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A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/11/2016 6:47:49 PM   
HexHead

 

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This is for people who have just got the game. Now, for the record, I've been gaming for a good bit and played War in the Pacific: AE for a while. Now, I'm just enough of a grognard to appreciate the mechanics and how WitP:AE works (I work in IT, btw, writing manuals and such, so I understand the back end a bit). To be frank, though, it was just a bit too far (hah! - that's a good one!). Not for casual gaming, the kiddy end of the pool is five feet deep.

But WitW - what an achievement, it hits that sweet spot in a way that no other serious tactical WWII game does (never looked at WitE).

The Turns are a week and a long game is 109 Turns. Manageable. Not every day of 44 months, as in WitP. Yes, you could have four day Turns in WitP, but you risked loss of operational control. The way a Turn is structured in WitW is instructive, maybe even ground-breaking.

I can't praise this design and design approach to a computer game about the subject enough; as someone who deals with scope requirements and project management, this is an outstanding team effort.

********************
One Noob's Guide

Having played with about a half dozen scenarios now, starting with Husky (but quickly abandoned as I was checking out others), then actually playing Battleground Italy and clearing out Sicily; then playing with some others and being pleasantly surprised at actually breaking out in Breakout & Pursuit, I would say that one should get the expansion and play Torch to Tunisia.

The first virtue of this scenario is there aren't too many units on the board to begin with (I've played nothing but Allies and will be doing so for a while - AFB). The rest of the virtues come into play as you play the scenario. I'm up to turn 14 in a 37 Turn scenario, and from my experience with the other, mostly shorter scenarios, Torch is a really nice exercise; I've applied what I've read here on the forums and in-game.

First, you will learn about organizing your forces. The first big step here is let the AI run the air game. Now take a look at what you have on the map. You have a whole buncha batallions, regiments and brigades. Learn and check out the command structure. Look for your Corps commanders, your Army commanders, your Army Group, and then for the topmost HQ. Once you understand the structure, take a look at the Axis layout (no FoW). You have arrived at first contact. Take a look at the terrain and make a plan. Get your army together. In the meantime, sprint with Montgomery and the UK & Comm forces from the east. They've quite a trek with a very nasty surprise waiting for them, so get started now.

Now, about that command structure - I still haven't fiddled with my SUs in the structure, but noobs should know that the proximity, within Command limits, of HQ means you might get to use some of their snap-on toys in an attack. It's kinda like "Mother, May I?". Anyhow, if you're a good boy, are in Supply (NOTE: 'In Supply' is ON/OFF in this game - from another thread and post - to quote, "you're either Isolated or in Supply"), have plenty of MP and all else favorable, all that lovely artillery they carry with them (and the engineers, etc.) will help you out. The Allies even have a rule advantage about their artillery - the HQ/SU thing means More Guns Can Be Used.

Anyhow, you have a whole buncha battalions (II), regiments (III) and brigades (X) running around. Not too many divisions (XX). If you are a Complete Noob to Wargaming, the above is the military hierarchy with the corresponding symbols for the formations (smallest to highest). Anyhow, you can organize and decompose units up and down the hierarchy. If you have designations like 1/1st US Infantry, it means if you put the 2/1 and 3/1 brother units all in the same hex, you can join them together as the 1st ID (US). You can also break units down.

So, as you get reinforcements in Torch, watch for matching or brother units.

Now, as you get organized and push counters around, at some point you're going to want to do some fighting (face it, that's why we're here). When you do, you might start asking yourself, "How come all my guys are so weak?" Aha, chump, welcome to Logistics.

Torch is good for this. I know some other scenarios were designed with logistics in mind as an object lesson, but in Torch, logistics are at the fore. I'm in Turn 14 and only started looking at my Supplies seriously a few Turns ago. They're terrible. Turn on the Soft Factors switch to Supply and see all the red triangles on the left shoulder of your counters (and the Axis counters, to, with no FoW).

Build Depots. Adjust Depot Priorities. Keep adjusting until you get it right (I still haven't). Adjust the Supply Priorities of your HQs, if needed, I would say, I haven't done that yet.

Then look at your Info screens. Why am I losing the air war? (Hint: it's late 1942, Ike, you don't have command of the air yet).

Now look at the situation. Will Montgomery ever get here, and in what shape and strength?

Now look at the Turn number. Look at your front. You're slightly outnumbered at this level of organization, but how about consolidating Divisions?

And what's your plan, Ike? We need to attack and defeat the Axis, on the ground, here and now.

Maybe we need to tweak our Air Directives. Think about the mission structure of the Air War. We're not going to do it without the flyboys and the game is almost halfway over...

It's a good scenario, you'll learn the basics. I'm at the point where I might start opening that scary black box known as the Air War...


< Message edited by HexHead -- 5/11/2016 10:43:05 PM >


_____________________________

"Goddamn it, they're gittin' away!!"
- unknown tincan sailor near the end of Leyte Gulf, when Kurita retired
Post #: 1
RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/11/2016 7:15:20 PM   
HexHead

 

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Follow Up - Combat

There are two types of Ground Attack - Hasty and Deliberate.

A Hasty Attack is one on one, no other units participating other than the attacker and the defender (all the units in a hex - plus the Defender uses Reserves - look it up in the Handbook and manual, it's pretty much what it says and provides a good mechanism for using Reserves in attack and defense). It uses lower MPs to conduct, but the combat odds are unremarkable (hover your cursor over the intended combat hex to see a tooltip in the upper LH corner). You can get Ground Support for this. Right click to attack.

A Deliberate attack takes many more MPs, but you can get better combat odds and you can gang up - select the first unit(s) you want in a particular hex and then hover your cursor over adjacent, candidate units/hexes to participate in the attack. If you've done it right, right click to attack. You can get Ground Support. You can get Reserves (q. v.).

Noobs should distinguish between Ground Support and Ground Attack - the latter is flown during the Air Phase. The former is on-demand, here and now, for your ground troops. If you are flying AI Air all the way, you should know that you need to set higher and exact priorities on the Air Directive screens for Ground Support, i. e., you need Groups to fly these missions and can't be used up in the Air Phase, so set higher priorities for Ground Support reserves air frames for Ground Support for Hasty and Deliberate Attacks.


< Message edited by HexHead -- 5/11/2016 10:49:23 PM >


_____________________________

"Goddamn it, they're gittin' away!!"
- unknown tincan sailor near the end of Leyte Gulf, when Kurita retired

(in reply to HexHead)
Post #: 2
RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/11/2016 7:23:22 PM   
HexHead

 

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Follow Up - Air

If you're not in a campaign or Northern European scenario, don't bother with strategic bombing of Industry, etc. IOW, strategic isn't really relevant to shorter scenarios. You want ground support, interdiction, and supply denial.

In Tunisia, bomb Ports and Railyards, for example. I don't mind Air Supply Drop messages by the Axis too much in Tunisia, maybe they're not getting enough otherwise. When I want to unbutton the Air War, I might start with countering this.

_____________________________

"Goddamn it, they're gittin' away!!"
- unknown tincan sailor near the end of Leyte Gulf, when Kurita retired

(in reply to HexHead)
Post #: 3
RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/11/2016 8:42:10 PM   
HexHead

 

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Thanks to the mod who moved the thread.

The Air War - advanced noobiness

Ya see, ya gotta match the missions. I just started a 43 GC - oh my. Well, from reading the insights of Loadout Lou and the Assistant Wingman, what I just did for my AI Air Directives is put a priority on landing in Sicily and the Strategic Campaign up North. So I put it on Southern Amphib and tweaked the Southern TAC. The Northern TAC I conformed to the Strategic Campaign and put GrdSupp = 0. For Night Strat I just emphasized Oil and Manpower.

So, help the troops in the south and bomb strategically up north. And oh yeah, a dash of Superiority - my ADs have a modest attention to Airfields and Aircraft factories.

That's how I'm approaching the start of 43 - 45.

< Message edited by HexHead -- 5/11/2016 10:50:25 PM >


_____________________________

"Goddamn it, they're gittin' away!!"
- unknown tincan sailor near the end of Leyte Gulf, when Kurita retired

(in reply to HexHead)
Post #: 4
RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/15/2016 6:51:40 PM   
HexHead

 

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Some More to Learn

* You can get into the Air War step by step. One thing to do is look at and adjust your Air Doctrines as desired. For example, I'm playing a Battleground Italy scenario and am about 36 Turns in. There is no Luftwaffe. The AI is running barely two dozen sorties a Turn, and if the Metrics screen is correct, ran none whatsoever last Turn. So, what you do is put the brakes on Superiority, don't bother with Airfields, and, in this scenario, dispense with Strat almost altogether, except for Railyards and Fuel (YMMV). You do these things on the Air Doctrine screen, where you can fine tune altitudes, percentage of planes to fly (NOTE: percentage for the mission means that 100 is what the application considers 'normal' - it can go to 300, I'm putting mine on 150 - don't confuse this with the 'Fly Mission only if X percent are available', that's a different, preceding parameter.

* I've even used the Directives buttons (so far Strat only) to designate Rome, Naples and Salerno as Railyard targets (NOTE: Manpower Start attacks are NOT executed outside the borders of the Reich, so don't bomb MP in France or Italy).

* With no enemy air to deal with (at this time), I've brought my GrdAttk,, GrdSupp, Interdict altitudes way down - so far the flak losses seem minimal.

* On the ground against the Axis, the biggest thing I'm seeing is cutting Supply. If I understand the rules right, the Axis does not have Port to Port capabilities, but I could be quite mistaken, or it may vary a little bit in different scenarios. So hit Railyards hard, Interdict a lot.

* I'm swapping out SUs to units now - woo hoo! I say this because keeping your Corps HQs within the Command Radius is crucial, imho. Also, organize your OOB well - don't put a strain on the Command Limits of Corps HQs. I tend to keep well under the limit, with 6 or 8 Divs per Corps, max. Unsure how SUs affect the Command Limits.

That's it for right now. Am re-reading the manual and other sources.

< Message edited by HexHead -- 5/15/2016 6:55:46 PM >


_____________________________

"Goddamn it, they're gittin' away!!"
- unknown tincan sailor near the end of Leyte Gulf, when Kurita retired

(in reply to HexHead)
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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/17/2016 4:06:41 AM   
whoofe

 

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good stuff - keep it up!

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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/17/2016 6:51:32 AM   
HexHead

 

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Thanks, appreciate the encouragement. Basically, I'm just noting my progress as I learn more about how to do things and maybe some people new to the game will benefit. I played WitP:AE for a while, so I wasn't completely adrift when I started, but a Grigsby/Matrix design can be daunting to someone who's never seen it before.

< Message edited by HexHead -- 5/17/2016 6:54:01 AM >


_____________________________

"Goddamn it, they're gittin' away!!"
- unknown tincan sailor near the end of Leyte Gulf, when Kurita retired

(in reply to whoofe)
Post #: 7
RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/17/2016 7:23:45 AM   
HexHead

 

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Correction - the Axis does have Port to Port supply. That's why, in the Tunisia scenarios, you need to hit Axis Ports hard with your air forces. Also, your naval air patrols, for sea hex Interdiction and sea lane denial. Later, in other scenarios, you want naval air command to ensure your sealanes.

* Be aware of your Withdrawals as much as your Reinforcements. Know who's leaving the scenario soon.

* From what I've seen, Mountain hexes in general (at least some, maybe all) are impassable to all but Mountain units (I may have gotten some paratroopers to join them, but I wouldn't swear to it). Use this to your advantage to pin enemy units or to use as a blocker on a flank.

* Rivers, even the smaller ones, are important. Try to avoid direct crossings against the opposing side, better to go around (prudently), if you can.

* Your Amphibious HQs are pure gold - afaik, you don't get more. Don't be afraid to be aggressive with them (they deny Supply to adjacent land hexes - great for Italy, they cut coastal rail hexes), but be careful around Ports and such. I lost one parked in the Ferry hex in the Straits of Messina because I didn't check up on it; then it was gone. They can, and will, take damage next to enemy Ports.

* Try to have Amphib Invasions scheduled, anticipate where they might be of high value. Same for paratroopers, see if you can prep for a key Drop. Paratroops prep very fast for their Drops, but be very careful with regimental or brigade drops, they can get wiped out fast. Divisions do better, but remember that the paras are light infantry and not meant for an all out brawl with heavy formations.

* Axis Fallschirmjaeger (paratroops) are very tough customers on defense. Very, very tough.





_____________________________

"Goddamn it, they're gittin' away!!"
- unknown tincan sailor near the end of Leyte Gulf, when Kurita retired

(in reply to HexHead)
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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/17/2016 4:25:49 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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Actually all units, even armour, can enter mountain hexes. But for most unit types you have to start your turn adjacent to the mountain hex and moving in will cost all your MPs.

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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/17/2016 6:02:36 PM   
HexHead

 

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Thank you. Yes, as a generalization, mountain hex entry can be 'difficult'.

_____________________________

"Goddamn it, they're gittin' away!!"
- unknown tincan sailor near the end of Leyte Gulf, when Kurita retired

(in reply to Harrybanana)
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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/22/2016 4:53:34 PM   
whoofe

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Harrybanana

Actually all units, even armour, can enter mountain hexes. But for most unit types you have to start your turn adjacent to the mountain hex and moving in will cost all your MPs.


even worse - doesn't it cut the CV of armor units by 50% or more?


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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/22/2016 10:44:41 PM   
Joel Billings


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Yes, it greatly impacts CV values of armored ground elements while boosting CV values of infantry ground elements.

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All understanding comes after the fact.
-- Soren Kierkegaard

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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/30/2016 1:26:39 AM   
trebcourie

 

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This is great. I am still pretty new with this and am struggling with where to start and how to start. I think I'll try the entire Torch game.

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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/30/2016 6:12:49 PM   
trebcourie

 

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So in Torch to Tunisia, should I be building depots as far forward as I can? Almost constantly?

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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/30/2016 9:25:11 PM   
Joel Billings


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Basically, yes. In the east it will be ports, while in the west, the will be able to have some forward inland rail depots. The limitation will be the limits on the rails (aside from the few forward ports).

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All understanding comes after the fact.
-- Soren Kierkegaard

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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/30/2016 11:05:35 PM   
carlkay58

 

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ALWAYS build depots as far forward as possible in WitW. :)

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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/31/2016 1:52:49 AM   
trebcourie

 

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But is there a penalty or downside to overbuilding?

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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/31/2016 4:02:20 PM   
HexHead

 

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Not that I know of, not a penalty as such. Turn on the Logistics view and it shows Depots, their 'handling/capacity', their priority number and color coding for how well the rail net is handling traffic.

Turn on Factory view to show railheads (good place to build Depots).

< Message edited by HexHead -- 5/31/2016 4:04:35 PM >


_____________________________

"Goddamn it, they're gittin' away!!"
- unknown tincan sailor near the end of Leyte Gulf, when Kurita retired

(in reply to trebcourie)
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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/31/2016 4:07:57 PM   
carlkay58

 

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I go back and change Supply Depot priority to 1 as it passes into my rear areas. Note that my airbases are NOT part of the rear areas! I really have not noticed bad supply situations following my Depot Spam in Italy, France is where it gets tricky.

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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/31/2016 11:48:36 PM   
HexHead

 

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For my edification, and others, why or how does it get 'tricky' in France? I can almost guess the answer, but am somewhat curious, and wouldn't mind your observations.

< Message edited by HexHead -- 6/1/2016 4:46:38 PM >


_____________________________

"Goddamn it, they're gittin' away!!"
- unknown tincan sailor near the end of Leyte Gulf, when Kurita retired

(in reply to carlkay58)
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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 5/31/2016 11:55:41 PM   
Joel Billings


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I assume it gets tricky because the forces involved are greater and the distances from ports are greater. You need to repair rails to your inland depots, and rail limits will cause constraints. In Italy, you are never far from a port, although many of them are small. Mostly the forces involved are less. Trying to supply multiple armies that have moved inland in France, while also moving in substantial tactical air assets, can be a challenge, as it was historically. Antwerp is the key (Marseille helps, but only so much due to limited rails coming north).

_____________________________

All understanding comes after the fact.
-- Soren Kierkegaard

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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 6/1/2016 2:27:25 AM   
HexHead

 

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Thank you, it's what I thought.

_____________________________

"Goddamn it, they're gittin' away!!"
- unknown tincan sailor near the end of Leyte Gulf, when Kurita retired

(in reply to Joel Billings)
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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 6/1/2016 4:54:40 AM   
trebcourie

 

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I am playing Torch to Tunisia, trying to get familiar with the logistics and interface before tackling more of the game.

So a bunch of random questions I can't find the answers to in the manual or player's guide:

-Next to the cities I see what looks like 4 black stick figures, some outlined in red, some yellow, and some green. What do these mean?

-What do I need to do to improve airfields?

-What does it mean if there is an exclamation point next to an airfield?

-Rail engineer guys? I've got a rail unit hanging out with Patton over in Morocco. Do I need to do anything with them? Maybe send them up to Casablanca to find Rick's? I've also got a Brit unit up in Algeria.

-Two of my ports in Morocco (Rabat and Port Lyautey) are 0 priority. Does that matter?

-I can't assign two of my US units to II Corps (3-26 IN and 2-509 PARA). They are both attached to 1 BR Army. Any idea what I am doing wrong?

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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 6/1/2016 1:44:34 PM   
carlkay58

 

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Some answers:

The 4 black stick figures are manpower 'factories'. Red is a factory with over 50% damage (so it no longer produces), Yellow is a damaged factory (chance of no production = 2xDam%), Green is no (or little(?)) damage.

To improve an airfield you must click on Expand (or Build) Airfield on the city display. To really have a chance of doing this you should have a depot in the same hex. You can also assign an engineer unit to the hex.

An exclamation point next to an airfield means that you have more aircraft based at the airfield than you can fly/support/maintain at that airfield. Either expand the airfield or move some of the air groups to other airfields.

Rail engineer guys must move to a damaged rail hex and then click on the RRC button on the Unit Display. THis fixes the rail for your use. VERY IMPORTANT!!

The zero priority supply depots will not draw supply. If they are far enough behind the lines it should not matter. I rarely place depots that low - 1 is about as far down as I go.

The units you are trying to reassign may be too far away from the Corps HQ to be assigned to them. Make sure they are closer to the Corps HQ and then try again.

(in reply to trebcourie)
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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 6/3/2016 12:12:40 AM   
trebcourie

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: carlkay58

Some answers:

The 4 black stick figures are manpower 'factories'. Red is a factory with over 50% damage (so it no longer produces), Yellow is a damaged factory (chance of no production = 2xDam%), Green is no (or little(?)) damage.

To improve an airfield you must click on Expand (or Build) Airfield on the city display. To really have a chance of doing this you should have a depot in the same hex. You can also assign an engineer unit to the hex.

An exclamation point next to an airfield means that you have more aircraft based at the airfield than you can fly/support/maintain at that airfield. Either expand the airfield or move some of the air groups to other airfields.

Rail engineer guys must move to a damaged rail hex and then click on the RRC button on the Unit Display. THis fixes the rail for your use. VERY IMPORTANT!!

The zero priority supply depots will not draw supply. If they are far enough behind the lines it should not matter. I rarely place depots that low - 1 is about as far down as I go.

The units you are trying to reassign may be too far away from the Corps HQ to be assigned to them. Make sure they are closer to the Corps HQ and then try again.





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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 6/4/2016 2:56:02 PM   
HMSWarspite

 

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Just as an explanation of 0 priority depots, I use them when the war has moved on. Often you create them, and they are vital to supply your front line, so they are Priority 4 or 3 (supporting main thrust, or secondary attacks). Then the war moves forwards a little, and they end up supplying your forwards airfields, and the front line supply is now further forwards, so you use 2 or 1 (watch where and how many red lines emanate, and where they go- use the '8' key to see this). Often you find they are still supplying a couple of bases, but have built up a huge stockpile. I then switch them to 0, as they can 'live off their hump' and keep on supplying the bases without the need to strain your rail network by drawing more. Finally, the war moves completely away, and you can disband them completely, although you can leave them be if you are WA, as you don't need to reclaim the supply. For Germany, putting a depot on zero is a good compromise if you fear a depot might be captured but don't want to disband it (and it has stocks) - you have the supply source without risking further supply if lost. A port that spends much of its time being isolated but occasionally isn't, and which has plenty of stocks is another good example. The logistics system could waste time and effort directing supply there in preference to somewhere more urgent. But of course you must not disband it or your port units will have no stockpiles. Germany is much more keen to disband depots as they do not want to lose supply stocks unnecessarily!

_____________________________

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RE: A Noob's Guide to Noobiness - 6/7/2016 12:35:41 AM   
Delaware

 

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You know.... As hard core as this is, it is more intuitive than Hearts of Iron 4 which I just bought. As I'm playing I think, what I really want is in Grigsby

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