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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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robou

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To All: Again, no update today, but I promise to write one tomorrow or on friday, whenever I have enough time.

Enewald: And its all because of me :) Ok, cocky mode off. Prussia, of course, does already have great potential of being a military power at the game start, and I don't let anything hold me back.

comagoosie: Nah, the AI are silly and take me on peicemeal. But don't fear, I have some interesting plans for later on.... very interesting indeed. I hope to spice the game up whenever I can. I have to be careful not to give myself and easy victory, though. Like having France declare war on me and then modding in Russia to fight a war on two fronts when all Russian troops are in siberia... if you get me?

Ahura Mazda: Muskets took a long time to faze out. Russia was still using them in the 1850s... While the Germans were quick to adopt the rifle, the change over from percussion Rifle (as main infantry weapon) to breech-loaded rifles took place in a quite short time space. Musket to rifle took the best part of a century.

Lord_D: I am studying 1984 in English, so that is likely the cause. Well spotted though :) Better get this doublethink out of my head...

Eöl: Do not be so quick to condemn Austria to destruction, that I could most certainly not afford to do. The maintaining of the balance of Europe, ableit with some Prussia superiority, is something I keep as a priority. Don't want to give the French and easy time in Italy or the Russians an easy time in the Balkans now, do we?

ComradeOm, GhostWriter: Perhaps as it would seem, it is the chink in the armour, but then events can always get in the way and Russia can be so conservative about things sometimes. Afterall, Silesia borders Russia as well as Austria...

GhostWriter: I never turn fog of war off, so I have no idea. For all I know they could be a province behind my sight, but alternitively they could be across half the worlds surface. Who know...? (apart from the Russians!) :p

rasmus40: Thanks for catching up! :) If you learn something, I will be very happy that I was able to teach. If you ever need something clarfying about the more military aspects of the game, don't be afraid to ask; we don't bite.... except Capibara, he can be pretty vicious :D

Prinz Wilhelm: Honour to have you, thanks for catching up. I haven't strayed too far... oh no, wait; I have haven't I? :( ;)

Capibara: If anyone knows already, it would be the Austrians. Perhaps a new enemy must be shown the power of Prussia?
 

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robou said:
rasmus40: Thanks for catching up! :) If you learn something, I will be very happy that I was able to teach. If you ever need something clarfying about the more military aspects of the game, don't be afraid to ask; we don't bite.... except Capibara, he can be pretty vicious :D
Well I think I'll risk the Capibara bite, so here goes a question:

I have yet to figure out which units to build and whether to brigade them or not. I'm not looking for anything gamey, like building troops with colonial manpower. Ressources are not really an issue as my economy is doing great, but my manpower is not unlimited. I thought of building artillery, but they are very slow, so they won't do me any good on the offensive, and that's where I plan to be. :cool:

Cavalry is of course a lot faster, but they can't seem to win a fight against decent opposition. So far I have been building infantry with regular brigades, but I have no idea whether this is actually a good choice or not.

I'm playing Prussia in the late 1840's and I want an army that can win offensive wars against Austria and France - hopefully not at the same time though.

Thanks in advance for any helpful answers.
 

robou

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rasmus40 said:
Well I think I'll risk the Capibara bite, so here goes a question:

I have yet to figure out which units to build and whether to brigade them or not. I'm not looking for anything gamey, like building troops with colonial manpower. Ressources are not really an issue as my economy is doing great, but my manpower is not unlimited. I thought of building artillery, but they are very slow, so they won't do me any good on the offensive, and that's where I plan to be. :cool:

Cavalry is of course a lot faster, but they can't seem to win a fight against decent opposition. So far I have been building infantry with regular brigades, but I have no idea whether this is actually a good choice or not.

I'm playing Prussia in the late 1840's and I want an army that can win offensive wars against Austria and France - hopefully not at the same time though.

Thanks in advance for any helpful answers.

Ok, colonial and native troops, although it is too gamey for this AAR, are a great asset and should be used as much as possible. The may have a big organisational penalty, but sheer numbers of infantry really help. They also cost an awful lot less than regular divisions. You will still need plenty of German units to be the real striking force that can deliver a deathly blow, but natives are just as good for holding a line.

As for the actual unit to use, a good mix is the best option. Dragoons, if pitted against an enemy cavalry division with no terrain parameters will most likely win a firefight, due to their infantry like fire ratings. Fire ratings (the little explosion sign on the unit) affects the amount of casualties you can inflict on an opponent. Cavalry, on the other hand, have high shock values. Shock values (the lightning bolt) affect the morale. So when you are in the early stages of the game, fire ratings are still very low so cavalry are a much better bet. But as time goes on a technology increases the firepower of your divisions, cavalry will become of much less use. Not obsolete, just not a real battle winning unit. Infantry are the best bet in the long run as they are powerful and good in defence, even if they are a little slow. Dragoons are ok at the start, encompassing the best of both infantry and cavalry, but become usless by the end game. I try to keep a good mix throughout. I would say a ratio of 20:3:1 would be ok (infantry:cavalry:dragoons).

Brigades all have their ups and downs. Artillery really is the war winner out of them all. It might slow them down, but with good railroads and the like that shouldn't been to much of a problem. By the end of the game, artillery adds something like +30 to the fire score which is HUGE! They can kill masses of men and are equally useful in defence. For offensives, they can destroy fortifications reasonably fast, something that no other unit can do. They are, however, very expensive to maintain. I tend to keep only one division with artillery per six, simply due to the cost. Engineers I use for troops that I know are going to be mainly defensive, such as garrisons in colonies or on a natural enemies borders ect. Guards are also useful for morale and some fire, and I am using them (but also for a story reason). Regulars are not the best attachments, infact they are most probably the worst. They are, I suppose, ok if you can use the cost. You, as normal, get an extra 2,000 men and there are some organisational and fire benefits, but I tend not to use them.

Hope that has shed some light on military spending/planning ect. Anything unclear, don't hesistate to tell me :)
 

robou

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1844: Chink in the Armour

Prussia had been ready to go to war for the past year. The troops were eager to fight; the timetables for mobilisation had been readied for when war was declared. Yet for the entire winter, the country sat dormant, waiting for the politicians to declare the war they wanted to fight. Yet no such declaration came. Prussia simply didn't have the justification to go to war with Austria. They had not invaded Kraków and their army was not acting aggressively along the border; Austria had the moral high ground. So the country sat and waited. The reserves waited each day with bated breath, imagining each new day would be the sounding to arms. The winter dragged on.

It was an unusual event that eventually became the spark for war. It was something that had not really been encountered since the French revolution. It wasn't politicians, nobles or army leaders that were the belligerents, but rather a mass of mostly uneducated weavers. More correctly, they were disgruntled weavers.

Silesia had had problems for a long time. Since the importations of cotton and dye had faded out, the industry of the area had collapsed. The weavers were being paid basically nothing and their quality of life was terrible. In many cites, slum like towns had developed from those families who could no longer support themselves against low pay and new harsh government taxes and tariffs. However, their mining friends were prospering as Prussia became the largest exporter of coal in the world; Silesia being one of the places that produced a large sum of that coal. The inequality in Silesia that those who did the manual work should be paid more than skilled workers was seen as not only unjust but outright wrong by the weavers. Many had had to hone their skills over decades, but all the miners had to do was smash a pick axe into a wall all day; they did, as it would seem fair to think, not like this.

Perhaps the following incidents could have been avoided if both the fabric mill owners and the government had been more attentive, but as such they made no effort to avoid an event that would lead the country into a war that was not all that ideal. To be fair, few could have ever guessed that an insignificant event such as this could have sparked a war, but it did so none the less.

On December 27th, 1843, groups of these angry weavers assembled in the mill towns of Peterwaldsau and Langenbileau and formed mobs intent on proving a point. Fortunately for the government, the entire Prussian Army was deployed in Silesia, ready for a war with Austria, basically keeping the area under martial law; an effect which perhaps exacerbated the worries of the weavers. The troops were called to action by worried mill owners who saw the angry mobs advancing on their factories. The weavers halted in front of the troops, not wishing to be fired upon, and asked to present their demands to a representative of the government. An emissary was quickly sent from Cottbus in the hope of quelling the crowd without the use of violence.

The weaver's demands were simple: The establishment of a benefit for the unemployed and a government institution to govern the pay of all workers. They also pleaded for cotton and dye to be imported again to revitalise the industry. The emissary knew the government would be loathe to accept any of the demands. A benefit for the unemployed would cost the government some money, but the situation was not nearly as bad anywhere else apart from Silesia. It was a reasonable term. The institution of pay was no quite so attractive, as it would cut into the profits of the industrialists would were extending Prussia's industrial and infrastructural prowess. Cotton and dye imports were out of the question; the Fabrics industry was simply not efficient enough to turn the costs of importation into a sizeable enough profit.*

die_weber.jpg

A French Poster celebrating the unrest in Prussia

Therefore, the emissary delivered the government verdict that only the unemployment benefits were to be accepted. The weavers were contented that they had got some form of income again, and the troops were sent back to barracks. A disaster; at least it seemed, had been avoided. Had the troops opened fire on the mob, the effects would have been felt all over Germany and would have been terrible.

Instead, the message of the Prussians allowing more Liberal reforms was stirring a giant. The Russians were readying themselves to strike out at the ever increasing liberal activity going on in Prussia. When the 1841 Consitution was announced, an angry note was delivered to the King's study. It was from Tsar Nicholas I of Russia and Poland. It conveyed the Tsar's displeasure that their naturally conservative neighbour was allowing Liberals to take a hold of power. The Tsar feared, secretly, that the ideas would continue to further stir up Congress Poland after slipping over the border, and then take hold in Russia itself.

Tsar_Nicholas_I_-3.jpg

Tsar Nicholas I, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias

The idea was stupid; Prussia had no wish to stir up the Poles anymore than the Russians did. Prussia still treated the Poles as badly as any other of the two nations that had sizeable Polish populations. It was, after all, Prussia that had been the most belligerent in suppressing Polish militancy. But the latest incident, giving in simply to stop, at least what Russia saw as, a small local revolt was too much to go un-noticed in St. Petersburg.

Instead, another letter was sent to King Fredrick-Wilhelm and this time it contained an ultimatum. The terms were harsh to say the least. They were completely unacceptable. The Russians demanded that the Reichstag be disbanded and replaced with the pre-41 arrangement, all liberal laws to be retracted and for Prussia to re-enter the conservative scene. If Prussia refused, more belligerent action would have to be taken. As is imaginable, the King did not react well to this, exclaiming "Does the Tsar think he rules the world?" The King decided that if the Russians wanted belligerent action, they could have it at the expense of their soldier’s lives.

A letter was sent back to St. Petersburg and stated that if Russia wanted to re-assert a total monarchy on Prussia, it would have to use force. Russia, of course, reacted in a similar way; angrily. Tsar Nicholas took it as the greatest offence and immediately, and against all intuition and advice, ordered the Russian Army to be mobilised for war and to move to the Prussian border. Three days later, in retaliation to aggressive moves by the Russian military, the Prussian Army ordered mobilisation; though it would take several weeks to divert the timetables to move meant to the east, Prussia still had a much easier job than Russian planners. Even so, through aggressive politics and pig-headed stupidity on the part of both sides, Prussia declared war on Russia a few days later. The war of the decade was on.


-------------------------​


Notes:
* Chose the 'Give into their demands' choice on 'The Weber Uprising event:
Minimum Wage reforms: Trinkets
Militancy and Conciousness for Labourers in Silesia -2
-£2500
-15 Prestige
NB. the event and the decleration of war are unrelated in the game, but it seemed like a good enough explanation. If you don't feel so do say!
 
Last edited:

Prinz Wilhelm

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Oo, suspense! :)

I also noticed the "General" von Roon in 1836... Yet the young man hadn't been promoted to a Captain in 1836 yet. :D
 

Lord_D

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Good update :)

Are the Russians finally starting to appear on your border or is it still empty? :D
 

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robou said:
Hope that has shed some light on military spending/planning ect. Anything unclear, don't hesistate to tell me :)
There is actually one thing: If you only use little artillery and engineers only for defence, does that mean that most of your units are unbrigaded?

Looking forward to the war with Russia. What are your goals for the war? A chunk of Poland?
 

Enewald

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Hehe, the Weber sounds so funny, since the principal in our school has the name Waber. A normal german name, I'd guess. :p

A good reason to attack russia, shall your german allies also join you?
No german youth movement against czar? :D
 

PrawnStar

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Oh good, war with Russia!

This will hopefully put your suspiciously treehugger Prussia on the road to Global conquest ;)
 

likk9922

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Does the Tsar think he rules the world?

This is a really good quote, whether it's one you made up or it's been used before. It really struck me.

Also, interesting update. I felt as though it was a pretty good explanation for the war. :)
 

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robou: ...so, through aggressive politics and pig-headed stupidity on the part of both sides, Prussia declared war on Russia a few days later. The war of the decade was on.

action ! ! :D

robou:
...the event and the declaration of war are unrelated in the game .. If you don't feel so do say!

personally, i think that was a most excellent explanation ! ! :)

awesome updates ! !
:cool:
 

comagoosie

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The war of the decade! How is that known. When too very, very sizable nations face off, it is the war of the century! Who knows how many casualties there will be on each side. I fear it will be a bloody match.

Anyways, does Russia have allies? Will they come to Russia's aid? Is there anything more that you would like us to know, or anything that we want to know? Of course, probably everything will be explained in the next update, but I can't wait! :D
 

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This will hopefully put your suspiciously treehugger Prussia on the road to Global conquest ;)
:rofl: Splendid.

But you could have waited for the crimean war to kick the Russians out of europe.
 

robou

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october2008cover.jpg

To All: Firstly, don't shy away from taking a look at this months AARlander. It is smaller than usual (easily readable) and has some really good articles in there. Do check them out here. Secondly, it is ACA season again, so go and get voting. You can vote for me if you want but there are so many to chose from. Just to clarify; this AAR is only taking part in the Favourite Overall and Favourite History-Book sections for Victoria. Votes are very much appreciated; that is in general of course, not just for me :D Vote here. Thanks for the support to both those endeavours :). As for an update: tomorrow is the most likely time. Just have to hold you off the war for one more day, but believe me, it is going to be a good war!

Prinz Wilhelm: Apologies; at the beggining of this AAR, my research was poor to say the least. Much improved (at least I hope) now and I have corrected that wrong. Thank you for informing me :)

Lord_D: The Russians have a few divisions on the border, though it hardly constiutes the whole of their force. They will bring more men up for sure. It would seem I have the numerical advantage, but only for a time. I will press that home, for sure.

asd21593: Glad to see you've caught up. And war is not something that Prussian's shy away from; it was just not the war they were expecting.

rasmus40: This is where my advice falls down. Generally, I only build troops when I need them; so when they are for a particular job. When you need a particular Job, there is normally one brigade well suited to it. But for this, a good portion are likely to have Regulars simply because I can afford them. Usually I keep all my regular offensive units unbrigaded. As for Russia, I will take what I can, but a nice little chunk of Poland wouldn't go amiss.

Enewald: I declared war on Russia, so my German friends don't help me. It wouldn't be that helpful to have them on my side anyway, but the extra couple of divisions wouldn't go unwanted *cough* cannonfodder *cough*.

PrawnStar: Treehugger? Hah, that was quite witty but I have hardly been peaceful. True I have taken quite gentleman peaces, but I have no intention of laying down my swords for one minute. Keeping BB down is the main reason behind the small peace deals. I need an alliance, and I won't get one with too much BB.

likk9922: I made it up on the spot, didn't think it was that special but if you liked that is an added bonus :) It kinda sounds like the thing someone would say in that situation. I mean, I would be pretty angry if Russia thought it could impose it's will on me.

ComradeOm: As I said, I do have initial numerical superiority, but only on one front; Silesia. I am void of troops in East Prussia, but I have some quick plans to hold the Russians while I can punch a hole into their defences. I think I can score a credible victory :)

GhostWriter: And action there shall be. I intend to spill as much Russian blood as possible. Strike a blow from which they will never be able to strike back at me. Well, at least that is what I hope for.

comagoosie: Not the war of the century, that is still to come; that I can promise you. As for Russian allies; to be fair I didn't look, but no one of note at least. Maybe Montenegro...? You get the gist :)

Treppe: I could have, but now I get two wars instead of one. Prussia starts in a very strong position at the start of the game, and I fully intend to make as much of that strong position as I can before the rest of Europe; and mainly Russia, can catch up with me.

phargle: Glad you have caught up, my friend. You are most warmly re-welcomed :)
 

Eöl

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Well good luck taking down Russia and quite possibly Austria is going to be a helluva’ job.
I still say Persia next though, not for economic interests necessarily (although the Oil fields whilst checking Ottoman/Russian expansion in Asia would be nice) but for intellectual reasons. Historically many German philosophers considered Persia the most important nation on earth.
And once Prussian archaeologists have opened Persia to the world a Great Exhibition of the lo-err… I mean ‘artefacts’ could be put on display in Berlin...
 
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Capibara

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It would be funny Russia and Austria teamed up against Prussia, that would very interesting :D Either way, good luck in the upcoming war.
 

robou

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1844: The Extended Front

If Prussia, or namely the King, had been a little more diplomatic about the situations regarding Russian political agression, perhaps the war could have been avoid, or at least halted long enough for Prussian forces to mobilise their strength along the whole line. Unfortunately, there was no such advantage. Where the Prussian Army was present, in Silesia, it held about a 2:1 numerical advantage of their Russia foe, an unusual prospect when facing Russians. However, the situation extended itself far beyond Silesia. The border between Russia and Prussia ran for over 200 kilometres north and eastwards, covering the Grand Ducy of Posen and East and West Prussia. The Russians had troops along the whole front, wheras the Prussians were stuck into only about a third of the front. There were no troops outside of Silesia, apart from the 20,000 men on the French border and the various colonial arms. As such, the situation called for a plan whereby any Russian advance could be contained until such a point as the nation could be mobilised for war and bring up its full power. To this extent, Prussia had the advantage of fighting only a hundred kilometres from its Capital; whereas Russian supply lines streched hundreds of miles eastwards, Warsaw not being able to support any army too large.

Generalfeldmarschall von dem Knesebeck, and his planning staff, came up with a holding method deemed to be able to stop any Russian advance for the best part of a month. The idea was risky, and would have to be done with all possible speed to be successful, but it would stop the Russians crossing, if all went well, both the Vistula and Oder rivers; therefore halting any possible advance from the north on Berlin. The basics of the plan ran something like this: The Cavalry and Dragoons, under the guidence of General der Kavallerie von Zieten, would rush northwards, using their speed to beat the slow moving Russian infantry to the Vistula. After reaching this point, they would lay out screening forces to hold up any Russian forces trying to cross the Vistula. The Cavalry would form to the north, protecting the cities of Elbing and Danzig, while the Dragoons would form to the south. This was a tactical choice as the Dragoons southern flank would be open to attack from Russian forces based in Poland, who would not need to cross the Vistula. Therefore, the superior firepower of the Dragoons, now formed out of two divisions after the creation of a new division a month before the war, would prove vital in containing their flank. Whilst the cavalry screened the northern flank and held the Russians up, the Prussian infantry, using their small numerical advantage, would make sure the Russians could not lauch offensives into the heart of Silesia by mounting their own offensives to hold down Russian forces within the borders of Congress Poland. Once the reserves had been amassed, the general plan was to use the massive force, over 600,000 men, to punch a hole into northern Poland via Posen. That way, Russian forces could, hopefully, be destroyed in detail while saving most of Germany from the devisation of warfare.

warplan.jpg

von dem Knesebeck's solution to the 'Extended Front' problem. The red lines indicate the line running along the Vistula, covered by the mounted forces. The dark red indicates infantry advances into Congress Poland, also part of the 'hold-up' scheme. The Green lines are Prussian infantry positions holding in Posen and the Cyan is the eventual 'hole-punch' of the Reserve infantry.

The Plan was immediately put into place, orders were to be carried out with speed rather than precision. Prussia could not afford to loose a minute if she wished to both contain and defeat, in detail, the Russian offensives. Troops were immediately ordered into Poland, but were held up by slow moving artillery and the difficult work of re-arranging forces to march in the opposite direction than had originally been planned. This allowed the Russians to lauch a pre-emtive strike much faster than the Prussians could act. Three Russian divisions stormed across the border into Silesia and attacked a single Prussian division, under General Oder, that was marching to reinforce the Prussian march on Kielce. The skirmish at Gleiwitz would lead to an immediate re-thought of the original plans to attack Poland. A corps, under General der Infantrie von Müffling, was ordered to assist Oder and force back the Russian offensive. If that could be achieved, Prussian forces would still have the initiative in the region. That would be key to winning the war, but the Russians were better prepared than anyone had imagined...