Iwo Jima Guide - Step by Step

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Iwo Jima Guide - Step by Step

Postby alemán » 13 Jul 2015, 14:49

Hi Everybody,

I have been playing missions on hard a lot during the past couple of weeks and want to share my experience with you. From all 3 missions i regard Iwo Jima as the easiest one ... you gain extra hp and dont have to kill the enemy. Of course there are many circumstances and situations that might bring u down but if you are in control of what is going on, you have a pretty good chance of beating the mission. And that basically is what this guide is about - controlling the battle or at least getting a sense of how to achieve survival. Many of you might already know the guide by Tyresome (link here) which is a general strategy guide with which i agree in most terms. Please consider my approach as an addition as well as an accessible guide that wants to show you how to solve specific situations. Perhaps this might help some players, especially the new ones, getting a better understanding on how to deal with this mission.

This post is a kind of an introduction. I will share some general thoughts on units, strategy and tactics. My next posts will discuss the matter in more detail and I will guide you through a mission or two + screenshots and some talk on "why this, not that and stuff ...". This thread is supposed to be an open project for everyone. You are welcome to participate, share your thoughts, ask questions, present your own approaches, whatever ... please just leave the first couple of posts to me until I open the topic for discussion.

Index
> Intro (post 1)
> HP Hunting Guide (post 7)
> HP Indicator (post 8)
> Mission Walkthrough (post 10-13)



Welcome to Iwo Jima :D

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... okay, so where do we start? :roll: ...
... maybe some general thoughts first! :idea: ...


Imo the most important aspect is having fun and taking it easy. This mission should entertain you and not bring your frustration level to 200%^^ So the first lesson is that one cannot win every mission. Some missions are just so random regarding the draws that sometimes it is impossible to survive. It took a while until I figured out how the mission works and by now I have acquired a win ratio of 50-75%. Sometimes one can have a winning streak of 5 missions in a row and lose the following 4 ones. You simply never know. The missions I lose are mostly the consequence of draws or of me gambling too much.

On the following pics you can see how easy/tough the mission can be. Sometimes it's a piece of cake, at other times you have to fight for your live and then there are moments where your survival depends on nothing else than pure luck, your precaution and foresight.


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This is a nice screenshot that proves how easy hard missions can be sometimes.

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Here u see a lucky victory with 1 hp left. Funny thing about this one is that I won that mission during last 10 mins of platoon week and my first platoon "New Kids Turbo" finished on rank3 200 points ahead of Coconut Tree also know as Sonnenblume on its first week of existence.^^

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Well, there is not much to say about this one ... a great title might be "Say Hi to Mr. Fister"^^ or something similar. Such situations occur from time to time. Sometimes its 3 unblockable units with a flag. At other times the ai plays 4 rank3 units in 1-2 turns and kills you with an overload of grenades, sometimes it is 2x mortar and Hell's Angels ... and so on. The most important precaution for such situations is to have a strong line up on the pitch, gain as much extra hp as you can and pray for the courageous division card next turn. Regarding this pic - I survived the mission exactly that way and received the legendary card Flag Raising as a gift :mrgreen:


...


General Thoughts on Strategy/Tactics/Units

In general I am with Tyre as the mission is mostly about keeping and collecting hp. The major difference to his approach is that I play it a bit more my way and that I have another opinion on day2-4. Here are two concepts I use on my missions ... the HP Indicator shows you "how relatively safe you are" ... the HP Hunting Guide tells you how to survive and to collect extra hp.

HP Indicator
Day1 - finishing with 60+ is ok, 80+ is good, 100+ is very good
Day2 - finishing with 80+ is ok, 100+ is good, 120+ is very good
Day3 - finishing with 80+ is ok, 100+ is good, 120+ is very good
Day4 - gratz!!! no matter how many hp you have - you just won 600 platoon points, some extra gold and a pack^^

HP Hunting Guide
1. Bricks - try to build up strong brick-like rejuvenating units that block and destroy the enemy
2. Priority Targets - look out for all units with brutality, flying, grenades
3. Have Balls - know how to play your tanks, watch out for Play Ball
4. Mortar Damage - try to keep your infantry above mortar damage
5. Cover your Lanes - try to cover all 3 lanes if possible or necessary
6. Tactical Master - know your offensive and defensive units and how to use them
7. First Turns - first turns are crucial and have an impact on the remainder of the day
8. Balance - get a grasp of when its better to disable a unit instead of killing it
9. Gain Extra HP - try to collect as much hp during the mission as possible
10. Gambling - sometimes you have to make tough choices, learn to go for the right ones

I will present and elaborate all thoughts on the indicator and the guide in detail in my next post. It basically is the theoretical background for my missions >>> so next post will be theory and the post after that you will get some live footage with screenshots through a whole mission + comments and detailed description of everything.


Cheers - Skuzi 8-)
Last edited by alemán on 15 Jul 2015, 18:57, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Iwo Jima Guide - Step by Step

Postby carl124 » 13 Jul 2015, 19:39

Thanks for doing this Skuzi.....looking forward to it. I don't play missions but this might just get me into them...
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Re: Iwo Jima Guide - Step by Step

Postby 5Cats » 14 Jul 2015, 05:06

No gold awarded for day-4... Lolz! Otherwise good job Skuzi!

^^ Hi Carl124! Hope to meet you in PvP this season :) You used to smack me around something awful, eh?
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Re: Iwo Jima Guide - Step by Step

Postby Preacher_txc » 14 Jul 2015, 09:53

Thanks skuzi! Been waiting for this :D
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Re: Iwo Jima Guide - Step by Step

Postby carl124 » 14 Jul 2015, 10:26

Hi 5Cats
Ah those were the days! I had a great deck then, it is less good now. I think we did meet once this season and you smacked me about pretty good!!
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Re: Iwo Jima Guide - Step by Step

Postby alemán » 14 Jul 2015, 15:43

Thx for the flowerz guys .... I meant the extra platoon gold for the mission after day4, 5Cats.^^
I have done the HP Indicator and HP Hunting Guide, have fun ... the walkthrough will follow soon.
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Re: Iwo Jima Guide - Step by Step

Postby alemán » 14 Jul 2015, 15:45

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HP Hunting Guide

1. Bricks - try to build up strong brick-like rejuvenating units that block and destroy the enemy
2. Priority Targets - look out for all units with brutality, flying, grenades
3. Have Balls - know how to play your tanks, watch out for Play Ball
4. Mortar Damage - try to keep your infantry above mortar damage
5. Cover your Lanes - try to cover all 3 lanes if possible or necessary
6. Tactical Master - know your offensive and defensive units and how to use them
7. First Turns - first turns are crucial and have an impact on the remainder of the day
8. Balance - get a grasp of when its better to disable a unit instead of killing it
9. Gain Extra HP - try to collect as much hp during the mission as possible
10. Gambling - sometimes you have to make tough choices, learn to go for the right ones

1. Bricks ... are the best way of keeping a lane secure is by placing an almost unkillable brick unit. Building up such units will help you achieving board control and securing your survival. You can establish a brick best by playing a useful item on a unit and by upgrading it to rank3 as quick as possible.

Strongest Bricks: Hiiro Onoda + Order of the Rising Sun, Chi-Ri tankdestroyer tank + Gunto, Tadamichi Kurabayashi, 109th Division, The first Element, 4th Aoba Regiment, 18th Division, Type 97 Te-Ke + Gunto and Order of the Rising Sun
Medium Bricks: Tadamichi Kurabayashi, 109th Division, The first Element, 4th Aoba Regiment, 18th Division, Type 97 Te-Ke + Gunto

2. Priority Targets ... as Tyre explained in his mission guide you should focus on units with brutality, flying, grenades, double damage. So Hell's Angels, Calliopes, Locusts, Shermans don't want to cuddle. They need special treatment and should be killed/spied as soon as possible. Spying dangerous r3 units and blocking them with low damage dealing units is a good way of disabling and trapping them for a while. As long as they don't carry grenades all useless enemies on the board are your best friends.^^

3. Have Balls ... when u play your tanks. The ai likes to play the tank destroying order Play Ball from time to time. The point is that you won't see it coming and you need to take that into consideration when deploying your armored vehicles. Therefore I try to use tanks only for offensive purposes and not as the last line of defence. Placing a tank as a blocker should be a decision of last resort. The best tank is the Chi-Ri because it has armor and kills other vehicles. It is your best friend on day2-4. During the first days you can also rely on the Type 97 Te-Ke because there is a lot of infantry. You wont need it much later but it's a good 1st turn play and plane hunter because of its low upgrading cost. The Type 3 Ho-Ni III is a poor tank but might come in handy sometimes dealing 2 damage to an enemy unit.

4. Mortar Damage ... can be a real pain and your infantry should be aware of that threat. You will face one r1 mortar truck on day1. On day2-4 all mortar trucks start with r2 and 4 damage. To stay safe against mortar damage it is vital to deploy infantry with more hp than possible mortar damage >>> might be a good idea to deploy infantry with 5hp on day2-4 by upgrading them, equipping them with items or boosting them with jade division. During a day the ai usually upgrades its mortars, keep that in mind and try to upgrade your units as well. Sometimes you will get 2 mortars in your face in one turn. This happens rarely and might kill your whole defensive line. If that happens, don't be to hard on yourself or the game - it may even be to your advantage in the following turns ... because once both mortars are on the board you don't have to worry about them. You can try to trap them as long as possible by blocking them with low damage dealing units.

5. Cover your lanes ... is nothing else than hindering any quick enemy from breaking through your lines. It has an offensive and a defensive aspect. The offensive aspect is that you can intercept an enemy unit from the next ai draw if you have the lane covered. On the other hand strengthening your defence this way will secure you from units which are deployed with a Landing Craft which might happen on day1-2.

6. Tactical Master ... is a skill/knowledge that helps a lot bringing your units to where they are needed most. Offensive units are basically all mentioned under strong bricks. Defensive ones are the units that have a low damage rate (2-4). There are also units that can be used for both purposes. I would even go that far to say that you can make a fighting unit out of almost every card if you play gunto and the order of the rising sun on it :)

> offensive units: Type 5 Chi-Ri tank, Type 97 Te-Ke tank, Hiiro Onoda, 109th Division, The First Element
> off & def units: 18th Division, 4th Aoba Regiment, Tadamichi Kurabayashi, Courageous Division
> defensive units: Jade Division, 8th Division, 5th Division

One more word on Jade Division and Courageous Divsion ... I prefer playing them only defensively because as soon as they die you can play them again. You will be thankful for every spying unit you can get and for every Jade Division to support your infantry against mortars. Also be careful with 8th division because it cannot attack. It is very useful vs high damage units but will fail as soon as the ai plays a plane on its lane.

7. First Turns ... are crucial ... your first draw and the decision you make may will have consequences for the rest of the mission. If you have a strong draw and play it, you might be able to achieve board control - even if not for the whole day, at least for a couple of turns and that might save you some hp. Starting with day1 ... here it is all about hp, if you get 25 first turn, go for it. On day2 the same decision might work as well but you will probably end up in a very defensive position with a lot of pressure on your hp. On day3-4 its often a wise decision to take 10hp or none and go for a strong unit.

> very good 1st turns: Hiiro Onoda r2, Tadamichi Kurabayashi r2, Type 5 Chi-Ri r2, 109th Division + Gunto/Order of the Rising Sun/Type 99 Mine + another unit/10hp, 25 hp, 18 hp + unit
> good 1st turns: First Element, 18th Division, 4th Aoba Regiment + Gunto/Order of the Rising Sun/Type 99 Mine + another unit/10hp
> 1st turns without equipment: Hiiro + 109th Division + Jade Division = all have 5 hp

These are just some examples, of course there are countless possible line ups ... simply try to get as much bang for your buck ;)

8. Balance ... means that you should not always go for the kill when spotting the prey. Every unit that dies will eventually come back deadlier than before and pose another imminent thread again. Sometimes, especially on day3-4, it is a good strategy to spy and block the enemy ... in order to trap dangerous units that have already entered the board. It's actually as simple as physics. If there are 5 units on the board, ai can't play another one = only equipment and orders are left to play. So the only thing u need to worry about now are grenades and browning. This strategy works well with a brick on one flank and 2 blocked lanes.

9. Gain Extra HP
... almost last but not least and one of the most important features of all. It's the air your avatar needs to breath. You can gain hp via Taking Command and Tadamichi Kurabayashi. Any time you draw Tadamichi you gain 5-15 hp, so its a good idea to upgrade him if you can spare 2-4 ap. It's always a good choice drawing and upgrading him 1st turn, it can help a lot and push your hp massively. In general it can be said that you should get any hp you can fetch. Whenever you draw Taking Command it is tempting to go for it. This might be a wise decision on day1 and even later but don't fall for it every time after day1. You will find a detailed description on that topic in the following HP Indicator section.

10. Gambling
... can pose a serious threat to your hp ... and sometimes saves the day. A gamblemove can be betting on the ai not playing mortars next turn, going for extra hp and hoping not to receive too much damage, not covering a lane in order to upgrade another unit etc ... there are various ways of playing this game. I like to gamble a lot I must admit, sometimes simply for the sake of entertainment. If you have a lot of hp often there is no need of gambling but if you are almost dead, you might consider playing risky and going all in or anything similar ... everybody wants to survive.^^ So often gambling on day1-2 will lead you to victory and give you extra hp. Whereas you might lose a lot on day3-4 because of high-ranked units. The odds are mostly 50:50, so don't be too hard on yourself or the game if things don't always play your way.


... so much for the HP Hunting Guide, I hope you like it. It should give you enough info on how to survive. One thing I haven't mentioned so far - having fun probably is the most important advice of all ... and don't try to make everything right, you will do mistakes, gain some experience, get better and win countless missions later. Every mission is different and there will be new scenarios occurring almost every time. On one day you will play the Chi-Ri, on another Hiiro and on many other days Tadamichi and other cards. All units have their +/- but one thing all have in common ... they are fun to play, just as the mission itself ... so try to enjoy it ... day1 is waiting for you :D


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Re: Iwo Jima Guide - Step by Step

Postby alemán » 14 Jul 2015, 15:45

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HP Indicator

So what's the story behind the HP Indicator? It basically indicates your tactical options during the mission. Having a lot hp allows you to take some damage, allows 1-2 major mistakes, compensates strong ai draws and gives you a feeling of security. But keep in mind that it is only an indicator. Occasionally you might still die during a mission although you have accumulated some 120+hp at some point. I'll go through Day1-4 now to make things a bit clearer. This should give you some more insight into what is going on during the battles and show you some possible moves and tactics to finish the mission successfully. :arrow:

Day1 - finishing with 60+ is ok, 80+ is good, 100+ is very good
Day2 - finishing with 80+ is ok, 100+ is good, 120+ is very good
Day3 - finishing with 80+ is ok, 100+ is good, 120+ is very good
Day4 - gratz!!! no matter how many hp you have - you just won 600 platoon points, some extra gold and a pack^^

...


Day1
The start of the mission usually is a really smooth walk in the park. There is only one mortar which starts with 2 damage so all your infantry should be safe until it upgrades. Sometimes you meet a r3 Calliope later in the day or a locust but that is basically it. Still you might want to keep your 3 lanes closed because of the Landing Craft item that ai plays on Marines and other units from time to time. The greatest threat to your units is the american Airborne which comes into play flagged. Apart from that it is all about gaining hp by playing Taking Command and Tadamichi.

>>> try keeping all lanes covered, you dont need a strong brick unit, gaining hp is more important - its realistic to finish day1 with 60-100 hp


Day2
From now on things get more interesting, you are facing an enemy with 5ap now. The ai is similar to Day1 but there is a bigger threat unitwise. You are confronted with 2 r2 mortars that deal 4 damage to all infantry units. Therefore try playing infantry with 5hp or with 4hp + equipment/jade division. There are 2 Calliopes and Locusts now and the first planes appear. There is no flagged Airborne infantry any more but ai might play Flag Raising on some units. In addition the Marines with a Landing Craft will pop up occasionally.

Generally speaking you should be fine when you get a good start 1st turn. Most dangerous turns are turns 2-6 - that is when the ai might confront you with an overload of grenades and brutality r3 units. Sometimes one might even die on day2 this way - but no worries, it's just important being aware of the fact. If you get Taking Command 1st turn, 25hp seem tempting ... odds are 50:50 that it will pay off ... depends on ai's 1st draw. You might be lucky and get away with 25 extra hp or you will be missing the 3ap later in terms of units on the field ... this way u might even lose more than the 25 gained hp later because of your first decision. Just saying that its a nice gamble and the choice is yours.^^ From Day2-4 often it's a good choice to only use 1ap on 10 extra hp and put the other 2ap into units. Playing it safe and trying to reach 100+/120+hp is a good advice here.

>>> try deploying your infantry above mortar damage, try to place a brick unit like 109th Division with Gunto, gain hp - and you should finish day2 with 60-120 hp



Day3
Imo Day3 often is the Day that decides the outcome of the mission. Things get really challenging now. From now on you will face more and more deadly units. There are almost only tanks and planes now, so don't count on your infantry killing tank. Most enemy units start the mission on r2 and often upgrade to r3 the turn they are deployed ... which makes Calliopes, Locusts, Shermans and planes an imminant threat. Flag Raising doesn't make it easier and you have to be on guard all the time. Also keep in mind the extra damage from Hell's Angels that is dealt to your infantry at the start of a turn when calculating the possible mortar damage.

A great tactic for this day is disabling enemy units, making them stuck and creating traffic. Focus on brutality/flying/grenade units. This works best by spying r3 enemy units and blocking them with troops that deal a small amount of damage ... like Tadamichi, 18th Division, 8th Divison Cedar, 4th Aboa Regiment. If you try killing all enemy units, they might come back with high ranks and often pose an even deadlier threat to your hp than before.

It's good starting day3 with 100+hp because this way you are able to survive 1-2 dangerous situations taking 20-50 damage. If you go in with less hp, don't worry, just try playing it safe and collect some extra hp when possible. You might also get lucky and rush through it with 150 hp, have a fair fight and advance with 80-100 hp, barely survive with 10-50 hp or die.^^ Whichever outcome you achieve, do not surrender, try to survive until day4 ... the gold and the reward card u might get are important + if you get good draws, you might even finish the mission starting day4 with 10-50 hp.

>>> try keeping infantry above mortar damage, build 1-2 brick-units, disable the deadliest units and keep them on the board if possible - if you have 100+hp, put your ap into defence, only go for +10hp, it's about survival now and more important than gaining additional hp


Day4
It's pretty similar to day3 except for the fact that you are facing even more planes, deadly tanks and grenades + a lot of Flag Raising. My tactic during day4 depends on the amount of hp I was able to bring with me. When starting the mission with 100+hp you can play it relatively safe and even allow some damage in order to establish a brick unit. If you start the day with less than 50hp, you might want to play it risky and get some extra hp because 50 might simply not be enough. However odds are, don't let the ai catch you off guard. It likes to bother you with that Flag Raising a lot now. The mortars are very aggressive and should upgrade to r3 immediately ... they might seem the biggest challenge to gain control of at the beginning of the day. Once both are r3 and on the board, its best to disable them, same applies to Hell's Angels. If you manage to stop the enemy advance this way and upgrade your blocking units above mortar damage, you should be pretty safe during the last turns because ai's favourite card for those turns is Flag Raising. Once you control it's units, get 4-5 of them stuck and they are flagged, ai will not play much more units ... so your only job often remains blocking the enemy and spying appearing equipment as grenades and browning.

The first 2 turns are crucial. Starting 1st turn imo means going for a brick - 109th Division + Gunto/Order of the Sun, r2 Hiiro/Tadamichi/Chi-Ri are good choices - dont try to cover all lanes, go for strong units if possible. Having established a unit 1st turn and seeing the 1st ai draw, you will know what to do 2nd turn. Often its a good choice to max out your brick to r3, block/kill one enemy unit and let one enemy unit deal some damage to you. From now on things might develop just perfect if the ai doesn't draw too much op stuff. You should be in control of 1 lane and have 3ap to deal with the other ones. Still you will probably take occasional damage from flagged planes and grenades. That is why it's good to bring 80+/100+ hp to your day4 parade. Sometimes you will receive damage for 2-3 turns because you might be waiting for a draw with the spying Courageous Division or direct damage orders ... so don't hesitate going for Tadamichi or 10hp from Taking Command from time to time.

Yeah, that's how the story goes if you played it safe so far and were lucky enough to collect lots of hp. If you go in with low hp, you simply have to concentrate and use all your skills, foresight and experience, perhaps gamble a bit on possible ai draws (like no mortars next turn). Gambling can be a great strategy is great but don't get too excited if you get hammered^^ = gambling is always 50:50. Often ai punishes a weak spot by maxing out a unit, killing an important blocker and playing the Browning. Also you might get unlucky draws at the beginning of the turns and receive a lot of damage from op ai draws ... in that case ... stick to the survival/hunting guide and try to stay alive.^^

>>> try keeping in mind mortar damage, Hell's Angels, build up a brick unit, disable strong units, gain occassional hp - and there you go - if your internet connection is ok, your reward is waiting for you :D


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Re: Iwo Jima Guide - Step by Step

Postby Toyyon » 14 Jul 2015, 18:23

Awesome guide, Skuzi !

*pins the Hawk h.c. medal on Skuzis chest*
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Re: Iwo Jima Guide - Step by Step

Postby alemán » 15 Jul 2015, 00:12

You are welcome master hawkeye .... will continue with the mission walkthrough now :mrgreen:


Iwo Jima - Walkthrough

Ok let's get into some action now.
You will see me playing the Iwo Jima mission on hard for the next 4 posts.
It's basically about applying the guide and watching how it works.

Have Fun :)

Image


Day1
As I explained before day1 is all about collecting hp, covering the lanes and enjoying the warm up for day2-4.
The perfect start is drawing Tadamichi and upgrading him or gaining 25hp from Taking Command 1st turn.

Day1 1st Turn
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Seeing the draw, I go for First Element and the 109th Division + Order of the Rising Sun.
Would have been great getting Tadamichi first turn but I'm sure he will appear later :D


Day1 2nd Turn

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The ai played a mortar, upgraded it and equipped it with grenades.
I dont like grenades!
I play Hiiro to kill the mortar, Tadamichi for extra hp and Jade Divsion to keep Hiiro alive in case the mortar reappears.


Day1 3rd Turn
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The ai played a Locust with Medal of Honor, Calliope and Sherman.
I'll probably take some damage next turn.
Best idea I can come up with is upgrading Hiiro and equipping Mines to get rid of the Locust.


Day1 4th Turn
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The ai dealt 1 damage from Calliope, killed my Jade Division and played 101th Airborne and Marines.
I upgrade Tadamichi for more hp and kill the Calliope with the order Search and Destroy.
Seems like a nice gamble move - i leave one lane uncovered and get some extra hp. 8-)


Day1 5th Turn
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Nothing unexpected has happened.
So I go for playing it safe now.
Hiiro gets another upgrade and the Jade Division covers the right lane.


Day1 6th Turn
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Unfortunately I did not draw any Taking Command so far.
Well, time to let some of the frustration out and destroy the right Calliope with Guerilla :twisted:

End of Day1


Day1 Victory

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... advancing to day2 with 66 hp
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