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Argothair

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  1. Update: I double-checked the rules and you don't get the discount on rebuilding ships, so my idea about Pearl Harbor being easily skippable mostly falls apart. I still question how you're supposed to gain an economic edge as the Axis unless the Allies screw up fairly badly somewhere, because the advantage just about everywhere seems to belong to the defender. As the defender, you get bonuses for entrenchment, bonuses for better supply, bonuses for defensive terrain, partisans, operational movement, and home guards that appear out of nowhere due to scripted events. As the attacker, you get...the possibility of a surprise attack against weaker, poorer countries like Poland and Norway, and even if you win, the cities you capture are often capped at 8 MPPs/turn or even at 5 MPPs/turn. I can see how Paris, Kiev, and perhaps even London would fall just because the Axis start out with this initial advantage in forces that the Allies don't have the time or cash to neutralize in the early game, but against a competent opponent, I just don't see how it's possible for the Axis to reach economic parity, let alone accumulate an economic advantage. Even if the Axis hold Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, Turkey, north Africa, and the Ukraine, the Soviet Union *still* earns about as much as Germany and Italy combined. Even if Japan owns Burma, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea, and central China, the USA still earns more than Japan. Trying to expand past those borders as the Axis quickly becomes an exercise in frustration because you start burning through garrison units and exceeding your force pool just to hold off the partisans. E.g. Australia requires 4 guard units plus however many you need to hold off the USA; India requires 5 guard units, and at some point you're spending more on building the garrisons and shipping them across the world than you can realistically hope to earn back from 5 MPPs/city/turn before the game ends. This might work out OK if you had units to spare, but you really don't -- just holding the front lines in eastern Europe against the Soviet Union requires about 80% of the garrison and corps units in the German force pool, and similarly, just holding the line against the Chinese requires about 80% of the Japanese land-based force pool. I would say the answer for Japan is to crush China first and go on adventures later, but the bulk of the Chinese economy is concentrated in mines and cities in the extreme northwest, in what today would be Xinjiang, meaning that even if you cut off the Nanjing coastal trade, the Burma Road, and the Hump supply flights and capture 4+ Chinese cities, China *still* has a perfectly healthy economy and can easily replace its losses for several years running. What are other players doing as the Axis in this game? What's your grand strategy? Do you even worry about your economy, or do you focus on encircling enemies so you can destroy them while they're out of supply, or do you just blitz to Moscow and then blitz to all of the backup capitals in the Urals, or what? The game is a ton of fun, but I'm wondering how it's 'supposed' to go when you're playing a human instead of just the relatively easy AI.
  2. I've read that when your units are destroyed at Supply of 5 or greater, they go back into your queue at a reduced cost (60%) and reduced build time. Even if the units are totally out of supply, they're still not actually removed from the enemy force pool; they can be rebuilt at 100% cost. Given that reinforcements already cost 50% of the base cost of a unit and that defenders often have a combat advantage based on terrain (mountains, harbors, entrenchment, etc.), can you really gain much of an advantage economically by taking pains to wholly destroy enemy units? When the enemy unit is the last unit in the way of occupying a valuable city or oil mine and your opponent can't quickly replace it, or, even better, if you can force an enemy to surrender by destroying the last unit guarding the capital and then occupying their capital, then I could see where destroying units helps swing the MPP balance in your favor. But if you're just destroying units for the sake of destroying units, and you can't encircle them, then are you really ever going to gain an advantage? Some examples: Pearl Harbor lets you blow up US battleships on the cheap, but given that the starting US Pacific fleet usually isn't quite a match for the Japanese fleet in December 1941, does forcing the US to rebuild its battleships really slow them down that much? Your carriers will likely take hits and need expensive repairs. The carriers will be out of action for several months while they sail all the way east to Pearl Harbor, then all the way west to your home ports for proper resupply, then all the way back east to whereever the front lines are. Not having the carriers available to support your starting attacks on Indonesia, Singapore, Phillipines, etc. means that you either conquer fewer islands in the first round of landings, or you conquer them more slowly. Either way, you take a big hit to your income; every turn that Davao or Manila or Batavia still stands is another turn that you're not getting oil convoys from the Dutch East Indies. If you build extra carriers early in the game to allow you to hit all fronts at once, then that costs you the opportunity to build extra Special Forces, ground support aircraft for China, and so on. Those extra Special Forces could be the margin of victory in Burma, Australia, the Solomons, etc. So do you really want to go blow up the US BBs and force them to pay 60% of their cost instead of 50% of their cost? Am I reading the rules correctly? Another example is north Africa. Most of the cities are worth 0 or 5 MPPs / turn, and even the ones that are worth something often get blasted down to 0 by limited supply through Gibraltar, Malta, and/or the Suez Canal. To get there, you have to pay to transport your units, and then even if you win the battles, you either permanently write those units off as permanent north African garrisons, or you have to pay to reinforce them and then transport them back to Europe. Sure, winning the battles lets you wipe out some defending units, but if the units are in supply, then they can just rebuild their units in Europe at 60% cost. You've got to be paying at least 60% to reinforce your losses and transport both ways. So why bother attacking? For the sake of 5 to 15 MPPs / turn in 'city' income?
  3. It does feel a bit gamey, but, yes, the best solution seems to be to use the Italians to attack and conquer Tunis and Algiers while using the Germans to knock out all of the French armies except the one in Paris, gaining experience and avoiding excess attrition from French counter-attacks. Hold off on actually taking Paris until the Italians are in place. Once the Italians reach Algiers, you can enter Paris the same turn, and refuse Vichy (they will still graciously offer to 'safeguard' their North African colonies). You get the gold, and you get Spain, and you maintain control of Italian Northwest Africa. This causes a delay of a few months in when France surrenders and it means that you will not be able to put pressure on Egypt, but it seems worthwhile to me -- who needs Egypt when you can take Algiers, Paris, Madrid, and London? Let the British cross the desert wastes one garrison at a time instead of shipping German tanks out to the middle of nowhere.
  4. Definitely having an HQ nearby is essential, both for the supply and the morale bonus. When I first started playing Strategic Command I underestimated the need for HQs; I thought of them as a cool bonus, but really an HQ is a more essential piece of equipment for each army group than an armor division or an air wing. An HQ should be, at the very least, the third piece that you send to a theater -- don't bother having more than 2 pieces in an area unless one of them is an HQ. That said, I don't always find that encircling cities reduces their reinforcement level to 5 -- sometimes the city itself seems to serve as its own source of supply:5, even when I bomb the city and any associated ports down to 0 mpp value. That allows the unit to pop up from 1 strength to 8 strength every single turn, which can be frustrating. I like the Morale penalty that seems to apply to armies that take a repeated beating over several weeks, but I would prefer for the penalty to be even stronger, especially in situations where the fort or whatever has been apparently abandoned. Like, Malta is a tough nut to crack, and it should be, but part of the assumption behind the historical defense of Malta was that the British would at least occasionally send resupply, send a destroyer squadron or fighter wing or something nearby to at least spook any attackers, and so on. In my current game of SC Global Conflict Gold, the British literally don't have a ship or a plane anywhere in the Med, and I"ve been hitting Malta for three turns in a row with 3 BBs, 2 CAs, a fighter, a tac bomber, and a strat bomber, and all of that knocks the corps there down to maybe 7 out of 8 points. I don't think there's anywhere to even land an invading force unless you can totally eliminate the defending corps; if you put a paratrooper down on a one-tile island, the paratrooper just dies, right? Ditto amphibious assaults; you can pepper the defenders with the guns on the landing craft, but you can't actually land if there's no second tile, right? Another example is that in Ethiopia, I leave the Italian Special Forces unit at 8 strength sitting in Addis Ababa with no HQ, no air support, no naval support, no reinforcements, and low supply after the British close the Suez Canal to Italian traffic. Britain comes after Ethiopia with five or six infantry units, plus naval support and multiple HQs, and the special forces just sits there and takes it, racking up experience, for at least six months. Even then, the special forces just retreat safely into the jungle, and can't quite be killed, forcing the British to leave a garrison behind. It just seems like the difficulty of reducing totally isolated and under-supplied cities is a little too severe. Advantage to the defender is one thing, but this goes beyond even the traditional idea from WW1 that you needed a 3:1 infantry advantage. It seems to me that even with tanks, planes, etc. and other tools that were specifically designed for quickly conquering cities, you need about a 5:1 advantage to take an enemy city in this game in less than three months, which seems too harsh. I'm buying tech for ground attack aircraft, armored warfare, etc., and it's just not helping very much. Is there an easy way to adjust this in the editor? It's a great game and I'm really enjoying it so far, but I would like to tweak the difficulty of taking cities if there's a way to do that without wrecking the rest of the game.
  5. This game is awesome in many ways; I love that it is complex enough to be interesting and still simple enough to finish. I'm having a few problems with logistics and supply even after reading the manual and the strategy guide, and I'm hoping one of you can help me. I'm also up for a PBEM game if anyone is still playing this. 1) Is it possible to invade the Caucasus from Iraq as the Allies with Corps or Army units while Turkey is still neutral? I was able to get a German tank up into the oil fields by linking two HQs together, but even with two HQs sitting in the mountains, I could not figure out how to get any of my armies up toward the Azerbaijani oil fields. The problem wasn't Russian opposition; the problem was just that I literally didn't have enough movement points to move either my armies or my HQs any further north. 2) Is there a reason warships can't be sent around South Africa to the Suez Canal? How come only transports can make that journey? Has anyone made a mod or anything that fixes this? I checked the campaign editor but it looks like all you can edit is the starting units and starting diplomatic status -- there's no way to change the map. I think this is a great engine, and I would love to tweak the map so that, e.g., Norway & Finland are connected through Petsamo, or to add in Sudan and Ethiopia and Persia. 3) Is there a way to cut off Alexandria's supply so that it can't be reinforced back up to 8 strength every turn? There are only two land hexes bordering Alexandria and zero sea hexes for naval bombardment (the only adjacent sea hex is blocked by the port resource). Even when attacking with 2 HQs, 2 Armies (1 on each side), and a strategic bomber, I still can't knock Alexandria down to 0 strength in one turn, and I lose more attacking it each turn than it costs Britain to reinforce it. Seems pretty crazy to invest much more MPP than that in taking Alexandria; it's only worth what, 10 MPP/turn? I can get the supply I need from Suez even without conquering Alexandria. I have similar problems with Malta and Gibraltar -- I get that these were fortresses, but it seems impossible to take them, even with 4 or 5 units vs. 1 unit carrying on their attack for 6+ months. 4) What are the exact rules for when Soviet Partisans will appear? I don't want to turn that option off because I think having some kind of resistance is a really cool feature, but by winter 1942 I get bored and frustrated trying to plot out every 7-hex blob across 200+ hexes of occupied territory. I feel like I'm playing Minesweeper instead of a WW2 game. Missing even one partisan feels really punishing because they wreck your occupied cities, which destroys your ability to reinforce or purchase units inside Russia for several turns.
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