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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
May 29, 2007
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The real purpose of war: an alternate Germany WWI gameplay AAR

Hello all,

Given the amount of threads about the WWI scenario, I thought for myself there might be a demand; thus my third AAR attempt will be a WWI scenario game. Hopefully this time it will last longer :). As there is already an excellent WW I AAR written by Quirinus here, more or less alive, I don't see the point of another WWI AAR in the classical sense, since there is absolutely no chance my posting would be a match for Quirinus fantastic story. On top of that, having played it half a dozen of times with each alliance, I'm quite bore with WWI scenario, and was looking for a new challenge.

Perhaps those who played that scenario happened to notice how annoying repaying the debt can be, once the war is won; so why not going to war without going to debt ? After all, besides some fancy pops, Vicky remains basically a money-making game. Money, factories, more money, more factories - that's it. If we have no real money in real life, at least we can make virtual money in a virtual life. So let's get rich ...


In term of Gameplay, I will take Germany in WWI scenario with WotN mod. (You can find it here) There are of course plenty of nations you can choose in WWI scenario, but hey, we all want to remake history, so let's smash the French while making some bucks ! Settings are on normal/normal since harder levels would kill my manpower too quickly. But I want to keep a challenge, so ENG, FRA and USA are set to start with 1M pounds. Thus I'm NOT playing a "vanilla" WotN: don't be surprised if find/notice some difference between your installation and mine. It's an old directory, and I'm messing up there since 2006...

So here is the rule:

I shall remain out of debt as much as possible (let's keep it manageable and avoid a 0-debt statement...), and do everything i can think of to build a stronger economy throughout the duration of the game.

I will try to keep up with this AAR at least until the treaty of Versailles (which I plan somewhere in 1916), but cannot guarantee it. Sorry folks: life comes first. The style will be ultra Gameplay oriented, with as many screenshots as possible, explaining how I do things. I'm also very interested in feedback of all type and will try reply to everyone. Also, PLEASE, forgive my poor English, it's still not my mother-tongue.

But enough talks for now: let's go.


Next stop is (hopefully) Paris.
 
Last edited:

Nikolai

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..Sss...Sorry, just have to:

Also, PLEASE, forgive my poor English, it's still not my mother-thong.
:D:D:D

....
........
...
.....
.
Okay, good luck.:)
 
May 29, 2007
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Starting situation I

Let's have a look at our starting situation:


The first thing we notice (besides our ridiculous cash reserve) is the insane amount of maintenance cost we have to face. If we want to keep a healthy budget, something needs to be done. As you may know, the most expensive divisions are artillery divisions, and we have plenty of it. So let's disband them. It will save us a lot of money, plus add some need manpower to our reserve. What ? We need troops to fight the war ? Don't worry, we will build new ones.

After some annoying clicks, things look much better:


With the spared manpower, we reinforce every division:


Than we re-allocate our divisions according to a pure defensive doctrine. The plan is simple: fight off any attack while waiting for new troops.


(the cavalry divisions are sent to the eastern front)​


In the east, we kept our precious artillery, because we do not have enough troops to disband them. We reorganize the front, and appoint Hindenburg, out of some strange feeling he might do well there...


The whole fleet is sent to the baltic, in order to provide support with shore bombardments.


Then comes the annoying stuff: calling home the ships scattered around the globe, while not forgetting to set manually the paths if we want to see them again.


We set the commerce windows, and plan to stockpile useful goods to commission future divisions.


(GUNS !)​


We choose to research "infiltration", because of the fire bonus AND, of course, because we want to build tanks.


Finally, we take a look at the political windows, and discover a nice plurality level of 115. Somehow this urges us to hold immediately new elections...



Wait a minute: i could use this !

Voila. I hope nothing has been forgotten. Ah, yes: i modded myself a pool of 30 generals and 3 admirals, because I hate un-leaded divisions. The entente start with 20 general each ( + 1M cash).
 
Last edited:

Nikolai

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Wow, lots of manual work which must have been extremely boring to do. I like your decision to hold the ground in the west, it's probably the best thing to do.:)
 
May 29, 2007
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Starting situation II

I woke up today thinking I could press the "unpause" button. I still thought to myself I would be the case when I launched the game. Thus i got quite disappointed when I clicked on Rheinland province as a random check of pops/factories situation: Rheinland had LOADS of unemployed pops. Other States too, be in less extend. I guess this comes from some messing up in the cvs file; don't know if it is the case in Vanilla 1914 scenario. Anyway: something must be done about this. So we convert back a farmer to a laborer ( or the opposite ) in each province, all over Germany, since it will trigger pop merging as soon as we unpause.


And thus the boring stuff goes on...

Once the pops checked, the last thing we should have a look at is the building queue. Wannabe Tatar in his mod has chosen to leave out mobilization in favour of pre-set building queues for each nations. I must say this is a brilliant idea, since it renders a step-wise mobilization (the new divisions come out in batches) without messing up the whole economy. Our next batch is due to October: this mean we have to hold the line until then with what we have.

 
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May 29, 2007
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update I: August 1914 - Part I

Nothing holds us from unpausing at this point, so lets do it. As soon as we press the button, we are welcomed by two battle messages. No doubt possible: this is WW I scenario... The nice thing is our healthy income.


We have a quick look at the battle fields. Allenstein doesn't look to bad:


Giving the combat-malus of the russian in WWI scenario, this is a clear win

Liege looks even better:


Notice that we kept our artillery here !

As predicted, the battle of Allenstein (should be called a skirmish) is soon over:


The nice thing about writing an AAR: you're always right when predicting stuff...

The battle of Liege is also won:


See ? Right again ...

We temporarily leave Europe for some urgent business with the Chinese: we GIVE them 100pounds to improve our relations.


I know: the plan is to make money, not giving it away

After a few days, the income stabilizes:


This leaves us enough money to order some imports; since we want to commission soldiers, we need loads of guns, and loads of corned beef.


On August the 11th our redeployments start to show up:


Two days later, we loose the race about memel. The russian arrive first; even thought we have some slow artillery, I can't find another explanation for this but yet another "surprise" from the WotN mod: the Russian troop movement must have been coded with some advantage.


On August the 14th, Liege is fully occupied. We loose no time and disband all the artillery.


On August the 16th, the Englishmen must somehow have heard of our plan in China (not even mentioned them here...) and decide to attack. Luckily, we guessed that sneeky agression and sent Rupprecht to defend the province.


Go Ruppy !

Battlefields always annoyed me. Instead of watching Rupprecht fighting off the British (no doubt he will win), we check the effects of our import policy on the daily income: still looks pretty good.


One day later, Von Below FINALLY decides it would be nice to arrive at some time, and shows up in Arlon. Gosh; even without artillery, this takes forever.


On August the 18th, the High See Fleet arrives in front of the shore of Memel. The Battle was still going on, but ends immediately thanks to heavy shore bombardments.


Thank You Tirpitz !
 
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May 29, 2007
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Update II: August 1914 - Part II

As I have some spared time today, I'm able to post the second update. Don't get over-rejoiced, this won't happen every day...

Since the start of this AAR, new division yet-to-be commissioned have been mentioned, but without much details. Lets focus a bit on the armament plan:

THE PLAN

My favorite army, as I already explained it somewhere in that forum is made of a fixed amount of corps; each one manning one engineer division and 6 guards divisions. Why 7 divisions ? Because that's what fits into the ledger, so you can check out strength of each division without having to scroll down all the time. The eng choice seems quite obvious, since it is a must when it comes to repeal counter-offensives. Why guards ? On vickywiki, you can read "the rich man's regulars". I would rather say "the poor man's artillery". Maintaining guards cost half the price of an artillery division, and with increased fire values, you can hit really hard any army, even if not with the rate than artillery.
Of course, thousands of regulars would be cheaper, but also a real manpower drain because of attrition.

EDIT: If you do not believe me, check out this comparison.

So for this game, we go for an arbitrary 14 Corps of 7 divisions. Total troops required:
14x Infantry + engineer brigade
84x Infantry + guard brigade

Because of the ethnic made up of Germany in that scenario (which I changed), the eng will be south_german and the guards north_german to dispatch the losses around the whole country.

In WotN, we start with 2 south_german Eng division and 3 north_german Guards, which leaves 12 eng to be commissionned, and 81 guards. As the goods required will be available progressively, through production and imports we only need to ensure there is enough manpower.

Thus we start the first round of pop conversion to soldiers:


Which gives us plenty of new soldiers:


After the soldier promotion, some money is left to fill factories. We choose the most profitable and start a clerks/craftsmen promotion round.


Gosh: this is expensive !

On August 20th, our Pacific fleet got caught by the British navy.


This one doesn't look very good

The day later, the British attack in East- Africa:


and the French in the West:


On August the 23rd, Arlon is fully occupied. Von Below immediately starts digging in.


Two days later, the Russian join the British navy in the Pacific. We want to save our PDNs and retreat.


On August 26th, the Russian attack Memel for the second time. With shore bombardments, fortifications and entrenchments, things looks good for us.


Pointless...

Towards the end of the month, we gather enough money for a second round of craftsmen promotion:


Still expensive...

As the Russian break off in Memel, our cavalry finally arrives on the Polish border. One might wonder why we are sending cavalry ? First of all: it's fast, and we quickly need to man that border. Secondly: the AI doesn't care about the quality of the divisions, but the real amount of soldiers. He won't attack until he gets at least 4-5 divisions in front of my cavalry. hopefully new troops will be available by then.


The Belgian are beaten off Kigali, as are the French in Kamerun. We defend our colony as well as possible, since they might become a source of cash if we are to sell them.


Only the British attack in Tanga is still going on.


Although it might last for a while, this should be a winning one

By the time, we notice our population is dwindling, and check in some random provinces:


No doubt: this is called emigration, and it sucks. The strange thing is the destination. Since Viborg is a province of Denmark, we click on our northern little neighbor and figure out that, indeed, Denmark has become the lastest best immigration magnet.


Looks like emigrating to the Americas is overrated ...

On August 29th, our Pacific fleet gets caught a second time. Chance to see it arriving alive are very small.


To finish this update, a overview of our situation:

OVERVIEW: SEPTEMBER 1st 1914

Western front:


Eastern Front:


Game stats:


Daily Income: +287
Debt:0

Ok: looks like the pops conversions really killed our income; butwe're still earning money...
 
Last edited:

Kurt_Steiner

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Amazing. The Russians are not yet in Vienna.:D
 

unmerged(130521)

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Thats a hell of a lot of manpower
 

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This is quite a novel idea, though I fear for your chances of winning. I have played as Germany in WotN, and to say the least I was in a tiny bit of debt at the end; I think it was somewhere around a billion... can't be sure. Then again, I did beat up the world as Italy, so anything is possible!
 
May 29, 2007
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Feedback

Kurt_Steiner: The Austrian are doing quite well, more in next update bout this. Notice that overall, Austria performs much better in WotN than Vanilla, according to my game experience.

n.y.o, demokratickid: Yeah, I may have been too generous in pop conversion. All the disbanding at game start already gave me some 450 Manpower points. Though there is no doubt I will need them all once my offensive corps get ready...

robou: All I can say a this point is: there are currently no plans to loose the war ! IF a choice should be made between loosing the war and going heavily into debt, I'm still not sure about which option I might take.
 
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May 29, 2007
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update III: September 1914

THE SAD FATE OF THE PACIFIC FLEET

The misfortunes of our Pacific fleet continue; while trying to save what remains


we sadly run in another British naval patrol.


The SMS Scharnhorst hasn't made it, when we finally manage to break off:


We thought it would be over by now, but somehow these ships are cursed and BAM: next patrol:


Our cruisers take a few shots, and retreat as fast as possible, to join the (relatively) safe harbour of Kribi. Note that at this point, I'm puzzled about clicking the "reinforcement" button or not, since it would *magically* teleport the two surviving Cruisers to their home port of Hamburg; though leaving there here will become precarious over time...


We check the ongoing battle of Qingdao: Rupprecht has now a nearly 2 to 1 advantage.


On September 9th, the Russian decide to test again the defense of Memel, bringing in some infantry. We still have shore bombardment, and use this opportunity to inflict a maximum of damage.


Since no burning hot battle requires our attention, we switch to economy and have a look at the budget: looks like we got again over the 1k daily income bar !


On September 24th, having lost over 45000 man, the Russian call off the 3rd attack of Memel.


Somthing tells us this wasn't the last battle of Memel ...

Five days later, Rupprecht finally defeats the British in Qingdao. We choose not to pursue the fleeing soldiers - even thought there is no reason to do so...


The Russian occupy upper Silesia. We didn't bother to defend that province. Perhaps we should have, because Austria has now a big hole in her defense line.


Sorry Franz, we have other priorities

October comes, and like last month, we finish with an overview of our situation:


OVERVIEW: OCTOBER 1st 1914

Eastern front: Austria holds firmly Galicia, and even managed to send an expedition to Bessarabia. As already said, this may change quicky due to the Russian occupation of upper Silesia.


Western front: No change. The French have surprisingly few troops there. No Plan XVII yet.


In the Balkan, Serbia invaded Bosnia with nearly all her forces, so that the Austrian found empty fortification in Serbia. Serbia now recalls divisions to the homeland in extremis , and will have to fight Austrians dugg in her own fortifications.


Austria got involved in major naval battles. Looks like the Austrian fleet wont make it into 1915, at current pace of losses.


In Africa we decide to sacrifice Kamerun, because it would be impossible to hold it efficiently.


But we choose to reinforce East and West German Colonies: the long term plan is to sell all African holdings we manage to keep under control to Sweden and Netherlands.


Notice the renewed British attack in Tanga


Game stats:


Cash reserves are growing nicely; we can soon start to commission new divisions

Daily income: +1087
Debt: 0
 
Last edited:

robou

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Solid tactics as ever but I have doubt of a few things. Firstly, you could have wiped out the annoying British force in China if you had pursued; their morale would have been rockbottom and they would be reinforced immediately when they got there so any they did have would be gone. And secondly, I don't think the French/British/Belgians are going to attack...
 

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May 29, 2007
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Feedback

robou: Hehe: it's always nice to have you in Robou, since you seem personally concerned by every AAR (at least mine...) you read. As of your "doubts":
1- Absolutely right. More on this in next update
2- Believe me, they eventually WILL attack once the ratio exceeds 3-4:1 on the western front. I usually experience a massive assault of some 30-40 divisions in early 1915, but who nows - you might be right: this would be excellent for me since it gives me more times.

Davisx3m: Hi; nice to have a new reader :)

demokratickid: (Edited the reply, to avoid forgetting you later and mixing up replies :) ) If you mean using thy High See Battlefleet by "fun", there is no chance at all doing so: right now I need every ship available to help defeating the Russians. Once the Easter front will clear up (thanks to future offensives), I might think of taking on the Home fleet piece by piece.
Otherwise all ships besides the Pacific fleet have been taken safely to Hamburg.

update follows ...
 
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