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Monday, August 08, 2016
Playing as literally Hitler:
• plan was to fabricate and DoW Netherlands, Belgium, and France simultaneously, so they can't get guaranteed (because tension would only go high enough after peace conferences), and I can separate war them
• it worked with Netherlands and Belgium which both failed within a week or so
• unfortunately France joined Allies, fuck; they capitulated December 6th, 1936. There's probably some way to time it better so my original plan works
• WW2 started before Italy got Ethiopia, before Spanish civil war, Japan-China war, Anschluss, or any other usual thing
• my army is almost all 7inf 2art, except for a few light tank divisions - at least I'm doing mobile land doctrine, not superior firepower
• I didn't expect UK to join, so I have no good idea how to fight them - spam fighters, then paradrop on London I guess; navy is out of the question, air is plausible
• on the upside, I got all the steel, aluminum, and rubber I could ever want (that rubber is from Java and I'd not get it if Netherlands joined the Allies); as well as decent amount of oil. Chromium and tungsten are easy to trade for from neutral countries, so the only problem might be getting more oil in the future
• not sure where to go next - do a full Hitler and try to get Soviet Union while UK is still at war with us? that could possibly backfire
• at least I have a lot more time before Soviets could plausibly attack me. USA can't DoW anyone by focus before 1942, and I'm trying to flip them fascist (did same as Japan, but that failed), but they could maybe join the allies.
Awesome plan, Attack on Maginot line arrow is there just to confuse the enemy, obviously I want to go around it
I was very surprised when Spain joined the Allies and attacked my undefended border instead of having a nice civil war. After I deals with it, I decided to take over Switzerland and Denmark, as both are Democratic and likely to join the Allies as well. I might get Portugal for its tungsten, but I remember how ridiculously high its national unity was, and how its colonies were treated as cores (which seriously feels like a bug), so maybe I'll just let it go.
I'm finally working on Anschluss. Next step is Poland - no point doing silly focuses, just fabricate and take it. After that probably Romania (with Czechoslovakia on the way just for clean borders), as it's Europe's main oil supplier.
Italy briefly wanted to join my faction, but changed its mind since. I specifically waited for it to finish its war with Ethiopia so they wouldn't merge, but they did not apprepriate my gesture, and as soon as they got peace they lost interest in joining.
Right now half my army (7inf 2art supports eng+art+recon) is sitting in ports preventing naval invasions - I'm recruiting crappy units (5inf, support eng+art) to take their place so my real army can actually get some fighting done.
I have paratroopers queued, and I'm researching 1939's medium tanks thanks to my focus tree.
Right now both UK and Soviets have air superiority over me, so attacking either seems difficult. Long term I can definitely outproduce UK in terms of air force, but for now I'm focusing on getting good army going - I started 1936 nearly demilitarized. Naval race is completely out of the question of course.
I've been spamming anti-air installations in Northern France and Benelux to deal with UK's bombing, but they're not terribly effective so far.
Right now the closest I have to a plan is that I'll Anschluss Austria and conquer Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Romania, and after that maybe strike the Soviets?
Spain surprise attacked me instead of having a civil war. Fortunately I'm pretty good at fighting in Spain by now
Arrows pointing at Poland
#hoi4 as literally Hitler
• Poland taken with no surprises
• Hungary attacked Romania, so I invited them into Axis as first member, getting into this war - some bordergore resulted; Hungarans sent me expeditionary corps of 23 crappy divisions - I wish this mechanic existed in other Paradox games; AI allies are just so dumb
• Austria got Anschlussed; I disbanded their crappy divisions, as changing template made them lose so much experience it's better to get those people back into basic training
• Czechoslovakia taken by claim just to avoid massive hole in the middle of my territory
• after that I took over Baltic states to get factories they got from their focuses (they have 2-3 states each, so they don't avoid industrial focuses by AI coding, like 1 state countries like Luxembourg do)
• I got Romanian oil, so I'm only importing tungsten and both Portugal and Sweden have a good amount. Unfortunately my amount of oil is only just adequate to cover my needs, I could definitely use more once I start building my air force seriously
• between avoiding losses (UK throws their bombers at my AA), building some fighters, and capturing some from countries which surrendered, air gap between me and uK is now lower, but they're still quite a bit ahead
• I'm researching medium tanks and heavy fighters, I plan to go seriously into that. Right now my factories are: 43 infantry/support/motorized, 30 towed artillery, 15 light tanks, 29 aircraft, 15 convoys, 15 subs, 12 destroyers.
• I just assigned my crappy garrison divisions (5inf + art/eng support) to automatically keep ports safe, and obviously they're quite bad at it - then again, I don't mind letting some small naval invasion happen, it's easy way to kill some Allies
• reserves are two stacks of 12 regulars (7inf + 2art + art/eng/recon support) each, in Vichy (just outside Northern France zone, so won't get bombed) and Madrid - I'd like to have enough garrison units that I don't really need reserves, but that probably won't happen
• allies control islands like Bornholm, Corsica, Baleares, Malta etc. all around my coast, not to mention British Isles and North Africa
• it's just 47 regulars, 5 mobile
• garrison units are 41 port units and 24 reserve
• Hungarian expeditionary corps is just standing in the Balkans in case Yugoslavia joins the Allies or something
I can do three things from here:
• I can invade UK - that would require a bit of airplane spam, then paradrop on London etc. They have bigger air force than me, but for some reason it's mostly focused around Malta, so I could maybe get it done
• I can invade the Middle East - it's relatively easy land war, and even after I take UK, British Raj still counts as major power, so I'll need to do that eventually. There's plenty of oil for the taking there.
• I can invade the Soviet Union - they still suffer from effect of Great Purge. Unfortunately with half my army being tied up securing the coast against naval invasions, it doesn't seem very practical
• it would be really helpful if Italy joined and opened second front in North Africa to get British planes as far away from English channel as possible; it would be helpful for all the plans
I was spending so much fuhrer mana on harshest occupation policy that I needed to lower it one level, even though that costs me a lot of factories and resources.
I decided to just expand taking any nearby country which finished its industrial focus tree. Bulgaria was trivial, so why not take over Scandinavia.
The plan was to just break through the straits, then flood in every direction. Unfortunately my army proved completely incapable of doing so - I wish HOI4 had battle summaries as I'd like to know how many men and how much equipment I lost trying to cross it.
So instead I had to do practice run invasion of UK - total air supremacy, three simultaneous naval invasions (reinforced by real army as soon as possible), and paratroopers.
After that Norway and Finland were relatively straightforward, other than obvious attrition issues. Paratroopers I dropped on two Finnish ports had very hard time, and retrospectively it would probably be easier to just do a straight army run along the coast.
I also did small naval invasion of Bornholm, which was unopposed. I wanted to do the same with Baleares, but I lack just a tiny bit of air superiority (47% of 50% needed, whatever that means).
The options are like before:
• continue with plan Middle East (take Yugoslavia, Greece, Albania, and Turkey)
• try invading UK (practice run in Sweden and Finland suggests it's not going to be easy)
• go straight for Soviet Union
UK is running out of bombers (<100 bothering me) but has like 1400 fighters (or some of them could be French, game has accurate numbers of deployed planes per area, but only estimates of countries' air forces). I only have 300 fighters, 400 bombers, and 100 CAS or so - getting there, but not really enough.
The big ahistorical consideration why I'm not just focusing on airplanes and invading UK - its pupped British Raj is a major, so I can't win with the allies unless I conquer India as well, and it's not like Japan could possibly do that.
Big three plans are basically:
• invade Raj via Soviet Union, Iran, Afghanistan
• invade Raj via Turkey, Iraq, Iran (with Greece and Yugoslavia on the side)
• cleanup UK first, then do one of these
I'd probably need to use all my forces except garrison troops for attacking Soviets. Right now I have:
• 91 regular (7inf 2art) divisions
• 10 light tank, 1 motorized divisions (first medium tank divisions coming soon)
• 10 paratroopers
• 67 garrison divisions
• 25 Hungarian expeditionary corps
• some Italian volunteers
That could probably work - I could try paradropping behind enemy line, then pushing their divisions into my paratroopers or something cute like that.
My intelligence says Soviets have "103-300 divisions" (oh come on game, just give me the damn ledger), but also -30% organization and other penalties from officer purge.
Primary plan failed miserably, but backups with navies and paratroopers worked reasonably well
The big arrow and backup plan
This was a fun little war. Soviet Union lasted less than two months - 19 May to 11 July, by comparison Sweden managed a lot longer - 26 December to 19 March. On the other hand Soviet war took a lot more clock time as I microed hard and there was a lot to micro.
I used paratroopers very aggressively - the idea is to drop a lot of them in middle of nowhere, 3-4 provinces behind front lines (where it's unlikely there will be any enemy troops), one per province, then rush with tanks to break through enemy lines and connect with paratroopers. This easily leads to enormous pockets.
Soviet Union had bigger air force, so I put all my air force in Ukraine region and let them have the rest - they mostly wasted it on bombing my infrastructure in Poland instead of close air support. By the time the war ended I lost half my air force anyway, as well as any hope of invading UK this year.
Forces were organized as follows (each army about 24 units, panzers half that size):
• Hungarian expeditionary corps - crap units in Finland, still managed to cut in multiple places and get Leningrad (as river protecting it is not on Finnish side
• army Estonia - just pushing East
• army Moscow - just pushing East
• army Kiev - pushing East, occasionally exploiting pockets
• army Crimea - pushing East, exploiting pockets hard
• paratroopers - mostly used in Crimea front
• panzers - mostly used in Kiev and Crimea fronts
I didn't use navy or naval invasions, I can't get into Black Sea without Turkey's permission, and in any case I barely have any navy.
Soviets didn't get rid of officers purge fast enough, and they ended up surrendering before I even reached Moscow - but I was nearly there by that time, and their frontline mostly collapsed on both flanks, with only troops around Moscow sort of holding.
Comintern continues between Mongolia and Tannu Tuva. At least the game had decency of not making either of them a major power.
As I lost far too many planes, the only realistic plan is to go for the British Raj first - unless there's some cheesy way to work around naval and air superiority (there probably is, I just don't know it yet).
I'm not sure which exact route to take, and if I want to take a detour in Africa. The most straightforward way is to go for Iran and Afghanistan, then Raj. This leaves Iraq and Turkey between me and Allies' African possessions, so I can leave that undefended.
Of course if after Raj I'm still not ready to take on UK, I can take a Middle Eastern detour anyway.
Meanwhile Italy didn't even take Triumph in Africa focus which unlocks all their diplomacy, so Albania is independent.
Here's the plan - turn two of my four infantry armies (24x 7mnt 2art) into mountaineer armies (24x 7mnt 2art), then huge push on Southern front.
• Hungarian expeditionary corps - Sinkiang, Tannu Tuva, Mongolia
• Mountain Army A - Afghanistan, East Iran
• Mountain Army B - West Iran, East Turkey
• Paratroopers - cut Turkey
• Panzers - Constantinople
• Infantry Army C - Yugoslavia
• Mountain Army D - Greece
That's 7 simultaneous fabrications (wars were staggered by a bit), because why not. Then Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, British Raj, Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, French/British Middle East, Egypt, and so on.
After a lot of fighting I eliminated British Raj, as well as all the assorted minor powers.
Unfortunately USA joined the Allies, and that's going to be far more difficult to invade than UK. I currently have absolutely no idea how to even start.
As USA was going to be involved, I invited Japan to my faction, and we joined each other's wars.
I got what I thought was enough fleet to move them out on tight patrol, then French of all people sunk half of it in first encounter - not even UK or USA.
Plans for near future:
• help Japan win war in China, so they can focus on USA
• rush South-East Asia to deny allies some resources (USA still has crazy much)
• push into Africa because I can (also I could maybe try to get South America from there)
• maybe take over Portugal and remaining minor powers
• get Italy into Axis if possible
• try invading UK with overwhelming air superiority
All that leaves no plan whatsoever for dealing with USA. I guess possibilities are:
• get military access in South America, try sneaking in some armies
• North Atlantic island hopping
• Alaska invasion from Kamchatka
• actually start building dockyards and spamming fleets (will take forever)
• spam very long range air force
I organized invasion of UK:
• 5 regulars naval invading Dover - sunk by the French fleet, and all died
• 5 panzers naval invading Portsmouth - succeeded
• 13 paratroopers - one died, the rest landed
• overwhelming air superiority
That worked quite well, but then Canada (with literally 1 division, presumably mounties) and Australia became majors, so basically this campaign is world conquest.
Japan apparently has "Hirohito -40 to calling allies" so they wouldn't let me join their war, and I had to fabricate on China. We ended up having about equal warscore (I'm playing with modded game, so you don't have ridiculous amounts for casualties and bombardment) dividing China in about half - but somehow OPM independent China was left with Hainan.
As I need to get Australia, my Raj army continued towards Singapore. On my way I got Siam, but then Japan pressed some button and out of my fully occupied territory spawned their puppet Siam. WTF?
Unfortunately Allies woke up and decided to naval invade some of my islands in Indonesia, so I lost a bunch of rubber. It would have been quite bad earlier, by now I have enough clay producing every possible resource, so it's not a big deal.
Africa army is slowly conquering its way - it's quite amazing how few troops can take over all of Africa, and how worthless Africa is anyway. I split it in two 12 armies, both should be able to conquer as fast as they can walk.
I don't think US would leave Allies even if it flipped fascist, so I decided to support fascist coup, which takes 400 days, good chunk of infantry equipment, and way too much fuhrer mana - so I had to reduce ocupation policy to gentle. Then I noticed that I have focus that generates permanent 1 fuhrer mana a day - well, it needs control over Paris and London, so not exactly trivial to get, but that let me ramp occupation policy back to harsh for like a hundred extra factories.
After I got UK, I wanted to practice island hopping with paratroopers, just to clean up European islands and deny enemy air and naval bases. I ended up splitting paratroopers into half:
• island hopping to minor British isles up to Faroes - unfortuntely I can't reach Iceland from Faroes, so much for that plan
• island hopping in West Mediterranean, then North African coast
I should probably clean up Malta, Cyprus, and minor Greek islands, then move them for invasion of Australia.
That leaves US invasion, for which I have a few ideas:
• Iceland paradrop - out of range, I don't see any tech to extend range
• Alaska paradrop - I'll check, but presumably also out of range
• fascist coup in US - could work, will trigger March 1940
• improving relations with fascist Venezuela - it could be extra front
• transporting troops from Africa to my Suriname (can I realistically sneak them in?)
• naval invasion of Iceland or Alaska - maybe all enemy navies will be busy, but it's a big risk
At least now I can leave most of my frontlines automated, only UK invasion I did fully manually.
By the way tension level is 210888% - the scale of 0% to 100% is a bit dubious.
I sent naval invasion of 1 regular division to Iceland - I couldn't do it with just air cover, I had to risk my whole fleet there (fortunately nobody bothered opposing me in such a remote place).
Unfortunately it was surrounded, out of supplies, and got completely wrecked right away. I couldn't even send fighters on air support as Iceland's zone is just a tiny bit outside my range from Faroes.
UK managed to get Taiwan, which was a really embarrassing performance by the Japanese - then again, they've been sending me their army as expeditionary force, and I've been using that on garrison duty.
My attempt to improve relations with Venezuela to invite them to my faction failed after hitting the cap silently, proving once more than diplomacy in this game is worthless, except the kind done by pressing focus buttons.
I finished Africa and I'm about to retake Java. All islands near European coast, as well as Ceylon and Maldives are taken - that still leaves some off coast of Africa, but not too many.
I sneaked a small group of Japanese troops into Suriname with plans to take over French and British holdings there, but they won't be able to do much more than that. If Venezuela somehow changed its mind, I could maybe start some fun in South America. Or just try sneaking it troops bit by bit, then try attacking someone.
As my troops were fairly bored, I put them on Portuguese border, and I'm planning to attack.
Unfortunately this is the point where game crashes, it did it twice on December 27, 1939. No idea how to debug such issues, other than by trying the beta 1.1 patch maybe. Or I could just call it a day, it's not like there's any real challenge there - I have more factories and resources than everybody else put together, and US has civil war scheduled for March 1940.
That's how far it got to