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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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baris30

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Marvelous AAR well done Loki :) Im very glad you did it. And thanks for the efforts you put into.
From my early readings there were some strange behavious of AI that I think mostly because Swedish defeated very early.(As you already said that was a mistake not to take it slow. Swedish forces are indeed very fragile thats why I try to use them as support forces.)Frederick concentrated there and was lost a little bit and alittle late to advance south.But in the end I liked how athena put challange. As playing Prussia (against hard AI )sometimes bad rolls in battles can put me in terrible situation. AI is very sophisticated and good for this type of detailed warfare.
You made things difficult for yourself by hardest activation rule. But I think you performed better in late game though I have to read all of it. I hope to understand all the wording thanks to my excellent english :D

Edit: As for winter movement: AI indeed can lose few strength points(much better with the last beta) while moving in winter but the AFAIK the reason for this movement is not to be completely passive. If AI will be passive in winter it would be predictable for the player and resulting easy conquest in some objective cities in winter.
Interesting note about winter and battles: In our game with Narwhal all the devastating battles took place in the middle of winter:D . You never know or predict when the human player will force you to battle.
As a whole, as you described it is a game meant to be played slowly and patiently, Im glad you enjoyed it.
 
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hgilmer

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Hi everyone. I have been reading this AAR for the last 2 days and I thought it was brilliant. I started out thinking you would be crushed. Then it looked like you would be crushed. Then through brilliant execution and strategy you did something that I think Frederick was renowned for - bringing victory out of what looked like utter defeat. Ultimately, it was stalemate, though, but even that really amazed me. You are much better at this than I am.

One point I'd like to make that I learned from playing AACW was that I was told it ultimately does not matter if you score more victory points if you don't meet your objectives. I had a 2K advantage in my AACW game and I was told, "But you didn't collect all your objectives, so you still landed with a stalemate". It was somewhat of a letdown.

/cheer though for a fantastic AAR.
 

Stuyvesant

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Congratulations on finishing the game. A stalemate seems a reasonable outcome, given the early disasters and the late-game unravelling of your plans. I think you played very well and showed an increasing understanding of the game as you played on. It was instructive to follow along (and it made me want to give RUS another try - we'll see if that pans out). Looking forward to another AAR, though in some ways, I doubt it'll be as surprusing as this game, since you'll start off with a much better idea of how the game works. Still, if you turn it into a historybook or other narrative, that hardly needs to be of concern. :)
 

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Hey loki, thanks for your final comment. So we can take out more than just entertaining hours out of this aar. :)
I picked out a few points that I don't agree with. I hope, you don't feel offended by that.

Big Strategy Stuff
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 don't agree with that: Given that your supply lines are fine, this is a decision between: Having a good chance to win but to lose more if you lose or having a bad chance to win but suffer a little fewer losses. In most cases, I would argue, that the better chance to win is more worthwile.

But actually, as I almost never played with the hardest activation rule, you might be right in this case.

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.

What about the 20.000 Cossacks? Haven't you used them everywhere? Plus: Like you mentioned elsewhere, I've got the impression that AI doesn't suffer losses to low supply on higher difficulty level. So it wouldn't have helped you much. It is, of course, always bad to lose units to supply, no matter if they are badly needed. :)

No matter what you do with the Austrians and French, you will not be as effective at sieges as the Prussians.

Another point I don't agree with: Siege progress needs guns, guns, guns. It doesn't make a difference, if it's prussian or austrian guns. So I'd rather advice to concentrate guns in siege stacks.

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.

Hm. I made other experiences. HRE units get refilled as fast as everyone else, as far as I know. Especially in the beginning, when the Reichsarmee starts with half-depleted units, you really need Depot Btl.

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;

I don't know if that's a good idea: Russia has two downsides: Low supply on their way west (healthier elements don't help to reduce losses to supply), and a relatively short time they are in the game: I think, that if one builds russian units at all, it should be suppy wagons.

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);

I don't think that is true for RoP:

(// Rules to NOT differentiate the NM effect on combat and on production - default is false for ROP and true for others.

rulMoraleUsedSplProd = 0


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.

One can mod this quite easily, I believe:
Settings/Control&Retreat.opt said:
ctlRetreatPrevSubSpaceCoeffH = 250 // Coefficient applied to the interest if the region is the one where we are coming from
cltRetPenaltyPerNmySU = 4 // retreat penalty (in interest pts) for each nmy SU in retreating region

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.

As Prussian player it would be a waste of opportunities not to use Frederick as stack commander in battles (also Daun is a great fighter which one should not waste). But you have to make sure, that no other stacks are in the same province, when you want to fight with the CiC-Column. (Marching to the sound of guns seems to be another thing).

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.
[/QUOTE]

Yes, that's exactly my feeling. :) Cheers again.
 

morningSIDEr

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Well done on completing another excellent AAR. The game truly looks very impressive in terms of the depth, largely due to the challenging AI and the ending stalemate seems a good result considering what was thrown at your throughout the game. Typing this, I still thought you may have been able to pull a victory out of the bag until the very end as you managed to recover brilliantly numerous times. I know you have your two other AARs ongoing at present but I hope you begin another AGEOD one soon, this made for a fantastic read.
 

loki100

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First, thank you to everyone for comments both as the AAR trundled along & at the end. They've been invaluable in clarifying what is going on and hopefully making the AAR more use as a sort of Paradox----AGEOD conversion read.

Second, will most definitely do another using RoP. My instinct is for a history book style and play around with using the battle reports to produce maps/detail etc. An alternative could be in the style of letters or, if I could work out how to do it, as mentioned a few times a black comedy based around Jaroslav Hasek's Good Soldier Svejk (some of my marches had me thinking of Svejk's personal Anabasis). If I go the History Book option, most likely, I need to finish my current Soviet one first, its too time consuming otherwise.


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

Having had a look and reading comments etc I think I will pick up BoA. From my reading, the warfare in N America up to the turn of the nineteenth century was very different and I can see how the AGEOD approach would simulate it well.

Marvelous AAR well done Loki :) Im very glad you did it. And thanks for the efforts you put into.
From my early readings there were some strange behavious of AI that I think mostly because Swedish defeated very early.(As you already said that was a mistake not to take it slow. Swedish forces are indeed very fragile thats why I try to use them as support forces.)Frederick concentrated there and was lost a little bit and alittle late to advance south.But in the end I liked how athena put challange. As playing Prussia (against hard AI )sometimes bad rolls in battles can put me in terrible situation. AI is very sophisticated and good for this type of detailed warfare.
You made things difficult for yourself by hardest activation rule. But I think you performed better in late game though I have to read all of it. I hope to understand all the wording thanks to my excellent english :D

Edit: As for winter movement: AI indeed can lose few strength points(much better with the last beta) while moving in winter but the AFAIK the reason for this movement is not to be completely passive. If AI will be passive in winter it would be predictable for the player and resulting easy conquest in some objective cities in winter.
Interesting note about winter and battles: In our game with Narwhal all the devastating battles took place in the middle of winter:D . You never know or predict when the human player will force you to battle.
As a whole, as you described it is a game meant to be played slowly and patiently, Im glad you enjoyed it.

I can see the sense about winter movement. Looking back, I think the AI harmed itself in the winter 61-62 by moving and gained in winter 62-63 when it got into better positions than I did (I was far too cautious about winter at that stage). Equally if it is hard coded not to move then yes, its all too easy for a player to exploit.

Its one of those things that is incredibly hard to get right when trying to write a rules based script for the AI.

With English my problem is that for my work I tend to use a very formal, semi-academic style. So I do tend to make far too much use of sub-clauses etc, even when writing up an AAR:eek:o

Hi everyone. I have been reading this AAR for the last 2 days and I thought it was brilliant. I started out thinking you would be crushed. Then it looked like you would be crushed. Then through brilliant execution and strategy you did something that I think Frederick was renowned for - bringing victory out of what looked like utter defeat. Ultimately, it was stalemate, though, but even that really amazed me. You are much better at this than I am.

One point I'd like to make that I learned from playing AACW was that I was told it ultimately does not matter if you score more victory points if you don't meet your objectives. I had a 2K advantage in my AACW game and I was told, "But you didn't collect all your objectives, so you still landed with a stalemate". It was somewhat of a letdown.

/cheer though for a fantastic AAR.

It certainly is hard to win. With the Prussians I think if you'd destroyed the Austro-French armies by late 1761 you probably could win in game terms by capturing all the cities but with the Austrians you'd need to have destroyed the Prussian armies by early 1761 given the speed of siege work with your lack of guns.

In that sense, the stalemate sounds right and probably was inevitable in the circumstances - so it becomes a case of setting your own goals and criteria which I rather like.

But yes, I really thought I'd lost in 1759 when Freddie ripped Daun's armies to pieces (note to self, the defend at all costs stance does not really increase your chance of winning - it just increases your losses). I actually like games where you're forced to a grim backs to the wall style defense - it seems to suit my game play approach.

Congratulations on finishing the game. A stalemate seems a reasonable outcome, given the early disasters and the late-game unravelling of your plans. I think you played very well and showed an increasing understanding of the game as you played on. It was instructive to follow along (and it made me want to give RUS another try - we'll see if that pans out). Looking forward to another AAR, though in some ways, I doubt it'll be as surprusing as this game, since you'll start off with a much better idea of how the game works. Still, if you turn it into a historybook or other narrative, that hardly needs to be of concern. :)

I don't think its a good idea to do a second in this style. It worked as it was as much a voyage into the unknown for me as most readers, but the next one requires a bit more packaging to make it interesting. This also worked as I could play for about 30 mins in one work break, do the images a bit later and fairly quickly write it up.

Hey loki, thanks for your final comment. So we can take out more than just entertaining hours out of this aar. :)
I picked out a few points that I don't agree with. I hope, you don't feel offended by that.

Not at all - I'm hard to offend ;)

I don't agree with that: Given that your supply lines are fine, this is a decision between: Having a good chance to win but to lose more if you lose or having a bad chance to win but suffer a little fewer losses. In most cases, I would argue, that the better chance to win is more worthwile.

But actually, as I almost never played with the hardest activation rule, you might be right in this case.

Broadly I agree, and its certainly not obvious (which is good) as to which approach is the best. What I did a bit too much of though was to overload one or two columns (with the command malus over 20%) and I know think it would have been better to have left those extra brigades to the rear.

The other problem I had was I felt I needed to concentrate or an isolated column would be badly beaten - now that was in part linked to the activation rule as I had to be fairly cautious about moving a large body of forces forward and did not dare send out corps on their own too often.

What about the 20.000 Cossacks? Haven't you used them everywhere? Plus: Like you mentioned elsewhere, I've got the impression that AI doesn't suffer losses to low supply on higher difficulty level. So it wouldn't have helped you much. It is, of course, always bad to lose units to supply, no matter if they are badly needed. :)

I'm afraid most of the cossacks were lost in the first winter with the Russians, which was a pity as they would have been invaluable when I moved west later on.

I've checked and you're right the AI is immune to supply problems at hard etc. That explains why they did so well when I was busy cutting up their supply lines.

Another point I don't agree with: Siege progress needs guns, guns, guns. It doesn't make a difference, if it's prussian or austrian guns. So I'd rather advice to concentrate guns in siege stacks.

Completely agree, its not nationality but artillery that makes the real difference. Its just the Prussians have so many more guns than the Austrians. I tended to scatter my few around and next time I'd concentrate them in a few selected corps and keep those for either siege work or as the core of a larger army.

Hm. I made other experiences. HRE units get refilled as fast as everyone else, as far as I know. Especially in the beginning, when the Reichsarmee starts with half-depleted units, you really need Depot Btl.

It may be that in my game I lost all those HRE cities up around Hamburg very early on so they had no recruitment base except the few cities down around Fulda? But I left the HRE-Bavarian army in the rear for most of 1760 and it never really recovered while Austrian units tucked back at Wien came back to full strength reasonably promptly.

I don't know if that's a good idea: Russia has two downsides: Low supply on their way west (healthier elements don't help to reduce losses to supply), and a relatively short time they are in the game: I think, that if one builds russian units at all, it should be suppy wagons.

Again it may just reflect my game. After the first winter I had a lot of very weak Russian battalions and really needed them to regain some strength. But if you avoid that mistake it may well be you are as well just to recruit combat units and not worry too much abour replacements.

Well done on completing another excellent AAR. The game truly looks very impressive in terms of the depth, largely due to the challenging AI and the ending stalemate seems a good result considering what was thrown at your throughout the game. Typing this, I still thought you may have been able to pull a victory out of the bag until the very end as you managed to recover brilliantly numerous times. I know you have your two other AARs ongoing at present but I hope you begin another AGEOD one soon, this made for a fantastic read.

Its one of those games were losing is fun. Rome is an example of a game where losing ceases to be fun after a while due to how the war score/province loss system works. But this would have been entertaining even if all you were doing was trying to disrupt the inevitable.

With hindsight, I did 3 big things wrong - too active with the Swedes early on, should have left Koenigratz to 1759 with the Russians and Daun at Dippoldiswalde in 1759. In combination there was no way could I recover from those but it was great fun trying to. That stripped me of my one real advantage over the Prussians in terms of numbers and the AI could always block me with a similar or smaller sized force. Equally I lost the ability to attack from multiple directions.
 

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Congratulation on your victory for the AARland, Loki100 !