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Bullfilter

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Have read through - very interesting, exploring a few areas of HOI3 practice I haven’t gone into in detail before.

One question, re:
Bhutan fell to the Chinese in late August
At the end of August or first of September, Germany declared war on the Soviet Union,
It’s not clear in recent episodes what year things were happening: is it now up to 1941?
 
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Kovax

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Thanks to the mountains, jungles, and forests, as well as the near-constant rainfall turning the ground to mud, progress was limited throughout the remainder of 1941. Germany was making slow but steady progress in the Soviet Union, occupying all of the Baltic states in the north and reaching Odessa in the south, and Romania joined the Axis. Italy had recovered somewhat in North Africa and had taken back its lost provinces plus a couple, completed the takeover of Greece, and actually managed to capture Gibraltar, on which I had placed an Italian objective. That made the UK supply situation a bit more critical, since all supplies to the Far East and Mediterranean needed to be routed around Africa. On November of 1941 (a date which will live in infamy), Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, bringing the US into the Allies, much to the dismay of the rest of the Axis faction.

A pesky UK Marine unit had held up the Chinese advance in the north for months, until Chinese reinforcements and a TAC wing arrived and eventually routed the division. The TAC bombing, out of reach of UK fighters, allowed some additional Chinese air combat experience for faster tech development. The northern edge of India was slowly but steadily being taken, with very little Allied resistance aside from that stubborn Marine unit and a single division of regular Nepalese infantry. Infrastructure upgrades through the mountains from China continued to complete, reaching level 4 throughout and level 5 in about half or more, improving the supply situation. Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, was occupied by Chinese troops in early December, and the country became a Chinese puppet, taking that second Allied division in the north out of the Allies and placing it in the Axis. A few days later, Japan managed to take Singapore, while Chinese troops occupied Calcutta in early January of 1942, removing just about every viable UK naval base in the Far East (there's one on the end of Sumatra that's in a Level 1 infrastructure province, so it's impossible to take). Freshly raised Garrison divisions were placed in the ports, to free up the combat units for further advances. With the new year, another round of logistics techs were put into the research queue. The UK surrender progress bar was up to about 25%. Hmmm, I wonder what I would need to do to land troops in England......

The US declared war on Vichy in January of '42, Germany absorbed the continental France portion of Vichy via the "Case Anton" decision, and the UK landed a small invasion force in southern France during February, which was summarily crushed. The Soviets also managed to land a small contingent of troops in occupied southern Greece, which the combined German and Italian forces in the region were busy dealing with.

Also in February, China's first CVL entered service, and a second CVL was started, more to boost Carrier Practical than for a useful ship. One more level of engine tech to 1938 levels and China's first true CV of a great fleet should be viable. Chinese CL designs are finally up to 1936 standards, other than engine tech which is soon to reach the current tech level. Chinese-design CLs to supplement the two German-design CLs and replace the remaining obsolete WWI relics are expected to enter production within a couple of months when the next set of techs completes. The second licensed German-design DD finished, and the first level of ASW tech finished researching, giving China a CVL+2xDD group to hunt the annoying UK subs operating off the coast of Vietnam and even into the Japanese islands. With Singapore and the nearby DEI islands taken by the Axis, the subs have to be operating either from Australia or Manila, and I placed an objective for Japan on Manila. I'm preparing a small expedition to take Darwin in northern Australia, while the Japanese have occupied a significant portion of the eastern end.
 
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Eurasia

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Oh! A change....China plans to invade Australia.....
 
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Kovax

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Another month, another province. China's two infantry groups diverged, with the northern group pushing across India's northern border and the couple of rows of provinces below it. The leading MTN division managed to approach within 3 provinces of Delhi in early February, 1942, but was delayed while the regular infantry divisions negotiated the difficult terrain to catch up. The southern group pushed southward along India's eastern shore, with a light 2xINF division trailing behind and widening the occupied strip along the way.

A 3xINF+ART division and a 2xGAR division loaded up aboard two transports, and headed south toward Australia, escorted by a group of 4 obsolete WWI light cruisers and one fairly modern CL of German design, plus an aging WWI Destroyer. The escorting force was unable to reach Darwin directly from Hong Kong, and had to rebase at Borneo first, but the DD was STILL incapable of reaching Darwin from there, and had to be left behind. The invasion force arrived at Darwin, and the troops debarked on either side of the port, which was defended by a single 2xGAR division. An Australian fleet of 4 obsolete WWI leftovers, 2xCL and 2xDD, showed up to contest the landing, and a naval battle ensued. With numerical superiority, one newer ship, and marginally better naval doctrines, the Chinese group managed to drive off the Australians with only light damage inflicted by either side, and the Australians fell back into the port itself for protection.

Just as the Chinese troops reached shore, a UK naval task force arrived, led by the Battleship HMS Valiant. Since it was a new battle, the Chinese fleet was forced to wait out the delay before being able to retreat. All 5 Chinese CLs were heavily damaged and one of the two Transports was sunk before the fleet was able to break contact and head back to Hong Kong for repairs. Meanwhile, the infantry units assaulted the port from opposite sides, routing the defenders and taking the port before the end of the month.

Further north, Japan managed to occupy the port of Manila, leaving only a couple of low-level ports for only the longest-ranged Allied fleets to operate from, ending the submarine threat to Japan's and China's coasts. A replacement Transport was put in the queue to replace the loss off the coast of Darwin, although China still has another 3xTPT group that it can bring in from Shanghai.

I don't think the Axis is allowed to liberate countries, otherwise liberating India would soon be an option. The down side to that is that those occupied provinces would no longer count toward the UK's surrender progress. There's no specific war goal for India, so unless some Axis country places a war goal to conquer or puppet the UK, all of that land in India would be returned to the UK if/when they surrender, and the Axis would only receive the single province of Hong Kong for its efforts. If the UK's surrender progress gets close to 100%, and no Axis power has put in a war goal, I may have to do so, although I haven't spotted a suitable goal in the list that makes sense for China, given its actual progress versus that of Japan. It would really be unrealistic to have China take all of the islands that Japan occupies, as that would be unreasonable to expect from Japan. I have not, and do not intend to, place a war goal on Australia, since my own efforts are fairly trivial compared to those of Japan.
 
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Wraith11B

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I don't think the Axis is allowed to liberate countries, otherwise liberating India would soon be an option.

They can liberate countries, but the country has to exist first. So unless India is released, the Axis won't be able to liberate it.
 
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Kovax

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The months of March and April of 1942 saw further Chinese advances across India, with both Delhi and Bangalore falling into Chinese hands. Bombay remained as the last UK VP location to take, and several divisions were directed toward it. That previously annoying UK Marine division reappeared, back to full Organization, and once again played havoc with the leading elements of the Chinese advance, then fell back and vanished into the interior once again when China's supporting divisions arrived. Once Bombay falls, the next few steps will be to take the remaining ports, cutting all supply to the couple of remaining UK divisions left to garrison the entire sub-continent, then eliminating that Marine division.

The Soviet foothold in Greece was steadily being pushed into the extreme tip of the peninsula by Italian and German forces, and Italy managed to take Alexandria in Egypt, but Axis progress further north on the Eastern Front was minimal during the remaining winter months. Despite losing Manila and Darwin, UK submarines were still operating off the coast of Vietnam, sinking Chinese and Japanese supply and resource convoys. There are TWO Dutch ports which cannot be taken, located on Sumatra, as they are in provinces with only Level 1 infrastructure, and land units cannot enter the province. I don't know if the subs can operate out of them or not, but that would be a serious oversight on the part of the developers, to have ports which cannot be taken. The Netherlands' acting capital while in exile is also located on Sumatra in impassible territory.

If/when Italy closes the Suez Canal to the Allies and opens it to Axis traffic, I may have to consider sending transports to the French coast, and eventually try a landing on the British Isles, otherwise it's highly unlikely that the Axis will end this struggle before the end of the game's timeline.
 
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Kovax

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Throughout May, Chinese troops closed in on the remaining UK ports in India, but the seemingly ever-present mud conditions slowed the advances. Two divisions managed to cut off the lower quarter of the sub-continent, and at the end of the month, one was poised to enter undefended Cochin(?) in a matter of days, the last UK port supplying the southern tip of the sub-continent. Another division managed to cut the peninsula directly below Bombay, but was unwilling to attempt an unsupported assault on the city against a well dug-in defending division of similar strength.

Two divisions left Delhi and proceeded to cut across the north-western desert region toward Karachi, while the bulk of the Chinese forces in the region (roughly 6 more divisions) crossed the peninsula above Bombay. One MTN division was two provinces shy of reaching the coast, but halted to allow the trailing regular infantry divisions to catch up, rather than find itself cut off and destroyed by the feared UK Marine division.

Frequent Australian and occasional UK submarine attacks on Axis shipping continued, despite the loss of almost every port in range. The Darwin region was cleared, as the garrison division had nowhere left to run, due to the surrounding impassible jungle. It seems that each of the island ports is cut off from the others by either ocean or impassible terrain, so landings need to be made at each, and supply convoys need to be routed to each as well. Fortunately, Japan is able to handle most of the amphibious landings without my assistance.

On the opposite side of the enormous Soviet Union, German troops had made essentially no progress over the winter, although the Soviet invasion force in Greece has been driven into the three southern-most provinces after having controlled all but one province of southern Greece below Athens and a single province above it at the high point of the invasion. The UK managed to push Italy back to its starting position in North Africa, occupied the entire Vichy area in the Palestine region, and had made a landing below southeastern Spain, despite Italy holding Gibraltar. The Axis situation overall appears to be marginal, still winnable, but increasingly behind where it should be by this point. I suspect that China's early Threat due to attacking the various warlords has been enough to significantly increase Allied military production, making Germany's and Italy's opponents somewhat tougher than usual, despite the increased military production in Germany and Italy due to raising Threat on the UK.
 
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Kovax

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By mid-June of 1942, China had occupied Karachi, but the supporting units for the assault on Bombay were further delayed by weather, and did not arrive until late July. By that time, the UK Marine division was cut off from supply, running out of places to run, and in danger of being pinned against the coast. Its supporting infantry division and several HQs had already been overrun or pocketed and eliminated. The last port in the southern end of India was in Chinese hands, and the reinforcements were cutting through the remaining UK-controlled provinces on their way to the front, leaving a lot of tiny pockets of one or two provinces for a couple of supply-friendly independent brigades to clean behind the combat forces. The desolate northwestern region has no VPs, no resources, and nothing of any strategic worth, and can be cleaned up later.

In late July, Bombay was assaulted from two sides, and a lengthy battle ensued. Around the end of the month, after inflicting fairly heavy casualties on the Chinese attackers, the defending division finally routed, with nowhere to run except into one of the small pockets in the interior, which was about to be cut off from supply. Australia surrendered to Japan in the first days of August, and a day later Bombay was occupied by China, leaving no Allied ports within range of Japan or the Chinese mainland.

Clearly, the next step is to take the fight to the Allies, and assist Italy and Germany against the UK in Africa and the Middle East, at least as soon as a couple more ships complete. I'm not ready for a naval confrontation at this stage, and really can't protect a landing operation for long. Since Italy has failed to take the Suez Canal, I will need to fight my way to it from this side. I don't want to get involved in a war against the Soviets, but that may become necessary if Germany's situation gets any worse. They're still gaining ground, but barely, and that means it's only a matter of time until the Manpower runs out and they begin the long retreat.
 
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Kovax

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From the end of July through early September, Chinese troops consolidated their hold on India, pinning and eliminating the last UK divisions and HQs on the sub-continent, and began occupying the remaining untaken provinces in the interior and the desolate north-western desert and mountains. The UK sat at 44% surrender progress, but there were no more VP locations to take within reach of China's still-limited power-projection capabilities.

Things went from marginal to bad in the West, with Italy being kicked completely out of North Africa, and Germany had made essentially zero progress in the Soviet Union over the entire summer. Germany's and Italy's manpower were both still at acceptable levels, but gradually deteriorating, and Soviet resistance would only grow stronger. Then there's the US to consider, which is bound to make an appearance at some point, and Japan has practically no defenses on its home islands: two combat divisions and about 20 assorted HQs to cover the entire island chain.

Due to the game mechanics for factions, the only way for China to successfully annex Hong Kong from the UK is for the Axis to win a complete victory. That is looking all but impossible at this point. In other words, short of using console commands, I cannot achieve the goal of annexing all of China's core provinces. Macao could probably be achieved with spies, to trigger a coup and kick France out of the Allies, then declare a private war against them for Macao, but Hong Kong can only be taken through the defeat of the entire Allied faction. I'm heavily dependent on the rest of the Axis to achieve this, and in this campaign, the Axis is currently incapable of winning. I tried a landing in Africa, but the fleet was intercepted and driven off with losses it can't replace for at least another 6 months, to make another attempt. By that time, I expect the US to begin taking the war to Japan. By 1945, I expect China to have a decent modern fleet capable of taking on the Royal Navy, but by that time, the US fleet will be knocking on my own doors. It's just not going to work. Thanks for viewing the AAR.
 
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Idhrendur

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Ah, too bad. Nevertheless, good work!
 
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Bullfilter

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Fair enough, a moral victory for China, if not for the faction. Thanks for sharing it with us.
 
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Eurasia

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Next HoI3 Tutorial - Unbreakable Poland!!!!
 
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roverS3

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The bane of any good campaign. Incapable Allies...

Thanks for taking us along for the ride.
 
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Kovax

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My latest campaign, which I'm NOT doing an AAR for, is playing Hungary for the umpteenth time. The twist this time around is to avoid any awkward entanglements with their traditional allies, and then backstab them for fun and profit, by stealing Austria and Czechoslovakia out from under Germany's nose before invading Italy. Italy requires several German events in order to lower its neutrality before it can join the Axis. By taking Austria before Anschluss, then Czechoslovakia before the Munich decision, not only does it prevent Germany from getting all of those sweeet bonuses and all of that Leadership, IC, and Resource rich land as core territory, and not only does it build a lot of Threat as an Authoritarian government to reduce Allied and Commintern consumer demand and allow more aggressive production laws to be used against Germany, but it stops Italy from joining the Axis, until 1940 at the very least. I can then pick off Italy at my leisure, once I feel strong enough to attempt it. Once Germany gets itself into a two-front war without Italy's assistance, I can backstab them as well, making a bee-line for their lightly defended home turf while their armies are away in distant places like France and the Soviet Union.
 
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Alex Kernel

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Thanks @Kovax, a very interesting campaign! Original strategy. Next time, please present us some graphics as well, to make the presentation easier to the eye. ;-)
 
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Surt

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I felt like I was in that timetravel game where you had to fix things in the past to get a result in the future ... Zac McCracken?
 
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Kovax

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I felt like I was in that timetravel game where you had to fix things in the past to get a result in the future ... Zac McCracken?
...except that when you do manage to travel back in time, you find that one of the problems can't be fixed.

One problem with a lot of the decisions is that you don't know the requirements in advance......SURPRISE!!! You missed that one small detail back about 2-3 years ago. Since I normally play as a European country, this was an educational experience for me, despite years of frequent play.
 
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diskoerekto

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this has been a great read, congrats for this learning experience AAR!
 
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