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Eidolad

newbie game impressions/suggestions

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My first game today and I really like the game design and approach.

1. in mid-game, human taking too long to get to "end turn"

One thing I've found that is even in a mid sized game I find myself bogged down and taking longer, and longer, to work through to end the turn. I had to walk away for awhile after I realized that I was sitting there for @10 minutes just sorting through what was going on...

2. Let's say I get too crazy queuing up units in some 20 cities after carefully thinking about what i need where...but then at the end, I happen to look up and see that I am making a total of +4.8 food. In other words, I have queued up more than I can sustain.

...is there a way to pause construction at all or some cities?!

3. Suggestion: we need a "sentry for 10 turns" button as well...or sentry for "N" number and let us choose for each unit. Part of my issue in #1 is dealing with so many idle units.

I am liking this game as I play through game 1.

Going to add more as I continue to play...

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"Produce money" is the equivalent of producing no units, better still the money can be directed to research or used to buy more food to support more units.

Or maybe build some buildings (factory, shipyard etc)

A massive empire can be a bit of a pain to manage, but sounds like part of your problem is getting to know all the control options. That will come in time, unfortunately Brit has not kept up so well with the documentation of all the cool new stuff that has been added. I'd rather have the cool stuff than a detailed guide, but it might make it hard for a newbie.

Things like rally points, queuing up move orders that go for multiple turns can make it easier to automatically get things to the frontlines.

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hmm, I think you are saying:

a) whoops I see i have too much queued and am running out of food (or other resource)

B) I will then need to go into each city queue (from the A city list seems fastest) and insert "produce money" at the *beginning* of the queue, in front of the other stuff I have already queued up

c) then when I think i have enough resources, just remove "produce money"

...now need figure out rally points along with the other cool options lying around there

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Basically I've run my first empire like an expansionist billionaire. $5,477 in the bank, but level1/level2 units and zero food surplus.

1. Trade you fool! Note to self: trading resources is a really really big deal!

I found this out when I had +250 money surplus but only 2.5 food surplus. So I just stopped making units until I could find more food resources and prepared my sneak attack. Made bad assumption that this was a "unit cap" of sorts.

I found out when my three transports shipped nine units to attack two bases...and found themselves about to attack *fifteen* units that the AI had in just those TWO BASES. Yikes. My sneak attackers announced "err, this was a training exercise" and slunk back home.

2. Spend extra $$ on research may be even more important.

Another note to self: Spend $$ on "research funding"

Just noticed that little "research fund" option at the bottom of the research window.

*Now* I believe I see why my poor tank2s, artillery1s were about to land and face twice their number of artillery3s, tank3, infantry3, and paratroopers.

The Veteran AI, even with an empire about half my size, could have blitzed me easily...and should have attacked...most of my cities are empty.

I should have traded $$ surplus every turn for more food production. Had I traded that $$ income for food I could have fielded @40 extra units and had a serious attack with better or at least parity tech.

Got a ton more to learn.

I suppose the best this little thread can do is supply feedback for an "intermediate" or "part II tutorial: mid-level empire management" or something of that sort.

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The tech race is all important. Sending units with even one tech level lower than the enemy will mean you may have to trade three of yours for one of his.

Produce money is just a set and forget, you either produce money for ever, or you come back and change it to build units.

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Well now here's some more from the Newbie School of Honest Oopsies:

(note: sorry for long post. Also, I'm brand new to the forum so have some reading to do on the other posts as well, I hope I'm not retreading old ground too much)

medium sized map, 7 opponents, veteran diff, 50% water

I start by committing to Operational spending strategy: 50% cash surplus spent on research, the other 50% on food (units)

This worked fine in the expansion phase...I felt that I was at tech parity and expanded to a nice chunk of my region, mostly had strong ground units (2-3 per transport) and an array of transports doing the expanding. Border cities with at least one defender.

Fair sized air force to patrol/scout. No cash for an "attack stack" or "navy" to speak of yet.

Things went south when war came to town.

The "bad" stuff:

Then the two neighbors declared war within 1-3 turns of each other, on me.

1. Escort those ships once borders begin to established, thou fool!

Lost two loaded transports with units en route on the first turns of the war...now, how did the AI know where these ships were? (they were in my territory but headed to the borders...I don't recall ever seen the AI scouting my waters. Hmmm I don't suppose Mr. AI has 100% radar coverage or anything sinister like that? My (former?) favorite naval game The Grandest Fleet used 100% radar coverage but I didnt mind....it played a fairly good random map game.

2. Limit Field orders to hold back my frisky planes.

Initially, lost most of my air farce, which I had in patrol with default "aggressive" orders...as they decided to try their luck on destroyers and cruisers in the next 5-10 turns before I realized that the odds were horrible for these (early?) planes against ships. So learned about the "field orders"...another basic, huge deal for the newbie to learn. Set my fighters to "attack only planes" to try to keep them alive and bombers to attack transports only (or no field orders) etc. Hugely freaking important.

3. Ships with guns...ya, important. I basically had no fighting navy to speak of during my expansion...this really really hurt when the balloon went up. Most sea-based resources gobbled along with their sight radius. Also found out how cruisers *cannot* see subs?!...being attacked by "unknown" and couldn't fight back...at least I *think* they were subs. So lesson learned: destroyers are important to have around with any naval group. I should learn to luv the little "tin cans" (borrowing from David Weber for the moment)

4. Artillery in sea invasion stacks...just along for the ride?

I couldn't figure out how to coordinate 2xTank and 1xArtillery sea invasion very well though. Say there was a single infantry guarding the city. I roll up with a transport and drop two tanks to attack, and the artillery to "bombard the garrison to death". I just want one shot from the artillery while the tanks then go mop up...in a single round after landing.

Result? The infantry attacks and destroys the artillery, and the tanks destroy the infantry and take the town. Or else the tanks attack alone while the artillery chills out on shore...didn't want to trade that artillery.

So I adapted by simply keeping artillery in the transport until the tanks were done.

5. The economic model is still killing me: declared war = end of research.

While I expanded, I had @20 dollars per turn boosted into extra Research. When war was declared, I literally had to shut down all extra research spending...not one extra dime while I just managed to keep my cities and take a few.

6. The war was pretty much other when Mr. Rommel just begins showing up with dozens of navy ships. I threw towel in when my cruiser/transport/tank/tank, ventured into enemy water (which I had just scouted with a plane and saw was empty all way to the city shoreline), ran into about a eight surface ships all moving towards it? It was almost if the defending navy had stayed out of my plane scout range, then pounced. That is way spooky dude. Had to stare down my pc after that.

7. While my research was in stasis, mr. AI was tech'ing up just fine.

..threw in towel when I saw that the AI was still tech'ing upwards and hadn't seemingly had to freeze their research....like I had to with mine...and Erwin had just showed an unstoppable huge navy just in one region to halt one transport.

In hindsight: the loss of those sea resources was a big deal...perhaps was the root cause of my tech stagnation as the war progressed. Perhaps more than the difficulty level? In fact, I'm going to start another thread to ask about the specifics of the difficulty level.

edit: searched found out about difficulty levels

The good stuff from my side of the war:

1. AI builds a destroyer/sub based navy and attempts to blockade with it...very good initially. However those loitering ships should sidle to the exits before a newly built artillery begins pounding on them...*especially* when they hang around long enough for a 2nd artillery to be built. To rephrase what hoolaman said in a different post: naval units are more difficult to repair (being so far from seaports) that damage renders them a combat loss (Part of that attrition concept the game manual talks about eh?).

2. The AI uses singleton ship formations unless they have a transport, for the most part. So I deploy pairs of units to counter.

3. Two units to defend threatened cities: one infantry, and one artillery, served me well. Entrenched infantry in cities. with a buddy big gun to shoot ships and landed units. Buff, and quite nice.

4. Two tanks was enough to take invade most AI cities in this early war phase.

5. The AI likes to invade with single units...this is not enough. Two at a minimum should the AI rule of practice IMHO. Except that one time when a pair of artillery had the gall to land and take a shot at my infantry3. He took no damage, then butchered them the next round.

6. Artillery is really is really kick ass at general defense..and served as my naval defense (forts, sort of) for the cities. My vote for favorite unit thus far.

...backing down to Novice difficulty and trying again...basically an econo-loss.

7. Is there a "unit to city build ratio" that works? Two units of any type, generally, per city or something along those lines? Or does the resources I'm holding the real deal here? and I should stop gobbling up cities and focus on those wheat and fishies? I'm constantly tweaking via "open market trade" to keep things balanced...think I'm missing something basic here.

I.e. if I want to adequately defend all threatened cities with one Infantry and one Artillery...that appears to leave nada, nothing for attack. I had to uncover several cities to muster up attack and patrol units.

border cities: one infantry and one artillery

middle cities: one infantry

core/rear cities: nothing, can't afford (we offer discount to incoming paratroopers!)

8. Regale me some other EOS newbie blunders you had fun experiencing...like assuming the pilot would refuse to let my fighter from taking a one-way scouting trip (I overlooked the skull and crossbones and then wondered where he was:)

Have to stop...this post is in the TLDR zone.

9. Having a great time playing the game! Next game: I will expand with a fighting navy along the way and will patrol my sea resource fields.

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Just a couple quick notes:

3. Ships with guns...ya, important. I basically had no fighting navy to speak of during my expansion...this really really hurt when the balloon went up. Most sea-based resources gobbled along with their sight radius. Also found out how cruisers *cannot* see subs?!...being attacked by "unknown" and couldn't fight back...at least I *think* they were subs. So lesson learned: destroyers are important to have around with any naval group. I should learn to luv the little "tin cans" (borrowing from David Weber for the moment)

The class 2 Cruisers can see subs, but class 1 cruisers cannot (those are the cruisers you have at the very beginning of the game).

7. Is there a "unit to city build ratio" that works? Two units of any type, generally, per city or something along those lines? Or does the resources I'm holding the real deal here? and I should stop gobbling up cities and focus on those wheat and fishies? I'm constantly tweaking via "open market trade" to keep things balanced...think I'm missing something basic here.

The resources ultimately determine how many units-to-cities you can maintain.

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It actually costs food to support a new city, so sometimes not taking a city is the best idea, at least until you have lined up the surrounding food to support it.

I think you are right in thinking that the sea resources, especially food are essential, in fact all food is essential, and a large % on the map is fishies in the sea.

My general advice is to quickly take as many neutral cities as you can support with a bare minimum of invasion forces (1 tank should be enough), but when your borders meet the enemy, it is a strong naval force that will stabilise the initial front lines. In other words having a standing army of DDay invasion fleets is not worthwhile, send them out to raid the AI players when you know what you are up against.

Oh and Brit has posted before that for simplicity and ease of programming the AI does cheat on the Fog Of War. Its ok for me, the human player can anticipate some things the AI can't.

Regarding Artillery, if they are in a stack, the way the combat works, their weakness in ground combat will often see them be destroyed. It is best to "lead" your arty with the other combat forces, so in an invasion, land your force inside arty range, but then send the other ground combat force in while leaving your arty behind. The arty will keep firing away and causing damage, but won't get killed trying to raid a city.

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Well now here's some more from the Newbie School of Honest Oopsies:

(note: sorry for long post. Also, I'm brand new to the forum so have some reading to do on the other posts as well, I hope I'm not retreading old ground too much)

medium sized map, 7 opponents, veteran diff, 50% water

I start by committing to Operational spending strategy: 50% cash surplus spent on research, the other 50% on food (units)

I usually spend 100% of surplus $$ on Tech. Then sell extra oil and iron for food.

This worked fine in the expansion phase...I felt that I was at tech parity and expanded to a nice chunk of my region, mostly had strong ground units (2-3 per transport) and an array of transports doing the expanding. Border cities with at least one defender.

Then the two neighbors declared war within 1-3 turns of each other, on me.

typical

1. Escort those ships once borders begin to established, thou fool!

Lost two loaded transports with units en route on the first turns of the war...now, how did the AI know where these ships were? (they were in my territory but headed to the borders...I don't recall ever seen the AI scouting my waters. Hmmm I don't suppose Mr. AI has 100% radar coverage or anything sinister like that? My (former?) favorite naval game The Grandest Fleet used 100% radar coverage but I didnt mind....it played a fairly good random map game.

I never noticed the AI has all seeing powers. It's just your imagination.

3. Ships with guns...ya, important. I basically had no fighting navy to speak of during my expansion...this really really hurt when the balloon went up. Most sea-based resources gobbled along with their sight radius. Also found out how cruisers *cannot* see subs?!...being attacked by "unknown" and couldn't fight back...at least I *think* they were subs. So lesson learned: destroyers are important to have around with any naval group. I should learn to luv the little "tin cans" (borrowing from David Weber for the moment)

Balanced navy is important. I've think it's a rock, paper, scissors triangle thingy.

BB and CA over DD. DD over Sub. Sub over CA and BB.

4. Artillery in sea invasion stacks...just along for the ride?

I couldn't figure out how to coordinate 2xTank and 1xArtillery sea invasion very well though. Say there was a single infantry guarding the city. I roll up with a transport and drop two tanks to attack, and the artillery to "bombard the garrison to death". I just want one shot from the artillery while the tanks then go mop up...in a single round after landing.

Result? The infantry attacks and destroys the artillery, and the tanks destroy the infantry and take the town. Or else the tanks attack alone while the artillery chills out on shore...didn't want to trade that artillery.

So I adapted by simply keeping artillery in the transport until the tanks were done.

If arty is unloaded too close to a town then it is vulnerable to attack. Keep it at a distance to shell until garrison is destroyed.

3. Two units to defend threatened cities: one infantry, and one artillery, served me well. Entrenched infantry in cities. with a buddy big gun to shoot ships and landed units. Buff, and quite nice.

6. Artillery is really is really kick ass at general defense..and served as my naval defense (forts, sort of) for the cities. My vote for favorite unit thus far.

Later game missile launchers are the ultimate coastal/town defenses. 3 or 4 can beat up BBs.

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Lots of great feedback thx!

Class 2 cruisers see subs...I want the precious.

Thx for the resource advice this will be a huge help...

Sounds like there is no arty party on turn1 off a ship.

I dream of the day when I can afford missile launchers...in such numbers on defense. With carrier being a counter for such a thing that gives me an idea for an enhancement: help the AI with using carriers by giving them a built-in squadron or of fighter-bombers (dual role)...that has to be "repaired" if damaged. Two squadrons for light carriers. Four for heavies.

The WWII heavy carrier should be the dominant, expensive, floating airbase that makes unprotected arty nervous that will dominate an area if left unchallenged. Unfortunately sneaking a sub in on one with 100% radar would be...impossible? But at least the sub could chase it away!

Going to post this over on the "suggestions" thread and/or maybe once I figure this extremely cool game out...do a mod that has this. I'm finding the arty to be really prominent...we need the AI to have a sea-based counter (I've yet to see carriers and read some posts that indicate AI needs some juice with them).

100% radar for the AI...that is fine with me..a better AI player, the better.

Some things for me that it will change big time are:

sub behavior ("Hans, I *know* there is an AI DD headed my way if I sail into their waters...can't loiter without some air scouting or such. But you know, that means that mr. AI transport will NOT be coming my way if I'm playing defense...I can be an even better anti-invasion guard since he won't get within my 1-turn strike range. The thing I really fear is aircraft, I'm telling you"

--quoted from a braggart submarine captain yet to set sail on first mission

"sneak attacks"...nope, I'm breathing AI has nano-video-robots and he is seeing up my nose. I don't think I'll be sneaking unguarded sneak-attack invaders on the AI...it will only work if the AI hasn't gone anything there at the time.

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More ridiculously long posts! Double posting! Well, I just make notes as I play...

1. How to pick up troops from a city using a transport, and continue to other destinations.

On woe is me, how many times in my first few games did a send a transport to a city to try to pick up troops...only to see the troops still sitting there while the transport leaves empty?

One solution:

a. select the transport, right-lick on the city and choose "pick up troop #1"

b. ctrl-right-click on the city and choose, "pick up troop #2"

c. ctrl-right click on where you want the transport to go, say to a yellow dot right outside an enemy city

d. select both troops #1 and #2 and ctrl-click on the yellow dot outside that enemy city (step c above)

e. ctrl-right-click on the enemy city.

Voila. In one order, I tell my transport to pick up two troops, and land them to attack an enemy city.

Sometimes, I am successful in ctrl-right-clicking just on the enemy city once the transport's waypoints are established to get the troops to attack that city. Sometimes not, though.

2. Dude, i'm like Farmer/Fisher John in the early game.

a. From Lt. Belenko's recommendation I am going early for this Fertilizer factory if I hold any wheaties (land food).

b. sea food bonus tech? Yeah I'm up for that.

3. Empire management

a. well look at that, no idle units anywhere.

b. planes with limited field orders.

c. not being jabbered at to fix things and knowing what unit should be doing what...at least in peacetime.

d. Humie is in control.

3. The accidental war.

a. Oh look there is an unclaimed wheatie for me to grab so I give my infantry orders to leave a ship and claim it.

b. Mr. Rommel sends an infantry to take the wheatie at the same time (didn't see him in fog of war). He claims it first and is sitting on the resource.

c. My infantry, with default "aggressive" field orders, attacks him.

d. The next turns starts and there's no war declaration, but I am thinking that taking a hit point from an infantry is probably considered impolite.

e. Yep, Rommel hates me and we're at war. It turns out his great nephew was in that troop.

4. Followed by the faux war dog pile.

a. Two other empires, one of which i cannot even see any of their territory, declared war on me two turns after my infantry's faux pas.

b. Both of these dudes sit on my chest for two turns then offer peace.

4. You want search and destroy for a particular unit?

a. Create custom field order, say "attack transports"

b. assign to a unit, say a Tactical Bomber

c. Set up a patrol route that does not use all of the fuel (not sure about this part but I would want the unit to be able to attack more than once in the same turn if fuel allows?)

This can be used also to fly close to an enemy city and tell the unit to attack if it sees one of whatever you want to attack. I use this to extract some artillery from Mr. Rommel.

4. Reality check on economy

a. I'm in turn 74 and at war with my nearet enemy. Everyone is on level1/2 tech. I am making $60 surplus cash, 20 surplus iron, losing 16 oil, losing 16 food.

b. So I make trades to equalize while adding $4 to research. Left with -.9 dollars and -2.2 iron.

...Is this "good" or am I fubared? I will have to fight with the units I have I claim more resources basically.

...am I going about this EOS resource war the right way? I seem to have been was wrong at the start...this is not a war for cities...but a war for resources.

5. I tried to offer peace in an email reply to the AI...but nada. The AI did offer peace and I accepted. So does that mean I can only reply to a peace offer to an AI?

6. Mr. Rommel my accidental war buddy, at Veteran level on turn 107:

a. just now pops out level 2 missile launchers, level 3 infantry, and level 3 artillery. Just after I captured an 8-unit wheatie...I can now push $65 per turn into research...so I'm still owned by the AI in the economic/research department. That's right...one single food resource is a complete turnaround due to the fertilizer multiplier (thanks be to the vets who posted replies here)

b. The two AI cities that I can scout, I see *six* ground units (all artillery, launchers and infantry, interestingly enough). In other words, I'm about to be swamped again. My front line defensive positions have...three units each.

?! How in the world does the AI research so fast...and maintain sooo many units. This is beyond my computational unit at this time.

c. Well at least I've held him at bay and traded sea resources back and forth while gaining just two cities. Killed more units than I've lost overall.

Looks like the humies would have been in real trouble had I chosen a largely land-based map....

I will not stop...I will play this Rommel bloke until my empire breaks...well or I'm three tech levels down.

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Artillery is pretty bad at defending against a direct ground attack. If you see a city guarded by infantry and artilleries, smash into it quick with a couple of tanks. Your tanks will move fast enough to take little damage from the arty, and will do enough damage to kill a stack of inf and arty.

this is not a war for cities...but a war for resources.

Yup. Resources are almost always the limiting factor. A few cities tooled up for quick production are very useful especially to pump out ships, but ideally you'll capture such a surplus of food and fuel that you don't have to worry about production.

Sounds like you are enjoying the game and are starting to "get it"!

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3. The accidental war.

a. Oh look there is an unclaimed wheatie for me to grab so I give my infantry orders to leave a ship and claim it.

b. Mr. Rommel sends an infantry to take the wheatie at the same time (didn't see him in fog of war). He claims it first and is sitting on the resource.

c. My infantry, with default "aggressive" field orders, attacks him.

d. The next turns starts and there's no war declaration, but I am thinking that taking a hit point from an infantry is probably considered impolite.

How strange. The game should be setup so that your units won't attack any other player unless you're already at war, or you've turned on sneak-attack. If this is what happened, then I'll have to run some tests to see if I can reproduce it and fix it.

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I'm completely digging this game...was up until 4am and was getting cramped fingers...I'm losing it!

____

from last night:

Turns history up to 184

1. Fighter2, flies out and back at max range...lo and behold, he appears to spot a submarine. Now how did he do that? Way outside of a city radar sub detection range. Did he literally run over the sub (zero range?)

2. My fleet of 2xBB2, 2xCA3, 1xDD3. 2xTr3 with nine ground units, encounters a single SU3. This one sub damages *four* ships before being sunk. It's like this one ship gets to go one-on-one with each and every ship until the sub runs out of hit points. Holy anti-stack batman!

Impressive and very sub-like. I look at the sub attack vs. defense values...if the same calculation is used if my entire stack had attacked that one sub...then those surface ships, even the DD3, are always at a disadvantage. And if that is true...no point in fleets attacking lone Subs. Time to look for a nice bomber or two and outrun that sub..

I *hope* if my fleet had spotted the sub and attacked it, that things would have gone better. Time to go subhunting with one or two of DD or subs I guess.

3. Mr. Rommel stays at least one tech level ahead, on all units, until finally I identify the key island of his empire: 14 food in wheaties. I land 9 units and take the island. I hope this is turning point.

My tech4 navy units are slugging it out with his tech4 navy..while I look at his islands and their tech5 land defenders. I have no land units at tech5. Looking for another key strike to stay in this.

4. My attack bombers seem to be die-food against anything that can shoot back (except transports and subs example). They are my #1 attrition unit and am building them constantly or they are combat-lossed while repairing. When I send a squadron of three Tactical Bomber3s against a single BB3 and they all die...I cut them back to anti-transport duty. I create a custom field order for them: attack subs and transports or use in emergencies.

5. I do find jet fighters to be useful against transports...huzzah! Thank the Lords of Kobol that the AI doesn't escort his trannys. Hopefully Brit didn't see me write that:)

6. Starving enemy cities by taking their resources.

Better than Civ or other games, this gem of a wargame is proving for me a fascinating and brilliant hands-on application of a basic dynamic of war.

I chose to leave two producing enemy cities in my middle while I pounced on that major food island. A size 21 and a size 15 city producing invasions and within bomber range of mine...and I could take both. Are they less important than that 14 total food island? *** Yes ***

I am now stronger in the sea and air than Rommel...but my goodness can he pump out/sustain land units. Every city as between 4-7 land units. I can see all his resources....I don't know how on earth he manages to out tech me will all those units to maintain.

Perhaps I'm still missing something about the economy heyah...I would have been toast on a land-only map I suspect. We'll try that for the next game.

Anyway on to the mid-game phase where I either attempt to take the core Rommel islands: two size 21-cities, and size 19 city. Or cut them off from the sea which has the bulk of their oil and food....

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2. Let's say I get too crazy queuing up units in some 20 cities after carefully thinking about what i need where...but then at the end, I happen to look up and see that I am making a total of +4.8 food. In other words, I have queued up more than I can sustain.

...is there a way to pause construction at all or some cities?!

There is no easy way to pause construction. You can remove items from the build-list, and you won't lose the production (you can restart it a few turns later exactly where you left off with no production loss). However, in response to this, I just added a "pause production" button to the city-build window. This will let you easily pause production without needing to clear-out the production list.

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1. Fighter2, flies out and back at max range...lo and behold, he appears to spot a submarine. Now how did he do that? Way outside of a city radar sub detection range. Did he literally run over the sub (zero range?)

Do you have a saved-game copy that I could take a look at? Let me know what turn this occurs, and where it is on the map.

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There is no easy way to pause construction. You can remove items from the build-list, and you won't lose the production (you can restart it a few turns later exactly where you left off with no production loss). However, in response to this, I just added a "pause production" button to the city-build window. This will let you easily pause production without needing to clear-out the production list.

cool!

Do you have a saved-game copy that I could take a look at? Let me know what turn this occurs, and where it is on the map.

sorry I overwrote it my save rotation. I recall it being a literally straight out-and-back flight to the very max range. The diamond contact icon was literally under the flight path at the mid-point.

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Reproduced it! Emailed a save game.

The AI stack of five subs is very pretty, and pretty much means that Mr. Yamamoto owns that area.

Total suppositions:

In both cases (I think) it is the return leg where the fighter (a jet fighter in case 2) sees the sub.

Or Perhaps it is when the sub finishes movement that the sub becomes visible.

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Turn 230. Things are looking dire here at the War Department. We now have a two front war plus an additional hostile empire over the horizon. Yamamoto, the new opponent, has a very small front in which to operate and has an incredible navy concentrated there. He's pushed me off all facing shores and shot down most patrolling aircraft...even a spy plane.

Turn 247. Mr. Rommel is a tiger pushed into a corner, and is now taking back is sea resources and eliminated all but my main fleet. My invasion of seven infantry5s into a mountain square, supporting a nice group of artillery and mlaunchers and flak, is utterly crushed by the garrison of just three tank7s and two artillery5s sitting *outside* immediate unit view who rush around the road network on the first turn I land. Tried this sort of "equal force land/bombard" tactic twice....there seems no way to land a force, dig in and bombard when the AI can see....all.

A major humie production island with three cities, smothered when Yamamoto lands four transports unopposed. Even when I collapsed all infantry5, artillery5 and mlauncher3s into a single city (and attempt to place the launchers behind the city. The tank7s just roll over all without stopping. I think I killed three of the attacking tanks.

Turn 254. Woe is me and I head for the exits in game #2:

My neighboring AI opponents both outnumber me and have out-tech'ed me consistently and without fail since the beginning. The land unit tech lead (existing throughout the game, for all enemy empires by at least one level) of the AIs is proving to be fatal. Research has been zero investment for @20 turns. I cannot afford unit upgrades to bring my infantry to level six in the current turn. My oil resources went from 700 at the beginning of the two-front war to 375 and I am at a -10.3 at the moment. I will not have tank7 tech for 10 more turns...land attack is therefore out of the question...unless I want to watch paratroop3's die messily. I would rather my people speak German than allow this.

The final straw is when four Yamamoto cruisers show up on the other side from our borders and sacrifice themselves to sink my newly built battleship, and sink half the flotilla I guess they were evidently chasing. Of course, I had no idea they were there...my remnant air force was busy elsewhere.

I am NOT going to suffer through waiting for the end of the overall technology advancement and catch up...simply because the AI has nothing more to research.

Some final notes:

1. I really dig the field orders...and especially the custom field orders. I can tell planes to "attack transports and subs"...and ensure they always have these orders. So when Mr. AI sub rolls up to my city (whose radar spots it) to munch on my transport...incoming aircraft instead of landing, fly out over the city, kill the sub, and return. Impressive.

2. Transports as magnets for Mr. See-all AI? Maybe with enough resources:

In one turn, two AI subs come sailing right up into two different city waters. One city has a CA/DD/BB/BB group sitting there being repaired and an idle empty transport. The other has patrolling aircraft and an idle transport. Ah, so...well too bad there aren't enough food resources to support this sort of unit-bait tactic.

3. The see-all AI is really getting annoying.

a. My newly build battleship leaves port in a backfield city and is met by two incoming cruisers. All three char and die (sorry, an old Dungeons and Dragons reference that I couldn't resist).

b. It is too easy to forget that the AI knows everything. The AI 100% radar advantage is huge and the AI really kicked my naval butt with it. It is worse with near-parity landings. I forget that the AI clearly sees my transport land troops outside the immediate view of those garrison units. The garrison's single tank rides way down the road and trashes them in one round. I had planned to set up an artillery/flak group (with a single grunt riding along) to use aircraft spotting to pound that city's tank and artillery buddies without reply. The plan depended on a near total lack on air force patrolling by the AI empire. Mr. see-all AI doesn't require a patrolling air force...I had done my planning against a humie and paid cash for the lesson.

All in all...a solid wargaming experience! I'm back for more.

______

The weekend starts with a completely different approach. Tanks, balanced naval groups and battleships. Quickly, I set up for a 4-player, 1400x1400 free for-all Novice difficulty game, a smaller map to avoid some of the slow-downs I was seeing on a medium-sized map. I began playing and utterly romped on them one at a time. While I was crushing the first opponent, I expected the other two to stop fighting and dog pile on me, like in the Veteran difficulty game before...not so. In fact they kept on fighting...while I sat on half the map and was retooling to munch on one of them. Was that a result of the difficulty level? My tech advantage (which I read elsewhere is supposed to come with "Novice" difficulty) actually felt like more of a resource advantage...my economy was humming from the beginning.

I reloaded and checked the amount of food available to each starting area. About even. Hmmm. Maybe I'm getting this? Well let's not count the victory until V is or Veteran. Or E is for Elite.

Well, there are things to learn even from a Novice game. My first dancing partner covered his key food island (two cities) with 6 artillery and two tanks. Tactical bombers and dreadnoughts paid them a visit.

The next game will be Veteran or Elite (see how I feel after a snooze) and have an odd number of opponents to avoid this sort of two-on-two scenario.

Got a rock for your scissors, Mr. AI. A patrol for your radar, I should say.

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