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Newbie struggling - 6/27/2020 3:15:46 PM   
Janaka

 

Posts: 29
Joined: 12/29/2017
From: UK
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Hi All,

Just bought the game. Started full campaign as Central Powers. It's January 1915 and the war is all but lost. Seriously struggling to understand so much of this game.

Some questions:

1. How to cope with Russian offensive from turn 1?
I have woefully inadequate numbers to form any sort of defensive line, even when pulling back and ceding lots of territory in the process. Russian units seem superior, inflicting huge casualties on my defenders, including the losses of full corps in a single turn to multiple attacks, but I seem unable to inflict any damage of worth in return. Russian units are pouring through the huge gaps in my defence and marching at will across Germany unopposed. In fact I thought the Russians looked likely to be in Berlin by mid-Dec 1914 but seemed to check their own advance (scripted?).

2. How to invade Serbia?
Serbian defenders are proving to be superhuman. I cannot inflict any damage on them at all, I always receive damage back though. Just three Serbian units have held back my entire invasion force. They are still full strength units, I have given up on re-inforcing my attackers after each attack. Attacking has proved suicidal.

3. What to do with the Austrian and Turkish navies?
Given that a single British cruiser single-handedly destroyed about a third of my Austrian navy I'm at a loss as to how best employ my fleets in the med/adriatic/black sea, as challenging the RN is going to be disastrous.

4. How does combat actually work?
The box at the bottom of the screen provides no explaination of the factors at work. I'm hoping I just successfully managed to attach an image of the box I mean. Would like to know what everything here means.
- How is 2-0 derived? My experience of the game so far shows me that I can expect to suffer 2 strength losses vs inflicting none against the Russian unit. But how did the game arrive at 2-0?
-So, under Posen there is a single iron cross highlighted - what is this? Unit experience?
-What effect does supply: 6 vs Supply: 7 have?
-Readiness is superior to Russian and morale similar but my chances of winning combat (2-0) suggests that executing the attack is suicidal?
- What does the red arrow with the white shape on it signify?
- What is +30% SA=3 vs SD=3 (+2DB)? I assume this is soft attack vs soft defence but don't understand what these equations are telling me.

5. How do I plan attacks to improve my odds of success?
Looking at the image again, what can I do in my next turns to change the odds in my favour?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Janaka -- 6/27/2020 3:32:58 PM >


_____________________________

"Gentlemen, we're in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun" - Capt. E. Blackadder.
Post #: 1
RE: Newbie struggling - 6/27/2020 4:49:43 PM   
shri

 

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Read the manual twice, most of it is answered there.

(in reply to Janaka)
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RE: Newbie struggling - 6/27/2020 5:06:07 PM   
mdsmall

 

Posts: 431
Joined: 4/28/2020
From: Vancouver, BC
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Greetings! We have all been there at the start of playing this game, so don't worry.

1) If you go with the original deployment plan for the Central Powers, you should be winning in the West while falling back in the East until early 1915. But it sounds like the Russians are doing even better than normal. What difficulty setting are using for the AI? If it is set at Veteran or Expert you will have problems. Are you entrenching your units? Are your units within range of your German generals? Even though the Germans start with very few units in East Prussia, if they fall back carefully and entrench, their superior infantry warfare tech levels and their far superior generals should enable them to hold off the Russians. Once your full army has deployed, you can send some more units East via Operational Movement to plug the gaps and start counter-attacking. You also need to be investing in artillery weapons and gas/shell tech so your artillery can de-entrench the enemy. It usually takes until early to mid 1915 before you have the tech necessary but Germany is the only Major that starts the game with an artillery piece deployed.

2) The Serbs are tough and their terrain is tougher. To beat them, I find you have to outflank them in Bosnia and Montenegro and try your best to capture the Montenegrin port. That lengthens their line and cuts them off from convoy supply from France. But really you will only start to make progress against Serbia once you have a AH artillery unit with a tech level of 1 so that you can de-entrench them. Best strategy of all is to use diplomacy to get Bulgaria to join the Central powers, so they can attack the Serbs from the rear. When you eventually succeed in defeating them and capturing their three capitals, watch out for Serbian partisans!

3) Austrian and Turkish navies usually sit in port and wait for an isolated French or British ship to come too close. Then from the protection of their ports, they can attack, sink the enemy and retreat back to port. The Austrians are strong enough in capital ships to counter-attack. The Turks really have to build a fleet in the later part of the game, once they have built up their economy and have won a land war on at least one front.

4) I have spent hundreds of hours playing this game over the past two months and I still don't understand completely how combat exactly works. I have asked the game designers in a future manual update to write out explanations of the notifications in the box under units. It makes no sense to me and I have really tried to understand it. Ditto with all the target types. However, what you need to bear in mind is that unit strength is only one variable affecting combat. Tech levels, experience, command bonuses, supply, morale and terrain all play important role in determining combat outcomes. Use the preview mechanism before every attack to test the odds before actually attacking. You will get a feel by playing what the odds will likely be even if it is difficult to calculate them exactly in advance.

5) To improve your odds of success, I recommend playing again with the AI set at Green or Novice until you are relatively comfortable with the game mechanics.
Once you have some proficiency in the game, on the Intermediate setting, you should be able to knock out Russia by late 1916 as the Central Powers and then win on the Western Front in 1917. If you crank up the difficulty level to Veteran or Expert, it is very different story.

Hang in there - it is worth it!

Michael

(in reply to Janaka)
Post #: 3
RE: Newbie struggling - 6/28/2020 12:27:06 AM   
Xsillione

 

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Combat mostly adds up all the bonus of the two units (some are negative), and than multiplied with readiness and unit strength.

So in your case, it is 3 vs 3 from start, which would end you a nice equal fight usually getting 2:2, the readiness difference is small, so not change, the strength is 10 for both, still (and the supply only important for the next turn morale and readiness, so does not play in the current fight.) But the defender has +2 db (terrain effect, like defensive stuff, probably a city, maybe over a river), so effectively it is a 3 vs 5 fight, not a good one, should result a 2:1, but the defender also has 3 entrenchment, that also shifts it for less damage to them, making it a 2:0

The iron cross is experience, each full cross (or whatever for other nations) means an effective +0.5 power in combat stat, which can be quite powerful, also adds option for overstrength, and since that directly change combat results, also quite powerful, but costly and takes time.

In most case, attacking entrenched units is a bad idea, but sometimes you need to do this. Attacking with 3 entrenchment is a really bad idea, unless you can follow it up with 3-4 other attacks, so in the end you take the hex and kill the unit, making the entire combat worthwhile.

(in reply to mdsmall)
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RE: Newbie struggling - 6/28/2020 2:37:58 PM   
Janaka

 

Posts: 29
Joined: 12/29/2017
From: UK
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quote:

ORIGINAL: shri

Read the manual twice, most of it is answered there.


Sage advice. I must admit I'm quite lazy when it comes to manuals and only skimmed the highlights as it were before firing up a game.

Thanks to everyone for advice.

I started a new game and set it to the easiest difficulty instead of intermediate and gave AI the maximum MPP penalty too. I'm doing better but have ground to a halt and can make no further progress. I am losing 4 or 5 corps each turn to sustained Entante attacks but cannot inflict anything more than some strength losses in turn. Serbians have overrun my southern units and are swallowing up Hungary. The Ottomans melt as soon as Russian units assault and now Italians are threatening in the south.

As I seemed outnumbered I decided to turn of fog of war for a moment to see how fairly stacked the new southern front is i.e how many units the game provides me versus how many the Italians receive as they join the war - I was astounded. The game provides me with 3 Austrian detachments to defend against Italy's 15 corps, 4 detachments and 2 HQs. No wonder I'm struggling.

I face hopeless odds on all other fronts too. A single defensive line in the east versus Russians packed up to 5 units deep; the west front is more balanced but still I'm outnumbered probably two-to-one, and the Ottomans have five units remaining versus 24 Russians in the Caucasus. Is every game stacked like this against the Central Powers? Are these odds historical?


_____________________________

"Gentlemen, we're in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun" - Capt. E. Blackadder.

(in reply to shri)
Post #: 5
RE: Newbie struggling - 6/28/2020 6:39:36 PM   
Xsillione

 

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Hmm, something there must be amiss, on normal and easy you should be able to fight them on equal term at least, or even be able to defend two times easily on the russian front. Strongly advise to watch a somewhat good video or maybe even a good one.

The numbers are against you in most case as CP, so for training, you probably should play as entente, you defend and the CP must attack you, and you have the economical advantage (Germany 400 mpp, AH 250 mpp, Ottoman 200 mpp vs France 300, Uk 200 and goes to 300 or more, Russia 250, Serbia 100, Italy 200 and eventually you get convoys from the US and US itself for 200-400 total), oh and the UK naval advantage is insane, they have more ships than the rest of the nations together. And yes, it is mostly historical, italy most be reinforced with 4-6 unit for defense, more to attack, russia was an ongoing disaster for everyone, but the Russian army had more man, than the western front (both side), and AH failed against serbia on its own. Oh, and the Germans had to sent troops to east when they needed them most on the western front, partially this lead to the trenches, not that the extra troops would avoid it, but probably at a better position.

(in reply to Janaka)
Post #: 6
RE: Newbie struggling - 6/28/2020 6:46:18 PM   
mdsmall

 

Posts: 431
Joined: 4/28/2020
From: Vancouver, BC
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You must be missing something fundamental because that scale of rout for the Central Powers against the AI on the Novice setting is hard to understand. Are you sure you did not increase the Entente's MPP capacity rather than reducing it? Are you buying new corps to replace the ones destroyed and to grow your army? Overall, the two sides are quite evenly balanced with some very different advantages for each Major power- which is what makes the game interesting.

Michael

(in reply to Janaka)
Post #: 7
RE: Newbie struggling - 6/28/2020 8:00:25 PM   
Janaka

 

Posts: 29
Joined: 12/29/2017
From: UK
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: mdsmall

You must be missing something fundamental because that scale of rout for the Central Powers against the AI on the Novice setting is hard to understand. Are you sure you did not increase the Entente's MPP capacity rather than reducing it? Are you buying new corps to replace the ones destroyed and to grow your army? Overall, the two sides are quite evenly balanced with some very different advantages for each Major power- which is what makes the game interesting.

Michael


I'm on easiest setting (Green?) and maximum MPP penalty for the Entante AI. I simply cannot compete with the number of AI units. It allows the AI to freely cycle units in and out of the front line attacking the same target unit destroyed, by comparison of course the AI units each retreat to reinforce, so the numbers game goes continuously downhill for me. And now, as national morale drops, even upgraded full strength fully entrenched (I have level 3 trench warfare researched) are easily destroyed in a single turn by this AI tactic.

I've attached a screenshot of my last turn's casualty list (June 1916). As you can see, plenty of my units destroyed but not a single AI loss. Those sort of losses have become quite typical of each turn at this point. There are no navy losses because what's left of my navy is sheltering in the relative safety of the Baltic. I've learned the navy is best left unused to avoid the NM losses from sinkings.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Janaka -- 6/28/2020 8:03:57 PM >


_____________________________

"Gentlemen, we're in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun" - Capt. E. Blackadder.

(in reply to mdsmall)
Post #: 8
RE: Newbie struggling - 6/28/2020 8:09:00 PM   
mdsmall

 

Posts: 431
Joined: 4/28/2020
From: Vancouver, BC
Status: offline
Have you tried switching sides in mid-campaign and have the AI play the Central Powers? You can do this in settings. If you keep the Fog of War turned off, you can then see how the AI would play your hand. I still think there must be some basic tactics you are missing. I have learned quite a bit by watching the AI play. Be sure to not to turn on Quick Animation and save each turn so you can replay it to see again what happened.

Michael

(in reply to Janaka)
Post #: 9
RE: Newbie struggling - 6/29/2020 9:43:40 AM   
Janaka

 

Posts: 29
Joined: 12/29/2017
From: UK
Status: offline
Okay. So I'm trying again. Entente this time, Green, -20% CP MPP. Doing slightly better in the land war, though don't understand how the AI amassed so many corps against me in my CP games as budgeting MPP as the Entenete is harder than playing the CP. I certainly can't afford the number of corps the AI was fielding.

Anyway, it's mid-1915 and I'm somewhat perplexed as to what's going wrong at sea. In my CP games I had to hide what was left of my navies to save them and my U-boats were ineffective against Entente ships. However, In my Entente game I'm having to retreat from the German navy as my ships are being sunk at an alarming rate by U-boats. This wouldn't work for me when I played them!? All the ships sunk in the last turn (see attached) were in my home waters and had decent strength points before being attacked.

What is it that I'm doing wrong? It works for the AI but not for me when I used the same tactics. I'm losing ships fast. Any suggestions as to why U-boats are super killing machines in the AI's hands and how to deal with it?

Thanks in advance.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Janaka -- 6/29/2020 9:44:13 AM >


_____________________________

"Gentlemen, we're in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun" - Capt. E. Blackadder.

(in reply to mdsmall)
Post #: 10
RE: Newbie struggling - 6/29/2020 3:02:46 PM   
Xsillione

 

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Joined: 1/18/2019
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Subs are dangerous, a very simplified circle is this: subs hunt big ships, big ships hunt destroyers, destroyers hunt subs. And carriers are, but it is also true, that bigger ships can hunt smaller ones (except per-dreadnought, those are target practice for most ships.)

You also needs to expect the enemy ships, since the surprise combat is devastating even if you are a BC and the other is just an LC. This makes subs ideal for searching, only destroyers get proper surprise attack, and those are the primary targets to be cleared anyway for the big ships.

You can also leave your ships in ambush position, so when the enemy comes to attack one of your ships, it bumps into one of yours, surprise, if the next comes for this new one, another surprise. Hopefully the enemy will run out of ships first.

(in reply to Janaka)
Post #: 11
RE: Newbie struggling - 6/29/2020 4:46:00 PM   
mdsmall

 

Posts: 431
Joined: 4/28/2020
From: Vancouver, BC
Status: offline
Also, researching Anti-Submarine warfare tech is important if you are playing the Entente. Even 1 level of ASW tech will help any of your ships inflict losses on enemy subs. In return, the Germans are well advised to research submarine technology, so they can evade more easily. Subs are really only powerful if they are ambushing enemy capital ships that have no ASW capability or destroyer protection.

(in reply to Janaka)
Post #: 12
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