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Introduction and a Question

 
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Introduction and a Question - 7/18/2008 5:40:04 AM   
Connfire


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First of all, I can't say how thrilled I was to rediscover Pacific War. I used to play the Victory Games version of Pacific War in college - the one that came out in 1985. It was very similar, but it was a board game, and required several tables for the maps and had over a thousand little square chips and 10-sided dice. I found the Matrix version online, got it working, and started with the tutorial in the rulebook (Guadalcanal). I'm now in January 1943, playing the Allies, and trying hard not to become obsessed! Its great to see in the forums that there's so many others also into this style of hardcore gaming, and I've picked up some great tips.

I am in the midst of the "steep learning curve", of course, and have made a few mistakes but even learning the lessons the hard way is fun. So far there's just one major thing I can't get a handle on, and I'm sorry if this is a newbie question but its kind of bugging me:

Right now I don't think I can handle the whole map, so basically I took over South Pacific Command, just like the tutorial in the rulebook said. I've been battling my way up the Solomons, and am now in the initial stages of preparing to assault the Tarawa-Makin area. Anyway, after a fierce battle, around October 1942, the CV-6 Enterprise was badly damaged, and I had to withdraw her. Despite paying my Engineers and Seabees overtime, SouthPacCom still does not have a Port above level 4 by January 1943. So I look at the map, and figure that there's a few nearby ports in Australia where I can get her patched up. I send her to Sydney, and get back to the Solomons fighting.

That's when the problems began. I guess Douglass McArthur took a shine to the Big E, because before I knew it he had her on some kind of magical mystery tour, and she was rounding the north of Australia. I'd take control of her, land her in an Australian port, and the same thing would just happen next turn. That's when I noticed she was under Southwest Pacific Command. Meanwhile, she's floating around unescorted, and the Japs are using her for target practice. I set her destination and homeport for New Calendonia, and that seemed to do the trick. I'm lucky she made it to New Calendonia at all, but by that time she was critically wounded.

Fast forward a couple game months later. The Big E finally limps into Pearl (under Central Pacific Command) via Fiji and Nassau to avoid air and sub attack for her desperately needed repairs. Just before she enters port, I make sure she's still under South Pacific Command, and that her homeport is New Calendonia.

Next turn Chester Nimitz has her sailing for Seattle, despite the fact she still has 77 damage. What gives? Is there any way I can repair a ship in a port not under my command, without it being commandeered and sent somewhere else even if she's damaged? Do I have to take over Central Pacific Command, (or the 4th Army) just to make sure my ships stay in port? Its really frustrating, because had she just been repaired in Australia she probably would be back in action by now.

Anyway, don't want to belabor it because otherwise I'm having a great time - Saratoga, Hornet, and the battlewagons are still raising Cain in the Solomons, and the new ship and aircraft classes are starting to come into play! Just wanted to introduce myself, and hope that there's a simple answer I overlooked on the ship repair question.
Post #: 1
RE: Introduction and a Question - 7/18/2008 6:31:31 AM   
Skipjack


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Welcome! And good to hear from another gamer who purchased Victory Game's Pacific War. I bought that many moons ago and only got about half way through breaking out the counters and organizing them into trays (or maybe that was "The Eagle and the Sun" - I have both) - back in my board-gaming days.

It sounds like you have some HQs under computer control. I don't recommend it. A computer controlled HQ will form TFs with anything it finds in one of it's ports and send it on the strangest missions - almost totally ignoring common sense. Once I left SWPAC under Operational Computer control and it disbanded all the air squadrons it could - never again. Now the first thing I do is find all HQs (<alt>f) and switch them to Human control (<alt>k). No exceptions. I don't trust the computer in any regard.

Cheers, Skipjack


< Message edited by Skipjack -- 7/18/2008 6:40:50 AM >

(in reply to Connfire)
Post #: 2
RE: Introduction and a Question - 7/18/2008 4:34:38 PM   
Connfire


Posts: 868
Joined: 7/18/2008
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Thanks, Skipjack - I was gratified to see your reply, since your past posts have helped lessen my "learning curve".

I was dating my wife back in the board game days, and to this day she still does not understand why I was upset when the vacuum cleaner accidently sucked up the BB Nagato chip! I always wondered why so many of the Victory Game and Avalon Hill games were never picked up by the software companies, which is why I was so happy to accidently discover Matix.

Basically I'm viewing what I'm doing now as a big tutorial, and once I get the hang of it I'll start over in December '41 under full human control. But overnight (before your reply) I did re-read the sections on Headquarters and Supply in the manual - its amazing how it takes new meaning once you have some experience to back it up with. Based on that and your reply, I did put Central Pacific under human control (that should solve my ship repair problem, outside of Australia), but am holding off on Southwest and the mainland Asian commands until I'm satisfied I got naval, air, and island hopping mastered. I'm thinking within 6 game months the whole map will be under full human contol.

Newbie question #2: How are PTs and MTBs represented on the map? My computer opponent and I are deadlocked at Kolombangara, and its turning into a war of attrition so at this point I can use any help I can find. The "Find Ships" feature does not seem to include them, I can't find them in any ports. When I try to create a task force with the Motor Torpedo Boat mission, I get a task force with no ships in it, with a Surface Combat mission. Does this represent the PTs, or am I doing something wrong?

(in reply to Skipjack)
Post #: 3
RE: Introduction and a Question - 7/18/2008 5:08:46 PM   
LargeSlowTarget


Posts: 2773
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From: The deepest, darkest pit of hell
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There are no more PTs and MTBs in v3.2 - the Japanese Daihatsu barges have been eliminated as well. The game mechanics did not handle them very well, and the database slots have been used for other ships.

_____________________________

Carpe Cerevisiam



WitP AAR "Six Years of War"

(in reply to Connfire)
Post #: 4
RE: Introduction and a Question - 7/18/2008 8:27:34 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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From: Los Angeles
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Connfire

Despite paying my Engineers and Seabees overtime, SouthPacCom still does not have a Port above level 4 by January 1943.



One other point to keep track of: in the 3.x versions, the maximum port and airfield sizes have been limited. Only a terrain type 6 base can build sizes all the way up to level 8. Terrain types 3, 5, and 7 can expand to level 6 airfields and ports. Note carefully: terrain type 4 is just as bad as types 1, 2, 8, and 9: they are all limited to size 4. This has caught many a player, myself included.

Also, even numbers of engineer units tend to give the best "bang for the buck" on base expansion. (e.g. if you have six engineer units, it's best to put two each on three bases rather than three each on two.)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Connfire)
Post #: 5
RE: Introduction and a Question - 7/19/2008 11:57:03 PM   
Connfire


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Thanks for the info and advice LargeSlowTarget and Capt. Harlock. I downloaded the zip file containing all the past and present version changes, but I do not yet have as firm a grasp on that aspect as I'd like to. I'll have to reevaluate where my engineers are now.

Without lapsnig into another war story - I'm definately addicted, now in March '43, mostly playing when I'm on the night shift at my firehouse (I'm a career fire officer). I'm now starting to see how attrition is taking its toll on the quality and quantity of Japanese pilots. Love this game!

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 6
RE: Introduction and a Question - 7/20/2008 12:20:36 AM   
Skipjack


Posts: 408
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From: Wisconsin, USA
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Connfire

I was dating my wife back in the board game days, and to this day she still does not understand why I was upset when the vacuum cleaner accidentally sucked up the BB Nagato chip!



Argh! Why don't females understand - I have to bite my tongue when I see rolls of paper towels stacked on top of my "Advanced 3rd Reich" game downstairs. Is nothing sacred?

BTW, I dug though my VG Pacwar and found the Nagato along witht the other IJN BBs - not sure if I will ever use them, but I know I can't bear to throw them out

< Message edited by Skipjack -- 7/20/2008 12:25:24 AM >

(in reply to Connfire)
Post #: 7
RE: Introduction and a Question - 7/28/2008 6:30:31 PM   
Connfire


Posts: 868
Joined: 7/18/2008
From: Connecticut, USA
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Hi guys, a few more newbie questions:

Newbie question #3 - Is there ever a reason, except in some specialized cases where you have many task forces in the same hex, to set a task force's mission to "bombardment" as opposed to "surface combat"? I realize that on surface combat the TF should attack ships instead of ground units first. But I've been putting mine on surface combat even when I know there is no enemy TFs in the area of the ground targets, just in case one pops up. Do TFs on bombardment do more damage to ground units then TFs on surface combat missions? Can a task force on bombardment engage in surface combat, or stop an enemy TF from coming through with reinforcements?

Newbie question #4 - Just how automated is the supply convoy system? I've gone multiple turns without a single Allied convoy landing in port, and many more where only about 20-40 ships are involved while literally hundreds of MCS and others are sitting idle in India, Australia, and the West Coast. Meanwhile over a thousand computer controlled Japanese ships are moving every turn. Should I send the idle ships to the pool, or is there something else I'm missing?

Newbie question #5 - If I capture an airfield near a known Japanese supply convoy route (in this particular case near Borneo) and assign fighter-bombers to it - will the convoys avoid the air zone of control, thus making me have to reassign some submarine patrol areas? Are subs the only way to attack Japanese supply convoys?

Newbie question #6 - This may sound so silly I'm almost embarassed to ask, but, in terms of the game (not real life) what is the difference between a heavy bomber and a tactical bomber?

(in reply to Skipjack)
Post #: 8
RE: Introduction and a Question - 7/28/2008 8:25:31 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4236
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From: Los Angeles
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Connfire

Hi guys, a few more newbie questions:

Newbie question #3 - Is there ever a reason, except in some specialized cases where you have many task forces in the same hex, to set a task force's mission to "bombardment" as opposed to "surface combat"? I realize that on surface combat the TF should attack ships instead of ground units first. But I've been putting mine on surface combat even when I know there is no enemy TFs in the area of the ground targets, just in case one pops up. Do TFs on bombardment do more damage to ground units then TFs on surface combat missions? Can a task force on bombardment engage in surface combat, or stop an enemy TF from coming through with reinforcements?

The basic difference is that a Surface Combat TF will deliver two rounds of bombardment, while a Bombardment TF will deliver three. Bombardment TF's will shoot back if attacked, but will not initiate combat. However, I seem to recall some enemy transport TF's aborting their missions because of the presence of a Bombardment TF.

quote:


Newbie question #4 - Just how automated is the supply convoy system? I've gone multiple turns without a single Allied convoy landing in port, and many more where only about 20-40 ships are involved while literally hundreds of MCS and others are sitting idle in India, Australia, and the West Coast. Meanwhile over a thousand computer controlled Japanese ships are moving every turn. Should I send the idle ships to the pool, or is there something else I'm missing?

The allied convoy ports are Calcutta and Los Angeles. Ships in Australia, or any other port, will not participate in routine convoys. However, I have noticed that HQ bases with a few cargo ships in them will tend to receive more supplies.

quote:


Newbie question #6 - This may sound so silly I'm almost embarassed to ask, but, in terms of the game (not real life) what is the difference between a heavy bomber and a tactical bomber?


Tactical Bombers have two engines, Heavy Bombers have four. There are only three models of Heavy Bomber in PacWar: B-17's, B-24's and B-29's. Heavy bombers are considerably less accurate when attacking ships -- and they always have to be assigned to the Naval Interdiction mission. (There are a few Tactical bombers such as the G4M Betty and the Beaufighter which will attack ships even when not on Naval Interdiction.) HB's also gulp more supplies and take up more space when loaded onto MCS vessels.


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Connfire)
Post #: 9
RE: Introduction and a Question - 7/30/2008 7:03:26 PM   
Connfire


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Joined: 7/18/2008
From: Connecticut, USA
Status: offline
quote:

The allied convoy ports are Calcutta and Los Angeles. Ships in Australia, or any other port, will not participate in routine convoys. However, I have noticed that HQ bases with a few cargo ships in them will tend to receive more supplies.


That seems to do the trick. Thank you.

quote:

The basic difference is that a Surface Combat TF will deliver two rounds of bombardment, while a Bombardment TF will deliver three. Bombardment TF's will shoot back if attacked, but will not initiate combat.


I love how simple things such as this bring such a strategic depth to the game. With just this simple rule, the distance from your nearest friendly base, your ammo consumption, and priorities all need to be factored in. Neat.

OK, one more question - now that I'm reasonably decent with the original manual, I'm trying to go through the other reading material in LargeSlowTarget's zip file, in chronological order so I don't miss anything. Hopefully this will answer all of my questions and then some, but since I'm about to shift more forces to finally break the seige on Port Moresby, including an Aussie Division on newly-liberated Timor with an Exp level of 90, this quote from the PWHINT11 file, page 14, is an immediate concern:

quote:

It appears that only the experience rating of the land unit on the top of the stack in a hex is used for the experience check at the beginning of a land combat phase. If a unit with a low experience rating is on top of the stack, its experience rating will be used no matter how good the other units in the stack are.
As an example, the British player should always arrange his forces so that a unit with an experience rating over 50 is on the top of any stack that is going to fight the Japanese. It also means that divisions will always be higher in stacks than non?divisional units, because their database ID #'s are lower.


What's not clear to me is how do I get this newly relocated 90 Exp Aussie Division "on the top of the stack" once it arrives? Or maybe this has become unneccesary with later updates?

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 10
RE: Introduction and a Question - 7/31/2008 5:05:27 AM   
Skipjack


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Connfire

What's not clear to me is how do I get this newly relocated 90 Exp Aussie Division "on the top of the stack" once it arrives? Or maybe this has become unneccesary with later updates?



I do not know of a way to control the order of units at a base - I believe it is derived from the order the units are listed in the database. Typically the larger units are higher (Divs before Bdes, and so on), then nationality and/or other factors come into play.

The best you can do is get the priority unit (7th Aus Div, for instance) to the target base and put lesser units (Aus/NZ Bdes) with it. Not a terribly workable solution, I admit, but the land combat in this game is subordinate to Naval warfare IMHO. In a game I am currently playing, I moved out the 4th AUS div from a particular base so the 7th AUS Div would be the "top of stack" unit (I moved in a couple of Bdes to compensate).

In another example, I have a stack (in a game vs. the AI) where I have the 1st Malay Bde, the Gullforce Bn, and an Indian Eng unit rescued from Singapore at a particular base. The stack order is Eng, Bn, Bde. I sure hope the AI doesn't attack

< Message edited by Skipjack -- 7/31/2008 5:09:10 AM >

(in reply to Connfire)
Post #: 11
RE: Introduction and a Question - 8/2/2008 1:57:11 AM   
Connfire


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OK, thanks for the tip, Skipjack. I guess it might be best to leave the 6th and 9th Aussie Divs (90 and 88 Exp) at Cairnes for now, and bring in the US 6th (70 Exp) to lead the 37th US, and 2, 3, and 7th Aussie Divs in the upcoming Port Moresby breakout.

(in reply to Skipjack)
Post #: 12
RE: Introduction and a Question - 9/6/2008 10:38:32 PM   
Connfire


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OK, next, and quite possibly last question for this particular game I'm playing. Its January 1945, and the Allies have been on rampage. In the past month alone, Bangkok, Hainan, a coastal Chinese City, and Okinawa have fallen, and the Phillipines and Borneo completely secured. In 3 weeks Halsey's carriers and Allied subs have sunk about 190 ships (not exagerating) of all types off Japan including about 9 CVs of all sizes and 3 BBs, and the 3 Japanese cities in Allied range have been regularly bombed for some time now. Kamikazees are doing some damage, but the writing is on the wall.

Past 3 turns have begun with the Japanese asking for unconditional surrender, then the regular turn continuing once I click past it. Allied score is 150,000 to Japan's 71,000, but not a single Allied boot has stepped foot on the main islands, and of course the atom bomb isn't available yet, so it just does not feel right for Japan to surrender.

I know about the early surrender bug, but when does it stop being a bug and it is truley appropriate for Japan to surrender? Will the game stop, without being able to click past the surrender message? Do I have to occupy all cities with ground troops, or is it just up to me to decide when to accept their surrender and call it quits? Just want this to be right, after all of the time and energy I've put into this game up to this time.

(in reply to Connfire)
Post #: 13
RE: Introduction and a Question - 9/6/2008 11:18:21 PM   
Skipjack


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You can continue to play despite the surrender message, but the Japanese kill multiplier doesn't kick in now until 1946.  So, based on the current score, you will probably continue to see it every turn going forward.  In closer games, Japanese kills can help them close the gap (I got the surrender message in late 1943 in a game I played recently vs the AI, but is disappeared after I took heavy losses slogging through the Philippines).  It's basically up to you whether you want to continue kicking the corpses - to get a ending that more closely resembles history (I'm thinking this is you playing the Japanese Computer) I'm guessing you will need a human opponent.

(in reply to Connfire)
Post #: 14
RE: Introduction and a Question - 9/7/2008 4:19:19 PM   
Connfire


Posts: 868
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From: Connecticut, USA
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quote:

It's basically up to you whether you want to continue kicking the corpses - to get a ending that more closely resembles history (I'm thinking this is you playing the Japanese Computer) I'm guessing you will need a human opponent.


You gave me a chuckle when I read that yesterday. I played 2 more turns between my last post and reading yours (I had plenty of time on my hands with the tropical storm whipping outside), and "kicking a corpse" is about what I feel like I'm doing right now. I guess I can live with the idea of the the sight of 9 Jap CVs, 3 BBS, et al sinking just outside of Tokyo Bay convinced Hirohito to call it quits. I'll save the game for posterity in case I ever feel like acting out some agression.

Moving on, I never actually saw what the map looked like in 12/41 until I played the first turn with both the historical and non-historical first moves last night, and ended up saveing them both. The non-historical one is intriguing, the Japs did NOT attack Pearl Harbor so a war starting with the US BB fleet intact may be interesting later. I'll probably play the historical version first, however, as I like the fact that Pearl Harbor was ravaged, with 2 BBs destroyed (Arizona and Tennesee), and Repulse sunk off Singapore (UK BB PoW damaged).

But I noted something wierd. In the campaign I was playing up to last night, which started with Guadalcanal, the coastal city of Akyab (in modern day Bangladesh) was there, providing a coastal link between Dacca and Rangoon. In both the historical and non-historical 12/41 campaigns, neither it nor the road are there - you have to take the inland Burma route. Any idea what's up with this?

PS - Skipjack - did you serve on SSN-585?

< Message edited by Connfire -- 9/7/2008 4:21:26 PM >

(in reply to Skipjack)
Post #: 15
RE: Introduction and a Question - 9/8/2008 8:20:54 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4236
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Connfire


Past 3 turns have begun with the Japanese asking for unconditional surrender, then the regular turn continuing once I click past it. Allied score is 150,000 to Japan's 71,000, but not a single Allied boot has stepped foot on the main islands, and of course the atom bomb isn't available yet, so it just does not feel right for Japan to surrender.

I know about the early surrender bug, but when does it stop being a bug and it is truley appropriate for Japan to surrender? Will the game stop, without being able to click past the surrender message?


Just to clarify, the manual states that the game is won when either side reaches a 2:1 margin over the other in Victory Points. You won the game fair and square. My humble opinion is that moving the Kill Point Multiplier past 1944 in version 3.2 was a huge mistake, and without that the Japanese would probably not have surrendered in your game. (It's also interesting that when the Japanese player wins the game, the Allies agree to negotiation, But when the Allied player wins, the Japanese surrender unconditionally.)


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Connfire)
Post #: 16
RE: Introduction and a Question - 9/9/2008 1:04:31 PM   
Skipjack


Posts: 408
Joined: 7/4/2006
From: Wisconsin, USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Connfire

But I noted something weird. In the campaign I was playing up to last night, which started with Guadalcanal, the coastal city of Akyab (in modern day Bangladesh) was there, providing a coastal link between Dacca and Rangoon. In both the historical and non-historical 12/41 campaigns, neither it nor the road are there - you have to take the inland Burma route. Any idea what's up with this?

PS - Skipjack - did you serve on SSN-585?


Akyab is strange - it shows up in some scenarios and not others - I'm not sure why. I believe the "Tora, Tora, Tora" scenario has it, but Campaign 41 does not.

I didn't serve in the Navy - I just picked the name because I liked it - I actually went hunting through Witp to find a ship name I liked, I happened on a Salmon-class in Manila and that did it

(in reply to Connfire)
Post #: 17
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