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Reports from the field (After action reports)
|The victory screen of Advance Wars 2|
Reports from the field or RFFs are reminders of what happened during exceptionally or especially exhilerating moments from video games. Generally, strategy games make for great experiences and therefore it is a good idea to write RFFs to keep a trace of these moments, to look back and enjoy in the future.
Most RFFs are from Advance Wars games that turned out to be particularly interesting.
- 2017-01-04 - Order of Battle WW2: US Pacific -- Battle of Midway, difficulty 2/5
Below: our own carrier fleet regrouping at Midway Island after the battle. Note that a lot of ships are not at full strength.... many HPs were lost in that battle
Oh wow! Great victory at Midway. The entire Japanese carrier force has been sunk, and as far as air action goes it happened basically like IRL.
First we deployed 4 carriers ourselves, complete with at least five torpedo-bombers and one dive-bomber, plus three or four Wildcats. First order of business, to sink the Japanese Midway Invasion Fleet. We sent several warships South to meet with the invasion fleet (several cruisers, a destroyer, and a battleship). We sunk most of it, but not all of it unfortunately (that secondary objective wasn't completed).
In the meantime, we advanced our main carrier fleet West to meet with the main Japanese fleet. Problem was, we didn't know where it exactly was. It was stated that our primary objective was to destroy at least two Japanese carriers -- but I knew we could do better than that...
We advanced our carrier fleet as much as we could without risking a decisive engagement with the huge Japanese fleet looming West of us. They did spot us but we manage to hold our position. After a while, I had several squadrons of torpedo-bombers take off from our carriers.
After a few turns, the Japanese carrier planes were on us! And they even sunk one of our carriers, the northernmost one... Fortunately, I had many Wildcats in the air, so the Japanese squadrons were quickly dispatched and soon retreated. The loss of one of our carriers was a severe blow though, especially considering it was part of our Core Forces.
After this initial engagement, I launched all my strike planes West, towards the estimated position of the enemy fleet... And we did find the enemy fleet. The first few turns were good for us, with one carrier quickly sunk and two others crippled, against only one of our squadron of torpedo-bombers shot down.
After that, it became messy. The torpedo-bombers deal massive damage to enemy large warships, but they require 3 turns to reload their "torpedo" capacity, meaning they were useless and vulnerable after the attack... I had them retreat, but not too far, and I had my only squadron of dive-bombers attack again one of the Japanese carriers. In the meantime, Japanese Zeros took down and crippled a lot of Allied planes.
Three or so turns passed; I attacked again with the torpedo-bombers, and soon sunk two more Japanese aircraft carriers. Our primary objective was complete, but we were only one Japanese carrier away from completing our secondary objective too...
However, the last carrier had vanished. The fighting took place not far from the Japanese Exit Hexes so I feared the last carrier had simply retreated off-map. I sent a few squadrons do recon North and South, but to no avail. Soon I understood it would be useless to keep the fighting going on: my squadrons were all crippled, and most importantly, running out of fuel... So I had all planes retreat, except the dive-bombers, that I decided to sacrifice for the sake of reconaissance.
I began advancing my carriers West again to recover my withdrawing aircraft, but unfortunately the Japanese had a huge fleet of at least five destroyers and three battleships just West of our position.
So I had my carriers retreat East towards Midway.
And on turn 29 or so (out of 35 max)... our submarine located the last enemy carrier! Two turns away from exiting the map through one of the Exit Hexes! Holy damn! I had my carriers go West again, and the squadrons of torpedo-bombers repaired as quickly as possible, then launch. That would take far too many turns though...
The submarine torpedo-ed the enemy carrier, which HPs went from 4 to 2. I had two squadrons of Wildcats in the area -- they were no strike planes, but they could still inflict damage on enemy warships. The strike planes proper, the torpedo-bombers and dive-bombers, were too far away East, and most of them still being repaired on the carriers.
The next turn, the Japanese carrier was ON an Exit Hex, and had 3HP after in-the-field repair, or maybe because of a supply ship (they had many oil tankers around). I had a crippled Wildcat (the last in the area) bomb it... and SUCCESS! The last Japanese carrier was sent to the bottom in one last, daring strike.
After that we just regrouped the fleet near Midway (see screenshot, the only screenshot of that session unfortunately), and the sacrificed dive-bomber squadron bombed as much as it could before completely running out of fuel. You will be remembered ;_;7
All in all, that last carrier action was freaking great and heart-racing. Two secondary objectives completed out of four (destroy all Japanese carriers and at least 6 other warships -- lol, we sunk at least 12 in that mission...).
- 2016-10-23 - Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds -- standard game, island map, Trade Federation
We just finished an especially long (5h+) but interesting game in Galactic Battlegrounds.
The map was procedurally generated as usual, and was an islands map (each player begins on a different island). We were the Trade Federation, the other two AI players were the Rebellion and Naboo, and they were allied.
First as usual we began exploring the island and collecting much needed carbon.
After a while we attempt a landing on the Rebels' island to the South, and we actually begin collecting carbon there. That is, until repeated Fast Fighter attacks draw us back into our own territories.
After a few dozens of minutes the enemy lands on our own island. We manage to keep the enemy units at bay but the situation seems dire. That's when we stop playing this particular game for a few days.
Two weeks or so later, we're back and we organize our forces so that our main battalions are East of the island, where most of the enemy units attempt to land. Particularly annoying are the N1 Fighters launched by the Naboo, who dwell on the Eastern island.
We're clearly on the defensive now, and attacking the enemy on its territory is not really an option. Our forces are quickly reorganized as follow: a battalion of 12 or so B1 Battle Droids, a battalion of ~10 anti-air battle droids, a group of 5 Anti-Air Mobiles, and a group of far Heavy Artillery units. A bit to the South-West, the "air force" is waiting for orders: a dozen of advanced droid fighters.
After several hours of repelling attacks after attacks, Yané, the Naboo guy, asks me to set my diplomacy regarding him on Neutral because he's done the same about me. We comply, but our units keep destroying the Naboo N1 Fighters that come into their range. Oh well.
The thing is, hostilities with Yané haven't stopped. We're Neutral in regards to each other, but the fighting keeps going. So I don't know what this neutrality is all about. In any case, that Yané guy continues to ask me for always more carbon. Holy heck, we're killing ourselves and he's still asking me to send him carbon?
Speaking of carbon, our island is now completely deforestated. If we want new carbon now, we must use the Spaceport to buy some using our Nova ressources.
Speaking of which... I realized at this point that I had no Research Center, nor War Center, nor Spaceport. All of this is hastly build, along with a power core to provide the necessary energy for all these buildings.
That's when I noticed Yané actually built a fortress just North of the place where I keep the main bulk of our forces. Lol, we quickly dispose of it using our Hvy Artillery, but the Naboo Naval units keep harassing us as soon as our units approach the shoreline. I would gladly engage them in a fierce, decisive naval battle, but my Population Cap is already at 100/100, so I'm not allowed to build more units.
Anyway, long story short, we then build our own fortress where we destroyed the Naboo one, then deploy Air Cruisers, that are VERY powerful units, and we proceed to systematically destroy every building/unit that doesn't belong to us across the map, while keeping our Air Cruisers protected by a full squadron of 12 Advance Droid Fighters. The End
Below: the results screen
- 2016-08-04 - Battlestations: Midway -- mission Endgame at Midway - SECOND ATTEMPT
After our failed attempt at winning this mission the other day, we're back at Midway. First things first, as suggested on Strategywiki we send the two recon planes a bit east of our two carriers, and we order two squadrons of three Dauntlesses armed with depth charges to take off, to sink the enemy submarine that always comes from the East at mission start. The sub is quickly sunk, the Dauntlesses return to the safety of their carrier deck, and the recon planes are sent North and North-East to do some recon, and hopefully to spot the enemy carrier fleet.
First we meet a Japanese cruiser just North of our position, heading South, towards us. Two squadrons of Avengers with aerial torpedoes take care of it.
Then our recon planes spot another cruiser near the center of the map; we send some other avengers there too, but I don't really like it because with every attack, it takes a long time for the avengers to land, rearm and re-take off.
One of our recon plane, already damaged by the cruiser when it was flying over it, is shot down by Zeroes coming from the Northern edge of the map. Our second recon plane is in the North-East corner of the map and has nothing to report, so naturally the enemy carrier fleet must be in the North-West corner of the map. I send the recon plane there.
Bingo. There's the enemy fleet! Enemy attacks are more intense now. We're up against Vals (dive-bombers) and Kates (torpedo-bombers). Fun fact: during the entirety of the mission, I never had more than two squadrons of three Wildcats to protect the US carriers.
I quickly have four squadrons of torpedo-bombers take off from the Hornet, and two squadron of the same type of planes take off from the Enterprise.
Once every plane is in the air, I send the whole pack directly to the enemy fleet and order them to concentrate their attack on one carrier.
Not all squadrons make it to the enemy fleet, but they still manage to take down one of the two Japanese carriers.
As scripted, two heavy cruisers and two destroyers appear just North of the enemy fleet to assist it. I quickly round up the surviving Avengers and have them land on one carrier, while the other carrier has all available torpedo-bombers squads take off. Problem: the Hornet can only put three squadrons of Avengers in the air, because.... that's all that's left. No problem: the fourth squadron slot will be filled by a trio of Dauntlesses armed with 1000lbs bombs.
The powerful enemy fleet is moving East, staying near the Northern edge of the map. I send my own carrier fleet at the center of the map, then have it move to the North-East so it can catch up to the enemy fleet, but not heading right towards it (it was our main mistake last time). (On the map pic below, my carrier formation is seen moving S-E as indicated by the blue arrow, but that was just when I took the picture. Just after that, I did send the fleet N-E.)
As for the previous attack, I wait for all planes to be in the air, and then I send every squadron to the Hyriu. If she sinks, the mission is a win. Since this is the final attack, I also send my squadron of Wildcat fighters to provide a bit of escort to my torpedo-bombers.
Then..... well, six pics are better than 6000 words I guess.
^Approaching the enemy fleet. Dropping altitude and preparing for the torpedo run.
^Approaching the Hiryu. Flying through enemy AA.
^This is it! Nothing between us and the Hiryu! I dropped the fish just after taking this pic.
^The Hiryu sinking into the abyss while "US-victory.mp3" is playing. The game is beaten at last!
For anyone interested... the battle results:
- 2016-07-30 - Battlestations: Midway -- mission Endgame at Midway
With the two carriers, two destroyers and the one heavy cruiser the developers gave us, we set sail North of Midway Island in an attempt to find and sunk the two remaining IJN aircraft carriers (we sank the other two in the last mission).
Everything goes according to plan; one or two Japanese subs are sunk, the Japanese fleet is spotted North of our starting position and our CAP are effeciently repelling enemy air attacks.
With torpedo bombers we sank one of the two enemy carriers; only one remains. Both fleets get dangerousely closer to each other as I ordered my two carriers to move North at full speed to close the distance with the enemy fleet. I'm confident because I have two carriers left and they have only one.
Soon we run into the vangard of their fleet, a heavy cruiser. We deal with it with torpedo bombers and our own ships. The torpedo bombers must then quickly land to rearm, and even more quickly take off again because we're now very close to the enemy carrier.
Now the distance between both our fleet and the enemy fleet is minimal! I send everything against the remaining enemy carrier. But its destroyer escort shots down many of our aircraft! One or two torpedoes manage to hit the Japanese carrier, but damage is minimal.
Since the distance is so close now, I can't wait until all my squadrons are assembled before launching attack, so I send every squadron as they take off to the attack. This results in most of my airplanes getting shot down.
And now my Northernmost carrier is targeted by the enemy surface units. It quickly sinks under destroyer and cruiser fire.
I order my last carrier to retreat South ASAP. But too late, the Japanese bombers manage to land some hits on it, and the enemy cruiser and destroyers are too fast. Our own destroyer escort is quickly sent to the bottom and our carrier, without air or naval protection, soon follows.
Oh well. Strategywiki warned us though: this is the last and toughest mission in the game.
The last few minutes were intense though. Lots and lots of AA fire, and our carriers could almost physically touch the enemy carrier.
- 2016-07-23 - Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood -- map Run of the Mill
Against all odds, we managed to actually win this one. Hardest difficulty mode of course (Authentic).
1) First we began the mission as usual;
2) We took down the Germans in the town as usual, with our tank
3) After a bit of progress we came up to the bridge which exploded (scripted)
4) We keep advancing using the same strats as always, then we begin the crossing of the field. Here things go to heck
5) I started running in random circles to avoid the shells the 88 gun was firing at me; at this point, I had already lost like a third of my HPs; I send the tank west to finish off the small German pocket there that I often neglect while playing this mission, and the 88 gun scores a hit against the tank! I ask the tank to quickly move behind one of the big bushes, but before it could move a second hit was scored, blowing up the tank for good
6) I desperately send all my remaining men (three or four) to assault the 88 gun position, defended by the gun itself and three or four German. While running in the open, one of my trooper is blown off but the 88 gun; the other two and I still manage to get to the bridge on which the 88 gun is positioned; unfortunately, my two pals are killed by the German there; I lose almost all of my HPs and hide under the bridge. A hide and seek game begins with the German searching for me; fortunately, after a few minutes of trying to flank each other, I manage to kill the guy and I can progress further. The thing is, I'm alone now! and with almost no HP remaining!
7) The finale objective is to secure the small plaza near the green cross on the map; I find my self pinned near the objective by an anti-tank gun and an mg-42 in the plaza. So, I decide to backtrack all the way to the other side of the bridge
8) When I finally reach the other side of the blowned up bridge (the side we were at the beginning of the mission, actually), I use some panzerschreks lying around and throw some well-placed grenades to kill off some German positions near the objective. With my very last panzerschrek shell I'm able to destroy the mg-42 emplacement that is so annoying, and with a grenade I manage to destroy the westernmost anti-tank gun.
9) I then go back all the way to the objective, collecting ammo on the way, and a m15 Carabine from a killed allied soldier. Some fighting takes place near the objective, but thanks to my earlier shooting from the other side of the bridge, I can move freely from one cover to another.
10) Finally I manage to reduce the German numbers to 4. With some well-placed shots, the Germans are now only 2! It's now very tense. I can't make a wrong move or all of this will have been for naught. After some similar action to the one that took place under 88 gun bridge, I manage to pick up a lying panzerschrek and I wait for a firing window. Then I see the two German behind crates waiting for me; as they aim for me with their rifles I fire my panzerschrek and BAM! They're blown off! And with that, the mission comes to an end.
- 2016-01-xx - War in the Pacific Admiral's Edition -- scenario Battle of the Coral Sea
(We're the US.) So as in real life we begin with two carriers, the Lexington and the Yorktown, and we're tasked to prevent the Japanese from landing their troops to Port Moresby. First I send my two carriers near Tulagi (as IRL), then some action I don't remember well happens and I lose one of the two carriers. So I go straight to Port Moresby to ambush the Japanese convoy there (by that I mean I sent my carrier there). The big and dangerous Japanese carriers are nowhere to be found.
I think I may have spotted the Shoho (light carrier) at some point, but I was never able to find out if my airplanes had actually sank it or not.
Anyway my remaining carrier meets the Japanese convoy near Port Moresby and the game automatically makes the carrier airplanes do several sorties against the Japanese landing ships.
And oh boy during the next turns, dozens of sorties were made and countless Japanese troopships were sunk. I think that earned me a considerable quantity of victory points. The Japanese fleet carriers are still nowhere to be found. I never actually found them, although I sent many submarines in many different places in order to find them, which I thought was important because IRL the Japanese fleet carriers were the most serious threat to the US forces in the area. Thinking about it... IRL the carrier action took place S-E of the place were my airplanes sunk all these troopships, and I mainly sent my submarines North, which may be why I didn't find the enemy carriers... and why they didn't find me: they were busy searching for me South. That hardly makes sense though, because my own carrier and its aircraft sank so many Japanese troopships that the Japanese MUST have known where it was. Oh well, it's probably for the better we never met the enemy fleet carriers.
Once the smoke settles a bit I send my carrier into Port Moresby with the intent to refuel it and most importantly, to resupply it with fresh ammo for my planes, because all these sorties have depleted most of the carrier bombs and aerial torpedo stocks. What good are airplanes without their ordnance?
Unfortunately, I fail to find the button that resupplies ship. The carrier IS on the port hex, but I can't resupply it. I may have read somewhere that some ports are too small for carriers and other large ships; that may be why. The only pictures I've seen of Port Moresby are from Battlestations Pacific were the player is actually asked to capture it, and indeed from what I recall it may be hard to fit an aircraft carrier in that port.
Anyway with their last munitions the embarked fighters still sortie to meet with the Japanese Zeroes and bombers coming from the North, until the game abruptly ends and I realize I actually won the scenario, because I have more victory points than the Japanese. All these sorties against the Japanese landing ships must have paid out somehow, because I don't think we sank any Japanese carriers or other valuable targets, while they DID sink one of our aircraft carrier. So, the amount of troopships sunk must have evened it out everything in the end.
In any case, this is the only WitP:AE I ever finished and I won, so I guess I have 100% success rate in this game. Nice. After that I tried the scenario involving the recapture of Kiska (spelling may be wrong), but I failed to find the way to land troops so... I didn't go far.