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Beginning strategy[message #361903] Sat, 21 November 2020 23:59 Go to next message
blaa

 
Messages:27
Registered:May 2009
Location: -
I downloaded the stable version and it comes with both Drassen CA and aggressive strategic AI enabled. So massive counterattacks on every city + offensives. Max militia per sector is 20. Experienced diff means starting the game with 35k.

I figure some thought has been put into the default options of this mod and there must be a way to actually get into the game, earn enough money for a good team and decent weapons, but frankly I don´t see it. I am by no means a JA2 noob so I don´t need help with the tactical layer. But I just don´t see what to do on a strategic level with so little money and so many enemies.

What I do not want to have to do is:
- Save scum every battle 50 times till the outcome is right.
- Cheese the AI by sitting in rooms with only one entrance for entire battles.
- Avoid taking any town whole so I don´t trigger the CA. That, again, is pure cheese.

Honestly is it even possible to get into the game with the default settings without cheesing the CRAP out of it? If so, can someone point me towards a rough guideline on the strategic level? Everything I see people mention is cheese thumbs down like: Sit in the shack in Drassen mine that has only one entrance and let them come through the door one by one. Don´t take any city whole to avoid counterattacks. But surely the default settings can´t be balanced around such strategies?!

[Updated on: Sun, 22 November 2020 00:01]

Re: Beginning strategy[message #361904 is a reply to message #361903] Sun, 22 November 2020 04:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LatZee

 
Messages:153
Registered:December 2015
Well, for starters, your assumptions are faulty cheeky

1.13 is not some large, commercial, organized product, it's a volunteer project. Meaning, people who do work on it(coding, modding, whatever), work on things that interest them, and then there is no boss who will force them to work on boring parts like documentation, some serious levels of testing or, yes, balancing. The game is more than 20 years old, nobody is marketing it to new players or anything, and I believe it's not unreasonable to expect the players to do some amount of customizing things to their liking, especially considering the sheer scope of options the 1.13 has at this point.

So, yes, solution numero uno would be just to do some editing. Remove counterattacks, or make them smaller, or give yourself more starting money, start with couple of IMPs, whatever floats your boat... that is both the beauty and a downside of something that is as customizible as 1.13 - you can customize anything, but that creates a situation where it's impossible to create some sane default for everyone.

But ok, let's say you believe that God created the default settings with some sense, and you want to play that way. Cool. You still have options, even if you want to avoid cheesy ones (and I understand that completely, if you're gonna do DCA by sitting in the bar for 8000 turns, abusing AI, why not just CTRL+O them, what's the fucking difference cheeky).

Solution 2 would be to find acceptable level of cheese/metagaming. For example, if I were to start the new game now, I'd go San Mona first, with a decent starting team. Between getting deed to Kyle, boxing and "borrowing" money from Kingpin, you have enough to keep that team for 2 weeks, which should be enough to clean up your first mine. After that I'd take Chitzena mine, train 20 blue militia. Take northern Chitzena sector, and move everything there, but leave the mine sector empty. Let them take it, clean up the counterattack groups one by one and then retake the mine. It would probably take a week, but after that you have a small source of income, and it gets easier. That is obviously pretty metagamey, but for myself, it's acceptable.

If any kind of metagaming is out of the question, and you really just want to go straight to Drassen, I'd say you again have 2 options. Of course, both will require you to actually be pretty good at the game.

So, solution no 3, avoid the counterattack, guerrilla way. You are the guerrilla at this point, it's perfectly reasonable to avoid large battles. Let them take the mine and then retake it when they disperse. Or ambush them before they can attack Drassen. South of Drassen is a river sector where they either have to cross the bridge or swim across the river, so it is pretty good place for a smaller force to channel a larger one into a chokepoint. If things start going wrong, retreat. And so on. If you can't stop them, whittle them down to more manageable size. Improvise. Adapt. Overcome cheeky

That leaves the last option, which is of course, fight the Drassen counterattack like a man, mano a mano cheeky it is hard, but doable. Fill both sectors of Drassen with militia before taking the mine, so you have 40 blue militia to help you with the counterattack. If you're playing on Experienced, default counterattack would traditionally be around 60 guys, and militia can hold their own decently enough. At expert, it's around 80, and at that level (and with more elites on expert), militia is going to have some problems.

Usually, I'd concentrate at the east side, around bar, and fight there, relying on militia to hold them from the west side (and a decent chunk of south will gravitate towards there). On expert, that side will not hold, so you are on a timer before they collapse on you from all sides and things get dicey. On experienced, depending on militia coming from the north, they might hold, or they might collapse, but they will usually buy enough time.

Between tshirts from the factory and two bars in Drassen, you have enough materials to make a decent stash of Molotovs. Use them. Get couple of cheap MERC guys that noone cares if they die, load them with Molotovs and put them on roofs (bar and a building south of it). It's a risky position, as once they show themselves, the enemies will sometimes climb the roof and swarm them. But from there, they can throw Molotovs down, both to close the ways for enemies and funnel them, and to punish them for grouping, once they are forced into the remaining corridors. Don't advance too aggressively until the victory is oretty much a sure thing, you want to stay relatively close to the northern edge, so you can retreat if things go wrong. If it comes to that, back to guerrilla way. What kind of war would it be, if you never lost any battles cheeky
Re: Beginning strategy[message #361906 is a reply to message #361904] Sun, 22 November 2020 07:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
blaa

 
Messages:27
Registered:May 2009
Location: -
It´s still pretty harsh to ship the stable build with such smack-in-your-face difficulty even if we leave god out of it. I knew what I was getting into cause I always read the ini, but if someone starts playing the mod without reading the ini they will lose 100% after taking the first town. Drassen CA is a meme by now, but CAs on the other cities not so much. Anyways, appreciate your input- I´m no fan of the San Mona route at game start, but I will try the Drassen approach I think. Maybe combine training militias in two sectors with the guerilla approach. Letting them take the mine while retreating, then wiggle them down with militia in the next sector, retreat again etc like you mentioned. And I had completely forgot you can even make Molotovs, that should help indeed. I´m curious now if I can pull it off. And losing battles is fine- but at the beginning, the resources are too tight to recover with those settings. You neither have the money to replace losses nor the time to heal up again.

And yeah, I´ve also modded the hell out of the ini by now, even though I want to give it one more try with the default settings.

You mentioned reducing the size of Cas, what setting in the ini is used for that? I can´t find it.


[Updated on: Sun, 22 November 2020 07:25]

Re: Beginning strategy[message #361908 is a reply to message #361906] Sun, 22 November 2020 08:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitty

 
Messages:261
Registered:October 2017
Location: Germany
You may could:

- use a merc with radio operator trait and call a artillery strike from militia in neighbouring sector. Pro: Kill and injure a lot of enemies at once Contra: Careful where to aim, you don't want to kill the miner. If civilians are killed, loyality will drop and some mercs may get pissed.

- use a spy to wander arround and locate enemies. Pro: see enemies, if lucky enough kill some with spy Contra: Keeping the distance to avoid that enemies see through spy can be tricky

- deploy mobile militia to sectors enemies will have to move through Pro: should at least lower enemy numbers Contra: will cost money, militia probably will end up dead

- use Zombie-mode Pro: Zombies will also attack enemies, since they are closer to each other, chances are higher enemy-zombie will attack enemy Contra: You have to deal with huge number of zombies, and they will also attack civilians - protect the miner

- use fortifications Pro: better cover for you Contra: enemy can use them as well, it's time consuming to build

- if available (Devin or BR) use traps like landmines, tripwire or beartrap Pro: will slow down enemy and give away enemy position Contra: you need access to landmines, etc. and the money to afford them

- spy, radio operator plus, if needed, one support can be pretty good for guerilla tactics (maybe combined with militia and/or artillery-strikes)

- use Heli for guerilla tactics Pro: land in good positions (mercs will rope down were you decide, even roofs) Contra: that requires ini-setting for landing in hot zone, Sam-site needs to be conquered before, Heli might get damaged or even destroyed

- use vehicle Pro: drive over enemies Contra: high chance you loose vehicle when enemy numbers are to high and/or equiped to good


And probably a lot of other ways I missed. Depends on playstyle and personal preferences



How to get: latest 1.13, 7609 and more | MapEditor+UB | 7609 SCI (eng) | Compiling+SVN

I need more details. (Didi Hallervorden)
Re: Beginning strategy[message #361909 is a reply to message #361908] Sun, 22 November 2020 09:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LatZee

 
Messages:153
Registered:December 2015
Size of counterattacks can be changed in DifficultySettings.xml which is in TableData. Each difficulty has its own:

<CounterAttackGroupSize>6</CounterAttackGroupSize> (from Novice)

Generally, counter attacks consist of 4 groups, so 4x that, plus any potential bonus extra elites (don't know exactly what Silversurfer did with it last time we talked about it). It is also possible it might get bigger if there happens to be a random enemy group that passes through one of adjacent sectors at the start of counterattack, as they will be pulled in same as normal counterattack groups, so if possible, clean up random enemies around before counterattack.
Re: Beginning strategy[message #361911 is a reply to message #361906] Sun, 22 November 2020 15:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kurt

 
Messages:411
Registered:March 2004
blaa wrote on Sun, 22 November 2020 06:24
It´s still pretty harsh to ship the stable build with such smack-in-your-face difficulty
JA2-1.13 is not your standard ready-made install-and-play game (anymore), it's a game kit. You can dial/shape it into whatever you know you would enjoy.

I for example like huge, dangerous battles, but hate the classic JA start situation where you're snapping rubber bands at each other for hours on end. So I upgrade both sides to start with decent weapons (rifles). That's the way I like it. I'm not playing to prove anything, just to have fun.

My point is, don't complain it doesn't suit you, make it suit you. As I said, JA2-1.13 is not a ready-to-play game anymore.


blaa wrote on Sun, 22 November 2020 06:24
at the beginning, the resources are too tight
Well, it's up to you to set them to an amount you'd still consider challenging, but not frustrating. happy

(BTW, me too I don't capture the last Drassen sector before having filled the other two with militia. It's clearly the sensible thing to do, and has nothing to do with dairy products, it's simply strategy...)
Re: Beginning strategy[message #361912 is a reply to message #361908] Sun, 22 November 2020 15:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
Messages:1364
Registered:January 2015
Location: Home Free
You can also just let them take the mine sector, and when they split up to take the other town sectors and to chase you . . . you have manageable groups of enemies.





Re: Beginning strategy[message #361915 is a reply to message #361909] Sun, 22 November 2020 22:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
blaa

 
Messages:27
Registered:May 2009
Location: -
LatZee wrote on Sun, 22 November 2020 09:36
Size of counterattacks can be changed in DifficultySettings.xml which is in TableData. Each difficulty has its own:

<CounterAttackGroupSize>6</CounterAttackGroupSize> (from Novice)

Generally, counter attacks consist of 4 groups, so 4x that, plus any potential bonus extra elites (don't know exactly what Silversurfer did with it last time we talked about it). It is also possible it might get bigger if there happens to be a random enemy group that passes through one of adjacent sectors at the start of counterattack, as they will be pulled in same as normal counterattack groups, so if possible, clean up random enemies around before counterattack.
Weird, stable has no such file.
Re: Beginning strategy[message #361916 is a reply to message #361915] Sun, 22 November 2020 23:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LatZee

 
Messages:153
Registered:December 2015
blaa wrote on Sun, 22 November 2020 21:45

Weird, stable has no such file.
Eh, my bad, forgot that we're talking about 7609 version, difficulty settings were split off later, and counterattack size option added quite a bit later than that. So if you plan on staying with "stable" 7609, no such option. 7609 is pretty old and outdated at this point, though, so unless you have a reason to use it (for example some mod that only works with it, or using Seven's improved AI version), might want to think about switching to something more current.

As an explanation, the "stable" version is not something particularly stable in the "no bugs, it just works" meaning. In fact, it's pretty full of bugs that have been fixed later (and you can get the version with most of the later bugfixes from Seven, the +FIX version). It is stable more in a meaning of being a stable, unchanging modding platform. So if you want to make a mod, but don't want to keep up with new stuff being added, you can make it for 7609. It is also the last stable release unless plans change, as the guys abandoned the idea of making any more. The "unstable" releases are considered the default version now, and they are at 8900+ version number, so a metric shitton of new stuff, fixed stuff and so on.
Re: Beginning strategy[message #361917 is a reply to message #361916] Sun, 22 November 2020 23:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
blaa

 
Messages:27
Registered:May 2009
Location: -
Hmm yeah I do use sevenfm´s AI version. And since I just finished setting everything up I will use it for now, but I´ll switch over some time. Or just make another install. Thanks for the advice!

[Updated on: Sun, 22 November 2020 23:47]

Re: Beginning strategy[message #361941 is a reply to message #361917] Thu, 26 November 2020 12:07 Go to previous message
kiwiphoenix
Messages:4
Registered:November 2020
Have you already found the Sandbags and Concertina Tileset Expansion?
It's currently at the top of the v1.13 Modding, Customisation, and Editing board.

It adds a few lines to MOST tileset definitions in Ja2Set.dat.xml, in your Data-1.13 folder.
This inserts the sandbag and wire tiles to all the sectors you probably want to fortify.
I haven't tried it in 7609, but the file looks the same as 8796 so I don't see why it wouldn't work.
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