Trouble in Batan defense

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Epperaliant
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Trouble in Batan defense

Post by Epperaliant » Tue Mar 23, 2021 11:28 am

So, I think I hit my first roadblock with this game.
The scenario looks impossible, although it is probably partly caused by me being nuts and starting at maximum difficulty.
Previous scenarios were manageable and I was reluctant to lower difficultly.

Fact is is, enemy numbers are overwhelming.
I set up my defenses alongside the rivers, had all infantry covered by AT guns and had some ground AA for protection.
I always tried to maximize terrain bonuses and abuse rivers. I also had a decent resource amount since I completed all the secondaries in thew previous scenarios.

Yet enemy continuously pummel my infantry, and even while being in rivers eventually they manage to break their morale and rout them by sheer attrition.
Enemy air rule the sky and while my AA slowly bleeds them, they inflict casualties. Later, a strat bomber shows up and makes thing even worse.

Now, I managed to hold the left side. The enemy marine assault came, but I managed to contain it.
Right is a lost cause. I managed to hold the gold objective secondary and got a few of requisition, but it costed me way too many losses.
My line collapsed when I finished the resources, even when minimizing losses, each Japanese units manages to knock 1-2 men even if fighting from rivers and eventually my squads get broken.

I was wondering, besides lowering the difficulty, how can good players manage to win this in hardest mode?
Maybe I need a full core of Heavy infantry covered by entrenching engineers?

GabeKnight
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by GabeKnight » Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:03 am

At least on the "right side", you should use engineers to lay some minefields and definitely blow all bridges. And try to hold on to the fortress as long as possible. Their arty guns are amazing!

Epperaliant
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by Epperaliant » Wed Mar 24, 2021 9:06 am

I think I am also going to lower the difficulty to default setting (fighting on equal terms), enemy units being buffed looks really bad and I am afraid it might make the game feel less realistic.

But I also fear that this would trivialize the game, hope this is not the case.

calmhatchery
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by calmhatchery » Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:39 am

Hello Epperaliant.
You have be patient.
1. You have defense some places for few turn and try slow retreat.
do not defend the riverside places at all costs !!! and slowly retreat..
remember about AT gun behind for the defense infantry.
2. two or 3 units are optimal to the good defence on the river.

Epperaliant
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by Epperaliant » Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:11 pm

I am replaying at Normal difficulty.

The Ai is much more cautions now as it cannot simply just steamroll my units.
It feels much fair now, I hope this was the difficulty the whole campaigns were planned around.

Hardest mode really feels you need to know the maps by heart and it's 100% unforgiving.

GabeKnight
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by GabeKnight » Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:30 pm

Epperaliant wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:11 pm
Hardest mode really feels you need to know the maps by heart and it's 100% unforgiving.
Not really. But it helps if you know the OoB rules and mechanics. And (of course) it helps if you've played the scen at least once BEFORE you choose to play it on the highest difficulty level.

But thank you, reading this post I've really got some appetite to replay the scen; and partly to know if I still know what I'm doing playing stock scens with the vanilla OoB version.
Here's my most recent playthrough. It's no AAR, just a few screenshots:

Screenshot 325.jpg
Deployment
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GabeKnight
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by GabeKnight » Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:37 pm

continued:

Screenshot 327.jpg
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Screenshot 328.jpg
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Screenshot 329.jpg
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GabeKnight
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by GabeKnight » Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:40 pm

And as always, I elite repaired ALL my core forces (except recon).

Epperaliant
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by Epperaliant » Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:40 pm

Congratulations.

Now I really want to try again and feel guilty of playing Normal, lol.

GabeKnight
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by GabeKnight » Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:54 pm

Epperaliant wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:40 pm
[...] feel guilty of playing Normal, lol.
:lol:
Don't. I know how I suffered playing this scen the first time many many many years ago... :wink:

Epperaliant
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by Epperaliant » Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:02 pm

I think I made a significant mistake that could have jeopardized the mission:

In the previous one, I bought an Artillery piece from my tutorial core. Too late I realized it was pretty much useless in defense. I could sell it and replay the mission with more requisition.

Also, I was wondering, while in defense, did you attack enemies when the opportunity arised?
I could inflict heavy losses, but I also reduced the entrenchment, maybe that was a mistake.

Also, I remember bunkers being the weak link in my defense, eventually Japanese infantry smashed them opening holes in my line.

GabeKnight
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by GabeKnight » Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:19 pm

Epperaliant wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:02 pm
I think I made a significant mistake that could have jeopardized the mission:

In the previous one, I bought an Artillery piece from my tutorial core.
Not necessarily a mistake. If I would have remembered that I will get three more CP some turns into the mission, I wouldn't have deployed the useless commandos and bought an arty piece instead. Would've been quite useful on my right/eastern flank, I think.
As long as you've got AA cover, you can bring some arty along.
Epperaliant wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:02 pm
Also, I was wondering, while in defense, did you attack enemies when the opportunity arised?
Yeah, well, that's the right million dollar question.... :lol: :wink:

Depends. I know it's hard not to, but every turn the enemy is busy doing something else but advancing, it's your win. Entrenchment wins. Some units have to be "sacrificed" for the greater good, but not in vain! Bunkers with AT-cover work wonders.
You can attack when you unit is moving or about to lose its position anyway - or if the defensive postion's not in immediate danger. A 10-entrenched unit can attack once, no problem - but then it should rest again, at least when playing on high difficulty levels... :P

Epperaliant
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by Epperaliant » Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:23 pm

I was also thinking of exploiting the engineers "entrenchment aura" to fortify the positions faster.

GabeKnight
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by GabeKnight » Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:27 pm

Epperaliant wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:23 pm
I was also thinking of exploiting the engineers "entrenchment aura" to fortify the positions faster.
I did not here. Didn't motorize them and thus the retreat had to be planned rather carefully. But I did blow a couple of them bridges. And even had some RPs spared for a minefield. But yeah, you can use them that way.

PS: I do not like this difficulty setting. I'm not superstitious or something, but looking at "13" units makes me nervous. I like them numbers to be even.... :oops: :lol:

Epperaliant
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by Epperaliant » Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:10 pm

Yeah, I agree, I also fear that the game may end up being too easy.

Basing on your experience, would normal difficulty simply trivialize the game?

Epperaliant
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by Epperaliant » Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:24 pm

And so I restarted again on V difficulty, wonder how will it go.
Things are surely different.
For example, on Pearl Harbor I get zero casualties on core on III, but on V a 13p Zero fighter shaved 5 planes from my core in a single sudden and unavoidable strike.
AI is also hyper-aggressive because it knows it can win by attrition and happily engages my entrenched troops while even while attacking from rivers

Anyway I took a peek at other campaigns and bloody hell they look 100% impossible at V difficulty.
Hope this is not really going to be a "no fun allowed" mode.

Based on your experience, how worse it can get compared to Batan?

GabeKnight
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by GabeKnight » Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:25 am

Epperaliant wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:24 pm
Anyway I took a peek at other campaigns and bloody hell they look 100% impossible at V difficulty.
Hope this is not really going to be a "no fun allowed" mode.

Based on your experience, how worse it can get compared to Batan?
Personally I think that the first campaigns (US Pacific/Japan) are probably the easiest, you get a lot of turns and income.
(And I don't think this game is trivial even on middle difficulty, to be honest. Sure it gets easier once you've played and know the scens)

I'm replaying the US Pacific right now and had no trouble so far. Except the Guadalcanal scen maybe. It can be quite tricky to get all five sec. VPs (if you intend to stick to your orders, that is) and to down the five planes. Especially the planes. Because I need at least two, better three, torpedo bombers to deal with the three battleships later. Couldn't miss the 150RP reward for sinking each one of them, could I? On a sidenote: I was really mad when my whole fleet vanished at turn 5-ish, as I was on the winning side... :lol:

Another good example is the very first mission of WinterWar. Although the whole campaign is quite hard IMO, I'm still struggling (each time!) to achieve a "major victory" in the first scen of that campaign... :oops: :wink:

And if you really want to dive into a world of hurt, play the Endsieg DLC with a Sandstorm core on level5 difficulty.... :lol:

Epperaliant
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by Epperaliant » Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:55 am

Ok maybe I'll just play on III and call it a day.

Epperaliant
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by Epperaliant » Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:23 pm

So, I am further experimenting with difficulty, and since found the early scenarios to be really too easy on III, I restarted this mission on IV.
This time I made it, done all objectives and spent around 150 requisition to buy new stuff and reinforce units (mostly elite). I might need to make other repairs at the start of the next land scenario, but nothing dramatic, just some 7-8 strength infantry needing a little help...

Do you think this is decent as for performance goes for this kind of level?
I am really trying to gauge my performance to asses the final difficulty of choice and I need an expert's eye on this

GabeKnight
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Re: Trouble in Batan defense

Post by GabeKnight » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:03 am

Epperaliant wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:23 pm
I am really trying to gauge my performance to asses the final difficulty of choice and I need an expert's eye on this
Honestly I don't know how to answer this. It's not a contest, play it the way you enjoy the most. The only restriction I've made on myself was to never go lower than middle difficulty. (And never say never... :wink: ). That did not feel right with MY units being overstrength...like cheating without cheating... :wink:

I've played all stock DLCs multiple times, most of them on middle diff. first, then went higher after I've got better at playing and understanding the game and its mechanics, units files and... quirks. By now I have no problem playing all of the vanilla content - either the old ones or something new for the first time - on the highest diff. setting, partly because I know the rough "concept" of them already and parlty because they are targeted for casual players also. Some of the custom stuff can be really unbalanced when played on higher difficulty levels, for example.

So, if you don't have to replay one scen too many times or don't have to reload some turns (or whole batches of turns :P ) multiple times to "get it right" - or if you like it exactly that way - then I guess you've found the ideal difficulty setting for yourself... :wink: :D

PS: I wasn't kidding about the first scen of the WinterWar DLC, though. (You don't have to buy the DLC to play it.) If you can easily manage a major win on level4/5 diff., then you should be alright playing OoB that way.

PPS: Why "final difficulty"? You can switch between scens - and why not: some scens are harder than others

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