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Ensign_Cthulhu

Random Thoughts from Deep R'lyeh: The Permanent Campaigns. Hit Hard, Hit Fast, Hit Often (Admiral Halsey).

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This is a difficult, ongoing campaign to earn the US Admiral Halsey, a special commander who comes with 15 skill points out of the box.

This is the prize you are playing for:

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Mission 1.

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Unlike the Honorable Service and Yamamoto Isoroku campaigns, some of the tasks here can be done in co-op mode. Be aware that unless you are running premium time or have obtained one or more T8+ premium ships for free XP or coal (or supercontainers), co-op play at Tier 8 can be expensive in credits terms unless you play very well. The only silver lining is that the credit-earning tasks count gross earnings, so even if you come up in the red overall, you will be progressing.

For those players choosing to tackle this campaign with their very first Tier 8 ship... good luck, because you're going to need persistence and drive to conquer this one. The pins (or as they are more commonly called, stars) can be earned by performing the same task over and over, but the first thing you will notice, if you compare and contrast this campaign with that required to earn his Japanese counterpart, Admiral Yamamoto, is that the XP and cash earning requirements are MUCH higher, as is the number of repeats required to complete each mission.

Note also that unlike Yamamoto, the main mission tasks here are asking for Commander XP rather than ship XP. Now, commander XP is NEVER LESS THAN ship XP and is usually larger. If you belong to a clan (which you should, even if it's one of the lone wolf clans), you will earn a small percentage bonus - and flags and camos which boost both will often see you earning significantly more commander than ship XP if you can afford to use them extensively. 

As with the other campaigns, I'm going to make some basic assumptions - which may require some adjustment depending on your own intensity of play. 

1) You're starting out with a single T8 ship, which you play to the third resource container every night - a total of 37,000 ship XP per night (this is where you may have to do some math for yourself). Henceforth this will be a "full night of play" or FNOP.

2) You will have joined a clan, even if it's a casual or lone-wolf clan for the benefits without obligations. 

3) Because you will likely always be earning slightly more commander XP (henceforth CXP) than ship XP, we can use ship XP as a valid surrogate and accept that our progress will actually be FASTER than the estimates I will provide (this is a good thing).

4) Premium time is not being used, and only two tasks from any of the permanent campaigns can be worked on at once.

 

For this mission, I would recommend that the newcomer to Tier 8 select either Task 1 or Task 2 (or both if you are concentrating on this campaign alone), and then swap to the other. See which takes you longer to complete, then repeat the other one over and over again until you have earned all eight stars. The instant you see on the post-battle screen that you have completed the task, go back to port and reselect it again rather than selecting "battle on". This minimises the amount of waste XP or cash (and hence effort) that goes with having earned that little bit more than you need toward the end of the task.

In my opinion, the combat tasks here are a trap and rely too much on consistently excellent performance, not to mention requiring ship types that you might or might not have at this tier. In particular, the missions that require you to do something AND win AND survive can result in heartbreak if you do the thing and survive, only for your team to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and waste all your effort. Pick tasks that you can be pushing forward to some degree, regardless of whether you win or lose, excel or suck. 

Going the XP route alone, you will be required to earn a total of (50 x 8 = ) 400,000 commander and 20,000 ship XP. Going with our assumption that ship XP is a surrogate for commander XP, this is roughly 12 full nights of play, rounding up. Running the cash task in parallel, if you choose to concentrate your efforts on this campaign, will significantly reduce this total by knocking off quite a few of the stars you might otherwise have had to earn with Commander XP (note that the cash you earn from "dailies" missions counts for these tasks, but elite commander XP earned there is not bound to a particular ship in a particular battle and does NOT count).

The American container provides the first piece in an ongoing collection which, at its end, awards a permanent camouflage for Tier 8 US light cruiser Cleveland (worth 3000 doubloons). 

 

Mission 2.

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If you played Mission 1 out solely with your very first Tier 8 ship, you certainly by now have your very first Tier 9 ship (or are well on your way to the corresponding Tier 10 carrier, seeing as CV are even tier only). This is a great help because you have one to grab immediately if the other is sunk. This can be a big time-saver if you have a major oopsie and die early in a long battle.

However, this is where it gets a little bit less onerous and boring, and the reason for that is mission 3 (and mission 6 if you have the right type of ship). The XP requirement is now MUCH more onerous - you would need a total of 600,000 CXP and 25,000 ship XP, which (assuming equivalence once more) is seventeen FNOP. But now you have combat missions which are not dependent on you surviving or your team winning, and these can help propel you forward. If you find these things not happening often in your gameplay, faster progression in a concentrated assault on this campaign is probably best assured by selecting the cash grind in parallel.

 

Mission 3.

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If you got to this point going straight up the line from your very first Tier 8, dedicating yourself to that line and relying on the XP missions only, you will very likely have your first Tier 10 ship by now. Depending on which line you went up, this opens one or more of tasks 4 to 9 for your completion - IF you are willing to gamble on winning, and IF you are consistently able to pull enough damage for High Caliber and Confederate medals. Note that Task 4 demands a victory but says nothing about surviving, and this is important if you decide to try to attempt it. For mission 3, you are reliant on having American ships - but US carriers can't score citadels (except for the premium Enterprise, now withdrawn from sale for being overpowered). The other three types can, even destroyers if an enemy light cruiser carelessly presents a flat broadside at close range, and although this task presents uncertainty of completion because the tide of battle doesn't always present you with the opportunity, it's a valid choice to give a shot. However, it may be faster to select the cash grind instead.

Relying on XP alone, equating ship and captain XP and playing to the assumed 37K ship XP a night will finish this 930K XP mission in twenty six days.

 If you have been grinding Yamamoto XP in parallel at the same rate, you should have completed that campaign by now and will be able to devote two campaign slots to finishing Halsey.

Mission 4.

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Here we are faced with some choices. 

You can go the slow, safe XP route, which is a 1.02 million XP grind that will take you 29 days at full rate of play (3rd container every night).

You can knock quite a few stars off that by running the cash grind in parallel (see concluding comments for mission 3).

Tasks 8 and 9 offer the chance to decrease your time to completion MASSIVELY, but carry the risk of frustration - you must have the correct ship to attempt the task, you must create the opportunity to attack ships of the relevant nation (they are not always on the enemy team, and if they are, they may be on the opposite side of the map), and then you must have victorious battles for your effort to count. You can see where the problem lies here, and you must make sure that you can take disappointment well before you attempt it. Running at least one of the cash or CXP grinds in parallel is strongly recommended, so you have something to show for it if you fail. 

Task 5 removes the win condition and allows either nation to serve as your target, but still only gains you one star - and you might actually progress faster in the cash grind. If you are running premium time and have THREE campaign slots, it may be worth selecting to pick up an extra star here and there.

I have a vague recollection that if you WIN premium time (in an event crate or similar device) and select a third task, it will remain selected even after the premium time period runs out. This is worth testing, especially given how often premium time is handed out in 24 hour lots in events these days. 

 

Mission 5.

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Now we are on the home stretch, and we are rewarded for this by having combat-related tasks that we can do in co-op if we have the right ships, and even three-star tasks that we can accomplish in co-op. If you have one or more of the Des Moines, Worcester or Salem, task 10 is the way to go. It gives three times the reward of task 2 for only twice the effort, but carries the penalty of limiting your ship choices. Salem is available for coal, and is a very good option for those playing for free, as it can be operated at a profit in co-op by average players without needing premium time, and you can chill and spam her all day long to work your way through this if you have nothing better to do. "Tier 10 US aircraft carriers" equates to the Midway, and running that one in co-op is not recommended unless you have permacamo and/or more credits than you know what to do with.

If you do have carriers, you are on easy street - this is a carrier-themed mission, and T8 carriers are not as expensive to run in co-op if that's your thing. Task 3 is the way to go here, accepting small financial losses for the ability to stack up large numbers of torpedo and bomb hits quickly. If you have the Indomitable, Implacable or Audacious you are especially in luck, as their bombs may not hurt much individually but are large in number - and it's NUMBER OF HITS you are going for here. The Indomitable lacks the torpedo option, so you must rely on bombs if she is your only choice at this tier.  Lexington is a very good choice for this mission if you have it, because her upgraded torpedo planes are capable of launching three torps at once, and anything better is at Tier 10 (where co-op operating costs become criminally high). Depending on preference and availability, Implacable has torpedo planes whose reticle converges quickly for very close range launches; and while she only launches two, you MAY find it easier to hit with both.

The slow, safe XP grind, at 37,000 XP per day, will take you FORTY TWO DAYS. This is a LONG time, and you would be well advised to try to mitigate it either with the Task 2 cash grind (if you do not have US cruisers) or the Task 9 or 10 cash grind (if you have either the Midway or one of the US T10 cruisers). Co-op carrier battles at Tier 10 are fiendishly expensive in credits, often bring home a net loss, and while they will advance that grind because they are calculated on gross earnings, they are not recommended unless you are rolling in credits overall and can take the hit.

 

Doing this campaign with XP earnings only, using the assumptions I have outlined above, will take you a little over four months from the time you start. You are advised to think carefully before you start this campaign, both in terms of the ship lines you have before you start it and what you try to do in parallel. Judicious use of side missions, including the cash grind and whatever combat grinds you are comfortable tackling, will reward you with significant time pared from this campaign.

 The player who has at least one of each ship type (DD, cruiser, battleship, carrier) when they begin it is in an excellent position to take the broadest range of the best choices, and deferring a solid grind through it (or accepting a slower rate of progress to work up more than one line to Tier 8 as you go), may be worth it. Here you have to decide what is best for you in terms of your play style, play opportunities, and progress up the tech trees in general. I cannot possibly cover all the bases; what I have attempted to do here is to give you a framework on which to hang your own capabilities and methods, and to lay down some basic expectations which you can, again, modify to your own circumstances.

Best of luck, captains!

Edited by Ensign_Cthulhu

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Will be interesting to see how this turns out to be, especially if you factor in the Co-op factor. Another big reward are the guaranteed SCs, always good things to look out for.

In my case I managed to do most of the grind with Kidd, highly recommended, though obviously a class mix will be more efficient.

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