Prussia tips

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Jimmer
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Prussia tips

Post by Jimmer »

Greetings. This is the first in a series of "tips" notes I intend to write. I plan on writing them for each major power,
using knowledge I gained from playing the boardgame, but applied to the computer version. I hope to create a separate thread for each nation. If I get ambitious, I'll create a thread for general game tips as well (tips that apply to all powers).

[center]I would ask that only tips be placed here, not debates or thanks or whatever. If you have a problem with or like a tip, write the author a PM and convince them, and they can edit their entry. That should keep the length of these to a minimum.
Tips that don't agree with other tips, however, are perfectly fine. Everyone is free to post their tips here.[/center]


Prussia? What can I say about Prussia. In 1805, led by Frederick "the Not-So-Great".

Prussia has four things going for it:

1) A low VP total needed to win, and
2) A large army at the beginning of the game, and
3) A high starting position on the political status display
4) von Blucher (after Feb, 1806)

Only #1 is lasting, however. #4 doesn't even exist at the beginning of the game.

The loss of the other two can happen extremely rapidly. I've seen the Prussian starting army reduced to 1/4 of its former strength in two moves. Two land moves. By France. In other words, Prussia did not even move between having a 100-factor army and having one in the high 20s. Prussia should think of herself as one bad chit-pull away from extinction.

Prussia's only real hopes rest in having a rock-solid alliance with either Russia or Austria (or, preferably, both). Having Great Britian as a strong friend is also highly recommended.

If no alliance can be gained with the central powers, there's only one chance left: Ally with France. However, this will almost certainly lose the game, by having France be so powerful and so high on the VP chart that even only needed the miniscule number of VP that Prussia needs, you won't make it. So, use the threat of allying with France as a way to get Austria and/or Russia on board.

How do you use these alliances, if they materialize? Stack with them. The only hope of defeating France is if you get a huge pile of guys all in one or two places, so you have more local troop strength than the French can overcome. Unfortunately for this plan, that's a tall order. It was a little easier in the board game, where true combined movement existed. In this game, you are probably going to have to loan most of your army to Austria, or have Russia loan you a pile. But, Russia's loan must come with one of the two decent leaders she has.

There's one tiny little advantage that Prussia might be able to pull off, provided she is not fighting France alone: Cavalry superiority. This can cancel the -1 your leaders offer you at the beginning of the game, or, if moving with Austria or Russia, can make the +0 into a +1 (or, alternately, allow more corps to be piled up). This is one reason Prussia should be very friendly with the British: Britain can sort of "force" France to keep a reasonable pile of troops back in France, because GB could land on her fleets at any time. You want to encourage this kind of activity. (However, in an ideal world, you should be rooting for France to win the land battles, so GB has to keep trying.)

If possible, stay out of war with majors completely until Blucher shows up. He's one of the top leaders in the game. BEFORE he shows up, Prussia has absolutely the worst crop of "leaders" in the game. Unless you have cav superiority, you are always facing +1/-1, and that's a killer. Literally. Even good chit pulls can turn into bad battles, and bad chit pulls can be disasters. In the early game, losing 50 factors in the first battle is common enough to be scary.

Even if you don't ally with the French, consider asking them which minors you can grab without incurring their wrath. It could keep you alive long enough for Blucher to show up. It's a pretty brazen diplomatic tactic, but remember that France also prefers to wait a few months for war; France has a LOT more minors to grab.
At LAST! The greatest campaign board game of all time is finally available for the PC. Can my old heart stand the strain?
Grognot
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RE: Prussia tips

Post by Grognot »

Some notes --

Alliance with France -- doomed to be temporary, if France actually wants to win.  France needs lots of VPs.  VP collection is based on PP status each economic phase.  PP status automatically shifts towards median if not maintained, and you don't maintain PP by sitting on your laurels.  France -needs- battles, has to rotate targets due to 18 months of enforced peace, probably doesn't want to bother with Spain (guerrillas + pure-garrison strategy = low PP and low-income territorial gains), won't be able to invade a competent Britain without a serious and at least moderately lucky naval coalition... and you're next door.  FR+PR vs AU followed by FR vs PR; the -2 for breaking an alliance will be made up from battles.

The same logic indicates that if France is going to war against Austria, you help Austria.  You're next.  *shrug*  Convince Austria of the same if you're the initial target -- that Austria is a far more plausible secondary target than Spain, Russia or GB.

N.B. -- In extremis, if you need to delay a French DOW for another turn or two to reorganize or get scheduled reinforcements, it might be possible to get GB to land a corps somewhere in the French home nation.  It's not legal to DOW if your home nation is currently being invaded, no matter how weak the invading force is.   Same holds for Russian cossacks if Russia's at war with France.

Also potentially useful in the event of target rotation and undesired prospect of imminent war -- ceding minors to a friendly major who has an enforced peace with France and no motivation to grant access to France.

Another note -- if you create Poland, turning provinces into a minor which can then be easily demanded in peace talks, and are then forced to cede it to France, Russia will probably be annoyed with you.

--
Not a grognard.
Not an optimizer. It's a game to me, not a job.
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Ralegh
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RE: Prussia tips

Post by Ralegh »

ORIGINAL: Grognot
It's not legal to DOW if your home nation is currently being invaded, no matter how weak the invading force is.   Same holds for Russian cossacks if Russia's at war with France.

Is this implemented in the PC version?
HTH
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Grognot
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RE: Prussia tips

Post by Grognot »

Just tested it with a 7-player hotseat, landing a British corps in France.  Wouldn't let France DOW Austria -- unbesieged enemy major-power corps in home nation.   I'm wrong about the Cossacks, 'tho -- it needs to be infantry corps, at least according to the manual (didn't test to see whether Cossacks were improperly allowed to block DOW).
--
Not a grognard.
Not an optimizer. It's a game to me, not a job.
equality72521
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Different idea for Prussia

Post by equality72521 »

I think neutrality is the best strategy for Prussia early on. Avoid getting entangled in any war with the French before you're ready for it. Prussia has a number of advantages:

1. Blucher.
2. Lots of cavalry space without cluttering your army with cav corps.
3. The ability to save manpower.

First of all, I cannot conceive of any reason why Prussia would ever go to war without Blucher. Hohenloe and Brunswick are terrible leaders, and you are absolutely doomed to failure with either one of them at the head of your army against Napoleon. You should do absolutely everything in your power to avoid war with the French before you get him in 1806. If that means not expanding into Germany, so be it. It will be hard to ignore the pleas of the Austrians and the British to go to war, but you must be strong and wait til the opportunity is right. If the French declare war on you, surrender immediately. Try to get a conditional if possible, with remove no forces as your condition. If not, bite the bullet and take an unconditional. Do this absolutely as soon as possible. There is about a 90% chance this would be the end result anyway and by doing it early you can prevent him from taking any home nation provinces, especially the Polish ones. Also, even if he forces you to remove three corps, its better than having him wipe out 80% of your army and then forcing you to remove them anyway. This way you have 12 or 18 months of enforced peace to rebuild your army and prepare for round 2.

Since you are at peace, there is no need to consolidate your forces. Spread them out and forage them, you will need the extra money. If you do this, you should have just enough money to build two cavalry every turn. Do this, and bank the rest of your manpower. In one year's time you will have all the cavalry your corps can handle, and Blucher.

Once this is done, plead with the British. They may not be very happy with you for leaving Austria in the lurch but they will have to be accommodating as you will be the only one on the continent in a position to kill more French, something they desperately need. Besides, you've already built the cavalry, it will only cost the British $3 per 2 manpower to build your infantry. They may not give you all of it but they're bound to give you a good deal of it. It should only take you a few more turns to build up the rest with your own cash. While you're at it, create Poland. Don't worry about the cav. corps but try to build up the I corps as full as possible, including the 2 cav. Although you are now in a position to go to war if you have to, you should still wait as long as possible if you can, or until every one of your corps, including the Poles, are at full strength. Now go to war!

Stack your entire army together, with Blucher. With 8 Prussian Corps plus the Guard and the Poles, this makes 10 corps, which reduces Blucher from a 4 to a 3 tactical rating. That's ok, though because a 4 and a 3 are exactly the same against Napoleon: 0/+1. Likely you will have a +1 from cav. superiority so it will be an even up +1/+1. This gives you an army of an incredible 167 factors, 28 of which are cavalry, with morale 3.35. This probably puts you ahead on factors, and only a little behind on morale. You also have a leader who is perfectly capable of selecting outflank, and a guard that can be committed, which will not allow Napoleon to rule anything out. It's a no win situation for him. Napoleon has probably a 60% chance of beating you, in which case, he still takes higher losses, the battle goes too many rounds for pursuit to be effective, and you're still sitting there the next turn, waiting to bleed him again. But on that other 40%, you have 28 cav. and a cavalry leader, enough to completely destroy Le Grande Armee.

-Thoughts?
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borner
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RE: Different idea for Prussia

Post by borner »

If you ally with France, after France bats Austria, GB/RU/Aus gang up and pound you into dust. been there, done that, it hurts. Seemed like a great idea at the time though.
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delatbabel
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RE: Different idea for Prussia

Post by delatbabel »

Sorry to sound so disapproving to those who advocate neutrality for Prussia or siding with France or not allying with / supporting Austria early.

Prussia cannot afford to adopt any of these strategies.  If you don't ally with Austria then one of you will be beaten to a pulp by France, who will then extract an unconditional surrender including a 36 month peace.  Neither of you can recover from this and the game is essentially lost at that point.  France then has 36 months to dismantle the other completely, and also extract a long peace.  Then France rotates between crushing Prussia and Austria while each is unable to help the other.  There is no way out because each defeat involves an unconditional surrender, France stays at the top of the VP chart and you will have no way to break out of the rotation and defeat cycle.

Russia/Prussia/Austria combined can and usually will beat France if played intelligently from the start of the game.  If Russia doesn't join the alliance then Prussia/Austria combined can usually stave off a heavy defeat and in some rare occurrences with the war (if not the first one then the second one).

Prussia can usually survive having to conditionally surrender a time or two to France and still come out ahead in VP terms, especially if Austria does so at the same time.  Austria can also survive this.  However neither of you can survive having to unconditionally surrender 4 or 5 times during the course of the game without any chance of taking any minors or building an army to fight the French.  If you let it happen once early, it will happen repeatedly throughout the game.

Check the CleverDevils2 game AAR to see what happens when Prussia and Austria decide not to stand together against France.

--
Del
NeverMan
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RE: Different idea for Prussia

Post by NeverMan »

I TOTALLY agree with Del, I really don't think (at least not at the start of the game or for the first two wars) there is really an option for Prussia.

I ALSO think that you need GBs full support, but that's a different thread.

CD2 game was a total disaster BUT the PR player came from a group that played differently (strategy-wise) and didn't do any pre-game diplomacy (not sure why others didn't contact him either, etc, etc...). After the first war, FR had such a grip on the situation that there wasn't any way things were going to turn around.

So by all means, if you are playing PR, go neutral or better yet, side with the French (who only needs you for a brief moment in time) and see what happens.

The bottom line is that, at least for the first few years, PR is not all that exciting to play Diplomacy-wise as the options are fairly limited. A PR-AU alliance is a MUST, IMO.
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Jimmer
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RE: Different idea for Prussia

Post by Jimmer »

ORIGINAL: NeverMan
(not sure why others didn't contact him either, etc, etc...).
Actually, we used the GAP program for bids (we didn't know any better), and it locked in our choices. Looking back, we should have rebooted the process once, and did it again, this time with diplomacy.

The GAP had you say whether you wanted a preexisting war or not. But, you had to specify BEFORE you knew what country you were playing. Basically, you had to choose for each nation whether it will have a preexisting war, and that becomes part of the bid. The rest is history.
At LAST! The greatest campaign board game of all time is finally available for the PC. Can my old heart stand the strain?
NeverMan
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RE: Different idea for Prussia

Post by NeverMan »

ORIGINAL: Jimmer

ORIGINAL: NeverMan
(not sure why others didn't contact him either, etc, etc...).
Actually, we used the GAP program for bids (we didn't know any better), and it locked in our choices. Looking back, we should have rebooted the process once, and did it again, this time with diplomacy.

The GAP had you say whether you wanted a preexisting war or not. But, you had to specify BEFORE you knew what country you were playing. Basically, you had to choose for each nation whether it will have a preexisting war, and that becomes part of the bid. The rest is history.

Ah, ok, I think I vaguely remember you telling me this before. Yes, using the GAP only (no pre-bids with Diplomacy) is certainly a bad idea... live and learn. :)

gremlok
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RE: Different idea for Prussia

Post by gremlok »


What you describe is the classic Rotation, which is what France always wants to accomplish. Once the 36 month rotation is a reality its a steady flow of vp for france, while au and pr are turned into a basket case.

Prussia and Austria needs to play almost as one to overcome France initially (with the help of Russia and GB) or do damage control (if Russia remains neutral). If France does not get a uncond. surrender from either one, then the game remains open (probably to GB's advantage) for a few years, before France gets to the point where she needs to be very aggresive to get close to a win.
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Xikar
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RE: Prussia tips

Post by Xikar »

o
ORIGINAL: Ralegh

ORIGINAL: Grognot
It's not legal to DOW if your home nation is currently being invaded, no matter how weak the invading force is.   Same holds for Russian cossacks if Russia's at war with France.

Is this implemented in the PC version?
ne of the few aspects of the game that I don't care for. In the napoleonic wars there were plenty of examples where a nation declared war in another state even while it was invaded....... how would a couple of thousand British troops landing in toulon, for example, stop Napoleon from moving the Grand Army into, say, Prussia? A game exploit for sure.

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