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loki100
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:21 am

Director wrote:I apologize for the typo. If I could type I could rule the world. :neener: Of course, English is a colossally stupid language but it does have at least one redeeming feature: it does not arbitrarily assign gender to inanimate objects and expect non-speakers to understand the sexual proclivities on pens, automobiles, newspapers and shoes. Beautiful is beautiful, I think, without regard to gender - but it was indisputably a typo and worthy of apology. Thank you for pointing it out to me; I can't learn if you don't.


worth confessing I started this mistake, not you. I can read, speak Italian pretty well but I've never learnt it properly so when I write it I make all sorts of mistakes, incl forgetting agreement. Having said that Italian probably has the easiest set of gender rules of the romance languages (since most words end in -o or -a in the singular). The real horror is languages like Dutch with its utterly arbitrary (to me) neutral and common genders, which make no sense, have no clues in terns of word structure and affect almost everything in a sentence once you do something more complex than: een kat zat op een mat or similar (as well as having a guddle between English and German about word order around verbs) ... and don't get me started on the confusion of saying to someone you'll meet them at 11.30 (Stuyvesant will know what I am whinghing about)
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Stuyvesant
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:32 pm

loki100 wrote:The real horror is languages like Dutch with its utterly arbitrary (to me) neutral and common genders, which make no sense, have no clues in terns of word structure and affect almost everything in a sentence once you do something more complex than: een kat zat op een mat or similar (as well as having a guddle between English and German about word order around verbs) ... and don't get me started on the confusion of saying to someone you'll meet them at 11.30 (Stuyvesant will know what I am whinghing about)


I'm not sure I understand your beef with Dutch timekeeping. Is it the supposed punctuality of the Dutch, who will frown upon someone being a few minutes late (I never fell in that camp - if I'm at an appointment within 15 minutes of the stated time, it's a grand success)? Or is it the 'Half twaalf' issue? I mean, 11:30 is half-way to twelve o'clock, so using 'half twaalf' doesn't strike me as that outlandish. But then, I did spend my formative first 25 years there, so I wouldn't know any better. :)

Regarding the Dutch language in general: Dutch is like German, which is hyper-regimented and consistent in its application of grammar. Except that Dutch decided to throw out most of the consistency in favor of exceptions to pretty much any rule you can think of. And the quite a few exceptions to the exceptions. And then incorporated foreign words left and right, and then subjected them to the same - shall we say freewheeling - 'rules' of grammar. ;)

Whenever I see those online lists of how English doesn't make any sense (house - houses, mouse - mice; goose - geese; sheep - sheep, etc. etc.) I think that's linguistic confusion 101: that's just messing with a singular and plural, and a few odd tenses - us Dutch people could show you some of the advanced work in that field, if only there were more than 25 million Dutch speakers around the world. :)

Anyway, enough bragging about my native language. I hear that Finno-Ugric languages have 15 different cases, so maybe there are other unworkable languages out there. Back to the game...

I tend to agree with Director's gloomy assessment. I just don't see the French AI as smart enough to create a trap for that deathstack, nor brave enough to encircle it with vastly inferior forces were the opportunity to arise to starve it to death. Not to mention that the German secondary stack(s) seem to be a match for the French main stacks - makes it even harder to encircle the überstack and keep it there long enough to weaken it. So... This war might yet be over before Christmas. Just not with Italians enjoying the New Year's Orchestra in Vienna, but rather with the latest round of German barbarians touring the (newly refurbished) ruins of Rome.

I hope you prove me wrong, but it's hard to see how France can stay in the fight, and after that you don't have a viable chance to win a victory.

Depressing stuff. Go slaughter some Austrians in the meantime, to cheer me up. ;)

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loki100
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:17 pm

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:I love a good Balkan Offensive, but I'm really concerned about France. I mean, I see a 34,000! power army on their border, and poor Belgium also stands no chance. I think it's time to release those reserves to help the Allies. Of course, I'm aware you've probably played past this in your game, so I'm hoping you know it works out well! Good luck.


There are some display issues – as I've since discovered. If there is one nationality in a province, you can't see any others. If they are allied to you then this only works at the level of the screenshot (ie you can cycle through the stacks), if they are opposed then you can't. The latter is going to lead to a very bad day for the Italian army in 1914 when I attacked what looked like a weak exposed Austrian army only to find it masking a huge herd of huns.

Now this is relevant, as what you can't see, and I can't really show is that beneath those Belgians is a huge French army and as we'll see in the next update, that does a very effective job of stalling the German offensive inflicting quite impressive losses on that German stack.

Matnjord wrote:This is about the only thing I can say right now:

[video=youtube;l1dnqKGuezo]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1dnqKGuezo[/video]


Yep, at this stage I was in full panic mode. In reality the French AI does pretty well and holds its ground and inflicts heavy losses.

Dewirix wrote:Well, the Germans seem to have gone all in on this one. Looks like the French have their hands full, and while you've given the Austrians a bloody nose there's plenty of fight left in them.

According to that last screenshot, Russia still has immense combat power. It must be frustrating that they headed for the exit so soon after things got started.


The loss of Russia is a real problem, even if all they were doing was forcing the Germans and Austrians to split up their army. As it is, I'm not sure that mega-stack is the 'I win' it looks like. Even late game, there are frontage constraints and the French can, and do, much the same – not least since they are AI controlled they too can lose no more than -17% regardless of command capacity.

Jim-NC wrote:One thing I would like to see is the effect of your navy on the combat power. If you look at your combat power after running the turn but before saving, then save and compare again, you will see everyone else's combat power drop (it appears that after you save, your naval power is added to the power level, distorting the values). This will be important to guage how much of your power is naval driven versus land forces driven.

As Gen. Monkey-Bear says there is a "34,000! power" German Army about to crush France. Hope you can help them before it's too late.

I also noticed that German troops appear to be guarding nothern Austria.


That may well explain some of the fairly wild CP variances I've seen. It also jumps around, I think, as it measures raw power*cohesion so if a large army has just been badly beaten it will dip a lot – I've seen this more with the Austrians than the Prussians.

That German army in Austria is going to the bane of my operations for the next year (I've just played out Sept 1914) as I just about have the beating of the two main Austrian armies, esp as their NM is well down) but that force has turned the tide more often than I care to recall.

Stuyvesant wrote:I was going to comment incredulously on the Dutch, with their 12,000-power stack sitting around eating all the food in Rotterdam, until I noticed the German überdoomstack that everyone else has mentioned (with another 7,600-power stack hot on its heels)... How do you stop a monster like that? Unless you manage to encircle it and quickly starve it to death, as happened in the Ottoman AAR, but I don't see the comparatively paltry French and Belgian forces pull that off.

Do you have enough time to build some extra border forts? I have a feeling the Huns (and the vengeful British) will come calling shortly. Yikes!


As above, the French actually have more than the screenshot implies, not least their own huge stack and I think in the battle of the huge stacks, my beloved Gallic allies rather do the business on the Germans. They may well 'mangia il fromaggio' as one says in Rome, but they do not 'arrendersi'. I suspec it is because the French AI has all the advantages of the German AI in terms of command capacity (its a bit like playing on VH in say HOI3 if you are a small part of one of the factions – overall its incredibly easy)

But the fort advice is sound. I do start raising more guns and fortification regiments to turn the Tirol and Trieste into killing grounds. This in turn means I can be much more aggressive with my field armies as those two forts have the capacity to fend off almost any attack.

Matnjord wrote:After seeing such a gigantic german stack I have to ask: why do you think Germany (and also Austria) is capable of so vastly outnumbering your armies? After all, you do have what is probably Europe's strongest industry and you've been using a lot of those demography boosting cards. Are they really that intimidating or are you just framing things in such a way to make your inevitable victory all the more glorious to your dear peanut gallery?


Oh wait, time for another "inspirational" poster:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]26264[/ATTACH]

"Buy Liberty Bonds" for the italo-challenged.


She's my girl, thats the way to handle your average maurauding German.

The key issue is command capacity. I suspect I could put into the field their equivalent in manpower but it would lose. I'd have masses of formations at -35% and that has real consequences – move slower, fight less well and lose -1 on your rate of fire. As the AI their worst malus is -17%.

So what I am trying to do is to build what I can use effectively, plus a set of replacements if a given corps is either destroyed or badly worked over. Now as in the next update, I get caught out when a command cardre decides to retire at the same time, but equally I am steadily gaining promotions to ** and *** star leaders.

I am far enough ahead to have some idea where this is going, though in truth the next year will see a variety of ways adopted so as to end up in exactly the same place. The two power blocks are too well matched for a real knock out blow. However, I've just seen a large German army effectively commit suicide and I think that will alter the balance on the Italian front at least.

But never fear, I have a diplomatic script that makes GB think seriously about coming to war if Vienna is not Austrian (ie I assume they are thinking this is their last chance for revenge) or if Venezia is not Italian (here I'm assuming they fall on the failing Franco-Italian alliance now its safe).

My logic to all this, is partly to have fun ... and what could be more fun than slaughtering all of Europe? But also I want to use this phase to test out the end game for balance – I think I've already found that manpower is too easy and civil unrest too limited. It maybe that could be fed into any subsequent major revisions.

Director wrote:II hate to say this... but this war may be lost. Germany may just be too big to defeat and I don't think you can crush Austria fast enough to save France. Frankly, you need Russia and you may need Britain both on your side and willing to mass-mobilize a national army, and you don't have any of those things. What you could really use is a blitzkrieg to take Vienna and force Austria out of the war before the hammer falls on France but I don't see that happening. The relative force ratio of Germany to France is much greater than that of Italy to Austria.

Sounds like the early hostilities with Russia and extended peace with France drew German forces east, meaning that the French entry allowed the French Army to do much better than in 1914. The tide, however, seems to be turning, just as it did in 1918 when the eastern German armies came west. It is a pity - a tragedy - that Russia could not be persuaded to stay in the war, but with France at peace and Britain aloof or hostile, Russia must have felt that Italian assurances were insufficient. It is hard to blame them... but whatever pain they saved themselves will shortly come back redoubled. If Germany wins the war then Russia, France and Italy will suffer in the peace.

You are going to have to push very, very hard - and France is going to have to resist intelligently and heroically - to pull this one out. So: have you looked at what kind of peace you could ask for if you got out now?


If I wanted I could get out now, I've had peace offers from both Germany and Austria but I want, if I can, to end the Germanic threat to the peace loving peoples of the Mediterranean ... hah.

As to the rest, to be fair the French AI does its share, inflicting quite industrial scale of losses on the Germans. My attempts at an offensive fail, but I do a lot of damage on the way.

I think both sides are too powerful for this to end easily, which is of course quite in keeping with the spirit of the times.

Stuyvesant wrote:I'm not sure I understand your beef with Dutch timekeeping. Is it the supposed punctuality of the Dutch, who will frown upon someone being a few minutes late (I never fell in that camp - if I'm at an appointment within 15 minutes of the stated time, it's a grand success)? Or is it the 'Half twaalf' issue? I mean, 11:30 is half-way to twelve o'clock, so using 'half twaalf' doesn't strike me as that outlandish. But then, I did spend my formative first 25 years there, so I wouldn't know any better. :)

Regarding the Dutch language in general: Dutch is like German, which is hyper-regimented and consistent in its application of grammar. Except that Dutch decided to throw out most of the consistency in favor of exceptions to pretty much any rule you can think of. And the quite a few exceptions to the exceptions. And then incorporated foreign words left and right, and then subjected them to the same - shall we say freewheeling - 'rules' of grammar. ;)

Whenever I see those online lists of how English doesn't make any sense (house - houses, mouse - mice; goose - geese; sheep - sheep, etc. etc.) I think that's linguistic confusion 101: that's just messing with a singular and plural, and a few odd tenses - us Dutch people could show you some of the advanced work in that field, if only there were more than 25 million Dutch speakers around the world. :)

Anyway, enough bragging about my native language. I hear that Finno-Ugric languages have 15 different cases, so maybe there are other unworkable languages out there. Back to the game...

I tend to agree with Director's gloomy assessment. I just don't see the French AI as smart enough to create a trap for that deathstack, nor brave enough to encircle it with vastly inferior forces were the opportunity to arise to starve it to death. Not to mention that the German secondary stack(s) seem to be a match for the French main stacks - makes it even harder to encircle the überstack and keep it there long enough to weaken it. So... This war might yet be over before Christmas. Just not with Italians enjoying the New Year's Orchestra in Vienna, but rather with the latest round of German barbarians touring the (newly refurbished) ruins of Rome.

I hope you prove me wrong, but it's hard to see how France can stay in the fight, and after that you don't have a viable chance to win a victory.

Depressing stuff. Go slaughter some Austrians in the meantime, to cheer me up. ;)


aye its the half twaalf issue. When I'm in Amsterdam, any discussion about when to meet involves adding 'een nederlands, niet en engels' when the time is arranged. It would help so much if you used the Norwegian approach (which has the same half to the hour phrasing) as there you say quite simply 'half to twelve'. As to the rest, I think one problem with learning Dutch is indeed that you can't simply group blocks of words into simple rules. An advantage though of knowing Scots is the similarities in so many words and phrases does help.

Back to the game, I think you will find the next update has a very cheering Austrian casualty list, even if it does feature a failed Italian offensive
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loki100
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1913: June-October, the Itialian summer offensive and the very first air battle

Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:23 pm

In early June the Italian summer offensive opens ... no not sunbathing at Rimini but instead,

a diversionary attack on Innsbruck (which will become probably the most fought over town of this war):

Image

Image

a small colonial war

Image
[1]

and an succesful attempt to finally dislodge the Austrians at Trieste

Image

I am expanding my army (as I now have some 3*** generals and some new 1* arrivals) and mostly replacing my losses, even though my line infantry (regular and guards) all need substantial replacement of combat losses. You can see this with the numbers above the replacement chits so there are 162 guards elements need replacements and some are in a critical condition (hence the bold red text). Roughly, each replacement will cover 10 units of damage.

Image

With, victory at Trieste, the Italian army went over to the offensive. The first goal was Laibach to create a good defensive perimiter.

Image

By early July it appeared as if the Italian army had taken control of the northern Balkans. Three armies were at Laibach, able to threated SW Austria (Graz) or Zagreb and First Army at Trieste was about to commence an offensive down the Adriatic coast.

Image

The Austrians tried to dislodge the Italians from Laibach

Image

In the course of which, the first air battle in history was fought

Image
[2]

By late July, it appeared as if the Franco-Italian allance had managed to survive Russia's surrender and to ensure the war was mostly being fought on German or Austrian territory

Image

In the meantime, Serbia seemed to have raised a new army, recapturing Pristina and placing the Austrian army besieging Tirana out of supply.

Image

The Adriatic offensive saw the fall of Split in early August, but at the seeming point of victory, Italy's command structure was wrecked by a series of resignations.

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An attempt to seize the final Austrian port failed, when the German army managed to hold off the Italian attack

Image

In the meantime the Austrians struck at Innsbruck

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And by late September, they were able to recapture Laibach

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The Italian armies along the Adriatic coast were hastily pulled back to Trieste, fortunately just in time to defeat a German invasion

Image

At the same time, the Italian navy inflicted substantial damage on a German fleet in the Mediterranean [3]

Image

The summer battles of 1913 saw heavy losses on both sides. I think the key element to that table is the heavy German losses, few of which were inflicted by me. Judging by the jump in France's NM and the German losses, it appears as if they have done pretty well in reducing that huge army they were facing.

Add to that, the Austrian elephant seems to have unlearned all its new tricks. Its enthusiasm for all out attacks does have the advantage of pinning my armies and stopping me make any real gains but at some stage their manpower and/or morale has to crack.

If we add some guesses for Belgium, the Franco-Italian alliance has lost 1.8 million since the start of the war and the Austro-German armies some 2.6 million.

Image

3 months of invasion, battle and retreat had left the front lines exactly where they were at the start of the summer Balkan offensive.

[1] – because I declared war on Austria, my reputation in Africa fell often to just under 0 (at which stage the small revolts start again). Most I have managed to settle, this one I decided to end by force as it gives me a strong position in northern Nigeria (as well as threatening the remaining British colonies)
[2] – that really impressed me.
[3] – I've seen more naval activity in the North Sea as you would expect.
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Gen. Monkey-Bear
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:26 pm

Wow, extremely bloody . . . few gains, very WWI. I admire those resilient Serbs, congratulate the French and Belgians, and can only marvel at the deadly, see-saw nature of the Italian front. That fort at Trieste just doesn't go down. As for the Austrians, I think you are right, they have unlearned their new lessons and are back to charging en masse. It is oddly reminiscent of Egypt in the October War, with a strong showing at first after many years of preparation, but decaying over time.

Why were you in offensive posture in Innsbruck? Doesn't the terrain favor defense?

Good luck, my friend.

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Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:40 am

So, you're building what I'm guessing are some communication units (more CP), loads of artillery, some infantry, some wonderfully pretty tankettes, some terrifyingly ominous engineers (gas masks AND flamethrower!) and a mysterious super weapon not even the game dares to show?

That battle at Trent was horrendous, a third of a German army wiped out in a single battle? Your idea to build more forts is definitely a sound one.

Now, this still isn't a world war, just a really big purely european mass suicide. Any plans to expand it into an actual world war? After all, the ottoman might want to take revenge on the Italian, and the the Japanese could be convinced to take those german's chinese concession, wouldn't they?

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Director
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Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:38 am

Very good to hear that things are not as bleak as I had supposed. So far as the French AI doing better than the French AI in our 1914, well, perhaps their doctrine is better. A focus on the strategic defensive coupled with strong counter-attacks was the preferred method of generals who were passed over for the "offensive a outrance" faction. And the AI has shown good strategic thinking in driving for the Rhine - that is a fine defensive line if France can reach it before the Germans come home from the East. The Battle of the Marne showed that in some cases French flexibility could prevail over German planning.

When maddened, elephants revert to instinctual behavior, I suppose. Just have some respect because there is a lot of elephant there... I was delighted to see that even when the Austrians win they are bleeding heavily. Your splendid modern army seems able to outperform Austria and Germany both, which is fantastic news. And the presence of German ships in the Med is even better news for you (better you fight them than the French, after all) though I would have hoped for an engagement to be tilted more heavily in your favor. Do you have Gibraltar sealed?

The rapid turnover in your high command is easy to explain: in big wars the top leadership can underperform due to age, faulty doctrine or inability to grasp new techniques and methods. Perhaps a few of your top men feel out of their depth - or the civilian leadership has 'encouraged' them to make way for younger men. Since you say your lower level generals are rapidly gaining ability, I think the latter is the logical explanation. Tough in the short run but one hope it will be worth it.

Many times a fortress is named for an important nearby city, or a person, battle or martial quality. I had a good laugh over the 'Battle of Fort (Industrial)'.

Stuyvesant
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Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:47 pm

Matnjord wrote:So, you're building what I'm guessing are some communication units (more CP), loads of artillery, some infantry, some wonderfully pretty tankettes, some terrifyingly ominous engineers (gas masks AND flamethrower!) and a mysterious super weapon not even the game dares to show?


The mysterious super weapon could be various things. Could be phosgene (invisible gas). Or perhaps he's nicked the B-52 Stratofortresses the Boer raiders used to such great effect on the British (I'm not surprised the game wouldn't have a sprite for them). Otherwise, I'm reduced to either a Klingon Bird of Prey (has a cloaking device) or the Death Star (too big to fit on the counter). But I'll admit those might be a little too fanciful, even for the Italians.

4.4 million casualties in a single year. I think you're well on your way to achieve WWI-worthy figures by the end of this. Lots of bloodshed, very little change in the front lines. Yup, things look pretty authentic, WWI-style. Seeing all those Austrians keel over in their tens and hundreds of thousands did cheer me up a bit, so thank you for that. ;)

By the way, what are 'non-aborted planes'? I suspect there might be something lost in translation here, but I really can't make heads nor tails of it.

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loki100
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Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:41 am

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:Wow, extremely bloody . . . few gains, very WWI. I admire those resilient Serbs, congratulate the French and Belgians, and can only marvel at the deadly, see-saw nature of the Italian front. That fort at Trieste just doesn't go down. As for the Austrians, I think you are right, they have unlearned their new lessons and are back to charging en masse. It is oddly reminiscent of Egypt in the October War, with a strong showing at first after many years of preparation, but decaying over time.

Why were you in offensive posture in Innsbruck? Doesn't the terrain favor defense?

Good luck, my friend.


Innsbruck I fear was me not paying attention, or I may have shifted to attack mode to drive out a small Austrian army? Trieste is going to have one huge German war cemetrary when this is over, that is not the last mass slaughter. I'm so glad I built up the garrison before the British war, its really paying off now.

Matnjord wrote:So, you're building what I'm guessing are some communication units (more CP), loads of artillery, some infantry, some wonderfully pretty tankettes, some terrifyingly ominous engineers (gas masks AND flamethrower!) and a mysterious super weapon not even the game dares to show?

That battle at Trent was horrendous, a third of a German army wiped out in a single battle? Your idea to build more forts is definitely a sound one.

Now, this still isn't a world war, just a really big purely european mass suicide. Any plans to expand it into an actual world war? After all, the ottoman might want to take revenge on the Italian, and the the Japanese could be convinced to take those german's chinese concession, wouldn't they?


I think the secret was an airbase, there are some gaps in the late game images to be honest ... my tanks show up as green blobs in the combat reports.

There is a diplomatic script in place to trigger a British intervention if either Venice is not Italian (I assume they decide to feast on my corpse) or Vienna falls (I assume they decide its now or never). I'll put Japan in as well - it'll be interesting to see how they respond to those Germans in China. of course this is a global war, I have captured important islands in the south Pacific (just there was no fighting)

Director wrote:Very good to hear that things are not as bleak as I had supposed. So far as the French AI doing better than the French AI in our 1914, well, perhaps their doctrine is better. A focus on the strategic defensive coupled with strong counter-attacks was the preferred method of generals who were passed over for the "offensive a outrance" faction. And the AI has shown good strategic thinking in driving for the Rhine - that is a fine defensive line if France can reach it before the Germans come home from the East. The Battle of the Marne showed that in some cases French flexibility could prevail over German planning.

When maddened, elephants revert to instinctual behavior, I suppose. Just have some respect because there is a lot of elephant there... I was delighted to see that even when the Austrians win they are bleeding heavily. Your splendid modern army seems able to outperform Austria and Germany both, which is fantastic news. And the presence of German ships in the Med is even better news for you (better you fight them than the French, after all) though I would have hoped for an engagement to be tilted more heavily in your favor. Do you have Gibraltar sealed?

The rapid turnover in your high command is easy to explain: in big wars the top leadership can underperform due to age, faulty doctrine or inability to grasp new techniques and methods. Perhaps a few of your top men feel out of their depth - or the civilian leadership has 'encouraged' them to make way for younger men. Since you say your lower level generals are rapidly gaining ability, I think the latter is the logical explanation. Tough in the short run but one hope it will be worth it.

Many times a fortress is named for an important nearby city, or a person, battle or martial quality. I had a good laugh over the 'Battle of Fort (Industrial)'.


If there is one thing I'd love to see changed its how that 'battle of ..' screen works, later on there will be a battle of the tropical fruit farm and that sounds more like a drunken student night out?

It looks like the French have managed a very effective fighting retreat. The Germans have made gains, but they have lost their numerical advantage in doing so. But I'm back to launching attacks to shore up my allies rather than just for my own purposes.

That German fleet was raiding my merchants, I've not seen their main fleet and guess its bottled up in N Germany, the French have a large fleet in the North Sea.

Stuyvesant wrote:The mysterious super weapon could be various things. Could be phosgene (invisible gas). Or perhaps he's nicked the B-52 Stratofortresses the Boer raiders used to such great effect on the British (I'm not surprised the game wouldn't have a sprite for them). Otherwise, I'm reduced to either a Klingon Bird of Prey (has a cloaking device) or the Death Star (too big to fit on the counter). But I'll admit those might be a little too fanciful, even for the Italians.

4.4 million casualties in a single year. I think you're well on your way to achieve WWI-worthy figures by the end of this. Lots of bloodshed, very little change in the front lines. Yup, things look pretty authentic, WWI-style. Seeing all those Austrians keel over in their tens and hundreds of thousands did cheer me up a bit, so thank you for that. ;)

By the way, what are 'non-aborted planes'? I suspect there might be something lost in translation here, but I really can't make heads nor tails of it.


Total losses ended up around 5 million, the only changes to the pre-war map was the German occupation of Strasbourg and I hold Laibach. I'm sure its all worth it?

I'd read that as planes that are still combat ready, but that has been the only time I've seen that report come up so far. Planes are expensive in terms of manufactured goods and I wonder if my enemies are having a shortage of some key resources - especially as they are both under full naval blockade.
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1913: October - December, German gains along the Rhine, stalemate with Austria

Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:45 am

The summer offensive had been effective at drawing the Austro-German armies into battle even if it left no tangible difference to the front lines. For the autumn, in the main, the Italian front was quiet, with a final round of battles at Trieste and a series of raids across the Alpine line designed to distract the Austrians rather than to make permanent gains.

Yet again, Trieste saw the most awful of battles:

Image

In an attempt to relieve the pressure on Italy's eastern border, and distract the Germans from their Rhineland offensive, Fouth Army launched yet another diversionary offensive at Innsbruck.

Image

This time it appeared that the Austrians were caught off balance and the town changed hands, yet again, in mid-November

However, Italian jubilation was short lived as the Fourth Army was caught out of position and had to fall back over the frontier.

Image

A further diversionary raid was launched at Salzburg and then onto Munchen. The goal was to draw off German units while Italy retook Laibach and stabilised the front in the Dolomites.

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Again, the Austrians managed to react faster than expected, forcing the Italians to fall back towards Klagenfurt

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The main reason for the diversionary attacks were German progress in the Rhineland.

By the end of the year it seemed as if the Central Powers were in the ascendency. Italy was finding it impossible to break out of its own borders and the Franco-Belgian armies had lost control of the Rhineland.

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Strasbourg has fallen and the Germans have retaken all their provinces, but their huge stack is a lot weaker (as is the French main stack).

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Italian front at the end of 1913. Fortunately they did not follow up their victory at Innsbruck and I have had chance to recover. I hold Laibach with 3 armies (a combined power of around 10,000) and face two Austrian armies of around 19,000 power and the Germans I badly beat at Trieste.

Losses
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From that it is clear that the Austrians did little fighting (which makes sense as I was being cautious) but the Germans have paid heavily for their gains in the Rhineland. I guess taking Strasbourg (one of their objective cities) will have boosted their morale and dented France's NM.

Losses are roughly 1.8 million for the Franco-Italian alliance (making a guess for Belgium) and 3 million for the Austro-Prussian armies. The war is pretty much a complete stalemate.

Manpower situation

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This is not too bad apart from my Guards replacements. This reflects the defeat at Salzburg but in general I am able to generate replacement chits and my underlying manpower is holding up. The key industiral resource is manufactured goods and again I am managing the situation with no obvious problems at this stage:

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Prestige

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I've gained 5,000 (from 301,427 to 306,845) and the USA 9,000 (from 217,951 to 226,662). I think my low prestige gain reflects my heavy combat losses, not least building replacement chits for Guards infantry and some ships costs prestige as does raising those formations. The US is now only 80,000 behind me.



and as a reminder ...... just seven years to go ...
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Director
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Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:49 am

I can see the Chamber of Commerce brochure now: "Visit beautiful Trieste - the new Verdun!"

Exciting to see your troops in Salzburg and near Munich - sad that they are only visiting. Strategically it seems you are at the bottom of a funnel: enemy attacks contract your front and make defense easier, but offensive maneuvers open you up to flanking strokes. At least you are winning the attritional struggle... cold comfort for the French I fear.

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Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:19 am

Have you re-deployed your armies from Africa? I imagine you have, and thus this message probably sounds insulting to your intelligence, but I'm just desperate to see you make a breakthrough . . .

Hmm, maybe time to convince the Dutch that their best choice is to plunge their country into war and destruction, granting your side another 65% power (according to the objective screen). That would be welcome :)

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Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:36 am

How was Tirana holding up at this point? Is it still under siege?

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Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:13 pm

The situation is now even more epic. Is good to see that this game represents a real challenge with the real possibility of defeat. And not a military parade defeating all the enemies and conquering the world.

Is interesting to see that now the war depends of the performance of France and not only of yourself. Also the pragmatical attitude of Britain, waiting to choose a side (like in real history :mdr :) , adds more emotion to the situation. Good job ;)
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:56 pm

Things seem less bleak than they did when that German superstack first appeared on the French border. I note that the German's combat power has declined slightly since the last update (from 138 to 127), while France's has risen (from 84 to 90).

You seem to have the Austrians well in hand. Even their victories saw them take more casualties than you, and you're costing them far more lost elements than you're losing in return.

That said, it all turns on whether France can hold out. If the Central Powers win in the west it's time to get out with as much dignity as you can.

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Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:22 pm

Why on earth did the French decide that sending a 4,000-power stack suntanning at Trieste or Fiume was a grand idea, considering the grim situation on the Western Front? I can't imagine those troops are doing you much good...

Did you at least manage to burn down the Burgerbraukeller while your troops were sightseeing in Munich?

Essentially, we're back to the earlier situation: Italy can hold its own comfortably, but isn't in a position to force the course of the war on its front. It'll depend on the durability of your allies: if the French can hold out and continue to bleed the Germans, things look decent in the long run. If the Germans can start to push the French back, your position gets much more difficult.

And in the meantime those sneaky Americans are stealing your prestige and creeping up on you. Bad sports, them, for not joining in the worldwide fun and games. ;)

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Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:14 pm

Well, as the British used to say, the only things wrong with Americans were that they were over-paid, over-sexed and over here...

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Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:29 pm

Director wrote:I can see the Chamber of Commerce brochure now: "Visit beautiful Trieste - the new Verdun!"

Exciting to see your troops in Salzburg and near Munich - sad that they are only visiting. Strategically it seems you are at the bottom of a funnel: enemy attacks contract your front and make defense easier, but offensive maneuvers open you up to flanking strokes. At least you are winning the attritional struggle... cold comfort for the French I fear.


I think the next sequence will reinforce that interpretation – I get pushed back, regroup, lash out and then overextend. At least I am doing serious damage to the Austrians but by June 1914 I was starting to worry about defeat, by August 1914 (the next update after this) things were downright panic inducing

Never been to the Vosges etc so this maybe unfair, but I reckon the weather at Trieste is much nicer. Its well worth a visit, the architecture is much more classic Central Europe than Italian, but the place still feels very Italian.

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:Have you re-deployed your armies from Africa? I imagine you have, and thus this message probably sounds insulting to your intelligence, but I'm just desperate to see you make a breakthrough . . .

Hmm, maybe time to convince the Dutch that their best choice is to plunge their country into war and destruction, granting your side another 65% power (according to the objective screen). That would be welcome :)


Anybody joining in would be welcome, but I need to resolve this with just my current allies.

I don't have much in Africa. One corps plus artillery in southern Mozambique (ready to invade South Africa), another in modern Zimbabwe and one in Nigeria. To that is a number of colonial or light units scattered around, but nothing that would make a difference in the killing fields of Europe.


Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:How was Tirana holding up at this point? Is it still under siege?


Its under siege by quite a large force but as I have naval superiority there is no danger of it running out of supplies. There is a small risk of a surrender but at the momenat an Italian force of around 1000 power is tieing down about 4000 power of Austrians.

Crixdaz wrote:The situation is now even more epic. Is good to see that this game represents a real challenge with the real possibility of defeat. And not a military parade defeating all the enemies and conquering the world.

Is interesting to see that now the war depends of the performance of France and not only of yourself. Also the pragmatical attitude of Britain, waiting to choose a side (like in real history :mdr :) , adds more emotion to the situation. Good job ;)


In general, the land AI is good. As you've seen it can be a bit too aggressive but it has a good sense of movement and of looking for your supply lines. The problem is it is a bit too willing to attack – but that I think is better than being too passive.

The British thing is going to cause trouble before all this is over.

Dewirix wrote:Things seem less bleak than they did when that German superstack first appeared on the French border. I note that the German's combat power has declined slightly since the last update (from 138 to 127), while France's has risen (from 84 to 90).

You seem to have the Austrians well in hand. Even their victories saw them take more casualties than you, and you're costing them far more lost elements than you're losing in return.

That said, it all turns on whether France can hold out. If the Central Powers win in the west it's time to get out with as much dignity as you can.


I think France has done pretty well so far. They have stalled the German advance and taken the chance for a small counterattack, but the first half of 1914 sees very little actual fighting on their front.

Austria has huge manpower reserves but I think I am starting to wear them down. As with the Ottomans many years ago, they have a finite capacity to build new replacements (less manpower and more a problem of keeping their industry running), so yes, I am hoping to reach a critical point at some stage.

Unfortunately, to keep the elephant metaphor going, as Director said a few posts back ... the elephant may have forgotten its new tricks but its still a lot of elephant

Stuyvesant wrote:Why on earth did the French decide that sending a 4,000-power stack suntanning at Trieste or Fiume was a grand idea, considering the grim situation on the Western Front? I can't imagine those troops are doing you much good...

Did you at least manage to burn down the Burgerbraukeller while your troops were sightseeing in Munich?

Essentially, we're back to the earlier situation: Italy can hold its own comfortably, but isn't in a position to force the course of the war on its front. It'll depend on the durability of your allies: if the French can hold out and continue to bleed the Germans, things look decent in the long run. If the Germans can start to push the French back, your position gets much more difficult.


Unfortunately I never even reached Munich as I got caught by an Austrian army even before I'd left Salzburg.

Given what happens in the first half of 1914, I'd say the entire French army has decided to hold a long philosophical discussion while read Liberation and smoking Galloises. It sure as hell does no fighting either in N Italy or in the Rhine region.

By the start of June, I'm reduced to making whimpering sounds that are meant to sound like manly requests for a bit of help ...

Stuyvesant wrote:And in the meantime those sneaky Americans are stealing your prestige and creeping up on you. Bad sports, them, for not joining in the worldwide fun and games. ;)

Director wrote:Well, as the British used to say, the only things wrong with Americans were that they were over-paid, over-sexed and over here...


yep so unsporting of the Americans. Here's Europe ripping itself apart in a war over a country that is fully occupied already and whose main backer has withdrawn. So what do they do ... build industry, conduct trade ...
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1914: January-June: Disaster at Vienna

Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:36 pm

The new year dawned with a very traditional manouver by the Italian army. Not the dashing white sergeant [1], but instead an attempt to capture the ruins of Innsbruck.

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While waiting for the inevitable German complaint that I've stood on their toes [2], I finish the final submarine tech.

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(these seem to do a lot of close range damage – the 25/30)

As is usual the Germans do indeed complain ...

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By early February, I've lost Innsbruck again and decide on a significant shift of strategy. I'm going to rely on the forts in Sud-Tirol and Trieste to protect Italy and gathered all five of my armies (around 15,000 in power) into a single offensive punch. I'm planning to strike deep into Austrian held territory in the hope of seriously damaging their commitment to the war.

This decision sets off 6 weeks of march, movement and minor engagements, that culminates in a major Italian victory at Laibach

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It appears that my attempt to distract the enemy has paid off as the Franco-Belgian armies have staged a recovery at Koln and captured the Ruhr.

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With Austria now off balance (and one army badly mauled), I push my advantage.

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With this victory I now seem to have split the two Austrian armies apart and both are weakened.

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(they still have 28,000 power but both armies are weakened – the red bar, and the one at Trieste clearly has supply problems – the green bar).

With this advantage, I decide its time to see if I can seize Wien while their armies are badly out of position.

At Trieste, the Austrians managed to keep up some pressure.

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(Eugene clearly has an early version of the mullet)

Far worse though, the Italian attack on Wien failed badly as a large German army had been hiding behind the weak Austrian screen [3]

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(yep an 800,000 strong German army was hidden, even worse, for once march to the sound of the guns failed me)

Suddenly, the Italian position started to crumble. Austrian commitment paid off at Trieste where the covering army was forced to fall back to Udine.

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The situation at Wien worsened as the entire 3rd Army was wiped out as it fell back

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Even a defensive victory at Buda could not mask the seriousness of the position

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One German army was at Salzburg, a second was following up its victory at Wien and Trieste was back under siege.

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My armies were in desperate need of reinforcements and replacements

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Suddenly Italy was looking to its French ally to relieve the pressure, especially as it appeared as if the French had not really done very much so far this year.

If I make a guess for Belgian, the Franco-Italian alliance has lost around 2.1m and the Austro-German armies some 3.7m.


[1] – best done when very drunk, it becomes more a form of gang warfare than anything else
[2] – much more fun but again best done when protected by large amounts of alcohol
[3] – this is a problem in an alliance war, you can only see the forces of one of your enemies in a given province – that is the German army I beat at Trieste at the end of 1913
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Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:03 am

This Wien push was awfully adventurous, at least in hindsight. I guess the Servizi Segreti completely failed at their task, or worse yet, deliberately misguided their comrades! For a second it seemed as if your generals thought they were back to the Napoleonic times and forgot they were fighting an industrial scaled war.

Still, it is good to see that on equal terms even if on the offensive your armies are quite superior to the Austrian rabble as we saw at the battle of Laibach. Any reason (except the obvious superiority of the Soldato Imperiale Italiano compared to the German Landser) for this quite massive victory?

Good to see that both Germany's and Austria's relative combat power have dipped below yours (68 for Austria, ouch!).

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Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:22 pm

loki100 wrote:Given what happens in the first half of 1914, I'd say the entire French army has decided to hold a long philosophical discussion while read Liberation and smoking Galloises. It sure as hell does no fighting either in N Italy or in the Rhine region.
Seems a bit early for the 1917 mutinies, especially considering the fact that the French have had some noticeable success in this war, but then again, we all know the prospensity for French public employees to go on strike... ;)

I'm trying to come up with a plausible real-world situation where a few ten thousands of Austrian soldiers successfully hide 800,000 slavering Huns. Needless to say, this isn't working so well (perhaps there were 50 Germans lined up, with Teutonic precision, behind each Austrian soldier? Or perhaps the Germans had taken their beach-hole-digging enthusiasm to new levels and created a hole deep enough to hide a couple of armies in?).

Things look pretty bad for you, right now. Lots of shell units deep into Austrian territories, powerful enemy armies on your flanks. I even notice a foolhardy rebellion in Udine (oh, and the continued French Club Med excursion, prudently relocated from Trieste so as to avoid any actual fighting). I hope you can drag your armies out of this looming encirclement and get them to defensible positions before those Prussians in Salzburg descend from the Alps for a bit of time-honored Germanic sacking of Italy. Perhaps send the Pope to have a word with them? It worked with Atilla (allegedly...).

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Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:53 pm

Stuyvesant wrote:Seems a bit early for the 1917 mutinies, especially considering the fact that the French have had some noticeable success in this war, but then again, we all know the prospensity for French public employees to go on strike... ;)

I'm trying to come up with a plausible real-world situation where a few ten thousands of Austrian soldiers successfully hide 800,000 slavering Huns. Needless to say, this isn't working so well (perhaps there were 50 Germans lined up, with Teutonic precision, behind each Austrian soldier? Or perhaps the Germans had taken their beach-hole-digging enthusiasm to new levels and created a hole deep enough to hide a couple of armies in?).

Things look pretty bad for you, right now. Lots of shell units deep into Austrian territories, powerful enemy armies on your flanks. I even notice a foolhardy rebellion in Udine (oh, and the continued French Club Med excursion, prudently relocated from Trieste so as to avoid any actual fighting). I hope you can drag your armies out of this looming encirclement and get them to defensible positions before those Prussians in Salzburg descend from the Alps for a bit of time-honored Germanic sacking of Italy. Perhaps send the Pope to have a word with them? It worked with Atilla (allegedly...).


They replaced every citizen on Vienna with German troops, and thus were able to hide in plain sight.

Don't forget the gold for the Pope to use as leverage to help the Germans "see the light" and follow in Atilla's footsteps.
Remember - The beatings will continue until morale improves.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:25 am

Jim-NC wrote:They replaced every citizen on Vienna with German troops, and thus were able to hide in plain sight.


Now I have this (anachronistic) image in my head of all Viennese 'citizens' marching in goosestep through the city and greeting each other with very enthusiastic 'Heils':

Stefan: "Heil, Gefreiter Fritz! Ze weather is wunderbar für einen peaceful Walk, nicht?"

Fritz: "Indeed, Schütze Stefan! Vould you care to accompany me on a pleasant civilian Stroll through ze Belvedere grounds?"

Stefan: "Zat vould be delightful!" <Clicks heels together>

<Stefan and Fritz march off in unison, singing 'Heideblümchen Erika'>

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Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:54 pm

Matnjord wrote:This Wien push was awfully adventurous, at least in hindsight. I guess the Servizi Segreti completely failed at their task, or worse yet, deliberately misguided their comrades! For a second it seemed as if your generals thought they were back to the Napoleonic times and forgot they were fighting an industrial scaled war.

Still, it is good to see that on equal terms even if on the offensive your armies are quite superior to the Austrian rabble as we saw at the battle of Laibach. Any reason (except the obvious superiority of the Soldato Imperiale Italiano compared to the German Landser) for this quite massive victory?

Good to see that both Germany's and Austria's relative combat power have dipped below yours (68 for Austria, ouch!).


I think you are right that the whole offensive was far more Napoleonic than WW1. My hope was with my full combat power brought together I had enough to get away with a single dramatic stunt. However, this was is not going to end so easily, but at least, even in failure, I am really causing serious damage to the Austrians. Their manpower might be able to cope, but I doubt their industry can, especially given that all new units and replacement chits cost manufactures and there are none to buy on the world market.

That battle at Laibach is quite instructive. I was defending in hilly terrain – in a way this is better than mountains as the frontage restriction (especially this late in the game) is minimal. They have a lot of militia (48 elements) which tends me to suspect they have a problem with their industry. I had a lot of tanks (20 elements) and they cause a lot of cohesion hits. Finally the bonus for National Morale was around +60 to me. If I was on the wrong side of that deficit, I wouldn't attack except with 2-1 odds and in good terrain. As it is, the Italians will fail no morale checks, but a lot of Austrian units will.

As Jim-NC noted a few posts back, the relative power is a bit misleading (it depends when I last saved to see if it includes naval power or not), and I do have a fair bit (probably about 3-4000 power in total) scattered across my colonies. But, yes, its indicative that they are failing to cope with their own attitional mode of warfare.

I'll pass on the chance to rant about SISMI.

Stuyvesant wrote:Seems a bit early for the 1917 mutinies, especially considering the fact that the French have had some noticeable success in this war, but then again, we all know the prospensity for French public employees to go on strike... ;)


well they do a damn sight less in the next update ... I think they've treated August as the traditional French holiday – I mean why not, there is after all only a world war on?

Stuyvesant wrote:Things look pretty bad for you, right now. Lots of shell units deep into Austrian territories, powerful enemy armies on your flanks. I even notice a foolhardy rebellion in Udine (oh, and the continued French Club Med excursion, prudently relocated from Trieste so as to avoid any actual fighting).


Well the next update will show that when in a hole, I don't always decide to stop digging ... it ends in a truely dire situation with about 40% of the army that opened this offensive dead or captured.

Stuyvesant wrote:I hope you can drag your armies out of this looming encirclement and get them to defensible positions before those Prussians in Salzburg descend from the Alps for a bit of time-honored Germanic sacking of Italy. Perhaps send the Pope to have a word with them? It worked with Atilla (allegedly...).

Jim-NC wrote:Don't forget the gold for the Pope to use as leverage to help the Germans "see the light" and follow in Atilla's footsteps.

I'm not sure if it was Attila or Alaric, but one of them was meant to have lost all the gold they were given as bribes in a river in southern Italy in modern day Calabria.

Stuyvesant wrote:I'm trying to come up with a plausible real-world situation where a few ten thousands of Austrian soldiers successfully hide 800,000 slavering Huns. Needless to say, this isn't working so well (perhaps there were 50 Germans lined up, with Teutonic precision, behind each Austrian soldier? Or perhaps the Germans had taken their beach-hole-digging enthusiasm to new levels and created a hole deep enough to hide a couple of armies in?).

Jim-NC wrote:They replaced every citizen on Vienna with German troops, and thus were able to hide in plain sight.

Stuyvesant wrote:Now I have this (anachronistic) image in my head of all Viennese 'citizens' marching in goosestep through the city and greeting each other with very enthusiastic 'Heils':

Stefan: "Heil, Gefreiter Fritz! Ze weather is wunderbar für einen peaceful Walk, nicht?"

Fritz: "Indeed, Schütze Stefan! Vould you care to accompany me on a pleasant civilian Stroll through ze Belvedere grounds?"

Stefan: "Zat vould be delightful!" <Clicks heels together>

<Stefan and Fritz march off in unison, singing 'Heideblümchen Erika'>


uhuh ... sounds about right. Guess its easier to hide 800,000 Germans in a large city that is already filled with people who speak German, but as Matnjord has noted, its not exactly a stunning triumph for Servizi Segreti. They are probably all at home plotting how to bomb their own population.
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1914: June-August, the retreat to Udine

Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:58 pm

At the start of June it appeared as if the worst of the crisis following the disaster at Vienna was over. Trieste, yet again, proved to be invulnerable

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And an Austrian attempt to follow up their victory by dislodging the Italian army at Marburg failed

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It appeared as if a strategy of bringing up fresh units and holding the Marburg-Zagreb positions might pay off, enabling the Italian army to hold a central position and be able to threaten Vienna when it had reinforced.

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To replenish the recent losses, a fresh round of mobilisation was ordered.

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Late June saw further slaughter at Trieste, as the Austrians attacked again

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And by early July the situation appeared to have stabilised enough to allow a fresh attempt to capture Vienna

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Unfortunately, yet again, the Italian command underestimated the true strength of the Austrian army

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Again, the Italian command tries to stabilise the situation by concentrating at Marburg. However, as in May, fresh German units destroyed a complete Italian army as it retreated from Vienna

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Some of the gloom was lifted by news of yet another Austrian disaster at Trieste, but this time the Austro-German armies followed up their success. Marburg was quickly lost, even if the Austrians paid a heavy price

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Setting off a desperate retreat to Udine

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This time, the rearguard had to fight off a series of attacks, each triggering yet another retreat, even if the Austrians carried on taking heavy losses

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And Masi managed to fend off the German army at Zagreb, before slipping away

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At least the French were able to fight off an attempt by Austrian partisans to capture Venice. Judging by their total losses, this may have been their main engagement of the summer.

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Despite this victory, by mid-August, the situation was dire. Trieste was under siege and a beaten Italian army was trying to reorganise at Udine.

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Not only have I lost a lot of experienced units (around 40% of the army that started the summer) but I have a lot of badly damaged units (you can see an indication of this at the bottom right hand side). I'm bringing up fresh corps and allocating them to my commanders, trying to release the most damaged and hoping for a turn or so when I can just draw down my replacements.

At least the Rhine front brought good news, with the French contesting German control over the west bank, and seemingly holding onto the Ruhr.

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In terms of losses, its clear the French army is taking it easy. Fortunately the Austrians continue to throw away their manpower on an industrial scale (I'd say easily 50% of that total have fallen at Trieste), but I've had a pretty bad summer. In fact, so far, I've had a pretty bad 1914.

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Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:23 pm

What naval activity has occurred in your war other then keeping the supply lines to Trieste open?
How has the blockade of German / Austrian Ports been doing - You thought that it would not have an effect because they could by materials from other neutrals. Have you found this to be true?
Have you considered coastal bombardment of convenient hostile forces? Part of your job is to just inflict casualties on units to draw replacements from the Austrian (and German) replacement pools.

Given the opportunistic nature of WWI - and the drubbing(s)(?) of Austria - Should you consider an scripting an Ottoman Empire \ Romanian \ etc. declaration of War against them?
Have you considered building corps as a second echelon / reserve - standing behind the line to swap out corps that either have a significant damaged elements or lost elements?
Even a few of these given the command penalties may prove useful.

Gen. Monkey-Bear
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Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:20 am

Yup, I sort of saw this coming, but I was still desperately hoping you could save those armies :( The entire campaign was very risky.

I think my 1914 offensive would have been much more cautious: basically place your armies in Udine, Laibach, and Fiume and surround the Austrian army sieging Trieste. Then beat back any attempts by the Austrians or Germans to break through.

Regardless, I guess you sort of need a more active strategy (but not as risky as charging at Vienna) because you need to take the pressure of your allies. Hopefully the second half of the year sees France making their own offensive, to relieve Italy's exhausted troops.

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Director
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Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:03 am

Hard to see what you could have done differently - the need to push hard and fast implied heavy casualties and an exposure to counter-attack. As for the German army 'hiding' in Wien, they were probably railed in only a short time before going into action. The Germans pulled that trick a fair bit in WW1 and the Austrians would have enthusiastically co-operated - indeed it bears a strong resemblance to von Mackensen's deployment in Galicia in WW1 and the 'loan' of German troops to the Caporetto campaign.

One thing that these strategy games do a bad job of modeling is the friction and inefficiency inherent in running a multi-ethnic army. The Austrians should be crumbling pretty badly by now but it seems there is still a lot of elephant left. If you can't beat the Austrian and German masses with your advantages in tech, artillery, tanks and other weapons, then I just don't know what to advise you to do.

France may not be incurring many casualties but she has done a lot better than historically, and a great deal better than the alternative, which is a half-hearted defense of southern France. I realize this is a bad time to look for a bright side, but I think the French have shown they would attack if they saw an opening and are smart enough not to waste men if they don't.

If you have been pushed down the funnel, your only option is to try to hold the smaller frontage and bleed out the attackers while you try to make good your losses. Germany... is a beast, and without Russia you just may not be able to win.

Stuyvesant
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Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:08 am

Brutal. I hope you will get the time to rebuild your armies - perhaps the Germans will join in the fun at Trieste? Of course, given their efficiency (and enormous single-army forces), they would probably walk right into that bastion of Italian pride.

Tense stuff and the risk of defeat seems very real. On the bright side, while you lunged at Wien to take the pressure off France (and got whooped mercilessly for your efforts), it now appears that the French are quite stable on the Rhine, so perhaps you can go over on the defensive and hope that the Germans railroad their killer stacks back to the Ruhr area (at which point you can creep out of your hidey-hole, all refreshed, and draw the Hun back to the Balkans). That's my hope, at least. If the Germans keep up the pressure, you could be in for a lot of pain.

Speaking of which: how are those fortifications in Italy proper coming along?

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Kensai
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Location: Freiburg, Germany

Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:28 am

loki100,

do you have the impression that the AI nations at war are moving against their objectives (which shall be their rival objective regions while protecting their own)? What is happening exactly in the German-French border?
Care to unify Germany as Austria? Recreate the Holy Roman Empire of the 20th Century:
Großdeutschland Mod
Are you tough enough to impersonate the Shogun and defy the Westerners? Prove it:
Shogun Defiance Mod (completed AAR)

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