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Central Powers vs. AI - 1/18/2020 4:57:28 PM   
commandergren

 

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This is the second game I've played of Strategic Command: World War I, the first that I have played as the Central Powers. The difficulty is just at intermediate, though my game as the Entente went pretty well. I'm still getting the hang of the system, as I have not played any other game in the series.

I enjoy reading AARs, so I thought I'd try to write one myself. There won't be consistent updates, with big jumps between them in terms of how far I've gotten into the game. Please leave your comments, suggestions, heckles, etc. So, let's kick things off. This AAR is starting in July 1915.
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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/18/2020 5:13:20 PM   
commandergren

 

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On the Western Front, I made very good progress through Belgium, forcing the Belgian surrender relatively quickly. I pushed hard towards Paris, pushing the French back to the capital. My forces have also made progress along the Channel coast, having captured Rouen. I'm also looking at taking Le Havre, which would make it easier for my U-Boats to do their work.

Along the French-German border, I was able to make advances when the opportunity provided. It wasn't the focus of my advance, but before long I had surrounded Verdun. I pounded it with artillery and recon bombers, and was able to take it relatively easily. Forts like Toul and Epinal also fell without too much issue.

The problem I'm facing now is where to concentrate my attack. The line has straightened out, making it hard to make a breakthrough. At the moment, my plan is to concentrate on Paris and try to take it after a prolonged artillery bombardment. But there are still opportunities for an advance towards Besançon and Dijon, which would isolate Belfort. So, some plodding movement forward to come on the Western Front.




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/18/2020 5:23:13 PM   
commandergren

 

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On to the Eastern Front, starting with East Prussia and Polan.

This was pretty interesting at the outset. I didn't have a lot of forces to protect East Prussia, and the Russians were taking advantage of the gaps in my lines. They were able to capture Memel and I have not yet been able to get it back. Elsewhere, though, I was able to hold the Russians around Gumbinnen and they made no serious attacks west of Warsaw. In southern Poland, the Austrians were also somewhat under pressure but were able to hold on.

Since then, I've been able to solidify my line in East Prussia and progressively push the Russians back towards Warsaw. In the last turn, I was able to both capture Warsaw and isolate Novogeorgievsk, which I will try to capture next turn. The Austrians have made a smaller, weaker advance towards Ivangorod. From here, I'm not sure whether to try to cut-off the Russians east of Warsaw or to just hammer them back.




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/18/2020 5:25:21 PM   
commandergren

 

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Along the Galician frontier, the Austrians have been unable to do much at all. I had to give up the oilfields but I have not given up Lemberg, which is holding firm. The Russians have been pressuring me along the Romanian border, and I only have one, under-supplied corps holding off three Russian corps. Help is on the way (the unit in the Pass of the Tartars), but I'm finding it difficult to make much headway with the Austrians against the Russians. The Germans appear to have an advantage in terms of quality, while it is the opposite for the Austro-Hungarians. For now, the plan here is just to hold and see what develops elsewhere.




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/18/2020 5:32:59 PM   
commandergren

 

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(Sorry for the image quality, I'm new to this forum so if you have any advice about how to post good images, let me know!)

The Italians have just come into the war and the Austrians have little to hold them back. All six units located along the Italian-Austrian frontier are detachments. They are entrenched in the mountains and have already repelled an Italian attack towards Trentino, but they will need some help as the rest of the Italian Army gets into line. A German corps has just been formed in Bavaria and will be making the trek south, which should help the line there.

Otherwise, things are going very well for the Austrians in Serbia. Belgrade fell in the first turn and from that point it was easy, if slow-going, against the Serbs. I spent a lot of diplomatic effort getting the Bulgarians into the war, which was successful. That really broke the back of Serbia, as the Bulgarians captured Uskub and are now pushing into Albania. With the entry of Bulgaria, the Ottomans were able to send one powerful corps into the Balkans, further aiding the Central Powers advance. The Serbians have been entirely cleared from their own country (with the exception of Nis) and soon Montenegro and Albania will fall as well.

Once the Serbs are dealt with, the plan is to leave a few forces in the region to guard against partisans and any Entente adventures in Greece, and send the bulk of the Austrian forces to the Eastern and Italian Fronts. I might also try to send a few forces down Mesopotamia way.




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/18/2020 5:38:33 PM   
commandergren

 

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I'm a little concerned in the Caucusus. When I was playing the Entente, I was able to make a very deep advance here (all the way to Angora). So, I want to make sure that won't happen as the Turks. But already the Russians made a breakthrough at Rize and have captured Bayburt. Trabzon is being held only by a detachment. I formed another unit not too far that will be entering the line, but as you can see my position here isn't ideal. I will likely have to pull the 6-strength corps back towards Erzurum rather than risk it get overwhelmed by three Russian corps. Russian advances on Erzurum itself have been repulsed, but it looks like they might try to come round the back way. A few Bulgarians and Germans to strengthen the line here would be welcome.




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/18/2020 5:43:57 PM   
commandergren

 

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There hasn't been much action in the Middle East.

The British captured Basra and have only made a small advance into Mesopotamia from there. I've sent one corps and a detachment to block them from making any further progress, and I have another detachment on the way. Combined, they might be able to push the British back.

I was able to advance immediately into the Sinai Peninsula unopposed when war was declared, reaching the Suez Canal before my soldiers encountered their first Englishman. Since then, I've just been holding. It doesn't look like I have much prospect for forcing my way across the canal without heavy losses. Depending on how things develop elsewhere, my plan for the Ottomans is to just stay on the defensive.

Speaking of which, I have a good portion of the Turkish Army stationed in other areas of the country. I have detachments in Beirut and Adana to guard against any Entente activity in that area, as well as some corps stationed in Smyrna and around Gallipoli (along with detachments in both Constantinople and on the Black Sea coast). And, I've left a corps sitting in Medina to guard against an Arab revolt.




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< Message edited by commandergren -- 1/18/2020 5:54:53 PM >

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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/18/2020 5:54:22 PM   
commandergren

 

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I'm finding it very difficult and fiddly to upload images, so just to finish this off...

On the naval side I have been playing this very conservatively. The Austrian Navy has not left the Adriatic (or port, really). One U-Boat did go up to disrupt some of the Greek and Mediterranean trade, but has been attacked a few times and is now in Smyrna awaiting repairs. Another U-Boat sailed towards Rome and Naples to disrupt Italian trade there, but again it has been attacked pretty heavily and will need to head back to the Adriatic to refit. I took the option of stationing a German U-Boat at Pola, and it is now in the Ionian Sea causing trouble.

In the Atlantic, I haven't had much success sending U-Boats into the North Sea and around Scotland. My U-Boats tend to run into the Allied blockade and need to be sent back for repairs and supplies. I've had more luck forcing my way through the English Channel, using my captured port of Boulogne as a base for repairs and supplies. I currently have three U-Boats conducting unrestricted warfare in the Western Approaches, two in the Channel (in transit) and another deep into the Atlantic Ocean, heaving for Nova Scotia.

The Americans are now around 60% against the Central Powers and I'm starting to spend some diplomatic efforts on keeping them back (as well as the Romanians). But with how things are going on the Western Front, I'm not too concerned about an early American entry.

Anyway, that's it! This particularly match is going pretty well and, overall, I'm really enjoying this game.




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/18/2020 7:54:28 PM   
John B.


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Thanks for posting this AAR!

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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/26/2020 1:58:18 PM   
commandergren

 

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It is now April 1916 and a lot has changed.

On the Western Front, the German advance has continued to make progress. In the north, the Germans have captured Le Havre and are now putting pressure on Caen in Normandy. The Germans have also pushed south from there to the west of Paris, putting the French capital in a vulnerable position. Progress to the east of the capital has also been good, and it is unlikely that Paris will be able to hold for much longer.

The most spectacular advance, however, came along the French-German border. The Germans shattered the French defence around Dijon and, before the French could re-group, were able to send two cavalry corps towards Provence — first capturing Lyon and then marching all the way to the Mediterranean coast. Marseille has been captured. The two cavalry corps are in an exposed position, but the French Army doesn't appear to have any reserves. The only French forces in the area are concentrated in the Massif Central, and it is unlikely they will be able to hold the Germans back. The issue for the Germans, however, is that they have few forces to really exploit their gains in the region. If the Italians react to protect their own stretch of the Mediterranean, the Germans could be forced to withdraw.

But if Paris falls and the Germans continue to capture French cities in the south, the country could surrender soon.




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/26/2020 2:04:41 PM   
commandergren

 

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On the Eastern Front, the Germans have had great success all along the line. Their forces have captured Memel on the Baltic Coast and have pushed the line forward into Lithuania. The forces involved here are relatively weak but the Russians do not appear to have much to throw in front of the advancing German Army.

A dramatic victory was won in Poland, as the Germans and Austro-Hungarians were able to cut-off the Russians to the east of Warsaw. It took several months for the large pocket of Russian forces to be reduced and destroyed, but now that the German Army in Poland has finished with that task it will be able to advance into Belorussia.




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/26/2020 2:10:21 PM   
commandergren

 

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The Austrians have not had nearly the same success as the Germans on their sector of the Eastern Front.

The Austrians have not been able to re-capture the parts of Galicia taken by the Russians, though they were able to neutralize a Russian threat to Transylvania and have superiority in the region. But the Austrians are not yet in a position to dislodge the Russians.

Movement in the north, however, could make the Russian position untenable. The destruction of the Polish Pocket allowed the Austrians to capture Ivangorod and push east towards the Pripyat Marshes. Combined with a German advance to the north of the marshes, the Austrians may be able to force the Russians out of Galicia if they are threatened with encirclement.

The Austrians have no concerns of a Romanian entry that would complicate matters in this sector. Diplomatic efforts have kept the Romanians neutral, along with the Central Powers' spectacular success in the Balkans.




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/26/2020 2:15:26 PM   
commandergren

 

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The front line has hardly budged in the Italian sector, but what looked like a vulnerability for the Central Powers is now a strength.

The Italians were able to capture Trentino and make some moves into Austria, but the arrival of German forces in the west and Austrian reinforcements in the east bolstered the line. Eventually, the Germans were able to re-capture Trentino and are now in a position to further pressure the Italians.

But it is a bloody sector. The Austrians have tried to push the Italians back towards Venice, but have had little success in making progress. Repeated attacks have only had a marginal impact on Italian defences. The best opportunity for the Austrians could come only if the Germans are able to drive south and unbalance the Italian line.




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/26/2020 2:20:40 PM   
commandergren

 

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In the Balkans, the combined Austrian, Bulgarian and Turkish forces made short work of the remaining Serbian, Montenegrin and Albanian armies and forced their surrender. What was not expected was that the Greeks would consider this an opportune time to get into the war — but they did, with disastrous consequences.

Before long, the Austrians, Bulgarians and Turks were pouring into Greece. Salonika fell very quickly. The Austrians advanced into Corfu and down the Greek peninsula. Larissa fell and Austrian cavalry streamed into the Peloponnese. Only insignificant Greek forces remain around Athens and Kalamata. The country will fall soon. Though a few forces will need to be kept in the country in case the Entente decides to cause trouble, it looks like the Balkans are now a settled front.

Already, the Austrians have begun to withdraw forces for use elsewhere while the Bulgarians have taken over garrison duties in Smyrna and have an infantry corps en route for the Caucusus.




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/26/2020 2:24:33 PM   
commandergren

 

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The Ottomans have managed to stabilize the Caucasus Front and pushed the Russians back from Bayburt and Trabzon, which had been cut-off from the rest of the country by Russian forces. The advance for the Turks is slow and only in some individual sectors are Turkish forces able to push the Russians back.

This is a slow-moving front, but the Ottomans are hoping to make advances along the Black Sea coast — particularly when the Turkish and Bulgarian reinforcements from Greece arrive.




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/26/2020 2:34:02 PM   
commandergren

 

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There have been some developments in the Middle East.

The British attempted a landing at Adana, and were able to advance towards the unguarded city. Ottoman forces, stationed in Alexandretta, quickly moved to block any further British advances. Once more forces arrived in the sector, the Turks were able to throw the British back into the sea.

They haven't had the same success in Mesopotamia. The arrival of reinforcements gave the Ottomans hope of recapturing Basra, but the British have proved immovable. They have now been reinforced with artillery, and it may prove difficult for the Ottomans to hold back a renewed British drive towards Baghdad.

But the Ottomans do have an opportunity to turn the tables. The Arabs revolted around Medina, but the Turks were prepared. An infantry corps stationed in the city has prevented the Arabs from expanding. Reinforcements coming from the north should be able to put down the revolt for good. This will liberate Ottoman forces in the Arabian Peninsula — forces that may head towards the Persian Gulf to capture Kuwait from the rear.

On the Suez Front, there has been little activity. The Turks are holding the line along the canal. The British have attempted some feeble attacks but do not seem capable of dislodging the Ottomans just yet. By the same token, the Ottomans are too weak to represent any serious threat to Cairo.




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 1/26/2020 2:44:39 PM   
commandergren

 

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At sea, the Baltic has been quiet. The war is now two years old and a Russian warship has yet to be seen. The German Navy has taken the opportunity to involve itself in the war, aiding in the capture of Memel by bombarding Russian forces there.

In the Mediterranean, few surface actions have taken place. But Austrian and German U-Boats have caused problems for the Entente, disrupting trade with Greece, Egypt and Libya. A revolt in Cyrenaica has forced both the Italians and British to send forces into Libya, with the Senussi Brotherhood capturing and holding Tobruk under pressure from the British while an under-strength Turkish corps holds off the Italians to the east of the city.

In the Atlantic, the German U-Boats have done good business both north and south of Ireland. Currently one U-Boat group is off the coast of Scotland and two are hunting in the Western Approaches. It is there were the destroyers of the Royal Navy, along with the French, have put up the biggest fight.

But the use of unrestricted submarine warfare has had the unintended consequence of bringing the United States into the war. It seems like it is too late for the Americans to make much of a difference on the Western Front — at least, that is what the Germans are hoping.

Already fighting has broken out between the Americans and the Germans. Two U-Boat groups are chugging across the Atlantic to Eastern Seaboard, while already U.S. destroyed have engaged a German U-Boat off the coast of Cape Breton. The Germans had been causing great damage to commerce around Nova Scotia, without any reaction from the Royal Navy. But they are happy to fight the Americans on this side of the Atlantic, rather than in Europe.

That's it for now!




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 2/2/2020 3:06:55 PM   
commandergren

 

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It is September 1916 and the war is over. The Central Powers have won!

The tipping point was the German victory in France. Paris fell and the Germans were able to continue pushing deep into the French countryside, advancing into Normandy, central France and along the Mediterranean coast. With German forces on the march to Bordeaux, the temporary home of the French government, terms of surrender were agreed upon. The British didn't get the message, however, and kept up the fight in France where they stood. Eventually, the British were ground down in Normandy and pushed back up the Cotentin Peninsula. British forces were destroyed there in the summer of 1916, and the last hold out — a British HQ in Brest — was just about to be destroyed as well.

The Germans had moved to garrison duties in France, position forces along the coast. German U-Boats, fresh from taking the war to the Americans, were just beginning to use the French ports on the Bay of Biscay for repair and supply when the Entente surrendered.

Freed up from the fight on the Western Front, German forces were redeployed across the continent and beyond. The most immediate impact was on the French-Italian border, where the Germans made an advance on Turin and Genoa from the west. Elsewhere on the front, the Austrians and Germans had captured Padua and Verona, cutting off Lombardy from the rest of Italy. Venice was about to fall as well when the Entente threw in the towel.

The Italians were getting a rough go of it in the Mediterranean, suffering significant naval losses as the Austrian Navy — with some help from a couple German U-Boats and elements of the Turkish fleet — started to stretch its legs. Capturing the ports on the Greek coast helped with this. The Senussi rebels continued to hold Tobruk, tying down Entente forces, and the newly liberated Maghreb was rallying its forces to make a march on Tripoli.

On the Eastern Front, the Germans used their new reserves to push deep into Russia. Riga fell and German forces were moving up the Baltic coast when the Russian Provisional Government sued for terms. In Belorussia, the Germans were advancing on Minsk. In the south, the Austrians used their own reserves freed up from the Balkans to recapture Galicia. Austrian and German forces had surrounded a big Russian Army north of Czernowitz and were approaching Kiev.

The Turks were not having as much success as their Central Powers allies, but help was on the way. In the Caucasus, Bulgarian reinforcements were beginning to turn the tide as the Turkish-Bulgarian Army began pushing into Russian territory. Along the Suez Canal, the Ottomans had not been able to make any progress — but neither were the British.

That wasn't the case in Mesopotamia, however. After a long stand-off, the British sent more reinforcements and began to push towards Baghdad, capturing the city just before the Entente surrender. Reinforcements were on the way, with two German corps heading towards the Mesopotamia. In Arabia, the Arabs had revolted again and, even with the help of a German and a Bulgarian corps, were putting up a stiff fight. In the Persian Gulf, an Ottoman detachment completed its long march across the desert, capturing Kuwait. The British had forces defending Basra, however, so further advances were unlikely.

Overall impressions: I really like this game. The Central Powers seem to be a little more challenging than the Entente. They were making things complicated for the Ottomans and there were some moments on the Eastern Front where things looked dicey. But I was never really in any serious danger of losing. We'll see how it goes on higher difficulty, but I'm thinking the real value in this game will be in multiplayer. Thanks for reading!




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RE: Central Powers vs. AI - 2/2/2020 7:35:49 PM   
operating


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Thank you for the AAR. Just started reading it today and have a zillion questions that came to mind (don't have the new version yet). Later I hope to upload an older SCWWI screenshot (present one is too large to upload here, have to resize it). OK was not able to resize SS to fit at this site, however I can give you the thread where the SS exists and at what post # which is post #15. https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3904780 There you will see a full size SS of SCWWI on a matrix forum. The point I'm trying to make is: including the information bars of the original SS so that the reader can have an idea what turn it is and associated info, would make it a lot easier to understand what is going on. I'd like to suggest that use paint (components) to highlight details of a SS so the reader can focus a little better on what you are talking about. It's just a suggestion(s), not meant to offend you. If you would like to see more of what I am talking about I'd be more than glad to be of help..



< Message edited by operating -- 2/3/2020 2:16:34 AM >

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