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Making the Schlieffen Plan Work

 
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All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [World War I] >> Guns of August 1914 - 1918 >> Making the Schlieffen Plan Work Page: [1]
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Making the Schlieffen Plan Work - 11/7/2011 5:31:38 PM   
jscott991


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I had a bunch of threads on this when I first bought the game, but the forum seems to have been updated since then.

Is there any way to get a good opening as the CP using the Schlieffen Plan?

I want to like this game, but the Russian blob in the east and the ridiculous power of the Belgians at Liege always frustrate me. But some people must be doing well as the CP or no one would play, so I'm hoping for some tips.
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RE: Making the Schlieffen Plan Work - 11/8/2011 12:33:56 AM   
lordhoff


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Boy, been a long time since I played this game.  Russia will run out of gas as its economy is weak.  If I go west first, I put a few corps on each city - same with the AU-HUs as I use the best forces to take out Serbia first.  It buys enough time generally.  I don't think I ever used the S plan - seems the better way due to the large hex size and liege is to use the 1940 plan.  Realistically, that probably wouldn't have worked in 1914 since armies were rail dependent but it often works in the game.  It takes too long to get through Liege IMO.  

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RE: Making the Schlieffen Plan Work - 11/9/2011 4:57:18 AM   
SMK-at-work

 

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It is a difficult balancing act, but the Schlieffen plan can work - more so against he AI of course - basically you have to be completely ruthless- attack, attack, attack.  Watch where your leaders go - make sure there is always a leader behind the attack so it can move forward again next turn. 

There are 2 ways of dealing with the Belgians: 

1 use your siege artillery & air spotting against Liege and roll over the top of them - occasionally they will last a turn - usually they will not.

2/ Ignore Liege - attack through Luxembourg and use the siege artillery vs Verdun.  This is a high risk-high reward manouvre - if you take Verdun quickly (1 turn is best, 2 turns adequate....3 is a problem!) the path to Paris is much quicker....if you do not life can become very difficult very quickly.  Liege will fall as you take the rest of Belgium behind it.

You almost certainly have to have gas to take Paris regardless of which option - so don't bother researching anything else

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RE: Making the Schlieffen Plan Work - 11/9/2011 4:59:04 AM   
SMK-at-work

 

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Oh and the Russian Front is a problem too - sadly players are unlikely to repeat the historical Russian mistakes......but if you do take Paris in early 1915 then there's plenty of time to take back whatever you have lost.

BTW you have to take a bit more than just Paris to force the French surrender - all of the cities between it & Belgium & a few of the southern ones too.

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RE: Making the Schlieffen Plan Work - 11/9/2011 6:41:59 PM   
jscott991


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Not only are players unlikely to commit historical mistakes, they have access to a much larger army than the Russians had in 1914.  GoA postulates the the Russians had so many first-line corps that they can form a continuous front from Konigsberg to Romania.  This wasn't even remotely true.  In fact, the Russians didn't have enough rifles to equip all of their called-up reservists and the eastern front was restricted to Eastern Prussia and Galicia for quite some time.

I hate the Russian blob in GoA.  Considering I'm an Austrian history buff, it means the front I should like the best bears the least resemblance to history.

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RE: Making the Schlieffen Plan Work - 11/10/2011 10:39:16 PM   
SMK-at-work

 

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The Russians get 25 Corps to start - AFAIK that is accurate.  If they get spread in a line from East Prussia to Galicia then the CP gets a few easy pickings overwhelming 1-corps stacks!

It gets another 27 in the Dec-Jan turn, and 4 in the Feb-March one, but of course lacks sufficient rail to get all those to the front for a turn or 3.

And of course all their reinforcements from the end of 1915 are "C" grade - with quality 5 vs 9 for their A, and 7 for their B.

They lack of rifles didn't actually occur until 1916 or later - the initial reserves were just as well equipped as anyone else, and also just as well trained.

GOA doesn't do command incompetence tho - that is up to the player!

I have played a game where the Russian army in the Caucasus also actually played an important role - by taking the Turkish resources there it cut turkey down to just 1-2 surplus resources per strat turn - which of course limited how much they could send to Germany when the rail route was opened. 

But generally the Russians put all their troops in the west and I think that is probably too easy - perhaps in the "new version" the Caucasus troops might only arrive at the end of T1 so cannot be deployed west for the start??

Th AH army gets 17 Corps at the start, and another 1 on T1, and 4 on T2, and a final reinforcement of 4 in Apr-May 1915.  Careful consideration of how much to put against Serbia vs Russia is a major factor in CP strategy!



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RE: Making the Schlieffen Plan Work - 11/11/2011 1:09:03 AM   
jscott991


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I'm a bit of a WWI buff and I have never seen a single map of the eastern front in 1914 where there are Russian troops pushing into Silesia or where there is a continuous blob of Russian troops running from Konigsberg down to Czernowitz. By the same token, I've yet to see any GoA game where that isn't true.

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RE: Making the Schlieffen Plan Work - 11/11/2011 2:49:35 AM   
SMK-at-work

 

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The whole point of playing simulation games is to try to do better - hence differently - from history!

I cant' recall a game vs a player where they've tried to maintain a continuous front against me as the CP - and I've not tried to do it vs anyone else either - except with a cavalry screen in either case. 

Who are you playing?

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RE: Making the Schlieffen Plan Work - 11/11/2011 1:28:22 PM   
jscott991


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I only play the AI.

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RE: Making the Schlieffen Plan Work - 11/11/2011 6:28:26 PM   
Urpå


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The OOB looks quite good AFAIK. Maybe it's too easy to concentrate forces in mobilization phase though... especially Caucasus simply doesn't seem worth the troops.

Early turns present big problem for CP player since TE player isn't very likely to be left holding the Idiot Ball a'la Samsonov & Rennenkampf during the invasion of East Prussia (Not that other mistakes aren't possible, I should know ) but hey, CP player can do better too... E.g I tend to whoop Serbians with overwhelming force in '14-early '15. Sweep through Belgium & NE France can end up a fair bit better than historical too. (But the effect usually doesn't seem worth it.)

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RE: Making the Schlieffen Plan Work - 11/11/2011 7:22:09 PM   
jscott991


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When you look at the total number of Russian troops that took part in the Battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes, plus on the Austrian front in the battles in Galicia, there is no way that OOB could have been deployed to maintain a continuous front of troops for the entire eastern front.

I recommend Hew Strachan's magnum opus on the first year of the war for anyone who thinks that Russia is being accurately depicted in this game. There are very good reasons why the Russian Empire deployed almost no troops west of Warsaw and NONE in an effort to invade Silesia or Posen.

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RE: Making the Schlieffen Plan Work - 11/11/2011 10:54:40 PM   
Urpå


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quote:

When you look at the total number of Russian troops that took part in the Battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes, plus on the Austrian front in the battles in Galicia, there is no way that OOB could have been deployed to maintain a continuous front of troops for the entire eastern front.


That's true, those troops couldn't pull such a line, in East no really continuous lines could be made in anycase. However, that's not all Russian troops in the game and the Russian Army OOB does make sense numbers wise since they had 70ish divisions of infantry in the beginning of the war (There's also only a limited number of hexes). As said, the problem is the concentration of those forces. For an ingame 'Tannenberg' numbers can be much greater than historical. Actually, if really wanted, everything could be stacked on Prussian border without logistical problems, that really doesn't make sense. On the flip side, all can be lined up thinly along the front too.

TBH, I don't see a problem if the units are spread out along the front, to me it's just a decision to be made along many others. In H2H game it wouldn't be very good idea as it would leave the line weak everywhere, 25 corps + the number of cavalry corps' just isn't enough to cover the whole line adequately. If the CP player decides to go Russia 1st that line would be hacked to pieces. Concentrating in few stacks and putting some screens of cavalry around is better idea most of the time.

I haven't played AI in a while now that I got to PBEM but I assume it does the 'thin line along the whole front' every game? I don't know how much effort Mr. Hunter put to the AI part but that sort of AI behaviour is usual in many, if not most, strategy games. TBH, I've just about given up with playing vs AI on any strategy/tactics game. It just can't compete. Perhaps he can tweak the AI to behave more 'rationally' on the operational scale in the coming update.

quote:

There are very good reasons why the Russian Empire deployed almost no troops west of Warsaw and NONE in an effort to invade Silesia or Posen.


I got no idea 'cause WW1 isn't really my forte. Care to elaborate? IF it's logistical problems perhaps radically lowering the supply% in Poland would be in order.


< Message edited by Urpå -- 11/11/2011 10:56:06 PM >

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RE: Making the Schlieffen Plan Work - 11/12/2011 8:51:44 PM   
SMK-at-work

 

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Actually Russia's initial plans were to not invade at all, and trade space and casualties for time to mobilise - they assumed Germany would start war with an all out attack on them, and knew they would be initially outnumbered, so planned for a string of defeats!  They counted on massive mobilisation to set things to right later in the war, when their allies would also be taking more pressure.  This was Plan G.

Then they modified it to Plan A - which was considerably less wasteful of Russian lives in the expected initial defeats.

And lastly, the French insisted they have a more offensive plan.  This was Plan 19 which was predicated on France being the initial target.

The initial plan 19 had 4 armies invading East Prussia and Silesia Prussia, but Russian planners felt this left htem to vulnerable against AH, so in 1912 it was reduced to 2 armies invading East Prussia only, the rest vs AH.

So AFAIK the Russians considered it possible to invade Silesia, & chose not to do so for fairly obvious strategic reasons - Poland is already an obvious salient & it would be too easy to cut troops off if then continued west from it - as, I have to say, has happened quite often in games I've played where the Russians have tried it - sometimes in massive numbers.....eg see this thread http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2817572



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