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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Avatar2312

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Disclaimer: Forgot, that there was a sub-forum for AAR, so it may be moved there.

... and achieved Miklos Horthy and the Habsburg Prince. Non-historical setting, so I had to adapt my strategy (especially as I had to restart 3 times, to do it. Twice I got bogged down against either France or Germany, and was not able to match their production and once it went well, but had France in my faction and when I kicked them to get France-Comte, they joined the USA and I again got bogged down in the middle of France while US-Troops began pouring in in ever greater numbers).

Sorry for shortage of screenshots. Did not expect this campaign to be so exciting to write about. So either bear with me through the story or not :)

Campaign recap:
Britain and France went the nationalist route. Britain fascist, France undecided. Spanish Civil War was won by the republican side and later joined comintern. Portugal went communist as well and merged with Spain. Japan and Germany followed intended route, as well as the Soviet Union and Italy (well, they do not really have another choice). Also the US maintained the Neutrality Act.

For my Hungary: Went straight to put Otto on the throne, Austria joined, formed Austria-Hungary, then Czechoslovakia also succumbed and joined. Continued the "claim the crap out of my neighbours" route. I immediately formed my agency (you can't build anything worthwile as Hungary anyways in the beginning). Rushed paratroopers in research. Then Romania ceded Transsylvania (hoped for a war to take it all and to get a war with France, but there was still another nation with French guarantee.

Declared on Yugoslavia (guaranteed by France) in late 1937, when I completed my third collaboration preparation in France, but was just holding borders until french troops arrived in numbers. Then I para-dropped from the airbase in Tyrol into central France (just one province short of Paris and Orleans), Lyons and Marseilles. Had to wait a few hours and the troops left Paris to attack them, then dropped another one in and managed to take the city. With France turned into a collaboration government, I finished Yougoslavia.

From there I prepared for a two-pronged attack on Italy from east and west, which started in spring 1938, while preparing collaboration government in Poland. I also checked if Germany had enough troops for "demand the Sudetenland", which they didn't as they did not get Austria. Italy joined fascist Britain in the Allies. It was hard, as I had not a single ship aside from one light cruiser France built. I para-dropped again troopers - to cut off the mountain divisions in South Tyrol - from Venice to Switzerland and landed a small army behind to secure the lines. With the troops in disarray I started the assault from the french side and took northern Italy. Then a strong british-italian front formed south of Genoa to Bologna and I was forced to a halt. I dug in and had to rethink my advance. Try to paradrop again behind those lines? But I would not be able to bring any troops behind or supply them, as italian submarines controlled the waters and also air superiority was hard to come by with british AND italian planes dominating the skies.
So I took half of my army and head to northern France with my trustet paratroopers and did an invasion of England, which almost turned into a disaster as there were quite some soldiers on the island. But I had 4 paratroopers left and still no planes in the air and I dropped from Liverpool to Hull, splitting the island and then a quick rush.
Britain capitulated in August 1938. Back to the italian front, now critically undermanned. But time was running short, because Germany got into a war with Greece and Romania in June and although no shots could be fired, as they did not share a border, Germany began to field troops and by August I got the war justification from "Demand the Sudetenland". So I had to move quickly and used my 4 20w light tank mobile divisions to break through the lines at Bologna and rush down the coast, taking Rome, Naples and Taranto. But I still had to take some territory to bring Italy to 100%, but in late September the Job was done. Annexed necessary states for the achievement (but forgot about Tuscany) and satellited every colonial country (Egypt, Lybia, Morocco, and what ever african nation there was, as well as Malaya and Jamaica), took canadian and windward territories and some suff I immediately forgot about elsewhere and - most importantly - Palestine, then puppeted Britain and rest of Italy. In the far east the Chinese front formed with all chinese nations even before Japan made the Marco Polo bridge incident.

In spring 1939 Germany still did not declare war (probably because I now had 800.000 men guarding the borders with forts. Took this time to improve my intelligence department and get some more research slots, as well as building up industry. But in May the declaration of war came from Germany. Greece joined my faction (The European Union). Britain and Italy dominated the seas for me, while I held the border. Tried an assault, but quickly realized that it was futile. So I bided my time and waited. 3 months later Germany finished "Danzig or war" and guess what - it was war. With half the german army at my borders and Poland in its faction with Romania, Germany began slowly loose ground against Poland and was pushed back. Still the frontline was too strong for me to attack. As Poland closed in on todays german-polish borders Germany declared war on Luxembourg, which joined my faction, it was time to attack in the west across the Rhine. The attack immediately stalled, but it put pressure on the Germans.
With the RAF and the italian air force now at my disposal I gained air superiority and landed my troopers at Emden, Wilhelmshaven and Bremen, followed by a small army of my newly equipped 7/2 infantry waiting in Dover. Still I was hardly able to make any advances, while Poland took more and more territory.
Then Germany attacked first the Netherlands, then Belgium, then Switzerland and all joined the European Union. From there it became a grinding war. In the end the German Reich only held a small strip of land from Hamburg to Stuttgart, but an active army a million men strong.
Yet even the strongest army can't prevent a capitulation at 100% and in early 1940 Poland and I carved up the spoils of war with me taking Bavaria and a chunk of land up to Denmark, while Poland got the East and puppeted a German Reich enclave at Elsass.

After regrouping the army and wondering why the expeditionary forces from Hungarian France did not resupply, I began the attack on Poland, Romania and Puppet-Germany in late 1940.
The southern flank at Bavaria, where the understrenght France expeditionary forces (although I land-leased all necessary equipment) proved a real weak spot, almost connecting the German enclave with their territory. Again the paratroopers helped a lot. I dropped them from the coast near Stettin southwards towards the Saillant at Niederschlesien and closed the gap with my light armor divisions, seperating polish core lands from its occupied territory in Germany. Then it was a 5 week mopping up, always struggling with my french divisions. Meanwhile Japan declared war on the Dutch East Indies (probably went for bypassing the Phillipines), bringing my faction to war with the Co-Prosperity Sphere. British and Dutch forces and a small garrison from me in Malaya held the Japanese at bay, while they lacked the forces to really commit to this war, because they were already engaged in a meat-grinding stalemate with the Chinese Front (Dozens of naval invasions, a few somewhat dangerous to Sumatra). The Soviet Union meanwhile made claims in the Baltic, resulting in a war with Latvia and Lithuania, both in the polish faction, but neither Poland nor Romania joined, so they were annexed quickly.

In the very beginning of 1941 Poland and Romania fell, after the mopping up was complete and the front resupplied, and I finally could take on the incredibly resilient German enclave at Elsass, always threatening my flank.
Annexed Germany and the rest of Romania, as well as Poland - for the achievement.

While the war in Asia raged quite uneventful for Otto von Habsburg, political power was stored up and stuff built in France and Italy to finally annex those countries. France alone for the expeditionary crap they sent me, while I knew the Soviet Union will eventually come for Poland. And Italy, because I forgot to take Tuscany. Meanwhile the Soviet Union declared war on Japan.

In November 1941 Italy and France were annexed and the achievement done.
20200801013742_1.jpg



But the game was still on.
In spring 1942 the Soviet Union declared war, just 3 weeks after I released Poland as collaboration government, against it. I almost didn't make it to the spanish border with a small army in training to guard the Pyrenees, as Spain and Portugal soon joined in. Meanwhile my puppets in Africa had build up a significant force totalling almost 550.000. So the spanish and portuguese colonies quickly fell, as well as Cetua.
While the Soviets had almost 200 strong divisions on the East Front, making advances too costly for the moment, the Iberan Union, which formed soon after the war started, began to beed itself dry at the fortified front in the mountains. During the early summer of '42 they lost almost 600.000 men opposed to 24.000 austro-hungarian troops.
In late summer british forces landed near Barcelona and Bilbao, greek forces at Alicante and dutch forces at Cadiz. This was the time to utilize my first new 40w medium tank/mobile infantry divisions. They ran through the remaining forces in the mountains like tissue paper and just 3 weeks later the Iberan Union was no more.
In September of 1942 all was lined up at the eastern front and I set a deadline for late November. Until November 30, 1942 my 8 tank divisions would try to creat encirclements and the infantry would close those gaps. The first try in the north to cut off troops in Latvia failed for lack of supply after just 2 days, but in the south more success was made and a huge cauldron from Zhytomyr to Kiew down to the Black Sea at Mykolaiv was created (not without difficulty) just short of the deadline. In December it was mopped up, and then the advance paused until March 1943, because of russian winter.

During winter my already very powerful industry ramped up production of artillery and vehicles and in spring 1943 - using better infrastructure - my tanks broke through the lines in the north and straightened the front by moving all the way to Leningrad. After the mopping up, it became clear that the Soviets could not maintain their supply anymore. In the east Japan peaced out of the war in China because it lost all its holdings in the north and Korea, but still held a large chunk of chinese land (approx. Shanghai - Nanjing - Hefei - Wuhan - Nanchang - Fuzhou) in the center which it turned into a collaboration government, and was now making some gains against weakened Soviet troops, while naval invasions on Java, Borneo and Sumatra became more frequent, but still not more dangerous.

...Story will continue tomorrow, if someone is still interested.
 
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Avatar2312

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In Spring of 1943 the offensive was renewed with extreme prejudice.

Meanwhile in the Americas Mexico formed the Bolivarian Alliance and marched south to bring others their version of freedom and compassion. These others banded together in the South American Alliance (except for Venezuela, which joined Mexico). Yet they did not stand a chance despite the second revolution, which rattled Mexico in the middle of its offensive.
But things changed, when Panama was attacked. Suddenly the South American Alliance became a potent new member from the north, as the US joined. Information on this war were sketchy at best, as I was still engaged in Europe, outmaneuvering russian forces north and south to the point they could not man the entire front from Finland down to Turkey, while still engaged against Japan.

Then suddenly... the USA declared war against Cayenne. What is "Cayenne"? Some Porsche? No. It was the satellited colony of French Guyana, dragging me into a war with the most powerful country I faced so far. But one enemy at the time. Since winter 1942 I focused my research on submarines as well as ships and equipment to hunt them, as maintaining a supply line into the Caribbean would be essential for any sort of conflict there.

In June 1943 the war against the Comintern came to a close, as with the fall of Stalingrad the fall of the Soviet Union was sealed.
The Iberan Union became part of the European Union and Austria-Hungary, as well as most of the Soviet Union, securing more Oil reserves, as the USA would no longer deliver any of that stuff to me. Japan took parts in the very east and I rushed my army there, expecting to fight their forces, as well as to protect the east from a possible invasion from the USA.
But Japan was already again engaged in a war with China (alone, not the entire United Front), probably because it tried to get the cores back and declared against the collaborative government of japanese China. So everything was quite there aside from some border skirmishes (Mongolia, which was puppeted by Japan fell within weeks to some troops from China and the Netherlands). Time to focus on the USA, already bringing its industrial might to bear against the Bolivarian alliance and most of the british and austro-hungarian holdings there (Belize, Bahamas, WIndward Islands,...). Cuba and the other major island nations, aside from Jamaica, which was my puppet, joined the South American Alliance and soon Mexico fell. It, as well as Venezuela, became a puppet of the USA, giving them a place to attack the south american territories of the UK, the Netherlands and Cayenne itself.
As I reformed my military into better Garrisons and major templates as well as enhancing reasearch of my doctrines, Army experience was at the premium and I lacked a colonial defensive template, so I used british troops and manned a line in Cayenne, while enhancing the level 1 Naval Base to ship in support. Still american and venezuelan troops pushed us back to the last two provinces, where they also were slowed down because of lack of supplies.

Next phase was churning out Submarines to cut supplies to Venezuela and building up Jamaica and Bermuda as island fortresses. The war of attrition began with several attempts of the USA to invade Bermuda. But my forces there, supported by forts were able to defeat any attempt. Soon additional sqaudrons of Naval Bombers and Fighter planes were stationed there, inflicting ever increasing damage to the US Navy, supporting the troop transports, taking revenge for the loss of half of my fleet about two months earlies (the remnants of the integrated italian fleet) while it was trying to help out at Cayenne.
 
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Nikolai

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You have come far from puny Hungary!
 

Avatar2312

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But what to do next? My planes were chipping away the US Navy bit by bit in the Sargossa Sea and I had a nice army of 1.5 million well equipped troops in Europe and a huge industry. All for nothing if I could not bring them to bear in the US-Mainland. My trusted paratroopers met at last the end of their usefulness as transport planes had insufficient range to even attempt an invasion by air from Jamaica or Bermuda

Britain showed how not to do it at least. Do naval invasions with random troops at random locations without naval base. Landing 10 to 20 divisions which get swarmed within a few days by 50+ american divisions.

So it was time to research marines. I think the research involved throwing training dummies fully equipped into the Neusiedler See or the Balaton and see if they float. Swithcing research focus from ships to marines and amphibious warfare the next months were spent probing the coast of North and South America to see if there are viable options for armies of soldiers to start invasions listening to Reggae-music. All while watching the UK and the Netherlands attempting one failed invasion of the US east coast after another, racking up casualities in the 10s of thousand each time.

In 1944 the first 9 marine divisions were ready and a test would be made at Venezuela, where the front at Cayenne was in a one year trench warfare, not having moved an inch, but costing the lives of over half a million men (mainly Venezoelans). Also the US were not able to move in any more troops at full strength as their transports were sunk, and Colombia was neutral, cutting Venezuela off from the rest of its faction. And just when I was about to execute my plan and show my faction members how to do naval invasions, the damn greeks successfully landed at Trinidad AND the dutch at Caracas. But the invasion was already on the way (also to Caracas and the regions next to it) and I did not want to stop it, so whatever...

2 months later Venezuela capitulated and the marines moved back to Jamaica to get to the tough part. USA and Mexico. Landing on US-Soil would be futile at the moment. Every invasion would immediately swarmed with 40 to 70 divisions fighting on and for their home turf. No the USA were out of the question for now. But not Mexico. More exactly the Yucatan peninsula. If I could secure a beachhead there at Campeche and the two provinces east and north of it, I could establish a frontline and troops low on organisation would have a province where they would not be attacked to recover. A perfect place for the newly regrouped 5th Army. 20 divisions - 260.000 men, and the first to be equipped with 4 divisions of Modern Tanks (there is a national focus in the tree, which gives a 2 year ahead of time reduction and I used it after I rushed medium 3 in mid-1943 together with another 100% research bonus for armor to get modern in very late 1943), mixed with medium tanks (5 batallions each) and 10 batallions mechanized infantry for an incredibly strong 40w defenisve unit. The rest was 8 divisions of 7/2 and 14/4 each, just to keep supply a bit lower until the Naval Bases were built.

The invasion on those 3 said provinces commenced in the fall of 1944 and did not aim to take any further territory. For once, because of supply issues and also because the jungle and swamp terrain only favored the defender. Accompanied by 1 battleship, 2 heavy cruisers and 27 other ships, as well as 1.600 planes from Jamaica the 6 remaining and veteran marine divisions - already having their first amphibious tanks equipped (one batallion) broke through the defenses at two points, supporting the landing on the 3rd.

Then the 5th Army followed, and set up defensive positions at Campeche and north of Belize. Construction and/or upgrading of Naval Bases were immediately begun in all the 3 provinces, as well as expanding the air field, building up radar and forts at the front.

As expected about 60+ divisions - mostly mexican and american - swarmed the place about one to two weeks later and began to continously hammer my positions. The lines crumbled under the initial assaults but soon supplies ran low and the attacks became manageable with retreating divisions moving back to the city of Mérida to regain organisation and then moving back to defend the frontlines. Although my supply status was also not ideal the first month (about 10% low), the upgrades soon raised the cap.

The marines retreated back to Jamaica. I had one foot in the door but nothing more for now.
Almost 3 months the armies ran against the 5th Army which scored a record number of enemy casualities, responsible alone for about one million fatalities on the mexican side and about 450.000 GIs killed or taken prisoner, at the cost of under 50.000 on its side. As mexican stockpiles ran low on everything - even manpower, an opportunity arose with another doomed landing by the UK.

They managed to land in New York and while they had a base there, they were bottled in from 4 or 5 sides and would be unable to hold it. But it opened a gap at Miami, Florida. Having only 3 divisons guarding only the ports of the peninsula, another army, as well as my 8 division tank army - now also equipped with 5 batallions of modern tanks were shipped there after my 6 marine divisons landed north of Miami and eliminated the enemy division in the city. Then they pushed north up to Jacksonville, before they were stopped (they moved even further, but were forced to abandon some territory again).

In now mid-1945 I had my first hold of US-soil.

With the USA now having to commit more forces to bottle up the european troops another possibility presented itself with a successful landing of british troops at Boston. There they were able to create a larger saillant that I even pulled a polish expeditionary army from Europe to help them out, but when half of them had landed, they lost Boston and were cut off and I sensed that they were lost.
Nevertheless, this opened up New Orleans. So my marines attacked there from Miami - creating another landing. Another army was moved in and at first I tried to link it up with Florida, but failed and was even pushed back to Mobile, Alabama. But time was on my side in this part of the game. As in Florida or Yucatan, the Naval Bases were immediately expanded and radar, air fields and bunker were built as quickly as possible.
As american troops rushed in another opportunity in Texas. Another landing, another army, another building. This beachhead was quite hard to defend, as there was much flat territory, so it was kept small to minimize retreat and travel times.

As I returned my gaze to the north-east, I was quite surprised to see the half of my polish army (the other half had been moved to the beach head of New Orleans) at Boston well and able, as the UK managed to take back the port. US-troops were undersupplied and could not mount an effective offense.

Now in June of 1946 attrition began to take its toll on USA and Mexico and two more landings - this time from the Bermudas - were made. First at the US-Navy headquarters in Norfolk, and then on Philadelphia.
I now had over 150 divisions (about 2 million men) landed in the USA and Mexico. And it was time to set my invasion in motion.
20200802122200_1.jpg


But not all at once. First things first.
The Yucatan situation was looking the most promising. All enemy forces were severely under strength and the push began. I ran over the enemy down to Villahermosa and San Salvador, cutting the enemy lines. I put the infantry divisions on defense in the west and used my 4 tank divisions to roll over all enemies right to the colombian border. It was a walk in the park for them, but with tanks instead of Nordic Walking Sticks. Meanwhile the 8 7/2 divisions were replaced with 14/4 mechanized/mobile divisions. And then - after the tanks returned and the capitulation of all the central american states, except for Mexico they made their way to the US-border. They reached it by November of 1946 without breaking a sweat and even brought the US-troops in such disarray, that british and austro-hungarian forces were able (by themselves) to link up all beachheads and create a unified front and no wall could stop them, even if Mexico would have paid for it. Then the final push began.

In the first two weaks (around the city of Richmond even longer) the Americans resisted, but then their lines broke. They had a bazillion of infantry equipment, but no more artillery or tanks left and in spring 1947 the South American Alliance was history. I gave Britain some territory around Belize (Chaipas, Yucatan, Guatemala and El Salvador) for their efforts, but the rest was mine or became a Satellite.

Now Japan was the last enemy.

Still having a sizeable fleet, but probably not much fuel to run it for long, I set up shop at (now) my island of Guam. From there naval bombers secured the way to Iwo Jima. I brought an upgraded marine force of 18 40w armored amphibious divisons (took me 6 months alone to train them and bring them to the island) as well as the trusted 5th Army to make the first invasion of Honshu. 80 more divisions were placed in the collaboration government of Vietnam (former french Indochina and then territory of Austria-Hungary). Meanwhile 280 type 3 Submarines with appropriate ammuniton were set to convoy raiding, cutting off Japan from any outside supply and to always engage, decimating the undersupplied IJN.

The strong invasion force was necessary in my opinion as in previous games it was always hell to invade Japan.
The attack commenced in December of 1947... and the island was almost empty of troops. Well you have 500.000 men there, so use it. 2 weeks later Japan capitulated and the last enemy was Japanese-China. This wasn't even a nuisance anymore. And before I could do much chinese and greek forces did most of it. And on February, 20th in 1948 all official wars ended - and with it my motivation to continue this game.

20200802200341_1.jpg
20200802200501_1.jpg
 
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