Misc - Current Game Commentary and Not-Yet-Filed
Current Game Commentary - and/or stuff-not-filed-yet (Back to Paths of Glory Strategy)
Austria - I've learned a few more "defending Austria early" tricks, the main one being to get some GEcs over there -- which works in concert with the previously-discussed "large GEc supply". The GEcs then both soak up casualties instead of Austria's (in Turns 1-3 Germany sometimes has to work at taking enough casualties to fill out the 4-Op RP cards that Austria desperately needs).
Italy - If there was a main misstep I suspect it was entering Italy on AP1 without follow up immediately on AP2 with a full SR of French-or-British. Two things here -- one is that I prefer to enter Italy in e.g. AP6 if Austria is at all "ready" with stacks that can attack straight away. In this case Austria was "partially ready" with the AH armies in position, but didn't have any GEc's - so that's "on the bubble" for an AP1 entry, but then when my CP2 was SR'ing a giant pile of GEcs down there, you didn't follow with your own AP2 SR of western corps down to keep me from forcing you out of the trenches. I mean obviously if you hold Italy until later in a turn I could have been holding Bulgaria and greedily-or-as-a-bluff been holding it until later in the turn, but of course it's "most normal" especially by Turn 4 to get that played on CP1 to block Italy altogether, and my CP1 play of RPs doesn't exactly signal hurry or some "even more urgent than Bulgaria" kind of plan. If you enter on AP6 it wouldn't participate in that turn's RPs it also wouldn't participate in that turn's combat. CP has to be completely ready to get its attack going on CP1 of the next turn or it won't get any advantage, and that may cost it opportunities to take the initiative elsewhere. I certainly eagerly enter Italy on turn 3 if I can, and I *DO* invariably try to enter it the earliest *turn* possible, but I think the AP6 version feels strongest -- plus you sometimes catch the CP having been lulled into a false sense of "oh it isn't coming in this turn, good".
Getting the AP to Total War early so the FR armies could come in definitely saved the situation -- kept it from turning into a rout. So it may settle down e.g. if you can get trenches up, but on terms more favorable to Austria.
- NelsThompson (talk) I think it was a mistake to attack on the impulse after entry. Yes, I should have SR'd or even just double stacked in defendable trenches or something like that. The attack on Villach demands a response, but it comes at an opportunity cost, and the response is one that basically is what the CP need to do: move to the theater. (Yes, it's inconvenient to split the AH armies and put one in Villach, but from Villach it's a simple move to Trent. Attacking Villach was a mistake.
West - west is starting to settle - there's still some play on where the static line is going to be, but France itself is out of danger. I tend to think of "Brussels and Sedan" as my "standard minimum pickup", securing the Total War RP supply, keeping Antwerp "in play" for endgame VP purposes, etc. It's likewise where Beyma went and just trenched up and made no further effort in the West in our finals game. But having you get stuck with all those BR MO's early was a huge gift for me -- as if I permanently controlled an extra VP site over there.
As you point out Germany still has a bunch of TW armies to mobilize -- it certainly has "All Russia" and "Italian Shenanigans" as viable overall strategies. Some games the Italy route isn't very available (if Italy is able to stabilize that trench line), but clearly it is a possibility here. I obviously have to hope that the Russian offensive peters out short of Berlin before those questions start to come up though. :) Fortunately Russia is slow-to-mobilize in the best of times, and the 2 LF armies vs. the 3 LF armies usually start to get ground down. (At least that's what the CP is counting on)
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