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Thread: Tips and Basic Naval Tactics

  1. #1

    Tips and Basic Naval Tactics



    In this mission I have to defend the airbase, whilst destroying theirs.

    I have three priorities:
    • The first is to set up a defensive "picket" around my task force and airbase.
    • The second will be to scout the enemy defences.
    • Thirdly, I will assemble a strike force and attack the enemy airbase.

    Some tips:
    The Threat Axis:
    The first thing you need to do is identify the "Threat Axis" - this is the likely axis of enemy attack. Once identified, you can position your defences accordingly.

    The Picket:
    The outer layer of defence is your picket. This is usually composed of AEW (recon), CAP (combat air patrol), and low profile/stealth ships. In land warfare this would be your screen. Normally this picket line is placed around 350NM out from your surface fleet, and it's job is to destroy enemy recon elements, detect incoming missiles, and engage enemy air assets. In this particular scenario, one of my planes is not in position yet (the right most), as the mission just started.

    For my picket I have chosen two airwings of air superiority fighters flying mid altitude, with an UAV element flying highest altitude with radar ON. The UAV is cheap and expendable in relative terms, so I don't mind it lighting up the sky and serving as a distraction. My other fighters have their radar's set to OFF. I have all my picket units set to patrol small boxes and half speed to save on fuel. Their job is to loiter up there as long as possible.

    I also have enough reserve units at my airbase to reinforce my picket, rotate units low on ammo, and intercept any missiles or aircraft that break through the picket.

    The Outer Screen:
    The outer screen is usually located around 40NM away from your core units, or high value assets. The job of the outer screen is to engage units that break through the picket. In this case my outer screen is composed of a task force of three ships (One DDG and two FFGs), one airwing (also currently out of position in this scenario), and two helicopters on ASW duty. One helicopter is launching sonar boys along the threat axis, and the other is launched near my ships on stand by, ready to engage any threat that is time critical. Always have at least one ASW helicopter airborn and near your fleet, because by the time you see an enemy sub, it's usually too late!

    The Inner Screen:
    The inner screen in a CBVG is usually the ships protecting the carrier, but in this case my inner screen is the airfield, which is my primary objective I need to defend. The airfield itself is protected by SAM's and CIWS which make up part of the inner screen. I also have interceptor airwings on standby to intercept anything that breaks through.

    Core Assets:
    I have one AWACS airborne, set to circle at highest altitude on half speed for its radar to be more effective, and a tanker set to circle at medium altitude on half speed so it is harder to find. The AWACS is the primary eyes and ears of my forces, as I tend to keep the active RADARs off on the vast majority of my units, unless heavily engaged.

    Emissions Control:
    Emissions Control (EMCON) is very important. It is vital that your surface ships, submarines, and aircraft remain undetectable. You should only engage active RADAR's when in dire need, ie being swarmed in battle, or on key units which you believe can act as a picket/screen, or are at the rear and safe.

    AAM Missile Tactics:
    Don't always fire at max range, unless you want to 'scare' off an enemy unit. What I tend to do is if I want to scare off a large strike force, I will launch one BVR missile at each member of the enemy strike force, which will cause them to take evasive manoeuvres. Too much of this and it may cause smaller fighters to go BINGO fuel and RTB. When engaging to kill though, if you have your RADAR's off and are using a stealth fighter, you should be able to sneak up on the enemy contacts and engage at closer rangers. Fire two missiles at each target and wait to see if they are eliminated, then fire another volley of two. This helps conserve ammo but ensures you have a higher pK (Kill probability).

    Offensive Strikes:
    Offensive Strike Packages - lead with your ECM and ECCM units, preferably equipped with HARM or the equivalent missile types. These missions are called "Wild Weasel" missions are are effective at engaging enemy air defence units when they activate their radars, allowing the follow on strike elements greater chance of success. I like to use my strike packages in groups of two wild weasel, then wings of four strike elements.
    Fly low, and the idea is to launch volleys of missiles. I also try to use multiple strike forces attacking from multiple directions - if you can used recon you should be able to figure out the enemies threat axis. Engage enemy structures and surface ships manually, launching as many missiles as possible before getting out of dodge as quickly as possible.
    Most importantly though, make sure you have a big enough strike package, if attacking an enemy CVBG for example, you will need 60+ anti-ship missiles to bypass their defences, possibly even more. NATO fleets with the SM can engage a hell of a lot of targets (hundreds if you are up against US DDG's) so plan accordingly. Remember, you CAN reequip your air assets, but you need to wait some time.

    Feel free to add tips of your own.
    Last edited by JanH; 12-04-2012 at 14:49. Reason: stuck!

  2. #2
    Sergeant zizou160's Avatar
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    Really don't have anything to add or to comment, just have to say thank u! Makes it easier for us that doesn't understand naval tactics all that well:P

  3. #3
    Turbo Tape Games Dev JanH's Avatar
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    Excellent work! Thank you for sharing.

  4. #4
    Good job

  5. #5
    Corporal TiFlo's Avatar
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    That's really helping for us landlubbers. Especially those more familiar with wigs and matchlocks. Thank you!

    Can I say Mooooar?

  6. #6
    Moar:

    CVBG combined operations:

    Setting up your defences:



    Key points:
    • Radars off on almost all units, except AWACs, Airports, and Screens (in this case, my Tanis UAV has it's radar ON). I like to keep one vulnerable air unit with radar on like a UAV, slightly back, to lure in enemy stealth fighters through a picket line of my own.
    • Units with radar ON and behind the picket line set to max altitude for more coverage.
    • Picket line units at least 300km out from your core assets.
    • Keep one ASW package near your fleet at all time. Use other ASW assets to drop sonar along the threat axis.
    • Set picket units that need to be up in the air as long as possible (such as CAP) to half speed, this conserves fuel. Loiter time is important.
    • Always keep a reserve of picket units, so you can maintain your picket 24/7. I like to keep half my fighters back on the carrier. Don't be tempted to launch all your fighters, you will be caught with your pants down.
    • In the face of overwhelming attack, engage at max range with AMRAAM's to ruin enemy strike formations, try to separate escorts from strike craft, then pull your picket lines back. Launch interceptors to deal with the threat.
    • Conversely when engaging bombers or strike craft and Pk (kill probability) is essential, engage at closer ranges (especially the super sonic bombers that can outrun your missiles). With stealth configuration aircraft and passive sensors, you can get pretty close before engaging.
    • When ROE allows, such as in high threat environments, change your settings to unknowns as hostile. This allows your fighters a much greater chance of surviving.
    • It's very important your picket engages and destroys enemy recon and picket elements. Winning the recon war is key to winning the naval battle.
    • Don't light up the battlespace with your fleet radars, unless you have been detected and engaged. If you can hide your fleet while finding theirs, that is half the battle won.

    ASW operations:

    Subs can be the greatest threat your will CVBG face, mostly because subs are difficult to detect, and torpedoes are difficult to counter. In this instance I dispatched a strike package to deal with a sub my ASW assets detected. It's very important that as soon as you detect a sub, send all available ASW assets to deal with it (so keep some reserve). And do not lose track of it.

    Submarines move quite slow (slow = stealth) so they will generally attack your ships from the direction your ship is heading, so set up your sonar along that axis. This is because they and their torpedoes are too slow attacking from the sides/rear.

    One thing I would like to see the game model is being able to attack subs that surface with surface attacks. At the moment it appears you can only attack subs torpedoes and such, even after they have surfaced. The idea is to damage the sub with your ASW choppers then call in a strike once it is forced to surface.

    Strike Packages:

    Once you have identified a surface target that you wish to engage, use your aircraft and launch a strike package. The idea is to use overwhelming force, so attacking an enemy CVBG will require multiple runs on target or multiple strike packages to be successful. You want to preserve your strike package so do NOT send them on suicide missions, and don't get too close to engage. It's much better to have your strike package RTB and rearm for another go than lose them all in one strike. I generally use a wild weasel element at the front, followed by my strike elements. I tend to group strike elements in groups of four. Try to time your strike packages to launch all their missiles in one big barrage.
    Be conscious of fuel/range, and generally you will NOT want to launch your strike packages along the threat axis.

    Result:
    One dead enemy carrier.

    (Note - two of my aircraft losses were due to running out of fuel, as the Russians managed to take out my northern airbase)
    Last edited by DaveDash; 12-04-2012 at 11:10.

  7. #7
    academic outlaw Moderator safferli's Avatar
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    This it's great, thanks! I especially like the fantastic images, very helpful to a noob like me
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  8. #8
    Great post! Not much to add. I also noticed the inability of surface vehicles to engage surfaced subs with anti-surface missiles. I hope that changes with a patch.

  9. #9
    Turbo Tape Games Dev JanH's Avatar
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    I have taken the liberty to stick this thread as it was a great intro for new players!

  10. #10
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    Wow, thank you for this, helped a lot!

  11. #11
    Excellent post...reminds me of the old Harpoon days :-)

  12. #12
    Private IronRobb's Avatar
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    This is mastering a game. With this great players, having the mission editor in the future will be a challenge.

  13. #13
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    Great thread, outstanding for the newbs. And before nimitz comes around, don't listen about those 'kitchenz' he's always talking bout........ not a cover up of any sort........
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  14. #14
    Great thread, Dave. A request: could you make a version printable on a white background? The regular print version in thread tools drops the images. Thanks!

  15. #15
    Captain MaxRiga's Avatar

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    I have all my picket units set to patrol small boxes and half speed to save on fuel.
    I was wondering, does it work this in this game or not? Can Jan or anyone confirm that in this game if air units goes on fast speed it use more fuel than on slow speed?
    I remember Kan said once that missiles has no fuel it calculates just distance. Once it's passed the distance limit it crashes. Does it work for planes the same way?

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Count Coleman View Post
    Great thread, Dave. A request: could you make a version printable on a white background? The regular print version in thread tools drops the images. Thanks!
    You mean like having white borders around the images? I can do that yes.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxRiga View Post
    I was wondering, does it work this in this game or not? Can Jan or anyone confirm that in this game if air units goes on fast speed it use more fuel than on slow speed?
    I remember Kan said once that missiles has no fuel it calculates just distance. Once it's passed the distance limit it crashes. Does it work for planes the same way?
    I can say from observation but not empirical evidence that lowering the fuel amount decreases fuel consumption. Going full AB will cause your aircraft to go bingo fuel in a matter of minutes. Once bingo fuel, planes will attempt to RTB, but of for whatever reason if they don't reach an airbase in time (ie you command them to engage while on bingo fuel and they get into a long fight, or their airbase gets destroyed) then they will crash.

  18. #18
    Turbo Tape Games Dev JanH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxRiga View Post
    I was wondering, does it work this in this game or not? Can Jan or anyone confirm that in this game if air units goes on fast speed it use more fuel than on slow speed? I remember Kan said once that missiles has no fuel it calculates just distance. Once it's passed the distance limit it crashes. Does it work for planes the same way?
    Missiles are special cases because we assumes the range applies to max speed (terminal supersonic missiles another special case again, but same applies).

    The range of an aircraft assumes and requires cruise speed (or below). On military it uses more fuel/distance unit, and on afterburner far more than that again. Cruise is defined as the optimal speed for an aircraft.

  19. #19
    Captain MaxRiga's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by JanH View Post
    Missiles are special cases because we assumes the range applies to max speed (terminal supersonic missiles another special case again, but same applies).

    The range of an aircraft assumes and requires cruise speed (or below). On military it uses more fuel/distance unit, and on afterburner far more than that again. Cruise is defined as the optimal speed for an aircraft.
    ok, thank you for your answer. So, as slower plane flies as father it goes in the game, right?

  20. #20
    Turbo Tape Games Dev JanH's Avatar
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    MaxRiga,

    If I understand the question correctly: a plane will fly as far at slow speed as cruise speed (but it will take longer, obviously).

    Helicopters are a special case; they use as much fuel moving slowly or hovering as they would if cruising forward, since they still need to use the power to stay up.

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