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Thread: What am I doing wrong!? (naval)

  1. #1

    What am I doing wrong!? (naval)

    Some of you may remember I had a thread a week ago that some Japanese ships could go straight through three of my carrier fleets. Take out my transports and leave without a scratch. Now you guys told me to add my transports to one of my carrier fleets. I did that

    However I have yet to win a ship battle. I have had 130 ships in the pacific. And I'm down to maybe 40. I have maybe taken 10 of there ships. I dont know what I'm doing wrong. I'm protecting my transports. My hull penalty is never over 20%. My techs for every ship is atleast 44 when it's 42. I have superior ships. Techs. Training and. Numbers. And I can't win an engagement no matter what

    What am I doing wrong?

  2. #2
    First Lieutenant Peter81's Avatar
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    Did you only research the techs for the ships and forgot Naval Doctrines? Did you assign high skill leaders? What is the shown positioning value for your fleets in a battle?

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    It would be helpful if you gave us the stats of a single naval engagement you had and lost. We could give you a more exact explanation of what happened.

    As a general rule, wining naval engagements as the USA (I'm assuming that is who you are playing) is quite easy. Build a carrier fleet with four to six carriers. Escort them with the same number of light cruisers. Use Nimitz or another high ranking officer to command the fleet. Engage an IJN fleet, and you are highly likely to win. Technology matters, primarily the naval doctrine techs and the air doctrine techs: note that there are around six air doctrine techs that improve CAG fighting ability, all of which are important. CAG improvements also come from both the bomber and fighter tab IIRC.
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    What I usually do is make fleets with no or almost no hull penalty (1%). This comes down to fleets of about 8 ships max. I never combine my CV with BB or BC btw. Those fleets have the same amount of screens as capitol ships. A CV has 2 or 3 CV and 2 or 3 LC.

    Then I assign my commanders. My highest skill leader, skill 5, is the highest ranking officer, four star and commands what I call CTF (Carrier Task Force), oh and make sure you donít forget to assign commanders to your CAGís (it happens to me every once in a while). My lvl 4 skill leaders are all promoted to three stars, skill 3 to two stars etc.

    I do this because the highest ranking officer will command the battle. When two commanders have the same rank the AI randomly assigns a commander in charge of the battle (itís the same for air commanders!).

    After I have done this I rename my units for a quick overview:
    - CTF Name commander**** sk5 ST
    - BB Name commander*** sk4 ST BR
    - Etc

    AFAIK the max amount of ships without getting a stacking penalty is still 32. This is where the eights come into play. I create a couple of equal fleets that are in the same port or are on the same mission. Usually for the USA thatís 1 CTF (4 ships) + 2 BB (16 ships) + HC (6 ships). The combined total is 26 ships. This leaves room for TP, which I never combine with other ships or later expansion of my fleet.

    Then they go on patrol. As soon as I find the enemy I order them all to the same province to engage the enemy (During their patrol mission the 4 units will slowly separate because of speed). As soon as combat is over, and I win, I follow the enemy in the retreating direction (look for the green arrow). This way you will engage an already battered fleet, time and time again and destroy it

    Make sure to have some reserves in the area and replace the badly battered ships. And wait for your fleet to all ships are back at 100% except when you see a great opportunity!

    Another thing thatís important is to base your fleets in lvl 10 ports. They will repair ships faster. As the USA I will construct lvl 10 ports in Guam and Midway. Itís also worth it to research radar early and have radar and ASW in both your screens and capitol ships before the war starts.

    The above works for me every time!
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  5. #5
    Have you mixed capital ships with CVs?
    Which tech level are your CAGs at?
    At which level are your relevant air doctrines (especially the one giving CAG Duty efficiency)?
    At which level are your relevant naval doctrines? (especially the one giving CAG Duty efficiency)?
    Do you have at least 8, better 16-20 CAGs per fleet?
    Are you rotating your CAGs out once they lost their ORG?
    What skill level is your fleets commander?
    Are the ships newly build so that they really have the actual teched equipment?

    Its usually hard to loose a ship, except for a few escorts against the AI.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbasgen View Post
    CAG improvements also come from both the bomber and fighter tab IIRC.
    CAS and NAV IIRC. The first two techs, ground and air crew of CAS (divebomber), and all the naval techs if you plan to use em all. Fighter as far as i remember has no impact on CAG's but i could be wrong. I research them anyway as the USA or otherwise my fighters would be crap againts the Germans

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    Major Balou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helepolis View Post
    ...Japanese ships could go straight through three of my carrier fleets....?
    Have you perhaps forgotten to put CAGs onto your carrirers?

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    I totally agree on having multiple fleets with no hull penalty. Ship multiple fleet out together on the same task. Watch for differences in speed! Make sure your highest skilled admiral is also the one with most stars, because the highest ranking admiral will take charge!
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  9. #9
    Il try to answer all of your questions. I have not done very many doctorines because I just don know which one to do. My fleets are usually 3 carriers a couple heavy cruisers maybe one or two light cruisers. And then as many destroyers as I can before I get penaltys. They al have their cag on board. Since they were part of some of the engaments. I'm not sure how to check positioning sorry

  10. #10
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    You can find the positioning value in the battle screen, i think near the leader portraits. Try to remove the heavy cruisers from your fleets, combine carriers only with light cruisers. In case of your carrier fleet you need to research the naval doctrines on the left side, basically all doctrines that change anything for CL and CV. For air doctrines, you need to research the 6 (?) doctrines for naval bombers (second column, bottom) as well as the first two fighter and the first two CAS doctrines (first column, top and bottom). And don't forget to research upgrades for your CAGS, you can find these in the Fighter tab and one in the Bombers tab (Air-launched torpedo, iirc). You don't need the latest technology for your carriers from the Capital tab, newer CAGs work fine on older CVs.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oof View Post
    AFAIK the max amount of ships without getting a stacking penalty is still 32. This is where the eights come into play. I create a couple of equal fleets that are in the same port or are on the same mission. Usually for the USA that’s 1 CTF (4 ships) + 2 BB (16 ships) + HC (6 ships). The combined total is 26 ships.
    So your CTF in this case would be 2CV/2CL, yes? What's the composition you favor for the BB and HC fleets? Thanks.

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    CV always with CL. DD is also an option but they have less range which influences the operational radius of your CVís as well.

    It depends on the nation you play and availablity. Itís a bit of a puzzle you need to do yourself because of the hull penalty and the fact that it also depends on your tech levels. But usually its something like 2BB, 2HC, 1CL, 3DD. But this composition might work for example with a lvl I or II CL, but might give a hull penalty with a level III CL. A HC force usually consists of 4 HC, 2 LC, 2DD.

    As a naval nation, the best thing to do at the start of the 1936 scenario is to rebase your entire fleet to one single port where you are able to add newly build units. When all my units have arrived I merge them to one unit. Then I create one big unit for subs and another one for TP.

    Now I have three separate naval units: #1 consisting of all my capitol and escorts; #2 with all my subs; #3 with all my TP. The next thing I do with #1 & 2 is to sort each ship type with the most modern version at the top, after that the earlier version, and then the even more earlier version. This way I am able to make nice composition later and know exactly how much I got of each version and how many of the same compositions I can make.

    The reason I keep my units in one port and donít make any fleet compostions till the 1st of January of the year I plan to go to war or expect war, is that new commanders are added to your pool at the frist day of the new year. So you can assign the best commanders available. Besides that I wanna be able to add newly build ships before I create fleets and go to war and assing the most modern versions instead of the old crappy ones.

    For subs there are other reasons. I donít wanna combine what I call a Sub-I or Sub-II with a Sub-III. The reason being that the differences in visibility and range. Also, some subs are upgraded at the start of the 1936 scenario. But to be honest I never bothered to find out which are and for which countries, since it doesnt really make a difference because they should be finished in 1937 the latest and I am not at war then anyway.

    At the 1st of January of my ďwarĒ year I create my fleets and assign commanders and rebase them to naval bases of your choice in accordance with your future plans. The only fleet composition I create before this date, is CTF. This is to determine what I want to construct in the pre war years, extra CL and CV, to create an effective carrier force. Constructing at least one neverending run of DDís is also advisable to have reserves to replace the screens that are damaged or sunk in combat.

    BTW donít mix carrier escorts with CVís after aprox 1940/41. They have no AA and will get your CTF shot up!

  13. #13
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    If you're adding CAs to your CTF, then the whole fleet is going to engage the enemy at close range, and your carriers are going to get shot up. Heavy Cruisers (CA) are considered "capital ships" for combat purposes, and will attempt to close. Stick with just CL or DD escorts for your CVs, so if they do get involved, the fleet attempts to keep the range open.

  14. #14
    Assuming you're playing the US as am I. I've had great success against the IJN fleet. Here's what I suggest (much of which may already have been stated):

    1) I Ramped all BB, CV, CL & DD tech to 1940 except for DD main guns which I stop at 1938. By that point, it's mid/late 1938 & time to start building any BB (optional) and CV fleets I want. I would NOT ramp hull size for BB or CV past 1940 (2.0 hull size) and you could even stop before that (1936/1938). Some may even not ramp hull size at all for BBs/CVs (1.6 default for US), but I like to have my capital ships a bit sturdier. I do suggest ramping it at least to 1938 (1.2 hull size) for DDs & CLs since the base models are pretty fragile (at least the DDs are). Continue to ramp AA guns since that's the one (other than radar) upgradeable item and you'll want the extra protection. You may not need to build anything other than transports/convoys/escorts past the first build up, but if you do plan more ships or just want to keep your tech somewhat current, I suggest engines - particularly DD & CL (not so much BB as you get little for it) and maybe BB/BC main guns.

    2) From the start, also ramp naval tech which gives you bonuses to positioning and organization two or three levels. You might want to ramp a couple of levels into BB targeting chance as well. Also, there a couple of CAG techs worth ramping a bit before & during the war. You'll also want to ramp single engine fighter tech (torpedoes & light bombs as well) for the CAGs.

    3) Positioning is key for naval gun ship fights. It determines whether you will hit the enemy ships...or your own! Ideally you'll have at least 90%, with 100%+ being the goal. Poor positioning will kill you - literally. I discovered that when I first played the game and sent in two or three BB fleets together into one naval battle. My positioning was under 50% and I did more damage to my own ships than the enemies LOL. Given your fleet hull penalties, if you're sending in two or more fleets into one battle (18-20+ ships), I bet your suffering a lot of friendly fire damage (and missing a lot of IJN ships in the process).

    4) Per above, only attack with ONE fleet per province - the one exception (IMO) is when you have an amphibious invasion and you want BB shore fire, but only those two fleets (and hopefully you'll finish the invasion before getting attacked). Personally, I would not combine transports with anything else. They'll get damaged, but if your careful (rotate ships/fleets & repair), you won't lose more than a couple, if any. CV fleets should always be kept away from the fight. I like to keep one sea province of "space" between my CV fleets & the battle. Watch the enemy fleets little "green arrow" & reposition your fleets as it moves accordingly.

    5) Organization is key for everything - including CAGs. Even if your BBs have 75-100% organization, if your DD escorts have little or none, none of your ships will fire (had that happen to me more than once). When your BB (or BC/CA) fleets have low organization it's time to head to port. Same for CAGs - once organization is low it's time for some CAG duty.

    6) The CAG naval strike rules for FTM are VERY generous (only 2.5% stacking penalty - remember only naval strikes) so pile it on. You can attack with up to 20 CAGs per naval strike before the stacking rules work against you.

    7) You have to follow through after the initial naval battle - you won't sink much (20 CAG naval strikes aside) in the first strike if the IJN fleet is unharmed at the start. So follow the IJN fleet and hit it again - just keep an eye on your gunships' & CAGs' strength/organization. If it's low, substitute with another gunship fleet or CAGs from another carrier (I use my old CV fleet as CAG backup for those cases). If all your fleets are dinged up, then head to port and wait for recovery before looking for new battles. Finally, worst case scenario (ex. you're fleet's damaged already and you get into an unexpected battle), you can always retreat if needed.

    I built one new 3xBB + 4xDD fleet (for fun more than necessity) and two new 4xCV + 4xCL fleets starting in mid 1938 so everything would be ready by Oct 1941 at the latest. I also build another 6 transports before the start of the war. You might want to build 3-4 extra DDs as well since the old ones are pretty fragile. I put all three older US CVs with 5 of the "newer" CLs the US already has built. FWIW, next USA game I might try to build one more CV so all three CV fleets will have four carriers, or if I skip the BBs, then try to build another 4xCV + 4xCL fleet. For the old BBs, I use 3xBB + 1CA + 4-5xDD (old). The old BBs have low sea attack (for BBs) so the extra CA gives a little more punch to the fleet. I put the remaining old CAs & CLs together in two fleets, though frankly, I never use them (I really should find something to do with them). Transports are grouped into fleets of 5 or 6.

    All the BB fleets have a fleet hull penalty of 4.0 (3.8 for the one with the Arkansas) which is more than offset by the tech I ramped and the fleet captains (I always use ones with a positioning bonus & ideally spotting bonus). The old CV fleet has a negligible fleet hull penalty (0.2%) though the new fleet does a hull penalty of 12. Still this is more than offset by the tech I've ramped and positioning isn't nearly as critical for CVs as it is with gun ships. All the other fleets have zero fleet hull penalties.

    Edit: I forgot to add that as the war progressed, primarily after conquering Japan, I sunk quite a few ships via port strike. By that time the IJN fleet is culled quite a bit and what's left is damaged. Even if I can't see that a near by IJN port is occupied, I'll send in a few CAGs on a single day port strike to check it out. If there are ships there, I'll pummel away at them. I'll have a couple of BB fleets nearby if they try to escape so either way it's an easy win.
    Last edited by TropicLightning; 01-03-2012 at 09:55.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Helepolis View Post
    Il try to answer all of your questions. I have not done very many doctorines because I just don know which one to do. My fleets are usually 3 carriers a couple heavy cruisers maybe one or two light cruisers. And then as many destroyers as I can before I get penaltys. They al have their cag on board. Since they were part of some of the engaments. I'm not sure how to check positioning sorry
    Okay, this is important. You aren't using the starting naval units to round out your carrier fleets are you? Mixing CA's with carriers isn't good to start with since it will cause the fleet to engage at close range. If you're using the starting American naval units this gets even worse. The American navy in 1936 is more modern than the Royal Navy but the majority of it is still aging and aside from the battleships and the newer carriers not that modern. Most of the American destroyers especially are WWI vintage. You do not want to use these in your CTFs as they will dramatically slow your fleet down which will turn a CTF into a sitting duck.

    The old tech I destroyers and tech 2 cruisers need to either be relegated to Anti-sub duty or patrol duty as you can upgrade their radars and their ASW but not their hull, guns, or engines. You do not want them operating as part of a battle fleet intended to gain naval supremacy. I almost never send those older ships anywhere west of Midway.

    You (ideally) want to round out your CTFs with modern CLs. I typically build 3-4 CTFs and then compose one SAG fleet with the newer Pacific Fleet BBs. All these fleets get modern CL escorts. CLs are cheap, especially after you start building dozens of them. Research the naval doctrine techs on the far left side of the screen....anything which refers to CV, CL or CAG performance. I use the CTFs to interdict, herd and stalk the Japanese fleets. The SAG fleet then gets parked in any sea zone containing the harbor exit where there's wounded Japanese ships. If there's one thing that BB's excel at it, its executing coup de grace kills on wounded, deorged ships. All that's needed is for a transport fleet (guarded by the older BBs) to come up and drop off a marine division or two to force the 'ducks' out into the shooting gallery.

  16. #16
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    Ok, here is the simple stuff.

    CV go with CL
    BB go with DD

    Got it?

    Next. Get your doctrines going from day one. Having ships is meaningless if your commanders don't know how to use them. This goes for any Naval doctrines and Naval Bomber doctrines (they are under Air doctrines).

    All good now?

    Next.

    Never start a battle with all your ships in one bunch. You let your highest skill admiral sit in for the first exchange of fire. As soon as the battle begins, the rest of the navy, that should always be one zone behind, swarms the zone. That means, that your initial positioning stays safe and won't change. If you have 40 ships in one zone the IJN will get the better positioning, because they start the battle against you with one navy and then they swarm you with the rest of theirs.

    Still reading?

    Next.

    Never, ever put an admiral above 1 star, in charge of a fleet. Make sure to demote all your admirals to 1 star and make sure none of your navies ever have more than 6 ships. Don't get cute. Don't let the 2 star admiral take over your lvl. 5 1 star admiral as head of the naval engagement. The reason you want them all at 1 star is so that they get exp and gain future positioning bonuses. A 4 star admiral is garbage, because he can't gain any exp.

    Finally, make sure you change out your CAGs, every time their org goes down. This way they heal at the local air base and your fresh CAGs are ready to go. This is why everyone always says to build x4 CAGs for each CV. So that your CV has 2 CAGs on it and 2 CAGs ready to take their place when they've taken a beatdown.
    Last edited by SonofWinter; 01-03-2012 at 11:16.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by SonofWinter View Post
    Never, ever put an admiral above 1 star, in charge of a fleet. Make sure to demote all your admirals to 1 star and make sure none of your navies ever have more than 6 ships. Don't get cute. Don't let the 2 star admiral take over your lvl. 5 1 star admiral as head of the naval engagement. The reason you want them all at 1 star is so that they get exp and gain future positioning bonuses. A 4 star admiral is garbage, because he can't gain any exp.
    Nice tip - never keep that in mind. Still, I'm pretty sure that one star admirals can only have up to six ships in their fleet so I always promote to two stars since all my non submarine/transport fleets are 7-10 ships.

    The other thing that comes to mind is that by keeping the ranks lower, you can also avoid your two skill admiral with no specialty traits taking command from those who have good trait bonuses like superior tactician and/or spotting.

  18. #18
    007 SonofWinter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TropicLightning View Post
    Nice tip - never keep that in mind. Still, I'm pretty sure that one star admirals can only have up to six ships in their fleet so I always promote to two stars since all my non submarine/transport fleets are 7-10 ships.

    The other thing that comes to mind is that by keeping the ranks lower, you can also avoid your two skill admiral with no specialty traits taking command from those who have good trait bonuses like superior tactician and/or spotting.
    Won't be an issue. Your spearhead Admiral hunts down the enemy, everyone else follows. That means that the spearhead Admiral sets the positioning for the battle and will stay in charge of the engagement if you don't drop any 2 star admirals to grab command from him. And I believe I've already said that no fleet should have more than 6 ships. Trust me. My lvl. 9.887 Admiral Reader will vouch for this as will his friends Adm. Bohm 8.61? etc... oh yeah, those are their stats mid-1941.

    And I've made my admirals masters of the sea, on a shoestring budget, not like the massive amount the US gets.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonofWinter View Post
    Never, ever put an admiral above 1 star, in charge of a fleet. Make sure to demote all your admirals to 1 star and make sure none of your navies ever have more than 6 ships. Don't get cute. Don't let the 2 star admiral take over your lvl. 5 1 star admiral as head of the naval engagement. The reason you want them all at 1 star is so that they get exp and gain future positioning bonuses. A 4 star admiral is garbage, because he can't gain any exp.
    Doenst that mean that the commander in charge of the battle gets a penalty because in battle he is commanding more ships then he is able to due to his rank?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oof View Post
    Doenst that mean that the commander in charge of the battle gets a penalty because in battle he is commanding more ships then he is able to due to his rank?
    Only if he starts the battle with all those ships there. Otherwise, he doesn't incur any penalties, from what I understand. That's why he should be the spearhead. And once battle is joined, that's when everyone else swarms the area. You want to set the positioning first, which is why he should lead the charge and once he's set your positioning, that's when everyone else can come in and gang-bang the enemy.
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