Saturday, August 5, 2017
Kaiserreich Ottoman Empire
We need to deal with:
• larger than usual stack of starting penalties
• inevitable attack by the Axis of Egypt, Hashemite Arabia, and usually Persia
• rebellions by Kurds and Cyprus
• long term possible attack by Russia
• puppet rebellions
• parts of focus tree being marked as "Work In Progress"
On the upside we have 3 puppets - Albania, Armenia, and Tripolitania, and fairly safe Balkan border.
Germans sold me Crete for some pp, which I released as puppet. Kurds rebelled, but achieved nothing.
Egypt and Hashemites attacked, but took their sweet time, and I was very much ready. They had rebels pop up in random places, which is a fun idea, but in practice it meant there's a lot of pre-pocketed divisions. I walked from Tripolitania to Alexandria while half of enemy army tried to guard Suez Canal crossing, crossed Nile upstream, and got to Cairo without much trouble. Persia did not join any of that.
I got a compromise constitution with the parliament - I suspect optimal path is to just dissolve it, as usual in this game. I told my German and Austrian creditors that they can shove it. While trying to root out corruption and reform government a coup happened, sultan died, and his heir took the throne.
I did a quick war with defenseless Oman. War with Bulgaria was like from CK2 - with both monarchs leading armies.
Next war was Persia. Albania and Tripolitania decided to rebel mid-war. Still can't get Albania, as I don't want to naval invade for no reason, so got Azerbaijan as a new puppet instead.
The game decided to arbitrarily fuck up and would not deliver steel imports from anyone in Europe or arbitrary 3/4 of the world (couldn't see the pattern), really limiting my production. I suspect if I get a direct border with mainland Germany I should be able to import their steel, so that means I need to get Vienna.
For some reason wars against Bulgaria and Persia were going far worse than I expected. Against Bulgaria I was defending and had 4:1 K:D, which was tolerable, but still way below 10:1 or better I expected. Against Persia I was attacking into mountains, and I had more losses than kills, which is such a rare situation.
No idea what's going on. By this time I usually have space marines, but all the Ottoman penalties really delayed me and I don't have a single tank and only just started building some planes beyond my starting WK1 collection.
Even without tanks, 7/2s should be somewhat competent. I guess I don't have doctrines finished, only one support company, no general staff etc., while AI by now trained theirs to veteran and researched all that, so it all adds up.
Preparation for a 3-way war. 2/3 of Hashemite VPs are one tile away from my border, so main thrust there while cavalry tries to get the third. Egypt can be invaded from Tripolitania on flat ground while holding Suez (later I added naval invasion to Alexandria, but never executed it). I wanted to simply hold Persia border in difficult terrain until those two surrendered.
In the end Persia didn't join, the rest of the plan worked flawlessly.
I wasn't prepared for those rebel spawns. Persia didn't join, but I wasn't sure if they won't surprise attack me, so I only took half of Persian frontline troops, Alexandria naval invasion, and some cavalry to deal with rebels.
This war was all easy. Bulgaria/Persia on the other hand, way harder and I have no idea why.
Belgrade Pact attacked Danubian Federaton, who puppeted Greece, but left rest of it.
Plan is to get Belgrade Pact and my rebellious puppet Albania, then get Vienna. After that I need that one Suez Canal South tile, and if the only way to get it is to destroy German Empire, so be it. Or maybe I'll get Crimea/Caucasus from Russia. Or Tunisia from Entente.
There's a good deal of restoring to do, and since focus tree says that sultan is also the caliph, we have totally legit claims to a lot of historically caliphate lands.
Internationale losing WK2 so hard even London fell is rare.
I dealt with Romania, Serbia, and rebellious Albania. After that I decided to make a detour and take Ukraine, but bastards got into war with Poland and rest of Mittleeuropa.
Germany managed to take Kiev first, but somehow Ukraine capitulated to me, and I was able to get most of it - except some totally reasonable border states Poland took, and two completely pointless Black Sea border states Germany took just to annoy me.
For sake of nicer borders I took useless lands from Ethiopia and Somalia - and Germany and Austria were both sending volunteers against me. Like I needed another reason to take Vienna.
For Austria war, they have::
• 2875k army, 43k artillery (and on average more modern than mine, congrats on that AI!)
• 8.4k light tanks, mostly crazy outdated
• 3.2k fighters, 360 bombers
• 4 battleships, 5 heavy and 9 light cruisers, 26 destroyers, 18 subs
• 110 mil, 110 civ, 18 naval industry
• 1917k army, 27k artillery
• 6.5k medium tanks in dedicated divisions (only 11/48 finished training)
• 2.1k heavy fighters, 520 captured fighters, 240 captured bombers
• 4 battleships, 1 battle cruiser, 2 heavy and 15 light cruisers, 14 destroyers, 4 subs
• 171 mil, 160 civ, 21 naval industry
The way I expect it to go is that Austria will keep suiciding their troops until it runs out of them. I thought about naval invasion to speed things up, but we're too close.
One of the most annoying UX crap about HOI4 is that when deploying planes, every captured 5 interwar fighters create a new line, and only 3 are displayed at time, without any order.
I got a brilliant idea of just donating them to my puppets so they can stick them in a museum or something, but apparently I can't donate captured equipment, only what I produced. WTF game, just how shitty can your UX be?
You can deploy them somewhere irrelevant, but it costs you a lot of manpower to just babysit them there. That's what I eventually did, but as minor countries it's not really possible.
Fancy naval invasion plan.
Game only allows selecting tiles next to a single naval tile per invasion, but doesn't actually follow that later. Those two divisions going East because narrow point of Crimea touches both zones.
Now imagine naval invading Panama and game deciding it will send half the troops around Argentina to the other ocean.
Can't play Turks without taking another go at Vienna.
I absolutely love simple terrain map mode mod.
5 tiny uncrossable mountain chains in Romania really mess up the frontlines.
The optimistic plan is to push along coastline of Greece West and East, coastline of Adriatic, and go for Lwow - the only areas without mountains and major rivers blocking the way.
But most likely AI will keep attacking me for months before I'm able to do anything.
After that Entente (with Russia) or Mittleeuropa? Unless I run out of manpower first, which is a possibility.
Then I tried to break through Galicia, but game's dumb supply system decided that it won't let me do it - so I had to withdraw, secure what game considered proper supply routes, and only then send the tanks through.
I doubt they'll ever fix it, so maybe I should plan with its faults in advance instead of patching problems only after my army has to fight at half supply for weeks.
I almost lost Serbia as I forgot to cancel frontline orders of my troops which were supposed to just sit in place while Greek and Galician fronts advance. Even with static frontline orders AI will start reshuffling and by the time I noticed Beograd was nearly surrounded, and without fresh troops arriving from Greek front I'd need to hide behind next river. Instead I used them to push a bit until reaching some river border, and stopped there.
Once that got Galicia's supply and Serbia's frontline AI fixed, I managed to get the tanks to break to, and then South using flat two tile corridor between two major rivers (Danube on the West, one of its tributaries on the East) as natural path of attack. Counter-attacks were really impossible thanks to the rivers, even though my tank army was really tiny compared with number of Austrians on both sides. I wish game displayed names of rivers, I don't really know most of the small ones, but they're very important.
Meanwhile Adriatic army managed to break through mountains of Montenegro and from there on it was unopposed walk to Vienna. Even if they didn't, 2/3 of Austrian army was encircled, so that wouldn't be too hard.
After getting Vienna I decided that's enough for this campaign.
Tanks drive South through Budapest meeting Beograd's small push North was the most fun part of the war.
Overall in recent patches AI is much more aggressive, and previously overpowered strategies (7/2 superior firepower, all-mil industry path etc.) got nerfed just a bit, so the game is to a degree more challenging and enjoyable than it used to be.