Searry
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Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:31 pm

Hello! I think most people would agree that achieving Victory as the Grand Alliance is difficult. I decided to start writing a guide and this will be updated as I find the best courses of action and as a PBEM(I have 4 finished games) game continues.
I think the Grand Alliance can win by min-maxing the resources it has and utilizing everything from generals command points to using navies.

First part is a list of needed elements and brief analysis of the different armies.

Hesse
20 cav (prioritize cuirassiers)*
32 inf
Quality: Cannon fodder
Palatinate
45 cav (prioritize dragoons)
Quality: Cannon fodder
HRE
24 cav (prioritize dragoons)
Quality: Cannon fodder infantry, buy hussars all of them ASAP!
Austria
16 inf
7 cav
Quality: More hussars! Buy them! Very expensive and almost not worth it infantry buy hungarian infantry sometimes if you're facing hard times. Buy imperial infantry first in Bohemia-Moravia.

When more HRE and British-Dutch unlocks:

Brunswick
18 cav (prioritize cuirassiers)
Quality: Cannon fodder
Hannover
28 inf
50 cav (you have a lot of possible full cuirassier regiments here, build them up when you have money)
Quality: Cannon fodder but a potentially huge amount of heavy cavalry
Dutch
102 cav this number is so massive I would merge all the understrenght dragoon regiments and leave the cuirassiers resting and prioritized in Amsterdam and Breda until they are full.
8 inf (Coenders Company missing 4 and De Muralt missing 4 important to replace!)
Quality: Best bang for pound and men here, you've got the Swiss, Swedes, Huguenots and Germans so buy them all before anything else. Schomberg and Sparre can be attached to Imperial armies to negate CP malus from these mercenary units. Buy marines later. Ignore fusiliers and grenadiers.
English and Irish
57cav (prioritize cuirassiers)
Quality: High, long build times, buy the Irish regiments first, then marines. Ignore fusiliers and grenadiers.
EDIT: British guards are the best guards GAL has so try to use them wisely.
Scots
All elements present
Quality: Cannon fodder, buy in case of an invasion to either Scotland(Inverness or Aberdeen only) or Ireland as they are quick to build.
EDIT: Slight mistake here. The forces which unlock in the Netherlands are above average.

Decision bought armies:

Prussians
All elements present
Quality: Best troops(if not counting the Swiss), low in number, cannot be commanded by a HRE commander so they need either Eugene or Marlborough. Don't let Wylich-Lottum be in command it's almost a crime!
EDIT: Prussians are still better than fresh Swiss because they have superior maximum cohesion, they just have less staying power in combat but are much better at fighting after a march.
Danes
All elements present
Quality: Better than generic HRE and you get a lot of them, Reventlow needs an Austro-German Commander helping him.
Portugal
2 inf
Quality: Worst line infantry in the whole game, light infantry is very good and you get a lot of them so I would buy all of them if you want to commit in Iberia. Small navy, free ships is not bad.

More coming later

NOTE: Quality isn't essentially completely based on combat power. For example the Danish regiments have 75 combat power and 80 max cohesion so they are better than some veteran troops with a 75 max cohesion after a march or a fight if there are multiple fights.

* Prioritizing means putting these troops in green-green mode and best of all detached from the main army as they are prioritized for replacements.

Why prioritize? Hessian cuirassiers are likely to fight in clear terrain in the north, Palatine and HRE dragoons in difficult Rhine frontier terrain and Brunswicker+Hannoverian cuirassiers against the Bavarians in the Bavarian clear terrain.

As a general army building guideline, I would say 2/5 to 2/6 should be cavalry with a mix of heavy and lighter cavalry, remember that heavy cavalry is almost useless in marshes and moors, artillery is a bonus.
Last edited by Searry on Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:21 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Durk
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:22 am

Yes, this is a challenging side to play. Look forward to learning from you.

elxaime
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:04 pm

That is great you were able to finish 4 PBEM...did you have any problems? I started two PBEM but both were halted due to disappearing armies in North Africa and Britain plus issue with England-Scotland unification card.

On strategy, look forward to your guide. My sense is that the Rhine area is key early on. On naval, I am wondering about balance as it seems very easy for Bourbons to conquer Britain, Ireland and Scotland by naval landings.

Searry
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:38 pm

elxaime wrote:That is great you were able to finish 4 PBEM...did you have any problems? I started two PBEM but both were halted due to disappearing armies in North Africa and Britain plus issue with England-Scotland unification card.

On strategy, look forward to your guide. My sense is that the Rhine area is key early on. On naval, I am wondering about balance as it seems very easy for Bourbons to conquer Britain, Ireland and Scotland by naval landings.


I think I had 1 game which had to be stopped due to bugs but that was when the game got released. The western campaign is much more polished than the eastern one. I also have years of experience in AGEOD games so that helps.

Rhine's importance is not that great in my strategy as it yields little actual goodies for GAL, but I am a bit unorthodox in how to reinforce this area.

The naval game is important and I personally think you have to scout every few turns where the BOU fleet might be.
If the British Isles do get landed on by lets say a 4-5k power force led by Berwick, it's pretty much a distraction as you can hold the Netherlands while Marlborough goes back to Britain to force an evacuation. Also, you do not need the troops left on the isles anywhere until much later. You can easily leave the Guards and the Irish force in some port ready to fight back against a possible invasion. What you can do as well is build a squadron of first rates or two, that should match the combined Bourbon fleet.

First part of the guide might come today.

Searry
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:20 pm

First part covers some general notes from the scenario mostly regarding Marlborough and Eugene plus oceans, rivers and navies. More details coming later.


The Grand Alliance has very few tricks up it's sleeve. Marlborough and Eugene are the obvious thing here so if you use them together in the Netherlands they are somewhat unstoppable as two ~6kpower armies there with great commanders are hard to counter in the easy terrain there. If Marlborough is quick enough, he can take Antwerp(Marsh) even with a bad ~3k army. Marlborough can deploy more frontage in offensive battles so use him in bad terrain.

Another thing is the 2 fleets. Bourbons have to use their galleys(can only move by coasts) and often the whole combined fleet to move large forces around europe from the mediterranean to the atlantic and vice versa. With the Dutch fleet and English and Dutch transports combined you have ~580 weight, for reference that is 12 full cuirassier regiments(a lot). Transfer Shovell to be in command of the Dutch fleet. You need all the 1 anchor English admirals for this.
This means the English fleet with their excellent admiral can sortie every other turn which is what you should do to scout for Bourbon activity. Rooke has problems retreating for the first 2 turns of a battle so keep that cohesion high. Watch out for storms though.

What can surprise you is the high number of inland ports and non-shallow rivers, for example a force could be landed from Lower Tago very far into Portugal. This naval "terrain" is called Coastal Waters. F.e Movement from Sluis into Vlissingen and St Niklaas into Bergen op Zoom can be blocked.
Crossing from Setubal(east of Lisbon) into Lisbon can be blocked. Rouen, Nantes and Bordeaux can be invaded from the sea. Austrian navy can reach Mantova via the Adreatic. London can be directly invaded by sea. Coastal artillery is very ineffective.

You can ship Dutch or British or whatever nationality forces to Hamburg and from there with the river barges(only 80 weight though) via the Elbe all the way to Bohemia by landing the troops near Prag this process is reversable as well, just load troops to the barges, it takes a turn. Just don't try this during winters so plan during the winter and execute when the rivers still flow. I suggest using a bad 1* commander for moving small troops in Bohemia early. Forcade is a good option.

The Rhein rarely freezes up. You have 4 important ports here, Nijmegen, Mainz, Frankfurt and Mannheim. Wesel is a lesser port and you should take Köln when you can with a small force(preferrably with a sapper so it just takes a turn) when you have time as it denies the Bourbon easy access to the area and gives a city to replenish some wagons. You have a lot of barges(240 weight) in this river and that means you can move your mercenaries and even several full regiments of heavy cavalry or a lot of supply wagons. Kaiserwerth is not worth taking and Bonn is useful if you want a land access to Koblenz and further.

Reinforcing the armies on both sides of the Rhine is important so try to be active in the defence of this area.
If you lose Mainz you lose an important port city on the west side of the Rhein so try to keep it.

elxaime
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:44 pm

Thanks for this guide and eagerly await your next post. In the meantime, a quick question: do you use any house rules in PBEM?

Searry
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:21 am

elxaime wrote:In the meantime, a quick question: do you use any house rules in PBEM?

None.

Searry
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:20 pm

Danes added in first post.

Searry
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:26 pm

First turns!

Turn Eugene's army Orange-Red, he should be activated the first turn always(I only really play veteran mode) first move him to the region where Catinat's army is and then to Mantova. You can start killing Bourbon troops on the first turn and get 1-2 wins depending on if Catinat retreats to Mantova, next turn Mantova switches sides. This way, Catinat's troops don't pose a threat early and you can even chase him a bit if the retreats are bad.

Italy is the worst battleground in the game, to the point of not being worth it fighting for in the long run. I have in previous games captured Italy only once and then Eugene got bogged down in the coastal forts when I tried to capture Marseilles, the supply is just too difficult and you waste one of the good generals the Grand Alliance has.
The ground in the north plains is good for fighting offensively but you don't want to do that since Villeroi's French-Spanish-Savoiard army is very formidable with it's 67CP worth of points. Even if Villeroi sucks big time, he can still completely destroy Eugene with his huge army which can take so many hits. If the Bourbons ever happen to lose regiments, Savoy pool has new ones close to the front or the French can build mercenaries in Nice and elsewhere.

I have come to the conclusion that you want to abandon Mantova early. Before first winter comes keep scouting what's happening with the Bourbons with dragoons and try to fight against their scouts Maybe take Modena quickly with a few elite infantry regiments.
Keep scouting with the dragoons and when Winter is turning into spring, move Eugene to Kassel in the north.

Keep the 2*s in command in Italy until HRE unlocks, move Baden to the command of the Italian army and Hesse to the command of the Rhine army. Combine Wartesleben's corps with Hesse's Rhine army. Now you have 4 2* free commanders which you can keep shuffling around. Weilburg in the Palatinate needs help so give him 1 one of them before Georg Wilhelm of Brunswick unlocks. You probably will need Wartesleben, Commercy, Maximilian, Tekelija and Rabutin in Hungary so that leaves and Stahremberg and Lorraine which are decent commanders because of their 4 strategic rating. Use either to help Weilburg and leave one in reserve in Wien until you need one probably against Bavaria.

Start force marching Limburg-Stirum's army to reinforce the Rhine area and reinforce the Weilburg's Mainz army with the Brunswickers. Reinforce the Mainz army and Limburg-Stirum's army using the river barges with the cheap Dutch mercenaries using Schomberg and Sparre but I wouldn't waste the Swiss mercs on this front.

When the Hessians unlock(you remembered to reinforce them right?), combine them with the Prussians and Eugene and force March the new Eugene led army into Breda, do the same with Kolb.
Here you can take Venlo first in a turn or two and then take Liege. While Marlborough's Anglo-Dutch army takes Antwerp and Mechelen in quick forced march offensives. Your existing supply wagons are just enough for this so you'll have to wait probably a year or more to go further so build more wagons.

Put Albemarle in command of a dragoon force to cover shuffling supply wagons. He is likely to gain seniority quickly to promote him to a 3* general.

When the most likely French led offensive in Italy is coming retreat from Mantova with the army led by Baden to the passes and all the way to Innsbruck to strike against München.

The Hungarians are unlikely to be a threat during the first year after their revolt. Move all the militia and local armies(Maximilian, Tekelija, Rabutin) to help Königsegg in Buda. Try to kill any scouting Hungarian hussars you see with your cavalry commanders and 3 dragoons/hussars. These troops are the best cavalry in the game.
Use the river barges.

Builds:
Built a Hungarian infantry during the first year to help in the defense of Buda. Also a Hessian artillery for the Rhine army. Rest of all available resources were spent on buying the Grand Alliance reassembles, the Prussians and buying replacements for the Important German armies.
I bought 1 HRE infantry regiment early second year for defense of Buda.
When the Dutch unlock, buy all the Swiss, Swedes, Huguenot/Germans as you can leaving some money and men for buying Dutch and English cavalry replacements for the cuirassiers.

HidekiTojo
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:20 pm

Glad to see that Ageod is still thriving! I just came back to the forums and this is my favorite kind of thread to read.

This is the first ageod game that I'm not as well versed in the history. Which is hard for me bc I dont really know how to approach the overall strategy for either side bc I dont get the context that well.

BlasdeMondragon
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:00 pm

Ditto! Many thanks for this Searry! It's great that folks are keeping this forum active!

Out of curiosity, I've been thinking about ways to best organize the Dutch army ahead of the first summer of campaigning in the Low Countries. Scholarly consensus seems to be that they were in a tough spot strategically at the opening of the war, despite their relatively large and well-equipped armies, and I think that the game models this well.

With that in mind, I've been reinforcing the Army of Brabant with the Swiss brigade, but do you tend to attach the Scottish brigade to the English or Dutch army in the beginning? Historically, I believe that this outfit, or large elements of it, fought as part of the Dutch army. On the other hand, I see that the Scottish general is placed with the English Army. Your thoughts? :dada:

Best,
Blas

Searry
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:39 pm

BlasdeMondragon wrote:Ditto! Many thanks for this Searry! It's great that folks are keeping this forum active!

Out of curiosity, I've been thinking about ways to best organize the Dutch army ahead of the first summer of campaigning in the Low Countries. Scholarly consensus seems to be that they were in a tough spot strategically at the opening of the war, despite their relatively large and well-equipped armies, and I think that the game models this well.

With that in mind, I've been reinforcing the Army of Brabant with the Swiss brigade, but do you tend to attach the Scottish brigade to the English or Dutch army in the beginning? Historically, I believe that this outfit, or large elements of it, fought as part of the Dutch army. On the other hand, I see that the Scottish general is placed with the English Army. Your thoughts? :dada:

Best,
Blas

I just make roughly equal 4-6k power stacks with Eugene and Marlborough although, Marlborough is first fighting only with 3k because you have to be quick. With the lightning campaign towards Antwerp, I don't have time to move the Scots from the marshes on time. In the end though, I shuffle troops around so much I can't really answer. The Scots are a good reserve if a bunch of infantry regiments get blasted. You already have the huge Dutch army, the British army, Hessian army and the Prussian army in there. You don't necessarily have to use them immediately, the extra dragoon is nice though. With the Scottish commander you can have the Scots brigade in any army you want really. If your opponent is focusing on the Rhine send them there, if he's trying to take Innsbruck, reinforce that area or send them to Wien if they take Trieste. It really depends on what the enemy is doing.

Searry
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:03 am

HidekiTojo wrote:Glad to see that Ageod is still thriving! I just came back to the forums and this is my favorite kind of thread to read.

This is the first ageod game that I'm not as well versed in the history. Which is hard for me bc I dont really know how to approach the overall strategy for either side bc I dont get the context that well.


You have the objectives list(F8) which shows what areas are important for you and the enemy(click own).
Other than that, all areas are important but some areas are more. I would say Britain and the Netherlands are the most important areas, then Wien, just Wien, the rest of the area is not important but there's a lot of defendable area around Wien, then comes the Rhein.

Searry
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:45 am

This will likely wrap it up as the game can develop in many unpredictable ways from there. I will update the first post when I see new decision bought armies and I will answer questions.


The only objective town in Austria is Wien. This means the defence of Austria can be left quite limited but do not ignore it completely.
If Bourbons invade Trieste they will go for Görz. I personally think an invasion force towards Trieste can only be somewhat limited in scope or even just a diversion but still a dangerous one. The nearest supply wagons the Bourbons can build are in Savoy, and the mediterranean coast.
This means a big effort to shuttle supply wagons from the coastal areas to Trieste and then moving wagons to Mantova or Naples for replenishment. The mediterranean can also get bad weather sometimes. So do not panic. If you see Hungarians advancing towards Buda, remember they only have only a few months of real campaigning season. They can get bogged down pretty easily. I would try to fight a battle in Buda, if you lose retreat to Wien and keep a force in Görz and in Komarno or Pressburg. Having this Wien, Görz, Komarno/Pressburg set up means the armies can support each other as the distances are not huge. When you get your Danish and Hannoverian troops from Bavaria you can fight back.
Remember to use river barges.


I think November 1702 is when BOU can go through Venice into the alpine passes. Either this or a month or two after they re-capture Mantova. Can't confirm.


It's important to look for Berwick and when he is sighted you can decide what to do with the forces in England and Ireland.
If he isn't in Britain support your forces in Europe but try to not kill off the guards regiments so fight safe battles.
Ship them back to England if you don't need them and start building a mixed force of Dutch and British troops to support Portugal when you unlock them, Spain is strong.

I think you should take Naples as an extra base in the Mediterranean when you have the chance and a base somewhere in the area.

The most important thing is to build all of those Dutch mercenaries though if you disagree with me completely, build all of them at least.

Searry
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:32 pm

Portugal updated for first post.

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Khanti
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Re: Grand Alliance PBEM strategy guide thread

Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:58 am

Thanks for this guide. It will come in handy when I start playing WSS seriously.
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