The game is quite old and won't change much (if at all), so I haven't seen the need to get into fact wars with people.
Just in my few posts there has been a lot of misleading information provided to rebut my points, and there is a lot of taking my information and using it out of context.
Total mobilization numbers are not that useful when trying to figure out how many units each side should have throughout the war. You have to know peak mobilization size. Austria's army was at its biggest at the beginning of the war, when it had approximately 3.3 million men under arms. The number of corps is somewhat meaningless, because every nation defined a corps differently. Even division size varied widely. GoA can't simply say "Austria had 18 corps in real life, so it has 18 corps in GoA." That leads to the absurd situation we have now, where Germany will end up with an army about 3x as large Austria's. Germany never fielded an army of nearly 10 million men.
Giving Austria only 26 corps hardwires the disastrous Galician losses at the start of the war into the game. The nearly 1,000,000 casualties suffered because of Conrad's ridiculous offensive in 1914 is what caused Austria's army to be stretched so thin and require German backing so often. It never recovered its peak strength. In GoA, it never reaches its peak strength, at least in terms of relative size vis a vis all the other powers.
Meanwhile, Russia's defeats at Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes are not hardwired into the game. So while an Austria player who doesn't repeat Conrad's mistakes (in fact, in most of my games, I seldom suffer many casualties as Austria at all) still will have a very small, thinly stretched force, the Russian blob will always exist, unless the player disastrously throws corps away (which the AI does, of course, but no player would do).
Edit: I didn't see this before. You can't compare Russia's total mobilized to Austria's peak size. Russia's peak army size is nowhere near 12 million, it is just under 6 million according to most sources. Austria's total mobilized size is nearly 8 million. Germany's peak size, by the way, is about 4.5 million and their total mobilization is about 11 million. There is no way that Germany should ever have 3x as many men serving in their army at any one point than Austria, unless Austria has just thrown corps away.
The quality downgrade because of exhaustion is a poor mechanic. If you want to reduce the quality of corps, it should be tied to the number of replacements that an individual corps has received. If the German Guards corps are continually reduced to 1 strength and then jumped back up to 24, they should lose their A quality. A corps should not lose it's A quality because some C corps in the Balkans suffers the 1,000,000th casualty and all forces are downgraded.
The idea that exhaustion models the French mutinies in 1917 is somewhat silly, since I can send these troops to their deaths just as easily as before, they are just somehow lower quality when I do.
I have no idea what you are talking about when you say a Serbian corps has less strength than a German corps so it doesn't matter if their A forces have the same rating as a German corps. The idea that man-for-man, a Serbian regular unit was the equivalent of a German guard corps is patently absurd. The Serbian army was poorly equipped, exhausted from the Balkan wars, and relied on recruits from only semi-assimilated areas of the country. I'm not saying that Serbian troops should be Romanian in quality, but they shouldn't be anywhere near German quality levels. Now this hardly ever matters because the AI Serbian player is incompetent in the extreme. Russian A corps being the same as German A corps is a lot more threatening, and also just as inaccurate. The firepower of Russian corps was atrocious because of the country's inferior artillery (and lack of it). Russian troops could be better equipped than Austria's, but they didn't come close to Germany.
I wrote a lot about this when I first bought the game, but GoA is heavily stacked in the TE's favor, in ways that don't make any sense. The unrealistic slow movement of troops means that the Schlieffen Plan as written is impossible to accomplish (it is physically impossible in the game to move a German corps to Paris in 6 weeks) and this is a strange pro-TE bias. The difficulty with the Schlieffen plan wasn't that the German corps couldn't march to Paris in time to finish the envelopment, it was that not enough Germans could be moved there to win the decisive battle (hence the three mystery corps that appear near Paris in the plan, but don't seem to have actually moved there). The small Austrian army, the hardwired Italian, USA, and Romanian entrance into the war (I've had Italy enter the war on the Entente's side after the fall of Paris and I've had Romania enter the war after a French and Italian surrender; neither of those vulture countries would have come in if they thought the TE was actually losing the war; I've had the USA enter the war after a French surrender, and then have nothing to do), the exhaustion rules, the enormous Russian OOB, the strength of Liege, etc., etc. are all questionable pro-TE decisions.
When I raised all these problems before, I was told "the TE won the war, so the game should be biased in favor of them." My response was that the game should be accurately balanced and historical accuracy will still favor the TE. There is no reason to build in arbitrary pro-TE elements.
And I've finished 7 games over the last 3 weeks so I don't think playing more is going to help me appreciate this game's problems on any higher level. In fact, the more I play, the less I like the game.
Edit: I don't mean to seem like just a whiner, especially with a game that has already gone through its patch cycle (maybe life cycle). If the editor let me add Austrian corps, I wouldn't even bring this up. But the TE bias in this game is pretty self-evident and that's disappointing, since WWI is a more "open" conflict than a lot of the larger wars that are simulated.
< Message edited by jscott991 -- 11/21/2011 10:49:14 PM >