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Hints and tips for guadalcanal

 
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Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 1/26/2010 1:01:18 PM   
d0mbo

 

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Hi forumites,

Today in a debrief of one of my PBEM's i shared some hints/tips/tactics or whatever yo want to call it on AE in general, and scenario #4 in particular. Maybe these are of use for players looking for a bit of info, so i thought i could just as well share them here. I hope they are helpful, but even more: i want to hear what others think! Note: i only play Japanese, so it's written from that perspective!

Here goes the copy/paste:

General thoughts
- You "win"the game by getting the most points. You get points by damaging the enemy assets (ground, air and most of all: naval). Most of the points, however, are given by simply holding certain bases;
- The bases of importance in this scenario are: Tulagi, Lunga, Milne Bay and Port Moresby. Check out their VP value;
- As the japanese player i tend to focus on one VP location at a time, perhaps as allies you could something like that; keeping the locations in your possesion is most important;
- The japanese player needs to dislodge the Allies, not the other way around. Keep that in mind.

OOB:
- The allies have the upper hand in the first week(s), as the Japanese were (historically) suprised - exploit that (not necesserily invading Truk right away, as that would be gamey, but somewhat aggressive moves can be done, if you should so wish);
- B17 is king, I can't do anything about them. Use them wisely. You will notice Japanese players (including me) react heavily when they start bombarding key bases;
- Kates are glass canons, they hit hard, but get mauled in the process
- Dauntlesses are the Allied weapon of choice. They are a lot more resilient than Kates; on the other hand they have difficulties sinking the Japanese BB's. (I think that's not correct: a 1000lb bomb should be able to penetrate anything afloat.)

Gameplay:
- After the intital weeks, Japanese surface forces will outnumber and outclass the Americans at night. I am not familiar with allied reinforcements, so i do not know if or when you will receive BB's/BC's and CA's;
- during the day the allies should be able to hold the field with land based and carrier based planes;
- use your carriers versus shipping mostly, only sometimes versus land targets;
- supply is the bottleneck in this scenario. if you think the allies are short on fuel/supplies; the japanese get only 2/3's of that. And what is more: they need to transport it to forward bases of operation - think about ways to hit the japanese supplywise
- the japanese player will want to keep tassafaronga supplied - the tokyo express will be running; find a way to do something about that or accept you have many well supplied japanese on guadalcanal;
- expect a prolonged battle on guadalcanal; don't get nervous; you are supposed to fight long and hard for it;
- recon is VERY important: if you want to get better results form air, naval or land attacks; recon recon recon. I think the PBY and F4's are magnificent planes, wish i had some!;
- don't forget to prep your trooops (have them planning for a location you wish them to be in), unprepped troops die in droves;
- i am a proponent of force concentration (see, i am a true armchair general ;): i want to keep CV's and BB's together to get the most out of them. do not use your forces piecemeal as they will get mauled by bigger concentrations;
- CV's will launch a coordinated strike if they are in the same hex, most of the time. As allies you can put a CV in different TF's in the same hex, that way only one will get damaged per attack (some consider this gamey - i think you can do this as allies, as the americans tended to form different TF's around their carriers - the japanese not so much, so i keep them together)
- Allies have a lower chance of launching coordinated strikes, however, so you better keep as much cv's together as possible to get the most planes in a strike. In the manual there's more on the American coordination penalty.

Technical order tips:
- Use waypoints, half-way destinations and the remain on station/retire toggle to get your TF's where you want them to be during day/night;
- Check the max range of your planes. I think allied torpedo bombers have a longer range than fighters/bombers. Make sure you set your carrier planes to the same max distance (e.g. all 6 hexes or something). An unescorted strike of avengers rolling in on my CV's mean they will get eaten for breakfast by angry little nippon warriors in zeroes;
- The best way to ensure an escorted strike means you have to set both the attack planes and their escorting fighters to the same height (e.g. 5,000 feet);
- Check your CAP/ESCORT/NAVAL ATTACk etc. %'s so your planes do as they are told;
- Dont forget to stand down (and or repair) your land, naval and air units once in a while;
- match the commanders with you want a unit to do (e.g. aggresive or is caution preferred?) - you don't want your APD's to hunt the Yamato when they are on a supply run!';
- the "Z" key shows your search arcs.
Post #: 1
RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 1/30/2010 4:13:12 AM   
Mac Linehan

 

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Hi, d0mbo -

very useful and informative post; thank you!

Mac

(in reply to d0mbo)
Post #: 2
RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 1/31/2010 8:23:05 PM   
d0mbo

 

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Glad to hear it's of use =)

Added hint:

- Never put your CV's in the same hex for more than one turn; the chance of getting a fish delivered into one of your flattops grows exponentially when they loiter arund for too long


(in reply to Mac Linehan)
Post #: 3
RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 8/25/2010 11:39:14 PM   
jonboym


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quote:

ORIGINAL: d0mbo

Glad to hear it's of use =)

Added hint:

- Never put your CV's in the same hex for more than one turn; the chance of getting a fish delivered into one of your flattops grows exponentially when they loiter arund for too long





Thanks, wish I'd read that tip earlier! Just lost all 3 carriers off Guadalcanal, 1 sunk by sub, another by Japanese carrer strike, the 3rd was extremely badly damaged in the same air attack and just about limped back to Sydney without sinking.

Finding this quite tough as allies so far as struggling to contain the sub threat, lost 16 ships in 1st month mostly to sub attacks in last few days of August....

Great thread by the way!

Anyone got any tips on where to base the various allied bomber groups?

Nearly all the various forward airfields seem quite small and only the B17s have decent range, so I've been tryng to work out how much I can overload the small forward airfields at Cookstown, Port Moresby and Lunga with the medium bombers, so I can use them. But then as the sub threat got worse particularly with AI trying to pick off damaged ships limping into port near Sydney wonderng if I'm not covering the rear areas enough?

My air objectives are:-

- Effective searches to find carrier groups and subs (so far failed on both), so I can steal a march and attack but instead i always get detected first and lose one or all my carriers.
- Covering key areas with fighters to stop enemy bombing
- Getting as many bombers in position to attack enemy ports, shipping and airfields. Tricky as Port Moresby and Lunga are best placed but so small that once you have fighters and search planes there can't get more than 1 or 2 bombers groups in even if extra base forces moved to give aviation support. So I have choice of getting B17s forward to hit Rabaul or medium bombers forward so they can do something but then be limited to only hit Buna and Lae.



< Message edited by jonboym -- 10/16/2010 3:13:28 PM >

(in reply to d0mbo)
Post #: 4
RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 8/26/2010 6:42:59 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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Scattershooting:

Build up Charter Towers and base your 4e bombers there. Honestly, there's so little space to base at PM and Australia is too far away for most 2e bombers (except for a couple of squadrons trained for ship work) I just train most for nav recon/asw and spread them out along the Sydney-Townsville shipping route on asw work.

The Aussie 2e bombers are trained for torps obviously. Just remember that they're useless until 5th AF comes along.

5th AF can only be in one place, with the 4es in Charter Towers or at PM for the above, so make up your mind.

You can build up that base that's ne of Lunga to a lv8 airfield, can't remember the name atm and base your 4e bombers there. The SoPac 4es can't accomplish a lot other than gb and port attacks vs. the IJA at Tassafronga.

Building up Charter Towers and that other one will cost a lot of supply, so decide early on whether or not it's worth it.

There are about 2 squadrons worth of B-17fs in the game. Their range makes them interesting.

You receive enough pby replacements to maintain a high operational/training level.

Try to use as many USAAF planes as possible at Lunga to save on F4F-4 replacements. SBDs are also in very short supply. Damn you Nik.

Betties from Rabaul can reach as far as south as Townsville (I think). Betties based at Lae can reach to Brisbane (I think). Wirraways are actually useful as cap for bases outside zero range.

The photo recon squadron in Lunganville is pretty useless except as cap against unescorted Betties. I've used it as a experimental squadron just to see what works for training purposes.

Train your asw escorts up as quickly as possible.

A successful supply run is worth the cost of a sunk merchie.

Lunch time.

(in reply to jonboym)
Post #: 5
RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 8/27/2010 5:06:02 PM   
jonboym


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Thanks for the helpful advice. Have a few questions on what you said.

quote:

ORIGINAL: anarchyintheuk

Honestly, there's so little space to base at PM and Australia is too far away for most 2e bombers (except for a couple of squadrons trained for ship work)



Which squadrons are trained for ship work? Not sure I follow are you meaning the patrol planes or are some of the Marauders, Hudsons or Havocs able to conduct ASW /Naval Attacks? If so how do I tell which ones?


quote:


The Aussie 2e bombers are trained for torps obviously. Just remember that they're useless until 5th AF comes along.

5th AF can only be in one place, with the 4es in Charter Towers or at PM for the above, so make up your mind.



Really? Which bombers are these all the land based ones I see in the scenario seem to be bombers plain and simple? Again how do I identify the torpedo trained squadrons?


quote:


You can build up that base that's ne of Lunga to a lv8 airfield, can't remember the name atm and base your 4e bombers there. The SoPac 4es can't accomplish a lot other than gb and port attacks vs. the IJA at Tassafronga.



Can't find a base NE of Lunga that can be built that big, do you mean the islands NE of Luganville?




< Message edited by jonboym -- 8/27/2010 5:07:18 PM >

(in reply to anarchyintheuk)
Post #: 6
RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 8/29/2010 9:35:51 AM   
d0mbo

 

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Most of the base and potential base sizes have been altered (=reduced) for this scenario, so maybe anarchy is thinking about Tulagi in the grand campaign map. IIRC it can be expanded in the GC but not really in the Guadalcanal scenario.


(in reply to jonboym)
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RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 8/30/2010 8:09:54 PM   
augustinus

 

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I appreciate your remarks, maybe, you will have some for my complaint. I have played the Guadalcanal scenario twice as the Japanese via PBEM. I lost one quickly and I am losing one over a longer period. What was striking in both games was that each player sent his 3 CV TGs away from protecting the Lunga-Tulagi operations and attacked Rabaul (which is ironic, since the first CV strike against Rabaul didn't occur until November 1943). Well, you can imagine the damage they did to ships in port and port damage. One of the players even sent in a bombarding force (before the recent upgrade) and made mincemeat of my airbase. This is not realistic, at least according to the historical record. Also, during the most recent attack on Rabaul I was unable to launch a coordinated attack of Vals and Bettys and Zeros at the enemy CV TF. For four turns the Bettys did nothing, even though they had no measurable fatigue, very high morale (98) and an 80 something experience rating. Meanwhile, my opponent sank everything in the port, and he returned unscathed. As much as I love the game, I think this aspect smells of a design flaw. To inhibit CV raids on Rabaul at this point in the war, the designers should do one of two things or both: U.S. CVs start the game with very, and I mean very little fuel or build up the air units on Rabaul or both. This could simulate Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher's (the CV TF commander at the time) extreme caution during the early phase of the Guadalcanal operation. Otherwise, this game devolves into the proverbial: shooting fish in a barrel.

(in reply to d0mbo)
Post #: 8
RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 8/31/2010 6:07:46 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: jonboym

Thanks for the helpful advice. Have a few questions on what you said.

quote:

ORIGINAL: anarchyintheuk

Honestly, there's so little space to base at PM and Australia is too far away for most 2e bombers (except for a couple of squadrons trained for ship work)



Which squadrons are trained for ship work? Not sure I follow are you meaning the patrol planes or are some of the Marauders, Hudsons or Havocs able to conduct ASW /Naval Attacks? If so how do I tell which ones?


quote:


The Aussie 2e bombers are trained for torps obviously. Just remember that they're useless until 5th AF comes along.

5th AF can only be in one place, with the 4es in Charter Towers or at PM for the above, so make up your mind.



Really? Which bombers are these all the land based ones I see in the scenario seem to be bombers plain and simple? Again how do I identify the torpedo trained squadrons?


quote:


You can build up that base that's ne of Lunga to a lv8 airfield, can't remember the name atm and base your 4e bombers there. The SoPac 4es can't accomplish a lot other than gb and port attacks vs. the IJA at Tassafronga.



Can't find a base NE of Lunga that can be built that big, do you mean the islands NE of Luganville?



Drinking and posting is bad. Sorry for the mistakes.

Should have been clearer, the ship trained squadrons are ones you pick yourselves to specialize. None arrive during the scenario.

At work atm. Think its the Beaufort that has torps. Its on the upgrade path for some of the Aussie squadrons.

Nope, one-hex island 4-5 hexes ne of Noumea. Just w/i B-17 range of Shortland.

(in reply to jonboym)
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RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 9/1/2010 5:43:46 PM   
Nikademus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: augustinus

I appreciate your remarks, maybe, you will have some for my complaint. I have played the Guadalcanal scenario twice as the Japanese via PBEM. I lost one quickly and I am losing one over a longer period. What was striking in both games was that each player sent his 3 CV TGs away from protecting the Lunga-Tulagi operations and attacked Rabaul (which is ironic, since the first CV strike against Rabaul didn't occur until November 1943). Well, you can imagine the damage they did to ships in port and port damage. One of the players even sent in a bombarding force (before the recent upgrade) and made mincemeat of my airbase. This is not realistic, at least according to the historical record.


Hi,

A major goal in the designing of the scenario was to force upon the player(s) as much of the real life quandries as the real life gurus faced during the campaign. I tried to close as many of the common "loopholes" and hindsight situations as possible but in the end the players will still find ways to "break" things. Attacking Truk early on is probably the best example. Players know its not heavily defended and there tends to be an unspoken rule that attacking it is off limits (at least at the beginning of the game)

I did start the USN CV's (a very potent force at game start with no counter balance save for 4th KU at Rabaul) with limitations to curb overuse. Their fuel starts at less than 1/2. The first in-game 'counter' to them is the IJN's potent sub force. An oft held rumor is that i've tweaked subs in this scenario to make them more effective. This is not true though i was heavily involved in AE's evolving ASW model. (love it or hate it......we did what we thought was best to make it more realistic). What makes the subs dangerous is the confined map, player tendancies to "camp" near Lunga in order to protect it and ingoing/outgoing traffic, and high crew exp levels for some of the subs.

"Camping" (of CV TF's) was a long time problem of short scenarios like this so i wanted to ensure there was a in-game Con to the Pro of this player tactic. Historically the USN avoided known sub hotspots. One notable time they didn't resulted in I-19's phenominal combat performance. In the game, players could often ignore this common sense rule. ASW can counter this, but there's no gurantee. You camp or patrol predictably during this period....you roll your dice.

The naval bombardment rules are what they are and there's not much i can do about their reletive invulnerability to interception. In-game checks on them are logistical (fuel). Rest is up to the player. Rabaul is quickly reinforced by a second G4M Ku, making it a potent naval attack base. Players have to balance the need to preserve this force prior to major IJN reinforcements with the need to interdict traffic around Lunga and/or attacking Lunga ground assets.

As JoeW has oft commented, the scenario is not balanced. It was designed to present the real life situation and the real life situation was that while the Allies operated under a shoestring, the IJN committed it's forces, especially ground wise in piecemeal fashion and what they brought to the table was never adequate to get the job done. (The basic rule of thumb afterall is to have a minimum of 3:1 odds in terms of numbers on the ground vs. an entrenched position....US starts off with 2/3rds of a powerful Marine division entrenching on Lunga)

It's tough for the Japan player to win, doubly so given the hindsight factor. Japan starts off far weaker than the Allies in terms of combat strength, particularily on the ground, which is why the PP restrictions were put in place to prevent overstacking of forward bases making the scenario moot from day one. Still with three starting USN CV's + a fourth on the way, Japan player has to be wary of brute force approaches. On the same token, the Allied player also has to be wary of brute force approaches....lose the carriers, and you pretty much lose the scenario (as in real life). With the PP restrictions in place and multiple Allied targets however, Japan player does have some "options" for assaulting other bases but the primary objective (represented by VP's) remains Lunga.

Overall though....i've yet to lose the scenario in PBEM as Allies though i've come close to losing and did manage to win once as Japan because i quickly KO'd those carriers through a combo of sub and carrier attack.

< Message edited by Nikademus -- 9/1/2010 5:49:41 PM >

(in reply to augustinus)
Post #: 10
RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 9/2/2010 8:34:20 PM   
augustinus

 

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Thanks, Nikademus, for your comments. Yes, I am having fruitful results using IJN subs against overly aggressive Allied player. He truly detests them. Another lesson I have eventually learned as the Japanese in this fantastic AE game is to be patient. At the beginning of the game, I was too active and drained my supply/fuel depot at Truk (coupled with the early air attack and bombardment on Rabaul, it left me pretty high and dry. I was like a guy who has run out of gas on his way to the prom). I think patience is something to be mastered when playing this game: know one's material limitations before executing one's strategy, prepare for strikes and know when to strike. I am finding that Bettys are no match against Allied surface TFs, but that may be my fault in understanding the various factors involved in air missions, pilot experience, and leadership. If I may, I have another suggestion for a partial restriction on Allied CVs at beginning of the scenario: why not reduce the number of sorties available on each carrier? By the way, can I put in these changes using the editor to create another Guadalcanal scenrio in my own game? Best wishes.

(in reply to Nikademus)
Post #: 11
RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 9/3/2010 6:15:00 AM   
Nikademus


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There is a problem in that the fatigue caused by long range greatly impacts the IJNAF units efficiency, making their attacks at times less potent. This can impact bombing runs but the bigger impact is on escort efficiency. It makes attacking Lunga problematic which in turn makes for nonhistorical play in the form of 'airpower hoarding'. In the case of CV attack though, its beneficial as crafty Japan side players will tend to keep their G4M's on naval attack missions with a range restricted to decent Zero escort range. My last PBEM was case in point. My opponent almost never attacked Lunga, naval or airfield but kept Rabaul grounded but preserved...made for a slow game but i couldn't fault the logic.

On your editor question, to my knowledge the editor doesn't allow custom tailoring of Aviation sorties outside of permanent modification. Even if a temporary reduction were possible (as is the case with fuel) the easy solution would be to run the carriers home, replenish and then have max aircraft sorties again.

lol....guess i'm too conservative a player too....i wouldnt dream of risking my precious CV's on a risky Rabaul raid. While Japan is mostly disadvantaged in this scenario, the one area of strength is the size of her surface navy reinforcements. The USN CV's negate this to a large degree making them the most vital USN aspect. Lose the carriers, and the IJN can smother Lunga easily shutting down the airbase. (Thats how i managed to win as Japan......complete isolation of Lunga and destruction of it's supplies in the absence of USN CV strength)


(in reply to augustinus)
Post #: 12
RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 9/10/2010 4:18:00 PM   
augustinus

 

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I have another question concerning the recently upgraded bombardment abilities of BB's and CA's, primarily. These ships can now adjust the distance from which to lob in their shells. Is there a practical effect in terms of targets destroyed or damaged based on distance; or in avoiding the power of coastal defense forces? The reason I ask is because as the Japanese side, I sent in a BB TF to bombard U.S. ground forces on Rekata (I'm trying to recapture). I set the distance for bombardment at 6,000 yds. The effect in terms of U.S. forces destroyed or disabled was quite minimal! My BB TF consisted of the Hiei, three CA's and five escorting DD's. The DD's did not bombard.

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RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 9/10/2010 4:43:50 PM   
Nikademus


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I have not even toyed with this adjustment feature as of yet to be honest so i'm not the one to answer this question.

(in reply to augustinus)
Post #: 14
RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 9/10/2010 4:45:44 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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General rule: closer range = more potential damage inflicted by both sides.

As in everything in this game there are a lot of variables. For bombardment tfs recon level and weather are important.

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Post #: 15
RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 9/10/2010 10:22:13 PM   
augustinus

 

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Thanks, gentlemen for your replies.  I sensed what anarchyintheuk posted, but still, with the firepower I had available, and weather being overcast, that I would have scored more damage.  But as someone once said, ...the plans of mice and men....

(in reply to anarchyintheuk)
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RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 5/28/2013 2:45:50 AM   
HexHead

 

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From anarchyintheuk:

quote:

Betties from Rabaul can reach as far as south as Townsville (I think). Betties based at Lae can reach to Brisbane (I think). Wirraways are actually useful as cap for bases outside zero range.


* Oh, yeah, Betties can reach T-ville, this I know fer sure. Put some Ftrs there, you betcha, chop-chop.

* Haven't suffered a strike at Brisbane yet, but I wouldn't be surprised, because...

they can strike Luganville, too.

As an AFB,

I

hate

Betties

_____________________________

"Goddamn it, they're gittin' away!!"
- unknown tincan sailor near the end of Leyte Gulf, when Kurita retired

(in reply to augustinus)
Post #: 17
RE: Hints and tips for guadalcanal - 5/28/2013 5:24:47 AM   
rms1pa

 

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quote:

As an AFB,

I

hate

Betties


so many of my happy times have ended with "and then the Bettys came."

rms/pa

_____________________________

there is a technical term for those who confuse the opinions of an author's characters for the opinions of the author.
the term is IDIOT.

(in reply to HexHead)
Post #: 18
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