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Gamey, Broken, or Just Fine?

 
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Gamey, Broken, or Just Fine? - 9/3/2020 7:34:09 AM   
Tanaka


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Setting:

Me: Central Powers: I have taken Belgrade and half of Serbia.

Albania, Greece, and Romania have joined Entente. Bulgaria is 99% Central Power aligned and will join me next turn. So to prevent this my opponent declares war on Bulgaria, crushes the weak force there, and takes the capital all in one turn. Bulgaria surrenders and the morale for Germany, Austria, and Ottomans all crashes. Um what?

< Message edited by Tanaka -- 9/3/2020 6:11:56 PM >


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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/3/2020 8:06:22 AM   
The Land

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tanaka

Setting:

Me: Central Powers: I have taken Belgrade and half of Serbia. Albania, Greece and Romania have joined Entente. Bulgaria is 99% Central Power aligned and will join me next turn. So to prevent this my opponent declares war on Bulgaria, crushes the weak force there, and takes the capital all in one turn. Bulgaria surrenders and the morale for Germany, Austria, and Ottomans all crashes. Um what?


Which part of that are you objecting to? ;)




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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/3/2020 8:31:26 AM   
Xsillione

 

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A bit gamey, but you are hard to make a real solution for this. Maybe at high alignment (above 80%) they could start with half supply, instead of zero, to make this a bit less gamey, but in that case, we would just DOW at 79%.

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/3/2020 10:03:47 AM   
FOARP

 

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You've got to have at least 3 corps ready in position to actually make this strategy work in order to overcome the defenders quickly enough (i.e., a one-turn kill), so I'd say this is fair enough. Surprise attacks like this are perfectly historical. In one example, in 1914 Belgium's capital fell 15 days after the invasion began and Belgium would certainly have surrendered without the hope of allied aid. In another example, in the second Balkan War Romanian troops entered Sofia 15 days after the Romanian declaration of war effectively ending the war.

The morale hit might seem a bit gamey but then Romania's entry into the war, and rapid defeat after some months, also had a similar effect in real life.

You can always try to counter this by stepping up your offensive in Serbia to prevent them being deployed against Bulgaria, or defeating Serbia before Bulgaria becomes an issue.

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/3/2020 10:12:59 AM   
Platoonist


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It would certainly make me nervous as a CP player if Rumania entered the war prior to Bulgaria joining. Otherwise, Bulgaria is fairly insulated from a surprise attack.

I'm assuming the majority of the units that pulled off this coup were Russian? Or Allied out of Greece? I know the Rumanian army is no great shakes and likely couldn't do it alone.

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/3/2020 10:53:21 AM   
BillRunacre

 

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I would be interested to know more, not only who invaded and where from, but also what tech levels their forces had.

If necessary there are some easy things that can be done to increase Bulgaria's chance of withstanding such an attack without increasing her own offensive power.

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/3/2020 10:55:14 AM   
BillRunacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Xsillione

A bit gamey, but you are hard to make a real solution for this. Maybe at high alignment (above 80%) they could start with half supply, instead of zero, to make this a bit less gamey, but in that case, we would just DOW at 79%.


Hi

When a Minor is declared war up on our WWI game its units will automatically have supply of 3 rather than zero.

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/3/2020 11:08:51 AM   
Bo Rearguard


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I'd be curious to know how heavily his opponent lobbied Romania in the diplomacy dialog, and the time frame it took place in. This gambit may have been long in the planning.

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/3/2020 12:07:02 PM   
FOARP

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoonist

It would certainly make me nervous as a CP player if Rumania entered the war prior to Bulgaria joining. Otherwise, Bulgaria is fairly insulated from a surprise attack.

I'm assuming the majority of the units that pulled off this coup were Russian? Or Allied out of Greece? I know the Rumanian army is no great shakes and likely couldn't do it alone.


I've done it against the AI and it was doable in a single turn using Greek troops attacking out of Serbia. Romania has its hands full with AH/Germany so its hard to build them up and I can't see Romania being able to do it. Russia should also be pretty stretched to actual divert that much to doing it though I suppose its possible. I did have to divert UK resources to building Greek units, though, so it was hardly cost-free. If you've lost all/most of Serbia I can't see it being easy to do.

It's also not risk-free as any delay in conquering Sofia puts you at risk if the CP player is pushing hard against Serbia. Also Ottoman troops can be railed in if Sofia isn't taken. Once Bulgaria falls, you then have to be ready to face the Ottomans in Eastern Thrace so it's an open-ended commitment.

< Message edited by FOARP -- 9/3/2020 12:12:14 PM >


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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/3/2020 6:14:37 PM   
Tanaka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoonist

It would certainly make me nervous as a CP player if Rumania entered the war prior to Bulgaria joining. Otherwise, Bulgaria is fairly insulated from a surprise attack.

I'm assuming the majority of the units that pulled off this coup were Russian? Or Allied out of Greece? I know the Rumanian army is no great shakes and likely couldn't do it alone.


The units were not Russian. The units were a mix of Serbian, Romanian, and Greek I believe attacking from these countries...Maybe my opponent can weigh in...

< Message edited by Tanaka -- 9/3/2020 6:18:01 PM >


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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/3/2020 6:32:02 PM   
Tanaka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BillRunacre

I would be interested to know more, not only who invaded and where from, but also what tech levels their forces had.

If necessary there are some easy things that can be done to increase Bulgaria's chance of withstanding such an attack without increasing her own offensive power.


Hi Bill I have already played the turn unfortunately and cannot remember the tech levels exactly but don't believe they were higher than 0 or 1 or have a save. My opponent can probably fill in the rest of the details...

< Message edited by Tanaka -- 9/3/2020 6:43:36 PM >


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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/3/2020 6:34:09 PM   
Tanaka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bo Rearguard

I'd be curious to know how heavily his opponent lobbied Romania in the diplomacy dialog, and the time frame it took place in. This gambit may have been long in the planning.


Quite a bit apparently:

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4876886

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/3/2020 9:42:26 PM   
Platoonist


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Oh....it's THAT game. Those lavish parties and bribes bestowed in Bucharest have indeed borne fruit.

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/4/2020 3:49:07 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor

 

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Tanaka, Et al.,
It was long in planning, and very risky. Romania had nothing to do with it. It depended on Belgrade not getting taken early, and the Entente retaking of Nish..which was hard. I monitored the diplo quite carefully...because Bulgaria didn't budge off 70% for a long time, and no effort was taken by the CP in that regard at all. The UK had its back to the wall in Suez..in fact..lost control of it for a time..my early ANZAC's were sent to the western front to save the situation there, and the Empire was lagging in other ways because I decided a year before to invest in the Greeks and get a English HQ to Salonika and a scratch force of British. There's more to this but I really don't want to reveal my strategies... As for gamey? I beg to wholeheartedly disagree...Bulgaria didn't decide to go in the war until late summer 1916..when I saw it go to 99% after the fall of Belgrade, (which I expected soon)..I pushed everything up around Nish, and pounced on Sofia. My forces there were squeezed by KuK on one side closely, and a soon to be hostile Bulgaria on the other. I am not a mechanic of gamey moves..It was Risky. Other than that..this game I'm currently in with Tanaka isn't over by a long shot...Germany with its back up is a dangerous foe. o7

< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 9/4/2020 5:23:20 AM >

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/4/2020 3:55:28 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor

 

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Platoonist,
Yep..that game. In fact, the Romanians didn't help much and took huge casualties from the Austro-Hungarians around Belgrade. Tanaka needed to host some lavish parties and bribery in Sofia, but didn't. It was the Bulgars own greed for Macedonia that spelled their doom.....


< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 9/4/2020 5:15:43 AM >

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/4/2020 4:19:38 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor

 

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Bill,
I was the one who did the pre-emptive attack on Bulgaria...if there's one change I would make, it would be to have a Bulgar corp in Sofia...not a detachment. Still, it took multiple attacks from planned out positioning to take the capital barely.

Another idea would be to have a secondary capital (Varna for example) if Sofia is taken.

In this case, it was an adhoc force of Serbs, Brits, and Greeks that did the job from around Nish, which I laboriously retook with Serbia's back against the wall. Oddly, at this time, Belgrade was still held and lightly besieged to mid 1916. I finally moved off a Serb corp stationed there since the beginning of the war there to receive new Serb units (a dilemma I posted about last week) and managed to push a Romanian corp in. Belgrade was taken soon after, and Bulgaria's pro-CP leaning jumped from 70% to 99%..a situation I anticipated but didn't want unless I retook Nish, which I accomplished a few turns prior. Even then, I wasn't sure about doing a pre-emptive attack on Sofia as the Austro-Hungarians were right next to my forces...a truly hair raising situation. I decided I had no choice but attack with all I had there (1 Serb-inf0, 2 Greek-inf1, and 1 UK-inf1 corps supported by a UK HQ. The Bulgar detachment in Sofia was destroyed, but the only thing that could get into the capital was a Serb detachment..and that was it. I wish I could of seen Tanaka's face when the air raid siren went off and Bulgaria got knocked out before he could even touch them

On a side note: My Serb cavalry broke out of the vicinity of Belgrade on a death ride through Hungary to the Russian lines at the Tartar Gates and some how got through half dead and starved...they are up on the Dvina front now ...a truly epic sideshow of a truly epic game with Tanaka.

< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 9/4/2020 7:21:00 AM >

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/4/2020 7:12:03 AM   
Platoonist


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quote:

ORIGINAL: OldCrowBalthazor
As for gamey? I beg to wholeheartedly disagree...Bulgaria didn't decide to go in the war until late summer 1916..when I saw it go to 99% after the fall of Belgrade, (which I expected soon)..I pushed everything up around Nish, and pounced on Sofia. My forces there were squeezed by KuK on one side closely, and a soon to be hostile Bulgaria on the other. I am not a mechanic of gamey moves..It was Risky.


No, I certainly can't fault this surprise scratch offensive as gamey. If anything it sounds like it was a bit of a Balkans Hail Mary Pass that worked. I sort of mentally assumed that Bulgaria got crushed like a beer can in a pincer move given her long northern border with Rumania, but it sounds like the heavy lifting in this operation came soley out of Serbia.

Good game.


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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/4/2020 7:40:31 AM   
Tanaka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: OldCrowBalthazor

Bill,
I was the one who did the pre-emptive attack on Bulgaria...if there's one change I would make, it would be to have a Bulgar corp in Sofia...not a detachment. Still, it took multiple attacks from planned out positioning to take the capital barely.

Another idea would be to have a secondary capital (Varna for example) if Sofia is taken.

In this case, it was an adhoc force of Serbs, Brits, and Greeks that did the job from around Nish, which I laboriously retook with Serbia's back against the wall. Oddly, at this time, Belgrade was still held and lightly besieged to mid 1916. I finally moved off a Serb corp stationed there since the beginning of the war there to receive new Serb units (a dilemma I posted about last week) and managed to push a Romanian corp in. Belgrade was taken soon after, and Bulgaria's pro-CP leaning jumped from 70% to 99%..a situation I anticipated but didn't want unless I retook Nish, which I accomplished a few turns prior. Even then, I wasn't sure about doing a pre-emptive attack on Sofia as the Austro-Hungarians were right next to my forces...a truly hair raising situation. I decided I had no choice but attack with all I had there (1 Serb-inf0, 2 Greek-inf1, and 1 UK-inf1 corps supported by a UK HQ. The Bulgar detachment in Sofia was destroyed, but the only thing that could get into the capital was a Serb detachment..and that was it. I wish I could of seen Tanaka's face when the air raid siren went off and Bulgaria got knocked out before he could even touch them

On a side note: My Serb cavalry broke out of the vicinity of Belgrade on a death ride through Hungary to the Russian lines at the Tartar Gates and some how got through half dead and starved...they are up on the Dvina front now ...a truly epic sideshow of a truly epic game with Tanaka.


Old Crow thanks for your input and I am really enjoying our game. No rage quitter here. Not saying you did anything wrong either and you made a very good move. Just thought it would be interesting to discuss in the forums as it was very unexpected and unorthodox and I did not even know it could be done and was quite surprised at how it was all over in one turn. Will be interested to see what the devs think and if they change anything. I agree with your assessment of maybe how it could be improved and appreciate your point of view!

< Message edited by Tanaka -- 9/4/2020 7:41:05 AM >


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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/4/2020 8:59:10 AM   
BillRunacre

 

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Thanks for the explanations and this sounds harder and more expensive to achieve than it first appeared.

I don't think the Detachment in Sofia starts with any Ground Cover, and I'm tempted to change that so such an invasion would be just a tad harder in future.

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/4/2020 9:52:11 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor

 

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Tanaka, Et al.,
The more I think about this situation with Bulgaria, the more I think it needs to be fine tuned as I pointed out earlier to Bill on this thread.
Like I mentioned this to you in our ingame chat, I did this stratagem against another opponent (who quit by ghosting) under completely different circumstances (which I will elaborate) and had it done to me back in February (which I will explain after).

The first time I managed a quick takedown of Bulgaria, it was mid 1915, and with the French. The expeditionary force I sent was 3 corps, a cavalry unit, and the HQ Dubail. My opponent didn't do well in Belgium and decided to concentrate against Russia. This gave France a breather. Serbia lost Belgrade, but was holding Nish to Montenegro. He had to divert KuK units to the Carpathians I surmised and was successful at stopping the Russians, so I figured it was only a matter of time before he came back with reinforcements to finish the Serbs off..so I sent the French in through Tirana, Albania.
When he started pumping money into Bulgaria through diplomacy, I pushed the French up to the Nish area out of his sight...and jumped on the Bulgars when they went to around 89% pro CP. It happened fast, and from his p.o.v. because of FoW, only saw a snippet of what happened at the beginning of his turn. Well, this didn't go over to well with my opponent, who quite frankly, was a bit thin skinned anyway in the ingame mssgs. He also quit our mirror game. That was that...

The time it happened to me as the CP, it was similar in the sense that I had a hard time taking Belgrade, but finally succeeded spring of 1915. In this game though, I knew the French were there as I ran into some and air reeced Albania, seeing more. I had pumped money into Bulgaria, and when they went over 90%, he attacked..taking Sofia with his cavalry after repeated blows. So that's when I learned how vulnerable Bulgaria can be, at least from Nish and vicinity.

I honestly think perhaps, that this should be fixed a bit. While it was pointed out that in the Second Balkan War, Bulgaria surrendered quickly after Romania took Sofia...remember that Bulgaria was Alone then, as Serbia, Greece, Turkey, and Rumania were at her neck. Not the case in WW1, especially with allies like Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire right there, close. And then, there's Germany, who gave lots of assistance to Bulgaria, and who needed Bulgaria to keep the link open with Turkey, if at all possible. So I think a secondary capital like Varna should be possible and/or a Corp instead of a detachment in Sofia.

One other note..
I have said before that I've been playing pbem with this series since February 2020, but anyone looking at my profile would see that I joined Matrix in July 2020. The explanation is that OldCrowBalthazor is my Slitherine account name, created to mirror my YouTube handle, where I'm a frequent commenter on certain channels. However, I had a Matrix account under VeloneiIzix, and have been with Matrix since 2009. I never posted in the forums, but read them voraciously, especially anything WitE or Distant Worlds. When I decided not to lurk anymore lol, I contacted Paulo over at Slitherine to merge my accounts to OldCrowBalthazor so as to Pbem under that name. Before that, I got my opponents via YouTube....or other means

Edit: Bill responded first while I was writing this treatise


< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 9/4/2020 10:18:21 AM >

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/4/2020 11:17:46 AM   
FOARP

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BillRunacre

Thanks for the explanations and this sounds harder and more expensive to achieve than it first appeared.

I don't think the Detachment in Sofia starts with any Ground Cover, and I'm tempted to change that so such an invasion would be just a tad harder in future.


This is about the most I'd support. Adding an extra capital to Bulgaria seems excessive, especially considering that Bulgaria surrendered twice (in 1913 and in 1918) when Sofia was occupied.

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/4/2020 4:24:22 PM   
mdsmall

 

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Enjoying reading this thread. Normally, when the Bulgarians come in at a timing determined by the Central Power player, they serve as quite a powerful small force of four corps. The problem is that they are deployed along their northern border with Romania - which is understandable, given the result of the Second Balkan War - but it leaves their capital very exposed if attacked first from Serbia to the west. I would support making some change to make them a little less vulnerable to being taken out in one turn. Increasing their capacity to defend Sofia or giving them a second capital (like Romania and Serbia ) would work. Leaving historical accuracy aside, the latter would seem reasonable in terms of game balance.

An interesting alternative - which could apply to all minors and not just in the WW1 game - would be if the game engine could randomly choose between several variations in the initial deployment of minors' units. That way, an attacker would not know for sure what units to expect and how to take them out, before issuing a Declaration of War. This would seem fairly realistic too. (Even more interesting would be if Spying and Intelligence could reveal deployment locations of unmobilized minors - because in a case like the one discussed in this thread, the Entente military attaches in Sofia would be working overtime to figure out the deployment plans for the Bulgarian army. But that would probably have to taken up in someone's mod!).

Cheers,

Michael

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/4/2020 5:20:39 PM   
Tanaka


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Interesting perspectives and ideas guys! Great discussion!

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/4/2020 8:10:52 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor

 

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Tanaka,
It is a good thread. I really think even a small tweak like Bill proposed would help.

One thing I can say now, that relates to this 'Take Down of Bulgaria', is that I had an operation planned with the French to do this in our game in the fall of 1914...I interpreted your initial moves into Belgium as leisurely, even with your fierce attacks on the fort line. Your push...hard into Serbia, bypassing Belgrade, alarmed me...so I moved the French HQ Dubayl and two corps to the ports on the Mediterranean. A cavalry unit was also planned. This operation was quickly abandoned when the 'Avalanche' happened and you flooded Belgium with Germans and French casualties mounted. Now this cost me precious MMP's and time in transportation costs, both to the ports for embarkation to Albania, and then the return up to the Western Front, which almost collapsed.

The point is..I WAS planning an early intervention to save Serbia with a French force, and a possible pre-emptive attack on Bulgaria, because I knew it was possible to knock the Bulgars out in a sucker punch if I could get away with it!

< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 9/4/2020 8:13:18 PM >

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/5/2020 1:14:45 AM   
Tanaka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: OldCrowBalthazor

Tanaka,
It is a good thread. I really think even a small tweak like Bill proposed would help.

One thing I can say now, that relates to this 'Take Down of Bulgaria', is that I had an operation planned with the French to do this in our game in the fall of 1914...I interpreted your initial moves into Belgium as leisurely, even with your fierce attacks on the fort line. Your push...hard into Serbia, bypassing Belgrade, alarmed me...so I moved the French HQ Dubayl and two corps to the ports on the Mediterranean. A cavalry unit was also planned. This operation was quickly abandoned when the 'Avalanche' happened and you flooded Belgium with Germans and French casualties mounted. Now this cost me precious MMP's and time in transportation costs, both to the ports for embarkation to Albania, and then the return up to the Western Front, which almost collapsed.

The point is..I WAS planning an early intervention to save Serbia with a French force, and a possible pre-emptive attack on Bulgaria, because I knew it was possible to knock the Bulgars out in a sucker punch if I could get away with it!


Very interesting to hear about all that was going on behind the scenes!

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/5/2020 5:20:55 AM   
Tanaka


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Yeah so next turn Baghdad falls and Ottoman Empire drops out of the war. Too many morale hits...

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/5/2020 9:46:45 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor

 

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Moving your Corp out of Medina in 1915 and not putting at least a detachment in there didn't help either, as the locals were getting stirred up by then with a little help from the English......

All the more reason to try a back door approach like trying to take out Bulgaria in a gambit to save Serbia and hazard the Ottomans at the same time..it will change the course of the War, even as the Germans are kicking down the front door, like of Russia.

< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 9/5/2020 3:38:33 PM >

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/5/2020 6:01:28 PM   
Tanaka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: OldCrowBalthazor

Moving your Corp out of Medina in 1915 and not putting at least a detachment in there didn't help either, as the locals were getting stirred up by then with a little help from the English......

All the more reason to try a back door approach like trying to take out Bulgaria in a gambit to save Serbia and hazard the Ottomans at the same time..it will change the course of the War, even as the Germans are kicking down the front door, like of Russia.


Yes that was definitely stupid of me you live and you learn. Meant to send a detachment just ran out of troops...

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RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/5/2020 9:16:04 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor

 

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quote:

Yes that was definitely stupid of me you live and you learn. Meant to send a detachment just ran out of troops...

Well, if its any consolation, In a previous pbem, circa late 1915, I moved that corp out of Medina to save a situation in Palestine, then realized after that I didn't have enough MMP's to operate the detachment I had picked out in Anatolia to replace it.
Next turn, Sharif Faisel and company were in...

(in reply to Tanaka)
Post #: 29
RE: Gamey, Broken, or Just fine? - 9/5/2020 10:59:21 PM   
Tanaka


Posts: 3380
Joined: 4/8/2003
From: USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: OldCrowBalthazor

quote:

Yes that was definitely stupid of me you live and you learn. Meant to send a detachment just ran out of troops...

Well, if its any consolation, In a previous pbem, circa late 1915, I moved that corp out of Medina to save a situation in Palestine, then realized after that I didn't have enough MMP's to operate the detachment I had picked out in Anatolia to replace it.
Next turn, Sharif Faisel and company were in...


That does make me feel better haha did the Ottomans surrender on you?

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(in reply to OldCrowBalthazor)
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