AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

After action reports for Commander The Great War

Moderators: Slitherine Core, The Lordz

xriz
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 251/1
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz  251/1
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:17 am
Location: Los Angeles

AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by xriz » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:37 am

AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schlieffen_Plan

This is the 1914 scenario with ‘Balanced” AI and of course I am playing the Central Powers and will be covering mostly just the Western front and my interpretation of the Schlienffen plan, leaving the other fronts and the rest of the game for you to explore.

The game starts with the Austrian invasion of Serbia. I take a conservative but basic strategy; a quick small grab and settle in while I wait for my mobilization of the Austrian people to kick in. You do that producing Infantry; I put one in production every turn and just one Garrison the first turn to dig in at Lemburg.

I am planning to hold Serbia down for now and get some defense set up for the Russians when they join the war turn 4, since I need to concentrate the Germans in France when they join at the end of turn 2. Plus I want save up some Production Points (PP) for producing an Austrian Artillery unit make attacking Serbia a lot easier and a lot less casualties…

Turn 3, the first turn you get to command Germany.

Liege falls pretty easily; it’s only defended by a Garrison that isn’t dug in. The artillery softens up, I send two infantry across the river to start the attacks so they don’t have to attack across a river and get penalized, then finish up with attacks across the river. I take few casualties and almost no loss of ‘Efficiency’ for my troops.
Image

Mean while in Serbia I bide my time.
Image

The Eastern front I move some units to attack Warsaw when the time comes and dig in along the Austrian border.
Image

Turn4, Western Front.

In keeping with Schlieffen's last words; "remember to keep the right flank strong," I push through Brussels with out using the Artillery unit so I can push quickly through Belgium and try to get around the French left (my right). I take more casualties and lose ‘Efficiency’ across the board for all the attacking units, one is even yellow, a warning the unit is not going to perform as well as it should if it was white despite minimal losses. I move the Artillery unit up to assault Antwerp next turn. On my left flank I keep my Garrisons holding the French Right.
Image

The Serbian and Eastern fronts are pretty quite as I just settle in while I work on France.

Turn 5, Western Front.
I get my first Commander von Hindenburg.
Image
Here you can see the area effect the Commander has, all units in the red hashed area get his bonus; +1 attack and defense. I place it on the yellowed unit that’s tired since I want to rest it by not moving and just fix it back up to 10 strength. Plus the unit is centrally located for my advance and attack on Antwerp, without having to move it this turn.

My assault on Antwerp doesn’t go as planned even with the commander but I make a substantial dent in its defense. I am able to get a unit and week line all they way to the cannel, cutting Belgium and Calais off wile my Left flank still holds even if its mostly Garrison units.
Image

I’ve been using my sub to scout around the channel while the Surface fleet when to the Baltic sea to protect my convoys.

Turn 6, Western Front.

Antwerp falls, though not with out cost. I advance all my remaining Infantry units west leaving my entire left flank in the hands of Garrison units, most dug in and used my second commander I received this turn, von Falkenhayn +2 defense, to strengthen basically week units.

I manage to push a single defender back and have my cavalry and a Garrison at the door step of Paris. The rest of my main force, the right flank, follows, isolating the Garrison at Calais, who are now at ½ supply so week, and keeping a defensive line along the right so as not to get cut off. The British have a troop ship off the coast, I attack it with my sub.

Image
On other fronts, I’m still waiting on the Austrian Artillery units to be produced so I can start my offensive against the Serbs, I start to spar with the Russians, small attacks with little results but little casualties.

Turn 7, Western Front.

My unsupported assault of Calais fails, I get close but can’t eject the Garrison and the British have landed a infantry unit next to it. I start to surround Paris, crossing the river since attacking across rivers has handicaps, I slowly move the Artillery up but have to be carful I don’t leave it exposed to enemy attack. I keep up my left flanks line and inch units up and around the French to make it harder for them to reinforce or relive Paris.
Image

Turn 8, Western Front.

Paris is surrounded, I can keep the French from bringing fresh troops into Paris, they have few defenders in the area, I have my right flank so as to keep the French along the boarder from moving defenders off that line to Paris effectively.

Calais still holds out, the British troops invest the old French dug in positions and are no longer at ½ supply as they have a war ship adjacent providing full supply. I satisfy my self with eliminating the Garrison out side the city and taking its position, then moving the Artillery up for an assault next turn.
Image

Turn 9, Western Front.

The British move their warship out of Calais port so the British infantry unit was reduced to ½ supply, soften up with Artillery, it fell with out a lot of fuss. The AI moved a infantry unit in Rouen to help defend Paris and replaced it from the sea with a British Garrison. The French attempt to break north but I just contain them from doing something stupid like trying to retake Brussels or liege just to have the unit destroyed. I maintain the siege of Paris as I slowly move up troops and solidify my gains.

Image
Serbian and Easter fronts, turn 9, I’m still holding the Serbs with just one turn left for my Artillery and continue to spar with the Russians for no gain or loss.

Turn 10, Western Front.

I use the Artillery unit to reduce the French reinforcements north of Paris, consolidate my positions in and around Paris as the French try to bleed off troops along the boarder to relive Paris.
Image

Turn 11, Western Front.

I invest my positions around Paris with infantry units and move the Artillery unit up for a massed assault next turn.
Image

I continue to spar with the Russians for little gain or loss and start my offensive against the Serbs with Austrian troops.

Turn 12, Western Front.

Paris falls and the French keep fighting, with their Allies the English, Russia and even Serbia still in the fight, French resolve is shaken but not beaten, the war goes on even with the success.
Image

Myrddraal
The Artistocrats
The Artistocrats
Posts: 1505
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:49 pm

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by Myrddraal » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:02 am

Wow, nice AAR xriz, and a near-perfect execution of the Schlieffen Plan. Not sure what you could have done better :) Lets see if you can hold on to your gains...

massina_nz
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Posts: 1135
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:12 am
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by massina_nz » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:23 pm

So what impact does the loss of Paris have on the French, obviously unlike CEAW, France doesn't surrender when Paris falls.

adherbal
The Artistocrats
The Artistocrats
Posts: 3896
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:42 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by adherbal » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:36 pm

Morale loss. When that drops to 0, the nation will offer surrender. You can't see the morale value of your enemies though, so it's about trying to do as much damage until they reach their breaking point.

In addition, when a nation has lost all its capitals it can no longer produce units. Marseille is a second capital for France though.

massina_nz
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Posts: 1135
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:12 am
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by massina_nz » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:45 pm

adherbal wrote:Morale loss. When that drops to 0, the nation will offer surrender. You can't see the morale value of your enemies though, so it's about trying to do as much damage until they reach their breaking point.

In addition, when a nation has lost all its capitals it can no longer produce units. Marseille is a second capital for France though.
Thanks for that. Are there restrictions on where newly produced units can be placed - within own country, adjacent to home city or capital?

Myrddraal
The Artistocrats
The Artistocrats
Posts: 1505
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:49 pm

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by Myrddraal » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:55 pm

New units have to be adjacent to a home city or capital which produces PP. Cities which produce no income cannot deploy units. You can only deploy one unit per city per turn, with the exception of capitals, where you can deploy two units in the same turn.

xriz
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 251/1
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz  251/1
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:17 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by xriz » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:47 pm

Paris produces a lot of the French PP so after it falls you see the French unable to keep fixing up all their units, provided you keep attacking them, you can wear them down a lot easier, though the French still get convoys.

This is Turn 18, a French convoy is coming into port, though I do get a piece of it with my Sub. The French have produced some new infantry from Orleans and are trying to contain me west of Paris while I try to wear down their original Left flank along the boarder and Verdun.
CP-T18-WF.jpg
CP-T18-WF.jpg (40.77 KiB) Viewed 13010 times

stormbringer3
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:00 pm
Location: Staunton, Va.

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by stormbringer3 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:08 am

I'm seriously considering purchasing this game. Reading the AAR and your relatively quick capture of Paris I'm wondering about the AI. Were you very lucky and everything went just right in your current game and this early capture was an abnormality?
Thanks.

massina_nz
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Posts: 1135
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:12 am
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by massina_nz » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:38 am

I suspect this may follow the same path as CEAW and FOG. playing games versus the AI is where you learn the game, Multi-player will be where the real fun begins.

avoran
Sergeant Major - Armoured Train
Sergeant Major - Armoured Train
Posts: 589
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:45 pm
Location: Veliki Novgorod

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by avoran » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:58 am

If you play with the AI on its strongest setting it's pretty strong... in fact until they recently adjusted the PP income for Germany it was deadly as the Allies :)

There is a difference, of course: in CEAW you have more complex moves like amphibious landings and paratroop drops. In CTGW small-scale amphibious landings are possible, but the AI can't handle them (at least, not as the attacker). At least, that used to be the case.
CEAW Grand Strategy fan
Commander: The Great War beta tester

lordzimoa
Lordz Games Studio
Lordz Games Studio
Posts: 2417
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:20 pm
Contact:

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by lordzimoa » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:33 am

And on a side note, Xrix is hardly an average player... :-)

I suspect a lot of players will struggle with the game, especially on the hardest (privileged AI) setting.

Myrddraal
The Artistocrats
The Artistocrats
Posts: 1505
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:49 pm

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by Myrddraal » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:37 am

It's also worth noting that in the Gold release version, we've given France a couple of extra starting garrisons. In the version that xris is playing, it is a little easy to push deep into France as the CP player (even in multiplayer).

marklv
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:49 pm

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by marklv » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:00 pm

I'm a little fed up when people complain because the AI doesn't kick their butts every time. What I am looking for in a wargame is historical accuracy and seeing if I can improve on what one side or the other managed to do in reality. Sure, you can give France 1000 divisions when you play Germany but what the hell for? What's the fun in that?

marklv
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:49 pm

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by marklv » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:09 pm

The reasons the Germans failed to knock out France in 1914 were several:

1) They didn't follow the Schlieffen Plan to the letter, swinging inwards towards Paris instead of around it in order to surround it.
2) They didn't have enough soldiers and guns to execute the plan correctly. German military expenditure before 1914 had focused too much on the navy and as a consequence the German army was weaker than it should have been.
3) The German High Command panicked when the Russians invaded East Prussia and sent two corps to that region from the Western front, weakening it unnecessarily. By the time the corps arrived in East Prussia the Russian threat had been checked already.
4) The Italians failed to honour the alliance - an Italian attack on France would have tied down many French divisions.
5) The Germans retreated too hastily when the French launched a desperate counterattack at the Marne.

So it is perfectly possible to have defeated France in 1914.

Myrddraal
The Artistocrats
The Artistocrats
Posts: 1505
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:49 pm

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by Myrddraal » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:23 pm

Don't forget that the execution of the Schlieffen plan also had some things that went in its favour that didn't necessarily have to. It's stating the obvious a bit, but if the French had fortified their border with Belgium, the Schlieffen plan could easily have failed at step one. Even with fixed historical starting positions, once the war started, the French actually advanced in Alsace-Lorraine rather than manoeuvring to secure their flank.

In the game both sides can change history, whether they are controlled by the AI or by a player. The Entente player doesn't have to attack in Alsace, and can immediately start redeploying forces to the north, just as the Central Powers player doesn't have to even try the Schlieffen plan.

marklv
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:49 pm

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by marklv » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:38 pm

The French did not anticipate an attack through Belgium, hence the reason for not fortifying the border with that country. The extra cost of doing this was not considered justifiable at a time when France was already spending hugely on the military. The French attack in Alsace was part of Plan 17, the French plan of action upon entering a war with Germany, the aim being the 'liberation' of territory that had been lost in the 1870 war. Unlike 1939 the French were not concerned purely with containing a German attack but of actually going on the offensive themselves - the French army was surprisingly powerful in 1914, given France's population.

With hindsight, the Schlieffen Plan had become outdated once Russia firmly allied itself with France. The risk of bringing Britain, and its relatively small army, into the war was manageable if Russia was not a threat, but the massive Russian army could not be dealt with in a purely defensive fashion. It would have made more sense in 1914 to defend against France and launch a heavy attack on Russia, protecting Austria-Hungary and maybe bringing Romania into the German-Austrian camp. Had Russia been knocked out in 1916 instead of 1917 the entire war could have changed course.

Myrddraal
The Artistocrats
The Artistocrats
Posts: 1505
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:49 pm

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by Myrddraal » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:44 pm

I know that, historically, this was the basis for French planning. My point is that in the game you don't have to follow Plan 17, nor do you have to follow the Schlieffen Plan. History is yours to re-write!

Edit: Having said that, I should say that in the game we have fixed the declaration of war on Belgium. Initially, we did intend to allow the CP player to choose whether or not to invade through Belgium. The problem was that not declaring war on Belgium was by far the best option. It delayed the British entry to the war, and gave you a very short front on which the CP player could easily contain the French, whilst smashing the Russians with the forces this frees up.

Since this meant that nobody ever chose to invade through Belgium, we decided that, for the sake of gameplay, it was best for this declaration of war to be fixed. The CP player can still choose to hold back and focus on Russia, but at least in this scenario the Entente player has a little room to attack in the west.

marklv
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:49 pm

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by marklv » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:14 pm

Myrddraal wrote:I know that, historically, this was the basis for French planning. My point is that in the game you don't have to follow Plan 17, nor do you have to follow the Schlieffen Plan. History is yours to re-write!

Edit: Having said that, I should say that in the game we have fixed the declaration of war on Belgium. Initially, we did intend to allow the CP player to choose whether or not to invade through Belgium. The problem was that not declaring war on Belgium was by far the best option. It delayed the British entry to the war, and gave you a very short front on which the CP player could easily contain the French, whilst smashing the Russians with the forces this frees up.

Since this meant that nobody ever chose to invade through Belgium, we decided that, for the sake of gameplay, it was best for this declaration of war to be fixed. The CP player can still choose to hold back and focus on Russia, but at least in this scenario the Entente player has a little room to attack in the west.
Well, what you've done is to limit the options for the Central Powers player! I would have preferred it if you could have allowed the option not to invade Belgium. Oh well, it's your game.........

Myrddraal
The Artistocrats
The Artistocrats
Posts: 1505
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:49 pm

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by Myrddraal » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:22 pm

You can still choose to not invade Belgium, but Belgium will declare war regardless.

I can only hope to persuade you that this does make the game more fun. Without the Belgian declaration of war, the game becomes very one-sided very quickly. As the Entente player, it wouldn't be much fun if the CP never invaded. This is especially a problem for multiplayer.

We had originally intended to do as you suggest, and allow the player to decide, and we only reversed are decision after intensive testing led us to conclude that the game loses a lot if that option is followed.

stormbringer3
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:00 pm
Location: Staunton, Va.

Re: AAR: The Schlieffen Plan.

Post by stormbringer3 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:06 pm

Thanks for the response to my question. The adding of the extra French garrisons and other tweaks mentioned above have alleviated my concern and this title is back on my buy list.

Post Reply

Return to “Commander The Great War AAR's”