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loki100
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Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:06 pm

la signora è bellissimo. Si ispirerà l'esercito italiano alla vittoria.
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Heeward
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Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:08 pm

Reconsider your war aims – What do you really want out of it?

Give your unquestioned naval superiority; use it to blockade the enemy ports. This will weaken their economies, and therefore reduce the flow of supplies to their troops.
This results in supply attrition and the depletion of the replacement pool.

Also given that you must have a trading fleet in every trade box, send / create a special commerce destroying group to approach the problem that way.

Or given the state of late war economies this strategy is ill-relevant?

Also at this time, even though Italy is a continental l power, with your empire you are more like Great Britain. Consider conducting your war in the same fashion. Supporting your allies as their nations manhood die like flies in industrial war, while you are scooping up Germany's overseas possessions at little cost.

cohimbra
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Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:24 pm

loki100 wrote:la signora è bellissimo. Si ispirerà l'esercito italiano alla vittoria.

:) You're right

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Director
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Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:25 am

The problem with fighting a defensive war is that Italy would have to live in the peace that followed: very likely a place with France destroyed as a major military power and Russia either marginalized or broken into a howling wilderness. The only safety for Italy is to fully extend herself to ensure the survival of her alliance partners. Whatever the cost, France and Russia must be saved or in the longer scheme of things Italy will be taken down by Germany and Austria. This is why I worry that standing on the defensive in the mountains, while wise, may not be politically possible. Italy needs to taunt the Austrians, pull them into an ill-considered offensive and wreck them - without being wrecked herself. Because let's face it: France can't stand up to Germany; it is likely that France and Russia can't stand up to Germany. Hence Austria must be taken down hard and fast so that the Italian armies can be redeployed.

At least that's how I see it. :)

The young signora is indeed bellissimo. An inspiration to victory, indeed.

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Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:30 am

I have to agree with Director, while an offensive is militarily risky, politically it is an imperative.

By the way, it is "La signora è bellissimA" ;)

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Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:29 am

Director has made a good point, we have to see this conflict from a different perspective. No as a war between Italy and Austria, like the previous wars. It's a world war and the consecuences of this will mark the following years.

Italy has now the duty of his responsabilities in the world leadership with all the risks and benefits that it represents. :winner:
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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loki100
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Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:52 pm

First thanks for all the comments and discussion, I'll deal with them in order but the key issues are captured in the final three comments. This is now an alliance war, not a solo effort by Italy, and one goal I face is keeping my allies in the war – so I don't have complete freedom to follow what is best for me ... and it is making this rather fascinating to play out (and rather realistic, even if in this alternative reality its Italy taking steps to relieve the pressure on the French etc)

Director wrote:My operational weakness is to rush all my forces into action and keep insufficient reserves, which is why I harp so much on the necessity of keeping strong reserves readily available (which I see you have done by creating a position of mutual support). Looks like you have a solid campaign plan at hand but it doesn't convince me that it will force the Austrians to respond. Strategically my model has always been that of Belisarius - to seize something the enemy cannot afford to let you have and then, by a strong defense, to wreck their army in fruitless, piecemeal assaults. I applaud you for thinking likewise but - without knowing what's coming - I don't see the Austrians being required to act here. They may do so, I just don't see that they must do so. Ideally they should screen and slow your forces while concentrating on giving Russia a thrashing. My instinct would be to push rapidly into the interior (see 'My operational weakness', above).

It is going to be a fine calculation since you need to balance 1) not wrecking your own army, 2) drawing out the bulk of the Austrian Army and destroying it, in order to 3) force Germany to aid Austria powerfully enough to relieve pressure on France and Russia.

I am very sorry (for your sake) that the elephant seems to have learned something from its previous trips to the elephant trap. That makes the AI smarter than the real Austrian high command. Typically an army learns nothing from victory and the wrong lessons from defeat which is why wars usually go wrong.

Wishing you the best... France and Russia need you to hurry; Italy needs you to hurry with deliberation. :)


Oh - almost forgot. Good to see all those lovely tanks. Does anyone else have them?


No one else so far has tanks, and they do deal a lot of damage in battle – the disruption effect is valuable as by now most armies have very high base cohesion.

Innsbruck and Klagenfurt I think are places the Austrians can't lose, not least as Salzburg is a plain and behind that is Wien. Unfortunately, to carry forward the earlier analogy, the Austrian elephant still likes to charge at well entrenched troops in poor terrain, its just that it has learnt some tricks since its last attempts.

I think this is a reflection of the late game techs – first everyone has better cohesion (=longer in battle) and second frontage is reduced (=more in battle). So I am no longer leisurely fending off a large force with a fraction of my own, even in mountains both sides can put a lot of firepower in the line.

Russia, as we'll see has already gone, France is showing some impressive elan

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:A tankette sounds like something my teenage sweetheart would wear on a California summer day. Cute indeed :)


living in the west coast of Scotland skimpy clothing is an invitation to hypothermia. Although I do recall the craze for Hawaain shirts hit Glasgow in about December ... with terrible consequences for the local NHS

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:But in seriousness, the way I see it the Austrian command has 3 options:

1. Russia First: Basically what Director said, screen Italy's frontier and destroy Russia's army first. This is smart, but risky because naturally it will be creating a weakness on the front where the enemy is strongest.

----Italy's Response: Act aggressively on the Austrian front. (My wild idea would be to attack mostly in the Balkans, from Albania, reconquer Serbia, then you can have an outlet to contact Russia and really encircle Austria-Hungary. But this is a little crazy; most likely Loki would attempt to move into the mountain regions he pointed out, as this is even more threatening as an advance in the direction of Vienna).

2. Balkans First: You may have noticed I like Balkan offensives :) But this basically has one goal, and is really only a strategy for the opening phase of the war. Austria can try for a quick warscore gain by invading and conquering Albania, then remain defensive on the rest of the Italian front while they fight Russia.

-----Italy's Response: Again, advance on the Austrian front to relieve the pressure elsewhere (Probably using Loki's strategy of taking the mountain provinces).

3. Italy First: They can of course take the path that Loki prays they will take, which is to slam their armies against the brick wall of Italy's defense. The only way this might succeed is if they use stormtrooper-style operations and send almost all their forces at the critical Udine region.

------Italy's Response: They simply need to defend well, something that Loki is a pro at. Then, while the Austrian army slams its head into the Italian frontier repeatedly, Italy can attack in the Balkans through Albania :)

Hmm, I guess we can learn two lessons here: 1) whatever Austria attempts, Italy still is in a good position to pressure them by taking the mountain provinces (as Loki plans), and 2) I am obsessed with Balkan wars.

As for Germany, I think their best plan of action is to defend along the French frontier and attack Russia hard. Even if France is weak, she can be reinforced by Italy's armies, so it would be a bad idea for Germany to attack most in France. Italy cannot however help Russia, and the disorganized Russian Army will flee at the sight of the Bulk of Germany's forces.


Strategically, the Austrians made the best choice, they hit Russia early and hard, aided by the Germans. This wasn't helped as it took me a few turns to get the scripts sorted out but by the time France and Italy were seriously involved, Serbia has been occupied and Russia was looking for an exit.

So my revised plan (rhe original didn't last January) was a mix. I can't be passive, or I presume France-Belgium will collapse, if I'm too aggressive too early then I risk my own defeat. But the broad options are as ever, find terrain, defend, kill and then move out – just I need to be more aggressive than either instinct or common sense would suggest.

Crixdaz wrote:Interesting, this time your handicap will be the shortage of generals. This prevents you of making great offensives and force you to remain in defensive attitude. Let's see the enemies reaction. Either way this will be an interesting situation :thumbsup:


Certainly at the start its a real problem, fortunately I get a few promotions which really eases the problem and the game engine generates some more 1 star commanders for me (helps with secondary forces). I'm not sure if the game engine starts to generate these if you are both at war and short of CP but gradually that problem will ease and my operational flexibility improve a lot

Matnjord wrote:Finally, 60 years, more than a 1440 turns (2 turns a month, 24 a year, correct?), all this bullying, warring, industrializing, colonizing, trading... has reached its goal! The war to end all wars is upon us!

I think everyone has said what needed to be said, I can only stand by the sideline pom pom girl style and cheer up the Italian army on its march to Vienna whilst listening to the sound of the guns and the roar of your pretty tankettes.



Yep, its hard not to see it in those terms. Having played 63 years I have 7 left in which to wreck Europe for the next 50 years ....

More generally its one of the good things about PoN, even late game the scripted/triggered events make sense. I remember playing say EU2 and by mid/late game the intrusions of reality made no sense and were slightly annoying. Here, as essentially the national structures of Europe have to remain intact, its less likely that something will be completely immersion breaking if it happens.

Heeward wrote:Reconsider your war aims – What do you really want out of it?

Give your unquestioned naval superiority; use it to blockade the enemy ports. This will weaken their economies, and therefore reduce the flow of supplies to their troops.
This results in supply attrition and the depletion of the replacement pool.

Also given that you must have a trading fleet in every trade box, send / create a special commerce destroying group to approach the problem that way.

Or given the state of late war economies this strategy is ill-relevant?

Also at this time, even though Italy is a continental l power, with your empire you are more like Great Britain. Consider conducting your war in the same fashion. Supporting your allies as their nations manhood die like flies in industrial war, while you are scooping up Germany's overseas possessions at little cost.


Your first question is sound. I think I could have simply sat this out, avoided any drama and reach 1920 as top country (I doubt the US would catch me). So one reason is to make the end game interesting, the nature of most games of PoN will be long periods of peace, this offers something different.

Now in game, I've decided my goal is the effective humiliation of the Germanic powers and to break up the Austrian empire (and I'll have Germany's colonies too). I think that fits the spirit of the age – I am the power in Europe and I want an end to these threats from across the Alps.

What I'm also doing is testing some things. Do the late game event chains work (sort of, but need some work), can the AI use a fleet (remember I've scripted them in) – yep it can, what does a late game war look like (bloody), whats it like to fight as part of an alliance – frustrating but realistically so.

Now I can't wage war the Italian way (sit on a mountain top and take pot shots at passing Huns) precisely as I need to keep my allies in the war, so its a case of picking the strategy that fits overall rather than best for me, now. This is, in my experience, pretty unique in this sort of game and it really adds to the fun.

You're right about the naval war. In the Med I am very much on top. The problem with commerce raiding is you can always trade via neutrals (ie if they have a ship in your trade box you can buy their goods and vice-versa) so its not easy to choke off all trade. I'm not sure if any of the later techs allow less restraint in this respect/.

Director wrote:The problem with fighting a defensive war is that Italy would have to live in the peace that followed: very likely a place with France destroyed as a major military power and Russia either marginalized or broken into a howling wilderness. The only safety for Italy is to fully extend herself to ensure the survival of her alliance partners. Whatever the cost, France and Russia must be saved or in the longer scheme of things Italy will be taken down by Germany and Austria. This is why I worry that standing on the defensive in the mountains, while wise, may not be politically possible. Italy needs to taunt the Austrians, pull them into an ill-considered offensive and wreck them - without being wrecked herself. Because let's face it: France can't stand up to Germany; it is likely that France and Russia can't stand up to Germany. Hence Austria must be taken down hard and fast so that the Italian armies can be redeployed.

At least that's how I see it. :)

The young signora is indeed bellissimo. An inspiration to victory, indeed.


That really sums up the situation, if I do a cautious defense in the end I'll face the might of Austria and Germany alone. I need to keep my allies in the war (and by the end of January one has already been beaten).

Matnjord wrote:I have to agree with Director, while an offensive is militarily risky, politically it is an imperative.

By the way, it is "La signora è bellissimA" ;)


she is indeed

Crixdaz wrote:Director has made a good point, we have to see this conflict from a different perspective. No as a war between Italy and Austria, like the previous wars. It's a world war and the consecuences of this will mark the following years.

Italy has now the duty of his responsabilities in the world leadership with all the risks and benefits that it represents. :winner:


I agree, and its what is making this a real challenge. I know I can wage a defensive war in the Alps (done it 3 times now) and strike back when it suits me, what I'm less sure over is how to take the offensive to an enemy with enough numbers to finish me off if I miscalculate ....
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January 1913 – Russia surrenders, Italian disaster at Innsbruck, France captures Brem

Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:00 pm

With Italy now facing the familiar task of war with Austria and the very unfamiliar task of waging a war as part of an alliance, the first good news arrived from Central Africa:

Image

In the meantime the French respond to the German attack aggressively [1]:

Image

Equally, as part of the colonial wars, Italy captures the German colonies off Australia

Image

However, a scouting expedition to Qingtao revealed that it was too strongly defended to be captured by the Italian forces in the Pacific theatre.

Image

As a distraction, the Egyptians came to visit and no doubt enjoyed viewing all the bits of their country stolen by the Romans some 2000 years ago.

Image

However, the war in Europe captured most attention.

The opening phase of the Italian plan appeared to be working with Laibach captured in early January:

Image

And Innsbruck a few days later.

Image

Relief more than celebration was the mood in a cold snowy Rome. At this stage the Italian front was fragmented and the main armies could not support each other.

Still the first sequence of Austrian counter-attacks at Innsbruck was repulsed in heavy fighting.

Image

This appeared to be a repeat of the pattern of the earlier wars. For 30,000 losses, Italy had inflicted 100,000 and was securely deployed around the vital town.

Still the speed of the Austrian response was a shock and the need to secure Klagenfurt and restore a proper defense line was clear.

Image

Unfortunately, the Austrian command seemed to have made the same analysis and launched a series of offensives to dislodge the Sixth Army. In a series of murderous battles that cost the Austrians over 250,000 men (and Italy almost 100,000), Sixth Army finally broke:

Image

Image

Image

In response 4 Army was hastily redeployed from Laibach to the SudTirol

Image

And fresh units were raised to replace those lost at Innsbruck

Image

However, even as news of the destruction of the Sixth Army (although all the supporting units fell back safely to Trentino), worse news came from the east.

Russia had surrendered after only 3 months at war [2].

Image

Austria had claimed Warsaw and had already occupied Serbia [3].

However, the Franco-Belgian forces had made significant gains in Western Germany, capturing Bremen and besieging much of the Rhine provinces.

Image

[1] – This is interesting, this is the first war since the very early game when the AI has had a fleet to use and it seems pretty aggressive. I've yet to see a major fleet battle but this, and the Prussian army in China, does indicate the AI will do naval raids if it has the tools
[2] – Since I was having problems making the WW1 chain work, they ended up fighting by themselves for 2 months. The big problem (I uncovered this while trying to work out what was going on with the Russo-Japanese war) is they have a huge army stack in St Petersburg. For some reason the AI won't break this down and it is clearly far too large to move by rail, so any response to the Austro-German invasion would involve marching (in the snow).
[3] – worse version of the above, the war started in August, Russia only responded in November, the Italian-French alliance only responded at the end of December. So two fronts have already collapsed.
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Matnjord
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Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:20 pm

Even without taking the defeat at Innsbruck into account (which seeing the casualty figures and your manpower recovery isn't very problematic) the early defeat of Russia is quite disastrous. The threat of a two front war has been prevented thanks to a reverse Schlieffen and now Germany can focus all of its resources on France. Which seeing your screenshot seems to have a rather flimsy invasion force in Germany.

Maybe it is time to try a different approach against Austria? Something like this perhaps:
The attachment Volantinodann.jpg is no longer available
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Volantinodann.jpg

Matnjord
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Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:44 pm

For those who don't speak Italian, it's basically telling the Viennese to stop fighting for those prussian suits calling the promised german victory "Like Ukrainian bread: you die waiting for it".

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Crixdaz
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Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:28 pm

The czar was disappointed me, this isn't the great war mentality. Lenin should do something about it. :laugh:
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:12 pm

As to naval battles, if the AI has a modern fleet, it will use it. In our MP, AI France attacked Britain (me), and used it's modern navy quite well (the navy had been built by a human player who retired from the game). So your experience is not out of the ordinary.
Remember - The beatings will continue until morale improves.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:12 pm

Matnjord wrote:For those who don't speak Italian, it's basically telling the Viennese to stop fighting for those prussian suits calling the promised german victory "Like Ukrainian bread: you die waiting for it".


its a brilliant poster - where did you find it? I love that phrase 'pane dell'Ucraina', there's a few in Roman dialetto with a similar meaning but usually involving the sex life of the Pope

Since it was clearly meant to influence the citizens of Vienna you do sort of think that writing it in German might have had more impact?
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Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:43 pm

loki100 wrote:its a brilliant poster - where did you find it? I love that phrase 'pane dell'Ucraina', there's a few in Roman dialetto with a similar meaning but usually involving the sex life of the Pope

Since it was clearly meant to influence the citizens of Vienna you do sort of think that writing it in German might have had more impact?



It was written by Gabriele d'Annunzio, you know, that crazy Italian writer who went on to create the Italian Regency of Carnaro? He wasn't exactly a very sane individual to begin with. He did however drop those leaflets over Vienna in German, I just though the Italian version would look better in the AAR (besides, I don't speak a word of german).

Oh, and I just used the time honored method of typing randomly in Google "WWI propaganda Italy" to find it. It's sitting nicely on the wikipedia page of the Kingdom of Italy ;)

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Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:21 am

France should really consider withdrawing those troops in Hanover back toward Bremen, or they might get cut off from the coast. Perhaps you should send some troops there to help hold the "Bremen Salient"?

It's nice to see Belgian troops actually on German soil, besieging a city on their side!

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Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:24 am

Tough luck with Russia. Are you sure you can't get them back in, or re-open the Balkan Front?

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Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:01 pm

Lovely poster. I was able to decipher the gist of it by relying on the ever-rustier high school Latin, though not all of it. Certainly would've made more sense in German, but then again, if I read it right, the author acclaims the Viennese for being intelligent - obviously, any intelligent being in this game knows at least basic Italian? ;)

Well, the war's on and it's off to a decidedly rocky start. Bloody nose in Innsbruck, but a bloody disaster with the Russian [s]cheese[/s] Borscht-eating surrender monkeys. Those French units touring the north of Germany seem to be nicely placed to get wiped out by the Prussian beast in the next turn or so.

I wonder what will happen if you can't keep France from falling - how long can you keep off the combined Austrian and Prussian armies?

How long until Russia can re-enter the war and do you have any means to effect their re-entry into the war, or are they done for in this game?

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Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:00 pm

Stuyvesant wrote:Lovely poster...if I read it right, the author acclaims the Viennese for being intelligent

Yes :) ...I try to translate the poster into english...well, my poor poor english!

"VIENNESI!
Get to know Italians.
We fly over Vienna, we could drop tons of bombs. But we drop only a three colors greetings: the three colors
of freedom!
We don't make war against child, old people and women. We make war against your government, who is enemy
of national freedom, against your blind, stubborn, savage government who can't give you neither peace nor bread,
and who feed you with hate and illusions.
VIENNESI!
You have a reputation to be intelligent people. Why you dressed Prussian uniform? By now, you can see it, all the world
turned against you.
Do you want to continue the war? Continue it. It's your suicide. What do you hope? The decisive victory that the Prussian
promise to you?
Their decisive victory is like Ukrainian bread: you die waiting for it. (thanks Matnjord!)
PEOPLE OF VIENNA, think about your (interests?). Wake up!
VIVA LA LIBERTA'!
VIVA L'ITALIA!
VIVA L'INTESA!"


...ahh, the old, dear propaganda... :D

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Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:29 pm

And so it begins.

Despite Sixth Army shattering, you seem to be holding your own against the Austrians for now. That, combined with a good showing from the French is some cause for optimism. The problem with the situation is that with Russia out of the game the German-AH alliance are probably able to redeploy significant forces to the two remaining fronts.

I'm guessing the next update will either be hectic and pessimistic, else eerily quiet.

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Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:04 pm

Matnjord wrote:Even without taking the defeat at Innsbruck into account (which seeing the casualty figures and your manpower recovery isn't very problematic) the early defeat of Russia is quite disastrous. The threat of a two front war has been prevented thanks to a reverse Schlieffen and now Germany can focus all of its resources on France. Which seeing your screenshot seems to have a rather flimsy invasion force in Germany.

Maybe it is time to try a different approach against Austria? Something like this perhaps:[ATTACH=CONFIG]26203[/ATTACH]

Matnjord wrote:For those who don't speak Italian, it's basically telling the Viennese to stop fighting for those prussian suits calling the promised german victory "Like Ukrainian bread: you die waiting for it".

Aye the loss of Russia is a disaster, its left odds of over 2-1 in power terms (worse as neither Germany nor Austria have colonial armies).

My instinct at this stage is losses don't matter. I have the impression that everyone can replace what is destroyed (if they retire to a safe province), so this is a matter of killing each other in substantial numbers till we start to reach the point where one side hits a problem (either temporary depending on the rythym of battle or sustained if they run out of manower)

Crixdaz wrote:The czar was disappointed me, this isn't the great war mentality. Lenin should do something about it. :laugh:


They've disappointed me too. There is a Russian Revolution chain but I think one key step is that Russia needs to be at war – and it seems as if the Tsar is taking no chances

Jim-NC wrote:As to naval battles, if the AI has a modern fleet, it will use it. In our MP, AI France attacked Britain (me), and used it's modern navy quite well (the navy had been built by a human player who retired from the game). So your experience is not out of the ordinary.


I've played some way ahead and have seen a fair bit of naval combat, even an air combat (I think that'll fall into the next update), so all sorts of new things are happening

Matnjord wrote:It was written by Gabriele d'Annunzio, you know, that crazy Italian writer who went on to create the Italian Regency of Carnaro? He wasn't exactly a very sane individual to begin with. He did however drop those leaflets over Vienna in German, I just though the Italian version would look better in the AAR (besides, I don't speak a word of german).

Oh, and I just used the time honored method of typing randomly in Google "WWI propaganda Italy" to find it. It's sitting nicely on the wikipedia page of the Kingdom of Italy ;)


d'Annunzio was a nasty piece of work (and a brilliant novelist). Given the level of domestic violence he indulged in its a bit rich to put out a poster claiming that his side didn't engage in war on women. He's one of the inspirations for Pasolini's 120 days of Sodom (not a film for the faint of heart)

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:France should really consider withdrawing those troops in Hanover back toward Bremen, or they might get cut off from the coast. Perhaps you should send some troops there to help hold the "Bremen Salient"?

It's nice to see Belgian troops actually on German soil, besieging a city on their side!


Belgium are pretty active, certainly have a big enough army to stand up for themselves. But yes that France invasion force was just swept away when the main German army moved west.

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:Tough luck with Russia. Are you sure you can't get them back in, or re-open the Balkan Front?


They have a set peace for a year. Can't see them wanting to return to the war, even though they now have a CB on both Germany and Austria. The Serbs do manage a bit of a revival (in early 1913) but I need to be exceptionally careful about not splitting my armies up if I can help it.

Stuyvesant wrote:Lovely poster. I was able to decipher the gist of it by relying on the ever-rustier high school Latin, though not all of it. Certainly would've made more sense in German, but then again, if I read it right, the author acclaims the Viennese for being intelligent - obviously, any intelligent being in this game knows at least basic Italian? ;)

Well, the war's on and it's off to a decidedly rocky start. Bloody nose in Innsbruck, but a bloody disaster with the Russian [s]cheese[/s] Borscht-eating surrender monkeys. Those French units touring the north of Germany seem to be nicely placed to get wiped out by the Prussian beast in the next turn or so.

I wonder what will happen if you can't keep France from falling - how long can you keep off the combined Austrian and Prussian armies?

How long until Russia can re-enter the war and do you have any means to effect their re-entry into the war, or are they done for in this game?


If France goes, I need peace asap. My problem is I am fully committed to my own front and can't spare anything for them. So we're back to my key issue – I need to launch offensives to try and draw off pressure on my allies, but at least they are tussling with the main German army (though there are plenty left over).

I think I'll leave Russia to its own ends. I have 2 scripts in place for GB. One is if the Central Powers do well, they will seriously consider joining in on their side (for revenge). The other is if the Italian-French alliance does well (this one I think reflects them suddenly realising this is their last chance to redress old wrongs). The first is another thing that is driving some of my actions.

Dewirix wrote:And so it begins.

Despite Sixth Army shattering, you seem to be holding your own against the Austrians for now. That, combined with a good showing from the French is some cause for optimism. The problem with the situation is that with Russia out of the game the German-AH alliance are probably able to redeploy significant forces to the two remaining fronts.

I'm guessing the next update will either be hectic and pessimistic, else eerily quiet.


hectic and bloody to be honest. They have a clear numerical advantage but lower NM than Italy or France. So we have a qualitative edge. As above, I think this stage is about killing enough people that one or more of the major powers hits a manpower shortage – I don't see any real collapse until we reach rock bottom. Since the first 6 months (ie exclude losses in Russia and Serbia) see 2.2 million dead, this is going to be a grim process.
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loki100
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February – May 1913, the Trieste and Rhineland campaigns

Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:11 pm

While I realise that no plan is meant to survive first contact with the enemy, I really didn't expect to see it in such a mess after only 4 weeks of the 'War to End all Wars'. Ahem.

The opening phase was a series of battles around Trieste

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Unfortunately, the main Austrian army in the Balkans is a lot larger than mine, so I opt to go over to the defense. At least I now hold one of their provinces which may encourage them to attack at Laibach where I can concentrate my armies, so I was hoping for them to attack Laibach

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Instead they struck hard at Trieste, inflicting my second major defeat of the war and again 2 corps were completely wiped out.

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At least by early March the Franco-Belgian armies seem to be firmly in control of most of the west bank of the Rhine, even if the Germans have destroyed the French units around Bremen and held onto Koln.

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Having won a massive victory, the Austrians threw it away. Impatient to push onto Friuli (Udine) and cut the Italian line of communications they launched an ill-prepared assault on the massive fortress of Trieste.

The result was a slaughter as the massive fortress guns outranged anything they had available.

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With Trieste secure (but still under siege), Italian units opted to hold onto their positions in western Croatia and to take Klagenfurt.

Mazza was promoted for this operation

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By early May, the Austrians had not retreated from Trieste and it was decided to drive them off.

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By late May it appeared as if the Italian portion of the war had shifted to Italy's advantage. Significant areas of western Croatia were occupied and the various battles at Trieste had inflicted heavy losses on the Austrians.

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In addition, a large Austrian force was besieging Tirana, removing one large army from the main theatre of operations.

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The end of May saw yet another heavy blow dealt to the Austrians as they tried to retreat from Trieste.

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(shows the problem of not being able to take on replacements as their losses start to translate to lost elements).

The Trieste battles in the period between February and May 1913 had cost the Italian army 260,000 and the Austrian army 680,000 dead. The result was an operational stalemate.

With the prospect of being able to bring large armies to bear now that the command capacity had improved, fresh formations were mobilised and would be available for the planned summer offensive in the Balkans.

The latter was now essential as the Germans had launched their own offensive in the Rhineland, inflicting damage on the French and forcing the Belgian army back to Brussels.

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So losses in the period January – May 1913 are around 920,00 for the Franco-Italian alliance and 1.3 million for Germany and Austria. At this stage, despite the defeats and the real threat to both Italy and France it appears as if we are winning in terms of losses and NM gains. The problem is that they have a joint power ratio of 327 to 192 (plus whatever Belgium has). The reality is even worse as both Italy and France have substantial forces in their colonies.

My guess is that so far, all the main nations have been able to replace their combat losses (I'm managing this fairly evenly) so over time a purely attritional war will favour the Central Powers.
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Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:03 am

With the prospect of being able to bring large armies to bear now that the command capacity had improved, fresh formations were mobilised and would be available for the planned summer offensive in the Balkans.


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.

Matnjord
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Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:54 am

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

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

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Dewirix
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Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:20 pm

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.

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Jim-NC
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Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:19 pm

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.
Remember - The beatings will continue until morale improves.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:29 pm

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!

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Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:40 pm

Should we consider a bug this überstacking by the AI? I mean, I have seen it more than once happening by now. Isn't the AI hurting its possibilities by making stacks of doom that are potentially "easy" to isolate and starve? I feel that in other AGEOD games this thing happens, but not so often as in PON. In PON it's the weapon of choice.

Good luck, loki! :)
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loki100
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Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:21 pm

Kensai wrote:Should we consider a bug this überstacking by the AI? I mean, I have seen it more than once happening by now. Isn't the AI hurting its possibilities by making stacks of doom that are potentially "easy" to isolate and starve? I feel that in other AGEOD games this thing happens, but not so often as in PON. In PON it's the weapon of choice.


I think its a bug as I recall a post from Pocus somewhere that indicated there was some code to tell the AI to break these up. The problem is there is not much of a malus, with my settings the AI is capped at -17% and I'm often happy enough to build armies that fight between -15 and -20. Equally late game, frontage has reduced so a lot more of it can fight. So up to a point its pretty sensible for the AI.

What I think is the AI puts its army in its capital at peace and adds new formations over time. That is ok for a west/central European power but causes Russia a lot of problems. They have an immense army, all at St Petersburg. Far too large for rail and it takes far too long to march it anywhere. So as happened here, Austria took Kiev in a few months and Germany took most of the Baltic states so Russia surrendered when it could have defended its borders and/or taken back what it had lost.

Where its just one doom stack you can do what Crixdax has just done and pull it out of supply and go for the kill. Its a bit like playing Russian roulette but you have odds on your side (of course if it catches one of your smaller armies it will squash it).

So I'm not sure, my instinct is it rather spoils the game, its a case of manipulating that force to its doom, or being caught and destroyed. While a number of smaller, supporting armies would give a better feeling - but might be harder to beat?

--- I'll do full feedback with the next update
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Matnjord
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Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:52 pm

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:
The attachment tumblr_m29ozrIW191r6y3vao1_500.jpg is no longer available


"Buy Liberty Bonds" for the italo-challenged.
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Director
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:47 am

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.

I 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?

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