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Avindian

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My recent AAR, Tukhachevsky's Army and the Politburo, included a contest to see who would choose my next AAR. The winner was Davout, who requested a UK AAR in Hearts of Iron III. So, that's why we're here. If you like the AAR, thank him. If you don't like it, blame him. ;)

I am not an expert on HOI3. I know what I'm doing at least 50% of the time and the other 50% I make educated guesses. Still, that didn't stop me with my EU IV Japan AAR, so what could possibly go wrong?

House rules
1. No cheating.
2. Nothing too gamey.
3. I must attempt to defend all areas of the Empire unless the odds would be unsurvivable for my troops.
4. AI control for defensive areas only.

Stylistically, this AAR will mostly be history book, with snippets of diary entries from several characters who will fight in the war (hence the title of the AAR). I will include gameplay sections at the end of updates where I think it's appropriate.

I'm not entirely certain when I'll find the time to get the AAR started, but I am a man of my word, and started it shall be. I'll post, at the very least, the prologue (pre-pause stuff) before the end of February.

Dramatis personae -- all of these characters are fictional; any resemblance they have to real historical characters is purely coincidental
Alice Digby, radar operator, Hong Kong
Dr. Eliot James, professor, Oxford University
David James, son of Eliot, clerk at the Foreign Office
Color Sergeant Lawrence "Larry" Quentin, Royal Marines
Leftenant William "Silent Bill" Michael Harris, aide to Admiral Sir Ernie Chatfield, Chief of the Naval General Staff
Colonel Wallace Graham, executive officer, 1st Armored Division "Royal Hussars"


Table of contents
The future is prologue
Chapter 1: 1936
Chapter 2: 1937
Chapter 3: 1938 -- the war begins!
Chapter 4: December 1938 to February 1939
Chapter 5: February 1939 to 4 May 1939
Chapter 6: 4 May 1939 to 21 September 1939
Chapter 7: 23 September 1939 to 8 April 1940
Chapter 8: 9 April 1940 to 1 January 1941
Chapter 9: 1 January 1941 to 25 July 1941
Chapter 10: 26 July 1941 to 6 February 1942
Chapter 11: 6 February 1942 to 16 July 1942
Chapter 12: 16 July 1942 to 4 February 1943
Chapter 13: 4 February 1943 to 1 May 1943
Chapter 14: 1 May 1943 to 8 November 1943
Chapter 15: 8 November 1943 to 22 May 1944
Chapter 16: 22 May 1944 to 14 October 1944
Chapter 17: 14 October 1944 to 7 March 1945
Chapter 18: 8 March 1945 to 29 September 1945
Chapter 19: 30 September 1945 to 16 November 1945
Chapter 20: 17 November 1945 to 21 April 1946
Chapter 21: 22 April 1946 to 8 September 1946
Epilogue
 
Last edited:

Sakura_F

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Huehuehue...
 

Davout

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Just as a general hint, there is no problem too big that can't be fixed with the guiding hand of Maurice Hankey.
 

KyrionMyrthar

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Picked the right time to start reading the boards again, myself. I'm actually in the midst of a fun UK game myself. What I've learned is you can do a medium committment in India/southeast Asia, and still be viable in Africa - northern and western. I don't have the troops to take on Italy-proper at the moment, that's for sure. Air power seems to be my friend the most.
 

Michaelangelo

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Good thing I pay attention to signatures or I would have missed the start of another Avindian AAR. Too bad I know almost nothing about HOI3 and every attempt to play it leads to me quitting half an hour later in confusion. Doesn't mean I can't enjoy an AAR about the game. :p
 

Avindian

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Very interesting indeed :D
I hope you like it!

Huehuehue...
Your post (welcome aboard) reminds me that I'll be curious as far as what happens if I get to HOI3 with your Hvitserk suggestion. Will we have a similar setup? Who can say?

I guess I'm back to the right moment. :)
Welcome! Glad to have you!

Just as a general hint, there is no problem too big that can't be fixed with the guiding hand of Maurice Hankey.
You made me look up who Maurice Hankey is. I don't know whether to thank you or curse you.

Picked the right time to start reading the boards again, myself. I'm actually in the midst of a fun UK game myself. What I've learned is you can do a medium committment in India/southeast Asia, and still be viable in Africa - northern and western. I don't have the troops to take on Italy-proper at the moment, that's for sure. Air power seems to be my friend the most.
Thank you for the insight! I'm sure I'll need it. :)

Good thing I pay attention to signatures or I would have missed the start of another Avindian AAR. Too bad I know almost nothing about HOI3 and every attempt to play it leads to me quitting half an hour later in confusion. Doesn't mean I can't enjoy an AAR about the game. :p
I am hardly an expert at HOI3. :) Not counting AARs, I've played two games to completion, one as the USA, one as Germany. I started a UK game in... Semper Fi? For the Motherland? ... and a new expansion came out a week later, so it was left behind.

I'm in the process of cleaning up the OOB (holy moly, does the UK start out with a huge number of unnecessary HQs) and thinking about build order. I will have the prologue up this weekend, possibly earlier. The prologue will be out of character, explaining why I'm making the initial moves I did, and hopefully providing some insight into my goals for this AAR.
 

Avindian

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The future is prologue

Here are the objectives I've chosen for myself.



I've only really made one change, swapping out Luxembourg for Turkey. That's it. In a larger sense, I'd like to get involved in the war earlier than the historical timeline, just to change things up a bit. Assuming Treaty of Munich will fire sometime in 1938, that gives me a couple of years of prep work, so by then, I need to have a relatively decent BEF. I'm not sure whether I'll go after Italy first or help out in the defense of France. Maybe both. One of the things I like about the UK is that I have lots of flexibility; I probably won't win the war on my own, but I will be a major contributor if I have anything to say about it.

I immediately send diplomats to the USA and Turkey. I know the US will trend my way without any help, but if I can get them in the Allies even a day earlier, it's worth the expenditure of leadership. Speaking of which:



I've got espionage plans too, specifically, counterintel on the Axis Majors and supporting our party in the USA and Turkey. The goal is to start raising threat on Germany once I've beaten back their intelligence service. I know IRL, Japanese carriers were far more advanced than British carriers. If that's modeled in the game, I'll probably try to rob them blind. I'm not sure about Italy yet; tech stealing is a possibility, as well as lowering national unity. We'll have to see.

As far as technology is concerned, like any good British strategy, I must rely upon Marines to make the initial beachheads wherever I land. So, Marines are my top priority. I'd like to have at least two full corps before the war, but that may be excessively ambitious. My marine build will probably be a simple 4 x MAR. I'm also investing heavily in Carriers, Light Tanks (so I can get SPARTy), Radar for the big ships, the Industrial techs, Special Forces, Operational Level Organization, Carrier Group Doctrine, Light Cruiser Escort Role, Basic Single Engine Airframe, and Basic Small Fuel Tank. One of the things I have learned from past playthroughs is how incredibly useful doctrines are -- they apply instantly and cost nothing to upgrade. Paratroopers will be a future area of investment as well; I understand many people consider them gamey, but I intend to use no more than one corps, and to use them somewhat sparingly. If time permits, I have a vision of a light armored corps. Something to help clear the way once the marines have landed. It might be a silly waste of resources, but experimentation is the key. :)

Let's look at part of my production screen:



I've ordered production on enough artillery brigades and infantry brigades to fill out every existing division to the tune of 3 x INF/1 x ART. I've also ordered five CLs, 10 DDs, and a wing of four interceptors. I want plenty of screens for the Royal Navy. I don't intend on building BBs. CVs will come along after this first round of techs finishes. I might build some battlecruisers if the IC gods are kind, just to provide a little bit of punch, or perhaps CAs. I do expect the carriers and existing BBs to do the heavy lifting at sea. I don't have a scientific formula for putting together my fleets as of yet. I've broken up the existing mega fleets (to get rid of positioning penalties). Home Fleet is now Carrier Fleet and Battleship Fleet; parts of Reserve Fleet will be mixed into those fleets, with perhaps enough left over for a small cruiser squadron. Mediterranean Fleet is now three fleets, one with the carriers, one with the BBs, and a separate cruiser squadron. I know I need to build up the RAF too. My reading of the forums seems to indicate that four wings is the ideal size, so that's what I'll use. Fighters and tactical bombers mostly, with some CAS and, if I can't get good Carrier coverage, naval bombers.
Regarding the OOB, I've set things up so that there's one complete command structure in the UK and one in India. For now, I've got one Offensive Corps, one Defensive Corps, and one Reserve Corps (based purely on commanders) in the UK. I'd like to have one full Army in the UK before the war starts, with one or two mechanized corps (LARM/2xMOT/SPARTy). If time permits, I'll upgrade the mech corps to ARM/2xMECH/SPARTy. The Marine Corps (or two) should also be finished before war breaks out. The major fleets have been equipped with the best commanders I can find. I'll do some RAF re-org once I start playing in earnest. Speaking of India, here is my primary defensive line:



There's some good riverland there, an excellent place to make a stand. I've ordered all available Indian units to strategically re-deploy to the east. I haven't decided what to do about Africa yet. I know at some point they'll be facing tanks, so some 2 x INF/AT/ART might be handy.

Finally, here's my cabinet.



That does it for the prologue. I'll start playing soon. In the meantime, feel free to tell me how stupid I'm behaving in the comments. :p
 

Michaelangelo

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I suppose the one disadvantage of reading an AAR about a game you never play is not knowing all the acronyms. BBs, CVs, CAs, OOB, LARM, MOT, SPARTy, etc: all those just flew right over my head. At least I know what the RAF is, so I've got that going for me. :p

Keep up the good work, since I totally know what you're up to. :D
 

Avindian

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I suppose the one disadvantage of reading an AAR about a game you never play is not knowing all the acronyms. BBs, CVs, CAs, OOB, LARM, MOT, SPARTy, etc: all those just flew right over my head. At least I know what the RAF is, so I've got that going for me. :p

Keep up the good work, since I totally know what you're up to. :D
Ahem. BB = battleship, CV = carrier, CA = armored cruiser; OOB = Order of Battle; LARM = light armor; MOT = motorized, SPARTy = Self propelled artillery. :)
 

Davout

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As a word of gentle advice, old boy, the Army of India can be used to assist protect the Empire in Africa, as occurred during the Great War. Make sure you have enough steamers from the Canard Line to transport the chaps over to East or North Africa. They will get the job done and be back home before tiffin.
 

Sakura_F

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As a word of gentle advice, old boy, the Army of India can be used to assist protect the Empire in Africa, as occurred during the Great War. Make sure you have enough steamers from the Canard Line to transport the chaps over to East or North Africa. They will get the job done and be back home before tiffin.
Aye lad, but that leaves the flank in Burma open to the Japanese!
 

Gormytorysh

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In the meantime, feel free to tell me how stupid I'm behaving in the comments. :p
Well, now that you mention it...... ;)

Might be a minor thing, but in your production screen I see you have 92 IC and use 92 IC on production and 16.10 on cosumer goods. You may want to unlock the one on you production :). Other than that, I say bring it on old chap! Pip pip!
 

KyrionMyrthar

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Suggestion: push your front line in Burma to the rivers bordering Siam. Look at that infra there - the whole northern block is level 1, which means no one is coming through it. Set up a corp or two behind the river lines and maybe build up some airfields in Rangoon.

I also built radar in Malta, Rangoon, Singapore, and Hong Kong (I also tricked out HK infra, forts, AA, and airfields to 10...I refuse to surrender the city. I have a 2XGAR/1XART/1XAA division along with a medium tank division sitting there.) The ARM is gamey for certain, but my goal isn't winning alone. It's holding out until the US comes to play.

Most of my infantry in Asia is 1xINF/2xMIL/1xART. I put some armor in there simply to make hard points to defend around.

In Africa, I went 2xINF/1xART/1xAT. I have a corps of light armor, too - 1xLARM/1xMOT/1xAC/1xSPART.

I kept all starting divisions in the home islands in place, but removed most of the extraneous HQs. Running my air defenses with 3xINT and now building some 3xFighters (can't remember the acronym...). You can really tie down German air, as long as you build up radar in Dover and one or two other places, and choose interception. You start with 3xStrategic bombers, but I only run those when nothing else is happening, since you need to micromanage where they are bombing for each mission.
 

KyrionMyrthar

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Oh, and for Africa, be sure to garrison both sides of the canal. Italy loves to invade there. 1xcoastal fort for each, and a garrison of 2xGAR/1xART/1xAA should suffice. You may want one of those divisions for each African port you take back, as well as any islands you invade (I took the various Greek islands with some marines).

It seems like a lot, but you have a long build-up to 1939/1940.
 

Michaelangelo

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Ahem. BB = battleship, CV = carrier, CA = armored cruiser; OOB = Order of Battle; LARM = light armor; MOT = motorized, SPARTy = Self propelled artillery. :)
Some of those seem so obvious now that you mention them. For some reason I kept reading LARM as left arm and SPARTy as some kind of cool robot. :p I suspected BB meant battleship, but I was wondering what the second B was for when there's only one in battleship. There's no V in carrier either. Who came up with these questionable acronyms? It's like they want to confuse me. :D
 

Gen. Marshall

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Some of those seem so obvious now that you mention them. For some reason I kept reading LARM as left arm and SPARTy as some kind of cool robot. :p I suspected BB meant battleship, but I was wondering what the second B was for when there's only one in battleship. There's no V in carrier either. Who came up with these questionable acronyms? It's like they want to confuse me. :D
The US Navy, it seems.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hull_classification_symbol
 

Avindian

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Some of those seem so obvious now that you mention them. For some reason I kept reading LARM as left arm and SPARTy as some kind of cool robot. :p I suspected BB meant battleship, but I was wondering what the second B was for when there's only one in battleship. There's no V in carrier either. Who came up with these questionable acronyms? It's like they want to confuse me. :D
I'm a naval historian, so it's a force of habit. :) I drop them in without thinking. When I see the letters "SS", I think of two things, and neither one of them involves the Nazis.