Nil's Philippines Game - An ongoing, real-time account of how, why, and what happens

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    • Nil's Philippines Game - An ongoing, real-time account of how, why, and what happens

      Hi, Folks!

      In a discussion on another thread, I had mentioned that I do things (strategy, build philosophy, unit choice, research decisions) a little differently than many/most folks. What I do works for me for the most part right now because 1) I know a lot of little things about the game that the majority of public players don't; and 2) I'm a fairly active player and many public players are not. Anyway, there was some interest from at least one other player about my unconventional (?) ideas, so we agreed that I would play and chronicle one of my games to illustrate how I do things.

      Before I start, let me defuse a few potential discussion bombs:

      First, I'm not claiming that what I do is the best way or that anyone else should do it my way. I'm not a devoted numbers cruncher, so I'm sure statistics and math can point out that there are things I'm not doing the best way possible. If you're a good player or a numbers person, and you see where I'm messing up, please feel free to point it out to me. I'll be happy to hear it, and maybe I'll even someday use it to improve my game.

      Second, I'm not saying that I am the best player. While following this thread, you may come to the conclusion that I'm a no-skill hack and that you could easily beat me. That's fine. No one's saying you can't; there's no need to get aggressive. I'm simply offering to show how I do things.

      These things being said, even though what I do is probably not the best way to do things all the time, it does generally work for me, meaning that I'm pretty successful when I put the time, effort and attention into the game. I sometimes lose when I sleep, lose to skilled groups of people ganging up on me, or lose to folks who insist on "acquiring some major advantages", but I still think I do better than your average player.

      For this demonstration game, we have agreed that I will play as the Philippines. I won't be using anything more than the assets with which the nation starts and the resources and units I can acquire through normal play after that. I'll create a new account for this demonstration so that other players won't be intimidated by my Rank or name; so that I won't have access to any veteran or premium perks; and so that my stats will be transparent. I will play WWIII, as I believe it is considered the most mainstream map and follows the most commonly accepted rules and restrictions.

      I will be playing 4x, as it is my preferred speed of play. I know that most of you are 1x folks. I don't know what to tell you; someone else will have to demonstrate games at that speed. I've never gotten comfortable with the timing of the 1x games, and, to be honest, I don't think I could demonstrate as well in one of those.

      I'm a Military Doctrine player, so at least some of my unit choices will be based on the fact that the Philippines is a Western Doctrine country. It's also an island nation, of course, so you can expect to see a fair amount of navy.

      I'm going to try to create a fairly comprehensive record of this game, so this thread may become extensive. If you're not interested or don't enjoy it, you're welcome to ignore it. If you have any questions or comments as I go along, please feel free to jump right in and reply. I'll do the best I can to describe what i'm doing and why I've chosen to do it.

      That's all I can think of for now. Wish me luck!

    • START around 0600 Day 1

      I entered the game while there were only seven players in it. I immediately built Recruiting Offices in every city and began research on Level 1 National Guard. While waiting on those, I made the following troop movements:

      CRV and 2 Motor Inf from Zamboanga to the sea juncture NW of Taipei
      2 Motor Inf from Tuguegarao to the sea juncture NW of Taipei
      Towed artillery to Pagudpud
      1 Motor Inf from Manilla to Tuguegarao
      1 Motor Inf from Cebu City to Manilla
      1 Motor Inf from Davao City to Zamboanga

      When the research and recruting offices finished (same time), I began building Arms Industries and National Guard in every city.

      So, the results of the initial sequence will end up looking like this:

      At least one Motor Inf in every Homeland City; two Motor Inf each in Manilla and Puerto Princesa; Arms Industries and National Guard being built in every city; 4 total Motor Inf and 1 CRV on the way to meet in the waters outside Taipei. China and Japan both look like relatively inexperienced players. No other nearby players have been noted yet.
    • So, why didn't I build Army Bases?

      - I'm not building either Motor Infantry or CRVs in this game probably at all. I probably also won't build AA guns, and certainly that's not a priority for me right now. Anyway, Level 1 Army Bases are of no use to me right now, since I can't build anything I want without Arms Industries and probably Level 2 Army Bases.

      Why build Recruiting Offices first in every city?

      - So that I can start building NG in every city. It's still going to be more than a Day or two before I have any ships built, and I don't want to leave my cities completely empty in the meantime. NGs buy me a little time and keep my enemies from thinking I left my cities empty. For the moment, once they get built, they'll each be teaming up with at least one Motor Inf in each city to be ready to defend if necessary. The Recruiting Offices create Manpower (which I'll run low on early in the game) and increase mobilization speed, both qualities that are immediately useful.

      Why build Arms Industries next? Why not some sort of military base?

      - If I wanted improved mobility between cities/islands as quickly as possible, I suppose I could have started building another Air Base in another city first. Aside from that, though, no military base has any quality to offer me yet until I can pair it with an Arms Industry. So, I might as well get the Arms industries built first and have them producing additional resources later while I'm building my military bases. I never understand people who build Level 2 Army, Navy, or Air Bases without first building Arms Industries. What good are those doing you? None. They're just sitting their while you build Arms Industries. Had you built the Arms Industries first, you'd be producing more resources right now, and you'd still be ready to produce ships or tanks or whatever in the same amount of time.

      Why Taiwan first and not Bandar Seri Begawan?

      -Honestly, I almost always do Bandar Seri Begawan immediately. In this particular game, I felt like China was a bit slow, so I took at run at Taiwan first. The truth is, the Philippines needs to increase both its fuel and its electronics production at the beginning of the game, so neither of these cities is really a bad first choice.

      Why five units (4 Motor Inf, 1 CRV) to Taiwan? Why not just the original 2MI/1CRV ministack from Zamboanga?

      -Because the five stack wins better against 2-Motor Inf defending AI. My units will take less damage, and I won't lose any. After I win, I can leave two Motor Inf there to deal with Insurgency, and send the other 2MI/1CRV somewhere else to pair with more Motor Inf.
    • Tbh i usually dont go for ai day 1; its more something that just happens at some point cuz early on my focus is more on other players
      I don’t think its that good of an idea to go for ai as an island country when you have no ships to bully enemy transports with yet

      also: huh i could’ve sworn that ai only gets one motorized inf and not two
      I am The Baseline for opinions
    • AI gets two Motor Inf in WWIII, but on some maps (Battleground USA, for instance) it only gets one.

      I don't always go for AI right away. In fact, probably most of the time, I'll let my nearby opponents go after them, and then I will take the Homeland cities they left unguarded or I will try to find somewhere to ambush the units my player enemies had damaged when they were fighting against AI.

      In this particular game, though, I was early to the game and I thought my nearby opponents looked slow. Indonesia went to Singapore/Kuala Lumpur; Vietnam went to Thailand; Japan and the Koreas are tied up with one another; and China didn't move.

      In real life I slept (overnight) from the end of Day 1 through most of Day 2. This is something that's going to seem strange to the 1x folks: I'll be losing a continuous game Day (more or less) once every four game Days. Another difference that I think 4x gives me, though, is that I think it may make it a little more visible what my opponents are doing. Because all movement and battle is happening four times faster, I can watch the map for a little while and get an idea what many of my opponents are doing. So, I'm almost never just taking chances and hoping my opponent will or won't do something; I'm usually watching them and making my decisions based on what they are doing. In this case, I felt like I had the time and safety to take Taiwan without putting myself at too much risk to my player enemies.

      Added a few minutes later: As I exited Taiwan with my extra remaining units, I noticed (by using my fighter to scout) that Ho Chi Minh City is empty (because Vietnam went to Thailand), so I sent some Motor Infantry there. THIS is where I do what Teburu is suggesting, and I attack a vulnerable enemy early rather than going after the other existing AI cities. I wanted to give my enemies a chance to move a little first, though, so that they might make themselves vulnerable.

      That's one thing that I think I might do differently than some players: I think many players are like, "I'M DOING THIS AND THAT!" and they make up their minds independently on a course of action without consideration for the other players or the rest of the game. I rarely do that. I'll take what the game and the other players give me. If I think I want Nha Trang, but Vietnam has Nha Trang guarded and left Ho Chi Minh City open, then I'm switching my target to HCMC.

      The post was edited 3 times, last by PerigeeNil ().

    • It's late on Day 2, and I just woke up from sleeping overnight. I have Recruiting Offices, and Arms Industries in each city. I also have three Level 2 Naval Bases in Tuguerarao, Puerto Princesa, and Cebu City.

      I immediately research Corvettes and begin building three of them. I then immediately begin researching Frigates. Normally (with a navy-heavy country), I do this as early as possible on Day 2, but this time I was literally asleep.

      I build a Level 1 Hospital in Zamboanga.

      Those doing the math on the resources may notice that I should have run short of electronics and rare materials. I bought what I needed to finish satisfying these costs from the Market with some of the starting game Money (the resource, not online purchases).

      The post was edited 1 time, last by PerigeeNil ().

    • Teburu wrote:

      also: huh i could’ve sworn that ai only gets one motorized inf and not two

      Depends on map I think. Just played Apoc x 4 and AI had 2 inf. Have played maps with 1 inf and pretty sure maps with just 1 NG that wasnt even full strength.

      But as an island nation you are correct dont go out too far without navy escort. Good thing with AI is if even 2 inf...1 shell from ship it splits and 1 inf commits suicide by ship then just shell 1 inf left. stroll some inf in unscathed.

      So as an island nation get ships fast even if corvettes (bonus later as detects subs). yeah they suck but in land of the blind the man with 1 eye is king. So you get 1 - 2 vettes early king of local sea till can build real Navy.
    • PerigeeNil wrote:

      Those doing the math on the resources may notice that I should have run short of electronics and rare materials. I bought what I needed to finish satisfying these costs from the Market with some of the starting game Money (the resource, not online purchases).

      This is key. First few days I buy up all cheap resources whether need now or not. Ill sell gas but try not to sell anything else. But market drys up pretty quick so buy what you can while you can.

      By the beginning of Day 6, I was the #1 country in VPs. You can see a detailed breakdown of my Order of Battle, my build, and my research progress at midday Day 5 on this post:
      Look through a different Lens - What's your ACTUAL Day 5, 10, 15, 20, ... Order of Battle (OOB)

      You'll notice that I don't have much. I'm not building power ground stacks for the early game conquests.

      Instead, I have all of my cities (all ports) guarded from invasion with small/cheap ships. I know there's a trend of going straight to Destroyers for navy, but I rarely do that. The main reason is that I like Frigates. Now, there are some real Frigate fanatics out there, and I'm not them, but I do think Frigates maintain a unique value throughout the game. If there's an aspect of the game in which I'm strongest, it's probably navy, and I believe I owe a portion of that success to Frigates.

      I don't pay gold to accelerate build/research times, so buiild/research times make a difference to me. Corvettes are available on Day 1 and have a 30:00 research time. This means that by the time I get my Level 2 Naval Bases (after my Arms Industries) built, my Corvettes are ready to be built. In a game where I'm playing navy-heavy, I try to do each of the following steps as soon as they become available: Build Arms Industry (game start); Corvette research (any time from game start to Day 1 end); build Level 2 Naval Base (as soon as Arms Industry build finishes); Frigate research start (as early as possible on Day 2). If I do it this way, there's just no getting around the fact that I will be able to get some small ships on the water faster than I can get Destroyers on the water. In the meantime, I'm also not draining all of my resources trying to rush immediately to Level 3 Naval Bases and Destroyer constructions. Destroyers will follow soon (I'm actually researching them before midday on Day 6 in this game), but in the meantime, my ports have been protected.

      Corvettes admittedly become pretty useless later in the game, especially if you don't further research them, and I almost never further research them. For me, the one and only thing they ever actually do is protect my ports from being easily invaded by transports that aren't escorted by warships. They do that, and they get me to Frigates. In the early game, I appreciate Frigates because you can build them at Level 2 Naval Bases; they're stronger than Corvettes, and they're cheaper than Destroyers. For the entire game, though, the Frigate Air Defense is, I think worth researching and building them. I get exctied when I see that someone has gone straight to Destroyers and hasn't built Cruisers yet, because it means I'm about to have an air party. Destroying lonely Destroyers using aircraft is one of my favorite joys in this game. Frigates, in my opinion, harass air forces in the most frustrating way. They're almost like SAMs that also fight ships and can't be damaged by non-ranged ground forces. Plus, Point Defense on Frigates (Level 3) provides effective basic missile defense for when your enemies first get their cruise missiles. One of the other joys of this game for me is destroying lonely Destroyers with cruise missiles.

      So, the point of all of this is: I'm a big fan of going to the Corvette/Frigate route rather than going straight to Destroyers.

      Alright, what else is there to point out on Day 6? Because right now ships are the strength of my assets, I've focused mostly on coastal targets that seemed vulnerable because they were already invovled in conflict with someone else. I've taken over Vietnam, and I'm making my way through Thailand - they were at war with each other. I've also invaded North Korea, who had attempted earlier to invade South Korea.

      Just being coastal and being involved in other conflicts aren't the only reasons I've selected these targets early. They also have a lot of cities in relatively concentrated areas, and the players are active and in my region. China, for instance, is nearby and has coastal cities, but they are inactive and there is some distance between some of the cities. Basically, I'll get to them before long, but they are not my top priority.

      Why do I prioritize active targets over inactive targets? Inactive targets are easy, right? Yes, but active targets represent an evolving threat. One way of dealing with nearby active and evolving nations is to befriend them. I'm currently playing solo, though, so I have to defeat them. Vietnam, for instance, had built multiple Level 2 Naval Bases. We can't have that. So, they were my first target (after Taiwan, which I snatched up really quickly on Day 1 because I need the electronics).

      This is a key component to my strategy. Many players win/dominate by out-building and out-producing their opponents. I'll freely admit that those players can out-build and out-produce me. I'm not going to win an endlessly escalating arms race. SO,... I rely partially on the strategy of denial to create specialized advantages. One way that I will do that is to target my opponents' cities in a way that denies them specific necessary resources (fuel, electronics, rare materials). Another way that I do it, though, is to destroy facilities where I see they are trying to significantly advance part of their military. You're trying to build Level 2, 3, or 4 Naval Bases but don't have (many) ships produced yet? NOPE. I'm blowing those naval bases up. No navy for you, sir. That's another reason I prefer not to go straight to Destroyers. If I see someone going from Level 2 to Level 3 Naval Bases and they haven't built any ships yet? I'm turning those naval bases to dust. That person will never get to Destroyers, if I have anything to say about it.

      Anyway, that's how I ended up targeting Vietnam first. They were close by; they were involved in another major conflict; they had a number of coastal cities; their cities are concentrated in a relatively small area; and they were starting to try to build a navy that would threaten me. After that, I targeted North Korea, of which all of those same things were true except the navy.

      So, what comes next after this point on Day 6? Well, Destroyers. That's right, i don't actually hate Destroyers; I quite like them. I'm researching them now and starting my Level 3 Naval Bases. I also need to work on my economy and on starting a ground force. I also need to start developing an air force. So, basically, I still need everything.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by PerigeeNil ().

    • Teburu wrote:

      also: huh i could’ve sworn that ai only gets one motorized inf and not two
      Most public maps got 2 MotInf per city. So do the challenge maps.
      On the latter, in case of the full world map, where some AI countries have province (rather than city) capital - those only have a single MotInf. I suppose this is the same for public maps with non-city capitals.
      Commander Zozo001 :thumbsup:
      humble player

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Zozo001 ().


      It''s late Day 10. You can see my Order of Battle, Buildings, Research, etc. at: Look through a different Lens - What's your ACTUAL Day 5, 10, 15, 20, ... Order of Battle (OOB)

      Taking a snapshot inventory (as suggested by KFGauss) has been eye-opening for me. In my style of play, the Philippines gets off to a slow and careful start. It's an all island nation, so a lot of early time is spent embarking and deboarding, as well as traveling over water. This slows the early game as compared to perhaps a nation in the main European landmass where one can travel a few miles over land to cross a border.

      I went defensive and naval early, which also slowed my early expansion, but theoretically kept me safer from invasion. The Philippines is also a relatively poor country (in regards to resources, money, etc), so I was very llimited by the economy, especially in Day 5 through Day 10. I expect my rate of expansion and my lead to increase considerably over the next ten Days, as I've now bolstered my economy to some degree.

      My intention in this post is to discuss what I consider a slow period in this game. That may come across as complaining and providing excuses, but it's not. I've been the #1 country in the world for the past five game days (half the game so far). I've take 122 provinces and lost only 6. I haven't been dominating in an offensive manner, because I've been strengthening defenses and trying to improve my economy. Most good players, I'm sure, would have taken a more aggressive approach, but I'm a defensive player by nature, and I play a solo game.

      I can't think of much more to say about the period between Day 6 and Day 10, so I'll just re-summarize it like this: It was a slow period of controlled but safe growth, and I expect to see an excellerated growth rate in the near future.
    • Unfortunately, early this morning I was informed of a real life family medical emergency in which I must be involved (as logistical/emotional support). As such, I have not been able to login to the game normally and may not be able to devote any time to it for a few days (or more). Obviously, this derails my ongoing Philippines game. My apologies. At least I was able to chronicle the first 10 days. Just FYI, I did log in, and I'm currently still in the #1 spot on Day 15, after not having taken any action for more than two game days (4x).