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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

loki100

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I enjoyed this update for three reasons:

1) Kollowrat grew some stones and became a badass.
2) Weisbeer and Pilsen are safe and therefore the beer is safe.
3) You used the word "humped".

It could only be better if you used the term "pure humped" or "banjoed".

So, is the alliance crumbling a scripted event?
well the optimism over the Weisbeer is a bit premature .. poor Kollowrat has just had his ace column taken by Lucchese, but yes I feel every AAR needs some Scots just for authenticity

I think so about the alliance. The game isn't heavily scripted but as TheExecutor pointed a few posts up, in effect France has lost India, Canada and its empire in the Carribean, so its right they go when they did. Russia should drop out too when Catherine bonks her last Guardsman and Peter takes over for a while (not bonking the Guardsman as such, more the Tsaring bit of the role).

Just a short note : the fact that all the leaders in the box are "one-star" does not mean that the leader of the stack (the guy whose picture you can see) is not a 2-star guys, as his stats is not included in the box.

Any back-up plan for when the French will be out of the war ? :)
thats useful to know, I've not really paid a vast degree of attention to the battle reports as I know why I'm losing (outnumbered and poor generals)

you do like to remind me of that. Not really, at the moment the Austrians can't really deal with the Prussians in Bohemia, never mind those currently facing the French.

could be time to read a bit more of General Giap, pull back deep and hope I can knock off their columns if they split up ... or ?

I think I've pointed out before that 'humped' in the US certainly does not refer to any kind of fisticuffs, so I have some unfortunate mental imagery with that term. 'Banjoed' makes that even worse, with its Deliverance overtones. :p

Overall, a sort of stalemate-update, but with Narwhal's ominous hint-dropping, I can't help but be fearful for the future. Is Cumberland (and his other British chum) getting ready to cross the passes into Bavaria?
Cumberland seems to have rid himself of the annoyance of actually commanding anything, it looks like the British units he originally had are all with Heinrich and Brunswick, so he sunning himself in Eger (probably waiting for the beer supplies to be restored).

this may be like the differential use of the durex as a condom in the UK and sellotape in Australia? Not something you want to mix up most of the time.

These last few updates show how frustrating everything seems at present. Both yourself and Prussia constantly dancing around one and other unable to land a crushing blow. Still, as you have said keeping things at a stalemate is not awful, but time is running out. However the way of breaking this stalemate is quite obvious, offer tickets to a royal wedding of their choice to those of your force who crush the Prussians! After all as those French forces showed during this last update, clearly royal weddings are of great importance to your men.
yes, I mean why bother to besiege Stade if you can't nip over for the wedding and back.

aye, they are just too strong for me to really harm them, even in Bavaria where I'm not doing too badly in a round of whacking each other.

I'm about a third of the way through so far. Nice work on the AAR and the game so far.

Does anyone have thoughts on which side has the best AI for a first time single player campaign?
Austria has the best AI. Or, more accurately, Austria can survive AI mistakes, Prussia cannot - except with the sort of huge bonus Loki had to give it :)
That is what I thought, thanks.

I have caught up now, quite an interesting read.
I think I'd agree with Narwhal, this 'if inactive, no move' rule is a really good balancer. OK I've lost quite a lot to supply by mistake but that has cost me about 4 corps worth in itself over the game. Without it, I think the Austrians will just overwhelm the Prussians by sheer numbers.

I realise, given the mess I've made, this may not sound sensible, but its easier to see how the AI can make a better job of the Austrian side, as in Narwhal's and Baris' AAR at some stage the Prussian playere has to gamble, and its that sort of judgement no AI is really good at
 

loki100

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Does Hannover have any beer? September 1761

These two turns were a bit more active, in effect, I decide that if the French are going to opt out, the best thing is to wreck that Prussian army in Bavaria (thats what I reckon, the AI has a different plan)



So in Bavaria, if Heinrich is a bit battered from last turns beatings, I'll go after him



& in Bohemia, scared of the Kollowrat/Lucchese column, the Prussians retreat ...

well I'll retake Tabor (may as well its not changed hands recently) and see if a siege of Prag is an option



so Heinrich gets another beating, mind you I do keep on losing a lot of men every time, but he started it ...



& that was easy and useful, a small culling of the Prussian hordes



So there is a small siege of one of my eastern forts (not too worried this late in the season) & Passau is holding out (with some luck those Prussians will be in supply difficulties soon)



Not too much happened, except Keith returned from his little jaunt along the Elbe, good time for an Austrian general to fall asleep, and Daun can scuttle back over the river to join Nadrasdy. Another chance for Lucchese to show them how its done.



at last, my this turn is going so well. I'd gambled on getting the second breach and they were all with assault orders.



now I think I gave the entire French army 'move-together' orders so not sure why he went off on his own



oh, right, yes, it was going well. Brunswick decided he wanted Nurembourg and then I lost a couple of ping-pong battles, so my org is right down.



and Lucchese/Kollowrat, the heroes of 1761 deliver again



I reckon he's already resigned once, pity it sounds like a good idea (from my point of view)



In effect I can get terribly pleased over Hannover, or rather depressed over Nurembourg.

So one more month before winter

Bohemia will probably remain a stalemate, and I think this is bad as in 1762 the Prussians will have less distractions. In Bavaria, there are a couple of isolated Prussian columns and I'm tempted to go for them, rather than contest Nurembourg.
 

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To answer your question: according to Wikipedia, Hannover has the world second-largest Oktoberfest in the world, so it stands to reason that they have beer. I think you should celebrate that victory (especially if the French make haste in bowing out - you might not get many more victories up there, when that happens).

How did you lose that battle in Amberg on day seven? I mean, you didn't lose a single man, while your opponent had 350 soldiers dead. I know this is just a game, but I struggle with finding any kind of plausible scenario to explain this. :)

Good luck with the next turn(s)! Go hurl some French armies forward!
 

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Curses! I was impressed with how well things were going for you in the first few battles of this turn and then your French forces seem to fall apart in that run of four loses. Nonetheless whilst that does detract from the turn, overall it seems to have been a decent one.
 

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To answer your question: according to Wikipedia, Hannover has the world second-largest Oktoberfest in the world, so it stands to reason that they have beer. I think you should celebrate that victory (especially if the French make haste in bowing out - you might not get many more victories up there, when that happens).

How did you lose that battle in Amberg on day seven? I mean, you didn't lose a single man, while your opponent had 350 soldiers dead. I know this is just a game, but I struggle with finding any kind of plausible scenario to explain this. :)

Good luck with the next turn(s)! Go hurl some French armies forward!
Yes, on looking at it Amburg is a bit hard to understand, ah well if I could manage to lose all my battles that way, I think I'd end up winning?

Its odd, I know, or at least Narwhal keeps on telling me, that the French are on the way out of the war but I can't quite bring myself just to use them as if they are not a long term asset

Curses! I was impressed with how well things were going for you in the first few battles of this turn and then your French forces seem to fall apart in that run of four loses. Nonetheless whilst that does detract from the turn, overall it seems to have been a decent one.
the next turn is much the same, but sort of in reverse, I win a load of battles I either expected to lose or never expected to fight.
 

loki100

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final moves? October 1761

This turn was a bit complicated especially in Bavaria, I think in the end I worked it out but it wasn't quite what I'd planned.



start with Bohemia, my plan is to concentrate at Tabor, and then probably deploy most of the corps to Iglau. That isolated Austrian corps has 'evade on march' orders as I don't want it to tangle with Keith if at all possible



this is much more complex after the September battles. I've one very battered formation at Bayreuth that I want to pull back. The rest I plan to split up, 2 corps can go hunting that Prussian formation in the north, 1 can go to retake the Danube cities I lost in September



and heres N Germany. If I had another year with the French, Magdeburg would be a brilliant target but as it is I'll Braunschwieg.



Right ... well I think Heinrich was already heading my way so he hit me before any of my formations had a chance to move



& then I followed him up? I'm not sure why as all my movement orders were to avoid Nuremberg ... anyway it was rather good, but the number of lost units is a concern.



and that was useful too



so that redeems some of the losses in September, the French are doing well

In Bavaria, all the French forces are very low on org so I put them on 'retire' orders so if left untouched they can recover and if attacked, they'll break combat quickly.



In Austria, I make the next step back to Iglau ... it is a good defense spot



Heinrich doesn't give up easily ... well I planned to lose that ... have just spotted its a very different Heinrich though



Tabor changes hands again



If the Russians were still a force, this would be bad news, as it is I suspect I'll hand Koenigsberg back for now



and the NM at the start of November. Its actually a lot worse than I expected, given that all in all, the battles of the summer-autumn have been even. So not too sure why such a large gap has opened unless its scripted around the French defeats off map?
 

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It made me wonder in some previous updates. From what I noticed, the amount of national morale lost/gained depends a lot on the amount of elements lost. From the screenshots I noticed many battles that were classified as your victory, but with you loosing a lot of elements while the AI lost none. In the log it say that you won and gained a lot of NM from those battles but I think it might be wrong. Is it possible that the log is wrong and you actually lose NM around Nuremberg (even if 'winning' battles)? That would surely explain the widening gap in NM.

Look at the Amberg battle as an example: you lost twice as many man and 19 elements to Prussia's 0. The log says you gained 7 NM (so quite a lot) out of it, but I`m not sure if it makes any sense.

Anyway would like someone else to answer, as it's rather a feeling that any factual, proof-backed observation.
 

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I just read an AAR on the AGEOD forums on Revolution Under Siege. I know it's a different game, but it runs on (basically) the same engine. An interesting tidbit was that the player set his small garrisons on a 'fight to the death' aggressiveness, because, according to him, surrendering units would really hurt his NM in a way that completely annihilated units would not. Keeping that in mind, I did notice that the day 3 battle for Nuremberg shows that the Prussians captured 86 (I believe that should read to be 8600 men, right?). I wonder if that feature of RUS is also present in ROP - if it is, it might help explain the huge plunge in your NM.

It's disturbing to see how your 'victories' over the two Heinrichs bled your army so badly. If you weren't set to lose the French pretty soon anyway, I'd be doubly worried. I think Pyrrhus would sympathize with you.
 

loki100

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It made me wonder in some previous updates. From what I noticed, the amount of national morale lost/gained depends a lot on the amount of elements lost. From the screenshots I noticed many battles that were classified as your victory, but with you loosing a lot of elements while the AI lost none. In the log it say that you won and gained a lot of NM from those battles but I think it might be wrong. Is it possible that the log is wrong and you actually lose NM around Nuremberg (even if 'winning' battles)? That would surely explain the widening gap in NM.

Look at the Amberg battle as an example: you lost twice as many man and 19 elements to Prussia's 0. The log says you gained 7 NM (so quite a lot) out of it, but I`m not sure if it makes any sense.

Anyway would like someone else to answer, as it's rather a feeling that any factual, proof-backed observation.
quickly on this, the smallest unit in the game (I think this is standard across AGEOD) is a company/cav squadron or gun, now these are bracketed into (in ROP at least) battalions. I'll pick out this in the next update, but after a while your battalions consist of a number of very weak companies. If you carry on losing men, sooner or later the battalion ceases to exist. So whats happening with the French in Bavaria is they are now largely fighting fairly fresh British forces, so my losses are being quickly translated into lost elements and the British battalions are strong enough to absorb losses for now.

Ideally when units are badly ground down, you want to pull them to the rear (a city with a depot is great), give them no aggressive orders and slowly reinforcements will flow into their ranks (thats why the French army in Germany is quite robust).

So in the relation to NM elements don't count, I believe that relative losses do influence the NM shift, but it should move as its saying (so a bloody victory is still a gain, a well constructed defense that inflicts lots of losses but still ends up having to retire will cost you NM).

It maybe that August and September in combination were so bad that it did drive my NM down, but the gap, when I checked, was a real surprise as I thought I was roughly trading losses.
 

loki100

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I just read an AAR on the AGEOD forums on Revolution Under Siege. I know it's a different game, but it runs on (basically) the same engine. An interesting tidbit was that the player set his small garrisons on a 'fight to the death' aggressiveness, because, according to him, surrendering units would really hurt his NM in a way that completely annihilated units would not. Keeping that in mind, I did notice that the day 3 battle for Nuremberg shows that the Prussians captured 86 (I believe that should read to be 8600 men, right?). I wonder if that feature of RUS is also present in ROP - if it is, it might help explain the huge plunge in your NM.

It's disturbing to see how your 'victories' over the two Heinrichs bled your army so badly. If you weren't set to lose the French pretty soon anyway, I'd be doubly worried. I think Pyrrhus would sympathize with you.
It made me wonder in some previous updates. From what I noticed, the amount of national morale lost/gained depends a lot on the amount of elements lost. From the screenshots I noticed many battles that were classified as your victory, but with you loosing a lot of elements while the AI lost none. In the log it say that you won and gained a lot of NM from those battles but I think it might be wrong. Is it possible that the log is wrong and you actually lose NM around Nuremberg (even if 'winning' battles)? That would surely explain the widening gap in NM.

Look at the Amberg battle as an example: you lost twice as many man and 19 elements to Prussia's 0. The log says you gained 7 NM (so quite a lot) out of it, but I`m not sure if it makes any sense.

Anyway would like someone else to answer, as it's rather a feeling that any factual, proof-backed observation.
In the next post I put some effort into tracking the NM changes ... its pretty opaque what is going on, esp as I had none of those 'convert EP to NM' messages. The French army in Bavaria desparately needs a break from operations, the good thing is I think the Prussians are in a mess too, and the British suffering now I've chopped off their reinforcement route
 

loki100

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Nobody wants to hibernate: November-December 1761

Perhaps in compensation for delaying spring, this year winter was late (not till December) and as I was close to my winter hibernation spots there was quite a lot of activity going on, especially in Bavaria.



So here's the position at the start of November. Snow in the mountains but nice green in the Danube valley. I've already got one (pretty strong) French corps at Augsburg (just south off map), so I'll send another strong one that way - can contest any late Prussian attempts to clean up down there and maybe take Augsburg back. The weaker two are ordered back to Wurzburg where I hope they can recover and I'll allocate the few new battalions I've raised to them



This shows central Germany. I'm mildly worried at that British unit as there are some weakly held towns there - in outcome they picked, I think, the worst choice. To ease supply and just in case, I'll send 2 corps back from Braunshweig to Minden.



Here's a quick view of a badly knocked about French brigade. If you hover the mouse you get info on its relative cohesion, pretty pictures of the uniforms and a little chart showing the strength of the component elements. I think its better to preserve even the shell of a battalion (easier to gain replacements than raise new forces) if you can. But this perhaps explains why at the moment in Bavaria almost any losses costs me elements.



and my operational plan worked out nicely, small bit of revenge on one of the Heinrichs. Note they too are no longer fielding large armies so the French have dragged them down quite a lot too.



And generally quiet.



Until I spot that Keith is up to something, it could be a late attempt to get between Daun and Wien, he could be after forcing the river where its not contested. After a lot of thought, I decide to sit it out, next turn is December which has to bring winter (I hope). In the meantime the tireless genius of Lucchese is sent to regain Pilsen (& thus cut supply to the Prussians on the Danube)



In Bavaria, I've captured siege guns and supplies which is nice. One corps is well on the way back to Wurzburg which is nice, one has gone to sleep just next to mean-Heinrich (not so good), but hopefully the Prussians have at least one more turn to take Nuremberg in.



and despite all the movement and threats, nothing actually happens



Finally winter in Bohemia. Lucchese has Pilsen and in any case the passes are blocked with snow - that has to hurt those Prussians to the south. And Keith seems to want those fortresses off to the east. I actually think this is the first time the AI has done something I'd see as silly, they are all level 2-3 forts, it was November, now they will take some hits due to winter on their way back to safety.



Bavaria remains warm. On the Danube sector, I'll concentrate on taking Augsburg (good base for winter) and the weaker French units can retire to Wurzburg (should be out of reach of Heinrich) ... hopefully the corp in the middle of nowhere can move fast enough to escape a beating.



Which it doesn't. But again, note that Hieinrich no longer has the 50,000+ army he had in the spring.



Which I expected.



There could be trouble ahead for the British?



so that battle at Ansbach cost me a lot of NM, putting me -3 since the start of November.

In late December nothing happened, I was mostly already set for my winter quarters, Keith is on the way to Koenigratz (but must suffer some losses).



Maybe Pitt was right all along?

And so the NM mystery:



Well this turn I had the little message at the top, in effect my alliance is fed up, there has been one of those -1NM for all messages and I should be 3 worse off than in November. There have been none of those 'trade EP and VPs for NM' messages.

So the logic is utterly beyond me. I know there is a game mechanic that forces it to equalise over time, but the actual fluctuations are strange.

Looking at 1762, I have two distinct plans.

A)
With the French (I don't actually know when they go), try to seize Magdeburg, and at the same time raid Berlin (it has no walls so is vulnerable, even if I give it up again it'll upset their NM). Keep on retaking that HRE region around Hamburg.

In Bavaria, hope the winter respite allows some rebuilding of the army, I may gamble on keeping the two wings apart and see if that leads to more targets of opportunity.

In Bohemia, I need to find some way back to Prag and that means some way to beat Keith. It maybe that his winter jaunt has badly weakened him, so I may gamble on moving for battle at Prag and see what happens.

B)
No French, well its either a slow decline or I try something. Its clear the Prussian armies are weakening, so if I keep a compact group, I may yet get to attack isolated forces, my guess is, even at the best, this will not allow me to retake Prag but I may be able to avoid any further losses too.
 
Last edited:

loki100

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Its quiet, too quiet, January 1762 - March 1762

Well after the hyper active late autumn, these 3 months saw nothing happen. A very harsh winter set in everywhere over January and February, I stayed in my fortresses but the AI moved some stuff around (it may have a reason but on balance I think this is something that needs to be looked at).

So:


(late Jan)

(early Feb)

(late Feb)

You get the overall idea. In early March, except in the mountains the snow lifted.

So in N Germany, I decided - a) besiege Stade (may as well, there are enough defenders for a decent VP haul); b) use 2 corps at Magdeburg and seriously think of raiding Berlin; c) send the fourth corps back to Munster to contest any attempt at cutting my supplies.

Heres the very overall situation in Bavaria and Bohemia:



2 of those Prussian corps are off to Kassel and I guess the Rhineland. I'm not too worried, as they can do relatively little damage up there.

The 2 Heinrich columns (I do wish there weren't two of him) go off into W Saxony. They maybe going north (it maybe the AI shares my view that Berlin is too tempting and too easy).

The bulk of the Prussian army in Bohemia is at Prag, Fred only has a small force at Tabor.

I have:

i) 2 weak French corps at Wurzburg, but their surviving battalions are relatively well rebuilt
ii) 2 stronger corps at Augsburg. Again, they've recovered fairly well.

I'll keep (i) back for now till I'm sure where those Prussians to the north are off to, but with (ii) I'll try and retake Bayreuth and Nuremberg as both are weakly held

In Bohemia

iii) Luchesse guards the lager at Pilsen
iv) My best 3 corps are with Daun

For the moment I want to see what the Prussians do, and what direction the 2 Heinrich columns take. I have a fresh brigade with some decent battalions forming up at Wien, so again may as well wait for that to move up.



and again nothing actually happens (unless you live in Martinique)

In late March, winter returns to Bohemia, which makes me glad I didn't move, in Bavaria I edge towards Nuremberg, and my two sieges in N Germany restart



And so, the 1762 campaigning season is officially open.

Fairly obviously while I have the French, I need to make some progress in Bohemia ... the issue of course is how.
 

morningSIDEr

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Interesting developments. Interesting and also frustrating due to your NM, although at least you do seem to have an idea of why it has dropped so low. I think you are right to remain relatively passive, simply reacting to Prussia at present, although I do hope they continue to leave Berlin open to the raid you are considering, the morale change could prove very useful. At present things seem quite tense however that seems par for the course!
 

TheExecuter

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So...Russia is out.

France sticks around until the very end...Russia should be back in it in 1763, I hope. I don't know about Bavaria and friends though.

Good to see the AI reacting to your troops threatening Berlin. That should alleviate some of the pressure in Bohemia...we hope!
 

loki100

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Interesting developments. Interesting and also frustrating due to your NM, although at least you do seem to have an idea of why it has dropped so low. I think you are right to remain relatively passive, simply reacting to Prussia at present, although I do hope they continue to leave Berlin open to the raid you are considering, the morale change could prove very useful. At present things seem quite tense however that seems par for the course!
My fundamental issue is I need to retake Prag but I can't risk the Austrian army (but then it is pretty strong at the moment and its sort of now or never) - I don't know when France goes & the AI is moving much more widely than it has before, which also makes me a bit cautious as opportunities may open up.

So...Russia is out.

France sticks around until the very end...Russia should be back in it in 1763, I hope. I don't know about Bavaria and friends though.

Good to see the AI reacting to your troops threatening Berlin. That should alleviate some of the pressure in Bohemia...we hope!
Russia is odd (in the game, at the moment). Its out the war, but I still hold Koenigsberg with a fixed (now Austrian) garrison. So that gives me some hope that if France does retire, I keep the Rhineland, even undefended, it'll tie down a few Prussian troops on the sieges & keep them out of Bohemia.
 

loki100

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The marching starts again: April 1762

Again, two largely quiet turns but with an awful lot of marching (by the AI) and winter returing to Bohemia for early April.

In early April, the only thing I do is decide to bring together 3 French corps at Nuremberg to retake that. Heinrich is off to the north, a couple of weaker Prussian columns are around Kessel so I'll keep one French corps back at Wurzburg. It can absorb the few new battalions moving up, and I maybe able to interdict the Prussian supply lines to Kessel by retaking Erfurt later on



And, again not much happened, except for some drama in Russia



By late April, the snow finally clears from Bohemia



The main Prussian Army (Keith et al) still sits at Prag, and I have 5 battalions of fresh troops moving up. So I'll wait a turn but use Nadrasdy to retake Tabor. This in turn may tempt the Prussians to move from Prag so I have some idea what the AI is up to.



And this is a large scale oversight of Central Germany. As you can see, the mountains are still blocked. Cumberland has a corps, so does Heinrich and there are 2 weaker Prussian columns around Kessel. I need to reduce Prussian military control around Magdeburg before I can move on Berlin (& again it seems as well to be a bit cautious).



Good old Franz retakes Tabor and inflicts losses on the British. Useful as I think they are the only fresh troops the Prussians have left.



And I have a better than expected NM boost as well.



Here you can see, I still hold Koenigsberg (its besieged by a solitary Prussian battalion) and the NM gap has closed a little.

In that turn, Heinrich has turned back south so the move to Nuremberg grabbed his attention and Keith has left Prag to move into W Bohemia - he too maybe off to Bavaria (or, as he's done before, just having a stroll about)

... well I do want to retake Prag
 

TheExecuter

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Your NM is still pretty low...

I think you will want to wait before engaging in any large battles in front of Prague until your NM has stabilized somewhat with respect to Prussia.

Looking at Prussia's dispositions, I'd say they are going to try to regain Bremen this year. This ought to give you an opportunity, since they won't be focused on bashing on Austria.

How much gain do you get from Berlin vs. marching south into Saxony from Magdeburg?
 

Stuyvesant

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Good to see that somehow, Königsberg is still yours. And the fact that you have forces hanging around Magdeburg is also promising (I want to see Berlin burn!).

Great overview map of Central Europe - it really helps to tie the different fronts together.

How soon do you see yourself moving on Prague?
 

loki100

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Your NM is still pretty low...

I think you will want to wait before engaging in any large battles in front of Prague until your NM has stabilized somewhat with respect to Prussia.

Looking at Prussia's dispositions, I'd say they are going to try to regain Bremen this year. This ought to give you an opportunity, since they won't be focused on bashing on Austria.

How much gain do you get from Berlin vs. marching south into Saxony from Magdeburg?
It does look like the AI wants Bremen back. Going from what Narwhal has written, the British reinforcements are no critical to the Prussians so makes some sense.

As to Berlin/Saxony - I've been thinking that over. Berlin is good for a short hit (even if they retake it quickly, they'll lose NM etc in the meantime and have to redeploy), on the other hand moving into Saxony from the north opens up all sorts of possibilities - not least making a mess of their supply lines into Bohemia.

Good to see that somehow, Königsberg is still yours. And the fact that you have forces hanging around Magdeburg is also promising (I want to see Berlin burn!).

Great overview map of Central Europe - it really helps to tie the different fronts together.

How soon do you see yourself moving on Prague?
It may be, that Berlin lies in ruins quicker in the Great Patriotic War than this AAR, the option starts to open though.

Prag - slowly, in the next set of posts the AI offers the gambit & I think I can concentrate quite a lot of power there - and have the river to aid any defense .... so many choices (& it could still all go so wrong)