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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Ricardo Rolo

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I'm fortunate that the African supply is only an annoyance, rather than a matter of life and death. It causes delays in when I can move troops to other theatres, but it doesn't threaten to determine victory or defeat.

To be honest, once Australia is put down (IF Australia is put down), Portugal has no firm strategic goals. It's accomplished what it wanted. From there, it's first and foremost a matter of the Axis winning the war, so Portugal must determine how it can best contribute... something that really is not at all clear at this point. India is a BIG mouthful to swallow -- quite unlike either South Africa or Australia. So where? I'd be curious as to your thoughts.
The Portuguese in me demands the recovery of Goa and Madeira , but I reckon those are probably hard tasks ( the last only if the Brits decided to superstack there :/ ) or atleast not worth the effort by themselves. Realistically the best contribution Portugal could give after cleaning the ANZAC area would probably be South America, that in certain areas is almost as hollow as Africa, so easy to get via VP hunt ( say Brazil or Argentina ... ) or going Lawrence of Arabia and grab the Middle east up to Persia-Iraq border. Anything more chewy would probably need a ridiculous time to prepare :(
 

unmerged(58610)

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Whilst you're doing the cheesy things -South America and the Middle east, you could be planning your strike on the Raj.
 

Rensslaer

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An update…. With two prefaces!!

First, a reader, Ruunu3004, asked about my generals and their experience levels last round, so I looked it up. This image was already posted in feedback, but this is what our Generals looked like at the beginning of November, 1942. Keep in mind that this is v1.2, where experience and a lot of things might have been different from a current version of the game.

Nov42Generals_zps034697ff.jpg



I mentioned in feedback that I was embarrassed to admit I hadn’t paid any attention to my generals, or getting the right general into the right command, during my game. I had so little to work with in the beginning (where I did, I think, assign generals according to talents), that I figured not much would matter in the long run. I just kept the generals where they were, or where they were assigned automatically when new units were created.

In retrospect (which is useless now – the gameplay is complete), I probably could have made some personnel changes, and derived some marginal improvements in combat performance from moving these guys around. I wonder what that might have done, or how much difference it would have made. Obviously, some of these guys deserved promotion. The whole concept of “promotion” seemed absurd when I started the game, with so few units, and I really never thought to reconsider that opinion.

………

Second, November 1942….

This is where I left off playing the actual game, about 3 years ago, and it sat idle for a long time. I had gotten somewhat bored, because it appeared there would be no war in the Pacific (except for my exploits), and the Germans hadn’t yet invaded the UK successfully, there didn’t appear to be a conflict coming on the Eastern Front, etc. Plus, I was somewhat stymied in Australia – it seemed I was spread way too thin, and something was going to have to give. I just didn’t know what.

I also had a number of units stuck in the “Adelaide Pocket” which were running out of supply because I had no port from which to supply them. (I know…. “WHAT??!!”) And I was about to connect my western holdings with the Adelaide Pocket… except there was that Australian column of Vickers 6 ton tanks heading south to foil my linkage. This was doubly frustrating because I knew Adelaide was a major seaport, and yet my game didn’t show it as such. In fact, in looking more closely, I saw that Melbourne wasn’t even given a seaport! I’m sure this has been rectified since v1.2, but that’s what I’m working with, and this was an oversight.

In the past, I had been shy of even realistic modifications to the system, maybe because I wanted to show the game as it was created (I started it as a strategy AAR shortly after HOI 3 was released for the first time). I also didn’t notice this need for modification until I invaded Australia, and maybe didn’t want to take time to fix it. In retrospect, this didn’t make sense to leave these ports out, so I edited the savegame to add a level 6 port to Adelaide, and a level 8 to Melbourne (still in Australian control). In reality, both of these ports might well have been larger than Perth’s (level 10 in the game) at the time, but I didn’t want to push it. I also added a level 1 airbase to Adelaide (I’m sure it was larger, historically), and a level 2 at Melbourne (again, probably should be larger). Hopefully, this will lessen the absurdity of the lack of supply in the Adelaide Pocket, and thereby the urgency of pushing through to them.

So… Here’s how we proceeded, from there….

……….


Remember that, way in the north of Australia, my armored cars were moving to outflank the Australian forces and come in from behind.


14NovNAust_zps3a8e2d9e.jpg


On 23 November, we made a secondary landing along the southern Australian coast, between the Adelaide Pocket and the front lines to the west. This landing included our 1st Armored Car Brigade, which might stick with their division, or might be detached to add flexibility to the plan. Additionally, the 1st Motorised Division and 1st Cavalry were landed, slightly to the west and east of the earlier landings, respectively. Before the day was out, we had expanded this to connect with the supply lines out of Adelaide.

23Nov1942Adelaide_zps5a4873de.jpg


Most of the units participating in this broad operation were mobile in nature – armored cars, truck-mounted infantry, and cavalry. They had been drawn from everywhere, from Portugal proper to the Middle East and Africa, now that so many fronts were being resolved in our favor. These new landings were soon opposed. Thankfully, they had been able to establish their bridgeheads before coming under fire.

We were “doubling down” on our gamble that we could seize the central southern coast and turn it into a vast flanking maneuver against the Australian line. The 18th Infantry, having been reconstituted in Lisbon, and still only at half strength (desperate times!), was able to attack some Australian headquarters detachments – units that had expected to stay behind the lines (and they were!).

23Nov1942Deakin_zps70de9529.jpg


The 1st Cavalry was withdrawn, having first opened communication with the Adelaide Pocket, and was relocated westward along the front lines on the other side from the “Pocket,” so as to create pressure to force the Australians away from the coast altogether.

The Australians were holding that finger of coastline with but a single motorised infantry brigade. That would prove to be their undoing, as it was a tired and spent unit, now having to face combat from two directions. The Commonwealth troops broke on the 26th and began retreating north, to the protection that they hoped would be provided by the Vickers tank regiments.

26Nov1942Caiguna_zps98107974.jpg


In fact, however, the tanks arrived before the cavalry could completely secure Caiguna. Another battle there began on 6 December, with infantry and cavalry trying to war with the fresh light tank brigade.

6Dec1942Caiguna_zps8cc89295.jpg


The odds there you can probably guess. I began to think I might not be able to secure the entire coastline just yet. My forces were too sparse to contemplate hooking to the north to cut off the tanks, especially since it was a defended line.

Meanwhile, the 1st Armored Car Brigade had been busily recreating a feat much like their dash across the Sudan, which had cut off British forces in East Africa from supply lines running down the Nile River Valley. In Australia, they had hooked north nearly to the northern coast, and were pushing east in a sweeping flanking maneuver when they ran into an Australian division under Gen. Plant.

2Dec1942PattersonRange_zps12409a62.jpg


Lastly, I might mention that the Canadians mounted yet another attempt to invade the Bahamas in early December, but we were able to turn the invasion back again, with the loss of a Canadian transport flotilla.
 

misterbean

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I send you a PM, but the forum was going all funky on me. did you get it?
 

unmerged(58610)

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I think you were fully justified in modding the Australian ports into the game and airfields. You've got two battles that have a rather big ouch attached. You're AC regiment looks in serious danger of being annhilated. Is there anywhere it can retreat to otr have you just added another unit to build queue. I'm fairly sure you'll have some reinforcements on the way and some Condor's to put in their penny's worth. At least this division fighting the Armoured Car regiment means it is not somewhere more useful - for the Australians.
 

Rensslaer

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I send you a PM, but the forum was going all funky on me. did you get it?

It looks like my inbox got full somehow. Want to try again?
 

superjames1992

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I may have missed it as this thread is so long, but what is your reasoning behind using AC as opposed to (horse) cavalry? I don't think armored cars have any frontage, so they cant attack or defend and they do use some fuel, unlikely cavalry. Of course, cavalry aren't exactly very useful for engagements with the enemy, either. I suppose AC have a bit of speed advantage over CAV, though?

I think I just answered my own questions in my rambling, though. :D
 

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Rensslaer

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The Portuguese in me demands the recovery of Goa and Madeira , but I reckon those are probably hard tasks ( the last only if the Brits decided to superstack there :/ ) or atleast not worth the effort by themselves. Realistically the best contribution Portugal could give after cleaning the ANZAC area would probably be South America, that in certain areas is almost as hollow as Africa, so easy to get via VP hunt ( say Brazil or Argentina ... ) or going Lawrence of Arabia and grab the Middle east up to Persia-Iraq border. Anything more chewy would probably need a ridiculous time to prepare :(

Well, Madeira we may be able to do. Goa.... Dunno! :) As for South America... Obviously, it's something to think about, eh?

Whilst you're doing the cheesy things -South America and the Middle east, you could be planning your strike on the Raj.

If it were you, would you go there?

It is so great to see that this AAR is being updated again! :)

Thanks, Superjames! I really appreciate that you've missed it! :)

I think you were fully justified in modding the Australian ports into the game and airfields. You've got two battles that have a rather big ouch attached. You're AC regiment looks in serious danger of being annhilated. Is there anywhere it can retreat to otr have you just added another unit to build queue. I'm fairly sure you'll have some reinforcements on the way and some Condor's to put in their penny's worth. At least this division fighting the Armoured Car regiment means it is not somewhere more useful - for the Australians.

Well, I figured it would just zip away quickly if it found itself in trouble. The advantage of being a relatively hardened unit, and having speed.

Did AC have frontage in SF?

I never used AC in SF, so I'm not entirely sure. I doubt it. They didn't really have frontage in v1.2 either, but just as with HQs, they are able to participate in combat. If they changed that for SF, I wouldn't blame them (for HQs anyway -- armored cars seem more logical to be able to fight).

I may have missed it as this thread is so long, but what is your reasoning behind using AC as opposed to (horse) cavalry? I don't think armored cars have any frontage, so they cant attack or defend and they do use some fuel, unlikely cavalry. Of course, cavalry aren't exactly very useful for engagements with the enemy, either. I suppose AC have a bit of speed advantage over CAV, though?

I think I just answered my own questions in my rambling, though. :D

:D That's exactly right -- in the early game I did use cavalry, but the AC provided some advantages over simple cavalry. They were kind of like my light tanks, which (at least early on) I figured I'd never be able to afford!

Nice, two updates. It seems to be getting tougher and tougher for the far reaching Portuguese Emprie.

It looks like your famous AC brigade has met its match in the hot and wet Pilbara. Unless you have more troops, it looks like the end of your Australian adventure. Time to pull up stumps?

Yeah, I don't think it's going to have any kind of staying power there... Time to retreat! :) However, retreat need not mean defeat!

Before I go, I want to highlight this...


Obviously, I'm not expecting anybody to vote for this AAR, or any of my others, for that matter. :D But there are many good AARs out there, so please go vote!

Thanks again for your readership, and your thoughtful comments!

And if you've been away, please don't forget to check the 2 updates I've posted this month so far! Imperio Novo is back in business! :)

Rensslaer
 

unmerged(58610)

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If it were you, would you go there?

I'd want a frontier -Persia, airpowerand knowing what the supply dumps have by way of supply. Once their units are out of supply, the theatre becomes a walk in the park. It's the getting there that is tough. I'd probably go there too early and have to withdraw in ignomy.
 

Rensslaer

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A reminder that in the last update I mentioned this November/December 1942 period was where my gameplay had ground to a halt due to lack of inspiration, and frustration with some game flaws that were putting a damper on things. This is also, naturally, where I came back to the game a year or two later, when I regained the motivation to pick up gameplay again.

At that time, we had recently launched a new Heavy Cruiser. Now, you’ll see, we have a 2nd Heavy Cruiser being prepared, and even a Battlecruiser (for which we’d gradually been gaining techs for).

6Dec1942Production_zpse71520ac.jpg


Our IC had grown to 72, mainly due to conquests, though we were slowly trying to add to Portugal’s internal IC also. Putting 51 IC toward production was a new luxury for us (the screenshot doesn’t show my whole queue, just the stuff at the end). It should be noted that soon after this (sometime in December) I changed (more likely set for the first time – another of those details that seemed a distraction while I had the British tiger by the tail) my Occupation Policies to improve my Manpower, but this had the side effect of reducing IC. I had actually found that I had insufficient Manpower to produce what I wanted to with all that IC, so I recalibrated for optimum result.

I also adjusted my generals and set certain units not to reinforce, so that my Manpower would not get sucked into unnecessary sectors. Coming fresh back to an old game helped me get my mind around details that could potentially impact things, long term.

Naturally, much of my challenge lay in transporting troops to the right locations. Since enemy cruisers still patrolled, here and there, I wanted cruiser escorts. The light cruiser Matosinhos escorted one convoy of transports back to South Africa to pick up reinforcements while the heavy cruiser Vila Nova de Gaia maintained protection for convoys near the front in Australia.

Dec1942Adelaide_zps4614472c.jpg


So there’s the new port I’d added to Adelaide (which should have been there all the time, but I had to mod it in, as well as one at Melbourne). Supply was now reaching all of our forces in the Adelaide Pocket, despite having no connection to our territory in Western Australia.

We brought in our airpower from Africa to try to tip the scales in these critical and close-fought battles in Australia. They based out of Adelaide, which was nearer than Perth to the fighting, but which still presented range issues even for our longer-range bombers.

Remember from last update that our cavalry and infantry had been about to capture Caiguna, thereby pushing through to connect with the Adelaide Pocket, when the Australian Vickers 6 Ton tanks had interfered with our plan.

12Dec1943Retreat_zps366eda2c.jpg


Before long, the numerous, strong Australian divisions along the front were pushing the Portuguese back at every turn. Our forces were just too weak, and too battle-weary, to stand. We fell back to what we hoped would be better defensive positions.

Meanwhile, reinforcements were still mid-passage in the Indian Ocean. They did not arrive along the coasts of Australia until Christmas Eve. Now, you might think they would be best deployed either inside or outside of the Adelaide Pocket, since that’s where most of the action has been recently.

However, despite the recent defeats at the hands of Australian troops, the Australians would have a long way to go to consolidate their victories and make anything of them. To push Portugal off of their continent? Virtually impossible. We held too much territory, and our relative strength would grow as we fell back on Perth. So we decided to take an action that would help change the game – seize the initiative again, and perhaps initiate a grand-scale “flanking” movement, of sorts.

25Dec1943Northcoast_zpsea69d1c3.jpg


They landed on Christmas morning on the northwestern corner of Australia. They quickly initiated a small-scale offensive to capture all Australian held territory near the western coast.

The Australians continued to move westward from Caiguna, along the southern coast. Our troops were definitely on the run – too fatigued to take a serious stand, anywhere. But when the 3rd Cavalry retreated, they did so to the south, not to the west, so that they might flank any Australian advance, and at least cause the Aussies delays. Our units were tired, not toothless.

2Jan1943Hook_zps6ad84b48.jpg


The NRP Mira, a Heavy Cruiser, was launched on the 8th of January, 1943. Portugal also introduced a new model of machine gun that would improve our defensive stands (Defensiveness advance from Infantry Support Weapons). Mira would soon be escorting more transports in an effort to round up more reinforcements from Africa, now that that theatre had gone quiet.

At around this point I checked the surrender progress of Australia and the UK. Australia was just under 35%. Britain had arrived at nearly 43%. But neither, obviously, was near to real collapse. What a slog!

Our Fuel supplies were dwindling, with all the frenetic naval and air activity, plus our newly motorized units. We made a treaty with Colombia to supply us with refined Fuel for a lucrative financial arrangement. This would be only temporary, until we could build our stocks back up. We were less worried as in the past about interdiction of our shipping by raiders. Much of that had dried up.

In the east, the 27th Division (Garrison) was very slowly pushing forward toward Melbourne without significant opposition. On 10 January, they captured Kingston. All the Australian units had apparently been sent to the hot front to the west. It made us wonder how well defended the eastern cities might be… But our naval forces were too heavily occupied to make an excursion to reconnaissance.

14Jan1943NorthandSouth_zps8e6fe058.jpg


By mid-January, the 27th Division in the south and the 16th in the north began using naval transports to stairstep up the coast, securing strongpoints along the way. Gen. Azevedo’s 27th landed in Tasmania and left a small occupation force behind. However, when they approached Melbourne, they discovered an Australian naval squadron screening the harbor. They decided instead to return west and take Caiguna and Nuytsland by sea, vacated now that the Australians were advancing west.

When the Australian 1st Cavalry (their tanks) turned to attack the 27th Division, the Portuguese 1st Cavalry launched an attack upon her rear, having had some time to rest. The 3rd Cavalry soon joined in from yet another flank. The Australian armor was hard pressed. And their attack upon the 27th – a division whose nature was to doggedly defend – was hardly progressing toward any good end.

From the Adelaide Pocket, the 1st Motorised began a drive to capture more undefended territory and widen the pocket, eventually expanding it toward Melbourne. This would take time, of course, but with truck-mounted troops, it would mean less time. The Australian situation in the south seemed again dicey all of a sudden.

25Jan1943Nuytsland_zps2810aee8.jpg


Portuguese submarines were able to establish that the port of Brisbane was defended only by a garrison brigade. However, there was another large naval squadron there. Perhaps Brisbane would have to be taken by land, once that could be arranged.

At the end of January, transports brought the 2nd Cavalry into Perth, from Somaliland. We waited for events to know where best to dispatch them.

The Australian 1st Cavalry (armored) was making progress against Gen. Azevedo’s troops in Nuytsland. But the total picture showed that the armored columns were at least part rushing to get away from their pursuers on the rear flank, who were taking their toll.

29Jan1943Nuytsland_zps5572f0b3.jpg


On the 29th of January, the 1st Armoured Cavalry was ordered to disengage and withdraw to the north. Portugal’s Gen. Lopes had finally won his breakthrough to connect with the Adelaide Pocket.
 

BarrosRodrigues

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It is very nice to see you writing another update. :) Changing the occupation policy was definitely a good move. I am curious to know the current size of the Portuguese Army and also the overall tech situation.
 

Ricardo Rolo

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That was a nice display of what you can do when you have naval initiative ( even if not complete ) while trying to conquer a island : even if you are weaker , you can just drop troops in the back of wherever the enemy is and spread confusion :D

It would be extremely nice if your hunch that the Aussies threw all + the kitchen sink against your western disembark and that the eastern shore VPs are lighty defended ( that seems likely at this point ) is true ... even if you can't just drop units there, if you could pocket/ supply starve those western units, the only thing that you would need would be to walk east after erasing them ;) But even if it isn't true getting rid of that annoying tank division would be quite a blessing ....

That said, congrats to another display of what fast movement and obsessive compulsive control of troops can do *lol*
 

superjames1992

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Another fine update! It sounds like you had fun in the wide expanses of western Australia, which is always fun with quite a few flanking opportunities! It would be more fun if you had real armored divisions, though, but you've got to work with what you've got! :D
 

unmerged(58610)

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Another flanking move brings success, as well as reinforcements. With tthe Adelaide pocket now linked up , more coast hoping to take the coastal cities and reduce the Australians inland to zero supply looks to bring the war to a succesful conclusion. For your african campaign, it's pity there's no succesful revolt against the Italians in Alexandria with your troops standing by to crush it.
 

Rensslaer

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I'll do feedback in a day or two... Didn't want to delay this update, and keep you on the edge of your seats! :)



On 30 January, 1943, the cruisers Mira and Matosinhos (heavy and light, respectively) were covering a landing by the 1st and 16th Infantry divisions at Port Darwin, on the northern coast of Australia.

30Jan1943Landing_zps4f157207.jpg


This was the most daring invasion yet, in the Australian campaign. Reconnaissance had indicated there were ships in the harbor, but no defenders in Darwin itself.

Once the 1st and 16th had secured the city, the frightened crews of many Australian naval transports scrambled to build steam and scurry out of the harbor, under the inadequate protection of a flotilla of destroyers. Some transports and destroyers were sunk, but the cruisers’ main purpose was not, at this particular juncture, to sink enemy shipping.

30Jan1943Darwin_zps15fba87d.jpg


While the 1st held the city, in case any Australian military units lurked to burst out of the surrounding mangrove forests, the 16th took to sea again to be landed south of Darwin and establish a longer beachhead.

This was a game the Portuguese had played many times. Of course, it required the Australian Navy to remain distant – something they were under no obligation to do. But, as always, risk was a corporate and understood part of the Portuguese strategy.

5Feb1943Darwin_zps4e9c2a4d.jpg


By the beginning of February, a combination of land transit and seaborne transport had cleared out a space of land around Darwin which was friendly occupied territory. This would serve as a warning buffer if Australian units moved against Darwin, but also would eventually enable better supply through the region and a base of operations to move inland.

This larger scale map shows the progress of Portuguese conquest in Australia, and in the East Indies region (the red is presently unscouted territory, whereas light green is controlled by Portugal and darker green shows what we can “see” reasonably well).

5Feb1943Australia_zpsd9781099.jpg


Soon, Portuguese units were moving onto Cape York, in Northern Queensland. But around this time the cruiser Matosinhos ran into a squadron of Australian heavy cruisers moving north, so they radioed instructions to move the transports back to safety. A brief period of panic ensued, the weak Portuguese Navy spooked into fright by the potential of an attack.

9Feb1943Connection_zpsa46e3377.jpg


The 2nd Cavalry began trying to secure the last stretches of coastline to open a land route of supply to Darwin. They had done so by evening on the 9th. Portuguese submarines attempted to engage the Australian cruisers, but missed them (Portuguese submarines were slower than the German U-Boats that were typically operating at this time, and were certainly slower than the cruisers).

Dare we brave the possibility of cruisers to make our next move? Portugal dares!

The heavy cruiser NRP Mira guides a transport convoy south from Cape York, starting on the evening of the 11th of February. They are flanked by other cruisers and submarines, in hopes that any attack will be fended off in advance. Scouting has determined that both Brisbane and Sydney are safeguarded by only a single brigade, each.

13Feb1943Sydney_zpseff53123.jpg


But a landing along that coast would open up yet another unsupported pocket, like the earlier Adelaide Pocket, and might easily bring along with it all the headaches we faced earlier. Marginal opportunities were passed up in favor of a sure thing – 2nd Cavalry began a landing on Valentine’s Day at undefended Melbourne.

14Feb1943Melbourne_zpsf09af129.jpg


“Undefended,” that is, except for the air squadron and ships based there. Would they be able to stop the attack???

Before we go, some housekeeping and background stuff…

Portugal’s Production Queue in February, 1943:

Feb1943Production_zps40a3de17.jpg


We were producing garrison units, again, now, because there were so many far-flung possessions where active combat no longer threatened, but it would still be wise to maintain a presence in defensive stance. The garrison units, quickly produced and trained, fit that bill just fine.

I won’t bother to show you the screenshot, but around this time we also checked the UK’s resource needs. They were suffering a deficit of 85 Rare Materials each day, and 95 Metal each day…. this from the empire that used to control a huge supply of both! I began to worry about Germany, because they were ripping through their stockpiles of Fuel and Supplies at breakneck speed.

It was an interesting war…
 

unmerged(58610)

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Jul 2, 2006
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More coast hopping. Shows just how big Australia is and how poor the ai is at defending against amphibious assualt.The new garrison units will fre up regulars from other fronts , unless you're planning to drop them too into Australia to hold what you've taken. I'm surprised you haven't queued more Condors into your build. I think they'd have given you more than your 3 IC.

Who dares? Portugal dares! It is quite a catchy slogan. It might just catch on.

The Germans and Brits sound as though they are duking it out -somewhere.

.