In this article I want to look at what happened when we decided to use our air strike. As you can see, we are out of Southern Asia / Australasia now - with the RW of Kalimentan being lost after heavy CoT assistance for Indonesia there, and our TWO allies busy elsewhere.
I want to make it clear that from the beginning, I was certain we would face an uphill battle to make a real contribution to freeing Australia - precisely because any regions we won, we would need to keep and defend against RWs (as we failed to do) to ensure we had borders with Indonesia. Without these borders, we would be (as we are now) removed from the vicinity, and the war would close.
A government release on the subject of the AS can be found here. It's made clear that the first proposal for the AS, was defeated in Congress, I'd suspect for most of the reasons I will bring up about how much of a bad idea this was.
First and foremost, the cost of an Air Strike is astronomical. Over 700 GOLD alone worth of currency, and 20 million units of energy. At most, we would have had a few weeks of war with this, and even then, this plan would have required constant spending to keep the inevitable resistance down. Everyone is well aware of the game mechanics - if you do not border a region, you cannot attack it. Thus, the first week of an Air Strike is the hardest part; because with few regions, you face hard resistance in keeping your new regions, precisely because if you only have a few, it is relatively quicker and cheaper to tank or fight heavily against you, and remove you from the war.
This is common sense: why wait for us to pick up half of Indonesia before fighting us? CoT focused on removing us, not fighting Australia. And in doing so, ensured that we wasted a huge amount of GBP, and with 20 million units of food, enough energy to feed our entire population with a weeks worth of food (roughly 8-9,000 each at 1,000-1,5000 per day, would have ensured all of our MUs had a great shot at the competition).
To conclude, this Air Strike cost us a huge amount of currency and food that would have been much better spent elsewhere. Admittedly a lot came from donations, but we could have asked for donations for other projects, some sort of 'get involved' drive, rewards for using IRC, completing daily orders, the forums, joining an MU or a party, take your pick, 750 gold goes a hell of a long way.
My next issue is with geography. First and foremost, Boh basically hit a regino which is the furthest away from Australian territory: the very thing we're trying to free. Sabah was 3 regions away from Australia, (W Australia / N Territories) by the route shown below. Sabah -> Kalimantan -> Lesser Sunda Islands. Instead of Lesser Sunda, we hit Sulawesi.
Red; the route Boh took. Blue; the quickest route to Australian regions using Boh's first 2 choice of regions. Burgundy; where we should have aimed for to begin with
By avoiding Australian territories, which is what we were doing given the route Boh chose, it becomes apparant that in reality, we were simply draining CoT in other fronts. If this is the case, why not choose a TWO/ACT nation with a much smaller population; their AS would be much cheaper than ours. Or, why not hit Indonesia in regions actually close to Australia. If we are interested in freeing Australia, its much more tactical, from a warfare perspective, to have more than 1 country involved in the regions you're trying to fight with. By timing attacks, we can ensure Indonesia is always on the defensive, or at least, always having to endure must win battles. For example:
Day 1 - Australia hits South Australia
- UK declares Air Strike
- Australia loses
Day 2 - Indonesia hits Tasmania
- UK hits South Australia
- RW started in Queensland
Indonesia, in this situation, will have 3 active fronts that it has to focus upon. It cannot lose to Australia, because they will then be able to hit again, and should they lose to us, they'll then be faced with another actor in the campaign. As they're focused on winning these direct wars, the RW in this case should be relatively easy to win with supplying. This could continue on indefinitely, through the use of the 'queue'. Instead of the UK and Australia both hitting at the same time, we would then move towards a 'tiered' approach. EITHER Australia or the UK would attack, and open a RW. The other country would then 'queue' their attack on either region, ensuring no bottle necks (this would mean Australia would hit a region, or start a RW in a region, that the UK also bordered. The UK would then also attempt to attack that region, resorting in the attack being put in the 'queue' - it would only be activated should the attack fail.
This gives Indonesia and CoT a headache. Either way, they'll have to lose regions or ignore battles, to focus on the tactically most important battle. Australia hitting a region, and then a RW starting elsewhere, with a UK attack queued on either, means that even if Indonesia win, they still have to face another attack. In 'epic battles' there is usually a period of 'rest/recovery' in the following days, where tanks and MUs and Governments rebuild supplies; by removing this period, we keep constant pressure on CoT. We chose to not do this, and instead just hit willy nilly; meaning CoT ignored UK battles at first, then focused on RW'ing battles later; because we gave them the option of doing so. By ignoring Australia and focusing on UK battles, they could direct more damage, and ultimately removed us from the area; now they are free to face Australia 1 vs 1, which history shows us, ends badly for Australia.
This is a tactic which is not new, nor is it particularly clever. I have used this many times as CP, most successfully when we retook 11 out of 13 regions from Canada, with the aide of France, despite our alliance at the time losing other wars across the globe. Its not big, its not clever, but its better than just blindly mashing around.
Either way you look at it, this AS was a mess. It was either poorly planned, or just not planned at all. Regardless of the 'reasons' Government gave us, and congress, it wasn't needed, thought through, or properly assessed. If we did this Air Strike for fun; we could have made use of our Natural Enemy for free. Hell, do a Canada and Declare War if you wanted to waste gold. That would've saved us over 200g and 20,000,000 units of energy.
If it was to bring real war to Indonesia, there are already TWO friendly nations that can help with that. Australia and New Zealand, with more MPPs, would be much better placed to fight them. Taiwan is around that region too. Other nations with stronger damage would also have been better placed to Air Strike; they would be able to hold onto the regions despite the onslaught of RWs.
If it was to distract CoT and Indonesia whilst Australia freed itself; you can use the world on fire approach that I used in Terra, and EDEN used so successfully too; start up wars anywhere, and everywhere - but wars which don't require 700 gold just to get to the battle page. Wars with, you know, nations you actually border. As I mentioned earlier, if this was just about draining and distracting CoT, get the smallest TWO aligned nations to AS - we may only have 2,000+ citizens, but there are plenty of nations who have much less than we do.
If it was for fun, then even BigAnt's Portugal invasion achieved more. When we have news that our reserves have dropped so drastically, to then go and commit 700 gold to a war half way across the world is dumbfounding, if its just for fun. The 'fun' in this game comes from clicking 'fight'. I refuse to believe clicking this button to win a region which we haven't had before, and is halfway across the world, is any more entertaining, than clicking this button on a European region we are near. Or better yet, sponsor Resistance Wars of Irish regions, or our recently lost Danish one, and have specific MUs fight on specific sides. For example, Legion vs British Army - both sides having to fight and find support from other British MUs themselves. A resurgent France is on the map: that 700 gold could have gone a pretty long way to supply some epic wars with them. The same could be said for Canada, and the USA in their constantly released New York region.
To conclude, this war wasted our money, our damage, and had outrageously underestimated the resistance we would face. Even ignoring all of this, why we chose to invade a nation we were allied with for 80% of our time on this game, a nation which countless times fought above and beyond others, helped defend our shores, is absolutely astounding. Yes, Australia are our new allies. If we want to help them, why don't we first consider MPPing them, so that, you know, we can fight in each others wars. This is of course, ignoring the fact that for on and off the last 3 years, we've been helping Indonesia occupy them.
But not to worry, a few Australians live here, and a few brits live there; so obviously now we're the bestest of friends. A great use of 700 gold; a new friend that is even worse of geographically than we are, and bound to face constant invasion! Hurrah!
My final reflection, however, would not be that this is all Boh's fault. Our Government as a whole, if they didn't know what I brought up here, are not fit to govern. Our Congress as a whole, if they didn't know this, are not fit for purpose. Nothing I have written here is spectacularly insightful, clever, or special. Its basically common sense, and taking the time to look at the map, and actually think things through. TWO has for some time faced a resurgent CoT. Chile invaded Romania and has been doing pretty well for some time, RWs were starting to trouble Poland. How we thought we could rely on them to win our battles for us, instead of their own, is beyond me. However you look at this, at some point, somewhere, the people who either agreed with or made this decision, have gone done goof'd.
Its nothing personal, and I am not doing this purely to baww or moan; I am not BigAnt'ing here by just saying YOU ARE BAD, THIS IS BAD, BAW BAW BAW. I've brought up alternatives we could have used. Highlighted the mistakes we've made, so at the very least, we can chalk this AS as a lesson for future Governments. Admittedly, a lesson that cost 700 Gold and 20,000,000 Energy. But if nothing else, we needn't just take 3 days of clicking 'fight' in a war with the UK's flag; for jeebus sake lets try not to repeat this.
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