I bought the game on saturday and delved right into it. I played a first camapign but was stopped - after hours and some 20-30 turns by a crash. Taking it as a learning experience (about the game mechanics) I restarted the big campaign.
I'm now 80 turns in.
Sadly I didn't write anything down, so I have to recollect what I did through the years and thus this isn't a real AAR, but merely a recollection of my holey memory.
First I give Schwerin the command of an army and Lehwaldt, too. Lehwaldt will push to Kolberg in summer leaving Schorlemer back as a guerilla unit. Back to the South.
Saxony gives up easily and I try to capture Toppau with Schwerins army, but it didn't work out. Instead I push him forward and besiege Olmütz - to no avail either. Meanwhile Keith and Willhelm von Preussen went West from Pirna Camp to Eger and Karlsbad (it's still winter). Before it is too late Keith can capture Eger and Willhelm is taking Karlsbad. Nice.
Then my first mistake: In an all or nothing attempt Friedrich tries to break through to Prague facing lots of Austrian troops. His defeat is sound. Friedrichs army (and he himself?) never recaptures this mistake. His army will always be on the receiving end, fighting without luck or is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The second winter is a strong one (luckily for me. Funny enough I really look forward to the winters now unlike in my real life, because they are often times a much needed break and I can beat bigger armies, because they suffer attrition while besieging my cities). Schwerin can overtake the Austrians on his side of the mountains after they suffered attrition in the cold winds (as I said). Wedell is with him, but got lost somewhere in the following months. His soldiers break up and he's vanishing. He has been seen in some pubs nowadays, but it's only gossip, probably not true.
Meanwhile the Russians go home after they captured Königsberg. It took them some time and Schorlemer sat idly by and received supply. I wanted him to get through to Memel so I think I'm a tricky bastard and take every brigade out of his cavalry - they have to get each for themselves to Wornie as this hightens the chance to get through the amassed Russian army. To make it short: They got somehow through and recollected themselves to attack Memel. There they died. They propably couldn't fight with an empty stomach. Sorry guys, I thought I had a good plan.
Wesel fell into French hands after some time and they capture Münster shortly after. This will be their operational HQ for the next years, because they fail to make significant progress in the coming months.
Because Prussia can keep the core cities, even though Saxon and Austrian armies flood the Prussian country I can keep up with them. It sounds like a plan: let them get through, so I can cut their lifelines (means capture their depots and cities). But it was just helplessness. There where so many armies and I couldn't stop them. Plan B became Plan A.
I keep Schwerin always in and around Glatz, trying to overcome weak opponents units. It works, he seldom loses. I even get Toppau, but fail again at Olmütz.
In the north there's Moritz and Ferdinand (now, I overlooked the options when I could have chosen), Wutignau and Zastrow and some more - I will lose all of them, besides Moritz and Ferdinand.
Thanks to the strong winter my armies can regain strength and beat some enemy troops. Yipiikayey!
More of the same. It's a cat and mouse game. If Austria tries to caputre Glatz, Schwerin adavances to Olmütz and they follow, while he falls back into home territory again. Katte is a helping hand as I am able to rebuilt a little weak army for him (which he will lose the next year). Until now I thought several times that "this is it", but I always recover somehow - likewise does the enemy.
I get a much needed and very fast British help in form of a column. Immediatley they run havoc in northern Germany (or was it year 4?). They conquer some lost regions back and I like them. Bremen is now mine again.
Prussia is ruled by the Russians. I can't do much against it. Lehwaldts army pulled back and defended Berlin until he retired. My idea was to keep the core clean, so that I can keep my supply high, so I lost cities that are far away and didn't care much about Sweden and Eastern Pommern, But I'm all around Westfalen/Kassel/Hannover/Berlin and try to keep Schlesien and the area around Dresden close.
Oh and I just have to say that I made the Duke of Cumberland to an army leader (don't ask) and he is pretty successful. Despite his not so hot abilities (4-0-2). He and Moritz act as Firemen in the north around Hannover and it works.
The French on the other hand bring on the heavyweights. Sometimes they have 8 to 10 big armies on the ground. Minden, Hannover, Paderborn are their destinations, sometimes Braunschweig and Magdeburg.
In another cat and mouse game Friedrich and August von Braunschweig-Bayern try to avoid the heavyweights and pick the fights they can win. It's hard to find the gap where I can regain some ground. Dortmund and Düsseldorf are switchenig owners fast, but the biggest let down is the winter. It's rather soft and very short. I hate good weather!
Somewhere down the line Friedrich tried to besiege Prague, but to no avail. Later on his army is dissolving because of the lack of supplies. Poor sod.
Berlin falls, gets recaptured and is attacked again. It is in ruins now (and so are Dresden and Paderborn, poor Civilians), but the Prussian Militia in Berlin is fighting the good fight. I am most impressed. Two times they hold out against bigger armies. The biggest accomplishment to date.
Meanwhile Dresden, Torgau and Magdeburg fall to 7,000 French soldiers (what the heck? the French officer doesn't even have a face. I'm beaten by a noname, noface guy, uh) and get recaptured fast by the Duke and Moritz (hehe). Small Austrian units are around, but Berlin needs help and because Hannover und Braunschweig fell Prussia needs the supplies coming from Berlin. Oh I forgot to tell that somewhere down the line Daune captured the depot at Kustrin.
The Russians took then Breslau (they can show the Austrians something about sieges - it was their first try and they did it) and even though the Austrians are weak, there is only Schwerin to do all the work. The siege at Königgratz (the first time in 4 years I could try this) had to be arborted, because the Prussian cities needed help badly.
Friedrich lost all troops when he got delayed at Prague for 3 months. He's out of an army and I can't build one.
The French take Hannover, but Friedrich can capture Wesel and Dortmund and this cuts the lifeline coming from France, but since their armies took the biggest Prussian cities it's somehow pointless for me (I think). And while they did that they forced good Keith back to Kassel and nearly destroyed him while he retreated. Bastards!
My British friends capture one depot after another. Hamburg, Lübeck, Kiel and they don't stop - because there is no one that could fight them. The French and their Austrian drinking buds are engaged at Magdeburg and reaching for Torgau.
But Prussia/me/Friedrich is losing the grip. It's like a mild cold, creeping into my bones and I believe destiny and death is pulling at me.
The most important cities are now French, with some important (for me) exceptions around them (Berlin, Torgau, Dresden. Dortmund, Kassel, Wesel etc, are all Prussian). Futak and his French heavyweights are going for Torgau now, where the Duke rests (he has to go away fast). Moritz is marching from Berlin to recapture Kustrin. I want my depot back there.
Matter of factly my supply chain is kept alive somehow while patchy, but the reinforcements don't come and my armies bleed to death.
My troops have too much elite infantray and the trainers all train light infantry - then the armies lose squadron after squadron and since the French have most of my inner cities Prussia can't rebuild squadrons. So my armies shrink fight after fight and I can't do much about it.
the situation overall
So Friedrich stands between a rock and a hard place. Currently he has a lot of officers, but no soldiers.
He needs elite infantry (in the case of Schwerin: badly), but only gets Light Infantry replacements which are worthless.
He needs new squadrons but lost his core cities. But he hasn't enough recruits anyway - money is not the problem. I build Depot Grenadiers and Line Infantry as often as I can. I have 33 replacement regiments of Light infantry and can't use them.
Schwerin did well until now, but this winter is even more mild than the one before and so he is stuck with the Austrians (that situtation he could probably manage) ...and a big Russian army (sort of a show stopper). The end is neigh.
Rest of the pack
My other armies are exhausted and aren't able to use the availalbe Troops as I said. I evade the enemy even more now and try to recapture as much ground as possible, but I don't know if it will work out in the end.
I played 80 turns until now. It's the end of December 1759. I can feel attrition, too now, because I begin to lose hope to win this.
I think even though I didn't really know all the rules I managed to survive through the hardest of times (I play with standard options, only I took back the AI advantage of activating officers).
4 or 5 times after a hefty defeat I thought that I can only survive 3 or 4 more turns, but I always managed to get around things. It's amazing. I can really feel how Friedirch must have felt. He began a war and then just tried to survive after early victories - just likeme.
I didn't realize that I play the whole war with this scenario, because I was so hestitant to begin, I didn't read the texts properly, so I'm pretty much in the same situation and I forgot nearly everything I've read about this time period, so I read the ingame newspaper with great interest.
I realize the enemy can't destroy me completely, but I can't destroy them either. Countless times I won some key battles (and they, too), but they always come back with more troops than before, while I lose men and brigade after brigade.
The biggest asset where my fortificated cities. They don't have much men inside, but boy do they put up a fight. At most I have only 4 or 5 bigger armies, which usually have to walk a lot of miles and sometimes therefore have to wait until they fight - for that time the cities are on their own. That's why Kolberg is still Prussian (and boy did the Russians try to capture it). I never did a thing, they survived on their own.
Oberschlesien - for years - withstood every attempt of the Austrians. This and the hard winters, together with an intelligent acting Schwerin kept them alive.
In the forums they say it was all about moving armies, doing evasive tactics all the time - from both sides. And that it was about fortifications and conquering them. The game recaptures this exactly (at least in my game). Good job!
[color="Green"]a little bit about my officers.[/color]
- unlucky, just unlucky
- I'm so very thankful that he did, what he did. He sometimes hadve big problems with attrition, cohesion and whatnot, but he overcame everything. There's this Austrian general with a beard (hehe, he said with a beard, but I don't remember his name), Schwerin destroyed two times his whole army and right about now will probably win the next battle against the bearded general ...again! woohoo.
- he's really a good guy, won Eger for me early on, which was and is pretty important and usually wins, when I expect him to win. But he also can't do a lot against 8 armies at once.
First in the South, then in the North, he's doing very well and commands right now the biggest unit of my troops in the North.
came in the right moment. He is fast and accurate and I hope the Austrians feel sorry for the depots he captured me
The Duke of Cumberland:
together with Moritz he did a solid job in reacapturing Magdeburg and Berlin and defended Braunschweig more than one time.
He's still alive and I don't konw how. Normally I lose my cavalry only units fast, but he's still around. Disappointed me sometimes, but I'm glad he's around. Austria is beginning to make little wars (how dare they?) and he can hold against that.
[color="Red"]the enemies officers:[/color]
I have the biggest respect of Daune
and I fear him. Everything he does hurts me badly. An example for his understanding of strategy: In the second year he was with his men between Torgau and Magdeburg and I expected him to fight my troops. When the winter came he went in the direction of Berlin (fast) and I thought: "Just do it, idiot, I have no army there, but you will die of attrition anyway." But he pushed on and got to West Pommern to survive. The idiot was me. Then again I seldom can catch his armies, when he is weak. This is a great leader and I'm lucky Austria hasn't more of him.
Then there are the other Austrian generals in the South
. I have no respect for them. Their inabilty to cope with Schwerin, whom I didn't think was so good in the beginning, says enough. But maybe they aren't as good as they think and Schwerin grew into a bigger general while fighting. (I know it, because I know his stats: He's now 5-4-5 and started with 4-2-2 AFAIR).
is now leading the French heavyweights. I didn't have much to do with him, until know (early on not and not now for obvious reasons), but right now he represents everything what is wrong with my situation: he can do everything he wants and I have to watch.
... I expected more. In the first year the where around Memel and Königsberg and when the first snow fell, they got anxious and headed back to mama Russia. The following year, they invaded Neumark, captured Berlin and pretty much destroyed it with their attacks. They lost it pretty fast again. The other town they captured was Breslau, even though that was good, they where lucky. Schwerin besieged Königgratz and couldn't wipe them out, because they where pretty weak because of atttrition. Their attemots at besieging Magdeburg where prevented because Moritz attacked them time after time.
I have no plans for the future - I will just try to survive. I have to find a way to rebuild my armies, but I don't know how.
me 119 enemy 78
me 4316 enemy 3345
controlled cities (to win)
4 (Kolberg, Berlin, Dresden, Kassel) - for the longest time I had 7
controlled cities (strategically)
8 (Kolberg, Frankfurt/O, Berlin. Schweidnitz, Kassel, Torgau, Dresden, Wesel
me 218,122 enemy 253,347