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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Riffraffselbow

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I'm not sure what +10% counterespionage actually does but it sounds like it may mean I can clear out enemy spies with 9 of my own instead of 10. Quite frankly if that is the case this is not very exciting, even if it allowed 5 to act like 10 then it isn't very exciting. The leadership cost of spies is 20 leadership days (LDs) so a full set of 10 for defence costs 200 LDs and is definitely sufficient for my purposes. On the other hand +5% leadership for 1350 days pays off rather handsomely by comparison yielding 461.7 LDs (actually higher with education research). In fact I think this is simply always a no brainer - go for the "man of the people" every time.
Little bit nitpicky, especially considering it's something you said a month ago, but to my understanding, leadership and IC modifiers are additive, not multiplicative, so it 461.7 and not a bit more. Still the better choice by far.

The more you know, eh?
 

unmerged(23589)

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You are calculating with average numbers, but in the war avarage is usually not what happens.

You neglet offense capabilities to get better defense.

However once the war starts, the two armies will not fight everywhere equally, but there will be battles where most German armor will be concentrated and they will break through.

You can only counter this by counter attacking, but your forces will lack the ability to do it.

Static defense is possible for example in Switzerland, but in Poland dinamic defense is the only option.

I am playing a game with Hungary what has two entirely differen type of fronts.

I have conqured Switzerland, Turkey and Iran. Then ran out of territory to conquer so declared war on the Allience, what is the only power I can realisticly fight.

In Switzerland I have dug in 1 full Army and the Allience never tried to attack me.
Static defense does work in mountain + fortified terrain.

After a short war I have taken the Mideast and pushed into India.
However I cannot supply there more the 10-15 divisions, the Brittish have the same number of divisions there.
The forces are matched and my only way to win this war is to cut off a larger Brittish army, dinamicly defend against it by slowly pulling back, meanwhile destroying a smaller British army with the freed up divisions.

The same is going on in Afrika, where I have reached Belgian Congo, but I can only supply (and barely supply) 2 LArm and 2 Cav divisions.
 

BlitzMartinDK

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"It is worth a try as althoug flawed it remains a fun game to play if a little dauting at times (I live in terror of trying to reorganise the Soviet army into a semblance of sensible organisation for a leadership strapped nation)" -If you ever do that at start of scenario, would you please save the result and upload for us to use? Would save me oceans of time, and most likely be better than I could do myself :D -Oh.. and subscribed, hope you haven't finished yet -only on page 3 :(

edit -Well, you haven't finished yet :D. So a little something - As they say, Assumption are the mother of all fuckups : Your calculation of HA/SA relative values are assuming that you will encounter that percentage of hard units. If the AI was intelligent, it just might put infantry on defensive in the west, and lead with a strong complement of armored forces in the east. That might change the relative values some. Also, it is the value on the point of attack that is significant..wait -I just said that in other words, didn't I? I've been reading too much of MYTH's "Exploration in strategy" lately :D
 
Last edited:

Kanitatlan

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JTBM To answer some of your points

Dealing with German armour is going to be easier than you think. Standrad 1939 German Armoured divisions are circa 50% soft. This means that soft attack is eactly as effective as hard attack. If my divisions had no hard attack then they would be at 50% of their effectiveness attacking enemy armour. Their armour initially sounds as hard to deal with as 2 infantry divisions but it doesn't have that level of firepower even after all bonuses (combined arms and panzer leader). This means their armour really isn't a huge problem.

The big issue with a war of manoeuvre is that as Poland whilst I have some space I don't actually have vast amounts and must defeat the germans over a battlefield depth of around 7-8 provinces. This allows some flexibility but not as much as wide open spaces seen elsewhere.

BlitzMartinDK My calculations were showing that SA techs are 60 times more valuable than the hard attack tech. Shifting the level of armour slightly really isn't going to change it to more valuable. An interesting way to look at it is that for the inf HA tech (+0.25) to be more valuable than the SA tech (+0.6) we need HA x (1-X) to be greater than SA x X where X is enemy softness. This gives X = HA / (SA+HA) or X = about 30%. So we find that enemy average softness has to be too low to get the combined arms bonus before the HA tech is more valuable than the SA tech. This is how very, very far we are from a situation where my analysis begins to break down.


In other news the sustained silence in this AAR is really a Semper Fi issue and I expect to resume progress, probably using SF, following release. This will have some impact on the plan as it exists but not enough to substantially change it.
 

unmerged(156435)

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Playing as minor I always use no supplies trick. Supplies to 0 from beginning and onwards. Consumer goods requirments also drops by bits every ~20 days. Units lose men very slowly. They do not go to the manpower pool I can guess. Haven't checked if reinforcement costs more. I think not. As IC is precious in your strat. You can try that.

So I do not build any new HQs. Don't disband any units. You lose officers by that and men are useful even cav. With 6 speed and strategic redeployment
it results in 12. Their combat effectiveness is enough to cover a brocken german schwerpunkt while infantry comes. I'm sure you are not in a
situtation to afford echelons of defence lines everywhere. Cav can be an option.

Do not forget to use political leaders. If you get one lowering lose in theory (infantry proponent) just set him in a day before next month starts
then change to previous (+5$ to resourses of else which is needed everyday). Congatalations: you have saved 0.1 or more in theory. And tech progress is recalculated every month and after every tech being finished. If made on every month basis one loses 0.6 or more per year but withou 1.2 or more per year. "More" is said beacause the higher the theory level the higher the shrink. As example. If Inf theory is 5.0 on 1 Jan 1936, on 1 Feb it will be 4.8. With infanry proponent 4.9. If theory is 2.5 on 1 Jan of 1 Feb it will be 2.4; with inf.proponent 2.45 (0.05 is not shown). On 1 March without IP - 2.3, with IP 2.4. And this point speed ups tech research. I didn't evaluate, how much leadership points is this. I think of many. Napoleon said he can fix a fault in position but can't return lost time.

In pursuit of 1942 SA tech you can try Inf rushing at lowest level of conscription (vol. army) and then disbanding. Drawback: officers (leadership) losing.

BTW, firepower more than compensates. Enemy starts to lose strenght quickly so he can damage you less and less. All here know bombers can turn the tide of battle. Everybody is glad to see when after bombing run numbers on an arrow are changed in your favour.

P.S.: SA rules "against" tanks IRL. If infantry is cut to pieces tanks can't come pass any trench. Molotov is a danger. In that case they retreated: "We made all we could". That's why infantry stayed covered behind armour. Just imagining.
 

reis91

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Crazy method, but this glorious endeavour made me want to buy the expansion ASAP (well after exams, really), really enjoyed beating back the stupidly overpowered nazi war machine.



You're a genius. Kanitatlan. And Hitler paid for daring to start the war one week earlier, before i was fully mobilised (25 Aug) :rofl:. Also, this campaign made me review my definition of "understrength" divisions.

Done it on normal mode, no retries (including a couple of nasty and unavoidable dissent events). Couldn't finish the build, had around 60% of my INF brigaded with Arty at start of war, and around 70 MP after mobilising. Those 70MP didn't last till winter though, and the interceptors with 39 armament can scare german bombers away (although they can't really ground them, and the messer's still own them). Managed to have 8 wings upgraded when war started, and they lasted around 6 months before being kinda grounded by german Messers. AI still sometimes fails to avoid the INT megastack with -30% attack efficiency, though.

A suggestion, related to SF. You should try to commit troops to defend Danzig, due to the strategic effect. Plus, it's now urban territory, which is a pain to crack through with armor. Doing so allows you to cover your stacks heading towards Konigsberg while keeping a defensive line at the river side.

Cleared East Prussia in the first month (except Memel, which i left alone with 6 or 7 divs stuck there - no point in forcing a river with "Territorial Pride Modifier", for a non-VP and useless province). Started pushing in the middle near Warsaw by November, may not seem wise, but you can't afford to wait or you'll have a war of attrition, that you can't win.In January i had breached the Western Fatherland (no AAR references intended here, surely :) ).

In Feb i went for Berlin, with 6 or 7 60% STR divs with arty, but Hitler's new damn tanks kicked me back beyond Stettin before i regrouped. Meanwhile, German troops were redeployed to help protect the capital, and i advanced in the South, managing to send Slovakia into GiE. In March/April i pushed to Berlin from Dresden, and managed to take it.

As for the allied AI, it made me swear foul and loud (like it had in my previous Romanian attempt to save Poland), but in the end i was pleasantly surprised.



In May, allies start landing near Berlin (graciously giving the troops as Exp. Forces , in time to stop a German counter attack and helped me regain the iniciative. War was mostly fought in the North, and in September netherlands joined the Allies, pushed a bit, was pushed back by german reinforcements (seriously, where do they find the troops, having lost 2/3 of their territory). Of course. they had to abandon hope of defending along the Maginot line and retreated to the Ruhr, leaving their Armee out in the Netherlands. Game over, Hitler, please pull that trigger and save our Polish bullets.

Done on Normal/normal, no mods, everything of note went historical, no USA in allies at '39, Sov still declared and won the Winter War (although the Finns held till June 1940!). Italy didn't join Axis (thank you Musso), although that can be viewed as historical because they wouldn't join a losing Germany. Hungary didn't join aswell, but think i could have handled their outdated army, but would had cost me a lot of time and strategic iniciative. In the end i took advantage of the insanely large southern front (from near Berlin all the way to Yugoslavia), and rushed a few Mountaineers for Austrian VP's and Munich, because i was losing around 2000 men per day, mostly due to bombing (try interdicting a front larger than the initial Barbarossa one with only 3 ""operational"" INT's...)

Sorry for kinda hijacking your AAR, btw, but you must do better than me, 'tis a too high price that Poland paid for this war.

PS - Why the hell do axis units get a positive modifier while fighting for their cores, while other nations like Nat China, SOV, etc don't? Like Poland wasn't screwed enough, they even felt the need to buff the ubermenschen even more... :rolleyes:
 

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Looking forward to see more from you. I love reading your AARs and general thoughts on the game. I must admit sometimes I feel reading what others do and planning what I'll do with my game is more fun then actually playing it. :D
 

mlepkows

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Nice quick AAR, reis91. Thanks - you inspired me to try. Where's Kanitatlan, though?

Maciek
 

reis91

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Probably mumbling somewhere that Poland is too easy, allowing me to win in less than one year :D. His next AAR could be Czechoslovakia :eek::D
 

Kanitatlan

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kyrill2309 Interesting suggestions but for Poland manpower is kind of most important. I have no options for flipping ministers. Using the reserve production exploit makes units cheaper but reduces practicals as well so this offers no research bonus.

reis91 Nice to see someone else having a go. It truly isn't too difficult but feel free to show off. I'm doing this AAR as an educational work more than a "look what I can do" thing anyway.

shwarzhelm If you keep failing as Poland then you will have to develop a more optimising playing style and thoroughly learn the fundamentals of the game. This doesn't appeal to all players and if you don't really enjoy optimising then don't worry about it, this just means Poland is not for you but the game is supposed to be fun to play not hard work.

Kayapo Hopefully you'll enjoy today's new posts as a sign of overly detailed analysis to come.

mlepkows, reis91, HannibalBarca And the answer is that I'm here and never went away amd I'm not mumbling that Poland is too easy (although there is an element of Germany's a bit below par)
 

Kanitatlan

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Semper Fi​

With introduction of Beta patches it is now reasonably plausible to have a go under Semper Fi and declare a new plan. This is pretty much the existing plan except for the following.

Initially we have two strategic effects in place that change things a bit but sort of cancel out but not completely leaving us theoretically 5% better off for leadership.

Neutrality - -5% research and espionage bonuses
Danzig - +10% leadership

I can't complain about this as it helps a little.

At the start we are faced with an inability to instantly change policies as we now need money to finance policy change. As an experiment I carried out the shift to consumer goods as soon as money was available and then left two year draft in place for two rounds of ground unit builds. This is a minor exploitation of the reserve building exploit allowing me to save some IC at the expense of a little manpower. My calculations indicate this has cost me about 8 manpower total (not exactly a lot).

Next, the trading system is a bit different but it is still possible to establish all the trades I need. There are no effective changes to trade policy and sale of fuel now funds all the other trades. In a play through this went quite well with a total import of about 10,000 supplies over the full pre-war period. This is quite useful and makes a significant IC impact.

As a test game I have built up to 8 interceptors and only 154 infantry and 154 artillery brigades making a rather smaller ground force. This is partly an experiment with having more manpower left over.

Other than this the plan stays much the same.
 

Kanitatlan

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A review of peacetime supplies

To continue the educational role of this AAR I am going to do an analysis of my peacetime supply profile based on an analysis during March 1937.

First of all, as you can see from the picture, I have moved all of the Polish forces near to Warsaw. This does have some reorganisation advantages but the main reason is to reduce the supply tax. Obviously, I could put the entire army in Warsaw to completely eliminate supply tax but this seems a little excessive. It is perhaps worth looking at your own peacetime supply map and add up the supply tax across your supply network (remember to allow for tech based tax reductions).

Looking at the map one issue immediately comes to mind and that is the status of the supply flows from secondary IC locations back to Warsaw. Using the tooltips it appears that these supply flows are not subject to supply tax, which is nice, and hence we don't need some insane scheme for trying to use up these supplies in situ.



Supply map March 1937​

The final issue is to look at the supply consumption of all those units. There are a number of considerations for moderating their supply usage and we might as well discard the ridiculous ideas to start off with.

First, we can delay building units to conserve supplies. This is obviously a non-starter as I need a build program that takes best advantage of practicals build up and then leaves slack at the end for upgrades. This pretty much means that supply usage must be treated as a secondary issue as practicals "optimisation" is much more important (I may post a report on this at some point).

Secondly we could consider keeping units as old tech as upgrades result in higher supply costs. The differences generated by upgrades are relatively modest but will build up to a 10% increase. Fortunately deferring upgrades is already in the plan to upgrade IC usage for upgrading so this is just a beneficial side effect. This doesn't gain us much and again policy is dictated by other issues.

Thirdly we don't reinforce until the last minute as supplies are reduced in proportion to current strength. This benefit pretty much goes without saying and there isn't really a decision to be made in this area. All reinforcements come when we mobilise and they occur at the last minute (or thereabouts).

All we need understand for these issues is that supply usage is definitely not a determining factor and is much lower priority than the primary IC cost issues. This saves us from a rather messy numerical analysis.

The last step is the provision of appropriate leaders. I have ended up with assigning logistic wizard leaders to ALL HQs and generally including units in a full hierarchy of command structure (all HQ levels present). The only other step is to use our skill 3 logistic wizard as the army group commander as at this level there is an additional benefit.

This gives each division the following benefit

corps, army, army group, theatre logistic wizards give 0.5+0.25 … = 15/16 of the logistic wizard benefit or in other words 23.5% supply usage reductions.

The army group level gives skill 3 x 5% = 15% reduction

Total is -48.5% supply usage for all divisions

This is a substantial gain as I have almost halved supply needs by this reorganisation making it very clear that this sort of change is well worthwhile.

Just for completeness, supply consumption by HQs is affected by the command chain just like any other but the HQ is treated as if it is a division attached directly to its superior HQ. This means that a corps HQ (with a LW leader) actually gets a 62% supply reduction (1+0.5 … = 1+7/8 LW bonus + 15% AG bonus). Higher HQs get slightly lower bonuses until we reach AG and Theatre at which point they rather drop off as the AG bonus is lost.

This ends the analysis of reducing supply consumption but we actually have some more fringe issues to consider. The particular unit deployment used not only reduces the supply tax but also significantly reduces the quantity of supplies in the network rather than the central supply stock. This actually allows us to run down the supply reserves to an even lower level than if the units were spread out. However, this also has the downside that when we deploy to the frontiers we need to make sure there are plenty of supplies available to fill up the network as the supply drain will significantly increase during this period.
 

reis91

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Quite interesting reading.

Made any calculations about how much IC days you can save with your strategy, including trade deals? Also, does it allow for 0 IC allocated to supplies throughout the buildup period (without over-investing in CG to make money to buy supplies)?
Also, bear in mind that some of the new 1937,38 and 39 leaders have Logistic Wizard trait, so, not only you can get extra corps "Wizarded" to support your new builds, but you can actually afford to have a few 2I2A divs with Wizards as well (and now it looks like I'm talking about a fantasy game)

About the earlier comment, it's not so difficult, when you make monster builds such as yours :D, but it feels epic (especially in casualties, which I suppose is the point you are trying to optimize). Still, if Germany AI is taught to defend East Prussia better and avoid mega-stacks of fighters, it could be challenging enough. On the other side, Germany skimps on Western front forces, convinced (and right at it) that France won't attack.

On a side note, I might go dig out that save again and try it with AI control at Army or AG level (can't use theater due to East Prussia needing to be wiped out fast).
 

CharlyFox

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Thanks and Questions...

Hello,

I ve been following this thread with lots of interest since its beginning and I am very happy it isn t dead.

Thanks for the analysis, instructive as always.

I d like to come back to an interesting fringe issue you mentionned:


A review of peacetime supplies
However, this also has the downside that when we deploy to the frontiers we need to make sure there are plenty of supplies available to fill up the network as the supply drain will significantly increase during this period.
How will you stock supplies in the provinces you are expecting the big fights to take place during the war ?

Does this mean that you ll need to mobilise earlier to be sure that the key defense provinces are adequately supplied ?

Is it yet another incentive to defend the industrial provinces as there is a secondary supply flow going back to the capital that could be used locally ?

Given you ve mentionned this at the end of your analysis and the level of details of this AAR you probably planned to answer this in a later installement, in which case I ll be happy to wait.

Regards,

CharlyFox
 
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reis91

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I'd move a few groups at a time, into their positions, let them get supplies there, then doing the same with the other groups (until the supply spike issue that messes with your troops is fixed, that is).

Eagerly awaiting the next update