I'm going to revive this thread because, either the game has changed so much since this thread was opened, or I just don't get the game.
Specifically, I don't get what DieterNohlen is saying in his second post. I understand the words, but my experience is something completely different.
I've started a couple of skirmish scenarios with these parameters:
Starting PP: 15,000
I thinks that's all that I changed. The rest I left to default.
DN is saying, just by a few Huskies and Buffaloes and send them out, willy-nilly to build water-towers to suck up a bunch of PP, while casually building a few FOB's.
My experience is, that on the plains, generally getting from the HQ to anything beyond the first town, at the most first two towns, takes more than two turns, sometimes three or more, and for the most distant, far more.
That means, what DN is saying is, IMHO, hogwash, at least in the scenario I'm describing. What I'm seeing is completely different. After playing around and trying a couple of different things, instead of setting up a full FOB with all the extra features, I just started putting up the main FOB. I'm putting them as close to a town as I can, while also keeping them as close together as possible, so that they can support each other, as so that I can move vehicles from one to the other, and not have to leave any in the open at the end of the turn, where they might get attacked.
I think the two biggest issues I'm encountering, is 1. building a water tower costs so freaking much, and 2. I don't seem to be getting any PP from having working water towers.
From playing in mixed terrain, half mountain and half plains, and with the issues I reported in another thread on how I can't keep the FOB's supplies with trucks, I decided to put 4 Special Forces into the HQ right from the start and have them build 3x MI-8's and an artillery. It's a bit expensive, but I am starting with 15,000 PP, so I thought it ought not be a great issue. I need the MI-8's to keep the FOB's supplied later, as long as trucks and convoys don't work.
I then put two battle groups together, each consisting of an infantry Co., an MRAP, a Husky, and a Buffalo. The idea is to have them be able to defend themselves while out building a new FOB or water tower. This works well enough as I've described. I get the first town hooked up to water and the first FOB built, and then send everything back to HQ to replenish supplies, before heading to the next town to the do the same.
Depending on the exact map configuration, I might have to buy a third Buffalo to assist in building roads. Often roads in and out of the HQ have to be added, plus to the town, to be able to support them optimally. Otherwise, getting a Buffalo from the closest FOB to fix a water tower will leave it exposed in the open. I'm not worried about losing a vehicle per se, but every time one gets hit, I lose about 1000 PP, and that kind of sucks. I'm not really complaining about the cost, but it's something I'm desperately trying to avoid.
So, I've got two FOB's up and have built two water towers, and I'm looking to build a third FOB, and I just don't have enough PP's, and I don't seem to be getting any. I'm avoiding losing any vehicles at all costs. I'm keeping the water towers running the best I can, sometimes not having the out-of-order for more than two turns, and I'm just not getting any PP more than maybe 100 or two per turn. That means, if you're below 1500, no more FOB's I can build more water towers, but that just pushes me into negative PP's, out of which I have no way of getting. It seems the only way to gain PP's is through killing Mil and Tal units, but without artillery in every FOB and Special Forces all over to detect them there's just no way to gain PP income and I'm starving on the vine.
In the middle of all this, I also buy a Blackhawk and an extra infantry Co. to send them around to check the towns with the smoke signal. I'm hoping to find some IED's I can disable to gain a few PP's, which I occasionally can do, if they're not too far away. Hey, on the plains everything is far away.
Once I have the 3 MI-8's built, I buy three more infantry Co.'s to help in checking the outer towns and as a kind of quick reaction force. I've tried to use them to attack and militia or taliban units that towns might uncover, but it's practically impossible. By the time I get there with my air-cavalry, they've disappeared.
I'm really starting to think, the emphasis on hitting enemy units to gain PP is far too great. Insurgents live off the dissatisfaction of the population. The better the population is served, the less they will support insurgents. But if you can't find the insurgents, you can't hit them.
Just thinking about the games I played that I won, they were in mixed terrain with lots of artillery. All I really did was set up 2 FOB's with artillery, put a couple of SF units in the mountains above the towns and wait for the insurgents to come stumbling in. Once in the sights of the SF I hit them with A-10's if within range, or artillery, or if they were close enough with infantry.
But on the plains, without SF outposts in the mountains to watch over things, there's just no source of income.