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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00

 
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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/10/2011 10:19:03 PM   
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All the Luftwaffe fighters along the Channel were used. Five step losses via recon attempts intercepted before the location of the RAF fighter bases was finally determined. Three RAF fighters just East & Northeast of London. All available Luftwaffe fighters are sent on air superiority missions against the RAF fighters and the British are simply overwhelmed by the numerical advantage. In the ground campaign, an undefended Paris falls to the panzers as well as a stubbornly defended Lille. Reims is fully surrounded as the consequences of a lack of French ground troops now starts to become apparent.

The Italians advance forward into southern France, but no combats occur. The Italians do pick off an French division in Tunisia as shown below. The more important question will be what opposition the Italian army of Libya faces as it advanced into Egypt. Additional Italian tac air wings are being readied to be sent there.






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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/10/2011 10:49:03 PM   
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Some events triggered this turn (July 16). One gifted Germany about 70 PP for having occupied a large chunk of French territory. No French surrender yet though. The other oddly was a message asking how the occupied territories of the USSR should be administered. Not clear to me if this was just an error in text message files and actually referred to France, or whether the single Soviet city occupied by Finland (Petrozavodsk) triggered that event. In any event I choose a moderate/medium policy. The Wehrmacht's casualties in France so far have been negligible. The formations are ready to push further west as shown below. Dunkirk is an objective this turn because if we pocket the French units along the coast, they would be without local supply if Dunkirk is German occupied.





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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/11/2011 12:07:10 AM   
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An Unexpected Result

After the odd message about Russian occupation, the Germans merrily went on their way, seizing Dunkirk, destroyng another RAF fighter wing, and even using their new Airborne division to complete an encirclement of the Maginot Line forces. All seemed set for a slow finishing off of the French, paced with deliberate actions to minimize German casualties. Then the Italians continued their march east into Egypt and west into Tunisia. They had received an event reducing the efficiency of troops in Libya because Malta was British held. Upon examination of their troops, the efficiency hit was indeed large (25-30%), and extended not just into Libya, but also into the troops now in Tunisia and Egypt. So the Italians immediately bought an Amphibious Assault point (50 PPs) and loaded a tech 2 infantry division onto it. Two Tac Air wings are in Sciliy and the entire refitted Italian navy is ready to sail and bombard the island of Malta.

And then something entirely unexpected happened. Messages began flashing on the screen indicating Soviet troops were attacking lonely German divisions garrisoning Poland! Once the Soviet AI was finished, it was the Finnish player turn. Checking their diplomatic status showed that they had now joined the Axis, thereby bringing the USSR into the war! Egads. Some more checking showed that Rumania had also entered the war of the Axis side. Of course their troops are all on the Yugoslav border, off rail lines and not ready to strat redeploy. Well that answers the question of why the Russian occupation option triggered. Germany is simply not ready for a fight with the USSR. It's been sitting on a huge PP stockpile thinking it wouldn't buy new ground units until it reached tech 2 in infantry and armor. Now it's clear that wad of PP will have to be blown on soon to be obsolete units. And even those may not be deployed in time. East Prussia is certainly lost as the Soviets are already three hexes from Konigsberg without a German unit in sight. The Russians are adjacent to Warsaw, with only a single division garrisoning it. Perhaps the Soviets can be stopped at a line from Breslau-Poznan-Kolberg. Perhaps. Perfidious Finland!

The only country ready for this result? Finland of course. They kick off their turn with a quick charge south from the Mannerheim line destroying a Soviet Mech Corps and even destroying the unprepared Leningrad garrison, although the Finns lacked the APs to enter the city.






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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/11/2011 1:33:17 AM   
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To make matters worse, at the start of the next German turn, an event triggers. Because the German PP stockpile is so large, 50 PPs are wasted. Doh, there goes the equivalent of three infantry corps.

In the west, the Wehrmacht is in a panic. The forward panzer divisions are ordered to make a mad dash for Tours, the city whose occupation will break French resistance. Everywhere else all the prior plans are ignored. The Maginot Line pocket, the out of supply French units along the coast, all are ignored. The only thing on the mind of the Wehrmacht solider in the west is to make a wild sprint for the nearest functioning rail line so he can be redeployed to face the Soviets.

However amongst the Luftwaffe, a more calm mindset is present. There's no need to redeploy bombers to the east since we won't be making ground attacks there and air superiority probably won't be achieved for months if ever. Instead reinforcements are assigned and the few full strength tac air wings are rebased further west to help in the desperate lunge for Tours. The Luftwaffe fighter wings continue their dogfights over the Channel against the RAF, destroying yet another enemy fighter wing.

The situation in the east is shown below:






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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/11/2011 1:41:54 AM   
Flaviusx


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The Soviet will be crippled by the effectiveness reductions. You can overrun his stuff with ease once those kick in. He's not going to get very far into Poland. A few lansders will smoke whatever intrudes.

The real danger for you is in the long run. By the time the Wehrmacht is ready and redeployed fully to the east to advance into the USSR, the hit to the Red Army will be gone. So it probably will turn into a huge stalemate until you can get a big enough edge on tech and land warfare doctrine. You'll be 2 doctrines ahead of the Sovs for years, tech not so much.



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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/11/2011 3:34:06 AM   
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It's worth taking a breather right now and contemplate the sequence of choices and events that led to this early Soviet entry into the war.

The main pivot point was the decision of the Finns to resist the Soviet demands for land. I've also played the Finns previously and given in to the demands. That led to no Finn-USSR war, Soviet demands on land from Rumania, and no entry by Finland into the war once Germany launches Barbarossa (i.e. no Continuation War). The conclusion from this is that if you are playing as Germany and want Finland on your side, early Soviet entry seems to be a given. At which point one might ask, why bother with the Molotov-Ribbentropp treaty? Don't know if rejecting that changes the trajectory of Finnish-Soviet events however.

Another consequence of having Finland resist Soviet aggression is that it's pointless to wait for the attack on the Low Countries events to trigger. Might as well start chopping at Holland in Feb or March and then Belgium/Lux in March/April. That gives you a couple of extra months to deal with France. In fact, given the fairly easy conditions to force Vichy formation if you attack Poland first, I think it's doable to finish France in June and at least get a decent force structure back to Poland in time for the Soviet entry.

Another thing I've learned is that the Vichy events can cause some pretty harsh PP wastage on the Germans (I just lost a second batch of 50 PPs). You want to burn your PPs down to zero on the turn prior to Vichy formation because you'll get two events that both boost your PPs in addition to your normal PP industrial production. In general, saving up PPs is a bit dicey unless you've spent time reading the event script files.

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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/11/2011 4:37:00 AM   
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France asks for an armistice and Germany grants one. Vichy is formed. The conditions to trigger this sequence are that Germany control Paris, Tours, two of Reims/Lille/Metx and one of LeMans/Caen. Once Vichy was formed, all British expeditionary forces vanished. Presumably to be freely redeployed by the British. Which makes Sea Lion much more difficult seeing as about 10 British divisional equivalents were trapped without supply outside Le Harve. Drats.

I've decided to keep a large Luftwaffe force facing southern England.The amount of RAF fighters being produced is fairly awe inspiring. We are killing 1 or 2 fighter wings per turn. Which means that six turns ago GB committed to an impressive production run of fighters. The losses to the Luftwaffe in contrast are spread across many fighter wings, so we don't have to rebuild our losses from scratch. If it weren't for the consistent recon interception losses, we'd have a good loss sink built for the RAF here. As it is we need full strength fighter wings with our best Luftwaffe leaders in order to keep the RAF suppressed with a very slight PP loss ratio in our advantage.

The German and Italian amphibious assault transports have been trawling around the seas looking for a good target. The Royal navy is not active and has not been a threat. However the Italians found that neither Malta hex can be used by disembarking amphibious transports. Evidently Malta can only be seized by airborne infantry. Italy immediately spent the money to build a parachute division. The German parachute division is still moving back to a rail line, from whence it will need to decide whether to also head to Malta, threaten southern England or head to the Eastern front.

The German fleet is headed for the Channel where it will size up the possibility of a Hail Mary attempt on Dover. From what I've seen, Sea Lion is quite difficult to execute in this game. You need to grab a port, but in order to do so, you'll have at best a couple of infantry divisions in AAs and two parachute divisions. That's not a lot of firepower with which to take a defended city hex (and GB will garrison all its port hexes). Naval bombardment of the British ground troops will at best disrupt the defender's efficiency by 50%, no matter how many ships you have. I think your best shot is to concentrate all your tac air in northern France and hope you can blast away the Dover garrison with air strikes. It's a long shot.

Meanwhile German infantry continues to rail into Poland. The front is mostly stabilized with one exception - Rumania. With Hungary neutral, we have no rail link with Rumania. And the Rumanian forces on their own are not capable of dealing with the larger Soviet formations currently entering their country. So the first location for an offensive, once we get troops in place, will be south along the Soviet-Hungarian border to seize Lviv and get a rail link with Rumania. Below is the situation in the east after German moves for the turn have been completed.






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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/11/2011 5:09:17 AM   
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Well I've found the first hole in the AI's strategy routines. The Italian fleet with its single infantry division in amphibious assault transports decided to land next to Alexandria. It had no garrison. So the Italians walked in. The British defenders of Egypt were meanwhile surrounded by the grand Italian army of Libya. Depending on what the British have around the Nile and Suez, they can still salvage this setback but it is AI defensive deficiency that needs to be fixed.

It's actually surprising to me that there haven't been AI hiccups prior to this. That is, if one excludes the Soviet AI's inability to attack Finland as simply a subtle ruse to gain early war entry. ;) But in general most big WW2 strategy games have fatal defects in (pick one, or most of the time pick many): defense of the British home islands, German attack on Scandinavia, French defense of the Italian border, etc. So far ToF has evaded those pitfalls. But here's the first. Time to crank up that British AI difficulty setting to easy...






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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/11/2011 5:27:30 AM   
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Sweden has entered the war on the Axis side, enraged by the Soviet attack on Finland no doubt. Either that or it was Germany spending all its Diplomatic Points, in particular the ones it got from the formation of Vichy, to turn Sweden. In retrospect, it probably would have been better to use all those DPs on Spain instead. Combined with a latter Italian DP spend on Spain, I think it's possible to bring them in on the Axis side.

The problem with bringing in the Swedes, is they really don't add anything. They haven't been able to build anything this year since they were digging themselves out of a negative PP hole from gifting all those PPs to Finland. They have some infantry divisions that will be used to free up about 6 German divisions garrisoning Norway and Denmark. But that's pretty much it. Their navy is all old stuff that needs to be refitted to be combat ready. At least they have an obsolete fighter wing that can be used to help intercept air raids against Helsinki. Contrast that to Spain which could change the strategic direction of the war in the Med. Not really a very close contest. Oh well, next time it'll be Spain!






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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/11/2011 6:24:26 AM   
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Some other minor points about how ToF handles situations that commonly occur in WW2 big strategy games. W.r.t. Vichy formation, Italy does NOT get to keep any small territorial gains it makes prior to the armistice. Any Italian units in France once Vichy forms are simply put in the "available to be redeployed bin". So there's no point in making mini offensives in Tunisia, or even towards Marseilles for that matter. ToF's French AI isn't stupid enough to leave southern France barren, so if you are playing as the Italian, simply accept that France is there for you to enter the war with, and go from there.

I'm in the middle of making my Hail Mary pass attempt to capture Dover and I have to say I really like how ToF structures its land/air/sea interactions, at least as far as amphibious invasions go. In a lot of WW2 strategy games you can sneak in an invasion force without air cover, or without taking out enemy air. Not in this game. You must have your bombers help take out the port defenders. And they won't be able to do that without enemy fighters prevented from intercepting them. So first you need to go in with your fighters. Then your bombers, then drop paras and the invasion infantry. It's a really nice overall structure that makes intuitive sense. Now they just need to get that Royal Navy more active.

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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/11/2011 7:16:22 AM   
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Sea Lion launches. The Luftwaffe fighters have their role down pat. They've been executing it for the last month. Recon to find RAF fighters. Then air superiority. First with a full strength air wing with the best available leader. Then hit the weakened enemy with full strength squadrons with a good leader. Finish the enemy squadron remnants with a full strength Me109 squadron with a weaker leader. But this time one RAF fighter squadron can't be located. Despite heavy air recon most of the way to Coventry, the enemy fighters can't be found. This is a disaster.

The Luftwaffe bombers must hit Dover regardless. Wave after wave of tac air flies to Dover, gets intercepted and gets shot down. Eventually the bombers get one hit on the enemy fighter in return. More bombers are sent. More are shot down but eventually another hit on the enemy fighter. Finally after that sole RAF fighter shoots down 12 step losses of Luftwaffe bombers, Dover is plastered with bombs. A Wehrmacht infantry division lands south of Dover. Reinforced with a leader, the division takes Dover and heads inland. With the port captured, the two German infantry corps riding in regular troop transports disembark with the aid of the newly captured port. But the German commander is surprised to find them at only 26% efficiency - a result of having been at sea for 3 weeks while the Germans sailed around Britain. Desperate for more beef on the ground, I decide to burn the 2nd AA point and land another infantry division.

At least the British look depleted. A second wave of troops embarks in Le Harve, but won;t be ready to land for two turns, a consequence of the shortage in German shipping.






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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/11/2011 10:17:20 AM   
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We've lost air superiority over southern England. This surprising turn of events is perhaps less surprising if we note that even when Sea Lion launched it was almost held up by a single RAF fighter wing that couldn't be spotted. Well multiply that by two or three and there's a problem. The prior week, frantic Luftwaffe recon missions have been unable to locate the RAF fighters. This wasn't judged as a critical failure however since the ground troops were at low efficiency and simply moved up to get ready for attacks this week. But this week a lucky Luftwaffe recon mission spotted the RAF fighters (or at least some of them), and the were positioned out of range of our fighters but within range of the ground troops front line. The AI has shown a stunning to optimize fighter airbase positioning to thwart the Luftwaffe's numerical advantage. Without the ability to shut down RAF fighter interception, all Luftwaffe bomber raids were cancelled. Given the difficulty of maintaining air superiority in the future, I've decided to move half of the Luftwaffe bombers back to the eastern front. The other half may very well head to Malta soon unless the Luftwaffe fighters can turn the situation around. As a result very little progress has been made to push the bridgehead inland. The only progress was along the southern coast were Kriegsmarine shore bombardment provided the support the ground troops needed.

On the eastern front the Lviv offensive kicks off. Bolstered by two newly created panzer divisions formed from captured French tanks (yes, there is an event for this!), German forces have pushed up to the city of Lviv itself, but it is heavily garrisoned. It's capture can come none too soon, for the Soviets have surrounded about half the operational Rumanian army around the town of Kishinev. The Rumanians simply lack the firepower to deal with the 6 tank divisions that the Soviets have rolled across the border. Backed up by another 12 Soviet infantry divisions, the Rumanians have been outmaneuvered and are outgunned.






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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/11/2011 7:59:42 PM   
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Well the Royal Navy has been sighted. It's in the Med with 20+ CAs and the expected CV's, BB's and SS's. It sat as a big stack on the Naples-Tripoli convoy route, shutting that down for two turns. Then it moved to engage the assembled Italian fleet and has followed it for the last few turns. It is slowly whittling away at the Italian ships. Two conclusions from this: First it's good that the AI can tell when it needs to concentrate its forces in response to the human player assembling a mega-stack. Second the Italian fleet is going to lose this sequence of battles and I need to do something about it.

The solution, I think, is going to come from the Kreigsmarine. It's time for the German's to scatter and send out swarms of raiders, both surface units and U-Boats. The Germans need that as much as the Italians, because British production is simply too high. The British are just getting stronger and stronger in southern England despite the best efforts of the Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht to grind them down. Similarly, Italian progress in Egypt is glacial. If something isn't done, Germany will still be fighting on those fronts in 1942, which will not bode well for the need to concentrate forces in Russia by then. So it's time to fight the strategic warfare game against Britain.

Here's what Sea Lion looks like at this time:





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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/11/2011 8:57:38 PM   
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When playing as Italians, it is worth to fight French, as you can get % of French PP after the France is beaten.

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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/11/2011 9:12:10 PM   
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Thanks, Marcoeconomics, for this very informative and entertaining AAR. Great effort on your part. I am puzzled as to why the AI is not using the Royal Navy to aggressively challenge operation Sealion and instead concentrating in the Med. What are your thoughts about this?

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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/12/2011 12:16:28 AM   
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Very nice AAR.

Still cannot believe it's possible to "recruit" Sweden though.

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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/12/2011 1:45:40 AM   
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Armor Tech 2! The options on offer all sound pretty good. They are:

1)Cost of reinforcing armor by 1 strength point reduced by 2 PP
2)Armor Corps produced 1 week faster
3)One free Armor Corps of tech level 3
4)Armor Corps max strength increased by 1

Dayum! I want them all. Well clearly Door #2 is the weakest. The free Armor Corps probably has a strength of 20 of so. So I'd need to produce 20 tech level 2 armor corps to get the same increase in strength points from Door #3. Don't think I'll get to that. Well OK, I'll pick #3. With my luck the new elite corps will probably arrive at 20% of full strength.

The elite panzer corps is deployed to Normandy and arrives at a full strength of 25!. Woot!. However this joy is immediately tempered by the news that the British Royal Navy has arrived in the Channel and has stopped the entire supply throughput of the La Harve to Dover convoy. The Kreigsmarine will need to meditate on this for awhile...







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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/12/2011 2:01:27 AM   
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I like option 4. Option 1 is also good. In a long game, those are likely to provide the most benefits.



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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/12/2011 2:46:27 AM   
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They all seemed pretty good to me. Well except for #2. But there is definitely a coolness factor to this aspect of tech research.

Looking at the build cost numbers, tech 2 armor costs about 25 PP per strength point for the Germans. But repairing armor seems to be less expensive. Looking at some damaged tech 2 panzer divisions, it seemed like repairs cost about 20 PP per strength point. Hard to tell exactly, because it seems like ToF does some numerical rounding at times. But if 20 is the right number, that would suggest that door #1 gives a 10% reduction in reinforcement costs. The big question would be whether that benefit continues when you hit tech level 3, or whether it just reduces to cost the reinforcing tech 2 panzer units.

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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/12/2011 2:51:54 AM   
Flaviusx


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I'm pretty sure the cost reductions carry over. In fact I think they are cumulative if you select more cost reductions as you upgrade further in tech. (This is possible in some tech combos.) Playing the Soviets I was getting some incredibly dirt cheap infantry doing this (and their costs start low as is.)

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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/12/2011 5:05:31 AM   
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Let's talk navies. When the Royal Navy smashed the Italian supply convoys to Libya and whacked the massed Italian fleet around, it did so in force. Ultimately it consisted of 5 BBs, 5 CVs, 60 CAs and some subs. This forced the recall of all the German surface raider and subs. The massed Italian fleet stood its ground in the Central Med sea zone (just off Malta) and although the Italians were losing 2-3 ships a turn, the presence of the Italian fleet enabled the supply convoys to go through. That seems to indicate that ToF has a shadow escort process going on. If you are prepared to stomach losses to your numerically inferior fleet, you can keep the supplies rolling.

However if you are too inferior numerically, that doesn't work. When the same RN fleet showed up in the channel, the presence of the Kreigsmarine was not enough to prevent the RN from destroying the supply convoys. That Kreigsmarine fleet was smaller than the Italian fleet because of all the surface raiders and subs stripped off to go convoy raiding. Just anecdotally speaking it seems as if an inferior fleet size of about 1/2 the size of the attackers is needed to protect a convoy in this manner.

Another interesting way that ToF is designed is that naval battles and convoy resolution appear to occur only at the end of the game turn, not at the end of each player turn. And since the British player turn occurs after the Axis, that gives a nice strategic advantage to the British. They can flee when necessary and they can strike at the time and location of their choosing. The exception to this is land based air strikes on naval units. Those ARE resolved during the phasing player turn as the air units move.

And about those land based air strikes on naval units. Thanks to our helpful devs, we know that land based tac air needs to be within 5 hexes on the sea zone hot hex to attack in that sea zone. Something to take into account when basing your bombers. Bombing resolution itself is also noteworthy. In particular damage done seems to scale with the number of ships in the zone being attacked. Thus using land based air to attack a single enemy ship most often misses, and if it hits most likely causes a single step of damage. But attack a big massed fleet, and if you can hit them, you'll likely hit multiple ships and for bigger damage to boot.

And so it was that a single Luftwaffe tac bomber wing somehow managed to damage 16 RN ships and even sink the battleship Revenge. Which sent the RN packing, at least temporarily, and reopened the supply convoys from France to the invasion force in Britain. Sometimes you just get lucky.

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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/12/2011 5:49:46 AM   
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Door number 1 please. I'm a sucker for saving PP.

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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/12/2011 7:02:06 AM   
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I'd like to see this documented by the devs although I appreciate your guesswork. Really these mechanics should be in the manual. It's frustrating to have to guess at this stuff.

Also I never saw a response from Doomtrader about the wacky stuff that happened earlier in your game such as Germany being drawn into war with USSR because Finland resisted USSR demands. Is it just bugs and when will the bugs be patched?

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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/12/2011 7:31:39 AM   
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Sveint, 99% of the time I go with the economic advantage as well. But for whatever reason I didn't this time. Well, OK, maybe part of it was that I realized I could split that tech 3 panzer corps and make more of them... The tech level 3 panzer corps has been sitting in Normandy for weeks waiting for a ride. Finally I lost patience and dumped 76 PPs into increased sea transport and put those tanks on a boat. I also just figured out how to shore bombard with an entire task force instead of a single ship (Shift-select). So now the invaders have made progress along the southern coast and have taken a second port at Southampton.

In Russia, the Germans have been grinding forward, although most progress was slowed dramatically with the onset of the fall rains. Just a couple of weeks ago, the 15 infantry corps that Germany built when it realized it was at war with the USSR hit the field. But the Soviet war economy is already at 123%, so their recuperative powers will be immense. The front line runs from Vilnius - Pinsk - Vinnytsia - Odessa. Rumania was saved in the nick of time - the lead Soviet tank corps was within 5 hexes of Ploesti.

But the big event this turn was the Battle of Malta, or rather the ending to it. The Italian paratroopers actually jumped onto Malta on the last week of October 1940. Only to find that upon landing they had zero movement points and thus weren't able to attack. The following turn, the Italian fleet and massed Axis tac air unleashed a rain of attacks and drove the Malta garrison to a strength of 0.3 and efficiency of 1% (the lowest possible from ranged attacks). The Italian paratroopers then destroyed the remnants but again were left with zero movement points and couldn't take the city. Fortunately the Allies didn't rebuild a unit in Malta (or couldn't), so on the 2nd week of November the Italians walked into an empty Valletta.

Structurally I think there are some problems with the way Malta is setup in the game. It's a 2 hex island, which is OK, but the British infantry division there at the start of the game is unfrozen. It's a fairly simple matter for a human British player to promote that division to a corps and then split it. By thereby occupying both island hexes, Malta becomes unconquerable. It might be better to have that British unit be frozen for a considerable length of time.






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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/12/2011 7:49:30 AM   
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jjdenver, the way I look at ToF right now is that it's an adventure. Like that airborne invasion of Malta that just finished up. There are going to be some unexpected twists and turns along the way. Now I've done my share of meta-gaming over the years, but I can also appreciate a gaming experience where you CAN'T plan everything out and have to react on the fly sometimes.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you spend a bunch of time reading the event script files so you can fully understand all the nuances of what will happen (even if unintended), then you get a different gaming experience. Right now I'm on a Disneyland ride for the very first time and I don't know exactly what will happen so I have to plan with some backup in mind. That Malta screenshot? What you didn't see were the 4 additional Italian tac air that already moved off that I brought to Sicily because I didn't know whether I'd need them. A year from now, playing ToF won't be like this. It will be much more meta-gaming oriented. But right now, I have 6 Italian corps and the entire Hungarian army watching the Yugoslav border because I don't know if the scripted events will force that country to the Allies. It's kinda cool.

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Post #: 55
RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/12/2011 9:46:12 AM   
macroeconomics

 

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One of the interesting operational challenges in ToF is trying to capture cities. Unlike many other games, simply cutting them off from the rest of the defender's country isn't the end all be all. In ToF, cities have local supply and can even use that to supply an entire pocket of hexes. If one can fully surround an enemy city hex (i.e. units on all adjacent land hexes) then eventually they will surrender. But that's a big investment in troops to take out a single enemy corps. Problems with surrounded cities have completely stalled the Italian offensive in Egypt. And in England, the hold out city of Brighton is causing similar problems.

But at least some progress is being made in southern England as can be seen here:






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Post #: 56
RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/12/2011 6:21:58 PM   
macroeconomics

 

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In Russia, Germany has been waging an economic war of attrition on the Soviets, with the Luftwaffe fighter force a major weapon. Shooting down expensive Soviet planes has contributed more to enemy PP losses than winning ground battles against Soviet infantry. In fact the Luftwaffe now fields 22 fighter squadrons while still owning only the original 12 tac air bombers.

The truth is that some 5 months after the USSR's surprise entry into the war, Germany still does not have the ground force structure to launch a deep advance into Russia. Even now, the lowly tech level 1 German armor corps continues to toil away near Odessa because I'm having a hard time justifying pulling it back to Germany and having it sit for 2 months to upgrade it to tech level 2. So instead Germany is focused on maximizing PP losses on its eastern foe. So far it seems to be working OK as Soviet force density on the ground appears to be under control.

Here's an overall look at the massive eastern front:






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Post #: 57
RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/12/2011 8:16:26 PM   
Flaviusx


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Hmmm. You should be able to do tech upgrades in the field. What the game doesn't let you do outside home territories is upgrade units to larger sizes or different types. (I.e., division to corps, or inf to mech, or mech to armor.) At least this is the case with the Sovs.

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Post #: 58
RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/12/2011 9:03:41 PM   
macroeconomics

 

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We haven't had an update from Africa recently, so the situation is shown below. After a long stalemate, I think the tide is turning against the British. Sidi Barrani is finally beseiged in a stable manner and a lot of Italian infantry will be moving in from the west. Italian air dominates the skies as all newly produced British planes are earmarked for their home front. More recently it seems like the same thing is happening with British ground units. Cairo is the obvious next objective, but the terrain is difficult here. The Royal Navy has no presence in the Med - all it's ships are evidently facing Germany now. That has enabled the Italian navy to alternate its ships as sea to reduce the "turns at sea" indicator. Does anyone know if that parameter effects ship efficiency? Is there such a thing as ship efficiency?






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RE: Grand Campaign V1.00 - 12/13/2011 4:28:32 AM   
macroeconomics

 

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The defense of the British home island looks doomed. The British have lost a lot of industrial capacity, and just don't have the forces to push back. The key battle started a month ago when the 1st Fallshirmjager parajumped into Coventry. In a reversal of the Bridge Too Far scenario, British defense forces converged on the city and started pounding on the paratroopers while the big German armor corps moved north over rain soaked terrain, destroying any British units in its path. Eventually the British succeeded in destroying the paratrooper division, but lacked the APs to advance into the city. The next German player turn, swarms of Wehrmacht units descended on the British attackers and decimated them. The British counterattack also left a big hole in their lines to the east and quicker German panzer divisions scurried through capturing the big industrial towns of Sheffield and Leeds.

The Royal Navy has intervened several times and forced the Germans to spend about 200 PP on shipping to replace their transport losses. But the British ships have not been able to get the Kriegsmarine in an engagement and have take heavy damage from Luftwaffe bombers. The assembled Royal Navy now has no numerical advantage over the Kriegsmarine other than from its CVs, and weighing against that is the total Luftwaffe dominance of Channel airspace. The British might have additional damaged ships hiding somewhere, but at this point it's probably too late for the RN to save the day.




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< Message edited by macroeconomics -- 12/13/2011 4:38:05 AM >

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