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Thread: HOI Beginner - how to blitz the fritz?

  1. #1

    HOI Beginner - how to blitz the fritz?

    Hello everybody,

    so far I have only played EU4 and I have greatly enjoyed it. As I have seen the HOI4 reveals and was impressed I want to get into the other Paradox games too.
    As I have not found a fresh noob thread on the first two forum pages I am creating my own to ask questions. I will have a bazillion questions later that I'll post here, later I will use the "quick questions" thread.

    Have not bought the game yet but will do it this evening. Here are my questions and I hope I don't bore you as you have probably answered stuff like that a thousand times. Thanks for everyone helping.

    1) Does the Steam HOI3 collection come with all the DLC that I need? http://store.steampowered.com/sub/37223/?l=english Am I missing anything?

    2) Only read this so far http://www.hoi3wiki.com/Combat_strategy is the wiki good (like the corresponding EU4 wiki) or are there other info sites you recommend

    3) Is there something akin to an Ironman mode of EU4 in HOI3? I really like how it does force me to not cheat by reloading all the time when something bad happens.

    4) Are there any important settings in game options

    5) The above Beginners Guide says you should learn to play with Brazil or Australia. I would really like to start in Europe though with a Non Axis country. Is there any way I could play that after reading some guides or is it not recommended? Anyway I will probably try Russia or Britain and post my experience here. Contrary to the thread title I will probably get blitzed by the fritz and totally destroyed but that might be interesting too.


    Any answers are very much appreciated. I will share my first experience of the game in this thread later.

  2. #2
    4) Autosave to atleast half-yearly.

    5) Fuck that, go Romania or Italy.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow Wolf View Post
    4) Autosave to atleast half-yearly.

    5) Fuck that, go Romania or Italy.
    Thanks for the feedback...

    Do you have some basic help on how to play against the Axis (so Allies faction) with Italy and not get ausgerottet by Adolf?
    Last edited by CyberianK; 01-09-2014 at 14:15.

  4. #4
    Hm, I've cancelled my Italy allies playthrough @ 37, so I'm not too sure. However, you have the alps at your disposal and Germany does not produce mountain troops (or very few). So if you concentrate your forces on the mountainous areas on the north-west, you should be absolutely fine. I'm not sure if fortresses are required but I would not say so.
    Do NOT advance past the hills of austria- your units will get decimated in no time without the hills on your side, as the majority of your equipment is utterly outdated or badly organized. You should maintain a few interceptors so that you could fend off german TACs or CAS just in case.

    Playing as Allies Italy, you can totally neglect Africa and the mediterranean (both entries are being shut by UK). That means you can draw most of your african units to the alpfront and use your Regia Marina to conduct shore bombardment. Other than that, all that can save you is luck.



    Edit: I've just read the combat manual you've linked and it seems decent. However, I think the player gains experience just as the military leaders in the game- by fighting battles and winning/losing them. There'll always be something to learn and always something that's not in the books. I think the best thing at a certain point is to simply try.

  5. #5
    OK, so I did not like my original strategy and started Germany instead. Restructured my whole army as found in some historic guide and also placed all the good leaders.
    Some questions regarding the german start:

    Garrison
    I am building 3xGAR/1xAA Divisions for Defense of ports and homefront. Are they any good? I know I have to research different tech so their effect is questionable but they seem to be cheaper than Infantry. For now I restrict research to them to only the Defensiveness and Soft Attack techs so I only use 2 techs.

    Diplomacy and Threat
    Currently I am dragging Brazil to Axis. With Spies I am doing Counterespionage, destabilize France and GB and supporting my Party in Austria and Switzerland.
    When should I switch to building Threat on GB and France? Do I have to build Threat on Poland to be able to declare war on them earlier or should i just follow the historic path with that?

    Navy
    I know that they can't be upgraded so I have to research early. I will focus on Battleships and Destroyers maybe with a few Aircraft Carriers plus some submarines.
    At which tech should I start building lots of them? Currently I only build the occasional ship to combat tech decay.
    Ship Anti-Aircraft can be upgraded so I can sesearch them later, right?

    Bomber Protection
    I think I have to build lots of Interceptors and station them at the west front where the bombers fly through. Do AA guns from land units also help with that if so how to position them?
    How should I build airbases and radar before the war starts?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by CyberianK View Post
    Garrison
    I am building 3xGAR/1xAA Divisions for Defense of ports and homefront. Are they any good? I know I have to research different tech so their effect is questionable but they seem to be cheaper than Infantry. For now I restrict research to them to only the Defensiveness and Soft Attack techs so I only use 2 techs.

    It's fair enough. Anything that discourages the enemy to land there works. If you want, you can add 1 MP brigade for surpression (in France) or 1 ART for more soft attack.


    Diplomacy and Threat
    Currently I am dragging Brazil to Axis. With Spies I am doing Counterespionage, destabilize France and GB and supporting my Party in Austria and Switzerland.
    When should I switch to building Threat on GB and France? Do I have to build Threat on Poland to be able to declare war on them earlier or should i just follow the historic path with that?

    Not sure if that isn't waste of diplomacy points, but it works, have it your way. There isn't many espionage required for france, though you could try Tech Espionage and steal some Navy stuff. GB's unity could be a worthy target, remember to do this with the malus of strategic bombing and convoy raiding (The more you bomb and the more you sink convoys the heftier the malus; all 3 are independant from eachother though so you could focus on one). Supporting your party in Austria and Switzerland can work, but I never was a fan of that because Austria is pretty much on your side already. I'm not sure if switzerland isn't lost cause. And espionage in poland is not necessary, war begins with a decision.

    Navy
    I know that they can't be upgraded so I have to research early. I will focus on Battleships and Destroyers maybe with a few Aircraft Carriers plus some submarines.
    At which tech should I start building lots of them? Currently I only build the occasional ship to combat tech decay.
    Ship Anti-Aircraft can be upgraded so I can sesearch them later, right?

    I never made a big deal out of the Navy; most gets sunk by England or France anyway. I would even go that far and declare the navy a waste because it is a tech race you cannot win. Submarines are always good though, as they can lower England's unity and starve them off resources. Yes, some techs can be upgraded later.

    Bomber Protection
    I think I have to build lots of Interceptors and station them at the west front where the bombers fly through. Do AA guns from land units also help with that if so how to position them?
    How should I build airbases and radar before the war starts?

    AA units help a bit, some say they are worthless and useless but I wouldn't really say so. If you want to place them, put them in provinces with IC or any province that is a victory point. Interceptors are best based near the Rhine (Düsseldorf/Münster), Euskirchen, a wing in bavaria and along the french coast. Airbases are not necessary, europe has lots of them. You should upgrade a few eastern bases though. Radar goes to France/belgium or wherever you deem necessary.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
    .

  7. #7
    Field Marshal Kovax's Avatar
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    First, I often deploy 2xGAR+AA in major ports. It'll hold long enough to get a mobile force to the scene, provided that you DO have a mobile backup force to cover several ports. Many players use MIL instead of GAR because it's easy to get GAR overrun due to their slow speed, but MIL are not as tough as GAR on defense, and if your backup force can get to the province the GAR are retreating to before the GAR get there (you've got a LOT of time to push the enemy out), there's not a problem with overruns.

    The problem with Brazil is that unless there's somebody extremely threatening to them, they're not going to have low enough Neutrality to join the Axis, even if you get them completely into your corner. I'd start working on raising the Threat of either UK or FRA right from the start, and that way you can get ITA and HUN in a bit early. I've targeted UK for Threat, while lowering National Unity on FRA. Incidentally, I build at least 30 spies in the first few months of the game using a minimum of 5 Leadership, starting with domestic spies to clear out the foreign agents, then switch to about 1 or 2 pips in Counter-spying and 1 in raising my party's Organization. The next group goes into either UK or FRA, and Austria if you decide to try to beat the timeline by raising your own party's Organization (it only gains you a month or two over the scripted events). At some point after you put spies in UK and FRA, you'll want to place spies in CZE to lower their National Unity, so when Austria is absorbed, you'll already be well on your way to convincing CZE that independence isn't all it's cracked up to be. I usually follow the timeline until the Molotov-Rippentrop Pact is available, and then I decide whether to split POL with the SU for the guarantee, or take the risk of enacting Danzig without a safety net. Going "off the rails" by attacking CZE or some other country before the scripted events means you don't get "cores" on those provinces, and you get even more threat.

    Your own threat due to the scripted events and decisions will be enough to drive several countries into the Allies, unless you actively pull them away. I don't usually waste Influence on other countries except to pull the US as far from the Allied corner as I can. Of course, once Japan bombs Pearl Harbor (if you bring Japan into the Axis), that's a moot point, as the US will auto-join.

    If you research the remaining 1936 BB techs to 1938 from the start (AA can be researched later), and build one or two BCs using the existing techs to boost "Practicals" and speed construction of the next capital ships, you have enough time to lay down the keels for a few BBs that will complete just before war breaks out. I prefer staggering builds by 3-6 months, so one completes and its Practical increase reduces the completion time of the next. If you start them simultaneously, that reduction is lost, and that adds up to a LOT of IC/days. Researching ahead costs roughly double, so only use that option so it completes shortly before you need it, otherwise you'll end up researching it AGAIN at double the cost.

    Stationing Interceptors where the bombers fly THROUGH is useless. The game has the bombers "teleport" from one province to the next one it can reach in an hour, so usually they'll skip right over your fighters. It's more practical to assign them to intercept over the cities that they'll bomb repeatedly, once you identify which are the prime targets. You can also target provinces that you see bombers in as way points, but those will change every time techs upgrade or the bombers change targets. Unfortunately, building static AA just makes the bombers choose the least defended target, whereas assigning fighters allows you to hit them over and over, since they'll attack the same 2 or 3 targets almost every time.

    I upgrade airbases to a minimum of 3, often to 6. That allows me to station 1 or 2 groups of 3 planes, and have all of them repair. Due to stacking penalties in combat, 3 planes gives reasonable efficiency with reasonable survivability. Two planes are more "efficient", but tend to get shot up badly, since they only divide damage two ways, and 4 to 6 is often the most effective way of dealing with enemy interceptors until you start beating them up badly enough to ground most of them. Two groups of 3 is ideal for that; any more and you start actually losing total firepower due to stacking penalties (5 and 6 give identical firepower, and 6 will divide up damage among more planes). I can then fly the 3xINT groups independently to hit bombers when the enemy fighters are down for repairs.

    By the time I have radar completed, the front has generally moved on out of range. I sometimes build one or two in key target cities to provide a bit of extra bonus to my INT (and to increase the Practicals, so the next ones build faster), and then wait until FRA falls to build one or two more along the coast.

  8. #8
    Nice, I did not expect such extended answers here, thanks alot @Kovax @Snow Wolf

    I will use the Garrison then for my ports with AA. As for Diplomacy and Intelligence I feared that these things might not be very efficient. So then I will stop Influencing and partysupporting. I heard that you can delay USA or even switch them to Axis but I don't want to do that as I feel then the game might lack a serious challenge.
    I will raise Threat on GB and do Tech Espionage or Unity on France.
    Does France actually have useful tech I can steal? Should I steal tech on USA too, is it useful or is researching just plain better?

    The explanation on INT is very useful I will follow that mostly and later build some radar on coastline.

    How about Netherlands and Belgium later. Can I just attack them to get into France or do I need to do something with Spies to do that?

  9. #9
    Field Marshal Kovax's Avatar
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    Diplomacy and Intelligence are useful in combination with trade and other tools. Alone, they're not very powerful, but in combination you can do quite a bit.

    FRA and UK have a few naval techs and doctrines which GER might fine useful, but I feel that there are far more important things to do with your spies, like raise Threat or lower National Unity. The US doesn't have great techs at the start, but has the Leadership to develop them. By the time they get ahead of you, the war is already decided. Your primary task as Axis is to delay their entry, although stopping it without interfering in the political process (which takes a 100% commitment) isn't likely.

    Netherlands and Belgium can be declared on and invaded once you deal with Poland and have the troops to spare. In a few games, I've kept Netherlands out of the Allies and used them as a source of trade for Rares, going directly through the Maginot Line (INF with ENG, supported by TAC around the clock can punch a hole in about 1-2 weeks, above the bend where there are no rivers).

  10. #10
    Thanks so much @Kovax

    As for my game going I am very, very slow because of all that micro but I really enjoy everything (except trade, which I automated). I am April 49 now, most of my Upgrades have finished I have a huge infantry force, 15 tank divisions, 8 Interceptors in the West, 6 in the East, decent bombers/CAG, 2 NAV and 4 CAG.
    I have 3 Wolfpacks (9 Subs total), some Destroyers and a defenseless Battleship plus what you start with. I have 4 transport ships and 2 transport planes, Paratroopers and Marines are not built yet.
    2x 1938 tech Battleships will be finished in early 1940 as well as 2x low tech Carriers. I am building a Radar near Netherlands on the coast.

    Hungary, Italy and Japan have joined the Allies, Nationalist China has Ceded to France while Italy has enslaved Ethopia and annexed Algeria, Lithuania is moving towards Axis. I have accepted Memel and Ribbentrop pact. I have done no Diplo as I don't want anything strange happening like a USA fighting for Axis. As for my goal in the game I want to see Normandy happening and try to fight it while having defeated Soviet and controlling the majority of Europe, western Asia and Africa.

    Poland, France and Denmark have mobilized. Should I mobilize too now, I read somewhere that it only takes a month if you have enough manpower which I do and isn't WW2 starting in September or will it start earlier with what happened in my game?

    I have some other questions that I somehow could not find anywhere even after extensive research:

    1.) does promoting and demoting Leader Ranks have any drawback? Some sources said it removes experience some say it does not. And my leaders are 0% XP at game start anyway, right?

    2.) I neglected Aircraft Carrier Engines, cause my Battleships I want to group them with are slower anyway. Now that might have been a bad choice cause it seems that way they cannot evade enemy ships in combat so good. But I have a destroyer screen so am a good, research it or not?

    3.) I have some light tanks and ACs still to be deployed. They are so fast that even putting motorized in the unit slows them down. What is the best way to use them, should I really do Divisions without Infantry, so no combined arms bonus at all?

    4.) Later I want to Invade Denmark, Norway and Scandinavia. What do you think is the best timing for doing that?

    5.) Special Forces: I will get some 4x Para units just for fun. Marines and Mountaineers are they best used with a single Engineer or do they loose something when doing that? Or do you just go 4x/5x with them?

    6.) Is there any other Unit Upkeep except supplies and Fuel? If I had 50 Heavy Tanks and 500 Infantry sitting Idle near Berlin would they cost me anything at all besides the AC, Manpower and Officers when I built them?

  11. #11
    Field Marshal Kovax's Avatar
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    You don't need to mobilize until about a month before hostilities, since it takes about 2 weeks for the vast majority of it to come up to full strength. That puts a triple hit on your production, because while you're diverting a large percentage of your IC toward mobilization, those units will consume roughly double the normal rate of supply in order to mobilize, plus the increased military stance in peacetime will boost your consumer demand by quite a bit. Once mobilized, the increased consumer demand will continue to place a heavy demand on your economy until war breaks out, so you don't want to jump the gun and mobilize 3 months early if you can help it.

    The "Danzig or War" decision should become available in another couple of months (I believe you meant "1939", not "49"), and you can enact it at any time after it appears, which will start the whole shooting match.

    1.) At the start of the game, there is no penalty for promoting or demoting leaders. In earlier versions, any experience toward the next rank would take a serious hit or be lost completely, but I haven't noticed it in the last couple of expansions. With no experience toward the next rank, your current leaders have nothing to lose.

    2.) I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but Engines are probably the only critical thing to research on Carriers. If they can't catch you, the other stats don't matter all that much. Putting a carrier with several of the fastest DDs you have is a good idea for eluding enemy capital ships. Movement in the battle screen is done by the average speed of each fleet, so those DDs will help offset the slower speed of the CV.

    3.) You can use absurdly fast units for exploitation and overruns. Use INF or heavier ARM to break through and push into the next province. Once the enemy breaks, send the exploitation units through to get to the next province before the broken units arrive, and they will surrender and be removed from the game. You can also send them deep into enemy territory to grab Victory Point locations, capture airfields (and use those to ferry other troops), or form encirclements to contain and destroy enemy divisions completely, rather than simply pushing them back over and over in a war of attrition that GER can't win.

    4.) Denmark is a near-must, because Copenhagen blocks the strait into the Baltic. Controlling Copenhagen turns the Baltic into a German lake, and you don't need to worry about amphibious invasions along the northern coastline anymore. Norway requires a naval effort, with Transports and a fleet to protect them, unless you go via Sweden. Sweden can be taken by attacking across the strait from Denmark, using TAC bombing to soften up the defending units. Garrisoning all of that arctic wasteland in the northern parts of those countries will cost you far more than what you stand to gain. I generally keep Sweden around as a trade partner for Metal, and simply ignore Norway until the UK is no longer a concern.

    5.) I believe that the additional space requirements for ENG might be an issue with Paratroop units, and I don't believe ENG can be "dropped" in any case. I'd leave them out and send in an INF unit with ENG after you take (or deploy) an airfield in territory captured by the Paras. Transport planes can ferry regular troops (or supplies) between airfields, but I believe that ONLY Paratroopers can air-drop. Note that you can pre-build a Level 1 airfield or port, and place it wherever and whenever you need it, but it can only be upgraded (slowly, as usual) from the province tab, not by deploying more Level 1 airfields on it. Dropping Paratroopers, placing an airfield, and then supplying that forward pocket by air, is a very powerful tactic in the right circumstances. In the wrong circumstances, you can lose a lot of expensive specialty troops in a hurry.

    6.) There is some small amount of troop and officer rotation, so that huge force would cause a minor drain on your manpower and officer pool. They'll still use supply, even if they just sit in the capital, but you won't have significant losses over that short distance, and they'll never be out of supply unless your stockpile runs out.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Kovax View Post
    You don't need to mobilize until about a month before hostilities, since it takes about 2 weeks for the vast majority of it to come up to full strength. That puts a triple hit on your production, because while you're diverting a large percentage of your IC toward mobilization, those units will consume roughly double the normal rate of supply in order to mobilize, plus the increased military stance in peacetime will boost your consumer demand by quite a bit. Once mobilized, the increased consumer demand will continue to place a heavy demand on your economy until war breaks out, so you don't want to jump the gun and mobilize 3 months early if you can help it.
    I still have Consumer Goods orientation as I did the math and it gave me more production. Of course I will change it now that I go to war. To Mixed or maybe heavy lets see what is better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kovax View Post
    The "Danzig or War" decision should become available in another couple of months (I believe you meant "1939", not "49"), and you can enact it at any time after it appears, which will start the whole shooting match.
    1.) At the start of the game, there is no penalty for promoting or demoting leaders. In earlier versions, any experience toward the next rank would take a serious hit or be lost completely, but I haven't noticed it in the last couple of expansions. With no experience toward the next rank, your current leaders have nothing to lose.
    that sounds almost too easy, I pity the free world
    Quote Originally Posted by Kovax View Post
    2.) I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but Engines are probably the only critical thing to research on Carriers. If they can't catch you, the other stats don't matter all that much. Putting a carrier with several of the fastest DDs you have is a good idea for eluding enemy capital ships. Movement in the battle screen is done by the average speed of each fleet, so those DDs will help offset the slower speed of the CV.
    Yep, I feared that and thats why I asked, researching now
    Quote Originally Posted by Kovax View Post
    3.) You can use absurdly fast units for exploitation and overruns. Use INF or heavier ARM to break through and push into the next province. Once the enemy breaks, send the exploitation units through to get to the next province before the broken units arrive, and they will surrender and be removed from the game. You can also send them deep into enemy territory to grab Victory Point locations, capture airfields (and use those to ferry other troops), or form encirclements to contain and destroy enemy divisions completely, rather than simply pushing them back over and over in a war of attrition that GER can't win.
    OK, so no Infantry and CW bonus for them because no infantry can keep up, just use LARM and AC?
    Quote Originally Posted by Kovax View Post
    4.) Denmark is a near-must, because Copenhagen blocks the strait into the Baltic. Controlling Copenhagen turns the Baltic into a German lake, and you don't need to worry about amphibious invasions along the northern coastline anymore. Norway requires a naval effort, with Transports and a fleet to protect them, unless you go via Sweden. Sweden can be taken by attacking across the strait from Denmark, using TAC bombing to soften up the defending units. Garrisoning all of that arctic wasteland in the northern parts of those countries will cost you far more than what you stand to gain. I generally keep Sweden around as a trade partner for Metal, and simply ignore Norway until the UK is no longer a concern.
    Thanks, one option I thought of trying is to invade Norway and later help Finland and attack the SU from ports and airports there is that possible? If its too painful I will regroup and do it your way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kovax View Post
    5.) I believe that the additional space requirements for ENG might be an issue with Paratroop units, and I don't believe ENG can be "dropped" in any case. I'd leave them out and send in an INF unit with ENG after you take (or deploy) an airfield in territory captured by the Paras. Transport planes can ferry regular troops (or supplies) between airfields, but I believe that ONLY Paratroopers can air-drop. Note that you can pre-build a Level 1 airfield or port, and place it wherever and whenever you need it, but it can only be upgraded (slowly, as usual) from the province tab, not by deploying more Level 1 airfields on it. Dropping Paratroopers, placing an airfield, and then supplying that forward pocket by air, is a very powerful tactic in the right circumstances. In the wrong circumstances, you can lose a lot of expensive specialty troops in a hurry.
    Yes I like such things and risky plans etc. even if they might not be the most effective all the time because cheaper units might perform better but I like such things as they keep the game interesting. For the ENG I was moore asking if they make sense for Marine units so like 3xMAR/1xENG.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kovax View Post
    6.) There is some small amount of troop and officer rotation, so that huge force would cause a minor drain on your manpower and officer pool. They'll still use supply, even if they just sit in the capital, but you won't have significant losses over that short distance, and they'll never be out of supply unless your stockpile runs out.
    OK was just wondering cause Supplies and fuel seem to be nearly endless for Germany and historically that was quite the opposite but I heard in some other thread that this is a major weakness of vanilla and is much better in BICE mod I will probably play that one after my first game.
    So my thousands of money cannot really be used right, cause I have enough ressources or no trade partners that produce enough to buy and buying licenses does not make sense either because of my 30+ Leadership Research.

    Anyway you answers really made me enjoy the game even more, so thx

    Regards,

    Chris aka CyberianK

  13. #13
    Field Marshal Kovax's Avatar
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    LARM and AC is viable, but MOT will benefit more from LARM engine research, and can eventually surpass AC in speed. The AC, on the other hand, provides a significant division bonus in plains. I generally put MOT in the division along with LARM and AC, and it does slow it down slightly until about mid-war, but it gives the division a lot more punch and survivability if/when it bumps into something.

    Helping Finland is nice in theory, but in practice it's hard to supply your troops through all of that abysmal infrastructure. You could use your ports on the Baltic to drop them off at Finnish ports, and go from there. Once you add a land connection through northern Sweden, your supplies insist on routing through that, and it all goes belly up.

    As for ENG with MAR, it makes sense in some contexts (terrain bonus and combined arms), and not in others. For one, you're adding a fuel requirement to a division that's going to operate in some nasty terrain far from your capital, and fuel is likely to be rerouted and take 2-3 months to travel along the new supply route before it reaches the units at the front. Since you've generally got a lot more INF divisions that don't use fuel, they can often steal some supply that was sent for somebody else. The supply system works passably well for units moving toward or away from it, but when you move laterally, it has the nasty habit of establishing a new supply line, sending all in-transit supply in the old route back to your capital, and sending a fresh set of supplies which will take weeks or months to arrive. I've seen units sitting out of supply along the Maginot Line even before war breaks out. In Finland, forget it. The Commando trait can be very handy in such places.

    Most importantly, try stuff, see what works for you and what doesn't, and develop your own "flavor" of play. What works for one player doesn't always suit another's play style.

  14. #14
    Is there any chance to see where the enemy convoys are or is it just guesswork? I guess to the west and southwest of Britain leading to USA and Mediterranean? Anyone has a name of a good sea zone to attack? I think I don't want to go into the channel.

    Somehow my subs can't seem to find any to sink. Radar is still in the process of being built, not finished yet.

    EDIT: if I use Infantry only to lock down a front so they loose their battles, do they still get experience loosing all the time?
    Last edited by CyberianK; 05-09-2014 at 10:27.

  15. #15
    Experience is gained during fighting. It does not matter, if you win or lose the battle. Big losses will diminish the experience of the unit, due to replacements being less experienced than battle-hardened troops.
    You can only guess. Look for shortest routes from England's ports to the ports in their colonies, and you that's where the convoys normally go through.

  16. #16
    Field Marshal Kovax's Avatar
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    The UK needs to supply its colonies in the Far East. Unless Italy closes the Mediterranean by taking the Suez Canal or Gibraltar, that supply is going to route past Spain. If you've taken France, you can base subs on the Atlantic coastline, and send subs to raid off Spain. My favorite locations are about 2 provinces off the NW corner, and about 2 provinces out from the Strait of Gibraltar. SW of the UK catches some traffic to most of the Americas; due west interdicts Canadian traffic, but the traffic down along Spain seems to be the real gold mine. By targeting a sea province away from the coast instead of directly adjacent, your subs can wander into a LOT more sea provinces, making them harder to pin down, yet will frequently stray into the UK's supply lines. In theory, that allows you to cover a 3-lane wide swath, so even if the convoys re-route to avoid your subs, you'll still catch them in their new path.

    Convoys are NOT shown on the map, and only exist in the form of "routes", with a number of convoys and escorts assigned to each route. You can hit any place along that route and have an equally good chance of catching a convoy; the ideal hunting location is one that covers several provinces along that route while allowing your raiders to travel into as many total provinces as possible, making them a lot harder for the enemy search fleets to locate and engage.

    I prefer 2 subs per raiding group, but that's a matter of taste. One sub is harder to spot, but in turn it's less likely to engage a convoy, and in the event that an enemy fleet does manage to engage it, all damage is concentrated against that lone target, which quickly dies, along with the Naval Commander in charge. Three subs find convoys faster, but in turn are spotted rather easily by anti-sub patrols. Since damage is divided up three ways, you can often break off without losing any subs, and it's a rare thing to lose the whole group (along with the Commander) if you break off combat as soon as the red "disengage" arrow appears in the upper left corner of the combat window. Two subs is a compromise, moderately effective at locating and sinking convoys, and moderately able to escape if/when caught. I occasionally lose one sub, and the other can then limp back to port for repairs (with a Commander who just gained a lot of experience from the ordeal); I almost never lose both subs. YMMV

  17. #17
    Currently have 3x3 subs but I am only May 1939 and still dealing with Poland.
    So I guess I have to take France to get enough range to be able to go to Spain.

    I will probably go for Denmark soon after Poland as I want that sea zone safe. Maybe that bring NL/Belgium to DOW on me or so that I can get France earlier. Don't want to go through Maginot Line.

    I heard that Partisans are a pain in the game. I have some Garrison troops in addition to normal infantry sitting on Siegfried line. Can I use the garrison later for Suppression of French and Polish Partisans? Maybe together with 1-2 motorized divisions, is that enough? How many troops do I need to keep the peace in an occupied country? Maybe for most other countries making them Puppets is a better option?

  18. #18
    Field Marshal Kovax's Avatar
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    If you've got any 1937 engine tech subs built (1937 means 1940 showing in the tech menu as the next available project), they should be just able to reach that upper corner of Spain from Wilhelmshaven. That at least gives you one group to start diverting the UK's production from military units to replacement convoys, and you could try sending another group SW of the UK, again near the limits of its range. Hunting in the Baltic with older subs can net you a Polish convoy or two, until you take Danzig and close the route completely. After Danzig falls, I tend to disband my older subs as I build newer replacements, since they're more likely to kill my sub commanders than to sink enemy convoys in the open Atlantic.

  19. #19
    Also, if you're going to sink convoys, its best to dedicate your navy to that task, and build lots of subs + keep up in their techs. We're talking an easily doable 30 or so subs (which for me would usually be 10 3x sub packs). If you hit the mentioned chokepoints plus the North Atlantic Lend Lease convoy route with the US when that starts you can actually make the UK AI divert most to all of its IC into building a new merchant marine over and over, which is as good as winning, since they won't be building new units that can actually shoot at you. I wouldn't try to seriously disrupt the British convoys until France falls, as the range you get from using French ports is amazing. You can coat the Atlantic trade routes plus go up and down the coast of Spain and Africa in relative safety. One thing to do is make sure that you set your subs to "Passive" when setting their convoy raid orders, which will keep them from staying out in the field too long and make them come home to repair if they get moderately damaged, since if you lose a naval stack, you lose the commander associated with it, and Germany only has so many decent naval commanders. You can also use the naval map mode to get an idea of where enemy routes are going and where your convoys are getting hit (as well as seeing where you are hitting enemy convoys).
    +1 for Alliteration: Wraith11B
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  20. #20
    Thanks for the advice with passive stance on the subs that was great.

    And the tip of Spain worked nice I used the zone "Eastern Charcot Seamount"

    One thing my trade routes seem to lead through the channel and are being totally obliterated. Lost lots of convoys already.

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