Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (Full Version)

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DasTactic -> Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/19/2007 12:03:46 PM)

I'm very much a newbie but the last few games I've played I've had to launch naval operations so thought I would post a 'how-to' guide. I came here to browse through the posts to get some tips but there seemed to be a bit of confusion over how to launch a successful naval operation. My knowledge is very green so please feel free to correct any misinformation.

In this game, I'm playing against 5 normal AI's. The settings for the game are 500% research, so I'll need to plan my tech advances carefully but will also only face limited tech from the AI.

This first screen grab shows the layout of the players. I'm 'A' in the top right. I'm alone on an island and I have access to a couple of good cities plus a small village.

'B' through 'F' are the starting locations for the various AI players.


DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/19/2007 12:14:37 PM)

The first step is to see what opportunities the lay of the land present.

The illustration below shows where I expect the AI to advance and where I suspect they will clash with each other heavily.

'B' is likely to end up with the cities in the Northern half of his island but will need to spend resources building roads through the forests.

'C' has got some good cities and should end up clashing with 'B' in the forests north of Waxly.

'D' has access to some good cities and is likely to be the main challenge for ruling the waves unless he gets bogged down in a land battle with 'E'. I would expect heavy fighting around Caven.

'E' is in a difficult position sandwiched between 'D' and 'F', and unless he invests in machine guns and smg units to put up a strong defense in the forests he should be out of the game relatively early.

'F' will eventually get hold of many good cities in the south of his island and should gobble up 'E'.


DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/19/2007 12:26:44 PM)

There are a number of possible landing sites as shown below.

'Z' is the port I will launch from. I'll go through the various sites in more detail in the next posts but what I am specifically looking for is:

1. A landing site that has limited land tiles around it (i.e. a peninsular or point). This is where I will build the temporary port and if things turn out badly I don't want the enemy getting concentric bonuses. I also want to have limited areas I need to defend if I have to retreat.

2. A city (preferably a large one) within a few tiles distance. This will eventually become the main port and will also be a major source of supplies etc once the beach-head is established.

3. A defendable region to stop counter attacks while the city is being invested.

4. The opportunity to expand quickly once the port city and defenses are established.

In the few games I've played, the major factor I have seen to the success of a naval operation is in choosing the right location.


DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/19/2007 12:40:44 PM)


Below is a close-up of the Plan A region. I would land just north of the swamp and move south the surround the southern city (point A).

In this plan I would need motorized troops consisting of rifles for fighting on the plains and SMG units for fighting in the cities. Both supported by bazookas and mortars.

I would also need to bring armor because of the plains and motorized artillery. Because of its location this would need to be a blitzkrieg where the enemy capital is taken quickly once the first city falls.

The location is too far from my home base so I wouldn't have air supremacy, but in this case, the AI is unlikely to have invested in that tech either.

I would also expect many enemy reinforcements in the area because of the expected battles around point B (mentioned above).

I would need overwhelming troops and they would need to achieve rapid success, otherwise the superior reinforcement capacity of the enemy is likely to prevail.

As such, Plan A is not a good location.


DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/19/2007 1:10:33 PM)

PLAN B (Points A and C)

Point A is a major city so is an attractive prospect. I would land at point C, establish the temporary port, and envelop the city.

I can set up defensive locations in the forests to the south of the city and I can bring engineers to build fortifications in the plains between the forests and along the roadway leading to city 'A'.

So the troops required for this plan to work are:
Five SMG divisions to man the forests and fortifications with machine guns and anti tank guns.
Three engineer divisions of at least 30 to 40 engineers each. One to build the port and the others to build the fortifications.
Five storm-trooper divisions consisting of SMG infantry supported by mortars to surround the city and make the final assault.
Artillery to pound the defenders of the city (the engineers will be able to quickly rebuild the city once it has been taken).

There is a chance that the troops will face quick opposition from the enemy and so the defensive divisions will need to be reinforced with a couple of other defensive divisions in reserve.

Once the city has fallen the troops will need to take the capital and smaller cities so I will need a follow-up group of armor to work in with the storm-troopers.

The locations are close enough to my home bases to enjoy air support.


PLAN C (Points B and D)

The port location, 'D', is very defensible because it is on a peninsula and is surrounded by forest.

The city, 'B', is practically worthless but the region has heavy forest and can ultimately be strongly defended.

The reason strong defenses are important is that the enemy should bleed his troops on your defenses. Usually, in a naval operation, you don't have the luxury of fighting a war of attrition.

Similar to Plan B, Plan C relies on SMG troops for both defensive and attacking roles with similar numbers of divisions as outlined above. In this plan armor is not really needed as the capital can be enveloped from the forests.

This location is close to the home bases so can enjoy air support but dive bombers are only going to have limited success due to the forests.

The X's in the forest to the south of city 'B' show the planned defensive barrier while the storm-troopers take the city.


DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/19/2007 1:26:19 PM)


This plan has some good and bad points. The good is that there are a couple of cities (one good and one medium value) within the theater of operations.

The bad is that it is a long way from home base.

By the time we can attack here the enemy should have built roads through the forests which we will be able to use.

This location is also a reasonable distance away from the enemy home base so we should have some breathing space before fighting off the defenders.

The X's indicate the defensive line in the forests while the cities are taken.

The troops required here are primarily SMG troops with machine guns and anti-tank guns for defense, and mortars for attacking the cities.
Engineers will play an important role building fortifications in the forest. Artillery will be needed to pound the defenders into submission.

A bit of a bonus with this plan is that the defensive troops can block the isthmus to the south when phase two of the attack commences. The attacking troops will be sent north-west to take the capital.

This plan doesn't require any armor because all action will take place in the forests.

An absolute requirement for this plan to succeed is that we will need to control the waves and the skies because of the long sea lanes to the battlefield. The long sea lanes will also mean that managing supplies will be critical.

At this initial stage, this is my favorite of the various plans because I'm greedy. As the game plays out though I'll monitor the locations to see what develops. If the enemy builds an air-force or navy then this plan will become difficult to pull off.


DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/19/2007 1:39:22 PM)


Initially I need to control the sea lanes. The various enemies will be fighting on land so I should get an early jump on them here.

After getting the home base infrastructure finished with roads etc, I'll start building 5 submarine fleets with 2 subs in each fleet. These will form a screen across the area I want to control. Each fleet will be positioned outside a port so that the blockade bonus is triggered if the enemy enters the water. (See illustration below.)

The home island is small so I will ultimately use the Supreme HQ in the southern city as my home based HQ. If the island was larger I would build another HQ for this purpose.

After the submarine fleet is built I will need to start building Cargo Ships, SMGs, Machine Guns, Anti Tank Guns, Mortars and Artillery.

Depending on what the enemy invests in I may also need destroyers and fighters.

I'll pick this thread up again in a day or so once the forces are ready for the next phase.


EricSilver_MatrixForum -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/19/2007 3:41:37 PM)

That's great news, I still didn't have the need of naval operations when playing so I'll find your post very useful.


Ande -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/19/2007 5:59:08 PM)

you have very nice drawings, what are you using to create them? I use the spray tool in paint and it isn't really looking that great

Rik81 -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/19/2007 6:58:15 PM)

Not to be picky, but rather to show my ignorance. What I've seen so far here is some well thought out PLANS. What was advertised in your opening post was a "How To" guide. I do hope you "plan" to give us the "how to" execute the plan. For example, I wasn't aware we can build roads. I do remember seeing somethings on building/destroying bridges. How do I build roads? Did you imply in something you wrote above that we can also create our own ports?

Then, the more nitty gritty of the naval/amphibious operations. Loading cargo ships ... I did suceed in doing that, but couldn't get them unloaded? (Possibly because I am using version 1.00?).

Anyway, please continue this thread. Very nicely done.

DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/19/2007 9:15:33 PM)

Thanks for the feedback.

Ande: I'm using PhotoShop to sketch over the screen grabs. I liked what you had done btw, and thought it was very effective. It inspired me to show the likely battlegrounds.[:D]

Rik81: The specifics will come soon.[8D]
The major point about naval operations is that the planning is absolutely essential. When the troops finally land they are at their most vulnerable because they won't be dug in, they will be getting limited supplies across the beachhead, and they will be tightly stacked so will have a stacking penalty if attacked. I'll go through the specifics when I get to that stage.
The planning also gives me a list to research and to build. I know from the planning options that I don't need to invest in armor so that will save me a lot of building and political points.
I have a bit of a race against time so I will need to make the most of my spending. The enemy in position 'B' in the first screen will, over time, have more resources than the enemy in position 'C'. If 'B' takes 'Cs' capital then he will have a massive boost in production. I'll need to attack before this happens.
You asked about roads and ports. Engineers are used to build the roads and ports. In naval operations you will need to bring a lot of engineers!

I have a fair number of turns to play out before I can post the specific 'How to' but will post in detail when I get to that point (should be in the next 24 hours hopefully).

Rik81 -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/19/2007 9:53:36 PM)

Thanks for the report. Looking forward to following this.

Warspite3 -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 4:41:11 AM)

Naval invasion operations are hard to pull off so this is a great thread! Alot of times I catch hell just after landing then on top of this I end up in a world of supply problems. Usually AI warships will end up cutting off supplies to my landing armies and I have to start spending production on ships and planes to fight the AI ships. Even if I manage to take a good city for supplies, I still want reinforcements shipped over from my main continent so keeping sea lanes open is vital for the whole operation.

Peterk1 -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 5:03:29 AM)

Interesting thread and very nice style and presentation. You're coming accross like Eisenhower planning D-Day - very cool.
Please continue!

DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 5:39:54 AM)


I thought the following showed the supply issues across various terrain nicely...

I have just taken an unoccupied city (Point B) but I am not going to get full production from the city if it has to ship production back to HQ (Point A). In the screen below I have clicked on my HQ and clicked the Supply icon. The central cities on my island give full supply back to the HQ but the new city is reduced because of the minor rivers. I need to get bridges across with the engineer division as soon as possible.

By the way, if I had clicked the new city and clicked the supply icon I would have seen the same result with regards limited supply to the HQ but from the perspective of the city, rather than the HQ. By clicking the HQ and checking supply I can see the various cities that will have trouble supplying it. I hope that makes sense.

To get around this problem I placed a new HQ (which I called 'Task Force HQ') on the new city and had the production channel into the new HQ. I don't want to waste any resources. [;)]

Next turn I will take another smaller city (western side of the island) which has much worse land supply issues because of the major river and mountains.


SMK-at-work -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 5:59:06 AM)


ORIGINAL: Warspite3
Alot of times I catch hell just after landing then on top of this I end up in a world of supply problems. Usually AI warships will end up cutting off supplies to my landing armies and I have to start spending production on ships and planes to fight the AI ships.

Playing the AI I've found it pays to have the ships and planes ready BEFORE you invade!!


DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 6:17:15 AM)


One turn later and the smaller city has been acquired (Point B).

Once again, I select my main HQ (Point A) and click the Supply icon. The main river has been bridged but supplies still wont get to the city via land because of the mountains and minor river next to the city. Yet the city shows green so can send back full resources to the HQ.

Right clicking the destination shows the supply path. In this instance the supplies are being transported via ship.


At this stage I have not produced trucks or cargo ships so there is zero LANDCAP and zero SEACAP. Supply and produced units find their own way the best they can before the turn begins, and from what I can understand, trucks and cargo ships have no impact on supply.
LANDCAP and SEACAP is only used to transfer units between HQs during your turn. This relies purely on trucks and cargo ships.
So, thinking in the future, as long as we can trace a supply route to our landing port then supplies will get through. It is only when the beachhead is established that SEACAP is important for shipping reinforcements. Taking this further, we can use our full fleet of cargo ships to drop off the landing troops, then we can move the ships back and combine them with our HQ to get the SEACAP from the ships. I hope that is clear enough (and I hope it is accurate - please correct me if I'm wrong).

Other things of note this turn is that with the second bridge has been built and so the city from turn 4 (Point C) now has full supply. I am now changing the HQ for this city from the Task Force HQ to the Supreme HQ. I'll start moving the Task Force HQ back toward the embarkation port.

Also, the first of the Wolf Packs has hit the water and is steaming westward to stop any threat from that quarter. Remember that an attack was expected from here because this is the only capital city with direct water access.


DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 6:22:39 AM)


And right on cue, here's the enemy invasion fleet...


DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 7:18:28 AM)



The submarine wolf packs have been constructed and are moving into position.
The enemy invasion fleet must have seen a periscope from my inexperienced crew and turned tail back to its home port. (BTW, I love that about this game. The AI seems to change its mind based on new information.)

'A' shows the first wolf pack outside an enemy city.

'B' shows the current tech advances. Submarines were built from turn two and now my embarkation port will be constructing cargo ships. The other cities have been building staff, some supplies, heaps of political points, SMG's, mortars and machine guns. In the first turn engineers were built to build the roads and bridges.

'C' shows that even though the enemy controls the city, Base Kirkee, there is still a lot of road to be built to connect it to the supply grid. Therefore ...

... 'D' shows the only way this city is connected to the supply grid. That is, via the northern coast. My converging wolf packs should have easy pickings until the enemy completes the road.


In the next phase I will need to complete the research in artillery and anti-tank guns, then I can start building the landing forces. While this build-up continues I'll monitor what transpires in the target island to the south.


MrMox -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 9:45:04 AM)


Right clicking the destination shows the supply path.

Now, there's one nice feature I didn't know about... Can't find anything in the manual - how did you learn about it?

DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 9:49:16 AM)



The invasion forces are still building up and at this stage I have finished construction of the artillery and anti tank guns. Now I just need to finish off the infantry which should only be a few turns.

At this stage I have 20 cargo ships which can carry 1000 troops. My current forces weigh around 600 but I want to bring extra supplies so I'll continue building.

I've been monitoring what the enemies have been doing (see below for current front lines) and it seems there have been some heavy battles. The worrying aspect is that my expectations have not panned out and Enemy 'D' looks likely to rapidly take control of the western island. Enemy 'D' has already taken the capital of Enemy 'E' so will be ramping up production and research.

Once 'D' has the island secure, he is likely to take to the water which will make life difficult for me.

Enemy 'B' has had a hard time but is now starting to push back Enemy 'C'. There have been heavy battles around Bushbane and so Plan D is out (not the forest backwater I hoped it would be).

If Enemy 'D' takes to the air or water then Plan B will not be secure.

This leaves Plan C as the most viable plan.

The key will be the rapid deployment of the artillery to pulverise the small city of Nighttownford and also to reduce the capital, Minor, to rubble.

I am going to try and move the defensive line south to the edge of the city in the first attack wave.


DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 9:52:31 AM)




Right clicking the destination shows the supply path.

Now, there's one nice feature I didn't know about... Can't find anything in the manual - how did you learn about it?

I think I read it in the manual somewhere.[:)]

DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 10:40:12 AM)


Below is a revised plan of attack. I've been building roughly the forces I'd need for the various plans but now I can get specific.

The divisions involved are:

DEF (Defensive divisions) x 4
- 40 SMG
- 5 Machine Guns
- 2 Anti Tank Guns
- 4 Trucks

DEF+ (Reinforced defensive division)
- 60 SMG
- 8 Machine Guns
- 2 Anti Tank Guns
- 5 Trucks

ATK (Storm Trooper attack divisions) x 4
- 30 SMG
- 5 Mortars
- 3 Bazookas

ENG (Engineer divisions) x 4
- 40 Engineers
- 2 Trucks

ART (Artillery) x 4
- 5 Artillery
- 10 SMG
- 2 Trucks

- 180 Staff
- Extra Supplies
- 5 Trucks

- 380 SMG
- 28 Machine Guns
- 10 Anti Tank Guns
- 20 Mortars
- 12 Bazookas
- 160 Engineers
- 20 Artillery
- 180 Staff
- 42 Trucks


DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 10:46:12 AM)

I should point out that I decided to change the location of the port to gain easier access to the road system and so that the defensive divisions will have easy access to supplies. (The defenders are now one hex further south than in the original plan).

The defensive divisions and three of the engineer divisions will be unloaded on the hex below the port hex. All others will be landed on the port hex.

PDiFolco -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 1:25:50 PM)

Dunno about the production of your game, but with that much units, plus their needed transport, plus some naval escort, plus likely need of air assets, I fear your plan will take some time to be realized !

Xenomath -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 3:42:51 PM)

Nice invasion plan.
I just noticed that you only use SMG and no rifles, even in your defensive divisions.
But as I see it they are only better at attacking, not in defending heavy forest.
And since SMG cost more a bit more and have less initiative, I would prefer rifle in the defense.

Vic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 4:04:15 PM)


I think you are overestimating the oppositionand will be able to easily stab the AI, not Ai+ or Ai++, in the back since it will be mainly occupied with its southern enemy.

But realy nice AAR with the all the beautifull photoshopped overlays :)

DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 7:47:46 PM)


...I fear your plan will take some time to be realized !

It did. It took another 9 turns. I'll go into details below.


ORIGINAL: Xenomath

I just noticed that you only use SMG and no rifles, even in your defensive divisions.
But as I see it they are only better at attacking, not in defending heavy forest.
And since SMG cost more a bit more and have less initiative, I would prefer rifle in the defense.

I didn't know that. Thanks for the heads-up. [:)]



I think you are overestimating the opposition and will be able to easily stab the AI, not Ai+ or Ai++, in the back since it will be mainly occupied with its southern enemy.

I want to be very sure this will work. I guess I'm cautious by nature. [;)]

DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 8:08:46 PM)



As PDiFolco mentioned above, it took a bit longer than a few turns.

Each division should be produced without drip-feeding units into them later. As the divisions are assigned they will take a couple of turns to come up to combat readiness.

So the priorities with the construction were:
1. HQ with full compliment of staff (so they can train divisions as they are constructed)
2. Defensive divisions because I want these fully trained before embarking.
3. Artillery.
4. Attacking formations (These will most likely be used in mopping up after the artillery has done its work).
5. Engineers

The last of the engineer divisions has just been constructed.


DasTactic -> RE: Newbie Guide to Naval Operations (11/20/2007 8:27:51 PM)


For the last turn or so I have been focusing on getting supplies produced.

I also specified a supply reserve of 600 for the Task Force HQ a couple of turns ago. This is important because it will need to supply the units without receiving much supply from Supreme HQ until the port has been built.

Before embarking, click on a few units and check their supply levels. They should be completely full. Also look at the readiness of the troops (the fist graphic). The experience of the troops should be reasonable if the HQ was setup early.

I have split the cargo ship fleet into 4 different groups ready for the troops to embark.


My only reconnaissance has been the subs sitting outside the ports (and they don't see much). I have no real idea of what tech the enemy has but I'm assuming I will face primarily armor but no air support at this early stage.

The smart thing would be to spend another few turns to research fighters, then do a fly-over prior to the troops embarking.

In this instance I've decided to go in 'blind' because I am confident that my forces will be overwhelming.

The ships leave port and the land zone appears to be clear of enemy troops.


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