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Thread: Naval tactics

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    Recruit Guderianftw's Avatar
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    Naval tactics

    DOes anyone have any good strategies for the kriegsmarine against the royal navy? My surface fleet is constantly being devastated by British battlecruiers in the provinces around England, and my submarines are taking unsustainable losses along America's atlantic coast. Should I only use the German navy for defensive purposes (reinforce convoy routs basically) or keep them in their ports, so they can rust like the Tirpitz did.

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    General nimrod123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guderianftw View Post
    DOes anyone have any good strategies for the kriegsmarine against the royal navy? My surface fleet is constantly being devastated by British battlecruiers in the provinces around England, and my submarines are taking unsustainable losses along America's atlantic coast. Should I only use the German navy for defensive purposes (reinforce convoy routs basically) or keep them in their ports, so they can rust like the Tirpitz did.
    use nav bombers? that seems to be a good strat. What versoin of HOI3 are you using e.g. what expansoins

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    Convicted Drive-by Poster Pro_Consul's Avatar
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    For starters, don't challenge the two strongest navies in the world in their respective home waters. At least not until you build a navy capable of going toe-to-toe with them, which I am guessing you have not done. Picking your areas of operations carefully is a crucial part of making use of the Kriegsmarine to achieve any useful ends.
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    Recruit Guderianftw's Avatar
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    vanilla, as none of the expansion packs are available for mac from Steam

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    Recruit Guderianftw's Avatar
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    Then how else can I starve Britain into submission? haha
    I thought I built my navy up strong enough, I spent most of the time from 1936-1940 producing naval technologies and I made 2 super heavy battleships, 8 battleships, about 15 cruisers, and more u-boats than I have full strength infantry divisions.

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    General nimrod123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guderianftw View Post
    Then how else can I starve Britain into submission? haha
    I thought I built my navy up strong enough, I spent most of the time from 1936-1940 producing naval technologies and I made 2 super heavy battleships, 8 battleships, about 15 cruisers, and more u-boats than I have full strength infantry divisions.
    just run uboats, and place them in the atlantic, not around the isles them selves

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    Captain Melichai's Avatar
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    Base your starting subs in Italian ports prior to the war and ravage the UKs convoys that pass between Italy and North Africa (you wont get the chance until much later once war breaks out). Deploy them in single units - makes them more vulnerable if theyre detected, but hardder to detect. Build CVs, not BB or BCs - using BBs vs the royal navy is fighting the battle on the grounds where your opponent is strongest. Pick your fights - the UK AI dogpiles everything it has into any battle that breaks out so try to pick off weaker units up in the North Sea out of UK air range, pace yourself until the UK is contending with the Italian and Japanese navy as well. Use NAVs to follow up and kill damaged UK ships in ports with port strikes.

    Once you conquer France you can base various air units (CAS/TACs) on the French coast and bomb UK convoys whilst deploying more modern subs to the Atlantic as they come on line.

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    Major Morgon1988's Avatar
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    Just to let you know: With a fleet of 6 carriers (III), 3 escort carriers (I), 3 heavy cruisers ands about a dozen light cruisers and no less than 12 Us operating in single boats I costed the UK more than 300 convoys in just over 3 months, 1 BB, 3 Bcs, 1CVE, 1 CV, around 20 light cruisers etc. It IS possible. But dont forget to set the messages on pop up & pause - you have to monitor sea battles closely, as the losses before retreat and during retreat can be gruelsome.
    That said, if you opted for a surfce fleet make sure important battles are under German air cover. Preferably the channel, if you havent built Navs in numbers - the CAS are more than good enough. Your biggest threat should be the British CVs and CVEs, not the British outdated BBs anyway.
    BTW the biggest advantage of the KM during said 3 months was that I interrupted the stream of British divisions to North Africa and sunk no less than 8 British transports. As a result the Italians are surrounding Alexandria (usually they get pummeled in FTM).
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    Last edited by Morgon1988; 25-01-2012 at 20:46.
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  9. #9
    Field Marshal TheBromgrev's Avatar
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    If you're interested, go visit the "naval info thread" link in my signature or in the Megalinks sticky in the main forum. In that thread I discuss what every nation that could build their own warships built and planned to build during the war. For Germany, the 1934 build plan is the most realistic, easiest to build in-game, and possibly the most effective of the 3 German naval expansion plans. Essentially, you should build a few carriers, some heavy cruisers, and a lot of light cruisers which will form the base of your navy, with subs and destroyers for supporting roles. Historically, the UK feared the German 1934 build plan and thought the 1938 build plan and Plan Z were easier to beat than the earlier version.
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    General nimrod123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBromgrev View Post
    If you're interested, go visit the "naval info thread" link in my signature or in the Megalinks sticky in the main forum. In that thread I discuss what every nation that could build their own warships built and planned to build during the war. For Germany, the 1934 build plan is the most realistic, easiest to build in-game, and possibly the most effective of the 3 German naval expansion plans. Essentially, you should build a few carriers, some heavy cruisers, and a lot of light cruisers which will form the base of your navy, with subs and destroyers for supporting roles. Historically, the UK feared the German 1934 build plan and thought the 1938 build plan and Plan Z were easier to beat than the earlier version.
    mainly because carriers and there cags rape anything without good AA?

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    Second Lieutenant Stabber's Avatar
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    When I play as the UK it is the Luftwaffe operating outside of my fighter umbrella that hits the RN the most. The U-boat menace is what hurts me the most though. A gamey way to get back at the germans is to port strike with CAGs untill there is no more Kriegsmarine. 4 CVs having a day and night shift operating, and reserves from the UK crunch the Kriegsmarine in a short period of time.

    My biggest issue with Naval Combat is that it is impossible to leave to the AI. If anyone has a AI naval tip please speak up.

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    Second Lieutenant basun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nimrod123 View Post
    mainly because carriers and there cags rape anything without good AA?
    Yes.

    In recent games I build 2 BBs straight away and quickly research -38 techs for destroyers and BBs. Once those techs are done, I make 4 DDs and 2 BBs. This + subs make a good starting navy for 39. First 2 BBs, Bismark and Tirpitz are deployed with starting Kriegsmarine divided by 2 so we work around hull penalties.

    These are used to hold your own and escort transport flotillas and hunt enemy destroyers later on.

    If you simultaneously get carriers you have a sizeable fleet by end of -41 whilst ground forces and air force still is in shape to beat off anything coming your way from my experience so far. Tried it in hard difficulty, 2 MP games with players like me who played for 6 months or so extensively and worked out well!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBromgrev View Post
    If you're interested, go visit the "naval info thread" link in my signature or in the Megalinks sticky in the main forum.
    Wow, actually very helpful and informative,
    thanks.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Guderianftw View Post
    Then how else can I starve Britain into submission? haha
    I thought I built my navy up strong enough, I spent most of the time from 1936-1940 producing naval technologies and I made 2 super heavy battleships, 8 battleships, about 15 cruisers, and more u-boats than I have full strength infantry divisions.
    I'm not seeing any screening vessels in your navy. You need to have these larger ships screened by light cruisers and/or destroyers. Also make sure your fleets are small enough that you are not suffering from a stacking penalty.

    Each edition of HoI has an optimal naval composition. In HoI2 it was Battleships with light carriers and light cruiser screens, or maybe all light cruisers. In HoI 3 it seems to be carriers screened by light cruisers. My typical German or Japanese battlefleet has 3CVs and 4 light cruisers, and I rarely lose any ships with this fleet. When I try to make BB or BC fleets like 3BB and 4 light cruisers, very quickly a BB or two will get sunk even if they do pound on the bad guys.

    The CV/CL fleet will get beat up, and you'll need to send it back to port frequently to org up your cag groups, but it has a much higher survivablility than do BB/BC fleets. And it will sink more ships than a BB fleet.
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    Major Morgon1988's Avatar
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    I confirm danoh. My first trials with HOI3 FTM recently started building BCs for convoy raiding. BIIIIG mistake. Even a fleet of 4 modern BCs, accompanied by 5 modern Light Cruisers, never caught even a CVE fleet in really bad weather for days (sank a few BBs, though). On the contrary a fleet of 3 CVs and 5 Light Cruisers went away (though really heavily damaged, like 1 CV at 4% strength) with 6 CAGs of course. After having sunk or chased away several smaller British fleets the British main fleet (2 CVs, 6 BBs, about 15 screens) chased it and repeatedly got it (3 days in a row). CAGs at 0 Org and most ships damaged I still lost only 2 Light Cruisers, while still sinking more ships than having lost.
    Downside is a real heavy investment in maritime bombing theory, carrier doctrine, screen design etc., about 50 techs at least. No option for a player who does Barbarossa, I assume.
    As it is right now even in 39 capital surface ships are already simply useless. Which is a bit odd - only the Japanese were far enough advanced in carriers in 39 to justify this kind of one sided game design. As a result, no fighting ships are really justified game wise other than carriers (including CVEs), light cruisers, destroyers and subs.
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  16. #16
    In my currenet Germany game, the UK is down to like 30 metal and going down, it's 1941. Make sure your U-boats are using the latest Hull and always keep two groups of u-boats on production qeue, one later than the other. In my current game I have 3 u-boats almost done and 3 more will be done in a few months.

    I try to always have my subs go tw by two, that way if one sinks the other escapes with the commander and his gained experience. Very important.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Morgon1988 View Post
    Downside is a real heavy investment in maritime bombing theory, carrier doctrine, screen design etc., about 50 techs at least. No option for a player who does Barbarossa, I assume.
    Well Germany is eventually going to have to deal with Russia. Making the naval investment in both technologies and ship building delays my Barbarossa from May 1940 to May 1941. Or so I thought.

    However, in my current game in which a friend and I are team-playing Germany, we attacked Spain after France fell in the summer of 1939. Capturing Gibraltar must hurt the British fleet's ability to defend Britain because some of it is probably cut off in the Med.

    Our first naval invasion was with the surface fleet Germany starts with. We put the carrier group on patrol around Scapa Flow and hoped this would draw off the Royal Navy while our surface group tried a quick invasion of Bournemouth from Cherbourg. Bad idea. The Scapa feint did not work and the surface group was defeated by the Royal Navy. So we brought the carrier group down to Cherbourg and it succeeded in fending off the British Navy so we could invade.

    The British isles were conquered by about August 1, 1940, and the Russians DoWed us at the end of that month. We do have enough army to hold the line in Poland but will have to wait for more troop builds to go on a general offensive in Russia.
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  18. #18
    Second Lieutenant Holm Guderian's Avatar
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    It kinda depends what your goals are, and what historical scenario you are playing. Mainly play late scenarios like 43 and 44. So my Tactic against the British is to put the Subs into groups of 1 or 2 and send them out to the British trade lines, use Destroyers to Patrol the Baltic in hunt for russian subs. Organize Heavy cruisers and light cruisers into (1Heavy Cruiser and 2 Light Cruisers) and send them out to the Straits of Gibraltar. Create task force's of any remaining Battleships, Battlecruisers and Pocket Battleships and send them out convoy hunting.

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