Against Top Level AI

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FelixCulpa
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Against Top Level AI

Post by FelixCulpa » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:27 am

Hello,
Recently acquired OOB. Thought I would see how challenging the game plays with the AI at the hardest level.

Has anyone else had success at this level?

Any clues on strategy?

GabeKnight
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by GabeKnight » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:19 pm

The AI doesn't change with higher difficulty levels, but the enemy units will have more health points (10 :arrow: 13).

If you want hard, I suggest playing the Endsieg or WinterWar DLCs on that level.

Enjoy! :wink:

Zekedia222
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by Zekedia222 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:29 pm

I would, personally, recommend not playing on the highest difficulty if you’ve just started.
Winchester: Klinger, you're dumber than you look, and THAT boggles the MIND.
A great quote from one of my favorite TV shows, M*A*S*H

koopanique
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by koopanique » Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:50 pm

FelixCulpa wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:27 am
Has anyone else had success at this level?

Any clues on strategy?
I think a user on these forums, who goes by the name of Kondi, exclusively plays on the highest difficulty. I think he indeed had much success playing this way

gunny
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by gunny » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:33 pm

Best strategy on highest levels are the cheat codes its a stickie as mentioned ealier buy Endsieg its on sale now anyway and enjoy the defending against impossible odds

cutydt02
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by cutydt02 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:21 pm

unbeatable on that level, especially at winter war and endsieg. You still can bait enemy tanks or bombing defensive positions but cant lure their fighters that way. Well, i feel worse when i cant own the sky.
But if Gabeknight or Kondi doenst give you a decent answer, so no one in this forum can.

kondi754
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by kondi754 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:17 am

FelixCulpa wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:27 am
Hello,
Recently acquired OOB. Thought I would see how challenging the game plays with the AI at the hardest level.

Has anyone else had success at this level?

Any clues on strategy?
There is no special strategy, you have to do the same as at lower levels only better
First learn the rules of the game very well

terminator
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by terminator » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:31 am

It might be interesting to have replays of people playing at level 5 to see the difference ?

PS: I usually play at the middle level

gunny
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by gunny » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:52 am

I play at middle level the stock campaigns that ya pay for I can do ok with those but the aftermarket lol campaigns made by others I have to play on an easier level one trick I think on the hardest level would be to move forward once hex at a time with all units kind of covering each other but then there is no way you could finish the scenario in time also always have an AT gun of some sort behind your units but when ya do this the AI simply attacks with infantry and knocks out your infantry that has an AT gun behind it then it moves in the hex and weakens the AT gun and now ya have a hole in your lines in addition it uses its arty against you AT units. Anyway, the Editor allows one to give I am almost certain more health points to a specific unit each time the designer puts down a unit he can give it more or less than the default 10 of health points. It may be interesting to make some scenarios in a campaign like that wherein a couple of enemy units have massive health points even though the player is playing on level midrange I guess this could happen cause I know ya can under strength them. OR maybe even give the player a core UNIT or Two that has massive strength I wonder if it could get back to that strength probably not ...

prestidigitation
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by prestidigitation » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:25 pm

FelixCulpa wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:27 am
Hello,
Recently acquired OOB. Thought I would see how challenging the game plays with the AI at the hardest level.

Has anyone else had success at this level?

Any clues on strategy?
Since I actually play on the hardest difficulty I will give you some actual advice. IDK why people who don't are posting here tbh.

#1 : efficiency is everything. A str 10 unit with eff 0 is a walking corpse. Therefore anything that attacks efficiency is wildly valuable and anything that doesn't is mostly useless or a buffer for the things that do. Attacking units before they are too weak to do more than chip damage is a costly strategy and not viable on harder difficulties

#2 : artillery is wildly overpowered. It attacks efficiency and entrenchment, has no risk when attacking and even does chip damage. It is by far the most valuable unit class in the game

#3 : command point efficiency is critical. Motorization is generally a downgrade because +1CP (except artillery).

#4 : heavy tanks and especially super heavy tanks overperform. For 1 CP more than medium tanks you get a unit with far higher stats that will rarely take damage.

# 5 : veterancy is amazing!! A 3 star unit with wipe the floor with a 0/1 star unit. Unless you have no alternative always use elite reinforce and keep veterancy high

# 6 : recon is ultra critical and recon vehicles are very CP efficient. You should always have a couple. They do two very valuable things which many frankly clueless players seem to not understand (and then get confused why they constantly run into ambushes and can't get the last hit on weak enemy units). The first is move about 2/3 of their range forward to see what is out in front before your other units advance. While planes can do this too planes will not spot units in forests or cities. If recon finds itself in a bad spot after doing that it can pull back behind other units. The second thing they do is chase weak units to complete the kill.

#7 : the terrain you choose to defend on or attack into has huge ramifications for the performance of your units. Rougher terrain can reduce attacker damage and defense by half or more!

#8 : if a unit offers reaction fire of any kind you should maximize opportunities for that to happen. Free attacks are free attacks!

As a result of these assertions built on experience you can draw a number of further conclusions :

First, elite infantry is generally worthless because it costs extra CP while providing marginal combat stat improvement. They also have much higher req point cost to reinforce and are not less likely to take damage. Hence, money pit and very much to be avoided. Baseline infantry and engineers are all you need. Heavy infantry can be valuable due to their mortar attack IF you are incredibly good about handling placement as you will have a much emptier buffer line so I don't recommend this until you have a lot of experience.

The primary role of infantry is to buffer enemy attackers and prevent them hitting your more valuable artillery or tanks, not to attack itself (although with vet advantage they will become extremely efficient in that role). Engineers are the exception as they are dirt cheap to reinforce and can attack efficiency and motorization

Second, 2CP AA and AT units are incredible value for dollar. AT has reaction fire against enemy armor and does a great deal of damage to it as a result. This will allow your infantry on the defense in good terrain to rip enemy armor to shreds. Meanwhile AA has reaction fire against planes and does heavy damage to enemy fighters without taking any back. These units also perform well with low vet meaning they are cheap to reinforce. Amazing units! If the scenario description indicates enemy armor bring an AT gun or two, but always bring at least one AA. Neither unit needs motorization but keep them near roads.

Third, in the air unit category only recon, strategic bomber and fighter units are worth buying. Fighters especially are entirely vet dependent so you must always elite reinforce them. Strategic bombers less so, I wouldn't bother. They are also baseline very strong against fighters and AA, although escorting them for fighter reaction fire is necessary. Tactical Bombers by contrast are so worthless as to be utterly ignorable. While they can be good against enemy armor they are so likely to bleed RP and so vet dependent that only a fool would depend on them when artillery and strategic bombers exist. The sole exception to the rule for tactical bombers is precision strike dive bombers for last hitting ships in the Japanese and US campaigns. These are very effective.

As far as tactics, I have to assume you understand the basics of hex based wargames here. Playing at difficulties above normal without that knowledge is futile, no matter what the rule set. In general you want cheap units to buffer expensive ones, ranged units to attack before melee units and reaction fire units placed where they are most likely to use their reaction fire. Heavy tanks are of course among the best attackers in the game so take advantage of that. Recon units are the best clean up tool in the game so similarly use that too. Zone of control is a potent tool for ensuring that enemy units can't get good attacks, so work out how movement rules function and take advantage of them to protect your backline.

BTW encirclement while potent for attacking efficiency is so unreliable in this franchise that it is almost never worth bothering with. Encircled units will generally break out trivially from larger pockets unless the scenario calls for them to sit and wait. Smaller pockets that can be ZOC locked are valuable but rare. Generally the best bet is to clobber the enemy with your artillery and strategic bombers, then club it to death.


tldr be opportunistic, don't reinforce failure, don't take a fair fight, concentrate your forces and fire, and keep it simple.

gunny
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by gunny » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:21 pm

All these are great strategies I like to run around with mobilization but it is a waste very costly and Arty is great so with the other info I will now have to adjust my strategies

kondi754
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by kondi754 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:22 pm

To be honest, I can play at the hardest level with any tactic so it's the reason that I didn't give you any advices
I used units of all categories in my core (ok, have to admit I rarely use strategic bombers) and to make the game more difficult and demanding I often play with historical accuracy
Eg. I modificate unit.csv file in such a way to have only equipment which were available in such operational theathre in reality (eg. no StuGs in North Africa), all Tigers, Panthers and all vehicles made on their chassis are unreliable for me for entire war, next thing - I delete all prototype units which didn't exist on battlefield (eg. Me 262 is ok, but Japanese jet fighters are deleted) and many other mods when it comes to available units
So I'm not good advisor… and that's why I don't want to give any hints

rafdobrowolski
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by rafdobrowolski » Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:44 am

prestidigitation wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:25 pm
FelixCulpa wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:27 am
Hello,
Recently acquired OOB. Thought I would see how challenging the game plays with the AI at the hardest level.

Has anyone else had success at this level?

Any clues on strategy?
Since I actually play on the hardest difficulty I will give you some actual advice. IDK why people who don't are posting here tbh.

#1 : efficiency is everything. A str 10 unit with eff 0 is a walking corpse. Therefore anything that attacks efficiency is wildly valuable and anything that doesn't is mostly useless or a buffer for the things that do. Attacking units before they are too weak to do more than chip damage is a costly strategy and not viable on harder difficulties

#2 : artillery is wildly overpowered. It attacks efficiency and entrenchment, has no risk when attacking and even does chip damage. It is by far the most valuable unit class in the game

#3 : command point efficiency is critical. Motorization is generally a downgrade because +1CP (except artillery).

#4 : heavy tanks and especially super heavy tanks overperform. For 1 CP more than medium tanks you get a unit with far higher stats that will rarely take damage.

# 5 : veterancy is amazing!! A 3 star unit with wipe the floor with a 0/1 star unit. Unless you have no alternative always use elite reinforce and keep veterancy high

# 6 : recon is ultra critical and recon vehicles are very CP efficient. You should always have a couple. They do two very valuable things which many frankly clueless players seem to not understand (and then get confused why they constantly run into ambushes and can't get the last hit on weak enemy units). The first is move about 2/3 of their range forward to see what is out in front before your other units advance. While planes can do this too planes will not spot units in forests or cities. If recon finds itself in a bad spot after doing that it can pull back behind other units. The second thing they do is chase weak units to complete the kill.

#7 : the terrain you choose to defend on or attack into has huge ramifications for the performance of your units. Rougher terrain can reduce attacker damage and defense by half or more!

#8 : if a unit offers reaction fire of any kind you should maximize opportunities for that to happen. Free attacks are free attacks!

As a result of these assertions built on experience you can draw a number of further conclusions :

First, elite infantry is generally worthless because it costs extra CP while providing marginal combat stat improvement. They also have much higher req point cost to reinforce and are not less likely to take damage. Hence, money pit and very much to be avoided. Baseline infantry and engineers are all you need. Heavy infantry can be valuable due to their mortar attack IF you are incredibly good about handling placement as you will have a much emptier buffer line so I don't recommend this until you have a lot of experience.

The primary role of infantry is to buffer enemy attackers and prevent them hitting your more valuable artillery or tanks, not to attack itself (although with vet advantage they will become extremely efficient in that role). Engineers are the exception as they are dirt cheap to reinforce and can attack efficiency and motorization

Second, 2CP AA and AT units are incredible value for dollar. AT has reaction fire against enemy armor and does a great deal of damage to it as a result. This will allow your infantry on the defense in good terrain to rip enemy armor to shreds. Meanwhile AA has reaction fire against planes and does heavy damage to enemy fighters without taking any back. These units also perform well with low vet meaning they are cheap to reinforce. Amazing units! If the scenario description indicates enemy armor bring an AT gun or two, but always bring at least one AA. Neither unit needs motorization but keep them near roads.

Third, in the air unit category only recon, strategic bomber and fighter units are worth buying. Fighters especially are entirely vet dependent so you must always elite reinforce them. Strategic bombers less so, I wouldn't bother. They are also baseline very strong against fighters and AA, although escorting them for fighter reaction fire is necessary. Tactical Bombers by contrast are so worthless as to be utterly ignorable. While they can be good against enemy armor they are so likely to bleed RP and so vet dependent that only a fool would depend on them when artillery and strategic bombers exist. The sole exception to the rule for tactical bombers is precision strike dive bombers for last hitting ships in the Japanese and US campaigns. These are very effective.

As far as tactics, I have to assume you understand the basics of hex based wargames here. Playing at difficulties above normal without that knowledge is futile, no matter what the rule set. In general you want cheap units to buffer expensive ones, ranged units to attack before melee units and reaction fire units placed where they are most likely to use their reaction fire. Heavy tanks are of course among the best attackers in the game so take advantage of that. Recon units are the best clean up tool in the game so similarly use that too. Zone of control is a potent tool for ensuring that enemy units can't get good attacks, so work out how movement rules function and take advantage of them to protect your backline.

BTW encirclement while potent for attacking efficiency is so unreliable in this franchise that it is almost never worth bothering with. Encircled units will generally break out trivially from larger pockets unless the scenario calls for them to sit and wait. Smaller pockets that can be ZOC locked are valuable but rare. Generally the best bet is to clobber the enemy with your artillery and strategic bombers, then club it to death.


tldr be opportunistic, don't reinforce failure, don't take a fair fight, concentrate your forces and fire, and keep it simple.
Thanks for sharing some great insight into one type of strategy! Very useful and informative. Defintely going to modify my tactics a bit here.

Kurbadss
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by Kurbadss » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:19 pm

Bought winter war, my first experiance at exactly this game, 2 weeks ago. After few days at default level changed to hardest difficulty. Starting scenarions took several restarts to finish at acceptable mistake count, but after understanding mechanics of efficency the game at hardest is an easy roll. I focus on heavy infantry (I upgrade engeneers to HI at first turn first scenario, lol), and have 4 Fokker bombers - 100% opposite from what above strategy guide suggests. All works perfect. Except Someri island defence - it took me 4 restarts and "dumping" of few trucks to fit inside 20 turns. Have Tali-Ihantala and Lapland scenarios left for today and tomorrow.

prestidigitation
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by prestidigitation » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:59 pm

Winter War is very different from most campaigns. Pretty good, but much lower tech overall. Not much by way of tanks, artillery etc. I also went for a heavy infantry focus (with a couple of snow troopers) as it is most reliable source of ranged attack.

I strongly recommend against tacs but in this campaign you just don't have much by way of alternatives in any category.

GabeKnight
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Re: Against Top Level AI

Post by GabeKnight » Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:01 pm

prestidigitation wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:25 pm
Since I actually play on the hardest difficulty I will give you some actual advice.
You're right, of course, but the topic of proper OoB tactics has been discussed and repeated over and over in various threads all around this forum. Yeah, sure, one has to invest some time and actually read the stuff.... :roll:

I would generally agree to these points:
prestidigitation wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:25 pm
#1 : efficiency is everything. A str 10 unit with eff 0 is a walking corpse. [-]. Attacking units before they are too weak to do more than chip damage is a costly strategy and not viable on harder difficulties

#2 : artillery is wildly overpowered. It attacks efficiency and entrenchment, has no risk when attacking and even does chip damage. It is by far the most valuable unit class in the game

# 5 : veterancy is amazing!! A 3 star unit with wipe the floor with a 0/1 star unit. Unless you have no alternative always use elite reinforce and keep veterancy high

# 6 : recon is ultra critical [-]

#7 : the terrain you choose to defend on or attack into has huge ramifications for the performance of your units. Rougher terrain can reduce attacker damage and defense [-]!

#8 : if a unit offers reaction fire of any kind you should maximize opportunities for that to happen. Free attacks are free attacks!

As a result of these assertions built on experience you can draw a number of further conclusions :
[...]
add. #2: I also like strat bombers. Like mobile arty without eff. loss after firing and the enemy planes usually don't attack those, too.

Otherwise, personally, I don't agree very much (or in parts only) with your further conclusions. For example, I find heavy infantry to be super useful and extremely powerful. On the other hand I agree with AT units.

And this quote should be observed fully: "In general you want cheap units to buffer expensive ones, ranged units to attack before melee units and reaction fire units placed where they are most likely to use their reaction fire."
(Although there are many expensive units that can be used as buffer units themselves without problem, as the AI won't ever attack them.)

My "conclusion" would be the same as Kondi's, I guess, when playing on higher difficulties, the tactics used do not differ from those in middle difficulty. The initial "punch" of the overstrength AI units does hurt more, of course, and one has to use the terrain and AT support wisely. Rotate your units more to prevent breakthroughs or unit retreats or destructions.

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