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Starting out - drowning vs swimming

 
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Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 8:13:20 AM   
Roghain


Posts: 30
Joined: 7/15/2006
From: Ede, Netherlands
Status: offline
And so , I reckon I can no longer postpone this. I own the game for months. I read up on stuff, I watched hours of videos, then watched them again, I did RTFM. I played through the smaller scenario's and feel that I at the very least understand the GUI, I understand a few things in regards to why TFs act the way they do. Well, most of the time.

Yeah, it is time to get my B-hind handed to me.

So, I will stop procrastinating and start a Grand Campaign.

But first, a little background.

I started way back in this hobby through board games - so, as a prelude to WitP:AE I 'graduated' from Flat Top, Pacific War and moved to computer wargames when, well, computers got manageable in both size and price. Enter Atari 800XL, then 2086 IBM with that god-awful colour. I actually witnessed the invention of the mouse. I'm talking the old Microprose games - Crusade in Europe, Conflict in Vietnam. It goes on, but somehow two particular theatres kept me intrigued: North Africa and the Pacific.

So, I bought this. Fired it up. Clicked on a few buttons, shrugged, went back to TOAW3. No tutorial, not the most easily read manual (more like a reference guide really). I just could not be bothered. Frankly, I was overwhelmed - and I played World in Fames a few times... Where does one start?

Here, on these forums, as it turned out.

So, I got more intrigued, learned more, understood a few things and finally picked up the smaller scenarios. Which, in the end, led me to believe I am as ready as I can be.

Writing this, I realise that this game is about as intimidating as they come. This Battlecruiser 3000AD without the bazillion bugs. This is Magic Realm without a decently written 'get into it' manual. Grigsby on steroids (bless his attention to detail) isn't for the faint of heart.

So, what I basically an about to do, is write a kinda sorta log of experiencing the GC from a beginner's point of view. I am going to list what things I found exceedingly helpful in overcoming my fear, which articles, videos and threads are a 'must read' in my opinion to get any new player like myself get through the learning curve. Scratch that - get started on the learning curve. make it less of a learning abyss.

After that, I will collect my difficulties in playing, questions that arise. I hope that, when I manage to finish this, it will be of some use to anyone who bought this, looked at it and went back to something less daunting - because I can say, once you get into this, it will be an experience like no other wargame you have played. And yes, that includes Campaign for North Africa, pasta-cooking logistics and all :)

A few acknowledgements.

I would not ever have played the GC - not even a scenario most likely - if not for the people here on these forums, who posted a vast arsenal of knowledge, tirelessly help new players, answer questions and make life easier for those of us like myself who don't have the perseverance to figure stuff out all by oneself. A few do need to be mentioned because their efforts have been more than just helpful. I'll be referencing to these individuals by their forum handles so you can look them up.

Kull, for the excellent spreadsheets that help in figuring out what to do. It helps in not getting lost or overwhelmed. A most impressive source of information, help and an invaluable learning tool.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3253803&mpage=1&key=񏜄

n01487477 for the guide to Japanese economics. That is a whole issue by itself, and it help to have it explained in a tad more comprehensive (27 pages... yeah) manner than the manual does. Even as a Allied player, it helps to understand the options, how the engine works and how your opponent needs to do stuff.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2933397

Sardaukar for his 'Tutorial AAR'. That was the trigger for me to 'get on with it'. It helped as it took me by the hand, step by step, on how to get started - and once you are there, it gets a little easier every turn. Really.

Gradenko_2000 for a well written tutorial that explained tha basic of the game in a concise manner linked to a scenario that I could then go on and actually play - and win.

So, for me, getting started turned out to be sitting in the garden with a cigar, a notepad and a decent drink. For more than a few hours, too. I'll point out the rough order of things I read and did to come to the point that I felt secure enough to start up the GC.

First, I went to look up a few 'Lets Play' video's online. There are a three sources I found quite helpful:

https://sites.google.com/site/n01487477/ No doubt you have seen these referenced a few times on the forums. They help.

On Youtube, two gentlebeings have done series of tutorial videos. I watched them both in no particular order.

There is a series by TeianDown - https://www.youtube.com/user/TeianDown/videos?sort=dd&live_view=500&flow=list&view=0 , both a play through of an actual game turn and also a few basic videos on aspects of the game.

Then there is a smaller series by GRaider https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i68Z10vw58&list=PLXeRSW0IdSTd2NygEkAzn64mJRd3fX5gD , a series that is based on Gradenko_2000's tutorial (qv).

I then went to read the manual, noting questions that arose and looking these up on the forums. After that, I used both Sardaukar's Tutorial AAR and Gradenko's tutorial to play along, step by step, again noting questions as to why they did things:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3249215&mpage=1&key=�

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2564541

After that, I sat down to decide what I actually wanted, for my future gaming entertainment. See, from what I understand, it's apparently a very different beast depending on whether you play the Allied of Japanese side. Also, did I intent to play vs the AI or would I one day try and take on a real opponent?

Now, I understand that playing the GC against the AI is already a time consuming affair. At one day per turn and four-and-a-half years of simulation that amounts to a staggering 1500 turns plus. Imagine being fully versed in everything and managing on average 90 minutes a turn (which I seriously doubt I can achieve) you will need to invest some 2250 hours. That would be - when having no life other than the GC and putting in 12 hours a day, you still would be 'at it' for a full six months. So, I thought, playing against a human opponent isn't going to work. Two people will need more than two years I reckon, having diverting lives and schedules. My experience with internet gaming not too good, I at first thought that would never happen.
Then I thought - wait one. Look at the amount of time and dedication displayed on these forums. If ever, this will be the place to find somebody as serious, as dedicated to finishing it.

So, that means my aim, eventually, is to play a full GC against a human opponent. That means I can not 'farm' the AI. I need to learn to stay away from gamey solutions - try and play as 'honest' as possible against the AI to better prepare myself. Try not to learn bad habits that the AI will not punish, but a human most certainly will.

Okay, first decision made. I aim to play against a human. Which side? being Dutch, I was partial to playing the allies, as the Dutch are actually in the game, something that isn't happening too often. We are not even in our 'own' battles - Arnhem & Nijmegen.
But I decided against this - the forums seem to be leaning towards a majority of Allied players. That, and I do have an interest in Japan as a nation, the culture, history and people. Third reason is, the Allies actually did win the war in the Pacific, so the challenge to me seems to be to play the losing side and see if I can do better. I also prefer to play Napoleon at Waterloo, or the CSA.

So, playing as Japan with the goal of playing eventually against a human player. Set.
Not too interested on seeing the puter run through the December 7th turn, I figured to start with the GC on December 8th - the historical situation 'the day after'. EDIT: There is a big difference between starting the GC on December 8th by means of the like named scenario OR sitting through the first historical turn in the December 7th scenario. That was fully unexpected (and curious as to why, really), so I restarted to better be able to play along with the start sheet by Kull.

With that decided, I went on preparing. I printed out the Excel sheet Kull made, the idea being I wanted to be able to reference it while playing, not alt-tabbing back and forth. Turned out to be 80 pages of A3 paper on a 9 point font - and that's only the 'unit orders list'.

Clean desk - check.
Sunday household chores finished - check.
Better half out of the way - check.
Stack of Kull-reference papers - check.
Notepad to jot down questions and reminders - check.
Markers in various colours - check.
Extra strength caffeine laced coffee - check.
Cat aide-de-camp - check.

Let's get this show on the... uhm... waves.

PS - any and all comments are welcome. Really.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Roghain -- 5/17/2015 1:01:29 PM >


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Post #: 1
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 8:21:09 AM   
LoBaron


Posts: 4671
Joined: 1/26/2003
From: Vienna, Austria
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Great post Roghain, and very good idea. This will support new players in finding their way into the game and feel less intimidated by the scale.

Just a small hint: Resize the pic. If it is as large as yours it messes with the screensize dependent linebreaks of the forum and the text becomes difficult to read.

Edit: just noticed you already did.

Edit2: I am aware what you want to do is kinda crossover between a guide and an AAR. Which makes me wonder if the War Room is the best place for it. Could also be a case for AAR section. Just an idea, I think both is valid.

Edit3: Ah, and be aware of that cat. Basically 90% of the vent posts around here where somebody cries about their fleets set to remain on station and utterly destroyed in the process instead of RTB like originally intended was caused by a cat. I think cats can be made solely responsible for more sunk ships and destroyed aircraft than any PBEM opponent.

< Message edited by LoBaron -- 5/17/2015 9:30:13 AM >


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RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 8:42:20 AM   
warspite1


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Joined: 2/2/2008
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quote:

PS - any and all comments are welcome. Really.




warspite1

Roghain just one comment from me: great choice of mug design!


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 5/17/2015 9:43:12 AM >


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RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 9:22:55 AM   
wdolson

 

Posts: 9225
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From: Near Portland, OR
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I had a cat who looked like that once. She was a super friendly cat, but liked to hunt across the street and wasn't smart about cars.

I'm sure those weren't the sort of comments you were looking for.

Bill

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RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 10:09:20 AM   
Roghain


Posts: 30
Joined: 7/15/2006
From: Ede, Netherlands
Status: offline
Cheers, and I had no clue how to resize it in the post, so I resized the original on the puter and then re-loaded it. Seems to have done the trick. Mug seems to fit the general level of expertise of yours truly

Cat is super friendly, but I have to admit that playing while having a 8 kilo Norwegian forester on my lap is... taxing. Of course, life for Nimitz or Yamamoto wasn't too comfy either, so it adds to the simulation.

One hour into the start and already a few Qs have reared their heads. Lemme get them sorted here. I think, that in the interest of keeping the readable, I'll keep all the questions I have as I play in one post and answers too. Makes the most sense. Some Qs I A myself by searching or RTFM of course, but I keep them here as well, as they did rear their head while playing.

Besides questions, I also ran into a few things that are not too obvious to a new player, but have a huge impact and need to be watched - or so I reckon. I also will keep some sort of rack of where I am at current. I will colour fully answered Qs green, and those open red. Yes, that does leave orange for half-answered (half open? depends on your philosophical outlook)

Game status:

As of last date edited (qv). Playing will be mostly limited to weekends, but some early morning activity might happen.

Game date: December 8th, 1941.
Currently doing: Entering orders from spreadsheet by Kull. Page 18 of 80.

Take note:

A) Setting a destination for a TF that is different from the home base, means the TF will return to base after moving to the destination. If you want the ship to stay put, either select 'remain on station' or change the home base to the destination base.

B) Use alternating saves. I have no clue why, but so far I have had CTDs with a resulting corrupt savegame three times. I am guessing this has to do with too much ALT-TABbing, but regardless - nothing puts a damper on a mood when after three hours of entering orders your savegame has done a Houdini.

C) Use the naming feature on the TFs - just a little reminder on what you intended them to do helps a lot.

D) If you load a game and forgot to select the proper AI (computer) side, you will have switched sides. I find that quite odd, though. Is that WAD?

E) Upgrades should be 'off' across the board to prevent divided units unable to recombine.

Questions:

00) Not pertinent to the game at hand maybe, but for a new player, what would the experienced player base recommend as a mod to use? Is it best to learn the game in 'vanilla' mode and later move to a mod, or just dive in with the mod, seeing how the amount of detail already will baffle you from the getgo?
-- It would appear it makes not too much of a difference but when choosing a mod, make sure that it's AI capable - some have added quite a few options that the AI just cannot handle and those are better suited for PBEM.

01) Kull's sheet mentions turning on replacements on all LCUs except those in Manchuko and Korea. How does one select all units in a certain area?
-- Apparently, you cannot. best way to get around this is by finding out which HQs are deployed to the area you want to change, then select all the ground units attached to said HQ. needles to say, this means that when units are spread across various areas, you will select too many.

02) The colours of the search arcs mean exactly what?
-- Blue: AM, green: PM. Darker: naval, lighter: ASW. Overlapping arcs turn black for twice overlapped, white for three or more.

03) If an air-unit is set to train, is it safe to say you should always set the range to 0 in order to minimize accidentally running into trouble? And setting training to 100% and range 0, is that gamey?
-- Most players do that I suppose. Higher % means more pilots from the unit are training, and with range 0 their fatigue is minimal. But the training operational loss rates are minimal anyway. Note that some house rules limit training schedules tom 80%. Set the range to Zero on training units, or else the fatigue will definitely climb - especially at 100%.

04) Kull's sheet sets the planes of CS Mizuho at the same mission (naval search) but different percentages: the Petes go 45%, the Jakes 55%. There seems to be little difference between the two units except the fatigue, though minor (Petes fatigue 1, Jakes 0). Is that indeed the deciding factor here?
-- There really is no difference between 45 and 55. I think they both start at 25, and that's just too low. Probably also better off to have your Pete's on ASW and the Jakes on Search, simply for range reasons.

05) The verify load screen. What do the percentages mean? I assume it means how much space there is left, but is am unable to get the same percentage by dividing the loaded unit by the space available. The manual does not even mention the word 'verify'.
-- The TOP percentage: It allows you to check whether you had loaded complete unit, or part of the unit is being left behind. Note that Troops and Cargo are different holds, and squads/devices are sometimes put into the "other" hold at decreased efficiency.
05a) The BOTTOM percentage however?

06) Is there a way to see the co-ordinates of a hex just by hovering over in stead of actually selecting the hex? That would be exceedingly handy, to put it mildly.
-- It would appear not.

07) Am I missing something, or is it impossible to transfer a ship from TF'A' to TF'B' when one has selected TF'A' and can this only be achieved to select TF'B'? In other words, you can only transfer into an existing TF, move it out of an existing back into the non-assigned pool OR into a new TF?
-- So it is. There is no way to move ships between two TFs back and forth.

08) When so inclined, I tried to release a few pilots from a group back into the reserve pool - and i thought using the 'release the most/least experienced' ones from a certain skill was the easiest way to do so. I only notice that they don't actually are removed from the group, whereas when I click individual names I get a pop up wanting confirmation to move a pilot back to the reserve pool. So, what use is the 'release' option then?
-- Check setting "Group" at the bottom of the pilot list. There you can choose "where to" you want to release the pilots. Choose "Reserve"

09) Just how random is the RNG? I just noticed that this particular game, the attack on Pearl Harbour caused only airplane losses. Not a single American ship was damaged/sunk. Only losses are five mini-subs. Or is the intelligence that sketchy?
-- There are many "rolls" one had to pass to get any result - in case of PH strike, you have the weather, TF leader, Unit leader, plane mission, pilot skill, flak, plane damage, torpedo on port strike check, etc. So the results can vary anywhere between 0-6 BBs (2-3 are more usual) sunk in PH, number of ships and planes damaged/destroyed, etc.
Then add some Fog of War and there you are. Sometimes just changing few settings in the same situation can lead to much different outcomes - like changing TF leader or fighter group CO to someone more capable.
Actually this leads to incredible re-playability of scenarios/campaigns due to different results in different circumstances.

10) In Kull's spreadsheet, I fail to understand why LCUs with almost identical destinations and orders how to get there have varying 'Future objectives'. From what I understand, using the 'Future objective' is all but mandatory for successful attacks?
-- Quite often the first destination isn't really the place you'll need prep points for an attack. It takes a looooong time to get a unit up to 100% from zero (or even 25-33 if you switch a 100 prepped unit to a new objective), and the Japanese need to string together a lot of conquests in a fairly short period of time. Also many of their early opponents are so weak, you can attack with no points and still wipe out the opposition. The spreadsheet can only suggest so much, and the different objectives are kind of a clue about how to sequentially deploy your forces.

11) Speaking of future objectives - is it me or are only (potential) bases valid objectives? Why?
-- Yes, you can't choose non-base hexes, if that's what you mean. As to why, probably limited utility in the minds of the coders, and thus better things to spend limited coding time on. The majority of your tough targets are sitting at some sort of base, anyway.

12) LCUs - I am unable to set waypoints for them like for TFs. WAD of am I missing something?
-- WAD indeed.

13) I keep struggling with details. I understand the need to set various altitudes for different types of planes flying different missions. But why would I want to have different altitudes for identical planes flying identical missions? Kull's sheet has a unit divide, then rebase to three different locations. All three sub-groups fly the same mission with identical parameters, but one is set to 20k, one to 15k and one to 10k. Why? What is the deciding factor here?
--Air combat is a very interesting topic all by itself, and there can be many reasons for different altitudes. Bombers attacking targets with weak AA might as well go in as low as possible. Don't try that at Singapore, however! If they are fighters on defense, who and what is the likely attacker? In Malaya, those nasty stringbags (Vildebeeest and the fearsome Swordfish) will slip under your CAP if you set it too high, so even though the low CAP would be more vulnerable to a sweep (and less effective versus escorts), if you have expensive naval assets nearby, it's worth the risk. And there's probably 100s of other variables, which will slowly become apparent.
13a) So that would mean i need... more lessons on that topic. Suggestions?

Abbreviations and jargon:

There are so may abbreviations used, both in the game as on the forums, I try and get them all in one place.

Abbreviation = Meaning (Origin, belongs to organization)// Japanese term
AF = Air Force (Just about everyone)
AMC = Air Materiel Command (US forces, 1944 and later.)
CCF = ??
CM = ??
CS = ??
GC = Grand Campaign (Game terminology)
IF = ??
IJA = Imperial Japanese Army (Japan armed forces) // Dai-Nippon Teikoku Rikugun
IJAAF = Japanese Army Air Force (Imperial Japanese Army) // Dai-Nippon Teikoku Rikugun Kōkūtai
IJN = Imperial Japanese Navy (Japan armed forces) // Dai-Nippon Teikoku Kaigun
IJNAF = Imperial Japanese Navy Air Force (Imperial Japanese Navy)
JAAF = Japanese Army Air Force (Imperial Japanese Army) // Dai-Nippon Teikoku Rikugun Kōkūtai
JNAF = Japanese Navy Air Force (Imperial Japanese Navy)
LCU = Land Combat Unit (Game terminology)
NCPC = ??
RF = ??
RGC = ??
RGCN = ??
SNLF = Special Naval Landing Forces (Imperial Japanese Navy) // Kaigun Tokubetsu Rikusentai

Oh, and help on formatting that list? Yeah, I need that! I am sure I would be able to tabulate, but buggered if I know how.

< Message edited by Roghain -- 6/16/2015 5:00:04 AM >


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Post #: 5
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 11:48:22 AM   
ny59giants


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Japanese economy - For me, I MUST have Tracker installed and running to do it without crashing it.

https://sites.google.com/site/witptracker/

At start settings - Most AARs that I have read and I think most game have Japan use a non-historical start. If you plan to play a human opponent, you will need to decide what you will do differently from day one as Japan with hindsight?? So I would play vs AI with historical settings for the first two months (Feb 1st) just to see how things go and take notes on your mistakes. Next, try it again with non-historical first turn to see what you would do. I use the TFs which has the CVs headed for Pearl to get CV Kaga (slowest) to use the bonus move (TF with the * in them) to end her first move off Saigon. Change the 2 DD TF with the bonus move an "Escort TF" that is scheduled to be off Midway, add CV Kaga, change home port to CamRahn Bay (CRB), and destination SW of Saigon. This supports a more aggressive Malaya campaign.

Overall, you will need to run a few (don't know exact number) of games vs AI that covers the first few months (April 1st '42) to be able to use Japan's invasion bonus. As Japan, these few months can make or break you by the things you do and don't do. An Allied player can lose almost his whole fleet during this time and still win in the end. Not so as Japan.

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RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 11:58:35 AM   
Roghain


Posts: 30
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From: Ede, Netherlands
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Hi mr. Giants sir. I kinda sorta thought so - I only play now with the historical settings because I like to learn from Kull's moves and that runs from the historical start. Having a guide that walks one through the (especially) first turn is a great help to come to grips (or gripes, one might say) with the game.

Regarding the tracker: I have been fiddling around with the WitP Staff utility that comes with the game. Is the Tracker easier/better/more user friendly?

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Post #: 7
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 1:14:10 PM   
ny59giants


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Joined: 1/10/2005
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quote:

Regarding the tracker: I have been fiddling around with the WitP Staff utility that comes with the game. Is the Tracker easier/better/more user friendly?


I've used Tracker since it came out in old WITP days. So for me, its more of a comfort level. I haven't seen Staff posted in any AARs I've read. I would say if you run into problems with Japanese economy, it will be easier for players to comment on your screen shots from Tracker than Staff.

I would say your first game as Japan vs AI using Kull's guide is a good idea. The learning cliff for this game is steep and can be deadly.

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RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 1:54:43 PM   
John 3rd


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From: La Salle, Colorado
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

PS - any and all comments are welcome. Really.




warspite1

Roghain just one comment from me: great choice of mug design!



I have a full 'Staff' of felines who do their very best to aid my strategic and tactical work. NICE shot!

Welcome to the game. Your first Post is outstanding and quite thorough. Michael (Giants) speak truth about Tracker. Installing it can...be...interesting!

Keep Posting Sir.


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RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 4:29:23 PM   
Trugrit


Posts: 171
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From: North Carolina
Status: offline

Welcome Sir, playing as Japan to start; you have my respect.
Don’t be intimidated. Hang in there. Use the forum. Use tracker.

I have two cats. My male cat - Commodore Beauregard Perry, comforts me.
My female cat – Molly McGuire, is a lady labor agitator. She is much beloved but walks on my keyboard daily.

Here is a Japanese girl to sing for you and cheer you up in stormy seas.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZN0nHB0qRQ


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Post #: 10
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 4:51:04 PM   
Bullwinkle58


Posts: 9232
Joined: 2/24/2009
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Roghain

Hi mr. Giants sir. I kinda sorta thought so - I only play now with the historical settings because I like to learn from Kull's moves and that runs from the historical start. Having a guide that walks one through the (especially) first turn is a great help to come to grips (or gripes, one might say) with the game.

Regarding the tracker: I have been fiddling around with the WitP Staff utility that comes with the game. Is the Tracker easier/better/more user friendly?


Welcome to the community.

I don't think WITPStaff has been touched by any devs since the 2009 launch. I dimly recall a thread that might have reported that the many patches have made it mostly non-functional. Could be wrong there. But virtually all players who use off-line utilities use Tracker and/or IntelMonkey.

Tracker is deep and wide in its capabilities, but can be a bit finicky in the installation as it needs an older version of Java to work. There is a sub-forum just for Tracker and a lot of help provided to get it installed.

IntelMonkey is easier to install, but has a whole different purpose. When you need what IntelMonkey provides (for Allies in the re-taking phases it's great) there's no comparison.

For playing Japan though, Tracker is your friend. I play Allies and use it every turn for some very specific tasks--time series data on ship repairs and easy visibility and sorting of upgrade device pools being two. Almost everything Tracker shows is available in the game interface somewhere, if you know where. (Time series data are not though.) But Tracker is far easier to "drive."

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RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 6:01:49 PM   
Encircled


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From: Northern England
Status: offline
I have two cats, Scooby and Sparky and neither are responsible in any way for any of my disastrous Japanese moves in WITP:AE.

Now the kids on the other hand....


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RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 6:13:24 PM   
Symon


Posts: 1928
Joined: 11/24/2012
From: De Eye-lands, Mon
Status: offline
Also welcome.

My advice is to ignore all the calls for using this after-market program, or that one, or setting up your pilot training in a specific way, or what have you.

All these people have been immersed in the game for years and have their own proclivities and require certain programs/activities to make their system work. They think it makes life easier, and it might for them, but it won’t for you, unless and until you get to their experience level, and perhaps not even then. Many forumites will say you MUST load this or MUST do that, but it only works in “their” game world. I have never done any of that and have not found it limiting.

I am one of the original developers of WiTPAE. I have been modding and playing the title since WiTP (2005). Neither I nor any Babes team member has ever loaded Tracker. None of us has ever used the TRACOM capability. None of this has affected our play or impacted playability in any way shape or form. Our scenarios are used and played by several US Military organizations, on an as-is basis.

My best advice is play out some turns using the standard (no click, no bullshit) system. Run it out for several months and see what you get. And then do it again. Then, and ONLY then, will you be able to judge what the forum people demand you do (often cleaved from game reality).

Do not begin with ‘on the edge’ nonsense. Begin with the game as it was designed to be played. Soon enough, the forum folks will drag you into their particular banhiero. But before they do, learn the system; not the cheats.

I like your cat.

Ciao. JWE



_____________________________

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(in reply to Roghain)
Post #: 13
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 6:28:34 PM   
obvert


Posts: 8571
Joined: 1/17/2011
From: PDX (and now) London, UK
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Symon

Also welcome.

My advice is to ignore all the calls for using this after-market program, or that one, or setting up your pilot training in a specific way, or what have you.

All these people have been immersed in the game for years and have their own proclivities and require certain programs/activities to make their system work. They think it makes life easier, and it might for them, but it won’t for you, unless and until you get to their experience level, and perhaps not even then. Many forumites will say you MUST load this or MUST do that, but it only works in “their” game world. I have never done any of that and have not found it limiting.

I am one of the original developers of WiTPAE. I have been modding and playing the title since WiTP (2005). Neither I nor any Babes team member has ever loaded Tracker. None of us has ever used the TRACOM capability. None of this has affected our play or impacted playability in any way shape or form. Our scenarios are used and played by several US Military organizations, on an as-is basis.

My best advice is play out some turns using the standard (no click, no bullshit) system. Run it out for several months and see what you get. And then do it again. Then, and ONLY then, will you be able to judge what the forum people demand you do (often cleaved from game reality).

Do not begin with ‘on the edge’ nonsense. Begin with the game as it was designed to be played. Soon enough, the forum folks will drag you into their particular banhiero. But before they do, learn the system; not the cheats.

I like your cat.

Ciao. JWE



+1

I love Tracker. Don't get me wrong. It's really useful, but not necessary.

To learn you have to play. You have to make mistakes, you then have to try to figure out what went wrong. Playing a GC will teach you all of that stuff and then later you will decide what you need. Maybe nothing else, maybe a lot. But right now you won't know too much about what Tracker is telling you anyway.

Some players use a notepad. Take down ideas, plans, must do lists, things that are important in SIGINT. Some use other methods of remembering. I take a lot of screenshots and write an AAR. The writing of the AAR helps me more than anything as I learn. A place to reflect, solicit help and just have a single organized location to focus my understanding of what is happening that I can also easily reference.

Good luck!

_____________________________


"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

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Post #: 14
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/17/2015 11:10:24 PM   
Bullwinkle58


Posts: 9232
Joined: 2/24/2009
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To be clear, in case your comments were directed at me, I responded to the OP's direct question--should he use WITPStaff? IMO, he should not, nor should anyone.

There are two different questions in your POV, Symon. Should he? If yes, which one?

I agree with you that he probably shouldn't, now. Most people shouldn't. This newbie, OTOH, documented FAR more prep than the average bear around here. He might get something out of one of the two utilities I named. But I agree, not until he's played a few months of turns.

To the question of should anyone use Tracker or IM, I disagree. They each do things the game can't do. If you don't miss that that's fine. I need the time series data Tracker gives in several areas of the game. I learned a lot about how the Repair Manager works by watching when it flips to a different "band" of damage. And since I'm getting to be blind in one eye the white color and larger type is far easier to navigate than the game UI. For IM, the game doesn't have any time-tracking of SigInt built in. The daily reports are soon forgotten. IM allows a player to at least collate UI info from perhaps real-life a year ago into something useful for an operation. You could use a notepad. But IM is easier and much more flexible on the search.

My thoughts.

< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 5/18/2015 12:12:04 AM >


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Post #: 15
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/18/2015 2:23:52 AM   
Roghain


Posts: 30
Joined: 7/15/2006
From: Ede, Netherlands
Status: offline
See, that's the trouble with time zones - I take a few hours of sleep and stuff happens. lemme try and address the things I feel need addressing and no disregard to those of you I do not reply. No harm done and all.

From what I see, there seems to be some consensus on the use of a (any) utility. Glad to hear it both when it comes to WitP Staff (because I could not make heads nor tails out of that) or firing up some other database-extracting thing-a-ma-jig. For now then, I'll refrain from using any of that. I would indeed think the game itself already offers a huge amount of information.
Me, for one, I need to write stuff down and yes, writing this whole whatever you'd like to call it helps organizing my thoughts. It only takes a lot of time.

Regarding the music - I was already beginning to dislike the ingame music - hearing four hours at a stretch will do that so I am glad with the suggested Japanese songs, but I will say one thing if only one: Once the Empire has shown these Westerners a thing or two about honour and warfare, laws will be made regarding the use of these sterile, white interiors. Really.

Re the ever present cats - do you think there is a bigger plot here? We have a community of rather dedicated individuals learning about war, logistics and mayhem on a strategic scale. And cats, observing. Learning. You don't think...?



_____________________________

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Post #: 16
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/18/2015 2:33:00 AM   
BillBrown


Posts: 208
Joined: 6/15/2002
Status: offline
I really like Combat Reporter. All it does is gather the information from the generated test files and presents them in a more manageable form. At least I think so.

You can find it here https://sites.google.com/site/witpaecombatreporter/

That said, you don't have to use any third party programs, but you should at least look at them and see if you think they are helpful.

(in reply to Roghain)
Post #: 17
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/18/2015 7:33:09 AM   
Barb


Posts: 1704
Joined: 2/27/2007
From: Bratislava, Slovakia
Status: offline
Hi, you seem ready for the WITPAE!
Now I will try to answer your questions at least partially... as nobody did that earlier in this thread..

quote:

ORIGINAL: Roghain

Questions:

00) Not pertinent to the game at hand maybe, but for a new player, what would the experienced player base recommend as a mod to use? Is it best to learn the game in 'vanilla' mode and later move to a mod, or just dive in with the mod, seeing how the amount of detail already will baffle you from the getgo?
Many players play 'vanilla'.
Then there are several versions of DaBigBabes (DBB) mod - which usually adds more flavor into the game.
Then few special scenarios like Reluctant Admiral (RA) or Ironman with expanded capabilities of both sides - but especially Japanese to get better play against AI.


01) Kull's sheet mentions turning on upgrades and replacements on all LCUs except those in Manchuko and Korea. How does one select all units in a certain area?
Try selecting some HQ (China Area Army e.g.) and locate button "Ground Units with same HQ" or "Ground units with this HQ" - once you have the list of ground units look for button "Allow Upgrades" - or selectively enable upgrades/reinforcements by way of "Y"/"N" in the list.

02) The colours of the search arcs mean exactly what?
-- Blue: AM, green: PM. Darker: naval, lighter: ASW
Plus: "Overlapping NavS (AM+PM)- twice - black, more then twice - White"

03) If an air-unit is set to train, is it safe to say you should always set the range to 0 in order to minimize accidentally running into trouble? And setting training to 100% and range 0, is that gamey?
Most players do that I suppose. Higher % means more pilots from the unit are training, and with range 0 their fatigue is minimal. But the training operational loss rates are minimal anyway.

04) Kull's sheet sets the planes of CS Mizuho at the same mission (naval search) but different percentages: the Petes go 45%, the jakes 55%. There seems to be little difference between the two units except the fatigue, though minor (Petes fatigue 1, Jakes 0). Is that indeed the deciding factor here?
Jake has better range 8/10 compared to Pete 2/3 IIRC.
I also always reset the units with X5% orders as you can only adjust them by 10% anyway.


05) The verify load screen. What do the percentages mean? I assume it means how much space there is left, but is am unable to get the same percentage by dividing the loaded unit by the space available. The manual does not even mention the word 'verify'.
It allows you to check whether you had loaded complete unit, or part of the unit is being left behind. Note that Troops and Cargo are different holds, and squads/devices are sometimes put into the "other" hold at decreased efficiency.

06) Is there a way to see the co-ordinates of a hex just by hovering over in stead of actually selecting the hex? That would be exceedingly handy, to put it mildly.
I do not think there is other way than "clicking" into the hex and read coordinates from the top of the screen.

07) Am I missing something, or is it impossible to transfer a ship from TF'A' to TF'B' when one has selected TF'A' and can this only be achieved to select TF'B'? In other words, you can only transfer into an existing TF, move it out of an existing back into the non-assigned pool OR into a new TF?
You can directly pull a ship from TF A to TF B. Just create (or select) a TF B, and pick up ships from port or other TFs. Be aware that some ships types cannot go to some TF types. One can avoid this by selecting "escort type TF", assigning required ships and then try to change TF type.

08) When so inclined, I tried to release a few pilots from a group back into the reserve pool - and i thought using the 'release the most/least experienced' ones from a certain skill was the easiest way to do so. I only notice that they don't actually are removed from the group, whereas when I click individual names I get a pop up wanting confirmation to move a pilot back to the reserve pool. So, what use is the 'release' option then?
Check setting "Group" at the bottom of the pilot list. There you can choose "where to" you want to release the pilots. Choose "Reserve"

09) Just how random is the RNG? I just noticed that this particular game, the attack on Pearl Harbour caused only airplame losses. Not a single American ship was damaged/sunk. Only losses are five mini-subs. Or is the intelligence that sketchy?
There are many "rolls" one had to pass to get any result - in case of PH strike, you have the weather, TF leader, Unit leader, plane mission, pilot skill, flak, plane damage, torpedo on port strike check, etc. So the results can vary anywhere between 0-6 BBs (2-3 are more usuall) sunk in PH, number of ships and planes damaged/destroyed, etc.
Then add some Fog of War and there you are. Sometimes just changing few settings in the same situation can lead to much different outcomes - like changing TF leader or fighter group CO to someone more capable.
Actually this leads to incredible re-playability of scenarios/campaigns due to different results in different circumstances.




< Message edited by Barb -- 5/18/2015 3:36:14 PM >


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Post #: 18
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/19/2015 5:46:17 AM   
Disco Duck

 

Posts: 341
Joined: 11/16/2004
From: San Antonio
Status: offline
The only thing I see missing is auto convoy. Without going into the pro and cons, setting Victoria, Canada to auto convoy on, really messes with the auto convoy system. Some long lost post helped me understand that.

I am still trying to balance keeping track of things and feeling like an accountant.

The time it takes to play the campaign game reminds me of the old days of playing chess by mail. Three days allowed to make a move. Post cards are third class mail so add at least three days. Figure about forty moves typical for a game. About a dozen games going on at once...

I am sorry but your cat doesn't look helpful. He has that " I am comfortable and I am not moving" look.

Thanks for the post.

(in reply to Roghain)
Post #: 19
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/19/2015 3:24:49 PM   
US87891

 

Posts: 220
Joined: 1/2/2011
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58
To be clear, in case your comments were directed at me, I responded to the OP's direct question--should he use WITPStaff? IMO, he should not, nor should anyone.

There are two different questions in your POV, Symon. Should he? If yes, which one?

I agree with you that he probably shouldn't, now. Most people shouldn't. This newbie, OTOH, documented FAR more prep than the average bear around here. He might get something out of one of the two utilities I named. But I agree, not until he's played a few months of turns.

I do not think John's comments were directed at anyone. They were a general observation that many players achieve a certain degree of immersion that makes specific actions and functions desirable for their particular style of play; those actions and functions are not mandatory in any sense. General play, in a stock, naked, context will eventually show a new player what they might wish to incorporate for their benefit.

He was saying the raw, naked, game works just fine, if you play it that way.

Can't speak for John, but none of the Babes teams have ever used Staff or Tracker. So which one? Don't have a clue.

I like your cat, too. I have a serengeti striped cross breed mutt thing. Nice cat. Keeps the west Texas lizards out of the kitchen. Sleeps on my wife's tummy. Bites my fingers when they wander.

Matt

< Message edited by US87891 -- 5/19/2015 7:13:29 PM >

(in reply to Bullwinkle58)
Post #: 20
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/20/2015 2:07:41 AM   
bigred


Posts: 3028
Joined: 12/27/2007
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Welcome. Find a player and get going. May the random generated dice be with u.

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http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2597400

(in reply to US87891)
Post #: 21
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/20/2015 6:53:01 AM   
Roghain


Posts: 30
Joined: 7/15/2006
From: Ede, Netherlands
Status: offline
Even if I already knew that from perusing these forums, I am still a little humbled by the responses I get here from you gentlebeings, so thanks for having taken the time to follow my ramblings en thoughts and offer all sorts of help, suggestions and whatnot. It is very much appreciated.

Ividja - the aforementioned cat-aide-de-camp - appreciated the comments and would like t point out that she, indeed, is comfortable and not inclined to move, but from her advantageous position well able to stomp on the spacebar on occasion. Of course, that feline morse code baffles the good people at Station HYPO

Let me start with the various things said about the data mining utilities. I have downloaded a few, and will look them over once I feel the need for anything. from what I learn so far is that I an propably needing some utility that organises data in an easy to read/sort/organise manner because I am thinking the Kull spreadsheet will get less and less useful as time progresses in the game. Once I do start looking at them, I'll let you know what I find and think.

@Barb - thanks a bunch. I will edit my earlier Q&A verview post and take your answers into that. Cheers!

@Disco Duck - I have not even started to come to grips with the auto-convoy system. I kinda sorta imagined I must first understand how to organise that manually afore trusting the puter to do that. The reference to Victoria will come in handy once His Celectial Majesties forces have set foot on Canadian soil. No, there is nothing wrong with being ambitious.

@Matt - I sypathise with your plight reagrding the wandering fingers and the vigilance of cats - we have a Balineese who tends to sleep under (in spite of my outspoken and very vehement objections) the blankets. Nothing is as entertaining as during sleep having your kneecap mangled by an irate feline. Unless its a stray USN sub actually beating that 90% dud rate and puttng a dent in a prized carrier.

@BigRed - thanks for the vote of confidence, but I would not be a fine opponent so I will first try and get a good feel for the game before getting into a Human vs human game.

_____________________________

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Post #: 22
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/20/2015 4:45:00 PM   
pontiouspilot


Posts: 497
Joined: 7/27/2012
Status: offline
Welcome to time well wasted....it's time to quit thinking and fretting about things and just jump in ...it doesn't matter which end. I tend to agree with Symon's thoughts. The more you do the long-hand and unautomatic way the more you absorb. You likely want to start with AI but that will wear thin quickly. You will have no trouble finding a real opponent. Even if you get your ass kicked the 1st time you will find most here great gentlemen and you will learn lots.

(in reply to Roghain)
Post #: 23
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/20/2015 4:55:09 PM   
Marshall


Posts: 143
Joined: 4/18/2014
Status: offline
love the post,

but taking control of the Japanese, will give you a very deep dive in the blue ocean of pacific warfare !

Especially the industry management and primary strategic goals, and mass micromanagement to coordinate your offensive can be daunting!

But the community here is great, and always willing to help out.
If you can get to grip with the game on Japanese side, then you are well on your way to getting addicted for life

So cheers to your first campaign! (or sake of course)


(in reply to pontiouspilot)
Post #: 24
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/23/2015 2:24:53 PM   
Roghain


Posts: 30
Joined: 7/15/2006
From: Ede, Netherlands
Status: offline
Oh, indeed, it's not deep blue - us Europeans think it's called black

As to getting hooked, that all depends on how much of a chore it remains. I am led to believe that the first turn is the worst, so I am clinging to that. I can't be bothered to eter orders for 6-8 hours every turn, to be sure.

_____________________________

"If tolerance is taken to the point where it tolerates the destruction of those same principles that made tolerance possible in the first place, it becomes intolerable." - Gaetano Mosca -

(in reply to Marshall)
Post #: 25
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/24/2015 12:15:22 AM   
topeverest

 

Posts: 2668
Joined: 10/17/2007
From: Houston, TX - USA
Status: offline
9 years and still learning almost every turn. There are a dozen or more turns that might take that long during a game, but the average for me is about 60 minutes.

This is not a game where 'things' get done for you, so you have to pay attention to many details. The upside, is you have specific upside when you do things well.

_____________________________

Andy M

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Post #: 26
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/26/2015 12:48:05 AM   
CaptDave

 

Posts: 617
Joined: 6/21/2002
From: Federal Way, WA
Status: offline
Just to augment the answer to one of your questions (in case this is an instance of "missing the trees for the forest" or vice versa):

If the hex you're trying to find coordinates for is reasonably close to a base (including a dot base), meaning that they both appear on the same screen, then you can hover the pointer over the base and see its coordinates. After that it's simple enough to count to the hex you want and figure out its coordinates (expecting to be right about 50% of the time if it's an odd number of rows away and you can't remember which one shifts left and which one shifts right).

I realize, of course, that Murphy laughs maniacally when I talk about the two hexes being on the same screen!

(in reply to topeverest)
Post #: 27
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/26/2015 8:04:33 AM   
Roghain


Posts: 30
Joined: 7/15/2006
From: Ede, Netherlands
Status: offline
One hour huh? That sounds like fine. Have to admit that as we speak, I am a tad hard pressed to see myself being that fast. Either I am a tremendous slowpoke, or I must be doing something wrong. Of coruse, I am searching all over the map to find the most tonguebreaking bases. Badabaelzebub... sure.
And Captain Dave's suggestion is just what I have been doing, but coming from HoI3, I am quite spoiled in 'hover over' pop-ups.

That being said, I am slowly finding my way in China - too bad the last weekend was filled to the brim with family obligations (really - damn genes!) and I managed to play not a minute.

I reckon Murphy will not just laugh maniacally but enter through 'hysteria' and exiting through 'padded-rooms-this-a-way' before I push 'end orders phase' for the first time.

_____________________________

"If tolerance is taken to the point where it tolerates the destruction of those same principles that made tolerance possible in the first place, it becomes intolerable." - Gaetano Mosca -

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Post #: 28
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/26/2015 9:12:35 AM   
obvert


Posts: 8571
Joined: 1/17/2011
From: PDX (and now) London, UK
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: topeverest

9 years and still learning almost every turn. There are a dozen or more turns that might take that long during a game, but the average for me is about 60 minutes.

This is not a game where 'things' get done for you, so you have to pay attention to many details. The upside, is you have specific upside when you do things well.


+1

You get mch more efficient as you play more. I can do a turn in 15 minutes if I need to most of the time now. I don't like to though a I really enjoy being in the turn and tweaking little stuff, so when I have the time I take it. I can spend 3 hours on a turn a well!



_____________________________


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Post #: 29
RE: Starting out - drowning vs swimming - 5/27/2015 2:29:44 AM   
Dante Fierro


Posts: 179
Joined: 2/23/2012
From: Idaho Falls
Status: online
Roghain - great initial post. I had a beloved aide-de-cat for many many years, and she assisted me with many tough climates and battle conditions. I miss her!

It was great to come across your post here as I am in a similar situation as yourself right now (minus cat). The game is massive, perhaps the most massive game I've ever attempted or encountered. The forums here (and community) are invaluable and ... extensive. So I've been going about mining/gleaning what information I can from the forums here, and all the helpful answers to questions posters have provided over the many years the game has been out.

The AARs are also a great source of learning the ropes too IMO. I've slowly been working my way through a few, taking notes as I go along. You get some really interesting perspectives and ideas and game concepts you will not find elsewhere methinks - reading the AARs. They are also very entertaining - if you like this sort of thing i.e. watching snails race across the pavement??

I have taken a similar approach to yourself i.e. purviewed a number of online tutorial videos - and they were quite good I thought. I also have downloaded Kullstartup spreadsheet for and when I get to my first attempt at the Grand Campaign GC with the AI, I'm still working on the Coral Sea scenario - then will graduate to Guadalcanal ... then will see what I attempt afterward.

I have also downloaded WitPtracker, Combat Reporter and Intel Monkey. Mostly because, after reading some of the AARs, many of the player swear by these extra tools to data mine and I figure in a game this massive, they're probably right. I mean, yeah you could probably play just as well without them - take notes on a notepad, but heck, I'm going to check them out, and if I don't like what I see - I'll just not use them.

I've also created an AE Notes folder and started numerous docs with different subject headings such as: Bases, Carriers, AlliedStrategy, Economics101, HQs, Leadership, Mines, Naval Search, Repair - the list seems almost endless. Each document I have slowly collected via cut and past methods information/answer to questions strategy ideas I have encountered mostly on these forums or in the AAR reports I have read. Then like a good soldier - I regularly review said documents when I'm working out certain functions in the games (Sub patrol anyone? ASW efforts?)

For example, here are a few notes I have made based on my readings on the forum. My apologies to the original authors who made the posts for not mentioning their names herein - but I bow down to your wisdom and generosity for sharing your expertise here on these forums!

Regarding for example Carrier battles I have in my notes by one poster (actually I know who the poster is LoBaron in his "How to Orchestrate a Carrier Battle":

A carrier battle only fought by carriers is the worst possible way to do it.

Better have subs with your carriers to intercept approaching enemy carriers and sink cripples after battles. Even better have surface action groups supporting you that can either thwart enemy SAGs, pose a threat to enemy carriers, or act as a deterrence for your own flattops. And the best is if you operate in range of your own LBA. Nothing can ruin a day for the enemy nicer than a CV engagement salted with a couple of medium attack bombers making runs at sea level.


Another note on carrier battles:

I just don't put a lot of reliance on seaplane based search. Every attack unit in my carrier fleet is set to 10% patrol and to use drop tanks. Or one or two TBF units is set to 80% naval search with drop tanks. The 10% loss in combat strength is worth the saturated patrol area and increased DLs provided. Your best bet in a carrier fight is to create the highest DL possible. I hope this discussion is stickied. It is going to make a good reference.

Or another nugget gained from reading AARs:

You always have to set up your CAP depending on your requirements. In case you need to protect shipping high alt does not make sense, you need small staggered
CAP at expected or slightly above expected inbound alt, supported by a couple of low alt patrols against sea skimming torp bombers or LowN trained mediums.


So it goes. I have found I have compiled hundreds of notes now. And I feel like I'm a monk in a monastery sometimes, slowly scribbling away my observations of ancient texts and ancient reports of battles - so that when I finally try go out to the training yards - I will have some idea on how to proceed.

Anyway - good luck mate with the game. I have subscribed to your thread here and look forward to your future observations and questions. And the game generates a lot of questions. 0.0 I find a single cup of coffee is not sufficient - nor do there seem to be enough hours in the day to read all the AARs and forum posts here. But I am finding the more I spend time with AE, the more addicted I become to its realism and challenge.





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