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AI for MWiF - Commonwealth

 
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AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 10/31/2005 6:57:31 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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As part of my quest to make the AI opponent as tough as possible, I am looking for ideas about strategic plans.

If you would like to provide me with some advice on strategic plans for the Commonwealth, this is the place to post those ideas. I will greatly appreciate it all comments/suggestions/critiques. If several people choose to do the Commonwealth, that would be fine too, because, after all, I am looking for multiple strategic plans. There are 11 scenarios in MWIF, so if you want to just advise on Guadalcanal or one of the other scenarios, that would be great. The obvious starting place is the player notes are the end of the rule book, but here are some specifics that I am looking for:

(1) Victory cities to be taken and/or defended.
(2) Which major powers to declare war on, when, and any associated conditions concerning same.
(3) Which minor countries to declare war on, when, and any associated conditions concerning same.
(4) Which minor countries to align, when, and any associated conditions concerning same.
(5) Expected areas of conflict: with whom, where, type of combat (land, naval, air, convoys).
(6) A master production plan by unit type and/or gearing limits. This does not have to be detailed, just a broad outline.
(7) A time line for the strategic plan’s major milestones.

I have probably forgotten something, so add anything that you believe to be important.

I thank you for your continuing support.

Steve
Post #: 1
General thoughts on strategy for CW in ”the early game”... - 11/1/2005 4:12:40 PM   
CBoehm

 

Posts: 113
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From: Aarhus, Denmark
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General thoughts on strategy for CW in ”the early game” Part I

A. The primary role of the CW is to prevent the axis from winning the game by dealing a knockout blow to either itself or to the USSR.
B. The secondary role of the CW is to contain the axis, so as few freebies are given to Japans surprise attack and bases are held from which to lauch (or threaten with) counterattacks both against JP and GE.

A1. Preventing a knockout blow against Britain
Defending Britain is a combination of the following:
- Destroy GE transport capacity (& IT if gib has or looks like it will fall)
- Beef up beach defence to prevent invasion or atleast disrupt the units getting ashore.
- Keep a (mobile) reserve capable of containing any invasion to as small a beachhead as possible and later on to kill it.

A2. Preventing a knockout blow against the USSR
This is more tricky, but the following is how the UK can help…
- Prevent ”too strong” attack on USSR, by killing and tying down axis troops.
- Prevent axis attack through Persia
- If USSR-JP war then dont step too hard on USentry until LLres to USSR has been taken.
- After fall of France if GE is building lots of armor, dont step too hard on USentry before LLbp to USSR has been taken. (must be taken latest M/J 41 if GE attack).
- Ensure ability to threaten with diversionary invasion of Fortress Europe in 41…incase of a 41 barbarossa.
- Ensure ability to lauch a SERIOUS invasion of Fortress Europe in 42 if the USSR are in trouble. (USSR dies in 42 NOT 41 – catch, this is not really possible without the US preparing for the same).




< Message edited by CBoehm -- 11/1/2005 4:13:47 PM >

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 2
General thoughts on strategy for CW in ”the early game”... - 11/1/2005 4:14:37 PM   
CBoehm

 

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General thoughts on strategy for CW in ”the early game” Part II

B1. Keeping the Euro-axis in check
How and where to check the euroaxis in obviously highly dependent on whether or not GE goes for a 41 barbarossa, but here are some objectives.

- Preventing the fall of Gibraltar without an axis attack on Spain
- Preventing GE from both being able to take Gibraltar through Spain AND being able to lauch a 41 barbarossa.
- Preventing fall of Egypt prior to 41 and not at all should GE go for 41 barbarossa.
- Preventing fall of Malta
- Preventing axis activation of Yugoslavia, through intervention in Greece.
- Prevent getting CW convoys shot to pieces.

B2. Containing the Japanese
Japans great force is his abilty to dominate the sea, invade and project a force of 3-5 high quality units. This is especially true during a supercombined-surprise-impulse, where JP can invade with to 6-8 inftype divs from LS’. However if forced into a serious landlocked battle Japan quickly becomes somewhat impotent due to lack of moves per impulse, lack of good TACs and relatively inferior 2. line troops. The goal of the CW containment of Japan is therefor to give as little for free as possible, the difference between having one bad unit in a spot and none is huge. Therefor CW should try to:
- By N/D 40, have atleast a units or two in Australia, India and South Afrika.
- By M/J 41, beef up above & cover Suez, Aden, Singapore, have a non-Burmese unit covering the oil in Burma.
- By S/O 41, beef up above & cover the Seychelles, Maldives and Colombo (crappy units will do fine, non-div/ter unit to have ZOC vs. invasion in case of Colombo).

With the above in mind I will try to become more specific in my next post regarding your points (1-7) in my next post.

< Message edited by CBoehm -- 11/1/2005 4:29:19 PM >

(in reply to CBoehm)
Post #: 3
RE: General thoughts on strategy for CW in ”the early g... - 11/1/2005 6:47:59 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18398
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
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quote:

ORIGINAL: CBoehm
General thoughts on strategy for CW in ”the early game” Part II

B1. Keeping the Euro-axis in check
How and where to check the euroaxis in obviously highly dependent on whether or not GE goes for a 41 barbarossa, but here are some objectives.

- Preventing the fall of Gibraltar without an axis attack on Spain
- Preventing GE from both being able to take Gibraltar through Spain AND being able to lauch a 41 barbarossa.
- Preventing fall of Egypt prior to 41 and not at all should GE go for 41 barbarossa.
- Preventing fall of Malta
- Preventing axis activation of Yugoslavia, through intervention in Greece.
- Prevent getting CW convoys shot to pieces.

B2. Containing the Japanese
Japans great force is his abilty to dominate the sea, invade and project a force of 3-5 high quality units. This is especially true during a supercombined-surprise-impulse, where JP can invade with to 6-8 inftype divs from LS’. However if forced into a serious landlocked battle Japan quickly becomes somewhat impotent due to lack of moves per impulse, lack of good TACs and relatively inferior 2. line troops. The goal of the CW containment of Japan is therefor to give as little for free as possible, the difference between having one bad unit in a spot and none is huge. Therefor CW should try to:
- By N/D 40, have atleast a units or two in Australia, India and South Afrika.
- By M/J 41, beef up above & cover Suez, Aden, Singapore, have a non-Burmese unit covering the oil in Burma.
- By S/O 41, beef up above & cover the Seychelles, Maldives and Colombo (crappy units will do fine, non-div/ter unit to have ZOC vs. invasion in case of Colombo).

With the above in mind I will try to become more specific in my next post regarding your points (1-7) in my next post.


You asked for my comments on these two posts. It is a lot to absorb.

I do not intend to critique your (or anyone else's) strategy on any specifics. I feel pretty sure that other members of the forum can do that without any help from me. Therefore, my comments relate to structure, clarity, and completeness.

I have been using the scale: desperate defense, strongly defensive, defensive, mixed defensive/offensive, offensive, strongly offensive (yes, I am aware of the pun), and going in for the kill. I apply this scale primarily to theater of operations, which means land operations. There is no reason it can't be used for naval and air operations too. The idea is to have an assessment of the overall balance of power in the theater of operations and to then make operational and tactical decision within that context.

For example, France in September of 1939 is somewhere between strongly offensive to defensive/offensive depending on how many units Germany deploys on their common border. Once Poland has fallen and Germany shifts its focus westward, then France becomes strongly defensive and should Germny get within 3 hexes of Paris, then France should be in desperate defense mode. Most production decisions and operational decisions depend on current and projected future balance of power in a theater(s) of operations. You might find this scale a convenient reference point for your conditional statements.

There are other conditionals, some of which you have mentioned. When did/will Germany attack the USSR? Has Gibraltar fallen? Are Japan and the USSR at war? Has France fallen? Is Germany building a lot of armor? Is the USSR in trouble?

I suggest taking only one or two of these as major branches. For example, "When did/will Germany attack the USSR?" is critical to Commonwealth decision making. You might define a strategy assuming an early attack, and then clone that strategy for the historical attack date and modify the clone. In the end you have a strategy for an early attack and a second strategy for a historical attack. What this approach does is help you remove a major variable from consideration by simply making it an assumption. It isn't really feasible to do this with every piece of branching logic and you shouldn't worry about there being some rough edges. For smaller conditionals, you can add little 'footnotes' (e.g., if the Axis have taken Gibraltar, then ...).

Your second post was much clearer than your first primarily because of the embedded conditionals in the first.

I hope this helps. The ideas you presented are exactly what I am looking for.


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to CBoehm)
Post #: 4
RE: General thoughts on strategy for CW - Knock Out Italy - 11/1/2005 7:33:13 PM   
Froonp


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I find your proposals (CBoehm) too much defensive.
I agree on A.1 and A.2 (albeit not to everything in A.2), and B.1, I find that there is missing the offensive part of the CW.
I prefer to play the CW more agressively from the start of the game.
Lay down 1 AMPH in S/O 39, and another in N/D 39, finish them as soon as possible, built the MAR and the PARA and use them all to threaten Italy early.
I even managed in one game to knock out Italy in 1941 (Germany had tried a Russia 1940 strategy, and I replied by an Italy 41 one, and I won), and it is my objective when playing the CW.
Knock Out Italy as fast as possible.
Knocking out Italy early is something to prepare from the right beginning, that's why I replied in this "early game" thread.

The path is quite straightforward :
Deal with Italian East Africa do deny a new home country to Italy, as soon as possible, and while you do other things. Use 2nd line troops, territorials, and the poorest HQ if needed (if needed because all fights should happens around the coasts and the supply should not be a problem - Remember that Ethiopia is conquered -- not aligned -- by Italy, you do not have to take it back to deny a new home country to Italy there).
Invade Sardinia as soos as possible, using DIV and quickly moving to Cagliari.
Conquer Tripoli as soon as possible, by putting it out of supply and using some of the British Battleships this is not hard to do.
And then Invade Italy next, either with full power (AMPHs + MAR + PARA), or earlier and with less initial punch if the Italian defense is really ugly.
Invade & conquer Albania next, this shouldn't be an issue.
This is in line with some of your proposals of A.2, the one about killing German units and invading fortress europa somewhere. The point where I disagre is that the somewhere must be Italy, because it cripple Germany to be obliged to defend and loose its ally.

After the fall of Italy, lots of scenarios opens to the CW, but I favor the Air war + invasion of Western Europe Scenario rather than the "hit the Soft Belly" (Balkans) one. Balkans are a dead end to the allies, quickly reinforced by the Axis, difficult to advance and to supply, a nightmare.

If I find the time, and if Steve find what I wrote about Germany interesting, I'll try my chance the same way at the CW, it is my prefered Major Power, close with Japan & Italy.

Cheers !!!

Patrice



< Message edited by Froonp -- 11/1/2005 7:36:05 PM >

(in reply to CBoehm)
Post #: 5
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 6:57:47 AM   
composer99


Posts: 2309
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quote:

(1) Victory cities to be taken and/or defended.


Thinking about more than just victory cities, I think a good list, broken down by year, of these would be:

1939-1940
Objectives to Defend: London/Dover, Gibraltar, Malta, the BEF (France), Alexandria/Cairo/Suez/Jerusalem (packaged together as the Canal Zone or something like that).
  1. Militias should be sufficient for London/Dover
  2. Gib should, in the absence of Italian MAR or AMPH, be sufficiently defended by 1 corps & 1 div; if the Italians have either of these in 1939-1940 then an additional corps should be added.
  3. Malta is a super-key hex in this period, and will be critical later when you want to project air and sea power around Italy, so its defences should be maxed out with white-print corps and a strong division as quickly as is reasonable. The CW AI's knowledge of Italian forces & their dispositions will help in making a decision as to how quickly to throw in defences.
  4. The BEF sent to France doesn't need to be all that large in 1939, but by M/J 1940 it's an active theatre and should have as much as can be spared (on the other hand stripping down theatres with better prospects for long-term success, like Egypt, is not likely to be a wise move).
  5. The Canal Zone is, after Gib and Malta, one of the most important regions of the CW's empire in this part of the game, and, especially if Italy is aggressively postured against it, should have reinforcements brought in quickly. MECH, GARR, MIL & at guns good for defence, MECH, MOT, mot divs & fast guns good for offence; both should be provided in equal measure.

Objectives to Attack: Italian East Africa, Sardinia, & maybe Tripoli.

  1. Patrice hit upon a good point in taking out Italian Somaliland & Eritrea with second line units & TERR; Indian and South African units can be sent here during this period quite easily. They should be sent here IF the Axis aren't pressing hard at the Canal Zone.
  2. Given the small size of Italy's army at the start of the game, a quick go for Sardinia followed up with enough defensive units can put it in your hands for good. The CW AI would have to time this for when Germany was enmeshed in France.
  3. If Italy only lightly defends the border with Egypt or it neglects its Tunisian frontier, then CW forces can be sent through French N. Africa, or, striking out from Egypt, make a go for Tripoli. If an Axis attack on the Canal Zone is repelled and the CW has sufficient forces to launch a counter-offensive during this period, it should consider doing so.


1941
Objectives to Defend: This would probably depend on what the Axis sets out to do in 1941, but I can see three major paths emerging: (a) if an attack on England is imminent or even underway, (b) an attack on Russia is imminent/underway, or (c) a Meditteranean strategy is underway (e.g. Axis forces focus on Spain/Gib, Canal Zone & Middle East, but only defend the Russian border and do not have forces in place to attack England).

Operation Sealion - The objectives to defend here are Gibraltar, to prevent the Italian fleet from assisting in an invasion, and then England.

  1. Gibraltar should have the strongest units possible in place. IF the Axis goes through Spain to get at the Rock THEN Tangiers should have an HQ, an engineer, and an artillery to provide more air unit cover & artillery/HQ support AND Gib should have two white-print corps & a strong division. IF they do not THEN Gib must have the HQ, the engineer, and another white-print corps.
  2. Pretty much every other air unit & first-line land unit should be in England & Northern Ireland. The RN & naval bombers are divided between keeping the vital sealanes to England & Gib open and whacking invasion fleets (preferably by port-strike if ever possible).

Barbarossa - The objective list here is much more thorough: Gib (but not as thoroughly), Malta/Sardinia (if you have it), the Canal Zone, and Asia/Pacific.

  1. Gibraltar & Malta/Sardinia should be defended according to the Axis' ability to threaten them, but each should always have 1 corps (even if just a MIL or TERR) on each port.
  2. The Canal Zone's defences will depend upon whether you're on the offensive in this theatre or not. If you are, they can be limited to preventing tactical invasions on your fleets in port; if you aren't, then you need to throw as much as you can in there.
  3. Asia/Pacific: having corps in all objective hexes on the Indian & Pacific Oceans by S/O 1941 is probably a must, especially Colombo, Calcutta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Australia & NZ. IF the US passes "CW reinforces Pacific" before Japan seizes Rabaul, THEN the CW should be able to throw 2 white-print corps in there ASAP, so it should have the corps & sealift ready from S/O 1941 on. Australia, India, & New Zealand can probably be stripped down in favour of Singapore & Kuala Lumpur until N/D.

Seal the Med - Your defensive objectives are pretty much the same as in Barbarosse, only Gib, Malta, & the Canal Zone have highest priority, Asia/Pacific may get lesser units tasked to its defences.

Objectives to Attack: Sardinia, Albania & Tripoli top the list in this year, but if the CW already has them by summer, and has forces to spare, it may want to consider landing in Sicily in conjunction with a strategic air war over Italy in 1941. Arranging the collapse of Italy is nice, but should only be attempted if the Axis are negligent in their defence; otherwise the point is to cripple the Italian economy, secure more airbases & ports in the Italian Coast sea area, and force the Germans to send lots of units to defend the rest of Italy. Chances are this can only be implemented if the CW is not being attacked in the Med or by a Sealion.

1942-1943
Objectives to Defend: We can probably now afford to lump the entire Meditteranean into one objective "package": the Med. Other objectives for defence include Asia, S. Africa, Singapore, NEI, Rabaul, and Australia-NZ.

  1. Unless the Axis are still ashore in England, the Allies should have enough presence in the Med to be firmly on the offensive, so defences should be designed only to protect fleets from sudden invasions and to prevent newly-gained territory from being taken back by the enemy. Otherwise the defences must be constructed to prevent the Axis from taking turf in the Med while the main Allied thrust is to kick 'em out of England.
  2. Asia (India, Ceylon, Burma) needs to have a solid defence in the event of Japanese attack into these theatres.
  3. South Africa should have enough defences to hold out for a turn or two against Japanese aggression. The logistical distance from Japan/Singapore to South Africa means that they're not likely to come ashore in great force unless they have nothing better to do.
  4. If any of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, NEI & Rabaul have not fallen yet to Japan, they should be defended as strongly as possible; MTN units which appear during this period should be sent to defend them.
  5. Australia & New Zealand need to be defended according to Japan's ability to threaten them with long-term invasions, but so long as Japan can project power into their adjacent sea zones their victory hexes ought to be covered.


Objectives to Attack: Italy or Spain. By this point, the goal is to put Italy out of the war. If Gib is Axis controlled then go through Spain & Portugal to get at it. Other places to attack depend on Japan's strength. IF Japan has weakly defended areas it has captured from the CW AND CW has forces in place to re-take them THEN it should go for it. This may not happen often, unfortunately for the CW. IF Japan has not thrown up forces into Burma AND Japan is not attacking India, THEN the Indian Army should launch its own campaign into Siam. Finally, the CW should launch tactical invasions to seize ports like Brest or Bordeaux or to kill German/Italian units in France, but without the intention of staying ashore. To be done only when land units, sealift, & air assets can be spared (or more often if you have a more aggressive AI).

1944 - 1945
Objectives to Defend: Almost everywhere in the world that the CW controls that is not directly bordering the Wehrmacht is not seriously threatened by any Axis forces by this point. The CW's defences in Asia/Pacific and the Med should be limited to preventing the Axis from disrupting continued Allied offensives.

Objectives to Attack: Italy (whatever's left of it), France, Germany, Rabaul (if Japan still controls it), NEI (ditto), Singapore (ditto), Hong Kong (ditto), Taiwan (ditto), Japan. While the USA will be large and in charge in the PTO, the CW should endeavour to get as many victory hexes as it can there; after all, it wants to win the game!

Whew! What a list. Hope it's even the slightest bit useful.

< Message edited by composer99 -- 11/6/2005 8:39:17 PM >

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 6
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 10:58:56 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18398
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
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Very useful. This is all grist for the mill. Viewing victory hexes by year and points of conflict between the CW and the axis powers gives me perspective on the war as a whole for the Commonwealth. Thanks.



_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 7
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 10:59:46 AM   
Neilster


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From: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
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...and what a first post!

Excellent stuff. Welcome to the forum composer99. Has anyone else noticed how many new posters MWiF is turning up? Folk are coming out of the woodwork. Good.

Cheers, Neilster

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 8
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 11:17:02 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18398
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Neilster

...and what a first post!

Excellent stuff. Welcome to the forum composer99. Has anyone else noticed how many new posters MWiF is turning up? Folk are coming out of the woodwork. Good.

Cheers, Neilster


You are right again. I should have been much more enthusiastic about all of Composer99's ideas. At my core I am extremely analytical and I frequently blow right by the nicities of personal interactions, focusing on the clarity and logic of ideas. In this case they were both clear and logical so I simply said "Very useful' and moved on. Sorry about that, but look at it from my side, I have been living like this for decades!

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Neilster)
Post #: 9
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 1:12:12 PM   
Froonp


Posts: 7899
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From: Marseilles, France
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Yes, very good post, I intended to write about the CW, but composer99 has quite said it all

Anyway, I want to add this :

Well maybe he did not talk enough of the importance of building & using the Royal Air Force, the best Air Force in WiF. Numerous, powerful, great range. But his post was mainly a strategical view.

- Strategic bombing of Germany is nearly all in the hands of the CW, and those strats become real handy in 44 when it is time to blow the German line.
- The best trick of all in Europe is to coordinate with the US to blow an CW Air OC while the US blow a Land OC. This is the key to open the best defended german positions. The Air OC will try to open holes with numerous 25-strength carpet bombings (5 of them can easily be achieved within the range of an Alexander), and the Air OC will then try to disrupt the survivors. The US Army will then have to hack his way through the survivors.

Maybe he did not talk enough too about the convoy war, the assets to be built for it, and the types of escorts to do in threatened sea areas.
In the critical areas, the minimum 4-6 ASW points in the 0 section (with NAV if possible to lessen the surprise), same or lower in 1 section for next turn, and 4-6 ASW points in 4 section with NAV if posible for the punition. More if possible.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 10
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 5:28:15 PM   
composer99


Posts: 2309
Joined: 6/6/2005
From: Ottawa, Canada
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quote:

Anyway, I want to add this :

Well maybe he did not talk enough of the importance of building & using the Royal Air Force, the best Air Force in WiF. Numerous, powerful, great range. But his post was mainly a strategical view.

- Strategic bombing of Germany is nearly all in the hands of the CW, and those strats become real handy in 44 when it is time to blow the German line.
- The best trick of all in Europe is to coordinate with the US to blow an CW Air OC while the US blow a Land OC. This is the key to open the best defended german positions. The Air OC will try to open holes with numerous 25-strength carpet bombings (5 of them can easily be achieved within the range of an Alexander), and the Air OC will then try to disrupt the survivors. The US Army will then have to hack his way through the survivors.

Maybe he did not talk enough too about the convoy war, the assets to be built for it, and the types of escorts to do in threatened sea areas.
In the critical areas, the minimum 4-6 ASW points in the 0 section (with NAV if possible to lessen the surprise), same or lower in 1 section for next turn, and 4-6 ASW points in 4 section with NAV if posible for the punition. More if possible.


True enough, I did not have enough to say on these points, and in fact with a broader view of objectives vs. victory hexes they certainly fit the bill - the Atlantic sea lanes are an objective to be defended throughout 1939 - 1943 (and maybe even into 1944!), and the skies over Germany are an objective to be attacked probably from 1941 on. But the detail work on that would probably come up more in some of the later parts of a CW AI analysis, such as:

quote:

(5) Expected areas of conflict: with whom, where, type of combat (land, naval, air, convoys).

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 11
RE: General thoughts on strategy for CW - Knock Out Italy - 11/2/2005 6:13:17 PM   
CBoehm

 

Posts: 113
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From: Aarhus, Denmark
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp

I find your proposals (CBoehm) too much defensive.
I agree on A.1 and A.2 (albeit not to everything in A.2), and B.1, I find that there is missing the offensive part of the CW.


well I did say that it was my thoughts on STRATEGY ...not tactics, and if you think that CW can take the STRATEGIC offence before the US enters the war then I would love to play a game against you. IMO its all very fine to try to knock Italy out by 41 and the threat should definately be there, although any competent axis player can avoid this with ease...but a CW player who loses sight of whats truly important and forgets to garrison the pacific by M/J 41 in order to grab Tripoli in M/A 41 instead of S/O 41 have his priorities backwards IMO....

and regarding spc. builds....I ALWAYS build a TRN on the first turn, then a AMPH in each of the next two turns....which combined with the MAR(41) and the para enables CW to do all sorts of nasty invasions in 41....BUT IMO it still doesn change the fact that in 39-42 CWs job is to make sure that the allies dont loose....NOT to win the game on her own...

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 12
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 6:18:27 PM   
mlees


Posts: 2261
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From: San Diego
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Pardon me, but I am a newbie kinda player, and I like reading the tips/hints that I see on these boards. I wish to inquire:

quote:

1939-1940
3. Malta is a super-key hex in this period, and will be critical later when you want to project air and sea power around Italy, so its defences should be maxed out with white-print corps and a strong division as quickly as is reasonable. The CW AI's knowledge of Italian forces & their dispositions will help in making a decision as to how quickly to throw in defences.


Agreed. I have seen some advice on putting an HQ into Malta for some emergency reorganisation uses. Is this worth programming in? (Afterall, there may be an HQ that isn't worth much in France due to it's small support number...)

quote:

5. The Canal Zone is, after Gib and Malta, one of the most important regions of the CW's empire in this part of the game, and, especially if Italy is aggressively postured against it, should have reinforcements brought in quickly. MECH, GARR, MIL & at guns good for defence, MECH, MOT, mot divs & fast guns good for offence; both should be provided in equal measure.


Hmmm. I am new, but it seems to me that the canal is more important than Malta. Keeping the Suez Canal and Gibraltar helps to keep the Italians in the Med. You can lose Malta and still have the Itlalian fleet corked up. (Tougher, sure.)

Furthermore, an agressive Italian might be able to transport stuff to Syria for a backdoor at the Canal zone, so the AI might need to keep an eye out for that as well.

How important is Cyprus or Crete to the CW in the defense of the Eastern Med and/or the Canal?


(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 13
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 6:23:21 PM   
c92nichj


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quote:

I have seen some advice on putting an HQ into Malta for some emergency reorganisation uses


I haven't yet seen a CW player that can afford putting an HQ in malta in the early game, that would be either Gort or Wavell one goes to France and the other protects the canal or goes to france as well.
Malta should be fine with a corp and a div or even two Div's might suffice.

(in reply to mlees)
Post #: 14
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 6:24:22 PM   
mlees


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quote:

In the critical areas, the minimum 4-6 ASW points in the 0 section (with NAV if possible to lessen the surprise), same or lower in 1 section for next turn, and 4-6 ASW points in 4 section with NAV if posible for the punition. More if possible.


I agree with having up to 6 surface ASW units in the "0" box along with a spare NAV or CVL if you got it. (Like the Argus.) I also put a CVL in the highest box it will reach. My question is why have the extra surface units in the higher box? I believe Naval Air combat trumps Sub combat if the search rolls come out that both spot...

Is it so you can keep them "at sea" between turns (moving them down to the "0" box when declaring them "at sea"), and not leave the convoys uncovered at the start of a new turn?

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 15
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 6:30:53 PM   
mlees


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quote:

ORIGINAL: c92nichj

quote:

I have seen some advice on putting an HQ into Malta for some emergency reorganisation uses


I haven't yet seen a CW player that can afford putting an HQ in malta in the early game, that would be either Gort or Wavell one goes to France and the other protects the canal or goes to france as well.
Malta should be fine with a corp and a div or even two Div's might suffice.


Good points. Once France falls, however, those HQ(s) may become available.

Which brings up another point: Deciding when to "Dunkirk" your stuff out of a failed (France/Greece/or any continental area) defence plan. Not sure where to draw that magic line...

(in reply to c92nichj)
Post #: 16
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 6:43:28 PM   
composer99


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quote:

Hmmm. I am new, but it seems to me that the canal is more important than Malta. Keeping the Suez Canal and Gibraltar helps to keep the Italians in the Med. You can lose Malta and still have the Itlalian fleet corked up. (Tougher, sure.)


Having the Italian surface fleet running rampant in the Atlantic is a Very Bad Thing indeed. Having them running around in the Indian Ocean, especially if the Japanese are already doing the same thing, is a thousand times more bearable. Besides, the CW wants the Italian surface fleet to come out and play - they're a lot easier to sink when they don't have air cover. But the key about Malta is that you can project power quite easily into the Italian Coast and over Italy proper when you have that island in your possession. You can't do so from Egypt. Not to mention the threat that land-based naval air & naval forces coming from Malta present to Italy's overseas lines of communication. The Canal Zone is easy to take back if the Axis seizes it: lots of places to land that they can't possibly completely cover, plenty of tank country, ease of supply (for the CW - it can trace from South Africa or India or through the Med). Getting back Malta, especially if they put in two WP corps and a good div... that's something tougher. Malta is simply priceless for the Allies when it comes to projecting air & sea power throughout the entire Med.

quote:

Furthermore, an agressive Italian might be able to transport stuff to Syria for a backdoor at the Canal zone, so the AI might need to keep an eye out for that as well.


That's one reason why, in my initial definition of the "Canal Zone" I included Palestine.

quote:

How important is Cyprus or Crete to the CW in the defense of the Eastern Med and/or the Canal?


Not very important at all. They don't have major ports, you have to trace supply through the Med and not simply overland from Suez, and with Egypt & Palestine (and Malta) you already have all the air bases you could want adjacent to the Eastern Med sea area. Crete's only value I can see is if you're using it to project long-range airpower over the Balkans. I've not yet seen in any game of WiF I've played any CW player (myself included) put units on either Cyprus or Crete. There's just so many other places that have higher priority.

(in reply to mlees)
Post #: 17
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 9:00:21 PM   
mlees


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Ok, thanks for your insights composer99.

Personally, I would rather lose Malta than the Suez. Malta can be cut off from supply by the Italian fleet, while Egypt cannot.

Malta is in range of land based air in Italy, as well as providing a base for air to fly against Italy. Just as you say Cyprus and Crete can be isolated, so can Malta (with slightly more effort, to be sure).

Malta is a useful base for the CW, absolutely. But I still think the Suez is more important to the Allies...

But my opinion is worth as much as I paid to post it here...

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 18
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 10:30:51 PM   
CBoehm

 

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quote:


How important is Cyprus or Crete to the CW in the defense of the Eastern Med and/or the Canal?


Crete is not important at all...sure the CW can use as an airbase once they start consider liberating Greece...but by then its usually no problem to take it back since the axis cant afford to garison it either...and its not really that important anyway.

Cypress is basically just another resource that the axis might lay their hands on...and can be used as a forward airbase and staging point for a paradrop into Syria, but again its not really THAT important...if the axis wants it they usually get it some impulse when the allies are out of supply...and unless they garrison it which they can ill afford, the allies will then take it back the same way unless the MED is closed...

The only islands which are really worth to fight over in the MED are IMO in prioritized order: Malta, Sardinia & Sicily, Corsica, "that north-eastern greek island, with a minor port" (since it is a great airbase for invading Greece or stationing STRbombers there to reach the Ploesti oilfiels in Rumania, and you can threaten to sail a MAR-div in and walk across to the mainland"

(in reply to mlees)
Post #: 19
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 10:31:50 PM   
SurrenderMonkey

 

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I agree that CW must defend Gibraltar and then Malta before Suez (of course, London above all).

The primary immediate impact of the Axis seizing Suez is to increase the length of CW convoy routes. That's a survivable development. For the Axis to truly exploit the capture of Suez, they need to make a game-altering commitment of force. I have done it, but wouldn't recommend it. The logistical effort required for operations in India/Persia/East Africa is tremendous. It's a good game-ending strategy if the Allies are losing everywhere else, but not a good primary strategy.

Even if Malta falls, the CW/USA can work their way back into the Med from Gibraltar via Oran, Algiers, or even Casablanca. Malta's nice to keep, and nice for Italy to take, but it's not a game-breaker. Gibraltar is.

_____________________________

Wise Men Still Seek Him

(in reply to mlees)
Post #: 20
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 10:33:58 PM   
CBoehm

 

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quote:


Furthermore, an agressive Italian might be able to transport stuff to Syria for a backdoor at the Canal zone, so the AI might need to keep an eye out for that as well.



This is one reason why I in general advocate NOT advancing from Egypt until you are ready...soo many times I have seen a CW player advance to try to kill a few IT units around Tobruk only to realize that he has no reaction force close enough to contain and kill an invasion in Palastine or Syria before it gets out of hand...

(in reply to mlees)
Post #: 21
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 10:44:55 PM   
CBoehm

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL:
The primary immediate impact of the Axis seizing Suez is to increase the length of CW convoy routes. That's a survivable development. For the Axis to truly exploit the capture of Suez, they need to make a game-altering commitment of force. I have done it, but wouldn't recommend it. The logistical effort required for operations in India/Persia/East Africa is tremendous. It's a good game-ending strategy if the Allies are losing everywhere else, but not a good primary strategy.


Gibraltar is ALL IMPORTANT no question about that - but after that dont underestemate the Suez...possesing the Suez allows the axis to respond to the allies applying strategic "weight" against JAP or GE/IT...either by (very carefully!) stationing a part of the JAP CV fleet in Aden where it has the option of joining the battle for the MED...or shift a part of the IT fleet to Singapore to reinforce the JAP antisubwar...it can be VERY helpful for JAP to be able to start a turn with a land or combined...knowing that the IT fleet will help protect their conwoylines.....likewise if JAP is hard pressed IT can build cp's to loose the burden of building those on Japan. - In my last game in 42 IT (&GE) had in this way sent most of its LS fleet to Singapore & Aden, 2 NAV bombers...and the 41 fw190 7factor fighter and build around 10 exstra cp. to help bolster the faltering JAP against a VERY aggressive US player... (which incidently resulted in USSR collapsing exactly because the US was farting around in the pacific, when USSR was in dire trouble).

(in reply to SurrenderMonkey)
Post #: 22
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 11:15:44 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

Hmmm. I am new, but it seems to me that the canal is more important than Malta. Keeping the Suez Canal and Gibraltar helps to keep the Italians in the Med. You can lose Malta and still have the Itlalian fleet corked up. (Tougher, sure.)

Malta is very important for the conquest of Italy.
The conquest of Italy is very important in the defeat of the Euro Axis.
The reconquest of Malta for the CW is making the CW late on the tight schedule.

Suez on the other hands, even if it has its importance, is not as critical as Malta for the CW offensives.
Suez will be taken back by 2nd line troops when Italy will have surrendered.

quote:

Furthermore, an agressive Italian might be able to transport stuff to Syria for a backdoor at the Canal zone, so the AI might need to keep an eye out for that as well.

An agressive Italian can only transport a couple of units in Africa in a turn. Compared to the CW sealift, Italy has virtually no way to take the CW backdoor. We tried last game, attacking from Egypt & Syria. We were puched back ad swept in less than 2 turns.

quote:

How important is Cyprus or Crete to the CW in the defense of the Eastern Med and/or the Canal?

Useless. There are enough bases in North Africa, and bringing supply to Cyprus or Crete is as difficult as bringing supply to Egypt for the Axis.

(in reply to mlees)
Post #: 23
RE: General thoughts on strategy for CW - Knock Out Italy - 11/2/2005 11:23:21 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

well I did say that it was my thoughts on STRATEGY ...not tactics, and if you think that CW can take the STRATEGIC offence before the US enters the war then I would love to play a game against you. IMO its all very fine to try to knock Italy out by 41 and the threat should definately be there, although any competent axis player can avoid this with ease...but a CW player who loses sight of whats truly important and forgets to garrison the pacific by M/J 41 in order to grab Tripoli in M/A 41 instead of S/O 41 have his priorities backwards IMO....

Sorry if I went too far from what you originaly talked about. That's what passion is all about !!!
Now, about the strategic offense power of the CW in 1941-42 I say it is real, and it must be used.
You say that any comptent Axis player can avoid with ease the CW threat in 1941 against Italy, but it is exactly what it is all about. The CW threat against Italy is both to try to knock it out (at least begin to -- I recognise that I only managed once to KO Italy in 1941, even if I nearly always took Tripoli in late 40 / early 41), and also to muster Axis troops against you. Remember that 1941 is the key year where the Axis is supposed to do Barbarossa. If the Germans are doing a close the med strategy or a sea lion, sure there is no way for the CW to be offensive.

I just want to say that, I prefer to try to threaten Italy and achieve a better offensive position in the Med, rather than do raid invasion in western Europe or Denmark or the Netherlands, because these places in 41-42 lead nowhere.

(in reply to CBoehm)
Post #: 24
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 11:24:43 PM   
c92nichj


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quote:

An agressive Italian can only transport a couple of units in Africa in a turn. Compared to the CW sealift, Italy has virtually no way to take the CW backdoor. We tried last game, attacking from Egypt & Syria. We were puched back ad swept in less than 2 turns.

If you aim for a conquest of Suez as the axis you should try to do it from both east and west, which will make the defence much harder for the CW (till not very hard)
Personally I think an attack on Suez prior a conquest of Gibraltar is a waste of time and resources, unless CW has totally stripped it and you can pick it up using a minimum force (wavell in France '39 might be such a case).

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 25
RE: General thoughts on strategy for CW - Knock Out Italy - 11/2/2005 11:28:53 PM   
c92nichj


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quote:

I just want to say that, I prefer to try to threaten Italy and achieve a better offensive position in the Med, rather than do raid invasion in western Europe or Denmark or the Netherlands, because these places in 41-42 lead nowhere.

Totally agree here, a couple of CW units in Rotterdam/Amsterdam is very annoying though especially if the get in during the autumn they are likely to survive all winter keeping the annoyance level high. So as germany you should always keep garrision around the Benelux cities.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 26
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 11:29:05 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

I agree with having up to 6 surface ASW units in the "0" box along with a spare NAV or CVL if you got it. (Like the Argus.) I also put a CVL in the highest box it will reach. My question is why have the extra surface units in the higher box? I believe Naval Air combat trumps Sub combat if the search rolls come out that both spot...

Is it so you can keep them "at sea" between turns (moving them down to the "0" box when declaring them "at sea"), and not leave the convoys uncovered at the start of a new turn?

The units in the 4 box stay at sea and drift to the 3 box at the end of the turn.
The Units in the 1 box stay at sea and drift into the 1 box (those in the 4 box cannot drift into the 1 box, because you descend 1 box if you stay at sea, not the number you want).
Next turn, new ships are sailed into the 4 box, and those in the 3 box are shifted to the 1 box.

Putting planes only in the 4 box is good too, but it is harder. You need to actually have those planes, and you need to use Air Missions to put them there. This is generaly possible at one point of the war, but not for the most part. If you send a carrier in the 4 box, you can't send it alone, it must itself be escorted too.

(in reply to mlees)
Post #: 27
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 11:32:40 PM   
Froonp


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From: Marseilles, France
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quote:

Which brings up another point: Deciding when to "Dunkirk" your stuff out of a failed (France/Greece/or any continental area) defence plan. Not sure where to draw that magic line...

Believe me, when it is time, you see it
Another peace of advice, when you "dunkirk" as you said, just embark the units at the end of a naval move of TRS into the North Sea, then in the following land move phase, immediately debark them into or around Bayonne, in case the german is next going into Spain. You should also have asked the French unit to put their reinforceents in this area too. If the German is up to Gibraltar, you'll be happy.

(in reply to mlees)
Post #: 28
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 11:45:45 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

Personally, I would rather lose Malta than the Suez. Malta can be cut off from supply by the Italian fleet, while Egypt cannot.

Egypt can be put out of supply, it is just as easy as Malta.
Remember that CW units in Egypt use Le Caire as a Secondary supply source. Only the Egyptian units (i.e. the territorials) take supply from the Egyptian cities who are primarty supply sources for them.
The secondary supply sources need to trace back to a primary supply source.
So, to cut supply to Malta, you need to empty 2 Sea Areas of any Allied CP or TRS / AMPH.
To cut supply to Egypt you need to do the same. Empty 2 Sea Areas of any Allied CP or TRS / AMPH.
The only difference is that for Malta the Italian can do it by themselves, and for Egypt they need the help of Japan.
With the same player controlling both, I say it is not a problem.
I for one even already conquered Egypt with Japan, not only to help Italy, but for the objectives too. It was the bigger victory I ever achieved in WiF FE... ah.... memories of the good old days....

(in reply to mlees)
Post #: 29
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 11:50:38 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

In my last game in 42 IT (&GE) had in this way sent most of its LS fleet to Singapore & Aden, 2 NAV bombers...and the 41 fw190 7factor fighter and build around 10 exstra cp. to help bolster the faltering JAP against a VERY aggressive US player...

With Japan & Italy not cooperating, who did you garrison Singapore ? with Italian Units ???
Taking itno consideration the poor range of the Italian Navy, I think it is of little use out of the Med. Morover, the supply to Italy is too easily broken by the Allies to risk a fleet that far.
That said, if the allies were in the ropes, why not do this kind of wild things

(in reply to CBoehm)
Post #: 30
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