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Thread: North American Series - Game #2

  1. #61
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    It looks like Romania went on a rampage. I'm wondering how the JAP-USA war will be like. How does the Pacific War play out in MP?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    It looks like Romania went on a rampage. I'm wondering how the JAP-USA war will be like. How does the Pacific War play out in MP?
    Hard to say. The USA usually has the advantage in navy, but a good Japan player can turn the tables, and delay a USA advance.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    I'm wondering how the JAP-USA war will be like. How does the Pacific War play out in MP?

    USA here: I'm more than eager to cross swords with Empire of the Rising Sun. My training as Italy in our previous MP game allowed me to try a lot of things... among which total suffering at the hand of CTF (). More seriously, we will be ready when the time comes. It's up to Japan to decide the "when".


    Expect furious naval battles, harsh combat for ports and airfields across the Pacific... and hope Tokyo never lower its guard as we would interpret this as an invitation to land on Japan most sacred soil.
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    AAR - North America Series Game #6 (GER) / Nun, Volk, steh auf, und Sturm, brich los! | AAR – Game #5 (ROM) – Râzboiul Sfânt Contra Bolşevismului | AAR – Game #4 (ITA) | AAR – Game #3 (China/GER) | AAR – Game #2 (USA) | AAR - Game #1 (ITA)
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  4. #64
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    Yeah, but the question is what Japan tries to achieve in MP games? I've seen many JAP-GER gangups on the Soviets and in CtpEasy's games Japan usually conquers India easily, because the UK doesn't defend it. Do you use house rules to prevent things like that from happening too often or what?

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    It looks like Romania went on a rampage. I'm wondering how the JAP-USA war will be like. How does the Pacific War play out in MP?
    The stakes are very high, and often there is no room for error. While US can handle one or two bad engagements, three or more can prove fatal. The Japanese have zero room for bad engagements. The build time for carriers is just too long. I good US player will have 12+ carriers by '41. Japan, maybe, close to that, but could be around 10. Depends on how much they built a navy or land force (if they want to help against the USSR). The problem is in a long MP game, the US can just overpower the Japanese in terms of carrier production. The Japanese have to sink the existing carrier fleets from the beginning and then have a way to control the carrier count going forward. Given the US can rebuild carrier losses out of harms way in the Atlantic, the most Japan can really do is buy itself 2-3 years and hope that the Axis win a crushing victory in Europe.

    In my view Cyvep, it depends on the German player. Some Axis strategy involves the Japanese staying out of the war entirely for a long time to keep US entry delayed. Our house rules prohibit a Japanese player from declaring war on a Euro nation without drawing in the US. CaptEasy's do not. This allows Japan to be far more aggressive earlier on than our games do. You could argue for either approach. But if the German player needs or wants Japanese help with Russia, the Japanese player will have to cut back on either airforce or naval production to beef its land forces. This could hurt in the Pacific, but if the Axis win overwhelmingly in Europe, the Japanese player just fights a holding action until Germany can help. If the German player does not want Japanese help versus the USSR, Japan can macro up fighters and carriers and fight the US for a long time in a game of naval cat and mouse.

    Personally, I try to secure the Pacific to deny the US sub bases to raid Japanese shipping. Invading India as Japan is a nice side show, but I presonally feel it has limited impact in an MP game, unless its just to deny bases to the US and to Britain. Ultimately, these far reaching gains of Japan (South Africa, India, the Middle East) will not be holdable once the US enters the war, and doing so just wastes Japanese resources. Japan will not have the fleet, regardless of how hard it macros, to bring enough strength to bear to challenge the US in the Pacific, Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean. If Japan shows too much strength in one area, the US will know it has a local advantage in the other and engage in battles of attrition that Japan can not win.
    Last edited by Ugly Guy; 20-03-2012 at 17:00.
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  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    Yeah, but the question is what Japan tries to achieve in MP games? I've seen many JAP-GER gangups on the Soviets and in CtpEasy's games Japan usually conquers India easily, because the UK doesn't defend it. Do you use house rules to prevent things like that from happening too often or what?
    Soviet player here, as far as we are concerned, all options are on the table for Japan, except that he knows that if he declares war on any major power or any european presence in the pacific that the USA is allowed to immediately join the war. If he can take India and invade the soviets while fighting for oceania and against the USA, all the more power to him.
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  7. #67
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    Personally, I try to secure the Pacific to deny the US sub bases to raid Japanese shipping. Invading India as Japan is a nice side show, but I presonally feel it has limited impact in an MP game, unless its just to deny bases to the US and to Britain. Ultimately, these far reaching gains of Japan (South Africa, India, the Middle East) will not be holdable once the US enters the war, and doing so just wastes Japanese resources. Japan will not have the fleet, regardless of how hard it macros, to bring enough strength to bear to challenge the US in the Pacific, Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean. If Japan shows too much strength in one area, the US will know it has a local advantage in the other and engage in battles of attrition that Japan can not win.
    Japan should not be able to win by attrition or win a 1vs1 fight against the USA and the war was won in Europe IRL, so I have no problem with that. The problem is that the game doesn't represent the RL "pin" and threat mechanics very well, which leads to gamey tactics and strange results. That's why it's not uncommon to see the Soviets abandoning the Far East entirely or the UK leaving India with token defences (IRL India had a massive army and it was a voluntary force, lol). That is also why there are no SOV-JAP skirmishes and both sides can ignore Manchuria. I remember that in HOI2 it was possible to bring EVERYTHING to France by stripping down the defences in all other places (all-or-nothing strategy) - another case of gamey tactics, which breaks the game.

    I also hate the fact that most MP games end in ~1941. Maybe VCs should be altered so that there is some reason to fight till the end? IMO if Japan manages to hold out until the end in 1945 or Germany pursues Fortress Europa strategy effectively, it should still count as something.

  8. #68
    Conducător Antonescu Paglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    Yeah, but the question is what Japan tries to achieve in MP games? I've seen many JAP-GER gangups on the Soviets and in CtpEasy's games Japan usually conquers India easily, because the UK doesn't defend it. Do you use house rules to prevent things like that from happening too often or what?

    As underlined by Ugly Guy (*and Night), HR says : DoW vs European = DoW vs USA. Our HR also states that "Unless at war, Allies/Komintern must trade with Axis". The obligation doesn't extend beyond that. Both rules aim at creating some kind of incentive for Japs to go against USA (or at least, not being able to avoid a war with USA). Another particular thing to remember: in our game, USA is played since 01-01-1936 by a human player. So, the mighty USA shall [If I've done my job properly] have the tech tree and the OOB to sustain their ambition.

    Given these HR, the ressources game can be played out a little by the Allies against Japan, which can trigger some aggressive moves by Japan to secure some key resources (e.g. DoW Netherlands... and, accordingly USA). There is also a clear need from both sides to secure ports/airfields that would allow/deny access to Japan mainland and/or Key resources. Also, JAP could go after USSR, to support GER. Given the fact the France campaign was a tough one in our current MP game, Axis could go that route (to make for the time lost). These looks like the most plausible scenarios, short term.


    I agree with Ugly Guy's analysis of probable strenght of USA/Japan. Depending on the moment USA will enter the war, USA may have a slight initial advantage in the CVs department, an advantage that will definitely grow as time goes by because of each others IC capabilities. Accordingly, one side can afford some losses, while the other definitely can't. This said, we all remember last game when USA lost many times in a row and was not able to recover properly. So, maybe USA can afford some losses on paper, but it would clearly affect its ability to be a valuable Allies member in the game.

    Note: CVs production time may seem long. But it reflects real life and, during WWII, JAP couldn't replace CVs losses, while USA definitaly could. And thus, USA was able to crush Japan. Even worse for JAP, USA managed to avoid early losses in the CVs departement, thus turnig a slight disadvantage in the early game, into a massive advantage later on. Maybe that's where the game might show some its flaws, USA has a lot of CVs compared to real life [I would need to make proper research to fully developp that point].


    For my part, I never played USA, nor Japan in HoI3. I played Japan numerous times in classic wargames. So, basically, while the strategic aspects of the game are clear to me, I still have to fully test how these will unfold given the particular game mechanism of HoI3. I don't know about the XP of my Japenese foe.


    Clock is ticking, we are in July 31st 1940... Basically a year and a half to go if Japan choose to go historically...
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  9. #69
    Conducător Antonescu Paglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    (...) That's why it's not uncommon to see the Soviets abandoning the Far East entirely or the UK leaving India with token defences (...) Maybe VCs should be altered so that there is some reason to fight till the end? IMO if Japan manages to hold out until the end in 1945 or Germany pursues Fortress Europa strategy effectively, it should still count as something.

    Far East
    When you take time to study the map of USSR, you can see that there are some provinces quite valuable, not out of reach of a Japenese player. If I remember correctly, those are just West of the USSR's puppet Tannu Tuva. There is like 150 energy and Metals in a couple of provinces alone... a determined Japan could hurt mightily a USSR player who would be careless. But for far East itself, yes, it looks like the map design creates that strange effect.

    VP
    I did not take a look at how those points are allocated throughout the World. I know that during our previous game, USSR was totally conquered after he refused a bitter peace offer, because his ratio Victory/National Unity forced him to totally surrendered. He was breathless, to say the least. I agree that maybe an event, something like "Total War", could be triggered to allow a country to not surrender at all unless everything is taken away (through a unity boost?). But such an event would need to be implemented the right way... It is easy to see how it could unfold for UK or GER/ITA/JAP. It is another story for USA/USSR. In those vast countries, anyone could loose himself... so such an event would introduce unwanted effect. It is also different for France... We could forsee a case where such an event could not be triggered if Vichy France is a GER objective, but could be otherwise... (to prevent a France campaign to be too long).
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  10. #70
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    I was talking about VCs, not VPs. Most MP games end prematurely because the players of one side realise that they have no chance to "win". However, many classic wargames balance this out by introducing specific VCs, so, for example, if the Axis starts getting pushed back in Russia, this doesn't necessarily mean that the Axis will "lose" the game.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    I was talking about VCs, not VPs. Most MP games end prematurely because the players of one side realise that they have no chance to "win". However, many classic wargames balance this out by introducing specific VCs, so, for example, if the Axis starts getting pushed back in Russia, this doesn't necessarily mean that the Axis will "lose" the game.
    You could also have a scoring system, and have players play a sort of "league" game where everyone tries to either gain points or prevent other people from gaining them.

    An axis player could f.ex. gain points for every year he lasts beyond 1944. Or for held objectives on certain dates - f.ex. 1 point per 3 months that you control Rome, Paris, Kiev, Leningrad, and so on. Both sides would try to score as many points as possible, and maybe that could motivate them to play on until the bitter end? Every player would get to play each major nation once, and in the end the one with the most points wins.

    However Hoi3 games take insanely long (many months to play just '38 to '42) and it's not everyone's cup of tea to stick with one match for so long.

    Even so it would be nice if the losing player would be motivated to hold out and keep hurting the other side. A German player turtling up in '44 along the Rhine and Vistula, for example, while his Italian colleague tries to delay the Allied push up the Italian mainland... and gets switched into the ISR if Italy falls to the Allies, or gets switched into Germany as a second player... while "Team Allies" and "Team Soviets" start looking at how to best deprive each other of victory points... that would be fun to read about!


    Or the hypothetical scenarios: The british player loses the middle east, gets booted off the British isles, is switched into Canada (or the British exile government?) and co-ops with the USA to turn the tables. He would still have to fight, like a football team that's behind 0-3 with 20 minutes to go in the first leg of a Champions League semifinal. Because he knows there will be a second match and he can't afford to lose too badly. Even if the British Isles remain lost to "Team Allies" until well into 1944, they could still deprive Germany of a bunch of victory points by seizing north Africa from him and keeping up the fight in the middle east. And if they can eliminate the Japanese early, in 1943 or 1944, they could even keep the score from slipping too badly.

  12. #72
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    One of bad thing about ending games prematurely is that one side, usually the defender, has to put incredible effort into pulling off a successful defensive operation on a wide scale (this is micro-hell AND the HOI3's combat system favours the attacker by its very nature) and just when it becomes apparent that they can do this, that the enemy can be stopped and counter-attacks can be started, the game ends.

    Also, many games proved that the late war period can be just an interesting as the early and mid-war period. Many players enjoy playing games which include the Battle of the Bulge or the Operation Overlord, for example. Not to mention the fact that many high-tech stuff which we love appeared in greater numbers during the late-war. In HOI3, you don't even have the opportunity to test your late-war division designs or use nukes, because the game rarely goes beyond 1941/1942.

  13. #73
    I forsee this game going until at least 1943

  14. #74
    Lt. General Ugly Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    One of bad thing about ending games prematurely is that one side, usually the defender, has to put incredible effort into pulling off a successful defensive operation on a wide scale (this is micro-hell AND the HOI3's combat system favours the attacker by its very nature) and just when it becomes apparent that they can do this, that the enemy can be stopped and counter-attacks can be started, the game ends.

    Also, many games proved that the late war period can be just an interesting as the early and mid-war period. Many players enjoy playing games which include the Battle of the Bulge or the Operation Overlord, for example. Not to mention the fact that many high-tech stuff which we love appeared in greater numbers during the late-war. In HOI3, you don't even have the opportunity to test your late-war division designs or use nukes, because the game rarely goes beyond 1941/1942.
    Our VC's allow for a minor Axis victory if they maintain Fortress Europa until 1945. The exact criteria is listed in the game thread in the MP forum.
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  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    I was talking about VCs, not VPs.

    Ho ! Sorry !


    But my point on Far East remains.. check the province. JAP can (and should?) hurt USSR.
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  16. #76
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    I know what you are talking about. However, my point is that the player is not motivated to defend areas which would most likely be defended IRL, e.g. the Soviets wouldn't give up Vladivostok without a fight and Vladivostok is totally unimportant in HOI3 (IRL 50% of all Lend-Lease stuff came through Vladivostok). They would also never withdraw ALL troops from the Far East to Europe. Same for Japan - the IJA stationed divisions on the JAP-SOV border even after the non-aggression pact with the Soviets was signed.

    There are many situations like that in HOI3, unfortunately. Too much 1/0 gameplay.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    (...) my point is that the player is not motivated to defend areas which would most likely be defended IRL, (...) There are many situations like that in HOI3, unfortunately. Too much 1/0 gameplay.

    True. I noticed that too.

    Edit: Mostly bad map design when VP/resources were allocated. For instance, gives a huge value to Vladivostock, a value that would hurt USSR and you could get some impact. Many classic wargames do that. Or, to go along the way HoI3 is designed, maybe add an event that could be triggered if Vladivostock is taken... something that hurts USSR. The same could be done for other key issues IRL for other countries. Preventing those events from happening would "convince" players to defend such areas... Even if the direct value of these places is not clear from the start. Modding.

    But, if we want to take that issue further: most of Asia seems unbalanced, as China do surrender too quickly and Far East USSR seems to have zero value, and so on. So, maybe Paradox development team could work on some kind of "Divine Wind" Expansion to improve the Pacific War and, along the way, solve some of the issues we discussed in the Naval thread(s)... among which : landind craft, CVs, landing, shore mining, etc.
    Last edited by Paglia; 21-03-2012 at 02:48.
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  18. #78
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    Map design is one thing, but political/propaganda fallout is another. Some areas were not worth much economically, but the government could still not afford losing them without at least putting up a fight. If Italy withdrew all forces from Libya in 1940 without firing a single bullet, I doubt that Mussolini would remain popular for long. Not that he would do that at all, because had imperial ambitions in the Med, but still...

    1/0 gameplay hurts in other places, too. It is very visible in case of special weapon types like STRATs, submarines or rockets. They are either underpowered or overpowered. Moreover, since law of diminishing returns doesn't apply, it is very common that before a certain artificial point they are not very useful and after passing that point, their effects are crippling and we get unhistorical results (esp. the case with STRATs, which can reduce the enemy's IC to nothing quickly if you have the numbers and air superiority).

    Hindsight makes this even worse, because the game rarely tries to make up for it and usually we end up with the players knowing in advance that X or Y is good/bad.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    Map design is one thing, but political/propaganda fallout is another. Some areas were not worth much economically, but the government could still not afford losing them without at least putting up a fight. If Italy withdrew all forces from Libya in 1940 without firing a single bullet, I doubt that Mussolini would remain popular for long. Not that he would do that at all, because had imperial ambitions in the Med, but still...

    I agree that no country would ever give away land... It goes against the fundamental basic of what a State is, e.g. "lands and territories with people on it sharing common culture & vision of what they are and should be in the future". That's why I raised the idea of "events". Capturing some territories could trigger events that would affect support to a party and create chaos in a country which would all means major political impact... and then, this could fit with the current game mechanisms. Hampering the ability of a country to fight...

    For example, the lost of Lybia by Mussolini affected his ability to impose his views on the Italians and broke the link he had with the "ordinary" people, thus reducing in a huge way the support to the PNF, which lead to the King decision to remove him.

    We could add that the "Total War" logic adopted by the Nazi in 1945 stemmed from the fact that Germany was losing its own territory. The population reacted very badly and embraced the "Total War" logic. If the Nazis had less control over Germany, this could have ended up in a coup. In fact, by the time Germany was losing its territories, Hitler was almost left alone and every high members of the Nazi regime was trying to either negotiate peace deals with the Allies (ex.: Himmler through Sweden, SS in Italy... and so on). The July 20th coup also stemmed from the fact that Germany was losing territories it shouldn't have lost... The impact was so obvious that people whoi never dared to challenge the Nazis did challenge them.

    And take recent conflict in Bosnia, Albania, Palestine... all of them have in common that a State won't let go a portion of land... whereas there is something valuable on it or not. Because this would create a vacuum. Would give the impression that you can "take away" territories from that State.
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  20. #80
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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    I generally agree that it's a problem that wouldn't have happened IRL. Perhaps houserules should be considered for future games regarding abandoning the colonies? I also think especially of British India, which was so important to the British war efforts and yet I've rarely seen an MP AAR where it puts up a serious fight.
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