From: Tucson, AZ
Yep that's true. All manner of weird things can occur. In a current H2H game, my Off-board had decided to NOT respond to plot changes OR Cancellation. The only choice I had was to let it go as is, or shut down the tubes so they wouldn't fire and waste ammunition. Unfortuantely, you can't do this with aircraft. Not being able to cancel an incoming plot was pretty bizarre, and a bit frustrating. :mad:
When I'm using Gold Spots for Airstrike purposes, I use them a little differently. I'll line them near the top and bottom edges of where I think his avenue of approach will be. (usually near the top and bottom edge of the map) And perhaps one or two near the center of his suspected advance.
When it's time to call in an airstrike, I'll select the direction I want the aircraft to approach based on targetting somewhere within a single adjustment from one of these 'boundary' Gold Spots. Minor adjustments off the Gold Spot usually allows me to line up on a hex grain populated with enemy units. This way I can 'Sling-Shot' an airstrike quickly and with minimum targetting hassles. :)
Aircraft will tend to begin targetting the furthest unit they can see, and then work their way back, targetting closer units sequentially. One can typically assume the airstrike will hit the first available vehicle after the plot point. (This isn't always the case, but I've never been able to determine exactly what the criteria are for targetting your own vehicles. :rolleyes: )
If you plan your approach from the target's side or rear facings, it seems you increase the chances of immobilizations, engine and track damage, and, I believe, kills. Frontal approaches may result in the main armament being damaged.
In any case, plot your approach and exit paths so that your aircraft won't fly over any of your forces that you don't want him to see. (like your artillery park or your armor assembly area)
Also try to time the flight so that occurs after his turn (0.3 - 0.5 delay) This way, he'll get a quick view of forces on the map at the end of his turn. But you'll get to see them in the VCR replay just before you start [I]your[/I] turn. :)
This is a substantial advantage in intelligence gathering. You can act immediately on the new intel, while he has to wait for you to move, and then react.
Order of purchase of Airstrikes and artillery in the OOB is important too.
If you purchase your artillery before the airstrikes, the artillery will barrage first during a turn before the aircraft arrive. This gives you an opportunity to suppress any AA you know of, before the planes start their bombing runs. AA might still fire, but they should have a reduced chance to hit from the suppression.
If artillery is purchased after the airstrikes, more of the map and units will be exposed after the air sorties are gone as the map scrolls to display the incoming artillery barrages on the same turn. If planes have already flown over, many more units will be revealed during this process. How much additional information is gained is based on what's near those subsequent barrage's impact hexes.
Fighters can be used as aerial reconn too. Just plot their target hex at the extreme edge of the map where they'll exit. They'll fly across the map and fire once into the map edge target hex and then exit. (sometimes they'll drop their bomb loads too, but not usually)
When I use aircraft I consider, in purchase order, three types: Fighters, Fighter-bombers and Heavy bombers (This does not include High altitude bombers which are modelled differently)
I use the less expensive fighters to run reconn as I described above and to draw fire from AA emplacements. Some cost as little as a truck or two and can give you lots of intel in a single pass. These are usually the first to fly over the battlefield.
The Fighter-bombers are the workhorses. A turn after the fighters have drawn out AA and provided some reconn, the Fighter-bombers go in to prosecute. They're used to target vehicles and AA emplacements almost exclusively. If they can dispatch a few infantry too, more power to them.
The Heavy bombers I save for bunker-busting or dispersing large congregations of enemy infantry.
I don't personally like having aicraft in human vs human games. the instant aerial reconn is a bit much, IMHO. OTH, if I've got nothing to do and am looking for some diversion, I'll set up an all-air force and cream some opposing AI enemy. Lot's of explosions! I love it!. :cool:
"Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy, if possible. "
- Stonewall Jackson