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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Tom D.

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Hello and welcome to my 3rd AAR in general and my 1st AAR specific for HoI4. I will be playing as Belgium in this AAR and try to defend my humble and peaceful nation against the warmongering Germans. Or were it the Dutch?

Nevermind, now why Belgium? My previous AAR was in EU4 as Flanders, so I more or less stay in the same area. I also choose Belgium because I didn't want to take a big nation, as they are so popular to take and to make things more interesting than a steamrolling Germany or an enormous, expanding Soviet Union.

I will update this AAR whenever I can. Previously I was roughly able to update this every week, but I can't even guarantee that this will be the case, as I'm heading towards a busy month (and more busy months after that), but hey: who isn't busy and trying to be important these days?

I hope I'll be able to bring an interesting story to you all and questions/remarks/comments on parts are always welcome :).


Table of Contents:

Chapter 1 – Introduction: Belgium, a peaceful nation
Chapter 2 - The first signs
Chapter 3 - Tensions on the rise
Chapter 4 - War is coming
Chapter 5 - The fronts are closing in
Chapter 6 - The execution of Plan C
Chapter 7 - The war continues, in Africa
Chapter 8 - It's all about Africa

Chapter 9 - Nobody expects the Spanish... divisions/invasion?
Chapter 10 - They are here, the Allies have come! Belgium is liberated, Belgium is free! Spread the news!
Chapter 11 - Frictions and rivalries within the Allies
Chapter 12 - Magic mirror on the wall, who has the darkest secrets of all?

Chapter 13 - A nuclear surprise and the breakthrough of the front
Chapter 14 - At the gates of Berlin and mopping up Europe
Chapter 15 - Japan on its knees and the New World Order

EDIT: updated 29/10/2017 to include threadmarks for the chapters
 
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Nikolai

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In for the ride! :)
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Go Belgium!
 

blitzthedragon

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Any plans on using a national focus mod? I do hope one was made for the Low Countries!
 

Tom D.

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In for the ride! :)
Hello there, i'm reading Tom D.'s new AAR;)
Go Belgium!
Glad to see you all again. Welcome aboard :)!

Any plans on using a national focus mod? I do hope one was made for the Low Countries!
Alas, I could have done that but I already got far in this run. I also wanted to keep it more or less historical without options to incorporate the Netherlands or Luxembourg to get a better foothold.
 

Tom D.

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General information

1. Regarding DLC:

I'll be playing with a lot of cosmetic DLC included in the Field Marshal Pack, and the free DLC "Poland United and Ready". This won't affect the game though.



2. Regarding Mods:

I'll be playing with 2 mods, 1 small and 1 pretty 'large'. The small one is "Coloured Buttons" to help myself identify different buttons better, and "Division and Exp. Forces Limiter (Experimental)". The last one is pretty 'large' because it limits the amount of divisions the AI will build. What does this mod do exactly:

Germany can build maximum 200 divisions.
Soviet Union can build maximum 250 divisions.
Others can build maximum 150 divisions.

This does not count for players but as I'm Belgium I'll never build more than 150 divisions.

Why did I do this? Because my laptop is rather bad to very bad for playing games and because the AI likes to spam mass amounts of divisions later on, this slows down the game so much that it takes 10 seconds for one hour to pass. I think you all agree that this would take an enormous amount of time to even get to the end of the war which isn't very feasible for me if I'm doing an AAR.



3. General settings

I decided to strengthen Japan a bit as I found them very passive and not so good at fighting China. I didn't want to strengthen the other countries as I felt this would make it a bit unbalanced. I can say in the end, even these small boosts to Japan didn't help them, alas.

Also because of the Divisions mod this won't be in Ironman, but of course I won't cheat and I'll be playing according to the book.

 

TheAnguishedOne

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Your changes all sound good. Will you be waiting for Together for Victory to start?
 

Tom D.

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Your changes all sound good. Will you be waiting for Together for Victory to start?
No, I already started playing and am quite far ahead, partly to be able to see broadly how the game develops and to foresee how I might write my parts/style/etc. I don't think Together for Victory would change much to the run, although it could strengthen the Allies.

Actually, I think I'll get Together for Victory as I bought the Field Marshal edition. So far so good for my DLC buying strategy :D.
 

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Three cheers for you for choosing Belgium instead of the usual suspects as you outlined. I suppose I'll be taking notes on how to play Belgium if I ever stomach up to play them.

Cheers!
 

Tom D.

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Three cheers for you for choosing Belgium instead of the usual suspects as you outlined. I suppose I'll be taking notes on how to play Belgium if I ever stomach up to play them.

Cheers!
Welcome aboard the Belgian train towards the DOOM of the German Reich :). Which will be leaving the station around midday today.
 
Chapter 1 – Introduction: Belgium, a peaceful nation

Tom D.

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Chapter 1 – Introduction: Belgium, a peaceful nation

1st of January 1936 midnight, Brussels.

“10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … Happy new year!” the mass shouted, quickly followed by church bells ringing and firework exploding in the air, colouring it in blue, green, red and all sorts of colours you can imagine. It was a fun and enjoying night, one Alexander would never forget.

Alexander and his friends were glad to be able to feast together before they would need to go back to their division. But for now they celebrated the new year. “May our country prosper and reach unforeseeable heights.” they shouted. Of course Alexander and his friends were exaggerating due to being drunk, but nothing could temper their happiness. Even the coming separation from their families for the coming months couldn’t. But those months would pass quickly, as life in the army isn’t as hard as many imagine.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

11th of March 1936 02:00, Brussels.

Hubert Pierlot, PM of Belgium, walked quickly through the, for this time of the day, rather busy hallways of the Parliament. He had been in contact with the Minister of Foreign Affairs informing him of the urgent matter. He didn’t hesitate for a moment to arrange this meeting in the middle of the night. The matter was too important for it to wait until the morning.

He finally came to the door where all members of Parliament, the high officers and generals of the army had assembled. They all stood up when he entered the room. He quickly told them to sit down again and walked to the centre of the room.

“Dear MP’s, dear generals, thank you all for joining me this late. I have been contacted by our Minister of Foreign Affairs who got a serious notification of our ambassador in Berlin. As I don’t know the details of what has been announced, I suggest the Minister to speak.” Pierlot said.

“Thank you Prime Minister Pierlot,” the Minister said, “dear people I’ll tell it straight: our ambassador in Berlin had terrible news. The Germans have violated the Treaty of Versailles stating that the Rhineland has to be a demilitarised zone. People loyal to us have noticed increasing military activities last month, and it seems that the Germans have entered the Rhineland this night. We assume that they will make the news official tomorrow, after notifying all ambassadors in Berlin.”

Everyone was dumbstruck by the news, but despite everyone knowing what this meant, Pierlot asked the obvious question:

“So what does this mean, Minister?”

“The Germans are at our gates, Prime Minister.”



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

11th of March 1936 06:00, Antwerp.

“All wake up, we’re leaving!” the officer shouted while entering the barracks where the soldiers were sleeping.

While Alexander was trying to open his eyes, the officer walked to him and dragged him out of his bed.

“Alexander, wake up! You probably got drunk last night making you so slow today.” The officer yelled.

“No officer,” Alexander replied, “but what is so urgent? Why do we have to leave?”

“Here, read this and you’ll understand. But now get up and prepare yourself to leave. You have 15 minutes.” the officer said before leaving the barracks.



“Dear God, those Germans have entered the Rhineland!” Alexander said to his friends.

“Grmph, are the Germans causing troubles again, yes?. They better stay far away from the range of my riffle, or I'll get them before they even know it!”

“There is probably nothing to worry about. We’ve been called to defend the border and to show them we’re not going to give in now that they’re back at our borders. Besides, Britain and France said that it is merely ‘the Germans walking into their backyard again’.” another soldier said.

"Maybe, maybe..." Alexander mumbled.

“And look at it on the bright side: we’re going to have a free and pleasant holiday in the Ardennes, what’s better than that?” Arthur said as a joke.

“Stop talking and make yourself ready!” the officer shouted while passing by.

“What did you say about a free and pleasant holiday, Arthur?” Alexander asked.
 

Nikolai

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Free and pleasant holiday, my ass.:p
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Well, at least Belgium is paying attention to what Germany is doing. Hopefully that'll help.
 

Tom D.

I ain't at home, home's where I'm going
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Free and pleasant holiday, my ass.:p
It sounds like you have experience with the army ;)?

Well, at least Belgium is paying attention to what Germany is doing. Hopefully that'll help.
It helps, but even then war always comes unexpected.

Nice! I'll look foward
Good to know you're enjoying it. Telling the time between 1936 and the actual beginning of the war is a pain in the ... though, it's necessary to give the full background but it isn't very interesting. Although not to me, most action and interesting things happen during the war.

Also for those wondering, I'm not a nationalist if you would think that's the reason I changed my avatar, but it can't hurt to adjust myself to the theme of my AAR ;).
 

Anonomoosle

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Subbed :)
i need an aar with a minor nation, I've just got HOI4 and want to restore the dutch glory
Cant wait for more chapters :)
 

Nikolai

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It sounds like you have experience with the army ;)?
Actually, I have not. My diabetes means they didn't want me. But I've heard my share of stories.;)
 

Tom D.

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Actually, I have not. My diabetes means they didn't want me. But I've heard my share of stories.;)
I'm very sorry to hear that. About the Ardennes and the free holiday: nowadays the Ardennes are besides the coast the most wanted destination in Belgium if you want to go away for some time (of course if you live west of Limburg) and don't want to go abroad for a holiday. Never understood why people want to go that far, the Flemish Ardennes are equally good :confused:.
 

Tom D.

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Subbed :)
i need an aar with a minor nation, I've just got HOI4 and want to restore the dutch glory
Cant wait for more chapters :)
Glad to see you joined the Belgian train, but Dutch glory is nothing compared to the true glory of the Belgian Empire!

Man, my patriotism is increasing rapidly with this AAR :eek:.