A Look at Germany in 1901
and Austria are often lumped together in the category of "central
powers", both occupying the middle ground and both surrounded by four
neighbors. The operative
connotation is that defense becomes difficult if not impractical without the
benefit of a secure rear.
the comparison must end there: whereas
the main Austrian preoccupation is with avoidance of an early two-front war,
Germany can usually count on the benevolence of its eastern neighbors.
A poor Austrian performance will usually be reflected by partition in
1902-1903, while for Germany the serious obstacles will commonly arise in the
mid-game, when even 10-center positions end up sandwiched.
only France and England are the immediate enemies, but even they wil lmake
little headway until at least one of Hel, Ska, or Bal have been secured.
Even this outflanking maneuver can be delayed or even halted completely
by two German fleets (given Russian assistance or neutrality), but in the end
your own doom is no longer in question as under the best of circumstances the
coup de grace will come from some eastern power sooner or later.
potential has been bestowed on the position, for once the west is stablized it
becomes relatively easy to barrel armies out of the eastern borders... but
success will depend on your ability to break away from the rest of the pack
early in the game. Quick, easy
access to most of the mapboard is available, but with time suffocation will set
in as powerful rivals start tugging away at opposite ends of the empire.
German tolerance for long, drawn out games is low - beware of
"allies" who keep pace with you.
its alliance will be most profitable, but also fraught with danger.
Together, you can overrun most of France and Russia even against unified
opposition, if only because this contest will not exactly be two on two: Russia's resources will in all likelihood be tied up
somewhere further south, and its northern forces are often too far flung to
coordinate effectively. Indeed, you
should be very open to English offers in this direction, because this is your
most distinct diplomatic advantage: if
France cannot be trusted, then at least you will be able to outbid her for
the English alliance is a curse in disguise.
In supporting English claims to Scandinavia, you will make no friends in
Saint- Petersburg, though in the aftermath they are hardly in a position to
retaliate and a few years later should even thank you for not taking Warsaw as
well. Still, English preponderance
in the area is undersible because it opens up your flank, if nothing else.
bigger concern will be the inevitable restrictions that the English will attempt
to place on the size of the German fleet as final price for the cherished
alliance. This demand is very
difficult to sidestep, although any request for cooperation against Russia
should be met by the build of a second fleet as "security" against the
unpredicatble reactions of a presumably hostile Russian fleet.
Still, in the long run it will not be possible to continue building
fleets, meaning that in the end naval supremacy will have to be conceded.
Your only opportunity will come if, all of a sudden, you find yourself
with two builds, bringing your naval arsenal to four.
competant England will always outpace your own growth, however, as StP/Swe are
easier targets than say, Warasw; and the French coastal centers are more
vulnerable than your own share of the spoils because of the difficult Bur/Pic
line. Do not expect to do too well
into the mid-game, because you will increasingly become a tempting target as the
French/Russian threats are gradually reduced, and then eliminated.
England may continue its expansion into the Mediterranean, but in order
to get anywhere in the Balkans you will still have to literally turn your back.
quite possibly a better long term ally, if only because of the absence of
any restrictions on your fleet. Still,
such an alliance is hard to set up.
best the French will usually volunteer is a "free for all" on the
English centers, Nwy/Edi. You
should commit the French to a support in 1902, perhaps in return for support
into Lon in 1903. If necessary,
blurt out that you are not interested in distracting English attention only so
he can pick up some easy centers, and that if he is interested in removing
England as his only inevitable mid- game stab risk, some cooperation is in
France seems assured of both Lpl/Lon, you are likely to run amok of Russian
competition over the distant Edi/Nwy. Generally
you will have the upper hand as few Russias can afford a second northern fleet
as early as 1902; nevertheless, they can easily act as the spoiler, and
contingency plans should be made accordingly.
is probably the sorest point, as both of you have equal claim and ambition over
that neutral. Your diplomacy should
be aggressive: at the very least, Belgium should be yours until the conquest of
England. French expansion will be
quicker as a result of the alliance, and some compensation is deserved in
return. Remember that as Germany
you cannot permit even your allies to outpace your growth.
the most common source of distrust after the Ven/Tri border, paradoxically, is
possible that neither of you will have tipped his hand against England, and a
"stab" of sorts can occur if one of you reneges on his naval
commitments, leaving the former "ally" holding the bag vis-a-vis a
furious England. As Germany, at
least, the scales are tipped in your favour for you can always point to Russia
for an excuse (but don't be surprised if the argument doesn't wash); France will
be hard pressed to explain F Bre. Obviously
no article can rationalize choices/breaches of trust:
rely on your own instincts.
Historically German relations with this neighbour have been dictated by
convenience, and in the game very little is changed.
The only occasion where active Russian involvement might be welcomed is
in the event of a hostile EF alliance, though in this case he will have no good
reason to take some of the beating for you and will tend to mind his own
Russia is mostly a nuisance that must be temporarily accommodated, a latent
threat to be dealt with later. This
is not too hard to do, for he is in no position to spare the units required for
a campaign against you. Your
diplomacy should ensure that he never does.
immediate concern is to weaken your opponent.
As soon as Russia gets past six centers, she gains the ability for a
limited war on a second front - if not against England, then against you.
Since you will be helpless in guiding her choice of opponent, it is best
to prevent matters from getting this far in the first place.
The easiest way, no doubt, is by propping up Austria, the natural bulwark
to Russian expansionism. You can
achieve this by threatening to bounce over Sweden if any attack on Austria is
made in 1901. After this your involvement should be limited to encouraging
attacks on Russia, possibly even an AT alliance, though too strong of a southern
power block will cause you problems down the road as well.
your main alliance is with England, you may be asked to bounce Russia out
REGARDLESS of its southern policy. This
is fair game, for Russia does not have the means to retaliate with much
credibility, and in any event at five centers usually makes too good of a target
for AT to pass up.
your main alliance is with France, then perhaps some of your own armies will be
available for an eastern campaign as early as 1902. The opportunity to
compensate for French gains in Lpl/Lon should not be passed up, and in the right
circumstances a demilitarization agreement of the French border will free the
units you need to create LEBENSRAUM.
Certainly the most critical player to your own welfare, he amazingly is
vastly underused. He must be
persuaded to move west. Any other Italian policy will undermine your own goals
your very first letter should go to Italy.
In it, you should mention that Russia may back off any contemplated
action against Austria for fear of losing Sweden. This alone will make any Italian think twice, introducing an
element of doubt regarding the realiablitity of his only natural ally - and if
he passes the letter along, it will reinforce Russia's impression that you mean
business. Your second argument should be that you are prepared to move A Mun-
Tyr in F01 if Italian intentions appear hostile, ensuring that any sneak attack
on Munich will fail, and causing the classical F01 A Tyr SA Ven-Tri to fail (if
A Ven SA Tyr-Tri, then you slip in and AG can kick Italy out in 1902).
All of a sudden the attack on Austria becomes less attractive, except
possibly for the normally unsuccessful A Ven-Tri.
this there's only a small step to persuading Italy to go west. Turkey is the
only other target, and lately has been an unpopular one at that - for good
reason, because Smyrna is the lone likely gain. France, on the other hand,
offers Spa/Mar/Por. Since your
letter is so anti-French in tone, Italy may reasonably assume that he has at
least one ally. Austria will
usually be only too pleased to offer guarantees of neutrality as may be
initiative is really two-fold: leave
AT free to weaken Russia, and get Italy to bog down the French.
There's nothing like a small Italian expedition to take the fun out of
French gains against England, enabling you to become the dominant partner in the
alliance. And if France is the enemy, then you WANT England and Italy to compete
for the coastal centers.
if your diplomacy in this respect fails, do not despair: a strong Italy can
still come in handly later on against either a former French or English ally...
In the early stages of the game, you may want to encourage an AT alliance
against Russia, but not to the point that they will trust each other so
implicitly to the point of leaving their common border undefended.
It is amazing how many Austrias do this, only to be gobbled up by Turkey
later on. Once they've divided up
the Russian centers, it is of course desirable that they go at one another's
throat until you reach the position from which you can tip toe in and decide the
outcome of their war...to your own advantage. An early AT attack on Italy is bad
news, removing this useful ally while at the same time turning them into the
dominant power block of the game.