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Strategy GuidAAR
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Jun 24, 2004
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Império Novo


Aristides Caldeira’s ears had long since become inured to the monotonous thrum of the four BMW engines attached to his airframe less than 10 meters from his head.

Like an ocean wave, once you came to a peace about the immense power of the sound and vibration, which washed over you at cruising speed and altitude, it became a comforting, relaxing presence.

The thick blanket of clouds beneath them added to the impression. This high up, above whatever lay below – perhaps gentle rain, perhaps a moderate storm – the layer of whiteness was pristine. The smooth air above them conspired with the engine’s drone to lull one into a sense of utter peace and tranquility.

Beside Ari, his copilot Paolo de Sousa gazed passively out the airplane’s side window. He would catch a glimpse, now and again, of grayish seawater through a hole in the clouds. But until they escaped this overcast zone, there was not much hope of seeing anything else. To fly beneath the clouds was out of the question – it would limit their range of vision just as effectively, and submit them to the buffeting and tension that always came with flying through “weather.” So Aristides sought…

There. A break in the clouds. Ari changed course, slightly, to fly closer. His attention was fixed upon gauging the size of the hole, strategically determining where to fly to get the best visibility. He nudged the control yoke slightly to the right.

And so it was that Manoel Serrao, seated underneath the fuselage in the ventral gondola, with nothing to look at but an encompassment of glass and everything beyond, spoke first. “Lá!” his exclamation enlivened the intercom, startling everyone to sudden attention. “Navios!”

Ari, bliss already displaced by an urgent excitement, strained against his seat harness, trying to see what his bombardier had seen. He quickly caught a glimpse of the ships and their wakes, barely visible past the occlusion of the cloud front. Instantly, he yanked upon the yoke and the large but beautifully responsive aircraft rolled practically onto its wingtip as he maneuvered to make the cloud shelter their image from eyes below.

Had they been seen?

The prowling Focke Wulf 200 had been visible for only a long moment. More likely, they would be heard. But with stormy winds – nothing to cause heavy swells upon the ocean’s surface, but surely anything but calm – it was hard to predict how sound would carry. Wind either made it more likely or less. No matter. They would attack, surprise or no.

They were British or French ships, no doubt, because no one else would be assembled into convoy formation. This far out from the Azores, the lookouts on those ships might well be tasked exclusively with watching for periscopes of German U-Boats. They might not even be conscious that Portugal’s license-built FW 200’s could range out this far!

In spite of the dire seriousness of the situation, Ari chuckled to himself. Patronizing idiots, he thought. There was no respect for Portugal. It was the “little country” – the “minor player in the Axis alliance” – the country whose empire was formerly great. So foreigners said. Particularly the British and French. Portugal was the empire that was. Past tense.

Aiming for the spot beneath the clouds where he expected the convoy must be, Ari nosed their beloved Chita over, and shoved the throttle forward to increase the feed of fuel to the engines. Over the onboard intercom, he announced, “Time to instruct the world about the Império Novo.” He let the phrase hang in the air so people could contemplate. “Eh?”

“Império Novo!” came a voice in reply from an enthusiastic crewman. The New Empire.

As gracefully as only a Focke Wulf “Condor” could, this bird of prey had fixed its eyes upon its target and dove with portentous purpose…

Império Novo.



Introductory Story Teaser (fiction)

Introductory Explanation

v1.1c Gameplay (obsolete - later restarted in v1.2)

1.1 Basic Setup & Trade

1.1 Trade, Production & SCW

1.1 More Trade & Production Strategy

v1.2 Gameplay (current game)

Basic Trade & Production, New Things for 1.2

SCW, Trade, Production, Discovering Other v1.2 Changes

Production, Trade, Tech & SCW

SCW Turns, War Clouds Gather

Closing Out 1937, Convoy Escorts, War Prep

Munich & Final Run Up To War

Training FW 200 Pilots (fiction)

Final Months of Peace & Preparation

World War II Begins... Without Us! - Poland Falls

Germany Strikes North By Northwest

Portuguese Declaration of War & Initial Moves

Naval Strategy Discussion w/Potski

FW 200 Deployed, Cabinda, Saigon, Mistakes & Victories

First Convoy Strike (Intro Story Pt. 2) - FW 200 (fiction)

Invasions of Conakry, Kuching, Battle of Bathurst

Convoy Shortages, Saigon Lost & Regained, Naval Battle, Skirmishes Along Ivory/Gold/Slave Coast

World Update, West African Battles, Indochina

Furious battles in Borneo, Gold Coast (W. Africa)

Chita Night Flight Over Jungle (fiction)

Africa & Borneo - Early October 1939 (Battle of Paris update too)

Africa & Borneo - Late October 1939

Africa & Borneo - Early November 1939 (Battle of Paris update too)

Africa - Mid November 1939 (Battle of France update too)

Chita Recon at Gibraltar (fiction)

Worldwide - Late November to Early December 1939

Worldwide (includes Fall of France, Invasion of Gibraltar) - Late December 1939 to Early January 1940

Africa, East Indies, Battle for Singapore, Sweden Surrenders - January 1940

Angola & Congo, updates on Asia, Yugoslavia & Norway (includes spreadsheet of all resources captured by Portugal) - January to March 1940

Angola & Mozambique, Singapore update, Fall of Yugoslavia - March to April 1940

East Indies - March to May 1940

Africa - April to May 1940

Chita Attacks a Cruiser (fiction)

Worldwide (including Invasion Attempts at Macao, Azores) - May to June 1940

Caribbean & South Africa - June to mid-July 1940

S. Africa breaks open, Fall of Greece, Jamaican Two-step - August to mid-September 1940

S. Africa Chase, 2nd Attempt against Guyana - mid-September to mid-October 1940

S. Africa Mopup, Fall of Guyana, Capture of Bahamas - mid-October to early-December 1940

Bahamas operations, invasion of Gibraltar, South Africa surrenders - December 1940

Caribbean and Singapore wrapup, pushing north into Tanzania, Kenya - mid-February to mid-March 1941

Mopup in Caribbean and Africa, Hong Kong falls, Britain in trouble? - mid-March to early-May 1941

Chita Savaged by British Fighters! (fiction)

Maneuverings in Caribbean, fencing in Africa, Australia enters the war - mid-May to July 1941

Disaster in Aden, Jamaica falls, Mopup in East Indies, race through Sudan - August to mid-September 1941

Raiding Port Sudan, Mopup in Africa, Borneo, Race for Alexandria, Conquest of Rabaul - mid-September to October 1941

Invasion of New Guinea, Stymied Along Red Sea Coastal Route - November to mid-December 1941

New Guinea, Turkish Balkan Front & the rush north to Egypt - January & February 1942

Egypt, Kuwait, Somalia, New Guinea, Invasion of Perth - March & April 1942

Australia, New Guinea, Turkey, England, Egypt, Gibraltar - May & June 1942 (up to Jul 7)

Forward from Perth, Failures at Alexandria, Gibraltar, Fears of Invasion at Lisbon! - July & August 1942

Australia campaign, mopup in Egypt, Somalia - Sep - mid-Oct 1942

World overview - mid-Oct to mid-Nov 1942

Australian campaign - mid-Nov to early Dec 1942

Australian campaign - Dec 1942 - Jan 1943

Australian campaign - early to mid-Feb 1943

Valentine's Day, 1943 (followup from Melbourne, examining world powers & plan to shake things up)

Chita's desperately dangerous mission against Canberra! (fiction)

Closing in on Canberra, German Invasion of Scotland - mid-February to mid-March 1943

Australia is Conquered, Challenge in Bahamas, Savo Island - mid-March to mid-April 1943

Invasion of N. Ireland & Scotland - mid-April to mid-May 1943

Battle for the Central British Isles - mid-May 1943

Continued struggles in Central British Isles - late May 1943

Pressure builds in Central British Isles - early June 1943

Three major battles in the Central British Isles - mid-June 1943

Victory in Central Britain! - mid-June - early July 1943

Ravaging Midlands & Land's End, Anglia Invasion - mid July 1943

The Great British Empire Surrenders! - late July, 1943

Conquest of Canada, Wrapup & Retrospective - Aug - Oct 1943

Appendix, Part 1 - 1945 (fiction)

Most recent update posted May 7, 2013
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Now that is timing! No sooner do i see you post in Fire Warms that you're starting a new AAR then, poof, it appears. As to all your great writing endeavors, I look forward to see what you'll do with this my friend.:)

Axis Portugal, eh? Should open up some possibilities for interesting colonial wars, if nothing else. Does Portugal's entry on the side of the axis presage broader Iberian support? (ie, Nat Spain supporting Germany as well) If nothing else, those Atlantic ports are going to make U-boat activity even more of a nightmare for allied convoys.
Now that is timing! No sooner do i see you post in Fire Warms that you're starting a new AAR then, poof, it appears. As to all your great writing endeavors, I look forward to see what you'll do with this my friend.:)

Axis Portugal, eh? Should open up some possibilities for interesting colonial wars, if nothing else. Does Portugal's entry on the side of the axis presage broader Iberian support? (ie, Nat Spain supporting Germany as well) If nothing else, those Atlantic ports are going to make U-boat activity even more of a nightmare for allied convoys.

VILenin -- it is magnificently honouring to have you, one of my most loyal and favorite fans, be the first to post in response! Welcome! :D

This forum is blossoming today! An Axis Portugal is certainly going to be an interesting game! I'll be following this. ;)
An Axis Portugal is going to be quite a challenge... though you seem to have precise ideas of what you're going to do!

Something tells me we have here the roots of the first Epic AAR for HoI3... :)
Will look forward to more :)
A fascinating start for sure! I'm eager to see where you can take the New Empire :D
Império Novo
There has been talk about how Hearts of Iron III has been constructed – that it’s scripted to provide a more historical, and yet non-scripted, version of World War II. Johan has said you won’t be able to take over the world as Cuba, for instance. And I remember Hobotnicajoe’s AAR where he basically performed a world conquest with Hungary.

It’s true – the magnificent conquests possible in HOI 2 are not going to be as likely or as possible in HOI 3. However, I want to demonstrate that it’s possible to at least succeed with a second-tier country.

As most of you probably know, I wrote the Manual and the Strategy Guide for HOI 3. I’ve been studying the strategies and tactics of the game for months now, and I’m pretty comfortable with how to make things work. I’m hoping this AAR will provide insight into how to play the game that goes beyond what the Strategy Guide could provide. You can watch things unfold. You can ask questions. This AAR, I hope, will do for HOI 3 what Sforza!!! did for EU 3 – provide a live learning environment for strategies, and offer a place for discussions about how to do things. Perhaps it can even serve as an inspiration to others who want to take a smaller country and see what fun they can have with it.

I’ve not played this game all the way through, even in the beta. Once I start the game for real, I’ll play it as we go. I don’t know for sure that I can do it. But I have a pretty good idea that I can combine my knowledge of the strategies and some insights into the hidden strengths of Portugal to make a very interesting gameplay AAR. This will NOT be a “gamey” AAR, where I use exploits to advance my cause, or undertake truly unrealistic goals. I will make every effort to make this a realistic game, using Portugal’s resources in a way that I believe they could have been used given a slightly different course to history. Anyone who’s familiar with Sforza!!! will also tell you I don’t always follow my own advice from the Strategy Guide – I have my own style, and it means not always using the “wisest” courses of action. Anyone who’s familiar with my earlier Fire Warms the Northern Lands will also tell you that I don’t mind highlighting my mistakes, or even my stupidities! All this should combine to make this a very interesting AAR.

It’s my goal to reinvigorate the Portuguese Empire, and to place it once more among the most powerful nations in the world. In 1936, Portugal DOES still have a colonial empire. But it’s been a few centuries since Portugal really had any power in the world. It’s my opinion that World War II will offer the opportunity to reverse those fortunes.

Portugal, beginning in 1932, had a president – Antonio Oscar Carmona (please forgive me for not inserting proper grammatical marks – I’ll probably miss quite a few) – who was one of the first authoritarian, nationalistic leaders of Europe. In fact, he pre-dated Hitler. He was backed by "the power behind the throne," Antonio de Oliveria Salazar, who served as prime minister. Carmona and Salazar were not, strictly speaking, fascists or nationalist-socialists. In fact, they had quite a few conflicts with the fascists inside Portugal (the game shows their party as Paternal Autocrat, whereas there is a Fascist Party and a National Socialist Party also). Carmona was a social conservative – he was a conservative Catholic, first and foremost, a relatively moral man who believed in using power to support the Church, but would probably have blanched at the idea of becoming an aggressive conquerer, with all the immoralities that would involve – and it’s my opinion he would never have shared the goals desired by Mussolini or Hitler. He refused to join in alliance with Italy or Germany when he had the chance, even when the Axis was in ascendancy. I’ve seen evidence he actually cooperated with the British in some ways. It’s for this reason I believe I will assume Carmona does not continue as Portuguese President, because his reticence probably does not fit well with the aggressive power I wish to make of Portugal. Carmona also wasn’t a very energetic leader, and never was able to quite mobilize the potentials of the Portuguese economy in the way I will have to in order to achieve my aims.

There were more hard-line leaders than Carmona or Salazar who might have sought power. These people may not have had the ability to displace them historically, but I am going to assume they do in this game. The government of Portugal I lead will either be fascists, or social conservatives who are willing to compromise their beliefs to join with the Spanish, German and Italian nationalist socialists in opposition to the Marxist internationalist socialist influences who were more feared by the many conservatives, liberals and moderates of Europe. I do not share their political perspectives -- I'm only using this as a plot device for the game/AAR.

The ideological goal of Portugal’s government will naturally be in opposition to any Marxist movements around it, up to and including taking sides in the Spanish Civil War and/or possibly opposing the aims of the USSR on whatever field of battle is offered. The nationalist goal of Portugal’s government will be to protect the Empire, to expand it if possible, and to build Portugal into a world power once more.

If I’m thrown to the ground on my first attempt, it’s my intent to start over from the beginning and reprise the strategy, correcting any mistakes I made the first time around, because I am convinced that this strategy has the potential to work!

So there’s the introduction, as brief as I care to make it. I won’t discuss my strategy yet, because I love cliffhangers, I love making people wonder, and I maintain the advantage of mystery largely because no one has before (not in HOI 2 at least) tried what I’m about to try. Not successfully, anyway! Watch and wonder… And, hopefully, you will be entertained! :D

Thanks for all the early feedback on the teaser piece of dramatic fiction! About 1/10th of this AAR will be in similar style, probably following the same characters as we go. Most of the AAR will be in gameplay style.

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Your premise sounds good! I'll indeed be interested in seeing what second-tier powers can do in this game as eventually I'll be trying my hand at an old friend and seeing how far I can get with them in this game, as opposed to its predecessor. But first I need experience, in part my own and in part others. As Bismarck once said, fools learn from experience but wise men learn from other peoples' experience. :D
Here's take three (or four?) of following a Rensselaer AAR... :D Will try to follow along, both for the story developments and to crib anything I can about playing HOI3.

Not making any promises, though, given my past track record and your annoying (;)) tendency to update like a runaway train.

Rightly or wrongly, I suspect that playing as a smaller country will be a good way to learn the ropes (I'll probably play a game as Republican Spain first myself), so I'm very interested to learn the advantages (presumably less complexity) and drawbacks of playing a second-tier nation.
Sweet! :cool: A new Renss AAR, and I am loving the country selection already. Unique and should offer a great guide for others wanting play outside the "big boys." Good luck. You know I'll be following. :)
Hmm... A couple of targets come to mind, but we shall see in due time whether you take them on.

There's the matter of your existing African possessions - a lot of strategizing could happen regarding them. There are the Azores and Macau - what use can one make of them? And there are a few countries on or near your borders you usually don't single out for invasion in "regular" games.
This looks great! I loved "Fire Warms the Northern Lands" because of its great character writing. From how the first post looks, Imperia Novo will be a very good read too. Let's see who else is going to join the party.
Sadly, we will not be with the characters for such a long time we were in the Victorian Era, but we should meet them in more interesting circumstances. Will you start in '36 (or even in '32) or will you jump right into the action in '39?
Also, I am glad that you will play honest an without much practice - changing fates make a more interesting story than an unopposed world conquest. So, good luck!
By the way, if you are looking for a good read to get into the mood for Salazar Portugal, I would suggest "Night train to Lisbon" by Pascal Mercier, though I cannot vouch for the translation into English.
This sounds interesting, I'll be watching this. I'm hoping you run into trouble, not because I want you to fail, but it will mean HOI3 is truly difficult, and it makes a more interesting AAR. But Good Luck anyway! :p
I look forward to this AAR! BTW, as Cromelex mentioned in Portuguese, it's not Impéria, it's Império. Impéria Novo makes no sense at all in Portuguese. :D