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A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and quest... - 5/14/2021 7:24:48 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

Posts: 346
Joined: 5/4/2021
Status: offline
So I just aborted an Axis playthrough on April of 1943, because the Pacific front was getting hopeless, and the European front was likely about to turn against me as well - with the Allies poised to open a second European front earlier than I anticipated, and Barbarossa finally stalemated. Since this was the first deep playthrough, I obviously made a number of critical mistakes that experienced players would never make. Still, I thought it would be useful to jot down a brief summary of what happened - along with my observations and questions.

Summary:

1939-40:

The game opened absurdly well for both Germany and Japan - the two main Axis "protagonists" in this game - though not for Italy.

On the European theater, Poland fell in two turns, and France went down on June of 1940. (I could have started invading France much earlier, but I did not want to Operate so many units; perhaps my penny-pinching short-term actually cost me MPPs long-term?) Italy, however, did nothing but relocate some troops to North Africa to hold the fort until Afrika Korps got there - as well as get ready to invade Malta. I did not even touch East Africa, because the position there seemed hopeless. All in all, I felt Italy so weak in this game that they felt like a "Minor" rather than a "Major" participant. I have elaborated my concerns elsewhere, but I really think they should be buffed a bit for balance purposes.

On the Pacific theater, Japan made surprising good progress early on - largely due to many good advice I found on this forum. As advised, I played for a stalemate in the center and instead advanced along the northern and southern routes; and I also supported both thrusts with artillery and bombers. I soon over-ran Nanning, and I was at the gates of Yenan by the summer of 1940.

All seemed good, again, except for the Italian situation: Italy has neither the military assets and the MPP to do anything in this game.

I did, however, in retrospect make a critical mistake in accepting the Vichy surrender even in these heady times. Obviously the extra MPPs could have been useful; but more significantly, being able to construct a German Mediterranean fleet on France's southern costs and combining with the Regia Marina may have turned the game later. I think this is what I will try in the future playthroughs.

Things started going badly starting the fall of 1940, however, and it all expectedly relates to Italy. The first major setback for the Axis was getting bogged down trying to invade Malta to secure supply to North Africa in preparation of the arrival of Afrika Korps. It took 7-8 turns to take that tiny, 1-hex island - in spite of the fact that I committed the entire Luftwaffe to it, along with relevant Italian formations! I did everything as outlined in multiple Malta-related threads. The delay was due to bad luck and perhaps out-dated information. In terms of bad luck, I had multiple turns with rain, so my massive air contingent from both Italian and German sides had to sit for multiple turns - in one case for consecutive turns. In terms of out-dated info, I did not prepare an amphibious force, because I was told a paratrooper could just jump in - and they could not. So I wasted another few turns moving a land unit to a port and putting it on an amphibious ship.

Meanwhile, Italy's North African contingent was falling apart at the same time. If I went through Malta more quickly than I did, then I would have been able to divert even more forces to North Africa sooner. But I was surprised at how fast the British attacked, and how feeble the Italian resistance proved to be. The Italians went belly up in North Africa before Rommel even arrived! Perhaps I also under-estimated how formidable the British presence would be in this region. Rommel's forces, too, were endangered of being over-run when they did arrive, and would evacuate what remained of them in late 1941.

1941:

Barbarossa began the summer of 1941. I planned it to be the spring of 1941, but I had to divert some units to conquer Yugoslavia, because they were about to join the Allies. (I skipped Greece, as I wanted to get to Barbarossa earlier - though the best-laid schemes of mice and men always tend to go awry, as is demonstrated by Yugoslavia's surprising turn in this case.) I am not sure how much this 3-4 months delay ultimately cost me, but the first year or so of Barbarossa still seemed to go reasonably well. I made it to close to the Daugava-Dnieper line around the end of 1941. This is obviously slower than the German progress of 1941 historically, but I do not think you can cover the same distance in this game as quickly as the historical Wehrmacht did.

The Pacific front was also still going well this time, too - or so I thought. Chungking and Yenan were both in my hands by the fall of 1941, and I was quickly moving onto Chengdu and Kunming. But, alas, the problem was that I was too all-in on China. Yet to finish China, as one poster advised me, I would likely need to conquer Southeast to fuel my military. I did not even start to prepare for this, in spite of the in-game notice that urged me to do this. China's downfall seemed so near, and I wanted to finish the job before I turned to the rest of the Pacific. Yet, China's interior is so vast, that it was impossible to fully conquer it before the U.S. joined the war. (I should have remembered that it took even the Mongols more than half a century to fully conquer China.) So the Pacific was already beginning to be out of reach before I even knew it.

1942:

This was a bad year, as every front began to unravel. To begin with, Barbarossa ground to a halt in the late fall, once I reached the gates of all three major historic objective cities: Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad. All my front-line units were depleted by this time, even though I had lost zero German units on the European continental front. (All my German losses had been on the seas or Africa.) Most units were down to 5-7 Strength from years of uninterrupted fighting and marching, suffering from low supply, and plagued with horrendous Morale (even though all my units were attached to maxed or near-maxed HQs.) And the Russian resistance stiffened dramatically, too, once I got to these three objective cities. The Soviet Lazarus seemed to be generating higher tier units now, and they had caught up technology-wise, too. So I could make no headway any longer - just as in the real historical analogue.

But the Eastern front was not the only problem for the Germans; a second front was being threatened - far sooner than I had anticipated. You see, I expected an Allied invasion around 1944, but there were already probing landings by single units by late 1942; and the massive armada gathering in the English channel made me think a full invasion would come in 1943, not 1944. And this is a major, perhaps game-breaking, problem for me, since I left nothing but a few Garrisons on the West.

So what was I to do as Germany? I am stalemated at Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad in the east; I am facing what seems to be an imminent invasion across the English Channel with no troops to defend the Western front. Well, I had this bright idea to attack the combined UK-US armada with my North Sea fleet. In my defense, I had a massive armada that was doing nothing but sitting, including 3 aircraft carriers, 2 battleships, and the rest of the non-capital ships. In fact, I had only lost a few U-boats and a surface ship that was near South America at the start of the game. So I had considerable naval assets. The problem is that the combined UK-US fleet turned out to be even larger and quite ahead on tech - which I did not factor. So it ended up what amounted to be a suicide, as I took a one-sided beating. But I felt that this was worth a gamble, as it may have been a "use it or lose it" scenario for the North Sea fleet. But the ultimate outcome was that I was even more exposed now in the West, as I concluded the 1942 campaign season.

In the meantime, because I was so absorbed in finishing China, I continued to do nothing in the rest of the Pacific theater as Japan. I felt I was so very close to knocking China out, as I was near Lanchow and Wanting by the time the U.S. declared war on February of 1942. I know I should have moved at least a portion of my forces to sweep Southeast Asia, but I again, I was obsessed with China.

So I started belatedly moving Japanese troops around and hastily forming amphibious landing plans on various Pacific islands after the U.S. declared. Yet, in addition to being horribly late in doing so, I had another serious problem: I did not realize that putting units on long distance amphibious crafts would be so expensive, and I did not have cash to do so except in a drip, drip - piecemeal - fashion. At this point, I am making in the low 300 MPPs as Japan - less than half of Germany's MPPs. Pitiful, really. But I would have thought taking so much of China would give me a wee bit more? Low 300s is basically a bit more than my starting income as Japan!

The sad upshot is that, by the end of 1942, I had not acquired anything in the Pacific, except the Philippines and a few insignificant islands east of Truk and west of Hawaii. Yes, that pathetic. I did not even touch the Dutch East Indies; and my attempt to re-do a Pearl Harbor bombing was aborted when I realized that all the battleships in Hawaii were docked, and I did not know my aircraft carriers could sufficiently damage damn. So my initially powerful Japanese fleet wasted time going to Hawaii and back, accomplishing nothing.

Oh, and if you hadn't heard from Italy in a while, that's because, well, they are not doing anything. No significant military potential and no MPPs to create it. Literally the only thing the Italians have done is to fend off several Allied landing forces in the Italian boot. (They lost half their fleet in trying to stop one of these landings.) Italy, again, is a "Minor" in this game.

1943:

It looks bleak. The Allies are making almost triple the MPPs that I make, and I see nowhere where a military breakthrough can be achieved. By early spring, the Eastern front is still stalemated, and I am still sitting just outside Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad - just as I was 6 months ago. The Russians simply can replace units faster than I can kill them; and I cannot even replace one or two units without significant consequences. D-Day hasn't happened yet in the West, but I am sure it will happen any minute; and I diverted at best a token Panzer division, a mechanized infantry division, and two armies from Barbarossa - that's all. And even this seemed to cripple Barbarossa even further.

To pile things on, even the China front was stalemated. Perhaps the reason was the fact that I had to divert a significant portion of my units to the south for an island-hopping campaign. Further, the Chinese have seemed to caught up in technology - as the Russians did in 1942 - and I am no longer fielding significantly superior units. Finally, the Indians are squeezing me from the direction of Burma, and this poses a new - and frankly unanticipated - threat.

At this point, I pulled the plugs on the game in March of 1943. I cannot see how I can salvage this game. The biggest problem seems to be that I was insufficiently aggressive and moved too slow and only when I had an overwhelming advantage in a front. Lessons learned - hopefully.

I will post my comments/questions separately in another post, since this post is already almost interminably long.

< Message edited by Alcibiades73 -- 5/14/2021 7:26:35 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/14/2021 8:18:36 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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

Please understand these are tentative and cautious observations, given that I am a newbie who literally played his first (half-) full game.

1. As I said above, the biggest lesson I drew from this game is that I have to move more quickly as Axis. Given that I come from squad-based tactics or RPG background - rather than grand strategy background - this was a rude awakening. Typically, I am used to grinding and min-maxing my way to near-invincible party and only then engaging in the real difficult fights. So I am a cautious, slow build guy, and for this reason playing Allies may have been a better stylistic fit. But also I did not want to play a side that completely surrenders initiative for much of the early game and in fact does not do much at all for the early game (except for Britain).

2. Also as noted above, I think I should have gone for a full conquest of France, rather than accept the institution of the Vichy regime and thus a partial occupation. I think I need southeastern France to more easily help Italy, as well as to control Mediterranean.

Have other people pursued this strategy, and what were the outcomes?

3. To beat yet another dead horse, I think Italy has been made too weak, even to do so properly replicates their historic status during World War II. They cannot purchase units or research, because all their MPPs are expended in replacing units. I am almost tempted to suggest, a bit ahistorically, that they should be a "Minor" power attached to Germany (which is what India should have been). If this is too drastic, at least consider ways to help them a bit more? Perhaps add a bit more MPPs for Italian holdings? Or create more queued units, as is the case with Japan? Or at least permit a nation to subsidize another nation - which is historically accurate.

4. I know I played Japan badly, but I am not sure how I could have avoided a stalemate on Leningrad-Moscow-Stalingrad axis on the Soviet front. Would invading in the spring of 1941 - or even in 1940 - instead of the summer of 1941 as I did have made that much of a difference? Even at the intermediate level, I just felt that the AI gets too many free units, and it felt like a zombie game where more emerged to replace the lost. This is why I am a bit leery of the "buff USSR" chants on the recent balance thread.

5. Mobility seemed really expensive relative to other upgrades and this was even more the case for Germany. I do not know why, but this should be looked into again. I was able to confer Mobility upgrades only on heavy tanks for the Germans.

6. The diplomacy sub-game seems so random that I did not know how to conduct it, especially as Japan. I consistently put 3 chits in Spain and 2 chits in Turkey; yet neither allied with me by early 1943. Should I have invested elsewhere? More importantly, where am I investing as Japan? It is difficult to find natural allies for Japan in Asia - as is still the case today in real-life.

7. Afrika Korps arrives too late to save the Italian position in North Africa. I am not sure when I landed them in North Africa, but I am pretty sure it was a lot later than February of 1941 - which is when Rommel landed there historically. Perhaps they are delayed because of the in-game change for them to spawn in southern Germany - without changing their time table to arrive in February of 1941? If so, then this should be changed, and Afrika Korps should spawn in southern Germany by late 1940 at least.

8. What am I supposed to do with the German North Sea fleet? What not to do is to save them till the end until a last suicide mission (kind of like what Japan did with the two Yamato class battleships), of course. Or you could maybe say that I wasted MPPs in constructing an additional two aircraft carriers and instead just tried to focus on constructing subs. But what do you do even with existing surface fleet (e.g. Bismarck, Tirpitz, etc.)?


9. Is it worth recruiting engineers to construct fortifications? If yes, then where? The only two areas I thought of is on the possible D-day zones on France and possibly in Italy. I guess North Africa is viable to help the Italians hold off the British until Rommel shows up?

10. Submarines seem disproportionately strong relative to other ships. It seems like you need tons of destroyers to sink them, and even that is up to RNG, because I have seen submarines dive on consecutive attacks. One submarine should not cause this much havoc - nor take this many assets to counter.

11. Anti-tanks seem to be too situational to be useful; either make them more well-rounded - or make their situational skills yet more potent.

12. Two potentially unfair AI advantages that I want to confirm exists. On the one hand, does AI get free veterancy? For instance, I saw a level 1 submarine become a level 3 submarine a few years later, even though I am certain the submarine has sunk nothing. On the other hand, does the AI get an unlimited recruiting pool? For instance, I saw a ton of un-named Soviet units. Is this because the Soviet AI exhausted all named units from the recruitment list? I'd rather not see free veterancy ranks; as for AI unit spam, I thought it was too much even at Intermediate difficulty. But perhaps I may change once I get better at this game.

(in reply to Alcibiades73)
Post #: 2
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/14/2021 10:43:18 PM   
pjg100

 

Posts: 359
Joined: 4/8/2017
Status: offline
A few observations. Note that these observations are from the perspective of hotseat and MP, not AI:
1. You lost the game when you built three German CVs. That's more than 1000 MPPs that you could have invested in tanks and mechs. You shouldn't even build the first one unless you are going to try a strategy that specifically requires a CV.
2. Due to (1) above and possibly other factors, you were probably underpowered for Barb. That is why you were so slow in Russia - getting only to the Daugava-Dnieper by the end of 1941 is behind schedule for a 1942 USSR knockout. You should be going in with most or all of your tanks and mech already built out.
3. For diplo, figure out which minor you want to recruit and then focus on that country. If you spread your diplo chits around you are just wasting MPPs.
4. Going for all of France rather than Vichy is risky, it can take quite a while to take Algiers and can throw off your Barb timetable. I would give it a try and see how it goes. I don't think that will enable you to build a GE fleet in the Med though; will still have to sneak them past Gibraltar.
5. JA is difficult, no two ways about it. You really need to start preparing for the late 1941 Pac blitz in the spring of 1941. Doesn't mean you stop pushing in China, but you will slow down. And the prime objective is the DEI because that's where the oil is. Also set your CVs to bomber and strike the US fleet in Pearl when it spawns, you should be able to sink them all.

It takes a while to figure out what works and what doesn't. I certainly haven't figured it all out, hope you find these suggestions helpful.

(in reply to Alcibiades73)
Post #: 3
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/15/2021 12:24:02 AM   
Elessar2


Posts: 643
Joined: 11/30/2016
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73

Comments/questions:

Please understand these are tentative and cautious observations, given that I am a newbie who literally played his first (half-) full game.

4. I know I played Japan badly, but I am not sure how I could have avoided a stalemate on Leningrad-Moscow-Stalingrad axis on the Soviet front. Would invading in the spring of 1941 - or even in 1940 - instead of the summer of 1941 as I did have made that much of a difference? Even at the intermediate level, I just felt that the AI gets too many free units, and it felt like a zombie game where more emerged to replace the lost. This is why I am a bit leery of the "buff USSR" chants on the recent balance thread.


You need to make sure you've bought out every tank and mech corps by the time of Barbarossa (plus 2 HQs and as many tac/med bombers as you can get your hands on). Some even bring Rommel to Russia. Hit them on the first clear spring turn-because of the length of the turns you can't afford to waste any clear turns.

quote:

5. Mobility seemed really expensive relative to other upgrades and this was even more the case for Germany. I do not know why, but this should be looked into again. I was able to confer Mobility upgrades only on heavy tanks for the Germans.


That's historical; Germany was scrounging for every spare truck they could find; the notion that they could equip the entire Heer with motorized infantry was a pipe dream. But your mobile units will definitely need the extra movement (esp. since they are much slower than their counterparts in the WitE Grigsby sims).

quote:

7. Afrika Korps arrives too late to save the Italian position in North Africa. I am not sure when I landed them in North Africa, but I am pretty sure it was a lot later than February of 1941 - which is when Rommel landed there historically. Perhaps they are delayed because of the in-game change for them to spawn in southern Germany - without changing their time table to arrive in February of 1941? If so, then this should be changed, and Afrika Korps should spawn in southern Germany by late 1940 at least.


Italy will need a solid wall of infantry down there to dissuade British aggression. You have some armies to spare-get them down there.

quote:

9. Is it worth recruiting engineers to construct fortifications? If yes, then where? The only two areas I thought of is on the possible D-day zones on France and possibly in Italy. I guess North Africa is viable to help the Italians hold off the British until Rommel shows up?


Note Italy has an engineer unit for purchase as well. Often I can have a nice Western Wall in place by 1943.

quote:

12. Two potentially unfair AI advantages that I want to confirm exists. On the one hand, does AI get free veterancy? For instance, I saw a level 1 submarine become a level 3 submarine a few years later, even though I am certain the submarine has sunk nothing. On the other hand, does the AI get an unlimited recruiting pool? For instance, I saw a ton of un-named Soviet units. Is this because the Soviet AI exhausted all named units from the recruitment list? I'd rather not see free veterancy ranks; as for AI unit spam, I thought it was too much even at Intermediate difficulty. But perhaps I may change once I get better at this game.


Subs get experience from raiding convoy lines. The AI also gets a lot of free units on any difficulty level above normal, and there is a separate AI experience boost toggle as well. Not sure if you had switched this on or not, from your description.

(in reply to Alcibiades73)
Post #: 4
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/15/2021 1:00:42 AM   
Alcibiades73

 

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

quote:

ORIGINAL: pjg100

A few observations. Note that these observations are from the perspective of hotseat and MP, not AI:



Thanks much; they are helpful vs. AI as well!


quote:

ORIGINAL: pjg100

1. You lost the game when you built three German CVs. That's more than 1000 MPPs that you could have invested in tanks and mechs. You shouldn't even build the first one unless you are going to try a strategy that specifically requires a CV.


I will incorporate this advice the next run. What is your advice regarding how to handle the inevitable D-Day invasion though? Should I concede naval supremacy to the Allies - at least in the Atlantic - and fight the invaders on land instead?


quote:

ORIGINAL: pjg100

2. Due to (1) above and possibly other factors, you were probably underpowered for Barb. That is why you were so slow in Russia - getting only to the Daugava-Dnieper by the end of 1941 is behind schedule for a 1942 USSR knockout. You should be going in with most or all of your tanks and mech already built out.



What are reasonable benchmarks I should attain by the end of 1941 and 1942 during Barbarossa?


quote:

ORIGINAL: pjg100

3. For diplo, figure out which minor you want to recruit and then focus on that country. If you spread your diplo chits around you are just wasting MPPs.




It seems you can only invest 3 diplomatic chits on a given country, no? That's why I spread them around to two countries.

As Axis, where would you recommend I invest chits on? Spain and or Turkey was sound? Or no? And any ideas for Japan?


quote:

ORIGINAL: pjg100

4. Going for all of France rather than Vichy is risky, it can take quite a while to take Algiers and can throw off your Barb timetable. I would give it a try and see how it goes. I don't think that will enable you to build



Okay, if I cannot build a Mediterranean navy, then I guess there is no point for me.


quote:

ORIGINAL: pjg100

5. JA is difficult, no two ways about it. You really need to start preparing for the late 1941 Pac blitz in the spring of 1941. Doesn't mean you stop pushing in China, but you will slow down. And the prime objective is the DEI because that's where the oil is. Also set your CVs to bomber and strike the US fleet in Pearl when it spawns, you should be able to sink them all.



I will do as you counsel. It was indeed monumentally stupid for me to use my very limited amphibious capabilities on southeast Pacific, rather than getting the oil on southwest Pacific.

(in reply to pjg100)
Post #: 5
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/15/2021 1:07:17 AM   
Alcibiades73

 

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

ORIGINAL: Elessar2


You need to make sure you've bought out every tank and mech corps by the time of Barbarossa (plus 2 HQs and as many tac/med bombers as you can get your hands on). Some even bring Rommel to Russia. Hit them on the first clear spring turn-because of the length of the turns you can't afford to waste any clear turns.



Will do. I will ask you for good benchmarks to reach by the end of 41 and 42 during Barbarossa. How far should I be in at those junctures?

As for Rommel, is the North African campaign worth the investment?


quote:

ORIGINAL: Elessar2

Note Italy has an engineer unit for purchase as well. Often I can have a nice Western Wall in place by 1943.



One question about the location of the Atlantic Wall: Do you place the fortifications on the shore hexes - or the hexes inside the shore hexes?

quote:

ORIGINAL: Elessar2


Subs get experience from raiding convoy lines.


Ah, this explains things and is an invaluable piece of information. So it is worthwhile to raid convoys for reasons other than what seems to me a pitiful MPP reduction.

(in reply to Elessar2)
Post #: 6
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/15/2021 1:41:21 AM   
Platoonist


Posts: 1230
Joined: 5/11/2003
From: Kila Hana
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73


I will incorporate this advice the next run. What is your advice regarding how to handle the inevitable D-Day invasion though? Should I concede naval supremacy to the Allies - at least in the Atlantic - and fight the invaders on land instead?





The German economy can't afford a naval arms race with the Western Allies in the game anymore than they could in history. Plan Z was eventually abandoned for a lot of practical reasons.

As other have noted, investing in an engineer to defend the west would be a good idea. I would advise building a defensive line inland in France rather than on the beaches as the amphibious units in this game seem a bit overpowered with their two-strike capability.

Remember that the first game is a learning experience. With time you better figure out the mechanics of the game and will learn the strength and weaknesses of your AI foes and how to exploit them.


_____________________________


(in reply to Alcibiades73)
Post #: 7
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/15/2021 2:45:57 AM   
Alcibiades73

 

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

quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoonist


quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73


I will incorporate this advice the next run. What is your advice regarding how to handle the inevitable D-Day invasion though? Should I concede naval supremacy to the Allies - at least in the Atlantic - and fight the invaders on land instead?





The German economy can't afford a naval arms race with the Western Allies in the game anymore than they could in history. Plan Z was eventually abandoned for a lot of practical reasons.

As other have noted, investing in an engineer to defend the west would be a good idea. I would advise building a defensive line inland in France rather than on the beaches as the amphibious units in this game seem a bit overpowered with their two-strike capability.

Remember that the first game is a learning experience. With time you better figure out the mechanics of the game and will learn the strength and weaknesses of your AI foes and how to exploit them.



A fair point on Germany's economy being unable to afford a serious naval program. I will also do as you advise in terms of where to build the Atlantic Wall.

As for AI's strengths, does it have any other than ability to spam units? ;)

(in reply to Platoonist)
Post #: 8
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/15/2021 12:04:11 PM   
Illiniwek80

 

Posts: 55
Joined: 2/18/2021
Status: online
quote:

As for AI's strengths, does it have any other than ability to spam units? ;)


It charges the Afrika Corps into the middle of the British and gets it wiped out really well. Better than I could ever do!

(in reply to Alcibiades73)
Post #: 9
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/15/2021 2:42:01 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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

quote:

ORIGINAL: Illiniwek80

quote:

As for AI's strengths, does it have any other than ability to spam units? ;)


It charges the Afrika Corps into the middle of the British and gets it wiped out really well. Better than I could ever do!


I could get Italian units wiped out more quickly than the AI can, I bet! ;)

(in reply to Illiniwek80)
Post #: 10
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/15/2021 2:43:36 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

Posts: 346
Joined: 5/4/2021
Status: offline
Addendum on the Barbarossa slog: I just checked the editor, and USSR gets 52 additinal free units during Barbarossa, if AI is playing them. No wonder it seems like a zombie fight.

Good grief, do not buff USSR further for the single player experience sake...

< Message edited by Alcibiades73 -- 5/15/2021 2:44:48 PM >

(in reply to Alcibiades73)
Post #: 11
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/15/2021 2:52:34 PM   
Torplexed


Posts: 298
Joined: 3/21/2002
From: The Pacific
Status: offline
I've noticed the AI in this game and its sisters seems fond of making a lot of attacks at less than optimal odds when it might have been better if it just stood passively on the defensive and conserved its strength. This has the effect of leaving weakened units here and there stuck out on the front line which you can punish further or maybe destroy in your turn.

It's also prone to running into the same ambushes over and over when you've played a few games and start to note its habits.

_____________________________


(in reply to Alcibiades73)
Post #: 12
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/15/2021 3:02:57 PM   
ThunderLizard2

 

Posts: 500
Joined: 2/28/2018
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Torplexed

I've noticed the AI in this game and its sisters seems fond of making a lot of attacks at less than optimal odds when it might have been better if it just stood passively on the defensive and conserved its strength. This has the effect of leaving weakened units here and there stuck out on the front line which you can punish further or maybe destroy in your turn.

It's also prone to running into the same ambushes over and over when you've played a few games and start to note its habits.


Well any AI is going to be "prone to running into the same ambushes", etc. If you want variety, than play a PBEM match against a human player.

AI is SC series is decent and gives a good challenge. There were a few really dumb things the AI was doing, like leaving HQs or air units exposed; those may have been addressed in 1.11.

(in reply to Torplexed)
Post #: 13
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/15/2021 4:26:03 PM   
Shellshock


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73



10. Submarines seem disproportionately strong relative to other ships. It seems like you need tons of destroyers to sink them, and even that is up to RNG, because I have seen submarines dive on consecutive attacks. One submarine should not cause this much havoc - nor take this many assets to counter.



Submarines have always been problematic to represent in strategic games. They usually get lumped together as flotillas or units when they actually sailed individually and independently to act as weapons of opportunity. Even wolf-packs didn't operate this way as they were called together as needed and then dispersed to better patrol. Their stealth qualities make them difficult to represent too. About the only strategic level game I've seen represent submarines properly is WitPAE, where one submarine = one submarine. But having to plot the patrols of several hundred named submarines by the end of the game is a lot of work!

(in reply to Alcibiades73)
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RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/15/2021 4:34:54 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shellshock

Submarines have always been problematic to represent in strategic games. They usually get lumped together as flotillas or units when they actually sailed individually and independently to act as weapons of opportunity. Even wolf-packs didn't operate this way as they were called together as needed and then dispersed to better patrol. Their stealth qualities make them difficult to represent too. About the only strategic level game I've seen represent submarines properly is WitPAE, where one submarine = one submarine. But having to plot the patrols of several hundred named submarines by the end of the game is a lot of work!



Good points, but surely we can do a wee bit better here, no? ;)

Also, what's WitPAE?

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Post #: 15
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 12:06:04 AM   
Platoonist


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73



Also, what's WitPAE?


He's referring to War in the Pacific Admiral's Edition, a Matrix title which simulates the War in the Pacific in one day turns with individual ships represented from mighty battleships down to the PT boat level. Individual aircraft as well although they are usually grouped together in squadrons. An interesting game, but quite ponderous. It moves at the pace of a glacier compared to Strategic Command.

There comes a point in the game where the USN receives about five new submarines a month as reinforcements. Keeping them all gainfully employed is a bit tedious.




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RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 2:48:13 AM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoonist

quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73



Also, what's WitPAE?


He's referring to War in the Pacific Admiral's Edition, a Matrix title which simulates the War in the Pacific in one day turns with individual ships represented from mighty battleships down to the PT boat level. Individual aircraft as well although they are usually grouped together in squadrons. An interesting game, but quite ponderous. It moves at the pace of a glacier compared to Strategic Command.

There comes a point in the game where the USN receives about five new submarines a month as reinforcements. Keeping them all gainfully employed is a bit tedious.





Ah, okay; thanks! I may take a look at that game.

(in reply to Platoonist)
Post #: 17
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 3:09:00 AM   
Platoonist


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73




Ah, okay; thanks! I may take a look at that game.


Take the mighty Yamato for a test drive if you do. She seems like your kind of battlewagon.




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RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 3:29:57 AM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoonist


Take the mighty Yamato for a test drive if you do. She seems like your kind of battlewagon.





LOL, I do like big toys! ;)

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Post #: 19
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 12:10:35 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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I am looking at the game I quit for one final time before I re-start, and I am struck by the extremely low Morale on my front-line units - especially at the spearhead of Barbarossa:

And I do not know why. All of my German units are attached to HQs with high rating; they all have decent Strength, with all of them above 5-6. Supply is not great but not horrific as a lot of them have 5-6. I have yet to lose a single German land unit on this game. So what's causing these 10-20 percent (WTF?) Morale?

The same applies to the Japanese troops that are very deep in the Chinese northern front. They, too, have a pitiful 10-20 percent Morale, and yet the same condition applies: Attacked to an HQ with a high rating, okay supply (4-5), and never lost a Japanese unit.

Edit: Okay, I guess being attacked lowers your Morale, too, according to the manual. Still, 10-20 percent Morale?

< Message edited by Alcibiades73 -- 5/16/2021 12:35:29 PM >

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Post #: 20
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 12:53:06 PM   
DrZom

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73


One question about the location of the Atlantic Wall: Do you place the fortifications on the shore hexes - or the hexes inside the shore hexes?



I have considered the question, and in my practice games I have taken the advice Clausewitz gave on defending against river crossings. Do not fight on the river's edge, but allow your opponent to land. That allows you to hem him in and destroy him with no line of retreat.

Being like you a relative new player, I have not been able to test the theory against a human opponent. It does work against the AI if you have the troops to man your fortifications, which rather depends on events in Russia in my brief experience.

Let me know when you are ready to try your first PBM. I would rather play my first against a noob like me.

(in reply to Alcibiades73)
Post #: 21
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 1:15:17 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DrZom


I have considered the question, and in my practice games I have taken the advice Clausewitz gave on defending against river crossings. Do not fight on the river's edge, but allow your opponent to land. That allows you to hem him in and destroy him with no line of retreat.

Being like you a relative new player, I have not been able to test the theory against a human opponent. It does work against the AI if you have the troops to man your fortifications, which rather depends on events in Russia in my brief experience.

Let me know when you are ready to try your first PBM. I would rather play my first against a noob like me.



Sigh; my post timed out. Anyways, thanks so much for this well-reasoned advice.

As for MP games, thanks for the invite, but I cannot commit. First, I generally do not engage in a lot of MP play for a variety of reasons. Second, I am currently recovering from a life-threatening illness, so I still have stretches where I am practically unable to get out of bed. So I will not be a very reliable partner.

< Message edited by Alcibiades73 -- 5/16/2021 1:17:52 PM >

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Post #: 22
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 1:31:16 PM   
DrZom

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73

As for MP games, thanks for the invite, but I cannot commit. First, I generally do not engage in a lot of MP play for a variety of reasons. Second, I am currently recovering from a life-threatening illness, so I still have stretches where I am practically unable to get out of bed. So I will not be a very reliable partner.


The offer remains open for when you recover. Get well.

(in reply to Alcibiades73)
Post #: 23
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 2:34:05 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DrZom

The offer remains open for when you recover. Get well.


Thanks!

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RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 3:27:20 PM   
wobbleguts

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73

Comments/questions:

Please understand these are tentative and cautious observations, given that I am a newbie who literally played his first (half-) full game.


2. Also as noted above, I think I should have gone for a full conquest of France, rather than accept the institution of the Vichy regime and thus a partial occupation. I think I need southeastern France to more easily help Italy, as well as to control Mediterranean.


Why? You can always conquer Vichy later if you want to.

quote:

3. To beat yet another dead horse, I think Italy has been made too weak,


Italy WAS weak. Weak economically/militarily/culturally for war. A British officer was asked to report the number of Italians who surrendered after an early battle. He said 'We have about 5 acres of officers and 200 acres of other ranks'. I think the game has got Italian strength about right.

quote:

6. The diplomacy sub-game seems so random that I did not know how to conduct especially as Japan. I consistently put 3 chits in Spain and 2 chits in Turkey; yet neither allied with me by early 1943. Should I have invested elsewhere? More importantly, where am I investing as Japan? It is difficult to find natural allies for Japan in Asia - as is still the case today in real-life.
.


I agree. Diplomacy is very hazy. I have used it to keep the USA out of the war while playing as axis powers and it gained me some time. But why on earth would you be spending diplomacy points on Turkey and Spain if you are playing as Japan?.

quote:

Anti-tanks seem to be too situational to be useful; either make them more well-rounded - or make their skills yet more potent.


Have found no advantage whatsoever for anti tank units in my few games.

quote:

. Submarines seem disproportionately strong relative to other ships. It seems like you need tons of destroyers to sink them, and even that is up to RNG, because I have seen submarines dive on consecutive attacks. One submarine should not cause this much havoc - nor take this many assets to counter.


Submarines are sneaky. They attack and go underwater. I think the game has got their defense values roughly right. Upgrade your ships to destroy them. IMO, Maritime bombers on the other hand are way to powerful. Have you tried them?

(in reply to Alcibiades73)
Post #: 25
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 3:39:29 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wobbleguts


Why? You can always conquer Vichy later if you want to.



LOL, I did not consider this at all. Is there a negative to doing this?


quote:

ORIGINAL: wobbleguts

Italy WAS weak. Weak economically/militarily/culturally for war. A British officer was asked to report the number of Italians who surrendered after an early battle. He said 'We have about 5 acres of officers and 200 acres of other ranks'. I think the game has got Italian strength about right.



I am aware, and I've acknowledged this fact multiple times. But sometimes historical accuracy must be balanced with game-play balance, and I feel Italy's current state is not good for the game. But I understand also that I am a newbie, and that I may feel differently later.

quote:

ORIGINAL: wobbleguts


I agree. Diplomacy is very hazy. I have used it to keep the USA out of the war while playing as axis powers and it gained me some time. But why on earth would you be spending diplomacy points on Turkey and Spain if you are playing as Japan?.



Oops. I posted too quickly. I meant I did that as Germany, but I had no idea where to invest as Japan. Can you recommend where I'd invest for both countries? I opened a separate thread on this topic, by the way; so you can answer there instead, if you'd like.


quote:

ORIGINAL: wobbleguts

Submarines are sneaky. They attack and go underwater. I think the game has got their defense values roughly right. Upgrade your ships to destroy them. IMO, Maritime bombers on the other hand are way to powerful. Have you tried them?



Again, I am trying to balance historical accuracy and game-play balance here regarding submarine strength.

As for maritime bombers, I have only tried them against land targets.


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Post #: 26
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 4:38:18 PM   
pjg100

 

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Maritime bombers are useless against land targets. They are very powerful against naval (surface and sub) targets, particularly when upgraded. They are also relatively cheap.

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RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 4:44:59 PM   
Platoonist


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pjg100

They are very powerful against naval (surface and sub) targets, particularly when upgraded. They are also relatively cheap.


They also raid convoy lanes better than the other classes of bombers when put in raider mode. Keep a German maritime bomber up in Norway where it can chew on the UK-USSR convoy route in good weather anyway. It'll pick up a lot of experience on the cheap too.

_____________________________


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Post #: 28
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 5:18:54 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: pjg100

Maritime bombers are useless against land targets. They are very powerful against naval (surface and sub) targets, particularly when upgraded. They are also relatively cheap.


I see; I used them against land targets only because there were no maritime targets yet as Japan, and I all my air was concentrated on Barbarossa as Germany.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoonist


They also raid convoy lanes better than the other classes of bombers when put in raider mode. Keep a German maritime bomber up in Norway where it can chew on the UK-USSR convoy route in good weather anyway. It'll pick up a lot of experience on the cheap too.



LOL, I did not realize air units can hit convoys! As an aside, is economic warfare really useful as Axis? I can see it being useful for the Allies, since they have a lot more money and hence can afford to continuously lose units, but for Axis? I did not even use U-boats against convoys, since I wasn't sure if the tradeoffs were worth it.

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Post #: 29
RE: A newbie Axis playthrough: Summary, comments, and q... - 5/16/2021 5:32:57 PM   
Platoonist


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73

As an aside, is economic warfare really useful as Axis? I can see it being useful for the Allies, since they have a lot more money and hence can afford to continuously lose units, but for Axis? I did not even use U-boats against convoys, since I wasn't sure if the tradeoffs were worth it.


It's been my observational experience that as U-Boats get more advanced in their design, they seem to take a heavier toll on MPP loss when sitting on convoy lanes. They don't turn into Akula-class attack boats, mind you but they do some do do somewhat better than at the war's outset. They certainly do pick up experience as well.

The best experience I ever had with my U-Boat fleet was when playing as the Euro-Axis I set them up in a north-south picket line across the Atlantic, in about the area where you mostly likely expect long range transports from the United States making a straight line for North Africa to cross. I must have timed it just right. My submariners ambushed and sank a US HQ and US Army unit in transit and caught up with and sank a corps later. I doubt if this would work against a wary human player, but the AI often pushes its amphibious and transport fleets out across the Atlantic with no ships scouting ahead to make sure the route is safe.

_____________________________


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