misterbean

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I've never had a game where it was necessary for the allies to land troops on mainland Asia to conquer Japan, Japan proper seemed to be enough to force surrender.

That was certainly true in my testgames.
 

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Very impressive results. In comparison, Midway was a Kindergarten fight. Well done ! :cool:

I would be interested in your submarine grand strategy.
Playing the USA, I usually rebase a great number of subs in the Philippines so to turn the zone between Taiwan and Hainan into a huge ironbottomed bay. Though it doesn't give the victory, it brings a great strain on the japanese industry (IC) to compensate the convoys losses.

With regards to the naval battle against the Tirpitz, why did you expect ?
These old (late '20) US cruisers with their small 203mm guns are no match for the powerful Panzerschiffen. I'm just surprized the IA was so bold to send them in such unfriendly waters so close to England and its airfields...
 

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Very impressive results. In comparison, Midway was a Kindergarten fight. Well done ! :cool:

I would be interested in your submarine grand strategy.
Playing the USA, I usually rebase a great number of subs in the Philippines so to turn the zone between Taiwan and Hainan into a huge ironbottomed bay. Though it doesn't give the victory, it brings a great strain on the japanese industry (IC) to compensate the convoys losses.

With regards to the naval battle against the Tirpitz, why did you expect ?
These old (late '20) US cruisers with their small 203mm guns are no match for the powerful Panzerschiffen. I'm just surprized the IA was so bold to send them in such unfriendly waters so close to England and its airfields...


My submarine strategy is to take out as many convoys as I can in places where they can't reach me. If the Japanese AI is stupid enough to keep their trade with Ireland going, then why shouls I risk my subs in Asian waters? I admit that a more aggressive stance in this area would yield great results, but I wanted to research as little as possible so that I could keep the really important stuff up-to-date.

As for Tirpitz, after the first fight, I didn't expect them to return to the same waters so soon. When they did, I was taken by surprise. By the time I realised the UK wasn't going to help me, I had no choice but to run for cover. By that time, it was too late.
 

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Oh, that happened in my experimental strategic bomber-focused game.

I'm here to say that I don't have the patience to micro-manage the effort required to monitor every mission. I had nineteen units of 3xSTRAT that mostly ended up sitting. I tried the swarm approach with nine units, and had the snot kicked out of them. The Germans were ahead in fighter technologies, and every unit was badly bloodied. I was basing in England. I figured I'd run one massive sortie to see what would happen, and while I lost no bombers, every unit had at least one in single-digits for strength. These were current-teched (1943) bombers.

I may try again at some point, but I'm delving back into Germany for the moment.
 

misterbean

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I just have to make a quick aside - I saw a British submarine sink the Bismark the other night in one of my games. I figured it had to have been battered badly for that to happen.

Yeah, probably a lucky shot during surprise against a mauled ship. Very rare.

Oh, that happened in my experimental strategic bomber-focused game.

I'm here to say that I don't have the patience to micro-manage the effort required to monitor every mission. I had nineteen units of 3xSTRAT that mostly ended up sitting. I tried the swarm approach with nine units, and had the snot kicked out of them. The Germans were ahead in fighter technologies, and every unit was badly bloodied. I was basing in England. I figured I'd run one massive sortie to see what would happen, and while I lost no bombers, every unit had at least one in single-digits for strength. These were current-teched (1943) bombers.

I may try again at some point, but I'm delving back into Germany for the moment.

That is the problem for most strategic-level missions for me as well, including submarine convoy hunting. You need to keep a close eye on them the whole time, and I just don't have the patience for it.
 

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...I had nineteen units of 3xSTRAT that mostly ended up sitting. I tried the swarm approach with nine units, and had the snot kicked out of them. The Germans were ahead in fighter technologies, and every unit was badly bloodied. I was basing in England. I figured I'd run one massive sortie to see what would happen, and while I lost no bombers, every unit had at least one in single-digits for strength. These were current-teched (1943) bombers.
One trick that could help...
Up to a certain extent, you can lure the AI (and sometimes human players as well).
Forget the air raids "à la Schweinfurt" ; instead, target some points in northern France or Belgium/NL. Where exactly doesn't really matter as long as these targeted points are WITHIN range of your UK-based fighters.
Start bombing, wait for the response of the Luftwaffe and crush the enemy fighters. Once the Opfor has bled enough (i.e. no more defense fighters), you can target some more valuable areas deep inside the Reich's territory.
The micro-management can be tedious but it's worth trying.
 

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Good one, Nicegil. If you're playing the UK, this trick becomes especially potent the first couple of months after the fall of France, when UK gets the "Their Finest Hour" decision that makes them all but unbeatable in a dogfight.
 

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I've used that exactly for the reason misterbean mentions - Their Finest Hour. I hadn't thought it through enough for the USA with the bombers.

Still, 19 units of STRAT with up-to-date techs and current theory techs is an impressive accomplishment. It shows how crazy the USA is, considering I had a full complement of everything I needed, too.
 

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Personally, I just use the to logistical strike everything.

Sure, your factories are undamaged.

Does it matter when you have no resources in the first place to feed them? To fuel the blitz?

And soon afterwords, your supply will go.
 

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TheStrategyGuy, I would think so. I was just commenting no convoys should make a lot of outlying units out of supply,
 

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In game, it is al but impossible to starve the UK of resources through subs. What the subs will do, however, is keep the British everywhere else OOS. Alexandria may be a supply depot, for instance, but they still need to receive the actual supplies from London.
 

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Since we're on the topic, have you tested the efficiency of naval bombers in commerce raiding ?
In my current AAR, 4 NAV (and two Flying Boats) succeded in sunking over 404 convoys and 64 escorts in the first 8 months of 1941 (almost as good as my 10 Sub flotillas : 402 convoys, 148 escorts).
Given I'm using SF+ICE mod but what about in TFH ?
 

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I've never tested their efficacy enough to give a solid answer. They're effective in TFH, but I'm not sure just how effective they are. I could see running a few German NAVs out of Brest on a regular sweep, though.
 

misterbean

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I know from Secret Master that he could use Navs to completely sink the entire merchant navy of the UK from ports in France, so they most definitely do work.
 

misterbean

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Now I must try this thing.

Keep in mind that, AFAIK, when SM tries tests something like that, he does not always care about the war past a certain point. For instance, I once challenged him to attain the RL production of the US by 1945. He made it, but he also didn't do a single thing in the entire war because he wanted to keep the results as pure as possible.
In other words, if you're still planning to do Barbarossa, you might need to adjust the build program to account for the massive numbers of NAV, compared to a standard German build.
 

misterbean

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9zS3zrE.png


Chapter 22: Moves And Countermoves.


The enemy makes plans, just like we do. That is something which is sometimes easy to forget, especially in a landbound campaign. But even the Soviet Union has the potential to land troops behind Germany’s back, anywhere on the Baltic coastline, if Germany lets them.


Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Pacific Theater, where the vast, empty ocean makes it exceedingly difficult to hamper enemy moves. There are a couple of ways you could counter this. What the US did in RL, was to use their submarines as their eyes and ears, coupled with the fact that they had broken Japanese navy codes. You could certainly try this, but it would involve getting your subs into a fight to draw your attention. The US can certainly build more subs than Japan can sink, but it is still less than ideal.


J5SGg0W.png


In the game, you can use your intelligence screen to get a great variety of information about your enemy, such as their approximate NU, dissent, IC, MP and much more, including a look at part of their production. It is an approximation and the accuracy depends on the number of spies you have in their country, their current mission, and so on. My spies are set to Disrupt Japan’s NU, because that makes it easier to defeat them.

Military Espionage will show you on the main map where enemy forces are located, sometimes showing you the type of unit/plane/ship you’re looking at. Again, this is not exact, and their actual location might be a couple of provinces or seazones away, but it is better than nothing. Radar is vital in this regard, as it gives you added details about the enemy.

The espionage screen also shows you what they are researching and what their strong techs are. Most of the time you can ignore this. You don’t need spies to tell you that Japan is very dangerous when it comes to naval stuff, do you?

But sometimes, it can be vital, such as when you notice a Nuclear Test Site in Germany’s build queu.

In this case, you can see that they are very strong when it comes to Medium Bomber Practical. What does this mean? Well, it means that Japan has a lot of two-engine bombers at hand (tactical and naval bombers). In other words, we are going to need a lot of aerial protection when we get there.


But first we have to get there.


5HShGby.png


I have switched things around a bit. The 1st Fleet has all the damaged ships. The others have been divided among the other fleets.

I have also rebased some of the CAGs to airbases on the island, so that my new CAGs can replace them, having full strength and organisation. This way, you (hopefully) have a steady supply of CAGs on standby.


zJziTad.png


A side effect of the ferocious past month, is the skill level of my commanders. Naval commanders tend to rise quickly in this type of environment, but keep in mind that if a squadron sinks, it takes their commanding officer with it.


I have IC being wasted, so I add 2 more M/R to the queu. You can never have too many fighters. Don’t get me wrong, you need bombers, but I’m an air superiority afficionado. If you rule the skies, you can divert bombers at will. Or, at least, that is my theory. Having wrecked 4 CAGs in the previous chapter, I seem vindicated in this regard.


By the 15th, I get started on the next generation of bomber techs.


HMAk92t.png


I finally finish Carrier Task Force, which makes my CAGs even deadlier in naval combat. I have a feeling we’ll need that before all this is done.


More IC becomes available as upgrades finish, allowing me to add another Armour division to the queu.


On the 23rd of August, more CAGs finish. I will keep them in groups of 2 in San Diego until they get organised. With the extra IC, I start training a new motorised division and, a couple of days later, my 2nd Paratroop division (101st Airborne, in this case, who I do plan on prioritising for supplies and reinforcements; we all have our heroes), and another M/R.


While I wait for repairs to finish, my submarines just south of Ireland keep sinking Japanese convoys and escorts. I think they lose over 10 ships in the course of this chapter, which equals about 1 entire convoy in just a couple of weeks, and they can do nothing about it.


oaPXk4f.png


Remember when I was talking about intelligence before? Sometimes, you just get lucky. This single cruiser makes the mistake of getting too close to my port. They get intercepted and will never make it to their destination.


UXDBQgp.png


Japan has started the invasion of the Phillipines. For some reason, they nearly always come from that side, blissfully ignoring Luzon, the main island, until later. Something you could use to your advantage in your own games, perhaps.


wfagnkb.png


By the 10th, repairs are complete, and I launch the next step towards Japan. Iwo Jima. Contrary to RL, this is usually just another atol like all the others. But because we are getting close to the main islands, I don’t take any chances with my Assault Fleet, carefully shielding them from all directions.


1OVQJ3E.png


Moves and countermoves. Instead of coming at me with everything they have, like I had hoped, they turn the tables on me, trying a simultaneous landing on Wake island and Guam. This one does not have any carriers, so the 3rd Fleet, along with my land-based fighters, should be able to handle it.


AVu8inz.png


Guam, however, has been emptied of all ships, and I am forced to scramble everything south, leaving the Assault Fleet protected by the 1st Fleet only. If this were a human player, now would have been a very good time to attack my assault force with the rest of his carriers. Luckily enough, the AI is not devious enough for that.


1LaxTUJ.png


Six hours later, the vanguard of my navy comes in hard, once again facing Akagi in battle over the same island. Say what you will about the AI, but it is a persistent fellow. He will keep trying until he has succeeded. In a Germany-first campaign, you could use that stubborn streak against him, fighting a defensive battle, whittling him down one ship at a time if you have to, until the enemy has nothing left to send your way.

Just for the record, if you plan on doing that as Germany to wear down the Royal Navy, keep in mind that the distances are much smaller, and the UK has a ton more ships (in this very campaign, they have 192 ships). They can afford to lose a couple, while Germany needs every one of them in a naval move. In other words, it can be done, if you keep your fleet under a close umbrella of land-based fighters, and are very careful.


KzQIgLU.png


Once again, the Japanese CAGs will be overwhelmed. When CTF 1 gets there, there will be a total of 22 American airwings set against them. At some point, the concentration of firepower allows you to overcome even the worst stacking penalties in the game.


Wim7Cmp.png


Back in the battle for Wake. Take a look at USS Arizona. These two shots are taken 5 hours apart. You can clearly see that the ship is hanging on by a thread, and is trying to leave the combat zone (see how far she has moved back on the second shot). If this were the only capital ship in the squadron, she would pull the rest of her screens with her and try to end combat. In pitched battle between surface ships, you can sometimes use this to get a visual idea about the readiness of the opposing forces.


iNE6G1D.png


USS Kongo has been sunk. This was designated the Pride Of the Fleet. Her captain would get extra experience in combat (a 20% bonus, IIRC), but sinking her gives Japan 2 points of dissent. A nation can only have 1 Pride Of The Fleet at a time. You can assign this honour to any BB, BC or CA in your fleet. This XP, that I’m talking about, is reflected in the gold stars in the ship’s description. It has nothing to do with the admiral that is commanding it. It will make the ship more dangerous in combat, not the admiral.


Unhindered by any sort of Imperial interference, the invasion of Iwo Jima overcomes the garrison by 2200 hours on the 12th of September.


qXZHOcH.png


The fighting in Agana Bay keeps on going. 4th and 5th Fleet are done, and I pull them out of the fight, sending them to Saipan for repairs. Both have lost battleships and I want to make sure I don’t lose the rest of them too. This happens sometimes, when all the ships on the other side target the same ship by accident. Naval combat is a lot deadlier than land combat.


ryNXvID.png


As expected, the fight for Wake is a clear victory. Once again, the heroic 3rd Fleet drops anchor for massive repairs. USS Arizona is down to 32% Strength. The rest of them are between 40% and 85%.


5G4uPK2.png


In the other fight, the Japanese marines give up and try to leave. They can’t however, and a second battle erupts in the same seazone. On my side, only the 7th Destroyer Division has been badly mauled. The other ships are still is relatively good shape. This time, however, they have better positioning than King does, and I only manage to sink 2 cruisers and a destroyer.

In the amphibious landing, we lost 66 men. Japan lost 1077. I am liking those odds.


Pda5CkT.png


Now that we have Iwo Jima, Tokyo is within range of my Strategic Bombers. If you didn’t know about this little trick, it’s a TFH feature. Select a province and hover the mouse over any other province. The tooltip will tell you the distance in a straight line. This is mostly useful for keeping your divisions in range of their HQs. So, just like RL, we could build an airbase on Iwo Jima and start sending strats to hammer them into submission, if we wanted to.

Or had any Strats to bomb them with in the first place. You know, minor details like that. Shut up, they’re under construction. I’m the teacher and I know what I’m doing. :D

Of course, Japan is bound to have fighters on the main island, so any Strat mission over there would get seriously mauled. But you could do it, if you wanted to pay the price for being able to temporarily shut down some of Japan’s IC. Now would be a good time to talk about the way HOI 3 handles repairs of forts, factories and such more. The rate of repair is a function of the level of infrastructure. In other words, since Tokyo is a high-infra province, their factories wouldn't stay closed very long. The same thing applies in Europe. Strategic bombers have their uses in the game, such as Logistical Strikes to stop an enemy advance long enough to get your defense organised, for instance. Strategic Bombing missions, however, are largely useless unless you have a way to keep their infrastructure down as well.

At any rate, we are now more than within range for the Assault Fleet to reach Japan, and that matters more to me than being able to bomb them.


veZ8N0E.png


What? When did they retake Marcus? I never got a pop-up for it. Not that it actually matters. I only needed it to get closer to Japan itself.


yoWgrY1.png


More bad news. I have lost 4 battleships without getting a pop-up.


eBsWAJ0.png


And this is one message I could have done without. Kamikaze gives Japan a massive bonus on Naval Strike and, I believe, Port Strike missions, like the ones you’d use with your land-based bombers to fight off an amphibious invasion.


A couple more pictures because I wanted to check something. I have tag-switched to Japan for these. I normally don’t do this, unless I want to satisfy my curiosity, and you shouldn’t. It is very gamey. In this case, however, as a tutorial, I feel it's warranted.


2pr5EiN.png


This is the fleet that has been giving me such a hard time. It is in pretty bad shape, but can you see what’s missing?



No?



Check again.



No CAGs. I though that I had shot them out of the sky. Turns out it is true.


Japan, according to the ledger, has 4 carriers and 2 light carriers. Also according to the ledger, they have 5 CAGs. That means they no longer have enough CAGs to keep every carrier-type ship provided for. Just like in RL, Japan is losing planes faster than they can replace them.

For now, at least, the Japanese Carrier Force is not a factor of major concern, but we saw earlier that they were building more.

As it turns out, my earlier suspicions are true as well. Japan has 8 Tac and 9 NAV. In a fight to stop my invasion, they won’t need their carriers to pose a very real threat to my ships.


The war is not over yet.


This chapter, however, is. See you next time!
 
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Daedwartin

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Misterbean, half of the ships you lost were Colorado-class dreadnoughts.

The only way you could have had worse ships in that fleet was having freaking South Carolinas.


The other 2 were also dreadnoughts.

It's no surprise they floundered your BBs.
 

ThatStrategyGuy

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I'm curious, you seem to build a lot of Multi-role planes can I ask why you prefer them over other planes? I've always felt that if I need Air superiority I'll build fighters and if I need to bomb something I'll build CAS or Bombers