jcrohio
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Finished campaign and have some questions

Wed May 01, 2013 1:23 am

Just finished my second campaign as the CP and have some questions

In my first game Russia surrendered very early - 1916 I believe - I had hurt her army badly but only conquered Poland, some regions around Odessa, and most of the Baltic up to Riga - very quickly Russia was hurt with mutinies, revolutions etc. - I think I had the Lenin event and played it - went for a separate peace - Russia accepted and that was that - not sure what I did right that caused this collapse

Second game was very different - again hurt the Russian armies badly early in the game - but this time there were no social problems in Russia (no mutinies, revolutions etc) - the more territory I conquered the higher Russian NW went up - in fact by 1917 I had conquered most of the country and the NW was near 30! - finally I took both Moscow and St Petersburg and then Russia pretty much collapsed - I also went for the separate peace in this game but Russia ignored it

My biggest question is this - why did Russia collapse in the first game and hang on forever in the second? What causes Russia to surrender? Was I just unfortunate in the second game? She changed governments a lot in the second game which drives up NW but at some point negative effects have to kick in (I assume). I just felt throughout the second game that I was missing something - that Russia should not have been able to hang on as long as she did.

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My second question is about Grand Offenses. I know how they are supposed to work. I have launched a couple of them but mostly just to do it so I did not get dinged with a NW penalty. I feel like they are a huge part of the game but my games have been so fluid that I have not needed them. Anyone else run into this? Am I missing something?

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Third and also along the same line is Grand Offenses and Turkey. I had a successful grand Offense with Turkey. I needed to do a second or get a NW penalty because Enver Pasha (spelling?) wanted two offenses. My trouble eas that I was not allowed to start a second Grand Offense. Any ideas?

Thanks
Jack

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Random
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Wed May 01, 2013 8:30 pm

why did Russia collapse in the first game and hang on forever in the second? What causes Russia to surrender? Was I just unfortunate in the second game?

$0.02 CAD follows.

I suspect at least some of what you're seeing is the depth of the game and that this allows significantly different paths to similar outcomes and vice-versa. There are enough variables so that the game often plays out differently every time.

Imagine that in one case the people rallied around the Tsar whereas in the other, revolution and disorder carried the day. It's for you to decide if the results were in the realm of the possible or not.

Did you adapt a Russia-First strategy both games?

As the German's you have an advantage in that a Grand Offensive need only be started on one front and neither Austria or Turkey are required to conduct one. If the Enver Obstination Event fires you need to conduct two attacks per year with Turkish forces but they need not be planned Grand Offensives. As a bit of history, Enver was a fanatical believer in the power of the offensive and time and again forced his army commanders to make ill-considered attacks that the Ottoman army was poorly equipped to conduct. An Entente player needs to execute two Grand Offensives and for the Eastern Front, these involve capturing the objective plus five-other areas, something that can become virtually impossible using the Russian army later in the war.

Massing German combat power in the East is probably the key to CP victory in WW1G however in real life the Great General Staff never anticipated that the fabric of Russian society was as vulnerable as it turned out to be when they planned their two-front war. That said, Tsarist Russia did survive disaster after disaster and managed to last into the winter of 1917 as an effective ally even with much of Germany's army on the Western Front. In fact both Russia and Austria may prove surprisingly resistance to collapse or succumb to internal collapse fairly early in the game and I would submit that this represents the range of potential outcomes reasonably well.

One of the strengths of WW1G (IMHO) is that after the potential for an easy victory in 1914 has passed, you really have no other war aim than to win at all costs and this reflects the situation that the belligerents themselves faced. Victory conditions in the game are a bit nebulous and sometimes you think that you should have done better than you did but again, look at the actual event and Entente "victory" proved short-lived and hollow with the costs nowhere compensated for by any substantive gain.

Naval historian Richard Hough called the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 "... one of the most wretchedly useless wars ever fought." but I really think that World War One also belongs on that list and that is one of the attractive aspects of WW1G the game.

Regards,

-C

jcrohio
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Wed May 01, 2013 10:41 pm

I suspect at least some of what you're seeing is the depth of the game and that this allows significantly different paths to similar outcomes and vice-versa. There are enough variables so that the game often plays out differently every time.

Imagine that in one case the people rallied around the Tsar whereas in the other, revolution and disorder carried the day. It's for you to decide if the results were in the realm of the possible or not.

Did you adapt a Russia-First strategy both games?


I suspect your correct - the game has that much variety - yes I did a Russia first strategy both times - the second time I kept Britain out of the war - both times I felt France fell rather easily


As the German's you have an advantage in that a Grand Offensive need only be started on one front and neither Austria or Turkey are required to conduct one. If the Enver Obstination Event fires you need to conduct two attacks per year with Turkish forces but they need not be planned Grand Offensives. As a bit of history, Enver was a fanatical believer in the power of the offensive and time and again forced his army commanders to make ill-considered attacks that the Ottoman army was poorly equipped to conduct. An Entente player needs to execute two Grand Offensives and for the Eastern Front, these involve capturing the objective plus five-other areas, something that can become virtually impossible using the Russian army later in the war.


Thanks for the Enver Obstination answer - I felt it required two Grand Offenses


Massing German combat power in the East is probably the key to CP victory in WW1G however in real life the Great General Staff never anticipated that the fabric of Russian society was as vulnerable as it turned out to be when they planned their two-front war. That said, Tsarist Russia did survive disaster after disaster and managed to last into the winter of 1917 as an effective ally even with much of Germany's army on the Western Front. In fact both Russia and Austria may prove surprisingly resistance to collapse or succumb to internal collapse fairly early in the game and I would submit that this represents the range of potential outcomes reasonably well.


I think it is the way to go - keep Belgium neutral and the Western front is rather short - found it was simple to beat back all French attacks - in fact they suffered a lot more than the Germans


One of the strengths of WW1G (IMHO) is that after the potential for an easy victory in 1914 has passed, you really have no other war aim than to win at all costs and this reflects the situation that the belligerents themselves faced. Victory conditions in the game are a bit nebulous and sometimes you think that you should have done better than you did but again, look at the actual event and Entente "victory" proved short-lived and hollow with the costs nowhere compensated for by any substantive gain.

Naval historian Richard Hough called the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 "... one of the most wretchedly useless wars ever fought." but I really think that World War One also belongs on that list and that is one of the attractive aspects of WW1G the game.



This really come out in the book you recommended for me to read (A World Undone) - the senselessness of the whole war is hard to fathom - the casualties were unbelievable - that men would subject themselves year after year is beyond what I can imagine
Jack
Regards,

-C[/QUOTE]

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Tamas
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Mon May 06, 2013 8:50 am

Your examples show off the nice National Will and political system in the game. It also shows that probably the game is not doing a perfect job in letting you know what's going on in that regard in enemy countries.

There are several options to keep NW afloat: most notably naming new governments (while your parlaiment level can take it). Also national resurgance can happen every time you conquer an enemy city or fort. If the Russians got lucky enough rolls in succession (which probably happened), the sight of a conquering enemy steamrolling their homeland united their people behind the war effort. Much of like what happened with them in WW2 I guess.

Also, below NW 20, the instability zone can make for some WILD swings. Mutinies and revolts can really hurt, but failed (or even successful "white") revolutions can see the NW recover. Or as in the case of your first game, as it keeps falling lower and lower it can become a self-reinforcing process which tears the country apart and leads to collapse.

Again, I would say that it probably should be clearer for the player what happens in this regard in enemy countries, but the system driving this "under the hood" is very nice and simulates what happened (and the reasonable alternatives) very well I think.

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Mon May 06, 2013 12:53 pm

I think the above are all valid observations except that I need to respectfully disagree with:
Again, I would say that it probably should be clearer for the player what happens in this regard in enemy countries,

One thing about the Great War (and also true for most other wars) was that both sides tended to read what was happening on the other side incorrectly and make plans based on false political assumptions. This was less a failure of intelligence (although both sides suffered in this department) but rather more likely institutionalized political optimism, exaggerating military success, tightly controlled press while coming to believe ones own propaganda and cultural bias' at work.

From the winter of 1914-15 until the Kaiser's Offensive in 1918, the British continually assessed that Germany was running out of manpower and just one-more-push would bring Victory. The German's underestimated French staying power while overestimating the political resistance of Russia and the ability of the Entente to adjust to the U-Boat crisis. Austria-Hungary surprised friend and foe alike by recovering time and again from repeated catastrophic defeats as did the Ottoman Empire. The WW1G player does get to see the enemy's NW and parliamentary mood and knows when big events like new governments and mutinies occur but the lack of more specific information may make planning assumptions prove incorrect. The range of probabilities are too great to either be able to infer collapse or renewed vitality of a nation based on the information provided, which is I think, as it should be.

One the other hand I agree with this statement 100%:
but the system driving this "under the hood" is very nice and simulates what happened (and the reasonable alternatives) very well I think.


-C

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calvinus
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Mon May 06, 2013 2:57 pm

Random wrote:One thing about the Great War (and also true for most other wars) was that both sides tended to read what was happening on the other side incorrectly and make plans based on false political assumptions. This was less a failure of intelligence (although both sides suffered in this department) but rather more likely institutionalized political optimism, exaggerating military success, tightly controlled press while coming to believe ones own propaganda and cultural bias' at work....


In fact WW1 allows you to apply FOW also on enemy power's stats, such as NW, MUN, etc...
Visit my other games at : http://www.calvinusgames.com

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Mon May 06, 2013 4:03 pm

calvinus wrote:In fact WW1 allows you to apply FOW also on enemy power's stats, such as NW, MUN, etc...

Of course this is true and I should have specified that my examples applied with full FOW on for Player and AI both.

On the other hand, even with FOW off, the range of possible outcomes for NW driven events is too large to allow for a absolutely reliable prediction as to what's going to happen when a Nation enters the NW instability zone. Highlighting this observation was my intention in the above post.

-C

jcrohio
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Tue May 07, 2013 12:38 am

Thanks all for the replies - this game has held my interest longer than any game I have played for a while - am reading through the rules again (for the third time) but this time I am reading the board game rules also - really does help in understanding what is going on - am still discovering things I did not know

For any new players - this game takes time to understand - it is very deep - it is quirky and can be frustrating but if you stay with it is rewarding
Jack

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