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Allied Thread - Over the Reich JPetroski vs. McMonkey

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Multiplayer & PBEM' started by JPetroski, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
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    McMonkey, if you are reading this, you have accidentally clicked in the wrong thread.

    Everyone else - McMonkey and I have a gentleman's agreement not to go into each other's threads here. We are writing these for your amusement (and also playtest insight) so please don't spoil things for either of us by spilling the beans about what you've read in one thread or the other!

    Spoiler :

    ALLIES TURN 1

    It is May 30, 1942.

    The scenario begins with a major RAF attack on Cologne – “Operation Millennium” underway. My aircraft there start with limited movement, so Cologne and Düsseldorf will be the targets. I have 15 Stirling bombers in various states of damage barreling in for the attack.

    Back in England, I have a reserve force of a further 10 Stirling bombers, bringing Bomber Command’s total strength to 25. Considering that the Americans have only just arrived and I have but 1 B-17 unit, Bomber Command is going to be my main weapon for the foreseeable future.

    Successfully destroying an urban target yields me 7.5 points. I required 1,000 to invade northwest Europe, so I’d better get started.

    My bombers come under attack by flak batteries defending Cologne!




    The attack is not as successful as I would have liked. We do manage to set about 2/3 of Cologne alight, but we also lose 2 Stirlings in the process, and an attempt to also strike Düsseldorf fails:





    With the immediate raid over, it is time to consider my strategic objectives. I am faced with a choice of what to select for my first research goal.

    I start with very limited options in terms of what aircraft I can build. My only escort fighter available is the Spitfire, and this has very limited range:




    I have an option to research escort fighters, however that will only allow a slight increase in range at this time. Instead, I decide to invest in the future. I select Industry II with a goal of ramping up production to hopefully swamp the Luftwaffe eventually.

    Industry is expensive to build, however, so I am going to have to ensure I have steady imports of reinforcements and supplies from across the seas. To do this, I have to win the Battle of the Atlantic.

    Thankfully, the Royal Navy is powerful and my main asset at the start of this scenario:

    38 Destroyers
    16 Light Cruisers (effectively my AA naval assets)
    8 Heavy Cruisers
    8 Battleships
    1 Aircraft Carrier

    The Battle of the Atlantic is somewhat abstractly represented in this scenario, to cut down on micromanagement and allow players to focus on the air war. Essentially, I need to have naval superiority within the two blue lines in the picture below. If I achieve this, I’ll be able to spawn supply ships near the Irish Sea – a few turns from friendly ports. I’ll still have to defend them on their way to port, but I don’t have to waste time shepherding them all across the map.


    * My plan is to send all destroyers to the convoy route within the blue lines.
    * Naval aircraft like Sunderlands will patrol south of this zone to attempt to catch U-Boats before they enter it.
    * Light cruisers and all currently-available fighter aircraft will be deployed to patrol the yellow rectangle in the photo below. This is where my ships are vulnerable to attack from the Luftwaffe. My primary objective in the beginning stages of this scenario is to own the sky in this zone. I have 11 Spitfires and 8 Hurricanes available for this task, and preparations are made to move them to nearby bases immediately.




    For production, I maximize my efforts towards science because I want to research all industrial techs quickly so I can build up my forces. This does leave me at a fuel deficit, but I can spare this for a few turns.

    * Any city that doesn’t have industry starts constructing one.
    * Any city with industry that doesn’t have a fuel refinery will build that instead.
    * Cities with both will either build freight trains to help others, or destroyers to fight in the Battle of the Atlantic.

    * 14 airfields will produce Stirlings
    * 6 airfields are set to produce B-17s
    * 1 airfield will produce A-20s
    * 5 airfields will produce Spitfire Mk. IX’s that I can send west to fight over the Irish sea.
    * 2 airfields will build photo reconnaissance aircraft. I plan to use these to keep tabs on the Kriegsmarine and make sure they don’t attempt a reverse channel dash.

    More on long-range plans later...
     
  2. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Turn 2

    Spoiler :

    I start my turn by focusing on the Battle of the Atlantic. I’m using my recon planes to scour the area looking for U-Boats, and my Sunderlands and fleet to attack them. I’m bringing my recon planes up to high-altitude before ending their turn, to make them less likely to be spotted by the enemy.

    I’m careless with a freighter, which for some reason has an attack value of 1, and it is sunk by a U-Boat. I’m not sure that’ll make it to 3.1 but we’ll see how it goes for now.

    I manage to sink 4x U-Boats in the convoy zone, a further in the Bay of Biscay, and 1 destroyer just outside of the convoy zone. Unfortunately I use up so many movement points looking for German warships that I can only shepherd 1 freighter through (the less movement points I expend, the more I can secure, but that reduces the chance of catching the U-Boats).

    Since this freighter is precious cargo I set it up with a Spitfire to cover it at low alt, and 2 additional squadrons at high-alt to provide high cover. These will bounce any aircraft that attempt to attack this freighter on the lower map—a nifty new feature of this scenario.



    -I make the decision to press the attack against Dusseldorf with some bombers, but I first move my most heavily-damaged aircraft away, so they aren’t shot down by reactive fire. I’m able to destroy one more urban target, bringing my total points to 22.5.

    -Thus, 2 bombers linger over the Ruhr and 6 are sent on the way home. Night Intruders are positioned to attack any fighters over the Ruhr if the Germans use those to attack.



    I don’t waste any time with the night forces, sending them across into France with an eventual target of Freiburg. This is a sufficiently southern target that should allow me a chance to strike and would also drag forces away from the Ruhr. I plan to fly through mid-France to get there, assuming that I’ll likely avoid most German defenses this way. It will take us 3 turns to reach.

    I make a low-level bombing raid with the only assets I have left in east and hit a radar facility near Calais so that I can start sneaking Bomber Command through. I didn’t take out that radar station, he’d already have a vector against my night attack and see the strategy of moving it through France. It takes 2x B-17 (3 just arrived from America via events).

    I don’t have any escorts available but decide to reposition 3 Spitfire squadrons in Croydon, south of London, to attack anything that strikes these bombers. Both bombers fly to high altitude before ending their turn.

    I run a photo recon mission to the Heligoland Bight, trying to find his fleet. I find destroyers but not capital ships. I want to be aware of the Kriegsmarine’s presence at all times, because I don’t plan on having a large capital ship fleet in the Atlantic, and if they can somehow break through the channel undetected, I wouldn’t have enough assets to stop them before they wreaked major havoc.



    Other than that, I make a few harassing raids against his armed forces near St. Nazaire and more or less position forces for the next turn.

    I end the turn with the score 22.5 to 8.


    LONG RANGE PLANS
    To win this game, I have 175 turns to invade Europe and conquer 45 cities. McMonkey can only have 5 remaining. There’s only one small problem: I don’t have any transport ships, and I can’t research any either. The only way I can gather these is by accruing 1,000 points, which will give me the technology for such ships.

    I earn points by strategic bombing. Oil refineries, aircraft factories, and industrial plants grant me 5 points each. Urban centers grant 7.5 if they are in German cities, but give a negative 2 points if they are in occupied Europe. I also receive 1 point per freighter I successfully unload, and .5 points for every German plane I destroy (these are both there because Germany doesn’t actually start with enough targets to get you a full 1,000 points, and we don’t want the German player to win simply by sending all their aircraft to Austria and hiding for 175 turns)!

    Any way you slice it, I have my work cut out for me. I have 175 total turns. I need to invade Europe well before that. I probably need about 40 turns on the continent in force to have a shot, and I need to be able to rush build ships and drive them where needed. I’m estimating that will take a further 10 turns. Now we’re at 125 turns to earn 1,000 points. Based on that, I need to average 8 per turn, and need to make decisions accordingly.

    I plan to adopt a strategy I call “3D”: Disrupt, Disperse, Destroy

    Disrupt
    I plan to disrupt McMonkey’s plans and capacity to wage war every chance I can. Whenever possible, I will prioritize the following:

    · Fuel refineries
    · Urban targets
    · Industry
    · Radar

    Germany can’t compete with me for production but can create some scary good late-model jet aircraft that are real game changers. If I let McMonkey have a healthy science rate he’ll acquire these monsters. By targeting his fuel stores (gold in the base game) he will be forced to increase fuel production efforts at the expense of scientific research. Thus, these are high-value targets.

    Although Urban targets likely won’t have as much of a direct effect on his war effort, they do give me the most points, and will also force him to disperse scarce assets.

    The more industry I can destroy the less fighters he’ll be able to produce.

    Radar doesn’t give me any points, but crippling his radar system will in turn cripple his air defense system, especially at night.

    I’ll hit other targets as opportunities arise but for now I don’t have enough aircraft to range far and wide so I am going to concentrate on targets that actually give me points or greatly enhance my ability to gather them.

    Disperse
    I don’t want to have to barge through the front door and find a swarm of Luftwaffe fighters on every bomber raid. I know from playing as the Germans last playtest that if they can concentrate their assets, they can significantly damage very large bomber formations.

    My objective is to make it as difficult as possible for McMonkey to mass his formations by attacking targets that are very far from one another concurrently whenever possible. Likewise, I will be utilizing Bomber Command liberally – every single fighter that the Germans station on the night map isn’t on the daylight map and can’t attack my shipping or strategic operations. Bomber Command has limited use in flying in huge formations. I will send bombers out in an irregular pattern to make it difficult for him to intercept them and to force him to search far and wide.

    Right now, my opening move is to mass strength out west in the Irish Sea, because I anticipate he’ll try and attack my shipping there for one, and secondly if I can get him to pull a large formation of assets there, it may open up attack lanes elsewhere.

    Destroy
    I want to bring the Luftwaffe up to battle whenever I can, and I want to try to destroy it. He starts with a stronger fighter force than me, but I can better replace losses. The sooner I knock him out of the sky, the sooner I can really open up the air offensive. I also get a half point for every aircraft I shoot down.


     
  3. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 3

    Spoiler :


    Two fuel refineries and an Industry come on line this turn. I also research Industry II and move to research Industry III next. Given the new research I reset many cities to start producing this. Basically any city that doesn’t have it is building it, the few that start the scenario with it are building freight. Freight that is delivered will be brought in to rush build these buildings for the most part. I also rush build a Civilian Population II in Swansea as I intend for that to be my major port.

    I take advantage of the combat report (8 key) to understand where my aircraft are shot down. This will assist in intercepting the evil doers that killed them.



    I happen across 2 of his trains on the night map with my inbound raid but decide I am better off letting it be lest I let him know what I’m up to. I’d rather he get the trains through than see my force discovered.



    I am only bringing in one freighter per turn in the Battle of the Atlantic, a situation that must be improved if I’m going to take over the production battle. But for now, it is what it is.

    I also take the opportunity to attack a radar station near Brest though I can’t destroy it. I set up the fighter with some high-cover from a Spitfire so that it can get some help if it is attacked.

    I sink 1 U-Boat in the Bay of Biscay and find another covered by a Fw200. I have my carrier launch hurricanes but I can only damage the Fw200 and can’t destroyer it.

    At night, I shoot down 2x Me110 with Beaufighters.

    I end the turn with a score of 23.5 to 12.3


     
  4. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 4

    Spoiler :

    Minor sparring continues with Me110's in Belgium. This exposes the beaufighters to attack but I feel I can sacrifice them if that means the main bomb can get through to Freiburg.

    I am sending two waves of RAF bombers in just north of the Swiss border - Red Team and Yellow Team (for some reason the neutral border units I had placed deleted, but I essentially need to stay north of the mountains and the upper Rhine). Much of my plan for the night game relies on deception and trying to disperse the German defenders. In my raid on Cologne, I turned straight back after attacking, and I am expecting that the Germans will anticipate this again. That would unfortunately vector his fighters straight to yellow team. Instead, what I want to do is immediately follow up the attack on Freiburg with a second attack on Karlsruhe or Mannheim. I'll continue taking Red team on a wide arc home, rounding out past the Ruhr.

    I'm hoping this opens the door for Yellow Team to make a secondary attack - either finishing off targets at Freiburg or perhaps going past it towards Friedrichshaven. I will most likely do a 180 degree turn with this group so that it doesn't follow Red Team's egress path.

    I have a further 7 bombers in England, the survivors of Operation Millennium plus a few additions. They'll rest for a few turns and then we'll see what options we have. Depending on how well Red Team drags out the fight, they might be sent over the North Sea on a slightly more northern route before cutting in for Wilhelmshaven or Bremen.



    Planes aren't cheap by any means and the Battle of the Atlantic is making me nervous. At this stage of the game, the maximum freighters I can spawn per turn is 5. If I start destroying German ports, I can eventually raise that to 11. But if I'm only getting 1 per turn that's not going to cut it. I know from playtests that if I can get a full five per turn, I can start steamrolling after about 30 turns of industrial build up. But if I can't do that soon, I'm going to have real problems.

    In other news, I decide I can spare some Royal Navy for a raid on radar stations along the Dutch coast. Sacrificing these ships would be well worth opening up another gap my bombers can slip through, as I think it's only a matter of time before McMonkey starts patrolling the wide open spaces of France more attentively.



     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
  5. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 5

    Spoiler :

    The German strike on Swansea and Plymouth is a big problem. Even though I have a strong presence on the daylight map in the region, my defenses at night are spread thin. I have two beaufighters and am able to shoot down 3 of his bombers and heavily damage a 4th (the good news is that He111s are terrible defensively). I don't think he'll be able to keep up the pace here, but I have very little way of reaching his free trains and if he did drag this out it could be an issue. To help compensate, I start bringing flak from London and the north to this area, though at 4 moves per turn, it will be 8-10 turns before they're all in position. I also badly need a radar set in the area and might devote some resources to that soon.

    -Freiburg is bombed though not as effectively as I would like. Only 1 urban population is destroyed in the attack. I need to get better bombes that carry 500lb bombs as opposed to the 250lb bombs I currently possess. I guess we’ll find out how spread out his defense force is. If he left units in the airfields south of the Ruhr, they’ll be in range to attack. If he’s keeping everything on the perimeter, I could have a good few turns of destruction.

    -I am noticing that McMonkey is bringing his trains from Lyon on the night map. He might use a switchyard to swap them to the day map later. If I strike the Lyon railyard, I can put a stop to this for a few turns (he won’t be able to use the same route and will need to take a much longer one. That’s a daylight target though and I don’t currently have the assets I need to strike it. Though non-point-getting, it is a priority.

    -Unfortunately, that rail station is well beyond escort range and I have very limited USAAF forces (4 B-17s at present, exclusively escorted by British fighters). I am contemplating sending these 4 bombers to strike the only strategic target they can reach in one turn with escort - a factory north of Paris. I don't think 4 is enough to kill it though.

    -I have a very successful Battle of the Atlantic turn. I destroy 8 U-Boats, and I am able to bring in 5 freighters. Unfortunately, given the strike on Swansea, I’m going to need to move most of them to Cardiff to bring any forces in. This will be a delay, but having shot down 5 of his bombers I think I can rebuild Swansea soon and get over it.

    -I do decide to up my fuel stores so I have a positive intake. I've spent most of the 7500 I start the game with, mostly on rushing industry.

    -I end the round with a score of 38 to 42.9 (his attacks on population centers give him a very large score (15 per successful attack). Remember, he can win the game if he gets to 500 points, but every point that I earn subtracts the same amount from him as it adds to me.

     
  6. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 6

    Spoiler :


    I research Industry III and go for fuel production II. This is going to likely mean that he will have a technological advantage over me and might gain a fighter advantage as well, but I’m going to keep moving forward with the plan to max out my cities, hoping it will pay off down the line.

    He’s keeping his U-Boats along the edge of the convoy zone which is playing to my strength – I can use Sunderlands to attack them. If I try and attack with a Sunderland in the convoy zone, I’m going to lose all the MP of the Sunderland via the convoy mechanism and they’ll be severely curtailed or even crash. I’m able to sink 3 (2 with Sunderlands and 1 with a destroyer).

    I send a recon flight to Vannes AFB to see what I’m up against:



    He doesn’t appear to have near-enough aircraft here to contest the Bristol Channel convoy route. I can probably deploy new aircraft east to escort the B-17s and contest airspace over the English Channel instead.

    I’m using my Royal Navy to chip away at any assets he keeps along the coastline. I don’t really “need” many ships and I would rather chip away at his ability to reinforce his army or spot me with radar. He needs to keep a certain percentage of units in France to max his freight trains per turn and if I can reduce this he’ll need to waste time and resources bringing more troops in. Troops are therefore always a good target, especially for the fleet.

    I launch a new raid of five bombers (2 damaged) over the North Sea – their target will be Wilhelmshaven. Hopefully, my attacks in the south will draw away northern defenses.

    By day, 4x B-17s strike an industrial factory outside of Paris. They’re escorted by 3x Spitfire. One of which provides close cover and the other two which attack an Me109 nearby (one of the Spits is in range to provide a reactive attack if the Germans aren’t very careful about how they position their force).

    I end the turn with a score of 59.5 to 26.4

     
  7. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 7

    Spoiler :


    Sometimes, the sheer breadth of my stupidity amazes even me. So here I am, with 10 bombers ready to devastate cities deep in the Reich… And I… am… almost… out… of… FUEL. Like an idiot, I have only 330 gallons left and each attack costs 20 to perform. I can make this attack, but it’s going to leave me with tough decisions elsewhere.

    I press home the attack regardless but think the Luftwaffe will be making mince meat of these bombers next turn as they’ll likely be in position. I think I can hit the 2nd Karlsruhe urban center and then it will be time to scatter and return home. I do however hope that the attack gunning for Wilhelmshaven will have an easier time because of this. This is my whole “disperse” strategy of 3D. I want him to constantly play whack a mole and not know quite where an attack is coming. I want to drag assets one way then hit the other. Of course, a pattern will eventually emerge and at that point I’ll start doubling up on strikes in one area or even tripling them. Anything to keep him guessing.

    As stated before, Bomber Command will be my main weapon for the foreseeable future. Even if he doesn’t bother to rebuild Germany, I still want to successfully and attack all of his cities for the points. I think he’ll probably rebuild his cities because otherwise he (ideally and if not, I need to revisit this) needs to load up on luxuries and that will cost him science rate

    Right now I’m getting techs at 4 per turn to run a slight fuel surplus. I need to build more fuel refineries and quick…

    5x freight trains are put to use building up industry in Western England while a sixth builds a Spitfire near London. I'm bringing in 5 per turn right now and would love to start hitting enough ports to bring in more than 5 per turn, but that requires a USAAF presence and it will probably be 15-20 turns before my air build up starts in earnest. I need to keep the pressure on him in the meanwhile but my "free" trains are all in the west and it'll take some time to get everything established. It should eventually pay off when I start producing anywhere from 10-20 units per turn on a good turn. With that kind of firepower I'll be able to spread him very thin indeed.

    I continue my efforts to destroy his radar whereever encountered. I anticipate that he will eventually figure this out and start moving his more important assets past the coastline.

    Meanwhile a monster storm system is developing. I really don’t have much in the way of bomber plans, but if I was going for anything in this region, it would have been scrapped. This might impact potential targets in 4-5 turns for the 17's, however. On the other hand, maybe I can use the weather to my advantage - perhaps the Germans won't suspect an attack in heavy cloud.



    I end my turn with a score of 72.5 to 18.8

     
  8. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 8

    Spoiler :


    -1x urban area at Karlesruhe destroyed
    -1x urban area at Friedrichsaven destroyed
    -1x radar at Dutch islands destroyed
    -1x destroyed near same is also killed
    -2x He111 destroyed near Convoy Channel by Hurricanes

    -2x Factories, 1x Fuel Refinery, and an urban center at Swansea all come on line over the turn.
    -I now have 8 cities with over 100 production

    I’m down to 13 active Stirlings from my original 25. My bomber force has been cut in half. I retreat two bombers who are almost out of fuel and find his Me110s searching for them. I have a few bombers that still have range so I attack Friedrischaven with them in an attempt to pull him off the scent. This will also bring him further away from Wilhelmshaven, which is still two turns away from being hit.

    I am now fully anticipating all of the southern force being annihilated.

    I continue my naval assault on his radar, opening a gap in Holland. I will move along the coastline destroying any ones that I find. My photo recon found one on an island west of Denmark. We’ll head that way before turning around.

    I end with a score of 93.5 to 18.2

    At 250 points, I’ll be able to open up a southern front against him placing Austria and Bavaria more at peril.

    UPCOMING RAIDS/PLANS:

    -Within 2 turns, Wilhelmshaven will be hit

    -Within 2 turns (weather permitting), I’ll be striking the port at Calais. If I can destroy 4 ports (without him rebuilding them of course), I’ll start getting 7 ships per turn instead of 5. If I can destroy 10, I’ll get 9. If I can destroy 15, I’ll get a full 11. 15 is going to be pretty tough, but I can destroy 10 more or less in escort range.

    -I am going to continue building up factories and fuel depots but I think I might forgo fuel refinery III and settle for having II everywhere until I can get some better units. I’m targeting the P-38 (interceptors) because it opens up a path towards getting better bombers and because it would be a better-ranged unit to attack German fighters. It’s not a good unit to stack on other bombers as it is weak defensively but it has the range and firepower to take on German interceptors and knock them out. I also think it would be useful for attacking his freight trains in France as it’ll have the range to reach them if he goes the northern route.

     
  9. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 9

    Spoiler :


    -1x Destroyer destroyed in North Sea
    -1x U-Boat destroyed in North Sea
    -Radar attacked but not destroyed
    -1x Destroyer killed near Brest
    -Radar attacked near Brest but not destroyed
    -1x U-Boat destroyed in Bay of Biscay

    We receive notification that our Soviet Allies have won a great victory at Stalingrad, inching ever closer to victory! This is indicative that I’ve reached a milestone in points.



    Our fleet runs into a German fleet – unfortunately, the destroyer attacks this before realizing that there is a radar facility just past it. Our enemy will have notification of our raid on Wilhelmshaven! Let’s hope that they don’t have aircraft in range to attack it! I don’t have high hopes. This mission might be done for.

    I have Bristol and Swansea build engineers – over the next few turns I will establish air bases in Wales that will allow me to quickly move freighters in and build a unit each turn if I so desire without a need to move them along a track and risk them to enemy air attack. I think a balance of perhaps 2-3 units per turn and 1-2 freights dedicated to improvements will help me keep the pressure on him. I’m hoping he’s reacted to the constant night attacks by reinforcing that group. I might switch to the USAAF for now and try to take out 4 ports to get extra reinforcements.

    I end the turn with a score of 98.5 to 18.6

     
  10. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 10

    Spoiler :


    -Wilhelmshaven attacked but not destroyed
    -Light Cruiser sunk near Wilhelmshaven
    -Radar attacked near Brest but not destroyed

    Fuel Production II comes onboard, and considering there’s no way I can max out my cities within 4 or even 8 turns, I choose Interceptors I to acquire the P-38 (and also take a step towards better bombers). I have high hopes for this aircraft and think it will be able to fit a number of roles.

    Two more cities are maxed on industry now. I have 5 cities that have greater than 150 shields – important because this means I have five cities that can produce a freight train (which can then be disbanded for aircraft) every 4 turns as they cost 600 shields.

    A full six bombers attack Wilhelmshaven dropping 12 bombs but the results are terrible. We can’t even kill one urban target. That’s a really bad blow and a great indicator of why I need better bombers. Stirlings can attack with up to 2x 250lb bombs per turn. Halifaxes get 3. Lancasters up the ante to 500lb bombs which are much more powerful. It’s going to be hard enough getting through his defenses but to not be able to destroy anything when we arrive is tragic.

    I build a new airfield (which automatically gives me two airfields – one by day, one by night) right near Swansea and a rail depot. I will build a second one near here shortly. This will enable me to build 2 new aircraft (eventually 4) per turn. I rush build a B-17 and Stirling.



    Our naval raiding fleet continues along the coast – we notice that the Germans are now pulling their radar further back. We’re going to need to start producing some A20s to attack these now that they are inland. It will be harder to take Germany by surprise.

    My saving grace at this point is that much of his night fighters are expected to be Me110s which are dreadfully slow. I MIGHT be able to finish off that urban center at Wilhemlshaven.

    I also continue photo recon and find that he has fighters in Normandy. He seems to like to have 3 or so per air field.

    I intend to attack Calais port with 5-6 B-17s next turn.

    We end our turn with a score of 103.5 to 18.6. The only source of our points being our unloaded freighters.

     
  11. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 11

    Spoiler :


    -Fleet engages light cruiser and U-Boat near Wilhelmshaven, sinking both
    -RAF Bomber Command destroys 2x Urban targets at Wilhelmshaven
    -Port at Calais attacked by B-17s, destroying it
    -Le Havre port attacked through cloud cover, which proves fruitless
    -Destroyer attacked near Brest to no effect

    We run into some issues with the game (since fixed and patched/uploaded) that delete a few cities so I have to pause a turn from my idea of building up in Wales.

    I decide to start hitting the ports with B-17s. I have two goals: 1, kill the port. 2, drag the Luftwaffe up where it can be destroyed. In my playtest with Garfield, he accomplished this by using his fleet as bait. Since McMonkey hasn’t attacked the fleet anchored off East Anglia, I’ll have to use the 17s. He will have to commit his forces or I’ll have an easy time bombing. Either works for me.

    Unfortunately I don’t have a ton of fighters in the east yet, keeping most out west to guard my convoy route each turn, but I’ll start to remedy this in a few turns when the P-38 interceptors come online. They’re not as good defensively as the Spitfires, so if they get caught they’re more likely to die, but they have greater range which means I can make slashing attacks with them and then withdraw further away. We’ll see how it works.

    Although I’m able to destroy the port at Calais, I have my first run in with clouds and why I’ll hate them as they cover up the port of Le Havre. Curiosity gets the better of me and I send 2 bombers out anyway. They barely make a dent. I’ll have to return when there is better weather.

    I end the turn with a score of 123.5 to 3.6.

     
  12. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Turn 12

    Spoiler :


    -RAF Spitfires shoot down 1x Fw190A5 over Calais
    -2x Destroyer sunk near Brest and a third badly damaged
    -Wilhelmshaven is finished off but I lose a Stirling to a Ju88C interceptor in the process

    Now that the airbase issue is fixed, I reestablish 2x airbases in Wales as part of my plan to start swamping the Axis.

    A significant number of factories and fuel refineries come on line and I continue building more. I still have 11 cities that aren’t maxed on production and the majority don’t have a second fuel refinery, but I have 7 cities building freight trains and expect to continue along nicely there. In my economics playtests I determined that the Allies could max all cities by 30 turns if they did nothing but upgrade them, but of course that leaves Germany 30 turns to improve, so I have to strike a balance. Right now I need some aircraft to replace losses.

    I’m glad that he attacked my 17’s. I am able to destroy a 190. It’s the first day fighter that I’ve brought down. By limiting attacks to coastal raids, I should be able to engage the Luftwaffe within range of my Spitfires and start to impose some attrition. I end up rush building 1x Spitfire and 4x bombers (2 daylight and 2 nighttime). I’m assembling a good amount of Stirlings and will be making another foray soon).

    The P-38s will come on line next turn and I’ll spend some time building up a good force of them. I think that waiting 2-3 turns before I hit with the USAAF again would be beneficial as I’d be able to pounce with my 38s and destroy some of his fighters. I plan to concentrate on the 190s.

    Because I had 9 Stirlings (6 in England) with a further 2 expected next turn (and an ability to build two each turn now) I decide to finish off Wilhelmshaven. Unfortunately that costs me 1 bomber and requires the use of 2, which leaves a 2nd a sitting duck. I do retreat the third. I need to try and consider where to attack next. I suppose at this point my best bet is to attack straight up the middle into Cologne.

    Given the Historic Missions are live, I know that Operation Gommorrah will be somewhere after turn 30. I want to keep in mind that I want a large force ready for that, and I want Germany spread away from the North Sea. There is a significant effect to succeeding in that operation and I want to make it so.

    In that regard, I also send my north seas fleet barreling towards the last radar installation they can reach. I want to destroy it to open a NW to SE approach to Hamburg eventually. Radar isn’t cheap. I have no idea if he is building more or not but I will be destroying it at every opportunity.

    I’m also starting to consider what techs I really need to win.

    I don’t need jets – they’re not that useful for the Allies.

    I do want bombers that carry better bomb loads, especially at night where I’m never really going to have much of an escort force. I am 3 techs away from better bombers, or approximately 12 turns if I don’t go for fuel supplies III just yet. I still have a large number of cities that need to build other things so I could probably hold off on that but on the other hand, the sooner I get that rolling in my cities the greater of a snowball effect as I’ll be able to use new funds to rush build them sooner. I delayed this to get P-38s but I think I might not want to delay it further.

    Long Range Technology Plans
    I need to start thinking about some fighters that can find the Luftwaffe further away than the shore. While I hope to destroy many of his aircraft over the next 10 or so turns near the shore (indeed, that might be my main source of points until I can start back up with striking things deeper in), I will eventually want to take the fight into Germany.

    I do need to work all the way through the escort fighter line AND lose a significant number of bombers beyond escort range to trigger the event that gives me the technology for the P-51B.

    Thus, it seems to make sense to approach things this way:

    1. Given P-38 is now available, go back and grab the last Fuel Supplies tech so I can max out my industry early and take full advantage of early investment;
    2. Then concentrate on bomber technology because it shares prerequisites with some of the fighter techs (like engines and political support);
    3. Finally concentrate on escort fighters, hopefully so that as soon as Mustangs are available, I can start building them.

    Political support will net me some necessary funds (4,000 fuel credits) which I can use to help rush-build industry that is getting close. This will also enable me to build up more air forces with new freight trains.

    In the meanwhile, I’ll continue to use the RAF to try and strike German point-giving targets by night and I’ll use the USAAF to target coastal ports with the dual intention of increasing my freighters and dragging the Luftwaffe up where it can be destroyed.

    This seems like a plan that is coming together.

    I finish the turn with a score of 136.5 to -3.625. I am averaging 11.375 points per turn now, above the 8 per turn average I need to hit my target invasion date.

     
  13. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 13

    Spoiler :


    -Cherbourg port was attacked with exceptionally unimpressive results
    -U-Boat destroyed near Brest

    I research Interceptors I and go for Fuel Supplies III. After this, it’ll be full steam ahead for better bombers so I can get better bombing results for less cost. My attack on Cherbourg Port, detailed below, underscores the need for this.

    I notice that he has a few destroyers moving in near Brest. They can only attack 1x per turn and my destroyers are veterans so I let them pass, anticipating that they’ll likely die attacking me.

    Germany stacks an Me110 over his radar site near Denmark so I can’t destroy it with ships as I made the design decision to only move stacking units over strategic targets. I withdraw my North Sea excursion force. Two heavy cruisers remain. If he doesn’t notice this, perhaps he’ll waste aircraft patrolling this all the time.

    Despite finding a gap in the cloud cover, 5x B-17s can’t make much of any dent in Cherbourg’s port. No matter. I’ll have several Spitfires and P-38s within striking distance of any fighters he sends up. It’s basically a trap for him using the bombers as bait. I have 4x Spitfires and 3x P-38H’s that will be within striking distance of anything he attacks these bombers with.



    I’ve spent some time considering the overall value of ports. I’m almost obsessed with “point-bearing targets” but ports pay off in a different way. Though they don’t give points for their direct destruction, if I destroy enough of them, I get more freighters. Every time I unload a freighter I get one point. So right now I’m getting 5 points a turn unless McMonkey does something to stop me (and indications are he probably won’t – he hasn’t committed the full strength of his Luftwaffe to cutting me off from supplies). If I can destroy a number of other points I could realistically bump this to 9 freighters per turn (11 would be pretty hard to achieve). That’s over the 8 point-per-turn average that I need right there. I also get points for destroying his fighters and these targets tend to be well within range of my fighters, and usually not super-defended by flak, which gives me the greatest chance of compelling a response from the Jagdflieger. Couple that with the fact that the extra freighters give extra units and it just seems like a tremendous strategy to use the 17’s to concentrate on the ports early game, so that’s what I’m going to do.

    In my earlier game with Prof. Garfield, he severely damaged my fighter strength by drawing the Jagdfieger up to fight his ships. He then pounced with fighters. I’m trying to do the same thing with the 17’s attacking the ports.

    I am trying to balance both the USAAF and RAF to stretch McMonkey as thin as possible (remember: Disperse!) Seven Stirling bombers pierce the French coast in various places. Their target will either be Essen or Stuttgart. The latter is likely less defended by flak at least so I might have a better chance of getting bombs to hit home. I think I still have a radar gap to exploit but I haven’t run a recon along the coast to confirm. I leave these aircraft in a loose formation hoping that not all are discovered. The 17’s will pack tightly for mutual defensive fire support but RAF aircraft will use their invisible until attack nature to try and slip by. If he’s being super methodical (which he might) he could probably move each fighter one space and right click on surrounding spaces to find them. That seems like a lot of work and when he gets newer night fighters, he’ll simply be able to use their onboard radar, anyway. I’ll have to keep an eye out to see when he starts talking about the Ju88G.

    I end the turn with a score of 141.5 to -3.425, all of which is a result of bringing in freighters.

     
  14. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 14

    Spoiler :


    -He111 is destroyed near Swansea by Beaufighters
    -Cherbourg port is finished off

    The light flak hitting my 17’s near Cherbourg prompts me to send a recon unit to see what is going on.



    He has a good defensive force there and is building a flak battery. That’ll make it more difficult to land there eventually but that’s a while off. I have the option of sending some battleships over to attack the city now but decide against it as the only thing I need to do with Cherbourg for the time being is attack its port, and that was destroyed this turn. I do, however, send 2 battleships and a heavy cruiser out to sea, just in case his light cruisers try to track the 17’s over the channel – we’ll be in range to engage them.

    I plan on hitting Le Havre next turn if the weather cooperates. It’s in the clear this turn but who knows what it will look like on the next. Brest appears to be in the clear for a few turns now. That will come next.

    Unfortunately, the Luftwaffe didn’t take the bait but that allows me to build up strength further, so that is acceptable.

    At night, the raid continues to make progress. Stuttgart and Mannheim will be the targets after all. I’m not paying attention and end up blocking a railway with a beaufighter rather than having enough movement points to attack his trains. I’m mostly concerned that this will drag his fighters right to my bomber stream. It’s a stupid move and the pilot is to be reprimanded if the attack goes south.

    On the home front my industry continues to grow and I expect to build 5 more fuel refineries and 2 more factories next turn. I’m currently earning 327 fuel points per turn compared to the 105 I started the scenario with. Things are going well.

    I end the turn with a score of 147 to -3.775. I’m only 103 points away from opening a southern front for the 15th Air Force.

     
  15. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Mid-Range Plans

    Spoiler :


    Operation Shutdown

    Allied planners are beginning to plan for a major B-17 operation that should take place as soon as the 4th port is destroyed and 20 B-17s are available. We are calling it "Operation Shutdown" because it will cut Germany off from freight train reinforcements. The sooner this is done, obviously, the better as the Germans will have more turns without this assistance.

    The goal is to take out two train yards that act as critical choke points out of France. Destroying these will force him to expend resources rebuilding them or else he'll have to disband his freight trains exclusively in France. This should minimize his ability to rebuild any industry we eventually start destroying in Germany.

    The plan will be to strike the Lille train yards first and then carry on to strike the train yard northeast of Lyon with the same bomber group. The attack at Lille will be within escort range and we'll have a full effort when it comes. Lyon will be beyond escort range, but hopefully we will knock out enough of his fighters that the bombers will be able to get through. They will withdraw by the same route, giving fresh escorts a chance to intercept anything on the bomber egress route. The route to Lyon including the attack on Lille

    Lille can be hit in one turn so it is not defensible from Germany's perspective. Lyon's train yard can only be hit on the B-17's 3rd turn. When the much-faster B-24 (30MP per turn to 20MP per turn) comes online, this will probably be their cross to bear, but for now the attack will go on with Flying Fortresses.

    Operation Shutdown is expected to be a routine mission for the 8th Air Force in the future, but for now I would like to try to strike within 10-15 turns, if possible. This of course depends on how well the port strikes go. The plan is Le Havre, then St. Nazaire and Nantes (going west for the last port strikes will hopefully move some of his fighters away from these train yards too).



     
  16. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 15

    Spoiler :



    -Le Havre port destroyed by B-17s
    -Shore battery near Cherbourg shelled – I notice a bug where battleships get a remnant unit that spawns at the same time as the salvo. Not a game changer but will need to fix it eventually.
    -2x Schutzen shelled and destroyed near Pas de Calais
    -Schutzen straffed by aircraft north of Rouen, destroying it

    I’m starting to get a little more aggressive with my navy in the hopes of calling his Luftwaffe up. I’m having a bit of a points slow down because the Luftwaffe is not rising to battle. Given this, and because I also directly impact his ability to call up freight trains by destroying troops in France, I also send a few fighters out to see if he’ll take the bait. I really want to start attacking his fighters, but I need him to cooperate for that. I think "Operation Shutdown" would compel a response, but it'll be a ways before I can make that happen.

    I end the turn with a score of 152 points. Hopefully the RAF raid is productive. I’m also now earning 435 fuel per turn while obtaining techs every three turns. With Fuel Supplies III being researched next turn, I’ll be able to max out my cities and devote them full time to freight trains soon.

    I'm about 2 turns away give or take from launching the last port strikes I should need to gain 7 freighters per turn. I prepare another Construction Crew to build a 3rd airbase in Wales, and will likely build a 4th and 5th.

     
  17. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 16

    Spoiler :


    -1x Fw190 and 1x Me109 shot down over Cherbourg – many 109s reacting from lower (I believe) – this is a bug we’ll need to address as they should only bounce lower targets, not the other way around. 1 Spitfire is bounced after I misjudge how many times the higher 109 had reacted.
    -1x Panzer, 3x Schutzen, something stacked with it destroyed in Pas de Calais. Another Schutzen is damaged in Calais. Shore battery attacked with no effect.
    -Stuttgart bombed but can’t destroy an urban center
    -Shore battery near Cherbourg is shelled more but not destroyed

    Well, the Luftwaffe showed up alright. I wasn't able to destroy as many as I would have liked but did take down a 190 and a 109. Unfortunately I made an error of not working from the top to the bottom and lost a Spitfire that was bounced by a higher 109. I won't make that mistake again. I didn't have my entire force available but have moved several P-38s in range to attack next turn if he sticks around. I also rush-built another Spitfire south of London.

    I am sending 4x B-17s off to attack Nantes and have 2 more being built.

    My navy heavily damages his units. He would do well to move them from the shore. I suspect he'll start doing that soon.

    At night, the RAF bombs Stuttgart but can't destroy it. Hopefully I'll get a chance to finish off some of it next turn.

    I end the turn with 158 points. 1 from killing 2 fighters and 5 from bringing in freighters.

    Next turn will be a big deal in terms of completed buildings with several slated for completion. I've also research Fuel Production III and am going to start building those up. I research Political Support next which will give me 4,000 fuel points to hopefully finish off my industry build in most of the country.

     
  18. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 17

    Spoiler :


    We’ve reached the 10% mark of the scenario.

    -Stuttgart attacked. 1x Urban center destroyed for loss of 1 Stirling.
    -Port destroyed at St. Nazaire
    -Port destroyed at Nantes
    -Factory near St. Nazaire brought to red but not destroyed
    -3x U-Boats destroyed by naval and air action near Brest
    -Shore battery destroyed near Cherbourg
    -2x Light cruisers destroyed by shelling Cherbourg harbor
    -Shore battery, radar, and Schutzen destroyed near Pas de Calais
    -A second shore battery destroyed near Pas de Calais

    Seven fuel refineries come online. I have a fuel surplus of 656 per turn now while researching techs every 3 turns. Four of my 18 cities are fully-developed and will now build freight trains, one being usually built every 4 turns. A few more cities should be fully operational shortly. Once Political Support is researched and I gain 4,000 fuel points, I plan to spend most of that on maximizing my industry because units are so expensive and incremental rush-building is disabled.

    I was very lucky with my attack on St. Nazaire’s port as my first B-17 destroyed it. Another B-17 didn’t have the range to attack a port so it attacked a factory near St. Nazaire instead. I was equally lucky with the strike on Nantes! Finally a good deal (as has been seen this can’t be counted on). Given the luck, I continue hitting the factory and while I get it red, I can’t destroy it quite yet. Unfortunately I’ve either got my math wrong on how many of these places I need to hit, or he has been rebuilding them, or has U-Boats hidden that I haven’t found, as I don’t receive more freight ships. If the Luftwaffe doesn’t take these units out, I’ll be

    His strategy is to hit and run. He’s not leaving units up in the air longer than he needs to and he’s defending his airfields with flak. The good news for me is that any aircraft inside of an airfield are not able to reactively attack (they are considered to be on the ground). Once I have some aircraft that carry 500lb bombs (such as the A20) in some numbers, I can really clean up if I can destroy the ground defenses.

    It is a very busy turn for my navy. He hasn’t moved all of his assets yet and appears to be stacking some assets with shore batteries, hoping that saves them. It won’t, at least not from my battleships. I can’t build more, however, and they are somewhat vulnerable where I have them. They are pretty tough to kill and would require a concerted Luftwaffe effort, which would allow me to attack the Luftwaffe.

    At night, we hit Stuttgart and I hope to be able to press home the attack next turn before withdrawing. I haven't committed any freight trains to the RAF for awhile now, however. I can't wait for local industry to start building them in numbers to supplement my Atlantic supply line.

    I end the turn with a score of 170.5 to -11.8.

     
  19. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Turn 18


    Spoiler :


    Convoy Zone:
    -3 destroyers and 2 other items destroyed, 1 destroyer lost
    -1 U-Boat
    -1x Fw190 shot down by P-38s
    -2x Ju87 shot down by Spitfires and Hurricanes
    -1x He111 shot down by Hurricanes
    -1x He111 badly damaged by P-38

    Elsewhere:
    -Artillery near Cherbourg destroyed
    -Cherbourg shelled with no effect
    -Stuttgart bombed and the urban center destroyed (note: stacking aircraft on these targets isn’t going to help you. Lua moves them automatically).
    -Calais heavily shelled – 3 or 4 Schutzen destoryed

    The Germans hit me hard this turn. We only were able to get 1 freighter through because so many units were in the convoy zone. He saved up his units and then flooded in during one turn. That was a good move on his part, and it hurts.

    I’ve taken steps to up my game again in the Atlantic. I was a bit lax. Now, more destroyers are being built and will head that way. Also, 4x P-38s were built with the plan on attacking whatever he moves in there. We will reinforce efforts there and shut it down. I plan on moving the fleet from Calais over there as well to pummel his ports. At the very least, he’s managed to put my plans on hold. I will note that he’s moved many of his units away from the shoreline in Calais though he has yet to do that around Brest.

    I’ve noticed that the gun battery is exceptionally difficult to kill when there is a flak battery in the city. This is because pretty much everything that would ever strike it is an air unit. That could be an issue, but flak batteries are so expensive that I doubt he builds them everywhere. I think the 500 and 1,000lb bomb especially will break it, but that would require pursuing tactical bombers, which I wasn’t planning on. Now I might need them, someday, to support ground forces.

    The good news is that six of my cities are fully developed, and Political Support will be had next turn, with 4,000 fuel points. This will go into building up cities even more. It is likely that within 3-6 turns, I’ll have maxed out my cities. I’m currently pulling in 1,093 fuel points per turn while having techs researched every 3 turns.

    By night, we’ve attacked Stuttgart fairly well and have weakened the last urban center to about halfway. I have two more bombers on approach and the others can attack another turn or two before they need to head home.

    I end the turn with a score of 185 to -14.075. I am 65 points from opening up another front and hitting targets in Austria (I suspect his most important industry is likely concentrated far away).

    On that note, the activity along the Bay of Biscay has betrayed that he has quite a bit of industry concentrated on the coast, likely to support his efforts in the Battle of the Atlantic. Destroying these gives me points, is generally within range of the P-38’s, and helps the war effort. It’s a no brainer to concentrate here for awhile. The only downside is that it DOES bring his force closer to my convoy zone, but I’m hopeful that the 15th air force can compel him to redistribute some forces. Also, with England fully coming on line soon, I should be able to increase the pressure tremendously.

     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019 at 4:45 PM
  20. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Turn 19


    Spoiler :

    -Stuttgart is finished off
    -3x Destroyers sunk
    -1x U-Boat
    -1x Fw200 Condor shot down by P-38s
    -Factory at Brest attacked but not destroyed

    Political Support I is researched and I immediately set my sights on Political Support II. Each comes with a 4,000 fuel point boon. I believe that I should max out my industry by the time the second political support comes through.

    He’s hitting me where it hurts in the Battle of the Atlantic – I’ve lost 28 destroyers and 6 light cruisers! I’m going to need to rebuild my navy, which I wasn’t anticipating/don’t want to spend resources doing. I’m down to my last 13 destroyers, and that’s with building a few last turn. Basically, every port city in Western England is going to need to start building destroyers and light cruisers now.

    My saving grace is I’m able to swamp the area now with B-17s and P-38s to strike at his fleet and aircraft. Traditionally the B-24s were coastal command but I don’t have them yet. When I do, they’d be much better at this role, but I’m able to sink several ships with the 17s and take out one of his condors. This allows me to keep most of my ships stationary which gives me enough of a move bonus to bring in 5 freighters again. I can swamp this area at least with my aircraft and he’s going to find a hard time countering it since this is the key area where I can build the most aircraft quickly (assuming freighters make it home).

    This of course means that Bomber Command has been totally neglected for several turns. I really don’t have any way to hit him at night for several more turns, so I’m glad to at least destroy Stuttgart.

    I end with a score of 198 to … well, let’s face it, Germany’s not getting 500 points! I probably need to lower that in future versions. 52 points to go to open up Italy!!!

     

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