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"Day - got tired of me": September 1758

Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:26 am

With all the drama in Prussia and Saxony, Field Marshall Apraskin's unexpected [1] demise went largely unnoticed

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The start of the month saw the Swedes join the Russians in siege of Berlin, while the rest of the Russian army moved on to secure Brandenburg.

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Not only would this ease any Russian intervention in Saxony, but it would hinder any Prussian attempt to retake Berlin.

In Saxony, some of the Austrian-HRE army fell back on Dresden expecting Torgau to delay Keith's army and in any case there was a desparate need to regain supplies and reorganise [2]. Given the Franco-Russian gains elsewhere, protecting Dresden became more important that destroying the remnants of Frederick's army.

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Berlin fell to the usual highly efficient Russian siege tactics [3]

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In Saxony Nadasdy managed to take the wrong road to Dresden [4], tangling with the new Prussian army. Despite his defeat, he managed to inflict substantial damage

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However, his persistance forced the Prussians to raise the siege and retire to Leipzig

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Thus the road to Saxony was clear for the French and Russians.

A major tax was levied on Berlin by the victorious Russians [5]

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By mid-September, another barrier was cleared as Magdeburg fell to the French

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And some progress was made on the Oder

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Despite the concentration of both armies in Saxony, it seemed the war would be decided in Silesia

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So it is all going to come down to a set of battles in Saxony. In effect, all I need do is not to lose too badly while the Russians clean up along the Oder. Critical, more than anything else is to hold onto Dresden.


[1] – Nah, not a surprise really
[2] – whatever else I do, I need a break to regain organization, as with the last battle with Frederick only about 25% of my formations can actually fight
[3] – point numerous very big guns at it and fire ...
[4] – probably the one time in the game I really messed up my orders. I'd originaly decided to contest Torgau, then decided to retire to Dresden. I'm not sure if I forgot to change these orders or forgot the check the route chosen by the default move algorithm. In outcome I wasn't that upset at the result, it indicates that even the fresh Prussian force is pretty battered.
[5] – which all went on a emergency production of depot battalions for the Austrian and HRE armies.


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"You - are not so fair - Midnight": October 1757

Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:28 am

By the start of October, the Austrian Army is a complete mess. Dresden is full of officers recovering from their wounds and many corps have few if any brigadiers. At least I've recovered Organisation in most units so this is as good as it will get for some time.

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I also decide with the Austrians despite the mess they are in to set up a spread of formations to protect Dresden, deploying back to Wurzen, some units to Oschatz and 1 corp to Dobeln (in case Narwhal tried to lunge directly at Dresden). In addition Nadasdy deployed to Torgau so as to trigger a response by Daun if the Prussians managed to attack Torgau directly.

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In an attempt to shore up my position the bulk of the French army races for Torgau and a smaller group move to Halle (as much as anything I am trying to deny Narwhal access to supplies)

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Over on the Oder, Niesse at last falls, so all my siege force can come to bear on Breslau

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And the French take Halle, destroying an ad-hoc force that was obviously sheltering there.

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Wurzen sees fierce fighting, but my plan to secure Dresden by a forward defense pays off in terms of protecting Dresden, unfortunately the real target was Torgau

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Where, in the end, the Prussians force me back from Torgau

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& Nadasdy was wounded, even worse his entire corps collapsed so Frederick gained the artillery and the supply trains.

Now these two battles are rather complex and inter-connected. Its also the first time this game that 'march to the sound of the guns' failed me. Now what I think happened is:

  1. Day 4 – Daun stumbled onto Frederick heading for Torgau as he moved via Wurzen. I lost as I was on the offensive.
  2. Day 7 – Frederick hits Soubise with part of the French army at Torgau and was fended off
  3. Day 9 – this is the one that confuses me, but for some reason Frederick is back at Wurzen where he is attacked by Nadasdy (who should have been at Torgau), clearly in this case the rest of the Austrian army opted out (I guess were too low on organisation after the first battle)
  4. Day 10 – Frederick is now at Torgau where Nadasdy turns up and attacks again – a spectacular disaster follows;
  5. Day 12 - Contades with the bulk of the French army arrives, if I recall in a defend-retire stance (I wasn't really expecting to fight) and takes a beating


In consequence, as opposed to defending, in 4/5 battles I was on the offensive (for which I am ill-suited) and that sort of turn makes me fear for my ability to actually finish off the Prussians.

So the snows of winter find my armies separated

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So I decide to concentrate the Austrians at Oschalz and build a depot there. While the French deploy from Halle (leaving a minimal garrison) to join their formations to the north of Torgau (where I also build an emergency depot).

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In the event, both sides take no more offensive actions in the latter part of October.

In a way, more important than the campaign in Saxony, Browne's 3rd Division moves towards Glogau

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In truth, for me, its a race to take Breslau and Glogau (3-4 turns depends on the speed of the siege works) before Frederick does serious damage in Saxony. My fear is still the loss of Dresden as that is a large depot and a weak fort. My hope is that even with Nadasdy's supply wagons, Frederick must be low on supply and can't collect reinforcements unless he retires to Leipzig and hands the initiative back to me.

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"As he defeated - dieing": November-December 1758

Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:31 am

So November dawns and the snow clears.

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Frederick is either (a) surrounded or (b) in a position to rip to pieces one of my armies (for the moment I've lost the ability to mutually support due to the existence of 3 different CinCs in the region

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Prussian OOB
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Russian OOB
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French OOB
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Austrian-HRE OOB

In the event I have to attack in stages. First the Austrians and the Russians (this is luck, just reflects the speed of the two stacks), then the French.

First though, Brandenburg falls, which clears the way for another Russian formation to move into Saxony

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The Austrian attack is a brutal disaster

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but Frederick breaks contact and moves to Wurzen and the French occupy the city with no fighting. I think I've just denied him his last chance to find a decent supply stock.

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Even better, Breslau has surrendered, meaning I only need Glogau

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By late November, Clemont is on the scene with the last French units to unlock and the German mercenaries. He races for Halle to try and block that off.

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To make sure that Frederick has no chance to rest, the French attack at Wurzen, in yet another battle of appalling savagery.

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And by the end of November, the Russians have created a breach at Glogau. The Third Division is an awesome siege force. By the start of December, Browne overruns the garrison at Glogau

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And although Frederick drives the Franco-Swedish force from Halle.

That, quite simply is that.

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I'll do another post in a few days with views and reflections, but compare the losses at the end of 1758 with those up to the end of 1757. At that stage our respective losses were 40,000 Austrians for 30,000 Prussians (here).

All credit to Narwhal for taking this to the end as I offered to end it when I took Magdeburg as after that the French would be able to fight in Saxony. Equally he came damn close to finishing off the Austrians but I think his supply and replacement position must have been dire. Facing the still relatively fresh French and Russians there was no way could he break out and by fighting in Saxony not Silesia he was dependent on taking a city rather than just doing enough to protect them.

In case anyone is interested this is what was left of the Austrian-HRE army that entered Saxony a year ago

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If you sort out the Austrian units, they had around 1,500 power left (out of 11,000 a year back).

Now the problem with that end is this would have been great if it was a simulation of the invasion of Germany in 1945. But its meant to be the Seven Years War. And one feature of that was it was the end of a period of military thought when armies disengaged after battle. Either a critical fortress had been protected or left under siege. I'm not an expert but I can't think of a single multi-day battle in the period.

I think its too easy to keep on battering away. Some of it is attitudinal, we as players don't regard an Army as a huge expense that can only be risked in limited circumstances. But I think some of it is the simulation and one idea is to increase ammunition consumption, making multi-day battles so much harder. But equally we have tended to gravitate to a 'big army' manner of playing RoP, so some of this is the natural consequence of our mode of play. To me though, its a pity, you have a very elegant game of feint and manouver than ends more like the Soviet entry into Berlin than the time period of the game.

Still think its a brilliant game though.

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Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:46 am

I'm sorry if that was a bit of a rush but am trying to save what I can from the Paradox forum. Ideally I would have liked to have managed to save some of the comments and debate as that added quite a lot to the narrative and discussion.

I'd equally love to be able to rescue the 3 'how-to' AARs with Narwhal but that would require us both to be free at the same time (I can't cut and paste his origninals). Equally I have a 100+ post PoN AAR I am trying to work out how to save.

Some of the material over there is pretty ephemeral but Narwhal's Learning from Prussia is another that should be seen as one of the classics - still worth reading and still a great insight into RoP. It also looks like Bornego/One Armed Mexican's brilliant RUS foursome will be lost.

I can't claim to be full of goodwill towards Paradox at the moment :crying:

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Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:55 pm

Do you have any ideas about possible house rules to make PBEM more historical? :confused:

Im personally toying around with the idea of separete diplomacy and treaties as being possible between different factions, could it work?

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Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:09 pm

Btw, did you have the long combat delay on??

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Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:19 pm

Die Zieten wrote:Do you have any ideas about possible house rules to make PBEM more historical? :confused:

Im personally toying around with the idea of separete diplomacy and treaties as being possible between different factions, could it work?


I think there is a fundamental issue with MP. If you want to play a historically restrained game you are better off sticking to SP, the problem with MP is yes it can be done in a fun way, yes you both enjoy the historical details but at the end, its about winning, so its hard to play with too much restraint. You can see that in the last 6-8 turns as reported, I had Narwhal (unusually) on the ropes and I was not going to let go- and it became more like Feb-May 1945 than the Seven Years War.

We did have a chat about multinational forces and as I mentioned I agreed to be reasonable with the Swedes. I do think its unrealistic for anyone but a Russian to command Russian troops and its pretty unrealistic to combine Austrians and French - but then in a game they can end up operating together, in the real war they fought separate campaigns. So I'm not sure that being too restrictive is that realistic, who knows what would have happened if the French had forced their way to the Elbe. On the Prussian side it would be better if the Anglo-Hannoverian forces were poorly aligned to the Prussians and so on.

How to model that is a challenge. I do think making RoP 3 faction (say Austria, Prussia and France-Russia) would help, but if you play say RUS, you'll see the 2 white players co-operate as opposed to compete. So it would be a very different game and my guess is any flaws in the 2 alliances (which were there) would only really come to a head at the point of victory. As in this game, its easy to see Austria as a as much a loser as Prussia, it might get Silesia back but those losses would mean that France and Russia were now the dominant powers.

But I'd love to play a RoP mod that treated intra-factional diplomacy properly.

as to the other question - we used the medium delay.

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Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:54 pm

loki100 wrote:I think there is a fundamental issue with MP. If you want to play a historically restrained game you are better off sticking to SP, the problem with MP is yes it can be done in a fun way, yes you both enjoy the historical details but at the end, its about winning, so its hard to play with too much restraint. You can see that in the last 6-8 turns as reported, I had Narwhal (unusually) on the ropes and I was not going to let go- and it became more like Feb-May 1945 than the Seven Years War.

We did have a chat about multinational forces and as I mentioned I agreed to be reasonable with the Swedes. I do think its unrealistic for anyone but a Russian to command Russian troops and its pretty unrealistic to combine Austrians and French - but then in a game they can end up operating together, in the real war they fought separate campaigns. So I'm not sure that being too restrictive is that realistic, who knows what would have happened if the French had forced their way to the Elbe. On the Prussian side it would be better if the Anglo-Hannoverian forces were poorly aligned to the Prussians and so on.

How to model that is a challenge. I do think making RoP 3 faction (say Austria, Prussia and France-Russia) would help, but if you play say RUS, you'll see the 2 white players co-operate as opposed to compete. So it would be a very different game and my guess is any flaws in the 2 alliances (which were there) would only really come to a head at the point of victory. As in this game, its easy to see Austria as a as much a loser as Prussia, it might get Silesia back but those losses would mean that France and Russia were now the dominant powers.

But I'd love to play a RoP mod that treated intra-factional diplomacy properly.

as to the other question - we used the medium delay.




I dont think the combining is unrealistic when allied countries both have troops present, it is historical.
But purely Russian units having foreign commanders is not realistic, the reason armies fought mostly separate is that Prussians kept them that way.

But if say Prussians would have destroyed or sieged Swedes without possibillity of escape they would have sued peace and stay out the rest of the war.
Not sure about the bigger players, not likely.



Different NM losses for different nations units destroyed as a solution?




Im havent played a PBEM and cant advice in your game but when you concentrated that army and pushed it in to Saxony it was game over in my eyes.

And that is realistic result, Prussia should prevent that from happening at all cost.

"Prussian army always attacks" :)

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Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:37 pm

Looks a bit sparse without the comment, but I understand your urgency, loki. One quick point I'd like to make: it looks like you copy-pasted the posts wholesale, so the hyperlinks in the text still point to the Paradox site (as opposed to the relevant posts over here). Probably not very urgent right now, but perhaps something you want to keep in mind to fix at a later time.

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Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:19 pm

Stuyvesant wrote:Looks a bit sparse without the comment, but I understand your urgency, loki. One quick point I'd like to make: it looks like you copy-pasted the posts wholesale, so the hyperlinks in the text still point to the Paradox site (as opposed to the relevant posts over here). Probably not very urgent right now, but perhaps something you want to keep in mind to fix at a later time.


aye, my goal is once the PoN opus is over is to clean that up and see if I can repair the few broken image links.

It does make it clear just how much a good AAR gains from interaction with commentators, it is indeed rather forlorn presented like that (just I think its a useful beginers/how to AAR so wanted to save it)
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Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:46 pm

loki100 wrote:this aar was originally on the paradox aar forum but given some uncertainty about the future of that, i've decided to copy it over to here.

This was a mp aar between myself and narwhal, using 1.04 and was our second go. From the last game, we've learnt a bit and come up with some modifications that suit us or address problems we encountered. Some of this is house rules, some have been modded. These include:

  1. no bateaux to pass under a fort or through a sea province under blockade
  2. no using hussars/cossacks to take mc (using the attack-retreat on contact orders) unless led by an officer (last time i'd riddled prussia like a swiss cheese with this stunt)
  3. no exploitation of the manpower bug
  4. we've heavily modded the leader death chances. The base die roll is 10 times higher and the individual chance to die for brigadiers is 15, 2/3 star is 5. After a discussion we left fred & daun as unkillable (they can be wounded) as loss of either will really unbalance the game. Unlike all the other age games, officers are just not a constraint in rop (indeed from about 1758 onwards you can't even be bothered to promote people), this should cure that.
  5. narwhal found that the 'northerner' trait for the swedes was acting oddly. It meant that in pommerania they were hampered but if i put them in say hannover they got very enthusiastic. We've modded out the trait to remove this, and i've agreed to some restraint as to their deployment.
  6. of the game options, we have historical attrition, activation that gives a malus to combat & movement

there may be more but those are the main ones. Not too intrusive on the game, or hard to remember when putting together orders (we discussed more complex things such as limits on multinational forces etc), but they address things we felt were unbalanced one way or another. Thanks to narwhal both for the research and coding. If the leader loss rate becomes too extreme, we'll mod back to a mid-point between these changes and the default settings.

[/url]


These house rules and modifications are great. :thumbsup:

As far as I can understand you and/or Narwhal have modded default leader death chances and Swedish generals traits defined in the Models directory of GameData.

Is it possible to publish or send privately changed files to let lazy player like me use your excelent work.

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Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:35 am

Thanks for re-writing.
I wonder if there is manpower bug still. And how was the house rule for non exploitation?

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Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:22 pm

Krot wrote:These house rules and modifications are great. :thumbsup:

As far as I can understand you and/or Narwhal have modded default leader death chances and Swedish generals traits defined in the Models directory of GameData.

Is it possible to publish or send privately changed files to let lazy player like me use your excelent work.


I'm afraid I don't have the code changes any more, Narwhal did the original work and may still have the modded files so maybe best to PM him? The 'northener' trait is now sorted by the latest patch (as I found to my cost in my latest PBEM when they gave my Prussians a very hard time of it). In truth, as in the AAR, leader loss is still not a problem in RoP so I think its a deeper problem than just the base chance ratio. In this game, the only real loss I had was Von Bilberstein (& that so late it didn't really matter), but in my PoN game they drop on a regular basis.

Baris wrote:Thanks for re-writing.
I wonder if there is manpower bug still. And how was the house rule for non exploitation?


This one seemed worth saving as it sets our a quite decent strategy for any beginning Austrian player.

Unfortunately yes, in a game that went to 1761/2 before we abandoned it we found it was making quite a difference to the ability of the Prussians to put large armies into the field. It has to be worked as a 'trust' rule (a bit like the MC one) as you can't check, but then who wants to play PBEM and not be able to trust your opponent?
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Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:27 pm

loki100 wrote:...but then who wants to play PBEM and not be able to trust your opponent?


I realize I'm getting dangerously close to trolling here, but I must admit having to do a double-take at that. Or perhaps a triple, or quadruple-take. ;) I guess there's the difference between 'trust' in that all will abide by agreed-upon rules and 'trust' in the veracity of the emails you send out between turns. :)

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Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:33 pm

Stuyvesant wrote:I realize I'm getting dangerously close to trolling here, but I must admit having to do a double-take at that. Or perhaps a triple, or quadruple-take. ;) I guess there's the difference between 'trust' in that all will abide by agreed-upon rules and 'trust' in the veracity of the emails you send out between turns. :)


definitely, in emails anything goes ... :) , after all undermining your opponents morale (or morals) is all part of the sport.
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Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:25 pm

[quote="loki100"]I'm afraid I don't have the code changes any more, Narwhal did the original work and may still have the modded files so maybe best to PM him? The 'northener' trait is now sorted by the latest patch (as I found to my cost in my latest PBEM when they gave my Prussians a very hard time of it). In truth, as in the AAR, leader loss is still not a problem in RoP so I think its a deeper problem than just the base chance ratio. In this game, the only real loss I had was Von Bilberstein (& that so late it didn't really matter), but in my PoN game they drop on a regular basis.

As far as I can see from the discussion it this thread (Narwhal's last post) the only viable way to mod leader death casualties rate is to alter CombatDeathChance attribute in the Models directory of GameData. I tried this method some months ago and it seemed to work because the very first test battle ended with 1 general killed (death chances were made 10 times higher) though some other changes I made in leaders stats (strategic ratings and traits) did not worked. Any thoughts?
http://www.ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?21913-Leader-Casualties

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Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:29 pm

loki100 wrote:I'm afraid I don't have the code changes any more, Narwhal did the original work and may still have the modded files so maybe best to PM him? The 'northener' trait is now sorted by the latest patch (as I found to my cost in my latest PBEM when they gave my Prussians a very hard time of it). In truth, as in the AAR, leader loss is still not a problem in RoP so I think its a deeper problem than just the base chance ratio. In this game, the only real loss I had was Von Bilberstein (& that so late it didn't really matter), but in my PoN game they drop on a regular basis.




As far as I can see from the discussion it this thread (Narwhal's last post) the only viable way to mod leader death casualties rate is to alter CombatDeathChance attribute in the Models directory of GameData. I tried this method some months ago and it seemed to work because the very first test battle ended with 1 general killed (death chances were made 10 times higher) though some other changes I made in leaders stats (strategic ratings and traits) did not worked. http://www.ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?21913-Leader-Casualties

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Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:07 am

Really amazing AAR LOKI and i think Narwahl deserves some credit too for hanging on despite your 4 pronged battering ram.
I think only way- Prussia can survive in MP after going through several AAR's is to be 'Historical', now what do i mean by this-

1. No Inter-Allied Commanders-- no 'Ferdinand Foch style' "1918 combined offensive" to be done, all 4- Sweden, Russia, France, Austria/HRE had their own ideas.
So only Austria and HRE can combine no others, no combination on Austrian side ( i mean cross of Austrian - Russian or something like that) of commanders or troops ever. No cossacks in other theaters also.
2. Saxony should die, no escapes. Will unbalance. Either Player assaults Saxony and gains free cannon as Prussia or not- can be decided, but Saxony must die.
3. MTSG only in same region, allow Prussia to use their mobility and leaders and also troop advantage. This is not Napoleonic War with several corps MTSG and multi- day battles. More single day or even half- day battles were the norm in this time period and the troops you have are having political considerations if lost. This is my Arpaksin was punished. But Arpaksin also had supply problems as it was not so easy as in game to march across Poland into Prussian territory for the Russians.
4. Toughest Activation level, will make the ALLIED Armies- Russian, French-, Austrian etc inactive 1/3 of the times, thus more losses in winter (if retreat not done), lesser MTSG attack and more confusion.

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Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:43 am

Shri wrote:Really amazing AAR LOKI and i think Narwahl deserves some credit too for hanging on despite your 4 pronged battering ram.
I think only way- Prussia can survive in MP after going through several AAR's is to be 'Historical', now what do i mean by this-

1. No Inter-Allied Commanders-- no 'Ferdinand Foch style' "1918 combined offensive" to be done, all 4- Sweden, Russia, France, Austria/HRE had their own ideas.
So only Austria and HRE can combine no others, no combination on Austrian side ( i mean cross of Austrian - Russian or something like that) of commanders or troops ever. No cossacks in other theaters also.
2. Saxony should die, no escapes. Will unbalance. Either Player assaults Saxony and gains free cannon as Prussia or not- can be decided, but Saxony must die.
3. MTSG only in same region, allow Prussia to use their mobility and leaders and also troop advantage. This is not Napoleonic War with several corps MTSG and multi- day battles. More single day or even half- day battles were the norm in this time period and the troops you have are having political considerations if lost. This is my Arpaksin was punished. But Arpaksin also had supply problems as it was not so easy as in game to march across Poland into Prussian territory for the Russians.
4. Toughest Activation level, will make the ALLIED Armies- Russian, French-, Austrian etc inactive 1/3 of the times, thus more losses in winter (if retreat not done), lesser MTSG attack and more confusion.


I think my approach was less of a 'must win' and more the best I could come up with, in particular knowing Narwhal well. Not least we'd just abandoned one game that got to 1762 which he was doing far better. I hold to my basic view that Prussia is incredibly dangerous when all 3 allied armies have pressed in - say the Austrians to Dresden, French to Hannover and Russians at Kolberg. At that stage, if a Prussian player is prepared to gamble (& they have no real choice), they may be able to cripple one or two of the allied armies and manage a rough stalemate into the end game.

I agree with #1. I think that Austrian, French, Swedish and Russian units must only serve under their own generals. Since HRE units historically fought with both the Austrians and the French they should be flexible.
#2 is critical. Narwhal gambled on really catching me off balance by ignoring Prina, it was a classic win big/lose big gambit. So some of what happened was the fall out of his gamble (I did offer a restart), but it really throws the balance. Those guns gave me artillery parity, the extra generals solved all my early game leadership challenges and the at start Austrian army was scarcely dented, so when the 1757 reinforcements arrived it was too large for him to really deal with ... and I could just sit and take my time
#3 less sure, it depends in part on what MTSG is representing. Yes battles were mostly single day affairs and very localised, so the idea of units marching in from a nearby province is wrong. Its an odd mechanic that makes no real sense (see the current debates around ACW2 and EAW) but it simulates something important. In Europe armies marched in separate columns and came together for battle. In a 15 day wego model the latter stage can't be represented, but its wrong to treat communications and roads as being as bad as in the ancient era (AJE) or N America (WiA). So its a rule/concept to a purpose, it can also be used by both sides. There was a discussion on the Paradox forum by Bornego (One Armed Mexican in this parish) about how he used a screen of weak Prussian corps to very effectively defend Minden
#4 I used that setting in a game vs the AI and it was excellent fun. The French in particular were operationally inept, with usually only half their corps active and you had to be really cautious over winter. Against a highly competent player like Narwhal (& this was my only win in about 10 PBEMs with him) it would be suicide.

The game is stacked against Prussia but they have a limited chance right at the start - less to win and more to cripple the Austrians, you have to seriously damage their at start force. The second is as the game moves into its mid-phase when you can chuck everything at one front or the other. He did this very well in his classic 'learning from Prussia', unfortunately over on the Paradox forums.
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
PoN Manufacturing Italy; A clear bright sun
RoP The Mightiest Empires Fall
WIA Burning down the Houses; Wars in America; The Tea Wars

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