How the German High Seas Fleet conquered Russia – A neutral Belgium AAR (Full Version)

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ulver -> How the German High Seas Fleet conquered Russia – A neutral Belgium AAR (12/29/2012 4:33:17 PM)

Amaranthus took up my Neutral Belgium challenge. I confess I was a bit skeptical given the time zone difference but he has proven to be a great opponent who apparently doesn’t need to sleep – ever. My personal working theory about him is that he is a vampire. [:D]

The Agreed upon house rules were:

House Rules

1. Neutral Belgium. Until and unless neutrality is violated by the central powers the following apply:
1.1 Entente player may not build, place or move any Belgium units
1.2 Other Entente units may not enter Belgian territory.
1.3 Central Powers are considered to have violated Belgian neutrality when a Central Power unit attacks a Belgian unit or enters a Belgian hex. Doing so voids house rule section 1 and 2.


2.British neutrality.
Britain is assumed to be initially neutral and then eventually entering the war to preserve the balance of power on the continent in response to Central Powers aggression. While neutral the following applies
2.1 No non-British Entente units may enter British hexes
2.2 No British units may enter the territory of another Entente power, attack a central power unit(that includes ships) or enter Central power territory.
2.3 Britain may not disband any units...
2.4. Britain is restricted in buying additional research centers.
2.4.1 To buy additional Ground Unit Research centers she must build and maintain one Infantry Army in addition to starting forces for each Research center she buys
2.4.2 To buy additional Artillery Research centers she must build and maintain two Artillery units for each Research center she buys
2.4.3 To buy additional Navel Research centers she must build and maintain one battleship in addition to starting forces for each Research center she buys
2.4.4 To buy additional Air Research centers she must build and maintain two fighters in addition to starting forces for each Research center she buys
2.4.5 To buy additional vehicle Research centers she must build and maintain two armored cars for each Research center she buys. Note: This to avoid Britain disbanding everything and putting everything into Research until 6 turns before she goes to war where she would sell some of the research she could not maintain and buy units
2.5 British entry into the Great War. Britain enters the war when
2.5.1 A central power unit enters Belgium or attacks a Belgian unit.
2.5.2 The Central Powers declare war on the Netherlands
2.5.3 A Central Power unit is adjacent to Paris or Rome
2.5.4 A Central Power unit attacks a French convoy
2.5.5 A Central Power unit attacks a British unit
2.5.6 A Central Power unit enters a British controlled hex.
2.5.7 It is 1916 or later
2.6 British entry into the war voids section 2 of the house rules. Note section 1 will still apply unless 2.5.1 applies


3. US entry into the great war

3.1 Germany must declare war on the USA on the 6th turn where any two of Paris, Rome, Petrograd/Moscow or London have been continuously and simultaneously held by the Central Powers.
3.1.1 Petrograd/Moscow only counts as one city even if both are captured – it counts if either has been captured
3.2 An accepted surrender counts as occupation of all cities in the surrendering nation


4 Air Power restrictions.

4.1 A nation can only have a number of zeppelins on the board equal to or less then their level of airship technology – 1. (As an example Germany is allowed 1 zeppelin at the start).
4.1 A nation can only have a number of bombers on the board equal to or less then their level of bombing technology – 1 (As an example France is not allowed any bombers at the start and Italy could build one when she enters the war)





ulver -> Entente initial warplanes. (12/29/2012 5:22:06 PM)

Entente initial warplanes.

Overview:
Make him spend as much time as possible conquering Russia while the other Entente Powers build up an insurmountable technological, infrastructure and ammunition lead while cutting unneeded expenses to an absolute minimum
Use that lead to grind him down in a lengthy war of attrition where France and Britain receives overseas manpower while the Central Powers slowly bleed to death because their manpower is finite. Also use the technological advantage in air power to launch a devastating bombing offensive – in particular my using the impressive Italian heavy bomber technological expertise to destroy all German/Austrian industry in range of my airfields.

Nation specific:

Russia - a beautiful death for a greater cause
I did some back of the envelop calculations that seems that seemed to indicate that the Central Powers need to conquer Petrograd to force a Russian surrender prior to the revolution events. That gave me confidence that all I had to do was make the occasional hero city garrisoned by an armored train to divert attention while establishing a strong Fortress Petrograd redoubt and the Germans would not be able to knock out both Russia and Italy thus dooming them to eventual defeat.
Using armored trains as faraway garrisons would be absolutely essential as otherwise he could bleed Russia to death by the simple expedience of besieging armies in cities and carefully avoiding killing them thus draining my economy by the need to maintain them and making it easy to overrun Petrograd. I was looking forward to giving Tsarist Russia a beautiful and heroic death.

France – cost cutting to victory
Reduce needless maintenance to an absolute minimum while spending income productively on tech upgrades. That would include garrisoning as much as possible of the front with armored trains as long as their defense was as good as garrisons and disbanding everything else.

[image]local://upfiles/4201/DE5A4CBC3AE8481BACC34BC2EF894CF8.jpg[/image]
Illustration of the French policy of cost minimization in progress.

Make sure not to waste shells if stockpiles looked set over exceeded fifty so build at least one artillery.

Build French subs to attack the Germans in the Baltic. Killing his convoys would be nice but what is critical is that attacking them allows the Entente to begin researching anti-sub technology for later convoy defense.

As Italy looks set to enter the war, or a premature attack is expected, make sure to upgrade French rail capacity to at least 3, preferably 4 and be ready to rail massive support to Italy on the first turn of the war.

Britain – Problems of empire defense.
One problem Britain has is that garrisoning Scapa Flow, Gibraltar and possibly Malta cost a fortune if done with garrisons. Obvious solution is using artillery as a garrison. Cheaper to pay upkeep for and actually potentially useful to shell enemy shipping attacking ships using the bases to refit.
Apart from that tech, tech and more tech while Britain is neutral. Paying upkeep for a unit not doing something is wasteful.







Myrddraal -> RE: Entente initial warplanes. (12/29/2012 6:01:12 PM)

We really need to do something about those armoured trains... it's ridiculous.




ulver -> RE: Entente initial warplanes. (12/29/2012 6:04:56 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Myrddraal

We really need to do something about those armoured trains... it's ridiculous.


That and strategic bombardment – unless it really is suppose to represent the blockade that each and every central power city within range of a French/Italian airfield is reduced to 0 PP in 1915.




warspite1 -> RE: Entente initial warplanes. (12/29/2012 8:30:26 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Myrddraal

We really need to do something about those armoured trains... it's ridiculous.
warspite1

YES PLEASE!!!!




warspite1 -> RE: Entente initial warplanes. (12/29/2012 8:31:22 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: ulver


quote:

ORIGINAL: Myrddraal

We really need to do something about those armoured trains... it's ridiculous.


That and strategic bombardment – unless it really is suppose to represent the blockade that each and every central power city within range of a French/Italian airfield is reduced to 0 PP in 1915.
warspite1

Do those PP recover or do they reduce a city permanently?




Orm -> RE: Entente initial warplanes. (12/29/2012 11:05:36 PM)


[/quote]warspite1

Do those PP recover or do they reduce a city permanently?
[/quote]
They slowly recover.




Orm -> RE: Entente initial warplanes. (12/29/2012 11:06:51 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Myrddraal

We really need to do something about those armoured trains... it's ridiculous.

Increase maintenance to two might solve this.




warspite1 -> RE: Entente initial warplanes. (12/29/2012 11:18:50 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm


warspite1

Do those PP recover or do they reduce a city permanently?

They slowly recover.
warspite1

Okay thanks.




warspite1 -> RE: Entente initial warplanes. (12/29/2012 11:19:35 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm


quote:

ORIGINAL: Myrddraal

We really need to do something about those armoured trains... it's ridiculous.

Increase maintenance to two might solve this.
warspite1

together with a cap on the number that may be built?




pat.casey -> RE: Entente initial warplanes. (12/30/2012 2:12:56 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm


quote:

ORIGINAL: Myrddraal

We really need to do something about those armoured trains... it's ridiculous.

Increase maintenance to two might solve this.


Alternately you could add a diplomatic mallus; city bombing, like sinking convoys, would not make you a popular world citizen in the early 20th century.

If wrecking the ruhr meant no US entry, or no rommanian entry, or the loss of dominion support (no canadian convoys) then there'd be a powerful argument to keep it under control.




Amaranthus -> RE: Entente initial warplanes. (12/30/2012 3:40:31 AM)

For the naval bombardment of Petrograd, there are two possible 'fixes'. One is to just put the port back in Helsinki, which would provide the Russian Battleship with a port bonus that should (might?) extend right to the Neva estuary. The other is to put a port at Petrograd, although this would exclude any naval access and might be too drastic?

Anyway, regarding this AAR, once ulver has posted a few more details, I'll chime in with my side of things, including a bit of an explanation of my thinking/planning as to how to win this. (It's not over yet, by the way, I still have France, Italy and (in 1916) Britain to content with - and the the US once/if Rome is taken, so there is a long haul to go. But it is satisfying to have eliminated Serbia in 1914 and closed that front, and to have also effectively neutralized Russia before the first Christmas Truce!




ulver -> RE: Entente initial warplanes. (12/30/2012 7:30:43 AM)

It is effectively over. The Bombardment of Petrograd Russia to 0 productions despite me being very cost conscious. I’ll have Moscow by the end of February 1915. I have to say Petrograd needs a port; I shall certainly make bombarding Petrograd a cornerstone of any future strategy.

Should we look into modifying the scenario right away or do you want to try the entente under the existing rules just to verify if there is a defense?




Amaranthus -> RE: Entente initial warplanes. (12/30/2012 8:01:20 AM)

Thanks ulver - see my (long) in-game message. Yes, the Russian front is almost closed, but it will be still be (to me) a highly interesting scenario to see how the subsequent 1-front war, with a neutral Belgium, plays out. This is the alternative history that attracted me to playing this scenario in the first place. There are alternative (moral) 'victory' conditions for you still, such as being able to hold out to 1916 and having some alternative French fronts to content with. Potentially fascinating, and something that simply cannot be played out against the AI, at least unless a 'neutral Belgium' switch is put in the LUA scripts (please, please Lordz, do this :) )




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