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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

loki100

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A long lull, and some confusion: Nov 1762-March 1763

I've compressed these turns as really very little happened, and even less that made sense.

In combat terms, I retook Bremen:



The Austrian army was snug in its winter quarters - I want them sleek and ready for 1763.

The French army, in part, committed suicide. Frequent decisions to go completely inert, in a field, in winter. The end result was being left with 5 corps (2 of which were pretty weak) by the start of the 1763 campaign season.



Now when this popped up, I decided that all that freezing was of little real loss



this seemed less important.

So, you think that means the French and British are out the war & Saxony is neutral?

Not a bit of it ... & here, I suspect a bug (but lets see), the French & British are still very active, and the French are still losing vital forts along the Rhine



So my guess is ... well my guess is they are still in the war but I can't rely on them

So plans for 1763:



Here's N Germany. More than making any gains what matters is holding Bremen and Hannover, the 2 corps in those cities are quite strong and a good match for the one remaining decent British-Hannoverian force up there.

I'll abandon Hamburg for now, and that corps can campaign on the Rhine. The corps besieging Munster can either go the Rhine or push French control forward to the Elbe.



And here's Central Germany - an army of around 70,000 last summer is reduced to a single corps. What I am going to try and do is kill off all those small Prussian columns then retake a couple of vital cities. If I'm lucky Freddie will persist in his current fixation with W Bavaria.



Which takes us to the one thing that really matters.

My plan is to leave 2 corps over at Eger as a sort of flank guard - I reckon thats big enough to deal with the remaining Prussians, if I can later on that'll move up to Magdeburg.

Daun and Nadrasdy are to cut lose into Saxony and Berlin - they have strong forces and are both likely to stay active. Lucchese goes back to finish off Koenigratz & then take at least one of the vital towns in Silesia (Daun or Nadasdy can take the other)



So NM is pretty even (I lost a few small battles along the Rhine in winter) & unless the Russians retun in force, the forts on the Baltic are out of reach (I think).



Ignoring the 2 key cities on the Baltic this shows my campaign plan. The Prussian army is up at Stade (1 corps) and scattered around Bavaria/The Rhine (2-3 corps), I don't think there is much actually in Prussia.

If the French stay in the war, I may send one of their corps to Magdeburg to at least start the siege there.
 

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I wonder how much the French are going to complain now about not getting paid, what with them officially being at peace... Not to mention that the Austrians and the Prussians are also supposed to be at peace... I guess Daun and Nadasdy are merely going sightseeing, sampling the beer in Berlin in a spirit of amity and fraternity?

I hope that you'll be able to pull of your large-scale raid into Prussia proper. How much can the Prussians still be hiding up there, in the fog of war? And did you succeed in cutting the supply lines to Freddie and company in Bavaria?

Last question: on the last screenshot, I can see two provinces around Magdeburg that have been looted. How did that happen?
 

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I wonder how much the French are going to complain now about not getting paid, what with them officially being at peace... Not to mention that the Austrians and the Prussians are also supposed to be at peace... I guess Daun and Nadasdy are merely going sightseeing, sampling the beer in Berlin in a spirit of amity and fraternity?

I hope that you'll be able to pull of your large-scale raid into Prussia proper. How much can the Prussians still be hiding up there, in the fog of war? And did you succeed in cutting the supply lines to Freddie and company in Bavaria?

Last question: on the last screenshot, I can see two provinces around Magdeburg that have been looted. How did that happen?
for a game where everyone is meant to be at peace ... there's an awful lot of testosterone being displayed. Except the French are going inert even more than before. By the look of it, those Prussian units in Bavaria must have found some supply from somewhere as it looks like about 3 corps worth of them are still active.

There are indications of multiple forces in a few cities (but that could be just 2 battalions not in the same formation) and a few weak brigades over in Silesia. Beyond that, I think that Prussia is pretty empty, which is one reason why I want to leave a flank guard to keep them out of Bohemia - they can take my cities far too fast for my liking.

I think the damage arouund Magdeburg would relate back to my brief siege & using cavalry to take military control of the region for my planned raid on Berlin. I've noticed that its not just cossacks who tend to set fire to things when riding out around checking there are no major Prussian forces hidden in haystacks and so on.
 

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In which the French take it easy: April 1763

As in previous campaigning seasons, the first month seems to be quiet as it takes time to move from winter quarters to engage. Also in early April snow still covered the mountain chains around Bohemia.



Up in the North West, I decide to stick to my current plan. Send one corps to Munster first and then to the Rhine, the other two to guard their cities and if I do retake Munster that will allow me to go hunting after the remaining British-Hannoverian units (or start a siege at Magdeburg again).

Munster exemplifies my problem. It took a weak Prussian force (but with lots of artillery) 4 weeks to capture, it'll take me 3-4 months to get it back.



over in Bohemia, despite the snow I order Daun and Nadasdy to move towards Dresden ... I need to gamble quite a lot to achieve all I need. In the meantime Lucchese (with additional artillery) is back off to Koenigratz and 2 corps will operate near Eger - hopefully keeping what is still a fairly powerful Prussian army bottled up in Bavaria



and, apart from all the marching, nothing actually happens



Here's Bavaria, my one remaining active French corps is redefiining the concept of active, by being asleep 2 turns out of 3. The problem is its strong enough to trash all those weak Prussian units taking my cities, if it would move. But once I've lost the city it takes a long siege to regain ... frustrating.

And, there are two fairly powerful Prussian corps over at Bayreuth. I really cannot afford for them to run amok in Bohemia.



Daun (who also is becoming a bit sleepy) and Nadrasdy close in on Dresden, my goal is to send Daun to Torgau to commence the siege while Nadasdy takes the unfortified towns in Saxony.



And again little happens. Except a new emerging problem. The French at Hannover and Bremen are getting into supply shortages - I think due to the loss of Munster and Koblenz, if I'm not careful (& I'm really not sure what I can do), I could end up losing Hannover and the Rhineland.
 

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You know that mournful trumpet sound that they always like to play in the Sunday mornig cartoons, to emphasize miserable failure? Wah-wah-waaaahhh... That's what I pictured when I saw the news of Typhus hitting the French in Bremen. As if they need any more reason to sit around lethargically.

I see your gamble to force the passes into Saxony paid off (no more snow!). Good. However, that seems to be about the extent of the good news in these turns. Not so great for the fast-approaching reckoning. Oh well, you're doing the best you can, can't ask for much more, eh?
 

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Interesting tactic by the Prussians to reverse your gains in the West. It looks like the French army's sacrifice allowed you to grab Prague though, and that is a significant acheivement.

Good luck reorganizing your French columns, I look forward to the coming Saxony offensive with great interest!
 

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You know that mournful trumpet sound that they always like to play in the Sunday mornig cartoons, to emphasize miserable failure? Wah-wah-waaaahhh... That's what I pictured when I saw the news of Typhus hitting the French in Bremen. As if they need any more reason to sit around lethargically.

I see your gamble to force the passes into Saxony paid off (no more snow!). Good. However, that seems to be about the extent of the good news in these turns. Not so great for the fast-approaching reckoning. Oh well, you're doing the best you can, can't ask for much more, eh?
in a way I wish the French were out of the war ... they are being worse than useless at the moment ... and the Typhus really did sum it up (I mean who catches Typhus in Bremen, isn't that meant to be something exotic?)

Interesting tactic by the Prussians to reverse your gains in the West. It looks like the French army's sacrifice allowed you to grab Prague though, and that is a significant acheivement.

Good luck reorganizing your French columns, I look forward to the coming Saxony offensive with great interest!
I remain impressed by the AI, ok its done some daft stuff (but so have I), but overall its kept me off balance & continues to do so. I need to just try and execute my plan (which won't work due to my slow siege work) & instead I'm bogged down dealing with its manouvres.
 

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tick, tock, time is running out: May 1763

Well no sign of Russia rejoining. I rather suspect some of the end of game mechanics don't quite work (& I guess few games go into 1763 as most will have reached a resolution long before now).

Anyway, this is so frustrating, but credit to the AI, it keeps on chucking me off balance, in effect its playing for the end game when the VP score comes into account. Whatever the reason, its decision making is impeccable, if all you want to do is to make me react as opposed to have free reign to do what I want to do.

over to the details:



Damn, damn, damn :eek:

Now where did that corps come from ... . Anyway while out for a run I was thinking about what to do - one problem with this game is you do think about moves and options all the time.

So far I've been obsessed with keeping my forces together, I'm going to copy the AI and leave brigades here and there (where I think its safe) to do the sieges (I'm so slow I may as well wait till starvation does the job).

The corps besieging Munster will split off 1 brigade (as you can see it outnumbers the defenders) and the rest will retake Dortmund and then try to protect my Rhine cities.

The corps falling back from Hamburg can stop and help defend Hannover (which is really critical as its a victory city).



and in Bavaria, their other 2 decent corps are massing on the border with Bohemia and due to sleeping sickness I have an isolated corps - best I can do is to plan to retire and hope.

Daun is having a rest (pah!), so Nadrasdy will detach a brigade at Dresden and take the bulk of his corps to capture Leipzig.



Well I feared that would happen and all in all not too bad a defeat



I didn't actually expect to be attacked, but a nice little victory



and Franz delivers ...



seems that incompetence in siegework is catching. Leipzig is a good stepping stone and helps further muck up their supply lines to Bavaria.



I now decide to try and bring Daun and Nadrasdy together (Franz needs a break anyway as his units are low on cohesion), I need to find a way to defeat those Prussian corps while still advancing northwards (they are too strong for my supposed rearguard formations) - clever AI.



and in N Germany, I'm pinned (daren't lose Hannover, not sure that Bremen is so critical any longer though) and Heinrich (I think its evil Heinrich) has cut loose in my rear - I expected him to go for Bremen but he actually went off to Munster - again I need to respond which is not what I wanted to have to do



And finally the French corps snoozing outside Frankfurt wakes up and does what I wanted it to do in February.



So I've lost another fort on the Rhine, which I will struggle to retake. Clearing Dortmund helps a bit, but I've now got Heinrich to worry about ....
 

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I think both Heinrichs are evil... But in the absence of a really gnarly 'tache, it's hard to know for sure.

Your plan is looking rather desparate, what with the twin obstacles of unexpectedly active Prussians in Western Germany and (really to be expected) snoozing Austrian and French generals everywhere. I say, take Berlin, put it to the torch and we'll call you a moral victor (no matter how big the VP gap, the Prussians have yet to threaten Wien - so if you can burn Berlin, that gives you at least that bit of satisfaction).

Good job hanging in there - one way or another, it'll all be over soon. :)
 

Narwhal

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Just a few points - I just read it from where I left you (one year ago).

The column of a Commander-in-Chief deals differentely with the posture compared to any other force. An army led by a C-i-C will NEVER assault a position, and I believe will always behave as if it was at most in defensive posture. In a battle with multiple columns, he will use his own column as reserve and never engage. That's one of the reason in my campaign against Baris I sometimes had a C-i-C column... with just a dude inside : the C-i-C himself... and thus why everyone ended in an hospital at Kassel.

It is never said in the manual - and really that's bad because it looks like a bug...

And that's why you had those 6 breaches in a city but could never assault.

As for the war that carries on after the peace is signed, I think there is a delay between the peace treaty and the end of the hostilities... Ya' know - time for everyone to get the memo. But several monthes for the French is a bit too much...


Also, you should really need to give engineers and siege guns to those stacks that siege, the combination helps an awful lot. Prussians usually can afford to have one siege gun per (large) column at least, and engineers in one serious column out of 3 - and you cannot match this. But with some organisation, you can make sure you only siege with the "good" stacks.

Finally, nice to see that by the end of the war, both sides look completely exhausted. It is realistic.
 
Last edited:

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Just a few points - I just read it from where I left you (one year ago).

The column of a Commander-in-Chief deals differentely with the posture compared to any other force. An army led by a C-i-C will NEVER assault a position, and I believe will always behave as if it was at most in defensive posture. In a battle with multiple columns, he will use his own column as reserve and never engage. That's one of the reason in my campaign against Baris I sometimes had a C-i-C column... with just a dude inside : the C-i-C himself... and thus why everyone ended in an hospital at Kassel.
It's not, that they never engage: But CiC's are the last ones to engage. Thus: If you want to assault a structure, you have to make sure that
1. there's only your CiC around. Then he will assault without any problem.
2. you give the assault posture to another force that's powerful enough.


Also, you should really need to give engineers and siege guns to those stacks that siege, the combination helps an awful lot. Prussians usually can afford to have one siege gun per (large) column at least, and engineers in one serious column out of 3 - and you cannot match this. But with some organisation, you can make sure you only siege with the "good" stacks.
Actually I'm not sure, if one really needs the combination of pioneers and siege guns. But at least one of them per siege stack should be helpful. It also matters to have other Guns around, since Artillerie power points determine siege progress.
In my last game my french and austrian armies had each only one stack to conduct the sieges, both with siege guns, at least 4 other guns and pioneers. In only one occasion the fortresses that I besieged managed to repair a breach. I find it much easier to plan my advances if I can say for sure that it will only take one turn to finish a siege at Bremen, for example.
 

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It's not, that they never engage: But CiC's are the last ones to engage. Thus: If you want to assault a structure, you have to make sure that
Last to engage in a battle, it was a mental typo from me.

I never knew your "trick" about assault with C-i-C, though. Thank you.
 

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I think both Heinrichs are evil... But in the absence of a really gnarly 'tache, it's hard to know for sure.

Your plan is looking rather desparate, what with the twin obstacles of unexpectedly active Prussians in Western Germany and (really to be expected) snoozing Austrian and French generals everywhere. I say, take Berlin, put it to the torch and we'll call you a moral victor (no matter how big the VP gap, the Prussians have yet to threaten Wien - so if you can burn Berlin, that gives you at least that bit of satisfaction).

Good job hanging in there - one way or another, it'll all be over soon. :)
well I did try the 'lets have fun torching Berlin' gambit, even that didn't quite pay off

Just a few points - I just read it from where I left you (one year ago).

The column of a Commander-in-Chief deals differentely with the posture compared to any other force. An army led by a C-i-C will NEVER assault a position, and I believe will always behave as if it was at most in defensive posture. In a battle with multiple columns, he will use his own column as reserve and never engage. That's one of the reason in my campaign against Baris I sometimes had a C-i-C column... with just a dude inside : the C-i-C himself... and thus why everyone ended in an hospital at Kassel.

It is never said in the manual - and really that's bad because it looks like a bug...

And that's why you had those 6 breaches in a city but could never assault.

As for the war that carries on after the peace is signed, I think there is a delay between the peace treaty and the end of the hostilities... Ya' know - time for everyone to get the memo. But several monthes for the French is a bit too much...

Also, you should really need to give engineers and siege guns to those stacks that siege, the combination helps an awful lot. Prussians usually can afford to have one siege gun per (large) column at least, and engineers in one serious column out of 3 - and you cannot match this. But with some organisation, you can make sure you only siege with the "good" stacks.

Finally, nice to see that by the end of the war, both sides look completely exhausted. It is realistic.
It's not, that they never engage: But CiC's are the last ones to engage. Thus: If you want to assault a structure, you have to make sure that
1. there's only your CiC around. Then he will assault without any problem.
2. you give the assault posture to another force that's powerful enough.


Actually I'm not sure, if one really needs the combination of pioneers and siege guns. But at least one of them per siege stack should be helpful. It also matters to have other Guns around, since Artillerie power points determine siege progress.
In my last game my french and austrian armies had each only one stack to conduct the sieges, both with siege guns, at least 4 other guns and pioneers. In only one occasion the fortresses that I besieged managed to repair a breach. I find it much easier to plan my advances if I can say for sure that it will only take one turn to finish a siege at Bremen, for example.
Last to engage in a battle, it was a mental typo from me.

I never knew your "trick" about assault with C-i-C, though. Thank you.
Re the C-i-C, that does make some sense of a comment on the AGEOD forum I read - something about they wanted players not to assign formations directly to the army commander. It made little sense as I couldn't work out why not & in truth am still not totally sure.

As to the siege thing. I'm not sure. Your comments could explain why I could never get an assault on Frankfurt (a while back) & Nuremberg but in the turns I've just played, Daun (c-i-c) gleefully took out Dresden even though Nadasdy was also present with a corps (Daun had attack orders as he was meant to go to Torgau, N had passive orders to recover organisation).

The other thing that seems random, but may just be my stances etc, is attacking unwalled towns. The AI consistently does this automatically, I sometimes do and on other occassions it will take 2-3 turns before someone actually makes an attack. What would be handy, ideally in the manual is a sort of idiots guide - you want to do this, set up the stances this way - ok its not infallible and not for every situation but it would help a lot.

I do think that constructing a special siege corps for both Austrians and French is a great idea - certainly something I'd do in a new game.
 

loki100

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Staggering to the line: June-December 1763

I'll conflate these turns and deal with them fairly quickly. If I'd played defensively - guard Bohemia, contest the Rhine cities, I'd have probably done ok. As it was there were too many Prussian units still active and once I got out of position, it all fell apart.

Over on the Rhine, there was a large force with Freddie of about 40,000 and two smaller columns of 10-12,000. Each was more than a match for my French corps (of which I had 5 each of 10-15,000).

It was the late June turn that more or less ended any chance of achieving anything when:



Fred ripped apart one of my few decent French forces. That left 4 corps, one stuck at Frankfurt, 2 at Hannover and 1 at Bremen. I decided to abandon Bremen and bring 2 corps back but could make no progress even against the smaller Prussiann units.

The end result was I lost Wesel (a key city) by late August and almost all the central Rhine cities by the game end.

I even managed to lose Bruxelles, off map:



Over in Austria they had 2 corps amounting to around 36,000, a smaller force of 10,000 at Torgau and as I found out 8-10,000 at Berlin.

In part due to an outbreak of snoozing, the 2 corps escaped my force around Eger and hit the combined armies of Daun and Nadasdy at Leipzig:



whichi in the abstract was not a massive defeat but it wrecked any chance to move beyond Saxony. The result was a campaign where I traded Dresden and Leipzig back and forth, they briefly took Prag (I got it back) and in the end I sent Nadasdy off to raid Berlin:



The second of those battles more or less sums up what was happening. The French were losing so many ping-pong battles that my NM was really low, so an attack at almost 2.5:1 led by a good general still fails.



Thats the NM situation at the end. I actually ended up with one less (Wesel) critical city than I started the summer with).

Elsewhere Lucchese's force at Koenigratz collapsed due to lack of supply - could never work out why.

There were no French/British surrenders, so not sure if that was a product of random chance or if those events don't work properly and the Russians didn't re-enter.

The other bit I couldn't really understand was why those Prussians behind my lines (in Bohemia and at the Rhine) never seemed to suffer for lack of supply - my forces did as they'd cut my supply lines but in turn I know I cut their supply lines as I was using my last few cavalry formations to take back military control of any roads.

So, the decision was:



To which I cannot complain given the sheer number of mistakes I made, especially early on.

I'll do a final round up/review post of both bits of advice (that are not clear) and the few bits that could be usefully improved (the combat ping-pong mechanic is one).

Really good game though.
 
Last edited:

TheExecuter

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Congratulations on surviving your first game.

Impressive achievement to see this all the way through. I can't wait for your final analysis...

:D
 

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Thank you, loki, for this great AAR. Very cool, that you kept reporting regularly until the end of the game: Not many achieve that. It was a very good and interesting read to me. Would you mind to write another one? :D

I started an AAR myself (here). Now it's autumn 57 and I'm sure that I'll achieve victory by 58: AI in my game didn't behalf as well as in yours. After a very tough start (they conquered Prague in 56), it split its forces too much and now it's going to siegeFrankfurt with everyone, not caring about my troops that already conquered Breslau and all of northern germany - pushing on to berlin form 4 directions). I hadn't checked the hardest activation rule, though, so it was much easier for me to plan my moves, than it was for you.

But it's great to see, that the AI can achieve victory (or at least a good stalemate) even against a good player.

I'm looking forward to your conclusion. :)
 

loki100

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Congratulations on surviving your first game.

Impressive achievement to see this all the way through. I can't wait for your final analysis...

:D
I think given where I'd got to in 1759 even surviving to the end is some achievement ... it was very tempting to give up then

Thank you, loki, for this great AAR. Very cool, that you kept reporting regularly until the end of the game: Not many achieve that. It was a very good and interesting read to me. Would you mind to write another one? :D

I started an AAR myself (here). Now it's autumn 57 and I'm sure that I'll achieve victory by 58: AI in my game didn't behalf as well as in yours. After a very tough start (they conquered Prague in 56), it split its forces too much and now it's going to siegeFrankfurt with everyone, not caring about my troops that already conquered Breslau and all of northern germany - pushing on to berlin form 4 directions). I hadn't checked the hardest activation rule, though, so it was much easier for me to plan my moves, than it was for you.

But it's great to see, that the AI can achieve victory (or at least a good stalemate) even against a good player.

I'm looking forward to your conclusion. :)
Your AAR is fascinating (I can read enough Dutch to follow German in context), but I see what you mean. The Prussian AI starts out much more aggressive than in my game but split up into smalll columns before your main armies were badly damaged allowing you to regain control. I do think that the activation rule was critical to how this played out - I just wouldn't have lost so much to attrition or when it was isolated otherwise.

I'll definitely do another AAR using RoP, its too good a game, even SP, not too. One option is to a lavish history book (or biographical?) style treatment with lots of period looking battle maps and so on. Reckon that would work well and there is enough information in the game engine to sustain it. The problem is it is very timeconsuming and I'm rather caught up with my Soviet one in the same style for the moment. Could also work well as a set of letters between a group of individuals or as a black comedy. I've always been a fan of Hasek's Good Soldier Svejk (can't do Czech letters) and this would be an ideal vehicle to try that with.

But first I want to do a couple of private run throughs - one as Prussia & another as Austria. I find it an easy game to fit short sessions in when I'm busy as I can't really concentrate for more than a couple of turns at a time in any case.
 

loki100

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Overall comments

Big Strategy Stuff

Well I made 2 huge early mistakes. In effect with the Swedes and Russians take your time. I tried to do too much with both too early and lost badly. As a threat in being there were a distraction, even if just some detached Prussian units in case I made a move. This turn was the fatal mistake with the Russians – I should simply have left Koenigratz to 1758 and not lost so much to attrition in the winter 57-58.

Overall I might then have become too cautious over winter, but I lost a lot to attrition in 57-59 so think that is the safer option. Especially if you are playing with the activation rule I used.

More generally, had I not lost so many battalions early on (mostly to attrition), I would have been better placed later on to contest the AI's gambit of breaking its armies up and running about in my rear. I reckon I was initially too keen to get everything I had into the front, a few reserve forces would have been a better bet.

I never really got the decision about when to concentrate (often for safety) and when to split up right. Even re-reading, I often think I made reasonable choices, so this is one of the delights of the game – there are no right answers.

In 1759, I made a lot of use of hold at all costs defense orders. Not the best plan, all things being equal being more flexible would have left me with more troops at the end of the battles and stopped the brutal drain on my NM.

I was genuinely pleased with my operations in Bohemia from 1760-2. Given where I was at the end of 1759, I managed to keep the Prussians sort of at bay, rebuild so I had a quite large army and retake key cities. If I'd not gone for victory in 1763, I'd have regained all Bohemia and maybe south Saxony instead.

I lost too many of my Hussar units to supply early on. Late game when the fronts were stretched, they would have been invaluable for chopping up the Prussian supply lines.

No matter what you do with the Austrians and French, you will not be as effective at sieges as the Prussians. That means if the AI breaks into your rear area, you ideally need reserves to chase them down before you start losing key cities (and this relates back to my horrendous supply induced losses early on).

The activation rule I picked really influenced the game. Once I was used to it (& it remained frustrating) I started to tailor my operations around the problem. Without it, I do think the Austrian player (especially against the AI) will just overwhelm the Prussians by weight of numbers. I don't think that 'hard' or the 'more time' rules made that much difference (though hard added to my problem of actually catching the Prussians in the relatively mobile warfare at the end).

Recruitment.

Can only recommend anyone to read Narwhal's thread on this. I printed it out and used as a reference. There is nothing to add to the core of that, but some observations from the Austrian side:

a – Your HRE and Bavarian units will not reinforce (not helped as you lose all those HRE cities up around Hamburg pretty early on). So don't do as I did and pull them back to recover – they won't so you may as well march and fight them to their elimination. But for the Austrians and the French it really is a good idea to send badly damaged battalions to the rear – they will recover over time and its far cheaper and more efficient than new builds;
b – especially for the Russians, depot battalions seem to be the key route to gain reinforcements, so build those in a ratio of 1:2/3 with regular new units;
c – your actual flow of reinforcements to your units or for new builds does depend on NM and cities held (in essence I think the ones on the RHS of the progress page in the ledger);
d – for the Austrians, EP and £s are the constraints on claiming the reinforcement options in the ledger. EP in particular, so you may often not be able to generate as much as you'd like (especially due to the game mechanic of taking EP to restore your NM).

You can be a bit cautious about claiming the 'raise new generals options'. I did this at the start but with hindsight I never had a shortage of potential brigade commanders, even without my massive attrition losses you will lose a lot of battalions as things go on.

Supply

Bits of it I still never really understood, but here's a tip, Don't be afraid to send supply wagons back to the nearest source of supply if you see a unit with the 50% red status. You sometimes don't need to do this, but often setting up this sort of shuttle (especially if you have a big army in one province) will really help out. Not realising this cost me 2-3 corps of French troops at Wesel in 1758.

Organising brigades.

If you understand the game this is obvious, but it took me a while to understand. If a commander with no troops is either inactive or has the 'cannot do offensive' status you can't attach battalions to him – it took me a lot of frustration to work this out.

When France first joins, and as those Austrians that start at Wien activate, you do need to spend a lot of time on this. Its not too bad once everyone is organised though.

I did, especially with the Austrians try and make sure each infantry brigade had a skirmish battalion – you have a lot of these (Grenzlers) and they are easy to raise. Its one of the few gains you have over the Prussians. Beyond that I wasn't really that careful at the sub-brigade level and kept national contingents apart till late in the war when I has so few HRE/Bavarian battalions left.

Grumbles

Almost none. Maybe the late game events are not working or it may be that they just didn't fire in my game.

The only one I really didn't like (& I gained as much as I lost from it), is the retreat ping-pong, especially when there are valid unoccupied provinces to retire to.

I now realise you are meant to use your C-i-C not as a direct corps commander. This is ok (use the move together command with one of your combat corps), but could be stated a bit clearer, especially as to the consequences of allocating brigades direct to the commander. But this clearly had something to do with the French habit of overdoing their enthusiasm for knocking down walls at a few sieges.

Overall

Its a game best played slowly. On the more complex turns, there is a lot to do and double check. I found my pattern of 2 active of 4 inactive turns at a sitting worked well (took me say 30-45 mins to do) and meant I kept my attention level up. Its not a game to play on autopilot.

I was very impressed with the AI. I think it moves too much in winter for its own good, but it made some astute choices and kept me off balance almost all game (& genuinely surprised me a few times). Its strategic choice in 1757 to prioritise Sweden was good as it then allowed it to concentrate on the Austrians and French. It also was quite skilled at force tailoring. For example in 1761 it managed to match off against the French in Bavaria and Austrians in Bohemia quite precisely so I could make no progress in either theatre.

Final comment – its a really brilliant game. Not only does it fully merit replay but when my cash flow allows I'll try and pick up either Birth of America or the Napoleon one. You have to unlearn a lot of Paradox mindsets, but to me it captures the essence of this fascinating war to perfection.
 

Narwhal

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Congratulation on that outstanding AAR. You finished it before mine :)

In any case - do you have any additional project with AGEOD ? :)
 

Narwhal

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Message crossing over your long summing up. I liked it. Thank you for the ad, too :)

You should take BoA:WiA over NCP - it is my favorite AGEOD game, and the best for PBEM for now... Plus you will be able to play the 7YW on the American Front... at which I am currently being badly beaten by Azanagar as we speak.