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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking

 
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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/1/2008 8:56:09 PM   
Jagdtiger14


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For Germany the only AA's worth using against strat bombing is the 105 that comes in 1941, and the 127.5 that comes in 1943. Question is, do you really want to spend the BP's to buy those for this purpose? As others have written, FTR's are the best defense, but also probably better off near the front lines somewhere. Best is to use some of the old out-classed FTR's in your reserve pool. Maybe strat bombing needs to be more damaging to force this issue? I do like the new way to build units in FiF.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/1/2008 11:53:35 PM   
composer99


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In the CW & USA AIO threads there was some discussion about the extent to which the Allies should attempt to strategically bomb Germany.

The old fighters in Germany's reserves are great for defending the inner core against Allied strategic bombing... until the Allies have bombers that are as good or better at a2a combat. But until they get shot down there's no sense in deploying anything new while they are still kicking around. Denying the Allies that +1 on the die roll is huge, especially for their lightweight raids.

Seeing as it costs 2 bp to build the pilots to fill them out, and chances are the pilots can later be used in newer aircraft, the old reserve fighters should do the trick nicely.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/2/2008 12:05:26 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jagdtiger14

For Germany the only AA's worth using against strat bombing is the 105 that comes in 1941, and the 127.5 that comes in 1943. Question is, do you really want to spend the BP's to buy those for this purpose? As others have written, FTR's are the best defense, but also probably better off near the front lines somewhere. Best is to use some of the old out-classed FTR's in your reserve pool. Maybe strat bombing needs to be more damaging to force this issue? I do like the new way to build units in FiF.

The thing about AA is that it doesn't get shot down. It's going to be there turn after turn, and I don't care how many fighter escorts the strategic bombers bring along. Shooting down one strategic bomber would seem to pay for the AA. If it reduces the production point loses (especially in the later years when the production multiple is high), that would also seem to justify the cost to build it.

I have this niggling suspicion that what I have been reading here about wanting to place the AA units in the front lines against armor is because it is a more interesting way to play Germany than just having the AA units sit like rocks next to the German factories. But if you place them in the frontlines, then they run the risk of being destroyed - which is lost build points.

The comment about old outclassed fighters, reinforces this theory of mine. It is as if defending against strategic bombing is (UGH) defense! Use the old stuff that has no other purpose for existing. If a unit can be used offensively, why then rush it into the front line ASAP.

As another point of view, how about building all 3 heavy AA units for the Germans and placing them due east of Dusseldorf? Put one good fighter nearby to help cover the adjacent factories and synthetic oil. If the Allies send a single bomber, I'll fly the fighter and probably keep the AA in reserve. If the Allies send multiple planes, then I'll let the AA earn its keep: 3+4+5 * 4 = 48 points of heavy AA. That is a serious threat against 2 or more strategic bombers.

The cost to build all 3 is 13 BPs, which is high. But they will protect 5 factories, a synth oil plant and any saved Oil/BPs placed in Hannover. Most importantly, they will never get damaged, unless the Allies want to carpet bomb a forest hex in the teeth of that AA. When things get desperate, they can become frontline troops, but I would delay that as long as possible.

Putting up weak fighters, which then get shot down and have to be rebuilt, seems penny wise and pound foolish (to quote ole Ben Franklin).

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/2/2008 2:25:15 AM   
Norman42


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets


The thing about AA is that it doesn't get shot down. It's going to be there turn after turn, and I don't care how many fighter escorts the strategic bombers bring along. Shooting down one strategic bomber would seem to pay for the AA. If it reduces the production point loses (especially in the later years when the production multiple is high), that would also seem to justify the cost to build it.



I would agree, except for the fact that there are too many other factories with no AA cover to justify that much spent protecting a couple locations. The 13 BPS of AA are guarding a (admittedly juicy) target; the Allied bombers will just fly to a different factory. While this may be useful to some degree in focussing the enemy away from your most valued target, its not worth the expediture in my opinion.

There is no shortage of targets in range of Bomber Command.

So just avoid the stacked AA area. The "Hit 'em where they ain't" military axiom seems sensible here.

True those AA units might be lost on the eastern front like you say, but there they are at least in action and being used against the enemy actively. In Dusseldorf, odds are they will sit there and never fire a single shot as they watch the bombers fly on by to less toothy targets.


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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/2/2008 6:18:57 AM   
Jagdtiger14


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What Norman42 says is correct. Also, there is a bonus to certain AA units on defense...I dont have the chart in front of me now, but I think its against enemy arm/mech? The red circle AA is doubled when attacking. Its very hard to shoot down enemy aircraft with AA unless the AA is very concentrated which normally happens only in sea battles.

Using old FTR's in defending factories is not bad vs un-escorted bombers...maybe a player would be tempted to fly a bomber en-escorted if the air to air factors are equal or greater to the old FTR? If you shoot down the bomber and maybe also kill the pilot...thats huge! If the old FTR dies, you might still get the pilot back to be used elswhere.

Those non-mobile AA's might be good to cover the oil...


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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/2/2008 6:59:56 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Norman42


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets


The thing about AA is that it doesn't get shot down. It's going to be there turn after turn, and I don't care how many fighter escorts the strategic bombers bring along. Shooting down one strategic bomber would seem to pay for the AA. If it reduces the production point loses (especially in the later years when the production multiple is high), that would also seem to justify the cost to build it.



I would agree, except for the fact that there are too many other factories with no AA cover to justify that much spent protecting a couple locations. The 13 BPS of AA are guarding a (admittedly juicy) target; the Allied bombers will just fly to a different factory. While this may be useful to some degree in focussing the enemy away from your most valued target, its not worth the expediture in my opinion.

There is no shortage of targets in range of Bomber Command.

So just avoid the stacked AA area. The "Hit 'em where they ain't" military axiom seems sensible here.

True those AA units might be lost on the eastern front like you say, but there they are at least in action and being used against the enemy actively. In Dusseldorf, odds are they will sit there and never fire a single shot as they watch the bombers fly on by to less toothy targets.


So, the AA guns are an effective deterrent against strategic bombing. There just aren't enough of them to cover all the potential targets.

I have trouble accepting that there are always other targets, since using the AA to cover 4 hexes means there are fewer targets for the fighters to cover. Removing some hexes from the responsibility of the fighters is a good thing. Though I am not so sure it is worth 13 BPs.

My basic reason for this discussion is that I do not like the idea of having the AIO never build the AA for use against strategic bombing.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/2/2008 8:49:53 AM   
Norman42


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Well, we are just looking at it from the German point of view, and really there are just too many good targets within Allied bomber range for AA guns to be a strong deterrent.  That being said, they are *some* use, especially if the WAllies are really hammering home the STR campaign.  Any defence is better then no defence;  if your fighters are wiped out the AA can keep key oil/factories with some defence.

However, Germany isn't the only target of STR, and I think other countries can make better use of AA. 

- England can make good use of AAs covering south UK factories, since the German doesnt have the luxury of many long range bombers (or fighters to cover them) to reach the far northern England factories, so fewer target choices.  A single AA gun in Manchester can cover 50% of all of Englands factories.  Not bad at all.  Also, London is a solid place for an AA gun or two, since 1) its a juicy target in range of massed German airpower, and 2) the UK doesn't have alot for their AA guns to do other then protect London and Malta/Gibraltar defence duties.

- China...An AA gun on Chunking is a good idea, since its a very good bomb target, and China's airforce is woefully weak to defend against Japanese opportunity bombing.

- Japan can cover (in WiFFE) quite a few factories with AA guns in Nagoya and/or Osaka, and again when their airforce is over-matched, out of oil, or decimated, AA guns are all you have left.  Of course the new map scale on the pacific changes the coverage Japan can do with few guns, but still it is some use when faced with overwhelming airpower.

- USSR - Leningrad and Moskow are both common STR targets and AA guns on these is fairly common, pulling triple duty defending the baltic fleets as well as stiffening the ground defences.

So there are times when AAs used for STR defence is a viable (but still secondary to fighter cover) option for the AI.  Germany unfortunately comes up short on this option.  Just too many eggs in their basket.



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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/2/2008 8:56:55 AM   
Norman42


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Something I guess I should put out there as well is a house rule my group has played with for quite some time, making AA guns a viable STR deterrent.

-A strategic bombing mission that is shot at by heavy anti-aircraft units counts as an intercepted mission for die roll modifier purposes.

We've played with that house rule since 5th edition and never were disappointed in its effects.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/2/2008 9:52:52 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Norman42

 
Well, we are just looking at it from the German point of view, and really there are just too many good targets within Allied bomber range for AA guns to be a strong deterrent.  That being said, they are *some* use, especially if the WAllies are really hammering home the STR campaign.  Any defence is better then no defence;  if your fighters are wiped out the AA can keep key oil/factories with some defence.

However, Germany isn't the only target of STR, and I think other countries can make better use of AA. 

- England can make good use of AAs covering south UK factories, since the German doesnt have the luxury of many long range bombers (or fighters to cover them) to reach the far northern England factories, so fewer target choices.  A single AA gun in Manchester can cover 50% of all of Englands factories.  Not bad at all.  Also, London is a solid place for an AA gun or two, since 1) its a juicy target in range of massed German airpower, and 2) the UK doesn't have alot for their AA guns to do other then protect London and Malta/Gibraltar defence duties.

- China...An AA gun on Chunking is a good idea, since its a very good bomb target, and China's airforce is woefully weak to defend against Japanese opportunity bombing.

- Japan can cover (in WiFFE) quite a few factories with AA guns in Nagoya and/or Osaka, and again when their airforce is over-matched, out of oil, or decimated, AA guns are all you have left.  Of course the new map scale on the pacific changes the coverage Japan can do with few guns, but still it is some use when faced with overwhelming airpower.

- USSR - Leningrad and Moskow are both common STR targets and AA guns on these is fairly common, pulling triple duty defending the baltic fleets as well as stiffening the ground defences.

So there are times when AAs used for STR defence is a viable (but still secondary to fighter cover) option for the AI.  Germany unfortunately comes up short on this option.  Just too many eggs in their basket.



Very helpful, thanks.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/2/2008 1:33:27 PM   
Yohan

 

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Interesting house rule, seems to make sense.

Where in Canada are you N42?

quote:

ORIGINAL: Norman42

Something I guess I should put out there as well is a house rule my group has played with for quite some time, making AA guns a viable STR deterrent.

-A strategic bombing mission that is shot at by heavy anti-aircraft units counts as an intercepted mission for die roll modifier purposes.

We've played with that house rule since 5th edition and never were disappointed in its effects.



< Message edited by Yohan -- 5/2/2008 1:36:23 PM >

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/2/2008 1:35:37 PM   
Yohan

 

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I am personally a big fan of the reserve FTR route. What swings the odds a bit is even when the Allies get better a2a ratings they lose the pilot over your territory and you don't as much on a kill. Being 2BP for the pilot this is enhances the strategy.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/2/2008 2:03:11 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
My basic reason for this discussion is that I do not like the idea of having the AIO never build the AA for use against strategic bombing.

The AA guns (Heavy or not heavy) are usefull against Armored units (all of them, except the German 1943 127.5 mm (5-0) and the US 1942 128 mm (5-3)), so building them is always a good idea anyway. They are more costly than pure AT guns, so AT guns may be built before AA guns, but they are double purpose and that may be worth the extra BP.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/2/2008 2:05:27 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
My basic reason for this discussion is that I do not like the idea of having the AIO never build the AA for use against strategic bombing.

The AA guns (Heavy or not heavy) are usefull against Armored units (all of them, except the German 1943 127.5 mm (5-0) and the US 1942 128 mm (5-3)), so building them is always a good idea anyway. They are more costly than pure AT guns, so AT guns may be built before AA guns, but they are double purpose and that may be worth the extra BP.

This said, IMO ART guns are built before all others, for their Ground Support / Ground Strike abilities which are more valuable than the AA or AT abilities. The reason is that a Ground Strike can **completly** prevent / authorize an attack, while an AA or AT is just a way to resist better, but the attack will be made with or without them.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/2/2008 3:23:07 PM   
wfzimmerman


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

My basic reason for this discussion is that I do not like the idea of having the AIO never build the AA for use against strategic bombing.


Can't you just make it, say, a 30% option? the AIO should not adopt any single "religious" point of view about preferred production strategies.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/2/2008 5:59:45 PM   
Mitchellvitch

 

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Ah - a point about German AA. By '42 - 43' there is often a bit of a queue of German units waiting for rail transport to the fronts. At the very least, new built AA can serve temporarily in factories vulnerable to strategic bombing while waiting for empty trains.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/2/2008 6:20:21 PM   
composer99


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I think it is quite valid for Germany to build AA to defend vs. strategic bombing, but I would not cluster them in one area. Let's say Germany builds 4 AA to allocate to strategic air defence.
- 1 to go to Berlin.
- 1 to go to Vienna, to be moved such that it covers both the Viennese factory & the oil. Then you can probably also put a synth in Vienna.
- 2 to cover the Rhine/Ruhr industrial heartland.

Then I would fill out the crappy reserve planes and use them as additional defence in those regions, while newer, better planes can cover other sectors. Then bring in new planes as the crappy ones are shot down.

< Message edited by composer99 -- 5/5/2008 4:58:31 PM >


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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 5/3/2008 6:40:45 AM   
brian brian

 

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it's nice to have AA at the front, for the anti-tank role as mentioned, but it's also fun to suddenly use them against a ground-strike mission coming in on a critical hex, especially if you've passed on previous opportunities to do it and the attacking force is depending on a successful ground-strike...

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 10/2/2008 3:33:07 PM   
composer99


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In the CW AIO thread, discussion on the Allied no-US-in-Pacific gambit has begun. This thread (and the Italian thread) should discuss the ways in which the Axis in Europe must make the Allies pay for their strategic decision.

Thinking about it, as the Germans I would be licking my chops at not having the Royal Navy or BEF floating around in 1940.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 10/2/2008 6:23:57 PM   
brian brian

 

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oops. I just responded in the CW thread. Maybe it shoud actually go in the Japan thread?

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 10/2/2008 6:55:57 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99

In the CW AIO thread, discussion on the Allied no-US-in-Pacific gambit has begun. This thread (and the Italian thread) should discuss the ways in which the Axis in Europe must make the Allies pay for their strategic decision.

Thinking about it, as the Germans I would be licking my chops at not having the Royal Navy or BEF floating around in 1940.

And then there is the USSR, which would be fully engaged in the Pacific. Stuffing the border is unlikely to occur, and a 1941 Barbarossa would be sweet if the USSR has taken a half dozen losses in the Pacific and has another half dozen units tied down over there.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 10/2/2008 7:09:57 PM   
brian brian

 

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The USSR could be a bit of a wild card in German thinking. With the new part to the Russo-Japan forced peace optional, the Japanese could surrender Manchuria, say in J/F 40, and enjoy a year of total peace with the Russians, which would bring the strategic equation in Europe back to square 1. Russia could then definitely gobble up Iraq and Persia with few reprucussions beyond US Entry though. I'm not sure I would surrender though, might depend on the new map geography in southern Manchuria. On the current map, taking Changchun to get at Mukden behind it is not completely easy.

But you're right; a 41 Barbarossa against a Russia that over-reached in the Pacific is one of the leading causes of Allied defeats in WiF, I think.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 10/2/2008 7:57:37 PM   
hjaco

 

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I will toss in my pound of meat regarding German AA.

They can cover 6 factories in the Ruhr possibly with potential interception of fighters. The Italian AA can be used as well if on board. Building the true heavy (42 or 43?)I never do though - rather save that 1/3 offensive chit

The true value of AA are not to directly stop enemy bombing but to make a strongpoint where the enemy:

1) Doesn't have to extend bomber range effectively halving strat bombing factors

2) Can escort with fighters at least until the allied 42' FTR's have been build.

Covering the remaining factories with a mixture of older and a few good ones at say Hamburg has been mentioned.

If playing with factory repair I usually don't repair the Conquered red factories in Belgium and France because Italy always can be lend the spare resources. In this way you increase axis defensive capability against strategic bombardment.

Especially in the mid game the AA constitutes part of a strategic reserve for the west. Reinforce all new units in the west and let them slowly move westwards (covering in forest off course). During the turing move them strategic to the Eastern front. In that way you have strong mobile reserves in the west and AA to rail to the potential invasion front making allied blitz attacks more difficult to achieve.

Flip side is its also great fun to rail the 4, 5 and 6 artillery next to the allied beachhead and reorganise them. This always makes the allied look quite annoyed

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 7/13/2009 12:56:23 PM   
Froonp


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As for the intial Global War deployment of the German Navy, here are some points :

- All of them can be setup in Kiel, this is the concentrated / high availability approach. This is dangerous, as this numbers a high amount of targets, which increases the port attack result.

- The safest approach would be to have a maximum of 7 units in Kiel, including any TRS / AMPH / CP, but excluding any SUBs, the most effective ones for future forays into the Atlantic, with one cheap lousy cruiser that can be used as a cheap loss for the intial CW port attack that invariably falls on Kiel on Impulse 2 of Turn 1 of the GW scenario.

- TRS / AMPH, well, it depends. Leaving them in Kiel keeps the threat to Britain alive, which is good. Having them in safest harbors such as Stettin is better in the long term, as you won't need them on day 1 against the British. I generaly prefer the safest approach, and sail them to Kiel sometimes before the summer of '40.

- What is good to have in Kiel, and what is safe too, is to have 1 cruiser with one INF DIV, ready to sail for an invasion. Be it the Netherlands, Belgium or helping Portugal, it can have uses. An invasion in the Netherlands "creates" a notional unit that other German land units will be able to attack, for example to enter Rotterdam.

- 3 CP need to be at Sea in the Baltic. I prefer them being 4, as this mean the same number of targets, and a 4th will be needed anyway when the Finnish RP will go to Germany. This is 10 turns in the future, but the Baltic is safe hey, so why not having it since day 1 ? also, in case it is not that safe, one of the 4 can be used as a loss without loosing any RP transportation capacity.

- The reserve CP are better when spread out in various Baltic Sea ports. Leave a couple of them in Kiel, for possible Atlantic or Biscayan ventures, but no more than 3. Stettin, Konigsberg, there are lots of ports to use, preferably Majors.

- All SUBs in Kiel, there is no question to that.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 7/13/2009 5:12:21 PM   
brian brian

 

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Stettin is not safe enough, as the French in Strasbourg and a Blenheim in Harwich can reach it. I put the German lift and all of the best BC and CA in Memel and Konigsberg.

It is not completely necessary to set up CP in the Baltic. If you don't have a super ambitious plan for the first turn, you can probably squeeze in a combined impulse at some point to send out the CPs in a bit safer of an environment. At set-up they are quite vulnerable to a French CA raid....and then you'll just end up having to do a Combined impulse later anyway, 50% of the time.

And any CP deployment in the Baltic should always be 4 CP as Froonp mentions because later in the war you'll need a 4th one for the Finnish resource, and all German naval moves are at an extreme premium throughout the game.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 7/13/2009 5:15:01 PM   
composer99


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I like to put the German sealift, BBs and cruisers into Memel and Konigsberg, where they are sheltered from even the longest range CW planes (Stettin can be reached by any CW plane with 11 range or by the French). Subs of course in Kiel and CPs and old cruisers in either Stettin or Kiel.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 7/13/2009 10:30:33 PM   
paulderynck


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quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

Stettin is not safe enough, as the French in Strasbourg and a Blenheim in Harwich can reach it. I put the German lift and all of the best BC and CA in Memel and Konigsberg.

It is not completely necessary to set up CP in the Baltic. If you don't have a super ambitious plan for the first turn, you can probably squeeze in a combined impulse at some point to send out the CPs in a bit safer of an environment. At set-up they are quite vulnerable to a French CA raid....and then you'll just end up having to do a Combined impulse later anyway, 50% of the time.

And any CP deployment in the Baltic should always be 4 CP as Froonp mentions because later in the war you'll need a 4th one for the Finnish resource, and all German naval moves are at an extreme premium throughout the game.

I agree. As CW, a German Amph or TRS in range of my bombers on the surprise impulse is much higher priority then strategic bombing.

_____________________________

Paul

(in reply to brian brian)
Post #: 296
RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 7/13/2009 11:32:27 PM   
sajbalk


Posts: 264
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From: Davenport, Iowa
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quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99

I like to put the German sealift, BBs and cruisers into Memel and Konigsberg, where they are sheltered from even the longest range CW planes (Stettin can be reached by any CW plane with 11 range or by the French). Subs of course in Kiel and CPs and old cruisers in either Stettin or Kiel.


I agree also. As the W. Allies, if I can reach any German AMPH or TRS in the surprise impulse, all other air missions have priority after the port strike.



_____________________________

Steve Balk
Iowa, USA

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 297
RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 7/14/2009 9:08:25 AM   
Froonp


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From: Marseilles, France
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quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian
It is not completely necessary to set up CP in the Baltic. If you don't have a super ambitious plan for the first turn, you can probably squeeze in a combined impulse at some point to send out the CPs in a bit safer of an environment. At set-up they are quite vulnerable to a French CA raid....and then you'll just end up having to do a Combined impulse later anyway, 50% of the time.

I do not agree because :
1) I don't like as the allied wasting French ships in the Baltic as I already said, I think it is stupid because the French Navy would never have sacrified ships in such a non important mission. I don't like sacrifying ships / units in gamey tactics that would never have existed in reality.
2) Germany can react with 1 plane in the 0 box and decrease the enemy suprise if it finds. Maybe even a plane higher.
3) Germany would trade German CP loss with French ship 100% sunk gladly, as these ships have a large chance of escorting convoys under Free French flags latter.
4) Only 4 German CP are at stake, and Germany have 10, Germany can rebuild a couple if needed.
5) Germany don't want to **need** doing a combined to sortie 4 CP, and so by putting them at sea at setup Germany will only do a combined if the French come and If the French find and If the French harm more than 1 CP. That's 3 "Ifs".

(in reply to brian brian)
Post #: 298
RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 7/14/2009 9:13:08 AM   
Froonp


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From: Marseilles, France
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quote:

ORIGINAL: sajbalk
quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99
I like to put the German sealift, BBs and cruisers into Memel and Konigsberg, where they are sheltered from even the longest range CW planes (Stettin can be reached by any CW plane with 11 range or by the French). Subs of course in Kiel and CPs and old cruisers in either Stettin or Kiel.


I agree also. As the W. Allies, if I can reach any German AMPH or TRS in the surprise impulse, all other air missions have priority after the port strike.



quote:

ORIGINAL: paulderynck


quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

Stettin is not safe enough, as the French in Strasbourg and a Blenheim in Harwich can reach it. I put the German lift and all of the best BC and CA in Memel and Konigsberg.

It is not completely necessary to set up CP in the Baltic. If you don't have a super ambitious plan for the first turn, you can probably squeeze in a combined impulse at some point to send out the CPs in a bit safer of an environment. At set-up they are quite vulnerable to a French CA raid....and then you'll just end up having to do a Combined impulse later anyway, 50% of the time.

And any CP deployment in the Baltic should always be 4 CP as Froonp mentions because later in the war you'll need a 4th one for the Finnish resource, and all German naval moves are at an extreme premium throughout the game.

I agree. As CW, a German Amph or TRS in range of my bombers on the surprise impulse is much higher priority then strategic bombing.

A German player that have decided on a 1941 Barbarossa Grand Strategy can also decide, in virtue of what you wrote above, to use the AMPH & TRS as baits in Kiel to encourage the CW or French players to do a Port Strike (that, let's be realistic, only have chances of harming one of both, and slight chances of doing no harm or harming both) so that the CW / French surprise raids are not used as surprise strategic bombing raids that have fair chances of destroying 2 PP or surprise ground strikes.

(in reply to sajbalk)
Post #: 299
RE: AI for MWiF - Germany - Tactical Thinking - 7/14/2009 4:06:35 PM   
brian brian

 

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I think there are two approaches to World in Flames. One sees the game as a recreation of history, and things that would more than likely not have happened in the real war are things they don't want to see in a game of WiF. Other players see the game as a game to play, and any move valid in the rules is a valid play. When these 'gamey' tactics become too common or popular, over time the rules have been strengthened to discourage them though generally without making them completely impossible. A good example is the latest (still optional as all new rules are) US Entry modifiers for any Japanese adventures west of Siam, which are very good and an important addition to the game in my opinion.

I do not know how the breakdown of players of the game would work, but it would be a very interesting survey question. I think the it's-just-a-game camp is bigger, either 60-40 or 2/3 to 1/3 or perhaps even larger.

Personally, I feel that it is just a game and however the players want to play it should be fine. Nonetheless I always support new rules language to get rid of silly game tactics. The new Lending Limits optional is another one I like to reduce the French BPs sent to the CW the turn Vichy is obviously going to be declared for example. But without such rules language, players are going to use whatever legal exploit they can to win the game, and without such a rule I would send all those French BPs to the CW every single time. I do not feel the game should ever force players in certain directions because that was how it was done historically and that is the antithesis of the WiF design philosophy since the beginning and a prime reason behind the great success of this game now over 20 years old and still going strong. And I still strongly object to a few of the decisions that were made during the creation of the new map that were done in this style because some one wants the game played in certain ways but not others, something that should be handled by rules and not by drawing the map.

Whether one chooses to use a gamey tactic is a personal choice. Clearly, Patrice, you would not, and that is fine. But when programming the AI I really feel that it should not be hobbled by such concerns as more often than not it's human opponent certainly won't be, especially on small and very debatable matters of history such as this one. Wosung (where has he been lately? someone get him some free time and bring him back here) long advocated a 'historical' mode for the AI, and I can't remember Steve's decision on that but I feel it would certainly be a game feature that would be used. I do not know how difficult it would be to add such processing to the LAIO scripts, whether certain decisions could be flagged as not possible in 'historical' mode or whether completely separate scripts would be needed. If the latter then clearly it won't be happening for the first release of the game.

Regarding an Allied naval mission to the Baltic, here are some thoughts. Churchill was quite keen to try this; he wanted to use some of the old "R" class battle-ships with an extra skirt of armor to handle all the mines they would hit. After a while his subordinates politely had to tell him no one else wanted to do it. Clearly it would have been a suicide mission. One of the big advantages the Allies have in WiF over their real-life counterparts (really true of all countries, but the Western Allies more than the others), is that they can order the little cardboard pieces around with no concern for human casualties, only for economic costs of replacing them and potential future needs in the game. Until the game has a definitive Manpower rule, which is currently under development in the standard completely-optional-for-now manner, this will remain the case. Even when such a rule is in play, it still won't limit the players at the end of the game, when the goal is to take objectives before time runs out and cardboard casualties do not matter. Going beyond mapower limits to match personnel to new weapons is something I don't think will ever be added to the game.

All that said, it is still good Allied play to send in these French cruisers. Disrupting your enemy's plans is a prime element of good military strategy. Germany can have a lot of goals on the first turn; aside from Poland they may be interested in campaigns in Denmark, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Belgium and possibly even France itself (100% ahistorical but no one would advocate not doing it for that reason). If the CA raid works, the Germans have to choose between taking a combined impulse to replenish their convoys or plunging ahead with another land impulse (or perhaps they were planning a different naval mission aimed at Rotterdam). All of these decisions are made with the possibility of bad weather appearing at any time, shortening the turn and restricting land operations considerably. On the first French impulse, the weather is guaranteed to be good. On that impulse, the surprise impulse, the Germans can not react aircraft to deal with this attack. On their own first impulse they could perhaps send out air escorts to the 0 or higher boxes, but they only have four air missions available and I think it is wiser to use some of those same air assets to bomb the Danish and/or Dutch navies or the Yugoslavian army. Perhaps since they don't need much FTR cover in these campaigns they can use a few FTRs in the Baltic I guess, which gains them a little protection. So just the threat of doing this by putting a few French cruisers in Brest might already gain the Allies something. So on the French impulse a couple speed 6 cruisers in the 4 box in the Baltic Sea have a 50% chance of finding the German CP and more than likely sinking or aborting all of them once they roll a 5 or less, and then the Germans have an extra headache in their decision making. So with rule 17 Vichy I send in the French CA, and neither do I have the Germans set up CP in the Baltic at start. As for the future of those French CA, they could end up Free French, that is true, but the French have a lot of CAs and only a limited amount of ports that will go Free French. So I think it is a perfectly valid play. It is not 100% ahistorical, no one could know that. I would wager that if the French Admiralty had asked for purely volunteer crews for such a mission on September 2nd, 1939, they would have found them.

And ironically playing with the newer Vichy system than will be in MWiF, I no longer do this mission as I feel the chit that might be generated for the German side is more important to the eventual Vichy creation system and it's influence on a Gibraltar campaign than the slight potential economic harm done to the Germans.

Regarding putting the AMPH within range of Allied bombers deliberately, I feel that is definitely bad play. And the Allies only need one air mission to sink the AMPH, still leaving plenty to bomb the Ruhr or attempt a ground strike on Rundstedt. Deciding to go for a 1941 Barbarossa before you even set up the pieces is smart. Revealing this to the Allies immediately is not. Having the AMPH sunk and perhaps later in the turn or the year having the TRS impacted as well without rebuilding them is an obvious indicator that a Sea Lion is not in the cards. This is far more valuable to the Allies than a couple of lost German production points on the first turn. If I am going to do a '41 'Barb I even lay down a German and Italian AMPH on the first turn to keep the other side guessing for a little while longer, though it is scary to waste BPs like that if the Russians are willing to attempt 'stuffing' the border.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 300
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