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I've been going with a 3xCV/6xCL task force lately, paired with a 3xBB/6xDD fleet. I keep them together, but under separate commands. They decimate just about anything if they're of current tech. It's not hard to get Halsey and Nimitz up to a rank 8 command level within a couple months of war's start.

How do you level Naval leader so quickly? Do you use them to raid convoys? Naval experience seems to be the hardest for me to get
 

misterbean

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Get them into lots of combat, basically. There used to be a gamey way of doing it, by giving them command of submarines for a couple of months. Those that survived, would have gained several levels.
I'm not sure, but I think it has been nerfed somewhat in TFH. I could be wrong. I have never used it, myself. Japan, USA, UK and Germany all have plenty of excellent leaders that don't need those tricks. If you want to be sure, ask in the Quick Questions thread in the HOI 3 main forum. There's someone bound to know the truth.
 

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I've been going with a 3xCV/6xCL task force lately, paired with a 3xBB/6xDD fleet. I keep them together, but under separate commands. They decimate just about anything if they're of current tech. It's not hard to get Halsey and Nimitz up to a rank 8 command level within a couple months of war's start.

Sorry. I skipped your post. The most important thing is to have at least 1 screen per capital ship. Given how easily they sink if they get a solid hit, it pays to have double.
 
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KyrionMyrthar

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How do you level Naval leader so quickly? Do you use them to raid convoys? Naval experience seems to be the hardest for me to get

Here's an example from my current game.

I had Wake Island maxed out - level 10 coastal fort, infra, AA, airfield, port. Off-shore was a carrier task force (CTF) and a surface action group (SAG) of battleships/destroyers.

The CTF had three carriers - Enterprise, Essex and Lexington. Halsey was commanding (I believe he starts as a level 4). Lo and behold, a massive Japanese fleet arrives with carriers, battleships, etc, and transports.

By having maxed out defenses on the island, the invasion hovered around 4%...for about two weeks. During that time, the fleets pummeled one another repeatedly. My modern BBs were dishing out damage, and the CTF was going berserk. By the time I'd defeated the land invasion, I'd lost one SAG of older rank 3 battleships except for one, which retreated to port. Halsey took CTF-2 into port and I swapped in Nimitz with more modern carriers in CTF-3. He'd been hovering around Midway. I lost no carriers, and ended up sinking three Japanese fleet carriers. I also added a modern BB/DD SAG, which I think Kimmel was leading. End result - Halsey was halfway to level 7, Nimitz was close to level 8. These were their first battles.

You fight long enough, you'll see lots of things happening. It pays with naval combat to stay in the screen, so you know when to retreat.
 

KyrionMyrthar

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That submarine trick isn't as good as it used to be. It can take a year for a sub commander to rise to rank 5.

One thing I've started doing is using blockade runners as sub skippers. They slip away easier.
 

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Here's an example from my current game.

I had Wake Island maxed out - level 10 coastal fort, infra, AA, airfield, port. Off-shore was a carrier task force (CTF) and a surface action group (SAG) of battleships/destroyers.

The CTF had three carriers - Enterprise, Essex and Lexington. Halsey was commanding (I believe he starts as a level 4). Lo and behold, a massive Japanese fleet arrives with carriers, battleships, etc, and transports.

By having maxed out defenses on the island, the invasion hovered around 4%...for about two weeks. During that time, the fleets pummeled one another repeatedly. My modern BBs were dishing out damage, and the CTF was going berserk. By the time I'd defeated the land invasion, I'd lost one SAG of older rank 3 battleships except for one, which retreated to port. Halsey took CTF-2 into port and I swapped in Nimitz with more modern carriers in CTF-3. He'd been hovering around Midway. I lost no carriers, and ended up sinking three Japanese fleet carriers. I also added a modern BB/DD SAG, which I think Kimmel was leading. End result - Halsey was halfway to level 7, Nimitz was close to level 8. These were their first battles.

You fight long enough, you'll see lots of things happening. It pays with naval combat to stay in the screen, so you know when to retreat.

Another example from one of my games, as UK this time. Japan kept trying to send ships past Singapore. All I had in the area, was a CTF and a SAG. Both stationed on that big island just off India. One in the strait, the other undergoing repairs. When the first one gets damaged, I just switch them around. Sank around 15 DD and as many CL, plus a bunch of their battleships and cruisers. They kept trying throughout the war, so I just switched commanders around a bit. By 1944 Germany and Italy were defeated, and I just sent the entire fricking Royal Navy down their throat before invading. Lots of fun.
 
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Daedwartin

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My usual armor division doesn't have TD in them either, but then I don't usually research Superior Firepower, so most of the time, TD are a bit of a luxury. In this case, however, luxury is what the US does best.
By luxury, we mean build a entire refrigerated barge for one purpose and one purpose only:

Making Ice Cream.

Granted, since this was the US military, it wasn't seen as a luxury. It was seen as one of the 6 goods vital for the maintaining of a soldier's morale.
 
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KyrionMyrthar

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By luxury, we mean build a entire refrigerated barge for one purpose and one purpose only:

Making Ice Cream.

Granted, since this was the US military, it wasn't seen as a luxury. It was seen as one of the 6 goods vital for the maintaining of a soldier's morale.

A friend of mine's dad worked with the ice cream makers. Turns out it was more popular than booze, since there were a lot of non-drinkers in the Navy.
 

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Another example from one of my games, as UK this time. Japan kept trying to send ships past Singapore. All I had in the area, was a CTF and a SAG. Both stationed on that big island just off India. One in the strait, the other undergoing repairs. When the first one gets damaged, I just switch them around. Sank around 15 DD and as many CL, plus a bunch of their battleships and cruisers. They kept trying throughout the war, so I just switched commanders around a bit. By 1944 Germany and Italy were defeated, and I just sent the entire fricking Royal Navy down their throat before invading. Lots of fun.
It's especially fun when you know there can't be much left other than a cruiser or two, a handful of subs, and the ever-building landing craft. Every couple of months, a new fleet appears with no org, so bam! Down to the bottom they go.
 

misterbean

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Of course, it helped that I had a strong defensive line on the Birma border, which forced the Japanese to try naval landings. No Japanese soldier ever set foot into India.
 

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A friend of mine's dad worked with the ice cream makers. Turns out it was more popular than booze, since there were a lot of non-drinkers in the Navy.
Not a surprise.

Your brain pretty much runs off of sugar, and is about 25% of your energy needs. It's part of why things that taste good almost always tend to also be things with a lot of calories. Your brain prefers to have the energy to function. As does the rest of your body. So things with sugar and fat taste really good, because they just have so much energy in them.

Ice Cream is a large portion sugar and fat. Meanwhile, since they are in the navy, booze can be simply off limits for large portions of time due to a need to be sober while doing your job.

And since ice cream is filled with energy and tastes good, and doesn't have issues with getting drunk, it's something that is far easier to have when off duty without issues.
 
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misterbean

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9zS3zrE.png

Chapter 14: Undeclared War and Lend-Lease.


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Now that France has fallen, we will soon have the opportunity to start hunting for German subs in the Undeclared War. Note that we will probably not catch any, since the Royal Navy is usually good enough to keep their threat under control, but for the purposes of this tutorial (and for RP reasons), I split off all the Heavy Cruisers, the level-1 Destroyers and the subs. This will be the Atlantic Fleet for now.


jLBzmfx.png


I get all the troops onboard the transports and send the whole fleet to San Diego (not including the Atlantic Fleet, obviously). These will be the Pacific Fleet. Those 24 infantry divisions will later be grouped into an actual OOB, which will be responsible for winning the Pacific War. Let’s not forget to assign the CAGs that were stored in the USAAF first, though. Carriers without planes are just big targets.


SVglCKQ.png


We began the campaign with just about everything out-of-date. It took us until well into 1937 to break even with the rest of the Major nations, but now we can begin researching 1941 techs by September 1940. I love it when a plan comes together. The first two will be Education and Mechanised Infantry. The first one for more Leadership Points, the second one so that we can begin building an army for the liberation of Europe. We have to start from scratch, so it will take a long time. That is why I want to start early, building up practicals as much as we can.


By mid-october, the last of Kaua’i Island’s 10 radar have been installed. The other 10 will be placed on Midway Island, which is done a couple of days later.


5qmmTWj.png


The Democrats win the 1940 elections, and FDR gets his 3rd term in office. I make the necessary changes to his cabinet.


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In January 1941, the British give us control of Iceland and Greenland. This enables us to fire a decision of our own with potentially far-reaching consequences.


UR1L8p9.png


The Lend-Lease Act will allow us to ship IC to UK, France, China and the Soviet Union if they ask for it. This is another new addition to TFH. It requires convoys, so if they get intercepted by enemy subs, it will reduce the amount that the recipient receives.

The 2-point reduction in Neutrality gives us the opportunity to fire another decision, which is the Undeclared War. The USA will now be able to target German subs, but like I said before, the chances of actually finding any are pretty slim. I will go into more details in a bit, but first note that this again reduces our Neutrality. And this is a lot more exciting. Why? Well, see for yourself.


Xw86uQ7.png


In one fell swoop, we go from 360 active IC to 450. We can institute two-year draft, which will further enhance our MP pool. I also go to Specialist Training and this may raise some eyebrows among experienced players. Specialist Training makes any land, naval and air unit we build more experienced, right from the start. It will make them more capable in combat, but conversely, it will take longer to build them. You can build your units under less strict laws pre-war, and ramp it up just before you go to war. The experience gain will be less, but the build times will also be less. It works great and can be used to spam infantry like there’s no tomorrow if you’re the Soviet Union, for instance, even while at war.

On the other hand, the US has little to no control over when Japan will drag them into war. When they do, I want my soldiers to have the best possible training right from the start. Either way works, but I feel more comfortable doing it this way.

Plus it can be abused to such an extend that it is quite possibly one of the most powerful exploits in the game. Mass produce stuff you will need a lot of, using Voluntary Army and the most lenient industrial laws, which will drastically shorten build times and costs and improve Practicals because of this. Then, a couple of weeks before the war starts, switch and voila, a massive army right at your disposal. It’s a bit gamey for my taste.


It only takes the UK 1 day to request Lend-lease from us, to which I agree. In order to start sending IC to them, I would have to assign IC to the Lend-Lease slider, but I have a full enough plate and, even with 450 IC, I can use every bit of it myself for the moment.


7pik0wO.png


So what is the Undeclared War exactly? Well, this is the naval mapmode. In the yellow seazones, we will be able to hunt for enemy subs. In order to do this, I split the Atlantic Fleet into 5 squadrons. Each squadron consists of 3 heavy cruisers and 3 destroyers, assigning spotters of level-3 or less. All admirals of level-4 or above will be reserved for the Pacific War, which is the only theater of war that can actually threaten us to any degree. This will leave us with a squadron of 3 destroyers. These will be commanded by admiral King (who is also promoted to be a 4-star admiral). I keep him here because I want 1 excellent battle commander on standby in case of an unexpected emergency. Very unlikely, but it pays to be cautious. The US has plenty of awesome naval leaders anyway.

The Destroyer Squadrons are rebased to Boston, Puerto Rico, Colon (the Panama Canal), Norfolk and Miami.

The subs are divided into Squadrons of 3 SS each, leaving us with a single squadron of 2 SS. These are given low-level Sea Wolf Commanders and send to various spots as well, including Iceland.


While I wait for the ships to arrive at their destinations, I get Air Search Radars, both small and medium. I can now begin researching navigation Radar, which will allow us to more easily track down ships with our planes. I also start researching the 4 Single Engine Airplanes techs.


wgDLH0u.png


The ships are in place and given their orders. The green spots are Destroyer Squadrons on “Patrol” orders, searching for subs. The red spots are subs hunting German convoys. The German AI has never been taught to stop trading overseas after “Danzig Or War”, so there is a very small chance that they will actually have some left. Going from experience, I know that a lot of South American nations trade with Germany, so these are the best bet to find any. Usually, by now Germany has few convoys and subs left, so the whole thing is really just an excersise in futility at the moment. However, under the right circumstances, the yellow area will stretch further west. The closer you get to the UK, the more chance you have of finding the subs’ hunting grounds.

I also go to the Pacific Fleet and group the CAGs into groups of 2 each. This way, I only have to assign one leader per carrier.


One last note to remember: ships will upgrade their Anti-Air, ASW and radar when new levels have been researched, but this will only happen when they are in port. Ships at sea will not upgrade. Bear that in mind, and don’t forget to keep them docked for a couple of weeks after research is done.


With that out of the way, let’s talk about Lend-Lease.


90FH24I.png


It’s really very simple. You assign an amount of IC, up to a certain limit (which depends on who you’re sending the IC to, I think), the Lend-Lease slider. If you click on the slider, it will open a window where you can see everyone who is eligible. Here you can divide the IC that you assigned to the LL-slider between the various countries involved.


DgyvFUF.png


In this case, we are only sending IC to the UK, so there is very little choice to make. You will use convoys to ship the IC. These convoys can be intercepted. Normally, it is a 100% transfer, meaning that my 20 IC will raise UK IC by 20 and uses my resources to fuel the extra IC. This percentage is adjusted according to how many convoys are sunk along the way. These convoys will have a different colour in the Naval and Supply mapmodes, so you can protect these using destroyers and so on, just like you can with any other convoy.
Any nation can request Lend-Lease from anyone else, but I'm not sure if relations and suitable form of government come into play here, so don't take my word for it.


And that’ s about all there is to it, really.


eSlTMHj.png



By mid-January, Germany declares war on Yugoslavia. This is another piece of the puzzle that will make us the arsenal of democracy.


DLppEIm.png


A couple of days later, I have 21 free IC. Time to start building the artillery we will need for the infantry.


241GZXA.png


I take the IC away from upgrades to help speed up production. Note that the reduction in Neutrality has caused our CG need to rise again as well, but it’s a mere pittance, compared to the CG Need of Germany.


I might as well organise the Pacific Fleet while I wait for German troops to reach Belgrade.

I group the 5 Carriers together with the 6 most advanced Light Cruisers we have. This will be Carrier Task Force 1 (or CFT-1 for short). Admiral Nimitz will command this squadron.

The Battleships are divided in squadrons of 3 each. Each squadron will be escorted by 4 destroyers. They will be commanded by rear admirals Halsey, Spruance, Burke, Hart and Ghormley. I’m still a bunch of destroyers short, but they are being build as we speak.

The transprts will be commanded by admiral Kinkaid.

I assign the best Fleet Destroyer generals to the CAGs to maximize their combat potential.

The remaining 4 CL will wait for their carriers (slated for March ’42) and are assigned any Old Guard for now.

In order to know if your squadrons are too large or not, you add the Hull of each ship in the squadron together. The ideal point is slightly over 16 Hull total, so that the skill level of the commanding officer can still easily overcome the Positioning Penalty. Each skill point counteracts a penalty of 10%, so Nimitz, with his skill of 5, can overcome a positioning penalty of 50. This may seem like a lot, but note that sailing in bad weather also gives you a positioning penalty. There are not a whole lot of skill-5 naval leaders in the world (I think Nimitz, Dönitz and Yamamoto are the only ones at the start of the game, with maybe 1 or 2 UK leaders I’m forgetting right now) who can efficiently command a large fleet in a naval battle during a storm.

As a side note, this is why I never give Dönitz command of a submarine squadron in a Germany game. Admirals go down with their ships, and a skill-5 admiral is an asset that deserves more than an anonmymous posting on a sub, which is easily the most sunk type of ship in the game.

I will get deeper into things like positioning after the war has started.


This seems like an excellent place to stop. I will continue this last year at peace soon. See you then!
 
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Avindian

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One thing to possibly add to your AAR; Lend-Lease uses the Host Country's resources, not the country receiving the loan. I know this from my UK AAR; when I had a shortage of metal, the lend-lease the USA sent me still came through fine.

Great AAR, keep it up!
 

misterbean

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Thank you, Avindian. I will change the chapter.
Also, is this your first post? If so, very welcome.
 

facmanpob

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Misterbean,

when I first got HOI3, your Take2 tutorial was the core backbone to my learning the game. Two days ago, having not played the game in over a year and having forgotten half of what I had learned, I thought I'd try out the Fox and Lion mod and have a go as Italy (I've never played them before). Immediately I came back onto the forums to look for some up to date tutorials to help me re-learn the game, and imagine my delight when I found this thread! As usual, the standard of gameplay and explanation is impeccable, and I would like to say a big thank you for taking the time to do this for the community.

Many thanks!
 

misterbean

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Good stuff as always.

Thank you.

Interesting... I had no idea how the Undeclared War and Lend-Lease worked, so that was very informative.

Yes, the main problem with HOI 3 has always been the extremely bad explanations. Let's hope that HOI4 will change that next year.

Misterbean,

when I first got HOI3, your Take2 tutorial was the core backbone to my learning the game. Two days ago, having not played the game in over a year and having forgotten half of what I had learned, I thought I'd try out the Fox and Lion mod and have a go as Italy (I've never played them before). Immediately I came back onto the forums to look for some up to date tutorials to help me re-learn the game, and imagine my delight when I found this thread! As usual, the standard of gameplay and explanation is impeccable, and I would like to say a big thank you for taking the time to do this for the community.

Many thanks!

You are most welcome for those kind words. people have been asking me to do this for a long time now, and I felt like the time was right now that there will never be another update for HOI 3. Note that I have never played that mod, so I have no idea in how much it changes the gameplay compared to vanilla.
 

facmanpob

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Thank you.
You are most welcome for those kind words. people have been asking me to do this for a long time now, and I felt like the time was right now that there will never be another update for HOI 3. Note that I have never played that mod, so I have no idea in how much it changes the gameplay compared to vanilla.
You are very welcome!

The 'Fox and Lion Battalions' mod, to give it its proper name, changes the way divisions are created quite dramatically, with combat elements being represented as "Regimental" size units and support elements as "Battalions". Each division can contain between 6 and 10 units (6 starting, increased through research) and the units that provide CA bonuses are a little different. In addition, the OOB for most of the major nations has been rewritten to be more historically accurate. There are also a host of additional events programmed in for the major nations, with Italy receiving the most, as the mod initially sprang to life as focused around the player controlling them. Finally, there are also a number of research changes as well. The core game works the same, however, so a TFH tutorial such as yours will still be very relevant. :)

The mod has received very good feedback, and so I thought I'd give it a go, as I've played vanilla a lot in the past, and don't feel quite ready to jump straight into something like HPP! I'm only up to March 1936 so far, and my attack on Ethiopia has yet to really get underway (pounding them with Tac bombers to soften them up first!). I'm still waiting for enough spies to get into the SU to bring their threat up, to hopefully divert attention to my plans for the Balkans in 1937/38, and I'm generally trying to get used to having a really limited pool of points for research/officer training etc. :)