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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Stuyvesant

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That's the most focus on longer-term planning I've seen in a while, rather than merely short-term action and reaction. :) Good for you that France finally fell. A lot of Africa has turned Portuguese green. I do have to ask one blunt question: in all those expansive territories, is there actually anything worth getting? :)
 

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So cruel.
Hitler must be asking 'Portugal? What Portugal?'.
The ugliest borders ever seen! +1
 

unmerged(24320)

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Rensslaer: During the last half of December, .. Those theatres which were unsettled – besides South Africa – had begun to settle, which allowed Portugal to take the initiative

excellent ! !

Rensslaer: ...17th of December, Paris was taken, the Republic of France surrendered, .. Those territories which were, at the time of the surrender, in German or Portuguese hands became the property of that country. Portugal, by right of conquest, surged in total size!

IC change ? ? manpower gain change ? ? did you obtain/have full production of any resource needs ? ? :)

Rensslaer: ...senior planners .. mostly were glad to have those fronts resolved, so they could concentrate their attention on winning the war against the British.

yes, watch those priorities ! ! :D

Rensslaer: ...It was in Indochina where the Portuguese felt cheated, .. only Saigon remained.

at least you have the port. hmmm. would you be able to trade that port to the Japanese for anything worthwhile ? ?

Rensslaer: ...Operation Avalanche – an attack .. on Gibraltar. .. British cruiser squadron, however, put a stop to the operation.

nothing ventured, nothing gained ! !

Rensslaer: ...But, if nothing else, this setback reminded government experts of Portugal’s lamentable staying-power in naval strength .. new light cruiser’s keel being laid down. .. Research was focused on heavier cruisers, along with the typical heavy industry and economic technologies.

good choices ! !

Rensslaer: ...enough troops were freed up to pressure Freetown, .. reduce British enclaves, one-by-one, if necessary, starting here.

yes ! ! consolidation is the order of the day ! ! :)

Rensslaer: ...troops that had been intended to focus on Indochina were re-tasked toward Kota Bharu and the Malay Peninsula, with some rich deposits of critical war resources as the target. .. One division would seize two birds with one stone, so to speak, and capture more of Britain’s vulnerable Asian wealth.

no doubt, the British have more resources than they can use ! ! so just continue to liberate those resources ! ! :D

oh ! ! what are your resource levels ? ?

excellent update ! ! :cool:
 

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Good to see one threat gone! The Brits will likely be scattered for a while so you can concentrate force as you see fit. Be wary of getting too close to India!
 

poloport

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Excellent update! :D
It looks like now you are just consolidating your gains, and cleaning up the borders in africa
 

Rensslaer

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That's the most focus on longer-term planning I've seen in a while, rather than merely short-term action and reaction. :) Good for you that France finally fell. A lot of Africa has turned Portuguese green. I do have to ask one blunt question: in all those expansive territories, is there actually anything worth getting? :)

Ahh, yes -- it's been nice to be able to give up on the whole "one-armed paperhanger" role and look a little to the future, for once.

Well, as for value of what I've taken...

Victory Points: Dakar 5, Kota Bharu 2, Saigon 10
Industry (IC): Dakar 1, Saigon 1
Resources: Dakar Energy 1, Abidjan Energy 1 Rares 1, Kota Bharu Metal 4, Rares 25, Miri Oil 11, Kuching Rares 7, Pontin (W. Borneo) Oil 4

I'm also still shipping out stockpiles from some of those ports I captured -- stacks and stacks of stuff.

Not bad, but not as much as I'd thought was there, to be honest. Did they change some of the resource locations between v1.1 and v1.2 or something? Or maybe I'm remembering taking some IC and/or VPs from Hanoi and Haiphong that I later lost.

My IC now (Jan 40) is 25/40, whereas in Sept 39 it was 23/31.

The ugliest borders ever seen! +1

Yeah, I was pretty dissatisfied with the disorder of the border. I was about to take over that last odd province in West Africa when it was stolen from me. And the rest is ugly too. Oh well.

IC change ? ? manpower gain change ? ? did you obtain/have full production of any resource needs ? ? :)

no doubt, the British have more resources than they can use ! ! so just continue to liberate those resources ! ! :D

oh ! ! what are your resource levels ? ?

excellent update ! ! :cool:

Resources are a constant source of worry, of course, but my conquests have mainly netted me resource producing provinces. My convoys are super busy! The enemy preys upon them, but more gets through than gets stopped. I'm not making enough in Metal, but energy is relatively good and I've got TONS of Rares coming in -- stuff I can later sell to my allies for money to trade with. Oil is good too -- I hold two Oilfields, with a third and/or fourth on the way, and this is a resource the Axis is short on in any case. I may be able to supply my friends, once my own levels of refined fuel have stabilized.

Good to see one threat gone! The Brits will likely be scattered for a while so you can concentrate force as you see fit. Be wary of getting too close to India!

Yeah, I gave up on Goa pretty early on because there was nothing I could do there. India is a long term project, if a project at all. We'll see. :)

Excellent update! :D
It looks like now you are just consolidating your gains, and cleaning up the borders in africa

Thanks! Both consolidating and preparing for another wave of counteroffensive, I fear. There are offensives still underway on my side, but I keep thinking the British must be preparing a counterstroke and I need to be ready for it.

Sforza (EU 3) is due for an update next, then I Am Siam (V2), then this one. Hopefully still by the weekend. We'll see.

Thank you again, as always, for your kind readership and comments!

Rensslaer
 

Rensslaer

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As a preface to this update, I'll say this. Last update, you saw me wrapping up some loose ends, and beginning to pull at some new loose threads. This update, I turn this aggressive search for opportunities (really just a repeat of the strategy used in Portugal's first days of war) into an art form, trying to use the tools at my disposal -- mainly striking at weak points and making the most of regional naval superiority -- to take whatever low-hanging fruit is available.

Last update, you saw that I'd landed at Kota Bharu, on the Malay Peninsula, with the intent of capturing the Resource mines there, and crossing to the other side of the Peninsula to grab more Resources there. Mind you, our forces in these seas are all worn down by furious, constant, stopgap fighting against the British in Borneo. I'd let them rest, but I don't have time to let them rest. This is "Hungry Hungry Hippo" time, and I have to grab what I can to build my own strength, weaken the British, and hope the two balance out more or less one day.

2Jan1940KotaBharu.jpg


In its weakened state, the last thing I wanted was for a British division to show up. I was attacked, and the situation was hopeless. The ships loitered offshore to pick up the retreating Portuguese.

You'll notice that in many of these screenshots there's a hint of a "we've sunk a British/Dutch transport" message. Our air and naval forces were steadily wearing away at Allied merchant traffic throughout this period -- one or two ships sunk every few days. They got us, sometimes, too, but less often, because the Allied naval presence south of Gibraltar or east of the Mediterranean was practically nonexistent.

Now, wait a second... If "Singapore Command" is in Kota Bharu, then...

5Jan1940Singapore.jpg


Indeed, it was so! The British had stupidly vacated Singapore. And I can't even tell you why -- they had to have started their run north way before I even appeared. Someone would be court-martialed for this stupid (and utterly unrealistic) move. But I would take advantage of opportunities given!

Singapore was a huge catch. One IC, plus a full naval base, airbase, fortress, AA cover, etc.

Elsewhere in the East Indies, we were expanding our gains without opposition as well. I landed in Dutch Borneo in order to capture the last seaport for communication off the island. Even if the British/Dutch still held some Resource pockets on the island, they could no longer ship them out. Plus, we grabbed the stockpiles that had been building there.

Jan1940BorneoJava.jpg


I also landed in Java, capturing the key industrial and materiel points first. Our Resources were burgeoning -- we had just captured the most resource-rich region in the world, probably. All this was now ours, and denied to the Allies, as well. I should start a savegame as UK to see how bad their situation is (remind me!).

You'll recall we'd begun to press in against the British stronghold at Freetown, Sierra Leone, too. We brought all our local forces to bear, despite their reduced combat status from frequent combats.

5Jan1940Freetown.jpg


Our brigades were weak. But against our combined strength, the British were ground down, and down...

After less than two weeks, the British had been overwhelmed and forced to surrender.

9Jan1940FreetownOurs.jpg


Freetown was ours! Another major naval and air base was denied to the Allies. A threat neutralized. They had to reposition. Without other major support stations in the South Atlantic (besides Ascension -- more and more vulnerable now), they headed north or west.

In our overriding quest to capture every major resource point in Africa and the East Indies, we landed a brigade at Port Harcourt, Nigeria. That brigade was then withdrawn and tasked elsewhere (you'll see in a minute) while forces from further west in Nigeria worked on securing the whole Nigerian coast.

22Jan1940PortHarcourt.jpg


Further south, we begin pressing the Belgians in the Congo. We assault the Belgian port city (cut off for weeks from the rest of Congo, and effectively also from sea traffic), and we begin moving into the interior toward their new national capital at Elisabethville, deep in the heart of Africa.

15Jan1940Congo.jpg


Only in southern Africa are we still having enormous difficulties. The South Africans have punished us in the defense of Inhambane, one of our divisions already having been defeated and forced north. A second gives up and retreats south.

4Jan1940Mozambique.jpg


We land a cavalry regiment in the south, hoping to cut off the South Africans who have been pushing north. But a South African division unexpectedly appears in their path, and they are halted and essentially trapped with the rest of our forces there. This front cannot hold. At least as far as our present horizon reveals.

5Jan1940Angola.jpg


We are losing ground steadily in Angola, too. We speed reinforcements to try to help. But it becomes clear standard frontal thinking will not win this battle.

To round out the month on a more hopeful note, Ascension Island may be beyond our reach for right now, but we are able to claim St. Helena, their defenders apparently having been withdrawn recently to fill in elsewhere in the world.

29Jan1940StHelena.jpg


In other events around the world, Greece declares war against Italy, Germany declares war and invades Yugoslavia (a somewhat related event), and Sweden ultimately capitulates, and is annexed into the German Reich.

Jan1940SwedYugGreece.jpg


Remember the edge-of-your-seat catfight that was Borneo, for so many weeks? Alas, it begins again in Singapore and Malaya, as British forces which emerge from the jungles threaten our hold on that critical base.

If the British had three divisions in Malaya, it's inexcuseable that they would have left Singapore unattended. But these same units now return for vengeance, and I'm going to be hard pressed to hold my rich gain.

28Jan1940Singapore.jpg


We land reinforcements at Singapore, to hold off the infantry division that is savaging our frontier outposts there. We land another brigade of our own behind the British lines -- they cross the Peninsula, cut off the British division, and then attack their rear flank, causing them to give up their assault upon our bastions at Singapore.

But another British division appears, reopens communication with their first division, and the Singapore Command division is hurrying south again from Kota Bharu, having retaken that site.

We're able to land another unit in Kota Bharu again, and they complete the mission first tasked to our garrison brigade. We land yet another brigade behind the second British division, intending to cut everybody off at once.

They are successful, but the British retain some teeth despite being cut off. More on this in another update....
 

unmerged(53911)

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Loved the Singapore Gambit and ensuing epic battle! Portugal is becoming quite the thorn in the side of the British Empire. Remember to keep running away from their divisions - unless you can capture more places like Singapore. Are you planning to bring other units to bear against South Africa? While I agree that a frontal strategy is not workable, I think that some oblique attacks may produce the desired results. Also, you do want to deny these bases to the Allies. Could we get a screen shot of Europe at some point soon?
 

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Wow, very fast paced update...

I was in the edge of my seat the whole time :D

Good work at gaining some land and depriving the british from their valuable bases and resources
 

Stuyvesant

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Khotu Baru is... Was... A nice place to hang on to. Of course, Singapore, even though it doesn't bring in those mouthwatering 25 rares, is a much better prize. And besides Singapore, you're doing a great job snatching oil and rares provinces left and right. You must be a major headache for the Allies in the Far East.

I'm curious to see what you'll come up with for the South African menace. So far, that front looks the most like a regular war you're facing - and you're not doing too well there....
 

Rensslaer

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Axis troops freed Freetown to make it more free? :cool:

Indeed. Everything Portugal touches turns to gold. Free gold. Or something.

Loved the Singapore Gambit and ensuing epic battle! Portugal is becoming quite the thorn in the side of the British Empire. Remember to keep running away from their divisions - unless you can capture more places like Singapore. Are you planning to bring other units to bear against South Africa? While I agree that a frontal strategy is not workable, I think that some oblique attacks may produce the desired results. Also, you do want to deny these bases to the Allies. Could we get a screen shot of Europe at some point soon?

Thanks! Yes, I'll see if I can do an update on Europe now that things are more or less stabilized.

Wow, very fast paced update...

I was in the edge of my seat the whole time :D

Good work at gaining some land and depriving the british from their valuable bases and resources

Thanks! I was shocked at just how much stuff was happening all at once. Following Germany's invasions was boring, by comparison! :D

Khotu Baru is... Was... A nice place to hang on to. Of course, Singapore, even though it doesn't bring in those mouthwatering 25 rares, is a much better prize. And besides Singapore, you're doing a great job snatching oil and rares provinces left and right. You must be a major headache for the Allies in the Far East.

I'm curious to see what you'll come up with for the South African menace. So far, that front looks the most like a regular war you're facing - and you're not doing too well there....

Yeah, I'm hoping I draw enough attention in General Staff meetings that they're amazed, but not quite sure what to do about it. :D

Thanks for your kind comments! And hello to any readers out there who haven't spoken up. Anyone new?

I'll hope to update this again shortly after New Years. Lots more excitement ahead!

Rensslaer
 

unmerged(58610)

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You'll want to take the non-VP provinces of the Belgian Congo first or the Germans will get most of it, when they force the Belgians to be annexed.

Likewise for the Dutch East Indies, for the Netherlands.

The South Africans will only be taken, if you land troops in South Africa itself and take their VP provinces and then annex. You'll need to take the troop out of west africa to do it.

Very neat that pull of the troops out of Singapore. You've got a free brigade in the north of malaya, which can take the rest of the peninsula or can be transported down to thwart the HQ unit.
 

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I did finish that Portugal game but in HOI3
When my war started I focused on Belgium and the British. I actually had the luck of South Africa being in the Axis (I really don't know how) and was free to take on Zambia , Congo and Tanzania. The Italians failed rather well and their only gain (Greece) became a puppet. I captured all of Africa north of South Africa, West of Ethiopia, South of Egypt and East of Benin. Borneo and Southern Arabia were also captured. An invasion of India was attempted from four directions (Persian led Germans from the West, Japanese and Thai from the East, Portugese from the South and Tibet from the North) that still managed to fail (we managed to get to the southern border of Bombay before the tides turned). We also made a failed attempt of invading the Phillipines. Unfortunately Germany released Sweden, Finland, Belgium, and the Netherlands so I did not get to keep what I "earned".
 

Rensslaer

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This rather long update pretty much covers February 1940.

Portugal's conquests, and her convoys, were providing enormous stocks of every vital resource by February of 1940 -- Energy, Metal, Rares, and even Crude Oil. But our Money supply was dropping precipitously.

Fortunately, trading abundance for shortage, we were able to arrange with Germany to provide them with 21 critical Rare Ores for every $3 they provided back to us. This didn't stop our bleeding out money, but it slowed it to a trickle.

And the new strategic situation allowed us to, for the first time, take the initiative against the South Africans in Angola...

27Jan1940Angola.jpg


By sea, again, we landed the 1st Infantry Division, and an HQ detachment, behind the South African line of advance at Porto Alexandre -- the southernmost city of conquered Portuguese Angola. They immediately came under attack from a South African division that was moving forward to help with the fight. This was not ideal, but was not a huge surprise to us.

Wheels within wheels, you'll see several moves and countermoves over the next few slides.

But first, I want to show you how our recent conquests have provided an ability to increase our production totals (at the end of this update you'll see a breakdown of exactly what's been captured).

28Jan1940Production.jpg


In mid-December, at 40 IC, we'd been able to manage 28 IC for Production, but shortly after we had to reduce this to rush reinforcements and upgrades urgently shown as needed in light of combat in South Africa and the naval squabble at Gibraltar.

Now, with 45 total IC, we are able to restore the 28 IC and still keep upgrades and reinforcements moving, and without sacrificing other priorities like Supplies. Our construction continues to meet our need for new Merchant shipping, but we're also building two new army divisions (cavalry and garrison), continuing construction of our light cruiser, and even working again on our Bf-109 licensed fighters.

Back to the continuing counteroffensive in Angola...

31Jan1940Angola.jpg


The South Africans, finding their rear threatened, turned about and began to attack south in response. But our infantry held strong, and could stand for a while.

We backed our relatively useless HQ unit out of combat and back onto our transport. Then it was landed just south of the 1st Infantry's location to offer a possible avenue of retreat, and also to widen our bridgehead against South Africa. Unfortunately, it also came under a moderately strong attack, and this was untenable for an HQ brigade.

Slightly to the north, along the coast, our units defeated the defenders at Boma, the Belgian port city, and moved in to secure their capture.

2Feb1940Congo.jpg


This victory was just barely in time, alas, as Belgium surrendered on the day after, and Germany annexed the remaining territory. It's certainly possible that the conquest of Boma, Belgium's last port (and with 1 Victory Point besides), tipped their hand toward surrender. Portugal was fortunate to have captured Boma, Leopoldville and Kikwit (each with some strategic value) before the fall.

In the 1st week of February, the South African 21st Infantry, with Portuguese infantry at their head and Portuguese cavalry nipping at their heels, decided to go into defensive positions and wait for their brothers to extract them from their difficult situation. It was not an admission of defeat -- simply a tactical consideration that they wouldn't be able to progress on the offensive under the circumstances. It was also reasonable to think that the South African Army -- numerous and victorious everywhere else -- would be able to rescue them.

3Feb1940Belgium.jpg


By this time, two more garrison divisions, freed from settled conflicts in West Africa, had been landed further south along the South African coast, working the pocket of Portuguese-controlled territory downward. These units rescued the HQ detachment, which again took to sea to be landed upon a target of opportunity.

7Feb1940Angola.jpg


On the 8th of February, the chances Portugal had been taking -- practically broadcasting their presence to enemy naval units, due to their intense concentration on victory along the South African coast -- were called in. The transports, off the Skeleton Coast, came under attack by a South African cruiser squadron...

8Feb1940Skeleton.jpg


A Portuguese destroyer flotilla sacrificed themselves to cover the escape of one transport convoy, while another set of transports fell to the enemy guns. Fortunately, the transports that were lost carried mostly supplies, and most of the troops survived to be landed successfully at Swakupmond a few days later (I'm not going to apologize for the fact that cruisers and battleships can't easily kill anything dead in this game -- it's a fault of game mechanics that has allowed me twice to escape with my troops when the chances of that in real life would be slim).

14Feb1940Angola.jpg


Back in Singapore, you'll remember how the beginning of February saw several Portuguese units attempting to entrap some stronger British divisions and keep them out of supply.

The main issue with this is that the units keeping the British from their supply lines were, themselves, out of contact with friendly supply lines, either to the north or south (the British were screwed, since by the end of January we held all of their ports!).

1Feb1940Singapore.jpg


While two mid-strength (two brigade) divisions tried to hold off the British full divisions, another division pushed north to make contact with Kota Bharu, and draw supply through that port. Our margins, like almost everywhere else in this war, were slim.

By the time the British had pushed the Portuguese back, more territory had been captured by other units and supply lines had been established to Kota Bharu. The British offensive eventually ground down due to lack of supply and the two British units were forced to limit attacks to conserve dwindling resources.

9Feb1940Singapore.jpg


Air assets (our two bomber wings) during this period of time were split between the fighting in Angola and Singapore. As it had been elsewhere, air power was often the margin which tipped victory to the Portuguese when all might have been lost.

During this period, we continued to "cherry pick" valuable targets of opportunity as we could. In late January we spared a day or two to capture the Free French capital of Libreville, in Gabon, before steaming south to participate in the counter-offensive in Angola.

29Jan1940Libreville.jpg


In the East Indies, we captured Makassar, first (victory points), in Celebes, and then moved to the north end of that island and captured a stretch of land to cut off any other Dutch defenders.

2Mar1940EastIndies.jpg


This action drew isolated Dutch defenders (they had been cut off from real intelligence for a while, information being spotty without naval or air assets) out of Menada in the far north, which our seaborne troops then swept in to capture. The Dutch were cut off for good.

I also landed in New Guinea to capture the Dutch city of Hollandia, which was undefended, but valuable, nonetheless.

In a previous feedback comment, a reader had asked how much real value was held by all these provinces the Portuguese had taken. I answered, in brief, but to be honest I "undersold" somewhat, missing some key captures and resources. I've made a spreadsheet, showing all the provinces captured which hold any value (victory points, industrial capacity, or resource mines):

Mar1940Captures.jpg


So, ultimately, Portugal has captured 31 victory points and 10 IC, as well as many resources. We control an amazing amount of the world's supply of Rare Ores! As far as victory point totals go, Germany controls 229 VP, Italy controls 67, and Portugal 43. It almost makes us look like a major player in the Axis!

I did look, by the way, to see how all this was affecting the British Empire in March of 1940. Unfortunately, they still had maximum stockpiles and a positive flow of each resource (though some of those margins were small, and they might fall into deficit in the future).

Another commenter had asked for a screenshot of Europe at this time. I decided it's hard to get a good screenshot of all that and still see the important details, so here are a couple of important fronts.

22Feb1940Norway.jpg


In the north, the Germans are beginning to push increasingly into Norway from their bases in annexed Sweden.

The Greeks have successfully pushed into Albania, capturing most of it. This is surely what prompted the German invasion.

22Feb1940Yugo.jpg


The Germans and Italians are both just getting started on their invasion, jockeying for frontage space as they push south.

Everything else is as you might expect. Vichy France is as it was, and German divisions are already lining up on the Soviet border. Italy didn't get any benefit from her massive push into southern France, all the way to Bordeaux, etc.
 

Enewald

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The allies give up with resisting Wehrmacht and focus upon thee?

What is the Kriegsmarine doing?
 

Rensslaer

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The allies give up with resisting Wehrmacht and focus upon thee?

What is the Kriegsmarine doing?

Well, it's hard for me to tell about the Kriegsmarine -- not really paying attention. I haven't seen any activity, and seen no ships pass my shores. Seems like I may have seen an Italian fleet at one point, near Gibraltar.

Oh, the focus may shift... I'm an easier target, of course, now that the western front is closed.

Rensslaer
 

Stuyvesant

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Now that you have all those resources, how well are your convoys able to send them home and how much are the Allies interfering with your convoys? Is it a serious drain on your resources, or is it bearable (or even non-existent)?

Your progress continues to impress. :)
 

unmerged(53911)

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Great update! Thanks for the screen shots and the resource count. Very useful to see that Portugal has increased its "budget" by taking smaller bites. I dub Portugal the "Gadfly of the Axis!" KUTGW!