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The Arsenal of Democracy: A USAAAR

Discussion in 'Hearts of Iron' started by Mussolini, May 10, 2014.

  1. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    The Arsenal of Democracy
    I've decided to play a solo campaign of the current version of Black ICE for HOI III as the mighty US of A.

    Black ICE (BICE) is a game-changing mod for the Hearts of Iron series. The first thing you'll notice is that the country colors have changed - they are more in-tune with historical uniform colors for the major powers. It took me a little bit of time to get used to the USA being a green color as opposed to its usual blue.

    BICE revamps the tech trees, has countless new events - like picking what sort of Tanks and Planes you want to build (Casting vs Welding, Diesel vs Gas, etc) - and hundreds of new units to add flavor and diversity to the game. I will post images of the major events - like the Rainbow Plans, the Stock Market Crash, etc - that occur within the USA and in the rest of the world, but will either mention or ignore events such as the Red Officer Purges, the Russian Show Trials, Amelia Earhart's disappearance, the Hiddenburg disaster, etc. Those latter events are just for flavor and have no impact on the game (as opposed to the Officer Purges in Russia).

    I will also play choosing to stay with Isolationism when those events trigger, but will send aid to China and Spain when those countries erupt in War. Not with troops (I only get 'Surviving Militia' with +3 Exp. by doing that) but with Supplies. In the case of the Spanish Civil War, I will probably side with the Nationalists - knowing that they win 99% of the time in the game ( as is historical ) and because it gives me better relations with the winner. China is most likely a lost cause with the settings I am going to pick as a quick, max-speed run through on the settings (through to 1940-ish) had Japan conquer China. I want a challenge!

    I will playing with the following settings:
    Difficulty: Normal
    German AI: Hard - Greater chance they will defeat Russia
    Italian AI: Hard - Should beef them up a little so they're not complete walkovers
    Japan AI: Hard - Boosts everything, giving them the ability to successfully invade China. A second popup possibly nerf's them even more
    East Front Difficulty: Normal - Essentially how the Russians are. Normal means that Germany comes close but still gets crushed, so combining this with Hard German AI should make things more 50/50

    Its quite possible that upping the difficulty like this will be too much in SinglePlayer, without a UK Human Player (any takers?) but the USA is mighty powerful. I imagine it will come down to using Nukes in the mid-1940's to settle the deal. I will make 6-month posts, I believe, in the early years of the game - 1936 - 1939 - but will make more frequent posts as things heat up for the USA and war breaks out across the world.

    I am also going to play in a manner in which I never play - instead of simply just focusing on Carrier Fleets, I will also use Submarines to harass the Japanese Transport Fleets and try to engage the Japanese with land-based aircraft as much as possible - land-based aircraft are bigger and stronger than carrier-based aircraft and can also sink ships more easily. I am also going to use specialized ground forces as well - Marines especially - in the Pacific Campaign and go Pacific-First before thinking about Europe.

    New unit compositions in BICE also mean my ground forces will have interesting mixes of units. I think I will focus my armor on being as powerful as I can get it (thinking of the German and/or Russian tanks I'll eventually be facing) with Mech + Motorized units in support. Plenty of airsupport too in the form of Fighters and CAS.

    My next post in this thread will be the start of the campaign!
     
  2. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    State of the Union - January 1st, 1937

    Music: Pennies from Heaven (click to listen) by Bing Crosby

    January 1st, 1937 - Washington D.C.

    1936 was a rather uneventful year for the United States.

    The United States is sound economically. The Military leaves much to be desired. Politically, its important to keep FDR in power. From the onset, I will have internal spies supporting my Ruling Party (Democrats) while also conducting espionage. Externally, my spies in Germany and Japan will do their best to steal technologies from these countries, in order to boost our technology levels.

    The Great Depression and the New Deal both crush the US Research rate and Industrial Capacity. As such, I only add Naval Bombers, Heavy IC (once researched) and Convoys/Escorts to my Construction cue on top of the Naval Units (like the Yorktown) already there. The rest of my IC is focused on making my unhappy people happy via Consumer Goods. Only a little IC (30IC) for the 150IC of Upgrades needed.

    At the same time, as these events are going on, I am reorganizing the entire Armed Forces of the United States. I disband several Garrison units on the East Coast and restructure the CoC. Instead of half strength units, what units I do have are now full strength.

    A wide variety of technologies are begun - to get levels up to allow further development of other technologies. I am glad to see that I am able to steal several plans from the Germans and Japanese before my spies are all caught. I even send some to the UK but with little success.

    Abyssinia falls despite the supplies I send it, though that is to be expected. The Spanish Civil War erupts and supplies are sent to the Nationalists. Supplies are also sent to Nationalist China as well.

    With the exception of the SCW, Europe remains quiet for now.
     
  3. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    State of the Union - January 1st, 1938

    Music: Sing, Sing, Sing (click to listen) by Benny Goodman

    January 1st, 1938 - Washington D.C.

    The United States is still in a good economic position, despite the Recession and Stock Market Crash. Materials are maxing out in stockpiles and there is a plethora of money to spend. 12 Units of Naval Bombers are added to the production cue and the first of the planes roll out of the factories in late 1937.

    Technological improvements continue to upgrade the economy and military. The Japanese Invasion of China continues at a steady place (Attachment 1) and both Guam and Wake Island see construction projects beginning on their soil. Naval Defenses are the priority while adding additional Static-AA Guns to the Islands is a secondary objective. Radar technology is also being researched, in order to construct Early Air Warning Systems on the Islands, to better track both the IJN and its Air Force when the time comes.

    Japan is also accepted into the Axis, the USS Yorktown and USS Enterprise are launched along with dozens of smaller ships, and things in Europe are starting to heat up (Attachment 2)

    Attachment 1 View attachment 20732

    Attachment 2 View attachment 20733


    State of the Union - January 1st, 1939

    Music: Begin the Beguine (click to listen) by Artie Shaw

    January 1st, 1939 - Washington D.C.

    1938 was a much more interesting year in the United States and the rest of the World.

    Heavy Industry Projects were completed in places like Philadelphia, boosting the US Economy which is continuing to come out of its Recession. Radar Installations were begun in Guam and Wake Islands and the US Navy saw most of its ships Dry-Docked, receiving much needed upgrades. The Battleship Arizona was scrapped entirely, being transformed into a Carrier instead. The Fair Labor Standards Act was passed in Congress as well and a Rocket Test Site was cleared for production. The arrival of Enrico Fami in December also gave a boost to the Nuclear Research side of things, the projects related to such finally starting to see the light of day and go into research.

    In China, a deplorable act was carried out by the Japanese in what has been called the Rape of Nanjing. Relations with the Japanese have greatly soured because of this. Meanwhile in Europe, Hungary has now joined the Axis following the Anschluss of Austria and the Treaty of Munich. Because of these events, there was talk about the Rainbow Plans - Plans devised for the defense of the United States as the solitary figure against Tyranny. After much debate, however, it was decided to keep the plans on Paper and not put them into production.

    1939 is already shaping up to be a clinical year in the fate of the World already.
     

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  4. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    State of the Union - January 1st, 1940

    Music: In the Mood (click to listen) by the Glenn Miller Orchestra

    January 1st, 1940 - Washington D.C.

    The United States can only watch with growing fascination as the events of 1939 unfold. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is signed by the Germans and Russians before both countries invade Poland. The UK and France declare war - WAR! - on Germany because of this, though do nothing to aid the Poles, who quickly succumb to the Blitzkrieg of Germany. Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia fall to the Russian Army as well, while the Winter War in Finland ends in a stalemate.

    In response to this, along with the economy constantly growing, I decided its time to commission 4 New Carriers - to go along with my now very Modern Fleet of ships in the Pacific. I also deploy a Rocket Test Site to Sante Fe, New Mexico in the hopes of increasing my technology in this field - with my eyes on developing Jet Airplanes in the near future! The stunning success of the Germans - and the Axis for that matter - can surely not be improved upon in the next year, can they?

    State of the Union - January 1st, 1941

    Music: I'll Never Smile Again (click to listen) by Tommy Dorsey

    January 1st, 1941 - Washington D.C.

    Woe is me!

    Despite employing the 30-Division Plan to China, they crumble like a brick wall. Japan takes out one Chinese Faction after the other, rapidly, and by the mid-1940's they have annexed the entirety of China, creating the Republic of China-Nanjing. The coastal areas are retained by the Chinese, while most of Shanxi is given to one of their vassals. Things are no better in Europe.

    The German War Machine crushes Denmark and Norway before steamrolling through the Lowlands and into France, seemingly no resistance shown by any of their enemies. Italy jumps on the bandwagon and joins the Axis, launching attacks against the British and French in North Africa along with East Africa. They collectively also divide up Yugoslavia - creating Croatia along the way - before heading into Greece. I choose this time to Embargo Japan and Italy as well - not that I was trading with them in the first place, it was more the principle of the thing.

    With the Fall of France and the rise of Vichy, Japan secures Indochina and subsequently annexes Siam all in one fell swoop. I come to an agreement with the British - Destroyers for Bases - while also securing Iceland and Greenland (transferred from Denmark to the UK, the UK to the USA). I have plans in the near future to garrison troops on such islands. With the recent happenings across the globe, I launch an Unlimited National Emergency, further promoting the US Economy, getting it back into shape!

    However, things take a turn for the worse when the Germans launch Operation Sea Lion and invade Britain! I can only watch in horror as little by little, the UK falls. Churchill is rumored to be dead, Big Ben is forever silenced by a German Shell, and Buckingham Palace is burned to the ground in the fighting. The Royal Family, wisely, fled long before the Germans arrived. What can this mean for the British Empire and the Commonwealth? Great Britain literally only lives on in Egypt and India - am I going to be all alone in my fight against this Axis of Evil?

    These developments send me into near-panic mode, my grand strategy for the war I am soon to join changing dramatically. Decisions are needed to be made - my initial fight will be against the Japanese, but do I try to liberate Great Britain ASAP and risk defeat with ill-equipped troops? Or do I try and bring Japan down a few pegs, building up a European Invasion Force, D-Day in England?
     
  5. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    State of the Union - December 8th, 1941

    Music: Day of Infamy (click to listen) by F.D.R

    December 8th, 1941 - Washington D.C.

    The likelihood of being drawn into war is ever increasing. In June, fresh off its victory against the Empire of Great Britain, the German Wehrmacht launched Operation Barbarossa against the USSR. By August, Minsk, Odessa and Kyiv had all fallen to the might of the Germans and it was decided at this point that war was unavoidable, the US changing its mindset, Gearing up for War- vastly boosting the economy.

    In September, Sevastpool, Leningrad, Smolensk, and Kharkov all fall to the Germans as well. In the Mid East, Iraq - freed by Great Britain - joins the Axis and after initial success suffers defeat after defeat, the mixed-nations of the Commonwealth driving to the very gates of Baghdad. These events were all soon overshadowed.

    The United States of America is now at War with the might of the Japanese Empire!

    The initial engagements are brutal ordeals. Carriers, Battleships, and Destroyers are lost on both sides. Guam and Johnston Islands - despite their beefed up defenses - fall to the IJN invasions.

    The United States is rocked to its very Core.
     
  6. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    ~ From the Diaries of F.D.R ~

    Chaos reigns across the world.

    In Europe, Germany reigns supreme, an invincible force, crushing all those that stand before them. Their terrible Panzers roll across the Russian Steppes unopposed. How long before Russia succumbs to this great evil, bred from the heart of Europe?

    The Empire of Great Britain has outlasted the home Isle itself. England has succumbed to the German Menace, its Commonwealth of forces fighting on in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. How long before they too succumb to this Axis of Evil?

    And the Pacific - how many men now lie in watery graves? How many more men will join them?

    I made the mistake of focusing on the more Northern Islands as the basis for defense, ignoring the more southern islands. The US Navy has taken a beating and is damage-control mode, relying now on the Air Force to engage the IJN, allowing for the Navy to recover some of its losses and reorganize. Prior to the outbreak of war, I redeployed a Carrier Fleet to the Atlantic, needing to beef up the small Navy kept there - the last thing I need now is for the Kriegsmarine to come sailing into the Chesapeake Bay!

    The Factories are now focused on building up a strong Airforce - to carry out the war from afar - and are rushing more Carriers into production. If we can hold out for another year or two, our Navy shall be boosted greatly. But now - now the task remains on Holding the Line, recovering, and upgrading our weapons to destroy the Japanese Menace!
     

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