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The Supreme Commander» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Thpughts about ahistorical strategies rss

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Mike Neubauer
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I haven’t played the game yet but I’ve spent time on the rules and set it up. I'm a finance guy for a living and my thoughts on the game leads me to concerns re potentially dominant ahistorical strategies and issues about production costs that I’d like some of you folks to think about and let me know if you agree/disagree.

1) Subs seem to be too expensive and powerful. You can buy 3 subs for the cost of two fleets and you get a free shot that with a +1 sub tech gives you a 20% chance of sinking a fleet BEFORE he gets to shoot at you, then you have a 1:1 face off that is more even. Is this a proxy for merchant losses? No way the Royal Navy or the US Navy took this kind of losses to subs.

2) You can buy 2 2-6 tanks for the cost of 3 1-3 inf’s. Thus, tank building dominates until you build all the tanks.

3) At least for the Germans and Russians, once you get a 1 Tech for inf and tanks, it seems that you should concentrate on increasing your inf Tech only because you have more infantry armies than tank armies, and thus are more likely to get the Tech benefit more often.

Why would the Germans want to invest in both tank and infantry tech?

4) Is there any reason to build a bomber before exhausting all your available fighters? You get three fighters for the cost of two bombers and, if you don’t bother with strategic bombing, the only other real benefit of bombers appears to be a longer range and their ability to serve as cannon fodder for fighters when they are unescorted. Why bother?

Note: The rules appear ambiguous and in 13.2.3, last dot point, allow both fighters and bombers to add a DRM while the combat chart says only bombers. Which is it?

5) Given the very high effectiveness of flak and the high vulnerability of unescorted bombers to fighters, strategic bombing for the Allies appears to be a non-starter: you lose a lot more MRP’s in bomber losses than you pick up in strat bombing hits. Again, why bother?

This suggests a dominant strategy for the Allies at least is building as many ground units as possible and recycling them as quickly as possible, which didn’t happen for many reasons. So why build bombers?

In sum, at least prima facie these issues seem to drive a numbers guy like me to use construction and technology strategies that are not suggested by what the participants actually did and seem counter intuitive to me. Are tanks really cheaper than infantry? Don’t bombers have an advantage over fighters when supporting ground combat (they don’t appear to in this game, unless I missed something)?

Your thoughts are criticisms are welcome. Given that I haven't played the game, maybe I'm way off.
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Tom Stearns
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Welcome to BGG Mike.

I'm the opposite of you, not a number cruncher. Your perspective is interesting. I think you need to play it and see how it works out for you using some of your ideas. Games like this tend to reward balance. If you focus solely in one area then you will be weak in others or unable to counter your opponent. Your opponent is also a variable that is difficult to predict. What is your opponent building? Where is he focused and how is he using his forces?

You may be right about the numbers and costs. It may not matter what your opponent does. You will have to play it out to find out. Costs are gonna be variable also due to tech levels. You have to invest in tech and diplomacy as well as build units. Different nations have different force pools and different MSP levels. So it may not be as cut and dried as you think. Look forward though to hearing about your results.
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Severus Snape
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Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
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"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."--Pascal
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Quote:
3) At least for the Germans and Russians, once you get a 1 Tech for inf and tanks, it seems that you should concentrate on increasing your inf Tech only because you have more infantry armies than tank armies, and thus are more likely to get the Tech benefit more often.

Why would the Germans want to invest in both tank and infantry tech?


If were thinking of the "real" war, tanks, by themselves, are not enough; the Queen of battle, the infantry, was still needed. But that's the "real" war; at this abstract level, who is to say, at this early stage, what works best.

And I guess that is the part of the fun and the frustration of this type of design. Anything that runs too parallel to the real deal, for your tastes, will bring our wrath. But anything that takes us into Harry Turtledove conquers the Martins la-la land, will be worse.

goo
 
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Danny Holte
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You really need to play before making these judgements on how it is going to play. A lot of testers played for several years looking for just these types of things. Don't worry about it. Of course, if you play solo and try to make it so, it might happen to a certain extent.

The infantry-tech only, armor-tech only, don't waste money on bombers, go subs, no subs etc etc... it's all been tried.

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Daniel Schulz
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DHolte wrote:
You really need to play before making these judgements on how it is going to play. A lot of testers played for several years looking for just these types of things. Don't worry about it. Of course, if you play solo and try to make it so, it might happen to a certain extent.

The infantry-tech only, armor-tech only, don't waste money on bombers, go subs, no subs etc etc... it's all been tried.



And what happened? If you want this game to sell, I'd address these concerns. May ass is planted firmly on the fence at the moment.
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Tom Stearns
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horrido wrote:
DHolte wrote:
You really need to play before making these judgements on how it is going to play. A lot of testers played for several years looking for just these types of things. Don't worry about it. Of course, if you play solo and try to make it so, it might happen to a certain extent.

The infantry-tech only, armor-tech only, don't waste money on bombers, go subs, no subs etc etc... it's all been tried.



And what happened? If you want this game to sell, I'd address these concerns. May ass is planted firmly on the fence at the moment.


If you already know how it's gonna turn out then why bother playing? The point of playing games is to try different strategies and approaches and see what happens. I don't want Dan to give us the answers on strategy. I want to work that out for myself.

The game will sell on it's own merits and not based on whether Dan reveals what works and what doesn't. Since it was P500 I'm pretty sure it has already sold at least that many copies.
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Mike Neubauer
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OK, thanks guys and of course I'm going to play the game, which I'll start over the weekend.

About my rules question: Do fighters get a +1 in ground combat or not. The rules are ambiguous, as I noted. It makes sense to me that they do not, otherwise why build bombers?
 
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Tom Stearns
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Mike,

Last bullet under rule 13.2.3 on pg 20 is pretty clear.

" Apply any weather DRM (-1 for Snow, -2 for Mud) and any DRM for FIGHTERS and BOMBERS remaining in the hex, for both the attacker and defender (maximum of two each, +1 or -1 per air unit.)
 
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Danny Holte
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Mike Neubauer wrote:
OK, thanks guys and of course I'm going to play the game, which I'll start over the weekend.

About my rules question: Do fighters get a +1 in ground combat or not. The rules are ambiguous, as I noted. It makes sense to me that they do not, otherwise why build bombers?


Yes, they do add the +1. First, strategic bombing does work. Especially for example when Germany combines it with a solid sub campaign vs. British production. You can really squeeze them (..at least until the US starts to build up) Also, in a late game against Germany the combined US/Brit air campaign can really hurt the German player's precious MSP.

Additionally, there are only two quick air combat rounds. You can protect the bombers from enemy fighters, and when you have a valuable target, well protected, you might really want the bonus.
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Mike Neubauer
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Right, thanks and I saw that. However, a note below the CRT and next to the Naval/Air table says "Total Combat Strength: Unit strengths...
+ Tech Level
+ HQ
+ BOMBER UNITS
+ Terrain
+ Flank Bonus

I don't see anything in 13.2.3 that talks about adding bomber units to the combat strength, but it says to do it on the CRT, so which controls? Is it a DRM for fighters and bombers, or add a factor(s) for bombers, both, neither, or what?
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Tom Stearns
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Dan I believe stated either here or on CSW that it is DRM's only. The charts are a misprint. The rules are correct.
 
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Danny Holte
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Yes, the rules are correct.
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Mike Neubauer
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Aha!
 
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Tom Stearns
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DHolte wrote:

Yes, the rules are correct.


Dan, are you "endorsing" my point of view and making me an "authority"?
LOL...sorry couldn't resist......whistle
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don p
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This game is a lot deeper than first glance and must be played. Tom and Dan are right while first glance at number crunching it makes no sense to strategic bomb. Reality after 2 games is different. The germans have to build ground forces tio take france, low countries, diplomacy for minors subs.... They seem to never have enough msp. My british bombers in 41 were taking away 10-15 msp from the german per turn. He had to build fighters and flak. taking away from needed builds against russia. Air combat cost him 2 fighters 180msp. Again for the Allies early the goal should be to keep the russians alive. Taking away units and MSP any way you can is huge -- regardless of the cost to you. Allies need to stay alive till the US gets in. then build up.
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Arjan Schuthof
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Supreme Commander solo ?

Looks like an awesome game to me. Can you tell me after all this playtesting how well it plays solo ?

Thanks!

 
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Chris Friend
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schuthof wrote:

Looks like an awesome game to me. Can you tell me after all this playtesting how well it plays solo ?

Thanks!



I’m a solo gamer. As much (actually, as little) as I’ve been able to play so far, it is fine solo. But as Ted points out in the thread “solo?” it has naval and air decoy markers that can’t be used solo but that’s no big deal to me.
Give it a shot and tell us what you think.
 
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