HoI4 Dev Diary - LaR UK AAR

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

YaBoy_Bobby

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Join me as I recount some of the highlights from my recent prerelease testing playthrough of LaR in this After Action Report (AAR) where played I as the UK.

Phase 1: The buildup

When playing the UK in singleplayer I don’t really like trying to hold France, as I feel doing so kinda ruins the pacing of a historical playthrough. So I spent all my time from game start only building civilian factories with about 85% of my mills making aircraft. I also began establishing my intel agency in late 1937. I focused on improving my intel generation and code-cracking ability first so I could give some force multiplication to my rather small army.

agency.png



Phase 2: Naval Dominance and Focused Defense

At the start of hostilities, I began cracking Germany’s encryption and used my airforce in the Mediterranean in conjunction with a large part of my navy. I figured it wasn’t worth sacrificing too much air strength against Germany in France at this point. I had just switched to building military factories from only building civilian factories, so I could not afford to use my more limited airforce recklessly. I also set up the majority of my operatives to set up intel networks in Germany.

I attempted to recruit mostly “seducer” trait operatives as they have a lower chance of being caught. In the process, I got some interesting seduction experts.

OperativeSeducerLAdy.png


Most of my rather small army was deployed in Egypt to hold the Suez. With air superiority and an intel advantage over the Italians, Holding Egypt was a great success. I was able to recruit the famous Nancy Wake and I decided to send her on a Roman holiday to help me get more intel on Italy since I would be fighting them in Africa for the foreseeable future.

Wake In Rome.png



Phase 3: Battle of Malta

After the Italian navy was largely defeated, I infiltrated the Italian airforce to help get a more clear idea of how close I was to breaking it. At this point, the Italian airforce started port striking my Mediterranean Fleet in Malta. After looking at their plane counts in the intel ledger, I built up some radar in Malta and deployed the airforce to intercept the Italians in the region. Baiting them to bomb my exposed, and no longer as useful, fleet worked as phase one of my plan to break the axis airforce.

Battle of Malta.png


Meanwhile, In Germany and occupied France, my intel networks had become rather strong and were providing good info on the state of the axis. I had at this point also infiltrated the German civilian govt’ and army to open up further options for operations and to get a more clear picture of their strengths.

By late 1940 I had broken both the German and Italian ciphers and had weakened both the German and Italian airforces by fighting in favorable conditions where I had a large radar advantage combined with my passive cracked crypto advantage. Having enemy ciphers broken increases interception efficiency as well as adds to air detection.

Phase 4: Battle of Greece


At the end of 1940, Greece was invaded by Italy and Germany. By this point, I had a significant intel advantage, was close to matching axis airpower, and had a large and equipped Free French volunteer force. I decided I would turtle southern Greece as long as I could and brutalize the axis in the air in the process. I scrambled a large part of my North African forces to Greece and deployed the majority of my airpower. At one point my defensive line was nearly broken. I was able to save it by activating my broken ciphers on Germany, giving myself a temporary 30day combat. Before the buff expired I was able to get some extra forces in and save Greece.

CrackTheCodes.png


By mid-1941 I had overtaken the axis in the air and southern Greece looked more and more secure. I decided it was time to start boosting resistance in France and laying the groundwork for eventual liberation. I also was well on my way to cracking the new Italian and German ciphers.

greece airwar won.png


Once the ciphers were cracked again and my tac bombers were no longer needed in Greece, I decided to start harassing the Germans with a strategic bombing campaign in their homeland. With my Intel levels, I was able to track how my bombing campaign was impacting Germany. I had also begun targetting resource-rich areas in France with targeted sabotage operations to further put stress on the German war machine.

StratBombingUnderway.png


Phase 5: Yugoslavian Uprising

Over the course of the next year, America and Vichy joined the war and a fight for North Africa broke out again. With Intel and Air advantage pushing Vichy France back was pretty easy. During the North Africa campaign, I noticed that Croatia was barely keeping occupied Yugoslavia under control. So I sent some of my Operatives to support the resistance there, pushing it over the edge and causing a full-scale uprising. Many of the Axis forces in northern Greece were then cut off and annihilated.

YugoRises.png


After a great victory in Yugoslavia, I dedicated my operatives to building a massive spy network across all of Germany. This resulted in several captured Operatives, as they are more likely to be discovered in large and powerful networks, but I decided it was worth it to keep my intel on Germany maxed and the mainland set up for my Arrival.

Phase 6: La Resistance and D-Day

By mid-1942 the French Resistance, due in no small part to my support, had become disruptive. It was not fully rising up in rebellion but was strong enough to disable strategic redeploy in northern France and was providing constant attrition to local Axis forces. This combined with local spy network buffs, general intel advantage, air superiority, and ongoing fighting on the eastern front made securing my beachhead in France very smooth.

ParisFallsAgain.png


After setting up a plan to drive the Germans out of France, I once again fully utilized my code-cracking for a 30day buff and battle planned the Germans back into their homeland. By late 42 The Axis was all but broken and crumbling on all fronts. The combined Allied air, land, and intelligence efforts proved to be too much and everyone was Home for Christmas of ‘42.

I hope you all enjoyed my war story! See you next time.
 

Kenttäharmaa

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Nov 30, 2019
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Intentionally heavily handicapping yourself because the AI isn't good enough to defeat an AI France backed by a human England is a bit worrisome to say the least.

EDIT: Also notice how quickly you had the AI by the ropes despite heavily "debuffing" yourself, including in the spy game. Not good.
 

Gort11

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Huh, being able to disable strategic redeployment in a region could be a very useful tool for getting a beachhead established and expanded before the enemy can bottle it up.
 

Kazakk

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Please improve China AI, every game Japan beats it before 1940
 

kimidf

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but this week they were not going to reveal the last minute changes made in the dlc as it could be the changes made in the portuges tree and other things
 

Indyclone77

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Any real UK player would have used Agent Sooty for maximum damage
 

pvt.conners

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All of this looks good, though it seems that the German AI was mostly content in counter-espionage in it's own country, considering how effortlessly all these various operations were executed, if I am reading this correctly.
 

cnwi

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With my Intel levels, I was able to track how my bombing campaign was impacting Germany.
This is interesting; there's a lack of data reports in HOI4 and hopefully intel will bridge the gap.
For example for the navy, the battle window and reports are not sufficiently detailed, so for normal players it's impossible to get meaningful feedback on your designs. The intel feels like a step in the right direction.

So I sent some of my Operatives to support the resistance there, pushing it over the edge and causing a full-scale uprising.
Curious to see if coup will become 'usable' with the dlc! Currently they feel more like a cheat that wrecks the AI and I avoid using them.

All of this looks good, though it seems that the German AI was mostly content in counter-espionage in it's own country, considering how effortlessly all these various operations were executed, if I am reading this correctly.
Remember most of the MTG naval features are not usable/pointless because of the lack of challenge, as they didn't really code a naval AI (AI unable to assign logical naval missions, task forces stuck out of range of their mission zone, tendency of the AI to suicide its fleet on your NAVs, ...); you should expect the same for this DLC. Also as a funny bridge with MTG, now all players will be able to see, thanks to intel, how abhorrent the AI is at assigning naval missions; before, you had to tag switch.
 

Áurum

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There is a problem with the game if Croatia is controlling all of Yugoslavia and northern Greece.
 

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The granny agent is actually a seducer. German totally didn't expect that. :confused:
 

Voigt

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A question I already got in the livestream, but which didn't got an answer:

As Spymaster you can an additional spy for every non puppet member of your faction. What happens if Hungary and Romania join your Axis faction, you recruit additional spies, but then you make them puppet trough the integrated War Economy Focus as Germany? Do you loose your Spies?
 

Pointyearedgit

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All of this looks good, though it seems that the German AI was mostly content in counter-espionage in it's own country, considering how effortlessly all these various operations were executed, if I am reading this correctly.
He said a lot of his agents were captured, so I’m not sure it was “effortless”.
 

kettyo

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It's bad if you have to abandon France because it's too easy for you if you save them.

It is better if it's set so that defending France successfully but not being able to wear Germany down either will make it more and more likely that you will eventually face the Soviet Union too following a course that Germany occupied in the West will not launch Barbarossa (definitely historical), the Soviets will not dare to attack a strong Germany (historical) and they will continue bullying weaker neighbours (probably historical) eventually facing the Allies alongside Germany.

In this case there is a real choice as the UK, you abandon France and let Germany launch Barbarossa or trying to save France and wear Germany down before you'd have to face the Soviets too.
 
Last edited:

cnwi

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Intentionally heavily handicapping yourself because the AI isn't good enough to defeat an AI France backed by a human England is a bit worrisome to say the least.

EDIT: Also notice how quickly you had the AI by the ropes despite heavily "debuffing" yourself, including in the spy game. Not good.

And I expect the game to become quite easier with intel; given that it will help the player a lot, but the AI will make barely any use of it.
 

YaBoy_Bobby

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Intentionally heavily handicapping yourself because the AI isn't good enough to defeat an AI France backed by a human England is a bit worrisome to say the least.

EDIT: Also notice how quickly you had the AI by the ropes despite heavily "debuffing" yourself, including in the spy game. Not good.

TBF as a player it's not too hard to beat Germany as France or help the AI do so as basically any allied nation, but that ends the game rather quickly ;). Also, I'm not sure how I debuffed myself. I sacrificed early strength for industrial might. What little strength I did posses I wanted to keep intact to hold the Suez and bleed the Axis in Africa. Once my industry got rolling into pumping out Mils, I was much stronger by early 1941 than I would be If I built myself to fight Germany directly in 1939.
 
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Daelyn75

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I really hope this new DLC won't be a case where the AI is terrible at covert operations, and the player can if put in time and dedication can shred their opponent in that area with hardly a challenge.
 

Kenttäharmaa

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Nov 30, 2019
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TBF as a player it's not too hard to beat Germany as France or help the AI do so as basically any allied nation, but that ends the game rather quickly ;).

The fact HoI4 in singleplayer is incapable of providing even a remote WW2 GSG experience because doing basically anything to the AI as any nation will cause it to collapse like a house of cards is very sad indeed.

Also, I'm not sure how I debuffed myself. I sacrificed early strength for industrial might. What little strength I did posses I wanted to keep intact to hold the Suez and bleed the Axis in Africa. Once my industry got rolling into pumping out Mils, I was much stronger by early 1941 than I would be If I built myself to fight Germany directly in 1939.

You greatly overbuilt civs, even by multiplayer standards, had a tiny air force and ignored mines. In the current pre-LR version of the game England can easily kill Germany and Italy on her own in 1940. This process can, although it is not necessary, be cheesed by switching to Partial in 1936 through attaché to Spain and spamming the Mediterranean full of mines, which the AI is incapable of combating.

Remember most of the MTG naval features are not usable/pointless because of the lack of challenge, as they didn't really code a naval AI (AI unable to assign logical naval missions, task forces stuck out of range of their mission zone, tendency of the AI to suicide its fleet on your NAVs, ...); you should expect the same for this DLC.

This very thing came to my mind as well when I first read the diary.