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Austrian Surrender - 9/5/2020 6:05:15 PM   
lwarmonger

 

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So, playing as Central Powers... Germany's national morale is at about 80%, with both the British and Russians at 60 percent and France around 40 when Austria Hungary collapses. Germany won the opening naval clash, and has a tenuous superiority at sea, while the British have been launching an offensive in Belgium, Germany has been attacking in the south attempting to collapse the French. I think to myself, ok, Austria will collapse, so the turn prior, I redeploy the Germans who had been holding the line against Italy and the Russians alongside the Austrians into almost every city between Germany and Budapest, planning to reestablish my line and fight a delaying action forward against the Russians while trying to collapse the Brits through blockade and the French through a final offensive in the West.

Except it is all for nothing. Because when Austria collapses into its component pieces, all German forces are magically moved out of Austria, and then the Czechs, the Poles and the Hungarians, who are now completely unoccupied, turn on the Germans. That makes no sense at all, and completely unhinges anything Germany can do to stop it. The Germans would never have given up the positions they had in Austria and Czech for no reason... This basically makes any further gameplay pointless... and doesn't make any sense at all. I get why that happens with the Russians, but the Austrians? They should collapse similar to France in the WWII game, where allied forces remain and occupy whatever they are on.
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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/5/2020 6:47:31 PM   
Tanaka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: lwarmonger

So, playing as Central Powers... Germany's national morale is at about 80%, with both the British and Russians at 60 percent and France around 40 when Austria Hungary collapses. Germany won the opening naval clash, and has a tenuous superiority at sea, while the British have been launching an offensive in Belgium, Germany has been attacking in the south attempting to collapse the French. I think to myself, ok, Austria will collapse, so the turn prior, I redeploy the Germans who had been holding the line against Italy and the Russians alongside the Austrians into almost every city between Germany and Budapest, planning to reestablish my line and fight a delaying action forward against the Russians while trying to collapse the Brits through blockade and the French through a final offensive in the West.

Except it is all for nothing. Because when Austria collapses into its component pieces, all German forces are magically moved out of Austria, and then the Czechs, the Poles and the Hungarians, who are now completely unoccupied, turn on the Germans. That makes no sense at all, and completely unhinges anything Germany can do to stop it. The Germans would never have given up the positions they had in Austria and Czech for no reason... This basically makes any further gameplay pointless... and doesn't make any sense at all. I get why that happens with the Russians, but the Austrians? They should collapse similar to France in the WWII game, where allied forces remain and occupy whatever they are on.


Yeah and maybe something like the Italian occupation in WW2

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/5/2020 9:07:28 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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Iwarmonger,

Yeah, I never liked this either. In one game I was in, I anticipated the AH collapse, and moved strong forces into Bohemia and around Cracow...AH surrenders, then poof! German units are scattered around like popcorn on a movie theater floor.........


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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/5/2020 9:51:07 PM   
Bo Rearguard


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In November 1918, the Serbo-French Army that re-captured Serbia overran several weak German divisions that tried to block their advance near Niš. So, apparently there still were some wholly German units left in territory that had been occupied by Austria.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Tanaka

Yeah and maybe something like the Italian occupation in WW2

Of course, the problem for Germany was that big rambling country like Austria-Hungary was tougher to occupy and defend than Italy, which being a peninsula was a defender's dream. However, I do seem to recall reading that Germany did try to send a scratch force down south along the Danube to slow a possible Allied advance.

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/6/2020 3:32:17 AM   
lwarmonger

 

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It is also worth remembering that in real life the two collapsed about the same time. In this game, Austria had been hammered, but Germany, which had done better then historical both at France and at sea, was still very much in the fight.

As for the relative difficulty of occupation, I got it... Germany occupied Italy and fought the allies with about 11 divisions in World War II... in this game I had 11 Corps and 5 detachments in key positions throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire.... but they are magic moved out.

Worse, the surrender happens, waits in fact, on the end of the central power turn, so after all the Germans are magic moved out, the allies can operationally move in and make offensives with the new units that are formed in Czech and Poland before the Germans can even adjust.

This whole event chain seems designed to screw Germany to the wall no matter what... it really should be changed.

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/6/2020 7:48:55 AM   
FOARP

 

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I’m a big one for looking at what happened historically and trying to judge based on that how things should be modelled.

Historically, A-H surrendered to the Entente and signed an armistice on 3 November 1918 saying that all German troops had to leave their territory or be interned. The empire was already in the process of disintegration at that stage. Had Germany tried to intervene in A-H the result might well have been more similar to what happened in Finland in 1944 than what happened in Italy in 1943 - Germany might have found themselves at war with their former allies, albeit under the flags of the various newly formed countries founded on A-H territory.

Then we can look at this in terms of game-mechanics - historically, the new independent countries have to appear when A-H surrenders, and there is no way of forming an independent country in the game without expelling enemy troops deployed in it.Ideally there would be, but not under the current mechanics.

Conclusion: we needn’t assume that a German intervention in A-H in 1918 would have gone the same way as in Italy in 1943, A-H and Italy were very different countries, A-H effectively disintegrated whilst Italy divided under two governments both claiming to be the government of Italy. Game mechanics dictate that German troops be expelled.

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/6/2020 11:10:50 AM   
lwarmonger

 

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I'm sorry, but no way. Germany had been propping the Austrians up since the beginning of 1915, and the Austrian Army had been incapable of independent offensive operations for at least that long. And now we are talking about a Germany that did relatively better then history and an Austria doing relatively worse... Finland is not the model to go with here for a lot of reasons, foremost among them that there is no indication historically whatsoever that the Austrian Army was any more capable then the Italian one in WW2 or that the various polities that were formed after its collapse were in any way more coherant or capable of independent action... indeed the very nature of the Austrian collapse provides a lot of space for the Germans to insert themselves into competing factions that simply didnt exist in Italy in 1943. The idea that Austria would be able to eject a German Army that was coherant, capable and not burdened by collapse at home is nonsensical.

< Message edited by lwarmonger -- 9/6/2020 11:11:43 AM >

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/6/2020 4:10:32 PM   
mdsmall

 

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quote:

we can look at this in terms of game-mechanics - historically, the new independent countries have to appear when A-H surrenders, and there is no way of forming an independent country in the game without expelling enemy troops deployed in it.Ideally there would be, but not under the current mechanics.


I would like to raise the larger issue of the game mechanics around what happens when countries surrender. It is a theme that was taken up in an earlier thread in this Forum about what happens to German and Austrian units in Russia after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. It is also an element in the long thread in WW2: War in Europe forum about what happens to Allied units defending French territory in North Africa when France surrenders and Vichy France is declared. In each of these cases, units of other powers, whether former allies (like Germany in Austria-Hungary in 1918, or British units in France in 1940), or former enemies (like German and Austrian units in Russia in 1917) are either instantly expelled back to friendly territory or destroyed by the supposed gendarmerie of newly created minor powers. The result seems both extreme (how could so many units move so quickly back to their home territory at no cost?) and implausible (could Vichy French policemen really destroy a British corps?).

So, my question is this outcome hard-wired into the game mechanics, as FOARP suggests? Could it be changed in some ways? If so, I can imagine a variety of alternatives that would be more historically plausible and could make for a more interesting game. Perhaps some kind of temporary neutral status for a couple of turns could be created for units of a Major power that find themselves on the territory of a new nation created after Surrender, which would allow those units to leave the new country's territory using regular or operational moves or transports, without having to declare war on the new country, or convert it into an ally. Or, the Major that still has units on the new country's territory could chose to declare war on the new minor and battle its (weak) forces to retain control over that territory. I won't elaborate further here, since the question is moot if the game mechanics can not be changed. But it could make for some very interesting post-surrender scenarios if a change is possible.

I would be interested in hearing from the game designers on this.







< Message edited by mdsmall -- 9/6/2020 4:14:03 PM >

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/7/2020 9:33:10 AM   
BillRunacre

 

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It is very difficult when a country surrenders to have it still remaining as an active party that can be fought over, because (taking A-H as an example) either:

A) it has to remain in an un-surrendered status so that its territory is still under the control of the Central Powers so that German units can attempt to hold back an Entente advance

OR

B) it has to surrender and its territory is occupied by the Entente.

The collapse of the Empire and its breakup into independent states is a third way, but as you can see none of these outcomes actually allows for German units to fight to retain as much A-H territory as possible under Central Powers control.

This doesn't mean that this discussion is a waste of time, as it may be that something can be changed, but I am not overly optimistic either.

Or to put it another way, I am going to think about this but I don't want to raise any hopes for a fix too high by promising anything at this stage.

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/7/2020 12:03:04 PM   
FOARP

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: lwarmonger

It is also worth remembering that in real life the two collapsed about the same time. In this game, Austria had been hammered, but Germany, which had done better then historical both at France and at sea, was still very much in the fight.

As for the relative difficulty of occupation, I got it... Germany occupied Italy and fought the allies with about 11 divisions in World War II... in this game I had 11 Corps and 5 detachments in key positions throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire.... but they are magic moved out.

Worse, the surrender happens, waits in fact, on the end of the central power turn, so after all the Germans are magic moved out, the allies can operationally move in and make offensives with the new units that are formed in Czech and Poland before the Germans can even adjust.

This whole event chain seems designed to screw Germany to the wall no matter what... it really should be changed.


On this specific point: A-H collapsing was a pretty disastrous event for Germany. Even if Germany does better than historically, the war should be pretty close to over if the second largest CP country collapses. Germany should be well and truly screwed if it does happen. The entire reason why this doesn't come up often in games is because if A-H is beaten then Germany is almost always beaten too.

Germany was far more economically dependent on A-H in WW1 than it was on Italy in WW2, and unlike in Italy in 1943 there was no pro-German replacement like Mussolini for the national leadership. If Emperor Karl quits the war, then there is no alternative emperor (or other pro-German A-H leader of any real legitimacy) who could be put in his place. Outside of Austria-proper, German occupation would not have been popular and would have been resisted.

Let's not forget that Germany was, historically, still fighting almost everywhere on French/Belgian soil when they signed the armistice. Still, the Germans quit the war shortly after the Austrian and Ottoman surrenders.

However I agree with you that it would definitely be better if German troops weren't simply teleported out. A few options come to mind:

1) Rather than German units being teleported out of the country completely, if A-H collapses whilst Germany is still in the war instead the newly independent nations are formed controlling only part of their territory (e.g., the capitals) with the rest being German-occupied (except for that part already Entente-occupied). In this case the German units would only be transported out of the capital cities to the nearest German-controlled area. This would stop the immediate operating-in of Entente units as the railways would not be controlled by the Entente at the start. The Germans could then try to crush the national uprisings and establish control with their units in-theatre.

2) An event-driven process where the German player has to spend MPP and national morale in a series of "intervene in A-H" events to maintain control there. E.g., if Germany has a morale over a specific figure (e.g., 30%) they are shown a message saying "Emperor Karl is planning to surrender to the Entente, shall we launch a coup against him and occupy Austria-Hungary? People will be shocked by our betrayal of our Austrian allies but the alternative is letting the Entente invade Germany through A-H. This will cost X morale and Y MPP". And then subsequent events of a similar nature saying "The Hungarians are rebelling - shall we crush them?" and so-forth. Having the events only trigger if German morale is over a certain amount prevents the events firing if Germany is already beaten, thus preserving the historical outcome.

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/7/2020 1:08:39 PM   
The Land

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BillRunacre

It is very difficult when a country surrenders to have it still remaining as an active party that can be fought over, because (taking A-H as an example) either:

A) it has to remain in an un-surrendered status so that its territory is still under the control of the Central Powers so that German units can attempt to hold back an Entente advance

OR

B) it has to surrender and its territory is occupied by the Entente.

The collapse of the Empire and its breakup into independent states is a third way, but as you can see none of these outcomes actually allows for German units to fight to retain as much A-H territory as possible under Central Powers control.



I'd be tempted to follow the example of Italy in the WW2 games.

If Austria-Hungary reaches very low NM while Germany is still in the war, and there are many German troops in A-H territory then have Austria-Hungary surrender *to the Germans* so that any German units in place can keep fighting. Then check for CP units in/near the successor states' capitals - if there are units there have the successor states created and immediately surrender to Germany as well, if there are no units then have them join the Entente as combatants as present.

It would be unusual for Germany to last long after that, but it should be possible - if for instance Russia is also on the verge of surrender...

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/7/2020 7:52:23 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: The Land


quote:

ORIGINAL: BillRunacre

It is very difficult when a country surrenders to have it still remaining as an active party that can be fought over, because (taking A-H as an example) either:

A) it has to remain in an un-surrendered status so that its territory is still under the control of the Central Powers so that German units can attempt to hold back an Entente advance

OR

B) it has to surrender and its territory is occupied by the Entente.

The collapse of the Empire and its breakup into independent states is a third way, but as you can see none of these outcomes actually allows for German units to fight to retain as much A-H territory as possible under Central Powers control.



I'd be tempted to follow the example of Italy in the WW2 games.

If Austria-Hungary reaches very low NM while Germany is still in the war, and there are many German troops in A-H territory then have Austria-Hungary surrender *to the Germans* so that any German units in place can keep fighting. Then check for CP units in/near the successor states' capitals - if there are units there have the successor states created and immediately surrender to Germany as well, if there are no units then have them join the Entente as combatants as present.

It would be unusual for Germany to last long after that, but it should be possible - if for instance Russia is also on the verge of surrender...


An example of the aftermath as the successor states rise out of Austria-Hungary in a game between Tanaka and I. His Germany is making major inroads against Russia north of the Pripyat, and is holding quiet firm in the west when this happened:

Excerpt from another thread:
"There's stuff that happens that's wonky also. Not only did German units get flung out of their positions there, but so did the Russians. Not only that, but the new states go Entente..and can basically get operated anywhere in the east. This I highly don't like, even if my side is the beneficiary of such largess. The thing is, there are some highly interesting things and operations that can occur in the East, but Serb or Hungarian units being able to operate to lets say like the Dvina/Riga area is a bit too much. A few of my friends and I came up with the house rule that the forces of Serbia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Romania have to stay within their new borders, except for detachments. The Poles can move anywhere, and western Entente forces may also if they so choose. Of course, this is just a house rule...and really doesn't fix the problem."

It would be nice if some things were fleshed out for decisions and events in the east after a debacle like this, interesting things could happen and can happen for when example, Austria-Hungary collapses first, then Russia soon after..something, while unlikely historically, is more frequent I suspect in at least pbem games.


< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 9/9/2020 9:09:02 AM >

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/7/2020 7:58:27 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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.

< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 9/7/2020 8:00:13 PM >

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/7/2020 9:08:22 PM   
Xsillione

 

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Ideally we would need a way to create a controlled and uncontrolled side of surrendered nations.

What i mean: If AH surrenders, but there are german units in a few cities and other hexes, that create a more or less continues line, than that line and anything toward germany remain german control, and only the rest surrenders to the entente, and create new nations. Similarly with russia surrendering, the units keep the territory behind them, and must move out (can only make steps that bring them closer to the new border), and any vacated territory turns back to russia at the end of the turn, and maybe give a max turn limit to reach the border (with operations if needed), or after the run limit they will be considered interned.

This would help UK after the french surrender, as they would keep a territory under control toward some ports, instead of getting instantly out of supply with little to no chance to elave the surrendered french territory , as the french suddenly help the germans.

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/8/2020 1:03:03 AM   
mdsmall

 

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Bill - Thank you for being open to thinking about how the post-surrender mechanics for major powers in the game might be changed. This line of thinking opens up some potentially interesting late-game scenarios that rarely emerge in the current game.

In my view, there are no problem with the existing game mechanics for major powers that surrender as intact states. For example, in one of my games playing the Central Powers against the AI, I invaded Italy and after a tough campaign, the Italians surrendered. All the Italian forces disappeared from the board and all of the unoccupied hexes formerly belonging to Italy became Central Power occupied hexes. However, the sizeable French force that was defending Savoy and controlling Turin were fine. They controlled their own supply lines back to France and they continued to fight on against the invading Austrians as if nothing had happened. A couple of British and French units that were fortifying the Italian lines in the Apennines found themselves out of supply. But against a human player who could foresee that there was a risk that the Italians would surrender, it would have been easy to secure access to a port for those units before that happened, so they could remain in supply and/or be evacuated.

The situation becomes more complex when the surrendering major power breaks up into several new, independent minor states. This currently happens with Austria-Hungary and with Russia in the WW1 game (I presume it happens to the Ottomans too). What I would like to see changed is having all the units of other major powers on the territory of the surrendering power being automatically “teleported” back to their home territory to avoid having them inside the borders of the newly independent, neutral states. Here is one way I think you could do this.

Let’s continue to work with the Austro-Hungarian example that started this thread. When the A-H empire surrenders, all of its units disappear from the board. New units of the new, successor states appear on the board, as if they were partisans (following whatever game mechanics you use for anti-colonial partisans such as the Arabs). The Entente player is then presented with a Decision Event asking if he recognizes each of these new independent states.

If he says YES, then the Entente player controls these partisan units. At the end of a turn when a partisan unit has occupied its national capital, it will automatically declare independence and a new minor power appears on the board with the borders as already determined by the existing game. All other unoccupied hexes within the borders of the former A-H empire remain Entente occupied hexes until the new successor states are declared. By controlling the partisan units, the Entente player can decide when he wants that to happen.

If the Entente players says NO to recognizing a given aspiring successor state, then its units become partisans controlled by the Central Powers. The hexes of the former A-H empire remain Entente occupied. If the now CP-controlled partisans capture their national capital, they will declare independence and a new state is created. The same game mechanics apply.

When a new successor state is declared, its alignment is determined by the situation on the board. If there are units of the non-controlling side within the borders of the new state (Germany in this example), then the new state is automatically at war with the Central Powers and allied to the Entente. The German units control the hexes they occupy and have to fight their way out or into supply. If there are no Central Power units present inside the new state's borders, it becomes a neutral minor with a degree of alignment towards the Entente, as already set within the game. Any Entente units inside its borders can be “teleported” back to Entente territory, as per the existing game mechanics, so that the new state can become an independent neutral.

I would suggest creating some incentives for the controlling power to create the new states, e.g. in terms of MPP bonuses from trade (as done for Ukrainian grain supplies to Germany after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk). One could imagine separate Decision Events providing other incentives, e.g. in terms of border adjustments or the alignment of other minors or National Morale. I would offset those a bit with some immediate penalties in terms of readiness for major power units that have just received a free move home by being “teleported”.

This approach would work very well with the Arabs when the Ottoman Empire surrenders. As soon as their existing partisan forces occupy Medina, they would declare independence (as forecast by T.E. Lawrence) and become a neutral state aligned towards the Entente. (You could create a new Decision Event that would allow them to declare independence if they capture another Ottoman capital like Damascus).

I think it would apply equally well when Russia surrenders. If the Central Powers accept the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, then they can decide when to create the individual successor states. For the most part, I imagine they would create them immediately, and the game would proceed similar to the existing game. But in some cases, the Central Power player might prefer to remain an occupying power in part of the territory they conquered, especially if there were Entente units they wanted to attack in Romania, Turkey or Persia. If the Germans refuse Brest-Litovsk, then some of the new units could appear as partisans controlled by Russia, with the same rules applying in terms of declaring new states in the Baltics, the Ukraine and Trans-Caucasus. I don’t recall exactly what happens to Finland when it declares independence in the existing game, but I think it is very similar to what I have outlined above.

If these mechanics for creating new independent states work out, they could become the basis for future campaigns or mods covering the fascinating period after the collapse of empires from 1917 through to the end of Russian Civil War. Ideally, the game engine could control the new partisans, so they would be truly independent, rather than aspiring neutrals temporarily controlled by one side or the other. But I think the above approach could work within the existing game parameters. I leave that to you and other players who know the game mechanics to decide.

Cheers,

Michael

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/8/2020 10:20:19 AM   
lwarmonger

 

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So, easiest partial fix for this is to not have the Austrian surrender occur at the end of the Central Powers turn (so that the German units magic moved out end up all jumbled about, then the Russians and maybe serbians operate a massive army in while launching spoiler offensives with the magically assembled czechs and Hungarians who just appeared), but at the end of the allied turn instead. At the end of the allied turn, that gives the Germans the opportunity to prepare and launch offensives into all those newly independent states and creates more of a meeting engagement then currently exists. As things are, having this event wait to occur at the end of the Central Powers turn (I started the turn at 0% national morale... so I hit that level in the allies turn) makes it so after a move the German player has no control over occurs, he is further vulnerable to a spoiling offensive followed up by a deliberate one the following turn, basically making it impossible to resist. An intact German Army would be able to attack before a newly assembled Czech or Polish militia that simply didn't exist a week ago.

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/8/2020 10:37:31 AM   
lwarmonger

 

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Or, perhaps even better, have a series of events for the new countries labeled "chaos in the empire" which reduces all their infrastructure to 0, and therefore prevents the entire allied army in the east from operating into positions on Germanys southern flank in a single week.

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RE: Austrian Surrender - 9/9/2020 3:48:57 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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There a lot of great ideas in this thread on this topic. I complained about a few, ahem, anomalies, but I for one am grateful for all the time in the creation and support of this, a most excellent game...both against the AI in the beginning, then on to the exciting world of pbem, where, if something crazy could happen...it will happen.

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