For the Republic! (Republican Spain HoI3 AAR)

I dunno, playing a war movie could have the opposite effect. I started going through “Band of Brothers” again, when HoI3 came out. I just finished watching the Bastogne episode (that’s the one focusing on the medic). After watching it I suddenly don’t have any desire to play games involving destruction and war, even at HoI3’s level of abstraction. Not to worry, I’m sure this moment will pass, but boy that was a sad episode and my current desire to reproduce WW2 has gone to zero.

Okay, here are some better ones…

First the potential encirclement along the Portuguese border which I spoke of in my last post. As you can see I have three divisions (the counters that are xx and have a 1-2 attack-defense value) and two brigades (x, 0-1) along the front. The enemy has two divisions that are exposed with their flanks either completely open, or broken through. With my one central brigade I can fix the northern division and when Lister’s division (in the far south) arrives it can fix the southern division giving my other forces the time needed to surround the enemy.

Further north we have this situation with my other corps…

They are covering Madrid, to the south which is urban terrain and has the airbase. They are also tasked with taking Burgos - the Nationalists capital right now. I’ve got four divisions and right now my basic plan is to pivet like a door opening and swinging to the northwest with the pivot being at Arevalo (where the 1-1 armoured division is). This will make it so that the 10a Division under Castello will march the longest route along the Duoro to take Burgos and the 2a and 5a divisions will march alongside the interior of that march with the aim of reaching a line Burgos-Palencia-Valladolid (where the Nationalist cavalry division is).

That is the gist of the Madrid front - so basically I want to effect an encirclement along the Portuguese border while also pushing forward from near Madrid to take Burgos and prepare a line along the Duoro in the north. In the end I’ll both shorten my lines (in the west), take the capital, AND get a better defensive position along a major river.

Furthermore I don’t think the new engine is ugly at all (at least not for HoI3), I actually quite like it besides the hideous province border papering effect and the default national colour blandness.

Yeah, the map isn’t really that bad. They went for a paper map like subdued color style that can be confusing at times and like CSL points out, the province borders are really odd in the way they are drawn. In the early screenshots CSL is using the “political” map mode, where everything is tinted the color of your side. So, as Republican Spain is a light tan, that’s what you see. The most recent screenshots are using the “terrain” map mode and it looks a lot better. It’s just harder to see who controls what as you have to follow the crappy red lines.

The Civil War - Part III
This one goes out to Tom Chick!!!

So if you’ve read my last post you know what is going on in Spain - as I think I put it very clearly and explained my intentions so that you know what I’m planning and why.

A few days in and my offensive is going well. I’ve omitted due to attack delays the division in the north of my western encirclement and have instead sent my two southern divisions to march north and cut the two divisions off instead - using Lister to fix the southern divisions while this is done.

The encirclement on September 10th

My attack in the south is suffering from having to do it so soon - Lister’s men are tired and are still at only about half strength, though in the next two days my flanking forces should hit them from the rear and make the battle rapidly shift in my favor.

Around the Duoro however things are becoming a little more tricky. While pushing forward without many problems the enemy is now shifting a substantial amount of independent brigades around my flank and to the south - possibly to cut off my corps around Barcelona, but with Burgos almost open to my own divisions this is a risk I’m willing to take. Likewise in the south my lone screening division has now been brought to battle and my mountain troops in the north are now down to their last few days of glorious fighting. Unfortunately on the 13th these troops were forced to surrender, and it seems a few more divisions are available to the Nationalists and we can expect a counterattack against my Madrid front in a matter of a week or two.

Over in Barcelona things are still going quite well…

As you can see I’m holding a defensive line around Tarragona (with the airbase) and am attacking what brigades the enemy has around Barcelona, though right now that attack is suffering from the fact that the enemy has been reinforced by a headquarters brigade. Should I manage to keep up a good pace though I will be able to take our the enemy without much hassle in due time.

Things become more tricky around Madrid before I think they will though…

As you can see things are bad. While I’ve managed to encircle and am now in the process of destroying two divisions the enemy has more than enough in reserve to throw at me. Furthermore my swinging door has hit a brick wall around Burgos and indeed their movements around my flank is now giving me a real problem as they are probing into my rear. To deal with this I’m detaching a full brigade from my encirclement and sending it east to deal with them. But this won’t be enough for as you can see the enemy is very quickly approaching from the south as well - with four full divisions at the minimum. Which means I’ll need to move quickly those forces encircling right now as soon as they are done to protect Madrid from the south. I cannot wait for those militia divisions.

Eventually we manage to destroy the two divisions that have been encircled and Burgos is taken but by now things have begun collapsing - the enemy is both in my rear and flanks and it looks like I’ll have huge difficulties getting my divisions away from Burgos without being cut off and destroyed and worse yet my corps in Barcelona has been cut off from my forces around Madrid. It seems that by the time October roles around Madrid will be completely encircled.

Thanks for doing the AAR, CSL. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

I think you should push through those northern forces and invade France.

Thanks a bunch CSL, these last few shots are way better.

I also googled a bit for more HoI3 screens (I haven’t been following this very much since early alpha screens) and I found that at least they don’t look THAT hideous. Not as nice as hand drawn map style looked, mind you, but at least a little less awful.
Somehow your installation seems a little borked, though - some border tiles look messed up.


Yes, the province borders don’t look like that in my game.

Any insight into how well the AI uses air power, or are you handling that yourself? What assets do you have attached where?

EDIT: Also, are you giving the commands at the corps or division level?

Good AAR so far. As a side note, I too had the border problem for some reason while playing on my regular Vista profile. I ran the game in my Administrator profile and the borders were fine. Not sure why, but there ya go.

their movements around my flank is now giving me a real problem as they are probing into my rear.


Yeah warfare is such a homo-erotic bussiness :P

I’m giving commands at the divisional level - I don’t plan on using ai corps control at all in this game.

I’m handling the air power, though I might change that. Right now I have three groups of two wings of interceptors, tactical combers, and strategic bombers. I believe the Nationalists have an equal number of interceptors but little else.

There is also some talk on the official boards about it being a problem for Steam purchasers. I have the Steam version and see the same border stuff CSL’s screenshots show. I wonder what version CSL has or what you have and if that is a true angle to this particular problem.

Sorry for my stupid attempt at humor. I’d hate to derail this thread, because this AAR is lookin good. Do you reckon you can win this little war? Or is the tide swinging away from your favor and will the republic be doomed? Isnt setting up all those air missions a big hassle? Have you gotten more support than the english divisions? pls post moar CLS :D

Ok, so I have the Steam version and the same problem as CSL. I tried the suggestion to run the game as administrator (through a shortcut to the actual exe in steam’s subdirectories) but no dice.

Then I decided, well it’s probably in the map/cache directory. I tried removing some of the possible culprit files and then rebuilding the cache by starting the game. But nothing. I finally decided to rebuild the entire map cache. Don’t do this! It takes around four hours to rebuild.

But…success! Sort of. After rebuilding the cache, the borders were fixed but there was no terrain texture and the entire world was pink.

I fixed that problem by restoring the “textures” folder of my old map cache and I now have a game that looks normal. Assuming I haven’t screwed up anything else in the process.

Hmm. I’m not bothered enough by it mess around with anything, but I hope you post this over on the bug forums. That way Paradox will hopefully figure out why this is happening, Steam related or not.

I just reported this and posted a screenshot. Search won’t work for me on the Paradox forums and my google-fu won’t substitute in the bugforum case so I have no idea if it’s a duplicate or not. I’m sure it’ll get lost in all the noise of people complaining about typos and or reporting as bugs features that are documented in the manual, but hey I tried.

The real Spanish Republic got no support from anybody, save volunteers from around the world. They got “help” from the Soviet Union by getting guns and ammo and generals who would later be “purged” by Stalin for their failure. They were all dead-set on being right rather than on winning the war.

My first (and only completed) HoI game was as Republican Spain, and even though I made some terribly stupid moves (building a huge fort in North Africa hoping to use it to defend against the nationalists, for example) I ended up winning and invading Vichy France, hoping the allies would use Spain as a staging ground for an invasion.

They didn’t, and instead tried several D-Days that failed miserably. I’m pretty sure Germany survived the war, but then so did the Spanish Republic.

Viva Duruti!

The Civil War - Part IV
Screw you Franco!

Things aren’t going well.

When October starts our forces are in disarray and an attempted encirclement is now backfiring against us.

As you can see Rojo Lluch is surrounded and will soon be destroyed and our attacks are getting nowhere. While we retain some strength around Madrid it seems the end is near. The only good news comes from Barcelona when on October 6th we find that the Nationalists have surrendered and we’ve now got that part of the country firmly under our control and we can now move a corps of soldiers towards Madrid.

By mid-month I’ve begun to contract around the city and am now holding out for my forces from Barcelona to intervene, they are now moving with all speed to my desperate defenders. Thankfully in a bit of good news Rojo Lluch’s division has been saved and is now in our lines.

As you can see in this screenshot things are going badly in mid-October. I’ve hatched a last desperate plan which might save the war. For now I’ll hold the Madrid pocket with the bulk of my forces north of the city, contracting if need be. Meanwhile forces in the east will attempt to link with those coming west from Barcelona. If we can do this correctly we can attempt to pocket another group of Nationalist forces and potentially take a big chuck out of their forces. Thankfully the arrival of two new militia divisions has given us enough extra forces to attempt this.

When late October roles around we’ve managed to push out east of Madrid without much difficulty - surrounding one enemy division but the Nationalists have largely abandoned a static defense on that line, instead they seem to be moving against my incoming corps which has by now run into supply problems. Nevertheless we also manage to cut off and destroy a full brigade of retreating Nationalist forces. While things aren’t going their best, they are certainly managing to look up by the start of November.

October 24th 1936

This doesn’t last long though. The Nationalists still have a huge advantage over our forces and they easily deal with my attempted encirclements - though we once again manage to destroy a few brigades of enemy infantry in one or two isolated pockets. Regardless within two weeks my forces are driven back several hundred kilometers towrards Barcelona, my forces only stopping to make deseperate defensive battles against the enemy.

Early November

As you can see from this screenshot by November the situation is dire throughout Spain - perhaps the worst since the start of the war. My men around Madrid are cut off permanently from the Barcelona pocket and those men are now out of supplies, unable to do anything other than fight a defensive battle. While the capital can out for I hope several months we cannot simply stand on a defensive line as no held will reach us. Militia units are now activated but they are little more than sentinals against a renewed Nationalist advance and to have any hope I’ll need to continue to have a large active defense striking at the enemy every week with the aim of reducing his numbers - alas I think this task impossible.