Soviet Air Advice (Full Version)

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turtlefang -> Soviet Air Advice (8/3/2012 2:09:39 AM)

Any good advice/tutorials on how to handle the Soviet Air Force. Ideally, would like to see it broken down by early war, mid war and late war. And for the playing the AI and playing against a Human.

Right now, I've played with a number of different setting, but don't seem to see much impact on the game from the Soviet Air Force.

Thanks in advance.

hfarrish -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/3/2012 2:39:09 AM)

99% of my experience is playing early war (i.e. '41 through first blizzard) as the Soviets, and as far as I can tell the only thing you have real meaningful control over is ensuring partisan supply flights by putting long range level bombers (i.e. IL-4s and DB-3Bs) in VVS air bases and setting them to night missions.

Another key thing - before you make one move in turn 1 set everything to national reserve...not to keep it out of the fight but so you can organize things properly starting turn 2.

Otherwise, you want to fill out your IAD units, preferrably with I-15s and I-16s to burn out those huge pools and hopefully cause a few losses while you get experience. In reality, you probably won't do much at all with anything b/c due to the fluidity of the front you have to set your airbases pretty far back to ensure they don't get overrun, which typically keeps the shorter range units pretty much out of the action.

You do want some bombers in the BAD units too after turn 5 or so so that if you have an important attack you can cause some disruption/fatigue prior (it won't cause much losses) by attacking the target unit prior to the ground assault. I also try to get some interdiction by setting the interdiction setting to 300 but that still only seems to get a handful of attacks per turn...

Others advise doing night attacks against enemy units and in particular unguarded HQs, but the former is too much micromanagement for me and the latter is a bit gamey (you end up killing a lot of enemy leaders). I always play under no paratroop or airfield attack house rules so others may have better advice if you are not under those restrictions.

Later in the war I leave it to others (which I will be interested to read as well...).

Michael T -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/3/2012 3:18:27 AM)

I don't waste the experience and morale of the better I-15 and I-153 units. Some you can convert to IL2's and others to MiG's, LAGG's and YAK's. Rather than the AI forming new units with crap experience and morale with your new a/c. Depends if you have some AP's to spare or not. Same for the bombers. If you have some good experience SB2's and high morale keep them in reserve and upgrade them with new IL4's. I like to manage my VVS a little more than others might. But it costs some extra AP.

hfarrish -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/3/2012 3:20:41 AM)

That's an interesting point - I tend to put the highest morale/experience units into active duty so they don't get totally cut to pieces, but by that standard that would be the wrong move...have to think about it.

Don77 -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/3/2012 3:47:49 AM)

Aircraft allocation suggestion


Per front Air HQ and also Frontal HQ
Su - 2 x PVO and 2 x AA regts

Airbases - 3 stacks of two, stacked w frontal or frontal avn HQ
SAD x2 (replace w NBAD and Shap)

Aircraft regts per bases
VVS - Tpt 1x UVS (ni), 1x Li (ni), Recon 1x SB2 or Pe2R, 1 x UVS Recon, 2 x misc
SAD (2) 6 x IL2/SU2 (from BIS), Yak 1 (from 29)
NBAP - 6 x UVS (ni)
BAD - 6 x SB-2 or Pe-2
IAD (2) 6 x LAGG or MIG

SU - 4 x AA regt (PVO and AA)
per base - 3 x fighter, 3 x tactical bomber

Stavka/Long Range

BAK HQ (4)
SU - 4 x AA regt (PVO and AA)

DBAD bases (3 per HQ) - per airbase a mix of 6 regts as follows:
3 bomb IL4 or DB3,
3 fighter LaGG-3 to Pe-8 and Yak9DD

I tend to ensure eeach base has the same aircraft types for simplicity (VVS excluded ofc)

Any thoughts?

Flaviusx -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/3/2012 12:03:15 PM)

Put all your tactical bomber regiments in the national reserve in 1941. All of them. Ground support is crippled in 1941 by hard code. No more than a handful will ever show up regardless of settings and numbers available, and in low single digits tend to get shot down mostly. Save the regiments and production for 1942+ when it actually works. The Red Air Force is good for interception and interdiction early on.

Aim for 3 airbases/front early on. You really do not need more than this until well into 1942. The Soviet Union starts with far more airbases than it can meaningfully use. Disband the swarm of SAD airbases. That gets more rifles on the front and avoids the problems of autodisbands with these airbases going into 1942.

Take 9 VVS bases and assign 3 in the north, center and south for long range aviation. 1-2 of these bases per group will be set on night missions for partisan resupply. The remainder can fly interdiction or other missions. Put 3 bombers per base, using IL-4s, DB3Bs, and TB-3. Those are your long range birds. Eventually you want to convert all of the airframes to IL-4 (or B-25s.) The game gives you 4 BAK air HQs to manage your long range assets; I use only 3 of them and disband the 4th. Over time add 3 fighter regiments per base, but early on this won't be possible.

As the game goes one you can add more bases to your long range aviation.

For frontal aviation, stick to fighters and SB-2s in 1941. Note that a lot of the I-15 and I-153 regiments are bomber trained. (The ShaP regiments.) Make sure to enable them on bomber mission mode. All of these will be converted to IL-2 in due course manually. The SB-2 is an excellent light bomber with very long range and well suited for interdiction missions. Eventually you will flip these over to Pe-2s, but not before 42, and indeed there's no rush to do this.

Pure fighter bases can stack up all the way to 9 regiments without issue. Bomber bases tend to have support problems with more than 6 regiments. Shturmoviks have relatively light support requirements and can be treated more like fighters than level bombers. It's probably best not to mix these with level bombers, give them their own bases.

In 1942 and on the AI will start to automatically produce airbases if the average airbase has less than 6 regiments. You can therefore manipulate this to produce as many or as few airbases as you want by either filling up the available airbase space to force production of new bases, or leaving some open to turn off the tap. My rule of thumb is to increase airbase count to 4 per front by the end of 1942, and then to 5 in 1943 for a few of the fronts (not all of them) and stop there. I'll add 3 more air bases to long range aviation and stop there (for a total of 12.) You will always have a large proportion of your regiments in the national reserve if you do this, and I prefer to restrict airbase numbers and cycle regiments in and out of the reserve to keep them fresh and also to limit the amount of manpower and supply being diverted towards the air force. This can become enormous over time.

Note airbases have some restrictions in use. PVO bases can only fly interception; these should mostly be disbanded (saving some by Leningrad and Moscow is ok.) Only VVS bases have guaranteed partisan resupply for bombers set to night missions, the other long range bomber bases only have a chance to do this. Mostly the airbase designations are cosmetic besides this. If you want to fly 6 shturmoviks from a IAD base, that's perfectly ok. Likewise, if you want to use a ShaP base for fighter regiments, that's ok too.

So far as flak goes: 2 battalions or one regiment per Air HQ. Note that you start with more than enough flak to cover this and need build no more.

Jack up the intercept settings. All the way up to 300 imo. You have swarms of fighters from the getgo and want to get those flying.

gingerbread -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/3/2012 1:37:32 PM)

Do remember the Air HQ leaders. Some good ones are unassigned at start and a 7 and a few 6 ratings arrive in October. It's an AP expense, but at least the NW Front Air HQ leader should be changed - I like to have more than 3 bases with Fb active under the NW and give that Front priority when swapping groups between reserve and active assignment.

After Leningrad has been decided the focus shifts to Moscow so the good leaders should go there.

You only need 1 Air HQ in the North Front, keep the standard one with the 6 leader and disband the 3(!) others.

Always keep your Air HQ:s and Air Bases on a functional rail hex and if you move them during mud or blizzard, move them by rail. This is to spare your trucks.

Drakken -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/3/2012 3:13:10 PM)


ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Put all your tactical bomber regiments in the national reserve in 1941. All of them. Ground support is crippled in 1941 by hard code. No more than a handful will ever show up regardless of settings and numbers available, and in low single digits tend to get shot down mostly. Save the regiments and production for 1942+ when it actually works. The Red Air Force is good for interception and interdiction early on.


Even though I am a newb at this game, in my current PBEM I sent all my Air forces to the National Reserve on Turn 1, and I just realize how foolish it was against a human player, because it allows the German opponent to recon the hell out of my lines totally undisturbed and map out my frontline to find the schwerpunkts.

So now should I return the fighters and interceptors back to what airbases remain on Turn 2, but keep the rest in the Reserve?

Flaviusx -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/3/2012 3:53:31 PM)

You can get air superiority off 3 airbases. That's 24 fighter regiments in 1941 for me (+3 SB2 regiments.)

Not basing any tactical bombers at all frees up plenty of space for fighter regiments. And I only put 3 level bombers per front in 41.

Only in 42 do I start populating the front with more level and tactical bombers.

Recon is unfortunately almost impossible to intercept. It wears itself out from flak and operational losses more than anything else. Recon spam in this game is bit silly. However massive fighter cover makes air resupply a lot sketchier.

governato -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/3/2012 5:04:19 PM)

Every so often put high Experience units with Experience higher than Morale back into the National Reserve for a few turns, so their morale is restored more rapidly and experience can then increase further.
[9.1 an air group unit can only train up its experience to match its morale level.] The morale of SU Air Groups tend to drop a lot when they take casualties.

hfarrish -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/3/2012 5:30:14 PM)




ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Put all your tactical bomber regiments in the national reserve in 1941. All of them. Ground support is crippled in 1941 by hard code. No more than a handful will ever show up regardless of settings and numbers available, and in low single digits tend to get shot down mostly. Save the regiments and production for 1942+ when it actually works. The Red Air Force is good for interception and interdiction early on.


Even though I am a newb at this game, in my current PBEM I sent all my Air forces to the National Reserve on Turn 1, and I just realize how foolish it was against a human player, because it allows the German opponent to recon the hell out of my lines totally undisturbed and map out my frontline to find the schwerpunkts.

So now should I return the fighters and interceptors back to what airbases remain on Turn 2, but keep the rest in the Reserve?

I don't think its foolish against a human player to send everything to the national reserve on T1, so long as you actually bring it back in subsequent terms with the units you actually want, organized as you want them to be. The air force will really accomplish little to nothing before you do this, IMO.

turtlefang -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/4/2012 2:10:21 AM)

All -

Appreciate the excellent advice. Its forcing to re-look at many things plus I had mis-understood some things.

Two more questions:

1) Is flak/AA that effective, and should it be deployed at the front/army/Stavak level as well as two regiments or equivalents on each airbase HQ?

2) Why base fighters with your long range bombers? Does this create escorts automatically or is it for CAP?


Drakken -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/4/2012 2:13:58 AM)

Also, what is the main difference staff-wise between VVS bases and SAD bases?

I understand the latter are composite and so are a hotch-potch of various regiments, but why would it be profitable to disband them as early as possible?

Aurelian -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/4/2012 4:10:56 AM)

The men in the SAD bases get used in the front lines. It also sends vehicles back to the pool.

Flaviusx -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/4/2012 5:43:59 AM)

I base fighters with bombers for CAP mostly. They can often catch stray Luftwaffe bombers being used to transport fuel to panzer spearheads, since their air miles tend not to get used. Note this applies only to the VVS bases. The other reason to put fighters on these bases is because their supply footprint is small.

So far as frontal aviation goes, I don't mix fighters with shturmoviks or Pe-2s. I eventually go with 2 pure fighter bases, 1 shturmovik base, and one Pe-2 base per Front. Some Fronts will get an extra shturmovik base on top of that for 5 total.

Later in the war you do get some fighter bomber types with longish range that can actually escort level bombers (Pe-3bis and various lend lease fighters.)

The VVS airbases have a special ability that allows any level bombers based on them set to night missions to be eligible for partisan drops. That's why I send up to a dozen of them to the rear and use them for long range aviation basing. You can switch them to day missions later on in the war once the partisan war settles down.

SAD bases will autodisband in 1942 and do so unpredictably. I prefer to cash them in during 1941 for the manpower, and not have to worry about bases disappearing on me randomly in 1942. There's literally hundreds of thousands of men to tap in these airbases in 1941, and the Red Air Force has far more airbase capacity in 41 than it can use anyways to good effect. So I put the Red Air Force on a radical diet. Not everybody agrees with this, lots of folks swear by bombing stuff all over the place in 1941 and will fly everything in the inventory and keep lots of bases on the map...I think this is largely a waste of time. So far as 1941 goes, just give me fighters, a modest number of level bombers for interdiction and partisan drops, just enough airbases to support this, and then send the rest of 'em off to the front with a rifle.

randallw -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/4/2012 9:00:31 AM)

I have not seen air units train experience up to morale, whether in the national reserve or at an air base.

A few Soviet air leaders have a political rating of 1 ( apparently they chose the 'wrong' side to take in 1920 ); their air ratings are not particularly great, so losing them to an NKVD bullet in the head is not a great loss.

turtlefang -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/4/2012 3:28:10 PM)

The biggest issue with the SAD bases for me is the auto-disband in 42. With my luck, the bases that disband are always the one's that I can least affort to lose - and I can't manage keeping them in less critical roles. So I want them gone so that I can plan and not worry about it.

Plus, I do want the men so I can build up the infantry units.

All - any input on the flak question? I read on the forum that flak was just fireworks with minimal impact.

hfarrish -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/4/2012 4:43:40 PM)

I don't know about the best way to utilize flak or whether it helps against ground units, but I do know in my current game that flak has killed as many or more enemy aircraft than my planes...

Flaviusx -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/4/2012 5:05:41 PM)

Flak does kill a lot of planes, as do operational losses. But if you're short on armament points and APs, this is imo a low priority item. I hardly ever build it.

You start off with a very large number of battalions and regiments as is, enough to provide all your air HQs with modest coverage. Newly built tank armies automatically get a flak regiment as part of their assortment of SUs (not all of which are terribly useful.)

Marquo -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/4/2012 8:30:34 PM)

Even in 1941 Soviet tactical/long range bombers will interdict and this can cause loss of valuable MPs; in 42/43 fighters escorting interdiction will start to cause more damage to Axis fighters than almost anything else; and the most effective way to maime the Luftwaffe is set you fighters to 250 - 300 and then start moving ground units; the Luftwaffe will suffer greivous losses when it tries to interdict. IMHO the Axis player should forgo interdiction all together in 1943 on....

hfarrish -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/4/2012 9:52:59 PM)

I've noticed this effect as well - my interdiction, even at 300, doesn't seem to get that many hits (albeit a function of being fairly far from the front) but I have had my fighters at 300 the whole game and have really chewed up a lot of German planes during his interdiction attacks. The loss ratio right now in my game, at least, is probably unsustainable for the Luftwaffe...air combat ratio is 5:1 and improving.

turtlefang -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/5/2012 1:15:31 AM)

Thanks regarding all the information.

Re flak. Was more interested in the impact on German Air Force than ground combat. Ground combat just is what it is and I would prefer to keep AAA out of ground combat if possible (it isn't but I would prefer it).

Re the 5 to 1 loss. Good information, wasn't sure what represented a "good" ratio but this gives me an idea.

delatbabel -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/5/2012 4:41:34 AM)

A couple of other things I do that other players haven't commented on.

Disband the southern Urals (?) air command asap, it eventually turns into a frozen air command that can't be moved or disbanded later. You get more mobile air armies later.

For the same reason, on turn 4, transfer all of the air bases from the Moscow Air Army to the Reserve Air Army, and disband the Moscow Air Army. It also turns into a 0 movement air army that can't be disbanded at some later stage, you want to disband it before that happens (preferably as soon as the reserve air army shows up, so you can recover the manpower and trucks).

I also disband the Northern Fleet air command, and also the Baltic Fleet air command and move its bases to the Northern/Leningrad air command. Or maybe send a couple of the bases south to join the Reserve air army.

Personally I don't waste the APs on disbanding the SAD bases -- they will disband eventually anyway and I'd rather keep the planes up front at the start.

One important thing to do each turn is to open your command window, move to the Air Groups tab and pick up all of the very low morale units and send them back to the reserve. Or, as some have mentioned, disband them. If they have good planes then put them back in reserve and they will pick up morale there. Others can be disbanded. In fact early on in the game I tend to move a lot of my I-15s and other rubbish aircraft up to the front and let them take losses. They will occasionally shoot down some German planes and once they are low morale just disband them to be replaced by better units later. The higher morale units I keep and use spare APs when I have them to swap the planes over.

I have abandoned the separation of planes by airbase type. I used to put all of my fighters in IAD bases, use ShAD bases for tac bombers, etc. Now I just put a mix of bombers and fighters in each base, it appears that 3 x fighter, 2 x bomber, and 1 x something else (tac bomber or recon) per base is a more efficient use of the support than putting 9 x fighter in one base and 3 x bomber in another base (maxing out the support). The only exception is to put transports and some level bombers on night missions into the VVS bases to supply the partisans, and the DBAD bases at the back get stacked with long range level bombers.

Drakken -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/5/2012 5:09:38 PM)

So on which fighters regiments should I concentrate on July 1941? Most of my "fighters" are in fact fighter bombers, like the I-16 type 24/29 and the MiG-3. Should I place them in a fighter role until interceptors arrive?

cpt flam -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/6/2012 6:41:13 AM)

Hi Drakken sorry to tell you that you will not have interceptors
95 per cent wll be fighter-bomber [&o]
generally i try to disband 3 SAD/turnto keep points for other things
i prefer to mix bombers and fighters to have 6 group per base (seems easier for me)

Drakken -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/22/2012 4:07:40 PM)

I'm really, really confused about what are the different Soviet Air Force regiments are in English. Some I could figure out, but others really escape me.

IAD = Fighter/Interceptors
BAD = Bombers
TBAD = Transport bombers?
ShAD = ???
DBAD = ???
OIAD = ???

That's those I can remember out of my mind as I am at work right now. But knowing what is the role assigned to each of these in a language I can understand would help me reorganize my Soviet Air Force.

Aurelian -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/22/2012 5:03:34 PM)

8.2.2. Soviet Air Base Unit Names
The following is a list of abbreviations used in Soviet air base units:
h VVS - Air Force Air Base
h VVS-ChF - base of Black Sea Fleet (Chernomoskij Flot)
h PVO - Air Defense Force Air Base
h IAB - Fighter Aviation Brigade Air Base
h IAD - Fighter Aviation Division Air Base
h BAB - Bomber Aviation Brigade Air Base
h BAD - Bomber Aviation Division Air Base
h SAD - Composite Aviation Division Air Base
h DBAD - Long Range Aviation Division Air Base (also may see AD DD - Avia Divizija Dalnego Deistvija)
h TBAB - Heavy Bomber Brigade Air Base
h OSNAZ - Special Use Air Group airbase (OSobogo NAZnachenija) Soviet Air Group Unit Names
Basic abbreviations:
h AP - aviation regiment (avia polk)
h AD - Aviation division (avia divizija)
h AK - aviation corps (avia korpus)
h AE - squadron (eskadrilya)
h VVS - Military Air Force (Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily)
h PVO - Provito Vozdushnaya Oborona Strany - "Air Defense Forces" - includes both Air and Ground units, ie interceptors and AA units.
h I - fighter (istrebitel'naya)
h B - bomber (bombardirovacnaya)
h Sh - attack plane (shturmovaya - IL-2)
h DD - long range (dalnego dejstvija)
h T - transport
h DB - long range bomber (dal'ne-bombardirovochnaya)
h S - mixed (smeshanaya)
h R - recon (razvedovatel'naya)
h NB - night bomber (nochnaya bombardirovochnaya)
h G - guards designation: GIAP, GIAD, DBAD, etc
 MT - mine-torpedo
 O- separate (otdel'nyj)Air Regiment Designations:
Air regiments

 IAP - Fighter Aviation Regiment
 IAP-KBF - Fighter Aviation Regiment of Red Banner Baltic Fleet (KBF - Krasnoznamennyi Balijskij Flot)
 BAP - Bomber Aviation Regiment
 DBAP - Long-Range (LR) Bomber Regiment (Dal'nebombardirovochnyj Avia Polk)
 LBAP - Light Bomber (Legkobombardirovochnyj AP) Regiment
 NBAP - Night Bomber Air Regiment
 LTAP - (Light) Transport Regiment.
 TAP or TRAP - Transport Regiment
 SBAP - High-Speed (Skorostnoj BAP) Bomber Regiment
 TBAP - Heavy (Tyazhelyj BAP) Bomber Regiment
 ShAP - Ground Attack (Shturmovoj AP) Bomber Regiment
 RAP - Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment
 OSAP - Independent Composite Regiment
 ORAP - Independent Reconaissance Regiment
 MTAP - Mine Torpedo Air Regiment

Disgruntled Veteran -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/23/2012 12:06:30 AM)

Just some pictorial evidence to add to the carnage of Soviet airpower. Late November and the Luftwaffe is shooting Soviet fighters like nothing else. What good Soviet planes do in 1941 I dont know.


Seminole -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/23/2012 2:13:36 AM)

131 LW fighters vs. 46 Russian bombers with no escort whatsoever sounds like a recipe for disaster. Was the fight too far from your airbases that have fighters?

Flaviusx -> RE: Soviet Air Advice (8/23/2012 2:17:00 AM)

The remarkable thing here is he got that many bombers to show up. It may well be the case that the disorganization penalty goes away earlier than I thought. But yeah, that's just a turkey shoot with no escorts.

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