From: Winnipeg, MB
So, I read the manual (ugh), and been playing the Guadalcanal scenario as allies. Safe to say, I ran into a few issues I hope someone is willing to help me with:
1. After an amphibious landing, what is the best way to keep your troops supplied?
- What kind of ships do you use when you do not have a working port at the location you assaulted, and what are the correct task force settings?
- Is there any way to tell a resupply convoy to keep going back and forth for a bit? (probably also very useful to keep a major forward base stocked with supplies from the homeland)
2. How (for the love of god) do I get troops in friendly bases in such an order, that they can be picked up by troop carrying ships to ferry them where I want them to be? (for example some engineers from Australia to Guadalcanal to repair the port and such, or to Port Moresby to assist in airfield expansion)
- Do I assume correctly that if you want to get extra troops to an island that you just assaulted and conquered, that doesn't have a working port yet, that amphibious ships in an amphibious task force work best?
3. Is there a good way to hurt ships docked at a port with surface combat TF's, where you have local superiority? Or do you just keep them bottled up and try to bring in some airpower to do port attacks?
4. Is it me, or can the setting retirement allowed be really annoying, forcing you to do some tweaks to home port settings, so your TF don't all of a sudden decide to head 'back' when they are alomost at destination
BTW, I had loads of fun playing against the AI. Watching 2 brave DD's take on a Jap convoy with escort is probably one of the most exciting things I have seen in 18 years of wargaming. The 2 DD's engaged a CL, E, 2 PC Ch's (or something like that, small boats), and 5 big transports. After 10 minutes of the visual representation of the battle, my DD's disengaged, leaving behind all enemy ships heavily damaged (some sinking) , while one DD suffered system and flotation damage in the 20's. The DD decided to sink on the next turn :(
I dont see any game setting that prevents the allied player from creating new TF's on turn 1, so it seems that having a houserule on it is necessary?
Do people usually let the allied player try and get assets out of dodge on turn 1? Or do they have to wait until turn 2?
A few additional comments to what Itdepends said:
1. I am not sure if APAs are available in the Guadalcanal scenario. APDs and LSTs also unload very fast but I don't think you have LSTs yet and APDs cannot carry much equipment. However, they are good for units with almost no equipment - paratroops, raiders and ... USN Port Service Detatchments. The latter give you about 30 naval support which helps a lot with the unloading. The other thing to keep in mind is that the speed of amphib unload is per ship, so the more ships you use the faster you get your troops ashore. If you have lots of ships available, use at least twice what you need.
2. Yes, you do need an amphibious TF for the equipment, but you can use flying boats such as the Catalina to fly in your engineers to start building the port and have the ships bring the equipment. Make sure you CAP the base before flying in troops or enemy fighters will eat your transport aircraft.
3. Before you can bombard his base you will have to get past the Surface Combat TFs. Send a couple of CL/DD TFs ahead of your bombardment run to attack/drive off the SCTFs. Otherwise, your bombardment force may spend its heavy shells on small enemy combatants rather than the desired targets.
Also be aware that what is hit by the bombardment is random, and can include the port facilities, the airfield and facilities, supply dumps, fuel storage, land units, and, just maybe, one or two of the ships disbanded in port. It helps to have your cruisers assign their float planes to "recon" the base they are bombarding, even at night [they must use flares or something]. Recon of the base the day before bombardment also helps.
4. If you are seeing your ships returning to port, they must have reached the hex you ordered them to and then the "retirement allowed" kicked in and they started on the way back. If you want them to stay in the hex it is best to set a patrol. This is a little non-intuitive because before you can set the patrol you have to set the base to return to. First, select the base you want the TF to head for if it needs to break off the patrol (out of ammo, out of fuel, damage). Set that as the home port and then click on "Return to [the home port]". Immediately change the "retirement allowed" to "remain on station". Then go to the "TF routing" screen and you will have the option "Set Patrol Zone". Click on this and you have 3 buttons for setting the zone you want to patrol. You do NOT have to use all three. If it is a one-hex patrol (say at one of your ports) just click the first button and then click on the hex on the map. Go back to the main TF screen and you will see it no longer says you are going back to home port, and just says "Patrol Zone" for destination.
Note that Patrolling keeps your ships moving and more ready for combat than if you just send them directly to the hex with a "Remain on Station" setting. The latter will cause them to stop and wait for orders, making them sitting ducks for surprise attack.
No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth