Home > Game ReviewsFTW > Hearts of Iron II: Operation “Better Dead than Red”

Hearts of Iron II: Operation “Better Dead than Red”

As you may recall from my last post, the remains of the Axis war machine were being repaired by the French for their own personal use and Turkey was a broken and defeated country.  With the threat of an Allied offensive from Turkey and French-occupied Germany at the forefront of their concerns, the Soviets decided to take on the might of the Allied war machine.  Apparently the industrial powerhouse of Eastern Europe were too tantalizing a target for the Soviets to pass up!

So battlefield Turkey has been all settled down and garrisoned with some garrison units (how novel!), and Eastern Europe is clearly divided between France and the big red blob.  The Soviets decided that enough was enough.  If our workers weren’t going to revolt on their own, then they were going to step in on their behalf.  The Soviet Union attacked everywhere along the French-held front, while leaving Turkey pretty much alone.  Turkey was, of course, where most of the British and American forces were stationed in case of just such an eventuality.  The Soviets eyed Istanbul with longing, torn apart by the fact that the Red Army couldn’t hope to take it from 30 or so divisions of well-entrenched American mechanized infantry.  My mechs then decided to go on a little scouting expedition to test the strength of the Soviet forces.  Several terrirories later, the Soviets discovered why it was not wise to use militia to guard against a combined arms offensive consisting of close air support, armored units, and mechanized infantry.

Meanwhile, in Europe…The Soviets pushed with their real military in Poland and started to push the French back into Germany.  That, of course, just wasn’t going to fly.  I now put all of my industrial might into completing dozens of mechanized infantry, tanks, and HQ units to dominate the Soviets.  Until this point, most of my infantry had been regular foot guys, even though the amount of ass kicking had been done by the mechs.  The Arsenal of Democracy started churning out divisions like Octomon churns out kids, and Americans were kicking it in Paris within a few weeks.  Fiercemudcrab also began producing some high-quality British soldiers armed with the latest in combat shorts technology, as well as some formiddable tanks.  The British and Americans were mostly concentrated in Greece and other undesirable areas of the Balkans while troops continued to arrive in France for the fighting in Germany.  The French continued to be pushed back by the overwhelming numbers of the Red Army, eventually taking Yugoslavia and cutting Greece off from Allied support in the north.

The first thing the French did when their forces in American Greece were cut off from French fortress Europe was to give me control of everyone there.  I happily agreed and put them to work guarding the rear while my infantry made gradual advances against the Soviet forces blocking our way to Yugoslavia.  More divisions arrived in Greece, allowing me to spread my forces over wider swaths of territory.  As soon as the breakthrough was made, the French chose not to allow their soldiers to continue to remain under the command of American pigs and took them back.  They then picked a fight with a large group of angry Soviet soldiers and remembered why the US was a valuable member of the Allies.  Eventually, the Soviets were driven from Southern Europe.  The Soviets maintained control over the easternmost portions of Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Romania.  When winter set in, I discovered (to my dismay) that my pwnz0r mechanized infantry doesn’t do too well under below freezing conditions.  Offensive operations were put on hold while France, Fiercemudcrab, and I bulked up for the next campaigning season.

It was probably about this point that Fiercemudcrab inquired about nuclear research.  I agreed that a series of nukes on the USSR’s valuable industrial and cultural centers would probably help bring the war to a much swifter conclusion.  I then had to complete the necessary steps to summon Robert Oppenheimer from an otherworldly realm where he was learning the secrets of the universe.  After offering him the fairest maidens in the land, he agreed to help the US create weapons of mass destruction.  In an incredible amount of time that can only be described as “faster than the British,” ol’ Bob danced all over the established laws of physics and wrote his own.  The new laws included clauses that firmly established the ability of the United States to vaporize its enemies with thermonuclear detonations.  Production of the first atomic reactor began shortly thereafter.  By 1945, atomic bombs were being produced.

Each time the ground thawed, the fight against the Russians followed the same general pattern.  The Americans, British, and French attacked with their bolstered numbers and drove the Russians from the positions that had been strategically-bombed-the-hell-out-of the year before.  The Russians were then forced to retreat to areas that had been raped of their infrastructure.  No roads, no railroads, no organization regain, no nothing.  Nothing was something that the Russians were getting more and more of, if that makes sense (it doesn’t).  The only thing that kept saving the Russians was the onset of winter, where their numbers would be able to repulse our superior-quality troops.  It was obvious that the Soviets were in a bad way.  After a few years, the Soviets had been deprived of their beloved Moscow, now a nuclear wasteland.  Fiercemudcrab particularly liked the ICBMs because of their low IC and manpower costs, and because they delivered firey death from above whether nuclear or conventional.  The glorious USSR lost more than half of its IC during these dark final years.

The AI, accustomed to making sound tactical and strategic choices, now decided to take advantage of a unique situation.  The situation in Europe was now decisively turned towards the Allies, with the Soviet Union in quick decline.  Industrial capacity in the Allied nations now reached new highs.  France and Britain each had about 200 IC, while the US had an astounding 400+.  It was obvious that there was no room in the world for enemies of the Allies, and anyone who tried to challenge them could hope for minor tactical victories, but would always be doomed to eventual failure.  Venezuela even joined the Allies after declaring war on the Soviets, hoping to cash in on our successes.  They made sure that Italy was properly garrisoned while we did all the work, ensuring that they got some of the glory.  The Japanese Empire, having complete control over its conquered Nationalist China, looked on India with coveteous eyes.  Refusing to allow history to be their teacher, the Japanese decided to bomb Pearl Harbor in late 1945.  Such an incredibly stupid act could only result in significant pain and utter humiliation, but they decided the reward was worth the risk.  The thrid and final installment will cover the battle with the Japanese and the conclusion of the fighting with the Soviets.

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