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HFaber

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Thanks for your post, it's great to have someone look over your shoulder once in a while!

I've now reached the outbreak of hostilities!

So far, your Japan/China war is the best balance I've observed in (d). I've no idea how the AI difficulty settings will affect things but it all looks good so far.
I'm pretty pleased with the performance of the two sides in the 2nd Sino-Japanese war as well!

I've been thinking about your submarine setup. I assume the idea is that individual flotillas will be harder for the enemy to detect? If I remember right, the multiplayer group used to recommend groups of 3 or 4 to give them greater resilience. I'm also wondering whether a single flotilla will have enough strength to attack a convoy? I know I've had problems as a medium operating with one or two subs and finding convoys 'too heavily defended' to be able to attack them, but I don't know if that was caused by convoy escorts or the presence of enemy fleets.
Yes, greater stealth is exactly the idea. Also I hope to not lose 3 or 4 flotillas immediately if they make contact. As you continue you will see me getting salty at lost flotillas, but I'd say it's much better than previously. I still think they are a bit weak.

It's also true that I didn't sink as many convoys as I'd wished, but I had other things on my mind than microing subs, like sending them to other areas, etc. I was happy when I managed to switch them out without losing them.

I don't have a good idea, but they're, in my view still not where they should be. Either let them autopilot but be prepared to face heavy losses at any stage of the war, or micro them for very modest success / impact.

I've never set air units as reserves, so I'm interested to see how that goes.
I'm using that mode in the 4th of 5th campaign now and I think it works rather well. That's why I build air fleets - usually 3x or 4x of a certain type - only in pairs. This way I can have one air fleet on active duty and one being on reserve duty. If the enemy air activity is low I can take the reserve air fleet and deploy it somewhere else. It does require a lot of microing however and I wish air fleets would automatically return to base before getting shredded to bits. They return sometimes, but it happened too many times that I only barely managed to save a 1% wing in an air fleet.

I'm a little concerned at how hungry your expanded IC is for rares and metal, and how quickly those stockpiles will drop once you're blockaded by the British. Capturing a few capital cities will help. :)
Thought the same...

I also noticed you did a manual declaration of war (retake cores?) rather than using the Danzig decision. Knowing how war goals can mess things up, I hope that decision doesn't cause you pain later. I didn't notice if you used a 'limited' declaration of war, or not? If it's not a limited war I think you might find Italy and Japan going to war the instant they join the Axis?
That was a mistake and I will actually correct that later in the video by loading a save game, precisely to avoid the kinds of problems you mentioned.
 

SSmith

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It does require a lot of microing however and I wish air fleets would automatically return to base before getting shredded to bits. They return sometimes, but it happened too many times that I only barely managed to save a 1% wing in an air fleet.
As far as I know that's part of what the aggressive/defensive/passive stance is about (other than restricting which missions they will fly). The more aggressive the setting, the more strength they will lose before grounding themselves. That's probably calculated across the whole group, which you means you could end up losing a heavily damaged unit. To be honest, I rarely if ever see any evidence of air units actually being destroyed - and I'm not sure that's really such a good thing?

That was a mistake and I will actually correct that later in the video by loading a save game, precisely to avoid the kinds of problems you mentioned.
Yes, as soon as I'd written the post I saw you restore the autosave. Probably a wise move!

And that was quite some mess you got into by not guarding the French border! I guess the Western Front never got the "we're about to invade Poland" memo! :D
 

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CAGs will destroy themselves, but that's a mechanic of them being at sea. I've never seen a ground based air wing die aside from V1/2s when launching them against enemy nations.
 

SSmith

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I noticed a couple of things in the stream that I should fix. One thing was the production slider not responding immediately - this is a direct result of stopping the code running daily (the patch (c) stability hotfix) and I should put that back. The second point was the South African decision about accepting the British call-to-arms. I'm used to seeing the follow-up event where South Africa makes that choice, but you didn't see that because of your message settings suppressing a lot of the message spam. That's one event that I should mark as important so you don't miss it. There may be others.
 

SSmith

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I've just finished episode 5 (prep. work for France) and I'm curious about a message you mentioned in passing - how come Pakistan is in the game?

Regarding your submarines, I haven't seen any evidence that the 'reserve' units are being used in any way, so I'm thinking you might be better served just having all of them out on patrol. The other problem, of course, is actually finding the British convoy routes.

On the question of air reserves, I can see why they might be useful to keep your units fresh in heavily contested air space, but since the Allied bombers are your only problem over Germany iwouldn't you be better off having more wings flying interception?
 

HFaber

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I've just finished episode 5 (prep. work for France) and I'm curious about a message you mentioned in passing - how come Pakistan is in the game?
I don't remember the Pakistan related message. When did I mention it?

Regarding your submarines, I haven't seen any evidence that the 'reserve' units are being used in any way, so I'm thinking you might be better served just having all of them out on patrol. The other problem, of course, is actually finding the British convoy routes.
Sometimes damaged flotillas attempt to return but they don't get switched out as far as I can tell. Maybe it has to do with the fact that not all of them are attached to the same HQ. The submarine game would go better if I paid more attention to it. It just seems a bit too tedious for a questionable return. It's not all bad however as you will see later.

On the question of air reserves, I can see why they might be useful to keep your units fresh in heavily contested air space, but since the Allied bombers are your only problem over Germany iwouldn't you be better off having more wings flying interception?
Good point, but for the most part STRAT bombing isn't a problem. For the most time I have one or two units of IC in repair. I can live that.
 

SSmith

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I don't remember the Pakistan related message. When did I mention it?
It think it was somewhere in the last half hour of part 5, but I doubt I could find it again. I've been thinking about how Pakistan could have appeared in the game. I assume it hasn't been released from India as a complete country? That would probably be a bug, if so. Sometimes I see small rebel-held areas turn into tiny countries if the rebellion wasn't suppressed but I'm not sure how this actually comes about, i.e. whether it's the base game or something in HPP. The most common examples I've witnessed occur in very weak nations, typically Morocco forming in Vichy North Africa or Indonesia forming in the Dutch East Indies when the Netherlands is a government-in-exile. Possibly you have a Pakistan somewhere that owns one or two provinces?
 

HFaber

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It think it was somewhere in the last half hour of part 5, but I doubt I could find it again. I've been thinking about how Pakistan could have appeared in the game. I assume it hasn't been released from India as a complete country? That would probably be a bug, if so. Sometimes I see small rebel-held areas turn into tiny countries if the rebellion wasn't suppressed but I'm not sure how this actually comes about, i.e. whether it's the base game or something in HPP. The most common examples I've witnessed occur in very weak nations, typically Morocco forming in Vichy North Africa or Indonesia forming in the Dutch East Indies when the Netherlands is a government-in-exile. Possibly you have a Pakistan somewhere that owns one or two provinces?
I will check on that!
 

SSmith

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Watching your stream inspired me to test out using the AI production slider controls. However, I found them difficult because they're always giving priority to one thing over and above everything else (apart from controlling dissent). What I couldn't have was the balanced approach the AI uses if it's in full control and there was no option to help me build up my supply stockpile to support my trade settings. What are your thoughts?
 

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Watching your stream inspired me to test out using the AI production slider controls. However, I found them difficult because they're always giving priority to one thing over and above everything else (apart from controlling dissent). What I couldn't have was the balanced approach the AI uses if it's in full control and there was no option to help me build up my supply stockpile to support my trade settings. What are your thoughts?
Interesting topic. I think our struggles during game play are very similar :D Air force microing, AI HQs, Production, etc...

I've found it works best to have production distribution on manual while at peace - or production focus. This can lead to problems when your IC is scarce and the AI wastes it on supplies and you have an ambitious armament plan. When at war I usually use reinforcement priority and I try to not add projects to production that won't go through in forever. I also have to discipline myself to keep checking for wasted IC.
 

SSmith

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I've found it works best to have production distribution on manual while at peace - or production focus. This can lead to problems when your IC is scarce and the AI wastes it on supplies and you have an ambitious armament plan. When at war I usually use reinforcement priority and I try to not add projects to production that won't go through in forever. I also have to discipline myself to keep checking for wasted IC.
I noticed you were mostly using production focus and that's what I tried. As you rightly say, manual control is something you have to keep on top of all the time. The problem I had with production focus is the one I expected, namely that it responded to what I put in the production queue and if I didn't have enough IC I would run out of supplies (early in the game I ran out of supplies completely once or twice). There was also the issue that having instructed the trade AI to try to sell supplies, there was no way it was ever going to be able to do that unless I had a supply stockpile to sell - and that would only be possible by reverting to manual slider control. I think this is something I should try to fix!
 

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Parts 9 & 10


For part 9 jump to 24:00, I forgot to switch of the stream overlay. This part roughly covers 25.05.1940 - 08.07.1940 and the end of the campaign in France



This part covers the period from 08.07.1940 - 30.10.1940. We see the end of the Norwegian campaign and otherwise deals with army reorganization, production and research management.
 
Last edited:

SSmith

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I've finished episode 7 and we're well into the offensive in the west. The British and Dutch may have lost a few ships, but they've done a good job of disrupting the Norwegian campaign! I also see your problems on the continent with the Dutch and Belgians continuing to resist. I'm sure this is entirely retrospective now since you've played on another three sessions, but I was contemplating whether you could cut off and contain the Netherlands, and concentrate everything you've got on the push to Paris? Another thought is that the French have now left the Maginot line very lightly defended and potentially vulnerable - but of course that also means there must be a lot of French divisions moving your way! And I have to say, the Luftwaffe is looking rather ragged just now...
 

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OK, so Germany invades Norway and the obvious thing for the Norwegians to do is to invade Germany? With one transport flotilla and one solitary division? Seriously? o_O

Now you've dealt with the Dutch and the Belgians things are looking a lot healthier. Although the French have formed a new front it doesn't like anywhere near strong enough to provide serious resistance. The French must now be missing the ten or so divisions they lost back in 1939!
 

nuclearslurpee

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OK, so Germany invades Norway and the obvious thing for the Norwegians to do is to invade Germany? With one transport flotilla and one solitary division? Seriously? o_O
China does the same thing, somewhere in their AI production code they have an instruction or at least a probability to build a transport ship, and if you give an AI a transport ship, well, he'll want a naval invasion to go with it. :p
 

SSmith

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I'm part way through Part 10 where you're having a few problems in Norway. There's only one thing I can think of that could have happened to the division defending Narvik, which is that the unit 'shattered'. I think this is only supposed to happen with low strength and/or low org. units and only when you have a low officer ratio. Since the victorious British division still had high strength, so should yours. Your officer ratio is fine, so it must have been when the organisation was exhausted. I wonder if being overseas has any relevance here? If the unit did shatter, you should find it re-forming in Berlin.

I'm glad you've picked up on the spy problem. I've lost count of the number of senior German intelligence officers who've been murdered on the streets of German cities. You should do something about that because the British SOE agents are becoming far too brazen!

Lastly, you've confirmed that heavily used air wings can be destroyed. I'm glad I now know the answer to that question!
 

HFaber

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I've finished episode 7 and we're well into the offensive in the west. The British and Dutch may have lost a few ships, but they've done a good job of disrupting the Norwegian campaign!
Yes, that was some stiff allied naval resistance. I would have to check but I believe I lost about 4 transport flotillas and 2 light cruisers for the total Norwegian campaign. Overall we did more damage to the allies however. Unfortunately we mostly sank non-British units.

I also see your problems on the continent with the Dutch and Belgians continuing to resist. I'm sure this is entirely retrospective now since you've played on another three sessions, but I was contemplating whether you could cut off and contain the Netherlands, and concentrate everything you've got on the push to Paris? Another thought is that the French have now left the Maginot line very lightly defended and potentially vulnerable - but of course that also means there must be a lot of French divisions moving your way! And I have to say, the Luftwaffe is looking rather ragged just now...
I did end up pulling two army corps from the Rhine front and that eventually did the trick. My navy would have appreciated an earlier capture of the dutch ports.
 

HFaber

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I noticed you were mostly using production focus and that's what I tried. As you rightly say, manual control is something you have to keep on top of all the time. The problem I had with production focus is the one I expected, namely that it responded to what I put in the production queue and if I didn't have enough IC I would run out of supplies (early in the game I ran out of supplies completely once or twice). There was also the issue that having instructed the trade AI to try to sell supplies, there was no way it was ever going to be able to do that unless I had a supply stockpile to sell - and that would only be possible by reverting to manual slider control. I think this is something I should try to fix!
I'm now after the fall of France, Belgium and the Netherlands at 408 IC and I can still import so much metal that I have a surplus of 240 units and a surplus in rare materials of about 30, which is brilliant. My stockpiles are getting so high I am incurring penalties. For some reason the British do not seem to be interested in a dedicated anti-convoy warfare. I can still outproduce the losses.