Friday, January 18, 2019

Hearts of Iron IV - France 1936

Apart from miniature wargames and board games I also play a few computer games.  One is the old massive online RPG Everquest (now on its 24th expansion, not that I am using the last four or five), but of more immediate interest is Hearts of Iron IV.  Ten years ago I played Hearts of Iron II and enjoyed it.  So, when my friend Bruce suggested we team up and play the new version I thought why not.  Many hours later...

We had a practice run through as Italy/Germany which ended up in a Fascist takeover of the world.  At times we were battling the Internet/computer or the game's interface more than the actual countries we were at war with.  The thing that left me feeling a bit discouraged was that it left no trace.  So for our next game I will try and do a few blog posts and see how that helps.

Bruce is going United Kingdom and I am going France.  Starting 1 January 1936 on the "elite" level.

Here we go...

First National Focus is Government Reform, we badly need it.  Research is commenced on Electronic Mechanical Computing, Basic Machine Tools and Construction.  These should all help build the industrial base of France.

Looking at the army, I disband six cavalry divisions and the same number of colonial divisions.  The aim is to recoup equipment and manpower of which France is woefully short.  I create three theatres of operation: Indo China, North Africa and Europe.  One Army is created in each of the first two and half a dozen in France: the north (Nord), Maginot Line, Italy (Sud), Reserve (the majority of the motorised and tank divisions), Spain and Training.  Shuffling units between these is an ongoing exercise with the weak Colonial Divisions ultimately going to the Maginot Line.

Production is so low that resources are not a problem, although I start trading oil with the Dutch East Indies and the UK, although the UK ultimately proves to be an unreliable supplier (I can't compete on trade influence with its colonies).

As National Focus is switched to Metropolitan France, a civil war is narrowly avoided when going to war over the Rhineland is seriously contemplated.

Research starts on Mechanical Computing and National Focus moves to Industrial Expansion.

It is May 1936.

Second Session

Research commences on Dispersed Industry and the National Focus switches to Military Factories as Spain erupts in a Civil War.  We watch, Germany and Italy participate.  Then there is the Olympics.  Ho hum.

As we start to research Radios, strikes break out.  A deal is attempted.  Factory output drops by 30%, but at least there are new factories about to come online.

The standard divisions in Indo China are swapped for two colonial divisions from North Africa.  North Africa also sends a colonial division to hold Corsica.  Previously an armoured and a motorised division were sent to North Africa and there has been a concentration of forces in Tunisia.

More effort goes into researching research.  The strike breaking deal is also maintained (the Matignon Agreement).

Throughout 1936 there has been a slow build up of civilian factories that will help build up the rest of France - investing for the future.  In 1937 military factories will start being built.  There is still a major shortage of infantry weapons and tanks.  I would dearly like to be building aircraft as well, but there is zero capacity.  At least the existing air force is significant (if dated).  The Navy is looking good.

As the year finishes we go with the Status Quo (as long as it's not "down, down").  Research is now on Improved Machine Tools, further Dispersed Industry and finally something at the sharp end: Engineer Company.

1937 sees France decide to Go With Britain.

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