Plan XVII

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Dixie
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RE: Plan XVII

Post by Dixie »

British Military
There are only two British armies in France, both contain three front line infrantry corps. I Army has two cavalry corps in reserve whilst II Army fields a reserve of a single infantry corps. The independent TA garrison of Calais has two full strength corps with a third understrength corps attached. British GHQ contains a single infantry corps whilst another regular infantry corps is present at Calais but moving to Dunkirk.

The differences between the types of troops can be seen here, for the most part the British armies are composed of either active service troops (purple flag) or veteran troops (yellow). The BEF cavalry reserve also contains an elite corps (Orange). The Calais force is made of mobilised troops. These are inexperienced in battle and lack the full time training of the main army. They also lack the combat abilities of the full time infantry corps. The third corps is understrength currently, a side effect of Britain relying on a volunteer army is that there are less recruits to refill understrength units until conscription is enacted.

II Army is moving for an attack on Douai, the rest of the British army is holding position. Until conscription is enforced it's important to keep British casualties down in order to maintain as many corps at full strength as possible.

The Royal Navy is at sea still, the recent arrival of the modern battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth is a boost to the home fleet. Several ships or squadrons are damaged and the RN will soon have to head back to Scapa Flow in order to repair, so far the RN have managed to maintain control of the seas and kept the German High Seas fleet bottled up at home.


British Economy
The British economy is also running at a loss, although it's probably better able to absorb this than the French economy. The British economy is building more units than the French but is running at a smaller loss. Currently building are:
4 Infantry Corps. One infantry corps is due to arrive in the summer and will form the core of III Army, two more will arrive in Nov-Dec turn and are assigned to III and IV Army. The HQs for III and IV army are under construction (free!) and will arrive in the summer. The final infantry corps will arrive in May 1915.
II Army's artillery is under construction and should arrive in June, other support forces under construction are two heavy tank corps due to arrive late in 1915.
Two fighter squadrons are under construction and will arrive in May and June 1916.
The Royal Navy has several ships under construction, two destroyer flotillas will arrive in August to combat the u-boat menace. HMS Barham (Queen Elizabeth BB) will arrive in Nov-Dec 1915 and will go to join her sister ship in the Home Fleet.

British production is allowing a flow of 9 MUN each turn to the British stockpiles.

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Dixie
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RE: Plan XVII

Post by Dixie »

Battles
Battle of the Norweigian Sea: Royal Navy Home and Scouting fleets engage two German light fleets whilst heading back to Scapa Flow. The result is a resounding victory for the RN with 4 German ships sunk and two squadrons of smaller ships destroyed. In return a single RN ship is damaged.

A small French fleet, AC Montcalm and destroyers, encounters the German Scharnhorst in the Atlantic Ocean and moves to intercept. However several German light cruisers show up as reinforcements and the French are forced to retreat. Both sides suffer damage to one ship.

The Battle of Valle de Meuse results in a victory for the French against the surrounded German III Army.


Results and Interphase
With the German III Army destroyed the Entente have gained a nice victory, especially by doing so early in the war. The seas are still mostly controlled by the Entente although the Atlantic may need the Royal Navy to sort out.
With the front line stabilised now it's time to look at planning a grand offensive for France. The options are either to use IV Army near Nancy and push German forces back to the border near the Moselle river, or attack further north in the Chapagne region. Currently the forces around Nancy are probably better prepared for an offensive so that's where the first GO will launch from.

The British sector is still not a continous front line, but the Germans seem to be lacking forces in Belgium so it's not currently a major issue. A British GO is being considered for late 1915 once there are more forces in France.


France loses 1 NW from combat losses.
France fails to appoint a new military commander.
France improved her wartime economy (1 of 2 attempts)
France succesfully managed a war loan.
Great Britain introduces conscription.
Great Britain improves her wartime economy (2 of 2 attempts)
Great Britain appoints a new leader (Gough)
Great Britain suceeds in a war loan.
Italy's mood is now defeatist.
German submarine warfare effects the GB economy by 40 points.
The Entente blockade fails to affect the CP economies.


MAPS TO FOLLOW
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balto
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RE: Plan XVII

Post by balto »

ORIGINAL: Terminus

ORIGINAL: Dixie

ORIGINAL: Terminus

I suppose there's no chance of you withdrawing from the salient southwest of Dinant, and tidying up your front that way?

It's been considered and is still a possibility. I'm being optimistic and hoping that I can stabilse the front and hold the salient. Although it's taking valuable troops losing Verdun would lead to a loss of 5 NW points for France leaving them in a shaky situation. I'm also looking to use it as a launch area for a French grand offensive in the summer. The salient provides a decent start point as there aren't any river crossings to deal with before the offensive starts.

Of course, that won't matter if the front folds totally... I may have to look at splitting the French Army into smaller forces to cover the entire front.

Ahh, forgot about Verdun. Well, the Germans will have to go into burrowing mode too soon...


GREAT AAR, thanks. I do not understand what either of you are saying in regards to the salient and its impact on Verdun. I think you are saying that by keeping that salient, it helps in the defense of Verdun?? Can you explain that to me how a salient in one area helps in the defense of another area? I am sure you know what you are talking about, I am just confused. Looking forward to more of this AAR.
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RE: Plan XVII

Post by balto »

I have no experience in this game. One questions, one comment.

1) I was wondering why you have Britain buying NAVAL assets? Are you just messing around with the game trying to see what different things do, or based on your experience you think they reallly need that? I mean, you are killing the CP Navy and you have the Eastern Fleet that the Japanese freed up for you.

2) The White text boxes, which are GREAT! Can you put more of those in letting us know areas are which that you refer to in your narratives. I cannot follow all of your French references.

Thank you in advance.
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RE: Plan XVII

Post by Dixie »

ORIGINAL: balto

I have no experience in this game. One questions, one comment.

1) I was wondering why you have Britain buying NAVAL assets? Are you just messing around with the game trying to see what different things do, or based on your experience you think they reallly need that? I mean, you are killing the CP Navy and you have the Eastern Fleet that the Japanese freed up for you.

2) The White text boxes, which are GREAT! Can you put more of those in letting us know areas are which that you refer to in your narratives. I cannot follow all of your French references.

Thank you in advance.

1) This is the first game that I intend to see through until the bitter end, and keeping the blockade going is a major factor in my plans. I have to assume that the CP, in particular Germany, are going to build some more warships. Whilst the RN has easily held the German fleet at bay so far some more modern warships will make that task far easier if the German BBs do come to play. Also, the Brit economy is quite robust and capable of absorbing the cost of a battleship and a few DDs for now.
1b) Light units are needed to carry out ASW duty to prevent the German u-boats from crippling the GB economy so there's also an investment needed in destroyers and scout cruisers.

2) Will do.
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RE: Plan XVII

Post by Dixie »

ORIGINAL: balto

ORIGINAL: Terminus

ORIGINAL: Dixie




It's been considered and is still a possibility. I'm being optimistic and hoping that I can stabilse the front and hold the salient. Although it's taking valuable troops losing Verdun would lead to a loss of 5 NW points for France leaving them in a shaky situation. I'm also looking to use it as a launch area for a French grand offensive in the summer. The salient provides a decent start point as there aren't any river crossings to deal with before the offensive starts.

Of course, that won't matter if the front folds totally... I may have to look at splitting the French Army into smaller forces to cover the entire front.

Ahh, forgot about Verdun. Well, the Germans will have to go into burrowing mode too soon...


GREAT AAR, thanks. I do not understand what either of you are saying in regards to the salient and its impact on Verdun. I think you are saying that by keeping that salient, it helps in the defense of Verdun?? Can you explain that to me how a salient in one area helps in the defense of another area? I am sure you know what you are talking about, I am just confused. Looking forward to more of this AAR.

Verdun is the salient. I need to (or think I do) hold Verdun for two reasons, first is that it will eventually provide a decent launch for an attack in the region without having to cross rivers. The second is that French National Will is still a bit shaky and if Germany captures Verdun it's a loss of 5 NW for France. Losing Verdun, and the probably casualties suffered in it's defence, would therefore be a massive blow to the French will to fight. If NW dips low enough then bad things start to happen like strikes and mutinies, or eventually even revolutions.

The importance of the Verdun salient has dropped slightly over the last few turns. Terminus was asking if the forces there could have been better used by moving them to shore up the front to the west. At the time the French morale was pretty low and the loss of Verdun could have been enough to cause bad things (tm) to happen. Instead I felt that I had to hold the salient and trust the rest of the French army to halt the German advance before they captured any major cities further west.
In the event it worked out better than I'd hoped, whilst the front was slightly leaky which allowed the German III Army to make some advances into southern France I was able to reinforce the front and cut them off before destroying the army. If the Verdun forces had been part of the main front then the Germans might not have made the penetration and then been cut-off. Is it too late to say that was my plan all along? [:D]
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RE: Plan XVII

Post by Terminus »

It was too late about ten posts ago...[:'(]
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balto
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RE: Plan XVII

Post by balto »

Terminus was referring to the salient "SW of Dinant" which is being held by the Belgian Corps/Army. I am aware of the HUGE value of Verdun itself.

I guess it was just a mistake in that I assumed the two of you were saying that the "SW of Dinant" salient was related to the Verdun salient.

Thanks for the clarification and I am looking forward to see if your TANKS really beat-up the CP.
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RE: Plan XVII

Post by Dixie »

June 1915- Fench Sector

Things are intended to stay fairly settled along the French lines for the summer. Apart from two major events in the near future; Fr VI and VIII Armies will make a joint attack on Vitry Le Francois with a combined force of 10 infantry corps. The goal is simply to recapture the town and push the Germans back across the river to straighten my front line.

The Grand Offensive is planned to start next month with Fr II and IV Armies. The main goal is the town of St. Mihel with the added objective of taking Valle de Moseele back and pushing the Germans back to their original border. I'm going with Heavy Bombardment as the combat doctrine.
II Army: 5 Infantry corps, 1 Cavalry corps, 1 Artillery corps. This army has a river crossing to contend with although the expected opposition is weaker once they've crossed the water.
IV Army: 7 Infantry corps (includes 3 in detachment). Their goal is the town of St. Mihel, the GHQ reserves will be available to IV Army for their attack.


The solid line indicates the current front, dashed lines indicate hoped for gains from offensive operations.

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RE: Plan XVII

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British Sector

Things are less clear up in the North, a lack of forces has left some sizeable gaps in the defensive lines. Currentl planning is for II Army Det to move south to Hazebrouck, their positions at Dunkirk will be taken over by the Calais Garrison.
II Army Det will soon be forming the core of III Army whose HQ has arrived in England and will embark for France. IV Army HQ has also arrived and will be sent to France, but they are little more than a paper tiger at the moment with no forces available to them.

Really, this is going to be wait and see what the Boche does and react as best as I can.

A British GO is being formulated (Oct 1915), but until I know where the front line is there's no point planning anything. The offensive is scheduled for later in the year because (a) French Forces will hopefully be available to fill any temporary gaps from territory gains and (b) there will be some lovely tanks to help out.


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RE: Plan XVII

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June 1915

Battles:

An aerial clash above Lille sees the first of a new type of hero for the world! The French pilot Guynemer becomes the first ace pilot of the war. French forces consist of 4 Escadrille of fighters and bombers whilst the Germans have a gruppe each of fighters, bombers and zeppelins. The German fighter gruppe is damaged.

Vitry le Francois falls swiftly, only 1 German infantry corps was present and they were sent packing in short order.

British forces take Basrah despit heavy casualties.


German forces have advanced on Arras taking advantage of the gaps in the British lines.
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RE: Plan XVII

Post by veji1 »

Now that Vitry has fallen, will you shift some of the french armies west to allow the british to focus more on the north ?
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Dixie
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RE: Plan XVII

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ORIGINAL: veji1

Now that Vitry has fallen, will you shift some of the french armies west to allow the british to focus more on the north ?

Yes, Fr VI Army will definately be shifted north to allow the Brit armies to form a continuous defensive line. They will probably move to Douai whilst GB II Army moves to Arras, if that pays off then the GB GO will be planned to retake Lille later in the year.
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RE: Plan XVII

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July 1915

Diplomacy
The damn Russians are still crowding out SPain so I'm unable to send my diplomats there [:@] Added to that is the fact that they're doing **** all with both diplomatic slots...

Military
The Battle of Arras ends in a swift victory for the British as a German Infantry corps is left disorganised by the overwhelming forces facing them.

A German Infantry corps attacks at Douai but is destroyed by the infantry corps attached to the British GHQ.
A German Infantry corps is destroyed when it attacks the French at Bar le Duc

Fr Grand Offensive:
The start of the first Entente grand offensive begins with some tactical choices to be made in the attack on St Mihel. For this offensive the choices are Heavy Bombardment and infantry attacks By Waves. In the event the battle is an anti-climax, German forces in the town are weak and are easily beaten.
The Battle of Valle de Moselle is a bigger affair but it's still over after just a single turn after the French artillery leaves the German front line forces wounded. The artillery doctrine check is failed so there's no new tactics available yet.

With the initial stages of the Grand Offensive a rousing success I'm going to push on over the German border, Metz in particular is a tempting target and would be a major boost to French morale.


Other stuff
With the British line now secured the time hhas come to plan a grand offensive for the UK. GB II and III Armies have been assigned the important objective of Lille. Both generals have a bonus to tank usage so the arrival of these machines should provide an advantage to the offensive.
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RE: Plan XVII

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August 1915

The Russians are still crowding Spain so I sent my diplomats to Portugal instead, although they failed to achieve any success.

Military
Turkish forces begin a grand offensive against Commonwealth forces in Egypt, despite the use of combat gas and a preliminary bombardment the TUrks are easily defeated and sent scurrying home.
German forces attack the French at St Mihel, stalling the French offensive operation planned from there (the Metz attack). French losses are light whilst the Germans lose an infantry corps. II Army advances on Morhange unopposed and surrounds the city.
Another German corps attacks the French at Bar le Duc and is defeated (wounded & shaken).

Several battles break out along the Italian border with A-H, the Italian forces easily defend their homeland from the attacks.

INTERPHASE

France attempts to restore order two times, the first fails but the second attempt succeeds.
France fails to appoint a new leader.
France succeeds in obtaining a war loan.
A mutiny in the French army is held off through extensive trials of mutinying troops, but the stability of France still worsens through civilian issues.

Great Britain fails to strengthen parliament.
GB succesfully calls up conscripts.
GB improves the war economy (2 times).
GB obtains a war loan.

STATE OF THE NATIONS
It's not looking good for the Entente although the German advances have been halted in the West. Military casualties and submarine warfare are sapping the NW of the Entente.
France: National mood is Pacifist, NW is 10
GB: National mood is War Mongering, NW is 11
Italy: National Mood is defeatist, NW is 28
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RE: Plan XVII

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September 1915

Diplomacy & Events
Finally a Russian diplomat leaves Spain, his place is taken by the best of the GB ambassadors who immediatly manages to patch up relations with Spain. Due to his efforts the Spanish have stopped helping Germany with their war effort.

I opt to play the Polivanov event on Russia, providing a boost to the economy there.

Military
The first of the GB tank corps arrives at the front, they have been assigned to II Army under Gen. Haig where his tank bonus will provide a boost. The 2nd tank corps will also be sent here. (To improve tank tactics a minimum of 2 tank corps is required in a GO, 4 tank units otherwise).

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RE: Plan XVII

Post by Tarsyk »

You should try and form new governments! [X(]
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RE: Plan XVII

Post by Dixie »

October 1915

Diplomacy & Events
I played several events this turn; Combat doctrines will provide a boost for doctrine research in the GB offensive, Mata Hari has stolen the German West front plans, Diplomacy will give me some more diplomats and National Will has improved the NW of France (by 1 point!).


Military
The final actions in the French grand offensive have taken place at Metz. With the fortress surrounded and under siege I made the decision to commit my infantry corps to an assault. Although it was a costly excercise (2 corps destroyed, 1 disorganised, 2 shaken) the fortress fell. I'm hoping that the positive NW gain from such an important objective will offset the casualties taken.

British forces fail to take Lille despite the presnce of tanks. Brit forces were just too heavily outnumbered by the Germans and 2 infantry corps are destroyed.

French forces take advantage of the recent intel boost and capture the weakly held areas of Mulhouse and Saarburg.


Meanwhile in Russia revolution breaks out, an ideal time to use my Kerenski event...
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RE: Plan XVII

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French Front

Here's the current situation:
The recent succesful GO and capture of Metz has torn a wide gap in the German front lines, coupled with the Mata Hari event I can see that Southern Germany is effectively undefended. The key issue now is whether to consolidate my gains or press on, both have their advantages. Play it safe? Or go for the throat?

BREAKTHROUGH
Pros:
Mannheim, Mainz, Stuttgart and Karlsruhe are all possible gains for France.
German forces cannot currently defend the entire front.
NW gains from taking major German cities (and similar loss to German NW).
Who knows when this type of opportunity will crop up again?

Cons:
French forces can't fully defend the current front let alone new gains in Germany.
Runs the risk of forces being cut off.

CONSOLIDATION
Pros:
Less risk to my forces.
Chance to plug the holes in the French lines.

Cons:
Er, no major ones really.

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RE: Plan XVII

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British Front

There's no map for this part, the map from a few posts back is pretty much how things are currently. Arras is in British hands but Lille remains under German control.

The failure of the British attack means another attempt is in the works, I've got two more British infantry corps arriving next month and these will be thrown into the action. Eventually something will have to give in the German defence and Lille will be mine! The importance of retaking Lille may decline depending on decisions taken further south. Currently Belgium is jammed full of German troops, these are either going to stay where they are, making a visit to the Black Forest more likely or they'll be pulled south to defend Germany making an attack into Belgium more attractive.

Until a decision is made, I'll leave you with this stirring quote summing up the British Army's opinion of the war.

"That's the spirit, George. If nothing else works, then a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through."
-- General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett
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