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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Rensslaer: ...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.

"cherry picking" at it's finest ! ! :)

Rensslaer:
...They got us, sometimes, too, but less often, because the Allied naval presence south of Gibraltar or east of the Med was practically nonexistent.

would not that "practically nonexistent" be a result of lack of naval bases in the areas ? ?

Rensslaer:
...If "Singapore Command" is in Kota Bharu, then... Indeed, it was so! The British had .. vacated Singapore. .. Singapore was a huge catch. One IC, plus a full naval base, airbase, fortress, AA cover, etc.

not to mention, one more naval base down the tubes ! ! ;)

Rensslaer:
...I landed in Dutch Borneo in order to capture the last seaport for communication off the island... .. Freetown was ours! Another major naval and air base was denied to the Allies...

ibid ! ! ::VGB::

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

never give up ! ! :D nice motto ! !

Rensslaer:
...This victory was just barely in time, alas, as Belgium surrendered on the day after, and Germany annexed the remaining territory.

was that the last Belgium VP ? ? also did Germany have NO contiguous territory in Africa ? ? if so, then by rights, you should have those (probably worthless) provinces, especially if Germany is not able to extract (collect) the resources from them ! ! ::hands on hips::

Rensslaer:
...Back in Singapore ... (the British were screwed, since by the end of January we held all of their ports!).

splendid ! ! :)

Rensslaer:
...I did look, by the way, to see how all this was affecting the British (March, 1940) small margins, .. might fall into deficit...

methinks that you might need to look at this in another light ! specifically, scope out the effect on UK use of IC. IF the UK is showing a small deficit, BUT has some of it's IC not-in-use, THEN the British are already in a deficit ! ! :eek:


FlorisDeVijfde: ...the resources cannot pass beyond the great sea. That is the boundary and the price of not having a large navy

any chance that Rensslaer's tactic of snatching ports effects this "lack of navy" ? ?
 

FlorisDeVijfde

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FlorisDeVijfde:...the resources cannot pass beyond the great sea. That is the boundary and the price of not having a large navy

any chance that Rensslaer's tactic of snatching ports effects this "lack of navy" ? ?

Probably, but it still remains to be seen. Furthermore, to clarify my original remark, 10 points for whoever get's the movie reference :)
 

Rensslaer

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Probably, but it still remains to be seen. Furthermore, to clarify my original remark, 10 points for whoever get's the movie reference :)

Hmm... It's Lord of the Rings, yes? The Elves passing beyond the great sea?

Excellent reference! :D

On the subject of whether it's possible for Portugal or not (having little, if any, elven blood), the answer is... complicated. I suppose it doesn't spoil too much to say that I did try a couple of convoys to the USA. I don't recall that they worked out too well, though some of my memories get mixed up and so I'm not 100% certain. If it comes to that, I'm sure I'll mention it in the AAR.

Rensslaer
 

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Nice looks like east asia is almost completely secured! :D

Maybe a push into India can be sucessful?
 

FlorisDeVijfde

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Hmm... It's Lord of the Rings, yes? The Elves passing beyond the great sea?

Excellent reference! :D
You Americans, you know nothing of culture ;) It was by a noble Knight Templar...as portrayed in the 3rd Indiana Jones movie* :D


*Which was made by Americans, thereby contradicting the first part of my comment. However for those who don't see Indiana Jones movies as culture, feel free to see it as hypocrisy by FdV. Anyway, no insult was intended :cool:
 

Enewald

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You Americans, you know nothing of culture ;) It was by a noble Knight Templar...as portrayed in the 3rd Indiana Jones movie* :D


*Which was made by Americans, thereby contradicting the first part of my comment. However for those who don't see Indiana Jones movies as culture, feel free to see it as hypocrisy by FdV. Anyway, no insult was intended :cool:

Go back to the shadows you servant of Morgoth!
 

Rensslaer

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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.

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.

Chief Ragusa, your post was very prescient! As it turns out, those Belgian provinces DID disappear, just a day after I'd taken all but one of the valuable provinces (the Germans got Elisabethville). And for that matter, your proposed strategy against South Africa is exactly what I've begun to do. Singapore, too, more or less. Good job! :)

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".

Most excellent (except for the lost spoils)! :) All these games are fun, for one reason or another.

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. :)

Thanks! I'm actually suffering constant casualties amongst my transports, but not at a rate that keeps the materiels from coming to me. I'm replacing those losses through new construction. All in all, it's a nuisance, not a serious concern.

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!

:D I accept the honor gladly. Thanks!

Rensslaer: ...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.

"cherry picking" at it's finest ! ! :)

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

never give up ! ! :D nice motto ! !

Rensslaer:
...I did look, by the way, to see how all this was affecting the British (March, 1940) small margins, .. might fall into deficit...

methinks that you might need to look at this in another light ! specifically, scope out the effect on UK use of IC. IF the UK is showing a small deficit, BUT has some of it's IC not-in-use, THEN the British are already in a deficit ! ! :eek:

Thanks! :) It's been a while since I've examined the rules, but if I remember correctly, so long as there are stockpiles (which there are) the British should be drawing from those, instead of reducing IC use. So I think I haven't hit them hard enough yet. Give me time! ;)

Nice looks like east asia is almost completely secured! :D

Maybe a push into India can be sucessful?

I think that's a little premature... :D Not that I'm not considering how I might do such a thing. India is WELL defended. And I still have Africa to secure. And who knows when the invasion fleets will appear off Lisbon. Lots of anxious excitement ahead! :)

You Americans, you know nothing of culture ;) It was by a noble Knight Templar...as portrayed in the 3rd Indiana Jones movie* :D

*Which was made by Americans, thereby contradicting the first part of my comment. However for those who don't see Indiana Jones movies as culture, feel free to see it as hypocrisy by FdV. Anyway, no insult was intended :cool:

Ahh, yes -- I vaguely remember seeing that, and remember that scene. But isn't it in Lord of the Rings too? A common metaphor, anyway. Pop culture, hmm... I'm about 1 for 2 on pop culture in America. And I'm a little bit of an art snob who prefers foreign or alternative movies to Hollywood stuff. But I should have caught that one. Problem is I don't have alot of time to re-watch the more recent films, made post-college (exept that my 15-year-old son wants me to watch the original TRON with him, since we went to see the sequel the other day). I should see those Indiana Jones movies again one of these days. At least the 1st and 3rd. Even the one with aliens, which wasn't half bad. :D

Well, this AAR is due for update next, my having updated both of my others in the last couple of days. Problem is I'm not sure if I'll have time for a few days. As usual, I will probably find some time, but I can offer no guarantees. Just watch this space, please!

Thanks again for your kind comments and readership!

Rensslaer
 

Rensslaer

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Even while advances proceeded with remarkable speed along the coast of Angola and Southern Africa on the other shore, things remained difficult in the east, in Mozambique, where the South Africans pushed deeper.

17Feb1940Mozambique.jpg


The one attempt at a similar turnaround came in the middle of February, when de Silva’s 1st Cavalry Division was landed in the south – they attempted to drive north, but were quickly blocked by one of the advancing South African divisions, and their relative strengths (this being another of the Portuguese 2-brigade divisions) made the effort hopeless. They reverted to a defensive stance, same as our retreating units in the north.

Only in Angola was the front fluid, and positive for the Portuguese. A South African division was isolated in Lucira, Angola, where Gen. Azevedo’s 22nd Infantry Battalion (division) was attempting to cut them off by a quick drive into the forests to the east. Other divisions, further south, were trying to advance to the east, deeper into South Africa itself, at several points.

25Feb1940Angola.jpg


While another division pinned South African opposition near to Swakopmund, Gen. Guerra’s cavalry was attempting to push south from Walvis Bay while South African forces desperately tried to harry their advance. Gen. Botha’s militia, however, lacked the strength and endurance to do so, and by the 5th of March had to give up. Portuguese air units (tactical bombers) assisted at different locations along the front. The South Africans had some air assets too, but they were not used as effectively for ground support.

4Mar1940WalvisBay.jpg


Guerra reached Hottentots Bay in mid-March, and a reinforced garrison under Gen. Domingues then turned their attention to Botha at Windhoek, the regional capital of Namibia. That unit having very little fight left in it, the South Africans quickly turned tail and retreated.

18Mar1940Angola.jpg


Around that time, yet another landing was made at Oranjemund, creating a new pocket further south along the coast which Guerra attempted to link up with.

In the east, the situation in Mozambique remained dire, but some slackening of enemy ardor could be tied, perhaps, to news of the Portuguese victories in the west. There was a yawning recognition on both sides that the tide was turning.

18Mar1940SAfrica.jpg


As Gen. Guerra’s cavalry kept the enemy pinned near Hottentot’s Bay, the quick reaction detachment (an HQ brigade) attempted to strike deep into the desert toward Keetmanshoop, to cut yet another unit off.

21Mar1940EndAround.jpg


The cutoff attempt in the north, near Lucira, was ultimately successful. Once that South African division was surrounded, the costly Portuguese efforts to pin them down ceased and the enemy remained in their defensive positions, unsure what to do.

5Apr1940Cutoff.jpg


Efforts to cut off the South African forces – seemingly the Portuguese’ only hope of preventing this struggle from dragging on into summer – continued deep into the central highlands. Gen. Freieria’s 2nd Infantry had pushed to Tsumeb, and by early April was hurrying to push into Botswana itself. The plan – such as there was one, in this desperate scramble – was to push deep, and then hook sharply to the north, butting off another two South African divisions.

Time would tell if that was a practical goal, or if Freiria risked being cut off himself by the enemy to his south.

8Apr1940DeepAfrica.jpg


Looking, briefly, at the rest of the world, it could be noted that the advances in Malaya and the East Indies continued (a fuller examination of this spring offensive will be provided in the next chapter). The two British divisions had run short of supplies, and so were resting fitfully just north of Singapore. Confident that if they began to move again, he could rush south to meet them, Gen. Olveira dispatched most of his division to secure the rest of the Malayan Peninsula, all the way to Kota Bharu.

14Mar1940Singapore.jpg


On the island of Sumatra, as can be seen in the above graphic, spare units from the defense of Singapore had captured a mining settlement on its middle coast, then driven north to capture Medan, where more resources and some industry (1 IC) were located.

12Apr1940YugoSurr.jpg


To wrap up, Yugoslavia had been brought to her knees by the 12th of April, when her government abdicated and was replaced by a German-supported puppet government. Guerilla activity continued in the mountains.
 

Stuyvesant

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I'm pleasantly surprised by your success in Southern Africa. I expected the South Africans to be a very tough nut to crack, but even though they field the only significant opposition that far south, you seem to have been able to isolate their forces and concentrate against them in turn. Good job taking that South African division off the rolls (it is only a matter of time now).
 

unmerged(176538)

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Things are looking very positive. The looming elimination of those South African forces in the west should open things up for you.

Its been awhile since I've trekked through southern Africa (other than a Japan game I'm playing right now, but thats mostly port hopping). How is your supply situation? From what I remember, going deeper into the continent more than 3-4 provinces will quickly slow you down due to supply transfer costs.
 

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It's nice to see you're making gains against South Africa, It's awesome, and should give you access to some more IC and resources!
 

unmerged(53911)

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Echoing the comments above I am also happy to see your progress in South Africa. I believe your theater tactics have the AI at a disadvantage and that will materialize in local victory. It seems that the South African navy has been quieted as well. Remember: Slow and steady wins the race!
 

Rensslaer

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I'm pleasantly surprised by your success in Southern Africa. I expected the South Africans to be a very tough nut to crack, but even though they field the only significant opposition that far south, you seem to have been able to isolate their forces and concentrate against them in turn. Good job taking that South African division off the rolls (it is only a matter of time now).

Well... My experience with South Africa has reminded me of nothing more than when I almost got the Fall of Prussia event at the hands of the French in Fire Warms! :D There was just this feeling that things were out of control and there was nothing I could do about it.... And then the battles in West Africa resolved, and I had room to maneuver suddenly. :) That got me through the beginning, and since the strategy seemed to be working, but was long term, the settlement in Asia also helped.

Things are looking very positive. The looming elimination of those South African forces in the west should open things up for you.

Its been awhile since I've trekked through southern Africa (other than a Japan game I'm playing right now, but thats mostly port hopping). How is your supply situation? From what I remember, going deeper into the continent more than 3-4 provinces will quickly slow you down due to supply transfer costs.
Welcome, Gen. Hillier! Thanks for dropping by to say hello. My supply situation is pretty good, mostly because I have so few units relative to the number of transports (merchant) I have -- my convoys go to ports all over the place, drop off supplies, and they are used at an acceptable rate. Most of my units are just 2 brigades per division, though you're starting to see some full-strength divisions now. So the load on the supply net is not too serious. Not yet, anyway. But as sparse as my divisions are, I'd be surprised if I had that problem at all in the near future.

Why not simply land to Kapstadt?

Well, I'd actually scouted for just that eventuality, and they do have their southern cities garrisoned. At least they did -- I may now have drawn them north. You'll see in coming updates! :D

It's nice to see you're making gains against South Africa, It's awesome, and should give you access to some more IC and resources!

Thanks, Tallfellow! Good to see you again!

Echoing the comments above I am also happy to see your progress in South Africa. I believe your theater tactics have the AI at a disadvantage and that will materialize in local victory. It seems that the South African navy has been quieted as well. Remember: Slow and steady wins the race!

Indeed. :) On the subject of their navy, I did refer to a battle earlier where I "narrowly escaped". I did not mention -- partly through oversight, partly through not wanting to deal yet again with a silly outcome -- that those 3 SA Cruisers showed up again, with similar non-result. I just have difficulty explaining how my ships have not fallen victim to these guys, but it's what the game gave me, so... But they're still out there, causing some damage to my transports (I think I lost one in this last encounter), but having a tough time being more than an annoyance against my plans. I hope later patches fixed this. Yes?

Maybe we should call it "Cidade do Cabo" instead?
Either way, I like this AAR a lot, so good luck!

Welcome, G.K.! I appreciate it! I'll see about renaming those cities and streets -- already got signs in process. :D

Thanks again to everybody who's reading, and especially those of you who take the time to comment!

Updating again this weekend, or so, I hope. Next update will return to the East Indies!

Rensslaer
 

reis91

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The spice must flow! (more than one reference, btw - EU players are bound to get one of them, while RTS die-hard veterans might get the other)

Still, while the game doesn't model spices (dunno, negative modifier to dissent from eating tasty food instead of Ersatz? :D), there are some mighty tasty resources that will prove important.
 

TheBromgrev

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Easy one, Frank Herbert's Dune. I think one of the Bene Gesserit says that line, although I don't remember when.

And you're right, aside from a province or two in the US and USSR, all of the world's rares in this time frame are in Indonesia and Malaysia. China should also have a lot, as Germany got all of its rares from China before it recognized Manchukuo in 1938, but that isn't represented in vanilla. In fact, China currently supplies 97% of the world's rare earth metals used in electronic, which is kinda scary when you think about it.
 

unmerged(58610)

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The South Africans are engaged on two fronts against you. Instead of retreating those divisions, they'll try to relieve them drawing forces from Mozambique -which will give you the upper hand there - and from their garrisoned VP towns in the south -which you'll then be able to capture by shifting more troops on your transports. The same folly that gained you Singapore on the ai's part.
 

reis91

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That's Viking tactics 101. Portuguese colonial policy is more one of building outposts and concentrating strength in key areas. And, of course, retrieving all the resources they could lay their greedy hands on.
 

Rensslaer

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With the debatable exception of the South African drives against Angola and Mozambique – which were already turning into an embarrassment – the first real Commonwealth counterstroke of any kind came in mid-March 1940, when Royal Marines seized the Portuguese island of Madeira, off the coast of Morocco.

24Mar1940Madeira.jpg


A later overflight by Condor long-range reconnaissance planes confirmed the presence of Marines there, preventing easy recapture.

In partial response to this, two items were prioritized – the Bf-109 fighters and another garrison division, in addition to the ever-present cargo ship construction and preparation of a troop transport to replace the one which had been lost off the South African coast.

28Mar1940Production.jpg


The fighter aircraft were jockeyed in and out of production in spurts – full production for a while to get them underway and move up the day when they would be available, but these still competed with other priorities, so they were not always moving along the lines as quickly as they might have.

At present, these immediate defense needs were seen as more important than some of the naval assets underway. Portugal’s extant navy had proved unexpectedly able, considering, and yet had also found that the Royal Navy was focused elsewhere. If an invasion came to the homeland, a navy of cruisers would be inadequate to send them away, and yet there was no time to produce enough force to do so. The invasion, if it came, would have to be turned back once ashore.

Mar1940EastIndies.jpg


In the not-very-well-done screenshot above (I forgot to add red boxes to indicate insets), to the far right you can see my capture of more of Timor. The main picture shows the resources on and around the island of Sumatra, which I’m landing to seize. A day or two later, you can see in the central inset that I’m moving in upon Palembang, where some oil resources are, rare minerals and energy, as well as 1 IC and the new Dutch capital.

Again, perhaps because of our capture of Palembang, the Germans asked the Dutch to surrender, but they had already moved their government to Oosthaven, on the far southern tip of Sumatra, and were hanging on there.

27Mar1940NethSurr.jpg


The island of Java is already half ours, and we hold the most valuable portions of the island, including the major cities of Batavia, Semarang and Surabaya (is anyone else getting echoes or flashbacks from I Am Siam? – my V2 AAR where I’m capturing exactly the same cities at about this time in my updating process??? :D ). A sharp engagement between a Dutch cruiser and one of our escorted transports (it looks like it’s escorted by submarines, but I think that’s just the low resolution – probably destroyers!) ends inconclusively.

Once we’ve taken Palembang, we dispatch our fastest unit – a scouting unit with command facilities – to seize the Dutch government at Oosthaven. But before they can get there, they encounter an unexpected Dutch brigade, which flanks them and immediately puts them at a disadvantage. The battle there is lost, the path to Oosthaven blocked. They return in a fitful retreat.

3Apr1940Oosthaven.jpg


And up in the north, along the coast near Palembang, a joint Dutch/British brigade (also part of the same “Java” Division, plus some stragglers from Malaya) begins moving in to cut off our forces. Perhaps they don’t realize how many divisions I have on the island now, because they have no real hope of defeating us. But we are without access to supplies until we capture Oosthaven, so their hopes are not all forlorn.

10Apr1940Sumatra.jpg


We counterattack, though, and this brigade does not have much chance of victory. They are reduced in strength and effectiveness.

On the island of Celebes, in the middle of the Dutch East Indies, we’ve made much progress in capturing the island. Only a small detachment of stragglers wanders the island, running from our advance. A transport is “walking” one of our brigades around the coast, allowing them to land where they must to capture territory.

13Apr1940Celebes.jpg


The Dutch/British brigade is thrown back and the shoreline captured where we had come ashore to take Palembang. I believe all of Sumatra’s resource locations have been taken, at this point.

15Apr1940SumatraWon.jpg


On the island of Borneo, mop-up operations continue. Recall that we’ve already taken all of the ports from which the Allies could have shipped anything in or out of the island. This means that when we take Tarakan, we also capture more stockpiles of Oil. They then drive across the island to link up with the northern oilfield, and to allow oil from Tarakan to be shipped out of Kuching.

26Apr1940BorneoOil.jpg


They will then swing south to capture more of the British-held portion of the island, and eventually to wend their way south into the jungles of the Dutch territory.

By the end of April, the Dutch brigade which had prevented the capture of Oosthaven was trapped and in peril. Another Portuguese division had been landed in the south, and it was moving north to link up with other forces in the north (the same detachment that had made the first attempt on Oosthaven). Meanwhile, Portuguese infantry were prosecuting a relentless engagement against the Dutch, which would surely cause them to retreat into Oosthaven, if not to surrender before even then.

27Apr1940SumatraSurround.jpg


Once Portuguese units closed in on each other, any Dutch units still located to the north on the island would be cut off from supply. Oosthaven was almost laid open to capture.

More troops were landed further north along the Sumatran coast, and they pushed south to attack the last known Dutch brigades on the island. That battle, too, would be easily won since by that time the southern battle had been won (stragglers retreating into Oosthaven), and supply had been cut off.

1May1940KotabuWon.jpg


Those Dutch units, up north, had been defeated by the 11th. The battle for Oosthaven began on the 12th of May. Resistance would not last long.

By this time, Portugal held the entire northeastern coast of Sumatra, and the last undefended province of Malaya was being taken. Only the two trapped and starving divisions of British infantry remained on the peninsula, and there were no defenders on Sumatra who had any hope of recovering victory.

12May1940Sumatra.jpg


Also around this time, Portuguese scientists had developed an advancement in oil refining technology, which would help us yet more in producing oil for the Axis powers. All of our resource categories were flush with supply, coming in every day. We have a surplus in oil of 3.5 units per day, which could be converted and re-sold to Germany or Italy.

Confidence in Portugal was building, and Axis morale was as high as it could likely ever be. Victory – in Poland, in France, in Yugoslavia, Sweden and Norway, as well as all the Portuguese conquests – seemed total.
 
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