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Hi there!

Apart from sim, I'm also a Wargamer.

Well, after asking some moderators permission, I want to share here with you an After Action Report on Matrix's Guns of August.

It's a somewhat classical PC wargame which dates back to 2007, but is quite outdated. But hardcore wargamers don't care! :biggrin:

This game is set on WW1 and does simulate it very well...

Please forget any language, grammatical or style clumsiness: it will be actually my first in AAR in english, as I want to test me. Be sure I'll do my best, and I hope it will help me improve my overall writing skills. Feel free to correct any recurrent mistakes or whatever.


Let's start!




As you can see, It will be a game with Entente. I've set an advantage for the computer and checked the option allowing Italy to enter German side. Never tried this, we will see what it does...

The show is about to start!



Edited by Emp_Palpatine

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On 28th June, 1914, the Habsburg's Empire heir was shot in the town of Sarajevo by a Serbian nationalist. Vienna did not take much time to link the tragedy with some shadowed support of the little Serbian kingdom, whose pan-yougoslav propaganda had been spreading in the slavic holdings of the old Danubian Empire.

The ultimatum therefore sent was unacceptable for Belgrade: face reprisals or accept to be subdued to Austrian authorities for the inquiry. Actually, a denial of Serbian independence, a vassalisation.

War was inevitable, given the "blank check" given to Austria by her German ally. What could have been a limited crisis was to grow to a full European war, and even worse.

Indeed, Serbia closest ally was the Russian Empire, Austria-Hungary arch-ennemy. And for Russia, failing Serbia was unacceptable. If Austria was to attack Serbia, war will broke out between the two eastern Empire. In such a war, Germany, in an alliance with Vienna since the 1880's, just could not stay outside and had to support her ally by declaring war on Russia, a choice that will bring France into the browl, as France was in a defensive alliance with Russia...

Germany's war plan schedulded an attack on France through Belgium, in order to avoid the harsh terrain of eastern France and it's fortification. Britain did guarantee Belgium's neutrality. As things moved on, UK had no other choice but to join in.


First days are strangely calm. The long-planned warplan are put into motion, reservist are being called and mobilisation decreted across Europe.



British small army is presently stucked in Britain, and it will be a month before they can cross the channel.


In France, the army is set to face a possible German advance in the east, or to follow the planned "Plan 17" whose main goal is an offensive into German holded Alsace-Lorraine (annexed to Germany following the defeat of 1870) in order to reconquer these provinces. French staff was aware of possible German offensive through Belgium but did believe that it was possible to outflank them with an attack there.

Two corps are ready to jump to Belgium's help. Just in case...




On the Alps, only a thin line of troops is set. Hopefully, Italy won't join the war, and if she does, these troops will hopefully gain some time or even more, deter any will of offensive (as the ennemy won't see what sort of troops are there) from Italian.




In the Balkan, the small Serbian Army is set on a defensive line, ready to face Austrian Empire attack. They won't last much alone if the Habsburg Empire commit its full strength on this front.





All hope there are on Russian shoulders.

What's going on in Russian Empire?


In the Caucasus, a small army is ready to deter any Turkish attack. But the Ottoman Empire is neutral, for the moment.




In the Western part of the Russian Empire, a great offensive into German eastern Prussia is schedulded.




With so much forces committed there, only small amounts of troops are defending the rest of the Empire's western borders. Hopefully, it will be enough to hold the Central Power at bay before Russia has fully mobilised.






In all belligerent powers, the fleets are sailing too. French one in Meditterranean, Royal Navy in the Atlantic and North Sea. Controll of sea lanes are crucial for Britain economic survival and for the BEF to cross the Chanel.




A last glitch of peace time:




In the first couple of days of August 1914, mobilisation is over, and dark times lie ahead. Will the boys be home before the leaves fall? I don't think so...

Edited by Emp_Palpatine

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Unsurprisingly, the first actions of the war take place on sea. Belligerent fleet quickly made contact one with another. The Royal Navy prevails in these early battles.







The Entente, with these early August engagments makes her controll of sealanes quite sure. The subsequent decision of Italy not to join the war might have be related to these battles. Stating that the war had been started by Central Powers whereas its Alliance with them is defensive, Italy declares its neutrality. Reaching Paris, the news relieved the french from worries about the Alp frontier. Italy might be drawn into the war later, but not for the moment.

Eager to start its "Plan XVII" offensives, the French Staff find an interesting for those aeroplane contraptions. Some are sent between Metz and the Vosges, in order to scout German positions there.




According to pilots, German forces do not exceed two corps, with a strength of somewhat 100 000 men. [one point equal somewhat 2000 men; units are corps of 2-3 divisions]. Offensive is definitively possible, but some howitzer barrage are orderd by a cautious staff before any move. Wasting men in an ill-organized offensive while news of German attack on Belgium are coming would be a bad idea.

On the said belgian front, General Dubail forces are ordered to enter Belgium territory in order to assist belgian little army. A German victory here would open the way too Paris, without much natural defense line... Dubail is to join with main belgian forces in the Ardennes and along the Meuse near Liege Forts. These forts are the keys of further advance in Belgium. They must not fall.

Further south, Lanzerac will march into the Ardennes, meeting any German advance there, and into the Luxemburg. Neutral but so tiny and defenseless, the little Great Duchy had been invaded by some Germans scout. Hopefully, Lanzerac will be able to outspeed any German push there, and stop them using terrain.




In the East, as planned, Russian troops are crossing the border and heading toward Konigsberg, the capital city of old Prussia.




On the Galician border, a little attack is ordered to Czernowitz. More a feint than a planned offensive, its main goal is to scout Austrian forces there and make them a little busy.




And what about Serbia, for who all Europe is now at war?

Serbian Army, bold and with some intelligence, surprisingly do not stay on its defensive line, but tries an advance toward Austrian held Sarajevo. Believing his scouts and spies reports, General Misic is sure that the bosnian city is not defended.




The armies are now on the move... on both side. They will soon collide.

Edited by Emp_Palpatine

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Nice game, emperor. I played hex games such as "people´s general" , and "Robert E. Lee: Civil War", but ppl doesn´t appreciate em enough

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Things will really start in the next update. What have been posted is the first "mobilization" phase and then the "order" phase, where I do my moves. It's simultaneous move in this game: I set orders, the adversary does the same; then movement are resolved. I might very well collide with Germans in the Ardennes. I might be there first, they might be first too...

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Here's the show!


First battles are raging on the Franco-belgian border.

Lanzerac, marching into Luxemburg, is hold at bay by a German corp who is already in the city. Despite heavy fighting, and heavy losses for the defender too, Lanzerac has to stop the offensive for the moment.




Further North, the situation is reversed. A scouting German corp is defeated by Dubail forces in the Ardennes. Fightings will surely be hot there in following weeks...




In the Balkan, Serbian gamble for Sarajevo succeeds: no ennemy units in the town, it is now occupied by Serbian forces.

By the way, heavy fighting broke out for Belgrade. 150 000 Austro-hungarian attack the 60 000 Serbian soldiers in the city. Thanks to the Danube, that must be crossed by the Habsburgs' forces, and to the hill and urban terrain, heavy losses are inflicted to the assaulting forces. But the death toll is quite severe for Serbia too. Belgrade ruins will endure more blood and fire soon...




Russian offensive in Eastern Prussia is on the contrary a cakewalk for the moment:

Germany is severly defeated in the southern area of Prussia (let's say near Tannenberg! :biggrin: ) just like in the eastern part of the country. The road to Koenigsberg seems open!!





After a week of fighting, here are the results:




We are still in the "movement phase" of the war, hence the "one-week impulse", but here are the frontlines:





(Koenigsberg seems ready to fall...)




And the moral and casualties after a week of fighting:




Not so bad, actually.

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Second week of August.


It was supposed that the troops Dubail had routed were only scouts who thought they would hardly have to fight the belgian Army. Scouts there were indeed, the franco-belgian did undestood it all too well when 150 000 men with heavy artillery support hit them hard. The belgian corps (50% of usefull belgian forces!) did even melt during the heavy fighting, the surviving regiments or companies being temporaly integrated into the retreating, and battered, french forces. The said forces hastily retreat and regroup toward Lorrain or the upper Meuse. Disorganized by the German attack, the commanders did not thought about a retreat to Brussels from where any German future advance might have suffer from a flank attack.





The poor belgians who suffered the most violent part of the attack.



In Alsace-Lorraine, the Plan XVII is put into motion and French units are charging! The success there outshine the defeat of the Ardennes in most spirits! Strabsourg, lost 40 years ago, is now so close...





French troops awaiting orders in Alsace.


In the Eastern front, the western victories of Germany did not help to slow down the Russian almost unopposed advance. Russian scouts are in the outskirts of Koenigsberg, and the capture of Dantzig isolates eastern Prussia from the rest of the Empire.






Russian's advance into Prussia.


On the other parts of the front, all is calm apart from skirmishes. In the Balkan and in Galicia, Austria didn't try much, probably resting from the battle of Belgrade and planning other moves.

The fact is this week events had put things into motion: a big German offensive has started in the West but Germany has to defend herself in the East, or it will lose any western gains there.


Casualties and moral report for this week:


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Wow! Impressive report. Ive always kinda kept one eye on this game. So I find your AAR interesting. Dont stop now... :good:

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Thanks for all gentle comments! :yes:


Here's third week of August report:


The battles in the Ardennes forest had opened a gap between the Franco-belgian in Liege and the ones in Lorraine. Several corps are ordered to march in order to contain the German Breaktrough and hold the banks of the Meuse. Sadly, they are not fast enough and are welcomed by German units that have already crossed the river.




The Germans secures their holding of the Meuse with severe losses for the Allies.


Further North, the German siege artillery began to take care of the heavily fortified Liege.




Those are sure big guns. And deadly ones.




In Alsace-Lorraine, German Army counter-attack against the French units. They failed.




But the second part of the XVII offensives are painfull failures too. It seems that the front will soon stabilize there. In one offensive, the Frenche lost there almost 50% of their offensive might in the East! Machine guns, trenches and terrain are awfull adversary for any attacking unit.





In Serbia, Austria-Hungary bid to conquer Serbia went on. Belgrade's defenders hold them at bay one more time.




In Eastern Prussia, Russian armies take the undefended Koenigsberg. Had the formidable fortifications of the town be manned, it wouldn't have been a piece of cake to oust any defenders...





This defeat is dangerous on a longer term for Germany: East-Prussia food ressources are now into Russian hands, and other, near Posen, are now threatened. As Germany is not self-sufficient and as she can't trade on the seas because of the Royal Navy, they will have to do something or face starvation in the near future.


Newest casualties and moral report:



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Ebb and flow in Belgium and Eastern France.


Lanzerac launch a bold offensive in the last of August against the German forces on the Meuse. Exhausted by their casualties and their recent advances, the German units finally retreat on the eastern bank of the Meuse. The ennemy advance in Belgium is restrained for the time being.




In eastern France, a German counter-attack is launched and the french units in Germany are harschly defeated. That will end there any French attempt to attack on that front for the time being. Is the western front on the way to stabilization?




In Serbia, the heroic defense of Belgrade goes on, as the Austrian army does not halt its efforts to seize Serbian capital city.




On the Prussian front, the Russian army carries on its advance, toward Posen now. If that town fall into Russian hands, other agricultural ressources would lack in Germany as the precious farming areas of Prussia would be in Russian hands.




The sun set on August, the first month of the war...



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A little insight of what is going on on the strategic level.


Diplomatically speaking, news are not very good. The Great Duchy of Luxemburg has to accept its integration by force into the German Empire. The true colors of Germany are now revealled. Hopefully, neutral countries will now understand where liberty and rights stand.

Without surprise, it's not the case of the Ottoman Empire, or at least what is now the Ottoman Empire, almost a rump State in comparison with the Great power it was a couple centuries before. Even its former satellites and possession, in Europe, had made it bite the dust two years ago. The Sultan, and even more the nationalist officers that now hold most of the power in the Empire, might have think that Germany can help them to reclaim some of the Empire's former glory.




Presently, British forces in Egypt and Russian ones in Caucasus will be enough to hold the Ottoman army at bey. Taking into account Turkish defeat in the 1911 war against Italy and in 1912 against the small balkan states, there is not much to fear from them.




In Rome, Italy's sympathy for the Central Power is confirmed. Fortunately, they seems not ready to enter the war now. But Italy has to be monitored by the Entente in the Spring. Maybe some diplomatic lobbying can prevent them to join the war or, at least, delay them.




In the Balkan, Tzar Ferdinand's Bulgaria seems quite interested too in Germany promises. Joining the Central Powers would be, for Bulgaria, an occasion to avenge their 1913 defeat against Serbia, Greece and Romania. Sofia had to be monitored too, if Bulgaria joins the war it may prove disastrous for Serbia...




On the seas, German high sea fleet manages to patrol into the North Sea, as an overconfidant Royal Navy did not provide enough units there to assume total control of the North Sea.

But the Atlantic is still firmly controlled by the Royal Navy.




Consequently, British troops are now embarquing for the Continent.




In most eyes, despite Russian progresses, the war won't be over in few weeks and some planning has to start. The first research efforts are done in artillery: the Entente lacks the heavy guns, the very same that are bringing ruin in Liege.




Those are the strategical prospects for the Entente in the Fall of 1914.

Edited by Emp_Palpatine

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great aar. i enjoy reading every time you post.


i tried the game some time ago, and thought "nah, not for me". now, i may reconsider.


i wonder if history will be rewritten.


keep it up!

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Military operations, of course, are going on, following the trends of August. But things began to slow down...


Germany hadn't given up its hope of advance in the West and resumes the battle for Liège. Despite heavy losses, notably from the German siege artillery, the franco-belgian stand firm.




Austria-Hungary Imperial and Royal Army do show much bravery too in the on-going battle of Belgrade, to no avail. Serbian forces are well entrenched in the ruined city and make them pay much for nothing.




In Prussia, Russian forces are still marching toward Posen and the Warthe and Oder rivers.




But in the late september days, the surpise comes from Galicia: the Habsburgs army launch an offensive! Probably in order to relieve Germany's ordeal in Prussia. The thin troop curtain is easily pushed back by the Austrian.






Things are still really moving in the East in those late september days.

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great aar. i enjoy reading every time you post.


i tried the game some time ago, and thought "nah, not for me". now, i may reconsider.


i wonder if history will be rewritten.


keep it up!

Thanks a lot!


Guns of August is not an "hard core" game. A couple of hours is enough to understand correctly the game mechanics. Of course, strategies, choices (research, etc) come with experience. Will you choose gas? Aircrafts? A "peripheric" strategy with landings in the Balkan or the Baltic? Etc...

For me, the game is very good because it's IMHO the only one dealing with WW1 and it does emulate it very well. Offensives in the first two months, then bloody position war, attempted breaktrough, attempted new fronts...

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Early october 1914: German resistance appears in Prussia!


An ill-decided advance toward Bromberg is heavily chastised by still-advancing Russian troops.

German GHQ sure thought Russian weren't yet in Bromberg.




Further South, Germany had, in these first days of October, its first defensive success on that front. A welcomed success in Berlin! 150 000 Russian soldiers failed to push 50 000 germans them back from the eastern bank of the Vistule River. A vaillant victory indeed for Germany indeed. Furthermore, the German saillant here can be a future rearbase for any counter-attack.




In Galicia, other success are coming for the Central Powers. The Austria-Hungary advance goes on there.






Posen is now in Russian hands, but Lublin, a great and symbolic Russian Poland city is taken by the Imperial and Royal Army.





The end of October 1914 is more quiet.

Both camps are starting to show their respective overstretchness.

Still, the battle for Liège goes on as the Germans are stubbornly attacking the Belgian martyr city.




Belgrade is now an hellish landscape too. Austria-Hungary still try there to seize the Serbian capital. Little Serbie still holds. Unfortunately, the casualties are growing in Serbian ranks, and few reinforcements are even possible. The Habsburg might well, finally, take the city in months to come thanks to combat attrition...




In Prussia, the Russian advance start to bog down, except on the coast. Köslin is now another hated defeat name for the German Army.




With the coming of november, the first winter of a war supposed to end by Christmas is approaching.



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New strategic decision phase for November and december.



Search efforts go on in artillery.



Entente diplomats are sent to neutral powers, as the war is more likely to be long. Opening new fronts/bringing new friends in can be a path toward victory. Influence neutral can either lead them to reconsider entering the war, the main goal of diplomatic efforts in Italy or Bulgaria, or, on the contrary, aims them into an earlier entry (Romania, USA).


First economical decisions are taken too.

Russia's potential is weak presently. Hopefully, if Russia is spared defeats or massive loss of territory, this potential can be quite notable. Here, it's fully invested into the preparation of new offensives, as the logistic suffered badly in the previous months advances and forced Russian corps into defensive stance.




UK does invest into naval assets, for obvious reasons, whereas Serbia, Belgium and France are focusing on military furniture in order to equip badly needed reinforcement.




In the airs, no aerial combat presently, as both camp are lacking the technology, but more and more planes on the front, doing their recon and artillery spotting duties.




On the seas: the Central Power still enjoy the overconfidence of the Royal Navy, that lead it to misjudge the number of ship to put into the North Sea, but following month will surely see battles to correct this situation, even more since the Entente is planning possible campaigns in the Balkan, Middle East or Gallipoli...



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What about military operations? Here is November 1914 report:


On the Western Front, apart from shelling, all is quiet... The front seems quite fixed there now, trenches, barbed wires, you know the thing.




In Prussia, the German resistance is growing more and more!

A new stop for Russia.



And even a counter-attack from the Pinckelhaube guys toward Posnan.



In Galicia, Austria resumes its attack too.





Slowly, Russian army, logisticaly exhausted (ie I'm out of "HQ/offensive points) is loosing the initiative on that front.




Not an eventfull turn, but... Showing some changes in trends in the East.

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Xmas month won't be calm.


Once again, heavy and violent shelling in Liege, following by a German offensive that manage nothing except offering 40 000 families a very sad telegram...




The show resumes in Belgrade too! Where the hell does the Austrian Empire find all the strenght to waste so much men? But dark times lie surely ahead for the Entente there: German unidentified units are wandering around on the front. Serbia won't be able to hold them back too...




In Prussia, Thorn's bastion, objective of an huge Russian offensive back in October is finally abandonned by Germany. Envelopped with only one side free, it was not defendable anymore. The last German spot on the right bank of the Vistule is lost.

But... a huge german counter-attack overshadow all of this! 150 000 just kick back Russians from Posnan and from the left bank of the Warthe. That's a severe setback for Russian Army and it clearly show that Petrograd has presently lost the initiative there. More counter-attacks are to be feared as soon as the German soldiers have finished to celebrate Xmas and New Year.





On the Austrian front, the arrival of fresh conscript units (2nd wave of Russian mobilisation) helps to, at last, stop the Imperial and Royal army advance.




Looks like the Entente will now be on the defensive in the East too...


By 1 january 1915, almost 2,5 soldiers have fallen. Only 4 months of fightings, and all the bloodiest offensives in order to attempt a breaktrough lies ahead. Home before the leaves fall? I don't think so.



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Here starts 1915 with the January-February turn strategic phase.


Strangely, the casualties and morale thing is not the same as in late december 1914...




On the diplomatic front, powers at war are courting the neutrals. Italy is very wooed as one can see...




And it's not going to end.




Allies R&D goes on: combat gas, artillery, planes and trenches are studied...




Here are some exemples of economical strategic choices. France still focuses on small arms, trenchs stuffs, shells and a small naval stuff. Russia do buy arms in order to replenish stocks, trenchs to stabilize the front line. HQ points acquisition is to be seriously take into account for any offensive in Spring.






As planned since fall, British Fleet sails into the North Sea and punish there wandering German ships.




The Entente powers now enjoy once again controll of the seas.



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Thanks to winter, military operations are somewhat slowed down in those months of January and February 1915.

Here are the most important fronts. Apart from shellings, things are quite quiet.




Shellings are very deadly for the Russians, as their units are still using foxholes and not elaborated trench systems.






Things are quiet in Serbia too. But the Entente had to move a much-needed elsewhere Serbian corps in order to protect the Montenegrese port of Scutari (the little kingdom is not simulated in the game, as it is incorporated into Serbia). Some British involvement is planned there. The port must be held to have any Tommies there.




Suddenly, hell broke out in Lorraine! A German offensive where it seemed the Winter would be quiet everywhere! Germany almost succeeded there, inflicting heavy losses on the French. But they failed, thanks to french defensive lines and heroic and stubborn defense.




Things are far from being over...

Edited by Emp_Palpatine

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March-April 1915.


Diplomatic courting goes on...




And will go on in following weeks. The goals are still the sames: keeping Italy and Bulgaria as long as humanly possible out of the war. It looks grim for Bulgaria, but Italy might still be convinced not to join.




R&D efforts in combat gas and artillery are still on the way. Hopefully, combat gas will soon be ready, for the very pain of the Central powers.




As it's time to plan action against the Ottoman Empire in Middle East, as things are quite calm there, some squadrons are sent there by British Empire.






The controll over sealanes is once again under total control by the Entente navies. It will help the Entente to act in Balkan or in Middle East in following weeks.



Edited by Emp_Palpatine

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things are relatively quiet now but i expect them to liven up once the warm spring sun shines down on the trenches.

keep it up.


p.s. just a little side note - scutari is actually in albania (shkodra)

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As spring comes, offensive plans are now in the head of all general staffs.

A french offensive in the Ardenne, across the Meuse is planned. Fresh troops and guns have been prepared there since January.




In eastern Prussia, Russian troops are now building complex trench systems, instead of foxholes. It will help to minimize Russian losses because of artillery barrages and even more, make defense more easy, should the German try to attack.




In the Balkan, the worrying situation in Serbia led London to send there a corps in order to support Serbian army.




Of course, Germany do have her own plans! The Reich soon launch its own offensives from Luxemburg to Verdun and across the Meuse to Liege. Unfortunately for them, the German HQ had not anticipated the French preparations for offensive: they are attacking the most ready troops on all the Western front and just can't progress.






On the French side, the news of the German offensive did not prevent the GQG to launch the planned one: if things succeed, the French offensive will strike the German offensives on their flanks!

After an heavy artillery barrage, the Poilus launched their attack. Outnumbered Germans did resist in most heroic fashion, but had to fall back. By the way, despite French advance, they still held most of the Ardenne by the end of march. (In terms of gameplay, it means that my units are successful, therefore in the German hex, but they still hold it. Such situations are there to simulate the weeks or months long battles of WW1 in small areas...) The attack will have to go on.




In Alsace Lorraine, German army had launch another offensive. French soldiers held the line one more time, with heavy losses...




In Middle-East, things are going a little more hot. British and Ottoman troops are starting to clash...




By the end of April, the third battle of the Ardenne comes to an and, with Germany's withdrawal... Belgium is now totaly "German free". Next offensives will surely lead the Entente right into western Germany.




Another good news comes from the casualties and moral report: Germany's morale is decreasing. Is that because of the lack of food? Because of the casualties? Whatever the causes, these are indeed good news for the Entente!



Edited by Emp_Palpatine

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things are relatively quiet now but i expect them to liven up once the warm spring sun shines down on the trenches.

keep it up.


p.s. just a little side note - scutari is actually in albania (shkodra)


It is, indeed. After First and Second Balkan war (1912-1913), Montenegro sought to annex this city. They can't because of Austrian opposition. As soon as the war started, they proceed to annex the city (and Albania being nothing at that time, as the new state authority was just nominal, they just can't do anything).

Because of the size of the map in game and because Serbia and Montenegro are merged in it, I supposed Frank Hunter choose to give Scutari to Serbia (which stands for both kingdoms).

If things were correct, the sea-side montenegrese city should be Bar, but I don't even know is there is a port there... For the sake of gameplay, it's much simplified in the game.

Edited by Emp_Palpatine

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May-June 1915.


Strategic phase.


As usual, diplomatic courting goes on. Sadly for the Entente, Italy does lean more and more toward the Central Powers side. It's high time for french army to build up a line on the Alps.




Worse, Bulgaria joins the war on the Central Powers side! This is very bad news for the Serbian front.




Here's the front lines at the beginning of May.


Germany has been expelled out of Belgium by previous allied offensives.




All is quiet on northern east-front. Reinforcement are coming in Galicia and Poland. As soon as possible, offensive will resume there, in order to roll back the Austrian army.






Central Powers troops are coming "en masse" into Serbia. And Bulgaria's soldiers will add themselves. Resistance will soon become almost impossible for the little kingdow. The Entente's only hope there is the arrival of BEF corps. Too few too late? We'll soon see.




R&D efforts are going on. Gas will soon be available...




And, of course, diplomats have been sent! Hopefully, they will bring Romania and USA closer to join us and delay Italy's imminent entry...




All is calm elsewhere (Caucasus, Middle East, Seas...)

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