Tactics, Stacking

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    • Tactics, Stacking

      So, I want to maximize my potential in games, and I want to know from the community what to do/ change in my tactics / stacking. I usually do something like this-

      Light tank/medium tank stacks with 5-7 each

      Artillery stacks with 3 each

      Plane stacks- 5 bombers and 5 fighters per stack

      I only ever mix troops for the plane stacks - I always separate units. Light tanks in their own stack, arty in their own, medium tanks in their own, etc.

      I don't use much AA or infantry troops in general, idk if that is bad.

      So, my questions are;
      Are these stacks okay? Can I add more to them, or change them up?
      Should I mix troops in my stacks?
      Are there any other troops I could use more?

      Any tips in general for stacking, attacks, artillery, etc. would be great!
    • @Water_Is_Wet: I could write a dissertation on the subject and issues you've raised in your post above, but I suggest that you start by reading and understanding the content in this "SBDE" thread linked below:

      > > > > State based damage efficiency < < < <

      This is a good place to start understanding one of the significant game dynamics, and it should have a significant impact on your thinking regarding how you configure your stacks, and the number of units of particular types which you use.

      We can chat more tomorrow after you've had a chance to absorb this.

      Cheers.
    • It is normally preferable in terms of efficiency to have as many unit types in a stack as possible when attacking in melee battle so defensive damage to you is only dealt once per hour. For the optimal number of units per type in each stack it is normally good to have them around the SBDE penalty limit. BRDubbs made a list of these limits here: State based damage efficiency. Another consideration that is often important is the morale of unit type. If you are about to lose a unit but want to keep them it is sometimes better to split them so you have more to fire in the next round. For example, if you have a stack of two units at 51% morale you may want to split them so you don't lose one.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by DxC ().

    • I would absolutely advise mixed stacks, but be careful about speed limits. You can see people marching around with a stack like 5 light tanks and one militia, that's very bad because the militia is keeping all the tanks down (and has very little combat value anyway. In general, try to mix stacks of the same speed type (mobile units with other mobiles, arty with AT and AA, etc).

      SBDE is calculated per unit type, so if you want to make bigger stacks than the ones in the thread mentioned above, just add different unit types and you're OK.

      If you're not using AA, you're bound to run into some guy with a lot of tac bombers soon and he will positively massacre you))) Actually AA is the only reason I sometimes slow down my mobile stacks for. Don't be conservative with them, only having like five in a stack will do you good against air attacks. Rule of thumb, you don't need them against AI, but you DO against a human player that has any skill at all.
      When the enemy is driven back, we have failed. When he is cut off, encircled and dispersed, we have succeeded. - Aleksandr Suvorov.
    • So I have read through the SBDE guide before and my main pick up was the 5 fighters and 5 tactical bombers per squadron. The LT limit is 6 so I like to have LT stacks of 5 or 6 tanks per stack. My main grudge with mixing units in a stack is the speed difference. I want to be able to not get massacred by air, but I also want to have a fast tempo with my tanks. That is why I also use my artillery in small numbers, so I don't take insane hits.

      What are some good ways to stack different unit types? As you said, armor with armor, but is AA in a LT stack a good idea? Maybe I can put AA in my artillery stack which will give me more confidence to put more artillery in the stack? I want to know what kind of mixing you guys do. Thanks!
    • AA with Tanks is an Awesome idea, because tanks are very vulnerable to Air attacks. yes, they will slow down the tempo, but you will get to the end point in most cases. The more different units you have in a stack, the longer this stack will survive. Also, as Roko said , the stack will move at the speed of the slowest unit in it, it does not matter how many of those units you have, if there is even one, it will still slow you down.
    • Water_Is_Wet wrote:

      What are some good ways to stack different unit types? As you said, armor with armor, but is AA in a LT stack a good idea?
      Start thinking in terms of self-propelled artillery, self-propelled anti-aircraft, motorized infantry and mechanized infantry, all of which move as fast or faster than your medium tank units. Review the spec sheets for those units, and compare them to the specs for conventional (i.e. non-motorized) infantry, artillery, anti-tank and anti-aircraft units. But remember, there is a big trade-off: speed and maneuverability for added oil consumption. You've got to learn to play the slow game, and the fast game, and recognize that when you haven't fully developed your oil production, you're probably not going to be able to support a fully motorized field army.

      Also, if you're not thinking in terms of oil and food production and consumption budgets, you've missed a big element of force structure. I love a fast-moving field army, but I cannot always afford one, especially in the first few weeks of the game.
    • MihailMD wrote:

      @MontanaBB , why don't you challenge yourself in Player's League?
      That time will come, sir.

      My style of play requires a lot of battle micro-management. (Some might argue almost obsessive micro-management.) It's one of the keys to my high kills-to-losses ratios. Micro-management requires a lot of free time, which I have less of now than I did. When I launch into something like Player's League, I want to give you boys my best game. But, yeah, it's something I've wanted to do for a long while.
    • One of the things that annoyed me before I learned how to deal with it was that stacks containing artillery would just sit outside a city and bombard when told to attack, thus requiring micromanagement. What seems to be working well for me now is to be a member of High Command and make use of the fire controls. I make a stack of tanks, artillery, antitank, antiair, and a few infantry early game. I can select "agressive" in the fire control and have that stack march to province A, then add target province B and so on. The artillery will halt the stack and bombard any units within range rather than blunder into them, so it is almost an autopilot without needing constant nannying.

      Now I don't think I could just set that on autopilot against an awake human's front lines, but it works for AI and mopping up. Sure it slows you down to keep unit cohesion, but it doesn't do any good for your tanks to run into a fortified artillery or bomber squadron with the rest of your stack two days behind either.
      War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



      VorlonFCW
      Main Administrator
      EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

      >>> Click Here to submit a bug report or support ticket <<<
    • i think you are just scared and making excuses :thumbdown: ;)
      Most of us have families and jobs that come before the game... So , your particular excuse is irrelevant, if we all could micro manage 24/7 , most people would have a lot better kill ratio... so this one is also irrelevant... Fear of losing. seems to be the main theme in your reluctance to join :)
    • Thanks for the tips guys. Last thing, how do you guys make artillery stacks? I absolutely love artillery and as I said before I keep them behind the main front in groups of 3. How do you guys use artillery? I might want to start adding AA in artillery stacks, then I can add more artillery and be safe from air attacks... What do you guys do in artillery stacks?

      Edit: I also love rockets and the gustav :>
    • Water_Is_Wet wrote:

      How do you guys use artillery? I might want to start adding AA in artillery stacks, then I can add more artillery and be safe from air attacks... What do you guys do in artillery stacks?
      I almost never put artillery in my front line stacks. I put my artillery behind my front line stacks. Conventional artillery is relatively fragile and has only 5 hit points per regiment; SP arty is slightly more robust, but it still only has 10 hit points. It has no business being on the front line. The great value of arty is that it is a ranged weapon, and it can inflict damage on your opponent, and your opponent can't hit back.

      That said, once my opponents have the tactical bomber wings flying, you need to combine AA regiments with your arty regiments. I like a 2:1 ratio of arty to AA units, and maybe closer to 1:1 if the enemy is flying aggressive air attacks. If that's the case, I also keep a patrolling 5 to 10-squadron fighter wing in the close vicinity to surprise any would-be TB attacks on my arty batteries.

      FYI, I use arty more than most players do, and I always like to have at least 8 to 12 arty regiments backing my primary field army. More if time and resources permit. I get the best results by splitting those 8 to 12 regiments into batteries of 3 or 4; more hits per hour inflicts more damage on the Bad Guys in my experience.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by MontanaBB ().

    • At the moment I have just started invading an AI morocco (22 player map) using two stacks. Each is roughly: 4 light tanks, 5 artillery, 2 antitank, 2 antiair, 3 infantry. I think most of those units are level two or will be today day 10. I formed those units up into a convoy for ocean crossing, and set them to march to a province, timing it so the two stacks arrived at adjoining coastal provinces withing the same hour.

      I used to do like you and keep artillery back, but that just takes so much management. Then adding them to tanks without the high command fire controls just makes them a paperweight. So I am planning to just use operational stacks like described, and maybe have a few straggler units behind to reduce rebellions and mop up.
      War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



      VorlonFCW
      Main Administrator
      EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

      >>> Click Here to submit a bug report or support ticket <<<
    • MihailMD wrote:

      game mechanics allow you to have up to 8 arty in the stack without any penalties to effectiveness.
      My personal experience is that big stacks of arty -- even the SBDE maximum of 8 regiments -- are less efficient in inflicting damage. I've experimented with a lot of configurations for my arty batteries, but I will usually move them as a group, together with their supporting AA and other protective units, but I will split them into batteries of 3 or 4 regiments each when they are actively bombarding the enemy.
    • VorlonFCW wrote:

      I used to do like you and keep artillery back, but that just takes so much management.
      True, it does take more active management. But in a typical game, I inflict a third or more of the casualties on my enemy with artillery. For those kinds of results, I'm willing to take the extra time.

      There's an anonymous quote, widely mis-attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte, to the effect "God fights on the side with the best artillery." If Napoleon didn't say it first, he wished he had.
    • MontanaBB wrote:

      MihailMD wrote:

      game mechanics allow you to have up to 8 arty in the stack without any penalties to effectiveness.
      My personal experience is that big stacks of arty -- even the SBDE maximum of 8 regiments -- are less efficient in inflicting damage. I've experimented with a lot of configurations for my arty batteries, but I will usually move them as a group, together with their supporting AA and other protective units, but I will split them into batteries of 3 or 4 regiments each when they are actively bombarding the enemy.


      too bad you scared to bring your "vast knowledge and kill ratio" to PL to really test it. I see playing against inexperienced opposition and AI has given you a lot of confidence ;) :whistling:
    • MihailMD wrote:

      too bad you scared to bring your "vast knowledge and kill ratio" to PL to really test it. I see playing against inexperienced opposition and AI has given you a lot of confidence
      Yes, Mihail, my nine outright wins (six 22-player, one 10-player, two 50-player games), six second-place finishes behind allies, and one outright loss in 16 games played to completion have given me a fair amount of confidence in my battle management skills and tactics. That, of course, and the takedown of several players ranked in the top 100. In my experience, there are a lot of players who are ranked highly because they play a lot of games. Better measures of skills are ranking points divided by the number of games played, and their kills-to-losses ratio against human opponents. And, yes, of course, the quality of your human opponents matters. Someone who mostly plays in PL is going to have lower ratios.

      Your mileage may vary.