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Don77
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And now for a little fighting

Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:02 am

G'day,

Given the recent release of beta 100rc1 - THE RELEASE CANDIDATE, Enocm and I will commence Scenario #4 - Grand Campaign starting in August 1805. We aim to get as much done to allow people to see fighting prior to the launch of the game, which we understand is planned for 3 December?

If you are interested in our previous review (learning) about the game, and strategy and diplomacy, please see the previous threat on Scenario #5 - Grand Campaign starting January 1805.
http://www.ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?41286-AAR-from-the-Beta

We are using the same settings (see below) - do see the previous post for a more detailed explanation of why we chose these.
[ATTACH]35484[/ATTACH]

We have just started, so please excuse the slight delay as we both orient to the start, plan our first moves and again try and figure out what to do.

Again, I am French, Enocm is Britain. The AI is playing the rest of the allies and Coalition countries.

At first glance it looks daunting. Don't worry, by the second or third glances and days, you'll continue to be amazed about how much is in the game and possibilities. The good news - its the same AGEOD engine, so it is easy to play, just harder to master.

Don
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Game Settings.png

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Don77
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Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:32 am

Army of Italy

The biggest thing I do when starting any campaign - to review my forces, organise my army and maximise my combat power. So, this means the most divisions per Army and corps. Also, leaving out of battle those corps which are surplus. Also, pulling out brigades and smaller units until I can combine them into divisions.

For Army of Italy, I therefore have a single full up army (21 command points) and a half-strength corps.
  • Massena (3-5-5) and 21 command points, 3 Inf Div, 2 Cav Div
  • Molitor (3-4-4) and ~ 13 command points, 2 Inf Div, 1 Cav Div
  • Left out of Battle - Gouvoin (4-2-3), Duhesme and Partenoux (3-3-2) - one of these will be built up once I have combined the many smaller brigades in this theatre at my concentration point in turn 2..
  • I have also noted a number of commanders with poor alignment - ie cavalry commanders with infantry units or vice versa, they too will be re-combined in turn 2.
  • All army's must have the same personnel system - there are a number of German capable leaders posted to Italy (really, there's a lot of germans to lead in Tuscany!), - they'll head north too.


[ATTACH]35492[/ATTACH]

For builds, I am focusing on the south. I am building a number of line and light brigades. Each of these will be combined with one of the many excess elite brigades in the Italy theatre, to ensure each old style combined divisions, includes (where possible) an elite unit.

Don
Attachments
Army of Italy start.JPG

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Don77
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Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:05 am

For the Grande Armee

The corps and divisions of the Grande Armee are more modern (ie single unit divisions), so much less initial organisation.
[ATTACH]35493[/ATTACH]

My campaign plan is as follows:
  • Using the Army of Italy to pressure Austria initially.
  • March the Grande Armee across the Rhine.
  • Set up for the next phase by being at Stuttgart, and around Rothenburg
  • Then see what he does.


My moves are shown below:
[ATTACH]35494[/ATTACH]

Diplomacy I may be a turn behind. I have requested all sorts of supply and access rights, but am marching in the same turn. Oh well, as Napoleon said - Time is the only resource you cannot recover. So, I'll just have to see whether this lack of prior diplomacy is an impact, or it plays on the same turn I move and I get some advantage there.

Don
Attachments
Turn 1.JPG
French start.JPG

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Don77
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Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:24 am

Turn 2 - Sep 1-7

A decent turn. A few units the in south started slowly, and one or two didn't move at all - the activation rule working. I like the idea of that unknown factor in whether the subordinate commanders will act, and if so how quickly.

Murat's corps won a great victory against an Austrian division. NM for me and ouch for him.
[ATTACH]35497[/ATTACH]

In the North, the GA is now poised to assault Mack. I see about 1200 combat power, I have Napoleon, the Guard and a Corps, with two more corps arriving. Napoleon doesn't command a 'full-up' stack, so I am counting on the MTSG to save his 'bacon'.
[ATTACH]35495[/ATTACH]

In the south, my AI is poised to outflank the border fortress of Padova. The two corps plus AI will all move into Chiogga. Next turn, attack into Trevisa together and make his border fort of Padova and General Belgrade (sic) irrelevant.
[ATTACH]35496[/ATTACH]

Don
Attachments
T2 battle.JPG
T2- AI - Outflank Belgarde.JPG
T2 - GA - Destry Mack.JPG

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Don77
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Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:56 am

Turn 3 - Sep 8-15

Well, we won the decisive battle at Ulm - opening the way east.

The battle was so decisive I think I should have taken more risk and gone for more cities in depth more quickly. Over three or four battles, France gained some 30NM, a few engagement points and only one corps was badly mauled. The major victory was Ulm, a minor battle to the south east tried to close off any Austrian retreat (unsuccessfully).
[ATTACH]35500[/ATTACH][ATTACH]35498[/ATTACH]

And many of the commanders got promotion opportunities too. The new promotions system is a good improvement. You just select from a list and promote (no need to take leaders out of a stack, break down units etc).
[ATTACH]35499[/ATTACH]

Not much to report in the south, not all moves occurred, so still moving into position.

Don
Attachments
T3 Ulm.JPG
T3 promotions.JPG
T3 Murat.JPG

seathom
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Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:24 am

I really like the officer promotions (much easier). Does the battle screen report still give more useful information or does it just show how many forces were lost for the entire battle? That screen is fine for a recap, but tells me nothing of how the battle was fought.

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Don77
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Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:40 am

Turn 4 - 16-21 Sep

More of the same - Napoleon pushes east and takes Regensbureg, Murat Innsbuck. The AI finally concentrates at Chiogga, but the Austrians have evaded and withdrawn to Trevisa. More NM and promotions

seathom wrote:I really like the officer promotions (much easier). Does the battle screen report still give more useful information or does it just show how many forces were lost for the entire battle? That screen is fine for a recap, but tells me nothing of how the battle was fought.


I need to find out a little more where I check - my T3 promotions had the impact of taking 4 NM and 902 VP! I should have read the tooltip to determine who gets angered and why.
[ATTACH]35503[/ATTACH]

The battle screen offers a simple or complex view. Use the button adjacent to to the top right 'x' to change. The simplified view is just that. A new screen that shows a simplified view (probably excellent for play against the AI, where battle plans come into play?).
[ATTACH]35502[/ATTACH]

The complex is what we are used to seeing in AGEOD. ie shows the summary, start and each round of combat (use the buttons on the top left).
[ATTACH]35501[/ATTACH]

Don
Attachments
T3 promotions - and impacts.JPG
Battle - simple report.JPG
and complex.JPG

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Pocus
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Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:58 am

You probably get more than you want to see with the detailed report! ;)
Image


Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's law."

seathom
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Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:08 pm

Pocus, too much information??? I enjoy watching the turns process in PON! Feel free to give me too much information in a game; I'll find use for it :)

veji1
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Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:02 pm

I know it's the mid 1805 campaign so the Austrians are made to get trashed, but damn some battle results are just extreme. I would like to see those Mack losses (40k) against Napoleon explained : is that surrender from inside a structure ? battle losses ? If it was a battle on the field, the more "historical" way this army would have been destroyed would have been tactical and then operational pursuit, as almost from the get go the Austrians would have been trying to extricate themselves from battle.

I would be really thankful for details !

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Don77
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Fri Nov 27, 2015 11:29 pm

veji1 wrote:I know it's the mid 1805 campaign so the Austrians are made to get trashed, but damn some battle results are just extreme. I would like to see those Mack losses (40k) against Napoleon explained : is that surrender from inside a structure ? battle losses ? If it was a battle on the field, the more "historical" way this army would have been destroyed would have been tactical and then operational pursuit, as almost from the get go the Austrians would have been trying to extricate themselves from battle.

I would be really thankful for details !


G'day Veji1,

If I can add some detail, which I hope explains the battle result. It did feel decisive yet historically 'close enough' (I can recommend Brian Bonds 'In Pursuit of Victory' as a good explanation of why historically it occurred in such a way).

Most importantly, yes, the AI is playing this, and it is the start of the scenario where the Austrians were historically greatly defeated, so that too does contribute to the results (it did happen this way).
  • The battle was all of the Grande Armee - Napoleon' stack (only a few divisions ie understrength), but supported by all of the rest of the GA - the Guard stack and two corps stacks (all full up with 5-7 divisions each).
  • This represents a much better command structure - army and corps, versus Mack's stacks.
  • Macks ~1100 combat power is faced off against say 3000 French.
  • The French leadership (representing their prowess) has great stats, 5-5-5 or better whereas the Austrians (again representing their relative limitations using Ancien Regime warfare against Napoleonic) is worse.


As for retreat and pursuit. The turns are 7 days, so the turns afterwards did have more smaller battles, where the Austrians continue to be defeated. Tactical retreat (ie in battle) is handled within each turn and battle. Operational retreat to depth, is handled in successive turns, again which I think did happen, (ie the successive battles).

If it makes its feel any more real/balanced, the French now have two small corps which are badly mauled, both are recovering in Ulm fortress as I type. Badly as in not combat effective with many damaged if not destroyed elements

I hope that helps explain the results, and I also my opinion as to why it is 'close enough' to not be materially different from historically what could have happened.

Don

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Don77
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Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:41 am

Turn 5 (22-30 Sep) and Turn 6 (1-7 Oct)

Historically, I am at the culmination of Napoleon's GA drive into Austria, with I think similar results. Lets see?

T5 - In the south, the AI of Massena took Venizia and Trevisa. This broke the Austrian defences of the northern Adriatic coast, allowing me the chance to exploit towards Trieste.
[ATTACH]35525[/ATTACH][ATTACH]35524[/ATTACH]

T5 - In the north, the GA of Napoleon took Salzburg, Prag and were ready to launch at Wien.
[ATTACH]35526[/ATTACH][ATTACH]35527[/ATTACH]

Ready for next turn and Wien:
[ATTACH]35530[/ATTACH]

T6 - Wien fell, after fighting the Austrians and the Russians.
[ATTACH]35528[/ATTACH][ATTACH]35529[/ATTACH]

So what???? This is a campaign. Battles are just the tactical results of operational manoeuvre. So what does this mean for the real strategy - Napoleonic political and diplomatic hegemony? And I am running out of '? question marks'.
Attachments
T6 - GA - almost at Wien.JPG
T7 - Wien.JPG
T7 - Wien 1 - Austria.JPG
T6 - Salzburg.JPG
T6 - Prag.JPG
T6 - Venezia.JPG
T6 - Trevisa.JPG

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Don77
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Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:52 am

Diplomacy again

I know, I said this AAR was about fighting. So shoot me.

The interesting point is that this turn in the game gave me more pause for thought than the actual moves. At the start of T5 Austria had offered peace. I saw that, gave it a moment's thought, and then went back to moving armies and corps around. I saw this again in T6 - and wondered what it would mean. Then it dawned on me - do I accept their peace (not sure what that means),
[ATTACH]35531[/ATTACH]

Or offer my own peace (reparations, regions, free Bavaria) or offer a 'Decrees' - offer the treaty of Pressburg. Hmm, lots more cash, one region and 'interesting conditions'.
[ATTACH]35532[/ATTACH]

This is the fun part - whichever one I pick will mean the difference for how the next stage of the campaign evolves. And I have no idea. But I may chose to hammer the Russians once more before I bother with this important stuff, after all, this AAR is all about fighting.

Don
Attachments
T6 Pressburg.JPG
T6 - peace offered.JPG

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Don77
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Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:56 am

Finally,

And I did mention Enocm is a professional military logistician - the real problems I now have in France:
[ATTACH]35533[/ATTACH]

I have won loads of NM - and other stuff. But, NO horses. No replacements let alone builds available for artillery, supply, cav divs, complex units ...... Yup - we have a major issues folks. France may be winning the battles, and operational manoeuvre - but the strategic warfighting capability is about to go horribly 'pear shaped'.

Maybe diplomacy and peace may be actually not just interesting, but vital and a core aspect of the long campaign.

Don
Attachments
T6 - My Kingdom for some horses!.JPG

ncc1701e
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Sat Nov 28, 2015 5:01 pm

Thank you for taking the time to present us the game. One question, why Napoleon stack is graphically represent without a O character? I see Napleon in all your above screenshots (posts #3 and #4). Is the effect of a zoom level or a typo?

Thanks

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arsan
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Sat Nov 28, 2015 5:10 pm

When the stack commander name is too long to fit in the limited counter space it's automatically abreviated to fit in.
If you look closer you will notice it happens with many other stacks, not only Napoleón.
But it happens only in the on map counters, not elsewhere on the interface.

Regards

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Don77
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Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:11 am

Hi,

The game continues. The French continue to hammer the remains of the Austrians and now the Russians too.
[ATTACH]35612[/ATTACH]

Aside from battle reports, nothing new. NM is 183 and France is still without horses. And just in case you think it is all plain sailing and a fair wind for the French, they too have suffered in this campaign. It is just their sheer number of corps and divisions, as well as excellent leader modifiers in the remaining stacks, that enabled the campaign to continue. Napoleon has two corps in Ulm, and one in Northern Italy now completely 'hor's de combat' as they are too damaged. All three are 'green green' and inside structures. That makes some ~ 10 divisions I'd say, which have lost elements, hits and cohesion. It is only that the two French armies started so big, that the remaining stacks can continue the fight. Quantity has a quality all of it own.

Some interesting decisions taken, largely diplomatic and with the French allies.
  • Have selected Peace of Pressburg from French decrees - lets see what that causes
  • Have played the Ottomans to invade the Caucus'
  • Have played Spain to declare war on Morocco.

Lets see what results that diplomacy gives?

Don
Attachments
T8 French GA.JPG

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Don77
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Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:42 am

So,

The decree was used, but this turn I see that Austria has offered peace - and no sign of the Pressburg decree?? I wonder how this works, do I have to now accept Austria's request?

And talk about getting hairy. Eno has landed the 'Grand old Duke of York' south of Boulogne (I saw this starting last turn).
[ATTACH]35621[/ATTACH]

And now, the Russians are in force - while I was withdrawing the GA (or corps of it) to face Eno. And winter is now coming.
[ATTACH]35620[/ATTACH]

Don
Attachments
T9 - oh no.JPG
T9 - oh no oh yes.JPG

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PhilThib
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Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:52 am

Austria offering acceptance of Pressburg decree should translate in immediate peace with Austria + Bavaria getting Tirol and KOI getting Venetia...you should see those changes on map at once (provided you play with the latest version). If not, some event fixes missed the bus....will need your saves and the script reports on the turn you issued the decree and the following ones
Image

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Don77
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Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:40 am

PhilThib wrote:Austria offering acceptance of Pressburg decree should translate in immediate peace with Austria + Bavaria getting Tirol and KOI getting Venetia...you should see those changes on map at once (provided you play with the latest version). If not, some event fixes missed the bus....will need your saves and the script reports on the turn you issued the decree and the following ones


[ATTACH]35625[/ATTACH]

Logs and turns attached

Don

[ATTACH]35622[/ATTACH][ATTACH]35623[/ATTACH][ATTACH]35624[/ATTACH]
Attachments
T9 and Austria.JPG
Logs Pressburg.rar
(105.08 KiB) Downloaded 67 times
Pressburg.rar
(475.12 KiB) Downloaded 58 times
Pressburg prior.rar
(419.79 KiB) Downloaded 70 times

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PhilThib
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Sun Nov 29, 2015 3:26 pm

Thnaks but this is not the "Pressburg" peace, as this one comes only via Option Play and not through the diplomatic interface...I agree this is confusing indeed.

What I need further are the Script Reports (logs and saves are not totally useful at that stage, I need to check if the event option did fire correctly, which is in the script reports)
Image

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Don77
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Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:37 am

PhilThib wrote:Thnaks but this is not the "Pressburg" peace, as this one comes only via Option Play and not through the diplomatic interface...I agree this is confusing indeed.

What I need further are the Script Reports (logs and saves are not totally useful at that stage, I need to check if the event option did fire correctly, which is in the script reports)


Phil,

The image above shows what France could see after the Pressburg peace was played (apolgies is that clouded the question). To re-affirm the methodology used:

  • In the turn past - I played the Pressburg decree (available in the decrees tab - for a cost of 10 EP).
  • The next turn I saw the splash screen that highlighted that the decree had been played, but saw no impact on the war (Austrians were still there) nor French finances (no extra money allocated).
  • The current turn - the French diplomacy screen showed 'Offer Peace from Austria' (apologies if that screen shot made understanding the issue less clear). But again no Pressburg Peace seems to have been executed.

Scripts attached:
[ATTACH]35657[/ATTACH]

Don
Attachments
Scripts.rar
(1.36 MiB) Downloaded 68 times

Cfant
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Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:16 am

First of all, thanks a lot for this very helpful AAR! As an Austrian, I feel mobbed bei Ageod ;) Just joking. But I have two questions.

Playing Austria - anything to do other than to die? :D In other words: We all know history - Austria will fight again and again. So - WHY should a France-player (speaking of MP) ever accept a peace other then the hardest? The France-player will try to cripple Austria (as any other opponent) as much as possible. Is there any punishment if you deny peace? Why not occupy Austria (oder Prussia), never making peace? (I mean: In your AAR Prague produces for France... ;) ) And how long will a peace last?

2. question: When will peace come? By loss of NM?

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loki100
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Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:49 am

You gain warscore by victories and occupying cities and trade that warscore off for gains in the peace.

There is a trade off in that if you use all the warscore for immediate gains your victim really hates you, if you don't take it all you gain some improvement in relations. As the French player, you want to delay the coalition of Prussia-Austria-Russia as long as you can, if you make each victim really really hate you they are more likely to come together quicker. So yes, Austria remains an ongoing enemy but with care at the peace table you can buy periods when she will sit out the wars and let you make gains.

On the other side, I've played out the opening phase as Austria and it has options and is powerful. You can actually go on the offensive in Italy and make some warscore yourself, and you can do damage to Bavaria. Odds on you will lose the first round against France in the end but you can save quite a lot for later. Once France moves on to other victims, you have quite a lot of choices - your objectives are held by various states including the Ottomans. My instinct is to head that way, make gains (prestige, national morale etc) and then re-engage in the wars against the French (perhaps via regaining Silesia).

There is a lot of creative diplomacy and long term planning to be explored.
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Cfant
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Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:35 am

Sounds quite interesting. Still I wonder (in MP) why France should stop before the last Austrian soldier is dead... Die Austrian (or Prussian or Russian) human player will always "hate" France and try to be in such a powerful alliance. :) Well, we'll see.

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loki100
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Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:57 am

if you are playing Austria, you can't *win* if all you are is the loyal member of the anti-French coalition, to win you need to follow a Balkans/Italian strategy and it would help to ensure that Prussia remains weak.

I think the game captures the divergent goals of the non-French states quite well, with Russia you are as busy plotting and scheming in the Balkans and against the Ottomans as against the French.

So the divergent aims of the major players is well captured.

The way the warscore system works, if France wanted to destroy Austria in one bite it would have to wreck all its armies (doable) and occupy the country for a number of years. While you are doing that, you're not doing something else. So there are trade offs at every turn. Equally you have just won a war with Austria, do you maximise your gains (=immediate enmity) or let them off a bit (=better relations). The latter might keep them quiet while you deal with Prussia and you certainly will need Prussia and Austria compliant before you really go for Russia.

Diplomatically, I think Britain is the easiest. Your own goals (apart from Hannover) are mostly contested directly with France and really all you want is to build continental alliances to help you.
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
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Cfant
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Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:33 pm

What I mean is: France crushes Austria in 1805, makes no peace, keeps a small force there and moves around in Austria, killing troops in production. One small force could keep Austria out of play for the rest of the game. Same with Prussia. How to prevent that? Again: Just talking of MP.

seathom
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Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:09 pm

One of the really great concepts in Empires in Arms was the human interaction in developing an offer of peace. One of the three options available was to determine how many years of peace existed between the victor and the loser (I think it was like 1,2 or 3 years of peace). If that is present, then human players would have to honor it too and that would make for a very good MP game. Is that type of option available in this game?

veji1
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Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:48 pm

Cfant wrote:What I mean is: France crushes Austria in 1805, makes no peace, keeps a small force there and moves around in Austria, killing troops in production. One small force could keep Austria out of play for the rest of the game. Same with Prussia. How to prevent that? Again: Just talking of MP.


I suppose some mechanism of war wearyness, spawning of partisans would be possible, but just loss of control of cities if not garrisonned which means loss of control of a the supply line would be bad enough : the idea of keeping a small corps of troop around to wack around spawning little units sounds nice, but if what you have to do is have that little corps + garrisons from Linz to Budapest / Zagreb to Venezia to Lemberg, well suddenly you are racking up troops there and those 70 or 80k guys could prove darn useful somewhere else no ?

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loki100
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Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:26 pm

Cfant wrote:What I mean is: France crushes Austria in 1805, makes no peace, keeps a small force there and moves around in Austria, killing troops in production. One small force could keep Austria out of play for the rest of the game. Same with Prussia. How to prevent that? Again: Just talking of MP.


from experience in PoN (and WoN has some similar mechanisms), you do not want to be occupying another country that is at war with you too long. Militancy rises, so you face constant revolts, you can't pull out your main army as you need that for garrison duties.

If I was playing Russia in a WoN campaign and the French decided to spend 8 years occupyin Austria and doing nothing else, I'd be very happy.

Now if the French and Austrian players really hate each other, yep, France could spend the entire game doing nothing but hold down rebellious Austrian provinces. The French would lose the overall war big time.

The AGEOD game system has one of the most elegant treatments of asymetric warfare I've ever encountered. The war in Spain is going to be the 'ulcer' it was in reality and holding open supply lines in Russia is going to be ... tricky
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