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A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 3:56:03 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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Hi, I had a few questions as a complete newb after playing the main Axis campaign up till the eve of Barbarossa and terminating the campaign in frustration:

1. What are you supposed to do as Japan - especially vis-a-vis China? Japan has no tanks or mechanized infantry to start out with, and hence no multi-strike unit. So it just seems that you just get bogged down in China, and there is no real soft spot to push through in China's human wave defensive line. If Japan struggles this much against China as the only enemy, I cannot imagine how it will go when the U.S. and the U.K. join the fun - which prompts me to ask the next question.

2. Is there any way to avoid fighting the U.S. as Japan?

3. If you must fight the U.S. as Japan, is a repeat of the Pearl Harbor attack necessary?

4. Is an early thrust into the Soviet Far East as Japan - in conjunction with Barbarossa - advisable?

5. Germany, in contrast to Japan, seems more straightforward and easier, except the issue of Afrika Korps: Namely, given that they spawn in southern Europe - rather than Africa - is it worthwhile to assign them their historical role and send them to Libya? Or better to throw them at Barbarossa?

6. Also for Germany, is Sea Lion - especially for a newb like myself - feasible?

Edit: Forgot to ask:

7. Is their any advantage to declining the Vichy settlement and continue to fight France?



< Message edited by Alcibiades73 -- 5/4/2021 3:59:44 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 6:06:19 PM   
Bo Rearguard


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73


2. Is there any way to avoid fighting the U.S. as Japan?






If you ever wanna expand your MMP base to defeat China you're likely going to have to fight the US sooner or later as this will involve taking more territory which will bump up their mobilization level. The war in China was kind of a vicious circle for Japan. To finish off China Japan need more resources, to get more resources Japan had to make more enemies.


_____________________________

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 7:20:32 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bo Rearguard

If you ever wanna expand your MMP base to defeat China you're likely going to have to fight the US sooner or later as this will involve taking more territory which will bump up their mobilization level. The war in China was kind of a vicious circle for Japan. To finish off China Japan need more resources, to get more resources Japan had to make more enemies.


Yeah, Japan is in a pickle regarding China, especially in a MP match I have come to realize. Get in too deep, and neglect the navy or research to further Japans ambitions there...and things can go from ok to bad quickly once the USA gets the ball rolling in the Pacific.

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 8:28:07 PM   
Platoonist


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Japan has always been a tough balancing act to play. Unlike Germany, which aside from setting a small part of its budget aside for U-Boats can throw everything into air and land warfare, Japan has to keep up an army, a navy and air force on a more slender flow of MPPs. So my advice is to make the Pearl Harbor attack. It's your one chance to pare down the odds a little bit in Japan's favor. You do get quite a few additional elite units free of charge, so to speak, when war with the US looms. Mostly Special Naval Landing Forces and two HQ units.

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 9:12:01 PM   
pjg100

 

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The challenges involved in playing JA well are one of the two principal reasons I prefer WAW over WIE, the other being the additional range of choices the US must pursue with respect to research and build strategy.

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 9:14:09 PM   
eriador08

 

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I would say the allied player is still in a very tough situation with china. Even if the japanese resources are divided for other purposes, it is hard to stop them. Most japanese attacks go through the south of china first and then the capital can be assaulted from multiple directions.

You need to learn how to handle the game mechanics like swaping units or management of HQs and APs. Then you will see, that they can be dealt with or even brought down in many games before war with the US escalates.

Some bombers and artillery can help Japan to soften key areas for the attack. Mobility upgrades, though very expensive, can be great also to reach better positions and follow up on retreating chinese units.

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 9:19:52 PM   
eriador08

 

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To 7: If you decline Vichy you get the chance to annex whole France with big parts of their colonial territory like Algeria, Tunisia and Syria. This can be very handy, if you want to secure the Mediterranean anyway. You get also a better chance for a axis Spain. There is even an event for this purpose. You need to take Algiers to finish France off though, since they will move to Africa and fight on from there.

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 9:24:53 PM   
eriador08

 

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To 4: If you can spare the troops it is always worth the consideration, since you can take Vladivostok and therfore cut the route of US aid from there.

A Soviet assault on Manchuria is always possible, when the russians are in a somewhat save spot. It can be hard to be dealt with later, when troops are even harder to spare and Soviets got some heavy tanks with them.

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 9:27:04 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoonist

Japan has always been a tough balancing act to play. Unlike Germany, which aside from setting a small part of its budget aside for U-Boats can throw everything into air and land warfare, Japan has to keep up an army, a navy and air force on a more slender flow of MPPs. So my advice is to make the Pearl Harbor attack. It's your one chance to pare down the odds a little bit in Japan's favor. You do get quite a few additional elite units free of charge, so to speak, when war with the US looms. Mostly Special Naval Landing Forces and two HQ units.


Yup; I noticed this. Would you say that an Allies playthrough then is inherently easier in this game? Perhaps I picked the wrong side to learn the game?

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 9:29:47 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: eriador08



You need to learn how to handle the game mechanics like swaping units or management of HQs and APs. Then you will see, that they can be dealt with or even brought down in many games before war with the US escalates.

Some bombers and artillery can help Japan to soften key areas for the attack. Mobility upgrades, though very expensive, can be great also to reach better positions and follow up on retreating chinese units.



Yeah, I had a question about movement: It seems like I cannot enter some mountainous hexes, even though I start at an adjacent hex. Is this because mountains are too difficult (or even impossible?) to traverse? Or is there some other mechanic at work here? And either way, will the mobility technology enable me to overcome this problem?

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 9:32:57 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: eriador08

To 7: If you decline Vichy you get the chance to annex whole France with big parts of their colonial territory like Algeria, Tunisia and Syria. This can be very handy, if you want to secure the Mediterranean anyway. You get also a better chance for a axis Spain. There is even an event for this purpose. You need to take Algiers to finish France off though, since they will move to Africa and fight on from there.


This sounds quite hard, as I'd have to deal with both the French and the British fleet in the Mediterranean. Also perhaps I'd get spread out and bogged down in multiple theaters?

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 9:51:03 PM   
Platoonist


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73


quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoonist

Japan has always been a tough balancing act to play. Unlike Germany, which aside from setting a small part of its budget aside for U-Boats can throw everything into air and land warfare, Japan has to keep up an army, a navy and air force on a more slender flow of MPPs. So my advice is to make the Pearl Harbor attack. It's your one chance to pare down the odds a little bit in Japan's favor. You do get quite a few additional elite units free of charge, so to speak, when war with the US looms. Mostly Special Naval Landing Forces and two HQ units.


Yup; I noticed this. Would you say that an Allies playthrough then is inherently easier in this game? Perhaps I picked the wrong side to learn the game?


If playing for the first time I would suggest just controlling Germany and Italy and let the Axis AI run Japan. It keeps things manageable. That way you learn a lot about how to conduct effective offensives on (mostly) flat land without the added complication of trying to figure out the poor terrain and partisan nightmare of China and having to juggle the requirements of a large fleet. Of course, you'll have to look after the Italian Navy eventually, but best not to get too ambitious with that particular force. Same for the German surface navy.

U-Boats are pretty easy. Just spread them far afield to keep the enemy guessing, alternate them in and out of convoy lanes and don't stay in the same place for more than one turn.

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 10:28:30 PM   
Platoonist


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By the way, defeating China is certainly feasible as Japan. It takes a good store of patience. Researching and upgrading infantry units is the way to do it. Just don't expect miracles as it takes time and attrition. It's best to start at the northern and southern flanks and work your way in. Taking Nanning is a top priority as it cuts off the flow of MPPs from the outside world. You also need to get some bombers and artillery into the action and your bombers get valuable experience this way. China has only one fighter unit to start with so there is not much in the way of aerial opposition.

China on the ground is a World War one type slugfest, but at some point between bad morale and the inability of the Chinese to replace losses, they start to crumble. The big haul of plunder when China falls makes it worth it.

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 10:54:07 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoonist



If playing for the first time I would suggest just controlling Germany and Italy and let the Axis AI run Japan. It keeps things manageable. That way you learn a lot about how to conduct effective offensives on (mostly) flat land without the added complication of trying to figure out the poor terrain and partisan nightmare of China and having to juggle the requirements of a large fleet. Of course, you'll have to look after the Italian Navy eventually, but best not to get too ambitious with that particular force. Same for the German surface navy.

U-Boats are pretty easy. Just spread them far afield to keep the enemy guessing, alternate them in and out of convoy lanes and don't stay in the same place for more than one turn.


Hmm, I am a bit wary of the possibility of the AI making things a bit more difficult for me though.

Would it be easier for me to just re-start as Allies?

(in reply to Platoonist)
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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 10:57:07 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoonist

By the way, defeating China is certainly feasible as Japan. It takes a good store of patience. Researching and upgrading infantry units is the way to do it. Just don't expect miracles as it takes time and attrition. It's best to start at the northern and southern flanks and work your way in. Taking Nanning is a top priority as it cuts off the flow of MPPs from the outside world. You also need to get some bombers and artillery into the action and your bombers get valuable experience this way. China has only one fighter unit to start with so there is not much in the way of aerial opposition.

China on the ground is a World War one type slugfest, but at some point between bad morale and the inability of the Chinese to replace losses, they start to crumble. The big haul of plunder when China falls makes it worth it.


Hmm, the one worry I have about going through either the northern or the central front is that there was a game pop-up said that the Communists will also attack me if I proceed along either route. Are the Communists too minor a threat to worry about?

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 11:03:29 PM   
Platoonist


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73


Would it be easier for me to just re-start as Allies?


Try just playing as the Soviet Union. Not much to do in the beginning but R&D, but you get a big challenge later on when Herr Hitler comes gunning for you.

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/4/2021 11:12:55 PM   
Platoonist


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73


Hmm, the one worry I have about going through either the northern or the central front is that there was a game pop-up said that the Communists will also attack me if I proceed along either route. Are the Communists too minor a threat to worry about?


The Chinese Communists are basically two armies and a HQ which probably need upgrading to the infantry standards of the rest of the Chinese Army. Nothing to sneeze at, but not exactly Red Guard hordes either. Plus, you'll have to face them sooner or later if you want China to fall.

One of the biggest issue you face in advancing as Japan in China, is that there is a game mechanism which allows Chinese units to reform for free as certain cities fall. Just one of those game mechanisms to simulate the historic ability of China to keep armies in the field no matter how badly they got beaten. Like I said, it takes patience in China as Japan. It's a sitzkrieg, not a blitzkreig.

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/5/2021 7:24:53 AM   
eriador08

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73


quote:

ORIGINAL: eriador08




Yeah, I had a question about movement: It seems like I cannot enter some mountainous hexes, even though I start at an adjacent hex. Is this because mountains are too difficult (or even impossible?) to traverse? Or is there some other mechanic at work here? And either way, will the mobility technology enable me to overcome this problem?


It can help in some situations, but do nit expect wonders. You get one more movement point fir the upgrade.

I guess your problem is the zone of control. Hexes that are next to an enemy army need more action point to move into. In bad terrain this can add up, so that it is not possible for your units to enter them.


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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/5/2021 11:39:01 AM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoonist



The Chinese Communists are basically two armies and a HQ which probably need upgrading to the infantry standards of the rest of the Chinese Army. Nothing to sneeze at, but not exactly Red Guard hordes either. Plus, you'll have to face them sooner or later if you want China to fall.

One of the biggest issue you face in advancing as Japan in China, is that there is a game mechanism which allows Chinese units to reform for free as certain cities fall. Just one of those game mechanisms to simulate the historic ability of China to keep armies in the field no matter how badly they got beaten. Like I said, it takes patience in China as Japan. It's a sitzkrieg, not a blitzkreig.


I guess they don't call it "human wave" tactic for nothing! ;(

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/5/2021 11:41:05 AM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: eriador08


I guess your problem is the zone of control. Hexes that are next to an enemy army need more action point to move into. In bad terrain this can add up, so that it is not possible for your units to enter them.




Ah, I did not realize that more action points are needed to enter enemy ZOC. Thanks!

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/5/2021 1:07:27 PM   
wobbleguts

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73

Hi, I had a few questions as a complete newb after playing the main Axis campaign up till the eve of Barbarossa and terminating the campaign in frustration:

1. What are you supposed to do as Japan - especially vis-a-vis China? Japan has no tanks or mechanized infantry to start out with, and hence no multi-strike unit. So it just seems that you just get bogged down in China, and there is no real soft spot to push through in China's human wave defensive line. If Japan struggles this much against China as the only enemy, I cannot imagine how it will go when the U.S. and the U.K. join the fun - which prompts me to ask the next question.

2. Is there any way to avoid fighting the U.S. as Japan?

3. If you must fight the U.S. as Japan, is a repeat of the Pearl Harbor attack necessary?

4. Is an early thrust into the Soviet Far East as Japan - in conjunction with Barbarossa - advisable?

5. Germany, in contrast to Japan, seems more straightforward and easier, except the issue of Afrika Korps: Namely, given that they spawn in southern Europe - rather than Africa - is it worthwhile to assign them their historical role and send them to Libya? Or better to throw them at Barbarossa?

6. Also for Germany, is Sea Lion - especially for a newb like myself - feasible?

Edit: Forgot to ask:

7. Is their any advantage to declining the Vichy settlement and continue to fight France?



Hi, I am new as well, but have played a few games so maybe can help.

I also abandoned my first game in disgust. I was playing as Japan, got bogged down in China and then the USA declared war and invaded North Japan. Hopeless situation.

For my next games I switched to soft build limits. This is a bit of a cheat, but doing so allowed me to learn the game mechanics because I had more units to hand and was able to experiment.....

1. China is a bummer. The whole country is basically mountains and impassable terrain. Take Nanning ASAP and then concentrate on areas where your troops can advance. Man the centre and advance in the north and south. Encircle whenever you can and get ready for a long hard slog.

2. Not really, but investing DPs will hopefully buy you some time. I try and keep them out of the war for as long as possible while I'm bogged down in China. Also, it's important to note that the USA AI is rubbish. They will probably invade Japan but don't follow it up properly with re-reinforcements etc (at least in my games). Keep enough defenders on the homeland and they will eventually kick the yanks out while the USA sail other invasion forces around the South Pacific on a booze cruise. In the meantime. use any spare MPP's to build naval units.

3. Haven't tried pearl harbour for 2 reasons. Firstly it would bring the USA into the war (which I want to avoid) and secondly the USA will quickly replace any losses and then some. Avoided this choice because it seems to offer a small short turn gain and long term pain.

4. Being at war with the USA/CW and the remnants of China I decided not to complicate things by attacking Russia as well. Playing as Germany in a different game, Japan did do this. Didn't help them much.

5. You get the Africa Corp v cheap. I send them them to the eastern front and take care of N Africa later.

6. It wasn't feasible historically and I haven't tried it. In my latest game (as Germany) I have defeated Russia etc and am about to try a UK invasion.. Do they like it up 'em? We will see.

7. How much time do you want to spend in the west? I agreed to Vichy so I can transfer units to take the Balkans/Greece etc quickly. You can always take Vichy and their garlic stinking outposts later...

I only play as 1 major power. Not sure what happens if you play more...



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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/5/2021 2:40:18 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wobbleguts


For my next games I switched to soft build limits. This is a bit of a cheat, but doing so allowed me to learn the game mechanics because I had more units to hand and was able to experiment.....

1. China is a bummer. The whole country is basically mountains and impassable terrain. Take Nanning ASAP and then concentrate on areas where your troops can advance. Man the centre and advance in the north and south. Encircle whenever you can and get ready for a long hard slog....

I only play as 1 major power. Not sure what happens if you play more...




Thanks for the comprehensive reply; I excerpted only the sections I had follow-up questions:

On soft build limits: One of my main concerns in the later - or even middle turns - is that the AI unit spam would get out of hand. I have seen games on Youtube where the AI replaces units faster than the human player can destroy, and it results in the AI having excess of 10k war chest in the end. Wouldn't soft build limits make the AI spam that much worse?

On the Chinese terrain: For this very reason, I am thinking researching Armored Warfare quickly and plopping down tanks in China. They have more movement than infantry and can attack multiple times - preventing wounded Chinese units from retreating and replenishing. Would this work?

On playing only one nation: I asked the same question in this thread to someone who recommended me to do the same: Wouldn't this disadvantage you more - especially as Axis? It seems like there needs to be some coordination for the Axis to win, and I am afraid that the other Axis powers will go to hell if I just control only one - even if I am a newb. How did you find that the AI performs as "partners" with you?


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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/5/2021 4:02:13 PM   
The Land

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73

On soft build limits: One of my main concerns in the later - or even middle turns - is that the AI unit spam would get out of hand. I have seen games on Youtube where the AI replaces units faster than the human player can destroy, and it results in the AI having excess of 10k war chest in the end. Wouldn't soft build limits make the AI spam that much worse?

On the Chinese terrain: For this very reason, I am thinking researching Armored Warfare quickly and plopping down tanks in China. They have more movement than infantry and can attack multiple times - preventing wounded Chinese units from retreating and replenishing. Would this work?


The AI doesn't really understand soft build limits - it appears to make poor choices with them - building very expensive units above the limits when similar units are available within the limits. So this option hampers its efficiency somewhat.

Regarding terrain, tanks are not a very efficient option to deal with poor terrain - units in mountains, cities and hills get defence bonuses against armour. Relatively historical! Corps will be your friend though (more AP than Armies). Don't forget the worse the terrain the more important your HQs are to keep your units' supply up.


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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/5/2021 4:10:56 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: The Land

Regarding terrain, tanks are not a very efficient option to deal with poor terrain - units in mountains, cities and hills get defence bonuses against armour. Relatively historical! Corps will be your friend though (more AP than Armies). Don't forget the worse the terrain the more important your HQs are to keep your units' supply up.



Thanks for all this info!

I didn't realize I didn't realize that tanks are disadvantaged in bad terrain. Is this true of Mechanized Infantry, too? (Of course, Japan seems to only be able to build 1 of them - so it might not matter.)

I also didn't realize that Corps have more movement than Armies.




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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/5/2021 4:41:54 PM   
Bo Rearguard


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73


Thanks for all this info!

I didn't realize I didn't realize that tanks are disadvantaged in bad terrain. Is this true of Mechanized Infantry, too? (Of course, Japan seems to only be able to build 1 of them - so it might not matter.)

I also didn't realize that Corps have more movement than Armies.


Artillery is more your old army buddy in China than tanks. It can fire multiple times, at range, and in all manner of weather. It can help defend your units too. The tough part is sometimes finding an advantageous place to post it.







_____________________________

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/5/2021 4:54:47 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bo Rearguard




Artillery is more your old army buddy in China than tanks. It can fire multiple times, at range, and in all manner of weather. It can help defend your units too. The tough part is sometimes finding an advantageous place to post it.








Thanks! I have yet to recruit artillery as either Germany or Japan, so I didn't even know what they did! ;)

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/5/2021 8:16:15 PM   
Elessar2


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wobbleguts

2. Not really, but investing DPs will hopefully buy you some time. I try and keep them out of the war for as long as possible while I'm bogged down in China. Also, it's important to note that the USA AI is rubbish. They will probably invade Japan but don't follow it up properly with re-reinforcements etc (at least in my games). Keep enough defenders on the homeland and they will eventually kick the yanks out while the USA sail other invasion forces around the South Pacific on a booze cruise. In the meantime. use any spare MPP's to build naval units.


The issue with the US Pacific AI is manifold: the unit build scripts are suboptimal for building any sort of substantial fleet, made worse by the American shortfall in historical income. The scripts are simplified; they basically can work in a chain, where the conquest of one objective will (hopefully) trigger a new one closer to the Japanese home islands. But this means it will keep sending ships at the same targets over and over until either it takes the target or has no more ships to send. But there is a very troublesome script which is flipped on in 1944 iirc where it will send fleets right at the home islands without having taken anything else first.

In one game I sunk over 40 USN ships (plus about 20 transports/amphibs), losing only 5 of my own (the Musashi and 4 DDs/CLs).

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RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/5/2021 8:21:55 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Elessar2

The issue with the US Pacific AI is manifold: the unit build scripts are suboptimal for building any sort of substantial fleet, made worse by the American shortfall in historical income. The scripts are simplified; they basically can work in a chain, where the conquest of one objective will (hopefully) trigger a new one closer to the Japanese home islands. But this means it will keep sending ships at the same targets over and over until either it takes the target or has no more ships to send. But there is a very troublesome script which is flipped on in 1944 iirc where it will send fleets right at the home islands without having taken anything else first.

In one game I sunk over 40 USN ships (plus about 20 transports/amphibs), losing only 5 of my own (the Musashi and 4 DDs/CLs).


That sounds stupid. Which script is it precisely? I may disable it.

(in reply to Elessar2)
Post #: 28
RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/5/2021 8:39:41 PM   
Platoonist


Posts: 1199
Joined: 5/11/2003
From: Kila Hana
Status: offline
I've always found the naval AI in the Strategic Command Series to be a bit too headstrong. It's not too bad when fighting the Allies who have ships to burn, but I've repeatedly watch the Axis AI throw the German surface fleet away in pointless sorties into the North Sea in the face of overwhelming Allied sea and air power. Of course, once the Kriegsmarine is wiped out you can send just about everyone who was guarding the North Sea down to the Mediterranean to clean up the Italians.

_____________________________


(in reply to Alcibiades73)
Post #: 29
RE: A few newbie questions in terms of grand strategy - 5/5/2021 11:47:16 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

Posts: 346
Joined: 5/4/2021
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoonist

I've always found the naval AI in the Strategic Command Series to be a bit too headstrong. It's not too bad when fighting the Allies who have ships to burn, but I've repeatedly watch the Axis AI throw the German surface fleet away in pointless sorties into the North Sea in the face of overwhelming Allied sea and air power. Of course, once the Kriegsmarine is wiped out you can send just about everyone who was guarding the North Sea down to the Mediterranean to clean up the Italians.


The more forum posts I read, the more I get the sense that it is easier to play the Allies due to their far larger economies...

(in reply to Platoonist)
Post #: 30
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