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How Do You Use Your Navy Effectively?

 
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Kab the Mentat



Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Posts: 20
Location: The Beatdown in O-Town.

PostPosted: Jan Thu 26, 2006 2:43 am    Post subject: How Do You Use Your Navy Effectively? Reply with quote

I'm in some of the later missions where they're setup as mostly a naval mission. The one I'm playing now is the one where you have to get all of your transport ships to your own habor. You're the British and the Red Army is the French.

Now my problem is that I don't know how to use the navies as effectively as I'm able to use the ground forces, especially the tanks and SPHs. I had some trouble with making better use of my attack aircraft and helicopters, but I've gotten the hang of them. But I still can't use the navy worth a damn. If anyone could trow some tactics and strategies that'll work in the missions and Free Play maps, I'd appreciate it.
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ElricJC
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PostPosted: Jan Thu 26, 2006 8:08 am    Post subject: How to use your Navy Reply with quote

Well Kab, let's see if I can help you.

First of all, running naval battles in DS7 can be annyoing, because the ships are generally so expensive and fragile for what they are. Ships require a good amount of air scouting support to be the most effective that they can be. In the case of the scenario you just posed your air search capabilities are limited, and you don't want to waste your airpower dicking around with scouting there.

So in that scenario the best thing to do is use your ships to support your air, and each other. When moving your convoy fleet, keep your supply tankers together, several hexes below your fleet arm, and a few back just to make sure no one can slip in between your cover and end your battle right away. With your destroyers, try to have them operate in a team of three. Have one on the outside, one hex away from the fog of war to the north, and have the other two sitting a couple hexes south of it, ready to fire on anything that is revealed. If nothing is, move one of the ships that you had positioned for fire forward with the same idea in mind, but don't get too far ahead of your other ships, otherwise having them hold position won't mean jack. This is a little slow, but then again your transport ships aren't exactly burning the waves, either. Don't outrun your transports.

Now, if you do identify something, you should have your carrier nearby to launch an airstrike. You might even have your jets in the air (at Med elevation), hanging around until something appears. If your own ships are out of missile strike range, that's when your jets are most useful. Have them swoop in and down to ground elevation, even if it is in their extreme range, and let fly a couple of ship-killing birds. If those don't finish off the ship, they will hurt it something awful, and if your own ships couldn't fire missiles at it, then it is unlikely it can fire on you (except maybe your scout ship, if it ran too close but too far away to fire its guns). Remember in this case the Exocet missile used by the French only has a range of 5 compared to the 6 of your Harpoons.

Subs can be bastards. That's what you have your Merlin for. It should patrol at ground elevation near your scout ships to warn them of sub activity, or possibly even to attack a sub one of your ships identified.

General naval tactics in free play usually revolve around protection - either the ships are protecting something, or your other units are protecting them. With the U.S. you can really have fun with naval tactics, especially the Nimitz carrier. Here's an example of a Nimitz air group that I usually use:

4 F/A-18 Super Hornets (pack 1 - bombs)
2 F-35A Interceptors or more Super Hornets w/AMRAAM missiles
1 F/A-18RC
1 Prowler
1 Hawkeye

This is over 8 units, but the Prowler and Hawkeye can stay up in the air a long time and usually just cycle back through as needed. If you fear enemy naval units, then sometimes it is good to swap out two of the above units for some F-35Cs with the Harpoon missile pack. The Nimitz is a very flexible weapons platform and can often operate safely by itself, although it's nice to have a couple of nearby frigates for defense. Really though, ships don't defend other ships as well in this game as they do in real life. You might have defense ships around your carrier, but when something attacks the carrier, your ships can't counterattack them unless they are the target. Air power is key. For navies which lack this diverse naval airgroup capability (which is everyone else :b), then it is useful to have a mid-air refueler nearby with some attack jets for defensive purposes.

Other nations tactics can vary a lot at sea. The other carrier nations (Britain, France, and Russia) use different tactics since their carriers are much smaller. The Brits only launch VTOL craft, which limits their usefulness at sea to either landing unit support via bombing Harriers, or anti-shipping duty using the F-35C, or possibly even air-interdiction using the F-35C or Sea Harrier (though the Harrier isn't great in this usage). Their carrier generally supports other operations rather than the other way around. France is similar, and their Rafale M can fulfill all the roles of bomber, AsW, and fighter, and they typically carry a helo unit as well (either an AsW, scout, or transport helo, depending on the mission). The Russians are kinda weird here - their carrier is very limited, they only have one sea-launch jet (the Naval Flanker), which is a multirole unit, but the carrier is so well armed it rarely needs a lot of support. The Russian navy always focused more on cruise missile development and it shows in their ships. The Ruskies have strong naval units, and the carrier generally supports them in operations, and can also support landing ops with a load of Naval Flankers loaded with bombs.

The tactics of the other navies generally fall into the realm of convoy support and hunter-killer tactics. The Israelis and Chinese have a surprisingly effective hunter-killer tactic at their disposal, since they have the cheapest subs in the game. They kinda suck, but really I would rather use a lot of cheaper subs in this game than a more expensive one (subs are usually VERY expensive!). They each have a sub that you can buy for 1000 each, and another for a little over 2000. Go cheaper, it's okay! The Israeli ones are real stinkers - they have a small number of weapons, but they DO carry Harpoon missiles! This makes them very deadly for such a cheap package.

Hunter-killer sub swarms always center around a Supply Ship, which putters along around 8-10 hexes behind the sub swarm. It is hard to offer much protection for this group since it's goal is to inflict maximum attrition at minimal cost to you, and devoting too much attention to them defeats this purpose. As the Chinese you can sometimes send their old prop-driven AsW plane to lurk over the fleet and pounce on naval targets since it has a fairly good fuel reserve, but short of sending along a destroyer, which itself has no protection, there is little to defend them. These short range subs usually act in teams of 3-4, with one acting as scout, and the others hang back a bit. Chinese subs have no choice but to get close and hammer away with torpedoes (except the Han sub, which is more expensive and shouldn't be used this way). The Song subs in gangs of 3-4 with a support tanker (5-6000 investment) can easily destroy multiple transports, assault ships, warships, or carriers before they are found. The Israeli ones are worse, since they can stand off and lob Harpoon missiles from a safe distance without being detected, and they can retreat, surface, and replenish their fuel AND WEAPONS at the tanker! In one scenario my gang of three Israeli subs destroyed 4 fully loaded transports, 2 Russian assault ships, 1 Russian Crusier, and 1 Russian Destroyer (total value in excess of 30,000) and I only lost my tanker and one sub. The others eventually ran out of fuel and sat around, but they survived.

I can't say much about the German navy, since I never play them, and the Japanese navy has some good destroyers, and a fairly cheap sub, but they don't have the same exploitable fun of China or Israel, or the sophistication of the carrier nations.

And also remember, tactics you use against the computer are a hell of a lot different than anti-player tactics. If you know the guy you are playing against likes to use ships, more AshW stuff will be helpful, but against the computer, having a couple of AshW things is usually enough, because most of what you do is support your own ships or attack their landing craft. In Free Play where you have to use all your resources, it's about identifying the enemy and positioning yourself in such a manner that THEY have to move to attack YOU, and you gain the upper hand. But just watch out for those damned helos, the freaking computer loves to sink your ships with attack helos.
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SemperFi2382



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Jan Thu 26, 2006 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: How to use your Navy Reply with quote

ElricJC wrote:
The Russian navy always focused more on cruise missile development and it shows in their ships. The Ruskies have strong naval units, and the carrier generally supports them in operations, and can also support landing ops with a load of Naval Flankers loaded with bombs.


Heh, nothing like a carrier that has a larger arsenal than some of the smaller naval vessels of other nations. Twisted Evil

I primarily play the US or The Russians. I also tend to play Naval Maps because I like being able to run joint operations with my buddies and against the AI. The Russian Navy is great against for two things, which are Anti-Surface Ship Warfare and Landing Operations. The US Navy is great for the same things as the Russians, but they add in the flexibility of Cruise Missles for supporting inland operations, but usually it's (The cruise missles) better off for supporting a landing.

***

Overall, I always center my Navy around the Carrier and/or Landing Ships. Ask yourself what you are going to build this Navy for and what units you will need. Is it a ASW mission? Then you want Destroyers, ASW Helos and ships with a good ASW setup. If it's anti surface ships, you need anti-ship missles, recon and a good supply chain. If you're going for landing, then you need aircraft with bombs, ships that can bombard (or use cruise missles), recon and enough firepower to allow your landing force to hit all at once. Want to harrass your enemy? Use faster ships in larger numbers. Last, if you want a good all around navy, then mix and match a little of everything. Just know that landings usually suffer because you have an all around force and can't support a landing well.
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smaug_the_dragon



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PostPosted: Jan Thu 26, 2006 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Differences between US and Russian Navies: Kuznetsov Aircraft Carrier and The Ushakov Cruiser fire Granit ant-ship missles at a hex range of 8. The US has nothing comparable in range. The only tactic that I think could nullify this is using Super-Hornets armed with Harpoons. I've simmed this on my own and found one such strike knocks a Ushakov from 42 down to 21 and similar damage to the Kuznetsov.

Obviously as Russia, I fill the skies with Naval Flankers, throw in some Foxbat recon, and two AN-12 Cubs for ECM. ECM is lethal on the high seas. I haven't played at all against humans as the US, but I'm experimenting on my own. The pickle is this:

The eight-hex range means that if I attack with Hornets, the Interceptors have to follow for support and they're both beyond the best possible support of my ships. Ticonderogas only fire at a range of six. I suppose I can move my surface fleet up if the Hornets have a successful round on the Ushakovs and Kuznetsov. Thereby, the Russian has a choice, he sticks around with his critically damaged vessel to strike at my surface ships which are now in range, but he risks losing several ships next turn valued at 6,000 a piece.

Personally, I'd want at least two F-18 recon units, becuase everytime I see those things, I make sure I destroy them . Likewise if I see AWACs.

As Russia, when I have my Sukhois defend ships, they stay above or between them at Low Altitude, that way the AWACS has to risk being fired at to pick them up (detection range at Low-Alt is 5 hexes for E-3 sentry). This opens things up for some nice ambushes if the recon is inadequate. So, if I'm the US to nullify this, I need to send in both recon jets at once, light as much up as possible, then send in the E-3 Prowler with ECM at Low Altitude. In a perfect world, I'd have one come in Ground level to blind the ships, but that never works out. Then I send in the SuperHornet ship killers.
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Kab the Mentat



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PostPosted: Jan Fri 27, 2006 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the explainations. I think I understand how to use them a little better. What now confuses me are the navy weapons and their names. I pretty much have a handle on the USA navy weapons/names and some of the British weapons/names. But I'm totally lost on the other countries' weapons/names. Like now I'm on a mission where I have to land a buncha Chinese ground forces and use some navy ships and ASW choppers to keep the transports safe before landing. I also get confused with Russian/Chinese ground and air force weapons and names. The y don't make any sense to me. Lastly, what's the difference in a cruiser and a destoryer? Like what are their specific jobs.
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ElricJC
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PostPosted: Jan Sat 28, 2006 11:23 am    Post subject: Tasks Reply with quote

Traditionally, Destroyers did what their name emplies: The destroy crap. Most typically this meant Subs, and a good heavy destroyer like most that are made today are capable of tackling subs, enemy ships, and air units with varying degrees of success. They act as escorts to more vulnerable vessels, and act as hunter-killers.

Cruisers typically have larger, more powerful sensors and communications, allowing them direct not only their own fire, but to coordinate with smaller vessels and air units. They also pack a hell of a wallop, and carry more and bigger weapons than Destroyers do. Modern Battle Crusiers have replaced the old gun battleships because of their vital long-range cruise missiles, and modern Cruisers generally serve in the same capacity as the predecessors: To strike out at enemy surface ships and to assist in shore bombardment.

Some units blur this line between Crusier and Destroyer, such as the American Zummwalt Destroyer, which packs UGM-109 Sea-to-Surface cruise missiles, AsW weapons, and even air weapons. The biggest thing that differentiates a Cruiser from a Destroyer is sheer size. Cruisers are just plain bigger, tougher, and have more weapons, and while many modern Cruisers pack AsW weapons, the subhunting duties are generally left to the Destroyers.

Frigates to add confusion to this business are similar to Destroyers except they tend to be on the smaller side and they specialize in one or two areas rather than possess limited all-around performance. They are fast, usually not long ranged, and carry small deck guns (if any at all) and a moderate selection of AA, AsW, and AshW packs. The Israeli Eilat is one such example - it has no deck guns, which means it has no shore bombardment capabilities and is designed to be primarily an escort and AsW vessel.

As far as confusion about the names of the other nations weapons, all you need to do is study their statistics, their ranges, yields, targets, and they'll become as familiar to you as American gear. You'll be able to look at a Russian Granit missile and go "oh yeah, long range AshW Cruise Missile, range 8, Firepower 7, must be static to fire".

On a side note, when I was talking about Sub Hunter-Killer gangs before, I just recently replayed Wave Rush, as Red player, but instead of the U.S. I went with Israel for a real challenge. Nothing I miss more than naval ships with guns... real disadvantage. No gun boats, limited naval AA weapons, no assault craft.

But my Gal squadron did its fair amount of damage. 4 Gal diesel subs (1000 each) supported by a single supply ship (2000) sallied forth to interrupt French and Russian naval ops. My Gals would range out a ways in deep water and managed to destroy 2 fully loaded Foudres, 1 Russian assault ship (Ivanov or something like that), 1 Cassard destroyer, 1 Russian destroyer, and a total of five fully loaded transports on both sides. One Gal was damaged by Trigat missiles fired from a French Tiger Attack Helo while they were surfaced and resupplying, but no sub was lost. The one naval task the Israelis are good for in this game, if nothing else. They only have a fuel load of 60, 4 torpedoes (Firepower 13 though...) and 2 Harpoon missiles, but in a swarm with a supply tanker nearby, they are a real pain. One of the cheapest, safest ways to destroy enemy shipping and to ruin their budgets. Losing full transports is costly and looks terrible on casualty reports. I suffered 362 unit casualties while my enemies suffered a total of 1,643. The Gal Hunter-Killer gang was responsible for 540 of those, and took no casualties themselves other than moderate damage to one sub. Even the supply ship escaped molestation.
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Kab the Mentat



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PostPosted: Jan Sun 29, 2006 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I think I understand a little bit better. Now I have a few more questions. Let's pretend I'm playing as a nation that has a decent size navy. How should I position them while moving and looking for other navies or sitting somewhere protecting the land from another navy and it's aircraft? Like what should be out in front, what should be on the flanks, and what should be in the center. Also, explain the same thing if I'm a nation that doesn't have carriers or I can't afford them. Oh, as a sorta side question what should I use to scout out for enemy navy? I don't know which ships have good seeing range and say I can't always have a carrier with an AWACs or build one from an airport and fly it out to my navy. I always thought that subs were support to scout out enemy navies, but when I try to do this they almost always end up on the bottom of the ocean.

On an average game where it's mostly a navy battle map, what's a decent navy force size? Like how many subs, cruisers, destorys, carriers, etc.

Lastly, say I'm playing a map that isn't really a naval map, but more a land and air map, but has ports that can produce ships...what kinds of ships are good at supporting the ground forces? Or is it better just to use the money and buy more tanks and artillery? I remember some of the ships having missiles with insane ranges and deck guns that would murder infantry camped out in cities (which is a hard thing to do, IMO).

Sorry for being long, but I have a hard time trying to talk about the navy stuff in this game. It's because I really don't know much about the navy compared to stuff like tanks and aircraft.
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SemperFi2382



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PostPosted: Jan Mon 30, 2006 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kab the Mentat wrote:
Okay, I think I understand a little bit better. Now I have a few more questions. Let's pretend I'm playing as a nation that has a decent size navy. How should I position them while moving and looking for other navies or sitting somewhere protecting the land from another navy and it's aircraft? Like what should be out in front, what should be on the flanks, and what should be in the center. Also, explain the same thing if I'm a nation that doesn't have carriers or I can't afford them. Oh, as a sorta side question what should I use to scout out for enemy navy? I don't know which ships have good seeing range and say I can't always have a carrier with an AWACs or build one from an airport and fly it out to my navy. I always thought that subs were support to scout out enemy navies, but when I try to do this they almost always end up on the bottom of the ocean.


Destroyers have some of the best sight range. I usually use them to spot while my Cruise Missle equipped subs and Cruisers fire away with impunity. Destroyers are also cheaper, so when they get attacked, I'm not losing a ton of money.

As far as positioning, think of a fleet formation like a dartboard. The bulls-eye is the carrier, as this is your most expensive and important unit in your fleet. Also in that circle should be your landing craft if you have them. One of those go down and you just wasted a ton of cash. The net ring out is your cruisers. Expensive, but their long range weapons and SAMs mean that they aren't going to be chasing enemies around, but rather being the last line of defense against an enemy attack. the Next ring out is Destroyers. This is your first AA screen and your best visual aid. While they are cheap, you will have a few of them on hand to defend or attack any sub or air threats. The last ring is submarines. While they are not scouts, they should be submerged (deep water) lurking for enemies that are creeping up on your fleet. Their sonar can see enemies not in the destroyers sight range, which means you can fire cruise missles and whatnot at the enemy before they can even see a unit. Though, honestly my subs are usually lurking in narrow channels that are deep. I can then attack units passing through, or delay them long enough for my fleet to get within striking distance.

Kab the Mentat wrote:
On an average game where it's mostly a navy battle map, what's a decent navy force size? Like how many subs, cruisers, destorys, carriers, etc.


For both US and Russia, I'm typically setup like so:

1x Carrier (setup for multirole)
2x Subs (Packing Cruise Missles)
2x Cruisers -or- "Expensive" Destroyers (For fire support)
2-4x "Cheap" Destroyers (Anti-Sub and AA screens)

Kab the Mentat wrote:
Lastly, say I'm playing a map that isn't really a naval map, but more a land and air map, but has ports that can produce ships...what kinds of ships are good at supporting the ground forces? Or is it better just to use the money and buy more tanks and artillery? I remember some of the ships having missiles with insane ranges and deck guns that would murder infantry camped out in cities (which is a hard thing to do, IMO).


As the U.S., I like to use Zumwaldt Class Missle Cruisers. While a bit costly, these carry a large array of Cruise Missles, SAMs, Anti-Ship Missles and a 155mm AGS. They are pretty swift too. I put 1 or 2 pairs of them crusing along shores where there is high volume of enemy activity. Combine this with recon, a jammer (to prevent counters and spotters) and a B-1B or 2 (Using Pack 2, Cruise Missles) and you have an effective long range mobile defense or harrassment setup. Your only concern is a large volume of counters if you get too close. I also usually have a supply ship tagging along for when the missles start getting low.
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ElricJC
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PostPosted: Jan Tue 31, 2006 10:52 pm    Post subject: Other nations Reply with quote

Quote:
For both US and Russia, I'm typically setup like so:

1x Carrier (setup for multirole)
2x Subs (Packing Cruise Missles)
2x Cruisers -or- "Expensive" Destroyers (For fire support)
2-4x "Cheap" Destroyers (Anti-Sub and AA screens)


And for some of the other combatants you can follow similar thinking. With France, you can go like this...

1x Charles de Gaulle carrier (setup for multirole, all Rafale Ms, and a Horizon Cougar on board)
2x Rubis class subs
2x Cassard Destroyers
3-4x Frigates
1x Supply tanker
2x Foudre assault ships (heavy assault tanks and SPSAMs, with transport helos loaded with Spec. Forces)

The Charles de Gaulle can launch Rafales with Guided bombs to pave the way for the landing, and if you do not have a long distance to go to the capital, you can forego the SPHs and rely mostly on tanks, with support from SPSAMs. If any enemy units are near the cost, the Cassards can offer some shore support - obviously not like the U.S., but they can accomplish similar feats, and for cheaper. The Charles de Gaulle and the Rubis subs are only 5,000 each, and the smaller vessels vary between 1700-3,300 each.

The British are a little different. If I have the chance, I like to use:

2x Invincible class carriers (either all Harriers w/guided bombs, or 4 harriers and 2 F-35s with Air-to-Air or AshW packs, and Apaches on board for added punch)
2x Albion assault ships (similar loadout to French, with Transport helos)
2x Type 45 Darling class destroyers
2-3 Type 42s
1x Supply tanker
2x Subs

I use two subs here because the British sea launch vessels have much shorter range, and also because the Invincibles are actually pretty cheap, as are the Harriers. This loadout gives them a fairly potent advanced ground attack ability, and combined with the mighty Challenger 2s, they can make a pretty bold drive. They have Subs capable of UGM fire I believe.

The navies of other nations have far less strike capability, since they lack carriers. The Chinese are the worst off since they have no mid-air refueling craft, no long-range scout aircraft, and only a weak assault ship with limited helicopter utility. The best suggestion for the Chinese is:

2x Hangzhou destroyers
3-4x cheaper destroyers or frigates
3-4x Song submarines
1x Supply tanker
3x Assault ships (Combination of tanks, tank destroyers, and SPSAMs, with Gazelle helos)
3-4x Badger bombers
2x J-11 Flankers
2x cargo planes with Spec. Forces

The subs stay out in front, since they are the most expendable but the most lethal, with the cheaper destroyers behind them with the tanker and assault ships behind them, flanked by the Hangzhous. The fighter/bomber formation should stick close to the assault ships' airspace and to support them when the landings begin. The heavy bombers slam first, the gazelles follow up and hit the more moderately damaged units, and the land assault units destroy the remainders - hopefully so much damaged is inflicted that reinforcements will be hard to produce right away. The enemy is fighters, given the vulnerable cover, and the fact that the J-11s will have to retreat shortly after arriving, unless airbases can be secured.

The Israelis have even less naval options, so much of their effectiveness in supporting their limited naval assets will come from F-15J Raams with an air tanker to provide ground prep for their transports, which must dock at a port, since they have no assault ships. The heart of their naval ops will be the Gal and Dolphin subs. Their Eilat frigates are next to useless. The Germans... well, they are also very limited, for the same reasons, but they have no cheap subs. The Japanese have no mid-air refuelers and no really heavy long range attack jets, but they have nice destroyers and decent subs, and a rather weak landing ship (no weapons!). Their challenge will be to maintain air cover and support for the landing forces. But the basic layout will be the same - subs up front, smaller ships behind, and bigger ones back protecting the most valuable ships.
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ElricJC
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PostPosted: Jan Tue 31, 2006 10:55 pm    Post subject: Oops Reply with quote

Quote:
I use two subs here


I meant two carriers, whoops! :b
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scott
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PostPosted: Feb Sat 04, 2006 11:10 am    Post subject: wow !! Reply with quote

you guys know your stuff, good ideals, buy I found the sea patrol Prowler is just to weak for the money, I buy the large four engine naval patrol it has a large amount of fuel for time on station and its endurance allows it to take more damage.
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SemperFi2382



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PostPosted: Feb Sat 04, 2006 1:55 pm    Post subject: Re: wow !! Reply with quote

scott wrote:
you guys know your stuff, good ideals, buy I found the sea patrol Prowler is just to weak for the money, I buy the large four engine naval patrol it has a large amount of fuel for time on station and its endurance allows it to take more damage.


I don't think you are thinking of the EA-6B Prowler. The one you are thinking about is most likely the S-3 Viking. As far as the Viking is concerned, yes I agree the P-3 Orion is superior.

For starters, the Orion can tag along with a naval fleet without tying up valuable Carrier space. This also means that they can travel farther away from the fleet in pursuit of enemy combatants, without diverting your entire Carrier Battle Group. Third as you pointed out, it is much more durable. Last, Orions are phenominal (at least in my experience) for hunting errant submarines. I think overall, I have racked more kills with Orions than I have with Vikings, despite having fielded more Vikings.
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ElricJC
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PostPosted: Feb Sat 04, 2006 9:34 pm    Post subject: Viking Reply with quote

Quote:
you guys know your stuff, good ideals, buy I found the sea patrol Prowler is just to weak for the money, I buy the large four engine naval patrol it has a large amount of fuel for time on station and its endurance allows it to take more damage.


I agree, you must be thinking of the Viking, which really is an utterly useless craft. It's payload is tiny, it has no self-defense weapons, it has no manuverability, and costs way too much for what you get. POS.
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DoubleTap



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PostPosted: Feb Wed 08, 2006 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, All Kab asked for is a little information. Why can't you guys help him out? Gosh, open up, lads!


Wink
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