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Don77
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AAR from the Beta

Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:03 am

Lets play Wars of Napoleon's eh?

Enocm and I have been playing AGEOD for a couple of years now. We've played Revolution Under Siege, Civil War II and most recently To End all Wars. Playing using the same game engine means once you have figured out how to play, you can focus on how to win. Which we both want to. A lot.

This was my first great Napoleonic strategy game - we all have a lot to live up to;
[ATTACH]35437[/ATTACH]
Most importantly, the engine allows great person to person competition (ie PBEM). We've played two player as well as roping in his elder son Kon3 for RuS and EAW three players. We really enjoy the combination of strategy and operational art.

We've really been looking forward to Napoleon II - Wars of Napoleon, which we are going to play using the beta test version 0.96 as at 10 November. Enocm is the coalition , and I the French. 'En Guarde'.
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WoP.JPG

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Don77
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Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:11 am

Settings:

For settings we try for the most historical and challenging, with limited automation and to minimise any ahistorical advantages. We chose the below
• Fog of war - On, obviously - I've never wanted to give any Eno any more information than I possibly can
• Foreign entry - historical;

• Logistic options: Easy supply - not just no, but 'hell no'! Attrition - historical. Automated replacements - we chose manual, ie no AI investment. All To keep a 'real' feel for the challenges of keeping our armies supplied and manned. Eno is a professional logistician, so he hopes that my proven inability to buy chits will help him.
• Command options: Medium delayed commitment - adds an air of uncertainty without ruining too many plans. Plus as my girlfriend would agree, I tend generally not to commit too quickly. Activation - full uncertainty, the real Clausewitzian friction - not knowing which generals will be active, and hence follow orders. Generals - we chose historical for the purposes of the AAR, that way people will more easily follow and enjoy the story. Normally we choose randomised, again to maximise the uncertainty.

• Naval boxes - again as manual as we can.
• Extended pool - no, to maintain historical balance. Last thing we want is the 'Total War' solution where every army is a fully elite force.
• Traffic penalty - this is a great feature which we hope will further accentuate the uncertainty of war and friction of movement.[ATTACH]35403[/ATTACH]
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Settings.JPG

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Don77
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Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:13 am

But which war are playing - and against which coalition?[ATTACH]35404[/ATTACH]

The real story is well explained here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleonic_Wars

For WoN -there are five scenarios available in the Beta. Waterloo, Austria (05-06), Prussia (06-07) which are short scenarios. There are two campaigns. The first (Scenario 4) is Aug 05 through Dec 15. This represents essentially the start of the Wars of the Third Coalition, when Austria and Russia were poised to attack, with the Grande Armee at Boulogne for the never conducted invasion of Britain, the Army of Italy, and the French Navy situated to draw Nelson away.

We are going to play the biggest of the scenarios, which starts in Jan 05. We think this allows the French the choice to go ahead and invade Britain, or to pre-empt Austria and Russia, or await their initiative when they will attack in the mid year. Or whatever my battle plan happens to be.
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Scenarios.JPG

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Don77
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Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:26 am

Most importantly, I hope this is interesting and enjoyable to read. This game came about as we asked AGEOD to let a late-comer play-test (one of us missed the initial call for Beta Testers). They agreed, but only on the condition we make our PBEM public and help the community. What, the punishment for wanting more AGEOD is to to play more of it - winners all round here!

Do ask questions and feel free to advise. As they say, all the mistakes are mine. And as I (and Eno) are Aussies, all the contextual jokes and slang are self-evidently not 'proper English or French or 'merican'.

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Don77
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Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:49 am

Firstly, the sea and fleets.

I will start with sea, because that is the biggest strength to my opponent, how Britain can use its moat and RN to circle France.
• The game maps allow play (boxes) for the greater part of the Imperial, Napoleonic and Colonial world - North and South America, West Indes, Africa and the the route though to the East Indes. As far as I can tell, the then New South Wales won't get a mention. The game has many sea boxes, great room for manoeuvre from the seas here - see attached images.
[ATTACH]35406[/ATTACH][ATTACH]35407[/ATTACH][ATTACH]35408[/ATTACH]
• I need to learn how to use the trade areas, otherwise I'll suffer the blockade. See how my lack of financial planning and logistics is going to hurt!
[ATTACH]35405[/ATTACH]

So, balance of forces and implications:
• For the French - probably one main battle fleet - can this wide expanse of sea be used to raid, lead away the RN, dissipate its strength?
• The Coalition - The RN has the ability to raise I guess three main battle fleets; Russia and Austria will have something, plus Denmark and other minors.
• So - the FR fleet is a great threat but can be well defeated by the RN. The 'Fleet in Being' (Mahan?) is a great opportunity, and gives the coalition some serious concern. But once that fleet is committed, it is clear what I may do (invade Britain, Ireland, any other ideas?). And once committed, I risk losing it. A defeated FR fleet means a great relief to the Coalition.
• So, my principles here are - NOT to lose my fleet, to avoid risking an 'all or nothing' gamble, and to maintain the potential, so as to cause the Coalition to have to maintain its fleet and hence expenses.
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Map - North American.JPG
Map - Indes, South America.JPG
Map - Africa, India, East Indes.JPG
Map - trade.JPG

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Don77
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Thu Nov 19, 2015 3:19 am

The land war. As they say 'Never start a land war in Asia' (Princes Bride), so given this largely Europe - should be good eh?

The map looks great, so use the overlays mates.
• Terrain - follow the roads, anywhere else just makes life harder - life is tough enough already. Planning, speed of march, MTSG, all those will make me use roads wherever possible.
[ATTACH]35412[/ATTACH]
• Supply - Stay in it. Roads and ports enable supply (D'uh). The idea of bypassing forts and ports will be tough here (I hope) - that should reinforce the value of logistics in the game.
• Good example of important safety tips - check the terrain and the weather. I see Gibraltar has two stacks of around 200pwr? I ALSO see it is mountainous, and subject to harsh weather, let alone the fort level 4 or 5?. 'Note to self - think VERY carefully before attacking that hedgehog', don't even think of an amphib landing!
[ATTACH]35409[/ATTACH][ATTACH]35411[/ATTACH]
So, balance of forces
• France Two armies - Grande and Italy, totalling say 200K.
• Br - many smaller armies, say 100K all up?
• Austria - I think 3 armies say 300K
• Russia - similar, probably 3 armies, more manpower (400k?) but weaker.
• I won't win by fighting them all at once, nor en-masse. Napoleon dealt with this through massing his forces, tactics (more of military reforms later) including corps MTSG and diplomacy (again, more of that latter). He could defeat larger forces by defeating their component parts. My problem, is I ain't him.
• So, my principles here are to concentrate force, use supporting armies and corps, use good leaders, focus my reforms on land, and focus my diplomacy on fighting the coalition sequentially (definitely NOT at the same time).
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johnwayne-vi.jpg
bag of hammers.jpg
Map - Gib.JPG

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Don77
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Thu Nov 19, 2015 3:27 am

Right, after that marathon I need to
a. have a beer
b. actually load the game and come up with a plan.
c. ensure my beloved GF continues to love and support and feed me
= back with more stuff tomorrow.
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Don77
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Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:54 am

Diplomacy

Lots of really neat options here. France -lets maximise our friendships, and use diplomacy to control or at least maximise the chances of wars going at a time of our choosing. Any other ideas (especially from those who have played PoN?). It is hard to 'theorise' about diplomacy, so I am just going to lay out my first diplomatic options as FR
[ATTACH]35427[/ATTACH]
Major Powers:
• Spain - positive options lots of them, maximise options for the Iberian peninsula.
• Russia - again positive, let the furtherest in distance be slightly slower to commit against us in 05.
• Austria - bring it on as soon as we can in 05 - lets get a Cassus belli soonest so we can thrash that country alone.
[ATTACH]35425[/ATTACH]
• Prussia - positive options, the 'least negative of the major powers, lets cause delay, to delay any entry into war perhaps into 06?
• Britain - gets nothing. I sense a long running emnity here..........

Minor Powers. Most importantly, I need to re-read my high school history as most of these are at best slightly known to me. I suggest dealing with these either according to relations (good, bad, neutral) or just pick a geographic focus (ie Straits of Gibraltar) and work on the adjacent nations? My picks for today (I did have beers last night, apologies for any unintended lunacy):
• Central and high value - Bavaria, Nassau (95 each) - push to get to 100.
• Wurttemberg and Baden (35, 45) - push to get to raise as much as possible.
• Denmark and Tuscany - flanks to the north and south - lets raise them as much as possible.
• Nice options in geography - Morocco (25), Persia (35) - Not sure how many diplomats I'd have available, and what value they provide, who knows really?
• War options - Algeria (-25), Egypt (-95) - casus belli here ?
• Note FR is at war with Britain and Hannover
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goodwork.jpg
Diplomacy.JPG

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Don77
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Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:05 am

War plan

Situation
• Jan 05 - relative calm but a brewing storm.
• Weather - It is winter - supply is key, to avoid unnecessary losses.
• Diplomacy - Britain and Hannover are already at war.
• Our relative strength advantage is by land.
• Our risk is from the sea.

Aim:
• To defeat the coalition in sequence by land, in order to maintain a continental system.

General Outline
• Start against Hannover (Mar 05), as a stepping stone to Austria (by Jun 05).
• Deny Britain and the RN any options along France proper (especially Brest).
• Establish the basis of a mass and capable army to force the rest of the campaign.

[ATTACH]35426[/ATTACH]

What could possibly go wrong?
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Don77
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Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:38 am

Things I learnt in the first turn of the campaign:

• A continental approach (ie no sea operations) makes for a very quiet start to this campaign.
• Don't move in winter (unless you REALLY need to). I did some minor moves over short distances, ending inside structures during harsh weather in France - lost ~200 hits. I think this may be good experience for 1812 - you know it is going to happen some time.
• Allies move on their own - see above, which means they are burning hits and manpower and money for nothing right now.
• So - any attempt to move against the enemies of France will have to wait awhile.
• Wait to see what the game diplomacy 'gives you. I played a lot of diplomats, but get the feeling many of the results were going to happen anyway because the diplomatic points were sufficient to trigger events.
• For purchasing new units - it is very easy to spend your wealth in one turn - try and save some for later.
• The HQ units include signals and medical (as in AACWII) but in WoN they also include engineers and pioneers. So, unless engineers and pioneers stack (I think they do?), I suggest you don't need to buy these separately to boost/maximise an Army/Corps than in previous games?

So, pretty much NSTR.

Don

Franz Ferdinand
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Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:06 pm

Nice AAR mate, hope you update it frequently until the third. Can you also update some screenshots showing the new technology system and new ledgers? I am just interested how they look like in practice. Military reforms and decrees are self-explanatory, but what is the history tab for? Wait, so you cannot control Dutch armies, for example, as French? Why would you then puppet them instead of simply annex them to prevent AI mismanagement of both armies and resources?

Thoronir
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Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:42 pm

Looking forward for more !!!

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marek1978
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Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:42 pm

Don77 wrote:Things I learnt in the first turn of the campaign:

...

• The HQ units include signals and medical (as in AACWII) but in WoN they also include engineers and pioneers. So, unless engineers and pioneers stack (I think they do?), I suggest you don't need to buy these separately to boost/maximise an Army/Corps than in previous games?

...

Don



does it mean that Army Stack gives bonuses to all suborditante corps - like hospotal, enginner and so on? so no need to add them to corps stacks?
Does it work the same in EAW and CV2? and RUS ?

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Don77
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Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:12 am

G'day,

Reminding myself that all I know is about a week's worth of beta testing.

The history tab shows relative data, going backwards (ie Turn-1 = the turn before, through to Turn-9 is nine turns before; the '-' is a minus sign, not a dash). The example here shows the land power of GBR (selecting the nations using the maps on the Top Right). I have yet to use all the buttons along the Left Edge to fully understand. Plus you need 10 turns before all the data is updated (from the start turn).
[ATTACH]35435[/ATTACH]
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Hist - GBR - Land.JPG

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Don77
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Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:16 am

Franz Ferdinand wrote:Nice AAR mate, hope you update it frequently until the third. Can you also update some screenshots showing the new technology system and new ledgers? I am just interested how they look like in practice. Military reforms and decrees are self-explanatory, but what is the history tab for? Wait, so you cannot control Dutch armies, for example, as French? Why would you then puppet them instead of simply annex them to prevent AI mismanagement of both armies and resources?


G'day,

Reminding myself that all I know is about a week's worth of beta testing.

The history tab shows relative data, going backwards (ie Turn-1 = the turn before, through to Turn-9 is nine turns before; the '-' is a minus sign, not a dash). The example here shows the land power of GBR (selecting the nations using the maps on the Top Right). I have yet to use all the buttons along the Left Edge to fully understand. Plus you need 10 turns before all the data is updated (from the start turn).
[ATTACH]35436[/ATTACH]

You can control the main nations - FR, SP, OTT; PR, RU, GBR, - just select the flags to play that nation (from the start screen). Each has their own resources, RGD and ledgers.
You cannot control the smaller nations (I think) so yes, the AI does and I don't yet know how that'll play out. Anyone else know more about this? As such, I would agree with you, its better to 'own' them than let the AI do so.

Don
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Hist - GBR - Land.JPG

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Don77
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Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:19 am

marek1978 wrote:does it mean that Army Stack gives bonuses to all suborditante corps - like hospotal, enginner and so on? so no need to add them to corps stacks?
Does it work the same in EAW and CV2? and RUS ?


No. I meant that the GHQ unit itself contains engineers and pioneers, hence you don't need to purchase them separately. You would still want a GHQ unit for each stack.

Don

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Field Marshal Hotzendorf
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Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:11 pm

Great AAR so far!! Keep it up! :)

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Don77
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Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:09 am

National Modifiers

A really useful way to recognise the different strengths that each nation brought to the Napoleonic era. This allows whole nations to benefit from unique characteristics. Most seem positive, some are not though.

For example the Spanish ones at the start of the Grand Campaign are:
[ATTACH]35443[/ATTACH]

The existing modifiers are listed under the 'Objectives' tab, then the button on the bottom Left (the Greek E or Epsilon sign).
The new modifiers available are evident in the 'Military Reforms' tab.

The list below is the French - listed by type, you see just how many there are (47 in all) - the Army part of the list takes up more than the first viewable page.
[ATTACH]35444[/ATTACH]

Comments:
• So - how to use these best. I guess you pick which new modifier you like the sound of. There isn't a tooltip to tell you what benefit they will give you, so it feels a bit like a lucky dip.
• Also, without a 'Master List' you don't have a feel for 'all the NM', only the ones you have or can choose from.
Anyone else have any comments on the NM system?
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NM-FR.JPG
NM-SP.JPG

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Don77
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Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:17 am

Resources

I am following up on some questions on French resources in the 'secluded zone/Beta pages'. I'll update more shortly.
http://ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?41314-Resources-in-Campaign-5

For those who cannot see the secluded zone/beta - the question was = 'Playing the PBEM campaign (scenario #5) - I don't seem to gain any resources - screen shots attached. Am I missing something, are there none generated by cities and production? I have played a few RGD, these seem to be the only increments of resources I have gained?' Answer - Pocus confirmed we only get resources every four turns (ie per month).

The summary from one month to the next is shown below. This gives a view of how many resources accumulate each month. As a perspective, I think France can raise about a division and some minor units each month at this rate.
1805, January 21-28 - [ATTACH]35475[/ATTACH]
1805, February 08-15 (before any spending) - [ATTACH]35474[/ATTACH]

The resource screens are:
[ATTACH]35472[/ATTACH][ATTACH]35473[/ATTACH][ATTACH]35471[/ATTACH][ATTACH]35470[/ATTACH]

So: What does this mean?
• The mechanics are similar as per previous games.
• Differences - in WoN it is even more imperative to keep resources available for chits and hits. Unlike EAW and AACWII (where you have two turns per month, and one resources allocation, ie 2:1) in WoN it is a ratio of 4:1. That means you can have four turns of moving and combat in which to consume your resources (ie the one production turn).
• A really neat feature - in game, on the production tab, for replacements - you can alter the AI to automatically provide a % of chits.
• Also, the chit system is much simpler. ie only Inf, Cav, Arty, Supply, Ships. Compared to AACWII, this means there is less effort in managing replacements (albeit it was't that complex once you got the hang of it). Also in the threats, I think Pocus identified that there were some game engine rules that made sure that the more expensive units costs were managed?

Don
Attachments
1805, January 21-28.JPG
1805, February 8-15.JPG
Resources - CC.JPG
Resources - Money.JPG
Resources - WS.JPG
Resources - Horses.JPG

Franz Ferdinand
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Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:36 am

Thanks for answering my questions. That is a lot of modifiers, I really hope that they include tool tips so we know what we are getting. I presume that all of them will be included in the manual, but still, having it in the game is just so much more practical.

Is there a bunch of historical events and decisions? I know that you just started, but do you by any chance know if there is a peace treaty system and how it works? I just assume, taking in consideration that it will span for 10 years, that there must be a way other than the usual NM sudden death to defeat the nations and take your claim. So, I presume that it is more similar to PON than EAW or CWII, right?

Also, I am curious about the resources. What are these (is it just manpower, gold, horses and cannons)? Is there too much ep, as per usual, or do you have to ration? Also, just some random screenshots of the map and some battle screens would be nice while we are waiting for the 3rd to play it. Thanks a bunch.

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Don77
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Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:05 am

Franz Ferdinand wrote:Thanks for answering my questions. That is a lot of modifiers, I really hope that they include tool tips so we know what we are getting. I presume that all of them will be included in the manual, but still, having it in the game is just so much more practical.

Is there a bunch of historical events and decisions? I know that you just started, but do you by any chance know if there is a peace treaty system and how it works? I just assume, taking in consideration that it will span for 10 years, that there must be a way other than the usual NM sudden death to defeat the nations and take your claim. So, I presume that it is more similar to PON than EAW or CWII, right?

Also, I am curious about the resources. What are these (is it just manpower, gold, horses and cannons)? Is there too much ep, as per usual, or do you have to ration? Also, just some random screenshots of the map and some battle screens would be nice while we are waiting for the 3rd to play it. Thanks a bunch.


G'day Franz,

Quick reply, and I'll post some maps etc tmrw (off to see a band with mates tonight).

• Modifiers - I hope so, a list would be invaluable.
• Events and Decisions - Haven't played enough yet to know. Also, I haven't played PoN - so I am more in the dark here probably then yourself.
• For resources -see this link - http://ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?41314-Resources-in-Campaign-5. And yes, rationing is crucial given the resources are only provided every four turns.

Don

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Don77
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Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:10 am

Its a long way to Tipperary

Well, we have been playing the game for now six turns (it is 1805, Feb 08-15).

The good news, is that this 'slower' start to the wars of the Third Coalition allows more room for strategic diplomacy and operational preparations. The bad news (especially for ADD gamers who want to see battle results) is there is no combat to show. Below are the French and Austrian layouts.

France's Grande Armee are all in cities to avoid winter, tucked in safe and warm, ready for a land war, an invasion (keeps BR guessing) or whatever else I decide. Due to winter and supply, movement can brutalise an army well beyond what is acceptable to me. My view, which reflects well on the game engine, I could attack into Europe in winter, and may even take a few minors? But, France would rapidly have no manpower or cohesion for combat once the summer campaign season kicks off. And that is when the big boys (Austria, Prussia, Russia?) will come out to play.
[ATTACH]35469[/ATTACH]

Austria, as far as I can see, is also static but in field defences.
[ATTACH]35468[/ATTACH]

Unfortunately for all, this isn't likely to change quickly.

Don
Attachments
Feb 1-7 Grande Armee.JPG
Feb 1-7 Austria.JPG

Franz Ferdinand
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Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:21 am

Thanks again for answering my questions. Nice, I am glad that resources are scarce. In EAW you have pretty much unlimited manpower and printing money ability has too small of a penalty. I had games where loses were at historical level in late 1916.

Thanks for the link, but only people in Beta can access it. I am really looking forward to your posts, it is nice to learn more about the game while waiting for it to be released. Again, I am just curious what is happening once one side defeat another country, so please update us once you are that deep into campaign. Keep up the good work :)

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Don77
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Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:33 am

Franz Ferdinand wrote:Thanks again for answering my questions. Nice, I am glad that resources are scarce. In EAW you have pretty much unlimited manpower and printing money ability has too small of a penalty. I had games where loses were at historical level in late 1916.

Thanks for the link, but only people in Beta can access it. I am really looking forward to your posts, it is nice to learn more about the game while waiting for it to be released. Again, I am just curious what is happening once one side defeat another country, so please update us once you are that deep into campaign. Keep up the good work :)


Franz,

Ta.

Also, I have updated the 'Resources' post above to include the question and images to show the answer. I have also updated this to show (in images) one month's resource increase in the game.

Don

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Don77
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Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:55 am

Update to 0.97

So, nice change in the graphics and icons for the top left (clockwise from the flag in the middle of the area):
[ATTACH]35477[/ATTACH]
• Flag- Country you are playing. Remember by clocking on the flags on the scenario start screen, you can play the major countries in each alliance
• Military recruitment - self explanatory
• Regional Decisions (RGD)
• National morale level
• Strategic Atlas - again, self-explanatory
• Diplomacy - now its own icon - as requested in the beta forums.
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0.97 Icons.JPG

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Don77
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Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:14 am

From Enocm.

I am British - the other side of the current AAR campaign against Don77. After 14 years of gaming against Don77 I am hoping for a first win.

After opening and closing the map several times, I found the problem did not get any smaller. I found developing a grand strategy for the game daunting. The ability to gain the initiative while not sacrificing ground forces is a challenge. My overall assessment was the same as Don77's. I rule the seas with all that brings and not a lot else. For the land, I have little picture of the situation on the continent and unfortunately have to sacrifice the initiative to Don77 in an attempt to protect the British Isles and decide when and where to best commit the British ground forces to the continent while a avoiding a 1805 version of Dieppe. My diplomats have been busy shoring up political support while influencing the swinging minors.

To date I have moderately increases the British troop transport capacity, streamlined my artillery practices and conducted nuisance attacks in the ? Islands. The only notable success has been a small naval victory of the port of Rochert ? Where my blockade fleet sunk a errant French squadron. My build up of a expeditionary force and a British Isles response force is greatly impeded by not being able to create Divisions or Corps.

Eno

ess1
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Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:01 pm

Excellent stuff. Many thanks for sharing.

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Don77
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Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:54 am

G'day all,

Given the recent release of the next patch to 0.97, and that this AAR would take another 12 turns until fighting, we have decided to start anew. Please look for the next AAR (to be raised shortly) in which we will undertake Scenario #4 - Grand Campaign starting in August 1805. This campaign will have fighting !

A few closing words about Scenario #5 - Grand Campaign starting January 1805.

This isn't a scenario starting off with a bang. Starting in January 1805, means winter and lots of time. Harsh weather, mud, rough seas = lots of attrition. The depths of winter emphases the need to conserve forces until the campaign season. It provides a 'gentle' introduction into winter and attrition hits (should you be moving your forces). The four turn per month allows you to move, and the one resource allocation turn per month teaches you why saving resources and not unnecessarily losing chits is very important. So, the first months (until say April - we didn't get that far?) should be dedicated to building the units, buying chits, organising the forces and getting them to the right location for whatever war/s you plan to fight. But it does start slowly, be prepared to spend time. But time doing what you ask ?

Time getting your strategy right - this is an excellent campaign for a focus on strategy and diplomacy. This start allows loads to time to focus on where the war will be fought, and against which countries and in which order.

As the French:
• Whether to invade Britain by sea. Early or late in 1805, ie before or after the continental campaigns.
• What countries on land to ally with, try and fend off, or force to go to war.
• In which order will France take on the possible countries of the Third Coalition -
• Affecting when it will be formed, which countries it will contain, and how well it can fend off France.

For the Coalition:
• What is the effort put into colonial expansion while the French are occupied in winter
• Whether the Coalition can be formed, with which countries.
• How much combat power can these separate nations pull together by the start of the campaigning season?


So - Scenario #5 - Strategy and diplomacy for the win. In fact, this would be (I suggest) truly awesome to play multiplayer - you could get six players going.

Don

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