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Old December 24th, 2008, 02:22 AM

Hayek Hayek is offline
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Default Sea Lanes Offensive

This is a single player tactic. I have not yet tried it in multiplayer, but I admit it will probably not work. It has worked for me seven times in a row and the quickest I have achieved victory is December 1942. Most commonly I win between April 1943 and June 1943, just before the US major offensive capacity arrives.

This is a bit gamey but it is all about the concept of throwing what you have at the enemy in the best way possible in hopes of throwing them off balance long enough to win. That's how I win strategy games. (Well, I say win...)

What this strategy dictates is a measured defensive thrust into Southeast Asia to secure your fuel with a simultaenous thrust into the Sea Lanes to secure Espiritu Santo and hold it for the allotted time.

What I mean by a measured attack is that you do what you have calculated is the minimum required not to run out of fuel. A fuel surplus is not, I repeat not, necessary. I have won with only two months left of fuel before. I never capture Leyte or Java. At some point or another - when the time it takes to win via sea lanes is less than the time it takes to lose from fuel, you transfer all your forces from defending fuel to defending Espiritu Santo. Your spare SNLF will be going into attacking Wake/Aleutians to stop them attacking your home ports, and into severing the actual game link between Brisbane and West Coast.

Expect high losses! You must sacrifice to gain strategic objectives.

In all the games I play, there are only four places where ships are lost;
-Home Islands
-Espiritu Santo

So this is a concentrated offensive. I am typing this as I play it (yay for windowed mode.) It begins as such...

December 1941:
Kwajalein Port; Tatsuta, Tenryu, SNLF-3 attacks Wake. Move forces from Truk to Home Islands. Marianas Is. forces attack Rabaul. Add Zuiho and Hosho to Striking Force and raid Hawaii. Kongo, Haruna, and 2 CAs attack Luzon, the rest of the Formosa garrison move to patrol Home Islands.
Results: 4 BBs sunk at Pearl, Luzon captured, Wake captured, Rabaul captured. No losses.

January 1942:
1 SNLF from Home Islands, plus all the IJN BBs attached to Striking Force and set to attack Singapore. Shoho, 3 CAs, + SNLF attacks Guadalcanal. Convoy goes to Rabaul. The forces that attacked Luzon, redeploy to Rabaul.
Results: Guadalcanal captured. Singapore captured. No losses.

February 1942:
The force that just attacked Singapore has rebased to Formosa. This patrols Singapore. Yamato + CL/CAs attacks Borneo. All forces in the South Seas attack Espiritu Santo with 1 SNLF from Home Islands. Convoy goes to Singapore.
Results: Borneo captured. Espiritu Santo captured. Americans attack Singapore;
Nevada sunk, Saratoga/Enterprise sunk. Oil situation now stable.

March 1942:
Convoy goes to Espiritu Santo. Forces at Singapore maintain patrol of Singapore, all other forces redirected to patrol Espiritu Santo. Some CAs attack Aleutians.
Results: US CV at Aleutians. I retreat :P

April 1942:
Convoy goes to Espiritu Santo. I try Aleutians attack again.
Results: Americans raid Home Islands. I capture Aleutians.

May 1942: Sea Lanes cut! 5 months left! I attack Tarawa and Midway. Continue patrol patterns, although divert Shokaku and Kaga, Yamato and Hiei to patrol Espiritu Santo. Convoy goes to Espiritu Santo.
Results: Withdrew from Midway, Tarawa captured.

June 1942: Some repositioning. Convoy goes to Espiritu Santo.
Results: No combat.

July 1942: Three months left of Sea Lanes, so I redivert my ships patrolling Singapore to patrol Espiritu Santo. Which is basically my entire Navy. Convoy goes to Espiritu Santo. I attack Hollandia with some CAs as I am bored and have SNLF surplus.
Results: Hollandia captured, obviously.

August 1942: Two months left of Sea Lanes. Bored so I attack Midway. Convoy to Espiritu Santo.
Results: Midway is mine.

September 1942: One month left. Leaving some CVL and CA to defend Espiritu, I launch a gigantic raid on the US Fleet at West Coast. Convoy goes to Espiritu Santo.
Results: I discover that there are eight amphibs lying around doing nothing in West Coast.

I win! I have lost no ships [SS]. The allies have lost 2 CVs, 5 BBs, 1 CA, and 3 CLs. This strategy is ridiculously easy and after playing this game, I do believe it is bugged/shows an imbalance. Or maybe it was just this battle - in other games I have lost most of my ships and still won. I had the strength to bleed the allies on the defensive for six months there, it was just lucky I didn't have to. Unsure whether this is truly imbalanced since I have not played in multiplayer as it does not work. If it was MP I would be less slack.

Last edited by Hayek; December 24th, 2008 at 02:28 AM..
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Old January 1st, 2009, 06:57 PM

Skanvak Skanvak is offline
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Default Re: Sea Lanes Offensive

I do use a similar strategy. Thought, I think you can do better if you ignore wake island and goes for Guadalcanal instead. This will allow you to attack Brisbane that will block lots of allied ships.

Actually, I just finish a game (against the computer) where I have succeeded in all the objectives simultaneously that is raid on the three main Allied base. All oil point secured, Home island secured and Hawaii captured and rebuild and of course Esperitu Santo hold long enough. I win in Jan 43 with Port Darwin under Japanese control for flavor.

I see several Flaws in the allied AI that made this strategy successful :

_ The AI attack the Home Island on 2nd turn, so just mass your fleet as to kill them.
_ The Tarrawa seems far more important than the Sallomon (port moresby, guadalcanal, Rabaul (less as it protect Truck)...) because you can reach the 3 sea lane port from here.
_ The AI don't attack Espiritu Santo with enough aggresivity, like if it did not reallise how dangerous it is for them.

I think that the AI is too predictable and a not reacting enough to the threat to its sea lane.
Best Regards

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Old January 4th, 2009, 05:56 PM

Johnnie Johnnie is offline
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Default Re: Sea Lanes Offensive

Perhaps the Sea Lanes victory condition could be tweaked by:

a) requiring a six month reserve of oil and a positive (+1 oil flow) when sea lane victory is acheived; and

b) having the AI react more aggressively against a loss of the sea lanes (and/or requiring that Japan take hold all three of, rather than any one of, the three sea lane bases).
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Old January 18th, 2009, 06:28 PM

AlanG59 AlanG59 is offline
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Default Re: Sea Lanes Offensive

I've had success using this strategy as well.
One game I won in Oct '42 using the route through Espirito Santo.
I had a 12 month supply of oil at the time.

My next attempt was dealt a very bad blow on Turn 2; I recieved NO SNLF that month. yikes!! It was a nail-biter till the end.
I invaded Tarawa, Singapore and Borneo in Turn 3. There was an attack on Singapore next month, a raid on Borneo and the Home Islands got pummeled. The next month I took Samoea, as the Home Islands were attacked again; of course most of the fleet was there by then! The game ended up a win in Sept '42, with 15 months of oil in reserve. There was a massive Midway style engagement at Samoea in Aug... the Allied AI obviously understood the danger.

All in all, this is a FABULOUS game!!!
The kind I have wanted to see on the computer since I played AH's Victory in the Pacific.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 01:59 PM

deanolium deanolium is offline
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Default Re: Sea Lanes Offensive

I've also tried this strategy, and it definitely works even when you only do it broadly.

Last night, I tried a game as Japan (my fourth game) where I first just concentrated on getting my oil supply up, before going for the sea lanes. My first turn involved an attack on Hawaii, Tarawa and Luzon (and I think somewhere else) - which all succeeded. I caught the American carriers at Pearl and caused some major damage. After supporting Tarawa with some ships and planes, I attacked the Oil islands, leaving Singapore to last, whilst keeping a load of ships at Home Islands. Every turn, the Allies hit Home Is with all their major ships (ignoring pretty much every other port I was taking) - with my carriers and planes at Home, I managed to suffer no damage at all, whilst they sunk all of their carriers and battleships. Eventually I took the Oil islands, and did a raid at Ceylon to stop the British from counterattacking for a while (so I could just leave a small force at Java and Singapore). I then went after Fuji, which went down easily. After the American forces were seriously depleted (they were down to their last CVL) and I got some more infantry, I went after Midway and the Aleutians, before raiding the West Coast. By this time, they had about three ships left, leaving me to take over the pacific with ease.

By the end (I accidently left no-one at Fuji for a turn, so the Austrailians took it back with a tiny force - so that extended my game by 7 turns), I had everything but Ceylon, Brisbane, Wake (why bother?), Palmyra, Samoa, Hawaii and the West Coast. As this was only my fourth game (and I only have a little knowledge of the Pacific war, coming from the first two PTO games from Koei - and I'm not an expert wargamer), this does seem like something's wrong (especially when I lost about 4 ships compared to something like 40-60 of theirs by the end).

The AI is too obsessive about attacking the Home Islands - which I can kinda get as the rewards are really high, especially at the start. However, this turns into a meat-grinder, especially when both my air and surface power far exceeds theirs. They also need to be much more aggressive over the key islands. They pretty much ignored Fuji et al, and should also be cautious about Tarawa. But they also ignored the Oil islands. If they became more aggressive about retaking those alone, that would remove this problem (as the only reason you can easily take the Sea Lane islands is because the Oil situation is so easily solved and kept. From a strategy pov, I should be having to constantly be spending resources to hold onto my Oil producers which will limit my aggressive advancing elsewhere.

That all said, it's a great game and I'm really enjoying it. I just hope that Japan can be fixed.
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