View Full Version : The Comp (WARNING: Newb Question)
January 13th, 2007, 01:11 PM
I'm sure I'm missing something but, how come every time I play the comp I feel like I'm the British fighting the Zulus in the Anglo-Zulu war -- except the Zulus always win! http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/Injured.gif
I almost had a coronary one time when I chose the "view map" option after one of these comp slaughters -- the map was 10 hexes thick of rifle squads! http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/eek.gif
I'd hate to see the comp with the "Tank Heavy" option set to off! /threads/images/Graemlins/Cold.gif
In fact I could here the radio call now:
SITUATION TURN #1 TANK HEAVY SET TO OFF
"Lt. Col. Sheridan we're surrounded on all sides by infantry! We need a napalm strike immediately! What? This is World War Two? We don't have napalm yet?? Oh well in that case, HEEEEEEEELLLLLLLPPP!
Given enough turns, it seems the comp will always win through overwhelming force -- he can afford the 3-1 casualties as the price for victory.
It doesn't seem like I can hold any position against such an overwhelming force http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/confused.gif
I feel like the only solution is to pick the force for the comp so I don't have to drown in an endless sea of rifle squads over and over http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/rant.gif
Do I just not know how to play?
I mean when the comp has soo many troops how can you win?
January 13th, 2007, 01:33 PM
Which sides did you play and what year for how many points? If you pick a modern side with expensive equipment and put it against a nation with very cheap older generation units you'll be overwhelmed for sure if you buy a sizeable force of expensive units yourself...
PS Wouldn't happen to be UK vs Italy after 8/43 would it?
January 13th, 2007, 05:59 PM
Well usually it's US vs. Japan 1945-1946 played with the full allotment of points the comp provides. :8}
I think I get your point...
January 14th, 2007, 12:17 AM
The picklist for the AI also takes into account the actual availability of certain types of units for that nation at that time. So if certain types of armor are included int he OB but were 'experimental' or only available in very small numbers the computer is unlikely to get them, or if it does only a few.
Set the points yourself manually or better yet, buy a force which is barely large enough to cover all sectors of the map. Battles are a lot more fun if they're not slugfests with large forces moving at each other over the whole length of the battlefield. That's my opinion at least...
And oh yeah, japanese infantry is especially tough to deal with. So it's not really a good measuring stick as far as dealing with infantry goes.
January 14th, 2007, 01:21 AM
Hmmm, set the points yourself manually...
Exactly what do you mean by this?
For now I'm setting all opponents to Germany. That way I will get a good mix of opponent forces.
January 14th, 2007, 06:04 AM
OK - after you've clicked on the "Battle" button to generate sides, click on "Preferences".
On the right-hand side of the screen you'll see a table of choices: you need the one that's near the bottom called "Battle Points". leave your opponents as "xxx" - this means computer generated (or random, in the case of air strikes). Minimum value is 250 pts - i.e. a group of infantry and a couple of dogs..... - and I haven't a clue what the Max is! I suggest you give yourself about 1,500 for an easily-managed battle.
Also look at the "map height/map width" buttons - minimum is 20 hexes by 20 hexes - i.e. a knife fight in a telephone booth - with a max of 200 by 160. This latter gives you plenty of room to manoeuvre in!
Press "Exit", and then "Continue".
Play around with these basic controls - we can move onto the more complicated/esoteric stuff later.
January 14th, 2007, 08:33 AM
Oh ya those controls I never touch lol http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/laugh.gif
I think the main point is that if I buy expensive units when my opponent doesn't have them available then he will be infantry heavy...
Which brings me to an important point:
Why should an an infantry heavy force win against more expensive and advanced stuff -- it almost seems like it's better to just overload with infantry and overrun everything... http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/confused.gif
January 14th, 2007, 10:46 AM
Now that only works if you have enough infantry to cover the whole battlefield with large numbers. In other words, whether or not that swarming tactic has any change at all is in the first place determined by the balance between size of the battlefield and amount of troops available. Two battallions of infantry is a lot on a 60x60 map, on a 200x160 map you'll barely have enough to cover the whole front with a thin line and keep a few to guard rear victory hexes. Mobile forces opposing them will be able to move from sector to sector destroying them piecemeal keeping a few troops to suppress the rest in the mean time (using hmg's, mortars, light armor and some infantry units).
January 14th, 2007, 01:31 PM
Interesting tactic -- a mobile hit squad.
So you're saying that your advanced pieces which will have to be covering a much smaller area won't be overwhelmed by a combined infantry assault...
You mean that the infantry can't combine over a larger map because they are spread too far apart?
January 14th, 2007, 02:04 PM
More or less. Another advantage of the mobile force is that you don't have to hold the ground, just pull back steadily with your holding force inflicting casulties on the advancing hordes. The mobile element will give you the speed to retake ground quickly once the enemy force has been beaten. It doesn't really matter that much where you beat it, as long as you have the time and means to retake the victory hexes afterwards.
January 16th, 2007, 04:05 PM
All I can say is, dude I feel your pain, so let me offer my lessons learned. The infantry horde was most noticeable to me on delay missions. This is because the enemy gets a significant advantage in purchase points on these missions. Delay used to be my least favorite mission. I would dread it each time it came up because it basically meant my core was going to be wiped out. I would have to use banked repair points after the battle to completely rebuild. If I happened to draw a couple of delays in a row then my campaign was pretty much over as my command was reduced to an ineffective fighting force. I remember the first time I got a draw I was so happy. I thought I had slaughtered the enemy and inflicted terrible losses on them. However, when I looked at the map after the battle I saw a human wave that was still steamrolling toward me. It seemed like every hex in the middle third of the map had an infantry section in it. That was a little tough for morale knowing I had fought my guts out and still had that to deal with.
So after this my tale of woe I would like to offer my tips on dealing with delay missions for discussion.
Number 1 and most important. Do not try to defend the entire front! You can't do it. You'll be spread too thin. Instead pick an area that you will make your "citadel". It doesn't even have to contain victory hexes although that helps. I have lost every single victory hex before but if you still have a credible fighting force the mission will continue to allow you to retake them. Terrain is the key here. I like to pick an area that will give both good fields of fire along easy advance routes and good cover to fall back in to. I find as a rule of thumb I can defend an area about 1/3 the size of my half of the map.
For deployment I put all of my slow forces in the citadel usually in tree lines and such. I spread out my mobile forces to cover the rest of the front but only if they have a line of retreat that can lead them back to the home base without being in LOS of the enemy such as behind some trees or behind a hill. For both static and mobile forces remember you are not drawing a line in the sand. Rather you should plan on falling back to successively smaller defensive perimeters. One fallback position is an absolute minimum. Two or more for every unit is preferable. Remember to balance this so the size of the last area of defense is not so small that a heavy artillery barrage will neutralize your entire force. I find keeping 1 open hex between units to be a good rule of thumb.
For force composition (support units) ammo and artillery of every variety is your friend. Also some extra infantry can be good since most people tend to not have enough infantry in their core. Infantry is good because they can put out a lot of fire before running out of ammo. I have had tanks run completely out of ammo before, down to the last MG bullet. If you get to this situation your tank is effectively out of action for the rest of the mission as it will take so long to reload it with ammo that the mission turn limit will be over. This is further complicated by the fact that the main gun is reloaded first which loads even slower and that is the last thing you want when facing a hoard of infantry. I like to use lots of light AT guns and heavy mortars. The mortars should have transport and if the AT guns don't they should be really cheap because you are going to write them off as "suicide" defenders (sucks to not be a core unit doesn't it?). You should have one mobile ammo unit for each platoon of on map arty (indirect fire arty only). Wagons, horses, donkeys, whatever work best because they are cheap. Also have one spare ammo unit so that your front line units can fall back and resupply when needed. AT guns can also supply from this unit. Finally get a platoon of cheap, fast moving armored cars. These will be used to retake victory hexes in the final stage of the battle.
As Germany facing the Soviet masses in the early stages of Barbarossa my favorites are:
off map arty - 10.5cm battery+ (double ammo)
on map arty - 10cm mortar (cuts up infantry best)
AT guns - any caliber that has a movement rate of at least 1. 5cm is probably getting "too good". I happen to keep a platoon of 5cm AT in my core but that's not necessary. You should, however, have a platoon of heavy AT in your core. Guard these guns as they were your most valuable treasure.
For tactics remember you're just trying to take the edge off and then retire, not hold the line initially. Try to knock out all or most of the enemy armor first. The computer makes this fairly easy as they charge forward before infantry support can catch up. Tanks can fire only one turn saving enough movement points to retire out of sight as they will be spotted. AT guns (which is why I like them so much) can fire one or two SHOTS per turn for 2-3 turns before being spotted. If you fire your entire allotment of shots in a turn you will be spotted quickly so only do this if you are going to knock out all of the units that can see you. Have your guns in a tree line and move them back one hex to a waiting transport when it's time to fall back. If he's one of the unlucky that doesn't have transport then just give 'em hell for as long as you can after being spotted. Shoot and scoot is the name of the game. You've got about 4 turns from when you first start shooting until you've got arty coming down on you. You want to be out of there and on your way to the next position by then. Move sooner with guns you can't risk losing (your heavy AT).
Use your heavy artillery if you have it to blow any key bridges on turn 0 then hold it in reserve or for counter battery fire. Use the rest of your arty to shell the smoke puffs of enemy artillery and advancing troop concentrations. I like to shell 1 or 2 hexes behind the front line infantry that I can see. This will put you in the middle of the troop concentration because you know there are lots of infantry sections following up that you haven't spotted yet. You won't get to witness the casualties you are causing but the barrage will be effective. Especially abuse infantry advancing over open ground. I like to call in all my arty on one troop concentration to really blast them. You have to let the other areas of the front come unchecked while you are doing this but you can switch to them while the first victims are still sorting themselves out after the barrage. Creeping barrage is best to keep the fire going but same rules go for on map arty - shoot and scoot. This will reduce the amount of fire you can put out but you won't be able to put out any fire if you get blasted by enemy arty. You only have to move about 4-5 hexes to be out of the way of the incoming artillery barrage. That's only 1 turn (or 2 if your slow) of movement between each barrage. Set most of your pre-plotted artillery points to be on your own victory hexes.
Finally you'll slaughter enough men and there will be enough burning vehicles strewn about that the enemy advance will first stall and then the entire enemy force will begin to rout. Retake the victory hexes in reverse order and shell the crap out of them the whole way back off the map as well. Use the armored cars you've been holding in reserve to dash forward and snatch up the remaining victory hexes in the last few turns of the mission.
Final note - don't get delusions of grandeur and take your armored forces behind enemy lines to take out their artillery. There are all sorts of unpleasantries back there like AA and AT guns that you don't have the time or resources to deal with.
Applying these principles has turned around the delay mission for me and now it is one of my favorites. To reinforce the most important point - don't defend the entire front because you don't have enough forces to do so.
January 16th, 2007, 05:21 PM
Wow a truly awesome post. This is one for the record books http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/happy.gif
Now that I look at it both you and narwan said the same thing, it's just you went into alot more detail...
January 16th, 2007, 05:37 PM
And as well, if you are getting overwhelmed, cut back on the points. Playing with the......"full allotment of points the comp provides" isn't always the best idea especially when new to the game. It also makes a difference on how big a map you play on. Taking full points on anything less than a full sized map isn't always a good idea especially if the AI opponent is likely to toss a lot of infantry at you and really , most people need time to learn how the game works with smaller battles on smaller maps before diving into a massive battle on a massive map
January 16th, 2007, 06:18 PM
Right so I'm actually doing half of what you said I play on a 80x80 but I use 3-4k points http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/laugh.gif
Sounds like suicide for a new player eh?
I have been able to acheive draws and once a marginal victory.
Now that I have 1.1b it should be easier because my draws were a rush to capture the v-hexes because I had run out of time.
It took me this long to figure out the main dl isn't patched :8}
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