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Question about strike coordination issue - 9/14/2019 9:44:32 AM   
Endy

 

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Joined: 2/6/2014
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Hey guys,

I have a question because some of you may have encountered this issue before (or not, trying to confirm this :) ). Let me try to describe the situation as well as I can. Let me also state that I love the game and was heartbroken when we found out the below issue and could not find a good solution to continue playing.

A few years ago I played a nice PBEM going on for quite a few months but it came to an abrupt stop after me and my opponent encountered something we considered gamebreaking for us.

The whole thing happened, if I remember correctly, when defending Guadalcanal (I played as the Japanese at the time) and concerned air strike on ships coordination. My opponent gathered a nice invasion force and was proceeding to hit the islands. The thing we discovered was that if the Allied fleet contained at least one CV (one or more actually, it didn't matter) then of the few hundred airplanes I had at my disposal most flew in a well coordinated manner, If I remember correctly (that was, again, a few years a ago) just below a hundred or even above a hundred planes of each type, fighters, bombers and torpedo planes, able to get to the Allied ships (despite heavy air cover from carriers and even allied land bases) and able to sink quite a few. Anyway, the strike coordination was very good, waves of planes containing very high numbers etc.

However, the shock came when the exact same fleet containg no CV of any type (but could have BBs, CL and all other ship types) the air strikes came very fragmented, in multiple waves (like 12-15 I think each type in a wave) and that got of course got slaughtered easily by the defending allied planes. My fighters could not do anything with these numbers, it was just a weak wave after wave getting over the ships and getting shot down.

We of course, baffled at first, started checking conditions like range, weather, fleet composition, different stop hexes etc. but the results of our tests confirmed, that in our case the coordinated strikes would only ever come if that fleet contained a CV, CVE, CVL etc. It seemed like carrier presence caused the planes to attack in force and big groups, whereas

Enough to say, we immediately saw, that the easy thing for Allied player to do would be to just bring BB's etc forward as bait, with air cover from behind from CV's and land bases and that would be a very easy way to decimate my planes. So this was an easily exploitable thing. My opponent was kind enough to promise not to use it this way but we felt this is a bit artificial...

Our game was patched and with the mod modifying AAA (pretty much everyone was running it at the time, can't remember the name)

Now, I realize this may be a specific issue to just our game so I would like to ask if anyone else encountered this and can confirm that same planes starting from same airt bases will react differently depending on enemy fleet composition and just one carrier in the group will cause the strikes to be much harder and in bigger waves? Perhaps you can check in some saves you have available and confirm (have the same fleet of BB, CL etc, just one time with an additional CV and without)? If this was not an issue specific to us, maybe since then there was a patch that fixed this? Or perhaps this is not something that needs fixing in your opinion?

I actually love this game since there is no other quite like it, and would like to play again, but I would not like to engage in a prolonged PBEM again just to stop at the same moment as before because of, what I think at least, is a coded AI behaviour that seems very exploitable.

I'll be happy to provide more information as far as my memory serves.

Best Regards,

Endy
Post #: 1
RE: Question about strike coordination issue - 9/14/2019 10:03:54 AM   
zuluhour


Posts: 5327
Joined: 1/20/2011
From: Maryland
Status: offline
"....for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

There is some zen in the game. I would need to see the set up to comment fully. Some gentlemen of the
forum have sandboxed this as well. The only seriously "bad" tactic I've seen is screening with low
value ships, namely xAKL etc. for warships and amphibious TFs. I do not have a problem with the
IJN using "sand pans" or tramp steamers off the home islands or around the PI and CBI for spotting
as I believe this was a practice employed. Using warships to screen the allied TFs is also fine by me,
there is a counter to this. I don't like losing 4-6 destroyers a turn.

ps. As a follow up, I have been experimenting as Japan and hope to have some "doctrine" on coping
with amphibious landings. I have been using various settings such as react, altitudes, ranges, and
targeting. While the alpha strike can yield impressive results so can lots of smaller packets "well
aimed" (I think at this point).

pss. IMHO the IJN needs to hit these amphibious TFs before they reach their targets to be most
effective. Once the troops are ashore allied commanders have choices.

< Message edited by zuluhour -- 9/14/2019 10:10:49 AM >

(in reply to Endy)
Post #: 2
RE: Question about strike coordination issue - 9/14/2019 10:10:11 AM   
Endy

 

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Joined: 2/6/2014
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Yeah I know what you mean :) However the issue here was not screening by low quality ships. The fleet comp was quite good and I'd be happy to get a few BB kills, however my planes were unable to react properly to the fleet and compose a decent strike if a CV (or CL or CVE) was not present in the fleet. If it was there, no problem, great strike coordination, big waves, lots of ships sunk. If just this one ship was missing from the fleet, the strikes were fragmented and slaughter ensued by the allied planes covering the fleet from land bases and CVs some hexes away.

To sum up the issue, just one ship difference in the fleet comp with other factors unchange changed the whole result of the strikes and the way they were performed 180...

< Message edited by Endy -- 9/14/2019 10:13:31 AM >

(in reply to zuluhour)
Post #: 3
RE: Question about strike coordination issue - 9/14/2019 10:15:54 AM   
zuluhour


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Joined: 1/20/2011
From: Maryland
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Another thought here, your carriers will hold back a/c if there is a possibility of enemy carriers present, even if
not spotted or in range yet. I would have liked to have seen the layout of your prior game, spotted ships, weather,
COs in the squadrons and TF COs as well. Fragmented raids or coordination in general are die rolls I think. You
will get some decent responses to this shortly I'm sure.

(in reply to Endy)
Post #: 4
RE: Question about strike coordination issue - 9/14/2019 10:27:39 AM   
Endy

 

Posts: 84
Joined: 2/6/2014
Status: offline
I would love to give that information but I have no access to these saves now unfortunately, I probably should have forum'd this issue a few years ago when I did... Now I can only ask you guys for some help to confirm if this is indeed an issue and removing just CV's from fleet comp and relying on air cover from range can lead to cheese tactics by Allied player or not.

You have a point about holding back planes in case of CV presence or possibility of attack, however, this does not change the exploiting part unfortunately it seems. Knowing IJN will always hold back and fragment its air strikes if Allied CVs are present nearby (even if out of range) can lead to Allied player always holding CVs well out of range (but perhaps detected) and then his surface attack or invasion fleets are perfectly safe from air strikes just with ranged cover, say from land bases. And this of course leads to the said fleets being safe as well as decimating fragmented Japanese air strikes at will.

I know exploiting this AI behaviour is bad manners perhaps but what is the alternative for both players here then? The Allied player would have to be either forced to keep CV's with the invasion fleet and in range of IJN ship or land based AC (but why should you force another player to do that) or keep CVs elsewhere entirely. Otherwise the invasions or fleet raids are pretty safe from air attacks provided they have sufficient air cover from afar and CV's just outside of range but detected to provide constant "threat" right?

Edit. The thing to confirm would be if carrier presence detected nearby is even necessary or if strikes on such surface fleets will always be fragmented. In this case Allied player would not even have to risk CVs anywhere close and just provide air cover from land bases and slaughter any IJN planes that come in small waves. Or if thet presence is necessary for IJN to hold back a bit, what is the range and whether a single CV 20 hexes away is enough or not.

Edit 2. please don't get me wrong, I don't want to exploit this, quite the opposite, I want to play normally knowing there is no such artificial "trigger" that will either cause a great strike success or massive fail regardless of anything else.

< Message edited by Endy -- 9/14/2019 10:36:41 AM >

(in reply to zuluhour)
Post #: 5
RE: Question about strike coordination issue - 9/16/2019 10:46:55 PM   
rustysi


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From: LI, NY
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First let me say there's no exploitable situation here.

Also, good timing!!!

I had a similar situation just my last turn. BBTF nearby and some kind of CVTF in the area. My strike on the BBTF was massive. Over 150 planes. Some CV fighters showed up over the BB Massachusetts, but she was quickly dispatched by such an overwhelming force.

Don't know what your situation was, but you must keep in mind that there are tons of variables 'under the hood' (where you and I are not permitted ) that will effect any outcome. Yours' is most likely a one off situation, or the result of numerous 'die rolls'.

One other thing, never look for absolute results in this game, you won't get them.

_____________________________

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

(in reply to Endy)
Post #: 6
RE: Question about strike coordination issue - 9/17/2019 11:56:48 AM   
HansBolter


Posts: 6887
Joined: 7/6/2006
From: St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Status: online
The huge degree of variability in this game will always ensure there is no given outcome.

Setting up the same situation over and over again will deliver a different result every time.


One time you will get the massive coordinated strike because your coordination die rolls went your way.

The next time you will get a gaggle of strung out missions.

The gaggle of strung out missions is not always a bad thing.

Many times a huge coordinated strike ends up doing far less damage than the total damage done by strung out smaller missions.

Very often, when strung out small missions occur, CAP gets worn down and stops coming up altogether before the missions have ended, allowing for uninterrupted bombing runs.

Not every result is cut and dried as good and bad.

< Message edited by HansBolter -- 9/17/2019 11:57:10 AM >


_____________________________

Hans


(in reply to rustysi)
Post #: 7
RE: Question about strike coordination issue - 9/17/2019 12:09:45 PM   
Endy

 

Posts: 84
Joined: 2/6/2014
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: rustysi

First let me say there's no exploitable situation here.

Also, good timing!!!

I had a similar situation just my last turn. BBTF nearby and some kind of CVTF in the area. My strike on the BBTF was massive. Over 150 planes. Some CV fighters showed up over the BB Massachusetts, but she was quickly dispatched by such an overwhelming force.

Don't know what your situation was, but you must keep in mind that there are tons of variables 'under the hood' (where you and I are not permitted ) that will effect any outcome. Yours' is most likely a one off situation, or the result of numerous 'die rolls'.

One other thing, never look for absolute results in this game, you won't get them.



Heh, I was actually hoping the situation we encountered there was just an accident although the test we did proved otherwise. Pehraps we didn't run enough of them or there was something else in our game affecting the strike results that we did not know about. But you do give me hope, I was really scared this might be something of a "rule" that will always bring this particular result, that's why I wanted to ask you guys here :) Thanks!



quote:

ORIGINAL: HansBolter

The huge degree of variability in this game will always ensure there is no given outcome.

Setting up the same situation over and over again will deliver a different result every time.


One time you will get the massive coordinated strike because your coordination die rolls went your way.

The next time you will get a gaggle of strung out missions.

The gaggle of strung out missions is not always a bad thing.

Many times a huge coordinated strike ends up doing far less damage than the total damage done by strung out smaller missions.

Very often, when strung out small missions occur, CAP gets worn down and stops coming up altogether before the missions have ended, allowing for uninterrupted bombing runs.

Not every result is cut and dried as good and bad.


Cheers. Like above, this gives me hope it was just something we missed (some factor we did not know about) or just something in our game only and not a certainty. This makes me want to jump into playing Witp again when I find some time to learn it once more :)

(in reply to HansBolter)
Post #: 8
RE: Question about strike coordination issue - 9/17/2019 5:18:09 PM   
Sardaukar


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From: Finland/Israel/Bulgaria
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As Allies, I have never worried too much about co-ordination...basically because not having enough CVs to have more than 3 in TF until 1944...

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"To meaningless French Idealism, Liberty, Fraternity and Equality...we answer with German Realism, Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery" -Prince von Bülov, 1870-


(in reply to Endy)
Post #: 9
RE: Question about strike coordination issue - 9/17/2019 5:21:55 PM   
rustysi


Posts: 6079
Joined: 2/21/2012
From: LI, NY
Status: offline
quote:

hoping the situation we encountered there was just an accident although the test we did proved otherwise.


BTW. If you tested using the same turn without changes, more often than not you'll get similar results. Not 100% sure why, but I think its so players don't continually re-run the same turn 'til they get the result they want. At any rate if your situation were absolute I wouldn't be investing any more time in this game.

As an aside, I don't know if you recall or ever played a game called USAAF's. I believe a later version might have been 'Bombing the Reich'. At any rate you could figure the exact distance each icon movement on the map represented. With that and knowing when the AI would contact your bombers it was possibly to 'time' your fighters to show up just like the Calvary in the old westerns. Impossible. Got old quick.

_____________________________

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

(in reply to Endy)
Post #: 10
RE: Question about strike coordination issue - 9/17/2019 6:50:03 PM   
HansBolter


Posts: 6887
Joined: 7/6/2006
From: St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sardaukar

As Allies, I have never worried too much about co-ordination...basically because not having enough CVs to have more than 3 in TF until 1944...



In late 45 and early 46 with my Death Star off the coast of the Home Islands, the DS consists of multiple TFs following a leader.

It has 4 fleet CV TFs with anywhere from 4-6 CVs and 2 CVLs. IT also has 7 CVE TFs with 8 CVEs each.

Most strikes aimed at a single target go in as a coordinated strike of 800+ TBs and 500+ DBs.

This means that not only are separate ships within a given TF coordinating, but also that 11 separate TFs are coordinating their strikes.

Late game coordination is far easier to achieve than early game.

_____________________________

Hans


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Post #: 11
RE: Question about strike coordination issue - 9/17/2019 6:50:58 PM   
RangerJoe


Posts: 2529
Joined: 11/16/2015
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quote:

ORIGINAL: rustysi

quote:

hoping the situation we encountered there was just an accident although the test we did proved otherwise.


BTW. If you tested using the same turn without changes, more often than not you'll get similar results. Not 100% sure why, but I think its so players don't continually re-run the same turn 'til they get the result they want. At any rate if your situation were absolute I wouldn't be investing any more time in this game.

As an aside, I don't know if you recall or ever played a game called USAAF's. I believe a later version might have been 'Bombing the Reich'. At any rate you could figure the exact distance each icon movement on the map represented. With that and knowing when the AI would contact your bombers it was possibly to 'time' your fighters to show up just like the Calvary in the old westerns. Impossible. Got old quick.


I believe that it might store the seed value for the Random Number Generator so the results will be the same or nearly so.



_____________________________

Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

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― Julia Child


(in reply to rustysi)
Post #: 12
RE: Question about strike coordination issue - 9/20/2019 11:33:21 PM   
DHRedge

 

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Could it be that if you have a CV or CVE you are getting a fleet leader with good air skills, and he is effecting coordination die rolls?

(in reply to RangerJoe)
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RE: Question about strike coordination issue - 9/21/2019 2:23:02 AM   
BBfanboy


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From: Winnipeg, MB
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: DHRedge

Could it be that if you have a CV or CVE you are getting a fleet leader with good air skills, and he is effecting coordination die rolls?

There is no guarantee that the Air Combat TF leader has high Air Skill, but that does contribute to getting the strike off in orderly fashion. Weather has more to do with scattering strikes than anything else. The other factors seem to be approximately the same cruise speed for the aircraft and the same altitude setting.
Individual squadron leaders' Air Skills play a big role in staying together enroute.

_____________________________

No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

(in reply to DHRedge)
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