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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

misterbean

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:eek: what's next? Luxemburg going for domination of Europe?
 

Rensslaer

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I would suggest making a fortified line in a string of mountains somewhere to make yourself a 'line in the sand'. Level 10 forts in mountains with mountaineer defenders using infiltration doctrine would be practically impossible to beat. Even if you don't win it makes sure you can't be beat and would let you sit in safety and build until the time was right.

Also, remember the Art will reduce your mountain bonuses which you may need every bit of.

I'd considered that, but the problem with forts is it takes so long to build them (it could be 1941 or 43 before I reach level 10), and then if you turn up not needing them they get left behind. A good Mountain division is as good as a fort in many ways, and can still move and attack later. The mountains themselves are my main fort. Plus, if I were really anticipating a defensive fight, I'd probably skip the war altogether. I would only attack if I felt I had a likelihood of bringing the war to an end through offensive action (me and whatever allies or cobelligerents I could cooperate with).

Welcome, ColtSyme! On the subject of artillery, your objections are probably that it reduces the speed of my units and reduces some of the "mountain bonus" of mountain units (if there's something more, please let me know). These are each acceptable limitations to me -- it matters little to me if my units are moving at 3 or 4 mph, or get 15% vs. 20% mountain bonus. Overall, the killing power (soft attack) of the artillery will outweigh those considerations, I'm reasonably sure.

The Chinese are downright dangerous when you have all your militia upgradede to Inf, Mountaineers or Marines :) It's an excellent strategy!

Yeah, I can imagine! I have to wonder how realistic that was, though. Then again, maybe I'm looking at the Chinese military as it was, not as it could have been.

So... Isin't 4 ongoing AAR's enought for you ?

It's... challenging! :D I'm keeping up okay, though. I Am Siam is almost over. Sforza has fallen behind, though, and I may put it on a relatively casual schedule while I finish my 3 HOI AARs.

"tell me more about why artillery gives mountain divisions a disadvantage – is it a matter of speed, or does it erode the specialist bonus?"

Both of these. Depending on the brigade stats your alpini division will move slower with attached art brigade (as divisions always move at the speed of the slowest brigade, modified by movement modifiers of the brigades of course). The fighting power of your division might take a minor hit as well, afaik the terrain modifiers of brigades are added together and get divided by the number of brigades in the division. So lets say every mountainerr brigade gets +20%mountain attack while art gets none your combined division would get an attack bonus of 3x20%/4 equaling only 15% attack bonus while fighting in the alps. (This should apply to any movement modifiers as well, don´t know about the brigade stats / modifiers in HPP mod.)

On a slightly related note, enjoying the nice read. Keep up the good work :)

Thanks, Burger Joh! Welcome! I explained my reasoning to ColtSyme above, but here's something else to contemplate: In HPP, they allow you to upgrade your artillery brigades to "mobile artillery battalions" -- it sends them temporarily back to the production queue, but when they finish they're basically truck-mobile artillery with a speed near/equal to motorized infantry. That's overkill, in my opinion, for a foot-infantry division, but it works well for motorized and/or mechanized divisions!

I was wondering why the Spanish borders were 'odd' and why they didn't seem consistent with your description - it looks to me as though somebody took over eveything south of France which is odd but not the oddity mentioned - but after much squinting it looks like my colour blindness makes the colours of Portugul, Nat. Spain, and Rep. Spain almost indistinguishable. I think I see what happened, one of the Spains is a hair lighter than everything else and is hugging the Mediterranean?

Ahh, yes... They kicked all the colorblind people out of Iberia, which is why their colors aren't very friendly to you! :D I can imagine you'd have difficulty, considering even I have difficulty seeing where the borders are sometimes!

Real madrid-Fc Barcelona 1-1.
that's a first...in more games than I care to admit!

Actually, it's the opposite. The screenshot I showed was immediately before the "return to the capital" event, where the Nationalists moved into Madrid. I think you're correct that the Republicans have Barcelona.

A stalemate in the Spanish Civil War, followed by a negotiated peace? I didn't know that was even possible! Is that an HPP addition, or is it just so unlikely that I've never seen it happen before?

If Germany has indeed started a military buildup (hence explaining its increasing threat) and has military designs on Austria, it should make for a very tense war. Yes, you'd be fighting in the mountains, but Italy's progress as a military power must be painfully slow, compared to Germany's. In a sense, it would be another war in which you'll have very little to work with to achieve your goals (a la Imperio Novo), but with the crucial difference that you'll be facing a major power head-on, with a direct land connection to your homeland.

Looking forward to the showdown. :)

Thanks! Yes, I'm mindful of the potential difficulty, and I'm a little scared myself! Thankfully, I've had Imperio Novo as a "drill instructor", teaching me how to manage with scarce resources! :D

It's an HPP addition, albeit a very, very, rare one. In general, the AI has been taught to offer a truce when it feels it can't win the war it's fighting. On the receiving end, the AI will only accept the truce only when it thinks it also can't win. In Rens' case, both Spanish factions must've felt they couldn't overpower the other within a decent time-frame, hence why both sides agreed to stop fighting. That's pretty rare for the SCW, but not impossible, and the AI has been told to regain its cores when it feels it's confident enough. After enough time, one side will attempt to attack the other, although how long that will take is up to the AI to decide, and WW2 will definitely factor into the Spanish AI's decisions. Looking at the map, it seems like the Nationalists came out slightly ahead since they control Madrid and likely have most of the navy and original army intact.

Fascinating! I'm actually considering doing a Spanish Civil War AAR with HPP, but I'm getting WAY ahead of myself! :D

A scarey thought. The lowered IC in HPP Mod makes your task even more difficult. Maybe you should seek allies on the eastern flank of Austria to absorb some of the attack.

Storo is a good place for the advance airbase. Its protected by Lake Como on the south and southeast. The other you have placed at Trieste. Are these to be your "wings" if the Huns flood into the Po basin?

I really liked Storo, when I was looking for the location. It's also in mountains, so it's easily defended. Exposed to the north only on one side, as you noted. Very defensible. Storo and Trieste could very well be the wings, but at this point in the game I had very little idea of how the advance would be conducted. I figured I'd rush forward and take positions in Austria, then watch for opportunities.

I just downloaded HPP and figured how to install it on my Mac. Wow, it makes Italy considerably more challenging. Right now, if I were Rensslaer, I would research mountain warfare equipment, and flood the mountain ranges with Alpini. That should be a tough nut to crack, but after that, the Po is your next natural line of defense. Hopefully, he will have allies and he will not have to go there.

Excellent, Tommylotto! You'll enjoy HPP! Yes, Italy's IC is umm... substandard. :D Not that that's unrealistic. So it's just a bit more challenge than I was expecting. That's all right!

and now you have an added element of uncertainty none of us are used to. how will the two Spains (weird to even write it down) react to the inevitable overtures of the Allies and Axis? could you use it to your advantage? Like mister Holmes would say: "gentlemen, the game is afoot!"

on second thought, given the timeframe, the proper quote would be: "Time to use the little grey cells."

Well, considering how difficult it is to get the Nationalists into the Axis in most games, I doubt I'd have a shot at that. But it's an interesting idea, and if it looks possible I'll definitely check it out.

Well Renss, it may be that the outcome of the Spanish Civil War will be a metaphor for this game: A fascist Italy that has republican aspirations.

Something like that! :D Course I doubt Mussolini harbored any republican ambitions (he'd been at the dictator thing for 14 years by game start, after all). I think he's just not sure he likes the dictator in the north anymore than he likes the dictator in the east, so his options are the compromised republicans who might consider him the lesser of three evils! :D

Another excellent update!!! Very much looking forward to seeing what's going to happen!! If the Nazi's are just going to steam across the alps without you having a chance of stopping them, or if you'll reach a stalemate, or even counter attack!!

On another note, is there a thread somewhere on the forum where you can get some guidens to writing AAR's? I have this idea for a Germany game i might want to write an AAR about.

Thanks! Ahh, yes -- would be good to see such an AAR! There are two threads I could direct you to (and maybe more out there) in the General Discussion section. The SolAARium (which is partly just writing in general, but clearly with a bias toward AARs), and The fAARq (with links to various useful things -- Section IV is writing an AAR).

that is single-handedly the craziest thing ive ever seen in a HOI3 game, except Lithuania blasting the Soviet Union of course ;)

Yeah... Lithuania so punishing the Soviet Union that they collapse and are annexed/inherited by Persia IS probably the most amazing thing I've seen on the forums without major modifications! And Lithuanians simultaneously battling Persian troops in the Caucasus and near Arkhangelsk is worth seeing! :D

That's MnPlastic's Lithuania: Fight for Survival, if anyone's interested!

Okay... This AAR is up on the cycle soon, but I can't promise an update before the weekend, though I may surprise. Thanks for writing, and for reading, everybody!

Rensslaer
 

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Thanks a ton for the links! Was what i was looking for :) I'll start working on my first AAR before long now :)
 

Axe27

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China is a lot more dangerous place for the Japanese than it used to be. The Chinese have a huge amount of manpower, and can really wear on the reserves of the Japanese, if they're(the Japanese) not careful and don't utilize their considerable sea and air advantage.

Also, Peace between the two Spains should not be possible. My guess is that it's a bug.
 

Alfredian

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What are Italy's relations with the Balkan countries like?
 

Rensslaer

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Thanks a ton for the links! Was what i was looking for :) I'll start working on my first AAR before long now :)

Great to hear! I'll keep an eye out. I'm assuming you haven't started one yet, because you'd have it in your signature, right? (probably one of those tips from the links)! :D

China is a lot more dangerous place for the Japanese than it used to be. The Chinese have a huge amount of manpower, and can really wear on the reserves of the Japanese, if they're(the Japanese) not careful and don't utilize their considerable sea and air advantage.

Also, Peace between the two Spains should not be possible. My guess is that it's a bug.

Welcome, Axe27! Yes, I've played around with Japan vs. China in beta some, and had alot of fun, gained alot of respect for China. :) TheBromgrev said the peace between Spain was an event they developed for the HPP mod, but it's not likely to happen unless there's a total stalemate.

As TheBromgrev mentioned earlier, its a feature in HPP, a very rarely occuring feature yes, but it does happen.

What Hallongren said. :)

I have seen it only once somewhere around 40's, not so early.

Interesting! I guess it takes a while to determine whether there's a stalemate. In mine, they practically hit 50% between themselves at least once, so maybe that's part of the trigger. It swung back and forth.

What are Italy's relations with the Balkan countries like?

You'll see in the next update or two, I think.

And speaking of updates... Sorry this has slacked off. Been a busy week. I'm considering doing this update next, on my schedule, but cannot necessarily promise an update today.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Rensslaer
 

unmerged(205558)

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I sense a storm coming...
A trolling storm that is !!!
 

Tallfellow

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Yeah i haven't started it yet, RL is a biiit frantic at the moment, so haven't really had time to sit down and play HoI3 for awhile :( But hope to get a game going in a week or so, as i have a loooong weekend coming :)
 

Rensslaer

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In planning ways to advance the Italian military, so that I might meet my international commitments to defend our territory, on the one hand, but also so that I might be able to militarily stand up against the threat of Nazi Germany on the other, I was concerned about certain industrial and infantry related technologies.

ITEarly38Tech.jpg


The Small Arms was huge – every level of SA we advanced, the better able we would be to succeed in combat. As soon as we achieved level 6, we began researching for level 7, which might be accomplished by spring of 1939. How far along that track was Germany? We shuddered to think. Rush, rush…

Only because Italy relies upon special units, such as Mountain units, is the Light Small Arms Modification a useful tech for us. It’s certainly worth researching, now that we can. Agriculture, of course, provides us Manpower, which would be in critical demand if Italy ever had to take on populous Germany. An industrial economy would use much Energy, so Coal Processing helps us to keep going. Motorized Support Brigades are an interesting option (from the HPP mod) – adding truck-mobility to your artillery or other support brigades, so that they mustn’t rely only on horse-drawn howitzers, etc. This can speed up the movement of units with artillery so the artillery can keep up with the motorized infantry. In Kriegsgefahr, I typically just built self-propelled artillery, because I wanted a harder unit with some armor to support my units and help create combined arms units. But in Locarno, this tech is more important to me – I must build the units from scratch, or upgrade existing units by returning them to the Production Queue for a short time.

As soon as I can build Radar Stations, I begin doing so. I want to know what’s going on across the Alps in Germany, so that I can use that knowledge to help plan. It will also help with coordination of air attacks, and if conflict comes, it’s reasonably certain much of it will center around the Alpine region of Austria and northern Italy.

ITDiploMar38.jpg


Tensions rise. By February, 1938, we are “looking forward” (in the literal sense of the words) to war with Germany, and are concerned at how unprepared we are. At the same time, there is a general feeling that war will come, and that we will have to initiate it, before Germany becomes even stronger. The people will just not support such a move yet. They will have to “show themselves” more forcefully, to get people to understand.

The tensions flared in April, 1938, when Germany mobilized, and the French followed in short order.

ITDiploApr38.jpg


The UK is more prepared – mentally – for war, but both Britain and France are deeply concerned about events in Germany. I presume they are making plans for war, realizing that it is more likely to come, than not.

While not yet mobilizing our full army, we do increase our levels of readiness, calling in some reserves. The mobilization process doesn’t work the same in HPP as it does in vanilla HOI 3/SF – this step does not cause economic gearing. That’s in a different policy category, and we don’t meet the conditions for it yet.

ITMobilize.jpg


The Infiltration Focus tech helps our Mountain and Militia troops, and Cavalry – each of which we already have and which will figure helpfully into our strategy. We have 14 Mountain brigades and 29 Militia brigades (many of which are still in Ethiopia). Italy still has no armored divisions (one armored car brigade) – I don’t intend to rely heavily upon them, but they would be nice to have some. If we ever do break out of the Alps, Light Armor would be welcome – perhaps even necessary.

The Coal Processing is important, as you can see. Italy won’t be conquering new territories with new resources in this game (except in Germany, hopefully), so I need to produce or trade for all my own stuff. My economy is currently using 91 IC, which requires 182 daily units of Energy. But if I get into war and mobilize my economy, that +43 daily Energy will quickly turn to deficit, and I don’t have a lot of stockpile reserve yet.

ITHQCelere.jpg


We’ve assigned one of our HQ commands to be our “business arm” – I place our armored car, cavalry and motorized infantry divisions into the “Celere” corps, which is intended to move forward quickly in time of war. We move into position along the border.

And not before time! Suddenly, Hitler pulls of a diplomatic fiat by overthrowing the Austrian government and rushing forward with his army! This is a shock. We are thrown into a flurry of reconsideration and rushed planning.

ITAnschluss.jpg


Perhaps because of my message settings, or perhaps because of the way the event was written, I didn’t have any say in this Anschluss. I was expecting to be able to accede or oppose, and if I opposed then we would be at war. As it is, I almost prefer this option – it’s an accomplished fact, and I have little to say about it. Yes, it might have been nice to go to war with the Austrian Army on our side. But we weren’t really ready for war. Would I ever be? And the Germans were preparing, too, at a rate probably way beyond what I could achieve. All in all, it might have been best for us to go to war at this point, with Austria alongside. But it didn’t happen, and I decide to accept that (Slan did provide me with an event that would have fixed this, but I decided not to use it, since I’d already played quite a bit beyond).

Germany’s Threat against France increased 20 in just one month. Their Threat against us increased, too, but not as significantly – probably because the event assumed Italy would be more on Germany’s side than against. Again, we accept the situation as the game gives it to us, rather than modding it.

ITReinfEthiopia.jpg


Now, it was clearly urgent for us to prepare for war. War clouds loomed over the Alpine slopes, reminding us of Germany’s threat. Hitler was a madman! He thought he could do whatever he wanted. Hard memories of the Great War steeled Italians’ souls for a continuation of the old conflict.

Reinforcements – more of them – were loaded aboard transports and brought through the Red Sea from Abyssinia. The British followed France in mobilizing, just mere weeks after them. And the first signs of German troops – a Motorized Infantry division – appeared in the Austrian vales across the border from Italy, tromping across May’s wildflowers. Now, it seemed war was a certainty.

ITArtyCmd.jpg


By the end of May, we had achieved more advances in technology and techniques – our artillery brigades (of which there were still few (we were considering a fix to this) were practicing timed, rolling barrages. And our officers were improving their tactics in battle, so that they would be able to respond better to the professional German war machine.

We also added more Industry to our ranks, increasing available IC from 91 to 94 during the month of May (Taranto & Foggia). We continue to promote the Grand Battle Plan operational doctrine.

ITOpDoc.jpg


There seemed little point to going to war with Germany while we were yet unprepared. This would, it was felt, be a defensive battle at first. We needed more Mountain divisions. And, even if Germany was building at a faster rate than our own army, it was felt time was needed to steel France’s nerves against Germany – to attempt to solidify an alliance upon the terms of Locarno – and also it was thought the Germans would need two or three divisions against each of ours to break through our Tyrolian defensive lines. And that, we thought, we could manage. If France were an ally, then the German military would be yet more divided, and could not concentrate against Italy only.

We waited.

ITProdJun38.jpg


We were busy, through the early summer, strengthening our northern airbases, constructing Radar/Intel stations in the mountains, completing our last Factory productions, which would soon give way mostly to military divisions, and completing equipment and training for more Mountain divisions and air squadrons. Even a Light Armored division was being slowly prepared for that day when, hopefully, we would rush north into Bavaria.

Hungary mobilized. For what purpose? We had to wonder. Were they meaning to join Germany as an ally, or were they also concerned about Germany’s intentions against the rest of Europe? We continued our diplomatic efforts to draw them toward Italy. The German threat continued to build against France and Britain. Would they obey their commitments, and join Italy against Germany’s violations of the Versailles Treaty, as the pacts at Locarno had agreed?

ITNanjing.jpg


In July, we were reminded that not just Europe boiled with clouds of war. The most horrific atrocities were reported from the Nationalist Chinese capital of Nanking, which had just fallen to the advancing Japanese. Imperial troops had not yet quite joined, except in one mountain valley of central China, but they were advancing, building their occupation, and they had now set up a puppet government based at Nanking (the green territory you see has been ceded by Japan to China-Nanjing).

Some still hoped for peace, but no one really expected it. The world was aflame.
 

Cybvep

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The outcome of this AAR will heavily depend on your preparedness for war when it finally comes. I doubt that Germany will be able to handle all fronts if Italy is on the Allied side. Unless it gets some allies, it will be hopelessly outnumbered, with the power of the UK, France and Italy combined and the Soviet threat looming over Germany's eastern border.
 

Stuyvesant

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The outcome of this AAR will heavily depend on your preparedness for war when it finally comes. I doubt that Germany will be able to handle all fronts if Italy is on the Allied side. Unless it gets some allies, it will be hopelessly outnumbered, with the power of the UK, France and Italy combined and the Soviet threat looming over Germany's eastern border.

I think this is true. The biggest risk I see is if the Germans decide to focus all attention on Italy first and overrun you before the British and French have time to react. :p
 

SSmith

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Yes, hopefully Germany will be taking on too much if it's fighting both France and Italy. However, now that Austria has fallen, the German-Italian frontier is uncomfortably long. The terrain is essentially neutral - it will certainly help you on the defensive but it will hurt you equally when you want to take the war to Germany.

I am guessing that you will now wait to engage Germany until the Allies are at war. The question is, will you seek a formal alliance with the British and the French?
 

Tallfellow

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If i where you, i would wait for Germany to Invade the USSR, and the stab them in the back while they are occupied by the Red Army :)
 

misterbean

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since your goal is to set Germany as the big bad, I assume you're sending spies to increase their threat?
 

King50000

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is China-Nanjing something that HPP gives you the option of forming if your Japan? and if so, does it give cores on its territory so they dont face constant partisans?