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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

loki100

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I think I fully understand your pain now having to deal with the post unification unrully mob. Just completed unification in my game you would think people would show a little gratitude:rolleyes:

I think my main problem in Ethipoia has been trying to do war on the cheap basically with a pathetic conscript rate and having to keep my main focus on Europe it has taken forever to build up the forces I really need. The other issue is that native armies seem to have an inexhaustible supply of replacements. You have got to kill unit elements or they simply appear next turn as good as new. This is a problem when native forces 9 times out of 10 seem able to retreat out of your grasp whenever they are confronted by a superior force. I'm still experimenting with my force makeup so hopefully I will be able to get the balance right. Oh and don't get me started on mountainous terrain:p

I think the Ottomans are in 6th by the way as they have 10496 points compared to your 10211. I'm guessing you will be climbing the leader board really soon! As I think I said before AGEOD really need to simplify the score screen and expand its scope to include at least the top 20 nations.

I'm guessing it's not too much longer before we see your peace loving Italians have a crack at the evil Ottomans!
yes, the ungrateful wretches really do not appreciate how hard you have to work to unify them.

I'll leave Ethiopia till I have read your solution. I think what I'll do is a line of forts/depots on the border, stack this with regulars and a single offensive column (native cavalry for detection, colonial and mountain units for robustness), take a province, advance one of the regular forces, set up a supply wagon chain. Repeat. In theory any battles should bring in the supporting forces so your advance element is pretty secure. Thats a theory anyway.

And yes, the Ottomans will not be more prestigious than me ... well unless of course they win this terrifying war I'm about to start.

Gary's performance, coupled with your remark about sending in the school teachers, makes me wonder if Mr. Baldy wouldn't be better suited to the scholarly pursuits? After all, you know the saying: those who can't, teach. :p Maybe his methods of indiscriminate slaughter are more suited to the classroom (where everyone besides himself will be a valid target)?

I couldn't help but laugh when I saw your screenshot of the nasty rebels, the Innocent Italians and the Aggressive-looking Ottomans. Yes, verily, those empty, barren stretches of desert look very menacingly and aggressive. I can just picture all those Ottoman grains of sand disregarding your international border and sweeping right into Italian Yemen. You should really consider a pre-emptive strike to make sure such an outrage does not come to pass.
That screenshot put me in mind of Dino Buzzati's Il Deserto dei Tartari (not sure of the English translated title but I'd guess the Tartar Desert). Its a wierd book where this young officer is sent to serve in the garrison of a remote mountain fort overlooking a desert. You know there is potential tension but for 150 pages not much happens except they watch this road slowly being built across the desert. The final 5 pages it is clear that there will be a war. But our 'hero' by now is old and infirm so is sent to rear. The effect is very odd, at times you want a war (for the reasons he does - to make sense of being there), but equally you know its something to fear (the book was written in 1943/4) and at the end he is humiliated by all these people who don't appreciate his 20 years spent guarding this fort.

Excellent stuff, cracking updates.

Was an aroma of charred peacock detected perchance?

Not too surprising for your Italian residents, they are likely glad Gari has been stationed so far from them!

Wonderful that you are making such good progress with regards to colonisation because, as you say, seventh rank in the world for prestige is nowhere near acceptable for so magnificent a nation.
The volcano event was indeed well timed. There is another natural disaster coming up in a couple of years, and yes, I'm sure Italy is so much happier with gari-the-psycho safely tucked away on another continent

If you want extra detail on ranking try hovering over the flags on the F10 screen, this shows rankings for several different measures.
It would be nice to have this as a sensibly laid out table.
Of all the visual aids in PoN, that table is one of the worst. And, notionally so important to gauging your performance. Not helped in that it doesn't show your own position (at least not directly)
 

loki100

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The Ottoman-Italian War, March-May 1869

By 1869 it was clear that the liberation of Milan and Venice would have to wait. Austria, securely protected by its Prussian alliance was too strong and seemed content to absorb the ongoing agitation in Northern Italy.

So on this basis, I finally decided to go for the Ottomans. Now given their dismal showing in the 1851-2 war with Russia and that they faced constant revolts, I managed to convince myself this would be rather easy. I also made the mistake at the start of waging this war as if with the Clauswitz game engine (my excuse is I have never engaged in a war in Pride of Nations except with the shorter ‘battle’ scenarios and they are very different).

I’ll go over this as the thing develops (I am into mid-1871 and the war still rages) but what you need to do is to go for high prestige targets (either your own objectives or locations marked as ‘objectives’ for your opponent), merely occupying lots of trivial provinces makes no differences. Also you need, somehow, to break their morale, or it will end in a peace, perhaps with some financial reparations. All very nineteenth century, but frustrating when its not quite how you expect things to have developed.

In these updates, unless it is critical, I’ll do very limited reporting on the economy et al. In truth, it carries on pretty stable, the main difference is I need to increase my imports of things like manufactured goods. Equally domestically the population remains content – as long as I avoid conscription. We’ll come to that too, but basically Italy has a professional army and as a result the rest of the populace don’t expect to be too inconvenienced by my wars.

So, by Early March, war is declared [1]



Due the gentlemanly nature of the era, you cannot attack in the turn in which you issue a declaration of war.

Now my initial plan involved three distinct theatres of war.

Greece



And, I guess onto Istanbul. Key here is that Tirana (an ‘objective’ for me) is held by rebels and equally from some scouting I find that a lot of the region is rebel held. This indicates both that the Turkish army is weak and that I should be able to secure Western Greece with some speed. On the other hand, Thessaloniki is both an important supply base and an ‘objective’ for the Ottomans so if I take it they lose National Morale [2]

Massawa



My goal here is to take the small Ottoman colony on the west side of the Red Sea. With my rear secure, I can then deploy most of the regional army back into Yemen and use the navy to support raids up and down the Red Sea coast.

Libya

Here I made one of my mistakes. I should have gone straight for Tripoli, but instead landed in the west and hoped to secure that region first..

Opening blows.

Well Victor Emmanuelle and one of the three armies deployed in Italy is landed at Tirana, led by the men in hats.



The other two will be shipped over as fast as I can. I may as well completely strip my defences on the Po and hope the Austrians don’t attack (at worst I still have my defensive alliance with France), since with even one army withdrawn I doubt I could hold them off.

Meantime Garibaldi lunges for Massawa.



And wins a decent early victory. That the first encounter was so one sided did wonders for Italian morale.



A feeling of well being reinforced with the bloodless capture of Tirana



By Early April, the first landings in Eastern Libya take place. I’m sure that all those camels that have been shelled for the last couple of years are going to be very welcoming.



At the same time, Garibaldi, now he’s really allowed to attack people finishes off Massawa



Seems he really wants a more substantial target to give him a proper challenge.

A second Italian army lands in Epirus, as the first Turkish units are sighted.



By the start of May, with Massawa secure, I decide its time to launch a raid into Ottoman-Arabia. Supply is horrible here and attrition is potentially a problem but I have light colonial units and can use the navy to shift the heavier armed units around.



Italy wins a victory against the rebels at Benghazi



The disturbing part of which is it indicates just how many rebels are running around Libya and that, just maybe, shelling them for a couple of years, wasn’t the best preparation for being welcomed as a liberator?

And at sea, I find (by accident) and destroy a large chunk (this is the last I see for almost 18 months) of the Ottoman navy



So by the middle of May, one campaign is already victorious (Massawa is secured). Two out my three main armies are ashore in Greece and preparing to move Eastwards and I have secured Benghazi (oh and sunk their fleet). Looks like the war will be over by the end of Summer really?

[1] – possibly the most scary button I have ever pressed in any computer game. I cannot afford to lose this war, not least it will take ages to rebuild the army (as well as the negative consequences in terms of prestige).
[2] – it took me a while to grasp this. In effect if you want to force a peace that gives you real gains you need your own NM>125 and their NM <65. You do this two ways, capture key cities and killing enemy units (those used to other AGE games will recognise this). Pride of Nations though has very asymmetric objectives so you need to look around for cities that will dent their morale, even if they do not actually increase yours.
 

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Very interesting warfare in this game due to the constraints placed upon you (nations too gentlemanly in this era to attack one and other straight after declaring war, hah!), the need to focus upon objectives and so forth. Everything seems to be going swimmingly though, thus it is a surprise the conflict has dragged on until 1871. I have to assume a combination of natives proving surprisingly unwelcoming of Italian liberation (as if a few shells are anything to complain about) and Gari's excessive excessiveness are the reasons for this.
 

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I'm guessing reading between the lines that the ottoman ai goes on a sending spree with the cash it had been saving and you are facing a pile of freshly raised units.

Fascinating update. I think you've reached a fairly unique point for a PON AAR where two great powers are slugging it out. Can't wait to see how it pans out.
 

loki100

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Very interesting warfare in this game due to the constraints placed upon you (nations too gentlemanly in this era to attack one and other straight after declaring war, hah!), the need to focus upon objectives and so forth. Everything seems to be going swimmingly though, thus it is a surprise the conflict has dragged on until 1871. I have to assume a combination of natives proving surprisingly unwelcoming of Italian liberation (as if a few shells are anything to complain about) and Gari's excessive excessiveness are the reasons for this.
well this is very much a journey into the unknown. I know how to wage a war in other AGE games, but in PoN have only used the battle scenarios. They are good to practice with (esp the Russo-Japanese and the Boer war scenarios) but they tell you little about how to put together a strategy. Equally there is no feeling of chucking away troops because in two turns the game will end. If I take heavy losses, it will be an age before the army recovers.

I'm guessing reading between the lines that the ottoman ai goes on a sending spree with the cash it had been saving and you are facing a pile of freshly raised units.

Fascinating update. I think you've reached a fairly unique point for a PON AAR where two great powers are slugging it out. Can't wait to see how it pans out.
Their army is certainly far larger than I imagined. Big enough that they could have kept on top of the rebel problem I guess. The good thing is a lot is militia, the bad thing is there are a lot of them ... a lot.

War! Slaughter! Finally!
yep, this finally ceases to be a treatise on economics ... :cool:

I'll start varying the length of time in each update. I guess the default will now be quarterly (not six monthly), but in the active periods I may do either monthly or bi-monthly time periods. Really its a case of what works for the narrative but within the rough framework that I was still taking a lot of the contextual screenshots every six months as before.
 

loki100

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The Ottoman-Italian War, May-June 1869

So late May sees the relentless Italian advance, carry on … well carry on advancing.

Those rebels are displaced from Yemen back into Ottoman territory



So for the moment, I’ll stop and reorganise. Then work out how best to prosecute the war in this theatre.

In Greece, the third army lands in Larissa, just as a few … no strike that out … a lot, of Ottoman troops are spotted at Thessaloniki.



So what I am going to do is to try and Skopje (undefended) to split the two Ottoman forces apart. VE can rest in Larissa to recover organisation (& protect the landings of the third army). Then I’ll see what I can do to try and take Thessaloniki.

In North Africa things don’t go so well. A small detached column is badly beaten by the rebels



This is worrying as my vague plan to take control of the ‘easy’ corner of Libya is proving rather expensive, that is about 3,000 dead just in action with rebels so far.

Away from the front, well I discovered breech loaded rifles



So that will cost me in terms of replacements but one advantage is it seems to unlock mountain troops as something I can build.

Ottoman morale has dipped, but not by much



Siam has stolen my rice. Well for the moment there is not much I can do (I forgot that if you have low <25 relations, then a production site is not safe). Also I see the Ottomans are building a railway station in Istanbul, that will look nice in the photographs of when my glorious army marches in.



My replacement situation is fine, just that upgrading to the new rifle will be a bit of a drain.



And the population remains firmly behind me.



But it looks like the war won’t be over by August. But I will have won by then, I’m sure of that?

So at this stage, I now have all 3 of my main armies in Greece (around 3500 pwr in total), and seem to be facing about 2500 pwr of Ottoman units. I’ll let the two armies in Larissa regain organisation and then attack Thessaloniki but see if I can use manoeuvre to take Tirana (as regulars with supply columns will lose a lot of organisation moving to the attack). In effect i think I have a decent advantage but need to be cautious in making the best use of it.

In Libya I need to work out if my current plan is a good idea or if it is best to fall back and re-invade with the goal of taking Tripoli. And in the Red Sea, I seem to have total dominance, so it’s a case of thinking about how best to use that power.
 

morningSIDEr

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Equally there is no feeling of chucking away troops because in two turns the game will end. If I take heavy losses, it will be an age before the army recovers.
I can appreciate that having read the most recent update, the losses to rebels in Libya alone quite nasty. Considering that you don't seem to hugely outnumber the Ottomans forces in Greece too, I'm quickly beginning to understand how close a contest this is and thus why it has continued for so long.
 

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If the combat system in this is anything like what I believe the combat systems in other AGEOD games are like, the rough terrain may benefit you greatly by reducing frontage and allowing your qualitatively superior forces to squish their numerous but dirt poor units. The Ottomans start with a few good divisions but by now they are surely outdated.
 

Powloon

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If you are struggling for supply in North Africa it's definitely worth putting down a mission which will auto supply 3 elements and if you have a merchant in 5 turns you can build a trade post giving you 6 supplied elements. The trade post also generates a garrison unit as well.

One thing I have noticed is some structures seem to be available straight after they are placed despite the stated build time. For instance if you built a harbour in Larissa you could land your task force on the same turn you dragged the structure into place rather than disembarking them. A bit gamey perhaps but possible.

Sorry I keep forgetting you are well ahead of where advice will make a difference doh!
 
Last edited:

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One thing to note is that on the F10 screen you get an approximate estimate of combat power.

So for example Russia has 3.8 times your power whilst Turkey only has 1.7 times.
Clearly it was much better to pick on Turkey.....

Interestingly on turn 1 it appears to include navy, whilst thereafter it only includes land power.

The above appears to indicate a strategy of attrition may not be your best option. As I assume their average power per man may run as low as 25% of yours, suggesting they outnumber you 8 to 1.

Given their key point is Istanbul this should be your target, especially as they may not have a great deal of production outside there.

I suspect you are in for a long war.

Watch out for the infiltration of enemy raiders and rebels taking your back areas that are left under garrisoned.

Good luck.
 

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Watch out for the infiltration of enemy raiders and rebels taking your back areas that are left under garrisoned.
I will watch with a certain amount of Schadenfreude if that were to happen. This has nothing to do at all with the fact that loki is currently beating seven shades of the brown stuff out of me in a RUS game, with a combination of Communist Doomstacks and the tactics just described by Joecon. Nothing at all.

<Ahem>

So, the battle against the Turks and their numerous rebels is turning out to be a bit tougher than expected. I guess that happens when you only have one Gary to go around - there are only so many people a single Terminator can kill.

Is there anything like the accumulation of victory points (or their equivalent) you get in CKII when you continue to occupy an area, or will you really have to take the fight to the enemy and kill their soldiers and occupy their key points? If the latter, then I hope you can lure a couple of the larger Turkish armies into battle on your terms. Right now the situation in Albania/Greece seems stalemated: the Turks don't have the power to dislodge you, but you don't have enough forces to break their lines. How strong is that third army you're about to land in Larissa? Enough to tilt the balance in your favor?

The situations in North Africa and around the Red Sea are at least a lot more fluid, so hopefully you can outsmart the AI with some clever maneuvering.
 

loki100

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I can appreciate that having read the most recent update, the losses to rebels in Libya alone quite nasty. Considering that you don't seem to hugely outnumber the Ottomans forces in Greece too, I'm quickly beginning to understand how close a contest this is and thus why it has continued for so long.
its also very hard, in many AGE games to deliver a terminal blow, an army has to be in a real mess to take permanent losses and you tend to get that only after a lot of combat, or long period of attrition. The result is you can win a sequence of battles and still find yourself facing quite a strong foe.

If the combat system in this is anything like what I believe the combat systems in other AGEOD games are like, the rough terrain may benefit you greatly by reducing frontage and allowing your qualitatively superior forces to squish their numerous but dirt poor units. The Ottomans start with a few good divisions but by now they are surely outdated.
Well once the real battles start (not for a while yet) I reckon that they outnumber me 1.5/2-1 even when the power is pretty even. So if I can get into good defensive positions and make them attack I can really extract a toll, but if it is in open terrain or I am attacking it can be grim stuff. In truth, what I find is the utter importance of keeping your organisation high. There are some pretty big reversals of fortune just because one side or the other had a fresh column to commit.

If you are struggling for supply in North Africa it's definitely worth putting down a mission which will auto supply 3 elements and if you have a merchant in 5 turns you can build a trade post giving you 6 supplied elements. The trade post also generates a garrison unit as well.

One thing I have noticed is some structures seem to be available straight after they are placed despite the stated build time. For instance if you built a harbour in Larissa you could land your task force on the same turn you dragged the structure into place rather than disembarking them. A bit gamey perhaps but possible.

Sorry I keep forgetting you are well ahead of where advice will make a difference doh!
In Libya, I just decided I was in the wrong place. If it becomes my colony at the end of the war, its worth taking the losses and the time to end the rebellion, but at the moment they can run around in the east as they like. All I need is Tripoli, increases my NM, decreases it for the Ottomans, & I get a prestige boost every turn I occupy it.

I realised about the port thing by accident, but its getting depots built is the real problem. I'm so used to the usual AGE system where you can build them in a single turn as long as you sacrifice a couple of supply units.

One thing to note is that on the F10 screen you get an approximate estimate of combat power.

So for example Russia has 3.8 times your power whilst Turkey only has 1.7 times.
Clearly it was much better to pick on Turkey.....

Interestingly on turn 1 it appears to include navy, whilst thereafter it only includes land power.

The above appears to indicate a strategy of attrition may not be your best option. As I assume their average power per man may run as low as 25% of yours, suggesting they outnumber you 8 to 1.

Given their key point is Istanbul this should be your target, especially as they may not have a great deal of production outside there.

I suspect you are in for a long war.

Watch out for the infiltration of enemy raiders and rebels taking your back areas that are left under garrisoned.

Good luck.
I think in quality terms I have about 1.3/1.4-1 (better for my 2 Guards corps and the elite mountain and marine divisions) and I certainly have a lot more artillery. Its the battles either in open ground or when I attack that are when their numbers can really tell.

Agree about Istanbul, as I say I started this thinking I was waging war under the Clauswitz system, took me about 6 months to adjust my thinking and then started just to target key things. It is exceptionally hard to gain the War Score to force a decent peace unless your enemy is completely and utterly beaten, or you hold their capital.

The good thing about that naval victory is they have only 1 transport fleet left (it annoys me a bit later), so in the main I can strip my rear areas, but there are masses of rebels running around outside Europe so that forces me to deploy quite a bit to the rear of the main campaigns.

So, the battle against the Turks and their numerous rebels is turning out to be a bit tougher than expected. I guess that happens when you only have one Gary to go around - there are only so many people a single Terminator can kill.

Is there anything like the accumulation of victory points (or their equivalent) you get in CKII when you continue to occupy an area, or will you really have to take the fight to the enemy and kill their soldiers and occupy their key points? If the latter, then I hope you can lure a couple of the larger Turkish armies into battle on your terms. Right now the situation in Albania/Greece seems stalemated: the Turks don't have the power to dislodge you, but you don't have enough forces to break their lines. How strong is that third army you're about to land in Larissa? Enough to tilt the balance in your favor?

The situations in North Africa and around the Red Sea are at least a lot more fluid, so hopefully you can outsmart the AI with some clever maneuvering.
The VP/War Score system is a bit like EU3 in that the longer you hold a dominant position, the cheaper the price becomes, but dominance in this game is very hard to achieve. So far all that is on offer is reparations and I really want a lot more than that. So its key cities, plus the impact on their NM and pushing yours as high as you can that really matters (& remembering that NM tends to 100 if left to itself).

The AI is tricksy, there are a few times when it turns my positions, and at least one rather embarrasing retreat when I over gamble.

I will watch with a certain amount of Schadenfreude if that were to happen. This has nothing to do at all with the fact that loki is currently beating seven shades of the brown stuff out of me in a RUS game, with a combination of Communist Doomstacks and the tactics just described by Joecon. Nothing at all.

<Ahem>

I'll provide hints on how to deal with partisans ... though in that last turn I noticed you don't need many lessons ... :cool: Still I am enjoying myself flying around in your aeroplanes.
 

loki100

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The Ottoman-Italian War, July-September 1869

I’ll divide this report up into the three main theatres (Greece, Libya, the Red Sea) over the period July to September.


Greece

So early July and things have changed a bit. In the north, I now hold Skopje and the Turks seem to have abandoned Pristina so I’ll take that too as this will secure my flank. But the big gamble is the decision to use my two main armies to take Thessaloniki. Not least I am in a small supply problem and really need a big port + depot [1]. That is about 2600 power attacking an army of about 1600.



Now much to my surprise, the Ottomans fell back



Leaving me to siege the city. Problem is they have a huge garrison so I need to wait for it to surrender, but with naval dominance I can impose an effective naval blockade.

By early August, a new stalemate has set in. But what I am going to do is to try and envelop that Turkish force, and taking Sofia will give me a valuable alternative depot.



I am juggling units to maximise the effectiveness of my siege, and it appears as if there is scope to drive into Bulgaria. Risky as that column would be isolated, but the potential to turn what is otherwise a powerful defense line for the Turks.

By early September, I have pulled this off. It’s a bit risky as that large Turkish army would beat my army in Bulgaria, quite easily, but that would also mean abandoning their current defensive position. Fortunately, the Turks in Thessaloniki surrendered, giving me a nice VP haul, 1 point of NM and costing them about 1000 power in terms of units. I also solve my incipient supply crisis, just in time.



I now take a gamble and see if I can encircle that Ottoman army (or at least force it back towards Istanbul). My attack on Kavala is a success



At least the army in Thessaloniki and now Kavala can mutually support.

Sofia falls at the end of September



So I have an encirclement. A weak one that could be broken, but all my units are in good terrain so any attempt to break out will cost the Ottomans.



On balance that went well, I’ve had very few losses, they have lost around 150,000. Ok all in terms of garrisons that surrendered so no real dent in their field army. The operational position looks good. I am a bit spread out, but I have quite a prize in a trap and really its now a case of waiting for lack of supply to take a toll on the effective combat power of that Turkish army.


Red Sea.

First task is to send Gari back to the side where the war is. There is nothing for a man of his talents in Massawa now. By early August, he moves into Ottoman controlled Arabia in search of prey worthy of his talents



While the tribal units carry on beating up a bunch of rebels. These are blocked into the province on the west of Yemen and trying to break through to my more valuable provinces. I can’t spare the units to finish them off, but I can keep them contained.



Gari does what he does best and terminates people at Djeddah. This helps to cut up the Ottoman supply lines and reduces their military control over Arabia (the fort doesn’t rebuild as I don’t have the CP to sustain such a structure)



Libya

Here I abandoned my ill-fated Benghazi operation, moved back onto the ships and landed again at Misurata. With around 250 power (once my units are at full organisation), I should be able to take Tripoli quickly and that is all that really matters for the moment. If I gain the colony in any end of war peace deal, then I will worry about crushing the rebels.



By late August, I have it under siege but the first assault is held.



I send more supplies and decide the best is to wait for the garrison to surrender.

Oh, and the French have a hissy fit with Venezuela.



So here is my musing on the options going forward. That position in Greece is good, but rather fragile. If that large Turkish army goes out of supply I can take out a lot of their force with minimal fighting. On the other hand, I suspect this will take time and they may bring up another large army that could crack open my encirclement (at least they will have to attack me, in good defensive terrain).

Libya should fall soon and the Red Sea region is clearly mine to do as I will (but lacks meaningful targets). Now maybe a raid in force into the Levant would be an operation worthy of Gari’s talents? I can always scuttle off if they have a large force in the region and it may distract them from building up in Greece-Bulgaria.

Anyway, so far, no large battles, so my losses are pretty low.

[1] – in virtually every other AGE game, if you sacrifice 2 supply wagons you build a depot in 2 weeks. Here trying to build a depot that way takes as long as building one using the build screen (6-8 weeks), so if you try to land overseas you had better have a lot of supply wagons or gain a port + depot quickly. Tirana is neither (though I do start building both there asap).
 

Powloon

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This is definately keeping me on the edge of my seat. Very impressed with your aggressive moves in Northern Greece! I guess as you stated the key here is how many other Ottoman armies are available to break the ring around their isolated army.

Interesting how you started this AAR to demystify the Economic side of the game I think by the end of this campaign you will have gone a long way to clarifying the military aspects as well.

Out of interest you seem to have a fair few leaders how many of each type do you have?
 

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I'm impressed by what I see of the game's military mechanics - more emphasis on logistics than Vic2 (IE some). You are also impressing me with your generalship, while the AI is definitely not. The use of flanking columns and wide enveloping manuevers is very Napoleonic and would be difficult to pull off in the terrain of northern Greece/southern Balkania. Kudos to you, your generals and your men. If the AI had more dash - or perhaps just better troops - it would have been well advised to risk a blow at your flanking column, wrecking it with sheer mass. The Ottos can afford the casualties better than you, I think - and a failure of their attack would still cost you men and supplies, while they would fall back from their current position to another likely as good.

Several times the Russians tried to wage a campaign over some of the same ground (although a bit further north) and they took higher casualties for lesser results. But your strategic problem is shaped by geography - the ancient tapering funnel with Adrianople in the center and Constantinople at the bottom. Even if the Ottos have poor troops they have masses of them, and it will get harder to manuever them out of position as the front narrows. By the end you will have to beat them decisively on the battlefield and stampede them or take heavy losses trying to cram them down that funnel... Perhaps you need conscription, after all. Nothing breaks up a stout defense anchored on both flanks by water as well as a landing behind it.

Sorry for the disquisition, but I fought several campaigns over that region in an EU3 game and the geography of it made a permanent impression (as did temporarily losing naval supremacy and getting part of my army stranded north of Smyrna - sounds like you've avoided that).
 

morningSIDEr

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As Powloon has noted, very tense stuff. The position in Greece seems promising, but there is considerable scope for thing to go wrong. I like the idea of a raid upon the Levant, at the very least it'll stop Gari from terrorising Italy's colonies for a time.
 

Kensai7

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It's 1869 and Corfu is still... British? There should be an event when the new Greek King comes that cedes Corfu to Greece. Hasn't this fired? Ideally, after you defeat the Ottomans you could yield all these newly conquered regions of ethnic Greeks to smallish Greece and gain Corfu in return which is in your national objectives. I could help you simulate it through script if you need.

Once again, loki100, an awesome AAR. Keep it strong! :cool:
 

loki100

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This is definately keeping me on the edge of my seat. Very impressed with your aggressive moves in Northern Greece! I guess as you stated the key here is how many other Ottoman armies are available to break the ring around their isolated army.

Interesting how you started this AAR to demystify the Economic side of the game I think by the end of this campaign you will have gone a long way to clarifying the military aspects as well.

Out of interest you seem to have a fair few leaders how many of each type do you have?
I have enough 3* leaders to field 4 major armies (in some ways I am rather wasting Gari) but a real shortage of divisional/corps style people, so am constantly juggling formations to keep each force under the CP limit. This is less a worry for the AI as their malus for being over CP is capped at 23% (since it does tend to put everthing in a province into a single formation).

that lunge at Sofia had me scared witless. I was sending my weakest column to a province where it wouldn't be supported, the prize in terms of another depot and the envelopment was huge and I guess the risk minimal. If I got caught, I'd hopefully fall back and be able to recoup my losses.

My view at the start was that having played most other AGE games (not AACW and for some reason I just can't get into NCP) and the scenarios that I knew the military side. Well I've found that rather optimistic view to have been wrong. The basics are there - stances, loss of organisation in movement, but the way in which they interact is different and more importantly, this game has a very different concept of what winning a war looks like. Add to that, you are in for the long haul, so unlike say in my RoP PBEM where I was quite prepared to chuck away the Austrian army to achieve a short term gain, in this, the idea of facing serious losses really worries me.

I'm impressed by what I see of the game's military mechanics - more emphasis on logistics than Vic2 (IE some). You are also impressing me with your generalship, while the AI is definitely not. The use of flanking columns and wide enveloping manuevers is very Napoleonic and would be difficult to pull off in the terrain of northern Greece/southern Balkania. Kudos to you, your generals and your men. If the AI had more dash - or perhaps just better troops - it would have been well advised to risk a blow at your flanking column, wrecking it with sheer mass. The Ottos can afford the casualties better than you, I think - and a failure of their attack would still cost you men and supplies, while they would fall back from their current position to another likely as good.

Several times the Russians tried to wage a campaign over some of the same ground (although a bit further north) and they took higher casualties for lesser results. But your strategic problem is shaped by geography - the ancient tapering funnel with Adrianople in the center and Constantinople at the bottom. Even if the Ottos have poor troops they have masses of them, and it will get harder to manuever them out of position as the front narrows. By the end you will have to beat them decisively on the battlefield and stampede them or take heavy losses trying to cram them down that funnel... Perhaps you need conscription, after all. Nothing breaks up a stout defense anchored on both flanks by water as well as a landing behind it.

Sorry for the disquisition, but I fought several campaigns over that region in an EU3 game and the geography of it made a permanent impression (as did temporarily losing naval supremacy and getting part of my army stranded north of Smyrna - sounds like you've avoided that).
Your reading of the geography is spot on. In many ways Adrianople is going to be the pivot of this war in terms of who has the strategic dominance and Thessaloniki of almost equal importance in terms of logistics. Both will be changing hands quite a few times as the fortunes of war fluctuate.

I don't see an Ottoman warship for the next 2 years, so that is one huge bonus. I can use the fleet to blockade (which increases the chance a coastal fort will surrender) and to shift units around as I try to create new fronts and new threats. Unfortunately I can't do commerce raiding as I don't have any ships with a high enough 'detect' value to find their merchant shipping.

The army model in PoN is rather subtle. For a start all those odd units like hospitals, balloons and signal units bring real and valuable gains, so you have some feel for why armies lugged around a load of stuff in their support (as of course do engineers and specialist siege guns). Then the combat model rewards certain types of units in the right terrain. So those light colonial brigades would be wrecked in a European conflict but because they lose organisation slowly, they are invaluable in poor terrrain. If you sent in regulars they would be a 0% organisation before they arrived (organisation works as a malus against the default combat value). Then combat power is not just a function of equipment but training. So Guards will beat militia in a 1-1 because they are better trained, more likely to fire, more likely to hit and more likely to enter close combat. But on an open plain, with a wide frontage then numbers has the potential to trump quality.

The supply game is neat. In some AGE games (Alea Jacta Est and Wars in America) it merely exists at certain points and you either go there to collect it, you load it into supply wagons and take them with you or you set up a physical convoy sending wagons and back and forth. In PoN, you need a chain of depots and then supply flows along that chain (that is why Thessaloniki is so key, it has a large depot and is a port so supply from Italy can arrive there). You then get it to your armies by wagons again (unless the army is actually on a source of supply). So you can really muck up your opponents logistics and you really need to protect yours. I tend to have cavalry brigades escorting my supply wagons - no defense against a large army but at least you don't lose supply wagons to rebels etc.

Conscription I am wary of. In part you get +10 on militancy and I've just faced down one wave of unrest in Italy. More importantly, my command limits are small enough that if I added another 5-6 corps to the campaign I would lose quite a lot of their notional value due to them being under-command. Having units over the command limit means another malus off their combat power so a unit with say a 20% malus due to lack of commanders fights 20% less. In this model, that would mean for every 5 new corps 1/1.5 would be effectively useless.

All I'll say at this stage is my finger hovered over the relevant button many times.

As Powloon has noted, very tense stuff. The position in Greece seems promising, but there is considerable scope for thing to go wrong. I like the idea of a raid upon the Levant, at the very least it'll stop Gari from terrorising Italy's colonies for a time.
Yep, get Gari out of my territory and into theres seems to be a sound plan. At the end of the next update it is still rather fragile, but it looks like it will work out in my favour.

It's 1869 and Corfu is still... British? There should be an event when the new Greek King comes that cedes Corfu to Greece. Hasn't this fired? Ideally, after you defeat the Ottomans you could yield all these newly conquered regions of ethnic Greeks to smallish Greece and gain Corfu in return which is in your national objectives. I could help you simulate it through script if you need.

Once again, loki100, an awesome AAR. Keep it strong! :cool:
I think all sorts of odd event chains haven't kicked in. The German unification one obviously fell apart in the early 1850s (I wasn't paying much attention). But I will take you up on that offer as if I win that seems a reasonably redistribution. I think as in your PBEM, you just have to accept that as a game of PoN develops you need to intervene to make things that seem reasonable happen. In this case, if I force the Ottomans to any sort of colonial redistribution (I really want Libya), then I will add a few events around Greece (they can have everything but Thessaloniki) and I'll have Corfu + Tirana.

And thanks to you and Powloon for the responses in my AGEOD request, I'll run those scripts when I next find time to play - been rather busy recently, but hopefully that will in turn translate into an improved cash flow = buying the 1880 DLC.
 

loki100

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The Ottoman-Italian War, October-December 1869

So by the autumn, the war seems to be moving in my direction. I have a rather fragile, but effective pocket on a major Ottoman force that may well seriously reduce their overall combat power. I’ve simplified my North African campaign to just taking Tripoli, which should both reduce needless losses and free up units for elsewhere, and am in complete control of the Red Sea (well I’m not actually, but that is what I believed)

Unfortunately the Ottomans do not want to surrender yet [1]




I’ll split up this report as usual by front. In reality, this was a quiet quarter as it was a case of waiting till I could realise the potential gains of my earlier actions.

Greece

By Early November, things have settled down. My encirclement holds, the Ottoman force seems to be running out of supply, but equally a fresh Ottoman army is forming up in Adrianople.


(key here is that now all my formations have some support, at worst, ie Sofia, just one supporting army but most are in a pattern where two supporting armies exist. Best is at Plovdiv where all the main formations would protect the army actually in the province)



You can read a lot about a unit by the 3 columns on the side of the leader (or unit) image. The first is raw strength and will dip as elements (not I believe men as such) are lost and not replaced (so this is, if you like, the baseline). The second shows organisation, and dips if a unit moves and in combat (this then reduces the effective combat power but, given a bit of time, is quick to recover - so if you damage an enemy's organisation, you need to move quickly to exploit that advantage). The third shows supply. When the bar is full, both the unit's intrinsic (4 weeks) and all its supply wagons are full. As it dips it indicates it is running these stocks down. When it is at the bottom, the unit is out of supply and will quickly degrade in terms of combat power, take attrition and desertion hits. Here, what I'm looking for is that third column as I know no new supply is able to arrive.

To shake things up a bit, I decide to try and capture that Ottoman outpost on the Danube (marked as ‘3’ on the map). Attacking in a storm seems to work very much to my advantage (though again the battle report is misleading as the permanent garrison took no part in the battle).



But unfortunately the fort holds. So I will need to besiege it, but again it will improve my position and slightly weaken that of the Ottomans. Not least, the force there and the main army at Sofia will mutually support in case of attack.

North Africa

Nothing happened here, Tripoli is under siege and blockaded so will surrender soon, all I can really do is to wait.


Red Sea

Now I think the Red Sea campaign is over, but clearly the Ottomans disagree. Its only a transport squadron but I too have no warships in the region.



Equally while the serious business of a war takes place, there is still ongoing rebel chasing needed in Yemen, so I cannot strip that region of all its mobile forces. This campaign is the usual rebel hunt as I try to force them off onto the eastern province where I can, at least, block them in. By the end of December, I’d managed to achieve this.



Anyway, I decided to explore the options of a raid on Medina. This is an Ottoman VP city (no direct value to me) so its loss would be another small dent in their NM.



Or maybe not, think I’ll avoid tangling with that army if I can help it. In Greece, an isolated column of 154 power would be a tasty morsel to be consumed at leisure. Here I can beat it (Gari has about 250 pwr) but it would be quite a commitment. As it is low on organisation (the second, blue column) I guess it is has just arrived, Equally that means its potential strength at full organisation is going to be around 200-220.

Anyway I build up the recent colonial gains from the Ottomans.



Massawa itself is still showing as Ottoman as the harbour won’t shift to my control. I’ve a short event (see this thread on the AGEOD forum) that I will use to resolve this.

Overall, my manpower is holding up well



And the population remains supportive (well apart from in Tuscany).



And in terms of prestige, the war is doing me some good as I am now #6. Fair way to go to catch Austria but, as above, even capturing farms etc gives a small bonus.



Note here the relative military power between me and the Ottomans. It was at 171 and their morale at 90 at the end of June. So my victories, in particular at Thessaloniki have shifted both in my direction. In terms of losses, at the start of the war I had 51,112 (so have lost 21,600 in the war) they had had 380,750 and this is now 435,425 (so they have lost 75,000 plus the 152,000 prisoners). Now I strongly suspect their manpower pool would swamp mine but I doubt they have the economy to convert that potential into an effective army so expect to meet more and more militia style units. But at the moment, the loss ratio is 10-1 in my favour, though we have yet to see any major battles.

And in late December, the Ottomans offer peace.



I’ll pass on this as I will be in Istanbul by May at the latest, I mean … why not?

So that period was a bit of a stalemate. I need to let that large Ottoman army I have trapped degrade, so it will be easy to beat. I’ll then have about 4000 pwr against that 2500 pwr army they have at Adrianople.

In North Africa it’s a matter of waiting till Tripoli surrenders. The Red Sea is also a bit of a stalemate as we both have large (by the regional terms) armies on our own territory, but supply + organisational loss for movement makes it very hard to move in force against the enemy.

So the war rolls over into 1870. I still believe it will end relatively soon with the Italian flag fluttering over Istanbul as I re-enact 1204.

[1] – there are a number of display issues in PoN that make you wish for a simpler way to access key information. So the only way you can find Warscore is to open the diplomatic screen and start to offer a peace. In turn if you press one of the buttons on the right, it will tell you how much your choice will cost. Libya, which realistically is my goal, is about 100.

But the AI will be more likely to cede if their NM<65, or if you occupy key cities.