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Taipan

From a large island where the beer is cold
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sorry about the continued silence, people. My Baldur's Gate addiction has come back with a vengeance now that Siege Of Dragonspear is going to come out at the end of the month. Don't worry, though. I haven't forgotten you. This AAR will continue soon.
hehe. I know the feeling. I seem to alternate between EQ4/CK2/HOI/Rise of Flight/CIV IV depending on my mood. One game might grab me for a number of weeks.

Thank-you for Take Two & Three. Both have been invaluable in helping me understand this game a lot better.
 
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misterbean

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Yeah, and it's not going to ease up either. Siege Of Dragonspear in April, Stellaris in May, HOI 4 in June.
 

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Chapter 51: War On All Fronts.




Leningrad has fallen, but that’s no surprise. In my own campaigns, it is always the easiest of the 3 big cities to take. As long as the Germans don’t take Moscow and Stalingrad, they should be ok.


I have my own concerns to ponder.




One of those is the safety of Singapore. I have send one of the Battleship Squadrons from Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka) to sit in the strait, protected by my fighters. The infantry corps will stay in Singapore for now. I want to see where and how the Japanese will move in before I commit them to the battle. Last thing I need is for them to be cut off, surrounded and destroyed.




I have also started a tentative move forward with the defenders of India. There are still no Japanese troops in sight and the Siamese army should be no match for the power of the British army. Look at that infrastructure. Offensives here will be slow and it is all but impossible to really use large armies with such appaling logistics.


Hong Kong is lost, but that was pre-calculated. It is no VP, and there are no resources to protect, and it is virtually undefendable, being surrounded on all sides by Japanese provinces.


Things will kind of jump between the European and Indian theaters from now on, but there’s no helping it. Doing it this way, helps new players to compartmentalize information. In the game, you too will be fighting on two or more fronts at the same time.




A first, halfhearted countermove by the Italian army is easily deflected by a flanking attack, forcing them to break off their own attack.




The Home Guard is coming off the production lines. I give each of them a random level-1 general and attach them directly to the Theater HQ. I always do this because I might, at some point, automate things somewhere and I always do this at the Army Group level, thereby ensuring that my port defenders stay where they should be at all times. The infantry will remain on post for now, until they have gotten their artillery and every port is covered by a Home Guard Division.




This gives me the opportunity to introduce the UK’s special unit: the Ghurka. Ghurkas are experts at mountain and jungle fighting. Just like with all national units, the total number of regiments you are allowed to have, is limited to a certain percentage of your total “infantry” regiments. This total includes mountaineers, marines, infantry, garrisons, motorised and mechanised regiments, but not tanks. The British army is still quite small, so I can only start training 3 Ghurka regiments. I can also start building 8 more regular infantry divisions, still using 3inf+1arty as my template.


I can see a lot of movement from the Germans and my radar in Dover picks up a Bulgarian and Hungarian HQ moving along the Baltic coast, heading north, into Russia. The Germans are planning something, it seems.




In Italy, I start getting organised, so that I can move deeper south and eliminate the Italian divisions in this part of the country. The 4th Army is currently too far away from the 2nd Army Group HQ, but that one is on its way by SR to Tripoli, where they will be 555 km from Napoli and able to restore communications.




More militia come off the line and are replaced by 2 mountain divisions.




As expected, the Siamese army tries to secure the passage between India and Birma, but they will be pushed back easily. Hungary joins the war against the Allies. We are now at war with everyone between the Channel and the Soviet Union. This is a good point to mention jungles: very hard to move through (50% slower), a -0.40 to attack and a massive attrition rate of 2%. Sustained offensives are not going to be easy, but if we can deal an early blow to Siam, that might be worth it. Siam has 6 VPs. The southern 2 VP provinces, Phet Buri and Bangkok, total 4 together. This should be enough to make Siam surrender. That means that the Japanese will have to fight their way through, provided we can make them into a puppet quickly enough.




Back in the UK, the artillery is coming off the production line as well. Soon, I will be able to use these divisions in a more offensive capacity as well.




It is the 21st of November and I am ready to move out. Time to take the fight to the enemy! Some of my units are out of supplies. It takes time to establish a supply network, even with a large port like Napoli under our control.




The initial successes in Indochina will be followed by an invasion of Siam. I hope to knock them out of the war quickly, thereby forcing Japan to spend manpower, time and effort in getting control back.




Fighting breaks out between Vichy and Iraq.




Taranto falls on the 4th of December after an overwhelming attack by infantry, motorised and armoured divisions against the mountaineers and garrison defenders.




By now, the Axis have gotten organised and launch a powerful attack on Isernia, the center of my defensive line, led by a very dangerous man, with Ortona coming under attack the following day. Now you can see why I placed troops in Ortona. If I hadn't, Rommel could have attacked Isernia from 3 sides. Now he only has 2 provinces to work with.




The southern escape route is almost ready, but not quite. However, Taranto is mine, so an escape is possible. The attacks in the north go up to around 66%. I send my fighters on ground attacks to hamper the enemy while lanuching careful spoiling attacks of my own.




It’s the 6th of December. The attacks in the north are still going on. My southern force is mostly starting to set up a secondary line of defense behind the river that runs just north of Napoli, while a handful of divisions keep pushing deeper and deeper.




Park’s fighters are the heroes of the hour. Exhausted after weeks of nonstop operations, they have succesfully send the Axis bombers packing, and the attack has started to falter. I can't allow them to rest, though. They have to keep the pressure on Rommel's men.




On the 11th, after a couple of days of nonstop bombing by Park, the battle of Isernia has been won with a killrate of about 3:1. Long live good defensive positions. Never underestimate the defenses offered by rivers, mountains and (to a lesser degree) woods. Park moves on to the units attacking Ortona. A couple of days later, they too will end their assault.




In Siam, we are moving ever closer to Bangkok and Phet Buri. Victory is only weeks away.


See you next time!
 
Last edited:

Stuyvesant

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Given that jungle is such unforgiving terrain to move through, I assume that knocking out Siam must have some real benefits for the British position in the Far East. I mean, if I understand you correctly, it'll be costly to fight your way into Siam, even if there isn't much opposition. The attrition alone sounds painful. So what's the main gain from a neutralized Siam? Does it protect Singapore and/or India? Or is it more a matter of you having the troops and they don't have anything better to do, so you might as well take the fight to the Axis?
 

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A bit of both, actually. On the one hand, it denies them a port and an airbase, on the other hand, if I can knock an Axis puppet out now, before the Japanese AI gets itself organised, so much the better.
 

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Chapter 52: Asking For Expeditionary Forces.



Asking for Expeditionary Forces follows the same procedure as setting an allied objective. You click the little arrow at the bottom of the province where you want the expedionary forces to arrive and choose the appropriate flag. In this case, we are asking for them to send troops to Liverpool. We can also set allied objectives in enemy provinces, which allows you to ask your allies for an offensive. Of course, the ally in question then decides whether or not to follow through on your suggestion. More often than not, they will simply ignore it and do their own thing.

Still, it can’t hurt to ask. Just don’t expect them to start sending the entire US arsenal your way.




In Siam, the two main objectives are almost ours. I was asked why I chose to attack, when the gains are so small, compared to the investment in time and manpower. There are two reasons. The main reason is because eliminating one enemy is always a good thing. The second reason is to set up new defensive positions further away from the Indian heartlands.




In the Mediteranean, the Romanian navy has worked up the suicidal courage to leave the Black Sea. Consisting of a couple of destroyers, subs and light cruisers, their navy is, of course, no match for the firepower I have in the area. Needless to say, they will be engaged and sunk.




The Free French navy has a strong presence in the Indochinese seas. This allows me to play the defensive game. As long as the US Navy and the French navy keep them busy, they will not be likely to send dangerous taskforces my way.




The Japanese can’t attack us from the east, since the infrastructure is too bad, which seriously shortens any future defensive lines.




Yunnan is dangerously close to the Axis, and I can do without giving them extra soldiers, so I am going to influence Yunnan, hoping to keep them neutral as long as possible, which means a constant drain of 2 Leadership, but it is worth it.




We finally win the battle of Bangkok on the 27th of December. After we enter the city, this VP province will be our last objective to eliminate the Siamese army from the equation. What happens after that, depends entirely on the situation at that point.




The only division we have in Sicily has arrived in Palermo, forcing the Italians to make a run for it. Of course I am waiting for that exact thing to happen and sink most of them, along with a Romanian destroyer. Two more Romanian destroyers die that same day in the area between Malta and Sicily.




Radar is now up-to-date, which means we can start researching ASW tech again. At this point, it might seem silly to make the early, and quite costly, investment to research 1944 tech when there are practically no subs left to threaten us. But I don’t want to take any chances. Japan is still out there, and they too have subs.




Six new tactical bombers (only 3 shown) come off the production lines, freeing enough IC to start building 2 new armour divisions.




We enforce conquer on Siam on the 10th of January. I try to push ahead, but the Japanese army has quite a sizable force in the area, and my men are exhausted. Time to fall back and consolidate our new defenses.




Here is a good example of defense in depth, the purpose of which is to slow the enemy down enough that they can't exploit a breakthrough and to make them fight for every inch of ground. The Italians are their allies are too numerous for us to attack head-on, so I won’t do that. The next move is theirs for now. If they keep those divisions in Italy, they won’t be able to defend elsewhere. If they start moving them out, I will advance in Italy. They are all but locked in, while I have most of my troops still available to move around the Med.




A nice side effect of my chosen strategy: the extra battles were enough to give me a Veteran Army, which gives me some very nice bonuses.




My men have lost too much Organisation to take on the Imperial Japanese Army. My new defensive line will be, once again, behind a river with impassable provinces to the north. Too bad Bangkok lies on the wrong side of the river. Putting troops there would expose them to attacks from multiple angles.





I have send 3 divisions from Singapore to clean up the mess they have made in the north. I hope to eliminate their threat for the moment and link up with the empire.




My production line on the 14th of February, 1942. As you can see, I am focusing on strengthening our land forces.


See you next time!
 

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You continue to call the shots. And now you may or may not have Yanks on the way to come help you out. Things look good.

How many Japanese units are there in Malaysia? Are your three divisions sufficient to wipe them out?
 

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You continue to call the shots. And now you may or may not have Yanks on the way to come help you out. Things look good.

How many Japanese units are there in Malaysia? Are your three divisions sufficient to wipe them out?
Thanks. I think there are only 3 divisions of infantry in Malaysia. I suspect that they were Japanese expeditionary troops in Siam, but I'm not certain. One Siamese division turned into a Japanese one after the surrender. That's why I want that port before they can ship in more troops.
 

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Just caught up with this.

Very nice! Although it seems the Soviets are not doing too hot. Hopefully the Arsenal of Democracy can get to work soon.
 

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How far along is the German attack on Russia? Nice going in SE Asia.
 

misterbean

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Just caught up with this.

Very nice! Although it seems the Soviets are not doing too hot. Hopefully the Arsenal of Democracy can get to work soon.
Unfortunately, the Arsenal of Democracy is only useful in providing extra IC. In my experience, they are rarely, if ever, dangerous in Europe, as they tend to concentrate on the Japanese threat.

How far along is the German attack on Russia? Nice going in SE Asia.
"Heeresgruppe Nord" has taken Leningrad and is slowly inching towards cutting off the Finish peninsula.
"Heeresgruppe Mitte" is about 4 to 5 provinces away from Smolensk.
"Heeresgruppe Sud" has stalled. They have yet to take Odessa or Kiev.

(using RL designations here for ease of reference)
 

Bannor

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@ Misterbean: Thank you for this suberb work. I learnt a lot. Just finished reading the whole thread today, started three weeks ago.
@ all: In post 173 as of July 21st, 2015 MARKKUR asked whether the AI is pursuing nuclear bombs. -- Definitely it is. In my game as Germany the USA bombed Brasil twice (Brasil being an Axis member), however, in the year 1947! It is to be inferred that the AI routines followed a normal course of research.
 
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misterbean

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@ Misterbean: Thank you for this suberb work. I learnt a lot. Just finished reading the whole thread today, started three weeks ago.
@ all: In post 173 as of July 21st, 2015 MARKKUR asked whether the AI is pursuing nuclear bombs. -- Definitely it is. In my game as Germany the USA bombed Brasil twice (Brasil being an Axis member), however, in the year 1947! It is to be inferred that the AI routines followed a normal course of research.
Well spotted, and thank you for the compliment.
 

Henryii2

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Thanks for the amazing AAR.

Once you're done with this, any chance of putting it into PDF form? I'd be glad to help if necessary.

-Henryii2
 

misterbean

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I would need the help, because I don't know how to do that :oops:
 

Wraith11B

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You could copy/paste it into a GoogleDocs page, and then print to PDF.
 

ETAIPOS

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Why are you not using CAGs as aircraft groups, to perform ordinary aircraft missions when they are not needed in CAG duty? If I remember the stats they have way stronger naval strike than Tacs you used to attack Italian fleet in ports and you have more of them in Med than tacs.
They should also be able to support your defense in Italy better than multiroles.
 

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Why are you not using CAGs as aircraft groups, to perform ordinary aircraft missions when they are not needed in CAG duty? If I remember the stats they have way stronger naval strike than Tacs you used to attack Italian fleet in ports and you have more of them in Med than tacs.
They should also be able to support your defense in Italy better than multiroles.
Mainly because land-based fighters would rip them to shreds. The other reason is that I need them to fight the Japanese navy any time now.

edited to add: CAGs' superior stats only count when they are based on carriers. I could use them from an airbase, but they would lose some of their stats, since they are only half the size of "normal" wings.
 

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Mainly because land-based fighters would rip them to shreds. The other reason is that I need them to fight the Japanese navy any time now.

edited to add: CAGs' superior stats only count when they are based on carriers. I could use them from an airbase, but they would lose some of their stats, since they are only half the size of "normal" wings.
Well, I do not suggest to base them on land, that would be dumb, as there are better planes, but wouldn't ordinary naval strike with 6+ CAGs be effective in finishing fleeing fleet remnants?
Also port strike with CAGs in places enemy had few planes or you have ordinary fighters available for air superiority (like Sicily) seem to me to be more effective than strike from TAcs?
 

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Well, I do not suggest to base them on land, that would be dumb, as there are better planes, but wouldn't ordinary naval strike with 6+ CAGs be effective in finishing fleeing fleet remnants?
Also port strike with CAGs in places enemy had few planes or you have ordinary fighters available for air superiority (like Sicily) seem to me to be more effective than strike from TAcs?
True, I could do that. You're right. You've got to admit, though, that TAC are the workhorse of any airforce. They can do everything except transport and fight other planes.