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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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loki100

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It does. It is recovering cohesion.

The stack has some supply wagon, and is closed enough from a depot so that the supply spent to avoid being hit by winter are "recovered" on the same turn. The weather was probably fairly mild, while cold.

ah thats good ... well its good that I was interpreting the data correctly, can they trace a supply line over blocked passes then?

That Prussian force gained something like 150 strength points from recovering cohesion - and all that's happening to you is that you're losing a bunch of Saxons in Pirna (primarily through desertion). That doesn't strike me as the most auspicious start, but then Austria is in it for the long haul, right?

Well, if I understand the situation in the real war, the quick demise of the Saxons was a real shock as everyone thought they had a decent large army. With hindsight etc, I'd written them off from the start, I couldn't do anything to relieve them, so when I had the chance to use them in a battle it seemed a good way to cull some Prussians with units that were already lost.

thinking of Narwhal's game, if that sort of replicates then 1757 is going to be pretty tough, then French and Russian pressure may start to tell. So my fundamental goal is not to lose a large force, if I can keep Prag I'll be pretty content.
 

loki100

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Late Jan 1757: An important job interview takes place

Here's a couple of the set-up options I've chosen and how they affect game play:



This makes my forces very unlikely to move if inactive and gives the AI an attrition advantage (which I think just compensates for the AI being a bit less careful about avoiding attrition)



This shows I've given the AI more time, and the effect of 'hard'.

Charles of Lorraine has appeared ...



we'll come back to him later on

I've also got various formations pilling up in Prag, so need to raise some more Corps:



I'll stop doing much detail on raising new forces and re-organising armies for now. Suffice it to say that one feature of the game is spending quite a while on those tasks, so even turns with no active movement take a fair bit of time. I'm flying a bit blind as to whether I'm making a good selection in this respect, & at some stage need to think seriously about force allocation for the 1757 campaigning season.

But before we go on, lets have a closer look at my two senior commanders (you can open this screen for any commander or unit ... the unit portraits can only be described as beautiful in the level of detail)

So, the inert Browne:



as you can see, in addition to poor basic stats, he has two, rather negative, character traits ... no wonder the more heroic Daun scuttled off to take over Picolomini's snow-averse corps:



Now that is much better ... good basic stats and two pretty useful traits, though in the true Austrian tradition he is rather cautious.

So back to the game, as you all want to know what happened at the end of last turn?



Well very little, except that the Saxons surrendered with no more fighting and I lose some National Morale as a result.

Elsewhere, the only movement was by von Preussen, I think looking for an unblocked route back to Chemnitz:



All those replacements I ordered up last turn are now available:



Some people have appeared:

Russians ...



Swedes ....



Oh and Browne disappeared ... obviously the loss of Prina was too much for his over-stressed liver:



Now I have an army with no commander ... and 2 candidates, so in the spirit of modern HR practice, we need an interview process:



So Lorraine thinks it should be his (but he's actually worse than Browne), Daun is on other criteria the obvious person - but there is a small hit on my morale due to ignoring the proper hierachy. Well the Austrian Empire didn't get here by ignoring the hierachy (no it got here by sleeping with 80% of Europe) ... Daun, you're the man ... now go back to Prag and take charge:



So what with the loss of Prina and putting Daun in charge, my national morale has dipped a little:



Since one was forced on me and the other not a hard choice, I think I can cope with that.
 

Narwhal

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The fact that you used "Historical - player only" attrition explains why Frederick does not suffer from winter ;)

You obviously like challenges, given the configuration of your game. Good for you, good for the AAR.

As for organiazing brigades, I am no expert, but I know these basic rules :

- Don't mix cavalry with anything else
- Try to use the leader specialty when possible (cavalry leaders with cavalry, ...)
- Try to mix Elite troops with not elite, to spread out the damage
- Try to put one light unit in each brigade, so everyone got the "skirmisher" bonus.
- [A little gamey - I don't do it] You can try to mix different nationalities in a brigade, to spread up the damage and avoid having lots of available reinforcement element for one nationality and none at all for another.

That Prussian army South of Chemnitz looks trapped. You should try to destroy it !

I LOVE the very dynamic way you present the SC. You probably need a LOT of patience to do that ! But it looks awesome and I take pleasure in looking at each of them.

Good choice with Von Daun as C-i-C. The strategic rating of the C-i-C enhance the chance of generals under his order to be activated... Need I say more ?
 
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Narwhal

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Small historical notes :

Browne died at the Battle of Prag in late 1757... just like two Prussian important generals : von Schwerin and the mysterious von Winterfeldt.

Lorraine is a poor general. Just have a look at the Battle of Leuthen on Wikipedia to see that. He was not AS bad as Soubise, though, who is portrayed as poor-but-not-horrible in RoP.
 

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- Don't mix cavalry with anything else

One small addendum - you can mix cavarly with light infrantry (like jaegers) and with lightcav/lightinf combo units (like the frech chasseurs).
 

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Well presented AAR and certainly harsh activation rule is the better choice against hard Prussia AI. Other then that +2 FOG bonus really helps the AI to have better decisions. In my games I tried +4 or no FOW, but it resulted more long marches and deep raids with smaller forces from AI(but ineffective), so +2 is good.

About cavalry from my understanding from battle mechanics is that: units attack bigger units, brigades at first when engaging battle. Generally Austrian and Prussian cavalry units consist of 5 elements. But French and other Faction cavalry can have at most 2 elements max in a unit. So I sometimes mix Austrian heavy cavalry(also to spread the damage they take; heavy cavalry relacements are very low) with some line inf in order to get bonus to assault value. But not with French cavalry(though if they are targetted they can be wiped out more easily). Because as they low power rating they will be targetted less in a battle. Bot not true for Austrian, Prussian ""only cavalry brigades. "Only cavalry" brigades can have difficulty in battle against only inf brigades with the latest patch.
 
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loki100

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Well, I have no idea about this game but I'll follow and chime in with "helpful" remarks every now and again :)

puts you in almost the same situation as me ... actually I can't overdo my enthusiasm for this game -- its such an overlooked period (so close to the Napoleonic wars), it was the very first war fought on a global scale, and the game itself seems simple but is so deep ... even single player you have to slow down, take your time, savour the game, and the way you set up your orders and then watch as it all happens is a really nice feeling of helplessness.

The fact that you used "Historical - player only" attrition explains why Frederick does not suffer from winter ;)

You obviously like challenges, given the configuration of your game. Good for you, good for the AAR.

As for organiazing brigades, I am no expert, but I know these basic rules :

- Don't mix cavalry with anything else
- Try to use the leader specialty when possible (cavalry leaders with cavalry, ...)
- Try to mix Elite troops with not elite, to spread out the damage
- Try to put one light unit in each brigade, so everyone got the "skirmisher" bonus.
- [A little gamey - I don't do it] You can try to mix different nationalities in a brigade, to spread up the damage and avoid having lots of available reinforcement element for one nationality and none at all for another.

That Prussian army South of Chemnitz looks trapped. You should try to destroy it !

I LOVE the very dynamic way you present the SC. You probably need a LOT of patience to do that ! But it looks awesome and I take pleasure in looking at each of them.

Good choice with Von Daun as C-i-C. The strategic rating of the C-i-C enhance the chance of generals under his order to be activated... Need I say more ?
Small historical notes :
Browne died at the Battle of Prag in late 1757... just like two Prussian important generals : von Schwerin and the mysterious von Winterfeldt.
Lorraine is a poor general. Just have a look at the Battle of Leuthen on Wikipedia to see that. He was not AS bad as Soubise, though, who is portrayed as poor-but-not-horrible in RoP.
One small addendum - you can mix cavarly with light infrantry (like jaegers) and with lightcav/lightinf combo units (like the frech chasseurs).
Well presented AAR and certainly harsh activation rule is the better choice against hard Prussia AI. Other then that +2 FOG bonus really helps the AI to have better decisions. In my games I tried +4 or no FOW, but it resulted more long marches and deep raids with smaller forces from AI(but ineffective), so +2 is good.
About cavalry from my understanding from battle mechanics is that: units attack bigger units, brigades at first when engaging battle. Generally Austrian and Prussian cavalry units consist of 5 elements. But French and other Faction cavalry can have at most 2 elements max in a unit. So I sometimes mix Austrian heavy cavalry(also to spread the damage they take; heavy cavalry relacements are very low) with some line inf in order to get bonus to assault value. But not with French cavalry(though if they are targetted they can be wiped out more easily). Because as they low power rating they will be targetted less in a battle. Bot not true for Austrian, Prussian ""only cavalry brigades. "Only cavalry" brigades can have difficulty in battle against only inf brigades with the latest patch.

Thanks for all the OOB advice, I'm busily trying to make sense of the forces pilling up around Wien and this is really useful. It maybe an aspect of the game that gets easier with experience but at the moment I'm still struggling a bit as to when I can combine a set of regiments with a brigade and when I can't.

Glad that the choices I've made will give a good challenge ... its always more fun (to play and to write) when you feel threatened by the AI as opposed to when you feel all the AI does is a few predictable responses to your actions.

I started using 'print-screen' and copying the result, but I was both getting quite a few crashes and it was so frustrating. So at the moment I'm using a bit of 'freeware' (on a 28 day licence) that allows me to do what I do with a paradox title of just generate masses of screenshots and then chop, cut and paste to present the information. One of the best writers on this forum for clear screenshots that really inform is Rensslaer, even if the subject matter is of little interest its worth a quick read just to see how well he uses screenshots.
 

loki100

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You go here, I'll go there, where's Freddie gone? Early Feb-Late March 1757

This post conflates the best part of 4 turns. Nothing aggressive happens, and I spend most of it re-organising, planning and ordering up new forces. Next post I'll consider what my plans are for the spring - I have a horrible idea I know exactly what the AI is planning.



I remembered that from my starting choices, unless I build a depot at Karlsbad, Picolomini will get no reinforcements, so I convert two of his supply wagons to a depot.

By Late Feb, I'm getting worried that I have a mass of brigades appearing and no real command structure, so order up a new General:



I think this is a good idea?



This gives some idea of the relative chaos, so I'm putting all these units into fewer separate forces as a start, but need to have a corps (& army?) command down there. I'm also putting all the garrison/defence units into the same box.



So I send Franz back to Wien to provide some command structure.



On the other side, Frederick seems to be concentrating his forces at Leipzig (gulp!)

By Early March, he's disappeared, I presume into the fortress ... this is becoming a bit of a worry



This is one of my columns at Prag (I've currently got 2 there, plus some fortress troops)



As you can see due to Daun's strategic rating he is in good command of his troops and could take a few more .... which may be needed when the Wien-mob arrive.

So moving onto late March (and don't be deceived these turns take time, what with checking over the game log, checking all your options, fussing around with the OOB etc - its not just click and go), a Prussian force is visible over in the East, but Freddie stays hidden from view:



Note that winter persists, and the Prussians over at Chemnitz have disappeared (to join Freddie?)

One good thing is you can sort the message log and its a good idea to check it each turn. So



France is now active, and



Sweden is at war
 

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Heh more forces available = more time needed organizing them ;). Are you planning what I see often others doing - total mix of commanders and units? Russian forces led by Austrian generals, French marschal in charge of Imperial corps etc? As Prussia you don't have that many possibilities in that field, but with so many countries on your side it might be interesting (as well as damaging, I`d imagine, if done wrong).

Austria looks more and more interesting to me. What put me off playing it before is, other than a certain soft spot for Prussian military machine, the huge amount of organizational work needed, but the vast diversity of the forces involved sure looks tempting :).
 
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Well the Austrian Empire didn't get here by ignoring the hierachy (no it got here by sleeping with 80% of Europe)
Sadly, for Austria, not an option that the game simulates. ;)

Your worried references to 'Freddie' and his sudden disappearances are a bit distracting: they remind me of another Freddy. :p

Otherwise, sounds like the Austrian sleeping giant is starting to rise from its slumber.
 

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I have to say, this AAR is going to get me into trouble with my wife. Now that I've finished with the rather wonderful War of the Worlds (yes - it's 13 years old but it's an amazing game!) I'm going to have to buy this. Which is going to prompted She Who Must Be Obeyed to scowl darkly at me and threaten to drop the computer in a bucket of water.

That being said, are there any sound effects in RoP that are liable to offend the fairer sex? Things like a vaugley Martian voice saying things like "Orders received", "Transmiting", "Receiving", "Complying", "Human units are within firing range", "We are receiving hostile fire", "Human unit destroyed".

Every time you move a unit into battle.

Did I mention that sometimes there are fifteen odd units to move?

Women, eh?

;)
 

Narwhal

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Actually, the sound of the game might allow you to mitigate the impact of actually playing the game, as the music is classical music from the era (except the introduction music, which is classical music but really sounds like a military march). Of course, during battle, you hear some gunfire and cavalry charge, but really you don't need that and you can just cut it off :)
 

loki100

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Heh more forces available = more time needed organizing them ;). Are you planning what I see often others doing - total mix of commanders and units? Russian forces led by Austrian generals, French marschal in charge of Imperial corps etc? As Prussia you don't have that many possibilities in that field, but with so many countries on your side it might be interesting (as well as damaging, I`d imagine, if done wrong).

Austria looks more and more interesting to me. What put me off playing it before is, other than a certain soft spot for Prussian military machine, the huge amount of organizational work needed, but the vast diversity of the forces involved sure looks tempting :).

I don't tend to do things I regard as a bit gamey in AARs, quite like to explore what happens if you don't take advantage of the game engine. So I'll definitely leave the French and Russians under their own commands, the HRE bits and pieces will need to be allocated to someone else in any case & I'll construct shared forces (above brigade) where that seems most natural as the campaign unfolds

one delight with Austria is your units look prettier .... less effective but much more pretty

Sadly, for Austria, not an option that the game simulates. ;)

Your worried references to 'Freddie' and his sudden disappearances are a bit distracting: they remind me of another Freddy. :p

Otherwise, sounds like the Austrian sleeping giant is starting to rise from its slumber.

aye, I think every game involving Austria in the period 1400-1850 should include the 'feeling threatened, have a spare princess, get married instead' option. As opposed to your Freddie, I'm sort of mentally playing the theme tune to Jaws every time I see him wandering about and then disappear into a fortess at the end of each game turn.

I have to say, this AAR is going to get me into trouble with my wife. Now that I've finished with the rather wonderful War of the Worlds (yes - it's 13 years old but it's an amazing game!) I'm going to have to buy this. Which is going to prompted She Who Must Be Obeyed to scowl darkly at me and threaten to drop the computer in a bucket of water.

That being said, are there any sound effects in RoP that are liable to offend the fairer sex? Things like a vaugley Martian voice saying things like "Orders received", "Transmiting", "Receiving", "Complying", "Human units are within firing range", "We are receiving hostile fire", "Human unit destroyed".

Every time you move a unit into battle.

Did I mention that sometimes there are fifteen odd units to move?

Women, eh?

;)

15 is a lot more than you get to move on an average turn in RoP, though you did get to re-organise an awful lot into a sensible brigade structure. But once you have the corps and armies sorted there is very little to actually move - which is why it looks like a quick easy game ... & it really isn't.

as to in-game noises ....

Actually, the sound of the game might allow you to mitigate the impact of actually playing the game, as the music is classical music from the era (except the introduction music, which is classical music but really sounds like a military march). Of course, during battle, you hear some gunfire and cavalry charge, but really you don't need that and you can just cut it off :)

yep, so you can sell buying RoP to your wife on the grounds that its just a strange looking classical music download ....
 

loki100

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In which Charles gets his very own army: Late March 1757

If you remember last turn I sent Nadasy back to Wien to help organise the forces there.

Well after a lot of allocating regiments to brigades and so on, here's his nice new Corps, so back to Prag to stop the evil Freddie capturing the beer you go:



Now there is an equally chaotic mob over at Pressau, and no useful corps commander, so I give Charles what he really wanted - his own army, at least it'll ease moving stuff up the front (remember units out of command move much slower as well as the combat maluses).



You can also see now how neat (my partner had better not read this or I'm in for it!) my forces at Wien now are. All that is staying is in a single lump of garrison and fort artillery, and our heroic Empress (who's not allowed to move)



Now this is why you should both check the message list and (as I've not realised you can do) click on them ... some are decisions with consequences. Here's the first one I've dealt with (hopefully I've not missed too much of any real importance so far)

I did mention this game repays patience & double checking ... good.

so what else lurked in that lot then?



some bits of news, the Prussians have gone Frei, Pitt the elder got the boot and my army at Prag forgot to dig proper latrines

and in the rest of the world?



Freddie has done his 'show your fin and then dive' trick - but I know he's in Dresden - so at best 2 turns away from Prag.

At the moment Daun has 2 corps at Prag, Picolomini over in the west and Nadasy marching up (with my very neatly organised corps) from Wien. I'm going to detach his supply wagons as winter has now lifted, so I hope he'll get to Prag before Freddie erupts from the deep. I'm in two minds about Picolomini - I fancy the idea he operates on the flank and/or raids into Prussia, but I may need him at Prag.

What I want to do is to form up one large army under Daun and one much smaller to contest any other Prussian columns.

Now France are active and the snow is gone, I need to pick a target over in the West too. Since Kassel is protected by demonic forces I may leave that for later.
 

Narwhal

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Nice update, but not much to say. Decisive events should happen in Late May / Early june, though !
 

morningSIDEr

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Great to see another AAR from yourself and I'm very glad to be following this near to the start before too much has happened. That is to say, I'm very glad to be following this before anything seems to have happened! I have to salute Austria, she knows how to fight a war; do nothing and simply sit about in fields all day. Wonderful stuff.

Joking aside, I continue to be impressed by the complexity and detail in RoP, I remain very tempted to buy the game, both Narwhal and yourself have really shown the game in a good light with your excellent AARs. I am, of course, subscribed!
 

Stuyvesant

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My, look at the size of Nadasy's column... It's so big, and neat and he's in full command of it... Oo-er, missus (and that handlebar 'tache is pretty intimidating, too)! :p

The organization of your forces seems sensible. Do you have enough quantity and quality to stop Freddie at this time? I guess we'll have to wait and see... At least you have the (slight) benefit of letting the Prussians come to you, right?
 

baris30

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Good update.
Frederick should attack at some time. Against AI you can push 2 regions north for a defensive line. 2 corps near the river adjacent to each other to Prevent Frederick crossing a river(AI will rarely flank you,or cut your supply,well Narwhal will :) ). If Frederick decides to march to Kasel or Hannover you can build a depot near Dresden to prepare the siege of Dresden. If he doesnt march Kasel you can distract Frederick by staying idle not attacking. You can then siege and conquer Hannover, Kasel, Minden with French.

At first I was counting man while attacking but then I started to count leaders, they have great impact in battles and better prussian infantry :)( when Prussia played intelligently by human player you will have more of an idea about what I mean) 1 vs 1*5 or 2 casualties is normal against Prussia if not played well.
Narwhal will demonstrate what will happen when idle,cautious Swedish decides to move further to Berlin.:cool:

Also you dont need to move Picolomini separetely against AI. Just combine all Austrian forces and defend/attack Frederick. In first battles be cautious not to lose(Frederick will attack across the river even he will have penalties.But Narwhal wont :) ) If you start to win battles you can be more free,confident to attack.

In the next days and after reading your AAR further I will try to tell differences (from your movements and AI movements on the map) about playing against AI and Narwhal. When played Pbem it is totaly different experience about tactics. Most important part is to know how to use Military Control.
 
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