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Greece is a minor power in the Southern Balkans. However, a Greek game will be very interesting because of the many ahistorical possibilities and the country's unique strategic environment. Greece has a prime location in the Mediterranean, though with a weak navy, several neighbors both belligerent and friendly, and severe constraints on its natural resources, manpower, IC and leadership.
A Greek campaign will require smart strategic planning on the part of the player to avoid the country's historical fate of getting overrun by the Axis in 1941.
Distribution of Leadership
It is recommended to start with Agriculture, Education, Industrial Production and Industrial Efficiency, at least at the beginning, due to the shortage of IC and Manpower that Greece suffers from. It is not recommended to initially start with armor, navy or air force in the early years though air force research should only be delayed for a few years as air units have a high impact per manpower.
Greece can plausibly join any of the three factions or be independent throughout the war. Each choice offers interesting possibilities, due to Greece's unique location.
The advantage of joining a faction (versus being independent) are the production licenses Greece can get from its faction members (usually the faction leader). Due to Greece's low leadership, production licenses are almost mandatory if Greece is to expand its army. To join a faction, and get access to production licenses, as quickly as possible, the Greek player should start aligning to their faction of choice as early as 1936.
1) Join the Allies.
Historically, Greece joined the Allies, after initially repelling an Italian invasion in 1940, they got overrun when Germany came to help Italy in the first half of 1941 (which delayed operation Barbarossa, forcing that campaign to extend into the winter of 1941). The player doesn't have to do much to join the Allies although aligning to the allies will speed up the process and as a consequence grant quicker access to production licenses.
Greece's strategic goal as an Allied member would be to successfully defend against Italian aggression from Albania, and if all goes well, possibly invade mainland Italy as well. Although due to the deplorable state of the Hellenic Navy, Greece will need the British navy's help with any nautical adventures.
As well as this Greece will also have to be wary of her neighbors, as Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Turkey are all Axis-inclined countries, so the Greek army could conceivably be fighting several countries across its the entire land border.
2) Join the Axis.
Taking the ahistorical route of joining the axis would allow a Greek player, to take Britain's Mediterranean possessions and possibly intervene with the Italians in the Western desert. The Greek player could also take Corsica and Syria, for herself when Germany annexes France. However, Greece will not have a navy that can compete with the Royal Navy's Mediterranean Fleet, this may cause, probably will, cause problems with seaborne invasions or ferrying troops to Africa and the Middle East. As well as this in the late game if the Soviets are not defeated Greece may come under threat from an advancing Red army.
3) Join the Comintern.
A second ahistorical option is joint Comintern, historically there were significant pro-communist elements in Greece, this option of course gives Greece access to Soviet production licenses however it does, initially at least, leave Greece isolated with no friendly states in the Mediterranean.
4) Be independent.
A third ahistorical option is using spies to lower Greece's neutrality and raise other countries' threat, a Greek player can conduct limited wars when convenient. Invasions of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria can be challenging but rewarding, pitting elite Greek mountain troops against fairly decent-sized armies. There is also the possibility for expansion into Asia via Turkey, which is quite easy since Turkey's National Unity is low.
Some time in 1940, and if you are not in the axis or already at war with Italy, Italy will give you an ultimatum. You can either: Choose the first option, which will mean Italy declares war on you. Or: Choose the second option, which gives Italy military access to your country.
If you feel strong enough, and feel that you will survive, you could choose to go to war. However, it seems that in most cases it would be best to choose the latter, as Italy never seems to use the access it demanded anyway.
In 1936 Greece begins with the Social Liberalism government form with election due on the 1st of January, 1940.
- Head of State
In 1936 the Head of State is Georgios II, who cannot be replaced, he is an Insignificant Layman giving a 5% bonus to Money but he also gives a 2.5% increase consumer goods demand during war.
- Head of Government
In 1936 the Head of Government is Constantinos Demertzis, who cannot be replaced, he is a Naive Optimist giving a flat -10% threat impact.
- Armament Minister
1936 starting army isn't too bad. You have three army corps of infantry, a brigade of artillery, a brigade of motorized infantry, and a brigade of cavalry. However, building a large army will be impossible due to Greece's manpower constraints. It would be a challenge to fill out five corps (25 divisions). You'll need to get the most bang for your manpower-buck when building units.
A few tips:
1. Build an efficient army.
- Use support brigades (Art, AT, AA), instead of building more infantry brigades, to get the most firepower per man.
- Use Garrison to guard ports, in order to free up Infantry for the fighting army.
2. Train strong soldiers. Key research includes:
- Infantry tab > Infantry box. The four upgrades that make better infantrymen should be high priorities.
- Small Arms
- Infantry Support Weapons
- Light Artillery
- Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons
- Land tab > Grand Battle Plan box
- Infantry Warfare—more org for Infantry.
- Mass Assault—higher morale for Infantry. (Higher morale means faster org regain rate.)
- Assault Concentration—higher org for support brigades.
- Special Forces—higher org for Mountaineers.
- Integrated Support—higher morale for Mountaineers.
3. Embrace the mountains.
Even with strong army units, you'll have to fight smart wars because most opposing armies will be bigger (though hopefully, with weaker troops). Fortunately, Greece's most likely battlegrounds (Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Turkey) all feature the same mountainous terrain. Mountain units are your best friends. You'll love mountains for the same reason conquering armies hate them.
- Upgrade some Infantry to Mountaineers. This can happen in 1936 because they are already researched when the game starts.
- Beware: Mountaineers use more manpower and officers, so don't convert the whole army.
It is recommended that Greece's starting Navy should be expanded, because of its prime position in the Mediterranean. In 1936, Greece has two Light Cruisers, two antiquated Destroyers, two Submarines and two Transports. However, in 1936 Greece can only build Destroyers, Submarines and Transports, so if large scale expansion is desired research is paramount.
Building Battlecruisers seems to be an ideal compromise as time is not needed researching Heavy Cruisers as well as this it shares the main armament upgrade with Battleships. In future this would allow the Greek Navy to be expanded to include Battleships in the future if the research could be spared giving a noticeable upgrade to Greek naval power.
Strategically the Greek Navy may be used for convoy raiding in the Mediterranean depending upon what faction the player chooses to join, if joining one at all, especially in the Red Sea, Straits of Messina or the Sea of Marmara.
On the other hand, things may become difficult when war breaks out if your are a member of a faction, as if you are too outgoing, it is likely in fact probable that the Greek Navy would still be outclassed by the Italian and Royal Navies respectively. In this case it may be advised to remain in port and commit only a portion of the Navies full strength, using hit and run tactics as well as convoy raiding.
In 1936 Greece has no air force in fact, it hasn't even researched single-engine aircraft. Despite this it is recommended to start researching towards and then building an air force.
Initially concentrating research and production on single-engine aircraft is recommended, especially as Greece does not have the IC or leadership to produce and research both light and medium aircraft. As well as this Interceptors, Multi-role fighters and CAS share practicals and many research items, so focusing on light aircraft will provide a cheap, balanced yet powerful air force. In addition an air force should be considered as air units are high impact yet low manpower, (important with Greece's low manpower), for example, an Interceptor uses 1.0 manpower compared to an Infantry brigade which uses 3.33 manpower.
Although Tactical and Naval Bombers would be nice, they are likely to be an unaffordable luxury until later years. However Naval Bombers, could be useful early on, as they let you exploit Crete's prime location for convoy raiding, despite Greece's lack of a navy, though this would more than likely require a production license from your faction leader.
Moreover, air superiority over the Mediterranean powers, whether it's Italy or the UK, depending upon your alliance, will make life easier for you and your allies.
Now, you could:
i)Join the Allies, invade Italian Albania, and, if all goes well, invade mainland Italy as well. However, beware of Bulgaria and Yugoslavia- both are Axis-inclined countries, so may also have to be dealt with. There is also a quite high risk of the Italians invading, so be prepared.
ii) Join the Axis, take Britain's Mediterranean possessions and possibly help the Italians in the Western desert. You could also take a pop at Corsica and Syria, which would be yours if Germany annexes France. However, beware the Royal Navy's Mediterranean Fleet- they could cause you problems, especially in ferrying troops to Africa and the Middle-East. You may also find that, later, the Soviets start knocking on your door.
iii) Be independent, using your spies to lower your neutrality and raise other countries' threat. If they haven't already joined the axis, invasions of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria can be fun. There is also the possibility for expansion into Asia via Turkey- this is not overly hard, as Turkey's National Unity is generally quite low.
War with X
Gaming the System
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