- Mar 1, 2015
The Complete Guide to the Commune of France
After playing several games as the Commune of France in KR DH, I thought I'd share what I have learned about what, in my view, is one of the more enjoyable nations in the game. In this guide, I aim to present both the arguably optimal ways to play the Commune and the various Role-Play centred directions possible with this faction and how to combine them with more practical gameplay. I expect this guide will take a few dozen posts in order to break up the task into smaller more manageable contributions. So, without further preamble, I present the first part of the guide, the set-up phase for the Commune.
The Commune of France is a Syndicalist nation in Western Europe unique in KR DH for being, with 168 starting IC (that can quickly expand to 200 via events) placing one of the more industrially powerful states in the game. Resource wise it possesses particularly plentiful reserves of metal for export and is more or less self-sufficient in energy and rare materials at least for its existing industry. That said, it often requires to import both to make up for shortfalls and turn to trade to compensate for its lack a domestic source of oil (particularly if it intends to create a mechanized army). This presents a consistent dilemma for the Commune in that its only exportable commodities are metal, supplies, and money, with the latter two reducing its effective IC the more trade expands the need for supply and consumer goods production all the while military demands for the coming war need every bit of IC. Another concern for the Commune is its relatively small starting manpower pool and poor generation, that while compensated for by events, can never be entirely ignored.
The Commune borders Spain to its South-West, the Italian Federation to its South East, the Mediterranean and National French-controlled North Africa to the South. The Union of Britain is to its North past the English Channel, while Flanders-Wallonia, Germany, and Switzerland lie along its Eastern border. The latter represents our chief concern both in terms of its territorial claims and in the threat posed by Germany, the industrial, imperial, and military hegemon of Europe and the wider world since its victory in the Weltkreig. While Switzerland is neutral, it still possesses a sizable French-speaking population, as does Flanders-Wallonia, Germany's replacement client Kingdom to pre-war Belgium. The Commune also shares claims on the Italian Federation with its ally, the Socialist Republic of Italy (based in the Southern part of the peninsula) though the military threat posed by the Papal ruled Federation is a minor one at best. Spain, while a neutral nation and a militarily and industrially weak one at that, does provide a potential second front against the Commune weakening its commitment to the East and should thus be closely watched for opportunities to keep it friendly. Of the three seas accessible from French shores, the Mediterranean presents a moderate amphibious threat from the National French requiring some defences on the coast while the rest are generally calm.
Politically, France is a Syndicalist Republic in the pre-Marxist-Leninist Communist tradition of the altered KR timeline where the Bolshevik revolution was defeated. In ideological terms, this is more or less consistent with radical left-wing ideas mostly grounded in the labour movement and some modern conceptions of Democratic Socialism, though, in gameplay terms, the Commune is still defined as a dictatorship (which is true in the sense that apart from Radical Socialist factions, no other form of politics are acceptable in the Commune) Between January and February of 1936, elections will trigger for the Commune pitting its four main political factions against each other. Unlike other elections that tend not to affect gameplay too much, the choice of leadership does have serious gameplay consequences and is thus considered as much a part of the set-up phase for the game as anything else. I will explain this point in greater detail in the next post, though for the time being, I recommend leaving the ideological sliders alone as events will move them quite a bit anyway possibly rendering your choice redundant. The international slider in particularly is easily changed via events as is the Hawk slider occasionally.
Technology-wise, the Commune is a little bit behind most other advanced Western nations though not in an insurmountable way. French tech teams, while not always the best, are good and varied enough in their specialization to research most techs fairly quickly. As a planned economy, you also have the possibility of increasing your research efficiency which I recommend doing in tandem with tech sales to other countries for some easy money generation. As tech is heavily game-focus dependent, I will leave specific war recommendations to when I explain the various routes you can take with the Commune in the next post. As a start, however, I do recommend researching some of the industrial techs as France is a bit behind on those. Practically all your unit options in the game's start are obsolete apart from motorized infantry and armoured cars which thus makes them a good starting point.
Since France is up to date on Motorized units, those seem to be a good place to start from while you are researching other techs. While your starting motorized units begin with light tanks attached to them, in my view, this is not very effective at this stage of the game as they seem to significantly slow down the motorized division's speed from 26 to 17. Your starting tanks are also obsolete whereas your armoured cars are up to date. My advice is to build six new motorized divisions with armoured cars as well as a serial run of six armoured cars to replace the light tanks attached to your six starting motorized divisions. The tanks can be later equipped for new cavalry divisions. Most other construction choices are very game direction-dependent, but as a general rule, I also recommend building one or two additional air bases along the German border and maximizing the serial run to level ten (that should be ready by the time of the war) A serial run of three additional levels of fortress to Belfort is also a good general policy as that province faces two German ones and only posses three levels of fortifications in comparison with Verdun's 6. This could go a long way towards protecting your flank.
Next time, I will overview the Commune's starting military situation and the elections/game direction choices. Until then, Vive la Commune!