jcrohio
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Hidden Units (especially Russian)

Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:39 pm

Playing my second campaign as the CP using the Russia first strategy - noticed this in my first game but am really noticing it in this game.

The Russian front has numerous regions that contain no Russian sprites but when you click your mouse on the region there are units there - sometimes HQs and sometimes numerous units. It has gotten to the point where I click all over the board just trying to figure out where I can move.

Anyone seen this and is this normal?

Jack

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Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:35 pm

I had a look at the save that you posted and see what you mean. However, never seen anything similar so far. Having turned off Fog of War and examined the Fronts; I do not think that what your seeing is "normal" per se but might have some WAG's that are just that - guesses.

You have hit the Russian army very hard, the AI has far too few Corps to establish anything resembling a continuous front and the WW1G AI seems to prioritize doing this. Your save is taken at the start of the Redeployment Phase, the AI has already redeployed. This should explain why they were not there last turn.

It has also spawned a considerable number of dummy detachments, particularly in the area of your isolated German First Army. The only place where the front is even close to being continuously occupied by real units is in front of the Austrian forces, particularly the Austrian First Army.

The door to Ukraine is mostly wide open to the Bulgarian's except for the huge stack of eight army HQ's. However only one of those, HQ Thirteenth Army, contains any Corps.

The AI can perform actions that the Player cannot, redeploying across Front boundaries for example but I suspect what's happening in your game is that you have flummoxed the AI and it cannot figure out what to do.

It lacks the Corps to create anything resembling a continuous front so it groups what forces it can in front of the lessor threat - the Austrians. It may have generated a number of replacement army HQ's during the Interphase but lacks the forces to fill them and so parked them on top of its strongest surviving HQ, Thirteenth Army. It then generates a large number of dummies in an attempt to exploit the isolation of your German First Army.

What you may be seeing is an AI that really does not know what to do, particularly with its army HQ's as it lacks the forces to fill them since most of the surviving Corps are as independent detachments.

Must reiterate that everything above is nothing more than wild-a$$ed guesses but I think you're seeing an AI that cannot solve its tactical problems. Provided those HQ's do not start teleporting into Berlin or Vienna, I suggest enjoying the ride and knock Russia out by Summer.

As the Central Powers it's nice when you can keep Britain out, isn't it?

-C

jcrohio
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Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:09 pm

Thanks Random - what you say makes sense - I thought I had hit the Russian Army hard - both of my CP games I focused on isolation as opposed to just combat and managed to surround huge number of Russian armies - so I was surprised to see all these units showing up

One last question - I have played two games now as the CP - have yet to play the Entente - have dragged my feet because of the naval war - I have have done nothing with the CP navy in two games and managed to defeat the Entente - I suspect I will be forced to use the navy if I play the Entente - my question is thus this: which side do you find most enjoyable and how much do you use the navy?
Jack

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Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:28 pm

You could get away without using your navies as the CP because you fought a continental war against continental enemies. You even managed to keep Britain neutral in your last game and so perhaps could have been a bit more aggressive with the HSF, perhaps raiding the French Channel coast to whittle away at their NW. Likewise in the Baltic and Black Seas.

Like other aspects of WW1G, the naval war is chock full of historical flavour and once you get past the built in bias' against the Royal Navy in the Stock game, many of the aspects of the real naval war shine through. That's why I wrote my Naval Mods, the historical foundation of the game's naval sub-game is solid enough that modding out the uber-High Seas Fleet seemed worth while.

Essentially, you use navies in the game as they were used in the event. As the CP, not using your fleets in most situations is probably the correct answer to the question How do you use your navies? For the Entente the answer may be different particularly if Britain is at war.

Amphibious operations are eased by gaining sea control, an expensive operation that is not guaranteed. Stock requires six-ship units (mistakenly called 'ships') to attempt a control mission but I edited it to three. This seems to do a couple of things, it makes naval actions in the Black and Baltic Seas a practical proposition, it means that on occasion the German's have the option to combine raiders and attempt sea control in the far seas and it makes the smaller fleets like the Greek and Dutch navies relevant.

Just open the file NavalMissions.csv, find the line:

NM_Control;3;4;[color="#FF0000"]6[/color];[IDS_CONTROL_NAVAL_MISSION]

and change it to:

NM_Control;3;4;[color="#00FF00"]3[/color];[IDS_CONTROL_NAVAL_MISSION]

Now it only takes 3-ship units to attempt sea control and you may find that, in the long run the naval AI will be more active, particularly outside the North Sea.

As the Entente you absolutely need Britain in the war and you need the Blockade. You also need to build all the destroyers you can and send them out into the North Sea and North Atlantic Ocean to fight the U-Boats. I have found that if you dominate these areas the German AI will often not pour a lot of resources into building U-Boats. However, if it does, the British economy and NW can be hit very hard, particularly starting from the winter 1916-17 interphase in my experience. Provided of course that the CP can hang on that long but if the CP gets the upper hand in the U-Boat war, your pretty battleships become more or less useless.

The HSF may contest command of the North Sea, if it wins, the effects of the blockade are nil until the next Interphase but since your anti U-Boat forces are light cruisers and destroyers, these may be vulnerable to attacks by AI heavy units. Against this is the fact that using ships aggressively is expensive in money and losing them costs NW. Building additional capital ships is an expensive long-term investment and often by the time you have enough money to spare, you are running out of time. Besides, you may not need them since you get a free fleet if you can bring the USA into the war.

Build and deploy mines every Interphase that you can. Plant them off the German naval bases and in British coastal waters; mines can achieve some spectacular naval attrition at little cost. Keep your battle fleets on patrol missions ready to support your light forces. Because the German raiders are so difficult to kill, keeping squadrons overseas will probably last for years. If Japan joins the Entente, the Japanese fleet can be useful for raider hunting in the far seas. If Italy is an ally, there is little for that fleet or the French Navy to do in the Med. This is as it should be but if Italy joins the CP, the French Navy can have a meaningful role conducting raids and the like. The Adriatic generally fills up with mines and can be expensive to enter so leave it as an Austrian lake.

I think most of the above is applicable whether you're running the game modified or stock, the naval engine is, in my opinion, pretty representative of the real situation.

Personally I think the game is at its best in the 1915 or 1916 Campaign scenarios rather than the Grand Campaigns. With these you walk into somebody else's mess and are expected to fix it.

Good Luck!

-C

jcrohio
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Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:20 pm

Thanks Random - I did do some raiding on France early in my current game as the CP - could not decide if the cost of the raid justified the economic damage done to France - I also always returned from the raids with damaged ships that needed repaired so more expense (never was quite sure what got them damaged) - question here - can you just park a raiding force in a coastal area of France and just have it raid turn after turn? (tried but did not seem to work)

I use your naval mod - admired what you did with it

I have convinced myself to try the Entente with my next game - I have a lot of time off right now (basically 2.5 months!) and will keep plugging away with the game and the rulebook (and hopefully the forums!) until I get it - I think ultimetly the Entente is the side I would like to play

Jack

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Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:08 pm

I think that you acted correctly by not leaving raiding forces at sea. Naval raids usually have little economic impact but a successful raid costs the target nation national will and after the rush of the first years, nobody should have too much NW to spare.

The most likely cause of the damage that you received was French defensive minefields and or offensive mines laid in your waters. There's no provisions for minesweeping but mousing over the mine icon should activate a tool tip that tells you who owns them. Pretty sure that you are invulnerable to your own mines but there is no provisions for mine sweeping so if you detect enemy mines you now need to weigh the prospects of attrition against the potential gain from the naval sortie. It is easy to miss mine attacks, watch for explosion symbols to appear on your ship icons as they move and a dialogue should appear in the text box but these generally pass by very quickly and are easily missed.

Just to be clear, in the language of the day defensive mines are placed in own waters while offensive mines are laid in enemy waters. These are historical concepts only, in the game all mines are the same, Level 1 or Level 2 and they may only be placed in coastal waters within a specific distance of a friendly port. The AI tends to mine heavily and indiscriminately and you should too.

Thank you for the kind words regarding the Naval Mod, I'm glad it seems to work as intended.

My side of choice in WW1G is generally the Entente, the AI has beaten me using either side as I have "won" playing both as well.

Regards.

-C

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