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What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v. Bavre

 
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What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v. Bavre - 7/31/2021 12:50:29 PM   
John B.


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At home recovering from COVID and with extra time on my hands I saw Bavre's request for opponents and I said to myself: "Hey, I've heard of World War One, how hard can this be?" I sent Bavre a challenge and then I looked at his various posts. Note to self, in the future, look at the posts first. :) We can expect and quick and brutal mugging of me, the poor Entente player. If St. Petersburg has not been renamed Wilhelmburg by January 1, 1915 I'll count it as a moral victory!

Bavre has let me know that he will be doing a Russia/Balkans first strategy so any advice anyone can offer will be most appreciated!

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 7/31/2021 2:57:34 PM   
mdsmall

 

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Been there against Bavre and learned a lot from the experience.

Several general pieces of advice:

- Never, ever advance into a seemingly empty hex that you have not scouted first, unless you are taking a calculated risk of a surprise attack from an unseen defender. I still make that mistake a couple of times a game and wonder every time why I still do this.

- Buy airships as soon as you can and invest in at least one level of airship tech. The reconnaissance ability of airships is tremendous, both on land and at sea. Great value for money.

-I know everyone invests in trench warfare and artillery tech as soon as possible, but don't overlook investing early in infantry weapons. You can only invest one chit in this tech, so the chances of a breakthrough are few and it just takes a lot of time. It is no fun facing an enemy that has Infantry Weapons 1 when you are still many turns from getting there.

- Always assess the risk of the enemy breaking through your line to attack your artillery pieces. Artillery is no use to you three hexes back from the front, so there is usually some degree of risk this will happen. But it is more likely to happen if your artillery is sitting behind a unit that can be attacked from three sides.

A couple of campaign specific pieces of advice:

- Keep your Russian surface fleet in the Baltic in port most of the time. The German fleet dominates the Baltic, so the best use for your smaller surface fleet is in ambush attacks from ports. Losing Russian ships just accelerates the national morale losses that will eventually doom the Russians. Your subs - when you get them - are your most useful naval units.

- Even though the Russians can exploit the weak Austro-Hungarian deployment in Galicia in the first few turns, if you are facing a full scale German assault in Poland and East Prussia, a few early territorial gains in Galicia will not improve your overall position.

- Figure out a strategy for using your French and British armies to put countervailing pressure on the Central Powers. As enjoyable as it is to keep the French in France facing a quiet Western Front and investing heavily in tech, it means your armies are gaining no experience while his are racking up invaluable experience points beating up the Russians. You can attack Germany on the Western Front, send reinforcements to help Serbia and/or invest in taking out the Ottomans. Once the Italians enter the war, you can reinforce their weak armies and attack on that front. But do something! The only way to defend in this game is to counter-attack.

Good luck!


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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 7/31/2021 3:30:56 PM   
Bavre

 

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Oh, wasn't aware you want to do an AAR, so I have unfortunatelly no turn 1 screenhots. Btw since you asked in your pm, you can either make screenshots with f12 (it's a game feature here, not the Steam overlay, so you'll find them in ...Documents\My Games\Strategic Command WWI\Screenshots) or with the Win10 snipping tool.

As for strategy, the main idea is that I hold the west with a relatively small force and go WAAAAGH!!! on the Russians and Serbs. So you will initially be severely outgunned in those two theatres. As mdsmall already mentioned be very defensive here and conserve your troops while you try to stir up trouble with GB/FR elsewhere.
I've sold all German staring tech to immediately operate units and get the maximum rush, so expect German units in unexpected places. Also it could be neccessary for you to sell some of your tech, too. For example you might need to operate some units to counter a dangerous incursion (hint, hint )

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 7/31/2021 6:35:24 PM   
John B.


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Well I tried the f12 method and could not make it work so forgive me if there are no pictures. Here are the first turn highlights:

1. German Cavalry patrols reach the outskirts of Riga! Russian reinforcements rail there in the nick of time. There are a LOT of German units heading out of E. Prussia.

2. Russian Cavalry patrols reach the outskirts of Breslau! Heaving fighting reported, many spiked German guns from an artillery unit defending the city (well, one point, but still, it's something). :)

3. Russians seize Galician oilfields. Trade blows with A/H units. I figured I might as well do what I can to A/H and trigger the food shortages and refugees. And, if I take away the oilfields for a turn or two, all the better.

4. Brits give BB to Turks! Britain is not in the war but if Bavre is going all in in the east I might as well buy a little time with Turkey and see if I can keep the MMP pipleline open to Russia as long as possible.

5. French trade blows with Germans near Belgain boarder! He killed a corps I suffered more losses in my one counterattack.

6. Serbs hold Belgrade! That won't last. I fell back using the Serb garrisons as breakwaters. I recall seeing that you could switch the Franco-Serbia convoy to Salonika but did not see how to do so. Does that fire when the Salonika event does?


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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 7/31/2021 6:38:54 PM   
AshFall

 

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Another good method, if you're on windows, is to hit shift+winkey+s (the snipping tool Bavre mentioned).

That lets you take a "snapshot" of whatever you drag a box around on your screen, then use paint or whatever to turn it into a .png or .jpeg. :)

Good luck! Bavre brutalized me recently in a thankfully short strat test (short suffering). :D

< Message edited by AshFall -- 7/31/2021 6:40:56 PM >

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 7/31/2021 6:44:14 PM   
John B.


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Lol, Thanks! I'm expecting even worse! :)

I will give that a try. Can I do it in the middle of a turn?

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 7/31/2021 8:14:20 PM   
Bavre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: John B.
Well I tried the f12 method and could not make it work so forgive me if there are no pictures. Here are the first turn highlights:

That is very weird.

quote:

ORIGINAL: John B.
3. Russians seize Galician oilfields. Trade blows with A/H units. I figured I might as well do what I can to A/H and trigger the food shortages and refugees. And, if I take away the oilfields for a turn or two, all the better.

When against a very aggressive Russia first, do under no circumstances get into any needless pounding matches in the east, unless the potential reward is enormous! You will soon need every MPP and every units strength point for sheer survival there.


quote:

ORIGINAL: John B.
4. Brits give BB to Turks! Britain is not in the war but if Bavre is going all in in the east I might as well buy a little time with Turkey and see if I can keep the MMP pipleline open to Russia as long as possible.

Nerver do that in such a situation. The ship is not the problem, but the event kills 2000 Russian NM, that's the equivalent of loosing two regular NM objectives. And Russian NM is exactely what the CP is targetting here.
Thanks to mdsmall you can check out all NM events here https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=5038786

quote:

ORIGINAL: John B.
6. Serbs hold Belgrade! That won't last. I fell back using the Serb garrisons as breakwaters. I recall seeing that you could switch the Franco-Serbia convoy to Salonika but did not see how to do so. Does that fire when the Salonika event does?


The alternative route opens when Cetinje, the destination of the original one, falls.

I wrote you a pm with some more details...

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 7/31/2021 8:46:17 PM   
AshFall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: John B.

Lol, Thanks! I'm expecting even worse! :)

I will give that a try. Can I do it in the middle of a turn?


Yep! You can do it at any time, in any program in windows. :)

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/1/2021 12:35:31 PM   
John B.


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Entente survives another turn! Soldiers begin to discover what shovels are for! Well, it turns out I have to manually entrench. There are many dead frenchmen who learned this lesson the hardway. :) Bavre was a gentleman and pointed out my oversight.

More dead at Galician Oilfields! I did kill an A/H corps FWIW.

Not as many Russians die!! Riga held but was only attacked twice. A couple of Russian corps died. More attacks expected.

Lots of French die! See entrenching comment above. Kind of a reverse Battle of the Frontiers.

Belgrade holds! Well, it was not attacked and lots and lots of Serbs died elsewhere. See entrenching comment above. :)

England girds for war!

Again, I tried pictures but could not make it work.

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/1/2021 4:07:16 PM   
Bavre

 

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Did you get the snipping tool to open? Were there any errors?

Alternatively a third method to do screenshots is winkey+printscreen. The screenshots should be in a subfolder of your pictures folder called screenshots.

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/1/2021 4:39:28 PM   
John B.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bavre

Did you get the snipping tool to open? Were there any errors?

Alternatively a third method to do screenshots is winkey+printscreen. The screenshots should be in a subfolder of your pictures folder called screenshots.

Thanks! I will try that method this time.

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/1/2021 4:57:23 PM   
mdsmall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: John B.

I recall seeing that you could switch the Franco-Serbia convoy to Salonika but did not see how to do so. Does that fire when the Salonika event does?



As Bavre has noted, this switch in convoy routes can not fire until Cetinje falls. But the Entente also have to control Salonika for the convoy to get through to Serbia. The existing Salonika intervention event only fires after August 1, 1915, so if you need a new convoy route to Serbia before then, you either have to win over Greece through diplomacy or declare war on it as the Entente and then capture Salonika.

In the Balkan Variations mod that I designed with Old Crow, I wrote a new DE for the Entente where the British and French can back an earlier coup attempt by Venizelos to bring Greece into the war on the Entente side. If the coup succeeds, the Entente get all of Greece (very useful); if it fails, Salonika breaks away from Greece and becomes and independent free state aligned with the Entente, so the convoy goes through but the rest of Greece joins the Central Powers (very tricky).

< Message edited by mdsmall -- 8/1/2021 4:58:28 PM >

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/1/2021 5:37:18 PM   
John B.


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Ok, I think this is should have a picture in it. Hopefully this shows the situation in Lithuania. There were some probes towards Riga but nothing too intense. Fingers crossed the picture will be there when I hit "OK".




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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/1/2021 5:39:36 PM   
John B.


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There we go! Here is the situation in Poland. More German advances and dead russian units. As expected, the Russian raid on Breslau came to tears but it was fun while it lasted. The Russians did kill an isloated A/H corps near Warsaw and they have an A/H cav corps cut off and not looking good south of Galicia (I'm not sure if it's in the picture). Basically Russia shored up the line and prayed for rain while the Russian ships that could not hide in port were all sunk. Bad day to be a Russian!




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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/1/2021 5:41:42 PM   
John B.


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But a much worse day to be a Serb. Serbia is doomed. I forgot to entrench and there was a whole LOT of Central Powers troops breaking through. Really can't force my way through to the A/H navy to the convoy route is close. Sorry Serbia. Better luck next war! :)




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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/1/2021 5:43:00 PM   
John B.


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And, on the Western Front? England entered the war and France celebrated that the corps it moved into position were each able to entrench! Yep, taking solace in small victories here.




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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/1/2021 6:44:08 PM   
pjg100

 

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Interesting AAR, thanks John and Bavre. Would be helpful to know what date the game is at for the above screenshots.

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/2/2021 11:29:00 AM   
John B.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pjg100

Interesting AAR, thanks John and Bavre. Would be helpful to know what date the game is at for the above screenshots.

pjg, I'll try to remember to put the date for my next update. But, we're still in the summer early fall 1914.

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/2/2021 4:51:58 PM   
John B.


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There is a very funny scene in O Brother Where Art Thou when to aides to the Governor are debating whether or not he's going to get an ass whippin' or an ass beatin' in the upcoming election. That kind of defines where we are now. :)

Forgot to take pictures. Sorry! But, I just finished the Sept. 14th turn as the Entente. Highlights include:

1. Warsaw fell and there are more dead Russian corps. The isolated A/H cav corps died as did 2-3 other Russian corps.

2. Serbia is basically occupied. There was a naval battle in the Adriatic in which each side lost 2 ships.

3. France retook the mines and lost a couple of corps.

4. England is blockading Germany.

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/4/2021 6:26:14 PM   
John B.


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Ok, I just finished the Nov. 1914 turn for the Entente and this time I remembered to save pictures. Here is the situation in northern Russia. The picture does no include Poland or Galicia as I'm trying to not give intel to the enemy which is tough to do. Not much change in the front lines and we are praying, really really praying for rain or snow!




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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/4/2021 6:27:08 PM   
John B.


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As you can see, Serbia is a vast wasteland.




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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/4/2021 6:28:15 PM   
John B.


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Not much going on in France. Just dead Frenchmen. I've got German under Blockade FWIW. I'm sure I'll be seeing the German navy very soon!




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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/5/2021 5:21:03 PM   
John B.


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December 1914. Not much has really changed. More dead Russian and French corps. Any proposed counter attacks show heavy Allied losses and no German losses so no real point to that. Serbia fell and the Ottomans are close to entering the war. Otherwise, it's been a good turn. :)

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/5/2021 10:43:19 PM   
John B.


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And, as expected, it comes to an end. Bavre offered me peace terms and I accepted. I would like to thank him for his time. He is an outstanding player and a complete gentleman! I clearly bit off more than I can chew. Even though I was beaten soundly round the head and shoulders this is a great game and I enjoyed myself even when losing!

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/6/2021 9:04:41 AM   
BillRunacre

 

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Thanks for the AAR John, it's always interesting to watch the action unfold!

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/6/2021 11:20:10 AM   
Bavre

 

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Just a little explanation of what happened:
The game has a strong tendency to snowball because of NM and especially HQ XP mechanics. For details on the latter check Huberts post in this thread https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=5017985 , the formula in the manual is outdated. Basically I managed to catch John on the wrong foot in the early turns, resulting in quite a few fights that above mechanics counted as a win and awarded XP to Hindenburg and pals, which in turn increased my combat odds the following turns etc... And once Hindenburg has enough medals so his frontal armor puts a tiger tank to shame, you don't need strategy or finesse any more, you can just brute force your way through the enemy lines. Heavy NM hits for Russia compounded that and by the end of 14 I got favorable odds for attacks on entrenchment 2 Russian in the forest in winter, so we decided to call it a day.

So thanks to John for the match and the AAR, just pm me if you want revenge.

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RE: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 1914 Me (noobish) v.... - 8/6/2021 11:54:54 AM   
John B.


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Let me get a few more games under my belt and then I'll challenge you again. :)

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