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Early war strategy for Allies

 
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Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 12:44:54 AM   
Gary Childress


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For those of you who have played a good bit of AE so far, what do you find to be the best strategy for the Allies in this game. Is "Sir Robin" still a viable way to go or is it worth fighting for every scrap of territory? Has anyone tried taking on KB with the American carriers early on and had success? Has anyone been able to hold onto the Philippines or Malaysia as Allies?

My impression of WITP was that it was pretty much a pushover for the Japanese in the early stages of the war. Now with AE I understand the Allies have more of a fighting chance in the early stages in some cases. Is this true?

Thanks.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 1:03:03 AM   
ilovestrategy


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I'd like to know this too. Good question.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 1:09:25 AM   
topeverest

 

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My 2 cents,

KB if intact is too dangerous to fight. I have never permanently held PI or Malaya, though I have had PI in May.

I would classify appropriate allied strategy in the earliest months as one of building hub bases while surface raiding, pulsing air combats, and opportunitist counterinvasions (when you know where the KB isnt!) Subs can bag 30+ cargos per month alone if you place them right. Do that from the beginning. One of the big early decisions is how many assets to consume in the defense of the DEI - and how. IMHO, the war is logisitics at its base. The longer you deny the DEI the better off the allies are in general.

A lot depends on the empire strategy. If they over-expand, life is generally much easyier for the allies by 43.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 1:16:18 AM   
Gary Childress


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I remember playing WITP and just having some Betty's and Nell's stationed in strategic parts of the DEI meant doom for Allied merchies. You could rake up a good kill rate over time with enough Betty's and Nell's in the game. Are they still as deadly as before? I mean, literally you couldn't move anything around the DEI when they were within about 8 hexes of Jap bombers armed with torps. Has that changed any?

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 1:22:51 AM   
ADB123

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

I remember playing WITP and just having some Betty's and Nell's stationed in strategic parts of the DEI meant doom for Allied merchies. You could rake up a good kill rate over time with enough Betty's and Nell's in the game. Are they still as deadly as before? I mean, literally you couldn't move anything around the DEI when they were within about 8 hexes of Jap bombers armed with torps. Has that changed any?


Now that you need Air HQs to provide torpedoes for LBA the situation is much different. Betties and Nells with bombs are jokes. The real struggle for the Japanese player early in the game is to get Air HQs to the front lines without having Allied SAGs rip the Japanese advance apart.

That said, a Japanese player who moves his CVs to the PI/DEI quickly can control everything and give himself enough time to move those Air HQs forward.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 1:29:22 AM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

For those of you who have played a good bit of AE so far, what do you find to be the best strategy for the Allies in this game. Is "Sir Robin" still a viable way to go or is it worth fighting for every scrap of territory? Has anyone tried taking on KB with the American carriers early on and had success? Has anyone been able to hold onto the Philippines or Malaysia as Allies?

My impression of WITP was that it was pretty much a pushover for the Japanese in the early stages of the war. Now with AE I understand the Allies have more of a fighting chance in the early stages in some cases. Is this true?

Thanks.

Hi Gary,

Are you asking about strategies against human PBEM or against the IJ computer? The defensive approach does vary substantially depending.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 1:53:52 AM   
Rusty1961

 

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Personally, I believe that Sir Robin is the weakest of moves an allied player can make. I know if I was playing as the Japanese the game would become very boring, very fast for me.

If an Allied player is new to the game, sure, it's a viable strategy. 

I also would make the Allied player pay through the nose once I found out he had chosen the Sir Robin path.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 1:55:26 AM   
Gary Childress


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

For those of you who have played a good bit of AE so far, what do you find to be the best strategy for the Allies in this game. Is "Sir Robin" still a viable way to go or is it worth fighting for every scrap of territory? Has anyone tried taking on KB with the American carriers early on and had success? Has anyone been able to hold onto the Philippines or Malaysia as Allies?

My impression of WITP was that it was pretty much a pushover for the Japanese in the early stages of the war. Now with AE I understand the Allies have more of a fighting chance in the early stages in some cases. Is this true?

Thanks.

Hi Gary,

Are you asking about strategies against human PBEM or against the IJ computer? The defensive approach does vary substantially depending.


I'm most interested in PBEM and how that has been going for folks. What strategies have people been using against each other and what works or doesn't work which did or did not in the old WITP.

And please no references to go read AARs. I just want to have a relatively brief discussion here instead of having to wade through page after page of combat reports etc.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 2:02:19 AM   
Gary Childress


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rusty1961

Personally, I believe that Sir Robin is the weakest of moves an allied player can make. I know if I was playing as the Japanese the game would become very boring, very fast for me.

If an Allied player is new to the game, sure, it's a viable strategy. 

I also would make the Allied player pay through the nose once I found out he had chosen the Sir Robin path.



Well, in the old days it seemed almost fool hardy to fight straight away against the Japanese early on in the game, at least for some of us. So saving what you could to fight when the terms got better was sometimes the smart thing to do. I mean, otherwise the only thing you were doing was giving the Japanese player that much more victory points to feel good about.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 3:37:58 AM   
topeverest

 

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Lets face it, sir robin works, but it isnt terribly fun to play, nor IMHO is it the best defense.

IMHO, initial allied forces are worse than their amounts indicate due to quality issues. You really need well thought out pilot training, ground unit training, HQ placement, supply and fuel hubbing locations, and ship 'training' programs. This is on top of choosing when and how to indterdict the enemy. I stress that you are not likely to stop the enemy outright before summer 42. IMHO, two other big keys to the allied cause are to set naval and CV ambushes where (all of) the KB isnt. Naval raiding with one CL and 4 DD's is very nasty into vital points in the empire. Get the Empire thinking they have to escort every invasion with part or all of the KB. Also get them to have to spread out their air and naval forces to defend their booty trail. That is the beginning of the end of their advantage.

there are a number of experienced allied only players who are exceptional at such things.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 3:51:06 AM   
borner


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is there a thread that gives more details on the "sir robin" approach?

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 3:55:55 AM   
Gary Childress


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quote:

ORIGINAL: borner

is there a thread that gives more details on the "sir robin" approach?


"Sir robin" is basically where the Allies avoid fighting the Japanese as much as possible and try to save as much of their assets in the PI and DEI as they can before the inevitable. Basically ordering all their units to run rather than fight. I'm just wondering how inevitable loss of the PI and DEI are now that the Japanese juggernaught has been tamed a bit.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 4:27:55 AM   
Mac Linehan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: topeverest

My 2 cents,

KB if intact is too dangerous to fight. I have never permanently held PI or Malaya, though I have had PI in May.

I would classify appropriate allied strategy in the earliest months as one of building hub bases while surface raiding, pulsing air combats, and opportunitist counterinvasions (when you know where the KB isnt!) Subs can bag 30+ cargos per month alone if you place them right. Do that from the beginning. One of the big early decisions is how many assets to consume in the defense of the DEI - and how. IMHO, the war is logisitics at its base. The longer you deny the DEI the better off the allies are in general.

A lot depends on the empire strategy. If they over-expand, life is generally much easyier for the allies by 43.


Topeverest -

Would you please detail some more info on your sub placement in this statement? Am very interested in your point of view.

Thank You,

Mac

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 9:51:02 AM   
sprior


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In my latest game I tried the Black Knight approach (It's only a flesh wound). My plan was to put all the allied forces at sea on turn 1 into Palembang, the only problem is that the IJN can always get there first. And did. So, you need to do a few things.

1. Establish stop lines. These will be the places you can and will offer resistance. They should be places you can get forces to first. They will fall but the force the Japs to deploy and fight thus disrupting their timetable.
2. Avoid the destructon of strategically import units. This includes your carriers and Force Z. The thought of heavy units in the DEI will give the IJN nightmares and force them to escort their invasion forces with heavy units. A good ambush can work wonders - see the Mayor of Addu Atol AAR for details.
3. Train up your pilots.
4. Secure your US/Oz link as quickly as possible. You can also supply Oz from Cape Town. Abadan has enough supply to keep India going.

I'll post more as they occur.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 11:23:31 AM   
FatR

 

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1)Decide if you want to defend Singapore or Palembang in force. Both can pay off richly, if your opponent fails to predict your guess or is simply slow, but will fail to work if the Japanese player specifically moves to counter either or both from Turn 1.

2)Preserve carriers (and their airgroups), but make sure to demonstrate your willingness to use them by staging some raids where KB isn't. Same can be said for Force Z, but easier said than done here... Unless the Japanese player is complacent or seriously unlucky, every attempt to contest an invasion in the first couple of months will end in a naval battle against a superior force. That said, even sacrifices can be useful, depending on your opponent. I've noted that numerous Japanese players stop and take long time to regroup after a draw or less than a decisive victory at sea, and put a mental effort into preventing myself from that.

3)Identify a few strongholds in the Allied rear (or, if things are doing less bad than usual, even in Allied front) which you'll absolutely need for staging your counteroffensives and fortify them. Do not reinforce anything else early. If Japanese take a lot of useless ground, that is only going to hinder them.

4)Pull back from open ground in China. Identify lines you need to hold and concentrate there.

5)Start training pilots on Day 1.

6)Use air transport to consolidate your defences in DEI and to save what you can.

< Message edited by FatR -- 4/17/2011 3:19:26 PM >

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 12:18:27 PM   
Chickenboy


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Consider an alternate MLR. The Japanese have a pretty harsh timetable for where they have to be with what, when. They are prepping troops for these locations from the first day of hostilities. The sudden discovery of a new MLR on a different island or a different terrain type will always be an unwelcome finding, as their siege will have to start from scratch. They can't afford the temporal distraction of being surprised in this manner.

So, as a Japanese player, finding a huge combined force of engineers and infantry at Palembang is always unwelcome. A buttressed Java would suck too and throw a significant spanner in the works. In one of my current PBEMs, the Allies are making Darwin into a large defensive fortress, making life difficult for Japanese hegemony in the area. Now we've got to figure a way around this defense-which takes time.

Also concur on the surprise attacks into rear areas with shipping. Just be sure you know where the main KB is before doing so. It's an Allied gamble. Like gambling-don't bet anything that you can't afford to lose.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 12:49:25 PM   
topeverest

 

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Mac,

The sub war is best started immediately. Your challenge is to decide if you are going to use the bulk of them in fleet or merchant roles. Without being too specific, imho, lets say the allies have about 60 subs, all but a handful of which are deployable in the first days of the war. IMHO, The goal is to sink tonnage not disrupt invasions.

The Empire has to regulaly pull booty by sea in many places. As you reduce her capacity to move this, you are winning the war. Not pretty or sexy like CV or BB combat, but of paramount importance. Some areas are more important than others. IME, deploying every available sub at the beginning towards merhants will reap rewards through lower stockpiling and asset diversion. To simplify, there are two basic strategies you can deploy to - at the pickup and drop off locations or at the choke points. Furthermore, the longer the deployment path the more chance your short range subs cannot deploy once Manila is gone (which is a good reason to hold onto a major port as long as possible.) The best choke points might be Yellow and east china seas near the southern HI ports, in and around Formosa, Near Ominato, makassar straight / celebes sea, near singapore. This is not to say other areas might not be important in any particular game.

The empire can and probably will deploy air and ship based asw assets to effectively close down at least one of these patrol zones, and smart players will vary their convoy paths as their losses mount in any one area. If you are playing against an enemy who uses the auto convoy system, you are likely to be more successful, since AC tends to use most direct paths unless otherwise ordered.

Furthermore, let me suggest that a dozen subs is more than adequate to flood a combat zone and meaninfully interdict any single set of empire amphibious actions if you are in a protracted combat in one general location...say in mid 42. You can use your reinforcements for that effort.

Otherwise, get every available sub into either choke points or delivery / pickup zones and keep them there until exhausted, out of ammo, or severely damaged. You need to spend time on this part of the war each day and you have to plan about 7-14 days in advance. It is perhaps easyiest to allocate a number of subs to be in certain patrol areas and track the number of kills by area, resetting allocations periodically based on success and damage. To extend your effective patrol times is to mulitply your force effectiveness. With that in mind...Bases in the western Aleuts are very good sub bases against the HI if nothing else is near. Once you have the Marshalls or NG, these are great locations too, along with western Oz and any base near the western DEI

lastly, do the upgrades, I maybe seeing things, but the radars seem to work wonders in the engagement rate.

By the end of 42 you will have approx 150 subs in your arsenal. That is enough to rip the heart out of the enemy's booty haul in 43, especially if you have a few forward bases to deploy from. Even if you can't advance on the surface, the subs will constrict the enemy economy so badly by mid 43 that you will have the war won before you realize it. remember, each 10% reduction in empire trasnport capacity is a corresponding (but delayed) reduction in their ability to make war and bring on new naval & air assets. Each naval and air asset you prevent from being built is one you never have to fight!!

Without betraying those who dont want to know...Ask yourself these questions to help you along. About how many empire total merhcant assets are available each year with what capacity? How many of those assets must be operating (what capcity) to fully employ the economy and from where do they run to/from? Therefore, how many ships do you need to sink to affect how much of the economy? How many subs do you need to deploy and how many sinkings per sub deployed do you need to get the effect you want by the date you want? track this and...well...there you go.

Its a very straightforward curve...for those who have decided to calculate it.

-----------

Dare I leave it there, I want to add but not talk about the fact that you want to integrate a surface raiding policy along with this.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 2:15:57 PM   
ny59giants


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I am playing both sides and would have to say that it has helped me become a better player.

In China, I learned not to defend in clear terrain. My troops got killed there.

In Luzon, slowing falling back to Clark and lastly at Bataan is the best way to go IMO. I try to save at least a fragment of each of the 6 USA BFs to be rebuilt as they will help in the long run. Your fighters don't last long, so use them will you can.

In Malaya, if your playing a non-historical 1st turn, then you may be in trouble if your opponent has learned to conduct the Mersing Gambit successfully. I did so as Japan and took Singapore on 31 Dec 41. A steady retreat down the peninsula is your best bet if you are allowed to do so. Your Vildebeest are your best weapon here and I send them on hit and run attacks across the SRA even if they don't have torpedoes.

The Dutch have a tough choice. Fortress Java has been tried, but it is difficult to do. The current flavor is to fortify Palembang to increase the chance of having high damage done to the most important economic asset that Japan has to grab.

I find myself trying to delay as much as possible, but there are a few units (mostly BF and large Aviation units) that I want to save for later use. As Allies, I never have enough Aviation Support.

It is hard not to do a partial "Sir Robin" as you cannot leave too much forward and have a KB escorted invasion by pass what you have and just come back at a later time. Add in the number of players using Scenario 2 with non-historical 1st turn and an Allied player is hard pressed to not want to run and hide for better times.

Just my $.025 cents (inflation!!)

< Message edited by ny59giants -- 4/17/2011 2:16:32 PM >

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 5:12:25 PM   
offenseman


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Consider an alternate MLR. The Japanese have a pretty harsh timetable for where they have to be with what, when. They are prepping troops for these locations from the first day of hostilities. The sudden discovery of a new MLR on a different island or a different terrain type will always be an unwelcome finding, as their siege will have to start from scratch. They can't afford the temporal distraction of being surprised in this manner.



That is very very true. Well said.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 7:21:27 PM   
Mac Linehan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: topeverest

Mac,

> Note: Mac Allies vs. experienced PBEM Japanese opponent.

The sub war is best started immediately. Your challenge is to decide if you are going to use the bulk of them in fleet or merchant roles. Without being too specific, imho, lets say the allies have about 60 subs, all but a handful of which are deployable in the first days of the war. IMHO, The goal is to sink tonnage not disrupt invasions.

> Absolutely agree. I do, however, have a small portion of the SS force deployed at invasion points, in an attempt to disrupt the Japanese landings.

The Empire has to regularly pull booty by sea in many places. As you reduce her capacity to move this, you are winning the war. Not pretty or sexy like CV or BB combat, but of paramount importance. Some areas are more important than others. IME, deploying every available sub at the beginning towards merhants will reap rewards through lower stockpiling and asset diversion. To simplify, there are two basic strategies you can deploy to - at the pickup and drop off locations or at the choke points. Furthermore, the longer the deployment path the more chance your short range subs cannot deploy once Manila is gone (which is a good reason to hold onto a major port as long as possible.) The best choke points might be Yellow and east china seas near the southern HI ports, in and around Formosa, Near Ominato, makassar straight / celebes sea, near singapore. This is not to say other areas might not be important in any particular game.

> A very clear and conies road map, Thank You. I erred initially, in keeping the significant Manila SS \ Surf forces in port, to allow the AM's to clear mines. Not only did this delay deployment and use of these forces, but I was Properly Spanked and lost a number of ships to air attack. Lesson learned; the risk of passage through a partially swept minefield is far more acceptable than the more immediate threat of attack by highly experienced Japanese Naval Air.

The empire can and probably will deploy air and ship based asw assets to effectively close down at least one of these patrol zones, and smart players will vary their convoy paths as their losses mount in any one area. If you are playing against an enemy who uses the auto convoy system, you are likely to be more successful, since AC tends to use most direct paths unless otherwise ordered.

> Am not sure if the Japanese Player will use AC; but will keep your advice in mind.

Furthermore, let me suggest that a dozen subs is more than adequate to flood a combat zone and meaninfully interdict any single set of empire amphibious actions if you are in a protracted combat in one general location...say in mid 42. You can use your reinforcements for that effort.

> This lesson has been brought home to me with a will, my esteemed opponent's I boats have taken a toll at the Samrinda / Balikpapan, Oosthaven / Merak, and the Singers / Lingga choke points.

Otherwise, get every available sub into either choke points or delivery / pickup zones and keep them there until exhausted, out of ammo, or severely damaged. You need to spend time on this part of the war each day and you have to plan about 7-14 days in advance. It is perhaps easyiest to allocate a number of subs to be in certain patrol areas and track the number of kills by area, resetting allocations periodically based on success and damage. To extend your effective patrol times is to mulitply your force effectiveness. With that in mind...Bases in the western Aleuts are very good sub bases against the HI if nothing else is near. Once you have the Marshalls or NG, these are great locations too, along with western Oz and any base near the western DEI

> Oh my gosh - I really appreciate the above advice. I spend about six to eight hours on a turn (weekends only), and am a very detailed / micromanage kind of guy. Your remarks give me a clear picture of where and how to set up shop.

lastly, do the upgrades, I maybe seeing things, but the radars seem to work wonders in the engagement rate.

> Yes - it was an incredible technological edge that US submarines enjoyed - and used to devestating effect. While the Japanese had centimetric radar, "Shipborne Surface - search, Fire assisting Radar [Designation 22-Kai-3]: Mark 2 Model 2 Modification 3 (Submarines), there was no PPI - just an A Scope readout, [Japanese Radar and Related Weapons of World War II, Yasuzo Nakagawa]. Louis Brown, in "A Radar History of World War II" quotes historian Samuel Elliot Morrison as calling the "Sugar George" Surface Search Radar, "the greatest boon of science to sailor-men since the chronometer. When SG was combined with PPI, our Fleet Boats became all the more deadlier and effective.

> Now Gents, I am, of course, getting all fired up; and am gong by memory. If I am off track, please let me know <grin>

By the end of 42 you will have approx 150 subs in your arsenal. That is enough to rip the heart out of the enemy's booty haul in 43, especially if you have a few forward bases to deploy from. Even if you can't advance on the surface, the subs will constrict the enemy economy so badly by mid 43 that you will have the war won before you realize it. remember, each 10% reduction in empire trasnport capacity is a corresponding (but delayed) reduction in their ability to make war and bring on new naval & air assets. Each naval and air asset you prevent from being built is one you never have to fight!!

> This is indeed, a whole different take on the first year and a half of the war...

Without betraying those who dont want to know...Ask yourself these questions to help you along. About how many empire total merhcant assets are available each year with what capacity? How many of those assets must be operating (what capcity) to fully employ the economy and from where do they run to/from? Therefore, how many ships do you need to sink to affect how much of the economy? How many subs do you need to deploy and how many sinkings per sub deployed do you need to get the effect you want by the date you want? track this and...well...there you go.

Its a very straightforward curve...for those who have decided to calculate it.

> And You, Sir, have started me down the path, as I do want to know....!

-----------

Dare I leave it there, I want to add but not talk about the fact that you want to integrate a surface raiding policy along with this.

> And I shall do so.

Anyway, I hope this helps.


Topeverest, you have been more than helpful. I shall put the above to good effect, and shall get back to you.

cricket Mac

< Message edited by Mac Linehan -- 4/17/2011 7:42:34 PM >


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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 8:09:07 PM   
Mac Linehan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ny59giants

I am playing both sides and would have to say that it has helped me become a better player.

> ny59giants - while I do not have the sheer game time and experience that you do, I have spent considerable time and thought on the initial Japanese set up and resource shipping requirements. Now, as the Allied Player, this knowledge does indeed given me a clearer understand of the forces, opening moves and burden of attack that my Japanese opponent faces.

In China, I learned not to defend in clear terrain. My troops got killed there.

> Your advice is taken to heart and will be implemented soonest.

In Luzon, slowing falling back to Clark and lastly at Bataan is the best way to go IMO. I try to save at least a fragment of each of the 6 USA BFs to be rebuilt as they will help in the long run. Your fighters don't last long, so use them will you can.

> ny59giants, this is something that I should have started earlier; possibly doable - Clark is holding, Manila still clear; but an earlier attempt to remove the Cavitie Naval Base Force by AP ended with the loss of the AP and LCU. Do you use Submarine evacuation; or surface ship early on?

In Malaya, if your playing a non-historical 1st turn, then you may be in trouble if your opponent has learned to conduct the Mersing Gambit successfully. I did so as Japan and took Singapore on 31 Dec 41. A steady retreat down the peninsula is your best bet if you are allowed to do so. Your Vildebeest are your best weapon here and I send them on hit and run attacks across the SRA even if they don't have torpedoes.

> Am setting up a "Fortress Singapore" as the Japanese advance down the peninsula. Air units resting to build morale, will use the above advice to good effect (or at least that's the plan!).

The Dutch have a tough choice. Fortress Java has been tried, but it is difficult to do. The current flavor is to fortify Palembang to increase the chance of having high damage done to the most important economic asset that Japan has to grab.

> Then, perhaps, this is an option to consider.

I find myself trying to delay as much as possible, but there are a few units (mostly BF and large Aviation units) that I want to save for later use. As Allies, I never have enough Aviation Support.

> This is the strategy that I am trying to implement. Still have much to learn..

It is hard not to do a partial "Sir Robin" as you cannot leave too much forward and have a KB escorted invasion by pass what you have and just come back at a later time. Add in the number of players using Scenario 2 with non-historical 1st turn and an Allied player is hard pressed to not want to run and hide for better times.

Just my $.025 cents (inflation!!)


ny59giants -

Good stuff, really helps to read what the Big Boys do - for all us minnow wanna be's.... <grin>

Thank You, Sir!

Mac

< Message edited by Mac Linehan -- 4/17/2011 8:10:45 PM >


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Post #: 21
RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 8:27:58 PM   
topeverest

 

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You give me far too much credit.

There are some very, very crafty Allied (and Empire) artists out there. Trust me when I tell you I am not one of them. If there are 10 important keys to victory on either side, I probably know how to purposefully execute three or four at most.

good luck

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 9:03:26 PM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Consider an alternate MLR. The Japanese have a pretty harsh timetable for where they have to be with what, when. They are prepping troops for these locations from the first day of hostilities. The sudden discovery of a new MLR on a different island or a different terrain type will always be an unwelcome finding, as their siege will have to start from scratch. They can't afford the temporal distraction of being surprised in this manner.

So, as a Japanese player, finding a huge combined force of engineers and infantry at Palembang is always unwelcome. A buttressed Java would suck too and throw a significant spanner in the works. In one of my current PBEMs, the Allies are making Darwin into a large defensive fortress, making life difficult for Japanese hegemony in the area. Now we've got to figure a way around this defense-which takes time.

Also concur on the surprise attacks into rear areas with shipping. Just be sure you know where the main KB is before doing so. It's an Allied gamble. Like gambling-don't bet anything that you can't afford to lose.

+1

Playing mostly as IJ, this is the most important thing: don't be predictable early on. As Chickboy states, the IJ player has a timetable and it is REALLY tight. Forcing the IJ player to recon every landing and potentially adjust forces can wreck that timetable. For example; the Fortress Palembang gambit can really screw up an IJ player if he doesn't recognize it soon enough.

IMHO the game is fundamentally about time: as the allies you are trying to buy time into '43 with intact forces. As IJ, you are trying to get the allies piece meal so that '43 is still a year of parity. If the allied offensive can't start until '44, IJ has a good chance to last through '45.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 11:38:56 PM   
USS America


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topeverest, a question, if you don't mind.  Are the results you describe above with your subs using historical torpedoes?  The bulk of the Allied subs in '42 carry Mk-14's with their 80% dud rate.  The S-boats and Dutch/Brit subs can be very effective early on, but just how effective can a sub patrol near the Home Islands be when it might be carrying 4 or so torpedoes that will actually explode? If you're sinking an average of 30 ships/month in a merchant campaign, with historically "inaccurate" torpedoes, then I'm extremely impressed! 

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/17/2011 11:49:26 PM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: USS America

topeverest, a question, if you don't mind.  Are the results you describe above with your subs using historical torpedoes?  The bulk of the Allied subs in '42 carry Mk-14's with their 80% dud rate.  The S-boats and Dutch/Brit subs can be very effective early on, but just how effective can a sub patrol near the Home Islands be when it might be carrying 4 or so torpedoes that will actually explode? If you're sinking an average of 30 ships/month in a merchant campaign, with historically "inaccurate" torpedoes, then I'm extremely impressed! 


The secret to getting good Allied sub performance in 1942 is to patrol where Allied patrol/float planes operate. If you can still project Allied naval air searches into the South China, Java, Philippine Seas, then you have bases close enough to operate S-class + Brit/Dutch subs in those areas to attack air spotted enemy ships.

Alfred

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/18/2011 12:19:25 AM   
Gary Childress


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As far as the DEI is concerned, without as much threat from the pesky Japanese medium bombers armed with torps, is it easier now to reinforce Singapore? Also are people better able to move more resources and oil out of DEI to Australia in the initial part of the game?

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/18/2011 1:40:32 AM   
topeverest

 

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Mike,

Really, this isnt brilliance, just thoroughness, and I sincerely doubt I am describing the best approach. i do believe, however, it is a good approach. Let me just say that subs (on both sides) are dramatic weapons in this game. Keep in mind the Americans alone sunk over 1100 empire ships by sub in WWII, including ~140 ships through dec 31, 1942.

BTW, It is historical torpedoes I always use. They key for me is in the dedicated deployment in the key choke and receiving / sending zones. You want to minimize distance to sub base to maimize length of patrol. I use 'patrol around target' and choose hexes. I overflow the most likely zones (more than one sub patrols certain hexes) and ensure the patrol zone itself is more than one hex. I dont abort them until they automatically return for fuel...but I will abort for torp ammo or damage above 20.

I dont get 30 every month by sub thru April, but at least 20. Dont underestimate the value of pulsing the Manila subs to the Yellow sea / Formosa area right at the start. By summer 42, the total comes up and stays up. It is a constant game of shift and countershift dictated by the empires changing of routes becasue the losses have been too painful and you upgrade timing. If you figure you want to set a goal of 1 sunk cargo type per 30 days of single sub patrol and you can keep a net of about half of your force in action, given the time to and from patrol and repair times / losses, WITH 30 net subs on duty at all times growing to 60+ by years end...the expected losses by subs should be no less than 150 merchnat vessals in 1942, taking into account the gamesmanship and other variables that occur during the game. Over 200 is expected if you put any effort into it. I think we all know what that does to the empire. More than this can be done to be sure if you dedicate yourself to it, tracking the success of the zones with every sinking and contact and adjusting accordingly. If you are following it closely, you might even break into the rythem of the convoys and really see some magic for a time.

furthermore, in 43+ when you can put 60 out at once (and then even more) and have active torpedoes, you will double your effectiveness. By late summer 43, the empire will be seriously constricted and short of cargos. You will start sinking 3 to 5 ships per day for a time. Note after 42, I will pull merchant dedicated subs to flood a combat zone, as many as 30 in a 400 hex square, for a major attack. This is because they are so darn effective by that time.

Let me state again the key isnt any one brilliant attack like in CV action, it is a continuous and unavoidable flood of subs where the empire has to take her cargos.

lastly, once PI and DEI are gone I tpyically do hold back my short rangers S boats, etc, for action against combat vessals and flooding any particular combat zone as above. A dozen or so of these is more than sufficient to accomplish most missions. I never waste a long range sub on such a mission if I have a shortie.

When you have retaken Luzon and Marianas the game changes. You flood the HI's with subs such that you bag something just about everytime there is a naval or merhcant sortie. Seriously, at that stage the empire will only be getting booty from the china road, Hokkaido & Sakhalin, and Manchukuo. you will have 5 times the subs to patrol 1/5 the patrol area. The math is pretty simple there.

-------------------

I am still working on a good Empire sub strategy...their nut is much harder to decide since they have several distinct types, including the SSX's. Thier floatplane capable assets probably are wasted as a typical sub on patrol. rather, they are better suited to combined sub-surface raiding, base spotting / monitoring, and/or CV hunting. The player also has to decide if to change sub doctrine in the options at the start. Of course, not adhering to the historical doctrine is a huge force multiplier to a throrough empire player. Finally, there is the matter of the SST eligibles and what if anything to do with them at each phase of the war. I will say that putting a number of the empire SST's together can be a very meaningful supply transport mechanism where suface and fast transport missions dont work. It also is a darn good surprise invasion attack mechanism if you have the patience to load each ship individually. I dont play Empire as much; therefore, I have to more postulate on suitable war strategy by stage than rely on bonified experience, especially late war antics. But that is a topic for another post...

Hopefully this provides more context on how to execute.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/18/2011 1:47:04 AM   
topeverest

 

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Gary,

IME, reinforcing Singapore is very hard to pull off against a seasoned empire player, and it has very limited rewards. You wont keep the base. As far as taking the booty from DEI to Oz, of course. You should plan to pull everything out you can. A lot depends on if the empire targets merisng or Java in the first week of the war. Palembang is very vulnerable early.

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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/18/2011 2:38:10 AM   
Mac Linehan

 

Posts: 1249
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred


quote:

ORIGINAL: USS America

topeverest, a question, if you don't mind.  Are the results you describe above with your subs using historical torpedoes?  The bulk of the Allied subs in '42 carry Mk-14's with their 80% dud rate.  The S-boats and Dutch/Brit subs can be very effective early on, but just how effective can a sub patrol near the Home Islands be when it might be carrying 4 or so torpedoes that will actually explode? If you're sinking an average of 30 ships/month in a merchant campaign, with historically "inaccurate" torpedoes, then I'm extremely impressed! 


The secret to getting good Allied sub performance in 1942 is to patrol where Allied patrol/float planes operate. If you can still project Allied naval air searches into the South China, Java, Philippine Seas, then you have bases close enough to operate S-class + Brit/Dutch subs in those areas to attack air spotted enemy ships.

Alfred


Alfred -

Another piece of the puzzle is explained. Many thanks, Sir.

topeverest, yet more solid guidance - I am saving this page.

To all who have contributed - my thanks; turn by turn, phase by phase I am getting some serious coaching - and will continue climbing the learning curve at an accelerated rate because of it.

a Very Humbled Mac

Mac

< Message edited by Mac Linehan -- 4/24/2011 7:39:57 AM >


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RE: Early war strategy for Allies - 4/18/2011 2:45:29 AM   
USS America


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Thanks for the quick and detailed feedback, Andy!  

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