This is a response to volume 5, Paul Card Number 7 ("Custer Nicholson")...
[Editor's note: This is a PICTURE CARD! To see a map of the battlefield, click on the left edge of the screen next to the reply boxes...]
I am sorry to report another humiliating defeat at the hands of my dim-witted but prolific Strategic Conquest opponent. The dismal record of my campaign is shown in the John 2/89 map stack and a comparison with Paul's campaign is shown in the Comparison 2/89 stack.
Once again we had a horrible starting position. It took me forty days to win my first sea port, and although I captured the entire southern hemisphere, I was never able to overcome the computer's head start. I resigned on day 143. Although I could have easily held out for another month or so, my main continent was under relentless attack, I was completely blind, and the seas were so crowded with enemy ships that every destroyer I sent out was lost in a swarm of battleships before it could reach open seas.
Unlike the last game, this one was theoretically winable (I think). If a few neutral cities had been less stubborn, it would have made a world of difference. An unexpected problem was vastly superior enemy air power. Normally the enemy underproduces its fighters, but this time there were actual clouds of fighters, and half of my bombers were shot down while most of their bombers got through my strained defenses.
For about a month I had a lonely army stationed at a northern outpost across a strait from an enemy city. Every day I watched in horror as MORE THAN A DOZEN enemy fighters emerged from the city and flew in random circles around my tank. Eventually I sent a bomber with escort, pausing at maximum range. One of the enemy fighters bumped into it and the rest immediately swarmed around like locusts, making short work of my bomber. A battleship then appeared and blew my tank to smithereens.
The seas held similar horrors. It was not uncommon for me to send out a lone scout plane from a carrier and find a flotilla of FIVE battleships, four destroyers, three cariers, a sub, and a cloud of enemy fighters. The enemy was indeed prolific, but was also dim-witted, and I was frequently able to dart into such a mess and sink transports before they could touch shore. Another example: the enemy had what amounted to an inland sea at the top of the world and I found enemy transports in this sea all loaded up with nowhere to go. Even so, I was eventually overwhelmed by sheer numbers.
Rest assured that the next Conquest game file STARTS from a sea port at a more reasonable level ten.
See next card for some ideas on improving the mapping process...