From: Florida, USA
Here's my 2 cents -
Alright so I finally bought the game after years of lurking, watching WITPAE youtube videos and reading AAR. I've never played more than a few turns but I know the difference between Kavieng and Kota Baru.
Unfortunately there are several (many) topics I don't understand yet and these are preventing me from starting a game. I intend to play as Japan against the AI.
Feel free to answer any/all and/or direct me to good sources of information!
1: 126.96.36.199 is the version I have. Is this the latest version? I get an error if I try to update.
2: Industry / Aero Engine Research
I have no idea how to efficiently rearrange the number of engines I am producing and "researching" at the start of the game. I think the more advanced (future) engines I produce, the faster those engines become available, or something. Or maybe that's only for airframes? And if that's true, I also have no idea how many engines to produce to research efficiently. Is there a formula or curve for this? I don't want to allocate too many or too few HI. Also what is the main downside of simply expanding a lot of HI at the start of the game?
Since it costs HI to expand HI, you need to be careful; I generally expand HI in the Home Islands and China, being careful to only expand in Chinese ports (as you may need to be able to get fuel there, since China does not produce enough.) I limit myself to 10 locations at a time, expanding in increments of 10.
My target is to accumulate 1 million HI (in the bank) during 1942, which means you need to make 2740 more HI than you spend each day. I also don't expand HI on Hokkaido, as no fuel is produced there, and all those transports carrying resource back to Honshu use a lot of fuel, too.
3: Manpower / Pilots / Training
I am under the impression that manpower is used for two things: industry expansion and pilot training. Does that mean that if I expand HI, that I will have fewer trained pilots permanently?
Also, pilot training missions seem complex. Is there a general rule for what skills are most critical to train, and what training levels are good/optimal? I gather that you want to have an air HQ and lots of obsolete aircraft flying training at a certain altitude with a certain % of the pilots resting. Any suggestions for extra units to send to Manchuria for training purposes?
Everything in Manchukuo should be training. Some recon and bombers can fly out of Port Arthur early in the game, but the front will quickly be too distant. No need to send more aircraft to Manchukuo.
Train at 100%, 0 range, altitude appropriate for mission. Train all missions, including ASW. Monthly, check these units for good pilots, and move them to reserve or active units, and start new replacements training.
4: Optimal altitude for missions
I have a general idea of what altitude to fly for various missions, but I have no idea what altitudes are absolutely optimal. Is there any difference at all between dive-bombing from 10000 and 11000 feet? Will bombing from 1-3K result in more hits than bombing at 5-6K? I know that higher altitude is better for fighter sweeps (and many games ban flying over 20K until 1944 or whatever). Why not just always sweep at max altitude? I know that flying at very low altitude increases vulnerability to AAA. I'm unclear if flying lower really results in more bomb damage and/or if there is an 'optimal' altitude for certain missions, assuming 'average' AAA resistance.
There is no "optimal" altitude; it's a trade off between effectiveness and loss due to enemy action (like AA). If AA is minimal, blast away at lower altitudes. If AA is significant (Singapore/Manila) stay above 10k. In China I bomb at 6k, both airfields and troops.
In PvP games do players typically use auto convoy, manually control every convoy, or a mix (e.g. only manually control the most important convoys)?
I NEVER use auto convoy, but you can set up routine convoys to continually run between 2 ports, especially between Hokkaido/Sakhalin and Honshu, and between Korea and Japan. Early in the game there is so much resource accumulated on Hokkaido that you'll want to get it to Honshu as soon as possible. Hakodate and Sapporo can load resource convoys fairly quickly; I've sized my CS convoys to enable them to completely load in 2 days using Aden class cargo ships (you start with ~200 of these.)
6: "Fortress Palembang"
Do Allied players still do this? This seemed like a killer strategy at least back in the day and I'm not sure how to beat an Allied player who simply stacks this hex.
As the Gorn and Bedford Forrest said, get there first. The 4th and 33rd Divisions start in Japan; one or both of them should get there (with support) as early as possible. Their amphib TF's will need to be escorted by surface ships with air cover (either CV or from Singkawang). If you wait until after you've captured Singapore, you may be too late (if your opponent has opted to use this tactic).
I don't see many AAR where the JP player seriously attacks India. Is there a good example of this? They seem to love going for the Aleutians and North/West Australia. I have no idea why the Japanese player would target these locations. Calcutta seems like a juicy target with 500 HI.
India is very well defended; NW Australia is not. There is easy resource pickings in NW Australia, but you don't really need resource. SW Australia (Perth area) is also tempting. Oh, and those 500 HI at Calcutta will be damaged if you're able to capture it.
What is the general strategy for conquering China?
9: Pearl Harbor Second Strike / Pearl Harbor Exodus
When testing, I placed the Lexington inside PH on turn 1. As the Allied player, I placed it in a task force and told it to leave the harbor. When the KB strike arrived at PH, the Lexington was at sea. This was with the "Dec 7 surprise" setting turned ON. Is this working as intended? It seems that the allied player can simply move his ships out of PH on turn 1 to avoid the strike (or even attack the KB).
Also, is it generally considered advantageous for Japan to strike again on 8 Dec or after? It seems to me like there is potential to finish off a lot of heavily damaged BB.
Finally, I notice a lot of my J aircraft are dying to flak on 7 Dec, especially the ones that attack airfields. What altitude do you suggest for airfield attack?
10: Good Sub locations
Where are the best areas for J subs to go in order to sink convoys? I really have no clue.
11: Leader skills
Apparently aggressiveness is extremely important. I get the impression that squadron commanders want high AIR skill, but I might be wrong about this for bombers. Do they need high NAV or LND for attacking sea/ground targets?
12: Ship sprites
Is there an easy way to edit the BMP ship picture files for a non-artist? I want to include the BBs Kii and Owari and for now I am forced to use the Nagato picture.
13: Facilities Expand at Start
What is the cost of expanding? Is there any? Do people use this option or do they manually expand only the things they need?