ROP - Beta AAR - Fredericus Rex (1758 Campaign)

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Generalisimo

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As many of you have already read in this forum, Rise of Prussia (ROP) is the new game from the french based studio AGEOD, now owned by Paradox Interactive.
The game is a historical strategy simulation that recreates the seven years of warfare (1756-1763) that shook the continent of Europe in the 18th century.
The player can assume the role of military and political leaders in command of land and naval forces belonging to either the Prussian Kingdom or nations opposed to Prussia (Austria, Russia, France).
The engine uses a system of simultaneous turn resolution, so you can expect a slightly different experience from the usual "Real Time" feel from games that are released by Paradox, like Hearts of Iron or Europa Universalis.
The ROP game system will be familiar to veteran players of AGEOD’s previous titles like Birth of America I and II (aka Wars in America) , American Civil War and Napoleon's Campaign.... with some important improvements that we will dwell when the right time comes...

After this brief introduction... we will get into the details of this wonderful game... :D


Index of Chapters
1-Introduction
2-Organization of the Army (part 1) (part 2)
3-The Planning Phase (part 1) (part 2)
 
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Generalisimo

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Introduction

The game offers the posibility to start the campaign from the very beggining, with the Invasion of Saxony on 1756.... but we do not want to do that right now, we want to get directly into the action. :D
So, the best option to do that is to go directly to 1758, when the prussians are fighting to survive while being attacked from all sides with superior numbers... a battle for survival while trying to give the coalition the last definitive blow.
France, Austria and Russia are ready to advance and destroy to prussian invaders.. while the military genius of Friedrich must use the superior prussian discipline to his favour and turn the tide.

But, before we get into the scenario, we will take a look at some options that the game offers and can probably change the course of the game later...

We will start the game with 3D models for the units so you can take a look at them now. But later we will change it to the 2D models, because I like to see the "faces" of my leaders on the units portraits.

We will play with normal rules, like fog of war activated, normal attrition, etc.
Options like historical attrition can really change the way you play the game... so I do not recommend that for the faint of heart...
I do not like to play with "randomized generals" ON, but for replayability it is a great option... specially if you are playing a PBEM game against a friend and you want add another layer of difficulty to the experience.
One important option to mention, specially for new Paradox's players, is the one about the activation rules. Currently I have selected the hardest option, but you have a more "normal" one that means land forces will have a large movement and combat penalty if the stack commander (leader) is not activated. This is the one recommended for all the players. You even have a softer one if you want...
But in my case, I have selected the hardest option that has the added difficulty of adding a high chance of not being able to move at all your forces with a non-active commander. That's really hard in some situations... it means that if your leader is not active, your force may really starve to death or be easilly surrounded by the enemy. I think it is a very interesting option... so keep it in mind for your games.

No special bonuses for the AI, the only exception will be that the AI receives more time for "thinking" in exchange of a slightly slower turn processing... something that you will not notice if you have a high end PC.

We disabled Error Logging for the AAR, but I strongly suggest that you leave that checked, because you get more feedback if you want to get into the Logs files and see what went wrong.
One important note, specially for "old" PCs, keep in mind that this "error logging feature" writes to a .txt file all the things that happen in the game... so, that constant writting to a file may really slow down your PC if you are running out of RAM or you do not have enough processing power.
I always keep this active... and I recommend you the same... but be aware of the posible slowdowns for "oldies". ;)

You can play as much as you want with all these options to get the best out of the game...
I will not explain each one of them, because I am sure you want to get into the game right now... but if you want to know the details of each one, don't hesitate to ask. ;)

So, finally, we get into the scenario selection screen... and the one selected is, like I said before, the 1758 Campaign...

Now, some historical background on how the war is going for the prussians... because as you may supose, we will play with the prussians...

The war is not looking good, the enemies of Friedrich are coming from all sides. We must hold the ground and try to strike hard each one of the big nations whenever we can, so we take them out of the war one by one...
If they come togheter, there is no chance we can withstand the onslaught...
 
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Generalisimo

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Chapter 2 (part 1)

Chapter 2: Organization of the Army

The scenario represents the historical situation of all the factions on this date, Early May of 1758. So, our forces are already spread around the entire map into their historical positions after the early battles took place since the last two years of the conflict.
We have to play with what we have at hand... the current organization of the Prussian Army consist of the following three Main Armies:


The PWR is a relative value representing the hypothetical power of the unit. That doesn't mean that if the power of X unit is bigger than the power of Y unit, X will win... the truth is far from that... ;)
But as a guide, it is a very useful value... specially when you can spot enemies forces and check their power this way.

With the fight already at our gates, there isn't much time available to do a major reorganization of the army... if we try to do that right now, we will probably fail, loosing the major bonuses we have from this organization (no command penalties, etc) and we will not be ready to do any major battle quickly.
For the ones reading this that are not familiar with the AGE engine, the little coloured icons on each leader portrait represent a positive or negative ability of that leader.
For example, you can have a leader that it is a "Military genius" and will grant a wide variety of bonuses to the troops under his command... but on the other hand others may give a penalty, for example, someone with the "ability" Slow Mover will decrease the speed of the unit.
One of the key to success, specially in this case, is the good use of our superior leadership... that's the only chance Prussia has to beat the superior numbers they will throw at us.

Now, let's take a look at the detailed info of each army...

Led by King Friedrich II STR 6 / OFF 4 / DEF 3


Led by General Keith STR 5 / OFF 5 / DEF 5


Led by Prinz Wilhelm STR 4 / OFF 0 / DEF 0


Led by Prinz Ferdinand Preusse STR 3 / OFF 2 / DEF 2


Led by Major General Seydrlitz STR 5 / OFF 3 / DEF 1

In case you are wondering, the 3 ratings for each commander represent the following (taking directly from the game's manual):
Strategic Rating: A Leader’s Strategic Rating is used to determine the likelihood that he will be considered ‘Active’ during a game turn. The higher his Strategic Rating, the more likely he will be ‘Activated’. This rating is also used to determine the Leader’s Command Radius if placed in command of an Army and the amount of Command Points he is able to bestow upon subordinate Corps and units.
Offensive Rating A Leader’s Offensive Rating is used when a Leader is in command of a Force that engages in combat while assuming either an Assault or Offensive Posture. The Offensive Fire and Assault values of every unit in the Force are increased by 5% per point of a Corps commander’s Offensive Rating. The Offensive Fire and Assault values of every unit in a Brigade are increased by 3% per point of the Brigade commander’s Offensive Rating. These values are cumulative—units receive bonuses from both commanders if applicable.
Defensive Rating A Leader’s Defensive Rating is used when a Leader is in command of a Force that engages in combat while assuming either a Defensive or Passive Posture. The Defensive Fire and Assault values of every unit in the Force are increased by 5% per point of a Corps commander’s Defensive Rating. The Defensive Fire and Assault values of every unit in a Brigade are increased by 3% per point of the Brigade commander’s Defensive Rating. These values are cumulative—units receive bonuses from both commanders if applicable.


As you can see, the higher the values, the better for us... ;)
The ratings of General Keith and King Friedrich combined can really change the tie during the course of a battle, so, they will surelly lead the offensive campaign wherever we go.

Each unit portrait that you can see in there, apart from the leaders portraits, shows us a lot of usefull information on a quick glance. We can easilly get the status of our fighting forces by just looking at that panel:
It is very important to always keep an eye on that... because a force with low cohesion or strenght can reduce its chances enormously in case of an attack... so we better head for cover to replenish our men in that case.

Another way of looking at this panel is by pressing the Control Key (CTRL) to see the number of men, horses and canons the selected units have. So, let's look at Keith's Korps with CTRL pressed to see what happens:
As you can see now, it is one our biggest units out there.

Also, if you look carefully, you will notice that some unit portraits have a lot of little "beams" (or dots, or whatever you want to call them) to the left of each unit portrait. That means that the unit is a brigrade and that has many elements inside. To actually see them you just need to position the mouse on top of the unit you want to see and a new display will appear showing you the details of that unit, like this:
There you have all the details about the Schorlemer Brigade inside the Keith's Korps... interesting, no?

(to be continued...)
 
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Generalisimo

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Chapter 2 (part 2)

(continues...)

That completes our first main army, the bulk of our fighting force commanded by our King.
The other two main armies are composed like this:

Led by Prinz Heinrich STR 5 / OFF 4 / DEF 3


Led by Major General Dohna STR 4 / OFF 2 / DEF 2


Led by Major General Pennavaire STR 5 / OFF 0 / DEF 0


Led by Major General Brunswick STR 5 / OFF 4 / DEF 4


Led by Major General Moritz STR 5 / OFF 3 / DEF 2

By looking at the map and the position of our forces, I noticed that the Elbe Armee group is quite small, but we have the luck of having some Sachsen Regiments in the same province, Dresden, under the command of Wunsch.
So, to strenghten the Elbe Armee, we will create a new brigade with these regiments and merge them inside the Elbe Armee.
Let's get to it... we select the unit containing the regiments with Wunsch.
Using the highlighted button, we enable the Brigade Command for this leader to create the new brigade.
With that already done, we proceed to add the regiments to the brigade by selecting them all and pressing the "+" button highlighted.
The result is the newly formed brigade under Wunsch command. Notice the change of the name for the force (Wunsch' Force) and the new name of the portrait (2nd Brigade).
Now with this new brigade, we merge it inside the Elbe Armee... by just drag and dropping it on the Elbe Armee unit.
After all this, the new composition of the Elbe Armee unit looks like this:
Notice the change on the Elbe Armee size... from the old:
Unit: 8 / Pwr: 231
To the new value:
Unit: 9 / Pwr: 485
So, we managed to achieve what we wanted... double the size of the unit.

... and finally our Western Army... the one that will need to hold the french hordes...
Led by Prinz Ferdinand STR 5 / OFF 3 / DEF 3


Led by Erbprinz Karl STR 5 / OFF 2 / DEF 2


Led by Major General Sporcken STR 3 / OFF 1 / DEF 1


Led by Major General Wutginau STR 3 / OFF 1 / DEF 1


Led by Major General Zastrow STR 4 / OFF 1 / DEF 2

As you can see, most of our leaders are the best of the best... with high strategic values that will keep them active almost 100% of the times... but also with good offensive and defensive values.
The key to our success is to select precisely when and where to fight, so our mighty leaders are present in the scramble.
Obviously, our enemy will try exactly the same, with leaders like Daum.... a leader that we should try to avoid as much as posible. ;)

Apart from this forces, we have small detachments spread around the entire map and garrison forces on major cities.
Most of this forces are locked in place to secure their position, so there isn't much to do with them unless they are activated later.

Now, the game is on...
 
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Seli

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Nice, effort. I really might have to try this one.
 

ashandresash

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Following it!
 

Caranorn

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Usually I don't read AAR's, but so far you've got me drooling ;-) ...
 

Generalisimo

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Chapter 3

Chapter 3: The Planning Phase

There is no way we can win, without a proper plan... and what is better than seeing your plan come into action and succeed?
Quoting a famous contemporary philosopher:

"I love it when a plan comes together! "

So, it is time to make a plan and stick to it as much as we can. But before doing that, we will try to follow a simple premise. There was a lot of discussion before, during and after the design of the game, in private and in public about the "offensive nature" of Friedrich during his military campaigns.
I will not start the discussion again here, so I do not need to say that I agree with part of that vision. Now, based on that, the simple premise is:
-All units around Friedrich will try to take offensive actions whenever it is posible. Even against all odds.
This can surelly backfire against me in the later stages of the game... but well, this is a game, and we are here to have fun... even if I loose, the idea is that you read something interesting. :D

With this in mind, let's now look at the scenario objectives:
The important sections are highlighted in red (that doesn't mean that you shouldn't look at the rest, obviously).
Sudden Death is OFF for this scenario, so that means that if I reach the 200 NM threshold, I will not win instantly... I will have to keep playing on.
I need 10 strategical objectives to win, but I currently own only 6 of them.
On the other hand, in the list of Strategic Towns I already fullfil the condition, I control 15 out of a total of 30, when I only need 9.

After looking at this, we conclude that our main objective should be Prag, unless we want to avoid that fortress and head for Olmutz bypassing the main austrian army... probably making a huge mistake, because we will be easilly cut off from our supplies base.
But If we want to threaten Wien, we need to take Prag as soon as posible.
The problem is, obviously, the ammount of austrian troops inside the fortress.
We need to get more intel about that region before doing that gigantic operation. Also, our main army commanded by our King is far from Prag.
So, with all this in mind, this is the master plan we have....

Our main army led by our King awaits on Breslau.

The plan is simple, Friedrich will head south to Schweidnitz, simulating a threat to Koeniggratz, while the bulk of the army under the command of Keith advances further to the south in a two phases advance.
The first phase will be to the right of Schweidnitz in case the position of Friedrich is threatened. In case it isn't, they will continue the advance deep south to attack the fortress in Olmutz and take away one objective from Austria.
After Keith accomplish this task, he will meet at the rendevouz point with Friedrich and advance into the Koeniggratz fortress.
While Keith is advancing, all the forces at Schweidnitz must hold their position waiting for the Keith's Korps (including the King).




In Dresden the Elbe Armee doesn't have enough forces to storm the Prag fortress directly... or at least, that's what he High Command thinks.
So, their orders for now are to try to make a divertion for the Prag's forces, so they come out and fight outside the fortress protection.
Probably they will not fall in the trap, but at least, we will make the austrian forces beleive the threat is coming from Dresden... when actually the big force will come from the other side.
By no means the Elbe Armee must cross the river. That should create a natural barrier to try to survive in case of a surprise attack from Austria.
On the far left, you can see a small detachment force that will be fortified in place to protect the supply route to Dresden. We do not want to be cut off before Prag falls.
As you can notice here, there is a distinction between the postures of our armies (blue vs orange circle on the top right of each model)... that means that the "blue" ones are on defensive posture and the "orange" ones are on offensive posture.
We will talk in more detail about that later...

(continues...)
 
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Generalisimo

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(continues...)

On the far left of the map, our allies will have a hard time trying to protect their regions from the austrian and french advances.
Seeing they are far away from the "influence" of Friedrich, they will hardly commit offensive operations. They task is to hold the city of Munster at all cost.
The blue lines represent the supposed advance of the coalition forces.
Notice the different colour on the base of the model representing the different nationality of the stack.
All the reinforcements around the area will head to Munster to strenght that position.


Back on the north, there isn't much to show.
Our situation is precarious at least... if not worst.
It is almost impossible to hold Colberg from a russian attack with the current forces. So, we quickly order the construction of two new regiments to strengthen the position in there.
Here it is before drag and dropping the regiments:

After we have ordered their recruitment:

As you can see, they cost resources and there is a limit of how much of them we can recruit. These new recruitments will cost us money and conscripts... very important men that will not be able to fight elsewhere.
But, obviously, with this it will not be enough... the russians are too many, and too well trained to stop them with this small ammount of forces.
So, the Dohna Korps is ordered to march quickly to join the defense of that stronghold.
This move will reduce our forces in the south, where we will surelly need his men to storm Wien... but Colberg cannot be lost, or everything will fall to pieces.

Following the same idea, the Frei Bataillonen will also head north to help in the defense of the area... there is a long way to go from Berlin.

The rest of the detachments will remain in place... because we want to... or because they just can't move at all (because of different reasons, being them: inactive leader, locked in place waiting for an event, etc).

Before closing the turn, we decide to recruit two more regiments:
-one Garde du Corps in Breslau that will join the Friedrich forces later

-one Large Garrison to protect the deep south from any austrian advance

We are now ready to see our first move in action...
 
Last edited:

Lord Blekinge

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Great thread, I am enjoying it a lot. I noticed that the units you created were given historical titles, is that for all units?
 

Pocus

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Beware that if you send a corps too far from the Army's general, it will lost a good part of the chain of command benefits.
 

Pocus

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Great thread, I am enjoying it a lot. I noticed that the units you created were given historical titles, is that for all units?
This is one of the nice touch of the engine we hope you'll get used to :rolleyes:

It is possible in the database to give a list of historical names that the recruitment module will use each time you build a unit. The list can be custom to each type of unit, or can be shared by several, the engine will sort that without any duplicate.
 

Lord Blekinge

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This is one of the nice touch of the engine we hope you'll get used to :rolleyes:

It is possible in the database to give a list of historical names that the recruitment module will use each time you build a unit. The list can be custom to each type of unit, or can be shared by several, the engine will sort that without any duplicate.
that to me is one of the best features a game design company has ever added. I am really looking forward to this game now.