Reliving the Restoration (for n00bs!) -- A Japanese AHD Tutorial AAR

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

vranasm

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excellent AAR. I own only EU III and CK II so it's a bit mystery to me, but you explain things really well.

Could you please explain why shortening combat width is good and how the battle evolves in situation where you have more men then could fit into 2 ranks of width? (for example width will be 25 and you have 60 troops - 20 brigades)

I had a bit more questions too, but forgot all of them while reading ;-).
 

Avindian

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excellent AAR. I own only EU III and CK II so it's a bit mystery to me, but you explain things really well.

Could you please explain why shortening combat width is good and how the battle evolves in situation where you have more men then could fit into 2 ranks of width? (for example width will be 25 and you have 60 troops - 20 brigades)

I had a bit more questions too, but forgot all of them while reading ;-).

Combat width was, easily, the most difficult concept for me to wrestle with in Vicky 2. This battle is the most famous example in real life of how I imagine combat width works, but I'll try to explain it in words as well.

We'll use your numbers. Combat width is 25, and I have 20 brigades (totaling 60,000 troops.) Now, we'll suppose our enemy is worse off than we are; let's call them a basic primitive nation. My combat width is lower (and it's also modified by terrain, which is new to AHD), so I "win" my combat width. So far so good. We'll be sporting and give the enemy 30 brigades.

I can concentrate my superior firepower (my techs have to be better, since my combat width is lower; there are technically ways around that, but for the sake of argument, we'll say I have the full rows of techs) on one enemy brigade, and it'll break. The next one gets in line, and that one breaks too. Eventually, we'll get to bad situations, like artillery in the front row. I can kill them faster than they can hit me, because I'm facing a smaller portion of their army, while they get stuck with my whole army. Even if worse (for them), if their army is mostly infantry, my artillery can hit their back rank while they can't return fire.

I hope that answers that question. :) As far as the second part of your question -- what happens when the army exceeds the combat width -- that's a pretty rare situation. Remember, there's two ranks, so you effectively have twice the combat width. Not all of those troops are useful, but they can stand around, at least, and wait their turn. But, let's say you're China, and you've got 90 brigades (270,000 guys!) against the British at combat width 10 -- the British have 10 brigades of Guards and 10 of Artillery, so they've got a "mere" 60,000. The extra units will rotate in as the battle progresses. That's not necessarily good news for China, since these will be some really advanced units, and will probably chew them up. This is a pretty extreme situation, however, and not at all common.
 

vranasm

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ah thanks for the deep explanation. There seems to be still some things... well to be honest I am afraid i didn't got it completely yet :).

I think biggest issue i have most probably with capturing the essence is that in my eyes being wider should be better since you can field broader first line which gets shots on enemy line. it feels like you tell me that if 25 men stand against 30 men the 25 men will defeat those 30 men even if those 30 should have better mass of bullets.

I understand that the game at the same time makes the 25 men better shooters, but what happens with 'flanking'.
I will say it this way. If both lines are the same quality shooters (in real life all of those 55 men are capable at shoting 10's at 50y range) the line with 30 will win inevitably... quicker reload, more bullets etc etc.

It somehow feels antisynergic :).

last thing I probably misunderstood the boxes in battle... each box is brigade or 1k men? From your answer at question 2 it seems like it's actually brigade and I totally understand that you consider the problem with "only 2 ranks" as marginal ;-).
 

Avindian

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ah thanks for the deep explanation. There seems to be still some things... well to be honest I am afraid i didn't got it completely yet :).

I think biggest issue i have most probably with capturing the essence is that in my eyes being wider should be better since you can field broader first line which gets shots on enemy line. it feels like you tell me that if 25 men stand against 30 men the 25 men will defeat those 30 men even if those 30 should have better mass of bullets.

I understand that the game at the same time makes the 25 men better shooters, but what happens with 'flanking'.
I will say it this way. If both lines are the same quality shooters (in real life all of those 55 men are capable at shoting 10's at 50y range) the line with 30 will win inevitably... quicker reload, more bullets etc etc.

It somehow feels antisynergic :).

last thing I probably misunderstood the boxes in battle... each box is brigade or 1k men? From your answer at question 2 it seems like it's actually brigade and I totally understand that you consider the problem with "only 2 ranks" as marginal ;-).

Brigades are 3000 men.

Flanking... flanking adds a new dimension to things. I'll get there once I have cavalry in this AAR. Then again, cavalry has less staying power than infantry. Infantry can't flank in Vicky 2 or AHD.

Yes, if the techs are equal, the bigger army will probably win (apart from things like terrain, generals, and just dumb luck). But if they aren't?

Think of it this way. You have 30 guys with flintlocks; I have 25 with bolt action rifles. I'll cut your 30 down because I've got much better range and a better rate of fire. (I've had the chance to load and fire a muzzle loading weapon; it's a huge pain in the butt.) If you've read Harry Turtledove's Guns of the South, you'll have another good example. (Essentially, the Confederacy gets AK-47s.) The less extreme the tech differences, the less difference it makes, obviously.
 

Alkane

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That convoy trick is pretty nifty; I'll have to remember it the next time I'm hurting for cash.

Increase Relations: +15 to relations.
Decrease Relations: -15 to relations. Costs 2 points.

This is a minor nitpick, but I'm confident that Increase Relations costs two points, while Decrease Relations only costs one. As well, Decrease Relations reduces your mutual relation by 25, instead of 15.
 

Avindian

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That convoy trick is pretty nifty; I'll have to remember it the next time I'm hurting for cash.



This is a minor nitpick, but I'm confident that Increase Relations costs two points, while Decrease Relations only costs one. As well, Decrease Relations reduces your mutual relation by 25, instead of 15.

Drat. I knew I had those backwards. :rolleyes: I'll fix them, thanks for pointing it out!
 

Chilango2

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Brigades are 3000 men.

Flanking... flanking adds a new dimension to things. I'll get there once I have cavalry in this AAR. Then again, cavalry has less staying power than infantry. Infantry can't flank in Vicky 2 or AHD.

Yes, if the techs are equal, the bigger army will probably win (apart from things like terrain, generals, and just dumb luck). But if they aren't?

Think of it this way. You have 30 guys with flintlocks; I have 25 with bolt action rifles. I'll cut your 30 down because I've got much better range and a better rate of fire. (I've had the chance to load and fire a muzzle loading weapon; it's a huge pain in the butt.) If you've read Harry Turtledove's Guns of the South, you'll have another good example. (Essentially, the Confederacy gets AK-47s.) The less extreme the tech differences, the less difference it makes, obviously.

Another way to think of it is that these techs reduce the frontage availble to the enemy as well, according to the manual, at least. So its more like they have 30 guys, you have 20, but they are forced to only have 20 on the front line. This allows you to defeat them in detail rather than being overwhelmed by their greater numbers. It's a reasonable simulation of the effects of a greater concentration of fire...
 

Avindian

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Another way to think of it is that these techs reduce the frontage availble to the enemy as well, according to the manual, at least. So its more like they have 30 guys, you have 20, but they are forced to only have 20 on the front line. This allows you to defeat them in detail rather than being overwhelmed by their greater numbers. It's a reasonable simulation of the effects of a greater concentration of fire...

That's a much simpler way to put it :)
 

Avindian

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Chapter 4: Horses + boats = win?

We have conquered the mighty nation of Brunei. In the best traditions of history, future retellings of the war will insist that we were pretty sure Brunei had nuclear weapons, flamethrowers, and directed energy weapons. That way, it'll look way more impressive when we won!

March 1, 1849: We decide to build four brigades of our new Infantry. They will form the cornerstone of an even mightier army!

June 2, 1849: Japanese Reactionaries are unimpressed and revolt again. They are vanquished.

August 6, 1849: Since you keep bothering me about it, I take a look at Johore. They sure look like an easy --



Oh.

Sphere lords/masters/potentates/whatever term you care to use (I'll use sphere master) will intervene if their spherelings are attacked most of the time. You don't even get the right to say no if you're a player. Johore went from a town bank guarded by a couple of drunks to a town bank guarded by an entire division of the US Army. We'll, uh, pass.

February 27, 1852: We are at 200 relations with the US. Whee!

November 12, 1852: Reform time again; this will give us the perfect opportunity to introduce a new and important unit to our army.





Say hello to Cavalry!



You'll notice a lot of the same stats we had for infantry, but there's a new one and an old one we'll talk about in a lot more detail now.

Reconnaissance: This has two important effects. First, it increases the rate at which you occupy provinces. Second, it counters the "dig-in" bonus enemy armies on the defensive get. (For the second purpose, your recon value is averaged among all your units).
Maneuver: Most units we've talked about have been Maneuver 1. That means it can attack one square in every direction (although, naturally, you won't attack the rank behind you, since they're your guys.) Here's an example.

*
*=*

The soldier (=) can attack the enemies directly in front of him (*) or either side. Now, let's look at a cavalry maneuver pattern.

*
***
**=**

It's got a Maneuver value of 2, so it can attack two squares in any direction. That means, if you have enough units, Cavalry can flank the enemy! (Your line has to extend past the enemy's line, either by wiping out their units or just having more to begin with.)

Now, Cavalry do have a weakness, their weak defense value. In a 1:1 battle, Infantry will tear apart Cavalry most of the time. That's the gamble with cavalry.

Therefore, there are two ways to use cavalry effectively.

1) Mix them in with your regular army. You'll want them on the ends (which is where they'll naturally go, most of the time), so generally no more than two brigades cavalry in an army (maybe four, to cover both rows) in this scenario.

2) Make independent cavalry armies. You can use them to cut off the enemy and encircle them, occupy provinces, or get somewhere in a hurry to slow down an enemy attack.

I, personally, favor #2, but if I've got the cash, I'll include a handful of cavalry brigades in an army. You won't really know what works for you until you try it out.

April 9, 1853: So, if I chuck a few guys in prison, MIL goes down? Sign me up!



May 14, 1853: Since I've got clergy coming out of my ears, I reduce their pay even further. It's important to note that this reduces educational efficiency -- a hidden stat that dictates how quickly your clergy produce literacy. To the best of my knowledge, there's no way to see that stat.



(Note: I actually cut taxes on the rich as well, to 85%, although this screenshot doesn't show it.)

October 2, 1853: Another reactionary rebellion. I don't even know why they bother.

March 27, 1854: Well, this is something.



In the few games I've played of AHD, the Civil War always happens before the Mexican War; before AHD, it was almost always the reverse. Still, I don't like the Confederacy's chances, even with northern Idaho.

October 13, 1854: Time to cut down on another kind of bloat; soldier POP bloat. I cut defense spending to 20%; I can already build 51 brigades.

March 1, 1855: Anarcho Liberals in Wurttemburg. When elections matter, we'll talk about parties and ideology.

September 13, 1855: Our first Alliance offer! The Chinese want to be our friends!


Wow.

See why I've been harping so much on technical advancement? We will almost certainly be outnumbered when we fight the Chinese. In fact, I guarantee it. In AHD, China has so-called "substates", which are essentially puppets. This is mostly so that more than one GP can sphere China, but there's an event that unifies China at some point when you westernize.

Code:
country_event = {
	id = 90901
	title = "EVTNAME90900"
	desc = "EVTDESC90901"
	picture = "Celebration"

	is_triggered_only = yes

	option = {
		name = "EVTOPTA90901"
		civilized = yes
		FROM = {
			inherit = THIS
		}
		ai_chance = {
			factor = 10
			 modifier = {
				factor = 1000
				relation = { who = FROM value = 100 }
			} 
		}
	}

	option = {
		name = "EVTOPTB90100"
		ai_chance = {
			factor = 100
		}
		prestige = 10
		relation = {
			who = FROM
			value = -200
		}
		civilized = yes
		release_vassal = THIS
		leave_alliance = CHI

It isn't clear under what circumstances they'll reject it, but there's an option for that too.

Code:
country_event = {
	id = 90902
	title = "EVTNAME90902"
	desc = "EVTDESC90902"
	picture = "Celebration"

	is_triggered_only = yes

	option = {
		name = "EVTOPTA90902"
		relation = {
			who = FROM
			value = -200
		}
		civilized = yes
	}

The upshot is, we will be fighting a lot of Chinese at some point, and we'd better be well prepared for it.

October 30, 1855: According to PI/PDS, Tuberculosis makes people happy. Who knew?



November 23, 1855: We build our first cavalry; the new army will be five brigades of infantry and two of cavalry.

July 10, 1857: Let's give the navy some love too!





Naval bases are critical in Vicky 2, again, for two reasons. One, they are the only place you can repair ships. Two, they are what determines your colonizing distance. We build one in the Home Islands and one in Brunei.

July 28, 1857: I'm bored. Let's fight somebody! First, we think about Atjeh.



I check the diplomacy screen, and find out that the Dutch are Friendly with Atjeh. There are six relationships in AHD, from worst to best: Hostile, Opposed, Neutral, Cordial, Friendly, In Sphere. As a spheree, we have little control of this, and neither does Atjeh. However, if a GP is Friendly with any country, they can intervene in any wars in which that country has no war goals. In other words, if we attack Atjeh, the Netherlands will jump on us. That's... not good. We aren't nearly strong enough to survive a war against a GP, so we'll leave Atjeh alone.

What about Siam?



The British are Cordial. That's only one step away from Friendly. Still, AARs with no war are boring. We'll just have to hope we can take out Siam before the British get Friendly. That should be easy enough.



August 12, 1857: Busted already. 21 infamy is no fun!

September 18, 1857: We get the much needed Siamese Menace event. The faster we get the CB, the faster we can wipe them out before the British get wise.

November 17, 1857: See our mighty General who will lead our glorious army!



Let's go over somethings about Generals (and Admirals, for that matter). Every General in the game has one or two traits and a prestige rating. Prestige is new to AHD; you will get a bonus to morale and organization depending on how successful your General has been. You can lose prestige if you transfer them to another army.

Our General's traits are a mixed bag. He's a warmonger, which is a bonus to unit speed but a penalty to morale. He's merciless, which is a bonus +2 to attack and defense, but a penalty to morale. Morale determines how quickly you regain ORG, so essentially, our troops will fight well but take a long time to recover. He's not ideal, but he should easily be able to handle Siam, and I'm hoping the speed bonus will get us places faster.

December 2, 1857: Dear Reactionaries,

Go away.

January 4, 1858: Siamese Menace fires again. We inch closer and closer to war!

February 8, 1858: We've got the CB now. It is time for war!


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
That concludes the update; our next one will detail our glorious (?) war with Siam.
 
Last edited:

Avindian

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Not exactly happy but less angry. Hard to be angry when you can barely breathe nor walk, and burying others who have died from it!

Really? I'd be pretty angry if I had to bury corpses all day. :)
 

Selzro

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21 infamy is not good at all... but you've got to have a war to show off your new units!

I'd like to point out a detail about the education slider, which I'm not sure if you've already mentioned. Besides regulating how much the clergy gets paid, it also regulates the rate at which your literacy improves. Japan starts out with an envible literacy rate (compared to most other countries), so it can afford to increase it at its leisure (in my Japan AHD game I was able to research all but two or three techs by the end of the game, despite westernizing without being in anyone's sphere), but for less fortunate countries it often seems beneficial to keep that slider as high as possible for as long as possible, even when there is a surpluss of clergy POPs.
 

unmerged(539438)

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Chapter 4: Horses + boats = win?

Sphere lords/masters/potentates/whatever term you care to use (I'll use sphere master) will intervene if their spherelings are attacked 100% of the time. You don't even get the right to say no if you're a player. Johore went from a town bank guarded by a couple of drunks to a town bank guarded by an entire division of the US Army. We'll, uh, pass.

Oh, does it really work this way in AHD?

In order to give you a picture what I mean, I'll describe my own experience with my game as Bavaria (this is however with Vicky 2, patch 1.3, no mod):

As I started the game I was keen to attack somebody and raise my infamy in order to make use of the fact that it will burn over the time once you have some. On the other hand, if it is the case that your infamy is at zero, it will stay there and won't reduce anymore, what I considered to be a waste of opportunity, when I was able lower it effectively.

Now, as a landlocked Bavaria at the beginning of the game there are not very many possible targets around you. You start in the sphere of a much larger and much stronger Austria. Some of your neighbours (Baden, Wurtemberg and Saxony) are in the same sphere as you. Since it is not possible to attack anyone in your sphere, these targets were out of consideration as long as I wouldn´t decide to leave Austrian sphere of influence (and face the consequences).

Then there were France and Prussia. I had a permanent CB with France for Alsace-Lorrain named "Unite Germany", but was in no position to use it. Furthermore, going this way, I wouldn´t raise infamy anyway, unless trying to take more than just Alsase-Lorrraine from France. The situation with Prussia was more or less the same - at the beginning of the game Bavaria couldn't even dream of attacking Prussia and surviving such action. The rest of my neighbours were Prussia's spherelings who Prussia would defend, should someone attack them. So far so clear.

But then Prussia decided to get Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark. I used this opportunity to find out, whether Prussia would be willing to defend her spherellings while being in another war. So I declared a war upon Hesse-Darmstadt (a three provinces minor whose territory effectively separated Bavarian lands) with the conquest wargoal and Prussia didn't react. The point here was, that I had to finish my war earlier than Denmark would sign a peace treaty with Prussia. This was no big deal in fact, as Prussia decided to add another wargoal (acquire Jutland) after her initial successes in that war.

So my point regarding your current situation with Johor would be as follows: Try to use the opportunity when Britain gets involved in some major conflict with another Great Power(s) and then go after Johor just to figure out if it is possible. As I haven't got the AHD yet, I can't tell for sure if it would work, but I think it should.
 
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Avindian

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21 infamy is not good at all... but you've got to have a war to show off your new units!

I'd like to point out a detail about the education slider, which I'm not sure if you've already mentioned. Besides regulating how much the clergy gets paid, it also regulates the rate at which your literacy improves. Japan starts out with an envible literacy rate (compared to most other countries), so it can afford to increase it at its leisure (in my Japan AHD game I was able to research all but two or three techs by the end of the game, despite westernizing without being in anyone's sphere), but for less fortunate countries it often seems beneficial to keep that slider as high as possible for as long as possible, even when there is a surpluss of clergy POPs.

Does it directly affect literacy changes, or only indirectly via less clergy? If the former is the case, well, I learned something! :)

Oh, does it really work this way in AHD?

In order to give you a picture what I mean, I'll describe my own experience with my game as Bavaria (this is however with Vicky 2, patch 1.3, no mod):

As I started the game I was keen to attack somebody and raise my infamy in order to make use of the fact that it will burn over the time once you have some. On the other hand, if it is the case that your infamy is at zero, it will stay there and won't reduce anymore, what I considered to be a waste of opportunity, when I was able lower it effectively.

Now, as a landlocked Bavaria at the beginning of the game there are not very many possible targets around you. You start in the sphere of a much larger and much stronger Austria. Some of your neighbours (Baden, Wurtemberg and Saxony) are in the same sphere as you. Since it is not possible to attack anyone in your sphere, these targets were out of consideration as long as I wouldn´t decide to leave Austrian sphere of influence (and face the consequences).

Then there were France and Prussia. I had a permanent CB with France for Alsace-Lorrain named "Unite Germany", but was in no position to use it. Furthermore, going this way, I wouldn´t raise infamy anyway, unless trying to take more than just Alsase-Lorrraine from France. The situation with Prussia was more or less the same - at the beginning of the game Bavaria couldn't even dream of attacking Prussia and surviving such action. The rest of my neighbours were Prussia's spherelings who Prussia would defend, should someone attack them. So far so clear.

But then Prussia decided to get Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark. I used this opportunity to find out, whether Prussia would be willing to defend her spherellings while being in another war. So I declared a war upon Hesse-Darmstadt (a three provinces minor whose territory effectively separated Bavarian lands) with the conquest wargoal and Prussia didn't react. The point here was, that I had to finish my war earlier than Denmark would sign a peace treaty with Prussia. This was no big deal in fact, as Prussia decided to add another wargoal (acquire Jutland) after her initial successes in that war.

So my point regarding your current situation with Johor would be as follows: Try to use the opportunity when Britain gets involved in some major conflict with another Great Power(s) and then go after Johor just to figure out if it is possible. As I haven't got the AHD yet, I can't tell for sure if it would work, but I think it should.

I'm a bit farther ahead in terms of gameplay, but in my experience, I've never seen a sphere master ignore the sphereling's call to arms. Other readers care to share their experiences?

Angry at the government or just plain angry at life? Militancy is anger against the government. :D

What if the government gave you the job? Check and mate! :D
 

calvinhobbeslik

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Does it directly affect literacy changes, or only indirectly via less clergy? If the former is the case, well, I learned something!

Education spending directly decreases educational efficiency, so literacy goes up slower.

I'm a bit farther ahead in terms of gameplay, but in my experience, I've never seen a sphere master ignore the sphereling's call to arms. Other readers care to share their experiences?

The AI often ignores its sphereling's call and intervenes as soon as its enemy gets 1 warscore. This is actually pretty clever because it prevents the aggressor from negotiating with the sphereling, forcing it to negotiate with the GP. The annoying part is that, obviously, it's harder to get the required warscore since your occupations will count for much less.
 

Avindian

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Education spending directly decreases educational efficiency, so literacy goes up slower.

That makes good sense; I'll have to edit the post to account for that.



The AI often ignores its sphereling's call and intervenes as soon as its enemy gets 1 warscore. This is actually pretty clever because it prevents the aggressor from negotiating with the sphereling, forcing it to negotiate with the GP. The annoying part is that, obviously, it's harder to get the required warscore since your occupations will count for much less.

I've never noticed this behavior myself, but I suppose it's a possibility. I've changed it to 'most of the time' instead of 100%, going on my own observations.

You obviously not paying me enough to keep me placated! :D

:)
 

Avindian

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Loving it so far, really helped me learn the game. Thanks!

Glad I could help!

As a special treat (and since RL stuff will keep me away from the PC until Tuesday), I'm going to update again tonight!