Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Shadow Empire is the latest outing from VR Designs, a one man team responsible for some of my favorite hex-based wargames including Advanced Tactics: Gold, and the Decisive Campaigns series. As a followup to Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa, Shadow Empire has a strong eastern-front inspiration. The actual war part of the wargame is realized through large-scale ground combat fueled by expansive logistical networks. The rest of the game has been described as George Miller's Civilization and that's about as accurate of a description as it can get.

For more on the game itself, the general thread is here: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3926377&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=1

Saros has also been running excellent LPs in this thread: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3922608&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=1

So without further ado, let's dive into one of countless hellplanets generated since the game launched.

Sovisum III

The third planet in the Sovisum system would have been familiar to anyone born on earth with a comfortable gravity and temperature to compliment a 21 hour spin. The axial tilt and eccentric orbit result in measurably different weather around the poles depending on the season.







Given the conditions it's not a surprise that eventually it became the Quadrant Capital over the course of it's 2300 year history in the Old Galactic Republic.



Unfortunately that meant it wasn't spared the worst of the Collapse.



The New Republic

For the people of Sovisum III there's still a light in the dark. After two centuries of struggle a new force has risen to unite the planet. Safe on their peninsula, the people of Silvervale not only survived but thrived in the ruins of the former planetary parliament. In the year 231 AA a New Republic was proclaimed and the militia set about reclaiming the wasteland.



It's been nine years since that fateful day, and the New Republic now counts fully a quarter of Sovisum's population as citizens.



The New Republic has become a powerhouse of industry and technology. The bureaucracy is robust enough to support several different organizations without slowing down.



The economy is humming along with a positive cashflow.



Corporate dominance has been checked to ensure the people come first.



Several peaceful sects practice among the population, although one has a distressing tendency to ruin the economy with public production penalties.



Generally we've been trying to keep the government profile high but over the last couple of turns commerce has snuck into the dominant spot. Also the corporation hates us, no idea why.



Those government profiles affect things like regime feats, I recently lost a few of the government feats because that profile sank too low.



We have enjoyed a consistently high research bonus however, and combined with a research agreement with the friendly Republican neighbors this has given us a healthy technological advantage.



Seeing this message almost every turn from the start has been nice. Getting ahead on Polymer Armour and Lasers is fantastic.



We're also keeping watchful eyes on the less friendly neighbors



All this work is carried out by our cabinet, which for the most part has grown into their roles nicely. Shoutout to Porky Bohr for being a former secretary who had a great Covert Ops skill that was wasted there.



Factions haven't been too much of an issue outside of some early-game rebellions by authoritarians who disagreed with the meritocratic track the Republic was taking.





Currently we're working to fulfill a demand for more bureaucracy. As that's something we generally want anyways, it was a pretty easy sell.



Currently there are 5 established cities and 2 new colonies in the Republic. Huntsland has been rocky for years but Sparenhausen is the latest addition, recently the capital of the militarist AI.



Our main military force is three infantry brigades operating together plus attached light tank and artillery support. Borders are maintained by the militia plus a smaller number of dispersed independent units.



The staff council has been neglected until recently, we haven't thought of any fancy ideas like concentrating tanks into their own formations. For now they're dispersed among our infantry formations in supporting roles.



The Map

Since the founding of the Republic, several new nations have been encountered, each claiming in some capacity to be the rightful inheritors of the planet. Of particular interest are immediate neighbors and human opponents Queensstate in orange, and Arian Hold in pale green.



For the most part, peace has reigned as smaller city states swore allegiance to the new powers one by one. Arian Hold to our East across the water has proven a reliable ally so far and a border was mutually agreed upon fairly early.



Arian Hold

Arian Hold mostly lines up with us ideologically and we've been making stronger ties as time goes on. They are behind us in terms of tech and I can't say I agree with their army composition. Munashe rolled a good motorcycle infantry model early and then went all in on independent motorcycle formations to hold off the slavers they started next to. Their only formation with an OHQ is in the neighboring city of Beziers doing not much.






Queensstate

Queensstate started off in the south and has progressively been expanding outwards. We share a border because Orange Devil offered protection to a minor (Rostock) that was invaded by the neighboring militarist major. While they're also behind us in terms of tech, they're definitely more of a threat with a stronger economy and military. At the moment they're stretched thin but that won't last.






For comparison, here's how our tech tree looks like in the same view:



The Rostock Crisis

This probably happened sooner than planned, but Orange Devil started diplomatically annexing all the farmer minors they could get into contact with. I was slow on the draw with my espionage and foreign affairs councils, so while I probably should have beaten them to it they ended up protecting Rostock and subsequently annexing them when the AI invaded. Here's what that looks like on the map.

Working our way outwards from Silvervale, our second and third cities are in reasonably close proximity.



North of Avigens was Wurmsekt, the militarist AI major regime. As soon as I noticed Rostock suddenly belonged to Queensstate, I hastily invaded Wurmsekt from the south to head off any further expansion from Orange.



Threevale was the only other city Wurmsekt managed to capture, Sparenhausen was their capital.



Here's the same image with with units displayed. It also features the final red flag from Orange Devil as he is about to capture the raider city of Lodmont.



Moving south-west you can see that Orange has only recently managed to connect Rostock to his capital, something which took several turns because they're across the planet from each other. Bluebaths is a new truck stop settlement along the way.



Further south-west are a few of the adjacent minor cities that he's already hoovered up.



Finally his capital at the south edge of the map, about as far away from Silvervale as you can get.



Orange is at the tail end of a massive logistical chain running over dirt roads for significant portions. They've reached pretty far in order to grab cities that otherwise would have been within my sphere of influence. I don't know the exact extent of their logistical situation, but mine is pretty good with a railway from Silvervale running all the way to a railhead in Sparenhausen that was already supporting the war against Wurmsekt. This is the weakest they'll ever be, if they manage to consolidate they have enough of a population base to significantly outcompete us given time. Given that and my current tech advantage, I figure my best option is to attack before they get too powerful.



The Invasion

Ambassadors are expelled and war is declared. My lovely staff council director is mildly pleased by this development.



A quick push from Sparenhausen by the 1st and 3rd MG Infantry Brigades puts their forces surrounding Lodmont in a bad place. Their supply line is a single long dirt road from Rostock.



The 2nd MG Infantry Brigade pushes on Rostock and severs the supply line to the rest of his empire. Not a big deal since Rostock was already self-sufficient, but should prevent and sudden transfers of troops or supplies.



Further south a mix of old Galactic Republic walkers, mounted infantry, and militia cuts the supply line in another place.



Now all there is to do is wait for their response. Currently there's no plan to advance on or past Blue Baths, that would probably be beyond our immediate logistical capacity anyways.

Units

This is the infantry unit fielded by the majority of our formations. It has a relatively low design score because it's a new development from our starting infantry unit who had too low of a structural score for my taste.



This is the upgraded version coming online, but currently only equipping a few battalions. It's a pretty significant upgrade in armour but not much else.



For comparison this is the infantry Orange is currently fielding. It's a mature design and you can tell they've put some resources into linear techs.



For machine guns the situations are reversed, this one is ours.



And this one is theirs which has clearly been started from scratch recently.



And that is a giant wall of screenshots from a grog game! The game and its mechanics have been picked over in both other threads, but feel free to ask questions and I'll do my best to answer them or dive into the manual to find out. It's hard for me to try to look at the game with fresh eyes because I'm already so used to all the weird systems. Future updates will be way shorter since I'll just be focusing on the turn to turn action instead of giving 66 turns of background.

I was holding off on posting this until a game got somewhere interesting, and personally I've always found player versus player conflict the most interesting thing to read about. In a perfect world I could have used a few more turns to fully upgrade every unit to the latest models, but I figured the cost of allowing Orange time to mop up would have outweighed the benefit. I've been enjoying the replacement mechanic the game has to slowly rotate used and outdated equipment to second and third line units while the frontline units get the new stuff. Usually I end up garrisoning cities with troops using obsolete equipment to keep unrest down and to keep any surprise rebels from cutting vital logistics links.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


More LPs for the LP gods

Wars in Shadow Empire are extremely interesting experiences.

habituallyred
Feb 6, 2015


Would you like to talk about why you went Meritocracy/Government/Mind? I find myself going for Meritocracy and Mind more often than not. It seems crazy to me that the best postures and the research bonus are both under Mind.

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


AtomikKrab posted:

More LPs for the LP gods

Wars in Shadow Empire are extremely interesting experiences.

I love them, there's a brilliant grog feeling to having to care at least as much about whether your truck drivers are striking way behind the line versus what's actually happening at the front.

habituallyred posted:

Would you like to talk about why you went Meritocracy/Government/Mind? I find myself going for Meritocracy and Mind more often than not. It seems crazy to me that the best postures and the research bonus are both under Mind.

All those profiles come with bonuses that I just like a lot. It's hard to keep government high in my experience but the worker happiness and public industrial bonuses are great for keeping metal and industry points rolling. Plus if you manage to keep government around 70 you get a nice 60% bureaucratic bonus which fuels your research and card production.

For the uninitiated this is what the feats screen looks like in game.



Each feat level usually unlocks a card you can play for political points, a bonus to some aspect of your society, and sometimes a unit feat. This particular meritocracy feat is great because it's a flat +25 to Operational Headquarters rolls, which translates into a big combat bonus for your hardest hitting formations. Plus it comes with what is probably the most immediately useful unit feat in combat.

Saros
Dec 29, 2009

Its almost like we're a Bureaucracy, in space!

I set sail for the Planet of Lab Requisitions!!



1 out of 5 Stars, insufficient nuclear weapons and/or backstabs for a Goon MP.

Kidding, looks great and like you've chosen a decent time for the initial strike.

Bremen
Jul 20, 2006

Our God..... is an awesome God

habituallyred posted:

Would you like to talk about why you went Meritocracy/Government/Mind? I find myself going for Meritocracy and Mind more often than not. It seems crazy to me that the best postures and the research bonus are both under Mind.

Mind is a definite favorite of mine. Meritocracy on the other hand I think has the best bonuses but seems to have the worst options for unrest events, which makes it painful if you're going around conquering other cities. Most unrest events seem to go like this:

Option 1: Crush dissent, your soldiers against the dissidents. + Autocracy, increases fear and kills some people if you win (and you usually do if you have a decent army in the area).
Option 2: Give in. + Democracy, costs credits (sometimes a lot of credits). Simple and easy if you have a good source of credits.
Option 3: Talk to them. + Meritocracy, very difficult skill check to talk them down that makes things worse if you fail.

So unless you have some spectacularly skilled governors you often have to pick another option, wrecking your values, or risk having things spiral out of control. If I were ever attempting a one city challenge I'd definitely go Meritocracy though, especially since IIRC high level meritocracy gives you cards you can use to steal pop and workers from opponents' cities.

Bremen fucked around with this message at 21:02 on Jul 29, 2020

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 67

Not surprisingly given the current situation there's no counter attacks yet.



We're currently experiencing a bonus to our bureaucracy, great for getting research done. We also finish researching a fairly useful order of battle and discover a slightly less useful one.





Huntsland is still experiencing tons of unrest, happiness is slowly rising the the terrible governor isn't helping. She started as an also terrible OHQ commander and was shuffled over when I didn't have enough leader cards. I really should spend some PP to get a better leader in there.



As Bremen mentioned, the meritocracy boosting choices are usually pretty dire, especially when they go wrong.



Happily Sparenhausen has a better governor.




Threevale doesn't even give us the option, and besides is an important logistical hub facing Rostock that I don't want to mess with. Meritocracy safely boosted by the last two events they get paid off.




The raiders we're "saving" from Orange Devil give me a nice chance to tank relationship with them and boost relationship with some leaders.




North-east of Sparenhausen the last remnants of Wurmsekt are cleaned up and free folk marauders are kept in check.



On our border with Arian Hold more marauders are cleaned up by Galactic Republic infantry.



To our extreme south-west independent RPG battalions keep rampant AI sentinels safely away from our cities.



On the Rostock front, this is how things look at the start of the turn:





Between Rostock and Lodmont we have our first clash with Orange's regular troops after cleaning up some militia. His troops aren't feeling the lack of supply yet but they're still outclassed by tanks and artillery.




In the city of Rostock itself Orange has raised an emergency light infantry brigade. No small obstacle, but they start with low experience, morale, and readiness. Plus the city is on a grassy plains hex which offers no particular defensive bonuses.




There's also a unit of veteran light tanks that will be a bit more trouble, but are lacking any upgrades like side-skirts or cluster munitions.



Compared to our second generation tanks.



The 2nd Motorized Artillery Battalion makes sure readiness and entrenchment don't get too high in the new infantry brigade.



Seeing the low readiness I decide to roll the dice on ending the siege before it begins and the 2nd Light Tank Battalion bravely attacks the city alone.



The defenders are initially panicked at the sight of tanks charging straight at them and an entire under-strength battalion surrenders almost immediately. Deeper within the city, however, a company of infantry manages to trap and kill a tank platoon before the rest are forced to break off the attack.



With most combat done for the turn I take a look at the logistical situation and notice a problem. This is how many points we started with this turn.



And this is how many we'll have next turn.



Finally, the culprit in the Sparenhausen truck station. I think I must have critically failed an unrest roll last turn to get that production penalty. Annoying since 1 and 3 Brigades will likely be out of supply, but not a serious threat since all of Orange's troops will be worse off, hopefully.



The more important thrust directly to Rostock has a better logistical outlook than the previous turn, so that siege should go forward without issue.



I build a series of roads to push forward the logistical pipeline across the entire front.






On the homefront I order some replacement tanks and upgrade another battalion of infantry to the latest model.




The RPG battalions facing the sentinels are at the edge of our logistical range and without wanting to divert too many resources that way I order a supply base to be built 6 hexes south-west of Avigens to extend the range of our trucks.



Not too much activity from Orange Devil except the appearance of a new "Storm Infantry" brigade at his capital. Not something I've used personally since I prefer have my tanks and artillery in independent units, but it looks like it would be nasty on the attack.



Look at the soft attack on the tanks! Clearly some investment in conventional gun optimization paying off there.



He's also introducing a new 240mm howitzer. As built it's slightly worse than our 150mm guns but given some field testing that'll change.




Here's the front at the end of the turn.





Rostock and Lodmont are clearly beyond Orange's logistical capacity to actively defend. Right now I think he's planning on losing them while throwing up whatever speedbumps he can. I don't know if this will end up being a total war or a limited one, but I definitely want to start shoring up the southern blocking position near Blue Baths soon.



Saros posted:

1 out of 5 Stars, insufficient nuclear weapons and/or backstabs for a Goon MP.

Kidding, looks great and like you've chosen a decent time for the initial strike.

I wish, even a couple of rocket or missile units would go nicely now but I've been focusing down towards lasers. Probably worth mentioning this is a medium planet with the basic 1 zone low tech start, too.

Bremen posted:

Mind is a definite favor of mine. Meritocracy on the other hand I think has the best bonuses but seems to have the worst options for unrest events, which makes it painful if you're going around conquering other cities. Most unrest events seem to go like this:

Option 1: Crush dissent, your soldiers against the dissidents. + Autocracy, increases fear and kills some people if you win (and you usually do if you have a decent army in the area).
Option 2: Give in. + Democracy, costs credits (sometimes a lot of credits). Simple and easy if you have a good source of credits.
Option 3: Talk to them. + Meritocracy, very difficult skill check to talk them down that makes things worse if you fail.

So unless you have some spectacularly skilled governors you often have to pick another option, wrecking your values, or risk having things spiral out of control. If I were ever attempting a one city challenge I'd definitely go Meritocracy though, especially since IIRC high level meritocracy gives you cards you can use to steal pop and workers from opponents' cities.

This is incredibly true, as demonstrated by this very round. I usually end up with a pretty high democracy score just from paying off striking workers because I don't want to cripple a zone's economy.

habituallyred
Feb 6, 2015


Commerce has ways to boost the CHA of governors fairly cheaply. I usually end up with all of my governors on the local corporation's board of directors. But sometimes the best option is just to do nothing, especially after you have reached Capable Small Business.

Edit: Also it appears your opponent started with Fist and is moving into Mind. I wonder how many disposable Milita units they have to throw around...

habituallyred fucked around with this message at 21:09 on Jul 29, 2020

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


Autocracy is honestly not that bad.

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 68

Again no major action against our troops other than some free folk bashing their heads against some militia.



We finish our newest model of MG and discover an OOB of questionable value. I think assault is light infantry plus light tanks.




We also dig up one of the less useful artifacts.



I'm pretty happy when I check the stats on the new MG.



Huntsland is still rioting. I finally order the garrison to crack down on the agitators.




Threevale has a slave trader appear. More population is always nice, but I ignore them for now.



The corporation continues to be a parasite on society.




Giving us an easy way to boost the mind profile isn't bad though.




Decisions done, we turn our attention to the Orange Devil front. Not much has changed other than the units formerly besieging Lodmont shuffling down towards Rostock. Here it is at the start of the turn.




The 2nd Artillery Battalion says good morning to Rostock.




After which the 2nd Infantry Brigade charges in to rout the shell-shocked defenders.





The 2nd Light Tank battalion gives a limited chase to the survivors and picks off a few more. With their readiness and morale gone they won't be much of a threat.

Up north the 3rd Infantry Brigade and their auxiliaries politely informs the raiders of Lodmont that they're being liberated.




A quick look at the logistical preview tells me that both newly acquired cities should already be well within our logistical network even before we can bring their surviving truck stations back online.




There's not much action with our blocking troops down south, but Orange Devil will have an MG Infantry Brigade within combat range starting next turn and they won't be cut off as easily as the northern forces. I have a surplus of resources and recruits so I raise a medium tank formation to hopefully get some easy field testing in.



Our medium tank design is already outdated, but the next one will have a heap of new technological upgrades and I want to get the base design up as much as I can before I commit to that.



Here's the Orange front at the end of the turn.




As I'm wrapping up the turn I do notice this gem buried in one of my reports.



Huh. I hadn't really considered that Munashe would try anything given the terrible terrain he would have to attack over and the fact that we already have a non-aggression pact at his initiation. I hit him with a call to friendship to boost our relationship further. According to him declaring war on me would give him a -100 relation penalty with some of his cabinet so hopefully he won't pull the trigger on that.



He is/was clearly thinking about it though, as a new artillery regiment has appeared in Beziers along with a general movement of a few independent formations. I also notice the infantry brigade stationed that has been set to 'infiltration' which gives a bonus to attack.



His artillery is even bigger than Oranges but still worse than our field tested 150s.



I start shoring up the border with a few RPG battalions and an infantry brigade composed of hand me down equipment.




I put more spies into Munashe's territory and go ahead and play an entrenchment card on the new infantry brigade.




This is what our border looks like currently. He could overrun me in the north but he'd have nowhere to go after that and would likely run into logistical problems.




Overall I'm still most worried about Orange Devil because he's still sitting on a ton of economic potential that I can't reach yet. Once Rostock is cleaned up we may be heading for a stalemate where he can start to outproduce me. A war with Munashe would be a distraction but one I would feel good about winning.



habituallyred posted:

Commerce has ways to boost the CHA of governors fairly cheaply. I usually end up with all of my governors on the local corporation's board of directors. But sometimes the best option is just to do nothing, especially after you have reached Capable Small Business.

Edit: Also it appears your opponent started with Fist and is moving into Mind. I wonder how many disposable Milita units they have to throw around...

A whooole lot. Most of their units around Lodmot were leftover Rostock militia and there's a bunch moving up from the south to annoy my borders.

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 69

With only a three player game usually these turns fly pretty fast, although they're slowing down noticeably now that there's actually wars to fight.

Orange gets their first shots in against the walkers which were harassing the road to Rostock this turn.




We do kill some AI sentinels in the south though, which is always really nice since they don't come back.



There's always the usual skirmishes against the free folk.



We gain fate points from last turn's victories.




We tell the CEO to stuff it since I don't want to boost our commerce profile more than necessary.




We also develop a new model of Recon Buggy for keeping Free Folk in line and our staff council director has the genius idea of distributing RPGs to entire formations rather than limiting them to individual units.




Both Rostock and Lodmont receive new governors. Rostock gets the better of the two since it's more centrally located for a supply hub.





Both governors are put to work immediately as unrest flares up due to the military takeover.







Separately, slavers take advantage of the chaos to start abducting the people of Rostock, who haven't known a moment of peace for almost two years. It's too much for our rookie governor to handle.




We give a troop a banner in the 13th MG Infantry Battalion, the ensuing propaganda films reaching the home front inspire a massive wave of patriotism in the populace.



The former CO of the 7th MG Infantry Batttalion is promoted to lead the 4th Infantry Brigade. He's not an exceptionally talented man, but he comes with the right skills for the job.




Elsewhere the workers of the new frontier town of Calar stage an inconvenient strike.




Here's the Orange front at the start of the turn. I'm starting to realize my mistake in not pocketing and eliminating more of their troops when I had the chance, it's looking like a plucky dirt road may put some back into supply.




We start applying pressure to the cut-off troops but attacking with infantry is a bloody affair. Still, both of Orange's OHQ commanders are killed in the fighting this turn.





The 1st Medium Tank battalion also starts warming up against some wayward militia in the wasteland between Rostock and Bluebaths



And here's the front at the end of the turn.




Our reports from Orange's capital of Regula suggest that the new formations raised there are slow-marching towards the front. I wonder if there's a lack of logistical points, or just no hurry? I have to imagine he's feeling the lack of rail by this point, it's a long way to go on just trucks.



The 4th Brigade has their work cut out for the looking across the border to Arian Hold. It seems despite our high bilateral relations he seems to think this would be a good time to attack me.



Two new AT battalions are raised in Teluhill and attached to 4 Bde. The AT-90 is untested but better than nothing.




I also have so many more resources than recruits that I finally start upgrading equipment rather than simply replacing it. All the forces facing Munashe are of the latest model now, or near enough.



The fighting against Orange has started to bleed our infantry so replacements are needed.



We also invest in some fuel to secure our supplies.



As our last act this turn, we 'accidentally' send some bad rations to the troops in order to play the 5 fate point artifact card.



Totally worth it. All of those are useful zone assets that are immediately deployed to Silvervale. The cloning facility in particular is amazing.

Taking two cities last turn bumped us up the victory scale, but we'll see if that lasts.




Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 70

Another relatively quiet turn, but it's just the calm before the storm.



We finish a crash-upgrade program on the medium tanks to make them survivable on a modern battlefield and stumble upon a cache of Galactic Republic equipment.




We also excavate two of these artifacts, which are probably some of the most useful for us right now.



This translates into a massive boost for our frontline troops. They're immediately distributed to our SHQ Commander and the OHQ Commander of 1 Bde.



The Orange front.




We continue reducing cut-off troops wherever we can, but a worrying amount are starting to arrive from the south-west.





I'm really starting to feel my own mistake of not cutting off more troops before engaging. Too many are retreating closer and closer to their own supply lines.





The end of turn.




In a disappointing development Munashe is obviously going to go ahead and attack me at the cost of internal unrest. I'm just lucky they're doing it in probably the least efficient way possible by throwing almost everything down a 1 hex wide isthmus. Into a forest hex, no less! The strip of land to the north is all grassy plains and would be way easier to attack over.



Some replacement tanks are ordered and Rostock receives a garrison.




Rail lines are also pushed further towards the frontlines.




I've tried telling Munashe he's better off attacking the AI major to his south - their capital is one hex from his border and easily surrounded - but evidently he wants to try to take a piece of me instead. I feel pretty good about being able to hold him off but it's already a lot of resources that aren't going towards fighting Orange.

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 71

Hello!



It looks like the world's least surprising surprise attack kicked off, with Arian Hold violating our non-aggression pact and ignoring our sky-high 100 mutual relation.



It's perfectly timed to coincide with us finishing laser research. We also finalize a design for a light tank with polymer armour.





The linear tech increases courtesy of our AI ally are really starting to show.



We also enter a new decisively less helpful era.



Early in the morning the attack that our border force has been expecting for months finally arrives. The boom of Munashe's artillery is dampened by dugouts and the fact that intelligence has been tracking those guns since they arrived in Beziers.



The soldiers of 4 Bde emerge from their dugouts to the stunning sight of Arian soldiers walking towards them, rifles held confidently at the charge. Their only support is a creaky platoon of Galactic Republic monitor tanks slowly rumbling alongside. Their evident belief that nothing could have survived the initial bombardment is swiftly proven wrong as gauss machine guns fresh from the factory start spitting death into pre-determined killing fields.



To the north, battalions of bike infantry supported by one unit of obsolete light tanks dully crosses the unmarked border in the wilderness. Our own picket forces head south and tear up the road behind them. They'll find nothing but heavy forest and mountains.



The new commander of 4 Bde is stunned looking at the forces arrayed against him. Almost the entire regular army of Arian Hold shoved down a single narrow isthmus. Our northern border troops peek nervously over their trenches but there's no enemy to be seen as their counterparts haven't moved from their positions hundreds of kilometres away.



After carefully considering the odds, a quick counter-attack is decided on by the independent border formations not attached to 4 Bde. The troops that attacked them earlier were used to routing slavers and free-folk, and their first encounter against a proper military force must have left them shaken.



The results beat even the most optimistic estimates, the Arian soldiers are so demoralized that more are killed or captured than in their failed assault. An entire battalion surrenders when faced with attacking professionals for the first time. The only thing preventing a general rout is the unit of GR Monitor tanks stubbornly absorbing RPG hit after RPG hit without taking damage.




As our probing force retires they're bolstered by the sight of AT guns and artillery moving up to join their defensive positions. If Munashe wants to keep bashing his head against a wall, they'll be ready.

I have no idea what they thought they were going to accomplish here. It might have worked if I somehow didn't notice it coming at all, but I did and fortified accordingly. I assume they have at least as many spies as me so I'm not sure why they thought the direct approach was best. I asked Munashe what the happiness hit was like and they said their entire cabinet went from almost 100 to 0. I can't imagine their population happiness is much better. Still I need bodies to plug the northern road before it becomes a problem, and I need those bodies to throw against Orange.

On the opposite side of the country, high command is beginning to realize how badly out of position the bulk of the army is. What's left of the original blocking force is getting pushed off a road that is now redundant.



Turn start.




Turn end. Orange's northern troops are no longer a threat but the trickle of units arriving from the south is quickly becoming a stream as they use up every bit of their logistical network to strategically move troops forward.



The re-designation of 4 Bde as a Heavy Machinegun unit has left a lot of spare Grenadiers, so a new scratch 5 Bde is deployed west of Calar to head off Orange.



Our industrial capacity is starting to feel the strain of mass upgrades, but we still need more ammo, especially for our artillery. Separately, the quota of recruits is upped in Silvervale to fill out all the new formations.



It's starting to get hot in here, but I feel good for now. Other than wasting that medium tank unit, that was dumb.

habituallyred
Feb 6, 2015


Holy cow, is that a GR shield truck on the other end of the northern chokepoint? I had one of those in a single player game and it made whatever it was stacked with practically invulnerable. Like an APC for everything.

Happy to see you making more OHQs to go with your multiple independent units. The game goes through a lot of trouble to avoid runaway multiplication on the economic side, but goes crazy with military stuff.





This is a bad example, but you get the idea.

habituallyred fucked around with this message at 00:54 on Aug 1, 2020

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


habituallyred posted:

Holy cow, is that a GR shield truck on the other end of the northern chokepoint? I had one of those in a single player game and it made whatever it was stacked with practically invulnerable. Like an APC for everything.

Happy to see you making more OHQs to go with your multiple independent units. The game goes through a lot of trouble to avoid runaway multiplication on the economic side, but goes crazy with military stuff.





This is a bad example, but you get the idea.

It sure is a mobile shield! I didn't even register that they could be using that in their main one hex push.

My OHQ Commanders are all pretty mediocre right now but I do love when you start rolling 300%+ modifiers consistently. Even my independent units counterattacking last turn got a ~75% from the SHQ Commander.

I also think Munashe has been learning the wrong lessons from fighting AI minors, like going all in - and I mean all in - on independent motorcycle infantry. I think they were just lured in by that higher attack stat than regular infantry. Their first and only OHQ is the one that just wrecked itself in a frontal assault and I think one of the first times they've even built non-bike infantry.

For reference, this is the latest report on their composition:




Which is fine for fighting free folk and maintaining borders, but as a design choice doesn't scale with normal infantry since they can't go above padded envirosuits as far as I've seen.

habituallyred
Feb 6, 2015


Probably my biggest complaint about the game as it currently stands is that there are no OHQ formations that incorporate weird stuff like motorbikes, jetpack troopers, self propelled artillery, or walkers. I know all of these units are not what you want as baseline troops, but I still want them as more than hangers on. God knows there are already enough infantry/tank/artillery combinations in the game. The ship has already sailed on the OOB list being overcrowded.

Those motorcycle troops could be a real pain in the rear end if the enemy gets past the chokepoint. Throw a unit away every turn cutting supply lines with little you can do to stop them.

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


The OOB system could definitely use more flexibility. I still have no idea how many formations you have to unlock before you get the grenadier one which has the revolutionary concept of infantry, MGs, and RPGs together, let alone the two separate ones that let you give them trucks or APCs that also have to be individually discovered and unlocked.

The fact that the OOB system is as cluttered with junk as it is without incorporating any of the units you mentioned is too bad. Hopefully there's enough support for change that Vic polishes it a bit more.

I'm definitely a bit screwed if Munashe ever manages to break out. I'd want 1-2 more infantry brigades and some tanks before I feel comfortable on that front, all of which are probably headed towards Orange first. I don't think Munashe will get much out of this attack but he's definitely helping Orange.

I feel like there's an analogy where Orange is the Soviet Union and Munashe just invaded Italy.

Generation Internet fucked around with this message at 03:14 on Aug 1, 2020

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


a Walker OOB would be NICE

Saros
Dec 29, 2009

Its almost like we're a Bureaucracy, in space!

I set sail for the Planet of Lab Requisitions!!



Yeah the first time you fight a real war against a player is pretty eye opening in a lot of ways.

Also the lack of oobs including things like AT guns is super annoying.

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 72

A relatively quiet turn, most of our losses are militia speed-bumps.



For everything I think Munashe is doing wrong, using an entire artillery regiment for his bombardments (with a second on the way!) isn't one of them. I moved in a battalion of obsolete 150mm field guns for some counterbattery support but it's not much. If I had more bodies to spare I'd up it to a regiment of my own, but what I could really use is some standoff artillery like rockets or missiles.



On the western front Orange cleans up some militia and stops when they run into regular troops.





We finish researching a better infantry anti-tank weapon in a single turn after spending several finishing lasers. Our base RPG is up to ~75% field testing and a new model is ordered immediately.



We discover one of my favorite intermediate OOBs, I plan on using this one soon.



And our first laser infantry model appears. Thematifcally I prefer projectile weapons in general in all sci-fi, but you can't argue with the combat stats.




A veteran battalion commander from 1 Bde is tapped to lead the new 5 Bde. She's a highly capable officer and has the highest intelligence stat I think I've ever seen. Real big fan of the 'recruit military' card, I think it's in the meritocracy tree?




Western front at turn start. Some rebels appear in Rostock dangerously close to our supply line.



Our light tank battalions continue skirmishing with retreating Queenstate infantry, and our medium tank battalion manages to break free of encirclement and is strat moved to Calar for some quick R&R. Improved models are manufactured and sent to the front, not quite as good as our light tanks, especially for the cost, but I think with a higher potential.




Meanwhile the old tanks are sent to man the Munashe wall where they'll be useful in the event of a breakthrough by mounted infantry.



We also upgrade some battalions closest to supply to use our new laser rifles and 5 Bde receives a new light tank battalion equipped with the latest model.




Western front at turn end.



With our initial objective of denying Rostock and Lodmont to Orange achieved it's settling in for an even and brutal fight. Last turn saw a railway built from Regula to Bluebaths and the train station should be online soon. They keep pumping out new OHQ formations, our latest intelligence has their 7th Brigade working up in their capital.



On the Eastern front, not much has changed. Munashe put his infantry brigade onto a defensive posture after last turn's near disaster. On our side the troops are doing nothing but digging trenches inbetween massive 300mm artillery bombardments.



Looking north we get the cheerful news that rebels are already springing up in the wake of the unpopular war declaration.



There's an especially big pocket on Munashe's southern border, which is coincidentally the one I would have pushed if I were him. The city of Rochfort is and AI Major capital of 150,000.



They could have all this instead of distracting me against Orange! I don't blame them for trying to take a chunk out of me, but I think he could have put himself in a much scarier position first.



Interesting times. I really want some nice heavy rockets now.



Saros posted:

Yeah the first time you fight a real war against a player is pretty eye opening in a lot of ways.

Also the lack of oobs including things like AT guns is super annoying.

Yeah in all fairness this is Munashe's second multiplayer game. In our first he got rolled by Orange Devil in under 30 turns after Orange started off cornered in the bottom of the map.

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 73

Still not much happening during the off-turn.



Munashe's guns keep cratering the landscape around 4 Bde without much effect.



And Orange keeps pushing back our battered pickets.



We finish an improved RPG, but it's still suffering from sub-par weapons rolls.




The last possible council is established, and it's an important one I've been neglecting. Everything Applied Science does directly improves some aspect of our economy or military.



Our local authoritarians bring me a demand that is highly optimistic given Orange's mobilization. We decline.



And Munashe takes me up on a peace treaty. It'll be nice to focus on only one front.




The fact that they lost their second city to rebels and more keep appearing every turn probably helped that decision. Oops.



The western front at turn start.



And at turn end. Real battle lines being drawn now.



Another infantry brigade is raised to solidify the frontline, helped by the fact that our eastern border is secure for now. I also misclicked, I wanted a regular MG infantry brigade so I switched back right after.



On the homefront a worrying logistics bottleneck is forming at Silvervale so new rail infrastructure is ordered. We're also feeling an industrial squeeze so we belatedly start upgrading that as well. More solar panels are also popping up around the nation to support our increased energy consumption from lasers.

habituallyred
Feb 6, 2015


Yeah, eating all of the penalties of war against a 100 relation neighbor is going to wreck your civilization. 16d10 Happiness loss in everything from cities and troop morale, prestige damage limiting your PP income, 8d10 Loyalty loss, and plain old Word loss. I am pretty sure the penalties for breaking a non-agression pact stack, and are particularly brutal on your Word. The only mechanical upside is if you want to boost your Fist profile. At that point you might as well stay at war, otherwise you will eat more penalties when you declare war on them again.

The AI is very good at sneakily breaking all your treaties before declaring war. Don't forget to check your letterbox if you team up with an AI. To be fair they don't have the option to say no to treaties sent by sufficiently skilled diplomats.

Also: Recruit Military technically could come from Supreme Command, but generally it comes from the Interior council. No particular profile required.

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 74

Still a stalemate, and most free folk and sentinel threats have been dealt with. Orange Devil sounded me out about a possible cease-fire this turn. While it's a nice idea and I like the concept of being able to regroup for a bit, I also want to push my technological advantage for as long as I have it and the gap is only going to narrow over time.



Munashe's very bad day continues with rebels spawning right on top of their former expeditionary force.



These poor bikers are earning their pay.



We discover nuclear power, which would be more useful if I had either a radioactive mine or a demetalization plant to sift it from the soil. I haven't built one of those yet because it's relatively expensive and I'm swimming in metal mines and ruins.



We also finish quad machine guns in one turn as we continue our post-laser catchup.




Our new applied science council gets a new director, not a particularly noteworthy one.



And 6 Bde receives a new commander from the ranks.



Western front start.



There's a couple of break-even skirmishes along the front like this one. In general I've been moving all my tanks out of the forest and hills to the north and into the narrow gap of plains along the main road to Blue Baths. We also encircle and destroy a wayward recon buggy unit that was harassing our supply lines.




Western front end.



A unit of assault guns appears in the northern forests, impressive anti-infantry stats but weak anti-vehicle stats.



We keep pushing rail forward, I hope all the DC: Barbarossa characters would be proud.



A large recruitment drive produces enough replacements to fill out our brigades, but our industrial capacity is still lagging. New factories can't come online soon enough.



A look at the strategic map. Five brigades in active combat is starting to strain our logistical capacity at the front. It's a lot of fuel, ammo, and food to go around.



I'm hoping the ~10% population advantage I got over Orange after Rostock will start to show economically. I'm sure if they had the chance to build up they'd put the hurt on me. I don't want to wait and see what they do with 2 radioactives mines.



habituallyred posted:

Yeah, eating all of the penalties of war against a 100 relation neighbor is going to wreck your civilization. 16d10 Happiness loss in everything from cities and troop morale, prestige damage limiting your PP income, 8d10 Loyalty loss, and plain old Word loss. I am pretty sure the penalties for breaking a non-agression pact stack, and are particularly brutal on your Word. The only mechanical upside is if you want to boost your Fist profile. At that point you might as well stay at war, otherwise you will eat more penalties when you declare war on them again.

The AI is very good at sneakily breaking all your treaties before declaring war. Don't forget to check your letterbox if you team up with an AI. To be fair they don't have the option to say no to treaties sent by sufficiently skilled diplomats.

Also: Recruit Military technically could come from Supreme Command, but generally it comes from the Interior council. No particular profile required.

I'm not sure Munashe fully appreciated the consequences of tanking everything that hard. I was mildly tempted to decline the peace, but I don't think he'll be much of a threat for the rest of the game. Orange mentioned in private that he may have gently encouraged Munashe to attack me, which may have been a deciding factor.

That'll teach me to be too lazy to actually check where cards come from! I have really started to appreciate interior council though, it's usually one of my first lately.

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 75

I somehow forgot to take a screenshot of this, but we lose some light tanks in a counter-attack.



Rocket research finishes and missiles becomes available right after. I can't wait to get my hands on some one the model gets discovered.




The new laser machine gun also finishes, and it's a properly scary thing.




Western front turn start.



On our left it's a series of rolling battles as our concentrated armour and laser-equipped infantry starts battering down Orange's formations.




Not every attack goes well.



But where our tanks are things generally go our way. Still not sure I'm sold on the formations that mix tanks and artillery with infantry. It definitely gives them a bit more punch, but I don't think it's as much bang for your buck as independent formations. Or proper tank brigades, if I had those.




Dirt roads are made to keep the furthest flung troops in supply. I can't believe I thought I had enough industry before this started. Lesson learned, you can never have enough industry.




Western front turn end.



I'm honestly happy to be fighting a proper war like this, it's the most fun you can have in this game imo.

Bremen
Jul 20, 2006

Our God..... is an awesome God

Generation Internet posted:

I'm not sure Munashe fully appreciated the consequences of tanking everything that hard. I was mildly tempted to decline the peace, but I don't think he'll be much of a threat for the rest of the game. Orange mentioned in private that he may have gently encouraged Munashe to attack me, which may have been a deciding factor.

Provocation cards are also slightly bugged in multiplayer - they claim no skill check but actually have a fairly tough one. IIRC he tried to play it on you but it backfired and actually increased relations, so completely tanking relationships probably was never the plan.

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


Insult in the covert ops tree is the card you want. Fire off 4-5 of those and you can get to hitting someone from perfect relations with minimal happiness losses

Bremen
Jul 20, 2006

Our God..... is an awesome God

AtomikKrab posted:

Insult in the covert ops tree is the card you want. Fire off 4-5 of those and you can get to hitting someone from perfect relations with minimal happiness losses

Looks like it's behind Fist-60, though. Which makes sense, of course, since the idea of the Fist profile is making war and conquest more profitable.

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


Bremen posted:

Looks like it's behind Fist-60, though. Which makes sense, of course, since the idea of the Fist profile is making war and conquest more profitable.

Galatic Republic Will never protect you!

Only trust your fist profile!

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 76

Ten turns and a little over one in-game year after attacking Orange Devil the phony war is over and the real struggle is beginning.



In the northern hills and forests troops on both sides struggle to wheel heavy guns into position.



Every soldier in 3 Bde is rapidly coming to hate the lone enemy unit of assault guns. There's not enough logistical capacity left over after resupplying their immediate needs to truck in a new unit of RPGs or anti-tank guns. The staff council director was unavailable for comment when New Republic reporters asked him why our infantry formations don't just take some RPGs with them organically.



The southern steppes continue to be a cauldron of mass violence.




And far to the south free folk massacre a long suffering militia unit.



A very useful OOB comes online.



And a very useful piece of kit is ready to field.



With 4 attacks per round, this thing is very good at keeping heads down.



In either Rostock or Lodmont a shadow sect cult has crept into our empire. They cause unrest when left unchecked so we shift our official policy against them.




Western front turn start.



For now we enjoy a firepower advantage in guns in the northern forests, and we start using that to dismantle one hex per turn.




Artillery absolutely trashes readiness and entrenchment.



Even our pre-laser infantry is able to clear out the craters without too many problems.




On the steppes we start using our concentrated armour fist to drive wedges into Orange's front.




Unburdened by infantry like the majority of Orange's tanks, ours are able to continue pushing to try and pocket enemy units.




Our laser infantry advancing from the other side run into problems attacking entrenched enemies in ruins, however. This turn crashed the first time I ran it while I was clicking through Orange's units at the very end. The first time, I won this fight, shows how the dice come into play I guess.




214 entrenchment is nothing to mess with.



After this attack a few leftover light tanks are able to force these exposed infantry battalions into the ruins and pocket them. Not my cleanest work but I was annoyed having to do everything again.




The 6th MG Infantry Brigade is formally re-designated the 6th Mechanized MG Infantry Brigade, but it will still be a few turns until I issue APCs to them.



In order to field test the APC, two independent mechanized units are raised for border operations in the desert. One towing the new QMG and one equipped with RPG infantry.



Western front turn end.



I finally have more than enough recruits for my current needs, but I'm at the very edge of my ability to supply the troops already at the front. Calar isn't big enough to support a level 2 truck station yet so I'm considering raising colonist recruitment for that purpose.



Bremen posted:

Provocation cards are also slightly bugged in multiplayer - they claim no skill check but actually have a fairly tough one. IIRC he tried to play it on you but it backfired and actually increased relations, so completely tanking relationships probably was never the plan.

They also didn't try to lower relations at all after that first time, I don't know if it's because it went so badly or if they only had the one card.

Saros
Dec 29, 2009

Its almost like we're a Bureaucracy, in space!

I set sail for the Planet of Lab Requisitions!!



Do your APC's have laser MG's because if they dont you need to redesign them with them ASAP before issuing them to units. Once they do they will be significantly better than your light tanks at anti-infantry work.

habituallyred
Feb 6, 2015


There are cards explicitly for breaking Non Aggression pacts and every other bit of diplomatic buildup. Those cause some immediate relation loss and I am pretty sure it lowers the equilibrium relation state too.

While laser armed APCs are a big improvement they also suck up a bunch of power every turn. Enough power that you want power banks standing by to keep you from running out of power when fighting gets intense. Ammo is much easier to stockpile without dedicated facilities. So feel free to hold off until you finish field testing your old model.

Covski
Jun 24, 2007

Bringing the forums together with the greatest thread!


I really appreciate this LP, I've been playing the game a whole lot after Saros' LP got me interested in it, but it's really cool to see some semi-lategame wars, especially between human players! Was there some kind of agreement to hold off on early hostilities, or was it just how the game naturally developed?

Bremen
Jul 20, 2006

Our God..... is an awesome God

habituallyred posted:

There are cards explicitly for breaking Non Aggression pacts and every other bit of diplomatic buildup. Those cause some immediate relation loss and I am pretty sure it lowers the equilibrium relation state too.

While laser armed APCs are a big improvement they also suck up a bunch of power every turn. Enough power that you want power banks standing by to keep you from running out of power when fighting gets intense. Ammo is much easier to stockpile without dedicated facilities. So feel free to hold off until you finish field testing your old model.

As far as breaking agreements, I've been using those cards in my multiplayer game and they don't seem to cause any reputation loss. Though I admit I'm not well versed in the exact mechanics involved, being pretty inexperienced in multiplayer SE myself.

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 77

Starting to feel a few counter-punches.



Our troops in 3 Bde continue to be powerless against the assault gun menace. I hope they're just drawing themselves into a noose here and I can cut them off from the south.



The enemy artillery battalion makes its presence felt.



The encirclement on the steppes is broken, hopefully their readiness is still trashed.



A few wayward bombardments that don't amount to much from the artillery integrated into Orange's 'storm' infantry units.



We discover a vital tech for the age of laser-weaponry.



A priceless artifact is uncovered in Galactic Republic era ruins.



And our artillery gets an upgrade.



The Field Howitzer 150mm is no longer 150mm, but it is considerably more deadly.



If I had the logistics and industrial capacity, I'd make a battalion of these for every hex of frontline.



It's nice to see exactly how tech upgrades help.



One of our good commanders is annoying, we take none of the most extreme options.



Western front turn start.



In the north we continue using our concentrated artillery to good effect.




Which is followed up by an infantry assault.




In the south, we start seeing the technological advantage of our laser infantry start to show.




We also see our doctrinal advantage show as our massed armour continues to throw around Orange's piecemeal light tanks.




All these attacks are slowly corralling a few enemy battalions onto one hex. This one was the worst off from the last turn's encirclement.




We take no chances of another breakout and our armour turns in to break the pocket. Streams of disheveled Queenstate POWs glare at advancing 5 and 6 Bde infantry with their heavy combat armour and laser rifles.




The front is pushed on every hex it can be.







Orange is clearly suffering from all the same logistical problems as I am and their troops are generally at low readiness from being rushed halfway across the planet to meet our advance.




Our new QMGs and APCs are tested rather horrifically on sacrificial militia sent out by Orange. The results are predictable, but I'm glad that the QMG's didn't use too much ammo in the exchange since they stockpile 400 energy at all times. That's a quarter of my default capacity for the whole nation!




A recon buggy battalion is raised to keep our expanding border with free folk to the south-west in check and our supply lines secure.



Roads and sealed roads are pushed towards the front.




Western front turn end.



I'm playing beneficial cards like governor convention or grand convention whenever I get the chance. So far the crisis of egoism hasn't been too bad, but poor Munashe is still playing whack-a-mole with rebels.



I also notice that Orange is fielding a new light tank, and it has really good soft attack stats. As long as they're still wasted with the infantry that should be fine.



The cloning facility was played on Calar to boost the population to 25,000 as fast as possible. Level 2 truck stations there can't come fast enough.



Saros posted:

Do your APC's have laser MG's because if they dont you need to redesign them with them ASAP before issuing them to units. Once they do they will be significantly better than your light tanks at anti-infantry work.

I'm a few turns behind now but I think at the end of this turn I sent them in for a redesign. The experimental ones don't even have gauss.

habituallyred posted:

There are cards explicitly for breaking Non Aggression pacts and every other bit of diplomatic buildup. Those cause some immediate relation loss and I am pretty sure it lowers the equilibrium relation state too.

While laser armed APCs are a big improvement they also suck up a bunch of power every turn. Enough power that you want power banks standing by to keep you from running out of power when fighting gets intense. Ammo is much easier to stockpile without dedicated facilities. So feel free to hold off until you finish field testing your old model.

Yeah I threw out Orange's ambassadors right before I attacked and it did ~7 relation damage. Interestingly you don't seem to lose your level of contact or trade just by being at war, our private economies are still exchanging goods. I wonder if that's working as intended.

Covski posted:

I really appreciate this LP, I've been playing the game a whole lot after Saros' LP got me interested in it, but it's really cool to see some semi-lategame wars, especially between human players! Was there some kind of agreement to hold off on early hostilities, or was it just how the game naturally developed?

Thanks! I also find the player versus player war to be the most interesting thing to read about. There weren't any explicit agreements other than a few vague ones like establishing a border with Munashe. Basically as soon as Orange annexed Rostock I planned on taking it because it was too much of a threat otherwise, but there were a few turns where we talked about entente and they very generously said they was okay with me taking Threevale and Sparenhausen.

I also spent probably an hour re-rolling the map until I got something where the players and major AI didn't start touching borders so we had some time to expand first without fighting.

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 78

Some guns bite it this turn.



Skirmishes in the forest.



Those drat assault guns. I don't regret shifting all my tanks south, but it's annoying here to not have an answer to these.



The crisis of egoism is still ongoing. Losing relation with 28 leaders at once is fun. I didn't even realize I was up to 28!



Missiles finish research, but we still haven't discovered the rocket model yet.



A slightly improved AT gun is produced, but it's still hamstrung by a low 80s weapon roll.



Western front turn start. After the encirclement last turn, Orange withdraws across the entire front. Before this turn they mention that they think it's questionable for tanks unsupported by infantry to do so well against infantry in 'prepared positions,' but I think it's working great given that it's open fields and his staff council also hasn't decided to let his infantry have integrated RPGs. I would never try using tanks like this in the forest or low mountains since the automatic infantry entrenchment and penalty to tank combat would be deadly.



A frustrated 3 Bde commander tries to hammer the Zions with artillery. The accompanying infantry suffers, but it's unclear if the tanks were affected.





No. No they were not.




Other battalions have more success against enemy infantry. It's a low tech front without many lasers and grit is winning the day more often than not. That and higher readiness.




The veteran 1 and 2 Brigades pushe into the mountains where they're more comfortable than on the vulnerable plains.




Bloody work, but it puts us in a better position.




On the steppes the armour assault continues.




I'm hoping to keep enemy readiness and entrenchment low wherever possible.




In the north, a new AT battalion is ordered to hold off the hated assault guns.



Western front turn end.



On the homefront industrial production and logistical capacity are steadily increasing. We're at the point where many of the next level constructions require a considerable amount of machines. A new heavy industry plant is ordered to provide them.



And a new APC design is ordered to equip 6 Bde.



Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 79

I think I can guess where we took these losses. Sadly all the killed infantry were free-folk.



After our failed attempt to push back the assault guns last turn our artillery and 3 Bde HQ were left in a vulnerable position.



In the south 1 Light Tank Bn is pushed out of an exposed forward position.



And again with some recon buggies.



We finish researching something that would make life better for our civilian population. Fielding it is not a priority. I don't think I've ever even noticed an impact from cities in radiation, despite reading the manual section on this several times. I usually built the starting rad treatment infrastructure anyways.



A useful relic is found.



Our new APC is ready to be fielded.



Other than the laser, it's a pretty economical design. There's some concern among SHQ engineers about the "massive flammable battery" behind thin polymer armour, but what do those pencil-pushers know?




Western front turn start.



Our guns continue working in the north.




Our exhausted infantry can't carry the hex though.




We do continue pushing into the mountains, however.







Our veteran infantry is able to carry the attack against prepared and entrenched infantry even without fancy lasers.



Moving south our armoured spearhead continues to do its thing.




Enemy AT guns, nominally a threat, are totally overrun when their crews are caught out of position.




The retreat to Blue Baths has kept readiness and entrenchment low. These would have been extremely scary in the mega-city ruins to the west.



Laser infantry continues punching above their weight.




A lone battalion is cut off and destroyed when we overrun the units to its rear.







6 Bde commanders, starting to feel overconfident with their futuristic equipment, are taught a lesson in humility by Orange's assault guns. True to life, by far the most cost-effective unit so far fielded against us.




Our sealed road network is pushed forwards, we're almost touching the one built by Orange. Really we should thank them for the entire road to Rostock that they built.



Western front turn end. Gaps are appearing in Orange's line, I could have moved tanks next to some of their HQ units this turn.



Our losses, low before the invasion, have spiked since we started fighting orange. We've taken a little under 10,000 casualties and inflicted about 22,000 since our invasion on turn 66.




A glance at Orange's SHQ tells part of that story, it's flooded with green replacement units.



A quick look at the status of our infantry brigades highlights where our new units are tricking in.



Grand conventions are held to stave off the crisis of egoism.



Keep that victory score ticking higher.

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 80

Relatively quiet on the western front.



Our model design council has the revolutionary idea of mounting our new quad-machine gun on an armoured chassis instead of just towing it with one.



The northern assault guns break out onto open plains.



Western front turn start.



Sensing opportunity, 3 Bde moves to cut off their hated armoured counterparts who are now connected to the front by one battered infantry battalion.





Three battalions are more than enough to complete the operation.




Across the frontage of 1 and 2 Bde our infantry pushes deeper into the mountains.







While 2 Bde struggles on their right, their left flank crushes exposed Queenstate infantry.







On the steppes it's a familiar story.







Infantry secures the flanks as I'm increasingly optimistic about cutting off Orange's entire northern force.




Our extreme left flank struggles against infantry entrenching in the hills.




Paved roads are pushed ever forwards. It's getting to the point where we'll have completely outrun the Calar truck stop and a new railhead will be needed.



Our logistics preview is looking healthier than ever though.



Here's what the usage chart looks like. The dotted green lines are the units actually drawing supply from the pool.



Western front turn end. A real wedge is starting to appear.



We're using almost 1000 ammo per turn even with all the energy weapons. Producing more is just one more pressure on our industrial bottleneck.



More and more colonists are sent to beautiful Calar to get it up and running as a bigger logistics hub.



Our share of the planet keeps slowly creeping up. I can't help but wonder if Munashe is going to try something again in the future. For now it's fun watching motorcycle regiments whiz up and down across their entire territory fighting rebellions.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




If you can push a railhead right behind those tanks, you might be able to leap forward and cut the logistics to that entire northern front.

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


Turn 81

Still quiet as Orange executes a general withdrawal across most of the western front.



They mentioned in discord that they were annoyed the assault guns couldn't move despite still having some fuel. Whatever the mechanism, they're unable to participate in the action to break themselves out and the attack fails.



Our archaeologists discover this neat artifact which gives shields to one subformation in a unit.



I promise to hire more leaders to bump up our government score.



Western front turn start.



Orange's encircled spearhead is bombarded. Our gunners are reportedly impressed with the new model of field gun.





With the AT guns arriving just in time to not be used, 3 Bde takes its revenge. Supply trucks moving to the front are greeted by the sight of the abandoned assault guns covered in graffiti left by the victorious infantry.




In the south our infantry continues to secure the flanks of the armoured advance. Enemy morale is clearly suffering from the amount of surrendered units.




Some dug in tanks make for stubborn opposition, but better to fight them here than in an organizer armoured counterattack.




The lead elements of 5 and 6 Bde spot the towering ruins of Blue Baths on the horizon as they continue to overrun the shattered formations in front of them.







After a few months of stubborn resistance it appears the enemy formations in the southern hills are broken.




Our sealed road network is now fully integrated.




Being able to concentrate our logistical efforts down one road is helping ensure a modest surplus at the front.



Not to be neglected, the northern front also receives an overdue road upgrade.



Western front turn end. There are large numbers of Orange's troops facing the threat of encirclement, but I'm not sure I'm even going to try pushing our tanks into the ruins themselves.



Our intelligence analysis spot a new model of "light" tank being fielded against us, and with an equivalent gun and heavier armour than our medium tanks it's a doozy. I can't help but wonder how expensive they are.



A first batch of APCs is ordered for 6 Bde.



Grand conventions continue to be held.



There's much to celebrate in Silvervale.



wiegieman posted:

If you can push a railhead right behind those tanks, you might be able to leap forward and cut the logistics to that entire northern front.

I'm still kind of holding out hope I can get away with waiting until I capture Blue Baths to integrate the rail network, but if I have to besiege the entire ruined city I'm definitely going to end up with a railhead just behind the front to move up new artillery and ammo if nothing else.

Looking at the map at the end of the last turn I might be more tempted to run the tanks around south of Blue Baths and cut Orange's main supply line but I don't think I have enough flank security to prevent them from getting cut off themselves.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Generation Internet
Jan 18, 2009

Where angels and generals fear to tread.


I hate to leave anyone hanging but my work has seen fit to get in some training before the summer ends and I'm out of town until the end of the month.

The next few turns are already played but I didn't manage to edit and post the screenshots in before I had to leave. It's exciting stuff! Orange mentioned he was surprised how "willing to Cannae myself" I was but I think he's exaggerating. Rest assured they'll be posted when I get back.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply