Automatic Convoy problems? (Full Version)

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Whisper01 -> Automatic Convoy problems? (7/24/2009 2:15:42 PM)

Question concerning Automatic Supply TF creation and use.

Yes, I read the scraps of paper that constitute a "manual" and it seems pretty straight forward, but...

1) I placed a good number of AK's and TK's and some DD's in San Fransisco and then placed them all on "Automatic Supply Convoy" duty and the name of each ship so chosen turned 'RED'.
2) I placed several (12 or so) bases in the Central Pacific (PH, Midway, Johnson Is, Palmyra, Canton, Fiji, Anchorake, Dutch Harbor, etc...) to accept automatic convoys (toggled to yes).

Then waited several turns to allow some of those bases supply numbers to dwindle (turn orange and or red) but no convoyes where formed in San Fransisco, none of the ships left port, none of the ships formed TF's or picked up supply...

Turned the whole system off, formed convoyes to supply the bases shown above and went on down the road... but, this can not go on forever as the back (not forward edge of combat bases) bases need supply and it gets boring checking them constantly and forming new convoys to supply them.

So, am I doing something wrong or is the system whack?
I'm playing the stock game 41 to 46 campaign. Bought in June 09 with, seemingly, all upgrades / patches already on it (but I can't confirm this).

Thanks!




Mynok -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/24/2009 2:46:15 PM)


Don't use auto convoy.




Charbroiled -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/24/2009 3:01:38 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Whisper01

Question concerning Automatic Supply TF creation and use.

Yes, I read the scraps of paper that constitute a "manual" and it seems pretty straight forward, but...

1) I placed a good number of AK's and TK's and some DD's in San Fransisco and then placed them all on "Automatic Supply Convoy" duty and the name of each ship so chosen turned 'RED'.
2) I placed several (12 or so) bases in the Central Pacific (PH, Midway, Johnson Is, Palmyra, Canton, Fiji, Anchorake, Dutch Harbor, etc...) to accept automatic convoys (toggled to yes).

Then waited several turns to allow some of those bases supply numbers to dwindle (turn orange and or red) but no convoyes where formed in San Fransisco, none of the ships left port, none of the ships formed TF's or picked up supply...

Turned the whole system off, formed convoyes to supply the bases shown above and went on down the road... but, this can not go on forever as the back (not forward edge of combat bases) bases need supply and it gets boring checking them constantly and forming new convoys to supply them.

So, am I doing something wrong or is the system whack?
I'm playing the stock game 41 to 46 campaign. Bought in June 09 with, seemingly, all upgrades / patches already on it (but I can't confirm this).

Thanks!


I do not use or trust the automatic convoy system.

Instead, I use CS (continuous suppy) TFs.

To create these, create a transport or tanker TF as you normally would (with escorts, if needed, AKs and TKs). Preferably create in from the port you want the suppiles to come from (i.e. Pearl Harbor). If the TF is created in a different port then where the suppiles will be coming from, then set the "Home Port" to the supplying base. Set the destination to the base you want supplied. Right below the TF picture, click on "Human controled"...it will change to "CS: <base to be supplied>". The TF will automatically start loading supplies (and fuel if you have tankers). If the base is not the suppling base, you will have to stop loading and set the destination to the supplying base. The TF will then go to the supplying base....start loading and will the go the base to be supplied.

The TF will then load supplies....go to the base to be supplied.....unload....go to the supplying base....load...and will repeat until you cancel the CS routine. The default speed for the TF will be set to "cruise", so if you want supplies to go faster, change to speed to "mission speed". If the base to be suppiled is a front line base that eats a lot of supplies, you might want to set the speed to "fast speed".




Quixote -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/24/2009 3:04:34 PM)

In answer to your actual question, no - you aren't doing anything wrong. The AI will eventually form supply TFs and send them on their way. It does a very poor and erratic job of selecting what to send, where to send it, and when to send it, but it will happen sooner or later if you have the ships and bases assigned and are patient enough. That said, I'd still recommend taking Mynok's advice.




Charbroiled -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/24/2009 3:11:26 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Whisper01

I'm playing the stock game 41 to 46 campaign. Bought in June 09 with, seemingly, all upgrades / patches already on it (but I can't confirm this).

Thanks!


To confirm you have the latest version, when you start the game and get to the main menu screen, you should see:

PATCH VERSION 1.806......this will be in the upper right hand corner, right below the tag that says "Main Menu Screen"




Andy Mac -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/24/2009 3:23:00 PM)

I find it ok actually it does th ejob after a few days




Shark7 -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/24/2009 4:52:09 PM)

My main problem with the auto convoy system was that it seemed to run me completely dry on my supplies in the home islands. Since that lesson was learned I just handle it myself...tedious but effective.




moonraker -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/24/2009 5:05:22 PM)

I've always used Auto Convoy. But as has been mentioned it can be a bit erratic in what and when it sends. Looking forward to seeing how the new system works in AE.




Rainer -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/24/2009 9:03:05 PM)

An old bug. You probably have the NE Zone under Computer Control.
If so NO supply TFs will leave San Francisco (even those you created manually). They will be disbanded by the program.
If you set NE Zone to Human Control the Auto Convoy System will work just fine. (Click "Show Control Zone Map", then click NE Zone to toggle from Computer Control to Human Control).
Since 1.806 the Auto Convoy system observes ZOC (Zones of Control), thus avoiding areas where the Japanese have Air Superiority. Just check once in while where these convoys are heading to, to prevent a bold TF commander to come too close to harms way.
Cheers
Rainer

PS: There is another bug. Allied ports in Northern Australia and Northern Borneo should not be set to Auto Supply. The program will try to send Supply Convoys from India, but these convoys will try to refuel in Pearl Harbour. As I said, a bug.




rtrapasso -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/24/2009 10:02:48 PM)

DO NOT USE ANYTHING ON COMPUTER CONTROL - unless you somehow enjoy unpleasant surprises...

Setting anything to be controlled by computers can have unfortunate results... you might find your subs leaving port when you wanted them to stay and repair... you might find units inexplicably marching off to nowhere... etc.

All of these things (and many more) can happen if you set any little piddly thing to be controlled by the computer.




Mynok -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/24/2009 10:49:53 PM)


Wish someone had told that to the investment banks. [:'(]




rtrapasso -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/24/2009 11:43:32 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mynok


Wish someone had told that to the investment banks. [:'(]

[:D] [:D]




Rainer -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/25/2009 4:13:17 PM)

With all due respect Robert, but I disagree.
I have finished two full campaigns and recently started the third (Allies vs. AI, Scenario 15, no mods), and I have always used the Auto Convey system (in lieu of what I said in my last post). I have subs under computer control, and it works. I use CS extensively, and it works. The supply convoys unter Computer Control even avoid areas with enemy sub and aircraft activities (ZOC awareness).
If you had said "Beware what you are doing when using Computer Control and monitor carefully what units under Computer Control are doing" I could agree with you. Then again, a prudent player will always monitor what his units are doing, regardless if they are computer controlled or not.
I feel it is a matter of taste and style of play. People who love micro management will probably agree with you, people who want to ease their work load may try my approach.
In the end I hope WitP/AE will do away some of those concerns how (and if) computer controlled support works. We'll see next Monday :)




byron13 -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/25/2009 4:48:32 PM)

I've used the Auto Convoy and am largely satisfied when used for limited purposes. As stated, it is what might be described as "erratic." It will run enough supplies to to a base to last a decade. I have had bad luck running them from Karachi to anything much beyond Singapore - I have found auto convoys from Karachi refueling in Pearl Harbor. Where I use it mostly is supplying bases in Alaska and back-water bases in the South Pacific such as Palmyra, Johnston, Suva, or some tiny base where I have PBY's stationed - bases where a direct route to them from San Francisco don't come close to potential battle areas. They are ideal for what I consider their purpose to have been: taking my mind off of supplying places that aren't all that important and relieving me of the task of monitoring their supply status.




Rainer -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/25/2009 8:38:25 PM)

I use Auto Convoys also to supply Noumea and selected Australian ports (eg Brisbane). Even Port Moresby is supplied this way (Mid 1942). The convoys avoid the Marshalls and go deep south (in the direction of Noumea) to avoid the Coral Sea where Japanese bombers rule the air. Then they turn north to reach Port Moresby because they have to. I try to give air support (Long Range CAP) but that is difficult with the limited range of Allied fighters available (no P-38 yet). However, the Japanese have their air attack focus on Port Moresby itself, and on Guadalcanal (Lunga). Thus the auto convoys do not get the attention most of the time. When they are close enough (3 hexes) fighters from Port Moresby provide air support.
The biggest problem for the convoys in that area is Japanese subs. But even those the convoys try to avoid be re-routing (not always successful). The convoys do all that routing on their own (computer) without interference from me (the player).

I agree with you that supplying bases south of Singapore does not work, because of the "first go to Hawaii to refuel" bug. That also applies to support of Northern Australia (notably Darwin) and - later in the war - ports on the northern part of New Guinea. The only way to supply those ports is to set up CS convoys from "Supply Hubs", which in turn are supplied by auto convoys.




rtrapasso -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/25/2009 9:46:11 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rainer

With all due respect Robert, but I disagree.
I have finished two full campaigns and recently started the third (Allies vs. AI, Scenario 15, no mods), and I have always used the Auto Convey system (in lieu of what I said in my last post). I have subs under computer control, and it works. I use CS extensively, and it works. The supply convoys unter Computer Control even avoid areas with enemy sub and aircraft activities (ZOC awareness).
If you had said "Beware what you are doing when using Computer Control and monitor carefully what units under Computer Control are doing" I could agree with you. Then again, a prudent player will always monitor what his units are doing, regardless if they are computer controlled or not.
I feel it is a matter of taste and style of play. People who love micro management will probably agree with you, people who want to ease their work load may try my approach.
In the end I hope WitP/AE will do away some of those concerns how (and if) computer controlled support works. We'll see next Monday :)

Unless you monitor EVERY unit EVERY turn, you are probably going to get bit... and even if you do monitor the units, i've seen the AI haul ships without orders out of drydock and make them sail... i strongly recommend all computer control functions be stopped.

If you want to live dangerously, of course, that's your business! [:D]




DivePac88 -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/25/2009 10:19:57 PM)

Burn this on the back of your Hand;

Never ever use Computer control for anything... never ever.




Shark7 -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/26/2009 2:20:46 AM)

So you guys who do use auto convoys. I assume you are only using it to supply the forward 'depot' type bases? Thus limiting it to a certain number of bases and ships?




Andy Mac -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/26/2009 3:55:41 AM)

I use Auto convoy a lot but I use it for waht its designed for keeping small out of the way bases topped up with fuel for stockpiling I use CS convoys

Maybe 5% of my total AK fleet as the allies is in the autoconvoy system at any point in time in 41/42 early 43 rising to 10% in 44/45

I get good value out of it for doing the things I want it to do.




Mynok -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/26/2009 4:21:31 AM)


CS isn't the same as auto-convoy. CS works fine. Auto convoy does not.




byron13 -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/26/2009 10:08:08 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: DivePac88

Burn this on the back of your Hand;

Never ever use Computer control for anything... never ever.



Burn this on the back of your other hand: the more absolute the advice, the less valid it is likely to be.

As pointed out by Mynok, make sure you're referring to the auto-convoys and not CS convoys. The former run only out of Karachi and San Francisco, only run to bases that you specifically turn "on" by selecting them, using ships that you withdraw from normal use by specifically selecting them. CS convoys are the ones that you create by forming cargo convoys normally, load them with supply, and set a destination - and then click on "human control" which will then toggle to "CS: [destination]". The latter will deliver supplies from the same source base (e.g., San Francisco) to the same destination base repeatedly until the TF is disbanded.

As long as you understand that it is has virtually no intelligence, Auto-convoy works fine for limited purposes. Since it forms convoys to supply only bases that it thinks are running low on fuel or supplies, I don't think it is suitable for supplying your forward depot bases. For me, and I think Andy was agreeing, it is good for keeping the out-of-the-way or backwater bases supplied. I keep base units and PBY's, a random B-25 (PBJ), or fighter squadron in rear-areas. Few have much else like CDs or infantry, so they use very little supply and no fuel (unless the supply convoy tops off at the base). I don't know how often they need to be supplied because I use the auto-convoy and can forget about them - but it isn't often. It seems to me to be a pain in the arse to have to check to see that these bases have enough supply or to make sure that I keep a CS convoy running to this base. In most cases, I would think that a CS convoy will provide too much supply over time. If you disband the CS convoy, then you have to worry about when you create another one. Pretty much anywhere east of the "front line" is eligible for these convoys from San Francisco; the farther these bases are from the fighting, the more suitable the base is for this type of supply.

Early in the war, you are short AKs, and your bases are all short on supply (at least in the eyes of the computer). If you turn on fifteen bases to be suppled this way on the first turn and task, say, five AKs and three TKs to be auto-convoy ships, you'll find that the system will create larger-than-necessary convoys to supply places like Prince Rupert or Juneau. The convoy may even come back and make a second run to the same base until it is satisfied that the base will not run out of supply or fuel during the twentieth century. And while it's doing that, Dutch Harbor, Suva, and Hilo are starving and not getting serviced. So you'll probably have to manually run supply to these other bases initially. But most of the bases that I consider to be candidates for this use so little supply that one manual run will keep them fed for at least a couple of months. The idea is to get enough manual supply to them to last until the auto-convoy gets around to really topping them off and catching up with what it perceives demand to be. Once you've reached this equilibrium, the auto-convoy can keep them all supplied easily - and you should have enough AKs and TKs by early '42 to commit enough to never really stress the system. I doubt I ever have more than about 10 or 15 AKs in the system at any time. Then you can add a few bases at a time, and the system will have enough slack in it by that time that the auto-convoy can immediately supply these new bases without the need to make a manual run first.

But you are free to use manual or CS convoys as well. I would use CS convoys when I am trying to push supplies such as to Oz, a forward depot or hub, and from the depot or hub to the bases in the local area or near the "front line." Once the "front line" moves to the west, what was a depot base may become a backwater, and I'll change it over to auto-convoy when there isn't much activity there anymore. For example, I use Canton or Pago Pago as a hub initially (whether necessary/efficient or not, I consider this area to be at the corner of the run south from USA and the run west to Oz, Noumea, Solomons, etc., and having the hub here - on the corner - eliminates the risk of CS convoys wandering through Japanese territory). I push supply via CS convoys. Once I own the Marshalls, Kwajalien becomes a hub, I can run supplies via CS directly to Noumea or Rabaul or whatever, and there isn't much reason to keep Canton as a hub or to run supplies via CS from Kwajalien backwards to Tarawa, etc. Canton and Tarawa become backwaters and can be supplied via auto-convoy without getting bitten. Of course, if you move everything off the island, it won't need to be supplied regardless. Again, if you're trying to push supplies and build up stockpiles, auto-convoy won't work because you're wanting quantities that are higher than the what will trigger the computer to form an auto-convoy.

Running auto-convoys out of Karachi is iffy. As indicated, there is/was a bug that had convoys from Karachi running to Pearl Harbor to refuel before dropping its cargo in the NEI. So I never really used auto-convoys from Karachi. Supply in the British sector is much more linear, since it pretty much just follows the coast, and therefore easier to use CS convoys. You use CS convoys to push supply to a large forward base on the coast: Colombo, Diamond Harbor, Rangoon, Singapore, whatever. Since most of your units are supplied via road networks and there are so few islands that need their own independent supply runs, there isn't much need for auto convoys in this area anyway - at least until you have re-taken parts of the NEI.

Maybe I just don't manage my rear areas as intensively as some of the other players. But I think auto-convoy was made for lazy slugs like me that want to concentrate on fighting the war on the front and not have to worry about delivering smokes to guys doing little more than counting coconuts and gooney birds 2000 miles from the nearest Japanese. For this, it works fine - for me, anyway. Just remember that it has its limitations and work within them. Regardless, I think a rule of "never use auto-convoys" is off the mark.




Reg -> RE: Automatic Convoy problems? (7/26/2009 11:42:07 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mynok


Don't use auto convoy.


For pity's sake Captain, don't tell them that!!


[image]local://upfiles/446/22E2EB0D60644099BE0ABF3B6B6A5C43.jpg[/image]




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