Here is the update from last nights playing.
Category Previous Current
Dates 1/1/66 8/1/66
US Morale 504 498
SVN Morale 80 97
Commitment 125 175
Population 662 669
Draft Lvl 122 178
Supplies 7 16
Replacement 19 23
I can verify that I did in fact gain a morale level as US. I had a high kill of 1556 in a month and only lost 1 morale instead of two due to commitment. As for losing morale due to losses I seem to have had that happen to me. But since my highest losses for a month was just under 300 that could only have been done if the AI called an offensive. Can the AI do this? Does the AI do this? And is there anything in the game that can tell me when the NVN has done this?
With all the counters it is taking almost twice as long to play a single month as before. Basically each seasonal turn around 3+ complete NVN/NLF divisions appear all over the map. That means many battles, lots of counter movement to contain them and additional time for planning.
Right now I have 8 complete US divisions, 2 US brigades, additional air and support units, 5 ARVN divisions, 5 augmented ARVN divisions with artillery and tank support, 5 ranger battalions, the Para division, the Marine division, plus a Korean division in play. Yes that is alot of forces. Up in I Corps I'm losing population fast as the NVA has like 3 or 4 divisions in the first province alone. But I have a plan to get control of it.
Oh the NVA mech brigade had one PT-76 (I think that was it) in it. I hit it with 5 US battalions including 1 armoured and 2 mech and I lost 8 to its none. What is that PT-76? A stealth M1A2?
For my remaing builds I still have 2 US divisions, 4 US brigades, 1 augmented ARVN division and 15 or so independent ARVN battalions to build before I reach my goal. This takes me to around 240 US commitment.
As for some observations, with the huge US commitment the NVN has built up all cities on the trail. When the AI places VC forces it does so in division sized pockets which is good. But I'm not sure there is a real sound strategy behind the province choices. If I was playing the VC I would consider two data points. First is what the current population is and the second is what are the US/ARVN force placements. The primary targets would be provinces with population split almost 50/50 and very little FW forces in it. This gives me the best chance to have a population shift.
After this comes more SVN controlled population provinces with little or no forces. Then low (but not zero) provinces with little FW forces. Finally, are 50/50 provinces with more FW forces but here you need a large VC footprint. Another tactic is if the province has a border with Loas or Cambodia. In that case if the population is 30-70% FW controlled and FW forces are present I place the VC units in the other country and wait till my last turn before the seasonal turn to move them into the province. It doesn't matter if the FW has lots of forces as the VC gets a good modifier just for having units in the province. But I doubt the AI will ever be able to pull that one off.
Basically, the goal of the VC forces are to shift population points. They will never be able to win a fighting war to control a province. If a province is 0 to 3 SVN controlled population then the VC can ignore this province as it already has a nice negative modifier. For a NVN player you use your VC forces to shift population and NVA forces to do the actual fighting.
Having said this how does the AI handle placements? If there is logic and its based on numbers I can give some formula to help you out. I would need to know the comparrison PP levels of each unit since these are used for the population shifts and for damage morale shifts. At least I think its PP values for damage and perhaps you can confirm this.
EDIT: Is there an updated manual? The one on your site still shows September 10th.
EDIT #2: The drop in US morale is probably due to a third capital being captured by the VC in a single month and might not be due to US losses. I will have to pay careful attention to US morale to see what the cause was.
< Message edited by Goodmongo -- 9/29/2011 7:34:46 PM >