Fixing Grand Battleplan

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May 21, 2018
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Is it possible?

GBP is deficient in a lot of ways. The main bonuses come from entrenchment and planning, with very small pockets of org scattered around.

Planning is a great bonus, but using plans isn't a good idea.

Entrenchment is a great bonus, but it takes a very long time to build, and you instantly lose it all if you move.

10% defense is great, but that doesn't help you kill the divisions attacking you.

The tactics and one night bonus are alright.

At best, GBP is an infantry focused doctrine in a tank and air dominated game.

Even if you manage to make a line of infantry on forts and forests and hills that can pen mediums/heavies (say mods with heavy AT or medium TDs mixed with normal ATG), doesn't get slaughtered by CAS b/c of AA, and still has the soft attack to beat back infantry, you'll just get cycled because you can't re org quickly after a battle. Once that line is breached, you're screwed since most of your stats come from digging in.

If you try to attack, what are you doing it with? You get 20% bonus breakthrough to, and that sounds good, but infantry don't exactly have breakthrough to boost. Even with 70% planning, you're not going to do a whole lot of damage unless you make attack specific divisions, and you'll piss manpower away attacking with any infantry. Using tanks will get them clicked while you're planning (theoretically enough tanks would be on line to ignore the push and pull a true deep battle move, but I've never seen it happen).

So how can this be fixed?

The first issue I think is org. GBP needs artillery and support tanks more than other doctrines, yet suffers severely to adding them due to lacking org. MW infantry will have a lot more org with arty and AT then a GBP division will. Giving GBP inf more org, or giving support guns some org would alleviate the issue.

The next is entrenchment. Entrenchment needs to be an option for GBP, but due to game mechanics (responding to breakthroughs) it can't be the only option. I'd prefer to see bonuses being given to infantry and arty units used in favorable terrain. a 5% attack/defense for infantry in forests for example. That would be a lot better than entrenching speed, as nobody would enjoy fighting infinitely super entrenched frenchmen.

Org recovery rate could be affected by mobile divisions. Cav and armored cars might finally find a niche if they improve the recovery rate of a division, even more so if the battalion versions give recon as well (no org loss to support company).

Attacking will likely still have to be left to tanks, but it should be easier to make attacking infantry. Bonus breakthrough and attack to special forces divisions would be one option.

Beyond that, GBP really should have some type of manpower boost. A fully rocket arty attack focused army should be a somewhat viable strategy as GBP, but they would take too many losses. I suggest buffing hospitals with an exclusive tech to field surgeons to return manpower to the pool in the way thats worth it.
 
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Th3master

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I guess I'm confused about what's wrong with the doctrine. It's supposed to be the slow and methodical battle doctrine. It's really good for breaking tiles with planning bonus, but I can see where the issue of mass reinforcement would make that irrelevant. Generals have traits to boost dig in speed and with that you can reasonably reinforce and defend well. I think you're more worried about multiplayer balance which doesn't matter since most of the "competitive" games just use a mod. For casual games you can absolutely use GBP and do well.
 
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Sergeant
May 21, 2018
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I guess I'm confused about what's wrong with the doctrine. It's supposed to be the slow and methodical battle doctrine. It's really good for breaking tiles with planning bonus, but I can see where the issue of mass reinforcement would make that irrelevant. Generals have traits to boost dig in speed and with that you can reasonably reinforce and defend well. I think you're more worried about multiplayer balance which doesn't matter since most of the "competitive" games just use a mod. For casual games you can absolutely use GBP and do well.
Frankly, there's no challenge killing AI especially in paradox games, so I don't think about it much at all.

As for dig in speed, with no techs other than germany's starting techs and GBP's trenchwarfare, you get 12 days to full entrenchment from double guerrilla with the FM having defensive doctrine. With both having ambusher, guerrilla fighter, old guard, and the FM having defensive doctrine, you get ~18 days. The second you move or attack, that's all gone - leaving you with kinda crappy inf.

1626485841658.png



I don't mind that it's a slow and methodical doctrine, I just feel that it relies on planning bonus to attack and entrenchment to defend. Entrenchment alone won't hold a line and planning alone is a tossup to break a player's tile. If anyone's seen GBP used to take provinces/states instead of tiles, that'd be interesting to see :/
 
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DilberDD

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Feb 29, 2020
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I don’t think GBP is deficient compared to the other doctrines atm. It’s perfectly viable for French/British Marine build as well as on Italy for building millions of cheap divisions for defending the Mediterranean. The intent isn’t to have good base stats on GBP, but stack modifiers like entrenchment and planning bonus. If you are concerned about tanks cycling you out of a tile then build your own tanks, GBP isn’t for tank countries and it shouldn’t be effective against holding against tanks.
 
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HugsAndSnuggles

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I don't think entrenchment is a problem with doctrine, rather than entrenchment itself: infantry in plains should have virtually no defence, unless entrenched; not to mention that entrenchment in some terrain (like mountains or desert) is more of a wishful thinking. Having it as a province (instead of division) modifier might have been a better choice.
 
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Sergeant
May 21, 2018
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I don't think entrenchment is a problem with doctrine, rather than entrenchment itself: infantry in plains should have virtually no defence, unless entrenched; not to mention that entrenchment in some terrain (like mountains or desert) is more of a wishful thinking. Having it as a province (instead of division) modifier might have been a better choice.
Not sure what you mean by this. Entrenching is just digging fighting positions and working to make the local terrain help you in a fight. Yeah infantry probably have an easier time digging positions in forests than in plains but you can still do both.

I don’t think GBP is deficient compared to the other doctrines atm. It’s perfectly viable for French/British Marine build as well as on Italy for building millions of cheap divisions for defending the Mediterranean. The intent isn’t to have good base stats on GBP, but stack modifiers like entrenchment and planning bonus. If you are concerned about tanks cycling you out of a tile then build your own tanks, GBP isn’t for tank countries and it shouldn’t be effective against holding against tanks.
I'm not concerned about tank cycling just so much as cycling in general. If all your stats come from entrenchment but the enemy cycles on you, eventually you just lose org. Its not like other doctrines where you can reinforce in and still hold fairly well, that'd ruin entrenchment and thus the stackded modifier.
 
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Jays298

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The greatest issue is that GBP (and maybe Mass Assault to lesser extent) are weaker than Mobile warfare and Superior firepower. And while there are reasons to use those two doctrines, the reasoning for choosing GBP is less clear beside needing defense very early.

Also "planning" is negated by enemy intelligence.

I would think the two side branches of GBP need to be stronger.

Because basically a full on frontal assault is a waste of manpower and the wrong doctrine basically. So maybe they need a way to reduce casualties or more sea/ air / naval invasion focus within the land doctrine.
 
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DilberDD

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The greatest issue is that GBP (and maybe Mass Assault to lesser extent) are weaker than Mobile warfare and Superior firepower. And while there are reasons to use those two doctrines, the reasoning for choosing GBP is less clear beside needing defense very early.

Also "planning" is negated by enemy intelligence.

I would think the two side branches of GBP need to be stronger.

Because basically a full on frontal assault is a waste of manpower and the wrong doctrine basically. So maybe they need a way to reduce casualties or more sea/ air / naval invasion focus within the land doctrine.
I don’t think GBP is weaker, it’s just not suitable for many nations. But if you are a nation that has large pool of manpower, weak economy, and large swaths of territory to defending then your army is mostly going to be 20w crap divisions, in which case GBP will give you better stats than SFP - it’s perfect for Italy whose job is to defend the south front. And on offensive it’s suitable for nations that make small coordinated pushes - great for UK for seizing islands and then making concentrated push up the Italian boot.
I 100% agree with you that spies make offensive GBP completely useless and should be removed from the game or GBP should get a buff that it’s planning bonus can’t be decreased by spies.
 
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Com

Sergeant
May 21, 2018
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The greatest issue is that GBP (and maybe Mass Assault to lesser extent) are weaker than Mobile warfare and Superior firepower. And while there are reasons to use those two doctrines, the reasoning for choosing GBP is less clear beside needing defense very early.

Also "planning" is negated by enemy intelligence.

I would think the two side branches of GBP need to be stronger.

Because basically a full on frontal assault is a waste of manpower and the wrong doctrine basically. So maybe they need a way to reduce casualties or more sea/ air / naval invasion focus within the land doctrine.
Enemey intel networks also reduce entrenchment, though I don't know the max losses to planning and entrenchment.

As for the full frontal assault point, what other doctrine would it be? I know that its not a great idea mechanically even ignoring manpower and equipment losses and trusting the battleplanner AI, but what other doctrine would use that strategy? Mass assault and deep battle may have the names but don't have the buffs. Practically speaking, those doctrines might even do worse because they won't have the same planning cap and that means less breakthrough to avoid bleeding gear.
 
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Sbrubbles

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Enemey intel networks also reduce entrenchment, though I don't know the max losses to planning and entrenchment.
Active spy networks completely wrecks planning bonus (unlike the reduced entrenchment, which is a pathetic 1 less entrenchment, you can lose 100% of your planning bonus to enemy spies), though the coverage of a spy network is often finicky, and you're very restricted where you can place spies.
 
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TheMeInTeam

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Im not really seeing the problem.
IMO the biggest problem with the doctrine isn't the doctrine itself, but that it demands use of controls that don't work and were deliberately made worse since release. If you can pause a lot, you can work around it (with some frustration), or you can take the faster decay penalty that neuters a non-trivial portion of the doctrine's benefit.

Fixing the controls is more important to grand battleplan than doing anything with the doctrine right now.

Entrenchment alone won't hold a line and planning alone is a tossup to break a player's tile.

The more damage your line does and the less it takes, the more assets your opponent needs to org cycle to get a breakthrough in any particular spot. Even if it isn't enough by itself, it does alter the cost proposition and how long pinning attacks last (less time for them, more time for you due to higher breakthrough even on infantry). Superior firepower is the best at this job, but GB is 2nd. On the attack, GB left's tanks will punch harder than alternatives, though they don't sustain as well.

Also, I THINK it still works that a SF nation can give their troops to a GB nation via expeditionary forces, and the latter can apply GB planning bonuses to SF troops? Kind of niche but allows for some bonus stacking.

Active spy networks completely wrecks planning bonus (unlike the reduced entrenchment, which is a pathetic 1 less entrenchment, you can lose 100% of your planning bonus to enemy spies), though the coverage of a spy network is often finicky, and you're very restricted where you can place spies.

Cuts both ways too though. GB boosting entrenchment while removing planning bonus would make it pretty painful to actually break a line. Though spies can get caught.
 
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Jays298

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Enemey intel networks also reduce entrenchment, though I don't know the max losses to planning and entrenchment.

As for the full frontal assault point, what other doctrine would it be? I know that its not a great idea mechanically even ignoring manpower and equipment losses and trusting the battleplanner AI, but what other doctrine would use that strategy? Mass assault and deep battle may have the names but don't have the buffs. Practically speaking, those doctrines might even do worse because they won't have the same planning cap and that means less breakthrough to avoid bleeding gear.
Superior firepower IMO because some countries have the IC to use artillery and lots of support. Also mass assault due to supply / attrition / width buffs and more of an Infantry overwhelming numbers.

I recently did Italy with mass assault and i kinda liked it. With puppets and collaboration governments providing men.

The greatest issue with grand battleplan is espionage like mentioned. I think GBP should be reworked.

If you were only going to be attacking in select areas, then that's basically the war of movement bewegungskrieg and I'd want mobile warfare for the tank and movement bonuses. Plus manpower.
 

pro.gamer.69

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GBP should give planning bonus on naval invasion.
you should get planning bonuses on naval invasions by default and GBP should boost them like all other plans. unfortunately for the time being you have to use field marshal frontlines in order to take advantage of this
 
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GrandVezir

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you should get planning bonuses on naval invasions by default and GBP should boost them like all other plans. unfortunately for the time being you have to use field marshal frontlines in order to take advantage of this
Things I learned from HoI4:

3. D-Day would have gone much better for the Allies, if they had launched it from Belfast to take advantage of the field marshal planning bonus.
 
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Iskulya

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Nah, GBP is pretty terrible unless you're using an exploit so that you can manually control your units while retaining the planning bonus and without suffering from the increased planning decay rate.

The OP neglected to mention the most obvious fix for GBP: revise is so that the player does not have to allow the AI to make attack decisions for them and allow the player to retain full control over when and where attacks happen specifically while still maintaining full planning bonus.

There are a few niche cases where GBP can be good, usually the only one I see cited in a competitive PVP context is in Africa or other geographic niches with a narrow front line contrained by water or impassable barriers.

I'm not sure what a good solution would be. Just making planning bonus something that is 'brainless' and is built up by frontline divisions automatically regardless of whether one is using the awful and barely functional(at best) AI controlled battleplans seems to defeat the point of it being planning bonus, but it would definitely be superior to the situation we have now.

Alternatively, having something like a system where you choose a state or perhaps a set of adjacent states to launch a planned offensive and then have the planning bonus for all divisions in or adjacent to those provinces in the selected region could also work, but this may not also be the best system and may be difficult to implement.

The argument that singleplayer is too easy and everything works against the AI so that GBP shouldn't be changed seems like a piss poor one. In singleplayer, 99% of the time your best option is to use superior firepower. This is really boring and does little to encourage a diversity of play. It's going to be impossible to balance doctrines so that they are all more or less equal, but we can do much better than the incredibly lopsided state of the utility of the doctrines as they stand now.

I'll admit, it's very disappointing that there haven't really been any word about doctrines aside from their manner of research being changed. It certainly doesn't bode well for a change in doctrines themselves. One gets the impression that they would have mentioned changes in this respect by now if they were actually coming. It's rather frustrating that half a decade after the game's release there are still some huge, glaring issues like this. It's puzzling they haven't tweaked peace conferences either given that so much emphasis is given by the developers on minor countries. It's very difficult for minors to take even a single desired state that they have claims on after a lengthy world war unless you've been cheesing the system pretty hard, sometimes.
 
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Diakonen

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you should get planning bonuses on naval invasions by default and GBP should boost them like all other plans. unfortunately for the time being you have to use field marshal frontlines in order to take advantage of this

How does this FM exploit work?
 

Sbrubbles

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How does this FM exploit work?
1) Find a port right on the border with a friend or neutral nation (you can do it with enemy too, if you really really want)
2) Draw a FM line on that border, draw a plan, assign no units to it
3) Make your invasion plans from the port to the enemy tiles. These units must be under the FM, but assigned to the invasion plans and not to the FM line. Because your units will be on the FM border, they will accrue planning bonus anyway.
 
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Sbrubbles

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Nah, GBP is pretty terrible unless you're using an exploit so that you can manually control your units while retaining the planning bonus and without suffering from the increased planning decay rate.
What exploit is this to reduce planning decay rate from manual control?
 
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