Strategic Command WW2 - War in Europe is amazing (biased beta tester)


I believe getting carrier air craft to scout works the same as with other air craft, left click on the carrier then left click on the hex you want to scout. I just tried it with a carrier parked off the coast of Greece and the scouted hex and the hexes along the planes’ flight path are illuminated.

The weather conditions allowed operation of the air craft in this instance. And the air craft had not performed any other missions. CAP was set to auto and Mode was set to mixed. Mixed mode I’ve found results in fewer casualties though it does diminish the punch of tactical/naval attack missions.

What has been your experience?


The problem comes up when I want to get a carrier to scout a sea hex that it can reach with it’s remaining movement. What I’d like to have happen is the aircraft fly to the hex. What actually happens is the carrier moves to the hex, which is not ideal when I might end up running into an Italian BB.

This happens because the actions to scout a hex and to move the carrier are the same (left click to select, left click to execute). Unless I am missing something incredibly obvious here.


My mistake, I thought you meant scouting land hexes. I don’t know how to scout sea hexes.

Nor do I know if it is possible to attack subs with aircraft carrier planes. I have them in tactical/nautical mode, subs are in strike range of the planes, carriers have not moved and weather is clear, but when I mouse over the sub no option to attack.


Hmm. I was able to attack subs with carriers at least once. I didn’t do any damage, but the attack happened. Maybe it only works if the sub is in hunt mode?


Perhaps only escort carriers can attack subs. This is from the manual, “Much cheaper and quicker to build than Carriers, Escort Carriers are ideally suited for hunting enemy submarines and can be useful against other naval targets, but they are somewhat fragile and cannot keep pace with most other naval units.”

I don’t read in the manual that carriers can’t attack subs, and when I examine my carriers they have a sub attack rating of 1.

With this game, the “game” is learning how to play the game.


Maybe in your original attempt, the carrier was in rough seas? I think they can’t launch aircraft in rough seas.


If you compare the stats for Escort Carrier vs. Normal Carrier you’ll see Escort Carrier has a much better spotting capability vs. normal carrier and they’re much cheaper as well. Either carrier can attack subs.


I like the diplomatic mechanism in the game. It’s very simple. You pay production (usually 50 MPP) to buy a diplomatic chit that gives you a 5% chance per turn to move the country in question 10-20% to your side. You can stack up to 3 chits per major and any success you achieve removes one chit. If a country reaches 100% for one side or the other, it joins the war.

I think in a Paradox system, this would be constant investment with known payoff. In this system, you pay up front, and have to hope you get some return on investment. It’s much more about gambling and the vagaries of chance.

For instance, in my current allies game, I invested in supporting Finland against the Russians, and it paid off! The USSR wasn’t able to force Finland to make concessions and Finland swung from axis-leaning to slightly allied-leaning. I then jumped in and invested 3 chits into making Finland even more allied-leaning. That paid off. Finland is still pretty far from joining the war on the allied side, but if it doesn’t have an axis lean, then it won’t declare on the axis side when Germany invades the USSR. That takes a HUGE amount of pressure off Leningrad and allows the units that would have been defending Leningrad against the Fins to deploy more forward and further slow down the Germans.

On the other hand, Spain swings further toward the axis at the fall of France. Once I saw some messages that the Germans were making headway on Spanish diplomacy, I bought 3 chits as the UK to keep Spain out of the war. But it was all for naught, as the axis diplomats had success after success and my 150 MPP invested never moved Franco at all. I figured that once Barbarossa was launched, I could spend a bit of USSR diplomatic influence to improve my chances, but it turns out that the USSR can’t influence nationalist Spain (I guess communists aren’t too popular with Franco). So in Nov 1941, Spain joins the war on the Axis side. That’s more production, more troops and more ships, and they all get the AI experience bonus, so they will be extra tough. Ah well, that’s what makes it interesting.


One episode that I think illustrates the different approaches to AI in this game and HoI4.

In HoI4, it’s been a problem since release that the AI can declare offensive wars before it is ready. Say Germany gets bogged down in Poland. Once it completes the national focus to allow it to declare war on the low countries, it does so immediately. Oftentimes without having troops on that border. Then if it bogs down in France, it might declare war on Denmark, Norway and Yugoslavia, again without being prepared. It’s caught by surprise by it’s own war declarations.

Playing the allies in SC3, I get the Yugoslavian coup event. Yugoslavia had been trending to the axis, but the coup event flips that around and has them join the allies (though it weakens the Yugo army a lot). What do I see as soon as the fog of war in Yugoslavia lifts? German panzers, armies and bombers staged across the border within striking distance of the capital. Rest in peace, allied Yugoslavia, we hardly knew ye. Hey wasn’t this supposed to be like a surprise coup?

Now, clearly, this must be scripted on some level. The scenario designer knows that this event is (probably?) coming, so they prepare, like a knowledgeable player would. Plus, it takes too long in the game to set up a surprise invasion, they can’t have the Germans get caught flat-footed, so for the sake of the overall historical fit, they have them prepare.

There is a similar willingness to intervene to prevent AI problems elsewhere. Like the invasion of Norway and Denmark are handled by event. It’s going to be hard for the AI Germans to pull off what they did in reality, so they basically script it, and it works. Similar with the tricky business of getting the Afrika Korps to Africa.

In contrast, I think HoI4 tries to do things in general ways and through in-game mechanisms, but this often leads to a morass. I don’t know the state in the current game, but it used to be common for AI Germany to spend hundreds of thousands of troops vainly trying to take Copenhagen. Dealing with tricky situations through general AI and general game mechanics is hard.


@MikeJ Boy it is fun reading your thoughts. It’s funny because one of the reasons I was so angry at the state of HOI IV over the summer was because even in late alpha the Strategic Command AI was blowing the “released” version of HOI IV away. And because I was comparing it to the Strategic Command each time the AI was meandering and lost in HOI IV it would deepen my disappointment. I’m at a point where I can separate the two now and appreciate they aren’t remotely in the same league. In an odd way I don’t really feel like I’m playing a WW2 game in HOI IV anymore. It’s like a season of Dr. Who took place in an alternate reality where you have the same players and the same locations, but it’s nothing like the world we came from. Whereas SC feels like a time machine took you straight back to 1940’s Europe, Russia, and North Africa.


Hi MIke

If you hold down both Ctrl and Shift on the keyboard then the Carrier or Escort Carrier will launch an air strike/reconnaissance mission instead of moving.



Thanks Bill. I actually tried ctrl-click and shift-click, but I didn’t think to try them together.

Congrats on making such a great game! I’m pretty obsessed. I think my wife hates you guys.


Thanks for joining us in here Bill. Your marketing robot @jpinard has been doing a fine job. I’m pretty sure he would pass a Turing test


LOL, I’m glad to hear it! ;-)


My pleasure, and you’re right that @jpinard has been great. :-)


This is a pretty enjoyable AAR of Barbarossa on the Matrix forums. It ends early because the poster had to upgrade his version to help test the multiplayer but I thought it was a darn good read.


Thanks marquac, glad you enjoyed it and I’ll let the author know.

Edit: Regarding the discussion below, I’m unable to add an extra reply as I’m new to this forum, so I am posting it here:

Hi all
I’ve just been looking at the save in question and I think the cause is a rare bug that mainly affected the USSR’s pre-war income, rather than being related to the AI’s behaviour as such, and the good news is that this bug will be fixed in the first patch.


So after reading those AAR’s I wound up pulling the trigger and buying the game, even though I’m not very good at turn based war games. I also splurged to get the physical manual. It is so awesome to have a physical manual.


I copied the PDF over so I could read on ipad. It was nice to have such a comprehensive manual, but no substitute for real paper. That’s a nice looking book :)


Full colours… Hard-covered, too :O
I wish I could smell it…