From: Bedfordshire UK
Hi-New to Storm over the Pacific, old time Matrix gamer.
I'd like any thoughts as to getting started in this game. What scenario to get acquainted? How does this compare with WITP/WITPAE?
How do you handle production?
Thanks, Hugh Browne
Comparison with WITP/WITPAE is a matter of taste, I own WITP and have a great respect for GG's games, having played them since the 1980s, but they now need such a commitment in time that I cannot give, therefore my opinion is limited.
SOP works on more generalised commands, you form fleets and dispatch them to sea zones with general orders to engage/evade, act as a regular fleet looking for the enemy, or as raiders, avoiding contact where possible and seeking easier targets. The stance will depend on whether you have a few cruisers and subs (as the US in 1941) and want to look, but avoid serious combat, or have many TFs with several CVs looking for trouble. Allocate commanders to main TF/fleets, but combat is up to them to fight, or not.
Personal view is that this is more realistic than games giving micro-management control, Nimitz and Yamamoto where not concerned with the minutiae, which they left to their subordinates, even if that means that they do not do exactly as you wanted.
SOP seems less detailed, but it should be seen as high level command, with a very different 'feel'.
Production is managed by purchasing units and setting technical development priorities, depending on the level of available PPs, this may seem simplistic, but I view it as a high command calling forward resources, which are already in the pipeline, activating divisions, choosing priorities, etc., rather than actual factory production.
Usual advice is to start with one of the smaller scenarios, or leave other nations to the AI to control (the AI is likely to do things you didn't want - commanders have always suffered from others' errors), the game has enormous flexibility in how it looks (maps and units) and how it functions (preference settings), so you may want to experiment. If you don't like something there is usually a setting, or a mod to change it.
Going back to generalisations, there are many single hex islands which can only accept one unit (no stacking), you may want to secure some of them with air units, because you can only have one unit ashore. In this case the air unit should be seen as not just aircraft, but all that goes with an airbase, including some ground defence capability (provided the unit strength is high enough).
Naval groups don't just represent the named ship, but also CLs, DDs as escorts, so 'USS Nevada' as a battle group is not just one ship. When the group takes damage it looses strength and this shows in the unit list as a %, again a generalisation, but put all the features together and you get a potentially complex game from comparatively simple actions.
You can organise your naval groups into fleets, rename the fleets (add comments and notes into the naming text - e.g. in dock for damaged groups to remind that you need repair, with low PPs that may be many game weeks away and you may need a prompt).
The game is not perfect and is still being updated, I hope this process continues, as the sister game Time of Fury has features that may work well in SOP.
< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 7/31/2012 3:27:59 PM >
"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me