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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions

 
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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 4/9/2012 3:57:08 AM   
Lokasenna


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Well... I'm also a bit surprised that I have them where I do. I played very aggressively early with my surface forces in the DEI and sank every Japanese invasion TF heading for Java and many that were landing on Borneo. Without save scumming! I also managed to catch Hiryu/Soryu with sheer luck outside of Batavia - Warspite sank both over a period of a couple of days. I am playing against Historical AI to learn the system - I have no doubt that against a human I would have lost all of the DEI well before mid-June 1942, which is where I'm at now. I rushed fighters and dive bombers to defend the Solomons, where I sank Hyuga, Kirishima, Mutsu, and Yamashiro - and sent Hiei limping. As far as I know, trying to remember my IJN OOB, the only CV/CVL/CVEs they have left are Zuikaku (which should be in dock for a while, it took 6 or so bomb hits but I didn't get heavy damage...), Hiyo, and Junyo. Fuso and Yamato should also be in a dock somewhere. All in all... I feel like the AI has been exceedingly stupid (if I turn Fog of War off to see the actual number of ships sunk, it's over 1000), and I'm sure that my hyper aggressive stance early would've just gotten me slaughtered on VPs against a human opponent. But I wanted to learn how to use my TFs, so...

I had forgotten about the penalties for the Air Combat TFs - that sucks! Oh well. I've been running 4-5 of them around, in cover of Hurricanes and P40s based out of Soera and recently Makassar. Yorktown did get hurt a bit when I got caught against an uncoordinated raid of Bettys, Nells, Nates, and Zeroes...the Bettys arrived late and put 2 torps into her, but she'll live.

Can I change the difficulty of the AI mid-game without any ill effects? I'm not sure it would make a difference in this one, but I hate to restart when I'm 6 months in, before I get a chance to refine how I should conduct invasion/landing operations. As well as planning in advance with my ground units. Tracker is nice and all, but I think I need to start up an Excel sheet so I can keep running tallies of the specific things I'm concerned with.

< Message edited by Lokasenna -- 4/9/2012 4:16:04 AM >

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 4/9/2012 5:08:50 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna

Can I change the difficulty of the AI mid-game without any ill effects?

Yes, and you should. Per Andy for GC AI games, you should play HARD with 2 - 3 days/month at VERYHARD as a minimum. For IronMan AI games, you should play NORMAL with 2 - 3 days/month on HARD.

_____________________________

Pax

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 4/9/2012 12:15:13 PM   
HansBolter


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I play Ironman on the hard setting without downgrading to normal. I'm experienced enough to know how to trash the AI and have to hold myself back and use the hard setting to keep the game from skewing in my favor too early.


Putting up a fight in the air with the Allies in '42 is all about pool depth. You can only sustain the fight with sufficient pool depth for replacements and that is the true challenge for the Allies in '42. With PDU on and judicious use of upgrades you can create pool depth where none exists. Upgrade a few P40B squadrons that are near full strength to P39s and you have created pool depth for the use of a couple of P40B squadrons in front line combat. Hold off upgrading your carrier SBD2s to 3s and you can utilize your pool depth of the 2s while building up the depth of the 3s. Upgrade a few of the P38s that are restricted to the west coast to P39s and you can flesh out the P38 squadron that starts in the 51st Pursuit Group and have a little depth for replacements, long before P38 production kicks in. These are all tricks of the Allied trade that one picks up over the course of many games played.

_____________________________

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 4/13/2012 1:20:53 AM   
moore4807


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Loksenna,

A suggestion to the Enterprise Fulmar problem... If you go to the sqdrn on board the Enterprise in the bottom left side, click on pilots and then click once on each pilot - it will ask you if you want to send him to group pool - click Yes, Then click that same pilot again and it will offer to put him in the general pool - click yes again. This will draw down your pilots to just one or two who cannot be "pooled" (there is a category to the right that says if they can or cannot be "pooled" - usually the commander or senior man cannot)  I'm willing to lose him in the disbanding for multiple experienced pilots I gain in the general pool.  Your plane group slot opens back up on the ship. I have only done this a handful of times - so there may be problems with this  I'm not familar with but the general idea is workable.

This is also what I do with raiding the training sqdrns on the West Coast in the beginning of the war, except I keep the training groups and fill out the roster with rookies again  training at 80 in whatever specialty you choose. (land, naval, ASW, etc.) 
Hans suggestion is dead on, he too has a ton of experience playing...   

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 4/14/2012 5:08:02 AM   
johnjohn

 

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Dont forget to upgrade the game. The newest version has all kinds of new helps, including easy switches for releasing pilots. John

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 4/18/2012 6:11:59 PM   
Lokasenna


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I ended up docking Enterprise at Rabaul (on my way over to take back some of the Gilberts/Marshalls and want the air cover). I transferred the Fulmar unit to the base, and a couple days later they're sitting there with planes again. Thanks for the pilots suggestion though, I hadn't even thought of that. Now if only I could figure out how to change the upgrade path on VF-6...

I restarted with the latest release in February, so unless there's been a new one since then... I should still be current with 1108r9, yeah?

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 4/19/2012 3:24:14 AM   
johnjohn

 

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Was looking at your carrier sinkings. The enemy still has Akagi, Kaga, Zuikaku (damaged), Shokaku, Junyo, Hiyo, all CVs. Sounds like they still have their five CVLs too. That is still alot of enemy firepower, especially if they concentrate it. I am not sure about the updates, but I did one just two weeks ago. The main visiable difference is that when you click on PILOTS in the squadron view, you have the option to release the best or the worse pilots in the group in various amounts. If that option is available to you, then we are talking about the same update. If it is not available to you, then there is another update you should download.

John

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 4/19/2012 3:31:38 AM   
johnjohn

 

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Also, if you cannot upgrade VF-6, then hustle to PH or the West Coast and park VF-6 and embark a couple of Marine F4F-4 squadrons to replace them until VF-6 upgrades. I would also turn off all F4F-3 upgrades until you have enough planes to upgrade VF-6. Then as quickly as possible upgrade to F4F-4s. Swap the squadrons back, by this time you will have two marine fighter squadrons that are carrier capable. Meanwhile, use Enterprise as normal. When VF-6 is ready, then go back and swap. This will enable you to operate the better planes until the problem with VF-6 is resolved. It also will not exceed the limitations on amount of planes operating on Enterprise.

John

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 4/19/2012 3:33:45 AM   
johnjohn

 

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My error, turn off all F4F-3 upgrades except for VF-6 and ALL replacements of F4F-3s across the board. John

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 4/20/2012 1:05:28 PM   
Lokasenna


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I'm certain the only CVs they have left is a damaged Zuikaku and a just-arrived Junyo. It turns out that Akagi and Shokaku did end up succumbing to their wounds and I found out a couple months later. I also see the "release 10 best/worst pilots" option, but I haven't used it yet.

I have put a VMF squadron on board Enterprise to stand in, it really will have to do for now...You're right, I should put another on board. And it won't hurt to have carrier trained Marine units, either. The trouble with the F4F-3s is that I only have a replace rate of 8 and no other units are using that airframe, so I'm certain that it's the only one getting replacements when they arrive. My pool of F4F-4s is building up, when it reaches 27 I'm going to check again on changing the upgrade path and upgrading.

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 4/20/2012 5:55:04 PM   
johnjohn

 

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I think you are on the right track with VF-6. Park it and it will fill up as replacements come available. Upgrade as soon as possible when enough type 4 airframes are available. You also may want to turn off replacements for type 4 wildcats on all squadrons in training mode. You need to build up the pool of type 4 airframes.

The pilot switch is an effective way to transfer pilots to TRACOM, the general reserve, or the group reserve. It is also an effective way to unload untrained pilots so you can replace them with veterans (assuming you have some available). I always try to transfer out as many experienced pilots as possible from air groups that are to be withdrawn. In that way I still have the pilots, if not the airframes. Sometimes when a group withdraws you have the option to send planes and pilots to the pools. But when that is not available, you can accomplish most of the same thing using those pilot switches, instead of having to click on each pilot as we had to do with earlier versions.

In my other AAR we are having a vigorous debate over the value of TRACOM. I use it regularly. Most others do not. And we all have in game training operations going on for all service types. I load up with the rookies out of TRACOM and put them in my training squadrons in the US or India. *China is useless for this--the entire air force needs to be trained, for up to two years or more. I move the Chinese training squadrons to Karachi and leave them there. It is OCT 43 against the AI. The Chinese squadrons still suck. Only the P=40s and 38s transferred in from the USAAF are doing any damage to the enemy in China. When the pilots reach 55+ they are released to the general reserve and the process starts all over again. And I keep 70+ EXP in the carrier fighter squadrons.

John

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 4/23/2012 11:26:45 PM   
Lokasenna


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Thanks for the very excellent tips john. I will have to begin using TRACOM, I think. Don't see the point in having a tool if I'm not going to use it... I fear I've missed out on keeping a couple of veterans on hand from some of the units I've already withdrawn. Next time, I'll keep them around.

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 4/24/2012 3:58:43 AM   
johnjohn

 

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I keep some of the 80+ trainer types in the squadrons, esp if they are sqd commanders. Most, however, get sent to TRACOM. This increases the start ability of your new trainees, but it is a long slow process. For Instance, my effort has increased the output level to 25 from 20, meaning the trainees train up faster once they get to a training squadron. It is the trained trainees (i set that at 55+) that get transferred out to the general reserve and new trainees take their place. I have about ten training squadrons in the US and another 10 in India, including the Brits, et. al. I have nearly all the Aussie squadrons training in Aussie, using trained US squadrons as the first line of defense.

Some of the others I kibbitz with wait until trainees reach level 70 before doing the swaps. I find 55 acceptable, and in a combat squadron those guys gain experience quickly. On the carriers, however, I strive to maintain 70+ experience in the best planes possible. I also operate carriers only within land based air cover. That way most of the pilots shot down are recoverable. Unlike for the enemy, who lose the pilot that is shot down when fighting in my land based coverage areas. Keep having fun.

John

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 4/27/2012 4:18:48 PM   
johnjohn

 

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On the VF-6 upgrade matter. I stumbled onto (isn't that what all we Noobs do?) the upgrade path and requirements for upgrade by mistake a couple of days ago. If you bring up VF-6 and right click on the type of airframe displayed in the upgrade switch, the entire future upgrade path will appear for that unit. I discovered that I have several operating squadrons that will upgrade only when the full number of replacements are available. I am sure that is applicable to VF-6, unlike other units that can upgrade as long as one airframe of that type is available. In fact, I have upgraded units (for which I had turned off upgrades when the type of airframe was in very short supply) twice in the same turn, going from P-40E to P-40K to P-40N etc., all in one turn. So it depends on the requirements in the path. I think that may have been what Alfred was trying to tell us.

John

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 5/21/2012 7:43:01 PM   
Lokasenna


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Indeed, I think it probably was. Once I had enough F4F airframes, the unit upgraded. It's just weird that the UI forces you to have a full complement of planes available if you want to skip over a model in the upgrade path, whereas if I want to upgrade to the immediate upgrade it can be done with as little as 1 in the pool.

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 5/22/2012 12:26:52 AM   
n01487477


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna

Well... As well as planning in advance with my ground units. Tracker is nice and all, but I think I need to start up an Excel sheet so I can keep running tallies of the specific things I'm concerned with.

ANy suggestions ?

_____________________________

-Damian-
EconDoc
TrackerAE
Tutes&Java

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 5/22/2012 3:52:26 PM   
Lokasenna


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For Tracker? Specifically, at the time I was concerned with sorting LCUs by target, including those embarked on TFs, with a sum of the AV to help me plan invasions. Also an ETA for TFs to their destination, to help me coordinate the invasion. Tracker does have the ability to sort by "Plan for", shows AVs, and shows "Loaded on" as well as the TF of which the ship is a part (is there a way to make it display the real TF number, instead of TF 8186 or whatever?)... but there's just too much extra info that is displayed for it to be parsed quickly. It would be a great help if there were more options for exporting to CSV (like highlighting rows and only exporting those rows, from whichever view you're looking at), but I know how tedious it can be to code stuff like that (and for every data set... *head-desk*) and I don't expect you guys to do it at all. It is probably ultimately less work for me to just sort in Tracker, move the columns I want to be easily visible, and then manually input the data into a spreadsheet every time I coordinate a lot of stuff than it would be to recode the export functionality.

And if I want to merge that info (total AV planning for a destination) with info on TFs and ETAs (to target sometimes, not always to home)... It seems like a desire so specific to my organizational habits that I should just put it into my own Excel to help with major ops planning. Although, if anybody else would benefit from an "AV Loaded" column in the TF data set... I know that would help me out tremendously.

But yeah, that all just seems specific to my own needs and I'm not sure of what broader use any of that would be.

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RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 5/25/2012 12:57:28 AM   
johnjohn

 

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On the Invasion fronts, and I am no expert, I found that the sage advice of Pete Rizzo, former Police Commissioner and Mayor of Philadelphia in the early 70's appropo. "If the crook wants to fight, bring a knife, and if he has a knife, bring a gun." This is often summarized as "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight." For Allied invasions, several factors are involved. All are covered in the manual. First, scout the place out. Use recon, intel, whatever you have to determine who and what the defenders have. That tells you if it is a fist fight, a knife fight, or a gun fight. Second, you always bring a gun. Plan to overwhelm the enemy with a 3:1 superiority. That means whatever you bring should have AV at least 3:1 or greater than the defenders. A composite fighting group is likely what you need first, so the first wave needs to be the infantry or marines, the armor support (to reduce forts) and the combat engineers (Also to reduce forts). The support elements need to land after the island or base is secure. That would be the base force, seebees, and so on. Plant a defense battalion and plan to remove the division and armor right after taking the place, especially if it is a small island. Bring Air Units to nearby bases and fly them in once the base force and base is ready.

One thing that you need to work on is clearing the way with DMS ships to remove any mines. Then bombard the place with your bombardment force. Then land the attack units. Disaster awaits if you land the support units first, so don't even combine these units since you cannot control what off loads from a task force first. I damn near lost an entire invasion force when the D-Day offload turned out to be the support units and the infantry remained happily on the ships. So separate them into two task forces and make sure the attack force hits the target first. I use a liberal air cover from both land based and carrier air to support the invasion and turn away the enemy.

As for tracking the enemy using the Intel system, one can do that, but I find that recon is just as useful. I track the major movements of the enemy, but do not keep detailed records. I just do not have the time for that. I try to keep track of their intentions and what units they have moved or have in position in any particular area, and find that bombing them reveals a lot about them. It is important to note that if the position is heavily defended, ask yourself if you really need it. It is not too difficult to suppress major bases and just move on. Only take back what you must. You do not have unlimited resources either. If it is heavily defended, be prepared to commit several divisions to the effort of dislodging or destroying the enemy.

I am looking to invade Truk. I have 8 divisions tasked for this. Each division has an armor and combat engineer unit attached. Marine Defense battalions are also allocated, but only a couple will be needed. I am using Munda as my assault base since it can handle unlimited supplies and troops and is close enough to Truk to be useful. It is also surrounded by maximum bases at Lunga, Tulagi, Tassafaronga, and Shortlands. No chance of an enemy raid getting in there. I am presently moving the units to Munda, which will take another two months. Then the assault. I estimate that I will need close to 900 hulls for this. I have them.

I have benefitted in my campaign from the same early initiative that you demonstrated, eliminating most of what I call the "ant farm" before they grabbed too much territory. I have a battle of Midway victory in Jan 42, sinking three front line CVs off Noumea for the loss of Lexington. As a result I have been able to do most whatever I wanted too without much interference. Most of the enemy surface forces succumbed in the SOPAC as I marched right back up the islands to Buka. Hence, the enemy carrier force, which still is significant although two more CVs went down along the way, is still to be reckoned with, I can go whereever I want with the nine carriers and 5 CVLs that I have, which now have improved airframes aboard.

All of this is fine, but the real advice...always show up with a gun...and if they have one too, bring a bigger gun and more bullets.

John

(in reply to Lokasenna)
Post #: 78
RE: Longtime lurker with Noob Questions - 5/31/2012 11:56:52 PM   
Lokasenna


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That's the procedure I've been following for invading places and setting up air forces on new bases...except for the minesweeping part, as I haven't gone anywhere that I know is mined yet. I'm about to, however...just read up on minesweeping, and even though I know how to do it in the abstract I'm somewhat worried about going in. Doesn't it take multiple days to sweep enough mines to make it safe? And wouldn't the minesweeping TF get ripped up during those multiple days? Or do I just send the minesweeping TF in first that day and have the bombardment and then landing forces show up later (by making sure the minesweeping TF is closer or faster, followed by the bombardment, etc.)?

What you have tasked for Truk is a bit more than I have tasked...however, I've been running recon on the place for months and guesstimating on number of troops, I think I have anywhere between 2.5 and 5 times as much AV as I will face once I land.

I actually try to plan for closer to 4x my enemy's AV, or even 5 if the extra is easy to come by, for amphibious invasions. I'm pretty impatient about being bogged down somewhere and like to prosecute the war at as fast a pace as is possible. This also provides insurance, in case I actually take damage from the CD guns or suffer from fatigue or disruption that prevents me from taking the base with a measly 3x the AV. Of course, this being my first run at it, I may change my mind about how I like to do things in the future...lessons learned and all that.

I think I got ridiculously lucky with the early war. I think Zuikaku is still alive but repairing somewhere as well as Junyo, but I know for sure that all of the rest of the CVs, CVLs, and CVEs except Unyo are sunk. I've retaken all of southern Borneo, the Celebes, and am just about to break the IJA on Mindanao and Jolo. I'm also on the offensive in China - it seems the AI pulled a lot of troops out and put them on AKs, which I proceeded to sink with hyper-aggressive use of my DEI naval forces. I went into it thinking that historically the ships were all pretty much sunk in the first couple of months, and anything I could get out of them was a bonus over historical events. I concentrated into 2 SC TFs and went hunting...the IJ and Allied army loss points are about even.

I'm thinking about restarting soon with the "Japan is better prepared" scenario and AI on Hard the whole time. That might force me to take a more historical course of action and make for a more interesting time - this game turned into a sheer attrition/invasion hopping game all too quickly. And for a real challenge, I think I need to play as Japan against hard AI...try and get an auto-victory or consider it a failure .

Thanks again for the posts and explanation of tactics - even if I'm already doing it, it's good to get confirmation that I'm doing it the right way!

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