Mar 14, 2003
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Mar 14, 2003
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By 2Coats


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Hello & welcome to this my first and likely only AAR for Paradox Development Studio's about to be released - March of the Eagles. So hopefully you will find it a good read. The game is published by Paradox Interactive and continues in the vein of Grand Strategy titles such as: Rome and Sengoku.

The written commentary is based on my current game as one of the major powers - Great Britain. The screenshots contained within are take directly from the game using Steam capture. Gameplay settings are set to default, that is:
  • Scenario – Standard Grand Campaign 1805 – 1820.
  • Difficulty – Normal.
  • AI Aggression – Normal.
The purpose of this particular After Action Report is to provide a fair account of gameplay with coverage across as many important aspect of the game as possible. That together with some explanation of some of the important factors modeled in the game. My hope is that you will receive a fair representation of the gameplay that March of the Eagles provides, at least from the perspective of one of the Major Powers in the game.

Feel free to post whenever you have a comment, view or a question you wish answered. I shall do my best to provide you with the correct answer, and hopefully if I should go wrong a member of the development team with jump in and correct me if necessary!

Below I will post a list of direct links to the updates. There are twelve planned with perhaps a few more, shorter ones here or there if time allows and necessity dictates.



And so without further ado, lets begin our journey of conquest or rather dominance – FOR GOD, KING AND COUNTRY.


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Last edited:
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The year is 1805. A dark shroud covers Europe casting a belligerent shadow over its future and that of its peoples. As the winds of war prepare to blow across the continent eight major powers and a number of minor states vie for greater control and influence over the course of the next fifteen or so years. Each major power has one goal and one goal only - to simply to seize control of and hold - twenty specific strategic locations. These vitally important land and naval provinces that are different for every major power.

The two greatest powers of the moment – Great Britain and France hold dominance on land and at sea. France with her unrivalled land army and Great Britain with her unparalleled naval fleet must look to form coalitions and persuade these other nations to join their struggle. An alliance with the rest of these European states will add additional brigades and squadrons to the ranks of one side or the other. Which could make the difference in the end game of forthcoming struggle.

They must be wary though as only the two most powerful nations can form coalitions and gain allies (for the most part). If at any stage a rival power manages to supersede either state in the dominance ranking on land or at sea, then that power will be able to form a coalition in their stead. Now lets look at where we start.

moteaar00004.jpg

Great Britain stands alone. Outnumbered and outgunned destiny seems to have abandoned its cause. Its domain consists of the home isles and the strategic territories of Gibraltar, near to southern Spain and the island of Malta, (modern day Malta). Only its mighty navy stands been it and conquest by the superior French army.

moteaar00005.jpg


With this force her greatest enemy - France led by the military genius of Napoleon Bonaparte, has conquered a large slice of the European continent with ease. By bringing up the Diplomacy window we can take a closer look at any nation, including our own and the current state of diplomatic affairs between nations. This is very important in terms of planning what to do next in order to achieve victory. For now lets just size up our main rival.

The Netherlands, Italy, Tuscany, the Papacy and Switzerland are all conquered satellite states under her influence. These countries send her part of their income as tribute and ready to provide expeditionary forces if a request for more troops or squadrons is made. In addition the fading major power of Spain has reignited its desire to reacquire some of its global standing by joining France's coalition. Though it has yet to join the enemy's war-effort. So as we can see we are already at a disadvantage.

moteaar00006.jpg


For those of you that are new to Paradox Grand Strategy games a new two-tier hint system has been created in addition to a set of tutorials, to help players understand the concepts behind the game. These Hint windows can be accessed through the exclamation marks (!) and questions marks (?) dotted around the interface – as can be seen below.

If you are having trouble comprehending any part of the game, you should consider enabling these and reading through them at your leisure. For this AAR however I will not be discussing them at all. They can be turned on or off through the game settings panel at any time during your game.

In addition several other assets will become available during the next few weeks, so make sure you look out for them.

moteaar00007.jpg


Now lets get up to speed on Great Britain and her capabilities. Bringing up the Overview window shows the current ruler and government regime in place. These two game aspects wont change so much during the game yet they are important in that they provide a multitude of effects to various factors and ratings. What they provide can be checked by hovering the mouse over the name or portrait in question. Some are bad (red), some are good (green).

As we can see that having a Constitutional Monarchy provides George the Third plenty of bonuses versus only a few penalties. Which we will need as King George himself is not the best person to augment the administrative or diplomatic aspects of the game. At least though he add a better than average boost to the military aspects under our command. (We shall have a closer look at these later if we get the time.) We can see a list of the strategic locations which contribute to attaining Dominance.

moteaar00008.jpg

With this in mind we go to the Victory Conditions window to check our nations or our enemies proximity is to achieving victory. We can also get a low-down of individual strategic locations required to achieve this victory and in case of a tie which nation holds the highest amount of Prestige points. Prestige score is used to determine the victor where no single nation achieves total Dominance before the end of 1820.

moteaar00009.jpg


We can tell from this screen that France is slightly ahead of us in terms of achieving an outright victory, that while we our France's closest rival on land, we have achieving nothing in terms of catching them up. That Russia is our closest rival for naval Dominance. We are ahead of other nations in terms of accumulating Prestige.

Furthermore we can see that from the flags of those nations in control of our required locations we will most likely have to fight France at some point, the Ottoman Empire and maybe some potential coalition partners, such as: Portugal, Sicily and Prussia. Though not all at the same time. When opportunity dictates we can attempt to manufacture small limited conflicts to wrestle what we need from these lesser powers.

As we can see below, if we scroll down we can see the remaining naval dominance provinces. Only four remain out of control. Though it is unlikely we will need to control these, we can try to take those two held by France, or one of the others held by Russia and Ottoman Empire - in case we lose control of those we currently hold.

moteaar00010.jpg

Now it is time to renew old rivalries. The fate of Europe rest solely in our hands... and the hands of those we can convince to fight on our side. Let's see if we will be able to stop the March of the Eagles.

If you have any comments and questions please post them below... :)
 
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alex0809

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Very nice! Could you maybe give some details on
- how to improve your combat performance: how much influence has terrain, leaders, specific unit types - can you win with a small but well-led army in advantageous terrain against a far larger army?
- does the game more or less follow history or does the AI decide which country is most advantageous to attack without any influence of what actually happened at all?
 

Walker85

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Gameplay settings are set to default, that is:
  • Scenario – Standard Grand Campaign 1805 – 1820.

IIRC that's the only available start date, am I right?
 

Walker85

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Yes that is currently the only start date and with us being this close to release I cannot see us adding another.

Of course I understand that. Altough I would certenly buy a dlc with some new start points. I imagine 1809 (War of the Fifth Coalition) or 24.06.1812 (for obvious reasons :) ) would be very fun scenarios :) Anyway, can't wait to preorder this game :)
 

Walker85

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Prestige score is used to determine the victor where no single nation achieves total Dominance before the end of 1815.

One more question: why is victor determined at the end of 1815? Isn't the 1820 the end date?

EDIT

Well that will be decided after release.

Ah, there is some hope :)
 

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Oooh, this AAR might turn out to be a lot less sucky than mine. Look at the art direction!
 

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Is there any reason this will be your "only" AAR of March of The Eagles? Did you not like it or do you just plan on playing other games? From what I've seen this should have a lot of replay value.
 
Mar 14, 2003
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Very nice! Could you maybe give some details on
- how to improve your combat performance: how much influence has terrain, leaders, specific unit types - can you win with a small but well-led army in advantageous terrain against a far larger army?
- does the game more or less follow history or does the AI decide which country is most advantageous to attack without any influence of what actually happened at all?

  • I will definitely try to fit in every request made, but some of it will depend on the circumstances of the game.
  • I hope the one after this next one provides some information on terrain, but I will expand on it later I hope.
  • I believe it follows history to a point, at least from the game start. Some situations will be replicated mostly due to starting factors and to some degree the way the AI is setup, but Ive played a few games as the same nation and things can be altered alot. Its mainly due to the player in SP. In MP.... well thats a different kettle of fish!
oh nice to get the data on government.
How are the other governments given to the other powers, and can you actually switch?

  • From what Ive seen these are determined in the initial scenario setup. Ive not experienced any government changes, but to be fair I doubt many changes took place in the time period of the game. So dramatic changes ever couple of years would probably be out of place here. However I may stand corrected by other posters!
IIRC that's the only available start date, am I right?

Yes that is currently the only start date and with us being this close to release I cannot see us adding another.

  • To be fair the game screams "ideal" sandbox. Basically you dont really need many starting scenario as the replay value is more down to playing different nations and seeing where you can take them.
Of course I understand that. Altough I would certenly buy a dlc with some new start points. I imagine 1809 (War of the Fifth Coalition) or 24.06.1812 (for obvious reasons :) ) would be very fun scenarios :) Anyway, can't wait to preorder this game :)
  • That would be cool... though I guess alot would depend on the differences between setup in 1805 and those dates. Its not entirely improbable that the game shape of games would be alot more different and therefore a welcome addition. Id certainly look at playing through different setups!
Awesome :)
Looking forward to this game.
  • Me too!
One more question: why is victor determined at the end of 1815? Isn't the 1820 the end date?
EDIT Ah, there is some hope :)

  • Good spot. Sorted. Changed it to 1820, game end-date. :)
Oooh, this AAR might turn out to be a lot less sucky than mine. Look at the art direction!

  • Well I hope so... er that is I hope the action is as fun as some of my previous games! :D
  • And Im sure your AAR wasnt that bad!
  • The art though was created by Paradox artists so ALL credit to them.... I simply just tried to infuse the spirit of their passion into this humble offering!
Huzzah I shall be keeping an eye on this one.

  • Then I better keep up with the posts! :)
Is there any reason this will be your "only" AAR of March of The Eagles? Did you not like it or do you just plan on playing other games? From what I've seen this should have a lot of replay value.
  • Only one... time... or a lack of it. Pretty much like all the other AARs Ive written... time always defeats me in the end! ;)
Alert - Update due shortly....

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
- Napoleon Bonaparte
 
Mar 14, 2003
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January

The first month of the year sees a lot of naval and some diplomatic action. France automatic calls her satellite states to war. Her other coalition member – Spain, almost immediately heeds her call to war. We are guaranteeing the independence of Portugal as a check to ensure that Spain knows that if she tries to grab its territory, it shall have us to answer to.

There are four main resources (or assets) that we will use to conduct operations. These are are shown on the top left toolbar – showing the current value and in brackets +/- monthly gain:
  • Ducats 301 (+64 / month)
  • Prestige 500 (-/+0)
  • Manpower 62k (+4.8k / m)
  • Diplomats 4 (2.25 / m)
Obviously the more ducats we can gain the more military operations we can fund. The higher manpower, the larger the number of armies we can raise and maintain their losses. More diplomats means more options to manipulate the state of affairs between our nation and others or France and others.

Furthermore we must also manage an anti-resource which will affect our country's ability to operate. This is War Exhaustion which is stands at:
  • War Exhaustion 0.66 (- 0.14 / m)
While the higher the war-exhaustion, the more crippled aspects of our nation will become. This includes the:
  • speed we are able to reinforce our armies,
  • generate income,
  • base morale and
  • the higher the base revolt risk across our domain.
Next I turn my attention to the alerts. We can see four alerts currently. The left most shows that we are at war. Highlighting the icon will show who we are at war with. The next one over shows us we have leaders unassigned to any military formation. The second from the right demonstrates that we have enough Idea Points to choose a new area of knowledge. Highlighting the 'light-bulb' icon shows we which ones are available.

moteaar00012.jpg


Given the current situation we should consider adopting one of the following:
  • Naval Movement – Implement Repair at Sea to allow our squadrons to repair at sea.
  • Economic – Implement National Banking System to decrease interest on any loans we may take out.
  • Production – Implement Naval Dockyards to increase the global repair speed of naval units.
  • Command – Implement Diplomatic Corps to increase our ability to generate diplomats per month.
  • National (British) – Implement Press Gangs to decrease naval maintenance and increase naval unit travel range.
All but National Ideas area available to every other nation in the game. National ideas though are only available to the eight major powers, each country possessing a set of unique ideas.

For now our priority is to go on the offensive on the diplomatic front so lets choose to implement Diplomatic Corps. The navy is obviously on a level footing and we will look at those areas before deciding on any other idea categories. Though we won't have the dilemma of choosing until we accumulate another two hundred idea points.

moteaar00016.jpg


First order of the day is to reassign the transport squadrons in our naval fleets to the ports in London ready for when they are needed. Both groups of naval fleets jockey for position in the English channel. Trying to engage their rivals with superior numbers. A French fleet moves northward around the western coastline and begins to block several of our ports.

The Mediterranean Fleet commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson currently anchored north-west of French held Corsica is returned by to the coast off Gibraltar. There it will be either serve as to guard the approaches and keep the enemy fleets at bay or as an escape vessel for the army stationed there. If the unthinkable should happen.


Monthly highlights:

1 January
General William Beresford is assigned command of Malta Force (army). Both it and its sister force in Gibraltar are given the order to Retreat into Fortress if attacked, through the Operational toolbar.

5 January
The Portsmouth Fleet commanded by Sir Edward Gardner is joined by the eight ships of the Medway fleet. They fight against a total of twenty ships of the French enemy force in the Cap de la Hague, off the French coast.
Result: GB victory
Losses: French - 3x Ships of the Line; GB - 1x Ship of the Line.


moteaar00017.jpg


9 January
Given the fourth alert informs us that we are able to create a coalition, we make diplomatic efforts to reach out to a number of nations whose relation score is high. These efforts that were made a few days earlier bear fruition as Brunswick, Portugal and Sicily join our coalition.

Austria and Prussia cannot be approaches as they are also friendly with France. We must look to sabotage their relationships if we are to attempt to gain their alliance. Russia could also join but her lack of proximity will most likely relegate her to a naval offensive role.

moteaar00018.jpg


10 January
The Mediterranean Fleet intercepts a small Spanish fleet east of Valencia. Its eight First -rate ships of the line and four frigates are no match for the forty fighting vessels under the command of Admiral Nelson. As a result he gains the Fighter trait (+ naval attack, - naval defence)
Result: GB victory
Losses: Spain - 7x Ships of the Line & 1x Frigate; GB - None.

15 January
A Dutch fleet raids the south-east coast blockading the ports of London, Colchester and Chatham. Lord Keith takes the Channel fleets The brief contest twenty-four ships of the line and twelve frigates and defeats the smaller fleet without any casualties.
Result: GB victory
Losses: Netherlands - 6x Ships of the Line & 1x Frigate; GB - None.

16 January
Sir Edward Gardner takes his Portsmouth fleet and chases the fleeing enemy fleet catching them off the coast of St. Malo. The resulting engagement sees the French force lose half its complement.
Result: GB victory
Losses: French - 3x Ships of the Line & 1x Frigate; GB - None.


17 January
Spain guarantees Moroccan independence.

moteaar00019.jpg


24 January
Admiral Nelson's Mediterranean fleet arrives in the Strait of Gibraltar to ensure its protection from seaborne attack.

The Medway Fleet under the command of Sir John Duckworth meets a superior French force in the Baie the Somme. Its eight ships of the line and eight frigates defeat the enemy sixteen ships of the line.
Result: GB victory
Losses: French - 3x Ships of the Line & 1x Frigate; GB - None.

27 January
The Channel Fleet stationed off of the south-east coast finally meets up with the French fleet which cir-cum-navigated the British Isles. Though Lord Keith's thirty six ships greatly outnumber the French navy's, they receive their first casualties.
Result: GB victory
Losses: French - 10x Ships of the Line; GB - 2x Ships of the Line.

February

A new month arrives giving us more of the same and a few new situations to deal with.

On the diplomatic front we use half of my diplomats to sabotage France's relation with Prussia and Austria. Bringing both down to zero. We have a small dilemma now, do we reach out to Russia and include her in our coalition? Or do we keep our remaining diplomats to attempt to persuade the somewhat fickle Prussians and Austrians to join our cause? I choose the later. Lets see how this pans out later in the month.

moteaar00023.jpg

Unfortunately it seems as though Denmark has joined France's coalition, but as yet not declared war on us.

In terms of military forces we assess the number of army formations we currently have in the field. A large portion of the army is a static one; garrisons of coastal artillery and militia, cheap and quick to build. However they take up a huge amount of manpower which could be used to train an elite force for combat overseas.

Therefore we sanction the reorganisation of British garrisons as follows:
  • Ireland: Cork, Limerick, Belfast are disbanded – leaving only the garrison in Dublin.
  • Scotland: Inverness, Inverness are disbanded – leaving only the garrison in Edinburgh – for Glasgow, as it does not have a fort.
  • Wales: None - the Bristol garrison is sent to amalgamate with the one in Cardiff to protect this vital province.
  • England: Carlisle, Hull, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Leicester, Birmingham, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Colchester, Yarmouth, Norwich are disbanded – leaving only garrisons in London, Newcastle, Chatham and Dover.
  • Overseas: Gibraltar and Malta retain their original garrisons.
Manpower is boosted: from – 62k, to – 153k.

Another area of concern is the economy. It is just not producing enough ducats for us to be able to afford the recruitment of new brigades or squadrons, nor allow us to provide enough war subsides to support coalition partners.

moteaar00025.jpg

So we look to increase this capability by increasing the Province Development in a few areas that are under-performing. Selecting the Economic mapmode gives us a good indication of the provinces producing most income: Green is most, yellow, red and then green. After scanning our provinces the best candidate seems to be Dublin. All others provinces in the realm seem to already be at their maximum development level – Civilized. Yet we have a problem. We do not possess enough ducats in our treasury.

moteaar00024.jpg


So we grab a loan through the Budget window. We receive a loan of 1134 ducats giving us a treasury total of 1481.

A thousand ducats will be enough for now to fund the upgrade of Dublin's development level to Civilized (highest). It will also allow us to build a few more ship of the line squadrons. To reinforce our current fleet. So we go to Portsmouth and Yarmouth and through the Province window order one new first rate ship of the line squadron from each province.

moteaar00026.jpg


They will be ready around November time, so we will still need to our fleet intact if we are to avoid an impromptu invasion by the French army.

In additional some twelve months from now, we shall have an increased income from Dublin. Though in terms of an immediate increase in income, the amount of army maintenance will drop due to the decommissioning of those army garrisons.


Monthly highlights:

1 February
A Spanish army of 20,000 troops arrives in Gibraltar. Our force of 14k troops retreats into the fortress to join the local garrison. Together with our fleet patrolling the coastline, it will be safe from any attempted siege.

5 February
The Irish Fleet returns safely to port in Falmouth, just as the Channel fleet reaches the French coast off of Brest and is immediately sent to tackle the Dutch fleet attempting to sail home.

6 February
It seems that Spain really desires possession of Gibraltar. It sends a large naval force of 28 ships of the line and 8 frigates against Admiral Nelsons 32 ship of the line, 8 frigates and 8 transports. The battle lasts a few days and ends today with another resolute British victory.
Result: GB victory
Losses: French - 10x Ships of the Line & 1x Frigates; GB - 2x Transports.


7 February
Now that it looks like we are winning the battle for naval supremacy, it is time to set nearly all the home navy fleets to actively intercept any enemy fleets that stray from their home ports. This is done using the Operational Toolbar, using the Intercept order. Only the large Transport Fleet anchored in London and the Home Fleet blockading the large French Invasion fleet are not given this order.

moteaar00031.jpg


8 February
Transports from the Mediterranean Fleet are sent to port. One of the squadrons requiring repairs to two ships to return it back to full strength.

14 February
A battle in the Baie of Somme is won by a force commanded by Admiral Sir Robert Calder who led his 32 ships against a French force has his size. Admiral Sir John Duckworth gained a trait as a result of his victory.
Result: GB victory
Losses: French - 5x Ships of the Line & 2x Frigates; GB - 5x Ships of the Line.

20 February
A small Spanish fleet is spotted off coast of Malta. Without a naval force to repel it this could mean trouble for the garrison and small force stationed there.

27 February
It appears that Austria and Prussia cannot be invited to coalition. Their relations to us are to low and must be increased first. So we shall focus diplomatic actions on doing so, first for Austria (55 relation). We hold off from attempting to do so to Prussia (100 relation) and instead invite Russia into the Coalition. Next month we shall work to influence both parties.

Apart from rearranging our fleets across the channel so that they are more evenly spaced along the coast, the other other movement is to return the Irish fleet with two additional frigate squadrons from the Channel Fleet, back to Dublin.

In terms of ongoing wars there are two other than the conflict between France and ourselves:
  • Ottoman Empire with its satellites, fight against Austria and Egypt.
  • Russian and Persia are also locked in conflict.
moteaar00034.jpg

Over the next few months we should continue to go on the offensive diplomatically and perhaps also in a limited capacity on land.
 
Last edited:

Svip

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  • Well I hope so... er that is I hope the action is as fun as some of my previous games! :D
  • And Im sure your AAR wasnt that bad!
  • The art though was created by Paradox artists so ALL credit to them.... I simply just tried to infuse the spirit of their passion into this humble offering!

Oh, surely you've seen my March of the Eagles AAR.