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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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racebear75

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Well, I wouldn't call a battleship with 16-in-guns a super-dreadnought. Otherwise all BB before King George V, Littorio and Scharnhorst would be only super-dreadnoughts, too. But I mean the same ship, which stayed afloat after "Baker" atomic test longer than the american ships.
 

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Are we talking about the same Nagato that was laid down in 1917 and launched in 1919 and commissioned in 1920? A Super-Dreadnought Battleship named after the province? Used mostly for training and anti-aircraft defense and only saw action in the Battle of Leyte Gulf?

When looking at the service record, you have to keep in mind the Japanese Kantai Kessen naval doctrine, which was based on letting the Americans slowly approach the home islands while whittling them down with submarine raids and aircraft attacks, then destroying the attacking fleet in a decisive battle in friendly waters with ample land-based air support. So it wouldn't have been that unusual for an IJN battleship to see relatively limited action, particularly since ship-to-ship combat took a back seat in the Pacific as carrier-based aircraft dominated the seas. This was compounded later on by fuel shortages throughout the Japanese Empire due to the very effective Allied submarine blockade.

As for the Nagato herself, she had 16-inch guns and 12-inch belt armor by 1944, comparable to a South Dakota-class BB of the United States, and had undergone modernization in 1934-1936, so she wasn't a useless relic even if she was originally constructed before 1920. I'd be willing to bet (since I'm not an expert on this stuff) that the more modern battleships probably had other advantages such as improved fire control, but the Nagato was no slouch, and losing it was certainly a blow to the IJN.
 

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Now you need to switch over to the US, and save the world.
I suggested that too but Eurasia is determined to see it through to the (extremely bitter) end I think :(. Valiant and dutiful for him :) - grim news for this alternate world :eek:!
 

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Hearts of Iron 3 (Their Finest Hour AAR): ‘The March of the Machines’
Chapter Fifty-Eight : January to March, 1945

YQJh9cg.jpg

Taking Paris!

This was a busy three months and I was forced to take twenty-four pages of notes due to the amount of battles and events. Why? Read on my fellow-gamers, read on, and discover the wonder that is Hearts of Iron 3: Their Finest Hour!

First off, I noticed on the 14th of January the Americans had started uprisings in France and I realized that it was the perfect moment to join them with as many of my own Resistance Cells as possible. So on the 15th of January (after taking the screenshot) I pushed the Organized Revolt button. 51 of our 78 underground cells rose up in the First of Six waves that would be triggered during the three month period. I did my best to form some of the Partisan Brigades into Divisions and the African HQ also tried to form a chain-of-command but as you can guess we lost more battles than won (see French Revolt).

As the French Revolt slowly was crushed I was forced to disband many of the HQ units. We really needed that as at one point our Manpower got as low as Eight.

1DIRvYp.jpg

On the 19th of January we received a new Infantry Division which was placed in Abidjan and assigned to the Ivory Coast Front.

Our Navy did some stupid things and some smart (see Navy/Sub Warfare) and our Air Force was somewhat active (see Air War and Ivory Coast Front).

On the 30th of January the 12th French Partisans Division captured Paris and we were able to hold on to it till the 24th of February when the Germans took it back (which also gave the Axis that Victory Condition back).

During that time Paris became the new Capital. Which of course meant our conveys were now using French ports and getting hit by Axis submarines and surface raiders - ouch!

We DID tag Paris as Allied Objectives, after taking it, for both the USA and the UK, but neither of them showed up. Even though at the time we tagged it (7th of February) four French ports were available and there was nothing to keep them from just landing troops and marching right into Paris.

Of course when Paris fell we moved the Capital to Bordeaux. And when Bordeaux was captured it went to Lille. And when Lille was captured the Capital went to Rouen. Where it was till the end of March.

Around March the game snapped and started showing me this:

lVhKiZv.jpg

Or maybe it just likes to twist the knife? The Soviet Union moving its industry was interesting and happened in our real Time Line, of course, but the rest of the announcements were very, very late. Yes, yes, we all know Sydney was taken. Stop trying to make Bullfilter cry! Bad game!

g9CH5Y4.jpg

In the area of Technology we made three improvements. Civil Nuclear Research (3), Nuclear (2), and First Aid (4). We also purchased the right to produce a Mechanized unit from the Americans. We had the money. I assume it will be made on the date of never.

XYehB1G.jpg

We had eight new cells formed but one was located and destroyed during the French Revolt. Only one cell would, in fact, survive till the end of March.

Revolts​

Let us deal with the Non-French Revolts, most of which were nothing but flashes in the pan.

On the 3rd of January a Greek Revolt pops up in Ioannina and by the 13th of January it was dead. On the 3rd of January a Soviet Revolt also formed in Iwje, deep in German occupied territory. But it died a swift death also.

On the 13th of March a Revolt appeared in Valdepenas, Spain, but by the 16th of March had disappeared.

j5kZInu.jpg

The Major Revolt in this section is the American-backed one in Norway that still survives. In fact the Americans landed troops in the ports and landed aircraft into the air bases, really helping out the rebellion. Many a American Grand Fleet of transports, carriers and warships sailed right past France to dump their cargo and soldiers into Kristiansand and Oslo.

The Norwegian-back Norway Revolt seems to be doing pretty well also. At least it still exists.

The French Revolt​

So big it needs its own section! The French, as you can see, from the screenshots, did a pretty good job of making a mess of things. But there were some results. We got more resources, we gained another few months before defeat, but also allowed the Axis Navy a change to hit our conveys and warships (see Navy/Sub Warfare). It REALLY messed up my Production as at times I was RED in almost everything. I now had a massive Army with horribly long supply lines and no Manpower.

1f2AH0Q.jpg

The French people would be fighting Divisions from Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Romania. One hundred and forty-eight battles would be fought in France during this time period. The French people, made up of farmers, businessmen, and engineers, would gain only seventeen Victories. And would lose 9,086 lives while killing only 1,323 Axis soldiers.

Navy/Sub Warfare​

Well, things could be worse. First off, in the Pacific, our ships were using Masoko as a base. But by the 13th of February the Navy decided to move the 8th, 10th, and 5th Navy, to Tahiti. A French Island farther to the east. I am not sure if this was a supply issue or if they were just moving to get away from the Japanese Naval Strikes.

pVr1oPx.jpg

With our African HQ now in charge of the fighting in France it decided to ship some HQ units from Iraq, around Africa, to France. Problem is by the time the 3rd Navy was halfway there the two HQ units it was carrying were no longer needed. The 2nd Corps and the 4th Corps Headquarters were disbanded and, I can only assume, jumped ship. But the 3rd Navy refused to turn back and continued on course to La Rochelle. Which was taken by Axis forces. So the 3rd Navy directed itself to Le Havre. On the way the German Naval Bombers welcomed the French ships. And when they got to Le Havre the Italians joined in. By the time the French ships left, heading back to Africa, they were damaged and split into three smaller Navies.

Our Raiders and submarines, on the other hand, did pretty well, sinking twenty-six enemy cargo ships and ten escorts. While the French Navy only lost fourteen cargo ships and no escorts.

Air War​

6hJRuku.jpg

The Air War in Europe was All Axis, All the Time. The Germans launched one hundred and two Ground Attacks, two Port Strikes, and one Naval Strike. They killed over 19,914 French civilians. The Italians launched fourteen Ground Attacks and three Naval Strikes. They killed over 2,302 French civilians.

The Japanese launched four Naval Strikes in the Pacific Theatre (see Navy/Sub Warfare).

In Africa the French Air Force launched seven Ground Attacks and killed 250 Italian soldiers.

The French Air Force was rebased in France after the French Revolt started, stationed in Lille. But it failed to carry out any operations in France. It did get involved in four Air Clashes, so I assume it TRIED to launch Ground Attacks, and was defeat every time. By the middle of February it was around 47% and refusing to leave the airbase.

Ground War​

The total for the this time period was somewhat hard to count as many Battles just cancelled out when the enemy air forces wiped out all the French units. And some Battles generated no reports at all. For the Time Period we lost a total, adding the Ground loses in France and Africa (which had one Battle), plus those killed by enemy aircraft, 31,446 people Killed In Action.

The Axis lost a combined total of 1,767 soldiers in combat.

That means the Totals For The Whole War (Up TO Now) Are -

French/Allies Killed In Action: 290,044

Axis Killed In Action: 105,794

We added a dent to the Axis War Machine. While losing so many brave people.

Ivory Coast Front​

jE0ya8t.jpg

7ulNA5n.jpg

Our one Non-Revolt Victory was in Africa where our Infantry, led by the very experienced Major General Koeltz, and the Air Force, led by Lt. General Pinsard, won the Battle for San Pedro. We lost 144 soldiers while the Italians lost 194 soldiers. Plus another 250 Italians were killed by the French Air Force. Outside of that we are trapped between the Italian Army and the Deep Blue Sea.

Soviet Front​

I8KckqW.jpg

Stalingrad switched owners AGAIN during this early part of this time period. But in the end the Germans advanced across the entire Front, taking the city, and I fear that the Russians may not be able to keep them out of Moscow. If Moscow is captured this game and this war ends.

Soviet Far East/Communist China Front​

ZGCsE65.jpg

The Japanese continue to absorb Soviet provinces in the Far East while they were pushed back by the Chinese.

1LC0syO.jpg

Pacific Theatre​

CThwjR5.jpg

Outside of some attacks on my Navy there was little happening here. The Japanese have already taken what they wanted and the Allies can't do much to change that.

Australian Front​

OYK6BvE.jpg

Nothing. I can't even see any Japanese troops due to the Fog of War. It is as if they don't even want to get Darwin. It is likely troops got pulled out for other Fronts (see New Zealand Front) or that the Japanese just don't have the troops available at the moment. Or maybe they will just hit it from the ocean which WOULD be easier and make more sense.

New Zealand Front​

EY6HFPI.jpg

I noticed that the Japanese re-took Auckland in March which alarmed me somewhat. It means they have a renewed interest in the Islands and New Zealand may yet be totally conquered by them after all.

The Japanese were also launching aerial attacks on Indian provinces but I decided that, until they invade India itself, that does not count as a new Front. So that Front was removed.

In the end hope is with the Russians. Yes, the Russians. And while that hope seems small, it is there. The Americans have hit the soft underbelly of...uh...the soft skullcap of Europe by invading Norway and threatening the Axis from the rear...uh...left flank? Anyway, add the Revolts, and I hope that it may enough to slow down the German advance in the Eastern Front, allowing my fellow Allies time to DO SOMETHING!

If Moscow falls so does the world!

FUN TIME!​

0DOn8HG.jpg

Not Yet Available In The USA

Last time we chatted about the Japanese plans for the invasion of Australia. But what were the plans the Aussies had to fight them? I don't know but I found a book that has not been published yet that I may be ordering when it is available. Do any of the folks in the Land-Down-Under know of any plans the government had in case of invasion? Scorched Earth sounds a little extreme to me.

Anyway, folks, thanks for reading! Hope to see you in the next Chapter! Will Moscow hold out? Will the American-Norway Revolt help drain Axis troops and resources from the Soviet Front? Will the Japanese invade India, finish taking New Zealand, and crush the Chinese? I don't know, I don't start playing the next three-month period till I finish the chapter to this three-month period.
 

Bullfilter

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Multiple falls of Sydney? :mad:

You're right Eurasia: I cry, I die :(

In general, the broad plan (expecting an invasion in the north or the country) was to defend something called the 'Brisbane Line', roughly from Brisbane across to Adelaide. Though in reality, it would have been concentrated along the coast and its hinterland. As for scorched earth, well we get that every summer anyway, where one dropped cigarette or sparked power line or lightning strike can cause a natural disaster - when we are try to stop it with modern firefighting methods! Not sure though if there were plans for deliberate sabotage efforts.

Good to see some big revolts (at least trying to divert the Germans), and Russia actually doing well to still be in the game. End looks near though unless the US intervenes in a major way to start grabbing back victory objectives :eek:
 

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In general, the broad plan (expecting an invasion in the north or the country) was to defend something called the 'Brisbane Line', roughly from Brisbane across to Adelaide. Though in reality, it would have been concentrated along the coast and its hinterland. As for scorched earth, well we get that every summer anyway, where one dropped cigarette or sparked power line or lightning strike can cause a natural disaster - when we are try to stop it with modern firefighting methods! Not sure though if there were plans for deliberate sabotage efforts.

Good to see some big revolts (at least trying to divert the Germans), and Russia actually doing well to still be in the game. End looks near though unless the US intervenes in a major way to start grabbing back victory objectives :eek:

I can see the Aussie out-back being a big help against invaders. Well, in Real Life.

Sadly, while the Norway Revolts seem big I am not sure they will really keep the USSR from falling. The Germans are only a few provinces away from Moscow. I know the Russians will throw everything into the ring to fight the Germans but I fear once the full might of the Luftwaffe returns to the Soviet Front (after crushing the French Revolt) the Russians will be turned into paste. I fear we will see a future where the Cold War is between the United States of America and the remaining Allies vs. a Third Reich stretching from Gibraltar to Moscow and a Japanese Empire that controls all of the Pacific and much of Southeast Asia.

And with the German scientists and engineers it would not stay Cold for long.

DxfufQF.jpg
 

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Hearts of Iron 3 (Their Finest Hour AAR): ‘The March of the Machines’
Chapter Fifty-Nine : The Final Chapter

VBYBvUH.jpg

Welcome To The Future

I see no reason to fill the chapter with numbers and battle when, as you can see, this is the Final Chapter. I will give you the last events of the Second World War as they happened. Don't worry, there isn't much left to tell.

VKxG3Rp.jpg

By the 1st of April our Air Force had returned to Abidjan as it was easy to see, even for the AI, that France was lost. The problem was the Capital in France was cut off from the ports so our military was receiving nothing - no supplies nor men. So our Army and Navy and Air Force found themselves in the RED. I was producing tons of stuff - it just wasn't getting to them.

W21aIxA.jpg

On the 4th the Axis crushed the Revolt and took the last free province in France. Moving the Capital of France to Cayenne, South America. Yes, it is also a pepper. Problem - I had only one convey left and I needed two to properly supply the Ivory Coast Front. For France, that was the last straw. The Italians launched attack after attack against us. And some of my Divisions even launched their own attacks. But even the Victories drained us of supplies and troops that could not be replaced. Or I should say, could not be shipped from South America to Africa.

I could tell you about how the Italians finally took Cyprus in the Mediterranean forcing the Allied Fleet of UK and Norwegian ships out on the 23rd of April. I could tell you about the American and Norwegian forces that marched their way north, freeing Norwegian provinces as they went. The Japanese even wiped out one of our Submarine units resting in a French port in India.

Even reporting the last battles in Africa as the French fought tooth and nail, the Navy and Air Force fleeing to other African provinces to escape the Italians, would be a waste of time.

Because all of those events meant nothing. The important event happened in the month of May, on the Eastern Front, around the city of Moscow. I watched it, day after day, as the Germans took provinces around it, slowly creeping up to it and boxing it in.

And on the 14th of May it happened. The Germans took the city.

N16Y1v2.jpg
TTJK6xu.jpg

As you can guess, like it or not, this ends the War. Oh, it may go on in name but with the fall of the USSR, the Germans can easily handle the Americans in Norway and, with the Italians, absorb and crush any pockets of resistance still in Africa and the Middle East. Japan can turn its focus on Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Communist China does not have a chance and Nationalist China and many other Asian nations are alone and helpless. India will be easy for the Axis to snap up.

A Cold War, a horrible Cold War is about to begin, with no end in sight. A world where 'Crocodile Dundee' is a animated full length feature about a Japanese speaking Crocodile fighting American spies in the Land-Down-Under. A world where the islands of Hawaii are fortresses and Americans eat Salisbury steaks instead of Hamburgers in remembrance of the poor British people. A strange world where, without access to Middle Eastern oil, the Free World has to develop other sources of energy such as solar and atomic for every day use.

X2kTaRN.jpg

War. War Never Changes.
------------------------------
* Fourth image should be 'An End'. Of Course I have a typo in the one thing I can't easily fix.
 
Last edited:

nuclearslurpee

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An ignominious end to an excellent AAR. Props!

Will you now be doing some post-mortem chapters or assessments? I'm curious how, with this experience behind you, you might have gone about things differently both before and after the Fall of France.
 

Bullfilter

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Yes very well done, showing how a 'bitter end' AAR can remain interesting and illustrate some bits of the game you don't often see. A largely AI driven France was always going to be tough, but congratulations for seeing it through. The world that will emerge is not one I'd be keen to visit! :(:eek:
 

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An ignominious end to an excellent AAR. Props!

Will you now be doing some post-mortem chapters or assessments? I'm curious how, with this experience behind you, you might have gone about things differently both before and after the Fall of France.

Yes. I think the biggest mistakes, to be honest, was in the early chapters:
1) I should have used some of my Production to INCREASE my Production. I should have made Factories and put more into Research. I failed to properly set up the Foundation.
2) Many of my military Divisions were just not the proper balance. More Artillery instead of all the Anti-Tank and Anti-Aircraft. And maybe kept the Divisions larger.
3) Africa should have been dismissed and those extra Divisions placed under the command of the Bordeaux HQ. I feel that Italy breaking into that Front was the straw that broke the Battle for France. If that makes sense. It may have given me more time for my Allies to help in France.
4) Also, a few times, I disbanded Theatre HQ Units when I should have kept them. By disbanding HQ Units I was putting more work on the others. Theatre HQ Units can only handle so much territory and units. The more you have the more you can narrow down and define their responsibilities.
5) Many of the Theatres DIDN'T have the units they needed. For example, in one case, Divisions got wiped out in Africa because I failed to give the HQ they had been newly assigned to, in Asia, the Transports needed to save them.

Yes very well done, showing how a 'bitter end' AAR can remain interesting and illustrate some bits of the game you don't often see. A largely AI driven France was always going to be tough, but congratulations for seeing it through. The world that will emerge is not one I'd be keen to visit! :(:eek:

Between this AAR and my Spanish one I have come to believe that AI can help lighten the load but not totally replace the Human player. Also, a group of Theatre level AIs may work well with Nations with largely land based conflicts, like Germany and the USSR, but when one has a wide-spread empire or large oceans to deal with, it may cause issues. To be honest I think the French AI dealt with the Navy better than I did in my Spanish AAR. I think a AI can keep track of supplies and others issues better than a player. After all, AI is all about the number crunching. What AIs really need is the numbers and resources to carry out their objectives and even France, which is looked at as a Major Power, REALLY didn't have the POWER needed to give the Theatres what they needed and wanted.

I would love to see experiments with AI in a Japanese AAR. That would be a REAL test of the AI units. Both a major land conflict and a major naval conflict.

And yes, the future was bad. But just as bad as the Spanish AAR - just in this case I am one of the losers. And yes, a future without hamburgers - horror!
 
Last edited:

Eurasia

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Well, folks, I hope you were not bored! Thank you for reading, even the massive early text floods/data dumps from the Battle for France. I plan to take a break and then start a AAR in Crusader Kings II. I already started the save, as I had a idea about what I wanted and had to hack a few things into the start, so the first chapter is already on paper, a very rough first raft. The CK2 AAR will be told in the form a Third-Party narrative, think a historian trying his or her best to show us what happened, more of a Soap Opera feel likely, as my skill in that game seems to be more in the form of family politics. I am just not good at warfare in CK2 so I found out ways to get what I want with weddings and patience. So it will unlikely be 'Take Over The World' game and more of a 'You were sleeping with who?' game.

So I close the door on this alternate French world, as I did with my Spanish AAR, but I want to leave you with one last image from this twisted Earth, a image to give you nightmares!

BLYuCsu.jpg


Buwahahahahahaha!
 

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I know I'm a little late, but I've been reading through this, intrigued by your idea of letting the AI run alot of the stuff.

I'm on page 3... When I saw this I LOLed. :)

onY1MLV.png
 

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I know I'm a little late, but I've been reading through this, intrigued by your idea of letting the AI run alot of the stuff.

Thank you. You may wish to check out the Spanish AAR. In that one I run the military and try to let the AI run the government. It kind of fails - the AI not the AAR.