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Crixdaz
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The fate of an empire, a story of a different Ottoman Empire

Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:23 pm

Wasn't my intention to create an AAR when I've started this game the last month. But I was lucky, the russians couldn't defeat me in the Crimean War. With strong ottomans armies in the frontiers and a bunch of deaths trying to take Kars unsuccessfully. The Russian Empire give some reparations and I live to see another day.

After that the luck doesn't leave me. The discovery of inventions like the early railroad and the industrial revolution, have allowed to me to develop the country. I've invested this earnings in technology and the army and this converted the Ottomans in a great power. I'm now at 1868 and some turns ago I've started to deplete the pool of industries and military. This was starting to be boring until:

Image

Austria after ignore the crisis with Prussia for the Hegemony in Germany declares the war to the turks! I've thought that this could be an interesting scenario and this is the reason of this AAR. Whatever the result of this war, this could be a good sample of the possibilities of this game and an alternative history awesome :thumbsup: .

Now I'm going to summarize the situation of this moment, this are my armies in the west:

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and in the east:

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The 4 armies of the west and the 3 armies of the northeast are similar. The armies reach the limit of command points of their generals to improve the efficiency. This is an example:

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They have also engineers, doctors and supplies

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When I depleted the armies pool I've started to fill the replacements pool.

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I've invested also in a huge railroad network.

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I've lines to all my frontiers and the edges of my empire

Now the economy:

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The tariff tax it's at his maximum, this allow me to develop a national economy. I've invested to fulfill all the needs of my population.

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I've fulfilled all the needs, this improves the contentment 0.67% per turn and I've got a 90% at average. To achieve this I've got only to import some gold, the rest it's national production.

I'm in the top of the technological competition, now with the surplus I invest even in technologies than I don't need.

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I've started to develop the colonies recently:

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I've declared Libya a colony, all the rest of the arabian peninsula (except arabia) are protectorates. Now I'm trying to convert them into colonies, but with the limited ottomans options it's very slow.

In the diplomatic front, I've got defense agreements with UK and France. They are more useful as a deterrent tool than a real help.

Image


There is the statistics. Russia disappeared from this table when they started a war against Japan, I guess they are the first military force:

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Statistics of Austria:

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They have more power than I've got and I don't expect help from my allies. But I've recently developed a new breech-loaded gun and discovered some technologies to reduce the hits and the fall of cohesion in movement, this could be an advantage.

This is it, some advices? The only thing I've got clear it's to move the best generals to the western front :wacko: . I'm not very confident in the result of this conflict, but I promise to continue the narration regardless of the results. :thumbsup:
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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loki100
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Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:06 pm

great to see you doing this, the brief description you put on the main forum make this a fascinating game.

Your armies are well organised and you have lots of reserves.

The Balkans includes a lot of rough terrain so I'd say try and defend. The AI gets impatient and sooner or later will attack, try to deploy to make the most of 'march to the sound of the guns' and settle down to the grim business of killing the youth of Austria. Once you feel they've weakened, think about your wargoals. If it is essentially defensive, then offer peace when you have a decent warscore.
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Stuyvesant
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Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:11 am

Awesome! Another PON AAR! Looking forward to your war. I can't offer any advice, but having tagged along with loki's AAR from the beginning, I think it's safe to say he offers good tips. Staying in the hills/mountains with mutually supporting armies sure helped him when he was massacring the Austrians in his Italian AAR.

Best of luck, I look forward to seeing how this plays out. :)

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Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:21 pm

Don't forget to defend your railline - it's your supply source for any forward deployed armies.

Watch out for the AI stack of doom (the massively large stack that the AI tends to create to capture things). The AI doesn't have as bad a penalty as you do for an under commanded stack.
Remember - The beatings will continue until morale improves.
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Crixdaz
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The first two months

Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:43 pm

Thanks for the advices, this is just beginning :thumbsup:

The first two months

Thanks to the railroad network of both countries, the armies reach the frontier soon:

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The first enemy army appear and the fight begins:

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At late September the front it's defined:

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The austrians occupies all Bosnia and Herzegovina, except the city of Sarajevo that fall soon:

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A second battle in the same place:

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At early October the armies reached the front:

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The combats stopped and my replacement pool remains healthy:

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Until now the balance it's favourable:

Ottoman Empire: 50.690
Austrian Empire: 80.400

At late October some enemies armies retreat and some of mine reaches the front:

Image

But the important news came from diplomacy:

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Our allies will not support us, we'll be alone in this war. This is an important setback for their prestige:

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This is the situation so far. Seems to be that we have similar armies in terms of power. The incredible for me it's the lack of efficiency of my artillery. In both battles I've been the only one who receives ranged damages. The report shows that the enemy start shooting at the range of 8 and I do at 0. Why?

My only strategy so far has been to defend the province that connects both countries. Soon I'll have all my armies in the zone, only minor forces are outside the Balcans to stop rebellions. Are the austrians attack again or they'll be defending his conquest so far?
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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loki100
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Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:10 am

you've done well in the opening phase, standing on the defense is good for wearing them down (they take the cohesion hits for movement etc). My experience of the AI is it will try to move around you, if it feels unsure it will halt for a while in a stalemate but sooner or later it will return to the offensive.

I'd guess your artillery is much older than what they are using. When I fought the Ottomans, in much the same time line I won all the ranged duels (one of my major defeats was in a snowstorm when the battle was all in the assault phase), but I'd guess your artillery is contributing substantially to that close range slaughter you are inflicting on them.
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Crixdaz
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Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:07 pm

The winter it's here

At late October some cavalry units cross my lines and end bad:

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Later Austria makes another attempt of invasion:

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The result it's an indecisive victory:

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On the other hand the life continues. The economy it's growing (we reach the 9 position), we discover more technologies and also we can convert Kuwait into a colony:

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At late December the main armies of the enemy retreats and my last army reach the front:

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Now I can use all my generals with 3 stars with their forces. It's the time to make choices:

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The russians become news, they take the Sakhalin island and more important: They start a Partial Mobilization!. Is the conflict with Austria related?

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We are reaching the start of 1869, my main forces have reached the zone. But my morale is being reduced slowly due to the occupation of Bosnia.

My problem with the National Morale and the possible intervention of Russia could force me to take the initiative now that I can. I should attack now that the enemy has retreated his forces or I need to be more patient?
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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loki100
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Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:25 pm

you've done well but I'd think about your war goals and tailor the next stage to what you can achieve. I'd suspect you can't gain much (anything?) off the Austrians so really you want them to go away leaving you with a nice pile of prestige from won battles. If so, especially in winter, I'd not want to risk being the attacker. So far they have paid the cohesion price for triggering the battle not you, if that is reversed you run the risk of a bad beating.

Russia, I'd suspect may have mobilised for one of its many tussles in Central Asia, use the F9 screen to check who is at war with each other.
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Crixdaz
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Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:11 pm

I'll take your advice at least during the winter, maybe the austrians will try again an attack and make things easier in case of counter-attack.

My plan in case of victory (I admit that it's ambitious :wacko :) , is to weaken as much as possible Austria. To disable it as a threat to me in the future, maybe I could force it to release countries like Hungary, Bosnia or Croatia.
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

Gen. Monkey-Bear
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Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:55 pm

Por otro lado, la vida continúa. La economía está creciendo (se llega a la posición 9), descubrimos más tecnologías y también podemos convertir Kuwait en una colonia:


Ja ja, hombre, se me hace que usted quería poner ésta en el cuartel español :)

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Crixdaz
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Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:08 pm

:bonk: Thanks for warning me. It's already fixed
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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Crixdaz
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Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:44 pm

The first 3 months of 1869

During this time the front was quiet, great formations of enemies were moving along the frontier. But the situation wasn't change at all and the weather was still bad. At late January some news reached Istanbul:

Image

A new general of 2 stars join to the army also an important news came from Vienna: A partial mobilization has been ordered! It seems that our defenses seems too strong for their army. So they want to expand their forces.

At late March, the austrian mobilization seems to be finished:

Image

The new proportion of forces is alarming, before was between 105 a 115, now it's 200. If we had before some plans to take the initiative now it's impossible, our only hope is to resist defending because we haven't the choice of mobilization.

The actual situation on the field:

Image

The weather is still bad, but it will improve in the next weeks. Our only choice right now is to wait the offensive of the strongest army in the world.

Seems that the fate of the turks in this alternative history is not much more better than the historical. :crying: The situation cannot be more exciting!. :p ompom:
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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loki100
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Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:56 am

from that last image it looks like your front line armies have supply problems (third, green, bar), if you can't improve that then its worth thinking of falling back - on top of the other challenges you really do not need the issue of being low on supply/ammunition.

Otherwise it still looks like a robust defense, but I can imagine it is rather tense and worrying.
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Crixdaz
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Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:18 am

So far I haven't problems with supplies but could be a nice idea build a depot.

Now I can only wait and see.
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

Heeward
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Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:52 pm

What kind of navy and coastal defenses do you believe the Austrians have?
If the navy is weaker than yours seek to blockade their ports, Austria does not have many and that would strangle their non-European trade.
With the Austria’s large mobilization consider launching an amphioxus raids. It might draw off some of the reinforcements.


Supply problems – review your supply trains in the front line stacks and start cycling them back to a major supply source. However, be sure to leave one with each command to so that you receive the supply wagon bonus in combat.

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Crixdaz
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Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:17 pm

Thanks for the advices Heeward! I haven't paid much attention to the navy in this game, but I could consider some amphibious assaults in the future.

Right now the enemy is the only one with supplies issues. I want to take advantage of this opportunity with all my forces because this is the biggest threat now.

The breakout

The weather improves and the fight returns:

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Our predictions are confirmed, Austria launches a big offensive. More than a million of soldiers charge against our lines:

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We retreat to the adjacent provinces

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And they attack again, this time they are almost a million and a half

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They've divided his army into two big forces, one it's protecting their rear and the other one is siege Sofia. An important data: both have a supplies issue.

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Even with the loss of territory, my losses are tolerable and they took the worst part. My generals are congratulated by those battles. :winner:

The static front is now over, the war of movements begins. At this moment I prefer to continue my strategy until now and continue to defending . Also this is a good idea by their problem of supplies, it's just a matter of time, they'll start to have losses by lack of supplies. They cannot maintain a huge army in enemy territory without troubles.

The prognosis until now has been true: They've launched an offensive with their mobilized soldiers and the situation it's becoming even more exciting. :niark: Any suggestions?
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

Gen. Monkey-Bear
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Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:23 pm

First, make sure Istanbul is safe, just in case. If they go for Istanbul you can surround them and cut off their supplies.

If they stay to siege Sofia, then reinforce the city if you can. You need to keep them there until their supplies run out. Keep your armies in Macedonia so you could have the flexibility to strike their supply line at Nish or defend Thesaloniki if necessary.

But mostly good luck, and careful that Russia doesn't intervene now that you are weak.

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Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:26 pm

Or, you can always ask for peace :)

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loki100
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Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:07 pm

I'd endorse Gen. Monkey-Bear try to reinforce Sofia to drag out the siege to create a focus but to cost them supplies.

Its an interesting situation, the AI is actually pretty good at mobile warfare and will go for your lines of communication if it can, so this could well come down to who can force the other to starve first.
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Crixdaz
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Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:20 am

Thanks for the advices. Sadly I don't expect that the siege will continue for long, it has no defenses and they'll probably launch assault the next turn. I want to continue the defense using the rivers and hills/mountains waiting for a chance to strike when they're weak.

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:Or, you can always ask for peace :)


My idea is to sign a peace when there is a clear winner or a stalemate. I want to continue this show in a realistic way to make it more interesting for the audience :D

loki100 wrote:Its an interesting situation, the AI is actually pretty good at mobile warfare and will go for your lines of communication if it can, so this could well come down to who can force the other to starve first.


So far I have no complaints about the AI behaviour. First they've attacked when they have some advantage and occupy quickly some regions. When they're chances of advances decreased, they ordered the movilization and wait to launch the assault when the weather improves.

Certainly it's acting in a very clever way so far and represents a real challenge. We'll see soon how they manage the present offensive and if I can stop them or weaken them.
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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Crixdaz
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Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:41 pm

War of atrition

After the expulsion of Pristina, we take defensive positions...

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...and they dump us again. Now all the forces retreat to Thessaloniki, waiting the final assault:

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and it happens:

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We win 10 NM and at the next turn they run away

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At early November the enemy still have the superiority despite the battle. And this time they merge their forces in one stack

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But the winter comes and they decide to retreat. There is the actual situation and the data that we have of this new monster:

Image

I can regain some territory as they are inactive. I've got to take advantage of this situation now, It seems that they only attack in Springtime or Summer.
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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loki100
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Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:08 pm

you did well there, seemed like a certain defeat but its clear they are having supply problems.

I'd gamble on taking land back - as you say the alternative is that next spring they will start where the current front lines are.

One thing in your favour is if they keep on mobilising then domestic unrest will start, especially if you push their national morale down
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Gen. Monkey-Bear
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Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:55 am

It looks like you should have three objectives for the winter:

1. Relieve the siege of Plevna in the northeast. It may not seem urgent, but this could be your chance to totally defeat one of their smaller forces.

2. Retake most of the lost territory. This leads us to:

3. Blow up any depot or fortress that they could use in their advance. This includes Sofia, and especially Nish. You will need to recapture it first, but then blow it up as soon as you can. It may be tempting to try and hold on to, but the reason is this: they will rest and regroup that massive force during the winter. They will be even stronger when Spring comes, so the only battle you will be able to fight is a defensive one like at Thessaloniki. But with a force that big, they will need depots to supply it. So your best bet is to use a "scorched-earth" campaign so they will have supply issues the further they advance. Don't be afraid to give up ground as they advance; just make sure that all the ground you give up is worthless to them if they can't supply their army. After they are low on supplies then you can face them on equal ground.

Good luck.

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Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:10 pm

I see you have invested into Cyprus. This is normally of no avail because the British will get it by event in the 70's.

I agree with Monkey-Bear and loki. The game now comes down on who starves first. Detach a few smaller forces to cut of every supply line. They will soon start to have problems.
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Crixdaz
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Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:56 pm

I guess that the British should get Cyprus if I lose in the balkan wars. And that's not my intention.

A successful counter-attack and the first offer of peace

Using your advice,I start the plan of my first offensive of the war:

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We finally reach 1870, and we find new technologies:

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Also a historic event, which leads to the Franco-Prussian war. But in this game is completely useless, the prussians haven't made yet a movement to unify Germany:

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To celebrate the new year, I start to finish the economic development of my colonies. In a year I'll be completely also self-sufficient in luxury goods.

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In the war the plan is going well so far:

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I've recovered back part of Greece and I've started the siege Sofia and Skopje, as you can see in the picture I've trapped an important force in Skopje.

At the next turn the good results are confirmed, Sofia is assaulted without troubles and the army of Skopje surrenders:

Image

Austria reacts sending their main force, but as you can see they have supplies issues yet and the bad weather we'll be good to my defence.

Thanks to the offensive success, it's the first time in the war in which I've reached positive score. Now I can see the nations that could be liberated:

Image

They advance to my lines but without combats, I take advantage to keep liberating territory.

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At the next turn there's no combat neither. I have the control of everything but Albania and the siege of the north.

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An important event, Austria offers peace:

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The deal are small reparations of war, like the russians did in the previous Crimean war. Should I accept?

I could take the risk and try to defeat their forces, now than they're poor of supplies and completely surrounded. The final objetive would be the liberation of Croacia to have a buffer zone between our nations.

But the disadvantages are many:

-I don't know how long and how costly would be the conflict to achieve my goal.

-My forces and resources are intact, but I don't know if this conflict could destroy them.

-In a few years from now, a historic event will trigger a war between me and Russia plus all the nations of the Balkans.

The smarter choice (and the lesser fun) should be to accept the peace. The possibilities of achieve something from Austria are low and there is another big conflict near. Opinions?
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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loki100
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Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:56 pm

hard choice to make. If you have a lot of warscore, you can convert that into good relations (I'd offer a white peace as the reparations are meaningless to both sides) with Austria. Equally Russia is your real enemy ... they have territorial interests and the pan-slavism events will fire soon.

If I recall, the 1877 events only give the Russian AI a CB so it may well not lead to anything (I've modded this to be a declaration of war as an independent Bulgaria is important for later), but you can use this war to train your generals and your armies.

I'd say go for a better victory and you have the safety net of being able to make peace just in case. Oddly the more you humiliate them, the more you can make them like you (not used warscore = improved opinion).
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Stuyvesant
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Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:42 pm

A lot of activity over the last few days! I like the way the war has see-sawed back and forth: you started off well, then the Austrians threw those million-strong armies at you, then you slaughtered them at Thessaloniki... And now the Austrians are offering peace! Excellent! I assume that's a reflection of the fact that Austria's monstrous army is trapped in Skopje with supplies running low.

Now, I'm a cautious sort, so I would make peace in a heartbeat (especially knowing that the Russians will probably come knocking in a few years), but then again, I haven't actually played the game, so the advice of others is more valuable. I'd say follow loki's advice, but just be careful not to give the Austrians an opportunity to inflict a dramatic defeat on you - they might not be open to a peace deal after that.

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Crixdaz
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Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:57 pm

Due to my good position, the 7 years left to the next war and the desperate situation of their main force. I've decided... refuse the peace!

Image

I've started this AAR because this interesting situation and finish the war now in the better part it's insane, also your advices help me to take this decision ;) . Now than we know that Austria cannot win, let see if the Ottoman Empire can make it.

My idea will be the same, I'll try to make them as weak as possible and to liberate Croatia. Right now I'll keep defence positions, waiting for the movements of his army in Macedonia. The show go on:

The situation changes dramatically

At this turn good news everywere!:

Image

Well, not every place, Prussia start another economical crisis, but we don't care. In Yemen the population accepts my rule and I can move my troops to Europe, thanks to my railroad network I can send them in only one turn to the port of Lebanon.

Let's see that what really matters, the news of the front:

Image

The enemy starts to losing men due to the lack of supplies, their cohesion will start to drop soon so their chances of survive starts to decreasing:

Image

The effect it's huge, the relation of forces returns to the values previous before the movilization. Take a look also in to the number of prisoners, more than 100.000, the population shouldn't be very happy.

At late March they send another peace proposal... that we'll ignore:

Image

This time there are no losses due to the lack of supplies and some of my armies came from Asia.

Image

But we have another advances, their morale drops to 93 and some rebellions starts in Croatia (what a coincidence). We also see the appearance of another army in Bosnia, they could try to make a last movement.

Image

At early April the debacle:

Image

The lack of supplies almost destroys their main force and starts to affect to the army of the north. The war it's definitely now on my favour.

Image

For the first time in years I've got a better army than theirs. And I also reach the fifth position in the nation score.

Image

Their rebellions continues and their army is resting in a city. Now it's the time for offensive.

Now that they're so weak, I want to launch a general offensive to destroy them and earn some morale and war score. First I'll attack their force of Macedonia, lift the siege of the north and to siege their army now that I can.

These are my plans for the next turn, the only problem it's the bad weather. But if I achieve my objetives, all the threats will be eliminated and I'll start to retake Bosnia. What do you think?
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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Jim-NC
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Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:42 pm

The AI will probably send you a peace proposal every few turns as they are now "losing" the war. This may cause you problems if you want to send them a peace proposal of your own. You may have to script their diplomats to 0 to allow you to send your peace proposal (whenever that is).
Remember - The beatings will continue until morale improves.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

Stuyvesant
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Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:57 pm

The main Austrian army went from 25,000 power to roughly 3,000. Purely from attrition. That is just an unbelievable turn of events - the Austrians really screwed themselves when they didn't break out from that encirclement.

Your prospects look good. As long as you can get an offer through to the Austrians, you can essentially end the war whenever you want to. That gives you a lot of freedom to see how far you can push them. Good luck!

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