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Naval Patrol - 11/13/2018 8:13:56 PM   
BK6583

 

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Playing the Allies in the 1944 D-Day scenario. I've been playing this game for over a year now. I've complained before and I will complain again - the most aggravating and debilitating part of this game is managing naval patrols. If I don't adequately cover sea supply routes I routinely suffer transport casualties. This is 1944 gentlemen!! The U-Boat menace is over. Yet I'm repeatedly using precious bombers to cover these aggravating sea supply lanes. I don't need to be spending countless hours trying to configure naval patrols in the Med and Channel/North Atlantic. This game needs to accurately imbed naval patrol just like does very well with letting the AI control the East Front box.
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RE: Naval Patrol - 11/15/2018 7:09:45 PM   
xhoel


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+1 from me.

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RE: Naval Patrol - 12/2/2018 4:03:43 PM   
HMSWarspite

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BK6583

Playing the Allies in the 1944 D-Day scenario. I've been playing this game for over a year now. I've complained before and I will complain again - the most aggravating and debilitating part of this game is managing naval patrols. If I don't adequately cover sea supply routes I routinely suffer transport casualties. This is 1944 gentlemen!! The U-Boat menace is over. Yet I'm repeatedly using precious bombers to cover these aggravating sea supply lanes. I don't need to be spending countless hours trying to configure naval patrols in the Med and Channel/North Atlantic. This game needs to accurately imbed naval patrol just like does very well with letting the AI control the East Front box.


MAy I ask what you are complaining about? Is it that you dont think there should be U Boats at sea to worry your transports in 1944, or the fiddle of setting NP? If the former, the Germans lost some 245 uboats in 1944, mostly in the Channel and Western approaches. If the Allies had not been fighting them, they would have had a lot of losses. If the fiddle, I have commented many times that there are not acttually enough for Coastal Command a/c to do, and either the effects of poor NP need beefing up, or most of the aircraft should be removed from the game (to stop them being used unhistorically).

However, not played for a while.


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RE: Naval Patrol - 12/4/2018 6:39:28 PM   
BK6583

 

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It's both. I did a little research and found that the Allies lost a total of about 33, count'em, 33 transports to U-boats in the Med. The Med has been my biggest NP micro-management headache and I have had no end of trouble actually forming contiguous paths of NP coverage between all of the ports that are used. In short, as I said earlier, after playing continuously for over a year I feel strongly that NP is something I shouldn't have to constantly fool with turn after turn after turn. It needs to be 'automated' or just plain eliminated from the air portion of this game. There are much bigger fish to fry with the air game without constantly fussing with NP.

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RE: Naval Patrol - 12/4/2018 8:28:16 PM   
bomccarthy


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quote:

Gary Grigsby's War in the West


Which version of the game are you playing? I found that the more recent betas and the latest official version (1.02.35) improved the performance of the auto naval patrols somewhat over the original game version.

However, it is important to spread the squadrons around the Med as you advance, including the fighter squadrons that belong to the Coastal AF and the Malta Air Command. The fighters will intercept the Axis naval patrols, which contest control of sea hexes. I tend to set custom naval patrols just to cover invasion and beachhead areas, or to isolate Axis ports that are otherwise cutoff. The auto naval patrols have given me control of a band 3-4 sea hexes wide all along the African coast; once I occupy Sardinia, this control extends over most of the western Med, except in bad weather turns; the same goes for Sicily.

Also, hit key Axis ports with port attacks (port targets are available in either city bombing or ground attack). The ports contain Axis naval assets (small patrol boats), which also exert control over nearby sea hexes. The more damage a port suffers, the less control it can exert over nearby sea hexes. This seems to work particularly well in the English Channel - I have been able to maintain control over most of the Channel sea hexes all the way to the French coast by targeting the French Channel ports with Typhoons and Mosquitos from the 2d Tac AF in 1943. I assign 2-3 strikes per day of approx 50 FBs each, 2-3 days each week; I lose some Typhoons and Mosquitos, but the pilots gain experience for almost a year before the big invasion.

Finally, recon Axis airfields to look for bombers, then bomb these airfields - you want to limit the number of Axis a/c available for their naval patrols.

I recently read Samual Eliot Morison's account of the Sicilian and Italian invasions - the Allied invasion forces suffered quite a bit from Axis air and naval attacks (by small patrol boats).

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RE: Naval Patrol - 12/6/2018 9:18:54 PM   
BK6583

 

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bomccarthy,

Playing the latest official version. I get everything you've written. My point, which I will continue to belabor and hammer to death if need be is that I don't want to, nor believe that I should have to, constantly spend time mucking with NP. It needs to be fully automated.

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RE: Naval Patrol - 12/6/2018 10:12:24 PM   
bomccarthy


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Naval patrols were a vital part of the air war through late 1944. The threat to Allied shipping by mid 1943 came more from small patrol boats and the Luftwaffe than from U-boats. The Coastal Air Force and Coastal Command were integral parts of invasion planning and played significant roles in all of the invasions. The Axis naval patrols similarly affected Allied planning and operations, especially in the invasions of Sicily and Italy, sinking several transports and LSTs, and putting several light cruisers and destroyers out of action.

Such was the fear of Axis air attack on invasion shipping that both Fighter Command and the 9th Air Force flew thousands of CAP sorties over the Channel during June 1944, something most Allied players probably shortchange in the game. And the invasion fleet in Operation Dragoon was supported by 9 escort carriers, which embarked more than 200 USN and FAA fighters (72 Hellcats, 96 Seafires, and 48 Wildcats) - all abstracted in the game. I believe that one of the Hellcat pilots became the only USN pilot to shoot down both Japanese and German aircraft during the war.

For me, the naval aspect of the western European war was so vital that the game abstracts it a little too much. I don't want to go the full WITP:AE route, setting patrols for every minesweeper and PT boat, but it would be nice to have some of the larger assets, such as the capital and gunfire support ships. Maybe for the Axis too, so No. 617 Squadron has some targets for its 12,000 lb bombs.

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RE: Naval Patrol - 12/11/2018 9:34:27 AM   
soeren01

 

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I found except for the early stages of the GC43 and the first 2 weeks of D-Day the AI does a good job on handling naval patrols alone.
Most of the losses I get are because of bad weather, not enemy action.

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RE: Naval Patrol - 12/11/2018 11:32:23 PM   
bomccarthy


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The operational losses of my Coastal Command on auto-naval patrols are quite heavy - my Sunderland losses far outstrip production. This is where I really have to pay attention, exchanging one aircraft type for another. This is where the Venturas really come in handy (with their longe range); I have to spend time looking for Sunderland units that can switch to Venturas.

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RE: Naval Patrol - 12/12/2018 12:13:37 AM   
cfulbright

 

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Swap out the Sunderlands:

1. They have a low max altitude
2. Their squadrons only have 9 pilots and AC maximum, and increase to 12 each as soon as you replace the aircraft type

Also, you should either assign Spitfires to Coastal Command to act as escorts, or fly Air Superiority over the same box of hexes as the Naval Patrols.

Cary

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RE: Naval Patrol - 12/12/2018 9:49:47 PM   
bomccarthy


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I've generally kept the northern and western Fighter Command groups up to strength (too bad we don't get the FAA fighter squadrons to defend the northern ports). The problem is that the losses aren't coming from interception. Sunderlands seem to disappear over quiet areas, out of reach of Axis fighters (i.e., Irish Sea, north and west of UK). I should probably tweak the Coastal Command air doctrine during 1943 and early 1944 to minimize accident losses during the auto naval missions, then re-strengthen it a month before D-Day.

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