Post by TheTruthDealer on Sept 30, 2018 20:11:54 GMT -5
First I want to say thanks for taking the time to read this thread. I am a beginner when it comes to this game and I am in need of help. How do you play the campaign game? I am not talking about what buttons does what, but more in depth. For example, I am playing the Steam and Iron Campaign, and my mission is to send 8 big ships to a certain location. I activated some BB, BC, and DDs, sent them out, completed the task and receive my points. The question is what should I do next? Do I send my ships back to base, do I search for enemy ships? What should I do with ships I do not activate? Should they be training, nothing?
I) In terms of what to do with your ships at Sea, it's kinda dependent on the situation and which side you are playing as. I tend to find that the Germans have the initiative as they have the British coast and merchant traffic as targets for their light forces and battlecruisers. In contrast, the British don't have access to nearly as many targets after the first few weeks and months of the war, and those that they can fire are heavily armed shore batteries on the Belgian Coast. As the British, I find that it pays to keep the fleet at Sea for as long as possible (you will want to get it back to port yourself, and there's a VP penalty if your ships are too far from a base by the end of the mission phase). The High Seas Fleet will not be coming out every turn, and you will want to catch it when it does. As far as the Germans go, it pays to hunt around, particularly early on. As Germany, you don't get many more BBs, and the British outbuild you at any rate. So you've only got a narrow window of time to even the long odds against you.
However, if there's really bad weather or in the winter when there is almost no daylight, I don't stay out very long. Night-fighting is very dangerous, you can run into greatly superior forces without warning, and the worst weather (hurricanes) can sink destroyers and send battleships to the repair yard.
II) In terms of activation: as the British, I lean on the Harwich Force and the Battlecruiser Fleet, as I don't like sending out dreadnought squadrons one-at-a-time (concentration of force is the key there). The Grand Fleet it too huge to go out at the start of a mission phase (every so often is fine, but it burns through Ops points), and I think it's better to do an emergency activation if the High Seas Fleet is spotted. As the Germans, your battlecruisers are good, and the High Seas Fleet is compact enough to sortie at the start of a round, and I kinda think it's better to do that, as an emergency activation also gives time for the Grand Fleet to put to sea.
I almost never sortie the Pre-dreadnoughts (as Germany you may have to, but be careful with them). There are exceptions to all of this, and you will build your own personal preferences.
III) Training requires a good deal of balance, as you can't emergency activate ships that are training (IIRC). Training also eats up Ops points, but really pays off in the end. I prefer to train my BBs and BCs up during the winter when the lack of daylight usually leads me to keep the capital ships in port. CLs and DDs are good to train for small ship actions and to get better screens. I don't generally train CAs, but then again, I never really use them.
I try to avoid using ships that have -1 or -2 unless absolutely forced too.
"I cannot feel that a man-of-war is a proper place for a Chaplain...it seems to me uncommon odd, and precious near to cant, to tell the ship's company of a man-of-war with loaded guns to love your enemy and turn the other cheek when the ship and every man jack aboard her is there to blow the enemy out of the water if he possibly can. Either the hands believe it, and then where is your discipline? Or they don't and then it seems to me to come hellfire close to mockery of holy things" Jack Aubrey
A few thoughts to add to CV10's excellent overview... The first parts look at turn intervals and operations points and apply to both sides.
You do not say what difficulty level or turn length that you are using and these can factor into your operations. I play Rear Admiral difficulty as it allows for greater flexibility when controlling a particular formation. Admiral's difficulty hands off a significant amount of control while Captain's allows micromanagement that would have been the dream of every naval commander.
Turn length (options are 1-week, 2-week or monthly) can drive your operational tempo. Monthly turns set a reasonably historical operational pace since major operations were seldom conducted more than once a month. With weekly turns you need to plan further ahead but it increases the opportunity for attrition of the enemy forces while also increasing the risks to your forces. Unlike difficulty, you can reset turn length whenever you like so weekly in the summer and monthly in the winter are certainly options.
Managing Operations Points is much more difficult using weekly turns because there is a tendency to over spend which may not leave enough to counter an enemy sortie. Note how many you receive and try to accumulate some each turn, so if you got 200 OP last turn, spending 150 for submarines, a minelaying sortie by light forces and training adds 50 OP to your total. It costs about 900+ to sortie the Grand Fleet (probably 700+ for the HSF) and there is a penalty applied if you accumulate too many. Eat the penalty, with OPs points, too many is always better than too few. With OPs, when to spend and how many becomes more of an issue using weekly turns and it helps yo think several turns ahead.
Understand that if you just cycle the turn without going to sea, the enemy collects whatever VP they would get while the possibility of attrition from mines and submarines is effectively zero. As the RN, it's better to spend a turn patrolling the Channel with a DD flotilla and hoping that any German forces run into an offensive minefield or submarine. As for mines, they should be a vital component of your strategy. Minefields come in two flavours, defensive to protect your coasts and offensive laid near the enemy's coast. Use both, in my current RN campaign, both types of minefields in 90-weeks of war have sunk 1-Pre-Dreadnought, 1-Armoured Cruiser, 7-Light Cruisers, 13-Torpedo Boats, a merchant, a raider and 9-U-Boats. German mines have hurt me too and an offensive mine cost me a damaged Dreadnought (HMS Conqueror) returning to base with major gunfire damage.
Do not get wrapped up over VP for missions. Once you understand that losing a cruiser worth 6500 VP to accomplish a Reach mission that gives 3000 VP, you can better assess the risks involved when you plan your turn. I always try to achieve the mandatory missions but completing the optional ones is dependent on my goals for the turn.
I differ from CV10 regarding the use of single battle squadrons. The British 2nd Battle Squadron with its uniform 13.5" guns is a very powerful unit and when sailing with the Splendid Cats and later the 5th Battle Squadron makes an extremely formidable yet compact and easy to handle force. For the HSF, dispersion is best and a pair of Derrflinger's well escorted by light forces can wreck havoc on the armed merchant cruisers of the blockade or the UK-Norway trade. The Pre-Dreadnoughts have little utility in the North Sea and spending OP to keep them trained up should be avoided unless you are really fat for OPs or dreadnought losses have made them relevant. As the RN I move the 3rd Battle Squadron to Shearness and forget about it. British armoured cruisers have no place in the southern North Sea but can be useful patrolling for raiders or blockade runners near Norway. The few Germans of that type should just keep the pre-dreadnoughts of Squadron II company for the duration.
Avoid night actions with your battleships but force night battles if you are strong in torpedo craft and can manoeuvre your heavy units out of harms way and here playing at Rear Admiral difficulty is helpful. Arranging a submarine or mine trap as was a big part of Scheer's strategy extremely difficult and making one the centre piece of your operations for the turn should be avoided.
Good Luck, please let us know how it goes.
Last Edit: Oct 3, 2018 15:19:33 GMT -5 by randomizer
Post by TheTruthDealer on Apr 30, 2019 17:10:36 GMT -5
Thanks, everybody for the responses and the suggestions. I am finally able to give an update on my current game. I am really enjoy playing now and have a much better understanding of how things work because of this post.
I am currently playing as the Germans in the Nort Sea Campaign. It is December 8, 1914 and I am on turn 19. I am using randomizer's suggestion of playing one month turns in the winter and two weeks turns during the other seasons. I currently have 69,059 VP and Great Britain has -114,280 with a difference of 183,339 VP. I am playing on normal diffuculty.
The question I have, do you send out multiple squadrons of ships to accomplish multiple goals in the same turn? For example, if I sent out a few BC, CL and DD to bombard a coastal target, should I also send out a separate group of ships to try to raid another part of the map? Do the ships I send out all need to focus on a single objective?
I often use separate groups to carry out different objectives. I undertake a mining mission on virtually every turn and may undertake other unconnected missions.
Just make sure you don't forget to keep an eye on the unengaged force when in combat so it does not wander into an uncompromising situation. Also, make sure you give your minelayers a large destroyer escort to cover any retreats (minelayers are slow, vulnerable, limited in number and one of your most valuable assets).