Naval Strategy?

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    • Naval Strategy?

      Hello all,

      I was wondering what your naval strategies are for when you play a very naval-focused nation, such as the US or Japan. I generally tend to stick with the 25p Historical matches, so any tips there would be great. With that being said, any naval strategy tips would be great, such as good early game naval makeups vs best possible stacks for later game. I've heard that a solid strategy is just to spam subs, but I'm sure there's some more depth to naval combat than that.
      I cant believe I misspelled my own username
    • Naval and air units cannot capture land, and land is what wins the game. You need naval units to allow your own convoys across the oceans, and to prevent enemy convoys from reaching your shores. To defend a big coastline I think some well placed artillery are cheaper and more versatile. You get four good hits from your artillery while the convoy is disembarking, and that is usually a good bit of damage.

      I have seen people make a naval blockade across the entire Atlantic on the 22 player map, but that takes a tremendous amount of oil.

      Subs are good for spying at choke points such as the straight of Gibraltar or Istanbul to observe unit movement.

      Subs are also good for spying on land forces, particularly places like the UK where a sub's visual range is halfway across the country, or for scouting a good landing spot for invasion.
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    • I'm going to give a round-about answer here . . . .

      I always encourage COW rookies to think in terms of food and oil budgets.

      Most playable countries have one or two single oil-producing core provinces (on the 22-player map, four countries have one double oil-producing province). At 100% morale, the typical oil province starts producing at 3,000 to 3,050 tons per day, and that can be increased to 6,000 to 6,100 tons per day (a 100% increase) by adding level 3 infrastructure and a level 5 industrial complex. Adding L3 infrastructure takes 5 days; adding an L5 industrial complex requires 7 days. If you're lucky, and one of your core oil provinces is on the coast, you can increase production another 30% by adding an L3 naval base -- that takes another four days, and naval bases use oil to operate, so they are your lowest oil production return on your investment of resources to build them.

      So, that means you have a daily oil budget of 3,000 to 6,000 tons per day to start the game, and about half of all countries on the 22-player map only have one oil province (i.e. they start with 3,000 tons per day). How are you going to allocate that sustainable daily production among your three primary categories of oil burners -- (1) armored units, (2) aircraft units, and (3) naval units?

      Would you rather have 12 light tank brigades (1,200 tons of oil per day), 12 tactical bomber squadrons (1,200 tons of oil per day), or 12 battleships (2,400 tons of oil per day)? If you're not thinking in those terms, you're going to experience an oil shortage, and if you overbuild oil-burning units, it may be completely unsustainable. You have to prioritize.
    • On the 25 player map are you land bound like Tibet or naval based like Japan? My limited experience with Naval is to mix stacks of DD, Cruiser and BB. Keep subs slightly in front. When they make contact use the ranged units to eliminate the enemy and minimize damage to your subs. Use your favorite land unit type to take and hold ground. With the latest updates I like a mix of Commandos with AA if you are island hopping.

      Inf, ART and AA for inland areas or substitute jeeps/tanks, Mob ART and Mob AA if you want fast movers. Throw in Interceptors and TAC to help eliminate forward opposition or quickly respond to new threats.

      All the while keep in mind the oil costs Montana mentions above and balance that to your starting country and production.

      Good luck as the 25 map is tough to manage as resources are not in balance. You will be shorted something.
      "A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week." - General George S. Patton, Jr.

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    • VorlonFCW wrote:

      To defend a big coastline I think some well placed artillery are cheaper and more versatile
      There are none recept for every case.

      Spaztroanut wrote:

      I generally tend to stick with the 25p Historical matches
      I have played 25er Australia. I used Carrier with airforces. Battleships and Cruiser and Destroyers and subs for Protection carriers. Airforces to kill enemy, some Landunits to capture. I fought 5 weeks vs GB Player. And im tired of fight David vs Goliath, i left. but i fought with australia versus GB! Versus 5 time stronger economic and military might!!!!

      Only with my Naval strategie i was able to do.
    • My strategy is simple, i only focus on navy if i got a maritime empire or the areas i will take would be vulnerable, heres the thing, battleships are good at attacking ground and naval targets otherwise they should roam or sit in port, Cruisers are good as a escort and also a replacement for a battleship, Aircraft carriers are very useful, they can help transport planes across distances and be useful to destroying a enemy fleet if they are used right, destroyers are essential, they protect against subs they can hunt undefended convoys and be a visible scout, subs can fulfill the same duty but much slower and are vulnerable. Never leave battleships alone, send subs or destroyers ahead, and never underestimate cruisers.
    • Some countries can get by with little to no navy, it completely depends on the scenario and your starting position. In my last game I played as Japan in a 1.5 100 player game; I won a solo victory. In that scenario naval superiority was essential and the amount of territory that I could threaten with my navy was extensive.

      It may seem counter-intuitive, but I never built a battleship. If you know anything about naval history particularly the WWII era you would also know that battleships were essentially obsolete by the end of the war. Naval air power becomes so dominant in the mid to late game that your battleships will struggle to be useful without cruiser support. Cruisers are also much faster than battleships at similar tech levels. This allows cruisers to dictate the engagement when confronted with a battleship fleet. Battleships and destroyers are miserable against air power, but cruiser stacks are essentially immune to air attacks or at least will make your enemy pay dearly for attacking them. I find that the resource investment (particularly to research cruisers and battleships) is prohibitive. Their bombardment damage is about half of what a battleship is and the range is a bit shorter, but you can make up for it with numbers. So consider that tip number one, research cruisers and keep their tech level current. They should be the backbone of your navy.

      You don't need to keep your aircraft carriers up to date, they will lag behind your cruiser/destroyer groups but their reach is quite far. Naval bombers are essential to controlling the seas. They are devastating against everything on the water other than cruisers. They are particularly effective against submarines, battleships and convoys. Don't waste them against land targets.

      Don't be afraid to pull back if you're outgunned. I think this is the biggest single mistake I see players make on land and at sea. Engage the enemy on favorable terms, avoid taking fire without returning it. Naval battles are generally mobile affairs, but you can lock a stack up by engaging at close range. Subs are particularly good for this, though they should avoid engaging destroyers at all times. You're much better off just shelling them with cruisers than taking huge damage every combat round. The key to victory at sea or on land is doing more damage to your opponent than they do to you, the best way to do that at sea is to attack forces with units that do big damage to that type but take little in return; Naval bombers attacking subs/destroyers/battleships for instance. Surface ships usually have to take damage to give damage and naval battles usually devolve to attrition. Stay patient, engage on on your terms, don't feel like you need to destroy their fleet in a few hours.
    • Naval timing can also be critical. Hitting a stack with ranged fire, simultaneous with subs hitting to stick the enemy fleet in place just as your air arrives, will cause most naval stacks to wither quickly as once stuck by the sub(s) they can only be offennsive against one of the opposing groups.
      "A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week." - General George S. Patton, Jr.

      "Do, or do not. There is no try" - Yoda
    • Cool thread. So submarines always go alone? I checked out this thread just now. What range units exactly should be in a standard stack? I have 1 Aircraft Carrier, 1 Battle Ship, 2 Cruiser, 3 Destroyer and 6 Submarines
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