Chapter 46: Manual Assignment of convoys.
As promised, I am going to start today’s chapter with a look at the state of our research.
Airborne Warfare Equipment and Mechanised Infantry are the only ones I will research here in 1941. As a democracy, there is not that high of a revolt risk in occupied territory, so we can afford not to research military police or garrison/militia techs.
Our tanks are up-to-date. So is the artillery. I could research heavy tanks, but that would add another 4 techs and I doubt that I’ll be able to get on par with German tech in this regard anyway.
As you can see, I have reached level 3 of the ASW tech and it is currently greyed out. This is because ASW is tied to the radar tech in the industry tab. We will need to research the next level of radar before we can continue researching ASW.
We just need some better hangars on our carriers to get them up-to-date. I think that 1942, the next level, will be the last one I research, but that will depend largely on how the Pacific war goes. If the US Navy sinks plenty of Japanese ships, we’ll be ok. If they get their rear end handed to them, I will have to take over “leadership” here eventually, and that means I might have to go for 1944 tech.
We are currently researching onboard radar for both our bombers and fighters, and, in case you missed it, our ships as well.
As you can see, radar is currently a 1942 tech. I will begin researching it as soon as we get an opening, as well as education.
Not much to tell here. The 3 techs that matter are up-to-date.
Land Doctrines. Combined Arms warfare will add 10% to the Armour stat of hard units (tanks, mechanised infantry, and so on). This will make it harder for them to be Pierced. Why am I researching Superior Fire Doctrine? Well, it gives me the option of adding AT to my infantry later on, if they need it to liberate Europe.
Naval Doctrines are all but up-to-date.
As you can see, most of my effort right now is dedicated to improving the RAF. I don’t have a lot of planes, so it certainly makes it all the more important to make them as good as they can possibly be. I have also started research on Airborne assault Tactics, which I should have started a long time ago, but never got around to.
I have also told you that I would show you how to manage your convoys manually.
As you can see, the abysmal infrastructure in North Africa is such that not enough supplies are flowing to our units in Tripoli. It would make sense, especially with the Regia Marina no longer being much of an issue, to send supplies directly to Tripoli. I don’t understand the AI’s reasoning in terms of where supplies get send. It will happily send supplies to empty islands all over the world, but not where I need them to go. So I am going to send those supplies myself.
If you click on the “send convoy” button, in the lower right corner of the production tab, you get this screen. Here you can manage the level of automation for the AI. The first two will enable the AI to create or delete resource and supply convoys respectively. The third one will enable the AI to assign escorts to your transports as needed.
These are checked by default, and, in most circumstances, there is little need to change it. The AI is quite capable in this regard. But I have had games as Germany, where I have taken Norway and the AI will send convoys to Narvik, in the far north, subjecting them to Allied convoy raiding, when it makes more sense to just send them to Oslo, just one seazone away from the nearest Danish port. So sometimes it makes sense to intervene manually, which is what I am going to do right now.
I uncheck the middle button, because I want to send a supply convoy. You need to turn off the AI for a moment if you want to do this. Then I click the button marked "create supply convoy".
Next, you choose where you want the convoy to depart from. This particular convoy will start in Plymouth.
Then you select your destination, in this case Tripoli. I don’t know how the ports are organised, so you may have to spend a little time finding the port you need in the list.
This screen is next. It is a supply convoy, so in the top row you check supplies and fuel, to indicate what you want to send. If this were a reserouce convoy, you could set it to pick up specific resources somewhere and bring them home instead.
Below that, you will see two pictures of ships with “+” and “-“ buttons next to them. The upper “ship” are the actual convoys. The game will tell you how many ships you can include as a maximum in the convoy. I have ensured that the game will assign the full 5 transport ships (unlucky name; these are not troop transports but convoy transports, you build 10 of these in every “convoy” you build in the production screen).
The bottom “ship” are the escorts. I choose not to assign escorts at this time.
You can cancel the convoy or you can close the window, which brings you back to the normal production screen.
The bottom convoy is the one we have just created: a convoy sending supplies and fuel from Plymouth to Tripoli.
Note the one just above that, which is the Lend Lease I am getting from the US. These are actual ships that can be sunk by enemy raiders. As you can see, they are coming from Boston. If they were under heavy attack, I could send a patrol to protect these by choosing the proper mission for any naval squadron.
The last thing you need to do, unless you’re an experienced player, is to click the “create convoy” button again and check the “autocreate/destroy supply convoy” checkmark again. If you forget to do this, the game will expect you to do all of this by hand. This would not be much of an issue for someone like Germany, who are mostly a landbased power, but for the UK, it is much easier to just turn the AI back on. All you have to do, is keep an eye on things, to make sure that the AI doesn’t delete your manually created convoy.
The easiest way to check, is by switching on the naval or supply mapmodes. Red convoys are supply convoys. As you can see, the arrow ending in Tripoli is the one we just created. As long as that arrow is there, the convoy is running.
Well, a short chapter where nothing happened, but I am going to end it here, because I have 20 screenshots allready. See you next time!