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Axis turn 1 guide

 
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Axis turn 1 guide - 12/8/2010 5:56:10 PM   
ComradeP

 

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I'll try to describe the first Axis turn in detail (I'll post screenshots after having moved units belonging to a corps, so you should be able to follow along although your results will never be entirely the same), and in another thread I'll cover the first Soviet turn.

Normally, the first thing I would do is fly recon missions, but there's more or less no need to do so on turn 1. Recon missions allow you to increase detection levels of enemy units and it will also draw some hostile fighters in.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that the very first thing I do is go to the air groups screen and set all upgrades to manual, as they start on automatic. To do so, go to the commander's report screen, go to the air groups tab and click on AC change mode in the upper right of the screen, set it to manual

For now, go to the air doctrine screen (info screens tab>air doctrine screen) and set percentage required to fly to 10. It's extremely important to remember to switch this back to 50 or so when you're done with airfield bombing. Leave the other settings alone for now.

The low setting will allow you to launch more missions, and I'd strongly suggest only using such a low setting in the airfield bombing phase of this turn, and only this turn, not the start of any other campaign. The losses you will suffer will probably outweigh any benefit gained from the setting on any other turn. I'd suggest not trying any airfield bombing on turn 2 or any other turn in the campaign to begin with.

Now, switch to bomb airfield mode (F7).

You'll be able to cause heavy damage to the VVS in the first turn, and it's wise to do so.

Note that all airfields that have been identified will have their hex coloured red, so you know where they are and can target them.

Hold down the shift key and right click on a Soviet airfield in the AGN area, let's say the airfield in X 53, Y 41 (the one between your starting position and Riga).

The squadron selection screen will now appear. Note the number to the left of the unit name. That indicates the distance between the air base the unit is stationed at and the target. It's preferable to use units that are close to the target as units can only fly a set amount of miles each turn (instead of MP's, air units have miles flown as an indicator of what they can still do during a turn).

The percentage of miles flown is noted under “used”. As we haven't done anything yet, the percentages are all at 0%

“Ready” indicates the number of operational planes, not the number of planes that will actually arrive at the target. It's important to keep that in mind.

The type, function and squadron the unit belongs are also displayed. For fighter bombers, it's wise to check whether they're flying as fighters or bombers, and if they're flying in the role they were trained for. Generally, a plane loses maneuverability when flying as a bomber, but it will be more effective against ground targets. Naturally, if it's flying in a different function than it was trained for, it will lose effectiveness.

Some people will advise against using Ju 87's to bomb airfields. Personally, I use every bomber I can get my hands on. Yes, they'll suffer some losses, but you don't really need most of them for supporting ground combat this turn. I would advise against using them when bombing airfields in cities, as the AA fire gets bonuses from the city AA and hex type, but you could still try it. Losses don't have to be brutal per se.

AA fire and resulting operational damage will cause most of the losses this turn, as there's little Soviet CAP around and the Luftwaffe fighter support will brush it aside in any case.

For this strike, we're going to use gruppe's I. And II. of JG 54, as well as their stab schwarm as fighter support and the Ju 88's of KG 1 as well as the Stuka's of StG 1 as bombers. That gets us 72 fighters and 112 bombers.

Select launch.

Your squadrons will now bomb the target.

Results will vary. The main thing you want to do with the airfields near the border is damage planes. The directly combat related losses, those you see in the screen, are less interesting, although they help too.

If you overrun an airfield by moving a combat unit next to it, all non-damaged planes will fly away, but all damaged planes will be destroyed. You can see the number of operational planes the Soviets have at an airfield by hovering your mouse cursor over it after a bombing mission. Ideally, you want those squadrons to be as close to zero as possible by the time you're done with bombing.

Do keep in mind that gains will lessen as target density decreases, so I'd advise against flying bombing missions against airfields with less than 30 planes on them.

Now try bombing other airfields, and try to hit as many as possible, within a sensible limit. For the first missions, selecting 2/3 the number of fighters compared to the number of bombers is fine. The air doctrine settings will do the rest.

Don't forget that you can also launch bomber only missions, which are extremely risky later on but mostly OK on turn 1. After hitting the airfields west of Minsk and around Minsk, try hitting those around Smolensk and Vitebsk. As you can send about 200 bombers over, you should not lose many bombers from CAP. You may get an ugly surprise or two, so you'll have to decide for yourself whether you think it's worth it.

Similarly, you can also bomb the airfields around Kiev with only bombers. It helps if you know from experience, through recon or by simply looking at the Soviet start setup, which air fields have the fighters on them, as bombing them first significantly reduces CAP and thus also the casualties you'll take.

The Romanians can bomb the airfields near Odessa and Kishinev, don't forget about them.

After all bombing missions were over during a test run, I had lost 136 planes and had destroyed 4310. Results during the turn I'll be showing you will be different, and I'll report those later. These results are pretty variable, but you should be able to get a result between 4000 and 5000 for destroyed planes during the bombing phase. You'll overrun more later on in the turn.

Now set percentage required to fly back to 50% in the air doctrine screen. Some squadrons seem to like to dodge the cap, but that's being looked at by the developers currently.

Feel free to ask questions at any time and about anything mentioned here, or about anything that you think relates to the things being discussed.

Next, we'll move to the ground combat.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 12/10/2010 10:12:22 PM >


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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/8/2010 7:13:08 PM   
Icekill

 

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Awesome, the tutorial doesn't touch enough things for newbies like myself, so reading your turn 1 tutorial will teach us a lot about how to start.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/8/2010 7:51:40 PM   
Brad Hunter


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Also, don't be afraid to go balls-to-the-wall with your Panzer and Motorized units until about October - don't be afraid to break them down to consolidate pockets and cover your flanks to maintain supply. The more Russkies you bag during good weather, the fewer you're going to have to deal with when the Blizzard turns come...

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/8/2010 7:51:56 PM   
Sabre21


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Here is where everyone will have their opinions on how and what to do at first. 

I always do air recon even on turn 1 because I always play with Fog of war on. Even with FoW off you still have detection levels to deal with so even then air recon is important. With FoW on, there are plenty of units out there you don't see and many more that don't have a very good detection level so you can't be sure what they are. Also even though you can see the airfields on turn 1 of the 41 Campaign, many you can't bomb yet until you get the detection level up where you can see what type aircraft are located there.

Also remember that the higher the detection level is, the more effective your ground combat will be.

I prefer leaving the Ju 87's for ground support work, but on turn 1 I will use them on airfied attacks at the end of the turn where enemy air intercept is at the minimum, never at the beginning or they can suffer heavy losses.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/8/2010 8:02:56 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Andy: after the first time you play the first turn, it's easy to memorize where the non-detected Soviets are and what's at the airfields. Most of the airfields near the front contain multiple squadrons. Normally I'd do recon too, but everything I would want to know is either memorized or visible. For some reason, operational losses to my fighters are always pretty high when escorting recon missions (I lost 10 in a short while, and that is most certainly not worth it on turn 1), another reason not to do too many when it isn't necessary.

The odds of losing anything, even Ju 87's, to air to air combat in turn 1 are pretty small and don't forget that you're bringing fighter support with you.

My turn 1 as I'll indicate it is also not "the" turn 1, just one of many. I'll include multiple examples for what you can do with the Panzers.

-

I'll finish the guide, and the Soviet turn 1 guide and factory evacuation guide between now and the end of the weekend.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/8/2010 8:09:50 PM   
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As Andy taught me the ropes I also always do air recon first. The best I done in 41 as the Germans was about 100 losses to just shy of 6,000 killed Soviet air craft on turn one. Over the last three months or so I don't know if the air losses was turned up/down or not since I was awol. Just getting back into it and horsing around again.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/8/2010 8:14:23 PM   
ComradeP

 

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That's about the best I've done too Don, but the recent CAP bug fix makes that rather tricky, so now anything between 4000 and 5000 losses seems more reasonable.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/9/2010 12:52:09 AM   
mariandavid

 

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Many thanks. I was about to start a plaintive thread about the lack of info/help on air warfare and you have solved my problem instead. I look forward to more advice and have copied and filed this first section for permanent reference.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/9/2010 12:43:02 PM   
Brad Hunter


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Yes, perfom air recon every turn.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/9/2010 1:37:44 PM   
el hefe


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Air recon is also a valuable intelligence/deception tool as well. In PBEM, I will often check where my opponent is conducting air recon to get a feel for his points of interest. Conversely, I will often use air recon to deceive the enemy as to the whereabouts of my objectives in a classic bait and switch.

Trey

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/9/2010 4:57:16 PM   
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Trey, out of curiosity, can you actually glean meaningful information if the opposing player uses the AI to conduct recon? (I never fly those missions manually, tbh.)



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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/9/2010 5:04:34 PM   
el hefe


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I doubt it but I don't check out the enemy's air recon against the AI because I assume it isn't going to give me any useful information. I use the air recon manually to check my primary avenues of approach so I can identify enemy units that need to be knocked out of the path so my panzers have a nice uninterrupted advance.

Trey

quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Trey, out of curiosity, can you actually glean meaningful information if the opposing player uses the AI to conduct recon? (I never fly those missions manually, tbh.)





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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/10/2010 12:05:50 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Yesterday went by in a hurry, after spending a lot of time answering questions and doing other things. I'll update the guide tomorrow. Sadly, the day was over quickly again, so I couldn't write more of the guide as intended.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 12/10/2010 9:52:44 PM >


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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/13/2010 3:56:49 AM   
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This is awesome. Do you still plan to continue with the guide?

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/13/2010 11:25:17 AM   
ComradeP

 

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I've been planning to do so for days, but always ran out of time, so apologies for the delays. I should be able to find time today.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/13/2010 2:18:41 PM   
Sabre21


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quote:

ORIGINAL: el hefe

Air recon is also a valuable intelligence/deception tool as well. In PBEM, I will often check where my opponent is conducting air recon to get a feel for his points of interest. Conversely, I will often use air recon to deceive the enemy as to the whereabouts of my objectives in a classic bait and switch.

Trey



I do the same

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/19/2010 1:52:33 AM   
Franklin Nimitz

 

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I happened on a nice little air recon tactic: start with doing 'deep' recon first and work your way back towards your lines as you choose locations to recon. The reason is that recon flights will have a chance to detect units all along their flight path, not just the chosen hex location. So if you start deep (as Germans, e.g.), you will use your JU-88D's exclusively as long-range recon, and you'll detect many more units that way. Then, once your JU-88D's hit their mileage/% fly limit, your maximum range will automatically change to that of the next-longest range recon plane in your inventory (FW-189's I think). Finally, use your HS-126's (which will be all that's left available), to scout the front lines, and a belt a few hexes behind the front.

I do a LOT of recon. Next game, I'll try sending half of my recon squadrons to the national reserve right off. Then, fly the wings off of the half still on-map. Once those squadrons are worn out/damaged, trade them out with equivalent types from the nat'l reserve.

Feature request: Make the F11 button a persistent toggle, even when other F-keys are in use. I'm constantly switching between 'recon' and 'battles' to see where I've already scouted.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/20/2010 3:11:32 PM   
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Do you face a problem of getting recon AC shot down a lot using the tactic you describe (go deep to short)? It seems like the long flights would be unescorted and since no Soviet FTRs have flown yet - you might get a lot of planes shot down doing deep unescorted recon flights first before the Soviet FTRs are drawn into combat for the shorter flights. Or do recon flights not get intercepted much?


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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/20/2010 3:50:10 PM   
Franklin Nimitz

 

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I'm on turn 10 of the Road to Moscow scenario, and I've lost a total of 21 JU-88D's in the game. So a little over 2 per turn average. I don't know what the split between fighter intercepts/flak/ops losses is, so I can't say for sure, but I haven't noticed a problem with interceptions. I've occasionally spot-checked the results, and haven't seen any shot down. But like I said, I just spot check, b/c I fly literally hundreds of recon flights per turn.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/24/2010 3:08:06 AM   
Gremell

 

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Thank you very much for your Turn 1 guide, ComradeP.

I managed to destroy 5469 Soviet aircraft for the loss of 141 of my own during the bombing phase. Basically, I cleaned out all the forward airfields.

Much appreciated.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/24/2010 11:34:55 AM   
ComradeP

 

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That's a good score Gremell, good job.

I'm still working on the rest of the guide, which is taking me more time than I had expected due to other commitments (both on the forum and elsewhere) taking a lot of time.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/26/2010 10:12:47 AM   
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I few other things I do for Axis Turn 1 air actions:

I start with the deep airfields and work my way back to the closer ones. I want to make sure the longer-range bombers are used against the deep target, as there are plenty of shorter-range ones for close-in work. Fighters only seem to intercept missions in the vicinity of their home base not airplanes flying over so those big masses of fighters on the forward airbases are not a concern to the deep missions. Also, I hit the fighter airfields in the area first. They may try to fly some intercepts but destroying them on the first strike means they will not be flying against later strikes at nearby airfields.

I lower my Percentage to Fly to 10% again for my air drop of supplies to the Panzer Corps. More Ju-52's seem to fly, even though they can only do air drop the first mission of the turn, and either the Soviets fighters are all destroyed or too distrupted/busy by the end of the turn to do any interceptions. Additionally, I get the other Ju-52 unit out of national reserve so they will be ready for air drops on Turn 2.

I tend to kill 5100-5400 planes on these airfield strikes with abot 100-150 friendly loses.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/26/2010 10:17:29 AM   
ComradeP

 

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Ju-52's are not affected by the "one transport mission each turn" rule, they can usually fly several.

I noew hit the bomber bases in the greater Smolensk and Kiev areas first and then work my way back. I leave some fighter air bases alone if they're outside escort range.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/27/2010 2:40:22 AM   
Magnum88

 

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I realized my mistake about the first mission rule after re-reading the manual but you beat me to the punch ComradeP.

I understand that flying the Ju-52's results in the occasional lost airplane due to reliablity but is this "break rate" affected by fatigue? In other words, is there a big disadvantage flying them as hard as possible during the opening month or two given that the panzers need all supplies/fuel they can give or will you pay for it in higher reliability loses?

< Message edited by Magnum88 -- 12/27/2010 1:00:43 PM >

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 12/27/2010 1:14:00 PM   
ComradeP

 

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The main problem will be that they accumulate damage, which in turn will mean that at some point they'll drop out of the sky as an operational loss. Don't push them too hard. In fact, I'd even suggest using medium/level bombers to fly an air transport mission with fuel to your mobile unit HQ's. The HQ's will resupply its units from the dumps it has, provided they're within range. It's more cost effective than flying missions to every unit.

Also keep in mind that the Axis start with about 800 damaged planes to begin with.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 2/8/2011 6:15:25 PM   
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Using the tips in this thread has made my first turn air stikes much more damaging than previous, thanks ComradeP and others.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 3/13/2011 9:31:02 PM   
Twotribes


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3 months and no updates?

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 3/13/2011 9:33:29 PM   
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Everything that is needed is now known.  There is nothing new under the sun.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 3/14/2011 2:31:05 AM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

3 months and no updates?


Like PeeDeeAitch suggests, other threads have taken over the role of this thread. There are detailed threads on the opening moves of each army group.

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RE: Axis turn 1 guide - 3/15/2011 2:23:50 AM   
Twotribes


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

quote:

3 months and no updates?


Like PeeDeeAitch suggests, other threads have taken over the role of this thread. There are detailed threads on the opening moves of each army group.


And are they marked and saved like this thread?

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