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Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn the Japanese Production System?

 
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Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn the... - 10/8/2010 2:02:52 AM   
pws1225

 

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Here's the deal: I've played a couple of GC games as Allies against the AI and have basic game mechanics down (I think). And I am playing my first PBEM game as Japanese in the Guadalcanal scenario. Playing as Japanese seems like more fun since the ultimate challenge is to hold off the growing Allied horde or maybe even defeat it. But mastering the Japanese production seems very intimidating. That's a lot of detail to master in addition to handling all the 'war stuff'.

Here's my question: what is the best way to learn the Japanese production system? Is it games against the AI? Is there a Complete Idiot's Guide? Anybody got some advice?
Post #: 1
RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/8/2010 2:40:54 AM   
Mike Solli


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I spent almost a year learning the Japanese production system (2004-5). Granted, I was deployed so it was easy. I played the AI over and over (and over). I took copious notes and each time I restarted I looked at another aspect. By the time my deployment was over, I knew what to do (I thought) in the early war. Oh yeah, I didn't have access to this web site (it was blocked) so I couldn't ask questions. I came home and started a PBEM against tc464 and have been playing him ever since. When AE came out we switched to it and started over.

My advice is to ask a lot of questions, read the forums daily and play a lot!

< Message edited by Mike Solli -- 10/8/2010 2:41:38 AM >


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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/8/2010 2:41:29 AM   
jomni


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It's not actually that hard to learn and understand but there just are alot of things to do (as you cannot leave it alone) if you want to fight the war for a long time. And that frustrates me.  I gave up laying Japanese.

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/8/2010 5:35:53 AM   
jwilkerson


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pws1225

Here's the deal: I've played a couple of GC games as Allies against the AI and have basic game mechanics down (I think). And I am playing my first PBEM game as Japanese in the Guadalcanal scenario. Playing as Japanese seems like more fun since the ultimate challenge is to hold off the growing Allied horde or maybe even defeat it. But mastering the Japanese production seems very intimidating. That's a lot of detail to master in addition to handling all the 'war stuff'.

Here's my question: what is the best way to learn the Japanese production system? Is it games against the AI? Is there a Complete Idiot's Guide? Anybody got some advice?


Best way to learn is to do.

Keep track of all of your "items" each day. I do this in a spreadsheet. Goal is to have each category (resources, heavy industry, needed engines, etc.) increasing slightly everyday.

You want to accumulate reserves for the end game when you will eventually be unable to import sufficient resources. Reserves of everything is good. Japanese goal is to hold out as long as possible. There will be some "victories" where your Allied opponent quits - but you cannot assume that will happen - so playing for the long haul is best plan for production.

If you run out of something - like naval points - shut down your ship production until you can build your naval point reserve back up - then turn your ships back on gradually.

If you run out of heavy industry turn off ALL heavy industry consumers until you can rebuild your heavy industry reserve.

In my second PBEM campaign game of WITP - I did run myself out of Heavy Industry points and I had a heque of time fixing it. That is how I 'learned' Japanese production. In the caldron of "OMG" - that is the best teacher!



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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/8/2010 5:56:45 AM   
n01487477


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-Master this diagram first ...
-Use witpTracker (or do the JWilkerson manual approach)
-Organise your production inputs and outputs
-Organise the transportation of raw materials
-Oversee the development & repair of production possiblities
-Have good stewardship of the Macro and Micro.


I have holidays in a week, so my to do ... make a comprehensive guide to the economy. Easier said than done; but the economics of Japan is actually far easier than people are led to believe.




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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/8/2010 6:09:24 AM   
jomni


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quote:

ORIGINAL: n01487477
Easier said than done; but the economics of Japan is actually far easier than people are led to believe.




The fact that you guys use flow charts, spreadsheets and tracker acutally makes people think it is a complicated mess.
Do you really have to "count the beans" to win? I believe playing Japan is enoyable if someone can win by just an imprecise management of the economy but master the war fighting. But if I'm wrong then it's too bad.

Anyway, the hard part is actually tracking and clicking the screen. And this is the reason why I'm not playing Japan in Grand Campaign. If only the Japanese economy can run on autopilot then WITP would be the perfect game. Isn't anyone asking for an enhaced automated and streamlined economic management for Japan? No. But a lot are asking for more clickable stuff like pilot training, search arcs... sigh... :(



< Message edited by jomni -- 10/8/2010 6:12:38 AM >


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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/8/2010 6:52:29 AM   
n01487477


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jomni

quote:

ORIGINAL: n01487477
Easier said than done; but the economics of Japan is actually far easier than people are led to believe.



The fact that you guys use flow charts, spreadsheets and tracker acutally makes people think it is a complicated mess.
Do you really have to "count the beans" to win? I believe playing Japan is enoyable if someone can win by just an imprecise management of the economy but master the war fighting. But if I'm wrong then it's too bad.

Anyway, the hard part is actually tracking and clicking the screen. And this is the reason why I'm not playing Japan in Grand Campaign. If only the Japanese economy can run on autopilot then WITP would be the perfect game. Isn't anyone asking for an enhaced automated and streamlined economic management for Japan? No. But a lot are asking for more clickable stuff like pilot training, search arcs... sigh... :(

Jomni,
we will continue to disagree on this point ...

Sure "No" you don't have to count beans to win, the odds are stacked against any Japanese player anyway, but managing it can help your cause. How hard is it really to set up a few convoys ? balance your engines and airframes? and look at a bit of shipping ?

As one fine general stated "tactics are for amateurs, professionals study logistics ... "

And actually once set up it does run pretty much like clockwork... if you want to take logistics out of the Pacific War then the game has absolutely nothing to do with what happened in '41-45.

You could set up and play a modified game, where all the resources and oil were already in Japan, but that sort of nullifies one of the Japanese reasons for going to war though.

Or I believe by turning off production in the editor you could mould the production around what is required (still this would be a bit of work)

In the end it is far simpler to set a few things up and let them run; change it when you need to and get on with playing to learn.

Witp had this, AE has a little more ... it aint hard, it aint perfect and no amount of you telling me so will change my mind.

With all the posts you've made negating this you could have learned the simple nature of what you need to do a few times over or made a scenario that achieves your aims.

Dumbing down stock AE, if it could be called that would be nice for some ... but then I'd be playing PTO2.

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/8/2010 7:07:10 AM   
jomni


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I agree about the logistics philosophy.  I agree that it ain't hard to learn. I generally know the ins and outs. But it's tedious and I don't have enough time on my hands. Wish things were streamlined.

Pac War has a good balance of historical plausibility, detail, depth, logistics and strategy. These elements all work under the hood and you are just faced with the main decisions. Isn't that a more enjoyable game? Maybe not for those who want full control. Too bad there's no modern version of it.  WITP is theoretically the sequel but it changed the game so much.  Anyway, I guess I'll give up compalining and start playing my Japanese GC again.

Looking forward for some tips in this post.


< Message edited by jomni -- 10/8/2010 7:15:35 AM >


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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/8/2010 1:20:06 PM   
TheLoneGunman


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jomni

Looking forward for some tips in this post.



Tip #1

Don't overdo it early on in the war!

It's tempting to try and crank out 200 A6M2s per month, but if you don't need that many, don't waste the industry and resources to get it to that level.

You'll find out that you now have more than you'll ever need, and the cost of converting all of those factories to any other aircraft will be astronomical.

What I'm doing for my first PBEM game is slowly increasing production (mostly just rounding off numbers so I'm producing a good, even number of aircraft per month).

Then I'm going to observe my combat and ops losses and decide whether I need more production, or simply a change in my tactics.

By reducing losses without increasing production, you have a win-win situation, plus the advantage that you can put a halt on your aircraft production once your pool of reserve aircraft is high enough to cover any potentially lethal losses you may suffer in a given week/month.

Just IMHO of course.

Now, when you're playing with PDU Off, you've got a lot more issues to deal with when considering the Japanese Economy, since you can't just simply ignore the "bad" Japanese aircraft, as Mike Solli's AAR should attest to.

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/8/2010 1:20:40 PM   
USS America


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I'll put in a plug for Mike Solli's AAR to learn a TON about the Japanese industry and how to organize, plan, and run it. 

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2280485

I've not yet played the Japanese side, but almost everything I know about it comes from Mike. 


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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/8/2010 1:46:05 PM   
Mundy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: USS America
I'll put in a plug for Mike Solli's AAR to learn a TON about the Japanese industry and how to organize, plan, and run it. 

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2280485

I've not yet played the Japanese side, but almost everything I know about it comes from Mike. 


I couldn't agree more. I've been a bit fearful to start that half of the game, but when I do, a lot of his explanations will make it into my binder.

M-

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/8/2010 8:07:22 PM   
jwilkerson


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jomni
The fact that you guys use flow charts, spreadsheets and tracker acutally makes people think it is a complicated mess.
Do you really have to "count the beans" to win?


I do not count the beans - and I've won more than I've lost.

What I do instead of counting the beans is watch the trends - that is why I use my spreadsheet. And it really isn't important exactly what the levels are - what is important is the trends - is everything moving up (especially heavy industry)?

I'm sure managing Japanese production is not for everyone and that is fine. As to learning it - I still think just diving in and doing it is the best approach.

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/8/2010 9:46:07 PM   
Mac Linehan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwilkerson


quote:

ORIGINAL: pws1225

Here's the deal: I've played a couple of GC games as Allies against the AI and have basic game mechanics down (I think). And I am playing my first PBEM game as Japanese in the Guadalcanal scenario. Playing as Japanese seems like more fun since the ultimate challenge is to hold off the growing Allied horde or maybe even defeat it. But mastering the Japanese production seems very intimidating. That's a lot of detail to master in addition to handling all the 'war stuff'.

Here's my question: what is the best way to learn the Japanese production system? Is it games against the AI? Is there a Complete Idiot's Guide? Anybody got some advice?


Best way to learn is to do.

Keep track of all of your "items" each day. I do this in a spreadsheet. Goal is to have each category (resources, heavy industry, needed engines, etc.) increasing slightly everyday.

You want to accumulate reserves for the end game when you will eventually be unable to import sufficient resources. Reserves of everything is good. Japanese goal is to hold out as long as possible. There will be some "victories" where your Allied opponent quits - but you cannot assume that will happen - so playing for the long haul is best plan for production.

If you run out of something - like naval points - shut down your ship production until you can build your naval point reserve back up - then turn your ships back on gradually.

If you run out of heavy industry turn off ALL heavy industry consumers until you can rebuild your heavy industry reserve.

In my second PBEM campaign game of WITP - I did run myself out of Heavy Industry points and I had a heque of time fixing it. That is how I 'learned' Japanese production. In the caldron of "OMG" - that is the best teacher!




jwilkerson -

The Master Speaks, the student listens..

Grasshopper Mac

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 12:20:46 AM   
pws1225

 

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Thanks to all for your insight. Yes, the Japanese production system does look like another layer of complexity laid upon an original layer of complexity (WITP/AE itself). But if I could learn one by just diving in and giving it a go, why not tackle the other in the same way? As long as it's fun, why not?

I haven't used Tracker yet as Allies, but from what the forum says, it's really needed in games as Japanese. And Mike's AAR has been a good read; I will return there as I work my way through my first AI CG game. And Joe's advice is heard: no beans, all trends. And jomni, n014..., and to you all, I'm listening. It's gotta be easier than it seems. You just gotta find the rhythm.

Please keep the posts coming. I learn from each one.

Paul

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 12:29:35 AM   
Mynok


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Tracker is useful in many more ways than just production tracking.


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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 12:43:13 AM   
pws1225

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mynok


Tracker is useful in many more ways than just production tracking.



Like what? I've never used it.

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 1:28:32 AM   
VSWG


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pws1225


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mynok


Tracker is useful in many more ways than just production tracking.



Like what? I've never used it.


Alerts (LCU has (strat) moved to its destination; TF low on fuel, DL increased; ...)
managing ship upgrades and conversions
keeping track of supply/fuel levels at certain bases/regions (no, the Allies DO NOT have unlimited resources all over the map...)
aircraft comparison sheets
managing squadron ugrades
keeping track of devices and their pools
...and much more...

Give it a try.

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 5:47:21 AM   
jwilkerson


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pws1225

Like what? I've never used it.



ditto ...

I don't doubt that it is useful ... yet ... I have never used it ...



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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 1:59:49 PM   
ny59giants


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I've4 been using Tracker for over two years now. Like Joe W. says, I can see trends really quick with this one screen. Your major economic assets are right here and will prevent you from crashing your economy.




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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 2:07:38 PM   
ny59giants


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The biggest consumer of your Heavy Industry (HI) is Naval Shipyards. The question every Japanese player has to face is how much to expand here and what ships to build, halt, and/or accelerate. It has a nice tool here under the "Calc BR" column. You can see what your shipyard point total will be effected by accelerating a particular ship without actually doing so. I have halted BB Musashi, but have started to accelerate the Unryu Class CVs.




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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 3:25:50 PM   
pws1225

 

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Thanks NYGiants. That looks like it would be helpful if for no other reason than to remind me of all the stuff I need to keep track of.

Here's a followup question. Given that I'm totally new to the Japanese side of things, would you recommend seeting PDU on or off?

Thanks in advance - Paul

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 4:04:49 PM   
ny59giants


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There are very few PBEM games that I'm aware of (AARs) that play with PDUs off. See Mike S. AAR as Japan to see some of the difficulties he has. I learned how to use Tracker in WITP as I became Economics Minister for John 3rd in early '43 after he almost crashed his economy. Damian was very helpful in backing me up. There are plenty of players on this board who have used Tracker for years that are willing to answer questions about it and how to run the Japanese economy. I do my orders each turn, save the turn (I have a back up file two slots off the actual game). Load Tracker and look at a few of the pull downs. A recent update of Tracker included this new window (Engine - Planning). This is a great help to have to aid you in expanding your different engine types. This makes my job as "Economic Minister" easier.




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< Message edited by ny59giants -- 10/9/2010 4:05:28 PM >

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 4:12:42 PM   
pws1225

 

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Please tell me if I'm understanding this correctly. With PDU set to 'On', I can shut down production of stuff I don't want and focus on stuff I do want?

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 4:32:48 PM   
ckammp

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: pws1225

Please tell me if I'm understanding this correctly. With PDU set to 'On', I can shut down production of stuff I don't want and focus on stuff I do want?



PDU "On" allows the player to freely upgrade air units to other aircraft models, limited to the same aircraft type (fighter, heavy bomber, recon, etc.) of the unit.
PDU "Off" means air units can only be upgraded to aircraft models which are specified as upgrades for the unit, or for the model of aircraft the unit is equipped with.

As Japan, you are able to shut down/prioritize your production regardless of whether you have PDU "On" or "Off"; having PDU "On" gives you more freedom to focus on the plane types you prefer.

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 4:38:31 PM   
jwilkerson


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ny59giants

I've4 been using Tracker for over two years now. Like Joe W. says, I can see trends really quick with this one screen. Your major economic assets are right here and will prevent you from crashing your economy.





Yup this view is almost exactly what my spreadsheet does. I guess since I started doing my spreadsheet before tracker existed - so I'm still confortable doing things the "old fashioned" way - but this tracker view looks almost exactly the same as my spreadsheet - and can accomplish the same purpose.



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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 4:49:50 PM   
pws1225

 

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Thanks ckammp, I got it!

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 7:40:39 PM   
Mac Linehan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: pws1225


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mynok


Tracker is useful in many more ways than just production tracking.



Like what? I've never used it.


pws1225 -

Tracker displays, in a logical, understandable format, virtually any information that you would possibly need or use. Give it a chance - you won't be disappointed.

Mac

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 9:22:26 PM   
pws1225

 

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Thanks to all - My better judgement aside, I will take the plunge. My plan is to start a GC game (scenario 1), use Tracker, read and reread Mike's AAR. I somehow feel that before too long, the rhythm of the production system will become apparent to me. At least, that is my hope. But do expect frequent questions here as I wreck the Japanese economy and seek some remedy.

Sure hope my girlfriend understands!

Paul

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Post #: 28
RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/9/2010 11:16:18 PM   
stuman


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pws1225

Thanks to all - My better judgement aside, I will take the plunge. My plan is to start a GC game (scenario 1), use Tracker, read and reread Mike's AAR. I somehow feel that before too long, the rhythm of the production system will become apparent to me. At least, that is my hope. But do expect frequent questions here as I wreck the Japanese economy and seek some remedy.

Sure hope my girlfriend understands!

Paul



Oh I am sure she will.

And if not, I hear that the dating services work well. Sometimes.

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RE: Semi-Newbie Question - What's the Best Way to Learn... - 10/10/2010 6:49:41 AM   
Mike Solli


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pws1225

Thanks NYGiants. That looks like it would be helpful if for no other reason than to remind me of all the stuff I need to keep track of.

Here's a followup question. Given that I'm totally new to the Japanese side of things, would you recommend seeting PDU on or off?

Thanks in advance - Paul


That's a tough decision. Each has it's benefits and drawbacks.

PDU on - You can equip your air units pretty much how you like (keeping in mind that a Navy fighter unit must have Navy fighters, etc.). The drawback is that you need to figure out early in the war what you want to produce and how much you need to produce.

PDU off - You're stuck with how each air unit upgraded throughout the war. The easy part is that you need to produce everything (pretty much) so there's not as much fiddling with the air production system. You still can influence things a bit, but not a lot.

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