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US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen

 
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US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/14/2013 1:22:32 PM   
gmoney

 

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I'm wondering what to do with my US CVs in the Japan Iron Man scen. In scen 1/2 I'd use them for raiding, since it's fairly easy to find out where the KB is (if intact) and you can fight the Jap air arm with the KB fragmented (as often happens) so long as you can keep equal numbers or have an extra CV yourself. You will take damage/losses but overall it's not that hard to Draw (which is a victory for the allies) or win outright.

The Iron Man scen is a totally different beast. Japan starts with 20 CVs of all types right out the gate, and recieves plenty (comparatively) of replacement CVs, so losing your first four CVs is a big deal. This means raiding is now too risky for the most part, as the Japanese can have CVs anywhere and it's next to impossible to keep track of all of them. Now I'm left with the question-what to do with the CV's and their air groups? As I see it, I have 3 viable options

Option 1: Use the Carriers as Air Group transports, transporting fighters across the pacific. This option is interesting, as it would allow me to transport A/C to the front line and fly them off to the beach for immediate operations (fighters at least). I could then leave the naval groups on the west coast, training future navy pilots for the coming battles in 43/44. The biggest drawbacks to this option are that I will be exposing my carriers to enemy subs, and possible interdiction by Japanese surface/carrier raiding groups, with little hope of defending themselves. Also my best pilots will be sitting in the reserve pool doing nothing to gain experience, and will still be less skilled/experienced than my Japanese counterparts when the battles occur.

Option 2: Use the carriers to train Marine corp air groups, allowing them to both train and become carrier trained at the same time. Fly the carrier a/c off to shore bases to train, and add Marine corp air groups to the CVs to the CV for training purposes. This is the way I'm leaning, the biggest draw back being the same as above, along with losing use of the Marine corp squadrons to defend forward outposts. The other issues I see here are 1)ops losses will be higher, and air frames are at a premium early in the war. this is off-set party by the fact that the marines won't be losing a/c in combat though. and 2) how much use will I really have for carrier trained marine corp squadrons once my CVS expand to 36 fighter/36 DB/15 TB squadrons? The biggest advantage I see is being able to add combat ready air groups to the 'replacement squadron' holding CVEs, giving me a couple of more combat ready ships. And/or adding US carrier A/C to royal navy CVs, something that would be nice to have.

Option 3) Least likely option is to use the CVs as convoy escorts, with asw and anti shipping capabilities. Most of my convoys will be traveling along well established and regularly patrolled sea lanes, allowing me to provide defense for the convoys already. And if the enemy are bringing carriers to the battles, I don't want my CVs exposed, if was willing to expose them I'd use them in raids in the first place.

The Iron Man scen adds a lot more thinking to the game vs the AI, and is probably the best bet for a single player to get a decent game out of the AI. So which option (or other options) would you use and why? I'm leaning towards option 2 myself, as having additional carrier trained Air groups seems like a win/win, even if i never need to use them on carriers having options is always nice.
Post #: 1
RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/14/2013 5:08:29 PM   
Lokasenna


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I'm at 2/9/1942 in my Ironman game. It's my first Ironman and the AI has already hit me several places I didn't expect - Havi Ora (or some such) east of Rangiroa, attempted landing at Palmyra (which I beat back with Yorktown/Saratoga), took Johnston (though lost about 800 VPs of ships, including one of its many extra CVs, in return), and Noumea. It's been rough. I may have overextended by garrisoning Tulagi, but the 5th Aus is holding for now... If I can manage it, I'm looking to ambush a CVL or CVE TF with Yorktown/Saratoga in the next couple of days, while Enterprise/Lexington are screening another division+supply drop off at Port Moresby and I'm hoping to also be able to get some unopposed strikes off against the Yamato/Hyuga TF that just bombarded PM while they're still in range.

So I'm using mine mostly as convoy escorts - escorting Australian LCUs embarked on transports to garrison locations and so forth, plus attacks of opportunity on what look to be smaller IJN CV TFs (those using B5N1's and no Vals, small strike numbers). I don't know if you've looked at the IJN order of battle in Ironman, but I have, and every single CVL or CVE you can pick off is going to help. The AI is also pushing far harder in Asia than I expected, so I'm planning to send Hornet (and later Wasp) to the IO to help screen the odd exposed convoy I'll have (to Akyab and Chittagong) from Netties. I'll probably group the other 4 USN CVs in about 10 days' time, as I haven't seen the KB proper in a while. In 4 separate TFs, of course.

When not escorting convoys or catching some landing forces on the beaches, I sit in port to preserve my aircraft. And even doing that, I'm not sure I'll have the F4Fs to upgrade Lexington's Buffalos for at least a month longer... I put a 2/3 of a VMF unit on Enterprise, the other 1/3 of it on Yorktown, a VMF unit on Saratoga, and Lexington has a VMSB for now.

Your option 2 is interesting. The reason I put the Marine units on the CVs was to get them carrier trained by March 1942 - I figure for most of the first couple of years of the war, I'll be operating close enough to friendly airfields that I can go over regular capacity on the carriers to let me punch a little bit above my weight, trying to whittle down the IJN CV/CVLs. I've done this every time I've had a chance and the ops losses from not being carrier trained, while noticeable, are not that bad. While I'm happy to engage the lighter TFs if I can get to them in this initial expansion phase, I'm really waiting for at least Essex AND the 28-plane CVEs before I go looking for a carrier battle. And I'd really rather wait until I've got a buffer of F6Fs I can burn through.

< Message edited by Lokasenna -- 1/14/2013 5:15:57 PM >

(in reply to gmoney)
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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/15/2013 12:33:41 PM   
HansBolter


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I used to play stock Iron Man regularly, but now play Babe's Iron man, scenario #55.

In both versions, the AI routinely breaks up the KB into small packets sending 1 and 2 CV TFs against you.

It is quite easy to lay traps for them with combinations of LBA and 3-4 CV TFs.

Unfortunately, since the AI follows its scripts doggedly, it will also sned 1-2CV Tfs against huge concentartions of LBA repeatedly.

If you happen to choose to fortify one of its scripted objectives, such as Koepang, it will repeatedly send CV TFs right into the Koepang hex itself over and over again, losing one CV after another, until it simply runs out of CVs.

Playing against the AI you have to be careful not to break the AI or your game will go down the drain rather quickly.

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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/15/2013 3:15:16 PM   
gmoney

 

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is the babes AI any better?

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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/15/2013 5:29:12 PM   
HansBolter


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I'm not convinced it is. The stock Iron Man is getting tweaked regularly so that it probably has a better set of scripts for the AI to follow.

I started playing Babes because it corrected the poor performance of AA in stock. I believe that recent betas for stock have incorporated fixes for the AA so my next game may be to try the lateset tweaked stock Ironman with the lateset beta fixes for the AA.



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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/17/2013 12:31:15 PM   
PaxMondo


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I play a personal variation of Allied Ironman and update to the latest AI all the time.  The AI is better each time, but even so it fundamentally can be induced to fall into traps.  If you are playing against the AI and want the game to last more than 12 months you have to restrain yourself from setting such traps.  When I see the AI falling into one, just as Hnas describes above, I will back up a few turns (up to 5), run head2head for a couple to steer it clear, and then run the next couple of turns with the difficulty setting at VH.  That will usually get it turned around.  Assume you will have to do this every 6 - 8 weeks.  Not that bad, at least for me.

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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/17/2013 6:54:12 PM   
Lokasenna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo

I play a personal variation of Allied Ironman and update to the latest AI all the time.  The AI is better each time, but even so it fundamentally can be induced to fall into traps.  If you are playing against the AI and want the game to last more than 12 months you have to restrain yourself from setting such traps.  When I see the AI falling into one, just as Hnas describes above, I will back up a few turns (up to 5), run head2head for a couple to steer it clear, and then run the next couple of turns with the difficulty setting at VH.  That will usually get it turned around.  Assume you will have to do this every 6 - 8 weeks.  Not that bad, at least for me.


You're talking about reversing the split in KB (plural in Ironman, actually...), right? As the major issue, anyway.

(in reply to PaxMondo)
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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/18/2013 2:31:23 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna


quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo

I play a personal variation of Allied Ironman and update to the latest AI all the time.  The AI is better each time, but even so it fundamentally can be induced to fall into traps.  If you are playing against the AI and want the game to last more than 12 months you have to restrain yourself from setting such traps.  When I see the AI falling into one, just as Hnas describes above, I will back up a few turns (up to 5), run head2head for a couple to steer it clear, and then run the next couple of turns with the difficulty setting at VH.  That will usually get it turned around.  Assume you will have to do this every 6 - 8 weeks.  Not that bad, at least for me.


You're talking about reversing the split in KB (plural in Ironman, actually...), right? As the major issue, anyway.

I'm playing allied Ironman, so I am the IJ. So, as the IJ, I don't go hunting the allied CV's. If they start sending 2xCV TF's against the KB, then I will back up and move the KB and/or divert the allied TF's (using head2head) for a turn or 2. Then I run the next few turns at VH difficulty to let the AI get settled back in. If you want to play into late '43 or later, you can't let the AI kill itself against targets that are too tough. Steer is clear and then you can get back to it.

The latest AI has a lot of surprise moves, good ones. Ones that if you got lazy about your flanks will crucify you. Andy has done some good work.

< Message edited by PaxMondo -- 1/18/2013 2:32:12 AM >


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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/18/2013 5:56:08 AM   
gmoney

 

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I haven't switched sides yet, but I have learned to avoid taking advantage of AI mistakes (at least until 43/44 when the US should have the advantage anyways). I learned this after basicly finishing off Japan as a viable war time opponent by APR of my first game vs the AI, after sinking nearly 400 ships including 8 ca/8cl/3cv I knew the game just wouldn't be fun anymore. So I started the game over in scen 2, just to discover the Iron man scen about a month into it, so i have started over again. The Jap subs are driving me nuts in this version, and the surface raiders have caught me off-guard a few times, but I have refrained from taking advantage of obvious mis-matches, like the 2 CVE raid on Wake Island (still mine in mid JAN 43). Hopefully one day the AI will get threat/reaction algorithms and be able to more effectively respond to the player's moves. I remember that the original pacific war had some rudementary abilities to respond to player actions, IE you didn't want to leave your CVs hanging around the Marshals after a raid unless you didn't like them every much.

As a side note, while I am avoiding taking advantage of the AI too much, I just had a very fun battle around Java. I was able to get 2 dutch CLs and 4 DD into a small (3cv) cv task force with a couple of heavy cruisers and DD as escorts. The Dutch fought bravely, and against the odds managed 4 hits on one of the Jap CVLs, and 1 hit each on the others. The next day the entire Dutch AF (minus their adopted TB from Singapore) sortied, and got slaughtered to for no hits. Next my CLs were sank by enemy Kates. However I noticed the CVL was still on fire (can't remember the name) so decided to try and intercept by 2 more DDs and one squadron of PT boats. The pts hit first, drawing a ton of return fire for no hits, the my DDs got in and drew more fire for one hit on the damged CVL and no hits to me. this finally was enough to convince the Japs to split the damaged CV off of the TF and high tail it out of there, allowing me a 3rd attempt at the now defenseless CVL. The last Dutch DD with Torps went in, and got lucky with a night intercept at 6k yards, launched it's torpedoes and scored a hit on the stricken CVL and several flight deck hits before being chased off. Then it was a dutch Subs turn, and she payed of with 2 more TT hits on the CVL, finally sending her to the bottom. All in all a very enjoyable few turns, and pretty much a draw if you consider it cost me 2 CLs, 2 DDs, most of my 139s and a large % of my fighter A/C. But a draw is a win, and if the AI could just inflict this kind of damage all game long it will be a very fun game.

(in reply to PaxMondo)
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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/18/2013 11:43:28 AM   
Andy Mac

 

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I did post an even nastier version a few weeks ago.........

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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/18/2013 5:27:11 PM   
Lokasenna


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Yeah, I dig the surface raiders. That was a nice surprise. The German one that hits Java hasn't been so effective, but one appeared out of nowhere halfway between Pearl and CONUS, sunk a DD with a couple torps () and blew up a couple of large xAKs. And in one of those chains of events that only happen in war, it caused me to sortie the Yorktown and Saratoga from San Diego for Pearl (I didn't want any more nasty surface surprises), and just when they arrived I stumbled into an IJN landing on Johnson, where I avenged that worthless DD (come on guys, it was a converted merchantman!) a couple of dozen times.

Andy: is it possible to update the AI during a game, or would I have to start over?

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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/18/2013 10:05:02 PM   
gmoney

 

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Andy Mac can i update the scen in progress?

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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/19/2013 3:15:02 AM   
PaxMondo


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I'll take a stab at answering.

The AI file you start with is the one the game will run until end.  There are quite a few, I think there are 16 different ones for the Ironman scenario.  So, whichever file you start with is the one that you will run until game end.  I don't know if it will update or not.

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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/20/2013 3:30:25 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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Not the AI files rest shoudl

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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/28/2013 1:31:20 AM   
topeverest

 

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By far, Ironman is the next best thing to playing PBEM or head to head.

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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 1/28/2013 2:24:42 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: topeverest

By far, Ironman is the next best thing to playing PBEM or head to head.

Agreed.

Its a fantasy scenario, but it gives you a challenge. Completely different than PBEM, but still a good challenge. And those of us whose personal lives will not yet permit a PBEM, its the best we have.

Thanks Andy ... great AI, great scenario.

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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 2/5/2013 3:26:07 PM   
janh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo
quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna
quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo

I play a personal variation of Allied Ironman and update to the latest AI all the time.  The AI is better each time, but even so it fundamentally can be induced to fall into traps.  If you are playing against the AI and want the game to last more than 12 months you have to restrain yourself from setting such traps.  When I see the AI falling into one, just as Hnas describes above, I will back up a few turns (up to 5), run head2head for a couple to steer it clear, and then run the next couple of turns with the difficulty setting at VH.  That will usually get it turned around.  Assume you will have to do this every 6 - 8 weeks.  Not that bad, at least for me.


You're talking about reversing the split in KB (plural in Ironman, actually...), right? As the major issue, anyway.

I'm playing allied Ironman, so I am the IJ. So, as the IJ, I don't go hunting the allied CV's. If they start sending 2xCV TF's against the KB, then I will back up and move the KB and/or divert the allied TF's (using head2head) for a turn or 2. Then I run the next few turns at VH difficulty to let the AI get settled back in. If you want to play into late '43 or later, you can't let the AI kill itself against targets that are too tough. Steer is clear and then you can get back to it.

The latest AI has a lot of surprise moves, good ones. Ones that if you got lazy about your flanks will crucify you. Andy has done some good work.



If I recall correctly, Andy just recently reworked the AI stock scenarios so that KB/Allied CV will not split up that much anymore? I have downloaded the scenarios, but I am a bit hesitant to restart since my latest game just reached Dec. 42 -- have to ponder about that because AI keeping CVs together more oft than not does go a long way improving it. Too bad one cannot just update the AI scripts on the fly like the database. That should be a good design goal if there ever be a successor.

One catch with the occasional H2H turns for fixing AI TF's, LCU's or air group locations, is that when AI is playing Japan, it will draw a enough LCU from Mongolia that switching sides will activate the Russians. The result is predictable. It would be awesome if MichaelM could add in a "cheat button" for AI games, so that a player could switch sides while "keeping Russians frozen" until their historical entry date.

(in reply to PaxMondo)
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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 2/5/2013 3:57:01 PM   
Lokasenna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: janh

quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo
quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna
quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo

I play a personal variation of Allied Ironman and update to the latest AI all the time.  The AI is better each time, but even so it fundamentally can be induced to fall into traps.  If you are playing against the AI and want the game to last more than 12 months you have to restrain yourself from setting such traps.  When I see the AI falling into one, just as Hnas describes above, I will back up a few turns (up to 5), run head2head for a couple to steer it clear, and then run the next couple of turns with the difficulty setting at VH.  That will usually get it turned around.  Assume you will have to do this every 6 - 8 weeks.  Not that bad, at least for me.


You're talking about reversing the split in KB (plural in Ironman, actually...), right? As the major issue, anyway.

I'm playing allied Ironman, so I am the IJ. So, as the IJ, I don't go hunting the allied CV's. If they start sending 2xCV TF's against the KB, then I will back up and move the KB and/or divert the allied TF's (using head2head) for a turn or 2. Then I run the next few turns at VH difficulty to let the AI get settled back in. If you want to play into late '43 or later, you can't let the AI kill itself against targets that are too tough. Steer is clear and then you can get back to it.

The latest AI has a lot of surprise moves, good ones. Ones that if you got lazy about your flanks will crucify you. Andy has done some good work.



If I recall correctly, Andy just recently reworked the AI stock scenarios so that KB/Allied CV will not split up that much anymore? I have downloaded the scenarios, but I am a bit hesitant to restart since my latest game just reached Dec. 42 -- have to ponder about that because AI keeping CVs together more oft than not does go a long way improving it. Too bad one cannot just update the AI scripts on the fly like the database. That should be a good design goal if there ever be a successor.

One catch with the occasional H2H turns for fixing AI TF's, LCU's or air group locations, is that when AI is playing Japan, it will draw a enough LCU from Mongolia that switching sides will activate the Russians. The result is predictable. It would be awesome if MichaelM could add in a "cheat button" for AI games, so that a player could switch sides while "keeping Russians frozen" until their historical entry date.


Yeah, this is irksome. It can prevent you from "fixing" the AI's boo-boos as if you save and the garrison is low, you can end up activating the Russkies. However, the game I noticed it in...I'd drowned so many divisions via SCTF interdiction that the IJA was really starved for units.

Does anybody know if the AI will buy back destroyed units?

(in reply to janh)
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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 2/7/2013 10:56:17 PM   
gmoney

 

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From switching sides occasionally I have noticed the AI doesn't buy back destroyed Ground units (at least it hasn't in the past) but does buy back destroyed Air units. I'll check in my game later today. Another thing to do is to check for AI ships stuck in an 'endless loop', trying to either follow a TF that doesn't exist, or getting 'stuck' somewhere for no apparent reason.

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Post #: 19
RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 2/8/2013 11:53:14 AM   
Andy Mac

 

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It should buy them back

ps has anyone tried the Ironman Nasty yet ??

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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 2/12/2013 7:23:23 PM   
goran007

 

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i am at 8/1942 ironman nasty, beta patch 31.12.2012.

For some reason Japan is really passive, total Japan air losses are only 1300 planes (expected at least 10X that TBH), it didn't attack anything more than historic parameter.

Did i get historical script? i expected 'Nasty' script: china overrun, war with soviets, Karachi in ruins...:)


< Message edited by goran007 -- 2/12/2013 7:29:18 PM >

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RE: US CVs in Japan Iron Man scen - 2/12/2013 9:21:40 PM   
gmoney

 

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Andy my experience has been that the AI doesn't buy back LCUs. I switch over about once a week and re-buy units manually for the AI. Maybe it only buys back certain units and leaves others? It does however buy back all destroyed Air Groups (other than ship board search plane groups). I will try the new 'nasty' script in my next play through. I do have one question though-how many times will the AI attempt to take the same target before it realizes that A) It needs to bring more firepower to win the fight or B) The target isn't worth it anymore? I currently hold Wake Island, and the Japanese have tried 3 invasions so far-and lost the entire attacking force all 3 times. Each invasion has less chance of success due to strengthened defenses, yet the AI doesn't bring a stronger force to compensate. Is there a cut-off -either based on date or losses, where the AI 'decides' to abandon the invasion? Another rather interesting feature is the fact that the marshal Island betty force has been basically gutted due to constant unescorted raids, yet they keep coming in 3s and 4s to the slaughter, even though each attack is turned back once one A/C is destroyed.

Occasionally a CV group will show up and put my fighters in their place (about every 10 days or so actually), and the first CV battle of the war occurred with the sinking of one Japanese CVL for no losses to my side, which brings into question one further question. Does the AI have the ability to interpret intel? In the example above, my CVs had been on station 1 Hex north of Wake Island for 3 days supporting a supply convoy, and the CV fighters had been involved in a fight against enemy bombers each day. Yet when the Japanese CVs arrived on the scene, they were still set to attack the AF first, allowing me first shot at their carriers. I would have expected the Carriers to either attempt to attack my CVs first, or to withdraw (they were heavily outnumbered-3 US CVs vs 2 Jap CVLs), instead I sank one CVL and heavily damaged the other one, which I could have sank but instead I ordered my force to disengage and allow the other CVL to return home.

So i guess what I am asking is this:Are there algorithms the AI uses to assign both a value to a target and, using available intel, a force sufficient to capture said target? A single SNLF unit is not going to be enough to take Wake anymore, I have the original defenders plus a group of Combat engineers there now, dug in with plenty of supplies. So the question becomes is Wake Is worth it? If the AI has assigned a high value (weight) to the Island, then a force capable to take it should be formed. If not, then invasions should be cancelled, rather than continuing to throw small forces at the problem and allow them to be destroyed.

Please don't take this post as flaming or condescending at all, that is not the purpose of it. I enjoy the game very much, and appreciate all the effort that went into making it, as well as the continued support by the developers. I only hope that by providing feedback we can continue to enhance the game experience, as the computer gaming industry for mature-gamers is slowly dying to be replaced with the newest GTA or COD clone. Matrix continues to be on of the few companies devoted to serious gaming, and one that I will continue to support for years to come. If there is any help I can provide, don't hesitate to ask.

(in reply to goran007)
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