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Torp
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Postby Torp » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:08 am

Now, of course, I will have to post my "yes, but.." reply. (don't take this as me not being thankful. I would love for you to prove my arguments wrong, as I'd then learn a very valuable experience)

First of all, let me say that I assume that the games in question are free-for-all (no locked alliances) games with 3+ players, and with a default scoring mode. I really do prefer survival scoring mode, and when I play such games, my priorities are far from what I wrote above. But as there are too few survival games being played, multiplayer default is what I usually play.

Targeting silos and air bases before cities
My experiences in multiplayer games, especially those involving 5 or 6 players, is that if a player tries to take out the defenses of an enemy to gain points, one of the other players will capitalise on this,and grab the cities before a launch on these can be made. I have, in fact, done this several times myself, with a high degree of success. I've also been the one to target defenses a couple of times, early on in my DefConing, and that never went well.

In 3 player games, and maybe 4 player as well, I can see it working, though. You can more or less assure that one enemy won't win, and if you at the same time manage to have the other enemy focus on you(or at least not on the one you're focusing on), you'll be able to grab about as many points from the other enemy as he manages to grab from you, while grabbing more than him from your first target.

What I mean by "used to winning my naval combats", and further elaborations on my naval tactics
The elimination of the enemy fleet as a threat to my lands, while keeping enough of my fleet alive to have it be a threat to his. Most players I've been up against don't know how to properly manage their fleets and concentrate fire (if half of my battleships can fire, but only two of his, I'm much more likely to win the encounter. Add in bombers...), so I'll often have most of his battleships killed off with half or more of mine still alive (and no carrier losses). This tactic is not as reliable against more experienced players, though.

I sometimes do target the carriers, though, as I said. The thing is that most mediocre or better players will keep their carriers behind their own line of battleships, so I find it neccecary to chew through this defensive line to get to them. A clear line of fire to a carrier will often amount in a sudden change of targeting priority, especially if I have subs even remotely nearby.

And no, I never send my bombers into the radar range of an enemy battleship. Just for the record :-)

I like the info on the bomber/fighter ratio. That should be useful.

The possibility of winning through taking out the minor population centers of an enemy is an interesting one, and one I haven't really tried out. I mean, I don't concentrate on only hitting the big cities, but I do try to get in a good strike on several of them. It usually off, though for all I know using those nukes to target smaller cities might have gained me more points.

Xander: I like how you set up your fleet. It reminds me of my setup :D
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Postby xander » Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:39 am

I would like to point out that there is no advantage, and a possible disadvantage, to concentrating fire. You want to spread your fire as much as possible. The reason for this is that "damage" in Defcon is assigned probabilistically. While I could get into the math of it a bit, let me try to keep it simple.

Imagine an idealized situation where you have six bombers in the air, and the enemy has six battleships that can be shot at. Let us also assume that the bombers are all firing at about the same time, so that we can think in terms of salvos, rather than single shots. Let us examine two scenarios.

Scenario 1
In scenerio 1, all of your bombers are targeting one battleship, and continue to target it until it is dead. They will then move onto another, and target it until it is dead. They will continue in the fashion until all of the ships are dead. Each shot has a 1/4 chance of killing the battleship. Thus, the chance of the battleship surviving the first round is about 18%. In other words, you have a fairly good chance of destroying it in the first salvo, but it might survive. On the other hand, even under the best possible circumstances, it will take six salvos to kill all of the ships (assuming that each ship is destroyed in one salvo).

Scenario 2
Each of your bombers targets a different battleship. When a battleship is sunk the bomber targeting that battleship targets a different unit. Again, each shot has a 1/4 chance of sinking a ship. However, you are targeting six ships. As before, there is an 18% chance that all of your shots will miss, and that none of the ships will be sunk. However, unlike in the first scenario, there is a small probability that multiple shots will hit and sink multiple ships. In fact, probability would suggest that you sink one and one quarter ships every salvo. If you got lucky, you could sink every ship on the first salvo. You would expect to sink all of the ships, on average, after only four or five salvos. This means that the EXPECTED performance of spreading your fire is BETTER than the BEST performance if you concentrate your fire.

The moral of the story is: spread your fire as much as possible.

xander
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:07 am

Torp wrote:Now, of course, I will have to post my "yes, but.." reply. (don't take this as me not being thankful. I would love for you to prove my arguments wrong, as I'd then learn a very valuable experience)

First of all, let me say that I assume that the games in question are free-for-all (no locked alliances) games with 3+ players, and with a default scoring mode. I really do prefer survival scoring mode, and when I play such games, my priorities are far from what I wrote above. But as there are too few survival games being played, multiplayer default is what I usually play.

This was true of my post. I alter slightly for survivor and Diplomacy.

Torp wrote:Targeting silos and air bases before cities
My experiences in multiplayer games, especially those involving 5 or 6 players, is that if a player tries to take out the defenses of an enemy to gain points, one of the other players will capitalize on this,and grab the cities before a launch on these can be made. I have, in fact, done this several times myself, with a high degree of success. I've also been the one to target defenses a couple of times, early on in my DefConing, and that never went well.

In 3 player games, and maybe 4 player as well, I can see it working, though. You can more or less assure that one enemy won't win, and if you at the same time manage to have the other enemy focus on you(or at least not on the one you're focusing on), you'll be able to grab about as many points from the other enemy as he manages to grab from you, while grabbing more than him from your first target.

Trust me when I say it will come as a shock to you and those playing with you the first couple of times you do it (successfully). It is always a risk you run that another will capitalize on your kills, but I fall back on my statement that most players will concentrate on the bigger cities leaving you enough medium/smaller ones to gain more points than the player taking advantage of your offensive. Anyone around here that's played me can tell you that they're not fooled at the end of the game when I'm still 100/150+ points behind and perhaps even negative. Part of the trick is figuring out where the biggest concentration of points will be at the end and leaving yourself enough nukes to get to them. This technique doesn't always work, but I've gotten it down pretty good. Also, this works increasingly better the more players are involved, but works at any level. This is the very technique I used here, against Church at first (I could see most of his silos at first), but then quickly realized he was a low threat (inexperienced) and focused on Jesus. Notice he (Jesus) has no infrastructure and no way to effectively defend even a few bombers. All his cites, no matter how low the population, were up for grabs. Used that example as it's the most recent game I can really remember.

Torp wrote:What I mean by "used to winning my naval combats", and further elaborations on my naval tactics
The elimination of the enemy fleet as a threat to my lands, while keeping enough of my fleet alive to have it be a threat to his. Most players I've been up against don't know how to properly manage their fleets and concentrate fire (if half of my battleships can fire, but only two of his, I'm much more likely to win the encounter. Add in bombers...), so I'll often have most of his battleships killed off with half or more of mine still alive (and no carrier losses). This tactic is not as reliable against more experienced players, though.

I sometimes do target the carriers, though, as I said. The thing is that most mediocre or better players will keep their carriers behind their own line of battleships, so I find it necessary to chew through this defensive line to get to them. A clear line of fire to a carrier will often amount in a sudden change of targeting priority, especially if I have subs even remotely nearby.

You don't necessarily have to "chew through" a defensive line of battleships. Bait his battleships away, find a different angle, or just nuke them away if you have to. But don't waste effort on them if you don't have too.

Torp wrote:And no, I never send my bombers into the radar range of an enemy battleship. Just for the record :-)

I like the info on the bomber/fighter ratio. That should be useful.

The possibility of winning through taking out the minor population centers of an enemy is an interesting one, and one I haven't really tried out. I mean, I don't concentrate on only hitting the big cities, but I do try to get in a good strike on several of them. It usually off, though for all I know using those nukes to target smaller cities might have gained me more points.

xander: I like how you set up your fleet. It reminds me of my setup :D

xander definitely gave me a naval battle when we dueled, but in the end taking out his silos was what gave me the game. Would definitely play xander again.
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Postby Trident » Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:08 am

xander wrote:If you got lucky, you could sink every ship on the first salvo.

The moral of the story is: spread your fire as much as possible.

xander

Although this is possible, i have never seen it happen (at least not for me)
and the moral of the story is: that xander always likes to tell you the moral of stories :lol:
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Postby xander » Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:50 am

Trident wrote:
xander wrote:If you got lucky, you could sink every ship on the first salvo.

The moral of the story is: spread your fire as much as possible.

xander

Although this is possible, i have never seen it happen (at least not for me)
and the moral of the story is: that xander always likes to tell you the moral of stories :lol:

Boy, if that is all you took away from my post, you fail it. The important parts were If you get lucky, you could sink every ship. The probability of this happening is quite low -- 0.25^6, to be exact, or less than 3%. It is very unlikely. However, the chance of sinking one ship, or more, is about 72%. That was the point. Basically, over the long term, you kill ships faster if you spread out your targeting.

xander
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Postby Torp » Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:27 pm

Yeah, Xander, I am aware of that, but I still don't think it's a bad idea to concentrate fire on the enemy units that can do damage to me (if an enemy battleship has broken through my lines and is within the range of my carriers, this is doubly true). I won't concentrate all fire on one enemy unit, but on those enemy units that have range to any of my units.

You also forgot to mention that any shot fired after the killing shot is wasted. If 6 bombers fire at a single ship, and aren't completely synchronised, there's a chance that the second shot from the first bombers gets fired before the last shot of the first salvo reaches the target and potentially destroys it. This is also wasteful (and brings up another idea: micromanagement of silos?).

Trident: I've seen 3 bombers take out 3 ships in a single salvo. It is vastly more probable than taking out 6 ships with 6 bombers, but it's still only a chance of 0,015 (1,5%). And the fact is, your chance of taking out 2 or more ships using 6 bombers is actually greater than only taking out 1, if you spread your fire.

Here are the numbers:
0: ~0,18
1: ~0,35
2: ~0,30
3: ~0,13
4: ~0,03
5: ~0,004
6: ~0,0002
Total: ~0,99

Which shows that your chances of taking out 2-4 ships is 0,46, 0,11 above 1 ship, and an increase of 31%.

Ace: Thank you. I will try out these suggestions of yours in my next games.

(yeah, the thank you extends to you too, Xander. You had some good points as well :) )

EDIT: I'd also like to point out, Xander, that "less than 3%" is not neccecarily "very unlikely" (supposing it's just below 3%). In fact, it is so large, it's very likely to happen in a game you play. Sounds like a small chance, but should on average happen in 1 out of ~35 encounters. Taking into account multiple encounters per game, and we might assume it happens in 1 out of 15 games where the tactic is used.

However, the chance of taking out 6 ships in a single salvo is only 0,0002, 1/5000. It's actually large enough that there is a pretty good chance it might have happened, in some game, but it's still a very unlikely.
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Postby Ikarus » Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:09 pm

Hi,
I´d like to sign up as a student,
I haven´t played the full version yet, but it´ s just a matter of time...
thanks to your postings i think i´ve already been able to improve my tactics,
thanks a lot,
Ikarus
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:29 pm

Want to know how to effectively kill enemy silos without risking bombers/subs? Check here: Killing Silos 101

Adjunct Professor Ace thanks you for your time.
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Postby Cooper42 » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:41 pm

I'm hardly a brilliant player, but one piece of advice I picked up, which has prooved invaluable is with regards to fighter targeting.

Once they destroy their designated target, they will automatically move to the position that target was when it was destroyed. Only when reaching that point will they automatically pick their next target.

By manually setting the next target of a fighter each time its previous target was destroyed, they are much much more effective, especially if their targets were on the edge of their range. They'll take out bombers at 3 time the spped on occasions. This has saved me from many a bomber wave.

Apologies if this has already been mentioned...

Thanks for the bomber tips - previously I've been setting them to naval mode, then targetting SRBM, so they launch the moment the target is in range. I'll try getting the timer counted down and launching as close as ossible to targets now.

One question I'd like to ask: Are there any worthwhile positions for lone subs that larger groups can't reach?

So far, I've disovered by myself; by Denmark / the Thames estuary which can reach Cairo, and the the west of Greenland (Davis straits / Northwest passage start) where larger groups of carriers can't reach, and it's further out of the range of where most players place airstrips.
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Postby Feud » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:13 am

Cooper42 wrote:One question I'd like to ask: Are there any worthwhile positions for lone subs that larger groups can't reach?


Oh yes! A lone sub can go almost anywhere, I would suggest you experiment some.
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Postby xander » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:59 am

Feud wrote:
Cooper42 wrote:One question I'd like to ask: Are there any worthwhile positions for lone subs that larger groups can't reach?


Oh yes! A lone sub can go almost anywhere, I would suggest you experiment some.

Yeah, but I can't think of anywhere that a lone sub can go that a group cannot.

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Postby Feud » Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:03 am

xander wrote:
Feud wrote:
Cooper42 wrote:One question I'd like to ask: Are there any worthwhile positions for lone subs that larger groups can't reach?


Oh yes! A lone sub can go almost anywhere, I would suggest you experiment some.

Yeah, but I can't think of anywhere that a lone sub can go that a group cannot.

xander


Depends on what size group I suppose. I can think of a number of places a single sub can go that six cannot (which is my normal sub group).
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Postby Radiant Caligula » Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:13 am

targeting range with groups of subs (2-6) gets worse the bigger the group is, since you can only get the first sub so close to shore.

Group of 6 subs inside Japan? doubt it. And no way u can jam 6 subs inside the Carribean. Also impossible to pocket UK (both sides). Not to mention that navigation is a bitch with large groups in tight areas.

Singles all the way for me.
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Postby xander » Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:10 am

Radiant Caligula wrote:targeting range with groups of subs (2-6) gets worse the bigger the group is, since you can only get the first sub so close to shore.

Group of 6 subs inside Japan? doubt it. And no way u can jam 6 subs inside the Carribean. Also impossible to pocket UK (both sides). Not to mention that navigation is a bitch with large groups in tight areas.

Singles all the way for me.

That is the reason to use small groups. But there is no place that a fleet of six can't go that a single sub can, as far as I know.

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Postby Montyphy » Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:27 am

Radiant Caligula wrote:And no way u can jam 6 subs inside the Carribean.


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