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Tips on Allied night bombing

 
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Tips on Allied night bombing - 9/24/2009 8:07:46 PM   
DBS


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Culled together from a thread in the general area: I will try to edit into this top post cut and pastes from various people, to save having to trawl through longer threads. Some may appear contradictory - eg TechSgt and I differ on the utility of the Mosquito pathfinders. Take your pick - we are probably both right

First up, a splendid overall strategy from KayBayRay for use vs AI:
I organize my strikes into 4 phases. Seduction, Distraction & Disruption, Strike, and finally Withdraw. I will describe the basic strategy of each phase and will follow up with some screenies of actual missions to describe better what and how.

Seduction Phase: Mission Time 00:00 minutes
This is my Strike Opener. Stream in ECM AC with accompanying Night Fighters to cover and interdict Luftwaffe Night Interceptors. In this phase I draw LW assets away from the region of the nights target cities. This group of AC also include Night Fighters that maintain a CAP over Airfields either suspected to or confirmed to operate NJG AC. I also include ECM AC to shut down Radar in the vicinity of my strike. I want to get all of these assets in place before my strike force moves in. I also want to draw up the maximum Luftwaffe assets at this early point of my strike that I can and seduce them away from the strike.

Distraction & Disruption Phase: Mission Time + 15:00 to 30:00 minutes
In this phase all my ECM birds to distract NJG AC are in place in regions of a proximity of the strike area to pull assets from the strike region to the ECM AC and keep them pinned there. I also attach Night Fighters to the locations of these ECM AC to interdict the NJG interceptors as they attempt to engage my ECM Distraction AC. I also station ECM birds over every single Radar site that has any Radar coverage of the Target Region or the path into it taken by my Strike Force. At this time I also have Night Fighters capping NJG Airfields. I maintain an overlap of these AC over the airfields so that I don’t lose my interdiction capability at these airfields during any portion of the strike. This also allows me to capitalize on an increased odds ratio when individual Luftwaffe AC RTB against my orbiting Night Fighters.

Strike Phase: Mission Time + 30:00 to 45:00 minutes
In this phase I path my Bombers to their target cities. I select cities that are in the same region but have significant separation between other target cities. Typically 4-6 target cities are selected for a strike with a approximately a total strike force of 100 AC allocated to each target city. I don’t want my strike to be confused and water down the strike. I have used the Mossy Pathfinders as recommended by many in the past but my results show that… no offense guys but they couldn’t hit a bull elephant in a volkswagon beetle with a hockey stick. They tend to soak off their attacks in small groups some hitting the target and some hitting Aunties Garden. My best results have been from using straight up Line Squadrons with higher Experience and Morale. Perhaps just the unit selection I am using for the Mossy’s but that is what I have found. During this phase my Night Fighters start to get kills as many of the NJG AC are either low on fuel or damaged and must RTB.

Withdraw Phase: Mission Time + 60:00 to 75:00 minutes
In this phase I try to collapse my overall strike and concentrate them into a major withdraw stream. To facilitate this phase I must carefully orchestrate the flight paths of the Stike Groups to and from their individual target city such that they have completed their strikes and return to the main stream path of withdraw in the general formation I want them to exit the region in. I maintain my cap over NJG airfields with my Night Fighters during this phase as this is where I generally yield most of my kills of NJG AC.

Typical results from this strategy net me <5 AC lost and >25 enemy AC destroyed with the target cities taking 30-50% Urban Damage. As I run more strikes and learn more I will update my strategy. So this may not work as well later on in the war as it is at this time. But then once I can field decent long range escort AC I will be able to do more than hurl threats and bad language at the Reich with my Daylight formations and this may help the situation. We will see.


Additional points from others

Target Selection and using Pathfinders:
Use your pathfinders to lead the way and attack only undamaged cities or some high value industries inside cities. [Swift]

For major cities, zoom in and flick back and forth between normal target view and urban view. Most factories sit on the edge or outside of the urban circles. But for the larger cities, some factories are inside the circle; classic example is Krupps at Essen. So if you are going for Essen, I will send 5 Group (given priority by me for upgrading to Lanc IIIs with H2S), with 105 or 109 Sqn providing Oboe marking, to attack Krupps. The Pathfinder Lancs will lead No1 Group against another factory in the circle, again with Oboe marking, whilst the Halifaxes of 4 and 6 Groups go for Essen railyard. As a result, you hopefully end up with three points of concentration within the circle, two of which happen to be generating both industrial and terror points. [DBS]

Always remember the range limitation of Oboe - 105 and 109 Sqns will provide great marking over the Ruhr, but will probably do more harm than good by scattering markers over out-of-range targets further east. [DBS]

At the start of the 43 campaign you have 139 Squadron flying Mossie BIVs but without Oboe. They are not going to be very accurate, but are a useful decoy force. So if the Main Force is visiting Essen tonight, send 139 off to Kiel or Wilhelmshaven on a Siren Tour. You will later get additional squadrons in the Light Night Striking Force which can be used in a similar manner. [DBS]

I generally don't use Mossie Pathfinders anymore. Instead, Mossies fly every night to Berlin, Hamburg, and/or Frankfurt at 33K alt. The AI will always chase these Squadrons. A Human won't, but as you enter the second half of '44 these unstoppable attacks are doing some real damage. [TechSgt]

Style of attack:
You effectively have two options for plotting attacks. One is the stream: plot a lead squadron, preferably one with H2S, and then add others to that raid. At one extreme, this could be the entire Main Force as a single massive stream. The advantage is that, against a large urban target, you tend to get a certain spread of bombing, historically known as "Creep Back" in BC, causing damage over a wider area and thus giving better terror points. The disadvantage is that you perhaps get a higher percentage falling in open areas to no effect. The second option is to plot each squadron as a separate raid, starting with the Pathfinders or H2S squadrons. This seems to produce a greater concentration of accuracy - great for industrial targets and small towns but less effective on large urban areas, where one small section simply suffers massive overkill. Personally I tend to use this method, but probably do so too much. [DBS]

Fly as high as possible. Send Mossie BIVs in at 24k; Lancs and Halibags at 20k; Wimpeys at 15k. Be careful with Stirlings - they haul a good load but are vulnerable to flak given their lack of altitude. There are plenty of targets you can still use them against until such time as you have enough Lancs to upgrade the squadrons - eg small industrial targets in the Low Countries, smaller western German towns such as Emden, Wesel, Rheine, etc. I often use them as a diversionary force - sent on a short haul to the north a little while before the Main Force bores in on the Ruhr. Ditto the odd squadrons of Wimpeys - as a house rule I always keep the Polish BC squadron in Wimpeys, since they struggled in real life to find sufficient crewmembers for the larger aircraft. [DBS]

My BC SOP (late '44): 4 raids per city, 3 raids consist of 1 lead & 3 followers per raid, attacking city center. 1 raid is the two highest experience Squadrons, attacking the city's most important industry. Timing is for all raids to approach on a different bearing, and TOT is the same. Note: By this time all units, except for a few 205 Group Squadrons are H2S. If you are certain there is no 37mm Flak, bombing at 6 - 7.5K works well. Be very certain about the flak! [TechSgt]


Use of Night Intruders:
Either hover near/above enemy NF bases with single A/C missions or use them as stream as diversion - "Window" makes each single a/c look like a bomber box. [Swift]

"The best defence against German Night Fighters... inexperienced German Night Fighter Pilots!" My highest scoring pilots are Moss NF XIII pilots. [TechSgt]

Use of RCM support:
You "only" have Wellington and Mosquito ECM/RCM - for the Axis side each single ECM/RCM A/C looks like a whole bomber box (and has also a cruising speed like a bomber box) - use this for minimizing your losses. [Swift]

as mentioned above by Swift, the only "RCM" aircraft available at the start of the 1943 Full Campaign are actually not true RCM aircraft but Elint ferrets - Wellingtons and Mosquitos. So they do not jam radars. But, thanks to Window dispensers they do appear as a full squadron and so can lure nightfighters away from the Main Force. They may even get lucky and pick up elint data that will help advance RCM development. [DBS]





Post #: 1
RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 9/25/2009 10:37:04 PM   
Dixie


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I've been sending RCM support in a few different mission 'types'.

1)  This involves sending an RCM force up ahead of main force, usually an hour or two before the planned take off.  The raid will be directed to a point well away from the main target in an effort to pull the NFs away from the real area.  Usually this type uses my Wimpeys in multiple aircraft formations.

2)  Sending RCM raids in with Main Force, again this will be Wellingtons but this time they will be sent off to one side of the main track.  These raids are meant to distract the Axis fighters and hide the actual main force which is why I use Wimpeys.

3)  Sensing RCM Mossies out, usually in concert with the LNSF.  These raids will have nightfighter Mosquitos sprinkled into the stream as well.  The higher speed of the Mossies means that there's no chance of mistaking them for Lancs and Hallibags but the faster speed means less of a problem co-ordinating escorting NFs.

And just to mix things up some nights will have all three RCM types as well as Main Force and LNSF striking various targets.  Some nights will have no RCM or the RCM raids will follow Main Force, and some nights will just be RCM missions and nightfighters.  3 Group with it's obselescent aircraft will usually follow some distance behind the front line groups and head to a target away from the main action.  If 5 group is hitting the Ruhr than 3 Group will go somewhere like Bremen or hit a French railyard.

(in reply to DBS)
Post #: 2
RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 10/4/2009 11:01:10 PM   
Richard III


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These tactics sound good, however when I use them VS the AI ( and planning the raids takes almost 30+min.) I still usually lose 10 - 12% of the strike force in `43 going no further then the Ruhr. That`s with low moonlight and little cloud cover. With the very small window you get of low moonlight, decent weather and no " Form Up delays in the assembly areas " ( also very excessive in night and daylight missions IMO ) you can`t take those losses on the few missions you can reasonably fly.

This is in 3 campaign game starts VS the AI, about 100 hours. I use to see this in the "old forum" days when I played the original and after trying everything just stopped using BC other then costal raids.

Like Nick Bell`s losing 20 landing German AC per day for a week by there own Flak in his game indicates something in the game start routines Gary used needs tuning or fixing IMHO.

*Actual Historic Losses: "Such facts as ‘the Berlin raid 29/30 Dec `43 where 11 Lancasters and 8 Halifax were lost - 2.8% of Main Force. 20 aircraft, 7 crewmen per aircraft. 140 young men lost."*

I really doubt this can be done in the game VS the AI.


(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 3
RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 10/5/2009 5:49:14 AM   
swift


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What are you doing?
Flypaths?
Losses due to AA fire or due to NF or due to Wilde Sau?

It is not very helpfull just to say it is not right - fix it........without information what you are doing we cannot recreate your problem?
I only get high losses due to AA, if my Sterlings or Wellingtons wander into a several heavy AA sites. 

(in reply to Richard III)
Post #: 4
RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 10/5/2009 7:39:42 AM   
Dixie


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From: UK
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard III

*Actual Historic Losses: "Such facts as ‘the Berlin raid 29/30 Dec `43 where 11 Lancasters and 8 Halifax were lost - 2.8% of Main Force. 20 aircraft, 7 crewmen per aircraft. 140 young men lost."*

I really doubt this can be done in the game VS the AI.




To be fair, that raid was a one off in the contect of the Berlin operations.

Even against swift my BC raids have taken less than 1% casualties in raids on the Ruhr. Are you routing Main Force well clear of as many flak comventrations as you can? Keep the Stirlings in particular away from any dangerous areas, anything further than Holland is dangerous for them.

(in reply to Richard III)
Post #: 5
RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 10/5/2009 7:43:50 AM   
Richard III


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quote:

ORIGINAL: swift

It is not very helpfull just to say it is not right - fix it........



I think I said more then just that...

98 % of the losses come from large numbers of NF`s getting into the bomber stream on the way in and the way out. Even with a lot of ECM AC doing their thing as in the first post in this thread.

In some turns I lose 2-5 Bombers right after each other before the clock moves, sort of like a mini loop in the AI combat routines is occurring Sort of like what happens sometimes in 2-6 flak loss in ground attack one after each other, or 2-4 one after another losses in landing crashes in the same Sqd, or 2-5 balloon attacks right after each other.

Having said all, I love the new Version of the Game and hope you can fine tune it or fine tune my playing or both.....



(in reply to swift)
Post #: 6
RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 10/5/2009 8:00:11 AM   
Richard III


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I also was refering to DBS`s post up thread, I re-created his tactics several times and still got bad results. I avoid the large Flak Centers, no more then 1 - 2 AC lost to Flak per mission. It`s the NF`s, too many and too fast into the Bomber Stream getting two many kills at this time in the war IMHO.

Interesting history here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Cologne_in_World_War_II


Thanks for responding

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dixie


quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard III

*Actual Historic Losses: "Such facts as ‘the Berlin raid 29/30 Dec `43 where 11 Lancasters and 8 Halifax were lost - 2.8% of Main Force. 20 aircraft, 7 crewmen per aircraft. 140 young men lost."*

I really doubt this can be done in the game VS the AI.




To be fair, that raid was a one off in the contect of the Berlin operations.

Even against swift my BC raids have taken less than 1% casualties in raids on the Ruhr. Are you routing Main Force well clear of as many flak comventrations as you can? Keep the Stirlings in particular away from any dangerous areas, anything further than Holland is dangerous for them.



< Message edited by Richard III -- 10/5/2009 8:07:01 AM >

(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 7
RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 10/5/2009 12:27:36 PM   
Dixie


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From: UK
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How are your raids set up?  One target and a single raid against it? 

I usually use multiple targets with the force split into smaller waves.  This way it seems to swamp the Luftwaffe defences with a huge mass of bombers all chucking window out, your force will also be over the enemy airspace for less time meaning less time for the NJs to get attacks in.
If 5 Group is set up to hit a town in Germany in a single stream it'll take (for example) an hour for them to pass a given point.  Therefore the planes at the rear of the stream are exposed to potential attack for a lot longer than those at the front and there are usually higher losses.  If that raid is split into smaller waves then the entire force can pass the waypoint in 10 minutes with less exposure to interception.  It also improves your bombing concentration so it's sometimes not what you want to aim for.
P.S. On nights with multiple targets, raids will also share as much of their flight path as possible to maintain the concentration which seems to help.

< Message edited by Dixie -- 10/5/2009 12:28:08 PM >

(in reply to Richard III)
Post #: 8
RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 10/5/2009 12:55:23 PM   
Hard Sarge


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard III


quote:

ORIGINAL: swift

It is not very helpfull just to say it is not right - fix it........



I think I said more then just that...

98 % of the losses come from large numbers of NF`s getting into the bomber stream on the way in and the way out. Even with a lot of ECM AC doing their thing as in the first post in this thread.

remember, early ECM aircraft are Elint, they trying to pick up radar signals, nothing else, the real ECM planes come in later, a Elint plane is not going to help a raid

but, it sounds like you are going into the teeth of the defence, use decoys, use buffs, make them take off, make them land, make them take off early, then lock onto, then run out of gas before they get there

that is what the Wellies and Sterilings are for, along with the Elints and Intruders

the AI is pretty good at guessing what your target is, even more fun, when it is wrong, help it along, make it make guesses, make a beeline to Hanover, then make a sharp right and hit Kessel instead, don't make your raids Huge, if you want to send out 1000 bombers, fine, just don't put then into one raid


In some turns I lose 2-5 Bombers right after each other before the clock moves, sort of like a mini loop in the AI combat routines is occurring Sort of like what happens sometimes in 2-6 flak loss in ground attack one after each other, or 2-4 one after another losses in landing crashes in the same Sqd, or 2-5 balloon attacks right after each other.

if you are getting this, you got something wrong, that is not how the combat system works, on a ground attack, you going to planes shot down, then planes damaged, then the attack, if nothing there, or a bad attack, you going to again get the AA attack, and a report of killed and then damaged planes

single planes coming in to land and have damage or in bad weather, then that sound correct, if it was bad for guy number one, it was bad for guy number two, and a group of fighters passing balloons, that sound right, each is going to take a turn



Having said all, I love the new Version of the Game and hope you can fine tune it or fine tune my playing or both.....





_____________________________


(in reply to Richard III)
Post #: 9
RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 10/5/2009 7:21:23 PM   
Richard III


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OK, all the advice is much appreciated ! I`ll do 2 things, print out this thread and use it in BC mission planning, and re-install the game after saving the last sav. file.

Perhaps something got corrupted in the game when I got that bad sav. file awhile back.


(in reply to Hard Sarge)
Post #: 10
RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 1/4/2010 11:12:23 PM   
JERMofDK

 

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These 10 links gives a very compressed and good explanation/story in regards to nightfigthing tactics and equipment used over Germany. I had to find them so i could follow your conversations in the forum for this excellent game.

  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 1, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 2, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 3, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 4, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 5a, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 5b, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 6a, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 6b, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 7a, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 7b, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood

    Also there is two stories/bios about nightfighting aces, one from each side

  • Nightfighting Aces, Part 1, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting Aces, Part 2, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood

    (in reply to Richard III)
  • Post #: 11
    RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 1/5/2010 3:01:47 PM   
    sprior


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    From: Nottingham, UK
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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: JERMofDK

    These 10 links gives a very compressed and good explanation/story in regards to nightfigthing tactics and equipment used over Germany. I had to find them so i could follow your conversations in the forum for this excellent game.

  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 1, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 2, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 3, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 4, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 5a, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 5b, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 6a, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 6b, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 7a, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting in World War II, Part 7b, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood

    Also there is two stories/bios about nightfighting aces, one from each side

  • Nightfighting Aces, Part 1, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
  • Nightfighting Aces, Part 2, by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood



  • Thanks for the links. Lee is a wargame designer too, he did Burning Blue and that Vietnam airwar game.

    _____________________________

    "Grown ups are what's left when skool is finished."
    "History started badly and hav been geting steadily worse."
    - Nigel Molesworth.



    (in reply to JERMofDK)
    Post #: 12
    RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 1/10/2010 10:51:52 AM   
    sven6345789

     

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    yeah, got them both, very good games. both of them. He is also designing a game regarding the RAF Night Bombing campaign
    http://www.airbattle.co.uk/index.html

    _____________________________

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    Letter from a U.S. Marine,November 1943

    (in reply to sprior)
    Post #: 13
    RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 1/10/2010 7:46:47 PM   
    gmoney

     

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    Found an exploit/bug regarding 'night bombing' that is good for a laugh-

    set up a bombing mission with the 8th AF and have it launch at 1759-make a bag of popcorn and sit back and laugh. German night-fighters will launch and immediatly start crashing into the ground one after another-first time i did this 200+ german nightfighters crashed. not sure why it happens, i have b17 units in bomber command and the german night fighter dont crash its just when you use daylight bombers in late afternoon raids that it happens. Anyways its fun but you should save your game before doing it as it makes it too easy to defeat german night fighters-another interesting effect is that the day bombers are just as accurate at night as they are during the day


    ONe importent note-ive only noticed the crashing plane bug when flying my b17s at max alt, againt the bomber command b17s dont cause crashes only USAAF bomber groups do.

    (in reply to sven6345789)
    Post #: 14
    RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 1/10/2010 8:37:30 PM   
    swift


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    This was a bug in the original BtR.....maybe it has resurfaced.....but I cannot make it work
    I tried 10 turns with 43campaign and 10 turns with 44campaign and the Axis AI did fly many NFs.....all did fly at their max alt......I have not seen any 0 alt flying ?

    what version are you using?


    (in reply to gmoney)
    Post #: 15
    RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 9/9/2010 11:43:48 PM   
    Jeff1234

     

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    DBS' and KayBay's ideas have been useful. I fiddled around a lot (as Allied, 700 game turn BTR) with placing CAP on NJG fields. Trying to find the ideal time and altitude to smack down returning NJG fighters. Just played a game turn where I killed 13 Ju-88 nightfighters over the same airfield. From whatIi can see, after many frustrating turns placing CAP on these fields and seeing only a few kills, I changed the altitude from 21,000+ (just over the 20,000 ft that most NJG seem to hover around over their airfields) to 9800 to 11000. Bang. Lots of kills. Conclusion: You have to be nearer to the ground to catch them while landing (which is how I got all of them). No high altitude air to air kills.

    Maybe obvious to some, but didn't see this written anywhere.

    (in reply to DBS)
    Post #: 16
    RE: Tips on Allied night bombing - 10/8/2010 11:29:17 AM   
    Oliver Heindorf


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Jeff1234

    DBS' and KayBay's ideas have been useful. I fiddled around a lot (as Allied, 700 game turn BTR) with placing CAP on NJG fields. Trying to find the ideal time and altitude to smack down returning NJG fighters. Just played a game turn where I killed 13 Ju-88 nightfighters over the same airfield. From whatIi can see, after many frustrating turns placing CAP on these fields and seeing only a few kills, I changed the altitude from 21,000+ (just over the 20,000 ft that most NJG seem to hover around over their airfields) to 9800 to 11000. Bang. Lots of kills. Conclusion: You have to be nearer to the ground to catch them while landing (which is how I got all of them). No high altitude air to air kills.

    Maybe obvious to some, but didn't see this written anywhere.


    I set them to 300-500 feet altitude - works pretty well.

    (in reply to Jeff1234)
    Post #: 17
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