Part 7: Turn 13, Turn 14Turn 13: December 10th, 1914
Winter is here! Moving and fighting costs extra efficiency during the winter season so offensive action can be quite risky.
Saving our production for repairs, upgrades, and possibly a secret surprise.
Germany still has the most interesting research. We are rushing steel helmets while better hulls, early gas, and better shells are on the horizon. The Ottomans continue to race into the 20th century with all their scientific might.
Interesting thing here is Italy is still 10+ turns away. Losing Paris has deterred them but they can still jump in. If we knock France out or lower their morale even more that number while turn red and Italy will actually stay out of the conflict.
As we can see, our production efficiency is starting to fall even though our war effort is increasing. The fact is that we are sending our best and brightest off to get murdered. This will have some effect on our production and when it hits thresholds it will drop the quality of our men down to simulate good old ulcer brigades and whatnot. We still have the largest manpower pools save Russia and with France reeling this shouldn't hurt us too bad. If the east turns into a meatgrinder we may have to pay more attention to this.
Winter has severely bogged down all attacks. 2nd, 4th, and 5th Eastern Armies gash into a Russian Army and are unable to finish the job. The reduced efficiency dogs Austrian and German attacks on the flanks.
Falkenhayn tries to move the enemy but to no avail. The rest of the line moves up and consolidates. Attacking at even odds just isn't worth as much in winter.
Nis is bombarded and stormed. The rest of the army moves up and repairs. 6th Army moves into a gap and hopes the Serbians will respond. If they take the bait this could open up new venues of attack. Winter has again made for a slow front.
Naval time! Our capital ship fleet and an escort fleet wipes out another escort fleet with only minor damage done to our escorts. Home water advantage and superior organization has easily won us the day!
From Paris south we strike out and push back the enemy where we can. Although moving into the breech is tempting, we don't want to open up our artillery to attack. The snow and cold has clearly slowed our advance but the majority of the French are still hopelessly pocketed.
In the south part of the front, we destroy one army and isolate the two reserves. Since they won't have a city to link to, they will go from half supply to unsupplied next turn. Our cavalry will be on clean up while the rest of the army moves forth. Marseille is the target now! Once France loses both victory hexes it will be unable to produce troops. The morale hit should also knock them out of the war once and for all.
In the snow-covered Caucasus we try and encircle the Russians. Will they allow this trusting entrenchment or will they react?
Another full army speeds to the front. Hopefully it will not be too little too late.
Having prior recon that there are 4 full British armies we repair and consolidate. Opening the front to the south will mostly yield them desert. As long as the Gallipoli Force arrives quickly and our research speeds up we should be able to hold this front.
Frank talk. I don't always see this come up versus the AI but against a human opponent you bet your ass that at least 1-3 armies will show up here.
Also, why am I being so cautious around cities in the east? The way Zone of Control works in this game is that being adjacent to an enemy will reduce movement speed unless that enemy is forced away. That said, moving through enemy territory has no penalty. I have been burned with units dashing to cities and capping them when most rulesets would deny that. It isn't game breaking but with corps and army sized units make sure there is something to deter each enemy unit
Despite capital ships being nearby the enemy cruisers and destroyers engage our own.
Von Falkenhayn's force is attacked and more Russians retreat. They must feel the noose closing around their necks.
The enemy begins to retreat on the Western Front. From Verdun to west of Paris they are starting to pull back.
Hmm. The entire Paris line pulls back. The pocketed units try to move their one hex per turn in vain.
Serbians are slowly pulling back once again.
Our defenses finally repel the British devil in the Holy Land. We need more troops here but this is the first real time our defense has done its job.
Turn 14: December 24th, 1914
Ah to be mechanized! We can now research armored cars and tanks. Although we will one day be the envy of the modern world, we do start behind the British and French. Keep this in mind if you advocate for increased research!
Our weak and feeble soldiers seem to have bonded over Stille Nacht and lanterns rather than murdering eachother. Football? More like lob some artillery. Like actual history, our officers will put an end to this almost perfect Hallmark story and get our men on the move once more.
Find a book on the Christmas Truce if you can. This shit almost ended the more. Amazing that a bunch of 18 year olds find out they have more in common with other young men than their stuffy generals. Front soccer to songs the war may well have ended if not for higher-ups forcing everyone back into the breech.
Austrian barbed wire and new vehicle technology is now ready.
To be honest, I don't think we will need vehicles for this run. Infantry and artillery will win the day in this early era. I don't usually rush technology in a 1914 game.
Pocketing the enemy in winter won't happen but we have some enemies with low efficiency and we push the whole in back. Our operational goal is Warsaw.
In the south the line is tightened up and we repair and upgrade our armies. We have multiple forces on the outskirts of Warsaw so hopefully we can take it next turn.
With only a few destroyers lost in both groups we annihilate a small enemy fleet. The Adriatic should now be fully in our control and we should have no worries over Western European units landing in the Balkans.
We move our armies up, consolidate, and bring artillery to bear. Two weeks from now we will be able to bombard the Serbian armies and push towards Skopje. Winter in the mountains means we had little opportunity for quick attacks.
In the north we push west cautiously and repair our units. With artillery support and horrible weather there is no reason to be hasty in our movements. Opening up a gap with no actual unit on Paris would just be asking for trouble.
In the south we try to further isolate the pocketed units and start whittling the ones without supply down to size. The Verdun force will be tough to crack, but the others are falling and we continue to push back relief efforts.
We attack from Gaza and Jerusalem and although we lose multiple divisions it seems the British are losing heart fighting in the desert. With their efficiency dropping will they be able to maintain this attack?
We try a slow encirclement in the Caucasus. Although the enemy will only fall to half supply if this succeeds, maybe with 2 on 1 odds we can start moving the front up.
The pocketed units crawl their way out. Having been out of supply for so long though, they are unable to repair or recover efficiency. They won't go down as easily but this has still set the French forces in the west back.
Serbia retreats towards Skopje. It seems that they can sense our artillery zeroing in on them. Once we are within range of the city, they will have no where to run.
In the Holy Land the British swap out their most depleted unit and launch an attack with a new army. Though ineffective, most of their units stand down and use the two weeks holiday season as a time to rest and recover.
I'm sorry, sometimes the camera won't follow the AI so this is an after shot
In the east, Russia actually encircles a German Army during a rapid fight east. Although Warsaw is surrounded on multiple sides, Russia is counting on the inclement weather to hold the Central Armies back.
Next time we continue to slog through winter and commission a surprise to help us through the inevitable Operation Sea Lion.