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HELP! can't seem to win

 
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HELP! can't seem to win - 10/15/2007 3:50:43 PM   
olivetomato

 

Posts: 12
Joined: 1/24/2003
From: The Netherlands
Status: offline
So....I've been playing the Saipan scenario a couple of times now and the thing is, I can't seem to do any better than a draw.
Someone said that the key to this scenario is to keep attacking the Japanese defenders, so that is what I am doing to my hearts content but it just seems like I am unable to get the job done sufficiently.

I guess now I have to describe what is going wrong well.....I don't really know
I 'think' the problem lies in supply but I haven't a clue as to what I have to change. It is just that whenever I use the 'battle odds' button, I oftentimes get really good odds (5:1 and up) only to find that the units that have to do the job, are out of supply and stay out of supply for one or two turns afterwards.
It is my understanding that as long as you position your HQ in a central hex, you're good as long as supplylines can be traced, or is this too black and white??

Furthermore, I am not sure how important it is that units are within their 'command radius'. I sorta 'throw' my units on the beach and don't really pay attention to any coherency after that (not that, say: 2/4 is on the extreme south of the invasion area and 1/4 is in the extreme north, but over the course of the game they might venture several hexes away from each other) Also....I leave my HQ pretty much where it landed.

Last, the backup invasion. It seems not possible to use the initial invasion area for the 'backup' invasion? So what I do now is land my troops on the blue beach and try to race accross the island so that I can attack the Axis in the back....It seems to work fine but even here I end up having this 'low ammo' problem.
I am not sure if I have given enough info for the interested reader to figure out what I am doing wrong but suggestions or hints are more than welcome because even though it seems I have hit a brick wall when it comes to learning progress, this is a really addictive game!

Thanks for reading through my ramblings.

Cheers,
Erik


Post #: 1
RE: HELP! can't seem to win - 10/16/2007 2:48:35 AM   
Fred98


Posts: 4368
Joined: 1/5/2001
From: Wollondilly, Sydney
Status: offline
Look at any infantry unit in detail and see that they have “attack supply” and “defence supply”
 
It seems your units are not receiving “attack supply”.
 
Click on a unit. In the sidebar above the unit you can see the unit’s HQ unit. Click on this. See the yellow outline on the map. This shows the radius of the attack supply.
 
You have to move the attack supply HQ unit and / or the ground unit till it is in the radius.
 
If you move the ground unit attack supply becomes available to it.
 
Not if you move the attack HQ it will turn red. This tells you that it will not provide attack supply after it has move for I think 2 turns.  This is to encourage you to think ahead and have it in the right place ready for the upcoming offensive.

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(in reply to olivetomato)
Post #: 2
RE: HELP! can't seem to win - 10/16/2007 7:21:13 PM   
Alan Sharif

 

Posts: 971
Joined: 8/1/2001
From: UK.
Status: offline
I am fairly new to this game myself but that sounds like good advice based on my scant knowledge of this title.

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A Sharif

(in reply to Fred98)
Post #: 3
RE: HELP! can't seem to win - 10/16/2007 8:48:31 PM   
olivetomato

 

Posts: 12
Joined: 1/24/2003
From: The Netherlands
Status: offline
Yes it is.
I am not paying enough attention to this aspect. Also after reading some Saipan AAR's I get the idea that it is pretty important to know when to fight and when not. And I sorta take every chance I get to blow the enemy away (or so I think) only to find out that the odds weren't as good as I thought and I am left with no supply.
Thanks for the feedback so far!

Cheers,
Erik



(in reply to Alan Sharif)
Post #: 4
RE: HELP! can't seem to win - 10/17/2007 4:26:16 AM   
Gregor_SSG


Posts: 681
Joined: 3/6/2003
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: olivetomato

So....I've been playing the Saipan scenario a couple of times now and the thing is, I can't seem to do any better than a draw.
Someone said that the key to this scenario is to keep attacking the Japanese defenders, so that is what I am doing to my hearts content but it just seems like I am unable to get the job done sufficiently.

I guess now I have to describe what is going wrong well.....I don't really know
I 'think' the problem lies in supply but I haven't a clue as to what I have to change. It is just that whenever I use the 'battle odds' button, I oftentimes get really good odds (5:1 and up) only to find that the units that have to do the job, are out of supply and stay out of supply for one or two turns afterwards.
It is my understanding that as long as you position your HQ in a central hex, you're good as long as supplylines can be traced, or is this too black and white??

Furthermore, I am not sure how important it is that units are within their 'command radius'. I sorta 'throw' my units on the beach and don't really pay attention to any coherency after that (not that, say: 2/4 is on the extreme south of the invasion area and 1/4 is in the extreme north, but over the course of the game they might venture several hexes away from each other) Also....I leave my HQ pretty much where it landed.

Last, the backup invasion. It seems not possible to use the initial invasion area for the 'backup' invasion? So what I do now is land my troops on the blue beach and try to race accross the island so that I can attack the Axis in the back....It seems to work fine but even here I end up having this 'low ammo' problem.
I am not sure if I have given enough info for the interested reader to figure out what I am doing wrong but suggestions or hints are more than welcome because even though it seems I have hit a brick wall when it comes to learning progress, this is a really addictive game!

Thanks for reading through my ramblings.

Cheers,
Erik





Erik,

The key to victory lies in attacking the Japanese forces *in a coordinated fashion* rather than just attacking whenever enough units are adjacent to some arbitrary Japanese defender. What we have done in Battlefront is to introduce constraints that force the player to behave in a more realistic fashion. This is one of the real strengths, though somewhat under-appreciated, of the system.

This means that you must think in terms of major offensive actions, rather than continuous assault. Lets start with a hypothetical assault first. Ideally, your units should all have full attack supply, so they can continue the attack after the first turn. They are within Command Radius of their HQ so that they get their attack and movement bonuses. Their artillery units also have full attack supply. Artillery helps to soften up entrenched defenders but it does most of its killing when the defenders have been flushed out of their trenches and are much more vulnerable. You need as many artillery units as possible ready to pounce and help turn a push into a breakthrough.

Obviously, it will be very hard to reach an ideal condition, but you need to get as close as possible, which inevitably means choosing not to attack all the time so you can accumulate attack supply for a coordinated assault.

Now to my personal plan for Saipan, which is conveniently divided into northern and southern beachheads. The job of the northern forces is to grab just enough territory. You would like two units, one infantry battalion and one company sized unit in each vulnerable hex to protect against banzai attacks. I tend to only grab 6 hexes on my initial landings. Make sure that you move keep the landing hex completely clear for units in future turns.

The southern beachhead forces can't move far after landing, but you must focus all your efforts on getting hex (4,24) as soon as possible. All supply for your southern forces will be coming though this hex, and your guys won't be doing anything much without that hex in your control.

Once ashore, my main attacks are in the south, aiming to get the supply hex noted above and then peel off all defenders from the coast until the two beachheads can link up. Attacks from the north are all aimed at supporting this objective, and are not aimed at making any great strides inland. The terrain in the north is not very good, and the southern objectives are much more important.

Once linked up, the terrain in the south is still much better for offensive action, so that's where my attacks are concentrated.

Despite its small size, this can be a tricky scenario. The US can limited by supplies and space, and most of your efforts in the early turns are devoted to wrestling with these problems.

If you have more questions, please ask them.

Gregor

_____________________________

Vice President, Strategic Studies Group
See http://www.ssg.com.au and http://www.ssg.com.au/forums/
for info and free scenarios.

(in reply to olivetomato)
Post #: 5
RE: HELP! can't seem to win - 10/28/2007 7:28:59 AM   
Pvt_Grunt

 

Posts: 280
Joined: 2/13/2007
From: Frankston Victoria
Status: offline
I played as Americans and advanced quickly in the south. The north was a stalemate until turn 10. I had a large battle after I surrrounded a few Jap units in the south near Aslito. It took a few turns but I destroyed them all    I made it past Tsutsuran when the attack bogged down. I would hit F6 to see attack strength but most of the units had none!! I realise now after reading this I was probably out of attack supply. The units were in supply if I hit "s" hotkey though, which confuses me.

Around turn 11 I swung my forces to the north and broke through all the way to Tanapag, crossed the mountains and reached Hashigoru when the game ended. Much to my dismay, I had lost by 200 points!! WTF??   I took most of the island but lost the game.
Obviously I need to concentrate more on supply and victory points.   Still, a great game for a second try (MG was first, but I didnt finish)  I'm playing as Brits in Gazala now, turn 3.

Thanks Joe for opening my eyes to the game at CSO -   It's awesome.

(in reply to Gregor_SSG)
Post #: 6
RE: HELP! can't seem to win - 10/28/2007 3:26:36 PM   
Fred98


Posts: 4368
Joined: 1/5/2001
From: Wollondilly, Sydney
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pvt_Grunt

Thanks Joe for opening my eyes to the game at CSO -   It's awesome.



Youre welcome
-



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Post #: 7
RE: HELP! can't seem to win - 10/30/2007 1:22:57 AM   
Gregor_SSG


Posts: 681
Joined: 3/6/2003
Status: offline
On the subject of victory, Saipan is one of those battles where the issue on the ground is never in any real doubt. The Americans are going to win, just as they did historically. They have overwhelming force and the Japanese have no chance of reinforcement.

The fun in fights like this, and there are plenty of similar historical situations, is to measure yourself against historical progress. Win faster than history, and you win big. Win slower, and you lose, so although you crushed the Japanese, you took longer than you should have. Perhaps the whole timetable of the Pacific war has been disrupted because of this! We can't really show this in the scenario, but we can punish you on the Victory point front.

Gregor

_____________________________

Vice President, Strategic Studies Group
See http://www.ssg.com.au and http://www.ssg.com.au/forums/
for info and free scenarios.

(in reply to Pvt_Grunt)
Post #: 8
RE: HELP! can't seem to win - 10/30/2007 1:32:03 AM   
Gregor_SSG


Posts: 681
Joined: 3/6/2003
Status: offline
Sorry, just to add something about attack supply. It is entirely possible to be in defensive supply and yet not have enough attack supply to mount an attack. In fact, we designed the system to produce exactly that result, so that you can't mount offensive operations by all units every turn.

In Saipan, your job is to free up the southern supply source ASAP, then build up attack supply for a drive in the south. It sounds like you have the basic plan right and you will improve the execution with practice.

Gregor

_____________________________

Vice President, Strategic Studies Group
See http://www.ssg.com.au and http://www.ssg.com.au/forums/
for info and free scenarios.

(in reply to Gregor_SSG)
Post #: 9
RE: HELP! can't seem to win - 11/12/2007 5:55:03 AM   
mazorj

 

Posts: 19
Joined: 6/1/2004
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gregor_SSG

Sorry, just to add something about attack supply. It is entirely possible to be in defensive supply and yet not have enough attack supply to mount an attack. In fact, we designed the system to produce exactly that result, so that you can't mount offensive operations by all units every turn.

In Saipan, your job is to free up the southern supply source ASAP, then build up attack supply for a drive in the south. It sounds like you have the basic plan right and you will improve the execution with practice.

Gregor


In addition to all the good advice here:

Use the combat advisor and click on a possble attack hex - then note which units are highlighted. I don't think that a unit will be highlighted if it cannot attack, either because of a previous action or because of attack supply. To be doubly sure, check the unit's attack bullets. If they are at "half staff" or dimmed then that unit can't attack. Leave it in place for after-attack repositionings.

The next step is to examine how moving each attack unit will affect its supply, unit cohesion, and its vulnerability to counterattack. Sometimes the potential gains from the attack will be outweighed by the negative consequences of the movement and/or attack, such as putting the unit out of attack supply or, if it's on it's last step, exposing it to a counterattack that could wipe it out. You do this by moving the unit to an attack hex and then analyzing the post-combat consequences. Hit the undo arrow if you don't like the results - but note that you can't do an undo if you reveal hidden units or expose the identity of a nearby unit hiding under the nationality icon. This is more likely if your unit is a recon type with extended viewing range.

Then, before moving any units, do a trial attack just using all the units adjacent to the defender. First, this will give you an idea of how much firepower is necessary to get acceptable attack odds. If you already have enough units in place to get decent odds, then careful movement of one or two other units (especially to any unoccupied green-arrow hex attack sides) can produce an overrun. If the attack ratio is low gainst a high defense factor - say, a 33-28 attack - then you know you'll need to move most or all of the highlighted units to get the advisor's displayed odds.

The other reason for this involved procedure is that the combat advisor doesn't always display the optimal approach. For example, units in fully stacked adjacent hexes that can't attack can prevent moving potential attack units into place. Pull an anti-tank unit back one hex and rerun the advisor and you could get even better odds because you've freed a slot for another attack unit to move into that hex. Very often you can get better odds by not blindly following the advisor's displayed unit paths. Try diverting a unit from its displayed path to one of those unoccupied green-arrow hex sides, and the combined effect of the added attack points plus the additional odds shift might get you max odds without moving some or all of the highlighted units!

Also note that because the advisor displays all units that could attack, blindly moving all of them can result in overkill. I carefully select an attack unit that would produce a big odds increase, move it and then do a trial attack before moving the next unit. Keep doing that, unit by unit, and sometimes you can creep up on the maximum possible odds (or acceptably high odds) well before you've moved all the highlighted units. Furthermore, once you have reached the maximum attainable level on the combat results table, adding more attack units is a waste because it just won't get any better than what you already have. Sometimes I end up undoing the last unit move because it didn't provide any improvement to the combat result table.

Implicit in all this is the principle that you should only move and employ the minimum number of units necessary to achieve acceptable odds in a given attack. After combat has been resolved, you will re-evaluate everything in light of the combat results - moving on to the next attack, moving units to reinforce an exposed hex, or advancing units to capture territory. Making unnecessary unit moves before the combat is resolved might prevent you from executing these tactics.

One final note: Carefully check the indirect fire advisor. All other things being equal, you may want to fire one or two rounds at a marginally attractive hex to try to boost the attack odds or reduce the target to one or two steps so that you have good prospects of totally eliminating it in one attack. Although I usually prioritize arty attacks toward one-step units that can't be reached with a ground attack, in hopes of obliterating them with one or two salvoes, sometimes a pre-attack step reduction in an important target hex will take an even higher priority.


(in reply to Gregor_SSG)
Post #: 10
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