Author Topic: Out of the Great Abyss -- Ethiopia. World War One. HOI2:Darkest Hour AAR  (Read 28655 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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Part 23 -- All Hat

On June 6, the OMA finished its research into industrial construction, about two months earlier than expected. There was much rejoicing, but also the sober reminder that we couldn’t do much with it yet -- except that our troops could now dig modern entrenchments when parked in a province! With the help of the Montenegrans, Habte even finished his cards with holes in them and put them to work. The agriculture research, sadly, turned out to be only things we already were doing. The combat engineering tech, however, proved to come with an unexpected bonus: instruction in logistics! It took longer to get the new research teams and technologies integrated in than the ministers had expected -- about half a month -- but at last it was done.

When the Emperor asked how much money this importation of our Montenegran helpes had cost, Yimer said that actually Habte had funded the search with national research money a couple of months ago. The costs had been substantial, but had already been paid.

Iyasu V
Habte
Nicholas I
Petar


Petar had not yet negotiated a trade agreement himself, but with his help Iyasu had once again reached out, and this time his amateur attempts seemed to have provided us with stable ongoing trades with the Republic of China (who in early June returned to being the Empire of its grand history, over against the several breakaway cliques around it) and our epic trading partner Venezuela. We weren’t yet solvent, and in fact our supplies were moving out faster than ever; but we were close to solvent in our materials, and if we got low on supplies then we would redirect our factories back away from upgrading our troop divisions.

Wollo Research Abbey near downtown Addis Abeba [Note: actually an oasis from somewhere on the Arabian penninsula during the same period, but served the same purpose]



After much debate, and consultation with their increasingly unified research teams, the ministers decided to put the Abbey working on Mobilization for further logistic support in the field (with Habte contributing a little referential help behind the scenes), while the Bar Railroad crew, who were the most experienced managers other than the monks, picked up on the Abbey’s research so far in production efficiency -- pointing out that we would benefit even more from efficient use of supplies through the Abbey’s new project, too!

The British still were coming, but Habte and Yimer’s plans had started working -- though slightly so far.

On Petar’s advice, Iyasu made public speeches to the press to the effect that we were not actually trying to take over Africa militarily, but only recovering lands traditionally ours from the colonies -- lands the colonies clearly hadn’t wanted anyway -- and that we meant to be an example to tribes across our land for raising up our people to higher standards of living. We publicly opened our land to anyone fleeing the war in Europe who might wish to start fresh, not as colonizers but as citizens. The goal was to reduce the world’s perception of our extreme interventionalism, in order to increase our trade efficiency; Petar thought that this was a root of our current diplomatic troubles. Yimer nodded sagely but said nothing.

On June 13, the incomparable Tarzaz, or whatever his name was, asked to address the cabinet members; and on June 21, by appointment, he marched into the office, doffing his fabulous hat, and making an elaborate leg of a bow.

Taezaz The Uncomparable

“O Emperor and honored men!” and he stood up straight again; I watched the hat in fascination, trying to figure out what he was doing to hold it at his side in such fine form. That had to have taken hours of practice. “The redoubtable Hapte and I have been discussing our military policy, and,” nodding to Habte, “he has asked me to present my theories for your consideration.”

“And you think now is the proper time for this?” the Emperor asked, narrowing his eyes.

“Yes, sire, most indeed. For until now, or recently, we thought to add more factories to our land in order to strengthen our production, including of our military. I agreed with this plan, and still agree -- but this plan will clearly not be feasible for a while.

“Consequently, sire, we should now consider what we have delayed for, yes, a year; or not exactly delayed, but now have come to nearly finish. Our military must grow stronger soon. Production has been wisely spent on making stronger what we already have; and since we won’t be putting production into increasing our absolute production capability soon, I recommend we set aside at least one of our factories to start creating our most efficient groups of soldiers possible.”

“You know that we are maximizing production right this moment to try to bring our militia up to snuff, of course?” Yimer suspiciously asked.

“Of course. And we will fail. We failed before, and now we are failing now. Pardon me my bluntness, if you can; but you have spread those upgrades out through more than one division. Consequently, all will be late. Even one division might take up to two months to re-outfit, working at full capacity. And then what? They will all be militia wielding gear fit for any war last century. Better than mid-century, to be sure! -- but we are now in a struggle against colonial enemies. They have better tech; and they have far more men.”

“And we are working as fast as we can to overcome that technical difference... er, commander.” Like Mikael, I did not know what rank this man now held in Ethiopia.

“For this I rejoice! -- and I have recommendations, too. First, however, is this: if you must insist on upgrading troops instead of training up new divisions, only send your upgrades to one division at a time. Pick whmoever you like; I would say one who is near but not where the fighting will soon commence. Let them not be distracted, and then come in to save the day. Be that as it may.

“For production of a new division: eventually I believe that we should focus on our quality to the highest available standard, since we will always have a manpower shortage compared to our enemies. Until then, we should invest production time and resources in whichever combination of troops and auxiliaries that give us the best performance at the greatest rate of production. Likely enough, these will not be the quickest nor the most capable troops to produce On this topic I have prepared some evaluation criteria during the previous year, and I give you my results.” Snapping his fingers he summoned an aide from outside the room, who brought a suitcase filled with sorted copies. He and I exchanged a look of patient long-suffering, after he had set these on the table; then he withdrew. “On this topic,” his master was saying, “I do make a particular recommendation, but you will have the methods and the data to judge what is best for yourselves.” He clicked the heels of his polished knee-high boots and shortly bowed; then continued. “The question of what to produce in the future is bound up with our long-term strategic goals. And on that topic, I say this: professional soldiers study logistics.” That had the sound of an epigram created by someone else. One of the European generals this man idolized probably. “We can flex ourselves to straining trying to push across our continent against a surging tide. Or we can dam the flow of that tide, step by patient step.” Suiting action to words, he stepped methodically up to a wall map showing the African continent. “The European powers haven’t bothered to build up supplies in Africa yet, but they will one day. Before then we should move,” thwap, thwap, thwap, he cropped each territory with a floppy stick for racing horses, “around the coast of Africa. Every port we take and hold will cut their tails a little more, with minimum loss of life on our part, and a reinforcing overlap of defensive effort. Once we ascertain that we have cut them from their supplies, we can send out special hunter divisions to grind particular corps away; until then we would dig and hold against all counter attacks.

“I am not saying that this could be quickly done. I am saying the Senussi, whether on purpose or by accident, are doing it already,” he gestured. “Except that I would concentrate on tapping out those ports still held by Italy first. Still, they are not me. And I am saying that this will conserve our efforts and make greater progress for the time involved than any other options. Leave Africa’s core alone until we’re ready to develop it.”

“In other words, we should become a colonial power,” the Emperor mused, stroking his chin as he looked at the map, and only a little sarcastically.

“Yes, with this one great difference. We are not dependent on outside supply chains, sir. Also, for them our colonization was a helpful past-time hobby. For us, this is our home, and we must secure it from invasion. Consequently, this will also give us a line of thought for research advancement, once you ever see that we are ready to try to advance along that line,” and he bowed respectfully again. Iyasu and the others nodded; in their faces I saw new respect.

“Consider what my comrade says,” said Habte. “We can begin this now, with one factory. But in the long run, what do we need?”

“Divisions which can fight in any African terrain, hitting prepared defenses hard, holding prepared defenses hard. Those will travel along the perimeter. In the interior, other divisions able to live off the land yet move with speed across terrain that will stop machines.”

“So, not armored cars. Or not yet anyway,” Yimer politely hid a smile at that behind a hand.

“True. Not for a while. Artillery will defend a coastline better.”

“Artillery then,” said Yimer, nodding. “And for marching on the coastlines...?”

“Elite light divisions. Each will be trained to fight in every kind of terrain; each will carry one brigade of combat engineers, and one brigade of artillery. Speed is not the issue here. Taking defended ground, and defending it ourselves, should be the key. And make no mistake, we should concentrate our infrastructure improvements first along the coast, and set up depots, too.”

“Those will have to be researched along the way,” added Habte.

“If possible we will add a third brigade of police; or, better, train up special garrison brigades, to help reduce dissent,” said Taser -- or Tazizaz. “Those should be our first concentrations of military research effort, along with logistical support, and of course production, medicine, whatever will help them stay alive to win.

“Later we should concentrate on cavalry as well. With horses we can speed along to hunt and harry our enemies, possibly adding some light artillery punch, maybe some armored cars, especially for coastal defense response along the better roads. I also recommend, if we get the opportunity, we work on bombing aircraft and on recon.”

“What about a navy?” Mikael wanted to know.

“A waste of time and resources, for the foreseeable future. As would be fighter planes. We do not need supply lines over oceans, and our opponents won’t be bringing bombers here for a while. Naval bombardments worry me,” he admitted. “But, again, coastal gun emplacements ought to help with that.”

Iyasu held up a hand, and studied the map for several moments. Theaziz stood quiet. Then the Emperor said, “I agree, I think, in principle. For now we’ll work along this line, but keep in mind we may have to alter our plans.”

“Of course. But we must first have a plan to alter whenever we see improvements. Shall I depart? My recommendations of what to spend our limited industry on are in the reports.” Then with formal dismissals and wishes of health, Taezaz departed.

Mikael inhaled, and then inhaled again. “If we are going to... seize control of Africa,” he said, “this would seem the safest way, with the least loss of life for everyone involved. Maybe also the quickest way that won’t result in our overextension. Let our enemies overextend.”

“That seems the basic concept,” agreed Iyasu. “They overextend; we do not; we defend what we hold, and take what brings them to stop the fight, step by step.” He shook his head. “A plan for years and years.”

“But we will certainly need those years and years in any case,” said Hapte. Everyone nodded, and then they opened the reports.

Yimer squinted his eyes. “oh my head hurts... He thinks we ought to be making immobile garrison divisions!? -- with 1870 kit?!?”

“From a purely defensive perspective, yes, they would spread out manpower most effectively. That makes sense,” Mikael said, “salted with a light artillery brigade and well-dug in.”

“Obviously for mobile reinforcements he would recommend something else,” said Iyasu. “But... Habte, what is the difference he means between factoring the manpower? I think I know but -- “

“The first would be how much combat power on offense and on defense, but I think especially on defense, we are getting as quickly as possible for our effort. The second number,” Habte explained, “gives an indication of how many such units we can put out for any manpower pool, compared to each other.”

“So,” Yimer said, “how far we can spread the relative power.”

“Yes, but concentrated manpower is a quality of its own,” objected the Emperor. “A division with more soldiers doesn’t degrade its fighting capability nearly as fast in combat by proportion to an equally strong division of fewer soldiers taking similar losses.”

“On the other hand, a larger division is harder to keep supplied and takes longer to bring up to strength,” Habte replied. “And also it takes longer to reorganize after chaos: battle or marching.”

“On the other other hand,” the Emperor wryly grinned, “being under one leader helps to get the goods to where they need to go, more effectively.”

“True, but a larger division marches slower when the roads are bad.”

“But it can spread out more on defense, or offense for that matter.”

“Gentlemen, gentlemen,” Mikael laughed: “I see now why our colorful friend gave both the numbers for us! But may I say this also leads to questions of a field headquarters -- something else we must research, unless Yimer and Habte, or one of their friends, happens to help us out.”

“Anyway,” Yimer took a drink of afternoon toast, “either way we ought to be building cavalry right now, each with an armored car brigade. Or so says his calculations.”

“I do not see that he has factored the cost of continued supply,” the Emperor noted while shuffling papers in his copy back and forth to check. “That would seem important to keep our limited production as free as possible over time.”

“Maybe he thought the proportion would be inverse to our manpower,” Mikael said, though he didn’t sound confident. “When we have so few to put in the field, the difference wouldn’t matter so much. Ah well.”

“Any or all these calculations might need doing again,” Yimer shut his folder with a flop, “once we research more modern tech.”

“Until then, it seems that our efforts ought to focus, when we have the chance, on modernizing cavalry and garrison troops and mobile artillery, too. And armored cars,” the Emperor added.

“And headquarter companies, too, I think,” the Minister reminded them. “Oversight from shepherds can save a flock.”

“If we get the opportunity, yes,” Yimer agreed. “But we absolutely must increase our industry speed and efficiency!”

“And our research speed as well. I understand, we had to work on helping our supply lines first, and get them under control, but still...”

Plans were made at any rate to funnel all upgrading, for now, into one division marching to a central position to meet most incoming threats, but also to allocate one industrial factory to creating a reinforced cavalry and armored car division.

Petar tried his best to sell what plans we had to other nations, where we didn’t think that those would soon or ever be a threat; but he warned our difficulties now in trying to keep up contact with the outside world, would mean we often wouldn’t receive as much or any of the money. The Emperor quickly insisted he should only accept a deal at no less than three times the cost of what we would have to spend in trying to make the deal at all. Otherwise the blueprints might be wasted for no return, whereas if the nation wasn’t willing or able to pay we might try again later.

As it was, we couldn’t raise enough money to invest again into national research; and Nicholas strongly recommended we not attempt to print more currency to spend -- he argued so persuasively the Emperor flatly forbade it as an option. Fortunately, the money that we had invested already seemed to be sufficient to help Yimer and his contacts continue reaching out to save overthrown researchers seeking asylum.

But if we couldn’t put the plans to use, or sell the plans, then none of that would matter when the British rode us down...


ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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[Note: along the way I learned that I couldn’t just drop the techs into the proper places of my save-game file. I could do that with the blueprints, but if I tried to do so with my already-researched techs the game didn’t apply the effects! So I have to assign and start the research, ideally to the fastest team who has an expertise in the final tech component (since that often runs two or three times slower than the others); save the game; quit; open the proper save game file; find the code showing the research teams for Ethiopia -- and for reasons, I can’t just text-search straight there, so that takes several seconds, including as the save file loads into Word (remember each save game file is about the size of ALL FOURTEEN BOOKS OF JORDAN’S WHEEL OF TIME!) -- {inhale} {not done yet!} change the completion percentages to 100 except for the last one to 99 (since setting it straight to 100 breaks the completion code and it never finishes); save the game (takes about 15 second even on The Presence because about-the-size-of-all-14-books-of-etc); restart and reload the game; check the tech progression; and if the final component is running slow (and/or I accidentally typed a 10 instead of 100 somewhere, which happens more often than I care to admit ;) ), go through all that entire process again to set the final component to 199 instead {inhaaaaalle}{still not done}; reload, recheck to make sure the final component didn’t turn out to be 3x slower (and go through all that process again if it does, until the game itself agrees completion is around 99+percent); then start the gameclock for a day or two until the research pings; holy bleep did I forget to copy-paste whatever the original researchers were doing so I can go back and restart them, by the same process one last time, once I’ve finished going through all this again for each tech to be integrated??? {inhale}{inhale}{inhale}{passout}

What I’m saying is that I’m not magically haxoring the techs into place. It takes so much work, that I don’t even bother unless I reaaally need the techs from Montenegro or whoever. Another factor will soon show up later in the plot, but I’ll cover that when I get to it.]


ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Sorry for the delay in entries; I've been out of pocket doing 'work' work things since Tuesday. I plan to have a new entry later this afternoon or tonight, assuming my face doesn't slide off or explode. Or both.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Martok

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Goodness.  Rough day? 

Anyway, no worries, Jason.  We'll be here.  :) 

"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
"I like to think of it not as an excuse but more like Pavlovian Response." - Sir Slash

"At our ages, they all look like jailbait." - mirth

"If we had lines here that would have crossed all of them. For the 1,077,986th time." - Gusington

"Government is so expensive that it should at least be entertaining." - airboy

"As long as there's bacon, everything will be all right." - Toonces

Offline JasonPratt

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Goodness.  Rough day? 

Hectic season opening time at work (good for business, bad for stress) + West Tennessee, Home of All Allergies.

I may not actually play DH tonight either (couldn't the previous two nights), but I'll by God post or know the reason why! {dramatic pose!}



(......because I fell into a bed and didn't wake up until Friday, that'll likely be the reason why. ;) )
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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    • The Evangelical Universalist
Part 24 -- Good Advice?

The Yannan Clique declared a National Protection War on China on June 15; we noted only because this might affect our tenuous trading arrangement with that vast unstable empire.

Only one factory quickly demonstrated that a new, completely obsolete division of cavalry troops, including a brigade of completely obsolete armored cars (by the standards of the world outside of Africa), would be ready sometime in 1919! But we were able, at the moment, to put four whole factories and some extra portions of others on the outfitting job, slating it thus for only almost a year from now. Which was quite insane, but what else could we do? The armored car brigade turned out to need 3000 men after all, and no less than 126 vehicles, which led us to wonder exactly what or who would do the fighting! Still, we thought, the cars themselves should boost their strength at least a little.

On June 16, we learned the King of Greece had fallen ill, and our Emperor cabled his hopes for a speedy recovery or else a clean transition should the aged man pass away; and promised to add his country to the prayers of our nation’s monks -- far from all of whom of course were hard at work in our research abbey. Still, as they said, quoting an ancient monastic proverb, work ideally is prayer.

By June 18, our utterly exhausted 3rd Abyssian Defense Corps finally took up position in Debre Margos to rest, reorganize, and dig itself in, waiting for British divisions to enter where it could create a combination strike. Nicholas, who had struck up great friendship with all the ministers, joked that in his country he had known a stage-actress with a very similar name!

The affairs of Europe seemed farther away than ever, despite our newfound friends who were quietly working with Yimer to prepare the safe exfiltration of many Serbian families. Austria had split the few remaining chunks of Serbia in two. On our continent, Germany looked to be still holding on against Britain and Belgium southward, while on the far northern coast the Senussi had driven impressively far into Egypt. The Emperor sent a cable to them telling them they were welcome for the distraction. The sheik cabled back that we were welcome, too! Meanwhile tales would reach of us of the heroic Belgian resistance to German colonization -- that was how we thought of it: apparently France was simply keeping Germany busy standing around on the border (having finally retaken the last of the counties Germany had seized at the start of the war) while Belgium flanked and stabbed, destroying armies. A classical one-horned-bull maneuver, as the impis of Chaka would have said, but played out on an international scale.



[“Germany your game is through; ‘cause now you’ve got to answer to: THE WAFFLE-LANNND! -- WAFF, YEAH!! FREE-DOM IS THE ON-LY WAY YEAH!” Context: back in the winter, Belgium had been conquered down to Bruges. France may be helping, and is certainly keeping Germany distracted along a nice short defensive line, but Belgium is the one retaking her land; remaining territories marked with B. “WHATCHA GONNA DO WHEN THEY COME FOR YOU-OU!?” ]


On June 19, Nicholas suggested a thought, while eating dinner again outside on the street with the Emperor:

“You want to improve your infrastructure all over your nation, do you not? And you need to do this, not only to move your troops around, but also to make some factories with your factories, do you not? So, hire some contractors from outside to come and work across your nation.”

The Emperor mildly opined that that would take money, and at the moment we were draining our coffers dry trying to make a division of obsolete cavalry in a year. With obsolete cars.

Nicholas sipped an evening toast, and opined in return that our Emperor’s sarcasm was growing more refined each week; but that if we needed the money he had an idea:

“Sell your supplies to America!”

The Emperor thought of that for a moment, and then for a minute, and then said: “You mean, forget creating the division for now or work on it slowly, and put our factories back to work creating goods for our people and making supplies -- which of course our troops also need and which they are frankly not getting enough of right now because of the cavalry project.”

“Indeed. That didn’t even sound sarcastic, sir.”

“And hope for the best in holding off the British with what we have.”

“Which for a year you would have to do anyway, or rather for more than a year since eventually you would need to redirect your industry once you ran out of money or the public dissent increased too much, or possibly if your current agreements to trade supplies, etc.” Some very experienced Ethiopian citizens from the liberated coastline had been brought to work in shifts translating our new European citizens, those who knew Italian anyway. One of them sent this along, and after pondering for another minute and eating a steak from a snake -- a local delicacy -- the Emperor asked:

“Well, how much would they pay?”

Nicholas said that that was a question for Petar, not for a soldier like himself, but that he had made some inquiries of Petar already, knowing our plight, and Petar thought that we might be able to sell our excess goods for maybe...

“FOUR {spppppit} MILLION,” the Emperor started choking on his evening toast.

“A day,” Nicholas shrugged. “If you don’t think you will need your cavalry all that much sometime in the next four years.”

“I something-something don’t that much!” sputtered Iyasu V. I hoped the translator had enough sense not to fully translate the gist of that indignity from our country’s Emperor.

“Obviously, with the war engulfing the world, the odds of you actually getting that much are reduced -- only half your shipments seem to be going where they should right now. Still, even two million might be useful.”

The Emperor sighed and wiped himself as well as he could. “True, and in itself that only would pay... how much for importing the work do you think?”

“300 million.” Iyasu did the math: “We could only pay for it every five months; and we would have nothing left over to buy our factory materials with.”

“True. But for the next few months, I think you may find you have some extra... valuable knowledge on the way. Or says Petar, and your estimable Yimer. And you may also find better deals from other nations. I doubt it,” Nicholas shrugged, and cut a bite of the steak with a campaigning soldier’s knife that looked as if it had seen some action, years ago, at the end of a bayonet. “But who knows?” He chewed. “Very much better than rat or horse!” he laughed. Lord, how disgusting. “Wait for your diplomatic envoys to return at the end of the month and feel out other nations, first -- ones with plenty of ports, of course, not inland ones, though certainly Switzerland needs the supplies I would think. You have made some insanely profitable acquaintances over in South America, so I have heard. Perhaps they will keep on being insane and outbid the North American states.

“Meanwhile, I also recommend you put your factories into production on some convoys. Three of them at least; they will be done more quickly than your cavalry division, at top speed, and leave you a little more industrial capacity while you’re at it, and will help contribute to your trade efficiency starting in, oh, 80 days I imagine. I’ve seen your factories,” he smiled.

“But the trade deal with the United States...”

“Will work much more efficiently with some convoys prepared to deliver your goods. True, they might be sunk -- you’ve started a war with half the power of the world, or more than half, including the greatest navy on the planet. Still, diplomatically the Allies might not want to enforce a trade embargo on a partner of the States. And to be blunt, your cavalry won’t save you. Even with armored cars. Not until you grow, and you need to grow in production first. Seriously -- I understand the overall strategic thought, but until you can produce that unit at, say, once a month at the most, strategically you have no business producing it at all. You should be putting your efforts into bringing up what troops you have as far as you can and supporting them.”

So, after discussing this with his ministers in the morning, Iyasu changed his plans again, though not without acknowledging the merits of Tazazu’s overall plan.

As promised, at the end of the month, or rather the start of July, Petar and Yimer brought some welcome news -- but also a disturbing possible answer to a great mystery.

Why had Britain not yet invaded our land...?


[Note: current def-fan level, still 8.]
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Part 25 -- Mysterious Intentions

“I’ve asked you here this morning to meet without our Foreign Minister,” the Emperor said to his fellow Ethiopians. “He believes that we are meeting later in an hour. We will be here early, in order to cover some mundane management issues that he wouldn’t only not be especially interested in, but as a newcomer to our country couldn’t be expected to be familiar with, yet.”

“Which we just covered,” nodded Habte, “in order to have time for this instead before he arrives.”

“My aide has posted servants to watch for his approach,” Iyasu nodded in my direction. “We should have ample warning to turn the topic to something more boring.”

“Are we in trouble?” Mikael asked. “Did we make a mistake in inviting the Montenegrians here? What have you heard?”

“What I have heard is nothing. Which does not worry me,” answered the Emperor. “What I know are facts; facts that we all know. And those worry me.” Yimer squirmed a bit, and Iyasu added, “I am not in the least blaming you. You did what I asked of you, and far exceeded my expectations.”

“I myself expect that Petar will bring us new expat news today,” said our Intelligence Minister. “They may even have one or two Serbian teams extracted already with more on the way.”

“That does not surprise me. But it worries me as well, in conjunction with an obvious but mysterious fact.”

“Petar brought us Nicholas the Montenegrian king,” our Minister of Ministers replied. “A man who has survived so far by being both a ruthless fighter and an ambitious politician.”

“Almost certainly true, I have no doubt -- and Yimer, you should confirm or deny this as soon as you possibly can,” the Emperor said. “It might even make a difference whether this man is truly the king or only an imposter being foisted on us by Petar -- or possibly by Nicholas himself, as a proxy!”

“I’m willing to bet that that Armored Yacht wasn’t taken or sunk by the Germans after all,” muttered Habte. “They brought a significant number of people who worked in support of the craft.”

“Not an obvious fact, but something to check on, too, I agree,” Iyasu said. “No, the obvious fact is more obvious than any of that -- and far more ominous, too, in conjunction with our recent immigrates:

“The British haven’t invaded us yet.”

That created some furrowed brows. “Well... of course they haven’t. Why is that ominous, though?” asked Mikael, squinting across the room at a map on the wall, as Iyasu approached it.

“They have had three months at least to start an attack. And yet, they haven’t. They could have attacked us from multiple directions since before the middle of April. Maybe they were resting after a march in difficult country, I admit. Maybe they didn’t know our dispositions, I admit. But to the English we must seem an ignorant, backward people -- which to be fair, we are, compared to them! Colonial powers have not been known for their caution in taking African land so far. Why have they not attempted some recon by force, while they were waiting for extra troops to arrive? We’ve seen them moving toward us, changing direction, stopping, moving again. We haven’t any clear idea where they will be attacking us, but milling around outside our borders leaves them unable to strike us either. Keep in mind as well,” the Emperor said while tapping particular territories: “we took these from Britain. At the very least they ought to have tried to take them back. At the very, very least, they ought to have cut off our troops in Khartoum!

“But they haven’t. They are marching around in place, not going anywhere, so they cannot be resting from a march and gathering their strength -- all they are accomplishing is keeping us agitated about their plans to strike. Meanwhile they are giving us ample time to prepare to receive them.

“Is Italy coming to flank us from the south? That would make sense, especially since, unlike Britain, Italy isn’t much engaged in fighting up in Europe at the moment, and has made a separate peace, for now, with the Senussi -- whom the British are struggling against farther north, where these troops fluttering round outside our borders could be helping rather than tiring themselves at the end of their tether!” Iyasu then inhaled.

“I can only think of one explanation to fit the evident facts.

“Britain wants to invade but is being restrained.”

“Politically, you mean? And how is that ominous?” asked Habte.

“Because, I do not know for sure why they are being restrained. But I do know what might be restraining them.

“Someone entered our country, at about the time the British should have been starting a heavy invasion. Someone who has played the European political game so well, his tiny principality earned itself the name of a kingdom, and in less than ten years doubled its size despite its neighbors being contentious about their claims of land. Someone whose daughters are a deceased but popular Queen of Serbia; and an influential Countess in Russia; and, not least, the reigning Queen of Italy itself! -- and that is the smallest part of his influence.

“Someone who has been quickly Balkanizing, so to speak, the Horn of Africa recently.

“Someone allied intimately with many Entente powers, whom we have defied, and one of whom has armies doing bizarre maneuvers just outside our borders.”

“That... isn’t necessarily a problem, sir,” Yimer said, grimacing at the implications hinted by Iyasu. “He might be working behind our back to give us more time to prepare. Or to allow us to gracefully take a winning position and back away from war. We give back the British lands we took, also Djibouti to the French, and the southern coastline; we keep the lands that Italy took from us; his daughter the Queen could feasibly get the Italian king to recognize that we were only trying to free our people.”

“Maybe. Maybe that is what he is doing. What will he do when we don’t back off? He knows,” the Emperor said, “that we intend to work to remove colonial powers from this land.”

“Or, should we take an opportunity offered by him to do just that? Back away from war, with an honorable peace, and our immediate goal at least accomplished?” Mikael sighed. “You know I have never been comfortable with war to achieve our goal of a stronger land.”

“If he makes the offer, perhaps we might consider accepting. But he hasn’t made that offer,” answered Iyasu quietly. “Has he? Has anyone here heard Nicholas suggesting that we stop?” No one could answer. “Because, when he and I are talking, he is giving advice to push us onward.”

“He is in favor of our goal, our larger goal,” said Habte. “So... is he using his leverage among the Allies to keep them off our backs as long as possible?”

“But WHY?!” The Emperor softly pounded the wall, near the map. “He is in danger, too, if the British invade.”

“He thinks we can win,” Yimer shrugged. “Don’t we, ourselves, believe that?”

“He has been shoved from his carefully crafted nation,” Iyasu retorted. I noticed that he hadn’t answered the question. “He should be seeking security now! But he isn’t. I swear, I expect the man to volunteer to go and lead our troops somewhere! And don’t say this is vengeance: why would he have a grudge against the Entente? Only Italy might have helped him stave off Austria in time, and his daughter is Queen, whom by all accounts he dotes on. I might believe he would think that helping us take and keep Italian coastline was sending a political message somehow -- but then, what is the point of having the British dance around outside instead of solidly sitting siege?!” Iyasu shook his head. “He wants us to think the British are a threat, not a block to further expansion until we cool our heads and accept an Italian compromise.”

“If he’s the reason the British haven’t attacked,” the Head of Government mildly reminded the Emperor: “this is speculation about an explanation of facts. We don’t really know what’s going on behind the scenes in Britain. I agree, it’s one explanation; and uncharitable theories are just as often true, because of the hearts of men. But what are we thinking of accusing Nicholas of?”

“I wouldn’t accuse him of anything yet. And you are right,” the Emperor said, “we’re speculating without enough facts to even make a reasonable conclusion or expectation.

“But I think we should watch him -- especially you, Yimer, although he might be more prepared to evade your suspicions, considering your post with us. I fear...

“...he may be thinking of staging a coup, with British support, and rescuing Africa from us. Gaining himself a colonial land in Africa. Very much larger than Montenegro was.”

No one had anything to say to that.

After a minute, a boy carefully knocked on the door. One of my under-rowers, as Mikael liked to call them -- he said it was a term from the Gospel of St. Luke somewhere. Petar was coming soon.

“We say nothing about our suspicions,” the Emperor instructed. “And at this time... I think we must accept whatever technical help they offer. But from this point on, Yimer, we must be much more careful about importing help into our country.”

Yimer understood; and soon our European friend arrived. By then we were discussing some tedious bit of normality, and acted as though we were just passing time until he arrived.

He said he had good news: that he had brokered deals to safely bring out most of the Serbian research teams, who would be arriving across the month, bringing gifts of completed research projects and some blueprints. He also thought he had a line on some of the Kuwaiti researchers, which would drastically increase our naval strength someday (if we survived that long, I thought); but on discussion it seemed the best recruit to be picked up from that would be an eccentric pilot who could train our nascent air force (if we survived that long, I thought). No more money remained from Habte and Yimer’s initial investments to bring in foreign researchers; but Petar said that, with his various contacts, we would not need to shoulder so much of the bill for that in the future. The Emperor opined that, in any case, we soon would run out of annexed nations whose technology could be useful to us right now; and that we certainly ought to give monetary priority to teams who could help us increase our production output. Petar agreed that, unfortunately, we ourselves would soon be on par with the nations who had been defeated so far -- which, after all, was one significant factor in their defeat! Still, he understood, or so he said.

Along the way, Habte brought up the curious behavior of the British forces, and after some discussion the Ethiopian ministers thought the explanation must be that the British were waiting to gain their strength again, perhaps combined with conflicting orders from home due to political struggles at Whitehell or whatever their government building was called -- which was worth a laugh for those of us who knew enough English to appreciate the joke. Petar agreed that that seemed the best explanation to him as well, and didn’t bother to press alternative theories, or to ask about holes left open in our explanation. Then again, he hadn’t been hired for strategic device, so... who knew? Perhaps he was being honest after all.

So we settled in on a month of incorporating new technologies as they arrived, starting with helpful production techniques. The list would be much more extensive this time, though by the same token we wouldn’t be able to use them anytime soon -- except to sell them.

Iyasu did decide that he wouldn’t wait to make the convoy ships, however: he said, following Nicholas’ own advice, that what could be accomplished now, in our current situation, would be far more helpful than what could be accomplished at some months in the future -- and we didn’t know for sure how much more helpful a convoy would be anyway -- and besides, they would be sailing without protection, against the might of the world’s strongest navy, so would be likely sunk or captured anyway if Britain put her mind to it -- AND we would have to generate cash and supplies to keep the convoy itself in operation.

Better to just accept that we would only get half of what we could bargain from the Americans, and certainly get that now through the normal channels of privately contracted neutral shipping countries. Petar had nothing to say, other than that he would do his best to get us a worthy bargain from the USA, but also that we ought to leave some overhead in our production, so to support our troops in case the British advanced after all, rather than promise American what we could only deliver by leaving our troops to burn without supply or reinforcements.

Which made sense.

Didn’t it?

[Gamenote: the real explanation for Britain’s bizarre behavior seems to be, that every time I reload a game from a save after testing, the computer starts all over again ordering other national troops around, but mine keep going. Consequently, things don’t move along very fast in other wars -- although they do move, Belgium for example, and the general Western and Eastern fronts, and obviously the arrival of the British troops nearby, and Serbia being swallowed. During one of my longer runs of a couple of months, Khartoum was finally attacked from directly west over the river by two very strong infantry divisions -- but my poor militia had much better defense and defensive damage capabilities due to parking there so long. Anyway, loading up the game again stopped the troops from moving again. It throws me off a couple of days as my supplies synch up, but if I save and reload the game every couple of weeks I might be able to keep the British off me kind-of indefinitely.

As to the in-story explanation -- who knows yet? I don’t. ;)

Current Def-fan level, still 8. From the next part onward, the blades will start to hit...]

« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 04:10:33 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Martok

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"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
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"At our ages, they all look like jailbait." - mirth

"If we had lines here that would have crossed all of them. For the 1,077,986th time." - Gusington

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Offline JasonPratt

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I should have a new update after lunch.

Man, though... the game last night... let's say I have some stronger evidence now that someone else is working their way through Belgium up on the continent and giving that territory back to Belgium as they go.

Things look darkest, though, just before a person climbing out of an abyss can see a light far ahead.

(Whether that's the way out or optical flashes from exhaustion and air deprivation, remains to be seen... ;) )
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Part 26 -- Hitting The Blades

Here near the equator, the seasons are always summer, but June, July and August tend to be a bit cooler than later in the year near Christmastime -- Mikael says our planet is closer to the sun, then. Still, our culture comes from northward more than southward, so we think of this as having passed midsummer. Now in July, we raced to integrate our Serbian technical expertise, while we warily watched for the start of the British invasion, whenever that might be.

Most importantly, we put one of the first teams to arrive, a highly skilled group from the Serbian Railroad system, to work on early improvements to our material usage in factories. Another team, equally skilled, from the Serbian Zastava Arsenal, arrived to teach our ministers about the principles of warfare now in the 20th century of our Lord and Savior’s birth. Aside from improving our organizational abilities with our divisions, most importantly this would provide us an option to make proper headquarter units -- even if their kit would still be state of the art for Prussia back in 1870! That would be vastly much better than nothing, if we could make them; but could we even feasibly take the production time to make them? We learned the answer in only a couple of days: at the expense of crippling our production elsewhere, we would need almost a year to kit out even one headquarters. So that was put aside like most other things.

A noble Serbian general, Radomir Putnik, also soon arrived; he had been instrumental in trying to develop Serbian infantry strength, and said that he had developed techniques and kit almost seven years in advance of the modern standard. Hopefully these would be of some use in upgrading our militia, too -- although Iyasu privately remarked this man looked more of a king than Nicholas the soldier! Meanwhile, the Zastava Arsenal started making plans that would allow us to train and kit out cavalry to something approaching the standards of seven years ago: General Putnik and Nicholas were highly interested in Taezaz’s larger strategic visions, and they brought in Habte to talk about how brigades of a hundred armored cars each might make such divisions an efficiently “African” force.

On July 4, we concluded a supply deal with the United States of America for an income of 3 million pounds sterling a day, although how much of that would actually arrive on any day due to the war of the world and our part in it, only God could say for sure. Still, it was vastly much better than nothing, and arrived at on terms which would allow us some flexible leeway in production. Petar said that he had been able to make the deal by appealing to American patriotic sentiment about their own successful but unlikely revolution against Great Britain, which started on this day almost 140 years ago.

Then, on July 11, 1915, the Battle for Khartoum began.

“I suppose,” sighed Iyasu as he held a council to bring the ministers, and some allies, up to speed (a turn of phrase popular in the factories for some reason), “we ought to be grateful for whatever political dithering caused their delay so far. But we now have some difficult choices ahead.” He walked to a closer map of that area, his hair tossed slightly by little electric fans that Habte insisted on adding to every corner of the office -- he had wired up eleven so far!



“Sketchy radio reports indicate a modern infantry division, of over 13000 men and 5600 horses along with no less than four heavy artillery pieces and seventy-two lighter ones, is attacking across the westward river from El Obeid. A score of motor vehicles has also been seen, probably ferrying ammo and supplies around. This division is also highly organized so far. To the south, another infantry division is attacking the city overland from Malakal -- a much wiser choice. It has closer to six thousand horses and thirteen thousand men, but less artillery -- only forty pieces.” That was said with some of Iyasu’s customary sarcasm. “Holding Khartoum, just to remind everyone, are fewer than ten thousand militia. With only soldiers, no other support. And with weapons forty-five years out of date.” He shook his head. “So far they are holding heroically, and we might see them stand against this force for maybe a couple of weeks. But do we even want them to? Why should our men there die, to keep Khartoum? It isn’t doing us any good at the moment, and its factory won’t do us much good in the future for a while. The only other feasible purpose, perhaps, is to provide a fixing point while other troops maneuver to attack the besieging division in Malakal.”

“If we retreat,” the ‘Minister’ of Ministers mused, “what will be the possible results? Because it seems to me that they could be crossing a river, or even caught trying to cross, when that group of divisions arrive from Omduran. They could be giving up a very defensive location for greater slaughter on the road -- which, not incidentally, was our rationale for having them stay in place before!”

“Not entirely our rationale,” Habte replied. “They needed rest and reorganization in order to have some chance of marching home again. Nevertheless, your point is well taken. But on the other hand, where could we feasibly strike from? Despite how it looks on the map, the infantry in Debre cannot reach them. So they will have to move, or else we’ll have to send troops from here in Addis Abeba. Just to be clear, our best approach, if we choose the latter, would be to send divisions to Jimma, which would also provide a defensive buffer across a river against the British cavalry trying to cross into Ethiopia there. But then again, would our divisions arrive in time? Or would they meet the cavalry instead already across? And even if they arrived in time, they would be flanked by cavalry once the crossing is made.”

“What are the relative travel times, Habte?” the Emperor asked.

“We could have all troops in Addis Abeba march into Jimma by, mmm, September 11, let us say. Or September 22 into Asosa, a more mountainous region, closer to Addis Abeba so that we could lend support to defending or counterattacking a thrust from our southwest, and which wouldn’t risk us meeting the British cavalry on the way, and still would allow us to strike at Malakal. But we’d get there at least eleven days later. Or the troops from Debre could cross the river into Asosa by Sept 25. Or, they could march up into El Qadarif, hopefully not to meet the British divisions on the way, by late August, and support Khartoum’s defense from across the river -- but then they could be attacked themselves from several directions!

“Sir, our original plan was to hit those multiple divisions coming down from Omduran with several militia divisions of our own, two of which will be in place next week though utterly winded, and three of which have been resting for a while, one of which we’ve been trying to get upgraded. I don’t see any good reason to throw away that plan to save a city we can’t even use right now while making our troops less vulnerable!”

“Well argued, I agree,” nodded Mikael. “How long would it take for our assault scouts to retreat from Khartoum?”

“Early August, at the earliest,” answered Habte. “This will be by far the fastest thing we can do, and our troops will be able to march away from danger, keeping them stronger during that time -- unless or until they run into the other British troops, who still look like they’re coming but we don’t know when they’ll arrive. It will also shorten our supply and transport problems, since we surely won’t keep them there but rather have them march back home to their brothers, ahead of the British divisions.”

“I can’t say I like the idea of retreating,” Iyasu growled. “But it does seem the most rational choice. Very well; but should we go ahead and try to march some divisions out, now that they’ve had some rest, to take up defensive positions between the British and our capitol?”

“I would be in favor of that,” our Head of Government said. “But if we do, let us put our Imperial infantry into Asosa, the area more exposed but also with better defense, and send our defensive corps to try to meet or beat the cavalry into Jimma. If all we’re able to do is get to Jawasa, well, so be it. That might even be better: we can hit the British advance from two directions in that case, while the western British troops are distracted securing Khartoum.”

“A clever plan, Mikael!” Iyasu agreed, and so did Habte.

Yimer walked to the larger map however and said, “But we now have reports of British divisions in Nakaru and Mogadishu -- surrounding our nation completely! We mustn’t leave them an open path to our capital province, surely! If I may suggest: now is the time to do what we had said we were going to do. Rotate our expeditionary divisions back more centrally into our country away from the southeastern coast. Unless we want to attack that division in Mogadishu...? We do have four divisions ready to try.”

“Mogadishu has two forts for land defense. I wouldn’t want to be the general who tried that. Still, we’d have forty-thousand militia troops...” Habte pondered. “If they only have, say, 13000, and if they aren’t rested well after the sea trip, and aren’t particularly well kitted out or supported by combat brigades... What would we gain by driving them out of that coastline?”

“A good opportunity,” Nicholas said, speaking for the first time that morning. General Putnik beside him grunted in agreement. “If I may...?” He stood and walked to the map. “You could easily take and secure the coast, down to here, allowing you to threaten the lines of your enemies to the south, cutting them off from supply. That might be the only way to permanently defeat them, even if your defense proves hopefully strong. What would it cost to, let us say, scout by attacking, to see for sure what our enemy has in the area? You can always abort the attack and return to your withdrawal, a day or two after you have assessed the situation.”

“Aside from Ethiopian soldier lives -- which I allow,” the Emperor said, “will be lost in defending our home in any case -- the only problem I see would be that we’d leave the northern coastline of the Horn open for other troop landings. We wouldn’t be able to hit them on their beachhead.”

“Then again, that was a reason for keeping four divisions ready on the coast as well: in case someone landed troops in Mogadishu, yes? You have given yourself an opportunity now. Be sure that what you relinquish it for, is worth it.”

“What if we only move this division back toward Addis Abeba,” asked Habte. “Then it becomes the blocking force, while our coastal defense corps starts to work its way south behind them -- assuming we can get them out of those forts, without us losing much strength, of course. We keep the corps up here to guard the coast. Or, we could send them over the river into Goba, ready to hit at another opportunity flank -- even though that would be across a river from the swamps. We could be there by the end of September, perhaps in time to hammer a nail into the coffin of whoever tries to take Arba Minsch.



“That would risk Hargeisa landings, or landings in Golcyoko later, being completely unopposed. But...”

“But it just might win us the war for our country in the south.” Iyasu pulled at his lip in thought. “Let us radio and courier our generals for this task, with the caution that we might change our mind a little in the next few days, once we see whatever the British strength may be along the coast. We don’t know whether the enemy will send in troops by the northern ports of the Horn. But we do know where they are sending troops right now, and taking this course could help us catch them in a trap.

“Let us walk, then, according to the light we can see, looking for more light thereby.”

And, thus paraphrasing Paul the apostle, he gave the orders.

A few hours later, we received the news: the fortifications were certainly a problem, rendering our attacks no better than their defense. But they had only 13,000 men and 6000 horses. The general expected to drive them out in a couple of days. Yimer was especially pleased, for the major-general who had brought together the two coastal defense corps to assault Mogadishu was a cousin and close family friend.

Other good news: the Gojjim Sefari had finally upgraded to 1897 militia standards. We could keep them where they were and spread the effort around, or try to bring them up to 1914. Considering the different results over, presumably, the same time, we realized we would have to work twice as long to add the strength spreading out elsewhere that we could get by focusing on this division. So we set them to continue.

On July 16, the Begemder Liberating Army (now more like a small corps) led by Nebissu, finally arrived at their defensive post in Gonder -- ready to be chased away by rabbits, they were so tired! Still, we had a plan for a rolling counterattack which would give them time to rest, when-if-ever Britain retook the territory outside Khartoum.

That night however, after sundown, British Sudanese colonial militia, backed by a division of British regulars, attacked our coast at Massawa. Immediately, nearby groups of Ethiopian militia, resting up for such an event, launched a massive counter-attack against the Sudanese port in support of Massawa’s defense. But would the British infantry at Kassala join the battle, hitting one of our counter-attacking defense corps from the side? And would one of the coastal defense corps even arrive in time to help?

Now I realized why Habte had put those fans in the office...






« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 08:14:46 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Part 27 -- Summer’s Fall

We quickly heard from the Massawan front that our strategic counter-attack had convinced the British to break off to meet the threat. We dutifully did the same, although we thought about going ahead to push the assault up into Port Sudan again. We just didn’t have the overwhelming numbers to end the battle quickly, though, and wouldn’t until the end of September at the earliest. Still, it seemed likely Britain would try again from that direction, so we kept the other coastal defense corps marching north.

On July 18 Port Sudan and Kassala attacked the two-division corps in Asmara instead -- which was particularly a problem because that corps had left their entrenchments to help the Massawan defense. Since they might as well, our Kassalan division dutifully attacked Port Sudan; and, somewhat against our better judgment, Nessibu’s exhausted Begemder Corps began attacking Kassala across the river. We didn’t mean to win so much as make the enemy stop for long enough to let us get entrenched again. Unfortunately, as we suspected, General Nessibu’s troops were still too tired to do much to help, especially having to cross the river, so after a couple of days they retreated. This did not bode well for our staunch northern defenders.

But then the news of our two-pronged counter-attack filtered around the British attackers, and so they stopped to reassess, even as one of our counter-attacking corps gave up the fight and tried to rest. What would happen now??

What would happen, was that they would start their attack again the following day, having gotten their signals sorted out I guess.

[Gamenote: in real life what happened was that I was saving and quitting the game to set up my final research tweaks and get the Ethiopian teams back on regular research. Every time I did this the attackers would quit and start again. I didn’t intend to exploit that as a loophole, though. In fact, if anything it hurt me, because now none of my troops up there are set in defensive entrenchments!]

Our technologies brought in by Serbia and Montenegro netted us, along with a clever supply trade, a new treasury total in excess of 800 million pounds sterling! We could put teams to work for two months with that, even three assuming we survived long enough and kept our deal with the United States (or vice versa); or we could put even more workers out at once for a month. We didn’t know which way would be most efficient, and naturally we were worried about spending such huge sums of money wasting effort. After some debate, we decided to hire local teams -- not foreign teams per Nicholas’ advice, Iyasu stressed -- for one month and get a baseline for what would happen. By then, we could afford to spend more money at once on the local teams for a month; and then compare results. At worst, we would still be ahead but also know which way to go again. If we survived until then.

On July 27, our 1st Assault scouts fully entered El Qadarif, where they were promptly attacked by scouting elements of the oncoming British divisions from Omduran. As planned, our scouts immediately broke contact and marched for Gonder where Nessibu’s corps was trying to rapidly rest, so to speak.



The situation in the north looked frankly more than hopeless; but in the south, as expected, our coastal guards rooted out the British Mogadishu defenders on August 3. Even then, we had lost twice as many men almost, a little over a thousand to their 644 (plus horses). We wouldn’t be able to feasibly capitalize on such a victory until the late October at the earliest: time to secure the territory and then to rest a little before pushing on. By then, the battle up north would have probably long been decided -- not in our favor, so far as it looked -- and in the west we expected to then be waging a stiff defense. Yimer was pleased for the sake of his cousin at least.

Our northern defenders were fast wearing out, even though their losses weren’t crippling yet, so on August 8 Iyasu ordered the main defense to retreat back into Adrigat, while the Massawan flanking counter-attack was ordered to cease and rest as much as it could. Our hope was that the attacking British divisions could be led into a salient where we would be the ones applying overwhelming force to drive them out of our lands again.

On August 9, our coastal corps caught up with the British division in Mogadishu again, this time not in its forts -- but also with a brigade attachment of armored cars! Their combat efficiency was still much better than ours, and the fight didn’t seem to be going as well this time.

By August 11, our Gojjam Sefari division completed its upgrade to 1914 militia standard kit; but since upgrading it further wouldn’t increase its fighting power nearly as significantly, Iyasu decided to shift the upgrade process to one of the two divisions marching north along the coast to try to support our defense of the area, since these had not been in battle yet and might make more of a difference there if strengthened.

On August 16, our assault scouts finished their withdrawal into Gonder, and stopped to rest as long as they could along with General Nessibu, who took them under his wing. So far our attempt at drawing the British into a cauldron appeared to be working -- the Port Sudan troops hadn’t shifted over to trying to take the Massawan coast.

On the other hand, General Yimer’s coastal assault had run into a modern Indian infantry division just shipped in -- with a brigade of artillery support! -- to stiffen the British defense at Mogadishu. This was turning into a much worse fight than we had anticipated, and worse it signaled that Rajian troops would soon be arriving en masse. Worse yet again, the defenders had gotten back into the land forts! General Yimer reported that he now suspected the original British defenders had boarded ships in harbor and these had been let off, fresh and ready to fight.

When the first British infantry division retook Asmara (for the British, not for Italy), we launched our bullish strategy. First, the Djibouti coastal defense corps (not currently in Djibouti of course), well rested and ready to fight though still at only 1870 standard, started a forward attack. Our hope was that the other British divisions from Port Sudan were also on the way, or else would be diverted to help their ailing comrades.



Then as other nearby corps and divisions marched into place and/or rested up to fight, they would add pressure to the attack, catching the troops from Port Sudan as well.

Meanwhile, we received word that far across the world, the Chinese National Protection Alliance had forced Imperial China to cease its Imperial status (again) and become Beiyang China, allowing a return of the satellite states to status quo. Fortunately, this didn’t disturb our trade agreement any more than the shift of the Chinese Republic to Imperial status had.

At this point we were steadily eating into our stock of supplies in order to keep upgrading a wider number of militia who were already in or might soon see combat.

On August 21, my brother’s birthday incidentally, Yimer had to bring our Serbian neighbors the news that Austria-Hungary finally finished swallowing their country. They mourned, and must have wondered just how safe they truly were, with so many enemy troops surrounding our own nation...

By August 24, it was clear the invading British division in Asmara was seriously strong: thirteen thousand British regulars (minus not many casualties), and as usual now 40 artillery pieces and nominally 6000 horse (also minus not many casualties). Worse, it was defending in the mountains and its leader was considerably more experienced than the Djibouti Guard commander who lacked any time in modern combat up till now. That being the case, our assault scouts, now well-rested, petitioned and received permission to launch a flanking attack across the river from the south. The enemy, however, seemed to be large enough to meet the sally without exposing their flanks. Still the supporting attack had brought the relative amount of power up substantially in our favor.

On the same day, we learned that local labor had found the mountainous region of Asara, west of our capitol and where our Imperial Guard was currently marching to meet an enemy invasion, the quickest area (strangely enough) to increase our infrastructure in: from ten to twenty percent. Not enough to build a factory yet, and not in the best strategic position, but then again no place was very strategically safe at the moment. It seemed like our investment would, as in research infrastructure, pay out dividends randomly. Still, we hadn’t had to spend two years in doing it! We quickly assigned the local crews a further six hundred million pounds and marked our calendars to see what kind of results would happen a month from now with that money.

If we were even still a nation a month from now.

Down in Mogadishu, Yimer’s cousin reported that his assaulting defensive corps (perhaps intending some sarcasm) was now fighting no less than three modern British divisions each with full troops and a brigade of armored cars.



“Jesus help us -- even their horses outnumber us!”

Two hundred thirteen artillery pieces,” was the only answer Yimer could numbly give the Emperor. “Fourteen heavy guns. Three... three hundred, almost four hundred armored cars, roving the battle field, slicing apart our troops.

“The only good news my cousin can give, is that they are starting out utterly exhausted; and he thinks that these are new troops, other troops retreating. We do not know if the infantry now in Kismayo with their headquarters is one of them; but he thinks the three defending divisions aren’t properly integrated even with one another, much less by a British HQ. For whatever that’s worth. He begs to be moved forward on the list for militia upgrades, sir.”

Iyasu agreed, and shifted around the upgrade schedule so that only the 1870 militia near the battle lines would now be receiving kit. He also spent 7 million pounds on the bi-yearly intelligence upgrade, for all the good that did us. We had to look forward, somehow, to a time when that might be useful and we would wish we had it.

One bit of good news arrived September 4, when our tired 2nd Abyssinian Defenders arrived in the jungles of Jimma just in time to throw back the British cavalry division who had been half-heartedly thinking of trying to cross the river into our territory for months. As a reward, the Emperor put them on the upgrade list for 1870 kit militia. They’d probably need it.



Then the bad news arrived -- more bad news. Taezaz wasn’t the only person who could add up efficiency numbers.

“The King’s Own what?” the Emperor tried to ascertain from frantic radio dispatches cobbled together across several territories.

“....Massawa ....from Port.... Britain sent {garbled} King’s {garbled} Own!!! ...supported by infantry, too... hundred armored cars, hundred fifty.... nine thousand cavalry attacking...”



“Stand your ground! You have mountains! Help is marching northward. Soon will arrive! Over!” Soon, in this case, meant a few weeks. But they were better than no help at all. The main danger was that our militia would be too tired from futile attacks a couple of months ago, to hold until relieved.

Habte rubbed his head. Everyone seemed to be doing that this morning. “The King’s Own 1st Cavalry division. Apparently, we are giving them far more trouble than they expected!”

“In hindsight,” the Emperor growled, “we should have pushed on and taken Port Sudan. We will keep going this time, if we ever get the chance to do so again. That British division in Asmara needs removing, Habte!”

So General Nessibu’s rested Begemder Liberating Army added to the assault across the Nile onto the British salient on Sept 12, a few days later.



The very same day our Assabian Coastal Guard finished its heroic march into Massawa, relieving the militia. In response, the King’s Own cavalry promptly broke off the attack! For now, the three victorious militia divisions simply rested.

But for many of our people there would be no rest from battle anytime soon.



ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Part 28 -- Of All Souls

On September 13, our Imperial Guard arrived in the mountains of Asosa on our border, and started resting and digging in to meet any coming British division. Habte told us he thought that the Guard could be upgraded now in less than two weeks, so we diverted supplies toward that goal.

By September 20, General Yimer radioed that his men were too exhausted to continue attacking Mogadishu effectively, and requested permission to stop and rest for a while before his men were simply forced to stop fighting. Iyasu gave permission, and our battle to stop the influx of troops into Mogadishu ended with defeat.

Several days later our local infrastructure improvement corps reported two of our territories had been found best for quickly upgrading, one of which was Dire Dawa, our only other province with a factory. This couldn’t help us yet, but it was one step closer. It didn’t look likely we’d have any more money soon to boost our infrastructure farther, though: our supplies would generate the most immediate income, but we needed them now to upgrade our militia at a reasonable rate.

On September 27, a combined push by rested divisions broke the British back out of Asmara again, and we made plans to retake it and Kassala, preparatory to a joint operation against Port Sudan later toward the end of the year. Neither Iyasu nor anyone else wanted to stretch our transport capabilities so far again, but we had managed to do fairly well despite being stretche; whereas having the British constantly reinforcing through the port was “becoming tedious” as the Emperor dryly put it.



With combat currently ended for now, we took the opportunity to prepare various techs for the international market and to build up our supply of supplies again, while we could.

By October 6, General Nessibu was harrying the British across the Nile again at a different fording point, trying to get them to keep on moving out of Kassala; our assault scouts supported this attack. Despite an overwhelming qualitative superiority, the British were too tired to keep up a defense for long and on October 11, they chose to keep on moving out of the territory. Selected Ethiopian units, including Nessibu and his Begemeder Liberation Army, continued on into the contested territories.

The following day, however, a British 1914 Infantry division, supported by an Armored Car brigade, arrived in Asmara, having been sent to reinforce the British advance a month or two ago! Various divisions and corps of Abyssinian militia wasted no time supporting the advance of the 2nd Abyssinian Assault Scout corps into the territory.

That same day, Petar and Yimer concluded another round of “tech prostitution” as Yimer liked to call it. Between that and a shipment of spare supplies to the USA, some of which had been negotiated from tech trading, we managed to scrape up enough to pay our local workers to find the next easiest area of land to improve in a month. After this, however, we had no new techs to quickly work up -- unless we could find some teams from Kuwait!

On October 16, our various combined coastal militias routed the British out of Asmara again, and the 2nd Assault Scouts continued their march into the territory, which they finished October 19 -- although the British hadn’t finished leaving the area yet, this guaranteed they wouldn’t stop.

Yimer and Mikael worked out some calculations which proved that we could convert one unit of supplies into an extra four hundredths of profit (where one unit of profit equals the worth of one million pounds sterling); but selling the same unit of supplies to the USA, assuming large amounts to overcome the cost in getting it out, would be about 12 “cents” of profit (after the expected loss of supplies en route). In other words, we could earn money three times as quickly putting our production, such as it was, to making supplies rather than our own consumer goods. The only problem was that in about half a month we would need to put our factories back to work making consumer goods instead, in order to avoid a dangerous threshold of reasonable dissent among the people.

Petar had, on his own initiative, already set up an ongoing trade with the USA which on the whole was a better deal, at about 16 cents a unit after inefficiency; but with Iyasu’s help (and vice versa) they were able to negotiate a significantly better deal selling fewer units and then selling the surplus units saved to Greece and Denmark on a regular basis at a tidy profit. Overall Iyasu would have preferred to save all our supplies and then shop for a buyer every once in a while -- which would grant us an even better profit even after inefficiencies -- but Petar noted that one did not simply break a trade agreement with the United States. So each day a few of our supplies were regularly sold off at a rate significantly less than we could have sold them in bulk once every few months; but we could still store up most of our supplies for that purpose.

The equatorial autumn, such as it was, neared its end on October 31, 1915, with our southern borders being steadily reinforced by British infantry and cavalry divisions, holding Italian territory, especially the crucial port of Mogadishu. It didn’t seem likely we’d ever be able to move them off; all we could do was send in a couple more divisions, dig in, and wait to see if anyone tried to push their way into Ethiopia along that route.



So far, our war against the colonial powers -- meaning against the British, as we hadn’t seen any French or Italian troops since mid-last-year, much less fought against any -- had cost them 12,500 men, 5300 horses (more or less), and a smattering of light artillery pieces and armored cars. Our losses:

“...twenty-two thousand seven hundred men...” Iyasu couldn’t seem to breathe. “How many villages... how many towns... how many of our cities have I depopulated...”

“For what it’s worth,” Yimer said, “prisoners taken from fleeing British troops thought that they had also destroyed no less than thirty-four pieces of heavy artillery, and about fifty lighter pieces. Which we never had. That’s just how strongly our militia were fighting.” But his voice was shaking and a tear was crawling down his cheek; like a wounded man seeking water before he died.

“Our sorrow is great,” said Mikael the Minister, head of our government, giving a speech that afternoon, “but every man of England killed, or from wherever they come, also had family and friends. Why will their leaders not allow us to live free of their seizure and control!? And we are not the only ones who weep, on this Eve of Saints. In the Mexican Civil War, across the Atlantic Ocean, over one hundred thousand soldiers have died... not counting civilians, and women and children! And in the European war...”

He choked. And coughed. And shook his head. And rasped:

“...estimates we have compiled together... comparing various sources...” his voice failed him again.

“...more than SIX MILLION seven hundred thousand. Soldiers... only the soldiers...

“Think of our pain. Spread it three hundred times farther already. Only in one year. A year and a half. Not even that.

“What will this war be? The end of all humanity? The end of all war, we pray.

“We can only pray.”

And so he led a prayer for all the souls.




ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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    • The Evangelical Universalist
Part 29 -- Downslope

“Soon,” said the Emperor, still stunned the next day from the figures compiled by Yimer and our European guests, “we must make two connected decisions.

“First, do we continue on up this time and take the port of Sudan, and maybe also the wadi Halfa region to its west, up to the Nile? And second, do we try to hold position now indefinitely, whether there or here? For soon our reserves of soldiers in training will be depleted, and I do not think we should cripple our industry further by calling up even a partial mobilization. But without more troops, we cannot push out farther.”

“And until we study and implement more logistical technology,” said Habte, “we are only crippling ourselves by trying to push out farther anyway, in any direction.”

“So, we settle in, and make a fortress of our nation, and try to grow stronger and rebuff assaults... with the Port of Sudan?” Mikael wearily pondered.

“We can see what Britain will do with a port, when she can, down in Mogadishu,” Yimer observed. “I don’t see us ever taking it now; not for many years, after long preparation, unless they just give up and go home. They can push up northward, too, and I don’t know we can stop them. At least if we take Port Sudan, they won’t be able to do the same up there.”

“And with the Wadi, too, if we can,” insisted Habte, “we will control a side of the Nile, reducing some of their support to the south, in a position where they will have to hit us across the river in several places.”

“I think we shall have to try,” agreed Iyasu. “Mikael, I know you have monks who refuse in principle working in the abbey -- “

“Even for our country, sir, I would not compel them if I could. We fight for the hearts of our country, and -- “

“No, no, I didn’t mean that. I meant, could you institute a policy of wandering monastacism?”

Mikael furrowed his brow. “Excuse me, sir?”

“I know I have read about such things before, in ancient history. The people up in Europe also had such monks, still long ago but rather more recently. What I am thinking of, Father, is... groups of monks bringing water and food and prayer and cheer to the men in the factories, helping pass along letters perhaps to families and back. That might inspire our workers tremendously; the monks would be doing what monks are generally called to do as well, without even slightly compromising their vows or principles... yes?" he pled.

Mikael agreed and said he would try to arrange such ministry; but that he couldn’t be sure. “And,” he continued, “I have learned much in my post, during the year. Primarily I have learned I ought to be working harder myself to inspire our people to work for our country. Your suggestion, sir, fits into my plans. Yes, we must become more efficient, and frugal; but sir, on the other hand, I think the time has come to shift our production back to making consumer goods. The people must be rewarded on occasion, too. I am hearing... more than usual rumblings now.”

[Gamenote: this was me deciding to hack the gamesave file a little to make Mikael more competent at his job after having had some experience, since that sort of thing doesn’t happen in this game. However in hindsight, I totally forgot about incorporating it! On the to-do list for later...]

The Emperor insisted on a few more days, each of which would earn us three times as much from the USA, which after all would be spent in paying common everyday people build our nation up from almost nothing.

Meanwhile, the British tried to send another division of reinforcements into Kassala to the north, this time some Royal Navy Marines kitted for the previous century; but they were quickly sent packing by Nessibu’s slowly advancing divisions, aided by no less than three other militia divisions nearby. We also received word that, having rested from taking Khartoum, the British division there was on the move at last toward us again; though probably it would take a month or more to cross the river and secure enough of El Qadarif to even fight us -- and that was assuming it wasn’t another political feint, as troops had been supposedly trying to enter than territory from the north for nearly a year!

Some peculiar news arrived around November 4: the Senussi had accepted an offer of peace from the British! The tribes agreed to go back to the status quo if Britain would pressure Italy into recognizing the Sheik as the Emir of the area -- keeping in mind that the status quo meant the Senussi stayed in control of most of north central Africa except for some developed Italian port cities. However, the Senussi then became a puppet state for Italy, so in effect Italy passed off ruling a giant volcanic wasteland (where even the volcanoes were dead) to a client who valued and appreciated it.



[Note: to be fair, the French own vastly much more of a culturally barren wasteland devoid of any reason for human life to live there. And also a lot more of Africa’s dead volcanic deserts! {ba-dump-tish!}]



[Copyright Google Earth today for comparison -- would have pasted a proper link but couldn't figure out how to get Google to generate code for it. As you can see, Senussiland is basically modern Libya.]

The Senussi dutifully declared war on the enemies of the Entente, but then a day later insisted on their own isolationism and withdrew from the military alliance. Consequently, they sent out peace offers to everyone, including us, which Iyasu accepted since the last thing we needed was to have a Muslim army arriving to reinforce the British!

On November 7, another two divisions, this time militia combined with infantry (and not of the best quality either way but still superior to ours overall in men and material) took advantage of our Asmaran guards having not yet redug into their defensive positions, to launch an attack from Port Sudan. Some traders reported that they thought there was at least one maybe two divisions still held back in reserve to guard the attackers’ flanks, so we decided not to pull our Massalan corps out of their defensive holes, or not yet anyway. Our 2nd Abyssinian Guard corps would have to weather this attack by themselves for a while, at least until we could pull substantial forces into place to hit Port Sudan with meaningful strength. Reluctantly, Iyasu also ordered our other coastal guards to start marching for Asmara: they wouldn’t be in place until sometime in January, near Christmas, and wouldn’t be worth much in attack or defense for probably half a month after that, but we might need the extra men by then. This left our coastal flanks utterly unguarded; if Britain launched an invasion to retake Hargeisa we wouldn’t even be able to slow them down! But neither did we think we had a better choice. Iyasu gave orders for the local militia to start being upgraded again, one at a time.

Finally on Nov 16, 1915, our doom appeared: the 47th “London” Infantry division, moved to block our corps advance into Kassala. This small modern army, backed with a brigade of armored cars and plenty of artillery and horses, couldn’t be beaten by our brave militia, even though we outnumbered them three to two: we were still crossing the Nile, and they were defending in mountains. Only their relative exhaustion gave us even the slightest hope of forcing them to march out -- but then on the same day the infantry division that retook Khartoum finally finished crossing its branch of the Nile and entered El Qadarif.



We continued for a little while hoping the superior troops would tire and withdraw; we didn’t attack El Qadarif because  the whole plan had been to set up defensive lines that the enemy couldn’t push through while we desperately played for time and for a miracle from God.

As November wore on into the holy season, that miracle looked far away indeed.





ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Part 30 -- The Vanishing Light

The British corps from Kassala temporarily broke its attack on November 22, giving our troops a chance to rest for a couple of days. Our 2nd Assault Scouts, holding Asmara, even managed to upgrade one of their two divisions to a modern (if still slightly outdated) 1914 standard before General Haig, a four star general now in Port Sudan, threw an army against them of Biblical proportions.



With only eighteen thousand men, and a few support horses, we could hope to hold out; but our scouts indicated Haig had surged all his available force against us here. Now was the time for our troops at Massala to abandon their defenses and hit that corps from the side. We still couldn’t win, outnumbered by fifteen thousand in more-or-less modern European manpower alone -- not even counting artillery, cavalry fighters and over two hundred and fifty armored cars (doubtless of the best that Britain could bring). But we might be able to hold out long enough for a few reinforcements to arrive from the south as planned.

We couldn’t. On December 5, our Assault Scouts were routed out of Asmara. Their supporting counter-attacking brothers also ceased attacking; at best, perhaps the Briton Haig would take his men south into a cauldron where we could leverage all our local strength.

On the British day of Christ’s Mass, our Hargeisan Guard finished a grueling march to the south in order to set up defenses against a British thrust from Mogadishu. We might be able to push the British out, but we lacked the ability to concentrate proper force against a qualitatively superior foe.



In any case, our troops needed to rest before we even imagined attempting a battle there: late January, at the earliest. Both our sides had a Christmas of peace, as we rested and made some upgrades to the kit of our militia. Iyasu decreed that for now we would only concentrate on making enough supplies to meet our trade obligations: we had already lost Venezuela and the United States by letting our stock of supply diminish too far.

On Jan 13, our Djibouti Coastal Guards, still not quite fully upgraded yet, finished their march into Asmara, originally hoping to support our troops driven out by the army from Port Sudan. Now they stood in the way of that terrifying army, exhausted by their march! -- orders had been lost along the relay, or perhaps the general simply didn’t want to give up a prime defensive location, but the corps hadn’t stopped to rest and to guard our port of Assab again.



Our various militia corps nearby tried to lend support with flanking counter-attacks; and the 2nd Assault Corps wearily made ready to march back into Asmara, if the defense could hold for two weeks!

But it was not to be. Two days later, our foolhardy general realized his folly and retreated once again, now useless to us until sometime late February at best.

The following week, Britain retook Djibouti, giving it back to France -- and flanking our defensive lines terribly from the rear.







[Note: the only screenshot I have of this latest development shows an important extra feature from a day or two later which I'd rather not spoil. I'll show it early in the next part, so readers will have a better idea of just how catastrophic the British retaking that province is.]
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 05:43:51 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Martok

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Oh dear.  Matters are starting to look pretty grim!  Is there any hope yet? 

"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
"I like to think of it not as an excuse but more like Pavlovian Response." - Sir Slash

"At our ages, they all look like jailbait." - mirth

"If we had lines here that would have crossed all of them. For the 1,077,986th time." - Gusington

"Government is so expensive that it should at least be entertaining." - airboy

"As long as there's bacon, everything will be all right." - Toonces