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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Tallfellow

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Thank you, Tallfellow! I really appreciate your readership! A fourth time through Fire Warms is pretty incredible -- that's a LONG story! :D

Good to hear about Victoria. Have you played V2 yet? I've got my new AAR going over there -- I Am Siam -- which is really fun.

Rensslaer

Oh i'm pretty much playing nothing else these days. Haven't tried any of the uncivilized countries yet. But thinking about having a go with one of them soon.

And yeah Fire Warms is a very long story. But it's a good one, so it's worth it :) Also, it got me into the mood to play V2 perfectly!!
 

unmerged(24320)

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Rensslaer: ...Anyone else new out there reading this?

you know by your view count that we are "out there" in droves ! ! :D

magnificent AAR ! ! :cool:

i have been following since about page three... ! ! :)
 

Rensslaer

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Here’s the screenshot I should have showed you last time, of France. You can still see the near-encirclement of Paris, but here you can also see how far behind Germany is falling in the race to occupy France!

17Nov39France.jpg


I can’t remember why I took this screenshot, but it ably shows how much of a nightmare (and a blessing!) the new Portuguese convoy map is!

14Nov39Trade.jpg


Think of how many convoy transports Portugal had to build to keep up with all this – I was a “minor” 2 months ago, with a few colonies around the world. Now…

In an earlier update, now long past, I showed you how I made a mistake in deploying my cavalry too deep into the Angolan wilderness, such that it was neither in a defensible position, nor very able to extract itself from that location without weeks of wearisome travel. The South Africans pursued, moving north, slowly. Inevitably, the advance of South African infantry caught up with the laterally-moving cavalry, and they engaged on the 15th of November.

15Nov39Angola-.jpg


The last thing I wanted was for my cavalry to get involved in a static battle where it could do no good – lost mobility, unwinnable situation, etc. And so we retreated again to hopefully reach a defensible position.

In Mozambique, the South African armies had been moving forward steadily. They already occupied three southern provinces, and were moving quickly toward the central provinces where our bases and population were (see inset).

16Nov39Mozamb.jpg


The air units, recently freed from urgent duty in the East Indies, flew through on their way back home, and launched a number of airstrikes against the oncoming enemy.

While everywhere else, it seemed that the Portuguese were being victorious, or were at least able to hold their own. Only in southern Africa were the Portuguese definitely in full retreat, apparently without hope of rescue. The air units could only delay what seemed the inevitable… Unless something, somehow, could hold the Commonwealth off.

In Nigeria, the battle to hold onto our foothold there is showing the inferiority of our units and troop types. The HQ brigade is suffering badly, even with the support of a garrison division to the east. So we had to bring in another garrison division to help the HQ hold their own position.

18Nov39Nigeria-.jpg


Thankfully, this helps tip the balance against the British in terms of strength. The British pull out of the battle in Lagos, and so we end our holding action. The front is quiet again... For now.

And so, here we see West Africa as it stands in the middle of November. What you can’t see is that I’m extending into the Sahel to the west, which is obscured by the graphic of the airwings.

18Nov39WestAfrica.jpg


These airwings, as you can see, flew from Mozambique, briefly, in an attempt to help end the Nigerian battle. They’re keeping quite busy, as my purpose for them right now (not their natural role!) is to tip the balance in close fights, and… Well, let’s face it – MOST of my fights are close! :D But it’s time for other employment for my Focke Wulf squadron, as you will see soon….

Notice that the 3rd Cavalry (furthest north, near the interior lakes) has now thought better of trying to cut the French armoured division off – that would have not gone well! – and he’s heading south, trying to put a cap on the British motorised division’s escape route, anyway.

More to come... Sorry it's been so long since an update! It might serve well to read over some of the more recent updates (the last 2 updates are on page 24... a ways back! :D).
 
Last edited:

Tolroth

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Very nice to see an update! :)
 

Ruunu3004

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OH MY GOD!

You are back!!
 

unmerged(53911)

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Glad to see an actual update! ;) Will have to review the past notes to see what is what. Italy has taken a sizeable chunk out of France! Are you actually allied with Germany and/or Italy?
 

Stuyvesant

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Good to see that Portugal's Axis Adventures have not been forgotten, in the midst of your busy schedule. :) So, are we seeing the limits of Portuguese power? Have you overextended your carefully husbanded forces?

What is your strategy in the face of overwhelming numbers? Trade ground for time, gain local victories and hope that the overall global situation changes enough that those Allied troops in Africa get redeployed or knocked out of the war? Or something a little more proactive? :)
 

Rensslaer

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Oh i'm pretty much playing nothing else these days. Haven't tried any of the uncivilized countries yet. But thinking about having a go with one of them soon.

And yeah Fire Warms is a very long story. But it's a good one, so it's worth it :) Also, it got me into the mood to play V2 perfectly!!
That's great to hear, Tallfellow! I'm glad you're enjoying it. Thanks for your kind words on Fire Warms! Still the jewel in my cap, so far as I'm concerned. Wish more people would read it to get in the mood for Victoria II! :)

Rensslaer: ...Anyone else new out there reading this?

you know by your view count that we are "out there" in droves ! ! :D

magnificent AAR ! ! :cool:

i have been following since about page three... ! ! :)
Always great to see you coming back to an AAR, GhostWriter! Glad you like it, and thanks for following! Welcome to my new world, Ghostwriter! :D

Very nice to see an update! :)
Thanks for watching for it! Welcome, Tolroth!

Maybe more will come?
This year, or next year? :p
Heh. Yes, more will come. I even intend to continue playing...

On that subject, if I were to upgrade HOI 3, which version would be most likely to both, improve gameplay and operate from my v1.3 savegame?

OH MY GOD!

You are back!!
:D Thanks, Ruunu, for awaiting the return of this AAR! Glad you are enjoying it!

Glad to see an actual update! ;) Will have to review the past notes to see what is what. Italy has taken a sizeable chunk out of France! Are you actually allied with Germany and/or Italy?
Yes, sorry to have such a load of catch-up reading to do! I am allied with Germany and Italy -- an Axis Portugal -- so those are my guys, kind of, taking the pressure off of me.

Good to see that Portugal's Axis Adventures have not been forgotten, in the midst of your busy schedule. :) So, are we seeing the limits of Portuguese power? Have you overextended your carefully husbanded forces?

What is your strategy in the face of overwhelming numbers? Trade ground for time, gain local victories and hope that the overall global situation changes enough that those Allied troops in Africa get redeployed or knocked out of the war? Or something a little more proactive? :)
Glad you're enjoying! :) My strategy in the face of overwhelming numbers is a mixture of what you suggest... In South Africa, it's pretty much trade ground for time. In Asia and western Africa it's local victories, being built, now, into a network of local victories that equal a larger victory. Proactivity? We haven't researched that yet! :D No proactive efforts possible in the near future. I'm still VERY vulnerable. As to whether I've overextended..... :rolleyes: You'll have to wait for a new update! :D

Thanks, everybody, for reading and commenting -- and thanks for sticking with this through the long delays! I'll try to prepare my fiction scene for posting sometime this week.

Rensslaer
 

Palmyrene

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Yay! Rennslaer is back!

But it’s time for other employment for my Focke Wulf squadron, as you will see soon….

Can we expect to see Chita and her crew in action again soon ? :) Maybe a little punishment for Britain's convoys to redress the vulnerability of your own?

Looking forward to the next installment!
 

unmerged(58610)

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Oh shoot up some french armour!

A Portugal storybackingthe allies would not afford such opportunities for a fine offensive waged by a minnow. Rare to see an Italian backstab actaully succeed. There will be gnashing of teeth and carpet chewing at German headquarters.

I seem to recall you abandoned French Indochina -De Gaulle in Hanoi doesn't seem quite so menacing as the Free French. More of the Sahel you take, the less there'll be for left the free french. The fall of France is inevitable.

And whose bright idea was it to use cavalry in Angola?
 

Surt

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Sadly I don't think you can upgrade to any version that preserves game compatibility (At least PI won't guarantee it), Uriahs Rank and File has made 4 or 5 updates to newer versions but each time he either had to replay or hack the safe file.
 

Rensslaer

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Império Novo

Focke-Wulf200Final420-1.jpg


Chita flashed across the waves, which slipped past as if they were watching passing shrubbery, from a truck. They were like that – they were near enough that the waves had texture. One could concentrate on an individual wave, and see how it rolled, crested, fell… But only for a moment, because then it was past, replaced by another, and another, in quick succession. Almost hypnotic. He blinked. Looked away. Stared ahead.

If there were a ship, anywhere near, they would not be able to see it. But their bombs were for later.

He had been this low before… Ari had a momentary flashback to a scene – an untrue one, as it turned out, but one he had experienced as if it were real – where he imagined cannon fire rocking his plane as they fled from an enemy destroyer, and a few dozen feet of altitude translated to only mere seconds before they hit the punishing waves….

He shuddered…

He snapped out of it. That memory had been so real, and yet he knew it had not happened, because Chita was still here. He was still here. But how close… How easy… It could happen, he knew. And that made it more real.

“Do you really think they’ll have radar?” Aaran asked from behind them, startling both pilots. “Seems like they would keep that at home to protect against German raids.”

20Nov39Gibraltar-1.jpg


Ari peered over at his first officer, one eye still carefully measuring their separation from the waves, then jerked his chin to indicate his attention to their young navigator. “It’s a pretty important base. If it were me…” What would he do? In all those years of flying airliners for Spain, he’d been there only twice. Spaniards didn’t normally want to talk to the British, and when they did the absolute last place to have a civil conversation on any topic was the stolen peninsula of Gibraltar. But the times he’d been there, he’d been vastly impressed by its importance as a Mediterranean naval centre. “If it were me, I’d have radar, an air fleet, and as many troops as would fit!” His blood chilled, again, at the idea of what they were about to do.

Suddenly, Ari glimpsed something… It was like a mirage of land, but gradually it resolved itself into what was clearly land. Then… There were two spots of land on the horizon. Of all the…

Frowning, Ari carefully edged the plane’s nose over toward the righthand spot of land, using only the rudder controls, as a full aileron turn would probably dip them into the drink. He was not all that familiar with Gibraltar, but the features – the abrupt and angular height – of the rightmost promontory seemed best to fit what he remembered of Gibraltar. He tried to put himself into the mind of a hypothetical lookout on the top of that mountain. When would they be able to notice the wave-skimming plane, and then realize that it was a plane closing in on their peninsula, and not a ship?

“Heads up,” Ari called out over the intercom. “We’re almost there, lads! Keep on your toes. Not going to be around long, but they’ll probably put some shots up our way.”

Beside him, Paulo called for a soundoff, and began taking roll of the plane’s crewmembers to ensure they had heard the announcement, and hadn’t dozed off. Ari checked his instruments again, the manifold pressure gauges, temperature, proper RPMs on all four engines… He listened to the familiar thrum of his beloved Chita. Noticing nothing out of the ordinary, he relaxed. A peace settled over him. He said a short prayer, without closing his eyes.

Suddenly, he pulled back gradually on the control yoke, and the sea opened up before them. It was like the sensation of takeoff, except that there was nothing nearby them but ocean. “The Rock,” ahead of them, loomed, and took on dimension. There wasn’t another place in the world that looked quite like it.

Gibraltar.jpg


As they approached, they could see ships and a miniature collection of buildings at the very base of the massive outcropping which must be buildings, though it looked just like indistinct clutter from extreme range. Everyone kept an eye out for other aircraft, but no one shouted out. Paulo grabbed a pair of binoculars and began scanning the area.

Their mission was to identify what ships and what air defenses were present, as well as what ground forces might be, and where they were stationed. Such a mission to find army troops might be impossible, except since Gibraltar was crowded as it was, any additional reinforcing brigades would have to be camped out in the open where they would be visible. This is what they sought. Manoel, like Paulo, would also be scanning.

In order to be sure, they would have to fly close to the mountain, and near the buildings of the harbour. Ari aimed for them, hoping that the miniscule edge-on profile of his plane, from that angle, would keep them masked from searching eyes below. The Rock grew, as if to envelop them. Ari’s slight climb would allow them to skim over the top. He hoped, desperately, that there were no anti-aircraft guns along their exact flight path up there.

As if to break the tension, or to punctuate the almost boredom they were experiencing, Pascoal announced over the intercom, “No planes in sight, Captain.” That confirmed what Ari was seeing… Or not seeing. They were nearing the path over the mountain, now, the shoreline now partially obscured by the curve of Chita’s nose.

A black burst appeared below and to the left. Hopelessly off on the range, Ari thought, but it signaled they had been seen. Gradually, other guns, their attention drawn by the first, began to pepper the sky. Some began to get their altitude correct. Paulo refused to be distracted, as his magnified vision captured more detail from the island’s limited habitable flatlands.

“I see a small encampment of tents, north of the base,” he said. “There’s just not much there.”

From below them – the voice sounded on the intercom, but those on the flight deck still thought of Manoel as sitting beneath them – a deeper voice said, “There’s a little plane coming up after us. A biplane of some sort. Gladiator? About one o’clock.”

Ari craned his neck to see. Paulo saw it first. “It’s… It’s climbing okay, but that thing doesn’t have any speed. There’s no way he could catch us.” Ironically, Gibraltar was defended by planes so obsolete that a later-model German-made bomber had more horsepower and swiftness than the biplane fighter. As if to emphasize the point, Paulo added, “And I think there’s a Fairy Battle out there, too.” The Fairy Battle was a peculiar fighter plane, turned bomber, whose guns were mounted to face the rear instead of to front. A rear gunner operated the guns, while the pilot was forced to maneuver alongside its target. The Battle, too, was too far away to have any hope of reaching them.

But these older aircraft didn’t need to reach them. The anti-aircraft fire was becoming more intense. The plane rocked from time to time, with a concussion signaling a close call. The AA fire would cease if the fighters got close to them, but since that wasn’t happening… Ari chuckled to himself as he absurdly considered flying closer to the fighters, but he only earned an odd cast glance from Paulo.

A crash off their port wing caused Ari to flinch away involuntarily. “Everybody okay?” Paulo’s soundoff again confirmed they were. “You ready to drop, Manoel?”

“Any moment now, Captain… I’ll take control.” Ari took his hands off the control yoke, but Chita continued ahead just as before. Then, ever so subtly, the yoke began to turn and move a little. Manoel was lining up on a target, using his bombardier’s controls. It didn’t really matter much what the target was – some building, whatever – just so long as they were able to inflict some damage on the “impenetrable” Fortress Gibraltar. The plane lurched slightly upward as the weight of the bombs let loose, and Ari grabbed the control again. “Back to you,” Manoel confirmed. There was no hope of Ari seeing what they were bombing, but his bombardier soon shouted, “Hit! I got a complex of buildings, and they’re blasting to pieces!” Ari smiled.

And then they crossed over the saddle between the mountain’s promontories. The rocks and greenery flashed past close underneath, and then dropped away suddenly as they cruised over the inner harbour. More anti-aircraft fire began to open up – these new gunners were alert from the ruckus on the other side, but it took them a few moments to realize it was their turn now.

“I saw two encampments,” Paulo said. “Not very large, either of them.” He continued to peer over his side of the aircraft, focusing his binoculars on more shoreline. They would compare notes later, and hand the information over to experts who would be better able to estimate the total numbers of troops indicated by what they had seen. Sleek-looking ships lay scattered around the water beneath them, some of them opening up at the invading plane with their own guns, to little effect.

“Manoel, Paulo, have you seen all you need?” Ari asked. Answers to the affirmative allowed him to turn Chita south, to exit in the direction of the Straits of Gibraltar. From there, they would land in Lisbon before long. A few final bangs of potentially lethal shells spent themselves uselessly as they fled. They never saw the pursuing airplanes again.

All in all, what an anti-climax!
 
Last edited:

unmerged(53911)

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Could this mean more gameplay action to follow? Always fun to read about Portugal's fledgling air corps!
 

shepherd352

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I would love to see this story come back to life but I could never play old versions of games. For all it faults, SF introduced some much needed improvements, as has the latest patch. But I don't want to disuade Resslaer from continuing this exiting story. The detailed narrative and somewhat crazy tactics are an inspiration to us all!
 

Stuyvesant

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Though I frown on bombing Gibraltar :)p), I have to say that was a very well-written narrative. Very exciting and a lot of interesting detail (such as Ari's false recollection and the antiquated British planes). I could vividly imagine coming up on the Rock at wave height, hopping over the Rock itself and then buzzing the harbor. Very enjoyable. :)
 

Palmyrene

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Good to see Chita and her crew in action and hopefully home safely! Lets hope this visit doesnt stir up the Brits to provide Gibralter with some better defences!

I guess in the heat of the moment the observers can be forgiven for mistaking the turreted fighter for a Fairy Battle,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fairey_Battle.jpg
instead of the Bouton Paul Defiant.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mk1_Defiant.jpg
;)
Do you hope to distract the attention of Britain and her commonwealth allies back to the Med and away from Africa?

Nice, exciting update, and looking forward to the next.