Gen. Marshall

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I think this part showcases wonderfully that sometimes, the best defence is a weak enemy :D
It's a shame they didn't push further, though. I'd have liked to see you execute a tactical withdrawal to your newly built forts.

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.​

Are you sure? :p
 

misterbean

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Trust me, I have that on good authority :)

edit: As for the forts, I should have started those a lot sooner. If the Germans had really started pushing, they would never have finished in time. But don't tell anyone I said so.
 

Stuyvesant

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Going slightly beyond the scope of your defensive exercise: do you feel you could have held the Germans at bay indefinitely, or would they have cracked your lines sooner or later? Looks like the Nazi war machine never really got going against you.
 

misterbean

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If they give me time to reinforce the ML line with that Harm, I think I could hold out until boredom sets in. Every time I did this in my private games, that's how the campaign ended: with the Germans bashing themselves silly against my defenses, and me too weak (MP) to really attack and quitting out of boredom.

edited to add: longest I held out like this was until January '41 before I quit.
 

Daedwartin

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When it comes down to it, Germany pretty much can't win against the USSR if it doesn't beat you quickly. Historically, France basically meant Germany had a extra 1.5 million workers it could pull from it's factories due to French workers being used instead. It also needed the large amounts of tanks it captured from france to have the Panzer Corps as large as it was.

1.5 Million soliders is a lot.

Also, historically, the forces that invaded France was just about everything. Almost all of the reserve troops of Germany were used for it. Germany in the aftermath of France holding on and stopping Germany simply did not have the reserves to sustain the front without conscripting a large amount of manpower. Which must be taken away from the factories.

Really, the war is won already by simply stopping Germany from acheiving that quick victory, deprving it of the free source of labor it used to enlargen it's army.
 

misterbean

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IIRC, Germany had 42 divisions in reserve in may 1940. About half of those were spread out over the east and south of greater Germany. The other half was the reserve intended for Fall Rot.

There is one thing you have to keep in mind about the situation vis-a-vis the French campaign as I left it. Germany has about 1000 MP in excess of me. If they don't push for a victory in the west, but keep the sitzkrieg going, those MP can come in handy IF the Soviets invade, which is not always a foregone conclusion. I don't have any info about German troops in east Germany. In other words, it works both ways.
 

misterbean

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I was going to play the next couple of chapters today, but I am struck down with a serious case of the flu. I can't concentrate, so there will probably be no chapter this week. Sorry, guys.
 

misterbean

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9zS3zrE.png

Intermezzo: Naval Primer.


Most nations, at some point, will benefit from a good naval strategy. This goes without saying, but in Hearts Of Iron 3, this has always been a difficult concept. What constitutes a good fleet composition? Which type of ship excells at what task? All of these, to a new player, are hard to grasp.
I have never been a very good naval player myself, having fallen in love with the power of the Wehrmacht early on. Germany can do very well without building a single ship, unless you’re planning an invasion of the British isles or to attempt an invasion of the USA, but that’s a whole different discussion.

So why talk about it at all?
At some point, everyone has tried a US, Japan or UK game. These three nations, along with Italy, depend largely, if not wholly, on their navy. This being a tutorial, I would be somewhat lacking if I didn’t adress the navy at all.
Besides, if I can understand the basics of a good navy, anyone can.

First, though, the terms I use should make perfect sense, but I’m going to explain them anyway, just to be on the safe side.

Navy: This is the grand total of all ships a nation possesses.

Fleet: this is a group of squadrons, usually grouped geographically. It might have a whole bunch of missions to perform at any one time.

Squadron: this is the basic unit for me. A squadron is always composed of ships which I feel are best suited to a single mission. It always has screens and usually at least 1 capital ship.

For instance, the Royal Navy, in my games, is composed, early on in the war, of Home Fleet and Mediterranean Fleet. Each of these has at least 1 squadron dedicated to naval warfare (i.e. combat against other surface squadrons). Other types of squadrons might be dedicated to ASW (anti-sub warfare), or troop transport and so on.

With that out of the way, let’s talk speed. This is another one of those things that will often trip up new players, and it bears keeping in mind when deciding on squadron composition later on.

There are two speeds, as far as ships go.

When a squadron is moving from one seazone to the next, the squadron will move at the speed of the slowest ship in the squadron. In other words, a squadron composed of, say, a battleship (speed 18) and 3 destroyers (speed 42), the squadron will move at a speed of 18.

In combat, a squadron uses the average speed to determine positioning, chances to withdraw or advance on the enemy and so on. That same squadron, in combat, will have a speed of (18+42+42+42)/4=36.

In other words, grouping slow ships with fast escorts will make them more efficient in combat.
At the other end of the scale, if you need to get to the hotspot right this very second, you might group fast capital ships with fast screens. For instance, battlecruisers are very fast, and make excellent emergency intervention ships.

Yes, that does mean that composing your squadrons depends on what you want them to do. You didn’t expect there to be a single answer to solve all your problems, did you?

Ship types.

There are 2 kinds of ships. You have capital ships and screens. Capital ships are your big guns, either literally (battleships, for instance) or figuratively (carriers don’t have any real guns; it’s their CAGs that do the damage). These are the ones you depend on to get the killing blow. Screens are mostly damage soaks, protecting your capital ships so that these can do their job. That does not mean that they cannot hurt your enemy. They can and will sink their share of enemy ships. It’s just not their main purpose in combat.

Mixing different types of capital ships is heavily discouraged because screens will tend to fall back if there’s a carrier in the squadron, leaving your battleship to surge on ahead without the protection it requires. In other cases, the battleship will pull your carrier forward to within range of the enemy’s guns, where a carrier has no business being, leaving it more heavily damaged than it would be otherwise. This is less of an issue if you want to combine battlecruisers with battleships, but I prefer to keep them separate if I can afford it. Germany, for instance, may not have enough capital ships to keep them separate and still be effective.

Capital ships.

Carriers (CV): these are potentially the most powerful weapon in any navy, but they are also the most vulnerable ones. They are very fast and practially no ship can catch a carrier in full flight. They always stay at the extreme range of any combat, well out of range of enemy ships. A carrier depends on these two factors for survival in combat. Fighting is done by the Carrier Air Groups (or CAGs). A carrier can carry 2 CAGs. CAGs can perform any kind of mission that other planes can, such as supporting a landing with ground attacks, but they are build for one specific type of mission: CAG Duty. This means they will attack enemy ships, trying to sink them before they can reach the carrier itself, while also protecting the carrier from enemy planes. Combining several carriers in a single squadron gives you tactical options. You could, potentially, use some of the CAGs to support a landing while keeping others on CAG Duty, in case enemy ships or planes show up.
The pros include the abilty to strike enemy ships from extreme range while being able to make a run for it without anyone being able to catch them.
The main negative is the fact that Carriers are expensive to build, because you’re not just building the ship, you’re also building 2 CAGs to go with it.
CAGs can be grounded by extreme bad weather, just like other planes can. This can be a problem in combat and is just about the only reason you’d ever want to check the weather mapmode in the game.


Battleships (BB): these are all about guns and armour. They do a tremendous amount of damage when they hit, sometimes being able to sink obsolete screens with a single hit, while being able to take an amount of punishment that would send any other ship to the bottom of the ocean.
On average, building a battleship, depending on practicals, can take 2 to 3 years. This means that you have to start building them long in advance of when you think you might need them.
They are the slowest type of capital ship and are the easiest to hit (big, slowmoving target), but getting to them means finding a way to stay out of range of their guns or to close fast enough. In other words, in good weather, a carrier squadron will usually be able to send a battleship running, while a battlecruiser might be able to get close quickly enough before those big guns can take full effect if there are not enough enemy screens.


Battlecruisers (BC): The idea is to outgun small ships and to outrun big ships. They are very fast and have good firepower, but not enough to go toe-to-toe with a battleship. When grouped with other cruisers as screens, the combined firing range of the cruisers make them deadly in combat. Battlecruisers are the only ships with any hope to catch a carrier (and even then, they need some luck). People have tested this on previous versions of the game, when carriers were even faster than they are in TFH, and the BC failed. I don’t know of anyone that has tested this in the current version of the game, so take this with a grain of salt.
Battlecruisers’ main problem is simply that, on their own, they don’t have the firepower that a battleship offers. If you’re looking for shore bombardment or to maximize damage potential, you’re probably better off with their bigger, slower brothers. This is mitigated somewhat by the fact that they don’t need quite as many ICdays. In other words, if your focus is on the army or the airforce, BCs offer reasonable damage for a reasonable price.
As an additional note, battlecruisers have excellent convoy raiding ability, but their higher visibility, compared to submarines, makes them less than ideal for the job if you expect enemy squadrons to come looking for you.


Heavy Cruisers (CA): A heavy cruiser offers the best IC efficiency of all capitals. They don’t need a lot of time or IC to build. This makes them perfect if you can’t afford the other kinds of capitals (a nation like Romania, for instance), or if you want to take advantage of their low hull to combine more CAs in a single squadron than the enemy can match with his bigger ships (comparable to a zerg-style strategy).
Their other main benefit is the fact that a properly teched-up CA offers the very best anti-air protection of all ship types,which might be useful if you’re going up against carriers but don’t have any of your own.
They can be quite good in a number of roles, such as convoy raiding, but don’t expect them to stand up to any other capital ship unless you have a tremendous numerical advantage.
This brings us to their downsides, and I’m going to come out and say it like it is: I don’t like heavy cruisers. They don’t have enough firepower or armour, and are not-quite fast enough to escape in many cases. To me, they are only good enough to serve as capitals in otherwise quiet sectors, or to protect weaker ships on non-combat missions, or to add some damage soaking to the real capitals. They do work well with BCs, where their firing ranges are close enough to add to the whole.
Other experienced players may have another opinion on CAs, and I would be most interested if they would post something.


Escort Carriers (CVE or CVL): they are small, slow carriers that are not really intended for combat. As the name suggests, they are better suited to escort transport ships or to offer some airborne firepower to an ASW-squadron, for instance. They only carry a single CAG, giving them half the firepower a full-sized carrier provides.
Main benefits include the fact that they are a lot faster to build than carriers, allowing you to build up some Carrier Practicals with escort carriers while you research more modern fleet carriers, and to use them as a “poor man’s carrier”. Due to their slow speed, they tend to work well with transports and landing crafts, where the transports’ slow speed is less of a hindrance.

Screens.

Light Cruisers (CL): Light cruisers are long-range screens with a fair amount of resilience, making them excellent combat screens. Compared to destroyers, their longer firing range allows them to work well with carriers. A squadron composed entirely of battlecruisers and light cruisers, with some heavy cruisers thrown in, has the ability for all of their ships to fire at once. This will often make up for weaker individual firepower. Because every ship in this type of squadron has a reasonably high speed, they are fast both in movement and in combat.
Light cruisers are most often used with carriers in the game because they share the same naval doctrine.
Light cruisers also share Practical with heavy Cruisers (but not with Battlecruisers), so if ICdays are a factor for the nation you’re playing, this might work vey well for you.
As for downsides, the main thing is that they are still only screens. Don’t put them against capitals on their own, because they can’t win such a confrontation.
Another downside is that their detection stats are not quite as developed as those of a destroyer.
Lastly, they are a little slower as well, but, like I said, they make up for this with excellent mission range.


Destroyers (DD): The other kind of screens are destroyers. They have the best detection values of any ship type, they are the fastest ships of them all and they are the hardest to hit. Destroyers excell at finding submarines, especially if you research the ASW tech, and late-game destroyers can usually sink most submarines on their own.
Very versatile and very handy to have.
Their only real weakness is their lack of staying power and firepower. This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that they are quite hard to hit, but they can’t take a lot of damage or do a lot of damage.
Another weakness is a rather limited mission range, which, in the Pacific, makes them less than ideal, unless you have/grab an island near where you want them to operate.
Lastly, I feel I should point out that a single unit of DD in the game represents a group of individual destroyers. Most people agree on an average of 4-8 destroyers per in-game DD unit. If you want to try following RL production schemes, remember this fact.


Others.

Transport Ships (no real abbreviation that I know of): The basic type of ships used for transporting troops around the world. Each ship can carry 40 units of weight. They have excellent range.
Transports are slow, unarmoured and unarmed. A transport in combat WILL go down, unless you’re really lucky and can pull them out in time.
You can use them in naval invasions, but they are not as good at it as Landing Craft.
Transports are never researched. There is only 1 class of transport in the entire game. As such, they are perfect for serial production runs, because with them, you don’t run the risk of having obsolete ships being produced.


Landing Craft (LC): Landing Craft are used mostly for amphibious assaults. They offer better protection for the troops trying to disembark. Disembarkation goes faster as well. They even have some (very limited) ability to fire back. Each CL can carry 60 units of weight.
The main downside is that they are 1940 tech. Japan and UK start with the ability to produce them, so you might be able to buy a production license from either of them if you need them before 1940.
Landing Craft have additional research, so don’t plan on long serial runs if you’re going to research them further.
Of course, they are still not meant to be in combat against other ships of any kind.


Submarines (SS): The convoy raider of choice. They are cheap and fast to build, so you can really maximize your Submarine Practicals with them.
Their extremely low visibility makes it hard to find them, which makes them a good choice for recon missions (ie: run them along the enemy’s coastline to find a weakness in his coastal defenses). Visibility can be further reduced by additional research. It is usually after the 1940 tech is researched that they can be really silent hunters of the deep.
In theory, a submarine has an increased chance to surprise an enemy ship in combat on the first round of combat. In practice, however, this is completely negated by their extremely short firing range. During the first round of combat, they will be busy getting into range, which completely wastes the opportunity.
This brings me to their main weakness. Subs sink. They have very limited firepower and no armour/hull to speak of. Any capital or screen is usually safe from a single sub. Don’t bring them into combat. They die. Period. Submarines should always be on Passive Stance in order for them to survive any encounter with anything other than a transport or a landing craft.
Another weakness is the fact that early versions (pre-1940) have a short mission range. A 1937-tech sub based in Wilhelmshaven in Germany can reach the coast of Portugal but not much more than that. You need 1940 tech if you want them to operate in the middle of the Atlantic or the Pacific.


One last thing to keep in mind. Ships, once build, don’t fully upgrade. A 1937 battleship will retain the same engine, armour and guns for its entire existence. Radar, Anti-Air and ASW do upgrade, but you will have to keep them docked long enough to finish the process, which might take a couple of weeks or longer. It is often best, if its not an emergency, to build just enough to keep Practicals cooking until you get modern techs.

Squadrons.

This is where it gets complicated. How do you decide to combine ship types in function of their strengths and weaknesses? You have to look at mission types, both present and future, speed, practicals, and so on, plus combining their stats to maximize their ability to do the job you set for them. I think that it would be easiest if I do it by mission type.

In all cases, you should add the hulls of all the ships in the squadron. Each point of total Hull Size above 16 will give a 4% Positioning Penalty. This penalty can be negated by the admiral in command. Each skill point he has, will give a 10% Positioning bonus, but keep in mind that this is also used to counter the effects of lousy weather and so on. The limit, with skill-5 leaders (Dönitz, for instance), is around 18 total Hull size. This leaves plenty of the admiral’s skill points to counter other effects.

Do I still have to remind you that you should always have at least 1 screen per capital? Well, I just did, so there. :)


Combat: Most people will combine Battleships with Destroyers and Carriers with Light Cruisers. You make a choice early on which doctrine to focus on. This will tell you which ships to build. Don’t get me wrong: a battleship or a carrier is never a bad thing to have, regardless of chose doctrine, but a good navy depends on a good buildup.
Standard squadrons are 4 BB + 6 DD or 3 BB + 1 or 2 CA + 6 DD for a battleship fleet, or 6 CV + 6 CL for a Carrier Task Force. If you can’t afford these, you might try putting as many cruisers of various types together as you can, so long as you have at least 1 screen per capital. The battleship fleet can switch to having light cruisers as screens if you need the destroyers for something else (UK, anyone?), but remember that this will influence the squadron’s average speed in combat.
Maybe a side note on the types of missions that typically involve combat is in place.

A mission to “Patrol” an area, means that the ships will move around in their patrol area without coming back to dock on their own. This means that you will have to make sure after each combat that the squadron is still in any shape to continue or if they have to come in for repairs. Note that a squadron on this type of mission will sometimes follow another nation’s squadron. This is called “shadowing”. If you ever wondered how your ships in the Mediteranean got past the Dardanelles and ended up in the Black Sea (or even stationed in Sevastopol when you don’t have military access), that probably happened when they were “shadowing” a Soviet squadron. You want to break this off, because there’s no telling how much trouble they can get into or how far they will sail off-course.Naturally, this requires at least some amount of naval superiority and a minute amount of micromanagement.
“Sortie”, which I hardly ever use, means that the ships will leave their base, move to the seazone you want to investigate and return to base if there’s nothing to see. You use this if you think there might be an enemy squadron there but lack any other means of seeing them (even sending planes on naval strikes will highlight enemy ships if they can find them).
“Intercept” means that you’re reasonably sure that enemies are present. Again, your ships will leave their base, move to the designated seazone and engage any enemy found. They usually head back to the naval base after the fight, but sometimes they can be caught into a “shadowing” action. Again, break this off and send them back to base manually. If you’re intercepting, and not patrolling, that might mean that you don’t have naval superiority and shadowing can become especially dangerous.


Anti-Submarine Warfare: For getting those damnable subs off your shipping lanes. Destroyers are an absolute must for finding the subs. Add carriers, escort carriers or cruisers to enhance firepower and to protect the destroyers if they run into anything larger than a rowboat.
1 CVE + 4 or 5 DD is fairly standard, I think. Barring carriers, a good alternative is 1 CA or CL + 4 or 5 DD. Just make sure to have some real firepower on standby, in case they encounter an enemy surface squadron.
A lot more comes into play when hunting subs, but I will adress this fully next chapter. What I can tell you right now, is that this is where it pays to have Naval Bombers and large radar stations nearby. What the squadron doesn’t sink, the bombers will.


Transport/amphibous invasion: Obviously, the number of transports or LC depend on the total weight of the landing force (40 or 60 weight per ship). You can safely add a CVE and a couple of older screens for added security.
If your squadron gets into combat, and you measured it so that the carried weight more or less equals the carrying capacity of the squadron, then any transports/landing craft sunk, will take 1 random land unit they are carrying with them. It is therefore always safest to have at least 1 empty transport in the squadron. In other words, if you are carrying 160 weight (needs 4 transports), you might want to use a minimum of 5 transports. If you do this, the transports sunk will be considered “empty” if the remaining ships can still carry all the divisions, and you will not lose that valuable division along with it.


Convoy Raiding: Subs are the go-to guys for this kind of mission. The more subs you have in your squadron, the more firepower they have, but the easier they are to detect. Most people agree on 1 or 2 SS per squadron. 1 SS has the lowest visibility, but by adding another one, you greatly improve the chances of survival, especially since a sunk squadron will take it’s admiral with it. There’s a reason why, in Take Two, I assigned Dönitz a surface squadron. Who wants to lose their best admiral when a single sub is sunk?
In HOI 2, you could abuse the rules by having your subs sail around in squadrons of 16 SS, which pretty much gave them enough firepower to sink anything short of battleships or carriers, but I have never tried it is HOI 3. Fairly certain it wouldn’t work, so experiment with it at your own risk.

Always keep your subs on Passive Stance, to further increase their chances of survival. That way, they will try to break off combat first chance they get.


Recon: Sometimes, you just want to sneak around and take a quick look at the enemy’s defenses and such. In this case, a single sub on a “move” mission (on passive stance, of course) is the perfect ship for the job, especially if you’ve researched the tech that lowers their visibility.


These are the standards that I think most people use. You can, of course, experiment. Like I said, a pure cruiser fleet (say 2 BC + 1 CA + 4 CL) is fast and has a surprising amount of total firepower. I seem to recall some people using pure DD fleets (since each DD only has about 0.5 hull, you could have 30 DD in a single squadron without real problem), but these are all experimental builds, and I suggest you wait until you’ve gotten your feet wet first (pun intended).


That’s all for now. If you have any further questions, ask them and I will gladly try to give you an answer when I come back, playing as the UK. See you then!
 
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caffran

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nice to see you back mister B, glad you're feeling better.

That was a good read, and a good introduction for new players. I would add however, that CA's are also very good at convoy raiding. when playing as the UK I tend to use them in the Caribbean against Germany (they always trade with Haiti and Guatemala) and they are awesome in the Mediterranean and Red sea for cutting off Italian supplies. just keep the battlefleet ready to pounce incase the Regia Marina decide to intervene.
 

misterbean

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Good point. I checked and BC is the best in terms of Convoy Attack rating, followed by BB, CA and SS, in that order.
I will make a point to mention it in the next chapter.
 

Daedwartin

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I should point out that most of the BB in the game at start in RL were only slow because the good majority of them aren't BBs, they are Pre- WW1, WW1, or Pre-Washington Dreadnoughts.

In RL, during WW2, the newer BBs were a lot quicker.
 

misterbean

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Agreed, but unfortunately in the game they were not designed to be Iowa-class fast. If you want battleships that can keep up with carriers, you'll have to research modern battlecruisers.
 

misterbean

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9zS3zrE.png


Chapter 34: Brittania.


As I said before, we are going to take the reigns of the United Kingdom now. The UK is not a nation I would ever suggest for new players, because a lot of elements have to come together to make them a success, and it all starts with the right preparation. Don’t get me wrong. If you want to, you can have an army that is quite capable of invading Germany by 1939, especially with the cooperation of France, but that is not quite the standard build-up for the UK. We want to hunt German U-boats. We want a Battle of Britain. We want to be in a position where the UK is the last, shining beacon of hope in all of Europe. We want to wage war in Africa, and worry about the future of the empire with an aggressive Japan lurking just around the corner. For me, the UK is all about being the hero of the tale.

And there lies the problem. UK needs a military presence on 3 continents. UK needs a strong RAF. UK needs to modernise the Royal Navy. That’s a lot to take into account, all at the same time.

So I’m going to go into more detail in the pre-war phase. There are variations, of course. Some people stick with the traditional battleship-doctrine of the real RN and build all 5 King George V-class battleships. It all depends on where you want to be in 1939.

I want to reach a full War Economy no later than 1938, because the peacetime UK doesn’t have the production capability it will need. I want enough interceptors and multiroles to keep Britain clean. I want a strong carrier force by 1941.

I am going to build up my defensive networks first, while we raise Germany’s threat. I will make sure to have enough ASW-type squadrons and fighter planes to control the seas and skies around Britain. I will prepare defenses in the far east and make sure that Africa and the Italian navy can be pacified by the fall of 1940 at the latest. This will allow me to reinforce India and Singapore so that Japan can be held in check.

I am going to wait until Germany commits itself fully against the Soviet Union, and subsequently start the invasion of Italy, followed by an invasion of France. Once Europe is under control, I will call the campaign a success, because then, we can throw everything up to and including the kitchen sink at Japan.

Or, at least, that is the plan.


What about France?

This is another consideration that you have to make early on. Do you send forces to France to help in their defense or not? I have never been able to stop Germany from conquering France as the UK, but if you send troops, you can make Germany bleed a lot harder, which might make things harder for them during the invasion of the Soviet Union.

I am going to send troops during the winter of ’39-’40 and try to bleed Germany as much as possible, but I am going to keep a line to the coast at all times, so that I can pull them out when things inevitably go haywire.


So, without further ado, let’s dive in.


Vu3W96g.png


Our spies in Germany will raise their threat. Coupled with Germany’s decisions and events, that should get us to a war economy in time. For those of you who are wondering, you could potentially send spies to France on counterespionage missions. This will help France get rid of foreign spies. You could increase the support for their ruling party, if you wanted to. I am not going to do that because it will eat up more Leadership than I want. More on that later on. As always, I will assign all Leadership to training spies for the first week of the campaign.


Sir Cyril Deverell will become the Chief Of the Army to take advantage of his -10% supply consumption.


9JeClAh.png


As you can see, with current laws the UK’s IC is not very impressive, and it will get worse before it gets better. I will start building a serial run of 100 convoys and 100 escorts. These will keep going for the entire length of the war, because we will lose convoys to German subs. I want these two builds to remain at the top of the queu at all times to make sure than nothing gets in the way, since insufficient IC will be taken from the bottom of the queu and work its way up.


oJzGFss.png


Uk is the only nation in the world with access to radar in 1936, and it is a boon that is impossible to overestimate. Radar will allow us to track German troop movements, U-boats and bombers, and, together with the proper research, is a vital key in our defenses.


gJI55jq.png


10 of these radars will go to Malta. The strategic location of the island in the Mediteranean allowed the UK, RL, to overcome the obstacles thrown at them by the European Axis. It is also a prime target for Italy, so we will have to make sure the defenses hold until the Royal Navy’s Mediteranean Fleet can get there to stop any seaborne invasion.

Keep in mind, however, that Italy starts off with a single transport plane. They often have at least 1 airborne division, so the garrison will have to be strengthened in case they use that instead.


4EymgyC.png


Singapore will be a similar key in our far eastern defenses. The island has strong coastal forts, but I am going to build a strong land fort as well. Those actually don’t do anything against an attack across the strait connecting Singapore with the mainland, but they seem to act as an added deterrent against attacks from Malaya. Plus it makes me feel more secure.


I will automate trade. This is not necessarily the best approach. If you trade manually, you can choose where your convoys go. This could make it easier to protect your shipping lanes, but, TBH, I can’t be bothered, and the trade AI usually does a good enough job to keep us in the green.


Next, we have massive reorganisations all over the world. This is a bit tedious, but it’s important to get it right before the shooting starts. All planes will go to Norwich. All ships will go to Scapa Flow, except the transport ships in India. These will have to get some work done first.

Next up is the army.


57GS2Wk.png


I will disband all superfluous HQs to reduce our CG needs. All divisions in Britain will move to London for now, directly connected to the Home Command theater.


sdqapjo.png


All divisions in India will go to Rangoon, except the ones in Ceylon (the large island off the Indian coast), who will remain where they are to protect the island.


AsU1af3.png


The 1st Transport Ship Squadron will go to Hong Kong. I am going to give up Hong Kong in favor of strengthening the defenses of the crown jewel of the empire, Singapore. Other than a couple of VPs, there is nothing worth protecting in Hong Kong, while losing Singapore would come with a bad event.


mnNUMXD.png


East Africa has lousy infrastructure. In fact, it is impossible to move from the south directly to the border of Ethiopia. There are a couple of colonial troops in the southern part of East Africa. These will be Strategically Redeployed to the port of Dar Es Salaam, where ships will move them to Mombassa, further north. As a sidenote, already we can see the importance of the Royal Navy in keeping the empire together.

The colonial troops sitting along the Ethiopean border will both SR to Mombassa as well.


G3YuMo5.png


UK’s starting IC sliders. These will be further finetuned in a little while. Note that I keep the initial ships already under production going. The subs will actually be handy in blockading German imports during the war and are less likely to be sunk as German subs usually are. As for the destroyers, well, UK can never have too many destroyers. This is a handy rule of thumb in your own games as the UK. When in doubt what to do with wasted IC: build destroyers.


PiNnPY5.png


The RAF starts with 5 Tactical bombers, 3 Strategic bombers and 3 Interceptors. I hardly ever build more Strategic Bombers as the UK because I know from experience that the effects of a strategic bombing campaign on German IC, resources and NU are negligable, unless you go full in, and that is something which my plans do not allow for.


Once all that is done, we assign a Logistic Wizard to all theater commands, except St John’s and Port Harcourt (who will be empty of all assets anyway), to save up on supply usage.


Xpytaz9.png


I forgot to mention what to do with the troops in North Africa and Palestine. The theater HQ will go to Alexandria and both divisions will take up position along the Libyan border, where they will remain for the next 3 to 4 years.


I let the game go for a couple of days, until I have 10 spies in both Germany and UK, and we can begin research. This time, I am going to assign research projects as Leadership becomes available to show you that this is an equally viable option.


8OksrWS.png


The usual suspects will be researched first, since UK needs more LS, more IC and more supplies.


FwF8cpd.png


We will need medium tanks by 1940, so we have to get started right now. AT guns and artillery come as a matter of course. Armoured Cars would actually come in handy in the desert, but, as always, its a matter of priority.


KxDnbBC.png


I am only going to research carrier techs, and they will be the only capital ships I build.


bx4ymeg.png


The escort tab, however, needs some explaining. I will want strong, modern light cruisers by the time Japan gets going in ’41, and destroyers are a natural choice for UK.

But note that I am researching Small Warship ASW ahead of time. For the UK, this is as important as reducing Attack Delay was for Germany in Take Two. In order to combat the U-boat threat, we will need strong tech that is ahead of time. Their Finest Hour has somewhat reduced the effectiveness of researching ahead, but it is vital to our defense. This tech is going to the top of the queu and will stay there for the rest of the game, being constantly researched.

Let there be no mistake. I seriously doubt if the AI can truly starve UK completely from the resources it needs to keep its industry going (a human player can with a dedicated strategy, as proven by Secret Master), but Germany can starve your troops in Africa and Asia from getting the supplies they need to keep fighting. Underestimating the importance of this, can have dramatic consequences for the rest of the war.

In other words, get used to seeing the “inefficient research” icon at the top of the screen, because it will be there for a long time.


J8j7qcN.png


By the 7th, we have picked up the garrison in Hong Kong and send it to Singapore.


CGpH6mp.png


When it gets there, we are going to join the garrison brigades together and split off the infantry brigade.


DZnFGgn.png


That infantry brigade will be taken along to Dar Es Salaam, where we will eventually pick up the colonial troops destined for Kenya.


I am going to end this chapter here, and I will see you next time!
 
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WSnova

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Nice!

Although I wonder, I usually always disband all my professional Colonial troops because I feel they cause too much CG needs and Italy and Japan usually enter somewhat late to the party so I have time to ship garrisons there.

What do you think is more beneficial? Disbanding all your non reserve units and then rebuild? Or keep the troops for the 3ish years until the war starts?

I also usually keep the BB route and only build destroyers. Never felt the need to research carriers as the UK, even on Asia you can usually be in range or land based Air support. And with those 15ish BBs you start with it feels kinda wasteful to not research BB doctrines and tech, but same applies to the US.

And yeah GB is probably one of the most interesting campaigns to play.
 

misterbean

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From a pure technical perspective, disbanding all of your non-reserve units is more beneficial because it has a bigger impact on CG Needs. I just like keeping them to maintain the peace once East Africa is pacified, and I tend to forget otherwise.
 

ThatStrategyGuy

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I know you're planning to put 10 radar stations in Malta, I can guess you'll put another 10 in Dover and another 10 in Penzance, but I'm never sure where to put that Last 10, I prefer the island up at the Northeast of the UK so you get full vision on the North Sea. You might be putting them into Singapore but I find you have enough time between war with Germany and War with Japan to wait and build them later. Gibraltar is always a possibility as well.

Also I've got to question the wisdom of building the coastal fort on Malta, you could use that IC for more ships to defend the island or on some Marines, both of which are far more versatile. I've always found the Regina Marina too weak to defend any amphibious landings on Malta.
 

misterbean

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The final place is Petershead, which does the exact same thing.

As for Malta, if I can force Italy to waste more MP on taking it, and the Regia Marina to stay in one place longer, the win is all the bigger.