Part 9: Turn 17, Turn 18Fuck Winter
Turn 17: February 4th, 1915
Going to be a while on the battleship. This will give us time to clean up France, keep battling Serbia, and keep pushing into Russia. Once it is ready we will have to make serious decisions about planning Operation Sea Lion.
Interesting note here. Although we are still in the black, upkeep for Germany is up to 70! Also our economic output is down to 93%. The more manpower we lose, the more this will drop. We have it pretty easy because we are dictating the offensive and there is no strategic damage going on.
5th Eastern, 1st Parisian Volunteers and the Danzig Reserve kill off the surrounded army for the loss of one division each for our larger armies. They are so low in efficiency that our generals deemed it prudent to not use them for front-line forces. The weakened Russian reserves are chased away as well.
Von Falkenhayn's group is pulled off the line and rested. We were planning stronger offensives but any movement through the cold has taken the fight out of the men.
In the end, 1st, 3rd, and the Austrian 2nd Eastern shatter two Russian corps and send an army fleeing to further isolate Warsaw. The city may be hard to pocket until warmer weather comes. General Winter has done more to protect Warsaw than Russian guns have this campaign.
General Winter is a pan-slavic deity it seems. We shell Skopje and even reduce the morale of the Serbs there. Three armies attack and though they destroy more than half of the defenders, they aren't able to push them from the city. Our troops were already so tired that our offensive power was greatly reduced. We assume they will reinforce with fresh reserves. It may be prudent to upgrade our aging guns and shell them in a new spring offensive.
In the winter, in the mountains, the Russians have been getting the better of our brave Caucasus warriors. To that end, we are going to send the reserves out to capture what cities then can and try and provoke the Russians into leaving and letting us occupy the city. I doubt they will be it is going to be a slow front here.
Going off of our great offensive last turn, we destroy one of the limping British armies and seek to separate the others. Supplies may get through this turn south of our troops, but this is a bad spot for the British. Doubly so because we are going to start catching up in technology in a month.
Using airstrike after airstrike the defenders of Antwerp are cracking. Likewise, though our Line Corps are getting bloodied assaulting Verdun, it still is wearing on them and freeing up other forces for cleaning up the French.
Rouen is taken, our artillery moves to the Orleans line and we start to push for Brest and Nantes.
Around Orleans we rest, refit, and wait for the guns. In the south, we crush another corps and form a new line. We contact some fairly fresh British troops, but hopefully the weather and winter will protect our tired cavalry.
In France, General Joffre is deployed to Verdun, and aside for a very tired British Army being deployed (I believe the Canadian Corps is finally here!), there is a general retreat.
Our weakest unit is attacked in order to prevent the coming pocket. The British corps, desperate to get away, moves into the desert. They will be cut off for their panic next turn.
Fresh men put into Skopje and into what the Serbs see as a hole in their lines. Even with a fortress, a wounded corps with low morale may be a good target.
Remember when I was asked if there are still challenges in a "won" game?
First Eastern is destroyed!
Russia pulls off some interesting moves, bringing up some cavalry, shifting out the Warsaw defenders and bringing up their armored trains to destroy First Eastern! This is a minor setback, but it shows that the Blizzard favors the Russians! (sounds familiar)
Our army is cold and hungry and so even meager Russian forces can make them pay. We will have to hunker down for the rest of the winter or this will get bad.
Turn 18: February 18th, 1915
Silver lining! We have a new army to replace 1st Eastern as well as a convoy on the way.
We pull back, repair, and plop down new armies. After months of heavy fighting we are finally going to sit and wait for the snow to melt.
This is why I love this game. As a player, I am always overly aggressive because I hate doing the trench slog. It usually works, but here, the AI waited for weather to wear me down then punished the shit out of me. Even though it isn't nearly up to PBEM levels, it can still be a fun challenge. The Russian front is not going to be won lightly
Austrian High Command, furious at the lack of progress in Russia, lashes out at anything that looks slavic. Skopje is shelled and three armies whittle down the corps there despite straining the men to the breaking point. The side armies do what they can to open a hole and stretch the Serbians as far as they can go.
Slow but steady morale erosion here.
We chase down the last two wounded armies and destroy them, pocketing another British army.
The other army at Aqaba is pillaging our citizens in order to stay in partial supply but we start to wear them down. Unless reinforcements show up soon, we should be able to consolidate and push further into Egypt.
Britain pushing so far into the desert and fighting immediately off the train has proved to be their downfall on this front.
We continue to wear down Antwerp and Verdun. Fortresses out of supply may provide guns and shelter but they don't provide hope. Morale is the one thing they can't recoup and eventually we will take these strong points. We push further to Brest and Nantes, but moving in the winter is tiring. If we encounter any opposition, we will have to halt until spring.
Pushing back the Canadian Corps with heavy casualties, we establish a line from Orleans to Lyon. Our guns will start shelling Orleans in two weeks and hopefully the city will soon capitulate.
Britain and France pull out of Lyon. Where are they going? Setting up defenses further west?
Serbia shuffles forces and brings a newly commissioned army to bear. This allows them to close some gaps. Hopefully we can finish Skopje before they drag this out.
Two corps attack our exposed and tired army. Hopefully we can use the others to shield it while it refits.
Russia deploys a new corps and a new general steps up near Warsaw while the whole line makes general repairs and refits.
Next time: Spring is here so we recover 2 efficiency per turn and don't have to spend 1 per move and attack... but the allies will recover too!