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misterbean

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Its always terrible when France manages to lose in the Maginot line.

You had 1 job France, 1 freaking job.

But then again its not as terrible as when Germany gets all its army stuck in Norway *sigh*

I know, right? With France, it's usually a matter of bad timing. They want to replace a division with another one, so they pull the old division off the Line before the other one actually arrives. If Germany is alert and lucky, they have a empty province with a level-10 fort they can just walk into. From there, they can use multi-pronged attacks to widen the gap.

Norway, I have never seen it. I know there are players talking about it, but I have never ever seen them get stuck in Norway once.
 

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I know, right? With France, it's usually a matter of bad timing. They want to replace a division with another one, so they pull the old division off the Line before the other one actually arrives. If Germany is alert and lucky, they have a empty province with a level-10 fort they can just walk into. From there, they can use multi-pronged attacks to widen the gap.

There cannot be bad timing on the Maginot line. You dig the units in and keep them there for the rest of the century.
 

misterbean

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That's not how the AI works in this game, I'm afraid.
 

misterbean

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misterbean

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That wouldn't be any fun, would it? :D

Naturally, I'd prefer to liberate everything up to and including Poland on my own, but there's no telling what the future holds. As long as I don't have to go all the way to Moscow to defeat the Germans, I'm ok with it :)
 

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np0kYH4.png


Chapter 41: Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat.


We’re back with another chapter on how to prepare for D-day. Yes, that is still the purpose of this mini-campaign, which is quickly turning into a maxi-campaign. So, you may ask yourself, why spend so much time on all this early stuff?

Well, the answer is that you need to prepare for operation Overlord. A couple of things have to happen for it to be successful.

1) You need to be able to focus on a single theater as much as possible. Taking Africa out of the loop is easy and fast, and will free up a lot of men to go fight elsewhere.

2) You need a good supply line to support a large army on the continent. This requires at the very least naval supremacy. You need to have complete control of the Channel and the Mediteranean.

3) The Luftwaffe has to be either weakened or otherwise occupied, so that your bombers can support you. Barbarossa will hopefully draw off a large part of their fighter force.

4) The German army has to be otherwise occupied. They will take care of this all on their own when they launch Barbarossa.

5) They also have to be unable to reinforce the location of your landings. This is where the underground cells will come in.


All these things require time to set up properly. Control of the sea and Africa will come in this and possibly the next chapters. After that, we are going to focus on building up the army and the airforce so that we will be able to contend with Germany in Europe. Since I am focusing so heavily on Africa at this point, I will have time until Germany is waist-deep in the Soviet Union before I launch Operation Husky, the landing in Sicily, and the invasion of Italy. This will draw German troops south. Then, we will use the underground cells to block the Germans until we have all our forces in France. With a bit of luck, the Soviets will have started pushing Germany back by that point, so that we can liberate western Europe from the nazi menace, while they are unable to intervene with their full might.

The troops in East Africa are all busy eliminating Ethiopean and Italian resistance, while the men in Egypt are sitting in their dug-outs waiting for orders to move out.


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In the Channel, the Luftwaffe tries to contest control of the airspace, but we are fighting them with everything we have.


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A small engagement between the Battlecruiser squadron and an Italian squadron sees our first successful sinking.


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On the 16th of December, the first major sea battles begin. The battle of the coast of Tunis is not a problem, since I have twice as many ships as they do. The other one is a major foul-up on my part. Never send unescorted troop transports to a warzone. Never.


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Totally unnecessary losses of 3 transport ships are at least mitigated by much more severe losses on the Italian side. Thankfully, they were empty at the time, being on their way back to the UK. Still, it should not have happened.


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A couple of days later, I get my chance at revenge, sinking the Italian battleship Andrea Doria.


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Another German sub is about to go down.


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The Luftwaffe tries to use my own tactics against me with, shall we say, less than stellar results.


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France falls on the 3rd of January, 1940. The early German victory here means that they will have more time to recover their manpower before Barbarossa.


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This allows us to use the decision “Our Finest Hour”, which gives a massive bonus for Air Intercept missions for the next year. If anyone wonders why the RAF is so hard to defeat after the fall of France, this is why.


QjY3YX0.png


The US offers us a squadron of destroyers to support our war efforts. These ships will appear off the US east coast. You can use them to secure the Caribean or send them to the UK to help defend the home island trade. Since I don’t have any threat anywhere near Latin America, I send them to the UK.


pxyyxKx.png


By this time, I have enough infantry divisions in Egypt to start a bloody riot, which is exactly what I do. There are not a whole lot of provinces where you can go in north Africa. Most of the Sahara is infra-1 or less, leaving only a thin strip of land between the desert and the sea. That can be a hindrance, but it allows me to use my superior numbers and training to full effect. Within 3 days, we have taken Tobruk from the Italians, forcing them to ship in supplies from further east, where they will take a lot longer to reach the frontlines.


gZSjvSe.png


In East Africa, it takes more time to move into the next province than it does to defeat the enemy stationed there. Lousy infrastructure all around. Italy loses another cruiser in Dodocanesso, the seazone between Crete and the Turkish coast. Getting the Regia Marina under control is very much a attrition time of warfare, sinking a couple of ships at a time. However, they are no match for my superior naval doctrines.


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By the 21st of January, I have Ethiopia under control. All that is left is to mop up, which allows me to focus on the fighting in Libya.


vK75QTM.png


The Norway Debate is a tricky event. If you choose “Hallifax speaks first”, then the king will appoint Churchill as prime minister. If you choose “Churchill speaks first”, then Hallifax will become PM. I don’t know why they did it this way, but keep it in mind. Since I want Churchill as PM, I opt to let Hallifax speak first.



A famous part of Churchill’s opening adress to the House of Commons on the 13th of May, 1940.


uE2ldMA.png


I appoint sir Alan Brooke as Chief of Staff and institute stricter laws where Civil Liberties are concerned.


wCdX6zj.png


On the 1st of February, I finish two multirole wings. These Spitfires will fight over the ocean, where the Interceptors can’t reach. I immediately start building another 2 of these.


Italy DoWs Greece on the 4th. Contrary to RL, I do not send British troops to Greece, where they will be completely useless and unable to stop the Italians and Germans. Instead, I keep my focus on Africa.

I do start another 2 underground resistance cells.


4gEEimM.png


Netherlands is next on the list of Axis targets, with Belgium being DoWed 3 days later. However, by this time, I am fighting for the Libyan port of Benghazi.


47wcxyE.png


There you go. One less thing to worry about. East Africa is secure and our back is safe for at least another year, until Japan enters the fray. This gives us plenty of time to prepare for their arrival. All I have to do now is to beat the Italians out of Africa to finish part 1 of my plan. See you next time!
 
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Stuyvesant

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I'm really enjoying the naval trouncings you're handing out to the Germans and the Italians. Good progress in Africa, too. The Germans are running amok in Europe, but as long as they invade the Soviet Union, I assume you'll have your pick for how to handle the liberation of Western Europe.
 

misterbean

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I'm really enjoying the naval trouncings you're handing out to the Germans and the Italians. Good progress in Africa, too. The Germans are running amok in Europe, but as long as they invade the Soviet Union, I assume you'll have your pick for how to handle the liberation of Western Europe.

I couldn't have said it better myself.
 

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I never played Britain, so I never knew exactly what Their Finest Hour gave it. It seems to me, Germany should stop trying to hit Britain until the year is up, then it will be a more level playing field.
 

misterbean

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The decision does make the RAF nearly invincible when they are focused on Intercept missions.
 

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np0kYH4.png


Chapter 42: La Résistance.


At the start of this chapter, I Strategically Redeploy the armies in East Africa to the British port that has the Theater HQ, where my Landing Craft will pick them up. Why the Landing Craft? Well, simply because they can carry more weight, which saves a bunch of needless traveling back and forth. Plus my transports are not yet in any shape to travel.


CtSlOtz.png


The first battle of Malta starts on 10 February 1940. Remember how obstinate the Japanese AI was about Guam? Well, it seems that the Regia Marina took lessons from the Imperial Japanese Navy. All battles of Malta will follow this same pattern. The Italians try to land, but are stalled by my garrison.


WENylKq.png


The Royal Navy intervenes.


SgCCnMP.png


The RM is send packing. In this case, my submarines got caught in the middle by accident and took a beating, but Malta remains standing. My battlefleet goes back to Benghazi for repairs. Note the name of the battle. You’ll be seeing it a lot more in the future.


Germany, in the meantime, is busy picking Belgium and Netherlands apart. They make occasional attempts at bombing my ports in Dover and Portsmouth, but my Interceptors send them running every time. Unfortunately, the remnants of the Polish fleet have docked in Dover and the Germans seem intent on wiping them out. Since I have no control over my alllies’ fleets, all I can do, is defend them.


NzqVJLt.png


The first line of my defense of India is in position.


deVX0kA.png


Two capital ships without any screen whatsoever. They get away, but are intercepted by the naval bombers of coastal command.


rAFlobS.png


Long live my radar, which has successfully identified Bismarck, sitting in Brest. I am using my spitfires to draw German fighters, sending my interceptors in after the fight has started. When the Luftwaffe is gone, I send the naval bombers to Brest, where they sink Bismarck and the submarine.


Jb5rOy8.png


Another attack on Malta has been beaten back. Among the ships sunk, is the RM Littorio, the Pride of the Fleet. Pride of the Fleet is a ship that you can assign manually. It gets more experience in battle, provided they survive, but if the Pride is sunk, it gives you dissent.


E4bPY9T.png


After this battle, the 4th Battleship Squadron is in dire need of repairs, so I send them to Tobruk, where they should be safe from Italian bombers.


Germany has declared war on Norway. For some reason, they always try to invade through the ports on the westcoast, when it would be much safer to invade through Oslo. Since I know this, I set a trap with both of the remaining battleship squadrons of Home Fleet and a destroyer squadron with a carrier. I also temporarily rebase my naval bombers to Norway.


5qhyQr6.png


It takes Germany a week, but in the end, they fall for it. Note the British submarine in the bottom right corner of the shot. I’m using them as spotters.


5NXdJNl.png


Scratch one surface navy.


hB5kmKA.png


I tag-switch to Germany on 27 March, 1940. They have 3 submarines and 1 transport left.

The war has been going on for about six months now. In those six months, the Kriegsmarine has lost 6 transports, 5 destroyers, 6 light cruisers, 4 submarines, 1 battlecruiser and 2 battleships. My naval bombers are credited with the sinking of 3 submarines, Schlesien, Bismarck and Tirpitz. Well worth the IC, I’d say.

Italy, who has come in much later, has so far lost 5 light cruisers, 3 destroyers, 5 battleships, 1 heavy cruiser and 1 transport. They have twice so far lost their Pride Of The Fleet.

I have lost 3 heavy cruisers, 3 transports (grumble grumble), 2 submarines and 1 destroyer. I have had 1 case of friendly fire: HMS Achilles is credited with sinking the 6th Submarine Flotilla. This can and does happen in large, confusing battles where you have less than ideal positioning. The tech “Captain Decision Making” in the naval doctrines is meant to counteract this, but, as always, it is not foolproof.

All in all not bad. If you don’t count those stupid transports, I would have lost 6 relatively minor ships, but I sank 38 ships, among which no less than 7 battleships and an old battlecruiser.

The only capital ships Italy has left are 1 battleship and 7 heavy cruisers.

I now rule both the Med and the North Sea. Only Japan could threaten me at sea, but the USA is sitting at around 62.5 Neutrality, so they should (hopefully) keep most of the Japanese big ships busy in the Pacific when the time comes.


5PzogPa.png


One day later, my first two Underground Resistance Cells are finished. You place these by clicking on a province occupied by the enemy.


nc3ALkR.png


I place one in Lodz, in Poland. As a side-note, I know I’m nagging, but don’t you just admire the visual range that radar can give you? We’re in Poland, clear on the other side of Europe.


frU8qP6.png


The other one goes to France.


So how do they work?


p0gOQIq.png


They have a strength bar that slowly fills up over time.


Wku2T24.png


When it is full, you can spend 1 strength to expand your network: this will cause the cell to copy itself to a neighbouring province. This does not cost any IC and can, itself, expand to another province as well. Given enough time, a handful of these can be used to turn an entire nation against its occupier.


S2pYNkE.png


For 0.5 strength, you can make it spawn a single militia brigade that is under your control. Naturally, doing this now would be a silly waste of time. But when your resistance network has spread all over France, making them all spawn a brigade at the same time can be a very effective deterrent against attempts to reinforce against a naval invasion.


So this is the part of my plan that I will use to ensure maximum odds of a successful Overlord. I will keep a close watch on all these cells and when they have grown strong enough, I will expand them until the entire countryside is filled with them.


Note, however, that German troops with high Suppression stats, like Garrisons and Military Police, can find and dismantle them if they are in the same province. This is the helmet with the percentage next to it.


XGxJwrE.png


I have rebased my spitfires to Benghazi, because the Italians have suddenly remembered that they have an airforce. This way, I can defend my ships in port and they are close enough that I can send them to defend Malta from any potential paradrops.

This is a good point to talk about rebasing planes as the UK. The AI does not understand that flying across occupied Europe is suicidal. If you tell your planes to rebase to, say, Alexandria from Dover, they will simply take the shortest route, across France, Germany and Italy. If you want to avoid any unnecessary air battles, it’s best to rebase them first to Gibraltar and then to their final destination. The only downside it that they will need twice as long to get their Organisation back, but it beats having to fork over IC for reinforcements that could have been avoided. Especially in the case of CAS, CAGs and transports, this is important to remember, because the Luftwaffe’s fighters will eat those for breakfast.


I am going to end this chapter here. When we come back, I will show you what I plan to do with all those soldiers sitting in East Africa, and I will reorganise my naval squadrons in a more offensive posture. See you then! I wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
 
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Stuyvesant

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Christmas has come and gone, but I hope you had a good one. Happy New Year in advance, as I might not check back before it's 2016. :)

Yes, your radar range is most impressive. It must be very helpful to be able to see what's going on throughout most of occupied Europe.

The naval battles continued and my, they were lopsided. I guess whatever slim chance of Seelöwe existed has now disappeared for good. Does the German AI build any naval units once the war starts (well, I guess maybe subs), or is it going to be so focused on Barbarossa that you'll never have to worry about the Kriegsmarine again?

Looking forward to seeing the resistance cells in action.
 

10000 Tanks

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I think they build a few, but the problem is their incompetent use of the units. If your fleet has been put to shambles by a 4BB/6DD Battlefleet, building one destroyer and one transport and moving it out of the ports into open sea is not a smart move. Hence even if they build, they will never have a substantial fleet again.
 

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I want to thank you misterbean for this series, as I have been following it for about 2 weeks now and I do not think I would have been as able if I had not had this tutorial series to help me along.

The Romania campaign was a great first country to try, and the USA campaign let me get started on the right foot and have enough IC to build thru any mistakes in Europe. Though the severe lack of supply throughput in north africa and with only level 1 harbors in italy and the balkans did slow me down, I was able to finish the war by the 20th of december 1944 as japan was a real pushover with your strategy.

I am on my second try for a Germany campaign, I stopped the first one in 1940 because I was running out of rare and could not start Barbarosa yet. I have 3 panzer corps (3xLArm div, 2xArm div) and 2 motor corps (5 div of 3 motor inf, 1 spart). While I know that I can easily win the war with france, I wonder how many more motor/mech and panzer corps I will need.

I am also wondering if it would be worth it to send a naval invasion of Leningrad to take away focus from the front and let me penetrate into Russia more easily?

One last thing, is there any way to automate the cavalry so that they can take care of revolts on their own while not joining in the front?

I want to thank you again for this invaluable explanation for first timers into what can be an impenetrable game.
 
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misterbean

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Christmas has come and gone, but I hope you had a good one. Happy New Year in advance, as I might not check back before it's 2016. :)

Yes, your radar range is most impressive. It must be very helpful to be able to see what's going on throughout most of occupied Europe.

The naval battles continued and my, they were lopsided. I guess whatever slim chance of Seelöwe existed has now disappeared for good. Does the German AI build any naval units once the war starts (well, I guess maybe subs), or is it going to be so focused on Barbarossa that you'll never have to worry about the Kriegsmarine again?

Looking forward to seeing the resistance cells in action.

I think they build a few, but the problem is their incompetent use of the units. If your fleet has been put to shambles by a 4BB/6DD Battlefleet, building one destroyer and one transport and moving it out of the ports into open sea is not a smart move. Hence even if they build, they will never have a substantial fleet again.

10000 Tanks is correct. They do build some ships, but it will never be enough to threaten the UK again. I may have to watch the Norway coastline, though, until Barbarossa gets underway. What also doesn't help the Kriegsmarine, is their tendency to base ships where my bombers can reach them, like Cherbourg or Brest. Not that I mind, of course :)

I want to thank you misterbean for this series, as I have been following it for about 2 weeks now and I do not think I would have been as able if I had not had this tutorial series to help me along.

The Romania campaign was a great first country to try, and the USA campaign let me get started on the right foot and have enough IC to build thru any mistakes in Europe. Though the severe lack of supply throughput in north africa and with only level 1 harbors in italy and the balkans did slow me down, I was able to finish the war by the 20th of december 1944 as japan was a real pushover with your strategy.

I am on my second try for a Germany campaign, I stopped the first one in 1940 because I was running out of rare and could not start Barbarosa yet. I have 3 panzer corps (3xLArm div, 2xArm div) and 2 motor corps (5 div of 3 motor inf, 1 spart). While I know that I can easily win the war with france, I wonder how many more motor/mech and panzer corps I will need.

I am also wondering if it would be worth it to send a naval invasion of Leningrad to take away focus from the front and let me penetrate into Russia more easily?

One last thing, is there any way to automate the cavalry so that they can take care of revolts on their own while not joining in the front?

I want to thank you again for this invaluable explanation for first timers into what can be an impenetrable game.

The best way to automate your anti-partisan units is to create extra theaters for the area where you want them to operate. As long as the area assigned to that theater doesn't touch any coastline or border, because the AI would have them as borderpatrols and so on.
 

misterbean

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np0kYH4.png

Chapter 43: Preparing For Japan.

treqVFa.png


As troops in East Africa arrive at port, we will start transporting them. I send one corps of 3 divisions to Rangoon, where they will be added to the 5th Army there and remain on standby in case the Japanese navy decides to pass Singapore and head straight for India.



5jmyz4E.png


I have given the transport fleet some real protection now, by combining them with one of our destroyer squadrons.


PlgRLGu.png


The 2nd army HQ and 1 corps with 4 divisions will be send to Singapore to help protect the crown jewel of the empire. They will be attached to the theater HQ there and will be the basis for later attempts to liberate Birma from the Japanese.


OA1kuwQ.png


But let’s not forget about Europe here. German bombers force me to pull my battleships away. I am building more fighters, but they will take some time. In the meantime, we’ll just have to be very careful about not letting the Germans slip a couple of divisions into Norway.


EMJy4SF.png


We now have our own very first airborne division. Airborne divisions need to be at nearly full Organisation before they can board transport planes, so I will leave them in Birmingham for now.


Germany keeps trying to bomb English ports along the Channel, but the RAF fights them off with minimal effort.


pS3t3Mq.png


It is April, 1940. Our first tank corps is ready. They will be send to Benghazi, where they will join the 4th Army. Tanks and desert are a marriage made in heaven and their high mobility will help tremendously in cutting off the Italian forces. By now, the Italians have managed to assemble something of a fighting force. The 4th Army is only 5 provinces from Tripoli, but the front widens considerably here and I want to destroy any and all enemy forces without giving them a chance to get shipped back to Italy.

In case you’re wondering, I use Cardiff as my main port for shipping troops overseas, since it’s less of a target than Plymouth or Portsmouth for German bombers.


With all those tanks out of my queu, I suddenly have 105 IC being wasted. Time to ramp up production. I add 1 carrier + 2 CAGs, 2 armour divisions, 4 M/R fighters and 1 infantry division. The carrier should be ready sometime in the fall of 1941, and it should (hopefully) be the last carrier we’ll need in the war.From now on, we will start to focus more heavily on the airforce and the army, who are still quite small, compared to what we will actually need.


iY2PT7Q.png


The Germans keep trying to sneak past us, by I can see them on radar. It’s just a matter of time until they’re blown out of the water as well.


TQnQQwG.png


You’ll notice that I have not said anything about the fighting in North Africa, but by now you should be able to handle that part of the proceedings yourself. The thing to remember here, is that such a narrow frontline allows you to maximize firepower, like I’m doing in the screenshot. The good side of doing this, is that it will end battles sooner, thereby saving manpower. The bad side is that there is an increased chance of Italians getting away, which means that we’ll have to fight them again later.


twRrR3e.png


That’s where these puppies come in. The Italian airforce tries to bomb Benghazi, but by now the fighters there have had plenty of time to regain their Organisation and the Italian bombers are chased off with a minimum of damage.


Also something to keep in mind, is that we need to keep an occasional eye on the underground cells in France and Poland. If you hover the mouse over the cell in the main screen, you’ll get a tooltip that tells you how much strength they have. We will wait until they are at full capacity.


hiXG3Vt.png


May, 1940. Germany launches the invasion of Yugoslavia, which will bring the US closer to the Allies.

I don’t interfere. There’s really nothing that we can do to help them right now, and paradoxically enough, it’s in our best interests to see Belgrade fall as soon as possible.


The Regia Marina is relatively quiet, so I use this opportunity to reorganise the squadrons in the Mediteranean.


3dU9U44.png


The 4th Battleship Squadron has been given HMS Hood and HMS Repulse, and I have increased our combat strength by rebasing 2 more battleship squadrons to the Med. This leaves only 1 battleship squadron protecting Britain and Norway, but it should be enough to counter the pitiful remnants of the Kriegsmarine.


The 1st Carrier Squadron combines all 3 carriers in the area with 4 light cruisers.


The Landing Fleet is accompanied by 2 old Light Cruisers for added protection if they get into a fight.


I have combined the surviving submarines in the area into 1 squadron to maximize their survivival potential.


HMS Argus and HMS Eagle, our 2 escort carriers in the Med, are the ships leading the only destroyer squadron we have left here. I could potentially send an extra destroyer squadron over from the British Isles, but I don’t want to risk letting the German submarine threat grow again now that we have it under control.


KLonH5e.png


The Italians actually manage to win a battle. While my infantry retreats, I have the option to go for the northernmost of the 2 coastal provinces and cutting them off, but it is heavily protected and the fight might last too long. If the Italians have the opportunity to cut my troops off, they could be wiped out. So instead, I attack the province that they have just taken back. My tank corps is still busy strategically redeploying to a province just behind my defeated infantry, so the men will have to do the best they can.


nE9I3qx.png


A major naval battle unfolds, within easy striking distance of my fighters, who are send in to add at least some extra firepower without adding to the stacking penalty.


NOoNeDO.png


Three days later, my new carrier force gets its baptism under fire as they fight off a minor invasion attempt of Malta.


GXIn3Up.png


6 days later, they try again, to no avail.


4QreJts.png


My infantry is still recuperating from their defeat, so I can’t risk encircling the enemy. Instead, I will shorten the front and reduce the number of provinces threatening the other infantry corps further inland.


nJVytDt.png


This will cut the port off from the rest of Libya and allow me to destroy whatever troops remain there. Unfortunately, the AI senses what I’m trying to do and manages to pull a substantial number out before the trap closes. Oh well, at least the follow-up attack will deny Italy yet another port, leaving them with just Tripoli.


AgdNWKP.png


The Underground Cell in Vendôme has grown enough that I can press the button to expand.


e7WvEFT.png


This creates another cell in Chartres. Both cells will now grow, until each of them can, in turn, expand as well. By doing this, we can spread them like wildfire.


I will see you next time!

edit: The port I use for my transports is, of course, Cardiff. Not Birmingham, which is the middle of England.

edit 2: It was brought to my attention by ThatStrategyGuy that you can set the underground cells on automatic.

You click the little red circle with the pause symbol on it, it circles between Pause, Revolt & Spread so it'll do those things automatically, although really only setting it to automatically spread is that useful and it's a bit inconsistent what state the new underground resistance will come out as (Paused/AutoSpread)
 
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caffran

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welcome back mr. bean. hope you had an enjoyable holiday period.

Interesting to see how the resistance cell works. never tried it, couldn't see the use. seems it might be worth building one or two.

The sooner you get tanks to N. Africa the better. takes soooo looong using only Inf.

I know you're still in the middle of UK but are you planning on covering Japan next? you've done all the other majors so would seem miserly not to include the rising sun. I've never tried Japan in HoI iii. just don't know where to start.

PS the port your troops are embarking from is not Birmingham, its Cardiff. (I should know. see my avatar)