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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Blodwen

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Liberation: A United States AAR



As the first newspapers were sold, the first radio broadcasts heard and television broadcasts watched on the morning of 16th August, a great feeling of disbelief and discontentment settled in the hearts of the American population. Had all that their leaders had been saying for the past one-hundred and fifty years all amounted to nothing? Had the promises of the triumphs of democracy to come, made in the revolution, been condemned to remain forever unfulfilled?

The American population’s real fear that their leaders did not have such a grand control over the world for them burst into reality within a matter of years. In 1939, when Adolf Hitler began a war in the European continent, nobody in the United States believed that it could lead to anything that would affect them. The United States was ready to spend the next few years of war doing absolutely nothing. Even when Poland, then Denmark, then Norway, then France, then the British Isles fell in rapid succession to the Wermacht, the American people expected a mere peace between the European powers. Indeed, with their newspapers reporting the great counter offensives by the Free British and French forces in North Africa, few thought that the Dictator trio of Franco, Hitler and Mussolini would really fight the remaining Allied forces to the ends of the earth.

However, as these reports of Allied victories began to be replaced with those of Allied tragedies, and the war seemingly unending, sympathies began to be felt for those suffering under Nazi rule. Indeed, with Hitler’s conquest or alliance of most of the nations of Europe, their became more fear that Germanys expansion would see no end before all the continents in the world had been similarly subjugated, and that it was up to the United States army to free the people of Europe from tyrants. When Roosevelt made his promise that further German expansion would not be tolerated in February 1941, his words were very popular.

When in one week, May 5th-May 12th 1941, the Wermacht smashed through the front lines of the Soviet Union, both the government and people of the United States finally grew tired of hearing of the spread of dictatorship, and the United States entered a state of war with the Axis Powers. The public rejoiced as soon after the British made an American supported landing in Southern Iraq, and freed that nation from the government that had seized power in the wake of the Italian conquest of North Africa. But that was the only victory that they heard.

Six months after the Declaration of War, Roosevelt had lost all the support he had gained for entering the war, and even more so. He was blamed for the failure to support the Soviet Union, which was in full retreat to the Urals. He was blamed for the fall of Liberia to Vichy troops, the failure of Allied troops to break through Jordan, and the high cost of defeating the Portuguese Colonies. He was now being blamed for the disaster at Pearl Harbor, in which Japanese planes bombarded the port. This was hardly the main concern for the American government, as the allied war effort was collapsing.

Despite the numerous defeats, some American newspapers kept up their full support for the war. Tales of the brave defenders of Baghdad, the Soviets “last army” the Soviet force under Field Marshall Zhukov which was liberating the Caucasus, the incredible stand by the Soviet army in Murmansk against huge odds, Voroshilovs success on halting the advance of the German army, even retaking large amounts of territory with a mere one hundred and fifty thousand men and the stopping of the enormous Italian controlled armies moving into central Africa.

Ultimately though, most of these stories died out, just as those of Allied victories during the brief pause in major hostilities during the early months of ’41. A bewildered American population became confused with exactly what was going on, as less and less information was being given by the government. It was this feeling that had prevailed so far. Few Americans had lost loved ones, as casualties had been light, nearly none at all for the army and airforce. Yet without victory, few Americans could feel that they were nearing the end of the war.

Finally, in the summer campaign of ’42, Iraq fell, the Caucasus fell, Murmansk fell; twelve hundred planes were lost in Baghdad, fleet casualties for the allied forces hit 50% after naval battles off the coast of England, the attempt to liberate the British Isles failed, the Philippines fell and to top it all off, at ten pm August 15th, Stalin disappeared and the Soviet Union made peace with Germany.


Exhausted German soldiers having crushed the last partisan revolt during the German-Soviet war.


With half of South America sided with the Nazis, and with the German army about to begin its next wave of offensive in Persia, hoping to be deep in India before the end of the year, the United States was at its lowest so far. Roosevelt made major reforms in the cabinet, and began putting into action the planned operations, all beginning with the words Operation Liberation…
 
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Blodwen

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Game talk

Ok then, as you may have guessed, this AAR (difficulty H/F) is going to be about me trying to conquer as much of the Empire I made playing as Germany, in less than five years. To give you an idea of what I’m out to conquer, here are a few world map screenshots.

Europe: In the hands of the Axis, save for the four nations which remain neutral. I split this continent up into four main operational theatres: Ireland, Britain, Norway and Fortress Europe. Naturally Fortress Europe is going to be a tough nut to crack.



Africa, Middle East and Mediterranean: In Africa, it’s a stalemate, but as you can see the AI has built up a nice 45 division stack of US troops which can be used to break this stalemate. In the Middle East, the Germans are making their next offensive. However, I know the AI. The sixty plus divisions I put there when I was playing as Germany are probably going to be redeployed for the most part, and put back later. This allows me to make a frontline in Persia, and gives me opportunity to move into Iraq, a plan which will be explained later… Finally, in the Mediterranean, there is not one Allied soldier, as the entrances have been closed. I’m not going to land in Spain early on, as that would bring me into the Fortress Europe theatre, which I do not want to happen till the end. Instead, I’ll have to do with just opening the Suez.



East Asia and Pacific: As usual, the Japanese have gotten themselves into a stalemate with China. Also, seeing as the British do not have a Home Isles to defend, they have a large force in India, one which has annexed Siam and is moving into Indochina fast. In the Pacific, the Japanese also appear to have stopped, content with the Philippines. I have gained the initiative simply by AI inactivity.



South America: Axis South American forces are heading to the Panama Canal, but I’m sure a garrison of a few divisions would be able to hold it against anything the South Americans have to throw against it. Not to mention, they have to navigate their way through the Amazon and conquer Venezuela and Colombia first, something that will take some time.

 
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Blodwen

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With the Geopolitical situation given, its time I gave the situation from a pure game view, under advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages


I played Germany for the entire game till now. My memory is poor, but I do have a vague idea of their tech levels, and I know what they are producing next (ships, subs and reactors) However, this advantage will only be real for about a year, and I have no idea where the German armies will be as the AI will doubtless redeploy them.

Resources. I’m the US. I have a gazillion of everything.

Airpower. I have lots of it. Even though as Germany I captured twelve air squadrons, the American AI has given me a handy amount of planes. Here are the stats:



Allied Forces:
Escorts: 2
Fighters: 6
Interceptors: 22
CAS: 0
Str Bomb: 10
Tac Bomb: 23
Nav Bomb: 23
Transports: 0
Total: 86

But wait, if you combine the Airpower of the enemy…



Enemy Forces:
Escorts: 6
Fighters: 1
Interceptors: 46
CAS: 13
Str Bomb: 0
Tac Bomb: 33
Nav Bomb: 21
Transports: 3
Total: 123

So it seems I’m a liar, Airpower isn’t an advantage. Not even close to one infact, as when I played as Germany; I focused on Air Doctrines which means I’ll be up against some very well drilled pilots on the German side. However, I am smarter than the AI. I consider myself at an advantage over the AI on a wide front such as the one I’m fighting on unless I’m outnumbered more than two to one. If I can focus my planes in the right areas, and use armour to rush ahead and capture enemy planes while they are on the runway, I can quickly turn airpower into a major advantage, and seeing as the airforce has become so much more powerful thanks to 1.3, it is a much needed advantage.

Naval Forces


If you are playing as the US, you’ve always got an advantage in naval terms. Once again though, I did a good job at limiting this advantage when playing as Germany, as towards the end I ripped the hell out of the Allied fleets (at the expense of two thirds of the Hochseeflotte). Let’s look at the stats:




Allied Navy:

Carriers: 10
Battleships: 20
Battlecruisers: 2
Heavy Cruisers: 27
Light Cruisers: 26
Destroyer Groups: 77
Submarine Flotillas: 25
Transports: 36
Total: 223



Enemy Navy:
Carriers: 12
Battleships: 17
Battlecruisers: 7
Heavy Cruisers: 26
Light Cruisers: 51
Destroyer Groups: 100
Submarine Flotillas: 63
Transports: 24
Total: 300

Ok, maybe it seems that’s not an advantage either. Considering that Germany has about 20 surface ships and 25 subs which will be on the seas within a year, and Japan is also building fast, while I do not have one ship in production, it appears that they are winning the war at sea. However, once again I argue that naval power is an advantage. As the USA, I have two things I need to start building fast. First is Carriers, as the AI has built none, lost three. Without more carriers, I cannot beat the Japanese, but I can build 40 by 1944. Second is Light Cruisers. When playing as Germany, there were three British and one American fleet occasionally coming to patrol the British Isles, which I finally got round to hammering. Most of the capital ships got away, but the screens were smashed to pieces. Luckily, screens are very easy to build, and all I have to do is clear my production screen of the tanks the AI has put there and put in light cruisers instead. Until then, I cannot protect my capital ships sufficiently to have more than two main large fleets of ships, and with patch 1.3 the AI likes to send around big, well protected stacks, so I can’t turn to using lots of small taskforces instead. However, as I said, the AI will never stick much IC to its navy, especially Germany, so I can out produce the enemy. I expect fleet supremacy by 1945.
 

Blodwen

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Disadvantages

There are loads, but here are a few.

Ranges messed up at start. AI has unlimited range, I dont. Some of my fleets are going to have to be rebased immediatly.

I have never played the US before. I dont know what I'm doing.


Production.
I can focus on production, but frankly, I’m the only nation in the allies with a decent IC. I’m going to have to start cutting down on the huge amount of enemy IC fast. I can’t win without out producing the enemy.

Land forces. If you are not playing Germany, you’ll always have a disadvantage on land. It is 1942; my land doctrines haven’t given me as much org as the Germans yet, which means that a German division is more than a match for three of mine, and having 20% of the entire Allied land forces being militia doesn’t help. The way the Allies historically got around this was by: Not attacking till the Yanks got there, and when they do, attack with huge numbers.

However, I don’t have huge numbers, and I am the Yanks. I’m also outnumbered nearly ten to one. However, the German army is just going to keep getting bigger, and if I’m trying to focus on naval building and airpower at the same time, I’m not going to have the men to take the fight to the Wermacht properly for a long time. That said, the Italian forces will crumble, and my strong force of marines will be able to Island hop easily. Here are the stats (note, some nations have a lot of expeditionary troops):




Allied Forces:

Infantry: 213
Cavalry: 16
Motorized: 35
Mechanized: 0
L. Armored: 0
Armored: 25
Paratroops: 0
Marine: 22
Mountaineer: 3
Garrison: 25
HQ: 14
Militia: 74
Total: 427



Enemy Forces:
Infantry: 528
Cavalry: 35
Motorized: 28
Mechanized: 0
L. Armored: 1
Armored: 25
Paratroops: 2
Marine: 2
Mountaineer: 17
Garrison: 102
HQ: 10
Militia: 28
Total: 778

Time. As it stands, the Axis has about 650 victory points, and remember Japan is not part of the Axis. If I am to reduce this, I absolutely must defeat the Japanese fast, and liberate Africa faster. I must be ready to begin D-Day by 1945. Basically, I must have triggered the Germany surrender event within 5 years. To me, this seems quite impossible, but conquering the world in the 1944 scenario as Germany seemed pretty impossible to me until recently. Of course, I could do it by letting the Japanese run riot, let the Germans edge their way into India, and just land straight away in Normandy in 1942 and conquer, the Germans wont be able to pull back fast enough before I have control of Germany and the German surrender event kicks in. But this is winning as much as extending the Maginot line is winning, it’s cheap. So, I will not invade continental Europe until all the other theatres are secure. Sure, it makes the game a hundred times harder, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s a good thing.
 
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Blodwen

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Cabinet

Finally, a word on the Cabinet. Given the pretty dire results so far in the war, I’ve made a few changes.





I also changed production to one entirely naval (40 screens, 40 carriers). The attack on Fortress Europe is a long way off, and I wont need huge numbers of troops and aircraft till then.

Ready for battle....
 

unmerged(47162)

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no swastikas allowed. you should remove the pic before a mod does. but anyway relating to the game..thats gonna be tough to get all of that in five years....on hard/furious too...good luck!
 

unmerged(44784)

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Damn.....

You'll have a hard time defeating that. :wacko:
 
Mar 2, 2005
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Very, very promsing! I'll certainly be following this one.
 

Passivocalia

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How was Roosevelt able to convince the isolationists that Germany is an potential threat to the United States? ;)

Good luck!
 

Machiavellian

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This certainly looks interesting. A lot of big task you have in front of you and a cool idea for an AAR. Lifeless is right though, I am fairly certain that the mods have some sort of rule on certain images, due to laws in certain countries banning such symbols.
 

Blodwen

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Oh, sod. Completely forgot about the Swastikas. Its a shame that all the images I've found of German victory parades have got those darn things.

I understand that its going to be nigh on impossible to win. I just revised down the Allied land division numbers, and seeing as I'm fully expecting Germany to have brought the Enemy up to 1000 divisions while I'm not recruiting a single soldier, the final showdown is going to be one hell of a coup. For a while I was considering playing the Soviets instead, because that somehow seemed easier.
 

Phoenix Dace

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Interesting concept for a game, I look forward to seing how it progresses. In fact, now you've inspired me to try this as well. It seems an interesting concept, to try and beat yourself. I think I will try it out now, and see how I can do.
 

yellowstriker

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Great Stuff. Beating yourself is gonna be hard. Good luck. Hope you have some updates.
 

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lol so much British militia...usually it's so much British infantry & nothing else... :confused:
 

unmerged(16363)

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I see the nightmare. :eek:

Good luck!
 

Blodwen

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Everyone: Thanks for all the support. I would also like to take the oppurtunity to how writing this AAR is going to work. First day I will fight for a time I see fit to and take pictures aswell as take notes of things I'm likely to forget. Second day I write it all up and post it. So today I've played to about mid-November and have got all the images and statistics down, tomorrow you'll get your update. As long as my game doesn't go haywire like last time, or something unfortunate happens, it'll continue this way till I've finished or people stop reading. But you probably wont, because from what I've played so far, this is going to be one interesting fight.

jose1357: I'm guessing because they lost the Home Isles. Nations that lose their capitals or are having their Cores eaten up always seem to start churning out militia. Unfortunately for me, they're gonna do a next to no good.