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Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions

 
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Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/6/2021 12:57:33 PM   
hooraysimpsons

 

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Hello,
Late Dec '41. First GC, still learning. 'Force Z' (circled red) raided an invasion force going for Southern Phillipines or Jolo. Last couple turns has been running from a CV task force (at least 3 carriers). At this point I have some air coverage and assume continuing to run/go into port will result in losses for me without any damage to the AI. So my plan was to sortie another SCTF out of Soerabaja, merge the two task forces and hope for a surface engagement first.

I've tried a lot of different combinations of merge orders, reaction distances, and routing preferences and I often get one of the SCTFs combating their CVs TF but not both. If only one attacks CVs launch a health counter airstrike with high losses as expected. Am I missing something or just being too hopeful?

Unrelated question. Used Kull's spreadsheet to get going. Is there a way to direct an amphibious or transport TF to only unload certain LCUs at a destination? I haven't gotten it to work.







Attachment (1)

< Message edited by hooraysimpsons -- 7/6/2021 12:58:48 PM >
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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/6/2021 2:00:25 PM   
Kull


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hooraysimpsons

Unrelated question. Used Kull's spreadsheet to get going. Is there a way to direct an amphibious or transport TF to only unload certain LCUs at a destination? I haven't gotten it to work.


The short answer is no.....but. Lots of the starting Japanese amphibious invasion TFs contain different Land units, and sometimes you'll want to unload some of those LCUs in different locations. One solution is to divide the TF into smaller groups and send them to different destinations. The other is to set the whole TF to " Do not unload" until it reaches the first "unload location", and then create a TF containing only the ships you want to unload, wait until they have done that, and then remerge the TFs and send it on to the next location. It would have been nice if the code allowed you to set "load/don't unload" at the individual ship level, but nay.



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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/6/2021 3:36:31 PM   
GetAssista

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: hooraysimpsons
I've tried a lot of different combinations of merge orders, reaction distances, and routing preferences and I often get one of the SCTFs combating their CVs TF but not both. If only one attacks CVs launch a health counter airstrike with high losses as expected. Am I missing something or just being too hopeful?

If you are talking about enemy CV TF interception then you better not rely on it much if you are against undamaged fleet CVs and don't have lots of SCTFs in the area. Most of Jap fleet CVs have 30+ speed and are usually successful in dodging a surface fight. With an immediate air retaliation incoming. If you can saturate the area, like e.g. everyone and their dog coming out of Pearl on the second turn, chances are better.

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/6/2021 6:04:58 PM   
hooraysimpsons

 

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Kull,
Thank you for the suggestions and the spreadsheet(s).

GetAssista,
This wasn't a planned intercept. The SCTF was heading elsewhere then rerouted towards an invasion fleet based on some intel/sub encounters/naval search asset's information. Intercept of the invasion fleet went well (I think) taking out 2-3 CLs, 5-7 DDs, PB, 3-6 AK, 2-4 AKL and associated ground elements. This happened around Jolo and the IJN CV TF entered Celebes Sea from the East as that was happening. The SCTF has been running away for last couple of turns, has some fuel due to a quick partial refuel but not a ton. I assumed turning around and charging back at the CV was the best bet compared to running out of fuel or being bombed in port. All the different setups I tested I was able to get in one surface combat prior to the air retaliation (perhaps because of DL with all my LBA around searching for their TF). However, it seemed if the remained of surface assets could sortie out and strike together the impact would be better. It seems like no matter what I try one of the two SCTFs will find the IJN CV TF and fight but they never merge prior to fight together nor have two separate engagements.

I honestly haven't tried to just continue running away. I assume at this point in the game you could let the IJN raid bases as they see fit and hope your CAP whittles away at their elite pilots while having surface assets flee threatened bases. Doesn't seem as fun though at the moment...

EDIT: Not necessarily looking for someone to predict the exact orders/setup to make this interception happen. More so wondering how to review after the face to see why fleets did or did not react AND why they did or did not merge prior. So far all my merging experience has been with cargo fleets which seem to slow down and wait for the other fleet to catch up.

< Message edited by hooraysimpsons -- 7/6/2021 6:16:45 PM >

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/6/2021 6:39:16 PM   
RangerJoe


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Stack fighters on CAP, range zero. Send the fleet to port with an auto disband. That fleet is probably low on ammo besides fuel. Do you know what you call a combat ship out of fuel and ammo? A sunk target . . .

< Message edited by RangerJoe -- 7/6/2021 6:44:17 PM >


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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/6/2021 6:45:57 PM   
hooraysimpsons

 

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I was getting ready to add another edit but RangerJoe beat me to the point...

If I set Force Z to meet and merge with the new task force AND set it to reaction range 0 AND new task force routing not set to safest (safer not tested). The two will merge and head out looking for the IJN TF.

However, once this was confirmed I was going through the SCTF setting all my float plane missions up and realized what RangerJoe pointed out, all my big ship's big guns are out of ammo. The limited damage from them when they are able to intercept makes more sense now (doh). Now to decide if which path to play forward, the one where I remembered to check ammo levels and retreated OR continue with the foolish attack plan and blame the local commander for the losses.

< Message edited by hooraysimpsons -- 7/6/2021 6:46:43 PM >

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/6/2021 7:49:21 PM   
Kull


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The nice thing about truly bone-headed mistakes (and we've ALL made them), is they stay with you pretty much forever. You'll make 1000s of other mistakes, but not THAT one, lol!

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/6/2021 8:16:37 PM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hooraysimpsons

I was getting ready to add another edit but RangerJoe beat me to the point...

If I set Force Z to meet and merge with the new task force AND set it to reaction range 0 AND new task force routing not set to safest (safer not tested). The two will merge and head out looking for the IJN TF.

However, once this was confirmed I was going through the SCTF setting all my float plane missions up and realized what RangerJoe pointed out, all my big ship's big guns are out of ammo. The limited damage from them when they are able to intercept makes more sense now (doh). Now to decide if which path to play forward, the one where I remembered to check ammo levels and retreated OR continue with the foolish attack plan and blame the local commander for the losses.


If they engaged, they would break contact. Then they would react again, then break contact. They will keep doing this until the next turn or they are sunk.

Use Direct and Absolute to get them home. Safer or Safest is not for combat missions but rather cargo and transport TF in the rear areas.

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/6/2021 10:55:38 PM   
Moltrey


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One of the toughest "good habits" I have yet to learn with WITP:AE is that when your situation changes and you are about to redirect and redeploy units to react to the enemy, first stop and examine the units in question from a logistical standpoint.
I mean in-depth, not just cursory.
It is SO easy to gloss over this step and get hoisted by your own petard.

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/7/2021 2:52:11 AM   
BBfanboy


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You don't seem sure of the ID on the three carriers chasing Force Z. It makes a difference if it is part of KB or is only the Mini KB with fewer aircraft and less skilled pilots. Their fighters might still be Claudes too!

If the enemy aircraft have been attacking you, their carrier can be ID'd by watching the name of the air group during the animation of the attack. It will say something like "Ryujo-1 group attacking". It might be in the text at the bottom of the combat report too - can't recall for sure on that.

If it is the Mini-KB, concentrating fighters at Soerabaja and taking Force Z in there would be a good plan. If Soerabaja is a size 7 port it can reload PoW and Repulse.

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/7/2021 2:59:40 AM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

You don't seem sure of the ID on the three carriers chasing Force Z. It makes a difference if it is part of KB or is only the Mini KB with fewer aircraft and less skilled pilots. Their fighters might still be Claudes too!

If the enemy aircraft have been attacking you, their carrier can be ID'd by watching the name of the air group during the animation of the attack. It will say something like "Ryujo-1 group attacking". It might be in the text at the bottom of the combat report too - can't recall for sure on that.

If it is the Mini-KB, concentrating fighters at Soerabaja and taking Force Z in there would be a good plan. If Soerabaja is a size 7 port it can reload PoW and Repulse.


Not to mention any Naval Support helping out as well.

Edited: Late December 1941? That won't be the KB. Those would be CVLs and CVEs, weakly escorted. Plot a course for them around Borneo, give them 6 to 8 hexes and swarm them with CLs, and DDs. Use many small TFs. Then have your bombers attack at low level - all they need to do is get lucky with one hit.

< Message edited by RangerJoe -- 7/7/2021 3:05:11 AM >


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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/7/2021 9:53:48 PM   
hooraysimpsons

 

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Well another thing I learned from this encounter is to look for 'retirement allowed' task forces that may return home in the path of enemy forces. Had a small cargo TF intercepted which showed me the following ships in the CV task force the turn prior to the screenshot posted above. For now, I'm hiding in Soerabaja. We will see how it goes. Thanks all. My understanding is that bombardment task forces are the only ones that have logic to run out and night then run back, right?
CV Kaga
CV Shokaku
CV Akagi
BB Hiei
CA Chikuma
CL Natori
DD Kuroshio
DD Oyashio
DD Hatsukaze
DD Minazuki
DD Kikuzuki
DD Yuzuki

< Message edited by hooraysimpsons -- 7/7/2021 9:54:34 PM >

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/7/2021 10:47:56 PM   
BBfanboy


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The automatic run in and retreat is a feature of Bombardment TFs, but you can emulate it by setting your SCTF to full speed, giving it a destination of the target hex but leave the TF with Retirement Allowed orders rather than Remain On Station. Also set the routing to "Absolute/Direct" to keep it from balking at the presence of enemy aircraft in the area.

EDIT to add: Make sure the Home Port is set to one in the direction you want the TF to retire.

< Message edited by BBfanboy -- 7/7/2021 10:49:10 PM >


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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/10/2021 1:30:14 PM   
hooraysimpsons

 

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Made it to January. Trying to close the loop on this thread, but do have one more question.

Follow up to SCTF interception of IJN CVx3 force. For my actual playthrough I ran and hid since ships were low on ammo. I did some more testing though. For the turn pictured above, never could get the at sea task force to meet up with a TF sorting out of port to attack as a combined force. The next turn, after rearming in port, the combined force would sortie out and engage the CV TF. Depending on destination and speed set, they would successfully engage ~70% of the time. Usually inflict some damage ~25% to at least one carrier but then get beat up pretty bad/almost completely with the return air strike(s). Part of the reason I did the tests was to see how likely the surface fleet could 'catch' the CV fleet.

My question: Is there a way to load a turn and see the orders entered by the AI prior to executing the turn? I was trying to figure out how I was able to catch up to them so easily so was going to look at the air group search orders but every time I switched over, the turn would execute before I could look at the orders.

In follow up to partially unloading a troop transport TF. Using the 'new TF' button allowed me to split up the TF. Whereas, the transfer ships to/from, which I was attempting to use initially does not.

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/10/2021 2:09:09 PM   
Kull


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hooraysimpsons

In follow up to partially unloading a troop transport TF. Using the 'new TF' button allowed me to split up the TF. Whereas, the transfer ships to/from, which I was attempting to use initially does not.


That's because "transfer to/from" would put the ships (while still carrying troops) into the port (same as if you were disbanding the TF), which is illegal. All troops must be unloaded before a ship can be "parked" in a port. Let's assume your troops are aboard ships in a "Transport" TF. If you create a new Transport TF, then you can transfer to/from into and out of that TF.

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/10/2021 2:22:14 PM   
Moltrey


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Not sure if this answers some of your questions, but here goes:

I have (mostly) gotten myself so that I can observe results and partial outcomes in WITP:AE objectively. In other words, from the viewpoint of a Nimitz, Halsey or Spruance, without getting too agitated about failures.
We plan, strategize and give orders, but the local commanders have the final decision based on their ratings. They run the gamut of aggressiveness, leadership, naval, etc., so much like history, results particularly early war are dismal. Morale and Experience are low (with the exception of US Marines) and asking more than a defensive tactical action is too much for most Commanders to handle... so they do only what they deem best given the circumstances.

Of course there are exceptions and luck plays a part as well. Sometimes you catch the Japanese on the back foot and can bloody their nose a bit. Typically, I delay the enemy using the mostly outdated forces early, bide my time and let the Japanese do much as they please- can't hope to stop them anyway. Coordination is a very difficult thing to achieve in WITP:AE with any regularity. There is a good guide to Air Coord. on the forums if you don't already have it. Ship Task Forces end up IMO being much like herding cats when you are working with multiple TFs. Things just don't seem to mesh well, so your results tend to being uneven at best. Just my experiences of course.

Good luck and keep plugging along, it is quite a rewarding game as the other guys mentioned.

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/10/2021 4:22:05 PM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hooraysimpsons

Follow up to SCTF interception of IJN CVx3 force. For my actual playthrough I ran and hid since ships were low on ammo. I did some more testing though. For the turn pictured above, never could get the at sea task force to meet up with a TF sorting out of port to attack as a combined force. The next turn, after rearming in port, the combined force would sortie out and engage the CV TF. Depending on destination and speed set, they would successfully engage ~70% of the time. Usually inflict some damage ~25% to at least one carrier but then get beat up pretty bad/almost completely with the return air strike(s). Part of the reason I did the tests was to see how likely the surface fleet could 'catch' the CV fleet.


Mob the enemy with lots of 2 DDs TFs first, then CL and DD TFs, then CA and DD TF, then come the Big Boys with DDs. You want to have lots of combats to cause damage and to use up the enemy OPs points so the CV TF won't be able to launch airplanes while they still can. If you also get some airstrikes in as well . . .

Use lower aggression on the lower numbered TFs so they get in and out and hopefully launch torpedoes while the enemy screening forces launch torpedoes that are less likely to hit. You want the CAs then the BBs to slug it out with a higher or highest aggression against an ammo and torpedo depleted screening force which may have had ships removed either due to sinking or put into escort TFs - hopefully with another screening ship.

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/10/2021 5:45:03 PM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: hooraysimpsons


...My question: Is there a way to load a turn and see the orders entered by the AI prior to executing the turn?...



No.

The devs were not keen on opening up possibilities to cheat or reverse engineer the algorithms.

What you are trying to achieve is a fools errand. It was a very rare event in WWII and is equally the case in AE. There is specific code in AE to quickly terminate a meeting engagement between a Carrier TF and a Surface Combat TF.

Nor does merging and reaction operate how you want it to work.

Alfred

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/10/2021 8:59:39 PM   
BBfanboy


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In addition to the advice from Moltrey and RJ, keep in mind that detection level is the key to any intercept. The higher the DL, the better the chances of an effective intercept. Since the DL is reset at the beginning of every 12 hour phase, you need to have night search and contact with your TFs to get a morning intercept and effective day search or chance meeting to increase the DL for the day naval phase. US torpedoes don't work well in 1942, but their periscopes and radars can do good work locating enemy TFs.

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/10/2021 9:31:41 PM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

In addition to the advice from Moltrey and RJ, keep in mind that detection level is the key to any intercept. The higher the DL, the better the chances of an effective intercept. Since the DL is reset at the beginning of every 12 hour phase, you need to have night search and contact with your TFs to get a morning intercept and effective day search or chance meeting to increase the DL for the day naval phase. US torpedoes don't work well in 1942, but their periscopes and radars can do good work locating enemy TFs.


US torpedoes have periscopes and radars?

The S-boat torpedoes do work but have less than a bang. Still, the fleet boats with their sometimes (in fact, usually) defective Mark 14s torpedoes will be able to target the enemy ships as well as spotting them. Sometimes the Mark 14s torpedoes actually do explode when they hit the target. The radar sets come in on the 4/42 upgrades.

Dutch torpedoes work great.

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/11/2021 12:58:44 AM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

US torpedoes have periscopes and radars?


Good catch! My morning coffee had not kicked in yet!




Attachment (1)

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/11/2021 4:07:03 PM   
Moltrey


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

In addition to the advice from Moltrey and RJ, keep in mind that detection level is the key to any intercept. The higher the DL, the better the chances of an effective intercept. Since the DL is reset at the beginning of every 12 hour phase, you need to have night search and contact with your TFs to get a morning intercept and effective day search or chance meeting to increase the DL for the day naval phase. US torpedoes don't work well in 1942, but their periscopes and radars can do good work locating enemy TFs.


Ah, that is a crucial part I missed there BB. Indeed, it is actually one of the elements you can have control over and as you say, makes a huge difference in whether your boys find the enemy or open seas. Thanks!

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/11/2021 5:42:42 PM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Moltrey


quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

In addition to the advice from Moltrey and RJ, keep in mind that detection level is the key to any intercept. The higher the DL, the better the chances of an effective intercept. Since the DL is reset at the beginning of every 12 hour phase, you need to have night search and contact with your TFs to get a morning intercept and effective day search or chance meeting to increase the DL for the day naval phase. US torpedoes don't work well in 1942, but their periscopes and radars can do good work locating enemy TFs.


Ah, that is a crucial part I missed there BB. Indeed, it is actually one of the elements you can have control over and as you say, makes a huge difference in whether your boys find the enemy or open seas. Thanks!


That is one advantage to having multiple small TFs plus some of your float planes flying at night. You can also then switch them from Naval Search to Recon for your bombardments.

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/14/2021 6:23:39 PM   
hooraysimpsons

 

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Thanks for all the responses. Sorry haven't checked in lately.
Alfred, thanks for answering about the save game load. I was surprised I was able to engage their CV ~70% of the time so then I became curious. Would be good to know what not to do to have any future CV forces of my own surprised. I think I was able to get an engagement because I had a lot of (weak) air assets searching which would bring the DL on their TF up. Just surprised they didn't have their own recon to see my forces coming.

RangerJoe, I didn't do many tests with smaller TFs. I've seen some posts on the forum about limiting the use of multiple small TFs in PBEM games. Wasn't sure how 'gamey' any future opponents would see it in this situation though.

For any future new people: I did find the wiki finally and the page about Naval tactics points out that reaction does not work when using Remain on Station so (re)learned that. https://witp-ae.fandom.com/wiki/Naval_Tactics

< Message edited by hooraysimpsons -- 7/14/2021 11:44:58 PM >

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/14/2021 6:54:22 PM   
RangerJoe


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Two to four DDs or CLs/DDs are not gamey. The problem was when the TF consisted of just one ship.

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RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/15/2021 5:39:04 AM   
Ian R

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: hooraysimpsons

Would be good to know what not to do to have any future CV forces of my own surprised.


1. Land and sea based air search so you see them coming.

2. When you do see them coming, form TF 34, so to speak. I always make sure a screening BB has a good naval rated aggressive captain to command it, and tell it follow your lead CVTF with a reaction of one (1). If the crisis dissipates, they can be folded back in to the CV TF.

3. Historical tangent: the fast carriers were fast, because a) some early ones were either converted from/built on the incomplete hulls of - BC (various RN and USN, Akagi) and fast (in WW1 terms) BB (Kaga, Eagle) and b) early on they were considered to be scouting/screening ships, namely "Cruisers,aViation." As the carriers exercised and naval officers climbed the learning curve in the 20/s early 30s, that speed, that initially fitted cruiser doctrine, was identified as an asset in the emerging carrier doctrine. The cruiser level SP guns were omitted from the 1930s built fast carriers, and landed from the others in the early war years, in favour of increased AAA, more aircraft ordnance stores etc. Slower/experimental ships such as Hosho, Argus, Langley, Hermes etc were reduced to supporting roles. Arguably carrier doctrine supplanted the line of battle doctrine at Taranto in 1940, or if not then, in May 1941, but that is a debate for another thread... so ...

3. TLDR version of 3 - your fast carriers are fast enough to get out of the way, and, if caught by surprise at night, the cruisers/fast BBs in the TF will engage the enemy and screen the carriers. Early in the war the only fast BBs available to you are the POW and Repulse. Happily you don't have to account for Admiral King's Anglopobia and can use them accordingly.

Edit: POW and Repulse will also act as torpedo magnets and divert attention from your carriers when an airstrike arrives.

< Message edited by Ian R -- 7/15/2021 5:41:01 AM >


_____________________________

"You may find that having is not so nearly pleasing a thing as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."
- Cdr Spock


Ian R

(in reply to hooraysimpsons)
Post #: 26
RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/15/2021 5:31:56 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

Posts: 3905
Joined: 5/5/2004
From: Dallas
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I disagree that King was anglophobic. I believe he hated all navies other than the USN equally.

(in reply to Ian R)
Post #: 27
RE: Almost to January. Some SCTF order/reaction questions - 7/16/2021 4:32:20 AM   
Ian R

 

Posts: 3140
Joined: 8/1/2000
From: Cammeraygal Country
Status: offline
There is a Drachinifel video on Admiral King, subtitled "Semper Iratus". Its worth a listen. Link:

Semper Iratus

_____________________________

"You may find that having is not so nearly pleasing a thing as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."
- Cdr Spock


Ian R

(in reply to anarchyintheuk)
Post #: 28
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