ComTrav

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II. Army Reorganization

Hierarchy-wise, the British army is overstaffed. In the screenshot is an army-level command with all of 2 divisions in it--some mucking around is in order. I'm going to reorganize Home Command into two main Army Groups: Territorial Army and BEF. I'm wondering if I should disband all the commands that this would make superfluous, or keep them around on the theory that they'll be "filled out" later.
I start by removing detaching all actual divs in the British isles, and do some renaming to keep things straight. I dig up some Corps-level commands, and name them Territorial Corps I and II and BEF Corps I and II. Then I go through the list to root out all the actual divisions so that they're at the top of my organizer. (I really wished this screenie turned out better, I was so proud of this, lol...)

I add divisions to each Corps until there's about 4, and I give BEF a reserve division. So I have a 9-division BEF, and an 8-division Territorial Army, and a bunch of empty HQs.

I open the ledger and sort my Army Leaders by skill. Mainly, I want to make sure my top leaders are in a place where they'll get into the fight. I suppose I could go through and make sure every leader in the units I'm using is at least skill 2, but I was happy making sure that my skill 5 leaders were in a position to see action.

I stick an extra Corps-level HQ to each army (so there's room to grow), and start a paper "8th Army" with an empty army command and two empty corps commands to fill out later. I disband the rest of the army/corps commands in the English Isles, so they stop sucking down my supplies. (You DON'T get Leadership back for disbanding HQs, btw.)
 

ComTrav

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@ Lordban--I sorta wonder if I teched up too heavily. I quickly hit a wall where a lot of techs I wanted were a year or two ahead of me, and I ended up having to cut a few projects for spies and diplomacy. Putting many points into officers while under Volunteer Army feels like a waste.

Actually, a nice segue to diplomacy and what I did:
-I accepted a bunch of lucrative trade deals. I'm UK, I have all the resources in the world, I should make money.
-I TRIED to buy supplies so I could free up my slider. However, only Manchukukuo was consistently showing a positive in supplies, and I can't trade with someone else's puppet. I could occasionally pick up deals from other majors, but they would cancel pretty quickly.
Important note on diplomacy: The Commonwealth countries AREN'T automatically part of the Allies. I tried influencing Canada for a while, but to invite someone to your faction they must have either a nearby powerful Threat, or low neutrality, or some combination therof. Japan got quite a lot of threat value for tearing up Shanxi, and that brought NEW ZEALAND into the arms of the allies. (Australia, so close, yet so far...) I'll remember that, Australia, if you and New Zealand are ever in an elaborate death trap like an IJN Carrier Task Force and I only have time to save one.

NewZlnd.jpg


Also, the third country in the Axis is Ethiopia. The AI seems to be in puppet regimes; Japan later puppeted Xangshi. (Which turned out to be a terrible mistake.)
 

ComTrav

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Production Summary, 36-38:
-I can't help but think I'm going to be massively unprepared for war because I handled this badly. However, that's somehow entirely appropriate.

-When I managed to wheedle up 20-ish IC I built a destroyer, started a King George V BB, and a Mountain Division. (Because if I'm only going to build one division, it's going to be one division. The random name generator even called it the "Highland" Mountain Dv. :rofl: I need to sleep, that's really funny, even more funny then my Lagos HQ needing 8 armor brigades.)

-...eventually I figured out I could build land units much cheaper as "reserves". They're like a fraction of the cost! I keep wondering if there's some terrible, awful, horrible downside to them I don't know about. As far as I know so far:
--They start with lower XP then regular divisions
--They start at lower strength, and need time to "mobilize" when you give the order (...you know, I am an Island, I can send these guys into battle when I please, not like there's any border to worry about...)
--When mobilized, they increase consumer goods demand. I'm not sure, however, if a mobilized reserve brigade increases it more then a standing brigade.
--So, so, cheap...I can build a 3 infantry, 1 arty bde div for around 3 IC as a reserve unit.
 

Lordban

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Yep, reserves are great to save IC on forces you know you won't be needing as soon as the war begins.

Since we're in 1938, what does the international situation look like? (SCW, China, Anschluss/Sudetenland...)
 

Myth

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That's quite a bit of teching. It'll be interesting to see where this goes.
 

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oooh. I'm gonna watch this. I never cease learning at paradox school, so I'll enjoy reading about your thought, experiments and blunders, while I try to think, experiment and do a lot of blundering myself.

Thank you for your effort!
 

Lord Strange

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Wondrful. Really liking your humour. I'll be watching.
 

ComTrav

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Thanks for reading, everyone!

Europe is pretty dull. (it's only January of '38). No Anchluss yet; I loaded a quick Germany '36 game to see their start, and the Ancshluss even'ts not supposed to happen before '38 anyway. Presumably those events will make me a lost a lot of neutrality.

Luxembourg and Finland keep getting an "Aligns with the allies" event. My first priority is to get the Commonwealth on board; most of them are pretty close to me on the pyramid, but have high neutrality so they can't join a faction. South Africa is the only one that's moved pretty far away. It's just weird to play GB in HoI without the Commonwealth =). I've got New Zealand, that's got to count for something! (Maybe quite a lot--Rommel considered the New Zealand divisions the best he ever fought!)

Asia, on the other hand....Asia's a mess. Communist China's invading Manchukuo. We'll see if Japan manages to rally and get it together; I remember a dev diary where it was said that the devs found the Japan/China matchup very hard to balance. I'm much less concerned with threats to my Far East possessions now. (A little disappointing, in fact, as I was clearly spoiling for a big naval battle =)).

I have a bunch of BB techs finishing in the summer, right around when KGV finishes. I'll commit to putting a few, highly-modern BBs afloat. Tech-wise, I'm going to cut back on BB research as it seems sorta superfluous now (and my Naval Engineering is quite high, and with the KGV giving me a big boost to practical, I could probably stay "current" in that field by researching 1 tech at a time anyway.)

Basic Mobilization should come soon--I'd have it now if I didn't freak out and try to use Counterintelligence to whack some spies disrupting my research. I'm planning on using the increased IC to build some planes, because they're pretty expensive.
 

ComTrav

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Manchu38.jpg


Communist China overrunning Manchukuo.

I'm all for historical variation, but I sorta expect Japan to emerge as a power.

On a whim, I loaded Japan and I was able to implement a high-end mobilization law basically right away. Some people have said they have problems with Consumer Goods. I recall '36 Japan being a little weak in early patches of Hoi2 (it really made me angry that I only got four tech teams--like ITALY! =)).

Also hopeful that this screenshot turns out well.

I'm also wrestling with Naval organization.

Is this too much of a "superstack"? When my new, more modern BBs/DDs roll off the line, should I add them to this fleet, or should I keep the number more or less the same and shuffle the older ships to a reserve fleet?

HomeFleet38.jpg


(Also, I hope that these screenshots turn out looking better then my previous ones.)
 

ComTrav

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Commechina.jpg


That's communist China, after it annexed Manchukuo. It appears to be pushing hard into Korea, too, and on the brink of kicking Japan off the continent.

Nationalist China, incidentally, is listed on the diplomatic screen as drifting mainly towards the Axis. I might have a very different war in Asia then I anticipated.
 

ComTrav

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Mid-Year '38 Report:

Lowering neutrality: a suppository for all your production problems =).

Austria's Anchluss let me go into Basic Mobilization. It's actually very easy to go from Basic Mobilization to Full Mobilization to War Economy; it's that first step that's hard. All of them have penalties (or rather reduced bonuses) for consumer goods consumption, but the gain in IC outweighs it. Here's my production screen in summer of '38:

ProdScreen38.jpg


You can see I'm now producing a healthy clip; I chose this particular section of the production queue because you can see that my Radar Station at Portsmouth (one of the first lines I put down) costs more then my more recent construction at Norwich. I've been building a couple of radar stations, as they've become quite cheap with some practical (and I want to see how they impact my intelligence gathering). It SEEMS that Practical impacts ongoing construction LESS then new construction. The difference is more dramatic when I look at my KGV battleship, which has slowly increased its cost to around 8.8. (Cost overruns? In the NAVY? Surely not? This is KGV, not DDG!) However, ordering a new BB would cost 9.5! However, even building just one capital ship will give me a ton of practical, so I'm interested to see how much my new, modern BBs will cost once KGV finishes.

Also, I have the option to change manpower laws, and I instituted one-year draft to try to get more officers. I can switch to 2-year draft, but that makes my reserve brigades cost quite a bit more. I'm going to wait until my reserve brigades in the "production pipeline" finish before I switch over. I do need the improvement in leadership growth, though, as you can see my recent military expansion has left many units bereft of leadership.

I also licensed a medium tank brigade from France because first of all, they beat me to it, and second of all, I wanted to see how the mechanic worked. I'm wondering if it'll upgrade when I research better tech.


I'm also starting to "pay down" my upgrades.

One thing I want to point out was that a few comments before the game was released seem to imply that part of the usefulness of practical was to decrease the efficacy of "IC whoring". It should be pointed out that Factory construction has its own practical category (Construction), so if you were to IC whore, you could do so faster and faster and cheaper and cheaper (at the cost of military tech'ing, and your military units costing more at first because you neglected their practical. But once you build up your military practical, you'd be a beast. (Does this sound like a United States strategy to anyone else? USSR has the starting position for it, too, but they start with very high Light Aircraft and Tank Practical, and it'd be a shame to waste those.)

Tech38.jpg


This is my tech screen. As you can see, a lot of my Practicals have declined since the beginning; even Infantry Practical is decreased from the start of the game. I'm particularly worried about my aircraft practical, because aircraft are so expensive. On the plus side my theory is quite good, so I can do well in research; Naval Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Artillery are my strongest techs. You can also see I've built Combat Experience up to 4.6 without firing a shot. This lets me research land combat doctrines at a steady rate, as long as I stay focused in just one doctrine. There's no techs that give Air/Naval combat experience, though, so researching those doctrines is quite painful. Despite keeping one Fleet-in-being tech researched at all times, it's steadily declined, and my air doctrines are not very good right now, except for fighters, because I've focused on them for obvious reasons. Incidentally, I've cut out a lot of Naval Research, except 1-2 techs in Destroyers; I'm curious how long that will keep my Naval Engineering up.

You can also see I've slowly cut back on research. Diplomacy seems fine as long as I work on only one or two countries at once; I have a diplomacy SS below. Spies--I'm just not getting enough of. For thematic reasons I'd like to have more. (Also, you can see my NU tricking up, because I've switched for lowering neutrality to raising NU.) Leadership, obviously, is the big priority; I hope I can get it back to around ~100 percent by the time war begins. Incidentally, part of the reason I put so few points in leadership at first was because of the huge penalty Volunteer army gives me--it was like getting .25 of a point out of my Leadership points, as opposed to getting a full research project. I have to resist potentially attractive side research projects, at least for now. (Like, rocketry--I have unlocked rocket artillery...maybe another game.)

Diplo38.jpg


Diplomacy screen. You can see I've got Australia now. I used Intelligence to raise Japan's Threat to help build the alliance. (Japan seems to have stopped Communist China around Korea; I sorta wonder what it takes for threat value to decline.) I'm working on South Africa now, because they have a low enough neutrality for invite them, but they have drifted some ways from the allies. Incidentally, Finland, Czechoslovakia (no "Munich" yet), and Luxembourg all get "aligning towards allies" events quite a lot.

I'm building up forces to send to Africa, and I'm building a forward airbase there. I've read all these stuff about how Italy is actually a major threat this time around; maybe my usual plan of using them as my punching bag to train the title fight is flawed? I have some Mountain Divs I was planning on sending to Norway, but I wonder if they might be better used in southern France? (Committing a large ground force to the Continent is an agonizing decision for any British leader =).) Incidentally, I'm definitely going to send aircraft--I really, really want Air/Naval combat experience :D.

Allied38.jpg


Allied Armies, infantry-heavy. As I said, all wars are Infantry wars =). (Fair number of mountain bdes, too.) I have a a number of armor/motorised bdes in the pipeline; I'm a little surprised I have so few artillery bdes, I felt like I was building quite a few (and I was definitely researching for it.) I put a few engineer bdes in for flavor, and because I hate river crossings. Going to be interested to see if the Australia AI can get its troops to Europe.
 

stnylan

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Screenshots looking good. Will be interesting to see what you encounter.
 

ComTrav

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Yes, I'm glad I've got my screenshots together =).

CrashLeadership.jpg


This is my crash leadership program in '39. I was trying to get my leadership back up to 100 percent by cutting a handful of points here and there steadily and slowly, but it became clear that that was cutting it, especially since I'm building more units faster and faster. Getting a good "grip" for how much leadership I need for how many units I'm building/have is something I need to work on. Right when war begins, I'm not planning on fighting right away on land, though I'm going hardcore hunting for the KMS (and Regina Maria, if they want to come to.)

For those interested, my high priority techs are the IC capacity/efficiency ones, infantry weapons, desert warfare, and destroyer ASW weapons. I wanted to jam in SP Arty brigade, too, but that'll have to wait.

Once KGV finished, it shaved almost 2 IC and ~100 days off of any new BB construction. It's easy to see how practical makes a big difference; something like capital ship construction shows it in a very dramatic way. One consequence of this is that if you want to build something, but have something similar about to finish, you should wait =). Certain practicals seem very hard to accumulate--artillery in particular, as you're not building many arty brigades, but they give only a small amount of practical. Lots of other things give it--like AT guns (tank destroyers actually give the most), AA guns (both bdes and static), but lots of them don't seem all that useful.

Also, naval wise, I think I'm going to superstack it:
Navy38.jpg


I promoted Cunningham with no apparent skill penalty. I'm wondering how much rank effects naval combats. (Although the manual says skill is the most important factor).

Is there a place to see the "weight" of a Div, rather then just a brigade? 8th Army's I Corps is being shipped to North Africa, and being able to see this info at a glance would help a lot.
 

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I've literally just dipped my toe into the game, and I can already see as you mentioned the leadership/officers thing is going to take time and practice to judge
 

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War.jpg


At last!

(Though Italy doesn't join just yet, so my newly-relocated 8th Army in North Africa doesn't get to go into action just yet.)

My leadership "surge" has largely made good my deficit, but it's taken almost half of '39. So much for any research lead. Maybe the Germans decided the time was right to strike when I stopped recruiting engineers, scientists, and diplomats from the leadership of my country.

kitchener.jpg
 

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Cue dramatic music ... something with lots of brass and percussion
 

ComTrav

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@stynlyn--Yes, leadership for officers is going to take some time to get used to. TBH though, I might not have done it so extreme, but the fact is you get more value per "officer point" under better mobilization laws. So while you're under Volunteer Army, I feel like investing heavily in research makes sense. (Maybe not QUITE so heavily as I did--I probably tried to do too many things, especially for my first game. Japan has been kicked off of Asia, so all my BB naval research feels pretty moot.) Incidentally, it took my a while to figure out I could efficiently build troops as reserves to keep my practical up. (Then again, you can't build planes as reserves, and building that practical base up is going to have a high entry cost. It's going to be painful to go planeful :rofl:.)

Incidentally, researching Air/Naval doctrines feel like a waste before the war. I was able to get land doctrines in one area (Grand Battleplan) to go at a steady clip because I got enough land combat xp from research, but there are a few things I'd like to pick up in other areas. (Like, the doctrine that lets you not have to wait a week to give new attack orders--under Human Wave.) All that said, we'll see how I do. (After all, in HoI2 on any difficulty level there was never any doubt of victory playing as a major, usually before '42. If the start of the war goes very badly for me, well, it's sorta SUPPOSED to.)
 

ComTrav

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War allows all kinds of goodies for mobilization laws. This is an existential struggle (I've seen the demo picks of Operation Sea Lion! The days of the British Isles counting on an AI quirk to be safe from an invasion are over! It's back to the days of 1066!). As such, I don't mind going Mandatory Service (hopefully solving my leadership problem), and Total Economic Mobilization. I had to laugh at the game listing "Repression" as a superior law; that's not very Allied, is it? I kept open society. (What's the point of winning a war as a democracy if you've have had to give up all your freedom to do it? Oh, the philosophical conundrums you pose, Hoi3!)

Alliesatwar.jpg


The Allied armies at the outbreak of war. As you can probably guess, I've built mostly 3 Inf/1 Art or 3 Inf/1 Engineer for infantry divisions.

Escortorder.jpg


First thing's first: I need to protect my convoys. I'm not sure if it's best to do naval patrols around the usual convoy chokepoints, or assign some escort missions, so I do both. Home Fleet, under Cunningham, is sent to seek out the German fleet around the North Sea coast.

NavalBattletheFirst.jpg


Interesting to note: None of my ships are in firing range, but all theirs are. I'm pretty sure the disorganization is from my CAG (I got a "CAG flew carrier protection mission" message in my box just above this one.) My DDs close the gap pretty quickly, though, and I end up sinking a sub.

AirCombat.jpg


This is the first actual battle of the war. Air battles happen very quickly, but the German planes seem to be racking up damage much faster then the Allied ones. (Incidentally, I call of my strategic bombing when it doesn't seem to do much good; I could even be giving them POSITIVE national unity. I'm getting an NU bonus for fighting convoy raiders.)

I seem to be getting the better of these air combats, as the German planes seem damaged a few combats later. I'm going to pull the strats off--I have a plan for them I want to try--but leave the rest there. This is the place to get combat XP.

Also, I realized all my troops were mostly in dumb places, kinda milling about. Ethiopia joins the war before Italy; I always HATED the East Africa theatre. I'm really, really tempted to delegate it to the theater AI, but he'll probably need 10 aircraft carriers, 63 armoured brigades, and a mountain division to do it. (Have you noticed how the AI always asks for Mountain Troops? I suspect that's why France has ~15 mountain brigades.)

And, of course, the boo-ya moment in any Allied game:

WarProduction.jpg


When I get to change my Consumer Goods from ~80 IC to 2. Almost all of it goes to upgrades. I start another BB with the rest--my capital ship practical is very high, so it's very cheap, but it will still take time. If the German AI decided to Plan Z things and I lose a few naval battles I'll really be glad I built it :rolleyes:. (Losing on LAND or AIR is bad for me, losing on SEA is the END OF THE EMPIRE! As Admiral Cunningham says, it takes 3 years to build a ship--it takes 300 years to build a tradition! And I told him it only took me 266.7 tears, because I had much better Tradition Practical.)

Also build a destroyer, some planes, some infantry divs, and, of course, long serial runs of convoys and convoy escorts!

Italy joins the war, and it's time to get serious. Surely France, with its impenetrable Maginot line, can handle whatever toy tanks the Germans have put together.

I do want to say, since this is my first game, there is actually an element of uncertainty. In the good old days of Hoi2, if I had managed the build-up as badly as I've probably managed this, I could count on a German invasion of Russia and American intervention to keep me in. I haven't even gotten CANADA to join the Allies--how can I count on the US? (Japan is not Axis, and the Japan AI would have to either be scripted or completely insane to launch Pearl Harbor at this point.)

I also kind of gimped Territorial Army during my build up and now I'm reluctant to send BEF into Europe. (That and the weight system makes it a little uncertain how many transports I need to move stuff around in case I need a quick evacuation.) Although something might happen that are ahistorical, a lot of what I'm feeling and doing IS historical. The Navy still gets a good chunk of resources, because if I lose at sea, it's over; I'm afraid to commit a big force for fear of invasion; I let my practical armaments know-how go to seed in the interwar years; if you look above, you'll see I'm even deriding the threat posed by Japan!

So with all that in mind

663534441_f77ae26966.jpg


(Although, Stanley Baldwin is still PM. And King George V is still Head of State. -5 percent IC, and +5 percent IC.)
 

Lordban

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Oh, and Nationalist Spain won the SCW. Man, they've won in EVERY Hoi3 game I've played...:rofl:

The National Decision for British Intervention (which I took) didn't seem to do much for me, but that could be because the Republicans lost.

It doesn't do much for you :) All five Intervention decisions have the exact same consequences: give an INF/INF/INF division to the "corresponding Spain" at their capital.


Is this too much of a "superstack"? When my new, more modern BBs/DDs roll off the line, should I add them to this fleet, or should I keep the number more or less the same and shuffle the older ships to a reserve fleet?

You could add a bit more firepower, but watch out for stacking penalties: overdoing it will mean losing ships faster than necessary.


Wait, the UK have a larger army than France? (who are supposed to field a hundred-odd divisions at the time?) Poland has almost the same army size as France?

And don't expect to see Baldwin and George V disappear anytime soon (maybe THIS is the reason why PI made it impossible to see another country's ministers :p ): they have no death_dates in the corresponding files. If you want to replace them with the more historical George VI and Chamberlain:

- Open the common\government_positions.txt file
- Add a "#" in front of both "changeable = no" lines for HoS and HoG.


Good job so far, and good luck! :)