Sunday, August 11, 2013

Rise of Prussia - Pimp my Operation, Your Excellency! (Imaginary Conversations with Frederick the Great, #2)

I'm done! I have managed to reduce the in-game movement and combat penalties (black arrow in the two screenshots below) by re-organizing each Corps and Army in the Prussian order of battle.

If you want to read the fine print, please right click the image and open it in a new tab or window.
The hardwood floors creak at the rhythm of a man on a mission. It's King Frederick II and even the most trivial chores transform him into a crank. I'm sitting in my studio and the door opens, un-knocked, to this conversation.

Frederick: I just can't believe how easy is to get food in your wicked era ... Do you mind to join me for le déjeuner? 

I see the screen of a phone shining through his shirt's pocket and my curiosity gives way to a mild panic. Is that paper in his hand a flyer for THAT pizza-delivery joint?

The Blog: Off course, your Excellency ... I'm pleased to inform you that my campaign into Saxony will start soon! I've re-organized the forces in a way that allows the best use of your generals.

If you want to read the fine print, please right click the image and open it in a new tab or window.
Frederick: All good and well then. (He leans anxiously to the window.) Where is that food?

I check my phone and quickly find out that the menu is indeed pizza, that the delivery guy is on his way and that the King has used my credit card again.

The Blog: It will be here in a minute or two. I wonder about the use of cavalry, though ... Should they ride in front of the infantry?

The old man bolts out towards the door. He is already out of the room by the time the doorbell sounds have completely faded out.

Frederick: That was fast! Follow me, you will need to sign the receipt of requisition.

I follow. I pay. And the next thing I know is that I am eating the lousiest pizza with a military genius. I can't stomach neither to interrupt his joyful detachment from anything else nor the bland sauce that covers the food. The conversation has to wait until the King is done with lunch.

Frederick: It's good that you took care of the command situation. Prussia can barely afford to send her sons to battle and every care must be taken to make every soldier count. 
The Blog: I wish you had more generals with actual military talent ...
Frederick: A big piece of those wars could only be afforded by the nobility. Don't complain too much my dear sans culotte, you are in full command of the mightiest Army of that time!
The Blog: I also wish that the cavalry leaders would be able to move their troopers faster ...
Frederick: You worry too much about the wrong people. What will you do about your two most important commanders: General Flour and General Forage?
The Blog: The only formation that has enough supplies for the whole campaign is the main body of the Königlich Armee under your command, your Excellency.

The supply situation of von Bevern's Corps. The supply situation of this formation is highlighted with a red box. Please right click the image and open it in a new tab or window.
Frederick: Nein! This has nothing to do with hoarding supplies. You can't expect to feed a victorious Army from what they carry with them. Many a victory of mine has been incomplete just because those supply trains were so slow! You will certainly need to make sure that your lines of supply and communication are open, and that means that you can't bypass any enemy fort. So, I like how you plan to stop von Bevern at Cottbus. (See above screenshot).
The Blog: I was hoping for a dashing advance deep towards the southern border of Saxony.
Frederick: The thrust of a sword onto empty air never hurts anybody. 
The Blog: I find the thrust of any sword scary.
Frederick: I thought you were planning to defeat the Saxons, not to scare them. Which brings to my attention: how will you find them?
The Blog: Cavalry, your Excellency. The main body of the Königlich Armee will be preceded by a cavalry brigade under the command of some fellow from the Württemberg family. The right wing (von Brunswick) by von Zieten. von Bevern is the only one who will be without cavalry support of any type ...

 The main body of the Königlich Armee, center icon with  a star, and slightly to its right the cavalry brigade that will be an advance guard. Still near Berlin waiting for the start of the campaign. Please right click the image and open it in a new tab or window.
The Blog: ... The main body of the Königlich Armee will arrive to its first objective (the Torgau fortress) in 4 days. Unfortunately, the cavalry will not get there before the main body. That's why I was complaining a bit about your cavalry officers ...

The plans for the campaign. The blue lines represent lines of advance. The main body of the Army will get into the Torgau region in four days.
The Blog: ... However, I will put those horses to good use while the main body storms Torgau. I will swiftly move the cavalry brigade to Dresden and leave them in a good position for further attacks on Pirna Camp (see screenshot below).

The advance of the cavalry brigade does not end at Torgau but rather south at Dresden. 
I turn back towards the King and see him sound asleep in his chair. The lunch and the nonsense of the sans culotte have taken their toll. The realization that hundreds of years ago this man fell into his final sleep from a similar chair in his studio, is quite eerie.

Chow, and the speed at which it moves nowadays have both impressed and put the King to sleep. I hope that the the lack of both things don't bring lethargy to my virtual Army.



Miguel said...

I'm really interested at seeing how does AGEOD AI latest iteration handles this kind of open, unrestricted spaces we're seeing here. In AJE/BOR, terrain is quite restricted, and I'm not sure whether is the AI actually preempting my moves or that since avenues of maneuver tend to be so narrow it's just that there is "just one door to every room".

Anonymous said...

I'm the one that asked if this was the Gold version. I have played this Saxony invasion over many, many times. It's pretty easy! I can't do hardly anything else, though.

H Gilmer

JC said...

Hello and thanks for reading!

It is a nice scenario and indeed not the hardest in the game.

As for Miguel's question. Yes there is room for maneuver in this scenario, but the AI tends to not overextend itself into Prussia's proper open terrain. This is definitively not bad and probably a realistic proposition.