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Sea Lion '40 nightmares

 
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Sea Lion '40 nightmares - 1/5/2013 11:35:59 PM   
harken

 

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Joined: 1/5/2013
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Hey, I've been playing PC for a couple months now and it's pretty great. I have the DLC, but haven't even gotten into it yet because I haven't finished the standard scenarios. And actually that's kinda why I'm posting. I understand all the fundamentals of the game, I play on the default "middle" difficulty and I only play for Decisive Victories - I will replay over and over until I get the DV. The thing I'm trying to figure out is what the hell I'm doing wrong on Sea Lion '40 (or any "naval" map for that matter)? The AI naval units are like over-powered Terminator units compared to the free ones we get. DV on this level is winning by turn 14, and the fastest I've been able to make any kind of beach head is by turn 4, and that was letting my landing crafts get their asses beat and landing with < 5 health. I have restarted the whole campaign several times now so I can get to this scenario with different unit makeups, so I've really tried it all. I've gone in with massive air superiority, tanks or infantry heavy, arty heavy, etc. Around turn 10 I can have London kinda surrounded, with 2 of the outer objectives captured, but then it's like the holocaust reversed on me. Those allied commando units with 3 big arty cannon surrounded by anti-air, and several planes hovering overhead is so ridiculously hard to try and defeat in 4-5 turns that I don't think it's possible. No real strategy guides exist for this game (not with my Google powers at least). Is there any kind of real guide out there? Any turn-by-turn based attack ideas?

Also, what is a good number of arty to deploy in ratio to everything else? Arty is obviously the most important unit in the game, but how much is too much? Is there such a thing as too much? I try to land 5 knowing I'm gonna lose a couple going for DVs. But this particular map is suicide with any strat I've used.
Post #: 1
RE: Sea Lion '40 nightmares - 1/6/2013 1:00:13 AM   
thedrillsgt

 

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Been a while since i played that scenario, but a couple of thoughts:

1. a couple of scenarios earlier, have you invested in some JU-88's? They make short work of allied ships.

2. I tend to go heavy LW and heavy on artillery as well. Looking at my start position for the save game i have, I had 5 arty units, 2 88's, 5 tanks and a mix of infantry types. and 9 planes...

3. make use you land arty units at the end of tips of and where you can put tanks or 88's on the flanks. Always keep arty paired up with each other.

4. your Navy is expendable, use them to screen the landings. Their first round targets should be those Royal navy ships inside your cordon.

5. Do you have excess units that you cant deploy? All else fails, you could always increase the core cap by using cntrl-shift-alt-C then in the pop up, enter core 10

i'll try the scenario now and see if i have any pointers.

(in reply to harken)
Post #: 2
RE: Sea Lion '40 nightmares - 1/6/2013 3:05:14 AM   
thedrillsgt

 

Posts: 35
Joined: 8/21/2011
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By the time turn 4 starts for the Germans the royal Navy is gone except for a partial stack og 1 sub group. all the raf that has shown up is dead. I have the following troops on the beach

turn 2
PZIII
PZIVD

Turn 3
2.5 para stacks
1 more PZIV
88 Flak
3 sturmpz arty
2 150 towed arty
1 Inf

Turn 4, I'll be able to put the following on the beach
4 inf
2 Pz
1 88 Flak

if the image uploads, it's the start of turn 4 German




Attachment (1)

(in reply to thedrillsgt)
Post #: 3
RE: Sea Lion '40 nightmares - 1/6/2013 3:32:46 AM   
harken

 

Posts: 5
Joined: 1/5/2013
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quote:

ORIGINAL: thedrillsgt

Been a while since i played that scenario, but a couple of thoughts:

1. a couple of scenarios earlier, have you invested in some JU-88's? They make short work of allied ships.

2. I tend to go heavy LW and heavy on artillery as well. Looking at my start position for the save game i have, I had 5 arty units, 2 88's, 5 tanks and a mix of infantry types. and 9 planes...

3. make use you land arty units at the end of tips of and where you can put tanks or 88's on the flanks. Always keep arty paired up with each other.

4. your Navy is expendable, use them to screen the landings. Their first round targets should be those Royal navy ships inside your cordon.

5. Do you have excess units that you cant deploy? All else fails, you could always increase the core cap by using cntrl-shift-alt-C then in the pop up, enter core 10

i'll try the scenario now and see if i have any pointers.


It's entirely possible I'm doing something very wrong too, I should have mentioned that lol. Basically yes, I use all the naval units as fodder and sacrifice, but even on mid difficulty the AI hunts me down with fury, starting always with arty units. I've had some serious nerd rage when I set a screen of naval units and try sneaking LCs behind them and the AI will do everything it possibly can to circumvent me and get to the arty LCs. The ones it can't finish off, it sends that BF and fighter fleet to mop up. Oh I also use the free big bomber units just to hover over my arty as long as possible too. As for the Stuka bombers, yessir I love them, but as I'm sure you know you don't get access to the 87R(?) model unit midway through the previous scenario (i think) and it's timed just perfectly with the point when you need to start replacing and refreshing units and dropping all your prestige.

That said, I'm amazed you are able to setup like that going into turn 5. It's obviously possible, I'm just doing some things wrong at the worst times I'm sure. 9 planes is definitely more than I've ever used there, but what is your mix? Do you use strategic bombers? How many fighters and how do you pair them with others? As for my unit count I am ALWAYS under the cap, sometimes 5-6 units under. How often is it worth it to keep XP vs. just taking the cheap replacement? The only unit I skimp on XP with is recon, so I spend tons of prestige. I've been thinking lately that always taking the XP isn't working very well, since im always outnumbered. How do you deal with keeping arty paired with units for the free defensive shot?

Sorry for the numerous questions. I've never talked to anyone who plays this, let alone knows what the hell they're doing. Thanks for the quick reply too.

(in reply to thedrillsgt)
Post #: 4
RE: Sea Lion '40 nightmares - 1/6/2013 10:28:08 AM   
terje439


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First off, a strategic bomber is imo a must in any setup. They work wonders, and when you are up against naval targets, even more so.

Sealion;
1. Use strategic bombers on Cruisers and Battleships, use your own cruisers and battleships on enemy destroyers, send your subs against capitol ships only, and use your destroyers against weakened enemy destroyers only. Remember that the Bf109 can usually deal with a 1 strength enemy destoyer as well.
2. Try to get the paratroopers to the north. This might require you to keep them somewhat back for a turn or two.
3. Go after enemy fighters that are not protected by AA units whenever possible, and it is better to destroy 1 enemy unit than to cripple 2.

As to your prestige issues;
-if you are near the end of the scenario, do not rebuild a unit, keep it back and below strength untill the scn is over, as rebuilding is alot cheaper in the deployment phase.
-are you upgrading your panzers in a non efficient way? The various PzIIIs can upgrade into eachother rather cheap, same with the versions of PzIVs. I try to keep two separate lines of tanks, one anti tank (PzIII then eventually Panther), and one anti soft (Pz IV then Tigers). I never change a PzIII to a PzIV or the other way around, this saves alot of prestige. The same goes for Aircrafts. Changing between the various types of Stukas is cheap, changing a Stuka to a Bf110 is not. Also the case with artillery if I do not recall incorrectly.

Not buying units;
that is a big no no for me, I always buy the units possible, even if it means that I need to start a unit off as a PzI just to be able to afford it.


You do not list what your unit list looks like, that would be a great input as it helps show what might be draining you on prestige. Usually for me around Sealion, the list is something like this (taken by memory so might be a little off)
-3 or 4 fighters
-2 or 3 Tactical bombers (I never buy new Bf110s!!)
-1 Strategic bomber
-4-5 Infantry (pioneers all except those I have been awarded, which are changed to HW)
-6 tanks (3xPzIII, 3xPzIV)
-1 TD (these guys are invaluable later on, but for now 1 is enough since they are not good enough just yet, but buy another one later one).
-2-3 arty. Towed ones.
-1 recon.


Terje

_____________________________

"Hun skal torpederes!" - Birger Eriksen

("She is to be torpedoed!")

(in reply to harken)
Post #: 5
RE: Sea Lion '40 nightmares - 1/6/2013 1:47:21 PM   
harken

 

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Joined: 1/5/2013
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Just read this post, thanks for the detail. Later today I'm gonna go back to Low Countries and rework a similar unit list and I will post the setup here. Oh and one thing on the strategic bombers - they are indeed the best way to deal with naval units, but when it comes to any soft targets they seem pretty weak despite decent soft stats. I know (or think) a couple of them have decent hard attack stats, but besides the allied navy, which targets do you hit with them on SL '40?

Side note: One thing you said that I know I don't do is always buy units, especially low tier when upgrades are available. I try to always get the highest tiers. I also know I'm wasting prestige on late replenish and not just waiting. Are the towed arty always the best choice? I know the SPZ arty has such low ammo capacity that it's not worth it (I hope).

(in reply to terje439)
Post #: 6
RE: Sea Lion '40 nightmares - 1/7/2013 7:01:07 AM   
harken

 

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Joined: 1/5/2013
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I reworked some of these suggestions, and in my final attempt tonight I got pretty close to DV.. Maybe 3 more turns and it was over. Weather is a huge factor in this map with so many planes on both sides, so I'm trying to pay more attn to that too..

(in reply to harken)
Post #: 7
RE: Sea Lion '40 nightmares - 1/7/2013 3:21:39 PM   
terje439


Posts: 6155
Joined: 3/28/2004
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: harken

1. Just read this post, thanks for the detail. Later today I'm gonna go back to Low Countries and rework a similar unit list and I will post the setup here. Oh and one thing on the strategic bombers - they are indeed the best way to deal with naval units, but when it comes to any soft targets they seem pretty weak despite decent soft stats. I know (or think) a couple of them have decent hard attack stats, but besides the allied navy, which targets do you hit with them on SL '40?

2. Side note: One thing you said that I know I don't do is always buy units, especially low tier when upgrades are available. I try to always get the highest tiers.

3. I also know I'm wasting prestige on late replenish and not just waiting.

4.Are the towed arty always the best choice? I know the SPZ arty has such low ammo capacity that it's not worth it (I hope).


1. True, the Strategic bombers will not inflict alot of casualties, but they will cause alot of supression which is why you want them. Enemy well dug in with arty in the rear? Send the Strat to bomb the arty, and it will not support in the defence, and strategic bombers also reduce ammo on the enemy units (really nice at times). And in some scns, some cities are unguarded. Let the strat bomber bomb these, and the enemy cannot build units there if the strat is successful (the flag on the city will turn white).

2. Well, the later models are always better, but there are times when you will need every unit available, and that PzII just might be the unit that captures that last city for you.

3. That is not a good idea, but I am sure you know that.

4. I find that the towed arty is (atleast for me) the ideal mix of range, soft and hard attack. Praise yourself lucky if you get either +1 movement or +1 range bonus on the arty units, those are excellent arty bonuses.
The one thing that speaks for the SP-arty is that they have better defensive stats, but the way I see it, if your arty is attacked by ground units, you have done something silly.


Terje

_____________________________

"Hun skal torpederes!" - Birger Eriksen

("She is to be torpedoed!")

(in reply to harken)
Post #: 8
RE: Sea Lion '40 nightmares - 1/8/2013 4:39:16 AM   
harken

 

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Joined: 1/5/2013
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Alright, I got the DV for this one just now (fuggin finally). But goddamn, proportionally this scenario felt much harder than any other to get the DV. Granted I'm not the best player and I play on Colonel difficulty, but 14 turns is a ridiculous number when they have air dominance and you have to use at least 2-3 turns just getting across the channel with anything. If one more turn was added for the DV, making it within 15 turns, this one would feel just about perfect and inline with the others. Still a tough challenge, but more balanced.

Anyway for people reading this thread in the future, here's my advice:

Use the weather to your advantage every single time you see Cloudy or Rain forecasts. Rain is the only time you are "safe" in the air here (and even then you still contend with several AA guns), and it's pretty much required to get your paratroops across without getting owned hard.

About the paras: I disbanded anything not-very-useful (like the Bridge units or grenadiers or even low-tier tanks if you have any) and got like 5 paratroop units. If you can get them to the north end of the map during a storm, they can handle either of the two extreme-edge capture points.

You are gonna lose units. End of story. Don't even bother trying to return to your own coast to buy health back - just let them be martyrs. During the first and second turns I sent across my lowest level infantry and even sacrificed my recon unit by moving them near the English coast and knew the AI would blow them up first before hitting my own navy. It at least buys you a turn or two where your naval units aren't getting shot at and can then live long enough to eventually clean up all allied navy.

Concentrate your units at the top and middle during deployment - don't use the southern area at all if you can avoid it. There's just too much ocean to cross there AND the allied navy is much thicker there.

Use up the free Big Bombers first when hitting the naval units. Of course, try to send fighter escorts, but if you have to suicide one of the free strategic bombers to finish off a battleship, do it.

And finally, read the other suggestions here. Everyone plays differently and there's no way you will have the same unit lineup as me or anyone else, so it's gonna take several tries to get it.




(in reply to terje439)
Post #: 9
RE: Sea Lion '40 nightmares - 6/14/2013 7:22:25 PM   
texasbigkahuna

 

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Joined: 10/7/2012
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I play on Rommel I don't lose any units. Slow and steady you don't have to take every city. I sneak an art and tank up North to get that base, I send some art, tank, dudes west to get that air base and walk up and take the furthest north west almost center air base. I completely by-pass many of the ports, the air base with the Matilda tank. I tend to land with at least two AA half-tracks this helps me the critical air dominance. the AI is stupid an an 88 outside of London can blow down 3 to 6 aircraft factors a turn the the AI will spend all its money rebuilding it.

Once I get naval dominance I hammer anything in range with Naval gun fire working my way from the center to up north where my tank/art 3 ships and a bomber hammer the top air base. Once victory is insight, I go even slower and mop up small town with overwhelming art fire so I take no damage but gain experience. Oh and I always use my free fighters to whittle down the RAF, and my own units come in for the final clean up and the medal!!

This is a candy scenario.

< Message edited by texasbigkahuna -- 6/14/2013 7:23:29 PM >

(in reply to harken)
Post #: 10
RE: Sea Lion '40 nightmares - 4/13/2014 10:38:51 PM   
LouieDee

 

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The last bonus FM, Manstein, I can get all but one objective, and all his units start at 15, after more than a year, I've concluded that on the last bonus FM, this is impossible. I guess I could grind all the DLC till SeaLion? Dunno.

(in reply to texasbigkahuna)
Post #: 11
RE: Sea Lion '40 nightmares - 4/15/2014 12:45:06 PM   
McGuba

 

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Joined: 8/29/2013
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I think Manstein difficulty level is just silly. Actually Rommel is the only one that makes some sense as Guderian's minus 5 turns to win a scenario makes some DV impossible too. IMO these extreme difficulty levels were only thrown in to make sure that even hard core veterans would find some unrealistically hard challange and these were not tested thoroughly. Achieving a DV or even an MV with these difficulty settings in some scenarios is clearly impossible.

(in reply to LouieDee)
Post #: 12
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