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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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iain_a_wilson

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For us French it is all the same. Land-grabbing, emperor-killing, colony-stealing backstabbers.

As a nation that was once in alliance with Scotland however, I'd expect you to know the difference between "England", "Scotland" and "Britain" ;)

And if you want to talk about backstabbing, how about the fact that the "military aid" supplied to Scotland by the French in the 1550s grew into an army of occupation...

(who says we Europeans have short memories? ;))
 

iain_a_wilson

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true, and mostly done by Scots on behalf of the English after we managed to trash our one and only attempt at building our own empire

We're back at Scots being our own worst enemies aren't we?

I saw a great programme about that where there's a lot of evidence to suggest that the Scottish nobility were in league with the Crown to make the Darian venture a disaster because they dearly wanted Union (to wipe out their debts!).
 

Narwhal

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I have to admit, though, that most self-respecting Frenchmen would cheer at Scotland (or to a lesser extent Wales - but most of us cannot find it on a map) during the Six-nations cup, provided France is not playing.
 

iain_a_wilson

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I have to admit, though, that most self-respecting Frenchmen cheers at Scotland (or Wales to a lesser extent - but most of us cannot find it on a map) during the 6-nations cup, provided France is not playing.

Yeah, I'm quite happy to see France win at most sporting events (when they're not trouncing us).

My English friends can't understand this ;)
 

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Yeah, I'm quite happy to see France win at most sporting events (when they're not trouncing us).

My English friends can't understand this ;)

I remember when I was in Edinburgh so it must have been the 2002 World Cup when France beat England 2-1 with a couple of late goals. We had some English friends staying and they were really disgruntled when the pub exploded with glee at the second French goal. Mainly, it must be said, at annoyance with idiotic jingoistic commentary that was coming out the TV.

We're back at Scots being our own worst enemies aren't we?

I saw a great programme about that where there's a lot of evidence to suggest that the Scottish nobility were in league with the Crown to make the Darian venture a disaster because they dearly wanted Union (to wipe out their debts!).

hence the song "a parcel of rogues in a nation",

think I'd better get some game related posts up before we get moderated.
 

iain_a_wilson

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idiotic jingoistic commentary

I live in England.

My wife's English.

I've got tons of English friends.

My kids are half-English.

The English are my fellow Britons.

In general, I rather like England.

HOWEVER...

If I don't have the commentary muted when an England international is on I become a pathetic parochial Scot wishing disaster upon the England team and taking perverse glee out of watching them losing!

I think it comes down to the one most glaring difference between the Scots and the English - we are a particularly self-deprecating race, who excel at "glorious defeat" and who are so used to defeat that we're comfortable with it. The English on the otherhand expect victory, are proud of their national achievements, and get really, really irked when they lose at anything.

I'll shut up now.
 

morningSIDEr

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I'll keep this reply strictly AAR related! The past year has been a relatively quiet once, as you say, although you are very right when stating that Prussia knocking out Sweden makes a great deal of sense. Hopefully though are able to identify the weakened front in the coming year and are able to inflict some real damage on Prussia. Austrian forces cannot surely simply sit back and twiddle their thumbs for yet another year (I type this whilst rather afraid they will do exactly this...)!
 

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Jan-Feb 1758, Strange Snowmen appear

Again, I'll conflate these turns. As you'll see winter+inert unless active is pretty deadly to my forces. So that makes me very unwilling to risk much activity (it also makes me realise that next year I need to move to winter quarters a bit more promptly) --- I lose a lot especially out of one Russian corps that got very inactive.



So the French carry on churning their commanders, and they are getting worse, the Swedes turn into snowpeople



More British troops arrive in late Jan, by end Feb they are in Munster with Cumberland

as of early Feb, the Swedish army looks rather sad



as does bits of the Russian



a last chance to dash back to the big depot where there is supply to be had



so to compensate I've arranged for more Russian troops to be raised and a new officer (I have quite a large army at St Petersburg waiting to move once the weather clears - helpful as I've lost the equivalent of a corps this winter)

& end feb



lots more reinforcements and some Saxons turn up in Paris:



which will be useful as the French are having mutinies and not paying their troops on time.

So next post, I'll do some planning for 1758, but in summary:

Freddie is wandering around Stalsrund gloating over his new fortress;
Cumberland has a very big army in Munster (60,000+)

I think:

a) with the Russians concentrate on getting Koenigsberg this year, any more is a bonus
b) move both French armies to the Wesel-Munster sector (the second is still down in Alsace), this concentration should be enough to deal with Cumberland
c) the Austrians need to be more aggressive, I have a vague plan to use 3 columns (one includes the man with the mad staring eyes)

all of which is subject to revision depending on where Freddie lunges to
 

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I'll keep this reply strictly AAR related! The past year has been a relatively quiet once, as you say, although you are very right when stating that Prussia knocking out Sweden makes a great deal of sense. Hopefully though are able to identify the weakened front in the coming year and are able to inflict some real damage on Prussia. Austrian forces cannot surely simply sit back and twiddle their thumbs for yet another year (I type this whilst rather afraid they will do exactly this...)!

I need to make things happen, somehow. But my experience in 1757 is that when I try to force the pace it doesn't go well. Its this habit of my corps to drop off to sleep all the time. So I reckon I need a simple plan and a degree of mass on the important sectors, that way sleeping can be accommodated. At the very least the Austrians have to get into Saxony and stay there ...
 

morningSIDEr

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An update straight after my reply, good stuff.

c) the Austrians need to be more aggressive, I have a vague plan to use 3 columns (one includes the man with the mad staring eyes)

More aggressive? I'm struggling to think of when they have been even slightly aggressive thus far!

I think it fair to say Sweden has been obliterated in this game. The Russian army seems to have taken quite a bit of damage too due to winter. Hopefully if you can somehow rouse your Austrian forces, and the French army is able to deal with Cumberland, you can put Prussia under a bit more pressure. As it is, things really seem to be in the balance.
 

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as of early Feb, the Swedish army looks rather sad
I guess the artillery is left as guns can't freeze to death, as everbody else has done (Swedesicles?)...

Do you have any realistic hope of accomplishing more in the year to come? To put it bluntly, is the campaign season long enough to get the Austrian masses anywhere where they can actually accomplish something? With all the time they are inactive (and the clear need to be wintering somewhere safe), I wonder if you can actually drag your armies over the map and either win a battle or besiege a city, before the next winter comes 'round...

I'm glad MorningSIDEr stepped in and steered things back to the AAR. While you were all quite civil in your discussions of the merits of English v. Scottish v. British (v. French?), I couldn't help but envision a long-dormant volcano that had just started to rumble and smoke. :)
 

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An update straight after my reply, good stuff.

More aggressive? I'm struggling to think of when they have been even slightly aggressive thus far!

I think it fair to say Sweden has been obliterated in this game. The Russian army seems to have taken quite a bit of damage too due to winter. Hopefully if you can somehow rouse your Austrian forces, and the French army is able to deal with Cumberland, you can put Prussia under a bit more pressure. As it is, things really seem to be in the balance.

I guess the artillery is left as guns can't freeze to death, as everbody else has done (Swedesicles?)...

Do you have any realistic hope of accomplishing more in the year to come? To put it bluntly, is the campaign season long enough to get the Austrian masses anywhere where they can actually accomplish something? With all the time they are inactive (and the clear need to be wintering somewhere safe), I wonder if you can actually drag your armies over the map and either win a battle or besiege a city, before the next winter comes 'round...

I'm glad MorningSIDEr stepped in and steered things back to the AAR. While you were all quite civil in your discussions of the merits of English v. Scottish v. British (v. French?), I couldn't help but envision a long-dormant volcano that had just started to rumble and smoke. :)

If I was Swedish right now I'd be raging at those bloody useless Austrians right now!

first apols for the gap ... too much work and given my cash flow problems not able to turn it down. Hopefully may get something else up this evening, maybe.

do agree, think the Swedes have good reason to start a long historic fued with the Austrians over that, and I can't really blame the 'inactive=inert' rule as it was my mistake in attacking with them at all that set it off. Its quite a useful lesson that in this game system, inactivity can be your best choice.

As to 1758, I'll have to be opportunistic. There is now that huge army at Munster (which I reckon is 50-60,000) and I don't know where Freddie will go. But fundamentally, I'm going to create a couple of 4-5 corps strong columns (1 Austrian, 1 French) and sort of lurch forward to a target. I don't think it'll be elegant. My logic is that in any turn out of 5 corps, 3 should be active, so if I move in a very cautious way, every other turn they should all catch up, once I reach a target, I'll settle down to siege (& invite an attack). I reckon it'll take me to June to get the French from the upper Rhine to Wesel, so I'll start with the Austrians. For the Russians, my only goal will be Koenigsberg, then I can safely winter.

In truth, I can see this ending badly for me, if it becomes a war of manouvre, or if Freddie picks off either the Russians or the French, I'll do well to stalemate it to the game end.
 

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March 1758, A calm before the storm?

I spent most of March sorting out bits and pieces ... but as I found out they are important bits and pieces to do with the movement of supply and uses of supply wagons.

Anyway up in E Prussia the snow has gone so my 3 reasonably well supplied corps will move to invest Koenigsberg, there is the equivalent of a corps moving up from St Petersburg. This is handy as I lost the equivalent of a corps in the winter.





Now this rather confused me. Wesel is only 2 provinces north of a huge supply depot and it has its own depot. So looking closer



what seems to have happened is my supply wagon (you can see the red line) has become depleted, what I ought to have done is to shuffle them back and forth from the advanced formations to the main depots and so on (I reckon this would have saved some of my Russians too). Overall supply is more complex and needs more interaction than Paradox's model of tracing supply lines.

I'll also boost Wesel to a level 2 depot given the sheer number of troops I'm trying to concentrate there.

As an aside, I'm still worried I don't have enough supply wagons with the French or the Russians to sustain a deep incursion, but first I need to be able to make a deep incursion.



The British-Hannoverian force on the French sector has split up. As you can see, the new force is now at Dortmund. I reckon that, concentrated, my army at Wesel can deal with Cumberland and the second army (due to arrive in June with some luck) can go for Dortmund.

Freddie at the moment is still enjoying the flesh-spots of Stalsrund.

Looking at my Austrian options, I discover that all that winter opera was too much for the man with the staring eyes:



by the standards of my commanders that is pretty good.

So he can form the western column, Charles of Lorraine plus another corps an eastern column and Daun and the rest of the Austrian army move to Dresden when the snow clears.



final set of minor events before the main course begins ...
 

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April 1758, something comes between the French army and food

These couple of turns are mostly about moving stuff around and setting up my summer operations. Its also about my attempt to understand why the supply system is intent on starving my French armies to death ....

So here's the Austrian front.



Its on a large scale to show what I'm planning. From west to east:

That new Bavarian leader can command quite a few troops, so I'm moving a number of independent brigades into his army. He'll then move to Chemnitz. In the meantime a couple do independent brigades are getting control in that sector.

In the centre, Daun will take 4 corps towards Dresden & try and siege that. At worst Freddie will react, which'll be good if Daun can fight a defensive battle. Over in the east, Charles with 2 corps will move to Schweidinitz. Its of no real value except it allows me to cover various fortresses on the upper Elbe.



This shows some good and bad news. More English troops (bad), Freddie still at Stalsrund with a very big army (good). With this I reckon I can besiege Dresden before he reacts.



here's the main events for mid-april, some more scripted and ordered up reinforcements.



Now here I get confused as to why this is persisting, especially as I now have supply wagons shuttling up and down:



as you can see Dusseldorf is stocked with food and I confess to having no clue why its not moving to Wesel, but I'm starting to lose an awful lot of troops as a result.



... an awful lot of troops, didn't get better in late April either.

Now Cumberland is definitely up to something:



I have 2 corps at Dusseldorf (the units that long ago were at Frankfurt), the main Alsace army is at least 3-4 weeks march away, so I have a choice. I'm assuming that Cumberland will attack Dusseldorf.

I think I could:

a) order the 2 corps there into the fortress, and engage when the main army arrives, but that may make my supply issues all the worse at Wesel;
b) make a grab for Munster (but my Wesel troops are, for reasons none too clear, out of supply);
c) concentrate at Dusseldorf looking for a big battle;
d) split the Wesel force into two and make a small move to Munster while most protect Dusseldorf.

c) or d) is tempting not least as it may sort out the supply mess and Cumberland is inept on the attack (he's a 0 as opposed to a 2 on defence).

so many choices ...

Not much to report over in Russia, I'm sieging Koenigsberg, supply trains trundle back and forth, cossacks do cossacky things in the woods etc.
 

morningSIDEr

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Annoying stuff with regards to the supply problems. Could it be perhaps that the Austrian diet of alcohol, alcohol and more alcohol (very similar to the Scottish diet, of course), is not to the liking of the French? I cannot offer any input into the problem, unless can you move some more supplies via river? Would that help at all (I'm sure you are doing this if it is possible)?

Cumberland's move does offer a good opportunity for some action, as you'd alluded to, I would probably go for option d. from those presented. My problem with c. is that if you gather too many troops, could that not then scare of Cumberland? Unless you screen your moves I suppose. Anyway hopefully you are able to catch Cumberland out.
 

Narwhal

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If you would send me your save game (including the Prussian turn), I could have a look at it and tell you what happens... maybe.
 

loki100

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Annoying stuff with regards to the supply problems. Could it be perhaps that the Austrian diet of alcohol, alcohol and more alcohol (very similar to the Scottish diet, of course), is not to the liking of the French? I cannot offer any input into the problem, unless can you move some more supplies via river? Would that help at all (I'm sure you are doing this if it is possible)?

Cumberland's move does offer a good opportunity for some action, as you'd alluded to, I would probably go for option d. from those presented. My problem with c. is that if you gather too many troops, could that not then scare of Cumberland? Unless you screen your moves I suppose. Anyway hopefully you are able to catch Cumberland out.

next couple of turns are 'interesting' on that sector, Cumberland is definitely up to something and I can't work out his target

If you would send me your save game (including the Prussian turn), I could have a look at it and tell you what happens... maybe.

I think I have too many French units at Wesel and should have sent some down to Dusseldorf for winter? Its frustrating in that you quite quickly from supply problems to complete units disappearing & its not easy to work out how to adjust. I like the game's supply model and the constraints it imposes on operations, but didn't really want to lose 10% of the French army ... & thats before they get mutinuous!
 

loki100

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Money, Food, and a battle: May 1758

Well, finally, I've had a decent sized battle between the Austrians and the Prussians, its taken 18 months & I had to go and get them, but at last the 5.5 years war has ignited.

Anyway before then, the Prussian obsession with bashing Sweden continues:



I'll not show any screenshots of Russia, all that is happening is my siege and lots of supply wagons wandering up and down, and Cossacks burning stuff.



so early May, I opted for my (c), in part Dusseldorf is too valuable to lose, in part I could maybe catch Cumberland attacking and really beat him, it also helped solve the supply problem at Wesel.

The defeat at Dresden was a cavalry brigade I was using for scouting - guess who forgot to set the orders to 'withdraw if someone says boo'?



Now this is getting confusing. I now have the best part of 2 armies at Dusseldorf, so I decide to send the 'Army of France' towards Dortmund and leave the 'Army of Germany' on the defense at Dusseldorf. I may manage to outmanouver Cumberland, or at least force him to attack me.



its been a long a time coming but at last a major Austro-Prussian battle. I lost, I think due to the delayed arrivals of my corps but the Prussians fell back into Dresden in any case.



This shows the fall out from the Dresden battle and that the French troops want both to be fed and paid ... ungrateful if you ask me.



especially as there are things for them to do. I wonder if Cumberland is after Koblenz? I'll try to manouver to put them under pressure but also protect my key cities.



especially as the Great White Shark (aka Freddie) is heading towards my brave Austrians. By the time he arrives, Daun should have 80-90,000 around Dresden and maybe my flanking columns will have made progress.
 

Stuyvesant

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Like your 'cake' comment regarding the Frenchies. :)

Your Austrian style is such a contrast with Narwhal's Prussian approach: bludgeon (and a very slow bludgeon, at that) versus rapier. Interesting to watch it unfold.