gwgardner
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multiplayer EAW is a blast

Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:41 pm

I've read some in depth comments/criticisms on the AI problems in TEAW, and many have been negative, perhaps leading some to put off getting the game.

For any such prospective gamers who have any inclination towards multiplayer, I thought to remark on the game in multiplayer mode, and encourage you to take the plunge.

I and two others are now up to March 1915 in a multiplayer game.

For immersion, ease of play, depth, TEAW has been a most enjoyable experience. I've been playing AGEOD games since the original BOA. Every game since has been enjoyable, and TEAW surpasses them all in my opinion. Get this game!

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Kensai
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Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:50 pm

Been saying this all along! :)
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samba_liten
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:28 am

In my game there even seems to be some static frontline formation in late '14. Just like in real life! It's a blast!

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Lindi
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:56 am

Same for me in my all PBM I do :)

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DrPostman
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:11 am

Alteris and the devs will be glad to learn that. They worked hard to create
the best simulation of conditions during the war as they could.
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Lynxyonok
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:45 am

Amen! I just wish there were more than 3 sides ;)

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Kensai
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:31 am

The more than 3 sides can be simulated by agreeing some kind of team playing. For example the WE players could be made of say France, Great Britain, and Portugal. The players should agree on an overall leader who plays "last" (probably Germany, France, Russia for the three protagonists). Each player in the WE side gives orders starting from the "smaller" nation (Portugal), then moving to the next one (UK) and last the French leader who decides on the overall "reinforcements" policy including overruling production and regional decisions. I know it's not a true many-players setup but it could be quite fun nonetheless.

You guys should have seen PON two years ago, that we were playing with 18+ players. Almost all important nations of the 19th century were represented. I was playing Japan and still remember my attrition war with the Russian Empire in the Far East until I was saved by the Czar being forced to open another front in Europe. If we had continued that game we could have reached the EAW era. :)
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:23 pm

I've played 3 PBEMs into at least late 1916 (one to the end of 1917) of this during development, and all 3 were a lot of fun.

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John Sedgwick
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:37 pm

Glad to hear it, I am looking forward to PBEM. I'm waiting for the first patch to come out, and practicing against the AI and myself in the meantime.

How do the Central Powers fare in multiplayer? Naturally it should be very difficult to achieve a CP victory, but is it even possible against two competent Entente players?
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Kensai
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:11 pm

It should be fairly hard indeed, but impossible I don't think so. I think Moltke's (apocryphal) words in September 1914 are true though (when the Schlieffen Plan failed to materialise, partly his fault): "Your Majesty, we have lost the war.". If the Germans manage to make a good dash to Paris in the first two months (4 turns), the chances are very high of actually winning the game. Of course this applies if the player has chosen the historical war plan cause all the other are mixing the cards. :)

I am very curious to know what happens if there is an opposite Schlieffen: Moltke-Kaiser plan to send 7 armies and break Russia first. That's quite the bet!
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:26 pm

Also waiting for the first patch before PBEM but in the mean time learning the game.

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John Sedgwick
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:25 pm

Kensai wrote:...If the Germans manage to make a good dash to Paris in the first two months (4 turns), the chances are very high of actually winning the game. Of course this applies if the player has chosen the historical war plan cause all the other are mixing the cards. :)

That's good, the first few turns should be crucial.

I am very curious to know what happens if there is an opposite Schlieffen: Moltke-Kaiser plan to send 7 armies and break Russia first. That's quite the bet!

As am I, that's what I'm currently facing playing Russia against the AI, with Austria throwing all her weight, too. I don't think I could hold the Polish salient against a determined human opponent. Russia's a big country, I think I'd go after Paris before Petrograd as the CP, but it's an intriguing idea.
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bob.
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:42 pm

A Russia-first plan has some advantages, most importantly the narrow border compared to the huge Russian frontier.
On the other hand, it also has many disadvantages, in my opinion way more than advantages...
the Western Entente could NEVER be delayed sufficiently with the same amount of forces the Germans historically used against the Russians in 1914. A "reversed Schlieffen" is absolutely impossible.
And once the fortresses on the Franco-German border fall into French hands, it is game over. With no threat to their flanks it would just be a steady advance into Germany.
So, the Germans will eventually be forced to transport the majority of their troops to the Western Front. And then, does it really matter how far the Germans are into Russia? I don't think it makes a big difference.

That is, of course, if the Russians do not surrender. But the thing is, Russia can just retreat into their lands. I doubt there are enough important cities close to the border to force a surrender without also defeating the Russian army.

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Kensai
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:36 pm

I think that too, bob.. The only way I can see it happening is if the combined Austrohungarian and German armies beat them decisively early enough so then A-H alone can march towards Moscow, while the Germans are ferried back on trains to man the front before it crumbles. But indeed, what's the point there? Supposedly it will be already 1915 so the trench tech will be high already. But without a second front the Germans could in fact dedicate into more "sacrificial attacks" or help kick out the Italians earlier.

In any way, I think the Schlieffen Plan is the best bet. If Moltke had adhered completely to the plan ("keep the right flank as strong as possible!!") perhaps the Germans would have achieved a 1870 repeat.
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:47 pm

Kensai wrote:I think that too, bob.. The only way I can see it happening is if the combined Austrohungarian and German armies beat them decisively early enough so then A-H alone can march towards Moscow, while the Germans are ferried back on trains to man the front before it crumbles. But indeed, what's the point there? Supposedly it will be already 1915 so the trench tech will be high already. But without a second front the Germans could in fact dedicate into more "sacrificial attacks" or help kick out the Italians earlier.

In any way, I think the Schlieffen Plan is the best bet. If Moltke had adhered completely to the plan ("keep the right flank as strong as possible!!") perhaps the Germans would have achieved a 1870 repeat.


Yes and the war would be over before Christmas! Unfortunately, Moltke made many mistakes and lost the oportunity for a decisive early victory, but in any case, if the Glorious German Empire didn't have to use its forces in so many theaters (being always forced to "lend a hand" to its weaker partners) the W.E would never be able to hold them, indeed the Ludendorff offensives almost achieved victory as late as in 1918, so I don't think it's that simple: "win early or game over", but it's surely the best of the possibilities and the german were the only ones with this possibility at hand, so I'd suggest anyone to try it.
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:30 pm

HerrDan wrote:Yes and the war would be over before Christmas! Unfortunately, Moltke made many mistakes and lost the oportunity for a decisive early victory, but in any case, if the Glorious German Empire didn't have to use its forces in so many theaters (being always forced to "lend a hand" to its weaker partners) the W.E would never be able to hold them, indeed the Ludendorff offensives almost achieved victory as late as in 1918, so I don't think it's that simple: "win early or game over", but it's surely the best of the possibilities and the german were the only ones with this possibility at hand, so I'd suggest anyone to try it.


I wouldn't say the Ludendorff Offensive almost achieved victory. I would say, it was a desperate last attack without any real goal that was impossible to "win". It was a considerable gain of ground, but in the end that was not an advantage but a disadvantage. They lost lots of men to gain a worthless huge salient, awesome!
After the initial 1914 campaign I don't think any individual offensive would be able to win the war for either side.

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HerrDan
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:34 pm

bob. wrote:I wouldn't say the Ludendorff Offensive almost achieved victory. I would say, it was a desperate last attack without any real goal that was impossible to "win". It was a considerable gain of ground, but in the end that was not an advantage but a disadvantage. They lost lots of men to gain a worthless huge salient, awesome!
After the initial 1914 campaign I don't think any individual offensive would be able to win the war for either side.


I would say that you need to read more about it, before making such a senseless post... :non:

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Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:52 pm

HerrDan wrote:I would say that you need to read more about it, before making such a senseless post... :non:

Cheers.


Please enlighten me, then. I do not claim to be a WW1 expert. I just don't see any way, at all, for Germany to militarily "win" it. Short of scenarios like "French and British panic and sue for peace".

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fred zeppelin
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:56 pm

HerrDan wrote:I would say that you need to read more about it, before making such a senseless post... :non:

Cheers.


Well, there's this: http://www.historynet.com/the-tragic-pursuit-of-total-victory-germanys-unrelenting-offensive-that-lost-wwi.htm

Excerpt:

Never again in 1918 would Germany possess the same hitting power. Yet even after their colossal military gamble failed, there was no civilian authority remaining in Germany to force Hindenburg and Ludendorff to alter course. Making war had become the only policy, as Hindenburg and Ludendorff persisted in launching four more offensives that ultimately drove their men to the wall. While the German army grew ever weaker, Entente forces grew stronger as they coordinated their war-making efforts under Foch, selected as the Allied generalissimo during the crisis of March, and as the "Yanks and tanks" took to the field in ever increasing numbers.

The details of the subsequent Ludendorff offensives are less important than their lack of positive strategic results. Even worse, by June a depleted German army now had to defend a front of 510 kilometers instead of the 390 kilometers it defended in mid-March, and largely without the force-multiplying benefits of the Hindenburg Line. Having suffered a million casualties since March—especially severe among the highly trained and difficult to replace storm trooper units—the army would suffer grievously that summer from the lack of such benefits.

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Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:55 pm



Fred Zeppelin your sources are really great...for a 8th grade student perhaps... ;)
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fred zeppelin
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:04 pm

HerrDan wrote:Fred Zeppelin your sources are really great...for a 8th grade student perhaps... ;)


Here's the author. Definitely not an eighth grader:

William J. Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF), has taught at the Air Force Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School. He currently teaches at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. A regular contributor to TomDispatch, he is the author of Hindenburg: Icon of German Militarism (Potomac, 2005). His email is wastore at pct.edu.


Point simply is there are varying - and educated - schools of thought on the subject. As is typically the case on historical issues.

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Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:13 pm

HerrDan wrote:Fred Zeppelin your sources are really great...for a 8th grade student perhaps... ;)


Wow, that's a great argument for your claim that "Germany almost achieved victory"! How about instead of bashing others you just say why you have that opinion? This is what a forum is about, after all...

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fred zeppelin
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Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:23 pm

bob. wrote:Wow, that's a great argument for your claim that "Germany almost achieved victory"! How about instead of bashing others you just say why you have that opinion? This is what a forum is about, after all...


Unfortunately, some folks are cursed with a train of thought limited to a single track.

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HerrDan
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Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:08 am

bob. wrote:Wow, that's a great argument for your claim that "Germany almost achieved victory"! How about instead of bashing others you just say why you have that opinion? This is what a forum is about, after all...


What I meant when I said that your post was perhaps a little pointless is simply because you cannot talk about "what could have happened" based only in the results of the process. What you described is really the result of the last german offensives of 1918, they conquered much worthless territory etc, but what I meant when I said "almost achieved victory" (perhaps I should have said "could have"?) is that if the first goal of the offensives that was to split the british armies from the french and push them against the channel and basically force the british to surrender, was achieved (and it came close to happen as the famous remark by Lloyd George at the time shows: "We are going to lose this war", he said). The problem was how the offensives were conducted with a lack of a concise objective and many shifts of objectives as the operations progressed and not in the potential it had to really break the allies and this is what I was talking about. The german achieved a breakthough and came again close to take Paris or (perhaps the problem was the difficult in choosing which of these to pursue) close to split the british armies from the french ones etc, so yes I can say that they almost achieved victory without needing to go very deep here or to rely on an internet link or offending anyone on a personal level...
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samba_liten
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Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:09 am

bob. wrote:I wouldn't say the Ludendorff Offensive almost achieved victory. I would say, it was a desperate last attack without any real goal that was impossible to "win". It was a considerable gain of ground, but in the end that was not an advantage but a disadvantage. They lost lots of men to gain a worthless huge salient, awesome!
After the initial 1914 campaign I don't think any individual offensive would be able to win the war for either side.


If he had taken Amiens he would have stood a chance of getting something out of it. As it was, the whole offensive fell victim to Ludendorf's tactical genius and lack of operational discipline. He tended to choose the route of least resistance, which, of course, led him away from any worthwhile objective. His subsequent offensives were intended to draw British troops away from Flanders, but he lost sight of that goal as well. As soon as he started gaining ground he changed the objectives and lost sight of why he had ordered the offensive in the first place. He even pulled troops away from Flanders, where they were preparing for their attack to take the channel ports, and committed them to pointless attacks in front of Paris. All that did was create a huge bulge, thereby extending the frontage the Germans had to hold (the reduction of which had been one of the main reasons for the withdrawal to the Hindenburg line a year before). Furthermore, Ludendorf failed to capture any of the rail lines in the area, making his new salient very hard indeed to supply.

All in all, the 1918 offensives were generally successful on the tactical level, but failed on the operational level. Therefore they did not in any way alleviate Germany's serious strategic problems.

Could the offensive have won the war for the Germans? Well, taking Amiens would have created some supply problems for the allies. It might have split the BEF from the French army, in which case the BEF might have pulled back towards the channel ports, allowing the Germans to deal with the demoralized French in peace.

Foch probably wouldn't have let this happen, but Haig was a bit shaky at times.

All this based on a reading of The German 1918 Offensives: A Case Study in The Operational Level of War by Zabecki some months ago. Working from memory here...apologies for the lack of detail.

lol..Ninja'd

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Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:14 am

lol this was funny.

EDIT: I mean ninjas are lol...
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bob.
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Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:55 am

But even if we assume the Germans make huge and strategically important gains, do you think the Entente would have just made peace? Honest question, I know nothing about that. I guess they did panic in some cases during the Kaiserschlacht, but that seems only natural during a large offensive.

One thing is IMHO for sure though: the Germans were done for militarily anyway, so the best thing the Germans could hope for would be that the Entente PERCEIVES them as way stronger than they really are.

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HerrDan
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Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:11 am

bob. wrote:But even if we assume the Germans make huge and strategically important gains, do you think the Entente would have just made peace? Honest question, I know nothing about that. I guess they did panic in some cases during the Kaiserschlacht, but that seems only natural during a large offensive.

One thing is IMHO for sure though: the Germans were done for militarily anyway, so the best thing the Germans could hope for would be that the Entente PERCEIVES them as way stronger than they really are.


The german were far from beaten even after the hundred days offensive was halted (militarily talkig...) and at the start of 1918 the general impression was that they were actually going to win the war and their morale was really high after the defeat of Russia and the treaty of Brest-Litovsk, so surely at the start of the 1918 offensives the german were FAR from being "done", the opposite is closer to reality. What happened with Germany could have happened with any other power, indeed the french mutinities of 1917 almost led to a complete collapse of the french army, so the war was more about National Morale than anything, the german morale at home was broken and so came the november revolution, but the same could have happened (and almost happened) with either France or Great Britain.
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Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:44 am

IMO, the Allies won in 1918 because they finally learned how to effectively use combined arms of aircraft dominance and recon, tanks/assault troops, and coordinated creeping barrage artillery tactics (which really stemmed from better recon allowing artillery to pinpoint its fire). It's somewhat ironic, IMO, that the Germans were the ones who took these lessons to heart 20 years later, being on the receiving end of these tactics which were so much more successful than the offensives of 1915-1917.

The USA's entry had some impact too, mostly in boosting the morale of the British/French with fresh troops and leading to Ludendorff's offensives being launched in a desperate gamble to break the Allies before the Americans tipped the balance irrevocably. On the German side, 1918 saw the tipping point of the British blockade really unraveling the German morale on the homefront too.

In a PBEM game, I think the Central Powers have some chance of success, largely depending on the decisions made by the Western Entente. It's absolutely critical for the Entente to build up medium/heavy artillery throughout the war, if they fail to do so before Russia falls, Germany can very well defeat the Allies once they can concentrate in the West. Prudent use of WSU expenditure by the British/French is the key to both holding off the Germans in the late war and the eventual turning of the tide. Of course this does need to be offset with troops in the field, but troops alone won't win the key battles in the trenches.

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Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:35 am

Altaris wrote:IMO, the Allies won in 1918 because they finally learned how to effectively use combined arms of aircraft dominance and recon, tanks/assault troops, and coordinated creeping barrage artillery tactics (which really stemmed from better recon allowing artillery to pinpoint its fire). It's somewhat ironic, IMO, that the Germans were the ones who took these lessons to heart 20 years later, being on the receiving end of these tactics which were so much more successful than the offensives of 1915-1917.

The USA's entry had some impact too, mostly in boosting the morale of the British/French with fresh troops and leading to Ludendorff's offensives being launched in a desperate gamble to break the Allies before the Americans tipped the balance irrevocably. On the German side, 1918 saw the tipping point of the British blockade really unraveling the German morale on the homefront too.

In a PBEM game, I think the Central Powers have some chance of success, largely depending on the decisions made by the Western Entente. It's absolutely critical for the Entente to build up medium/heavy artillery throughout the war, if they fail to do so before Russia falls, Germany can very well defeat the Allies once they can concentrate in the West. Prudent use of WSU expenditure by the British/French is the key to both holding off the Germans in the late war and the eventual turning of the tide. Of course this does need to be offset with troops in the field, but troops alone won't win the key battles in the trenches.


Yeah the first part is basicaly the theory defended by Liddel Hart, but IMO the tanks weren't nearly as important in the first world war as he claims. I think the german GHQ made many mistakes in their offensive of 1918, but it stood good chances of winning the war, the french were basically only "waiting for the americans to come", as remarked by Petain at the time (indeed he's probably one of the main responsibles for the french army to "survive" the 1917's mutinities), I think that the offensive only lacked a good coordination and a clear objective, its shift of objectives as the operations progressed really hampered the german "last chance" to win the war, but had Paris fallen, for instance, France would probably seek an armistice, if not immediatly overtaken by revolution.

The USA's entry surely contributed a lot to the outcome of the war, not so much in the field, but specially on the political (and economical) side of the war (although not that much in the morale IMO, as the soldiers were really tired of the war as many american soldiers stated when talking about when they arrived in Europe) and the blockade really hurt german morale on the home front, but at the same time the huge territory the german got from Brest-Litovisk had the potential to relieve a lot of the blockade's pressure in the long run.

All in all I think the spring offensives had a really great chance of succeeding and came close to. Had the german adopted a different strategy (like Otto von Below's suggestion of staying in the defensive and concentrate on mass production of tanks, that man was really a visonary...) would the outcome be different? It's hard to guess...anyway we can try to get possible different outcomes playing the game. :)
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