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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Dewirix

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Ooh, a new Rensslaer HOI3 AAR co-inciding with my getting back into the game. Sign me up!

I have a feeling there'll be an odd tension in this AAR between your stated aims (making Germany a powerful and respected European nation once more) and what we want to see happen (you getting dragged into a big war). The 'win' condition for you is to get to the end of the game with a strong and peaceful Germany, but I for one would be happier to see a bit foreign adventurism, even if it was purely defensive.

I agree with your basic premise that the UK and France would be willing to countenance German rearmament to a degree. A canny German government might make much of criticising Italy's expansionism in Abyssinia (although that starts before the game begins) and be similiarly critical of Japan. However, I suppose that risks isolation from potential allies while not doing enough to reassure France and the UK.

On remilitarisation of the Rhineland, wiki has this to say, which suggests that it wasn't out of the question. However, it might be wise for a more détente-seeking German government just to forego remilitarisation altogether. After all, the Maginot line suggests France's priorities were essentially defensive, so no sense provoking them. What better way to convince them that your military build-up is related to a fear of the Soviets than to allow your defences in the west to remain weak?

I'd say a Germany that didn't remilitarize the Rhineland and that sought to assert influence in central Europe through diplomatic means would quickly be seen as being on the side of angels if the Soviets started throwing their weight around (Winter War, occupation of the Baltic states and possibly an attack on Poland). This should turn out to be a very interesting political situation!
 

dublish

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I second Slan's tips on mobilizing. I recently played a HPP game in which I didn't institute the Mobilize for War draft law until 1946, by which time I was several hundred MP short of a fully reinforced Wehrmacht. :eek:o

Looking forward to lurking in another Rensslaer AAR. :)
 

Enewald

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Oh no, another endless AAR begins! I shall guard this one to the fiery pit of the last page!
 

misterbean

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about Poland. Göring and the Polish PM (I don't remember his name) became friendly due to a shared interest in hunting. throughout the early years of the Nazi-regime, Göring did a lot to "influence" Poland. it was only when Von Ribbentrop started throwing his ignorant self around that he antagonized UK, France, Poland and Mussolini. so Germany trying to maintain friendship in one form or another is not so far-fetched.
I've been wondering what would happen if the nazi's got kicked out. guess I may find out, so I'll definitely be following closely.
God, that's the third HPP AAR and one Vanilla AAR (from Slan). the day is missing several hours now...:p
 

naggy

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OK, I am confused. What is this "peace"?
 

Stuyvesant

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OK, I am confused. What is this "peace"?

I believe it is the period between fighting where you prepare for the next war. :)

This will be interesting: Rensslaer trying to be a pacifist. In a wargame. A game that is set up entirely to simulate warfare (most of it centered on Germany). It's like King Cnut trying to hold back the waves... Well, either Renss will succeed (in which case I expect a rather quick AAR), or he'll fail and we'll have the usual death and destruction goodness. ;)
 

TheBromgrev

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So true. Although since Rensslaer is using the HPP mod, unless he makes some custom changes, even if he plays "nice", he'll still be dragged into a war. Italy may start a war in the Balkans. If it's not in the Axis, then he will likely be dragged in due to the HPP's starting guarantees, and even it Italy is an Axis member, the Allies may declare war on Italy on their own.

What's more likely though, is the USSR will attack Poland and drag him into a war that way. Poland is in Germany's sphere of influence (modeled by a guarantee) due to similar government type and the fact that Poland has German cores (Posen, West Prussia, Danzig, South Silesia). Since the Soviets also have cores on Poland (Belarus, Ukraine), they will at some point attempt to regain their cores. If the M-R Pact isn't in place, then he'll have to fight the Soviets when they attack.

In both cases, the main question is timing. When will Italy or the Soviets act on their own? In the HPP, the Soviets don't need the M-R Pact to gain the Baltic states or start the Winter War. That adds a realistic dynamic to the game, as both Germany and the USSR were seen as the "bad guys", and vanilla doesn't represent that via the Soviet AI. Even though Rensslaer wishes for peace, he must prepare for war.
 

Rensslaer

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First off, I'd like to say Welcome! to everyone! Normally I do this the first time you post in my AAR, but this is your first time posting for all of you, so... Thanks! I appreciate it!

I love your Vicky2 Siam AAR and I'm eagerly waiting for this one :D You may be surprised by HPP's non-linearity :)

Thank you, Cybvep! And I quite enjoyed your HPP AAR also. Seems like you have another one that I've started reading -- Poland? Anyway, I'm ennoying Black Crusaders at least. I'm looking forward to seeing some more of the differences in HPP.

now this should be fun ... a very different approach to the conquer the world German AAR. It'll also be interesting to see if HOI3 can sustain an attempt to stay out of war, especially as at the moment its not that great at simulating domestic politics.

Thanks! Now, a little secret is I played around with this idea in betatest, as part of my testing to see how flexible HOI 3 was, and I found it to be quite flexible.

I'm also quite interested in how this will turn out :) As the main programmer of the HPP AI, I have the following predictions (which may or may not hold up as you go along):
- If you keep your Threat low, the Allies will leave you alone.
- Italy has warplans in the Balkans. Don't be surprised if they start seemingly random wars. (But don't be surprised if they don't, either. It depends on a number of factors.)
- The Soviets need the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact for their expansions in vanilla (except for the Winter War, but that needs Finland to be independent, who sometimes join the Allies), but not so in HPP. They will start to grab the neighbouring minors sooner or later, even going for Poland in the early '40s.
- Without German expansionism, there won't be an Allied guarantee of Poland, making a Soviet war on them possible and relatively easy.
- The Allies will check other nations' threat as well, not only Germany, but (currently) they will hold Germany to be the most dangerous threat, and only take action against the Comintern, if the Axis is already dealt with. So unless something unexpected happens, there probably won't be an Allied-Comintern war. (And if there would be one, it would be a strange one too, with no real common borders...)

-> You could try to cause an Allied-Comintern war by forcing the British guarantee on Poland (by going through with the decisions up to Vienna), but that will probably generate enough threat so that you yourself will be attacked. (Not to mention that the war can start as early as Vienna...)

Anyway, this should be interesting. And it can easily turn into a staring contest :D (Which is not necessarely a problem. Kind of a three-way Cold War.)

I'm sure it will be more interesting than my two attempts with straight SF. Though they turned out interesting in their own way. Several countries in Europe, in one game, regarded Republican Spain as their main threat, well into 1940 or so! :) I'm very curious to see how Italy is going to do, and what the USSR will do over time. In one of my earlier tests, the Soviets remained uninterested in anything (just sat there) until 1943 when I stopped playing (because I knew something was wrong -- not just because of that, but because China and Japan were at war, but not fighting each other).

Personally, I find the concept for this AAR very intriguing. I'm looking forward to seeing where you can take this.

Thanks! I'm curious, myself, although I have an idea it can be done. Earlier tests seemed like it was possible, though HPP offers some additional challenges, it seems.

I don't think the game will behave quite well in such a scenario. But it is important that someone tries different scenarios, so the game can be improved. And perhaps I might be found wrong...

Well, it's certainly possible you're right. But we'll see. I aim to test the bounds! :)

Sounds interesting. One thing you should definitely be prepared for, is the Soviet Union attacking Poland. There's no set date for the AI to do so, but the AI is told to get its cores back, and the Soviet's have Belorussian and Ukrainian cores in eastern Poland. In Cybvep's AAR, the attack came during the Spring of '42. Since you also have cores on Poland, you'll be dragged into that war as well.

There's also a (small) chance Poland and Lithuania go to war over Vilnius in '38 or '39. In that case, the Soviets would also step in, dragging you into the war as well. The chances of that happening is very small though, like 10-15%.

Yeah, that's interesting about the USSR and Poland. That's a setting that isn't in regular SF? I remember seeing a brewing conflict between Poland and Lithuania -- was that in your Teutonic AAR? Very interesting.

No, not because of the cores, but because Germany guarantees the independence of Poland, until the M-R Pact. They are considered to be in Germany's sphere of influence. In general it might be a good idea to check around who you are guaranteeing, because those pacts are mandatory, you have no choice but to honour them.

Well, realistically, Germany must guarantee certain countries in Europe, because an attack upon some of them would threaten Germany directly. Without Germany being re-armed, she would have to roll over and submit to the threatening party -- basically raising the possibility of a communistic Germany (and maybe a civil war). That's partly why Britain and France were willing -- at some points and from some people, even encouraging -- to see a rearmed Germany.

Germany not trying to start a war? This is definitely one to watch! :)

And yes, I agree with Cybvep, honouring guarantees should be optional.

Thanks, SSmith! It is a little off the beaten path. :D

Very interesting! I'll be lurking around following this!

Thanks, Brad1!

I stand corrected. Either way, unless he removes the guarantee via the M-R Pact, he'll eventually go to war with the Soviets. The only question is when.

Also, if he chooses to not bring Italy into the Axis, Italy may get a little trigger-happy in the Balkans and drag him into a war via the guarantee on Yugoslavia.

Why would Germany have a guarantee on Yugoslavia? That seems odd.

A Rensslaer AAR! And with HPP too! Has someone been reading my wishlist? :D

Will be following this, and how!

Great to hear! :D I look forward to presenting an interesting AAR, even though it may not be that action-packed. But some here think it will be, no matter what I do. We'll see.

This sounds very promising and I will definitely follow your AAR.

Thanks!

Ooh, a new Rensslaer HOI3 AAR co-inciding with my getting back into the game. Sign me up!

I have a feeling there'll be an odd tension in this AAR between your stated aims (making Germany a powerful and respected European nation once more) and what we want to see happen (you getting dragged into a big war). The 'win' condition for you is to get to the end of the game with a strong and peaceful Germany, but I for one would be happier to see a bit foreign adventurism, even if it was purely defensive. This should turn out to be a very interesting political situation!

Thanks, Dewirix! Yes, I'm sure it would be more fun to see me in hot combat. And, like I say, there are those who predict this ahead! :D It will be interesting, one way or another.

I second Slan's tips on mobilizing. I recently played a HPP game in which I didn't institute the Mobilize for War draft law until 1946, by which time I was several hundred MP short of a fully reinforced Wehrmacht. :eek:o

Looking forward to lurking in another Rensslaer AAR. :)

Thanks, Dublish! I appreciate it. Yes, that's something to consider -- the mobilization stuff. :) Then, I do about half and half reserve units vs. non-reserve, when I'm building. Partly because I'm forgetful :) and partly because I know I don't want to have to reinforce all my units at once.

HEY! Where's that AAR I promised you would promise to write???! :D

Oh no, another endless AAR begins! I shall guard this one to the fiery pit of the last page!

:D Might be awfully short! We'll see. Glad to have you along for the ride!

about Poland. Göring and the Polish PM (I don't remember his name) became friendly due to a shared interest in hunting. throughout the early years of the Nazi-regime, Göring did a lot to "influence" Poland. it was only when Von Ribbentrop started throwing his ignorant self around that he antagonized UK, France, Poland and Mussolini. so Germany trying to maintain friendship in one form or another is not so far-fetched.
I've been wondering what would happen if the nazi's got kicked out. guess I may find out, so I'll definitely be following closely.
God, that's the third HPP AAR and one Vanilla AAR (from Slan). the day is missing several hours now...:p

Good! Thanks. As for throwing the Nazis out, I was figuring I might just ignore them, but if they get thrown out, so much the better (I think -- not sure what aftereffects I might see). Glad you've chosen this as one of the AARs to follow! I'm reading the same ones, I think, plus some others. Finished Cybvep's (for now), on page 2 on TheBromgrev's (though I've scanned the rest), and on page one of Slan's.

OK, I am confused. What is this "peace"?

:D Klingon! Just beacuse your Ottomans are stomping on someone every 30 minutes doesn't mean everybody has to be like that.

I believe it is the period between fighting where you prepare for the next war. :)

This will be interesting: Rensslaer trying to be a pacifist. In a wargame. A game that is set up entirely to simulate warfare (most of it centered on Germany). It's like King Cnut trying to hold back the waves... Well, either Renss will succeed (in which case I expect a rather quick AAR), or he'll fail and we'll have the usual death and destruction goodness. ;)

lol Yeah, Rensslaer is usually the one either stumbling from war to war and pleading innocence, or else is planning the next war before the current one is done. Not to say I haven't been at peace from time to time... :)

So true. Although since Rensslaer is using the HPP mod, unless he makes some custom changes, even if he plays "nice", he'll still be dragged into a war. Italy may start a war in the Balkans. If it's not in the Axis, then he will likely be dragged in due to the HPP's starting guarantees, and even it Italy is an Axis member, the Allies may declare war on Italy on their own.

What's more likely though, is the USSR will attack Poland and drag him into a war that way. Poland is in Germany's sphere of influence (modeled by a guarantee) due to similar government type and the fact that Poland has German cores (Posen, West Prussia, Danzig, South Silesia). Since the Soviets also have cores on Poland (Belarus, Ukraine), they will at some point attempt to regain their cores. If the M-R Pact isn't in place, then he'll have to fight the Soviets when they attack.

In both cases, the main question is timing. When will Italy or the Soviets act on their own? In the HPP, the Soviets don't need the M-R Pact to gain the Baltic states or start the Winter War. That adds a realistic dynamic to the game, as both Germany and the USSR were seen as the "bad guys", and vanilla doesn't represent that via the Soviet AI. Even though Rensslaer wishes for peace, he must prepare for war.

I agree about the realism -- one reason why I just couldn't accept a peaceful USSR in the other game. And I'll definitely be preparing for war, just trying not to raise the Allied threat too high.

Thanks, everybody! I appreciate your readership, and especially your comments! I'll try to get a new update this weekend or Monday. Anybody watching who hasn't said anything?

Rensslaer
 

farecoal

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The reason Japan and China were not fighting was probably because Japan was not at war with Shanxi, and so couldn't get to China without a naval invasion. (which they don't usually do, for some reason.) This was fixed in HPP and the latest patch I believe.
 

Tallfellow

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Another Rensslaer AAR, sign me up.... I really need to buy HoI3 and everything for it... Just need to upgrade my computer a bit first :) But looking forward to you "not" kicking ass!!
 

Lord E

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Interesting concept Renn. I am impressed that you think that you are able to have all these AARs running at once.

The start was interesting and I think it will be a challenge to stay at peace for long, but it sure will be interesting to follow this tale :)
 

Rensslaer

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The reason Japan and China were not fighting was probably because Japan was not at war with Shanxi, and so couldn't get to China without a naval invasion. (which they don't usually do, for some reason.) This was fixed in HPP and the latest patch I believe.

That's exactly it. I looked and found evidence that their ships had been fighting, but they never made an amphibious landing which quite shocked me. Yes, this was v1.3 I think, or maybe v1.4. Welcome, Farecoal!

I doubt it, since the "Black Crusaders" is my debut :d

I think I was confused and thinking about MnPlastic's Lithuania AAR, which is quite entertaining.

Another Rensslaer AAR, sign me up.... I really need to buy HoI3 and everything for it... Just need to upgrade my computer a bit first :) But looking forward to you "not" kicking ass!!

Welcome, Tallfellow! Glad to have you along for yet another AAR! :) Yes, you'll enjoy HOI 3. I love it!

Interesting concept Renn. I am impressed that you think that you are able to have all these AARs running at once.

The start was interesting and I think it will be a challenge to stay at peace for long, but it sure will be interesting to follow this tale :)

I'm starting to realize this pace has upset my "system" a little -- doing 4 AARs is somehow alot more difficult than 3. :) My timing just got messed up, and I'm having to readjust. Thanks for coming along, and Welcome!

An update sometime over the next day or two, I'm hoping.

Thanks, everybody, for giving me a chance on this odd scenario! :)

Rensslaer
 

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Not sure how much I can contribute, and I certainly don't expect a 'nail-biter', but I always enjoy a "Rens AAR." Subscribed.
 

Rensslaer

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As I continue to play the HPP mod to Semper Fi, I find more and more differences from what I think I saw in vanilla SF (I only played one brief game before modding it – not that there was anything wrong with SF, but I wanted to try HPP).

One change is the borders and setup in China. In HOI 3/SF, Shanxi covers a huge portion of northern China, and separates Manchukuo from Nationalist China. In HPP, Shanxi is a little state nowhere near the border of Manchukuo, and snugged up against Communist China (in the below screenshot, both are contained within the red circle).

Shanxi.jpg


In my Hammonds 1938 Atlas (a really cool item I picked up – shows Grossdeutschland just after Germany took the Sudetenland, but before the rest of Czechoslovakia fell), “Shensi” is located approximately where the HPP borders are, and is shown as a state within the Republic of China. Of course, these were all warlord districts back then, probably nominally under the RoC. I trust the HPP modders for having a reason for doing this, and it’s probably quite logical.

It seems to me that Guangxi and Xibei San Ma are larger, too. And Japan has a couple of enclaves south of Manchukuo. Interesting. Soon after the game starts, the Republic of China and Communist China enter a civil war.

Tanks1940.jpg


Also early in the game, we get more choices as to doctrines. I choose Armoured Schwerpunkt as my Tank Doctrine (Japan, for instance, chose Infantry Support), and Blitzkrieg as my Operational Doctrine. Might as well stick with historical choices here – they make sense for an industrialized country which is surrounded by enemies and must strike quickly to prevent being overrun.

These choices – as noted, HPP does this differently – open up new Techs for me to research. Spearhead HQs allow the HQs to follow closely behind the action, and reduces the Attack Delay (which I’ve found to be critical in hotly contested combats!). Armoured Division Breakthrough increases most combat values for Armour and Heavy Armour (whereas in vanilla these values are all improved by different techs in the standard tank research tracks).

RhinelandEvent.jpg


Now, looking at the requirements for different events, I notice that in HPP the prereqs for the ReOccupation of the Rhineland are different. If I’m not mistaken, vanilla requires a certain number of “divisions” (which can be “gamed”, as noted in the Strategy Guide), whereas HPP requires a certain number of brigades, instead – more logical.

It also requires fewer divisions to be located along the border with France, in a more localized operation, which again is more logical and more historical.

By the way, I may mention the Strategy Guide quite a bit, partly (obviously!) because I wrote it. I would still recommend new players (at least) review it. The HOI 3 Strategy Guide is probably still pretty up-to-date and relevant, as it deals mostly with REAL military strategies and tactics that work well within the HOI 3 framework. There’s also the Strategy Guide Supplement and the Supplement for v1.3, which again are still useful for most things that aren’t specific to the v1.4 patch, or to Semper Fi. Things in the original Strategy Guide which changed or were incorrect are generally corrected in the 2 later books. It’s true that many things may have changed, based on how later patches modified things. It’s also true that different difficulty levels may invalidate some of the judgments, which were usually based upon Normal play levels.

ProductionJan1936.jpg


Partly because of the requirements for the Rhineland, I modify my initial production list, which mostly placed Industry up front, but which also included a Rocket Test Site – might as well get the whole rocket industry up and running as soon as possible. Werner von Braun considered this useful not just for military applications, but also for space exploration, which provides a realistic peacetime justification.

I want artillery brigades built, so I can attach them to some of the border guards facing the Maginot Line. I build these as individual brigades, and I’ll attach them later. These two will put me over the Rhineland requirement, and they’re quick to build. I’m also going to build two infantry divisions with artillery support, and two motorized infantry divisions, also with artillery. Now, some of you may note the artillery brigades attached to a motorized infantry division are pretty silly – they have a speed of 4, while the rest of the unit has a capability to go much faster. In answer, I don’t expect they’ll be called to action anytime soon – I’ll have time to develop and build Self-Propelled Artillery, and will replace them, moving those artillery brigades to infantry units. This will have the dual effect of qualifying (I think) for the Combined Arms Bonus.

As I said, pretty much everything in production you don’t see in the above screenshot is industry. I’m overbuilding Supplies, and intending to increase every stockpile, as I can.

SpiesUSSR.jpg


I don’t have a lot of use for my Spies right now. I lower every country to zero priority unless I have some reason to want spies there (basically the countries you see), and even those are all reduced to low priority except for the Soviet Union. Now, if I had a “lower neutrality” mission for other countries (not my own, which I do have) I’d be using that, but I don’t. And the lower neutrality mission for Germany isn’t one I want to pursue, because I don’t want to declare war on anybody, right? What I’m left with is the “Increase Threat” mission for the USSR, which for some reason in my game is particularly inept at finding and imprisoning my spies! By increasing their Threat, I drive my eastern neighbors into my arms.

Poland’s neutrality is higher than the Soviet threat against them, by a degree of 28 points, but that will reduce as time goes on. I also need to get them into the Axis “range” – within 50 points of Germany on the Axis alignment. This seems to be more difficult in HPP than in regular HOI/SF, though you don’t see that quite yet – in this screenshot they’re coming along quickly enough, thanks to my Influence.

PolandUSA.jpg


I contract with the USA to provide massive amounts of Oil, so I can increase my stockpiles before tensions get too high. I’m trading with everybody – Belgium, France, UK, Romania, Italy, Japan, Soviet Union, etc., because my priority is not to “punish” anybody, but rather to befriend everybody and also to improve my stockpiles quickly. Extra cash comes from the Supplies, and our (temporary, as it happens) overabundance of Energy.

In May, 1936, we re-occupy the Rhineland. Our two artillery brigades are ready, we deploy them near the border, and allow infantry units to advance to position to join up with them. We lose 15 Diplomatic Relation points with France, but other consequences are minimal. We lose 3 Neutrality, which is incidental, and France and UK also lose the same amount, which is concerning, but unavoidable – I was unwilling to allow the Rhineland to remain outside our control. That’s a matter of direct national soveteignty, not regaining cores outside our current boundaries.

ReoccRhine.jpg


Fortunately, that’s all we have – 3 Threat against France. I’ll gain more if I deploy more units, and so my intent, frankly, is not to do so.

All the normal things happen during this period, also – Edward VIII abdicates, Ethiopia capitulates, etc. In June, the Spanish Civil War starts, after a short period of flavor-purposed “unrest” (an HPP addition, I think) where rebels start rampaging across the countryside in a couple places. Both Italy and Germany intervene on behalf of the Nationalists, while the USSR intervenes on the other side. The British and French maintain their counsel and stay away.

SCW.jpg


Losing (temporarily) the Manpower is not a big deal, nor the Supplies or even the Money (I take a loan, apparently). In HPP your participation in the SCW is rewarded by the awarding of research points in certain likely technologies, and perhaps some other ways too.

By July, 1936, I was successfully adding to my stockpiles in every category. I usually try to accumulate in a 4:2:1 ratio between Energy, Metal and Rares, with a generalized steady increase also of Oil. I’m approaching this, seemingly, and I’m quite happy with how things are going.

ProductionJul1936.jpg


Production-wise, things are looking up. I start producing an Interceptor wing, and even a couple of escorts for use if/when war is declared. I switch to only trying to produce a couple – one of each infantry and motorized – of the four infantry units I’d started producing, the other units going into reserve holding pattern. The Rocket Site is almost done, which is great. And in December I should start getting results from my construction of Industry.

I loosen up my government restrictions upon the society by backing away to Limited Restrictions (only a Free Society is more free). I increase our Education investment (remember, this was default in unmodded HOI/SF, but I have to pay for it in HPP). The benefit HPP allows for this investment has less impact upon Leadership/Research, though.

CoalStorage.jpg


Umm… That’s one problem with trying to stockpile massive resource reserves in HPP – they have artificial penalties that kick in around 50,000 units to make accumulation of large reserves difficult. You must find storage for all that stuff – warehousing shortages may cause the loss of some materials, and I’m getting that for Coal, now. It’s a pretty serious penalty, but I determine that it can be gotten around, with some expense/costs, and so I keep stockpiling.

MediumTank.jpg


Sometime in summer or early fall I finish researching the Light Tank levels to 2nd rank, which gives me some improvements to light tank techs, but also unlocks the Medium Tank units for research, which I immediately undertake. I have little interest in light tank units. Yes, they might fit well in a “peaceful” country which is expecting to avoid war if it can be avoided, but at the same time even the addition of light tank units add to my Threat to the Allies. I’ll avoid building those, in favor of more useful Medium Tank units when I can.

ConsumerProds.jpg


In the last update, I explained at some length why switching to a Consumer Product Orientation makes sense during peacetime in HPP, whereas it didn’t hold much value in early versions of HOI 3 (i.e. when the Strategy Guide was developed). I switch in the Fall, when I have some money to expend for this purpose (HPP has higher costs for doing so). This reduces my peacetime CG needs, and slightly reduces my production efficiency.

I later discover that this has caused a penalty I didn’t anticipate. The SMS Graf Spee, which had been days from completion at the start of the game, was now a couple months from being launchable! The efficiency loss was retroactive (which, I suppose, is not unrealistic), and so I had to refocus on building it if I wished to deploy the ship. Graf Spee, along with the destroyers and subs in the production queue at the start of the game, had been moved to back-burner status because I didn’t want to launch anything to increase Threat.

As you can see, the Nationalists are doing quite well in this version of the Spanish Civil War. In my previous two games – one in v1.4 and the other in SF 2.03 – the Republicans had won, so this is an interesting twist.
 

Dewirix

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Hmm, remilitarising the Rhineland and supporting the Nationalists in Spain might be a little too aggressive for France and Britain's tastes, but do fit in with the narrative of restoring Germany and resisting the spread of communism.

I assume your comment about recovering cores means you won't press for the Sudentenland, Austria or Danzig (well, certainly not Danzig, given the outcome).
 

Slan

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Some pointers on changes you don't seem to be aware of, and would probably effect your strategy:

- Artillery. There's a "Motorized Support Brigades" tech on the Armoured tab, which increases the speed of all horse-towed support brigade types to be on par with Motorised units. This tech is not upgradeable though (similarly to most ship techs), so your old brigades won't start using fuel automatically. But as a player, you can upgrade them into themselves, which would bring them up-to-date even in unpagradeable techs, like this. You can use this same technique with Destroyers and Submarines to bring them up to speed by the way.

- Threat. Threat has no effect on drift anymore, so increasing Soviet threat won't bring anyone to your arms. It has two important effects though: nations tend not to like conducting diplomacy with highly threatening nations (including trade and joining a faction or signing an alliance), and the Allies will attempt to put down any European nations with high threat. As I said earlier, this does not include nations in the Comintern until Germany is pacified though. So your strategy of isolating the Soviets is viable, but in a different way.

- Also about threat. The above mentioned effect of threat on diplomacy has two sides. If a nation is too threatening (somewhere about 75 IIRC), and they have the military to back it up, the other nation will start to fear them, actually becoming more willing to negotiate. You should be aware of that.

- Another note about threat. In vanilla, you get a lot of threat by building regular units (including ships and aircraft). In HPP, this value is greatly reduced, but is still there. Because of that (and other reasons), I suggest you build reserves if you can. (Also note that the AI always builds reserves from land units, even if at war.)

- A side note: the "Unrest in Spain" event is actually not for flavour but to stirr up the Spanish defences, originally placed along the Portugese border. That was done back when the Spanish forces were actually split betweent he two sides...
 

reis91

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Art or Spart + Inf/Mot doesn't qualify for CA. CA requires 33 to 66% average softness in a div, and has nothing to do with having several kinds of assets in a division, like it should.
 

Rensslaer

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Not sure how much I can contribute, and I certainly don't expect a 'nail-biter', but I always enjoy a "Rens AAR." Subscribed.

Welcome, WhisperingDeath! Glad to have you along for yet another hair-raising adventure! :D You might see "nail-biting" yet! ;)

Hmm, remilitarising the Rhineland and supporting the Nationalists in Spain might be a little too aggressive for France and Britain's tastes, but do fit in with the narrative of restoring Germany and resisting the spread of communism.

I assume your comment about recovering cores means you won't press for the Sudentenland, Austria or Danzig (well, certainly not Danzig, given the outcome).

This is true -- the Rhineland is important, I think, both for the sovereignty role-playing aspect, but also for the development of my economy. But those other items -- foreign adventures -- I'd prefer to avoid, because they will mark me as an aggressive nation.

Some pointers on changes you don't seem to be aware of, and would probably effect your strategy:

Slan, thank you very much for these insights! I had noticed that you'd done some work with the Threat increase re: Allies, because I was deploying units as I had in the previous versions, but wasn't seeing the same impact on my Threat vs. them. Good to know about the Motorized Support Brigades -- I'd also suspected that, but hadn't fully looked into it.

On the subject of my raising the USSR's Threat, I may have been unclear in the AAR because I dealt with these two aspects in separate updates. I'm following a two-pronged strategy to draw countries into the Axis. On the one hand, I'm using Diplomatic Influence to bring targeted countries across the political spectrum into the Axis corner. On the second hand, my work to increase the Threat of the USSR is so that my targeted countries' Threat-to-Neutrality ratio is low enough that they will consider joining the Axis (because of course if they are more neutral than they feel threatened, then they won't consider joining, even if they are in the Axis-alignment corner of the Diplo triangle).

Art or Spart + Inf/Mot doesn't qualify for CA. CA requires 33 to 66% average softness in a div, and has nothing to do with having several kinds of assets in a division, like it should.

Yes -- but the SP Art (not regular Art) has a high enough Hardness rating that I'm hoping they will combine with the Armoured Cars to bring my Inf into that 66-33% average softness zone. There are also techs which will increase the range which is considered for Combined Arms. I'll get the softness into the right range, eventually! :)

Thanks, everybody, for your readership and comments! Anybody else out there? The HOI forum seems a little inactive just now -- not sure why it's slowed down.

Rensslaer
 

Hallongren

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This is true -- the Rhineland is important, I think, both for the sovereignty role-playing aspect, but also for the development of my economy. But those other items -- foreign adventures -- I'd prefer to avoid, because they will mark me as an aggressive nation.

Fortunetly you could always make the anschluss happen through diplomatic methods, even though it might generate some amount of threat (?) it would fit well with both expansion and the peace oriented role-playing (since you then, I assume, more or less let the Austrians decide)