Started a new one vs the HardAI Axis this time. Gave them the extra starting fuel and a flat bonus of 20 for the Majors and 10 for the Minors. So far they've opened pretty well. Of course they still struggle with the Middle East, but that fight is very narrow and hard to prevent a route even in PvP if Russia and British-Colonies go for broke, but otherwise pretty solid showing from the computer. HardAI Germany seems to do better in their opener if they get a reload at combat to press as hard as possible, since they seem to recalculate and launch a few more battles if given a second look. They redirected their air power and ran a couple more attacks with their big infantry stacks. Hard AI Japan also pushing reasonably well vs the block from French Colonies. They just smoked the Russian far east armies that tried to dig in at Vladivostok and so seem poised to march.
Trying to keep pace as Allies with some extra synth drums bought here and there, hoping British-India and British-Colonies will be able feed a fledgling fighter force with all that added juice hehe. Also got Brazil awash in a pair of green barrels to see if those smoking cobras can make a more effective Atlantic crossing with little extra fuel per round hehe. Anyhow, still early days, only in the second round, but its shaping up to be a fun brawl so far.
Catch you in a few!
Ps. pretty fun so far.... AI Il Duce has been making a breakout and just sent Italian U-boats to wreak havoc in the Persian Gulf hehe. A surprisingly historical attack just occurred from AI Japan at Guadalcanal. Can't let this press towards New Zealand stand! Trying to keep things hot along the Burma road while they're preoccupied elsewhere with a walk-in over the Soviet Far East. Germans are creeping on the Russian VCs with their Balkan buddies. Stalin is chain-smoking right now waiting on FDR to deliver hehe
Took it a dozen rounds before locking down Europe. On the Pacific side Japan still has some teeth but the Chinese fighter wall prevailed and Allies are now driving on Coastal China. Overall it felt pretty good with the flat rate boost at those levels, 10 for the minors and 20 for the Majors per round. I think the way the production spread is set up it's a little easier to gang up on W. Germany than it is to go after Italy, so Il Duce lasted for a while before eventually getting snaked by Brazil. AI Germany seems to sink or swim depending on whether they can take Leningrad. They come undone pretty quickly if the Allies can knock off W. Germany. Surely in PvP the Axis will prioritize the German heartland above all else, which the AI doesn't do very effectively, but I wonder if it might make sense to redirect some of that coastal German income to Austria-Bohemia?
If like 20 PUs were shifted inland from W. Germany to Austria it might make the defense of the German capital a bit more engaging during the final rounds, since the swing in the west wouldn't be quite as dramatic when the Allies eventually roll it up. Also if the Germans could set up a production center in the middle of Europe that is safer from bombers and isn't vulnerable to amphibious assaults, it might help the Axis balance there post D-Day when the Allies are making their final press on Berlin.
Pps. Got another one going against the HardAI Allies, same deal as the last one with extra starting fuel, 20 flat boost to the Majors, (Russia Britain and USA) and 10 for the rest. Axis took the TKO early for VCs, but Allies definitely had some fight left so it wasn't decisive, and they've been playing pretty well into the mid-game. As Germany and Italy we went all gangbusters vs the Soviets, but in the far East the Russian bear is still bouncing around giving Japan headaches. Saw some good naval strikes from the machine and a bit of back and forth on all fronts. AI Allies still stacking up in Africa and India. Probably give it another half a dozen rounds and see how long they can keep it up with the boost.
Soviet AI is still kicking, Stalin has retreated to Fortress Irkutsk with British fighter cover. Japan is almost ready to crack India heading into the 12th round, but elsewhere the Allies have been somewhat resurgent. Battle for the Atlantic is down to some massive fighter walls with England still stacking, feels like it break either way there. Il Duce still getting harassed on the African front, but we finally knocked off the cape. The boost definitely seems to be keeping that Hard AI kicking into the endgame. Going to give it a few more rounds before I crash. Catch you next time!
Finally smoked the British Isles with Germany after a 2 round build up. We had to massively expand the synth stockpiles to get enough fighters on it, but eventually succeeded in forcing a resolution with Britain. London is ours at last, but the Americans evac'd like 20 something fighters in the final hours before the big battle, to set up a new air wall in Greenland.
Meanwhile Irkutsk has proven a tougher nut to crack. The Brits flew in a fighter wall from Western Canada, and propped up the last Russian stronghold just long enough for the Soviets to get some meat back on their bones. The Reds are surprisingly flush with cash despite being down to the fingernails in overall production capacity, so they've started building bombers and bouncing them around all over the place. And they're still harassing Japan in the Far East with the occasional surprise tank strike. India is toast per the long term U-GO plan, but ANZAC is still beefy and the Americans seem determined to keep playing cat and mouse trying to find a way into the South Pacific.
Italy still has their hands full though, and West Africa has remained an active front throughout. British Colonies and France still trying to kick in the back door, and looks like the USA is making a press in the South Atlantic now as well, after getting pushed out of the North Atlantic. They're stacking up ground forces Angola at present, giving the Italians pause after their recent triumph over South Africa. I feel like the HardAI deserves a minor victory of some sort for fighting this hard this long hehe.
Enjoying it at this level for the boost so far. I think the new fuel system works pretty well. You still feel the need to manage fuel consumption, but feels more engaging now that you can build for heightened demand over time. I dig it.