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Handling Submarines

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Handling Submarines - 1/25/2007 6:35:49 AM   


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This is probably very obvious to others, but for me, I find defending against submarine fleets very difficult. I try researching anti-sub capacity on my Heavy Bombers and Light Fleets, but wow, that takes a long time, and takes even longer to make that much difference.

I can't afford destroyers with every transport fleet.

Any suggestions?

< Message edited by Dahnyul -- 1/25/2007 6:58:25 AM >
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RE: Handling Submarines - 1/25/2007 8:46:41 AM   


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I'd say that you are off to a good start with ASW research in HBs and LFs.

The nature of the beast is that you have to play defensively for a while. The sub dispersion defense bonus only applies for subs when the subs are defending. Hence, it is easier for you to hit a sub if it happens to attack you.

And subs suffer an evasion penalty after being fired upon, and note that even transports fire on subs. In fact, defensively at the start of the game transport ASW is just as good as LF.

So, what you can do defensively is establish convoys, i.e. stacks of several transports and LFs. If you have more fleets than the enemy has subs, then you know that at least one sub will be fired upon twice, i.e. will be fired upon after getting the evasion penalty. This is a huge part of sub defense - convoys.

You can't do stacked convoys everywhere. But if you stack along the obvious (close) convoy routes then you force his subs to either go farther to find safe targets, or concentrate all his subs against a single sea zone which will result in a lot of misses (since subs that target a combat fleet only fire 33%).

You probably can't do much offensive sub hunting until you get to ASW=2. But then the evasion penalty is key. Try to hit the subs first with a unit that has poor ASW, like an air unit, if possible. That reduces the evasion. Then go for the kill with your techd up sub hunters, the LFs and the HBs, or whatever you have (CAGs are also a good choice).

The most important thing is not to let your ASW fall too far behind his sub evasion. If you are more than a step and a half behind then you will be in for a world of hurt. Research your LFs plus 1 or 2 air units EVERY TURN until it is clear that you won't fall behind.

< Message edited by WanderingHead -- 1/25/2007 8:58:34 AM >

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RE: Handling Submarines - 1/25/2007 8:54:08 AM   

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edit: Doh! Wandering Head beat me to it. So a lot of this is repeating what he stated.

I assume you are talking about playing as the WAllies in the Atlantic vs the Germans (playing as the Japanese against US subs is whole 'nother animal).

1) First of all, you have to accept that there are going to be Transport losses regardless of how much effort you put into stopping the submarines. So a good thing to do is to plan ahead and have some TRs in reserve for when you take the losses. If you wait until you are start to have holes in your TR net you are likely dead already.

2) Make sure to put max research points into ASW for at the very least Light Fleets, Heavy Bombers, and CAGs. This gives you 3 types of units to go hunting with and assures that you'll almost always have something close at hand to deal with subs. If you fall behind in research, you are going to get hurt badly. There is a fine balance between the ASW and German Sub EV and even a turn plus or minus can really make a difference.

3) If the enemy is leaving singleton subs at sea make sure you understand the rules on the bonus evasion for 'dispersal'. Basically you suffer a -3 penalty when attacking a lone non-phasing sub (and -2 for 2 subs etc, -1 for 3, and 0 for 4 or more). This is almost the equivalent of losing an attack die and makes it very hard for early ASW to overcome the mid-EV U-boats. However, if you attack the same sub more than once in a turn, it suffers the -1 EV for being previously attacked. And that cancels that -3 dispersal penalty. So you want to use your 'weaker' ASW units to get that first shot in (since all you are realistically looking for is to get that 'previously attacked' penalty on their EV). For example, if your CAGs are ASW 1 and your Bombers are ASW 2, use a CAG to attack a sub first, then send in the Bomber. This will drastically increase your chances of a kill.

4) Try to maintain aircraft ASW patrols in key areas that Uboats will have to pass through. You want to get the Op-fire on them if possible when they try to move through. This generally isnt too effective, but its possible to score a hit and its often a free shot. The downside here is that you'll likely have to keep some friendly Fighters on patrol too for protection (although that will vary based on enemy Fighter deployments).

There are probably other tips that I am forgetting at the moment, but that should be a good start for countering the Uboat threat.

Hope it helps!

< Message edited by Uncle_Joe -- 1/25/2007 9:06:48 AM >


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RE: Handling Submarines - 1/26/2007 7:44:00 PM   
christian brown

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More notes on what I find to be a most difficult aspect to master:

As the German, taking Denmark has the effect of putting (a perfect ASW base) Iceland in the Allied camp: this is always part of my calculation as to whether to take it (DK) or not.

Keep a supply point on land next to all LFs and even TFs if you can (or even on a transport in the same sea zone) in order to:
A) not have the "unsupplied" penalty applied if they get attacked by a sub)
B) have supply to move and counterattack if the transport link to it gets cut

For the Allies:
Keep ASW capable aircraft units (for the op-fire) here:
On the Horn of Africa (if Egypt has fallen)
Gibraltar ---> to block the other med exit
As previously mentioned, use something that is not your best ASW asset to hit the sub first (when a sub is at EV3+, ASW 1 is no longer enough to touch it-just be aware of this) and cause the "already done been a shot at" penalty to the sub; then bring in EVERY other asset you can to come and kill it, remember, damaged subs will be back to bother you again a lot sooner than a fresh new build that replaces a destroyed sub.  SOOOOOooo, always go for the kill when you can!
Try Iceland as well (the unsinkable CV!)
DO build more LFs, even 3 new ones can help.
LFs and CAGs are best for this duty (because they are so mobile) though others rely upon is true that moving a CV around costs a lot of supply, but hey.....(this is another reason to build a bunch of CVs and CAGs as the WA.)

if you can afford to put 2 aircraft, you might even get some kills along with the usual suppession.

< Message edited by christian brown -- 1/26/2007 7:58:58 PM >


"Those who would give up a little liberty for a little security deserve neither and will lose both."
~ Thomas Jefferson

(in reply to Uncle_Joe)
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RE: Handling Submarines - 7/19/2007 9:54:10 AM   


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Thank you to all gentlemen.

Sorry I forgot to post a thank you sooner.

Much appreciated.

(in reply to christian brown)
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