the Third Reich draws near I draft plans for doing after the USSR.
The tanks made at the start of the war are now inadequate to go up against the Red army and as such I am drafting new designs
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Tank destroyer with a high velocity gun and a Squeeze-bore adaptor for extra piercing

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Main battle tank with medium canon and wet ammunition storage

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Anti air


Flamethrower tank (these are support companies, which mainly gives attack boost modifiers to Urban, Jungle, Fort and Forests and are mutually exclusive with engineers)

1942 - Death throes of the axis​

In the first month of the new year Germany finally capitulated after a series of tank offensives. Supply started to become an issue, first due to lacking trucks for motorization and after a while just due to the sheer amount of troops in the field.

The last city to fall was Vienna (I am super happy that I did the initial collaboration government , otherwise I would not have enough victory points.

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The state of the world

I grab my tanks to go straight for Hungary and Italy. Obviously I prioritize Hungary first to liberate the Romanians (yes I know I should go for Italy but it’s not my fault I get emotionally attached easily). Although I am stopped pretty quickly due to the German remnants holding key strategic railways which prevents supply from reaching the new front.


Once the railways are fixed Italy is a piece of cake to steamroll since they lost most of their troops in Germany.
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The final tally of the war is as follows. The vast majority of casualties inflicted (90%) on me was early in the war from Germany where I struggled the most.

Post peace conference looks similarish to what it was during the war, with the added wormy southern Slovakia in the middle of it all as a bonus


The absolute nerve. Its alright we don’t need them where we are going
I now have time to prepare to retake Eastern Poland

1943-1946 - Years of the big quiet​

Fast forward a couple of years to rebuild my armies to take on the Soviets. Not much happened in between since the bad man was destroyed.

I now have an army of tanks ready, with an army of mechanized to follow up behind them.
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I got the cost of mechanization down to quite low by upgrading its production cost.

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I also produced some Railway guns for support, which now give these effects (as per popular request)

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And this is how my tank template current looks like


The plan is to follow the Kiev line up to Moscow since its mostly plains.

I want to avoid the north as much as possible since there is mud and marshes galore, which really makes offensives difficult.

I also sent a part of the army to Burgas (Bulgarian coast) in the south (which was why I grabbed that part of Bulgaria to begin with) to make a naval invasion using mulberry harbors into Baku to cut off the oil for the Soviets. I formed the Międzymorze to invite Turkey into my faction since I couldn’t get access with my submarines otherwise.


With everything planned and ready I guess its ok to knock and see if anyone's home?

I successfully land on the shores near Baku. Some of the divisions land without a port, although that is no problem at the moment since I have mulberry harbors, so I don't have supply issues, but I need to take a port for permanent supply quickly.

As you can see I also have transport planes delivering supplies by air, stationed in Turkey which also helps in really bad areas.

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When I land I am met with fiery resistance and although I manage to take a port before the mulberry harbor is destroyed I realize that I will be unable to take Baku immediately. Although an opportunity presents itself as Sevastopol is vulnerable and lightly defended. I take 4 tanks and zoom across the Island, managing to encircle a lot of the Soviet southern front.

As the southern front collapses the Soviets are forced to retread from Baku to fill it

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In the meantime a titanic air battle is happening in Eastern Poland. The enemy is trying to bomb my trains, and as the majority of my trains are War Austerity trains that leaves them vulnerable to bombing and disruptions.

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As the caucasus frontline is in shambles I see an opportunity to cut off the entire supply chain. The entire frontline is supplied by just one railway, which I manage to cut off. Effectively forcing the Soviets to retreat towards Stalingrad

As the year comes to an end I have pushed quite a bit into the USSR. However I am having a harder and harder time advancing towards Moscow. The city of Bryansk is giving me quite a headache as it's quite well defended and attacking cities from multiple angles is less effective than other terrain. It also has a supply hub that I need in order to advance further, and my lines are quite stretched.
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I stop for a while, build up the railway and then let them eat 2 nukes to the face. After that a breach is formed in the frontline as my tanks push towards Moscow. At its gates fierce fighting commences.
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It does not help that it's January and a lot of the provinces outside Moscow are in deep snow. The red army is pretty exhausted at this point with most of its armor being destroyed. Eventually Moscow falls under a barrage of tanks, fighters and tac bombers.

During this Leningrad falls under a combined assault from Sweden by the allies and Rostov is encircled, entrapping a lot of the remaining southern army that defended Stalingrad.

1947 - The year of “please just capitulate”​

Even though a lot of the army that defended Stalingrad is dead and the red air force lies in a scrapyard somewhere it is still somewhat tricky to take as the red army still controls a long stretch of the railway.

Trying to take Stalingrad head on is still impossible, so I focus on cleaning up the infantry protecting the Stalingrad outskirts. As supply becomes better (relative) I can finally perform the last push and take the city. This puts the USSR quite close to capitulation, and I only need to snipe a few victory points.
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Casualties just before Stalingrad capture and their eventual capitulation.

That's that! I tried to show off as many features as possible, and I hope you enjoyed reading through my craziness.. Now I guess there's only one thing to do, as a reward for being a true friend in need


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Due to its importance, the USSR should initially have 4 research slots, not 3 as it is now. Its actually the only major with 3 slots. Of course, the Soviet Union had problems with literacy — this reflects the low literacy base in the Russian Empire. I understand that the USSR has 3 research slots at the moment only for the sake of balance, but from the point of view of history it is wrong, although it is stupid that the USSR within the game has the same scientific potential as Romania or Finland. Perhaps it is worth adding the USSR 1 research slot and some kind of debuff at -20% research speed? Please answer.
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A lot of Malta secret agents must be involved in this war that changed history.
But, nobody will remember their names. :p
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"Anti Air Flame Thrower Tank"

So, what this boils down to:
- support company flamethrower tanks were added
- more focus icons I think?

It couldve been covered in a series of dev streams, "lets play poland"... I guess we are months away still from a presentable gameplay? Which I dont mind. Just a bit bummed.
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Not a fan of that peace conference

Plz stop the Ai making 1 state puppets in places like Southern Slovakia
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Is it me or does that combat width not add up to 40 (with current numbers)? Is this something you can elaborate on or is it still secret?


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This looks really cool. Interesting to see how Poland could be a strategical nightmare in the wrong hands, but in the right hands is dang powerful. Only one question:

Could we have a release date or release month?
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Is it me or does that combat width not add up to 40 (with current numbers)? Is this something you can elaborate on or is it still secret?

ATs have a bigger width now, but their upgrade path has been buffed a bit to make up for it
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Nice look at the new features. Very impressive!
Kinda feel that breaking all the railways in Eastern Poland before you turn it over to the USSR shouldn't be allowed. The whole point of the exercise is not to piss off the Soviets, after all.

It's the same reason we can't destroy factories.
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