Author Topic: Help figuring out an invasion disaster?  (Read 634 times)

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Offline Zeebie (OP)

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Help figuring out an invasion disaster?
« on: January 23, 2021, 01:10:53 PM »
Hi folks-

I've just tried to invade an enemy homeworld and it did not go well.  Can you help me figure out what went wrong?

My species is standard human. The enemy world is this:
Colony Cost 2, Savanna, Liquid 42%, Nitrogen Oxygen (0.1), Pressure 0.437, Temp 49.3, Gravity 0.66. 
The only special capability my troops need is extreme temperature, right?

My invasion force is 400,000 tons split evenly between armored brigades and infantry regiments (organized into brigades with supply, artillery, FFD, headquarters etc):

Armor regiment:
70 Heavy Tanks (Armor 36, HP 36, HAV Pen 60 Dam 60, Extreme temp)
30 IFVs (Armor 12, HP 18, Light AC Pen 12 Dam 20, Extreme temp)

Infantry regiment:
690 Heavy Infantry (Armor 12, HP 6, CAP Pen 10 Dam 10, Extreme temp)
60 Antitank infantry  (Armor 12, HP 6, LAV Pen 20 Dam 30, Extreme temp)

I have a dozen fighters doing ground support and several railgun cruisers, though they seemed to do almost nothing.

Defending troops were 180,000 tons. Their tech seems to be the same or lower than me. Overall their troops are much lighter:
Medium Tank (Armor 24, HP 24, Pen 32, Dam 32)
Infantry (Armor 6, HP 6, Pen 10, Dam 8 )

I set the armor regiments to attack and the infantry to defend. I regularly achieve breakthroughs. And I get reports like this:
Heavy Infantry vs Infantry: Shots 2160 Hits 94 Armor Penetrated 94 Destroyed 94
Heavy Tank vs Heavy Infantry: Shots 35 Hits 3 Armor Penetrated 3 Destroyed 3

And when I get hit I get reports like:
Heavy Infantry: Hits taken 690 Armor Penetrated 452 Units lost 452
Heavy tank: Hits taken 68 Armor penetrated 49 Units lost 21

After a few days of fighting I am completely wiped out and they have lost perhaps 20%.  What am I doing wrong? My hit numbers seem very low, could that all be accounted for by fortification? My infantry's armor doesn't seem to do very well.  Any general advice?
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 01:12:59 PM by Zeebie »
 

Offline Droll

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Re: Help figuring out an invasion disaster?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2021, 01:24:04 PM »
Hi folks-

I've just tried to invade an enemy homeworld and it did not go well.  Can you help me figure out what went wrong?

My species is standard human. The enemy world is this:
Colony Cost 2, Savanna, Liquid 42%, Nitrogen Oxygen (0.1), Pressure 0.437, Temp 49.3, Gravity 0.66. 
The only special capability my troops need is extreme temperature, right?

My invasion force is 400,000 tons split evenly between armored brigades and infantry regiments (organized into brigades with supply, artillery, FFD, headquarters etc):

Armor regiment:
70 Heavy Tanks (Armor 36, HP 36, HAV Pen 60 Dam 60, Extreme temp)
30 IFVs (Armor 12, HP 18, Light AC Pen 12 Dam 20, Extreme temp)

Infantry regiment:
690 Heavy Infantry (Armor 12, HP 6, CAP Pen 10 Dam 10, Extreme temp)
60 Antitank infantry  (Armor 12, HP 6, LAV Pen 20 Dam 30, Extreme temp)

I have a dozen fighters doing ground support and several railgun cruisers, though they seemed to do almost nothing.

Defending troops were 180,000 tons. Their tech seems to be the same or lower than me. Overall their troops are much lighter:
Medium Tank (Armor 24, HP 24, Pen 32, Dam 32)
Infantry (Armor 6, HP 6, Pen 10, Dam 8 )

I set the armor regiments to attack and the infantry to defend. I regularly achieve breakthroughs. And I get reports like this:
Heavy Infantry vs Infantry: Shots 2160 Hits 94 Armor Penetrated 94 Destroyed 94
Heavy Tank vs Heavy Infantry: Shots 35 Hits 3 Armor Penetrated 3 Destroyed 3

And when I get hit I get reports like:
Heavy Infantry: Hits taken 690 Armor Penetrated 452 Units lost 452
Heavy tank: Hits taken 68 Armor penetrated 49 Units lost 21

After a few days of fighting I am completely wiped out and they have lost perhaps 20%.  What am I doing wrong? My hit numbers seem very low, could that all be accounted for by fortification? My infantry's armor doesn't seem to do very well.  Any general advice?

How big was the enemy ground force size on actives - take that value and multiply it by 6, fortification will hide most of the enemy ground forces. Your hit count seems to make sense, fortification bonuses stack with the to-hit chance of the terrain in question so expect most almost all of your shots to miss on the offensive. Also expect enemy infantry to be around 4-6 times more accurate then your own thanks to your lack of fortification (your units evasion stats help but not as much as their fortification).

Against their tanks you seem to have good penetration but not good damage. So if you can somehow improve damage without sacrificing penetration you'll do better against their armor.

In any case 400k tons to invade a homeworld sounds too little. You should minimum be using multiple times the active signature that you see - your army should be in the millions of tonnes.
 
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Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Help figuring out an invasion disaster?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2021, 01:39:35 PM »
Most likely you overestimated your hit chances against a fortified enemy on home terrain.

The combat mechanics broadly include:
  • Base 20% chance to hit, modified by the usual commander and etc. capabilities.
  • Fortification, which can be as high as 6 for infantry if they have engineers/CON somewhere in the rear areas, and this divides the hit chance. Without CON max would be 3.
  • Terrain: Savannah offers a 1.15x fortification multiplier and a 0.75 to-hit multiplier. Combined these would be about a 0.65 modifier
  • Environmental factors, which don't seem to affect you here as you've accounted for them

So depending on the presence of CON in the rear echelon you probably have either 4.34% or 2.17% chances to hit depending on whether the units are self or max fortified. This would be somewhat higher against armor which has worse fortification ability. Your combat report indicates that your infantry scored 94/2160 = 4.35% which is just about bang-on. Your heavy tanks scored nearly 10% but with so few shots the variance would be quite high.

Glancing at your units I notice that you seem to have weapon tech of 10 but armor tech of only 6, which means the enemy units are penetrating quite a bit more reliably than you'd like. You're right that the enemy is behind you in tech but with base attack 8 they can penetrate and kill you fairly easily which you're seeing here. On a related note, weapons like HAV are often overkill especially when you prioritize weapons over armor tech, using MAV and other smaller weapons will allow you more firepower per tonnage unit which can help.

Additionally you should consider deploying more infantry with some form of PW-type weapons. They may not be as tonnage-efficient for killing things, but you can fit more actual elements into a formation which means the enemy must take many more shots to kill you, this will help overall survivability.

As a last note, you say the enemy troops are 180,000 tons. How did you verify this? If this is based on what you detected from orbit, bear in mind that orbital signatures for ground forces are reduced by the fortification level. Here if the enemy is at fortification level 3 you are actually seeing 540,000 tons of enemy troops for instance. In this case you are not only overmatched in terms of armor vs enemy weapons but also outnumbered, and it is no surprise that you are taking such losses!

In general to plan a ground assault, you need to start with the enemy ground force signature from orbit, multiply it by an assumed fortification level (either 3 or 6, usually, depending on if you want to assume CON are present or gamble that they are not), then figure out the various terrain and environment factors and multiply by that as well. That will give you approximately the minumum force you need to land to have an even chance, and you probably want 2x or 3x that number to ensure a dominant victory. One might note that this makes homeworld and other major fortified bodies very difficult to assault, and the answer to this of course is orbital bombardment which of course comes with a high price in environmental damage.
 
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Offline Zeebie (OP)

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Re: Help figuring out an invasion disaster?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2021, 01:58:45 PM »
Thanks
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 03:21:26 PM by Nori »
 

Offline Nori

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Re: Help figuring out an invasion disaster?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2021, 03:22:54 PM »
So, somehow I accidently removed content from your post. I meant to quote it and ended up modifying it. Sorry about that.

I was going to say... In my experience Infantry are very good at fortified defensive wars. You have to work very hard to dig them out and will take substantial losses.
 

Offline Droll

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Re: Help figuring out an invasion disaster?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2021, 03:49:11 PM »
So, somehow I accidently removed content from your post. I meant to quote it and ended up modifying it. Sorry about that.

I was going to say... In my experience Infantry are very good at fortified defensive wars. You have to work very hard to dig them out and will take substantial losses.

Shouldn't the bugmod edit privilege's be reserved to the bug reports forum?
 

Offline Nori

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Re: Help figuring out an invasion disaster?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2021, 10:32:17 PM »
So, somehow I accidently removed content from your post. I meant to quote it and ended up modifying it. Sorry about that.

I was going to say... In my experience Infantry are very good at fortified defensive wars. You have to work very hard to dig them out and will take substantial losses.

Shouldn't the bugmod edit privilege's be reserved to the bug reports forum?
That would make sense yes. I looked everywhere to revert the edit and apparently there isn't a versioning thingy, or at least not one a mod can access.