| Wednesday, December 01, 2004 - 10:16 am |
This is a message (by no means complete) that a newbie can use as a guide to waging war. I want to write this because there is very little accessible information for new players when it comes to war. I've spent literally hours searching this forum and the newly reopened TNN for war tips. I understand why--the players who have shed blood learned valuable lessons at a high cost. I don't purport to have all the answers, but here is my experience at war. I'm sure there are much better ways of going about it, but this was mine.
CONDITIONS--I started playing in late October, and with the exception of a one week vacation spend about 20 minutes working on my country each day. I have a coastal country in a region of C3s and relatively inactive players.
ECONOMY--Don't even think about starting a war until your corps are worth a couple trillion and your monthly income is at least twice your expenses. This means, don't bother going crazy on military spending for at least two real weeks.
TARGET SELECTION--Think about who you will attack. One group I don't attack is regular, active players. There are enough open countries, so why pound on someone who actually cares about their country? I also avoid C3s because apparently they can put up a so-so defense. That leaves player occupied countries with presidents who haven't logged on in several weeks. Clearly they have no intention of playing any longer, so fair game in my book.
PREPARATION--Okay, first thing you'll need are offensive military bases and airports. One of each is sufficient. Get five long range radar planes so you can scout the enemy. If you're on the coast, get a fleet command, one carrier, and five or ten supply ships (it's good to get these early because it can take months or even years for them to actually show up for use--some kinda bug). Next, determine what offensive forces you will use. I'm lucky because all my conquests were withing range of land forces (so this is the type of campaign I will discuss). Basically, if your target is in your region, chances are you can strike with ground forces. This is ideal because a land war is by far the cheapest way to go (based on weapon costs and what I've read). I was also fortunate because none of the presidents of the countries I attacked made their information secret. So I knew my targets' force composition well in advance. My recommendation for the type of war I described is to purchase Navy Fighters (5-6 thousand), Heavy Jeeps (10-12 thousand), and Heavy Artillery (10 thousand). I also bought tanks, offensive anit-air batteries, and helicopters; but found I didn't really need them. Okay, BEFORE YOU PURCHASE UNITS, PURCHASE THE AMMUNITION. This will save you a ton of money and manpower. If you buy all these weapons first, they will have to be manned, even though you won't be using them for several years. You will drain LLW and MLMs from the workforce, and your defense budget will go up. So, how much ammo to buy? If you look at the weapons information page in the documentation, you will see that some weapons systems can use up to ten rounds of ammunition PER TURN. My recommendation (based on the number of systems I mentioned above) is: 100k NF missiles and 4 million rounds of artillery grenades. Jeeps don't use ammo, but they can destroy stuff nonetheless. Typically, I made large orders of ammo at about 60 percent market price with a monthly increase of 3 percent. It took time, but this is a game of patience. Once you have all the ammo and weapons you need (total cost will be well over a trillion--just warning you), declare war on your target. Prior to doing so, make sure you've done a weapons inspection to ensure that all your weapons can, in fact, attack that country. If it's too far for your ground forces, pick a different target or re-tool your military. After you declare war, you have to wait six months before commencing hostilities. I recommend you begin converting ten hospitals (the max) per month to war hospitals. War hospitals are critical for getting your wounded healed--otherwise they just wind up dying. Sixty or so should do it, unless you are planning multiple campaigns.
CONDUCT OF THE WAR--Not that difficult really. The targets I chose had the automatic defense turned on. Consequently, their military was spread out between all the forts, cities, towns, factories, bases, and airports. One warning, only declare war and fight when you have the time to sit at the computer for two or three hours. You are limited to four attacks every six minutes or so. It takes 100-200 attacks to win. Do the math. I did most of my fighting while watching NFL football games. Another thing to keep in mind is that the defense always attacks first. So you need to use overwhelming force. Okay, the most important thing to do when fighting a ground war is to destroy your enemy's helicopters. If you don't, you will either lose or take big casualties. About half a country's helos are sent to whichever target you attack. Helos kill ground units very easily. Consequently, your first target is your enemy's airport (or airports). I target the airport, select the maximum number of Navy Fighters (up to 10K), and press "ATTACK DEFENSE". You will probably lose a few hundred NFs (because Anti air batteries concentrate at the airport), but you will destroy all the helis (along with any other defenders). Repeat process at any other airfields (then destroy the airfields--select "ATTACK TARGET"). Next, I attacked the defenses at bases with my tanks (but you can use 10K jeeps for the job). Destroy bases. Finally, I attacked the defenses at the capital city. By now, there really should only be token ground forces remaining. There will be tons of Anti-air left, but your Navy Fighters will be back on the carrier sipping brews for the rest of the war. Their only job was to kill those helis. You can waste your time attacking all the ground forces till they're gone, but I just put up with minor casualties while I attack targets. Next, I attacked and completely destroyed any corporations that I didn't want around after conquering. Most absentee presidents never turn off the "auto build corporations" function, so the country has too many anyways. I targeted military factories and agriculture (which tend to be unprofitable). The other corps I damaged to between 85 or 90 percent. You don't want to kill them all because you need to have some kind of economy when you take over, plus it can actually lead to the war index going UP if you kill all factories (see other threads for the reason). About 850-860 artillery pieces should be sufficient to cause 90 percent damage (depending on casualties due to the defense). After the factories are gone, I destroy the capital city, and all other cities. By then, the war index should be in the single digits. Destroy the fortifications, maybe a few towns, and you'll own the country (war index hits zero).
MY RESULTS: I used the strategy above and conquered five countries in about 6 game months. All but one country I beat in one game month of actual fighting. I'm at war with a sixth country, but I'm sick of fighting and I've now got five new countries to build up. Still, not a bad go for a first timer.
THE BAD PART OF WAR: If I had to do it again, I'd only conquer two countries initially. Why? Because it's a friggin pain to build these countries up. These countries have two things going against them. First, they had absentee presidents, so they sucked in the first place. Second, you just finished devestating them, so now they really blow. I mean, you've got to tweak all the settings, close a bunch of corps, build new ones, transfer people, deal with massive debt, deal with trillions (with a "T") in war damage, etc. Building up five crap holes at once is taxing to say the least. So keep the ambition in check at first. I made a bit of a rookie mistake. If you're unemployed or off on summer break, then go ahead and build an instant empire. Just be ready to spend time getting it in shape.
THE BENEFITS OF WAR: Well, if you haven't figured it out yet, this game has little to do with getting all your indexes in line. I dutifully worked on my education, transportation, health, and other indexes until I realized that doing so only gets you to MAYBE 250th place. The real points are made by trading in your local and common markets. While I could just join a common market, I thought, wouldn't it be fun to form a CM and war fed with all the countries I beat. That way, I could tweak things for maximum point gain. So, manipulation of a CM is probably the single best reason to go to be a conquerer. Others include the ability to form a war fed that's all on the same sheet of music, and the ability to transfer people from the slave to the parent country. You can also exchange professionals if your workforce is out of line.
FINAL CAVEAT: I got into some detail here, but not all of it. If you've read this far, you're not stupid and can figure out the rest as you go. This isn't the definitive war guide by any stretch. I'm sure there are far easier ways to do it. There's also a method by which you can damage corps to 90 percent, wait a few game months (while the business and employment index drop) and then resume hostilities. A lowered biz and employment index result in a lowering of the war index. It takes a few months because the effects of your attacks are not immediate on corporate hiring. I didn't use this method because I had a narrow window of real time in which to conduct my wars of conquest. I also understand that instead of NFs, you can use offensive anti-air in conjuction with RDUs (as human shields) to attack airfield defenses. Apparently, the defenders will attack the RDUs first. So, if you have enough of each, the OAAMBs will kill all the helis. This would be a cheaper way to go than NFs. I didn't do this because I didn't know about it until too late. I hope this helps demystify the relatively expensive and tedious "art of war". The real veterans of the game are either laughing their asses off at my amateur advice, or mortified that I spilled some secrets. But if you look around, there isn't anything I said that has not already been written elsewhere. This is just my attempt at leaving the woodpile a little higher than when I found it.