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SaintEx -> Newbie to Newbie (2/6/2015 9:34:46 AM)

I'm an eternal newbie. Ever since we all traded in our little cardboard squares for electrons, I've been kind of lost. After decades of playing just about every classic wargame (everything by AH, most from SP, etc) I moved joyfully to electronic games, and am an extraordinary fan of GG. I think WITP AE is perhaps the best of the detailed WW II games ever, and he's also designed the best Civil War game. WITE somehow didn't appeal to me quite as much, but WITW is pretty much everything I hoped for. Yet, as an eternal newbie, after a number of introductory games and two failed '43 campaigns I think I'm only just getting a handle on it.

As an eternal electronic newbie, though, I made so many mistakes getting to even this feeble level of understanding that I thought it may be useful for those of you out there who perhaps resemble me to profit from my mistakes. So, for what it's worth, here are a few newbie-to-newbie tips and remarks, primarily from the allied perspective. I'm sure many who read this will be proud, capable, non-newbies, and I strongly encourage them to point out my errors!

Air war (once you get beyond auto-generation - which I suggest):

- TIP: get your P-38s into the 8th AF. You get some in the med, and they're always nice, but their legs are less useful there. Using P-47s in the 8th limits your range substantially and you want to bomb in Germany and pick up those bombing points. P-47s should either go to the med or to the 9th, once it's up, and get all the P-38s into the 8th (until you start using them in the 15th too, once it moves from bombing Romanian oil).

- TIP: I like setting my BC heavies to bomb at 21K to avoid light flack. This means your Stirlings won't fly, so you'll either have to switch them to the 2nd RAF tactical or create special low-altitude missions for them.

- STUPID MISTAKE: all new planes, including those from the national reserve start out with manual upgrade. That's fine, but remember to micro-manage them. If you forget then once the older models aren't being produced and the pools run out, you'll find that your squadrons are mysteriously shrinking, sometimes to 0 planes, and you won't know why. Honestly, for the most part, I just put everything on auto-upgrade. Note, though, that if you do that, some of your squadrons will suddenly switch to P-38s as time goes by, at which point they should be moved to a bomber AF that needs the legs (see above).

- TIP: don't forget to plan ahead with respect to FB training. As the Luftwaffe becomes less of a problem you'll want to convert a lot of them to bomber training, which takes eight turns (by the way, I greatly prefer the WITP system, in which every squadron can have different capabilities and you don't have to switch back and forth. More realistic as well, but hey, you take what you get). For my part, I've always been partial to converting P-39s: that mid-fuselage engine is protected and you get that nice big cannon. P-40s and hurries as well, primarily for historical reasons and, of course, they just aren't as good in A2A as time goes by.

- STUPID MISTAKE: When you move planes to a new forward airbase you've just captured, don't forget to check the supply priority. Often, those newly-captured ABs have a supply priority of 0. If you don't change it, the planes won't fly for lack of fuel and you'll wonder why no fuel is getting there.

- TIP: Don't forget to check out constantly the "No Fly" info!

- TIP: I like to start each turn by resting every air unit under 70 moral, and waking up those from the last turn that are now happy. I find they are more effective and ops losses go down.... which begs the question of why there isn't a simple parameter set that tells the game to do it automatically (as there is with training).

- TIP: I like to set up city bombing missions each on separate days, to make sure the planes aren't otherwise occupied. Typically, for example, with the 8th I'll bomb one city on Day 2, another on day 4 and another on day 6, with recon in between. If you find that a lot of your missions aren't being flown, you may be having scheduling problems. If you just take the default from your doctrine then they'll all try to fly every day you've indicated.

- TIP: It seems that if you keep RAF BC on night bombing (see the myriad threads arguing this topic in terms of historicity: your call) they seem to like NF escorts. I can't figure out why; if I remember correctly I don't think there was ever any significant escort vs. interceptor action at night in WWII, but it does seem to cut losses in the game.

Ground war

- TIP: Pay attention to who's leading what. Leaders do make a difference.

- TIP: Get used to messing around with your support units. If you've played WITE this will be easier for you, but either way remember that unlike our dear old cardboard counters, the combat values are far from written in stone: support units (and things like reserves) will greatly change the results. Particularly when setting up an offensive, prepare for it and attribute support units appropriately.

- TIP: as the allies, you don't want to fight a war of attrition. Those loss points, particularly with US units, add up quickly. In Italy you need to keep pressure, sure, but constant small attacks will cost you in VP. When you hit a hard line you need a nice invasion to flank it and get the line to crumble. Remember that a primary objective is to move up, get some fat juicy cities (Rome is key) and build forward ABs to let the 15th hit the southern reaches of the Reich once it's obliterated Romanian oil.

- TIP: The exception to the above is once you get to Rome. The Western half of the peninsula between Rome and Florence is relatively flat and the Axis line won't be as strong, you may not need an invasion to break it. If you muster your forces, use your support units and your air effectively, you can set up a major offensive to break any line they set up there, then push hard all the way to the Arno. At least against the AI!

- TIP: Speaking of invasions, don't go in halfway and don't wait too long. Remember that your amphib units aren't really needed to provide temporary ports once you've captured a few real ones, including on the invasion turn. Get them back into a L6 port and plan for the next invasion.

- STUPID MISTAKE: Speaking of ports... don't forget that the bigger the port your amphib is preparing in, the faster it goes! In the med, this means Tunis, Oran, Algiers until you capture Naples. In the UK don't make the ultra-stupid mistake of setting up for invasion in anything less than a L6 port!

- TIP: I like getting new US units into Italy to complete their training at the hands of the Germans. You can move the more experienced ones, along with the Brits / CW to the UK to prepare for Overlord when it's time (Feb). Remember that some new units, especially CW and the Poles, already show up with serious experience.

- TIP: You don't need to set up an invasion for Corsica / Sardinia. When Italy surrenders, the Italian units there will flip. They aren't strong enough to throw out the Germans, but they will capture ports and AFs that allow you to move in real units (which is historical, by the way... my wife is Corsican and her family remembers).

I've made many, many more mistakes and am undoubtedly making more as we speak, but these are some of the bigger, dumber ones as well as some tips I can offer on the basis of my ineptitude. Many of them were corrected by the kind forum members here who actually know what they're doing. I hope this is useful.




Chuske -> RE: Newbie to Newbie (2/6/2015 11:03:21 AM)

Very good guide, nice work!

I only have 1 tip to add:-

- STUPID MISTAKE: If you change targets make sure you set the target priorities correctly. All too easy when switching from say hitting Heavy Industry (HI) to Ports to change to a port target but forget that priority is still on HI. This ends up with a no fly on the AD if new target doesn't have HI.




nedcorleone1 -> RE: Newbie to Newbie (2/6/2015 11:27:25 AM)

Does the AI do a decent job at managing the movement of airbases or should I micromanage that myself? I found that shuffling my squadrons around to forward airfields in England on T1 took an enormous amount of time and I don't think that I would want to do that again. I can handle moving squadrons to Europe on newly captured airfields but I don't want to have to micro the entire thing.




marion61 -> RE: Newbie to Newbie (2/6/2015 12:21:33 PM)

1st turn is always long, because you really need to rebase those air groups manually. Just makes the 1st turn take awhile, but the ai will move planes bases on an algorithm, and not based on my needs or goals.




HMSWarspite -> RE: Newbie to Newbie (2/6/2015 4:16:09 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: SaintEx

- TIP: It seems that if you keep RAF BC on night bombing (see the myriad threads arguing this topic in terms of historicity: your call) they seem to like NF escorts. I can't figure out why; if I remember correctly I don't think there was ever any significant escort vs. interceptor action at night in WWII, but it does seem to cut losses in the game.



Night escorts reflects NF flying in the bomber stream, looking for enemy NF. They don't 'escort' as such in RL, just hunt for enemy where they know there should be some:). In RL (but not in game as such) they also used to hang around above known bases and attack them as they came in to land. There was a huge amount of NF vs NF action in the way especially late war). Also, they didn't need to get a kill to help the bombers. Nothing spoils your day quite so much as a radar warning receiver going off as you stalk your bomber prey! Break off and evade, whereupon you have lost no chance of getting that bomber and have to start from scratch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._100_Group_RAF




SaintEx -> RE: Newbie to Newbie (2/6/2015 7:20:46 PM)

Fascinating! I was totally unaware. Thank you, I am now less ignorant.




Chuske -> RE: Newbie to Newbie (2/6/2015 8:49:46 PM)

I asked Helpless about NF escorts and he said the night escorts are NOT modelled the same as day and reflect to some degree the hunting and Intruder operations as described by the link HMSWarspite shared although not completely.




vonRocko -> RE: Newbie to Newbie (2/6/2015 10:56:43 PM)

Great tips! Thanks for that SaintEx.




wokelly -> RE: Newbie to Newbie (2/7/2015 5:00:55 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: mr_flappypants

Does the AI do a decent job at managing the movement of airbases or should I micromanage that myself? I found that shuffling my squadrons around to forward airfields in England on T1 took an enormous amount of time and I don't think that I would want to do that again. I can handle moving squadrons to Europe on newly captured airfields but I don't want to have to micro the entire thing.


AI does a decent job, but I figured out how to manually recently with little hassle using the airforce filter, and the fact if you click on airfields all other AFs with the same HQs will go blue, so you can figure out where you want to send your planes really quickly.




radic202 -> RE: Newbie to Newbie (2/7/2015 11:58:42 AM)

Awesome Tips! Very much Appreciated.




SaintEx -> RE: Newbie to Newbie (2/7/2015 8:09:53 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: mr_flappypants

Does the AI do a decent job at managing the movement of airbases or should I micromanage that myself? I found that shuffling my squadrons around to forward airfields in England on T1 took an enormous amount of time and I don't think that I would want to do that again. I can handle moving squadrons to Europe on newly captured airfields but I don't want to have to micro the entire thing.


I agree with Meklore that the first turn is just going to take longer, but that's the case for many campaign-type strategy games. In my mind, that first-turn set-up is one of the most interesting points of play, it allows you to set the scene for the strategy you want to try out this time around.

In terms of the AI moving your air units around, I actually think it seems to do a pretty good job, but I don't use it anyway. After the first couple of introductory games, I started doing everything myself. Do remember that you're probably not going to be bothered with it much except on the first turn and on turns after you've gained a lot of ground (again, speaking as Allies).

I struggled for a while with the transfer system until, as mentioned by Wokelly, I discovered the usefulness of the HQ filter on the F10. For example, let's say I want to transfer some fighters from RAF Fighter Command to 2nd Tactical.

1) I go into the Commander's report (really useful, especially for checking out Air Groups). I choose those units I want to transfer, then drill down and change their HQ to 2nd Tac.
2) I go into F10 and filter for 2nd Tac
3) Now the only little green air symbols that show up are for planes belonging to 2nd Tac, including those I just changed. I click on a 2nd Tac base, and now all the 2nd Tac bases are blue. It is immediately clear where, exactly, the planes are that have not been transferred, since they are not on blue bases. I note the base I want to transfer to (say, for example, Tangmere) then click on a base with a newly-changed group. Of course, now immediately all the blue bases are actually Fighter Command, but I know I want to transfer to Tangmere, so I move the unit. As soon as I do, 2nd Tac bases are blue again. Rinse, repeat.

Note of course that in some cases I want to switch all the planes at a base, in which case the easiest thing is to select the base, change IT to 2nd Tac, and then use the option at the bottom of the screen to change all the planes based there to the new HQ.

After a little practice, this all becomes pretty easy.




nedcorleone1 -> RE: Newbie to Newbie (2/7/2015 8:55:02 PM)

A stellar contribution. Absolutely superb. I will take a look at your procedure. Thank you.




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