Stuyvesant

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I'm greatly interested in a potential treatment of the UK, as it sounds like a nice challenge to do the most good with limited resources. That said, I'm also looking forward to seeing how France might stop the Wehrmacht juggernaut.
 

misterbean

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D-Fence!

D-Fence!

:)

I would hardly call it popular request, I think I´m the only one who asked about it in the thread. Will be a nice flow though.

Thanks

You're welcome. As for being alone, check out the following...

Could be interesting to try and defend France as the UK, never tried it myself.


I'm greatly interested in a potential treatment of the UK, as it sounds like a nice challenge to do the most good with limited resources. That said, I'm also looking forward to seeing how France might stop the Wehrmacht juggernaut.

Don't worry. UK will come. This will only be 2 or 3 chapters long, but WSNova did have a point. Offense wins battles, defense wins wars.
 

JavierLQ

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Thanks for writing these up, they are extremely entertaining and insightful. I do have one question however: As someone who is currently struggling to grasp the game, how would you recommend I go about it? Should I read through the Take 2 tutorial and then take 3? Should I still aattempt to follow along take two? Any advice would be truly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

misterbean

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Thanks for writing these up, they are extremely entertaining and insightful. I do have one question however: As someone who is currently struggling to grasp the game, how would you recommend I go about it? Should I read through the Take 2 tutorial and then take 3? Should I still aattempt to follow along take two? Any advice would be truly appreciated.

Thanks!

There are 2 exe files in the game. One of them launches For The Motherland. You can use this to play along with "Take Two". This will teach you everything you need to know about the base game up to that point. Then come back here and read this one to learn what changed between FTM and TFH.
 

JavierLQ

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Thanks for your response. I didn't even realize they included the FtM exe. Again thank you for doing these tutorials. The style that these are written in (You explain your thought process as you go through the game and allow the readers to play along with you) is my preferred way to learn complicated games and is the thing I was looking for.

Looking forward to reading more from you.
 

misterbean

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9zS3zrE.png


Chapter 32: The Dyle Plan – Part 1.


France, at the start of the game, is, technically speaking, not a major power. They have a Base IC of 98 and an actual IC of 68. They have 16.38 Leadership and a National Unity of 35%.


So are they hopeless? Well, they’re not, in the hands of an experienced player. You see, we have the benefit of hindsight, something that the actual French High Command didn’t have. We know where the danger is coming from and we know when it is coming. We can prepare.


The first thing I do, is to send all ships and planes to France. The ships will group up in Brest (which is a level-10 port), the planes will head for Paris.

France also has quite a number of divisions guarding its colonies. Those will all be send to France as well. What good is holding on to Tunis, if the Germans are walking along the Champs Elyssées?

The troops will take a while to arrive in Marseilles, but that’s ok. We have time.


Removing HQs, except Theater HQs, is even more important for France than it was for Germany. With only 68 IC per day, we have to cut every corner we possibly can. Remember, deleting those HQs means that you have to spend less IC on CG, which means more production.

France has one really good thing going for it: they start off with actual 1936 Armour researched! Looking through my divisions, there are a couple of cavalry and Larm in the OOB. The cavs will be upgraded into Motorised Infantry, and the Larm will become Medium Armour.

This leads into an extremelygamey (but, admittedly, nearly invincible) option: we can get to Heavy Armour before the war starts. Technically speaking, we could give every infantry division (there are 33 in total in France) a Harm brigade. Remember how much trouble the Soviet Harm gave me? Now imagine if every single division you meet has one of those…


I’m not going to do that, though. It requires a thorough knowledge of game mechanics, something which my target audience is probably lacking. Besides, it’s gamey.

Instead, I’m going to use my version of the hsistorical plan that the French used. The Dyle Plan will stop them in their tracks, and will give me time to build up my forces.


3pvCjA5.png


These are the first upgrades. More will follow once the divisions in question are in France.


QWrtFrv.png


Of course, there are the usual changes to the cabinet. Again, less supplies used means more IC for production. The minister of security will give me more party support, and I hope to eventually get rid of the Fractured Government penalty to our NU. The original head of intelligence gave me more Industrial Intelligence, but what do I care for Germany’s industry? I want to know about their army.


TwLk5A5.png


By the 4th, I have 10 spies at home, working to support the ruling party, eliminate enemy spies and boost NU, and I can start research. With only 16.38 IC to work with, I have to make choices. Infantry, Armour, Artillery, Anti-tank Guns, basic bomber techs, a couple of industrial techs and a bunch of Land and Air Doctrines. That should keep me busy for the next year or so.


kydzsUW.png


Something I have never touched on, is the composition of your cabinet. Usually, it doesn’t really matter. Most of the time, I will be attacking, not defending. In this case, I have to take NU into account for other things than just getting better laws. I have to make sure that France holds out, even if Paris should fall.

What does the cabinet have to do with it? Well, there are 2 stats for political parties. The first one is Popularity, which tells you what percentage of the population supports that particular party. The second one is Organisation, which tells you how much influence that party has in the political system.

After an election, the winner gets to become Head Of State and/or Head Of the Government. Every party is entitled to a number of seats as determined by their popularity. If that composition for the cabinet is not respected, you get a penalty to NU called “Fractured Government”.

France’s political landscape gives the ruling party 4 seats, the autocrats 2 and the fascists 2 as well (so it would be a blue-grey-black coalition government). Only problem is that there are no autocratic and fascist ministers available, just like Germany has no Social Democrats. So the only way for me to get rid of the penalty, is to make sure that the ruling party has enough seats to fill the entire cabinet.

That is what my spies will focus on most. I got rid of one minister giving me a penalty for NU, but the other one is the Prime Minister, who I can’t switch. I am stuck with him. And, finally, free press will go away once we are at war in the fall of ’39.

Another gamey option would be to DoW some nation or other with similar IC levels and just keep that war going until Germany and the SU sign the M/R-Pact. That would allow us to go for better laws a lot faster, but it’s gamey and it requires a minimum NU to implement.

And with that we start our slow climb out of the pit dug by the Great Depression and the near-bankrupty of World War I.


bqj3K8X.png


By early February, all divisions are in France and heading for Paris to minimise supply draw. I have assigned a random Log Wizard to command the only Theater that matters. The others are now only empty shells in Africa and Asia. I could give Paris control over them all and disband them, but those few don’t really matter all that much and I might need them if I have to fight battles overseas.

I placed trade on automatic and I now have enough money to implement Specialist Training. It will take longer to train troops, but they will be a lot better in combat. Never lose track who exactly whom we will be facing 3.5 years from now.


P55ufR8.png


I start building 18 Garrisons. These will made up of 3 Garrison brigades and 1 artillery brigade, and they will man the Maginot Line, which frees up plenty of infantry divisions. I prioritize them to make sure that they will finish by August ’39. The convoys you see in the queu are just a way to absorp wasted IC.


GDCbMOn.png


It is the middle of April 1936. I can begin building infantry. I have decided that every infantry corps will command 3 infantry divisions (3 Inf/ Art) and 2 Infantry divisions with Anti-Tank Guns instead of Artillery. I have calculated that I will need 12 corps for my plan to work. In other words, I will need 36 Inf with Art and 24 with AT. I have 33 infantry. These will all get Artillery. I will need 3 more with Arty but they can wait. I also have to build 24 with AT. Luckily, I don’t need these until the winter of 1940 at the earliest, so I can spread them out, giving me a better chance of meeting my production objectives.


p67fjhK.png


June, 1936. Decision time. Forging the Popular Front gives a mere 6 NU, but every bit helps.


Wsdixzs.png


September ’37. I have started a Parallell run of 33 artillery brigades. These will be added to the orginal 33 divisions over the next two years or so. Starting them this early is not something you usually want to do. They add to supply needs, and they will need to be upgraded in ’39. Less than ideal but I want to make sure that I have them when the balloon goes up.


Yase73p.png


More time passes. In June of ’38, I can begin researching Harm. Once the war has started, I will begin to build a couple of these bad boys to supplement the defense, in case I find myself in a position where I can actually go on the offense.


5c8GG1C.png


September of that same year. I now have a low enoug Neutrality and a high enough NU to implement War Economy. One day later, I find myself with 144 IC! Now that’s more like it!

The artillery is done. I am still building Garrisons (4 more to go), infantry with AT (10 left) and, with the extra IC I can begin building Tank Destroyers for my Arm and Mot divisions. These will be charged specifically with tackling German armour in case of a breakthrough, so they need TD more than they need Spart (which I didn’t even research – with less than 18 LS, choices have to be made).


MPDEzS1.png


It is now December and my Officer Ratio is at an abominable 53%. The good thing, though, is that all the techs I wanted to have will be up-to-date after this round of research, so I can slowly begin siphoning off LS towards training officers. It will still take me several months to get back above 100%, though, but since I don't expect to be fighting before 1940, I have more time than Germany would.


BijFke0.png


The 2nd of August 1939. Germany just signed the pact with the Soviets. Time to mobilize. Here’s another sore point for new players who want to play France. They have a terrible MP gain and it is so easy to overbuild, to the point where you can barely mobilize anymore. I have all the divisions I really need. In about 3 weeks, I will have around 150 MP left. That is a ridiculously low number to go to war with, but this time I will be defending. I don’t need to waste MP for every single province. I just have to stop the Germans. Nothing more, nothing less. With time on my side, I should eventually find myself with enough MP to switch to the attack. Even if I don’t, I’m not the one who has to worry about Iosif Vissarionovich Jughashvilli breathing down my back.


I am going to end this chapter with a look at my OOB.


YQ97Q7b.png


The Maginot Army. 18 Garrisons and 2 Infantry Divisions with AT behind them, in case of an emergency. All commanders are defenders. This would not work against human players, but the AI will be sufficiently impressed. Make no mistake. A Division of 3 Gar/1 Art is quite capable of holding its ground. What’s more, they are sitting in level-10 forts behind the Rhine. They should leave well enough alone and try to find another way into the country.


f4iMqWI.png


1st Army will be tasked with holding the Ardennes. It has 25 Infantry Divisions.


CL4oNbh.png


2nd Army will hold the northwest of Belgium with another 25 Infantry divisions.


8ERO0al.png


3rd Army guards the Alps against Italian treachery. If my plan fails, it will be here. The army will have to hold because I will need everyone else in the north. But each province has 3 or 4 divisions in forts in the mountains and about half the army are Mountaineers and Chasseurs Alpins (the French national brigade). It should be sufficient.


gudPqNb.png


The first French Tank Army. They will be the reserves at the start of the war, where their speed will allow them to intervene wherever a breach is imminent.


Qw9RqLP.png


Finally, a single Motorised Division is in Paris, guarding the capital against German paratroopers (and don’t think that the AI will not try if it can).


The navy is split into 2 groups. One, with most of the destroyers and our oldest Battleships, will protect the shipping lanes in the Atlantic, along with the Royal Navy. The other one, with our only CV, is stationed in Marseilles in case of an Italian offensive. All subs, except 3 of them, are in the Mediteranean.


I have only 3 Interceptors and 5 Tactical Bombers, which is what I started with. Soon, I will begin to build up my airforce, starting with more Interceptors. The airforce, for now, will try to survive by staying out of trouble.


Next time we will find out if I can defend against the combined might of the German Wehrmacht. See you then!
 
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misterbean

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Thanks for your response. I didn't even realize they included the FtM exe. Again thank you for doing these tutorials. The style that these are written in (You explain your thought process as you go through the game and allow the readers to play along with you) is my preferred way to learn complicated games and is the thing I was looking for.

Looking forward to reading more from you.

I forgot to mention that I prefer you ask questions regarding Take Two over there. It helps me to keep things organised.
 

misterbean

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Biggest threat is twofold. My plan pretty much hinges on the AI not noticing that my ML defenses are kind of weak, but despite my jokes about the ineptitude of the AI, if there's one thing it's very good at, it is sniffing out weaknesses in your lines. If it senses an opportunity, it WILL attack me there. Then again, those are level-10 forts behind a river, manned by 2 garrison divisions with arty. I'm reasonably sure that it will be safe.
Once I've reached my target provinces, and have had a chance to dig in, I'll be somewhat safer because my troop concentration will draw more Germans north.

Second big threat is much more likely. I have 3 interceptors. If the Luftwaffe makes a grandstand appearance, I will have no choice but to weather the storm if the RAF doesn't show up to help me.
 

WSnova

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Why just Garrisons for Maginot?

I learned the game playing as France (managed to just stalemate them though) and I had Infantry guarding the Maginot line, I always figured that once the lines shifted to germany I would want those divisions to hop over into Germany. Also helps that they were not hopeless outmatched in tech and doctrines because they are separate and France is now swimming in leadership.

My setup was pretty much the same as you. I think I had more tanks but it was mostly the same in that I had a mobile reserve, 2 inf armies in the north, 1 in the maginot line and 1 in the alps with all my alpinis and mountain units.

What about Japan? I had 1 Full corps of marines defending my precious black soil.
 

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Japan only becomes a factor in 1941 or after the fall of France. If France falls, it doesn't matter. If I spread myself too thin, there is a bigger chance of France falling. But there are options, as you'll see next chapter.

As to why Garrisons, I needed frontline combat troops everywhere else, and there is only so much you can do with France's MP. In their setup, garrisons have the same level of defensiveness as infantry. They have almost the same soft attack. They are just a lot slower, but they are not there to attack the Siegfriedline. They are there to scare Germany away from crossing my border.
 

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Hi again Mr B.....I just finished the Germany portion of the AAR..congrats on a great victory for Germany. I have never had that much success and have a few questions for you.

I usually build my regular infantry as Infx3 + Art or other support brigade. My armour is usually 1 arm or larm, 2 motorized and one SPART...Mtn is usually just Mtnx3 with no attachments, and for ports or partisans I do Milx2 or 3 +AAA or Art.....So with all that said, what is the basic reason you only use two brigades + 2 support for Infantry? Are they stronger that way? Is it just to be able to field more Divisions? I noticed on some of your screen shots that your Infantry were showing 5 - 4 stats, where my three brigade units usually just show 4 - 4 stats (depending on techs, etc).

Looking forward to your UK game tutorial..I have never (NEVER) had any luck playing the UK, or for that matter the US, in HOI3.....I just cant seem to get my big empty brain wrapped around the supply concepts, fleet compositions, etc to cover all the islands and countries each own or need to protect...I'm sure I will learn a lot with what you are about to teach us.

Thanks again
 

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Oh, missed the part about you doing France first. Looking forward to it as well. No matter what I have done as France (mostly what you have set up, maybe a little weaker...) I always get rolled by the German AI...I never did understand the fractured government stuff however.....Looks good so far...
 

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Hi again Mr B.....I just finished the Germany portion of the AAR..congrats on a great victory for Germany. I have never had that much success and have a few questions for you.

I usually build my regular infantry as Infx3 + Art or other support brigade. My armour is usually 1 arm or larm, 2 motorized and one SPART...Mtn is usually just Mtnx3 with no attachments, and for ports or partisans I do Milx2 or 3 +AAA or Art.....So with all that said, what is the basic reason you only use two brigades + 2 support for Infantry? Are they stronger that way? Is it just to be able to field more Divisions? I noticed on some of your screen shots that your Infantry were showing 5 - 4 stats, where my three brigade units usually just show 4 - 4 stats (depending on techs, etc).

Looking forward to your UK game tutorial..I have never (NEVER) had any luck playing the UK, or for that matter the US, in HOI3.....I just cant seem to get my big empty brain wrapped around the supply concepts, fleet compositions, etc to cover all the islands and countries each own or need to protect...I'm sure I will learn a lot with what you are about to teach us.

Thanks again

Thank you for letting me know what you are having trouble with. Both UK and US depend so much on their navies, that a thorough explanation is warranted.
As for the 2 inf/art/AT, they are not stronger. In fact, they may be a little bit weaker because I have 1 less infantry brigade. The reason I am doing it this way, is because
1) they are a bit more versatile this way, and less dependent on the Luftwaffe.
2) I wanted to show a couple of options for dealing with armour. You may have noticed that I am building my French troops as 3 inf+art or 3 inf+AT because they have more strength with the 3rd Infantry brigade.

The fact that it saves MP is a nice bonus going into Barbarossa. For some nations, like minors with good tech but low MP, having 2 inf/2art is a powerful combo on the offense, but a little weaker on the defense.
 

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Thanks again. I just always seem to go with the 3Inf+Support (usually Art, but I mix it up a little sometimes for flavor). In my current Germany game I finally managed to take France in 4 weeks after taking out Netherlands first (before they joined Allies), then Belgium and Lux, and finally down into France from the north. I had used spies to lower their NU since 1936 so once Paris fell they just fell on their face and put up the white flag.

Have you ever done Operation Sealion and invaded England? I have a few times, and sometimes manage to pull it off but it takes so much time that the war in Russia gets delayed so it sort of backfires on me. Just curious.

The thing I love about this game is what you said in an earlier post. Just when you do everything right, plan for the worst, build and try to think of everything, something usually pops up that smacks you right up side your head and throws you for a loop...It is always fun to have to react to that sort of thing....
 

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Congrats. That sounds like an excellent victory against France.

I used to do Sealion all the time back in the days of Semper Fi, but then they changed it so that the Soviets are bound to respond if you do it (unless you have a large enough force on their border). Added to that is the fact that it is so very easy to pull off, that it feels kind of gamey.

In my own games, I'm very partial to the HPP mod. They have changed the way the AI reacts to things in a major way. You never know what to expect, but it always makes sense, given the situation. For instance, sometimes, Germany would refuse the Rome-Berlin Axis in '37. When they get ready to do the Anschluss, Italy will support Austrian independence, leading to war between Germany and Italy. Kind of freaks you out the first time it happens, but it makes sense in retrospect.
 

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9zS3zrE.png


Chapter 33: The Dyle Plan – Part 2.


upAhRGF.png


Germany starts the war right on the 1st of September. We can now implement some important laws.

Censored Press is, by itself, unimportant if you’re already member of a faction, since faction members no longer drift. What it does do, however, is remove the Free Press penalty to NU, which will allow us to improve our NU faster.

Service By requirement and Total Economic Mobilization speak for themselves. More MP, more IC, more officers and more resources. Since the first 3 are our sore points compared to Germany, these are more than welcome. The extra IC will be used to build up our interceptor force.

What we cannot do, is change our Industrial Policy Law. As a democracy, we need a NU of 70 to implement Mixed Industry and a NU of 80 for Heavy Industry Emphasis. We only have NU of 63%, so France is going to have to be patient, being stuck with CGO for the time being.


jvrvvF8.png


As per usual, the AI Kriegsmarine commits mass suicide in the English Channel. Against the combined might of the British and French navies, they really don’t stand a chance in hell of actually getting anything done.


By the 29th of September, Poland falls and is split between Germany and the SU. Make no mistake here, there would have been literally nothing we could have done to prevent it. At most we might have been able to overrun the Siegfriedline and, maybe, with a lot of luck, make it into the Ruhr industrial area, but the German army would have pulled a lot of troops out of Poland to push us back. It would have cost a lot of MP, time and effort, not to mention organisation in every meaning of the word, for little of no gain.


So we wait. You don’t want to ask Belgium for military access prematurely, because the Belgian supply network would not be able to support our troops when they are still neutral.


rvvV7Zl.png


It takes until mid-oktober for Germany to perform a first attack on the Maginot Line. Like I said, the AI is very good at sniffing out weak spots. Sarreguemines is bordered by 3 German provinces. If the breakthrough happens, it will most likely be in this spot. The attack is little more than a probe, however, and is quickly broken off after only a couple of days.

Our defenses held, even with an Officer Ratio of only 83%. By now, I have stopped research all together. Every point of Leadership (18.27 in total) is in Officer Training. We have to get back above 100% before the spring!


vWQuGwT.png


Time to ask the British if they can provide us with some extra troops. While giving Expeditionary Forces to another country is done through the Diplomatic screen, for some reason ASKING for Expeditionary Forces is done this way. You select one of your own provinces and click the little arrow in the bottom right corner, which opens a list of all of your allies. Here you can choose which ally you will ask for extra divisions. For instance, we could ask New Zealand and Australia to send ANZAC troops to Africa or Asia, while another ally could reinforce your lines elsewhere in the world. There are a couple of caveats to keep in mind.

Firstly, the ally in question will choose if he can spare any troops and which ones he will send.

Secondly, the ally has to be able to get those troops to you in the first place. Asking Brunei to reinforce East Africa is useless because Brunei does not have any transport ships. In that case, ask the owner to give you troops somewhere he can get them and then pick them up with your own transport ships.

Thirdly, the troops they send use the ally’s tech, not your own. What’s more, they don’t upgrade unless you send them back to their owner, in which case it’s anyone’s guess what replacements the AI will send you, if any.

Finally, I believe (but I might be wrong about this bit) the AI can potentially pull the exp. forces back when they want to. I have never seem them actually do so while your country is intact, but they might, so it’s something to be aware of.


JvyzLZs.png


The remnants of the Polish navy have taken refuge in Dunkerque, within range of German bombers. However, they are also within range of French and British interceptors and are beaten back repeatedly with heavy losses.


RRpNcIk.png


It is 19 November, almost 3 weeks since we asked UK to send the BEF over to France. The first division has arrived, a marine division. You can see they are an expeditionary force because they have the French blue counter with a British flag.

Anything you receive in this way, can be fitted into your OOB any way you like, but you cannot change commanding officers if there are any. I would have preferred Lord Mountbatton to lead this division (skill 4 commando), but no such luck. However, since the 1st Marine Division is not attached to anything, I can put them wherever I like. I will send them just north of Paris for now, create a corps and an army for it and attach all future BEF divisions to this army. Since I created the army in quesstion, I can assign whatever generals I want to it. If the UK had send the BEF as an army, they would most likely have assigned their own general to command it and I would have had to accept it, for better or worse.


OM3ajw7.png


Then, on the 8th of December, the Netherlands have the brilliant idea of joining the Allies prematurely. If you remember the timeline at the start of this tutorial, the Benelux should have been safe until spring 1940. When Germany would DoW them, we would have plenty of time to get our divisions in place.

Now, however, Germany will be able to invade the Netherlands about half a year too early, giving them the opportunity to station troops on the Belgian border for a quick breakthrough. That would be less than ideal, since I need the rivers in Belgium to shield me from the enemy. I can still SR them to their targets, but it is no longer certain whether I will be able to fully dig in before their attack. Digging in gives a bonus to defense and the longer you remain stationary, the more you dig in. In order to get the full bonus, you need 10 days.


Time goes by. BEF divisions keep trickling in one at a time. All are send to the same province and attached to the same corps.

By 19 January 1940, the Netherlands have lost their European holdings. It has taken the Germans 2 months to do it.

The next day, I feel like I can finally afford to start researching again.


wZTWYaK.png


6A1RuH3.png


NoHqq9x.png


I have 24 projects and 13 LS in research. Since my defense depends on the Garrisons holding, I have to keep them up-to-date. It may seem less than ideal, but that was my choice at the start of this campaign. Those 4 Militia techs are exceedingly easy and quick, though, so they shouldn’t pose much of a problem.

The 2 Larm techs I am researching, are techs that improve the speed and defense of both Mot and Mech.

I fully expect that I would be able to finish the important land doctrines by the end of the year, if my campaign ran that long.


OeHpkXg.png


I also start building my first Harm division in late February. Thankfully, the German AI respects the timeline more than the Dutch AI did. They have not attacked once since the probe on the Maginot Line in September. Anytime the AI waits so long to attack you, means that it feels your defenses are too strong to breach.


By late March, my first 2 new interceptors are deployed in Paris. Plenty more are on the way: I want a minimum of 4x3 Interceptors before I start thinking of building bombers. The free IC is used to start more upgrades.


April Foolsday. Germany DoWs Luxemburg. I do nothing, because Luxemburg is nearly impossible to hold. Intervening would cost me MP, and I only have 192 MP right now. Germany enforces the conquest of Luxemburg a mere 3 days later.


nL571Zi.png


The very next day, on the 6th, Germany DoWs Belgium and my waiting is over. Using Strategic Redeployment, I send the divisions to the proper Belgian provinces.
 

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xe09wqL.png


However, part of my fear comes true. Germany does start an attack on Antwerpen immediately, and you cannot SR into a province under attack, so I have to wait until the troops come out of Attack Delay and move them in manually. The Belgian army, however (bless them), manages to hold the province against all odds. In the long run, this could be very important for my ability to get supplies to the soldiers in Belgium.


bMKWtWy.png


Because of the heroic defense of Antwerpen, I can move into the province without fighting. My plan has been completed and my troops are in place.

So let’s talk strategy. In France, I have a full corps in every province behind the Meuse river. A quick breakthrough here is very unlikely.

In Belgium, Phillipeville, Brussels, Antwerpen, Ghent and Brugge are similarly protected by the Meuse, Dyle and Schelde rivers and by the Schelde estuary. Namur is not protected by an attack from Leuven, but it has a fort and woody terrain. Both Brussels and Antwerpen have forts as well.

I have reserve troops in Kortrijk, Aalst and Charleroi.


This is commonly known as defense in depth. Ideally, you’d want to have a third line behind them as well, but we don’t have enough troops for it.

How does it work?

Well, simply put, you have a number of options if the enemy attacks, but it will be easier to explain when the Germans actually make an attack.


dy5HXu1.png


In the south, we have a Line Defense against Italy, which means that all of our troops are on the frontline. If Italy attacks and breaks through, we would have nothing in place to stop them. But because all of my troops are on the frontline, the Italians would have to make a major effort to actually make the breakthrough.

The Maginot Line is also a Line Defense, but here we have 2 infantry divisions in place to stop a breakthrough if needed. We also have a couple of BEF divisions we could SR to the east to further strengthen our defenses.


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Thankfully, the Germans are taken by surprise by the rapid movement of the French army and they give us the time to fully dig in. Note that the Belgian army is still holding the fortress of Liège. Because we have a solid defense, the Belgian army can retreat behind our lines into France and form something of a third line of defense.


Now, if I wanted to attack, I could try to go for Hasselt and Turnhout, so that I could destroy the division in Leuven (1).

I could combine an amphibious assault (using the British marines) with an armoured attack on Roosendaal or Breda to trap and destroy the Germans there (2).

Then, with some luck and skill, I might be able to pull back behind the defensive lines and try the same thing again later.

But the object of this campaign is to showcase defense, so I do nothing. Every day without combat gives me more time to recover Manpower. Time and patience can do wonders sometimes.


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The BEF. Those 3 marine divisions could come in handy, both for crossing rivers and ampibious assaults. Right now, they are the final reserve, only to be used in the direst emergencies.

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The Germans refuse to make an attack, so I start thinking about where I want to go in case they do breakthrough. Here you can see my fall-back lines: green, blue and yellow for the armies in Belgium. The red line would, hopefully, be held if the Maginot Line is breached.

Since it takes several months to build forts, I start building fortifications along the length of the yellow line, my last defense (again, behind rivers) before Paris. If I can hold the Germans off until december, I will have a strong defense behind the river.


The Germans have several armour and motorised divisions on the Siegfriedline, and I am a little worried they might use them to break through, but nothing happens until the 5th of May.


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On the 5th; Germany attacks Namur from 4 directions, having fought their way into Liège previously. It is a strong attack with experienced troops and strong Combined Arms.

But most of their advantages are negated by the fort, the river (-46.3%) and the terrain (-13.7%)

I don’t have those disadvantages, but I am under attack from several directions, seriously hampering my defense.


If I do nothing, they will defeat me in Namur. So what are my options?

Well, firstly, even in a Line Defense, you might have options. Since they are focusing their attacks on Namur, they cannot attack Brussels or Phillipeville.

I will launch an attack from Phillipeville with 2 divisions that have AT guns into Dinant, because that is where their Larm is located. Its meagre Armour of 5 stands no hope of stopping my Piercing of 8.

Simultaneously, I will launch an attack from Brussels into Leuven with 3 divisions with Artillery.

Both of these attacks are spoiling attacks, meant to force the enemy to break off his own attacks to defend against mine. This should eliminate 2 of the 4 provinces from which Germany is attacking Namur.


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Five days later, Germany ends the attack on Namur. We suffered serious casualties, but since we are on the defensive, we will be able to use time in our favour. Germany, if it wants to defeat Belgium, will have to pay that price for every single province. If they want to defeat us, they will have to pay that price all the way to Paris. We would run out of MP long before they would, but we could relocate to Africa or London. They would still have to keep enough MP in the pocket for Barbarossa.

Meta-game thinking? Sure.

It is also the final possible defense against an Axis victory: make them bleed white before they can even start thinking about invading the Soviet Union. Once they do, if their MP is sufficiently low, there is no way they could defeat the Red Army, who could defeat them for us.

Not very heroic, but eminently practical as a last resort.


So what would have happened if Germany had defeated us in Namur? Well, we would have had 2 options. Either pull the defeated troops back behind the troops in Charleroi to reinforce and become, in turn, another “second line of defense”, or attack Namur with the divisions in Charleroi before Germany has time to dig in. If you win the counterattack, they pull back and you have just switched your two corps around.


But they lost. I call off the spoiling attacks into Leuven and Dinant to allow my troops to dig in again. Remember, when you launch an attack, you lose the dig-in bonus.


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I have 3 divisions in Namur that need to regain Organisation. I have send 3 divisions from Charleroi to take their place. Once these arrive, I can send the ones in need of R&R to Charleroi until they are back up to full force. When you do this, make sure to get the replacements into position first before pulling out the damaged units, because you don’t want to weaken your lines for a couple of days, enticing the Germans to start another attack.



That is basically what I can teach you about defense. If you don’t have enough troops, use Line Defense and hope you can dissuade the enemy from attacking. If you do have troops to spare, Defense In Depth gives more tactical options.


One more thing: if you’re playing the SU and you want Germany to attack you in 1941, don’t use full Line Defense,because I can stack the Soviet troops thick enough on the border to scare Germany into never attacking me. If you want them to attack, use Defense In Depth.


Further reading on how to handle France can be had here (https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/your-thoughts-on-france.888289/ ), here (http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum...lpful-hints-on-france-for-new-players.888438/ ) and in other threads.


Next up: UK. See you then!
 
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