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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

sandborn9

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Hi,
I'm playing as Germany and is 4th of July 1941. Stalingrad has fallen and the Bitter Peace with Russia is in place. I've micromanaged the fighting and I've crushed the Russian armies. They only have left maybe 10 or so divisions that have to withdraw from my new conquered lands. On the other hand the new border is huge, 56 provinces, and I only have 4 infantry and 1 panzer armies in the east plus 1 infantry army that is guarding Europe. What I would like to do is invade England, but what to do with the new border with Russia? How may divisions should I leave there? Is one infantry division for each province enough to prevent an invasion from Russia? What is Russia usually do after the Bitter Peace? If I leave them alone will they leave me alone for the rest of the game or at least for a few years? How fast are they rebuilding their armies and with what technology (they didn't have a single heavy tank division until now)? I would like to puppet Russia but the invasion of England and Egypt has to take priority. And looking at how huge Siberia is, driving my tanks through it would probably take forever and be a logistic nightmare. So, what should I expect from Russia in the future? Thanks for answers!
 

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One infantry division per border province is sufficient. Try to improve infrastructure "highways" up until the border and then along the border. Important is first to get some time to react to an aggression, and second to have the infrastructure to carry the supplies and fuel for those lovely tanks. Third, should you start war with Russia to puppet it, you will need badly those infrastructure corridors. Don't go in Siberia with more than light tanks (beside Infrantry, that is). Cavalry is even better, given speed and lack of fuel consumption, once you have breached the front.

And, if the border is with the Ural mountains on the Russian side, bring Mountaineers to bear the brunt of the battle in those tricky mountains. Last but not least build some airfields and keep Interceptors there to secure air superiority along border.

Check in the diplomacy screen the relations with the Soviet Union. There is 100% a truce in place, for one year, if I remember correctly. In my experience, although it remains a major power, Russia cannot match your military might for many years to come, so it will have little incentive to attack you. AI is quite sensitive to the balance of power. Go ahead with England without worry.
 
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Kovax

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As said, you have one year of absolute safety. After that, as long as you maintain some troops on the front, the Soviets cannot break the truce unless they outnumber you ON THE BORDER by some serious margin, which decreases each year. If you see them massing troops on the front, you've got more than enough time to prevent a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio.

The invasion of the UK shouldn't require a lot of troops, as long as you can hold a couple of flanking sea zones to allow your transports to unload in safety between them. Once you have a port (ANY port), the transports don't need to sit there as vulnerable targets, and the rest should be a cake-walk compared to the East. Usually, those obsolete battle-wagons left over from WWI will last long enough (with the aid of land-base air) to hold one flanking sea zone, so you just need enough ships to hold the other flank of the invasion's sea corridor, plus some escorts and land-based planes to give the transports some air cover. You can pre-build a couple of Level 1 ports and deploy those wherever your troops land, which should allow enough supply to tide you over until your infantry can gain control of a REAL port.

No need to sink the entire Royal Navy to launch Operation Seelow, although I usually make house rules to sink X number of battleships or close both ends of the Med before invading England, because it makes the game too easy if I take England out of the picture early in 1940.

Puppeting the SU can be problematical, because you will then need to supply any surviving Soviet troops from Berlin. The supply system will send DOUBLE the needed supplies until the supplies at the individual units are at full capacity, and then it will drop to normal. In the mean time, Germany's entire 99,999 stockpile of supplies will vanish into the system, and units in other directions will end up with frequent supply issues. You DO NOT want to be in the middle of a fight with the UK or US while this is happening. Eventually, all of that excess supply will return, along with all of the Soviet stockpile, overflowing your own stockpile. Enjoy the mess. Afterwards, you've got the entire eastern 2/3 of the SU in your faction as an ally, rather than against you.

What's even more entertaining (in a bad sort of way) is if you annex the whole thing, and then have to deal with rebels spawning at the rate of several per month, with travel times from one revolt to the next taking several months across the terrible infrastructure. Basically, you can empty your entire manpower pool to place garrisons and mobile units and still not keep it all that well pacified.....but you'll have so much IC you won't know what to do with it (Hint: build a ginormous navy and expand your air force to take on the US, plus sink a couple hundred IC into infrastructure upgrades to create supply corridors through the former SU territories).
 
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phantomrider

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Agree with most of the above. One point in terms of rebellion suppression is to spam at lot of militia division (2 militia regiments plus some artillery) as "garrison" units and station them in cities and respond to things in between with "light motorized" units (again 2 motorized regiments or 4 motorized battalions plus some artillery and maybe engineers). All can easily handle any "partisan" units that pop up and the cost is minimal. You don't need full infantry or mech/motorized line units to deal with partisans. And as everyone says build infrastructure all across the east.
 
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Kovax

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There are several ways of handling partisan revolts.

One option, as stated above, is to use MIL, because they're cheap, use very little Leadership for officers, consume less supplies, and are a bit lighter on Manpower draw than other options. They're also weaker than the alternatives, so you may need more of them, or to add Artillery which defeats the whole point of "cheap". MIL also generates no suppression to prevent those revolts, so you may also need to add MPs to reduce supply penalties through areas with high Revolt Risk. If it works for you, go right ahead and use it, but I've had better luck with other options. MIL can be effective in places with terrible Infrastructure where other options have trouble with supply, but I see them as an inferior choice in any developed region that will support mobile response units.

A second method is to use GAR to defend the important places (VPs, cities with decent IC, or major resource provinces), and use a mobile force (MOT+AC, or 2xCAV) to deal with the revolts in the empty spaces between them at your leisure. GAR are too slow to go chasing partisans, but defend almost as well as INF, use 1/3 the Leadership for officers as INF (but 3x more than MIL), and have twice the suppression value as regular INF. Adding a MP brigade significantly increases the suppression value of the stack (and can be increased through techs), which I reserve for major bottleneck areas where a partisan uprising or high Revolt Risk penalty would cause serious supply issues further down the line. Basically 2xGAR will hold out against attack about as well as 3xMIL, use slightly less IC, less Manpower, and less supply, but will require more officers. MIL are still rather slow for partisan chasing, so you're probably going to want mobile units in either case, but with GAR it becomes more of a necessity.

A third option is to deploy minimal garrisons in the places too valuable to lose, and either lone MOT or CAV+AC brigades on a few widely scattered airfields throughout the territory. In the event of a revolt, you can rebase a lone TAC to the closest airfield, and there will be sufficient supply on hand for at least limited operations because of the fuel-using unit stationed there. Once the TAC is rebased, the ground unit can proceed to the location of the revolt, and by the time it arrives, the rebels will generally have been bombed to the point where they're ready to accept surrender terms from the first ground troops that show up.

If I need to garrison large areas, I generally use some combination of the second and third options, depending on what I need to defend and how good or bad the infrastructure may be. In a few cases where getting fuel for MOT or AC is problematical (the African interior, for example), I've created a HQ for a couple of garrison divisions and added an INF brigade to that as a hard-hitting mobile element that doesn't require fuel, which is also a reasonable training ground for any low-skill officers you don't want or need to put on the front lines.
 
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There are several ways of handling partisan revolts.

One option, as stated above, is to use MIL, because they're cheap, use very little Leadership for officers, consume less supplies, and are a bit lighter on Manpower draw than other options. They're also weaker than the alternatives, so you may need more of them, or to add Artillery which defeats the whole point of "cheap". MIL also generates no suppression to prevent those revolts, so you may also need to add MPs to reduce supply penalties through areas with high Revolt Risk. If it works for you, go right ahead and use it, but I've had better luck with other options. MIL can be effective in places with terrible Infrastructure where other options have trouble with supply, but I see them as an inferior choice in any developed region that will support mobile response units.

A second method is to use GAR to defend the important places (VPs, cities with decent IC, or major resource provinces), and use a mobile force (MOT+AC, or 2xCAV) to deal with the revolts in the empty spaces between them at your leisure. GAR are too slow to go chasing partisans, but defend almost as well as INF, use 1/3 the Leadership for officers as INF (but 3x more than MIL), and have twice the suppression value as regular INF. Adding a MP brigade significantly increases the suppression value of the stack (and can be increased through techs), which I reserve for major bottleneck areas where a partisan uprising or high Revolt Risk penalty would cause serious supply issues further down the line. Basically 2xGAR will hold out against attack about as well as 3xMIL, use slightly less IC, less Manpower, and less supply, but will require more officers. MIL are still rather slow for partisan chasing, so you're probably going to want mobile units in either case, but with GAR it becomes more of a necessity.

A third option is to deploy minimal garrisons in the places too valuable to lose, and either lone MOT or CAV+AC brigades on a few widely scattered airfields throughout the territory. In the event of a revolt, you can rebase a lone TAC to the closest airfield, and there will be sufficient supply on hand for at least limited operations because of the fuel-using unit stationed there. Once the TAC is rebased, the ground unit can proceed to the location of the revolt, and by the time it arrives, the rebels will generally have been bombed to the point where they're ready to accept surrender terms from the first ground troops that show up.

If I need to garrison large areas, I generally use some combination of the second and third options, depending on what I need to defend and how good or bad the infrastructure may be. In a few cases where getting fuel for MOT or AC is problematical (the African interior, for example), I've created a HQ for a couple of garrison divisions and added an INF brigade to that as a hard-hitting mobile element that doesn't require fuel, which is also a reasonable training ground for any low-skill officers you don't want or need to put on the front lines.
very iteresting-- It also depends on what variant you play Plain HOI III or some of the mods. (I play WWII Immersion almost all the time and there is a cheap artillery option of battalions rather than brigades. Point about garrison speed is correct but militia is also slow as well.
 
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sandborn9

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Well, thanks for all the answers but... the game is already over? :( The game says I won! It's just January 1942 and everybody has surrender. Only Canada and Australia are left. And USA but they never joined the Allies and are only at war with the Japanese. And the Japanese are winning. Strange enough, since the German-Bund are in power in the USA, they are aligning themselves to the Axis at a fast rate while at the same time they are at war with an Axis country. The Russians still have only around 15 divisions at the border so I could just march toward Siberia unopposed. I now have the entire Europe, Africa, most of Asia, 1000 IC, and hundreds of divisions. I guess I could invade Canada and then USA but at this point I don't think that would be challenging. I honestly found the game was too easy. The only serious fight was at the beginning of the invasion of Russia. After that it was just rolling tanks unopposed everywhere. The enemy AI is seriously lacking. It doesn't understand strategy, it doesn't know what to do. The best thing they could come up with was attacking my tank divisions with... HQs? Probably trying to slow me down? And how is this even realistic? HQs attacking tank divisions and surviving. I heard they've got rid of the HQs in HOI4 and I think that's a great thing as I found it very tedious trying to keep everybody in the range of their HQ in the middle of the fight. I think the biggest mistake I made was influencing USA elections and keep them out of the war. If they would have joined the Allies maybe the game would have been more challenging. Anyway, I'm looking forward to HOI 4 now! :)
 

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Well, if HOI3 was "easy", then you'll probably be even more disappointed with HOI4. Logistics has been pared down to merely limiting how many units you can put in a region, no matter how bad the infrastructure is between that and your factories and/or capital. In essence, all units forage for their supplies. Minor countries can easily take over the world, in the hands of the player. The production end of the game has been improved, at least, but the AI is as stupid as ever, and several of the limiting factors in HOI3 have been removed or weakened. Many of the more strategically oriented players eventually returned to HOI3, despite its obvious weaknesses.

One option is to try a couple of mods for HOI3, which can add a little bit of extra challenge for Germany, depending on the mod. BICE has an enthusiastic following. Another option is to play smaller countries, where you don't have the Manpower, Leadership, or Industrial Capacity to go toe-to-toe with the majors, and use the "butterfly effect" to influence larger events with your limited resources. You can also introduce "house rules", where you can't do X until you do Y and Z, self-limiting. I've done that in a couple of GER campaigns, where I won't invade the UK home islands until I (or my allies) have closed off the Mediterranean on both ends, or have sunk at least 10 UK battleships, which gets a bit harder if you DON'T invite Japan into the Axis, and quite a bit harder if you go solo, without Italy's fleet to spread out the Royal Navy. I also limit any claims to what I actually take with my own forces, rather than exploiting war goals to steal conquered land from my allies. Going ballistic with GER in 1936 is just too easy, and even following the historical timeline until "Danzig or War" can still lead to an overwhelming German victory by '42. I've quit a few campaigns in '42 where the US was the only significant challenge remaining, and even that was just going to be a matter of time. As you discovered, it's fairly easy to keep them neutral to the Axis if you don't invite Japan, or use spies to swing their elections, and then invade them at your convenience. Worse, playing a minor country, if you remain neutral, the majors will never declare war on you unless you attack a faction member of a country that's guaranteed by a faction member, so you can grab half the planet before anyone objects.

Bear in mind that the game was originally intended to be a lot more of a "sandbox", allowing countries to react to changing events, but that failed miserably, largely due to lack of restraint on the part of the AI: "Just because you can doesn't mean you should." The game was all but unplayable upon release, and anything even remotely resembling WWII was purely accidental. The entire game was hurriedly revised to use scripted events and decisions, limiting what you or the AI can do, and what the AI responds to. Considering how bad the game was upon release, I'm actually impressed with how well it turned out, although I'd have made a few things significantly different than what was done. Sadly, it needed about one more major patch or expansion to fix a few of the remaining issues and tie up a couple of loose ends.
 
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