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    As Sa'iqa
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    Paradox games

    Post  As Sa'iqa on Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:03 pm

    Does anyone play Paradox games? It's the only company capable of making great geostrategical simulations (others are mediocre at best). Europa Universalis IV has just been released a few days ago, right now they are working on "East and West", a game set in cold war era.

    In EU IV you can play as any country and the game spans from 1440s up to 1820, so you can experience all major events of world history. It is highly non linear though - expect e.g. Sweden conquering North America.


    At the beginning - my own Russian expedition to China in 18th century.
    After some preparations I rushed about 80k soldiers from Europe to the Far East, all commanded by Russia's finest generals.
    Qing Chinese tried to stop me but to no effect:




    After just 4-5 battles and seizing a few frontier provinces, China's military power was almost broken. After losing about 50,000 men (I lost about 4.000) they were no longer abel to wage a war against me.

    flamming_python
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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  flamming_python on Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:49 pm

    Yes I've been a big big fan ever since Hearts of Iron I and Europa Universalis II. Got Victoria later on too, was also amazing.

    I still play:

    For the Glory; (enhanced re-release of EU II together with extra features), together with the AGCEEP mod and a custom map with a far larger amount of provinces. There are a few other mods for it but AGCEEP with the custom map is the main one; to be honest there's no need for anything else

    Arsenal of Democracy; (originally a mod for HOI II, then ended up as an enhanced re-release of HOI II) together with the CORE mod. Has a lot of other interesting mods for it too. Probably the most mature & realistic WW2 grand-strategy experience at the moment; CORE mod has been around since HOI I (it was the most popular back then) and that team can't be beat.

    Darkest Hour; I have it but haven't played it yet (another HOI II mod turned enhanced re-release, uses a completely new map). It's got a huge amount of interesting mods for it; including alternative history scenarios based on popular novels.

    EU III together with all the DLCs; played it a lot back over 3 years ago; have touched it scarcely since then but when I get a bit bored of the other Paradox games I'll install it again maybe with a few mods now that the game has matured

    HOI III together with all the DLCs; played only one time back 4 years ago or so right when it was released. I think it was a game as the USSR and I lost interest very rapidly when Germany declared war on me and I swept aside their military in every battle almost instantly because of some bug in the game where ownership of a certain province reduces their supplies to -43539388 or something like that. Naturally all their units had an organisation of 0 thus, and couldn't hold for longer than an hour.
    HOI III was actually full of such bugs, so I shelved it and waited for it to mature. Which it has by now - I haven't touched it in 4 years but its been fully patched by now, and has a whole bunch of well-developed mods; one of which I'm hoping will rival the Arsenal of Democracy + CORE experience when I finally get around to installing the game again.

    Victoria II together with all the DLCs; I have it, but it's been sitting in my Steam library and I just haven't got around to trying it yet; so can't comment. I remember the original with the VIP mod though; shame the mod died out back in 2009 or so and Vicky 1 never got treated to an enhanced re-release like EU II and HOI II were (well OK, there was an expansion pack to be fair, which was fun too).

    Crusader Kings II together with all the DLCs; that's the latest and greatest one that I have. And I must say - Paradox have really outdone themselves with this one. As usual with Paradox games - for the first couple of days I was bewildered. I had to read the manual, forums, a strategy guide .pdf that someone wrote. It was easily more complicated even than any of their previous games, and that's saying a lot.
    But now I think it's superb.
    In a couple of years all the interesting mods (and there are some VERY interesting ones) will have matured, that would make the game even better.

    The thing with new Paradox games; having learnt from my experiences with HOI III; you have to give them a couple of years to mature and be patched up before you buy them. I'd say a good half of their games have simply show-stopping bugs right on release that make them impossible to play.
    So I'm holding off on EU IV (that and I've still barely played EU III); because I'm waiting for it to go down in price, be patched, balanced out and for the mod scene to develop there.

    I also continue to play the previous generation games with the older 2D engine (For the Glory/Arsenal of Democracy/Darkest Hour); because they are much more historical event driven than the current crop which are a lot more sandbox and rely on their complex rules and engines to generate plausible history scenarios.
    Both approaches are good - I prefer the historical events but of course the newer games are interesting too and have more possibilities open.

    Can't wait for East vs West (Cold-war era Paradox game)

    As Sa'iqa
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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  As Sa'iqa on Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:12 pm

    I see mostly positive changes in comparison to Eu III:
    - Trade system has been completely reworked. You no longer need to send new merchants all the time. Trade is based on trade routes so e.g if your enemy takes a sizable portion of his income from sea trade, you can block his ports and he will lose income.
    - There is combat width ss in V 2 and HoI 3 so now a smaller army can defeat a larger one if it has terrain advantage.
    - Technology and stability are based on points instead of money - a smaller nation can be as advanced technologically as a huge one. Of course various technological groups still exist, with the fastest advancing being the western one of course.
    - There are no movable sliders now.
    - Reinforcing an army costs more. If you attack someone and suffer heavy casualties, you may lose a war simply by not being able to reinforce your army (manpower shortage), especially if you have a smaller population.
    - Battels are less based on casualties but more on disorganizing enemy army. If your army is on par with your opponent's army, casualties in battle are low and it is hard to completely annihilate the enemy, unless you attack a freshly routed army
    - etc.

    flamming_python
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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  flamming_python on Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:24 pm

    As Sa'iqa wrote:I see mostly positive changes in comparison to Eu III:
    - Trade system has been completely reworked. You no longer need to send new merchants all the time. Trade is based on trade routes so e.g if your enemy takes a sizable portion of his income from sea trade, you can block his ports and he will lose income.
    - There is combat width ss in V 2 and HoI 3 so now a smaller army can defeat a larger one if it has terrain advantage.
    - Technology and stability are based on points instead of money - a smaller nation can be as advanced technologically as a huge one. Of course various technological groups still exist, with the fastest advancing being the western one of course.
    - There are no movable sliders now.
    - Reinforcing an army costs more. If you attack someone and suffer heavy casualties, you may lose a war simply by not being able to reinforce your army (manpower shortage), especially if you have a smaller population.
    - Battels are less based on casualties but more on disorganizing enemy army. If your army is on par with your opponent's army, casualties in battle are low and it is hard to completely annihilate the enemy, unless you attack a freshly routed army  
    - etc.
    It does look like a prettier game.
    EU III's ugliness is not distracting exactly, but it does wear down the experience.

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  TR1 on Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:28 pm

    I bought Hearts of Iron 3 like 4 years ago.

    I still have yet to play it.
    I want to, I really do- but christ, I am lazy and don't want to spend 50 hours just learning all the mechanics.

    I love the Total War series, but they obviously are very simply strategy wise compared to Paradox games. However the real time battles are a hoot.

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  flamming_python on Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:28 pm

    In For The Glory (Plvs Vltra mod; i.e. AGCEEP mod & Waktabaoi map); I've been playing Poland since 1419. I'm now in the last decade of the 15th century; I've focused on building stable relations and royal marriages with as many city states, duchies and kingdoms in Western & Central Europe as I can manage. I considered an alliance with Norway when they broke off from Sweden, but reconsidered when they soon came under a barrage of invasions from the very same Sweden, Spain, various Italian principalities, etc...

    While I've been building relations in the West, I've been expanding in the East. I've been keeping an alliance with both Lithuania and the Teutonic Knights pretty much all throughout; despite my sometimes rocky relations with the Teutons and claims on their territory - it was Lithuania that set up the alliance and thus their good relations with the both of us that kept the pact together.

    I annexed my vassal - the independent Warsaw city-state without an arrow flying in anger, while an event later gave me the Danzig province from the Teutonic Knights; which they wisely chose to give up without a fight due to fears of more rebel activity there. I fought a series of wars with Moldova and by the middle of the century had annexed it completely; as it stands now I've converted 2 of the 3 of its provinces to Catholicism.

    Lithuania regularly gets me into wars. Very regularly - and it's becoming a huge burden on my resources; I have to spend all my money reserves on raising money for the next conflict which is sure to break out. Lithuania itself has quite the small army for its large size, and is constantly threatened by rebels and instability; no wonder due to its religious and ethnic diversity, and proselyting Catholicism among the 40% or so of its provinces which happen to be Orthodox.
    Inevitably I have had to bail Lithuania out every time it had ended up with a war with the Golden Horde or Russia. It was my troops that turned the battle. Yet because it's Lithuania that's the leader of the alliance, only they can negotiate a common peace - and they barely do; even after I've spent years on turning the war to our favour and splurged all my reserves on training new troops to replace the catastrophic amounts that I lose in battles with these empires.
    For now the enemies of Poland & Lithuania have been sufficiently weakened. The Golden Horde broke up shortly after a particularly nasty (for them) simultaneous war against first us; then Muscowy, other Russian principalities and a couple of Georgian kingdoms, and also another alliance of Genoa (controlling the Crimea) with its Italian and Western allies. As a result I gained a province corresponding to modern-day Odessa; it's Muslim, and primarily Tatar in population; it's also poor, has a very small population and although it borders the sea - it isn't a port province. But I suppose it's good enough as a buffer. The Teutonic Knights ripped 3 provinces off the Horde next to the Volga, which they have trouble holding onto; and I believe Lithuania got a bit of land too.
    The last war I had was with Muscowy, Ryazan and Novgorod and it was particularly vicious; the Muscovites were kicking the Lithuanians around and I really had to invest every last penny to turn the situation around. I lost an atrocious number of troops in sieges to Russian winter conditions; and even after many Muscowy-alliance provinces were eventually beseiged and captured; Lithuania wasn't interested in making peace. Eventually I made a seperate peace; vassilising severely-reduced in territory Novgorod and Ryazan; while Moscowy is bankrupt anyway. Lithuania made its own peace a little later, and got nothing basically.

    I say the last war; but I also had a nasty episode with Hungary and Bohemia which I barely survived. I had good relations with these powerful states. There was even an event where I took over the Hungarian Crown and Hungary became my vassal because they had no more heirs and chose a Polish sovereign to lead them. Before that - I supported the Hussite rebellion in Hungary, etc...
    But I was viciously attacked by them during or just after another one of my wars and again; had to sink in all my money which I was saving for a manufactory for several years; and I only just managed a stalemate with them basically; their armies are large, on a high technology level and with good morale. Not fun. And of course, the Teutons and Lithuanians were no help at all. Am seriously reconsidering the merits of this alliance - it's regularly getting me into trouble but giving nothing in return.

    The most powerful states on the map so far are Spain, which completed the reconquistada and is now a large united kingdom with islands and colonies in many places; and the Ottoman empire which is rapidly expanding and fighting war after war to gain more land. England is united too and looks like it could become influential next century too unshaven 
    My task for the coming 100 years is to put Poland on that map too. And unite with Lithuania; historical events will manifest themselves I suspect.


    Last edited by flamming_python on Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:16 am; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  Regular on Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:45 am

    Arsenal of Democracy was my favourite. Don't have time to play other games... But I want to try new EU. Any major improvements over the old one?

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  BTRfan on Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:48 am

    I've been thinking about swearing off Paradox games...

    Their games are generally broken wrecks until 6-8 months after release when they finally patch them, although some patches are actually disguised as DLC/add-ons and you have to pay $15 dollars for the patch. The games are then almost playable but hardly any fun until another 6-12 months go by and the fan/mod community develops mods.


    They banned me back when HOI 3 was released because I made a post along the lines of "this game is an absolute disaster, this game is a train wreck, you guys have done better than this, you are capable of doing much better than this, what happened? This game is just junk, it shouldn't have been released like this."


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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  BTRfan on Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:50 am

    They will find a way to royally screw up East vs West, don't think otherwise.


    They will probably not even realize that Soviet/WP divisions were around 11,000 to 12,000 men while Western divisions were around 16,000 to 18,000, a major issue but something that they will probably screw up.

    They probably will screw up the Soviet mobilization with different categories of divisions, I cannot see them getting that right.


    They will drop the ball on "small" issues or things they don't see as very relevant, such as the Vlore naval base dispute between Albania and the USSR.

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  flamming_python on Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:45 am

    In Arsenal of Democracy (CORE mod), after a 3-4 year campaign playing as Japan where I learned the ropes and eventually got bogged down in a slogging match in China (as historically happened to be fair), I started a new game - this time as Italy
    I've sunk a good 30-40 hours into my Italian game. It's now the fall of 1941.
    I managed to raise Italy's peacetime industrial capacity to over 150-160% of what it was in the beginning through a mixture of investment into IC in provinces, ministers and policy sliders.
    I realised that I would never be able to guarantee the security of my convoys and sealanes against British and American naval power; therefore I decided against any trade with the Americas or Asia whatsoever and neglected diplomacy there. Instead I have been focussing all my resource-aquisition efforts at Europe; Germany and Central Europe, Balkans, Iberian Peninsula, Scandinavia - they have thus far kept me adequately supplied with the resources I needed to feed my expanded industrial economy, and not to mention oil for navy and air force.
    Supplies are a constant problem because its what I've used to trade in return for resources. And my military gulps down supplies by the bucket load, especially when I order my corps to prepare for an offensive. So I've been forced to dedicate a substantial chunk of my IC into producing supplies.

    I already had several ships under production when I started the game. Several events gave me a few more, chiefly capital ships such as Battleships or Battlecruisers. I didn't focus as much on naval production as I did on the air force; but nontheless I decided to modernise a few of my destroyers I had underway into a newer long-range model, and the same with some of the submarines.

    • I embarked on a couple serial runs of transport ship production - the plan was that I would have about 3-4 flottilas of 3 transports each - and these would be vital for transporting Italy-based corps into Tripoli and for amphibious attacks on Egypt, French North Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, Malta and so on. I managed to produce all these ships in time and organised them as I wanted; basing them in Italy and North Africa.
    • To support my transport ships I started production of 3 light carriers. The plan was that each of these carriers would form a small surface action group together with 4-5 destroyers. These groups would be very versatile and high-speed, I would be able to use them for ASW, convoy-raiding, reinforcement of the main fleets in crucial battles, as well as grouping with the transport ship flottilas when needed, and supporting amphibious operations (which the light carriers are adept at doing). I did indeed managed to fulfil my targets and create 3 such groups by the time I entered the war. I based them in bases in South Italy, Tunisia and also one in Ethiopia, not far from the transport flotillas.
    • Otherwise - I focused on 2 fleets. Foremost - The Grand Fleet; which I planned to bring up to a strength of 24 ships; 12 capital ships (BBs/BCs/CAs) and 12 screening units (CLs, DDs) as standard. I gave it all my obsolete capital ships and older, short range destroyers and light cruisers. The events that gave me more capital ships helped a lot in this regard as I didn't have any in production for this fleet. I based this fleet in Venezia, and bar a capital ship or 2 I had it ready by the time the war broke out.
    • My longer-range destroyers and light cruisers, as well as a couple of my modern Battlecruisers with long range I decided to form the 2nd, auxillary fleet with. The plan for it was to be 12 ships strong; again with the standard 50/50 ratio of capital ships/screens. I had no problem with gathering enough screening units, but only managed to assign 1-2 capital ships to it by the time the war broke out; leaving it too heavily underpowered to be of much use. I have it based in the Adriatic; the plan was to use this long-range, high-speed fleet to harass British naval flotillas in the Red Sea, Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, perhaps even augmenting the Japanese fleet in the region. But alas it continues to sit in port - I don't have the resources to finish it for the forseeable future.
    • I have even more light cruisers and destroyers, but I organised them all into a couple of reserves that are sitting in Italian ports, waiting to replace those lost in active service.
    • Finally - I had my submarine forces. I organised them all by range into 4-5 wolfpacks; ranging from a wolf-pack consisting of my most obsolete, 1000km range subs, to one that's based on modern long-range subs with a range of 4500km. I deployed them to North Africa, Ethiopia, Italy and Rhodes to give them as much feeding water as possible

    Any given naval force moves at the speed of its slowest ship, and its range is the maximum range of its shortest range ship. So these are the considerations I had in mind when I organised my naval force.

    My Air Force is the branch I concentrated the most on in terms of production; it was the branch I had the least amount of what I needed when I started the game, although it was still respectable in size even in the beginning. I neglected R&D and production of any form of strategic bomber, transport, light or heavy fighter. Instead I piled all my research and production into CAS, tactical bombers (useful not only on land but as naval bombers with the appropriate attachments), naval patrol bombers and interceptors.
    I didn't need strategic bombers; I had nothing in range really to hit; the Middle East and Africa had barely any infrastructure or industry and they'd be my primary concern. I'd let Germany worry about Britain and Russia. I didn't need transports because I was focusing on marines in lieu of paratroopers. I didn't need light fighters because I wasn't worried about establishing air superiority over foreign airspaces and I didn't need dedicated escort fighters because I had no strategic bombers to escort.
    What I planned to build:

    • 2 Naval bomber squadrons of 4 squadrons each, as well as another larger one of 6 squadrons. They consist of mostly naval patrol bombers but also with one squadron each tactical bombers with naval bombing equipment; which are worse at finding targets but better at the actual naval bombing. Putting them together in air corps with naval patrol bombers creates formidable forces. At least that was the plan; I've built them up mostly but I don't have the spare capacity for building the tactical bombers to go with them as of now. They're deployed to Southern Italy, Sardinia and Rhodes; covering all 3 sections of the Mediterranean; Centre, West and East.
    • A couple CAS corps of 3 CAS squadrons plus an interceptor squadron with a ground attack attachment. Managed to get them all pumped out. Got them deployed over North Africa. Great for hacking at the strength of disorganised and retreating enemy forces.
    • Several Tactical Bomber corps of 4 Tactical bomber squadrons each; 2 of them with Escort Fighter attachements. Got them all produced. Deployed to North Africa/South Italy and one in Ethiopia. Useful for destroying infastructure, airbases, port strikes and their primary tactical bombing role which severely hits at the organisation of enemy ground units.
    • Nearly a dozen interceptor ADs; each consisting of 2 inteceptor squadrons. I doted them around my empire; chielfy in Italy because that's where I expected enemy strategic bombers to target (and I was right). I produced about 70-80% of what I intended

    In terms of ground forces I already had most of what I needed. The main thing was organising and deploying them appropriately, building some bridages and HQ units, some additional mountain divisions, as well as a dedicated marine and light tank force. For the longer-term perspective I had my eye on dedicated motorised infantry & medium armour corps.
    Sadly even the most modest of those plans never came to be before I joined the war in 1941.
    I conducted the research for the marine and light tank forces; and then put them on my production queue but they're pretty far down on my list of priorities right now; I can't spare the IC.
    The motorised infantry/armour forces remain a distant dream; I haven't even got all the research down for them, and the war already waging on the deserts of North Africa will be decided long before I have any thought of producing and deploying them.
    Even the HQ units that I planned to build; and which I do need quite badly - I simply can't spare anything for right now.
    The brigades are chugging along, slowly being built although I still have a way to go in fulfilling my targets.
    The couple of mountain divisions I needed I finished thankfully.
    Basically I organised what forces I do have roughly as follows:

    • 2 mixed infantry-cavalry corps; each consisting of 1 cavalry division and 2 reserve divisions, with a mix of infantry/light tank/towed artillery/combat engineer brigades. They pack a punch, but cavalry are useless in the desert, so I've posted them to North Italy, in case I have problems with the Yugoslavs or some sort of amphibious invasion
    • 4 infantry corps, each formed of 1 infantry division and 2 reserve divisions. A mix of brigades are attached, cavalry, artillery, anti-air, anti-tank, armoured cars and combat engineers. 3 of them are fighting in Egypt right now; another I keep in reserve in Italy in case I need it; which in fact I just did when I employed it to take back Sardinia after it was captured by the British in an amphibious invasion.
    • 3 alpine corps, each containing two mountain divisions; one with an infantry regiment (extra defense and attack) and another with combat engineers (greatly helps crossing rivers, assault fortifications). I have one based in the Alps, one in the mountains of Albania in case the Yugos attack, and yet another fighting advancing from Ethiopia against nearby British provinces and bases in the many foothills there.
    • Several colonial corps based in Africa; mostly in Ethiopia armed with whatever spare brigades I have, but also two of them in Libya armed with 1 anti-tank brigade each. Each of them consist of 2 reserve divisions.
    • A regular infantry division in central Ethiopia led by a fine commander which I use for plugging holes in my defense.
    • Many garrisons/security with attached police brigades; helping pacify Ethiopia, and with a reserve of 4 more in Rome waiting to be deployed to pacify occupied territory that I will conquer more of I hope. 2 such divisions are deployed to Rhodes and Sardinia (important air and naval bases on both) with attached infantry regiments to boost their defensive strength. I've also been planning to build up the coastal fortifications on these provinces but alas haven't managed to do so before the war broke out.

    One other thing - the vast majority of all my forces are obsolete, especially the ones I started with. I researched the technology, I was planning to upgrade them - but I had other priorities. And now that the war has broken out - I can't spare the IC on such things.

    My game went pretty much as standard; I rapidly annexed Ethiopia, giving the most promising commanders command of my forces there so that they could get some experience under their belt. An event gave me the option of diverting resources to setting up a huge amount of supplies and depots in Ethiopia. I accepted the most expensive option, and a year or so later I was rewarded with a huge amount of supplies there and some garrison forces, basically I had enough there for my troops (+ air squadrons and naval flotilla I had there) to fight for half a year without resupply. This would prove vital.
    Spain erupted into a civil war as per historical event. I elected to provide assistance to Franco and his Nationalist forces. However I've been disappointed - after a year or 2 of dynamic fighting they both ended up in a stalemate; with the Republican forces holding less territory and with a lot less industry yet still holding on. It's been that way right up to the present hour.
    Elsewhere in Europe things pretty much happened as they did historically. Germany annexed Austria, taking the Czech part of Czechoslovakia while puppeting the Slovaks, and then crushed Poland, got declared war on by Britain and France; crushed France, Denmark Norway, the low countries, and is now fighting a constant air battle over Britain and Germany. Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria also followed suit and joined the Axis alliance. So did Vichy France, which now controls almost all of France's former territory and saves me the worry about having to confront French forces in North Africa and the Middle East.

    The USSR annexed the Baltics, Eastern Poland, fought the Winter war with Finland to a stalemate and took the border territory that it did historically.
    The main inconsistencies in Europe in comparison to actual history - was that firstly - Yugoslavia and Greece were never invaded. In fact Yugoslavia was even part of the Axis alliance for a while before leaving. Secoundly and most importantly - a war between the USSR and Germany has yet to take place; June 22nd 1941 came and went.

    In '38 or '39 as per a historical event; I ended up in a war with Albania. I took over its territory but I never formally annexed it and declared peace. The reason being is that while at war my economy is mobilised and produces a lot more IC and manpower. I took advantage of this fact.
    In the Far East - things were pretty historical too - Japan started invading China, controlling most of the coast by now but still fighting inland. Japan ended up in a war with America and through a sequence of mostly historical events I don't recall exactly - ended up in a war with America, Britain and the other allies, while America, its own small allies and Nationalist China ended up in a war with Germany and the other Axis members.

    I didn't enter the Axis alliance too soon, I bid my time in order to further build up my forces. When I decided enough was enough; sometime in the Spring of 1941; I put all my IC into reinforcing my heavily under-strength and depleted military. Within a couple of months I had everything re-enforced. I subsequently joined the Axis alliance in the early summer. I instantly had several events that brought me up to full mobilisation, increasing my IC and manpower yet further; and then Germany and other Axis powers gave me plenty of free blueprints for my research.
    I automatically ended up in a war with all of their enemies, and began my thrust into Egypt; controlled by the British. I made rapid progress and got as far as El-Alamein before I was defeated and even thrown back in an adjacent province. The infrastructure is very poor there and my corps take very long to regain their organisation. However, now I feel that, supported by tactical bomber and CAS air corps nearby - I could try for El-Alamein again, and cut-off another 3 British divisions from supply in an adjacent province if I succeed.
    My main hope was to seize the Suez in an amphibious operation. This in fact what I tried for when I entered the war; one of the first things. I moved my Grand Fleet into the adjacent sea zone to protect the transports; only to have it engaged by the Brits over a series of naval battles. We both lost a lot of ships, I lost over half my capital ships and several destroyers and light cruisers. The Brits probably came of a little worse, but it was fairly equal. The screens I can replace with my reserves; but the capital ship losses I could barely afford. With my navy badly bruised and not wanting to wait for a fresh British or American fleet to come by, I had to call off the amphibious operation - there wasn't enough time to complete it and I tried for it twice only to have my navy engaged there multiple times.

    Now my navy sits in port and repairs on the ships proceed very slowly. The British and Americans control the seas with their smaller fleets and conduct port strikes, amphibious operations, ASW and convoy raiding at will. My main hope is to repair my fleet, pair it with the auxillary half-finished fleet in port at the moment (which I've already employed to augment my fleet before as well), as well as with a couple of my carrier surface action groups (only 1 of them has a carrier left anymore though, the others had theirs sunk), and try again. I'll have one more shot I reckon.
    Either by way of my army attacking from the West towards El-Alamein, or my amphibious operation plans - I must seize the Suez. It would cut the British off from their empire to the East but most importantly - it would allow me to resupply my large forces in Ethiopia (thinking back on it, keeping so many men there was a mistake). They have at most 2 months worth of supplies left; and no oil already which makes the air and naval forces stationed there useless.
    My forces in Ethiopia made huge gains initially, striking out North, South and West; but as in North Africa, the British rapidly re-enforced with more divisions, and now my corps have advanced too far and are not flexible enough to deal with the fresh, well-organised British forces attacking from the flanks and threatening encirclement in some cases. Advancement is too slow and British resistence as late too stubborn for there to be a chance of reaching the Suez from the south before supplies run out, as I had hoped.
    Convoy-raiding has taken a slow, even toll on each side. What I strike with my sub wolf-packs and naval aviation they match with their own subs and their destroyer and carrier flottilas which roam freely along the Mediterranean. But of course I will run out of convoys long before the Brits do. Not too much of a worry though; I still have hundreds more for the moment, I couldn't have lost more than 5% of my convoy strength thus far.
    My air defense interceptors are doing an adequate job protecting Italy. My airspace is constantly invaded by American, British, even Nationalist Chinese strategic bombers together with their escort fighters. I'm finding that individual AD corps find it hard to come off the victor when fighting individually against such groups - but when they band up they disorganise the enemy and put them out of action for a while. For the most part I'm keeping them out, although I still get bombed from time to time - but it's pretty minor.

    It's shaping up to be a grueling war of attrition between Italy and the British Empire; and such a war I cannot hope to win. Despite my allies I feel like I'm alone in this conflict - all the ships in the Mediterranean sea and divisions on the ground in Africa are solely my own. Over my own airspace too - it's mostly just my guys - Germany only intercepts what's on its own airspace for the most part.
    I have no Industrial Capacity to spare for the production of new units or the upgrade of existing ones. Almost all of it goes towards re-enforcement of my forces, with the rest going towards producing supplies, and some towards consumer goods to make sure that my dissent doesn't shoot up.
    My hope is that Japan will grind down Nationalist China and focus more on the British, forcing them to split their resources and divisions; between North Africa and the Far East.
    My troops in Ethiopia are rapidly running out of supplies and they will surely be destroyed if I let these supplies run out. My only hope is to either punch through El-Alamein with my infantry corps, or gather what I have of my navy in time and capture the Suez with a major amphibious offensive. Both approaches are difficult and uncertain.
    Initial gains aside, it increasingly seems like the British are slowly turning the tables back on me. Italian servicemen, from the outskirts of El-Alamein to the hills of British Sudan, from the oil deprived sub pen in coastal Ethiopia to the naval aviators hunting convoys from their airbase in Sardinia are grimly looking towards the approaching storm clouds from the Western horizon, all standing and waiting in silence - for their Darkest Hour (oh wait that's the other game)

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  BTRfan on Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:44 pm

    My favorite games have been played along less than historical routes.


    I prefer the HOI 2 Total Realism Project mod.



    I spent about 30-40 hours playing as Romania in one game, with an army of about 55 divisions [5 tank, 10 motorized infantry, the rest a mix of infantry, mountain, cavalry, etc] and I was able to contribute greatly to the war against the USSR and I managed to secure the Crimea without German help and to advance to the Volga with some German help.


    My favorite game was as Germany where I focused heavily on North Africa and wound up taking most of the Middle East and all of Africa north of the Sahara [including Sudan]. I sent two SS Panzer Divisions and two Panzer Divisions, along with a number of Motorized Infantry and Panzergrenadier Divisions, to help Italy in North Africa in 1941 and was ultimately able to cut off and encircle about 24 British divisions in Egypt west of el Alamein.

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  BTRfan on Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:26 pm

    flamming_python wrote:

    Can't wait for East vs West (Cold-war era Paradox game)


    I saw somebody on the Paradox forum stating that the campaign the Soviets waged against the Japanese in Manchuria was a "brilliant masterstroke of planning and execution" and it reveals how the Soviets would have conducted war against the Americans/Allies/NATO in a WW3 scenario.

    Of course that is utter rubbish and nonsense.

    The Japanese forces in Manchuria had less than 1,200 tanks and armored cars, none of which were armed with anything heavier than a 20mm main gun, they were mostly machine gun armed tankettes with two man crews while the Soviets had over 5,000 tanks most of which were T-34s. The Soviets also had an advantage of about 4 to 1 in aircraft and nearly 6 to 1 in artillery.

    At no time did the Soviets ever have a 6 to 1 advantage in artillery over the Western Allies or a 4 to 1 advantage in aircraft. Locally they might have been able to achieve a 2 or 3 to 1 advantage in men, but overall they were generally around a 1.3 to 1 advantage in men, about equal in aircraft, and perhaps 3 to 1 in tanks.

    But that aside, the Soviet offensive that smashed the Japanese was well planned and executed, but it was not indicative of what might be expected in a NATO/WP war in Central Europe.

    The Japanese forces in Manchuria were basically light infantry with some trucks, armored cars, and a few very light tanks, and they were smashed by heavy infantry, armored infantry, and motorized infantry, with an overwhelming advantage in quantity and quality of tanks, as well as artillery and aircraft.


    I anticipate that the East vs West game will be rife with problems, not the least of which being the leftist/communist bias of the Paradox developers.

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  flamming_python on Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:44 pm

    BTRfan wrote:My favorite games have been played along less than historical routes.

    I prefer the HOI 2 Total Realism Project mod.

    I spent about 30-40 hours playing as Romania in one game, with an army of about 55 divisions [5 tank, 10 motorized infantry, the rest a mix of infantry, mountain, cavalry, etc] and I was able to contribute greatly to the war against the USSR and I managed to secure the Crimea without German help and to advance to the Volga with some German help.

    My favorite game was as Germany where I focused heavily on North Africa and wound up taking most of the Middle East and all of Africa north of the Sahara [including Sudan]. I sent two SS Panzer Divisions and two Panzer Divisions, along with a number of Motorized Infantry and Panzergrenadier Divisions, to help Italy in North Africa in 1941 and was ultimately able to cut off and encircle about 24 British divisions in Egypt west of el Alamein.
    Checked it out just now.
    Looks good!
    Their last update was about half a year ago so it seems like the mod hasn't been abandoned.
    It's a Darkest Hour mod nowadays.
    All the active HOI 2 mod teams migrated over to either Arsenal of Democracy or Darkest Hour (or just HOI III of course).

    The eye candy looks great; the work they did on the interface, colour photos of leaders, units in the sidebar. Coupled with the Darkest Hour map it should be interesting. They also converted a bunch of sprite packs with country specific unit graphics to their mod and are bundling these addons as additional downloads on their site too.

    BTRfan wrote:
    flamming_python wrote:

    Can't wait for East vs West (Cold-war era Paradox game)

    I saw somebody on the Paradox forum stating that the campaign the Soviets waged against the Japanese in Manchuria was a "brilliant masterstroke of planning and execution" and it reveals how the Soviets would have conducted war against the Americans/Allies/NATO in a WW3 scenario.

    Of course that is utter rubbish and nonsense.

    The Japanese forces in Manchuria had less than 1,200 tanks and armored cars, none of which were armed with anything heavier than a 20mm main gun, they were mostly machine gun armed tankettes with two man crews while the Soviets had over 5,000 tanks most of which were T-34s. The Soviets also had an advantage of about 4 to 1 in aircraft and nearly 6 to 1 in artillery.

    At no time did the Soviets ever have a 6 to 1 advantage in artillery over the Western Allies or a 4 to 1 advantage in aircraft. Locally they might have been able to achieve a 2 or 3 to 1 advantage in men, but overall they were generally around a 1.3 to 1 advantage in men, about equal in aircraft, and perhaps 3 to 1 in tanks.

    But that aside, the Soviet offensive that smashed the Japanese was well planned and executed, but it was not indicative of what might be expected in a NATO/WP war in Central Europe.

    The Japanese forces in Manchuria were basically light infantry with some trucks, armored cars, and a few very light tanks, and they were smashed by heavy infantry, armored infantry, and motorized infantry, with an overwhelming advantage in quantity and quality of tanks, as well as artillery and aircraft.

    I anticipate that the East vs West game will be rife with problems, not the least of which being the leftist/communist bias of the Paradox developers.
    Those CORE mod guys are involved in the development of East vs West, Paradox brought them onboard. I wouldn't worry about inaccuracy. If you ever followed the discussions in the forums then you'd know they pay very close attention to the details.

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  BTRfan on Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:49 pm

    One of my major concerns for East vs West is that the Paradox developers will totally miss the reality of East Bloc politics and they will allow the leaders of WP nations to rule as virtual dictators without having to answer to anybody.
     
    The simple truth is that no WP leader could last long without Soviet support and that WP leaders were prone to being removed by their own party's central committee if they lost the confidence of their party along with the support of the Soviets.
     
    Look at what happened to Ulbricht, there was a rift between him and Brezhnev and finally the central committee of the SED voted to remove him after clearing it with the Soviets.
     
     
    The leaders of the NSWP [Non-Soviet] Warsaw Pact nations should have to worry about influence and opinion/confidence within their own party and maintaining the support of the Soviet Union, in much the same way that the leaders of the Western nations have to worry about public opinion, the media, and maintaining the support of their own party.
     
     
    I predict that Paradox will completely miss those factors and will allow the Com Bloc leaders to rule as unaccountable dictators who can enact any policy without regard to whether or not they have sufficient relations with the Soviets to get the Soviets to back them, whether or not the Soviets support the policy, and without any regard to the central committee of their own party.


    Ulbricht was not Kim il Sung but I strongly suspect Paradox will still allow the DDR player to have as much control over the affairs and policies of the DDR that Kim il Sung had in DPRK. Generally even dictators are accountable to the elite, the inner circle, or some group.

    The DPRK of today is not the DPRK of 40 years ago. I believe if Kim Jong Un attempted to open to the West and began to pursue reunification with ROK along the lines of what FRG and DDR did, where DDR was basically absorbed into FRG to become a reunified Germany, the party elite in DPRK would realize such a move would mean the end to a privileged lifestyle and they would remove Kim Jong Un.

    Most leaders are at least accountable to the party elite and a small circle of perhaps a few dozen, maybe a few hundred, for whom they speak and publicly represent.

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  As Sa'iqa on Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:55 am

    Looks like EU IV gets very good scores:
    IGN - The bright future of history - Score: 89/100
    Strategy Informer - Score: 9/10
    Softpedia - Score: 9/10 & Very Good Game Award

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  As Sa'iqa on Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:18 pm

    I forgot to share the news - East and West canceled. Rolling Eyes Sad They're working on HoI4 though.

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  BTRfan on Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:57 pm

    I am presently playing HOI2 Darkest Hour [which is in the running for my favorite mod along with Total Realism Project, actually Darkest Hour is better than TRP, if just slightly].

    I almost always play as Germany, followed by Soviet Union, followed by Italy, followed by Romania. I occasionally play as the USA, I almost never play as the UK, sometimes I do something different and try Portugal, Spain, Belgium, etc. I once played Vanilla HOI2 as Belgium, I built all of my industrial base in the Belgian Congo so that I was able to continue operating after Germany overran Belgium, I sat out of WW2, I continued to build up forces in the Belgian Congo, I wound up with a level 6 nuclear reactor by 1945, 100+ IC, a few jet fighter squadrons, several capital ships, a few dozen light ships, about 30 different divisions, and when WW3 erupted I was able to help the USA and UK avoid being instantly driven out of West Germany.


    Right now I have three games going that I am focusing on-

    First one- as Germany, I started in 1933 and focused heavily on industry and tech until 1939 when the historical war started, by 1943 I wound up occupying all of Europe from the coast of France to the Volga, the Soviets quit the war and Stalin was ousted in favor of Malenkov and Beira. However, as of 1945 the Soviets have taken Manchuria, Japan is reeling from the attacks by America, and Japan is about done, even though I sent them 8 armored divisions as a gift, they managed to stabilize the front around Korea for a while, destroy a few dozen Soviet divisions, but they ultimately were out-maneuvered and they lost 7 of their armored divisions. In South America I managed to make an alliance with Argentina and Argentina has since taken over the entire continent up to the Panama Canal. Oh, I should mention that in my recent war with the USA I fired 8 nuclear ICBMs [I put a lot of tech time into rockets and I have a level 9 rocket research base] at major targets in the USA and the USA has since collapsed, left the Allied Powers, and become a socialist dictatorship. At the present Germany and her allies [England under Mosley, Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Finland, Portugal, Argentina, Persia, etc] control most of Europe, all of Africa, most of the Middle East, and most of South America, fighting against Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, etc. I began mobilization early, ordering conscription in 1934 and having 5-6 million men mobilized by 1939, I began the war with the Soviet Union with around 250 infantry divisions, 30 motorized infantry divisions, 20 panzer-grenadier divisions, and 30 panzer divisions.


    Second one- as Germany, [which I find more interesting than the first, because it is much more challenging]- I started just before Operation Bagration was set to begin in the summer of 1944, the Allies have already landed in the West, they are pushing north in Italy, the situation is very dire. I immediately abandoned all of Belarus, Ukraine, the Baltic States, etc, and I did strategic redeploy to shift all of my forces back to form a line stretching from Koenigsberg in the north, south through Warsaw, through the Carpathians, through Romania, and to the Black Sea. By abandoning a huge amount of territory that was essentially impossible to hold I was able to shift about 20 divisions to the Western Front, which were instrumental in crushing the allied beachhead in Normandy and Cherbourg before it became a complete disaster. It took about 12 weeks of fierce fighting but I was able to crush the Western powers in Normandy, but then they landed in Brest and I had to crush those landings. I also had major partisan problems in Bosnia since I had shifted 6 of my 8 divisions out of the Balkans to help hold the line in Italy. After crushing the allies in France and driving them into the sea I shifted about 35 of what had been around 70 divisions in France to the Eastern Front and to Italy, about 10 went to Italy and the rest went East. The Allies have since invaded Norway although I have driven them all the way back into Sicily and the invasion of Italy has been crushed. My main problem is that I have absolutely no strategic reserves and I can only deal with the invasion of Norway by stripping forces from the Eastern Front. I also had to strip forces from the Eastern Front to drive the Allies back into Sicily. I have 32 new infantry divisions under construction, along with 5 panzer divisions, about 1200 Tiger II tanks [coming via brigades attached to divisions], and they will become available over the next 16 weeks. All of my major problems are on the Eastern Front. I am in real danger of losing East Prussia, I already had forces in northeastern East Prussia, in and around Koenigsberg, cut-off for a few weeks, I had to supply them by air and then force the Soviets back, which I was able to do, if just barely. I have had my forces in Memel cut off on 3 separate occasions but I presently have open supply lines to them. I believe I can safely say that the Western Allies are of little consequence in how things will develop and that the war will be decided in the next 16 weeks on the Eastern Front, either I will be able to stabilize and hold the line, keeping the Soviets east of Warsaw, or the last major line will be the Oder. If I can hold out until my new divisions come on line then I believe things will be okay, as long as they don't outmaneuver me into Hungary or Romania, I already had a narrowly averted disaster when 30+ Soviet divisions broke through my lines in the Slovakian Carpathians and began pouring out and rapidly expanding across Hungary, since I had no strategic reserves I had to send in forces from Greece, Bosnia, Serbia, strip forces from the Italian Front, rely on Bulgarians, etc, I had to use 4 SS Panzer divisions but I was able to cut off the forces in Hungary, force them into a pocket, and destroy them.


    Third one- as Soviet Union [started in late 1944]- I wanted to see if I could beat the allies to the Rhine, I was pretty much able to do it, I had taken Denmark, Norway, Austria, northern Italy, Munich, Hannover, etc but then the game crashed and I have to start back at my last save [1st week of February 1945], and as of Feb 1945 my forces are moving into Austria [not yet in Vienna], through the Balkans, moving into northeast Italy, through Slovakia, moving into central Czech Republic/Prague area, and close to the Oder in Germany. My intention is to win the war, form the Warsaw Pact, and see how long things can last before the West attacks me and starts WW3. I had already won WW2 and formed the Warsaw Pact but then the game crashed. It is fun but a game crashing and losing 2-3 months of progress will demoralize me for a few days and I'll go off and try something else.

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  BTRfan on Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:03 pm

    When playing HOI2 as Germany in 1944 I think there is one solid rule- you can still achieve great military victories and possibly come out ahead even if you let the Allies land in France, but if you try to hold a huge amount of land in the East and you try to defend against Operation Bagration [rather than abandoning huge swathes of land, shortening/tightening the line, and consolidating in Poland] you will lose a large number of divisions and you will lose the war.

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  As Sa'iqa on Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:55 pm

    Ok...

    After creating a huge Portugiese Empire in EU IV (half of South America & Carribean, Ceylon + Christianized Morocco and 4 Indian provinces as vassals) I decided to play as Serbia, restoring Orthodox glory in the Balkans. Previously I did poorly but this time it was different.

    What I managed to do is.
    - Conquer Wallachia (2 provinces)
    - Conquer Bosnia (about 4 provinces)
    - Take a part of Croatia from Venice (1 province) which I will soon convert to Orthodox faith
    - Forge a strong alliance with Hungary and Georgia.

    I will post screenshots soon. I'm hoping for reclaiming 2 Albanian or a few Bulgarian provinces from Ottoman control. May fate give me them.

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  As Sa'iqa on Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:05 pm

    Ok, here is what I have as of 1656.
    As you can see, now I also got a part of Greece, Croatia + 2 Hungarian provinces (now Orthodox). I also completed westernization which gives faster technological progress and better units later in game. As you can see, the Ottoman territory in Europe is cut in half so it's not possible for them to bring their troops there except through Constantinopole or through sea. My plan so far is to conquer three Croatian provinces from Hungary and then take on the Turks.

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    Re: Paradox games

    Post  As Sa'iqa on Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:55 pm

    Update.
    It's now 1723 and I have just fought a major war against a mighty coalition of Ottomans and Kara Qoyunlu + Yemen. My humble 40k strong Serbian army attacked the European part of the Ottomans while my ally Russia attacked in the East with it's 100k+ army. It was one of the most ferocious wars ever fought by me in EU IV, with one battle seeing 150k Russian troops thrown against 170k strong Muslim coalition (a Russian victory). The war resulted in a near total collapse of the Ottoman military, with the empire having to cede most of their European possessions (about 6-7 provinces) to me and 2 provinces to Russia (for some reason they decided to not push further and opt for an earlier ceasfire instead). My Great Serbia now looks like this:

    I'm now concentrating on coring them and making them Orthodox - an easy task cause I got all religious ideas. Later I will attack Constantinopole and retake the remaining part of Greece. I doubt that the Turks will be able to muster a strong army after such a heavy blow.

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