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Tips for breaking the Gustov line?

 
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Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/22/2014 1:16:41 PM   
Arkham

 

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Playing 43 campaign and it's nov right now. I simply can't break through the gustov line. I have bombed every rail yard and port in Italy but it seems to have no effect. I switched all medium bombers to heavies to try to get more disruption but the turn after I find that all units go from 70-90 disrupt to 20 and fine after that. Should I switch some libs back to mediums or fb? And other tips that I should be doing?
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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/22/2014 2:27:10 PM   
TaggedYa

 

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I am a little hesitant to be specific here because I have found much of what I thought I knew and understood about this game was wrong or incomplete. I am currently in the middle of an exercise to nail down the ground war but it is nowhere near complete so I will speak definitively but reserve the right to amend as new evidence arises.

Experiment has confirmed that bombing supply lines has no effect. A single days supplies were missed by a single unit but that was the only possible effect seen. Bombing ports has no effect on anything in any way. Bombing railyards has a significant effect on production the mechanics of which have just been defined a month or so ago. However it has no effect on the ground war.

Each ground unit receives the following reinforcements each day if they are below current TOE:

3 each Tank, artillery, and AAA. The AAA is random of a type they already have. Balloons don't seem to be included but that is not yet definitive. This is in addition to anything the player adds using his transport points. The auto added AAA does come out of the pool it doesn't come out of thin air. The advantage is the player doesn't have to spend transport.

9 each infantry platoons (not sure what a infantry point actually represents in # of men). It is known that the guns do not fire in ground attacks against ground units (strafe only effects airfields, Nothing else) so only bomb and rocket armed aircraft have any effect and bombs have little effect on infantry.

Because of this you need to decide on a strategy that takes it into consideration. My suggestion is to pick on the tank units first. I attack one tank unit until it has no tanks or artillery left then start on the next while keeping up a maintenance level attack on the damaged one. The idea is to keep their combat power down by killing all the reinforcements they get. All of the equipment that is sent to ground units is produced in armaments factories. I haven't found where the inf points come from yet. If you are going to push the ground war then they should be a high priority target.

Because units are fortified it is hard to kill a lot of tanks and artillery. There are two considerations because of this. First, attack destroys fortification level. It is possible to knock a units fort level to 0. The most effective attack to reduce fort level is level bombers. The more the better. It is all about bomb tons on target. Second, a unit that moves is totally unfortified. Hit it with all the ground attack you can muster and enough level bombers to keep it from refortifying.

Disruption is only meaningful in that it reduces combat power. That in turn is only meaningful when ground forces are attacking. Disruption is repaired every turn by reducing by half plus a point or 2. Thus 100% is 20% or so after 2 turns. The idea with disruption is to get it to a very high number on one or 2 units so they get dislodged. That kills their fortification and allows you to hammer them. It also increments a counter. When the counter gets high enough compared to a target then the line breaks. The target is reduced by time. But nothing other than equipment destroyed is meaningful until the ground attacks start.

You said it is Nov. You didn't say what year. If it is 43 you have no chance at all to break the Gustav line because no checks are being made. The bombing of ground units in support of the ground campaign is a long term thing. The Gustav line is not attacked by ground units (thus no breakthrough is possible) until early 44.

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/22/2014 3:20:10 PM   
Arkham

 

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Thanks for the info. Its very disappointing to me that i spent all the time hitting rail yards when the manual says they are needed for resupply and seeing the lines from the ground units snaking through red targets.

However ground checks are being made, I have managed to dislodge one infantry unit out of the gustov line and sent it back 10 KM to the nearby airfield.

What aircraft should I be using for ground attacks to kill tanks, fighter bombers?

[edit] and if breaking the ground war is going to be basically impossible until 44, will the mandatory avalanch restrictions keep up until then as well, or will they turn off eventually?

< Message edited by Arkham -- 6/22/2014 4:22:46 PM >

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/22/2014 4:21:51 PM   
TaggedYa

 

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What is the actual date? What date did the unit dislodge on? It sounds like you not only are not to the "break the line phase", the line is not even fully formed. The ground force attacks taper off into the winter and then resume again in the spring.

As long as you can get units dislodged it is believed to be profitable to keep up a full scale attack. Every dislodged unit makes the eventual break come sooner.

The avalanche restrictions system is bugged. I have never seen it lifted. I have heard reports of someone having gotten it to lift but what I heard was that you had to basically get all of the avalanche target list "INCLUDING" the ground units to more than 50% damage at the same time. Good luck with that.

The 12th AF restriction is not really important as much of its assets will transfer to 15th AF around turn 90 or so and 15th AF is not restricted. Use 12th AF against ground targets and to engage the German air force. 48 p47s strafing an airfield full of planes is an awesome thing.

What to attack the ground units with is very much a matter of opinion. Whatever you use must have bombs or rockets. You can give many fighters bombs on the unit detail screen by trading out the drop tanks. Many other aircraft types have small bomb loads on the loadout that allow them to ground attack without being classed as FB. On the "select lead unit" screen in the upper left corner is a button for fighter attack. The only rockets (the best anti tank weapon by far) are the hurricanes. I gather up all I can get and move them to the FB units in the med. You might want to look at redeploying the 12AF p38s to England and replacing them with spit8s. The resulting leftover p47D-6s can be given to Med Air Command and equipped with bombs for ground attack. Just watch the range. If a bomb mission turns back short of the target it is because the planning system will let you target something within drop tank range but the actual fly system knows they don't have them and turns them back at bingo fuel.

My personal opinion is to use the most effective aircraft I can get judged by tons of bombs on target per pilot lost. You get more aircraft than pilots by at least 2 to 1. I don't use low survivability aircraft for anything I don't absolutely have to. That said, don't use your long range good dogfighters as ground attack or airfield strafers I.E. don't put bombs on p38s ever.

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/22/2014 5:22:54 PM   
Arkham

 

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I'm in early november right now, so things DID form on the line and have been staying put. That one infantry unit had previously held the line, but i got a message that allied ground forces were attacking, then another window popped upo that said "94th Infantry division retreats 10 miles to Capua airbase. See here:

http://i.imgur.com/GWpUVZo.png


You can transfer an air unit from airforce to air force? How exactly do you do that? (edit) Oh, I did not realize i could move units from theater to theater. I knew how to move from airbase to airbase. (edit2) Huh, when i try to move from Italy to England, i see a blue airfield in England, but when I click on it nothing happens.

Also, I have found that going in at 4100 with my heavies does not kill many if any. However I get a lot of damaged airframes that take a turn or two to repair.


< Message edited by Arkham -- 6/22/2014 6:39:30 PM >

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/22/2014 7:13:16 PM   
TaggedYa

 

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Sorry, I tend to forget what it was like when I started so I am not always clear.

You can't transfer squadrons from HQ to HQ (not without cheating anyway) what I meant was reassigning the aircraft. What I do is on turn 1 I go through and change all of the units flying spit8s to the new warhawk (there are only 6 of the new warhawk on turn one but you can assign 15 units to fly them) this frees the spit8s and puts them in the pool. Then I assign the spit8s to 12AF squads that have p38Hs. Then I assign the p38Hs to 8AF units that have p47D-6s. Then I assign the p47s to the units that are in nonexistent warhawks.

At this point in your game you should have enough p47D-6s in the pool to make changes like this without the warhawk placeholder.

No level bomber (day or night) should ever fly lower than 9000 feet and I wouldn't recommend anything lower than 18000 for a daylight bomber. I fly my heaves at 27500 and rarely anything else. The accuracy lost from higher altitude is made up for by reduced accuracy lost from AAA fire. You aren't hitting anything because your bombers are to busy dodging flak to aim. (yes the game figures this) Note that you will never kill a lot of ground units with level bombers. They damage fortification and cause disruption. The damage fortification is the important point.

< Message edited by TaggedYa -- 6/22/2014 8:19:01 PM >


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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/22/2014 7:35:04 PM   
TaggedYa

 

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I looked at your screen shot. I think you have a much bigger problem than the ground situation in Italy. The months of Dec and Jan have truly horrible weather. You will probably not get in 10 good bombing days in the 2 months. Your industry damage is at -1 now. It can get lower and will during the winter months. If the total of air superiority, terror, and Ind damage falls below 2 per month then you loose by sudden death. The negatives count so you are currently at 10. You need to lay some serious damage on high capacity targets soon. You also need to have bomber command pounding the railyards along the Braunswige to Liepzig crescent.

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/22/2014 7:53:17 PM   
Arkham

 

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yeah, I basically have been ignoring the 8th while I work on this, but i've been getting terrible weather the past month or so up north.

And if i have to start a new game, its no big deal. Its all a learning experience.

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/22/2014 10:05:53 PM   
Arkham

 

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Oh, one last question. You said
" You can give many fighters bombs on the unit detail screen by trading out the drop tanks."

Is that a permanent change to the unit, or does the AI add bombs or tanks depending on the mission?

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/22/2014 11:55:39 PM   
TaggedYa

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arkham

Oh, one last question. You said
" You can give many fighters bombs on the unit detail screen by trading out the drop tanks."

Is that a permanent change to the unit, or does the AI add bombs or tanks depending on the mission?

It is a toggle. If you toggle it to bombs then the unit will show up in the available list for lead on a bombing mission. If you turn off the bombs then the unit will show up as an escort unit or on a sweep mission.

The game will not do it for you. You have to do it yourself each time you want to change.

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/27/2014 2:25:28 PM   
Arkham

 

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Since i don't want to make a new thread for this, what does the * next to reports saying that I destroyed a ground unit mean? I was reviewing the reports on the external tool and saw the following:
10 9:06 3rd Panzergrenadier 853 1097 100% 88mm AA Gun destroyed *****
15 9:06 3rd Panzergrenadier 853 1097 100% 88mm AA Gun destroyed *
105 12:06 3rd Panzergrenadier 853 1097 100% 88mm AA Gun destroyed **

Why did it jump from * to ***** so suddenly, does that mean that hit killed 5 AA guns?


A few more random gameplay questions.

1: If a factory is red, is it completely shut down, or is it running at reduced capacity. That is, if a steel mill is showing after the most recent recon at 75 percent, is it producing 25 percent of its output?
2: Will hitting power plants impact close by industry instantly, or do i need to bring it critical to have an impact. I've been hitting all the plants around Essen fairly hard, and other plants that I can reach safely. Is this impacting the Ruhr valley area the most, or is it drawing power from berlin and rome?
3: How much overcast do you not run mission in a region? Generally I don't bother with anything over 55, and thats dicey.

Thanks!


< Message edited by Arkham -- 6/27/2014 4:24:41 PM >

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/27/2014 4:35:01 PM   
warshipbuilder


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I believe once you reduce the capacity to 50% or more said target is completely shut down. Not true for airfields, whole different set of parameters going on there.



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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/27/2014 7:02:57 PM   
cohimbra


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arkham

Since i don't want to make a new thread for this, what does the * next to reports saying that I destroyed a ground unit mean? [...] Why did it jump from * to ***** so suddenly, does that mean that hit killed 5 AA guns?

mmm...I read a very useful thread about this, but I don't remember where...tonight I made a research and I hope I can find it again. Stay tuned.

And about the Gustav Line, I found this old thread. Maybe you can find some tips:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2273665


About your question 1,2,3: I don't know...but I bet warshipbuilder is right on point 1.

PS. Just a suggestion: in the main screen of this forum find the option Display topics from last: and select All Topics: you can see all threads opened since the game release. It's a big work, I know, but if you find free 30 min. you can discover very useful info.

< Message edited by cohimbra -- 6/28/2014 4:44:23 AM >

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/28/2014 3:43:18 AM   
cohimbra


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quote:

ORIGINAL: cohimbra

quote:

ORIGINAL: Arkham

Since i don't want to make a new thread for this, what does the * next to reports saying that I destroyed a ground unit mean? [...] Why did it jump from * to ***** so suddenly, does that mean that hit killed 5 AA guns?

mmm...I read a very useful thread about this, but I don't remember where...tonight I made a research and I hope I can find it again. Stay tuned.

This is the only thread I found. Not sure you can find your answer here, but:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2267846

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 6/30/2014 12:15:25 AM   
warshipbuilder


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Thanks cohimbra for bringing these threads to our attention. Some good info there.

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 7/3/2014 10:38:12 PM   
TaggedYa

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arkham

Since i don't want to make a new thread for this, what does the * next to reports saying that I destroyed a ground unit mean? I was reviewing the reports on the external tool and saw the following:
10 9:06 3rd Panzergrenadier 853 1097 100% 88mm AA Gun destroyed *****
15 9:06 3rd Panzergrenadier 853 1097 100% 88mm AA Gun destroyed *
105 12:06 3rd Panzergrenadier 853 1097 100% 88mm AA Gun destroyed **

Why did it jump from * to ***** so suddenly, does that mean that hit killed 5 AA guns?

It is simply a marker to allow you to count consecutive identical messages. There are a couple of places where the game adds the *s in so you can see that the message changed. Each message is one gun destroyed.
quote:


A few more random gameplay questions.

1: If a factory is red, is it completely shut down, or is it running at reduced capacity. That is, if a steel mill is showing after the most recent recon at 75 percent, is it producing 25 percent of its output?

If the factory actually makes something (is AFAC, CFAC, EFAC or ARM for local use) and is "really" at least 50% damaged then it doesn't produce that turn. However what you see is not the true state. Often far from it. If I saw 75% damage shown I would accept that the target was not producing however 55% I would not count on it. Any of the actually producing sites that is from 1 to 49% damaged has that % chance of not producing on a given turn.
quote:


2: Will hitting power plants impact close by industry instantly, or do i need to bring it critical to have an impact. I've been hitting all the plants around Essen fairly hard, and other plants that I can reach safely. Is this impacting the Ruhr valley area the most, or is it drawing power from berlin and rome?

POWER targets have no effect that I can find except score.
quote:


3: How much overcast do you not run mission in a region? Generally I don't bother with anything over 55, and thats dicey.

The actual cloud formations are more important than the density number. When the numbers are high (40+) you need a clear area to launch (no cloud over takeoff fields or the form-up point). Escorts need clear areas to take off. And you need a hole in the cloud to bomb through. Look here:http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3412233

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 7/17/2014 6:45:48 PM   
Arkham

 

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Hey there. I've been hammering the gustov line for a while now in my restarted game, as well as other targets inside germany.

It is now Mid april '44 and Nothing I can do can crack this frigging line. I have even started a hotseat game set in Feb 44 to see what impact various tactics has on reducing fortification. Nothing I do seems to lower fortification at all, only preventing it from growing. I found that if i send in 4 squads of a-20's I can stop fortification from going up, but nothing actually reduces it. 500+ libs all hitting at once? Nope. 100 libs hitting in 30 minute intervals with recon in between? nope. 1 wave going all day long of everything including grandmom's frying pan? nope. Literally nothing I do reduces fortification levels.

Do i have to wait for the historical breakout period of late May 44 before i will get consistent ground attacks? Because its very rare that when disruption is up above 50 that I get a ground attack message.

So frustrating.

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 7/17/2014 7:14:10 PM   
Arkham

 

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Well that is interesting. I just advanced the game without doing anything, and on May 26th I got a notification of a breakout in Italy, allies advance on Rome.

Huh, so the line breaks itself, nothing I did or could do helped at all.

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 7/22/2014 8:10:43 AM   
TaggedYa

 

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The ground war is one of the least understood and most complex parts of this game. I have not completely figured it out. I do know a few things.

There is a counter for each resistance line that decrements by one each day toward the breaking of that line.

Every turn each unit in contact has a die roll (d100) to see if it is attacked. This roll is checked against a table in memory that is offset by game date. It appears that, for Italy, there is a period where all units in contact (not sure how this is determined yet) have a 50% chance of being attacked. Then the chance goes to 2% (I.E. a sitzkrieg). Then the chance goes back to 50%. I need to figure out the dates when things change.

When an attack takes place two things happen. First the unit attacked is damaged. If it looses it is displaced backwards. Second the counter for that front is decremented if the defender lost and incremented if the defender won.

Win or loose is determined by two die rolls. First a die is rolled from 0 to the current combat value of the unit. Then a die is rolled (I found the size but don't remember at the moment and don't have my notes) and if the result of that roll is higher than the defenders roll then the defender looses. Else he wins. Ergo, combat value is all important.

The current state of a unit has nothing to do with it being attacked or not. Only if it wins or looses if it is attacked. This makes combat value (the sum of equipment) much more important than disruption as it is regained much slower.

Testing has shown that supply line damage does nothing to prevent replacements. Each unit under current TO&E receives 3 Tanks, 3 Art, 9 Inf, and 3 AA. It was believed that the AA was only of a type they already had but recent test show they at least get AA machine guns even if you take all of them away. More testing is needed here.

Supply line damage "may" effect the rate at which disruption is reduced. I don't know.

I believe, but am not sure, that with no win/loss changes the line would break on 5 June 44 (1 day before DDay).

It takes 2 capacity to make a tank, 1 capacity to make an art, and 1 cap to make AA. As far as I can tell Inf appear out of thin air. That shouldn't be right but I don't know.

Some ARM production lines produce for local use and the others produce for the "East".

SO:

If you want to actively pursue the ground war you need to:

Make a list of the arms facs that produce for local use. Then make knocking them out a priority.

Attack ground units with an eye to killing more tanks, and art, than are being produced. In the alternative, (what I have been doing) attack a unit till it's guns and tanks are all gone and then attack enough to keep it that way while you work on getting the next one down.

During the times when the invisible ground units are attacking make a maximum effort to keep all units in contact (have to guess) totally weak and disrupted so every attack is successful. That moves the eventual break forward for every attack. YES, The attacks on 29PZGrn in the toe of Italy change the day the Gustav line breaks and if you get a holds up the advance notice then that cost you two days, the day you would have gained and the day you lost.


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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 7/22/2014 8:15:48 AM   
TaggedYa

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arkham

Well that is interesting. I just advanced the game without doing anything, and on May 26th I got a notification of a breakout in Italy, allies advance on Rome.

Huh, so the line breaks itself, nothing I did or could do helped at all.

No. The attacking you did caused about 10 more winning attacks than loosing attacks and got you a breakout early.

Yes you could have never made a ground attack and still the line would break. Probably sometime in Oct to Dec 44 (thats just a wild guess)

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 7/22/2014 11:44:56 AM   
Arkham

 

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FYI, May 26th was the historical breakout date. I had just hit end turn over and over again from (then) early april wtihout doing anything, so it appeared to me that the line broke on the day it should have. I have since reverted to my real game where its back to mid april. I'm attacking the line every day with medium bombers because why not, but I am not putting much effort into rail yards on Italy. I have not been bombing it with heavies at all, they are all going north bombing engine factories.

I have never seen any allied attacks on any units unless disruption is above 50 percent. If i just let the line sit for three or four weeks I would never get notification of attacks. So either I'm bugged or something else screwy is going on.

< Message edited by Arkham -- 7/22/2014 12:47:20 PM >

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 7/23/2014 6:59:44 AM   
TaggedYa

 

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Sometime "Soon" I will have to completely dissect the ground war stuff but it is extremely complicated and it is confused by them using locations (the same data structure as factories, road junctions, airfields, and such) for troops. The combat routines parse through the whole Location structure and things like factories have a combat value equal to their capacity (the same variable is used for both) which is probably a bug but I don't know.

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 7/23/2014 8:59:35 AM   
Lars Wistedt

 

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Being a while since I played this game actively, I recognize your frustration!
After having read many forum posts, I changed my strategy according to this:

- Check historical break through dates and start ground support a week or two before that date.
- Once break through is achieved, continue to disrupt enemy tank and mech formations (prio 1) so
as to keep up AI attacks.

- Bombing POWER close to industrial centras does seem to affect production negatively
- Bombing railways stops produced elements like aircraft engines to be transported to assembly factories etc.
it doesn't seem to affect the folw of replacements bu can hamper the transportation of units reinforcing a break through area.

- Combine bombing high capacity targets and close by rail yards to maximize disruption effect on Axis production

- Bombing population areas where rail yards and high capacity factories are, gives a synchronization effect as
you get points for terror bombing as well as hits on rail yards.

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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 9/14/2014 4:00:12 AM   
TaggedYa

 

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In a classic example of why much is unknown about the game:

In response to this and other recent discussion about the ground war I undertook an experiment to compare what seems to be the case in the code with actual experience.

I ran a 43 campaign hot-seat making no attacks that were not necessary to keep away instant death. I never made a ground attack and the Ger. never flew an intercept (I did do some mass patrols to fiddle with availability). No Avalanche target was ever hit.

Italy, Sardinia, and Corsica were all invaded on schedule.

No ground attack messages were seen until after the Gustav line broke. It broke on May 26th, the historical date just as Arkham reported. This implies that ground attacks are meaningless just as Arkham surmised.

In an additional bit of weirdness, DDay came on June 3. I would have bet a great deal that DDay was hard coded. There is a check for the specific date, June 6, then a "set status" for the Normandy front to active. The only thing that I had done that might have caused an early DDay was bombing transport. To keep ind. damage up I was using 2 tac air to hit all the OverLord transport targets and they were all red. I can not however find any check of transport status in the code for the ground war.

So what does it all mean? Beats the hell out of me.



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RE: Tips for breaking the Gustov line? - 9/14/2014 3:25:53 PM   
warshipbuilder


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From: C-eh-n-eh-d-eh
Status: offline
What it all means is that the game is seriously flawed. Unfortunately there is nothing else out there now or probably any time in the foreseeable future to replace it. Therefore we have to live with it, warts and all.

Thanks for the great support devs!

_____________________________

warshipbuilder

Any ship can be a minesweeper, once.
ED/BTR Ressurection Project
https://www.bombercommandmuseumarchives.ca/

(in reply to TaggedYa)
Post #: 25
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> Gary Grigsby's Eagle Day to Bombing the Reich >> Tips for breaking the Gustov line? Page: [1]
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