From: Monroe, LA, USA
Turn 103. I am master of Sociris Rising. In the end it was diplomacy, insurgency, and a slog through the wastelands of Quartzcon that did it. Plus playing on beginner level.
The Sachsen Reich was a tough nut to crack. In fact, they never did crack. Unlike my first AAR, where I won by conquering a major power, I never could get a decisive advantage on the Reich. Every offensive I attempted, they countered. I could gain local advantages, but every time I attempted a real breakthrough, they countered it and brought up enough units to stop me. So it turned into a slog.
The decisive moment was on the western front was taking Quartzcon, which was one of the objectives I posted at turn 90. I used two infantry formations, and independent units including some medium and heavy tank brigades that I started building. That combination was effective. But it wasn't enough to win the game. It got me to about 48 victory score.
I also tried an insurgency strategy against the Reich. For the last dozen turns of the game I played the Call to Rebellion I stratagem on them. I don't know exactly how effective it was, but you can see several Sachsen Rebel pockets opening up inside the Reich on the map. It must have been at least somewhat effective. I ended up fighting one of the rebel pockets, because it ended up on my flank as I slogged forward, and I started picking off some of their territory to try to build my score.
One scary moment was when Neopeak in the north suddenly fell, and I had nothing in the far north along that border. The Reich made a move along the border, but not in strength, and I was able to counter it with a couple of indendent units, and they broke off the advance as I put pressure on Neopeak. I was at the gates of Neopeak when the game ended.
The gap in my lines in the center may seem ominous, but there are mountains and forest there, though I was planning on bringing a couple of units there to prevent a possible small breakthrough.
I also noticed the Reich did a withdrawal of one hex all along the Quartzcon front a couple of turns before the game ended. I had a lot of strong units there, and it was interesting to see that organized withdrawal. In 250 or so total turns, I don't think I've seen the AI do that. It felt almost like a real player. As I've noted, the Reich really fought well on the defensive, and made enough offensive thrusts to keep me alert.
But diplomacywas what finally won the game. In the north, after getting Albion and Jupiter to unite with me, I spent the rest of the game securing all the non-aligned territory and trying to get Aurora to unite with me. They were very, very stubborn. I did a whole series of failed rolls in offering protection. Three different times they were so angry they went to war with me the next turn, but they also accepted peace on the same turn. I even considered replacing my Foreign Affairs Council director, but I found I had no one with better stats than him. Finally, finally, on turn 101, they agreed to my offer of protection, and the next turn, 102, they agreed to unification. That put me at 51 and gave me the win at the start of turn 103.
Likewise, I kept paying Primesso/Halikan, and they stayed hostile but with a high relationship and never jumped, and at some point in the last 13 turns they went to war with the Reich. I did not notice the exact turn. That also obviously helped me.
I also had a contingency plan ready in case Aurora never agreed to unite with me, and I was moving two formations into position to execute it in the next few turns. That was to invade Primesso in the general direction of Picard and south of Picard and attempt to grab enough land to put me over 50. I planned on doing that if I reached 49 and nothing else had changed on the Sachsen Reich front.
Molon Labe 51.6 56.9/46.2
Sachsen Reich 23.2 22.3/24.2
Primesso 21.4 17.4 25.4
Final troop totals are interesting:
Tanks also interesting:
I also sustained more casualties than either of the other two, but I think that was because I was mainly on the offensive the last 20+ turns. I'm almost embarassed to post this.
Obviously I did a poor job operationally. I will have to think about that.
So thus ends my Molon Labe AAR. I hope it helps someone.
I won't do another until after the next update. My plan for my next AAR is a more personal focus telling the story of the game through the eyes of my starting operational headquarters commander in a more narrative form, as I will start with one formation. That might be fun.