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It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous

 
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It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/26/2013 5:54:29 AM   
Suhiir

 

Posts: 16
Joined: 10/9/2012
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It's a good thing for the Japanese the Chineese are so numerous.

I had a task force of destroyers spend three (3) months doing daily bombardments of Samarinda from their base in Balikpapan.
Well, not quite daily.
There were three (3) rammings of South Pacific iceburgs resulting in one (1) major flotation hit.
Two (2) collisions between my own ships, three (3) of the four (4) ships involved probably would have sunk but of course they were right at their harbor/base.
And of course the every-other-day system failures I repaired as they occured.
So call it say two (2) months of bombardments, around 60 "combat actions.
Albet rather safe ones, since it's unlikly any ship would ever see or survive 60 real combat actions.

Ship Day/Night (Commander Exp/Ins/Nav/Agg)

DD Kortenaer 55to62(+7)/54to69(+15)(55/54/60/55)
DD Piet Hein 60to65(+5)/58to63(+8)(54/54/51/52)
DD Stronghold 72to77(+5)/60to67(+5)(55/45/55/55)
DD Tendos 74to83(+9)/59to65(+6)(55/45/55/55)
DD Thanet 72to79(+7)/58to66(+8)(60/50/60/50)
DD Thracian 69to75(+6)/60to66(+6)(55/45/55/55)
DD Van Ghent 59to66(+7)/33to62(+29)(48/51/51/59)
DD Witte de With 61to69(+7)/39to66(+27)(53/55/54/55)

So an average gain of 6.6 Day and 13 Night.

Since the average Japanese ship has experience ratings of around 71 day/67 night (as opposed to the allied average of 55/42) each and every ship in the Japanese Navy
must have sunk at 2 to 300 Chinese junks (or participated in a like number of bombardment missions).

It's a good thing for the Japanese the Chineese are so numerous.

####################
I also had a couple ships spend two (2) months sailing in circles (see Game Manual 6.3.7 Shakedown Cruise) and got absolutely no experience gain whatsoever.
####################
As near as I can figure the Japanese camoflage some of their Mavis and Emily patrol aircraft as seagulls.
Huh?
Well, how else does a large 4-engine aircraft sneak past a CAP of 75 fighters and torpedo a ship in a level-7 harbor protected by 5 anti-aircraft regiments?
####################

Why bring this up you ask?

Well I'd say the reasons are obvious, but I'll list them out for those that can't see them.

1) For all practical purposes it's impossible for the Allied ships to become as experienced as the Japanese start.
2) There may be to large a disparity between Japanese and Allied starting experience levels.
3) The ship experience gain system, while probably working as intended, seems underpowered.
4) The occurance of ship related accidents (iceburgs/collisions/etc.) while an EXTREMELY good addition to the game seems too frequent.
5) In my opinion the random patrol aircraft attacks should should not be permitted to happen in base hexes once they reach a certain level, say 4, much like submarine attacks.
####################

Once again I'll say how impressed I am with War in the Pacific.
I don't make these posts to bitch about the game (as much as I'm sure some think I do), but to hopefully help improve it.
Post #: 1
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/26/2013 6:23:43 AM   
jmalter

 

Posts: 1255
Joined: 10/12/2010
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cheers Suhiir, welcome to the forums.

IJ often gets an advantage for their superior training. historically, the IJN had been running a 7-day week for quite a while, it paid off for them in the early war.

Allied ship exp is often bad, & their captains are worse. similar to checking for competent leaders in new-arrival airgroups, check for new-arrival DDs to have a better-than-awful captain. ship-exp doesn't increase while they're disbanded in port, so at least organize your combat ships into TFs that guard your ports, they'll gain EXP.

random enemy patrol-bomber attacks will happen, did your base have CAP, did your TF include AA?

collisions are also gonna happen, especially in large TFs.


(in reply to Suhiir)
Post #: 2
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/26/2013 7:41:50 AM   
Puhis

 

Posts: 1696
Joined: 11/30/2008
From: Finland
Status: offline
Ships can get experience very fast, I've seen ASW ships gaining 25-30 points by sinking a sub.

About shakedown cruises: there's a experience limit for a ship type. It's 55 for first line combat ships, 45 for "supporting" combat ships (patrol boats, sub chasers etc.) and 25 for non-combat ships.

(in reply to jmalter)
Post #: 3
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/26/2013 9:02:33 AM   
LoBaron


Posts: 4560
Joined: 1/26/2003
From: Vienna, Austria
Status: online
quote:

ORIGINAL: Suhiir
Well I'd say the reasons are obvious, but I'll list them out for those that can't see them.

1) For all practical purposes it's impossible for the Allied ships to become as experienced as the Japanese start.
2) There may be to large a disparity between Japanese and Allied starting experience levels.
3) The ship experience gain system, while probably working as intended, seems underpowered.
4) The occurance of ship related accidents (iceburgs/collisions/etc.) while an EXTREMELY good addition to the game seems too frequent.
5) In my opinion the random patrol aircraft attacks should should not be permitted to happen in base hexes once they reach a certain level, say 4, much like submarine attacks.
####################

Once again I'll say how impressed I am with War in the Pacific.


@1) There is a hard cap on exp gain through non-combat. Ships do not gain exp through bombardment. It is not neccesary for the - early -
Allied ships to become as experienced as the Japanese at start, but it is possible. The Allies compensate with superior hardware, and their
late war avg exp is better than the late war Japanese.

@2) No. It is used to replicate the high exp delta between the IJN and the Allies at wars´ start, mostly with regards to night fighting. It can be easily mitigated
by other variables, and if the Allied player knows what he is doing, this exp delta does not have much on an impact in ´43.

The exp delta is implemented with a purpose:
With 20/20 hindsight less exp delta would enable the Allied player to thwart the IJN advances much too early, which is by far more a gamebreaker than
a high exp delta.

@3) No, the nav exp gain system is fine. Without a cap at a certain level for non combat ops, and faster exp gain, you would end up with extremely high exp for
ships that exist at wars´ start and survive through the war, making this value pretty much useless or overpowered at wars´ end.
Also, remember that exp is only a single variable, there are many others influencing a battle. Also, through combat, ships do get exp quite fast as has been pointed
out. If they survive that is...

@4) This indicates you are doing something wrong. Ship collisions are governed by TF size, nav skill of the TF commander, leadership skill of the TF commander, nav
skill of the individual ship captains.
The lower the individual nav skills of the captains are, the more you are required to compensate by reducing TF size, and implementing high skill TF commanders.

If you run a lot of large TFs around, unescorted by higher skill combat sips, with xAK captains as TF commander, you are bound to have collisions. Simply don´t do it.

EDIT: Just to add on this:
- Damage accumulation is also dependent on ship type. Small ships accumulate sys damage easily by passing through bad weather.
- Your iceberg collision is a very rare event, tbh I don´t even remember seeing it in one of my campaigns.
- Ship collisions, at least the frequency of them occuring, is player governed.
- Other random events are extremely rare.


@5) This usually happens if your CAP is set too high to engage small groups or single planes incoming at low level. Set a part of your CAP to low level (8-12k), and
you minimize chances of this happening. A well placed CAP whacks navS planes around pretty bad.


quote:

I don't make these posts to bitch about the game (as much as I'm sure some think I do), but to hopefully help improve it.


No offense, but I think there is a slight misunderstanding: What you experience is not due to game faults that need improvement, but due to you missing some finer points about how to play it.
But no worries, learning WitP AE continues even after years of campaigning.

< Message edited by LoBaron -- 1/26/2013 9:26:34 AM >


_____________________________

S**t happens in war.

All hail the superior ones!

(in reply to Suhiir)
Post #: 4
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/27/2013 11:09:23 AM   
Suhiir

 

Posts: 16
Joined: 10/9/2012
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: LoBaron
@1) There is a hard cap on exp gain through non-combat. Ships do not gain exp through bombardment. It is not neccesary for the - early -
Allied ships to become as experienced as the Japanese at start, but it is possible. The Allies compensate with superior hardware, and their
late war avg exp is better than the late war Japanese.

@2) No. It is used to replicate the high exp delta between the IJN and the Allies at wars´ start, mostly with regards to night fighting. It can be easily mitigated by other variables, and if the Allied player knows what he is doing, this exp delta does not have much on an impact in ´43.

The exp delta is implemented with a purpose:
With 20/20 hindsight less exp delta would enable the Allied player to thwart the IJN advances much too early, which is by far more a gamebreaker than
a high exp delta.

@3) No, the nav exp gain system is fine. Without a cap at a certain level for non combat ops, and faster exp gain, you would end up with extremely high exp for ships that exist at wars´ start and survive through the war, making this value pretty much useless or overpowered at wars´ end.
Also, remember that exp is only a single variable, there are many others influencing a battle. Also, through combat, ships do get exp quite fast as has been pointed out. If they survive that is...

@4) This indicates you are doing something wrong. Ship collisions are governed by TF size, nav skill of the TF commander, leadership skill of the TF commander, nav skill of the individual ship captains.
The lower the individual nav skills of the captains are, the more you are required to compensate by reducing TF size, and implementing high skill TF commanders.

If you run a lot of large TFs around, unescorted by higher skill combat sips, with xAK captains as TF commander, you are bound to have collisions. Simply don´t do it.

EDIT: Just to add on this:
- Damage accumulation is also dependent on ship type. Small ships accumulate sys damage easily by passing through bad weather.
- Your iceberg collision is a very rare event, tbh I don´t even remember seeing it in one of my campaigns.
- Ship collisions, at least the frequency of them occuring, is player governed.
- Other random events are extremely rare.


@5) This usually happens if your CAP is set too high to engage small groups or single planes incoming at low level. Set a part of your CAP to low level (8-12k), and you minimize chances of this happening. A well placed CAP whacks navS planes around pretty bad.


quote:

I don't make these posts to bitch about the game (as much as I'm sure some think I do), but to hopefully help improve it.


No offense, but I think there is a slight misunderstanding: What you experience is not due to game faults that need improvement, but due to you missing some finer points about how to play it.
But no worries, learning WitP AE continues even after years of campaigning.



1) So don't attempt to engage the Japanese with early war ships least you give them cheap victory points, hide in a safe harbor someplace.

2) So the allied forces are intentionally made less-then-effective to allow the Japanese AI to advance?

3) So your early war ships can become as effective by engaging in battle, the half dozen or so that manage to survive 4 to 6 battles will be as good as the Japanese start out. The "key" is to merely do nothing till late war when you get decent ships/leaders.

4) Eight (8) destroyers travelling four (4) hexes back and forth between Balikpapan and Samarinda is a large task force? As to the captains they're amoung the better-then-average ones available. I have noticed the Japanese tend to run around in 4-ship task forces, but fighting one at less then 3-to-1 odds is little more then suicide (and even then expect to lose 2-4 ships).

5) My standard CAP is 60% CAP/40% Rest at 12K.

######################

So basically my problem is I'm being stupid and trying to fight the Japanese to slow their progress instead of letting them do as they wish unopposed?

(in reply to LoBaron)
Post #: 5
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/27/2013 1:12:08 PM   
PaxMondo


Posts: 5760
Joined: 6/6/2008
Status: online
quote:

ORIGINAL: Suhiir

1) So don't attempt to engage the Japanese with early war ships least you give them cheap victory points, hide in a safe harbor someplace.

2) So the allied forces are intentionally made less-then-effective to allow the Japanese AI to advance?

3) So your early war ships can become as effective by engaging in battle, the half dozen or so that manage to survive 4 to 6 battles will be as good as the Japanese start out. The "key" is to merely do nothing till late war when you get decent ships/leaders.

4) Eight (8) destroyers travelling four (4) hexes back and forth between Balikpapan and Samarinda is a large task force? As to the captains they're amoung the better-then-average ones available. I have noticed the Japanese tend to run around in 4-ship task forces, but fighting one at less then 3-to-1 odds is little more then suicide (and even then expect to lose 2-4 ships).

5) My standard CAP is 60% CAP/40% Rest at 12K.

######################

So basically my problem is I'm being stupid and trying to fight the Japanese to slow their progress instead of letting them do as they wish unopposed?

1. No, but you need to realize that early war many of the IJ ships are better and better crewed/lead. Take this into account in your planning. There are exceptions. The USN Brooklyn class CL's (Boise/Marblehead) are VERY good ships that can stand up to anything including IJN CA's. IJFB's universally hunt both of these ships in the first few days to eliminate them. They can be very troublesome if left to their devices.

2. Not intentional, it is how they were. Training in the allied services pre-war focused on gunnery under ideal conditions. IJN trained under more realistic conditions. Except for damage control, IJN was generally considered to be much better trained. This is a big "except" though. IJN ships will sink under conditions that most USN ships will survive, particularly capital ships.

3. You have good leaders available from the start. The issue is always PP's. You never have enough. Do you buy out units or change leaders? You can't do both. Better ships appear in '42, not late war. By mid '43 the allies have a huge advantage in surface forces and parity with CV's.

4. The DEI waters are treacherous by any standard, even today. Shoals, small islands, ...etc. So, yes to your answer. It works both ways, but as your crew exp increases the probabiilty of accidents will decrease.

5. CAP needs to be layered to be most effective. %rest will depend upon pilot fatigue. 40% rest is sufficient when units are being heavily engaged for me. Generally, I can use less rest to allow for more active planes in CAP.


< Message edited by PaxMondo -- 1/27/2013 1:15:44 PM >


_____________________________

Pax

(in reply to Suhiir)
Post #: 6
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/27/2013 1:42:38 PM   
LoBaron


Posts: 4560
Joined: 1/26/2003
From: Vienna, Austria
Status: online
Just to add on what PaxMondo said:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Suhiir

1) So don't attempt to engage the Japanese with early war ships least you give them cheap victory points, hide in a safe harbor someplace.


Kindly point me to where I suggested you should not attempt to engage the Japanese early war.

You are not stupid to fight the Japanese to slow their progress. This is a working strategy. You just might be doing it wrong if it does not
produce results.

When fighting early war you need to be aware that, with some exceptions, you fight from a position of inferiority as long as you face equal forces.
The trick is to create situations where you outnumber the IJN locally, because 1:1 you lack quality and experience, with rare exceptions.

I suggest you read some AARs, if you have not yet done so. There are many different strategies that can work under the right circumstances.

The run and hide strategy you mentioned - usually called a "Sir Robin" strategy - is one of them, although I always regarded it as a pretty boring way to fight.

quote:

2) So the allied forces are intentionally made less-then-effective to allow the Japanese AI to advance?


As PaxMondo said, it was done to create the superior (night-)fighting capabilities of the Japanese that were evident until mid-late ´42.

With all due respect to Andy Mac, our AI guru, the AI needs all the help it can get anyway. Experienced non-PBEM players "baby" the
AI on a regular bases and avoid uinpredictable moves to not win the war early.

Rather, if you follow this line of argument, not giving the IJN this advantage would make an IJN expansion phase early on difficult to impossible
against a good Allied player, not only for the AI, but also for PBEM.

quote:

3) So your early war ships can become as effective by engaging in battle, the half dozen or so that manage to survive 4 to 6 battles will be as
good as the Japanese start out. The "key" is to merely do nothing till late war when you get decent ships/leaders.


No, see PaxMondos responses, and mine, to 1) and 2)

quote:

4) Eight (8) destroyers travelling four (4) hexes back and forth between Balikpapan and Samarinda is a large task force? As to the captains they're amoung
the better-then-average ones available. I have noticed the Japanese tend to run around in 4-ship task forces, but fighting one at less then 3-to-1 odds is little
more then suicide (and even then expect to lose 2-4 ships).


No it is not very large, but if they do that bombarding for some time now, the distance suggests you are driving them back and forth at full speed (if your TF has "mission speed" setting).
Using full speed for extended periods of time results in accumulation of all kinds of damage. Also damage accumulated could be due to coastal defenses, mines,
weather,...difficult to guess without more context. Did you check the ops report? It lists all damages due to random events or collisions.

3:1 odds certainly, or superiority in ship types. A balanced TF should consists of main combatants and support/escort types. Always depends on the mission
obviousely.

Btw, is there a reason you always repeat numbers two (2) times? The majority of the forum would understand either.

_____________________________

S**t happens in war.

All hail the superior ones!

(in reply to Suhiir)
Post #: 7
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/27/2013 3:54:21 PM   
guytipton41


Posts: 295
Joined: 2/26/2011
From: Houston, TX
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: LoBaron

Btw, is there a reason you always repeat numbers two (2) times? The majority of the forum would understand either.


Hi LoBaron,

When doing reports in the military that is very common practice (esp. USArmy). One would guess either a military background (not uncommon in this forum) or emulation of military reporting.

Cheers,
Guy

(in reply to LoBaron)
Post #: 8
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/27/2013 4:18:46 PM   
LoBaron


Posts: 4560
Joined: 1/26/2003
From: Vienna, Austria
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: guytipton41


quote:

ORIGINAL: LoBaron

Btw, is there a reason you always repeat numbers two (2) times? The majority of the forum would understand either.


Hi LoBaron,

When doing reports in the military that is very common practice (esp. USArmy). One would guess either a military background (not uncommon in this forum) or emulation of military reporting.

Cheers,
Guy


Thanks guytipton. I suspected somthing like that, still it does look rather funny on a gaming forum.

_____________________________

S**t happens in war.

All hail the superior ones!

(in reply to guytipton41)
Post #: 9
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/27/2013 4:36:32 PM   
LoBaron


Posts: 4560
Joined: 1/26/2003
From: Vienna, Austria
Status: online
Suhiir, forgot to comment on the CAP thing:

To analyse what happened on detail you need to provide more info on the attacks.

But basically: torp runs with the large flying boats have always been the center of critizism. First, because their durability allows
the Emily/Mavis types to penetrate a certain ammount of CAP and still make attack runs, second, because the accuracy of the torpedo attacks
is too high.
This is partly because they usually have high experience crews, and the attacks use the same variables for hit probability which are
used, for example, when Kates attack - which is a ahistorical considering the aircraft performance differences and plain size - but also
because they are equipped with two torps, effectively doubling the hit probability.

Personally I regard only the second - the high hit probability - as a true issue, the first one simply needs a good CAP setup, and
early warning.

For the high hit probability issue, I would reccommend you take a look at DaBabes mod, which is the product of a team combining great military knowledge,
an astounding love for detail, a dedication to historical accuracy, and a deep knowledge about how to get the max out of the game engine.

You find relevant info on this site, but know that the complexity of the game is even further increased by this mod.

So be aware that in case you skip your current learning phase and start playing this mod before understanding the details of certain game concepts, you will probably end
up with a lot more questions than you have now.

< Message edited by LoBaron -- 1/27/2013 5:26:07 PM >


_____________________________

S**t happens in war.

All hail the superior ones!

(in reply to Suhiir)
Post #: 10
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/27/2013 9:14:12 PM   
Cannonfodder


Posts: 1903
Joined: 10/22/2008
From: the Netherlands
Status: offline
To be honest, the values you are showing for ship experience are very decent. Those destroyers are now in line or just slightly below Japanese starting experience.

You can get ships to the 80 experience range but you'll need a lot of combat and luck. In my 1944 game vs Arnhem I have one ship in the 80s experience and that is the Kongo..

Many others (especially DDs) are at the bottom of the sea..

_____________________________


"It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say. It can happen, and it can happen everywhere.”
¯ Primo Levi, writer, holocaust survivor


(in reply to Suhiir)
Post #: 11
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/27/2013 11:45:54 PM   
wdolson

 

Posts: 8058
Joined: 6/28/2006
From: Near Portland, OR
Status: offline
There is always a chance of CP dropping the ball and letting an attacker through. That's what happened to the Princeton. USN CAP tactics were probably as good as they were ever going to get in Oct 1944, but a single dive bomber managed to slip through the defenses. He never made it home as CAP got him on the way out, but it was enough to sink the CVL.

In 1941/42, Allied CAP is not and should not be anywhere near as good as 1944. Radar was not as sophisticated and there wasn't as much of it. Without someone in a comman center directing the CAP, it's going to be hit or miss. The British already had those protocols at home, but they didn't have the equipment on the far ends of their empire to do a very effective job. The Dutch never had the funds to buy the equipment and train the operators. The US was on the learning curve and only a relative handful of radar sets were available. Most USN capital ships had early radar sets by the start of the war or soon after, but the early ship radar was inferior to what came later and the sailors in the command centers hadn't worked out the tactics for directing CAP yet.

Some smaller USN ships were getting radar, but they were more focused on spotting ships than planes before the war.

An attacked flying low to the water is tough to spot, even with radar.

And in defense of the AI. In a game like this it is very difficult to create an AI that can flex to every possible situation a human can throw at it. The AI is far better than it was for WitP and I still play against the AI sometimes. My schedule is too variable to play PBEM. Some weeks I might be able to get in 7 or 8 turns, others I would only be able to do 1 or 2. I don't think that's fair to an opponent. The AI is always there and doesn't care how often I play.

For most people the AI will kick their backside for the first few times you play. It is variable enough that it will continue to surprise you even after several plays. An experienced player can break the AI after about six months, but even an experienced player is going to have a difficult go in the first few months.

Personally, I try to establish a layered defense along lines I think I can hold or at least hold for a while. The good Allied player in the early going is aiming to slow down the Japanese as much as possible without taking losses that are too high. That might involve sacrificing a few ships here and there, but you do so with a focus on inflicting some damage and trying to minimize your own damage rather than outright victory.

The Allies in the early going are weak as a kitten. They have claws, but don't expect to do more than draw a little blood.

Any ship that survives the early scraps will gain a lot of experience from it and while attacking an invasion force on Borneo won't save your base there, it might slow the Japanese down enough to allow you to fortify Java a bit more. I have been able to hold Java against the AI, but you may or may not be able to do so. If you can slow the Japanese conquest down to slower than historical, you will minimize the extent of the empire when you are prepared to fight back.

As the Allied player, know you will have overwhelming forces in two years and will be at least on parity within a year. In six months you may even be in a position to go on a limited offensive, depending on how things shake out in the early going.

The game does have a few quirks. Nothing can be made to be a perfect simulation, but it does a pretty good job of modeling how unprepared the Allies were in the early going. The Allies lost a lot of territory to the Japanese in the first six months of the war because they really were unprepared and disorganized as well as under-trained compared to their opponent.

Bill

_____________________________

WitP AE - Test team lead, programmer

(in reply to Cannonfodder)
Post #: 12
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/28/2013 4:51:47 AM   
crsutton


Posts: 7153
Joined: 12/6/2002
From: Maryland
Status: offline
All Allied warships that arrive after 1/44 come with very good experience but any before 44 tend to have just average experience. It has been talked about so many times before but ships just do not gain much exp in AE.

Allied warships eventually gain an advantage over their Japanese counterparts not by gaining experience but by upgrades in equipment and higher quality. The mid war Cleveland class CL and Fletcher class DD are so superior to any Japanese ship that experience does not matter much. The design may look a little funky to you but pay it no mind. As the results are just fine.

Basically it works like this. In 1942 Japanese surface ships are superior and will sink on an average more Allied ships-all other things being equal. By 1943 due to better ships and radar, Allied warships come out fairly equal in quality while slowing gaining numerical superiority. In 1944 and after, Allied ships should start really beating up on Japanese ships and by 1945 there won't be many Japanese ships around to worry about.

Come 1944, give me Fletcher DDs on a moonless night with working torpedoes and I willing to engage "any" Japanese ship.

Welcome to the forum but don't fret too much about this.

_____________________________

I am the Holy Roman Emperor and am above grammar.

Sigismund of Luxemburg

(in reply to wdolson)
Post #: 13
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/28/2013 8:19:48 AM   
Suhiir

 

Posts: 16
Joined: 10/9/2012
Status: offline
While I am new to this game I like to think I'm hardly a novice wargamer.
((And yes, I'm retired military and (gawd forbit) a computer programmer ... thus the numbers and a couple other things))

Of course EVERY game has it's quirks an "What The F..." rules.
But (IMHO) any game worth playing places historical/techincal accuracy well above "game play".
And that's the reason I'm feeling frustrated.
I'm seeing a great game that apparently has "game play" issues.
Maybe I should just play all the way thru as both sides before I make observations.

(in reply to crsutton)
Post #: 14
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/28/2013 9:11:52 AM   
wdolson

 

Posts: 8058
Joined: 6/28/2006
From: Near Portland, OR
Status: offline
What people have been trying to explain is that poor experience for Allies and high experience for Japanese at start is by design and it does change over time. It is also highly historically accurate. I just checked a few ship experience levels for some ships in the last game I played which is in mid-43. The Prince of Wales survived the fighting in the DEI and was involved in a few scraps early on (she spent almost a year in the shipyard after the last battle). Her daytime experience level is 81. Nighttime is only 61, but she was involved in more day actions. I have quite a few other ships in the 70s experience level.

It takes time and it takes challenges. To get your ships up into the 60s early in the game like that is a good start.

As far as a single torpedo laden plane slipping through heavy CAP and torpedoing a ship in harbor, it happened in the real war. When the Germans had the Scharnhorst and Gneisau in Brest harbor, a single Beaufort slipped past German CAP and put a torpedo into the Gneisau while tied up at her pier.

2) Re: early experience levels being too low. It is deliberate and is intended to allow the Japanese to gain the territory they did in the real war. If the Allies were any better, they would stop the Japanese too early. Allied capabilities early war was heavily play tested. I was involved with the development of the game. It was actually quite tough to make the Allies pathetic enough to allow the Japanese to over run them early on, while also having historic capabilities to crush the Japanese later on.

The game comes with an editor. You are always free to make your own mod and test it. There is even a section on the forum for getting help with doing mods. It isn't very tough, though sometimes a bit tedious. There is a graphical editor as well as a tool to extract the scenario files to Excel so you can use macros to make wholesale changes then import the files back into game format.

3) RE: The ship experience gain system, while probably working as intended, seems underpowered. - It is working as intended.

4) RE: The occurance of ship related accidents (iceburgs/collisions/etc.) while an EXTREMELY good addition to the game seems too frequent. - Accidents do happen, but I have not seen them as all that frequent in my games. I have seen collisions in large merchant task forces and I think I've seen a few collisions between warships, but they don't happen that often. I just did a check for iceberg collisions (I save the combat reports for every turn) and I have never had that even come up in over 500 turns.

michaelm is always happy to look at a suspicious event, but to help him out it's best to have a save from before the event. I save at the end of every turn and save to a new slot each time (reusing old slots after a while) just for this purpose. You say you are a programmer, if you've ever worked in any kind of development environment I'm sure you can understand the process.

If somebody can send a bug to Michael the turn before it happens, he can fix it about 90% of the time. Without a save just before the event, it's a lot tougher to debug.

5) RE: Patrol aircraft attack and base levels. - This shouldn't be a very frequent event. Historically the Japanese had plans to make harassment attacks on Pearl Harbor with Emilies in late 1942 and refuel them from a large sub anchored at French Frigate Shoals. The plan got scratched when the US built a permanent outpost at the rendevous.

If patrol aircraft are attacking your bases on a daily basis something might be wrong. If it happens occasionally, it is not all that ahistoric.

Bill



_____________________________

WitP AE - Test team lead, programmer

(in reply to Suhiir)
Post #: 15
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/28/2013 10:08:30 AM   
janh

 

Posts: 1223
Joined: 6/12/2007
Status: offline
Suhiir, Bill nailed it with his posts. This game sets out to recreate the situation as the Japanese found it on Dec 7 41, at least if you use Scenario 1. And this is does extraordinarily well. If I understand correctly what you wish for, then it is not this situation, but an alternative history in which the Allies were all prepared, combat trained from years of fighting, and standing by to counter the Japanese from day 1.

The Japanese had a history of decades of war or near war situations, against the Chinese and Russians, and consequently benefited from this. But not the Allies. This is what allowed them to succeed in the first weeks and months in first place, and should and must be in some manner be represented. All you can do about it is learn to know both sides strengths and weaknesses. As this one Chinese guy once said, it is not enough to one side to have a real shot at a success. The Allies do have teeth, but they must know when to and where to fight, and fight on the ground of their choosing.

As Bill said, you can use the editor to change the starting parameters to your liking and create your version of history, just as Andy Mac created his Iron Man scenarios or the RA mod provides a different path to Japanese war preparations. Or keep playing a while longer and see how this game will also draw you in deeper and deeper...

(in reply to wdolson)
Post #: 16
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/28/2013 10:13:08 AM   
janh

 

Posts: 1223
Joined: 6/12/2007
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson
The Dutch never had the funds to buy the equipment and train the operators.


I always wondered how "independent" the Dutch in der Far East still were at this stage? I know how the Wehrmacht "played" the Vichy French forces in Indochina, and how they manipulated them to allow the Japanese the surprise attack on Malaysia. Use of air bases etc. They allowed them enough equipment and forces for certain purposes, like just enough to engage Free French forces in the African colonies in 41, but little enough that they could become a threat again. Does anyone know how it was for the Dutch?

(in reply to wdolson)
Post #: 17
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/28/2013 11:33:28 AM   
LoBaron


Posts: 4560
Joined: 1/26/2003
From: Vienna, Austria
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Suhiir

While I am new to this game I like to think I'm hardly a novice wargamer.
((And yes, I'm retired military and (gawd forbit) a computer programmer ... thus the numbers and a couple other things))

Of course EVERY game has it's quirks an "What The F..." rules.
But (IMHO) any game worth playing places historical/techincal accuracy well above "game play".
And that's the reason I'm feeling frustrated.
I'm seeing a great game that apparently has "game play" issues.
Maybe I should just play all the way thru as both sides before I make observations.


I hope I did not leave the impression I regarded you as a novice wargamer. Few people new to the game are.
You have to have a love for complex strategy games already to properly enjoy WitP.

That said, as you probably noticed by the clunky interface and lack of usability, the game itself is quite new, but the source code it is built
upon is very old, dating back to the mid 90's.
This can lead to the impression that there are a high number of "gameplay over historical accuracy" aspects, where in fact there are, for a game
of this size and complexity, only a few, and those there are are usually - as the exp delta you talked about - to align with historical conditions.

The Grand campaign of the game is an attempt - and it is the closest with regards to historical accuracy and detail I have ever seen on
this scale - to recreate the whole pacific war, with all historical options and limitations, but at the same time still allowing the player a notable
ammount of flexibility.

The Grand campaign is too huge to remain exactly historical accurate, to ensure this you would need to eliminate the players' freedom of choice.
Personally I like to view it as an alternative history research engine, the capabilities are as historically accurate as possible, while the use of those
capabilities is up to the player.

There certainly are few gameplay issues. These are often due to the limits of the game engine, as I pointed out before. As Bill explained, we have a single
programmer (MichaelM) left who dedicates a notable ammount of time to continue iffing out what still can be iffed out. Some problems will remain,
simply because the source code is too old to be modified to satisfaction, this is also due to some legal/licence problems with the original designer
of the game.

Lastly, do not get discouraged reporting situations ingame that require analysis and explanation, but keep in mind that this game is played by
people who have military background, a great knowledge and love for WWII history, and many of us spent already a decade or more to play and
discuss game aspects, probable solutions, and different strategies in the historical context.

If you want to debate certain elements of the game, technical, gameplay, or in relation to historical accuracy, please do so. This forum has some of
the brightest minds of the gaming community, and besides that is a history forum in itself..The fact that many of them play WitP AE and its predecessors
for more than 10 years, including myself, could provide you a hint about what kind of diamond of strategy heaven you found here.

But for the above reason, be also aware that issues or peculiarities of certain game elements, which have not been debated and aknowledged and explained
in one or the other way, are very, very rare. For most thing explanations or guides exist.

If you have quiestions you can be sure to get them answered here pretty fast. Have fun!


_____________________________

S**t happens in war.

All hail the superior ones!

(in reply to Suhiir)
Post #: 18
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/28/2013 12:15:50 PM   
wdolson

 

Posts: 8058
Joined: 6/28/2006
From: Near Portland, OR
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson
The Dutch never had the funds to buy the equipment and train the operators.


quote:

ORIGINAL: janh
I always wondered how "independent" the Dutch in der Far East still were at this stage? I know how the Wehrmacht "played" the Vichy French forces in Indochina, and how they manipulated them to allow the Japanese the surprise attack on Malaysia. Use of air bases etc. They allowed them enough equipment and forces for certain purposes, like just enough to engage Free French forces in the African colonies in 41, but little enough that they could become a threat again. Does anyone know how it was for the Dutch?


As I understand it, the DEI was far more solidly Allied before Japan launched the war. The French government collapsed and the "Free French" were more of a military than a political organization with De Gaul as the most prominent leader. The Vichy was a puppet government set up by the Germans, but was technically independent and neutral. Vichy France was mostly the part of France that the Germans never reached during the invasion. In reality was a puppet of the Germans and was pretty much eliminated by the Germans when they wanted to build defenses in Southern France.

Major elements of the Dutch government, including the royal family, escaped to England and ran the remains of their empire from London. I'm sure the Germans had some sort of puppet government set up in the Netherlands to manage day to day government business, but the Netherlands were mostly managed directly by the Germans as an occupied country.

The government in the DEI had some money from selling oil. Shell Oil exists because of the oil finds in the DEI. In mid-1941 they saw the handwriting on the wall and knew war with Japan was almost certainly coming. The US oil embargo was hurting Japan and everyone knew where they were going to go. The Dutch government in the DEI knew there were no military resources coming from back home, so they looked to the US and worked out a military alliance if war came with the UK, Australia, and sort of with the US. (Roosevelt wasn't in a position to make any treaties, but I think he gave a nod and a wink.)

The DEI government also started upgrading their military equipment. They bought PBYs, Kingfishers, Buffaloes, P-40s, B-25s, and A-20s from the US and Hurricanes from the UK. Brewster was able to supply the Buffaloes pretty quickly, but there was a shortage of engines and they had to use refurbished airliner engines. The rest were in the pipeline when the war started. If the DEI had a few more months, they would have been better prepared, but it's doubtful it would have made a big difference. In the end the USAAF ended up taking back many of the planes and others ended up in RAAF.

The Dutch had a white minority controlling a large majority of natives who were not happy with their masters. The military in place was adequate to maintain the colony, but it really wasn't built to stop a well planned invasion with many landing sites. The air units were a bit better, but again they were stretched very thinly and the navy was way too small for the area it had to cover. When the invasions did come, the natives saw the Japanese as liberators and many times worked with the Japanese against their former masters.

Even if the Dutch had an unlimited budget and could buy as much as they wanted, they ultimately lacked the manpower to fill out any new units created. There were a number of civilian pilots flying between the islands before the war who were pressed into military service, but the pool was limited. Once those pilots were used, there were few other pilots they could draw on or even raw recruits to train if they had the time.

There are few books in English about the Dutch forces, but I came across one a couple of years ago on the naval air forces during the DEI campaign in 1942. There is also a book mostly about the USS Houston and the fate of the survivors which does touch on the DEI campaign to some extent. The book on the Houston is called Ship of Ghosts, but I don't remember the title of the first book, it's something fairly academic sounding.

The early battles taught those who survived (and weren't captured) valuable lessons. The DEI campaign left a lasting impression on the executive officer of the USS Alden. When the Alden pulled out of the DEI for Australia, The exec promised himself that if he ever saw combat again, he would not retreat. 2 1/2 years later Ernest Evans was CO of the USS Johnston at the Battle Off Samar. Nobody is quite sure what happened to Evans he was last seen on the stern yelling orders to the men manually operating the rudder (he waved to a DE sailing by), but the Johnston didn't run. It traded shots with the Kongo at one point and got so close the Kongo couldn't depressed their main guns enough to hit them.

Bill

_____________________________

WitP AE - Test team lead, programmer

(in reply to janh)
Post #: 19
RE: It's a good thing the Chineese are so numerous - 1/28/2013 5:16:50 PM   
Herrbear


Posts: 859
Joined: 7/26/2004
From: Glendora, CA
Status: offline
I believe the book you are referring to is The Dutch Naval Air Force Against Japan by Tom Womack.

(in reply to wdolson)
Post #: 20
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