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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Kovax

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I'll just prepare for the next 8 months as if they will. Otherwise try a limited was on SOV and see whether GER decides to join?
If you really want to make life easy for GER, wait until about 2 months before Barbarossa, then declare a private war on the Soviets. That should put most of the Soviet army in transit between west and east, and in no position to oppose Germany's offensive until they arrive in the Far East, then Strategically Redeploy all the way back to the west again.

Normally, I'd consider that a bad idea, since GER won't be able to encircle and destroy half of the Soviet army on the border, but the AI wouldn't do that anyway, merely push the SOV units back until they recover ORG and move back onto the front lines, repeated ad nauseum until either GER runs out of Manpower or SOV runs out of room to backpedal and GER takes Moscow.
 
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Corugi

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I got bored after pumping out my 12th or so 42 tech carrier. Then my subs ran out of enemy convoys to sink. I was going to strat bomb the UK back into the Cambrian period and watch them try to re-evolve from some echinoderms, but I just invaded them instead. It was easier than waiting to build bombers. Then I noticed the Germans had invaded Norway and done the Kovax maneuver. So, like you did, I helped them out. Then I disabled all messages and just watched for a while. Germany still did not declare on Russia, although by now ( late 1944 ) they had actually moved sizable forces up to the border. So I declared and sat back and did nothing. It was quite interesting watching the ebb and flow zoomed right out. At first it looked like the Germans would roll the Russian, pushing right up to the doorbells of Moscow and Rostov. Then the Russians pushed them all the way back to Smolensk and surrounded an army in the Crimea. They seemed on the verge of taking Bucharest and finishing Romania, "It must be over for them now" I thought. Much to my surprise the fortunes reversed again. Something which I have rarely seen on the Eastern front, both under AI control. It took a while but by 1947 the Germans had won. I guess the Russians ran out of manpower or supplies or something.

Interestingly enough, since I had effectively just become a bystander and let whatever happen, I saw rebels liberate China and Indochina from my sweaty grip. Nat China became Nat China again and lasted about a week before some Italians reclaimed it for me and somehow triggered an event which I had never seen, opening some dams and flooding a couple of provinces, wrecking the infrastructure. How interesting. Indochina actually became Indochina, an independent nation, in a rather sickly shade of green. Never seen that before.

In all that time the USA did not invade one of my Pacific islands, although I left them entirely ungarrisoned. :(
 
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Mortal Phoenix

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Good call on the Norway predicament. GER had declared war on them but did nothing. I stepped in an took the two victory provinces to avoid any future nonsense.

I am sitting on top of a pile of leadership and manpower so I think I will go for a massive extra Army build up. As Mortal Pheonix points out, there's not much left to be researched for a while. It only seems weird because I have barely touched much of my Army since taking China.

As Kovax thinks that GER will do Barbarossa on schedule, I'll just prepare for the next 8 months as if they will. Otherwise try a limited was on SOV and see whether GER decides to join?
What is the neutrality level of the USA?
 

50shadesofgreen

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What is the neutrality level of the USA?
They joined the Allies and declared war on me in 1939. The USA have a carrier stack roaming the coast of Europe, so although I sneakily took Norway before that appeared, I don't think I will be invading Russia from that direction.
 

Mortal Phoenix

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They joined the Allies and declared war on me in 1939. The USA have a carrier stack roaming the coast of Europe, so although I sneakily took Norway before that appeared, I don't think I will be invading Russia from that direction.
1939? Not good. Is it possible to transfer the troops that are in Norway, and transfer them to Finland? Maybe they can help blooster their defenses against the Soviet Union?
 
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50shadesofgreen

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I have nothing left in Norway. I swooped in for the victory locations, did puppet and left. I was only trying to avoid the usual chaos that happens when Germany tries to invade that Kovax described above.

I can't see any prospect of a war on Russia in that direction as it would make my convoys vulnerable to attack. Supporting Finland would make an interesting prospect though. Making the Winter War the main war? I don't recall ever seeing that war last too long? Is it terminated by an event if it's not resolved?
 

Kovax

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The Winter War can drag on for months or years. In one game I remember, the Soviets triggered the war without anything nearby to actually fight it, and Finland ended up taking Leningrad and the nearby fortified provinces almost unopposed. The Soviets took well over a year to dig them out of their trenches and drive them back into Finnish territory. Normally, however, the Soviets drive back the Finns as soon as the weather clears and movement becomes reasonably possible again.

As for making the Winter War the main event, the problem comes down to war goals, or in one case I recall where AI GER did NOT become the war leader, and the War in the East ended with Finland regaining its lost territory and everyone else getting nothing. That kind of stupidity can be resolved if you're willing to tag switch and set proper ones for Finland and Germany, otherwise the Soviets end up in a couple of scattered pieces after the surrender.
 
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50shadesofgreen

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That seems to have resolved the northern front issues!

I'm left weighing up my additional front being through the Black Sea or through Persia. I like Persia as it's further from the main Russian force concentration. I'm somewhat bothered that taking Persia links India to Egypt and will make everything west draw supply from Bombay. I guess that would mean a limited thrust north into the Soviet oilfields. Black Sea gives lots of supply ports and a little ability to switch lines of attack.
 

Vanslyke

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Thank you all for all your questions and answers.

Initially, i started this to ask for a Japan guide, but since it doesn’t exist as such, i would like to take the opportunity to broaden it to include anything related to playing as Japan. So feel free to ask any questions regarding that. And if by judging the way that people as responded so far, i’m certain that all of them will be answered.

This is a very vibrant community and i really enjoy to be somewhat part of it.
 
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JanKaas

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Did you see/read this AAR from TheBromgrev?
Although played using a previous FtM release of the HPP mod, there are still some good learnings, including how to effectively use the AI for larger front lines
 
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Vanslyke

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Did you see/read this AAR from TheBromgrev?
Although played using a previous FtM release of the HPP mod, there are still some good learnings, including how to effectively use the AI for larger front lines
I did, but it was a long time ago. i checked it and i found it to be quite interesting. Too bad it was not finished. Also, i couldn't view a lot of the pictures so it was a bit of a let down.

Personnaly, i prefer to manually manage all my armies. After my planning is done, i like to implement it myself, kind of like i am fighting with them. I know, it's weird :).
 

Vanslyke

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When you’re done with China, what are the pros and cons about keeping it all or seizing the coast and puppet the rest?

The few times i played as Japan, i kept all. The first time, i didn’t built any peace keeping forces and i had to scramble units to reason with the partisans and put them where they belong… « the cemetary »… . The second time i had already read Misterbean‘s great guide, so i built several units to hold victory points and cavalry to beat the partisans uprising. I didn’t have enough but it was somewhat manageable. I also upgraded the infra to help with the supply distribution.

What are your thoughts?
 

j_k_k

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I always want to stay at war with China to avoid putting myself back into peacetime, though there might be other ways to stay at war, such as singling out ComChi to not conquer. I do mostly what you do for occupation: build up something like a bearable infrastructure, garrison key points, have cavalry divisions chase down troublemakers. Next time, though, I'm going to tag switch and make Manchukuo give me at least a few divisions of rear area security.
 
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Kovax

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My preference is to annex NatChi, Guanxi, and Shanxi for the IC and resources and ComChi for the Leadership points, then either puppet (or remain at war with) the smaller warlords (Yunnan, Xibei), because they don't have enough of anything to cover the cost of a garrison.

A dozen or so 2xGAR divisions (GAR provide some Suppression, and fight almost as well on the defensive as INF, for a lot less supply and Officers) should be sufficient to hold the VP locations and one or two major resource provinces in the annexed territories, and then it's just a matter of how many 2xCAV or 2xINF you need to put down the revolts in the useless provinces in between. In Europe, I prefer to station one MOT or MOT+AC at a few scattered airfields, so I can rebase a single TAC to it on short notice and have supplies and fuel waiting. That way you can begin bombing a Partisan unit almost immediately, and then send the ground unit to casually stroll in and accept their surrender after the TAC has bombed them down to 0 ORG. China is just too large to cover that way without building a lot of airfields and stationing a large number of MOT.
 
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Vanslyke

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My preference is to annex NatChi, Guanxi, and Shanxi for the IC and resources and ComChi for the Leadership points, then either puppet (or remain at war with) the smaller warlords (Yunnan, Xibei), because they don't have enough of anything to cover the cost of a garrison.

A dozen or so 2xGAR divisions (GAR provide some Suppression, and fight almost as well on the defensive as INF, for a lot less supply and Officers) should be sufficient to hold the VP locations and one or two major resource provinces in the annexed territories, and then it's just a matter of how many 2xCAV or 2xINF you need to put down the revolts in the useless provinces in between. In Europe, I prefer to station one MOT or MOT+AC at a few scattered airfields, so I can rebase a single TAC to it on short notice and have supplies and fuel waiting. That way you can begin bombing a Partisan unit almost immediately, and then send the ground unit to casually stroll in and accept their surrender after the TAC has bombed them down to 0 ORG. China is just too large to cover that way without building a lot of airfields and stationing a large number of MOT.
Thanks Kovax,

As always, your comments make a lot of sense.

I had read a long time ago about leaving a unit which consume supply somewhere, so that the supply lines would reach it and when you need it, there would be supply already available. I kind of had forgotten about that.

I don’t use planes when dealing with uprising, unless they‘re a lot stronger than the usual partisans. But extending the supply lines is a great idea.
 
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Kovax

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I had read a long time ago about leaving a unit which consume supply somewhere, so that the supply lines would reach it and when you need it, there would be supply already available.
It works for ports as well, so if you pre-position one fuel-using unit (either ship, plane, or motorized ground unit) to a port, you can rebase ships there and conduct operations immediately after their arrival. After annexing the French coast, for example, I moved the nearest MOT unit to a port and rebased my subs to that port. By the time the subs arrived, the fuel-using land unit had dragged its own modest supplies with it, along with its logistical tail. At least one sub group could begin anti-convoy operations immediately, even though they'd be dangerously low on ORG if attacked in the next few days, and even though it would be weeks before the incoming supplies would be sufficient for combat operations by all of the units present.

When facing Partisans with your planes, ORG is irrelevant because the partisans have practically no anti-air capability, so as long as there's fuel, you can start bombing an hour after arrival when the Rebase mission completes.
 
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Vanslyke

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During a recent game, i conquered ROC, and pretty much all of the chinese Warlords, exept Xibei wich became a puppet. Don’t know how it happened, i didn’t do any actions that i know of. Maybe it’s scripted.

During the interwar period, i bid my time while building my armies.

When Germany DoW The Netherlands, i decided that the time to capture their south east Asia lands was good. But as soon as i declare war on them, i ended at war against the whole Allies, including the USA as they thought that the time was good too for them to join. My plan to « peacefully « annex those territories went south very quickly. I wanted to use the Events to gain the French Indochina and Siam, bit it never got that far.

So my questions are,

Should I have joined The Axis as soon as i was invited? Would my threat level had been lower if i stayed on my own a while longer?

If i had declare war on The Netherlands before Germany, would it have made any differences? I had been waiting since late 37, early 38.

The USA had embargoed me a while ago, so i no longer had any trade with them, but they did’t touch my convoy. All that changed when they declare war on me.

I would like to know what i could have done to avoid being thrown into this mess, even if it means doing earlier actions on my part. I know that i will have to load an earlier save, or even restart the game to control a bit more my war mongering opponents.

I await your thoughts,

Vanslyke.