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HFaber

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Hello everyone,

I'm a HoI3 enthusiast and decided to stream game play. You can find my newest content (GER, FTH normal, HPP Hard AI) in this Youtube playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLj2z2c5q-u0K2XEpS47plRJvnyBCM_00X

For live streams follow me on
I focus on the HPP mod - the newest patch 3.3.3 (d) just came out - and I try to be informative and detailed. So if you want to check out FTH & HPP, that's the place. I don't excessively min/max and I'm interested in realistic, plausible gameplay, but I'm also not a WW2 animator. I want to be strategically creative and go off the rails here and there. I make mistakes and get myself into trouble often and try not to get too salty :mad:;). Sometimes I can shine with some historical / military knowledge and I always appreciate friendly chatter with other HoI3 / strategy / history enthusiasts.

Take care everyone!

Edit: This is a repost from the main forum, as it was correctly suggested I should announce my stream here.
 

HFaber

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Part 3


7.7.1939 - 31.12.1939

Final diplomacy before starting the war in Europe, Attack on Poland, a blunder in the West leads to an extended French Saarland Offensive which causes some issues for Germany, Fall of Poland and re-establishing La Drole de Guerre, begin of the War in the Atlantic
 

Wraith11B

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I'm subbing in, but can't start watching yet.
 

HFaber

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I'm subbing in, but can't start watching yet.
Absolutely no worries.

As I said to another viewer on here, I don't blame anyone for skipping ahead or playing at two time speed. I do this because I love this game and I welcome anyone who wants to come along for parts or all of it. Streaming allows me to create more content per hour than if I have to edit captured game play. The downside is that passages where not everything is crazy interesting are also in the video. That said I try to keep it entertaining through out.

In the future I will add a pinned comment with time stamps for important events for those who value their time more than I do ;).

It goes without saying that I appreciate all feed back - be it artistic or game play related - very much.

Welcome aboard!
 

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So far I'm up to about July 1936.

I noticed that you were investing in influencing by diplomacy, which is something I've not investigated at all yet. My overall impression is that it's too expensive for what it achieves and countries will inevitably drift towards the corner dictated by their ideology. I allow the AI use the feature, but only if it's got surplus diplomacy points. I find it does stupid things - when I'm observing as Nicaragua (and not worthy of any faction's interest) I've often been influenced by all three Axis majors. Also, I see Germany influencing the HPP housekeeping country, which is rather amusing. :) What's your experience?

Interesting that you're using the trade AI. You've actually given it quite a challenge by demanding higher stockpiles of metal, rares and oil, and I see it's running down your cash reserves to try to do that. It appears that it's mostly buying rares and oil, and that's probably because the German AI has strong incentives to do that anyway. With that in mind, I'm not surprised that metal is further down the AI's list of priorities. You're allowing it to sell energy, supplies and fuel? At the moment it's managing to sell a lot of energy, but of course energy is plentiful and cheap. I think over the course of the next few years it will become harder to sell it. The opposite is true with supplies. I'm expecting you to do better over time because some countries will become richer and more willing to buy. Fuel may be difficult as countries will be refining oil and won't be burning their fuel during peacetime. It's also expensive, so they'll probably prefer to buy oil. The Sino-Japanese war should help you sell supplies and fuel - but we'll see how you go when you've got to power all that extra industry!
 

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So far I'm up to about July 1936.

I noticed that you were investing in influencing by diplomacy, which is something I've not investigated at all yet. My overall impression is that it's too expensive for what it achieves and countries will inevitably drift towards the corner dictated by their ideology. I allow the AI use the feature, but only if it's got surplus diplomacy points. I find it does stupid things - when I'm observing as Nicaragua (and not worthy of any faction's interest) I've often been influenced by all three Axis majors. Also, I see Germany influencing the HPP housekeeping country, which is rather amusing. :) What's your experience?
Yeah... so first of all I don't min/max like crazy, which is to say I don't min max at all. I don't play this competitively. I use HoI3 as an (alternative) history simulator / story generator. So clearly there is plenty of optimization possible. I agree influencing ins't very effective, all though I was able to slow down or reverse some countries drift. Whether that was ultimately necessary to prevent them from joining a faction is doubtful. Also, as a country large enough to influence countries, with some effort you can simply invade them and use the leadership for research or spies. I think that's a very good reason to make diplomacy and politics much more relevant than they are now. I believe there is a lot of complexity and immersion to be unearthed in this mechanic.

Interesting that you're using the trade AI.
I use it ever since I discovered it and it works very satisfactorily 90% of the time. I think it's one of the handful of killer features of HPP.

You've actually given it quite a challenge by demanding higher stockpiles of metal, rares and oil, and I see it's running down your cash reserves to try to do that.
This time around it wasn't doing a very good job, as you will see later on. I wanted much more of everything. I think GER drove up prices all around the world, as you state later correctly I'm massively expanding my industrial capacity and I got very greedy. So it was actually me spending all the money because I intervened and set up my own trade deals. MORE MORE MORE of EVERYTHING!

It appears that it's mostly buying rares and oil, and that's probably because the German AI has strong incentives to do that anyway.
I didn't know that countries have their predefined trading strategies / goals.

With that in mind, I'm not surprised that metal is further down the AI's list of priorities.
I noticed that :D

You're allowing it to sell energy, supplies and fuel?
Yes, the idea being selling these will counterfinance the purchase of raw materials

At the moment it's managing to sell a lot of energy, but of course energy is plentiful and cheap. I think over the course of the next few years it will become harder to sell it. The opposite is true with supplies. I'm expecting you to do better over time because some countries will become richer and more willing to buy. Fuel may be difficult as countries will be refining oil and won't be burning their fuel during peacetime. It's also expensive, so they'll probably prefer to buy oil.
Interesting remarks, I haven't considered the demand / price mechanics in that depth ever, partly due to having doubts about them being implemented properly. Do you have more information on that subject?

The Sino-Japanese war should help you sell supplies and fuel - but we'll see how you go when you've got to power all that extra industry!
At that time I worried about that too. I've never expanded my industry so aggressively from the get go, so that's a first for me too.
 

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I use it ever since I discovered it and it works very satisfactorily 90% of the time. I think it's one of the handful of killer features of HPP.
It was without doubt the toughest challenge I've confronted scripting the AI but the results are well worth it.

I think GER drove up prices all around the world, as you state later correctly I'm massively expanding my industrial capacity and I got very greedy. So it was actually me spending all the money because I intervened and set up my own trade deals. MORE MORE MORE of EVERYTHING!
It would be nice if global trade did affect prices, but big countries buying up loads of resources will still affect the world market by eating up everything there is.

An excerpt from the diary of the German trade minister:

"The Führer wants to stockpile insane amounts of rare materials and crude oil! He also wants more steel, but we're running short of money and there's only so much coal and military supplies I can sell on the world market. The metal situation is acceptable enough for the moment. It has to be, because he's demanding these crazy amounts of rares and oil. Of course, he disagrees with me. The way he raged at me yesterday I thought he was about to fire me, or worse! And he's been interfering again! He took great delight in telling me how he'd signed new deals himself to import American steel. I will have to go along with these for now, of course. If things get really desperate I will just have to cancel them in a few months' time. Hopefully by then he will have forgotten about them. So now I've got even less money and I still have to get hold of those other things he wants. Did I mention the insane amounts of rares and oil?"


I didn't know that countries have their predefined trading strategies / goals.
Yes, for Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom, and possibly one or two more. Most often I'm checking on the majors but if I see a country with a particular resource problem I can try to remedy it by adjusting their trade priorities.

Interesting remarks, I haven't considered the demand / price mechanics in that depth ever, partly due to having doubts about them being implemented properly. Do you have more information on that subject?
Well, each resource has a base price. As each unit of IC uses 2 energy, 1 metal and 0.5 rares, that sets the ratio for the pricing of the industrial raw materials. Of those, energy seems the most abundant. I remember struggling to get hold of metal in one or two of the multiplayer games, but it's obviously going to be worse when you've got a bunch of humans trying to grab everything!

As everyone can manufacture supplies, nobody actually needs to purchase them. If an AI country has enough money and can get hold of everything else it needs, then it may choose to buy supplies to save spending IC. Otherwise if it's short of money (typically because it needs more resources) then selling supplies for cash becomes attractive. If there are too many demands on its IC (reinforcements, upgrades, supplies, production, etc.) then buying supplies will help alleviate its difficulties.

The AI understands that oil and fuel are effectively the same thing. If it needs fuel it will try to buy it, but oil purchases will also become more attractive because any economy can refine oil into fuel. Oil is also cheaper. One fascinating aspect of AI behaviour that follows naturally from the way this is all set up, is that some neutral countries can position themselves as middle-men, buying crude oil because they can convoy it safely as neutrals, refining it, and selling it on for a profit to belligerents who can't do this for themselves.

And of course war consumes supplies and fuel and so can only increase countries' appetites for both!
 
Last edited:

SSmith

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I'm curious what experiences have you had with tech stealing? I have really no idea whether that feature is balanced or not? I noticed at the end of 1936 that you got something from France, but was it in fact a tech you already had? If so, that's a problem. In principle, I had always thought of this more as a useful tool for lesser powers to try to get research secrets from the majors.

Another thing I noticed was that you weren't getting alerts when you lost spies. I always think that's a useful message alert to set up, especially when playing the espionage game. Unfortunately you can't really afford to leave spies working without paying attention to them any more. The AI is scripted to react to hostile espionage activities and does so quite effectively.
 

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It was without doubt the toughest challenge I've confronted scripting the AI but the results are well worth it.
Absolutely brilliant work!

An excerpt from the diary of the German trade minister:

"The Führer wants to stockpile insane amounts of rare materials and crude oil! He also wants more steel, but we're running short of money and there's only so much coal and military supplies I can sell on the world market. The metal situation is acceptable enough for the moment. It has to be, because he's demanding these crazy amounts of rares and oil. Of course, he disagrees with me. The way he raged at me yesterday I thought he was about to fire me, or worse! And he's been interfering again! He took great delight in telling me how he'd signed new deals himself to import American steel. I will have to go along with these for now, of course. If things get really desperate I will just have to cancel them in a few months' time. Hopefully by then he will have forgotten about them. So now I've got even less money and I still have to get hold of those other things he wants. Did I mention the insane amounts of rares and oil?"
Many years after the war in the trade minister's memoirs the following lines could be read:

The top leadership's interference started to become very disquieting. Already at the time it was clear that he had very little patience and even less moral qualms about ensuring by pretty much any mean absolute loyalty. Our slightly psychopathic chief of government meddled in the trade ministerial work, over my head and without ever consulting me, especially in regards to the steel trade. Before long also my senior officials and trade envoys questioned my authority, which worsened my situation. They started by-passing me and talking to Reichskanzlei staff directly. Those sycophants and power hungry lackeys became impossible to control. Luckily I was able to transfer some of the worst offenders to different ministries.

I also believe some of my misery was caused by the scheming Americans. They didn't like my tough negotiating style and that I was overly critical of the conductor of their band when they invited me to the German-American trade chambers Christmas dinner. I believe they purposely claimed to not have any steel when I was talking to them, only to throw every last lorry of iron ore at every other German who ever came near them.

I considered several options. One was trying to open a back channel, I was looking to befriend someone who had more influence on our head of government, however they were almost all ruthless ideologues and had no sympathy for someone like me with a membership number of above 100,000. I didn't pursue that very far. I considered asking for a private appointment with the Führer and explain to him how his interference was making my work very hard, but dropped the idea when I remembered how the careers of other ministers ended, when they started to be seen as weak or skeptical of the Führers decisions.

In the end I was in a terrible spot and no good options were available. I had no choice but to keep telegraphing and writing to almost every nation's trade ministry and I was having work breakfasts, lunches, teas and dinners every day of the week with every diplomat in Berlin I could possibly get my hands on. That did result in a lot of deals, but my stomach reacted with gastritis and the deals that were coming through still weren't enough. To make matters worse, whenever the Führer had an american guest over they agreed to ready another 25,000 tonnes of steel per month for shipping in New York, Philadelphia or Savannah. Of course every time I had to endure the humiliation of being called a 'poor, possibly the worst, negotiator' in front of the cabinet the next day. To this day I maintain that both greed and vindictiveness are the trademark of american top level bureaucrats. This has been the case before the war, and it very likely is still the case.

However poor the work relationship between me and the Reichskanzlei was, of course we still absolutely needed these grotesque amounts of raw materials and I was determined to make our industrial policy a success. Our industrial output was about to double in less than three years. The tireless work of the German merchant marine, of the Reichsbahn, the industrial chambers of Germany and all the Reichsgaue has to be admired. If only all this hard work and brilliant minds had been put to a more noble purpose than what it actually was, imagine where Germany could be today.
 

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Very nice. :)

I have to say it does appear that the American door is always open to the Führer, so I surmise that the problem (with metal) is the result of (1) my setting inflated targets for German rares/oil in the base script, (2) your action as a player in raising those targets still further and (3) that the AI is running down its money more than it's comfortable with and so thinks of the metal as a luxury it can't afford right now. If it has say 50% of the metal stockpile it wants, but only 25% of the rares and oil, then it's probably not overly concerned about the metal. If the gap closes, it should become more interested in buying metal.
 

HFaber

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I'm curious what experiences have you had with tech stealing? I have really no idea whether that feature is balanced or not? I noticed at the end of 1936 that you got something from France, but was it in fact a tech you already had? If so, that's a problem. In principle, I had always thought of this more as a useful tool for lesser powers to try to get research secrets from the majors.
I try to steal technology when my spies don't have anything better to do and when the target country has something to offer. It isn't very effective but I wouldn't necessarily call it imbalanced. The problem is, with this low a chance of success it isn't really worth it. In the USSR campaign before this one my puppets managed to steal a technology on two different occasions.

Another thing I noticed was that you weren't getting alerts when you lost spies. I always think that's a useful message alert to set up, especially when playing the espionage game. Unfortunately you can't really afford to leave spies working without paying attention to them any more. The AI is scripted to react to hostile espionage activities and does so quite effectively.
True. I will set up that message.
 

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Having watched up to the end of 1937, I noticed that the numbers for imported metal seemed constant. What I think that means is that although the trade minister didn't consider buying metal his immediate priority, he didn't think it totally crazy either. If he thought it was a dumb move he would certainly have cancelled those trades without a care for how the Führer might react - if only I could actually teach the minister to be afraid of the player when he's working under a totalitarian system... ;)
 

HFaber

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Having watched up to the end of 1937, I noticed that the numbers for imported metal seemed constant. What I think that means is that although the trade minister didn't consider buying metal his immediate priority, he didn't think it totally crazy either. If he thought it was a dumb move he would certainly have cancelled those trades without a care for how the Führer might react - if only I could actually teach the minister to be afraid of the player when he's working under a totalitarian system... ;)
Interesting. I have never noticed the AI cancelling any of my trades. I suppose that means I'm a reasonable person in that I never make trades that contradict the instructions I give to the trade AI.
 

SSmith

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Interesting. I have never noticed the AI cancelling any of my trades. I suppose that means I'm a reasonable person in that I never make trades that contradict the instructions I give to the trade AI.
You get messages when another country cancels one of your trades but I'm not sure that happens when your own AI does? When the AI is considering whether any trades need cancelling it loops through all its existing trades and there's nothing to tell it a particular trade was placed by the player, so it should work as I said. The only way it wouldn't is if for some reason the AI was unable to 'see' your trade - I would consider that a Paradox bug if that's the case. I know I'm following this story retrospectively, but a way to test the function would be to place a trade to purchase one point of energy. As the AI has strong incentives to sell energy and is doing so in large quantities, that's the kind of deal it should definitely cancel.
 

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Parts 5 & 6


We cover the period from 23.02.1940 - 17.03.1940. Complete revision of the plans for the spring offensive against France SCHNECKE. Finalization of force deployment, particularly for all planned offensives SCHNECKE I & II (NED, BEL), SCHLANGE (DEN) and ANTILOPE (NOR)


This part covers the period from 17.03.1940 - 21.04.1940. SCHNECKE I & II and SCHLANGE are triggered simultaneously on 26.03.1940, and after a quick success with SCHLANGE also ANTILOPE is launched at the beginning of April. SCHNECKE I stalls in the second half of April, causing severe operational problems, which we will have to address urgently.

ANTILOPE
turns out to be a very mixed bag with astonishing successes on the high seas but severe problems in securing the actual objectives.

  • 1. Skagerak-Schlacht, various troop transports part of ANTILOPE landings are being engaged by Dutch and Norwegian combined surface fleets and Dutch submarines on 4./5. 04.1940. Only the German Baltic Fleet moving in at flank speed can prevent the worst.
  • 1. Schlacht in der Nordsee (Devils' Hole) also on 4./5. 04.1940
  • 2. Skagerak-Schlacht 09.04.1940

Around 2100 h on 05.04.1940 the British battleships Royal Oak and Malaya, supported by the light cruisers Colombo and Jean de Vienne (FRA) engage the Baltic Fleet (light cruisers Königsberg and Karlsruhe and 1.,2. and 3. destroyer flottillas) in a night battle where neither side manages to inflict serious damage, except for the German screens, who manage to sink an unknown number of, presumably, Dutch submarines over the course of the day. The night engagement allows the German troop transports to retreat under the cover of darkness into the Kattegatt.

The landing fleets regroup and another attempt at landing is made. The Oslo landing operation ultimately ends up a disaster. Three fully trained and equipped infantry divisions - 1. (Kaufmann), 73. (Sachs) and 96. (Hartmann) almost manage to establish bridgeheads west and east of Oslofjord, just 40 km south of Oslo, when a French / British combined fleet attacks. The Kriegsmarine main force, despite being damaged from the previous battles try their best to hold off the enemy moving in with three French battleships Lorraine, Provence and Bretragne. The enemy smartly focus their fire on the transports and ignore the battered German forces . Eventually the loss of 73. and 96. infantry divisions and several dozen transports has to be acknowledged. All other vessels that participated in the Oslo landing are damaged, some severely. It can only be hoped that most men made it ashore, but many fallen have to be assumed, as the waters were still ice cold in the beginning of April and enemy naval operations were still ongoing as German forces had to retreat due to the severe damage sustained.

A lot more is happening and due to time constraints - more staff meetings are scheduled than I care to count - I have to interrupt my written report after the events of 09.04.1940. I refer you to the animated account of the events, which you can find in above embedded Filmschau.
 

HFaber

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Part 7


21.04.1940 - 23.04.1940 This covers only 2 days. I talk a little bit about the operational difficulties and possible solutions. The III. Panzerkorps is formed to take care of Schnecke I. I had to cut the stream short due to IRL.
 

SSmith

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I've now reached the outbreak of hostilities!

So far, your Japan/China war is the best balance I've observed in (d). I've no idea how the AI difficulty settings will affect things but it all looks good so far.

I've been thinking about your submarine setup. I assume the idea is that individual flotillas will be harder for the enemy to detect? If I remember right, the multiplayer group used to recommend groups of 3 or 4 to give them greater resilience. I'm also wondering whether a single flotilla will have enough strength to attack a convoy? I know I've had problems as a medium operating with one or two subs and finding convoys 'too heavily defended' to be able to attack them, but I don't know if that was caused by convoy escorts or the presence of enemy fleets.

I've never set air units as reserves, so I'm interested to see how that goes.

I'm a little concerned at how hungry your expanded IC is for rares and metal, and how quickly those stockpiles will drop once you're blockaded by the British. Capturing a few capital cities will help. :)

I also noticed you did a manual declaration of war (retake cores?) rather than using the Danzig decision. Knowing how war goals can mess things up, I hope that decision doesn't cause you pain later. I didn't notice if you used a 'limited' declaration of war, or not? If it's not a limited war I think you might find Italy and Japan going to war the instant they join the Axis?