Kanitatlan

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The intention of this AAR is to explore the consequences of a particular military-industrial strategy. It is played on Very Hard / Furious as the Soviet Union on vanilla HOI 1.06c. I'm writing this before starting and throughout I am open to strategy suggestions from readers as long as they are inline with the stated objectives.

The objectives are as follows

1. Focus on fighting using vanilla infantry divisions in large numbers. This enables an extensive curtailment of research areas and the building of the maximum number of units.

2. The war objective is to create security for the Soviet Union from the imperialist agressors. In other words, attempt to control enough of the world so that we can reasonable expect to defeat the allies if a follow on war occurs and within this zone be self sufficient in resources. There is no plan to actually fight this follow on war.

Within these objectives I will not be placing any restrictions on strategy and fully expect to at least really annoy the allies. If I end up at war with the allies and the axis I shan't be too worried.

Planning

Industrial

The industrial policy is to upgrade all provinces according to the following rules
1936 upgrade all provinces with 4 or less ICs
1937 upgrade all provinces with 3 or less ICs
1938 upgrade all provinces with 2 or less ICs (where did they come from ?)
1939 upgrade all provinces with 1 or less ICs

This applies to all "homeland" provinces which includes all those for which we have claims. In previous games as SU I have had privatise industry events creating brand new 1 IC provinces and through this and acquiring claims I may have province upgrades in 1938/39.

This upgrade process is fairly conservative but upgrading more agressively can make it very difficult to acquire sufficient resources.

Technology

The technology focus is extremely clear cut. The only technology I really care about are those that affect infantry divisions. Note that this does include technology for increasing production.

The key improvements I am looking for are :-

a. Soft Attack, Hard Attack, Org, Ground Defence, Air Attack & Defence for vanilla infantry
b. Divisional communication techs that improve defence efficiency
c. Infra red sights for night capability (looking ahead a lot here)
d. Techs that effect army detection and surprise

This gives a focus on Infantry, Electronic, Industrial and Land Doctrine. There is an interest in early artillery techs but because all the vanilla infantry improvements are quickly accessible this is not a priority. The limiting factor on improvements is actually in the Land Doctrine area and this will be given top priority throughout the early years. This is closely followed by industrial and computer techs that are investments for future benifit rather than direct pay back in themselves.

This is a very tightly focused reasearch stream and will leave me with no effective air power or naval power. I may relent and research some armour techs which will provide improvements for motorised infantry as I am allowing them (see military policy below)

Military

The initial military moves are simply to install logistic wizards as commanders for all units. Take a few useless naval units out of service (cancel all naval builds) and then get on with the rest of the game. I am not planning any military action until 1941 (if the axis will leave me alone)

An interesting question is whether to disband some units because it is cheaper to build later than supply meantime. The supply cost of vanilla infantry (at my current tech level) is 120 ICs per year (240 ICs for InfA). This means that 4 years 9 months of supply cost the same as a replacement division. I'm not planning to use the army for approximately this length of time and therefore it would be logical to disband say 50% of my divisions. This gives access to more ICs to support research in the early years but does make me feel a little naked - any comments ?

Units Types

I will be building nothing but infantry until I reach the point where I don't know what to do with the ICs. I have plenty of manpower and I can achieve maximum total combat power by building vanilla infantry. This is not because infantry divisions are particularly strong but because they are cheap enough so that I can use numbers instead of individual strength. If I get fully teched up for infantry then I have

16 SA, 7 HA, 24 Def, 6 AA, 4 AD from each division

this is out of reach for initial combat in 1941 but I believe I can get amazingly close. These divisions cost 570 ICs under normal circumstances but I can build cheaper by having appropriate ministers in place making them even more cost effective.

In addition to ordinary infantry I will build some motorised infantry. Their nominal cost (with vehicle assembly tech) is 700 ICs and they provide an additonal 4 SA & 3 HA from assualt gun and tank destroyer techs. This is potential a major technology investment for units that I may not have in large numbers. They suffer major penalties compared to regular infantry when used in anything but clear terrain, I'm not sure of weather effects, they are more vunerable to air attack but their max speed is 8 rather than 5.

This is enough for now - how about some comments whilst I still have it saved as 1 Jan 1936.
 

unmerged(24320)

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Kanitatlan said:
An interesting question is whether to disband some units because it is cheaper to build later than supply meantime. The supply cost of vanilla infantry (at my current tech level) is 120 ICs per year (240 ICs for InfA). This means that 4 years 9 months of supply cost the same as a replacement division. I'm not planning to use the army for approximately this length of time and therefore it would be logical to disband say 50% of my divisions. This gives access to more ICs to support research in the early years but does make me feel a little naked - any comments ?

I will be building nothing but infantry until I reach the point where I don't know what to do with the ICs...
don't forget to keep as many units in the SR as possible! that is perfect as it means zero supply needed. however, it also means zero org...

disband 40 to 50% sounds OK to me, although i would put as many as possible in the SR.

could you increase, say, armor and/or air techs when you "don't know what to do with ICs...?" hmmm. somehow, that seems to be "too little, too late" to me.
 

Jopi

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Well, the Axis have been known to attack SU as early as spring '40, so disbanding is a risky move. German Panzers and Mechs will give you trouble beyond any reason, because they won't quit! Org 100+ is so much for your infantry. Good luck!
 

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GhostWriter said:
...............
could you increase, say, armor and/or air techs when you "don't know what to do with ICs...?" hmmm. somehow, that seems to be "too little, too late" to me.

I have experimented with this strategy before and there is a definite motivation to try to accelerate the air technology stream as it is way behind if left too long. This is part of the reason for constraining the overall objectives to areas that can be covered by purely land based strategies. I am inclined to treat the armour techs as simply unnecessary if I am using the 'quality' steamroller strategy. These infantry divisions can take out anything given sufficient time and space.

The air tech strategy remains, for now, undecided.
 

Kanitatlan

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Jopi said:
Well, the Axis have been known to attack SU as early as spring '40, so disbanding is a risky move. German Panzers and Mechs will give you trouble beyond any reason, because they won't quit! Org 100+ is so much for your infantry. Good luck!

This is one of my concerns. This strategy is built on a schedule of tech and infantry building that doesn't really provide a large enough army until later in 1940. Also I always keep all my new forces in 'strategic reserve' which, I believe, is general agreed to not be counted by ai when measuring your army strength. As the soviet union it is quite important that you achieve a war status with all those you want to fight with a minimum of DOWs as they are extremely expensive (it will typically cost the equivalent of 50 inf divs in ICs to clear 10% dissent).

German divisions in general stay in combat to the point of total destruction and this is fine by me. The infantry strategy is based on spreading the load across multiple 'reasonable' divisions rather than have really good ones. You'll see when the fighting starts that the german army literally gets steamrollered to total destruction rather than being driven back. I will even be disappointed when I encounter Germans with low org as I can't keep up with them whereas high org units get totally destroyed.
 

Kanitatlan

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After some further research over the weekend I can provide the following further planning information.

In Jan '37 I will be changing to Shaposhnikov as war minister who provides double man power and +5% on infantry construction. This +5% is rather misleading as it actually gives a dramatic improvement of infantry production. Note that it does not apply to motorised and as a concequence I wont be building any. The +5% applies to both the daily cost and the time taken and where improvements are for unit building they are rounded on a per unit basis. This means that infantry which normally costs 570 (6 IC for 95 days) now costs 450 (5 IC for 90 days). The concequence of this rounding is that my infantry is 22% cheaper and even more cost effective than everything else. There is also no way I am going to run out of manpower.

For the other ministers (from the start or change in Jan 1937) I get

Resource Industrialist +5% IC and +10% industry research. The most important characteristic of this guy is that 10% research bonus which affect cost and time giving an actual reduction of 19% in total IC cost. Later on this may get switched to a minister who gives tech bonuses when I begin to invest in catching up.

Crime Fighter security minister. This gives -3% dissent. This is the most effective security minister if your production is resource, rather than IC, limited and I plan to reach this point by the time I have occupied territory that could be exploited by the nasty guys (efficient sociopath, prince of terror). Later on Beria (prince of terror) may get a short run to clear down the resource pools a bit.

Technology intelligence minister +5% research. Again a doubly whammy actually giving a 9.75% reduction in total research costs

I don't care too much about the other ministers as they will have no real impact on my play although the guns and butter army commander is useful especially when the army gets big (-15% supply consumption)

On the technology front, the land doctrine and infantry theoreticals are the bottle neck for achieving the best infantry divisions. In particular the 'mid war' land doctrines and associated infantry weapons give a massive boost to infantry division capabilities and are therefore needed as early as possible.
 

unmerged(24320)

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Kanitatlan said:
After some further research over the weekend I can provide the following further planning information...
excellent research. i have neither played nor studied the Soviet position/possibilities, so i am looking forward to this AAR. :D
 

unmerged(24142)

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Very interesting. I'd like to see if your mass warfare doctrine works in 1.06c.

As the Russians, I like to balance my air and land power. I found out early that, without an air force, the Luftwaffe will rip your armies to shreds. That, combined with mech and armor, will simply overwhelm your forces.

My advice: if you're not bothering with armor, make the air force your second priority. Secondly, keep in mind the terrain you'll fight on: you'll have swamps and rivers to slow up the German mobile forces. Try to avoid major confrontations early on, but bleed the German armies in the unfriendly terrain. Also, the Dneiper makes for a beautiful defensive position. If you lose it, you'll be in for a long game.
 

Kanitatlan

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ThewEiRdOne27 said:
Very interesting. I'd like to see if your mass warfare doctrine works in 1.06c.

As the Russians, I like to balance my air and land power. I found out early that, without an air force, the Luftwaffe will rip your armies to shreds. That, combined with mech and armor, will simply overwhelm your forces.

My advice: if you're not bothering with armor, make the air force your second priority. Secondly, keep in mind the terrain you'll fight on: you'll have swamps and rivers to slow up the German mobile forces. Try to avoid major confrontations early on, but bleed the German armies in the unfriendly terrain. Also, the Dneiper makes for a beautiful defensive position. If you lose it, you'll be in for a long game.

I think you're in for a surprise about just how well this works - in practice the fight against the Germans will be vanilla infantry divisions and absolutely nothing else. My plan is for war to break out in 1941 (earlier the better) and to reach the atlantic coast in 6 months.
 
Last edited:

unmerged(24142)

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Kanitatlan said:
I think you're in for a surprise about just how well this works - in practice the fight against the Germans will be vanilla infantry divisions and absolutely nothing else. My plan is for war to break it in 1941 (earlier the better) and to reach the atlantic coast in 6 months.

Well, I suppose that large numbers of Russian soldiers could clog the treads of German panzers, thus changing the tide of the war. :p

Reach the Atlantic Coast six months after the initial invasion? I'll HAVE to see that to believe it.
 

unmerged(24320)

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ThewEiRdOne27 said:
Reach the Atlantic Coast six months after the initial invasion? I'll HAVE to see that to believe it.
HEY, he is using 1.06c. that should make it DOABLE! :rofl:
 

Kanitatlan

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Game Start

The SU starts with 20% dissent which leaves me with a difficult decision. IC output is maximised by trying to reduce this as quickly as possible but this will introduce a significant time delay in the R&D programme. On this occasion I decided to go with reduce dissention first so production is set to 100% on consumer goods. This requires close monitoring of the supply stockpile as productions of supplies must be started before it reaches zero.

The remainder of the start up actions are :-

Upgrade all industry less than or equal to 3 ICs. Given the likely start date for war involvement this is fairly conservative but it is likely that my production will become resource limited and therefore lower levels of IC upgrade are justified. It is worth understanding the cost / benefit ratio of IC upgrades. The cost is 50% of that province’s ICs (maximum loss 5) for 1 year. This cost is downgraded by the consumer goods commitment as their effect is based on percentage of available production rather than actual output. This means that IC upgrades (or other province upgrade activity) has no cost whilst I am on 100% consumer goods and considerably reduced cost whilst war entry remains low. Ultimately this is not important as I am expecting to be resource limited rather than IC limited.

Next I promote a LOT of leaders, especially all those with (od) who can make at least 1 skill FM. I am expecting to have a lot of divisions and for convenience I promoted a LOT of field marshals. This focuses on some of the higher ability leaders and lots with specific abilities. The focus is on offensive doctrine as I am expecting the war to be dominated by offensive action but also includes a selection of fortress busters and engineers. It is perhaps worth commenting that attacking is an essential element of the infantry strategy. With an army based on large numbers of divisions rather than quality it is important to engage all your troops so as to prevent the enemy using any quality advantage. This means attacking as will be seen when I reach that part of the AAR.

Next I disband a range of units. After some consideration, I got rid of all the submarines because they are very low quality units and simply a burden until after my infantry have won the war. All the destroyers get sent on convoy duty leaving a fairly small navy which I am conserving for whatever turns up later on. Next I disbanded all the motorised and armoured divisions. The armoured divisions are expensive to replace but since I am not developing any armoured techs they are going to be completely useless until after the land war has been won so they have to go. I also disbanded all the cavalry divisions as they are going to be rubbish once I have built up my technology. This disbanding resulted in a 25% reduction in supply costs (88 down to 66). All units are provided with logistics wizard commanders.

I have one deviation from standard 1.06c HOI and that is that I have updated the leader file to add their leader traits to their name so I can see them at a glance. This has been done using the HOI editor in my sig and does not change the game (the names will show in some screen shots).

In the first hour I set up a number of trades on the world market. 4 coal and 1 steel trade at 100-100 trading for rubber. There is always a rubber surplus in early 1936 and it is best to build up a stockpile.

Initial production stands at 196 ICs, reduced by IC upgrades and the 20% dissent. There is a 60% call for consumer goods as a result of low WE and the 40% remaining gives a 0.1/day dissent reduction. This is not a good rate and represents 200 days to eliminate that 20% dissent. This means a 200 day delay in the technology programme. This definitely not good but for this game at least I am going down the dissent first route, after all 78 ICs doesn’t go far anyway split between tech and dissent.

So much for initial set up.

Very little happens in 1936. Supplies run out on March 15th and supply production is reinstated. This knocks the dissent reduction back to 0.08/day which means clearing it will take even longer. I concentrated the fleet in the far east to support some vague plans to be one day invading Japan. The real logic is that they really aren’t necessary in the west. The air force is concentrated in Moscow and more or less abandoned. They are not expected to take any role in the main wartime operations but cost nothing to keep in existence. The whole army is concentrated at Leningrad except for 5 infantry divisions retained in Vladivostok. This is intended as a reorganistaion base for the first expected operation which is the winter war against Finland.

At the end of March I started binary coded machine language (with dissent still 12%), intending to get the first computer technology before initiating the main technology programme. Because of the good trading conditions on the world market, I started shipping resource stockpiles to Ocha at the start of June. When Ocha has a full stockpile of coal, steel and rubber I do the same for Commodorre (from August). This is a bit unrealistic but it is annoying that I can’t stockpile more than 100,000 when I can easily collect that much. At the end of june binary code is complete and I started basic computers.

As a minor diversion the Spanish civil war started on July 19th and rather oddly I was able to send support to republican spain including a full 5,000 supplies from my stockpile of 23. I normally run supplies in the research period at a fraction below requirement (-0.3 in this case) but when an event takes it down to zero it needs to be pulled up positive.

In September real research was started as the dissent was gone – early war experience, mass production, cavity magnetron, combat medical services (41% rate only). I should have started the computer programme in April so that it was finished in time for this (the Maths for the precise best time is too complicated to be bothered with). Once the dissent was down to zero I am faced with a tedious adjustment of consumer goods on the 1st of every month as WE goes up. When basic computers is done (20th Nov) I adjusted to 100% fund research and upped supply production to build up a small surplus using the handful of spare ICs.

On 16th December we held a great military parade; why oh why oh why couldn’t that have been a few months earlier. It gives -5% dissent which would have been a huge boost earlier in the year.

The next big event (first big event really) is 1st January 1937 which allows some useful ministerial changes. Firstly Sergej Uristkiy is installed as minister of security (-3% dissent, was +1% for a back stabber). If you expect to be resource limited or you want to maximise your dissent busting capability then he is the best type to have. More importantly Shaposhnikov is installed giving x2 man power and –22% cost for infantry divisions. Industry, everywhere with 2 or less is upgraded in line with my policy to restrain upgrades because of potential resource shortages. The big IC boost as last years upgrades finish allows the starting of a whole load of supporting techs. For now I am specifically avoiding techs that increase supply consumption and research is rigorously focused on my technological objectives. I will give a run down later when the full programme yields results.

There is no rubber surplus so I go through major gymnastics in world market trading. I don’t really know if this works but I tend to let the other resources build up and then submit large numbers of 4:1 trades to really hammer world rubber supplies. It seems that this screws up the economy of other countries (it should do) as if you put in enough trades it blocks everyone else’s 3:1 trades so they are getting no rubber. The resource reserves run down quickly but I then clear them and submit some 1:1 trades. This usually leaves me running at a rubber deficit but any rubber gained at 1:1 is good.
Start a few more supporting techs – important to avoid techs that increase supply consumption

Through 1937 there are a series of officer purges and I dare not refuse them because of the dissent penalty. Nobody important dies, the only one I recognise is FM Blucher who is old guard anyway.

I let every thing run free with periodic submission of new research and the various irregular adjustments of world market trading. And of course (noise of teeth grinding) the monthly economic adjustment because of WE changes.

By mid June 1938 with research running well, there are surplus ICs with no on message techs and I started investing in unit builds – first 100 infantry divisions are ordered. At this point it is worth giving a run down of the technology (done, in progress and planned).

I am researching most land doctrines, only excluding one or two that give only org or army detection. Some artillery, only aiming for early techs to improve inf as beyond the self propelled artillery block there is only 150mm inf gun that gives me any bonus. Therefore artillery research is soon stalled as I wish to delay the 90mm field gun onwards due to supply consumption. I am researching everything in infantry weapons specialist warfare equipment (winter, desert & jungle only – special unit equipment ignored) as everything else affects infantry divisions. Later on I skip a few techs that only provide army detection. In electronics I am pursuing everything to do with computers, radios and some radar as warning systems give surprise bonus.

March 11th 1938, standard Anschluss event.

At the end of July 1938 all resources have been traded to maximum stock, earlier aggressive trading for rubber has now been replaced by world surplus of all resources. Of course things don’t stay like this and the rubber position is constantly being dragged down.

September 30th Czechoslovakia refused the treaty of Munich and Germany backed down. This is potential very good for us but makes this game less of a test. I would have preferred a fully historical progress.

March 30th 1939 and more weirdness, UK failed to go for an alliance with Poland and they are on their own. This looks like a worrying situation as Germany could conquer Poland and then go for me straight away ignoring the western allies. I’ve never seen this happen but can’t help worrying about it.

In July 1939 I start research on SMG and 90mm art (both give supply increases) as war is beginning to approach and I need to get all my divisions up to a good standard. Research progress has been good and the first 56 infantry divisions are available in strategic reserve. On Aug 19th the second batch of 100 infantry divisions is scheduled (production ICs now exceed the cost of units in the queue from first batch). Rather strangely on Aug 20th Mongolia shares ‘army long range reconnaissance doctrine’, god knows where they got that from.

On Aug 24th the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact event triggers and I accept the standard pact. I start claiming on the baltics. On Aug 30th Germany declares war on Poland, but no allied alliance so they are on their own and nobody else joins in. Czechoslovakia still exists completely and is neutral. Very quickly my claims on Latvia and Lithuania are successful I inherit some supplies so supply production can be cut to deplete stocks. On Sept 29th Blitz bombing doctrine is stolen from Estonia (another surprise).

On Nov 5th Poland is annexed and next day the terms of the pact are completed. The world is at peace again and I have a border with Germany, this is not good for the nerves. I now have 97 new divisions available in strategic reserve and, counting these, the largest army in the world.

Germany 153 inf, 1 mot, 1 arm, 1 mtn
Soviet Union 74 inf + 97 in reserve
France 129, USA 112, Italy 92, UK 90, Japan 82

China and Spain have large armies but dominated by militia

On Nov 12th Germany declares war on the allies and my nerves settle down. Meanwhile I have received all my claims except for Finland and this leads to an ultimatum on Nov 14th but the go and give in so no winter war but I do get my claims. The preparations for the war consisted simply of garrisoning their border but without the fight its not worth pursuing. I leave 12 artillery divisions in the south and 3 in each province along the rest of the border. The rest of the army move to the Riga region. All the newly built divisions stay in strategic reserve for two reasons. Partly the popular move to avoid supplying them but also because I don’t want the AI to be frightened off by a big army. I want the germans to declare war in good time so I can kick ass.

By 1st Jan 1940 I now have 120 divisions in reserve and my army remains the largest in the world. In the West Germany has taken Luxembourg and Belgium up to Bruxelles. The session finally finishes (it is late) 2nd March, I have 133 infantry divisions in reserve and the current production rate is equivalent to 1 infantry division every 2 days. After saving a quick check of the save files shows current capability is (HA, SA, AA, GD, AD) = 6, 9, 3, 21, 10 for Soviet Union and 4, 9, 5, 18, 11 for Germany. However, I have a range of doctrines providing significant improvements scheduled to complete in the next couple of months.

Germany 177 inf, 1 cav, 9 mot, 3 arm, 1 mtn = 191
Soviet Union 207 (including reserve)
France 142, USA 116, Italy 94, UK 97, Japan 85

The current situation on the western front for 2nd March 1940

ckymw
 

Kanitatlan

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It was my intent to provide enough detail for others to easily copy the strategy. If anyone is trying to copy this and needs any further info then please post suggestions of what should be added.
 

unmerged(24320)

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Kanitatlan said:
It was my intent to provide enough detail for others to easily copy the strategy. If anyone is trying to copy this and needs any further info then please post suggestions of what should be added.
excellent. the detail given and the information about world events is great. very informative and interesting!
 

unmerged(11748)

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Excellent.

I agree with your statement about attacking vs. defending infantry. The biggest part of this agreement is that on the offensive, you can use 24 divisions from each provice in attacking (and not be penalized), but you can only have 24 divisions in each territory (the others don't do anything).

Basically, you can have many more divisions attacking vs defending.


Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I think this is correct.


DR
 

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Detroit Rock said:
Excellent.

I agree with your statement about attacking vs. defending infantry. The biggest part of this agreement is that on the offensive, you can use 24 divisions from each provice in attacking (and not be penalized), but you can only have 24 divisions in each territory (the others don't do anything).

Basically, you can have many more divisions attacking vs defending.


Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I think this is correct.


DR

Quite correct but the biggest issue with the vanilla infantry army is to try to engage as many of the 400 or so divisions I will have at the same time. This involves launching multiple attacks right across the front and, if successful, largely neutralises the enemies manouverability advantage.
 

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I have given soe thought to the progress so far and the failure of the Germans to takeover Czechoslovakia is a potentially significant reduction in their strength and undermines my argument that the infantry strategy is good against all comers. I am therefore goinf to manually invoke all the events for the treaty of Munich and death of Czechoslovakia to restore Germany to a better position. I will look up the events and give a detailed report at the start of my next session report. This will represent a significant delay for the germans in acquiring these benefits but it is too late to do anything about that now.
 

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Kanitatlan,

Good work - I think you should be able to gove the Germans a nice suprise should they be foolish enough to declare war. USSR has always been my favourite HOI country. I used to try each new patch out with another USSR game.
I would hazard that the 'infantry only' strategy has a long history, particularly back in the days of oooh, 1.02 etc, when it was noted that there was not a real need to develop other unit types, since infantry was such good value. I think all that got sorted out, but the USSR 'human wall' should always be a feature of HOI.
anyway, good luck & keep up the highly informative AAR

Heretic